Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9245
Philo Of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 34-96


nanAnd they, having had the cue given them, spent all their days reviling the king in the public schools, and stringing together all sorts of gibes to turn him into ridicule. And at times they employed poets who compose farces, and managers of puppet shows, displaying their natural aptitude for every kind of disgraceful employment, though they were very slow at learning anything that was creditable, but very acute, and quick, and ready at learning anything of an opposite nature.


nanFor why did he not show his indignation, why did he not commit them to prison, why did he not chastise them for their insolent and disloyal evil speaking? And even if he had not been a king but only one of the household of Caesar, ought he not to have had some privileges and especial honours? The fact is that all these circumstances are an undeniable evidence that Flaccus was a participator in all this abuse; for he who might have punished it with the most extreme severity, and entirely checked it, and who yet took no steps to restrain it, was clearly convicted of having permitted and encouraged it; but whenever an ungoverned multitude begins a course of evil doing it never desists, but proceeds from one wickedness to another, continually doing some monstrous thing. VI.


nanThere was a certain madman named Carabbas, afflicted not with a wild, savage, and dangerous madness (for that comes on in fits without being expected either by the patient or by bystanders), but with an intermittent and more gentle kind; this man spent all this days and nights naked in the roads, minding neither cold nor heat, the sport of idle children and wanton youths;


nanand they, driving the poor wretch as far as the public gymnasium, and setting him up there on high that he might be seen by everybody, flattened out a leaf of papyrus and put it on his head instead of a diadem, and clothed the rest of his body with a common door mat instead of a cloak and instead of a sceptre they put in his hand a small stick of the native papyrus which they found lying by the way side and gave to him;


nanand when, like actors in theatrical spectacles, he had received all the insignia of royal authority, and had been dressed and adorned like a king, the young men bearing sticks on their shoulders stood on each side of him instead of spear-bearers, in imitation of the bodyguards of the king, and then others came up, some as if to salute him, and others making as though they wished to plead their causes before him, and others pretending to wish to consult with him about the affairs of the state.


nanThen from the multitude of those who were standing around there arose a wonderful shout of men calling out Maris; and this is the name by which it is said that they call the kings among the Syrians; for they knew that Agrippa was by birth a Syrian, and also that he was possessed of a great district of Syria of which he was the sovereign;


nanwhen Flaccus heard, or rather when he saw this, he would have done right if he had apprehended the maniac and put him in prison, that he might not give to those who reviled him any opportunity or excuse for insulting their superiors, and if he had chastised those who dressed him up for having dared both openly and disguisedly, both with words and actions, to insult a king and a friend of Caesar, and one who had been honoured by the Roman senate with imperial authority; but he not only did not punish them, but he did not think fit even to check them, but gave complete license and impunity to all those who designed ill, and who were disposed to show their enmity and spite to the king, pretending not to see what he did see, and not to hear what he did hear.


nanAnd when the multitude perceived this, I do not mean the ordinary and well-regulated population of the city, but the mob which, out of its restlessness and love of an unquiet and disorderly life, was always filling every place with tumult and confusion, and who, because of their habitual idleness and laziness, were full of treachery and revolutionary plans, they, flocking to the theatre the first thing in the morning, having already purchased Flaccus for a miserable price, which he with his mad desire for glory and with his slavish disposition, condescended to take to the injury not only of himself, but also of the safety of the commonwealth, all cried out, as if at a signal given, to erect images in the synagogues


nanproposing a most novel and unprecedented violation of the law. And though they knew this (for they are very shrewd in their wickedness), they adopted a deep design, putting forth the name of Caesar as a screen, to whom it would be impiety to attribute the deeds of the guilty;


nanwhat then did the governor of the country do? Knowing that the city had two classes of inhabitants, our own nation and the people of the country, and that the whole of Egypt was inhabited in the same manner, and that Jews who inhabited Alexandria and the rest of the country from the Catabathmos on the side of Libya to the boundaries of Ethiopia were not less than a million of men; and that the attempts which were being made were directed against the whole nation, and that it was a most mischievous thing to distress the ancient hereditary customs of the land; he, disregarding all these considerations, permitted the mob to proceed with the erection of the statues, though he might have given them a vast number of admonitory precepts instead of any such permission, either commanding them as their governor, or advising them as their friend. VII.


nanBut he, for he was eagerly cooperating in all that was being done amiss, thought fit to use his superior power to face the seditious tumult with fresh additions of evil, and as far as it depended on him, one may almost say that he filled the whole of the inhabited world with civil wars;


nanfor it was sufficiently evident that the report about the destruction of the synagogues, which took its rise in Alexandria would be immediately spread over all the districts of Egypt, and would extend from that country to the east and to the oriental nations, and from the borders of the land in the other direction, and from the Mareotic district which is the frontier of Libya, towards the setting of the sun and the western nations. For no one country can contain the whole Jewish nation, by reason of its populousness;


nanon which account they frequent all the most prosperous and fertile countries of Europe and Asia, whether islands or continents, looking indeed upon the holy city as their metropolis in which is erected the sacred temple of the most high God, but accounting those regions which have been occupied by their fathers, and grandfathers, and great grandfathers, and still more remote ancestors, in which they have been born and brought up, as their country; and there are even some regions to which they came the very moment that they were originally settled, sending a colony of their people to do a pleasure to the founders of the colony.


