Monday, August 16, 2010

Which 'Josephus' is Closer to the Original? Pseudo-Hegesippus Book 3 Chapter 8 or Bellum Judaicum Book 3 Chapter 4?

Close parallels in this parallel section which again immediately follows the last post in the series.

Pseudo-Hegesippus reads:

This certain prelude of war was done before Titus should arrive. Who as soon as he crossed to Alexandria from Achaia, the troops having been brought over according the command of his father he hastened to the city of Ptolomais and there the fifth and tenth legions having been joined, the fifteenth also having been added, who were surpassingly good, the Roman army and its allies having been collected, they began the savage and remarkable war. [Pseudo-Hegesippus 3.8]

While Jewish War preserves the account as:

But as to Titus, he sailed over from Achaia to Alexandria, and that sooner than the winter season did usually permit; so he took with him those forces he was sent for, and marching with great expedition, he came suddenly to Ptolemais, and there finding his father, together with the two legions, the fifth and the tenth, which were the most eminent legions of all, he joined them to that fifteenth legion which was with his father; eighteen cohorts followed these legions; there came also five cohorts from Cesarea, with one troop of horsemen, and five other troops of horsemen from Syria. Now these ten cohorts had severally a thousand footmen, but the other thirteen cohorts had no more than six hundred footmen apiece, with a hundred and twenty horsemen. There were also a considerable number of auxiliaries got together, that came from the kings Antiochus, and Agrippa, and Sohemus, each of them contributing one thousand footmen that were archers, and a thousand horsemen. Malchus also, the king of Arabia, sent a thousand horsemen, besides five thousand footmen, the greatest part of which were archers; so that the whole army, including the auxiliaries sent by the kings, as well horsemen as footmen, when all were united together, amounted to sixty thousand, besides the servants, who, as they followed in vast numbers, so because they had been trained up in war with the rest, ought not to be distinguished from the fighting men; for as they were in their masters' service in times of peace, so did they undergo the like dangers with them in times of war, insomuch that they were inferior to none, either in skill or in strength, only they were subject to their masters. [Jewish War 3.4.2]

Pseudo-Hegesippus does not contain what are clearly later additions found in the Jewish War, both texts developing as we noted from a first person narrative of Josephus originally detailing information about his involvement in the war. How on earth would Josephus have known the numbers of troops that each king was bringing to assist in the war. This likely came from Justus of Tiberias's account and supplemented the original narrative by first century Josephus which resembled - as we have noted many times before - the structure and style of Vita.

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