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Martin Goodman (1) (1953–)

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About the Author

Martin Goodman is the author of "In Search of the Divine Mother" & "On Bended Knees", which was short listed for the Whitbread First Novel Award, as well as numerous stories, magazine articles, & plays. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, & the French Pyrenees. (Bowker Author Biography)
Image credit: Martin Goodman

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Associated Works

On the Art of the Kabbalah: (De Arte Cabalistica) (1517) — Kääntäjä, eräät painokset77 kappaletta
The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. 10: The Augustan Empire, 43 B.C.–A.D. 69 (1656) — Author: Judaea, eräät painokset73 kappaletta
Literacy and Power in the Ancient World (1994) — Avustaja — 36 kappaletta
Apologetics in the Roman Empire: Pagans, Jews, and Christians (1999) — Toimittaja — 34 kappaletta
The Jews Among Pagans and Christians in the Roman Empire (1992) — Avustaja — 33 kappaletta
Coinage and Identity in the Roman Provinces (2005) — Avustaja — 21 kappaletta
Paradise in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Views (2010) — Avustaja — 16 kappaletta

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From a pagan perspective all forms of proselytization stem from the conviction that one is in the right and combines that with blind fear, in order to compensate this uncertainty of 'certainty of faith' one is prompted to win more converts in order to justify and mirror his own doubt in front of others to consolidate it into sectarian make-believe cognitive behaviors. I've never met a strong-willed, logical, reasonable being that seeked to justify his own stances in the eyes of others, or convert them otherwise than by inspiration stemming from his example, or wisdom of his words and nobility of his ethos that convinced others in a suffiicient manner in order to incorporate and individuate in maturity in a similar fashion. The case with Judeo-Christian and Manichean proselytizing in the Roman Empire was a boiling bog in which doctrines formed in opposition to the high antique, while using and abusing everything on its way. This book is about this boiling, written in a concise form and leaving the chaos out. What conjoins Manicheanism and Christianity is its operation on absolutes - the interpretations of their adherents must be definitive and final, universalistic, thus it is a form of exclusivity of the flocks accompanied with terror against the outsiders. It is a form of religious schizophrenia in which all outsiders are enemies or pagans, but it would be great to make them friends by the law of incorporation, 'only if' they would accept a carve-out of the indivisible world and bottleneck it into a category of a weird religion. The 'truth' of Manicheanism is contradicting the 'truth' of Christianity yet both parties held 'one and only truth', evangelical in that matter, and spreading their own ideas about it. The triumphalism of christianity is purely sociological, there is no revelation, mystery or miracle in it, the socio-historical processes were prone to adapt to this new cultic formoid, it has something of the Jewish stubborness and revanchism: "The more you mown us (christians) the more we grow", there is something of a ruthless foolishness of pseudo-chivalry that one sticks to his views no matter what is the evidence. Even if all the Gods, Providence, Divine would unveil the great realization to a Jew, Christian or Muslim, they would interpret it into their religious ideas shaped by their tribal codices and laws either as a 'form of a revelation' a 'message from the angels of God' or 'devilish illusion attempting to thwart their faith', depending on the beholder and his own filter of psychological setting and religious ideas. One may retrace many ideas [return to Zion, return of the Messiah, eschatological proximity, covenantal evangelism et al. 'Philosophia Perennis' by Wilhelm Schmidt Biggerman surveys Judeo-Christian theological ideas across history in detail] in mainstream christianity from the corporae of judaism, thus using the term 'Judeo-Christianity' is fully justified, personally I treat christians as sectarian jews that monolithized themselves into a major religion much later. Highly commendable book.
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Saturnin.Ksawery | Jan 12, 2024 |
Flavius Josephus's The Jewish War was about a battle between Jews and pagans, with a lot of Christians somewhere in the vicinity. For most of its history, it was preserved by Christians. So why is this book so utterly Jewish?

