The Great Roman-Jewish War

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 2004 M01 1 - 485 pages

An eyewitness account of a historical turning point in Judaism, Christianity, and all of Western civilization, The Great Roman-Jewish War chronicles the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire from A.D. 66–70. Its author was a leader among the Jewish resistance in Roman occupied Judea during the first century — until he switched sides and collaborated with Rome, becoming an adopted member of the imperial family and assuming the name Flavius Josephus.
For centuries, Flavius Josephus’ histories of the tumultuous era that saw the collapse of Jewish independence and the rise of Christianity were more widely read in Europe than any book other than the Bible. The Great Roman-Jewish War is among the few sources of information about Judaism during the first century. As such, it provides an essential background for an understanding of both the beginning of modern Judaism and of the New Testament within its historical setting. It also offers a fascinating self-portrait of a turncoat general whose story is as much a rationale for his collaboration as it is a record of events.
This edition features a detailed biographical sketch of the author as well as appendixes with helpful maps, genealogies, and a chronological table.

 

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Contents

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IV
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V
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VI
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VII
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VIII
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About the author (2004)

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.

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