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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7235
Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 4.656


Εἰς δὲ τὴν ̓Αλεξάνδρειαν ἀφιγμένῳ τῷ Οὐεσπασιανῷ τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς ̔Ρώμης εὐαγγέλια ἧκε καὶ πρέσβεις ἐκ πάσης τῆς ἰδίας οἰκουμένης συνηδόμενοι: μεγίστη τε οὖσα μετὰ τὴν ̔Ρώμην ἡ πόλις στενοτέρα τοῦ πλήθους ἠλέγχετο.5. And now, as Vespasian was come to Alexandria, this good news came from Rome, and at the same time came embassies from all his own habitable earth, to congratulate him upon his advancement; and though this Alexandria was the greatest of all cities next to Rome, it proved too narrow to contain the multitude that then came to it.


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

8 results
1. Hesiod, Works And Days, 619-623, 658, 618 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

618. At harvest-season when the sun makes dry
2. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 17.52.5 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

17.52.5.  The city in general has grown so much in later times that many reckon it to be the first city of the civilized world, and it is certainly far ahead of all the rest in elegance and extent and riches and luxury.
3. Strabo, Geography, 14.2.5, 17.1.6-17.1.10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

14.2.5. The city of the Rhodians lies on the eastern promontory of Rhodes; and it is so far superior to all others in harbors and roads and walls and improvements in general that I am unable to speak of any other city as equal to it, or even as almost equal to it, much less superior to it. It is remarkable also for its good order, and for its careful attention to the administration of affairs of state in general; and in particular to that of naval affairs, whereby it held the mastery of the sea for a long time and overthrew the business of piracy, and became a friend to the Romans and to all kings who favoured both the Romans and the Greeks. Consequently it not only has remained autonomous. but also has been adorned with many votive offerings, which for the most part are to be found in the Dionysium and the gymnasium, but partly in other places. The best of these are, first, the Colossus of Helius, of which the author of the iambic verse says,seven times ten cubits in height, the work of Chares the Lindian; but it now lies on the ground, having been thrown down by an earthquake and broken at the knees. In accordance with a certain oracle, the people did not raise it again. This, then, is the most excellent of the votive offerings (at any rate, it is by common agreement one of the Seven Wonders); and there are also the paintings of Protogenes, his Ialysus and also his Satyr, the latter standing by a pillar, on top of which stood a male partridge. And at this partridge, as would be natural, the people were so agape when the picture had only recently been set up, that they would behold him with wonder but overlook the Satyr, although the latter was a very great success. But the partridge-breeders were still more amazed, bringing their tame partridges and placing them opposite the painted partridge; for their partridges would make their call to the painting and attract a mob of people. But when Protogenes saw that the main part of the work had become subordinate, he begged those who were in charge of the sacred precinct to permit him to go there and efface the partridge, and so he did. The Rhodians are concerned for the people in general, although their rule is not democratic; still, they wish to take care of their multitude of poor people. Accordingly, the people are supplied with provisions and the needy are supported by the well-to-do, by a certain ancestral custom; and there are certain liturgies that supply provisions, so that at the same time the poor man receives his sustece and the city does not run short of useful men, and in particular for the manning of the fleets. As for the roadsteads, some of them were kept hidden and forbidden to the people in general; and death was the penalty for any person who spied on them or passed inside them. And here too, as in Massalia and Cyzicus, everything relating to the architects, the manufacture of instruments of war, and the stores of arms and everything else are objects of exceptional care, and even more so than anywhere else. 17.1.6. As Alexandreia and its neighbourhood occupy the greatest and principal portion of the description, I shall begin with it.In sailing towards the west, the sea-coast from Pelusium to the Canobic mouth of the Nile is about 1300 stadia in extent, and constitutes, as we have said, the base of the Delta. Thence to the island Pharos are 150 stadia more.Pharos is a small oblong island, and lies quite close to the continent, forming towards it a harbour with a double entrance. For the coast abounds with bays, and has two promontories projecting into the sea. The island is situated between these, and shuts in the bay, lying lengthways in front of it.of the extremities of the Pharos, the eastern is nearest to the continent and to the promontory in that direction, called Lochias, which is the cause of the entrance to the port being narrow. Besides the narrowness of the passage, there are rocks, some under water, others rising above it, which at all times increase the violence of the waves rolling in upon them from the open sea. This extremity itself of the island is a rock, washed by the sea on all sides, with a tower upon it of the same name as the island, admirably constructed of white marble, with several stories. Sostratus of Cnidus, a friend of the kings, erected it for the safety of mariners, as the inscription imports. For as the coast on each side is low and without harbours, with reefs and shallows, an elevated and conspicuous mark was required to enable navigators coming in from the open sea to direct their course exactly to the entrance of the harbour.The western mouth does not afford an easy entrance, but it does not require the same degree of caution as the other. It forms also another port, which has the name of Eunostus, or Happy Return: it lies in front of the artificial and close harbour. That which has its entrance at the above-mentioned tower of Pharos is the great harbour. These (two) lie contiguous in the recess called Heptastadium, and are separated from it by a mound. This mound forms a bridge from the continent to the island, and extends along its western side, leaving two passages only through it to the harbour of Eunostus, which are bridged over. But this work served not only as a bridge, but as an aqueduct also, when the island was inhabited. Divus Caesar devastated the island, in his war against the people of Alexandreia, when they espoused the party of the kings. A few sailors live near the tower.The great harbour, in addition to its being well enclosed by the mound and by nature, is of sufficient depth near the shore to allow the largest vessel to anchor near the stairs. It is also divided into several ports.The former kings of Egypt, satisfied with what they possessed, and not desirous of foreign commerce, entertained a dislike to all mariners, especially the Greeks (who, on account of the poverty of their own country, ravaged and coveted the property of other nations), and stationed a guard here, who had orders to keep off all persons who approached. To the guard was assigned as a place of residence the spot called Rhacotis, which is now a part of the city of Alexandreia, situated above the arsenal. At that time, however, it was a village. The country about the village was given up to herdsmen, who were also able (from their numbers) to prevent strangers from entering the country.When Alexander arrived, and perceived the advantages of the situation, he determined to build the city on the (natural) harbour. The prosperity of the place, which ensued, was intimated, it is said, by a presage which occurred while the plan of the city was tracing. The architects were engaged in marking out the line of the wall with chalk, and had consumed it all, when the king arrived; upon which the dispensers of flour supplied the workmen with a part of the flour, which was provided for their own use; and this substance was used in tracing the greater part of the divisions of the streets. This, they said, was a good omen for the city. 17.1.7. The advantages of the city are of various kinds. The site is washed by two seas; on the north, by what is called the Egyptian Sea, and on the south, by the sea of the lake Mareia, which is also called Mareotis. This lake is filled by many canals from the Nile, both by those above and those at the sides, through which a greater quantity of merchandise is imported than by those communicating with the sea. Hence the harbour on the lake is richer than the maritime harbour. The exports by sea from Alexandreia exceed the imports. This any person may ascertain, either at Alexandreia or Dicaearchia, by watching the arrival and departure of the merchant vessels, and observing how much heavier or lighter their cargoes are when they depart or when they return.In addition to the wealth derived from merchandise landed at the harbours on each side, on the sea and on the lake, its fine air is worthy of remark: this results from the city being on two sides surrounded by water, and from the favourable effects of the rise of the Nile. For other cities, situated near lakes, have, during the heats of summer, a heavy and suffocating atmosphere, and lakes at their margins become swampy by the evaporation occasioned by the sun's heat. When a large quantity of moisture is exhaled from swamps, a noxious vapour rises, and is the cause of pestilential disorders. But at Alexandreia, at the beginning of summer, the Nile, being full, fills the lake also, and leaves no marshy matter which is likely to occasion maligt exhalations. At the same period, the Etesian winds blow from the north, over a large expanse of sea, and the Alexandrines in consequence pass their summer very pleasantly. 17.1.8. The shape of the site of the city is that of a chlamys or military cloak. The sides, which determine the length, are surrounded by water, and are about thirty stadia in extent; but the isthmuses, which determine the breadth of the sides, are each of seven or eight stadia, bounded on one side by the sea, and on the other by the lake. The whole city is intersected by roads for the passage of horsemen and chariots. Two of these are very broad, exceeding a plethrum in breadth, and cut one another at right angles. It contains also very beautiful public grounds and royal palaces, which occupy a fourth or even a third part of its whole extent. For as each of the kings was desirous of adding some embellishment to the places dedicated to the public use, so, besides the buildings already existing, each of them erected a building at his own expense; hence the expression of the poet may be here applied, one after the other springs. All the buildings are connected with one another and with the harbour, and those also which are beyond it.The Museum is a part of the palaces. It has a public walk and a place furnished with seats, and a large hall, in which the men of learning, who belong to the Museum, take their common meal. This community possesses also property in common; and a priest, formerly appointed by the kings, but at present by Caesar, presides over the Museum.A part belonging to the palaces consists of that called Sema, an enclosure, which contained the tombs of the kings and that of Alexander (the Great). For Ptolemy the son of Lagus took away the body of Alexander from Perdiccas, as he was conveying it down from Babylon; for Perdiccas had turned out of his road towards Egypt, incited by ambition and a desire of making himself master of the country. When Ptolemy had attacked [and made him prisoner], he intended to [spare his life and] confine him in a desert island, but he met with a miserable end at the hand of his own soldiers, who rushed upon and despatched him by transfixing him with the long Macedonian spears. The kings who were with him, Aridaeus, and the children of Alexander, and Roxana his wife, departed to Macedonia. Ptolemy carried away the body of Alexander, and deposited it at Alexandreia in the place where it now lies; not indeed in the same coffin, for the present one is of hyalus (alabaster ?) whereas Ptolemy had deposited it in one of gold: it was plundered by Ptolemy surnamed Cocce's son and Pareisactus, who came from Syria and was quickly deposed, so that his plunder was of no service to him. 17.1.9. In the great harbour at the entrance, on the right hand, are the island and the Pharos tower; on the left are the reef of rocks and the promontory Lochias, with a palace upon it: at the entrance, on the left hand, are the inner palaces, which are continuous with those on the Lochias, and contain numerous painted apartments and groves. Below lies the artificial and close harbour, appropriated to the use of the kings; and Antirrhodus a small island, facing the artificial harbour, with a palace on it, and a small port. It was called Antirrhodus, a rival as it were of Rhodes.Above this is the theatre, then the Poseidium, a kind of elbow projecting from the Emporium, as it is called, with a temple of Neptune upon it. To this Antony added a mound, projecting still further into the middle of the harbour, and built at the extremity a royal mansion, which he called Timonium. This was his last act, when, deserted by his partisans, he retired to Alexandreia after his defeat at Actium, and intended, being forsaken by so many friends, to lead the [solitary] life of Timon for the rest of his days.Next are the Caesarium, the Emporium, and the Apostaseis, or magazines: these are followed by docks, extending to the Heptastadium. This is the description of the great harbour. 