Φλαΐου Ἰωσήπου περὶ ἀρχαιότητος Ἰουδαίων λόγος α. 1 Φλαΐου Ἰωσήπου περὶ ἀρχαιότητος Ἰουδαίων λόγος α. Ἱκανῶς μὲν ὑπολαμβάνω καὶ διὰ τῆς περὶ τὴν ἀρχαιολογίαν συγγραφῆς, κράτιστε ἀνδρῶν Ἐπαφρόδιτε, τοῖς ἐντευξομένοις αὐτῇ πεποιηκέναι φανερὸν περὶ τοῦ γένους ἡμῶν τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ὅτι καὶ παλαιότατόν ἐστι καὶ τὴν πρώτην ὑπόστασιν ἔσχεν ἰδίαν, καὶ πῶς τὴν χώραν ἣν νῦν ἔχομεν κατῴκησε ? πεντακισχιλίων ἐτῶν ἀριθμὸν ἱστορίαν περιέχουσαν ἐκ τῶν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν ἱερῶν βίβλων διὰ τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς φωνῆς συνεγραψάμην.
2 ἐπεὶ δὲ συχνοὺς ὁρῶ ταῖς ὑπὸ δυσμενείας ὑπό τινων εἰρημέναις προσέχοντας βλασφημίαις καὶ τοῖς περὶ τὴν ἀρχαιολογίαν ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ γεγραμμένοις ἀπιστοῦντας τεκμήριόν τε ποιουμένους τοῦ νεώτερον εἶναι τὸ γένος ἡμῶν τὸ μηδεμιᾶς παρὰ τοῖς ἐπιφανέσι τῶν Ἑλληνικῶν ἱστοριογράφων μνήμης ἠξιῶσθαι,
4 τἀληθὲς εἰδέναι βούλονται, περὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας ἀρχαιότητος. χρήσομαι δὲ τῶν μὲν ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ λεγομένων μάρτυσι τοῖς ἀξιοπιστοτάτοις εἶναι περὶ πάσης ἀρχαιολογίας ὑπὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων κεκριμένοις, τοὺς δὲ βλασφήμως περὶ ἡμῶν καὶ ψευδῶς γεγραφότας αὐτοὺς δι᾽ ἑαυτῶν ἐλεγχομένους παρέξω.
5 πειράσομαι δὲ καὶ τὰς αἰτίας ἀποδοῦναι, δι᾽ ἃς οὐ πολλοὶ τοῦ ἔθνους ἡμῶν ἐν ταῖς ἱστορίαις Ἕλληνες ἐμνημονεύκασιν, ἔτι μέντοι καὶ τοὺς οὐ παραλιπόντας τὴν περὶ ἡμῶν ἱστορίαν ποιήσω φανεροὺς τοῖς μὴ γιγνώσκουσιν ἢ προσποιουμένοις ἀγνοεῖν.
11 Through my treatise on Ancient History,2 most eminent Epaphroditus,3 I consider that, to those who will read it,4 I have made it sufficiently clear5 concerning our people,6 the Judeans,7 that it is extremely ancient8 and had its own original composition,9 and how it inhabited the land that we now possess;10 for11 I composed in the Greek language12 a history covering 5,000 years,13 on the basis of our sacred books.14
2However, since I see that a considerable number of people15 pay attention to the slanders spread by some out of malice,16 and disbelieve what I have written on ancient history,17 but adduce as proof that our people is of more recent origin that it was not thought worthy of any mention by the most renowned Greek historians,18
3I thought it necessary to write briefly on all these matters,19 to convict those who insult us as guilty of malice and deliberate falsehood,20 to correct the ignorance of others,21 and to instruct all who wish to know the truth on the subject of our antiquity.22
4I will employ as witnesses for my statements23 those judged by the Greeks to be the most trustworthy on ancient history as a whole,24 and I will show that those who have written about us slanderously and falsely are convicted by themselves.25
5I will try also to explain the reasons why not many Greeks made mention of our nation in their histories;26 at the same time, however, I will draw attention to those who have not passed over the history which relates to us27 for those who are, or feign to be, ignorant.28