Jewish novels in the Hellenistic period
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: RC230
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
The course will look at the emergence of the novel as a literary genre during the Hellenistic period, a genre which has given birth to the modern novel. We will ask questions about the novel as a genre, its beginning in the Greek world; we will also examine themes which are commonly explored at that time, as well as the historic-socio-political background undergirding the creation of new literary forms. The focus will be on the novel among the Hellenistic Jews, looking at tradition and innovation of literary forms since the times of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will spend the first session looking at Hellenistic novels (e.g. Xenophon’s Ephesiaca, Cariton’s Chaereas and Callirhoe, Heliodorus’ Ethiopica) before introducing Jewish hellenistic novels. Each week will then be devoted to one set of text starting with Esther, 2 & 3 Maccabees, Daniel (Daniel at the court of the foreign king, Susannah, Bel and the Dragon), Judith, Tobit, Joseph and Aseneth, and the Testament of Abraham.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Have an overview of the critical questions surrounding the Hellenistic novel, both Greek and Jewish.
- Have a working knowledge of the prescribed texts, including critical questions appropriate for each text, more specifically their historical background, theology, literary form.
- Be aware of the continuity and discontinuity of literary forms and ideas.
- Appreciate the literary diversity of the selected texts.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course can be taken by anyone with an interest in ancient literature.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught through a variety of methods: seminars, PowerPoint presentations and discussions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. Please bring pen and paper if you wish to take notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any other Classical literature or language class.
Dr Ann Jeffers taught Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism) at Trinity College Dublin and Heythrop College, University of London for 30 years. She is now Research Fellow at Roehampton University. Her research interests, and publications are in the field of magic and divination in the Bible and the ancient world, feminism and reception history of the Bible mostly in literature and the visual arts. She also belongs to an interdisciplinary research group, ‘Media and Religion’.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.