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1 WHEREAS the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affairs themselves have gotten together vain and contradictory stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts; I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians; 2 Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work].

1 I have already observed more than once, that this History of the Jewish War was Josephus's first work, and published about A.D. 75, when he was but thirty-eight years of age; and that when he wrote it, he was not thoroughly acquainted with several circumstances of history from the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, with which it begins, till near his own times, contained in the first and former part of the second book, and so committed many involuntary errors therein. That he published his Antiquities eighteen years afterward, in the thirteenth year of Domitian, A.D. 93, when he was much more completely acquainted with those ancient times, and after he had perused those most authentic histories, the First Book of Maccabees, and the Chronicles of the Priesthood of John Hyrcanus, etc. That accordingly he then reviewed those parts of this work, and gave the public a more faithful, complete, and accurate account of the facts therein related; and honestly corrected the errors he bad before run into.

2 Who these Upper Barbarians, remote from the sea, were, Josephus himself will inform us, sect. 2, viz. the Parthians and Babylonians, and remotest Arabians [of the Jews among them]; besides the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or Assyrians. Whence we also learn that these Parthians, Babylonians, the remotest Arabians, [or at least the Jews among them,] as also the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or Assyrians, understood Josephus's Hebrew, or rather Chaldaic, books of The Jewish War, before they were put into the Greek language.

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