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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9246
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 330-350


nanHaving written this letter and sealed it, he sent it to Gaius, and then shutting himself up he remained in his own house, full of agony, confusion, and disorder, and anxiety, as to what was the best way of approaching and addressing the emperor; for he and his people had incurred no slight danger, but they had reason to apprehend expulsion from their country, and slavery, and utter destruction, as impending not only over those who were dwelling in the holy land, but over all the Jews in every part of the world.


nanBut the emperor, having taken the letter and read it, and having considered every suggestion which was contained in it, was very angry, because his intentions had not been executed: and yet, at the same time, he was moved by the appeals to his justice and by the supplications which were thus addressed to him, and in some respects he was pleased with Agrippa, and in some he blamed him.


nanHe blamed him for his excessive desire to please his fellow countrymen, who were the only men who had resisted his orders and shown any unwillingness to submit to his deification; but he praised him for concealing and disguising none of his feelings, which conduct he said was a proof of a liberal and noble disposition.


nanTherefore being somewhat appeased, at least as far as appearance went, he condescended to return a somewhat favourable answer, granting to Agrippa that highest and greatest of all favours, the consent that this erection of his statue should not take place; and he commanded letters to be written to Publius Petronius the governor of Syria, enjoining him not to allow any alterations or innovations to be made with respect to the temple of the Jews.


nanNevertheless, though he did grant him the favour, he did not grant it without any alloy, but he mingled with it a grievous terror; for he added to the letter, - "If any people in the bordering countries, with the exception of the metropolis itself, wishing to erect altars or temples, nay, images of statues, in honour of me and of my family are hindered from doing so, I charge you at once to punish those who attempt to hinder them, or else to bring them before the tribunal.


nanNow this was nothing else but a beginning of seditions and civil wars, and an indirect way of annulling the gift which he appeared to be granting. For some men, more out of a desire of mortifying the Jews than from any feelings of loyalty towards Gaius, were inclined to fill the whole country with erections of one kind or another. But they who beheld the violation of their national customs practised before their eyes were resolved above all things not to endure such an injury unresistingly. But Gaius, judging those who were thus excited to disobedience to be worthy of the most severe punishment possible, a second time orders his statue to be erected in the temple.


nanBut by the providence and care of God, who beholds all things and governs all things in accordance with justice, not one of the neighbouring nations made any movement at all; so that there was no occasion for these commands being carried into effect, and these inexorably appointed calamities all terminated in only a moderate degree of blame.


nanWhat advantage, then, was gained? some one will say; for even when they were quiet, Gaius was not quiet; but he had already repented of the favour which he had showed to Agrippa, and had re-kindled the desires which he had entertained a little while before; for he commanded another statue to be made, of colossal size, of brass gilt over, in Rome, no longer moving the one which had been made in Sidon, in order that the people might not be excited by its being moved, but that while they remained in a state of tranquillity and felt released from their suspicions, it might in a period of peace be suddenly brought to the country in a ship, and be suddenly erected without the multitude being aware of what was going on. XLIII.


nanAnd he was intending to do this while on his voyage along the coast during the period which he had allotted for his sojourn in Egypt. For an indescribable desire occupied his mind to see Alexandria, to which he was eager to go with all imaginable haste, and when he had arrived there he intended to remain a considerable time, urging that the deification about which he was so anxious, might easily be originated and carried to a great height in that city above all others, and then that it would be a model to all other cities of the adoration to which he was entitled, inasmuch as it was the greatest of all the cities of the east, and built in the finest situation in the world. For all inferior men and nations are eager to imitate great men and great states.


nanMoreover, Gaius was in other respects a man in whose nature there was nothing stable or trustworthy so that, even if he did anything good or kind, he speedily repented of it, and in such a manner that he soon attempted to annul what he had done in such a way as to cause even greater affliction and injury to those whom he had favoured.


nanFor instance, he released some prisoners, and then for no reason whatever he threw them into prison a second time, inflicting upon them a second calamity more grievous than the first, namely, that which was caused by unexpected misfortune.


nanAgain, he condemned some persons to banishment who had expected sentence of death; not because they were conscious of having committed crimes deserving of death, or indeed of any punishment at all, even the lightest, but because of the extravagant inhumanity of their master they did not expect to escape. Now to these men, banishment was a downright gain, and equivalent almost to a restoration, since they looked upon it that they had escaped the greatest of all evils, the danger of death.


nanBut no long period elapsed before he sent some soldiers after them, though no new circumstances had arisen, and put to death simultaneously the most excellent and nobly-born of the exiles who were living in the different islands as their own countries, and who were bearing their misfortunes in the most contented manner, inflicting in this way the greatest and most pitiable and unexpected misery on many of the noblest families in Rome.


nanAnd if he ever gave any one a sum of money as a gift, he demanded it back again at some future time, not a simple loan but he also required interest and compound interest, and often treating the persons themselves who had received it from him as thieves, and punishing them with the severest penalties for having stolen it; for he was not contented that those miserable men should return what had been given to them, but he compelled them also to give up all their property which they had inherited from their parents, or relations, or from any friends, or which, having selected a life of industry and profit, they had acquired by their own resources.


nanAnd those who appeared to be in the greatest credit with him, and who lived with him in a round of pleasure, as one may say, with great appearances of friendship and good will, were greatly injured by him, being compelled to expend large sums in irregular, and illegal, and sudden journeys, and in entertainments; for they lavished whole properties in the preparation of a single banquet, so that they were compelled to have recourse to usurers, so vast was his prodigality;


nantherefore many men deprecated the receiving of any favours from him, thinking not only that it was of no advantage, but even that they were only a bait and a snare to lead them into intolerable suffering.


nanSo great therefore was his inequality of temper towards every one, and most especially towards the nation of the Jews to which he was most bitterly hostile, and accordingly beginning in Alexandria he took from them all their synagogues there, and in the other cities, and filled them all with images and statues of his own form; for not caring about any other erection of any kind, he set up his own statue every where by main force; and the great temple in the holy city, which was left untouched to the last, having been thought worthy of all possible respect and preservation, he altered and transformed into a temple of his own, that he might call it the temple of the new Jupiter, the illustrious Gaius.


nanWhat is this that you say? Do you, who are a man, seek to take to yourself the air and the heaven, not being content with the vast multitude of continents, and islands, and nations, and countries of which you enjoy the sovereignty? And do you not think any one of the gods who are worshipped in that city or by our people worthy of any country or city or even of any small precinct which may have been consecrated to them in old time, and dedicated to them with oracles and sacred hymns, and are you intending to deprive them of that, that in all the vast circumference of the world there may be no visible trace or memorial to be found of any honour or pious worship paid to the true real living God?


nanTruly you are suggesting fine hopes to the race of mankind; are you ignorant that you are opening the fountains of evils of every kind, making innovations, and committing acts of audacious impiety such as it is wicked to do and even to think of? XLIV.


nanIt is worth while to make mention of what we both saw and heard, when we were sent for to encounter a contest on behalf of our national constitution; for the moment that we entered into the presence of the emperor we perceived, from his looks and from the state of agitation in which he was, that we had come not before a judge but before an accuser, or rather I should say before the open enemy of those whom he looked upon as opposed to his will;


nanfor it would have been the part of a judge to sit with assessors selected because of their virtue and learning, when a question of the greatest importance was being investigated which had lain dormant for four hundred years, and which was now raised for the first time among many myriads of Alexandrian Jews; and it would have been proper for the contending parties with their advocates to stand on each side of him, and for him to listen to them both in turn; first to the accusation and then in turn to the defence, according to a period measured by water, and then retiring the judge should deliberate with his assessors as to what he ought publicly to deliver as his sentence on the justice of the case; but what was actually done resembled rather the conduct of an implacable tyrant, exhibiting uncontrolled authority and displeasure and pride.


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

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1. Septuagint, 2 Maccabees, 1.7 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

1.7. In the reign of Demetrius, in the one hundred and sixty-ninth year, we Jews wrote to you, in the critical distress which came upon us in those years after Jason and his company revolted from the holy land and the kingdom'
2. Anon., Sibylline Oracles, 3.266 (1st cent. BCE - 5th cent. CE)

3.266. All things with care, O mortal shrewd in mind.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 21, 63-64, 11 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

11. But the therapeutic sect of mankind, being continually taught to see without interruption, may well aim at obtaining a sight of the living God, and may pass by the sun, which is visible to the outward sense, and never leave this order which conducts to perfect happiness.
4. Philo of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 44-48, 7, 43 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

43. what 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.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 182-329, 331-373, 181 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

