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MAR 1 2 1891 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2011 with funding from 
Brigham Young University 

04 h 




Max Radin 


The Jewish Publication Society of America 


Copyright, 1916, by 
The Jewish Publication Society of America 

t t « 




D. D. D. 


It is a counsel of perfection that any historical study 
should be approached with complete detachment. To 
such detachment I can make all the less claim as I freely 
admit an abiding reverence for the history of my own 
people, and, for the life of ancient Greece and Rome, a 
passionate affection that is frankly unreasoning. At 
no place in the course of the following pages have I 
been consciously apologetic. It is true that where sev- 
eral explanations of an incident are possible, I have not 
always selected the one most discreditable to the Jews. 
Doubtless that will not be forgiven me by those who 
have accepted the anti-Semitic pamphlets of Willrich 
as serious contributions to historical research. 

The literature on the subject is enormous. Very few 
references to what are known as " secondary " sources 
will, however, be found in this book. A short bibli- 
ography is appended, in which various books of refer- 
ence are cited. From these all who are interested in 
the innumerable controversies that the subject has 
elicited may obtain full information. 

There remains the grateful task of acknowledging 
my personal indebtedness to my friend. Dr. Ernst 
Riess, for many valuable suggestions. Above all I 
desire to express my indebtedness to President Solo- 
mon Schechter, of the Jewish Theological Seminary of 


America, at whose instance the preparation of this 
book was undertaken. Those who share with me the 
privilege of his friendship will note in more than one 
turn of expression and thought the impress of that rich 

Max Radin 

New York City, 
October, 1915 



Introduction 13 

I. Greek Religious Concepts 21 

II. Roman Religious Concepts 40 

III. Greek and Roman Concepts of Race 48 

IV. Sketch of Jewish History between Nebuchadnez- 

zar and Constantine 56 

V. Internal Development of the Jews during the 

Persian Period 66 

VI. The First Contact between Greek and Jew 76 

VII. Egypt 90 

VIII. Jews in Ptolemaic Egypt 104 

IX. The Struggle against Greek Culture in Palestine 118 

X. Antiochus the Manifest God 135 

XI. The Jewish Propaganda 148 

XII. The Opposition 163 

XIII. The Opposition in Its Social Aspect 176 

XIV. The Philosophic Opposition 191 

XV. The Romans 210 

XVI. Jews in Rome during the Early Empire 236 

XVII. The Jews of the Empire till the Revolt 257 

XVIII. The Revolt of 68 c. e 287 

XIX. The Development of the Roman Jewish Com- 
munity 304 

XX. The Final Revolts of the Jews s^S 

XXI. The Legal Position of the Jews in the Later 

Empire 350 

Summary 368 

Notes ;^y^ 

Bibliography 415 

Index 417 


Arch of Titus, Rome Frontispiece 

Ruins of the Amphitheater at Gerasa 

(Jerash), Gilead, Palestine facing page 62 

Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes, after a Coin 

(from a Drawing by Ralph Iligan) " " 136 

Greek Inscription, Found on Site of Temple 
Area, Forbidding Gentiles to Pass 
beyond the Inner Temple Walls at 
Jerusalem " " 186 

Ruins of an Ancient Synagogue at Merom, 

Galilee, Palestine (Roman Period) ** " 216 

Tombs of the Kings, Valley of Kedron, 

Jerusalem (from Wilson's "Jerusalem ") " " 268 

Symbols and Inscriptions from Jewish Cata- 
combs and Cemeteries in Rome (from 
Garrucci) between pages 310 and 311 


The civilization of Europe and America is composed 
of elements of many different kinds and of various 
origin. Most of the beginnings cannot be recovered 
within the limits of recorded history. We do not know 
where and when a great many of our fundamental insti- 
tutions arose, and about them we are reduced to con- 
jectures that are sometimes frankly improbable. But 
about a great many elements of our civilization, and 
precisely those upon which we base our claim to be 
called civilized — indeed, which give us the word and 
the concept of civic life — we know relatively a great 
deal, and we know that they originated on the east- 
ern shores of the large landlocked sea known as the 

We are beginning to be aware that the process of 
developing these elements was much longer than we 
had been accustomed to believe. Many races and sev- 
eral millennia seem to have elaborated slowly the insti- 
tutions that older historians were prepared to regard as 
the conscious contrivance of a single epoch. But even 
if increasing archeological research shall render us 
more familiar than we are with Pelasgians, Myceneans, 
Minoans, Aegeans, it is not likely that the claims of two 
historic peoples to have founded European civilization 
will be seriously impugned. These are the Romans and 


the Greeks. To these must be added another people, 
the Jews, whose contribution to civihzation was no less 
real and lasting. 

The Greeks and Romans have left descendants only 
in a qualified sense. There are no doubt thousands of 
individuals now living who are the actual descendants 
of the kinsmen and contemporaries of the great names 
in Greek and Roman history; but these individuals are 
widely scattered, and are united by national and racial 
bonds with thousands of individuals not so descended, 
from whom they have become wholly indistinguishable. 
We have documentary evidence of great masses of 
other races, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Semitic, entering 
into the territory occupied by Greeks and Romans and 
mingling with them, and to this evidence is added the 
confirmation of anthropological researches. This fact 
has made it possible to consider Greek and Roman his- 
tory objectively. Only rarely can investigators be 
found who feel more than a very diluted pride in the 
achievements of peoples so dubiously connected with 
themselves. It is therefore with increasing clarity of 
vision that we are ordering the large body of facts we 
already know about Greeks and Romans, and are 
gathering them in constantly broadening categories. 

That unfortunately is not the case with the Jews. 
Here, too, racial admixture was present, but it never 
took place on a large scale at any one time, and may 
always have remained exceptional. However that may 
be, common belief both among Jews and non-Jews 
holds very strongly the view that the Jews of to-day are 


the lineal descendants of the community reorganized 
by Ezra, nor is it likely that this belief would be ser- 
iously modified by much stronger evidence to the con- 
trary than has yet been adduced/ The result has been 
that the place of the Jews in history has been deter- 
mined upon the basis of institutions avowedly hostile 
to them. It may be said that historians have introduced 
the Jews as a point of departure for Christianity, and 
have not otherwise concerned themselves with them. 

There was a time when Greek and Roman and Jew 
were in contact. What was the nature of that contact? 
What were its results ? What were the mutual impres- 
sions made by all three of them on one another? The 
usual answer has been largely a transference of modern 
attitudes to ancient times. Is another answer possible ? 
Do the materials at our disposal permit us to arrive at 
a firmer and better conclusion ? 

It is necessary first to know the conditions of our 
inquiry. The period that we must partially analyze 
extends from the end of the Babylonian Captivity to 
the establishment of Christianity — roughly from about 
450 B. c. E. to 350 c. E., some seven or eight hundred 

The time limits are of course arbitrary. The contact 
with Greeks may have begun before the earlier of the 
two limits, and the relations of the Jews with both 
Greeks and Romans certainly did not cease with either 
Constantine or Theodosius. However, it was during 
the years that followed the return from the Exile that 
much of the equipment was prepared with which the 


Jew actually met the Greek, and, on the other hand, the 
relations of Christian Rome to the Jews were deter- 
mined by quite different considerations from those that 
governed Pagan Rome. It is at this point accordingly 
that a study of the Jews among the Greeks and Romans 
may properly end. 

The Sources 

Even for laymen it has become a matter of great 
interest to know upon what material the statements are 
based which scientists and scholars present to them. It 
is part perhaps of the general skepticism that has dis- 
placed the abundant faith of past generations in the 
printed word. For that reason what the sources are 
from which we must obtain the statements that we shall 
make here, will be briefly indicated below. 

First we have a number of Greek and Latin writers 
who incidentally or specially referred to the Jews. 
However, as is the case with many other matters of 
prime importance, the writings of most of these authors 
have not come down to us completely, but in fragments. 
That is to say, we have only the brief citations made 
of them by much later writers, or contained in very late 
compilations, such as lexicons, commonplace books, or 
manuals for instruction. Modern scholars have found 
it imperatively necessary to collect these fragments, so 
that they may be compared and studied more readily. 
In this way the fragments of lost books on history, 
grammar, music, of lost poems and plays, have been col- 
lected at various times. Similarly the fragments con- 
cerning the Jews have been collected, and gathered into 


a single book by M. Theodore Reinach, under the title 
of Textes d' auteurs grecs et latins relatifs au judaisme. 
Here the Greek and Latin texts and the French trans- 
lation of them are arranged in parallel columns, and 
furnished with explanatory footnotes. M. Reinach's 
great distinction as a classical scholar enables him to 
speak with authority upon many of the controverted 
questions that these texts contain. Often his judg- 
ment as to what certain passages mean may be unques- 
tioningly accepted, and at all times one disagrees with 
him with diffidence. 

Secondly, we have the Jewish literature of the 
period ; but that literature was produced under such 
various conditions and with such diverse purposes that 
a further classification is necessary. 

Most important for our purposes is that part of 
Jewish literature which was a direct outcome of the 
contact we are setting forth — the apologetic writings of 
the Jews, or those books written in Greek, only rarely 
in Latin, in which Jewish customs and history are 
explained or defended for non-Jewish readers. Most 
of these books likewise have been lost, and have left 
only inconsiderable fragments, but in the case of two 
writers we have very extensive remains. One of these 
men is the Alexandrian Jew Philo, a contemporary of 
the first Roman emperors. The other was the Pales- 
tinian Jew Joseph, who played an important, if ignoble, 
part in the rebellion of 68 c. e. 

An estimate of the character of Philo and Josephus 
— to give the latter the name by which alone he is 


remembered — or of the value of their works, is out of 
place here. Philo's extant writings are chiefly con- 
cerned with philosophic exposition, and are only in- 
directly of documentary value. However, he also wrote 
a '' Defense " of his people, of which large portions 
have survived, notably the In Flaccum, a bitter invective 
against the prefect of Egypt under Tiberius, and the 
Legatio ad Gaium, a plea in behalf of the Alexandrian 
Jews made to the emperor Caligula by an embassy of 
which Philo was himself a member.' 

An apologetic purpose, for himself more than for his 
fellow-citizens, is discernible in practically all the extant 
writings of Josephus. One of them, however, the mis- 
named Contra Apionem, is avowedly a defense of the 
Jews against certain misrepresentations contained in 
Greek books. The importance of Josephus' works it is 
impossible to overrate. For many matters he is our 
sole authority. But the character exhibited in his own 
account of his conduct has impaired the credibility of 
much of what he says, and has provoked numerous con- 
troversies. It is impossible to disregard him, and un- 
safe to rely upon him. However, it is not unlikely that 
fuller knowledge, which the sands of Egypt and Pales- 
tine may at any time offer, will compel us to change our 
attitude toward him completely.^ 

Besides the apologetic Jewish writings, directed to 
gentile readers, there was a flourishing literature in 
Greek (and perhaps in Latin too) intended for Greek- 
speaking Jews. It may be said that no branch of 
literary art was quite neglected. The great majority of 


these books are lost. Some, however, of a homiletic or 
parenetic tendency, attained partial sanctity in some of 
the Jewish congregations, and were, under such pro- 
tection, transferred to the Christian communities that 
succeeded them. They may now be found in collections 
of Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, such as the Ger- 
man collection of Kautzsch and that recently completed 
in English by Charles. Examples are the Wisdom of 
Solomon, the Jewish Sibyl, the Letter of Aristeas, etc. 

All these books were intended for Jewish readers, 
but for Jews whose sole mother tongue was Greek. In 
Palestine and Syria the Jews spoke Aramaic, and the 
educated among them used Hebrew for both literary 
and colloquial' purposes. There w^as consequently an 
active literature in these languages. Some books so 
written were early translated into Greek, and from 
Greek into Latin and Ethiopic, and have survived as 
part of the Apocrypha. Judith, First Maccabees, Tobit, 
are instances. It was a rare and fortunate accident that 
gave us the Plebrew original of such a book, of Ben 
Sira, or Ecclesiasticus. 

Again, the highly organized religious and legal insti- 
tutions of the Jews found literary expression in the 
decisions and comments upon them that all such insti- 
tutions involve. The exposition of the consecrated 
ancient literature was also begun in this period. It was 
not, however, till relatively late, 200 c. e. and after, 
that actual books were put together, so that it is dan- 
gerous to accept uncritically references to earlier dates. 


The books referred to are primarily the Mishnah and 
the other extant collections of Baraitot. Besides these, 
such works as the Megillat Taanit and the Seder Olam 
must be grouped here. The earlier portions of both 
Talmuds may be included, perhaps all of the Jerusalem 
Talmud. ^ 

One source of somewhat problematic character re- 
mains to be considered. Biblical critics have been at 
some pains to assign as much as possible of the Bible 
to the earlier centuries of the period we have delimited. 
That more than a very slight portion can be so assigned 
is scarcely probable, but some of it may, especially those 
books or passages in which Greek influence is clearly 
noticeable. However, little profit can be gained for 
our purposes from material that demands such a deal 
of caution in its use. 

Finally, besides literary evidences, which, as we have 
seen, have wretchedly failed to substantiate the poet's 
vaunt of being more lasting than brass, we have the 
brass itself ; that is, we have the stones, coins, utensils, 
potsherds, and papyri inscribed with Hebrew, Aramaic, 
Greek, Latin, Babylonian, and Egyptian words, which 
are the actual contemporaries, just as we have them, of 
the events they illustrate. It is the study of evidences 
like these that has principally differentiated modern 
historical research from the methods it displaced, and in 
the unceasing increase of these fragmentary and in- 
valuable remains our hopes of better knowledge of 
ancient life are centered." 


The Jew is presented to the modern world in the 
double aspect of a race and a religion. In a measure 
this has always been the case, but we shall not in the 
least understand what the statement of the fact means 
without a very close analysis of the concepts of race and 
religion formed by both Greeks and Romans. 

The word religion has a very definite meaning to us. 
It is the term appHed to the body of beliefs that any 
group of men maintain about supernatural entities upon 
whom they consider themselves wholly dependent. The 
salient fact of modern religions is that for most men the 
group is very large indeed, that it vastly transcends all 
national limits. Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, all 
profess the purpose of gaining the entire human race 
for their adherents, and have actively attempted to do 
so. The fact that the religions with which we are most 
familiar are " world-religions," and the abstract char- 
acter of the predicates of the Deity in them, would seem 
to make religion as such practically free from local 
limitation. However, that is not completely true even 
for our time. In the first place, the bulk of Christians, as 
of Muslims and Buddhists, are in all three cases bearers 
of a common culture, and have long believed themselves 
of common descent. They occupy further a continuous, 


even if very large, area. Religious maps of the world 
w^ould show solid blocks of color, not spots scattered 
everywhere. Secondly, even within the limits of the 
religion itself national boundaries are not wholly 
expunged. The common Christianity of Spain and 
England presents such obvious differences that insis- 
tence upon them is unnecessary ; nor does the fact that 
Southern Germany, Belgium, and Ireland are ail 
Roman Catholic imply that all these sections have the 
same religious attitude. 

These are modern illustrations, and they represent 
survivals of a state of things which in the Greek world 
was fundamental. As it seems to us axiomatic that an 
abstractly conceived God cannot be the resident of a lim- 
ited area on the surface of the earth, just so axiomatic 
it seemed, at one stage of Greek religious growth, 
that a god was locally limited, that his activities did not 
extend — or extended only in a weakened form — 
beyond a certain sharply circumscribed geographical 
area. That is probably the most fundamental and thor- 
oughgoing of the differences between Greek religious 
feeling and that of our day. Opinions may differ widely 
about the degree of anthropomorphism present at the 
contrasted periods ; and then, as now, the statements 
made about the nature and power of the Deity were 
contradictory, vague, and confusing. But one thing it 
is hard to question : the devoutly religious man of to- 
day feels himself everywhere, always, in the presence 
of his God. The Greek did not feel that his god was 
everywhere with him, certainly did not feel that he was 
everywhere approachable/ 


At another point too we are in great danger of 
importing modern notions into ancient conditions. 
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all book-religions. 
The final source of their doctrines is a revelation that 
has been written down, and is extant as an actual and 
easily accessible book. Moreover, it is the narrative 
portion of this book that is the best-known part of it, 
and that is generally associated in the popular mind 
with it. In the same way, we are prone to think of 
Greek religion. as a series of extraordinarily beautiful 
myths or narratives of gods and heroes, which have 
likewise been written down, and are extant in the poems 
and dramas of which they are the subject. This view 
has been greatly strengthened by the unfortunate cur- 
rency of the epigram that Homer was the Greek Bible. 
No one would be inclined to force, except as a paradox, 
the analogy upon which the statement rests ; yet the 
phrase is so terse and simple, and the elements of the 
comparison are so generally familiar, that consciously 
and unconsciously current conceptions are moulded 
by it. 

Now if the epigram quoted is essentially true, we 
have at once a measure of Greek religious feeling, since 
the Homeric poems are as accessible to us as to the 
Greeks themselves. We should be compelled to reckon 
with variety in the interpretation of the text, but in the 
literal signification there would always be a point of 
departure. And we should at once realize that for 
divine beings depicted as they are by Homer a devotion 
of a very different sort is demanded from that which 


modern faiths give their Deity. Nor does later Htera- 
ture represent the gods on a loftier moral plane. When 
we read Aristophanes,' it becomes still more difficult to 
understand how the gods could retain their divinity not 
only when deprived of their moral character, but even 
when stripped of their dignity. So far from raising the 
moral character of the divine beings who are the actors 
in these legends, the later versions of many quite unex- 
ceptionable myths deliberately debase them by subject- 
ing most actions to a foully erotic interpretation.* The 
less offensive narrative, to be sure, survives as well, but 
it is to be noted that the divinity of the personages in 
question seems to be as unquestioned in the corrupt as 
in the purer form of the story. 

How might an emotionally sensitive or mentally 
trained man pour forth supplication before a guzzling 
braggart like the Aristophanic Heracles or an effem- 
inate voluptuary like the Apollo of Alexandrian poetry? 
It seems hard to discover any other defense than the one 
Charles Lamb offered for the dramatists of the Restora- 
tion — that the world the gods moved in was a wholly 
different one from the human world ; a world in which 
moral categories had no existence, a Land of Cockayne 
without vices, because it was without the sanctions 
which vice disregards. No doubt some Greeks felt in 
this way toward the myths. But it was not a satis- 
factory theory. It introduced a dualism into standards 
of conduct that soon became intolerable, when men 
reflected seriously upon other sides of the divine nature, 
and drew inferences from it. 



As a matter of fact, the difficulty we find in address- 
ing words of prayer and praise to such unworthy gods 
as sat upon the Homeric Olympus is modern, and was 
probably not felt at all by the vast majority of Greeks, 
either in Homer's time or later. Not that the fraud, 
cruelty, faithlessness there exhibited seemed to the 
Greeks of any epoch commendable or imitable quaHties. 
Even the Homeric Greek was far from being in a 
barbarous or semi-barbarous state. Civic virtues as 
between men were known and practised. But the per- 
sonality of the individual gods in these stories could be 
disregarded in practice, because they were in no sense a 
part of the Greek religion. The chastest of men might 
with a clear conscience worship the lecherous Zeus, 
because worship did not at all concern itself with the 
catalogue of his amours. In Homer's time and after, 
the Greek firmly believed that the Olympians were 
actually existing beings, but he scarcely stopped to ask 
himself whether it was literally true that Zeus had 
bidden Hera be silent under threats of personal violence. 
What did concern him in his relation with his gods 
was the disposition in which the god was likely to be 
toward him or his people. And his religious activity 
was directed to the end of making that disposition as 
good as possible. 

The matter just set forth is far from being new doc- 
trine ; but for the general reader it must be constantly 
re-emphasized, because it is constantly forgotten. We 
continually find the Greek myths discussed in terms that 
would be true only of the Gospel narratives, and we see 


the Greek gods described as though they possessed the 
sharpness of personal outHne which the Deity has in the 
minds of beHeving Christians. It is no doubt the extant 
Hterature — a florilegium at best — that is at fault in the 
matter. This literature, it must be remembered, was not 
preserved altogether by accident. To a large extent it 
represents a conscious selection, made for pedagogic 
purposes. The relative coherence which Greek myths 
have for us is due to the fact that the surviving poems 
and dramas which contain them were selected, partially 
at least, by Hellenistic and Byzantine schoolmasters in 
order to fit into a set cycle or scheme. Even in what 
we have there is abundant evidence that the myths 
about the gods could pretend to no sanctity for any- 
body, devout or scoffer, for the simple reason that they 
negated themselves, that widely differing and hope- 
lessly contradictory stories were told of the same event 
or person. 

In reality the Greek myths were not coherent. It 
is hard to discover in many of them a folkloristic kernel 
that had to be kept intact. Almost everywhere we 
are dealing with the free fantasies of highly imaginative 
poets. So fully was this understood that the stories 
most familiar to us are generally alluded to in serious 
Greek literature with an apologetic w? ol iroL-qrai (/)ao-t, 
*' as the poets say," or some similar phrase. And as 
these stories were largely unrelated, so also were the 
gods of whom they were told, even though they bore 
the same name. If mythographers had taken the 
trouble to collect all the stories known of any one 


god — Hermes, for example — there would be nothing 
except the common name to indicate that they referred 
to the same chief actor, and much that, except for the 
common name, would be referred to different gods. Not 
even a single prominent trait, not a physical feature, 
would be found to run through all the myths so 

So far we have been dealing with extant literature. 
But if the more recondite notices of popular super- 
stition are taken into account, as well as the archeo- 
logical discoveries, we meet such figures as Demeter, 
Artemis, Apollo,' in various and curious forms and 
associations, so that one might be tempted to suppose 
that these highly individualized figures of poetry were, 
in the shrines in which they were worshiped, hardly 
more than divine appellatives of rather vague content. 
And on the islands of the Aegean, in Crete and Cyprus, 
where the continuity between Aegean, Mycenean, and 
Hellenic civilization " was perhaps less disturbed by 
convulsive upheavals, this seems especially to have been 
the case. 

For cult purposes, then — the primary purpose of 
Greek religion — there was less difference between gods 
than we might suppose. Not even the strongly marked 
personages that poetry made of them were able to fix 
themselves in the popular mind. Sculptors had been 
busy in differentiating types, and yet even here the pro- 
cess was not completed. While in general we know of 
Poseidon-types, Zeus-types, etc., in art, the most thor- 
oughly equipped critics find themselves embarrassed if 


they are required to name a statue that is wholly lack- 
ing in definite external symbols or attributes, such as 
the thunderbolt, trident, caduceus, and others.^ Even 
I "the unrivaled artistic abilities of Greek sculptors found 
it impossible to create unmistakable types of the Greek 
gods, for the reason that the character of the god as 
portrayed in myth and fable was fluid, and not fixed. 

As among most peoples of the time, the essential 
religious act was that which brought the god and his 
worshiper into contact — the sacrifice. What the real 
nature of sacrifice was need not concern us here. The 
undoubted fact is that sacrifice and prayer formed a 
single act ; ^ that it was during the sacrifice that the wor- 
shiper ventured to address his prayer to the godhead he 
invoked. In doing so he must of necessity use the 
god's name, and, as we have seen, the name was of 
more general and less specific connotation than is 
usually supposed. But the act of worship itself was 
specifically occasioned. Even the fixed and annually 
recurring festivals related to a specific, if recurring, 
occasion in the life of the people. This was eminently 
the case in the irregular acts of worship that arose 
out of some unforeseen contingency. Whatever the 
divine name was that was used, the specific occasion of 
its use made it necessary also to specify the function of 
the divinity of which the intervention was sought. That 
was regularly done by attaching to the name a qualify- 
ing epithet. When the rights of hospitality were 
threatened with invasion, it was ZeiJ? EeVio?, Zeus the 
Protector of Strangers, that was addressed. In grati- 



tude for a deliverance, Zeus or Apollo or Heracles or 
the Dioscuri or many another might be invoked as '' the 
Savior." * And it might well be argued that the Greek 
who did so had scarcely anything more definite in mind 
than a Roman who worshiped Salus, the abstract prin- 
ciple of safety. In very many cases the particular func- 
tion was especially potent in certain areas, so that a local 
adjective applied as a divine epithet would sum up the 
power desired to be set in motion. 

In the actual moment of prayer or propitiation, it 
was often a matter of courtesy to ignore the existence 
of other gods. This makes perhaps a sufficiently 
definite phenomenon to justify the application to it of 
the special name '' henotheism " long ago devised by 
Max Mliller ; ^ and in henotheism we have very likely the 
germ of monotheism. But when not actually engaged 
in worship, the Greek was well aware that there were 
many gods, and that there were differences among 
them, and this quite apart from the myths, to which, as 
has been said, no very great importance can be attached 
in this connection. The differences in power and prom- 
inence of deities were perhaps not original, but they had 
arisen quickly and generally. 

One difference particularly, that between gods and 
heroes, seems to have been real to the popular mind. A 
difference in the terminology that described the ritual 
act, and a difference in the act itself, point to a real dis- 
tinction between the two divine conceptions." 

Who and what the heroes actually were is an 
extremely doubtful matter. That some of them were 


originally men is a proposition with which legend has 
made us familiar." We shall recur later to the com- 
mon heroization of the dead. That some of them were 
undoubted gods has been amply established.'" It may 
well be that they were deities of a narrowly limited ter- 
ritory, knowledge of whom, for one reason or another, 
remained sharply circumscribed for a long time, so that 
when they came later within the range of myth-making 
they could not be readily fitted into any divine scheme. 
Often the name that appears in some legends as a hero 
appears in others as an epithet or cult-title of a better- 
known god. This fact may be variously interpreted. 
At least one interpretation derives this fusion of names 
from the fact that the worshipers of the later deity 
invaded the cult-home of the earlier, and ultimately 
degraded the latter to accessory rank. Or it may be 
taken as a compromise of existing claims. At any rate, 
in some of the heroes we seem to reach an element some- 
what closer to the religious consciousness of the Greek 
masses. And if the gods, or most of them, are heroes 
who owe their promotion to a fortunate accident rather 
than to any inherent superiority, we may discover the 
fundamental divine conceptions of the Greeks in the 
traits that especially mark the heroes : sharp local limi- 
tation, absence of personal lineaments, adoration based 
upon power for evil as well as for good." 

It was because of this last fact that Greek poets could 
deal freely with gods and heroes in the narratives they 
created. The divine name possessed none of the ineffa- 
ble sanctity it has for us by thousands of years of tradi- 


tion. Except during the performance of the ritual act, 
the god's presence and power were not vividly felt, and 
it would have been considered preposterous to suppose 
that he resented as compromising an idle tale from 
which he suffered no impairment of worship. That the 
gods really existed, and that honor was to be paid them 
after the ancestral manner, was more than the essence, 
it was the totality, of popular Greek theology. Specu- 
lation as to the real nature of gods and the world, the 
mass of citizens would have regarded as the most futile 
form of triviality." 

But there were some who thought otherwise. Many 
thoughtful men must have felt the absurdities and 
immoralities of the myths as keenly as we do. Xeno- 
phanes " protests, and no doubt not first of all men, 
against them. Further, with the earliest stirrings of 
cosmic speculation in Ionia, systems of theology are 
proposed that dispense with demiurges and adminis- 
trators. Intellectually developed men cannot have been 
long in ridding themselves of popular conceptions that 
violated the most elementary reflection. To be sure, 
the philosopher did not always feel free to carry his 
conviction to the point of openly disregarding the 
established forms. To do so would bring him into con- 
flict with other institutions that he valued, and with 
which religious forms had become inextricably bound 
up. But his own beliefs took broader and broader 
ground, and well before Alexander became monotheism, 
pantheism, or agnosticism."'' 


All these standpoints must be kept in mind when we 
deal with the conflict between Greek and Jew : the 
popular one, no doubt rooted in a primitive animism, 
to which the gods were of indifferent and somewhat 
shifting personality, but to which the ritual act was 
vital; the attitude of poetry and folk-lore, in which 
divine persons appeared freely as actors, but in which 
each poem or legend was an end in itself unrelated to 
any other; and finally the philosophic analysis, which 
did not notably differ in result from similar processes 
of our own day. 

We find the Hellenic world in possession of very 
many gods. Some of them are found practically wher- 
ever there were Greeks, although the degree of venera- 
tion they received in the different Greek communities 
varied greatly. However, such common gods did exist, 
and their existence involves the consideration of the 
spread of worships. 

It is of course quite possible that the common gods 
grew out of the personification of natural phenomena, 
the solar-myth theory, on which nineteenth-century 
scholars sharpened their ingenuity." It may be, too, 
that one or more of them are the national gods of the 
conquering Hellenes, whensoever and howsoever such 
a conquest may have taken place. Some may have been 
of relatively late importation. The Greeks lived in ter- 
ritory open to streams of influence from every point of 
the compass. Of one such importation we know some 
details — the worship of Dionysus.'" Of others, such as 
Aphrodite, we suspect a Semitic origin by way of 


Cyprus." It will be noticed that the names of most of 
the common gods are difficult to trace to Greek roots, a 
fact in itself of some significance. 

We must remember that the wandering of the god is 
often merely the wandering of a name. That is especially 
true in those cases in which an old divine name becomes 
the epithet or cult-title of the intruding deity. Here 
obviously there was no change in the nature of the god 
worshiped and no interruption of his worship. It is 
very likely, too, that very few deities ever completely 
disappeared, even when there was a real migration of a 
god. The new god took his place by the side of the 
old one, and relations of many kinds, superior or 
inferior, were speedily devised. So at Athens, in the 
contest between Poseidon and Athena, permanently 
recorded on the west pediment of the Parthenon, the 
triumph of Athena merely gave her a privilege. The 
defeated Poseidon remained in uninterrupted posses- 
sion of shrine and votaries. 

How did the worship of certain gods spread? One 
answer is obvious : by the migration of their votaries. 
Locally limited as the operation of the divinity was, 
in normal circumstances there never was a doubt 
that it could transcend those limits when the circum- 
stances ceased to be normal. And that certainly took 
place when the community of which the god was a 
member changed its residence. The methods of pro- 
pitiation, as crystallized into the inherited ritual, and the 
divine name, in which, for the rank and file, the indi- 
viduality of the god existed, would be continued, though 


they were subject to new influences, and not infre- 
quently suffered a sea-change. 

But migration of all or some of the worshipers of a 
given deity was not the only way by which the god him- 
self moved from place to place. Exotic rituals, as soon 
as men became acquainted with them, had attractions of 
their own, especially if they contained features that 
made a direct sensational appeal. The medium of 
transference may have been the constantly increasing 
commerce, which brought strangers into every city at 
various times. In all Greek communities there was a 
large number of " disinherited " — metics, emancipated 
slaves, suffrageless plebs — to whom the established gods 
seemed cold and aloof, or who had only a limited share 
in the performance of the established ritual. These 
men perhaps were the first to welcome newer rituals, 
which it was safer to introduce when they were directed 
to newer gods.^° They were assisted in doing this by 
the long-noted tolerance Greeks exhibited toward 
other religious observances, a tolerance which Chris- 
tian Europe has taught us to consider strange and 

That tolerance was not altogether an inference from 
polytheism itself. Polytheism, to be sure, takes for 
granted the existence of other gods in other localities, 
but it does not follow that it permits the entrance of 
one god into the jurisdiction of another. And it was 
not universal. Among communities inhospitable in 
other respects it did not prevail. But it was the general 
rule, because the conception of ao-e/Seia, of " impiety,'"^ 


was largely the same everywhere. Impiety was such 
conduct as prevented or corrupted the established forms 
of divine communication. The introduction of new 
deities was an indictable offense at Athens only so far 
as it displaced the old ones. Where no such danger was 
apprehended, no charge would lie. The traditions that 
describe the bitter opposition which the introduction of 
Dionysus encountered in many places, are too uniform 
to be discredited.''' But the opposition was directed to 
the grave social derangements that doubtless attended 
the adoption by many of an enthusiastic ritual. The 
opposition cannot have been general nor of long dura- 
tion, since the worship of Dionysus spread with extra- 
ordinary rapidity, and covered the whole Greek world. 

Religious movements curiously like the " revivals " 
of medieval and modern times visited Greece as they 
visit most organized communities. One of the most 
important of these, which gradually spread over Greece 
during the sixth and fifth centuries b. c. e., must be 
reserved for later treatment. We may note here merely 
that there had been present from very early times the 
nuclei of a more intense religious life than any that 
could be experienced through the rather perfunctory 
solemnities of the state cults. These were the mysteries, 
of which the most famous were the Eleusinian in Attica. 
Some assign the latter to an Egyptian origin.^^ Wher- 
ever they came from, they had assumed a large place in 
the imagination of Greeks as early as the eighth cen- 
tury ; ^* and they gained their adherents not so much 
by wrapping themselves in impenetrable secrecy as by 


promising their participants an otherwise unattainable 
degree of divine favor. Other mysteries existed else- 
where, possibly modeled upon the Eleusinian. All, how- 
ever, made similar claims. It was in the form of 
mysteries that the emotional side of religion was 
deepened. Further, the organization of these mysteries 
exercised a profound influence upon all propagandizing 
movements, whether religious or not. It is not unlikely 
that the earliest organization of the Christian ecclesiae 
was, at least in part, influenced by the organization of 
the mysteries, whether of Eleusis or of some other sort. 
It has been said that one commonly worshiped group 
of heroes were frankly and concededly dead men. It 
needs no demonstration to make clear that such wor- 
ship of the dead must of necessity be very old ; but at 
many places in the Greek world this ancient worship of 
the dead had become much weakened. The Homeric 
poems, for example, know it only in a very attenuated 
form.^ At many other places, on the other hand, it 
flourished vigorously and continuously from the earliest 
times. The application of the word 17/30)?, " hero," to the 
dead may have had very ancient sanction. In later times, 
the term appears very commonly,"^ and undoubtedly 
claims for the persons so qualified the essential char- 
acteristics of other heroes — i. e. immortality, the prim- 
ary divine quality in Homer, and greatly increased 
power. It involved no difficulty to the Greek mind to 
make this claim, for it was a very common, perhaps uni- 
versal, belief that gods and men were akin, that they 
were the same in nature. Perhaps the very oldest of 


transcendental beliefs is that the all-overwhelming 
phenomenon of death is not an annihilation, and that 
something survives, even if only as a shadow in the 
House of Hades. When men began to speculate 
actively upon the real results of bodily death, it must 
have occurred to many that the vaguely enlarged scope 
of such life as did survive was a return to a former and 
essential divinity ."" 

But from a hero, limited and obscure, to a god, seated 
in full effulgence at the table of Zeus, was a big step, 
and bigger yet was the deification of living men. It 
may even be that the latter conception was not Greek, 
but was borrowed from Egypt or Mesopotamia. There 
is no indication of its presence before Alexander. That 
a man in the flesh might be translated from mortality 
to immortality — entrilckt — was a very ancient convic- 
tion. The son-in-law of Zeus, Menelaos, had been so 
privileged.^** A poetic hyperbole claimed as much for 
the tyrannicide Harmodius.^^ There were others, of no 
special moment, who by popular legend had walked 
among men and were not found, as in later times hap- 
pened to Arthur and Barbarossa. But they became as 
gods only by their translation. We do not meet in 
Greece for centuries men who ventured to claim for 
themselves in the visible body that measure of divinity. 
In Egypt, however, and Mesopotamia the conception 
was not new. Certainly Pharaoh did not wait to receive 
his divine character from the hand of the embalmer. 
He was at all times Very God. At both the Euphrates 
and the Nile, Alexander found ample precedent for the 


assumption of divine honors, to which he no doubt 
sincerely beheved he had every claim. We know how 
he derived his descent, without contradiction from his 
mother Olympias. It was novel doctrine for Greeks, 
but the avidity with which it was accepted and imitated 
showed that it did not absolutely clash with Greek 
manner of thought. 

After Alexander, every king or princelet who 
appeared with sufficient force to overawe a town could 
scarcely avoid the formal decree of divinity. The 
Ptolemies quietly stepped — though not at once — into the 
throne and prerogatives of Ra. Seleucus adopted Apollo 
as his ancestor, and his grandson took 0eo?, " the God," 
as his title. His line maintained a shadowy relation 
with Marduk and Nebo of Babylon. Demetrius the 
Besieger had only to show himself at Athens to be 
advanced into Olympus. 

The religion briefly and imperfectly sketched in this 
chapter was not really a system at all. There is a deal of 
incoherency in it, of cross-purposes and contradiction. 
There was no priestly caste among the Greeks to gather 
into a system the confused threads of religious thinking. 
Its ethical bearings came largely through the idea of 
the state, in which religion was a highly important con- 
stituent. There was also a personal and emotional side 
to Greek religion, and in particular cases the adoration 
of the worshiper was doubtless the sacrifice of a broken 
and contrite heart, and not the blood of bullocks. But 
the crudities of animism cropped out in many places, 


and in the loftiest of Greek prayers there is no note like 
" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and all thy soul, and all thy might." In its most 
developed form a Greek's dependence on his god was 
resignation, not self-immolation. 


Roman religious ideas were in many respects like 
those of the Greeks, partly because they were borrowed 
from the Greeks and partly because they were common 
to all the nations of the Mediterranean world. It may 
even be that some of these common forms are categories 
which the human mind by its constitution imposes upon 
some classes of phenomena, Grundideen, as ethnolo- 
gists call them/ Among both Romans and Greeks we 
shall find deities sharply limited in their spheres, we 
shall find the religious act exhausted in the ritual com- 
munion, we shall find evanescent personalities among 
the gods. But all these things will be found in a far 
different degree, and at various periods many other 
matters will demand consideration which the Greeks did 
not know at all or knew to a slighter extent. 

The differences in national development would of 
themselves require differences of treatment. Greek 
religion grew up in countless independent communities, 
which advanced in civilization at very different rates. 
Roman religion was developed within a single civic 
group, and was ultimately swamped by the institutions 
with which it came into contact. Again, it is much more 
necessary among the Romans than among the Greeks 
to distinguish clearly between periods. Roman political 


history passed through points of obvious crisis, and 
many institutions were plainly deflected at these points 
into quite new paths of development. 

Real comprehension of Roman religion is a matter of 
recent growth. During the vogue of comparative 
mythology, the Roman myths were principally dis- 
cussed, and the patent fact that these were mere trans- 
lations from the Greek seemed a complete summing up 
of Roman religion. It is only when the actual Roman 
calendar, as recorded on stone during the reign of 
Augustus, came to be studied that the real character of 
Roman religion began to be apprehended.^ 

The results of this study have made it clear that dur- 
ing the highest development of the Roman state the 
official religious ritual was based upon pastoral and 
agricultural conditions that could scarcely be reached 
even in imagination. Propitiatory and dramatic rites 
carried out with painful precision, unintelligible formu- 
laries carefully repeated, ceremonial dances in which 
every posture was subject to exact regulation, all these 
things indicate an anxious solicitude for form that is 
ordinarily more characteristic of magic than of religion. 
Now, magic and religion have no very definite limits in 
anthropological discussions, but most of those who use 
the terms will probably agree that magic is coercive, 
and religion is not. We shall see at various points in 
Roman religion that a coercive idea was really present 
in the Romans' relation with the gods, and that it fol- 
lowed in a measure from the way the gods were 


The personality of the Greek gods was not so sharply 
individualized as the myths we happen to know would 
indicate, but the gods were persons. That is, during 
the act of prayer and sacrifice there was conjured up in 
the mind of the worshiper a definite anthropomorphic 
figure, who dealt with him somewhat as a flesh and 
blood man would do. But what was present in a 
Roman's mind in very early times — those of the king- 
dom and the early republic — was probably not at all like 
this. The name of his deity was often an abstraction, 
and even when this was not verbally the case, the idea 
was an abstract one. And this abstraction had so little 
plastic form that he was scarcely certain of the being's 
sex to which he addressed words of very real supplica- 
tion, and wholly uncertain what, if any, concrete mani- 
festation the god might make of his presence." 

But it will be well to understand that this abstraction, 
which the Roman knew as Salus, or Fortuna, or Vic- 
toria, was not a philosophic achievement. It was not a 
Platonic '' idea." No one could doubt the fact that in 
times of danger safety was often attained. The means 
of attainment seemed frequently due to chance; that is, 
to the working of unintelligible forces. It was to evoke 
these forces and set them in operation that the Roman 
ritual was addressed, and whether these forces acted 
of their own mere motion, or whether the formularies 
contained potent spells, which compelled their activity, 
was not really of moment. That was the nature of the 
" abstraction " which such words as Fides, Concordia, 
and the rest signified to Roman minds. 


In the early days a great deal of the religious practice 
was borrowed from the Etruscan neighbors, conquerors 
and subjects of Rome. The Etruscans, as far as any- 
thing can be said definitely about them, were especial 
adepts in all the arts by which the aid of deities, how- 
ever conceived, could be secured. How much of actual 
religious teaching they gave the Romans, that is, how far 
they actually influenced and trained the emotions which 
the sense of being surrounded by powerful and unac- 
countable forces must excite, is not yet determinable. 
But they gave the Romans, or increased among them, 
the belief in the eflicacy of formulas, whether of the 
spoken word or of action. 

Although most of the Roman deities were abstrac- 
tions in the sense just indicated, many others and very 
important ones bore personal names. These names could 
^ot help suggesting to intelligent men at all times that 
the god who bore one of them was himself a person, that 
his manifestations would be in human form, and that his 
mental make-up was like their own. Genetic relations 
between themselves and the gods so conceived were 
rapidly enough established. It is very likely, too, that 
some of these deities, perhaps Jupiter himself, were 
brought into Italy by kinsmen of those who brought 
Zeus into Greece, although the kinship must have been 
extremely remote. And when the gods are persons, 
stories about them are inevitable, arising partly as folk- 
lore and partly from individual poetic imagining. There 
are accordingly traces of an indigenous Roman or Italic 
mythology, but that mythology was literally over- 


whelmed, in relatively early times, by the artistically 
more developed one of the Greeks, so that its very 
existence has been questioned.'' 

The openness of the Romans to foreign religious 
influences is an outcome of a conception, common 
enough, but more pronounced among the Romans than 
anywhere else. In most places the gods were believed 
to be locally limited in their sphere of action, and in 
most places this limitation was not due to unchangeable 
necessity but to the choice of residence on the part of 
the deity. Since it was a choice, it was subject to revo- 
cation. The actual land, once endeared to god or man, 
had a powerful hold upon his affections, vastly more 
powerful than the corresponding feeling of to-day, but 
for either god or man changes might and did occur. 

Both Greeks and Romans held views somewhat of 
this kind, but the difference in political development 
compelled the Roman to face problems in the relations 
of the gods that were not presented to the Greeks. 
Greek wars were not wars of conquest. They resulted 
rather in the acknowledgment on the part of the 
vanquished of a general superiority. With barbarians, 
again, the struggles were connected with colonizing 
activity, and, when they were successful, they resulted 
in the establishment of a new community, which gen- 
erally continued the ancient shrines in all but their 
names. Roman wars, however, soon became of a dif- 
ferent sort. The newly conquered territory was often 
annexed — attached to the city, and ruled from it. To 
secure the lands so obtained it was frequently found 
necessary to destroy the city of which they were once a 


part, and that involved the cessation of rites, which the 
gods would not be likely to view with composure. The 
Romans drew the strictly logical inference that the 
only solution lay in bringing the gods of the conquered 
city to Rome. The Roman legend knew of the solemn 
words with which the dictator Camillus began the sack 
of Veii : '' Thou, Queen Juno, who now dwellest in Veii, 
I beseech thee, follow our victorious troops into the city 
that is now ours, and will soon be thine, where a temple 
worthy of thy majesty will receive thee." ^ But besides 
this legendary incident, we have an actual formula 
quoted by Macrobius from the book of a certain Furius,' 
probably the contemporary of the younger Africanus. 
The formula, indubitably ancient and general, is given 
as Africanus himself may have recited it before the 
destruction of Carthage in 146 b. c. e., and it is so sig- 
nificant that we shall give it in full : 

Whoever thou art, whether god or goddess, in whose ward 
the people and city of Carthage are, and thou above all, who 
hast accepted the wardship of this city and this people, I 
beseech, I implore, I beg, that ye will desert the people and 
city of Carthage, that ye will abandon the site, the consecrated 
places and the city, that ye will depart from them, overwhelm 
that people and city with fear, dread, and consternation, and 
graciously come to Rome, to me and my people : that our 
site, our consecrated places, and our city be more acceptable 
and more pleasing in your sight, and that ye may become the 
lords of myself, the Roman people, and my soldiers. Deign 
to make known your will to us. If ye do so, I solemnly 
promise to erect temples in your honor and establish festal 

What might happen as an incident of warfare could 
be otherwise effected as well. We have very old evi- 
dence of the entry of Greek deities into the city of 


Rome. The Dioscuri came betimes ; also Heracles and 
Apollo, both perhaps by way of Etruria. And in his- 
torical times we have the well-known official importa- 
tion of the Great Mother and of Asclepius.'* 

These importations of Greek gods were at the time 
conscious receptions of foreign elements. The foreign 
god and his ritual were taken over intact. Greek modes 
of divine communion, notably the lectisternium, or 
sacrificial banquet,^" and the games, were adopted and 
eagerly performed by Romans. When Rome reached a 
position of real primacy in the Mediterranean, the pro- 
cess of saturation with foreign elements was acceler- 
ated, but with it an opposition movement became appar- 
ent, which saw in them (what they really were) a source 
of danger for the ancient Roman institutions. The end 
of the second Punic war, approximately 200 b. c. e., 
shortly after a most striking instance of official im- 
portation of cults, that of the Phrygian Cybele,. par- 
ticularly marks a period in this respect as in so many 
others. From that time on, the entry of foreign 
religions went on apace, but it was somewhat sur- 
reptitious, and was carried on in the train of economic, 
social, and political movements of far-reaching effect. 

When the Jews came in contact with the Romans, this 
point had been long reached. As far, therefore, as the 
Jews were concerned, their religion shared whatever 
feeling of repulsion and distrust foreign religions 
excited among certain classes, and equally shared the 
very catholic veneration and dread that other classes 
brought to any system of worship. 


The former classes correspond roughly to those of 
educated men generally. Their intellectual outlook was 
wholly Greek, and all their thinking took on a Greek 
dress. But they received Greek ideas, not only through 
Homer and Sophocles, but also through Plato and 
Aristotle. Not popular Greek religion, but sophisti- 
cated religious philosophy, was brought to the intel- 
lectual leaders of Rome. One of the very first works of 
Greek thought to be brought to Roman attention was 
the theory of Euhemerus, a destructive analysis of the 
existing myths, not merely in the details usually cir- 
culated, but in respect to the fundamental basis of myth- 
making." In these circumstances educated men adopted 
the various forms of theism, pantheism, or agnosticism 
developed by the Greek philosophical schools, and their 
interest in the ceremonial of their ancestral cult became 
a form of patriotism, in which, however, it was not 
always possible to conceal the consciousness of the 
chasm between theory and practice. 

The other part of the Roman population, which knew 
Greek myths chiefly from the stage, could not draw 
such distinctions. What was left of the old Italian 
peasantry perhaps continued the sympathetic and propi- 
tiatory rites that were the substance of the ancient 
Roman cult. But there cannot have been a great number 
of these. The mass of the later plebs, a mixed multitude 
in origin, could get little religious excitement out of the 
state ritual. What they desired was to be found in the 
Oriental cults, which from this time on invaded the 
city they were destined to conquer. 


During the nineteenth century a pecuHar rigidity 
was given to the conception of race through the appH- 
cation of somewhat hastily formed biological theories. 
One or another of the current hypotheses on heredity 
was deemed an adequate or even necessary explanation, 
and by any of them racial characteristics became deter- 
mined, fixed : race was an unescapable limiting con- 
dition. The Ethiopian could not change his skin. 
These ideas, when popularized, corresponded crudely 
to certain other ideas already present in men's minds — 
ideas that often had a very different basis. Their lowest 
manifestation is that form of vicarious braggadocio 
which is known as jingoism, racial or national, and is 
expressed in the depreciation of everything that con- 
cerns other ".races." 

Many historians have been influenced by this modern 
and unyielding concept of race, and have permitted 
themselves to make rather large promises about the 
destinies of existing groups of men on the basis of it.^ 
But as late as a hundred years ago it was not yet in 
existence. The term race then denoted a sum of 
national and social traits which it might be difiicult to 
acquire in one generation, but which could readily be 
gained in two. Even such disparate ethnic groups as 


Austrian and Magyar knew of no impassable chasm 
that good-will on either side could not bridge. 

It is the latter racial feeling and not the modern one 
that classical antiquity knew. Consequently, in the 
clash of races that took place during the period with 
which this book deals, '' race " must be understood as 
the centuries before the nineteenth understood it. 
Racial prejudices, pride of blood, contempt for ''slave- 
nations, "existed and found voice, but the terms are not 
coextensive with those of to-day. 

It is well-known that a primary Greek distinction was 
that between Hellene and barbarian, and it is equally 
familiar that the distinction had not been fully formed 
in the time of Homer. There is no indication that the 
Trojans were felt to be fundamentally different from 
the Acheans, although it is likely enough that the allies 
who attacked the great city of the Troad were of differ- 
ent descent from those that defended it. The one 
instance found in Homer of the word /3dp/3apo<i is in the 
compound l3ap/3ap6(f>Mvos^ " of barbarous speech " (Iliad 
ii. 867), which makes the original meaning of the word 
apparent. A Greek was one whose speech was intel- 
ligible. All others were barbarians, "jabberers." And 
it is not only incidentally that Homer fails to make the 
racial division clear. When he of set purpose con- 
trasts the two armies, as in Iliad iv. 422-437, it is the 
contrast between the silent discipline of the Greeks and 
the loose, noisy marshaling of the Trojans: ''For all 
were not of one speech or of a single language. Mixed 
were their tongues, since the men came from far-off 


It is probably in the course of just such expeditions 
as the IHad tells of, a joint movement against a common 
foe, that a sense of national unity arose, and it is likely 
that it came to include many tribes of different race. 
We do not know what real basis there is for the tradi- 
tional divisions of lonians, Dorians, and Aeolians. 
These divisions have not proved very valuable means 
of classification to modern students of Greek dialects. 
The generic name of Greek to the East was Yavan, 
obviously the same as Ionian,^ and that name indicates 
where the first contact took place. The struggles of 
Greeks to establish themselves on the coast of Asia 
Minor probably created the three traditional groups, 
by forcing them to combine against threatened destruc- 
tion. But there is nothing to show that any real feel- 
ing of common origin and common responsibility 
existed even here. 

On the continent, again, there were large groups of 
men whom the Greeks found difficulty in classifying. 
There were some Epirotes and Macedonians whose 
claim to be Greeks was admitted. On the whole, how- 
ever, Epirotes and Macedonians were classed as bar- 
barians, though a different sort of barbarians from 
Scythian and Phrygian. The first realization of 
national unity came with the first great national danger, 
the catastrophe that impended from the Persians. 

Even then actual invasion did not succeed in com- 
bining the Greeks even temporarily. That was due to 
the inherent difficulty in interesting Thessalians or 
Boeotians in the quarrels of lonians.^ In spite of them, 


the danger was at that time averted, but it did not there- 
fore become less real. The consciousness of this ever- 
present danger and the bitter experiences of subjection 
created groups that coalesced more solidly than ever 
before about certain leaders, Athenians or Spartans. 
In the fifth and fourth centuries, the concept of a Greek 
race received a real outline, and the feeling of a com- 
mon race pride became highly developed. 

This race pride showed itself principally in an over- 
weening confidence in the superiority of Greek arms. 
It is a false notion that represents the Greek as careless 
or contemptuously indififerent of the races about him. 
Never were men more eager for curious tales of out-of- 
the-way peoples. Their earliest historians won their 
chief success in this way. But Greeks had beaten back 
the conquerors of the world, and had maintained them- 
selves aggressively as well. It was very natural that 
something of this attitude was apparent in dealing with 
barbarians even on terms of comity. The Greeks had 
at least colorable ground for believing that in military 
matters they were masters wherever they chose. 

One phrase of which some Greek writers were fond 
need not be taken too seriously. Barbarians, we are 
told, are by nature slaves.* It would be an error to 
attach much importance to the statement. Greeks did 
not really believe that Darius or Datames or Hamilcar 
was servile in character or in disposition. The expres- 
sion was merely the facile chauvinism that military 
prestige readily stirs up in any nation. So at certain 
times some Englishmen were ready to call the French 


cowards, or Frenchmen to call Prussians so. Among 
the Greeks the principal basis for the statement was the 
fact that the activity of Greek merchants and pirates 
filled every city with slaves of all foreign nations. 
Indeed the phrase is no more than a generalized asser- 
tion of that state of things. 

We shall have to qualify similarly the statement now 
and then encountered of a natural and permanent hos- 
tility between Greeks and barbarians. It is a common- 
place of Athenian orators, but it practically always 
concerns the real hereditary enemy of Greeks, and 
particularly of Athens — the Persians. It is in calling 
the Greeks against their ancient foe that Isocrates uses 
the phrase," and in Demosthenes ^ it is especially based 
upon the hostilities so long maintained between Athens 
and Persia and the ancient grudge Athenians bore for 
the sack of their city in 480 b. c. e. 

The first achievement of united Hellas was the 
invasion of Persia, although it was under Macedonian 
leadership that this was done, but soldiers of Alexander 
appeared as Greeks to the East, and Alexander is^i> -T'p);^' 
melek Yavan, '' king of Greece," in the Book of Daniel.^ 

Just at this culminating point in the development of 
Greek nationality, the process of blurring began. Greek 
and non-Greek were no sooner sharply contrasted than 
by the conscious assimilation policy of Alexander's suc- 
cessors the lines tended to obliterate themselves. At 
first Greek culture was dominant, but beneath it Syrian, 
Egyptian, and Cappadocian obstinately survived, and 
ultimately, under Christian and Mohammedan influ- 


ences, regained their place. It is with one phase of this 
specific problem — the threatened submergence of an 
Asiatic people by Greek culture — that we are particu- 
larly concerned. 

The attitude of Romans toward other nations was, 
as might be expected, even more arrogantly that of 
masters and conquerors. But where we find among 
Greeks a certain theoretical importance attached to 
purity of Hellenic descent* (which, by the by, was 
largely ignored in practice), the Romans scarcely 
understood what the term meant. A system in which 
emancipated slaves were citizens, who in the second 
generation were eligible to high civic honors,^ and not 
infrequently attained them — such a system did not tend 
to encourage claims to purity of blood. That does not 
mean that foreign origin, real or suspected, could not 
at any time become a handle for abuse. Cicero fastens 
on the Celtic strain in Piso's lineage with savage delight, 
just as Demosthenes' enemies rarely forgot to remind 
him of his Scythian grandfather.^" But these are not 
matters of real significance. The significant fact was 
that they who were Liby-Phoenicians in one generation 
were descendants of Romulus in the next." 

Sumus Romani qui fuimus ante Rudini, " We are 
Romans, we who formerly were Rudinians," says 
Ennius,^^ and the metamorphosis was as complete and as 
easy if, instead of Italians, they were wholly barbarous 
elements that were absorbed. In religious matters the 
Romans more than the Greeks felt the efficacy of form. 
So in political matters the formula of emancipation and 


the decree of citizenship were deemed operative of a 
real change in the persons affected. 

The Roman nobiHty, it is true, often made preten- 
sions to a purity of descent that felt every foreign 
admixture as a stain/' But such claims were absurdly 
groundless, and cannot really have deceived even those 
who maintained them. The great majority of Romans 
had no quarrel with any who desired and tried to be 
Roman. Even Juvenal's venom is vented only on the 
avowed foreigners, who as Greeks, Egyptians, and 
Syrians lolled at their ease, while the ragged Cethegi 
and Cornucanii munched, standing, the bread of afflic- 
tion and charity. The leveling tendencies of the autoc- 
racy removed a great many of the reasons of this fric- 
tion, and in part succeeded in giving even the Greek- 
speaking East and the Latin-speaking West a common 
culture to maintain. But by that time new movements 
of population made such race-concepts as were based on 
blood-kinship too plainly out of accord with the facts 
to be seriously asserted. At the close of the period we 
are discussing, every man was either a Roman citizen, 
with a pressingly heavy share of the burden of main- 
taining the Roman system, or he was not. Who his 
ancestors were was wholly forgotten. It had even 
ceased to be of moment whether he spoke Greek or 
Latin or Syriac, Punic, or even Gallic," which had never 
completely died out in their ancient homes. 

At no time did a feeling of racial kinship make a 
strong sentimental appeal. That the whole human race 
was an extended family was taken as axiomatic. Strik- 


ing physical differences did not prevent similarity of 
names from proving kinship between Egyptian and 
Greek and Persian and Ethiopian. All through Greek 
history factions in Greek cities called upon outsiders 
against their countrymen. The Phoenicians of Utica 
preferred the foreign Romans to their Carthaginian 
kinsmen. Similarly the Campanians of Capua chose to 
fraternize with the Libyans and Phoenicians of Hanni- 
bal's army rather than the closely related Latins.^^ In 
these circumstances nothing will lend itself more easily 
to distorting our view of the times than the importation 
into them of the modern view of race — of that view, at 
least, in which the historians of the nineteenth century 
found so easy and adequate an explanation of every- 
thing they desired to debase or extol. 



We have briefly sketched in the foregoing chapters 
the concepts of race and rehgion that Greek and Roman 
applied to the world about them. These concepts were 
not starkly rigid. They changed considerably and often 
rapidly in the six centuries our subject covers. They are 
further to be qualified by the social environment within 
which they operated. But it was not only the Greeks 
or Romans who in blood and thought passed through 
many and profound changes. The Jews, too, developed 
in many directions, and this development can no more 
be lost sight of than the corresponding one among their 

In 586 B. c. E. the kingdom of Judah, which had for 
some years been a Babylonian dependency, was ended 
as a political institution, and the majority of its people, 
at any rate of the nobles and wealthy men of them, were 
forcibly deported to Babylon. The deportation though 
extensive was not complete. Some, principally peasants 
and artisans, were left, but in districts so long wasted 
by war their condition can only have been extremely 
wretched. Since the whole region was part of the same 
huge empire, the old boundary lines were probably 
obliterated, and those who lived there subjected to the 


control of imperial governors residing in one or another 
of the walled cities of Syria or Philistia. 

Within the next two generations momentous political 
changes occurred. The Babylonian empire gave way 
to a Persian, which, however, can at first have changed 
nothing except the personnel of the actual administra- 
tors. According to a very probable tradition, one of the 
first acts of Cyrus was to permit, at any rate not to 
oppose, the remigration of some of the Judean families 
or clans to their former homes. Within the next hun- 
dred years a larger and larger number of the families 
deported by Nebuchadnezzar likewise returned, though 
never all of them and perhaps not even a majority of 
them. Much of the old territory must have been found 
unoccupied, since otherwise conflicts must have arisen 
with interests vested within the fifty years and more 
that had elapsed, and of these we do not hear. But we 
do hear of immediate conflicts between the returned 
exiles and those who professed to be the descendants of 
the Israelites (and Judaites) left by Assyrians (and 
Babylonians) on the soil. These latter were beginning 
to gather about Shechem, where they must already have 
been a dominant element, and where they had created a 
cult center on Mount Gerizim. The conflict tended to 
become compromised in time, until the activities of the 
reformer Ezra, backed by the civil governor Nehemiah, 
again and permanently separated them. 

The returned exiles had from the beginning made 
the ancient capital their center, and had succeeded in 
obtaining permission to rebuild their ancient shrine. 


But they were at an obvious disadvantage compared 
with their rivals at Shechem, until the city of David 
could receive the characteristic of a city — the walls 
which alone distinguished village or somewhat more 
densely populated section of the open country from the 
polis or city proper. These, too, were obtained through 
Nehemiah, and the prohibition of connubium between 
the so-called Samaritans of Shechem and the Jews of 
Jerusalem was the first aggressive act of the now self- 
reliant community. 

The system of government of the Persian empire was 
not oppressive. The distant king of kings was mainly 
insistent upon recognition of his sovereignty and regu- 
larity of tribute, less as a means of support than as an 
acknowledgment of submission. Within the provinces 
the satrap was practically king, and might make his 
domination light or burdensome as he chose. We have 
excellent contemporary evidence that he took his 
responsibilities lightly for the most part. In the moun- 
tains of Asia Minor many tribes seem scarcely to have 
known that they were born vassals of the Persian king.* 
The local satrap rarely attempted to control in detail the 
administrative affairs of the communities in his charge, 
particularly when such an attempt would precipitate a 

In Judea the open plains and low hills rendered it 
easier for the governor to emphasize the king's author- 
ity than it was among the mountains of Cappadocia 
or the fiords of Cilicia, whose native syennesis, or king, 
retained both title and authority. We have, however, 



a confused and particularly fragmentary record of 
what actually happened in the two hundred years that 
elapsed between Zerubbabel and Alexander. Changes 
of great moment in the political, social, and religious life 
of the Jews were undoubtedly taking place, since we 
find those changes completed a few years later, but we 
can only conjecture the stages of the process. On the 
whole our sources, till considerably later, are very 
imperfect. The Persian period forms the largest gap 
in the history of the Jews. 

A great many Biblical scholars, particularly in Ger- 
many, assign to this period an influence nothing short 
of fundamental. A large part of the texts now gathered 
in the Bible are placed in this time. The extreme view 
practically refers the beginning of Jewish history to 
this date, and assumes that only a very small part of the 
older literature and institutions survived the Babylonian 
exile. The new community began its life, it is asserted, 
with elements almost wholly dependent upon the civil- 
ization of Babylon and Persia. 

It is extremely unlikely that this theory is correct. 
Every individual assertion of course must be judged in 
the light of the evidence presented for it. And on this 
point it may be sufficient to mention that the evidence 
for almost every position is of the feeblest. It consists 
largely in apparent inconsistencies of statements or 
allusions, for which the theory advanced suggests a 
hypothetical reconciliation. If these hypotheses are to 
be considered scientifically, they at best present a possi- 
ble solution and always only one of many possible solu- 


tions. But the general theory suffers from an incon- 
sistency much graver than those it attempts to remove. 

The inconsistency lies in this : The soil of Palestine, 
never of high fertility, had greatly deteriorated by the 
frequent wars of the seventh century and the neglect 
and desolation of the following centuries. Commerce, 
because of the absence of ports, was practically non- 
existent. Those who returned can scarcely have found 
time for anything else than the bare problem of living. 
In these circumstances it is obviously improbable that 
a literary activity rich and powerful enough to have 
created the masterpieces often assigned to this period 
can have existed. The conditions of pioneers do not 
readily lend themselves to such activities. City life, an 
essential prerequisite of high achievements in art, was 
being reconstructed very slowly and was confined almost 
wholly to Jerusalem. The difficulty is a serious one, 
and is quite disregarded by many scholars to whom the 
bleakness of our records of this time affords a constant 

Jewish soldiers fought in the armies of their Persian 
master wherever these armies went. Some must have 
been among the Syrian contingent at Marathon and 
Plataea.' The garrisons of the frontiers contained 
many of them. Recently a fortunate accident has dis- 
closed, at the upper cataract of the Nile, a garrison com- 
munity of Jews, of which the records, known as the 
Assuan and Elephantine papyri,^ have opened up quite 
new vistas in Jewish history. Perhaps the most impor- 
tant point established is the beginning of the Diaspora. 


The existence of communities of Jews outside of Pal- 
estine, developing their own traditions and assimilating 
their appearance and social customs to those of their 
neighbors, is a matter of capital importance for the his- 
tory of later Jewry. When such communities multi- 
plied, Jerusalem came more and more to have a merely 
religious presidency over them, and the constitution of 
Judea itself became determined by that fact, while the 
foundations were being laid for the career of religious 
propaganda later so successfully undertaken. 

The virtual autonomy of the Persian period allowed 
the development of a well-organized ruling caste of 
priests, in which were perhaps included the Soferim, or 
Scribes, men learned in the Law, who had no definite 
priestly functions. The scope of the high priest's juris- 
diction, the extent of his powers, may not have been 
sharply defined as yet. In itself the presence of a high 
priest as head of the state was not at all unusual in that 
region. As has been said, the interference of the repre- 
sentative of the Persian sovereign was a variable quan- 
tity. In the second half of the fifth century a Jew, 
Nehemiah, held the office of tirshatha, or viceroy, an 
accident that was of inestimable value to the growing 
community, and may have finally secured the threatened 
political existence of Jerusalem. 

