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Flavius Josephus (37-100 CE) was a 1st-century Jewish army captain and later became an author. He was actively involved in the Jewish war with the Romans that climaxed in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. After 70 he went to Rome and dedicated his life to writing. He wrote two history works (de bello judaico and antiquitates judaicae), an autobiography (vita) and a polemic work called contra apionem.
- Their exercises are unbloody battles, and their battles bloody exercises.
- The Jewish War, Book 3.5.1, trans. William Whiston
- And when the book of Daniel was showed to him (Alexander the Great) wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended.
- Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11.8.5, trans. William Whiston
- I protest openly that I do not go over to the Romans as a deserter of the Jews, but as a minister from thee.
- The Jewish War, Book 3.8.3, trans. William Whiston
- (regarding his defection to the Roman Empire)
- Antipater, now undisputed heir, had called down on his head the utter loathing of the nation, for everyone knew that all the slanders directed against his brothers had originated with him.
- The Jewish War, chap. 5, opening, trans. G A Williamson
- Its literary merits must be left to the judgment of its readers; as to its truth, I should not hesitate to make the confident assertion that from the first word to the last I have aimed at nothing else.
- The Jewish War, closing words, trans. G A Williamson
Quotes about Flavius Josephus
- Josephus failed to organize a strong stand against the Romans. The Jewish forces suffered setback after setback. Finally, Josephus and his men were forced to retreat to the fortress of Jotapata. After a siege of two months, Jotapata fell. The forty men who were left in the fortress killed themselves before the Romans entered it. Of all the brave fighters of Jotapata, only Josephus and his armor-bearer survived, and they were taken prisoners by the Romans. They had not joined the others who preferred death to dishonor.
- Ruth Samuels, Pathways Through Jewish History, Chapter XIII, p. 126