ColosseumJosephus served as a rebel commander in the Galilee. After the fall of Jotapata, Josephus found shelter with some comrades in a cave and wished to surrender to the Romans, but his companions insisted that lots be drawn, and the besieged killed one another until he and one other were the last alive. They decided to surrender to the Romans. Whether this account is accurate or not, Josephus then took up the cause of the Romans, arguing that submission to Roman rule was the wisest course for Judea.

(414) When the siege of Jotapata was over and I was among the Romans, I was kept with much care because of the great respect that Vespasian showed me. Moreover, at his command I married a virgin, one of the women taken captive at Caesarea. 123

(415) But she did not live with me long, but was divorced upon my being freed from my bonds and my going to Alexandria. However, I married another wife at Alexandria,

(416) and was thence sent, together with Titus 124 to the siege of Jerusalem and was frequently in danger of being killed. The Jews were very desirous to get me under their power, in order to have me punished. 125 The Romans also, whenever they were beaten, supposed that it was occasioned by my treachery, and made continual complaints to the emperors to bring me to punishment as a traitor to them.

(417) But Titus Caesar was well acquainted with the uncertain fortune of war and did not respond to the soldiers’ vehement solicitations against me. Moreover, when the city of Jerusalem was taken by force, Titus Caesar persuaded me frequently to take whatever I would of the ruins of my country, and say that he gave me permission to do so.

(418) But when my country was destroyed, I thought nothing else to be of any value which I could take and keep as a comfort for my calamities. So I made this request of Titus, that my family might have their liberty. I also received a gift of holy books by Titus’s concession.

(419) Nor was it long after that I asked him for the life of my brother and fifty mends of his and was not denied. When I also went once to the temple, by the permission of Titus, where there were a great multitude of captive women and children, I got all those whom I remembered among my own friends and acquaintances to be set free, being in number about one hundred and ninety. So I delivered them, without their paying any price of redemption, and restored them to their former fortune….

(422) But when Titus had quelled the troubles in Judea and conjectured that the lands which I had in Judea would bring me no profit because a garrison to guard the country was going to be quartered there, he gave me another parcel of land in the plain. And when he was going away to Rome, he asked me to sail along with him and paid me great respect.

(423) When we came to Rome, I had great care taken of me by Vespasian, for he gave me an apartment in his own house in which he had lived before he became emperor. He also honored me with the privilege of Roman citizenship, gave me an annual pension, and continued to respect me until the end of his life, without any abatement of his kindness to me….

(425) When those who envied my good fortune frequently brought accusations against me, by God’s providence I escaped them all. I also received from Vespasian no small quantity of land in Judea as a free gift. (426) About that time I divorced my wife as I was not pleased with her behavior, though not until she had given birth to three children, two of whom are dead and one, whom I named Hyrcanus, is alive.

(427) After this I married a wife who had lived at Crete, but a Jewess by birth. She was a woman of eminent parents, and such as were the most illustrious in all the country, and whose character was beyond that of most other women as her future life did demonstrate. By her I had two sons. The name of the elder was Justus, and the next Simonides who was also named Agrippa;

(428) these were the circumstances of my domestic affairs. However, the kindness of the emperor to me continued still the same. When Vespasian died, 126 Titus, who succeeded him in the government, 127 kept up the same respect for me which I had from his father; and when I had frequent accusations laid against me, he would not believe hem.

(429) Domitian, 128 who succeeded him, still showed great respect or me for he punished those Jews who were my accusers and commanded that a servant of mine, who was a eunuch and my son’s tutor, should be punished. He also made that parcel I had in Judea tax free which is a mark of the greatest honor to him who has it. Indeed, Domitia, the wife of Caesar, continued to do me kindnesses.

(430) And this is the account of the actions of my whole life. Let others judge my character by them as they please.

123. A Jewish woman.

124. Vespasian’s son who succeeded him as the Roman commander in Judea after Vespasian was made emperor in 69 C.E. In 70 he captured Jerusalem.

125. The Jews regarded him as a traitor for having surrendered to the Romans.

126. In 79 C.E.

127. Titus was emperor from 79 to 81 C.E.

128. Domitian, brother of Titus, was born in 51 C.E., succeeded as emperor upon his brother’s death in 81 C.E., and was murdered in 96 C.E., perhaps in a plot aided by his wife, Domitia.