Meaning of a Text in Josephus' Jewish Antiquities

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Bernd Strauss
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Meaning of a Text in Josephus' Jewish Antiquities

Post by Bernd Strauss » November 2nd, 2019, 6:24 am

Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, book 16, chapter 5: “Περὶ δὲ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον συντέλειαν ἔλαβεν ἡ Καισάρεια Σεβαστή, ἣν ᾠκοδόμει, δεκάτῳ μὲν ἔτει πρὸς τέλος ἐλθούσης αὐτῷ τῆς ὅλης κατασκευῆς, ἐκπεσούσης δὲ τῆς προθεσμίας εἰς ὄγδοον καὶ εἰκοστὸν ἔτος τῆς ἀρχῆς, ἐπ᾿ ὀλυμπιάδος δευτέρας καὶ ἐνενηκοστῆς πρὸς ταῖς ἑκατόν.”

Was Caesarea finished in the 10th or 28th year?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Meaning of a Text in Josephus' Jewish Antiquities

Post by Barry Hofstetter » November 2nd, 2019, 9:49 am

Μy first reaction was "that's obvious," my second reaction after really reading the text was, "Oh, I see the confusion." However, κατασκευῆς I think refers to the physical completion of the city, and προθεσμίας to the dedication. Consider the sentence directly following (context often helps greatly... :) ):

ἦν οὖν εὐθὺς ἐν καθιερώσει μείζονες ἑορταὶ καὶ παρασκευαὶ πολυτελέσταται...

So apparently the actual construction took 10 years (or 9, considering inclusive reckoning).
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Bernd Strauss
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Re: Meaning of a Text in Josephus' Jewish Antiquities

Post by Bernd Strauss » November 3rd, 2019, 10:16 am

I was uncertain about the timing of the finish of the construction because of the way in which the text is rendered in Ralph Marcus’s translation: “At about this time Caesarea Sebaste, which Herod had been building, was completed. The entire work of construction was finished in the tenth year, the stated period having been prolonged to the twenty-eighth year of his reign, which fell in the hundred and ninety-second Olympiad.”

Based on the context, does the phrase "συντέλειαν ἔλαβεν ἡ Καισάρεια Σεβαστή" refer to the dedication in the 28th year (as you have mentioned the προθεσμίας), whereas "πρὸς τέλος ἐλθούσης" to the end of the construction in the 10th year? Or does the συντέλεια and τέλος refer to the same end of the building in the 10th year?
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