Titus Flavius Josephus (/dʒoʊˈsiːfəs/; Greek: Φλάβιος Ἰώσηπος; 37 – c. 100), born Yosef ben Matityahu (Hebrew: יוסף בן מתתיהו, Yosef ben Matityahu; Greek: Ἰώσηπος Ματθίου παῖς), was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.
He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 CE to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and presumably interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius.
Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. He became an advisor and friend of Vespasian's son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the city's destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod's Temple (Second Temple) soon followed.
Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War (66-70 CE), including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Greek and Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity. (See main article Josephus on Jesus).
Yosef ben Matityahu
|Died||c. 100 CE (aged c. 63)|
|Spouse(s)||Captured Jewish woman|
Alexandrian Jewish woman
Greek Jewish woman from Crete
Flavius Simonides Agrippa
Born into one of Jerusalem's elite families, Josephus introduces himself in Greek as Iōsēpos (Ιώσηπος), son of Matthias, an ethnic Jewish priest. He was the second-born son of Matthias. His older full-blooded brother was also called Matthias. Their mother was an aristocratic woman who descended from the royal and formerly ruling Hasmonean dynasty. Josephus's paternal grandparents were Josephus and his wife—an unnamed Hebrew noblewoman, distant relatives of each other and direct descendants of Simon Psellus. Josephus's family was wealthy. He descended through his father from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, which was the first of the 24 orders of priests in the Temple in Jerusalem. Josephus was a descendant of the high priest Jonathon. He was raised in Jerusalem and educated alongside his brother.
In his early twenties, he traveled to negotiate with Emperor Nero for the release of 12 Jewish priests. Upon his return to Jerusalem, at the outbreak of the First Jewish–Roman War, Josephus was appointed the military governor of Galilee, but eventually he strove with John of Gischala over the control of Galilee, who like Josephus, had amassed to himself a large band of supporters from Gischala (Gush Halab) and Gabara,[a] including the support of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Josephus fortified several towns and villages in Galilee, among which were Tiberias, Bersabe, Selamin and Tarichaea, in anticipation of a Roman onslaught, and resisted the Roman army in its siege of Yodfat (Jotapata) until it fell to the Roman army in the lunar month of Tammuz, in the thirteenth year of Nero's reign.
After the Jewish garrison of Yodfat fell under siege, the Romans invaded, killing thousands; the survivors committed suicide. According to Josephus, he was trapped in a cave with 40 of his companions in July 67 CE. The Romans (commanded by Flavius Vespasian and his son Titus, both subsequently Roman emperors) asked the group to surrender, but they refused. Josephus suggested a method of collective suicide; they drew lots and killed each other, one by one, counting to every third person. Two men were left (this method as a mathematical problem is referred to as the Josephus problem, or Roman roulette), who surrendered to the Roman forces and became prisoners. In 69 CE, Josephus was released. According to his account, he acted as a negotiator with the defenders during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, in which his parents and first wife died.
While being confined at Yodfat (Jotapata), Josephus claimed to have experienced a divine revelation that later led to his speech predicting Vespasian would become emperor. After the prediction came true, he was released by Vespasian, who considered his gift of prophecy to be divine. Josephus wrote that his revelation had taught him three things: that God, the creator of the Jewish people, had decided to "punish" them; that "fortune" had been given to the Romans; and that God had chosen him "to announce the things that are to come". To many Jews, such claims were simply self-serving.
In 71 CE, he went to Rome in the entourage of Titus, becoming a Roman citizen and client of the ruling Flavian dynasty (hence he is often referred to as Flavius Josephus). In addition to Roman citizenship, he was granted accommodation in conquered Judaea and a pension. While in Rome and under Flavian patronage, Josephus wrote all of his known works. Although he uses "Josephus", he appears to have taken the Roman praenomen Titus and nomen Flavius from his patrons.
Vespasian arranged for Josephus to marry a captured Jewish woman, whom he later divorced. About 71 CE, Josephus married an Alexandrian Jewish woman as his third wife. They had three sons, of whom only Flavius Hyrcanus survived childhood. Josephus later divorced his third wife. Around 75 CE, he married his fourth wife, a Greek Jewish woman from Crete, who was a member of a distinguished family. They had a happy married life and two sons, Flavius Justus and Flavius Simonides Agrippa.
