Justus of Tiberias

Justus Of Tiberias (in Galilee), son of Pistus, one of the most noteworthy Jewish historians, flourished in the beginning of the Christian era. He was in the employ of king Agrippa as private secretary when the revolution in Galilee broke out, and though the city of Tiberias had been especially favored by the king, the Tiberian Jews soon followed in the course of their neighbors, and many, gathered, under Pistus and his son Justus, who, besides the advantage of a Greek education, was a great natural orator, and easily swayed the masses. As we have shown in our articles on Josephus and John of Gischala, Josephus desired ever the leadership, be it among his own nation or among the Romans, and Justus having made early advances in favor of the revolution, and quickly gained the confidence of the people, Josephus feared and hated him, and, as soon as the war terminated, took special pains to convince the Romans that Justus was the greater rebel of the two.

The conduct of Josephus towards Justus became still more unjustly severe after the latter had ventured to write a history of the war, now unhappily lost, in which the treacherous action of Josephus was laid bare. Indeed, Josephus himself makes the only avowed object of the publication of his "life" his vindication from the calumnies of Justus, who is accused of having falsified the history of the war with Rome (comp. Josephus, De vita sua, § 37, 65, 74), as well as of having delayed the editing of the book until the decease of Agrippa and the other great men of the time, because his accounts were false and he feared the consequences of his unjustness: an untruthfulness. Justus, according to Photius (Bibl. cod. 33), also wrote a history of the Jews from the times of Moses down to the death of Herod, in the third year of the reign of Trajan, but this work also is unfortunately lost. Some writers (Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. 3, 9; Stephanus Byzant. s.v. Τιβερίας) speak of a special work of his on the Jewish War, but this may refer only to the last portion of his chronicle which Diogenes Laertius (2, 41) calls a Στίμμα. Suidas (s.v. Ιοῦστος) mentions some other works of Justus, of which, however, nothing is extant. See Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, 3, 397 sq.; Stud. und Krit. 1853, p. 56 sq. (J.H.W.)

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