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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



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1. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 212, 231-232, 291-297, 317, 349-373, 157 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

157. But he never removed them from Rome, nor did he ever deprive them of their rights as Roman citizens, because he had a regard for Judaea, nor did he never meditate any new steps of innovation or rigour with respect to their synagogues, nor did he forbid their assembling for the interpretation of the law, nor did he make any opposition to their offerings of first fruits; but he behaved with such piety towards our countrymen, and with respect to all our customs, that he, I may almost say, with all his house, adorned our temple with many costly and magnificent offerings, commanding that continued sacrifices of whole burnt offerings should be offered up for ever and ever every day from his own revenues, as a first fruit of his own to the most high God, which sacrifices are performed to this very day, and will be performed for ever, as a proof and specimen of a truly imperial disposition.
2. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 15.417, 16.14, 17.149-17.167, 18.122, 18.257-18.309 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

15.417. Thus was the first enclosure. In the midst of which, and not far from it, was the second, to be gone up to by a few steps: this was encompassed by a stone wall for a partition, with an inscription, which forbade any foreigner to go in under pain of death. 16.14. He also conducted him to the city Jerusalem, where all the people met him in their festival garments, and received him with acclamations. Agrippa also offered a hecatomb of sacrifices to God; and feasted the people, without omitting any of the greatest dainties that could be gotten. 16.14. Now when a great multitude was come to that city to see the shows, as well as the ambassadors whom other people sent, on account of the benefits they had received from Herod, he entertained them all in the public inns, and at public tables, and with perpetual feasts; this solemnity having in the day time the diversions of the fights, and in the night time such merry meetings as cost vast sums of money, and publicly demonstrated the generosity of his soul; 17.149. 2. There was one Judas, the son of Saripheus, and Matthias, the son of Margalothus, two of the most eloquent men among the Jews, and the most celebrated interpreters of the Jewish laws, and men wellbeloved by the people, because of their education of their youth; for all those that were studious of virtue frequented their lectures every day. 17.151. for Herod had caused such things to be made which were contrary to the law, of which he was accused by Judas and Matthias; for the king had erected over the great gate of the temple a large golden eagle, of great value, and had dedicated it to the temple. Now the law forbids those that propose to live according to it, to erect images or representations of any living creature. 17.152. So these wise men persuaded [their scholars] to pull down the golden eagle; alleging, that although they should incur any danger, which might bring them to their deaths, the virtue of the action now proposed to them would appear much more advantageous to them than the pleasures of life; since they would die for the preservation and observation of the law of their fathers; since they would also acquire an everlasting fame and commendation; since they would be both commended by the present generation, and leave an example of life that would never be forgotten to posterity; 17.153. ince that common calamity of dying cannot be avoided by our living so as to escape any such dangers; that therefore it is a right thing for those who are in love with a virtuous conduct, to wait for that fatal hour by such behavior as may carry them out of the world with praise and honor; 17.154. and that this will alleviate death to a great degree, thus to come at it by the performance of brave actions, which bring us into danger of it; and at the same time to leave that reputation behind them to their children, and to all their relations, whether they be men or women, which will be of great advantage to them afterward. 17.155. 3. And with such discourses as this did these men excite the young men to this action; and a report being come to them that the king was dead, this was an addition to the wise men’s persuasions; so, in the very middle of the day, they got upon the place, they pulled down the eagle, and cut it into pieces with axes, while a great number of the people were in the temple. 