181. for, receiving us favourably at first, in the plains on the banks of the Tiber (for he happened to be walking about in his mother's garden), he conversed with us formally, and waved his right hand to us in a protecting manner, giving us significant tokens of his good will, and having sent to us the secretary, whose duty it was to attend to the embassies that arrived, Obulus by name, he said, "I myself will listen to what you have to say at the first favourable opportunity." So that all those who stood around congratulated us as if we had already carried our point, and so did all those of our own people, who are influenced by superficial appearances.
6. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 8.262, 8.274-8.282, 8.288, 8.295-8.297, 14.71-14.73, 14.105-14.109, 14.272-14.274, 17.252-17.268, 18.90-18.95, 18.257-18.309, 20.6-20.14, 20.118-20.124 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8.262. He says withal that the Ethiopians learned to circumcise their privy parts from the Egyptians, with this addition, that the Phoenicians and Syrians that live in Palestine confess that they learned it of the Egyptians. Yet it is evident that no other of the Syrians that live in Palestine, besides us alone, are circumcised. But as to such matters, let every one speak what is agreeable to his own opinion. 8.274. 2. Yet did not Jeroboam lay any of these things to heart, but he brought together a very numerous army, and made a warlike expedition against Abijah, the son of Rehoboam, who had succeeded his father in the kingdom of the two tribes; for he despised him because of his age. But when he heard of the expedition of Jeroboam, he was not affrighted at it, but proved of a courageous temper of mind, superior both to his youth and to the hopes of his enemy; so he chose him an army out of the two tribes, and met Jeroboam at a place called Mount Zemaraim, and pitched his camp near the other, and prepared everything necessary for the fight. 8.275. His army consisted of four hundred thousand, but the army of Jeroboam was double to it. Now as the armies stood in array, ready for action and dangers, and were just going to fight, Abijah stood upon an elevated place, and beckoning with his hand, he desired the multitude and Jeroboam himself to hear first with silence what he had to say. 8.276. And when silence was made, he began to speak, and told them,—“God had consented that David and his posterity should be their rulers for all time to come, and this you yourselves are not unacquainted with; but I cannot but wonder how you should forsake my father, and join yourselves to his servant Jeroboam, and are now here with him to fight against those who, by God’s own determination, are to reign, and to deprive them of that dominion which they have still retained; for as to the greater part of it, Jeroboam is unjustly in possession of it. 8.277. However, I do not suppose he will enjoy it any longer; but when he hath suffered that punishment which God thinks due to him for what is past, he will leave off the transgressions he hath been guilty of, and the injuries he hath offered to him, and which he hath still continued to offer and hath persuaded you to do the same: yet when you were not any further unjustly treated by my father, than that he did not speak to you so as to please you, and this only in compliance with the advice of wicked men, you in anger forsook him, as you pretended, but, in reality, you withdrew yourselves from God, and from his laws 8.278. although it had been right for you to have forgiven a man that was young in age, and not used to govern people, not only some disagreeable words, but if his youth and unskilfulness in affairs had led him into some unfortunate actions, and that for the sake of his father Solomon, and the benefits you received from him; for men ought to excuse the sins of posterity on account of the benefactions of parent; 8.279. but you considered nothing of all this then, neither do you consider it now, but come with so great an army against us. And what is it you depend upon for victory? Is it upon these golden heifers, and the altars that you have on high places, which are demonstrations of your impiety, and not of religious worship? Or is it the exceeding multitude of your army which gives you such good hopes? 8.281. I therefore give you counsel even now to repent, and to take better advice, and to leave off the prosecution of the war; to call to mind the laws of your country, and to reflect what it hath been that hath advanced you to so happy a state as you are now in.” 8.282. 3. This was the speech which Abijah made to the multitude. But while he was still speaking Jeroboam sent some of his soldiers privately to encompass Abijab round about, on certain parts of the camp that were not taken notice of; and when he was thus within the compass of the enemy, his army was affrighted, and their courage failed them; but Abijah encouraged them, and exhorted them to place their hopes on God, for that he was not encompassed by the enemy. 8.288. In these two years he made an expedition against Gibbethon, a city of the Philistines, and continued the siege in order to take it; but he was conspired against while he was there by a friend of his, whose name was Baasha, the son of Ahijah, and was slain; which Baasha took the kingdom after the other’s death, and destroyed the whole house of Jeroboam. 8.296. that therefore, he said, if they persevered therein, God would grant that they should always overcome their enemies, and live happily; but that if they left off his worship, all things shall fall out on the contrary; and a time should come, wherein no true prophet shall be left in your whole multitude, nor a priest who shall deliver you a true answer from the oracle; 8.297. but your cities shall be overthrown, and your nation scattered over the whole earth, and live the life of strangers and wanderers. So he advised them, while they had time, to be good, and not to deprive themselves of the favor of God. When the king and the people heard this, they rejoiced; and all in common, and every one in particular, took great care to behave themselves righteously. The king also sent some to take care that those in the country should observe the laws also. 14.71. of the Jews there fell twelve thousand, but of the Romans very few. Absalom, who was at once both uncle and father-in-law to Aristobulus, was taken captive; and no small enormities were committed about the temple itself, which, in former ages, had been inaccessible, and seen by none; 14.72. for Pompey went into it, and not a few of those that were with him also, and saw all that which it was unlawful for any other men to see but only for the high priests. There were in that temple the golden table, the holy candlestick, and the pouring vessels, and a great quantity of spices; and besides these there were among the treasures two thousand talents of sacred money: yet did Pompey touch nothing of all this, on account of his regard to religion; and in this point also he acted in a manner that was worthy of his virtue. 14.73. The next day he gave order to those that had the charge of the temple to cleanse it, and to bring what offerings the law required to God; and restored the high priesthood to Hyrcanus, both because he had been useful to him in other respects, and because he hindered the Jews in the country from giving Aristobulus any assistance in his war against him. He also cut off those that had been the authors of that war; and bestowed proper rewards on Faustus, and those others that mounted the wall with such alacrity; 14.105. 1. Now Crassus, as he was going upon his expedition against the Parthians, came into Judea, and carried off the money that was in the temple, which Pompey had left, being two thousand talents, and was disposed to spoil it of all the gold belonging to it, which was eight thousand talents. 14.106. He also took a beam, which was made of solid beaten gold, of the weight of three hundred minae, each of which weighed two pounds and a half. It was the priest who was guardian of the sacred treasures, and whose name was Eleazar, that gave him this beam, not out of a wicked design 14.107. for he was a good and a righteous man; but being intrusted with the custody of the veils belonging to the temple, which were of admirable beauty, and of very costly workmanship, and hung down from this beam, when he saw that Crassus was busy in gathering money, and was in fear for the entire ornaments of the temple, he gave him this beam of gold as a ransom for the whole 14.108. but this not till he had given his oath that he would remove nothing else out of the temple, but be satisfied with this only, which he should give him, being worth many ten thousand [shekels]. Now this beam was contained in a wooden beam that was hollow, but was known to no others; but Eleazar alone knew it; 14.109. yet did Crassus take away this beam, upon the condition of touching nothing else that belonged to the temple, and then brake his oath, and carried away all the gold that was in the temple. 14.272. and having raised the siege, he brought over both Bassus and Marcus to his party. He then went over the cities, and got together weapons and soldiers, and laid great taxes upon those cities; and he chiefly oppressed Judea, and exacted of it seven hundred talents: 14.273. but Antipater, when he saw the state to be in so great consternation and disorder, he divided the collection of that sum, and appointed his two sons to gather it; and so that part of it was to be exacted by Malichus, who was ill-disposed to him, and part by others. 14.274. And because Herod did exact what is required of him from Galilee before others, he was in the greatest favor with Cassius; for he thought it a part of prudence to cultivate a friendship with the Romans, and to gain their goodwill at the expense of others; 17.252. Yet did not this at all avail to put an end to that their sedition; for after Varus was gone away, Sabinus, Caesar’s procurator, staid behind, and greatly distressed the Jews, relying on the forces that were left there that they would by their multitude protect him; 17.253. for he made use of them, and armed them as his guards, thereby so oppressing the Jews, and giving them so great disturbance, that at length they rebelled; for he used force in seizing the citadels, and zealously pressed on the search after the king’s money, in order to seize upon it by force, on account of his love of gain and his extraordinary covetousness. 17.254. 2. But on the approach of pentecost, which is a festival of ours, so called from the days of our forefathers, a great many ten thousands of men got together; nor did they come only to celebrate the festival, but out of their indignation at the madness of Sabinus, and at the injuries he offered them. A great number there was of Galileans, and Idumeans, and many men from Jericho, and others who had passed over the river Jordan, and inhabited those parts. This whole multitude joined themselves to all the rest, and were more zealous than the others in making an assault on Sabinus, in order to be avenged on him; 17.255. o they parted themselves into three bands, and encamped themselves in the places following:—some of them seized on the hippodrome and of the other two bands, one pitched themselves from the northern part of the temple to the southern, on the east quarter; but the third band held the western part of the city, where the king’s palace was. Their work tended entirely to besiege the Romans, and to enclose them on all sides. 17.256. Now Sabinus was afraid of these men’s number, and of their resolution, who had little regard to their lives, but were very desirous not to be overcome, while they thought it a point of puissance to overcome their enemies; so he sent immediately a letter to Varus, and, as he used to do, was very pressing with him, and entreated him to come quickly to his assistance, because the forces he had left were in imminent danger, and would probably, in no long time, be seized upon, and cut to pieces; 17.257. while he did himself get up to the highest tower of the fortress Phasaelus, which had been built in honor of Phasaelus, king Herod’s brother, and called so when the Parthians had brought him to his death. So Sabinus gave thence a signal to the Romans to fall upon the Jews, although he did not himself venture so much as to come down to his friends, and thought he might expect that the others should expose themselves first to die on account of his avarice. 17.258. However, the Romans ventured to make a sally out of the place, and a terrible battle ensued; wherein, though it is true the Romans beat their adversaries, yet were not the Jews daunted in their resolutions, even when they had the sight of that terrible slaughter that was made of them; 17.259. but they went round about, and got upon those cloisters which encompassed the outer court of the temple, where a great fight was still continued, and they cast stones at the Romans, partly with their hands, and partly with slings, as being much used to those exercises. 17.261. till at last the Romans, who were greatly distressed by what was done, set fire to the cloisters so privately, that those that were gotten upon them did not perceive it. This fire being fed by a great deal of combustible matter, caught hold immediately on the roof of the cloisters; 17.262. o the wood, which was full of pitch and wax, and whose gold was laid on it with wax, yielded to the flame presently, and those vast works, which were of the highest value and esteem, were destroyed utterly, while those that were on the roof unexpectedly perished at the same time; for as the roof tumbled down, some of these men tumbled down with it, and others of them were killed by their enemies who encompassed them. 17.263. There was a great number more, who, out of despair of saving their lives, and out of astonishment at the misery that surrounded them, did either cast themselves into the fire, or threw themselves upon their own swords, and so got out of their misery. But as to those that retired behind the same way by which they ascended, and thereby escaped, they were all killed by the Romans, as being unarmed men, and their courage failing them; their wild fury being now not able to help them, because they were destitute of armor 17.264. insomuch that of those that went up to the top of the roof, not one escaped. The Romans also rushed through the fire, where it gave them room so to do, and seized on that treasure where the sacred money was reposited; a great part of which was stolen by the soldiers, and Sabinus got openly four hundred talents. 17.265. 3. But this calamity of the Jews’ friends, who fell in this battle, grieved them, as did also this plundering of the money dedicated to God in the temple. Accordingly, that body of them which continued best together, and was the most warlike, encompassed the palace, and threatened to set fire to it, and kill all that were in it. Yet still they commanded them to go out presently, and promised, that if they would do so, they would not hurt them, nor Sabinus neither; 17.266. at which time the greatest part of the king’s troops deserted to them, while Rufus and Gratus, who had three thousand of the most warlike of Herod’s army with them, who were men of active bodies, went over to the Romans. There was also a band of horsemen under the command of Ruffis, which itself went over to the Romans also. 17.267. However, the Jews went on with the siege, and dug mines under the palace walls, and besought those that were gone over to the other side not to be their hinderance, now they had such a proper opportunity for the recovery of their country’s ancient liberty; 17.268. and for Sabinus, truly he was desirous of going away with his soldiers, but was not able to trust himself with the enemy, on account of what mischief he had already done them; and he took this great [pretended] lenity of theirs for an argument why he should not comply with them; and so, because he expected that Varus was coming, he still bore the siege. 