One other political event, of which we have dim and 
confused accounts, was a rebellion — whether in or of 
Judea — under Artaxerxes Ochus (359-338 b. c. e.). 
The account of Josephus speaks of feuds in the high- 
priestly family, the murder of a claimant in the temple 


precincts, and the intervention of the all-powerful 
eunuch Bagoas." That some such thing happened there 
can be no reasonable doubt, although we cannot recover 
the details. It is, however, unwarranted to make the 
incident in any way typical of the fortunes of Judea 
during Persian rule. There was no tradition in later 
times of Persian oppression, nor can even this rebellion, 
if rebellion it was, have involved serious repressive 
measures, since the Greek invasion a few years later 
found the Jews loyal to their overlord. 

When the Macedonian Alexander changed the face 
of the East, the Jews were swept along with the rest of 
the loose-jointed empire built by Cyrus and Darius. 
Upon Alexander's death, after uncertainties which the 
w^iole Levant shared, Palestine fell to Egypt, of which 
it was a natural geographical appanage as it had been 
for millennia before. Under the suzerainty of the 
Ptolemies the Jewish communities in Egypt received 
very considerable reinforcements, and the home-coun- 
try became a real national expression, and rapidly 
attained a relatively high degree of material well-being, 
since the practical autonomy of Persian days was con- 
tinued. Seized by Antiochus of Asia in the decrepitude 
of Egypt, Judea entered with full national conscious- 
ness into the heterogeneous kingdom ruled by a singu- 
larly fantastic royal house. A blunder in policy of the 
peculiarly fantastic Epiphanes provoked a revolt that 
was immediately successful in causing the prompt aban- 
donment of the policy, and was helped by dynastic 
chaos to a still larger measure of success. 


The leaders of that revolt, the Hasmonai family, pro- 
duced a succession of able soldiers. Besides the old 
Mattathiah and his heroic son Judah, Jonathan, Simon, 
and John, by selling their service dearly to this one or 
that one of the Syrian pretenders, by understandings 
with the ubiquitous Roman emissaries, above all by 
military skill of the first order, changed the virtual 
autonomy of Persian and Ptolemaic times into a real 
one, in which Syrian suzerainty was a tradition, active 
enough under the vigorous Sidetes, non-existent under 
the imbecile Cyzicenus." 

During all this time Jews, from personal choice and 
royal policy, had extended their dispersion through- 
out the new cities founded by their Seleucid masters. 
Until the battle of Magnesia, 190 b. c. e., Asia Minor 
was the real center of the Seleucid monarchy ; and in the 
innumerable cities established there, Jews in large num- 
bers settled. When Judea became independent there 
were probably as many Jews outside of it as within it. 

With the Hasmonean princes — " high priest " is the 
title which the Hebrew legend on their coins gives 
them ^ — the country entered upon a career of conquest. 
Galilee, Idumaea, the coast cities of Philistia, portions 
of Gilead were seized by John, or Aristobulus, or Alex- 
ander, so that Judea rapidly became one of the impor- 
tant kingdoms of the East, with which no one could fail 
to reckon who became active in the affairs of that 
region. Rome had backed the Hasmoneans against 
Syria so long as Syria presented the possibility of 
becoming dangerous. But that soon ceased. By a 


strange paradox of history the Hellenized East found 
its last champion against the Romans in the Persian 
kings of Pontus, and when Mithradates was crushed, it 
could only be a question of the order in which every 
fragment of Alexander's empire would slip into the 
maw of the eagles. The Roman liquidator, Pompey, 
appeared in Asia, and Antioch became a suburb of 

The pretext for clearing their way to Egypt by tak- 
ing Judea presented itself in a disputed succession. 
The sons of Alexander Jannai were compelled to accept 
the arbitrament of the Romans, with the usual result. 
The loser in the award, Aristobulus, attempted to make 
good by arms what he had lost in the decision. A 
Roman army promptly invested Jerusalem, moved by 
the patent injustice of allowing a capable and vigorous 
prince to usurp the place of a submissive weakling. The 
Roman general walked into the inner court of the tem- 
ple, and peered into the Holy of Holies. He found 
nothing for his pains, but his act symbolized the pres- 
ence of the master, and left a fine harvest of hate and 
distrust for the next generations to reap. 

From that time on, the history of Judea is the not 
uncommon one of a Roman dependency. The political 
changes are interesting and dramatic but not of particu- 
lar importance : vassal kings, docile tetrarchs, finally 
superseded by the Roman procurator with all the 
machinery of his office. Judea was different only in 
that her rebellions were more formidable and obstinate. 
But Rome had developed a habit of crushing rebellions. 


Simeon bar Kosiba, known chiefly as Bar-Kochba, was 
the last Jew to offer armed resistance. With his death 
the poHtical history of Judea comes to an end. 

The rehgious and social history of the Jews had for 
many centuries ceased to be identical with that of their 
country. It was a minority of Jews then living that 
participated in the rebellion of 68, and perhaps a still 
smaller fraction that took part in the rising under 
Trajan and Hadrian. The interest of all Jews in the 
fortunes of Judea must at all times have been lively 
and deep, but the feeling was different in the case of 
non-Palestinian Jews from that of men toward their 

Meeting for the study of their ancient lore in their 
'' guild-house," the proseucha, or schola, the Jewish 
citizens of the various cities of the Roman empire or the 
Parthian kingdom did not present to their neighbors a 
spectacle so unique as to arrest the latter's attention at 
once. They were simply a group of allied cult-com- 
munities, sometimes possessing annoying exemptions or 
privileges, but not otherwise exceptional. An excep- 
tional position begins for them when their privileges 
are abolished, and their civil rights curtailed, by the 
legislation of the early Christian emperors. 



The Jews took to Babylon a highly complicated body 
of civil law and religious doctrine. The essence of the 
latter was an exclusive monotheism, and that belief was 
not the possession of a cultured few, but the accepted 
credo of the entire nation. No doubt, among the com- 
mon people, practices still existed that implied the recog- 
nition of polytheism. No doubt, too, words and phrases 
occurred in common speech, in poetry, and in ritual, 
which had arisen in polytheistic times, and are fully 
intelligible only with a polytheistic background. But 
these phrases and practices do not imply the survival of 
polytheism, either as a whole or in rudimentary form, 
any more than using the names of the Teutonic gods for 
the days of the week commits us to the worship of those 
gods, or the various funeral superstitions still in vogue 
allow the inference that our present-day religion is a 
worship of the Di Manes. 

Just as the Jewish religion was in a highly developed 
form at the time of the Exile, so the Law was very 
fully developed. That the entire Law, as embodied in 
the Pentateuch, was promulgated by Moses is not alto- 
gether likely, but that any considerable fraction of it is 
later than 586 b. c. e. is equally unlikely. Interpolations 


doubtless occurred often. To insert into an authorita- 
tive text an inference from the words which the inter- 
polator honestly believed to be true, was not a generally 
reprehended practice. Perhaps some of the emphasis 
upon sacerdotal organization which parts of the Penta- 
teuch show, may have so been imported into the con- 
stituent codes of the Torah. But on how slight a scale 
this was can be readily seen by comparing the Penta- 
teuch with any of the apocryphal books consciously 
designed to magnify the priesthood.^ The actual civil 
law bears every mark of high antiquity. The religious 
law is at least not inconsistent with such antiquity. 

Now neither in civil law nor in religious thought did 
the community that slowly formed itself about the 
acropolis of Zion remain stationary. We must suppose 
that the energies of the returning exiles were pretty 
well concentrated upon the economic problems before 
them. But an actual community they were from the 
start, and although the communal life was far from 
attaining at once to the richness of former days, it con- 
tained all the elements necessary. Without a common 
law, i. e. a regulation of conflicting claims to property, 
and without a common cult, i. e. a regulation of the com- 
munication between the divine and the human members 
of a state, no state was conceivable to the ancient world. 
Changed conditions will infallibly modify both, and 
some of these modifications it will be necessary to 

We possess in the book known as Ben Sira, or 
Ecclesiasticus/ an invaluable and easily dated record 


of life as it appeared to a cultured and wealthy inhabi- 
tant of Jerusalem about the year 200 b. c. e. The inci- 
dental references to past time and, above all, the infer- 
ences which may legitimately be drawn about the 
origins of a society so completely organized as that of 
Judea at that time, render recourse to the book a neces- 
sity at many points of our investigation. While accord- 
ingly we find it a convenient terminus in both directions, 
we must make large individual qualifications. Ben Sira 
does not fully represent his time or his people. He 
belonged to a definite social stratum. His own studies 
and reflections had no doubt developed conclusions 
that were far from being generally shared. But he is 
an eloquent and unimpeachable witness that the Biblical 
books had already reached a high measure of sanctity, 
and the division later perpetuated in the tripartite canon 
of Law, Prophets, and Writings, already existed ; and, 
if nothing else, the single reference to Isaiah as the 
prophet of consolation renders it probable that even so 
heterogeneous a corpus as the canonical Isaiah was 
already extant much as we have it now.^ 

Opinions may differ as to the length of time necessary 
to permit this development. But that a very few gen- 
erations could have sufficed for it is scarcely credible. 
Since even the Secondary Canon, that of the prophets, 
had already become a rigid one, in which historical dif- 
ferences in parts of the same book were ignored, the 
Law must have been fixed for an even longer time, and 
the process of interpretation which every living code 
requires must have gone on apace for very many years 


We know very little of the actual agencies by which 
this process was effected. The second great code of the 
Jews was not finally fixed till 200 c. e. We are, how- 
ever, measurably familiar with the organization of the 
judiciary for some two centuries before, but even here 
there are distressing gaps, and for the time before 
Hillel the tradition is neither clear nor full. All, there- 
fore, that concerns the organization of the judicial 
bodies that framed and applied the Law must be con- 
jectured, and the earliest conjectures embodied in Tal- 
mudic tradition are perhaps as good as any. The devel- 
opment of " houses of prayer " was a necessity where 
so many Jewish communities were incapacitated from 
sharing in the great cult ceremonies at Jerusalem, and 
these houses became a convenience within Palestine and 
Jerusalem itself. But the creation of houses of prayer 
demanded local organization, and with that local organ- 
ization gradations of members and the establishment 
of local magistrates. There can be little doubt that the 
organization of the Greek city-state, familiar to the 
East for many years, became a model for these cor- 
porately organized communities. Now the judicial 
function inherent in the character of ancient magis- 
trates of all descriptions might easily have been the 
means of originating that long series of responsa from 
which the later Mishnah was finally winnowed. With 
every increase of population, power, and governmental 
machinery, the judicial system increased in complexity, 
and the intimate relation which the civil code bore to the 
ancient sacred code, as well as the close penetration of 


life by religion, tended to render the complexity still 
more intricate. 

But if the origin of the oral law, in its application at 
least, can be made clear to ourselves only by means of 
such imaginative reconstruction, we are helped on the 
side of Jewish religious development by the possession 
of at least one fact of prime importance. The religious 
system of the Bible knows of a life after death, in Sheol, 
but does not know of a survival of personality. War- 
lock and witch, by such incantations as were used by 
Odysseus at the mouth of the dread cave, or by the wise 
woman at En-Dor, could give the shadowy ghost enough 
outline to be recognizable under his former name, but 
for the most part all these flitting spirits were equal 
and undistinguishable. But about loo b. c. e. there was 
current generally, although not universally, a very dif- 
ferent belief, to wit, that in Sheol, or the grave, per- 
sonality was not extinguished, but at most suspended ; 
and that under certain conditions it might, or certainly 
would, be permanently continued. In other words, 
between the deportation to Babylon and the culmination 
of the Hasmonean rule, the belief about life after death 
had very considerably changed for most people. And 
the change was of a nature that must inevitably have 
affected conduct, since the acceptability of man's life 
could no longer be proved by the naively simple method 
of Eliphaz the Temanite," nor yet by the austere con- 
sciousness of rectitude that was the ideal of the prophets. 
Transferred to a world beyond perception, reward and 
penalty gave the Torah a superhuman sanction, which 


must have been far more powerful than we can now 
readily imagine. 

It is idle to look for the origin of this belief in any one 
series of influences. For many generations poets and 
philosophers had swung themselves in bolder and bolder 
imagery up to the Deity, which they, as Jews, conceived 
in so intense and personal a fashion. Very many pas- 
sages in the Bible have seemed to imply a belief in per- 
sonal immortality and resurrection, and perhaps do 
imply such a belief. Nor is it necessary to assume that 
these passages are of late origin. Some of them may 
be, but one would have to be very certain of the limita- 
tions of poetic exaltation to say just what definite back- 
ground of belief metaphor and hyperbole demand. We 
shall not go far wrong if we assume that even before 
the Exile, individual thinkers had conceived, perhaps 
even preached, the dogma of personal immortality. Its 
general acceptance among the people occurred in the 
period previously mentioned. Its official authorization 
took place much later in the final triumph of Pharisaism. 

Personal immortality and resurrection of the body 
are kindred, but not identical, conceptions. Of the two, 
resurrection is probably the older, and resurrection, we 
may note, implies a real suspension of personality, when 
the body is dissolved in death. But the body may be 
recombined, and, when that occurs, the personal life is 
renewed. The exact time must have been very differ- 
ently conceived by different men. A great many, how- 
ever, had already very definite fancies — one can hardly 
say beliefs — as to the great day that would deliver the 


souls from Sheol. That such a great day would come, 
on which the whole cosmos would be permanently read- 
justed, is the essence of all eschatology. It was only 
natural that all other hopes of the people should tend 
to be combined with it ; and of these hopes the principal 
one was the Messianic hope. 

It is obvious that no adequate discussion of the 
development of this hope can be given here, even if our 
fragmentary sources permitted such discussion. The 
most that can be done is to state the situation briefly. It 
is all the more important, as the Messianic idea was the 
source of the most powerful political movements among 
the people, and the direct occasion of at least one of the 
desperate insurrections of the Jews. 

Many nations look back to a golden age of power and 
prosperity, and forward to a future restoration of it. 
The Jews likewise never forgot the kingdom of David 
and Solomon, and saw no reason to despair of its return. 
As a matter of fact, the Hasmonean rule at its greatest 
extent was practically such a restoration. But condi- 
tions and people had radically changed between David 
and Alexander Jannai. In looo b. c. e. it was a mighty 
achievement for the small tribal confederation to have 
dominated its corner of the Levant, to have held in 
check the powerful coast cities of Philistia, to have been 
sought in alliance by Tyre and Egypt. In lOO b. c. e., 
men's minds had long been accustomed to the rise and 
fall of great empires. Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, 
Macedon, Egypt, Syria, Athens, and Sparta, and in the 
distant west Carthage and Rome, had at different times 


been lords of many lands. The Judean kingdom itself 
had arisen from the wreckage of such an empire. It 
was accordingly a different political ideal that filled the 
imagination of every nation at this time. To secure 
and maintain the independence of a few square miles 
of semi-arid soil between the Jordan and the Sea was 
no deed to puff men with inordinate pride, however 
difficult of actual accomplishment it was. As a step 
toward larger deeds, however, it was notable enough. 

What was the larger deed, and how was it to be 
accomplished ? However disproportionate it may seem 
to us, it was nothing else than the dominion over the 
whole world, to be accomplished by sudden and miracu- 
lous conversion of men's souls for the most part, or by 
force of arms, if it should prove necessary. And, as 
was natural enough, it was in the ancient royal line, the 
stock of David, that the leader, the Anointed of God, 
was to be found. 

The family of David, which was still important and 
powerful when Zechariah xii.was written (perhaps the 
fourth century b. c. e.) , had evidently since fallen on evil 
days. It cannot, of course, have entirely disappeared, 
but no member of undoubted Davidic lineage arises to 
make political pretensions. It is even likely that, in the 
absence of adequate records, and with the loss of 
importance which the family suffered during the fourth 
and third centuries b. c. e., it had become impossible for 
anyone to prove descent from David. 

None the less, perhaps because of the decline of the 
family, popular imagination clung to the royal house. 


In the bitter days of exile, the writer of Psalm Ixxxix. 
loses no faith in the destiny of David's line: 

I have made a covenant with My chosen, 
I have sworn unto David, My servant, 
Thy seed will I establish forever, 
And build up thy throne to all generations. 

So the author of First Maccabees, a loyal supporter 
of a non-Davidic dynasty, puts in the mouth of the 
dying Mattathiah the acknowledgment of the ultimate 
sovereignty of the ancient house : '' David for being 
merciful possessed the throne of an everlasting king- 
dom " (I Mace. ii. 57). 

The certainty of this high destiny grew inversely with 
the political fortunes of the people. But when even 
the Hasmoneans fell, and Judea, so far from increas- 
ing the possessions of Solomon, found herself a hope- 
lessly insignificant fraction of a huge empire, it was not 
merely the political side of the Messianic idea that fed 
upon its non-realization. Obscure economic and re- 
ligious factors had long been operative, and all these 
raised popular temper to a point of high and, as it 
proved, destructive tension. It must always be remem- 
bered that those who undertook to lead the people 
against the Romans did not aim at the restoration of 
the Hasmonean or even Solomonic kingdom. The 
establishment of a throne in Jerusalem was the first step 
of that triumphant march through the world which 
would inaugurate the reign of the God-anointed son of 
David. The Judean zealots fought for no mean prize. 

The Jews who came into contact with Greeks and 
Romans were a people whose development had been 


continuous from the earliest times. The cataclysms of 
their history had produced disturbances, but no break 
in their institutional growth. To the civil codes of the 
ancient polity they were in the process of adding a new 
body of law based upon judicial decisions. To the 
ethical monotheism of their former development the 
popular mind was adding a belief in personal immortal- 
ity and bodily resurrection. Folk-lore and superstitions 
on one side, and speculative philosophy on the other, 
were busy here, as they were busy everywhere, in modi- 
fying the attitude of the people toward the established 

Finally the Messianic idea was gaining strength and 
form. In essence a hope for future prosperity, it had 
united in itself all the dreams and fancies of the people, 
which had arisen in many ways. It became in the end 
the dream of a world-monarchy, in which a scion of 
David's line would be king of kings and give law to the 
world from Jerusalem. The ushering in of that era 
soon became a great day of judgment affecting the 
whole universe and ardently desired to correct the 
oppressive evils of actual life. 



Jews came into the occidental horizon as part of 
a larger whole. That whole was known as Syria. 
Unfortunately Syria itself is a very vague term, and is 
without real ethnographic or geographic unity. It 
might include Mesopotamia and all the intervening 
region between the Taurus and Egypt. One might sup- 
pose that with such a people as the Phoenicians Greek 
dealings had been so extensive and frequent that it was 
impossible to call them out of their name, but Tyrians 
too are considered and spoken of as branches of the 
Syrians. The name soon became practically a descrip- 
tive epithet, more or less derogatory in its implication.* 

The lower part of the region between the Taurus 
and Sinai was known to Greeks as Syria Palaestina, a 
name almost certainly derived from the Philistine cities 
whose position on the coast and whose origin made 
them familiar to traders. The Greeks knew, of course, 
that variously denominated tribes occupied the hinter- 
land, but what little they knew about them did not until 
somewhat later get into the literary fragments that 
have come down to us. Perhaps they would not even 
have been surprised to learn that here, as in Asia Minor, 
a very large number of peoples had settled and fought 
and jumbled one another into what seemed to superficial 
outsiders a common group of Syrians, 


The particular section later occupied by the Jews had 
itself been the scene of a racial babel. The Israelites 
were, by their tradition, expressly commanded to dis- 
possess Hittite, Girgashite, Canaanite, Amorite, Periz- 
zite, Hivite, and Jebusite.^ The recurrence of this 
enumeration indicates an historical basis for the tradi- 
tion. It is very likely that nations so named were 
actually subdued by the invading. Hebrews. The fact 
that the tribes dispossessed are seven in number makes 
caution necessary in accepting the statement. Perhaps 
some of these " nations " are different names for the 
same group. Some of them, e. g. Hittite or Amorite, 
may be vague descriptive terms, like Syrian or even 

Then there were the Phoenicians, representing per- 
haps the first Semitic invasion of this territory. Below 
them, the Philistines, '' from Caphthor," who are very 
plausibly identified with Cretans or " Minoans," the 
Keftiu of the Egyptians.^ During Mesopotamian and 
Egyptian sovereignty, Mesopotamian and Egyptian 
infiltration may be safely assumed. The desert never 
ceased to contribute its share of tribes. Permanent 
results of such nomad invasions were the settlement of 
the various Hebrew tribes — Moab and Edom in the 
southeast and Israel on both sides of the Jordan. 

If the analogy of other times and places is to be fol- 
lowed, no one of these groups was ever completely and 
literally exterminated. Jewish tradition knows of an 
attempted extermination — that of the Amalekites — 
only as a very exceptional thing. The resultant nation- 
alities, which in Greek times occupied Palestine, were 


likely enough to have been of somewhat mixed origin. 
When the Greeks came to know them well, however, 
the Jews had long been a well-defined group, frowning 
upon intermarriage, although it is not likely that the 
prohibition of connubium had its source in any impor- 
tance attached to racial purity, or that all Jews every- 
where were equally strict in enforcing it/ 

As has been suggested, the first contact was probably 
military. Since Jews served in the Persian armies as 
far south as Elephantine, they probably were equally 
present in the battalions of Datis and of Mardonius.' 
Another early contact was in the slave-mart, no doubt 
both as buyers and the bought. Enterprising Tyrian 
traders had made themselves comfortable in Jeru- 
salem before Nehemiah (Neh. xiii. 6), and human 
commodities formed the chief merchandise of most 
commerce. Before him, perhaps before the Exile, Joel 
reproaches the Phoenicians with the words, '' The chil- 
dren also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have 
ye sold unto the Grecians."" " Syrus " had become a 
common slave-name in Greece in the fifth century, and 
Syrus might include anything.^ 

All these scattered and uncertain hints do not tend 
to present a very clear picture. However, the time 
was rapidly coming when Greek contact with " Syria " 
was to be vastly more intimate. 

In the spring of 334 b. c. e., Alexander crossed the 
Hellespont to carry out the cherished vision of Isocrates, 
a united Hellas drastically stamping out the Persian 
peril. From the complete success of his efforts we are 


wont to date the so-called Hellenistic epoch, the period 
in which Greek infl uences in art, government, and society 
were dominant. But Hellenization had in actual fact 
begun long ago in the domain of art. It had penetrated 
central Asia Minor far back in the seventh century b. c. 
E.," and the magnificent '' satrap-sarcophagus " at Sidon 
shows how thoroughly it was appreciated at the very 
borders of Judea well in the middle of the fifth century 
B. c. E.*" A generation before Alexander the king of 
Sidon bore a Greek name.^** 

So the ''king of Yavan," who received the submission 
of Jerusalem, passed, on his way to Egypt, among a 
people to whom the name of Greek was quite familiar — 
who had long known of Greek skill in craftsmanship, 
Greek prowess on the field of battle, and Greek shrewd- 
ness in bargaining. The new empire, on the dizzy 
throne of which Alexander placed himself, seemed to 
all the East commensurate with the whole world, and 
to the kinsmen of the new king of kings and lord of 
lords all men were ready enough to grant the deference 
formerly owed to Persians. 

At Alexander's untimely death it could scarcely have 
seemed to men that great changes were impending. On 
the contrary, the prestige of his literally miraculous 
successes, the impress of his powerful and fascinating 
personality, continued for a long time. It might be 
doubtful — in fact, it must have immediately become 
uncertain — whether the persons to whom the actual 
administration of afifairs would fall, would be of Alex- 
ander's blood. The satraps of the old regime had to 


some extent been displaced by the great king's generals. 
Every one of these was convinced that the coveted prize 
would fall to the strongest or cleverest or quickest ; but 
for a while a short and troubled truce was maintained 
under the shadow of regal authority embodied in the 
poor fool Arrhidaeus and the unborn child of Roxane. 
When the young Alexander was born, the conditions 
at Babylon challenged the intriguing of every court- 
parasite. Ptolemy, son of Lagos, satrap of Egypt, was 
the first to disregard the confused and divided authority 
of the zany king and his baby colleague. A general 
debacle followed. Palestine suffered more than others, 
because it was unfortunately situated on the road to 
Egypt. But by about 300 b. c. e. the country was 
definitely settled as a province of Egypt, and it entered 
upon a century of extraordinary and varied growth. 

It is just about this time that unmistakable knowledge 
of the Jews themselves, as a separate nationality of 
Syrians, is evidenced in extant Greek writers. His- 
tories of the nearer and of the remote East, impressions 
of travel and concatenation of irresponsible gossip of 
all sorts had long been written by Greeks. Some of 
these may well have contained reference to the Jews. 
In the fifth century, Herodotus speaks of the " Syrians 
of Palestine " in connection with the rite of circum- 
cision, which, he claims to know from the testimony 
of the Syrians themselves, was derived from Egypt." 
However, he obviously writes at second hand, so that 
we have no means of knowing whether or not he refers 
to Jews. That he knew the name 'lovhaloi is not likely, 


but the fact that his source was probably a hterary one 
makes it possible to date the acquaintance o f Greeks 
with the practice of circumcision in this region, and 
therefore perhaps with Jews, at least to the beginning 
of the fifth century b. c. e. 

The peculiar natural phenomena of the Dead Sea 
attracted the attention of travelers from very early 
times. Aristotle discusses it, and after him — no doubt 
before him, as well — the collectors of wonder-tales, of 
which we have so many later specimens. Interest in 
the Dead Sea, however, by no means implied interest in 
those who dwelt on its borders, and the story of the 
bituminous formation on the water and the curious 
manner in which it was collected could be and was told 
without so much as a mention of the name of Jews.'' 

But they are mentioned, and for the first time in 
extant Greek writers, by the famous pupil and successor 
of Aristotle, Theophrastus of Lesbos. The passage 
does not occur in any one of the works of Theophrastus 
which we have in bulk, such ns the Characters or the 
Natural History. It is a quotation made by the Neopla- 
tonic philosopher Porphyrins, who wrote somewhere 
about 275 c. E. The quotation may, in accordance with 
ancient custom, be of substance rather than verbatim. 
Faulty memory may have further diminished its value 
for our purposes. When we add to these facts possible 
uncertainties in the transmission of the text of Por- 
phyrius, we are in a fair way of realizing from what 
dubious material we must piece our knowledge together. 


The passage is in itself, except perhaps for one casual 
phrase, strangely unimportant, but as the earliest plain 
reference to Jews in a Greek writer it deserves citation 
in full: 

t^ As a matter of fact, if the Jews, those Syrians who still 

maintain the ancient form of animal sacrifice, were to urge 
us to adopt their method, we should probably find the practice 
repellent. Their system is the following : they do not eat of 
the sacrificial flesh, but burn all of it at night, after they have 
poured a great deal of honey and wine upon it. The sacrifice 
they seek to complete rather rapidly, so that the All-Seer may 
not become a witness of pollution. Throughout the entire 
time, inasmuch as they are philosophers by race, they discuss 
the nature of the Deity among themselves, and spend the night 
in observing the stars, looking up at them and invoking them 

I as divine in their prayers. 

As Reinach points out," there is scarcely a correct 
word in this description considered as an account of 
actual Jewish sacrificial rites. If we have a correct, or 
even approximately correct, version of Theophrastus' 
report, he or his informant was curiously misinformed. 
This informant obviously could not have been a Jew. 
No Jew could have been so ignorant of the customs of 
his people. Nor did his statement come directly from 
any one who had actually witnessed, from the Court of 
the Gentiles, even a small part of a Jewish sacrifice. It 
may well be that we have before us an inextricable con- 
fusion between Jewish and other Syrian rites. We are 
left to wholly uncontrolled speculation, if we are bent 
on knowing whence Theophrastus derived the assertions 
he makes here. 

The important words of the passage are found in the 
casual phrase are </)tAoo-o^ot to yeVos ovres, '' inasmuch as 


they are philosophers by race." The phrasing indicates 
that this aspect of the Jews is not wholly new. Word 
had come to Theophrastus, and to others before him, 
of a Syrian people not far from the coast, whose ritual 
in some respects — though the transmission is confused 
as to what respects — differed from that of their neigh- 
bors, but whose cust oms were strikingly different, in^ 
one particular, that part of their divine observance 
was some form o f theologic discussion. That, as we 
know, was a fact, since '' houses of prayer " — we may 
call them synagogues — already existed. This reference 
to them is the one kernel of observed fact in this whole 
description, however indirectly obtained. 

Now the Greeks of the fourth century knew of 
esoteric religious communities, and they knew of 
nations that professed to be especially attached to 
religious practices. But groups of mystae engaged in 
rapt spiritual converse were never coextensive with 
entire nations. And '' religious " nations might be sim- 
ply those among whom an elaborate state cult was 
punctiliously performed. Even theocracies were no 
unheard-of thing. Sidon was such a theocracy ; i. e. 
theoretically ruled by the god and administered by his 
priest." But that too was largely formal, not strikingly 
different from the patronage of Athena over Athens. 
The Jewish theocracy was a more intensely real matter 
than this, but that fact could not have been apparent to 
either merchant or traveler, from whom in the last 
analysis the information about Jews before 300 b. c. e. 
must have come. If, therefore, Greeks found some- 


thing in the religious customs of the Jews that aroused 
immediate attention, it was the very general interest 
and participation of the masses in the theological dis- 
cussion as it was carried on in the synagogues. 

This fact alone would justify the use of the term 
(f)LX6(TO(j>oL, ''philosophers." T heology, the knowledge of 
the hig h gods, was an accredited branch of wisdom 
whic h the Plat on ic Socrates strove with a little too 
palpable irony to elicit from Euthyphro. Those who 
busied them selves with it were properly termed philos - 
ophers, whatev er may have been the conclusions t hey 

reached! If we venture to assume that the conclusions 

« — . 

which the Jews had long reached were actually known, 
Theophrastus' phrase could only have been confirmed. 
An exclusive monotheism was in every sense a ph ilo- 

_ .^ ,rier~ — ———————— ' " 

sophic and not a popular concep t. 

A contemporary of Theophrastus was Clearchus of 
Soli in Cyprus. Of his writings none whatever has 
survived, except quotations in other books. Among 
other works he wrote dialogues more or less after the 
Platonic manner, in which his master Aristotle is inter- 
locutor in place of Socrates. One of these dialogues 
was marked, no doubt as a subtitle, Trepl vttvov, " On 
Sleep," and in this dialogue an encounter of Aristotle 
with a Hellenized Jew is described. 

We need not seriously consider the question whether 
such an encounter actually occurred. It is not in the 
least likely that it did. The only inferences that may 
be drawn from this passage are those that concern 


Aristotle is the narrator, and tells his story, as he 
takes pains to say, according to the rules formulated in 
Rhetoric." He had met a man in Asia, a Jew of Coele- 
Syria by birth, but Grecized in speech and in soul. This 
Greek or Jew voluntarily sought out Aristotle and 
his associates, ttci/ow/acvo? avrwv T^? (7o<^ta9, ** to find out 
whether they were really as wise as their reputation." 
On the whole, however, he had given rather than 
received edification." 

What it was in this man's conversation that so 
strongly aroused the approval of Clearchus we are not 
told. Josephus, in whose Contra Apionem we find the 
passage, ends here, to tell us briefiy that the rest of 
Aristotle's story described the man's great strength of 
character and the admirable self-control of his habits of 
life. It may be suspected that Clearchus' Jew is little 
more than a mouthpiece for his own ethical doctrines, 
a sort of fourth century Ingenu, or Candide.^^ But 
what he does actually say is of great interest. 

We have here the first mention of the capital in the 
form Jerusaleme, introduced, it may be noted, for its 
outlandish sound. And we have the statement, curious 
enough to our ears, that the Jews are descendants of 
Hindu philosophers, who bear the name of Jews in 
Syria and Calani in India. Elsewhere Clearchus asserts 
an exactly similar connection between the Persian magi 
and the Hindu gymnosophists." It is obvious that 
Clearchus has the caste organization of the magi in 
mind, and that his knowledge of Jews is as mediate and 
remote as that of Theophrastus. 


The connection of the Jews with India was evidently 
a hasty conclusion, arrived at when knowledge came to 
the Greeks of the existence of castes whose function 
was principally religious. The statement is repeated 
by a man who should have known better — Megasthenes, 
Seleucus' ambassador to India. '' All that has been 
written on natural science by the old Greek philoso- 
phers," he tells us, '' may also be found in philos- 
ophers outside of Greece, such as the Hindu Brahmans 
and the so-called Jews of Syria." ^ He is of course 
quite wrong as to the facts. But his statement is 
evidence of the wide currency of the opinion that the 
Jews possessed a very special and very profound lore. 
Megasthenes, it may be noted, does not state or imply 
that the Greeks were borrowers. If he had done so, 
the writer in whose book we find the citation, Clemens 
of Alexandria (about 180 c. e.), would have pounced 
upon it. Clemens was eagerly searching for demonstra- 
tion of the thesis set up by many Jews and most early 
Christians, that all Greek science and philosophy were 
derived from an imagined early communication between 
Moses and the first Asiatic philosophers."^ 

Theophrastus, Clearchus, and Megasthenes, all of 
them belonging to the generation of or immediately 
after Alexander, hold largely the same views. Influ- 
ence of one of them upon the others is practically 
excluded. We may find in them accordingly such 
knowledge of the Jews as at about 300 b. c. e. had 
reached educated Greeks. 


If we try to imagine how this information reached 
them, we are reduced to pure speculation. It does not 
seem to have been a common Hterary source, although it 
is likely enough that in the numerous histories of the 
East, now lost, casual and inaccurate references were 
made to the Jews. And again it is not likely that the 
vastly increased communication that followed Alex- 
ander's campaign, at once brought the Jews much more 
prominently within the circle of Greek interest. In 
those days, the land-passage hugged the sea as closely 
as the sea-passage hugged the land. Judea was a little 
inland country, somewhat out of the line of direct com- 
munication between the Euphrates and the Nile. If 
then the current views, expressed as they are by 
Theophrastus and his contemporaries, had neither a 
literary source nor one of direct report, it can only have 
spread as an indirect, filtered rumor, perhaps by way of 
Phoenicians, Syrians, and Egyptians. 

As far as Phoenicians and Syrians are concerned, 
immediate contact with the Jews must have existed. 
Tyrians and Sidonians and Philistines are frequently 
mentioned in the post-Exilic books of the Bible." This 
contact was not wholly hostile, though it was often so ; 
but if these nations were the sources of Greek informa- 
tion about the Jews, the hostility is not apparent. Per- 
haps in the generations between Zechariah and Alex- 
ander it had disappeared. At all events, it would appear 
that the Canaanite neighbors of the Jews really knew 
very little about them, except that the Jews were the 
residents of the hills about Jerusalem, and that they 


had highly characteristic rehgious rites — characteristic 
principally in the earnestness with which they were 

In Egypt, a country that had never ceased to be 
in communication with Greece from very early times, 
and particularly since the founding of a Greek city 
at Naucratis, in Egypt itself, about the middle of 
the sixth century b. c. e., there had been communities of 
Jews from times that antedated the Persian conquest. 
Into the situation here, newly discovered papyri at 
Assuan and Elephantine allow us a glimpse, but only a 
glimpse. Even the little we know includes one case 
of bitter conflict between Jews and Egyptians." No 
doubt it was not the only case of its kind. Egyptians, 
we may be sure, knew of the Jews in the communities 
in which Jews lived, and one might suppose that Greek 
visitors to Egypt would at some time stumble across 
Jews there. However, our extant sources, which speak 
of Egyptians often enough, do not seem to have recog- 
nized the presence of foreign elements in the Egyptian 
population. It was reserved for the papyri to show us 
Persians, Syrians, Babylonians, and Jews established in 
the land as individuals and in groups. 

The view of the Jews that represented them as a 
mystical sect did not cease when Judea became an 
important political factor in the East. One Greek 
thinker particularly had professed so strange and 
esoteric a doctrine that his biographers and critics 
inevitably looked for the source of it in non-Greek 
tribes and especially in those who had otherwise 


obtained a reputation for wisdom of various kinds. 
This was Pythagoras. Some seventy-five years after 
Theophrastus, Hermippus of Smyrna, in his Life of 
Pythagoras, ascribed certain definite doctrines of the 
latter to the Jews and Thracians/^ Pythagoras as a 
matter of fact had traveled extensively, and had 
brought to his Italian home little fragments of exotic 
lore variously derived. That his philosophy was influ- 
enced by them, there is no sufficient proof, much less 
based upon them, and the general belief that he was so 
influenced had probably no sounder foundation than the 
indubitable strangeness of the rites he instituted and his 
personal mannerisms. But in later times Pythagoras 
was a name to conjure with for those who were bent on 
establishing a connection between the Jews and the 
Greeks. Hermippus had numerous imitators among 
later Jewish and Christian writers. 

We shall of course never be able to discover the 
particular moment that marked the first meeting of 
Jew and Greek. The contact that is indicated in the 
words of Theophrastus or Megasthenes is already of 
some duration. The term 'lovSato? has a definite mean- 
ing for educated Greeks. It denoted a Syrian sect, liv- 
ing together about their rock-citadel and akin in doc- 
trine and probably in blood to the Persian Magi and 
Hindu gymnosophists. More exact information was 
scarcely available. The two non-Judean sections where 
Jews were to be found, Babylon and Egypt, were them- 
selves strange and only partially understood regions to 
Greeks in spite of their long acquaintance with both of 


In the relations that subsisted between Jews and 
Greeks after Alexander, Egypt plays an important 
part, so that particular attention must be directed to that 

The influence of Egypt upon Palestine is no new 
thing in its history. For century after century the 
mighty empire across Sinai had been the huge and 
determining fact in the political destiny of all Pales- 
tinian nations. Indeed Palestine is much more properly 
within the Egyptian sphere of culture than the Baby- 
lonian. The glamor lasted even when the Pharaoh had 
become a broken reed. Men's minds instinctively 
turned in that direction, and the vigor of the relatively 
youthful Assyria could not hold imaginations with half 
the force of the remembered glories of Thutmose and 

Egypt had been in Persian times a turbulent province, 
subdued with difficulty and demanding constantly 
renewed subjugation. Shortly before Alexander's con- 
quest, Artaxerxes Ochus had reconquered it with brutal 
severity. It offered no resistance to the victorious 
Macedonians. Upon Alexander himself it exercised an 
undoubted attraction. The ancient gods of this most 
ancient of countries were those best fitted to confirm his 


rather raw divinity. From none else than Amon him- 
self, in his isolated shrine in the desert, he claimed to 
have received revelation of his divine lineage. And 
at the mouth of the Nile he laid the foundation of the 
greatest monument he was destined to have, the city of 

When Alexander's satraps proceeded to carve out 
portions for themselves, Egypt was seized by Ptolemy, 
whose quick brain had grasped at once the advantages 
accruing from the possession of an inexhaustible 
granary and from the relative remoteness of his posi- 
tion. The first contests would have to be fought in Asia. 
To attack Egypt meant a costly and carefully planned 
expedition, with the hazards of a rear attack. It was 
attempted, and it failed. Egypt might, as far as the 
country itself was concerned, breathe freely for a while, 
and give itself the opportunity of developing its extra- 
ordinary resources. 

One of Ptolemy's first aggressive campaigns was the 
seizure of Palestine, the natural geographical extension. 
Judea and Jerusalem fell into his hands. It is probable, 
as will be later discussed, that the story of the capture 
of the city on the Sabbath is apocryphal. But there 
can be no doubt that one of the immediate conse- 
quences of the annexation of Palestine was a greatly 
increased emigration of Jews, and doubtless of Pales- 
tinians generally, to Egypt. There is the tradition of a 
deportation, but it is feebly supported. However, the 
emigration was unquestionably vigorously encouraged 
and stimulated by the king. The new city needed 


inhabitants, and Egyptians were as yet looked at 
askance by their Macedonian rulers. 

From the beginning, a great number of Greeks, Jews, 
Persians, Syrians, and Egyptians dwelt side by side in 
Alexandria. Greeks who now spoke of Jews could do 
so at first hand, and they could also obtain at first hand 
accounts of Jews from other nations, especially from 
the Egyptians. When, therefore, at about this time, 
Hecataeus of Abdera, a Greek living in Egypt, wrote a 
history of that country, he had more to say of the Jews 
than that they were a Syrian caste of strange ritual. 
Indeed his account of them is so important that it will 
be briefly summarized. 

A pestilence broke out in Egypt, which was popularly 
attributed to the neglect of the national cult owing to 
the presence of foreign elements in the population. To 
propitiate the gods, the strangers (dAAd</)i;AAot) were 
expelled. The most distinguished and energetic, as 
some say, arrived in Greece led by famous chieftains, of 
whom Danaus and Cadmus are the best known. The 
mass of the population settled in the neighboring Pales- 
tine, which was then a desert. 

This colony (aTroiKia) was led by a certain Moses, 
famous for his wisdom and valor. He founded several 
cities, of which lerosolyma is now the best-known. 
Having organized cult and government, he divided the 
people into twelve tribes, because he considered that 
number the absolutely perfect one, and because it cor- 
responded to the number of months in the year. 


He made no statues of gods, because he regarded as 
God and Ruler of all things the heavens that encircled 
the earth, and accordingly did not believe that the Deity- 
resembled man in form. The sacrifices he instituted, 
the manner of life he prescribed, were different from 
those of surrounding nations. This was due to the 
expulsion they had suffered, which induced Moses 
to ordain an inhospitable (/Ltio-o^evov) and inhuman 
(aTrdv6p(t)7rov) form of living. 

Since the nation was to be directed by priests, he 
chose for that purpose men of the highest character and 
ability. These he instructed, not merely for their sacer- 
dotal functions, but also for their judicial and govern- 
mental duties. They were to be the guardians of law 
and morality. 

It is for this reason that the Jews have never had a 
king, but appoint as ruler the wisest and ablest of their 
priests. They call him high priest (apxiepev^), and 
regard him as bearer of the divine commands, which he 
announces at the public assemblies and other meetings. 
In this matter the Jews are so credulous that they fall to 
the ground and adore {irpoaKovdv) the high priest when 
he interprets the divine message. At the end of their 
laws is written, " These words, which Moses heard from 
God, he states to the Jews." 

Moses showed much foresight in military matters, 
since he compelled the young men to train themselves 
by exercises that involved courage and daring and 
endurance of privations. In his campaigns he con- 
quered most of the surrounding territory, which was 


divided equally among all citizens, except that the 
priests received larger shares, so that they might enjoy 
greater leisure for their public duties. These allot- 
ments the possessors were forbidden to sell, in order 
to prevent depopulation by the creation of great estates. 
As an additional means to that end he compelled every 
one to rear his children, an arrangement that involved 
little expense and made the Jews at all times a very 
populous nation. Marriage and funeral rites were 
likewise quite dififerent from those of their neighbors. 

However, many of these ancient customs were modi- 
fied under Persian, and more recently under Mace- 
donian, supremacy.'' 

So far Hecataeus of Abdera. The fragment is inter- 
esting, not merely as the first connected account of 
Jews by a Greek, but also from a number of facts that 
are contained implicitly in his narrative. 

We have seen, in the previous chapter, what general 
knowledge of the Jews educated Greeks had in the 
latter half of the fourth century. Hecataeus could 
scarcely avoid being familiar with that version before 
he came to Egypt. That he ever was in Judea there is 
no evidence. If he followed his master Ptolemy, he 
might easily have been there. But the information he 
gives was almost certainly obtained in Egypt, and 
the sources of that information will be more closely 

It is evident at once that some of his facts must have 
come from contemporary Jewish sources. His state- 
ment of conditions among the Jews is markedly accurate 


for the time in which he wrote, although to be sure these 
conditions do not date to Moses. The absence of a king, 
the presence of a priestly nobility, the judicial functions 
of the priests, the compulsory military service, the 
supremacy of the high priest, and the veneration 
accorded to him, are all matters of which only a resident 
of Judea can have been cognizant. 

Was the source a literary one ? Did Hecataeus, writ- 
ing at about 300 b. c. e., have before him a translation 
of the Bible or of the Pentateuch or a part of it ? In the 
first place there is very little reason to believe that such 
a translation was current or was needed at this time. 
Secondly, the matters mentioned are just those that do 
not stand out at all in such a rapid reading of the Bible 
as a curious Greek might have given it. To obtain even 
approximate parallels, single verses of the Bible must 
be cited. But the statements of Hecataeus do corre- 
spond to actual conditions in the Judea of his time. We 
may therefore plausibly suppose that Hecataeus' infor- 
mant was a Greek-speaking Jew, perhaps a soldier. 
Certain inaccuracies in the account would not militate 
against such a supposition. Whoever it was from 
whom the information came, cannot himself have 
been especially conversant with his national history. 
The glorious period of Jewish history was that of the 
kings, of David and Solomon. For any Jew to have 
asserted that no king ever reigned over them is scarcely 
conceivable. But that may be an inference of the Greek 
and not a statement of the Jew, and that in Egypt there 


were Jews crassly ignorant of everything but the facts 
of their own time, we can readily enough imagine.' 

Was there any other source of information? Ob- 
viously no Jew told Hecataeus that his people were 
descendants of Egyptian outcasts, at least in the way in 
which they are here described ; no Jew qualified the 
institutions of his people as " inhospitable and in- 
human " ; no Jew represented his kinsmen as credulous 
dupes. Plainly these stories are told from the Egyptian 
point of view. The first almost surely is. It constitutes 
in outline what has often been called the " Egyptian 
version of the Exodus." 

As to that version this question at once arises : What 
are its sources? Is it a malicious distortion of the 
Biblical story, or has it an independent origin in Egyp- 
tian traditions? 

The former supposition is the one generally accepted. 
We have seen that there is little likelihood that a Greek 
translation of the Pentateuch existed as early as 300 b. 
c. E. If then the Egyptian version is consciously based 
upon the Jewish story, that story must have been known 
to the Egyptians by oral transmission only. Until 
recently, imagined difficulties in the way of assuming 
such a transmission seemed weighty objections, but all 
these difficulties have disappeared in the light ot the 
Assuan and Elephantine papyri. The existence of 
Jewish communities in Egypt from pre-Persian times 
is established by them, and particular interest centers 
upon one of them, which alludes to the Passover cele- 


bration and represents the Egyptian Jewries as refer- 
ring certain questions to the Palestinian community/ 

It must be clear that if Passover had been celebrated 
in Egyptian surroundings for two centuries, the 
Egyptian neighbors of the Jews knew of the feast's 
existence and of the occasion it was intended to cele- 
brate. In those two centuries the elements that make 
this version an Egyptian one may easily have arisen. 
Indeed, it would have been strange if stories repre- 
senting the Exodus as anything but the Jewish triumph 
it is depicted in the Pentateuch had not circulated 
widely among Egyptians. 

The mere celebration of Passover was apt to make 
permanent a certain hostility between the two nations. 
When we compare Deut. xxiii. 7, '' Thou shalt not 
abhor an Egyptian," with Ezra ix. i, where the customs 
of the Egyptians are classed as abominations, and where 
Egyptian, Moabite, and Edomite are added to the list of 
peoples (Deut. vii. i) to be shunned and avoided, it is 
plain that the attitude toward Egyptians had undergone 
considerable change in the intervening centuries. It 
requires a long period of antagonism to explain the later 
Alexandrian anti-Semitism. 

At the same time the papyri show other phases of 
life as well. They offer instances of amicable relations, 
even of intermarriage, as well as instances of hostility, 
such as that which resulted in the destruction of the 
shrine of Yahu at Elephantine. The latter incident is 
too obscure to permit us to draw inferences from it. 
But it is clear that it can no more be considered typical 



than the other examples, which show perfectly free and 
friendly intercourse. 

The story as it appears in Hecataeus, however, does 
not imply, even in its unflattering aspects, hostility on 
the part of the Egyptians. It may be remembered that 
the founders of several Greek nations as well as the 
Jews were expelled from Egypt on the occasion men- 
tioned. It is easy to see how Egyptians, learning of 
Greek and Jewish legends that ascribed the origin of 
those nations to themselves, would accept the ascription, 
and make it a part of their own stories in a way to 
flatter the national vanity. 

While therefore the supposition that Egyptians 
based their version on the Jewish story of the Exodus 
as it became known to them is much the more probable 
view, the possibility of an independent Egyptian tradi- 
tion on the subject is not to be dismissed cavalierly. 

The Egyptian records that have come down to us 
do not often mention Jews. Careful study has made it 
plain that the Pharaoh of the oppression or the Exodus 
cannot be identified so readily as was formerly done, 
but they have shown that the popular traditions about 
the Hyksos had at least so much foundation in fact, that 
about 1580 B. c. E. Ahmose I did actually drive out the 
Semitic or half-Semitic conquerors of the country, and 
these conquerors are quite plausibly identified with the 
Hyksos. Now during the Hyksos period we hear of 
a ruler named Jacob-Her, or Jacob-El, and a few cen- 
turies after the inscriptions of Mer-ne-ptah show Israel 
already established in Palestine. If, in the casual selec- 


tion of inscriptions that has been made by the lapse 
of thirty-five centuries, these facts appear, it is surely 
not impossible that in 300 b. c. e. a great many more 
facts were known. It is not likely that every Egyptian 
priest could read the hieroglyphics, but some could, and 
the knowledge of a few could easily become common 

When Greeks came to Egypt in the train of Alex- 
ander and Ptolemy, they not only brought Jews there, 
but they found them, as well as the story just discussed, 
whether two hundred or twelve hundred years old. 

When we meet the Egyptian version again, it is in a 
form unmistakably malevolent. A very few years after 
Hecataeus, an Egyptian priest named Manetho wrote 
the history of his people in Greek. His sources were 
popular traditions much more than the monuments, but 
they were at least partly documentary. Manetho's book 
has been lost, and its '' fragments," as usual, appear in 
the form of quotations in much later books, where we 
must estimate the probabilities of wilful and careless 

The fragments of especial interest to us are con- 
tained in Josephus' apologetic work known as Contra 
Apionem (§1, 26-27), where unfortunately one cannot 
always distinguish between the statements of Josephus 
and those of Manetho. 

The essential part of Manetho's story, as far as we 
can piece it together, is that the Exodus of the Jews 
from Egypt was nothing more nor less than the defeat 
and expulsion of certain rebellious Egyptians. These 


latter had been isolated from their fellow-men as lepers 
and criminals, and had treasonably summoned to their 
aid the Bedouin Hyksos from Jerusalem. The Egyp- 
tian outcasts were led by a Heliopolitan priest named 
Osarsiph, who afterwards changed his name to Moses. 
After a short domination over Egypt, they were 
defeated and expelled, and pursued to the frontiers of 

If the very indefinite words of Josephus are to be 
trusted {Contra Apioncm, i. 26), Manetho expressly 
asserts that this account is based upon what is popularly 

told of the Jews (ra fxvOevofxeva Kal Xeyo/xeva Trepl twv 

'lovSaiwv). Whether Manetho really said so or not, it 
is extremely unlikely that it was the case. The account 
seems too finished and detailed to have such an origin. 
It is much more likely that it is a deliberate invention of 
Manetho himself, following the Jewish story with a 
certain amount of care. As has been suggested, the 
name Osarsiph is simply an Egyptian version of Joseph, 
the name of Osiris (which often appears as Osar- or 
Osor- in names)* being substituted for the assumed 
theophoric element Jo-, a syllable that would be familiar 
to all Egyptians in such very common Jewish names as 
Johanan and Jonathan. 

The " Egyptian version " as we found it in Hecataeus 
is far from malevolent. In Manetho it is plainly 
inspired by hatred. The Jews are represented as the 
mongrel offspring of Egyptian outcasts and half -civil- 
ized Bedouins. The vice of unsociability is reasserted, 
coupled with a charge of " atheism," a term we shall 

EGYPT loi 

have to deal with later in detail. Moses, or Osarsiph, 
forbade the Jews " to have any dealings with anyone 
whatsoever except their confederates (o-vi/w/Aoa/xeVot). 
That is, of course, more precise than the words '' inhos- 
pitable and inhuman manner of life " of Hecataeus, and 
formed in ancient times a more serious indictment than 
in our own. 

Now Josephus, of course, is roused to considerable 
heat by the " silly lies " of Manetho, although as testi- 
mony to the antiquity of his people the story is grist 
to his mill. He points out very clearly and correctly 
that many of the incidents are admissions that the cor- 
responding incidents of the Jewish story are essentially 
true. These admissions do not prove that Manetho 
read these matters from the hieroglyphic records, but 
merely that he knew the Jewish story, and, except for 
the confusion of Moses and Joseph, that he knew it 

Nearly all Manetho's details are suggested in some 
way by the Biblical story. The leprosy of Osarsiph is 
probably derived from the story of Moses (Exodus iv. 
7) ; the convicts in the quarries (ot h rah AaoTo^Liiats), 
from the bondage which the Jews acknowledged of 
themselves (Exodus i. 12-14). Manetho cannot accept 
Joseph's rule nor Pharaoh's discomfiture at the Red 
Sea, but, as many other ancient and modern writers did, 
he will not absolutely deny what he wishes to avoid, but 
prefers to present it in a form less galling to his pride. 
Osarsiph did rule over Egypt, but his rule was a chas- 
tisement of the Egyptians for the impiety of King 


Amenophis, and was effected only by the aid of foreign 
mercenaries. Pharaoh did advance to " the river " with 
a picked army and then withdraw before the enemy, 
but it was a voluntary withdrawal, impelled by his fear 
of the offended gods/ 

It is by no means impossible that all the facts implied 
may have been learned by Manetho through oral 
acquaintance with the Jewish story of the Exodus. But 
if Manetho acquired his information so, we should 
expect confusion in the sequence of events. We should 
find anachronisms of various sorts. It is therefore more 
likely that he had an actual book before him. Tradition 
of strong intrinsic probability assigns the translation of 
the Pentateuch into Greek to the reign of Philadelphus. 
Writing at about 270 b. c. e., Manetho may well have 
read the Pentateuch, at least cursorily. Indeed it would 
be easy to suppose that it was the circulation in Greek 
of stories so offensive to Egyptians that specially moved 
him to publish his own interpretation of those stories. 
He was hardly likely to have made so much of them, if 
they were merely legends, scarcely known except to the 
Jews themselves and their closest neighbors. 

The ''Egyptian version " may be said to have been 
the more successful. The leprosy of Moses, the founder 
of the nation, was constantly girded at by later writers. 
Tacitus repeats Manetho faithfully in the matter," and 
one of the latest pagan writers of whom we have frag- 
ments concerning the Jews, Helladius, makes allusion 
to the same thing.^ The point does not seem to us of 
capital importance, but among peoples that regarded 

EGYPT 103 

bodily defects as obvious signs of divine displeasure in 
the person afflicted, it was likely to have weight. 

It may, however, be well to remember that both ver- 
sions were in equal circulation. To many the Jewish 
story seemed the more probable. But it is significant 
that at the very beginning of the period when the Jews 
took a larger share in the life of the Mediterranean 
world we find Jews and Egyptians distinctly in conflict. 
That conflict was destined to become embittered, but it 
must not be taken as an epitome of Jewish relations 
generally with other nations. 


Greek civilization was essentially urban. The city- 
state, or polis, was its highest governmental achieve- 
ment. When, therefore, under Alexander and Ptolemy, 
Egypt was to be transferred wholly within the sphere of 
Greek culture, it was by means of a polis that this was 
to be effected. 

The same was still more largely true for the other 
parts of Alexander's empire. In Asia and Syria the 
** Successors " were busy founding, wherever con- 
venient, cities diversely named. However, in these 
regions they were merely continuing, in a somewhat 
accelerated fashion, a practice begun long before. In 
Egypt, on the contrary, it was plain that a modification 
of that policy was necessary. There was, to be sure, 
an ancient Greek city at one of the western mouths of 
the Nile, the city of Naucratis. But that had been 
founded as an emporium, and due care was taken that 
it should be essentially nothing more, that it should 
acquire no supporting territory in Egypt. And how- 
ever important and wealthy Naucratis became, it re- 
mained confined to its foreign trade for its subsistence.* 
Besides, it had considerably dwindled in 330 b. c. e., so 
that its claims could never have been seriously con- 
sidered by Alexander, in comparison with his desire to 


found a new city and in comparison with the much 
superior location of Alexandria. 

It is not likely that Alexander himself completed the 
plans for the organization of the city. That was left to 
Ptolemy, and it was accomplished with a modification 
of the Greek system that illustrates both the wariness 
and the foresight of this most astute of Alexander's 

The essential part of the polis was its organization as 
a commonwealth, i. e. as a group of citizens, each of 
whom had a necessary function to perform in the state. 
From time immemorial the administration of affairs 
was assigned to a boule, or senate, the actual executives 
being little more than committees of the boule; but at 
all times an essential element of the constitution was the 
confirmation, real or constructive, of all acts of the 
boule by the demos, or mass of citizens. The manner in 
which the boule was selected, as well as the extent to 
which the check exercised by the demos was real, deter- 
mined the measure of democracy each polis obtained. 
However, even in cities which, like Sparta, were in 
theory permanent camps, the same view was held of the 
necessity of these parts and of their respective func- 
tions, so that everywhere, in legal contemplation, 
sovereignty resided in the demos.* 

It must not be supposed that all men who lived within 
the walls of the city were members of the demos. That 
is a conception of democracy wholly alien to ancient 
ideas. The participation of the individual in the state 
was a privilege, acquired in the first instance by birth. 


Side by side with the citizens was the slave, who was 
wholly devoid of legal rights, and the metic, or resident 
foreigner, who had, as a result of a direct compact with 
the state, acquired the right of residence and personal 
protection upon the payment of certain specified taxes. 

The privilege of citizenship was a complex of rights, 
to which were attached certain very definite and sharply 
emphasized obligations. What those rights were 
depended upon the constitution of the given polis. 
Where they were fullest, as at Athens, they included 
voting in the public assembly, the holding of public 
office, service on the jury, and a claim for certain per- 
sonal privileges, such as admission to the dramatic per- 
formances at the Dionysiac festivals. In other states 
they were not quite so extensive, but the obligations 
were everywhere the same, i. e. payment of taxes and 
military- service. The state was in the habit of remitting 
from time to time certain or all of these taxes and other 
compulsory services, so that we may say that various 
grades of citizens and metics generally existed. 

Now Naucratis was just such a polis as this. So 
were the various Apameas, Antiochias, Seleucias, 
Laodiceas, established in Asia and Syria. It is true 
that the boule and demos of these cities were the merest 
shadows; and actually the despotism of the monarch 
was as undoubted as it had been in Persian times. But 
the shadows were at least a concession to the Hellenic 
spirit, and as such were immensely treasured ; nor can 
it be denied that as long as they remained the remem- 
brance of free institutions remained as well. At, 


Pergamon, which the AttaHds created, no pubHc act 
was done except as the dehberate choice of senate and 

But when Ptolemy constituted Alexandria, he delib- 
erately departed from this plan. As has been said, 
Naucratis had boule and demos and all the other 
appurtenances of a well-regulated polis. So had Ptole- 
mais somewhat later ; and many years later, when the 
emperor Hadrian founded an Antinois in memory of his 
dead minion, he likewise made it a full and complete 
Greek city. In x\lexandria, on the other hand, there is 
no trace, till late in Roman times, of a boule ; and of a 
demos as little. In the great mass of Greek papyri 
that have come from Egypt there is nowhere any indica- 
tion that a senate ever met, or a people ever assembled, 
to parody the deliberations of the Athenian ecclesia. 
In other words Alexandria was much less a polis than it 
was a royal residence, i. e. the site of the king's palace 
amidst a more densely gathered group of his subjects.* 

In externals Alexandria was every inch a city. It 
had the high walls, which, as Alcaeus tells us, do not 
constitute a state. It had the tribe and deme, or district 
division, and it had its various grades of citizens, deter- 
mined by the duties and imposts to which they were 

Of its tribe and district division we know some 
details. There were probably five tribes, each of which 
consisted of twelve demes, or districts, which in turn 
had twelve phratries, or wards. The tribes were known 
by the first five letters of the Greek alphabet. In the 


absence of even formal political rights, this division 
can have been made simply in the interests of the census 
and the police. The obligations to pay taxes and per- 
form military service were very real ones, and their 
proper enforcement necessitated some such organiza- 
tion of the city/ 

Different classes of citizenship were at once created 
by the establishment of special taxes and special exemp- 
tions. The peculiar Greek fiscal arrangement known 
as the liturgy, which made the performance of certain 
services to the state a means of compounding for taxes, 
was also in vogue. We have records of certain of these 
classes of citizens, or inhabitants, and it is at least prob- 
able that there were other classes of which we know 

First of all, there were the Macedones, or Mace- 
donians. These form a specially privileged group, 
whose residence was probably by no means confined to 
Alexandria. Just what their privileges were we do not 
know, but that they lay chiefly in fiscal exemptions of 
one sort or another, is almost certain. 

Then there were the Alexandreis, or Alexandrians 
We know that there were at least two groups — those 
that were enrolled in a given tribe, or deme, and those 
not so enrolled. We can only conjecture the purpose of 
this division, and one conjecture will be mentioned later. 

Besides these, there were other men whose legal right 
to residence was unquestioned. They were variously 
designated. We find Persians, Jews, and other nationali- 
ties, qualified with the phrase r^s eTrtyov^s which means 


literally " of the descent," but the exact force of which 
is unknown. This classification procured for those so 
termed certain very much valued exemptions. Native 
Egyptians also were present, paying a special poll-tax, 
and no doubt a very large number of metics and 
transient foreigners. Greek publicists regarded the 
presence of a large number of metics and foreign 
merchants as a sign of great prosperity.* We may be 
sure that no burdensome restrictions made the settling 
of these classes difficult at Alexandria. 

Were the Jews in Alexandria citizens ? A great many 
heated controversies have been fought on this subject, 
some of which would surely not have been entered into 
if a clearer analysis had been available of what con- 
stituted Alexandrian " citizenship." As we have seen, 
the question can only be framed thus : Did the Jews of 
that city appear on the census books as " Alexandreis," 
with or without the deme and tribe adjective after them, 
or were they classified as Jews, and did they form a dis- 
tinct fiscal class by themselves ? 

The denial of their citizenship is principally based 
upon distrust of Josephus, who asserts it. But distrust 
of Josephus may be carried to an extravagant degree. 
Modern writers with pronounced bias may, of course, 
be disregarded, but saner investigators have equally 
allowed themselves to be guided by disinclination to 
credit Josephus, and have come to the conclusion that 
the Jews were not citizens of Alexandria. 

There were of course very many Jews in Alexandria 
who were not legally Alexandrians. Josephus' assertion 


did not and could not mean that every Jew in the city 
was, by the very fact of his residence, an Alexandrian. 
Nowhere in the ancient world could citizenship be 
acquired except by birth or by special decree. Jews 
who emigrated from Palestine to Alexandria, and were 
permitted to remain there, were metics, and became 
Alexandrians only if they were specially awarded that 
designation. But that was just as true for a foreign 
Greek or a foreign Macedonian, since at Alexandria 
" Macedonian " was a class of citizenship, not an ethnic 
term. Those who assisted in the founding of the city 
were undoubtedly classified either as '* Macedones " or 
" Alexandreis," and the tradition that Jews were among 
them is based upon other authority than Josephus. It 
is not enough, therefore, if one desires to refute 
Josephus, to show that there were Jews in Egypt who 
were not " Alexandreis." Undoubtedly there were 
thousands of them. But if, in the papyri, we do find 
Jews among the *' Macedones " and others among the 
" Alexandreis," the statements of Josephus on the sub- 
ject are strikingly confirmed, for he says no more than 
that there were Jews in both these categories.' 

Of the two classes of Alexandrians, those enrolled in 
demes and those not so enrolled, it is likely that the 
Jewish '' Alexandreis " belonged to the latter class. 
The former either paid a special district tax, or, more 
likely, were charged with the performance of certain 
district duties, either religious in their nature, such as 
the burying of the pauper dead, or of police character. 
When Alexandrians were constituted, not registered in 


denies, the purpose can only have been to secure exemp- 
tion from these local duties, and the example quoted 
would of itself indicate why the Jews may have been so 

It was not, however, merely in Alexandria that the 
Jews settled, precisely as it was not merely in Greek 
cities that Greeks were to be found. That part of 
Egypt which lay outside the definite civic communities 
as they were founded from time to time, was organized 
in nomes, in large agricultural districts containing many 
villages or even cities. In every instance, however, the 
administrative unit was the nome. 