17.156. And now the king’s captain, upon hearing what the undertaking was, and supposing it was a thing of a higher nature than it proved to be, came up thither, having a great band of soldiers with him, such as was sufficient to put a stop to the multitude of those who pulled down what was dedicated to God; so he fell upon them unexpectedly, and as they were upon this bold attempt, in a foolish presumption rather than a cautious circumspection, as is usual with the multitude, and while they were in disorder, and incautious of what was for their advantage; 17.157. o he caught no fewer than forty of the young men, who had the courage to stay behind when the rest ran away, together with the authors of this bold attempt, Judas and Matthias, who thought it an ignominious thing to retire upon his approach, and led them to the king. 17.158. And when they were come to the king, and he asked them if they had been so bold as to pull down what he had dedicated to God, “Yes, (said they,) what was contrived we contrived, and what hath been performed we performed it, and that with such a virtuous courage as becomes men; for we have given our assistance to those things which were dedicated to the majesty of God 17.159. and we have provided for what we have learned by hearing the law; and it ought not to be wondered at, if we esteem those laws which Moses had suggested to him, and were taught him by God, and which he wrote and left behind him, more worthy of observation than thy commands. Accordingly we will undergo death, and all sorts of punishments which thou canst inflict upon us, with pleasure, since we are conscious to ourselves that we shall die, not for any unrighteous actions, but for our love to religion.” 17.161. and when they were come, he made them assemble in the theater, and because he could not himself stand, he lay upon a couch, and enumerated the many labors that he had long endured on their account 17.162. and his building of the temple, and what a vast charge that was to him; while the Asamoneans, during the hundred and twenty-five years of their government, had not been able to perform any so great a work for the honor of God as that was; 17.163. that he had also adorned it with very valuable donations, on which account he hoped that he had left himself a memorial, and procured himself a reputation after his death. He then cried out, that these men had not abstained from affronting him, even in his lifetime, but that in the very day time, and in the sight of the multitude, they had abused him to that degree, as to fall upon what he had dedicated, and in that way of abuse had pulled it down to the ground. They pretended, indeed, that they did it to affront him; but if any one consider the thing truly, they will find that they were guilty of sacrilege against God therein. 17.164. 4. But the people, on account of Herod’s barbarous temper, and for fear he should be so cruel and to inflict punishment on them, said what was done was done without their approbation, and that it seemed to them that the actors might well be punished for what they had done. But as for Herod, he dealt more mildly with others [of the assembly] but he deprived Matthias of the high priesthood, as in part an occasion of this action, and made Joazar, who was Matthias’s wife’s brother, high priest in his stead. 17.165. Now it happened, that during the time of the high priesthood of this Matthias, there was another person made high priest for a single day, that very day which the Jews observed as a fast. 17.166. The occasion was this: This Matthias the high priest, on the night before that day when the fast was to be celebrated, seemed, in a dream, to have conversation with his wife; and because he could not officiate himself on that account, Joseph, the son of Ellemus, his kinsman, assisted him in that sacred office. 17.167. But Herod deprived this Matthias of the high priesthood, and burnt the other Matthias, who had raised the sedition, with his companions, alive. And that very night there was an eclipse of the moon. 18.122. o he was persuaded by what they said, and changed that resolution of his which he had before taken in this matter. Whereupon he ordered the army to march along the great plain, while he himself, with Herod the tetrarch and his friends, went up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, an ancient festival of the Jews being then just approaching; 18.257. 1. There was now a tumult arisen at Alexandria, between the Jewish inhabitants and the Greeks; and three ambassadors were chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to Caius. Now one of these ambassadors from the people of Alexandria was Apion, who uttered many blasphemies against the Jews; and, among other things that he said, he charged them with neglecting the honors that belonged to Caesar; 18.258. for that while all who were subject to the Roman empire built altars and temples to Caius, and in other regards universally received him as they received the gods, these Jews alone thought it a dishonorable thing for them to erect statues in honor of him, as well as to swear by his name. 18.259. Many of these severe things were said by Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Caius to anger at the Jews, as he was likely to be. But Philo, the principal of the Jewish embassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alexander the alabarch, and one not unskillful in philosophy, was ready to betake himself to make his defense against those accusations; 18.261. 