|7. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 12.119-12.120, 12.125, 12.148-12.152, 13.54, 13.382, 14.110-14.113, 14.185-14.267, 15.23, 15.383, 16.27-16.28, 16.45, 16.60, 16.150-16.159, 16.161-16.178, 19.278-19.312, 19.355 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)
| 12.119. 1. The Jews also obtained honors from the kings of Asia when they became their auxiliaries; for Seleucus Nicator made them citizens in those cities which he built in Asia, and in the lower Syria, and in the metropolis itself, Antioch; and gave them privileges equal to those of the Macedonians and Greeks, who were the inhabitants, insomuch that these privileges continue to this very day: 12.125. 2. We also know that Marcus Agrippa was of the like disposition towards the Jews: for when the people of Ionia were very angry at them, and besought Agrippa that they, and they only, might have those privileges of citizens which Antiochus, the grandson of Seleucus, (who by the Greeks was called The God,) had bestowed on them, and desired that, if the Jews were to be joint-partakers with them 12.148. “King Antiochus To Zeuxis His Father, Sendeth Greeting. /p“If you are in health, it is well. I also am in health. 12.149. Having been informed that a sedition is arisen in Lydia and Phrygia, I thought that matter required great care; and upon advising with my friends what was fit to be done, it hath been thought proper to remove two thousand families of Jews, with their effects, out of Mesopotamia and Babylon, unto the castles and places that lie most convenient; 12.151. And when thou shalt have brought them to the places forementioned, thou shalt give everyone of their families a place for building their houses, and a portion of the land for their husbandry, and for the plantation of their vines; and thou shalt discharge them from paying taxes of the fruits of the earth for ten years; 12.152. and let them have a proper quantity of wheat for the maintece of their servants, until they receive breadcorn out of the earth; also let a sufficient share be given to such as minister to them in the necessaries of life, that by enjoying the effects of our humanity, they may show themselves the more willing and ready about our affairs. 13.54. I give them leave also to use the laws of their forefathers, and to observe them; and I will that they have power over the three toparchies that are added to Judea; and it shall be in the power of the high priest to take care that no one Jew shall have any other temple for worship but only that at Jerusalem. 13.382. nay, at length they reduced him to that degree of necessity, that he was forced to deliver back to the king of Arabia the land of Moab and Gilead, which he had subdued, and the places that were in them, that they might not join with them in the war against him, as they had done ten thousand other things that tended to affront and reproach him. 14.111. Nor is the largeness of these sums without its attestation; nor is that greatness owing to our vanity, as raising it without ground to so great a height; but there are many witnesses to it, and particularly Strabo of Cappadocia, who says thus: 14.112. “Mithridates sent to Cos, and took the money which queen Cleopatra had deposited there, as also eight hundred talents belonging to the Jews.” 14.113. Now we have no public money but only what appertains to God; and it is evident that the Asian Jews removed this money out of fear of Mithridates; for it is not probable that those of Judea, who had a strong city and temple, should send their money to Cos; nor is it likely that the Jews who are inhabitants of Alexandria should do so neither, since they were in no fear of Mithridates. 14.185. 1. Now when Caesar was come to Rome, he was ready to sail into Africa to fight against Scipio and Cato, when Hyrcanus sent ambassadors to him, and by them desired that he would ratify that league of friendship and mutual alliance which was between them 14.186. And it seems to me to be necessary here to give an account of all the honors that the Romans and their emperor paid to our nation, and of the leagues of mutual assistance they have made with it, that all the rest of mankind may know what regard the kings of Asia and Europe have had to us, and that they have been abundantly satisfied of our courage and fidelity; 14.187. for whereas many will not believe what hath been written about us by the Persians and Macedonians, because those writings are not every where to be met with, nor do lie in public places, but among us ourselves, and certain other barbarous nations 14.188. while there is no contradiction to be made against the decrees of the Romans, for they are laid up in the public places of the cities, and are extant still in the capitol, and engraven upon pillars of brass; nay, besides this, Julius Caesar made a pillar of brass for the Jews at Alexandria, and declared publicly that they were citizens of Alexandria. 14.189. Out of these evidences will I demonstrate what I say; and will now set down the decrees made both by the senate and by Julius Caesar, which relate to Hyrcanus and to our nation. 14.191. I have sent you a copy of that decree, registered on the tables, which concerns Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, that it may be laid up among the public records; and I will that it be openly proposed in a table of brass, both in Greek and in Latin. 14.192. It is as follows: I Julius Caesar, imperator the second time, and high priest, have made this decree, with the approbation of the senate. Whereas Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander the Jew, hath demonstrated his fidelity and diligence about our affairs, and this both now and in former times, both in peace and in war, as many of our generals have borne witness 14.193. and came to our assistance in the last Alexandrian war, with fifteen hundred soldiers; and when he was sent by me to Mithridates, showed himself superior in valor to all the rest of that army;— 14.194. for these reasons I will that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, and his children, be ethnarchs of the Jews, and have the high priesthood of the Jews for ever, according to the customs of their forefathers, and that he and his sons be our confederates; and that besides this, everyone of them be reckoned among our particular friends. 