Eusebius Pamphili: Life of Constantine

Colossus of Constantine, head, ca. 315, Musei Capitolini, Rome. A.D.,

Contemporary biography of the Emperor Constantine I (born c. 272, died 337), who consolidated the Roman Empire, brought an end to the era of Roman persecution of the Catholic Church, hosted the First Ecumenical Council, and became the first Christian Roman Emperor. Image links to Richardson translation. ISBN recommendation: 0-19-814924-7

Flavius Josephus: War of the Jews

Aerial view of present day remains of Masada

Josephus, a first century Jew of the priestly and royal class, participated in the First Jewish-Roman War, was captured by the Romans, eventually gained favor with Vespasian, obtained freedom, and went on to chronicle the Judaic historical tradition from Creation to the destruction of the Second Temple. His War of the Jews begins with the taking of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes (c. 169 B.C.) and proceeds to events just after the fall of Masada to the Romans (circa A.D. 73). It is invaluable for providing cultural context to the New Testament. Image above links to online library of Josephus’ works. ISBN recommendation: 0-8254-2952-8

Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews

A leaf from the 1466 manuscript of the Antiquitates Iudaice, National Library of Poland.

Kohen and scholar, Josephus completed Antiquities of the Jews around 94 A.D. It provides an Apostolic Age account of the Judaic Historical Tradition from the beginning of Genesis to the taking up of arms against the Romans during the procuratorship of Gessius Florus (circa A.D. 66). Serves to supplement the Biblical historical record. Image above links to online works of Josephus. ISBN recommendation: 0-8254-2952-8