Biography of Flavio Josefo (s. I d. C)

Historian Jewish, Member of a family of priestly lineage, who was born ca. 37-8 d.C. defender of Jewish religion and culture, was supporter of Rome and contrary to nationalist extremism of his people. Around the year 64 he/she made a journey to Rome, where he/she acquired awareness of the futility of the Jewish revolts against the Empire. It was implemented by the Sanhedrin under the command of Galilee at the beginning of the revolt, which failed in its attempt to rein in the extremists. In the year 67, was captured by the Romans in Jehoshaphat and released to the arrival of Vespasian to power (something he/she had prophesied before), by what Josephus adopted in honour to the Emperor the nickname of Flavio. Despite having achieved freedom, Josephus stayed alongside Tito up to the fall of Jerusalem; then, he/she went to Rome, where he/she received citizenship and received a pension from the State.

His first historical work was about the war that he/she had lived. The work was written, in the beginning, in Aramaic and was then translated into the Greek language, which from that moment served as a literary vehicle. Bellum Iudaicum, with 7 books, starts with an extensive introduction on the history of the Jewish people since the revolt of the Maccabees to the year 66. From that point, narrates the history of the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire, which is based on his own experience military, in his notes and, surely, in the comments of Vespasian and Titus. After this work, Josephus published in the year 93-94 his Antiquitates Iudaicae, a history of the Jewish people in 20 books, stretching from the creation to the time immediately preceding the war. on this occasion, Josephus returned to narrate episodes collected in the Bellum Iudaicum, although it offered more details. His later historical works were his Vita, which was trying to fend off accusations of Justus of Tiberias on its behavior in Galilee, and his against Apionem, an apology of Judaism in two books, which attacked the anti-Semitic views of Apion.


Complete editions NIESE, b.-works. Berlin, 1887-1889, 7 vols. (reprint in 1955).

THACKERAY, H. ST. J & MARCUS, r. & WIKGREN, a. and FELDMAN, L. h.-Loeb, London, 1926-1965 (bilingual edition).

Studies LAQUEUR, r.-Der jüdische Historiker Flavius Josephus, 1920.WHISTON, W-The Lifeand Works of Flav. Josephus, Philadelphia, 1957.

Translations GARCÍA IGLESIAS, l. and SEPULVEDAD, m.-autobiography RODRIGUEZ. Against Apion, Madrid, 1994SPOTTORNO DIAS-CORO, V. Mª and BUSTS SAIZ, J. r.-autobiography. About the antiquity of the Jews. Against Apion, Madrid, 1987.

Teresa Jiménez-Calvente.