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Wars of the Jews or Jewish War or the History of the Destruction of Jerusalem

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,160 ratings  ·  66 reviews

Complete interlinked edition. Navigate easily to any book from Table of Contents or search for the words or phrases. Includes contemporary maps, timelines, family trees, coinage, and units of measure, as well as modern view of history and analysis of Josephus works. Josephus fought the Romans in the First Jewish-Roman War as a Jewish military leader in Galilee. After the t

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Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 75)
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The Jewish War started strong and I wondered at first if it might hold a candle to Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. It doesn't in the end. Much of it comes across as a piece of special pleading. Josephus wrote the book during a time of growing hostility under Roman Emperor Domitian (reigned 81-96 CE) toward those of the Jewish faith. The Jews had long had an official exemption from participation in the state rites, yet the increasingly tyrannical Domitian firmly believed in the trad ...more
Evan Leach
Over 1,900 years ago, in July of 67, forty-one prominent Jewish leaders huddled in a dark cave below the city of Yodfat, in Galilee. One year before, the entire province of Judea had risen in revolt from the Roman Empire, and Roman forces had been systematically decimating the northern part of the province as a result. Yodfat had just fallen, and its citizens were being massacred by the thousands. Trapped and despairing, the leaders decided that mass suicide was preferable to falling into Roman ...more

Écrit à la fin des années 70 du Ier siècle de notre ère, la « guerre des Juifs » relate la destruction de l’insurrection de la Palestine par Vespasien et son fils Titus. L'alliance entre les Juifs et les romains était pourtant ancienne: elle datait, du IIème siècle avant JC, à cette époque où Rome mettait en place une politique de déstabilisation du royaume Séleucide, pour aider son traditionnel allié Lagide, en soutenant les révoltes des indépendantistes locaux.

C'était la marque de la politiqu
Pete daPixie
From the horse's mouth. Josephus, a priest in the temple in Jerusalem, a military leader of Jewish resistance against Vespasian, a romanised citizen. The history is written in the style of the time. The Penquin edition, abridged from the original,is still enormously readable. Valuable insight to early christianity and the might of Rome.
If you are looking for epic, this is it. From the dysfunctional family intrigues of the paranoid Herod's palace to the mass suicide of the Jews at Masada, Josephus--who apparently was at the siege of Jerusalem--relates the story of the Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire.
I started reading this book because it was referenced in two others I have been reading; one on the copper scroll of Qumran--a list of treasures that may have been saved from the temple-- and another on the treasure that Ti
This is the history of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans around the year 70 ad. The author was a general for the Jews who was captured by the Romans and talked his way into an advisory role so he could write the history of the conflict. It is a fascinating story of how the Romans administered their empire and how they went about maintaining order in the far reaches of their empire. Not to give too much away, but rebelling against the Romans turned out to be a very bad idea. The story reads ...more
Paul Dubuc
I bought this book to read before a trip to Israel in 1999. It's a very readable English translation. This gives Josephus' account of the war between the Romans and the Jews in the 1st century. Most fascinating (and horrible) are the accounts of the destruction of Gamla and Jerusalem and the final siege of Masada. Scholars are critical of Josephus because he puts too much of himself into the story and because it is probably biased in favor of his Roman benefactors. (Josephus began fighting again ...more
Reading about Jesus' prophecies of the Jewish War in the New Testament is one thing . . . reading the actual account is another. This book is an eyewitness account of the Jewish War. I was horrified at the things the Jews did to their own country--their doings were what caused them to lose the war. And yet, even while killing each other and defiling God's temple, they still expected God to save them from the Romans. I was almost horrified to tears on the monstrosities they committed. One woman e ...more
Chris Watson
What a story. Was there ever such a time. A nation destroyed by a tyrannical empire, tearing itself to pieces by self-destructive factionalism and fanaticism. Told so well, objectively but not too much so, by a man who was present, on the side of the Romans, to participate in his own nation's destruction.

