From Masada to Jotapata: On Josephus in Twentieth-Century Hebrew Scholarship

Daniel R. Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This chapter traces the changing attitudes towards Flavius Josephus in Hebrew scholarship from the 1920s to the end of the century. It shows that the process of transformation of Josephus from low-life traitor in the 1930s to the skilled historian and writer (of works such as Jewish Antiquities, Against Apion, and Life of Josephus) of the 1990s was influenced by trends in scholarship: translations, archaeological discoveries at Qumran and Masada, and the appreciation of the literary nature of historiography. The chapter also links this reassessment to the changing world in which scholars found themselves, from pre-State Mandatory Palestine, the experience of the Holocaust, to Israel's inconclusive wars of the 1970s and 1980s. All this eventually allowed Jotapata to rise as Masada declined, and Simchoni's position, which acquitted Josephus from the charge of Betrayal, came to be accepted.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationA Companion to Josephus
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781118325162
ISBN (Print)9781444335330
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Against Apion
  • Flavius Josephus
  • Holocaust
  • Jewish Antiquities
  • Jewish War
  • Jotapata
  • Life of Josephus
  • Masada
  • Qumran discoveries
  • Twentieth-Century Hebrew Scholarship


Dive into the research topics of 'From Masada to Jotapata: On Josephus in Twentieth-Century Hebrew Scholarship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this