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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10591
Tacitus, Histories, 5.7-5.8


nan 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.


nan 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.


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

24 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 14.3, 19.1-19.29 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

14.3. כָּל־אֵלֶּה חָבְרוּ אֶל־עֵמֶק הַשִּׂדִּים הוּא יָם הַמֶּלַח׃ 19.1. וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים סְדֹמָה בָּעֶרֶב וְלוֹט יֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר־סְדֹם וַיַּרְא־לוֹט וַיָּקָם לִקְרָאתָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַפַּיִם אָרְצָה׃ 19.1. וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים אֶת־יָדָם וַיָּבִיאוּ אֶת־לוֹט אֲלֵיהֶם הַבָּיְתָה וְאֶת־הַדֶּלֶת סָגָרוּ׃ 19.2. וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֶּה נָּא־אֲדֹנַי סוּרוּ נָא אֶל־בֵּית עַבְדְּכֶם וְלִינוּ וְרַחֲצוּ רַגְלֵיכֶם וְהִשְׁכַּמְתֶּם וַהֲלַכְתֶּם לְדַרְכְּכֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹּא כִּי בָרְחוֹב נָלִין׃ 19.2. הִנֵּה־נָא הָעִיר הַזֹּאת קְרֹבָה לָנוּס שָׁמָּה וְהִיא מִצְעָר אִמָּלְטָה נָּא שָׁמָּה הֲלֹא מִצְעָר הִוא וּתְחִי נַפְשִׁי׃ 19.3. וַיִּפְצַר־בָּם מְאֹד וַיָּסֻרוּ אֵלָיו וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם מִשְׁתֶּה וּמַצּוֹת אָפָה וַיֹּאכֵלוּ׃ 19.3. וַיַּעַל לוֹט מִצּוֹעַר וַיֵּשֶׁב בָּהָר וּשְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו עִמּוֹ כִּי יָרֵא לָשֶׁבֶת בְּצוֹעַר וַיֵּשֶׁב בַּמְּעָרָה הוּא וּשְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו׃ 19.4. טֶרֶם יִשְׁכָּבוּ וְאַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר אַנְשֵׁי סְדֹם נָסַבּוּ עַל־הַבַּיִת מִנַּעַר וְעַד־זָקֵן כָּל־הָעָם מִקָּצֶה׃ 19.5. וַיִּקְרְאוּ אֶל־לוֹט וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ אַיֵּה הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ אֵלֶיךָ הַלָּיְלָה הוֹצִיאֵם אֵלֵינוּ וְנֵדְעָה אֹתָם׃ 19.6. וַיֵּצֵא אֲלֵהֶם לוֹט הַפֶּתְחָה וְהַדֶּלֶת סָגַר אַחֲרָיו׃ 19.7. וַיֹּאמַר אַל־נָא אַחַי תָּרֵעוּ׃ 19.8. הִנֵּה־נָא לִי שְׁתֵּי בָנוֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדְעוּ אִישׁ אוֹצִיאָה־נָּא אֶתְהֶן אֲלֵיכֶם וַעֲשׂוּ לָהֶן כַּטּוֹב בְּעֵינֵיכֶם רַק לָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵל אַל־תַּעֲשׂוּ דָבָר כִּי־עַל־כֵּן בָּאוּ בְּצֵל קֹרָתִי׃ 19.9. וַיֹּאמְרוּ גֶּשׁ־הָלְאָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָאֶחָד בָּא־לָגוּר וַיִּשְׁפֹּט שָׁפוֹט עַתָּה נָרַע לְךָ מֵהֶם וַיִּפְצְרוּ בָאִישׁ בְּלוֹט מְאֹד וַיִּגְּשׁוּ לִשְׁבֹּר הַדָּלֶת׃ 19.11. וְאֶת־הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־פֶּתַח הַבַּיִת הִכּוּ בַּסַּנְוֵרִים מִקָּטֹן וְעַד־גָּדוֹל וַיִּלְאוּ לִמְצֹא הַפָּתַח׃ 19.12. וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים אֶל־לוֹט עֹד מִי־לְךָ פֹה חָתָן וּבָנֶיךָ וּבְנֹתֶיךָ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־לְךָ בָּעִיר הוֹצֵא מִן־הַמָּקוֹם׃ 19.13. כִּי־מַשְׁחִתִים אֲנַחְנוּ אֶת־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה כִּי־גָדְלָה צַעֲקָתָם אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה וַיְשַׁלְּחֵנוּ יְהוָה לְשַׁחֲתָהּ׃ 19.14. וַיֵּצֵא לוֹט וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל־חֲתָנָיו לֹקְחֵי בְנֹתָיו וַיֹּאמֶר קוּמוּ צְּאוּ מִן־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה כִּי־מַשְׁחִית יְהוָה אֶת־הָעִיר וַיְהִי כִמְצַחֵק בְּעֵינֵי חֲתָנָיו׃ 19.15. וּכְמוֹ הַשַּׁחַר עָלָה וַיָּאִיצוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים בְּלוֹט לֵאמֹר קוּם קַח אֶת־אִשְׁתְּךָ וְאֶת־שְׁתֵּי בְנֹתֶיךָ הַנִּמְצָאֹת פֶּן־תִּסָּפֶה בַּעֲוֺן הָעִיר׃ 19.16. וַיִּתְמַהְמָהּ וַיַּחֲזִקוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים בְּיָדוֹ וּבְיַד־אִשְׁתּוֹ וּבְיַד שְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו בְּחֶמְלַת יְהוָה עָלָיו וַיֹּצִאֻהוּ וַיַּנִּחֻהוּ מִחוּץ לָעִיר׃ 19.17. וַיְהִי כְהוֹצִיאָם אֹתָם הַחוּצָה וַיֹּאמֶר הִמָּלֵט עַל־נַפְשֶׁךָ אַל־תַּבִּיט אַחֲרֶיךָ וְאַל־תַּעֲמֹד בְּכָל־הַכִּכָּר הָהָרָה הִמָּלֵט פֶּן־תִּסָּפֶה׃ 19.18. וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹט אֲלֵהֶם אַל־נָא אֲדֹנָי׃ 19.19. הִנֵּה־נָא מָצָא עַבְדְּךָ חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ וַתַּגְדֵּל חַסְדְּךָ אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ עִמָּדִי לְהַחֲיוֹת אֶת־נַפְשִׁי וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אוּכַל לְהִמָּלֵט הָהָרָה פֶּן־תִּדְבָּקַנִי הָרָעָה וָמַתִּי׃ 19.21. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הִנֵּה נָשָׂאתִי פָנֶיךָ גַּם לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְבִלְתִּי הָפְכִּי אֶת־הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ׃ 19.22. מַהֵר הִמָּלֵט שָׁמָּה כִּי לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת דָּבָר עַד־בֹּאֲךָ שָׁמָּה עַל־כֵּן קָרָא שֵׁם־הָעִיר צוֹעַר׃ 19.23. הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ יָצָא עַל־הָאָרֶץ וְלוֹט בָּא צֹעֲרָה׃ 19.24. וַיהוָה הִמְטִיר עַל־סְדֹם וְעַל־עֲמֹרָה גָּפְרִית וָאֵשׁ מֵאֵת יְהוָה מִן־הַשָּׁמָיִם׃ 19.25. וַיַּהֲפֹךְ אֶת־הֶעָרִים הָאֵל וְאֵת כָּל־הַכִּכָּר וְאֵת כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הֶעָרִים וְצֶמַח הָאֲדָמָה׃ 19.26. וַתַּבֵּט אִשְׁתּוֹ מֵאַחֲרָיו וַתְּהִי נְצִיב מֶלַח׃ 19.27. וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־עָמַד שָׁם אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה׃ 19.28. וַיַּשְׁקֵף עַל־פְּנֵי סְדֹם וַעֲמֹרָה וְעַל־כָּל־פְּנֵי אֶרֶץ הַכִּכָּר וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה עָלָה קִיטֹר הָאָרֶץ כְּקִיטֹר הַכִּבְשָׁן׃ 19.29. וַיְהִי בְּשַׁחֵת אֱלֹהִים אֶת־עָרֵי הַכִּכָּר וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וַיְשַׁלַּח אֶת־לוֹט מִתּוֹךְ הַהֲפֵכָה בַּהֲפֹךְ אֶת־הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר־יָשַׁב בָּהֵן לוֹט׃ 14.3. All these came as allies unto the vale of Siddim—the same is the Salt Sea." 19.1. And the two angels came to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom; and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he fell down on his face to the earth;" 19.2. and he said: ‘Behold now, my lords, turn aside, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your way.’ And they said: ‘Nay; but we will abide in the broad place all night.’" 19.3. And he urged them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat." 19.4. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter." 19.5. And they called unto Lot, and said unto him: ‘Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.’" 19.6. And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him." 19.7. And he said: ‘I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly." 19.8. Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes; only unto these men do nothing; forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof.’" 19.9. And they said: ‘Stand back.’ And they said: ‘This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs play the judge; now will we deal worse with thee, than with them.’ And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and drew near to break the door." 19.10. But the men put forth their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and the door they shut." 19.11. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door." 19.12. And the men said unto Lot: ‘Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever thou hast in the city; bring them out of the place;" 19.13. for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxed great before the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.’" 19.14. And Lot went out, and spoke unto his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said: ‘Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy the city.’ But he seemed unto his sons-in-law as one that jested." 19.15. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying: ‘Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are here; lest thou be swept away in the iniquity of the city.’" 19.16. But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him. And they brought him forth, and set him without the city." 19.17. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said: ‘Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the Plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be swept away.’" 19.18. And Lot said unto them: ‘Oh, not so, my lord;" 19.19. behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shown unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest the evil overtake me, and I die." 19.20. Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one; oh, let me escape thither—is it not a little one?—and my soul shall live.’" 19.21. And he said unto him: ‘See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken." 19.22. Hasten thou, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither.’—Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.—" 19.23. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot came unto Zoar." 19.24. Then the LORD caused to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;" 19.25. and He overthrow those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground." 19.26. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." 19.27. And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD." 19.28. And he looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the Plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace." 19.29. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt."
2. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 7.14 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

