By Steve Mason
Flavius Josephus is surely crucial witness to historic Judaism from the shut of the biblical interval to the aftermath of the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. His 4 surviving works - "Judean War", "Judean Antiquities", "Life", and "Against Apion" - give you the narrative stucture for examining the opposite, extra fragmentary written resources and actual is still from this era. His descriptions of the Temple, the Judean geographical region, Jewish-Roman relatives and conflicts, and teams and associations of old Judea became critical for the coed of early Judaism, the Classicist, and the reader of the recent testomony alike. The priestly aristocrat Josephus was once born in A.D. 37 and died round the 12 months a hundred. After combating opposed to the Romans within the warfare of 66-73/4 and surrendering within the earliest section of the crusade, he moved to Rome the place he started a effective literary profession. His 4 surviving works in thirty Greek volumes are commonly excerpted for old reasons, yet nonetheless hardly learn of their literary and ancient contexts. This undertaking goals to help each critical reader of Josephus by way of supplying a brand new literal translation, besides a observation suggesting literary and ancient connnections.
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Extra info for Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary : Life of Josephus
Cohen’s ultimate aim was to reconstruct Josephus’ career in Galilee (Cohen 1979:1). He tried to do so by first critically examining War and Life with a view to explaining the relationship between them. His work is marked by the sound historical principle that one can only use literary sources for historical reconstruction when one has a firm grasp of their aims and tendencies. After an exemplary history of scholarship, Cohen turns to Ant. 1-12, to examine Josephus’s use of sources where his (biblical) originals—more or less—can be checked.
Loyal son Iustus would then have had good reason to publish his history of the war at just this point, not because he had feared contradiction by Agrippa as Josephus claims (Life 359-60) but in order to explain away Tiberias’ behavior by blaming the famous Josephus. He was the one who incited the peaceful citizens to revolt (Cohen 1979:13740)! Largely because of his vanity, Cohen proposes, Josephus felt compelled to respond to Iustus’ charge (Cohen 1979:139-40). Though his behavior in Galilee would have had no interest for most Roman readers, it might well have been important to the newly influential Yavnean rabbis, whom Iustus may have been trying to court simultaneously in Tiberias’ behalf.
Compare Josephus’ summary of his incorruptible character at Life 80-4, 430. 4. 804C) for “softening by persuasion and overcoming by charms the fierce and violent spirit of the people” (801E). Again: “The wolf, they say, cannot be held by the ears; but one must lead a people or a State chiefly by the ears” (802D). , §§ 31, 103, 141-44, 244, 262, 264-66, 305-8, 377-80, 386-88). For him as for Plutarch and other members of the élite, the masses are in constant need of persuasion: they will be led either by men of character such as himself or by malevolent demagogues (Life 40-2).