17.1.10. Next after the Heptastadium is the harbour of Eunostus, and above this the artificial harbour, called Cibotus (or the Ark), which also has docks. At the bottom of this harbour is a navigable canal, extending to the lake Mareotis. Beyond the canal there still remains a small part of the city. Then follows the suburb Necropolis, in which are numerous gardens, burial-places, and buildings for carrying on the process of embalming the dead.On this side the canal is the Sarapium and other ancient sacred places, which are now abandoned on account of the erection of the temples at Nicopolis; for [there are situated] an amphitheatre and a stadium, and there are celebrated quinquennial games; but the ancient rites and customs are neglected.In short, the city of Alexandreia abounds with public and sacred buildings. The most beautiful of the former is the Gymnasium, with porticos exceeding a stadium in extent. In the middle of it are the court of justice and groves. Here also is a Paneium, an artificial mound of the shape of a fir-cone, resembling a pile of rock, to the top of which there is an ascent by a spiral path. From the summit may be seen the whole city lying all around and beneath it.The wide street extends in length along the Gymnasium from the Necropolis to the Canobic gate. Next is the Hippodromos (or race-course), as it is called, and other buildings near it, and reaching to the Canobic canal. After passing through the Hippodromos is the Nicopolis, which contains buildings fronting the sea not less numerous than a city. It is 30 stadia distant from Alexandreia. Augustus Caesar distinguished this place, because it was here that he defeated Antony and his party of adherents. He took the city at the first onset, and compelled Antony to put himself to death, but Cleopatra to surrender herself alive. A short time afterwards, however, she also put an end to her life secretly, in prison, by the bite of an asp, or (for there are two accounts) by the application of a poisonous ointment. Thus the empire of the Lagidae, which had subsisted many years, was dissolved.
4. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 32.35 (1st cent. CE

32.35.  But to take just that topic which I mentioned in the beginning, see how important it is. For how you dine in private, how you sleep, how you manage your household, these are matters in which as individuals you are not at all conspicuous; on the other hand, how you behave as spectators and what you are like in the theatre are matters of common knowledge among Greeks and barbarians alike. For your city is vastly superior in point of size and situation, and it is admittedly ranked second among all cities beneath the sun.
5. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 2.385, 2.649, 4.39, 4.318, 4.449-4.486, 4.495-4.501, 4.503, 4.506, 4.508, 4.550-4.552, 4.555, 4.607-4.613, 4.616-4.618, 4.620, 4.622-4.629, 4.634-4.640, 4.649, 4.659, 4.662, 5.306-5.330, 5.335, 5.343, 5.350, 5.361-5.387 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.385. This country is extended as far as the Ethiopians, and Arabia the Happy, and borders upon India; it hath seven million five hundred thousand men, besides the inhabitants of Alexandria, as may be learned from the revenue of the poll tax; yet it is not ashamed to submit to the Roman government, although it hath Alexandria as a grand temptation to a revolt, by reason it is so full of people and of riches, and is besides exceeding large 4.39. 6. And now Vespasian comforted his army, which was much dejected by reflecting on their ill success, and because they had never before fallen into such a calamity, and besides this, because they were greatly ashamed that they had left their general alone in great dangers. 4.39. This was brought about by his still disagreeing with the opinions of others, and giving out injunctions of his own, in a very imperious manner; so that it was evident he was setting up a monarchical power. 4.318. I should not mistake if I said that the death of Aus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city. 4.449. while he, with the rest of his forces, returned to Emmaus, whence he came down through the country of Samaria, and hard by the city, by others called Neapolis (or Sichem), but by the people of that country Mabortha, to Corea, where he pitched his camp, on the second day of the month Daesius [Sivan]; 4.451. 2. Hereupon a great multitude prevented their approach, and came out of Jericho, and fled to those mountainous parts that lay over against Jerusalem, while that part which was left behind was in a great measure destroyed; 4.452. they also found the city desolate. It is situated in a plain; but a naked and barren mountain, of a very great length, hangs over it 4.453. which extends itself to the land about Scythopolis northward, but as far as the country of Sodom, and the utmost limits of the lake Asphaltitis, southward. This mountain is all of it very uneven and uninhabited, by reason of its barrenness: 4.454. there is an opposite mountain that is situated over against it, on the other side of Jordan; this last begins at Julias, and the northern quarters, and extends itself southward as far as Somorrhon, which is the bounds of Petra, in Arabia. In this ridge of mountains there is one called the Iron Mountain, that runs in length as far as Moab. 4.455. Now the region that lies in the middle between these ridges of mountains is called the Great Plain; it reaches from the village Ginnabris, as far as the lake Asphaltitis; 4.456. its length is two hundred and thirty furlongs, and its breadth a hundred and twenty, and it is divided in the midst by Jordan. It hath two lakes in it, that of Asphaltitis, and that of Tiberias, whose natures are opposite to each other; for the former is salt and unfruitful, but that of Tiberias is sweet and fruitful. 4.457. This plain is much burnt up in summertime, and, by reason of the extraordinary heat, contains a very unwholesome air; 4.458. it is all destitute of water excepting the river Jordan, which water of Jordan is the occasion why those plantations of palm trees that are near its banks are more flourishing, and much more fruitful, as are those that are remote from it not so flourishing, or fruitful. 4.459. 3. Notwithstanding which, there is a fountain by Jericho, that runs plentifully, and is very fit for watering the ground; it arises near the old city, which Joshua, the son of Nun, the general of the Hebrews, took the first of all the cities of the land of Canaan, by right of war. 4.461. who, when he once was the guest of the people at Jericho, and the men of the place had treated him very kindly, he both made them amends as well as the country, by a lasting favor; 4.462. for he went out of the city to this fountain, and threw into the current an earthen vessel full of salt; after which he stretched out his righteous hand unto heaven, and, pouring out a mild drink-offering, he made this supplication,—That the current might be mollified, and that the veins of fresh water might be opened; 4.463. that God also would bring into the place a more temperate and fertile air for the current, and would bestow upon the people of that country plenty of the fruits of the earth, and a succession of children; and that this prolific water might never fail them, while they continued to be righteous. 4.464. To these prayers Elisha joined proper operations of his hands, after a skillful manner, and changed the fountain; and that water, which had been the occasion of barrenness and famine before, from that time did supply a numerous posterity, and afforded great abundance to the country. 4.465. Accordingly, the power of it is so great in watering the ground, that if it does but once touch a country, it affords a sweeter nourishment than other waters do, when they lie so long upon them, till they are satiated with them. 4.466. For which reason, the advantage gained from other waters, when they flow in great plenty, is but small, while that of this water is great when it flows even in little quantities. 4.467. Accordingly, it waters a larger space of ground than any other waters do, and passes along a plain of seventy furlongs long, and twenty broad; wherein it affords nourishment to those most excellent gardens that are thick set with trees. 4.468. There are in it many sorts of palm trees that are watered by it, different from each other in taste and name; the better sort of them, when they are pressed, yield an excellent kind of honey, not much inferior in sweetness to other honey. 4.469. This country withal produces honey from bees; it also bears that balsam which is the most precious of all the fruits in that place, cypress trees also, and those that bear myrobalanum; so that he who should pronounce this place to be divine would not be mistaken, wherein is such plenty of trees produced as are very rare, and of the most excellent sort. 4.471. the cause of which seems to me to be the warmth of the air, and the fertility of the waters; the warmth calling forth the sprouts, and making them spread, and the moisture making every one of them take root firmly, and supplying that virtue which it stands in need of in summertime. Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come at it; 4.472. and if the water be drawn up before sunrising, and after that exposed to the air, it becomes exceeding cold, and becomes of a nature quite contrary to the ambient air; 4.473. as in winter again it becomes warm; and if you go into it, it appears very gentle. The ambient air is here also of so good a temperature, that the people of the country are clothed in linen-only, even when snow covers the rest of Judea. 4.474. This place is one hundred and fifty furlongs from Jerusalem, and sixty from Jordan. The country, as far as Jerusalem, is desert and stony; but that as far as Jordan and the lake Asphaltitis lies lower indeed, though it be equally desert and barren. 4.475. But so much shall suffice to have been said about Jericho, and of the great happiness of its situation. 4.476. 4. The nature of the lake Asphaltitis is also worth describing. It is, as I have said already, bitter and unfruitful. It is so light [or thick] that it bears up the heaviest things that are thrown into it; nor is it easy for anyone to make things sink therein to the bottom, if he had a mind so to do. 4.477. Accordingly, when Vespasian went to see it, he commanded that some who could not swim should have their hands tied behind them, and be thrown into the deep, when it so happened that they all swam as if a wind had forced them upwards. 4.478. Moreover, the change of the color of this lake is wonderful, for it changes its appearance thrice every day; and as the rays of the sun fall differently upon it, the light is variously reflected. 4.479. However, it casts up black clods of bitumen in many parts of it; these swim at the top of the water, and resemble both in shape and bigness headless bulls; 4.481. This bitumen is not only useful for the caulking of ships, but for the cure of men’s bodies; accordingly, it is mixed in a great many medicines. 4.482. The length of this lake is five hundred and eighty furlongs, where it is extended as far as Zoar in Arabia; and its breadth is a hundred and fifty. 4.483. The country of Sodom borders upon it. It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. 4.484. It is related how, for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that Divine fire, and the traces [or shadows] of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits; which fruits have a color as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes. 4.485. And thus what is related of this land of Sodom hath these marks of credibility which our very sight affords us. 4.486. 1. And now Vespasian had fortified all the places round about Jerusalem, and erected citadels at Jericho and Adida, and placed garrisons in them both, partly out of his own Romans, and partly out of the body of his auxiliaries. 4.501. but Titus, by a Divine impulse, sailed back from Greece to Syria, and came in great haste to Caesarea, to his father. 