7.14. לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא לָכֶם אוֹת הִנֵּה הָעַלְמָה הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ עִמָּנוּ אֵל׃ 7.14. Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
3. Herodotus, Histories, 1.105, 2.104, 3.91, 4.11, 4.39, 7.89 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.105. From there they marched against Egypt : and when they were in the part of Syria called Palestine, Psammetichus king of Egypt met them and persuaded them with gifts and prayers to come no further. ,So they turned back, and when they came on their way to the city of Ascalon in Syria, most of the Scythians passed by and did no harm, but a few remained behind and plundered the temple of Heavenly Aphrodite. ,This temple, I discover from making inquiry, is the oldest of all the temples of the goddess, for the temple in Cyprus was founded from it, as the Cyprians themselves say; and the temple on Cythera was founded by Phoenicians from this same land of Syria . ,But the Scythians who pillaged the temple, and all their descendants after them, were afflicted by the goddess with the “female” sickness: and so the Scythians say that they are afflicted as a consequence of this and also that those who visit Scythian territory see among them the condition of those whom the Scythians call “Hermaphrodites”. 2.104. For it is plain to see that the Colchians are Egyptians; and what I say, I myself noted before I heard it from others. When it occurred to me, I inquired of both peoples; and the Colchians remembered the Egyptians better than the Egyptians remembered the Colchians; ,the Egyptians said that they considered the Colchians part of Sesostris' army. I myself guessed it, partly because they are dark-skinned and woolly-haired; though that indeed counts for nothing, since other peoples are, too; but my better proof was that the Colchians and Egyptians and Ethiopians are the only nations that have from the first practised circumcision. ,The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they learned the custom from the Egyptians, and the Syrians of the valleys of the Thermodon and the Parthenius, as well as their neighbors the Macrones, say that they learned it lately from the Colchians. These are the only nations that circumcise, and it is seen that they do just as the Egyptians. ,But as to the Egyptians and Ethiopians themselves, I cannot say which nation learned it from the other; for it is evidently a very ancient custom. That the others learned it through traffic with Egypt, I consider clearly proved by this: that Phoenicians who traffic with Hellas cease to imitate the Egyptians in this matter and do not circumcise their children. 3.91. The fifth province was the country (except the part belonging to the Arabians, which paid no tribute) between Posideion, a city founded on the Cilician and Syrian border by Amphilochus son of Amphiaraus, and Egypt ; this paid three hundred and fifty talents; in this province was all Phoenicia, and the part of Syria called Palestine, and Cyprus . ,The sixth province was Egypt and the neighboring parts of Libya, and Cyrene and Barca, all of which were included in the province of Egypt . From here came seven hundred talents, besides the income in silver from the fish of the lake Moeris ; ,besides that silver and the assessment of grain that was given also, seven hundred talents were paid; for a hundred and twenty thousand bushels of grain were also assigned to the Persians quartered at the White Wall of Memphis and their allies. ,The Sattagydae, Gandarii, Dadicae, and Aparytae paid together a hundred and seventy talents; this was the seventh province; the eighth was Susa and the rest of the Cissian country, paying three hundred talents. 4.11. There is yet another story, to which account I myself especially incline. It is to this effect. The nomadic Scythians inhabiting Asia, when hard pressed in war by the Massagetae, fled across the Araxes river to the Cimmerian country (for the country which the Scythians now inhabit is said to have belonged to the Cimmerians before),,and the Cimmerians, at the advance of the Scythians, deliberated as men threatened by a great force should. Opinions were divided; both were strongly held, but that of the princes was the more honorable; for the people believed that their part was to withdraw and that there was no need to risk their lives for the dust of the earth; but the princes were for fighting to defend their country against the attackers. ,Neither side could persuade the other, neither the people the princes nor the princes the people; the one party planned to depart without fighting and leave the country to their enemies, but the princes were determined to lie dead in their own country and not to flee with the people, for they considered how happy their situation had been and what ills were likely to come upon them if they fled from their native land. ,Having made up their minds, the princes separated into two equal bands and fought with each other until they were all killed by each other's hands; then the Cimmerian people buried them by the Tyras river, where their tombs are still to be seen, and having buried them left the land; and the Scythians came and took possession of the country left empty. 4.39. This is the first peninsula. But the second, beginning with Persia, stretches to the Red Sea, and is Persian land; and next, the neighboring land of Assyria; and after Assyria, Arabia; this peninsula ends (not truly but only by common consent) at the Arabian Gulf, to which Darius brought a canal from the Nile. ,Now from the Persian country to Phoenicia there is a wide and vast tract of land; and from Phoenicia this peninsula runs beside our sea by way of the Syrian Palestine and Egypt, which is at the end of it; in this peninsula there are just three nations. 7.89. The number of the triremes was twelve hundred and seven, and they were furnished by the following: the Phoenicians with the Syrians of Palestine furnished three hundred; for their equipment, they had on their heads helmets very close to the Greek in style; they wore linen breastplates, and carried shields without rims, and javelins. ,These Phoenicians formerly dwelt, as they themselves say, by the Red Sea; they crossed from there and now inhabit the seacoast of Syria. This part of Syria as far as Egypt is all called Palestine. ,The Egyptians furnished two hundred ships. They wore woven helmets and carried hollow shields with broad rims, and spears for sea-warfare, and great battle-axes. Most of them wore cuirasses and carried long swords.
4. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

22d. the occurrence of a shifting of the bodies in the heavens which move round the earth, and a destruction of the things on the earth by fierce fire, which recurs at long intervals. At such times all they that dwell on the mountains and in high and dry places suffer destruction more than those who dwell near to rivers or the sea; and in our case the Nile, our Saviour in other ways, saves us also at such times from this calamity by rising high. And when, on the other hand, the Gods purge the earth with a flood of waters, all the herdsmen and shepherds that are in the mountains are saved
5. Septuagint, Wisdom of Solomon, 10.7-10.8 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

10.7. Evidence of their wickedness still remains:a continually smoking wasteland,plants bearing fruit that does not ripen,and a pillar of salt standing as a monument to an unbelieving soul. 10.8. For because they passed wisdom by,they not only were hindered from recognizing the good,but also left for mankind a reminder of their folly,so that their failures could never go unnoticed.
6. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 2.4, 2.48.7, 19.98 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.4. 1.  Since after the founding of this city Ninus made a campaign against Bactriana, where he married Semiramis, the most renowned of all women of whom we have any record, it is necessary first of all to tell how she rose from a lowly fortune to such fame.,2.  Now there is in Syria a city known as Ascalon, and not far from it a large and deep lake, full of fish. On its shore is a precinct of a famous goddess whom the Syrians call Derceto; and this goddess has the head of a woman but all the rest of her body is that of a fish, the reason being something like this.,3.  The story as given by the most learned of the inhabitants of the region is as follows: Aphrodite, being offended with this goddess, inspired in her a violent passion for a certain handsome youth among her votaries; and Derceto gave herself to the Syrian and bore a daughter, but then, filled with shame of her sinful deed, she killed the youth and exposed the child in a rocky desert region, while as for herself, from shame and grief she threw herself into the lake and was changed as to the form of her body into a fish; and it is for this reason that the Syrians to this day abstain from this animal and honour their fish as gods.,4.  But about the region where the babe was exposed a great multitude of doves had their nests, and by them the child was nurtured in an astounding and miraculous manner; for some of the doves kept the body of the babe warm on all sides by covering it with their wings, while others, when they observed that the cowherds and other keepers were absent from the nearby steadings, brought milk therefrom in their beaks and fed the babe by putting it drop by drop between its lips.,5.  And when the child was a year old and in need of more solid nourishment, the doves, pecking off bits from the cheeses, supplied it with sufficient nourishment. Now when the keepers returned and saw that the cheeses had been nibbled about the edges, they were astonished at the strange happening; they accordingly kept a look-out, and on discovering the cause found the infant, which was of surpassing beauty.,6.  At once, then, bringing it to their steadings they turned it over to the keeper of the royal herds, whose name was Simmas; and Simmas, being childless, gave every care to the rearing of the girl, as his own daughter, and called her Semiramis, a name slightly altered from the word which, in the language of the Syrians, means "doves," birds which since that time all the inhabitants of Syria have continued to honour as goddesses. 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.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 222 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

