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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9458
Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 5.71
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8 results
1. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 2.48.7, 19.98 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.48.7.  It has a length of about five hundred stades and a width of about sixty, and its water is so ill-smelling and so very bitter that it cannot support fish or any of the other animals which commonly live in water. And although great rivers of remarkable sweetness empty into it, the lake gets the better of them by reason of its evil smell, and from its centre it spouts forth once a year a great mass of asphalt, which sometimes extends for more than three plethra, and sometimes for only two; and when this occurs the barbarians who live about the lake usually call the larger flow a "bull" and to the smaller one they give the name "calf.
2. Strabo, Geography, 16.2.34, 16.2.40, 16.2.45 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

16.2.34. The western extremities of Judaea towards Casius are occupied by Idumaeans, and by the lake [Sirbonis]. The Idumaeans are Nabataeans. When driven from their country by sedition, they passed over to the Jews, and adopted their customs. The greater part of the country along the coast to Jerusalem is occupied by the Lake Sirbonis, and by the tract contiguous to it; for Jerusalem is near the sea, which, as we have said, may be seen from the arsenal of Joppa. These districts (of Jerusalem and Joppa) lie towards the north; they are inhabited generally, and each place in particular, by mixed tribes of Egyptians, Arabians, and Phoenicians. of this description are the inhabitants of Galilee, of the plain of Jericho, and of the territories of Philadelphia and Samaria, surnamed Sebaste by Herod; but although there is such a mixture of inhabitants, the report most credited, [one] among many things believed respecting the temple [and the inhabitants] of Jerusalem, is, that the Egyptians were the ancestors of the present Jews. 16.2.40. When Judaea openly became subject to a tyrannical government, the first person who exchanged the title of priest for that of king was Alexander. His sons were Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. While they were disputing the succession to the kingdom, Pompey came upon them by surprise, deprived them of their power, and destroyed their fortresses, first taking Jerusalem itself by storm. It was a stronghold, situated on a rock, well fortified and well supplied with water within, but externally entirely parched with drought. A ditch was cut in the rock, 60 feet in depth, and in width 250 feet. On the wall of the temple were built towers, constructed of the materials procured when the ditch was excavated. The city was taken, it is said, by waiting for the day of fast, on which the Jews were in the habit of abstaining from all work. Pompey [availing himself of this], filled up the ditch, and threw bridges over it. He gave orders to raze all the walls, and he destroyed, as far as was in his power, the haunts of the robbers and the treasure-holds of the tyrants. Two of these forts, Thrax and Taurus, were situated in the passes leading to Jericho. Others were Alexandrium, Hyrcanium, Machaerus, Lysias, and those about Philadelphia, and Scythopolis near Galilee. 16.2.45. In the Gadaris, also, there is a lake of noxious water. If beasts drink it, they lose their hair, hoofs, and horns. At the place called Taricheae, the lake supplies the best fish for curing. On its banks grow trees which bear a fruit like the apple. The Egyptians use the asphaltus for embalming the bodies of the dead.
3. Vergil, Aeneis, 6.440-6.441 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6.440. Into the billowy deep. Aeneas now 6.441. Discerned his sad face through the blinding gloom
4. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 1.170, 2.599, 3.457, 3.463-3.466, 3.473-3.492 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.599. which multitude was crowded together in the hippodrome at Taricheae, and made a very peevish clamor against him; while some cried out, that they should depose the traitor; and others, that they should burn him. Now John irritated a great many, as did also one Jesus, the son of Sapphias, who was then governor of Tiberias. 3.457. and this because he saw that Agrippa was under a great concern for them. So when Vespasian and Agrippa had accepted of their right hands by way of security, Jesus and his party thought it not safe for them to continue at Tiberias, so they ran away to Taricheae. 3.463. for all the innovators had gotten together at Taricheae, as relying upon the strength of the city, and on the lake that lay by it. This lake is called by the people of the country the Lake of Gennesareth. 3.464. The city itself is situated like Tiberias, at the bottom of a mountain, and on those sides which are not washed by the sea, had been strongly fortified by Josephus, though not so strongly as Tiberias; 3.465. for the wall of Tiberias had been built at the beginning of the Jews’ revolt, when he had great plenty of money, and great power, but Taricheae partook only the remains of that liberality. 3.466. Yet had they a great number of ships gotten ready upon the lake, that, in case they were beaten at land, they might retire to them; and they were so fitted up, that they might undertake a Sea-fight also. 3.473. For as to us, Romans, no part of the habitable earth hath been able to escape our hands hitherto; but as for the Jews, that I may speak of them too, though they have been already beaten, yet do they not give up the cause; and a sad thing it would be for us to grow weary under good success, when they bear up under their misfortunes. 3.474. As to the alacrity which you show publicly, I see it, and rejoice at it; yet am I afraid lest the multitude of the enemy should bring a concealed fright upon some of you: 3.475. let such a one consider again, who we are that are to fight, and who those are against whom we are to fight. Now these Jews, though they be very bold and great despisers of death, are but a disorderly body, and unskillful in war, and may rather be called a rout than an army; while I need say nothing of our skill and our good order; for this is the reason why we Romans alone are exercised for war in time of peace, that we may not think of number for number when we come to fight with our enemies: 3.476. for what advantage should we reap by our continual sort of warfare, if we must still be equal in number to such as have not been used to war. 3.477. Consider further, that you are to have a conflict with men in effect unarmed, while you are well armed; with footmen, while you are horsemen; with those that have no good general, while you have one; and as these advantages make you in effect manifold more than you are, so do their disadvantages mightily diminish their number. 