Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2013 by thewitt
A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus
by Frederic Raphael
This biography recounts the life of Joseph ben Mattathias, or Titus Flavius Josephus, a first-century A.D. Judaean who commanded the defense of the city of Jotapata during the Jewish rebellion against Roman rule. Once Jotapata was overcome by Roman legions under Vespasian, Josephus ingratiated himself to that commander by prophesying (correctly) that he would become Emperor. For the sake of sparing his people further suffering, Josephus tried to convince the Zealots controlling Jerusalem to surrender to the Romans; however, in this he was unsuccessful. Josephus soon moved to Rome, and there wrote several books including Jewish Antiquities, The Jewish War, and his autobiography. In his last two chapters, Raphael explores the legacy up to the modern day of Jewish intellectuals, writers, and statesmen who have adapted in different ways to living in the Gentile societies of Europe. This book should be engaging for anyone interested in Judaica, the Roman Empire, the Hellenic world of antiquity, or history in general.
Here are some other recently-published biographies of ancient Romans which are available through the Santa Clara County Library District:
Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar
By Rob Goodman
A biography of the statesman who abided by the Stoic philosophy and tried to prevent the rule of Julius Caesar.
Constantine the Emperor
By Potter, D. S.
Recounts the life of the fourth-century A.D. emperor who made Christianity the empire’s official religion.