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Flavius Josephus

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Flavius Josephus
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 head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claims 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 hostage and interpreter. After Vespasian did become 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 advisor 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 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada, but the imperial patronage of his work has sometimes caused it to be characterized as pro-Roman propaganda.

His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). 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 1st century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.

Alternate spelling:
Flávio Josefo (Romance languages)

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