What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ken Olson
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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:43 am

rakovsky wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:59 am
Ken,
I think that you are suggesting that the coincidences between Jesus' and Paul's stories and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia are just that - coincidences and not real allusions. You are also suggesting that before the 17th century, earlier writers didn't perceive the story of Paulina to refer to Jesus. As such, you suggest that when a hypothetical Christian interpolator added in the Testaimonium into Josephus' story, he didn't place it next to the Paulina story because he believed that it alluded to Jesus (as Kautsky suggested that the alleged interpolator did). And when the Christian writer Pseudo-Hegesippus rewrote the Paulina story in a pro-Christian way and added in virgin birth elements, he didn't believe that the Paulina story itself alluded to Jesus, nor did the Sepher Yosippon when it used the Paulina story as an anti-Christian polemic. Further, you seem to suggest that no writers until the 17th century saw the Paulina story as deliberately alluding to Jesus.
Yes, broadly speaking that's it. As a caveat, I'm not proposing the theory that no one before the 17th century ever saw the Paulina story in the Antiquities as referring to Jesus and seeking to prove it. I don't know what everyone who heard or read the text of Ant. 18 thought. I'm pointing out that your claim that there were writers since even the early centuries AD that were convinced that Josephus was alluding to Jesus in the Paulina story is not supported by any direct evidence.
In your scenario, did the interpolator who drafted the Testimonium put it next to Paulina's story because he saw similarities in it to Jesus' story, or were the similarities and the location of the two sections next to each other purely coincidental?
I have a theory on the origins of the Testimonium, but in this thread I've been trying to stick to evaluating your arguments rather than trying to push my scenario. So I'll give a qualified yes: we have no good reason to suppose that whoever placed the Testimonium where he or she did in the text of Antiquities 18 was driven by its similarities to the Paulina story.
Why should both Pseudo-Hegessipus and the author of the Sepher Yosippon have taken the effort to turn a negative story that they, in such a hypothetical, wouldn't have seen as about Jesus, into a Jesus-themed, positive, pro-Christian themed story?
We don't know what the author of Sefer Yosippon would have thought about the Paulina story in Josephus' Antiquities because he never read it (do I need to state the more cautious 'we have no evidence that he read it''?). He knew the form of the story in Pseduo-Hegesippus. Flusser think he did not have access to the Antiquities in Greek, and he lacked the last four books in the Latin translation he used. I'll get back to the rest of this question below.
It seems more likely to me that the coincidences between the TF and Paulina story are numerous enough that they are intentional and that even if they are not.


Even if they are not ... what? I think part of your post got lopped off here. And the similarities between the Testimonium and the Paulina story are not numerous or strong. Most of the similarities you've given were between the Paulina story and the Christian tradition, not the Testimonium. The actual similarities between Paulina and the Testimonium, that someone met someone else three days after something happened, and one or more people were crucified, are not enough to establish much of anything.
Also, there were writers and readers before the 17th c. who perceived them to be deliberate,
Now you're supporting your interpretation of the Paulina text from the Antiquities with writers whose existence you have deduced? You might not see the problem there, but I'm willing to bet other people will.
and that this explains why Pseudo-Hegesippus and the Sepher-Yosippon used Paulina's story as Christian or anti-Christian allegories and polemics.
This is another problem with your presentation of your theory. You take a possibility and present it as *the* explanation when it's only *a* possible explanation that attracts you. It's possible that Peudo-Hegesippus understood Josephus to be alluding to Jesus in the Paulina story, but he doesn't say he did, and you haven't shown that he did. It's possible he added the element of Paulina's possible pregnancy as an allusion to Jesus without thinking Josephus version of the story alluded to Jesus. Then again, it's possible that he did not intend the pregnancy bit as an allusion to Jesus. The author of the Sefer Yosippon gave a form of the story, which he took from Pseudo-Hegesippus, that definitely alluded to Jesus [EDIT: now that I've actually seen a translation of the passage I would say ostensibly rather than definitely], but whether he took Pseudo-Hegesippus to be alluding to Jesus or added it on his own, we don't know. What we do know is that he took a lot of material from Christian Pseudo-Hegesippus anti-Jewish history and turned it into a pro-Jewish history, so his creative powers in adapting his source were high. I don't know at what point the story became about Jesus. And I don't think you know either.
I think that it's more likely that a Christian Pseudo-Hegesippus gave a positive, pro-Christian reworking to a negative, anti-Christian allegory than giving a pro-Christian reworking to a negative allegory that he considered to only deride pagan gods.
I'm unable to follow your train of thought here. Is Josephus' version of the Paulina story the negative anti-Christian allegory? I thought you thought Josephus was pro-Christian. And are you attributing to me the idea that the Paulina story is a negative allegory? I don't think it's an allegory.
Last edited by Ken Olson on Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:11 pm