nanAnd there was reason to fear lest all the populace in every country, taking what was done in Egypt as a model and as an excuse, might insult those Jews who were their fellow citizens, by introducing new regulations with respect to their synagogues and their national customs;


nanbut the Jews, for they were not inclined to remain quiet under everything, although naturally entirely disposed towards peace, not only because contests for natural customs do among all men appear more important than those which are only for the sake of life, but also because they alone of all the people under the sun, if they were deprived of their houses of prayer, would at the same time be deprived of all means of showing their piety towards their benefactors, which they would have looked upon as worse than ten thousand deaths, inasmuch as if their synagogues were destroyed they would no longer have any sacred places in which they could declare their gratitude, might have reasonably said to those who opposed them:


nanYou, without being aware of it, are taking away honour from your lords instead of conferring any on them. Our houses of prayer are manifestly incitements to all the Jews in every part of the habitable world to display their piety and loyalty towards the house of Augustus; and if they are destroyed from among us, what other place, or what other manner of showing that honour, will be left to us?


nanFor if we were to neglect the opportunity of adhering to our national customs when it is afforded to us, we should deserve to meet with the severest punishment, as not giving any proper or adequate return for the benefits which we have received; but if, while it is in our power to do so, we, in conformity with our own laws which Augustus himself is in the habit of confirming, obey in everything, then I do not see what great, or even what small offence can be laid to our charge; unless any one were to impute to us that we do not transgress the laws of deliberate purpose, and that we do not intentionally take care to depart from our national customs, which practices, even if they at first attack others, do often in the end visit those who are guilty of them.


nanBut Flaccus, saying nothing that he ought to have said, and everything which he ought not to have said, has sinned against us in this manner; but those men whom he has studied to gratify, what has been their design? Have they had the feelings of men wishing to do honour to Caesar? Was there then a scarcity of temples in the city, the greatest and most important parts of which are all allotted to one or other of the gods, in which they might have erected any statues they pleased?


nanWe have been describing the evidence of hostile and unfriendly men, who seek to injure us with such artifice, that even when injuring us they may not appear to have been acting iniquitously, and yet that we who are injured by them cannot resist with safety to ourselves; for, my good men, it does not contribute to the honour of the emperor to abrogate the laws, to disturb the national customs of a people, to insult those who live in the same country, and to teach those who dwell in other cities to disregard unanimity and tranquillity. VIII.


nanSince, therefore, the attempt which was being made to violate the law appeared to him to be prospering, while he was destroying the synagogues, and not leaving even their name, he proceeded onwards to another exploit, namely, the utter destruction of our constitution, that when all those things to which alone our life was anchored were cut away, namely, our national customs and our lawful political rights and social privileges, we might be exposed to the very extremity of calamity, without having any stay left to which we could cling for safety


nanfor a few days afterwards he issued a notice in which he called us all foreigners and aliens, without giving us an opportunity of being heard in our own defence, but condemning us without a trial; and what command can be more full of tyranny than this? He himself being everything--accuser, enemy, witness, judge, and executioner, added then to the two former appellations a third also, allowing any one who was inclined to proceed to exterminate the Jews as prisoners of war.


nanSo when the people had received this license, what did they do? There are five districts in the city, named after the first five letters of the written alphabet, of these two are called the quarters of the Jews, because the chief portion of the Jews lives in them. There are also a few scattered Jews, but only a very few, living in some of the other districts. What then did they do? They drove the Jews entirely out of four quarters, and crammed them all into a very small portion of one;


nanand by reason of their numbers they were dispersed over the sea-shore, and desert places, and among the tombs, being deprived of all their property; while the populace, overrunning their desolate houses, turned to plunder, and divided the booty among themselves as if they had obtained it in war. And as no one hindered them, they broke open even the workshops of the Jews, which were all shut up because of their mourning for Drusilla, and carried off all that they found there, and bore it openly through the middle of the market-place as if they had only been making use of their own property.


nanAnd the cessation of business to which they were compelled to submit was even a worse evil than the plunder to which they were exposed, as the consequence was that those who had lent money lost what they had lent, and as no one was permitted, neither farmer, nor captain of a ship, nor merchant, nor artisan, to employ himself in his usual manner, so that poverty was brought on them from two sides at once, both from rapine, as when license was thus given to plunder them they were stripped of everything in one day, and also from the circumstance of their no longer being able to earn money by their customary occupations. IX.


