|1. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 15.299-15.309, 15.311-15.316 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • drought • droughts
Found in books: Gardner (2015), The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism, 13; Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 121
15.299 Κατὰ τοῦτον μὲν οὖν τὸν ἐνιαυτὸν τρισκαιδέκατον ὄντα τῆς ̔Ηρώδου βασιλείας πάθη μέγιστα τὴν χώραν ἐπέλαβεν, εἴτε δὴ τοῦ θεοῦ μηνίσαντος ἢ καὶ κατὰ περιόδους οὕτως ἀπαντήσαντος τοῦ κακοῦ: 15.301 τό τε γὰρ ἠπορῆσθαι θεραπείας καὶ τροφῆς ἐπέτεινεν εἰς πλέον ἀρξαμένην ἰσχυρῶς τὴν λοιμώδη νόσον ἥ τε φθορὰ τῶν οὕτως ἀπολλυμένων ἀφῃρεῖτο καὶ τοὺς περιόντας εὐθυμίας, ἐπεὶ προσαρκεῖν ταῖς ἀπορίαις ἐξ ἐπιμελείας οὐκ ἐδύναντο.' "15.302 φθαρέντων γε μὴν τῶν ἐπ' ἔτος καρπῶν καὶ τῶν ὅσοι πρότερον ἀπέκειντο δεδαπανημένων, οὐδὲν εἰς ἐλπίδα χρηστὴν ὑπελείπετο μᾶλλον ἢ κατὰ προσδοκίαν ἐπιτείνοντος τοῦ κακοῦ καὶ οὐδὲ κατ' ἐκεῖνον τὸν ἐνιαυτὸν μόνον, ὥστ' αὐτοῖς εἶναι μὲν οὐδὲν ὑπόλοιπον, ἀπολωλέναι δὲ καὶ τῶν περιόντων τὰ σπέρματα μηδὲ τὸ δεύτερον ἀνείσης τῆς γῆς." '15.303 ἥ τε ἀνάγκη πολλὰ διὰ τὰς χρείας ἐκαινούργει. καὶ τὰς ἀπορίας οὐκ ἐλάττους εἶναι συνέβαινεν αὐτῷ τῷ βασιλεῖ, τῶν τε φόρων, οὓς ἐλάμβανεν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς, ἀφῃρημένῳ καὶ τὰ χρήματα δεδαπανηκότι πρὸς φιλοτιμίαν ὧν τὰς πόλεις ἐπεσκεύαζεν. 15.304 ἦν δὲ οὐδὲν ὅ τι καὶ βοηθείας ἄξιον ἐδόκει προκατειληφότος τοῦ κακοῦ καὶ μῖσος εἰς αὐτὸν ἐκ τῶν ἀρχομένων: τὸ γὰρ οὐκ εὖ πράττειν φιλαίτιον αἰεὶ κατὰ τῶν προεστηκότων.' "15.305 ̓Εν τοιούτοις διενοεῖτο βοηθεῖν τῷ καιρῷ: χαλεπὸν δ' ἦν οὔτε τῶν πλησίον ἐχόντων ἀποδόσθαι σιτία τῷ μηδ' αὐτοὺς ἐλάττω πεπονθέναι, χρημάτων τε οὐκ ὄντων, εἰ καὶ δυνατὸν ὀλίγων ἐπὶ πολλοῖς εὐπορηθῆναι." "15.306 καλῶς μέντοι νομίζων ἔχειν πάντως εἰς τὴν βοήθειαν μὴ ἀμελεῖν, τὸν ὄντα κόσμον ἐν τοῖς βασιλείοις αὐτοῦ συνέκοψεν ἀργύρου καὶ χρυσοῦ, μήτε τῆς ἐν ταῖς κατασκευαῖς ἐπιμελείας μήτ' εἴ τι τέχνῃ τίμιον ἦν τούτου φεισάμενος." "15.307 ἔπεμπε δ' ἐπ' Αἰγύπτου τὰ χρήματα Πετρωνίου τὴν ἐπαρχίαν ἀπὸ Καίσαρος εἰληφότος. οὗτος οὐκ ὀλίγων ἐπ' αὐτὸν καταπεφευγότων διὰ τὰς αὐτὰς χρείας, ἰδίᾳ τε φίλος ὢν ̔Ηρώδῃ καὶ διασώσασθαι θέλων τοὺς ὑπ' αὐτῷ, πρώτοις μὲν ἔδωκεν ἐξάγειν τὸν σῖτον, εἰς ἅπαντα δὲ κατὰ τὴν ὠνὴν καὶ τὸν ἔκπλουν συνήργησεν, ὡς μέγα μέρος ἢ τὸ πᾶν γενέσθαι ταύτης τῆς βοηθείας." '15.308 ὁ γὰρ ̔Ηρώδης, τούτων ἀφικομένων ἐν ἀφορμῇ τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν τὴν αὐτοῦ προστιθεὶς οὐ μόνον ἀντιμετέστησεν τὰς γνώμας τῶν πρότερον χαλεπῶς ἐχόντων, ἀλλὰ καὶ μεγίστην ἐποιήσατο τὴν ἐπίδειξιν τῆς εὐνοίας καὶ τῆς προστασίας.' "15.309 πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ ὅσοις οἷόν τε δι' αὐτῶν τὰ περὶ τὰς τροφὰς ἐκπονεῖν ἔνειμε τοῦ σίτου τὴν ἔκταξιν ἀκριβεστάτην ποιούμενος, ἔπειτα πολλῶν ὄντων, οἳ κατὰ γῆρας ἤ τινα προσοῦσαν ἄλλην ἀσθένειαν οὐχ ἱκανῶς εἶχον αὐτοῖς παρασκευάζειν τὰ σιτία, προυνόει καταστήσας ἀρτοποιοὺς καὶ παρέχων ἑτοίμας τὰς τροφάς." "
15.311 ἐκπορισθέντων δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τούτων ταῖς πλησίον ἤδη πόλεσιν ἐπεβάλλετο τὰς ὠφελείας παρέχειν σπέρματα τοῖς ἐν Συρίᾳ διαδούς. καὶ τοῦτ' ὤνησεν οὐχ ἧττον αὐτὸν εὐστοχηθείσης εἰς εὐφορίαν τῆς χάριτος, ὡς ἅπασιν ἱκανὰ τὰ περὶ τὰς τροφὰς γενέσθαι." '15.312 τὸ δὲ σύμπαν ἀμήτου περὶ τὴν γῆν ὑποφανέντος οὐκ ἔλαττον ἢ πέντε μυριάδας ἀνθρώπων, οὓς αὐτὸς ἔθρεψεν καὶ περιεποίησεν, εἰς τὴν χώραν διέπεμψεν, καὶ τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον κακωθεῖσαν αὐτῷ τὴν βασιλείαν ὑπὸ πάσης φιλοτιμίας καὶ σπουδῆς ἀναλαβὼν οὐχ ἥκιστα καὶ τοὺς πέριξ ἐν ταῖς αὐταῖς κακοπαθείαις ὄντας ἐπεκούφισεν.' "15.313 οὐ γὰρ ἔσθ' ὅστις ὑπὸ χρείας ἐντυχὼν ἀπελείφθη μὴ βοήθειαν εὕρασθαι κατὰ τὴν ἀξίαν. ἀλλὰ καὶ δῆμοι καὶ πόλεις καὶ τῶν ἰδιωτῶν ὅσοις ἀπορία διὰ τὸ πλειόνων προί̈στασθαι συνετύγχανεν, ἐπ' αὐτὸν καταφεύγοντες ἔσχον ὧν ἐδεήθησαν," "15.314 ὥστε γενέσθαι λογιζομένων τοὺς μὲν ἔξω τῆς ἀρχῆς δοθέντας σίτου κόρους μυρίους, ὁ δὲ κόρος δύναται μεδίμνους ̓Αττικοὺς δέκα, τοὺς δ' εἰς αὐτὴν τὴν βασιλείαν περὶ ὀκτάκις μυρίους." "15.315 ταύτην δ' αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν καὶ τὴν τῆς χάριτος εὐκαιρίαν οὕτως ἐν αὐτοῖς τε τοῖς ̓Ιουδαίοις ἰσχῦσαι συνέβη καὶ διαβοηθῆναι παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις, ὥστε τὰ μὲν πάλαι μίση κινηθέντα διὰ τὸ παραχαράττειν ἔνια τῶν ἐθῶν καὶ τῆς βασιλείας ἐξαιρεθῆναι καὶ τοῦ παντὸς ἔθνους, ἀντικατάλλαγμα δὲ φαίνεσθαι τὴν ἐν τῇ βοηθείᾳ τῶν δεινοτάτων φιλοτιμίαν." "15.316 εὔκλεια δὲ καὶ παρὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν ἦν, καὶ δοκεῖ τὰ δυσχερῆ συμβῆναι μὲν αὐτῷ μείζω λόγου, κακώσαντα δὲ τὴν βασιλείαν οὐχ ἥκιστα πρὸς εὐδοξίαν ὠφελῆσαι: τὸ γὰρ ἐν ταῖς ἀπορίαις μεγαλόψυχον παρὰ δόξαν ἐπιδειξάμενος ἀντιμετέστησε τοὺς πολλούς, ὡς ἐξ ὑπαρχῆς δοκεῖν οὐχ οἷον ἡ πεῖρα τῶν πάλαι γεγενημένων, ἀλλ' οἷον ἡ μετὰ τῆς χρείας ἐπιμέλεια παρεστήσατο." ' None
15.299 1. Now on this very year, which was the thirteenth year of the reign of Herod, very great calamities came upon the country; whether they were derived from the anger of God, or whether this misery returns again naturally in certain periods of time, 15.301 and these circumstances, that they were destitute both of methods of cure and of food, made the pestilential distemper, which began after a violent manner, the more lasting. The destruction of men also after such a manner deprived those that survived of all their courage, because they had no way to provide remedies sufficient for the distresses they were in. 15.302 When therefore the fruits of that year were spoiled, and whatsoever they had laid up beforehand was spent, there was no foundation of hope for relief remaining, but the misery, contrary to what they expected still increased upon them; and this not only on that year, while they had nothing for themselves left at the end of it, but what seed they had sown perished also, by reason of the ground not yielding its fruits on the second year. 15.303 This distress they were in made them also, out of necessity, to eat many things that did not use to be eaten; nor was the king himself free from this distress any more than other men, as being deprived of that tribute he used to have from the fruits of the ground, and having already expended what money he had, in his liberality to those whose cities he had built; 15.304 nor had he any people that were worthy of his assistance, since this miserable state of things had procured him the hatred of his subjects: for it is a constant rule, that misfortunes are still laid to the account of those that govern. 15.305 2. In these circumstances he considered with himself how to procure some seasonable help; but this was a hard thing to be done, while their neighbors had no food to sell them; and their money also was gone, had it been possible to purchase a little food at a great price. 