In AD 66, nationalist and religious revolutionaries in Judaea led a ferocious revolt of the Jewish people against the authority of mighty Rome, culminating in the greatest upheaval and savagery the world had known up to that time. By the end of the conflict seven years later, over one million Jews had perished and tens of thousands were sold into slavery. Until the Holocaust, it remained the greatest tragedy ever endured by a people. How had this once prosperous region been laid low, and by what process did its fratricidal feuds take it down a slippery slope to utter annihilation? Fortunately for us, there was an eyewitness.
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The Jewish rebellion against Rome was a significant turning point in Jewish history. Although Josephus is known for his divided loyalties in the rebellion, his account is the most detailed record available of the Jewish life and revolt under Roman rule. Born in Jerusalem to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry, Josephus was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, hagiographer, and historian.
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