222. But even then, nevertheless, the insatiable desire which exists within them continues to rage as though it were still under the influence of hunger. "For their wine is of the vine of Sodom," as Moses says, "and their tenderils are from Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, and their branches are bitter branches. The rage of dragons is their wine, and the incurable fury of Serpents." The interpretation of the name Sodom is "barrenness and blindness." But Moses here compares those who are the slaves of greediness for wine and general gluttony, and of other most disgraceful pleasures to a vine, and to the different products of the vine;
8. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.192 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.192. You see here what great effects are produced by the drunkenness of folly: bitterness, an evil disposition, exceeding gall, excessive anger, implacability, a biting and treacherous disposition. The lawgiver most emphatically asserts the branch of the vine of folly to be in Sodom; and the name Sodom, being interpreted, means "blindness," or "barrenness;" since folly is a thing which is blind, and also barren of all good things; though, nevertheless, some people have been so greatly influenced by it as to measure, and weigh, and count everything with reference to themselves alone.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.56 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.56. Therefore on this occasion, as the holy scriptures tell us, thunderbolts fell from heaven, and burnt up those wicked men and their cities; and even to this day there are seen in Syria monuments of the unprecedented destruction that fell upon them, in the ruins, and ashes, and sulphur, and smoke, and dusky flame which still is sent up from the ground as of a fire smouldering beneath;
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 300-305, 299 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

299. Moreover, I have it in my power to relate one act of ambition on his part, though I suffered an infinite number of evils when he was alive; but nevertheless the truth is considered dear, and much to be honoured by you. Pilate was one of the emperor's lieutets, having been appointed governor of Judaea. He, not more with the object of doing honour to Tiberius than with that of vexing the multitude, dedicated some gilt shields in the palace of Herod, in the holy city; which had no form nor any other forbidden thing represented on them except some necessary inscription, which mentioned these two facts, the name of the person who had placed them there, and the person in whose honour they were so placed there.
11. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 4.23, 4.51 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

12. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 75 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

75. Moreover Palestine and Syria too are not barren of exemplary wisdom and virtue, which countries no slight portion of that most populous nation of the Jews inhabits. There is a portion of those people called Essenes, in number something more than four thousand in my opinion, who derive their name from their piety, though not according to any accurate form of the Grecian dialect, because they are above all men devoted to the service of God, not sacrificing living animals, but studying rather to preserve their own minds in a state of holiness and purity.
13. Strabo, Geography, 16.2.28, 16.2.34-16.2.45, 16.4.21 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

16.2.28. Then Joppa, where the coast of Egypt, which at first stretches towards the east, makes a remarkable bend towards the north. In this place, according to some writers, Andromeda was exposed to the sea-monster. It is sufficiently elevated; it is said to command a view of Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews, who, when they descended to the sea, used this place as a naval arsenal. But the arsenals of robbers are the haunts of robbers. Carmel, and the forest, belonged to the Jews. The district was so populous that the neighbouring village Iamneia, and the settlements around, could furnish forty thousand soldiers.Thence to Casium, near Pelusium, are little more than 1000 stadia, and 1300 to Pelusium itself. 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. 16.2.35. An Egyptian priest named Moses, who possessed a portion of the country called the Lower [Egypt] * * * *, being dissatisfied with the established institutions there, left it and came to Judaea with a large body of people who worshipped the Divinity. He declared and taught that the Egyptians and Africans entertained erroneous sentiments, in representing the Divinity under the likeness of wild beasts and cattle of the field; that the Greeks also were in error in making images of their gods after the human form. For God [said he] may be this one thing which encompasses us all, land and sea, which we call heaven, or the universe, or the nature of things. Who then of any understanding would venture to form an image of this Deity, resembling anything with which we are conversant? on the contrary, we ought not to carve any images, but to set apart some sacred ground and a shrine worthy of the Deity, and to worship Him without any similitude. He taught that those who made fortunate dreams were to be permitted to sleep in the temple, where they might dream both for themselves and others; that those who practised temperance and justice, and none else, might expect good, or some gift or sign from the God, from time to time. 16.2.36. By such doctrine Moses persuaded a large body of right-minded persons to accompany him to the place where Jerusalem now stands. He easily obtained possession of it, as the spot was not such as to excite jealousy, nor for which there could be any fierce contention; for it is rocky, and, although well supplied with water, it is surrounded by a barren and waterless territory. The space within [the city] is 60 stadia [in circumference], with rock underneath the surface.Instead of arms, he taught that their defence was in their sacred things and the Divinity, for whom he was desirous of finding a settled place, promising to the people to deliver such a kind of worship and religion as should not burthen those who adopted it with great expense, nor molest them with [so-called] divine possessions, nor other absurd practices.Moses thus obtained their good opinion, and established no ordinary kind of government. All the nations around willingly united themselves to him, allured by his discourses and promises. 16.2.37. His successors continued for some time to observe the same conduct, doing justly, and worshipping God with sincerity. Afterwards superstitious persons were appointed to the priesthood, and then tyrants. From superstition arose abstinence from flesh, from the eating of which it is now the custom to refrain, circumcision, excision, and other practices which the people observe. The tyrannical government produced robbery; for the rebels plundered both their own and the neighbouring countries. Those also who shared in the government seized upon the property of others, and ravaged a large part of Syria and of Phoenicia.Respect, however, was paid to the acropolis; it was not abhorred as the seat of tyranny, but honoured and venerated as a temple. 16.2.38. This is according to nature, and common both to Greeks and barbarians. For, as members of a civil community, they live according to a common law; otherwise it would be impossible for the mass to execute any one thing in concert (in which consists a civil state), or to live in a social state at all. Law is twofold, divine and human. The ancients regarded and respected divine, in preference to human, law; in those times, therefore, the number of persons was very great who consulted oracles, and, being desirous of obtaining the advice of Jupiter, hurried to Dodona, to hear the answer of Jove from the lofty oak.The parent went to Delphi, anxious to learn whether the child which had been exposed (to die) was still living;while the child itself was gone to the temple of Apollo, with the hope of discovering its parents.And Minos among the Cretans, the king who in the ninth year enjoyed converse with Great Jupiter, every nine years, as Plato says, ascended to the cave of Jupiter, received ordices from him, and conveyed them to men. Lycurgus, his imitator, acted in a similar manner; for he was often accustomed, as it seemed, to leave his own country to inquire of the Pythian goddess what ordices he was to promulgate to the Lacedaemonians. 16.2.39. What truth there may be in these things I cannot say; they have at least been regarded and believed as true by mankind. Hence prophets received so much honour as to be thought worthy even of thrones, because they were supposed to communicate ordices and precepts from the gods, both during their lifetime and after their death; as for example Teiresias, to whom alone Proserpine gave wisdom and understanding after death: the others flit about as shadows.Such were Amphiaraus, Trophonius, Orpheus, and Musaeus: in former times there was Zamolxis, a Pythagorean, who was accounted a god among the Getae; and in our time, Decaeneus, the diviner of Byrebistas. Among the Bosporani, there was Achaicarus; among the Indians, were the Gymnosophists; among the Persians, the Magi and Necyomanteis, and besides these the Lecanomanteis and Hydromanteis; among the Assyrians, were the Chaldaeans; and among the Romans, the Tyrrhenian diviners of dreams.Such was Moses and his successors; their beginning was good, but they degenerated. 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. 16.2.41. Jericho is a plain encompassed by a mountainous district, which slopes towards it somewhat in the manner of a theatre. Here is the Phoenicon (or palm plantation), which contains various other trees of the cultivated kind, and producing excellent fruit; but its chief production is the palm tree. It is 100 stadia in length; the whole is watered with streams, and filled with dwellings. Here also is a palace and the garden of the balsamum. The latter is a shrub with an aromatic smell, resembling the cytisus and the terminthus. Incisions are made in the bark, and vessels are placed beneath to receive the sap, which is like oily milk. After it is collected in vessels, it becomes solid. It is an excellent remedy for headache, incipient suffusion of the eyes, and dimness of sight. It bears therefore a high price, especially as it is produced in no other place. This is the case also with the Phoenicon, which alone contains the caryotes palm, if we except the Babylonian plain, and the country above it towards the east: a large revenue is derived from the palms and balsamum; xylobalsamum is also used as a perfume. 16.2.42. The Lake Sirbonis is of great extent. Some say that it is 1000 stadia in circumference. It stretches along the coast, to the distance of a little more than 200 stadia. It is deep, and the water is exceedingly heavy, so that no person can dive into it; if any one wades into it up to the waist, and attempts to move forward, he is immediately lifted out of the water It abounds with asphaltus, which rises, not however at any regular seasons, in bubbles, like boiling water, from the middle of the deepest part. The surface is convex, and presents the appearance of a hillock. Together with the asphaltus, there ascends a great quantity of sooty vapour, not perceptible to the eye, which tarnishes copper, silver, and everything bright — even gold. The neighbouring people know by the tarnishing of their vessels that the asphaltus is beginning to rise, and they prepare to collect it by means of rafts composed of reeds. The asphaltus is a clod of earth, liquefied by heat; the air forces it to the surface, where it spreads itself. It is again changed into so firm and solid a mass by cold water, such as the water of the lake, that it requires cutting or chopping (for use). It floats upon the water, which, as I have described, does not admit of diving or immersion, but lifts up the person who goes into it. Those who go on rafts for the asphaltus cut it in pieces, and take away as much as they are able to carry. 16.2.43. Such are the phenomena. But Posidonius says, that the people being addicted to magic, and practising incantations, (by these means) consolidate the asphaltus, pouring upon it urine and other fetid fluids, and then cut it into pieces. (Incantations cannot be the cause), but perhaps urine may have some peculiar power (in effecting the consolidation) in the same manner that chrysocolla is formed in the bladders of persons who labour under the disease of the stone, and in the urine of children.It is natural for these phenomena to take place in the middle of the lake, because the source of the fire is in the centre, and the greater part of the asphaltus comes from thence. The bubbling up, however, of the asphaltus is irregular, because the motion of fire, like that of many other vapours, has no order perceptible to observers. There are also phenomena of this kind at Apollonia in Epirus. 16.2.44. Many other proofs are produced to show that this country is full of fire. Near Moasada are to be seen rugged rocks, bearing the marks of fire; fissures in many places; a soil like ashes; pitch falling in drops from the rocks; rivers boiling up, and emitting a fetid odour to a great distance; dwellings in every direction overthrown; whence we are inclined to believe the common tradition of the natives, that thirteen cities once existed there, the capital of which was Sodom, but that a circuit of about 60 stadia around it escaped uninjured; shocks of earthquakes, however, eruptions of flames and hot springs, containing asphaltus and sulphur, caused the lake to burst its bounds, and the rocks took fire; some of the cities were swallowed up, others were abandoned by such of the inhabitants as were able to make their escape.But Eratosthenes asserts, on the contrary, that the country was once a lake, and that the greater part of it was uncovered by the water discharging itself through a breach, as was the case in Thessaly. 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. 16.4.21. The Nabataeans and Sabaeans, situated above Syria, are the first people who occupy Arabia Felix. They were frequently in the habit of overrunning this country before the Romans became masters of it, but at present both they and the Syrians are subject to the Romans.The capital of the Nabataeans is called Petra. It is situated on a spot which is surrounded and fortified by a smooth and level rock (petra), which externally is abrupt and precipitous, but within there are abundant springs of water both for domestic purposes and for watering gardens. Beyond the enclosure the country is for the most part a desert, particularly towards Judaea. Through this is the shortest road to Jericho, a journey of three or four days, and five days to the Phoenicon (or palm plantation). It is always governed by a king of the royal race. The king has a minister who is one of the Companions, and is called Brother. It has excellent laws for the administration of public affairs.Athenodorus, a philosopher, and my friend, who had been at Petra, used to relate with surprise, that he found many Romans and also many other strangers residing there. He observed the strangers frequently engaged in litigation, both with one another and with the natives; but the natives had never any dispute amongst themselves, and lived together in perfect harmony.
14. 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
15. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 1.6, 1.169 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.6. And indeed I did formerly intend, when I wrote of the war, to explain who the Jews originally were,—what fortunes they had been subject to,—and by what legislator they had been instructed in piety, and the exercise of other virtues,—what wars also they had made in remote ages, till they were unwillingly engaged in this last with the Romans: 1.6. 2. And when Cain had traveled over many countries, he, with his wife, built a city, named Nod, which is a place so called, and there he settled his abode; where also he had children. However, he did not accept of his punishment in order to amendment, but to increase his wickedness; for he only aimed to procure every thing that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbors. 1.169. 3. As soon as Abram was come back into Canaan, he parted the land between him and Lot, upon account of the tumultuous behavior of their shepherds, concerning the pastures wherein they should feed their flocks. However, he gave Lot his option, or leave, to choose which lands he would take;
16. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 4.402-4.403, 4.483-4.485 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.402. and at the feast of unleavened bread, which the Jews celebrate in memory of their deliverance from the Egyptian bondage, when they were sent back into the country of their forefathers, they came down by night, without being discovered by those that could have prevented them, and overran a certain small city called Engaddi:— 4.403. in which expedition they prevented those citizens that could have stopped them, before they could arm themselves, and fight them. They also dispersed them, and cast them out of the city. As for such as could not run away, being women and children, they slew of them above seven hundred. 4.483. The country of Sodom borders upon it. It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. 4.484. It is related how, for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that Divine fire, and the traces [or shadows] of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits; which fruits have a color as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes. 4.485. And thus what is related of this land of Sodom hath these marks of credibility which our very sight affords us.
17. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.79 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.79. 7. However, I cannot but admire those other authors who furnished this man with such his materials; I mean Posidonius and Apollonius [the son of] Molo, who while they accuse us for not worshipping the same gods whom others worship, they think themselves not guilty of impiety when they tell lies of us, and frame absurd and reproachful stories about our temple; whereas it is a most shameful thing for freemen to forge lies on any occasion, and much more so to forge them about our temple, which was so famous over all the world, and was preserved so sacred by us;
18. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 5.71 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

19. Tacitus, Annals, 15.47.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

15.47.1.  At the close of the year, report was busy with portents heralding disaster to come — lightning-flashes in numbers never exceeded, a comet (a phenomenon to which Nero always made atonement in noble blood); two-headed embryos, human or of the other animals, thrown out in public or discovered in the sacrifices where it is the rule to kill pregt victims. Again, in the territory of Placentia, a calf was born close to the road with the head grown to a leg; and there followed an interpretation of the soothsayers, stating that another head was being prepared for the world; but it would be neither strong nor secret, as it had been repressed in the womb, and had been brought forth at the wayside.
20. Tacitus, Histories, 1.2-1.4, 1.3.2, 1.10.3, 1.27.1, 1.86, 2.1.1, 2.3-2.4, 2.50.2, 2.78, 2.91.1, 3.56.1, 3.71-3.72, 4.61, 4.81-4.84, 5.2-5.6, 5.4.2, 5.5.1-5.5.2, 5.5.4, 5.8-5.13, 5.13.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.86.  Prodigies which were reported on various authorities also contributed to the general terror. It was said that in the vestibule of the Capitol the reins of the chariot in which Victory stood had fallen from the goddess's hands, that a superhuman form had rushed out of Juno's chapel, that a statue of the deified Julius on the island of the Tiber had turned from west to east on a bright calm day, that an ox had spoken in Etruria, that animals had given birth to strange young, and that many other things had happened which in barbarous ages used to be noticed even during peace, but which now are only heard of in seasons of terror. Yet the chief anxiety which was connected with both present disaster and future danger was caused by a sudden overflow of the Tiber which, swollen to a great height, broke down the wooden bridge and then was thrown back by the ruins of the bridge which dammed the stream, and overflowed not only the low-lying level parts of the city, but also parts which are normally free from such disasters. Many were swept away in the public streets, a larger number cut off in shops and in their beds. The common people were reduced to famine by lack of employment and failure of supplies. Apartment houses had their foundations undermined by the standing water and then collapsed when the flood withdrew. The moment people's minds were relieved of this danger, the very fact that when Otho was planning a military expedition, the Campus Martius and the Flaminian Way, over which he was to advance, were blocked against him was interpreted as a prodigy and an omen of impending disaster rather than as the result of chance or natural causes. 2.3.  The founder of the temple, according to ancient tradition, was King Aerias. Some, however, say that this was the name of the goddess herself. A more recent tradition reports that the temple was consecrated by Cinyras, and that the goddess herself after she sprang from the sea, was wafted hither; but that the science and method of divination were imported from abroad by the Cilician Tamiras, and so it was agreed that the descendants of both Tamiras and Cinyras should preside over the sacred rites. It is also said that in a later time the foreigners gave up the craft that they had introduced, that the royal family might have some prerogative over foreign stock. Only a descendant of Cinyras is now consulted as priest. Such victims are accepted as the individual vows, but male ones are preferred. The greatest confidence is put in the entrails of kids. Blood may not be shed upon the altar, but offering is made only with prayers and pure fire. The altar is never wet by any rain, although it is in the open air. The representation of the goddess is not in human form, but it is a circular mass that is broader at the base and rises like a turning-post to a small circumference at the top. The reason for this is obscure. 2.4.  After Titus had examined the treasures, the gifts made by kings, and all those other things which the Greeks from their delight in ancient tales attribute to a dim antiquity, he asked the oracle first with regard to his voyage. On learning that his path was open and the sea favourable, he slew many victims and then questioned indirectly about himself. When Sostratus, for such was the priest's name, saw that the entrails were uniformly favourable and that the goddess favoured great undertakings, he made at the moment a brief reply in the usual fashion, but asked for a private interview in which he disclosed the future. Greatly encouraged, Titus sailed on to his father; his arrival brought a great accession of confidence to the provincials and to the troops, who were in a state of anxious uncertainty. Vespasian had almost put an end to the war with the Jews. The siege of Jerusalem, however, remained, a task rendered difficult and arduous by the character of the mountain-citadel and the obstinate superstition of the Jews rather than by any adequate resources which the besieged possessed to withstand the inevitable hardships of a siege. As we have stated above, Vespasian himself had three legions experienced in war. Mucianus was in command of four in a peaceful province, but a spirit of emulation and the glory won by the neighbouring army had banished from his troops all inclination to idleness, and just as dangers and toils had given Vespasian's troops power of resistance, so those of Mucianus had gained vigour from unbroken repose and that love of war which springs from inexperience. Both generals had auxiliary infantry and cavalry, as well as fleets and allied kings; while each possessed a famous name, though a different reputation. 2.78.  After Mucianus had spoken, the rest became bolder; they gathered about Vespasian, encouraged him, and recalled the prophecies of seers and the movements of the stars. Nor indeed was he wholly free from such superstitious belief, as was evident later when he had obtained supreme power, for he openly kept at court an astrologer named Seleucus, whom he regarded as his guide and oracle. Old omens came back to his mind: once on his country estate a cypress of conspicuous height suddenly fell, but the next day it rose again on the selfsame spot fresh, tall, and with wider expanse than before. This occurrence was a favourable omen of great significance, as the haruspices all agreed, and promised the highest distinctions for Vespasian, who was then still a young man. At first, however, the insignia of a triumph, his consulship, and his victory over Judea appeared to have fulfilled the promise given by the omen; yet after he had gained these honours, he began to think that it was the imperial throne that was foretold. Between Judea and Syria lies Carmel: this is the name given to both the mountain and the divinity. The god has no image or temple — such is the rule handed down by the fathers; there is only an altar and the worship of the god. When Vespasian was sacrificing there and thinking over his secret hopes in his heart, the priest Basilides, after repeated inspection of the victim's vitals, said to him: "Whatever you are planning, Vespasian, whether to build a house, or to enlarge your holdings, or to increase the number of your slaves, the god grants you a mighty home, limitless bounds, and a multitude of men." This obscure oracle rumour had caught up at the time, and now was trying to interpret; nothing indeed was more often on men's lips. It was discussed even more in Vespasian's presence — for men have more to say to those who are filled with hope. The two leaders now separated with clear purposes before them, Mucianus going to Antioch, Vespasian to Caesarea. Antioch is the capital of Syria, Caesarea of Judea. 3.71.  Martialis had hardly returned to the Capitol when the soldiers arrived in fury. They had no leader; each directed his own movements. Rushing through the Forum and past the temples that rise above it, they advanced in column up the hill, as far as the first gates of the Capitoline citadel. There were then some old colonnades on the right as you go up the slopes; the defenders came out on the roofs of these and showered stones and tiles on their assailants. The latter had no arms except their swords, and they thought that it would cost too much time to send for artillery and missiles; consequently they threw firebrands on a projecting colonnade, and then followed in the path of the flames; they actually burned the gates of the Capitol and would have forced their way through, if Sabinus had not torn down all the statues, memorials to the glory of our ancestors, and piled them up across the entrance as a barricade. Then the assailants tried different approaches to the Capitol, one by the grove of the asylum and another by the hundred steps that lead up to the Tarpeian Rock. Both attacks were unexpected; but the one by the asylum was closer and more threatening. Moreover, the defenders were unable to stop those who climbed through neighbouring houses, which, built high in time of peace, reached the level of the Capitol. It is a question here whether it was the besiegers or the besieged who threw fire on the roofs. The more common tradition says this was done by the latter in their attempts to repel their assailants, who were climbing up or had reached the top. From the houses the fire spread to the colonnades adjoining the temple; then the "eagles" which supported the roof, being of old wood, caught and fed the flames. So the Capitol burned with its doors closed; none defended it, none pillaged it. 3.72.  This was the saddest and most shameful crime that the Roman state had ever suffered since its foundation. Rome had no foreign foe; the gods were ready to be propitious if our characters had allowed; and yet the home of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, founded after due auspices by our ancestors as a pledge of empire, which neither Porsenna, when the city gave itself up to him, nor the Gauls when they captured it, could violate — this was the shrine that the mad fury of emperors destroyed! The Capitol had indeed been burned before in civil war, but the crime was that of private individuals. Now it was openly besieged, openly burned — and what were the causes that led to arms? What was the price paid for this great disaster? This temple stood intact so long as we fought for our country. King Tarquinius Priscus had vowed it in the war with the Sabines and had laid its foundations rather to match his hope of future greatness than in accordance with what the fortunes of the Roman people, still moderate, could supply. Later the building was begun by Servius Tullius with the enthusiastic help of Rome's allies, and afterwards carried on by Tarquinius Superbus with the spoils taken from the enemy at the capture of Suessa Pometia. But the glory of completing the work was reserved for liberty: after the expulsion of the kings, Horatius Pulvillus in his second consulship dedicated it; and its magnificence was such that the enormous wealth of the Roman people acquired thereafter adorned rather than increased its splendour. The temple was built again on the same spot when after an interval of four hundred and fifteen years it had been burned in the consulship of Lucius Scipio and Gaius Norbanus. The victorious Sulla undertook the work, but still he did not dedicate it; that was the only thing that his good fortune was refused. Amid all the great works built by the Caesars the name of Lutatius Catulus kept its place down to Vitellius's day. This was the temple that then was burned. 4.61.  Civilis, in accordance with a vow such as these barbarians frequently make, had dyed his hair red and let it grow long from the time he first took up arms against the Romans, but now that the massacre of the legions was finally accomplished, he cut it short; it was also said that he presented his little son with some captives to be targets for the child's arrows and darts. However, he did not bind himself or any Batavian by an oath of allegiance to Gaul, for he relied on the resources of the Germans, and he felt that, if it became necessary to dispute the empire with the Gauls, he would have the advantage of his reputation and his superior power. Munius Lupercus, commander of a legion, was sent, among other gifts, to Veleda. This maiden of the tribe of the Bructeri enjoyed extensive authority, according to the ancient German custom, which regards many women as endowed with prophetic powers and, as the superstition grows, attributes divinity to them. At this time Veleda's influence was at its height, since she had foretold the German success and the destruction of the legions. But Lupercus was killed on the road. A few of the centurions and tribunes of Gallic birth were reserved as hostages to assure the alliance. The winter quarters of the auxiliary infantry and cavalry and of the legions were pulled down and burned, with the sole exception of those at Mainz and Vindonissa. 4.81.  During the months while Vespasian was waiting at Alexandria for the regular season of the summer winds and a settled sea, many marvels continued to mark the favour of heaven and a certain partiality of the gods toward him. One of the common people of Alexandria, well known for his loss of sight, threw himself before Vespasian's knees, praying him with groans to cure his blindness, being so directed by the god Serapis, whom this most superstitious of nations worships before all others; and he besought the emperor to deign to moisten his cheeks and eyes with his spittle. Another, whose hand was useless, prompted by the same god, begged Caesar to step and trample on it. Vespasian at first ridiculed these appeals and treated them with scorn; then, when the men persisted, he began at one moment to fear the discredit of failure, at another to be inspired with hopes of success by the appeals of the suppliants and the flattery of his courtiers: finally, he directed the physicians to give their opinion as to whether such blindness and infirmity could be overcome by human aid. Their reply treated the two cases differently: they said that in the first the power of sight had not been completely eaten away and it would return if the obstacles were removed; in the other, the joints had slipped and become displaced, but they could be restored if a healing pressure were applied to them. Such perhaps was the wish of the gods, and it might be that the emperor had been chosen for this divine service; in any case, if a cure were obtained, the glory would be Caesar's, but in the event of failure, ridicule would fall only on the poor suppliants. So Vespasian, believing that his good fortune was capable of anything and that nothing was any longer incredible, with a smiling countece, and amid intense excitement on the part of the bystanders, did as he was asked to do. The hand was instantly restored to use, and the day again shone for the blind man. Both facts are told by eye-witnesses even now when falsehood brings no reward. 4.82.  These events gave Vespasian a deeper desire to visit the sanctuary of the god to consult him with regard to his imperial fortune: he ordered all to be excluded from the temple. Then after he had entered the temple and was absorbed in contemplation of the god, he saw behind him one of the leading men of Egypt, named Basilides, who he knew was detained by sickness in a place many days' journey distant from Alexandria. He asked the priests whether Basilides had entered the temple on that day; he questioned the passers-by whether he had been seen in the city; finally, he sent some cavalry and found that at that moment he had been eighty miles away: then he concluded that this was a supernatural vision and drew a prophecy from the name Basilides. 4.83.  