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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9246
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 184-198


nanHaving these ideas in my mind, I resisted the sanguine hopes of the others, and had no rest in my mind day or night. But while I was thus giving way to despondency and lamenting over my ignorance of the future (for it was not safe to postpone matters), on a sudden another most grievous and unexpected calamity fell upon us, bringing danger not on one section of the Jews only, but on all the nation together.


nanFor we had come from Rome to Dicaearchia attending upon Gaius; and he had gone down to the seaside and was remaining near the gulf, having left for a while his own palaces, which were numerous and superbly furnished.


nanAnd while we were anxiously considering his intentions, for we were continually expecting to be summoned, a man arrived, with blood-shot eyes, and looking very much troubled, out of breath and palpitating, and leading us away to a little distance from the rest (for there were several persons near), he said, "Have you heard the news?" And then when he was about to tell us what it was he stopped, because of the abundance of tears that rose up to choke his utterance.


nanAnd beginning again, he was a second and a third time stopped in the same manner. And we, seeing this, were much alarmed and agitated by suspense, and entreated him to tell us what the circumstance was on account of which he said that he had come; for he could not have come merely to weep before so many witnesses. "If, then," said we, "you have any real cause for tears, do not keep your grief to yourself; we have been long ago well accustomed to misfortune.


nanAnd he with difficulty, sobbing aloud, and in a broken voice, spoke as follows: "Our temple is destroyed! Gaius has ordered a colossal statue of himself to be erected in the holy of holies, having his own name inscribed upon it with the title of Jupiter!


nanAnd while we were all struck dumb with astonishment and terror at what he had told us, and stood still deprived of all motion (for we stood there mute and in despair, ready to fall to the ground with fear and sorrow, the very muscles of our bodies being deprived of all strength by the news which we had heard); others arrived bearing the same sad tale.


nanAnd then we all retired and shut ourselves up together and bewailed our individual and common miseries, and went through every circumstance that our minds could conceive, for a man in misfortune is a most loquacious animal, wrestling as we might with our misery. And we said to one another, "We have sailed hither in the middle of winter, in order that we might not be all involved in violation of the law and in misfortunes proceeding from it, without being aware what a winter of misery was awaiting us on shore, far more grievous than any storm at sea. For of the one nature is the cause, which has divided the seasons of the year and arranged them in due order, but nature is a thing which exerts a saving power; but the other storm is caused by a man who cherishes no ideas such as become a man, but is a young man, and a promoter of all kinds of innovation, being invested with irresponsible power over all the world. "And youth, when combined with absolute power and yielding to irresistible and unrestrained passion, is an invincible evil.


nanAnd will it be allowed to us to approach him or to open our mouth on the subject of the synagogues before this insulter of our holy and glorious temple? For it is quite evident that he will pay no regard whatever to things of less importance and which are held in inferior estimation, when he behaves with insolence and contempt towards our most beautiful and renowned temple, which is respected by all the east and by all the west, and regarded like the sun which shines everywhere.


nanAnd even if we were allowed free access to him, what else could we expect but an inexorable sentence of death? But be it so; we will perish. For, indeed, a glorious death in defence of and for the sake of the preservation of our laws, is a kind of life. "But, indeed, if no advantage is derived from our death, would it not be insanity to perish in addition to what we now have to endure, and this too, while we appear to be ambassadors, so that the calamity appears rather to affect those who have sent us than those who remain?


nanNot but what those of our fellow countrymen who are by nature most inclined to detest all wickedness, will accuse us of impiety, as if we, in the extremity of dangers, when our whole country was tossed about and threatened, were remembering some private interests of our own out of selfishness. For it is necessary that small things must yield to great ones, and that private objects must yield to the general interests; since, when they are destroyed, there is an end of the constitution and of the nation.


nanFor how can it be holy or lawful for us to struggle in any other manner, pointing out that we are citizens of Alexandria, over whom a danger is now impending, that namely, of the utter destruction of the general constitution of the Jewish nation; for in the destruction of the temple there is reason to fear that this man, so fond of innovation and willing to dare the most audacious actions, will also order the general name of our whole nation to be abolished.