It deserves 9 stars.
Holy fucking shit. Months of siege, mind-boggling cruelty and misery — fire, starvation, dismemberment, cannibalism. In the end (warning: spoiler alert) — yes, catastrophe. Utterly appalling.
James Cambias
A fascinating account of the very bloody Jewish revolt against Rome, told by a man who got to see both sides very clearly. It's actually pretty even-handed, since Josephus was a Jew but also was trying to flatter his patron the Roman emperor Vespasian (who commanded the legions that put down the revolt). So he is realistic about the Jewish rebels sincere desire for freedom -- and the horrible infighting and brigandage which doomed their uprising to failure. He praises the Roman conduct of the wa ...more
Edward Hetzler
History with a personal touch

History with a personal touch

This is not a rigorous academic history in the modern sense. It is part collected stories, part personal experiences and part philosophy. What makes this interesting is that it is written by a man who actually participated in some of the events he is writing about.

Unlike a modern history there are no dates. Everything is referenced by who was the ruler at the time. This can lead to confusion because within a royal family the names get rec
K's Bognoter
Jeg blev overrasket over hvor læsbar, den gamle tekst faktisk er (i en oversættelse til 1959-engelsk, ganske vist). I lange stræk er den decideret underholdende og lader ikke moderne ramasjangromaner meget tilbage at ønske i forhold detaljerede beskrivelser af krigshandlinger. Titus’ belejring, storm på og ødelæggelse af Jerusalem udfoldes over hele 100 sider. I nogle passager løfter Josefus sig næsten til homeriske højder i sin heroiske anprisning af enkelte soldater, der udmærker sig på særlig ...more
I've listened the first half of this book. Josephus is an excellent historian of the inter-Testamentary period and the early Roman period of the Jewish people and lands. If you're interested in what led up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, this is the book to read.
This is quite a story of real life events by an eyewitness.

Tho book has has some of the most powerful writing about events to be found anywhere.

The author was there at Masada.
Dec 22, 2013 Yasmeen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
من أهم الكتب التاريخية التي يعتمد عليها الصهاينة في إثبات ما يدعون أنه تاريخهم ووجودهم وحقهم وهيكلهم على أرض فلسطين هو كتاب "تاريخ حرب اليهود مع الرومان" للمؤرخ اليهودي يوسف بن متتياهو والذي كتبه باللغة الأرامية سنة 73 للميلاد ثم كتبه باللغة اليونانية.

في الكتاب يصف القدس والحياة فيها "بدقة"-كما يدّعون-ويروي أحداث تفرد بها ولم يروها غيره كحصار اليهود في هضبة متسادا في صحراء النقب(هناك من اليهود من يشكك في رواياته كشلومو زند مؤلف كتاب كيف ومتى اخترعت أرض إسرائيل؟).

يروي تاريخ الثورة اليهودية على ا
Anna Bueller
I am highly disappointed in this books because none of these Jews played baseball. What is the point of writing about Jews that don't play baseball? I tell you what, if Chaim Potok wrote this book it would be so much better. He would've made it the Jewish War on the Baseball Diamond. And there would be a steamy romance story between two homosexual main characters. I swear if I have to read another book that isn't about gay Jews playing baseball I'm going to sue the human race. Call up Barry B. B ...more
M. Milner
Josephus was a Jewish priest and general in the early stages of that war. He commanded some soldiers and, by his own account, was the only general with any success. But he was captured in the siege of Jotapata and quickly turned to the Roman side. He was clever, verbose and absolutely full of himself. His history is a fascinating mix of fact, score settling and outright fiction. Not only does it cover a period of history just about completely unknown outside of it, it tells it in an entertaining ...more
Kevin K
Fantastic book, packed with interesting detail. I was especially intrigued by the in-depth description of the operations of the Roman army. But there's so much more: the background and story of Herod; cameos by Pompey, Octavian, Marc Antony and Cleopatra; a fascinating account of the Essenes; portraits of Vespasian and Titus as field commanders and administrators; the bizarre partisan intrigues within Jerusalem during the siege; the final burning and looting of Herod's temple; and the very movin ...more
Wow. This was heavy reading. The language is archaic and at times felt it was basically gossip. It would go into lengthy details about Herod's family affairs and local politics. You could be talking about modern political affairs for all you care: unfaithful wives, political marriages, fratricide, patricides, harassment, corruption.

The part I enjoyed reading the most was that of the War of the Jews (against the Roman Empire). Very detailed, since Josephus was a General during this war and he had
CJ Bowen
Thinking of this book as both 2nd temple background and as helpful corroboration for a preterist take on Revelation. Must communicate both function to people as a secondary authority such that they support the biblical case, but when Josephus does funny things with people and numbers, faith remains unaffected.

