A Roman portrait bust believed to be that of Josephus, from Plagnieux, P. 'Les sculptures Romanes' Dossiers d'Archéologie
Josephus (AD 37–c. 100) was a first-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Josephus’s two most important works are The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Rome (66–70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective. Josephus fought the Romans in the First Jewish-Roman War of 66–73 as a Jewish military leader in Galilee. He eventually surrendered to the Romans. In 71 AD, he arrived in Rome, becoming a Roman citizen.
His works are significant because of what they reveal about ancient scholarship. For example, he shows that not only primitive tribes had flood legends but also scholars from the most advanced societies. This is significant because advanced societies had written records that would preserve the truth reliably over long periods of time. For primitive tribes, one can imagine their history gradually modifying over many generations, but not so with advanced societies possessing writing.