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1 Introduction: Josephus in Rome

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Chapter Summary

The arrival of Yosef ben Mattityahu in Rome with the triumphant Titus in ad 71 marked a transition in the life of the young Judaean priest, a transition demonstrated by the assumption of a Roman name, T(itus) Flavius Josephus, which accompanied his receipt of Roman citizenship. It was as a Diaspora Judaean and inhabitant of Rome that he produced the extensive body of literature for which his different environments made an indelible mark. The first, the so-called Judaean War, recounted the events of the previous years and was likely completed sometime during the reign of Titus. The second and largest, the Judaean Antiquities, was a complete account of the history of his people from creation until the outbreak of the revolt, thus substantially a reworking of the Biblical narrative. To these books was appended his Life, a rather selective autobiography that served to illustrate his character and demonstrate his credentials.

Keywords: Flavius Josephus; Judaean War; Roman citizenship; Yosef ben Mattityahu



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