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Moses in Greco-Roman Paganism
John G. Gager
Publication Date
March 2006


“The intention of this study is to examine the figure of Moses—his life, his person, and his teaching—as recorded by pagan authors in the Greco-Roman world. What did they know, or claim to know of him? What did they think of him, and what factors (social, political, literary, etc.) influenced their evaluation of him? Where did they get their information? Was there anything like a fixed image, or images, of Moses?”
—from the introduction

“This careful and precise analysis of the score or so of the references to Moses in non-Jewish and non-Christian writings from Hecataeus of Abdera to the Emperor Julian provides a thorough and accurate handbook for anyone interested in the larger world’s awareness of Judaism’s foremost personality and, not incidentally, some indication of its awareness of Judaism. Their treatment of Moses’ is particularly interesting because of the cultural pressures which developed on and within the Jewish community to redo his biography so that it conformed with the pattern of idealized character (aretê) which was generally prized.”
—Daniel Jeremy Silver, Journal of Biblical Literature