Josephus was, famously, a commander in the Jewish Revolt against the Romans that began in 66 B.C.E., which ended with Jerusalem in ruins and its Temple destroyed -- what is left of the ruins is now probably the most significant cultural site for Jews in all of Israel. Josephus himself, who survived even though most of the soldiers under him were killed, was a Roman prisoner busily ingratiating himself to the generals who captured him. Little wonder, then, that Jewish tradition forgot him. It was Christians, starved for information about what happened in Jerusalem in the years after they were largely driven from the city, who preserved the four books Josephus wrote (his major works, the Jewish War and the Antiquities, plus the short Against Apion and the self-serving, contradictory Life). Church chronicles such as Eusebius also drew much information from Josephus, so the facts he preserved were deeply embedded in Christian history. By contrast, the Jews knew nothing of his writings until a Jewish adaption known as "Yosippon" eventually got their attention. But this was a rewritten, sometimes inaccurate, translation, not the real thing. And it's not as Yosippon became part of the Talmud or something; it was still relatively peripheral to Jewish self-understanding.

In England, William Whiston eventually translated Josephus, and although his translation was a botched job based on a poor text strongly influenced by Whiston's personal sectarianism (he revived the ancient, discredited Arian heresy), so important was Josephus that, as author Martin Goodman notes, Josephus was often the book shelved right next to the Bible in homes that had only two or three books.

Yet, for practical purposes, Goodman's discussion of the English versions of Josephus, and indeed all Christian mentions of the Jewish War, stop with Whiston in the early eighteenth century. From then on, Goodman's entire book is devoted to Jews' arguments over whether to use Josephus, whether to trust Josephus, whether Josephus was a traitor. (The answers to which are, (1) yes, (2) within limits, since nothing else is available, and (3) it doesn't matter.) Page after page of position summaries for people most of us have never heard of, all repeating the same arguments. Which might not be so bad if Goodman were a great stylist -- Chaucer, say, could have made that section thrilling. When Goodman writes it, it drags endlessly; if I wanted to stay awake, I could only read it about four pages at a time.

It's really too bad. There is need for a good English introduction to Josephus. The usual modern English edition of the Jewish War, the Penguin text, doesn't have enough of an introduction or notes. The Loeb Classical Library edition is overkill for most people -- and it doesn't have much of an introduction either, and while the translation of the Antiquities is excellent, that of the Jewish War is quite stilted. Whiston's translation is even less adequate now than it was in 1737.

I wanted to like this book. It was written because Josephus is such an important author, historically. We need a book of this sort about Josephus. But, unless you are deeply interested in Jewish historical controversies of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, I don't think you'll find it very useful. Even if you are interested in Jewish controversies, you are not likely to find it a very pleasant read.
… (lisätietoja)
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waltzmn | Mar 14, 2023 |
Martin Goodman explores the history of a titanic struggle whose repercussions are still felt today. In 70CE, after four years of Jewish rebellion, Roman legions devastated the great city of Jerusalem. Sixty years later, its ruin was completed when Emperor Hadrian built a new city on top of it that Jews were forbidden even to enter. In this highly acclaimed book, Martin Goodman examines the background and course of this titanic conflict - from the political ambitions of Roman military leaders to the spread of Christian influence through the empire - and its lasting consequences. 'In this remarkable book Martin Goodman casts a truly fresh eye over well-known figures and events'… (lisätietoja)
 
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StFrancisofAssisi | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 6, 2021 |
This is exhausting stuff--Goodman knows a lot about this period, and he has put it all in this book, which would have been better served divided in two, or perhaps three. The 'comparison' stuff is unhelpful; saying 'the Roman political system was like this, and the Hasmonean political system was like that' over and over, just subbing out 'political system' for something else gets very tedious, very quickly. I read it because Goodman's history of Judaism was very, very good, and because I'm teaching some stuff in this vague arena this semester, so I thought it would be useful. It was not. The imbecilic subtitle doesn't help, but I'm sure that was the publisher's fault. I blame the editor for the generally low standard of prose; again, Goodman can do better, as his more recent big book shows.

Having said all of that, it'll be a great reference work if I ever need to look up something about the second temple era, the end of it, or even early imperial Roman history.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
stillatim | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 23, 2020 |

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