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This biography of Elias Bickerman (1897-1981), one of the foremost historians of Graeco-Roman antiquity active in the twentieth century, focuses on his role as a historian of the Jews. Bickerman had an extra-ordinary life. He was born in Kishinev and grew up in St. Petersburg. He arrived in Berlin in 1922, where he pursued an academic career (Doctorate, 1926; Habilitation, 1930). With the rise of the Nazis, he moved to Paris in 1933, then to the USA in 1942. He died in Tel Aviv and was buried in Jerusalem. Albert Baumgarten explores the connections between Bickerman's life and his scholarly work on the Jews in its different cultural and academic contexts (Russian, German, French, and American). He argues that Bickerman intended to create a usable Jewish past. He further shows that Bickerman conceived the ancient Jewish encounter with Hellenism and the modern Jewish entry into European civilization in light of each other.