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In the introduction to his Jewish War, Josephus contends that the historian of recent events is far superior to those who merely rehash ancient history. He argues that personal involvement in momentous events leads to greater lucidity of narrative, and more importantly, it is impossible for a historian to lie when the audience already knows the facts.
Ironically, Josephus’ personal involvement in the Jewish War has encouraged his interpreters to mistrust his writing. Yet it is worth interrogating these issues more broadly: who wrote contemporary history, and why? How did such writers explain their relationship with their material? Did their original audience already know the “facts”? Why and how do ancient authors indicate their presence as actors within the historical narrative? And has this changed – do contemporary authors of contemporary history approach their task differently?
FECHA LÍMITE/DEADLINE/SCADENZA: 15/01/2017
FECHA CONGRESO/CONGRESS DATE/DATA CONGRESSO: 19/05/2017
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Ertegun House (Oxford, England)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Ursula Westwood
The goal of this colloquium is to ask these questions about ancient authors from any part of the ancient world who wrote about events in living memory. The colloquium will include a keynote address by Professor John Marincola.
Please send abstracts for 20 minute papers to Ursula.Westwood@lmh.ox.ac.uk by 15 January 2017.