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and at Babylon, or in any other place, of the rest of the habitable earth, whithersoever our priests are scattered; for they send to Jerusalem the ancient names of their parents in writing, as well as those of their remoter ancestors, and signify who are the witnesses also. But if any war falls out, such as have fallen out a great many of them already, when Antiochus Epiphanes made an invasion upon our country, as also when Ponipey the Great and Quintilius Varus did so also. and prioripally in the wars that have happened in our own times; those priests that survive them compose new tables of geneaology out of the old records, and examine the circumstances of the women that remain; for still they do not admit of those that have been captives, as suspecting that they had conversation with some foreigners. But what is the strongest argument of our exact management of this matter, is what I am now going to say, That we have the names of our high-priests from father to son set down in our records, for the interval of two thousand years; and if any of these have been transgressors of these rules, they are prohibited to present themselves at the altar, or to be partakers of any other of our purifications; and this is justly or raiher necessarily done, because every one is not permitted of his own accord to be a writer, nor is there any disagreement in what is written : they being only prophets thal have written the original and earliest accounts of things, as they learned them of God himself hy inspiration ; and others have written what hath happened in their own times, and that in a very distinct manner also.
8. For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from, and contradicting one another, (as the Greeks have], but only twenty-two * books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine. And of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws, and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time, from the death of Moses, till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who
* Which were these twenty tiro sacred books of the Old Testament, see the supplement to the Essay on the Old Te-tament p. 25-29, viz those we call canonical, all excepting the Canticles; hut still with this farther exception, that the first book of apocryphal E dras be taken into that number, in. stead of our canonical Ezra, which srems to be no more than a later epitome of the other; wlrici two books of Canticles and Ezra, it no way appears that our Josephus ever sa.w.
were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life, It is true our history hath been written since Artaxerxes very particularly, but hath not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there hath not been an exact succession of prophets since that time : and how firmly we have given credit to these books of our own nation, is evident by what we do ; for, during so many ages as have already passed, no one hath been so bold as either to add any thing to them, or take any thing from them, or to make any change in them ; but it is become natural to all Jews, immediately and from their very birth, to esteem these books to contain divine doctrines and to persist in them, and, if occasion be, willingly to die for them, for it is no new thing for our captives, many of them in number, and frequently in time, to be seen to endure racks and deaths of all kinds upon the theatres, that they may not be obliged to say one word against our laws and the records that contain them; whereas, there are none at all among the Greeks who would undergo the least harm on that account, no, nor in case all the writings that are among them were to be destroyed; for they take them to be such discourses as are framed agrer - ly to the inclinations of those that write them; and they have justly the same opinion of the ancient writers, since they see some of the present generation bold enough to write about such affairs wherein they were not present, nor had concern enough to inform themselves about them from those that knew them; examples of which may be had in this late war of ours, where some persons have written histories, and published them, without having been in the places concerned, or having been near them when the actions were done ; but these men put a few things together by hearsay, and insolently abuse the world, and call these writings by the name of Histories.
9. As for myself, I have composed a true history of that whole war, and of all the particulars that occurred therein, as having been concerned in all its transactions ; for I acted as general of those among us that are named Galileans, as long as it was possible for us to make any opposition. I was then seized on by the Romans, and became a captive : Vespasian also, and Titus had me kept under a guard, and
forced me to attend them continually. At the first I was put into bonds, but was set at liberty afterward, and sent to accompany Titus, when he came from Alexandria to the siege of Jerusalem ; during which time there was nothing done which escaped my knowledge ; for what happened in the Roman camp I saw, and wrote down carefully ; and what informations the deserters brought (out of the city], I was the only man that understood them. Afterward I got leisure at Rome; and, when all my materials were prepared for that work, I made use of some persons to assist me in learning the Greek tongue, and by these means I composed the history of those transactions. And I was so well assured of the truth of what I related, that I first of all appealed to those that had the supreme command in that war, Vespasian and Titus, as witnesses for me ; for to them I presented those books first of all, and after them to many of the Romans who had been in the war. I also sold them to many of our own men who understood the Greek philosophy : among whom were Julius Archelaus, Herod, (king of Chalcis), a person of great gravity, and king Agrippa himself, a person that deserved the greatest admiration. Now, all these men bore their testimony to me, that I had the strictest regard to truth; who yet would not have dissembled the matter, nor been silent, if I, out of ignorance, or out of favour to any side, either had given false colours to actions, or omitted any of them.