Josephus's life story remains ambiguous. He was described by Harris in 1985 as a law-observant Jew who believed in the compatibility of Judaism and Graeco-Roman thought, commonly referred to as Hellenistic Judaism. Before the 19th century, the scholar Nitsa Ben-Ari notes that his work was shunned like that of converts, then banned as those of a traitor, whose work was not to be studied or translated into Hebrew. His critics were never satisfied as to why he failed to commit suicide in Galilee, and after his capture, accepted the patronage of Romans.
The historian E. Mary Smallwood writes critically of Josephus:
[Josephus] was conceited, not only about his own learning, but also about the opinions held of him as commander both by the Galileans and by the Romans; he was guilty of shocking duplicity at Jotapata, saving himself by sacrifice of his companions; he was too naive to see how he stood condemned out of his own mouth for his conduct, and yet no words were too harsh when he was blackening his opponents; and after landing, however involuntarily, in the Roman camp, he turned his captivity to his own advantage, and benefited for the rest of his days from his change of side.
The works of Josephus provide crucial information about the First Jewish-Roman War and also represent important literary source material for understanding the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls and late Temple Judaism.
Josephan scholarship in the 19th and early 20th centuries took an interest in Josephus's relationship to the sect of the Pharisees. It consistently portrayed him as a member of the sect and as a traitor to the Jewish nation—a view which became known as the classical concept of Josephus. In the mid-20th century a new generation of scholars challenged this view and formulated the modern concept of Josephus. They consider him a Pharisee but restore his reputation in part as patriot and a historian of some standing. In his 1991 book, Steve Mason argued that Josephus was not a Pharisee but an orthodox Aristocrat-Priest who became associated with the philosophical school of the Pharisees as a matter of deference, and not by willing association.
The works of Josephus include useful material for historians about individuals, groups, customs, and geographical places. Some of these, such as the city of Seron, receive no mention in the surviving texts of any other ancient authority. His writings provide a significant, extra-Biblical account of the post-Exilic period of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean dynasty, and the rise of Herod the Great. He describes the Sadducees, Jewish High Priests of the time, Pharisees and Essenes, the Herodian Temple, Quirinius' census and the Zealots, and to such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa II, John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and to Jesus (for more see Josephus on Jesus). Josephus represents an important source for studies of immediate post-Temple Judaism and the context of early Christianity.
A careful reading of Josephus's writings and years of excavation allowed Ehud Netzer, an archaeologist from Hebrew University, to discover what he considered to be the location of Herod's Tomb, after a search of 35 years. It was above aqueducts and pools, at a flattened desert site, halfway up the hill to the Herodium, 12 km south of Jerusalem—as described in Josephus's writings. In October 2013, archaeologists Joseph Patrich and Benjamin Arubas challenged the identification of the tomb as that of Herod. According to Patrich and Arubas, the tomb is too modest to be Herod's and has several unlikely features. Roi Porat, who replaced Netzer as excavation leader after the latter's death, stood by the identification.
For many years, the works of Josephus were largely known in Europe only in an imperfect Latin translation from the original Greek. Only in 1544 did a version of the standard Greek text become available in French, edited by the Dutch humanist Arnoldus Arlenius. The first English translation, by Thomas Lodge, appeared in 1602, with subsequent editions appearing throughout the 17th century. The 1544 Greek edition formed the basis of the 1732 English translation by William Whiston, which achieved enormous popularity in the English-speaking world. It was often the book—after the Bible—that Christians most frequently owned. A cross-reference apparatus for Whiston's version of Josephus and the biblical canon also exists. Whiston claimed that certain works by Josephus had a similar style to the Epistles of St Paul.
Later editions of the Greek text include that of Benedikt Niese, who made a detailed examination of all the available manuscripts, mainly from France and Spain. Henry St. John Thackeray used Niese's version for the Loeb Classical Library edition widely used today.
The standard editio maior of the various Greek manuscripts is that of Benedictus Niese, published 1885–95. The text of Antiquities is damaged in some places. In the Life, Niese follows mainly manuscript P, but refers also to AMW and R. Henry St. John Thackeray for the Loeb Classical Library has a Greek text also mainly dependent on P. André Pelletier edited a new Greek text for his translation of Life. The ongoing Münsteraner Josephus-Ausgabe of Münster University will provide a new critical apparatus. There also exist late Old Slavonic translations of the Greek, but these contain a large number of Christian interpolations.
