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Josephus and His Works

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Chapter Summary

Flavius Josephus's literary remains consist of three major works, the Jewish War in seven books; the Jewish Antiquities in twenty books; and the apologetic tract, Against Apion, in two books. He also composed an autobiographical work, the Life, as an appendix to the Antiquities. The self-portrait of the Life has very different tones. In Book 11, Josephus still relies on biblical sources, quite clearly in their Greek form. At the end of this book Josephus records the conquest of Palestine by Alexander the Great and the relationship between Jews and Samaritans and of each group with Alexander. This largely legendary material is based on unknown sources. The account of Herod in the Antiquities is a prime example of the combination of literary and theological interests of the historian. Josephus was read widely in Christian circles and his works were translated into Latin by the sixth century.

Keywords: Against Apion; Alexander the Great; Flavius Josephus; Herod; Jewish Antiquities; Jewish War



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