Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Josephus’ Use of Sources

One of my many projects is to review, study and understand Josephus’ use of sources and chronology. I have discussed his use of 1 Maccabees and Pentateuchal material. Today, I want to mention his use of the phrase "as we have related elsewhere" (kathôs kai en allois dedêlôkamen) at end of these sections: Ant. 13.61; 108 and 119.[i] As I noted yesterday, Josephus used 1 Maccabees as a historical source in Ant. 12-13, paraphrasing 1 Macc 1:11-13:42.

The sentences including the phrases are set forth for further analysis:

Section 61: “But at length he received so many wounds, that he was not able to bear up any longer, but fell. And this is the end that Demetrius came to, when he had reigned eleven years, as we have elsewhere related.”

Section 108: “Alexander had also formerly been on very ill terms with the people of Antioch, for they had suffered very much by his means; yet did Ammonius at length undergo the punishment his insolent crimes had deserved, for he was killed in an opprobrious manner, like a woman, while he endeavored to conceal himself in a feminine habit, as we have elsewhere related.”

Section 119: “Now Alexander, who was called Balas, reigned over Asia five years, as we have elsewhere related.”

This material does not elsewhere in Antiquities nor does the phrase appear in 1 Maccabees as near as I can tell.

In reviewing material I posted earlier, I noticed not only that Josephus in Antiquities used new material not included in War but also this material appeared in Acts of the Apostles: Theudas (Ant. 20:97-98)[Acts 5:36].

This indicates that perhaps Josephus utilized another source and was sloppy in the organization of his material not remembering what material he had used and where he had used it. As to the Theudas material, Josephus saw this material in a new source after the publication of War and included it in Antiquities.

[i] Josephus also uses the phrase or a variation of it in two other places: 13.1.1: By what means the nation of the Jews recovered their freedom when they had been brought into slavery by the Macedonians, and what struggles, and how great battles, Judas, the general of their army, ran through, till he was slain as he was fighting for them, hath been related in the foregoing book; 13.2.1: He was withal slothful and negligent about the public affairs, whereby the hatred of his subjects was the more kindled against him, as we have elsewhere already related. 13.4.1: Demetrius being thus slain in battle, as we have above related, .... Actually, Josephus said in Section 61 that Demetrius fell in battle and now he makes clear that Demetrius was slain in battle.

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