Scholars debate about Josephus's intended audience. For example, Antiquities of the Jews could be written for Jews—"a few scholars from Laqueur onward have suggested that Josephus must have written primarily for fellow-Jews (if also secondarily for Gentiles). The most common motive suggested is repentance: in later life he felt so badly about the traitorous War that he needed to demonstrate … his loyalty to Jewish history, law and culture." However, Josephus's "countless incidental remarks explaining basic Judean language, customs and laws … assume a Gentile audience. He does not expect his first hearers to know anything about the laws or Judean origins." The issue of who would read this multi-volume work is unresolved. Other possible motives for writing Antiquities could be to dispel the misrepresentation of Jewish origins or as an apologetic to Greek cities of the Diaspora in order to protect Jews and to Roman authorities to garner their support for the Jews facing persecution. Neither motive explains why the proposed Gentile audience would read this large body of material.
In the Preface to Jewish Wars, Josephus criticizes historians who misrepresent the events of the Jewish–Roman War, writing that "they have a mind to demonstrate the greatness of the Romans, while they still diminish and lessen the actions of the Jews." Josephus states that his intention is to correct this method but that he "will not go to the other extreme … [and] will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy." Josephus suggests his method will not be wholly objective by saying he will be unable to contain his lamentations in transcribing these events; to illustrate this will have little effect on his historiography, Josephus suggests, "But if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute the facts themselves to the historical part, and the lamentations to the writer himself only."
His preface to Antiquities offers his opinion early on, saying, "Upon the whole, a man that will peruse this history, may principally learn from it, that all events succeed well, even to an incredible degree, and the reward of felicity is proposed by God." After inserting this attitude, Josephus contradicts himself: "I shall accurately describe what is contained in our records, in the order of time that belongs to them … without adding any thing to what is therein contained, or taking away any thing therefrom." He notes the difference between history and philosophy by saying, "[T]hose that read my book may wonder how it comes to pass, that my discourse, which promises an account of laws and historical facts, contains so much of philosophy."
In both works, Josephus emphasizes that accuracy is crucial to historiography. Louis H. Feldman notes that in Wars, Josephus commits himself to critical historiography, but in Antiquities, Josephus shifts to rhetorical historiography, which was the norm of his time. Feldman notes further that it is significant that Josephus called his later work "Antiquities" (literally, archaeology) rather than history; in the Hellenistic period, archaeology meant either "history from the origins or archaic history." Thus, his title implies a Jewish peoples' history from their origins until the time he wrote. This distinction is significant to Feldman, because "in ancient times, historians were expected to write in chronological order," while "antiquarians wrote in a systematic order, proceeding topically and logically" and included all relevant material for their subject. Antiquarians moved beyond political history to include institutions and religious and private life. Josephus does offer this wider perspective in Antiquities.
To compare his historiography with another ancient historian, consider Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Feldman lists these similarities: "Dionysius in praising Rome and Josephus in praising Jews adopt same pattern; both often moralize and psychologize and stress piety and role of divine providence; and the parallels between … Dionysius's account of deaths of Aeneas and Romulus and Josephus's description of the death of Moses are striking."
The works of Josephus are major sources of our understanding of Jewish life and history during the first century.
His first work in Rome was an account of the Jewish War, addressed to certain "upper barbarians"—usually thought to be the Jewish community in Mesopotamia—in his "paternal tongue" (War I.3), arguably the Western Aramaic language. In 78 CE he finished a seven-volume account in Greek known as the Jewish War (Latin Bellum Judaicum or De Bello Judaico). It starts with the period of the Maccabees and concludes with accounts of the fall of Jerusalem, and the succeeding fall of the fortresses of Herodion, Macharont and Masada and the Roman victory celebrations in Rome, the mopping-up operations, Roman military operations elsewhere in the empire and the uprising in Cyrene. Together with the account in his Life of some of the same events, it also provides the reader with an overview of Josephus's own part in the events since his return to Jerusalem from a brief visit to Rome in the early 60s (Life 13–17).
In the wake of the suppression of the Jewish revolt, Josephus would have witnessed the marches of Titus's triumphant legions leading their Jewish captives, and carrying treasures from the despoiled Temple in Jerusalem. It was against this background that Josephus wrote his War, claiming to be countering anti-Judean accounts. He disputes the claim that the Jews served a defeated God and were naturally hostile to Roman civilization. Rather, he blames the Jewish War on what he calls "unrepresentative and over-zealous fanatics" among the Jews, who led the masses away from their traditional aristocratic leaders (like himself), with disastrous results. Josephus also blames some of the Roman governors of Judea, representing them as corrupt and incompetent administrators. According to Josephus, the traditional Jew was, should be, and can be a loyal and peace-loving citizen. Jews can, and historically have, accepted Rome's hegemony precisely because their faith declares that God himself gives empires their power.
