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Publisher's Summary

In AD 66, nationalist and religious revolutionaries in Judaea led a ferocious revolt of the Jewish people against the authority of mighty Rome, culminating in the greatest upheaval and savagery the world had known up to that time. By the end of the conflict seven years later, over one million Jews had perished and tens of thousands were sold into slavery. Until the Holocaust, it remained the greatest tragedy ever endured by a people.

How had this once prosperous region been laid low, and by what process did its fratricidal feuds take it down a slippery slope to utter annihilation? Fortunately for us, there was an eyewitness to the historical events: Joseph ben Matthias, known to posterity as Flavius Josephus.

In beautifully written and clearly understood prose, Josephus sets out to explain the origin of the conflict. He describes how the fanatical zealots came to dominate the political life of Judaea, illustrates how the Romans were drawn into the fight, and shows how the war was carried on by both sides, ending with the famous siege of the fortress of Masada.

The Jewish War is one of the most important histories to survive from ancient times, dealing as it does with a subject of which there are very few sources. This is an engaging and heartfelt chronicle by an eyewitness who lived through it all.

Public Domain (P)2012 Audio Connoisseur

What listeners say about The Jewish War

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable listen

Really enjoyed listening to this account brought to life by Charlton Griffin, great listening experience.

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  • Sophia
  • 15-04-2014

Makes Josephus Come Alive

Where does The Jewish War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Difficult to place it because the material is so different. I would rate it at the top of its class.

What other book might you compare The Jewish War to and why?

None that I've read.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Josephus surrenders.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

In parts, but it's not that kind of book.

Any additional comments?

The narrator is exceptional. I wish he would do the rest of Josephus.

9 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 23-03-2015

Well done.

Loved the books contents and the reader was excellent! Josephus is a historical beast for the study of ancient history. Jewish Wars is a must read.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Rudy F. Ochoa
  • 05-06-2018

A great work.

As a Christian I strive to understand the history of the Jews in order to better know God. This audiobook and it's narration was both educational and entertaining 😃.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wuan
  • 06-07-2018

Fascinating history

This is a fascinating and enlightening book that I have wanted to read for years. However, the narrators constant mispronunciation of words made it difficult and frustrating to follow the story. The narrators tone, rhythm, and expression were just perfect. But he just kept mispronouncing word after word after word. Someone should have reviewed his work. He has the potential to be an extremely good narrator for this type of literature. He just needs to get the words pronounced correctly!

5 people found this helpful

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  • DR
  • 22-01-2018

mispronunciations are irritating

Antipater, Levi, Hezekiah... all mispronounced. Trading this book back in for the other reading of this title.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Norron McDonald
  • 14-04-2020

Satisfied the need to understand

Satisfied the need to understand what happened in the Post years of Christ. Some sources try to say this is a fraudulent source, but I disagree. I will continue to further my studies

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Howell
  • 26-10-2019

Text Book

Great history! Hard to digest in large doses. Take this book slowly and with time to really listen. The 3 stars are simply a warning that this, more than other historical books, could cause one to fall asleep while driving!! Yet it provides a great and a lost history. Will listen to this book again...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Raskolinkov
  • 27-09-2019

Amazing!

Years ago, I read the Penguin Classic Edition of, "The Jewish War." This professional reading edition is NOT the Penguin Classic Edition. Nevertheless, it is very good and Charlton Griffin is excellent. Still, it is a different translation from the PCE. In the PCE, the translator uses the word, "slander." Here, in this translation, the translator, instead of slander, the translator uses the word, "calumny." This is just one example. There are many differences. When reading translated books, it is always beneficial to read two different translations. I discovered this with Dostoevsky's books, reading the Constance Garnett translations and then also the Peaver and Volonkonsky translations. Anyway, upon reading any translation of "The Jewish War" you will be very grateful that you did not live (unless reincarnation is real) back during this time. There are so many horrible things that happen in this book. In one place, John and his fellow zealots dress up like women and have sex with men and also cut the men's throats! Another place, a woman murders her child and then roast the child and eats half of her child! This book is just insane!! Scholars say that it is impossible for all of this to be true especially the dialogues and monologues because it was impossible for Josephus to be present during some of these. Regardless, at the end of the book, Josephus professes his honesty in his writing of JW. Also, there is one place where Jesus is mention. Of course, this cannot be the Christian Jesus because this was writing 90 years after Christ. Nevertheless, I think that you, the reader, will find some similarities between the Jesus herein and the Christ Jesus. Also, there is one passage where Titus (son of Vespasian) crucifies 500 Jews outside the walls of Jerusalem. Insane!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christina
  • 04-02-2013

Incredible what the Jews did to each other!!

What did you love best about The Jewish War?

It opened up a part of history I did not really know. Most knows what happened to the Christians during this time, but for the Jews, it was a eye opener.

What did you like best about this story?

The details for the story, in the beginning it was a bit daunting. But, as the story continued I could vision the cities and the people.

Any additional comments?

This was the first audible book I have listen to, in the long commutes to work. Many parts of this story in not for the light hearted.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Kenny W
  • 08-10-2020

The Jews, the Romans, and Sally.

This book has it all: Jews, Romans, cannibalism, but most of all it has Sally. The nature of Sally's role in this historical account isn't exactly clear. She is present at every great battle. She leads the troops. But who is she? One may never know. We do know that she goes forth. She goes forth with both Jews and Romans. And so she unites us all in our common humanity. May we all Sally-- forth together.

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  • Silvine
  • 01-05-2015

Great work; ruined by irritating narrator

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Somebody who can stand listening to an American who seems to think he is Winston Churchill but does not quite make it. His rendering of the English language sounds like something from a long departed era with unbearable bombast thrown in. What's more he makes uncorrected errors in his rendering of Josephus rattling on as if he is in a contest to get to the end asap.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Jewish War?

Cannot say as I gave up after a while, unable to bear the torture any longer.

Would you be willing to try another one of Charlton Griffin’s performances?

Absolutely not. In fact I am really sorry to see that all the other works I'd like to listen to, i.e. Caesar's Wars and Thucydides are narrated by this same gentleman.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Jewish War?

None. It is all excellent stuff.

Any additional comments?

Ask David Suchet or Martin Jarvis to give this work a remake.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Dr653
  • 02-09-2020

Very insightful and well performed.

Some people have commented on the narrator’s faux Churchill performance, however even as an Englishman I didn’t find it grating at all. His delivery was well paced and had just the right level of considered intonation. I have a hard back copy of Josephus but rarely have the time to sit down with it. This was fascinating piece of history told from a contemporaneous viewpoint. Well worth buying.

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  • Mark McNally
  • 14-09-2017

amazing listen, worth the effort

amazing narrative, once you get over the bias and concentrate on the events you get a really evocative and emotional feel for the time

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