nanAnd though these were evils sufficiently intolerable, yet nevertheless they appear actually trifling when compared with those which were subsequently inflicted on them, for poverty indeed is a bitter evil, especially when it is caused by the machinations of one's enemies, still it is less than insult and personal ill treatment even of the slightest character.


nanBut now the evils which were heaped upon our people were so excessive and inordinate, that if a person were desirous to use appropriate language, he would never call them insults of assaults, but, as it appears to me, he would actually be wholly at a loss for suitable expressions, on account of the enormity of the cruelties now newly invented against them, so that if the treatment which men experience from enemies who have subdued them in war, however implacable they may be by nature, were to be compared with that to which the Jews were subjected, it would appear most merciful.


nanEnemies, indeed, plunder their conquered foes of their money, and lead away multitudes in captivity, having incurred the same risk of losing all that they had if they themselves had been defeated. Not but that in all such cases there are very many persons for whom their relations and friends put down a ransom, and who are thus emancipated from captivity, inasmuch as though their enemies could not be worked upon by compassion, they could by love of money. But what is the use of going on in this way, some one will say, for as long as men escape from danger it signifies but little in what way their preservation is brought to pass?


nanMoreover, it has often happened that enemies have granted to those who have fallen in battle the honour of funeral rites, those who were gentle and humane burying them at their own expense, and those who have carried on their enmity even against the dead giving up their bodies to their friends under a truce, in order that they might not be deprived of the last honour of all, the customary ceremonies of sepulture.


nanThis, then, is the conduct of enemies in time of war; let us now see what was done by those who a little while before had been friends in time of peace. For after plundering them of everything, and driving them from their homes, and expelling them by main force from most of the quarters of the city, our people, as if they were blockaded and hemmed in by a circle of besieging enemies, being oppressed by a terrible scarcity and want of necessary things, and seeing their wives and their children dying before their eyes by an unnatural famine


nan(for every other place was full of prosperity and abundance, as the river had irrigated the corn lands plentifully with its inundations, and as all the champaign country, which is devoted to the purposes of bearing wheat, was this year supplying a most abundant over-crop of corn with very unusual fertility)


nanbeing no longer able to support their want, some, though they had never been used to do so before, came to the houses of their friends and relations to beg them to contribute such food as was absolutely necessary as a charity; others, who from their high and free-born spirit could not endure the condition of beggars, as being a slavish state unbecoming the dignity of a freeman, came down into the market with no other object than, miserable men that they were, to buy food for their families and for themselves.


nanAnd then, being immediately seized by those who had excited the seditious multitude against them, they were treacherously put to death, and then were dragged along and trampled under foot by the whole city, and completely destroyed, without the least portion of them being left which could possibly receive burial;


nanand in this way their enemies, who in their savage madness had become transformed into the nature of wild beasts, slew them and thousands of others with all kinds of agony and tortures, and newly invented cruelties, for wherever they met with or caught sight of a Jew, they stoned him, or beat him with sticks, not at once delivering their blows upon mortal parts, lest they should die speedily, and so speedily escape from the sufferings which it was their design to inflict upon them.


nanSome persons even, going still great and greater lengths in the iniquity and license of their barbarity, disdained all blunter weapons, and took up the most efficacious arms of all, fire and iron, and slew many with the sword, and destroyed not a few with flames.


nanAnd the most merciless of all their persecutors in some instances burnt whole families, husbands with their wives, and infant children with their parents, in the middle of the city, sparing neither age nor youth, nor the innocent helplessness of infants. And when they had a scarcity of fuel, they collected faggots of green wood, and slew them by the smoke rather than by fire, contriving a still more miserable and protracted death for those unhappy people, so that their bodies lay about promiscuously in every direction half burnt, a grievous and most miserable sight.


nanAnd if some of those who were employed in the collection of sticks were too slow, they took their own furniture, of which they had plundered them, to burn their persons, robbing them of their most costly articles, and burning with them things of the greatest use and value, which they used as fuel instead of ordinary timber.


nanMany men too, who were alive, they bound by one foot, fastening them round the ankle, and thus they dragged them along and bruised them, leaping on them, designing to inflict the most barbarous of deaths upon them


nanand then when they were dead they raged no less against them with interminable hostility, and inflicted still heavier insults on their persons, dragging them, I had almost said, though all the alleys and lanes of the city, until the corpse, being lacerated in all its skin, and flesh, and muscles from the inequality and roughness of the ground, all the previously united portions of his composition being torn asunder and separated from one another, was actually torn to pieces.


nanAnd those who did these things, mimicked the sufferers, like people employed in the representation of theatrical farces; but the relations and friends of those who were the real victims, merely because they sympathized with the misery of their relations, were led away to prison, were scourged, were tortured, and after all the ill treatment which their living bodies could endure, found the cross the end of all, and the punishment from which they could not escape. X.


nanBut after Flaccus had broken through every right, and trampled upon every principle of justice, and had left no portion of the Jews free from the extreme severity of his designing malice, in the boundlessness of his wickedness he contrived a monstrous and unprecedented attack upon them, being ever an inventor of new acts of iniquity


nanfor he arrested thirty-eight members of our council of elders, which our saviour and benefactor, Augustus, elected to manage the affairs of the Jewish nation after the death of the king of our own nation, having sent written commands to that effect to Manius Maximus when he was about to take upon himself for the second time the government of Egypt and of the country, he arrested them, I say, in their own houses, and commanded them to be thrown into prison, and arranged a splendid procession to send through the middle of the market-place a body of old men prisoners, with their hands bound, some with thongs and others with iron chains, whom he led in this plight into the theatre, a most miserable spectacle, and one wholly unsuited to the times.


nanAnd then he commanded them all to stand in front of their enemies, who were sitting down, to make their disgrace the more conspicuous, and ordered them all to be stripped of their clothes and scourged with stripes, in a way that only the most wicked of malefactors are usually treated, and they were flogged with such severity that some of them the moment they were carried out died of their wounds, while others were rendered so ill for a long time that their recovery was despaired of.


nanAnd the enormity of this cruelty is proved by many other circumstances, and it will be further proved most evidently and undeniably by the circumstance which I am about to mention. Three of the members of this council of elders, Euodius, and Trypho, and Audro, had been stripped of all their property, being plundered of everything that was in their houses at one onset, and he was well aware that they had been exposed to this treatment, for it had been related to him when he had in the first instance sent for our rulers, under pretence of wishing to promote a reconciliation between them and the rest of the city;


nanbut nevertheless, though he well knew that they had been deprived of all their property, he scourged them in the very sight of those who had plundered them, that thus they might endure the twofold misery of poverty and personal ill treatment, and that their persecutors might reap the double pleasure of enjoying riches which did in no respect belong to them, and also of feasting their eyes to satiety on the disgrace of those whom they had plundered.


nanNow, though I desire to mention a circumstance which took place at that time, I am in doubt whether to do so or not, lest if it should be looked upon as unimportant, it may appear to take off from the enormity of these great iniquities; but even if it is unimportant in itself, it is nevertheless an indication of no trifling wickedness of disposition. There are different kinds of scourges used in the city, distinguished with reference to the deserts or crimes of those who are about to be scourged. Accordingly, it is usual for the Egyptians of the country themselves to be scourged with a different kind of scourge, and by a different class of executioners, but for the Alexandrians in the city to be scourged with rods by the Alexandrian lictors


nanand this custom had been preserved, in the case also of our own people, by all the predecessors of Flaccus, and by Flaccus himself in the earlier periods of his government; for it is possible, it really is possible, even in ignominy, to find some slight circumstance of honour, and even in ill treatment to find something which is, to some extent, a relaxation, when any one allows the nature of things to be examined into by itself, and to be confined to its own indispensable requirements, without adding from his own ingenuity any additional cruelty or treachery, to separate and take from it all that is mingled with it of a milder character.


nanHow then can it be looked upon as anything but most infamous, that when Alexandrian Jews, of the lowest rank, had always been previously beaten with the rods, suited to freemen and citizens, if ever they were convicted of having done anything worthy of stripes, yet now the very rulers of the nation, the council of the elders, who derived their very titles from the honour in which they were held and the offices which they filled, should, in this respect, be treated with more indignity than their own servants, like the lowest of the Egyptian rustics, even when found guilty of the very worst of crimes?


nanI omit to mention, that even if they had committed the most countless iniquities, nevertheless the governor ought, out of respect for the season, to have delayed their punishment; for with all rulers, who govern any state on constitutional principles, and who do not seek to acquire a character for audacity, but who do really honour their benefactors, it is the custom to punish no one, even of those who have been lawfully condemned, until the famous festival and assembly, in honour of the birth-day of the illustrious emperor, has passed.


nanBut he committed this violation of the laws at the very season of this festival, and punished men who had done no wrong; though certainly, if he ever determined to punish them, he ought to have done so at a subsequent time; but he hastened, and would admit of no delay, by reason of his eagerness to please the multitude who was opposed to them, thinking that in this way he should be able, more easily, to gain them over to the objects which he had in view.


nanI have known instances before now of men who had been crucified when this festival and holiday was at hand, being taken down and given up to their relations, in order to receive the honours of sepulture, and to enjoy such observances as are due to the dead; for it used to be considered, that even the dead ought to derive some enjoyment from the natal festival of a good emperor, and also that the sacred character of the festival ought to be regarded.