The next work by Josephus is his twenty-one volume Antiquities of the Jews, completed during the last year of the reign of the Emperor Flavius Domitian, around 93 or 94 CE. In expounding Jewish history, law and custom, he is entering into many philosophical debates current in Rome at that time. Again he offers an apologia for the antiquity and universal significance of the Jewish people. Josephus claims to be writing this history because he "saw that others perverted the truth of those actions in their writings," those writings being the history of the Jews. In terms of some of his sources for the project, Josephus says that he drew from and "interpreted out of the Hebrew Scriptures" and that he was an eyewitness to the wars between the Jews and the Romans, which were earlier recounted in Jewish Wars.
He outlines Jewish history beginning with the creation, as passed down through Jewish historical tradition. Abraham taught science to the Egyptians, who, in turn, taught the Greeks. Moses set up a senatorial priestly aristocracy, which, like that of Rome, resisted monarchy. The great figures of the Tanakh are presented as ideal philosopher-leaders. He includes an autobiographical appendix defending his conduct at the end of the war when he cooperated with the Roman forces.
Louis H. Feldman outlines the difference between calling this work Antiquities of the Jews instead of History of the Jews. Although Josephus says that he describes the events contained in Antiquities "in the order of time that belongs to them," Feldman argues that Josephus "aimed to organize [his] material systematically rather than chronologically" and had a scope that "ranged far beyond mere political history to political institutions, religious and private life."
Josephus's Against Apion is a two-volume defence of Judaism as classical religion and philosophy, stressing its antiquity, as opposed to what Josephus claimed was the relatively more recent tradition of the Greeks. Some anti-Judaic allegations ascribed by Josephus to the Greek writer Apion, and myths accredited to Manetho are also addressed.
Josephus was born into the ruling elite of Jerusalem
Later generations of Jews have been inclined to treat such claims as self-serving
The converts themselves were banned from society as outcasts and so was their historiographic work or, in the more popular historical novels, their literary counterparts. Josephus Flavius, formerly Yosef Ben Matityahu (34-95), had been shunned, then banned as a traitor.
In the sixteenth century the authenticity of the text [Testimonium Flavianum] was publicly challenged, launching a controversy that has still not been resolved today
Antiquities of the Jews (Latin: Antiquitates Judaicae; Greek: Ἰουδαϊκὴ ἀρχαιολογία, Ioudaikē archaiologia) is a 20-volume historiographical work, written in Greek, by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the 13th year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around AD 93 or 94. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people for Josephus' gentile patrons. In the first ten volumes, Josephus follows the events of the historical books of the Hebrew Bible beginning with the creation of Adam and Eve.
The second ten volumes continues the history of the Jewish people beyond the biblical text and up to the Jewish War, or the First Jewish–Roman War, 66 to 73 CE. This work, along with Josephus's other major work, The Jewish War (De Bello Iudaico), provides valuable background material to historians wishing to understand 1st-century AD Judaism and the early Christian period.Caiaphas
Joseph Ben Caiaphas, known simply as Caiaphas (Hebrew: יוֹסֵף בַּר קַיָּפָא; Greek: Καϊάφας) in the New Testament, was the Jewish high priest who organized the plot to kill Jesus. Caiaphas was involved in the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus. The primary sources for Caiaphas' life are the New Testament and the writings of Josephus. Outside of his interactions with Jesus, little else is known about his tenure as high priest.Essenes
The Essenes (; Modern Hebrew: אִסִּיִים, Isiyim; Greek: Ἐσσηνοί, Ἐσσαῖοι, or Ὀσσαῖοι, Essenoi, Essaioi, Ossaioi) were a Jewish sect during the Second Temple period that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE.
The Jewish historian Josephus records that Essenes existed in large numbers, and thousands lived throughout Roman Judaea, but they were fewer in number than the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the other two major sects at the time. The Essenes lived in various cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to voluntary poverty, daily immersion, and asceticism (their priestly class practiced celibacy). Most scholars claim they seceded from the Zadokite priests.The Essenes have gained fame in modern times as a result of the discovery of an extensive group of religious documents known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are commonly believed to be the Essenes' library. These documents preserve multiple copies of parts of the Hebrew Bible untouched from possibly as early as 300 BCE until their discovery in 1946. Most scholars dispute the notion that the Essenes wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. Rachel Elior questions even the existence of the Essenes.The first reference to the sect is by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (died c. 79 CE) in his Natural History. Pliny relates in a few lines that the Essenes possess no money, had existed for thousands of generations, and that their priestly class (“contemplatives”) do not marry. Unlike Philo, who did not mention any particular geographical location of the Essenes other than the whole land of Israel, Pliny places them somewhere above Ein Gedi, next to the Dead Sea.
