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ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 44 (2007) 257-260 Katherine Blouin, Le conflit judio-alexandrin de 38-41. L'identite juive a l'preuve. Paris, Budapest, and Torino: L'Harmattan, 2005. 199 pages. ISBN 2-7475-8348-1. This is the first monograph ever dedicated exclusively to the study of the Alexandrian conflict that caused the persecution and death of many members of the local Jewish community in the summer of 38 CE. A volume on the subject was certainly needed and is welcome, despite its publication in a series not dedicated to the study of antiquity but to collecting cross-chronological and cross-geographical works on Judaism. The book includes an introduction, a first chapter devoted to analyzing the background and the development of the Alexandrian Jewish community during the Ptolemaic and early Roman periods, a second chapter devoted to the riots of 38 CE, and conclusions. A bibliography, a series of useful appendixes with the most important texts and maps discussed in the book, and an index complete the volume. The author privileges a reading of the background of the riots based on the conflict of cultural identities, but finds their real cause in matters related to status. In particular, the author maintains that with the Roman conquest the Jews lost their previous privileged status and that some of them tried to acquire Alexandrian citizenship - an attempt which provoked the "cathartic" reaction of the Alexandrian Greeks. Neither the socio-cultural reading of the riots, nor the attempt to acquire the Alexandrian franchise are new in relation to the study of the riots of 38. Nonetheless, the presentation of the work promises an interesting read. Some important points can, however, be disputed; the criticisms below concentrate strictly on the Alexandrian scenario. Some key questions concerning the history of the Alexandrian Jews and their status are summarily presented in the introduction. Without specification the author says that "Alexandrians" refers to Greeks with the Alexandrian franchise (p. 15), without making any reference to the decades-long discussion on the subject,' ignoring the data collected in a recent volume of the Prosopographia Ptolemaica, which put the discussion of Alexandreus in a completely different light.2 But more surprisingly, by misquoting Bell's commentary on Claudius' Letter to the Alexandrians, PLond. 6.1912, the author (p. 16) leads the 1 Main discussion in the comments on CPJ 2.151; M.A.H. el-Abbadi, "The Alexandrian Citizenship," JEA 48 (1962) 106-123; P.M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria, vol. 1(Oxford 1972) 47; D. Delia, Alexandrian Citizenship during the Roman Principate (Atlanta 1991) 27. 2 C.A. LIda, Foreign Ethnics in Hellenistic Egypt (Leuven 2002) 347-357.
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