Vol. 21 (2023)

The emotions of the Jewish people and the Moyses Graecus of Flavius Josephus

José M. Candau
Universidad de Sevilla

Published 2024-01-31


  • Flavius Josephus,
  • historiography,
  • Judaeo-Greek studies,
  • biblical studies,
  • Greek literature



In books III and IV of the Antiquities of the Jews, Flavius Josephus narrates the march of the Jewish people to the promised land under the guidance of Moses. The narrative includes the exposure of repeated conflicts between the people and their guide, as well as the description of the emotions that arouse these conflicts. Initially the emotions of the people are described in terms that highlight factors such as irrationality, lack of control, excess passions, and recklessness. Faced with this, Moses appears endowed with the qualities of foresight, confidence, security, moderation, and wisdom. The conflict between both actors (the Jewish community and Moses) is thus assimilated to the confrontation between an irrational mass dominated by violent feelings and a wise and judicious leader.