Josephus later gave a detailed account of the Essenes in The Jewish War (c. 75 CE), with a shorter description in Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94 CE) and The Life of Flavius Josephus (c. 97 CE). Claiming firsthand knowledge, he lists the Essenoi as one of the three sects of Jewish philosophy alongside the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He relates the same information concerning piety, celibacy, the absence of personal property and of money, the belief in communality, and commitment to a strict observance of Sabbath. He further adds that the Essenes ritually immersed in water every morning, ate together after prayer, devoted themselves to charity and benevolence, forbade the expression of anger, studied the books of the elders, preserved secrets, and were very mindful of the names of the angels kept in their sacred writings.
Pliny, also a geographer, located them in the desert near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.Hasmonean dynasty
The Hasmonean dynasty ( (audio); Hebrew: חַשְׁמוֹנַּאִים, Ḥashmona'im) was a ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE the dynasty ruled Judea semi-autonomously from the Seleucids. From 110 BCE, with the Seleucid Empire disintegrating, the dynasty became fully independent, expanded into the neighbouring regions of Samaria, Galilee, Iturea, Perea, and Idumea, and took the title "basileus". Some modern scholars refer to this period as an independent kingdom of Israel.The dynasty was established under the leadership of Simon Thassi, two decades after his brother Judas Maccabeus (יהודה המכבי Yehudah HaMakabi) defeated the Seleucid army during the Maccabean Revolt. According to 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, and the first book of The Jewish War by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37 CE–c. 100), Antiochus IV moved to assert strict control over the Seleucid satrapy of Coele Syria and Phoenicia after his successful invasion of Ptolemaic Egypt was turned back by the intervention of the Roman Republic. He sacked Jerusalem and its Temple, suppressing Jewish and Samaritan religious and cultural observances, and imposed Hellenistic practices. The ensuing revolt by the Jews (167 BCE) began a period of Jewish independence potentiated by the steady collapse of the Seleucid Empire under attacks from the rising powers of the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire.
In 63 BCE, the kingdom was invaded by the Roman Republic, broken up and set up as a Roman client state. However, the same power vacuum that enabled the Jewish state to be recognized by the Roman Senate c. 139 BCE was later exploited by the Romans themselves. Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, Simon's great-grandsons, became pawns in a proxy war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. The deaths of Pompey (48 BCE) and Caesar (44 BCE), and the related Roman civil wars temporarily relaxed Rome's grip on the Hasmonean kingdom, allowing a brief reassertion of autonomy backed by the Parthian Empire. This short independence was rapidly crushed by the Romans under Mark Antony and Octavian.
The dynasty had survived for 103 years before yielding to the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE. The installation of Herod the Great (an Idumean) as king in 37 BCE made Judea a Roman client state and marked the end of the Hasmonean dynasty. Even then, Herod tried to bolster the legitimacy of his reign by marrying a Hasmonean princess, Mariamne, and planning to drown the last male Hasmonean heir at his Jericho palace. In 6 CE, Rome joined Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) into the Roman province of Iudaea. In 44 CE, Rome installed the rule of a procurator side by side with the rule of the Herodian kings (specifically Agrippa I 41–44 and Agrippa II 50–100).Herod Agrippa II
Herod Agrippa II (Hebrew: אגריפס) (AD 27/28 – c. 92 or 100) officially named Marcus Julius Agrippa and sometimes shortened to Agrippa, was the eighth and last ruler from the Herodian dynasty. He was the fifth member of this dynasty to bear the title of king, but he reigned over territories outside of Judea only as a Roman client. Agrippa was overthrown by his Jewish subjects in 66 and supported the Roman side in the First Jewish–Roman War.Herod Antipas
Herod Antipater (Greek: Ἡρῴδης Ἀντίπατρος, Hērǭdēs Antipatros; born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD), known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter") and is referred to as both "Herod the Tetrarch" and "King Herod" in the New Testament although he never held the title of king. He is widely known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth.
After being recognized by Augustus upon the death of his father, Herod the Great (c. 4 BC/AD 1), and subsequent ethnarch rule by his brother, Herod Archelaus, Antipas officially ruled Galilee and Perea as a client state of the Roman Empire. He was responsible for building projects at Sepphoris and Betharamphtha, and more important for the construction of his capital Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Named in honor of his patron, the emperor Tiberius, the city later became a center of rabbinic learning.