4.503. 3. And now there arose another war at Jerusalem. There was a son of Giora, one Simon, by birth of Gerasa, a young man, not so cunning indeed as John [of Gischala], who had already seized upon the city 4.506. However, his manner so well agreed with theirs, and he seemed so trusty a man, that he went out with them, and ravaged and destroyed the country with them about Masada; 4.508. but he affecting to tyrannize, and being fond of greatness, when he had heard of the death of Aus, he left them, and went into the mountainous part of the country. So he proclaimed liberty to those in slavery, and a reward to those already free, and got together a set of wicked men from all quarters. 4.551. So he went up to the mountainous country, and took those two toparchies that were called the Gophnitick and Acrabattene toparchies. After which he took Bethel and Ephraim, two small cities; and when he had put garrisons into them, he rode as far as Jerusalem, in which march he took many prisoners, and many captives; 4.552. but Cerealis, one of his commanders, took a body of horsemen and footmen, and laid waste that part of Idumea which was called the Upper Idumea, and attacked Caphethra, which pretended to be a small city, and took it at the first onset, and burnt it down. He also attacked Capharabim, and laid siege to it 4.555. o that as now all the places were taken, excepting Herodium, and Masada, and Macherus, which were in the possession of the robbers, so Jerusalem was what the Romans at present aimed at. 4.607. He also considered with himself, that he should then have that country for a defense to himself against the uncertainty of fortune; for Egypt is hard to be entered by land, and hath no good havens by sea. 4.608. It hath on the west the dry deserts of Libya; and on the south Syene, that divides it from Ethiopia, as well as the cataracts of the Nile, that cannot be sailed over; and on the east the Red Sea extended as far as Coptus; 4.609. and it is fortified on the north by the land that reaches to Syria, together with that called the Egyptian Sea, having no havens in it for ships. 4.611. Its river Nile is navigable as far as the city called Elephantine, the forenamed cataracts hindering ships from going any farther. 4.612. The haven also of Alexandria is not entered by the mariners without difficulty, even in times of peace; for the passage inward is narrow, and full of rocks that lie under the water, which oblige the mariners to turn from a straight direction: 4.613. its left side is blocked up by works made by men’s hands on both sides; on its right side lies the island called Pharus, which is situated just before the entrance, and supports a very great tower, that affords the sight of a fire to such as sail within three hundred furlongs of it, that ships may cast anchor a great way off in the nighttime, by reason of the difficulty of sailing nearer. 4.616. 6. Justly, therefore, did Vespasian desire to obtain that government, in order to corroborate his attempts upon the whole empire; so he immediately sent to Tiberius Alexander, who was then governor of Egypt and of Alexandria, and informed him what the army had put upon him, and how he, being forced to accept of the burden of the government, was desirous to have him for his confederate and supporter. 4.617. Now as soon as ever Alexander had read this letter, he readily obliged the legions and the multitude to take the oath of fidelity to Vespasian, both which willingly complied with him, as already acquainted with the courage of the man, from that his conduct in their neighborhood. 4.618. Accordingly Vespasian, looking upon himself as already intrusted with the government, got all things ready for his journey [to Rome]. Now fame carried this news abroad more suddenly than one could have thought, that he was emperor over the east, upon which every city kept festivals, and celebrated sacrifices and oblations for such good news; 4.622. 7. So Vespasian’s good fortune succeeded to his wishes everywhere, and the public affairs were, for the greatest part, already in his hands; upon which he considered that he had not arrived at the government without Divine Providence, but that a righteous kind of fate had brought the empire under his power; 4.623. for as he called to mind the other signals, which had been a great many everywhere, that foretold he should obtain the government, so did he remember what Josephus had said to him when he ventured to foretell his coming to the empire while Nero was alive; 4.624. o he was much concerned that this man was still in bonds with him. He then called for Mucianus, together with his other commanders and friends, and, in the first place, he informed them what a valiant man Josephus had been, and what great hardships he had made him undergo in the siege of Jotapata. 4.625. After that he related those predictions of his which he had then suspected as fictions, suggested out of the fear he was in, but which had by time been demonstrated to be Divine. 4.626. “It is a shameful thing (said he) that this man, who hath foretold my coming to the empire beforehand, and been the minister of a Divine message to me, should still be retained in the condition of a captive or prisoner.” So he called for Josephus, and commanded that he should be set at liberty; 4.627. whereupon the commanders promised themselves glorious things, from this requital Vespasian made to a stranger. Titus was then present with his father 4.628. and said, “O father, it is but just that the scandal [of a prisoner] should be taken off Josephus, together with his iron chain. For if we do not barely loose his bonds, but cut them to pieces, he will be like a man that had never been bound at all.” For that is the usual method as to such as have been bound without a cause. 4.629. This advice was agreed to by Vespasian also; so there came a man in, and cut the chain to pieces; while Josephus received this testimony of his integrity for a reward, and was moreover esteemed a person of credit as to futurities also. 4.634. whereupon Vitellius sent away Cecinna, with a great army, having a mighty confidence in him, because of his having beaten Otho. This Cecinna marched out of Rome in great haste, and found Antonius about Cremona in Gall, which city is in the borders of Italy; 4.635. but when he saw there that the enemy were numerous and in good order, he durst not fight them; and as he thought a retreat dangerous, so he began to think of betraying his army to Antonius. 