These nomes had themselves a history of immemorial 
antiquity. Some of them were surely in boundary co- 
incident with the petty nationalities that antedated the 
first dynasties. The mass of the population in them had 
practically always been peasant-serfs, and continued to 
be so. Beside them, in the villages and towns, there 
lived in Greek times motley groups of men, whose legal 
status was determined in a number of ways. Some 
were citizens of Alexandria, Ptolemais, etc., and merely 
resident in the nome. Others enjoyed certain mili- 
tary and fiscal privileges, which involved the right of 
residence. But in all circumstances, in the elaborate 
financial organization of Egypt every resident had cer- 
tain precise dues to pay, and was marked by a certain 

The military and other settlers whom the Greeks 
found in Egypt, whether they were Persians, Jews, 
Syrians, or Babylonians, retained their status, i. e. they 


paid taxes and performed services differing from those 
of the native Egyptians in part, although no doubt cer- 
tain taxes were levied upon all." The foreigners whom 
Ptolemy invited or brought into Egypt must have been 
settled either in the cities or the nomes, and were given 
a definite fiscal status. And besides all these various 
grades, there were metics — a term which may have 
included emancipated slaves, and of course slaves as 
well — in huge numbers. There can be little doubt that 
Jews were to be found in all classes, from the highly 
privileged nobility of '' Macedones " to the slaves.* 

In most large Greek cities metics of foreign birth or 
ancestry existed. There were Phoenicians and Egyp- 
tians in Athens in very early times. But they were all, 
together with non-Athenian Greeks, gathered into the 
general group of metics, and no one group ever became 
numerically so preponderant that a special class had to 
be legally constituted of them. In Egypt, however, the 
general term metic was rarely used. For the nome 
organization of the country it seemed scarcely appli- 
cable. Instead, those foreigners who had acquired 
legal residence and other rights were known by their 
national name. So there was a group of Egyptian 
residents known as 'lovhaloi, as '* Jews," which was 
in their case a legal designation, whereas, when 
the *' Macedones," '* Alexandreis," etc., of the same 
nationality were referred to as 'lovhaloi the term was 
merely descriptive. 

We do not know whether the louSatot that had no 
other classification were more numerous or less numer- 


ous than those who had. But it was shortly found advis- 
able to organize the Jewish metics to the extent of 
superadding upon their own cult-organizations certain 
royal officers responsible to the king. Of these the 
chief was the ethnarch, and it is evident that the 
ethnarch would assume an importance in proportion to 
the number under his jurisdiction. The right to have an 
ethnarch seems to have been a prized privilege and was 
not confined to the Jews. What the relation of the later 
alabarch ^ was to the ethnarch is not clear. The two 
terms may perhaps designate the same office. 

But a complete understanding of the condition of the 
Jews in Egypt and Alexandria necessitates some 
account of the synagogue organization. 

There is no reason to question the Jewish tradition 
that the synagogue was Exilic or pre-Exilic in origin. 
In fact, it is not easily conceivable that it could have 
been otherwise. Worship was a social act in the ancient 
world, and properly to be performed in concert. It was 
inevitable therefore that just as soon as the Jews were 
removed from those places where the ancestral and 
traditional ritual was performed without any conscious 
organization for that purpose, they would combine 
themselves in groups in order to satisfy the strongly 
marked religious emotion that characterized them. 

Corporate organization, based upon the performance 
in common of some religious act, characterized the 
whole ancient world. The state was itself a large 
corporation of this kind, and the local divisions 
rapidly assumed, or always possessed, the same form. 


Obviously members of the same nationality residing in 
a foreign city would be specially prone to organize 
themselves into such corporations, and as a rule make 
the religious bond, which seems to have been a formal 
requisite, the common worship of one of their own gods. 
The merchants of Citium at Athens formed a guild for 
the worship of the Cyprian Aphrodite. It was in this 
way that Egyptian merchants and artisans made Isis 
known to the Roman world."* 

It has been said that the state itself was such a cor- 
poration, of which the formal basis was the common 
performance of a certain ritual act. When new states 
were founded or new men admitted into old states, a 
great deal was made of the act. It follows therefore 
that when Jews were admitted into the newly founded 
civic communities of Asia, as we know they were, some 
relation would have to be entered upon between them- 
selves and the religious basis of the state. In most 
cases, special exemption from participation in these 
religious acts seems to have been sought and obtained. 

In Egypt the conflict between the exclusive worship 
of Jehovah and the less intolerant worship of the Nile- 
gods had been in existence for centuries before the 
Greeks. The pre-Greek Jewish immigrants were per- 
haps not of the sort that sought to accentuate the con- 
flict, though friction was unavoidable. At the Greek 
conquest, it must be remembered, no great disposition 
was shown by the first Ptolemies to accept the native 
institutions or the native gods. The new god of 
Alexandria, the mighty Sarapis, was not, as has been 


generally supposed, a composite of Osiris and Apis, 
but an out and out Greek god, imported from his 
obscure shrine in direct opposition to the indigenous 
gods." Membership in the civic communities, or resi- 
dence in the country districts, can have involved no 
obligation to share the ritual localized there. Every 
group of foreigners might freely disregard it, and 
maintain unimpaired their own ancestral forms. 

We accordingly find Jewish synagogues — in the 
sense of cult-organizations, each having its own 
meeting-house, schola, or proseucha, and organized 
with magistrates and council, like miniature states — 
not only in Alexandria but in insignificant little towns 
of Upper and Lower Egypt.^'' Nor was the legal basis 
of such organization wanting, i. e. the corporate per- 
sonality, since we find these synagogues enjoying 
the rights of property and subject to the imposts 
levied upon it.^^ The extent of each synagogue was 
limited by the physical capacity of the schola. There 
must have been in Alexandria very many of them. 

Who were members of them? The various classes 
of Jews in the city and country were divided by social 
and legal lines. In the synagogue social distinctions 
cannot have disappeared, but there can be no doubt that 
in many, if not in all, there would be found Jews repre- 
senting every class of the community. In other parts 
of the Greek world it was no strange thing to see citi- 
zens, metics, foreigners, slaves, claiming membership in 
the same cult-organization, and jointly worshiping a 
native or foreign god. The synagogue likewise con- 




tained among its members nobles and slaves. The 
tendency for the wealthier classes to become completely 
Hellenized, and so completely to abandon the syna- 
gogue, did not show itself prominently for some time. 

We may readily suppose that the native Egyptians 
regarded all the foreign invaders with scarcely dis- 
criminating hatred. In most cases, when Greeks and 
Jews dwelt in the nomes, they were both exempt from 
local dues, and both paid the same special tax. What 
the attitude of the Egyptians was to their Greek and 
Macedonian masters, we have no need to conjecture." 
As under Persian rule, they rose in bloody riots ; and 
after a century of Greek domination, they were so far 
successful that a complete change in the policy of the 
Ptolemies was effected. The house had very rapidly 
degenerated — a process perhaps hastened by the Egyp- 
tian custom of brother and sister marriage, which they 
adopted. From the weaker kings of the close of the 
third century b. c. e., the Egyptian priests received a 
complete surrender. Continuity with the Pharaohs was 
consciously sought. The ancient titles in a modified 
form were adopted in Greek as well as Egyptian for the 
rulers. The hieroglyphics represented Ptolemy as the 
living god, sprung from Ra, just as they had done for 
Amen-hem-et thousands of years before.^' 

But a Hellenizing process had gone on as well as an 
Egyptizing process. The irresistible attractions of Greek 
culture had converted even the fiercest nationalists into 
Greeks outwardly, and in the horde of Greek names 
that the papyri exhibit we have sometimes far to seek, 


if we wish to discover unmistakably Greek stock. Inter- 
marriage and concubinage must have given Egypt a 
large mixed-blood population, which no doubt called 
itself Greek. Evidences of Greek aloofness on the 
subject of marriage have been sought in the denial of 
connubium by the city of Ptolemais to foreigners." But 
that applied to foreign Greeks as well, and was a com- 
mon regulation in most Greek cities. 

' The Hellenizing process affected the Jews even more. 
In Alexandria the Jewish community had begun to show 
signs of the most active intellectual growth, and the 
results of that growth, naturally enough, wore a Greek 
dress. But that process had been active in Palestine 
as well, where the consequences were somewhat more 
important. It is there that we shall turn for a study 

' of the first conflicts between Judaism and Hellenism. 




While Palestine was a Greco-Egyptian province, the 
influences at work over the whole Levant had been as 
effectually operative there. 

In the matter of government no change had been 
made that was at all noticeable. The internal auton- 
omy of Persian times had been maintained; the claims 
of the tax-collector and recruiting sergeant were dealt 
with by the whole community, not by the individual. 

Socially and economically, relative peace had per- 
mitted considerable progress. At the close of this 
period the work of Ben Sira is the best of all possible 
evidence, both of the literary productivity out of which 
the book arose and of the society which it implies. We 
are given glimpses of settled and comfortable life, 
which could scarcely have been attained unless the pre- 
ceding century had been one of constantly increasing 
well-being. It is a well-equipped table at which Ben 
Sira bids us sit. The graces and little luxuries of life 
are present, and equally the vices that went with these 

Nor had the character of the whole spiritual culture 
essentially changed. The language of daily intercourse 
was Aramaic, the lingua franca of the whole region. 


But the literary language was still Hebrew. It must 
have been constantly spoken among educated men, for 
the changes it continued to exhibit are not such as would 
occur if it had been quite divorced from life. And the 
literary activity, which took its forms from the estab- 
lished and already canonical literature, took its sub- 
stance from the life about it. That this life had been 
impregnated with Greek elements, there can of course 
be no manner of doubt. 

Not only the old Philistian and Phoenician cities 
of the coast had acquired a Greek varnish, but Judea 
was being surrounded by a closer and closer network of 
new Greek foundations. Ptolemais, Anthedon, Apol- 
lonia, Arethusa, and the cities of the Decapolis across 
the Jordan, brought the external forms of Greek culture 
so near that even the peasant who went no great dis- 
tance from his furrow must have encountered them. 

What made up the fascination of Greece fo r the 
nations she dominated? In the first place it must be 
insisted upon that there was a national resistance, 
whether or not it took the form of insurrection. Indeed, 
insurrection was a thing quite apart from resistance to 
Hellenism. As we have seen in the case of Egypt, 
national resistance to the political domination of Greeks 
did not by any means imply national resistance to the 
spread of Greek culture. The latter resistance gener- 
ally took the form of a dull and obstinate clinging to 
ancestral ritual and language. At Antioch in the fourth 
century c. e., some men and women still spoke Aramaic, 
and knew no Greek." It is only within the rather narrow 


limits set by wealth and education that the Hellenization 
was really effective. Unfortunately most of our avail- 
able evidence is concerned with this class. 

Among these men, who were naturally open to cul- 
tural impressions, the attraction of Hellenism was 
undoubted, and had been growing slowly for years 
before Alexander, and it had meant for them all the 
charm of an intellectual discovery. The mere fact that 
what the Greeks had was new and different could have 
been of no real influence. There must have been an 
actual and evident superi ority in Gree k life or culture 
to have drawn to itself so quickly the desires and long- 
ings of alien peoples. 

In one field that superiority was evident, in the 
field oi_^\.. Whatever may have been the origins of 
Greek art, from the seventh century on no one seriously 
questioned that Greek workmen could produce, in any 
material, more beautiful objects than any other people. 
Artistic apprecjation is no doubt a plant of slow growth, 
but the pleasure in gorgeous coloring, in lifelike model- 
ing, in fine balances of light and shade, in grouping of 
masses, is derived immediately from the visual sensa- 
tion. No peasant of Asia could fail to be impressed 
by his first glimpse of such a city as the Ephesus and 
Miletus of even the sixth or fifth century. After the 
extraordinary artistic progress of the fifth century had 
vastly increased the beauty of Greek cities, every 
foreigner who visited them must have found greater 
and greater delight, as his knowledge grew broader 
and deeper. 


In other branches of art, in music, poetry, dancing, 
the wealthier Asiatic had a training of his own. But 
it is likely that even a slight acquaintance with Greek 
taught him to depreciate the achievements of his own 
people. Doubtless, in poetic capacity and imagination, 
Phrygian, Lydian, or Lycian was the equal of Greek. 
Yet we have no choice but to believe that in sheer 
sensuous beauty of sound, which made a direct appeal 
to any partly cultivated ear, no one of the languages 
could compare with Greek. Nor is it likely that any 
written literature existed in Asia that could be ranked 
with Greek. 

With the appeal to eye and ear there went an appeal 
to the intellect. Greek mental capacity was not demon- 
strably greater than that of the Asiatic peoples to whom 
the Greeks were perhaps akin, but both imagination and 
reflection had framed their results in systematic form. 
The rich narrative material found in every race was 
available in Greek in dramatic and finished pieces. 
The philosophic meditation in which others had long 
anticipated the Greeks was among the latter set forth 
in clearer and simpler phrasing. 

The allurement of all these things was intensified 
by a franker and fuller exploitation of all physical 
instincts, and the absence of many tabus and forms 
of asceticism that existed among non-Greek peoples. A 
vastly increased freedom over one's body seemed a 
characteristic of Greek life, and a vastly greater free- 
dom of political action was characteristic of the Greek 



It is small wonder therefore that the upper classes of 
Asia and Syria had for two or three centuries before 
the conquest succumbed to a culture that possessed so 
visible a sorcery. Then, with the conquest, came a new 
factor. To be a Greek was to be a Herrenmensch, a 
member of the rulmg caste, a blood-kinsman of the 
monarch. Syrians, Asiatics, and Egyptians found 
themselves under the direct sway of a Greek dynasty, 
supported by a Greek court and army. All the ten- 
dencies that had made Greek cultural elements attrac- 
tive for certain classes were intensified by the eager 
desire of the Greeks to identify themselves with the 
dominant race, and this identification seemed by no 
means impossible of achievement. 

What had to be given up? As far as language was 
concerned, a smattering of Greek was the common 
possession of many men. Every trading-post had for 
generations swarmed with Greek merchants. Greek 
mercenaries were to be found in most armies. It was 
no especially difficult matter for those classes which 
knew a little Greek to increase their familiarity with it, 
to multiply the occasions for its use, to sink more and 
more the soon despised vernacular. The latter, we must 
repeat, was not and could not be suppressed, but it 
became the language of peasants. In the cities men 
spoke Greek. 

But there were other things — the ancestral god and 
the ancestral ritual. These were not so readily dis- 
carded. However, the attitude of the Greeks in this 
matter made it unnecessary to do so. The gods of 


Greece were often transplanted, but rarely more than 
the name. In Syria and Asia particularly it was only 
in wholly new foundations that Greek gods and Greek 
forms were really established. Generally the sense of 
local divine jurisdiction was keenly felt. Greeks had a 
wholesome awe of the deity long in possession of a 
certain section, and in many cases erected shrines to 
him, invoking him by the name of some roughly corre- 
sponding Hellenic god. Frequently the old name was 
retained as an epithet. Thus Greek and Syrian might 
approach the ancient lord of the soil in the ancient man- 
ner and so perpetuate a bond which it was aae/Seia, 
" impiety," to break. 

Since the essentials were maintained, the only step 
necessary to turn a Syrian into a Greek was to purchase 
a himation, change his name of Matanbal to Apol- 
lodorus, and the transformation was complete. He 
might be known for several years as " 6 Kal Matanbal " 
— " alias Matanbal " ; he might suffer a little from the 
occasional snobbishness of real Greeks, but, especially 
if he was wealthy, such matters would be of short dura- 
tion. The next generation would probably escape them 
altogether, and their children, the young Nicanors, 
Alexanders, Demetriuses, would talk glibly of the 
exploits of their ancestors at Marathon or under the 
walls of Troy. 

But there was also no inconsiderable group that com- 
bined adoption of the new with loyalty or attempted 
loyalty to the old. Many Syrians, Egyptians, Phoeni- 
cians, and others, conscious of a history not without 


glory, desired to acquire the undeniably attractive Hel- 
lenic culture, while maintaining their racial ties, of which 
they felt no real reason to be ashamed. That was par- 
ticularly true of the Seleucid dominions where Alex- 
ander's assimilative policy was consistently pursued. 
Persian or Lydian or Phoenician descent was a thing 
many men boasted of. It was with a sense of adding 
something to the culture of the world that natives with 
Greek training prepared to transmit in Greek forms the 
history of their people to Greeks and to interpret their 
institutions to them. And they found a ready enough 
audience. On many points, especially in religion and 
philosophy, the Greeks w^ere willing enough to concede 
a more profound acquaintance to barbarians than they 
themselves possessed ; and often the weariness of civili- 
zation made Greeks search among fresher peoples for a 
sound social life, since that life was tainted, in Greek 
communities, by many grave diseases. 

But people of this class found themselves in a delicate 
situation, an unstable equilibrium constantly disturbed. 
It was hard to remain a Grecized Syrian. Generally 
the temptation to suppress the Syrian was well-nigh 
irresistible. Now and then, the rise of national political 
movements would claim some of the younger men, so 
that the fall was on the native side. In general, the 
older conservative attitude expressed itself naturally in 
avoidance of Greeks as far as possible, and precisely in 
proportion to the value set upon the national and 
indigenous culture. 


The situation of the Jews was only in so far unique 
that there could be no question among them of gradual 
steps in the acquisition of Greek culture, but only of 
partial acceptance of it. The final step of interchang- 
ing gods — of accepting the Greek name and maintain- 
ing the old rite and of exercising that reciprocity of 
religious observance which was a seeming necessity 
for those who lived in the same region — that, as every 
Jew was aware, could never be taken. The religious 
development among the Jews had been fuller than else- 
where, and had resulted in a highly specialized form, 
which by that fact had none of the elasticity of other 
cult-forms. It was easy to make any one of the 
Baalim of local Syrian shrines into Zeus Heliopoli- 
tanus, Zeus Damascenus, etc. It was not possible to 
turn the Lord Zebaoth of Zion, the awful and holy God 
of psalm and prophecy, into an epithet of Zeus or of 

Consequently Jews who felt the pull of Greek art 
cind literature, who, like other subjects of Greek sov- 
ereigns, were eager to gain the favor of their masters, 
had to realize to themselves the qualifications of their 
Hellenism, or determine to discard wholly their Juda- 
ism. And this latter step, even to enthusiastic Philhel- 
Wenes, was intensely difficult. For so many generations 
" Thou shalt have no other gods " had been inculcated 
into men's hearts that it was no simple thing to under- 
take in cold blood to bow before the abominations of the 


He who could not do that — and there were many — 
might feel free to adopt Greek language and dress and 
name ; but, even more than Babylonian and Egyptian, he 
was conscious of making a contribution of his own to 
the civilization of the East. An inherited wisdom, which 
was in effect closer communion with the Absolute, he 
believed he had, and, as we have seen, he was generally 
credited with having. He felt no need therefore of 
yielding unreservedly to the claims of Greeks, but might 
demand from them the respect due to an independent 
and considerable culture. 

Barriers to mutual comprehension were created by 
the Jewish dietary regulations as well as b}^ ritual 
intolerance. Courtesy and good breeding however 
might soften and modify what they could not remove, 
and social intercourse between Greek and Jew certainly 
existed. Nor need we exaggerate the embarrassments 
these relations would suffer from the fact that while a 
Greek might, and doubtless would, assist at the little 
ceremonies of his Jewish neighbor's household, the 
Jew might not without sin reciprocate. By judicious 
absence on occasion — perhaps by little compromises — 
the average easy-going Jewish citizen of an Asiatic or 
Egyptian community need not have found himself in 
constant conflict. 

As in the case of other nations, the first Greek- 
speaking Jews that desired to emphasize their origin 
while accepting the all-pervading Greek culture, wished 
primarily to convey to Greeks the facts of their history 
and institutions. The Septuagint, at least the Penta- 


teuch, was probably written in the early part of the 
third century b. c. e., and although primarily intended 
for Jews, no doubt came within the knowledge of 
Greeks as well. But its purpose was utilitarian. The 
Greek-speaking synagogues absolutely needed it. If 
others were to be acquainted with the history of the 
Jews, some other means had to be devised. 

About 225 B. c. E., an Egyptian Jew named Demetrius 
wrote the history of his people in Greek. Unfor- 
tunately we have only such fragments of his work as 
Eusebius, the church historian, and Josephus have 
chosen to quote ; but what we have, permits the con- 
jecture that he wrote in a concise and simple style, with- 
out oratorical embellishment, and obviously without 
apologetic motives. It seems to have been a sober and 
dignified narrative, the loss of which is a serious gap in 
our records.^ 

The name of this man, Demetrius, is not without; 
significance. It contains the name of a Greek deity, 
Demeter, so that religious precisians might find in it an 
honor — even if only a verbal one — to the Abomination. 
But Alexandrian Jews were not likely to be religious 
precisians, and we may readily suppose that these 
names, attrited by constant use, did not immediately 
convey the suggestion of being theophoric. In 238 
B. c. E., an Arsinoite slave is named Apollonius or 
Jonathas, and about the same time a Jewess is found 
with the name of Heraclea.* 

In the case of Demetrius it was rather the redoubt- 
able Besieger than the goddess that was honored, just 


as the very first Jew whom we know by a Greek name, 
Antigonus of Socho, is probably named after Deme- 
trius' father, the one of Alexander's officers who be- 
came so nearly a real Successor. It is to be noted that 
Antigonus of Socho is one of the earliest doctors of 
the law, whose fine saying is recorded in Abot i.," 
and, although we know no Hebrew name for him, there 
can be no question here of Hellenizing or partly Hel- 
lenizing tendencies. 

Otherwise Jews in adopting Greek names were prone 
to translate them approximately. The common Jona- 
than and Nathaniel became Theodotus, Dositheus, 
Theodorus, and the like. Phoenicians had long done 
the same, but there would be of course no difficulty in 
the case of the latter if they chose to turn Meherbal 
into Diodorus. That the Jews were scarcely more 
scrupulous in this matter is a little surprising. It fits in 
well however with the conclusion that friction in unes- 
sential was rather avoided than invited by the average 

The conflict that was preparing itself in Palestine 
was not one between Greek and Jew, but between 
Hellenizing and reactionary elements among the Jews 
themselves. And the term reactionary is chosen ad- 
visedly. In the many centuries that had witnessed the 
slow spread of Hellenism, and the hundred years or 
so in which that progress had been immensely acceler- 
ated by the political domination of Greeks, a resistance 
was also preparing itself. In the early years of the 
movement, before and after Alexander, the numbers 


affected had been too few to justify active opposition. 
But the number became constantly greater, and the 
imminence of a real peril became vividly present to 
thinking men. The method of opposition was at once 
indicated. It could be only a conscious restoration of 
such national institutions as had lapsed into compara- 
tive disuse, a recultivation of ancient national practices, 
and a more intense and active occupation with the tradi- 
tional sacred literature. 

In just this way opposition to the orientalizing of the 
imperial religion produced the reactionary reforms of 
Augustus, and much later opposition to an excessive 
clerical interference with life expressed itself in the 
very real paganism of the Italiam Renaissance. In all 
these instances the attempt was deliberately made to 
rebuild with material still present, even if largely dis- 
carded, a structure that had fallen into ruins. The suc- 
cess of such movements depends wholly on the amount 
of material still present. If it has to be painfully 
gathered and swept together from forgotten corners, 
success is more than problematic. The Jewish reac- 
tionaries were fortunate in that the ancient institutions 
still held their ground, and in having no huge gap of 
disuse to fill. 

They were also fortunate that the actively Hellen- 
izing party was limited in numbers, and the line of 
demarcation was the easily noticeable one of wealth and 
position. Not all men of wealth were in this class. 
Such a man as Ben Sira, in whose book some have 
detected Greek elements, betrays no Hellenizing ten- 



dencies/ He is Jew to the marrow, and he can be no 
isolated phenomenon. But there had been a rapid 
growth of a moneyed class, and this not so much com- 
posed of great landowners as of the newer class of 
capitalists, who grew rich through the various forms of 
financial speculation then open, particularly the tax- 
farmers, of whom that magnificent vulture, the Tobiad 
Joseph, is a permanent type/ The life of these men 
involved such an association with king and court that 
marked discrepancies of social custom, such as dietary 
regulations, or any form of abstinence, as well as dif- 
ferences in dress, were not to be thought of. 

It is unfortunate that any discussion of the nature 
and character of the opposition involves a controversial 
question of the first magnitude, that which concerns the 
Hasidim, or 'Assidaei. It were idle to enumerate, much 
less to examine critically, the theories that have been 
advanced. Our evidence is so scanty that it can be made 
to fit into many different schemes, all of which can be 
shown to be conceivable. The simplest interpretation 
of the extant sources however is by far the best, and it 
has further the merit of being the longest-established 
and most widely current. 

Now concerning the Hasidim we have only three 
passages that can be considered even approximately 
contemporary, two in the First Book of Maccabees and 
one in the Second. 

The first passage, I Mace. ii. 41, states that after the 
martyrdom of the loyal Jews who had taken refuge in 
the desert, there united with Mattathias the cnwayiayr) 


'Ao-crtSatW, " the congregation of Hasidim, a body of 
great power and influence in Israel, containing all those 
who were devoted to the Law." In the second passage, 
I Mace. vii. 12, we read that when the renegade high 
priest Alcimus and the Greek prefect Baeehides entered 
Judah with peaceful overtures, they were met by the 
congregation of scribes, who brought their lawsuits to 
him, and then recognized his authority. '' And the 
'Asidaei were the first among the children of Israel, and 
they also sought peace from them. For they said, " A 
priest has come of the seed of Aaron with a powerful 
army, and he will not injure us." 

Taken together, these passages are best understood to 
mean that at the beginning of the Hasmonean revolt 
an already existing and powerful group, known as the 
'' 'Asidaei," or '' Hasidim," gave their official support to 
the Modin rebels, but that upon the arrival of the duly 
ordained high priest they, or at any rate their officials, 
put themselves under his authority, to their own un- 
doing. The author of I Maccabees speaks in terms of 
the highest respect of them, and applies to the treacher- 
ous murder of their leaders the words of Psalm Ixxix. 

In II Mace. xiv. 6, Alcimus replies to the question of 
King Demetrius as follows : '' The so-called "Asidaei 
among the Jews, of whom Judas Maccabeus is the 
leader, maintain the war and sedition, and will not per- 
mit the realm to secure peace." It will be seen that this 
passage is not necessarily in contradiction with those of 
I Maccabees, since it is here put into the mouth of 
Alcimus, and is meant to be a wilful misrepresentation 


of the facts on his part. Like the other passage, it 
impHes that such a definite body with a distinct name 
existed before the Hasmonean revolt. 

To find in Psalms xii., Ixxxix., cxlix., and others 
references to the same group of men is quite gratuitous. 
The ordinary sense of '' righteous " or " saintly " amply 
satisfies every one of the occurrences of the word Hasid 
in the Psalms. And the figurative Dn^Dn hT\p (Ps. 
cxlix. i) no more implies an organized body than 
D'r'^D ^np of Psalm xxvi. 5 implies a formal association 
of evil-doers, a Camorra. We shall be compelled to rely 
wholly on the passages in Maccabees for any informa- 
tion about the *Assidaei, or Hasidim, in the sense of a 
definite organization bearing that title. 

Who were these 'Assidaei? That admirable writer 
and sturdy patriot, the author of I Maccabees, says they 
were a body of great power and influence in Israel, 
hxvpa, Svvdfiei, the leaders of the Jews, and, as has been 
seen, organized before the revolt. Nothing is clearer 
than that they are not identical with the '* scribes," with 
whom they are grouped in I Mace, vii., among those who 
acknowledged Alcimus. It is equally clear that they 
are not at all the same as the Hasmonean partisans, for 
they join Mattathiah later, and abandon Judah, at least 
temporarily, early in the struggle. They are char- 
acterized by their zeal for the Law, a zeal which natur- 
ally manifested itself in strong opposition to Hellenism. 

In Palestine, accordingly, for at least a generation 
before the revolt, the disintegrating tendencies of Hel- 
lenism, as evidenced in the apostasy of many wealthy 


Jews and in the neglect of many traditional customs on 
the part of others, provoked an organized opposition. 
Forming themselves into a fraternity or groups of 
corporate bodies, to which they applied the name of 
" saints," the opponents of the Greeks directed their 
efforts to the exact fulfilment of the Torah, and no 
doubt carried on a violent polemic against Greek inno- 
vations, however harmless and valuable. At about the 
same time an exactly similar movement among Egyp- 
tians had brought the Ptolemies to terms. It was not 
of course to be expected that a single province of the 
Syrian-Babylonian monarchy would accomplish the 
same-result. In the eyes of the Antiochene court their 
programme was no doubt treasonable fanaticism. But 
it was not, as in the case of Egypt, directly political in 
its scope, and it might never have led to armed conflict. 
According to Jewish tradition a pupil of Antigonus 
of Socho, Jose ben Joezer, was a member of this sect of 
" saints." ° And it is significant that, although he is 
represented as especially rigorous in all religious 
requirements that had a separatist tendency, he was 
strikingly liberal in all matters of what might be called 
internal religious practice. It is likely enough that the 
tradition is accurate and the *' saints " were not at 
all precisians or fanatics, but that their cohering bond 
was simply opposition to Hellenism. As has been said, 
it was against the Hellenizing Jews more than the 
Greeks that their attack was directed. These latter 
had on their side the advantages of wealth and social 
position, but they lacked just that which made their 


opponents strong, a compact organization. There was 
no ovvayinyy) 'EAAt^vwi^, no congregation or fraternity of 
Philhellenes. They included all shades of Greek sym- 
pathizers, from out and out apostates to parvenus, to 
whom speaking Greek was a mark of fashion. No 
doubt the feeling between the two groups ran high, and 
neither side spared bitter abuse and invective. 

The conflict was finally precipitated by an act that 
was one of the commonest occurrences of ancient poli- 
tical struggles. The party defeated, or in danger of 
defeat, does not scruple to invite foreign intervention. 
In this case the irreconcilable Hellenists, evidently los- 
ing ground in face of the rapid growth of Hasidic con- 
venticles, appeal to the Greek king, whose policies their 
own efforts were furthering, and of whose sympathy 
they were assured. That king happened to be the 
bizarre Antiochus Epiphanes. 


'' And there arose from them [the companions of 
Alexander] a root of sin, to wit, Antiochus Epiphanes, 
son of King Antiochus, he who had been hostage in 
Rome." That to the writer of I Maccabees is a com- 
plete characterization of the king whose reign was 
to be of fateful consequences to the Jews, a pt^a 
a/Aa/3TojAo?, an ill sapling of a noble tree. Perhaps the 
writer had in mind the njr^i t^'t^i niD tJ'iSJ^ (Deut. 
xxix. 17), ''a root bearing gall and wormwood." And 
he had been a hostage in Rome ; a man, that is, of no 
usual character and no usual career. 

Except in this general way, he can scarcely be said 
to have a personality at all to the writers of the Books 
of Maccabees. He is merely the type of tyrant, proud 
and presumptuous, unduly exalting himself above God 
because of his vain and transitory successes, and dying 
in agony, after an edifying deathbed repentance. No 
more than the Nebuchadnezzar of the Book of Daniel, 
is he anything other than an instrument of the wrath of 
God. It is hard to believe that there was any real feel- 
ing on the writer's part. 

But Antiochus had a real personality and an espe- 
cially interesting one. Both in modern and in ancient 
times characterization of this strange figure has been 


attempted, and the verdicts have been so widely dif- 
ferent that the summary may be given in Livy's words : 
Uti nee sibi nee aliis, quinam homo esset, satis eonstaret, 
" So that neither he himself nor anyone else could 
clearly state what manner of man he was." 

The freakish outbursts, which amazed and scandal- 
ized his contemporaries, amply justified the common 
parody of his title Epiphanes by Epimanes, '' the mad- 
man." * Some there were — perhaps his royal nephew 
and biographer, Ptolemy of Egypt, among them — who 
regarded him as unqualifiedly demented.'' It is likely 
enough, if the stories about him are even partly true, 
that he had periods of real derangement. But it seems 
evident that he was a right royal personage, of unusual 
charm of manner, of undoubted military capacity, quick 
and decisive in action, fostering a dream of empire 
whose rude shattering must have been an important 
contributing cause to his death. 

His was a strange blend. Various epochs met in him, 
and it is not surprising that many incongruities resulted 
from that fact. First of all he was in every sense a 
Macedonian despot. Macedonians had always been 
accustomed to the concentration of supreme power in 
the hands of a single individual. For four or five gen- 
erations Antiochus' immediate ancestors had wielded 
such power over a rabble of nations stretching from 
the Aegean to the frontiers of India." The emotional 
reactions which the existence and the possession of this 
power must have, were present in him. One constant 
result of it, the absence of any real social life, is an 


(From a drawing by Ralph lligan) 


especially fertile source of deterioration, but the worst 
effects are noticed chiefly in those born to the purple. 
Antiochus' exile saved him from them. Yet nothing 
could save him from the consciousness that he might, 
if he chose, gratify every whim, and yield to every 
impulse, and his associates found quickly enough that 
his bonhomie and engaging simplicity were moods, 
which might be succeeded by bursts of quite incalcu- 
lable and murderous rage. 

There was the additional fact that the monarchy 
founded by Alexander was in legal contemplation the 
reign of a god made flesh. Seleucus, we may remem- 
ber, entered almost at once into the titularies of Sumer 
and Akkad." The second Antiochus was styled '* the 
God," 0eos, tout simple. Our Antiochus called himself 
Epiphanes — which, it need scarcely be said, is to be 
translated '' the Manifest Deity," and not " the Illus- 
trious." ^ And, at any rate at certain moments, the 
designation was doubtless a real one to him and not a 
conscious pose. Worship of the king, the foundation of 
the later Augustus-cult, was an apparent unifying 
element in the hopeless jumble of gods and rituals. For 
that purpose it might be encouraged even by hard- 
headed peasants like Vespasian, or philosophers like 
Marcus, who had no illusions about the character of 
their divinity. But that Alexander in all sincerity 
believed himself to be god can scarcely be questioned, 
and Epiphanes may often have similarly impressed 


Secondly, he was a Greek. Hellenism was to him a 
real and profomid enthusiasm. His early life as a 
Roman hostage must have immensely stimulated this 
side of his character. At Rome his associates were the 
Scipionic circle, to whom Greek culture had come as a 
revelation. The distinguished Roman families with 
whom the young prince lived read Greek, spoke Greek, 
discussed Greek, and were eager to act as the interpre- 
ters of Hellenism to their slower-witted countrymen. In 
these surroundings anyone boasting not only Greek but 
regal blood must have found his racial self-esteem flat- 
tered to an extraordinary degree. Antiochus' first act 
on his release was to betake himself to the intellectual 
capital of Greece, to Athens, in whose citizenry he 
eagerly enrolled himself. In fact, he was an Athenian 
magistrate — o-r/oarTyyo? liri ra oirXa — when news came to 
him of the assassination of his brother Seleucus and of 
the opportunities waiting one who could act quickly. 

When he was king, so much of his policy as did not 
look to the aggrandizement of his empire was directed 
to the rehabilitation of Greek cities and temples. 
Megalopolis, Tegea in Arcadia, Delos, Rhodes, were 
the beneficiaries of his Philhellenic enthusiasm. The 
truckling Samaritans — at least the Hellenizing party 
among them — knew that nothing would make a quicker 
appeal to him than to rename the sanctuary on Gerizim 
in honor of Zeus Hellenius.^ He would probably have 
found it difficult to understand that anyone could 
seriously maintain the claims of any other culture 
against that of the Greeks, and no doubt received as a 


matter of course the representations of the Jewish Hel- 
lenizers that a Httle impetus would greatly expedite the 
Hellenizing- process in Palestine. 

When we find Antiochus, king of kings, Manifest 
God, soliciting the suffrages of the Antiochene burghers 
for the office of " market-commissioner," or of '* district 
mayor," * we are not to regard it as an eccentricity of 
the same sort that set him wrangling in the public 
squares with Hob and Dick, or pouring priceless oint- 
ments on his fellow-bathers in the public baths.^ The 
maintenance of the structure of the Greek polis was an 
expression of Hellenic pride in a characteristically Hel- 
lenic institution. No one, to be sure, was deceived by it 
into thinking that Citizen Antiochus could not incon- 
tinently change into an irresponsible master at will, but, 
comedy as it was, it had a real significance, which did 
not escape even the scoffers and, least of all, the king. 

Finally there was an ultra-modern side in him. 
Antiochus was also a cultivated gentleman, to whom 
skepticism was an index of education and sacrilege a 
concrete instance of skepticism. He lived in a very 
unsettling age. As has been said before, the Greek 
culture that found its way into Rome after the Hanni- 
balic wars was a sophisticated, disintegrating culture, 
to which the ancient institutions had at best a practical 
utility, and which acknowledged theoretically no bind- 
ing principles in the physical or moral world. It was 
in this culture that the young Antiochus was reared. 
He was not alone in it. Many of the incidents of this 
period show a revolting cynicism on the part of the 


actors. One Greek commander erected altars to 
" Impiety and Illegality." A Spartan brigand called 
himself " Hybristas," "the Outrager."'" 

Indeed it was as a wanton desecrater of shrines that 
Antiochus gained an unenviable notoriety. His pillag- 
ing of the temple at Jerusalem was only one of a series 
of similar acts. At Hierapolis, as well as at many other 
Syrian shrines, and finally at Elymaea, he coolly appro- 
priated the temple treasures, which in most cases 
involved violence on his part. But it needed his out- 
rageous " marriage " to Diana to set the seal upon his 
derisive attitude toward his fellow-gods. The sober 
Polybius attributes his death to his impiety, a conclusion 
which naturally is warmly supported by Josephus." 

It is idle to attempt to reconcile this sort of cynicism 
with the pretensions to actual divinity which he prob- 
ably made in all seriousness. The two are of course 
quite irreconcilable, and represent merely the shifting 
moods of a complex and slightly abnormal personality. 
Under almost any king such an outbreak as the Has- 
monean revolt might have taken place. Perhaps the 
conflict was inevitable. But the form the conflict took, 
the high degree of religious and national enthusiasm 
which it evoked, and the powerful aid that enthusiasm 
gave to the propaganda which was preparing itself, 
were directly consequent upon the character of Anti- 
ochus the God Manifest. The rigor and thoroughness 
with which he strove to suppress the Jewish cult were 
characteristic of him. His indifference to sarred tradi- 
tions made his violation of the temple almost a casual act 


on his part, his Hellenism justified his plans, and his 
despotic nature, raging under the humiliating rebuff he 
had received from Rome, found an outlet in the punish- 
ment of a disobedient province. 

The writer of I Maccabees places the responsibility , 
for the persecution by Antiochus directly upon the Jews 
themselves. Many, he tells, were persuaded to identify, 
themselves wholly with the Greeks." The first offense' 
to Jewish religious sentiment did not come from the 
king at all. The men who waited upon Antiochus, and 
obtained permission to set up a gymnasium at Jeru- 
salem, acted quite of their own volition. Antiochus' 
direct action in the matter begins with his return from 
Egypt. " Embittered and groaning," Polybius says, he 
left Egypt and returned to Syria. Now, just what hap- 
pened in Judea is not quite clear. First Maccabees tells 
of an unprovoked pillage of the temple and a massacre of 
the people. Second Maccabees reports a furious struggle 
between the two pretenders, Menelaus and Jason, upon 
a rumor of the king's death. In all likelihood the fight 
ended with the discomfiture of Antiochus' appointee, 
Menelaus, and the king immediately proceeded to 
rescue him. The sack of Jerusalem and a massacre fol- 
lowed. No doubt the massacre was no worse than 
befell any captured city, since of a special policy of 
extermination there can as yet have been no question. 

Menelaus was restored, the temple treasures were 
surrendered to the king, and, either directly or after an 
interval of two years, the pro^^ramme of forcible sup- 
pression of the Jewish cult was announced. 


It is for this programme that an adequate explana- 
tion is wanting. There is nothing really quite like it 
in Greek history. Not that religious persecution, or the 
suppression of an obnoxious cult, was an unheard-of 
undertaking. The establishment of the worship of 
Dionysus had encountered vigorous opposition in con- 
tinental Greece. A probable tradition recounts the 
attempts at thorough repression with which several 
Greek communities, notably Thebes, met the intruder." 
But this movement had as its object the preservation 
of an ancestral religion, not its destruction. To com- 
pel anyone to abjure his national customs, to forsake 
TO. irarpia, must have seemed monstrous to all people in 
whom the sense of kinship with the deity, and the 
belief in the god's local jurisdiction, were as strong as 
they were among the Greeks. 

Somewhat later, among the Romans, a successful 
attempt was made to extirpate the Druidic ritual in 
Cisalpine Gaul. As far as this was an effort to destroy 
root and branch an ancient and established form of 
worship, it presents many analogies to the project of 
Antiochus. But the persecution of the Druids was 
based on specific charges of immoral and anti-social 
practices associated with their ritual, especially that of 
human sacrifices. That may have been a pretext. The 
Druids may not after all have been guilty of these 
enormities. However, the pretext was at least ad- 
vanced, and the exile of Druidic brotherhoods and the 
destruction of their sanctuaries were publicly justified 
only by that." 


In the case of the Jews no such assertions are to be 
discovered. Antiochus, instigated by renegade Jews, * 
sets about a systematic obHteration of the distinctively 
Jewish ritual. The synagogue services were to be 't 
checked by the destruction of the Torah. Perhaps 
periodic reunions in the synagogue were forbidden alto- 
gether, since meetings of citizens were proverbially 
looked at askance in monarchies.^^ The temple was 
rededicated to the Olympian Zeus, and the ceremony of 
circumcision was made a capital offense. Observance of 
the Sabbath was construed as treason. No detail was 

This complete scheme is not to be explained by the 
existence of a strong animosity toward the Jews. There 
is, in the first place, none of the evidence that was 
met with in Egypt, that such animosity existed. And, 
secondly, animosity between racial groups expressed 
itself in bloody riots, not in a carefully prepared plan 
for extirpating a religion while sparing its professors. 
Nor can we find in the personal character of Antiochus 
a sufficient cause for the persecution. He undoubtedly 
exhibited the gusts of passion common enough among 
those who wield irresponsible power, but the sustained 
and bloody vindictiveness of such a programme is a 
very different thing. 

It has been frequently suggested that his cherished 
policy was the thorough Hellenization of his empire, 
that among the Jews only was there a determined 
resistance, that upon learning that the basis of their 
resistance was a devoted attachment to their ancestral 


superstition, he determined to root out the latter. The 
difficulties with this view are, first, that opposition was 
not confined to the Jews, but was met with everywhere 
— a dull and voiceless opposition, which, however, 
unmistakably existed. Secondly, among the Jews a 

., very large number, we are told, '' were persuaded " ; and 
it is highly likely that Antiochus came in direct contact 
wholly with the latter, or almost wholly, so that the 
situation in Judea cannot have impressed him as radi- 
cally different from that of Syria or Babylonia. 

But, above all, it is the conclusion that the obstacles 
to his policy would lead to persecution on his part, which 

^ is more than doubtful. No one could have known better 
than he did himself that ancestral religious customs are 

^ not to be eradicated by violence. The Egypt which was 
so nearly in his grasp might have taught him that, if 
nothing else could. There the indigenous religion had 
triumphed. He himself, upon his entry into the king- 
dom, had crowned himself more Aegyptico, '' after the 
Egyptian fashion," " that is, with full acknowledgment 
of the sovereignty of Ptah and Isis over their ancient 

We shall probably have to look to the Hellenizing 
Jews not only for the initiation, but for the systematic 
carrying out, of the policy of persecution. And, as has 
been suggested, it is one of the commonest phenomena 
of ancient life. There was scarcely a Greek city in 
which a defeated faction had not at some time sum- 
moned the public enemy into the city, and by their aid 
taken a cruel vengeance on their opponents. If the 


Hellenizing faction in Judea found its influence wan- 
ing, its action was from the point of view of ancient 
times natural enough. It appealed to foreign aid and 
strove systematically to stamp out the institutions it 
opposed, just as at Athens the Athenian oligarchs, 
placed in power by Spartan arms, tried to maintain 
themselves by wholesale proscription and by system- 
atically removing all the democratic institutions that 
had developed since Clearchus " 

It is likely too that the impelling motive was not 
solely the rancor which apostates feel for the faith or 
nation they have quitted. They saw themselves in the 
presence of a real danger. Among them was to be 
found most of the wealth of the community, and no 
doubt a great deal of the intellectual culture. Many of 
them were already in the third or fourth generation of 
Hellenistic Jews. The ancient ritual had for these men 
no personal associations whatever. In the various com- 
munes they enjoyed the position which wealth neces- 
sarily, and in those days especially, brought. That 
there was any virtue in poverty or privation in them- 
selves had not yet been preached to the world, and 
would have seemed a wild paradox ; and although the 
vanity of wealth without wisdom was a philosophic 
truism, ordinary wits would not always trust themselves 
to make the distinction. 

When these men, who formed almost a hereditary 

nobility, and already cherished a superb aloofness from 

the mass, felt their influence and power challenged, 

perhaps saw themselves outvoted in the governing 



councils of the synagogues and communes, and the 
foundations of their petty glory sapped, they were 
roused to a counter-effort, of which the results have 
been indicated. The danger in which they found them- 
selves came from the Hasidim, the group of brother- 
hoods that made a conscious opposition to Hellenism 
their bond of union. In Egypt the opposition had found 
its organs in the caste-like corporations of priests. In 
Judea the organs had to be created. And that they were 
successful, the words of I Maccabees testify. They 
contained the leaders of the nation ; their position was 
already one of dominating influence. 

It is unnecessary to detail the course of the Has- 
monean revolt. Even the brilliant successes of Judas in 
the field, and the less splendid but equally solid triumphs 
of his brothers, would have had fewer political conse- 
quences than they had except for the chaos in the 
Seleucid succession. But of the permanent triumph of 
the movement there was never any doubt. If the revolt 
had ended with the death of Judas, the discomfiture of 
the Hellenists would have been complete. No Mace- 
donian king would ever be tempted to provoke another 
revolt by a similar project. It could never be a part of a 
sane ruler's policy to sacrifice valuable military material 
in order to gratify a local faction. And it must never 
be forgotten that the Greek rule of the Syrian kingdom 
was the domination of a military class. Every diminu- 
tion of the army was a dead loss. 

The suggestion may be hazarded that not merely the 
Hellenistic Jews, but also the Greeks themselves, viewed 


the progress of the Hasidim with real alarm. We are 
far as yet from the epoch of real propaganda, but to 
some extent it may already have begun. Where and 
when we can only speculate. Perhaps the fervor of 
Hasidic preaching had touched non-Jewish Syrians; 
perhaps some of the yotmger men of the Hellenists 
*' relapsed " under Hasidic stimulation into Judaism. 
However the case may be, Greeks of influence may have 
noted that the Grecizing of Coele-Syria was not merely 
hindered by obstacles in Judea, but that the Judaizing 
of portions already won" was a possibility that w^as 
attaining a constantly greater vividness. If this was 
the case, the persecution by Antiochus was a precaution, 
insensate and futile, but less at variance with Greek 
methods than it seems in the usual interpretation of 
the facts we know. 


The preaching of a gospel seems to us as natural as 
the existence of a religion. That is because the religions 
we know best are universal ones, of which the God is a 
transcendent being, in whose sight human distinctions 
are negligible. But for the Mediterranean world that 
was not the case. The religions were not universal; 
many of the gods were concretely believed to be the 
ancestors of certain groups of men, and not always 
remote ones. Local associations played a determining 
part. If we find an active propaganda here, it cannot 
be because the spread of a ritual or faith is an inherent 
characteristic. On the contrary, in normal circum- 
stances there seems to be no reason why one com- 
munity should change its gods or forms of worship for 
those of another. 

But, as a matter of fact, they did change them. And 
the change was often effected consciously by the 
planned efforts of a group of worshipers, and in all the 
ways that have been used since — preaching, emotional 
revivals, and forcible conquest. One such carefully 
planned effort was that of the Jews, but only one of 
them. The circumstances in which this propaganda 
was carried out need close investigation. 


In discussing Greek religion (above, p. 34) it has 
been suggested that there was in every community a 
large number of men who found no real satisfaction in 
the state cult, and that it was chiefly among them that 
the proselytes of new and foreign religions were to be 
found. But that does not make us understand why these 
foreign religions should have sought proselytes, why 
they should have felt themselves under obligations to 
assume a mission. The stranger within the gates might 
reasonably be expected to do honor to the divine lord of 
the city : if he remained permanently, his inclusion in the 
civic family in some way is natural. But what was it 
that impelled Isis to seek worshipers so far from the 
Nile, where alone she could be properly adored, or the 
mysterious Cabiri to go so far from the caves where 
their power was greatest and most direct?* 

The movement of which these special missions are 
phases was old and extensive. It covered the entire 
Eastern Mediterranean, and went perhaps further west 
and east than we can at present demonstrate. Its begin- 
nings probably antedated the Hellenes. The religious 
unrest of which Christian missionaries made such excel- 
lent use was a phenomenon that goes back very far 
in the history of Mediterranean civilization. At cer- 
tain periods of that history and in different places it 
reached culminating waves, but it is idle to attempt to 
discover a sufficient cause for it in a limited series of 
events within a circumscribed area of Greece or of Asia. 

The briefest form in which the nature of this unrest 
can be phrased is the following — the quest for personal 


We shall do well to remember that the ancient state 
was a real corporation, based not upon individuals but 
upon smaller family corporations. The rights of these 
corporations were paramount. It was only gradually 
that individuals were recognized at all in law.^ The 
desire for personal salvation is a part of the growing 
consciousness of personality, and must have begun 
almost as soon as the state corporation itself became 

Within a state only those individuals can have rela- 
tively free play who are to a certain extent the organs 
of the state ; that is, those individuals who by conquest, 
wealth, or chance have secured for themselves political 
predominance in their respective communities. But 
these could never be more than a small minority. For 
the great majority everyday life was hemmed in by 
conventions that had the force of laws, and was 
restricted by legal limits drastically enforced. And this 
narrow and pitifully poor life was bounded by Sheol, 
or Hades, by a condition eloquently described as worse 
at its best than the least desirable existence under the 
face of the insufferable sun.^ 

The warrior caste, for whom and of whom the 
Homeric poems were written, were firmly convinced that 
the bloodless and sinewless life in the House of Hades 
was the goal to which existence tended. But they found 
their compensation in that existence itself. What of 
those who lacked these compensations, or had learned 
to despise them? In them the prospect of becoming 
lost in the mass of flitting and indistinguishable 


shadows must have produced a profound horror, and 
their minds must have dwelt upon it with increasing 

It is one of the most ancient behefs of men in this 
region that all the dead become disembodied spirits, 
sometimes with power for good or evil, so that their dis- 
pleasure is to be deprecated, sometimes without such 
power, as the Homeric nobles believed, and the mass 
of the Jews in the times of the monarchy. These spirits 
or ghosts had of themselves no recognizable personality, 
and could receive it only exceptionally and in ways that 
violated the ordinary laws of the universe. Such a 
belief is not strictly a belief in immortality at all, since 
the essence of the latter is that the actual person of flesh 
and blood continues his identity when flesh and blood 
are dissolved and disappear, and that the characteristics 
which, except for form and feature, separated him from 
his fellows in life still do so after death. The only 
bodiless beings who could be said to have a person- 
ality were the gods, and they were directly styled " the 

However, the line that separated gods and men was 
not sharp. The adoration offered to the dead m the 
Spartan relief " is not really different from the wor- 
ship of the Olympians. From the other side, in Homer, 
the progeny of Zeus by mortal women are very emphat- 
ically men.^ Whether the Homeric view is a special 
development, it is demonstrably true that a general 
belief was current in Greece not long after the Homeric 
epoch, which saw no impossibility in favored men 


securing the gift of immortality ; that is, continuing 
without interruption the personal life which alone had 
significance. This was done by the translations — the 
removal of mortal men in the flesh to kinship with the 

This privilege of personal immortality was not con- 
nected, in the myths that told of it, with eminent ser- 
vices. It was at all times a matter of grace. In the 
form of bodily translation it always remained a rare and 
miraculous exception. But the mere existence of such 
a belief must have strongly influenced the beliefs and 
practices that had long been connected with the dead. 

We cannot tell where and when it was first suggested 
to men that the shadow-life of Hades might by the 
grace of the gods be turned into real life, and a real 
immortality secured. It may be, as has been supposed, 
that the incentive came from Egypt. More likely, how- 
ever, it was an independent growth, and perhaps arose 
in more than one place. The favor and grace of the 
gods, which were indispensable, could obviously be 
gained by intimate association, and in the eighth and 
perhaps even the ninth pre-Christian century we begin 
to hear in Greece of means of entering into that asso- 
ciation. One of these means was the " mystery," of 
which the Eleusinian is the best-known. In these cult- 
societies, of the origin of which we know nothing, a 
close and intimate association with the god or gods was 
offered. The initiated saw with their own eyes the 
godhead perform certain ceremonial acts ; perhaps they 
sat cheek by jowl with him. It is obvious that such 


familiarity involved the especial favor of the gods, and 
it is easy to understand that the final and crowning mark 
of that favor would not be always withheld. The com- 
munion with the god begun in this life would be con- 
tinued after it. To the mystae of Eleusis, and no doubt 
elsewhere, and to them only, was promised a personal 

It may not have been first at Eleusis. It may have 
been in the obscure corners of Thrace where what later 
appeared as Orphic societies was developed. But there 
were soon many mysteries, and there was no lack of 
men and women to whom the promise was inexpressibly 
sweet. The spread of Orphism in the sixth and fifth 
centuries b. c. e. bears witness to the eagerness with 
which the evangel was received. 

Outside of Greece, in Persia, India, and Egypt, per- 
haps also in Babylonia, there were hereditary groups of 
men who claimed to possess an arcanum, whereby the 
supreme favor of the gods, that of eternal communion 
with them, was to be obtained. These hereditary castes 
desired no extension, but jealously guarded their 
privileges. But among them there constantly arose 
earnest and warm-hearted men, whose humanity im- 
pelled them to spread as widely as possible the boon 
which they had themselves obtained by accident. Per- 
haps many attempts in all these countries aborted. Not 
all Gotamas succeeded in becoming Buddhas. 

The Jews seemed to the Greeks to possess just such 
an arcanum, and whatever interest they originally 
excited was due to that fact. The initiatory rite of cir- 


cumcision, the exclusiveness of a ritual that did not 
brook even the proximate presence of an uninitiate, all 
pointed in that direction, even if we disregard the 
vigorously asserted claims of the Jews to be in a very 
special sense the people of God. 

The Jews too had as far as the masses were concerned 
developed the belief in a personal immortality during 
the centuries that followed the Babylonian exile (comp. 
p. 70), and as far as we can see it developed among 
them at the same time and somewhat in the same way 
as elsewhere. That is to say, among them as among 
others the future life, the Olam ha-ho, was a privilege 
and was sought for with especial eagerness by those to 
whom the Olam ha-zeh was largely desolate. Not 
reward for some and punishment for others, but com- 
plete exclusion from any life but that of Sheol for those 
who failed to acquire the Olam ha-bo, was the doctrine 
maintained, just as the Greek mystae knew that for 
those who were not initiated there was waiting, not the 
wheel of Ixion or the stone of Sisyphus, but the bleak 
non-existence of Hades.* 

But there was a difference, and this difference became 
vital. Conduct was not disregarded in the Greek mys- 
teries, but the essential thing was the fact of initiation. 
Those who first preached the doctrine of a personal 
salvation to the Jews were conscious in so doing that 
they were preaching to a society of initiates. They were 
all mystae ; all had entered into the covenant : all 
belonged to the congregation of the Lord, nin^ "7r{\). To 
whom was this boon of immortality, the Olam ha-bo, to 


be given? The first missionaries, whether they did or 
did not constitute a sect, had a' ready answer. To those 
to whom the covenant was real, who accepted fully the 
yoke of the Law. 

The sects of Pharisees and Sadducees, whose dis- 
putes fill later Jewish history, joined issue on a number 
of points. No doubt there was an economic and social 
cleavage between them as well. But perhaps the most 
nearly fundamental difference of doctrine related to the 
Olam ha-bo. The Pharisees asserted, and the Sad- 
ducees denied, the doctrine of resurrection. It is 
stated by Josephus,^ that the Sadducees called in ques- 
tion the Olam ha-bo itself. When and where these sects 
took form is uncertain. The Pharisees at least are fully 
developed, and form a powerful political party under 
John Hyrcanus." It is very unlikely that they are re- 
lated to the Hasidim or are a continuation of them. The 
latter were a national, anti-Hellenic organization, and 
contained men of all shades of beliefs and interests. 
But the Pharisees, like the Hasidim, began as a brother- 
hood or a group of brotherhoods, however political their 
aims and actions were in later times. The fact is 
indicated by the name Haber, '' comrade," which they 
gave themselves, and the contemptuous Am ha-aretz, 
** clod," ot TToAAot, with which they designated those 
who were not members of their congregations. 

Now the Habermi, who preached the World-to-Come, 
were not in a primitive stage of culture, but in a very 
advanced one. Their God was not master of a city, but 
Lord of the whole earth. And they had long main- 


tained the principle that merit in the eyes of God was 
determined by conduct, both formal and moral, a dis- 
tinction less profoundly separating than seems at first 
to be the case. If that were so, anyone, Jew or Gentile, 
might conceivably acquire that merit. How was the 
Olam ha-bo to be refused to anyone who had taken upon 
himself the yoke of the Law, who did all that the Lord 
required at his hands ? Jewish tradition knew of several 
eminently righteous gentiles, such as Job, in whom God 
was well pleased. It was an untenable proposition to 
men whose cardinal religious doctrine had for centuries 
been ethical and universal that all but a few men were 
permanently excluded from the beatitude of life after 

Since, however, the promises of the sacred literature 
were addressed primarily to Israel, those who were not 
of Abraham's seed could become '^ comrades " only by 
first becoming Jews. That conception involved no 
difficulty whatever. The people of the ancient world 
had empirically learned some of the more elementary 
facts of biological heredity; but membership in a com- 
munity, though determined by heredity in the first 
instance, was not essentially so determined. In earlier 
times, when the communities were first instituted, not 
even the pretense of kinship was maintained. The 
essential fact was the assumption of common sacra. 

That a man might by appropriate ceremonies — or 
without ceremonies — enter into another community, 
was held everywhere. If, as has been suggested (above, 
p. 147), the Hasidim found some of their members 


among the non- Jewish population of Syria," it is not 
likely that the process of becoming Jews was rendered 
either difficult or long. Abraham, a late tradition stated, 
brought many gentiles under the wings of the Shekinah, 
the Effulgence. If this tradition is an old one, it indi- 
cates that proselytizing was in early times held to be 
distinctly meritorious." 

The first conquests of the Hasmonean rulers brought 
non-Jewish tribes under immediate political control of 
the Jews. Most of them, notably the Idumeans, were 
forcibly Judaized, and so successfully that we hear of 
only one attempted revolt." There can of course have 
been no question here of elaborate ceremonies or 
lengthy novitiates. The Idumeans were dealt with as 
shortly as Charlemagne's Saxons, and gave the most 
convincing demonstration of their loyalty in the time of 
the insurrections." 

This drastic way of increasing the seed of Abraham 
must have been viewed differently by different classes 
of Jews. To the Haberim the difference between a 
heathen and a Jewish aspirant to their communion lay 
in the fact that the heathen had undergone the fearful 
defilement of worshiping the Abomination, while the 
Jew had not. For the former there was accordingly 
necessary an elaborate series of purgations, of cere- 
monial cleansing ; and until this was done there was no 
hope that he could be admitted into the congregation of 
the Lord. But it might be done, and it began to be done 
in increasing numbers. It would have been strange if, 
among the many gentile seekers for salvation, Greek, 


Syrian, Cappadocian, and others, some would not be 
found to take the path that led to the conventicles of 
the Jewish Haberim. This was especially the case 
when, instead of an obscure Syrian tribe, the Has- 
moneans had made of Judea a powerful nation, one 
of the most considerable of its part of the world. 

All the mysteries welcomed neophytes, but none made 
the entrance into their ranks an easy matter. In some 
of them there were degrees, as in those of Cybele, and 
the highest degree was attained at so frightful a cost 
as practically to be reserved for the very few.'" In the 
case of the Jews, one of the initiatory rites was 
peculiarly repellent to Greeks and Romans, in that it 
involved a bodily mutilation, which was performed not 
in the frenzy of an orgiastic revel, but in the course of a 
solemn ritual of prayer. That fact might make many 
hesitate, but could not permanently deter those who 
earnestly sought for the way of life. 

The Jewish propaganda was not confined to receiving 
and imposing conditions on those who came. Some at 
least sought converts, although it is very doubtful that 
the Pharisaic societies as a class planned a real mission 
among the heathen. The methods that were used were 
those already in vogue — methods which had achieved 
success in many fields. Books and pamphlets were 
published to further the purpose of the missionaries; 
personal solicitation of those deemed receptive was 
undertaken. Actual preaching, such as the diatribe 
commenced by the Cynics, and before them by Socrates, 
was probably confined to the synagogue, or meeting 


within the proseucha, and reached only those who were 
there assembled/' 

The literary form of the propaganda was especially 
active in those communities in which Jews and Greeks 
spoke a common language and partly shared a common 
culture. Even books intended primarily for Jewish 
circulation contain polemics against polytheism and 
attacks upon heathen custom, which the avowed pur- 
pose of the book would not justify. 

It is not to be supposed that the literary propaganda 
was the most effective. It was limited by the very field 
for which it was intended. Such a book as the Wisdom 
of Solomon was both too subtle and too finished a 
product to appeal to other than highly cultivated tastes, 
and men of this stamp are not readily reached by 
propagandizing religions. The chief object of attack 
was the Greek polytheism. '' Wisdom " ventures even 
on an historical explanation of polytheism, which is 
strangely like that of Herbert Spencer.'* Now, just for 
the Greeks, who might read and understand such a 
book, to refute polytheism was destroying a man of 
straw. No one of them seriously believed in it. Those 
who were not agnostics or atheists believed in the 
unity of the Divine essence, and at most maintained the 
existence of certain subordinate ministerial beings, who 
might or might not be identical with the names of the 
actors in the myths. But many Jews would be ready to 
admit so much. Indeed that there were subordinate 
daemonia, helpful and harmful, was a widespread belief 
in Judea, even if without authoritative sanction. Very 


often the heathen gods were conceived to be not 
absokite nulHties, but demons really existing and evil — 
a belief which the early Christian church firmly held 
and preached." 

Accordingly the polished society of a Greek city did 
not need the literary polemics against polytheism to be 
convinced that monotheism was an intellectually more 
developed and morally preferable dogma. On the other 
hand, it was a very difficult task to convince it that 
the ceremonies of the official cult, granting even their 
philosophic absurdity, were for that reason objection- 
able. To make them seem so, there would have to be 
present the consciousness of sin, and that was not a 
matter which argumentation could produce. 

One other point against which Jewish writers of that 
time address themselves is the assumed viciousness of 
Greek life. How much one people has with which to 
reproach another in that respect in ancient or in modern 
times need not be considered here. The fact remains that 
in many extant books sexual excesses and perversions 
are made a constant reproach to the heathen — which 
generally implies the Greek — and the extant Greek and 
Latin literature gives a great deal of color to the 
charge."* This is due not so much to the actual life de- 
picted as to the attitude with which even good men 
regarded these particular incidents. It is true that we 
have contemporary evidence that many Jews in Greek 
communities were no paragons of right living or self- 
restraint. But it is at least significant that this accusa- 
tion, continually repeated by the Jews, is not met by 


a retort in kind. The anti-Jewish writings are not 
especially moderate in their condemnations. But with 
viciousness in their lives they do not charge the Jews, 
and they cannot have been unaware of what the Jews 
wrote and said. 

Polytheism and immorality, the two chief counts in 
the indictment which Jewish writers bring against 
heathendom, were not things Greeks were disposed to 
defend. But it is doubtful whether the books that 
inveighed against them were valuable weapons of 
propaganda. We have practically no details of how 
the movement grew. In the last century before the 
Christian era it had reached the extraordinary pro- 
portions that are evidenced by the satire of Horace as 
well as by the opposition which it encountered. Jewish 
apocalyptic literature confidently expects that all the 
heathen on the rapidly approaching Judgment Day will 
be brought within the fold.^^ The writers may be for- 
given if the success of their proselytizing endeavors 
made them feel that such a result was well within the 
range of possibility. 