Antipas divorced his first wife Phasaelis, the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea, in favour of Herodias, who had formerly been married to his half-brother Herod II. (Antipas was Herod the Great's son by Malthace, while Herod II was his son by Mariamne II.) According to the New Testament Gospels, it was John the Baptist's condemnation of this arrangement that led Antipas to have him arrested; John was subsequently put to death in Machaerus. Besides provoking his conflict with the Baptiser, the tetrarch's divorce added a personal grievance to previous disputes with Aretas over territory on the border of Perea and Nabatea. The result was a war that proved disastrous for Antipas; a Roman counter-offensive was ordered by Tiberius, but abandoned upon that emperor's death in 37 AD. In 39 AD Antipas was accused by his nephew Agrippa I of conspiracy against the new Roman emperor Caligula, who sent him into exile in Gaul. Accompanied there by Herodias, he died at an unknown date.
The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was first brought before Pontius Pilate for trial, since Pilate was the governor of Roman Judea, which encompassed Jerusalem where Jesus was arrested. Pilate initially handed him over to Antipas, in whose territory Jesus had been most active, but Antipas sent him back to Pilate's court.Herod the Great
Herod (; Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס, Modern: Hordus, Tiberian: Hōreḏōs, Greek: Ἡρῴδης, Hērōdēs; 74/73 BCE – c. 4 BCE), also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian kingdom. The history of his legacy has polarized opinion, as he is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (Herod's Temple), the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada, and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century CE Roman–Jewish historian Josephus. Herod also appears in the Christian Gospel of Matthew as the ruler of Judea who orders the Massacre of the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus. Despite his successes, including singlehandedly forging a new aristocracy from practically nothing, he has still garnered criticism from various historians. His reign polarizes opinion amongst scholars and historians, some viewing his legacy as evidence of success, and some as a reminder of his tyrannical rule.Upon Herod's death, the Romans divided his kingdom among three of his sons and his sister—Archelaus became ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea, Herod Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, Philip became tetrarch of territories north and east of the Jordan, and Salome I was given a toparchy including the cities of Jabneh, Ashdod, and Phasaelis.Iguana
Iguana (, Spanish: [iˈɣwana]) is a genus of herbivorous lizards that are native to tropical areas of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The genus was first described in 1768 by Austrian naturalist Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti in his book Specimen Medicum, Exhibens Synopsin Reptilium Emendatam cum Experimentis circa Venena. Two species are included in the genus Iguana: the green iguana, which is widespread throughout its range and a popular pet, and the Lesser Antillean iguana, which is native to the Lesser Antilles and endangered due to habitat destruction and hybridization with introduced green iguanas.
The word "iguana" is derived from the original Taino name for the species, iwana.In addition to the two species in the genus Iguana, several other related genera in the same family have common names of the species including the word "iguana".Josephus Daniels
Josephus Daniels (May 18, 1862 – January 15, 1948) was a North Carolina newspaper editor and publisher from the 1880s until his death; he controlled the Raleigh News and Observer, at the time North Carolina's largest newspaper, for decades. Viewed as a progressive Democrat,, he was appointed by United States President Woodrow Wilson to serve as Secretary of the Navy during World War I. He became a close friend and supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served as his Assistant Secretary of the Navy and later was elected as United States President. Roosevelt appointed Daniels as his Ambassador to Mexico, 1933–1941.
Daniels believed that "the greatest folly and crime" in U.S. history was giving Negros the vote. He and his newspaper "championed the white supremacy cause in frequent news reports, vigorously worded editorials, provocative letters, and vicious front page cartoons that called attention to what the newspaper called the horrors of 'negro rule.'" Daniels argued that as long as African Americans had any political power, they (as Republicans) would block progressive reforms.He was highly influential in the state legislature's passage in 1900 of a suffrage amendment that effectively disenfranchised most blacks in the state, excluding them from the political system for decades until the late 20th century. They were also excluded from juries and subject to legal racial segregation.