Yosippon suggests that the anti-Christian elements in the account of Paulina in Sefer Yosippon are dependent on pseudo-Hegesippus.
Paulina’s Affair in Josephus is expanded in Pseudo-Hegesippus from which the Hebrew author (in Flusser’s edition chapter 57) develops a satirical polemic against Christianity, which he drew from pro-Christian allusions in Pseudo-Hegesippus.
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Ken Olson
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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:15 am

Here's an English translation of the version of the Paulina story from the Sefer Yosippon.
34. Paulina, or the Deed of Shame in the Temple
Source: D. Günzberg and A. Kahana, eds., Josippon, pp. 358-361

Now I shall relate one of the shameful incidents which occurred in the days of the Emperor Tiberius. In his time there was a most beautiful and comely woman in Rome, a woman who was full of charm and grace so that all who saw her would abandon their work and stand looking at her. Many desired to lie with her but could not, because she was chaste and wedded. Her name was Paulina. Now this woman constantly used to go to her house of prayer. And a certain young man named Mundus saw her; he was one of the cavalry officers of the Emperor Tiberius. His love flamed up within him like a fire because of the woman’s beauty, and he asked her to lie with him for a sum of twenty thousand gold drachmas. But the woman refused to listen to him and revealed the secret to her husband.

When Mundus saw that she would not listen to him, he went to the priest who was in charge of the temple in those days. In that temple were two images, one called Osiris and the other Anubis. Anubis being held more important than Osiris in the opinion of the people. So this young fellow went to the priest and gave him a thousand gold drachmas to entice and mislead her and bring her to the temple. The priest in turn went and said this to the woman: “Thus says Anubis the great god: Come to my temple and lie before my altar so that when I rise at night, I may converse with you in secret, since because of my love for you, I shall make you my prophetess.” The woman rejoiced very much and told her husband, who said to her: “Who can withhold what the gods request?” So the woman went to the temple, and her maidens prepared her a most sumptuous bed before the altar, and she lay down there. After that the maidens left the temple by order of the priest.

As she lay there the young fellow in the guise of Anubis rose from behind the altar and went from beneath her covers and fell upon her with an insatiable kiss. The woman woke up and asked him: “Who are you? And he answered: “I, Anubis, have come because I love you.” Then the woman said: “If you are a god, why should you desire a woman? And can god have commerce with a woman?’ To which the young fellow answered: “With a beautiful woman like you he can, for another woman accepted a god upon her and she bore him Jove, who is a god like me, while many other women have given birth to many gods.” The woman, believing this, said: “I am the happiest of womankind to have a god loving me!” Therefore the woman did not withhold that which the young man desired, and he lay with her until the morning.

In the morning she went to her home exceedingly happy and told her husband all that had befallen her in the temple. He too rejoiced exceedingly, saying: “Happy are we that the god has visited us!” And all the other women declared her praises, telling her: “Happy are you, Paulina, for having companied with the god!”

But after this Mundus went and told Paulina: “Happy are you, Paulina, for having companied with Anubis the great god. Now learn from what you have done, and as you did not refuse the god that which he requested, likewise do not refuse the request of any man. And as you were not sparing of your hidden parts with the god, so henceforth, do not keep them from man. For the great god gave me what you refused to give me. He gave me all my desire, and also brought you into the temple and gave you to me in order that I should fulfill my desire with you! See, what you did not do willingly at my wish when you could have taken the twenty thousand gold drachmas I brought you, the god has done for me free and without any silver or gold. As for me, when my name was Mundus you did not wish to do what I desired, but when I changed my name to Anubis you did whatever I wished. So learn from that, Paulina, to fulfill all my desires henceforward!”

When the woman heard this, she grieved exceedingly since she had been misused by a man, and went and told her husband. He could say nothing and could not complain about her since she had gone with his approval and he had told her to go to the temple. The emperor also heard of all this and slew the priests and destroyed the temple and sank the images in the River Tiber. The young fellow he did not slay because, said the king, his love enflamed him and his desire overcame him; but he banished him to distant parts.

This shameful deed which was done in Rome in the days of Tiberius Caesar we have now written down; and in his times many more such shameful deeds were done.
From:
Mimekor Yisrael: Selected Classical Jewish Folktales, collected by Micha, Joseph Bin Gorion, Emmanuel Bin Gorion, edited by Emmanuel Bin Gorion, translated by I.M. Trask, prepared and with an introduction and headnotes by Dan Ben-Amos (Indiana University Press, 1991) 72-74.

