Synopsis: The year is 66 A.D.━Nero rules the world as Caesar. Judea is a client state of Rome. The taxes are doubled and the Judeans refuse to pay. The Romans decide to raid the Judean's holy Temple treasury. The Judeans insult and mock the Romans for their avarice; the Romans respond by murdering thousands of Judeans.
A revolt ensues. The Judeans expel or kill every Roman in Jerusalem.
Emperor Nero sends his greatest general, Vespasian to restore Roman order in the Holy Land.
A young Judean high priest & scholar, Joseph son of Matthias is sent to the Galilee as governor to prepare the area for the eventual return of Roman armed forces. Joseph builds fortifications, raises city walls, trains armies, and forges weapons. After a forty-seven day siege, the Romans take the city of Jotapata and capture Joseph.
Joseph survives a death march through the desert and is put on a Roman ship from Caesarea to Rome where he is to face spectacle execution.
He nearly dies in a shipwreck on the voyage to Rome, only to survive by being washed ashore with Titus, son of Vespasian, and a family friend, Captain Frachas. The three find themselves on a Mediterranean island habituated by Greek barbarians.
A Roman vessel finds the three and Joseph is again put on a ship leading to his execution.
Nero decides to have a mock naval battle. The Colosseum is flooded to the top of the 20 ft. high arena walls. The emperor has Joseph put on the condemned men's ship.
Escaping the Colosseum with his life after a daring naval maneuver, Joseph impresses even Caesar. Nero puts Joseph under the supervision of Titus in a negotiation to help end the ongoing Roman-Judean war.
A civil war breaks out over Paul of Tarsus' (St. Paul) execution coupled with Nero's growing insanity. Nero commits suicide and then the 'Year of the Four Emperors' fully begins.
Vespasian emerges as Caesar and does the unheard of, legally adopting Joseph, a Hebrew, as his own son, during a war with Joseph's very people.
What comes next changes the course of history.
In B. Michael Antler’s ambitious debut, Josephus is reexamined through a modern lens in a work of historical fiction. Experience the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. by the Romans as a living, breathing, narrative. Decide for yourself whether Josephus was a traitor or patriot, Hebrew or Roman. Titus, Vespasian, Nero, Domitian, St. Paul, John of Gischala, Simon bar Giora, and Eleazar ben Simon all feature.
Josephus: A Novel includes thirty original illustrations, commissioned personally by the author, original songs and dances, Hebrew and Christian prayers, historically accurate quotations, jokes, sex, and death!
Travel back 2,000 years to ancient Rome & Judea—let antiquity come alive as you have never imagined.
''[A] wonderful story, such as no time ever saw before since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall see." - Isidore of Pelusium, scholar and follower of Christ, described Josephus' histories in the 5th century C.E.
"A very erudite and well-written story about an important historical figure." - Daniel Morrissey, Head Dean Emeritus, Gonzaga University, School of Law.