The Antiquities of the Jews

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Digireads.com Publishing, Jan 1, 2004 - Religion
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The ambitious later work of the Jewish historian and Roman citizen Flavius Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews" is a work of twenty volumes that gives a massive account of Jewish culture, law, custom, and history over time. Beginning with the biblical creation of Adam and Eve, Josephus then writes of Abraham teaching Egyptians science, going through most of the great biblical figures and presenting them as philosophizing leaders of their times. Though some are omitted while others are added, Josephus ends only with the Jewish people living under the Roman emperor Flavius Domitian of his own day, around the year 96 AD. The author additionally enters into philosophical debates of his day, ultimately offering an apologia for the Jewish people's antiquity and significance. This text is also of significance for its reference to Jesus, the earliest known Jewish source citing his existence. Overall, "Antiquities of the Jews" provides historians with valuable and reliable material concerning Jewish history, the early Christian period, and Judaism's place in that Roman world.
 

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Contents

BOOK I
7
BOOK II
38
BOOK III
71
BOOK IV
101
BOOK V
132
BOOK VI
165
BOOK VII
204
BOOK VIII
242
BOOK XII
365
BOOK XIII
400
BOOK XIV
437
BOOK XV
479
BOOK XVI
516
BOOK XVII
550
BOOK XVIII
583
BOOK XIX
617

BOOK IX
284
BOOK X
311
BOOK XI
337
BOOK XX
647
ENDNOTES
669
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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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