The Works of Flavius Josephus'

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by Flavius Josephus

Flavius Josephus lived from 37 to c. 100 C.E. and wrote his histories and autobiography in Greek, quite possibly to reach the upper social classes and lessen their prejudices against the Jewish people. He began writing around 66 C.E., with his book on the Jewish War, and finished around 90 C.E., with his autobiography.[1] Perhaps the most famous of Josephus’ works is the Jewish Antiquities, which contains his account of Jewish history, beginning with the creation story and ultimately discussing Jesus and the Christians who were his contemporaries.[2]

The Works of Flavius Josephus is a collection of manuscripts that detail ancient Jewish history and culture.[3] The rise in Protestant Christianity during the eighteenth century would have made such a collection very significant.[4] Christians valued the works of Josephus because of the historical information they contained about Christ and the apostles.[5] Many felt that they provided proof of Christian doctrines.[6]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Flavius Josephus; translated into English by Sir Roger L'Estrange.

Title: The Works of Flavius Josephus .

Publication Info: London: Printed for Richard Sare ..., 1702.

Edition: First edition of this translation; [6], 18, 1130 [i.e. 942] pages, [4] leaves of plates (some folded).

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Josephus. by Lestrange. fol. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph. Later appears on Randolph's 1832 estate inventory as L'Estranges Josephus' ($2.00 value). We do not have enough information to conclusively identify which edition Wythe owned. Multiple folio editions of this translation were published beginning in 1702.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Contemporary panelled calf rebacked with original spine laid down. Illustrated with 2 fine copper engraved folding maps, and an engraved frontispiece with 4 views and 4 portraits. Purchased from Barnaby Rudge Booksellers.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.


  1. K. Hoeber, “Flavius Josephus,“ in The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910), accessed October 3, 2013,
  2. Ibid.
  3. James Carleton Paget, "Some Observations on Josephus and Christianity," Journal of Theological Studies 52, no. 2 (October 2001): 539.
  4. Erin E Kelly. "Jewish History, Catholic Argument: Thomas Lodge's Workes of Josephus as a Catholic Text," Sixteenth Century Journal 34, no. 4 (Winter 2003): 993.
  5. Lillian Armstrong, "A Renaissance Flavius Josephus," The Yale University Library Gazette 58, No. 3/4 (April 1984), 122 (
  6. Eva Matthews Sanford, "Propagand and Censorship in the Transmission of Josephus," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 66, (1935), 127-145 (