Josephus (c. 37 – c. 100 A.D.), also known as Flavius Josephus, was a 1st century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.

In the war between the Jews and the Romans of 66-70, Josephus was a Jewish general charged with defending Galilee against the Roman legions. After he had been defeated, he defected to his enemies, and advised the Roman general Vespasian. When Vespasian became emperor, Josephus began his career as historian, trying to explain Judaism to the Greeks and Romans. His most important works are the Jewish War, the Jewish Antiquities, an Autobiography, and an apology of Judaism called Against the Greeks (or Against Apion). As a Roman citizen, he took the name Flavius Josephus. He apparently died about 100 A.D., at more than sixty years old.

See also


  • The Works of Josephus, Complete and Unabridged New Updated Edition Translated by William Whiston, A.M., Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1987. ISBN 0913573868 (Hardcover). ISBN 0565631676 (Paperback).