Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume work by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. It contains an account of history of the Jewish people. In the first ten volumes, Josephus follows the events of the historical books of the Hebrew Bible beginning with the creation of Adam and Eve. The second ten volumes continue the history of the Jewish people beyond the biblical text and up to the Jewish War. Antiquities of the Jews, along with Josephus's other major work, Wars of the Jews, provides valuable background to historians wishing to understand 1st-century AD Judaism and the early Christian period. Josephus was born Jerusalem of a priestly and royal family. He excelled in his studies of Jewish law and studied with the Sadducees, Pharisees, and the Essenes, eventually aligning himself with the Pharisees. He went to Rome to free some imprisoned priests. After accomplishing this mission through the intercession of Nero's wife, Poppaea, he returned to Jerusalem to find the country in revolt against Rome. Josephus wrote a history of the Jewish War (Wars of the Jews). His second major work was Antiquities of the Jews, his third Against Apion and The Life of Josephus, his autobiography. He was an eyewitness to history, and his writings are considered authoritative.
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