4.636. Accordingly, he assembled the centurions and tribunes that were under his command, and persuaded them to go over to Antonius, and this by diminishing the reputation of Vitellius, and by exaggerating the power of Vespasian. 4.637. He also told them that with the one there was no more than the bare name of dominion, but with the other was the power of it; and that it was better for them to prevent necessity, and gain favor, and, while they were likely to be overcome in battle, to avoid the danger beforehand, and go over to Antonius willingly; 4.638. that Vespasian was able of himself to subdue what had not yet submitted without their assistance, while Vitellius could not preserve what he had already with it. 4.639. 3. Cecinna said this, and much more to the same purpose, and persuaded them to comply with him; and both he and his army deserted; 4.649. where Domitian, with many other of the principal Romans, providentially escaped, while the rest of the multitude were entirely cut to pieces, and Sabinus himself was brought to Vitellius, and then slain; the soldiers also plundered the temple of its ornaments, and set it on fire. 4.659. So Titus marched on foot as far as Nicopolis, which is distant twenty furlongs from Alexandria; there he put his army on board some long ships, and sailed upon the river along the Mendesian Nomus, as far as the city Thmuis; 4.662. After this he rested at Rhinocolura, and from thence he went to Raphia, which was his fourth station. This city is the beginning of Syria. For his fifth station he pitched his camp at Gaza; 5.317. 4. And now Titus brought one of his engines to the middle tower of the north part of the wall, in which a certain crafty Jew, whose name was Castor, lay in ambush, with ten others like himself, the rest being fled away by reason of the archers. 5.318. These men lay still for a while, as in great fear, under their breastplates; but when the tower was shaken, they arose, and Castor did then stretch out his hand, as a petitioner, and called for Caesar, and by his voice moved his compassion, and begged of him to have mercy upon them; 5.319. and Titus, in the innocency of his heart, believing him to be in earnest, and hoping that the Jews did now repent, stopped the working of the batteringram, and forbade them to shoot at the petitioners, and bid Castor say what he had a mind to say to him. 5.321. Now five of the ten dissembled with him, and pretended to beg for mercy, while the rest cried out aloud that they would never be slaves to the Romans, while it was in their power to die in a state of freedom. 5.322. Now while these men were quarreling for a long while, the attack was delayed; Castor also sent to Simon, and told him that they might take some time for consultation about what was to be done, because he would elude the power of the Romans for a considerable time. And at the same time that he sent thus to him, he appeared openly to exhort those that were obstinate to accept of Titus’s hand for their security; 5.323. but they seemed very angry at it, and brandished their naked swords upon the breastworks, and struck themselves upon their breast, and fell down as if they had been slain. 5.324. Hereupon Titus, and those with him, were amazed at the courage of the men; and as they were not able to see exactly what was done, they admired at their great fortitude, and pitied their calamity. 5.325. During this interval, a certain person shot a dart at Castor, and wounded him in his nose; whereupon he presently pulled out the dart, and showed it to Titus, and complained that this was unfair treatment; so Caesar reproved him that shot the dart, and sent Josephus, who then stood by him, to give his right hand to Castor. 5.326. But Josephus said that he would not go to him, because these pretended petitioners meant nothing that was good; he also restrained those friends of his who were zealous to go to him. But still there was one Aeneas, a deserter, who said he would go to him. 5.327. Castor also called to them, that somebody should come and receive the money which he had with him; this made Aeneas the more earnestly to run to him with his bosom open. 5.328. Then did Castor take up a great stone, and threw it at him, which missed him, because he guarded himself against it; but still it wounded another soldier that was coming to him. 5.329. When Caesar understood that this was a delusion, he perceived that mercy in war is a pernicious thing, because such cunning tricks have less place under the exercise of greater severity. So he caused the engine to work more strongly than before, on account of his anger at the deceit put upon him. 5.335. As to the people, he had them of a long time ready to comply with his proposals; but as to the fighting men, this humanity of his seemed a mark of his weakness, and they imagined that he made these proposals because he was not able to take the rest of the city. 5.343. For God had blinded their minds for the transgressions they had been guilty of, nor could they see how much greater forces the Romans had than those that were now expelled, no more than they could discern how a famine was creeping upon them; 5.361. o he mixed good counsel with his works for the siege. And being sensible that exhortations are frequently more effectual than arms, he persuaded them to surrender the city, now in a manner already taken, and thereby to save themselves, and sent Josephus to speak to them in their own language; for he imagined they might yield to the persuasion of a countryman of their own. 5.362. 3. So Josephus went round about the wall, and tried to find a place that was out of the reach of their darts, and yet within their hearing, and besought them, in many words, to spare themselves, to spare their country and their temple, and not to be more obdurate in these cases than foreigners themselves; 5.363. for that the Romans, who had no relation to those things, had a reverence for their sacred rites and places, although they belonged to their enemies, and had till now kept their hands off from meddling with them; while such as were brought up under them, and, if they be preserved, will be the only people that will reap the benefit of them, hurry on to have them destroyed. 