nanBut this man did not order men who had already perished on crosses to be taken down, but he commanded living men to be crucified, men to whom the very time itself gave, if not entire forgiveness, still, at all events, a brief and temporary respite from punishment; and he did this after they had been beaten by scourgings in the middle of the theatre; and after he had tortured them with fire and sword;


nanand the spectacle of their sufferings was divided; for the first part of the exhibition lasted from the morning to the third or fourth hour, in which the Jews were scourged, were hung up, were tortured on the wheel, were condemned, and were dragged to execution through the middle of the orchestra; and after this beautiful exhibition came the dancers, and the buffoons, and the flute-players, and all the other diversions of the theatrical contests. XI.


nanAnd why do I dwell on these things? for a second mode of barbarity was afterwards devised against us, because the governor wished to excite the whole multitude of the army against us, in accordance with the contrivance of some foreign informer. Now the information which was laid against the nation was, that the Jews had entire suits of armour in their houses; therefore, having sent for a centurion, in whom he placed the greatest confidence, by name Castor, he ordered him to take with him the boldest soldier of his own band, to go with haste, and, without saying a word to any one, to enter the houses of the Jews, and to search them, and see whether there was any store of arms laid up in them;


nanand he ran with great speed to perform the commands which had been given him. But they, having no suspicion of his intentions, stood at first speechless with astonishment, their wives and their children clinging to them, and shedding abundance of tears, because of their fear of being carried into captivity, for they were in continual expectation of that, looking upon it as all that was wanting to complete their total misery.


nanBut when they heard from some of those who were sent to make the search an inquiry as to where they had laid up their arms, they breathed awhile, and opening all their secret recesses displayed everything which they had


nanbeing partly delighted and partly grieving; delighted at the opportunity of repelling the false accusation which was thus brought against them by its own character, but indignant, in the first place, because calumnies of such a nature, when concocted and urged against them by their enemies, were believed beforehand; and, secondly, because their wives, who were shut up, and who did not actually come forth out of their inner chambers, and their virgins, who were kept in the strictest privacy, shunning the eyes of men, even of those who were their nearest relations, out of modesty, were now alarmed by being displayed to the public gaze, not only of persons who were no relations to them, but even of common soldiers.


nanNevertheless, though a most rigorous examination took place, how great a quantity of defensive and offensive armour do you think was found? Helmets, and breast-plates, and shields, and daggers, and javelins, and weapons of every description, were brought out and piled up in heaps; and also how great a variety of missile weapons, javelins, slings, bows, and darts? Absolutely not a single thing of the kind; scarcely even knives sufficient for the daily use of the cooks to prepare and dress the food.


nanFrom which circumstance, the simplicity of their daily manner of life was plainly seen: as they made no pretence to magnificence or delicate luxury; the nature of which things is to engender satiety, and satiety is apt to engender insolence, which is the beginning of all evils.


nanAnd indeed it was not a long time before that, that the arms had been taken away from the Egyptians throughout the whole country by a man of the name of Bassus, to whom Flaccus had committed this employment. But at that time one might have beheld a great fleet of ships sailing down and anchoring in the harbours afforded by the mouths of the river, full of arms of every possible description, and numerous beasts of burden loaded with bags made of skins sewn together and hanging like panniers on each side so as to balance better, and also almost all the waggons belonging to the camp filled with weapons of every sort, which were brought in rows so as to be all seen at once, and arranged together in order. And the distance between the harbour and the armoury in the king's palace in which the arms were commanded to be deposited was about ten stadia;


nanit was then very proper to investigate the houses of the men who had amassed such quantities of arms; for as they had often actually revolted, they were naturally liable to be suspected of designing revolutionary measures, and it was quite fitting that, in imitation of the sacred games, those who had superintended the collection of the arms should keep a new triennial festival in Egypt, in order that they might not again be collected without any one being aware of it, or else that at all events only a few might be collected instead of a great number, from the people not having time enough to assemble any great number.


nanBut why were we to be exposed to any treatment of the sort? For when were we ever suspected of any tendency to revolt? And when did we bear any other than a most peaceful character among all men? And the habits in which we daily and habitually indulge, are they not irreproachable, tending to the lawful tranquillity and stability of the state? In fact, if the Jews had had arms in their houses, would they have submitted to be stripped of above four hundred dwellings, out of which they were turned and forcibly expelled by those who plundered them of all their properties? Why then was not this search made in the houses of those people who had arms, if not of their own private property, at all events such as they had carried off from others?


nanThe truth is, as I have said already, the whole business was a deliberate contrivance designed by the cruelty of Flaccus and of the multitude, in which even women were included; for they were dragged away as captives, not only in the market-place, but even in the middle of the theatre, and dragged upon the stage on any false accusation that might be brought against them with the most painful and intolerable insults;


nanand then, when it was found that they were of another race, they were dismissed; for they apprehended many women as Jewesses who were not so, from want of making any careful or accurate investigation. And if they appeared to belong to our nation, then those who, instead of spectators, became tyrants and masters, laid cruel commands on them, bringing them swine's flesh, and enjoining them to eat it. Accordingly, all who were wrought on by fear of punishment to eat it were released without suffering any ill treatment; but those who were more obstinate were given up to the tormentors to suffer intolerable tortures, which is the clearest of all possible proofs that they had committed no offence whatever beyond what I have mentioned. XII.


