Hebrew-Latin edition of The Jewish War (Basle, 1559)
|Original title||Flavius Josephus's Books of the History of the Jewish War against the Romans|
|Language||Aramaic (lost), Greek|
|c. 75 AD|
|Followed by||Antiquities of the Jews|
The Jewish War or Judean War (in full Flavius Josephus's Books of the History of the Jewish War against the Romans, Greek: ? ? ? ? ? , Phlauiou I?s?pou historia Ioudaikou polemou pros R?maious biblia), also referred to in English as The Wars of the Jews, is a book written by Josephus, a Roman-Jewish historian of the 1st century. It has been described by Steve Mason as "perhaps the most influential non-biblical text of Western history".
Divided into seven books, it opens with a summary of Jewish history from the capture of Jerusalem by the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168 BC to the first stages of the First Jewish-Roman War (Book I and II). The next five books detail the unfolding of the war, under Roman generals Vespasian and Titus, to the death of the last Sicarii. The book was written about 75 AD, originally in Josephus's "paternal tongue" - either Aramaic or Hebrew - though this version has not survived. It was later translated into Greek, probably under the supervision of Josephus himself. Buth and Pierce wrote "the current Greek edition does not appear to be a translation, but must be considered a new edition, a complete re-working of the first writing and likely a considerable expansion."
The sources of the First Jewish-Roman War are: this account of Josephus, the Talmud (Gittin 57b), Midrash Eichah, and the Hebrew inscriptions on the Jewish coins minted, and Book V of Tacitus' Histories.