18.91. although at this time they were laid up in the tower of Antonia, the citadel so called, and that on the occasion following: There was one of the [high] priests, named Hyrcanus; and as there were many of that name, he was the first of them; this man built a tower near the temple, and when he had so done, he generally dwelt in it, and had these vestments with him, because it was lawful for him alone to put them on, and he had them there reposited when he went down into the city, and took his ordinary garments; 18.92. the same things were continued to be done by his sons, and by their sons after them. But when Herod came to be king, he rebuilt this tower, which was very conveniently situated, in a magnificent manner; and because he was a friend to Antonius, he called it by the name of Antonia. And as he found these vestments lying there, he retained them in the same place, as believing, that while he had them in his custody, the people would make no innovations against him. 18.93. The like to what Herod did was done by his son Archelaus, who was made king after him; after whom the Romans, when they entered on the government, took possession of these vestments of the high priest, and had them reposited in a stone-chamber, under the seal of the priests, and of the keepers of the temple, the captain of the guard lighting a lamp there every day; 18.94. and seven days before a festival they were delivered to them by the captain of the guard, when the high priest having purified them, and made use of them, laid them up again in the same chamber where they had been laid up before, and this the very next day after the feast was over. This was the practice at the three yearly festivals, and on the fast day; 18.95. but Vitellius put those garments into our own power, as in the days of our forefathers, and ordered the captain of the guard not to trouble himself to inquire where they were laid, or when they were to be used; and this he did as an act of kindness, to oblige the nation to him. Besides which, he also deprived Joseph, who was also called Caiaphas, of the high priesthood, and appointed Jonathan the son of Aus, the former high priest, to succeed him. After which, he took his journey back to Antioch. 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. 18.262. Accordingly, Petronius took the government of Syria, and made haste to obey Caesar’s epistle. He got together as great a number of auxiliaries as he possibly could, and took with him two legions of the Roman army, and came to Ptolemais, and there wintered, as intending to set about the war in the spring. He also wrote word to Caius what he had resolved to do, who commended him for his alacrity, and ordered him to go on, and to make war with them, in case they would not obey his commands. 18.263. But there came many ten thousands of the Jews to Petronius, to Ptolemais, to offer their petitions to him, that he would not compel them to transgress and violate the law of their forefathers; 18.264. “but if,” said they, “thou art entirely resolved to bring this statue, and erect it, do thou first kill us, and then do what thou hast resolved on; for while we are alive we cannot permit such things as are forbidden us to be done by the authority of our legislator, and by our forefathers’ determination that such prohibitions are instances of virtue.” 18.265. But Petronius was angry at them, and said, “If indeed I were myself emperor, and were at liberty to follow my own inclination, and then had designed to act thus, these your words would be justly spoken to me; but now Caesar hath sent to me, I am under the necessity of being subservient to his decrees, because a disobedience to them will bring upon me inevitable destruction.” 18.266. Then the Jews replied, “Since, therefore, thou art so disposed, O Petronius! that thou wilt not disobey Caius’s epistles, neither will we transgress the commands of our law; and as we depend upon the excellency of our laws, and, by the labors of our ancestors, have continued hitherto without suffering them to be transgressed, we dare not by any means suffer ourselves to be so timorous as to transgress those laws out of the fear of death 18.267. which God hath determined are for our advantage; and if we fall into misfortunes, we will bear them, in order to preserve our laws, as knowing that those who expose themselves to dangers have good hope of escaping them, because God will stand on our side, when, out of regard to him, we undergo afflictions, and sustain the uncertain turns of fortune. 18.268. But if we should submit to thee, we should be greatly reproached for our cowardice, as thereby showing ourselves ready to transgress our law; and we should incur the great anger of God also, who, even thyself being judge, is superior to Caius.” 18.269. 3. When Petronius saw by their words that their determination was hard to be removed, and that, without a war, he should not be able to be subservient to Caius in the dedication of his statue, and that there must be a great deal of bloodshed, he took his friends, and the servants that were about him, and hasted to Tiberias, as wanting to know in what posture the affairs of the Jews were; 18.271. and made supplication to him, that he would by no means reduce them to such distresses, nor defile their city with the dedication of the statue. Then Petronius said to them, “Will you then make war with Caesar, without considering his great preparations for war, and your own weakness?” They replied, “We will not by any means make war with him, but still we will die before we see our laws transgressed.” So they threw themselves down upon their faces, and stretched out their throats, and said they were ready to be slain; 18.272. and this they did for forty days together, and in the mean time left off the tilling of their ground, and that while the season of the year required them to sow it. Thus they continued firm in their resolution, and proposed to themselves to die willingly, rather than to see the dedication of the statue. 18.273. 4. When matters were in this state, Aristobulus, king Agrippa’s brother, and Helcias the Great, and the other principal men of that family with them, went in unto Petronius, and besought him 18.274. that since he saw the resolution of the multitude, he would not make any alteration, and thereby drive them to despair; but would write to Caius, that the Jews had an insuperable aversion to the reception of the statue, and how they continued with him, and left off the tillage of their ground: that they were not willing to go to war with him, because they were not able to do it, but were ready to die with pleasure, rather than suffer their laws to be transgressed: and how, upon the land’s continuing unsown, robberies would grow up, on the inability they would be under of paying their tributes; 18.275. and that perhaps Caius might be thereby moved to pity, and not order any barbarous action to be done to them, nor think of destroying the nation: that if he continues inflexible in his former opinion to bring a war upon them, he may then set about it himself. 18.276. And thus did Aristobulus, and the rest with him, supplicate Petronius. So Petronius, partly on account of the pressing instances which Aristobulus and the rest with him made, and because of the great consequence of what they desired, and the earnestness wherewith they made their supplication,— 18.277. partly on account of the firmness of the opposition made by the Jews, which he saw, while he thought it a horrible thing for him to be such a slave to the madness of Caius, as to slay so many ten thousand men, only because of their religious disposition towards God, and after that to pass his life in expectation of punishment; Petronius, I say, thought it much better to send to Caius, and to let him know how intolerable it was to him to bear the anger he might have against him for not serving him sooner, in obedience to his epistle 18.278. for that perhaps he might persuade him; and that if this mad resolution continued, he might then begin the war against them; nay, that in case he should turn his hatred against himself, it was fit for virtuous persons even to die for the sake of such vast multitudes of men. Accordingly, he determined to hearken to the petitioners in this matter. 18.279. 5. He then called the Jews together to Tiberias, who came many ten thousands in number; he also placed that army he now had with him opposite to them; but did not discover his own meaning, but the commands of the emperor, and told them that his wrath would, without delay, be executed on such as had the courage to disobey what he had commanded, and this immediately; and that it was fit for him, who had obtained so great a dignity by his grant, not to contradict him in any thing:— 18.281. I will, therefore, send to Caius, and let him know what your resolutions are, and will assist your suit as far as I am able, that you may not be exposed to suffer on account of the honest designs you have proposed to yourselves; and may God be your assistant, for his authority is beyond all the contrivance and power of men; and may he procure you the preservation of your ancient laws, and may not he be deprived, though without your consent, of his accustomed honors. 18.282. But if Caius be irritated, and turn the violence of his rage upon me, I will rather undergo all that danger and that affliction that may come either on my body or my soul, than see so many of you to perish, while you are acting in so excellent a manner. 18.283. Do you, therefore, every one of you, go your way about your own occupations, and fall to the cultivation of your ground; I will myself send to Rome, and will not refuse to serve you in all things, both by myself and by my friends.” 18.284. 6. When Petronius had said this, and had dismissed the assembly of the Jews, he desired the principal of them to take care of their husbandry, and to speak kindly to the people, and encourage them to have good hope of their affairs. Thus did he readily bring the multitude to be cheerful again. And now did God show his presence to Petronius, and signify to him that he would afford him his assistance in his whole design; 18.285. for he had no sooner finished the speech that he made to the Jews, but God sent down great showers of rain, contrary to human expectation; for that day was a clear day, and gave no sign, by the appearance of the sky, of any rain; nay, the whole year had been subject to a great drought, and made men despair of any water from above, even when at any time they saw the heavens overcast with clouds; 18.286. insomuch that when such a great quantity of rain came, and that in an unusual manner, and without any other expectation of it, the Jews hoped that Petronius would by no means fail in his petition for them. But as to Petronius, he was mightily surprised when he perceived that God evidently took care of the Jews, and gave very plain signs of his appearance, and this to such a degree, that those that were in earnest much inclined to the contrary had no power left to contradict it. 18.287. This was also among those other particulars which he wrote to Caius, which all tended to dissuade him, and by all means to entreat him not to make so many ten thousands of these men go distracted; whom, if he should slay, (for without war they would by no means suffer the laws of their worship to be set aside,) he would lose the revenue they paid him, and would be publicly cursed by them for all future ages. 18.288. Moreover, that God, who was their Governor, had shown his power most evidently on their account, and that such a power of his as left no room for doubt about it. And this was the business that Petronius was now engaged in. 18.289. 7. But king Agrippa, who now lived at Rome, was more and more in the favor of Caius; and when he had once made him a supper, and was careful to exceed all others, both in expenses and in such preparations as might contribute most to his pleasure; 18.291. hereupon Caius admired his understanding and magnificence, that he should force himself to do all to please him, even beyond such expenses as he could bear, and was desirous not to be behind Agrippa in that generosity which he exerted in order to please him. So Caius, when he had drank wine plentifully, and was merrier than ordinary, said thus during the feast, when Agrippa had drunk to him: 18.292. “I knew before now how great a respect thou hast had for me, and how great kindness thou hast shown me, though with those hazards to thyself, which thou underwentest under Tiberius on that account; nor hast thou omitted any thing to show thy good-will towards us, even beyond thy ability; whence it would be a base thing for me to be conquered by thy affection. I am therefore desirous to make thee amends for every thing in which I have been formerly deficient; 18.293. for all that I have bestowed on thee, that may be called my gifts, is but little. Everything that may contribute to thy happiness shall be at thy service, and that cheerfully, and so far as my ability will reach.” And this was what Caius said to Agrippa, thinking he would ask for some large country, or the revenues of certain cities. 18.294. But although he had prepared beforehand what he would ask, yet had he not discovered his intentions, but made this answer to Caius immediately: That it was not out of any expectation of gain that he formerly paid his respects to him, contrary to the commands of Tiberius, nor did he now do any thing relating to him out of regard to his own advantage, and in order to receive any thing from him; 18.295. that the gifts he had already bestowed upon him were great, and beyond the hopes of even a craving man; for although they may be beneath thy power, [who art the donor,] yet are they greater than my inclination and dignity, who am the receiver. 18.296. And as Caius was astonished at Agrippa’s inclinations, and still the more pressed him to make his request for somewhat which he might gratify him with, Agrippa replied, “Since thou, O my lord! declarest such is thy readiness to grant, that I am worthy of thy gifts, I will ask nothing relating to my own felicity; for what thou hast already bestowed on me has made me excel therein; 18.297. but I desire somewhat which may make thee glorious for piety, and render the Divinity assistant to thy designs, and may be for an honor to me among those that inquire about it, as showing that I never once fail of obtaining what I desire of thee; for my petition is this, that thou wilt no longer think of the dedication of that statue which thou hast ordered to be set up in the Jewish temple by Petronius.” 18.298. 8. And thus did Agrippa venture to cast the die upon this occasion, so great was the affair in his opinion, and in reality, though he knew how dangerous a thing it was so to speak; for had not Caius approved of it, it had tended to no less than the loss of his life. 18.299. So Caius, who was mightily taken with Agrippa’s obliging behavior, and on other accounts thinking it a dishonorable thing to be guilty of falsehood before so many witnesses, in points wherein he had with such alacrity forced Agrippa to become a petitioner, and that it would look as if he had already repented of what he had said 18.301. “If therefore,” said’ he, “thou hast already erected my statue, let it stand; but if thou hast not yet dedicated it, do not trouble thyself further about it, but dismiss thy army, go back, and take care of those affairs which I sent thee about at first, for I have now no occasion for the erection of that statue. This I have granted as a favor to Agrippa, a man whom I honor so very greatly, that I am not able to contradict what he would have, or what he desired me to do for him.” 18.302. And this was what Caius wrote to Petronius, which was before he received his letter, informing him that the Jews were very ready to revolt about the statue, and that they seemed resolved to threaten war against the Romans, and nothing else. 18.303. When therefore Caius was much displeased that any attempt should be made against his government as he was a slave to base and vicious actions on all occasions, and had no regard to What was virtuous and honorable, and against whomsoever he resolved to show his anger, and that for any cause whatsoever, he suffered not himself to be restrained by any admonition, but thought the indulging his anger to be a real pleasure, he wrote thus to Petronius: 18.304. “Seeing thou esteemest the presents made thee by the Jews to be of greater value than my commands, and art grown insolent enough to be subservient to their pleasure, I charge thee to become thy own judge, and to consider what thou art to do, now thou art under my displeasure; for I will make thee an example to the present and to all future ages, that they. may not dare to contradict the commands of their emperor.” 18.305. 9. This was the epistle which Caius wrote to. Petronius; but Petronius did not receive it while Caius was alive, that ship which carried it sailing so slow, that other letters came to Petronius before this, by which he understood that Caius was dead; 18.306. for God would not forget the dangers Petronius had undertaken on account of the Jews, and of his own honor. But when he had taken Caius away, out of his indignation of what he had so insolently attempted in assuming to himself divine worship, both Rome and all that dominion conspired with Petronius, especially those that were of the senatorian order, to give Caius his due reward, because he had been unmercifully severe to them; 18.307. for he died not long after he had written to Petronius that epistle which threatened him with death. But as for the occasion of his death, and the nature of the plot against him, I shall relate them in the progress of this narration. 18.308. Now that epistle which informed Petronius of Caius’s death came first, and a little afterward came that which commanded him to kill himself with his own hands. Whereupon he rejoiced at this coincidence as to the death of Caius 18.309. and admired God’s providence, who, without the least delay, and immediately, gave him a reward for the regard he had to the temple, and the assistance he afforded the Jews for avoiding the dangers they were in. And by this means Petronius escaped that danger of death, which he could not foresee. 20.6. He also at this time sent for the high priests and the principal citizens of Jerusalem, and this at the command of the emperor, and admonished them that they should lay up the long garment and the sacred vestment, which it is customary for nobody but the high priest to wear, in the tower of Antonia, that it might be under the power of the Romans, as it had been formerly. 20.6. 2. When he had said this, he set Artabanus upon his horse, and followed him on foot, in honor of a king whom he owned as greater than himself; which, when Artabanus saw, he was very uneasy at it, and sware by his present fortune and honor that he would get down from his horse, unless Izates would get upon his horse again, and go before him. 20.7. Now the Jews durst not contradict what he had said, but desired Fadus, however, and Longinus, (which last was come to Jerusalem, and had brought a great army with him, out of a fear that the [rigid] injunctions of Fadus should force the Jews to rebel,) that they might, in the first place, have leave to send ambassadors to Caesar, to petition him that they may have the holy vestments under their own power; and that, in the next place, they would tarry till they knew what answer Claudius would give to that their request. 20.7. but he could not prevail with him. For Izates so well knew the strength and good fortune of the Romans, that he took Bardanes to attempt what was impossible to be done; 20.8. So they replied, that they would give them leave to send their ambassadors, provided they would give them their sons as pledges [for their peaceable behavior]. And when they had agreed so to do, and had given them the pledges they desired, the ambassadors were sent accordingly. 20.8. and forced all the rest to betake themselves to flight. He also pursued their king, and drove him into a fortress called Arsamus, and following on the siege vigorously, he took that fortress. And when he had plundered it of all the prey that was in it, which was not small, he returned to Adiabene; yet did not he take Abia alive, because, when he found himself encompassed on every side, he slew himself. 20.9. But when, upon their coming to Rome, Agrippa, junior, the son of the deceased, understood the reason why they came, (for he dwelt with Claudius Caesar, as we said before,) he besought Caesar to grant the Jews their request about the holy vestments, and to send a message to Fadus accordingly. 20.9. “O Lord and Governor, if I have not in vain committed myself to thy goodness, but have justly determined that thou only art the Lord and principal of all beings, come now to my assistance, and defend me from my enemies, not only on my own account, but on account of their insolent behavior with regard to thy power, while they have not feared to lift up their proud and arrogant tongue against thee.” 20.11. “Claudius Caesar Germanicus, tribune of the people the fifth time, and designed consul the fourth time, and imperator the tenth time, the father of his country, to the magistrates, senate, and people, and the whole nation of the Jews, sendeth greeting. 20.11. But when he could not induce them to be quiet for they still went on in their reproaches to him, he gave order that the whole army should take their entire armor, and come to Antonia, which was a fortress, as we have said already, which overlooked the temple; 20.12. Upon the presentation of your ambassadors to me by Agrippa, my friend, whom I have brought up, and have now with me, and who is a person of very great piety, who are come to give me thanks for the care I have taken of your nation, and to entreat me, in an earnest and obliging manner, that they may have the holy vestments, with the crown belonging to them, under their power,—I grant their request, as that excellent person Vitellius, who is very dear to me, had done before me. 20.12. upon which the Galileans were much displeased, and persuaded the multitude of the Jews to betake themselves to arms, and to regain their liberty, saying that slavery was in itself a bitter thing, but that when it was joined with direct injuries, it was perfectly intolerable 20.13. And I have complied with your desire, in the first place, out of regard to that piety which I profess, and because I would have every one worship God according to the laws of their own country; and this I do also because I shall hereby highly gratify king Herod, and Agrippa, junior, whose sacred regards to me, and earnest good-will to you, I am well acquainted with, and with whom I have the greatest friendship, and whom I highly esteem, and look on as persons of the best character. 20.13. From whence he came to a certain village called Lydda, which was not less than a city in largeness, and there heard the Samaritan cause a second time before his tribunal, and there learned from a certain Samaritan that one of the chief of the Jews, whose name was Dortus, and some other innovators with him, four in number, persuaded the multitude to a revolt from the Romans; 20.14. Now I have written about these affairs to Cuspius Fadus, my procurator. The names of those that brought me your letter are Cornelius, the son of Cero, Trypho, the son of Theudio, Dorotheus, the son of Nathaniel, and John, the son of Jotre. This letter is dated before the fourth of the calends of July, when Rufus and Pompeius Sylvanus are consuls.” 20.14. He also gave Mariamne in marriage to Archelaus, the son of Helcias, to whom she had formerly been betrothed by Agrippa her father; from which marriage was derived a daughter, whose name was Bernice. 20.118. 1. Now there arose a quarrel between the Samaritans and the Jews on the occasion following: It was the custom of the Galileans, when they came to the holy city at the festivals, to take their journeys through the country of the Samaritans; and at this time there lay, in the road they took, a village that was called Ginea, which was situated in the limits of Samaria and the great plain, where certain persons thereto belonging fought with the Galileans, and killed a great many of them. 20.119. But when the principal of the Galileans were informed of what had been done, they came to Cumanus, and desired him to avenge the murder of those that were killed; but he was induced by the Samaritans, with money, to do nothing in the matter; 20.121. And when their principal men endeavored to pacify them, and promised to endeavor to persuade Cureanus to avenge those that were killed, they would not hearken to them, but took their weapons, and entreated the assistance of Eleazar, the son of Dineus, a robber, who had many years made his abode in the mountains, with which assistance they plundered many villages of the Samaritans. 20.122. When Cumanus heard of this action of theirs, he took the band of Sebaste, with four regiments of footmen, and armed the Samaritans, and marched out against the Jews, and caught them, and slew many of them, and took a great number of them alive; 20.123. whereupon those that were the most eminent persons at Jerusalem, and that both in regard to the respect that was paid them, and the families they were of, as soon as they saw to what a height things were gone, put on sackcloth, and heaped ashes upon their heads, and by all possible means besought the seditious, and persuaded them that they would set before their eyes the utter subversion of their country, the conflagration of their temple, and the slavery of themselves, their wives, and children, which would be the consequences of what they were doing; and would alter their minds, would cast away their weapons, and for the future be quiet, and return to their own homes. These persuasions of theirs prevailed upon them. 20.124. So the people dispersed themselves, and the robbers went away again to their places of strength; and after this time all Judea was overrun with robberies.
7. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 1.152-1.154, 1.179, 1.218-1.222, 2.16-2.19, 2.39-2.54, 2.184-2.203, 2.232-2.240, 2.293, 2.405 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.152. 6. But there was nothing that affected the nation so much, in the calamities they were then under, as that their holy place, which had been hitherto seen by none, should be laid open to strangers; for Pompey, and those that were about him, went into the temple itself whither it was not lawful for any to enter but the high priest, and saw what was reposited therein, the candlestick with its lamps, and the table, and the pouring vessels, and the censers, all made entirely of gold, as also a great quantity of spices heaped together, with two thousand talents of sacred money. 1.153. Yet did not he touch that money, nor any thing else that was there reposited; but he commanded the ministers about the temple, the very next day after he had taken it, to cleanse it, and to perform their accustomed sacrifices. Moreover, he made Hyrcanus high priest, as one that not only in other respects had showed great alacrity, on his side, during the siege, but as he had been the means of hindering the multitude that was in the country from fighting for Aristobulus, which they were otherwise very ready to have done; by which means he acted the part of a good general, and reconciled the people to him more by benevolence than by terror. 1.154. Now, among the captives, Aristobulus’s father-in-law was taken, who was also his uncle: so those that were the most guilty he punished with decollation; but rewarded Faustus, and those with him that had fought so bravely, with glorious presents, and laid a tribute upon the country, and upon Jerusalem itself. 1.179. 8. In the meantime, Crassus came as successor to Gabinius in Syria. He took away all the rest of the gold belonging to the temple of Jerusalem, in order to furnish himself for his expedition against the Parthians. He also took away the two thousand talents which Pompey had not touched; but when he had passed over Euphrates, he perished himself, and his army with him; concerning which affairs this is not a proper time to speak [more largely]. 1.218. 1. There was at this time a mighty war raised among the Romans upon the sudden and treacherous slaughter of Caesar by Cassius and Brutus, after he had held the government for three years and seven months. Upon this murder there were very great agitations, and the great men were mightily at difference one with another, and everyone betook himself to that party where they had the greatest hopes of their own, of advancing themselves. Accordingly, Cassius came into Syria, in order to receive the forces that were at Apamia 1.219. where he procured a reconciliation between Bassus and Marcus, and the legions which were at difference with him; so he raised the siege of Apamia, and took upon him the command of the army, and went about exacting tribute of the cities, and demanding their money to such a degree as they were not able to bear. 1.221. Now Herod, in the first place, mitigated the passion of Cassius, by bringing his share out of Galilee, which was a hundred talents, on which account he was in the highest favor with him; and when he reproached the rest for being tardy, he was angry at the cities themselves; 1.222. o he made slaves of Gophna and Emmaus, and two others of less note; nay, he proceeded as if he would kill Malichus, because he had not made greater haste in exacting his tribute; but Antipater prevented the ruin of this man, and of the other cities, and got into Cassius’s favor by bringing in a hundred talents immediately. 2.16. 13. Moreover, there is another order of Essenes, who agree with the rest as to their way of living, and customs, and laws, but differ from them in the point of marriage, as thinking that by not marrying they cut off the principal part of human life, which is the prospect of succession; nay, rather, that if all men should be of the same opinion, the whole race of mankind would fail. 2.16. 2. But as they were come to Caesarea, Sabinus, the procurator of Syria, met them; he was going up to Judea, to secure Herod’s effects; but Varus, [president of Syria,] who was come thither, restrained him from going any farther. This Varus Archelaus had sent for, by the earnest entreaty of Ptolemy. 2.17. At this time, indeed, Sabinus, to gratify Varus, neither went to the citadels, nor did he shut up the treasuries where his father’s money was laid up, but promised that he would lie still, until Caesar should have taken cognizance of the affair. So he abode at Caesarea; 2.17. This excited a very great tumult among the Jews when it was day; for those that were near them were astonished at the sight of them, as indications that their laws were trodden underfoot: for those laws do not permit any sort of image to be brought into the city. Nay, besides the indignation which the citizens had themselves at this procedure, a vast number of people came running out of the country. 2.18. but as soon as those that were his hinderance were gone, when Varus was gone to Antioch, and Archelaus was sailed to Rome, he immediately went on to Jerusalem, and seized upon the palace. And when he had called for the governors of the citadels, and the stewards [of the king’s private affairs], he tried to sift out the accounts of the money, and to take possession of the citadels. 2.18. This was told to Tiberius by one of Agrippa’s domestics, who thereupon was very angry, and ordered Agrippa to be bound, and had him very ill-treated in the prison for six months, until Tiberius died, after he had reigned twenty-two years, six months, and three days. 2.19. But the governors of those citadels were not unmindful of the commands laid upon them by Archelaus, and continued to guard them, and said the custody of them rather belonged to Caesar than to Archelaus. 2.19. for the place is round and hollow, and affords such sand as glass is made of; which place, when it hath been emptied by the many ships there loaded, it is filled again by the winds, which bring into it, as it were on purpose, that sand which lay remote, and was no more than bare common sand, while this mine presently turns it into glassy sand. 2.39. What remains, therefore, is this, that you have recourse to Divine assistance; but this is already on the side of the Romans; for it is impossible that so vast an empire should be settled without God’s providence. 2.39. 1. Now before Caesar had determined anything about these affairs, Malthace, Archelaus’s mother, fell sick and died. Letters also were brought out of Syria from Varus, about a revolt of the Jews. 2.41. and went himself to Antioch. But Sabinus came, after he was gone, and gave them an occasion of making innovations; for he compelled the keepers of the citadels to deliver them up to him, and made a bitter search after the king’s money, as depending not only on the soldiers which were left by Varus, but on the multitude of his own servants, all which he armed and used as the instruments of his covetousness. 2.41. and when many of the high priests and principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon. These relied much upon their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the innovators assisted them; but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the governor of the temple. 2.42. Now when that feast, which was observed after seven weeks, and which the Jews called Pentecost (i.e. the 50th day) was at hand, its name being taken from the number of the days [after the passover], the people got together, but not on account of the accustomed Divine worship, but of the indignation they had [at the present state of affairs]. 2.42. Now this terrible message was good news to Florus; and because his design was to have a war kindled, he gave the ambassadors no answer at all. 2.43. Wherefore an immense multitude ran together, out of Galilee, and Idumea, and Jericho, and Perea, that was beyond Jordan; but the people that naturally belonged to Judea itself were above the rest, both in number, and in the alacrity of the men. 2.43. 