The origin of this god has not yet been generally treated by our authors: the Egyptian priests tell the following story, that when King Ptolemy, the first of the Macedonians to put the power of Egypt on a firm foundation, was giving the new city of Alexandria walls, temples, and religious rites, there appeared to him in his sleep a vision of a young man of extraordinary beauty and of more than human stature, who warned him to send his most faithful friends to Pontus and bring his statue hither; the vision said that this act would be a happy thing for the kingdom and that the city that received the god would be great and famous: after these words the youth seemed to be carried to heaven in a blaze of fire. Ptolemy, moved by this miraculous omen, disclosed this nocturnal vision to the Egyptian priests, whose business it is to interpret such things. When they proved to know little of Pontus and foreign countries, he questioned Timotheus, an Athenian of the clan of the Eumolpidae, whom he had called from Eleusis to preside over the sacred rites, and asked him what this religion was and what the divinity meant. Timotheus learned by questioning men who had travelled to Pontus that there was a city there called Sinope, and that not far from it there was a temple of Jupiter Dis, long famous among the natives: for there sits beside the god a female figure which most call Proserpina. But Ptolemy, although prone to superstitious fears after the nature of kings, when he once more felt secure, being more eager for pleasures than religious rites, began gradually to neglect the matter and to turn his attention to other things, until the same vision, now more terrible and insistent, threatened ruin upon the king himself and his kingdom unless his orders were carried out. Then Ptolemy directed that ambassadors and gifts should be despatched to King Scydrothemis — he ruled over the people of Sinope at that time — and when the embassy was about to sail he instructed them to visit Pythian Apollo. The ambassadors found the sea favourable; and the answer of the oracle was not uncertain: Apollo bade them go on and bring back the image of his father, but leave that of his sister. 4.84.  When the ambassadors reached Sinope, they delivered the gifts, requests, and messages of their king to Scydrothemis. He was all uncertainty, now fearing the god and again being terrified by the threats and opposition of his people; often he was tempted by the gifts and promises of the ambassadors. In the meantime three years passed during which Ptolemy did not lessen his zeal or his appeals; he increased the dignity of his ambassadors, the number of his ships, and the quantity of gold offered. Then a terrifying vision appeared to Scydrothemis, warning him not to hinder longer the purposes of the god: as he still hesitated, various disasters, diseases, and the evident anger of the gods, growing heavier from day to day, beset the king. He called an assembly of his people and made known to them the god's orders, the visions that had appeared to him and to Ptolemy, and the misfortunes that were multiplying upon them: the people opposed their king; they were jealous of Egypt, afraid for themselves, and so gathered about the temple of the god. At this point the tale becomes stranger, for tradition says that the god himself, voluntarily embarking on the fleet that was lying on the shore, miraculously crossed the wide stretch of sea and reached Alexandria in two days. A temple, befitting the size of the city, was erected in the quarter called Rhacotis; there had previously been on that spot an ancient shrine dedicated to Serapis and Isis. Such is the most popular account of the origin and arrival of the god. Yet I am not unaware that there are some who maintain that the god was brought from Seleucia in Syria in the reign of Ptolemy III; still others claim that the same Ptolemy introduced the god, but that the place from which he came was Memphis, once a famous city and the bulwark of ancient Egypt. Many regard the god himself as identical with Aesculapius, because he cures the sick; some as Osiris, the oldest god among these peoples; still more identify him with Jupiter as the supreme lord of all things; the majority, however, arguing from the attributes of the god that are seen on his statue or from their own conjectures, hold him to be Father Dis. 5.2.  However, as I am about to describe the last days of a famous city, it seems proper for me to give some account of its origin. It is said that the Jews were originally exiles from the island of Crete who settled in the farthest parts of Libya at the time when Saturn had been deposed and expelled by Jove. An argument in favour of this is derived from the name: there is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida, and hence the inhabitants were called the Idaei, which was later lengthened into the barbarous form Iudaei. Some hold that in the reign of Isis the superfluous population of Egypt, under the leadership of Hierosolymus and Iuda, discharged itself on the neighbouring lands; many others think that they were an Egyptian stock, which in the reign of Cepheus was forced to migrate by fear and hatred. Still others report that they were Assyrian refugees, a landless people, who first got control of a part of Egypt, then later they had their own cities and lived in the Hebrew territory and the nearer parts of Syria. Still others say that the Jews are of illustrious origin, being the Solymi, a people celebrated in Homer's poems, who founded a city and gave it the name Hierosolyma, formed from their own. 5.3.  Most authors agree that once during a plague in Egypt which caused bodily disfigurement, King Bocchoris approached the oracle of Ammon and asked for a remedy, whereupon he was told to purge his kingdom and to transport this race into other lands, since it was hateful to the gods. So the Hebrews were searched out and gathered together; then, being abandoned in the desert, while all others lay idle and weeping, one only of the exiles, Moses by name, warned them not to hope for help from gods or men, for they were deserted by both, but to trust to themselves, regarding as a guide sent from heaven the one whose assistance should first give them escape from their present distress. They agreed, and then set out on their journey in utter ignorance, but trusting to chance. Nothing caused them so much distress as scarcity of water, and in fact they had already fallen exhausted over the plain nigh unto death, when a herd of wild asses moved from their pasturage to a rock that was shaded by a grove of trees. Moses followed them, and, conjecturing the truth from the grassy ground, discovered abundant streams of water. This relieved them, and they then marched six days continuously, and on the seventh seized a country, expelling the former inhabitants; there they founded a city and dedicated a temple. 5.4.  To establish his influence over this people for all time, Moses introduced new religious practices, quite opposed to those of all other religions. The Jews regard as profane all that we hold sacred; on the other hand, they permit all that we abhor. They dedicated, in a shrine, a statue of that creature whose guidance enabled them to put an end to their wandering and thirst, sacrificing a ram, apparently in derision of Ammon. They likewise offer the ox, because the Egyptians worship Apis. They abstain from pork, in recollection of a plague, for the scab to which this animal is subject once afflicted them. By frequent fasts even now they bear witness to the long hunger with which they were once distressed, and the unleavened Jewish bread is still employed in memory of the haste with which they seized the grain. They say that they first chose to rest on the seventh day because that day ended their toils; but after a time they were led by the charms of indolence to give over the seventh year as well to inactivity. Others say that this is done in honour of Saturn, whether it be that the primitive elements of their religion were given by the Idaeans, who, according to tradition, were expelled with Saturn and became the founders of the Jewish race, or is due to the fact that, of the seven planets that rule the fortunes of mankind, Saturn moves in the highest orbit and has the greatest potency; and that many of the heavenly bodies traverse their paths and courses in multiples of seven. 5.5.  Whatever their origin, these rites are maintained by their antiquity: the other customs of the Jews are base and abominable, and owe their persistence to their depravity. For the worst rascals among other peoples, renouncing their ancestral religions, always kept sending tribute and contributions to Jerusalem, thereby increasing the wealth of the Jews; again, the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity. They sit apart at meals, and they sleep apart, and although as a race, they are prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; yet among themselves nothing is unlawful. They adopted circumcision to distinguish themselves from other peoples by this difference. Those who are converted to their ways follow the same practice, and the earliest lesson they receive is to despise the gods, to disown their country, and to regard their parents, children, and brothers as of little account. However, they take thought to increase their numbers; for they regard it as a crime to kill any late-born child, and they believe that the souls of those who are killed in battle or by the executioner are immortal: hence comes their passion for begetting children, and their scorn of death. They bury the body rather than burn it, thus following the Egyptians' custom; they likewise bestow the same care on the dead, and hold the same belief about the world below; but their ideas of heavenly things are quite the opposite. The Egyptians worship many animals and monstrous images; the Jews conceive of one god only, and that with the mind alone: they regard as impious those who make from perishable materials representations of gods in man's image; that supreme and eternal being is to them incapable of representation and without end. Therefore they set up no statues in their cities, still less in their temples; this flattery is not paid their kings, nor this honour given to the Caesars. But since their priests used to chant to the accompaniment of pipes and cymbals and to wear garlands of ivy, and because a golden vine was found in their temple, some have thought that they were devotees of Father Liber, the conqueror of the East, in spite of the incongruity of their customs. For Liber established festive rites of a joyous nature, while the ways of the Jews are preposterous and mean. 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. 5.8.  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. 5.11.  Therefore, as I have said above, Titus pitched his camp before the walls of Jerusalem and displayed his legions in battle array: the Jews formed their line close beneath their walls, being thus ready to advance if successful, and having a refuge at hand in case they were driven back. Some horse and light-armed foot were sent against them, but fought indecisively; later the enemy retired, and during the following days they engaged in many skirmishes before their gates until at last their continual defeats drove them within their walls. The Romans now turned to preparations for an assault; for the soldiers thought it beneath their dignity to wait for the enemy to be starved out, and so they began to clamour for danger, part being prompted by bravery, but many were moved by their savage natures and their desire for booty. Titus himself had before his eyes a vision of Rome, its wealth and its pleasures, and he felt that if Jerusalem did not fall at once, his enjoyment of them was delayed. But the city stands on an eminence, and the Jews had defended it with works and fortifications sufficient to protect even level ground; for the two hills that rise to a great height had been included within walls that had been skillfully built, projecting out or bending in so as to put the flanks of an assailing body under fire. The rocks terminated in sheer cliffs, and towers rose to a height of sixty feet where the hill assisted the fortifications, and in the valleys they reached one hundred and twenty; they presented a wonderful sight, and appeared of equal height when viewed from a distance. An inner line of walls had been built around the palace, and on a conspicuous height stands Antony's Tower, so named by Herod in honour of Mark Antony. 5.12.  The temple was built like a citadel, with walls of its own, which were constructed with more care and effort than any of the rest; the very colonnades about the temple made a splendid defence. Within the enclosure is an ever-flowing spring; in the hills are subterraneous excavations, with pools and cisterns for holding rain-water. The founders of the city had foreseen that there would be many wars because the ways of their people differed so from those of the neighbours: therefore they had built at every point as if they expected a long siege; and after the city had been stormed by Pompey, their fears and experience taught them much. Moreover, profiting by the greed displayed during the reign of Claudius, they had bought the privilege of fortifying the city, and in time of peace had built walls as if for war. The population at this time had been increased by streams of rabble that flowed in from the other captured cities, for the most desperate rebels had taken refuge here, and consequently sedition was the more rife. There were three generals, three armies: the outermost and largest circuit of the walls was held by Simon, the middle of the city by John, and the temple was guarded by Eleazar. John and Simon were strong in numbers and equipment, Eleazar had the advantage of position: between these three there was constant fighting, treachery, and arson, and a great store of grain was consumed. Then John got possession of the temple by sending a party, under pretence of offering sacrifice, to slay Eleazar and his troops. So the citizens were divided into two factions until, at the approach of the Romans, foreign war produced concord. 5.13.  Prodigies had indeed occurred, but to avert them either by victims or by vows is held unlawful by a people which, though prone to superstition, is opposed to all propitiatory rites. Contending hosts were seen meeting in the skies, arms flashed, and suddenly the temple was illumined with fire from the clouds. of a sudden the doors of the shrine opened and a superhuman voice cried: "The gods are departing": at the same moment the mighty stir of their going was heard. Few interpreted these omens as fearful; the majority firmly believed that their ancient priestly writings contained the prophecy that this was the very time when the East should grow strong and that men starting from Judea should possess the world. This mysterious prophecy had in reality pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, as is the way of human ambition, interpreted these great destinies in their own favour, and could not be turned to the truth even by adversity. We have heard that the total number of the besieged of every age and both sexes was six hundred thousand; there were arms for all who could use them, and the number ready to fight was larger than could have been anticipated from the total population. Both men and women showed the same determination; and if they were to be forced to change their home, they feared life more than death. Such was the city and people against which Titus Caesar now proceeded; since the nature of the ground did not allow him to assault or employ any sudden operations, he decided to use earthworks and mantlets; the legions were assigned to their several tasks, and there was a respite of fighting until they made ready every device for storming a town that the ancients had ever employed or modern ingenuity invented.
21. Philostratus The Athenian, Life of Apollonius, 5.33 (2nd cent. CE