5.364. That certainly they have seen their strongest walls demolished, and that the wall still remaining was weaker than those that were already taken. That they must know the Roman power was invincible, and that they had been used to serve them; 5.365. for, that in case it be allowed a right thing to fight for liberty, that ought to have been done at first; but for them that have once fallen under the power of the Romans, and have now submitted to them for so many long years, to pretend to shake off that yoke afterward, was the work of such as had a mind to die miserably, not of such as were lovers of liberty. 5.366. Besides, men may well enough grudge at the dishonor of owning ignoble masters over them, but ought not to do so to those who have all things under their command; for what part of the world is there that hath escaped the Romans, unless it be such as are of no use for violent heat, or for violent cold? 5.367. And evident it is that fortune is on all hands gone over to them; and that God, when he had gone round the nations with this dominion, is now settled in Italy. That, moreover, it is a strong and fixed law, even among brute beasts, as well as among men, to yield to those that are too strong for them; and to suffer those to have dominion who are too hard 5.368. for the rest in war; for which reason it was that their forefathers, who were far superior to them, both in their souls and bodies, and other advantages, did yet submit to the Romans, which they would not have suffered, had they not known that God was with them. 5.369. As for themselves, what can they depend on in this their opposition, when the greatest part of their city is already taken? and when those that are within it are under greater miseries than if they were taken, although their walls be still standing? 5.371. for although the Romans should leave off the siege, and not fall upon the city with their swords in their hands, yet was there an insuperable war that beset them within, and was augmented every hour, unless they were able to wage war with famine, and fight against it, or could alone conquer their natural appetites. 5.372. He added this further, how right a thing it was to change their conduct before their calamities were become incurable, and to have recourse to such advice as might preserve them, while opportunity was offered them for so doing; for that the Romans would not be mindful of their past actions to their disadvantage, unless they persevered in their insolent behavior to the end; because they were naturally mild in their conquests, and preferred what was profitable, before what their passions dictated to them; 5.373. which profit of theirs lay not in leaving the city empty of inhabitants, nor the country a desert; on which account Caesar did now offer them his right hand for their security. Whereas, if he took the city by force, he would not save anyone of them, and this especially, if they rejected his offers in these their utmost distresses; 5.374. for the walls that were already taken could not but assure them that the third wall would quickly be taken also. And though their fortifications should prove too strong for the Romans to break through them, yet would the famine fight for the Romans against them. 5.375. 4. While Josephus was making this exhortation to the Jews, many of them jested upon him from the wall, and many reproached him; nay, some threw their darts at him: but when he could not himself persuade them by such open good advice, he betook himself to the histories belonging to their own nation 5.376. and cried out aloud, “O miserable creatures! are you so unmindful of those that used to assist you, that you will fight by your weapons and by your hands against the Romans? When did we ever conquer any other nation by such means? 5.377. and when was it that God, who is the Creator of the Jewish people, did not avenge them when they had been injured? Will not you turn again, and look back, and consider whence it is that you fight with such violence, and how great a Supporter you have profanely abused? Will not you recall to mind the prodigious things done for your forefathers and this holy place, and how great enemies of yours were by him subdued under you? 5.378. I even tremble myself in declaring the works of God before your ears, that are unworthy to hear them; however, hearken to me, that you may be informed how you fight not only against the Romans, but against God himself. 5.379. In old times there was one Necao, king of Egypt, who was also called Pharaoh; he came with a prodigious army of soldiers, and seized queen Sarah, the mother of our nation. 5.381. Was not our queen sent back, without any defilement, to her husband, the very next evening?—while the king of Egypt fled away, adoring this place which you have defiled by shedding thereon the blood of your own countrymen; and he also trembled at those visions which he saw in the night season, and bestowed both silver and gold on the Hebrews, as on a people beloved by God. 5.382. Shall I say nothing, or shall I mention the removal of our fathers into Egypt, who, when they were used tyrannically, and were fallen under the power of foreign kings for four hundred years together, and might have defended themselves by war and by fighting, did yet do nothing but commit themselves to God? 5.383. Who is there that does not know that Egypt was overrun with all sorts of wild beasts, and consumed by all sorts of distempers? how their land did not bring forth its fruit? how the Nile failed of water? how the ten plagues of Egypt followed one upon another? and how by those means our fathers were sent away under a guard, without any bloodshed, and without running any dangers, because God conducted them as his peculiar servants? 5.384. Moreover, did not Palestine groan under the ravage the Assyrians made, when they carried away our sacred ark? asdid their idol Dagon, and as also did that entire nation of those that carried it away 5.385. how they were smitten with a loathsome distemper in the secret parts of their bodies, when their very bowels came down together with what they had eaten, till those hands that stole it away were obliged to bring it back again, and that with the sound of cymbals and timbrels, and other oblations, in order to appease the anger of God for their violation of his holy ark. 5.386. It was God who then became our General, and accomplished these great things for our fathers, and this because they did not meddle with war and fighting, but committed it to him to judge about their affairs. 5.387. When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, brought along with him all Asia, and encompassed this city round with his army, did he fall by the hands of men?