2. Hereupon Caius, taking it very heinously that he should be thus despised by the Jews alone, sent Petronius to be president of Syria, and successor in the government to Vitellius, and gave him order to make an invasion into Judea, with a great body of troops; and if they would admit of his statue willingly, to erect it in the temple of God; but if they were obstinate, to conquer them by war, and then to do it. 18.262. Accordingly, Petronius took the government of Syria, and made haste to obey Caesar’s epistle. He got together as great a number of auxiliaries as he possibly could, and took with him two legions of the Roman army, and came to Ptolemais, and there wintered, as intending to set about the war in the spring. He also wrote word to Caius what he had resolved to do, who commended him for his alacrity, and ordered him to go on, and to make war with them, in case they would not obey his commands. 18.263. But there came many ten thousands of the Jews to Petronius, to Ptolemais, to offer their petitions to him, that he would not compel them to transgress and violate the law of their forefathers; 18.264. “but if,” said they, “thou art entirely resolved to bring this statue, and erect it, do thou first kill us, and then do what thou hast resolved on; for while we are alive we cannot permit such things as are forbidden us to be done by the authority of our legislator, and by our forefathers’ determination that such prohibitions are instances of virtue.” 18.265. But Petronius was angry at them, and said, “If indeed I were myself emperor, and were at liberty to follow my own inclination, and then had designed to act thus, these your words would be justly spoken to me; but now Caesar hath sent to me, I am under the necessity of being subservient to his decrees, because a disobedience to them will bring upon me inevitable destruction.” 18.266. Then the Jews replied, “Since, therefore, thou art so disposed, O Petronius! that thou wilt not disobey Caius’s epistles, neither will we transgress the commands of our law; and as we depend upon the excellency of our laws, and, by the labors of our ancestors, have continued hitherto without suffering them to be transgressed, we dare not by any means suffer ourselves to be so timorous as to transgress those laws out of the fear of death 18.267. which God hath determined are for our advantage; and if we fall into misfortunes, we will bear them, in order to preserve our laws, as knowing that those who expose themselves to dangers have good hope of escaping them, because God will stand on our side, when, out of regard to him, we undergo afflictions, and sustain the uncertain turns of fortune. 18.268. But if we should submit to thee, we should be greatly reproached for our cowardice, as thereby showing ourselves ready to transgress our law; and we should incur the great anger of God also, who, even thyself being judge, is superior to Caius.” 18.269. 3. When Petronius saw by their words that their determination was hard to be removed, and that, without a war, he should not be able to be subservient to Caius in the dedication of his statue, and that there must be a great deal of bloodshed, he took his friends, and the servants that were about him, and hasted to Tiberias, as wanting to know in what posture the affairs of the Jews were; 18.271. and made supplication to him, that he would by no means reduce them to such distresses, nor defile their city with the dedication of the statue. Then Petronius said to them, “Will you then make war with Caesar, without considering his great preparations for war, and your own weakness?” They replied, “We will not by any means make war with him, but still we will die before we see our laws transgressed.” So they threw themselves down upon their faces, and stretched out their throats, and said they were ready to be slain; 18.272. and this they did for forty days together, and in the mean time left off the tilling of their ground, and that while the season of the year required them to sow it. Thus they continued firm in their resolution, and proposed to themselves to die willingly, rather than to see the dedication of the statue. 18.273. 4. When matters were in this state, Aristobulus, king Agrippa’s brother, and Helcias the Great, and the other principal men of that family with them, went in unto Petronius, and besought him 18.274. that since he saw the resolution of the multitude, he would not make any alteration, and thereby drive them to despair; but would write to Caius, that the Jews had an insuperable aversion to the reception of the statue, and how they continued with him, and left off the tillage of their ground: that they were not willing to go to war with him, because they were not able to do it, but were ready to die with pleasure, rather than suffer their laws to be transgressed: and how, upon the land’s continuing unsown, robberies would grow up, on the inability they would be under of paying their tributes; 18.275. and that perhaps Caius might be thereby moved to pity, and not order any barbarous action to be done to them, nor think of destroying the nation: that if he continues inflexible in his former opinion to bring a war upon them, he may then set about it himself. 