Mothers as Martyrs: The Mother of the Maccabees Among Jews and Christians
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 7:00pm
Griffin Hall, 7 844 Main St, Williamstown, MA 01267
Tessa Rajak, the 2013 Visiting Croghan Bicentennial Professor in Classics at Williams College, will present the first of two lectures, "Mothers as Martyrs: The Mother of the Maccabees Among Jews and Christians."
According to Jewish legend, the Greek monarch Antiochus Epiphanes, persecutor of the Maccabees, was defied by a mother and her seven sons, along with a brave priest. The mother’s heroic role, in urging her sons on to a willing death, is astonishing and disturbing.
This lecture will first explore this striking portrayal in its context, and then turn to its sequel: the takeover of the mother by Christian martyrologies and her transformation into a saint.
The Croghan Bicentennial Professorship was established by John and Rosemary Croghan for a visiting professor who would offer one course in Judaism and/or Christianity, in addition to giving public lectures.
Professor Rajak's 2nd lecture titled, "Going Greek: Jewish Translation in the Ancient Mediterranean" will take place on Tuesday November 12, 2013, also at 7:00 pm.
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