Within the same period the worships of Cybele, of 
Sabazios, and of Isis, had perhaps even greater success 
in extending themselves over the Greek and Roman 
world. The communities they invaded only rarely wel- 
comed them. Even at Rome the official introduction of 
Cybele was the last desperate recourse of avowed super- 
stition, and it was promptly restricted when success and 
prosperity returned to the Roman arms. But in all the 
communities great masses of men were thoroughly pre- 


pared in mind for the doctrines the Asiatic religions 
preached. A pubHc preaching, such as the Cynics used, 
was rarely permitted. But if we recall how many slaves 
and ex-slaves as well as merchants and artisans were of 
Asiatic stock, the spread of these cults, including that 
of the Jews, by the effective means of personal and 
individual conversion is nothing to be wondered at. 
The state was perforce compelled to notice this spread. 
Individuals had noticed it long before. 


The ancient state was based on community of sacra, 
of cult-observances. Anything that tended to destroy 
them or impair general belief in their necessity, went to 
the very roots of the state, was therefore a form of 
treason, and was punished as such. The state rarely 
was interested in the honor of the gods themselves. 
Roman law had a maxim, which was very seriously 
stated, but which makes upon us the impression of a 
cynical witticism : Deorimi ininriae dis ciirae, *' Let the 
gods attend to their own wrongs." Since the kinship 
of members of the state was generally known to be a 
legal fiction, the bond that took its place was common 
worship. The state could not look without concern 
upon anything that threatened to weaken its formal 

Most Greek states made aai/Seta, " impiety," a crim- 
inal oflfense. But just what acts or omissions consti- 
tuted impiety was in each case a question of fact, to be 
determined specially in every instance. At Athens vari- 
ous persons of greater and less distinction were pros- 
ecuted under that indictment — Socrates, Theophras- 
tus, Phryne. In every one of these cases, the gravamen 
of the charge was that the defendant did not regard as 
gods those whom the state so regarded (/at) vofxt^av 


Oeov^ ors r) ttoAi? vofiiUi, Plat. Apol. 24B and 26b), and 
taught so. In general, individual prosecutions such as 
these were deemed sufficient to repress the spread of 
dangerous doctrines. It was not believed necessary 
to consider membership in any sect or community as 
prima facie evidence of such impiety, punishable with- 
out further investigation. In later times, however, even 
this step was taken. Certain philosophic sects — which, 
we may remember, were corporately organized — were 
believed to be essentially impious. The city of Lyctos 
in Crete forbade any Epicurean to enter it under penalty 
of the most frightful tortures.^ 

We shall have to distinguish these police measures, 
which, when aimed at religious bodies, constitute an 
undoubted religious persecution, from the mutual ani- 
mosity with which hostile races in any community 
regarded each other and the bloody riots that resulted 
from it. In the new city of Seleucia in Babylonia, the 
Syrians, Jews, and Greeks that lived there were very 
far from realizing the purpose of the city's founder and 
coalescing into a single community. Sanguinary con- 
flicts, probably on very slight provocation, frequently 
took place. Sometimes the Jews and Syrians combined 
against the Greeks ; sometimes the Greeks and Syrians 
against the Jews, as recounted by Josephus.' The sit- 
uation in Alexandria, where Egyptians hated Greeks, 
Jews, and doubtless all foreigners with a scarcely dis- 
criminating intensity, is peculiar only because we are 
well informed of conditions there by the papyri. When 
any one of these nationalities gained the upper hand, 


there was likely to be a bloody suppression of its foes, 
often followed by equally bloody reprisals. Salamis, in 
Cyprus, is a grim witness of the frenzy with which 
neighbors could attack each other, when years of 
hostility culminated in a violent outbreak.^ 

The attitude of Greek states toward the Jewish con- 
gregations in their midst was certainly not uniformly 
hostile. But in many cases there could not help being a 
certain resentment, owing to the fact that these congre- 
gations were by special grant generally immune from 
prosecution for impiety, although as a matter of fact 
they very emphatically " did not regard as gods those 
whom the state so regarded." Of itself this circum- 
stance might have been neglected, but the active and 
successful propaganda they undertook made them a 
source of real danger to the state. We therefore hear of 
attempts made sporadically to abrogate the immunity, 
to compel the Jewish corporations to conform to the 
local law of ao-e/Saa. Nearly always, however, the im- 
munity was a royal grant, and therefore unreachable 
by local legislation, a fact that did not tend to alleviate 
friction where it existed.* 

At Rome police measures to suppress irreligion 
were long in existence. However, the Roman attitude 
toward any form of communion with gods or daemonia 
was so uniformly an attitude of dread, that prohibition 
of religious rites and punishment of participants in them 
were not a task lightly assumed by a Roman magis- 
trate. The suppression of the Bacchanalia in 186 b. c. 
E. was nothing short of a religious persecution, but the 


Utmost care was taken to make it appear to be directed 
against certain licentious practices alleged against the 
Bacchae, and the senate's decree expressly authorizes 
the Bacchic rites, under certain restrictions deemed 
necessary to insure their harmlessness/ Very early the 
Isiac mysteries and other Eastern cults came within 
the animadversion of the urban police.^ Here too the 
theory was that the crimes and immorality of the 
communicants were the sole objects of punishment, 
especially that species of fraud which took the form of 
magic and unofficial fortune-telling. In reality, how- 
ever, all these pretexts covered the fact that the Romans 
felt their state ritual endangered, not by the presence, 
but by the spread, of such rituals among Romans; and 
in this their alarm was very well grounded indeed. But 
to proceed openly and boldly against any manifestation 
of a divine numen, was more than the average Roman 
board of aediles ventured to do. 

If the official attitude of various communities toward 
outside cults and toward the Jews in particular can be 
brought under no general rule, we may be sure that the 
personal attitude of individual Greeks toward them 
varied from enthusiastic veneration to indifference and 
determined antagonism. In certain cities the Jews as 
foreigners could not hope to escape odium nor the 
jealousy of competing individuals and organizations. 
In Egypt particularly, the feud between Egyptians and 
Jews existed before the coming of the Greeks there, 
and grew in intensity as time went on. As far as definite 
attacks upon the Jews and their institutions went, many 


of them had an Egyptian origin, and many others were 
wholly confined to that country. 

These attacks are not essentially different from the 
methods that generally obtained when one group of 
men found itself in frequent opposition to another 
group on the field of battle or otherwise. The populace 
needs no rhetorical stimulation to represent its enemies 
as wicked, cowardly, and foolish. That is a human 
weakness which exists to-day quite as it has existed for 
many centuries. However, even for the populace, such 
phrases were accepted conventions. They were not 
quite seriously meant, and could be conveniently for- 
gotten whenever the former foe became an ally. 

Among professional rhetoricians this particular 
method of argumentation formed a set rhetorical 
device, one of the forms of vituperatio ^ as classified in 
the text-books. Certain roVot, " commonplaces,*' were 
developed concerning all nations, and used as occasion 
required. Historical facts, popular gossip, freely imag- 
ined qualities, were all equally used to support the 
statements made or to illustrate them. Now it is in 
the works of professional rhetoricians that most of the 
attacks on the Jews are to be found. Further, we have 
their works wholly in the form of citations taken from 
the context. We cannot even be sure to what extent 
the authors themselves were convinced of what they 
said. Wherever we meet what is plainly a rhetorical 
TOTTos, we have little ground for assuming that it corre- 
sponds to any feeling whatever on the writer's part. 
Often it was mechanically inserted, and has all the effect 
of an exercise in composition. 


With a laughter-loving people one of the first 
resources in controversy is to render the opponent 
ridiculous. It was especially on the side of religion that 
the Jews maintained their difference from their neigh- 
bors, and claimed a great superiority to them. A Greek 
enemy would be much inclined to heap ridicule, first on 
the pretensions to superiority, and then on the religious 
form itself. That may be the basis of a story, which 
soon became widely current, to the effect that the Jews 
worshiped their god in the form of an ass. 

The story is of Egyptian origin. Just where and 
when it began, cannot be discovered. Josephus in com- 
bating Apion refers to a writer whose name the copyists 
have hopelessly jumbled. It is not unlikely that he was 
a certain Mnaseas, perhaps of Patara in Lycia, or 
Patras in the Peloponnesus, a highly rhetorical his- 
torian of the second century b. c. e. ^ He wrote therefore 
before the establishment of the Maccabean state. Wher- 
ever he was born, he was a pupil of Eratosthenes, and 
therefore a resident of Alexandria.^ 

We have his words only at third hand, in Josephus' 
account of Apion's reference. Each citation is of sub- 
stance, not the ipsissirna verba; and, besides, of this part 
of Josephus we have only a Latin translation, not the 
original. The story, whether it is Mnaseas' or Apion's, 
is to the effect that a certain Idumean, named Zabidus, 
duped the Jews into believing that he intended to 
deliver his god, Apollo," into their hands, and con- 
trived to get into the temple and remove '' the golden 
head of the pack-ass. '* 


The uncertainty and indirectness of the citation 
makes it dubious whether Mnaseas understood this ass 
to be the actual divine symbol or, as others said, merely 
one of the figures of a group. The absurdity of the 
story seems so patent that its existence is almost 
incredible. It indicates the extreme strictness with 
which gentiles were excluded from even the approach 
to the temple at Jerusalem that the baselessness of the 
ass-legend was not immediately discovered." 

Josephus' indignation and his frequent reference to 
the '' pretended wit " of Apion or of Mnaseas make 
the tone and intention of the story quite plain. It can 
have had no other purpose than that of holding the 
Jews up to ridicule. But just what the point of the jest 
is, is by no means quite so easy to discover. We cannot 
reconstruct even approximately the words of Mnaseas. 
It is, however, at least likely that if he had attributed 
the adoration of an ass to the Jews, a somewhat less 
equivocal statement to that effect would appear. Other 
writers do make that statement plainly enough. The 
point of Mnaseas' raillery seems rather to be the easy 
credulity of the people, a characteristic that was at 
all times attributed to them in the ancient world, from 
the earliest references, as they are found in Hecataeus, 
to the latest. It is curious that this quality, which to 
Greeks and Romans seemed the most striking trait of 
the Jews, is the very last that modern observers would 
ascribe to them. 

If we follow the story as it appears in later writers, 
we shall meet it next in the history of the Syrian Posi- 


donius, who lived about lOO b. c. e. Again, we have his 
statement only in quotation, this time in a fragment of 
the work of Diodorus, a Sicilian contemporary of 
Augustus. Posidonius does no more than make the 
assertion that the innermost shrine of the temple con- 
tained the statue of a long-bearded man, assumed to 
be Moses, riding on an ass {XWivov ayaXfxa avSp6<i 
/SaOvTTMyMvo'i Ka6r]ix€vov [sic | eV oi/ov) /" This is very far 
from accusing the Jews of worshiping an ass. Indeed 
it is likely enough that nothing was further from the 
mind of the writer. Perhaps Mnaseas too told the same 
or a very similar story, since his anecdote would fit in 
just as well with the account of Posidonius as with the 
later version. 

The story appears again in the writings of Molo, the 
tutor of Caesar and Cicero ; but Molo's statement is 
wholly lost. In the next generation we find it in the 
writings of the Egyptian Apion, and in Damocritus, of 
whom we know nothing, but who, it is likely enough, 
was a resident of Alexandria.^"" 

Here the statements are unmistakable. According to 
Damocritus, if he is accurately cited by the late Byzan- 
tine lexicographer Suidas, the Jews adored the gilded 
head of an ass (^xP^^V^ ^^^^ Kc^aA^v TrpocreKvvovv) . Apion, 
in the Latin translation of Josephus, asserts that the 
Jews " adored this ass' head, and worshiped it with 
much ceremony " (id [i. e. asini caput] colere ac 
dignum facere tanta religione) .^* 

Probably from Apion it got to Tacitus, 120 c. e., who 
in his Histories (v. 4) uses the words, effigiern [asini] 


penetrali sacravere, " they consecrated the figure of 
an ass in their inner shrine." Tacitus expressly avoids 
the allegation of worshiping this statue. He probably 
intentionally modified the words of Apion to fit the 
statement into the then abundantly proven fact that the 
Jews worshiped an imageless and abstract deity (Hist. 


The Greek essayist Plutarch, almost a generation 

before Tacitus, makes a similar reference, though in 

his case without the least hostile or satiric intention. 

The ass is according to him the animal most honored 

among the Jews (^to TifXMixevov W arrali^ juaAio-ra 6r)ptov^ ^ 

a statement which, it may be said incidentally, is by no 
means without foundation.^'' 

It is generally assumed that the use of an ass as an 
object of adoration necessarily aroused derision. That 
would probably be true of our own times in Europe or 
in America, but it would not obtain in the ancient world. 
Veneration of an ass was no more extraordinary to a 
Greek than veneration of any other animal symbol. Nor 
was the ass associated in men's minds only with con- 
temptuous and derisive images. He played a large part 
in the economy of the people, and was in many places 
correspondingly esteemed. The very first reference to 
him in Greek literature is in the Iliad (xi. 558), where 
A j ax's slow retreat is compared to the stubborn and 
effectual resistance of an ass in the fields — surely no 
dishonoring simile. The ass was a part of the sacred 
train of Dionysus,^^ long before the latter was identified 
with the Phryg^ian Sabazios. Again, the ass was trans- 


ferred to heaven, where he still shmes as a constella- 
tion. At Lampsacus and Tarentum he was a sacrificial 
animal/' At Rome he was associated with Vesta, and 
crowned at the Consualia. 

Among the Jews, as among all the people of that 
portion of Asia, his importance is such as to justify in 
a large measure the words of Plutarch. Generally in 
the Bible he is preferred to the horse (Prov. xxvi. 3; 
Psalm xxxii. 9). In the ancient song of Deborah 
(Judges V. 10) those who sit on white asses are the 
princes of the people. The Anointed of God would 
ride into the city upon an ass. It is not without mean- 
ing that asses, but not horses, appear on Assyrian 

In Egypt, however, the ass was a symbol of evil. He 
was associated with the demoniac Typhon, and was an 
object of superstitious fear and hatred.'^ 

For most of the Mediterranean nations the worship 
of an ass was only in so far contemptible as the worship 
of any animal was so considered. Romans and Greeks 
take very lofty ground indeed when they speak of Egyp- 
tian theriolatry, although innumerable religious prac- 
tices of their own were associated in some way or other 
with animals.'" It is not likely accordingly that the 
allegation of this form of fetichism against the Jews 
arose among Greeks or Romans or Syrians or Pales- 
tinians. For Egyptians, on the contrary, this particular 
story would charge the Jews with " devil-worship," 
or, at least, the veneration of a deity hostile to them. 
In Egypt, and in Egypt alone, the story would have a 
special point. 


It may further be noted that in Manetho's account the 
Jews are brought to Avaris, a site consecrated to 

As it appears in Posidonius, perhaps in Mnaseas and 
Molo, and certainly in Plutarch, the story is based upon 
a real Jewish tradition and actual custom. In Damoc- 
ritus and Apion, on the other hand, it is a malicious 
slander, needing no basis in observed fact. It is one 
of the many developments of the mutual hatred of Jew 
and Egyptian, of which there is such a wealth of other 

This story has been dealt with in some detail because 
it illustrates in very many ways the character, sources, 
and methods of the literary anti-Semitism of ancient 
times. Wholly without basis from the beginning, it 
becomes almost an accepted dogma, as well grounded as 
many another facile generalization in those days and 
ours. Further, it will be observed that it does not every- 
where necessitate the inference of hostility on the part 
of the writer. The historians of those days were 
ex professo rhetoricians. Every form of literary com- 
position had as its prime object a finished artistic 
product. Since the subject of literature, or artistic 
verbal expression, was human life, history, which is 
the record of human life, was eminently the province of 
the word-fancier, the rhetorician. The trained his- 
torian has no words of sufficient contempt for the mere 
logographer whose object is the recording of facts. 
That '' pretty lies " do not in. the least disfigure history, 
is the opinion of the Stoic Panaetius and his pupil and 


admirer Cicero. And that was particularly the case 
when the history was, as it often became, an expanded 
plea or invective, in which case the tricks of trade of the 
advocate were not only commendable but demanded/" 

Most of the accounts of the Jews or the fragments 
of such accounts come to us from just these rhetorical 
historians. If the whole book were extant in any case, 
we should be in a position to determine the occasion for 
the account and the source of its color. As it is, we 
are on slippery ground when we endeavor to interpret 
the fragments in such a way as to discover the facts of 
which they present so distorted an image. 

Not all historians, however, were of this type. Even 
among the rhetors, many had, or at any rate professed 
to have, a passion for truth. And among the others 
there is manifested from time to time a distinct his- 
torical conscience, a qualm as to the accuracy of the 
assertion so trippingly written. 

It is for this reason an especially painful gap in our 
sources to find that portion of Polybius missmg in 
which he promised to treat at length of the Jews. 
Polybius of Megalopolis, a Greek who lived as an 
Achean hostage in Rome, in the second third of the 
second century b. c. e., was the nearest approach the 
ancient world had to an historian in the modern sense, 
one whose primary object was to ascertain the truth 
and state it simply. Polybius could, for example, feel 
and express high admiration for Roman institutions 
and at the same time do justice to the bitter hater of the 
Romans, Hannibal. And this too in the lifetime of men 


who may themselves have heard the dreadful news of 
Trasimene and Cannae. 

In his sixteenth book, Polybius briefly relates the con- 
quest of Judea among other parts of Coele-Syria, first 
by Ptolemy Philometor's general, then by Antiochus 
the Great. '' A little while after this, he [Antiochus] 
received the submission of those of the Jews who lived 
around the temple known as Jerusalem, About this I 
have much more to tell, particularly because of the fame 
of the temple, and I shall reserve that narrative for 

An evil chance has deprived us of that later narrative. 
If we possessed it, we should probably have a very sane 
and, as far as his sources permitted, an accurate account 
of the condition of the Jews during the generation 
between Antiochus the Great and the Maccabees. 
Polybius, however, wrote before the establishment of 
the Jewish state and the spread of its cult had focused 
attention upon the people, and roused opposition. And 
he wrote, too, at the very beginning of Roman inter- 
ference in the East, which reduced Egypt to a pro- 
tectorate before another generation. When he speaks 
therefore of the '' great fame of the temple " (17 irepl to 
Upbv eVtt^aveta), he is an especially important witness of 
what the name meant to the Romans and Greeks, for 
whom he wrote.'^ 


If the rivals and opponents of the Jews had nothing 
more to say of them than that they worshiped the head 
of an ass, it is not likely that their opposition would have 
been recorded. But they would have put their training 
to meager use, if they could not devise better and 
stronger terms of abuse. 

The very first Greek historian who has more than a 
vague surmise of the character and history of the Jews 
is Hecataeus of Abdera (comp. above, p. 92). As has 
been seen, his tone is distinctly well-disposed. But he 
knows also of circumstances which to the Greek mind 
were real national vices. He mentions with strong dis- 
approval their credulity, their inhospitality, and their 

Credulity is not a vice with which the Jews were 
charged in later times. That may be due to Christian 
tradition, in which of course the sin of the Jews is that 
they did not believe enough, as stated in Christian con- 
troversial writings. But Greeks and Romans were 
quite in accord, that the Jews were duped with extra- 
ordinary facility ; especially that they were the victims 
of the deception of their priests, so that they attached 
importance to thousands of matters heartily without 
importance. We may remember Horace's jibe, Credat 


ludaeiis Apella, " Tell it to the Jew Apella " ; * and 
nearly two hundred years later Apuleius mentions the 
ludaei superstitiosi, '' the superstitious Jews." ' 

Among the Greeks particularly the quality of evrjOeta, 
" simplicity/' had rapidly made the same progress as 
the words " silly " and " simpleton " have in English. 

Sharpness and duplicity were the qualities with which 
non-Greek nations credited the Greeks, and whether the 
accusation was true or not," " naivete," €vrj6eia^ excited 
Greek risibilities more quickly than anything else. The 
evrjOaa of the Jews lay of course not in their beliefs 
about the Deity. On that point all educated men were 
in accord. But it lay in believing in the sanctity of the 
priests, and in the observance of the innumerable regu- 
lations, particularly of abstention, which had already 
assumed such proportions among the Jews. The line 
of Meleager of Gadara, about his Jewish rival, 

Even on the cold Sabbaths Love makes his warmth felt, 

contains in its ^l^vxpa ad/SjSaTa '' cold Sabbaths," an epit- 
ome of the Greek point of view. il/vxp6<s, " cold," was 
almost a synonym for " dull.". That a holiday should 
be celebrated by abstention from ordinary activities and 
amusements seemed to a Greek the essence of unreason. 
Their own religious customs were, like those of all other 
nations, full of tabus, but they were the less conscious 
of them because they were wholly apart from their 
daily life. Jews avoided certain foods, not merely as 
an occasional fast, but always. Their myths were not 



irrelevant and beautiful stories, but were firmly believed 
to be the records of what actually happened. The pre- 
cepts of their code were sanctioned, not merely by ex- 
pediency, but by the fear of an offended God. 

An excellent example of how the rhetorical totto'^ of 
" naivete " was handled is presented by Agatharchidas 
of Cnidus, who wrote somewhere near 150 b. c. e.* 

He tells us of Stratonice, daughter of Antiochus 
Soter and wife of Demetrius of Macedon, who was 
induced by a dream to remain in a dangerous position, 
where she was taken and killed. The occasion is an 
excellent one to enlarge upon the topic of superstition, 
and Agatharchidas relates in this connection an incident 
that is said to have happened one hundred years before 
Stratonice, the capture of Jerusalem by Ptolemy Soter 
through the fact that the Jews would not fight upon the 
Sabbath. '' So," says Agatharchidas, " because, instead 
of guarding their city, these men observed their sense- 
less rule, the city received a harsh master, and their law 
was shown to be a foolish custom." One cannot repro- 
duce in English the fine antitheses of the related words 

(fyvXaTTCLV T7]V TToAtv balauccd by hiaTrjpovvTOJv Trjv dvoiav, vo/jlo^ 

answering to lOidfxov ; but, besides the artificiality of the 
phrases, the total absence of any attempt to make the 
words fit the facts is shown by the conclusion to which 
Agatharchidas, by rule of rhetoric, had to come. Now 
a '' harsh master " is just what Ptolemy was not to the 
Jews, and Agatharchidas of all men must have been 
aware of that fact, for he wrote not only at Alexan- 
dria, but at the court of Philometor, an especial patron 
of the Jews individually and as a corporation. 


The practice of the Sabbath was one of the first 
things that struck foreigners. It is Hkely that the con- 
gregations of Sabbatistae in Asia Minor were com- 
posed of Jewish proselytes.^ The name of the Jewish 
Sibyl Sambethe/ the association of Jewish worship 
with that of the Phrygian Sabazios/ were based 
upon this highly peculiar custom of the Jews. But its 
utter irrationality seemed to be exhibited in such in- 
stances as Agatharchidas here describes, the abstention 
from both offensive and defensive fighting on the 

Whether the incident or others of the same kind ever 
occurred may reasonably be doubted. The discussion 
of the question in Talmudic sources is held at a time 
when Jews had long ceased to engage in warfare.* 
Their nation no longer existed, and their legal privi- 
leges included exemption from conscription, if they 
chose to avail themselves of it. In the Bible there is no 
hint in the lurid chronicles of wars and battles that the 
Sabbath observance involved cessation from hostil- 
ities during time of war, and the supposition that no 
resistance to attack was offered on that day is almost 
wholly excluded. It is not easy to imagine one of the 
grim swordsmen of David or Joab allowing his throat 
to be cut by an enemy because he was attacked on the 

That any rule of Sabbath observance which de- 
manded this had actually developed during the post- 
Exilic period is likewise untenable. The Jews served 
frequently in the army under both Persian and Greek 


rule. This is amply demonstrated by the Aramaic 
papyri of Elephantine and the existence of Jewish 
mercenaries under the Ptolemies/ The professional 
soldier whose service could not be relied upon one day 
in seven would soon find his occupation gone. 

Several passages in the Books of Maccabees have 
often been taken to imply that the strict observance of 
the Sabbath was maintained before the Hasmonean re- 
volt, and deliberately abrogated by Mattathiah (I Mace, 
ii. 30-44 ; II Mace. viii. 23-25) . But upon closer analysis 
it will be seen that the incidents there recorded do not 
quite show that. The massacre of the loyal Jews in 
the desert was a special and exceptional thing. They 
were not rebels in arms, but hunted fugitives. Their 
passive submission to the sword was an act of voluntary 

martyrdom (I Mace. ii. 37). aTTo6dvM/xev ol Trai/res iv rrj 
wnXoT-qTi r)fjL(^v : fxaprvpcl e0' ry/xa? 6 ovpavb<5 /cat rj yyj on 

aKpiTiii^ dTToAAure ly/xa?, " Let US all die in our innocence. 
Heaven and earth bear witness for us that ye put us to 
death wrongfully.'^ 

Again, it is not Mattathiah, but the sober reflection of 
his men, that brings them to the resolution that such 
acts of martyrdom, admirable as they are in intention, 
are futile. The decision is rather a criticism of their 
useless sacrifice than anything else. 

Similar acts of self-devotion on the part of inhabi- 
tants of doomed cities were not uncommon. As final 
proofs of patriotism on the part of those who would 
not survive their city, they received the commendation 
of ancient writers.'"^ But to kill oneself or allow oneself 


to be killed for a fantastic superstition, could have 
seemed only the blindest fanaticism. 

Now there is no reason for doubting the essential 
accuracy of the report in I Maccabees, to the effect that 
one group of Jewish zealots chose passive resistance 
to the attempt of Antiochus, and by that nerved the Has- 
moneans to a very active resistance. And it is very 
likely that in this event we have the basis for the 
stories that related the capture of Jerusalem — almost 
in every case — on the Sabbath. The story is told of the 
capture by Nebuchadnezzar, by Artaxerxes Ochus, by 
Ptolemy, and by Pompey. It is a logical inference from 
the non-resistance of the refugees mentioned in I Mac- 
cabees. The conditions of ancient warfare make it 
highly improbable that it was more. 

The rationalist Greek or Roman felt it a point of 
honor to hold in equal contempt the '' old-wives' tales " 
of his own countrymen as to the supramundane facts 
with which the myths were filled," and the vain and 
foolish attempts by which barbarians, and Greeks and 
Romans too, sought to dominate the cosmic forces or 
tear the secret from fate. These attempts generally 
took the form of magic, not, however, like the primitive 
ceremonies, of which the real nature had long been for- 
gotten, but in the elaborate thaumaturgic systems which 
had been fashioned in Egypt, Persia, and Babylon. In 
their lowest forms these were petty and mean swindling 
devices. In their more developed forms they contained 
a sincerely felt mysticism, but under all guises they 
aroused the contempt of the skeptic, to whom the most 


ancient and revered rites of his own cult were merely 
ancestral habits which it did no harm to follow. The 
tone such men adopted toward the complicated Oriental 
theologies and rituals was very much like that of mod- 
ern cultivated men toward the various " Vedantic phil- 
osophies," which at one time enjoyed a certain vogue. 
Those who seriously maintained that by the rattling 
of a sistrum, or the clash of cymbals, or by mortifica- 
tions of the flesh, influences could be exerted upon the 
laws that governed the universe, so as to modify their 
course or divert them, were alike insensate fools, whose 
chatter no educated man could take seriously. The 
Jews, who observed, even when they were less rigorous, 
a number of restrictive rules that gravely hampered their 
freedom of action, who seriously maintained that they 
possessed a direct revelation of God, were fanatics and 
magicians, and exhibited a credulity that was the first 
sign of mental inferiority. 

*' Senseless," '' nonsense," dvoT^rds, avoia, are terms 
that are principally in the mouths of the Philopator of 
III Maccabees and the Antiochus of IV Maccabees, in 
whose words we may fairly see epitomized all the cur- 
rent abuse as well as criticism which opponents to 
the Jews, from philosophers to malevolent chauvinists, 
heaped upon them. 

Hecataeus says of Moses that he instituted an " inhos- 
pitable and strange form of living." " The two words 
fxiuo^evov and airavOpoiirov form a doublette, or rhetorical 
doubling of a single idea. That idea is '' inhospitality," 
lack of the feeling of common humanity, a term which 


for Greeks and Romans embodied a number of concep- 
tions not suggested by the word to modern ears. 

The word ^eVo5, which is the root of the words for 
'* hospitahty " and its opposite, has no equivalent in 
EngHsh. A ^eVo? was a man of another nation, who 
approached without hostile intent. The test of civiliza- 
tion was the manner in which such a vo^ was dealt 
with. The Greek traditions, even their extant litera- 
ture, have a very lively recollection of the time when 
hospitality was by no means universal, when the feVos 
was treated as an enemy taken in arms or worse. The 
one damning epithet of the Cyclops is a^evo?, " inhos- 
pitable." " The high commendation bestowed upon the 
princely hospitality of the Homeric barons itself indi- 
cates that this virtue was not yet a matter of course, 
and that boorish nations and individuals did not pos- 
sess it. 

Legally, of course, the ^eVo? had no rights. Such 
claim as he could make for protection rested upon the 
favor of the gods, especially of Zeus, who was fre- 
quently addressed by the cult title of Eeno?. the Pro- 
tector of Strangers. The uncertain aid of the gods was 
soon displaced by personal relations between individuals 
and groups of individuals in different states, who were 
mutually Trpoievot to each other, a title that always 
created a very definite moral obligation and soon a legal 
one as well. So, when Alexander destroyed Thebes, he 
spared the irpoievoi of his own family and of the Mace- 
donians in general." 


The institution and the development had practically 
gone on in similar ways all through the Mediterranean 
world. The Bedouins still maintain the ancient cus- 
toms of their fathers in that respect. The Romans had 
the word hospes, of which the history is a close parallel 
to that of ^€1/05. 

Of the Jews the same thing may be said. The 
Bible enjoins the protection of strangers as a primary 
obligation. They were the living symbols of the Egyp- 
tian bondage. So Exodus xxiii. 9, " Also thou shalt not 
oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger, 
seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." One of 
Job's protests of righteousness is his hospitality (Job 
xxxi. 32). 

In these circumstances just what could the charge of 
/Aio-o^cvta, of " inhospitality," have meant? We shall 
look in vain in Greek literature for an injunction to hos- 
pitality as finely phrased as the passage just quoted 
from Exodus. To understand the term as applied to the 
Jews we shall have to examine the words that are used 
for the acts connected with hospitality. 

In Homer the word ^etn'^w^' is frequently found. 
Strictly of course it means simply " to deal with a 
stranger," but it is used principally in the sense of '' en- 
tertain at dinner." The wandering stranger might as 
such claim the hospitality of the people among whom 
chance had brought him, and claim it in the very con- 
crete sense that food and lodging at the master's table 
were his of right. Indeed it would almost seem that he 
became pro hac vice a member of the family group in 


which he partook of a meal, protected in Hfe and Umb 
by the blood-vengeance of his temporary kinsmen. 

That however seems to have been the general rule in 
the older communities of the East, in Palestine just as 
in Greece and Asia. There was no feeling against en- 
tertaining a stranger at table among the Jews, although 
the relation could not well be reversed. And there was 
the rub. It was not in Palestine (where the Jew was 
likely always to be the host), but in the communities in 
which Jew and non-Jew acknowledged the same civic 
bond that the refusal of the Jew to accept the hospitality 
of his neighbor would be a flagrant instance of fjnaoievia, 
of dislike of strangers. We need not suppose that it 
needed careful investigation and the accumulation of 
instances to produce the statement. A few incidents 
within anyone's experience would suffice. We shall 
have to remember further that we are dealing with a 
literary tradition in which many statements are taken 
over from the writer's source without independent con- 
viction on his own part. 

However, among the great masses the general feel- 
ing that the Jews disliked strangers, and so were prop- 
erly to be termed /Ato-d^evot, was in all likelihood based 
on an observation of more obvious facts than dietary 
regulations. It is principally in meat diet that the sep- 
aration is really effective, and meat diet was the pre- 
rogative of the rich. Then, as now, the great majority 
of the people ate meat rarely, if at all, and surely could 
take no offense at a man's squeamishness about the 
quality or nature of the food he ate. But what every- 


body was compelled to notice was that the Jews delib- 
erately held aloof from practically all public festivities, 
since these were nearly always religious, and that they 
created barriers which seemed as unnecessary as they 
were foolishly defended. That in itself could be inter- 
preted by the man in the street only as a sign of deep- 
rooted antipathy, of /xto-o^ei/ta. 

This accusation, as has been shown, was more than 
the reproach of unsociability. The vice charged by it 
was of serious character. Those individuals who in 
Greek poetry are called inhospitable are nothing short 
of monsters. It implied not merely aloofness from 
strangers, but ill-usage of them, and that ill-usage was 
sometimes assumed to be downright cannibalism. So 
Strabo (vii. 6) tells us that the " inhospitable " sea was 
called so, not only because of its storms, but because 
of the ferocity of the Scythian tribes dwelling around 
it, who devoured strangers and used their skulls for 
goblets. That was of course to be inhospitable with 
a vengeance, but the term covered the extreme idea 
as well as the milder acts that produced at Sparta 
and Crete frequent edicts of expulsion (ievrjXaataty^ 
and a general cold welcome to foreigners. 

In very many cases, especially in the rhetorical 
schools, '* inhospitality," ''hatred of strangers," was a 
mere abusive tag, available without any excessive con- 
sideration of the facts. And when intense enmity was 
to be exhibited, the extreme form of *' inhospitality " 
was naturally enough both implicitly and expressly 
charged against the objects of the writer's dislike. 

1 6 '^^M'^^ 




(Now in the Imperial Ottoman Museum, Constantinople) 


There are many instances in which the hereditary 
enemy was credited with human sacrifice or cannibal- 
ism. Indeed it was currently believed that cannibalism 
had universally prevailed at one time, and with ad- 
vancing civilization was gradually superseded." As far 
as human sacrifice was concerned, many highly civilized 
states, knew of vestiges or actual recurrences of it in 
their own practice. Rome is a striking example. But 
in Rome such things were rare exceptions, employed in 
times of unusual straits to meet a quite unusual emer- 
gency.^^ In Greece there were many traces frankly 
admitted to be such — if not actual instances of such 
sacrifices. But here, as at Rome, the act was admittedly 
something out of the ordinary, a survival of primitive 

Accordingly when Greeks and Romans spoke of hu- 
man sacrifices, it was not of an inconceivable form of 
barbarity, which placed those who took part in it quite 
out of the human pale, but as a relic of a condition from 
which they had themselves happily grown, and to which 
they reverted only in extremities. Its presence among 
other tribes was a demonstration that they were still 
in the barbarous stage, and especially was it deemed 
to be so when all strangers who chanced to come upon 
the foreign shore were the selected victims of the god. 

That charge, as we know, was made against many 
Scythian and Thracian tribes. The story of Iphigenia 
in Tauris is an example of it. It was made against 
the Carthaginians, at least in the early stages of their 
history. The Gauls, according to both Greek and 


Roman writers, had made of it a very common institu- 
tion.'" We do not know very much of the evidence in 
the case of the Thracians, Scythians, and Gauls. It is 
not impossible that customs like certain symbolic rites 
found in many places were misinterpreted. Or it is 
highly likely that, if human sacrifices existed, they were, 
as among Greeks and Romans, a rare form of expiation. 
For the Carthaginians the story is almost certainly a by- 
product of national hatred, and rests upon the same 
foundations as the ''cruelty" and "perfidy" of 

Human sacrifices, similar to those of Greece and 
Rome, existed in Palestine. Children were sacrificed to 
the nameless god or gods that bore the cult title of 
melech, i. e. " king." As in the rest of the Mediter- 
ranean world such sacrifices were exceptional and grisly 
forms of expiation, used when ordinary means had 
failed. Among the Jews, on the other hand, they 
seem to have been prohibited from the very beginning 
of their history as a community. It is a purely, gra- 
tuitous theory that makes melech, or molech, a cult- 
title of Yahveh in Israel. There is simply no evidence 
of any kind that it was so. On the contrary, the oldest 
traditions of the Jews represent the abolition of human 
sacrifices as one of the first reforms instituted by the 
founders of their faith. The Mosaic code made these 
sacrifices a capital offense (Lev. xviii. 21 ;xx. 2). The 
very name molech indicates an intense abhorrence, 
if, as has been plausibly suggested, it is simply i^D, or 
"king," with the vowels of nt^n. "the Abomination." "" 


With SO old a tradition on the subject, the Jews must 
have felt, as peculiarly irritating, the transference of 
this vituperative tag to them. That it might be so 
applied was of course an inevitable expansion of 
the belief that the Jews were fiiaoievot, '' haters of 
strangers." However, it must not be supposed that the 
statement was widely current. On the contrary, we 
have only two references to it. Damocritus, who lived 
perhaps in the first century b. c. e., as quoted by the late 
Byzantine compiler Suidas," asserts that the Jews cap- 
tured a stranger every seven years, and sacrificed him to 
their god ; and Apion, in the first century c. e., relates the 
circumstantial story of the captured Greek who was 
found immured in the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. 

The latter story is an amusing instance of rhetorical: 
method. Of its baselessness of course no proof need be 
adduced. It is almost certainly the concoction of Apion 
himself, perhaps based upon some such statement as 
this just quoted from Damocritus. Its melodramatic 
features, the fattening of the stranger, the oath sealed 
by blood, are highly characteristic of Apion's style. 

It cannot be said that this particular charge against 
the Jews had any real success. The later writers do not 
mention it. Tacitus and Juvenal, both of whom are 
very likely to have read Apion, pass by the story in 
silence. And Juvenal, who in his Fifteenth Satire 
expresses such detestation of a similar act among the 
Egyptians he abominated,'' would certainly not have let 
off the Syrian fortune-tellers, whom he equally disliked, 
with an allusion to their unsociability. 


Non monstrare vias nisi eadem sacra colenti^ ** They 
are instructed not to point out a road except to those 
who share their rites." It might almost seem as though 
even rhetorical animosity demanded more for its terms 
of abuse than the authority of Apion. 

The tragic importance of the '' ritual murder " in the 
modern history of the Jews since the Crusades has 
given the account of Apion a significance to which it is 
by no means entitled. The least analysis will show that 
the " ritual murder " of modern times is not really like 
the ancient story at all. The latter is simply an applica- 
tion to the Jews of the frequent charge of ievodvata^ 
" sacrifice of strangers," such as was made against the 
Scythians. And Apion's fable found practically no 
acceptance. There is of course no literary transmission 
between Apion and the chroniclers of Hugh of Lincoln, 
but we cannot even suppose that there was a popular 
one. In the fearful struggles of the rebellions under 
Hadrian and Trajan, it is impossible to believe that the 
mutual hatred, which found such expression as the 
massacre at Salamis and the reprisals of the Greeks, 
would have failed to register this charge against the 
avoGLoL 'lovSaloL, " the wicked Jews," if it were known. 

The early Middle Ages, at any rate from the Cru- 
sades on, devised the " ritual murder " without the aid 
of older authorities. It is one of the many cases in 
which parallel developments at different times and in 
dififerent places produce results that are somewhat sim- 
ilar, although only superficially so.""" 


A favorite adjective in describing the Jews was 
" superstitious." Strangely enough, another, perhaps 
even more general, was '' irreligious." The Jews were 
frequently stigmatized as aOtoi, a word generally trans- 
lated '' atheist," and undoubtedly often used in the 
sense of the modern term. It remains to be seen 
whether the term meant, in its application to the Jews, 
all that the corresponding modern term implies. That 
is particularly necessary here, since to the modern world 
the devotion of the nation to its Deity is its most strik- 
ing characteristic, and at least one of the key-notes of 
its historical development. Upon us it has almost the 
effect of a paradox to read that this people impressed 
some Greeks as a nation of *' atheists " or " godless." 

The modern term and the ancient partly cover 
each other. Both often denote the speculative negation 
of a supernatural direction of the world. Now it 
simply cannot be, in view of the wide distribution of 
the Jews and their successful propaganda, that even the 
unthinking could associate the people whose claims to 
direct divine guidance were so many and so emphatic, 
with a term that implied the non-recognition of any god. 
We may remember how even the very first contact had 


seemed to emphasize the rehgious side of the Jewish 
communal Hfe. 

The usual explanations will not bear analysis. It is 
frequently asserted that '* atheist " was applied to the 
Jews because of their imageless cult. The natural 
inference, we are told, from the fact that there were no 
statues was that there were no gods. But that is to 
assign to the statue a larger importance in ancient 
religious theory than in fact belonged to it. We meet, 
to be sure, cases where the identification of the statue 
and the resident deity seems to be complete. Especially 
in such scoffers as Lucian,^ or in the polemics of the 
philosophic sects, or in those of Jews and Christian 
writers, Romans and Greeks are often charged with the 
adoration of the actual figure of stone or bronze. That, 
however, was surely not the general attitude of any 
class. The passages that seem to show it are generally 
figurative and often imply merely that the god had 
taken his abode within the statue, and might leave it at 

Indeed, just for the masses, the most intense and 
direct religious emotions were always aroused, not by 
the great gods whose statues were the artistic pride of 
their cities, but by the formless and bodiless spirits of 
tree and field and forest that survived from pre-Olym- 
pian animism. And these latter, if adored in symbolic 
form, were represented generally by pillars or trees, 
and not by statues at all. 

Nor were the Jews the only imageless barbarians 
whom the Greeks and Romans encountered. Most of the 


surrounding nations can scarcely have possessed actual 
statues at first. And the Greeks or Romans drew no 
such inference as atheism from the fact that they found 
no statues of gods among Spaniards, Thracians, Ger- 
mans, or Celts. On the contrary, we hear of gods 
among all these nations, many of them outlined with 
sufficient clearness to be identified promptly with vari- 
ous Greek deities. What a Greek would be likely to 
assume is rather that these barbarians lacked the skill to 
fashion statues or the artistic cultivation to appreciate 
them. If it occurred to him to explain the imageless 
shrine at Jerusalem at all, he would no doubt have 
offered some such statement, especially as it was quite 
common to assume lack of artistic skill in barbarians. 

Atheism as a philosophic doctrine was relatively rare. 
Diagoras of Melos, a contemporary of Socrates, and 
Theodore of Gyrene,^ a contemporary of the first 
Ptolemy, were said to have held that doctrine, and the 
former was known from it as '' the Atheist." How- 
ever, even in this case we cannot be quite sure of our 
ground. Some of the poems of Diagoras seem to have 
a distinct, even a strong, religious feeling. Josephus 
asserts that Diagoras' offense in Athenian eyes was 
scoffing at the mysteries.^ If that is true, he received 
his sobriquet less from atheism, as we understand it, 
than from the same facts that brought Protagoras, 
Anaxagoras, and Socrates himself within the ban of the 
Athenian police. That is, he was charged rather with 
contempt of the actually constituted deities of the 
Athenian state than with a general negation of a 


divinity. The term itself, aO^o^, is not necessarily nega- 
tive. In fact, Greek had very few purely negative 
ideas. In Plato's Euthyphro* the only alternatives that 
are admitted are ^€0(^tAes and dcofjuah, i. e. what the 
gods hate and what the gods love. So the various Greek 
adjectives compounded with " a privative," avoi(f>eXr]^, 
'' useless," aySovAo?, "thoughtless," are really used in a 
positive sense contrary to that of the positive adjective. 
So av(j}cf)€\r)s is rather " harmful " than merely ** use- 
less " ; aySouAo? is " ill-advised " ; etc. The word aOeo^s 
would, by that analogy, rather denote one that opposed 
certain gods than one who denied them. A man might 
be adeo<s in one community and not in another. Indeed 
his " atheism " might be an especial devotion to a divine 
principle which was not that recognized by the state. 

In ordinary literary usage a^eos is denuded even of 
this significance. It means little more than " wicked." 
It is used so by Pindar, by Sophocles, and in general by 
the orators. Often it runs in pairs with other adjectives 
of the same character. Xenophon calls Tissaphernes 

(An. II. V. 29) d^eoraros Koi Trarov/oyoraTos, " most god- 

less and wicked," in which the superlative is especially 
noteworthy. As a matter of fact it is often used 
of a man whom the gods would have none of, rather 
than one who rejects the gods. A^cos, ac^iAo? oXoifiav, 
cries the chorus in Oedipus Rex, *' May I die abandoned 
by gods and men."° 

When it is first used of the Jews by Molo, it is as part 
of just such a group ; aOcot Kal /xto-av^yowTrot, he calls the 
Jews. " hateful to gods and men," and other rhetoricians 


follow suit. As a term of abuse, a^eo? was as good as 
any other. 

But there may have been a more precise sense in 
which the Jews might by an incensed Greek be properly 
stigmatized as oOeoi. To the thoroughgoing mono- 
theists, the gods of the heathen are non-existent. They 
are not evil spirits, but have no being whatever. The 
prophets and the intellectual leaders of the Jews held 
that view with passionate intensity. But even they used 
language which readily lends color to the view that these 
gods did exist as malignant and inferior daemonia. 
The " devils " of Leviticus xvii. 7 are undoubtedly the 
gods of other nations.^ The name '' Abomination," 
which for the Jew was a cacophemism for '' god," 
equally implies by its very strength a common feeling of 
the reality of the being so referred to. Likewise the 
other terms of abuse which the Jews lowered upon 
the gods of the heathen indicate a real and fiercely per- 
sonal animosity. 

Hatred and bitterness formed almost a religious 
duty. An implacable war was to be waged with the 
abominable thing, and it is not likely that dictates of 
courtesy would stand in the way. The retort of a^eos 
would mean no more than a summary of the fact that 
the Jew was the declared enemy of the constituted 
deity, whose anger he provoked and whose power he 

Something of this appears in the statement of the 
Alexandrian Lysimachus, that the Jews were enjoined 
to overturn the altars and temples which they met 


(Josephus, Contra Ap. i. 34), and in the phrase of the 
elder Pliny (Hist. Nat. XIII. iv. 46), gens contumelia 
numinum insignis, " a race famous for its insults to the 

Most of the phrases that have been quoted have been 
taken from works where they were little more than 
casual asides imbedded in matter of different purport. 
Rhetoricians, in attempting to establish a point, use 
some phrase, either current through popular usage or 
a commonplace in their schools. In this respect the 
Jews fare no better and no worse than practically all 
nationalities of that time. Individual writers disliked 
or despised various peoples, and said so in any manner 
that suited them. Slurs against Romans, Athenians, 
Boeotians, Egyptians, Cappadocians are met with 
often enough. The Cretans were liars, the Boeotians 
guzzlers, the Egyptians knaves, the Abderitans fools ; 
antiquity has furnished us with more than one enter- 
taining example of national hate and jealousy.* The epi- 
thets which the Acheans showered on their Aetolian 
rivals certainly leave nothing to be desired as far as 
intensity is concerned.* The various panders of Roman 
comedy often are represented as particularly choice 
specimens of Agrigentine character." Cicero particu- 
larly knew from his rhetorical masters how to use 
national prejudices in the conduct of his business. If 
Celts are the accusers of his client, as they were in 
the case of Fonteius, they are perjurers, murderers, 
enemies of the human race. " Tribes," he says, " so 
far removed from other races in character and customs 


that they fight, not for their rehgion, but against the 
rcHgion of all men."" If they are Sardinians, these 
are a '' tribe whose worthlessness is such that the only 
distinction they recognize between freedom and slavery 
is that the former gives them unlimited license to lie." " 

To take this seriously is to misconceive strangely 
both the functions of an advocate and the license of 
rhetoric. Now the abusive paragraphs directed against 
the Jews are quite of this type. And it is in the highest 
degree extraordinary that these phrases, which, in the 
instances just cited, are given no weight in determining- 
national attitude, should be considered of the highest 
importance in the case of the Jews. Whether it was 
Syrian, Greek, or Celt that was attacked, the stock epi- 
thet means no more than the corresponding terms of 
our own day mean. 

But besides these occasional flings there were whole 
books directed against the Jews, and to that fact a little 
attention may be given. 

It is a relatively rare thing that a writer should nurse 
his bile against a particular people to the extent of 
expanding it into a whole book. We must of course 
remember that a '' book " was sometimes, and especially 
in this polemical literature, a single roll, and we are not 
to understand it in the sense of a voluminous treatise. 
However, there were such books and these we must 
now consider. 

What such a book was like, recent anti-Semitism 
has made it very easy to imagine. There is no reason 
to suppose that this type of pamphlet was appreciably 


different in those days. It consisted of a series of bitter 
invectives interspersed with stories as pieces justiHca- 
tives. Now and then an effort is made to throw it into 
the form of a dispassionate examination. But even in 
very skilful hands that attitude is not long maintained. 

Of several men we know such treatises. All have 
already been mentioned — Apollonius Molo, Damocri- 
tus, and probably Apion. 

Apollonius, either son of Molo, or himself so named, 
was one of the most considerable figures of his day. 
He taught principally, but not exclusively, at Rhodes, 
and numbered among his pupils both Cicero and Caesar. 
As a rhetorician he enjoyed an extensive and well- 
merited influence. It was during his time that the reac- 
tion against the florid literary style of Asia culminated 
in the equally artificial simplicity of the Atticists — a 
controversy of the utmost importance in the history of 
Latin literature no less than Greek. The doctrine of 
mediocritas, " the golden mean," set forth by Molo, 
moulded the style of Cicero and through him of most 
modern prose writers. The refined taste and good 
sense which could avoid both extremes justify his 
repute and power. 

He was a voluminous writer on historical and rhetor- 
ical subjects. Only the smallest fragments remain, not 
enough to permit us to form an independent estimate of 
his style or habits of thought. Just what was the incen- 
tive for the pamphlet he wrote against the Jews it is 
impossible to conjecture. But it is not likely that it con- 
tained many of the specially malignant charges. To 


judge from Josephus' defense, it seems to have con- 
cerned itself chiefly with their unsociability, and may 
have been no more than a sermon on that text. Josephus' 
charge against him is that of unfairness. There is none 
of the abuse in Josephus' account of Molo which he 
heaps upon Apion. We may accordingly infer that 
Molo's pamphlet was considerably less offensive. It 
may have been, in effect, a mere declamatio, a speech 
in a fictitious cause, or the substance of an oration 
delivered in an actual case. Or perhaps a single in- 
stance of personal friction produced it as an act of 
retaliation. The rhetoricians of those days were essen- 
tially a genus irritabile, and their wrath or praise was 
easily stirred. 

Of Damocritus we know almost nothing. Suidas, a 
late Byzantine grammarian, mentions a short work of 
his on Tactics, and one as short, or shorter^ on the Jews. 
The reference to human sacrifice (above, p. 189), might 
be supposed to indicate a strong bias. While it is likely 
enough that it was hostile in character, that single fact 
would not quite prove it, since we do not know whether 
Damocritus represented these human sacrifices as an 
ancient or a still-existing custom. 

The third name, Apion, has become especially famil- 
iar from the apology of Josephus. The latter refers 
to him throughout as an Egyptian, and in spite of cer- 
tain very warm and modern defenders, he very likely 
was of Egyptian stock. From the Oasis where he was 
born, he came to Alexandria, where he established a 
great reputation. Undoubtedly possessed of fluency 


and charm as a speaker, he was a most thoroughgomg 
charlatan, a noisy pedant wholly devoid of real critical 
skill. He boasted of magical power, through which he 
was enabled to converse with the shade of Homer. His 
vanity prompted the most ludicrous displays of arro- 
gance. Tiberius Caesar dubbed him the cymbalum 
mvmdi, " the tom-tom of the world," a characterization 
that seems to have been generally accepted." 

In the appeal of the Jewish residents of Alexandria 
against the maladministration of the prefect Flaccus, 
argued before the emperor, he represented the Alexan- 
drian community, whose acts were the basis of the 
charge made by the Jews. As such he no doubt deliv- 
ered an anti-Jewish invective, and it is at least likely 
that this speech formed the substance of his book on 
the subject, just as the defense of the Jews and the 
attack upon Flaccus are contained in the two extensive 
fragments of Philo, the Legatio ad Gaium, and the In 

It has been doubted whether he really wrote such 
a book, although there are express statements that he 
did. It is true enough that those who assert it may 
easily have been misled by the fact that certain books 
of his History of Egypt may have contained these 
anti-Jewish passages or most of them. None the less, 
the fact that he must have prepared a set speech in 
the case mentioned, coupled with the statements of 
Clemens of Alexandria and Julius Africanus, renders 
the older view the more probable." There would of 
course be nothing strange if the books of the History 


of Egypt and a special monograph contained essen- 
tially the same material. 

As to other similar pamphlets, we hear of a Trcpt 
^lovhaiuiv by a certain Nicarchus, son of Ammonius, 
which may have had an '' Egyptian " bias, in that 
Moses is said to have been afflicted with white scales 
upon his body — an assertion that seems to be a re- 
vamping of Manetho's " leprous outcasts." But the 
title of the book does not point to a wholly hostile 
attitude, nor does the passage referred to necessarily 
imply such an attitude." 

Taking all these passages together, from Manetho 
to Apion, one thing must be evident : Manetho him- 
self, Mnaseas, Agatharchidas, Chaeremo, Lysimachus, 
Apion, are either Egyptians or are trained in Alex- 
andria, and represent the Egyptian side of a bitter 
racial strife, as intense and lasting as was generally 
the case when the same community contained sev- 
eral compact groups of different political rights and 

The conditions of the population of Alexandria have 
been previously discussed. It was the great market 
center of the East, and as such of the Mediterranean 
world, since the commercial and intellectual hegemony 
was always east of the Aegean Sea. The population 
had been a mixed one since its foundation. The warped 
notions that have often been held of the position of the 
Jews there are due to a failure to realize concretely how 
such a city would be likely to grow. The Greeks 
and Macedonians that were originally settled there 


undoubtedly constituted a real aristocracy, and made 
that attitude very thoroughly felt. One thing further 
is clear, that the native Egyptians, who probably formed 
the mass of the populace, looked upon these Greeks as 
they did upon all foreigners, with intense dislike. We 
have a document in which a Greek suitor in court 
impugns the credibility of Egyptian testimony against 
him because of the well-known hatred Egyptians bear 
toward Greeks/'' 

Egyptian animosity toward Jews had been of longer 
standing simply because intercourse in close proximity 
was much older. Further, the Jewish colonies from 
early Persian times had always represented the foreign 
master. It was as natural, therefore, for this animosity 
to express itself in street-conflicts in Alexandria as for 
anti-Greek feeling to be manifested there. Those 
modern investigators who have confidently asserted that 
Alexandrian " anti-Semitism " was of Greek origin and 
leadership have permitted the rattle of the cymbalum 
mundi to confuse their minds. For it is Apion and 
Apion alone that makes the claim that the Jews are 
especially embittered against Greeks, and seeks to 
create a general Greek feeling against them. His 
motives are too apparent to need comment, and there is 
no evidence whatever that he was successful. 

Further, it is the Egyptians Manetho and Apion 
whose tirades have a fiercely personal coloring. The 
Greek Alexandrians make their anti-Jewish polemics on 
the basis of general theories, and particularly lay stress 
on what was to them the perfectly irrational separatism 


which the Jews had made a part of their religion. As 
has been frequently shown, the relatively small frag- 
ments of these writers do not enable us to say how far 
this Jewish characteristic is used to point a moral, much 
as the modern clergy takes chauvinistic commonplaces 
to illustrate the evil results of doctrines they are 

In the case of two Greeks, Posidonius of Apamea in 
Syria, and Molo, no Egyptian influence can be shown. 
Both were among the most influential men of their 
time. Molo's career and importance have been briefly 
sketched. To Posidonius must be assigned a still more 
powerful intellectual influence over his generation and 
those that followed." The leader of the Stoic school or, 
as it may well be called, sect, he so reorganized its 
teaching that the Stoa became nothing else than the 
dominant faith among cultivated men, a situation per- 
haps paralleled by Confucianism in China, which is also 
an ethical philosophy that finds it possible to dwell on 
terms of comity with various forms of cruder popular 

What Molo's philosophic affiliations were is not easy 
to determine. The Stoics were nearer than most other 
schools to rhetoricians and grammarians, but many men 
of these professions acknowledged allegiance to the 
Academy, to Epicureanism, or even to the revived 
Pythagoreanism of the first century b. c. e. Of the 
extensive writings of the Rhodian rhetorician there is 
not enough left to give even a probable answer. 


But most philosophic sects laid stress on the univer- 
sality of their teachings, and were marked by an intense 
intellectual rationalism. The crude psychology of those 
days made the formation of categories a simple thing. 
Thinkers could scarcely be expected to admit that 
inherited instincts could qualify the truth of a philo- 
sophic dogma. More particularly, the philosophic 
movements were powerful solvents of nationalism. 
Even the distinction between Greek and barbarian did 
not exist in theory for them.^ The notion of the state 
and the maintenance of its ancestral rites became for 
them a meaningless but innocuous form, which men of 
common sense would not despise, but to which one 
could attach no great importance. 

Face to face with congregations like those of the 
Jews, which enforced their separation by stringent 
religious prohibitions, the Stoics more than others found 
their opposition roused. More than others, because many 
Stoics adopted from the Cynical school the methods of 
the diatribe, the popular sermon, and, indeed, made an 
active attempt to carry the universality of their prin- 
ciples into practice. And the Stoics, more than others, 
would find the height of irrationality in the stubborn 
insistence on forms for which only an historical justi- 
fication could be found. 

A highly interesting document, which gives a certain 
phase of the controversy, or perhaps even fragments of 
an actual controversy, between the general philosophic 
and the Jewish doctrine, has come down to us in the 
tract known as the Fourth Book of Maccabees. The 


author announces his purpose of setting forth a most 

philosophic thesis, to wit, whether the pious reason is 

sovereign over the passions. The philosophic argument, 

which fills the first three chapters, is Stoic in form and 

substance. Then, to illustrate his point, he cites certain 

vaguely remembered stories of II Maccabees, which 

he expands into highly detailed dramatic forms. In the 

mouth of Antiochus Epiphanes are placed the stock 

philosophic arguments against the Jews, which are 

triumphantly refuted by the aged Eleazar and the 

seven sons of Hannah. 

So we hear Epiphanes reasoning with Eleazar and 

urging him to partake of swine's flesh (IV Mace. v. 8 

seq.) : 

For It is obviously a senseless proceeding to refrain from 
enjoying those pleasures of life which are free from shame: 
it Is even wicked to deprive oneself of the bounties of nature. 
And it seems to me that your conduct will be still more sense- 
less, if you provoke my anger because of your zeal for some 
fancied principle. Why do you not rid your mind of the silly 
doctrine of your people? Discard that stupidity which you 
call reason. Adopt a form of thought that suits your age, and 
let your philosophic principle be one that actually serves you. 
.... Further consider this : If in the Deity you adore there 
Is really a power that oversees our deeds, It will grant you full 
pardon for all transgressions which you have been forced to 

To a Greek, and no doubt to many modern men, the 
reasoning is conclusive. It presents the Greek point 
of view very well indeed, and is doubtless the epitome 
of many conversations and even formal disputes in 
which these matters were discussed between Greek and 




Jew. And just as the argument of Epiphanes seems 
strangely modern in its appeal to common sense and 
expediency, so the answer of Eleazar rings with a lofty 
idealism that is both modern and ancient : 

I We, whose state has been established by God, cannot admit 

that any force is more powerful than that of the Law. Even 
if, as you assume, our Law were not divine, yet, since we sup- 
pose that it is, we durst not set it aside without gross impiety. 

^^ Eleazar then proceeds to elaborate upon the Stoic 
paradox that the slightest and the greatest transgres- 
sions are equally sinful;" and that in so far as absten- 
tion is a form of self-control, it is an admirable and not 
a contemptible act. After a detailed account of the 
hideous sufferings heroically endured by the priest, the 
author breaks out into a panegyric of him as a main- 
tainer of the Law, in which the fundamental Stoic prop- 
osition with which he begins is less prominent than his 
intense Jewish piety. 

For us, however, the prime importance lies in the 
sharp contrast between the Greek and the Jewish atti- 
tude. Upon the philosophically cultured man, the rea- 
soning of Epiphanes could not fail to produce a certain 
impression. In the case of the seven sons of Hannah, 
while many elements are repeated (IV Mace. viii. 17 
seq.), the writer has in mind the appeal to the flesh, 
which Hellenism made. " Will you not change your 
mode of life for that of the Greeks and enjoy your 
youth to the full?" asks Antiochus (ibid. viii. 8) ; and 
that no doubt was the whisper that came to the heart 
of many a young man, surrounded by the bright and 


highly colored life of the Hellenic communities in 
which he dwelt. There is no exchange of vituperation. 
The denunciations hurled against Antiochus are im- 
personal, indeed are generic. He is the type of tyrant, 
another Busiris or Phalaris, a bowelless despot. And 
the one word which alternates with '' senseless " in the 
mouths of Antiochus and his executioners is " mad." 

The actual events described are of course quite unhis- 
torical. But we do not find here any of the various 
forms in which racial animosity or personal spleen 
exhibited itself against the Jews. In spite of the set- 
ting, the controversy is, judged by disputation stand- 
ards, quite decorous. The terrns that qualify the 
Jewish doctrine as " irrational " are almost contro- 
versial commonplaces. The martyrs do not resent the 
epithet. They seem to accept it as the logical inference 
of the carnal philosophy of their oppressors and claim 
to be justified by a higher wisdom. 

Jewish and Greek life began to touch each other 
at many points in the six or seven generations that 
intervened between Alexander and Caesar. Hellenism 
dominated the political and social culture of the Eastern 
Mediterranean, although the nationalities it covered 
were submerged rather than crushed. In Egypt the 
indigenous culture maintained itself successfully, and 
forced concessions from the conqueror, which made the 
Hellenism of that country a thing quite different from 
that of the other lands within the sphere of Greek 
influence. The resistance of the Jews also took the 
form of successful insurrection, and in their case 


/"enabled an independent political entity to be constituted. 
I The dispersal of the Jews was already considerable 
* at this time. It differed from the dispersal of the 
Syrians in the fact that the bond of union of the Jewish 
congregations existed in the common cult and the com- 
mon interest in the fortunes of the mother-country. On 
the other hand, the Syrians of Rome and of Naples 
shared nothing except the quickly effaced memory of a 
common racial origin.'" 

1^ The propaganda of the Jews was also well under 
way. Since it was believed that they possessed a 
mystery, initiation into which gave promise of future 
beatitude, they were strong rivals of the Greek and 
Oriental mysteries that made similar claims. It was 
chiefly among the half-educated or the wholly un- 
i lettered that these claims would find quickest belief. 
However, the Jewish propaganda had also its philo- 
sophic side, and competed with the variously organized 
forms of Greek philosophic thought for the adherence 
of the intellectually advanced classes as well. 

Through the Diaspora and this active propaganda 
an opposition was invited. In Egypt the opposition was 
older, because the presence of Jews in Egypt was 
of considerably earlier date than the period we are con- 
sidering. The occasions for its display were various, 
but the underlying cause was in most cases the same. 
That was the fact of religious separatism, which in any 
given community was tantamount to lack of patriotism. 
It does not appear, however, that this opposition found 
voice generally except in Egypt. Elsewhere racial fric- 
tion was relatively rare. 


The literature of the opposition falls into two classes IK/^ k/\/{/AjLf^j 
first, that which scarcely knows the Jews except as a 5t^ ^ 

people of highly peculiar customs, and uses these cus- 
toms as illustrations of rhetorical theses ; and second, 
that which is inspired by direct animosity, either per- 
sonal or, in the case of the Egyptians, racial in its 




We have been concerned so far almost wholly with 
Greeks and the Greek attitude toward the Jews. It 
will be necessary at this point to turn our attention to 
a very different people, the Romans. 

If we desire to trace the development of this all- 
overwhelming factor in our reckoning, it will not be 
possible to go back very far. During the fifth century 
B. c. E., in which Greek genius is believed to have 
reached its apogee, it is doubtful whether even the 
faintest whisper had reached Greeks that told of the 
race of Italic barbarians destined so soon to dominate 
the world. Little as was known of the Jews by Greeks 
of this period, the Romans were still less known. The 
eyes of men were persistently turned east. 

Rome, however, even then was not wholly insignifi- 
cant. Many centuries before, there had grown up, on 
the south bank of the Tiber, a town of composite racial 
origin. It is possible to consider it an outpost of the 
Etruscans against Sabine and Latin, or a Latin outpost 
against the Etruscans. Whatever its origin, at an 
indeterminate time, when the Etruscan hegemony over 
central Italy was already weakened, this town of Rome 
became a member of the Latin Confederation, a group 


of cities of which the common bond was the shrine of 
Jupiter Latiaris on the Alban Mount. 