10. There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this! since every one that oudertakes to deliver the history of actions trilly, ought to know them accurately himself in the first place, as either having been concerned in them himself, or been informed of them by such as knew them. Now, both these methods of knowledge I may very properly pretend to in the composition of both my works; for, as I said, I have translated the Antiquities out of our sacred books; which I easily could do, since I was a priest by my birth, and have studied that philosophy which is contained in those writings: and, for the History of the War, I wrote it as traving been ab'actor myself in many of its transactions, an fye-witness in the greatest part of the rest, and was not un. acquainted with any thing whatscever that was either said
or done in it. How impudent then must those deserve to be esteemed, that undertake to contradict me about the true state of those affairs ? who, although they pretend to have made use of both the emperors' own memoirs, yet could they not be aequainted with our affairs, who fought against them.
11. This digression I have been obliged to make out of necessity, as being desirous to expose the vanity of those that profess to write histories; and I suppose I have sufficiently declared, that this custom of transmitting down the histories of ancient times hath been better preserved by those nations which are called barbarians, than by the Greeks themselves. I am now willing, in the next place, to say a few things to those that endeavour to prove that our constitution is but of late time, for this reason, as they pretend, that the Greek writers have said nothing about us ; after which I shall produce testimonies of our antiquity out of the writings of foreigners : I shall also demonstrate, that such as cast reproaches upon our nation do it very unjustly.
12. As for ourselves, therefore, we neither inhabit a maritime country, dor do we delight in merchandise, nor in such a mixture with other men as arises from it ; but the cities we dwell in are remote from the sea, and having a fruitful country for our habitation, we take pains in cultiva. ting that only. Our principal care of all is this, tv edil. cate our children well ; and we think it to be the most necessary business of our whole life to observe the laws that have been given us, and to keep those rules of piety that have been delivered down to us. Since, therefore, besides what we have already taken notice of, we have had a peculiar way of living of our own there was no occasion offered us in ancient ages for intermixing among the Greeks, as they had for mixing among the Egyptians, by their intercourse of exporting and importing their several goods ; as they also mixed with the Phenicians who lived by the sea. side, by means of their love of lucre in trade and mer chandise. Nor did our forefathers betake themselves as did some others, to robbery, nor did they, in order to gain more wealth, fall into foreign wars, although our country contained many ten thousands of men of courage sufficient for that purpose. For this reason it was, that the Pheni. cians themselves came soon, by trading and navigation, to be known to the Grecians, and by their means the Egyp
tians became known to the Grecians also, as did all those people whence the Phenicians in long voyages over the seas carried wares to the Grecians. The Medes also and the Persians, when they were lords of Asia, became well known to them; and this was especially true of the Persians, who led their armies as far as the other continent, (Europe). The Thracians were also known to them by nearness of their countries, and the Scythians, by the means of those that sailed to Pontus ; for it was in general, that all mari. time nations and those that inhabited near the eastern or western seas, became most known to those that were desirous to be writers ; but such as had their habitations farther from the sea were for the most part unknown to them ; which things appear to have happened as to Europe also where the city of Rome, that hath this long time been possessed of so much power, and hath performed such great actions in war, is yet never mentioned by Herodotus, nor by Thucydides, nor by any one of their contemporaries ; and it was very late, and with great difficulty, that the Romans became known to the Greeks. Nay, those that were reckoned the most exact historians, and Ephorus for one, were so very ignorant of the Gauls and the Spaniards, that he supposed the Spaniards, who inhabit so great a part of the western regions of the earth, to be no more than one city. Those historians also have ventured to describe such customs as were made use of by them, which they never had either done or said ; and the reason why these writers did not know the truth of their affairs was this, that they had not any commerce together ; but the reason why they wrote such falsities was this, that they had a mind to appear to know things which others had not known. How can it then be any wonder, if our nation was no more known to many of the Greeks, nor had given them any occasion to mention them in their writings, while they were so remote from the sea, and had a conduct of life so peculiar to themselves ?
13. Let us now put the case, therefore that we made use of this argument concerning the Grecians, in order to prove that their nation was not ancient, because nothing is said of them in our records; would not they laugh at us all, and probably give the same reasons for our silence that I have now alleged, and would produce their neighbour nations as witnesses to their own antiquity ? Now, the very same thing will I endeavour to do; for I will bring the Egyptians and