As Secretary of the Navy, Daniels handled policy and formalities in World War I while his top aide, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, handled the major wartime decisions. As ambassador to Mexico after its revolution, Daniels dealt with the anti-American government and its expropriation of American oil investments. In North Carolina in the early 20th century, he had been a leading progressive, supporting public schools and public works, and calling for more regulation of trusts and railroads. He supported prohibition and women's suffrage, and used his newspapers to support the regular Democratic Party ticket. He was a powerful supporter of the Ku Klux Klan although never a member.Josephus on Jesus
The extant manuscripts of the writings of the first-century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18. Scholarly opinion varies on the total or partial authenticity of the reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities, a passage that states that Jesus the Messiah was a wise teacher who was crucified by Pilate, usually called the Testimonium Flavianum. The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian interpolation and/or alteration. Although the exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear, broad consensus exists as to what the original text of the Testimonium by Josephus would have looked like.Modern scholarship has largely acknowledged the authenticity of the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities to "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" and considers it as having the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity. Almost all modern scholars consider the reference in Book 18, Chapter 5, 2 of the Antiquities to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist also to be authentic and not a Christian interpolation. The references found in Antiquities have no parallel texts in the other work by Josephus such as The Jewish War, written 20 years earlier, but some scholars have provided explanations for their absence. A number of variations exist between the statements by Josephus regarding the deaths of James and John the Baptist and the New Testament accounts. Scholars generally view these variations as indications that the Josephus passages are not interpolations, for a Christian interpolator would have made them correspond to the New Testament accounts, not differ from them.Judas of Galilee
Judas of Galilee, or Judas of Gamala, was a Jewish leader who led resistance to the census imposed for Roman tax purposes by Quirinius in Judea Province around 6 AD. He encouraged Jews not to register and those that did had their houses burnt and their cattle stolen by his followers. He began the "fourth philosophy" of the Jews which Josephus blames for the disastrous war with the Romans in 66–70 AD. These events are discussed by Josephus in The Jewish War and in Antiquities of the Jews and mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles.
In Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus states that Judas, along with Zadok the Pharisee, founded the "fourth sect" of 1st century Judaism (the first three being the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes). Josephus blamed this fourth sect for the First Jewish–Roman War of 66–73 AD. Judas and Zaddok's group were theocratic nationalists who preached that God alone was the ruler of Israel and urged that no taxes should be paid to Rome.Several scholars, such as Gunnar Haaland and James S. McLaren, have suggested that Josephus's description of the fourth sect does not reflect historical reality, but was constructed to serve his own interests. According to Haaland, the part covering the sect acts as a transition and an introduction to the excursion concerning the Jewish schools of thought, all of which Josephus presents to portray the majority of Jews in a positive light, and to show that the Jewish War was incited by a radical minority. Similarly, McLaren proposes that Judas and his sect act as scapegoats for the war that are chronologically, geographically and socially removed from the priestly circles of Jerusalem (and Josephus himself).Josephus does not relate the death of Judas, although he does report that Judas' sons James and Simon were executed by procurator Tiberius Julius Alexander in about 46 AD. He also reports that Menahem ben Judah, one of the early leaders of the Jewish Revolt in 66 AD, was Judas' "son", but some scholars doubt this. Menahem may have been Judas' grandson, however. Menahem's cousin, Eleazar ben Ya'ir, then escaped to the fortress of Masada where he became a leader of the last defenders against the Roman Empire.
Judas is referred to in Acts of the Apostles, in which a speech by Gamaliel, a member of the Sanhedrin, identifies Theudas and Judas as examples of failed Messianic movements, and suggests that the movement emerging in the name of Jesus of Nazareth could similarly fail.King of Tyre
The traditional king-list of Tyre, the ancient Phoenician city in what is now Lebanon, is derived from Josephus, Against Apion I.121–127, and his Antiquities of the Jews VIII.141–149. His list was based on a lost history by Menander of Ephesus, who had drawn his information, Josephus asserts, from the chronicles of Tyre itself.Masada
Masada (Hebrew: מצדה metsada, "fortress") is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, akin to a mesa. It is located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of Arad.
Herod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.
According to Josephus, the siege of Masada by Roman troops at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of 960 people, the Sicarii rebels and their families who were hiding there.
Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions.Owen Roberts
Owen Josephus Roberts (May 2, 1875 – May 17, 1955) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1930 to 1945. He also led two Roberts Commissions, the first of which investigated the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the second of which focused on works of cultural value during World War II.
Born in Philadelphia, Roberts graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and pursued a legal career. After working as a district attorney in Philadelphia, he was appointed by President Calvin Coolidge to investigate the Teapot Dome scandal. After the death of Associate Justice Edward Terry Sanford in March 1930, President Hoover nominated John J. Parker to fill the vacancy on the court. The Senate rejected Parker and Hoover quickly nominated Roberts as his second choice for the vacancy. Roberts was easily confirmed and took his position on the court in May 1930.
