'Against Caesar's wishes': Flavius Josephus as a Source for the Burning of the Temple
|Affiliation:||York University, Toronto, Ontario|
|Year: 2007||Volume: 58||Issue: 1||039-051 pp.
|Keywords:||Second Temple period, First Jewish War, 70 CE, Jerusalem, Second Temple, historiography, Josephus, Flavius, Jewish War|
|Abstract:||Since Bernays in 1861, scholars have disputed Josephus' account in Bell. Iud. 6.252 that a Roman soldier during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE acted on ‘some supernatural impulse’ when he threw a piece of burning wood into the Temple, thus starting the fire that destroyed it. The vast majority of scholars have followed Bernays in giving more credence to the account of the Christian chronographer Sulpicius Severus, who in his Chronica reports that Titus ordered that the Temple be burned. Many a priori assumptions have come into play when examining Josephus' narrative, which instead appears unequivocally clear, consistent and substantially trustworthy. |
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