15.306 However, he thought it his best way, by all means, not to leave off his endeavors to assist his people; so he cut off the rich furniture that was in his palace, both of silver and gold, insomuch that he did not spare the finest vessels he had, or those that were made with the most elaborate skill of the artificers, 15.307 but sent the money to Petronius, who had been made prefect of Egypt by Caesar; and as not a few had already fled to him under their necessities, and as he was particularly a friend to Herod, and desirous to have his subjects preserved, he gave leave to them in the first place to export corn, and assisted them every way, both in purchasing and exporting the same; so that he was the principal, if not the only person, who afforded them what help they had. 15.308 And Herod taking care the people should understand that this help came from himself, did thereby not only remove the ill opinion of those that formerly hated him, but gave them the greatest demonstration possible of his good-will to them, and care of them; 15.309 for, in the first place, as for those who were able to provide their own food, he distributed to them their proportion of corn in the exactest manner; but for those many that were not able, either by reason of their old age, or any other infirmity, to provide food for themselves, he made this provision for them, that the bakers should make their bread ready for them.
15.311 And when he had procured these things for his own subjects, he went further, in order to provide necessaries for their neighbors, and gave seed to the Syrians, which thing turned greatly to his own advantage also, this charitable assistance being afforded most seasonably to their fruitful soil, so that every one had now a plentiful provision of food. 15.312 Upon the whole, when the harvest of the land was approaching, he sent no fewer than fifty thousand men, whom he had sustained, into the country; by which means he both repaired the afflicted condition of his own kingdom with great generosity and diligence, and lightened the afflictions of his neighbors, who were under the same calamities; 15.313 for there was nobody who had been in want that was left destitute of a suitable assistance by him; nay, further, there were neither any people, nor any cities, nor any private men, who were to make provision for the multitudes, and on that account were in want of support, and had recourse to him, but received what they stood in need of, 15.314 insomuch that it appeared, upon a computation, that the number of cori of wheat, of ten attic medimni apiece, that were given to foreigners, amounted to ten thousand, and the number that was given in his own kingdom was about fourscore thousand. 15.315 Now it happened that this care of his, and this seasonable benefaction, had such influence on the Jews, and was so cried up among other nations, as to wipe off that old hatred which his violation of some of their customs, during his reign, had procured him among all the nation, and that this liberality of his assistance in this their greatest necessity was full satisfaction for all that he had done of that nature, 15.316 as it also procured him great fame among foreigners; and it looked as if these calamities that afflicted his land, to a degree plainly incredible, came in order to raise his glory, and to be to his great advantage; for the greatness of his liberality in these distresses, which he now demonstrated beyond all expectation, did so change the disposition of the multitude towards him, that they were ready to suppose he had been from the beginning not such a one as they had found him to be by experience, but such a one as the care he had taken of them in supplying their necessities proved him now to be.' ' None