nanIf, therefore, both the objects on account of which we were sent are overthrown, perhaps some one will say, What then, did they not know that they had to negotiate for a safe return? But I would reply to such a man, You either have not the genuine feelings of a nobly born man, or else you were not educated like one, and have never been trained in the knowledge of the sacred scriptures; for men who are truly noble are full of hope, and the laws too implant good hopes in all those who do not study them superficially but with all their hearts.


nanPerhaps these things are meant as a trial of the existing generation to see how they are inclined towards virtue, and whether they have been taught to bear evils with resolute and firm minds, without yielding at the first moment; all human considerations then are discarded, and let them be discarded, but let an imperishable hope and trust in God the Saviour remain in our souls, as he has often preserved our nation amid inextricable difficulties and distresses." XXX.


nanThese were the sort of things which we said, bewailing at the same time our unexpected calamities, and yet also encouraging one another with the hope of a change to a more tranquil and peaceful state of things. And after a little consideration and delay, we said to those who had brought us this doleful news, "Why sit ye here quietly, having just kindled sparks of eagerness in our ears by which we are set on fire and rendered all in a blaze, when you ought rather to add to what you have told us an account of the causes which have operated on Gaius.


nanAnd they replied, "You know the principal and primary cause of all; for that indeed is universally known to all men. He desires to be considered a god; and he conceives that the Jews alone are likely to be disobedient; and that therefore he cannot possibly inflict a greater evil or injury upon them than by defacing and insulting the holy dignity of their temple; for report prevails that it is the most beautiful of all the temples in the world, inasmuch as it is continually receiving fresh accessions of ornament and has been for an infinite period of time, a never-ending and boundless expense being lavished on it. And as he is a very contentious and quarrelsome man, he thinks of appropriating this edifice wholly to himself.


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

9 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 17.7 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

17.7. יַד הָעֵדִים תִּהְיֶה־בּוֹ בָרִאשֹׁנָה לַהֲמִיתוֹ וְיַד כָּל־הָעָם בָּאַחֲרֹנָה וּבִעַרְתָּ הָרָע מִקִּרְבֶּךָ׃ 17.7. The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee."
2. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 54.11-54.14 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

54.11. עֲנִיָּה סֹעֲרָה לֹא נֻחָמָה הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מַרְבִּיץ בַּפּוּךְ אֲבָנַיִךְ וִיסַדְתִּיךְ בַּסַּפִּירִים׃ 54.12. וְשַׂמְתִּי כַּדְכֹד שִׁמְשֹׁתַיִךְ וּשְׁעָרַיִךְ לְאַבְנֵי אֶקְדָּח וְכָל־גְּבוּלֵךְ לְאַבְנֵי־חֵפֶץ׃ 54.13. וְכָל־בָּנַיִךְ לִמּוּדֵי יְהוָה וְרַב שְׁלוֹם בָּנָיִךְ׃ 54.14. בִּצְדָקָה תִּכּוֹנָנִי רַחֲקִי מֵעֹשֶׁק כִּי־לֹא תִירָאִי וּמִמְּחִתָּה כִּי לֹא־תִקְרַב אֵלָיִךְ׃ 54.11. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will set thy stones in fair colours, And lay thy foundations with sapphires." 54.12. And I will make thy pinnacles of rubies, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy border of precious stones." 54.13. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children." 54.14. In righteousness shalt thou be established; be thou far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear, And from ruin, for it shall not come near thee."
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 11, 110, 178, 181-183, 185-198, 201-203, 207, 210-212, 214-217, 222, 225-226, 228-230, 235-237, 239, 24, 240-253, 256, 259-309, 31, 310-319, 32, 320-329, 33, 330, 334, 338, 341, 346-347, 349-368, 370-371, 40-41, 45, 47, 55, 66-77, 8, 80, 83-85, 9, 95-97, 10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. and the sovereignty of the most numerous, and most valuable, and important portions of the habitable world, which is fact one may fairly call the whole world, being not only all that is bounded by the two rivers, the Euphrates and the Rhine; the one of which confines Germany and all the more uncivilised nations; and the Euphrates, on the other hand, bridles Parthia and the nations of the Sarmatians and Scythians, which are not less barbarous and uncivilised than the Germanic tribes; but, even as I said before, all the world, from the rising to the setting sun, all the land in short on this side of the Ocean and beyond the Ocean, at which all the Roman people and all Italy rejoiced, and even all the Asiatic and European nations.
4. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 18.257-18.261, 19.278, 19.280-19.291 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

