Arnaldo Momigliano (1908-87) was one of the most distinguished twentieth-century scholars of the classics and of ancient and modern history. Throughout his career, but especially in the final twenty years of his life, he wrote essays on a variety of Jewish themes and individuals. This volume collects twenty-six of these essays, most of which appear in English for the first time.
Momigliano acknowledged that his Judaism was the most fundamental inspiration for his scholarship, and the writings in this collection demonstrate how the ethical experience of the Hebraic tradition informed his other works. Part 1 is devoted entirely to writings on ancient and medieval Judaism. In these essays, Momigliano ranges over such subjects as the stages of rapport between Hellenism and Judaism, the figure of Flavius Josephus, and the salient moments of Maccabean history. Part 2 comprises Momigliano's writings on modern subjects. Here are profiles of Jewish scholars of the classical world (Bernays, Bickerman, and Finley) together with those of eminent representatives of contemporary Jewish thought (Strauss, Scholem, and Benjamin). These essays gain special significance alongside Momigliano's reflections on Italian Jewry and the Weberian interpretation of Judaism.
Silvia Berti's Introduction discusses Momigliano's religious and intellectual formation, the key events of his life, and the influence of Judaism on his mature scholarship. In his Preface, Momigliano offers a personal meditation on his own Judaism and that of his family.
By the time of his death, Momigliano had acquired an international following. This volume will at last give his admirers in the English-speaking world easy access to an important body of his work.