This lecture will examine the rise of “philosophers” and
their “crowd” in antiquity, and the subsequent development
of popular philosophy as a wide ranging phenomenon
that brought together scholars and elites of cities and
towns alike. This major development in Greco-Roman culture
appeared almost simultaneously with that of a Jewish
one. Jesus’ drama unfolded through incessant interplay
with a crowd and a bit later, the Rabbis too addressed
themselves to the same wide audience, to the crowds.
The lecture will compare and contrast the situation in
Jewish circles to that of the wider Roman world.