Many Sources but a Single Author: Josephus's Jewish Antiquities

Daniel R. Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

10 Scopus citations


Flavius Josephus's longest work, Jewish Antiquities, is a twenty-book survey of 5,000 years of Jewish history from Creation to 66 C.E., the outbreak of the Judean revolt. This chapter examines the main sources Josephus employed for various sections of his history, and his technique for ordering the material. This technique was a filing system that arranged material into chronological sections devoted to major historical periods with dividers labeled according to each of the early Jewish leaders/rulers, then high priests, and finally Roman governors of Judea. In the biblical period, Josephus followed dynasties of kings, retelling their stories but also inserting the stories of prophets, or others, into the "chapter" devoted to the king in whose realm they functioned. Frequently, Josephus explicitly makes his own presence known to his readers, and these passages contribute substantially to the reader's impression that Jewish Antiquities is, indeed, a composition written by an author.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Josephus
Place of Publication Chichester, West Sussex, UK
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781118325162
ISBN (Print)9781444335330
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2015

Publication series

Name Blackwell companions to the ancient world

Bibliographical note

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


  • Chronologically organized survey
  • Explicit authorial passages
  • Flavius Josephus
  • Jewish Antiquities

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Josephus, Flavius -- Antiquitates Judaicae


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