Flavius Josephus (; , ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.

He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 AD to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Yodfat. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Jewish–Roman War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response, Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and presumably interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 AD, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius.

Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. He became an advisor and friend of Vespasian's son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the city's pillaging and the looting and destruction of Herod's Temple (Second Temple) soon followed.

Josephus recorded the First Jewish–Roman War (66–70 AD), including the siege of Masada. His most important works were ''The Jewish War'' ( 75) and ''Antiquities of the Jews'' ( 94). ''The Jewish War'' recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. ''Antiquities of the Jews'' recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Greek and Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity. Josephus's works are the chief source next to the Bible for the history and antiquity of ancient Israel, and provide a significant and independent extra-Biblical account of such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, John the Baptist, James the Just, and possibly Jesus of Nazareth. Provided by Wikipedia
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