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1. *wherej1s the war which the Jeivs made with the Romam hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our time*, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affairs themselves, have gotten together -vain and contradictory stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews ; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts; J have proposed to myself for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians^ 1 I Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth an Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author oft/tie work.']

2. JVow at the time when this great concussion of affairs happened, the affairs of the Romans were themselves in great disorder,

* I have already observed more than once that this history of the Jewish war was Joseph us'j first work, and published about A. D. 75. *hen he was but 38 years of age; and that when he wrote it, he was not thoroughly acquainted with several circumstances of history from the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, with which it begins, till near his own times, contained in the first and former part of the second book, and so committed many involuntary errors therein. That he published his Antiquities 18 years afterward, perused those most authentic histories, the first book of. Maccabees, in the 13th year of Domitian, A. D. 93, when he was much more completely acquainted with those ancient times, and after he had wrote the Chronicles erf the Priesthood of John Hyrcanus, &c That accordingly he then reviewed those parts of this work, and gave the public a more faithful, complete, and accurate account of the faoW therein related; and honestly corrected the errors he had before run into.

+ Who these Upper Barbarians, remote from the sea, were, Josephus himself will inform us, sect. a. viz the Parthians and Babylonians, and remotest Arabians [or the Jews among them]; besides the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or Assyrians. Whence we also learn, that these Parthians, Babylonians, the remotest Arabians [or at least the Jews among them,] as also the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the AJiabeni, or Assyrians, understood Josephus's Hebrew or rather Chaldaic book: of tlic Jewish war, before they were put into th: G reck language.


Thoic Jews also, who were for innovations, then arose w/wn the tim«S^.ffere'disk^r}/e^ i tfiey were also in a flourishing condition for slre\iglh and.Yii/ils,itU<imuch that the affairs of the East were then ^xf ceding {umpjtuowi, whilepome hosted for gain, and others were Afraid "of &ss iulsbch frvubles'.; for the Jews hosted that all of their '• natior.-whiiA were ireyond "Euphrates would have raised an insurrection together with them. The Gauls also, in the neighborhood of the Romans, were in motion, and the Celtic were not quiet; but all was in disorder, after the death of JYero. And the ofifiortunily now offered induced many lo aim at the royal slower; and the soldiery affected cliange out of the ho/ies of getting money, /thought it therefore an absurd thing to see the truth falsified in affairs of such great eotisequence, and to take no notice of it; but to suffer those Orte/cs and Romans that were not in the wars to be ignorant of these things, and to read either flatteries or fictions, while the Parthians, and the Babylonians, and the remotest Arabians, and those of our nation beyond Euphrates, with the Adiabcni, by imj means, knew accuratily both whence the war began, what miseries it brought upon us, aud after what manner it ended,

3. It is true, these writers have the confidence to call their accounts histories; wherein yet they seem to me to fail of their own purpose, as well as to relate nothing, that is sound. For they have a mind to demonstrate the greatness of the Romans, while they still diminish and lessen the actions of the Jews; as not discerning how it cannot be that those must appear to be great who have onlu conquered those that were little. Afer are they ashamed to overlook the length of the war, the multitude of the Roman forces, who so greatly stiff red in it, or the might cf the commanders; whose great labors about Jerusalem will be deemed inghrious, if what they atchitv d be reckoned but a small matter.

4. However, I will not go lo the other extreme, out of opposition to these men who extol the Romans, nor will I determine to raise the actions of mv countrymen too high ; but J will prosecute the actions cf both parlies with accuracy. Yet shall J suit my language lo the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be flowed lo indulge some lamentations upon the miseries nnd' r<(one by mv own country. For that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it, and that they were the tyrants among the J. '.v* who br-.light the Roman power upon us, who unwillingly attacked us, au ! occasioned the burning of our holy temple, Titus Cx«ar, whrt destroyed it, is himself a witness, who, during, the entire war. pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to let the authorsjuive opportunity for repentance. But if any one makes an unjust accusation against us, when ii>c speak so passionately about the tyrants, or the robbers, or sorely bewail the misfortunes of our country, let him indulge my affections herein, though it be contrary to the rules for writing history; because it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at an liigher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at [outsell into the sorest of calamities again. Accordingly it appears to me, that the* misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be com/tared to these of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were; while the authors ef them were not foreigners neither. This makes it impossible for vie to contain my lamentations. But if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute the facts themselves to the histori' cal fiart; and the lamentations to the writer himself only.


5. However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks, who, when such great actions have been done in their own times, which, upon the comparison, guile eclipse the old wars, do yet sit as judges of those affairs, and ftass bitter censures upon the labors of the best writers of antiquity; which moderns, although they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended lo do. While these also write new histories about the Assyrians and MeJks; as if the ancient writers had not described their affairs as they ought to have done; a/though these be as far inferior to them in abilities, as they are different in their notions from them. For of old, every one took upon him to write what happened in his own time; where their immediate concern in the fictions made their premises of value; and where it must be reproachful to write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such. But then, an undertaking to preserve the memory of what hath not been before, recorded, and to represent the affairs of one's own time to those that come afterwards, is really worthy of praise and commendation. JVow he is to be esteemed to have taken good pains in earnest; not who does no more than change the disfiosition and order of other mens' works, but he who not only relates what had not been related before, but composes an entire body of history of his own: Accordingly I have been at great charges, and have taker, very great pains [about this history^ though I be a foreigner; and do dedicate this work, as a memorial of great actions, both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians. But for some of our own principal men, their mouths are wide* open, and their tongues loosed presently, for gain and law suits, but quite muzzled up when they are to write history, whs re they must speak truth and gather facts together with a great deal of pains; and so they leave the writing such histories to weaker people, and to such as are not acquanted with the actions of princes. Yet shall the real truth of historicalfacts be preferred by us, how much soever it be neglected among the Greek historians.

6. To write concerning the Antiquities of the Jews, who thnt mere [originally~\ and how they revolted from the Egyptians, and

* That th«e calamities of the Jews, who were our Saviour's murderers, were to be the greatest that had ever been «ince the beginning of the world, our Saviour had diruuly foretold Matth. xxi». it. Mark xiti. 19. Luke xxi. 13, 14.and that they proved to be juch accordingly, Josephuj is here a authentic witnew

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