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The Wars of the Jews by [Josephus, Flavius]
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The Wars of the Jews Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Length: 340 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Flavius Josphus (c. A.D. 37-100) was born to an aristocratic Jewish family, served as a priest, and later became the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee following the revolt against Rome that began A.D. 66. Captured by the Romans, Josephus spent his later life in Rome under the patronage of the Roman emperors where he composed his history of the Jewish people and his account of the Jewish war that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1353 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Digireads.com (June 24, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 24, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TU1OKI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,411 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Percy on March 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Josephus remains very readable after 2000 years. I downloaded this book for reference when I traveled to Israel recently. Although we had an erudite guide, this book filled in the events surrounding the revolt in Galilee and Caeserea, the infighting among Jewish factions, the destruction of the Temple, and the final stand at Masada., Pull this out when you are on the ramparts of Masada. You will be moved.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For any student of history, Josephus is absolutely essential reading. The content of this volume is essential to understanding Roman history, Jewish history, and the rise of Christianity; it is insightful, written shortly after the events happened, and by someone who was both fully Jew and fully Roman.

Unfortunately, this particular version appears to be a scanned reprint. It has many, many errors in spelling that appear to have been introduced by an unedited (or carelessly edited) scanning process. The confusion introduced by misspelled place and people names wore me down after the first hundred and twenty pages, and made me go looking for a more expensive (but more carefully edited) version of this essential content.

Content = 5-stars; execution = 1-star; for average of 3 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Flavius Josephus' history of the Jews' wars (from after the Babylonian captivity to the Diaspora... which was apparently not what we're told about it today... tends to be a bit repetitive. The Jews kept resisting by various inventive means, and the Romans just kept coming - also with some inventiveness but mainly with equal persistence and unified leadership (if you don't count the minor civil war Vespasian eventually won).

Technically, though, this (free) edition falls down in one respect. It is very well scanned (or well-corrected after scanning) - there are a few characteristic scanner errors, but probably fewer than ten for the whole work. That's good... unfortunately, the notes (which are important) have a serious bug. When you click on a footnote, you often get that footnote number - but in a different section. What's worse, when you click "return" to escape the wrong footnote, it returns you to the proper location in its own chapter, not the location at which you were reading.

On the whole, unless you're on a very tight budget I'd have to recommend one of the for-pay editions of this work. If you're limited to free books, this one is quite legible aside from the frustrating footnote bug.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is essential reading for any educated person. Josephus was a Jewish General who had a first hand view of events in Jerusalem during the Roman empire. There is no other history as good as this about that era. As well, he is one of the few historians who mentions Jesus, if I remember correctly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have re-read Josephus' Jews War twice in the last three years, so important is this work as a window into the Hasmonean and Herodian/Roman periods, and of course the featured topic of the Jewish Revolt of 66-70 (or 73, if you count "clean-up operations"). But I would strongly recommend AGAINST bothering with William Whiston's 18th century (!) translation at this point. Rather than the terribly expensive hardcover here, buy the two volumes of the Loeb Classical Library translation from the 1920's for the same price or less, or the three-volume updated edition of the LCL for a bit more. Or, best for the general reader, buy the Penguin paperback edition of G. A. Williamson's post-WWII translation (which I think has been updated once in the interim). It reads almost like a novel. :)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating history told by a Jewish General that defected to the Romans after being captured. The most famous part of this book is the story of the destruction of Jerusalem. It goes into great detail and is the main source for the story of the Jewish war with the Romans.

The Kindle edition was free, but I ended up purchasing the Audible edition for a minimal price since they offered it for very cheap for owners of the Kindle edition (which I got for free). The syncing process worked perfectly and I went back and forth between the Kindle and the audiobook. This is a great feature.

Recommended for students of ancient history and of warfare.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Never having read Josephus before I did not know what to expect. Let me just say, I had no idea. First, it was a great read. The translation captures his style which is unique and different from contemporary writing. I was aware that the Romans took down the walls of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. but had no idea how much they did not want to do so. And neither was I aware of how much of the suffering the Jews inflicted on each other. It was a brutal period and I am very glad I took the time to read it. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the story of the end of the Hebrew religion as it was known in what we call the Old Testament. The sacrificial system was permanently ended with the destruction (by the Roman army under Titus) of the Jewish temple in AD 70. The event was foretold by Jesus in Matthew 24, and, as He said, not one stone was left standing. (A portion of its western foundation is still there, now called "The Wailing Wall.")

The only problem with the book is the very difficult English translation by a Mr. Whiston in about 1750. It is a very wooden translation of the Greek, which was itself translated from the original Aramaic. But all the slogging through is well worth it. An amazing story!
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