6. Suetonius, Vespasianus, 7.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Tacitus, Histories, 4.1, 4.3-4.4, 4.9 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4.1.  The death of Vitellius was rather the end of war than the beginning of peace. The victors ranged through the city in arms, pursuing their defeated foes with implacable hatred: the streets were full of carnage, the fora and temples reeked with blood; they slew right and left everyone whom chance put in their way. Presently, as their licence increased, they began to hunt out and drag into the light those who had concealed themselves; did they espy anyone who was tall and young, they cut him down, regardless whether he was soldier or civilian. Their ferocity, which found satisfaction in bloodshed while their hatred was fresh, turned then afterwards to greed. They let no place remain secret or closed, pretending that Vitellians were in hiding. This led to the forcing of private houses or, if resistance was made, became an excuse for murder. Nor was there any lack of starvelings among the mob or of the vilest slaves ready to betray their rich masters; others were pointed out by their friends. Everywhere were lamentations, cries of anguish, and the misfortunes that befall a captured city; so that the citizens actually longed for the licence of Otho's and Vitellius's soldiers, which earlier they had detested. The generals of the Flavian party, who had been quick to start the conflagration of civil war, were unequal to the task of controlling their victory, for in times of violence and civil strife the worst men have the greatest power; peace and quiet call for honest arts. 4.3.  During these same days Lucilius Bassus was sent with a force of light armed cavalry to restore order in Campania, where the people of the towns were rather at variance with one another than rebellious toward the emperor. The sight of the soldiers restored order, and the smaller towns escaped punishment. Capua, however, had the Third legion quartered on it for the winter, and its nobler houses were ruined; while the people of Tarracina, on the other hand, received no assistance: so much easier is it to repay injury than to reward kindness, for gratitude is regarded as a burden, revenge as gain. The Tarracines, however, found comfort in the fact that the slave of Verginius Capito, who had betrayed them, was crucified wearing the very rings that he had received from Vitellius. But at Rome the senators voted to Vespasian all the honours and privileges usually given the emperors. They were filled with joy and confident hope, for it seemed to them that civil warfare, which, breaking out in the Gallic and Spanish provinces, had moved to arms first the Germanies, then Illyricum, and which had traversed Egypt, Judea, Syria, and all provinces and armies, was now at an end, as if the expiation of the whole world had been completed: their zeal was increased by a letter from Vespasian, written as if war were still going on. That at least was the impression that it made at first; but in reality Vespasian spoke as an emperor, with humility of himself, magnificently of the state. Nor did the senate fail in homage: it elected Vespasian consul with his son Titus, and bestowed a praetorship with consular power on Domitian. 4.4.  Mucianus also had sent a letter to the senate that gave occasion for comment. "If," they said, "he were a private citizen, why this official language? He might have said the same things a few days later, speaking in the senate." Even his attack on Vitellius came too late and showed no independence. But they thought it a haughty thing toward the state and an act of insolence toward the emperor for him to boast that he had had the empire in his own hand and had presented it to Vespasian. Yet their discontent was concealed; their flattery was open: in magnificent terms the senators gave Mucianus the insignia of a triumph, in reality for civil war, although his expedition against the Sarmatae was made the pretext. They also voted Antonius Primus the insignia of consular rank, Cornelius Fuscus and Arrius Varus of praetorian. Then they took thought for the gods: they voted to restore the Capitol. All these measures were proposed by Valerius Asiaticus, consul elect; the rest of the senators showed their approval by their looks and hands; a few of conspicuous dignity or whose nature was well trained in flattery expressed themselves in formal speeches. When the turn came to Helvidius Priscus, praetor elect, he spoke in terms which, while honourable to a good emperor, . . . There was no false flattery in his speech, which was received with enthusiasm by the senate. This was the day that stood out in his career as marking the beginning of great disfavour and of great glory. 4.9.  Another dispute followed. The praetors of the treasury — for at that time the public treasury was managed by praetors — complained of the poverty of the state and asked that expenses should be limited. This problem the consul designate wished to reserve for the emperor in view of the magnitude of the burden and the difficulty of the remedy, but Helvidius held that the decision should rest with the senate. When the consuls began to ask the senators their views, Vulcacius Tertullinus, tribune of the people, forbade any decision on so important a matter in the absence of the emperor. Helvidius had proposed that the Capitol should be restored at public expense and that Vespasian should assist in the work. This proposal the more prudent senators passed over in silence, and then allowed it to be forgotten. There were some, however, who remembered it.
8. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 22.16.7 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

22.16.7. But the crown of all cities is Alexandria, which is made famous by many splendid things, through the wisdom of its mighty founder and by the cleverness of the architect Dinocrates. The latter, when laying out its extensive and beautiful walls, for lack of lime, of which too little could at the time be found, sprinkled the whole line of its circuit with flour, Cf. Strabo, xvii. 1, 6 (at end); Plutarch, Alex. 26, 5 f. which chanced to be a sign that later the city would abound with a plentiful store of food.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexandria\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 167, 175, 176
antioch Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
antioch\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 167, 175
city of alexandria, great harbor Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
city of alexandria, island of pharos Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
diodorus siculus Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
egypt\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 167
emotion\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 168, 176
experience, travel experience Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 176
flavius josephus\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 166, 167, 168, 175, 176
geography\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 175
hasmonean Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
herod\u2002, classical historiography Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 176
herod\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 176
high priest/high priesthood Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
jerusalem\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 166, 167, 168
jerusalem temple Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
jews in alexandria, jewish district/delta quarter Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
josephus, on the city of alexandria Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
journey, earthly journey Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 167
journey, sea journey Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162
judaea\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 167, 168, 176
judaean (or jewish) war\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 166, 167, 168, 175, 176
leontopolis source Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
military, troops/forces Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
mucianus\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 167, 175, 176
nature\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 176
odyssey\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 168
onias temple, building of / foundation Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
onias temple, closure / destruction of Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
onias temple Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
permission (royal) Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
population of alexandria Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
pseudo-hecataeus Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
ptolemaic Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
roman Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
rome\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 166, 167, 168, 175, 176
royal correspondence Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
storm\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 168
strabo, description of alexandria Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 23
syria\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 175
temple (archive) Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
travel, dangers of travel Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 168, 176
vespasian\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 166, 167, 168, 175, 176
vitellius\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 166, 167, 168, 175, 176
woman/women' Piotrkowski, Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (2019) 48
year of the four emperors\u2002 Luther Hartog and Wilde, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Travel Experiences: 3rd century BCE – 8th century CE (2024) 162, 166, 167, 168, 176