Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD)
De Bello Iudaico, 75-79 AD
Flavius Josephus, Jewish historian, son of Matthias and member of a priestly family, was born in Jerusalem in either 37 or 38 AD. He received an education characteristic of the Pharisees. In 64 AD he traveled on a diplomatic mission to Rome, and returned to Jerusalem in 66 AD. At the start of the Jewish War, which broke out in 67 AD, Joseph, who was in charge of the region around Galilee, remained at the side of Titus throughout the rest of the campaign until the fall of Jerusalem, taking note of all of the events that he narrated in his Jewish War (75-79 AD). He also described with great care the places that he saw, the nature of the lake and the thriving vegetation of the fountains of Tabgha; with regard to the region around Capernaum he reported that:
“Alongside Lake Gennesaret is a stretch of country with the same name, wonderful in its characteristics and in its beauty. [...] for apart from the temperate atmosphere it is watered by a spring with great fertilizing power, known locally as Capernaum. Some have thought this an offshoot of the Nile, as it breeds a fish very like the perch caught in the lake of Alexandria. The length of the region measured along the shore of the lake that bears the same name is three and a half miles, the width two and a half. Such is the character of the locality.”
The Jewish War, edited and translated by Betty Radice, Penguin Classics, 1984, p. 231.