7. But on the next day, which was the fifteenth of the month Lous, [Ab,] they made an assault upon Antonia, and besieged the garrison which was in it two days, and then took the garrison, and slew them, and set the citadel on fire; 2.44. So they distributed themselves into three parts, and pitched their camps in three places; one at the north side of the temple, another at the south side, by the Hippodrome, and the third part were at the palace on the west. So they lay round about the Romans on every side, and besieged them. 2.44. But Manahem and his party fell upon the place whence the soldiers were fled, and slew as many of them as they could catch, before they got up to the towers, and plundered what they left behind them, and set fire to their camp. This was executed on the sixth day of the month Gorpieus [Elul]. 2.45. 2. Now Sabinus was affrighted, both at their multitude, and at their courage, and sent messengers to Varus continually, and besought him to come to his succor quickly; for that if he delayed, his legion would be cut to pieces. 2.45. It is true, that when the people earnestly desired that they would leave off besieging the soldiers, they were the more earnest in pressing it forward, and this till Metilius, who was the Roman general, sent to Eleazar, and desired that they would give them security to spare their lives only; but agreed to deliver up their arms, and what else they had with them. 2.46. As for Sabinus himself, he got up to the highest tower of the fortress, which was called Phasaelus; it is of the same name with Herod’s brother, who was destroyed by the Parthians; and then he made signs to the soldiers of that legion to attack the enemy; for his astonishment was so great, that he durst not go down to his own men. 2.46. nor was either Sabaste (Samaria) or Askelon able to oppose the violence with which they were attacked; and when they had burnt these to the ground; they entirely demolished Anthedon and Gaza; many also of the villages that were about every one of those cities were plundered, and an immense slaughter was made of the men who were caught in them. 2.47. Hereupon the soldiers were prevailed upon, and leaped out into the temple, and fought a terrible battle with the Jews; in which, while there were none over their heads to distress them, they were too hard for them, by their skill, and the others’ want of skill, in war; 2.47. for he came every day and slew a great many of the Jews of Scythopolis, and he frequently put them to flight, and became himself alone the cause of his army’s conquering. 2.48. but when once many of the Jews had gotten up to the top of the cloisters, and threw their darts downwards, upon the heads of the Romans, there were a great many of them destroyed. Nor was it easy to avenge themselves upon those that threw their weapons from on high, nor was it more easy for them to sustain those who came to fight them hand to hand. 2.48. As for the Gerasens, they did no harm to those that abode with them; and for those who had a mind to go away, they conducted them as far as their borders reached. 2.49. 3. Since therefore the Romans were sorely afflicted by both these circumstances, they set fire to the cloisters, which were works to be admired, both on account of their magnitude and costliness. Whereupon those that were above them were presently encompassed with the flame, and many of them perished therein; as many of them also were destroyed by the enemy, who came suddenly upon them; some of them also threw themselves down from the walls backward, and some there were who, from the desperate condition they were in, prevented the fire, by killing themselves with their own swords; 2.49. but at this time especially, when there were tumults in other places also, the disorders among them were put into a greater flame; for when the Alexandrians had once a public assembly, to deliberate about an embassage they were sending to Nero, a great number of Jews came flocking to the theater; 2.51. 4. However, this destruction of the works [about the temple], and of the men, occasioned a much greater number, and those of a more warlike sort, to get together, to oppose the Romans. These encompassed the palace round, and threatened to destroy all that were in it, unless they went their ways quickly; for they promised that Sabinus should come to no harm, if he would go out with his legion. 2.51. 11. But Cestius sent Gallus, the commander of the twelfth legion, into Galilee, and delivered to him as many of his forces as he supposed sufficient to subdue that nation. 2.52. There were also a great many of the king’s party who deserted the Romans, and assisted the Jews; yet did the most warlike body of them all, who were three thousand of the men of Sebaste, go over to the Romans. Rufus also, and Gratus, their captains, did the same (Gratus having the foot of the king’s party under him, and Rufus the horse) each of whom, even without the forces under them, were of great weight, on account of their strength and wisdom, which turn the scales in war. 2.52. of whom the most valiant were the kinsmen of Monobazus, king of Adiabene, and their names were Monobazus and Kenedeus; and next to them were Niger of Perea, and Silas of Babylon, who had deserted from king Agrippa to the Jews; for he had formerly served in his army. 2.53. Now the Jews persevered in the siege, and tried to break downthe walls of the fortress, and cried out to Sabinus and his party, that they should go their ways, and not prove a hinderance to them, now they hoped, after a long time, to recover that ancient liberty which their forefathers had enjoyed. 2.53. But when Cestius was come into the city, he set the part called Bezetha, which is also called Cenopolis, [or the new city,] on fire; as he did also to the timber market; after which he came into the upper city, and pitched his camp over against the royal palace; 2.54. Sabinus indeed was well contented to get out of the danger he was in, but he distrusted the assurances the Jews gave him, and suspected such gentle treatment was but a bait laid as a snare for them: this consideration, together with the hopes he had of succor from Varus, made him bear the siege still longer. 2.54. 7. It then happened that Cestius was not conscious either how the besieged despaired of success, nor how courageous the people were for him; and so he recalled his soldiers from the place, and by despairing of any expectation of taking it, without having received any disgrace, he retired from the city, without any reason in the world. 2.184. 1. Now Caius Caesar did so grossly abuse the fortune he had arrived at, as to take himself to be a god, and to desire to be so called also, and to cut off those of the greatest nobility out of his country. He also extended his impiety as far as the Jews. 2.185. Accordingly, he sent Petronius with an army to Jerusalem, to place his statues in the temple, and commanded him that, in case the Jews would not admit of them, he should slay those that opposed it, and carry all the rest of the nation into captivity: 2.186. but God concerned himself with these his commands. However, Petronius marched out of Antioch into Judea, with three legions, and many Syrian auxiliaries. 2.187. Now as to the Jews, some of them could not believe the stories that spake of a war; but those that did believe them were in the utmost distress how to defend themselves, and the terror diffused itself presently through them all; for the army was already come to Ptolemais. 2.188. 2. This Ptolemais is a maritime city of Galilee, built in the great plain. It is encompassed with mountains: that on the east side, sixty furlongs off, belongs to Galilee; but that on the south belongs to Carmel, which is distant from it a hundred and twenty furlongs; and that on the north is the highest of them all, and is called by the people of the country, The Ladder of the Tyrians, which is at the distance of a hundred furlongs. 2.189. The very small river Belus runs by it, at the distance of two furlongs; near which there is Memnon’s monument, and hath near it a place no larger than a hundred cubits, which deserves admiration; 2.191. And what is to me still more wonderful, that glassy sand which is superfluous, and is once removed out of the place, becomes bare common sand again. And this is the nature of the place we are speaking of. 2.192. 3. But now the Jews got together in great numbers, with their wives and children, into that plain that was by Ptolemais, and made supplication to Petronius, first for their laws, and, in the next place, for themselves. So he was prevailed upon by the multitude of the supplicants, and by their supplications, and left his army and statues at Ptolemais 2.193. and then went forward into Galilee, and called together the multitude and all the men of note to Tiberias, and showed them the power of the Romans, and the threatenings of Caesar; and, besides this, proved that their petition was unreasonable, because 2.194. while all the nations in subjection to them had placed the images of Caesar in their several cities, among the rest of their gods,—for them alone to oppose it, was almost like the behavior of revolters, and was injurious to Caesar. 2.195. 4. And when they insisted on their law, and the custom of their country, and how it was not only not permitted them to make either an image of God, or indeed of a man, and to put it in any despicable part of their country, much less in the temple itself, Petronius replied, “And am not I also,” said he, “bound to keep the law of my own lord? For if I transgress it, and spare you, it is but just that I perish; while he that sent me, and not I, will commence a war against you; for I am under command as well as you.” 2.196. Hereupon the whole multitude cried out that they were ready to suffer for their law. Petronius then quieted them, and said to them, “Will you then make war against Caesar?” 2.197. The Jews said, “We offer sacrifices twice every day for Caesar, and for the Roman people;” but that if he would place the images among them, he must first sacrifice the whole Jewish nation; and that they were ready to expose themselves, together with their children and wives, to be slain. 2.198. At this Petronius was astonished, and pitied them, on account of the inexpressible sense of religion the men were under, and that courage of theirs which made them ready to die for it; so they were dismissed without success. 2.199. 5. But on the following days he got together the men of power privately, and the multitude publicly, and sometimes he used persuasions to them, and sometimes he gave them his advice; but he chiefly made use of threatenings to them, and insisted upon the power of the Romans, and the anger of Caius; and besides, upon the necessity he was himself under [to do as he was enjoined]. 2.201. and told them that it was best for him to run some hazard himself; “for either, by the Divine assistance, I shall prevail with Caesar, and shall myself escape the danger as well as you, which will be a matter of joy to us both; or, in case Caesar continue in his rage, I will be ready to expose my own life for such a great number as you are.” Whereupon he dismissed the multitude, who prayed greatly for his prosperity; and he took the army out of Ptolemais, and returned to Antioch; 2.202. from whence he presently sent an epistle to Caesar, and informed him of the irruption he had made into Judea, and of the supplications of the nation; and that unless he had a mind to lose both the country and the men in it, he must permit them to keep their law, and must countermand his former injunction. 2.203. Caius answered that epistle in a violent-way, and threatened to have Petronius put to death for his being so tardy in the execution of what he had commanded. But it happened that those who brought Caius’s epistle were tossed by a storm, and were detained on the sea for three months, while others that brought the news of Caius’s death had a good voyage. Accordingly, Petronius received the epistle concerning Caius seven and twenty days before he received that which was against himself. 2.232. 3. After this there happened a fight between the Galileans and the Samaritans; it happened at a village called Geman, which is situated in the great plain of Samaria; where, as a great number of Jews were going up to Jerusalem to the feast [of tabernacles,] a certain Galilean was slain; 2.233. and besides, a vast number of people ran together out of Galilee, in order to fight with the Samaritans. But the principal men among them came to Cumanus, and besought him that, before the evil became incurable, he would come into Galilee, and bring the authors of this murder to punishment; for that there was no other way to make the multitude separate without coming to blows. However, Cumanus postponed their supplications to the other affairs he was then about, and sent the petitioners away without success. 2.234. 4. But when the affair of this murder came to be told at Jerusalem, it put the multitude into disorder, and they left the feast; and without any generals to conduct them, they marched with great violence to Samaria; nor would they be ruled by any of the magistrates that were set over them 2.235. but they were managed by one Eleazar, the son of Dineus, and by Alexander, in these their thievish and seditious attempts. These men fell upon those that were in the neighborhood of the Acrabatene toparchy, and slew them, without sparing any age, and set the villages on fire. 2.236. 5. But Cumanus took one troop of horsemen, called the troop of Sebaste, out of Caesarea, and came to the assistance of those that were spoiled; he also seized upon a great number of those that followed Eleazar, and slew more of them. 2.237. And as for the rest of the multitude of those that went so zealously to fight with the Samaritans, the rulers of Jerusalem ran out, clothed with sackcloth, and having ashes on their heads, and begged of them to go their ways, lest by their attempt to revenge themselves upon the Samaritans they should provoke the Romans to come against Jerusalem; to have compassion upon their country and temple, their children and their wives, and not bring the utmost dangers of destruction upon them, in order to avenge themselves upon one Galilean only. 2.238. The Jews complied with these persuasions of theirs, and dispersed themselves; but still there were a great number who betook themselves to robbing, in hopes of impunity; and rapines and insurrections of the bolder sort happened over the whole country. 2.239. And the men of power among the Samaritans came to Tyre, to Ummidius Quadratus, the president of Syria, and desired that they that had laid waste the country might be punished: 2.293. 6. Moreover, as to the citizens of Jerusalem, although they took this matter very ill, yet did they restrain their passion; but Florus acted herein as if he had been hired, and blew up the war into a flame, and sent some to take seventeen talents out of the sacred treasure, and pretended that Caesar wanted them. 2.405. 1. This advice the people hearkened to, and went up into the temple with the king and Bernice, and began to rebuild the cloisters; the rulers also and senators divided themselves into the villages, and collected the tributes, and soon got together forty talents, which was the sum that was deficient.
8. Mishnah, Avot, 1.2-1.3 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.2. Shimon the Righteous was one of the last of the men of the great assembly. He used to say: the world stands upon three things: the Torah, the Temple service, and the practice of acts of piety." 1.3. Antigonus a man of Socho received [the oral tradition] from Shimon the Righteous. He used to say: do not be like servants who serve the master in the expectation of receiving a reward, but be like servants who serve the master without the expectation of receiving a reward, and let the fear of Heaven be upon you."
9. Mishnah, Kelim, 1.6 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.6. There are ten grades of holiness: the land of Israel is holier than all other lands. And what is the nature of its holiness? That from it are brought the omer, the firstfruits and the two loaves, which cannot be brought from any of the other lands."
10. Mishnah, Parah, 3.5 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3.5. If they did not find the residue of the ashes of the seven [red cows] they performed the sprinkling with those of six, of five, of four, of three, of two or of one. And who prepared these? Moses prepared the first, Ezra prepared the second, and five were prepared from the time of Ezra, the words of Rabbi Meir. But the sages say: seven from the time of Ezra. And who prepared them? Shimon the Just and Yoha the high priest prepared two; Elihoenai the son of Ha-Kof and Hanamel the Egyptian and Ishmael the son of Piabi prepared one each."
11. Mishnah, Sotah, 9.9 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

