Rouse Awards – Clara Balon’s study of ethnic identities in Josephus’ The Jewish War
27 Nov 2017
Clara Balon (Upper Sixth) clinched the Rouse Research Award for her in-depth look into Josephus’ The Jewish War.
For her essay, she investigated aspects of ethnic identities within the ancient historian’s account of the first Romano-Jewish War between 66AD and 70AD.
Clara was praised by the Rouse Awards judges for her “natural research writing style” and for providing an “interesting and substantiated conclusion”.
She said: “I’ve always been really interested in ancient history and this was something outside the curriculum that I wanted to explore.
“I find it a really interesting narrative. He writes about lots of different cultural identities and explores the relationships between the Romans and the Jews and other groups in the Roman Empire in a way that’s quite unusual and isn’t done by any other ancient author.
“He’s a Jewish writer himself and moved from being on the Jewish side to the Roman side during the war.
“As part of that, his own ethnic identity shifted and while he maintained a strong Jewish faith, he also took on a lot of Roman values. Something he writes a lot about is the misunderstanding of the cultural identities of the Jews and the Romans and the religious issues that causes.”
Listen to Clara explain more about what intrigued her about Josephus’ account, her research and conclusions below.
The Rouse Awards are generously sponsored by Alan and Valerie Hirzel.