Flavius Josephus: Eyewitness to Rome's First-Century Conquest of Judaea

Overview

Flavius Josephus (born 37 C.E.) wrote the only remaining account of the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in the year 70, and the heroic battle at Masada waged three years later. His position as a Jewish leader and then as the Roman court historian during the reign of Vespasian ensured that his historical works would be read and preserved by Jews and Romans alike. His narrative is not a mere chronicle; it is, in the best historiographical tradition, an attempt to make events intelligible. He ...
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Hardcover w / dustjacket. NEW. DJ is new / fine. Stored in sealed plastic protection. No pricing stickers. No remainder mark. No previous owner's markings. In the event of a ... problem we guarantee full refund. 1993. Hardcover w / dustjacket. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Flavius Josephus (born 37 C.E.) wrote the only remaining account of the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in the year 70, and the heroic battle at Masada waged three years later. His position as a Jewish leader and then as the Roman court historian during the reign of Vespasian ensured that his historical works would be read and preserved by Jews and Romans alike. His narrative is not a mere chronicle; it is, in the best historiographical tradition, an attempt to make events intelligible. He does what no other historian, Greek or Latin, could have done: He examines the past in order to elucidate the underlying origins of the war. Other works chronicling the war between the Jews and the Romans circulated at the time, but soon disappeared without a trace. We know of them only because of Josephus' irritation with their inaccuracies and prejudices. Josephus, unlike the other writers, was present during the war, not as a mere bystander, but as a participant in the negotiations. The Romans employed him as an ambassador between themselves and the Jews, in the hope that Josephus could quell his people's passionate uprising. As our only eyewitness to these events, Josephus will remain important. But for his role as a Jew working with the Roman army, he will remain forever controversial. Whether Josephus was a traitor or a wise man who tried to salvage the Jewish kingdom is a question that modern historians still argue. In 1937 a group of law students in Antwerp reopened the case of Flavius Josephus, and after a mock trial found him guilty of "treason." In 1941, in the midst of the Second World War, a group of young resistance fighters who were strong supporters of Zionism reacting as French and Jewish patriots accused Josephus of "collaboration." Today, Josephus' works are read more widely in Israel than in any other country. Archaeology, Israel's "national sport," could not do without him. Caesarea, Sepphoris, Gamala, Masada, and the Jerusalem of the
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A century ago, the name Josephus would have evoked recognition from Westerners in all walks of life. His first-century eyewitness accounts of Rome's wars against Judaea provided classical scholars with valuable source material while his singular allusion to Jesus Christ made him popular with Christians. Within the Jewish community, however, there has always been controversy about his motives and actions. Was this Jew, who wrote so dramatically of the tragedy of Masada and the destruction of Jerusalem, a traitor to his people because he surrendered to the Romans and was honored by Vespasian and Titus? French scholar Hadas-Lebel explores Josephus's background and influences in order to answer this question. Her work is less a biography than an interpretation of her subject's behavior, thus defining his place in Jewish literature. Academic libraries may find this book a worthwhile addition. History Book Club alternate.-- Rose Cichy, Osterhout Free Lib . , Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Margaret Flanagan
Hadas-Lebel has penned an absolutely fascinating biography of an often misunderstood and overlooked historian. Born in Jerusalem in A.D. 37, the artistocratic Josephus was both a respected Jewish soldier and a statesman. Appointed governor of Galillee at the onset of the war between the Romans and the Jews, he was eventually taken prisoner by the Roman general and future emperor, Vespasian. Favored by Vespasian and subsequent emperors, Josephus willingly served the Romans as diplomat, interpreter, and court historian. Though freed several years after his capture, Josephus chose to spend the remainder of his life in Rome, where he continued to record Jewish history in such significant treatises as "The Jewish War, Antiquities of the Jews," and "Against Apion". A memorable chronicle of an authentic witness to the ancient history of both Judaea and Rome.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780025471610
  • Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/15/1993
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.11 (d)

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