The last ten years has seen the publication of only one monograph specifically dedicated to the First Revolt, the detailed study by Jonathan Price of the history of the groups which struggled for control within Jerusalem during the war (Price 1992), but there has also been a plethora of smaller-scale studies on particular aspects of the Revolt. The main focus of these investigations has been in four areas: the value of Josephus's narrative as a historical source; the status in Jewish society of the leaders of the rebellion; the ideology of the rebels; and the aftermath of the war (on the ideology of the rebels, see Chapter 3 by Freyne on Galilee and Idumea and Chapter 4 by Berlin on Galilee, in this volume). It seems fair to state that, despite considerable progress in each of these areas, no consensus has been reached, so that it is not yet really time for a new synthesis to be attempted. Nor, despite the light shed on many interesting side issues by excavations, have recent archaeological investigations and the welcome publication of the final reports from sites such as Masada up to now had a major impact on the direction of research, in contrast to the role played by archaeology in the recent study of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. What is offered here is an indication of the direction in which current scholarship seems to be heading and some suggestions for the future.
The debate about the value of Josephus's history as a source is in some respects quite obviously fundamental. So much of our knowledge depends on his narrative that each attack on his veracity threatens to undermine study of the subject altogether. It is worthwhile speculating on how deep our ignorance would be if only the rabbinic and classical pagan sources about the Revolt survived. We would know there had been a great uprising, that the rebels were divided into factions, that Titus destroyed the Temple, and that Yohanan ben Zakkai fled from Jerusalem, but for any more complex explanation of these events there would be no real clue. The veracity of Josephus is most obviously called into question by the discrepancies between the Life and the War; attempts by Tessa Rajak to downplay the significance of such discrepancies by attributing them to different perspectives on the same events (Rajak 1984) have not been universally accepted. More generally, there has been a huge upsurge in the study of Josephus's historical method