14.195. I also ordain that he and his children retain whatsoever privileges belong to the office of high priest, or whatsoever favors have been hitherto granted them; and if at any time hereafter there arise any questions about the Jewish customs, I will that he determine the same. And I think it not proper that they should be obliged to find us winter quarters, or that any money should be required of them.” 14.196. 3. “The decrees of Caius Caesar, consul, containing what hath been granted and determined, are as follows: That Hyrcanus and his children bear rule over the nation of the Jews, and have the profits of the places to them bequeathed; and that he, as himself the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, defend those that are injured; 14.197. and that ambassadors be sent to Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest of the Jews, that may discourse with him about a league of friendship and mutual assistance; and that a table of brass, containing the premises, be openly proposed in the capitol, and at Sidon, and Tyre, and Askelon, and in the temple, engraven in Roman and Greek letters: 14.198. that this decree may also be communicated to the quaestors and praetors of the several cities, and to the friends of the Jews; and that the ambassadors may have presents made them; and that these decrees be sent every where.” 14.199. 4. “Caius Caesar, imperator, dictator, consul, hath granted, That out of regard to the honor, and virtue, and kindness of the man, and for the advantage of the senate, and of the people of Rome, Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, both he and his children, be high priests and priests of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish nation, by the same right, and according to the same laws, by which their progenitors have held the priesthood.” 14.201. and that the Jews be allowed to deduct out of their tribute, every second year the land is let [in the Sabbatic period], a corus of that tribute; and that the tribute they pay be not let to farm, nor that they pay always the same tribute.” 14.202. 6. “Caius Caesar, imperator the second time, hath ordained, That all the country of the Jews, excepting Joppa, do pay a tribute yearly for the city Jerusalem, excepting the seventh, which they call the sabbatical year, because thereon they neither receive the fruits of their trees, nor do they sow their land; 14.203. and that they pay their tribute in Sidon on the second year [of that sabbatical period], the fourth part of what was sown: and besides this, they are to pay the same tithes to Hyrcanus and his sons which they paid to their forefathers. 14.204. And that no one, neither president, nor lieutet, nor ambassador, raise auxiliaries within the bounds of Judea; nor may soldiers exact money of them for winter quarters, or under any other pretense; but that they be free from all sorts of injuries; 14.205. and that whatsoever they shall hereafter have, and are in possession of, or have bought, they shall retain them all. It is also our pleasure that the city Joppa, which the Jews had originally, when they made a league of friendship with the Romans, shall belong to them, as it formerly did; 14.206. and that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, and his sons, have as tribute of that city from those that occupy the land for the country, and for what they export every year to Sidon, twenty thousand six hundred and seventy-five modii every year, the seventh year, which they call the Sabbatic year, excepted, whereon they neither plough, nor receive the product of their trees. 14.207. It is also the pleasure of the senate, that as to the villages which are in the great plain, which Hyrcanus and his forefathers formerly possessed, Hyrcanus and the Jews have them with the same privileges with which they formerly had them also; 14.208. and that the same original ordices remain still in force which concern the Jews with regard to their high priests; and that they enjoy the same benefits which they have had formerly by the concession of the people, and of the senate; and let them enjoy the like privileges in Lydda. 14.209. It is the pleasure also of the senate that Hyrcanus the ethnarch, and the Jews, retain those places, countries, and villages which belonged to the kings of Syria and Phoenicia, the confederates of the Romans, and which they had bestowed on them as their free gifts. 14.211. 7. “Caius Caesar, imperator, dictator the fourth time, and consul the fifth time, declared to be perpetual dictator, made this speech concerning the rights and privileges of Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews. 14.212. Since those imperators that have been in the provinces before me have borne witness to Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, and to the Jews themselves, and this before the senate and people of Rome, when the people and senate returned their thanks to them, it is good that we now also remember the same, and provide that a requital be made to Hyrcanus, to the nation of the Jews, and to the sons of Hyrcanus, by the senate and people of Rome, and that suitably to what good-will they have shown us, and to the benefits they have bestowed upon us.” 14.213. 8. “Julius Caius, praetor [consul] of Rome, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Parians, sendeth greeting. The Jews of Delos, and some other Jews that sojourn there, in the presence of your ambassadors, signified to us, that, by a decree of yours, you forbid them to make use of the customs of their forefathers, and their way of sacred worship. 14.214. Now it does not please me that such decrees should be made against our friends and confederates, whereby they are forbidden to live according to their own customs, or to bring in contributions for common suppers and holy festivals, while they are not forbidden so to do even at Rome itself; 14.215. for even Caius Caesar, our imperator and consul, in that decree wherein he forbade the Bacchanal rioters to meet in the city, did yet permit these Jews, and these only, both to bring in their contributions, and to make their common suppers. 14.216. Accordingly, when I forbid other Bacchanal rioters, I permit these Jews to gather themselves together, according to the customs and laws of their forefathers, and to persist therein. It will be therefore good for you, that if you have made any decree against these our friends and confederates, to abrogate the same, by reason of their virtue and kind disposition towards us.” 14.217. 9. Now after Caius was slain, when Marcus Antonius and Publius Dolabella were consuls, they both assembled the senate, and introduced Hyrcanus’s ambassadors into it, and discoursed of what they desired, and made a league of friendship with them. The senate also decreed to grant them all they desired. 14.218. I add the decree itself, that those who read the present work may have ready by them a demonstration of the truth of what we say. The decree was this: 14.219. 10. “The decree of the senate, copied out of the treasury, from the public tables belonging to the quaestors, when Quintus Rutilius and Caius Cornelius were quaestors, and taken out of the second table of the first class, on the third day before the Ides of April, in the temple of Concord. 14.221. Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, the consuls, made this reference to the senate, that as to those things which, by the decree of the senate, Caius Caesar had adjudged about the Jews, and yet had not hitherto that decree been brought into the treasury, it is our will, as it is also the desire of Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, our consuls, to have these decrees put into the public tables, and brought to the city quaestors, that they may take care to have them put upon the double tables. 14.222. This was done before the fifth of the Ides of February, in the temple of Concord. Now the ambassadors from Hyrcanus the high priest were these: Lysimachus, the son of Pausanias, Alexander, the son of Theodorus, Patroclus, the son of Chereas, and Jonathan the son of Onias.” 14.223. 11. Hyrcanus sent also one of these ambassadors to Dolabella, who was then the prefect of Asia, and desired him to dismiss the Jews from military services, and to preserve to them the customs of their forefathers, and to permit them to live according to them. 14.224. And when Dolabella had received Hyrcanus’s letter, without any further deliberation, he sent an epistle to all the Asiatics, and particularly to the city of the Ephesians, the metropolis of Asia, about the Jews; a copy of which epistle here follows: 14.225. 12. “When Artermon was prytanis, on the first day of the month Leneon, Dolabella, imperator, to the senate, and magistrates, and people of the Ephesians, sendeth greeting. 14.226. Alexander, the son of Theodorus, the ambassador of Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, appeared before me, to show that his countrymen could not go into their armies, because they are not allowed to bear arms or to travel on the Sabbath days, nor there to procure themselves those sorts of food which they have been used to eat from the times of their forefathers;— 14.227. I do therefore grant them a freedom from going into the army, as the former prefects have done, and permit them to use the customs of their forefathers, in assembling together for sacred and religious purposes, as their law requires, and for collecting oblations necessary for sacrifices; and my will is, that you write this to the several cities under your jurisdiction.” 14.228. 13. And these were the concessions that Dolabella made to our nation when Hyrcanus sent an embassage to him. But Lucius the consul’s decree ran thus: “I have at my tribunal set these Jews, who are citizens of Rome, and follow the Jewish religious rites, and yet live at Ephesus, free from going into the army, on account of the superstition they are under. This was done before the twelfth of the calends of October, when Lucius Lentulus and Caius Marcellus were consuls 14.229. in the presence of Titus Appius Balgus, the son of Titus, and lieutet of the Horatian tribe; of Titus Tongins, the son of Titus, of the Crustumine tribe; of Quintus Resius, the son of Quintus; of Titus Pompeius Longinus, the son of Titus; of Catus Servilius, the son of Caius, of the Terentine tribe; of Bracchus the military tribune; of Publius Lucius Gallus, the son of Publius, of the Veturian tribe; of Caius Sentius, the son of Caius, of the Sabbatine tribe; 14.231. 14. The decree of the Delians. “The answer of the praetors, when Beotus was archon, on the twentieth day of the month Thargeleon. While Marcus Piso the lieutet lived in our city, who was also appointed over the choice of the soldiers, he called us, and many other of the citizens, and gave order 14.232. that if there be here any Jews who are Roman citizens, no one is to give them any disturbance about going into the army, because Cornelius Lentulus, the consul, freed the Jews from going into the army, on account of the superstition they are under;—you are therefore obliged to submit to the praetor.” And the like decree was made by the Sardians about us also. 14.233. 15. “Caius Phanius, the son of Caius, imperator and consul, to the magistrates of Cos, sendeth greeting. I would have you know that the ambassadors of the Jews have been with me, and desired they might have those decrees which the senate had made about them; which decrees are here subjoined. My will is, that you have a regard to and take care of these men, according to the senate’s decree, that they may be safely conveyed home through your country.” 14.234. 16. The declaration of Lucius Lentulus the consul: “I have dismissed those Jews who are Roman citizens, and who appear to me to have their religious rites, and to observe the laws of the Jews at Ephesus, on account of the superstition they are under. This act was done before the thirteenth of the calends of October.” 14.235. 17. “Lucius Antonius, the son of Marcus, vice-quaestor, and vice-praetor, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Sardians, sendeth greeting. Those Jews that are our fellowcitizens of Rome came to me, and demonstrated that they had an assembly of their own, according to the laws of their forefathers, and this from the beginning, as also a place of their own, wherein they determined their suits and controversies with one another. Upon their petition therefore to me, that these might be lawful for them, I gave order that these their privileges be preserved, and they be permitted to do accordingly.” 14.236. 18. The declaration of Marcus Publius, the son of Spurius, and of Marcus, the son of Marcus, and of Lucius, the son of Publius: “We went to the proconsul, and informed him of what Dositheus, the son of Cleopatrida of Alexandria, desired, that, if he thought good 14.237. he would dismiss those Jews who were Roman citizens, and were wont to observe the rites of the Jewish religion, on account of the superstition they were under. Accordingly, he did dismiss them. This was done before the thirteenth of the calends of October.” /p19. “In the month Quntius, when Lucius Lentulus and Caius Mercellus were consuls; 14.238. and there were present Titus Appius Balbus, the son of Titus, lieutet of the Horatian tribe, Titus Tongius of the Crustumine tribe, Quintus Resius, the son of Quintus, Titus Pompeius, the son of Titus, Cornelius Longinus, Caius Servilius Bracchus, the son of Caius, a military tribune, of the Terentine tribe, Publius Clusius Gallus, the son of Publius, of the Veturian tribe, Caius Teutius, the son of Caius, a milital tribune, of the EmilJan tribe, Sextus Atilius Serranus, the son of Sextus, of the Esquiline tribe 14.239. Caius Pompeius, the son of Caius, of the Sabbatine tribe, Titus Appius Meder, the son of Titus, Publius Servilius Strabo, the son of Publius, Lucius Paccius Capito, the son of Lucius, of the Colline tribe, Aulus Furius Tertius, the son of Aulus, and Appius Menus. 14.241. 20. “The magistrates of the Laodiceans to Caius Rubilius, the son of Caius, the consul, sendeth greeting. Sopater, the ambassador of Hyrcanus the high priest, hath delivered us an epistle from thee, whereby he lets us know that certain ambassadors were come from Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, and brought an epistle written concerning their nation 14.242. wherein they desire that the Jews may be allowed to observe their Sabbaths, and other sacred rites, according to the laws of their forefathers, and that they may be under no command, because they are our friends and confederates, and that nobody may injure them in our provinces. Now although the Trallians there present contradicted them, and were not pleased with these decrees, yet didst thou give order that they should be observed, and informedst us that thou hadst been desired to write this to us about them. 14.243. We therefore, in obedience to the injunctions we have received from thee, have received the epistle which thou sentest us, and have laid it up by itself among our public records. And as to the other things about which thou didst send to us, we will take care that no complaint be made against us.” 14.244. 21. “Publius Servilius, the son of Publius, of the Galban tribe, the proconsul, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Milesians, sendeth greeting. 14.245. Prytanes, the son of Hermes, a citizen of yours, came to me when I was at Tralles, and held a court there, and informed me that you used the Jews in a way different from my opinion, and forbade them to celebrate their Sabbaths, and to perform the sacred rites received from their forefathers, and to manage the fruits of the land, according to their ancient custom; and that he had himself been the promulger of your decree, according as your laws require: 14.246. I would therefore have you know, that upon hearing the pleadings on both sides, I gave sentence that the Jews should not be prohibited to make use of their own customs.” 14.247. 22. The decree of those of Pergamus. “When Cratippus was prytanis, on the first day of the month Desius, the decree of the praetors was this: Since the Romans, following the conduct of their ancestors, undertake dangers for the common safety of all mankind, and are ambitious to settle their confederates and friends in happiness, and in firm peace 14.248. and since the nation of the Jews, and their high priest Hyrcanus, sent as ambassadors to them, Strato, the son of Theodatus, and Apollonius, the son of Alexander, and Eneas, the son of Antipater 14.249. and Aristobulus, the son of Amyntas, and Sosipater, the son of Philip, worthy and good men, who gave a particular account of their affairs, the senate thereupon made a decree about what they had desired of them, that Antiochus the king, the son of Antiochus, should do no injury to the Jews, the confederates of the Romans; and that the fortresses, and the havens, and the country, and whatsoever else he had taken from them, should be restored to them; and that it may be lawful for them to export their goods out of their own havens; 14.251. Now Lucius Pettius, one of our senators, a worthy and good man, gave order that we should take care that these things should be done according to the senate’s decree; and that we should take care also that their ambassadors might return home in safety. 14.252. Accordingly, we admitted Theodorus into our senate and assembly, and took the epistle out of his hands, as well as the decree of the senate. And as he discoursed with great zeal about the Jews, and described Hyrcanus’s virtue and generosity 14.253. and how he was a benefactor to all men in common, and particularly to every body that comes to him, we laid up the epistle in our public records; and made a decree ourselves, that since we also are in confederacy with the Romans, we would do every thing we could for the Jews, according to the senate’s decree. 14.254. Theodorus also, who brought the epistle, desired of our praetors, that they would send Hyrcanus a copy of that decree, as also ambassadors to signify to him the affection of our people to him, and to exhort them to preserve and augment their friendship for us, and be ready to bestow other benefits upon us 14.255. as justly expecting to receive proper requitals from us; and desiring them to remember that our ancestors were friendly to the Jews even in the days of Abraham, who was the father of all the Hebrews, as we have [also] found it set down in our public records.” 14.256. 23. The decree of those of Halicarnassus. “When Memnon, the son of Orestidas by descent, but by adoption of Euonymus, was priest, on the —— day of the month Aristerion, the decree of the people, upon the representation of Marcus Alexander, was this: 14.257. Since we have ever a great regard to piety towards God, and to holiness; and since we aim to follow the people of the Romans, who are the benefactors of all men, and what they have written to us about a league of friendship and mutual assistance between the Jews and our city, and that their sacred offices and accustomed festivals and assemblies may be observed by them; 14.258. we have decreed, that as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so to do, may celebrate their Sabbaths, and perform their holy offices, according to the Jewish laws; and may make their proseuchae at the sea-side, according to the customs of their forefathers; and if any one, whether he be a magistrate or private person, hindereth them from so doing, he shall be liable to a fine, to be applied to the uses of the city.” 14.259. 24. The decree of the Sardians. “This decree was made by the senate and people, upon the representation of the praetors: Whereas those Jews who are fellowcitizens, and live with us in this city, have ever had great benefits heaped upon them by the people, and have come now into the senate 14.261. Now the senate and people have decreed to permit them to assemble together on the days formerly appointed, and to act according to their own laws; and that such a place be set apart for them by the praetors, for the building and inhabiting the same, as they shall esteem fit for that purpose; and that those that take care of the provision for the city, shall take care that such sorts of food as they esteem fit for their eating may be imported into the city.” 14.262. 25. The decree of the Ephesians. “When Menophilus was prytanis, on the first day of the month Artemisius, this decree was made by the people: Nicanor, the son of Euphemus, pronounced it, upon the representation of the praetors. 14.263. Since the Jews that dwell in this city have petitioned Marcus Julius Pompeius, the son of Brutus, the proconsul, that they might be allowed to observe their Sabbaths, and to act in all things according to the customs of their forefathers, without impediment from any body, the praetor hath granted their petition. 14.264. Accordingly, it was decreed by the senate and people, that in this affair that concerned the Romans, no one of them should be hindered from keeping the Sabbath day, nor be fined for so doing, but that they may be allowed to do all things according to their own laws.” 14.265. 26. Now there are many such decrees of the senate and imperators of the Romans and those different from these before us, which have been made in favor of Hyrcanus, and of our nation; as also, there have been more decrees of the cities, and rescripts of the praetors, to such epistles as concerned our rights and privileges; and certainly such as are not ill-disposed to what we write may believe that they are all to this purpose, and that by the specimens which we have inserted; 14.266. for since we have produced evident marks that may still be seen of the friendship we have had with the Romans, and demonstrated that those marks are engraven upon columns and tables of brass in the capitol, that axe still in being, and preserved to this day, we have omitted to set them all down, as needless and disagreeable; 14.267. for I cannot suppose any one so perverse as not to believe the friendship we have had with the Romans, while they have demonstrated the same by such a great number of their decrees relating to us; nor will they doubt of our fidelity as to the rest of those decrees, since we have shown the same in those we have produced, And thus have we sufficiently explained that friendship and confederacy we at those times had with the Romans. 15.23. 5. However, Alexandra, the daughter of Hyrcanus, and wife of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus the king, who had also brought Alexander [two] children, could not bear this indignity. Now this son was one of the greatest comeliness, and was called Aristobulus; and the daughter, Mariamne, was married to Herod, and eminent for her beauty also. 15.23. but when the sentence was passed upon her, this temper was suggested by himself, and by some others of the court, that she should not be thus hastily put to death, but be laid in prison in one of the fortresses belonging to the kingdom: 15.383. for I have neither been negligent in the most difficult times about what tended to ease your necessities, nor have the buildings. I have made been so proper to preserve me as yourselves from injuries; and I imagine that, with God’s assistance, I have advanced the nation of the Jews to a degree of happiness which they never had before; 16.27. 3. But now, when Agrippa and Herod were in Ionia, a great multitude of Jews, who dwelt in their cities, came to them, and laying hold of the opportunity and the liberty now given them, laid before them the injuries which they suffered, while they were not permitted to use their own laws, but were compelled to prosecute their law-suits, by the ill usage of the judges, upon their holy days 16.27. He also made an agreement with him that he would go to Rome, because he had written to Caesar about these affairs; so they went together as far as Antioch, and there Herod made a reconciliation between Archelaus and Titus, the president of Syria, who had been greatly at variance, and so returned back to Judea. 16.28. and were deprived of the money they used to lay up at Jerusalem, and were forced into the army, and upon such other offices as obliged them to spend their sacred money; from which burdens they always used to be freed by the Romans, who had still permitted them to live according to their own laws. 16.28. but Sylleus, who had laid Obodas aside, and managed all by himself, denied that the robbers were in Arabia, and put off the payment of the money; about which there was a hearing before Saturninus and Volumnius, who were then the presidents of Syria. 16.45. Now our adversaries take these our privileges away in the way of injustice; they violently seize upon that money of ours which is owed to God, and called sacred money, and this openly, after a sacrilegious manner; and they impose tributes upon us, and bring us before tribunals on holy days, and then require other like debts of us, not because the contracts require it, and for their own advantage, but because they would put an affront on our religion, of which they are conscious as well as we, and have indulged themselves in an unjust, and to them involuntary, hatred; 16.151. but when any one looks upon the punishments he inflicted, and the injuries he did, not only to his subjects, but to his nearest relations, and takes notice of his severe and unrelenting disposition there, he will be forced to allow that he was brutish, and a stranger to all humanity; 16.152. insomuch that these men suppose his nature to be different, and sometimes at contradiction with itself; but I am myself of another opinion, and imagine that the occasion of both these sort of actions was one and the same; 16.153. for being a man ambitious of honor, and quite overcome by that passion, he was induced to be magnificent, wherever there appeared any hopes of a future memorial, or of reputation at present; 16.154. and as his expenses were beyond his abilities, he was necessitated to be harsh to his subjects; for the persons on whom he expended his money were so many, that they made him a very bad procurer of it; 16.155. and because he was conscious that he was hated by those under him, for the injuries he did them, he thought it not an easy thing to amend his offenses, for that it was inconvenient for his revenue; he therefore strove on the other side to make their ill-will an occasion of his gains. 16.156. As to his own court, therefore, if any one was not very obsequious to him in his language, and would not confess himself to be his slave, or but seemed to think of any innovation in his government, he was not able to contain himself, but prosecuted his very kindred and friends, and punished them as if they were enemies and this wickedness he undertook out of a desire that he might be himself alone honored. 16.157. Now for this, my assertion about that passion of his, we have the greatest evidence, by what he did to honor Caesar and Agrippa, and his other friends; for with what honors he paid his respects to them who were his superiors, the same did he desire to be paid to himself; and what he thought the most excellent present he could make another, he discovered an inclination to have the like presented to himself. 16.158. But now the Jewish nation is by their law a stranger to all such things, and accustomed to prefer righteousness to glory; for which reason that nation was not agreeable to him, because it was out of their power to flatter the king’s ambition with statues or temples, or any other such performances; 16.159. And this seems to me to have been at once the occasion of Herod’s crimes as to his own courtiers and counselors, and of his benefactions as to foreigners and those that had no relation to him. 16.161. When therefore they were thus afflicted, and found no end of their barbarous treatment they met with among the Greeks, they sent ambassadors to Caesar on those accounts, who gave them the same privileges as they had before, and sent letters to the same purpose to the governors of the provinces, copies of which I subjoin here, as testimonials of the ancient favorable disposition the Roman emperors had towards us. 16.162. 2. “Caesar Augustus, high priest and tribune of the people, ordains thus: Since the nation of the Jews hath been found grateful to the Roman people, not only at this time, but in time past also, and chiefly Hyrcanus the high priest, under my father Caesar the emperor 16.163. it seemed good to me and my counselors, according to the sentence and oath of the people of Rome, that the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, according to the law of their forefathers, as they made use of them under Hyrcanus the high priest of the Almighty God; and that their sacred money be not touched, but be sent to Jerusalem, and that it be committed to the care of the receivers at Jerusalem; and that they be not obliged to go before any judge on the Sabbath day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth hour. 16.164. But if any one be caught stealing their holy books, or their sacred money, whether it be out of the synagogue or public school, he shall be deemed a sacrilegious person, and his goods shall be brought into the public treasury of the Romans. 16.165. And I give order that the testimonial which they have given me, on account of my regard to that piety which I exercise toward all mankind, and out of regard to Caius Marcus Censorinus, together with the present decree, be proposed in that most eminent place which hath been consecrated to me by the community of Asia at Ancyra. And if any one transgress any part of what is above decreed, he shall be severely punished.” This was inscribed upon a pillar in the temple of Caesar. 16.166. 3. “Caesar to Norbanus Flaccus, sendeth greeting. Let those Jews, how many soever they be, who have been used, according to their ancient custom, to send their sacred money to Jerusalem, do the same freely.” These were the decrees of Caesar. 16.167. 4. Agrippa also did himself write after the manner following, on behalf of the Jews: “Agrippa, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Ephesians, sendeth greeting. I will that the care and custody of the sacred money that is carried to the temple at Jerusalem be left to the Jews of Asia, to do with it according to their ancient custom; 16.168. and that such as steal that sacred money of the Jews, and fly to a sanctuary, shall be taken thence and delivered to the Jews, by the same law that sacrilegious persons are taken thence. I have also written to Sylvanus the praetor, that no one compel the Jews to come before a judge on the Sabbath day.” 16.169. 5. “Marcus Agrippa to the magistrates, senate, and people of Cyrene, sendeth greeting. The Jews of Cyrene have interceded with me for the performance of what Augustus sent orders about to Flavius, the then praetor of Libya, and to the other procurators of that province, that the sacred money may be sent to Jerusalem freely, as hath been their custom from their forefathers 16.171. 6. “Caius Norbanus Flaccus, proconsul, to the magistrates of the Sardians, sendeth greeting. Caesar hath written to me, and commanded me not to forbid the Jews, how many soever they be, from assembling together according to the custom of their forefathers, nor from sending their money to Jerusalem. I have therefore written to you, that you may know that both Caesar and I would have you act accordingly.” 16.172. 7. Nor did Julius Antonius, the proconsul, write otherwise. “To the magistrates, senate, and people of the Ephesians, sendeth greeting. As I was dispensing justice at Ephesus, on the Ides of February, the Jews that dwell in Asia demonstrated to me that Augustus and Agrippa had permitted them to use their own laws and customs, and to offer those their first-fruits, which every one of them freely offers to the Deity on account of piety, and to carry them in a company together to Jerusalem without disturbance. 16.173. They also petitioned me that I also would confirm what had been granted by Augustus and Agrippa by my own sanction. I would therefore have you take notice, that according to the will of Augustus and Agrippa, I permit them to use and do according to the customs of their forefathers without disturbance.” 16.174. 8. I have been obliged to set down these decree because the present history of our own acts will go generally among the Greeks; and I have hereby demonstrated to them that we have formerly been in great esteem, and have not been prohibited by those governors we were under from keeping any of the laws of our forefathers; nay, that we have been supported by them, while we followed our own religion, and the worship we paid to God; 16.175. and I frequently make mention of these decrees, in order to reconcile other people to us, and to take away the causes of that hatred which unreasonable men bear to us. 16.176. As for our customs there is no nation which always makes use of the same, and in every city almost we meet with them different from one another; 16.177. but natural justice is most agreeable to the advantage of all men equally, both Greeks and barbarians, to which our laws have the greatest regard, and thereby render us, if we abide in them after a pure manner, benevolent and friendly to all men; 16.178. on which account we have reason to expect the like return from others, and to inform them that they ought not to esteem difference of positive institutions a sufficient cause of alienation, but [join with us in] the pursuit of virtue and probity, for this belongs to all men in common, and of itself alone is sufficient for the preservation of human life. I now return to the thread of my history. 19.278. 2. Now about this time there was a sedition between the Jews and the Greeks, at the city of Alexandria; for when Caius was dead, the nation of the Jews, which had been very much mortified under the reign of Caius, and reduced to very great distress by the people of Alexandria, recovered itself, and immediately took up their arms to fight for themselves. 19.279. So Claudius sent an order to the president of Egypt to quiet that tumult; he also sent an edict, at the requests of king Agrippa and king Herod, both to Alexandria and to Syria, whose contents were as follows: 19.281. Since I am assured that the Jews of Alexandria, called Alexandrians, have been joint inhabitants in the earliest times with the Alexandrians, and have obtained from their kings equal privileges with them, as is evident by the public records that are in their possession, and the edicts themselves; 19.282. and that after Alexandria had been subjected to our empire by Augustus, their rights and privileges have been preserved by those presidents who have at divers times been sent thither; and that no dispute had been raised about those rights and privileges 19.283. even when Aquila was governor of Alexandria; and that when the Jewish ethnarch was dead, Augustus did not prohibit the making such ethnarchs, as willing that all men should be so subject [to the Romans] as to continue in the observation of their own customs, and not be forced to transgress the ancient rules of their own country religion; 19.284. but that, in the time of Caius, the Alexandrians became insolent towards the Jews that were among them, which Caius, out of his great madness and want of understanding, reduced the nation of the Jews very low, because they would not transgress the religious worship of their country, and call him a god: 19.285. I will therefore that the nation of the Jews be not deprived of their rights and privileges, on account of the madness of Caius; but that those rights and privileges which they formerly enjoyed be preserved to them, and that they may continue in their own customs. And I charge both parties to take very great care that no troubles may arise after the promulgation of this edict.” 19.286. 3. And such were the contents of this edict on behalf of the Jews that was sent to Alexandria. But the edict that was sent into the other parts of the habitable earth was this which follows: 19.287. “Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, high priest, tribune of the people, chosen consul the second time, ordains thus: 19.288. Upon the petition of king Agrippa and king Herod, who are persons very dear to me, that I would grant the same rights and privileges should be preserved to the Jews which are in all the Roman empire, which I have granted to those of Alexandria, I very willingly comply therewith; and this grant I make not only for the sake of the petitioners 19.289. but as judging those Jews for whom I have been petitioned worthy of such a favor, on account of their fidelity and friendship to the Romans. I think it also very just that no Grecian city should be deprived of such rights and privileges, since they were preserved to them under the great Augustus. 19.291. And I will that this decree of mine be engraven on tables by the magistrates of the cities, and colonies, and municipal places, both those within Italy and those without it, both kings and governors, by the means of the ambassadors, and to have them exposed to the public for full thirty days, in such a place whence it may plainly be read from the ground.” 19.292. 1. Now Claudius Caesar, by these decrees of his which were sent to Alexandria, and to all the habitable earth, made known what opinion he had of the Jews. So he soon sent Agrippa away to take his kingdom, now he was advanced to a more illustrious dignity than before, and sent letters to the presidents and procurators of the provinces that they should treat him very kindly. 19.293. Accordingly, he returned in haste, as was likely he would, now he returned in much greater prosperity than he had before. He also came to Jerusalem, and offered all the sacrifices that belonged to him, and omitted nothing which the law required; 19.294. on which account he ordained that many of the Nazarites should have their heads shorn. And for the golden chain which had been given him by Caius, of equal weight with that iron chain wherewith his royal hands had been bound, he hung it up within the limits of the temple, over the treasury, that it might be a memorial of the severe fate he had lain under, and a testimony of his change for the better; that it might be a demonstration how the greatest prosperity may have a fall, and that God sometimes raises up what is fallen down: 19.295. for this chain thus dedicated afforded a document to all men, that king Agrippa had been once bound in a chain for a small cause, but recovered his former dignity again; and a little while afterward got out of his bonds, and was advanced to be a more illustrious king than he was before. 19.296. Whence men may understand that all that partake of human nature, how great soever they are, may fall; and that those that fall may gain their former illustrious dignity again. 19.297. 2. And when Agrippa had entirely finished all the duties of the divine worship, he removed Theophilus, the son of Aus, from the high priesthood, and bestowed that honor of his on Simon the son of Boethus, whose name was also Cantheras whose daughter king Herod married, as I have related above. 19.298. Simon, therefore, had the [high] priesthood with his brethren, and with his father, in like manner as the sons of Simon, the son of Onias, who were three, had it formerly under the government of the Macedonians, as we have related in a former book. 19.299. 3. When the king had settled the high priesthood after this manner, he returned the kindness which the inhabitants of Jerusalem had showed him; for he released them from the tax upon houses, every one of which paid it before, thinking it a good thing to requite the tender affection of those that loved him. He also made Silas the general of his forces, as a man who had partaken with him in many of his troubles. 19.301. This procedure of theirs greatly provoked Agrippa; for it plainly tended to the dissolution of the laws of his country. So he came without delay to Publius Petronius, who was then president of Syria, and accused the people of Doris. 19.302. Nor did he less resent what was done than did Agrippa; for he judged it a piece of impiety to transgress the laws that regulate the actions of men. So he wrote the following letter to the people of Doris in an angry strain: 19.303. “Publius Petronius, the president under Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, to the magistrates of Doris, ordains as follows: 19.304. Since some of you have had the boldness, or madness rather, after the edict of Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was published, for permitting the Jews to observe the laws of their country, not to obey the same 19.305. but have acted in entire opposition thereto, as forbidding the Jews to assemble together in the synagogue, by removing Caesar’s statue, and setting it up therein, and thereby have offended not only the Jews, but the emperor himself, whose statue is more commodiously placed in his own temple than in a foreign one, where is the place of assembling together; while it is but a part of natural justice, that every one should have the power over the place belonging peculiarly to themselves, according to the determination of Caesar,— 19.306. to say nothing of my own determination, which it would be ridiculous to mention after the emperor’s edict, which gives the Jews leave to make use of their own customs, as also gives order that they enjoy equally the rights of citizens with the Greeks themselves,— 19.307. I therefore ordain that Proculus Vitellius, the centurion, bring those men to me, who, contrary to Augustus’s edict, have been so insolent as to do this thing, at which those very men, who appear to be of principal reputation among them, have an indignation also, and allege for themselves, that it was not done with their consent, but by the violence of the multitude, that they may give an account of what hath been done. 19.308. I also exhort the principal magistrates among them, unless they have a mind to have this action esteemed to be done with their consent, to inform the centurion of those that were guilty of it, and take care that no handle be hence taken for raising a sedition or quarrel among them; which those seem to me to hunt after who encourage such doings; 19.309. while both I myself, and king Agrippa, for whom I have the highest honor, have nothing more under our care, than that the nation of the Jews may have no occasion given them of getting together, under the pretense of avenging themselves, and become tumultuous. 19.311. I therefore charge you, that you do not, for the time to come, seek for any occasion of sedition or disturbance, but that every one be allowed to follow their own religious customs.” 19.312. 4. Thus did Petronius take care of this matter, that such a breach of the law might be corrected, and that no such thing might be attempted afterwards against the Jews. 19.355. Now these his daughters were thus espoused by their father: Mariamne to Julius Archelaus Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, the son of Chelcias; and Drusilla to the king of Commagena.