Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period comprises a series of essays on the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and on the history of the Second Temple period by many of the best-known specialists in the field. The contributions are revised versions of papers delivered at an international colloquium in memory of Professor Morton Smith that was held at San Miniato, Italy, in November, 1992. The essays cover a broad range of historical and historiographical issues concerning the Seleucid, Hasmonean, Herodian, and Roman periods, for which the importance of Josephus — often our only extant source — can hardly be overestimated. Josephus' trustworthiness as a historian is newly investigated from various angles. Fresh light is thrown on philological, literary, geographical, archaeological, sociological, and religious questions. The book includes a critical evaluation of Morton Smith's scholarly achievement.
The essays in this volume focus on the relationship between Josephus’ Judean and Jewish identity on the one hand, and his life and writings in the context of Flavian Rome on the other. From very different points of view the various contributions to this volume, which is the fruit of an international colloquium entitled ‘Josephus between Jerusalem and Rome’ held in the city of Rome in 2003, shed light on the complex cultural interplay in Josephus’ writings. After examining more general historiographical and literary questions, the volume proceeds to address specific issues of Josephus’ presentation of Judaism and of historical “data”,
inter alia about the war of 66-70 CE. A final section deals with the translation and transmission of his works.