How Josephus is Referenced and Translated on this Site

    On this web site, the works of Josephus are referenced with both of the common numbering systems. So the references are given in the form of Book, Chapter, and Paragraph of the Whiston edition together with the Section number of the Greek (Loeb) edition.

    Ant. 18.1.6 23
        - refers in Whiston to  Book 18, Chapter 1, Paragraph 6 of the Jewish Antiquities.
        - refers in the Loeb edition to  Book 18, Section 23 of the Jewish Antiquities

    There is a recent edition of Whiston that employs both numbering systems; the older edition related them in an appendix.

    While Whiston's translation, published in 1737, is often charming and ornate, it presents some problems to the modern reader. It is not always accurate according to modern scholarship; its vocabulary is outmoded; and the punctuation is non-standard, with many run-on sentences and oddly placed commas. Sometimes he is all but unreadable. While fans of the King James Bible may enjoy Whiston's antique style, the effect is misleading, as Josephus writes in the manner not of Biblical prose but rather of Greek history.

    The Loeb Editions of the 20th century are both more accurate translations and easier to read. If they have a flaw, it is that accuracy is preferred over warmth (although each translator has a different style). Whiston can be much more human and passionate where the Loeb editions are cool and technical.

    The translations presented on this site are variations on Whiston. Some of them have been substantially reworked by myself, and some have been completely redone, such as those on Mariamme and Queen Alexandra. Sometimes I have referred to the Loeb editions to assist in translations. Of great assistance also has been the Perseus site at Tufts University.

                            - G. J. Goldberg