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

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,792 Ratings  ·  87 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
David Gustafson
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let us begin by preparing ourselves for Josephus' account of "The Jewish Revolt" with a breathtaking tour of The Temple Mount prepared by the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

With the loot from the Temple destruction and the sale of thousands of prisoners into slavery, Vespasian financed The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Vespasian did not live to see the completion of his Colosseum. His son Titus, who defeated the Jews, inaugurated it ten
Evan Leach
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaica
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
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.
Mar 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
THE JEWISH WAR. (93 A.D.) Flavius Josephus. ***.
This is one of those books that has been sitting on my ‘to be read’ shelf for a long time. Guilt finally took over, and I started it. It is not an easy book to read; in fact, I don’t think that anyone could read it straight through and make any sense about it. As a history of Jews and Romans, it tends to skip about quite a bit; the author does not use a strict chronological method to do his reporting. I found that there were usually several battles
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Watson
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, history
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
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
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaism
Loved it. How could a Jew not love it? It filled me with longing for Jerusalem. For all in doubt about the right of the Jewish revival in Israel this is a must read, also for Jews with self doubts. This history is not mere legend or myth, it is real and vivid and our return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of our nation long after Rome's grandeur has decayed is nothing short of a miracle.
May 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Paul Haspel
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaism
The Jewish people rose up against mighty Rome in 66 A.D.; and for seven improbable years, against all odds, they defied the seemingly invincible legions of the Roman Empire. It is an epic story – one of courage and folly combined – and Flavius Josephus tells it well in his book The Roman-Jewish War.

Josephus, who was born in 37 A.D. in what was then Roman Judea, was in his late twenties and early thirties when the events of the Roman-Jewish War unfolded; he wrote his history of the war around 75
Talmadge Walker
A dry read overall, but there are points of interest, such as: The family problems of Herod the Great and his relations (If Josephus is to be believed, Herod apparently died of a combination of acute colitis and advanced stage syphilis.); Theological differences between the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes; And the degree to which some historians will toot their own horn. The Middle East in the 1st century AD was a pretty violent place.
Cawkins Chuck
What a great work of propaganda. Difficult for me to tell what was actual history. For Josephus goal one seems to have been to butter up Caesar and the Romans. Goal two was to justify his own betrayal of his country. If he ever read this work I can only guess that Joseph Goebbels would have been inspired.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So like 5 stars if you're into detailed ancient historical accounts preserved to this day (a rare find, I think). But fewer stars if you want to read it for your own entertainment and weren't that into Roman and Jewish history beforehand.
Jonathan Prather
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting account by a very interesting man (even if he's a narcissist). After visiting the holy land and reading this - my perspective has completely changed regarding Judeo-Roman history
Honor Phillips
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Translation I read was different, but I couldn’t find it.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great history of the Jewish people. You need this in your library if you are a Bible scholar.
Aaron Ventura
Josephus gives graphic detail of the war between the Romans and the Jews. The content is stomach turning. A truly horrific time in history just as Jesus predicted it would be.
David Steece, Jr.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Gruesome, biased towards Rome, literary. Read it for the history of the Great Revolt, but remember that Josephus was writing this (version—which was in Greek) for Hellenists and not for the Jews that by any standard, he had betrayed. Read it for the literary quality of the characters (particularly Josephus himself,) and the incredible pathos and drama of the destruction of Jerusalem by the most powerful Empire on Earth.

Spoiler alert: sooooooo many crucifixions
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
Czarny Pies
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Christianity, Judaism or the Roman empire
Shelves: greek-and-roman
Flavius Josephus' "Jewish Wars" is a great book with extraordinary rewards for at least four categories of reader. Churchgoers will be fascinated by the portrait that it provides of Judea at the time Christ was alive. Those interested in political history will discover a complex and detailed portrait of the workings of the Roman Empire. Those interested in military history will find an excellent description of the techniques and horrors of war in the first century of the Common Era. Finally, the ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I think a good companion piece to this would be nice, to explain gaps and apparent inconsistencies. Read an old Penguin classic version.
Dec 22, 2013 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
Elliott Bignell
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A couple of impressions stand out in this collection of strong impressions. The first is probably that really nothing much has changed in the Middle East in 2,000 years. Centuries before the existence of Islam, long before the emergence of Christianity as a palpable force for conflict, apparently the exact same, interminable battle of religious faction and counter-faction was taking place. There must be something in the air, or the water. Or perhaps it is just that a crossroads is always contest ...more
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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 Flavius Josephus...

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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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