Great translation - a tragic adventure story, full of intrigue, impassioned rhetoric, betrayal, romance, and mostly death. An editor concerned with readability would probably cut the histor
Bryn Hammond
I've read half. It has downtime. I'm here not for the particulars of the history (that are dully told with names I can't keep track of) but for the firsthand horror-shop that I hear is the siege of Jerusalem.

What I didn't know about is book one: the tragedy of Herod the Great. It's King Lear in real life, with scenes from Macbeth because he murders record numbers of his kindred -- but it isn't his fault. I felt sorry for him, and he felt sorry for himself. Don't miss the putrefaction of his pri
Víctor Sampayo
Es una historia de esas que se queda largo tiempo en la sensibilidad y la imaginación del lector, no sólo por su repercusión histórica —en ella se pueden encontrar las raíces de un problema que todavía hoy sigue sacudiendo al mundo, como es el conflicto en la tierra de Palestina—, sino también por la gran belleza de la narración de Flavio Josefo que, sin tomar en cuenta una posible falta de objetividad debido a su amistad con los romanos en el momento en que fue escrito (entre los años 75 a 79 d ...more
Alexander Rolfe
Josephus is not reader-friendly: he's hard to follow, and he throws names around like crazy with little or no introduction. It doesn't help that one conceives a dislike for Josephus personally as the story unfolds. But I would advise anyone struggling to push on to the part about Herod the Great, which is more interesting and easier to follow than anything preceding. Then if you're sick of the slaughter, give up-- it doesn't get any better.

Still, he's the only guy with the information, and some
Kenneth Burr
one of my favorite books of all time. I'm a big history lover and I really felt connected with this. But then again as I proceed with this project of listing many of the books that I have read you will see that.
Rick Harper
Wow. This is a must read for anyone serious about understanding the world (and words) of the New Testament. It's hard to believe this work is not required reading in seminary!
James Violand
Feb 15, 2015 James Violand rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: own
This would be rated higher if not for the insufferable ego of Josephus. I have yet to encounter anyone who holds himself in such high esteem. The cause, prosecution and result of the Jewish Rebellion against Rome is well documented. The translation is heavily footnoted which greatly enhances the reading but, alas, these are committed to the rear of the volume, necessitating a constant reference and loss of place - far better to list them on the same page! Although Josephus may not have intended ...more
I had been wanting to read some of Josephus' works for quite a long time now . I was thrilled to learn a professor had it on the list of required reading this semester . It was exciting to read from one of the worlds best historians , I thought it read a lot like a diary or gossip column though , rather than a standard text book - which was undoubtedly enchanting . Wish more history could have been recorded in such a manner . Glad I've finally read a work of his and plan on reading Antiquity of ...more
Josephus is not a very good historian, especially when it comes to talking about himself. However the events described in this book are extremely interesting and concern the revolts in Judea that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the begining of the Jewish diaspora. In addition to relating these events, the book gives very interesting insights about the gradual transfer of power from the rival helenistic kindoms to the Roman empire and the political plays in the middle East between Pa ...more
Michael Fraser
Forgot how terrible unabridged classical sources can be.
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Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100),[1] also called Joseph ben Matityahu (Biblical Hebrew: יוסף בן מתתיהו, Yosef ben Matityahu),[2] was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer 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 the h
More about Josephus...
The Works of Josephus The Essential Writings Jewish Antiquities Josephus: Thrones of Blood Works: The Jewish War, Books I-II (Loeb Classical Library)

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“Brave and loyal followers! Long ago we resolved to serve neither the Romans nor anyone other than God Himself, who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind. The time has now come that bids us prove our determination by our deeds we have never submitted to slavery, even when it brought no danger with it. We must not choose slavery now, and with it penalties that will mean the end of everything if we fall alive into the hands of the Romans God has given us this privilege, that we can die nobly and as free men and leave this world as free men in company with our wives and children.
(Elazar Ben Yair)”
“Obym nie znalazł się za swego żywota w takiej niewoli, żebym miał wyrzec się swego pochodzenia i zapomnieć o dziedzictwie swoich przodków!” 1 likes
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