Authentic, original illustrated leaf from the 1601 Dutch edition of The History of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, printed by Jan Everts in Amsterdam. 7 1/2 x 11 3/4, printed on both sides, with an elaborate 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 battle scene illustration on one side of the leaf. Some very minor wear at edges. This leaf, which is over 410 years old, is in remarkable condition.
Born Joseph ben Matityahu, in Jerusalem, then part of Roman Judea, to a father of priestly descent, he was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer. He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a hostage and interpreter. After Vespasian did become Emperor in 69, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius.