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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7234
Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 16.44-16.65


καλὰ μὲν οὖν, ἐὰν ἐξετάζῃ τις καὶ καθ' αὑτὰ τὰ ἔθη, παλαιὰ δ' ἡμῖν, κἂν μή τισιν δοκῇ, ὥστ' αὐτῶν καὶ τὸ τοῦ χρόνου τιμητὸν δυσαποδίδακτον εἶναι τοῖς ὁσίως παρειληφόσιν καὶ διαφυλάττουσιν.If any one therefore examine into our observances, he will find they are good in themselves, and that they are ancient also, though some think otherwise, insomuch that those who have received them cannot easily be brought to depart from them, out of that honor they pay to the length of time they have religiously enjoyed them and observed them.


τούτων ἡμᾶς ἀφαιροῦνται κατ' ἐπήρειαν, χρήματα μὲν ἃ τῷ θεῷ συμφέρομεν ἐπώνυμα διαφθείροντες καὶ φανερῶς ἱεροσυλοῦντες, τέλη δ' ἐπιτιθέντες κἀν ταῖς ἑορταῖς ἄγοντες ἐπὶ δικαστήρια καὶ πραγματείας ἄλλας, οὐ κατὰ χρείαν τῶν συναλλαγμάτων, ἀλλὰ κατ' ἐπήρειαν τῆς θρησκείας, ἣν συνίσασιν ἡμῖν, μῖσος οὐ δίκαιον οὐδ' αὐτεξούσιον αὐτοῖς πεπονθότες.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;


ἡ γὰρ ὑμετέρα κατὰ πάντων ἀρχὴ γενομένη μία τὴν μὲν εὔνοιαν ἐνεργὸν τὴν δὲ δύσνοιαν ἄνεργον ποιεῖ τοῖς τὸ τοιοῦτον ἀντ' ἐκείνου προαιρουμένοις.for your government over all is one, tending to the establishing of benevolence, and abolishing of ill-will among such as are disposed to it.


ταῦτ' οὖν ἀξιοῦμεν, ὦ μέγιστε ̓Αγρίππα, μὴ κακῶς πάσχειν μηδ' ἐπηρεάζεσθαι μηδὲ κωλύεσθαι τοῖς ἔθεσι χρῆσθαι τοῖς ἡμετέροις μηδ' ἀφαιρεῖσθαι τῶν ὄντων μηδ' ἃ μὴ βιαζόμεθα τούτους ὑπὸ τούτων βιάζεσθαι: καὶ γὰρ οὐ δίκαια μόνον ἐστίν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑφ' ὑμῶν δεδομένα πρότερον.This is therefore what we implore from thee, most excellent Agrippa, that we may not be ill-treated; that we may not be abused; that we may not be hindered from making use of our own customs, nor be despoiled of our goods, nor be forced by these men to do what we ourselves force nobody to do; for these privileges of ours are not only according to justice, but have formerly been granted us by you.


ἔτι καὶ δυναίμεθ' ἂν πολλὰ δόγματα τῆς συγκλήτου καὶ τὰς ἐν τῷ Καπετωλίῳ κειμένας δέλτους ὑπὲρ τούτων ἀναγινώσκειν, ἃ δῆλον μὲν ὡς μετὰ πεῖραν τῆς ἡμετέρας εἰς ὑμᾶς πίστεως ἐδόθη, κύρια δὲ κἂν εἰ μηδενὸς ὕπαρξιν ἐχαρίσασθε.And we are able to read to you many decrees of the senate, and the tables that contain them, which are still extant in the capitol, concerning these things, which it is evident were granted after you had experience of our fidelity towards you, which ought to be valued, though no such fidelity had been;


σχεδὸν γὰρ οὐ μόνοις ἡμῖν ἀλλὰ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις τὰ μὲν ὄντα φυλάξαντες, μείζω δὲ τῶν ἐλπισθέντων προσθέντες εὐεργετεῖτε τῷ κρατεῖν, καὶ δύναιτ' ἄν τις ἐπεξιὼν τὰς ἑκάστων εὐτυχίας, ἃς δι' ὑμῶν ἔχουσιν, ἀπερίληπτον ποιῆσαι τὸν λόγον.for you have hitherto preserved what people were in possession of, not to us only, but almost to all men, and have added greater advantages than they could have hoped for, and thereby your government is become a great advantage to them. And if any one were able to enumerate the prosperity you have conferred on every nation, which they possess by your means, he could never put an end to his discourse;


nanbut that we may demonstrate that we are not unworthy of all those advantages we have obtained, it will be sufficient for us, to say nothing of other things, but to speak freely of this king who now governs us, and is now one of thy assessors;


ᾧ ποία μὲν εὔνοια πρὸς τὸν ὑμέτερον οἶκον παραλέλειπται; ποία δὲ πίστις ἐνδεής ἐστιν; τίς δὲ οὐ νενόηται τιμή; ποία δὲ χρεία μὴ εἰς πρῶτον ὁρᾷ; τί δὴ κωλύει καὶ τὰς ἡμετέρας χάριτας τῶν εἰς τοσούτων εὐεργεσιῶν ἀριθμὸν εἶναι;and indeed in what instance of good-will, as to your house, hath he been deficient? What mark of fidelity to it hath he omitted? What token of honor hath he not devised? What occasion for his assistance of you hath he not regarded at the very first? What hindereth; therefore, but that your kindnesses may be as numerous as his so great benefits to you have been?


καλὸν δ' ἴσως μηδὲ τὴν τοῦ πατρὸς ̓Αντιπάτρου παραλιπεῖν ἀνδραγαθίαν ἀμνημόνευτον, ὃς εἰς Αἴγυπτον εἰσβεβληκότος Καίσαρος δισχιλίοις ὁπλίταις βοηθήσας οὔτ' ἐν τοῖς κατὰ γῆν ἀγῶσιν οὔθ' ὅτε νεῶν ἔδει δεύτερος ἐξητάζετο.It may also perhaps be fit not here to pass over in silence the valor of his father Antipater, who, when Caesar made an expedition into Egypt, assisted him with two thousand armed men, and proved inferior to none, neither in the battles on land, nor in the management of the navy;


καὶ τί δεῖ λέγειν, ὅσην ἐκεῖνοι παρέσχον ῥοπὴν τῷ τότε καιρῷ καὶ πόσων καὶ τίνων δωρεῶν ὑπὸ Καίσαρος ἠξιώθησαν καθ' ἕνα, δέον ἀναμνῆσαι τῶν ἐπιστολῶν, ἃς ἔγραψεν τότε Καῖσαρ τῇ συγκλήτῳ, καὶ ὡς δημοσίᾳ τιμὰς καὶ πολιτείαν ἔλαβεν ̓Αντίπατρος;and what need I say any thing of how great weight those soldiers were at that juncture? or how many and how great presents they were vouchsafed by Caesar? And truly I ought before now to have mentioned the epistles which Caesar wrote to the senate; and how Antipater had honors, and the freedom of the city of Rome, bestowed upon him;


ἀρκέσει γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ τεκμήρια τοῦ καὶ τὰς χάριτας ἡμᾶς κατ' ἀξίαν ἔχειν καὶ παρὰ σοῦ τὸ βέβαιον αὐτῶν αἰτεῖν, παρ' οὗ καὶ μὴ πρότερον δοθείσας ἦν ἐλπίσαι τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως πρὸς ὑμᾶς διάθεσιν καὶ τὴν ὑμετέραν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁρῶσιν.for these are demonstrations both that we have received these favors by our own deserts, and do on that account petition thee for thy confirmation of them, from whom we had reason to hope for them, though they had not been given us before, both out of regard to our king’s disposition towards you, and your disposition towards him.


ἀπαγγέλλεται δ' ἡμῖν ὑπὸ τῶν ἐκεῖ ̓Ιουδαίων, ὡς μὲν ἐπέβης τῆς χώρας εὐμενής, ὡς δὲ ἀπέδωκας τῷ θεῷ τέλεια θύματα τιμῶν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τελείαις εὐχαῖς, ὡς δὲ τὸν δῆμον εἱστίασας καὶ τὰ παρ' ἐκείνου ξένια προσήκω.And further, we have been informed by those Jews that were there with what kindness thou camest into our country, and how thou offeredst the most perfect sacrifices to God, and honoredst him with remarkable vows, and how thou gavest the people a feast, and acceptedst of their own hospitable presents to thee.


ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα καὶ ἔθνει καὶ πόλει πρὸς ἄνδρα τοσούτων ἐπιστατοῦντα πραγμάτων δεξιώματα καὶ σύμβολα φιλίας χρὴ δοκεῖν, ἣν ἀπέδωκας τῷ ̓Ιουδαίων ἔθνει τῆς ̔Ηρώδου προξενούσης αὐτὴν ἑστίας.We ought to esteem all these kind entertainments made both by our nation and to our city, to a man who is the ruler and manager of so much of the public affairs, as indications of that friendship which thou hast returned to the Jewish nation, and which hath been procured them by the family of Herod.


τούτων ὑπομιμνήσκοντές σε καὶ αὐτοῦ τοῦ παρόντος καὶ συγκαθεζομένου βασιλέως ἠξιώκαμεν περιττὸν οὐδέν, ἃ δ' αὐτοὶ δεδώκατε ταῦθ' ὑπ' ἄλλων μὴ περιιδεῖν ἀφαιρουμένους.”So we put thee in mind of these things in the presence of the king, now sitting by thee, and make our request for no more but this, that what you have given us yourselves you will not see taken away by others from us.”


Τοιαῦτα μὲν τοῦ Νικολάου διελθόντος ἐγένετο οὐδεμία τῶν ̔Ελλήνων ἀντικατάστασις: οὐδὲ γὰρ ὡς ἐν δικαστηρίῳ περὶ τῶν προκειμένων διελάμβανον, ἀλλ' ἦν ἔντευξις ὧν ἐβιάζοντο.4. When Nicolaus had made this speech, there was no opposition made to it by the Greeks, for this was not an inquiry made, as in a court of justice, but an intercession to prevent violence to be offered to the Jews any longer;


κἀκείνων ἀπολογία μὲν οὐδεμία τοῦ μὴ ταῦτα ποιεῖν, πρόφασις δέ, ὡς τὴν χώραν αὐτῶν νεμόμενοι πάντα νῦν ἀδικοῖεν. οἱ δὲ ἐγγενεῖς τε αὑτοὺς ἐδείκνυσαν κἀν τῷ τὰ οἰκεῖα τιμᾶν μηδὲν λυποῦντες οἰκεῖν.nor did the Greeks make any defense of themselves, or deny what it was supposed they had done. Their pretense was no more than this, that while the Jews inhabited in their country, they were entirely unjust to them [in not joining in their worship] but they demonstrated their generosity in this, that though they worshipped according to their institutions, they did nothing that ought to grieve them.


nanSo when Agrippa perceived that they had been oppressed by violence, he made this answer: That, on account of Herod’s good-will and friendship, he was ready to grant the Jews whatsoever they should ask him, and that their requests seemed to him in themselves just; and that if they requested any thing further, he should not scruple to grant it them, provided they were no way to the detriment of the Roman government; but that while their request was no more than this, that what privileges they had already given them might not be abrogated, he confirmed this to them, that they might continue in the observation of their own customs, without any one offering them the least injury. And when he had said thus, he dissolved the assembly;


τοιαῦτα εἰπὼν διέλυε τὸν σύλλογον. ̔Ηρώδης δὲ προσεστὼς κατησπάζετο καὶ τῆς εἰς αὐτὸν διαθέσεως ὡμολόγει χάριν. ὁ δὲ καὶ εἰς ταῦτα φιλοφρονούμενος ἴσον αὑτὸν παρεῖχεν ἀντεμπλεκόμενος καὶ κατασπαζόμενος.upon which Herod stood up and saluted him, and gave him thanks for the kind disposition he showed to them. Agrippa also took this in a very obliging manner, and saluted him again, and embraced him in his arms;


καὶ τότε μὲν ἀνεχώρησεν: ἀπὸ δὲ Σάμου πλεῖν ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐπ' οἴκου διέγνω καὶ τὸν ̓Αγρίππαν παραιτησάμενος ἀνήχθη, κατάγεται δ' εἰς Καισάρειαν οὐ πολλαῖς ὕστερον ἡμέραις πνευμάτων ἐπιτηδείων τυχών. κἀκεῖθεν ἐλθὼν εἰς ̔Ιεροσόλυμα συνήγαγεν ἐκκλησίαν πάνδημον: ἦν δὲ πολὺς κἀκ τῆς χώρας ὄχλος.after which he went away from Lesbos; but the king determined to sail from Samos to his own country; and when he had taken his leave of Agrippa, he pursued his voyage, and landed at Caesarea in a few days’ time, as having favorable winds; from whence he went to Jerusalem, and there gathered all the people together to an assembly, not a few being there out of the country also.


ὁ δὲ παρελθὼν ἀπολογισμόν τε τῆς ὅλης ἐκδημίας ἐποιήσατο καὶ τὰ περὶ τοὺς ̓Ιουδαίους, ὅσοι κατὰ τὴν ̓Ασίαν ἦσαν, ὡς δι' αὐτὸν ἀνεπηρεάστως εἰς τὸ λοιπὸν ἕξουσιν διηγήσατο.So he came to them, and gave them a particular account of all his journey, and of the affairs of all the Jews in Asia, how by his means they would live without injurious treatment for the time to come.


τό τε σύμπαν ἐπὶ ταῖς εὐτυχίαις καὶ τῇ διοικήσει τῆς ἀρχῆς ὡς οὐδενὸς παραλείποιτο τῶν ἐκείνοις συμφερόντων, ἀγαλλόμενος τὸ τέταρτον τῶν φόρων ἀφίησιν αὐτοῖς τοῦ παρεληλυθότος ἔτους.He also told them of the entire good fortune he had met with and how he had administered the government, and had not neglected any thing which was for their advantage; and as he was very joyful, he now remitted to them the fourth part of their taxes for the last year.


οἱ δὲ καὶ τῷ λόγῳ καὶ τῇ χάριτι δεδημαγωγημένοι μετὰ πλείστης χαρᾶς ἀπῄεσαν πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ συνευχόμενοι τῷ βασιλεῖ.Accordingly, they were so pleased with his favor and speech to them, that they went their ways with great gladness, and wished the king all manner of happiness.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

17 results
1. Cicero, Pro Flacco, 67 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

67. Italia et ex omnibus nostris provinciis Hierosolymam exportari soleret, Flaccus sanxit edicto ne ex Asia exportari liceret. quis est, iudices, qui hoc non vere laudare possit? exportari aurum non oportere cum saepe antea senatus tum me consule gravissime iudicavit. huic autem barbarae superstitioni resistere severitatis, multitudinem Iudaeorum flagrantem non numquam in contionibus pro re publica contemnere gravitatis summae fuit. at Cn. Pompeius captis Hierosolymis victor ex illo fano nihil attigit.
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 128 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

128. These things, and more still are said in a philosophical spirit about the number seven, on account of which it has received the highest honours, in the highest nature. And it is honoured by those of the highest reputation among both Greeks and barbarians, who devote themselves to mathematical sciences. It was also greatly honoured by Moses, a man much attached to excellence of all sorts, who described its beauty on the most holy pillars of the law, and wrote it in the hearts of all those who were subject to him, commanding them at the end of each period of six days to keep the seventh holy; abstaining from all other works which are done in the seeking after and providing the means of life, devoting that day to the single object of philosophizing with a view to the improvement of their morals, and the examination of their consciences: for conscience being seated in the soul as a judge, is not afraid to reprove men, sometimes employing pretty vehement threats; at other times by milder admonitions, using threats in regard to matters where men appear to be disobedient, of deliberate purpose, and admonitions when their offences seem involuntary, through want of foresight, in order to prevent their hereafter offending in a similar manner. XLIV.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.127 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.127. And would you still sit down in your synagogues, collecting your ordinary assemblies, and reading your sacred volumes in security, and explaining whatever is not quite clear, and devoting all your time and leisure with long discussions to the philosophy of your ancestors?
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.69, 1.77-1.78 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.69. And the most evident proof of this may be found in the events which actually took place. For innumerable companies of men from a countless variety of cities, some by land and some by sea, from east and from west, from the north and from the south, came to the temple at every festival, as if to some common refuge and safe asylum from the troubles of this most busy and painful life, seeking to find tranquillity, and to procure a remission of and respite from those cares by which from their earliest infancy they had been hampered and weighed down 1.77. For it is commanded that all men shall every year bring their first fruits to the temple, from twenty years old and upwards; and this contribution is called their ransom. On which account they bring in the first fruits with exceeding cheerfulness, being joyful and delighted, inasmuch as simultaneously with their making the offering they are sure to find either a relaxation from slavery, or a relief from disease, and to receive in all respects a most sure freedom and safety for the future. 1.78. And since the nation is the most numerous of all peoples, it follows naturally that the first fruits contributed by them must also be most abundant. Accordingly there is in almost every city a storehouse for the sacred things to which it is customary for the people to come and there to deposit their first fruits, and at certain seasons there are sacred ambassadors selected on account of their virtue, who convey the offerings to the temple. And the most eminent men of each tribe are elected to this office, that they may conduct the hopes of each individual safe to their destination; for in the lawful offering of the first fruits are the hopes of the pious.XV.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 157, 216, 312-313, 156 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

156. Therefore, he knew that they had synagogues, and that they were in the habit of visiting them, and most especially on the sacred sabbath days, when they publicly cultivate their national philosophy. He knew also that they were in the habit of contributing sacred sums of money from their first fruits and sending them to Jerusalem by the hands of those who were to conduct the sacrifices.
6. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 82, 81 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

81. Now these laws they are taught at other times, indeed, but most especially on the seventh day, for the seventh day is accounted sacred, on which they abstain from all other employments, and frequent the sacred places which are called synagogues, and there they sit according to their age in classes, the younger sitting under the elder, and listening with eager attention in becoming order.
7. Anon., Didache, 12 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. But let every one that comes in the name of the Lord be received, and afterward you shall prove and know him; for you shall have understanding right and left. If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you, except for two or three days, if need be. But if he wills to abide with you, being an artisan, let him work and eat; 2 Thessalonians 3:10 but if he has no trade, according to your understanding see to it that, as a Christian, he shall not live with you idle. But if he wills not to do, he is a Christ-monger. Watch that you keep aloof from such.
8. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 4.183-4.184, 4.193, 12.50, 12.125-12.127, 14.112-14.113, 14.213-14.216, 14.225-14.264, 15.328-15.330, 16.27-16.28, 16.31-16.43, 16.45-16.65, 16.162-16.166, 16.171-16.172, 17.26, 18.312-18.313, 19.290 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.183. o that your exercise of virtue towards other men will make your own lives happy, and render you more glorious than foreigners can be, and procure you an undisputed reputation with posterity. These blessings you will be able to obtain, in case you hearken to and observe those laws which, by divine revelation, I have ordained for you; that is, in case you withal meditate upon the wisdom that is in them. 4.184. I am going from you myself, rejoicing in the good things you enjoy; and I recommend you to the wise conduct of your law, to the becoming order of your polity, and to the virtues of your commanders, who will take care of what is for your advantage. 4.193. And in order to prevent your ignorance of virtue, and the degeneracy of your nature into vice, I have also ordained you laws, by divine suggestion, and a form of government, which are so good, that if you regularly observe them, you will be esteemed of all men the most happy.” 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 12.126. they might be obliged to worship the gods they themselves worshipped: but when these matters were brought to the trial, the Jews prevailed, and obtained leave to make use of their own customs, and this under the patronage of Nicolaus of Damascus; for Agrippa gave sentence that he could not innovate. 12.127. And if any one hath a mind to know this matter accurately, let him peruse the hundred and twenty-third and hundred and twenty-fourth books of the history of this Nicolaus. Now as to this determination of Agrippa, it is not so much to be admired, for at that time our nation had not made war against the Romans. 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. 14.213. 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.” 14.225. 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.” 15.328. But then this magnificent temper of his, and that submissive behavior and liberality which he exercised towards Caesar, and the most powerful men of Rome, obliged him to transgress the customs of his nation, and to set aside many of their laws, and by building cities after an extravagant manner, and erecting temples,— 15.329. not in Judea indeed, for that would not have been borne, it being forbidden for us to pay any honor to images, or representations of animals, after the manner of the Greeks; but still he did thus in the country [properly] out of our bounds, and in the cities thereof. 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. 16.31. “It is of necessity incumbent on such as are in distress to have recourse to those that have it in their power to free them from those injuries they lie under; and for those that now are complaits, they approach you with great assurance; 16.31. So he got money from him also, and went away, before his pernicious practices were found out; but when Eurycles was returned to Lacedemon, he did not leave off doing mischief; and so, for his many acts of injustice, he was banished from his own country. 16.32. for as they have formerly often obtained your favor, so far as they have even wished to have it, they now only entreat that you, who have been the donors, will take care that those favors you have already granted them may not be taken away from them. We have received these favors from you, who alone have power to grant them, but have them taken from us by such as are no greater than ourselves, and by such as we know are as much subjects as we are; 16.32. 5. So the king produced those that had been tortured before the multitude at Jericho, in order to have them accuse the young men, which accusers many of the people stoned to death; 16.33. and certainly, if we have been vouchsafed great favors, it is to our commendation who have obtained them, as having been found deserving of such great favors; and if those favors be but small ones, it would be barbarous for the donors not to confirm them to us. 16.33. but at length Ptolemy, who was ordered to bring Alexander, bid him say whether his wife was conscious of his actions. He replied, “How is it possible that she, whom I love better than my own soul, and by whom I have had children, should not know what I do?” 16.34. And for those that are the hinderance of the Jews, and use them reproachfully, it is evident that they affront both the receivers, while they will not allow those to be worthy men to whom their excellent rulers themselves have borne their testimony, and the donors, while they desire those favors already granted may be abrogated. 16.34. that he had borrowed money for no good design; and he proved that he had been guilty of adultery, not only with the Arabian, but Rei women also. And he added, that above all the rest he had alienated Caesar from Herod, and that all that he had said about the actions of Herod were falsities. 16.35. Now if any one should ask these Gentiles themselves, which of the two things they would choose to part with, their lives, or the customs of their forefathers, their solemnities, their sacrifices, their festivals, which they celebrated in honor of those they suppose to be gods? I know very well that they would choose to suffer any thing whatsoever rather than a dissolution of any of the customs of their forefathers; 16.35. for I venture to affirm that when the forces of the Arabians came upon us, and one or two of Herod’s party fell, he then only defended himself, and there fell Nacebus their general, and in all about twenty-five others, and no more; whence Sylleus, by multiplying every single soldier to a hundred, he reckons the slain to have been two thousand five hundred.” 16.36. for a great many of them have rather chosen to go to war on that account, as very solicitous not to transgress in those matters. And indeed we take an estimate of that happiness which all mankind do now enjoy by your means from this very thing, that we are allowed every one to worship as our own institutions require, and yet to live [in peace]; 16.36. he therefore sent and called as many as he thought fit to this assembly, excepting Archelaus; for as for him, he either hated him, so that he would not invite him, or he thought he would be an obstacle to his designs. 16.37. and although they would not be thus treated themselves, yet do they endeavor to compel others to comply with them, as if it were not as great an instance of impiety profanely to dissolve the religious solemnities of any others, as to be negligent in the observation of their own towards their gods. 16.37. Immediately after this Herod came away from thence, and took his sons to Tyre, where Nicolaus met him in his voyage from Rome; of whom he inquired, after he had related to him what had passed at Berytus, what his sentiments were about his sons, and what his friends at Rome thought of that matter. 16.38. And let us now consider the one of these practices. Is there any people, or city, or community of men, to whom your government and the Roman power does not appear to be the greatest blessing ‘. Is there any one that can desire to make void the favors they have granted? 16.38. Whither is thy understanding gone, and left thy soul empty? Whither is that extraordinary sagacity of thine gone whereby thou hast performed so many and such glorious-actions? 16.39. No one is certainly so mad; for there are no men but such as have been partakers of their favors, both public and private; and indeed those that take away what you have granted, can have no assurance but every one of their own grants made them by you may be taken from them also; 16.39. And when the king had given his word to do so, he said that there was an agreement made, that Tero should lay violent hands on the king, because it was easy for him to come when he was alone; and that if, when he had done the thing, he should suffer death for it, as was not unlikely, it would be an act of generosity done in favor of Alexander. 16.41. Now the privileges we desire, even when we are in the best circumstances, are not such as deserve to be envied, for we are indeed in a prosperous state by your means, but this is only in common with others; and it is no more than this which we desire, to preserve our religion without any prohibition; which as it appears not in itself a privilege to be envied us, so it is for the advantage of those that grant it to us; 16.42. for if the Divinity delights in being honored, it must delight in those that permit them to be honored. And there are none of our customs which are inhuman, but all tending to piety, and devoted to the preservation of justice; 16.43. nor do we conceal those injunctions of ours by which we govern our lives, they being memorials of piety, and of a friendly conversation among men. And the seventh day we set apart from labor; it is dedicated to the learning of our customs and laws, we thinking it proper to reflect on them, as well as on any [good] thing else, in order to our avoiding of sin. 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; 16.46. for your government over all is one, tending to the establishing of benevolence, and abolishing of ill-will among such as are disposed to it. 16.47. This is therefore what we implore from thee, most excellent Agrippa, that we may not be ill-treated; that we may not be abused; that we may not be hindered from making use of our own customs, nor be despoiled of our goods, nor be forced by these men to do what we ourselves force nobody to do; for these privileges of ours are not only according to justice, but have formerly been granted us by you. 16.48. And we are able to read to you many decrees of the senate, and the tables that contain them, which are still extant in the capitol, concerning these things, which it is evident were granted after you had experience of our fidelity towards you, which ought to be valued, though no such fidelity had been; 16.49. for you have hitherto preserved what people were in possession of, not to us only, but almost to all men, and have added greater advantages than they could have hoped for, and thereby your government is become a great advantage to them. And if any one were able to enumerate the prosperity you have conferred on every nation, which they possess by your means, he could never put an end to his discourse; 16.51. and indeed in what instance of good-will, as to your house, hath he been deficient? What mark of fidelity to it hath he omitted? What token of honor hath he not devised? What occasion for his assistance of you hath he not regarded at the very first? What hindereth; therefore, but that your kindnesses may be as numerous as his so great benefits to you have been? 16.52. It may also perhaps be fit not here to pass over in silence the valor of his father Antipater, who, when Caesar made an expedition into Egypt, assisted him with two thousand armed men, and proved inferior to none, neither in the battles on land, nor in the management of the navy; 16.53. and what need I say any thing of how great weight those soldiers were at that juncture? or how many and how great presents they were vouchsafed by Caesar? And truly I ought before now to have mentioned the epistles which Caesar wrote to the senate; and how Antipater had honors, and the freedom of the city of Rome, bestowed upon him; 16.54. for these are demonstrations both that we have received these favors by our own deserts, and do on that account petition thee for thy confirmation of them, from whom we had reason to hope for them, though they had not been given us before, both out of regard to our king’s disposition towards you, and your disposition towards him. 16.55. And further, we have been informed by those Jews that were there with what kindness thou camest into our country, and how thou offeredst the most perfect sacrifices to God, and honoredst him with remarkable vows, and how thou gavest the people a feast, and acceptedst of their own hospitable presents to thee. 16.56. We ought to esteem all these kind entertainments made both by our nation and to our city, to a man who is the ruler and manager of so much of the public affairs, as indications of that friendship which thou hast returned to the Jewish nation, and which hath been procured them by the family of Herod. 16.57. So we put thee in mind of these things in the presence of the king, now sitting by thee, and make our request for no more but this, that what you have given us yourselves you will not see taken away by others from us.” 16.58. 4. When Nicolaus had made this speech, there was no opposition made to it by the Greeks, for this was not an inquiry made, as in a court of justice, but an intercession to prevent violence to be offered to the Jews any longer; 16.59. nor did the Greeks make any defense of themselves, or deny what it was supposed they had done. Their pretense was no more than this, that while the Jews inhabited in their country, they were entirely unjust to them [in not joining in their worship] but they demonstrated their generosity in this, that though they worshipped according to their institutions, they did nothing that ought to grieve them. 16.61. upon which Herod stood up and saluted him, and gave him thanks for the kind disposition he showed to them. Agrippa also took this in a very obliging manner, and saluted him again, and embraced him in his arms; 16.62. after which he went away from Lesbos; but the king determined to sail from Samos to his own country; and when he had taken his leave of Agrippa, he pursued his voyage, and landed at Caesarea in a few days’ time, as having favorable winds; from whence he went to Jerusalem, and there gathered all the people together to an assembly, not a few being there out of the country also. 16.63. So he came to them, and gave them a particular account of all his journey, and of the affairs of all the Jews in Asia, how by his means they would live without injurious treatment for the time to come. 16.64. He also told them of the entire good fortune he had met with and how he had administered the government, and had not neglected any thing which was for their advantage; and as he was very joyful, he now remitted to them the fourth part of their taxes for the last year. 16.65. Accordingly, they were so pleased with his favor and speech to them, that they went their ways with great gladness, and wished the king all manner of happiness. 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. 16.171. 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. 17.26. 2. The Babylonian was reduced by these offers to come hither; so he took possession of the land, and built in it fortresses and a village, and named it Bathyra. Whereby this man became a safeguard to the inhabitants against the Trachonites, and preserved those Jews who came out of Babylon, to offer their sacrifices at Jerusalem, from being hurt by the Trachonite robbers; so that a great number came to him from all those parts where the ancient Jewish laws were observed 17.26. All the archers also in array did the Romans a great deal of mischief, because they used their hands dexterously from a place superior to the others, and because the others were at an utter loss what to do; for when they tried to shoot their arrows against the Jews upwards, these arrows could not reach them, insomuch that the Jews were easily too hard for their enemies. And this sort of fight lasted a great while 18.312. There was also the city Nisibis, situate on the same current of the river. For which reason the Jews, depending on the natural strength of these places, deposited in them that half shekel which every one, by the custom of our country, offers unto God, as well as they did other things devoted to him; for they made use of these cities as a treasury 18.313. whence, at a proper time, they were transmitted to Jerusalem; and many ten thousand men undertook the carriage of those donations, out of fear of the ravages of the Parthians, to whom the Babylonians were then subject.
9. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 6.335, 6.423-6.425, 7.148-7.150, 7.162 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.335. And what is our chief favor of all we have given you leave to gather up that tribute which is paid to God with such other gifts that are dedicated to him; nor have we called those that carried these donations to account, nor prohibited them; till at length you became richer than we ourselves, even when you were our enemies; and you made preparations for war against us with our own money; 6.423. So these high priests, upon the coming of that feast which is called the Passover, when they slay their sacrifices, from the ninth hour till the eleventh, but so that a company not less than ten belong to every sacrifice (for it is not lawful for them to feast singly by themselves), and many of us are twenty in a company 6.424. found the number of sacrifices was two hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred; 6.425. which, upon the allowance of no more than ten that feast together, amounts to two million seven hundred thousand and two hundred persons that were pure and holy; 7.148. and for the other spoils, they were carried in great plenty. But for those that were taken in the temple of Jerusalem, they made the greatest figure of them all; that is, the golden table, of the weight of many talents; the candlestick also, that was made of gold, though its construction were now changed from that which we made use of; 7.149. for its middle shaft was fixed upon a basis, and the small branches were produced out of it to a great length, having the likeness of a trident in their position, and had every one a socket made of brass for a lamp at the tops of them. These lamps were in number seven, and represented the dignity of the number seven among the Jews; 7.162. But still he gave order that they should lay up their Law, and the purple veils of the holy place, in the royal palace itself, and keep them there.
10. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.210, 2.151-2.295 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.151. 16. To begin then a good way backward, I would advance this, in the first place, that those who have been admirers of good order, and of living under common laws, and who began to introduce them, may well have this testimony that they are better than other men, both for moderation, and such virtue as is agreeable to nature. 2.152. Indeed, their endeavor was to have every thing they ordained believed to be very ancient, that they might not be thought to imitate others, but might appear to have delivered a regular way of living to others after them. 2.153. Since then this is the case, the excellency of a legislator is seen in providing for the people’s living after the best manner, and in prevailing with those that are to use the laws he ordains for them, to have a good opinion of them, and in obliging the multitude to persevere in them, and to make no changes in them, neither in prosperity nor adversity. 2.154. Now I venture to say, that our legislator is the most ancient of all the legislators whom we have any where heard of; for as for the Lycurguses, and Solons, and Zaleucus Locrensis, and all those legislators who are so admired by the Greeks, they seem to be of yesterday, if compared with our legislator, insomuch as the very name of a law was not so much as known in old times among the Grecians. 2.155. Homer is a witness to the truth of this observation, who never uses that term in all his poems; for indeed there was then no such thing among them, but the multitude was governed by wise maxims, and by the injunctions of their king. It was also a long time that they continued in the use of these unwritten customs, although they were always changing them upon several occasions; 2.156. but for our legislator, who was of so much greater antiquity than the rest (as even those that speak against us upon all occasions do always confess), he exhibited himself to the people as their best governor and counsellor, and included in his legislation the entire conduct of their lives, and prevailed with them to receive it, and brought it so to pass, that those that were made acquainted with his laws did most carefully observe them. /p 2.157. 17. But let us consider his first and greatest work: for when it was resolved on by our forefathers to leave Egypt and return to their own country, this Moses took the many ten thousands that were of the people, and saved them out of many desperate distresses, and brought them home in safety. And certainly it was here necessary to travel over a country without water, and full of sand, to overcome their enemies, and, during these battles, to preserve their children and their wives, and their prey; 2.158. on all which occasions he became an excellent general of an army, and a most prudent counsellor, and one that took the truest care of them all: he also so brought it about, that the whole multitude depended upon him; and while he had them always obedient to what he enjoined, he made no manner of use of his authority for his own private advantage, which is the usual time when governors gain great powers to themselves, and pave the way for tyranny, and accustom the multitude to live very dissolutely; 2.159. whereas, when our legislator was in so great authority, he on the contrary, thought he ought to have regard to piety, and to show his great good will to the people; and by this means he thought he might show the great degree of virtue that was in him, and might procure the most lasting security to those who had made him their governor. 2.161. and this is the character of our legislator; he was no impostor, no deceiver, as his revilers say, though unjustly, but such a one as they brag Minos to have been among the Greeks, and other legislators after him; 2.162. for some of them suppose that they had their laws from Jupiter, while Minos said that the revelation of his laws was to be referred to Apollo, and his oracle at Delphi, whether they really thought they were so derived, or supposed, however, that they could persuade the people easily that so it was; 2.163. but which of these it was who made the best laws, and which had the greatest reason to believe that God was their author, it will be easy, upon comparing those laws themselves together, to determine; for it is time that we come to that point. 2.164. Now there are innumerable differences in the particular customs and laws that are among all mankind, which a man may briefly reduce under the following heads:—Some legislators have permitted their governments to be under monarchies, others put them under oligarchies, and others under a republican form; 2.165. but our legislator had no regard to any of these forms, but he ordained our government to be what, by a strained expression, may be termed a Theocracy, by ascribing the authority and the power to God 2.166. and by persuading all the people to have a regard to him, as the author of all the good things that were enjoyed either in common by all mankind, or by each one in particular, and of all that they themselves obtained by praying to him in their greatest difficulties. He informed them that it was impossible to escape God’s observation, even in any of our outward actions, or in any of our inward thoughts. 2.167. Moreover, he represented God as unbegotten, and immutable, through all eternity, superior to all mortal conceptions in pulchritude; and, though known to us by his power, yet unknown to us as to his essence. 2.168. I do not now explain how these notions of God are the sentiments of the wisest among the Grecians, and how they were taught them upon the principles that he afforded them. However, they testify, with great assurance, that these notions are just, and agreeable to the nature of God, and to his majesty; for Pythagoras, and Anaxagoras, and Plato, and the Stoic philosophers that succeeded them, and almost all the rest, are of the same sentiments, and had the same notions of the nature of God; 2.169. yet durst not these men disclose those true notions to more than a few, because the body of the people were prejudiced with other opinions beforehand. But our legislator, who made his actions agree to his laws, did not only prevail with those that were his contemporaries to agree with these his notions, but so firmly imprinted this faith in God upon all their posterity, that it never could be removed. 2.171. for all our actions and studies, and all our words [in Moses’s settlement] have a reference to piety towards God; for he hath left none of these in suspense, or undetermined; for there are two ways of coming at any sort of learning and a moral conduct of life; the one is by instruction in words, the other by practical exercises. 2.172. Now, other lawgivers have separated these two ways in their opinions, and choosing one of those ways of instruction, or that which best pleased every one of them, neglected the other. Thus did the Lacedemonians and the Cretans teach by practical exercises, but not by words: while the Athenians, and almost all the other Grecians, made laws about what was to be done, or left undone, but had no regard to the exercising them thereto in practice. /p 2.173. 18. But for our legislator, he very carefully joined these two methods of instruction together; for he neither left these practical exercises to go on without verbal instruction, nor did he permit the hearing of the law to proceed without the exercises for practice; but beginning immediately from the earliest infancy, and the appointment of every one’s diet, he left nothing of the very smallest consequence to be done at the pleasure and disposal of the person himself. 2.174. Accordingly, he made a fixed rule of law what sorts of food they should abstain from, and what sorts they should make use of; as also, what communion they should have with others, what great diligence they should use in their occupations, and what times of rest should be interposed, that, by living under that law as under a father and a master, we might be guilty of no sin, neither voluntary nor out of ignorance; 2.175. for he did not suffer the guilt of ignorance to go on without punishment, but demonstrated the law to be the best and the most necessary instruction of all others, permitting the people to leave off their other employments, and to assemble together for the hearing of the law, and learning it exactly, and this not once or twice, or oftener, but every week; which thing all the other legislators seem to have neglected. /p 2.176. 19. And indeed, the greatest part of mankind are so far from living according to their own laws, that they hardly know them; but when they have sinned they learn from others that they have transgressed the law. 2.177. Those also who are in the highest and principal posts of the government, confess they are not acquainted with those laws, and are obliged to take such persons for their assessors in public administrations as profess to have skill in those laws; 2.178. but for our people, if any body do but ask any one of them about our laws, he will more readily tell them all than he will tell his own name, and this in consequence of our having learned them immediately as soon as ever we became sensible of any thing, and of our having them, as it were engraven on our souls. Our transgressors of them are but few; and it is impossible, when any do offend, to escape punishment. /p 2.179. 20. And this very thing it is that principally creates such a wonderful agreement of minds amongst us all; for this entire agreement of ours in all our notions concerning God, and our having no difference in our course of life and manners, procures among us the most excellent concord of these our manners that is any where among mankind; 2.181. Nor can any one perceive amongst us any difference in the conduct of our lives; but all our works are common to us all. We have one sort of discourse concerning God, which is conformable to our law, and affirms that he sees all things; as also, we have but one way of speaking concerning the conduct of our lives, that all other things ought to have piety for their end; and this any body may hear from our women, and servants themselves. 2.182. 21. And indeed, hence hath arisen that accusation which some make against us, that we have not produced men that have been the inventors of new operations, or of new ways of speaking; for others think it a fine thing to persevere in nothing that has been delivered down from their forefathers, and these testify it to be an instance of the sharpest wisdom when these men venture to transgress those traditions; 2.183. whereas we, on the contrary, suppose it to be our only wisdom and virtue to admit no actions nor supposals that are contrary to our original laws; which procedure of ours is a just and sure sign that our law is admirably constituted; for such laws as are not thus well made, are convicted upon trial to want amendment. /p 2.184. 22. But while we are ourselves persuaded that our law was made agreeably to the will of God, it would be impious for us not to observe the same, for what is there in it that any body would change! and what can be invented that is better! or what can we take out of other people’s laws that will exceed it? Perhaps some would have the entire settlement of our government altered. 2.185. And where shall we find a better or more righteous constitution than ours, while this makes us esteem God to be the governor of the universe, and permits the priests in general to be the administrators of the principal affairs, and withal intrusts the government over the other priests to the chief high priest himself! 2.186. which priests our legislator, at their first appointment, did not advance to that dignity for their riches, or any abundance of other possessions, or any plenty they had as the gifts of fortune; but he intrusted the principal management of divine worship to those that exceeded others in an ability to persuade men, and in prudence of conduct. 2.187. These men had the main care of the law and of the other parts of the people’s conduct committed to them; for they were the priests who were ordained to be the inspectors of all, and the judges in doubtful cases, and the punishers of those that were condemned to suffer punishment. /p 2.188. 23. What form of government then can be more holy than this! what more worthy kind of worship can be paid to God than we pay, where the entire body of the people are prepared for religion, where an extraordinary degree of care is required in the priests, and where the whole polity is so ordered as if it were a certain religious solemnity! 2.189. For what things foreigners, when they solemnize such festivals, are not able to observe for a few days’ time, and call them Mysteries and Sacred Ceremonies, we observe with great pleasure and an unshaken resolution during our whole lives. 2.191. All materials, let them be ever so costly, are unworthy to compose an image for him; and all arts are unartful to express the notion we ought to have of him. We can neither see nor think of any thing like him, nor is it agreeable to piety to form a resemblance of him. 2.192. We see his works, the light, the heaven, the earth, the sun and the moon, the waters, the generations of animals, the productions of fruits. These things hath God made, not with hands, nor with labor, nor as wanting the assistance of any to cooperate with him; but as his will resolved they should be made and be good also, they were made, and became good immediately. All men ought to follow this Being, and to worship him in the exercise of virtue; for this way of worship of God is the most holy of all others. /p 2.193. 24. There ought also to be but one temple for one God; for likeness is the constant foundation of agreement. This temple ought to be common to all men, because he is the common God of all men. His priests are to be continually about his worship, over whom he that is the first by his birth is to be their ruler perpetually. 2.194. His business must be to offer sacrifices to God, together with those priests that are joined with him, to see that the laws be observed, to determine controversies, and to punish those that are convicted of injustice; while he that does not submit to him shall be subject to the same punishment, as if he had been guilty of impiety towards God himself. 2.195. When we offer sacrifices to him we do it not in order to surfeit ourselves, or to be drunken; for such excesses are against the will of God, and would be an occasion of injuries and of luxury: but by keeping ourselves sober, orderly, and ready for our other occupations, and being more temperate than others. 2.196. And for our duty at the sacrifices themselves, we ought in the first place to pray for the common welfare of all, and after that our own; for we are made for fellowship one with another; and he who prefers the common good before what is peculiar to himself, is above all acceptable to God. 2.197. And let our prayers and supplications be made humbly to God, not [so much] that he would give us what is good (for he hath already given that of his own accord, and hath proposed the same publicly to all), as that we may duly receive it, and when we have received it, may preserve it. 2.198. Now the law has appointed several purifications at our sacrifices, whereby we are cleansed after a funeral after what sometimes happens to us in bed, and after accompanying with our wives, and upon many other occasions, which it would be too long now to set down. And this is our doctrine concerning God and his worship, and is the same that the law appoints for our practice. /p 2.199. 25. But then, what are our laws about marriage? That law owns no other mixture of sexes but that which nature hath appointed, of a man with his wife, and that this be used only for the procreation of children. But it abhors the mixture of a male with a male; and if any one do that, death is his punishment. 2.201. for (says the scripture) “A woman is inferior to her husband in all things.” Let her, therefore, be obedient to him; not so, that he should abuse her, but that she may acknowledge her duty to her husband; for God hath given the authority to the husband. A husband, therefore, is to lie only with his wife whom he hath married; but to have to do with another man’s wife is a wicked thing; which, if any one ventures upon, death is inevitably his punishment: no more can he avoid the same who forces a virgin betrothed to another man, or entices another man’s wife. 2.202. The law, moreover enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing human kind: if any one, therefore, proceeds to such fornication or murder, he cannot be clean. 2.203. Moreover, the law enjoins, that after the man and wife have lain together in a regular way, they shall bathe themselves; for there is a defilement contracted thereby, both in soul and body, as if they had gone into another country; for indeed the soul, by being united to the body, is subject to miseries, and is not freed therefrom again but by death; on which account the law requires this purification to be entirely performed. 26. 2.204. Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess; but it ordains that the very beginning of our education should be immediately directed to sobriety. It also commands us to bring those children up in learning and to exercise them in the laws, and make them acquainted with the acts of their predecessors, in order to their imitation of them, and that they might be nourished up in the laws from their infancy, and might neither transgress them, nor have any pretense for their ignorance of them. /p 2.205. 27. Our law hath also taken care of the decent burial of the dead, but without any extravagant expenses for their funerals, and without the erection of any illustrious monuments for them; but hath ordered that their nearest relations should perform their obsequies; and hath shown it to be regular, that all who pass by when any one is buried, should accompany the funeral, and join in the lamentation. It also ordains, that the house and its inhabitants should be purified after the funeral is over, that every one may thence learn to keep at a great distance from the thoughts of being pure, if he hath been once guilty of murder. /p 2.206. 28. The law ordains also, that parents should be honored immediately after God himself, and delivers that son who does not requite them for the benefits he hath received from them, but is deficient on any such occasion, to be stoned. It also says, that the young men should pay due respect to every elder, since God is the eldest of all beings. 2.207. It does not give leave to conceal any thing from our friends, because that is not true friendship which will not commit all things to their fidelity: it also forbids the revelation of secrets even though an enmity arise between them. If any judge takes bribes, his punishment is death: he that overlooks one that offers him a petition, and this when he is able to relieve him, he is a guilty person. 2.208. What is not by any one intrusted to another, ought not to be required back again. No one is to touch another’s goods. He that lends money must not demand usury for its loan. These, and many more of the like sort, are the rules that unite us in the bands of society one with another. /p 2.209. 29. It will be also worth our while to see what equity our legislator would have us exercise in our intercourse with strangers; for it will thence appear that he made the best provision he possibly could, both that we should not dissolve our own constitution, nor show any envious mind towards those that would cultivate a friendship with us. 2.211. 30. However, there are other things which our legislator ordained for us beforehand, which of necessity we ought to do in common to all men; as to afford fire, and water, and food to such as want it; to show them the roads; nor to let any one lie unburied. He also would have us treat those that are esteemed our enemies with moderation: 2.212. for he doth not allow us to set their country on fire, nor permit us to cut down those trees that bear fruit: nay, farther, he forbids us to spoil those that have been slain in war. He hath also provided for such as are taken captive, that they may not be injured, and especially that the women may not be abused. 2.213. Indeed he hath taught us gentleness and humanity so effectually, that he hath not despised the care of brute beasts, by permitting no other than a regular use of them, and forbidding any other; and if any of them come to our houses, like supplicants, we are forbidden to slay them: nor may we kill the dams, together with their young ones; but we are obliged, even in an enemy’s country, to spare and not kill those creatures that labor for mankind. 2.214. Thus hath our lawgiver contrived to teach us an equitable conduct every way, by using us to such laws as instruct us therein; while at the same time he hath ordained, that such as break these laws should be punished, without the allowance of any excuse whatsoever. /p 2.215. 31. Now the greatest part of offenses with us are capital, as if any one be guilty of adultery; if any one force a virgin; if any one be so impudent as to attempt sodomy with a male; or if, upon another’s making an attempt upon him, he submits to be so used. There is also a law for slaves of the like nature that can never be avoided. 2.216. Moreover, if any one cheats another in measures or weights, or makes a knavish bargain and sale, in order to cheat another; if any one steals what belongs to another, and takes what he never deposited; all these have punishments allotted them, not such as are met with among other nations, but more severe ones. 2.217. And as for attempts of unjust behavior towards parents, or for impiety against God, though they be not actually accomplished, the offenders are destroyed immediately. However, the reward for such as live exactly according to the laws, is not silver or gold; it is not a garland of olive branches or of small age, nor any such public sign of commendation; 2.218. but every good man hath his own conscience bearing witness to himself, and by virtue of our legislator’s prophetic spirit, and of the firm security God himself affords such a one, he believes that God hath made this grant to those that observe these laws, even though they be obliged readily to die for them, that they shall come into being again, and at a certain revolution of things shall receive a better life than they had enjoyed before. 2.219. Nor would I venture to write thus at this time, were it not well known to all by our actions that many of our people have many a time bravely resolved to endure any sufferings, rather than speak one word against our law. /p 2.221. but that somebody had pretended to have written these laws himself, and had read them to the Greeks, or had pretended that he had met with men out of the limits of the known world, that had such reverent notions of God, and had continued a long time in the firm observance of such laws as ours, I cannot but suppose that all men would admire them on a reflection upon the frequent changes they had therein been themselves subject to; 2.222. and this while those that have attempted to write somewhat of the same kind for politic government, and for laws, are accused as composing monstrous things, and are said to have undertaken an impossible task upon them. And here I will say nothing of those other philosophers who have undertaken any thing of this nature in their writings. 2.223. But even Plato himself, who is so admired by the Greeks on account of that gravity in his manners, and force in his words, and that ability he had to persuade men beyond all other philosophers, is little better than laughed at and exposed to ridicule on that account, by those that pretend to sagacity in political affairs; 2.224. although he that shall diligently peruse his writings, will find his precepts to be somewhat gentle, and pretty near to the customs of the generality of mankind. Nay, Plato himself confesseth that it is not safe to publish the true notion concerning God among the ignorant multitude. 2.225. Yet do some men look upon Plato’s discourses as no better than certain idle words set off with great artifice. However, they admire Lycurgus as the principal lawgiver; and all men celebrate Sparta for having continued in the firm observance of his laws for a very long time. 2.226. So far then we have gained, that it is to be confessed a mark of virtue to submit to laws. But then let such as admire this in the Lacedemonians compare that duration of theirs with more than two thousand years which our political government hath continued; 2.227. and let them farther consider, that though the Lacedemonians did seem to observe their laws exactly while they enjoyed their liberty, yet that when they underwent a change of their fortune, they forgot almost all those laws; 2.228. while we, having been under ten thousand changes in our fortune by the changes that happened among the kings of Asia, have never betrayed our laws under the most pressing distresses we have been in; nor have we neglected them either out of sloth or for a livelihood. Nay, if any one will consider it, the difficulties and labors laid upon us have been greater than what appears to have been borne by the Lacedemonian fortitude 2.229. while they neither ploughed their land nor exercised any trades, but lived in their own city, free from all such painstaking, in the enjoyment of plenty, and using such exercises as might improve their bodies 2.231. I need not add this, that they have not been fully able to observe their laws; for not only a few single persons, but multitudes of them, have in heaps neglected those laws, and have delivered themselves, together with their arms, into the hands of their enemies. /p 2.232. 33. Now as for ourselves, I venture to say, that no one can tell of so many; nay, not of more than one or two that have betrayed our laws, no, not out of fear of death itself; I do not mean such an easy death as happens in battles, but that which comes with bodily torments, and seems to be the severest kind of death of all others. 2.233. Now I think, those that have conquered us have put us to such deaths, not out of their hatred to us when they had subdued us, but rather out of their desire of seeing a surprising sight, which is this, whether there be such men in the world who believe that no evil is to them so great as to be compelled to do or to speak any thing contrary to their own laws. 2.234. Nor ought men to wonder at us, if we are more courageous in dying for our laws than all other men are; for other men do not easily submit to the easier things in which we are instituted; I mean, working with our hands, and eating but little, and being contented to eat and drink, not at random, or at every one’s pleasure, or being under inviolable rules in lying with our wives, in magnificent furniture, and again in the observation of our times of rest; 2.235. while those that can use their swords in war, and can put their enemies to flight when they attack them, cannot bear to submit to such laws about their way of living: whereas our being accustomed willingly to submit to laws in these instances, renders us fit to show our fortitude upon other occasions also. /p 2.236. 34. Yet do the Lysimachi and the Molones, and some other writers (unskilful sophists as they are, and the deceivers of young men) reproach us as the vilest of all mankind. 2.237. Now I have no mind to make an inquiry into the laws of other nations; for the custom of our country is to keep our own laws, but not to bring accusations against the laws of others. And indeed, our legislator hath expressly forbidden us to laugh at and revile those that are esteemed gods by other people, on account of the very name of God ascribed to them. 2.238. But since our antagonists think to run us down upon the comparison of their religion and ours, it is not possible to keep silence here, especially while what I shall say to confute these men will not be now first said, but hath been already said by many, and these of the highest reputation also; 2.239. for who is there among those that have been admired among the Greeks for wisdom, who hath not greatly blamed both the most famous poets and most celebrated legislators, for spreading such notions originally among the body of the people concerning the gods? 2.241. and for those to whom they have allotted heaven, they have set over them one, who in title is their father, but in his actions a tyrant and a lord; whence it came to pass that his wife, and brother, and daughter (which daughter he brought forth from his own head), made a conspiracy against him to seize upon him and confine him, as he had himself seized upon and confined his own father before. /p 2.242. 35. And justly have the wisest men thought these notions deserved severe rebukes; they also laugh at them for determining that we ought to believe some of the gods to be beardless and young, and others of them to be old, and to have beards accordingly; that some are set to trades; that one god is a smith, and another goddess is a weaver; that one god is a warrior, and fights with men; 2.243. that some of them are harpers, or delight in archery; and besides, that mutual seditions arise among them, and that they quarrel about men, and this so far that they not only lay hands upon one another, but that they are wounded by men, and lament, and take on for such their afflictions; 2.244. but what is the grossest of all in point of lasciviousness, are those unbounded lusts ascribed to almost all of them, and their amours; which how can it be other than a most absurd supposal, especially when it reaches to the male gods, and to the female goddesses also? 2.245. Moreover, the chief of all their gods, and their first father himself, overlooks those goddesses whom he hath deluded and begotten with child, and suffers them to be kept in prison, or drowned in the sea. He is also so bound up by fate, that he cannot save his own offspring, nor can he bear their deaths without shedding of tears.— 2.246. These are fine things indeed! as are the rest that follow. Adulteries truly are so impudently looked on in heaven by the gods, that some of them have confessed they envied those that were found in the very act; and why should they not do so, when the eldest of them, who is their king also, hath not been able to restrain himself in the violence of his lust, from lying with his wife, so long as they might get into their bed-chamber? 2.247. Now, some of the gods are servants to men, and will sometimes be builders for a reward, and sometimes will be shepherds; while others of them, like malefactors, are bound in a prison of brass; and what sober person is there who would not be provoked at such stories, and rebuke those that forged them, and condemn the great silliness of those that admit them for true! 2.248. Nay, others there are that have advanced a certain timorousness and fear, as also madness and fraud, and any other of the vilest passions, into the nature and form of gods, and have persuaded whole cities to offer sacrifices to the better sort of them; 2.249. on which account they have been absolutely forced to esteem some gods as the givers of good things, and to call others of them averters of evil. They also endeavor to move them, as they would the vilest of men, by gifts and presents, as looking for nothing else than to receive some great mischief from them, unless they pay them such wages. /p 2.251. but omitted it as a thing of very little consequence, and gave leave both to the poets to introduce what gods they pleased, and those subject to all sorts of passions, and to the orators to procure political decrees from the people for the admission of such foreign gods as they thought proper. 2.252. The painters also, and statuaries of Greece, had herein great power, as each of them could contrive a shape [proper for a god]; the one to be formed out of clay, and the other by making a bare picture of such a one; but those workmen that were principally admired, had the use of ivory and of gold as the constant materials for their new statues; 2.253. [whereby it comes to pass that some temples are quite deserted, while others are in great esteem, and adorned with all the rites of all kinds of purification]. Besides this, the first gods, who have long flourished in the honors done them, are now grown old [while those that flourished after them are come in their room as a second rank, that I may speak the most honorably of them that I can]: 2.254. nay, certain other gods there are who are newly introduced, and newly worshipped [as we, by way of digression have said already, and yet have left their places of worship desolate]; and for their temples, some of them are already left desolate, and others are built anew, according to the pleasure of men; whereas they ought to have preserved their opinion about God, and that worship which is due to him, always and immutably the same. /p 2.255. 37. But now, this Apollonius Molo was one of these foolish and proud men. However, nothing that I have said was unknown to those that were real philosophers among the Greeks, nor were they unacquainted with those frigid pretenses of allegories [which had been alleged for such things]: on which account they justly despised them, but have still agreed with us as to the true and becoming notions of God; 2.256. whence it was that Plato would not have political settlements admit of any one of the other poets, and dismisses even Homer himself, with a garland on his head, and with ointment poured upon him, and this because he should not destroy the right notions of God with his fables. 2.257. Nay, Plato principally imitated our legislator in this point, that he enjoined his citizens to have the main regard to this precept, “That every one of them should learn their laws accurately.” He also ordained, that they should not admit of foreigners intermixing with their own people at random; and provided that the commonwealth should keep itself pure, and consist of such only as persevered in their own laws. 2.258. Apollonius Molo did no way consider this, when he made it one branch of his accusation against us, that we do not admit of such as have different notions about God, nor will we have fellowship with those that choose to observe a way of living different from ourselves; 2.259. yet is not this method peculiar to us, but common to all other men; not among the ordinary Grecians only, but among such of those Grecians as are of the greatest reputation among them. Moreover, the Lacedemonians continued in their way of expelling foreigners, and would not, indeed, give leave to their own people to travel abroad, as suspecting that those two things would introduce a dissolution of their own laws: 2.261. whereas we, though we do not think fit to imitate other institutions, yet do we willingly admit of those that desire to partake of ours, which I think I may reckon to be a plain indication of our humanity, and at the same time of our magimity also. /p 2.262. 38. But I shall say no more of the Lacedemonians. As for the Athenians, who glory in having made their city to be common to all men, what their behavior was, Apollonius did not know, while they punished those that did but speak one word contrary to their laws about the gods, without any mercy; 2.263. for on what other account was it that Socrates was put to death by them? For certainly, he neither betrayed their city to its enemies, nor was he guilty of any sacrilege with regard to any of their temples; but it was on this account, that he swore certain new oaths, and that he affirmed, either in earnest, or, as some say, only in jest, that a certain demon used to make signs to him [what he should not do]. For these reasons he was condemned to drink poison, and kill himself. 2.264. His accuser also complained that he corrupted the young men, by inducing them to despise the political settlement and laws of their city: and thus was Socrates, the citizen of Athens, punished. 2.265. There was also Anaxagoras, who although he was of Clazomenae, was within a few suffrages of being condemned to die, because he said the sun, which the Athenians thought to be a god, was a ball of fire. 2.266. They also made this public proclamation, that they would give a talent to any one who would kill Diagoras of Melos, because it was reported of him that he laughed at their mysteries. Portagoras also, who was thought to have written somewhat that was not owned for truth by the Athenians about the gods, had been seized upon, and put to death, if he had not fled immediately away. 2.267. Nor need we at all wonder that they thus treated such considerable men, when they did not spare even women also; for they very lately slew a certain priestess, because she was accused by somebody that she initiated people into the worship of strange gods, it having been forbidden so to do by one of their laws; and a capital punishment had been decreed to such as introduced a strange god; 2.268. it being manifest, that they who make use of such a law do not believe those of other nations to be really gods, otherwise they had not envied themselves the advantage of more gods than they already had; 2.269. and this was the happy administration of the affairs of the Athenians? Now, as to the Scythians, they take a pleasure in killing men, and differ little from brute beasts; yet do they think it reasonable to have their institutions observed. They also slew Anacharsis a person greatly admired for his wisdom among the Greeks, when he returned to them, because he appeared to come fraught with Grecian customs; One may also find many to have been punished among the Persians, on the very same account. 2.271. Now, with us, it is a capital crime, if any one does thus abuse even a brute beast; and as for us, neither hath the fear of our governors, nor a desire of following what other nations have in so great esteem, been able to withdraw us from our own laws; 2.272. nor have we exerted our courage in raising up wars to increase our wealth, but only for the observation of our laws; and when we with patience bear other losses, yet when any persons would compel us to break our laws, then it is that we choose to go to war, though it be beyond our ability to pursue it, and bear the greatest calamities to the last with much fortitude. 2.273. And, indeed, what reason can there be why we should desire to imitate the laws of other nations, while we see they are not observed by their own legislators? And why do not the Lacedemonians think of abolishing that form of their government which suffers them not to associate with any others, as well as their contempt of matrimony? And why do not the Eleans and Thebans abolish that unnatural and impudent lust, which makes them lie with males? 2.274. For they will not show a sufficient sign of their repentance of what they of old thought to be very excellent, and very advantageous in their practices, unless they entirely avoid all such actions for the time to come: 2.275. nay, such things are inserted into the body of their laws, and had once such a power among the Greeks, that they ascribed these sodomitical practices to the gods themselves, as a part of their good character; and indeed it was according to the same manner that the gods married their own sisters. This the Greeks contrived as an apology for their own absurd and unnatural pleasures. /p 2.276. 39. I omit to speak concerning punishments, and how many ways of escaping them the greatest part of the legislators have afforded malefactors, by ordaining that, for adulteries, fines in money should be allowed, and for corrupting [virgins] they need only marry them; as also what excuses they may have in denying the facts, if any one attempts to inquire into them; for amongst most other nations it is a studied art how men may transgress their laws; 2.277. but no such thing is permitted amongst us; for though we be deprived of our wealth, of our cities, or of the other advantages we have, our law continues immortal; nor can any Jew go so far from his own country, nor be so affrighted at the severest lord, as not to be more affrighted at the law than at him. 2.278. If, therefore, this be the disposition we are under, with regard to the excellency of our laws, let our enemies make us this concession, that our laws are most excellent; and if still they imagine that though we so firmly adhere to them, yet are they bad laws notwithstanding, what penalties then do they deserve to undergo who do not observe their own laws, which they esteem so far superior to them? 2.279. Whereas, therefore, length of time is esteemed to be the truest touchstone in all cases. I would make that a testimonial of the excellency of our laws, and of that belief thereby delivered to us concerning God; for as there hath been a very long time for this comparison, if any one will but compare its duration with the duration of the laws made by other legislators, he will find our legislator to have been the ancientest of them all. /p 2.281. nay, the earliest Grecian philosophers, though in appearance they observed the laws of their own countries, yet did they, in their actions and their philosophic doctrines, follow our legislator, and instructed men to live sparingly, and to have friendly communication one with another. 2.282. Nay, farther, the multitude of mankind itself have had a great inclination of a long time to follow our religious observances; for there is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come, and by which our fasts and lighting up lamps, and many of our prohibitions as to our food, are not observed; 2.283. they also endeavor to imitate our mutual concord with one another, and the charitable distribution of our goods, and our diligence in our trades, and our fortitude in undergoing the distresses we are in, on account of our laws; 2.284. and, what is here matter of the greatest admiration, our law hath no bait of pleasure to allure men to it, but it prevails by its own force; and as God himself pervades all the world, so hath our law passed through all the world also. So that if any one will but reflect on his own country, and his own family, he will have reason to give credit to what I say. 2.285. It is therefore but just, either to condemn all mankind of indulging a wicked disposition, when they have been so desirous of imitating laws that are to them foreign and evil in themselves, rather than following laws of their own that are of a better character, or else our accusers must leave off their spite against us; 2.286. nor are we guilty of any envious behavior towards them, when we honor our own legislator, and believe what he, by his prophetic authority, hath taught us concerning God; for though we should not be able ourselves to understand the excellency of our own laws, yet would the great multitude of those that desire to imitate them, justify us, in greatly valuing ourselves upon them. /p 2.287. 41. But, as for the [distinct] political laws by which we are governed, I have delivered them accurately in my books of Antiquities: and have only mentioned them now, so far as was necessary to my present purpose, without proposing to myself either to blame the laws of other nations, or to make an encomium upon our own,—but in order to convict those that have written about us unjustly, and in an impudent affectation of disguising the truth:— 2.288. and now I think I have sufficiently completed what I proposed in writing these books; for whereas our accusers have pretended that our nation are a people of very late original, I have demonstrated that they are exceeding ancient; for I have produced as witnesses thereto many ancient writers, who have made mention of us in their books, while they had said no such writer had so done. 2.289. Moreover, they had said that we were sprung from the Egyptians, while I have proved that we came from another country into Egypt: while they had told lies of us, as if we were expelled thence on account of diseases on our bodies, it has appeared on the contrary, that we returned to our country by our own choice, and with sound and strong bodies. 2.291. 42. As to the laws themselves, more words are unnecessary, for they are visible in their own nature, and appear to teach not impiety, but the truest piety in the world. They do not make men hate one another, but encourage people to communicate what they have to one another freely; they are enemies to injustice, they take care of righteousness, they banish idleness and expensive living, and instruct men to be content with what they have and to be laborious in their callings; 2.292. they forbid men to make war from a desire of getting more, but make men courageous in defending the laws; they are inexorable in punishing malefactors; they admit no sophistry of words, but are always established by actions themselves, which actions we ever propose as surer demonstrations than what is contained in writing only; 2.293. on which account I am so bold as to say that we are become the teachers of other men, in the greatest number of things, and those of the most excellent nature only; for what is more excellent than inviolable piety? what is more just than submission to laws? 2.294. and what is more advantageous than mutual love and concord? and this so far that we are to be neither divided by calamities, nor to become injurious and seditious in prosperity; but to condemn death when we are in war, and in peace to apply ourselves to our mechanical occupations, or to our tillage of the ground; while we in all things and all ways are satisfied that God is the inspector and governor of our actions. 2.295. If these precepts had either been written at first, or more exactly kept by any others before us, we should have owed them thanks as disciples owe to their masters; but if it be visible that we have made use of them more than any other men, and if we have demonstrated that the original invention of them is our own, let the Apions, and the Molones, with all the rest of those that delight in lies and reproaches, stand confuted;
11. Josephus Flavius, Life, 279 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

12. Juvenal, Satires, 6.544, 14.100-14.104 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13. New Testament, Acts, 13.14-13.15 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13.14. But they, passing through from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia. They went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down. 13.15. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, speak.
14. New Testament, Luke, 4.16-4.20 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.16. He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 4.17. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written 4.18. The Spirit of the Lord is on me, Because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim release to the captives, Recovering of sight to the blind, To deliver those who are crushed 4.19. And to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 4.20. He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him.
15. Tacitus, Histories, 5.4.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

16. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 8.7.12-8.7.13 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

17. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 40, 42, 33

33. When this memorial had been presented, the king ordered a letter to be written to Eleazar on the matter, giving also an account of the emancipation of the Jewish captives. And he gave fifty talents weight of gold and seventy talents of silver and a large quantity of precious stones to make bowls and vials and a table and libation cups. He also gave orders to those who had the custody of his coffers to allow the artificers to make a selection of any materials they might require for the purpose, and that a hundred talents in money should be sent to provide sacrifices for the temple and


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
amphitheater, as synagogue Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
antioch, synagogue, synagogue, holy place Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
associations Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
aster, claudia Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
asylum Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
banquets Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
cicero, defense of flaccus, references to temple tax in Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
ethnic boundary making model, exogenous shift van Maaren, The Boundaries of Jewishness in the Southern Levant 200 BCE–132 CE (2022) 182
ethnic boundary making model, institutional frameworks van Maaren, The Boundaries of Jewishness in the Southern Levant 200 BCE–132 CE (2022) 182
eucharist, eucharistic, community practice Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
eucharist, ritual meal Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
favors, of caesar Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
firstfruits Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
gathering (σύναξις) Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
grants, of freedom from billeting, etc. Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
greeks van Maaren, The Boundaries of Jewishness in the Southern Levant 200 BCE–132 CE (2022) 182
herod the great van Maaren, The Boundaries of Jewishness in the Southern Levant 200 BCE–132 CE (2022) 182
inscriptions, theodotus Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
ionia Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 152
jerusalem, second temple Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
jerusalem Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161; Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 152
jewish state, and caesar Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
josephus, on jewish state, grants to, by caesar Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
judaea Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
judaean/jewish Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
judaism Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
julius caesar, and jews, decrees of c. concerning jewish state Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
julius caesar, favors of Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
law, mosaic Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
leadership, synagogue Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
liturgy, jewish Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
meal, eucharistic Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
meal, festive Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
meal, jewish Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
meals, jewish Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 29
mithridates, confiscation of money for temple by Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
molestation Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
mosaic law Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
names, greek Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
octavian, and jewish custom of collecting money Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
pagan, pagans, relationship with jewish community Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
philo, on temple tax Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
prayer, worship Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
priestly elites, at the jerusalem temple' Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 152
proculus, tiberius claudius Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
proseuche (prayer house), diaspora, egypt Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
pseudo-aristeas, on money offerings sent to jerusalem Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
puteoli Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
reading, public Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
reading, synagogal Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
reading, synagogue ritual Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
reading in synagogue Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 151
reading of law Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 151
rome Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161; Rosenblum, The Jewish Dietary Laws in the Ancient World (2016) 57
sabbath Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 29, 151
sanctity, synagogue/proseuche Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
sanctuary Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
setting, liturgical Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
social Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
symposium Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 29; Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
synagoge Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, The First Thousand Years (2005) 133
synagogue (συναγωγή) Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
synagogue service Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 29
syrians van Maaren, The Boundaries of Jewishness in the Southern Levant 200 BCE–132 CE (2022) 182
teaching Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
temple, in diaspora Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar's: Tribute, Taxes, and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine 63 B.C.E to 70 B.C.E (2006) 91
temple mount, jerusalem temple Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 152
textual criticism Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
theodotus inscription Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
torah Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50; Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
traditions, jewish Berglund Crostini and Kelhoffer, Why We Sing: Music, Word, and Liturgy in Early Christianity (2022) 50
violence, cultural (symbolic) Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
violence, direct Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161
violence, structural Dijkstra and Raschle, Religious Violence in the Ancient World: From Classical Athens to Late Antiquity (2020) 161