Scholars from 17 different universities in 6 countries



Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Saskia Dönitz is Research Associate at the Seminar for Jewish Studies at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. She published widely on the reception history of Sefer Yosippon in Medieval Hebrew Literature and is one of the leading authorities on Yosippon alive today. Her research focuses on manuscript studies, cultural and intellectual history, medieval Jewish exegesis and historiography, and the history of the Jews in Byzantium. For this conference Saskia will dive into the manuscript transmission of Sefer Yosippon and discuss the various versions and their possible cultural background as prerequisite for a new edition of this pivotal work of medieval Jewish self-understanding.  

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University of Oxford

Martin Goodman is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford. He has written extensively on Jews in the Roman world, including a biography of Josephus' Jewish War with Princeton University Press (2019), which stemmed from two collaborative projects of which he is a part, with Joanna Weinberg (on the reception of Josephus in the early modern period) and Tessa Rajak and Andrea Schatz (on Josephus' reception from 1750 to the present) respectively. At this conference he will expand his research into the "Sequel to the History of the Jews" written by Isaac D'Israeli and published in an 1848 edition of William Whiston's translation of Josephus' writings.

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Jewish Theological Seminary

Katja Vehlow is the author of Dorot Olam (Generations of the Ages), an edition of Abraham ibn Dauid's historiographical writings, a topic with which she will deal further in her presentation at this conference. She was formerly Professor of Religious and Jewish Studies at the University of South Carolina and is a co-editor of Brill's Études sur le judaïsme médiéval. Katja is currently completing a rabbinic degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, after which she plans to work as a hospital chaplain.



New York University

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University of California - Los Angeles

Yonatan Binyam is Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California - Los Angeles. His research is charting new territory within the Arabic and Ethiopic adaptations of the Hebrew Sefer Yosippon. His contribution to this conference, and his current work more broadly, will help frame the Zena Ayhud (the Ethiopic adaptation of Sefer Yosippon) in relation to its Arabic Vorlage, situate it within medieval Ethiopian historiography, and establish it as a locus of research within Josephus' reception history, medieval studies, and Ethiopic literature.



Wesleyan University

Ruth Nisse is Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Wesleyan University. Her research focus on Medieval Jewish-Christian relations, literature, and translation, usually in the 12th-13th centuries, led her to examine the short Aeneid-based midrash in Sefer Yosippon in the second chapter of her 2017 book, Jacob's Shipwreck (Cornell University Press). For this conference she is revisiting that passage and its connections to contemporary Christian messianism and apocalyptic.

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University of Groningen

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Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Meir Ben Shahar is a student of ancient Judaism and deals especially with cultural and collective memory in rabbinic literature. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and now teaches at Sha'anan College in Israel. His recent publications include a few chapters in Tal Ilan's and Vered Noam's Josephus and the Rabbis (published in Hebrew in 2017). Nowadays his research focuses on ancient memories of the Second Temple's destruction as they came to be embedded in rabbinic literature and on "the reconstruction of the late ancient Jewish library." At the conference Meir will be discussing Josephus' place in modern Israeli schools.

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University of Cincinnati

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King's College London

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University of Groningen

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Florida State University

David B. Levenson is University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Religion at Florida State University, where he has worked for over forty years. He is a preeminent authority on the Latin (and Syriac) textual traditions of Josephus, having pioneered recent work on the Latin Josephus together with Thomas R. Martin. His research for this conference (with Carson Bay) combines his expertise in Latin Josephus manuscripts with another specialty of his: Hebrew literature (in the form of Sefer Yosippon).



Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Nadia Zeldes is Senior Research Fellow at The Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. An expert on intercultural encounters in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, Nadia's recent book - Jewish History in the Renaissance: Christians, Jews, and the Hebrew Sefer Josippon - applies this expertise to the central themes of this conference. Nadia's current research, on display in this conference, emphasizes the neglected subject of the Christian reception of the Hebrew Sefer Yosippon.



University of Greifswald

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Leiden University

Silvia Castelli is Researcher in Greek Language and Literature in the Classics Department and part of the "Anchoring Innovation" project at the University of Leiden. She is an expert in Josephus' biblical history, reception (especially in the Italian renaissance), and Greek philology and vocabulary. Her contribution to this conference (with Michael Avioz) draws upon her current research into the discursive and linguistic aspects of Josephus' treatment of biblical laws.

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College of the Holy Cross

Thomas R. Martin is the Jeremiah O’Connor Professor in Classics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. His teaching and publications concentrate on ancient Greek and Roman history. He and David Levenson have co-authored some of the most important recent research on the Latin textual and manuscript tradition of Josephus' corpus, and they are currently co-authoring the English translation and commentary on Book 6 of Josephus' Judean War for the Brill Josephus series.

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University of Bern

Carson Bay is Postdoctoral Researcher in the Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Bern. His research spans from Josephus' Greek text through the Latin Josephus traditions of late antiquity (especially De Excidio Hierosolymitano) all the way to the Hebrew Sefer Yosippon in the early Medieval period. His current book project shows how Yosippon used its Latin sources to take back Jewish history for the Jews in the Middle Ages.

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University of Amsterdam

Jan Willem van Henten is Professor of Religious Studies, with a focus on Early Judaism and Early Christianity, within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. He is a leading authority on martyrdom in ancient Judaism and Christianity and on Josephus' writings. One of his major contributions to the study of Josephus was the translation-commentary of Judean Antiquities Book 15 in the Brill Josephus series (Volume 7b).



Bar-Ilan University

Michael Avioz is Professor in the Zalman Shamir Department of Bible at Bar-Ilan University. He has written broadly on Josephus, the prophetic tradition, and biblical reception history in works like his 2015 book, Josephus' Interpretation of the Books of Samuel. Part of his current work examines legal exegesis within Josephus' interpretation of the Bible, the topic of his conference paper.

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