By January 15, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Josephus, War III, 1-7: The Appointment of Vespasian as General

Nero Gold CoinThe emperor Nero feared that the Jewish revolt and the initial successes of the Jews would serve as a stimulus to the Eastern provinces to rise against their Roman conquerors. Accordingly, for strategic reasons he determined to send his best general, Vespasian, to put down the revolt in Judea. Josephus, attributing to God historical causation, suggests that Vespasian was chosen in order that he could be prepared to become emperor.

(1) When Nero was informed of the Romans’ reverses in Judea,…

(3) as he was deciding to whom he should commit the care of the east which was in so great a commotion, and who might be best able to punish the Jews for their rebellion and might prevent the same revolt from spreading to the neighboring nations also,

(4) he found no one but Vespasian equal to the task…

(6) So Nero saw that Vespasian’s age gave him sure experience and great skill, and that he had his sons as hostages for his fidelity to himself, and that the flourishing age they were in would make them fit instruments under their father’s guidance. Perhaps also there was some interposition of Providence which was paving the way for Vespasian himself becoming emperor afterwards.

(7) He sent this man to take upon him the command of the armies in Syria….

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