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458 GREEK LITERATURE,
after our Lord's ascension. On his mother's side he was descended from the Asmonean princes, while from his father he inherited the priestly office. He enjoyed an excellent education, and at the age of twenty-six went to Rome to plead the cause of some Jewish priests, whom Felix, the procurator of Judaea, had sent thither as prisoners. After a narrow escape from death by shipwreck, he safely landed at Puteoli ; and, being introduced to Poppeea, he not only effected the release of his friends, but received great presents from the empress.' On his return to Jerusalem he found his countrymen eagerly bent on a revolt from Rome, from which he used his best endeavors to dissuade them, but, failing in this, he professed to enter into the popular designs. He was chosen one of the generals of the Jews, and was sent to manage affairs in Galilee.3 When Vespasian and his army entered Galilee, Josephus threw himself into Jotapata, which he defended for forty-seven days. When the place was taken, the life of Josephus was spared by Vespasian, through the intercession of Titus. Josephus thereupon assumed the character of a prophet, and predicted that the empire should one day be his and his son's.3 Vespasian treated him with respect, but did not release him from captivity till he was proclaimed emperor,* nearly three years1 afterward (A.D. 70). Josephus was present with Titus at the siege of Jerusalem, and afterward accompanied him to Rome. He received the freedom of the city from Vespasian, who assigned him as a residence a house formerly occupied by himself, and treated him honorably to the end of his reign. The same favor was extended to him by Titus and Domitian. He assumed the name of Flavius as a dependent of the Flavian family. His time at Rome appears to have been employed mainly in the composition of his works.
The rlite of his death can not be fixed with accuracy, but we know5 that he survived Agrippa II., who died in A.D. 97, so that his own decease may probably have taken place about A.D. 100. His first wife, whom he took at Vespasian's desire, was a captive ; his marriage with her, therefore, since he was a priest, was contrary to the Jewish law, according to his own statement ;6 and his language7 may imply that, when he was released from his bonds, and had accompanied Vespasian to Alexandrea, he divorced her. At Alexandrea he took a second wife, whom he also divorced, from dislike to her character, after she had borne him three sons, one of whom, Hyrcanus, was still alive when he wrote his life. His third wife was a Jewess of Cyprus, of noble family, by whom he had two sons, Justus and Simonides, surnamed Agrippa.8
With respect to the character of Josephus, we have already noticed his tendency to self-laudation, so that he himself is by no means free from the vanity which he charges upon Apion. Again, to say nothing of the court he paid to the notorious Agrippa II., his profane flattery of the Flavian family, " so gross (to use the words of Fuller) that it seems not limned with a pencil, but daubed with a trowel,"9 is another obvious and
3. 2 ma., 4, seqq. ; Bell. Jud., ii., 20, seq. 3 Vit., 74, seqq. ; Bell. Jud., iii., 7, seq. ; vi,, 5, &c. * Bell. Jud., iv., 10.
* Vit., 65. 6 Ant^ 11^ 12, $ 2. ? vit» 75. s /&&., 76.
•' Compare Wordsworth's tiiscourses on Public Education, Pi»$. xx.