5.33. While Apollonius spoke, Euphrates concealed the jealousy he already felt of one whose utterances clearly interested the emperor hardly less than those of an oracular shrine interest those who repair to it for guidance. But now at last his feelings overcame him, and, raising his voice above its usual pitch, he cried: We must not flatter men's impulses, nor allow ourselves to be carried away against our better judgment by men of unbridled ambition; but we should rather, if we are enamored of wisdom, recall them to the sober facts of life. Here is a policy about the very expediency of which we should first calmly deliberate, and yet you would have us prescribe a way of executing it, before you know if the measures under discussion are desirable. For myself, I quite approve of the deposition of Vitellius, whom I know to be a ruffian drunk with every sort of profligacy; nevertheless, although I know you to be a worthy man and of pre-eminent nobility of character, I deny that you ought to undertake the correction of Vitellius without first establishing an ideal for yourself. I need not instruct you in the excesses chargeable to monarchy as such, for you have yourself described them; but this I would have you recognize, that whereas youth leaping into the tyrant's saddle does but obey its own instincts — for playing the tyrant comes natural to young men as wine or women, and we cannot reproach a young man merely for making himself a tyrant, unless in pursuit of his role he shows himself a murderer, a ruffian, or a debauchee — on the other hand when an old man makes himself a tyrant, the first thing we blame in him is that he ever nursed such an ambition. It is no use his showing himself an example of humanity and moderation, for of these qualities we shall give the credit not to himself, but to his age and mature training. And men will believe that he nursed the ambition long before, when he was still a stripling, only that he failed to realize it; and such failures are partly attributed to ill luck, partly to pusillanimity. I mean that he will be thought to have renounced his dream of becoming a tyrant, because he distrusted his own star, or that he stood aside and made way for another who entertained the same ambition and whose superior manliness was dreaded. As for the count of ill luck, I may dismiss it; but as for that of cowardice, how can you avoid it? How escape the reproach of having been afraid of Nero, the most cowardly and supine of rulers? Look at the revolt against him planned by Vindex, you surely were the man of the hour, its natural leader, not he! For you had an army at your back, and the forces you were leading against the Jews, would they not have been more suitably employed in chastising Nero? For the Jews have long been in revolt not only against the Romans, but against humanity; and a race that has made its own a life apart and irreconcilable, that cannot share with the rest of mankind in the pleasures of the table nor join in their libations or prayers or sacrifices, are separated from ourselves by a greater gulf than divides us from Susa or Bactra or the more distant Indies. What sense then or reason was there in chastising them for revolting from us, whom we had better have never annexed? As for Nero, who would not have prayed with his own hand to slay a man well-nigh drunk with human blood, singing as he sat amidst the hecatombs of his victims? I confess that I ever pricked up my ears when any messenger from yonder brought tidings of yourself, and told us how in one hand battle you had slain thirty thousand Jews and in the next fifty thousand. In such cases I would take the courier aside and ask him: “But what of the great man? Will he not rise to higher things than this?' Since then you have discovered in Vitellius an image and ape of Nero, and are turning your arms against him, persist in the policy you have embraced, for it too is a noble one, only let its sequel be noble too. You know how dear to the Romans are the popular institutions, and how nearly all their conquests were won under a free polity. Put then an end to monarchy, of which you have repeated to us so evil a record; and bestow upon Romans a popular government, and on yourself the glory of inaugurating for them a reign of liberty. [ 1]
22. Origen, Against Celsus, 4.21 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4.21. But I do not understand how he can imagine the overturning of the tower (of Babel) to have happened with a similar object to that of the deluge, which effected a purification of the earth, according to the accounts both of Jews and Christians. For, in order that the narrative contained in Genesis respecting the tower may be held to convey no secret meaning, but, as Celsus supposes, may be taken as true to the letter, the event does not on such a view appear to have taken place for the purpose of purifying the earth; unless, indeed, he imagines that the so-called confusion of tongues is such a purificatory process. But on this point, he who has the opportunity will treat more seasonably when his object is to show not only what is the meaning of the narrative in its historical connection, but what metaphorical meaning may be deduced from it. Seeing that he imagines, however, that Moses, who wrote the account of the tower, and the confusion of tongues, has perverted the story of the sons of Aloeus, and referred it to the tower, we must remark that I do not think any one prior to the time of Homer has mentioned the sons of Aloeus, while I am persuaded that what is related about the tower has been recorded by Moses as being much older not only than Homer, but even than the invention of letters among the Greeks. Who, then, are the perverters of each other's narratives? Whether do they who relate the story of the Aload pervert the history of the time, or he who wrote the account of the tower and the confusion of tongues the story of the Aload ? Now to impartial hearers Moses appears to be more ancient than Homer. The destruction by fire, moreover, of Sodom and Gomorrha on account of their sins, related by Moses in Genesis, is compared by Celsus to the story of Ph thon - all these statements of his resulting from one blunder, viz., his not attending to the (greater) antiquity of Moses. For they who relate the story of Ph thon seem to be younger even than Homer, who, again, is much younger than Moses. We do not deny, then, that the purificatory fire and the destruction of the world took place in order that evil might be swept away, and all things be renewed; for we assert that we have learned these things from the sacred books of the prophets. But since, as we have said in the preceding pages, the prophets, in uttering many predictions regarding future events, show that they have spoken the truth concerning many things that are past, and thus give evidence of the indwelling of the Divine Spirit, it is manifest that, with respect to things still future, we should repose faith in them, or rather in the Divine Spirit that is in them.
23. Augustine, The City of God, 4.31, 6.11 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