18.276. And thus did Aristobulus, and the rest with him, supplicate Petronius. So Petronius, partly on account of the pressing instances which Aristobulus and the rest with him made, and because of the great consequence of what they desired, and the earnestness wherewith they made their supplication,— 18.277. partly on account of the firmness of the opposition made by the Jews, which he saw, while he thought it a horrible thing for him to be such a slave to the madness of Caius, as to slay so many ten thousand men, only because of their religious disposition towards God, and after that to pass his life in expectation of punishment; Petronius, I say, thought it much better to send to Caius, and to let him know how intolerable it was to him to bear the anger he might have against him for not serving him sooner, in obedience to his epistle 18.278. for that perhaps he might persuade him; and that if this mad resolution continued, he might then begin the war against them; nay, that in case he should turn his hatred against himself, it was fit for virtuous persons even to die for the sake of such vast multitudes of men. Accordingly, he determined to hearken to the petitioners in this matter. 18.279. 5. He then called the Jews together to Tiberias, who came many ten thousands in number; he also placed that army he now had with him opposite to them; but did not discover his own meaning, but the commands of the emperor, and told them that his wrath would, without delay, be executed on such as had the courage to disobey what he had commanded, and this immediately; and that it was fit for him, who had obtained so great a dignity by his grant, not to contradict him in any thing:— 18.281. I will, therefore, send to Caius, and let him know what your resolutions are, and will assist your suit as far as I am able, that you may not be exposed to suffer on account of the honest designs you have proposed to yourselves; and may God be your assistant, for his authority is beyond all the contrivance and power of men; and may he procure you the preservation of your ancient laws, and may not he be deprived, though without your consent, of his accustomed honors. 18.282. But if Caius be irritated, and turn the violence of his rage upon me, I will rather undergo all that danger and that affliction that may come either on my body or my soul, than see so many of you to perish, while you are acting in so excellent a manner. 18.283. Do you, therefore, every one of you, go your way about your own occupations, and fall to the cultivation of your ground; I will myself send to Rome, and will not refuse to serve you in all things, both by myself and by my friends.” 18.284. 6. When Petronius had said this, and had dismissed the assembly of the Jews, he desired the principal of them to take care of their husbandry, and to speak kindly to the people, and encourage them to have good hope of their affairs. Thus did he readily bring the multitude to be cheerful again. And now did God show his presence to Petronius, and signify to him that he would afford him his assistance in his whole design; 18.285. for he had no sooner finished the speech that he made to the Jews, but God sent down great showers of rain, contrary to human expectation; for that day was a clear day, and gave no sign, by the appearance of the sky, of any rain; nay, the whole year had been subject to a great drought, and made men despair of any water from above, even when at any time they saw the heavens overcast with clouds; 18.286. insomuch that when such a great quantity of rain came, and that in an unusual manner, and without any other expectation of it, the Jews hoped that Petronius would by no means fail in his petition for them. But as to Petronius, he was mightily surprised when he perceived that God evidently took care of the Jews, and gave very plain signs of his appearance, and this to such a degree, that those that were in earnest much inclined to the contrary had no power left to contradict it. 18.287. This was also among those other particulars which he wrote to Caius, which all tended to dissuade him, and by all means to entreat him not to make so many ten thousands of these men go distracted; whom, if he should slay, (for without war they would by no means suffer the laws of their worship to be set aside,) he would lose the revenue they paid him, and would be publicly cursed by them for all future ages. 18.288. Moreover, that God, who was their Governor, had shown his power most evidently on their account, and that such a power of his as left no room for doubt about it. And this was the business that Petronius was now engaged in. 18.289. 7. But king Agrippa, who now lived at Rome, was more and more in the favor of Caius; and when he had once made him a supper, and was careful to exceed all others, both in expenses and in such preparations as might contribute most to his pleasure; 18.291. hereupon Caius admired his understanding and magnificence, that he should force himself to do all to please him, even beyond such expenses as he could bear, and was desirous not to be behind Agrippa in that generosity which he exerted in order to please him. So Caius, when he had drank wine plentifully, and was merrier than ordinary, said thus during the feast, when Agrippa had drunk to him: 18.292. “I knew before now how great a respect thou hast had for me, and how great kindness thou hast shown me, though with those hazards to thyself, which thou underwentest under Tiberius on that account; nor hast thou omitted any thing to show thy good-will towards us, even beyond thy ability; whence it would be a base thing for me to be conquered by thy affection. I am therefore desirous to make thee amends for every thing in which I have been formerly deficient; 18.293. for all that I have bestowed on thee, that may be called my gifts, is but little. Everything that may contribute to thy happiness shall be at thy service, and that cheerfully, and so far as my ability will reach.” And this was what Caius said to Agrippa, thinking he would ask for some large country, or the revenues of certain cities. 