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A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus
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A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  8 reviews
From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world.

Joseph ben Mattathias’s transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a grippin...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2013)
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Erik Simon
Honestly, sometimes I surprise even myself with the shit I'll pick up and read. Case in point: a fucking biography of Josephus. But then the destruction of the Temple of Solomon was a major event in history, especially since it was responsible for the resultant Jewish Diaspora, which utterly altered the next 2000 years of Western History. And Josephus was not only a participant in various roles during that destruction, he was also the only human being who's written about it. So I picked this up...more
David Dinaburg
I quite like antiquities. I consider myself relatively familiar with the Greco-Roman world. So it came as a bit of a surprise when twice out of the near-dozen times that someone asked me what I was reading during my month with A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus, the response to the title was, “Oh, that must be about Josephus.” Before A Jew Among Romans, I had never heard of Joseph Ben Mattathias, better known as Titus Flavius Josephus. Apparently not as obscure as I beli...more
"[R]edemptive hope looks back and forward to symmetrical Edens." (31)

"Genius is the trump that wins the trick. Judaism always reserved a fast track for the clever boy." (34)

"Vido meliora proboque, deteriora sequor" ("I see the better way and approve it, I follow the worse", Ovid, 37)

"Every word he wrote or spoke had to be guarded. He was committed to a form of self-consciousness, and repression, that individualized him, as a Jew and and outsider, to an unprecedented degree." (124)

"Josephus denie...more
Its hard to even describe this book, its part biography, part a dissection of Josephus' writing, and mostly an examination of Judaism through the lens of the time period and after. The biography and the dissection of Josephus' writing is very good, but its just too interrupted with pages and pages on random Jewish theories and facts (Even addressing parts of the Holocaust). It just sadly doesnt seem to come together and comes across rather convoluted as if the author attempted to cover too many...more
Frederic Raphael, does a lovely job with this history. An interesting and thought provoking book. I found it to be fascinating. Using the life of Flavius Josephus as the lens through which to view that very chaotic period in Jewish and Roman history makes this an insightful look at some what (biblical/Christian history/Roamn Empire) familiar events. And Flavius Josephus is a truly amazing individual in a time that was turbulent, dangerous and ground breaking. The writing style is easy to read an...more
Peter Mcloughlin
a good biography of Josephus and history of the Jewish war. It also goes into the psychology of Josephus and the dilemmnas that Jews of the Diaspora faced in hostile cultures where they had to live up until the present. Really interesting read and has a good deal written about Jewish Intellectuals in the 20th and 21st century.
Margaret Heller
I reviewed this for Library Journal. It was fascinating to me for reasons that had nothing to do with the subject matter and while I can't recommend it to anyone else, I still liked it.
Matt Dorff
Love Raphael's wit. He brings another angle to Josephus, more literary than historical. Either way it is a fascinating story and Josephus is an amazing character. Well done.
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Writer, critic and broadcaster, Frederic Raphael was educated at Charterhouse School and at St John's College, Cambridge. He has written several screenplays and fifteen novels. His The Glittering Prizes was one of the major British and American television successes of the 1970s.
More about Frederic Raphael...
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