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Headword: Ἰώσηπος
Adler number: iota,504
Translated headword: Josephus
Vetting Status: high
Jew; historian. Vespasian orders Josephus to be guarded, intending to send him shortly to Nero. Josephus, when he heard this, said that he wished to say something to him alone. Vespasian sent away everyone save his son Titus and two friends. "Vespasian" Josephus said, "you think you have taken Josephus as a prisoner-of-war; but I come to you as a messenger of great matters. For if I were not sent by God, would I have known the fate of the Jews? Do you send me to Nero? Why then? Will those succeeding after Nero and before you remain? You will be Caesar, and your son as well. So, chain me up tightly, and keep watch over me yourself. You are lord of the earth, the sea, and every race of mankind. I am in need of a greater prison if I speak in a trifling manner on behalf of God."[1] Vespasian at first thought that Josephus was untrustworthy and a rogue. When he found Josephus true, however, he began to present him with clothing and other valuables.[2]
Greek Original:
Ἰώσηπος, Ἰουδαῖος, ἱστοριογράφος. τοῦτον φρουρεῖσθαι κελεύει Οὐεσπασιανός, ἀναπέμψων αὐτίκα Νέρωνι. τοῦτο ἀκούσας Ἰώσηπος μόνῳ τι διαλεχθῆναι θέλειν ἔλεγεν αὐτῷ. μεταστησαμένου δὲ ἐκείνου πάντας πλὴν τοῦ παιδὸς Τίτου καὶ δυεῖν φίλων: σὺ μέν, ἔφη, Οὐεσπασιανέ, νομίζεις αἰχμάλωτον εἰληφέναι Ἰώσηπον: ἐγὼ δὲ ἄγγελος ἥκω σοι μεγάλων. μὴ γὰρ οὐχ ὑπὸ θεοῦ προπεμπόμενος ᾔδειν τὸν Ἰουδαίων μόρον; Νέρωνί με πέμπεις; τί γάρ; οἱ μετὰ Νέρωνα μέχρι σου διάδοχοι μενοῦσι; σὺ δὲ Καῖσαρ καὶ σὸς παῖς οὗτος. δέσμει δέ με ἀσφαλεστάτως καὶ τήρει σεαυτῷ. δεσπότης σὺ καὶ γῆς καὶ θαλάττης καὶ παντὸς ἀνθρώπων γένους. ἐγὼ δὲ φρουρᾶς μείζονος δέομαι, εἰ κατασχεδιάσω καὶ θεοῦ. ὁ δὲ Οὐεσπασιανὸς παραχρῆμα μὲν ἀπιστεῖν ἐδόκει καὶ τὸν Ἰώσηπον ἐδόκει πανουργεῖν: ἀτρεκῆ δὲ τὸν Ἰώσηπον εὑρηκὼς ἐδωρεῖτο ἐσθῆτι καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις κειμηλίοις.
For Josephus see already iota 503. The present entry derives from his Jewish War 3.8.9 = 3.398-403, 405, 408 (web address 1). The passage is a generally faithful reproduction of the original Greek; the Suda however reads moron "fate, death" instead of nomon "law" (of the Jews) and omits the following clause "and how it becomes generals to die."
[1] Repeated at kappa 807.
[2] Repeated at epsilon 260.
Josephus, The Jewish War, vol. I, ed. and English trans. by H. St. J. Thackeray, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge MA, 1967), pp. 688-691
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; clothing; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; religion
Translated by: John Arnold on 22 June 2000@17:13:10.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation, changed link) on 3 September 2002@13:38:48.
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented note) on 4 September 2002@03:21:06.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references) on 12 May 2008@14:52:20.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 14 January 2013@04:02:07.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 5 February 2013@10:14:59.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr) on 6 December 2015@07:57:34.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 29 October 2018@11:16:18.


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