39 Simonides Agrippa, according to § 427. It is difficult to see the reason behind Josephus’ choice of Simonides, a Greek name that does not appear elsewhere in his corpus or among the Judean inscriptions of Rome. The most famous bearer of the name was a sixth-fifth century BCE poet, Simonides of Ceos (cf. Herodotus Hist. 5.102). Given that this Simonides was well remembered among Josephus’ literate contemporaries (Quintilian, Inst. 10.1.64; Plutarch, Mor. 346F), that Josephus had devoted himself in Rome to the study of Greek poetry as well as prose ( Ant. 20.263), and that Simonides was also revered as the inventor of mnemonic techniques (cf. Josephus’ alleged skill in memorization: § 8 below), it is conceivable that he named his son after the poet. The Latin surname Agrippa is easier to explain: the name of the famous Roman commander, Augustus’ son-in-law, had become a particular favorite of the Herodian family. Josephus’ contemporary King Agrippa II, who figures prominently in Josephus’ writings as a sympathetic figure who opposed the war (e.g., War 2.344-407, 523-26), who assisted Josephus in the preparation of his book on the conflict ( Life 364-67), and who might very well have been his most important patron in Rome, seems the proximate namesake.