18.257. 1. There was now a tumult arisen at Alexandria, between the Jewish inhabitants and the Greeks; and three ambassadors were chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to Caius. Now one of these ambassadors from the people of Alexandria was Apion, who uttered many blasphemies against the Jews; and, among other things that he said, he charged them with neglecting the honors that belonged to Caesar; 18.258. for that while all who were subject to the Roman empire built altars and temples to Caius, and in other regards universally received him as they received the gods, these Jews alone thought it a dishonorable thing for them to erect statues in honor of him, as well as to swear by his name. 18.259. Many of these severe things were said by Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Caius to anger at the Jews, as he was likely to be. But Philo, the principal of the Jewish embassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alexander the alabarch, and one not unskillful in philosophy, was ready to betake himself to make his defense against those accusations; 18.261. 2. Hereupon Caius, taking it very heinously that he should be thus despised by the Jews alone, sent Petronius to be president of Syria, and successor in the government to Vitellius, and gave him order to make an invasion into Judea, with a great body of troops; and if they would admit of his statue willingly, to erect it in the temple of God; but if they were obstinate, to conquer them by war, and then to do it. 19.278. 2. Now about this time there was a sedition between the Jews and the Greeks, at the city of Alexandria; for when Caius was dead, the nation of the Jews, which had been very much mortified under the reign of Caius, and reduced to very great distress by the people of Alexandria, recovered itself, and immediately took up their arms to fight for themselves. 19.281. Since I am assured that the Jews of Alexandria, called Alexandrians, have been joint inhabitants in the earliest times with the Alexandrians, and have obtained from their kings equal privileges with them, as is evident by the public records that are in their possession, and the edicts themselves; 19.282. and that after Alexandria had been subjected to our empire by Augustus, their rights and privileges have been preserved by those presidents who have at divers times been sent thither; and that no dispute had been raised about those rights and privileges 19.283. even when Aquila was governor of Alexandria; and that when the Jewish ethnarch was dead, Augustus did not prohibit the making such ethnarchs, as willing that all men should be so subject [to the Romans] as to continue in the observation of their own customs, and not be forced to transgress the ancient rules of their own country religion; 19.284. but that, in the time of Caius, the Alexandrians became insolent towards the Jews that were among them, which Caius, out of his great madness and want of understanding, reduced the nation of the Jews very low, because they would not transgress the religious worship of their country, and call him a god: 19.285. I will therefore that the nation of the Jews be not deprived of their rights and privileges, on account of the madness of Caius; but that those rights and privileges which they formerly enjoyed be preserved to them, and that they may continue in their own customs. And I charge both parties to take very great care that no troubles may arise after the promulgation of this edict.” 19.286. 3. And such were the contents of this edict on behalf of the Jews that was sent to Alexandria. But the edict that was sent into the other parts of the habitable earth was this which follows: 19.287. “Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, high priest, tribune of the people, chosen consul the second time, ordains thus: 19.288. Upon the petition of king Agrippa and king Herod, who are persons very dear to me, that I would grant the same rights and privileges should be preserved to the Jews which are in all the Roman empire, which I have granted to those of Alexandria, I very willingly comply therewith; and this grant I make not only for the sake of the petitioners 19.289. but as judging those Jews for whom I have been petitioned worthy of such a favor, on account of their fidelity and friendship to the Romans. I think it also very just that no Grecian city should be deprived of such rights and privileges, since they were preserved to them under the great Augustus. 19.291. And I will that this decree of mine be engraven on tables by the magistrates of the cities, and colonies, and municipal places, both those within Italy and those without it, both kings and governors, by the means of the ambassadors, and to have them exposed to the public for full thirty days, in such a place whence it may plainly be read from the ground.”
5. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 3.9-3.17, 5.5, 5.7, 5.9, 5.13, 6.19 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.9. For we are God's fellow workers. Youare God's farming, God's building. 3.10. According to the grace of Godwhich was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation,and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds onit. 3.11. For no one can lay any other foundation than that which hasbeen laid, which is Jesus Christ. 3.12. But if anyone builds on thefoundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble; 3.13. each man's work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it,because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sortof work each man's work is. 3.14. If any man's work remains which hebuilt on it, he will receive a reward. 3.15. If any man's work isburned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but asthrough fire. 3.16. Don't you know that you are a temple of God, and that God'sSpirit lives in you? 3.17. If anyone destroys the temple of God, Godwill destroy him; for God's temple is holy, which you are. 5.5. are to deliver such a one to Satan for thedestruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day ofthe Lord Jesus. 5.7. Purge out the old yeast, that you may bea new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, ourPassover, has been sacrificed in our place. 5.9. I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; 5.13. But those who are outside, God judges. "Put awaythe wicked man from among yourselves. 6.19. Or don't you know that your body is a temple ofthe Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are notyour own
6. New Testament, 2 Corinthians, 2.11, 6.14-7.1, 11.14, 12.7 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. New Testament, 2 Thessalonians, 2.1-2.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.1. Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him, we ask you 2.2. not to be quickly shaken in your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by letter as from us, saying that the day of Christ had come. 2.3. Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction 2.4. he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God. 2.5. Don't you remember that, when I was still with you, I told you these things? 2.6. Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. 2.7. For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way. 2.8. Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nothing by the brightness of his coming; 2.9. even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders 2.10. and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn't receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2.11. Because of this, God sends them a working of error, that they should believe a lie; 2.12. that they all might be judged who didn't believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
8. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 2.5.2-2.5.5 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