There may have been rude hamlets upon this site 
from times very ancient indeed. But from the begin- 
ning of its existence as a real city Rome must have 
been a considerable community. Her strategic position 
upon seven hills, the commercial advantages of her 
location upon a navigable stream, conspired to this end. 

The Latin Confederation had long been under the 
real or titular presidency of the city of Alba. At some 
time before our records become reliable, Rome had 
obtained a decidedly real leadership in the league, 
and unscrupulously used the latter's resources for the 
furtherance of her own power and wealth. Without 
a definite programme of conquest, and with military 
skill and personal hardihood very little, if at all, superior 
to that of their neighbors, the Romans had, by stead- 
fastness and native shrewdness, developed a policy 
which it is difficult to put in precise terms, because it was 
never even approximately formulated, but which may 
be said to consist of unremitting vigilance and long 
memory, combined with special alertness to profit by 
the mistakes or division of the foe. It may be that the 
indubitably mixed character of Rome's population pro- 
duced that result. Certainly in these respects no other 
ancient community was its equal. 

The legendary history of Rome is as generally 
familiar as the commonest household stories of the race. 
Modern investigators have abandoned the attempt to 
find out even partially the line at which its history 


ceases to be legendary. Fairly correct accounts of 
Rome begin with the permanent contact of the city with 
a literate community of which the records have sur- 
vived, namely, the Greeks/ 

The Greeks had founded cities along the southern 
coast of Italy and the eastern half of Sicily as early as 
the ninth century b. c. e. With some of these cities it 
was inevitable that Rome should be in frequent com- 
munication, but the communication did not impress 
itself for many years upon that class of Greeks which, 
in the extant books, speaks for the whole people. Not 
till the time of Alexander (330 b. c. e.) do our Greek 
records begin to deal with Romans. At that time Rome 
was already the dominant power in central and in the 
interior of southern Italy, succeeding roughly to the 
empire of that great Tuscan League of which she was 
once the subject. And yet, Alexander's teacher, the 
encyclopedically learned Aristotle, had only vaguely 
heard of Rome as an Italian city overrun by marauding 

The position occupied then by Rome would of itself 
have made active participation in Mediterranean affairs 
a necessity. The embroilment of Romans in the con- 
flicts in which international politics is expressed was 
precipitated by the ambition of the restless Diadochi 
and their successors. It was a kinsman of the lurid 
Demetrius the Besieger, the Epirote prince Pyrrhus, 
who undertook to save the Greek civilization of the 
coast cities from the Italian barbarians. Pyrrhus ulti- 
mately retired with his tail between his legs, after hav- 


ing dragged the Romans into Sicily and brought them 
face to face with the Carthaginians. The succeeding 
three generations were occupied in the mortal grapple 
between these two. It ended with the triumph of 

So far Rome had dealt only with the West, but with 
the permanent eastward bent of men's minds the lord of 
the Western Mediterranean was, as such, a power in the 
East as well. Scarcely a single generation passed before 
it became the sole power in the East, so that future 
political history becomes the act of officially recording 
successive realizations of that fact. And yet, this extra- 
ordinary people, which had in an astoundingly short 
time secured the primacy over a considerable fraction 
of the earth, was apparently possessed of slighter intel- 
lectual endowments than many of its subjects. It had 
not succeeded in giving such culture as it had developed 
any artistic form. And before it had taken any steps 
in that direction, it came into immediate contact with 
nations of much older culture, which had done so ; in 
one case, a nation which had carried artistry of form 
to a degree never subsequently attained by any single 
people. First, the Etruscans had given in bulk a mass 
of finished cultural elements, especially in religion and 
constructive crafts, and had otherwise exercised an 
influence now wholly undeterminable. Secondly, by 
Etruscan mediation and afterwards directly, the 
RomansJaecame the intellectual vassals of the Greeks, a 
fact that lends some justification to the modern tend- 
ency to treat classical antiquity as a single term. 


The Romans obtained their very earhest knowledge 
of the Jews when the political and social development 
just outlined was practically complete. 

The treaty cited in I Mace. viii. 22 seq. is per- 
haps apocryphal, but the substantial accuracy of the 
chapter is scarcely doubtful. " And Judas had heard 
the name of the Romans," we read, and this statement 
is followed by a lengthy recital of the recent conquests 
of Rome. After the first Hasmonean successes the little 
knowledge that Roman and Jew had of each other may 
be so summed up. On the Roman side, the responsible 
senatorial oligarchy learned with undisguised satisfac- 
tion that a previously unknown tribe of Syrian moun- 
taineers, grouped about a famous temple-rock not far 
from the Egyptian frontier, had successfully main- 
tained themselves against a troublesome and unaccount- 
able tributary king. On the Jewish side, the leaders of 
the victorious rebels, conscious of the precarious nature 
of their success, turned at once to that mighty people — 
known as yet scarcely by report — which from far off 
directed men's destinies. Even at that time the Roman 
policy of divide et impera, '' divide and rule," was well 
understood and consciously exploited by all who could 
do so. The embassy sent by Judas — there is no real 
reason for questioning its authenticity — presented to 
curious Romans in 162 b. c. e. an aspect in no way 
different from that of other Syrian embassies long 
familiar to the capital. And if it is true that some of 
that train or of a later embassy of Simon took up 


permanent residence in Rome, that fact was probably 
scarcely noticed from sheer lack of novelty. 

Generally speaking, the Roman attitude to the Jews, 
as to all other peoples, was that of a master : the attitude 
of the Goth in Spain, the Manchu in China, the English 
in India. No one of these analogues is exact, but all 
have this common feature, that individuals of the 
dominant race can scarcely fail to exhibit in their per- 
sonal relations with the conquered an arrogance that 
will vary inversely with the man's cultivation. It is so 
very easy to assume for oneself the whole glory of 
national achievements. No doubt every Italian peasant 
and artisan believed that it was qualities existing in 
himself that commanded the obedience of the magnifi- 
cent potentates of the East. The earliest attitude of 
Roman to Jew could not have been different from that 
toward Syrians or foreigners in general. If in 150 b. c. 
E. the term ludaei had reached the ears of the man in 
the street, it denoted a Syrian principality existing like 
all other principalities at sufferance and upon the con- 
dition of good behavior. 

For nearly a hundred years this state of things 
remained unchanged. Then the inevitable happened. 
Syria became Roman, and the motives that had won 
Roman support for the Jews no longer existed. Roman 
sufferance was withdrawn, and Judea's good behavior 
ceased. That Gnaeus Pompey encountered serious 
resistance on his march from Antioch to Jerusalem is 
doubtful. The later highly-colored versions of his 
storming of the temple are probably rhetorical inven- 

2t6 the jews among THE GREEKS AND ROMANS 

tions. The Psalms of Solomon, which are very plausi- 
bly referred to this period, are outbursts of passionate 
grief at the loss of the national independence ; for no 
recognition of Hyrcanus' rank could disguise the fact of 
the latter's impotent dependence upon the senate, and 
the limitations openly placed upon the vassal-king's 
authority show that the Romans were at no pains to 
disguise the fact.^ 

When the Romans added Asia to their dominions, 
as they had in the generation preceding the occupation 
of Jerusalem, they annexed with Asia many hundreds 
of Jewish synagogues in the numerous cities of Asia. 
Jews lived also in Greece, in Italy and Rome itself, and 
in Carthage. Egypt, which contained many hundreds 
of thousands, was still nominally independent. Roman 
officials had long known how to distinguish the ludaei 
from others of those ubiquitous Syrians who, as slaves, 
artisans, physicians, filled every market-place of the 
empire. More than one provincial governor must have 
collected a few honest commissions from a people 
indiscreet enough to collect sums of considerable mag- 
nitude, as the Jews did for the support of the temple. 

That they were classed as Syrians did not raise the 
Jews in general, and particularly in Roman, esteem. 
The Syrians, to be sure, were one of the most energetic, 
perhaps mentally the quickest, of the races then living, 
but they were the slave race par excellence ; i. e. the 
largest number of slaves were and had long been derived 
from among them. The vices of slavery, low cunning, 
physical cowardice, lack of self-respect, were apparent 

(c. UnderwiiuU and Under uivod) 


(Roman Period) 


enough in those Syrians who were actually slaves, and 
were transferred to all men of that nation. " Syri " is 
nothing less than a term of contempt applied to any 
people of unwarlike habits.* 

Unwarlike the Jews of that day were not. All that\ 
had commended them to Roman notice was their mili- \ 
tary successes over the troops of Antiochus and Deme- 
trius. Pompey may not have found Aristobulus and his 
Nabatean allies really formidable, but he did have to 
fight, and did not meet that docile crawling at his feet 
which he had encountered elsewhere. That made con- 
siderable difference in Roman eyes, and may have 
caused the unusual tenderness they manifested as a rule/ 
for what they loftily termed the Jewish superstition. 

As has been said, we have reason to believe that a 
Jewish community already existed at Rome, and we \(jj\j\}\ 
shall see that it must have been fairly numerous. As a A . < 
city, Rome was probably the least homogeneous in the 
world. It may have contained at this time something 
less than a million people, perhaps much less ; but this 
population was of the most diverse origin. Not only 
had the capital of the world attracted to it all manner 
of adventurers ; not only was it teeming with slaves of 
every imaginable blood and speech ; but the thronging 
of the city with the refuse of the world had been a con- 
scious policy of the democratic and senatorial rings, to 
whom modern " colonization " was a familiar and 
simple process. When we recall that the accepted 
governmental theory was still that of the city-state, we 
shall see that mere residence made to a certain extent 


a Roman of everyone who lived v^ithin the walls. 
Various measures of expulsion, such as the Lex Junia 
Penni and the Lex Papia of 65 b. c. e., were wholly 

As a matter of fact, the governmental apparatus of 
the city-state was quite unable to cope with the situation 
that presented itself. Until 200 b. c. e., the turning- 
point in Roman history, the city was small and mean ; 
the population, though composite, was still almost 
wholly Italian in character. A rapid increase in wealth 
and a consequent increase in glaring inequalities of 
fortune began at this point. The governing council of 
ex-magistrates, whose office had in practice become 
almost hereditary, found itself confronted by a needy 
and exigent proletariat, which it could neither overawe 
nor purchase. 

The urban tendency of the population of Italy was 
due largely to the failure of the small farms to support 
their man. Free labor was subjected to the constant 
drain of military levies, and temporary suspension of 
cultivation was ruinous. The obvious remedy was a 
forced and unprofitable sale to the agrarian capitalists, 
whose leasehold interest in the great public lands had 
long been so nearly vested that it was almost sacrilege 
to attack it. To migrate to the city was then the only 
course open to the peasant, but in the city the demand 
for free labor was never great. The new arrivals 
joined the great mass of landless rabble, sinking soon 
into an idle and pauperized mob. 


But at the same time infusions of foreign blood came 
into the city. The rapid rise in wealth and power had 
poured into Rome a constant stream of the commonest 
of wares, viz. human chattels. These slaves, Greek, 
Thracian, but above all Syrian, were directly conse- 
quent upon the imperative demand for skilled labor, 
which they alone could satisfy. But the very number of 
these slaves, and the changes in personal fortunes, 
which were then even more frequent than now, made 
them often a liability rather than an asset to their 

Enfranchisement was encouraged by another con- 
sideration. The Roman law, determined by a very an- 
cient patriarchal system, was apparently very rigid as 
to the extent of the master's dominium. The slave was, 
in law and logic, a sentient chattel indistinguishable 
from ox and ass. But in other respects the Roman law 
was extraordinarily liberal. For practical purposes the 
slave could and did acquire property, the so-called 
peculium, and could and did use it to purchase his 

Further, the newly-made freeman became a full 
citizen, a civis Romanus. His name was enrolled in the 
census books ; he possessed full suffrage, and lacked 
only the ius honorum, the right of holding office. Even 
this, however, his children acquired. Sons of slaves 
who held magistracies are frequent enough to furnish 
some notable examples ; e. g. Cn. Flavins, the secretary 
to Appius Claudius; P. Gabinius, the proposer of the 
Lex Tabellaria of 139 b. c. e.' It is for this reason that 
indications of servile origin have been found in names 
nothing less than illustrious in Roman history." 


With this steady influx of dispossessed peasants and 
enfranchised Greek and Asiatic slaves, the urban popu- 
lation was a sufficiently unaccountable quantity ; and in 
this motley horde, constantly stirred to riot by the 
political upheavals, which quickly followed each other 
from the Gracchan period onward, all manner of 
strange and picturesque foreigners lived and worked. 
To the Roman of cultivation they were sometimes 
interesting, more often repellent, especially if he found 
himself compelled to reckon with them seriously on 
the basis of a common citizenship. Even for foreigners 
Roman citizenship was not very difficult to acquire, and 
was, as we have seen, obtained with especial facility 
through slavery. The emancipated slave was as such 
a civis Romanus. His son had even the ius honorum ; 
he might be a candidate for the magistracy. This 
process had been accelerated after the Social War, 
which admitted an enormous and quite unmanageable 
number into citizenship. The popular leaders were 
especially lavish, and no doubt many ward politicians 
took it upon themselves to dispense with the formalities 
when a few votes were needed. 

We are very fortunate in possessing for this period 
records of quite unusual fulness and variety. The last 
century of the Roman republic was rich in notable men, 
with some of whom we are especially familiar. In 
literary importance and in permanent charm of person- 
ality, no one of them can compare with the country 
squire's son, Marcus Tullius Cicero, who achieved the 
impossible in his lifetime, and attained posthumous 


fame far beyond his wildest dreams. He was consul of 
Rome in the very year in which Jerusalem was cap- 
tured, and was in the throes of the same political uncer- 
tainty that marked his whole later career. The most 
brilliant pleader in the city or the world, he was feared, 
loved, and hated for his mordant wit, his torrential 
fluency of speech, and his remarkable power and skill 
in invective. Although his personal instincts had always 
inclined him to the gentlemanly aristrocracy that made 
up the majority of the senate, he had won his first suc- 
cesses in politics on the other side, and reached the sum- 
mit of his ambition, the consulship, as a popular candi- 
date, receiving the support of the senate only because 
he was deemed the least dangerous of three. 

In the year 59 b. c. e. Cicero, concededly the leader of 
the Roman bar and still more concededly the social lion 
of the day, undertook the defense of Lucius Valerius 
Flaccus, former governor of Asia, who was charged 
with maladministration and oppression. The counts in 
the indictment were numerous. Among them was the 
following allegation : That Flaccus as praetor had 
seized certain sacred funds ; to wit, the moneys which 
Asiatic provincials, Jews in origin, had, in accordance 
with ancient custom, collected and were about to trans- 
fer to the temple at Jerusalem. By so doing Flaccus 
had doubled embezzlement upon sacrilege, for the 
sanctity of the temple was established by its antiquity, 
and confirmed by the conduct of Pompey, who had 
ostentatiously spared it and its appurtenances. 


It will be necessary to examine in some detail the cir- 
cumstances of the entire case. Flaccus was a member 
of the reactionary wing of the senatorial party, which 
until recently had held Cicero aloof as an upstart 
provincial. His birth and training were those of an 
aristocrat. A certain portion of Cicero's defense is 
occupied in descanting on the glories of the Valerian 
house, to which Flaccus belonged. The prosecution of 
Flaccus, again, was a political move of the popular 
opposition, now at last, after the futile essays of Lepidus 
and Catiline, finding voice and hand in the consummate 
skill of Gaius Julius Caesar. 

Shortly before this date a powerful combination had 
been made, which enlisted in the same scheme the 
glamour of unprecedented military success in the per- 
son of Gnaeus Pompey, the unlimited resources of the 
tax-farmers and land-capitalists represented by Marcus 
Crassus, and the personal popularity of the demagogue 
Caesar. Each no doubt had his own axe to grind in this 
coalition, and the bond that held them was of an uncer- 
tain nature, opposition to the senatorial oligarchy. 
Further, only in the case of Caesar was the opposition a 
matter of policy. In the case of the other two, it was 
the outcome of nothing loftier than pique. None the 
less, when the strings were pulled by Caesar, this 
variously assembled machine moved readily enough. 

In 59 B. c. E. this cabal had been successful in winning 
one place in the consulship, that of Caesar himself. 
Lucius Flaccus had earned Caesar's enmity by his 
vigorous action against the Catilinarians in 63 b. c. 


E., SO that when an influential financier, C. Appuleius 
Decianus, complained of Flaccus' treatment of him, the 
democratic leader found an opportunity of gratify- 
ing his allies, of posing as the protector of oppressed 
provincials, and wreaking political spite at the same 
time. A certain Decimus Laelius appeared to prosecute 
the ex-governor of Asia. 

Of Flaccus' guilt there seems to be no reasonable 
question. He was plainly one of the customary type of 
avaricious nobles to whom a provincial governorship 
was purely a business proposition. No doubt he was 
no worse than his neighbors. His guilt seems to have 
been especially patent. '* Cicero," says Macrobius, 
"secured the acquittal of Flaccus by an apposite jest, 
although the defendant's guilt of the charges made was 
perfectly apparent." "' And indeed on the • principal 
counts Cicero has no evidence except exaltation of 
Flaccus' personal character, and abuse of the witnesses 
against him, whom he characterizes as lying and irre- 
sponsible Greeks. His peroration is a flaming denuncia- 
tion of the prosecution and an appeal to the jury not to 
permit the supporters of the dead traitor Catiline to 
win a signal triumph. 

The speech was successful. Flaccus was acquitted, 
and the acquittal may have hastened Cicero's own ban- 
ishment. But for us the particularly interesting part 
of this brilliant effort is contained in §§66-69. After 
he has disposed of the various charges of peculation 
and extortion, he turns to the charges made by the 


Next comes the malicious accusation about the gold of the 
Jews. No doubt that is the reason why this case is being 
tried so near the Aurelian terrace. It is this count in the 
indictment, Laelius, that has made you pick out this place, and 
that is responsible for the crowd about us. You know very 
well how numerous that class is, with what unanimity they act, 
and what strength they exhibit in the political meetings. But 
I shall frustrate their purpose. I shall speak in a low tone, 
just loud enough for the jury to hear. There is no lack of 
men, as you very well know, to stir these fellows up against me 
and every patriotic citizen ; and I have no intention of making 
the task of such mischief-makers lighter by any act of mine. 

The facts are these : Every year it has been customary for 
men representing the Jews to collect sums in gold from Italy 
and all our provinces for exportation to Jerusalem. Flaccus 
in his provincial edict forbade this to be done in Asia. 

Now, gentlemen, is there a man who can honestly refuse 
commendation to this act? That gold should not be exported 
is a matter which the senate had frequently voted, and which 
it did as recently as my own consulship. Why, it is a proof of 
Flaccus' vigorous administration that he took active steps 
against a foreign superstition, as it is an indication of a lofty 
sense of duty that he dared defy, where the public weal was 
concerned, the furious mass of Jews that frequently crowd our 

But, we are told, when Jerusalem was captured, the con- 
queror Gn. Pompey touched nothing in that shrine. And that 
was very wisely done on Pompey's part, as in so many other 
acts of that commander. In so suspicious and slanderous a 
city as ours, he would leave nothing for his detractors to take 
hold of. But I do not believe, and I cannot suppose you do, 
that it was the religion of such a nation as the Jews, recently in 
arms against Rome, that deterred our illustrious general. It 
was rather his own self-respect. 

In view of these considerations, just wherein does the accusa- 
tion lie? You do not anywhere charge theft; you do not 
attack the edict ; you admit due process of law ; you do not 
deny that the moneys were openly confiscated upon official 
investigation. The testimony itself discloses that the whole 


matter was carried on by men of rank and position. At 
Apamea, Sextus Caesius, a Roman knight and a gentleman of 
whose honor and integrity there can be no question, openly 
seized and weighed out in the forum at the feet of the praetor 
a little less than a hundred pounds of gold. At Laodicea an 
amount somewhat more than twenty was seized by Lucius 
Peducaeus, a member of this very jury; at Adramytus, . . . . 
by the governor's representative, L. Domitius. A small 
quantity was also seized at Pergamon. The accounts of the 
gold so seized have been audited. The gold is in the treasury. 
There is no charge of theft. The purpose of the charge is 
to excite odium against my client. It is not the jury that 
the prosecution is addressing, but the audience, the crowd 
about us. 

Religious scruples, my dear Laelius, are primarily national 
concerns. We have our own, and other states have theirs. 
And as a matter of fact, even while Jerusalem was standing, 
and the Jews were at peace with us, there was very little in 
common between the religious customs of which their rites are 
examples and those which befit an empire as splendid as ours, 
or a people of our character and dignity. Our ancestral institu- 
tions are as different from theirs as they well can be. Now, 
however, there surely can be all the less obligation upon us to 
respect Jewish religious observances when the nation has 
demonstrated in arms what its feelings are toward Rome, and 
has made clear how far it enjoyed divine protection by the fact 
that it has been conquered, scattered, enslaved. 

There are a number of difificulties with the passage. 
The text of the final sentence is doubtful — but the dis- 
cussion of that point will be reserved for the Notes.^ 

We cannot suppose that Cicero was guilty of delib- 
erate misstatement on matters about which he could be 
immediately confuted. We must therefore accept his 
assertion that this count in the indictment did not 
charge theft or malversation, but merely public con- 
fiscation of the funds in question. It is undoubtedly a 


fact that the exportation of the precious metals had been 
frequently forbidden, although the senatorial resolution 
to this effect was far from being a law, but with this 
precedent and even without it no one could very well 
deny that it was within the imperium of a proconsul to 
make such a regulation if he saw fit." 

One may well ask with Cicero, Uhi ergo crimen est? 
The point seems to be that previous officials had inter- 
preted the rule to refer to exportation for commercial 
purposes, and had exempted from its operation con- 
tributions for religious purposes. Doubtless the self- 
imposed temple tax of the Jews was not the only one of 
its kind. If custom had sanctioned that exemption, 
Flaccus' act would be felt as an act of oppression, since 
the strict or lenient enforcing of the edict on this point 
was purely a matter of discretion." Flaccus' successor, 
Quintus Cicero, a brother of the orator, seems to have 
reverted to the former practice. 

In one other respect the seizure of these sums may 
have seemed an act of arbitrary tyranny. The sum 
seized at Apamea was said to be one hundred pounds 
of gold — about 72 English pounds — and must have 
equaled about 75,000 Roman denarii or Athenian 
drachms. As the temple tax was a didrachm, that 
would imply over 35,000 heads of famihes, or a total 
Jewish population for Apamea of 170,000. That num- 
ber is quite impossible. It is, however, very likely that 
the Jews of the various synagogae paid their didrachm 
with their other dues to the corporation area, or treas- 
ury, and that it was the whole treasury that was seized. 


That would give the Jews of these cities a very real 
grievance, and make their animus against Flaccus easy 
to explain. 

The importance of the passage, however, is in no 
way concerned with the justice or injustice of the 
accusation against Flaccus. It lies first in its picture of 
the Jewish community at Rome, and secondly in its 
indication of Cicero's personal views. 

The very insertion of the charge proves that a 
considerable Jewish element existed, whose aid the 
prosecution was anxious to enlist. Cicero's own state- 
ments show this directly. Here and here only in his 
speech he refers to the popular odium sought to be 
incited against his client, and speaks of the number and 
power of the Jews in contionibus,^^ " in the political 
meetings," and in the crowd about him. Part of this, 
the summissa voce, " low tone," for example, is the 
veriest acting. Cicero was really not afraid to say 
loudly what he wished to say, and if the jury could 
hear him, part of the crowd could hear as well. But 
although the Roman Jews were probably not so redoubt- 
able as Cicero would have his jury believe, they must 
have formed a large contingent. Where did they come 

We have the statement of Philo that it was not until 
the capture of Jerusalem by Pompey in 63 b. c. e. that 
Jews were brought to Rome in large numbers.^^ These, 
it is supposed, were enfranchised shortly after, and are 
the people here referred to. That may be said to be 
the general view. 


There are, however, serious difficulties in it that 
escape those who hold it, simply because they fail to 
follow in detail the implications of their view. Pompey 
did not arrive in Rome till January, 6i b. c. e. His army 
had been previously dismissed, but was to assemble for 
the great triumph that took place in September, 6i. The 
trial of Flaccus was held in August, 59 b. c. e. Some 
months must have been spent in preparing the case 
against him. Accordingly we are to suppose that thou- 
sands of Jewish captives were brought to Rome, sold 
there, enfranchised, learned Latin, became politically 
organized, and developed formidable voting strength, 
all within less than two years ! The mere question of 
language makes the hypothesis impossible. Pompey's 
captives were Palestinian Jews, of most of whom the 
native language was Aramaic, not Greek." Without 
command of Greek or Latin the ready acquisition of 
either was nothing short of miraculous, and the 
immediate political activity is only less so. 

But the chief difficulty lies in another matter. The 
phrase '* taken prisoners " immediately suggests the 
conditions of modern warfare, in which whole armies 
are surrendered and transferred in bulk great distances 
for safe-keeping. It is to be feared that some such idea 
was suggested to modern writers by the words of 
Philo. But that is not at all what occurred in ancient 
times. Prisoners taken on the field of battle were sold 
immediately at the nearest market. Slave-dealers fol- 
lowed the army. Caesar's account of his campaign in 
Gaul affords numerous instances of this immediate dis- 


posal of captured foes ; e. g. the case of the Atuatuci 
and Veneti." If they were assigned as loot to individual 
soldiers, they were disposed of in the same way. Here 
and there a soldier would, for one reason or another, 
retain his prisoner as a personal slave, but in general 
he had almost no facilities for providing or caring for 
a number of them. A few of the distinguished captives 
were reserved by the commander for a triumph. 

Now Pompey's army had just finished a five years' 
campaign. It had marched through Asia and Syria, 
winning battles that were not very bloody, but must 
have been immensely lucrative. The Jews formed only 
a small portion of the total prisoners taken. If all those 
prisoners actually accompanied their captors to Rome, 
the question of transportation and provision for such a 
horde must have been tremendous. What could have 
induced a general or private to assume this enormous 
expense and care, when the greatest slave-market in the 
world, viz. that at Alexandria, was relatively near by, 
is inconceivable. If they got to Rome, the city's popu- 
lation must have swelled visibly under the process. 
There is no record that it did, and it could scarcely have 
escaped notice, had such a thing taken place. 

And finally, even if we assume that such a wholly 
unprecedented and inexplicable incident occurred, how 
are we to explain the immediate and wholesale en- 
franchisement of so large a number? Ransom by 
wealthy coreligionists at Rome is excluded by the 
hypothesis. Similar action by Jews outside the city 
would demand a much longer time. The reasons gener- 


ally assigned are based upon the assumed uselessness of 
Jewish slaves for ordinary purposes because of their 
dietary laws and religious intransigeance. But that is 
a purely dogmatic assertion. Papyri and inscriptions 
have shown that in spite of a bitter racial opposition and 
perhaps economic strife as well, Jew and non-Jew could 
live quite peaceably together. The dietary laws would 
not render his master's meals obnoxious to a Jewish 
slave, because he did not eat at his master's table, and 
might consume his scanty vegetable food where and 
how he pleased. If a master actually chose to force 
attendance at the sacrifice, the compulsion of necessity 
would have been a valid excuse for all but those of 
martyr stuff, and we cannot suppose that every Jewish 
soldier had in him the zeal of a martyr. Besides, for 
such compulsion the slave would in no sense be responsi- 
ble,, and it is with disadvantages moving from him that 
we are concerned. 

It is simply impossible to imagine what could have 
induced Pompey's soldiers or those who purchased from 
them to enfranchise immediately slaves transported 
from such a distance and at such expense. 

Philo's statement is at best a conjecture, made with- 
out any better acquaintance with the facts than we 
ourselves possess, and contradicted by the necessary 
inference from Cicero's words. 

We must therefore assign the settlement of Jews in 
Rome to a much earlier date. The tradition that some 
of the train of Simon's embassy had remained in Rome 
is, as we have seen, probable enough. To that nucleus 


there was added, by a perfectly natural and even inevi- 
table infiltration, a group of Jewish freedmen, artisans, 
and merchants who were establishing themselves all 
over the Mediterranean. Jews are met with at Delphi 
a hundred years before the delivery of this speech." 

We have therefore, in 59 b. c. e., an established Jew- 
ish community, necessarily organized in synagogues and 
chiefly of servile origin. The use of foreigners at the 
polls by the political leaders had led to the Lex Junia 
Penni of 80 b. c. e. and the Lex Papia of 65 b. c. e., 
which ordered foreigners to leave the city. But 
these measures were wholly ineffective, and in any 
case could have only partly served those who proposed 
them, since the mass of the democratic strength lay in 
the proletariat, and the proletariat was largely com- 
posed of undoubted citizens, although freedmen. The 
Jews formed, as we see, an active and troublesome 
element in the turbulent city populace. Their attach- 
ment to the democratic leader, Caesar, is well attested, 
and Caesar's marked favor toward them has all the 
appearance of the payment of a political debt, as in the 
case of the Cisalpine Gauls." 

As far as Cicero was concerned personally, we may 
assume that his attitude was the contempt which he no 
doubt honestly felt for the iniima plehs and for Syrian 
barbarians in particular. He probably voices the senti- 
ments of the optimates," with whom, though still hesi- 
tant, he had already cast his fortunes. The abuse arises 
from the necessities of the case. As previously pointed 
out, it is in this very speech that we have fine examples 


of the device of abusing your opponent's witnesses 
when arguments give out. These phrases show no 
special animus. Just as Greeks are Hars if they are on 
the other side, and men of honor on his own, as 
exhibited almost in successive paragraphs of this 
speech," so we may be sure if Cicero were prosecuting 
Flaccus, a few eloquent periods would extol the char- 
acter of those ancient allies and firm friends of Rome, 
the Jews. 

How much Cicero really knew of the Jews is not cer- 
tain. He is aware that in point of religious observance 
the Jews are strikingly different from other tribes. The 
contrast he emphasizes in his speech may be an 
allusion to the imageless cult of the Jews and the 
inference of meanness and poverty of ceremonial which 
Romans would draw from it. And the taunt quam dis 
cara, *' how dear to the gods," seems an unmistakable 
fling at the claim of the Jews, loudly voiced in their 
propaganda, to possess in a high degree the favor of the 
Divinity, or even a special communion with the Deity in 
their mysteries. 

All this Cicero might have learned from his sur- 
roundings. It is doubtful that he learned it from 
Posidonius and Molo, both of whom he knew well. In 
these two appear stories which Cicero could hardly have 
overlooked if he knew them. When we remember what 
he says of Sardinians in the Scauriana, of Gauls in 
the Fonteiana," he surely would not have omitted to 
catalogue the tales treasured up by these two Greek 
teachers of his; to wit, the ass-god, the scrofulous 


prophet, the savage inhospitality and absurd fanaticism 
Molo and Posidonius ascribe to the Jews. 

One other phrase which Cicero appHes to Jews would 
deserve little attention if it were not for the extra- 
ordinary general inferences some have drawn from it. 
In May, 56 b. c. e., Cicero has an opportunity to vent his 
venom on his enemy Gabinius, consul in 59 b. c. e., 
whom he held personally responsible for the humiliation 
of his exile. Gabinius, in 56, was governor of Syria, 
and seems to have been rather short with the tax- 
farmers, whom, to the delight of the provincials, he 
treated with contumely and no doubt with gross in- 
justice. The persistent favor he showed to all pro- 
vincial claims against these men, many of them Cicero's 
personal friends and at all times his supporters, caused 
the orator to exclaim : 

As far as the unfortunate tax-farmers are concerned — and 
I count myself equally unfortunate to be compelled to relate 
their misfortunes and sufferings — Gabinius made them the 
chattel-slaves of Jews and Syrians, races themselves born to be 

The concluding phrase is simply the application of 
the rhetorical commonplace of Greeks that barbarians 
as such were slaves by nature. It was applied to 
Syrians with a certain justice, as the slave name 
Syrus testifies. From that standpoint, however, it was 
obviously absurd to assert that it was true of Jews. 
Cicero's inclusion of them is due to the fact that, as 
governor of Syria, Gabinius would have had many 
occasions to favor Jewish litigants against the publicans, 
probably in pursuance of his party's policy. Gabinius, 


we may recall, was a very obedient servant of his 
masters, the triumvirs, and the interest of the leading 
spirit of the coalition in the provinces has been pre- 
viously pointed out.*" 

Allusions of this type made in the course of vehement 
advocacy or invective are really of little meaning even 
as an indication of personal feeling. It is true, however, 
that Cicero shows very little sympathy in general with 
the Roman masses or with the provincials, despite the 
Verrine prosecution. That he could have felt any 
interest or liking for Syrian barbarians in or out of the 
city is very improbable. 

None the less, within Cicero's own circle, the same 
elements in Jewish customs which had impressed 
Greeks, such as Theophrastus and Clearchus, could not 
fail to strike such Romans as made philosophic pre- 
tensions. The fame of the shrine at Jerusalem had 
reached Rome a century earlier, as we have seen from 
Polybius. Pompey's capture of the city formed no 
inconsiderable item in his exploits. Cicero refers to 
him jestingly as noster Hierosolymarms, " Our Hero of 
Jerusalem."" We can tell from Cicero's own words 
the emphasis that Laelius had laid on the fame of the 
temple and its sanctity when he denounced Flaccus. As 
a matter of fact it was a constant practice of Romans to 
find, in those institutions of barbarians which could be 
called severe or simple, the image of their own golden 
age of simplicity, before the advent of Greek luxury. 
So Cicero's learned friend and correspondent Varro is 
quoted by Augustine'' as referring to the Jews among 


others as a people whose imageless cult still maintains 
what the Romans had abandoned. There may be very 
little sincerity in this regret of a simple-living past, but 
it is an indication that the exceptional character of 
Jewish religious customs might in Cicero's own 
entourage be characterized in terms somewhat different 
from those of the Flacciana. 

We shall have reason to distinguish very sharply 
between the attitude of Romans of rank and cultivation 
and that of the great mass. However, that is true not 
only in this relatively minor detail but in thousands of 
other matters as well. The Roman gentleman was dis- 
tinct from the mass, not merely in political principles, 
but in his very speech. In the following generations 
social readjustments of all sorts frequently modified the 
position of the Jews in Rome, but until the increasing 
absolutism of the monarchy practically effaced dis- 
tinctions, the cleavage just indicated largely determined 
the point of view and even the terms used. 


We are all familiar with the assertion that both 
Greeks and Romans of the last pre-Christian century 
were in a state of complete moral and religious collapse, 
that polytheism had been virtually discarded, and that 
the worn souls of men were actively seeking a new 
religious principle to take its place. This general state- 
ment is partly true, but it is quite inadequate, if it is 
made to account for the situation at Rome at that time. 
The extant literature of the time makes it quite clear 
that there was no belief in the truth of the mythology. 
But it is doubtful whether there ever had been, and 
mythology was no part of religion. This was particu- 
larly true at Rome. For some thousands of years the 
inhabitants of central Italy had performed ceremonies 
r — ^in their fields in connection with their daily life. A 
I great many of these ceremonies had become official and 
I regulated in the city of Rome and many other Italic 
civic communities. It was the practice of educated 
Italians to devise aetiological stories for these practices 
and to bring them into connection with Greek myths. In 
this way a Roman mythology was created, but more 
even than in the case of the Greeks it was devoid of a 
folkloristic foundation.^ For the masses these stories 
can scarcely be said to have existed. But the cere- 


monies did, and their punctilious performance and the 
anxious care with which extraordinary rites of purga- 
tion were performed satisfied the ordinary needs of 
ordinary men. 

Mention has been made of the rehgious movement 
which from the seventh century b. c. e, spread over the 
Eastern Mediterranean, and which was concerned with 
the demand for personal salvation and its corollary, a 
belief in personal immortality. In the Greek-speaking 
world the carriers of that movement were the Orphic 
and Dionysiac mysteries. In the non-Greek East there 
was abundant occasion for beliefs of this kind to gain 
ground. The great world monarchies introduced such 
cataclysms in the smaller nations that a violent read- 
justment of relations with the divinity was frequently 
necessitated, since the god's claim to worship was 
purely national. No such profound political upheavals 
occurred in Greece. Here, however, a fertile field for 
the spread of mysteries and extra-national means of 
divine relations was found in the rapid economic degen- 
eration caused by the slave system. Attachment to the 
state was confined to those who had a stake in it. The 
maxim that a man's fatherland was where his fortune 
brought him seemed less a bold and cynical aphorism 
than the veriest commonplace for all but a few idealists.^ 
To save the personality that individual misfortunes 
threatened to overwhelm, recourse was had to every 
means and especially to the vague and widespread doc- 
trine of other and fuller existences beyond the confines 
of mortality. 


In Rome the obvious hinge in the destinies of the 
people from almost every point of view was the Hanni- 
balic war. For a short time disaster seemed imminent, 
and the desperate reaching out to the ends of the earth 
for divine support could not fail to make a deep im- 
pression upon thousands of men. In that moment of 
dreadful stress, it was not the Etruscan Triad on the 
Capitol nor Father Mars, but the mystic Ma, the 
Ancient Mother of Phrygia with her diadem of towers, 
her lion-chariot and her bloody orgies, that stayed the 
rush of the Carthaginian. It is true that the city's 
ultimate triumph caused a reaction. An increased 
national self-consciousness made Romans somewhat 
ashamed of their weakness, but they could not blot out 
the memory of the fact. 

The city's increase in total well-being went on with 
tremendous strides, but the disintegrating forces of 
a vicious economic system were present here too. 
Besides, the special circumstances that tended to 
choke the city with people of diverse origin were inten- 
sified. In the next few generations we hear of the 
threatening character of foreign mysteries, of surrepti- 
tious association with the Cybele worshipers, of Isis 
devotees gaining ground. Shortly after the Second 
Punic War occurs the episode of the Bacchic suppres- 
sion. One can scarcely help noticing how strikingly 
similar were the accusations directed against the Bac- 
chanales and those later brought against the Christians, 
and wondering whether they were any truer in the 
one case than in the other. The whole incident can 


easily be construed as an act of governmental persecu- 
tion, which, it may be noted, was as futile as such 
persecution generally is. The orgiastic Dionysus was 
not kept from Italy, though he always remained an 
uncomfortable god for Romans of the old type. One 
reason has already been referred to ; viz., the constant 
recruiting of the iniima plebs from enfranchised for- 
eign slaves. The lower classes were becoming orien- 
talized. The great Sicilian slave revolt of 134 b. c. e. 
was almost a Syrian insurrection, and was under the 
direct instigation of the Syrian goddess Atargatis.^ 

During the civil wars and the periods of uncertainty 
that lay between them, all political and social life seemed 
as though conducted on the edge of a smouldering vol- 
cano. Innumerable men resorted to magic, either in its 
naive form or in its astrological or mathematical refine- 
ments. Newer and more terrific rites, stranger and 
more outlandish ceremonials, found a demand con- 
stantly increasing. And the Augustan monarchy 
brought only a temporary subsidence of this excite- 
ment. Order and peace returned, but Augustus could 
not cure the fundamentally unsound conditions that 
vitiated Roman life, nor did he make any real attempt to 
prevent Roman society from being dissolved by the 
steady inpour of foreign blood, traditions, and non- 
Roman habits of mind. The need of recourse to foreign 
mysteries was as apparent as ever. 

In this way the internal conditions of Roman society 
impelled men to the alien forms of religion. And 
external impulses were not lacking. There were present 


professional and well-equipped missionaries. Our 
information about them is fullest with reference to 
the philosophic schools, which consciously bid for 
the support of educated Romans. These groups of 
philosophers were nearly all completely organized, 
and formed an international fraternity as real as the 
great International Actors Association and the sim- 
ilar Athletic Union." It was scarcely feasible to stand 
neutral. A man was either an Academic, or Stoic, or 
Epicurean, or Neopythagorean, and so on. So skil- 
ful a trimmer as Cicero's friend, the astoundingly 
shrewd Atticus, was enrolled as an Epicurean.'' Even 
skepticism classified a man as an Academic, as Cicero 
himself was classed despite occasional exhibitions of 
sympathy for the Stoa. And the combat was as intense 
and as dogmatic as that between competing religious 
sects. That is precisely what they were, and they 
bandied their shibboleths with the utmost zeal and 

Some of these philosophic sects, the Cynics and 
Stoics, reached classes of lower intellectual level. And 
there they came in conflict with astrologer and thau- 
maturg, with Isis and with Atthis devotees, and with 
Jews. The popular sermon, the diatribe, was an insti- 
tution of the Cynics, and was directed to the crowd. 
Indeed the chief object of Cynic jibes was the pretension 
of philosophers to possess a wisdom that was in any 
way superior to the mother-wit of the rudest boor." 
The Stoics too used the diatribe with success. It must 
not, however, be supposed that either Stoic or Cynic 


was a serious rival of the dramatic and sensationally 
attractive rites of the Eastern cults. The latter counted 
their adherents by the hundreds where the preaching 
philosopher might pick up an occasional adherent. The 
importance of the philosophers for the spread of non- 
Roman beliefs lies chiefly in the fact that they reached 
all classes of society, and, different as they seem from 
the cult-associations of the various foreign deities, they 
really represented the same emotional need as the latter. 

These had literary support as well. We have recently 
had restored to us some astrological pamphlets, such 
as that of Vettius Valens,^ and we can only guess from 
what arsenal Isiac or Mithraist drew those arguments 
with which he boasted of confuting even Stoics and 
Epicureans. But we may safely assume that tracts 
existed of this sort. 

As far as the Jews are concerned, their propaganda 
may have begun with their first settlement in Rome. 
Cicero does not mention it, but Cicero was not inter- 
ested in what went on among the strata of society in 
which the Jews then moved. In the next generation 
their propaganda was so wide and successful that it 
must have been established for a considerable time. 

Further, from what has been said it is clear that this 
propaganda must have been directed primarily to the 
plebs, to the same classes, that is, as those who received 
Isis and Cybele, Mithra and the Cabiri. At first it prac- 
tically did not reach the intellectually cultivated at all. 
But the Jews possessed an extensive literature, which 
in Egypt and the East generally had assumed the form 


of " most philosophic " treatises. Indeed, it is. quite 
clear that the Wisdom of Solomon could be enjoyed by 
none but cultured men.* Books of this sort, as well as 
the Bible, were accessible, and were read by some. The 
synagogue service was an exposition of Jewish doctrine 
upon topics that ranked as philosophic. While there- 
fore it was mainly from among the masses that Jewish 
converts came, here and there men of education must 
have found the Jewish preachers as convincing as the 
philosophic revivalists, who boasted of no more respect- 
able credentials. 

The Roman state had found itself obliged to take 
cognizance of the foreign religious movements at an 
early date. The official acceptance of Cybele had 
promptly been surrounded by restrictions. Cybele 
was always to remain a foreign goddess. Romans were 
stringently forbidden to take part in her ceremonies." 
Toward the forms of worship themselves, the Roman 
attitude was tolerant enough. As long as they were con- 
fined to Egyptians, Syrians, Cappadocians, the partici- 
pants would be secure from molestation. But that the 
foreign rites might displace the ancestral forms was a 
well-grounded fear, and drastic precautions were taken 
against that. The Bacchanalian incident of i86 b. c. E. 
is the first of these instances. 

In the same way the Roman police found it necessary 
at various times to proceed against astrologers, Isis- 
worshipers, and philosophers. The statement fre- 
quently occurring, that these groups were banished, 
is constantly misunderstood. It can apply only to 


foreigners in these classes, not to Roman citizens 
affected by these strange beHef s ; but it impUes that the 
Roman citizens so affected were sufficiently numerous 
to make the desertion of the national religion a probable 
contingency. Of course Roman citizens could not 
violate the laws that regulated religious observances 
with impunity. These laws, however, were ostensibly 
never directed against the religious observances, but 
against abuses and acts that were connected with them. 
That was true even in the case of the Bacchanalia, when 
the decree of the senate expressly permitted the cele- 
bration of the rites under proper restrictions. 

Whether honestly or not, the Roman government 
aimed its measures solely at certain indubitably criminal 
acts, which, it was alleged, were associated with the 
practice of the foreign cults. These acts were often I 
offenses against public morality. Conditions of high ' 
religious excitement often sought a physical outlet in 
dancing or shouting, and no doubt often enough, when 
the stimulation of wine or drugs or flagellation was 
added, in sexual excesses. Instances that were perhaps 1 
isolated and exceptional were treated as characteristic, 
and made the basis for repressive legislation.^" 

Another and better founded objection to many of the 
forms of foreign religion was the opportunities they 
offered for swindlers. As early as 139 b. c. e. the 
astrologers were banished from Rome, not because of 
the feeling that the astrological system was baseless, 
but because of the readiness with which professed 
astrologers defrauded the simple by portentous horo- 


scopes, which they alone could interpret or avert." The 
" Chaldeans " or mathematici included many men who 
were neither the one nor the other. It was obviously 
easier for a Syrian or Oriental generally to make these 
claims than for either Greek or Italian. Syrians in the 
city accordingly found the profession of quack tempt- 
ing and profitable, and doubtless many Jews as well 
entered it. 

We have evidence too that many of the mushroom 
political associations were grouped about some of these 
foreign deities. The possession of common sacra was, 
in a sense, the distinguishing mark of any organized 
body of men, and organization of the masses in all 
forms was the commonest device of the agitators of the 
revolutionary period. Clodius had his mobs grouped in 
de curies and curiae ^^ It is likely enough that in some 
of these groups, consisting largely of freedmen of 
foreign birth, various foreign deities were worshiped 
in the communal sacra, so that the various police 
measures restricting or forbidding these rites may have 
had strong political motives as well. 

When Caesar reconstituted the state after Pharsalia, 
he knew from direct experience the danger that lay in 
unrestricted association ostensibly for religious pur- 
poses. The OiaaoL, "cult-associations," which he dis- 
solved were undoubtedly grouped about some Greek or 
Oriental deity. The Jews were specially exempted, for 
reasons easy to guess at, but which we cannot exactly 
determine.^'' This striking favor cannot but have 
immensely increased their influence. We need not sup- 


pose that Caesar's orders were any more effective than 
previous decrees of this character had been. But even 
a temporary clearing of the field gave the active prop- 
agandists among the Jews an opportunity which they 
fully utilized. 

We have sketches of Jewish activities in Rome dur- 
ing the following years drawn by master hands. In 
every instance, of course, the picture is drawn with 
distinct lack of sympathy, but it is none the less valuable 
on that account. Easily of first importance is the infor- 
mation furnished us by the cleverest of Roman poets, 

Quintus Horatius Flaccus was the son of a former 
slave. His racial origin accordingly may have been 
found in any corner of the Mediterranean in which we 
choose to look for it. That fact, however, is of little 
importance, except that the consciousness of servile 
ancestry must have largely influenced his personal inter- 
course, and his patriotism must have been somewhat 
qualified, despite some vigorously Roman sentiments. 
Suave, obese, witty, a thoroughly polished gentlemen 
of wide reading and perfect manners, both sensual and 
shrewdly practical, Horace had early reached the point 
at which one descants on the merits of frugality and 
simplicity at the end of a seven-course dinner. His star 
was in the ascendant. His patron Maecenas was the 
trusted minister of Augustus ; and to Augustus, and not 
Antony, fell the task of rebuilding the shattered frame- 
work of the state. Secure in the possession of every 
creature comfort, the freedman's son could loaf and 
invite his soul. 


That he did so in exquisite verses is our good fortune, 
and that he chose to put his shrewd philosophy and 
criticism of Hfe into the form of sketches that are med- 
leys of scenes, lively chat, satirical attacks, and por- 
traits of types and individuals, makes the period in 
which he lived and the society in which he moved almost 
as vivid to us as that depicted in the letters of Cicero. 

In one of his Satires — '' Chats," as he called them — 
he tells the story of his encounter with a pushing gen- 
tleman, of a type familiar to every age. Horace cannot 
escape from the infliction of his presence, and miserably 
succumbing to the inane chatter of the bore, he comes 
upon his friend Titus Aristius Fuscus. But his hopes 
in that quarter are doomed to disappointment. 

" Surely," says Horace, nudging Fuscus, " you said 
you had something you wanted to speak to me about in 

" Yes, yes, I remember," answers Fuscus, " but we'll 
let that go for some more suitable time. To-day's the 
thirtieth Sabbath. Why, man, would you want to 
offend the circumcised Jews ?" 

" I can't say that I feel any scruples on that score." 

'' But I do. I haven't your strength of mind. Fm 
only a humble citizen. You'll excuse me. I shall talk 
over our business at some other time." 

The little scene is so significant that we shall have to 
dwell on it. One unescapable inference is that the Jews 
in Rome were numerous, and that a great many non- 
Jews participated wholly or partially in their observ- 
ances. Fuscus need not be taken seriously about his 


own beliefs, but his excuse would be extravagant in the 
highest degree if the situation of the Jews were not 
such as has been suggested. Indeed, the terms of inten- 
tional offensiveness which Fuscus uses indicate the 
serious annoyance of either himself or Horace that that 
should be the case. 

The '' thirtieth Sabbath " will probably remain an 
unsolved riddle." And whatever the day was, the 
extreme veneration expressed by Fuscus in declining 
even to discuss profane affairs is of course absurdly out 
of keeping with the words he uses. Fuscus is simply 
assuming the tone of a demi-proselyte, a metuens Sab- 
hata, whose superstitious dread of the rites he has half 
embraced would make him carry his devotion to an 
excess. Horace thus obtains an opportunity of sketch- 
ing a new type of absurdity, in the very act of girding 
at the one which is the subject of the sermo. 

And Horace makes still another reference to the 
proselytizing activities of the Jews. '' You must allow 
me my scribbling," he writes to Maecenas in another 
Satire. ''If you don't, a great crowd of poets will come 
to help me. We far outnumber you, and, like the Jews, 
will compel you to join our rout."" 

This is explicit enough in all conscience, and gives a 
very vivid picture of the public preaching that must 
have brought the Jews to the unwelcome notice of every 
saunterer in the Roman streets. Horace, despite his 
slave grandfather, is a gentleman, the associate of 
Rome's aristocracy, a member of the most select circle 
of the city's society. The Jewish proselytes, whether 


fully converted or *' righteous strangers," must have 
been very numerous indeed, if he was forced to take 
such relatively frequent notice of them. Horace has 
no pictures, like those of Juvenal, of presumptuous 
Syrians, Egyptians, or Greeks swaggering about the 
city. It is only these Syrian Iiidaei whom he finds 
irritating, and wholly because of their successful hunt 
for souls. 

It is true that all this may be due to personal circum- 
stances in his own surroundings. Some of his acquaint- 
ances, or men whom he occasionally encountered, may 
have been proselytes ; others may have been impressed 
by certain Jewish forms or ideas. Horace is taking his 
fling at them in his usual light manner. There is some- 
thing ludicrous to a detached philosopher in the eager 
striving to save one's soul, and still more absurd in the 
earnest attempt to gain adherents for an association 
that promises salvation. 

Once he takes a more serious tone. In the famous 
journey he made with Maecenas to Brundisium Horace 
is told of an altar-miracle at Egnatia. The incense 
melts of itself, it seems, in the local temple. " Tell it 
to the Jew Apella," says Horace, '' not to me. I have 
always been taught that the gods live free from every 
care, and if anything wonderful occurs in nature, it 
is not because it has been sent down from heaven by 
meddlesome divinities." " 

This Jew Apella — a dialect-form of ApoUas or 
Apollonius" — is no doubt a real person, who may per- 
haps have recounted to Horace some of the miracles 


of the Bible. Horace's raillery is directed plainly 
enough at the credulity that will accept these stories, 
and equally at the troublesome theology which makes 
the god a factor in daily life. Life was much simpler 
if no such incalculable quantity were injected into it. 
And to keep life free from harassing and unnecessary 
complications was the essence of his philosophy .^^ 

At about the same time another writer, the geogra- 
pher Strabo, of Amasea in Cappadocia, makes a state- 
ment of special interest. As quoted by Josephus (Ant. 
XIV. vii. 2) he says: ''These people have already 
reached every city, and it would be difficult to find a 
place in the whole world that has not received this tribe 
and succumbed to it." 

Obviously the statement is a gross exaggeration, and 
at most applicable to the cities of Egypt and Cyrene, 
in connection ^/vrith which it is made. But that such a 
statement could be made at all is excellent evidence that 
it was at least partially true, and that there were Jewish 
communities practically everywhere, although it can 
hardly be the case that they were everywhere dominant. 
However, the sketches by Horace are an eloquent com- 
mentary upon the statement of Strabo. Not merely the 
East or Africa, but the capital itself, was overrun with 
Jews, and their number was constantly increasing. 

Horace, it has been said, wrote of and for a cul- 
tured aristocracy. So did the other poets of the age, 
Propertius, Tibullus, Ovid. But all of them were more 
than ordinarily familiar with the bas-lieux where dis- 
reputable passions might be gratified. The voluptuary 


Ovid was especially prone to go down into the sewer 
for new sensations, and just as Horace met Jews in 
the boulevards, so Ovid knew them in the slums. 

In his salad-days Ovid had written a manual of 
debauchery, which he called the " Art of Love." He 
was destined to regret bitterly the facility of verse and 
of conscience that gave birth to this bold composition. 
But written it was, and in his advice to the dissolute 
young Romans he enumerates the time and place for 
their amours. 

Rome [he says in Ars Amatoria, \. 55 seq.] is the place for 
beauties. Venus has her fixed abode in the city of her Aeneas. 
Whatever you desire you may find. All you have to do is 
to take a walk in the Porticus of Pompey or of Livia, .... 
Do not pass by the place where Venus mourns Adonis, or 
where the Syrian Jew performs his rites each seventh day. 
Nor overlook the temples of the linen-clad heifer from 
Memphis. She makes many what Jove made her. Even the 
fora favor Love, .... those where the Appian aqueduct 

gushes forth near the marble temple of Venus But 

above all stalk your game in the theaters. 

In these instances Ovid refers to place, not to time, 
and it is only as part of the passages as a whole that 
the individual references can be understood. It will be 
seen that all the localities, beginning with the Porticus 
of Pompey in the Campus Martins, are merely casual. 
It is at the theater and circus where Ovid's pupils are 
chiefly to pick out the ladies of their light loves. For 
that reason the other places specified are also, to a cer- 
tain extent, show places. The mention of the law- 
courts is especially noteworthy in this connection. 


We must therefore assume that in the Jewish pro- 
seucha and in the temple of the Egyptian Isis there were 
to be found a certain number of curious onlookers, 
particularly women, and while many of them became 
ardent converts, a certain number were innocent of any 
intentions except to while away an idle hour, and were 
easy game for the professional " mashers " for whom 
Ovid writes. Isis and Judaism were the two Oriental 
cults which at this time had the greatest success in 
Rome. And we can easily imagine how the unoccupied 
of all classes thronged to every new fashion in religious 
stimulation as in others. 

Ovid is as explicit in the selection of time as of place. 

Do not disregard time, .... Avoid the first of April. Then 
the rainy season begins, and storms are frequent. But begin 
the day of the defeat at the Allia, or the day on which the 
Sabbath feast comes again, which the Syrian from Palestine 
celebrates. That's a day on which other business ought not to 
be done. (Ars. Am. i. 413 seq.) 

Again, in his palinode, with which he vainly hoped to 
regain his shattered reputation, " The Cure for Love " 
(vv. 214 seq.), he brings the same things together: 

Off with you ; take a long journey to some distant land 

The less you want to go, the more you must; remember that! 
Be firm and make your unwilling feet run. Do not pray for 
rain. Let no imported Sabbaths hinder you, nor the day on 
which we remember the disaster on the Allia." 

As far as Ovid is concerned, and we must assume he 
is speaking for Fuscus' multi, a certain Jewish feast, 
whether it is the Sabbath or some special holiday, such 
as the Day of Atonement, is ranked with the Dies 


Alliensis, the fifteenth of July, the day on which, in 390 
B. c. E., the Romans suffered their great defeat at the 
hands of the Gauls, and which was in consequence an 
ill-omened day from that time forth. Again, the Sab- 
bath is classed with the rainy season as a day that might 
ordinarily incline a man to put off serious business. 

As stated in the Notes, it is a common error to sup- 
pose that the generally ill-omened character of these 
days makes them eminently proper for flirtation. No 
Roman, however cynical, could flout superstition to 
that extent. The advice is given for purely practical 
considerations. The rainy season at the time of the 
equinoxes is an inauspicious time to begin a courtship, 
which, as we have seen in the previous passage, must be 
carried on almost wholly in the open air. Social gather- 
ings in the houses of friends in the society of ladies 
were not common. There was nothing among the 
Romans to correspond to modern five-o'clock's or. re- 
ceptions, at which court might be paid to anyone who 
had caught the fancy of the Roman man about town. 
It is in the porticoes, in the idle crowds at the theater or 
circus, where the steps of ingratiating are to be carried 
out, and for these the rising of the Pleiades (Ars. Am. 
i. 409) is distinctly unpromising. 

This is especially borne out by the passage immed- 
iately following the one quoted from the ''Art of Love " 
(Ars. Am. i. 417 seq.). The most inauspicious day to 
attempt the beginning of an intrigue is the lady's birth- 
day. Gifts are in order then, and they undoubtedly 
deplete one's pocket-book. Ovid is jocose here, but the 


point is the same throughout. The hints and sugges- 
tions are as practical and direct as the formula of Ovid's 
face-powder, which he also sets forth in the unfinished 
verses called Medicamina Faciei Femineae. 

That which makes the Dies Alliensis and the Jewish 
Sabbath desirable is the fact that the former is in mid- 
July and the latter in the early fall, the most delight- 
ful of Italian seasons. Then an unbroken series of cloud- 
less skies is almost assured ; and the Roman fop could 
count on meeting his fair one day after day in one of 
the places of assignation so conveniently enumerated by 

The phrase rebus minus apta gerendis, " unsuitable 
for transacting business," is best taken as given in the 
translation (above, p. 251). Ovid knows that under- 
takings are rare on that day, and that causes its inser- 
tion. If it were merely that cessation of ordinary 
business made it easier for idlers to pursue their amours, 
it must be remembered that the jeunesse doree had no 
other ordinary business than falling in love. 

The reference in the "' Cure for Love " (above, p. 
251) is of quite a different character. It will be noted 
that pluviae, " the rainy season," which in the first case 
is particularly contrasted with the Sabbath and the 
Allia day, is here associated with them. '' Let nothing 
hinder you," says Ovid, '' neither a good excuse nor a 
bad one; neither the weather nor superstition." The 
point of the reference in the two cases is accordingly 
not at all the same. In the first instance the accidental 
fact that the Allia day and a certain Jewish festival 


occur during pleasant weather singles them out for 
mention. In the second it is the religious association 
of the day that Ovid has in mind. 

As far as Ovid is personally concerned, there is no 
more than in Horace a trace of sympathy for the Jewish 
cult. We have seen that in every instance this cult 
is only one of several illustrations. The adjective 
peregrina, '' foreign," applied to the Sabbath, gives the 
tone of all the passages. Ovid is a collector of light 
emotions. Of serious beliefs he has no vestige. But 
the presence of these Syrians in the city interests him 
as anything else picturesque would. He takes cog- 
nizance of the part they play in the life of the city, and 
is a valuable witness on that point. 

The same inference may be drawn from the letter of 
Augustus to Tiberius (Suet. Aug. 76) : " There is no 
Jew, my dear Tiberius, who keeps his fast on the Sab- 
bath as I kept it to-day." If the considerations advanced 
in Note 19 are valid, the Sabbath here is the Day of 
Atonement. But the significant fact is the use of the 
illustration at all. It confirms Strabo's statement of 
the extent and success of the propaganda of the 
Jews that all these writers in some way mention their 

That the preaching of the Jews was vigorous and 
aggressive is almost a necessary inference. We know 
no less than three of their synagogues by name, 
Augustenses, Volumnienses, Agrippenses,""" and we 
have no reason to assume that these three exhausted 
the list. To many Romans the ardor of their proselytiz- 


ing was oftensive. It seemed a systematic attempt to 
transform the ancestral faith of the state. A casual 
reference in Valerius Maximus, a contemporary of 
Tiberius, charges the Jews with having attempted " to 
contaminate Roman beliefs by foisting upon them the 
worship of Jupiter Sabazios." ^' Valerius goes on to say 
that the praetor Hispalus expelled the Jews for that 
reason as early as 139 b. c. e. If such a thing took place, 
it was undoubtedly an act similar to an expulsion under 
Tiberius (below, p. 306), and was based on definite 
infractions of law, perhaps the law against unlicensed 
fortune-telling. The Jews in both cases were associated 
with the Chaldeans, a fact that makes the supposition 
more likely. But Valerius has in mind the conditions of 
his own day, when the success of the Jewish propaganda 
was bitterly resented, as we have seen, by Horace and 
Fuscus, and, as we shall later see, by Seneca and his 
associates generally. 

If we try to imagine what the Jewish Roman com- 
munities of that day were like, we shall have to think of 
them as a proletariat. Freedmen in the second or third 
generation must have constituted a large part of them, 
and later references make it likely that many earned 
their livelihood by the proscribed arts of divination and 
fortune-telling. As in Alexandria, the bulk were prob- 
ably artisans. Some were physicians, a profession then 
ranking in social degree with the manual trades, and 
usually exercised by slaves or freedmen.^ The Roman 
encyclopedist Celsus mentions two Jewish medical 
authorities (De Med. V. xix. 11; xxii. 4). But the 


majority must have formed part of the pauperized city 
mob, turbulent and ignorant, and no doubt only mod- 
erately acquainted with their own laws and literature, 
so that we cannot be surprised to find indications of 
many things among them that were regarded as sacri- 
lege in Jerusalem, such as carved animal figures on 

However, there must at least have been some of a 
different type, whose command of their controversial 
literature enabled them to meet the competing philos- 
ophies upon their own ground and impress themselves 
upon some of the men of Augustus' own circle. 



One of the great determining events in ancient and 
modern history took place on January i, 27 b. c. e., 
when Gains Caesar Octavianus, returned from his suc- 
cessful campaigns in the East, was solemnly invested 
with the civil and military primacy of the Roman world. 
The importance of that particular historic moment is 
due of course not to anything in itself, but to the fact 
that it was the external and overt stamp put upon the 
development of centuries. The basic governmental 
scheme of ancient society — the city-state — was bank- 
rupt. Its afifairs were being wound up, and the receiver 
was in possession. 

The reconstitution by Augustus appeared to the men 
of his day as the inauguration of an epoch. Poets 
hailed the dawn of a new day, and unqualifiedly saluted 
its great figure as a living god.^ But we shall receive a 
false impression of the time and its condition, if we 
assume it to resemble an empire of modern type. 

The Roman empire as founded by Augustus was 
simply the expression of the fact that between the 
Euphrates and the Ocean, between the Danube and the 
great African Desert, all the various forms of consti- 
tuted authority were subject to revision by the will of 
the Roman people, i. e. those who actually lived, or had 


an indefeasible right to live, within the walls of the 
Roman city. The populus Romanus had chosen to dele- 
gate functions of great extent and importance to a 
single man, to Augustus ; but the power wielded by 
Augustus was not in any sense the power of an unre- 
strained master, nor was the rule of the Roman people 
the actual and direct government of the nations subject 
to it. 

It would be quite impossible to enumerate the vari- 
ous communities which, under Augustus, as they had 
before, maintained their customs as the unbroken 
tradition of many centuries. In the mountains of 
Asia Minor it is likely that such a people as the Car- 
duchi, whom Xenophon encountered there, were still 
under Augustus determining their mutual rights and 
obligations by rules that were either the same as those 
of Xenophon's time or directly derived from those 
rules. ^ So the cartouches on the Egyptian monuments 
might have been read by the clerks of Amen-hem-et, 
and would have excited no queries from them. The 
communities of the Mediterranean enforced their law — 
that is, the rules which constrained the individual mem- 
ber to respect the claims of his fellows — without notice- 
able break. The difference was that there was a limit to 
which it might be enforced, and that limit was set by 
the caprice of another and a paramount people. 

