Cultivating Scripture in a Hellenistic World: Jewish Scholarship of the Pentateuch in Hellenistic-Roman Palestine and Alexandrian Homer Scholarship.
This project investigates the development of Jewish scholarship of the Pentateuch in Hellenistic-Roman Palestine in the wake of Alexandrian scholarship of the Iliad and the Odyssey. This project focuses on the attitude of Alexandrian scholars of the homeric epics and Jewish scholars of the Pentateuch towards the authorship, narrative consistency, and textual fluidity of their base texts. The first step in this research will be to demonstrate how these attitudes are expressed in the sources for both scholarly traditions. Subsequently, the correlations between the notions of authorship, narrative consistency, and textual fluidity in Alexandrian Homer scholarship and Jewish scholarship of the Pentateuch will be analysed. On the basis of the results of these investigations, this project will reconstruct the transmission of knowledge between these two traditions of ancient textual scholarship and situate the relationship between them within its socio-historical context. This project will demonstrate where and how knowledge of Alexandrian scholarship of the homeric epics is reflected in Jewish Pentateuch scholarship in Hellenistic-Roman Palestine. It will also illustrate how the transmission of this knowledge has taken place between these two traditions. Thus, this project will yield novel insights into how religious groups oriented towards a sacred text may adopt and adapt intellectual paradigms current in broader society.