Passing of Professor Louis Feldman

Katherine Aron-Beller's picture
H-Judaic is deeply saddened to learn [from Dr Edward Reichman and Menachem Butler] of the passing of Professor Louis Feldman (1926-2017), the Abraham Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literature at Yeshiva University, where Prof. Feldman taught for some 60 years.  Prof. Feldman was recognized around the world as the "Dean" of Josephus scholars and contributed greatly to our understanding of Jewish life during the Hellenistic era.  He published numerous books (see below) and hundreds of articles --243 are listed in RAMBI. He was a "scholar's scholar" -- a model of dedication to craft coupled with modesty and wide-ranging learning.  The Encyclopedia Judaica article on Prof. Feldman reads as follows:

FELDMANLOUIS H. (1926– ), U.S. professor of classics and literature. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Feldman received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College in 1946, and his master's degree in 1947; his doctoral degree in classical philology is from Harvard University (1951). He was a teaching fellow at Trinity in 1951 and 1952, then an instructor in classics in 1952 and 1953. He was an instructor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges from 1953 to 1955, then joined Yeshiva University of New York as an instructor in humanities and history. Hewas an assistant professor at Yeshiva University from 1956 to 1961, an associate professor from 1961, and he was appointed a professor of classics in 1966. He subsequently became the Abraham Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literature. Feldman served as associate editor of Classical Weekly from 1955 to 1957 and as managing editor of Classical World from 1957 to 1959.

Feldman is renowned as a scholar of Hellenistic civilization, specifically of the works of Josephus. A fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research, he received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Ford Foundation fellowship (1951–52), a Guggenheim fellowship (1963), a grant from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture (1969), and a grant from the American Philosophical Association (1972). He was named a senior fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies in 1971, a Littauer Foundation fellow in 1973, and a Wurzweiler Foundation fellow in 1974.

Feldman's works include Scholarship on Philo and Josephus, 1937–1962 (1963), Josephus and Modern Scholarship, 1937–1980 (1984), Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian (1993), Studies in Hellenistic Judaism (1998), and Studies in Josephus' Rewritten Bible (1998). He was editor and translator of Jewish Antiquities, Books 18–20 (1965) and editor of Jewish Life and Thought among Greeks and Romans: Primary Readings (1996). He coedited, with Gohei Hata, Josephus, Judaism, and Christianity (1987) and Josephus, the Bible, and History (1989). Feldman contributed extensively to journals in his field, and he was departmental editor of Hellenistic literature for the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica and a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

The Wikipedia article on Prof. Feldman may be found here:

We extend heartfelt condolences to Prof. Feldman's family and to his students around the world.

Jonathan D. Sarna

Chair H-Judaic