18.294. But although he had prepared beforehand what he would ask, yet had he not discovered his intentions, but made this answer to Caius immediately: That it was not out of any expectation of gain that he formerly paid his respects to him, contrary to the commands of Tiberius, nor did he now do any thing relating to him out of regard to his own advantage, and in order to receive any thing from him; 18.295. that the gifts he had already bestowed upon him were great, and beyond the hopes of even a craving man; for although they may be beneath thy power, [who art the donor,] yet are they greater than my inclination and dignity, who am the receiver. 18.296. And as Caius was astonished at Agrippa’s inclinations, and still the more pressed him to make his request for somewhat which he might gratify him with, Agrippa replied, “Since thou, O my lord! declarest such is thy readiness to grant, that I am worthy of thy gifts, I will ask nothing relating to my own felicity; for what thou hast already bestowed on me has made me excel therein; 18.297. but I desire somewhat which may make thee glorious for piety, and render the Divinity assistant to thy designs, and may be for an honor to me among those that inquire about it, as showing that I never once fail of obtaining what I desire of thee; for my petition is this, that thou wilt no longer think of the dedication of that statue which thou hast ordered to be set up in the Jewish temple by Petronius.” 18.298. 8. And thus did Agrippa venture to cast the die upon this occasion, so great was the affair in his opinion, and in reality, though he knew how dangerous a thing it was so to speak; for had not Caius approved of it, it had tended to no less than the loss of his life. 18.299. So Caius, who was mightily taken with Agrippa’s obliging behavior, and on other accounts thinking it a dishonorable thing to be guilty of falsehood before so many witnesses, in points wherein he had with such alacrity forced Agrippa to become a petitioner, and that it would look as if he had already repented of what he had said 18.301. “If therefore,” said’ he, “thou hast already erected my statue, let it stand; but if thou hast not yet dedicated it, do not trouble thyself further about it, but dismiss thy army, go back, and take care of those affairs which I sent thee about at first, for I have now no occasion for the erection of that statue. This I have granted as a favor to Agrippa, a man whom I honor so very greatly, that I am not able to contradict what he would have, or what he desired me to do for him.” 18.302. And this was what Caius wrote to Petronius, which was before he received his letter, informing him that the Jews were very ready to revolt about the statue, and that they seemed resolved to threaten war against the Romans, and nothing else. 18.303. When therefore Caius was much displeased that any attempt should be made against his government as he was a slave to base and vicious actions on all occasions, and had no regard to What was virtuous and honorable, and against whomsoever he resolved to show his anger, and that for any cause whatsoever, he suffered not himself to be restrained by any admonition, but thought the indulging his anger to be a real pleasure, he wrote thus to Petronius: 18.304. “Seeing thou esteemest the presents made thee by the Jews to be of greater value than my commands, and art grown insolent enough to be subservient to their pleasure, I charge thee to become thy own judge, and to consider what thou art to do, now thou art under my displeasure; for I will make thee an example to the present and to all future ages, that they. may not dare to contradict the commands of their emperor.” 18.305. 9. This was the epistle which Caius wrote to. Petronius; but Petronius did not receive it while Caius was alive, that ship which carried it sailing so slow, that other letters came to Petronius before this, by which he understood that Caius was dead; 18.306. for God would not forget the dangers Petronius had undertaken on account of the Jews, and of his own honor. But when he had taken Caius away, out of his indignation of what he had so insolently attempted in assuming to himself divine worship, both Rome and all that dominion conspired with Petronius, especially those that were of the senatorian order, to give Caius his due reward, because he had been unmercifully severe to them; 18.307. for he died not long after he had written to Petronius that epistle which threatened him with death. But as for the occasion of his death, and the nature of the plot against him, I shall relate them in the progress of this narration. 18.308. Now that epistle which informed Petronius of Caius’s death came first, and a little afterward came that which commanded him to kill himself with his own hands. Whereupon he rejoiced at this coincidence as to the death of Caius 18.309. and admired God’s providence, who, without the least delay, and immediately, gave him a reward for the regard he had to the temple, and the assistance he afforded the Jews for avoiding the dangers they were in. And by this means Petronius escaped that danger of death, which he could not foresee.
3. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 1.648-1.655, 2.184-2.203, 2.409, 5.48, 5.193-5.194, 6.124-6.126 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.648. 2. There also now happened to him, among his other calamities, a certain popular sedition. There were two men of learning in the city [Jerusalem], who were thought the most skillful in the laws of their country, and were on that account held in very great esteem all over the nation; they were, the one Judas, the son of Sepphoris, and the other Matthias, the son of Margalus. 1.649. There was a great concourse of the young men to these men when they expounded the laws, and there got together every day a kind of an army of such as were growing up to be men. Now when these men were informed that the king was wearing away with melancholy, and with a distemper, they dropped words to their acquaintance, how it was now a very proper time to defend the cause of God, and to pull down what had been erected contrary to the laws of their country; 1.651. 3. At the same time that these men made this speech to their disciples, a rumor was spread abroad that the king was dying, which made the young men set about the work with greater boldness; they therefore let themselves down from the top of the temple with thick cords, and this at midday, and while a great number of people were in the temple, and cut down that golden eagle with axes. 1.652. This was presently told to the king’s captain of the temple, who came running with a great body of soldiers, and caught about forty of the young men, and brought them to the king. 1.653. And when he asked them, first of all, whether they had been so hardy as to cut down the golden eagle, they confessed they had done so; and when he asked them by whose command they had done it, they replied, at the command of the law of their country; and when he further asked them how they could be so joyful when they were to be put to death, they replied, because they should enjoy greater happiness after they were dead. 1.654. 4. At this the king was in such an extravagant passion, that he overcame his disease [for the time], and went out and spake to the people; wherein he made a terrible accusation against those men, as being guilty of sacrilege, and as making greater attempts under pretense of their law, and he thought they deserved to be punished as impious persons. 1.655. Whereupon the people were afraid lest a great number should be found guilty and desired that when he had first punished those that put them upon this work, and then those that were caught in it, he would leave off his anger as to the rest. With this the king complied, though not without difficulty, and ordered those that had let themselves down, together with their Rabbins, to be burnt alive, but delivered the rest that were caught to the proper officers to be put to death by them. 2.184. 1. Now Caius Caesar did so grossly abuse the fortune he had arrived at, as to take himself to be a god, and to desire to be so called also, and to cut off those of the greatest nobility out of his country. He also extended his impiety as far as the Jews. 2.185. Accordingly, he sent Petronius with an army to Jerusalem, to place his statues in the temple, and commanded him that, in case the Jews would not admit of them, he should slay those that opposed it, and carry all the rest of the nation into captivity: 2.186. but God concerned himself with these his commands. However, Petronius marched out of Antioch into Judea, with three legions, and many Syrian auxiliaries. 2.187. Now as to the Jews, some of them could not believe the stories that spake of a war; but those that did believe them were in the utmost distress how to defend themselves, and the terror diffused itself presently through them all; for the army was already come to Ptolemais. 2.188. 2. This Ptolemais is a maritime city of Galilee, built in the great plain. It is encompassed with mountains: that on the east side, sixty furlongs off, belongs to Galilee; but that on the south belongs to Carmel, which is distant from it a hundred and twenty furlongs; and that on the north is the highest of them all, and is called by the people of the country, The Ladder of the Tyrians, which is at the distance of a hundred furlongs. 2.189. The very small river Belus runs by it, at the distance of two furlongs; near which there is Memnon’s monument, and hath near it a place no larger than a hundred cubits, which deserves admiration; 2.191. And what is to me still more wonderful, that glassy sand which is superfluous, and is once removed out of the place, becomes bare common sand again. And this is the nature of the place we are speaking of. 2.192. 3. But now the Jews got together in great numbers, with their wives and children, into that plain that was by Ptolemais, and made supplication to Petronius, first for their laws, and, in the next place, for themselves. So he was prevailed upon by the multitude of the supplicants, and by their supplications, and left his army and statues at Ptolemais 2.193. and then went forward into Galilee, and called together the multitude and all the men of note to Tiberias, and showed them the power of the Romans, and the threatenings of Caesar; and, besides this, proved that their petition was unreasonable, because 2.194. while all the nations in subjection to them had placed the images of Caesar in their several cities, among the rest of their gods,—for them alone to oppose it, was almost like the behavior of revolters, and was injurious to Caesar. 2.195. 4. And when they insisted on their law, and the custom of their country, and how it was not only not permitted them to make either an image of God, or indeed of a man, and to put it in any despicable part of their country, much less in the temple itself, Petronius replied, “And am not I also,” said he, “bound to keep the law of my own lord? For if I transgress it, and spare you, it is but just that I perish; while he that sent me, and not I, will commence a war against you; for I am under command as well as you.” 2.196. Hereupon the whole multitude cried out that they were ready to suffer for their law. Petronius then quieted them, and said to them, “Will you then make war against Caesar?” 2.197. The Jews said, “We offer sacrifices twice every day for Caesar, and for the Roman people;” but that if he would place the images among them, he must first sacrifice the whole Jewish nation; and that they were ready to expose themselves, together with their children and wives, to be slain. 2.198. At this Petronius was astonished, and pitied them, on account of the inexpressible sense of religion the men were under, and that courage of theirs which made them ready to die for it; so they were dismissed without success. 