Josephus’ Jewish War and the Causes of the Jewish Revolt: Re-examining Inevitability

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The Jewish revolt against the Romans in 66 CE can be seen as the culmination of years of oppression at the hands of their Roman overlords. The first-century historian Josephus narrates the developments of the war and the events prior. A member of the priestly class and a general in the war, Josephus provides us a detailed account that has long troubled historians. This book was an attempt by Josephus to explain the nature of the war to his primary audience of predominantly angry and grieving Jews. The causes of the war are explained in different terms, ranging from Roman ... continued below

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Lopez, Javier December 2013.

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  • Lopez, Javier

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The Jewish revolt against the Romans in 66 CE can be seen as the culmination of years of oppression at the hands of their Roman overlords. The first-century historian Josephus narrates the developments of the war and the events prior. A member of the priestly class and a general in the war, Josephus provides us a detailed account that has long troubled historians. This book was an attempt by Josephus to explain the nature of the war to his primary audience of predominantly angry and grieving Jews. The causes of the war are explained in different terms, ranging from Roman provincial administration, Jewish apocalypticism, and Jewish internal struggles. The Jews eventually reached a tipping point and engaged the Romans in open revolt. Josephus was adamant that the origin of the revolt remained with a few, youthful individuals who were able to persuade the country to rebel. This thesis emphasizes the causes of the war as Josephus saw them and how they are reflected both within The Jewish War and the later work Jewish Antiquities. By observing the Roman provincial administration spanning 6-66 CE, I argue that Judaea had low moments sprinkled throughout the time but in 66 there was something particularly different, according to Josephus. Josephus presents the governors and other important characters in the war in a very distinct way through rhetoric, narrative, and other methodology. The idea of a beginning to this revolt, no matter how obscure or hidden by Josephus, is the reason I want to examine the works of Josephus the historian.

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  • December 2013

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  • Nov. 8, 2014, 11:56 a.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 4:02 p.m.

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Lopez, Javier. Josephus’ Jewish War and the Causes of the Jewish Revolt: Re-examining Inevitability, thesis, December 2013; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407792/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .