||Annual of the Jewish Theological Seminar in Breslau. Each year this scholarly report (journal) was issued on a different subject. This issue, Flavius Josephus beigelegte Schrift: Ueber die Herrschaft der Vernunft, is a monograph on Flavius Josephus. There are introductory remarks and the text, which is accompanied by footnotes. The volume concludes with listing of the attendees at the Seminar (Verzeichniss der Hörer des seminars).
Dr. Jacob Freudenthal (1839–1907) is notable for his scholarly investigations in the fields of Greek and Judeo-Hellenistic philosophy and the philosophy of Spinoza. Freudenthal was born in Hanover. In 1863 he taught at the Samson School in Wolfenbuettel and from 1864 lectured on classical languages and the history of religious philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau. From 1875 he also taught at the Breslau University. Freudenthal was a foremost authority on Aristotle and published a series of works on his philosophy. In his studies of Xenophanes Freudenthal opposed the then prevalent opinion that Xenophanes was a consistent monotheist. His writings include: Hellenistische Studien (1875–79); this work, Flavius Josephus beigelegte Schrift: Ueber die Herrschaft der Vernunft (1869); Zur Geschichte der Anschauungen ueber die juedisch-hellenistische Religionsphilosophie (1869); "Spinoza und die Scholastik" in: E. Zeller, Philosophische Aufsaetze (1887), 85–138; Die Lebensgeschichte Spinoza's in Quellenschriften... (1899); Spinoza, sein Leben und seine Lehre, vol. 1 (1904), vol. 2 (1927).
The Juedisch-Theologisches Seminar, Breslau, was the first modern rabbinical seminary in Central Europe. Founded in 1854 with the funds which Jonas Fraenkel, a prominent Breslau businessman, had willed for the purpose, the seminary became the model for similar colleges set up in Europe and the U.S. Its first head was Z. Frankel. The seminary also trained teachers until 1887 and this training was resumed in the 1920s and 1930s. However, the seminary's basic aim was to teach "positive historical Judaism." The "positive" stood for a faithful adherence to the practical precepts of Judaism, while "historical" permitted free inquiry into the Jewish past, including even Bible criticism, though with some self-imposed limitations. Thus the Breslau seminary, under Fraenkel's guidance, took a middle position between dogmatic Orthodoxy, as represented by S. R. Hirsch and A. Hildesheimer's Rabbinical Seminary, and Geiger's Lehranstalt (Hochschule) fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums, officially an academic institution without ideology, but in fact largely a training college for Reform rabbis. Many of its graduates became rabbis in Liberal or Reform congregations, some in Orthodox ones.
Flavius Josephus (Joseph ben Gorion ha-Kohen, c. 38–after 100 C.E.) was a Jewish historian and one of the chief representatives of Jewish-Hellenistic literature. Born in Jerusalem into an aristocratic priestly family belonging to the mishmeret of Jehoiarib, through his mother Josephus was related to the Hasmonean dynasty. Josephus relates of himself that in his youth he was so renowned for his knowledge of the Torah that high priests and leading men of the city would come to consult him on matters of halakhah, and he was apparently distinguished in his youth as an aggadist. At the beginning of the war between the Romans and Jews, he was made commander of Galilee, despite the fact that he had opposed the uprising. He surrendered to the Romans instead of committing suicide when the stronghold was taken. He won the favor of the Roman general Vespasian (Titus Flavius Vespasianus) and took his name, Flavius. He lived in Rome under imperial patronage, where he wrote the Greek-language historical works for which he is renowned.His books are a primary source of knowledge for much of the history of Judaism in the First Century CE, providing essential background for an understanding of both the beginning of modern Judaism and of the New Testament in its historical setting. Four of his works have survived. They are The Jewish War, a history of the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire in the years 66-74 CE, as experienced by Josephus himself; Antiquities of the Jews, a history of the Jews prior to the revolt, based on the Bible, other Jewish writings, and the works of previous historians; Against Apion, a defense of Judaism, answering an attack by a Roman author; and The Life, Josephus’ autobiography.