A timeline (Chronology) of the Life of Josephus and his Era, Judean Events
4 BC Herod the Great dies. His kingdom is divided among his heirs into Judea, Galilee, and other states.
6 AD Birth of Matthias ben Joseph, descendant of the Hasmonean (Maccaabean) kings and priests. Will be the father of Josephus.
6 AD Archalaeus, Ethnarch of Judea, is deposed. Judea ceases to be governed by Jews and becomes a Roman province under Procurator Coponius. Census and taxes imposed.
6 Resistance movement against Rome begun by Judas the Galilean and Zadok: "No ruler but the Almighty." Their insurgency will eventually lead to the War.
14 Emperor Augustus dies, is succeeded by Tiberias.
26 Pontius Pilate becomes Procurator of Judea.
Religious conflicts cause riots against him that are violently suppressed.
c. 31 Jesus of Nazareth gains following.
c. 33 Jesus executed in Jerusalem.
35 Pilate replaced by Marcellus.
37 Josephus born. His parents, of royal and priestly lines, are prominent in Jerusalem. 37 Tiberias dies. Gaius Caligula becomes Emperor.
41 Caligula assassinated. Claudius becomes emperor with the aid of Agrippa, grandson of Herod. Claudius bestows kingship of Judea and other lands on Agrippa.
c. 42-43 Agrippa I suppresses followers of Jesus, imprisons church leader Peter. Project to build "huge fortifications" around Jerusalem is begun.
44 Agrippa I dies. Judea again comes under the rule of a Roman procurator (Fadus).
50 Some Jewish lands assigned to kingship of Agrippa II.
51 Josephus at 14 is recognized for his understanding of Jewish law.
52 Felix becomes Procurator of Judea.
53 Josephus at 16 goes on spiritual search. Spends time with the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes. Lives in desert with teacher Banus
54 Death of Claudius. Nero becomes Emperor.
56 Josephus returns to Jerusalem at age 19. Decides to align himself with the Pharisees. 54 and after. Jewish revolutionary activity heats up. "Sicarii" terrorists kill High Priest Jonathan. Felix uses force and executions to suppress revolt. Would-be prophets stir up the people; the "Egyptian," a Messianic figure, gains followers, many of whom are killed by Felix's army.
57 Paul visits Jerusalem to report to James about his efforts to gain followers among the non-Jews. While visiting the Temple he is accused of defiling the holy place and arrested.
59 Festus becomes Procurator. Paul presents his case to Festus and Agrippa II, then is sent to Rome to appeal to the Emperor.
59-62 Festus continues to battle Sicarii. Clashes between Jews and Greeks in Caesarea. An "impostor" promises salvation to Jews who followed him into the desert; he and his followers are killed by Festus' cavalry. High priest Ismael and others are imprisoned in Rome by Nero after a dispute with Agrippa II.
62/63 Josephus, at 26, travels to Rome to free priests imprisoned there. with the help of a Jewish stage actor he gains the favor of Nero's wife Poppaea, who attains their release. 62 Festus dies. While Judea waits for the new Procurator to arrive, the recently appointed High Priest Ananus arrests and executes "James, the brother of Jesus called the Christ." Prominent Jews are angered and denounce Ananus to Agrippa II, who subsequently deposes Ananus after three months as High Priest.
62 Albinus is made Procurator.
62-65 Albinus wages an anti-terrorist campaign. Hostage-taking by the sicarii becomes commonplace.
65 Florus becomes Procurator. HIs abuses of power cause the sedition to gain followers. Violence breaks out in Caesarea and spreads to Jerusalem.
65 Josephus returns to Jerusalem to find revolt beginning and the Antonia fortress captured. He advocates against war. 66, Summer. Jewish War begins. Sacrifices for the Emperor are halted in the Temple. Masada is seized by the Zealots. The Roman garrison at the Antonia Fortress is captured. The High Priest is slain by the rebels.
66, Autumn. Gallus advances on Jerusalem with the Twelfth Roman Legion but withdraws. His forces are pursued into Syria.
66 The revolutionary government appoints Josephus commander of Galilee. He fortifies the major cities.
Spring 67 The Roman forces under Vespasian march into Galilee. The city of Gadara falls. Josephus withdraws to Jotapata.
July 67 Jotapata falls after a six-week siege. Josephus captured. Claims that the Messianic prophecies that began the war actually applied to Vespasian, who therefore was destined to become Emperor. Vespasian, charmed, retains Josephus as hostage and interpreter.
67-68 Vespasian continues operations in Galilee. Prepares for assault on Jerusalem.
68 Nero commits suicide. Galba and Otho, in turn become Emperor and are killed.
July 69 Vespasian's legions proclaim him Emperor after he uprooted the 3 previous Roman Emperors, (Galba, Otho and Vitellius), who lasted briefly under Vespasion's subversive campaign to gain the throne, (see Tacitus' "The Murderous Year of the 4 Emperors" ). Josephus' prophecy having come true, he is freed. He takes Vespasian's family name of Flavius and marries a captive.
70, Winter. Vitellius beheaded. Vespasian travels to Rome. Titus, the son of Vespasian, takes command of the forces in Judea. Josephus divorces his wife, marries another in Alexandria.
70, May 1. Titus encamps outside Jerusalem, beginning the siege. Josephus attempts to persuade the leaders of the revolt to surrender, but fails.
70, Tenth of Av (August 30). The Temple of Jerusalem is destroyed. Jerusalem is taken by Titus. The War effectively ends.
71 Josephus rewarded with land in Judea, but moves to Rome. Becomes Roman citizen. Is given a commission by Vespasian to write a history of the war.
73 Birth of Josephus' son Hyrcanus.
c. 75 Josephus receives a gift of land in Judea from Vespasian. Divorces his second wife. Marries a Jewish woman of Crete.
76 Birth of Josephus' son Justus.
c. 78 The Jewish War, Josephus' first-hand account, is published.
78 Birth of Josephus' son Simonides Agrippa.
79 Death of Vespasian. Titus becomes Emperor.
81 Death of Titus. Domitian becomes Emperor.
93 Antiquities of the Jews
c. 95-100 Against Apion, a defense of his previous work. 95 Death of Agrippa II.
c. 100 The Life of Josephus, an autobiography.
? Death of Josephus.