Although the sovereignty of the Roman people was 
limitless, it was not, as a matter of fact, capriciously 
exercised. During the republic the theory of pro- 
vincial organization had been somewhat of the follow- 


ing nature. Within any given territory contained in 
the Hmits of the province, there existed a certain num- 
ber of individual civic units, which might take the form 
of city-states, territorial states of varying extent, 
leagues of communities, kingdoms, tetrarchies, or 
hieratic religious communes. Any or all of these might 
be gathered within a single province, a word which is 
essentially abstract, and denoted a magisterial function 
rather than a territory. Into the midst of these civitates, 
this jumble of conflicting civic interests, there was 
sent a representative of the sovereign Roman people, 
invested with imperium, or supreme power, a term in 
which for Romans was the essence of the higher magis- 
tracies. Since the provincial magistrate had no col- 
leagues, and since the tribunician check upon him was 
inoperative beyond the first milestone from the city, the 
wielder of the imperium outside of Italy was at law and 
often in fact an absolute despot for the period of his 

However, in theory his functions were divided as 
follows : first, he was the only officer with jurisdiction 
over the Roman citizens temporarily resident in the 
province ; secondly, he kept the peace ; thirdly, he guar- 
anteed the treaty rights of those communities that had 
treaties with Rome ; and fourthly, he enforced and 
maintained the local customary law of all these com- 
munities. His judicial functions might include cases of 
all these kinds, so that in rapid succession the praetor or 
propraetor might be called upon to enforce the Twelve 
Tables and an ancient tribal usage of the Galatian 


The checks upon the holder of imperium at Rome 
consisted in the pecuhar Roman theory of magistracy, 
one of the corollaries of which was the right of any 
other equal or superior magistrate, or of any tribune, to 
veto any administrative act. A second check lay in the 
right of appeal in capital cases to the people. A third 
was found in the accountability for every illegal or 
oppressive action. This accountability however existed 
only after the magistracy had expired. 

Outside of Rome only the last check existed. For 
everything done beyond the functions enumerated 
above, it was possible, even usual, to attempt to make 
the governor responsible after his term of office was 
over. We know how frequently that attempt was futile, 
and how constantly and flagrantly corrupt juries 
acquitted equally corrupt governors. '' Catiline will be 
acquitted of extortion," writes Cicero in 65 b. c. e., " if 
the jury believes that the sun does not shine at noon." ^ 
The jury evidently thought so, since he was acquitted. 
But upon occasion, and generally when there were 
personal and political motives at work as well, these 
governors were convicted, so that there was always a 
certain risk attached to any attempt at playing the 
tyrant for the brief period of a governor's authority." 

The Augustan monarchy brought no real change into 
the theory of provincial organization, except as to rela- 
tively unimportant details. But one great reform was 
instituted. The responsibility of the governor became 
a real one, and was sharply presented to those officials. 
For the provinces, accordingly, the advent of Augustus 


was an unmixed blessing, since, except for a few senti- 
mentalists, the presence of the Roman representative as 
the final court of appeal was not at all resented. We 
can accordingly understand the extravagance with 
which the rich and populous East, always the center of 
wealth and civilization, received the Reformer, and the 
unanimity and perhaps sincerity with which he was 
hailed as living god.^ 

We cannot be certain that this was encouraged by 
Augustus himself. There is nothing in his character 
that indicates any special sympathy with the point of 
view demanded by it; nothing of that daemonic strain 
noticeable in Alexander, which makes it easy to believe 
that the latter was one of the first to be convinced by the 
salutation of the priests of Amnion. But Augustus 
recognized at once the value for unity that the tendency 
to deify the monarch possessed. The reverence for the 
living monarch, to be transformed into an undisguised 
worship at his death, was, however, to be superimposed 
upon existing forms. Nothing was more characteris- 
tically Roman than Augustus' eagerness to make it clear 
that the vast domain of the empire was to remain, as 
before, a mass of disparate communities of which the 
populus Romanus was only one, although a paramount 
one, and that in each of these communities every effort 
was to be made to maintain the ancestral ritual in 
government and worship. What he added was simply 
the principle that to keep the community together, to 
prevent the chaos and anarchy of a dissolution of the 
empire, it was necessary to bestow on the princeps, on 


the First Citizen of the paramount Roman people, such 
powers and functions as would assure the coherence of 
the whole. These powers he selected himself. Such a 
step as that taken by the Constitution of Caracalla, 
which attempted to enforce a legal merging of all the 
communities into a single state, would have been noth- 
ing else than abhorrent to Augustus.^ And, indeed, 
it was a distinctly un-Roman idea. 

In Rome Augustus was chiefly intent upon a restora- 
tion of everything that could well be restored in the 
social, religious, and political life of the people. Cer- 
tain of the political elements, such as the actual sov- 
ereignty of the populus, as far as it could be physically 
assembled in the Campus Martins, had to be abandoned, 
as demonstrably inconsistent with the larger purpose 
which Augustus had set himself. But in every other 
respect, he did not, as Julius Caesar had done, compel 
the Romans to face the unpleasant fact that a revolution 
had taken place, but professed to be simply a restorer 
of the ancient polity. Perhaps he did not face the 
facts himself. At any rate he seems sincerely to have 
believed that morality and sobriety could be recon- 
stituted by statute, and that one, by dint of willing, 
might live under Caesar as men lived under Numa 
— barring such un-Sabine additions as marble palaces 
and purple togas. 

With his mind full of these views, Augustus could 
hardly be expected to regard favorably those tendencies 
in his own time which inevitably made for real unity of 
the empire in speech, blood, and religion. He was quite 


aware that this unity would not be produced by a 
coalescing of everything into new forms, but by the 
conquest of all or most of the existing elements by the 
one most powerful or most aggressive. Unchecked, 
it was likely that Greek speech would drive out Latin, 
Syrian blood dominate Roman, or any one of the vari- 
ous Oriental worships dislodge the Capitoline Triad. 

On the last point he had even a definite policy of 
opposition. His sagacious adviser Maecenas had laid 
great stress upon the ease with which foreign religions 
introduce a modification of habits of life, in his last 
words :^ 

Take active part in divine worship, in every way estab- 
lished by our ancestral customs, and compel others to respect 
religion, but avoid and punish those who attempt to introduce 
foreign elements into it. Do so not merely as a mark of honor 
to the gods — although you may be sure that anyone who 
despises them, sets little value upon anything — but because 
those who introduce new deities are by that very act persuad- 
ing the masses to observe laws foreign to our own. Hence 
we have secret gatherings and assemblies of different sort, 
all of which are inconsistent with the monarchical principle. 

His commendation of Gains' avoidance of sacrifice 
at Jerusalem was of a piece with this policy.^ 

The Jews in Rome, who had been directly favored 
by Caesar, had to be contented, as far as Augustus was 
concerned, with freedom from molestation. However, 
this freedom was real enough to enable their situation 
in Rome to reach the development hinted at in the 
Augustan poets, although their activities militated 
strongly against the most cherished plans of Augustus. 

In the rest of the empire the Jews of the various 


communities found their situation unchanged. Even 
the obnoxious privileges which they had in several 
cities of Asia continued unimpaired/ and here the 
orthodox Jewish propaganda and a few generations 
later the heterodox Jewish propaganda made rapid 

Judea belonged, in spite of the quasi-independence 
of Herod, to the province of Syria, which meant that 
such dues as Herod, the Jewish king, owed Rome 
would be enforced, if he were recalcitrant, by the 
Roman legate at Antioch. Herod's name throughout 
the empire was as much a synonym for wealth as it 
is now for cruelty. And his wealth and power adver- 
tised the Jews notably, a fact which their propaganda 
could scarcely help turning to account." 

The attitude of the various Jewish synagogues and 
communes toward Judea was one that appeared to the 
men of the day as that which bound various colonies of 
a city to the mother-city. Indeed the Jewish com- 
munities outside of Palestine were styled explicitly 
colonies, airoiKia. Such a tie, however, was conceived in 
the Greek fashion and not in the Roman. The Greek 
colony was bound to its mother-city by sentiment only, 
not, as in the case of the Romans, by law. That senti- 
ment might be powerful enough at times, but it was not 
inconsistent with the bitterest warfare. Consequently 
such movements as appear in Palestine need not at all 
have been reflected in the synagogues of the East and 
West, and there is nothing to indicate that the active 
and successful proselytizing of the Asiatic and Roman 


synagogues was either directed or systematically en- 
couraged by the Pharisaic majority in the Sanhedrin 
at Jerusalem. It will at all times create a wholly false 
impression to speak of the Jews of that period as of a 
single community bound by common interests and open 
to identical influences. The independence of the Jewish 
congregations of one another was quite real, and was 
even insisted upon. Neither the high priest nor the 
Nasi of the Sanhedrin pretended to any authority 
except over those legally resident in Judea ; and often, 
when the reverence for the temple and the holy city was 
most strongly emphasized, intense contempt might be 
manifested for those who were at the moment the 
holders of the supreme authority in the mother-country. 
Another matter that is apt to be lost sight of in this 
connection is the fact that not all Jews of the time 
lived within the Roman empire. The Persian king- 
dom, which Alexander had conquered, and which the 
Seleucidae had with varying success attempted to main- 
tain, had fallen to pieces long before the Roman occu- 
pation of Syria. Media, Babylonia, Bactria resumed a 
quasi-independence, which however was soon lost when 
the obscure province of Parthia — as Persis had done 
five centuries before — assumed a dominance that ended 
in direct supremacy. The Roman limits were set at the 
river Euphrates, leaving Armenia a bloody, debatable 
ground. The one great moment in the history of this 
new Parthian empire was the decisive defeat of Crassus 
at Carrhae in 58 b. c. e., a victory that gave the 
Parthians sufficient prestige to maintain themselves 


under conditions of domestic disorder that would 
ordinarily have been fatal. The Augustan poets and 
courtiers might magnify the return of the Roman 
standards by King Phraates to their hearts' content. 
They might, as they did, exultantly proclaim that the 
Crassi were avenged, that the known world to the 
shadowy confines of the Indus bowed to the will of the 
living god Augustus. The fact remained that, after 
Carrhae, the conquest of the country beyond the Eu- 
phrates ceased to be a part of the Roman programme, 
and, except for the transient successes of Trajan, was 
never seriously attempted. 

In this Parthian kingdom, of which the capital was 
the ancient and indestructible city of Babylon, Jews had 
dwelt since the time of Nebuchadnezzar. There is even 
every reason to believe that those who remained at 
Babylon were decidedly not the least notable of the 
people in birth or culture. And between Babylon and 
Judea there was constant communication. When 
Babylon became the seat of the only power still existing 
that seemed formidable to Rome, it is obvious that the 
uninterrupted communication between the Jews of that 
section and the mother-country would create political 
situations of no slight delicacy, and may have played a 
much more important part in determining the relations 
of the governing Romans to the Jews than our sources 

That there was at all times a Parthian party among 
the Palestinian Jews there can be no doubt. We know 
too little of the history of Parthia to speak confidently 


on the subject, but Parthian rulers seem to have brought 
to the Jewish reHgious philosophy a larger measure of 
sympathy and comprehension than most Roman repre- 
sentatives. While the existence of Parthian sym- 
pathizers may date almost from the beginning of 
Parthian supremacy, their presence was very con- 
cretely manifested when Jannai's son, Aristobulus, 
appealed to Parthia as Hyrcanus had appealed to Rome. 
Indeed a Parthian army invaded and captured Pales- 
tine, and gave Aristobulus' son, Mattathiah-Antigonus, 
a brief lease of royal dignity. Every instance of dis- 
satisfaction with the Roman government was the occa- 
sion for the rise of Parthian sympathies. 

It may further be recalled that Parthia was the con- 
tinuation of Persia. Of all foreign dominations the 
Persian rule was the one most regretted by the Jews, 
and the Persian king's claim to reverence never died 
out in the regions once subject to him. We may remem- 
ber with what humility, some years later, Izates of 
Adiabene dismounted and walked on foot before the 
exiled Parthian king, although the latter had gone to 
him as a suppliant, and had been prostrate in the dust 
before him. The prestige of the Great King, diminished 
considerably to be sure, had still not completely faded.'' 

The one general term that covered all the Jews of 
various types was '' race of the Jews," gens Iiidaeoriim, 
yeVo? ^lov^aLoiv. It was meant to be a racial descriptive 
appellation, and was constantly combined with other 
adjectives denoting nationality or citizenship. The 
temptation to make an actual unit of any group that 
can be covered by a single term is well-nigh irresistible. 


and it is strengthened for us by the century-old asso- 
ciations that have made Palestine the embodiment of an 
ideal. Varying as the Jews of that time were in tem- 
perament, character, occupations, position, and mental 
endowments, the fate and vicissitudes of the mother- 
country, and particularly of the holy metropolis Jeru- 
salem, went home vividly to all of them, scattered as 
they were between the shores of the Caspian Sea and 
Spain. In this respect the gens ludaeorum was a real 
unit. Their hearts were turned to the Zion Hill. 

Not all Palestine, however, formed this mother- 
country. The mere fact that the Hasmoneans had 
brought a great deal of the surrounding territory under 
subjection, and made the boundaries of their power 
almost as extensive as those of David and Solomon, did 
not make a single country of their dominions. The 
real metropolis was Jerusalem and its supporting terri- 
tory of Judea. In this predominance of the city in post- 
Exilic Judaism, we may see either Greek influence or 
the continuance of the ancient city-state idea, as much a 
general characteristic of Eastern civilization as it is 
specifically of Greek. Not even undoubted Jewish 
descent, or loyalty to the Jewish Law, made of the 
adjacent lands an integral part of Judea. The Jews 
of Gaulonitis, Galilee, Ituraea, Peraea, Trachonitis, 
Idumaea, were, like the Jews of Rome, of Alexandria, 
or of Babylon, Jews of foreign nationality to inhab- 
itants of Jerusalem, although the association was nota- 
bly closer and the occasion of common performance of 
Jewish rites much more frequent than was the case with 
the more distant Jews. 







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The Idumean Herod had been confirmed by Rome 
in the sovereignty of a wide and miscellaneous territory, 
which included Greek cities, as well as these territorial 
units enumerated above. The favor he enjoyed granted 
him practically all the privileges that an independent 
sovereign could hold, except that of issuing gold coins/' 
Further, the authority was only for his life. The right 
of disposing of his dominions was no part of his power. 
His will was merely suggestive, and carried no weight 
beyond that. 

His favor in the eyes of the Romans was based upon 
his scarcely disguised Hellenic sympathies and his 
proven loyalty to his masters. The Parthian invasion 
of 40 B. c. E. and the existence of Parthian sympathizers 
made the maintenance of order in Palestine a matter of 
the highest importance. The significance of these 
Eastern marches for the stability and safety of Rome 
was even greater than those of the North along the 
Rhine, where also constant turbulence was to be feared, 
and eternal vigilance was demanded. In the East, how- 
ever, there was not merely a horde of plundering 
savages to be repelled, but the aggression of an ancient 
and civilized power, bearing a title to prestige compared 
with which that of Macedonian and Roman was of 
recent growth. And Parthian successes here immedi- 
ately jeopardized Egypt, already rapidly becoming the 
granary of the Empire. 

Quite in accordance with Roman policy, indeed with 
ancient policy in general, Augustus vastly preferred to 
have the peace of this region assured by means of a 
reliable native government than directly by Roman ad- 


ministration. The Romans did not covet responsibility. 
If a native prince was trustworthy, it was a matter of 
common sense to permit him to undertake the arduous 
duty of poHcing the country rather than assume it them- 
selves. The difficulty was to discover such a man or 
government. Experience and the suspiciousness that 
was almost a national trait convinced the Romans that 
only very few were to be trusted; and these not for long. 
In Herod, however, they seemed to have discovered a 
trustworthy instrument, and while it is not strictly true 
that the powers conferred upon him were of unex- 
ampled extent, they were undoubtedly unusual and 
amply justified the regal splendor Herod assumed. The 
readiness with which Herod's loyalty to Antony was 
pardoned demonstrated the clear perception on the part 
of Augustus of how admirably Herod could serve 
Roman purposes here. 

One of the motives that generally impelled Romans 
to permit native autonomy was no doubt to gain credit 
for generosity with their subjects. They might be for- 
given for supposing that Roman rule would be more 
acceptable if it came indirectly through the medium of 
a king that was himself of Jewish stock. The distinc- 
tion between Idumean and Jew proper would hardly 
be recognized by a Roman, although the distinction 
between the geographical entities of Idumaea and 
Judea was familiar enough. 

But the Romans likewise knew and consciously 
exploited Herod's unpopularity. Strabo states that 
the humiliating execution of Antigonus was intended 


to decrease the prestige of the latter and increase that 
of Herod." Josephus and the Talmud would be ample 
evidences themselves df the hatred and the bitter antag- 
onism with which Herod was regarded.'^ None the 
less it may well be that the unpopularity was largely 
personal, and produced by the violence and cruelties of 
which Herod was guilty. It appears so in Strabo's 
account. Idumean descent cannot have been the prin- 
cipal reproach directed against Herod by his subjects. 
On more than one occasion the Idumeans had evinced 
their attachment to the Jewish Law.^° Nor was Herod 
wholly without ardent supporters. In the cities which 
he had founded there were many men devoted to him. 
Even — or perhaps especially — among the priests, there 
was a distinctly Herodian faction.^' It is highly likely 
that hatred of Herod was especially strong in those who 
hated Rome as well, either through Parthian pro- 
clivities or because Rome seemed to present a danger 
to the maintenance of their institutions. And among 
these men were, it appears, most of those whose teach- 
ings have come down to us in the course of later 

To the Romans this devotion of the Palestinian Jews 
to their Law seemed an excessive and even reprehensi- 
ble thing. As we have seen, the Jews were qualified as 
stiperstitiosi, " superstitious " (above, p. 177). In gen- 
eral, to be sure, zeal for ancestral institutions was sup- 
ported by the Romans, and they were not particularly 
concerned that foreign institutions should resemble 
theirs. However, if there were any from which a 


breach of the peace was to be apprehended, they might 
be regarded as practices to be suppressed. 

, The Romans had shown for certain Jewish customs 

a very marked respect. The mtense Jewish repugnance 

to images was at first difficult for Romans to reahze, 

/ since they had been training themselves for generations 

to test the degree of civilization by the interest in the 

f^ I plastic arts. That there might be among barbarians no 
statues was natural enough : that the barbarians would 
^w refuse to take them when offered, was incomprehensi- 

^ ^ ble. But, hard thoug-h it was to realize, the Romans 

' ' quickly enough did realize it. The capital concession 
of issuing no Roman coins for Judea with anything 
but the traditional symbols on them, of carefully 
eliminating those which bore the emperor's effigy, 
undoubtedly showed their good-will in the matter.'^ 
And the fact may be noted that after the coins cele- 
brating the triumph of Vespasian and Titus, with the 
Latin and Greek legends TovSaia? 'EaAwKvta?^ Indaea 
capta, '' For the Conquest of Judea," no Roman coins 
with imperial effigies appear till the radical reorganiza- 
tion by Hadrian. That indicated clearly enough the 
extent to which the Romans were willing to respect 
what was to them a purely irrational prejudice. 

One other matter was easier for Romans to compre- 
hend, and that was the inviolable sanctity of certain 
things and places. It was a common enough conception 
that certain places were unapproachable to all but a few, 
aSura; and that certain things, like the Palladium, suf- 
fered profanation from the slightest touch. They sub- 


mitted accordingly with a good grace to exclusion from 
most of the temple precincts, and Nero^" readily gave 
his consent to the building of the wall that prevented 
Agrippa II from turning the temple ceremonies into a 
show for his courtiers. The punishment of a Roman 
soldier, who tore a scroll of the Pentateuch, is another 
case in point. The soldier may have been a Syrian 
enrolled from the section in which he served, and 
not properly a Roman at all. None the less an arbitrary 
and distinctly unsympathetic procurator felt his respon- 
sibility for threatened disorders keenly enough to make 
this drastic example.^*' 

Herod had kept order. He had done so with a high 
hand, and had met with frequent rebellions. Himself 
wholly inclined to complete Hellenization, he had made 
many efforts to conciliate his Jewish subjects. His 
lust for building he gratified only in the pagan cities 
subject to him. His coins bear no device except the 
inanimate objects and vegetable forms allowed by law 
and tradition. With cautious regard to certain openly 
expressed fears on the part of the Jews, he rebuilt the 
temple on a magnificent scale. He spoke of the Israel- 
ites as " our ancestors." ^^ As has been said, he did not 
wholly want adherents among priests and people. That 
he died as an embittered and vindictive despot, con- 
scious of being generally detested, and contriving 
fiendish plots to make his death deplored, is probable 
enough, and is amply explained by the domestic diffi- 
culties with which he had to contend all his life.'' 



In some cases at least, it was his zeal for orderly 
administration that caused friction with the people. 
His law sentencing burglars to foreign slavery is an 
instance (Jos. Ant. XVI. i. i ). In general, however, the 
mere suppression of more or less organized brigandage 
was a task that took all his attention, but this " brig- 
andage " was often a real attempt at revolution, in which 
popular teachers were suspected of being implicated, 
and every such suppression carried with it in its train a 
series of executions that did not increase the king's 

These ''robbers" or "brigands" were of different 
types. The distinction which Roman lawyers made 
between war proper, iustum helium, and brigandage, 
latrocinium, was in Syria and the surrounding regions 
rather quantitative than qualitative. So, after Herod's 
first defeat by the Arabians, " he engaged in robberies," 
TovvrevOev 6 [xev 'H/owS?^? XrjaTetaLs Ixp'^To (Jos. Ant. XV. 
V. I ) , which meant only that he made short incursions 
into the enemy's country, until he had the strength to 
attempt another pitched battle. So also of the Tracho- 
nitians (ibid. XVI. ix. 3). Every one of the expeditions 
in which the Hasmonean rulers had increased their 
dominions had been in the eyes of the Syrian historians 
'' robberies." Itureans and other Syrians had been 
guilty of them under the last Seleucids.^^ In the pro- 
logue to Pompeius Trogus' Thirty-ninth Book, as 
contained in Justin's epitome,^ we hear the conquests of 
John Hyrcanus and Alexander Jannai described as 
latrocinia. And again (xl. 2) we read that Pompey 


refused the petition of Antiochus, son of Cyzicenus, to 
be called king of Syria, on the ground that Antiochus 
had miserably shirked his responsibilities for eleven 
years, and he, Pompey, would not give him what he 
could not maintain, " lest he should again expose Syria 
to Jewish and Arabian brigands," ne rursus Syriam 
ludaeorum et Arahum latrociniis infestam reddat. 

Herod had kept these robbers in check, and had 
effectually fulfilled his tacit engagement to the populus 
Romanus. His death immediately removed the strong 
hand. His son Archelaus found an insurrection on 
his hands almost at once, which he suppressed with 
great bloodshed. The moment he left for Rome to 
maintain his claims to a part of this inheritance, the 
governor of Syria suppressed another revolt ; and hardly 
had he turned his back, when his procurator Sabinus 
found himself surrounded by a determined band of 
rebels recruited principally from Galilee, Idumaea, 
Jericho, and the trans-Jordan territory. In spite of a 
successful sortie by the Romans, Sabinus was nothing 
less than besieged in the Tower of Phasael. 

Innumerable (fjcvpcoi) disorders, Josephus tells us 
(Ant. XVII. X. 4), occurred at about the same time. 
Some two thousand of Herod's soldiers engaged, as 
was so often the case, in plunder on their own account. 
Sepphoris in Galilee was seized and plundered by Judah, 
son of the highwayman ( dpxtATyo-TTys ) Hezekiah, who 
made the neighboring country dangerous with his band 
of "madmen" (anovevorjiJievoi) . At Jericho Simon, a 
former slave of Herod, had himself proclaimed king 


and sacked the palace there. But more serious than 
these was the band of outlaws commanded by four 
brothers, of whom only Athronges is mentioned. These 
attacked both the local troops and even Roman detach- 
ments and were not suppressed till much later."^"" 

All these disorders required the presence of Varus '^ 
once more. He marched on Jerusalem at the head of 
an army, turning over the various towns on his route 
to be sacked by his Arabian allies, precisely as both 
British and French used their Indian allies during the 
colonial wars in America. 

The effect of such conditions in so critical a place as 
Judea, was to call Roman attention to the country to a 
much greater extent than was advantageous to the 
Jews. The region very naturally appeared to them as a 
turbulent and seditious section, much as Gaul did to 
Julius Caesar and largely for the same reason, the 
instinctive love of liberty and the presence of '' innova- 
tors," veo)Tepi(jTai, cupidi rerum novarum, restless and 
ambitious instigators of rebellion." The Jerusalem 
Jews are, to be sure, very eager to escape the reproach 
of disloyalty. The rebellion was the work of outsiders 
(eTrryAvSes), to wit, the Galileans and Gileadites above- 

Varus crucified two thousand men, and then dis- 
banded his auxiliary army. The latter, composed ob- 
viously of natives of the country, proceeded to plunder 
on their own account. Varus' prompt action brought 
them to terms. The officers were seized and sent to 
Rome, where, however, only the relatives of Herod, 
who had added impiety to treason, were punished. 


But the reproach of being a seditious people was 
resented by other Jews than those of Jerusalem. The 
Jews in Rome were largely descended from those who 
had left the country before even Antipater, Herod's 
father, had become powerful there. On them, of 
course, the house of Herod could make no claim, and 
for obvious reasons closer relations with Rome seemed 
to them eminently desirable. The Jewish embassy 
which Varus had permitted the Judeans to send — how 
selected and led we have no information — was joined 
by an immense deputation from the Roman synagogues. 
The substance of their plea was the petition that they 
be made an integral part of the province of Syria. '' For 
it will thus become evident whether they really are a 
seditious people, generally impatient of all forms of 
authority for any length of time " (Jos. Ant. XVH. ii. 
2; Wars, H. vi. 2). 

This plea, to be joined to Syria, is particularly signifi- 
cant if we remember that the motive of the Jews in 
sending the embassy was, in the words of the Wars (H. 
vi. i), to plead for the autonomy of their nation (cf. 
Ant. XVH. xi. i). We see strikingly confirmed the 
theory of the Roman provincial system, in which the 
proconsul or propraetor was only an official added to, 
but not superseding, the local authorities. 

The representative of Archelaus, Nicolaus of 
Damascus,^^ charged the former's accusers with ''rebel- 
lion and lust for sedition," with lack of that culture 
which consists in observance of right and law. Nicolaus 
had in view primarily the Jewish accusers of his 


employer, but no doubt made his remarks general. In 
the earlier version of the embassy, as it appears in the 
Wars (II. vi. 2), it is the whole nation that Nicolaus 
charges directly with " a natural lack of submission and 
loyalty to royal power." 

Augustus declined to continue the heterogeneous 
kingdom of Herod. A brief trial of Archelaus as 
ethnarch of Judea proper convinced him of the latter's 
worthlessness. The request of the Jewish envoys was 
now granted. Judea became a part of Syria — and the 
agent or procurator of the Syrian proconsul took up 
official residence at Caesarea. We find, however, that 
this step, which the Jews themselves had suggested, 
almost immediately provoked a serious rebellion in 
Galilee, led by one Judah of Gamala in Galilee and by 
a Pharisee named Zadok, who, if we may believe 
Josephus, were appreciably different from the various 
" robbers," Ar^orai, whom he had formerly enumerated, 
and, in his eyes, even more detestable than they were. 
They placed their opposition on the basis of a principle. 
This principle was that of the sinfulness of all mortal 
government and the consequent rejection of Roman 
authority as well. Accordingly they refused to pay 
tribute. These advocates of a pure theocracy had of 
course obvious Scriptural warrant for their position, 
but the relatively rapid spread of such a doctrine in 
the form of an actual programme of resistance can be 
accounted for only by the extremely unsettled state of 
the country and the still more unsettled state of men's 


That this Judah formed a fourth sect of the Jews 
m addition to the three, Pharisees, Sadducees, and 
Essenes, already in existence, as Josephus tells us, may 
not be quite true."*" Men of his type are scarcely 
founders of sects. But there can be no doubt that the 
doctrines which these zealots espoused were those which 
Josephus has described. The later history of Europe has 
abundant examples of such groups of fanatic warriors 
maintaining one of many current religious dogmas, 
especially in times of economic and political disorder. 
Of such incidents the Hussite bands of Ziska and the 
Anabaptist insurrection are examples. In this case 
the distress and uncertainty were largely spiritual. The 
economic conditions, while bad, had not become particu- 
larly worse. Indeed, if anything, more direct adminis- 
tration had somewhat lightened the burdens, by mak- 
ing them less arbitrary and by removing the heavy 
expense of a court and the need of footing the bill for 
Herod's building enterprises. 

Josephus regards the great rebellion of 68 c. e. as 
the direct consequence of this insurrection of Judah. 
He is therefore very bitter against this " fourth philo- 
sophic system," which spread among the younger men 
and brought the country to ruin. It is at least curious 
that in his earlier work, the Wars, in which the recollec- 
tion of Jewish disaster would be, one would suppose, 
vastly more vivid, he does not ascribe to this rebellion 
any such far-reaching effects (Wars, II. viii. i) ; nor 
is it in any degree likely that this insurrection was after 
all more than what it appears to be there, a sporadic 


outburst in that hotbed of unrest, the GaHlean hills, 
noteworthy only for the special zeal with which the 
theocratic principles were announced. 

No riots or disturbances are mentioned in Judea till 
the famous image-riots of the time of Pontius Pilate. 
However we may wish to discount the highly colored 
narrative preserved in Josephus, there can be no doubt 
that these riots did take place. It may even be that 
the representation of influential Jews induced the much 
desired concession on Pilate's part of removing the 
** images." But what these images were does not 
appear with any clearness from Josephus' account, and 
of course we are under no obligation to take literally 
the " five days and five nights " during which the 
ambassadors lay prostrate, with bare necks, at Pilate's 

Josephus speaks of the " images of Caesar which 
are called standards " (Wars, II. ix. 2 ; Ant. XVIII. iii. 
i). The Roman standards, signa, o-ry/xatat, often con- 
tained representations of the emperor. But these were 
in the form of medallions in flat relief, hung upon the 
standard. They would have been noticed only upon 
relatively close inspection. There were also statues in 
the camp. But it is quite unlikely that if the Roman 
provincial administrators were instructed to issue no 
coins with the imperial effigy, they would be allowed to 
carry into the city actual statues of the emperor. They 
may well have forgotten that the military standards 
would be themselves offensive, if they bore, as they 
always did, the representation of animal forms. All 



legions at this time carried the eagle, and most of them 
had other heraldic animals as well." 

Now it may be remembered that the chief legion 
permanently encamped in Syria, of which detachments 
must have accompanied Pilate upon his transference 
of the praetorium from Caesarea to Jerusalem, was the 
Tenth Legion, called Fretensis (Leg. X Fretensis), 
and that its standards were a bull and a pig.''' To the 
mass of the Jews the carrying, as though in triumph, of 
the gilded image of an unclean animal must have 
seemed nothing less than derision, and can easily 
explain the fury of the populace. 

Another of the Syrian legions, of which certain 
divisions may have been with Pilate, was the Third 
Gallic Legion (Leg. Ill Gallica). This legion, like the 
X Fretensis, bore a bull as a standard, which, while less 
stimulating to the mass of the population, must have 
seemed even more than the pig the emblem of idolatry 
to those who had the history of their people in mind.'' 

If this was the occasion of the disturbance, Pilate 
may well have been innocent of any provocative inten- 
tion. That can scarcely have been altogether the case 
in the riots provoked by the aqueducts. Pilate seized 
certain sacred funds for that purpose, and in this case 
no official, Roman or Greek, could have failed to under- 
stand the nature of the funds or the ofifense involved in 
using them for secular purposes. 

A certain significance is attached to the Samaritan 
episode mentioned by Josephus (Ant. XVIII. iv. i). It 
is one of the incidents that become more and more fre- 


quent. The promises of a plausible thaumaturg cause 
an enormous throng to gather. It does not appear that 
he had any other purpose than that of obtaining credit 
as a prophet or magician. But Pilate, as most Roman 
governors would no doubt have done, held the un- 
licensed assemblage of armed men to be sedition, and 
suppressed it as such. 

Shortly afterwards Palestine and the closely con- 
nected Egyptian communities were thrown into a 
frenzy of excitement by the widely advertised attempt 
of Gains to set up his statue in the temple at Jerusalem. 
The imperial legate at Antioch had no desire whatever 
to arouse a rebellion in which all the forces of religious 
hatred would be let loose upon him. He therefore tem- 
porized and postponed at his own imminent peril. In 
view of the constantly threatening attitude of Parthia, 
Petronius ^* may well have felt his responsibility with 
especial force. Only a few years before, an invasion 
on the part of the Parthian king Artabanus had been 
generally feared. Agrippa had even been accused of 
complicity with the Parthians."*^ The governor of Syria 
had every reason to hesitate to gratify the caprice of 
an obviously insane emperor at so great a risk to the 
state. Luckily for him, the assassination of Gains 
saved him from the consequences of his hesitation. 
His subsequent procedure against the people of Doris ^ 
indicated a lively comprehension on his part of the 
inflammable character of the people he had to govern 
and the particular importance to be attached to this 
question of images. 


To the Roman historian, the incident of Gains* 
attempted erection of his statue in the temple is only 
an illustration of the readiness with which this nation 
rebelled. Tacitus" treats the period between insur- 
rections as one of smouldering revolt. The incident 
of Gains precipitated an outbreak (Hist. v. 9), which 
his death calmed, and enabled the Jews to suppress 
their inclinations a few years longer. Duravit tamen 
patientia ludaeis, he tells us, usque ad Gessium Florum 
procuratorem, '' The submission of the Jews lasted 
till the procuratorship of Gessius Florus." 

The short reign of Herod's popular grandson. 
Agrippa, " the great king Agrippa, friend of Caesar 
and the Romans," as he calls himself on his coins and 
inscriptions,'^ rather confirmed Roman anxiety about 
the loyalty of their Jewish subjects than lightened it. 
It was by a complete adoption of Jewish customs — 
an adoption that can hardly have been sincere — that 
Agrippa secured and maintained his hold on their 
affections.^" His deference to the religious leaders of 
the people was unqualified. His dealing with the 
Pharisee Simon, who publicly challenged his right to 
enter the temple precincts at all, is an illustration.'^ The 
Pharisaic tradition of his reign as preserved in the 
Talmud is that he was a pious and scrupulously obser- 
vant Jew, painfully conscious that his Idumean origin 
made him half a stranger in Israel. 

But to Rome Agrippa's methods, in spite of their 
success, indicated only that no real progress had been 
made in the subjugation of Palestine. Rome was not 


without experience of lands difficult to subdue. Gaul, 
Belgium, Germany, Britain, were all lands where insur- 
rections might at any time be feared through the devo- 
tion of an influential minority to their ancestral customs. 
But in Palestine there was even less appreciable in- 
crease in Romanization or Hellenization of customs 
than in the countries mentioned. To an antiquary and 
scholar like the emperor Claudius there might be some- 
thing interesting and admirable in the maintenance of 
an historic culture, but to the Roman administrative 
official, accountable for the security of the East, there 
was little that was admirable about it. 

A quarrel between the Jews of Peraea and the 
neighboring city of Philadelphia may have had only 
local significance. And the Ptolemy executed by Fadus 
may have been only a common highwayman." But 
a very little later the success of a certain Theudas, an 
*' impostor,'' yo-q^ n? avy]p, Josephus calls him, in gaining 
adherents as a prophet is highly significant."^ This 
Theudas undertook to divide the Jordan, and pass 
across it with his followers. It is noteworthy that every 
such claim to miraculous power immediately elicited 
drastic action on the part of the Romans. Theudas' 
followers were cut down in a cavalry raid, and he him- 
self was captured and beheaded. Roman officials appre- 
hended danger chiefly from this source, and were par- 
ticularly on their guard against it. 

Such incidents as the riots provoked by individual 
soldiers cannot have been frequent. As has been said 
in one case, the Roman commander executed a soldier 


whose outrage had stirred up a revolt. But a garrison 
of foreign soldiers in a warlike country furnishes con- 
stant incentives to friction, which may at any time burst 
out into a general war. In Samaria and Galilee there 
were abundant pretexts for mutual attacks, the net 
result of which was that the land was full of brigand- 
age, which indicates that the Roman police here were 
strikingly ineffective. And in all cases the suspicion 
that attached to every armed leader was that his motives 
were treasonable as well as criminal. So Dortus of 
Lydda was accused by the Samaritans of directly 
preaching rebellion. 

Under Nero, says Josephus, the country went from 
bad to worse, and was filled with brigands and impos- 
tors.'^ How little it was possible to distinguish between 
these two classes appears from the fact that Josephus 
continually mentions them in couples. Those whom 
he calls Assassins, or Sicarii, can be placed in neither 
category. One thing is evident. Their apparently 
wanton murders must have had other incentives than 
pillage, for even Josephus does not charge them with 
that; they were obviously animated by a purpose that 
may be called either patriotism or fanatic zeal, depend- 
ing upon one's bias. That is shown plainly enough in 
a casual statement of Josephus that these brigands were 
attempting to foment by force a war on Rome, rov Syjfiov 
ci? Tov TT/oos PwjUatots TToXefjiov rjpiOit^ov, 

The usual ''prophet," in this case an unnamed Egyp- 
tian, appears with his promise to make the walls of 
Jerusalem fall at his command, and the usual attack 


of armed soldiers on a helpless group of unarmed 
fanatics. In the Wars, Josephus speaks of a great num- 
ber of these self-styled prophets (II. xiii. 4) : "Cheats 
and vagabonds caused rebellion and total subversion of 
society, under the pretense of being divinely inspired. 
They infected the common people with madness, and 
led them into the desert with the promise that God 
would there show them how to gain freedom." The 
procurator Felix took the customary measures of treat- 
ing these expeditions as open sedition and crushing 
them with all the power at his command — acts which 
can only have inflamed the prevailing disorders. 

The picture drawn by Josephus of the Judea of those 
days represents a condition nothing short of anarchy. 
Such a situation could have existed only under an 
incompetent Roman governor. Whether the procu- 
rator Gessius Florus was or was not quite the mon- 
ster he is depicted as being in the W^ars, he can 
scarcely have been an efficient administrator. It is 
very likely that the various acts of cruelty imputed to 
him by Josephus were examples of the intemperate 
violence of a weak man exasperated by his own failure 
to control the situation. However this may be, it cer- 
tainly was not the excesses of an individual governor 
that provoked the rebellion of 68 c. e., even if we accept 
Josephus' account of him in full, and assume him to 
have been a second and worse Verres. The outbreak 
of that year was the result of causes lying far deeper 
in the condition of the time and the character of the 

THE REVOLT OF 68 c. e. 

The Jews were not the only nation that fought with 
desperate fury against complete submergence in the 
floods of Roman dominance. The spread of the Roman 
arms had encountered, from the beginning, seemingly 
small obstacles that proved more serious checks than 
the greater ones. Thus, after the Second Punic War, 
when Rome was already in the ascendant in the world, 
the relatively fresh strength of a conquering people 
was all but exhausted in the attempt to subdue and 
render thoroughly Roman the mountain tribes of the 
Ligurians in the northern part of the peninsula.^ In 
later times, after Caesar's conquest, the subjugation 
of Belgium was a weary succession of revolts and 
massacres and punitive expeditions that stretched over 
several generations. Similarly in Numidia it was 
found that formal submission of the tribes that filled 
this region insured no permanence of control." 

In the last cases, however, the danger that was 
warded off seemed in Roman eyes to be remote. In the 
case of Judea the very existence of the eastern empire 
was threatened. On the other side of the Syrian desert 
there was a watchful and ready enemy, who might 
appear in force at any time and with whose arrival 
there might break out into open conflagration the 


smouldering disloyalty that still was present in the 
Asiatic provinces. 

The Jewish rebellion of 68 c. e. was not an isolated 
phenomenon. For the Jews it formed the beginning of 
a series of insurrections that did not end till the found- 
ing of Aelia Capitolina put a visible seal on the futility 
of all such attempts. To us the outcome seems so inevi- 
table that the heroism of the Zealots has stood for 
centuries as a striking example of unrestrained fanat- 
icism. To take a modern instance, if the single island 
of Cyprus were to attempt, by its unaided strength, 
to cast off the British rule, it would not seem to be 
engaged in a more completely forlorn enterprise than 
were the Jews who undertook to defy the power of the 
legions. And yet those who began and conducted the 
revolt were neither fools nor madmen, and the hopes 
that buoyed them must have been very real when they 
attempted the impossible. 

We must first of all remember that a foreign suze- 
rainty was not necessarily incompatible with Jewish 
theocratic ideals. Tradition had accustomed the Jews 
to Assyrian and Persian dominance, and their most 
sacred recollections contained ample warrant for those 
who would bear the rule of Caesar with complete 
equanimity. But it had been axiomatic that the rule of 
a foreign master was a divinely imposed penalty, a 
trial, a test of submission. At some time the period of 
trials would cease, and the normal condition of com- 
plete freedom from outside control under the sway of 
God would be restored. The Messianic hope made 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 289 

that situation more and more vividly present to the 
hearts of men. 

Nor did actual experience of recorded history make 
this possibility a vain dream. The vicissitudes of for- 
tune, the sudden rise of obscure nations to supremacy, 
and their quick destruction, were rhetorical common- 
places. The East knew abundant cases of the kind. 
Empires had risen and crumbled almost within the 
recollection of living men. That was particularly so 
after Alexander, when sudden glories and eclipses were 
too common to be noteworthy. 

And we must further reckon with the fact that a 
potent incentive was the living faith in an actual God, 
who could and did hurl the mighty from their seat. To 
these men the destruction of Sennacherib or the triumph 
of Gideon was no legend, but a real event, which might 
occur in their days as in the days of their fathers. The 
attempt, accordingly, to secure the independence of a 
small portion of the empire need not have seemed to 
the men that undertook it quite as insensate a proceed- 
ing as it does to us. 

Our most complete source for the period is dis- 
credited by the parti pris of the author, the disloyal 
Josephus. The Roman sources indicate that in the 
Jewish revolt there was nothing diiTerent from the 
revolts in other parts of the w^orld, revolts to which 
Romans were accustomed. There was no direct exter- 
nal provocation. There was no one event that seemed 
to account adequately for an outburst just then. But 
we find no indication that Romans felt it to be a strange 


or inexplicable fact for men to rise in order to recover 
their freedom. The imperial interests demanded that 
the hopelessness of such rising should be made ap- 
parent. It was therefore to the leaders of the com- 
munity, the aristocracy, that Romans looked to keep in 
check the ignorant multitude to whom the superiority 
of Romans in war or civilization might not at all be 

The contemptible young rake who, as Agrippa II, 
continued for some years the empty title of *' king of 
the Jews," was no doubt at one with the smug Josephus 
in his sincere conviction of the overwhelming might of 
the Romans and the folly of attacking it. We cannot 
sufficiently admire the successful way in which the king 
concealed his heartfelt pity for the sufferings of the 
Jews, *' since he wished to humble the exalted thoughts 
they were indulging," as Josephus naively tells us 
(Wars, II. xvi. 2). However, not mere truckling to the 
Romans, but sober conviction, would sufficiently account 
for the pro-Roman leanings of men like Agrippa and 
Josephus. The long speech put in the king's mouth 
{ihid. 11. xvi. 4) was perhaps never delivered, but it 
states the feeling of the pro-Roman party and of the 
Romans themselves eminently well. 

Both Josephus and Agrippa could hold no other view 
than that it was some single act or series of acts of the 
procurator Florus that animated the leaders of the 
revolt. It seemed to them a " small reason " for engag- 
ing in what was conceded even by the most hopeful to 
be a desperate and frightful war. The burden of the 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 291 

king's supposed speech, however, in which we are jus- 
tified in seeing the sentiment of the historian, is this : 
"Who and what are these Jews that they can refuse to 
submit to that nation to which all others have sub- 
mitted?"^ We find enumerated for us the extent and 
wealth of the Roman possessions with a fervor of 
patriotism that might have shamed many a Roman. 
" Are you richer than the Gauls, more powerful in 
body than the Germans, wiser than the Greeks, more 
numerous than all the inhabitants of the earth put 
together?" he asks, and enforces his question with a 
detailed account of the enormous numbers of people 
who in the several provinces are kept in check by a 
handful of legionaries. 

As an appeal to common sense, the speech, in spite of 
its obvious exaggerations, ought to have been success- 
ful. But what the Romans and the Romanized Jews 
chose to overlook was that common sense was scarcely 
a factor in producing the " exalted opinions " which 
Agrippa sought to abase. The glowing assurance of 
direct divine interposition was of course lacking to the 
speaker, and the wilder and more exuberant fancies 
that made the present time big with great upheavals and 
opened vistas of strange and sweeping changes, could 
not be answered by a statistical enumeration of the 
forces at the disposal of Romans and Jews respectively. 

In the previous chapter one fact has been frequently 
mentioned which Josephus states quite casually as an 
ordinary incident of the events he is describing. That 
fact is the readiness with which the Romans took 


alarm, not only at the armed '' brigands," who were 
really at all times in open revolt, but at anyone who, 
posing as preacher or prophet, gathered a crowd about 
him for thoroughly unwarlike purposes. We do not 
find elsewhere in the empire this quickness of animad- 
version on the part of the authorities to such acts. 
The Armenian Peregrinus was quite unmolested by the 
Roman officials when he undertook to perform before 
the eyes of the assembled crowd the miracle of Hercules 
on Mount Oeta." Nor is there any evidence, however 
large the multitude was that surrounded the itinerant 
magician elsewhere, that riot and subversion were 
apprehended from that fact. Yet when the Egyptian 
promised to divide the walls of Jerusalem (above, p. 
285), or Theudas to pass dryshod over the Jordan, or 
another man to discover the hidden treasures on the 
Gerizim (above, p. 284), a troop was sent at once to 
crush with bloody effectiveness an incipient rebellion. 
Obviously, in Judea, and not elsewhere, the assertion 
of divine inspiration carried with it a claim to certain 
political rights, or was deemed to do so, which was 
incompatible with Roman sovereignty. 

It is easy enough to understand what that claim was, 
and easy enough to understand why it does not stand 
forth more clearly in Josephus' narrative. The coming 
of the Messianic kingdom had been looked for by 
previous generations as well, but in the generation that 
preceded 68 c. e. it became more and more strongly 
believed to be immediately at hand and to demand 
from those who would share in it a more than passive 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 293 

We are not to suppose that every one of these impos- 
tors or thaumaturgs claimed Messianic rank. That it 
is not expressly stated by Josephus proves little, since 
he actively strove to suppress any indication that there 
were rebellious incentives among his people other than 
the brutal oppressions of Florus. But to claim to be 
Messiah was a serious matter both to the people and to 
the Roman officials, and we assume that these rather 
vulgar swindlers hardly dared to go so far. However, 
whether individuals did or did not make these pre- 
tensions, it is clear that during the reign of Nero the 
sense of an impending cataclysm was growing, and the 
most fondly held dreams of the Jews, which clustered 
about the Messianic idea, seemed to come near to 

Besides the cumulative force which the Jewish escha- 
tology and Messianic hope acquired by the mere tradi- 
tion from generation to generation, there was another 
and more general factor. The constitution established 
by Augustus might strive as it would to resemble with 
only slight modifications the republican forms it dis- 
placed. The East, for its part, had never been deceived 
into regarding it otherwise than a monarchy. And as 
such it was an unmistakable notch in the course of 
events. At a specific moment, whether it was Caesar's 
entry into Rome or Augustus' investiture with the prin- 
cipate, living men had seen and noted a page turned in 
the history of the world. 

In this new monarchical constitution, the weak point 
was the succession. The glamour of acknowledged 


divinity rested upon Julius Caesar and Augustus, and 
in their blood there seemed to be an assurance of title to 
the lordship of the world. What would happen if this 
blood should fail ? No machinery existed that would 
automatically indicate who the successor would be. 
Changes of dynasty, whether regular or violent, were 
of course no new thing to the East, but this was 
not the same. The Roman empire was unique. The 
imperator, or avroKparayp, was as new in conception 
as in title. Divinely established, the imperial dignity 
would be divinely maintained in those who by their 
origin could claim an unbroken chain of divine descent. 
He whom we know as Nero was on the monuments 
" Nero Claudius Caesar, son of the god Claudius and 
great-great-grandson of the god Augustus " ; and the 
last was at all times officially styled Divi Ulius, " son 
of the God."' 

But Nero's childlessness made it plain that the divine 
maintenance would be wanting. With Nero, the line of 
Augustus would become extinct. For Rome that pre- 
saged confusion and civil war. For the little stretch of 
country between the Lebanon and the River of Egypt, 
it loosed all the hopes and fears and expectations to 
which each generation had added a little, and which 
were to be realized in the dissolution that was hurrying 

Nor must we forget that the reign of Nero had been 
marked by frequent rebellions. Armenia had revolted 
and been subdued. At the other end of the Roman 
world, the Britons had risen in a bloody insurrection. 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 295 

And in the very midst of the Jewish war, the inevitable 
GalHc rebelHon broke out, ostensibly against Nero per- 
sonally, but doubtless impelled by motives of national 
feeling as well. Perhaps, if we had as detailed a narra- 
tive of the British, Armenian, and Gallic insurrections 
as we have of the Jewish, we should find many prelimi- 
nary conditions the same. Perhaps in those countries 
too " brigands " and " impostors " stirred the people to 
revolt by playing upon their sacred traditions and 
appealing to their hopes of a national restoration." 

One very curious circumstance is the association of 
this last emperor of the Julian house with the Jews 
generally and the Messiahship particularly. How far 
it is possible to discover the real Nero under the mass 
of slanderous gossip and poisonous rhetoric which 
Suetonius and Tacitus have heaped upon him, is not 
easy to determine, nor is it necessary to do so at this 
point. One thing may, however, be insisted upon. He 
courted and achieved a high degree of popularity. This 
is hinted at, not only in the fact noted in Suetonius 
(Nero, 37), that in a public prayer he ostentatiously 
referred only to himself and the people, and omitted 
any mention of the senate, but is expressly referred to 
in the same writer (ibid. 53) : Maxime autem popu- 
laritate eiferehatur, omnium aemtilus qui quoquo modo 
animum vulgi moverent, *' Above all, his chief desire 
was for popularity, and, to gain this, he imitated all who 
in any way had caught the fancy of the mob.'' To this 
may be added the confirmatory evidence of the lasting 
veneration felt for his memory by the populace {ibid. 


57) and the assumption of his name by Otho when 
the latter desired to court popular favor (Suetonius, 
Otho, 7); 

This favor among the masses in the city would of 
itself indicate a hold on the Oriental part of his sub- 
jects, which Nero's personal traits make especially 
likely. And of these Oriental or half-Oriental Romans 
a very considerable fraction were Jews. The all-power- 
ful Poppaea Sabina, Nero's mistress and afterwards his 
wife, is on good grounds believed to have been a semi- 
proselyte, a metuens.^ Josephus ascribes Nero's inter- 
ference to her influence when Agrippa II attempted to 
make a display of the temple ceremonies. It is also not 
unlikely that the change of attitude on the part of 
Josephus toward Nero was due to the general feeling of 
the Roman Jewry toward his memory — a feeling of 
which Josephus had no cognizance in writing the 
Wars, but which had come to his attention when the 
Antiquities was composed. In the Wars (IV. ix. 
2) we hear " how he abused his power and intrusted the 
control of affairs to unworthy freedmen, those wicked 
men, Nymphidius and Tigellinus.'^ In the Antiqui- 
ties (XX. viii. 3) we find a temperate paragraph warn- 
ing readers that the extant accounts of Nero are thor- 
oughly unreliable, especially the accounts of those '' who 
have impudently and senselessly lied about him." " 

That among the Roman populace there were some 
who believed that Nero was not dead, but still alive, and 
would return to be avenged upon his foes, is not strange. 
But it is particularly strange that in the extreme East 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 297 

the hereditary rivals of Rome, the Parthians, cherished 
his memory, so that their king Vologaesus expressly 
asked for recognition of that fact when he strove to 
renew his alliance with Rome. It was among the 
Parthians that the man who claimed to be Nero found 
enthusiastic support about ^'8i c. e. (Suet. Nero, 57). 
The Parthians seem to have been ready to invade the 
Roman empire to re-establish this " Nero " (Tac. Hist. 
I. ii. 6). That, it is true, happened long afterward ; but 
directly after Nero's death, in the very throes of the 
Jewish war, a similar belief spread like wildfire over 
Greece and Asia Minor, and a slave, by calling him- 
self Nero, secured temporary control of the island of 
Cythnus (Tac. Hist. I. ii. 8). 

One phrase of Suetonius is especially noteworthy. 
Long before Nero's death it had been prophesied that 
he would be deposed, and would return as lord of the 
East : Nonnulli, Suetonius goes on to say, nominatim 
regmim Hierosolymorum [spoponderant], ''Some as- 
sured him specifically that he would be king of Jeru- 

There is no direct confirmation in the Jewish sources 
of this association of Nero with a restored kingdom at 
Jerusalem. The very late Talmudic legend which states 
that Nero became a convert and was the ancestor of 
Rabbi Meir" must, of course, be disregarded. No 
notable heathen sovereign escaped conversion in the 
Jewish legends. To the Christians, Nero was Belial or 
Antichrist for reasons obvious enough, and the Sibylline 
verses which so represent him are probably of Chris- 


tian origin. But since the Messianic idea of the Jews 
was well-known throughout the Roman world (Suet. 
Vespasian, 4), the prediction made to Nero meant noth- 
ing less than that he was the promised Messiah, a con- 
ception startling enough, but perhaps less so to Nero's 
generation than to ours. 

It may further be possible to find an association 
between Nero and the Jews in the words that Philos- 
tratus " (Life of Apollonius, v. 33) puts in the mouth of 
the Alexandrian Euphrates. The Jews, Euphrates 
says, are the enemies of the human race almost as much 
as Nero, but it is the latter against whom Vespasian 
should direct his arms, not the former. 

Whether, however, it was Nero or someone else, 
the intense force of the Messianic idea of the time of 
the revolt is attested explicitly by Suetonius in the 
passage alluded to above. Percrebuerat Oriente toto 
vetus et constans opinio esse in fatis ut eo tempore 
ludaea profecti rerum potirentur, '' Throughout the 
length and breadth of the East there was current an 
old and unvarying belief to the effect that it was decreed 
by fate that supreme power would fall into the hands of 
men coming from Judea." If to Tacitus the insurrec- 
tion was merely the expected outbreak of a turbulent 
province, repressed with difficulty in previous genera- 
tions, and inevitable under all circumstances; if, to 
Josephus, the revolt was the foolish attempt of deluded 
but unfortunate men, driven mad by the oppressions of 
officials and led by selfish rascals, Suetonius, who 
retailed the gossip of the seven seas, had clearer insight 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 299 

when he referred the actual outbreak of hostilities to 
the general conviction that the result of the war would 
determine the fate of the empire. The Law would go 
out from Zion : ludaea profecti rerum potirentur. 

The war, which resulted in the fall of Jerusalem, 
was in the eyes of Josephus (Wars, Preface, §1) the 
greatest war in recorded history. The words he uses 
are very much like those of Livy when he is about to 
describe the Second Punic War (Livy, XXL i.), where, 
it must be admitted, the statement seems somewhat 
more fitting. The Roman historians naturally enough 
do not attach quite the same importance to a rebellion 
in a border province, however dangerous or desperate. 
But no one regarded it as an insignificant episode in 
the maintenance of the imperial frontier. There were 
many accounts of it, most of them written '' sophistic- 
ally '' (ibid. L i. i), i. e. with a definite purpose that 
was quite apart from that of presenting a true version 
of the facts. These men, we are told by the author, 
wrote from hate or for favor. They desired to flatter 
the Romans or to vent their spleen on the Jews. The 
accurate truth was, of course, to be found only in the 
austerely veridical account written by Josephus in 
Aramaic, and translated by him into Greek. 

It is, accordingly, strange that in the one narrative 
which we have from a source independent of Josephus, 
there should appear details which suggest that flattery 
of the Roman conqueror was not wholly absent from 
Josephus' own narrative. In the Roman History of 
Cassius Die (known principally by the Greek form of 


his name, Dion Cassius), who wrote about 225 c. e., we 
find a version of the siege of Jerusalem in which Titus 
is something less than a demi-god, and the Jews some- 
thing different from the wretched and besotted fanatics 
Josephus makes of them. Dio has little sympathy 
for the Jews in general, and finds their institutions 
repellent on the whole, but his account is simpler and 
actually more favorable to the Jews than the one pre- 
sented in the pages of the Wars. 

Such details as the wound received by Titus (Dio, 
Ixvi. 5), which Josephus omits or modifies (Wars, V. 
vi. 2), are of minor significance, although even they 
indicate the strain Josephus was put to in his attempt 
to make Titus move in the midst of dangers like a 
present divinity. But there are other matters that 
Josephus does not mention, e. g. the desertion of Roman 
soldiers to the Jews in the very midst of the siege, the 
awe of the Romans toward the temple, so that they had 
to be actually forced to enter upon the forbidden pre- 
cinct even when the building was in flames. But espe- 
cially it is the Asiatic Roman, and not the Jew, who lays 
stress upon the heroic pride which the Jews displayed 
in the moment of their utmost extremity. '' All believed 
it was not destruction, but victory, safety, happiness, to 
die with their temple " (Dio, Ixvi. 6). 

That the conquest of the capital seemed no usual 
triumph is evidenced by the closing words of Dio {ibid. 
7) and by the inscription which was carved on one 
of the arches erected to Titus. Several such arches 
were erected. One on the lower ridges of the Palatine, 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 301 

at the edge of the forum, contains the famous rehef of 
the triumph of Titus. The other was in the Circus 
Maximus, and of this we have only the copy of the 
inscription (C. I. L. vi. 944). It runs as follows:" 

The Senate and People of Rome have erected this arch to 
the first of their citizens, His Sacred Majesty, Titus Caesar 
Vespasian, son of the God Vespasian, High Priest, invested 
for the tenth time with tribunician power, hailed commander 
seventeen times, chosen consul eight times, Father of his 
Country, because, led by the guidance, wisdom, and divine 
favor of his father, he subdued the race of the Jews, and 
destroyed their city of Jerusalem, a city which all kings, com- 
manders, and nations before him have either attacked in vain, 
or left wholly unassailed. 

Dio notes that the title '' Judaicus " was not assumed 
by either Vespasian or Titus. The inscription just 
quoted makes it clear that their motive in doing so was 
not any desire to minimize the importance of their 
victory. Relatively less important triumphs over such 
people as the Adiabeni or Carpi resulted in the assump- 
tion of the titles of Adiabenicus or Carpicus. It has 
been urged with considerable plausibility" that the 
term '' Judaicus " would suggest to the general public a 
" convert to Judaism," and at a moment when the spread 
of Judaism was, if anything, greater and more success- 
ful than ever, despite the fall of the temple, that was 
an impression dangerous to convey, particularly since 
Titus was himself under a strong suspicion of Eastern 
procHvities (Suet. Titus, 5). As a matter of fact, 
■however, Dio's surprise is due to the conditions of his 
own time, when the emperors freely assumed these 


gentile cognomina. So Septimius Severus is Parthicus, 
Arabicus, Adiabenicus, Britannicus. In Vespasian's 
time that was distinctly not customary. None of his 
predecessors assumed these titles. The name Ger- 
nanicus, used by Gaius, Claudius, and Nero, is a hered- 
itary cognomen, and its assumption by Vitellius is due 
to a desire on the latter's part to associate himself with 
the memory of a name at all times endeared to the 

But that the conquest of Judea seemed at the time 
quite equal to those which justified the assumption of 
such honoring titles, may be seen in the epigram of 
Martial (ii. 2) : 

Creta dedit magnum, maius dedit Africa nomen 
Scipio quod victor quodque Metellus habet, 

Nobilius domito tribuit Germania Rheno, 
Et puer hoc dignus nomine, Caesar, eras. 

Prater Idumaeos meruit cum patre triumphos. 
Quae datur ex Chattis laurea, tota tua est. 

Crete granted a great name ; Africa, a greater ; the former 
to Metellus, the latter to Scipio. Even more renowned a title 
was derived from Germany and the conquered Rhine. That 
title, Caesar, your boyhood valor also earned. The Idumean 
triumph " you must share with your brother and father. The 
laurel wreath inscribed with the name of the Chatti — that is 
all your own. 

The destruction of the city and temple affected the 
imaginations of all men, Jew and non-Jew, very power- 
fully. A large number of the various apocryphal books 
are referred to this period, especially those which are 
filled with lamentations over the desolate condition of 
the former princess among provinces. But dramatic 

THE REVOLT OF 68 C. E. 303 

and affecting as it was, the destruction of the temple 
was not at the time the epochal event it seems to us now. 
It made only a slight change in the political condition 
even of Palestinian Jews, and even in the spiritual con- 
dition of the Jews at large it played seemingly a sub- 
ordinate part. 




The Jews in Rome at the time of Cicero formed, we 
have seen, an important and numerous class amidst the 
largely orientalized plebs of the city. With the other 
foreigners resident in the city they had a powerful 
patron in Caesar, as their grief at his death attested. 
Under his successor they found at least an indulgent, 
if somewhat contemptuous, toleration, which however 
was directed not toward them specially, but toward the 
other foreigners in the capital as well. And as we have 
seen, the religious reformation of Augustus, and his 
active disapproval of foreign cults, did not prevent the 
Jews from spreading rapidly in all classes of society. 

Under Tiberius we hear of a general expulsion of the 
Jews, as afterward under Claudius. " Expulsion of 
Jews " is a term with which later European history has 
made us familiar. In the case of such expulsions as the 
Jews suffered in England, France, Spain, and Portugal, 
we know that the term is literally exact. Practically all 
Jews were in the instances cited compelled to leave the 
country and settle elsewhere. The expulsion ordered 
by Tiberius was unquestionably wholly ineffective in 
practice, since there were many Jews in Rome shortly 
after, although we have no record that the decree was 


repealed. But it may be questioned whether even in 
theory it resembled the expulsions of later times. 
The facts are given fully by Suetonius (Tiberius, 


Externas caerimonias Aegyptios ludaicosque ritus com- 
pescuit, coactis qui superstitione ea tenebantur religiosas 
vestes cum instrumento omni comburere. ludacorum iuven- 
tutem per speciem sacramenti in provincias gravioris caeli 
distribuit: reliquos gentis eiusdem vel similia sectantes urbe 
summovit sub poena perpetuae servitutis nisi obtemperassent. 

He checked the spread of foreign rites, particularly the 
Egyptian and Jewish. He compelled those who followed the 
former superstition to burn their ritual vestments and all their 
religious utensils. The younger Jews he transferred to prov- 
inces of rigorous climate under the pretense of assigning them 
to military service. All the rest of that nation, and all who 
observed its rites, he ordered out of the city under the penalty 
of being permanently enslaved if they disobeyed. 

Undoubtedly the same incident is mentioned by Taci- 
tus in the Annals (ii. 85), where we hear that ''action 
was taken about the eradication of Egyptian and Jew- 
ish rites. A senatusconsultum was passed, which trans- 
ferred four thousand freedmen of military age who 
were affected by this superstition to Sardinia in order 

to crush brigandage there The rest were to 

leave Italy unless they abandoned their impious rites 
before a certain day.'' 

Between these two accounts there are discrepancies 
that cannot be cured by the simple process of amalga- 
mating the two, as has generally been done. These 
divergences will be treated in detail later. For the 
present it will be well to compare an independent 
account, that of Josephus, with the two. 


Josephus (Ant. XVIII. iii. 5) tells us of a Jew, *' a 
thoroughly wicked man," who was forced to flee from 
Judea for some crime, and with three worthy associates 
supported himself by swindling in Rome. This man 
persuaded Fulvia, a proselyte of high rank, the wife 
of a certain Saturninus, to send rich gifts to the temple. 
The presents so received were used by the four men 
for themselves. Upon the complaint of Saturninus, 
"Tiberius ordered all the Jews [-rrav To''lovhdiK6v] to be 
driven from Rome. The consuls enrolled four thou- 
sand of them, and sent them to the island of Sardinia. 
He punished very many who claimed that their ances- 
tral customs prevented them from serving." Apart 
from the incident which, Josephus says, occasioned the 
expulsion, we have a version here which is not quite in 
accord with the one either of Tacitus or of Suetonius. 