4.31. What says Varro himself, whom we grieve to have found, although not by his own judgment, placing the scenic plays among things divine? When in many passages he is exhorting, like a religious man, to the worship of the gods, does he not in doing so admit that he does not in his own judgment believe those things which he relates that the Roman state has instituted; so that he does not hesitate to affirm that if he were founding a new state, he could enumerate the gods and their names better by the rule of nature? But being born into a nation already ancient, he says that he finds himself bound to accept the traditional names and surnames of the gods, and the histories connected with them, and that his purpose in investigating and publishing these details is to incline the people to worship the gods, and not to despise them. By which words this most acute man sufficiently indicates that he does not publish all things, because they would not only have been contemptible to himself, but would have seemed despicable even to the rabble, unless they had been passed over in silence. I should be thought to conjecture these things, unless he himself, in another passage, had openly said, in speaking of religious rites, that many things are true which it is not only not useful for the common people to know, but that it is expedient that the people should think otherwise, even though falsely, and therefore the Greeks have shut up the religious ceremonies and mysteries in silence, and within walls. In this he no doubt expresses the policy of the so-called wise men by whom states and peoples are ruled. Yet by this crafty device the malign demons are wonderfully delighted, who possess alike the deceivers and the deceived, and from whose tyranny nothing sets free save the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. The same most acute and learned author also says, that those alone seem to him to have perceived what God is, who have believed Him to be the soul of the world, governing it by design and reason. And by this, it appears, that although he did not attain to the truth - for the true God is not a soul, but the maker and author of the soul - yet if he could have been free to go against the prejudices of custom, he could have confessed and counselled others that the one God ought to be worshipped, who governs the world by design and reason; so that on this subject only this point would remain to be debated with him, that he had called Him a soul, and not rather the creator of the soul. He says, also, that the ancient Romans, for more than a hundred and seventy years, worshipped the gods without an image. And if this custom, he says, could have remained till now, the gods would have been more purely worshipped. In favor of this opinion, he cites as a witness among others the Jewish nation; nor does he hesitate to conclude that passage by saying of those who first consecrated images for the people, that they have both taken away religious fear from their fellow citizens, and increased error, wisely thinking that the gods easily fall into contempt when exhibited under the stolidity of images. But as he does not say they have transmitted error, but that they have increased it, he therefore wishes it to be understood that there was error already when there were no images. Wherefore, when he says they alone have perceived what God is who have believed Him to be the governing soul of the world, and thinks that the rites of religion would have been more purely observed without images, who fails to see how near he has come to the truth? For if he had been able to do anything against so inveterate an error, he would certainly have given it as his opinion both that the one God should be worshipped, and that He should be worshipped without an image; and having so nearly discovered the truth, perhaps he might easily have been put in mind of the mutability of the soul, and might thus have perceived that the true God is that immutable nature which made the soul itself. Since these things are so, whatever ridicule such men have poured in their writings against the plurality of the gods, they have done so rather as compelled by the secret will of God to confess them, than as trying to persuade others. If, therefore, any testimonies are adduced by us from these writings, they are adduced for the confutation of those who are unwilling to consider from how great and maligt a power of the demons the singular sacrifice of the shedding of the most holy blood, and the gift of the imparted Spirit, can set us free. 6.11. Seneca, among the other superstitions of civil theology, also found fault with the sacred things of the Jews, and especially the sabbaths, affirming that they act uselessly in keeping those seventh days, whereby they lose through idleness about the seventh part of their life, and also many things which demand immediate attention are damaged. The Christians, however, who were already most hostile to the Jews, he did not dare to mention, either for praise or blame, lest, if he praised them, he should do so against the ancient custom of his country, or, perhaps, if he should blame them, he should do so against his own will. When he was speaking concerning those Jews, he said, When, meanwhile, the customs of that most accursed nation have gained such strength that they have been now received in all lands, the conquered have given laws to the conquerors. By these words he expresses his astonishment; and, not knowing what the providence of God was leading him to say, subjoins in plain words an opinion by which he showed what he thought about the meaning of those sacred institutions: For, he says, those, however, know the cause of their rites, while the greater part of the people know not why they perform theirs. But concerning the solemnities of the Jews, either why or how far they were instituted by divine authority, and afterwards, in due time, by the same authority taken away from the people of God, to whom the mystery of eternal life was revealed, we have both spoken elsewhere, especially when we were treating against the Manich ans, and also intend to speak in this work in a more suitable place.
24. Anon., Soferim, 1.7



