North American Scholar

FELDMAN, Louis Harry

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1926-10-29
  • Born City: Hartford
  • Born State/Country: CT
  • Parents: Samuel and Sarah Weiner F.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 2017-03-25
  • Death City: West Hollywood
  • Death State/Country: CA
  • Married: Miriam Blum, 8 March 1966.
  • Education:

    A.B., Trinity College, Phi Beta Kappa and valedictorian, 1946; A. M., Trinity College, 1947; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1951.   

  • Professional Experience:

    Teaching Fellow, Trinity College, 1951-1952; Instructor, Trinity College and part-time at Hartford Theological Seminary, 1952-1953; Hobart and William Smith College, 1953-1955; Instructor, Yeshiva University, 1955; Assistant Professor, 1956; Associate Professor, 1961; Professor, 1966; Abraham Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literature, 1993; Associate Editor, Classical Weekly, 1955-1957; Managing Editor, Classical World, 1957-1959; Advisor, Gamma Delta Chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, Yeshiva University, 1956-2016; Medal for Excellence in Textual Studies, National Foundation for Jewish Culture, 2003; L.H.D. (honorary), Trinity College (Hartford), May, 1998; Fellow, Institute for Advance Studies, January-June, 1994; Fellow, American Academy for Jewish Research, 1993; Fellow, Annenberg Research Institute, for Judaica and Near Eastern Studies, 1988; Excellence in Teaching Award, American Philological Association, 1981; Wurzweiler Foundation Fellow, 1974; American Council of Learned Societies, Senior Fellow, 1971; Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1963; Ford Foundation Fellowship, 1951-1952.

  • Dissertation:

    “Cicero’s Concept of Historiography” (Harvard, 1951).    

  • Publications:

    Josephus and Modern Scholarship, 1937–1980 (De Gruyter, 1984); Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World (Princeton UP, 1993); Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, (Brill, 1996) Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible (University of California, 1998); Studies in Josephus’ Rewritten Bible (Brill, 1998); Flavius Josephus, Translation and Commentary Volume 3: Judean Antiquities 1-4 (Brill, 2000); Remember Amalek: Vengeance, Zealotry and Group Destruction in the Bible According to Philo, Pseudo-Philo, and Josephus (Hebrew Union College and Wayne State UP, 2004); Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (Brill, 2006); Philo’s Portrayal  of Moses in the Context of Ancient Judaism (U of Notre Dame, 2007). Edited with Gohei Hata, Josephus, Judaism, and Christianity  (Wayne State UP, 1987), Josephus, the Bible, and History  (Wayne State UP, 1989). With John R. Levinson, Josephus’ Contra Apionem  (Brill, 1996) and with Meyer Reinhold, Jewish Life and Thought among the Greeks and Romans: Primary Readings (Augsburg Fortress, 1996).  Translated Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities, Books 18-20, Loeb Classical Library, nos. 433 & 456, (Harvard UP, 1965).

  • Notes:

    Feldman published many sole authored as well as several edited volumes, numerous scholarly articles, and book reviews over his academic career. He also prepared the entries on Werner Jaeger, Harry Louis Levy, Ralph Marcus, James Anastasios Notopoulos and Arthur Stanley Pease for The Biographical Dictionary of North American Classicists  (Greenwood, 1994) and contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica and the first edition of  the Encyclopedia Judaica. His study of the works of Josephus as well as his analysis of Philo were especially influential and he became renowned both as a scholar of Hellenistic civilization and of Jewish life during antiquity. Robert E. Van Voorst (Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, 2000) called him “the dean of Josephus scholars” and  Paul L. Maier (Josephus: The Essential Works , 1995) named him “the ranking Josephus authority.” In his honor a festschrift titled Studies in Josephus and The Varieties of Ancient Judaism: Louis H. Feldman Jubilee Volume (Brill, 2007) was prepared by Shaye J.D. Cohen and Joshua J. Schwartz. After Professor Feldman’s death, his father-in-law, Dr. Edward Reichman, M.D. described him as  “the total package, the genuine article — a scholar of the highest order, yet humble and approachable; exacting and demanding, yet forgiving and understanding; serious and intense, yet playful and witty; an icon in the halls of academia, yet firmly rooted in the world of Torah; a scholar of impeccable moral character and an exceptionally devoted husband and father.”

     

  • Sources:

    NYTimes (28 March 2017 (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=184727067); “Louis Feldman, Advisor of Gamma Delta Chapter for 52 years and Counting!” The Nuntius 82(2008): 1; Jay Braverman, “Professor Louis Feldman at Yeshiva University: Fifty Years and Still Going Strong: A Personal Tribute,” My Yeshiva college: 75 Years of Memories,  eds. Menachem Butler and Zev Nagel (Yashar Books 2006): 150-155; Alan Jay Gerber, “A Sheloshim Tribute to Prof. Louis Feldman, z’l” The Jewish Star  (26 April 2017) http://www.thejewishstar.com/stories/a-sheloshim-tribute-to-prof-louis-feldman-ztl,13464; Elyse Glickman, “Living Life to the Fullest: Dr. Louis Feldman,” (22 Sept. 2014) http://www.gardenofpalms.com/blog/view/1124/living-life-to-the-fullest-dr-louis-feldman; Rabbi Shlomo Riskin “Lessons Learned from the Professor: A Tribute to Prof. Louis Feldman” April 20 http://www.thelehrhaus.com/

    Photo Source: http://www.thejewishstar.com/stories/a-sheloshim-tribute-to-prof-louis-feldman-ztl,13464

  • Author: Michele Valerie Ronnick