Of these men Josephus is probably the nearest in 
time to the events he is describing, but also the most 
remote in comprehension. Besides the story just told, 
Josephus tells another, in which it is a votary of Isis 
who is deceived, with the connivance of the priests of 
the Egyptian goddess. The two incidents which he 
relates are placed in juxtaposition rather than connec- 
tion by him, but the mere fact that they are told in this 
way indicates that a connection did exist in the source, 
written or oral, from which he derived them. Josephus 
does not mention that the Egyptian worship was 
attacked as well as the Jewish, and indeed he takes pains 
to suggest that the two incidents were not really con- 
nected at all 


From all these statements, and from the reference 
that Philo makes in the Legatio ad Gaium/ there is 
very little that we can gather with certainty. This 
much, however, seems established: an attempt was 
made to check the spread both of Judaism and of 
Isis-worship. In this attempt a certain number of 
Jews were expelled from the city or from Italy. Four 
thousand soldiers — actual or reputed Jews — were 
transferred to Sardinia for the same reason. There are 
certain difficulties, however, in the way of supposing 
that it really was a general expulsion of all Jews, as 
Josephus and Suetonius, but not Tacitus, say. 

Tacitus' omission to state it, if such a general expul- 
sion took place, is itself a difficulty ; but like every argu- 
menhim ex silentio, it scarcely permits a valid infer- 
ence. It seems strange, to be sure, that a severe and 
deserved punishment of the taeterrima gens, " that dis- 
gusting race," should be represented to be something 
much milder than really was the case. But Tacitus is 
neither here nor in other places taking pains to cite the 
decree accurately, and the omission of even a significant 
detail may be laid to inadvertence. 

But what Tacitus does say cannot be lightly passed 
over. Four thousand men, libertini generis, '*of the 
freedmen class," were transferred to Sardinia for mili- 
tary service. All these four thousand were ea super- 
stitione infecti, " tainted with this superstition." Now, 
the Jews who formed the community at Rome in the 
time of Cicero may have been largely freedmen, but 
their descendants were not classed as libertini generis. 


The phrase is not used in Latin of those who were of 
servile origin, but solely of those who were themselves 
emancipated slaves. There is, however, scarcely a pos- 
sibility that there could have been at Rome in 19 c. e. so 
large a body of Jewish freed slaves of military age. 
There had been no war in recent times from which these 
slaves could have been derived. We may assume there- 
fore that most, if not all, of these men were freedmen 
of other nationalities who were converts to Judaism. 

This is confirmed by the words ea superstitione 
infecti, " tainted with this superstition." These words 
are meaningless unless they refer to non-Jewish prose- 
lytes.^ Men who were born Jews could not be so char- 
acterized. If Tacitus had meant those who were Jews 
by birth, it is scarcely conceivable that he would have 
used a phrase that would suggest just the opposite. The 
words, further, imply that many of these four thou- 
sand were rather suspected of Jewish leanings than 
definitely proselytes. Perhaps they were residents of 
the districts largely inhabited by Jews, notably the 
Transtiberine region. 

Again, to suppose that all the Jews were banished by 
Tiberius involves an assumption as to that emperor's 
methods wholly at variance with what we know of him. 
A very large number of Jewish residents in Rome were 
Roman citizens (Philo, 569 M), and so far from being 
a meaningless distinction in the early empire, that term 
through the influence of the rising science of juris- 
prudence was, in fact, just beginning to have its mean- 
ing and implications defined. A wholesale expulsion of 


Roman citizens by either an administrative act or a 
senatusconsultum is unthinkable under Tiberius. Exile, 
in the form of relegation or expulsion, was a well- 
known penalty for crime after due trial and conviction, 
which in every instance would have to be individual. 
Even in the Tacitean caricature^ we find evidence of 
the strict legality with which Tiberius acted on all 
occasions. No senatusconsultum could have decreed a 
general banishment for all Jews, whether Roman citi- 
zens or not, without contravening the fundamental 
principles of the Roman law. 

How thoroughly confused the transmission of this 
incident had become in the accounts we possess, is 
indicated in the final sentence from Suetonius : '' He 
ordered them out of the city, under the penalty of being 
permanently enslaved if they disobeyed." The very 
term perpetua servitus, as though there were a limited 
slavery in Rome at the time, is an absurdity. It becomes 
still more so when we recall that slavery, except in the 
later form of compulsor}^ service in the mines and 
galleys, was not known as a penalty at Roman law. 
The state had no machinery for turning a freeman into 
a slave, except by his own will, and then it did so 
reluctantly. We shall be able to see what lies behind 
this confusion when we have considered one or two 
other matters. 

The alleged expulsion is not mentioned by Philo in 
the extant fragments. The allusion to some oppressive 
acts of Sejanus (In Flaccum, § i. ii. p. 517 M ; and Leg. 
ad Gaium, § 24. ii. p. 569 M) is not clear. But it is diffi- 


cult to understand the highly eulogistic references to 
Tiberius, then long dead, if a general Jewish expulsion 
had been ordered by that emperor. 

That the senatusconsultum in question was general, 
and was directed indiscriminately at all foreign re- 
ligions, appears not merely from the direct statement of 
Suetonius and Tacitus, and the association of the two 
stories by Josephus, but also from a reference of Seneca. 
In his philosophic essays, written in the form of letters 
to his friend Lucilius (io8, 22), he says: "I began 
[under the teaching of Sotion] to abstain from animal 

food You ask me when I ceased to abstain. 

My youth was passed during the first years of Tiberius 
Caesar's rule. At that time foreign rites were expelled ; 
but one of the proofs of adherence to such a supersti- 
tion was held to be the abstinence from the flesh of 
certain animals. At the request of my father, who did 
not fear malicious prosecution, but hated philosophy, I 
returned to my former habits." 

The words of Seneca, sacra movebantur, suggest the 

Twv Iv 'IraAta TrapaKLVrjdevTMV of Philo (loc. cit.), *' when 

there was a general agitation [against the Jews?] in 
Italy." It is further noticeable that the mathematici, i. e. 
the soothsayers, against whom the Roman laws were at 
all times severe, were also included in this decree.* 

It has been pointed out before (above, p. 242) that 
the observance of foreign religious rites was never for- 
bidden as such by Roman laws. From the first of the 
instances, the Bacchanalian persecution of 186 b. c. e., 
it was always some definite crime, immorality or impos- 


(From G 



ture, that was attacked and of which the rites mentioned 
were alleged to be the instruments. The ** expulsion " 
of the Isis-worshipers during the republic meant only 
that certain foreigners were summarily ordered to 
leave the city, something that the Lex Junia Penni in 
83 B. c. E. and the Lex Papia of 65 b. c. e. attempted to 
enforce, and which the Roman police might do at any 
time when they thought the public interest demanded 
it. Roman citizens practising these rites could never be 
proceeded against, unless they were guilty of one of the 
crimes these foreign practices were assumed to involve. 

The two stories cited by Josephus, one concerning an 
Isis-worshiper, the other a Jew, may not be true. 
Whether true or not, the incidents they record surely did 
not of themselves cause the expulsion of either group. 
But these are fair samples of the stories that were prob- 
ably told and believed in Rome, and similar incidents no 
doubt did occur. The association of the mathematici 
with the other two makes it probable that the senatus- 
consultum was directed against fraud, the getting of 
money under false pretenses, and that the Jewish, Isiac, 
and other rites, as well as astrology, were mentioned 
solely as types of devices to that end. 

What actually happened was no doubt that in Rome 
and in Italy overzealous officials undertook to treat the 
observance of foreign rites as conclusive or at least pre- 
sumptive evidence of guilt under this act. Perhaps, as 
Philo says, it was one of the instances of Sejanus' 
tyranny to do so. But there is no reason to doubt 
Philo's express testimony that Tiberius promptly 


checked this excess of zeal and enforced the decree as 

it was intended {loc. cit.) : w? ovk eTriTraVTas Trpo/Sdarfs t'^<s 
eVc^eAcvo'cw?, aAA.' cttI jxovovs Toy's airtous — oAiyot Se ijaav 

— KLvrjaai 8k fiijSkv e^ eOovs ; i. e. '' since the prosecution 
was not directed against all, but only against the guilty, 
who were very few. Otherwise there was to be no 
departure from the customary attitude." 

The transference of the four thousand recruits, 
libertini generis, to Sardinia undoubtedly took place, 
and was very likely the expression of alarm on the part 
of Sejanus or Tiberius at the spread of Judaism in 
Rome. It may well be that the removal of these men 
was caused rather by the desire to withdraw them from 
the range of proselytism than by the purpose of allow- 
ing them to die in the severe climate of Sardinia. There 
is as a matter of fact no evidence that Sardinia had a 
noticeably different climate from that of Italy. It was 
one of the granaries of the empire.^ 

Perhaps we may reconstitute the decree as follows: 
The penalty imposed was, for foreigners, expulsion ; 
for Roman citizens, perhaps exile ; for f reedmen, for- 
feiture of their newly acquired liberty in favor of their 
former masters or the latter's heirs. This last fact will 
explain the statement of Suetonius. Many of the 
people affected were no doubt freedmen, and several 
instances where such a penalty was actually inflicted 
would account quite adequately for the words perpetua 
servitus of Suetonius. The '' malicious prosecution," 
calumnia, which Seneca asserts his father did not fear, 
would be based, as against Roman citizens, on the viola- 


tion of this law against fraudulent practices, of which, 
as we have seen, the adoption of foreign rites would be 
taken as evidence. 

The personal relations between Gaius and the Jewish 
king Agrippa seemed to guarantee an era of especial 
prosperity for the Roman Jews. However, the entire 
principate of that indubitable paranoiac was filled with 
the agitation that attended his attempt to set up his 
statue at Jerusalem. His death, which Josephus 
describes in gratifyingly minute detail, brought per- 
manent relief on that point. 

It is during the reign of his successor Claudius 
that we hear of another expulsion : ludaeos impulsore 
Chresto adsidue tumultuantis Roma expulit (Suet. 
Claud. 25), "The Jews who engaged in constant 
riots by the machinations of a certain Chrestus, he 
expelled from Rome." It has constantly been stated 
that this refers to the agitation in the Roman Jewry 
which the preaching of Christianity aroused. For that, 
however, there is no sufficient evidence. Jesus, to be 
sure, is called Chrestus, Xprjaros, the Upright, in many 
Christian documents.^ This play upon words is practi- 
cally unavoidable. But Chrestus is a common name 
among all classes of society.^ Jews would be especially 
likely to bear it, since it was a fairly good rendering of 
such a frequently occurring name as Zadok. The riot in 
question was no doubt a real enough event, and the 
expulsion equally real, even if it did not quite imply all 
that seems to be contained in it. 


If it were a decree of general expulsion of all Jews, 
it would be strikingly at variance with the edicts in 
favor of the Jews which Claudius issued, and which 
are contained in Josephus (Ant. XIX. v.). As in the 
case of other documents cited here, there is no reason 
to question the substantial accuracy of their contents, 
although they are surely not verbatim transcriptions 
from the records. It is as clearly impossible in the case 
of Claudius as in that of Tiberius to suppose an 
arbitrary disregard of law on his part, so that a general 
ejection of all Jews from the city, including those who 
were Roman citizens, is not to be thought of. 

Neither Tacitus nor Josephus mentions the expulsion. 
The silence of neither is conclusive, but it lends strong 
probability to the assumption that the decree cannot 
have been so radical a measure as a. general expulsion 
of all Jews from the city would be. The passage from 
Suetonius is concerned wholly with acts of Claudius 
affecting foreigners — non-Romans, i. e. Lycians, 
Rhodians, Gauls, Germans — and if we keep in mind 
Suetonius' habits of composition, it is highly likely that 
he has put together here all that he found together in 
his source. We are to understand therefore by the 
ludaei of this passage only foreign Jews, which implies 
that the majority of the Jews were not affected by it 
at all. 

But were even all foreign Jews included? Is there 
anything in the passage that is not perfectly consistent 
with the assumption that some relatively small group of 
Jews led by a certain Chrestus was ejected from the 


city for disorderly conduct? The silence of the other 
writers, the total absence of effect on the growth of the 
Jewish population, would seem to make this after all the 
simplest meaning of Suetonius' words. 

The fact of the expulsion is confirmed by that pas- 
sage in the Acts of the Apostles in which the meeting 
of Paul and Aquila at Corinth is mentioned (Acts 
xviii. I, 2) : " [Paul] found a certain Jew born in 
Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, 
(because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to 
depart from Rome)." The testimony is late,* but it 
will be noticed that Aquila is an Asiatic by birth, and 
so very likely had no legal right of residence at Rome 
in any circumstances. 

Finally, expulsion " from Rome " may have meant 
only exclusion from the pomoerium, the sacral limit 
of the city that followed an imaginary line not at all 
coincident with its real walls. To escape from the oper- 
ation of the decree, it would merely have been necessary 
to cross the Tiber, where as a matter of fact the Jews 
generally lived, since the Transtiberine region was not 
included in the pomoerium. In general, expulsion from 
the city specified that the expelled person might not 
come within the first milestone, but in view of the diffi- 
culties presented by the assumption of a real expulsion, 
this supposition may also be considered. 

Mention has already been made of the special asso- 
ciation of Claudius' successor, Nero, with the Jews. 
The success that attended their efforts at propaganda 
during that emperor's reign is evidenced by the fact 


that Poppaea Sabina became a semi-proselyte. And 
during Nero's reign occurs an event of special im- 
portance to the Jews of Rome, the first Christian 

In the reign of Nero, possibly in that of Claudius, 
there was brought to the various Jewish congregations 
of the Roman world, seemingly not beyond that, 
the " good news," evayyiXtov, that a certain Jesus, of 
Nazareth in Galilee, was the long-promised Messiah. 
To most, perhaps, the facts cited of his life indicated 
only that he was one of the '' many swindlers," yorfTe<s 
avOpoiiToi, like those whom Felix captured and put to 
death (Jos. Ant. XX. viii. 5). But some beHeved. If 
we are to credit the Acts of the Apostles, this belief at 
once produced a bitter conflict between those who did 
so believe, afterwards called Christians, and those who 
did not.' But the Acts in the form in which it has come 
down to' us represents a recension of much later date, 
made when the enmity between Jew and Christian was 
real and indubitable. 

It may be that in certain places those Jews who 
accepted the evangel almost at once formed congrega- 
tions of their own, synagogues or ecclesiae (the terms 
are practically synonymous)," different from the syna- 
gogues of those who rejected it. But there were from 
the beginning differences of degree in its acceptance, 
and even in the existing recension of the Acts there is 
good evidence that its acceptance or rejection did not 
immediately and everywhere produce a schism. 


In the city of Rome a persecution of Christians, as 
distinct from Jews, took place under Nero. That fact 
is attested by both Suetonius and Tacitus and by the 
earliest of the Christian writers. Tertullian quotes the 
commentarii, the official records, for it. 

The record as it appears in Suetonius is character- 
istically different from that in Tacitus. In Suetonius 
we have a brief statement (Nero, 16): Afdicti sup- 
pliciis Christiani, genus hominiim superstitionis novae 
ac maleficae, " Punishment was inflicted upon the 
Christians, a class of men that maintained a new and 
harmful form of superstition." This statement is made 
as one item, apparently of minor importance, in the 
list of Nero's creditable actions, as Suetonius tells us 
later {ihid. 19) : Haec partim nulla reprehensione, 
partim etiam non mediocri laude digna, in unum con- 
tuli, "These acts, some of which are wholly blameless, 
while others deserve even considerable approbation, I 
have gathered together." Whether the punishment of 
the Christians is in the former or the latter class does 
not appear. 

In Tacitus, on the other hand, we have the famous 
account that Nero sought to divert from himself the 
suspicion of having set Rome on fire, by fastening it 
upon those '' whom the people hated for their wicked- 
ness, the so-called Christians" (Ann. xv. 44). These 
were torn by dogs, or crucified, or tied to stakes and 
burned in a coat of pitch to serve as lanterns to the 
bestially cruel emperor. The truth of these stories 
depends upon the reliability of Tacitus in general. They 


have been received with justifiable doubt, ever since the 
quite conscienceless methods of Tacitus' rhetorical style 
have been made evident. The last form of punishment, 
the tunica molesta, has made a particular impression on 
the ancient and modern world. It is referred to by 
Seneca, Juvenal, and Martial, but by none of them 
associated with the Christians. From the passage in 
Seneca (Epist. ad Lucil. xiv. 4) it is simply a standard 
form of cruelty, such as the rack, thumbscrew, and 
maiden of later times. The very fact that the courtier 
Seneca dares to mention it as a form of saevitia would 
indicate that it was not used by Seneca's master, Nero. 
But what is particularly striking is that Tertullian " in 
his Apology does not mention any cruelties, in the sense 
of savage tortures, inflicted upon the Christians. The 
context (Apologeticus, § 5) indicates that the punish- 
ment was banishment to some penal colony, relegatio, 
a punishment considered capital at law, but still dif- 
ferent from the tunica molesta. 

But a new element was introduced in the case of the 
Christians, which, except in the treatment of the Druidic 
brotherhoods among the Gauls, is unusual in Roman 
methods. It is scarcely possible to read the Apology of 
Tertullian without being convinced that the profession 
of Christianity was in and for itself an indictable offense 
at Roman law since the time of Nero, quite apart from 
the fantastic crimes of which the Christians were held 
to be guilty.'' Tertullian undoubtedly had legal train- 
ing, and his exposition of the logical absurdities into 
which the fact led Roman officials is convincing enough, 


but the fact remains. The nonien Christianum, " the 
profession of Christianity," was considered a form of 
maiestas, '' treason," and punished capitally. In effect 
this was an attempt to stamp out a religion, just as 
Claudius had sought to stamp out the Druids (Sue- 
tonius, Claud. 25). (Comp. above, p. 142.) 

When TertuUian wrote, perhaps even in the time of 
Tacitus and Suetonius, the gulf between Jew and 
Christian was wide and impassable. It can hardly 
have been so in Nero's time. The statement that Nero's 
measures were instigated by Jews is a later invention 
for which there is simply no evidence whatever.^^ The 
fact that the nomen Christianum was either actually 
considered treason or partook of the nature of treason, 
makes it probable that the Messianic idea, which was the 
very essence of the evangel, was the basis of the Roman 
statute. In Judea the special and drastic crushing of 
every '' impostor " has been spoken of, and its signifi- 
cance indicated (above, p. 292). The preaching of 
Christianity in Rome itself could only have seemed to 
Nero, or his advisers, an attempt at propagating, under 
the guise of religion, what had long been considered in 
the East simple sedition. While therefore the spread of 
Judaism, Isis-worship, Mithraism, was offensive, and 
attempts were made to check it, the spread of Chris- 
tianity was an increase in crime and was treated as such. 
Perhaps a partial analogy may be offered in the attitude 
of conservative Americans to doctrines they regard as 
mischievous, like Socialism, and to those which are 
directly criminal, like some forms of organized 


The elaborate scheme of salvation prepared by the 
Cilician Jew Paul " gradually gained almost general 
acceptance among Christians, although in the mother 
ecclesia at Jerusalem it found determined and obstinate 
resistance long after Paul's death/' The fundamental 
doctrine, that the Law was not necessarily the way of 
salvation for any but born Jews, and even for them was 
of doubtful efficacy, was the direct negation of the 
Pharisaic doctrine that through the Law there was 
effected immediate communion of man with God in 
this world and the next. 

As long as the Christians were merely a heretical 
Jewish sect, their fortunes affected the whole Jewish 
community. When their propaganda became, not a 
supplement to that of the Jews, but its rival, and soon 
its successful and triumphant rival, its history is wholly 
separated, and the measures that dealt with the Chris- 
tians and those that concerned the Jews were no longer 
in danger of being confused. To the Jews the success 
of the propaganda of Paul seemed to depend on the fact 
that he had abolished the long and severe ritual of initi- 
ation ; he had increased his numbers by decreasing the 
cost of admission. So we find, shortly after the destruc- 
tion of the temple, R. Nehemiah ben ha-Kannah assert- 
ing (Ab. iii. 6) that to discard the yoke of the Law was 
to assume the yoke of the kingdom and of the world ; 
i.e. so far from making the path to unworldliness easier, 
it laid insuperable obstacles in the way. The statement 
is applicable to Jews of lax observance, but it seems 
particularly applicable to the Pauline Christians, who 


had not merely lightened the load, but deliberately and 
ex professo wholly discarded it. 

Outside of the references that give us certain data 
about the external history of the Roman Jewish com- 
munity of the first century, we have other data of a 
wholly different sort, data that allow of a more intimate 
glimpse into its actual life. They are furnished us by 
the Roman satirists, whose literary labors have scarcely 
an analogue in our days. Satire itself was assumed to 
be a Roman genre." Whether or not it was of Roman 
invention, the miscellanies that have given us so many 
and such vivid pictures of ancient life are known to us 
wholly in Latin. It is safe to say that if satirists such 
as Horace, Persius, Juvenal, and Martial had not come 
down to us, ancient history would be a vastly bleaker 
province than it is. 

Of Horace and his representation of Jewish life we 
have already spoken. It will be remembered that the 
one aspect which earned for the Jews his none too 
respectful raillery was their eager proselytism. And it 
is excellent evidence of how important this proselytism 
was in the Jewish life of the time, that in the two 
generations that stretched from Nero to Nerva the 
same aspect is present to men of such diverse types as 
Persius and Juvenal. 

With Persius we enter a wholly different stratum of 
society from that of Horace and, as we shall later see, 
of Juvenal. Persius was by birth and breeding an 
aristocrat. He was descended from an ancient Etruscan 
house, and could boast, accordingly, of a nobility of 



lineage compared with which the Roman Valerii and 
Caecilii were the veriest mushrooms." But he was 
almost wholly devoid of the vices that often mark his 
class. An austere Stoic, his short life was dedicated to 
the severe discipline that his contemporary and fellow- 
Stoic Seneca found it easier to preach than to practise. 

Persius wrote little, and that little has all come down 
to us. His Latin, however, is so crabbed and difficult 
that he is easily the least read of Roman poets/* His 
productions are called Satires. They are less that than 
homilies, in which, of course, the virtues he inculcates 
are best illustrated by the vices he attacks. 

One of these vices is superstition. The mental con- 
dition that is terrified by vain and monstrous imagin- 
ings of ignorant men is set forth in the Fifth Satire:'^ 

But when the day of Herod comes and the lamps on the 
grimy sills, garlanded with violets, disgorge their unctuous 
smoke-clouds; when the tail of a tunny-fish fills its red dish 
and the white jar bursts with wine, you move your lips in silent 
dread and turn pale at the Sabbath of the circumcised. 

As a picture of Jewish life on the eve of the Sabbath, 
this passage is invaluable. We can readily imagine how 
the activities of a squalid suburb inhabited by a brawl- 
ing class of men, mostly of Oriental descent, must have 
impressed both the grandee and the Stoic. 

But the passage is cited here, not merely as a genre- 
picture, but more especially because it is again the 
phase of Jewish life, so often neglected in histories, 
that has brought the Jews to Persius' attention. The 
ordinary Roman, not saved from carnal weakness by 


Stoicism, is found to stand in particular dread of the 
strange and nameless God of the Jews, to whom he 
brings a reverence and awe that ought legitimately to 
be directed only to the gods of his ancestors. 

Persius wrote while the temple was still standing. In 
70 the temple was destroyed. A gaping mob saw the 
utensils of the inner shrine carried in triumph through 
the city, and could feast its eyes, if it chose, on the 
admirable portrayal of that procession, on the Arch of 
Titus near the Forum. It might be supposed that the 
God who in Roman eyes could not save His habitation 
from the flames, could hope for no adherents among 
His conquerors. But after the destruction of the temple, 
in the lifetime of the very men who cheered Titus when 
he returned from Palestine, we see the propaganda 
more vigorous, if anything, than before. 

It is in the pages of Juvenal that we find evidence of 
that fact, and here again we are confronted with a 
sharply outlined personality. Decimus Junius Juvenalis 
was born near Aquinum in Southern Italy, where the 
Italic stock had probably suffered less admixture with 
foreign elements than was the case at Rome. What his 
intellectual training was we can only conjecture from 
its results, the turgid but sonorous and often brilliant 
eloquence of his Satires. Whether they are true pic- 
tures of Roman life and society or not may be doubted. 
But they indubitably reflect his own soul. We see there 
a soured rate, a man embittered by his failure to receive 
the rewards due to his merits. In the capital of the 


world, the city where he, the man of undoubted Roman 
stock, should have found a career open before him, he 
discovered himself to be a stranger. He was no match 
for the nimble-witted Greeks that thronged every pro- 
fession and crawled into entrances too low to admit the 
scion of Cincinnatus and Fabricius. How much of this 
was the venom of defeated ambition, and how much 
was honest indignation at the indescribable meanness of 
the lives he depicted, we cannot now determine. 

Throughout all his work one note may be heard, the 
note of rage at a Rome where everything characteris- 
tically Roman was pushed into the background, a Rome 
in the hands of Greeks, Egyptians, and Jews. And in 
the case of the last it is particularly the danger noted by 
Strabo and Seneca,^" of an actual conquest of Rome by 
the Jewish faith, that rouses his savage indignation. 

The lines in which he states his feeling are well- 
known (Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 96 seq.) : 

Some whose lot it is to have a father that reveres the 
Sabbath, worship nothing but the clouds and the sky and think 
that the flesh of swine from which their father abstained is 
closely related to that of man. Soon they become circumcised. 
Trained to despise the laws of Rome they learn, maintain, and 
revere the Law of the Jews, which Moyses has transmitted in 
a mystic volume; — laws that forbid them to show the way to 
any but members of their cult, and bid them guide to a spring 
none but their circumcised brethren. 

We need be at no pains to correct Juvenal's estimate 
of Jewish beliefs or Jewish theology. As in the case of 
Persius, the interest of the passage lies in the fact that 
it gives additional testimony to the success with which 


the Jewish synagogues, despite official frowns and even 
repressive measures, despite the severe conditions they 
imposed upon initiates, were constantly gaining in 

Juvenal's other references to the Jews "' show us cer- 
tain unlovely aspects of their life. The hawkers and 
fortune-tellers whom he describes are certainly not the 
best representatives of the Roman community. It is no 
part of his purpose to give a complete picture of the 
community. But it is his purpose to denounce the 
degeneration which made the imperial city a disagree- 
able place for real Romans to sojourn in, and the Jewish 
peddler at the Grove of Egeria and the swindling hags 
who sell potent spells for cash give him the colors he 

One other writer must be mentioned. Martial. With 
him we are in the very heart of Grub Street. Marcus 
Valerius Martialis came from Spain to the capital. He 
had evidently no definite expectation of any career 
beyond that of a man of letters, and such a career 
involved at that time (as it continued to do until the 
nineteenth century) something of the life of a parasite. 
He had at least some of the characteristics of a parasite 
— a ready tongue, a strong stomach, and an easy 
conscience. But within his own field of poetry, the 
epigram, he was a real master. Subsequent centuries 
have rarely equaled the mordancy of his wit or the 
sting of his lampoon. At the foot of the banquet 
tables, jostled by hungry mountebanks and the very 
dregs of Roman society, he kept his mocking eyes open 


to the foibles of his host no less than to the disgustingly 
frank vices of his fellows. 

And Martial meets Jews on his way through the 
teeming city. But if Horace, Persius, and Juvenal have 
their eyes upon Romans that were being Judaized, 
Martial presents to us the counterpart, Jews that 
actually were, or sought to be, as Greek or Roman as 
possible. In speech it is likely that most Roman Jews 
(and Roman Christians as well) were Greek."" But 
Greek was almost as well understood at Rome as Latin, 
and perhaps even better understood among the masses. 
Two of his Epigrams (vii. 30, and xi. 94) make it clear 
enough that the Jew at Rome did not live aloof from 
his fellow-citizens, and wealthy Jews did not scruple 
to purchase in the market the gratifications they were 
especially enjoined by their faith to forego. We can 
readily believe that Martial is recounting real experi- 
ences, but these cases must have been exceptional. As 
we shall see later, the Jewish community was certainly 
not a licentious one. That point appears specifically 
from the controversial literature. But it is equally well 
to remember that as individuals they were subject to 
human passions, and the excesses found in other classes 
of society might also be met with among them. 

Grecized in speech and name, and no doubt in dress, 
the Jews accepted for their conduct the external forms 
and standards about them. One very interesting indica- 
tion of the completeness with which they identified 
themselves with the city in which they lived is the 
expression '' fatherland" that they used of it; e. g. m 


Akmonia (Ramsay, Cities and Bishops of Phrygia, no. 
561). Again, in Ostia a large and well-carved slab was 
recently found in which a decree of the Jews at Ostia 
was set forth. The corporation grants to its gerusiarch, 
Gains Julius Justus, a place for a sepulchre. The offi- 
cers are Livius, Dionysius, Antonius, and another man 
whose name is lost (Not. Scav. 1907, p. 479). Surely 
but for the unambiguous statement of the inscription 
itself one would not have looked for Jews in this assem- 
blage of Julii, Livi'i, and Antonii. 


In the generations that followed the fall of the temple, 
changes of great moment took place, which we can only 
partially follow from the sources at our disposal. 

The Mishnah gives in considerable detail the laws 
that governed the life of the Jew at this period, and 
also those that regulated the intercourse of Jew and 
non-Jew. But the Mishnah may after all have been 
the expression of an ideal as often as it was the record 
of real occurrences, and the range of its influence 
during the time of its compilation may have been more 
limited than its necessarily general phraseology indi- 
cates. The Mishnah of Rabbi Judah became the 
standard text-book in the Jewish academies of Pales- 
tine and Babylonia, although not to the total exclusion 
of other sources of Halakah. That did not occur at 
once; and even when it was complete, the authority of 
the presidents of the schools over the Jews resident 
throughout the world is more or less problematic. 

For that reason it is especially necessary to note the 
invaluable records of actual life that appear in the 
papyri and inscriptions, especially where they show that 
the intercourse between Jews and pagans was far from 
being as precisely limited as the Mishnah would compel 
us to suppose, and men who are at no pains to con- 


ceal their Jewish origin permitted themselves certain 
indulgences that would certainly not have met with the 
approval of the doctors at Jamnia and Tiberias. 

The tractate of the Mishnah which is called Aboda 
Zara, *' Idolatry " or " Foreign Worship," lays down 
the rules under which Jew and heathen may transact 
such business as common citizenship or residence made 
inevitable. The essential point throughout is that the 
Jew must not either directly or indirectly take part, or 
seem to take part, in the worship accorded the Abomina- 
tion. Nor are the seemingly trivial regulations despic- 
able for their anxious minuteness. In all probability 
they are decisions of actual cases, and derive their 
precision from that fact.^ 

Certain passages in Aboda Zara (ii. i) would un- 
questionably have made intercourse between Jew and 
pagan practically impossible except in public or semi- 
public places. But in the very same treatise it is implied 
that a pagan might be a guest at the Jew's table (v. 5) ; 
and indeed much of the detail of the entire tractate 
would be unnecessary if the provision contained in ii. i 
were literally followed out. 

The Epigrams of Martial (above, p. 326), if we 
believe them, indicate that so far from fleeing the 
society of pagans for its sexual vices, some Jews at 
least sought it for the sake of these vices, as was the 
case with the rival of the Syrian Greek Meleager, more 
than two centuries before Martial. But it will be 
noticed that the subject of the last Epigram (xi. 94) is a 
renegade, who swears strange oaths, and is taunted by 


Martial with what he is obviously trying to conceal. 
Besides, as to the particular vice there mentioned, it 
rests on the malice of the satirist alone. The victim 
of his wit denies his guilt. 

Indeed it is just this particular vice, so widely 
prevalent in the Greek and Roman world, that the 
Jewish antagonists of the pagans seized upon at all 
times. It unquestionably characterized continental 
Greece and Italy much more than the eastern portions 
of the empire. For the Jews it seemed to justify the 
application of the words " Sodom and Gomorrah," par- 
ticularly to the general city life of the Greeks. Some 
Jew or Christian scratched those names on a house wall 
of Pompeii.^ 

It is quite untrue to say that unnatural sexual excesses 
were so prevalent as to pass without comment among 
Greeks and Romans generally. However large they 
loom in the writings of extant poets, we may remember 
that poets are emotionally privileged people. The sober 
Roman and Greek did not find any legal or moral 
offense in illicit love, but unnatural lust was generally 
offensive from both points of view, and, however 
widely practised, it was at no time countenanced. Still, 
Jews and Christians would be justified in corhparing 
their own unmistakable and specific condemnations in 
this matter with the mere disapproval with which decent 
heathens regarded it. For the Greek legend that made 
the fate of Laius, father of Oedipus," a punishment of 
his crime in first bringing pederasty into the world, the 
Jews had the much more drastic punishment of Sodom ; 


and, in many passages of the Apocrypha, the fact of 
this vice's prevalence is dwelt upon as a characteristic 
difference between Jewish and gentile life." 

In many other matters there are evidences that not 
all the regulations of Aboda Zara were carried out 
by all Jews. In the Tosefta^ we meet the express 
prohibition of theatrical representations to the Jews, a 
prohibition which, in view of the fact that dramatic 
performances were at all times theoretically and actually 
festivals in honor of Dionysus, seems perfectly natural. 
But in spite of that, in the great theater at Miletus, 
some extremely desirable seats in the very front rows 
are inscribed tottos twv 'Etlovhaloiv </)tAocre/?ao-Twv^ " Re- 
served for His Imperial Majesty's most loyal Jews."** 
It will therefore not be safe to assume that the Halakic 
provision which forbade Jews to attend the theater 
actually meant that Jews as a class did not do so. 

But we find even stronger evidences of the fact that 
the amenities of social life in Greek cities seemed to 
some Jews to override the decisions of the law schools 
in Palestine.. In Asia Minor a Jew leaves money not 
merely for the usual purposes of maintaining his monu- 
ment, but also for the astounding purpose of actually 
assisting a heathen ceremonial.^ The instance is a late 
one, but perhaps more valuable for that reason, because 
the spread of the schools' influence increased constantly 
during the third century. 

At the fall of the temple the voluntary tax of the 
shekel or didrachm, which had formerly been paid to 
the temple at Jerusalem, and which was a vital factor 


in the very first instances of conflict between the Jews 
and the Roman authorities (comp. above, p. 226), was 
converted into an official tax for the support of the 
central sanctuary of the Roman state on the Capitoline 
Hill. Whether Roman citizens who were Jews paid it, 
does not appear. All others however did. The bureau 
that enforced it was known as the Hscus ludaicus, the 
word Rscus indicating here, as always, that the sums so 
collected were considered as belonging to the treasury 
of the reigning prince during the time of his reign, 
rather than to the public treasury. 

It does not seem that this tax, except for its destina- 
tion, was believed by the Jews to be an act of notable 
oppression, nor was its enforcement more inquisitorial 
than that of other taxes; but it became an especial 
weapon of blackmail in Rome and in all Italy, and this 
blackmail grew into dimensions so formidable that 
action had to be taken to suppress it. 

In Rome, we may remember, there was no officer at 
all resembling our public prosecutor or district-attorney. 
The prosecution of criminals was an individual task, 
whether of the person aggrieved or of a citizen acting 
from patriotic motives. Indeed it had at one time 
been considered a duty of the highest insistence, and 
innumerable Romans had won their first distinction in 
this way. The delators of the early empire were in 
theory no different, though the reward of their activity 
was not the glory or popularity achieved, but the sub- 
stantial one of a lump sum, or a share in the fine 
imposed, a practice still in vogue in our own juris- 


dictions. Plainly, under such circumstances, there were 
temptations to a form of blackmail which the Greeks 
knew as (TVKo<f)dvTeLa^ and the Romans as calumnia; i. e. 
the bringing of suits known to be unjustified, or with 
reckless disregard of their justification, for the purpose 
of sharing in some reward for doing this quasi-public 
service. Private prosecutors at Roman law were 
required to swear that they were not proceeding 
calumniae causa, " with blackmailing intent." * 

The opportunities presented to delators by the Hscus 
ludaicus consisted in the fact that anyone of Jewish 
origin, with the possible exception noted above, was 
liable to the tax, and that there must have been many 
who attempted to conceal their Jewish origin in order 
to evade it. In view of the wide extent of the spread 
of the Jewish propaganda, the delation was plausible 
from the beginning. Suetonius tells us at first-hand 
recollection of a case in which the charge of evading 
the tax was made and successfully established.^ In a 
very large number of cases, however, the charge was 
not established, but in these cases it was often appar- 
ently the policy of prudence to buy off the accuser rather 
than risk the uncertainties of a judicial decision. It is 
upon people who act in just such a way that black- 
mailers, crvKocj>dvTai, calumniatores, grew fat. And the 
charge of evading the Jewish tax was easily made, 
and disproved with difficulty, since all who followed 
Jewish customs were amenable to it, and many Jewish 
customs so closely resembled the practices of certain 
philosophic sects that confusion on the subject was per- 


fectly natural. We have seen this in the case of Seneca 
some years before this (comp. above, p. 310). 

The emperor Nerva, in 96-98 c. e., removed the 
occasion of this abuse. Coins are extant with the 
legend Fisci ludaici calumnia suhlata, '' To commem- 
orate the suppression of blackmail arising from the 
Jewish tax." The iiscus hidaicus itself continued into 
much later times, but blackmail by means of it was 
ended. How this was done we are not told. But an 
obvious and natural method would be to abolish the 
money reward which the delator or prosecuting witness 
received for every conviction. Plainly there would be 
no blackmail if there was no incentive thereto. 

But this reform of Nerva affected rather those who 
were not Jews than those who were, since in the case of 
actual Jews, whether by birth or conversion, the tax 
was enforceable and the accusation of evading it was 
not calumnia, but patriotic zeal. It is likely enough that 
the measure of Nerva discouraged prosecution, even 
where it was justified, but the losses which the imperial 
fiscus sustained by reason of the successful evasion of 
the tax on the part of some individuals cannot have 
been great, since the Jews not only publicly professed 
their faith, but openly and actively spread it. 

In the epitome of the sixty-eighth book of Cassius Dio 
(i. 2), we read that this measure of Nerva was one of 
general amnesty for the specific crime of " impiety," or 
acri/SeLa: '' Nerva ordered the acquittal of those on trial 
for impiety, and recalled those exiled for that crime. 
.... He permitted no one to bring charges of impiety 
or of Jewish method of living." 


Unfortunately this passage is extant only in the 
epitome made of this book by Xiphilinus, a Byzantine 
monk of the eleventh century. We have no means of 
knowing to what extent the epitomator is stating the 
impression he received from his reading, largely colored 
by his time and personality, and to what extent he 
is stating the actual substance of the book. If there 
really was in Rome an indictable offense which con- 
sisted in adopting Jewish customs as distinguished 
from the general charge of impiety, such an offense 
does not appear elsewhere in our records. We must 
remember that there is no indication that the men 
freed by Nerva had been suffering under the despotic 
caprice of Domitian, but on the contrary there is the 
specific statement that they were being duly prosecuted 
under recognized forms. 

It is highly likely that the two accusations which 
Xiphilinus gives are really one : that Nerva discouraged 
prosecutions for impiety, and that among the instances 
of men acquitted, which Dio gave, were some who were 
converts to Judaism, or believed to be so. In one 
instance, a constantly cited one, that is precisely what 
is the case, and that is the condemnation, in the last 
year of Domitian's reign, of Flavins Clemens and 
Flavia Domitilla, both of them kinsmen of the emperor." 

In the case of these, we hear that Clemens was 
executed for " atheism," and that under this charge 
many others who had lapsed into the customs of the 
Jews were condemned, some of them to death, others 
to loss of their property, Domitilla to exile. 


In Suetonius we have a wholly different version 
(Dom. 15). Flavins Clemens, we read, was a man 
contemptissimae inertiae, ''of thoroughly contemptible 
weakness of character," but enjoying till the very last 
year of Domitian's life the latter's especial favor. 
Clemens' two children were even designated for the 
succession. The emperor was, during this year, a prey 
to insane suspicions, which amounted to a real mania 
persecutoria, and on a sudden fit had Clemens executed. 
The context and general tone of the passage suggest 
that the charge, real or trumped up, against Clemens 
was one of treason, not impiety. 

Clemens' relationship, his undoubted connection with 
the palace conspiracy that ultimately resulted in the 
assassination of Domitian, make this account the more 
likely one, but the " many " mentioned in the epitome of 
Xiphilinus require us to assume that at least some of 
the men actually prosecuted for " impiety," or atheism, 
were so charged upon the evidence of Jewish practices. 

It has been stated, and it must be constantly re- 
iterated, that impiety was a negative offense, that it 
implied deliberate refusal to perform a religious act 
of legal obligation, rather than the actual doing of some 
other religious act. If ''impiety" were really the 
offense here, the "many" that were charged with it 
under Domitian and Nerva must have been so charged 
because they neglected certain ceremonies which the 
laws made obligatory. In Greek communities do-e/^eta 
was a relatively common offense, and indictment for it 
of frequent occurrence. But it is doubtful whether 


there was such an indictment at Roman law. There 
is no Latin term for aaejSeia, The word impietas is 
generally used in a different sense. The Greek Dio or 
his late Byzantine epitomator has evidently used that 
term here to describe in his own words what seemed to 
him to be the substance of the accusation rather than 
to give a technically exact account of the charge against 
these men. 

In later law writers certain offenses are discussed 
under which forms of impiety or dae/Seta might be 
included. But these offenses are treated either as 
sedition or as violations of the Sullan Lex Cornelia 
de Sicariis et Veneficis, " Statute of Assassins and 
Poisoners." The latter law seems to have been a 
general statute containing a varied assortment of pro- 
visions, but all of them relating to acts that tended to 
the bodily injury of anyone, whatever the motive or 
pretext of that injury." 

The '' many," then, who, as Xiphilinus says, were 
prosecuted for '' impiety," because they lapsed into Jew- 
ish rites, may have been indicted under the Lex Cornelia 
— no doubt as a pretext — or charged with treason upon 
proof of Jewish proclivities. The Palestinian Jews, 
we may remember, were until recently in arms against 
Rome. In all these cases, the indictments were prob- 
ably far-fetched pretexts devised by the morose and 
suspicious Domitian during his last year of veri- 
table terror in order to get rid of men whom he sus- 
pected (often justly) of plotting his assassination. 
These are the men whom Nerva's act of amnesty freed. 


The famous jurist Paul, who wrote in the first part 
of the third century, discusses the restrictions imposed 
upon the spread of Jewish rites, under the heading of 
''sedition" or "treason." The justification for that 
treatment Hes in the series of insurrections of the East- 
ern Jews of which the rebelHon of 68 c. e. was merely 
the beginning. Our sources for the events of these 
rebellions are remote and uncertain, and the transmis- 
sion is more than usually troubled ; but a chance frag- 
ment, as well as the kernel of the lurid account pre- 
sented by Xiphilinus' epitome of Dio, leaves no doubt 
that the struggle was carried on with memorable feroc- 
ity, and left a lasting impression on the people whom 
it concerned. 

If Dio is to be believed, the outbreak that took place 
in the reign of Trajan (115 c. e.) in Cyprus, Cyrene, 
and Egypt (Ep. Ixviii, 32) was marked by scenes of 
indescribable horror. In Cyrene, Dio states, the Jews 
devoured the flesh of their victims, clothed themselves 
in their skins, threw them to wild beasts, or compelled 
them to engage in gladiatorial combats. In Cyrene, two 
hundred and twenty thousand men perished ; in Cyprus, 
two hundred and forty thousand. One may say with 
Reinach, Les chiffres et les details de Dion inspirent la 

It will not be possible to assign the responsibility for 
these statements to the epitomator Xiphilinus. Unless 
they were found in Dio, he could not have ventured to 
place them here, since the epitome and the text were 
extant together for a long time. 


In the Church History of Eusebius (IV. ii.) the 
revolt is described somewhat differently. Eusebius 
mentions the Cyprian revolt in his Chronicon (ii. 164). 
Here however he speaks only of the insurrection in 
Cyrene and Egypt. The name of the leader is given as 
Lucua, not Andreas, as Dio has it, and the whole event 
is described as an ordinary revolt, a o-rao-t?, reviving the 
revolt of 68 c. e. At first the Jews were generally suc- 
cessful, driving their opponents to take refuge in the 
city of Alexandria, while they harried the land. At 
last the Roman prefect, Q. Marcius Turbo, crushed 
them completely. 

As far as Egypt is concerned, many papyri mention 
the revolt. Appian Arab. Liber (Eg. hist. gr. v. p. 65) 
gives us a first-hand view of the situation. 

Both the papyri and Appian are in complete accord- 
ance with Eusebius' account, and emphasize the extent 
of the Jewish insurrection and the impression it pro- 
duced upon others. 

In Jewish writings the references to what must have 
been a matter of prime importance to all Jews are vague 
and confused. The punishment of the Mesopotamian 
Jews by Lusius Quietus ^^ is mentioned, but beyond that 
we have only much later statements, in which a deal 
of legend-making has been imbedded. The *' day of 
Trajan," which appears as a festival day, is connected 
by a persistent tradition with the permission to rebuild 
the temple, alleged to have been given by that emperor. 
The Roman and Greek writers know nothing of this, 
and in Jewish tradition likewise the permission is repre- 


sented as abortive, and the "day of Trajan" ceased, 
according to another story, to be observed when the 
martyrs Papius and LolHanus were executed." 

However, it must be noted that for Palestine in 
particular details are lacking. Indeed we might well 
believe that Palestine itself took no part in it whatever. 
The expedition of Quietus to Mesopotamia may have 
been an ordinary military expedition against the Par- 
thians' territory, with whom the Romans had been then 
at war. There is evidence that the Jews of Parthia 
were almost autonomous, and a foray into the section 
which they happened to control would not be considered 
as anything more than an attack on other Parthian 
dominions. The Mesopotamian provinces of Parthia 
were then under the theoretical rule of Rome, but the 
precarious character of the conquest was apparent to 
everyone, so that the first act of the conqueror's suc- 
cessor, Hadrian, was to abandon both Mesopotamia and 
Armenia. The revolt of the Mesopotamian Jews was, 
in consequence, a somewhat different thing from that 
of the Jews in Cyprus or Cyrene. 

Perhaps the difficulties in Cyprus, Cyrene, and Egypt 
are to be considered nothing more than magnified race 
riots, which, however, assumed the dimensions of a 
real war, and demanded systematic military operations 
to suppress them. But the friction between the Jews 
and Greeks of Salamis or Alexandria could scarcely 
have resulted in such serious outbreaks, if the con- 
ditions that led to the revolt of 68 c. e. were not still 
operative. The fall of the temple did not paralyze the 


Jewish propaganda. We find it as vigorous afterward 
as before. The Messianic hopes, which were one form 
of the prevaiHng spiritual unrest, had not died out in 
the East among Jews or non-Jews." The calamity of 
the empire, which the death of Nero seemed to bring 
with it, did not after all take place. 

Our sources represent the era begun by Vespasian, 
except for a few years of Domitian's reign, as one of 
general and increasing felicity. These sources, how- 
ever, are in the highest degree suspect, and while the 
period between Vespasian and Marcus Aurelius repre- 
sents an undoubted rise in administrative and legal 
development, they represent a deterioration in the 
economic condition due to the gathering pressure of 
the huge state machinery itself. The increase of the 
more degraded forms of superstition marks the spiritual 
destitution of the time. 

The Jewish communities in Cyprus, Egypt, and 
Cyrene consisted largely of craftsmen and small mer- 
chants. Perhaps among them were a number of former 
Palestinian rebels, sold as slaves in the neighboring 
markets, and since ransomed. The conditions, the active 
Messianic hope, the presence of former soldiers, were 
themselves provocative of riot, and the outbreaks in the 
places indicated are scarcely surprising. We hear only 
of those that became formidable insurrections. It is 
possible that slighter ones have failed wholly to be 

But during the reign of Hadrian there broke out an 
unmistakable insurrection in Palestine, which more 


clearly than its predecessors showed the motive force of 
these movements. In 131 c. e. a certain Simeon bar 
Kosiba led his people again to war on the all-over- 
whelming power of the empire. The occasion for the 
revolt is variously given, but that it was in the eyes of 
those that fought in it vastly more than an attempt to 
shake off a foreign yoke is shown by the Messiahship 
to which Simeon openly laid claim, and for which he 
had the invaluable support of the head of the Pales- 
tinian schools, the eloquent and passionate Akiba." 

Dio^^ states that the immediate instigation of the 
revolt was the building on the ruins of Jerusalem the 
new city and temple that were to be the ofificial home of 
the colony of Aelia Capitolina, a community founded 
by Hadrian and composed perhaps of native Syrians, 
since it did not possess the ius Italicum, the full rights of 
citizenship/^ This statement is much more probable 
than that of Eusebius, which reverses the order of 
events, and makes the founding of the Colonia Aelia 
Capitolina a consequence and not the cause of the 

The rebellion of 68 had enormously depopulated 
Judea. Those that were left had neither the power nor 
the inclination to try conclusions with the legionaries 
again, and, as we have seen, remained passive when 
closely related communities rose in arms. But the 
hopes they nourished, no doubt systematically fostered 
by the powerful communities in Mesopotamia and the 
Parthian lords of the latter, were none the less real for 
their suppression. The erection of Aelia was the 


signal. Just as the desecration of the temple by 
Epiphanes was the last measure of oppression, which 
brought upon the king the vengeance of Heaven, 
so this second desecration, the dedication of the holy 
hill to one of the elillini, one of the Abominations of 
the heathen, roused the frenzy of the people that wit- 
nessed it to such a pitch that the chances of success 
could no longer be considered. At the same time, assur- 
ances of ultimate help from Parthia were perhaps not 
lacking. Among those who streamed to aid the rebel- 
lious Jews were doubtless many of Rome's hereditary 
enemies, since of other rebellions within the empire at 
that time we have no evidence. 

The Jewish tradition speaks of a systematic and 
cruel persecution instituted by Hadrian. The details 
mentioned are very much like the remembered incidents 
of the persecution by Epiphanes. We must keep in 
mind that every one of the statements connected with 
this persecution is late, and is in so far of dubious his- 
torical value.^" As a matter of fact the character of 
Hadrian makes the reality of the persecution in the 
highest degree improbable. No doubt the revolt was 
punished with ruthless severity, and for the per- 
manent prohibition against the entrance of a Jew into^ 
Aelia Capitolina there is excellent evidence ; ^ but to 
attempt to root out Judaism as Antiochus had done is 
something that simply cannot be credited to Hadrian, 
if only for the fact that the overwhelming majority of 
Jews did not dwell in Palestine at all, and all the alleged 
persecutions of Hadrian are localized only in Palestine. 


In Hadrian's letter of 134 c. e., to his brother-in-law 
Servianus, the Jews of Egypt are referred to in a man- 
ner quite irreconcilable with the theory that Judaism 
was then a proscribed religion.''^ 

In this connection we may mention a decree which, 
according to Jewish tradition, constituted one of the 
most deeply resented of Hadrian's persecutions — the 
prohibition of circumcision. Here again the late biog- 
rapher of Hadrian, Spartianus, makes this edict precede 
and not follow the war ; but the reliability of the His- 
toria Augusta, of which Spartianus' biography is part, 
is not very high. We have the Historia Augusta, if it 
is not wholly a fabrication of the fourth century, only 
in a recension of that time, so that its testimony on 
such a detail is practically valueless.^' 

As a matter of fact, all bodily mutilation had been 
under the ban of the Roman law, but that prohibition 
applied only to Roman citizens. In practice circum- 
cision had been openly carried on both by Jews who 
were Roman citizens and by their converts, in dis- 
regard of this provision, probably under the tacit 
assumption that the privileges of the Jewish corpora- 
tions covered this as well. Primarily the prohibition 
was directed against castration, but it was quite general. 
The only formulation which the edict against these 
practices had received was in the Sullan Lex Cornelia 
de Sicariis et Veneficis (above, p. 241). This was a lex 
per saturam, or miscellaneous statute. Under one of 
its captions, any act, perhaps any act performed with 
a weapon or instrument of any kind, that resulted in 


bodily injury, was prohibited. A senatorial decree of 
the year 83 c. e. specified castration as one of the 
mutilations referred to ; similarly abortion was punished 
as a violation of the Lex Cornelia/* 

Hadrian's rescripts seem to have dealt on several 
occasions with this law. His obvious intention to 
extend the statute may have caused him to use terms 
of general effect. Perhaps an isolated case of the prac- 
tice of circumcision among people outside of those to 
whom it was an ancient custom may have been fol- 
lowed by indictment and punishment. If Hadrian 
really had attempted to carry out this prohibition gener- 
ally, he would have provoked a rebellion in Egypt as 
well as in Judea, since in Egypt the priests practised it 
likewise."* The rescript of Antoninus, a few years later, 
which expressly exempted Jews from the broad con- 
demnation of the practice, simply restated established 
law.^ Indeed it may well be that the occasion of Pius' 
rescript was rather one that restricted the Jews than 
one that enlarged their privileges. Even in the case 
of the severest form of mutilation, it is forbidden if it is 
done promercii aut libidinis causa. A similar insistence 
on criminal intent must have been present in the case of 
the lesser mutilation involved in the Jewish rite. There 
could of course never have been any question that cir- 
cumcision was not performed promercii aut libidinis 
causa, and therefore there seems to be little reason for 
the rescript of Pius, unless we assume it to have been a 
direct attempt to check the spread of Judaism by mak- 
ing the performance of the rite in the case of non- 


Jews criminal per se, without proof of wrongful intent. 

Paul, writing about seventy-five years later, states 
the limitation on the performance of the rite even more 
broadly, by including within it slaves of non-Jewish 
origin.^ In all circumstances there does not seem to 
have been any real effort to enforce it. The Jewish 
propaganda went on in spite of it, not surreptitiously, as 
in the case of the still-proscribed Christians, but quite 
frankly. The statement of Paul is the stranger because 
of the open favor shown by Paul's master, the Syrian 
Severus Alexander, toward all foreign cults, including 
that of the Jews. The Sentences of Paul may have been 
written before the decree of the emperor which his 
biographer mentions, by which, he says, Severus 
strengthened the privileged position of the Jews, 
ludaeis privilegia reservavit. ^* When one contrasts 
this with the immediately following statement, Chris- 
tianas esse passus est, '' He allowed the Christians to 
profess their faith," it is plain that in the case of the 
Jews there is no question of mere toleration, but of 
the recognition of an established position, and that is 
not quite in accord with the statement in Paul's Sen- 
tences, according to which the spread of Judaism was 
rigorously checked, even to the extent of modifying one 
of the fundamental concepts of the law — the unlimited 
character of the master's dominion over his slaves. 

As has been said, the authenticity of the Historia 
Augusta is dubious, but the number of details offered 
to show the interest of both Alexander and his pre- 
decessor Elagabalus in Judaism and Christianity is too 


great to be ignored. The Sentences of Paul, it must be 
noted, have come down to us only in the abridged and 
perhaps interpolated form in which they are found in 
the Lex Romana Wisigothorum, a code issued by 
Alaric II in 506, and called therefore the Breviarium 
Alaricianum. At that time, however, proselytizing on 
the part of the Jews had been expressly prohibited by 
a rescript of Theodosius (Cod. Theod. 16, 8, 9, 19) of 
415. Even then it was completely ineffective, but at any 
rate the rite of circumcision was definitely under a 
legal ban."^ 

Whether or not a qualified restriction on the spread 
of Judaism has been changed in our texts of the Sen- 
tences into a general and all-embracing one, it is 
impossible to say, but that some such change has taken 
place may be called even likely, by reason of the point 
just raised; viz., that it is wholly contrary to the spirit 
and principles of the Roman law to impose any restric- 
tions whatever on the master's authority. 

We have examined the decrees that regulated the ' 
rite of circumcision, merely because general inferences 
have been drawn from it — inferences that are in no 1 
sense justified. The Roman law regarded bodily 
mutilation, when practised as part of a religious rite, 
and especially for sordid purposes, as against public 
policy. It was a privilegium of the Jew^s, that to the 
members of their organizations the general rule of the 
law did not apply, and the various statements quoted 
from the jurists were simply judicial decisions limiting, 


by a well-known principle of interpretation, the exercise 
of the privilege to the narrowest possible bounds. 

The rebellion of Bar-Kosiba was probably the last 
time that the Jews confronted the Roman troops on 
issues that were even partly national. We hear that 
between 150 and 161, under Antoninus Pius, another 
rebellion broke out, but we have no other record of it 
than the notices in the Historia Augusta,^'' upon which 
little reliance can be placed. After the death of 
Commodus and Pertinax,'^ the eastern empire, includ- 
ing Palestine, sided with the local claimant Pescennius 
Niger, and Palestine became the scene of battles suf- 
ficiently important to jiistify the decreeing of a "Jew- 
ish triumph " to Caracalla. It is likely that these 
various " rebellions " were the more or less serious 
insurrections of bandits, who terrorized the country- 
side until suppressed by the authorities. This view 
derives some support from the fact that of one of these 
bandits who submitted to Severus we know the name, 
Claudius (Dio Cass. Ep. Ixxv. 2). There is even no 
certainty as to whether those who took part in them 
were wholly or mainly Jews. At any rate, there were 
no national ends which they attempted to serve. 

A fact, which may be accidental, and is certainly 
noteworthy, is that, of all the struggles of the Jews with 
their surroundings, after 68, none are localized in Asia 

It was, however, in Asia Minor that the Jews were 
especially numerous and influential. To a certain extent 
their propaganda had become most firmly established 


there, and their position was so intrenched that even 
the hostile legislation of the later Byzantine emperors 
found them in successful resistance. We find evidences 
of certain laxity in the practice of Jewish rites, but 
neither in 68 nor under Trajan or Hadrian did the 
Asiatic Jews take part in the movements that con- 
vulsed that section of the Jews of the empire. And yet 
it was in the cities of Asia that the Jews in earlier days 
did meet hostility and direct attacks, and needed the 
assistance of the Roman central government, to be 
maintained in the position which they claimed for them- 
selves.^' However, in that most ancient and fertile 
nursery of beliefs and mysteries, the Jewish mystery 
evidently found a grateful soil and,- as we have seen, 
sent its roots deep.^^ 



The empire established by Augustus was, as has 
been set forth (above, p. 259), a more or less abstract 
thing. It was the imperium, or supreme authority, 
which a single community, the city-state of Rome, 
exercised over all the other communities existing 
within certain not over sharply defined geographic 
limits. This imperium was, by Roman statute or series 
of statutes, almost completely delegated to a single 
individual. The delegation however was not quite 
complete, and the legal theory that "made it incomplete 
remained to work no little mischief in a crisis like the 
death of Nero or Domitian or Commodus. 

When Diocletian reorganized the empire in 286 c. e., 
the theory was completely changed. The imperium was 
now a dominium ; it was the authority that a single man 
possessed over all the inhabitants of a region greater 
even than it was under Augustus, and that authority 
was in point of law as limitless as that of a master over 
his slaves. 

Between Augustus and Diocletian the reign of the 
Severan emperors, particularly the promulgation of 
the Edict of Caracalla, the Constitutio Antonina, which 
extended Roman citizenship to almost all the free 


inhabitants of the empire, may be considered the turn- 
ing-point of the tendency toward absolutism/ It broke 
finally and completely with the legal theory that the 
populus Romanus was a paramount community within 
a complex of other similar and inferior communities. 
From that time on nearly all those who could possess 
rights and obligations at all, whether in regard to one 
another or to the state, were members of the paramount 
community, and the delegation of the imperium to the 
prince ps, which had until then been subject to the 
remote but still conceivable possibility of revocation, 
became irrevocable by the sheer impossibility of con- 
ceiving the populus as acting in the only way the 
populus could legally act, by direct vote when assembled 
in mass in the Campus Martins. 

In the period between Caracalla and Diocletian the 
vast political machine snapped at many points. Dio- 
cletian's skill enabled it to go on for a considerable time, 
and yet the changes he instituted were administrative 
rather than social. Internally the new populus Romanus 
took its form in the third century. 

A calculation of doubtful value makes the population 
of the empire at that time about 85,000,000.'' Of these 
about half were slaves, i. e. at law not participants in 
the empire at all. The other half were nearly all cives 
Romani, Roman citizens, and it is the position of these 
cives that now concerns us. 

Upon the civis Romanus devolved the task of main- 
taining a frightfully expensive governmental machin- 
ery. The expense consisted in the fact that a huge 


army had to be maintained on what was practically a 
war footing all the time, because, as a matter of fact, 
war with the barbarians on the northern frontier and 
with the Parthians in the East was always going on. 
Compared with that, the expenses of the court itself, 
although considerable, were scarcely important ; but an 
important item was the vast horde of civil employees 
which the execution of so tremendous a budget neces- 
sitated. Then the local civic centers, generally the 
remains of old independent communities, had an organ- 
ization of their own that was partly ornamental, but 
in all circumstances costly. That is to say, a very large 
share of the available wealth of the empire was diverted 
into unproductive channels, since it was devoted to the 
purpose of maintaining a machinery not altogether 
necessary to guard that wealth. 

Many of the nations of modern Europe have a mili- 
tary budget relatively and absolutely greater than that 
of the Roman empire of the third century ; but in these 
nations the economic system has a high degree of 
efficiency, compared with that of the older state, and 
the waste is incalculably less. The great difference lies 
in the slave system, which was the foundation of ancient 
society. The total absence of individual incentive 
wherever the slaves were worked in gangs — and that 
was, perhaps, true of the majority of slaves — made the 
efficiency and consequent productivity of each laborer 
much less. 

We must further remember that human waste was 
also much greater, owing to the absence of all measures 


to restrict it. Only the most elementary of sanitary 
precautions existed, and they were directed against 
definite diseases of plainly infectious character. With 
a great percentage of the population undernourished, 
the ravages of any disease with epidemic tendencies 
must have been enormous. Even in the absence of any 
plague, such a scourge as consumption alone must have 
been much more generally destructive than it is now. 
As has been recently suggested, malaria in Italy had a 
heavy account to answer for in producing the physical 
debilitation of the populus Romanus, and was therefore 
a real factor in the gradual decay of the Roman state.^ 

The incidence of the state burdens was not regulated 
as it is at the present time. Taxes were imposed within 
certain districts, and upon each district devolved the 
duty of satisfying the impost. For a long time Italy 
had been free from such a burden, but even this excep- 
tional position was abrogated by Constantine in 300 
c. E. 

How each district accomplished its task was a local 
matter, and was determined by its individual develop- 
ment. Until the reorganization effected by Diocletian, 
the old national units had in the main been kept intact. 
That is to say, Egypt remained what it had been under 
the Ptolemies and for thousands of years before — a 
strongly centralized kingdom, rigidly bureaucratic, but 
measurably well organized. Asia, again, was a group 
of independent cities and certain larger districts, prin- 
cipally rural, the kingdoms of Bithynia, Cappadocia, 
Galatia, etc. The tax which the particular province had 



to deliver was apportioned among the various units 
according to their apparent capacity. Here and there a 
poll-tax existed, levied upon every inhabitant alike, and 
on the existence of this poll-tax far-reaching theories 
have been constructed. 

The obligation of the individual toward the state 
was determined by one fundamental fact, viz., domicile, 
or right of residence. Before the Constitutio Antonina 
there was only one class of inhabitants that possessed an 
almost unlimited right of residence, the cives Romani. 
But even these could not live indiscriminately in Egypt, 
for example, which was at all times an exceptional prov- 
ince, and was considered a sort of imperial appanage. 
As a matter of fact, it is in Egypt that we see the first 
development of the colonatiis, destined to be of so 
fundamental importance in the creation of the feudal 
system. It may be that the colonatits was found prac- 
tically everywhere in the Hellenistic states, but its 
growth in Egypt goes back to Pharaonic times, and its 
fullest expansion was found there. 

The principle of the colonatus was the permanent 
obligation of the agricultural free laborer to remain 
on the soil he tilled. Originally it applied only to the 
state lands, but in the third century these state lands 
became largely private property, and the serf-like 
coloni went with them. All over the empire there 
were still, in spite of the latifundia, or agriculture on 
a big scale, a large number of peasant proprietors; 
but with the impossibility of competing with the pro- 
duction of the latifundia, these peasant proprietorships 


were soon converted into holdings resembling the 
colonatus, or actually that. 

Now, as long as the civis Romanus, as a prerogative 
of his position, paid no tax, his right of residence was 
unqualified. When he too had to submit to a direct 
tax, the place where he resided became a matter of 
prime importance. The tax that was imposed upon any 
given locality could be met only if all those subject to 
tax, living there, paid their dues. Consequently those 
who by birth were domiciled there could not remove 
themselves without lessening to that extent the power 
of that district to meet its state obligations. At first, to 
be sure, this cannot have been a matter of first-rate 
importance. Changes of domicile after all were rare, 
and took place principally among the wealthier classes, 
a fact that made it easy to insure that no loss would 
accrue to the community abandoned. But as conditions 
of ordinary living deteriorated, the practice of deserting 
one's legal residence became more frequent, and needed 
the intervention of the central authorities, since the 
local magistrate had no jurisdiction whatever beyond 
the strictly circumscribed limits of his commune. As 
soon as it was possible for a commune to claim from 
its members, wherever they happened to be, their con- 
tribution to the communal tax, there arose the corollary 
that for all practical purposes the tax-paying member 
might not leave the place where his tax was due. The 
colonatus had been applied to the urban laborer. 