You can see this in the preview in Google books. I omitted the editor's introduction.

Ken Olson
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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:37 pm

I have a question or two I'd like pose to anyone who might be following this thread. I admit my views on the Sefer Yosippon have derived from secondary sources, particularly David Flusser. I wrote that it was dependent on Pseudo-Hegesippus's version of the Paulina story and that it was an anti-Christian polemic. Now that I have a translation to look at, I see why we might conclude it was dependent on Pseudo-Hegesippus. It expands on the pregnancy and blessed/happy/fortunate elements from Pseudo-Hhegesippus's story, and lacks the element of the servant Ida (as Paul the Uncertain has pointed out is missing from Ps-H). I'm left with two questions:

1) Is there anything in Yoisppon's version of the story that he must have taken from Josephus's Antiquities rather than Pseudo-Hegesippus's Excidio?

2) Why do people see the Pseudo-Hegesippan version as pro-Christian and Yosippon as anti-Christian polemic? Is it just because we know the authors to be a Christian and a Jew? What are the actual differences in the text which justify the judgment?

Here's the link to the second book of Wade Blocker's translation of Pseudo-Hegesippus again (Paulina at 2.4):

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/heges ... _book2.htm

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:11 pm

There are sections of Pseudo-Hegessipus which are overtly pro-Christian.
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Ken Olson
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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:21 pm

Sections of the Excidio, certainly. I'm asking about his version of the Paulina story specifically. I'm not sure what it is about his version of the story that's so pro-Christian while the version in the Sefer Yosippon is seen as anti-Christian polemic. Is this just because of the works in which they are set or are there differing features within their tellings of the Paulina story that lead to this perception?

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:29 pm

Here's Pseudo-Hegsipuus's version:
IV. With him ruling the notorious mockery of Paulina a woman of the most respectable type was made well known at Rome. Who although she had an excellent reputation for chastity, was moreover of outstanding beauty and eminent loveliness, neither tempted nor affected by the appeals of Mundus the leader of the equestrian forces, from the fault of too much superstition she was open to error, for instance by the bribed priests of Isis who as if Anubis conveyed orders to her, which invited her to the temple, himself delighted by her earnestness and modesty to request a night, he had what he wished to impart to her in private. Accepting which gladly she reported to her husband, the god was attentive to her prayers, her presence was demanded by the god, she was not able to refuse obedience. And so in accordance with her and her husband's decision she proceeds to the temple of Isis, and witnesses having been removed to a distance as if about to receive knowledge of the sacred mystery she arranged herself on her couch, thinking that her god would come to her in her dreams and show himself to her in a vision. However when something of the night had passed, by which a woman full of sleep might be more easily deceived, Mundus the mask and dress of Anubis having been assumed comes to her, he removes his garments, rushes into kisses. He says to the awakened woman that he is Anubis, he holds forth the mask of Anubis. She believes him the god, she asserts herself happy because the lord her god deemed her worthy to visit. [p. 138] She does not refuse the embrace of him seeking it, she puts the question however whether a god was able to unite to a human. He offered the examples that Alcmena had accepted Jupiter the greatest of the gods and that Leda had been gained in the sexual embrace of the same, and many others, who gave birth to gods. He persuades the woman about himself and also that a god would be borne by her, that they should mingle in intercourse. She returns to her husband quite happy, saying that she a woman had had intercourse with a god and according to his promise she would give birth to a god. The joy of the husband in the illicit intercourse of his wife is great. Afterwards Mundus met the woman and said: "You have been blessed, Paulina, by the embrace of a god, the great god Anubis, whose mysteries you accepted. But learn that you just like to gods have not denied to men, to whom they bestow what you would refuse, because they refused not to give your charms to us nor names. Behold the god Anubis called Mundus also to his sacred rites so that he should be united to you. What did your stubborness profit you, except that it deprived you of the twenty thousands which I had offered as payment. I mimicked the kind gods, who give us without price what cannot be obtained from you at great price. But if human names give offense to you, it pleases me to be called Anubis and the influence of his name supported the performance." Stricken by this speech the woman understood she had been made sport of and grieving the injury to her modesty she declared the trickery to her husband. He having nothing which he should hold against his wife, to whom he had himself allowed the opportunity of sleeping in the temple, and conscious of her conjugal chastity took the grievance to the leader. Who provoked by the abuse of a powerful man and the fabrication of this heinous crime seized the priests from the temple, subjects them to questioning, [p. 139] puts them to death when they confessed, and sinks the statue of Isis in the Tiber. The opportunity of fleeing was granted to Mundus, for the reason that overcome by the force of love and the grace of beauty it was judged that he should punished by a lighter penalty for his offenses.