3.478. Now it is not the multitude of men, though they be soldiers, that manages wars with success, but it is their bravery that does it, though they be but a few; for a few are easily set in battle-array, and can easily assist one another, while over-numerous armies are more hurt by themselves than by their enemies. 3.479. It is boldness and rashness, the effects of madness, that conduct of the Jews. Those passions indeed make a great figure when they succeed, but are quite extinguished upon the least ill success; but we are led on by courage, and obedience, and fortitude, which shows itself indeed in our good fortune, but still does not forever desert us in our ill fortune. 3.481. We must also reflect upon this, that there is no fear of our suffering any incurable disaster in the present case; for those that are ready to assist us are many, and at hand also; yet it is in our power to seize upon this victory ourselves; and I think we ought to prevent the coming of those my father is sending to us for our assistance, that our success may be peculiar to ourselves, and of greater reputation to us. 3.482. And I cannot but think this an opportunity wherein my father, and I, and you shall be all put to the trial, whether he be worthy of his former glorious performances, whether I be his son in reality, and whether you be really my soldiers; for it is usual for my father to conquer; and for myself, I should not bear the thoughts of returning to him if I were once taken by the enemy. 3.483. And how will you be able to avoid being ashamed, if you do not show equal courage with your commander, when he goes before you into danger? For you know very well that I shall go into the danger first, and make the first attack upon the enemy. 3.484. Do not you therefore desert me, but persuade yourselves that God will be assisting to my onset. Know this also before we begin, that we shall now have better success than we should have, if we were to fight at a distance.” 3.485. 3. As Titus was saying this, an extraordinary fury fell upon the men; and as Trajan was already come before the fight began, with four hundred horsemen, they were uneasy at it, because the reputation of the victory would be diminished by being common to so many. 3.486. Vespasian had also sent both Antonius and Silo, with two thousand archers, and had given it them in charge to seize upon the mountain that was over against the city, and repel those that were upon the wall; 3.487. which archers did as they were commanded, and prevented those that attempted to assist them that way; And now Titus made his own horse march first against the enemy, as did the others with a great noise after him, and extended themselves upon the plain as wide as the enemy which confronted them; by which means they appeared much more numerous than they really were. 3.488. Now the Jews, although they were surprised at their onset, and at their good order, made resistance against their attacks for a little while; but when they were pricked with their long poles, and overborne by the violent noise of the horsemen, they came to be trampled under their feet; 3.489. many also of them were slain on every side, which made them disperse themselves, and run to the city, as fast as every one of them were able. 3.491. and cut off all the retreat they had to the wall, and turned them back into the plain, till at last they forced a passage by their multitude, and got away, and ran into the city. 3.492. 4. But now there fell out a terrible sedition among them within the city; for the inhabitants themselves, who had possessions there, and to whom the city belonged, were not disposed to fight from the very beginning; and now the less so, because they had been beaten;
5. Josephus Flavius, Life, 157, 169, 188, 276, 96, 132 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 5.69-5.70 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Tacitus, Histories, 5.6-5.10 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.6.  Their land is bounded by Arabia on the east, Egypt lies on the south, on the west are Phoenicia and the sea, and toward the north the people enjoy a wide prospect over Syria. The inhabitants are healthy and hardy. Rains are rare; the soil is fertile; its products are like ours, save that the balsam and the palm also grow there. The palm is a tall and handsome tree; the balsam a mere shrub: if a branch, when swollen with sap, is pierced with steel, the veins shrivel up; so a piece of stone or a potsherd is used to open them; the juice is employed by physicians. of the mountains, Lebanon rises to the greatest height, and is in fact a marvel, for in the midst of the excessive heat its summit is shaded by trees and covered with snow; it likewise is the source and supply of the river Jordan. This river does not empty into the sea, but after flowing with volume undiminished through two lakes is lost in the third. The last is a lake of great size: it is like the sea, but its water has a nauseous taste, and its offensive odour is injurious to those who live near it. Its waters are not moved by the wind, and neither fish nor water-fowl can live there. Its lifeless waves bear up whatever is thrown upon them as on a solid surface; all swimmers, whether skilled or not, are buoyed up by them. At a certain season of the year the sea throws up bitumen, and experience has taught the natives how to collect this, as she teaches all arts. Bitumen is by nature a dark fluid which coagulates when sprinkled with vinegar, and swims on the surface. Those whose business it is, catch hold of it with their hands and haul it on shipboard: then with no artificial aid the bitumen flows in and loads the ship until the stream is cut off. Yet you cannot use bronze or iron to cut the bituminous stream; it shrinks from blood or from a cloth stained with a woman's menses. Such is the story told by ancient writers, but those who are acquainted with the country aver that the floating masses of bitumen are driven by the winds or drawn by hand to shore, where later, after they have been dried by vapours from the earth or by the heat of the sun, they are split like timber or stone with axes and wedges. 5.7.  Not far from this lake is a plain which, according to report, was once fertile and the site of great cities, but which was later devastated by lightning; and it is said that traces of this disaster still exist there, and that the very ground looks burnt and has lost its fertility. In fact, all the plants there, whether wild or cultivated, turn black, become sterile, and seem to wither into dust, either in leaf or in flower or after they have reached their usual mature form. Now for my part, although I should grant that famous cities were once destroyed by fire from heaven, I still think that it is the exhalations from the lake that infect the ground and poison the atmosphere about this district, and that this is the reason that crops and fruits decay, since both soil and climate are deleterious. The river Belus also empties into the Jewish Sea; around its mouth a kind of sand is gathered, which when mixed with soda is fused into glass. The beach is of moderate size, but it furnishes an inexhaustible supply. 5.8.  A great part of Judea is covered with scattered villages, but there are some towns also; Jerusalem is the capital of the Jews. In it was a temple possessing enormous riches. The first line of fortifications protected the city, the next the palace, and the innermost wall the temple. Only a Jew might approach its doors, and all save the priests were forbidden to cross the threshold. While the East was under the dominion of the Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, the Jews were regarded as the meanest of their subjects: but after the Macedonians gained supremacy, King Antiochus endeavoured to abolish Jewish superstition and to introduce Greek civilization; the war with the Parthians, however, prevented his improving this basest of peoples; for it was exactly at that time that Arsaces had revolted. Later on, since the power of Macedon had waned, the Parthians were not yet come to their strength, and the Romans were far away, the Jews selected their own kings. These in turn were expelled by the fickle mob; but recovering their throne by force of arms, they banished citizens, destroyed towns, killed brothers, wives, and parents, and dared essay every other kind of royal crime without hesitation; but they fostered the national superstition, for they had assumed the priesthood to support their civil authority. 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. 5.10.  Still the Jews' patience lasted until Gessius Florus became procurator: in his time war began. When Cestius Gallus, governor of Syria, tried to stop it, he suffered varied fortunes and met defeat more often than he gained victory. On his death, whether in the course of nature or from vexation, Nero sent out Vespasian, who, aided by his good fortune and reputation as well as by his excellent subordinates, within two summers occupied with his victorious army the whole of the level country and all the cities except Jerusalem. The next year was taken up with civil war, and thus was passed in inactivity so far as the Jews were concerned. When peace had been secured throughout Italy, foreign troubles began again; and the fact that the Jews alone had failed to surrender increased our resentment; at the same time, having regard to all the possibilities and hazards of a new reign, it seemed expedient for Titus to remain with the army.
8. Babylonian Talmud, Pesahim, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
anthropogeography Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
bathhouses Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 226
bethsaida Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
bezalel bar-kochva Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
dead sea Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88; Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
decapolis Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
ethnography Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
first jewish war Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
fish-salting Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
gadara Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
gamla Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
gennesareth, lake of Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
gomorrah Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
hippos-sussita Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
hippos Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
house of dice Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
jerusalem Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88; Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
jordan valley Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
judea Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
julias Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
magdala, urban development Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
magdala Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63; Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9, 226
philip the tetrarch Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
poleis Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
ptolemais(-akko) Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
purpose-built communal structures Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 226
rome, romans Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
samaria Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
scythopolis Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
sepphoris Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
sodom Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
synagogues, magdala Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
synagogues Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 226
taricheae Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9, 226
tiberias Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63; Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 9
urban development, elites Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
urban development, in the galilee Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63
urban development, villages' Keddie, Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (2019) 63