By Alexei M. Sivertsev
This booklet explores the impression of Roman imperialism at the improvement of messianic topics in Judaism within the 5th during the 8 centuries CE. It will pay distinctive recognition to the ways that Roman imperial ideology and imperial eschatology inspired Jewish representations of the Messiah and messianic age. subject matters addressed within the ebook comprise: representations of the Messianic nation of Israel as a successor to the Roman Empire, the topic of imperial renewal in Jewish eschatology and its Roman parallels, representations of the emperor in past due old literature and artwork and their impression at the representations of the Messiah, the mum of the Messiah in past due vintage and Byzantine cultural contexts, and the determine of the final Roman Emperor in Christian and Jewish culture.
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Extra info for Judaism and Imperial Ideology in Late Antiquity
It was as a result of Solomon’s failure to live up to the latter that eventually his throne was lost to other world rulers. When Solomon died, the Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak came and captured the throne from Israel. Because Shishak took the throne as his daughter’s marriage settlement, the midrash apparently identifies Shishak with the Pharaoh whose daughter Solomon had married in violation of one of the commandments that the throne itself symbolized. Afterward, the throne was captured from Shishak by Zerah the Ethiopian and taken back from Zerah by king Asa of Judah.
51 The treasure was later taken by Israelites fleeing Egypt during the Exodus and belonged to Israel until it was seized first by Shishak of Egypt, then by Zerah of Ethiopia and other world rulers. The treasure eventually made it to Rome, where it was still kept at the time of the midrash, presumably to finance the expansion of Rome’s world empire. All these legends share the common theme of ancient Israelite rulers laying down the foundation of universal imperialism, either by inventing the imperial insignia the possession of which legitimized the status of later world rulers or by amassing treasures that sustained subsequent empires.
What would the eschatological Jerusalem look like? Would it indeed include among its buildings a Hippodrome patterned after the one in Constantinople? Would the royal palace of the Davidic Messiah feature an automated “Solomon’s throne,” resembling the one used by Byzantine emperors? The crown restored by Rome to Israel would most likely carry with it the baggage of Roman imperial culture. 67 Byzantine Judaism actively engaged the supersessionist narrative of contemporaneous Byzantine Christianity by accepting its premises (Imperial Rome/Constantinople and the successor of Davidic Israel) and then reinterpreting them to assert the superiority of Israel over Rome.
Judaism and Imperial Ideology in Late Antiquity by Alexei M. Sivertsev