Copyright Year: 0
Publisher: Bottom of the Hill Publishing
Publication Date: 12/15/2011
Size: 7.48" wide x 75.20" long x 92.52" tall
Written in 75 AD by the Jewish historian and Roman citizen Titus Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews describes Jewish history from the capture of Jerusalem in 164 BC to the destruction of that city in 70 AD. Beginning with Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a Seleucid ruler who captured the city, and going through the revolts against the Roman Empire to the events of the First Jewish-Roman War in which Jerusalem was razed, Josephus opens modern eyes to the conditions of Judaism in the first century. Josephus was born Jerusalem of a priestly and royal family. He excelled in his studies of Jewish law and studied with the Sadducees, Pharisees, and the Essenes, eventually aligning himself with the Pharisees. He went to Rome to free some imprisoned priests. After accomplishing this mission through the intercession of Nero's wife, Poppaea, he returned to Jerusalem to find the country in revolt against Rome. Josephus wrote a history of the Jewish War. His second major work was Antiquities of the Jews, his third Against Apion and The Life of Josephus, his autobiography. Josephus was an eyewitness to history, and his writings are considered authoritative.
A member of a wealthy priestly family in Judea, Josephus was a Pharisee originally named Joseph ben Matthias. An active supporter of anti-Roman activity, he became governor of Galilee, a post he held with honor and valor until Galilee was taken by the Romans in a.d. 67. He won the favor of the Roman general Vespasian, whose name---Flavius---he took as his own and through whose patronage he later became a Roman citizen. Although often criticized for becoming a supporter of Rome, in his work Against Apion he passionately defends Jewish religion and culture. Josephus wrote both in Greek and in Hebrew. His writings are neither remarkably fine representatives of classical culture nor the product of deep learning in Jewish literature and history. They do, however, tell the reader a great deal not known from other sources. The Jewish War (75--79), based to a great extent on what Josephus himself saw, heard, and experienced, describes the tragic events of the Jewish revolt against Rome. Antiquities of the Jews (93) covers the history of the Jews from creation to the war with Rome, with special attention given to the Maccabees and the dynasty of Herod.