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[5] Now I have undertaken the present work, as thinking it will appear to all the Greeks 1 worthy of their study; for it will contain all our antiquities, and the constitution of our government, as interpreted out of the Hebrew Scriptures. And indeed I did formerly intend, when I wrote of the war, 2 to explain who the Jews originally were, - what fortunes they had been subject to, - and by what legislature they had been instructed in piety, and the exercise of other virtues, - what wars also they had made in remote ages, till they were unwillingly engaged in this last with the Romans: but because this work would take up a great compass, I separated it into a set treatise by itself, with a beginning of its own, and its own conclusion; but in process of time, as usually happens to such as undertake great things, I grew weary and went on slowly, it being a large subject, and a difficult thing to translate our history into a foreign, and to us unaccustomed language. However, some persons there were who desired to know our history, and so exhorted me to go on with it; and, above all the rest, Epaphroditus, 3 a man who is a lover of all kind of learning, but is principally delighted with the knowledge of history, and this on account of his having been himself concerned in great affairs, and many turns of fortune, and having shown a wonderful rigor of an excellent nature, and an immovable virtuous resolution in them all. I yielded to this man's persuasions, who always excites such as have abilities in what is useful and acceptable, to join their endeavors with his. I was also ashamed myself to permit any laziness of disposition to have a greater influence upon me, than the delight of taking pains in such studies as were very useful: I thereupon stirred up myself, and went on with my work more cheerfully. Besides the foregoing motives, I had others which I greatly reflected on; and these were, that our forefathers were willing to communicate such things to others; and that some of the Greeks took considerable pains to know the affairs of our nation.

1 That is, all the Gentiles, both Greeks and Romans.

2 We may seasonably note here, that Josephus wrote his Seven Books of the Jewish War long before he wrote these his Antiquities. Those books of the War were published about A.D. 75, and these Antiquities, A. D. 93, about eighteen years later.

3 This Epaphroditus was certainly alive in the third year of Trajan, A.D. 100. See the note on the First Book Against Apion, sect. 1. Who he was we do not know; for as to Epaphroditus, the freedman of Nero, and afterwards Domitian's secretary, who was put to death by Domitian in the 14th or 15th year of his reign, he could not be alive in the third of Trajan.

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