1611 · Genevae (Geneva)
Titus Flavius Josephus, born Joseph ben Matityahu was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, 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 head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 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 interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69, 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 adviser and friend of Vespasian's son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem, which resulted—when the Jewish revolt did not surrender—in the city's destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod's Temple (Second Temple). Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation (66–70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity. For many years, printed editions of the works of Josephus appeared only in an imperfect Latin translation from the original Greek. Only in 1544 did a version of the standard Greek text become available, 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.
Author and volume in neat ink to heal page ends, corners bumped, old institutional stamp to title verso, old ink date to title else a very good set of an early Latin edition. (Inventory #: A0573a)