Josephus, The Jewish War

LCL 203: 2-3

Go To Section
Go To Section




(1) Ἐπειδὴ τὸν Ἰουδαίων πρὸς Ῥωμαίους πόλεμον συστάντα μέγιστον οὐ μόνον τῶν καθ᾿ ἡμᾶς, σχεδὸν δὲ καὶ ὧν ἀκοῇ παρειλήφαμεν ἢ πόλεων πρὸς πόλεις ἢ ἐθνῶν ἔθνεσι συρραγέντων, οἱ μὲν οὐ παρατυχόντες τοῖς πράγμασιν, ἀλλ᾿ ἀκοῇ συλλέγοντες εἰκαῖα καὶ ἀσύμφωνα διηγήματα σοφιστικῶς 2ἀναγράφουσιν, οἱ παραγενόμενοι δὲ ἢ κολακείᾳ τῇ πρὸς Ῥωμαίους ἢ μίσει τῷ πρὸς Ἰουδαίους καταψεύδονται τῶν πραγμάτων, περιέχει δὲ αὐτοῖς ὅπου μὲν κατηγορίαν ὅπου δὲ ἐγκώμιον τὰ συγγράμματα, τὸ δ᾿ ἀκριβὲς τῆς ἱστορίας 3οὐδαμοῦ, προυθέμην ἐγὼ τοῖς κατὰ τὴν Ῥωμαίων ἡγεμονίαν, Ἑλλάδι γλώσσῃ μεταβαλὼν ἃ τοῖς ἄνω βαρβάροις τῇ πατρίῳ συντάξας ἀνέπεμψα πρότερον, ἀφηγήσασθαι, Ἰώσηπος Ματθίου παῖς, [γένει Ἑβραῖος,]1 ἐξ Ἱεροσολύμων ἱερεύς, αὐτός

  • 1om. P Eus.

Jewish War, I

History of the Jewish War Against the Romans

Book I

(1) The war of the Jews against the Romans—the preface to whole work. greatest not only of the wars of our own time, but, so far as accounts have reached us, well nigh of all that ever broke out between cities or nations—has not lacked its historians. Of these, however, some, Inadequacy of previous histories. having taken no part in the action, have collected from hearsay casual and contradictory stories which they have then edited in a rhetorical style; while others, who witnessed the events, have, either from flattery of the Romans or from hatred of the Jews, misrepresented the facts, their writings exhibiting alternatively invective and encomium, but nowhere historical accuracy. In these circumstances, I—Josephus, son of Matthias, a Hebrew by race, a Josephus’s credentials. native of Jerusalem and a priest, who at the opening of the war myself fought against the Romans and in the sequel was perforce an onlooker—propose to provide the subjects of the Roman Empire with a narrative of the facts, by translating into Greek the account which I previously composed in my vernacular

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.josephus-jewish_war.1927