The contemporary solution to the legitimacy problem at the time, as was practised both in Rome and in many Hellenistic cities,


was not to found a new religion, but to create a new gallery of ancestors by means of a fictional literature. This gave the citizens the sense of being descended from great forebears, justifying the cultural standards and material prosperity they enjoyed.

The wide dissemination of Jewish settlements, the spread of the Jewish population beyond Judea and the increasing prevalence of reading and writing in Roman times all meant that the Jewish culture was already half-way to becoming a written culture. Only the holy texts had not yet been written down.

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