Atwill has (perhaps unwittingly) created a looping or sandwich structure in his own book. The last chapter deals with an episode in Josephus where the Pharisees refuse to take an oath of loyalty to Caesar, but are saved by the intervention of a wife of Pheroras (brother of Herod the Great). Herod became angry and killed a number of people, the most prominent of which was called Bagoas.
This episode is of course a "parallel" (as Atwill would call it) between Josephus and the Book of Esther. The wife of Pheroras plays the role of Esther, and the executed Haman the Bougaean corresponds to Bagoas.
There is some satire and irony in the Herodian relationships as related by Josephus. Although an apparent commoner, the unnamed wife of Pheroras remains the leading queen while a leading (Hasmonean) daughter of Herod is neglected and eventually dismissed by him.
Pheroras is a kind of Mordecai with respect to his older brother Herod. Herod is a kind of Mordecai to Caesar. Josephus himself would later lay claim to the role of Joseph/Mordecai under Titus!
We'll return to this topic later, as Josephus would say!
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