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Form: Flavius.
Born at Jerusalem, A.D. 37, of a respectable priestly family. He received a scholarly education, and in 63 went to Rome, where he gained the favour of Poppaeea, the wife of Nero. After having returned to his native land, he endeavoured in vain to check the revolt of his own people against the Romans; thereupon he himself joined the rebellion, but, while in command of Galilee, was taken prisoner by the Romans. He was freed from this after two years' captivity, owing to his having prophesied the coming reign of Vespasian, from whom he took the family name of Flavius. After having been present at the siege of Jerusalem, in the suite of Titus, he lived in Rome until his death about 93, devoting himself to learned studies and literary activity. His works, which are written in Greek, are: (1) The History of the Jewish War, in seven books, originally composed in Syro-Chaldee, but translated into Greek at the request of Titus. It is remarkable for its masterly delineation of events in which he himself took part or of which he was an eyewitness. (2) The Jewish Antiquities, in twenty books; a history of the Jews from the creation down to the twelfth year of Nero (A.D. 66), written with the object of making a favourable impression on the Greeks and Romans. (3) An Autobiography, to complete the Jewish History. (4) A treatise in defence of his Jewish Antiquities against the attacks of a scholar named Apion. The Eulogy of the Maccabees is probably spurious. There is a Latin version of the History of the Jews, dating from the end of the 4th century A.D., under the name of Hegesippus, a corruption of Josephus.
Type: Standard
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