9.9. When murderers multiplied, the [ceremony of] breaking a heifer’s neck ceased. That was from the time of Eliezer ben Dinai, and he was also called Tehinah ben Perisha and he was afterwards renamed “son of the murderer”. When adulterers multiplied, the ceremony of the bitter waters ceased and it was Rabban Yoha ben Zakkai who discontinued it, as it is said, “I will not punish their daughters for fornicating, nor their daughters-in-law for committing adultery, for they themselves [turn aside with whores and sacrifice with prostitutes]” (Hosea 4:14). When Yose ben Yoezer of Zeredah and Yose ben Yoha of Jerusalem died, the grape-clusters ceased, as it is said, “There is not a cluster [of grapes] to eat; not a ripe fig I could desire [The pious are vanished from the land, none upright are left among men” (Micah 7:1-2)."
12. Tacitus, Histories, 5.9 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.9.  The first Roman to subdue the Jews and set foot in their temple by right of conquest was Gnaeus Pompey; thereafter it was a matter of common knowledge that there were no representations of the gods within, but that the place was empty and the secret shrine contained nothing. The walls of Jerusalem were razed, but the temple remained standing. Later, in the time of our civil wars, when these eastern provinces had fallen into the hands of Mark Antony, the Parthian prince, Pacorus, seized Judea, but he was slain by Publius Ventidius, and the Parthians were thrown back across the Euphrates: the Jews were subdued by Gaius Sosius. Antony gave the throne to Herod, and Augustus, after his victory, increased his power. After Herod's death, a certain Simon assumed the name of king without waiting for Caesar's decision. He, however, was put to death by Quintilius Varus, governor of Syria; the Jews were repressed; and the kingdom was divided into three parts and given to Herod's sons. Under Tiberius all was quiet. Then, when Caligula ordered the Jews to set up his statue in their temple, they chose rather to resort to arms, but the emperor's death put an end to their uprising. The princes now being dead or reduced to insignificance, Claudius made Judea a province and entrusted it to Roman knights or to freedmen; one of the latter, Antonius Felix, practised every kind of cruelty and lust, wielding the power of king with all the instincts of a slave; he had married Drusilla, the grand-daughter of Cleopatra and Antony, and so was Antony's grandson-in‑law, while Claudius was Antony's grandson.
13. Tosefta, Sotah, 13.3-13.6, 13.8 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13.8. The year in which Shimon the Righteous died [he said to them] \"in this year I will die\" \"how do you know this?\" they responded. He (Shimon the Righteous) responded: \"all of the Yom Kippur days there was an old man dressed in all white who would go with me into the holy of holies and leave with me, on this year he went in with me but did not come out with me.\" Seven days passed after the holiday and he died. From the time of the death of Rebbi Shimon the Righteous they ceased blessing in the name of Hashem."
14. Babylonian Talmud, Yoma, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)