2.5.2. Josephus also makes mention of these things in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, in the following words: A sedition having arisen in Alexandria between the Jews that dwell there and the Greeks, three deputies were chosen from each faction and went to Caius. 2.5.3. One of the Alexandrian deputies was Apion, who uttered many slanders against the Jews; among other things saying that they neglected the honors due to Caesar. For while all other subjects of Rome erected altars and temples to Caius, and in all other respects treated him just as they did the gods, they alone considered it disgraceful to honor him with statues and to swear by his name. 2.5.4. And when Apion had uttered many severe charges by which he hoped that Caius would be aroused, as indeed was likely, Philo, the chief of the Jewish embassy, a man celebrated in every respect, a brother of Alexander the Alabarch, and not unskilled in philosophy, was prepared to enter upon a defense in reply to his accusations. 2.5.5. But Caius prevented him and ordered him to leave, and being very angry, it was plain that he meditated some severe measure against them. And Philo departed covered with insult and told the Jews that were with him to be of good courage; for while Caius was raging against them he was in fact already contending with God.
9. Papyri, Cpj, 2.153



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
agrippa i (jewish king), in legatio Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
alexander, tiberius julius Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 4
alexandria, social conflict in Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 4
alexandria Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 4
apion, in antiquities and jewish war compared Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
apion, in antiquities and legatio compared Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
apion, literary connections to haman Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
apion, of antiquities account of agrippa i Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
apocalyptic(ism) (see also dualism) Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
apostle Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
churches/tradition of paul pauline' Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
claudius Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 4
corinth Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
dualism, dualist(ic) Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
essenes (see also qumran) Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
gaius (caligula) Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
gaius (roman emperor), depiction in josephus Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
isidorus Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
paul (saul) Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
philo of alexandria, as source for josephus Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
philo of alexandria, on the alexandrian crisis and agrippa i Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
purification ~ Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451
sexual relations, (mis)behaviour Tomson, Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries (2019) 451