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

27 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 9.20 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

9.20. And Noah, the man of the land, began and planted a vineyard."
2. Aristotle, Physiognomonics, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3. Aristotle, Poetics, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Plautus, Amphitruo, 66-86, 65 (3rd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

5. Septuagint, 1 Maccabees, 15.29 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

15.29. You have devastated their territory, you have done great damage in the land, and you have taken possession of many places in my kingdom.
6. Anon., Sibylline Oracles, 11.233-11.235 (1st cent. BCE - 5th cent. CE)

7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 53 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Joseph, 29 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

29. for this world is a sort of large state, and has one constitution, and one law, and the word of nature enjoins what one ought to do, and forbids what one ought not to do: but the cities themselves in their several situations are unlimited in number, and enjoy different constitutions, and laws which are not all the same; for there are different customs and established regulations found out and established in different nations;
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 18-19, 17 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

17. But that world which consists of ideas, it were impious in any degree to attempt to describe or even to imagine: but how it was created, we shall know if we take for our guide a certain image of the things which exist among us. When any city is founded through the exceeding ambition of some king or leader who lays claim to absolute authority, and is at the same time a man of brilliant imagination, eager to display his good fortune, then it happens at times that some man coming up who, from his education, is skilful in architecture, and he, seeing the advantageous character and beauty of the situation, first of all sketches out in his own mind nearly all the parts of the city which is about to be completed--the temples, the gymnasia, the prytanea, and markets, the harbour, the docks, the streets, the arrangement of the walls, the situations of the dwelling houses, and of the public and other buildings.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 103 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

103. But of the ideas which are brought forth by the mind, some are male and some female, as in the case of animals. Now the female offspring of the soul are wickedness and passion, by which we are made effeminate in every one of our pursuits; but a healthy state of the passions and virtue is male, by which we are excited and invigorated. Now of these, whatever belongs to the fellowship of men must be attributed to God, and everything that relates to the similarity to women must be imputed to one's self, on which account the command was delivered, "of everything which openeth the womb the males belong to the Lord." XXXII.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.34 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.34. He, therefore, who comes into that which is truly the greatest of cities, namely, this world, and who beholds all the land, both the mountain and the champaign district full of animals, and plants, and the streams of rivers, both overflowing and depending on the wintry floods, and the steady flow of the sea, and the admirable temperature of the air, and the varieties and regular revolutions of the seasons of the year; and then too the sun and moon, the rulers of day and night, and the revolutions and regular motions of all the other planets and fixed stars, and of the whole heaven; would he not naturally, or I should rather say, of necessity, conceive a notion of the Father, and creator, and governor of all this system;
12. Philo of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 10, 103-105, 108, 11, 110, 117, 12, 120-124, 13, 135-139, 14, 141, 149, 15, 151, 158, 16, 163, 166-169, 17, 170, 173-174, 177, 18, 181, 189, 19, 190-191, 2, 20-21, 23-29, 3, 30-33, 35-39, 4, 40-49, 5, 50-59, 6, 60-69, 7, 70-79, 8, 80-89, 9, 90-97, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1. Flaccus Avillius succeeded Sejanus in his hatred of and hostile designs against the Jewish nation. He was not, indeed, able to injure the whole people by open and direct means as he had been, inasmuch as he had less power for such a purpose, but he inflicted the most intolerable evils on all who came within his reach. Moreover, though in appearance he only attacked a portion of the nation, in point of fact he directed his aims against all whom he could find anywhere, proceeding more by art than by force; for those men who, though of tyrannical natures and dispositions, have not strength enough to accomplish their designs openly, seek to compass them by manoeuvres.
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 132-148, 150, 162-171, 173, 194, 250-253, 338, 346, 363, 370, 122 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

122. And no longer watching for night and darkness, like ordinary robbers out of fear of being detected, they openly plundered them of all their furniture and treasures, carrying them off in broad daylight, and displaying their booty to every one whom they met, as if they had inherited it or fairly purchased it from the owners. And if a multitude joined together to share any particular piece of plunder, they divided it in the middle of the market-place, reviling it and turning it all into ridicule before the eyes of its real owners.
14. Propertius, Elegies, 3.11.30-3.11.58 (1st cent. BCE

15. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 32.36-32.37 (1st cent. CE

