Episode B18 – The Josephus Problem

Synopsis:  Joseph ben Matityahu fought the Romans as a Jewish General before becoming a trusted advisor to the Flavians. 

The Josephus Problem (mathematics):  Given a group of n men arranged in a circle under the edict that every mth man will be executed going around the circle until only one remains, find the position L (n, m) in which you should stand in order to be the last survivor.

3 thoughts on “Episode B18 – The Josephus Problem

  1. Re: Ep. 18, always fun-slash-annoying to come across additional information right AFTER I've posted the episode. With regard to the 4,500 mercenaries recruited by Josephus, "As commander of the Jewish insurgents in Galilee Josephus himself incorporated into his army 4,500 so-called brigands which he then proceeds to call mercenaries because he paid them: '…seeing it would be impossible to disarm them, [he] persuaded the people to pay them as mercenaries, remarking that it was better to give them a small sum voluntarily than to submit to raids upon their property'." – Isaac, "The Limits of Empire"

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