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:26 pm

Let me ask the same question a different way. Pseudo-Hegesippus presumably knew the version of the Paulina story from Josephus's Antiquities. But he adds the element of Paulina possibly becoming pregnant and giving birth to a god, which is not found in Josephus.
He says to the awakened woman that he is Anubis, he holds forth the mask of Anubis. She believes him the god, she asserts herself happy because the lord her god deemed her worthy to visit. She does not refuse the embrace of him seeking it, she puts the question however whether a god was able to unite to a human. He offered the examples that Alcmena had accepted Jupiter the greatest of the gods and that Leda had been gained in the sexual embrace of the same, and many others, who gave birth to gods. He persuades the woman about himself and also that a god would be borne by her, that they should mingle in intercourse. She returns to her husband quite happy, saying that she a woman had had intercourse with a god and according to his promise she would give birth to a god. The joy of the husband in the illicit intercourse of his wife is great.
Albert Bell, who brought Pseudo-Hegesippus's version of the Paulina story, thinks that portions of the text highlighted above must have suggested the Annunciation in Luke to the Christian audience for whom he was writing. He then gives two examples of what he takes to be Pseudo-Hegesippus engaging in parody. He concludes: "So, for whatever reason, Hegesippus occasionally indulges his literary sense of humor," (Bell, Josephus the Satirist, JQR 67.1, 1976, p.21).

Bell does not offer an explanation of why a fourth century Christian author would interject allusions to the Annunciation in Luke into the Paulina story, but suggests it is humor or parody. Why would a fourth century Christian author do this? I find it baffling.

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:21 pm

I think the 'source criticism' approach might suggest that there was a common source underneath both. I don't see or can't explain why Hegesippus added that detail. It might have been left out of Eusebius's Josephus which is the ancestor of our existing copies of Josephus - perhaps because of its parallel to Christian myths.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:47 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:21 pm
I think the 'source criticism' approach might suggest that there was a common source underneath both. I don't see or can't explain why Hegesippus added that detail. It might have been left out of Eusebius's Josephus which is the ancestor of our existing copies of Josephus - perhaps because of its parallel to Christian myths.
That is a possibility. Maybe Pseudo-Hegesippus was dependent on a source that differed from the extant text of Antiquities 18. If the Paulina story in our texts was altered, this would not increase our confidence in the authenticity of the Testimonium that precedes it, at least in its received version. Of course, most scholars don't have much confidence in the integrity of the received text of the Testimonium anyway, and some reject it entirely (as do I).

I'm tempted to suggest that Pseudo-Hegesippus's source for the Paulina story was not Josephus's Antiquities at all. While Josephus Jewish War was Pseudo-Hegesippus's main source for the Excidio, the passages that appear to have been taken from the Antiquities are few - the Testimonium, the passage about John the Baptist, and the Paulina story. He could have taken the Testimonium and the Baptists passage from Eusebius. What makes me hesitate to suggest that is what follows the Paulina passage in the Excidio:
V. This wantonness therefore which occurred with Tiberius reigning I thought ought not to be passed over, so that from it the impropriety of the emperor might be assessed. For indeed the life of uprightness of a good leader is a certain rule and pattern of living for all, so the filth of an emperor is a law for scoundrels. Pilatus was sent by him into Judaea, a wicked man and putting falsehoods in unimportant matters, he encircled the Samaritans as they were going to the mountain which has the name Gadir--for it was sacred to them--for the reason that he wished to learn their mysteries. And going up he outstripped the people with cavalry and infantry, he spread abroad with a contrived charge, that they had prepared to withdraw from the Romans and were seeking a place of assembly for themselves. What indeed did he not dare, who had put even Christ the lord on the cross, coming for the salvation of the human race, pouring forth upon men with many and divine works the grace of his mercy and teaching nothing other, unless that he should make peoples obedient first to god, and then to emperors? A raving man who was the servant of the madness of sacrilege, and who killed the author of salvation. And so through him the the state of the Jews as destroyed, through him there was ruin for the nation and a hastened destruction for the temple.
Pseudo-Hegesippus omits the passage about Fulvia but puts a heavily rewritten version of the story about Pilate and the Samaritans (Ant. 18.4.1) next in his text, so he appears to be following the order of the Antiquities, though he's either rewriting it heavily or following a very different text.

But even supposing that Pseudo-Hegesippus had a different form of the Paulina story that already contained the material about Paulina's possible pregnancy and the ostensible allusions to the Annunciation, why would he keep it or fail to revise it? All of the evidence we have suggests he felt free to recast his source material heavily - in particular, Christianizing it by inserting explicitly Christian references (e.g., the bit about pilate putting Christ the Lord on the cross above). Did he miss the allusions?

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