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The Jewish War Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Jewish War.
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The Jewish War Summary & Study Guide Description

The Jewish War Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Jewish War by Josephus.

This translated history, first published in 1959, covers significant events of the interaction between the Roman and Jewish people from 167 B.C. or B.C.E. through 73 A.D. or C.E. "The Jewish War" was written by the contemporary Flavius Josephus, who lived from 37 A.D. to the late 90's A.D. with last recorded work finished after 93 A.D. Josephus was trained as a Jewish rabbi and lived in Jerusalem.

He was taken prisoner in Jotapata where he was considered a traitor by his people due to an apparent alliance with the Roman general Vespasian who protected him from the current emperor Nero. Josephus' purported treason was a result paradoxically of his deeper loyalty and quick wit to self-preservation. Josephus wanted the Jewish people to survive and he knew they were no match for the Romans. The Roman soldiers would have sent him to Nero but for his "prophecy" that foresaw Vespasian one day becoming Emperor. The general apparently decided then that a Jew with vision like that was worthwhile keeping around.

Josephus claimed the war of the Jews against the Romans was the greatest of his time and greater than any other recorded struggles between cities or nations. He wrote originally in his native Aramaic as a Hebrew priest living in Jerusalem. He translated into Greek for convenience of the Emperor's other subjects. The war developed while Rome was unsettled and was being challenged by the Gauls and Celts. Jewish revolutionaries took advantage of the disturbing times. Josephus claimed in his writing to state facts "accurately and impartially." Jerusalem attained highest prosperity of all the other cities under Roman rule but paradoxically also fell into the greatest misery.

The Jewish War by Josephus was presented by the author as a rigorous objective rendering of the historical events that occurred during the approximate one hundred year period from 167 B.C. through 73 A.D. Josephus stated in his own words "as to its truth, I should not hesitate to declare without fear of contradiction that from the first word to the last I have aimed at nothing else." The work is objectively written and full of references, tables, charts, end-notes, time line, chronology, and supporting appendices. Historical characters and events are described in significant detail. Josephus' was a participant in some of the activity transcribed and provided the historical record for all of it. Maps and Plans provide a graphic perspective of geographic locations and the relative layout of nations, cities, and places. For example, the map of Jerusalem with Temple layout makes Josephus' comments about the siege of Jerusalem more realistic. This is a complex and challenging work that can be better understood when used with reference to the "road map" of names, places, times, and events provided to keep reader perspective.

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This section contains 465 words
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