On the Hughes Court, Roberts was a swing vote positioned between the conservative Four Horsemen and the liberal Three Musketeers. Along with Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, Roberts's vote often decided whether President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation would be upheld. His decision to uphold the constitutionality of a state minimum wage law in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish has been called "the switch in time that saved nine." That term references the decision's possible role in the defeat of the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which would have expanded the Supreme Court and thus allowed Roosevelt to appoint Justices more sympathetic to his policies. Roberts's motivation for upholding the constitutionality of the New Deal and his role in the defeat of the bill remains a matter of debate.
Though the bill was defeated, Roosevelt's long presidency allowed him to appoint most of the court. By the end of Roberts's tenure, he was the lone Supreme Court Justice who was not appointed by Roosevelt. He was one of three Justices to vote against Roosevelt's orders for Japanese American internment camps in Korematsu v. United States as well as the lone judge to dissent in the case of Smith v. Allwright, which ruled white primaries unconstitutional. His relations with his colleagues on the Stone Court became strained and he retired in 1945. He died in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1955.Peter Debye
Peter Joseph William Debye (; Dutch: [dəˈbɛiə]; March 24, 1884 – November 2, 1966) was a Dutch-American physicist and physical chemist, and Nobel laureate in Chemistry.The Jewish War
The Jewish War or Judean War (in full Flavius Josephus's Books of the History of the Jewish War against the Romans, Greek: Φλαυίου Ἰωσήπου ἱστορία Ἰουδαϊκοῦ πολέμου πρὸς Ῥωμαίους βιβλία, Phlauiou Iōsēpou historia Ioudaikou polemou pros Rōmaious biblia), also referred to in English as The Wars of the Jews, is a book written by Josephus, a Roman-Jewish historian of the 1st century.
Divided into seven books, it opens with a summary of Jewish history from the capture of Jerusalem by the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168 BC to the first stages of the First Jewish–Roman War (Book I and II). The next five books detail the unfolding of the war, under Roman generals Vespasian and Titus, to the death of the last Sicarii. The book was written about 75 AD, originally in Josephus's "paternal tongue" – either Aramaic or Hebrew – though this version has not survived. It was later translated into Greek, probably under the supervision of Josephus himself. Buth and Pierce wrote "the current Greek edition does not appear to be a translation, but must be considered a new edition, a complete re-working of the first writing and likely a considerable expansion."The sources of the First Jewish–Roman War are: this account of Josephus, the Talmud (Gittin 57b), Midrash Eichah, and the Hebrew inscriptions on the Jewish coins minted, and Book V of Tacitus' Histories.The text also survives in an Old Slavonic version, as well as Hebrew which contains material not found in the Greek version, and which is lacking other material found in the Greek version.Titus
Titus (; Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus; 30 December 39 AD – 13 September 81 AD) was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to come to the throne after his own biological father.
Prior to becoming emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judea during the First Jewish–Roman War. The campaign came to a brief halt with the death of emperor Nero in 68, launching Vespasian's bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors. When Vespasian was declared Emperor on 1 July 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion. In 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph; the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day.
During his father's rule, Titus gained notoriety in Rome serving as prefect of the Praetorian Guard, and for carrying on a controversial relationship with the Jewish queen Berenice. Despite concerns over his character, Titus ruled to great acclaim following the death of Vespasian in 79, and was considered a good emperor by Suetonius and other contemporary historians.
As emperor, he is best known for completing the Colosseum and for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by two disasters, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a fire in Rome in 80. After barely two years in office, Titus died of a fever on 13 September 81. He was deified by the Roman Senate and succeeded by his younger brother Domitian.Troglodytae
The Troglodytae (Greek: Τρωγλοδύται), or Troglodyti (literally "cave goers"), were a people mentioned in various locations by many ancient Greek and Roman geographers and historians, including Herodotus (5th century BCE), Agatharchides (2nd century BCE), Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE), Strabo (64/63 BCE – c. 24 CE), Pliny (1st century CE), Josephus (37 – c. 100 CE), and Tacitus (c. 56 – after 117 CE).Zealots
The Zealots were a political movement in 1st-century Second Temple Judaism, which sought to incite the people of Judea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy Land by force of arms, most notably during the First Jewish–Roman War (66–70). Zealotry was the term used by Josephus for a "fourth sect" or "fourth Jewish philosophy" during this period.