32.36.  For not only does the mighty nation, Egypt, constitute the framework of your city — or more accurately its ')" onMouseOut="nd();"appendage — but the peculiar nature of the river, when compared with all others, defies description with regard to both its marvellous habits and its usefulness; and furthermore, not only have you a monopoly of the shipping of the entire Mediterranean by reason of the beauty of your harbours, the magnitude of your fleet, and the abundance and the marketing of the products of every land, but also the outer waters that lie beyond are in your grasp, both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, whose name was rarely heard in former days. The result is that the trade, not merely of islands, ports, a few straits and isthmuses, but of practically the whole world is yours. For Alexandria is situated, as it were, at the cross-roads of the whole world, of even the most remote nations thereof, as if it were a market serving a single city, a market which brings together into one place all manner of men, displaying them to one another and, as far as possible, making them a kindred people. 32.37.  Perhaps these words of mine are pleasing to your ears and you fancy that you are being praised by me, as you are by all the rest who are always flattering you; but I was praising water and soil and harbours and places and everything except yourselves. For where have I said that you are sensible and temperate and just? Was it not quite the opposite? For when we praise human beings, it should be for their good discipline, gentleness, concord, civic order, for heeding those who give good counsel, and for not being always in search of pleasures. But arrivals and departures of vessels, and superiority in size of population, in merchandise, and in ships, are fit subjects for praise in the case of a fair, a harbour, or a market-place, but not of a city;
16. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 18.159-18.160, 18.257-18.259, 19.81, 19.276-19.277, 20.100 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

18.159. He then pretended that he would do as he bid him; but when night came on, he cut his cables, and went off, and sailed to Alexandria, where he desired Alexander the alabarch to lend him two hundred thousand drachmae; but he said he would not lend it to him, but would not refuse it to Cypros, as greatly astonished at her affection to her husband, and at the other instances of her virtue; 18.257. 1. There was now a tumult arisen at Alexandria, between the Jewish inhabitants and the Greeks; and three ambassadors were chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to Caius. Now one of these ambassadors from the people of Alexandria was Apion, who uttered many blasphemies against the Jews; and, among other things that he said, he charged them with neglecting the honors that belonged to Caesar; 18.258. for that while all who were subject to the Roman empire built altars and temples to Caius, and in other regards universally received him as they received the gods, these Jews alone thought it a dishonorable thing for them to erect statues in honor of him, as well as to swear by his name. 18.259. Many of these severe things were said by Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Caius to anger at the Jews, as he was likely to be. But Philo, the principal of the Jewish embassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alexander the alabarch, and one not unskillful in philosophy, was ready to betake himself to make his defense against those accusations; 19.81. for he is preparing to sail to Alexandria, in order to see Egypt. Is it therefore for your honor to let a man go out of your hands who is a reproach to mankind, and to permit him to go, after a pompous manner, triumphing both at land and sea? 19.276. he also took away from Antiochus that kingdom which he was possessed of, but gave him a certain part of Cilicia and Commagena: he also set Alexander Lysimachus, the alabarch, at liberty, who had been his old friend, and steward to his mother Antonia, but had been imprisoned by Caius, whose son [Marcus] married Bernice, the daughter of Agrippa. 19.277. But when Marcus, Alexander’s son, was dead, who had married her when she was a virgin, Agrippa gave her in marriage to his brother Herod, and begged for him of Claudius the kingdom of Chalcis.
17. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 2.487-2.488, 2.494-2.498 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.487. 7. But for Alexandria, the sedition of the people of the place against the Jews was perpetual, and this from that very time when Alexander [the Great], upon finding the readiness of the Jews in assisting him against the Egyptians, and as a reward for such their assistance, gave them equal privileges in this city with the Grecians themselves; 2.488. which honorary reward Continued among them under his successors, who also set apart for them a particular place, that they might live without being polluted [by the Gentiles], and were thereby not so much intermixed with foreigners as before; they also gave them this further privilege, that they should be called Macedonians. Nay, when the Romans got possession of Egypt, neither the first Caesar, nor anyone that came after him, thought of diminishing the honors which Alexander had bestowed on the Jews. 2.494. 8. Now when he perceived that those who were for innovations would not be pacified till some great calamity should overtake them, he sent out upon them those two Roman legions that were in the city, and together with them five thousand other soldiers, who, by chance, were come together out of Libya, to the ruin of the Jews. They were also permitted not only to kill them, but to plunder them of what they had, and to set fire to their houses. 2.495. These soldiers rushed violently into that part of the city which was called Delta, where the Jewish people lived together, and did as they were bidden, though not without bloodshed on their own side also; for the Jews got together, and set those that were the best armed among them in the forefront, and made a resistance for a great while; but when once they gave back, they were destroyed unmercifully; 2.496. and this their destruction was complete, some being caught in the open field, and others forced into their houses, which houses were first plundered of what was in them, and then set on fire by the Romans; wherein no mercy was shown to the infants, and no regard had to the aged; but they went on in the slaughter of persons of every age 2.497. till all the place was overflowed with blood, and fifty thousand of them lay dead upon heaps; nor had the remainder been preserved, had they not betaken themselves to supplication. So Alexander commiserated their condition, and gave orders to the Romans to retire; 2.498. accordingly, these being accustomed to obey orders, left off killing at the first intimation; but the populace of Alexandria bare so very great hatred to the Jews, that it was difficult to recall them, and it was a hard thing to make them leave their dead bodies.
18. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 1.33-1.35 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.33. I mean at Egypt and at Babylon, or in any other place of the rest of the habitable earth, whithersoever our priests are scattered; for they send to Jerusalem the ancient names of their parents in writing, as well as those of their remoter ancestors, and signify who are the witnesses also; 1.34. but if any war falls out, such as have fallen out, a great many of them already, when Antiochus Epiphanes made an invasion upon our country, as also when Pompey the Great and Quintilius Varus did so also, and principally in the wars that have happened in our own times 1.35. those priests that survive them compose new tables of genealogy out of the old records, and examine the circumstances of the women that remain; for still they do not admit of those that have been captives, as suspecting that they had conversation with some foreigners;
19. Mela, De Chorographia, 1.8-1.9, 1.22, 1.40 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