69a. וסיפא איצטריכא ליה פושטין ומקפלין ומניחין תחת ראשיהם,פושטין ומקפלין ומניחין אותן תחת ראשיהן שמעת מינה בגדי כהונה ניתנו ליהנות בהן אמר רב פפא לא תימא תחת ראשיהן אלא אימא כנגד ראשיהן אמר רב משרשיא שמעת מינה תפילין מן הצד שפיר דמי,הכי נמי מסתברא דכנגד ראשיהן דאי סלקא דעתך תחת ראשיהן ותיפוק לי משום כלאים דהא איכא אבנט ונהי נמי דניתנו ליהנות בהן הא מתהני מכלאים,הניחא למ"ד אבנטו של כהן גדול (בשאר ימות השנה) זה הוא אבנטו של כהן הדיוט אלא למאן דאמר אבנטו של כ"ג לא זה הוא אבנטו של כהן הדיוט מאי איכא למימר,וכי תימא כלאים בלבישה והעלאה הוא דאסור בהצעה שרי והתניא (ויקרא יט, יט) לא יעלה עליך אבל אתה מותר להציעו תחתיך אבל אמרו חכמים אסור לעשות כן שמא תיכרך נימא אחת על בשרו,וכ"ת דמפסיק ליה מידי ביני ביני והאמר ר"ש בן פזי אמר ר' יהושע בן לוי אמר רבי משום קהלא קדישא שבירושלים אפי' עשר מצעות זו על גב זו וכלאים תחתיהן אסור לישן עליהן אלא לאו שמע מינה כנגד ראשיהן שמע מינה,רב אשי אמר לעולם תחת ראשיהן והא קא מתהני מכלאים בגדי כהונה קשין הן כי הא דאמר רב הונא בריה דר' יהושע האי נמטא גמדא דנרש שריא,ת"ש בגדי כהונה היוצא בהן למדינה אסור ובמקדש בין בשעת עבודה בין שלא בשעת עבודה מותר מפני שבגדי כהונה ניתנו ליהנות בהן ש"מ,ובמדינה לא והתניא בעשרים וחמשה [בטבת] יום הר גרזים [הוא] דלא למספד,יום שבקשו כותיים את בית אלהינו מאלכסנדרוס מוקדון להחריבו ונתנו להם באו והודיעו את שמעון הצדיק מה עשה לבש בגדי כהונה ונתעטף בבגדי כהונה ומיקירי ישראל עמו ואבוקות של אור בידיהן וכל הלילה הללו הולכים מצד זה והללו הולכים מצד זה עד שעלה עמוד השחר,כיון שעלה עמוד השחר אמר להם מי הללו אמרו לו יהודים שמרדו בך כיון שהגיע לאנטיפטרס זרחה חמה ופגעו זה בזה כיון שראה לשמעון הצדיק ירד ממרכבתו והשתחוה לפניו אמרו לו מלך גדול כמותך ישתחוה ליהודי זה אמר להם דמות דיוקנו של זה מנצחת לפני בבית מלחמתי,אמר להם למה באתם אמרו אפשר בית שמתפללים בו עליך ועל מלכותך שלא תחרב יתעוך עובדי כוכבים להחריבו אמר להם מי הללו אמרו לו כותיים הללו שעומדים לפניך אמר להם הרי הם מסורין בידיכם,מיד נקבום בעקביהם ותלאום בזנבי סוסיהם והיו מגררין אותן על הקוצים ועל הברקנים עד שהגיעו להר גרזים כיון שהגיעו להר גריזים חרשוהו וזרעוהו כרשינין כדרך שבקשו לעשות לבית אלהינו ואותו היום עשאוהו יו"ט,אי בעית אימא ראויין לבגדי כהונה ואי בעית אימא (תהלים קיט, קכו) עת לעשות לה' הפרו תורתך,חזן הכנסת נוטל ספר תורה ש"מ חולקין כבוד לתלמיד במקום הרב אמר אביי כולה משום כבודו דכ"ג היא,וכהן גדול עומד מכלל שהוא יושב והא אנן תנן 69a. That mishna’s teaching highlighting the prohibition to sleep in priestly vestments bis needed for the latter clauseof that mishna, which states: bThey removetheir priestly vestments band fold them and place them under their heads.Since they are allowed to sleep on them, it must be emphasized that they may not sleep while wearing them.,The Gemara considers resolving the dilemma from the latter clause: bThey removetheir priestly vestments band fold them and place them under their heads.The Gemara suggests: bLearn from thisthat bit is permitted to derive benefit from priestly vestments. Rav Pappa said: Do not saythat the mishna means they may actually place the vestments bunder their headsas a pillow; brather, saythat the mishna permits the vestments to be placed only bnext to their heads. Rav Mesharshiyya said:Given this understanding of that mishna, one can blearn from herethat one who places bphylacteries to the sideof his head when he sleeps has done bwell;there is no concern that he will turn over in his sleep and lie upon them., bSo too, it is reasonableto say bthatthe mishna permits the vestments to be placed only bnext to their headsand not under their heads; bas, if it could enter your mindto say that the mishna permits the vestments to be placed bunder their heads, and I would derivethat it is prohibited bdue tothe fact the priestly vestments contain a forbidden mixture of bdiverse kinds, asamong them bthere isthe bbelt,which is woven from a mixture of wool and linen. bAnd even ifit is assumed bthat it is permitted to derive benefit frompriestly vestments, it would still be prohibited to lie upon them because by doing so the priests would be bderiving benefit froma garment made of bdiverse kinds. /b,The Gemara elaborates on the preceding argument: If one claims that the mishna permits priests to sleep upon their vestments, bit works out well according to the one who said: The belt of the High Priestworn on Yom Kippur, which does not contain diverse kinds, bis the same as the belt of a common priest.According to this view, the common priest’s belt does not contain diverse kinds, and therefore it may be permitted for a priest to sleep upon it. bHowever, according to the one who saidthat bthe High Priest’s belton Yom Kippur bis not the same as the belt of a common priest,and that the belt of the common priest is made of diverse kinds, bwhat is there to say?How could the mishna possibly permit priests to sleep upon their vestments?, bAnd if you saythat with regard to the prohibition of bdiverse kindsonly bwearingor bplacingthe garment bupon oneself is prohibited, but spreading them outand lying upon them on bis permitted,and as such it should be permitted for the priests to sleep upon their vestments, this is incorrect. As, bwasn’t it taughtin a ibaraitathat the verse states: b“Neither shall there come upon youa garment of diverse kinds”(Leviticus 19:19), which implies: bBut you are permitted to spread it beneath youto lie upon. This is true according to Torah law, bbut the Sages said: It is prohibited to do so, lest a fiber wrap upon his flesh,which would lead to the transgression of the Torah prohibition., bAnd if you saythat a priest could still avoid the prohibition of diverse kinds by bplacing a separation betweenhimself and the belt containing diverse kinds, bdidn’t Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi saythat bRabbi Yehoshua ben Levi saidthat bRabbiYehuda HaNasi bsaid in the name of the holy community in Jerusalem: Evenif there are bten mattressespiled bone atop the other anda garment of bdiverse kindsis placed bunderneath themall, bit is prohibited to sleep upon them?This is because the rabbinic decree is applied equally to all cases irrespective of whether the original concern exists. Therefore, there can be no way for the priests to sleep upon the vestments without transgressing the prohibition of diverse kinds. bRather,must one bnot conclude fromthe preceding discussion that the mishna permits the vestments to be placed only bnext to their heads?The Gemara concludes: bLearn from itthat this is indeed so., bRav Ashi said: Actually,the mishna may be understood as permitting the vestments to be placed bunder their heads.One should not object that by doing so the priests would be bderiving benefit froma garment made of bdiverse kindsbecause bpriestly vestments,and specifically the belt, bare stiff,and therefore the prohibition of diverse kinds does not apply to them. This is bin accordance with thatwhich bRav Huna, son of Rabbi Yehoshua, said: This stiff felt [ inamta /i],made of diverse kinds, that is produced binthe city of bNeresh, is permitted,since a stiff object does not wrap around the body to provide warmth, and therefore the person wearing is not considered to have derived benefit from it.,Since the mishna’s intention is uncertain, it cannot provide a clear proof for the dilemma of whether it is permitted to derive benefit from priestly vestments. The Gemara therefore suggests another proof: bComeand bhearan explicit ibaraitaconcerning this issue: With regard to bpriestly vestments, it is prohibited to go out to the country,i.e., outside the Temple, while bwearing them, but in the Temple it is permittedfor the priests to wear them, bwhether during theTemple bservice or not during the service, due tothe fact bthat it is permitted to derive benefit from priestly vestments. Learn from thisthat it is indeed permitted.,§ The ibaraitataught that the priestly vestments may not be worn outside the Temple. The Gemara challenges this: Is it really bnotpermitted to wear priestly vestments bin the country? Wasn’t it taughtin another ibaraita /i, in iMegillat Ta’anit /i: bThe twenty-fifth of Tevetis known as bthe day of Mount Gerizim,which was established as a joyful day, and therefore beulogizingis bnotpermitted.,What occurred on that date? It was on that bday that the Samaritans [ ikutim /i] requested the House of our Lord from Alexander the Macedonian in order to destroy it, and he gave it to them,i.e., he gave them permission to destroy it. People bcame and informedthe High Priest, bShimon HaTzaddik,of what had transpired. bWhat did he do? He donned the priestly vestments and wrapped himself in the priestly vestments. And the nobles of the Jewish Peoplewere bwith him,with btorches of fire in their hands. And all that night, these,the representatives of the Jewish people, bapproached from this side, and those,the armies of Alexander and the Samaritans, bapproached from that side, until dawn,when they finally saw one another., bWhen dawn arrived,Alexander bsaid tothe Samaritans: bWho are thesepeople coming to meet us? bThey said to him:These are the bJews who rebelled against you. When he reached Antipatris, the sun shone andthe two camps bmet each other. WhenAlexander bsaw Shimon HaTzaddik, he descended from his chariot and bowed before him.His escorts bsaid to him:Should ban important king such as you bow to this Jew?He bsaid to them:I do so because bthe image of this man’s face is victorious before me on my battlefields,i.e., when I fight I see his image going before me as a sign of victory, and therefore I know that he has supreme sanctity., bHe saidto the representatives of the Jewish people: bWhy have you come? They saidto him: bIs it possible thatthe Temple, the bhouse in which we pray for you and for your kingdom not to be destroyed, gentiles willtry to bmislead you into destroying it,and we would remain silent and not tell you? bHe said to them: Who are thesepeople who want to destroy it? The Jews bsaid to him:They are bthese Samaritans who stand before you. He said to them:If so, bthey are delivered into your handsto deal with them as you please., bImmediately, they stabbedthe Samaritans bin their heels and hung them from their horses’ tails and continued to drag them over the thorns and thistles until they reached Mount Gerizim. When they arrived at Mount Gerizim,where the Samaritans had their temple, bthey plowed it over and seededthe area bwith leeks,a symbol of total destruction. This was bjust as they had sought to do to the House of our Lord. And they made that day a festivalto celebrate the salvation of the Temple and the defeat of the Samaritans.,It is apparent from the ibaraitathat Shimon HaTzaddik wore the priestly vestments even outside the Temple. This would seem to be in contravention of the ruling of the other ibaraitaprohibiting this. The Gemara resolves the contradiction: bIf you wish, sayShimon HaTzaddik did not wear a set of genuine, sanctified priestly vestments; rather, he wore garments that were bfitting to be priestly vestmentsin that they were made of the same material and design. bAnd if you wish, sayinstead that he indeed wore a set of genuine priestly vestments, but in times of great need, such as when one seeks to prevent the destruction of the Temple, it is permitted to violate the ihalakha /i, as indicated by the verse: b“It is time to act for the Lord, they have nullified your Torah”(Psalms 119:126).,§ It was taught in the mishna: bThe synagogue attendant takes a Torah scrolland gives it to the head of the synagogue, who gives it to the deputy High Priest, who gives it to the High Priest. The Gemara suggests: bLearn from herethat bhonor may be given to a student in the presence of the teacher.Although the High Priest is considered everyone’s teacher and master, honor was nevertheless extended to other individuals without fear of impugning the High Priest’s honor. bAbaye said:A proof may not be adduced from here because bthe entireprocess bis for the honor of the High Priest.The passing of the Torah scroll to people of increasing importance demonstrates that the High Priest is considered the most important of all those present.,§ It was further taught in the mishna: bThe High Priest standsand receives the scroll from the Deputy. bBy inference,until that point bhehad been bsitting. But didn’t we learnin a mishna:


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
agrippa i (jewish king), and banquet scene Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 154
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, 154, 155, 156
agrippa i (jewish king), literary connections to esther (jewish queen) Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 154, 155, 156
agrippa i (jewish king), relationship to gaius Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 154, 155, 156
alexander the great Tropper, Simeon the Righteous in Rabbinic Literature: A Legend Reinvented (2013) 210
alexandria Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 166
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, 154, 155, 156
aramaic, in rabbinic literature Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (2018) 70
caligula Tropper, Simeon the Righteous in Rabbinic Literature: A Legend Reinvented (2013) 210
esther (jewish queen), and banquet scene Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 154
gaius (roman emperor), death of Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 154
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
holy land Ben-Eliyahu, Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity (2019) 75
hyrcanus i Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (2018) 70
isidorus Edwards, In the Court of the Gentiles: Narrative, Exemplarity, and Scriptural Adaptation in the Court-Tales of Flavius Josephus (2023) 148
jerusalem Tropper, Simeon the Righteous in Rabbinic Literature: A Legend Reinvented (2013) 210
jews, ultra-orthodox Ben-Eliyahu, Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity (2019) 75
language Ben-Eliyahu, Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity (2019) 75
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, 154, 155, 156
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, 154, 155, 156
pompey Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 128
rabbinic literature Ben-Eliyahu, Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity (2019) 75
ritual Ben-Eliyahu, Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity (2019) 75
simeon the righteous of the alexander legend, simeon the righteous mentioned in abot Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (2018) 70
simeon the righteous of the alexander legend, simeon the righteous of the caligula legend Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (2018) 70
solomons temple Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 128
subversive adaptation, in 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) 154, 156
temple of jerusalem Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 128
territory Ben-Eliyahu, Identity and Territory: Jewish Perceptions of Space in Antiquity (2019) 75
urim and thummim' Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (2018) 70