1 Τοῖς τὰς ἱστορίας συγγράφειν βουλομένοις οὐ μίαν οὐδὲ τὴν αὐτὴν ὁρῶ τῆς σπουδῆς γινομένην αἰτίαν, ἀλλὰ πολλὰς καὶ πλεῖστον ἀλλήλων διαφερούσας.
2 τινὲς μὲν γὰρ ἐπιδεικνύμενοι λόγων δεινότητα καὶ τὴν ἀπ᾽ αὐτῆς θηρευόμενοι δόξαν ἐπὶ τοῦτο τῆς παιδείας τὸ μέρος ὁρμῶσιν, ἄλλοι δὲ χάριν ἐκείνοις φέροντες, περὶ ὧν τὴν ἀναγραφὴν εἶναι συμβέβηκε, τὸν εἰς αὐτὴν πόνον καὶ παρὰ δύναμιν ὑπέστησαν:
3 εἰσὶ δ᾽ οἵτινες ἐβιάσθησαν ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς τῆς τῶν πραγμάτων ἀνάγκης οἷς πραττομένοις παρέτυχον ταῦτα γραφῇ δηλούσῃ περιλαβεῖν: πολλοὺς δὲ χρησίμων μέγεθος πραγμάτων ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ κειμένων προύτρεψε τὴν περὶ αὐτῶν ἱστορίαν εἰς κοινὴν ὠφέλειαν ἐξενεγκεῖν.
4 τούτων δὴ τῶν προειρημένων αἰτιῶν αἱ τελευταῖαι δύο κἀμοὶ συμβεβήκασι: τὸν μὲν γὰρ πρὸς τοὺς Ῥωμαίους πόλεμον ἡμῖν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις γενόμενον καὶ τὰς ἐν αὐτῷ πράξεις καὶ τὸ τέλος οἷον ἀπέβη πείρᾳ μαθὼν ἐβιάσθην ἐκδιηγήσασθαι διὰ τοὺς ἐν τῷ γράφειν λυμαινομένους τὴν ἀλήθειαν,
1I see that those who wish to compose histories do not have one and the same motive for their zeal; rather, their reasons are many and very different from one another.
2For some, exhibiting their cleverness in discourse and hunting after the reputation to be derived from it, rush headlong into this branch of scholarship; whereas others, bestowing gratitude upon those to whom the report has perchance happened to relate, have undertaken the toil for this purpose even beyond their ability.
3Then there are some who were compelled by the very straits of events in that they happened to participate to set these forth comprehensively in a clear account. Again, the magnitude of useful events, that currently lie in a state of ignorance, has induced many others to bring forth the history of those events for common advantage.
4Of these aforesaid motives the last two happen to have applied to me also. For I, who learned from experience about the war waged by us Judeans against the Romans and the events in it and how it finally turned out, was forced to relate it in detail because of those who devastate the truth in their writing.1