20. New Testament, Acts, 26.30-26.31 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

26.30. The king rose up with the governor, and Bernice, and those who sat with them. 26.31. When they had withdrawn, they spoke one to another, saying, "This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
21. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 25 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

22. Suetonius, Nero, 20.3 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

23. Tacitus, Annals, 14.15.5 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

24. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.81 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

25. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.81 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

26. Pliny The Younger, Panegyric, 80.3-80.5 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

27. Papyri, P.Lond., 6.1912



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
actors Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
aegyptiaca Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 40
agrippa i (julius herod) Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 3
alexander, tiberius julius Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 3
alexandria, greek and jewish rivalry in Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38, 39, 40
alexandria, gymnasium Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
alexandria, philos perspective on Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
alexandria, prominent in the roman empire Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38, 40, 239
alexandria, proseuchai Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
alexandria, residents of rebuked by dio chrysostom Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 239
alexandria, social conflict in Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 3
alexandria Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131; Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216; Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 3
apion Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 3
apocalypticism/apocalyptic Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 4
audiences Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
augustus (octavian) Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
autocrats/autocracy see also dionysus, monarchy, satyrplay, tragedy, tyrants\n, and theatre Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
baetis, river, barbarian Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 39, 40
caesar, julius Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 3
caesar Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
choruses/choreuts, lyric Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
claques Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
cleopatra vii Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
comedy Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
commercialism and egypt Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38
dio of prusa (chrysostom) Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 239
diodorus siculus Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 4
egypt, criticised in ancient sources Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 39, 40, 239
egypt, escapist fantasy Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 40
egypt, pharaonic Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 40
emperors and egypt, caligula (gaius) Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38, 39, 40
emperors and egypt, claudius Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38, 39, 40
emperors and egypt, nero Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 40
emperors and egypt, trajan Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 239
emperors and egypt, vespasian Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 239
epicharmus (comic poet) Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
flaccus Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
gaius caligula Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
happiness Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
hasmonean dynasty Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
heliopolis Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
herod agrippa Arampapaslis, Augoustakis, Froedge, Schroer, Dynamics Of Marginality: Liminal Characters and Marginal Groups in Neronian and Flavian Literature (2023) 17
herod agrippa i Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
herod the great Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
herodian dynasty Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
hieron ii of syracuse, and architecture Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
imperialism Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 239
intellect, as charioteer Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
isaeum campense, temple of isis Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38
italy/italians Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 4
jason of cyrene Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
josephus Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
jupiter (also zeus) Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 239
lucretius, male and female Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
maccabeus, jonathan, and nicanor Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
maccabeus, jonathan Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
maccabeus, judas Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
macedonia/macedonian Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 4
memory, cultural Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
mime Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
music Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
nero, emperor, interested in aegyptiaca Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 40
nero (emperor) Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
nicholas of damascus Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
nile, and grain supply (annona) Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38, 239
nile, benevolent Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 239
obelisks Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38
oligarchs/oligarchy, avoidance of/disinterest in theatre Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
oligarchs/oligarchy, in tragedy Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
onias Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
passions Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
persecution, of jews in egypt Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
pharos, port of alexandria Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 38
philo, descriptions of the city of alexandria Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 4
philo of alexandria, family and life of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
philo of alexandria Arampapaslis, Augoustakis, Froedge, Schroer, Dynamics Of Marginality: Liminal Characters and Marginal Groups in Neronian and Flavian Literature (2023) 14, 17; Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216; Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
philos essenes Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 37
philos perspective Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
plato, phaedrus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
proseuchai (prayer-houses, synagogues) Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
ptolemaic egypt Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 4
ptolemy ii philadelphus Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 216
rome Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 4
satyrplay/satyr drama, and autocrats Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
satyrplay/satyr drama Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
seating, hierarchic Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
self/other, dualism in greek and roman thought Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 40
sessa aurunca (campania), theatre Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
soul Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
strabo Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
theatrocracy Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
theriomorphism, trademark institution of egypt, criticized by authors Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 40
tragedy, and autocrats Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
tragedy, and democracy Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
tragedy, and oligarchy Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3
vettius valens Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
vices' Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 131
women, attending theatres Csapo et al., Theatre and Autocracy in the Ancient World (2022) 3