III 3 The Jewish elite and the national solution
The Jewish elite favoured a national solution for the reorientation and the search for an identity in Galilee,
looking back to the great figures of Jewish and Samaritan history and how they were embedded in the history of the Middle East.
The national solution recalls the solutions represented by the poet Virgil and his great epic, the Aeneid, written a generation previously in Rome. Virgil found the great Roman past in the Roman tradition, but followed Rome’s origins even further back into the past.
According to this narrative, the heroes of Troy, whose downfall Homer narrated, were the true ancestors of the Romans. One of them, Aeneas, was the forebear of the Roman kings.