JOSIAH (Heb. yd' shiyyahu, perhaps " Yah [weh] supports "), in the Bible, the grandson of Manasseh, and king of Judah. He came to the throne at the age of eight, after the murder of his predecessor Amon. The circumstances of his minority are not recorded, nor is anything related of the Scythian inroads which occurred in the latter half of the 7th century B.C., although some passages in the books of Jeremiah and Zephaniah are supposed to refer to the events. The storm which shook the external states was favourable to the peace of Judah; the Assyrian power was practically broken, and that of the Chaldeans had scarcely developed into an aggressive form. Samaria thus lay within the grasp of Josiah, who may have entertained hopes of forming an independent power of his own. Otherwise, it is not clear why we find him opposing himself to the Egyptian king Necho, since the assumption that he fought as an Assyrian vassal scarcely agrees with the profound reforming policy ascribed to him. At all events, at the battle of Megiddo 2 he lost both his kingdom and his life (608 B.C.), and for a few years Judah was in the hands of Egypt (2 Kings xxiii. 29 seq.). The chronicler gives a rather different account of the battle, and his allusion to the dirge uttered by Jeremiah over his death (2 Chron. xxxv. 20-25; r Esd. i. 32) represents the tradition which makes this prophet the author of the book of Lamentations.
The reign of Josiah is important for the biblical account of the great religious reforms which began in his eighteenth year, when he manifested interest in the repair cf the Temple at Jerusalem. In the course of this work the high priest Hilkiah discovered a " law-book " which gave rise to the liveliest concern. The reasons for believing that this roll was substantially identical with the book of Deuteronomy were already appreciated by Jerome, Chrysostom, Theodoret and others, 3 and a careful examination shows that the character of the reformation which followed agrees in all its essential features with the prescriptions and exhortations of that book. (See DEUTERO- NOMY.) But the detailed records in 2 Kings xxii. seq. are evidently written under the influence of the reforms themselves, and are not contemporary (see KINGS, BOOK of). They are further expanded, to agree with still later ideals, in 2 Chron. xxxiv. seq. The original roll was short enough to be read at least twice in a day (xxii. 8, 10), and hence only some portions of Deuteronomy (or of an allied production) may be intended. Although the character of the reforms throws remarkable light upon the condition of religion in Judah in the time of Josiah, it is to be observed that the writings of the contemporary prophets (Jeremiah, Ezekiel) make it very questionable whether the narratives are thoroughly trustworthy for the history of the king's measures. (See further JEWS, 16.) (S. A. C.)
J6SIKA, MIKLOS [NICHOLAS], BARON (1794-1865), Hungarian novelist, was born on the 28th of April 1794 at Torda in Transylvania, of aristocratic and wealthy parents. After finishing the usual course of legal studies at Kolozsvar (Klausenburg), he in 1811 entered the army, joining a cavalry regiment, with which he subsequently took part in the Italian campaign. On the battlefield of Mincio (February 8, 1814) he was promoted to the grade of lieutenant. He served in the campaign against Napoleon, and was present at the entry of the Allied Troops into Paris (March 31, 1814). In 1818 J6sika resigned his commission, returned to Hungary, and married his first wife 2 Or " Magdolos " (Herod, ii. 159), i.e. some " Migdal " (tower) of Judaea, not the Migdol of Exod. xiv. 2; Jer. xliv. I.
'See Zeit. f. Alttest. Wissenschaft (1902), pp. 170 seq., 312 seq.; Journ Bib. Lit. (1903), p. 50.
Elizabeth Kallai. The union proving an unhappy one, Josika parted from his wife, settled on his estate at Szurdok in Transylvania, and devoted himself to agricultural and literary pursuits. Drawn into the Sphere of politics, he took part in the memorable Transylvanian diet of 1 834. About this time Josika first began to attract attention as a writer of fiction. In 1836 his Abafi laid the foundation of his literary reputation. This novel gives a vivid picture of Transylvania in the time of Sigismund Batori. Josika was soon afterwards elected member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and of the Kisfaludy Society; of the latter he became, in 1841, director, and in 1842 vice-president. In 1847 he appeared at the Transylvanian diet as second deputy for the county of Szolnok, and zealously supported the movement for the union of Transylvania with Hungary proper. In the same year he was converted to Protestantism, was formally divorced from his wife, and married Baroness Julia Podmaniczky, herself a writer of considerable merit, with whom he lived happily until his death. So great was Josika's literary activity that by the time of the revolution (1848) he had already produced about sixty volumes of romances and novels, besides numerous contributions to periodicals. Both as magnate of the upper house of the Hungarian diet and by his writings Josika aided the revolutionary movement, with which he was soon personally identified, being chosen one of the members of the committee of national defence. Consequently, after the capitulation at Vilagos (Aug. 13, 1849) he found it necessary to flee the country, and settled first at Dresden and then, in 1850, at Brussels, where he resumed his literary pursuits anonymously. In 1864 he removed to Dresden, in which city he died on the 27th of February 1865. The romances of Josika, written somewhat after the style of Sir Walter Scott, are chiefly of an historical and social-political character, his materials being drawn almost entirely from the annals of his own country. Among his more important works may be specially mentioned, besides Abafi The Poet Zrinyi (1843); TheLastof the Bdtoris (1837); The Bohemians in Hungary (1839); Esther (1853); Francis Rdkdczyll. (1861); and A Vegvdriak, a tale of the time of the Transylvanian prince Bethlen Gabor, 1864. Many of Josika's novels have been translated into German.
See K. Moenich and S. Vutkovich, Magyar Irak Nevtdra (1876); M. Jokai, " Josika Miklos Emle'kezete," A Kisfaludy-Tdrsasdg Evlapjai, Uj folyant, vol. iii. (1869); G. W. Steinacker, Ungarische Lyriker (1874). Cf. also Josika's autobiography Emlekirat, vol. iv. (1865).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)