The ambitious later work of the Jewish historian and Roman citizen Flavius Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews" is a work of twenty volumes that gives a massive account of Jewish culture, law, custom, and history over time. Beginning with the biblical creation of Adam and Eve, Josephus then writes of Abraham teaching Egyptians science, going through most of the great biblical figures and presenting them as philosophizing leaders of their times. Though some are omitted while others are added, Josephus ends only with the Jewish people living under the Roman emperor Flavius Domitian of his own day, around the year 96 AD. The author additionally enters into philosophical debates of his day, ultimately offering an apologia for the Jewish people's antiquity and significance. This text is also of significance for its reference to Jesus, the earliest known Jewish source citing his existence. Overall, "Antiquities of the Jews" provides historians with valuable and reliable material concerning Jewish history, the early Christian period, and Judaism's place in that Roman world.
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January 01, 2013
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