2.199. 5. But on the following days he got together the men of power privately, and the multitude publicly, and sometimes he used persuasions to them, and sometimes he gave them his advice; but he chiefly made use of threatenings to them, and insisted upon the power of the Romans, and the anger of Caius; and besides, upon the necessity he was himself under [to do as he was enjoined]. 2.201. and told them that it was best for him to run some hazard himself; “for either, by the Divine assistance, I shall prevail with Caesar, and shall myself escape the danger as well as you, which will be a matter of joy to us both; or, in case Caesar continue in his rage, I will be ready to expose my own life for such a great number as you are.” Whereupon he dismissed the multitude, who prayed greatly for his prosperity; and he took the army out of Ptolemais, and returned to Antioch; 2.202. from whence he presently sent an epistle to Caesar, and informed him of the irruption he had made into Judea, and of the supplications of the nation; and that unless he had a mind to lose both the country and the men in it, he must permit them to keep their law, and must countermand his former injunction. 2.203. Caius answered that epistle in a violent-way, and threatened to have Petronius put to death for his being so tardy in the execution of what he had commanded. But it happened that those who brought Caius’s epistle were tossed by a storm, and were detained on the sea for three months, while others that brought the news of Caius’s death had a good voyage. Accordingly, Petronius received the epistle concerning Caius seven and twenty days before he received that which was against himself. 2.409. At the same time Eleazar, the son of Aias the high priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the Divine service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner. And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans; for they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar on this account; 5.48. and all this while the Romans were encompassed round about with the flame; and, despairing of saving their works from it, they retired to their camp. 5.48. All these came before the engines; and after these engines came the tribunes and the leaders of the cohorts, with their select bodies; after these came the ensigns, with the eagle; and before those ensigns came the trumpeters belonging to them; next to these came the main body of the army in their ranks, every rank being six deep; 5.193. When you go through these [first] cloisters, unto the second [court of the] temple, there was a partition made of stone all round, whose height was three cubits: its construction was very elegant; 5.194. upon it stood pillars, at equal distances from one another, declaring the law of purity, some in Greek, and some in Roman letters, that “no foreigner should go within that sanctuary;” for that second [court of the] temple was called “the Sanctuary;” 6.124. 4. Now Titus was deeply affected with this state of things, and reproached John and his party, and said to them, “Have not you, vile wretches that you are, by our permission, put up this partition-wall before your sanctuary? 6.125. Have not you been allowed to put up the pillars thereto belonging, at due distances, and on it to engrave in Greek, and in your own letters, this prohibition, that no foreigner should go beyond that wall. 6.126. Have not we given you leave to kill such as go beyond it, though he were a Roman? And what do you do now, you pernicious villains? Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple? and why do you pollute this holy house with the blood of both foreigners and Jews themselves?
4. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.77 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.77. we also offer perpetual sacrifices for them; nor do we only offer them every day at the common expenses of all the Jews, but although we offer no other such sacrifices out of our common expenses, no, not for our own children, yet do we this as a peculiar honor to the emperors, and to them alone, while we do the same to no other person whomsoever.
5. New Testament, Acts, 21.28-21.29 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

21.28. crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place! 21.29. For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
6. New Testament, Ephesians, 2.14 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.14. For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition
7. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 35.173 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Tacitus, Histories, 5.5.4 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Cassius Dio, Roman History, 37.17.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

37.17.2.  They are distinguished from the rest of mankind in practically every detail of life, and especially by the fact that they do not honour any of the usual gods, but show extreme reverence for one particular divinity. They never had any statue of him even in Jerusalem itself, but believing him to be unnamable and invisible, they worship him in the most extravagant fashion on earth.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
asia minor Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
circumcision Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
decapolis Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 242
didyma Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
fence Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
gate Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
house v Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
jerusalem Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 164
maceria Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
nazareth Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 242
nero Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 242
paries Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
sacrifices' Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 164
sanctuary Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
sepphoris Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 242
space v Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
temple mount, jerusalem temple Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 164
temple v Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
tiberias Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 242
translation Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
vetus latina Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
vulgate Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212
wall Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 212