(i. 1) Τῶν δὲ περὶ Ἀλεξάνδραν τὴν βασίλισσαν καὶ τὸν θάνατον αὐτῆς ἐν τῇ πρὸ ταύτης ἡμῖν βίβλῳ δεδηλωμένων, τὰ τούτοις ἀκόλουθα καὶ προσεχῆ νῦν ἐροῦμεν, οὐκ ἄλλου τινὸς ἢ τοῦ μηδὲν παραλιπεῖν τῶν πραγμάτων ἢ δι᾿ ἄγνοιαν ἢ διὰ 2κάματον τῆς μνήμης προμηθούμενοι.1 τὴν γὰρ ἱστορίαν καὶ τὴν μήνυσιν τῶν ἀγνοουμένων τοῖς πολλοῖς πραγμάτων διὰ τὴν ἀρχαιότητα δεῖ μὲν2 καὶ τὸ τῆς ἀπαγγελίας3 κάλλος, ὅσον δὴ τοῦτ᾿ ἔστιν ἔκ τε τῶν ὀνομάτων καὶ τῆς τούτων ἁρμονίας καὶ ὅσα πρὸς τούτοις συμβάλλεται κόσμον 3τῷ λόγῳ, τοῖς ἀναγνωσομένοις ἔχειν, ὡς ἂν μετὰ χάριτός τινος καὶ ἡδονῆς τὴν ἐμπειρίαν παραλαμβάνοιεν, πάντων δὲ μᾶλλον τῆς ἀκριβείας τοὺς συγγραφεῖς στοχάζεσθαι,4 μηδὲν5 τοῦ τἀληθῆ λέγειν τοῖς περὶ ὧν οὐκ ἴσασιν αὐτοὶ πιστεύειν αὐτοῖς μέλλουσιν προτιμῶντας.6
(i. 1) Having related the history of Queen AlexandraIntroduction to Book XIV. and her death in the preceding book, we shall now speak of the events that followed immediately thereafter, keeping in mind one thing above all else, which is not to omit anything whether through ignorance or fault of memory. For while the relation and recording of events that are unknown to most people because of their antiquity require charm of exposition, such as is imparted by the choice of words and their proper arrangement and by whatever else contributes elegance to the narrative, in order that readers may receive such information with a certain degree of gratification and pleasure, nevertheless what historians should make their chief aim is to be accurate and hold everything else of less importance than speakinga the truth to those who must rely upon them in matters of which they themselves have no knowledge.b
- aVariant “to be accurate and speak.”
- bFor similar observations on the duty of the historian see B.J. i. 16, Ant. i. 4 et al. Reinach stresses the fact that with Book XIV Josephus begins to use Nicolas of Damascus as his chief source (continuing to Ant. xvii. 206), but it should be noted that Josephus has freely drawn on Nicolas in the preceding book as well, as some of the notes indicate; see also the Appendix on sources in the last volume of this translation. The reader may also be referred to the detailed but often speculative study of the parallelism between Ant. xiv. and B.J. i. by R. Laqueur in Der jüdische Historiker Flavins Josephus, 1920, pp. 128–221.