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aelia capitolina Cohn, The Memory of the Temple and the Making of the Rabbis (2013) 115, 188
alexander jannaeus Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
alexander of aphrodisias Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
anger, divine Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 16
anthropogeography Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86, 88, 90
apollonius of tyana Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 157
archelaos Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102
archelaus (king of cappadocia), and dream interpretation Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
aristobulus ii Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
asphalt, and sorcery Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
asphalt, in dead sea Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 237
atlantis Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
augustus Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102
autochthony Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86
balsam (opobalsam), in en gedi Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
balsam (opobalsam), in josephus Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
balsam (opobalsam), medical use of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 237
balsam (opobalsam) Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 237
bar kokhba revolt Cohn, The Memory of the Temple and the Making of the Rabbis (2013) 115
bezalel bar-kochva Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88
bitumen (dead sea) Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 237
chaldea, chaldeans Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86
christians Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 261
chronicler, as precedent for an alternative version of sacred text Feldman, Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (2006) 345
claudius, roman emperor, expulsion of jews from rome by Feldman, Judaism and Hellenism Reconsidered (2006) 345
conversion/proselytes, roman hostility to Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
cremona Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 109
customs/traditions/practices as identity markers, among jews Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
dead sea Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88, 109
dead sea and area, dead water term, usage of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
dead sea and area, in strabo Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
dead sea and area, sodom, association with Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
dead sea and area Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216, 230, 237
dead sea and the essenes Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146, 237
dead sea scrolls, name of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
diatribe, on the sodomite cities Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
dio chrysostom, and sodom and gomorra Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147, 237
dio chrysostom, dio chrysostoms essenes Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146, 147
dio chrysostom Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146, 147, 237
dio chrysostoms essenes, dead sea description of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 237
diocletian Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
edelstein, l. Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
egypt Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
egyptians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
en gedi, in josephus Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
en gedi, opobalsam in Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
ethnography Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86, 88, 90
etymologies, of sodom Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
expiation Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
facitus Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 157
flavian house, titus Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102
flavians Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86
foreigners, and religion Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
genesis, and the dead sea, and the destruction of sodom Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
genesis Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
genos/gene/gens/genus, jews as Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
genre, as strategy Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
gentiles, as contrast with jews Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
gentiles, inclusion of Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
gods, and vengeance Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
gods, intervention Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
gomorrah Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88, 261
hadrian Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
hasmonean dynasty Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 237
hecataeus of abdera Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86
herod antipas Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102
herod the great Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102
histories, prodigies and omens in Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 16
histories (tacitus) Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 157
homosexual behavior, as the sin of sodom Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
homosexual behavior, punishment of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
hyrcanus ii Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
infertility Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
jerusalem Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86, 88, 90, 261; Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86; Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102; Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
jesus Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 261
jews, origins Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 157
jones, c. p. Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
joppa Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
josephus, josephus dead sea area Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
josephus Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102
josephus dead sea area, healing resources/medicinal plants Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
judaea, region of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146, 147
judea Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86, 88, 90
julio-claudian dynasty Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 16
karl trüdinger Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 90
kidd, i. g. Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
life of apollonius of tyana (philostratus) Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 157
masada, siege of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
medicinal plants, calotropis procera (sodoms apple) Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147, 230
middle ages Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 261
mockery/irony/parody, of jews Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
nabataea/nabataeans Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
nature, and prodigies Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
nero, offends gods Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
omens, in tacitus Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
palaestina, use of term Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146, 147
phaethon Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
philip the tetrarch Jensen, Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee (2010) 102
philos essenes Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
philostratus Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 157
phoenicia, phoenicians Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86
plinys essenes Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147, 237
pompeii Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
pompey Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
posidonius, in strabo Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
posidonius Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86; Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
prodigies, as wrath of gods Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
prodigies, assessment Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
prodigies, in tacitus Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
prodigies Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 16
punishment, fitting the crime Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
relics Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 109
rome, romans Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86, 88
rome/romans, attitudes toward non-romans Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
scythia, scythians Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 86
segor Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
segor (tsoʿar) Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
simon (essene), archelaus dream and Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146
sin, homosexual behavior as Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom, barrenness as evidence for Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom, etymology of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom, homosexual behavior and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom, literal and ethical interpretations of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom, lot omitted from account of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom, prosperity of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom, sodomite cities, destruction of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285
sodom Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 88, 109
sodom and gomorra, destruction of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230
sodom and gomorra, in dio chrysostom Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147, 230
sodom and gomorra, in josephus Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230, 237
sodom and gomorra, in strabo Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147, 230
sodom and gomorra, location of sodom Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 230, 237
sodom and gomorra, sodoms apple Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147, 230
sodom and gomorra Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147
solinus essenes, dio, use of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 237
stern, m. Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
strabo, and sodom Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 147, 230
strabo, dead sea description of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
strabo, eratosthenes, use of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
strabo, posidonius, use of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
strabo Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 216
synesius of crete, language of Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146, 147
synesius of crete, presentation of dios essenes Taylor, The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea (2012) 146, 147
syria, interest in religious material Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 16
syria/syrians Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
tacitus Neusner Green and Avery-Peck, Judaism from Moses to Muhammad: An Interpretation: Turning Points and Focal Points (2022) 157
topoi, ethnographic Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 90
tourism Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 109
uelut, and interpretation Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 156
ultio' Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 16
values/character as identity marker, for roman writers Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
xenophobia/misanthropy Gruen, Ethnicity in the Ancient World - Did it matter (2020) 86
ἔλεγχος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 285