But the chaining of the individual to his commune 
was not sufficient unless his paying power was main- 


tained. The same motives that impelled men to evade 
their fiscal duties by change of domicile, would make 
them idle and sullen paupers in the places where they 
were forced to remain. It was a part of the state 
system which the Severan emperors introduced to make 
the paying power of the citizen certain by means of the 
compulsory guilds.* These latter were natural out- 
growths of former voluntary associations. The forma- 
tion of guilds of laborers, either free or consisting 
partly of freemen and slave laborers, was as old as 
the state itself. The evident superiority of training 
which such groups insured alone justified them. From 
time to time certain privileges and exemptions were 
conferred upon them — always in return for definite 
state functions ' which they took upon themselves as 
well as the industrial functions which were their reason 
for existence. Indeed, in the municipal towns the 
collegiati, or members of these publicly sanctioned 
industrial guilds, formed an order of citizenship second 
only to that of the decurions, or municipal senate. 

While the various collegia were at first voluntary 
associations, it is evident that the sons of members 
would tend to follow the callings of their fathers with- 
out statutory command to that effect. When, however, 
the dues of the corporation to the state became onerous, 
the voluntary choice of a calling might leave certain 
collegia quite deserted. At what time this danger , 
became so serious that special legislation was required, 
we do not know, but there is a vague and textually 
uncertain passage in the Life of Alexander Severus, in 


the Historia Augusta, which indicates that a reorgan- 
ization of the trade-guilds was undertaken by that 
emperor. If it was so, the appearance soon afterwards 
of the compulsory guild in full development makes it 
likely that the compulsory principle was officially recog- 
nized or perhaps extended then. 

But it was not merely the artisans of the empire that 
were included in any organization or reorganization of 
the collegia. Like all other corporate bodies the trade- 
guilds, if not wholly religious in form, possessed a com- 
mon cult or ceremony, and this common possession 
made it easy to consider them as not essentially different 
from collegia directly and solely religious — the Greek 
OtaaoL, for example. In these, the voluntary principle 
remained even after the compulsory guilds were fully 
developed, although in point of fact they were generally 
rigidly hereditary at all times. Here too, after Alex- 
ander Severus, there must have been a certain legal 
restriction placed upon arbitrary withdrawal from such 
cult-organizations, even if their ritual was openly and 
unmistakably foreign, such as that of the Jews, the 
orgies of Atthis, or the mysteries of Mithra. Some 
restriction would be necessary, because membership in 
these organizations, as far as they were tolerated by 
law, involved the payment of certain dues to the state, 
and the state could not see with equanimity the obliga- 
tion to pay these dues discarded and no new ones 
assumed in its place. 

The dues to the state did not consist altogether, and 
soon not even principally, in the actual taxes levied 


upon a community, and portioned among its constituent 
members, whether individuals or corporations. Indeed 
these latter were paid to what seems to us a wholly dis- 
proportionate extent by a small and wealthy class in the 
community. The taxes, whether they consisted of 
ground-rent for state lands, harbor-dues, or taxes on 
certain sales, were principally paid by the large traders 
and investors, who were in every case the governing 
body of the local communes. In provinces where a poll- 
tax was levied, and where a tribute was imposed as on 
conquered territory, which the province really was, 
these direct taxes, when brutally executed on the 
peasant's grain, were oppressive enough, but in many 
parts of the Roman world they were in effect Aa- 
rovpytai, " liturgies," i. e. the burdens assumed by or 
imposed upon private persons of making large contri- 
butions in service to the state in proportion to their 
means. The principle of the liturgy was common to 
most Greek states, and was capable of indefinite 

And there was one state burden rapidly increasing in 
gravity, which was generally met on the principle of the 
liturgy, although the state too, as early as the time of 
Trajan,* was compelled to attempt it in part. That was 
the care of incompetents, by which term we may under- 
stand all free individuals who could not support them- 
selves wholly by their personal efforts, i. e. widows and 
orphans, as well as destitute freemen. The proletariat 
of the empire not only had no share in its burdens, but 
itself formed the empire's chief economic burden. 


The organization of the system was of very old 
standing. From time immemorial the minor children 
and the women of a family and of a clan had been under 
the legal control and care of the family's head. In 
the developed system of law, the technical terms were 
tufela and cura, the former being the guardianship of 
a child until fourteen, the latter the guardianship of a 
youth until tw^enty-five, as well as the care of an adult 
incompetent. This system of guardianship was further 
extended, but always remained the same in principle. 
It was the duty of the family to provide for its destitute 
members, and the legal extension the system underwent 
was simply that of widening the family circle. Not 
merely close relatives but remoter kinsmen were drawn 
into it as far as the obligations of guardianship were 
concerned ; and in default of kinsmen, the guild, society, 
or commune assumed the wardship of minors, and was 
answerable for their maintenance. 

It is easy to understand how important this item of 
state service became, when we recall how large a part 
of the municipal budgets in England during many cen- 
turies was concerned with the care of the poor. But 
after the disintegration of the slave system on its 
economic side, the number of persons for whose care 
this provision had to be made must have been much 
greater than it was in England at any time. If nothing 
else, the minute care with which the burdens of ward- 
ship were apportioned, the precautions against their 
evasion, the great part its discussion played in legal 
literature,' will make it evident that wardship of minors 


was a vitally important matter, and its administration 
one of the chief functions of citizenship in the empire. 
Many groups of men were practically exempted from 
all other state dues, provided the guardianship of 
minors within that group was assumed. 

The maintenance of the poor is almost a corollary of 
the compulsory wardship of women and minors. The 
artisan whose efforts no longer sufficed to maintain his 
family often absconded, or in very many cases suc- 
cumbed physically to his tasks, leaving in either case a 
family for whose wardship his kinsmen or colleagues 
had to provide. The state foundations instituted and 
maintained by Trajan and his successors were probably 
abandoned during the third century, when the tutela 
was systematized and minutely regulated. 

All in all, every member of the state as such had cer- 
tain fiscal duties to the state, munera, and his perform- 
ance of these munera determined his place in the state. 
The social cleavage between the honestiores, the " better 
classes," and the humiliores, " the lower classes," was 
of very great importance in criminal law, since the 
severity of the penalty varied according to the class 
to which the convicted criminal belonged; but we are 
not told on what basis the judge determined whether 
any given man was honestior or humilior, and the whole 
distinction seems somewhat un-Roman.^ For other 
purposes the various honors and ranks which multiplied 
in spite of the sinking significance of the many con- 
stituent communities were much less important than 
the drastically enforced classification of citizens by the 
taxes they paid. 


The Jews of the Roman empire were to be found in 
all the classes that existed. As long as innumerable 
forms of local citizenship existed, distinct from citizen- 
ship in the Roman state, Jews might be met in all those 
groups. But when the Constitution of Caracalla merged 
all the local forms of citizenship in the civitas Romana, 
practically all the Jews then living in the empire 
became Roman citizens, although it is highly likely that 
the old names did not at once disappear. 

Only one exception is known to have been made by 
Caracalla. A certain class of inhabitants known as the 
dediticii were excluded from his general grant. To 
analyze the exact position of these dediticii would 
demand more detailed argument than can here be 
offered, especially since it is a highly controversial 
matter. Recently it has been urged that all those who 
paid a poll-tax, particularly in Egypt and Syria, were 
classed as dediticii and consequently excluded from 
Roman citizenship. For this, however, there is not the 
remotest evidence. In the Institutes of Gains ^ there 
is an unfortunate lacuna where the matter is discussed, 
but from what is said there, it is likely that as early as 
the Antonines the dediticii in Rome were a class of 
f reedmen suffering legal disabilities for proven offenses, 
and that there were few others. The exemption of the 
dediticii from the benefits of the Edict of Caracalla was 
therefore perfectly natural, and did not in the least 
imply the exemption of those who paid the poll-tax in 
Egypt and Syria, among whom were many Jews. 


As Roman citizens domiciled in the various quarters 
of the empire, the Jews were subjected to the obliga- 
tions that went with that domicile. So in Egypt a great 
number of Jews paid a poll-tax, although many of them, 
especially in Alexandria, were exempt. In Syria and 
Asia, where many communities still had tribute to pay, 
the Jewish members of those communities were equally 

But besides being legally domiciled in some definite 
place, the Jews in every place formed cult-organizations. 
Apostasy in the case of the Jew meant no more than the 
abandoning of this organization, " separating himself 
from the congregation." ^" Those who did so found 
themselves at once obliged to perform the rites of the 
state worship in the many cities where such rites were 
legally enforced, or to enter other cult-associations, 
since it was only as a member of the Jewish corporation 
that he secured the privilege of abstention. 

These Jewish corporations were known as " syna- 
gogues," a term more properly denoting the meetings of 
the societies. The word was used of other associations 
as well as of the Jewish. A word of kindred origin and 
meaning, synodos, was almost a general term for cor- 
poration everywhere." However " synagogue " became 
gradually appropriated by the Jewish collegia, and in 
inscriptions in which the word occurs it is generally 
safe to assume a Jewish origin. 

Like all other similar corporations or guilds, the 
Jewish synagogues had special munera. One which 
was almost unique was the Jewish tax, the fiscus 


ludaicus, or didrachm, which, since 70, had been levied 
on all the Jews, originally for the support of the Capi- 
toline temple, but probably long merged into the gen- 
eral fiscus, or imperial treasury. It is unique, because 
there does not seem to have been any other tax which, 
like this one, was wholly devoid of local basis, and did 
not depend on domicile at all. Otherwise membership 
in the Jewish synagogue conferred a highly valued and 
general exemption. The Jews could not be required to 
perform any task that violated their religious convic- 
tion. This privilege is formulated in a constitution of 
Caracalla, but it seems rather a confirmation of one 
already existing than a new grant." 

According to this privilege, Jews were immediately 
relieved from all dues connected with local or state 
worship or with the temples. As many Jews were in a 
financial position that would ordinarily invite the 
imposition of just these liturgies, that meant a very 
great relief. All other liturgies, including the tutela 
both of Jews and of non-Jews, we are expressly told 
the Jews were subject to. 

We know further that the demands upon them did 
not end there. In Palestine the organization of the 
Sanhedrin had maintained itself, although only in the 
form of several schools under the general presidency 
of the Nasi, whom Romans and Greeks called the 
Patriarch. The maintenance of these schools and those 
who labored in them was a religious duty which most 
Jews voluntarily assumed. The money was collected 
by apostoli, '' envoys," despatched to the various Jewish 


synagogues for that purpose/^ The early Christian 
emperors beHeved, or professed to beHeve, that the pay- 
ment of this tax was a grave burden to the poorer Jews, 
and that irregularities were committed in its enforce- 
ment. The Jewish sources, all of which are Palestinian, 
naturally show no trace of this complaint ; nor is it likely 
that there was much foundation for it except in certain 
localities already grievously burdened by constantly 
increasing dues. 

Besides these various classes into which the tax- 
paying Jewish citizens fell, there were also Jews who 
did not share in the support of the state at all. Jewish 
slaves existed in the third and fourth centuries too, but 
they can scarcely have been numerous. A Jewish slave 
belonging to a Jewish master was practically only a 
servant bound for a term of years." Within a relatively 
short space of time he could demand his freedom by 
Biblical law. If his master was a pagan, a religious 
duty devolved upon all other Jews, and particularly the 
local synagogue, to redeem him.*' Often, to be sure, 
that duty could not be carried out. Not every master 
would sell, and not every synagogue was financially able 
to supply the necessary funds. In general, however, it 
added another motive to those already existing that 
made emancipations frequent. 

The social position and occupations of the Jews 
throughout the empire are only slightly known. For 
Egypt and Rome we have fuller documents than else- 
where, except for Babylon, which was outside the 
empire. We have no means of determining whether 


the facts found in Egypt and Rome are in any way 
typical. One negative statement may however be safely 
made. They were only to a very slight extent mer- 
chants or money-lenders. In most cases they seem to 
have been artisans. The inscriptions in the Jewish cat- 
acombs show us weavers, tent-makers, dyers, butchers, _ 
painters, jewelers, physicians.^^ In Egypt we meet 
sailors and handicraftsmen of all description." Ven- 
dors, of course, on a small and large scale were not 
wholly lacking. Indeed it would be impossible to under- 
stand the individual prosperity of some Jews or of some 
communities except on the assumption of commercial 
occupations and success. However, in general, com- 
merce was principally in the hands of Syrians and 
Greeks, especially the former, whose customs and cults 
spread with them over the Mediterranean. 

We may say, in conclusion, that the economic and 
political position of the Jews in the empire was unique 
in one sense. There were no other groups that had 
exactly the same rights, or were subject to exactly the 
same demands as the Jews. But in another sense that 
position was not at all unique. Many other groups of 
men had rights somewhat like those of the Jewish syna- 
gogues, and played a part in the social economy similar 
to theirs ; and, as individuals, there was probably noth- 
ing to mark out the Jew from his fellows in the 

We cannot tell how far and how long the Jews would 
have been able to maintain their position. There seems 
however to have been nothing in the conditions of the 


Diocletianic empire that threatened the stabiHty of the 
synagogues in the form in which they were then found. 
The reHgious basis of the state — the maintenance of a 
common cult for the whole empire — had practically 
been abandoned. At one time, under Aurelian/* the 
emperor's devotion to the solar cult had almost made of 
that the state religion. But in general it may be said 
that the absolutism of Diocletian rendered such bonds 
unnecessary. Where all men were born subjects or 
slaves (''slaves of their duties," servi functionum, the 
guild-men are called explicitly ^^) of the same master, it 
could be considered indifferent whether they all main- 
tained the same theology. 

But whether the Jews might have maintained their 
position or not, if the conditions had remained the same, 
is a purely hypothetical question. When Christianity 
became the state religion, under Theodosius,^" a step 
was taken that Jews must perforce regard as retrogres- 
sive. In ancient times participation in the common 
sacra was of the essence of membership in a state."^^ 
That principle was, however, tolerantly enforced. In 
the first place the mere existence of private sacra was 
not deemed to imperil the public sacra. Secondly, 
exceptions and exemptions that did not take offensive 
forms were freely allowed. But when Theodosius 
established Christianity, he consciously strove to make 
the ecclesia coterminous with the empire. " As well 
could those be saved who were not in the ark with 
Noah," Cyprian ''^ had cried, " as they be saved who are 
not in the church." What was originally a group of 


elect, a company of saints (aytot), ''the salt of the 
earth," "" had been expanded into a world-filling 

Not only was the ancient theory revived, but it was 
revived without the qualifications that had made the 
ancient theory a livable one. No other sacra could be 
permitted to exist. Not to be in the ecclesia, was not 
to be in the empire. Only the practical impossibility of 
really enforcing that theory restrained the zealous and 
triumphant leaders. Of course, the development of 
law was continuous. The new basis of citizenship was 
never actually and formally received as a legal principle. 
Yet gradually the limitation of civic rights, which non- 
membership in the church involved, operated to work 
an exclusion from citizenship itself. In a very short 
time those who were not within the church were in a 
very real sense outside the state, merely tolerated 
sojourners, and subject to all the risks of that pre- 
carious condition. 


What has been attempted in the foregoing pages is 
an interpretation of certain facts of Jewish, Roman, 
and Greek history within a given period. For that 
purpose it has been necessary to analyze fully the terms 
used, and in many cases rather to clear away miscon- 
ceptions than to set forth new points of view. A brief 
retrospect is here added. 

The Jews, as one of the Mediterranean nations, began 
to come into close contact with Greek civilization about 
the time of Alexander. Greece was then entering on a 
new stage in her development. The Macedonian hege- 
mony produced a greater degree of political unity than 
had been previously achieved, but above all a real cul- 
tural unity had been created, and was carried by arms 
and commerce over the East. To this the Jews, as other 
nations did, opposed a vigorous resistance; and this 
resistance was successful in so far as it allowed the 
creation of a practically independent nation, and par- 
ticularly it stimulated the independent development of 
Jewish institutions, especially religious ones. 

In religion the Jews came into further and more 
extensive conflict with their Greek environment. For 
many centuries all the East had known a great spiritual 
unrest, from which had grown various religious move- 
ments. Of all these the common goal was the attain- 


ment of a personal immortality, the " salvation of the 
soul." Among the Jews too this movement had been 
active, and had produced concrete results in sects and 
doctrines. The Jewish aspect of this general movement 
would have remained a local development, had it not 
been given a wider field by the unusual position of the 
Jews, due to their dispersion. 

For this dispersion various causes can be assigned. 
Perhaps the most potent single cause was the fact that 
the Jews, who rigorously opposed exposure of infants, 
and encouraged in other ways the growth of their 
population, increased too rapidly for the very limited 
resources of their small and niggardly territory. At 
any rate the kingdoms of the successors of Alexander 
found Jews as colonists in many of the new foundations 
in Asia, Syria, and Egypt, especially the last, where, as 
a matter of fact, Jews had lived from pre-Persian times. 
Within these new and, in many cases, old communities 
the doctrines preached in Palestine became a means of 
propaganda, and enabled the Jews to do more than 
maintain themselves in the exceptional position which 
their highly specialized religion necessitated. 

The Jews were by no means the only religious group 
in the Greek communities with proselytizing tendencies. 
But they were unique in so far as they were per- 
manently connected with an existing national group, 
with which they maintained relations. This made fric- 
tion of some sort inevitable at first, since some com- 
munity of religious observances for all citizens of a 
single state was axiomatic for ancient times. How- 



ever, the anomaly of the Jewish position became less 
glaring in course of time. 

The first stage of Jewish influence is marked by two 
things, a constantly increasing dispersion and an equally 
increasing propaganda that reached all stages of society. 

The advance of the power of Rome at first did not 
change these conditions. In fact that advance mate- 
rially assisted both the dispersion and its propaganda, 
since the support of Rome was an invaluable asset 
for the Hasmonean kingdom. Even the conquest by 
Pompey had no other effect than to accelerate the indi- 
cated development, especially within Italy and Rome 

But the relations of the Jews with the Greco-Roman 
world entered upon a second stage, the stage of armed 
conflict, when the national and religious aspirations 
of certain classes of Jews, which culminated in the 
Messianic hope, came into contact with the denational- 
izing tendencies of the imperial system. This conflict 
was in no sense inevitable, and might easily have been 
avoided. In addition to the internal movements that pro- 
voked the series of rebellions between 68 and 135, there 
was a constant excitation from without. The hered- 
itary enemies of the Greek East and its successor, the 
Roman Empire — the Persians and their kinsmen and 
successors, the Parthians — maintained not only their 
independence but also their hostility, and the fact that 
the Jews lived in both empires, and that Parthian Jews 
communicated freely with the others, presented a chan- 
nel for foreign stimulation to revolt. 


The third stage of Jewish relations consists of an 
adjustment of the Jews to the rapidly centralizing 
empire, of which the administrative center was moving 
eastward. The center of wealth and culture had always 
been in the East. The reforms of Hadrian and his suc- 
cessors prepared the way for the formal recognition of 
the new state of things in the Constitutio Antonina, 
the Edict of Caracalla, which gave Roman citizenship 
to almost all the freedmen of the empire. This is the 
great period of Roman law, when, in consequence of 
the enormously extended application of the civil law, a 
great impetus was given to the scientific analysis and 
application of juristic principles. Out of this grew the 
bureaucratic system perfected by Diocletian, and begun 
perhaps by Alexander Severus, in which, as told in the 
last chapter, the attempt was made to classify every 
form of human activity in its relation to the state. 

A new stage of Jewish relations begins with the 
dominance of Christianity ; and that, as was stated at 
the beginning of this study, lies outside of its scope. 


pp. I5-20J 


*To what extent the Jews of the present day or those of 
earlier times may be considered racially pure, depends upon 
what criteria of race are adopted. At present there is no 
general agreement among ethnologists on this subject. The 
historical data are very uncertain. At all events absolute 
racial unity of the Jews of the Dispersion cannot be main- 
tained. The facts of their vigorous propaganda and their 
extensive slave-property are too well attested. But it is wholly 
impossible to determine how far the admixture went. 

'The best edition of Philo is the still unfinished one which 
is being prepared by two German scholars, Wendland and 
Cohen. In this the Apologia has not yet appeared. Earlier 
editions are those of Mangey (1742) and Holtze (1851). 

Philo's works were translated into English by C. D. Yonge 
(Bohn's Library, London, 1854). 

' In Greek the two commonest editions of Josephus' works 
are those of Niese (1887-1895) and of Naber (1896). Neither 
completely satisfies all the demands that may be made for the 
adequate presentation of the text. 

The old English translation of W. Whiston, so widely cir- 
culated both in England and America, is very inaccurate. The 
revision of this translation by A. R. Shilleto (1889-1890) has 
only slightly improved it. 

*The references to the Jews in the inscriptions and papyri 
have not, as yet, been collected. Mr. Seymour de Ricci planned 
a collection of the Greek and Latin inscriptions to be called 
Corpus Inscriptionum Judaicarum. This Corpus was, at least 
partly, in manuscript form in 1912, but no part has been pub- 
lished. Mr. de Ricci's article on " Inscriptions " in the Jewish 
Encyclopedia, and Johannes Oehler, Epigraphische Beitrage 
zur Geschichte des Judentums (Monatsschrift f. Gesch. u. 
Wiss. d. Jud. 1909, xvii. 292-302, 443-452, 524-538) give a 
practically complete collection. 


374 NOTES [pp. 22-28 

Chapter I 

* It is nowhere directly stated that the power of a god did 
not extend beyond a definite locality. But the numerous local 
epithets applied to the various gods indicate it. We need 
mention only such typical references to the deoi e^x^P'-^'^ as 
Aesch. Septem. 14, Soph. Trach. 183, and Thuc. ii. 74. 

■ Cf . Dionysus in the " Frogs " of Aristophanes, Herakles 
and Poseidon in the " Birds." The other comic poets, even 
Epicharmus, the oldest, dealt with even greater freedom with 
the gods. Even the scanty fragments of Cratinus and Amphis 
indicate that fact. In Sicily, an entire dramatic genre, that of 
the <l>Xua/ces, contained practically nothing but situations in 
which the divine personages of the myths were the subjects 
of the coarsest fun. 

' Such heroic friendships as that of Achilles and Patroclus 
were perverted early in the imagination of Greeks. Cf. 
Aeschylus, in Athen. xiii. 601 A, and Aeschines, i. 142. So also 
the story of Apollo and Admetus became a love story for 
Alexandria ; Callimachus H. ii. 49. 

* The subject has been discussed in full by de Visser, De 
Graecorum deis non referentibus speciem humanam (Leyden, 
1900;) 2d ed. in German, 1903. So at Phigaleia, in Arcadia, 
Demeter had the form of a horse ; the Brauronian Artemis 
was a bear ; Apollo Lykeios was sometimes adored in the form 
of a wolf. 

^ Aegean and Mycenean are both used to designate the 
civilization that preceded that of historical Greece. Aegean, 
however, has, to a large extent, superseded the older term. 
For the specifically Cretan form of it, Minoan is generally 

* In spite of the apparently well-defined personalities of the 
Homeric gods and a poetic tradition of many centuries, the 
sculptors of later times found it necessary to indicate the 
subject of their labors, either by some well-known attribute, 
such as the caduceus, or a sacred animal, or a symplegma 
representing a scene of a known legend. Without these acces- 

pp. 28-32] NOTES 373 

series, archeologists often find themselves at a loss when they 
are required to name the god intended. Cf. Koepp, Archaologie 
ii. 88 seq. 

' It is not suggested that prayer could not exist without 
sacrifice. But where sacrifice did take place, the act of wor- 
ship did not lie in the sacrifice alone, or in the propitiatory 
allocution that accompanied it, but in the two together. 

* Cf . Apollo Soter, Soph. O. T. 149, Dionysus Soter, Lycophr. 
206, Zeus Soter, Aristoph. Plut. 1186, etc. 

® Max Miiller, Lectures on the Science of Language, passim. 
The term is rarely used by recent investigators. 

'" For the sacrificial act when addressed to gods, the word 
was 6v€iu; addressed to heroes, ivayi^eiv. Herod, ii. 44. The 
color of the sacrificial animal for heroes was usually black, 
and no part of the flesh was eaten. Cf. Sch. Hom. II. i. 459. 

^^ For heroes whose position in the state was as high as that 
of gods, we have only to refer to the eponyms of the Cleis- 
thenic tribes at Athens, Theseus, Cecrops, Erechtheus, etc. 

"Local deities, such as Pelops at Olympia (Sch. Find. 01. i. 
149), Archemorus at Nemea (Arg. Find. Nem. i), Tlepolemus 
at Rhodes (Sch. Find. Ol. vii. 146). 

" Cf . Suidas. s. v. 'Auayvpdcnos, Alciphro, iii. 58. 

"The doctrine of Socrates cited by Xenophon, Memor. iv. 
7, represents popular Greek feeling on the subject of theo- 
logical speculation. 

^'Xenophanes of Colophon (sixth cent. b. c. e.) cited in 
Sex. Emp. adv. Math. ix. 193. The lines are frequently quoted, 
and are to be found in any history of philosophy. 

"A monotheistic or pantheistic tendency showed itself in 
the attempt on the part of poets like Aeschylus and Findar 
to absorb the divine world into the personality of Zeno. Cf. 
Aesch. Heliades, 71 : 

Zeus €<TTiv aidrip, Zevs 5e yij Zeus 5' oi/pauos, 
Zeus TOi TO. TTOLvra x^'^'- twi'5' vireprepov. 

" The solar myth theory was especially advocated by Max 
Miiller in his various books and articles. Most of the older 
writers on mythology, e. g. in the earlier articles of Roscher's 


376 NOTES [pp. 32-35 

Lexikon, accept it as an established dogma. There can be no 
reasonable doubt that the celestial phenomena of sun, moon, 
and stars exercised a powerful influence on popular imagi- 

^® Dionysus came into Greece probably from Thrace and 
Macedon about the tenth century b. c. e. By the sixth century 
there was no Greek city in which he was not worshiped. As 
far as any center of his worship existed, it may be placed in 
Boeotia. Cf. Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, chs. iv. and v. 

"We find Aphrodite firmly established among Greek gods 
from the earliest times. It may be that the Semitic or Oriental 
connections which have been found for her (cf. Roscher, s. v. 
Aphrodite, Roscher's Lex. i. 390-406) are due to the readiness 
with which she was associated with Oriental female deities. 
That fact, however, is itself significant. 

^The merchants of Citium formally introduced into Athens 
the worship of their local Aphrodite; Dittenberger, Syll. no. 
551. Sarapis, Isis, and Sabazios also early found their way 
into Athens. 

^ The statement that dae^eia was a negative offense, that 
its gravamen consisted not in introducing new divinities, but 
in neglecting the established ones, is made by Wilamowitz 
(Antigonus von Karyst, p. 277). It is, however, only quali- 
fiedly true. The Greeks found purely negative conceptions 
difficult. Impiety, or do-e'^eia, was not the mere neglect, but 
such a concrete act as would tend to cause the neglect of the 
established gods. The indictment against Socrates charged 
the introduction of Kaipa dai/novia, but only because that intro- 
duction threatened the established form. The merchants of 
Citium (cf. previous note) might introduce their foreign 
deity with safety. No such danger was deemed to lie. 

^The stories of Lycurgus (II. vi. 130) and of Pentheus 
(Euripides, Bacchae) are a constant reminder of the diffi- 
culties encountered by Dionysus in his march through Greece. 
Then, as has always been the case in religious opposition, the 
opponents of the new forms advanced social reasons for their 
hostility (Eurip. Bacchae, 220-225). 


pp. 35-42] NOTES 377 

^ The Egyptian origin of the Eleusinian mysteries is main- 
tained especially by Foucart, Les grands mysteres d'Eleusis. 

'^^ The Homeric Hymn to Demeter dates from the close of 
the seventh century b. c. e., perhaps earlier. In it we find 
the Eleusinian mysteries fully developed, and their appeal is 

" Homer certainly knows of no general worship of the 
dead. But the accessibility of the dead by means of certain 
rites is attested not only by the Ne'/cuia (Od, x. 517-520), but 
by the slaughter of the Trojan captives at the funeral of 
Patroclus (II. xxiii. 174). The poet's own attitude to the 
latter is not so important as his evidence of the custom's 

^® In later times any dead man was Tipcos, and his tomb a 
vpvop; C. I. G. 1723, 1781-1783. 

" The kinship of gods and men was an Orphic dogma, 
quickly and widely accepted. Pindar formulated it in the 
words ev avbpuv, tv Oewv yevos ; Nem. vi. i. Cf . Plato, Timaeus, 
41 C. 

'' Od. iv. 561. 

^ Hesychius, s. v. 'Ap/jLodlov fieXos. 

Chapter II 

^ Adolph Bastian presents his theory of Grundideen in his 
numerous writings. It has, however, been found difficult, if 
not impossible, even for anthropologists to present the details 
of that theory with either definiteness or clearness. 

^ Cf. W. Warde Fowler, Roman Religion, in Hasting's Dic- 
tionary of Religions (consulted in proof). 

'The relation, or the contrast, between magic and religion 
has been a constant subject of discussion since the publication 
of Tylor's Primitive Culture. For the present the contrast 
stated in the text may suffice. 

* Sei deo set deivae sac (C. I. L. vi. no) ; sive deo sive deae 
{ibid, iii, 1212) ; sei deus sei dea (ibid. xiv. 3572). Cf. also Not. 
d. Sc. 1890, p. 218. 

378 NOTES [pp. 44-50 

' Such a story as that of Mars and Nerione may belong to 
genuine Roman mythology. The enormous spread of Latin 
translations of Greek poems, and the wide popularity of Greek 
plays, rapidly drove out all the native myths v^hich had at- 
tained no literary form. 

"Livy V. xxi. 3, 5. 

' Macrob. Sat. III. ix. 7-^. 

* The authenticity of this particular application of the form- 
ula has been questioned; Wissowa, s. v. Evocatio (deorum) ; 
Pauly-Wiss. vi. 1153. The proofs that the formula has been 
extensively modified are not conclusive. The evocati di 
received a special form of ritual at Rome. Festus, p. 237, a, 7. 
Cf. Verg. Aen. ii. 351-352. 

' For the Dioscuri, Livy, II. xx. 13. Apollo, Livy, III. Ixiii. 7 ; 
IV. XXV. Both introductions are placed in the fifth century b. 
c. E. The historical account of the reception of Cybele and 
of Asclepius, Livy, Per. ix. and xxix. 10 seq. 

^^ The lectisternium is generally conceded to be of Greek 
origin. The ceremony consisted in formally dressing a 
banquet table and placing thereat the images of some gods, 
w^ho reclined on cushions and were assumed to be sharing in 
the repast. 

"Cic. De Nat. Deor. i. 119. 

Chapter III 

*The extreme of racial fanaticism will be found in H. S. 
Chamberlain, Grundziige des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. 

^Aristophanes, Acharn. 104, laovav and the Schol. ad loc: 
on iravras tovs EWrjuas 'Idovas iKoXovv ol pdp^apoi. 

' After the defeat of the Persians, the victors set up a tripod 
at Delphi, about the stem of which a bronze serpent was 
coiled. About this serpent ran an inscription, rotSc roi/TroXe^oi' 
iiroXefieov, " The following took part in the war." Then 
follows the list of the Greeks beginning with the Lacedemon- 
ians. Here, if anywhere, a collective term denoting the com- 
mon origin of all these nations might have been expected. 

pp. Sl-SSl NOTES 379 

*Eunpide?, Iph. ul. 1400; Aristotle, Pol. I. ii. 4; w$ ravrd 
<f)vaei pdp^apov Kal dovXov '6v. 

' Isocrates, Pan. 181. 

® Demosthenes, In Mid. 48 (xx. 530). 

' Daniel xi. 3. 

* Besides the flings at barbarian descent scattered throughout 
the orators (cf. Dem. In Steph. A. 30), Hellenic origin was 
required for all the competitors in the Olympian games. He- 
rodotus, V. 22. 

^ The secretary of Appius Caecus was a certain Gnaeus 
Flavins, grandson of a slave, who became not merely curule 
aedile, but one of the founders of Roman jurisprudence. 
(Livy, IX. xlvi.). Likewise the Gabinius that proposed the Lex 
Tabellaria of 139 b. c. e. was the son or grandson of a slave, 
vernac natus or nepos. (Cf. the newly discovered fragment 
of Livy's Epitome, Oxyr. Pap. iv. loi f.) The general state- 
ment is made by the emperor Claudius (Tac. Ann. xi. 24), in 
a passage unfortunately absent in the fragments of the actual 
speech discovered at Lyons. 

^* Cicero, In Pisonem (Fragments 10-13). Aeschines, In 
Ctes, 172. 

" Muttines, a Liby-Phoenician (cf. Livy, XXI. xxii. 3, 
Libyphoenices mixtuni Punicum Afris genus), becomes a 
Roman citizen {ibid. XXVI. v. 11). 

'^ Ennius ap. Cic. de. Or. iii. 168. 

" Mucins defines gentiles, i. e. true members of Roman 
gentes, as follows (ap. Cic. Topica, vi. 29) : Gentiles sunt inter 
se qui eodem nomine sunt, qui ab ingenuis oriundi sunt, quorum 
maiorum nemo servitutem servivit, qui capite non sunt de- 
minuti. Literally taken, that would exclude descendants of 
former slaves to the thousandth generation. But Pliny de- 
mands somewhat less even for Roman knights. The man is 
to be ingenuus ipse, patre, avo paterno (H. N. XXXIII. ii. 32). 

'* Gallic was still spoken in southern Gaul in the fourth 
century c. e., Syriac at Antioch in the time of Jerome, and 
Punic at Carthage for centuries after the destruction of the 

^° The racial bond upon which modern scientific sectaries 
lay such stress was constantly disregarded in ancient and 



[pp. 58-63 

modern times. The Teutonic Burgundians found an alliance 
with the Mongol Avars against the Teutonic Franks a per- 
fectly natural thing. 

Chapter IV 


* The Carduchi. Taochi, Chalybes, Phasiani (Xenophon, An. 
IV. iii. 6), make friends with the Greek adventurers, or oppose 
them on their own account without any apparent reference 
to the fact that the army of the Ten Thousand was part of a 
hostile force recently defeated by their sovereign, 

* Herodotus, vii. 89: Trapeixovro 5e avras (sc. tcls rpirjpeas) otde, 
^oiviKcs fxkv avv l^vpotai roiai ev tt] HaXaicrTivij^ and he later 
defines the name specifically (ibid.): rijs de Hvpias tovto tI 
X(^pf-ov /cat TO fiixP'- AlyvTTTOv irav HaXaiffTiur] KoKeerai. 

^ Aramaic Papyri Discovered at Assuan, edited by Sayce 
and Cowley, London, 1906. Aramaische Papyri . . . . zu Ele- 
phantine, ed. Sachau, Leipzig, 191 1. 

* Josephus, Antiquities, XI. vii. Reference to the same 
incident in Eusebius, Chron. (01. 103), Syncellus (486, 10), 
and Orosius (iii. 7) depends upon Eusebius. The general 
statement of pseudo-Hecataeus (ap. Joseph, in Ap. i. 22) is, 
of course, worthless as evidence. 

Ochus was especially noted for his sacrilege. (Cf. Aelian, 
N. A. X. 23). 

^ After the death of Antiochus Sidetes, in 129 b. c. e., the 
various occupants or claimants of the Syrian throne are 
scarcely to be distinguished by nickname or number. They 
are uniformly imbeciles or puppets, and the last of them, 
Antiochus XIII, dies miserably at the hands of a Beduin 

' In the Talmud John Hyrcanus is always ^i:in jriD pnin\ 
but Alexander is "]^Dn ^J**- On the coins John styles himself 
High Priest ; but Jannai, on both his Hebrew and Greek coins, 
bears the title of King, l^on jriJin"* ^^^ AXe^dpdpov ^acriXeus, 
Cf. Madden, Coins of the Jews. We have no record that the 

pp. 67-78] NOTES 381 

royal title was specifically bestowed upon Jannai, either by 
the Seleucids or by the people. It is therefore likely that it 
was assumed without such authorization. The high-priesthood, 
on the other hand, was duly conferred upon Simon and his 

Chapter V 


* Cf. especially the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, in 
the editions of Kautzsch or Charles. 

'That the name is Sira and not Sirach, as it appears in the 
LXX, is generally accepted. It was the practice of Greeks to 
put a final X to foreign names to indicate that they were 
indeclinable. Cf. 'Iwo-tjx (Luke iii. 26) for Jose. 

^ Ecclesiasticus xlviii. 24. 

* Job iv. 7 seq. 

Chapter VI 

* Hvpios means scarcely more than " Oriental " in Aeschylus 
(Persae, Si, 1.vpiov apua; and Ag. 1312, Hvpiov dyXd'Ca/na) . 

^Except Hittite and Amorite, these names have no non- 
Biblical occurrence. 

^ Caphthor is rendered Cappadocia in the LXX (Amos ix. 
7), for no better reason, it may be, than the similarity between 
the first syllables. The Keftiu ships of the Egyptian monu- 
ments are scarcely other than Mycenean, and if they came 
from Crete, Minoan (Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, 
ii. 492). That the Philistines are of Cretan origin is, in the 
absence of monumental sources, a pure theory. It fits in well, 
however, with what we do know of them. 

^ The Jews were commanded by Ezra to put away their 
"strange wives" (Ezra x. 10) for the specific reason that the 
latter incited them to idolatry. Instances of intermarriage 
occur in the papyri from Elephantine (see ch. IV., n. 3). 

382 NOTES [pp. 78-83 

^ Datis and Artaphernes commanded the Persian troops 
defeated at Marathon, 490 b. c, e. Mardonius was defeated 
at Plataea in 479. 

* Joel iii. 6. There is nothing in the extant Book of Joel 
inconsistent with a pre-Exilic date. Such slave raids as the 
Phoenicians are here accused of making, the Greeks made 
freely in Homeric times, and Greek merchants were already 
in every mart. In the famous picture of a golden age in Isaiah, 
Jewish captives are to be assembled " from Assyria, Egypt — 
and from the islands of the sea" (Isaiah xi. 11), a passage 
indubitably pre-Exilic. The " islands of the sea," however, 
are obviously Greek. 

^ In the lexicon of Stephen of Byzantium (s. v.) we read 
Si'pot Koivov ovojxa iroWHov edvwv^ Strabo, writing in the time of 
Augustus, includes most of the nations of Asia Minor, such as 
the Cappadocians, etc., under that term (xvi. 2). 

^ The famous Harpy-tomb from Xanthus in Lycia, now in 
the British Museum, dates from the sixth century. It is, how- 
ever, so highly developed a work that it presupposes a long 
history of mutual artistic influence between Greece, Ionia, and 

' One of the magnificent sarcophagi found in 1887 at Sidon 
by Hamdi Bey. They are all published in sumptuous form by 
Hamdi Bey and Reinach, Une necropole royale a Sidon, Paris, 
1892. An excellent and convenient description may be found 
in Hans Wachtler, Die Bliitezeit der griechischen Kunst im 
Spiegel der Reliefsarcophage, Teubner, 1910 (Aus Natur u. 
Gcisteswelt, no. 272). 

^^ Strato, king of Sidon in 360 b. c. e. Athen. xii. 531. Cf. 
Gerostratos of Arados at about the same time. 

"Herodotus, ii. 104 (cf. ii. 2>7)- 

" Aristotle states the fact in the Meteorologica, II. iii. 39, but 
does not mention the Jews. 

" Textes, p. 8. n. 3. 

" In the royal tombs at Sidon excavated by Hamdi Bey (see 
above, n. 9.), one of the monuments bears a long Phoenician 
inscription of a king of Sidon. It begins : " I, Tabnit, priest 
of Astarte and king of Sidonians, son of Eshmunazar, priest 
of Astarte, and king of the Sidonians." 

pp. 84-94] NOTES 383 

" Plato, Euthyphro, 3 C, and passim. 

'^Aristotle, Rhetoric, III. vii. 6. 

" Reinach, Textes, pp. 10-12. Miiller, Frag. hist, graec. ii. 
22s, quoted in Josephus, In Ap. i. 22. 

^^ The untutored philosophers of Voltaire's stories were quite 
in the mode of the eighteenth century, which had discovered 
the " noble savage," and were quite convinced that civilization 
was a retrogression from a state of rude and primitive virtue. 
It was, further, a convenient cloak behind which one might 
criticise an autocratic regime. Hence the flood of " Turkish," 
" Chinese," "Japanese," etc. " Letters," of which Montesquieu's 
Lettres Persanes are the most famous. Modern instances are 
" The Traveller from Altruria " of Mr. Howells, and Mr. Dick- 
inson's " Letters of a Chinese Official." 

" Cited by Diogenes Laertius, i. 9 (Miiller, Frag. hist, graec. 
ii. 328). 

^"Reinach, Textes, p. 13; Miiller, Frag. ii. 437; Clemens Alex, 
i. 15. Megasthenes had previously resided at the court of 
Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia (southern Afghanistan). Ar- 
rian, Anab. V. vi. i. 

^^ Clemens Alex. Str. v. (Sylberg), pp. 607 seq. Justin Coh. 
ad Graecos, 25. 

^ Cf . Ecclesiasticus 1. 26 ; Zech. ix. 2, 

^^ At Elephantine we learn from the papyri recently from 
there (Pap. i, Sachau) that the Jews had a shrine conse- 
crated to in", and that in 410 b. c. e. it was destroyed by the 
priests of a rival Egyptian temple. 

'''* Reinach, Textes, p. 39. Miiller, Frag. iii. 35. 

Chapter VII 


^This fragment, of the authenticity of which little doubt 
can be entertained, must be distinguished from the books attrib- 
uted to Hecataeus about the Jews and Abraham. Josephus 
uses both in his "Defense" against Apion (i. 22 seq.), but 
their authenticity was questioned even in ancient times (cf. 
Herennius Philo, cited by Origenes, C. Cels. i. 15 ; Reinach, 

384 NOTES [pp. 96-105 

Textes, p. 157). They are almost certainly Jewish works of 
the first century b. c. e. 

The text of the real Hecataeus (Reinach, Textes, p. 14 seq.) 
is anything but certain. We have it only in a long citation by 
Diodorus, xl. 3. This book of Diodorus, however, has dis- 
appeared, and is found only in the Bibliotheca made by the 
Byzantine patriarch Photius in the ninth century c. e. (cod. 

^ There were in Egypt a number of colonies of military 
settlers. They are distinguished by certain privileges, and, 
in legal terminology, by the term rijs iTriyovijs, placed after the 
words of nationality. Just as there are Uepaai ttjs iiriyovijs, so 
there are 'lovdaloi ttjs imyovr]?. In the Hibeh Papyri, i. 96, of 
259 B. c. E., we read an agreement between the Jew Alexander, 
son of Andronicus, decurion in the troop of Zoilus, and 
Andronicus, a Jew rijs iiriyourjs^ The groom Daniel (?) in a 
papyrus of the second century b. c. e. (Grenfell, An Alex- 
andrian Erotic Fragment and Other Papyri, no. 43.) and the 
farm laborer Teuphilus (Grenf ell-Hunt, Fayum Towns and 
their Papyri, no. 123) are also humble men, and probably in the 
same stage of cultivation as other men of their calling. 

^Elephantine Pap. (ed. Sachau), no. 6. 

* Osiris appears as a theophoric element, not only in Egyptian 
names and in those of Grecized Egyptians, but also in purely 
Phoenician names, and joined to Semitic elements. So Osir- 
shamar, from Malta, and Osiribdil, from Larnaca (Notice des 
Mon. Phen du Louvre, nos. 133, 162). 

'Reinach, Textes, pp. 20 seq. Miiller, Frag. ii. 511-616. 

' Tac. Hist. V. ii. 

' Reinach, Textes, p. 362. Photius Bibl. no. 279. 

Chapter VIH 

* Naucratis was founded, on the Canopic mouth of the Nile, 
about 550 B. c. e. 

^ However completely oligarchical in practice the govern- 
ment became, the sovereignty of the demos was recognized in 
theory. In the ancient doom ascribed to Lycurgus (Plutarch, 

pp. I07-II51 NOTES 385 

Lye. 6). which may be said to form the constitution of Sparta, 
occur the words dd/uno 5e rav KvpLav r\ixev Kai Kparos. 
^ Frankel, Inschriften, v. Perg. no. 5, 18 ct passim. 

* Mitteis und Wilcken, Grundziige und Chrestomathie der 
Papyruskunde, I. v. i, pp. 14 seq. 

^ Mitteis-Wilcken, op. cit. p. 15. 

" Xenophon, De Reditibus, ii. 4-7. 

'Josephus often refers to the Jews of Alexandria as oi kv 
AXe^avdpeia 'lovdaioi (Ant. XIII. iii. 4) or oi iv ' AXe^avdpeia 
KaTOLKovuTos '\ov5aioi (Ant. XIV. vii. 2), but he refers similarly 
to the Greeks there (Ant. XVIII. viii. i), and plainly under- 
stands KaroLKeiv simply as " inhabit." The question is fully 
discussed in Contra Ap. ii. 5, where the general statement is 
made that Jews might and did become Alexandrian citizens, 
but that Egyptians were at first excluded. 

* Jewish MaK^boves, Berliner Griechische Urkunden (B. G. 
U.), iv. 1068 (62). In other classes of citizenship, B. G. U. 
iv. 1140; iv. 1151, 7. For humbler classes of Jews cf. ch. VII., 
n. 2. A Jewish house-slave is manumitted in Oxyrhyncus Pap. 
ix. 1205. 

^ The discussion is fully set forth by Brandis, s. v. Arabar- 
ches in the Pauly-Wissowa Realenzyklopadie, ii. 342. The word 
" alabarch " or " arabarch " impressed the Romans somewhat 
as " mogul " impresses the English, and was used with the 
same jocular intent. Cic. ad Att. II. xvii. 3. Juvenal, Satires, 
i. 130. 

" Apuleius, Met. xi. 30. Drexler in Roscher's Lexikon Myth., 
s. V. Isis, ii. 409 seq. gives a list of the cities through which the 
worship of Isis spread. 

" Sarapis was not Osiris-Apis, but a deity of Sinope in Asia 
Minor, duly " evoked " into Alexandria by Ptolemy. The 
matter is left an open question by Cumont, Les religions orien- 
tales dans le paganisme romain, p. 112, but the general con- 
sensus of opinion is in favor of the theory just mentioned. 
The opposition referred to in the text was less an aggressive 
one than it was an assertion of the distinction between Greeks 
and Egyptians. It broke down with the fourth Ptolemy, and 
Sarapis was more or less officially identified with Osiris. 


386 NOTES [pp. 1 15-136 

" Alexandronesus. Cf . Reinach, in Melanges Nicolle, p. 
451 ; Pap. of Magdola, n. 35. 

"Greek Pap. of the Brit. Mus. iii. 183, the apxovres ' lovdalcou 
vpoaei'xvs pay their water tax. 

'* B. G. U. iv. n. 562. 

" The cartouches representing the Ptolemies contain all the 
royal titles of the Pharaohs. 

" Mitteis-Wilcken, Grundziige und Chrestomathie, 1. p. 42. 

Chapter IX 



^ Ecclesiasticiis xxxi. 12-30; vi. 2-4. 
'Cf. ch. III., n. 14. 

' A full bibliography is given in Schiirer, Geschichte der 
Juden\ iii. 472 seq. 

* Flinders Petrie Pap. iii. 31, g, 13. 

^ By Mishnic tradition Antigonus was a pupil of Simon the 
Just (Abot i. 3). A later legend makes him the founder of 
the Sadducees (Abot R. N. v.). The saying of Antigonus is: 
" Be not like servants who minister to their master for the 
sake of a reward, but be like servants who minister to their 
master without the expectation of reward, and let the fear 
of Heaven be upon you." 

^ Andronicus (Hibeh Pap. i. 96), Helenus and Trypho (B. 
G. U. iv. 1 140), Dionysius (Dittenberger, Syll. no. 73). 

^ Cf. Oesterley's edition of Ecclesiasticus, pp. xxiv-xxv. 

^Josephus, Ant. XII. iv. 

"Abot i. 4; Shab. 46 a; Eduy. viii. 4; Pes. 15 a. 

Chapter X 

* Polybius, XXVI. i. I : 'Aptloxos 6 'E7rLcf>avi]S fih KXrjdeis 
EircfjLavijS 8' e/c tiop irpd^eccu ovofiacdeis. Cf. also Athenaeus, V. 
5 (193), and x. 10 (439)- 

'Ptolemy Euergetes II (Athenaeus, x. 10, 438 D). 

pp. 136-145I NOTES 387 

^ It is usual to speak of the Seleucid kingdom as Syria. That, 
however, conveys a wholly wrong impression of either the pre- 
tensions of the house or the actual extent of its dominion. Se- 
leucus himself actually maintained his authority within what is 
now Hindustan and was styled " king of Asia," where he was 
not called simply "the king" as Alexander and the Persians 
had been before him. Even when Antiochus the Great gave up 
all his Asiatic possessions north of the Taurus, he did not re- 
nounce his claim to the Persian and Oriental patrimony of 

^ Zeitschr. d. deut. morg. Gesell. xxiii. 371 ; Noldeke, Die 
sem. Spr. 41 f . ; Zeitschr. f. Assyr. vi. 26. Cf. also Gardner, 
Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India. 

^ The full title is Geos E7ri.(paur}s, as it appears upon coins. 

® The (XTparrjyos iwl to. oirXa^ i. e. " general of infantry," was 
at that time practically equivalent to the chief magistracy. 
Athenian coins of the year 175 b. c. e. bear his name and 
the elephant which was the heraldic emblem of his house. 
Reinach, Rev. d. et. gr. 1888, 163 f. 

'Josephus, Ant. XII. v. 

* The titles d'yopdvoixos and dr]fjLapxos are translations of 
" aedilis " and " tribunus," which Antiochus sought to transfer 
to his capital. Polyb. XXVI. i. 5-6. Livy XLI. xx. 

''Livy (loc. cit.), Polyb. (loc. cit.), Athenaeus, x. 438 D and 

" Hybristas is mentioned in Livy XXXVII. xiii. 12. 

"Polyb. XXXI. xi. 3; Josephus, Ant. XI. ix. 

''I Mace. i. 

'^ Cf . ch. I., n. 22. 

" Cf. the article Druidae, Pauly-Wissowa, Realenzykl. 

'' Isocrates Nicocles (III), 54. King Nicocles of Salamis 
in Cyprus, the type and exemplar of a benevolent despot, states 
to his subjects: eraipeias ixt] iroieiade /nrjTe (twoSovs avev T-qs ifiijs 
yvwfjLTjs. at yap TOLavrac cvaTdaeis iv jxev rals dWais TroXireiais 
irXeoj/eKTOvaip, ev be tolls /AOJ'ap^t'ats Ktubvvevovcnv. 

^"Jerome in Dan. xi. 21 f. 

" So the Spartans actively assisted the oligarchical party in 
Megara, Argos, Sicyon, and Achaea (Thuc. iv. 74; v. 81; v. 


388 NOTES [pp. 149-155 

Chapter XI 

' Cumont, Les religions orientales dans le paganisme remain, 
gives the best and clearest account of the spread of these 
foreign cults. The Cabiri came from Samothrace. They were 
generally referred to as Oeot /xeydXoi, and are found in many 
parts of the empire. 

^ Athenian criminal statutes often contain in the penalty 
clause Kal to yeuos avrov. Cf. Glotz, La solidarite de la famille 
dans le droit Ath. Cf. for Teos C. I. G. 3044. 

^ Homer, Odys. xi. 489-491. 

* Frequently pictured relief (Gardner, Greek Sculpt, p. 136) 
formerly in the Sabouroff Coll. PI. i., Ath. Mitth. 1877. Taf. 

"II. iii. 243-244; V. 638-651 ; xviii. 117-119. 

' Cf. the translation of Menelaus, ch. I, notes 28, 29. 

' Hymn in Dem. 480-482. 

^ Ben Sira knows of no life after death except Sheol. Per- 
haps it is better to say that he refuses to acknowledge any. 
His repeated affirmations have the air of consciously repudiat- 
ing a doctrine advanced by others. The author of Wisdom 
(iii. 4) is sure of an immortality of the elect. It is in the 
apocryphal Hterature generally, in Enoch, the Testaments of 
the Patriarchs — most of them written in the first century 
B. c. E. — that the scattered and contradictory references to a 
future life are to be found. 

^ Josephus, Wars, II. viii. 14. His words are {ol HaddovKaioi) 
xj/vxv^ re ttjv biaixov7]v Kal ras Ka6' Adov rijucwplas Kai Tifxas 
avaipovci. The passages in Josephus are our only contemporary 
authority for the sects and their differences ; and Josephus was a 
Pharisee. The word avaipovcL would in this context naturally 
have the meaning " deny," but it might also simply indicate that 
the Sadducean belief on the subject was, in his opinion, so 
vague or so qualified as to render their whole transcendental 
scheme ineffectual. It is, however, more natural to give the 
word its dialectic sense (Cf. Plato, Rep. 533 c). 

"Joseph. Ant. XIII. x. 10. Kid. 43 a. 

pp. 156-160] NOTES 389 

'^ The vision of a Messianic age in Isaiah ii. 4, and Micah 
iv. I, expressly includes the gentiles. This is the more im- 
portant as it is highly likely that both Micah and Isaiah are here 
quoting an ancient and widely-accepted prophecy. 

^"■"' There is no direct evidence about the extent of proselytiz- 
ing in pre-Maccabean times. But there are two forms of 
proselytizing which always seemed natural and even inevitable 
to a man of ancient times. The slave, and the stranger actu- 
ally resident under the roof of a head of a household, were, 
however foreign in blood, practically members of that house- 
hold, and it was a small step when they were brought formally 
into it by appropriate ceremonies. So the first Biblical 
reference to circumcision especially notes that not merely 
Abraham but all his household, the slaves born there and those 
bought of strangers, were circumcised (Gen. xvii. 23, 27). 

The 1^, fxeroiKos, the sojourning stranger, is expressly held 
to the observance of the religious prohibitions. Ex. xii. 43 ; 
Lev. xvii. 12. And the relative frequency with which such a 
stranger became a full proselyte is indicated by Ex. xii. 48. 
and Num. ix. 14. It is true that the i^j or " stranger in blood " 
is treated with extreme rigor by Nehemiah, xiii, 30, but it is 
this same ijj who is referred to as a proselyte in Deutero- 
Isaiah (Is. Ivi. 3, 6). 

^=*Ab. R. Nat. ii. I. 

" Josephus, Ant. XV. viii. 

'' Josephus, Wars IV. iv. ; VII. viii. 

^"^ Cf. Catullus, LXIII. The archigallus was not permitted 
to be chosen from Roman citizens till the time of Claudius. 

^^ This genre seems to have first taken literary form at the 
hands of Bion of Borysthenes, a pupil of Crates, who was 
himself a pupil of Diogenes. 

^^ Wisdom of Solomon xiv. 12-14. Cf . also the entire 
thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Wisdom. 

^^ In Dan. x. 13-20 angels, or " princes," are the patrons of 
the various nations, as also in the Testaments of the Patr. 
(Test. Naph. 9). That fact of itself indicates a belief in the 
reality of the divine protectors of the heathen nations. And 
the "devils," Qt-j (Deut. xxxii. 17), and on^r^^ (Lev. xvii. 
7), are very likely the local gods. 

390 NOTES [pp. 160-168 

^° Philo, De Specialibus Legibus, ch. 7. 

^ We have already noted the ancient prophecy cited in Is. 
ii. 4 and Micah iv. i. The fullest statement of this universalist 
aspiration is in Malachi i. 11, and i. 14. 

Chapter XII 

* The Messenians also expelled the Epicureans (Athen. xii. 
547), and Antiochus (VI) Dionysius, or rather Tryphon in 
his name, expelled all philosophers from Antioch and all Syria 
(Athen. ibid.). The latter document has been questioned by 
Radermacher, Rh. Mus. N. F. Ivi. (1901), 202, but on insuffi- 
cient grounds. It is probably genuine, but the king referred 
to is uncertain. It will be remembered that the Epicurean 
Philonides claimed to have converted Epiphanes and to have 
been a favorite of Demetrius (Cronert, Stzb. Berl. (1900), 943, 
and Usener Rh. Mus. N. F. Ivi. (1901), 145 seq.) Alexander 
Balas professed Stoicism. 

^Josephus, Ant. XVIII. ix. 

^ Dio Cassius, Iviii. 32; Ens. Chron. ii. 164. The account in 
its details is not free from doubt. 

*Josephus, Ant. XIV. x. 

° Senatusconsultum de Bacch. C. I. L. i. 43, n. 196. Bruns 
Pontes, n. 35, 11. 14-16. 

* Cf. the instances cited in Cumont, Les rel. or. dans le pag. 
rom., p. 122, and the articles on Isis in the Pauly-Wissowa 
Realenzykl, the Dar.-Saglio Diet., and Roscher's Lexikon. 

Mn Greek Sta^oX-'. Cf. Aristotle, Rhetoric, II. iii. 30; Syri- 
anus, In Hermogenem, ii. (134, 3). Of this dia^oXri, a favorite 
form was eTTTypeatr/ios. " mockery " (Arist. op. cit. II. ii. 3), and 
" Commonplaces," kolvoI tottoL. on the subject are cited in 
Aristotle {op. cit. III. xv. i). 

^ Reinach, Textes, p. 49. 

** Eratosthenes was head of the Alexandrian Academy. 

" Apollo is the god named and ascribed to Dora, which, as 
Josephus remarks, is not in Idumaea at all. Nor does Apollo 
appear as the god of Dora on the coins of that city. Accord- 

pp. 169-174] NOTES 391 

ing to Josephus (Ant. XV. vii. 9) the Idumean god was named 
Koze, who might of course have been identified with the Seleu- 
cid patron Apollo. It may be a title connected with p^p 
(Josh. X. 24, Micah iii. i, 9). 

^^ An inscription forbidding the approach of gentiles has 
been found at Jerusalem, and is now in Constantinople: 
ix7]6iva dWoyevi] elaTropevecrdaL evrbs tov irepl to lepbv Tpv<pdKTOv /cat 
irepi^oXov' os d' du Xrjcpd'l eaur(f atrios ecTTai did to i^aKoXovdelu 

^'' Reinach, Textes, p. 56. For an estimate of the importance 
of Posidonius for his time, cf. Wendland, Hellenist. Kult. p. 
60 seq. and 134 seq. 

^^ Molo in Reinach, Textes, p. 60 seq. Damocritus, ihid. 
p. 121. 

" Reinach, Textes, p. 131. 

^^ Plutarch, Moralia, ii. 813 ; Reinach, Textes, p. 139. 

^^ Pseud-Opp. Cyn. iv. 256. Lact. Inst. i. 21-27. 

" Cf. also Aelian Var. Hist. xii. 34. Strabo, xv. 1057. 

'' Pseudo-Plut. Sept. Sap. Con. 5. Apul. Met. xi. 6. Ael. Hist. 
An. X. 28. 

^^ Juvenal, Sat. xv. 1-3. Q^us nescit Volusi Bithynice qualia 
demens Aegyptos portenta colat? crocodilon adorat pars haec, 
ilia pavet saturam scrpentibus ib'in; cf. also latrator Anubis 
(Verg. Aen. viii. 698, Prop. iv. 11, 41). 

^° It is not to be inferred that ancient historians as such were 
unreliable. In those times, as in ours, the value of an his- 
torical narrative must be judged by estimating the character 
and capacity of the writer and the means at his disposal. Many 
modern historians have been special pleaders, some consciously, 
like Froude and von Treitschke, and most have been impelled 
by personal sympathies and antipathies of many kinds. 

It is, however, a fact that the writers of antiquity con- 
sciously used falsehoods in what they believed to be details, 
if they supposed that they could thereby more forcibly present 
the essential character of a transaction, or better enforce a 
moral lesson. The extreme danger of such a practice need 
not be insisted on. nor did all writers engage in it. Bui 
Panaetius and Cicero (Cic. De Orat. ii. 59; De Off. ii. 14), 

392 NOTES [pp. 175-183 

Quintillian (ii. 26-39) and the Church Fathers, unhesitatingly 
defend it (Eusebius, Praep. Evan,, John Chrysost. De Sac. 
i. 6-8, Clemens Alex. Strom, vii. 9). 

^^ Polybius shares the general estimate of Syrians (XVI. Ix. 
3), but that does not prevent him from acknowledging the 
loyalty and devotion of the people of Gaza, whom he classes 
as Syrians. 

Chapter XIII 


^ Horace, Sat. I. v. 100. 
^Apuleius, Florida, i. 6. 
^ Anthol. Pal. v. 160. Reinach, Textes, p. 55. 

* Fg. hist. gr. iii. 196 ; Reinach, Textes, p. 42. 
''Journ. Hell. Stud. xii. 233 seq. 

* Pausanius, X. xii. 9; Suidas, s. v. ^afi^rjeri; Sibyllina, iii. 818. 
^ Valerius Maximus, I. iii. 3. 

* Shab. vi. 2, 4, but cf. Demai iii. 11, and Erub. i. 10. 
" Cf. above, ch. VII., n. 2. 

The letter of Dolabella to the Ephesians, cited in Josephus, 
Ant. XIV. x. 12, makes it perfectly clear that if the Sabbath 
restriction had actually been enforced in the sense indicated. 
Jews would have been wholly useless for the army. But we 
have seen that they not merely fought their own battles, but 
engaged freely as mercenaries. We can therefore understand 
the passage in Josephus only in the sense of an attempt to 
escape conscription with the other Ephesians, by alleging an 
extreme application of the Sabbath principle. 

The other passage in Josephus (XVIII. iii.) is in direct con- 
tradiction with other sources, and will be discussed later. 

" Saguntum, Livy, XXI. xiv. Abydus, Livy, XXXI. xvii. 
Cf. also Livy XXVIII. xxiii. 

" Cic. De Nat. Deor. ii. 28, 71, his fabulis spretis ac repudi- 

*^ Reinach, Textes, p. 17. Cf. above, p. 93. 

" The word itself does not occur in Homer. However, Od. 
ix. 478, the taunt is flung by Odysseus, the blind monster, 

cxerXi', iirei ^eiuovs ovx o,^€0 aip ivl o'iku) 
icrOifxevai rCt) ere Zeus riaaro kuI deoi dWoi. 

pp. 183-190] NOTES 393 

" Arrian, Anab. I. ix. 9-10. 

^^11. iii. 207; Od. iii. 355; vii. 190. 

^"Plutarch, Lycurgus, xxvii. ; Ael. V. Hist. xiii. 16; Thuc. 
i. 144- 

"Juvenal, Sat. xv. 93-131. 

^^ Cf. the undoubted instances of the Gallus-Galla, Graecus- 
Graeca sacrifices at Rome. See article, Gallus et Galla, in 
Pauly-Wissowa Realenzykl, especially the unwilling testimony 
of Livy, XXII. Ivii. 6. 

^^ The Tauric Artemis was considered a barbarian goddess, 
but received the veneration of Greeks, and of her we read, 
Eur. Iph. Taur. 384, avrr] 8k dvaiais riderai (3potokt6vois. The sac- 
rifices of the Trojan captives at the funeral of Patroclus, the 
sacrifice of Polyxena, Astyanax, and Iphigenia are sufficient 
evidences of the familiarity of the practice to Greeks. An 
historical instance is the atonement-sacrifice of Epimenides 
at Athens. Diog. Laert. i. iii, 112; Athen. xiii. 602 C. 

^" For the Gauls, cf. Strabo, iv. 198; the Thracians, vii. 300; 
the Carthaginians, Verg. Aen. i. 525. 

^ The question of the Molech sacrifices in Palestine is too 
uncertain and complicated to be treated here in full. Doubt- 
less some Jews at various times sacrificed to Molech ; but 
some Jews in Greek times sacrificed to heathen gods, or, at 
any rate, adored them while still professing Judaism, and 
throughout the Middle Ages individual Jews indulged in super- 
stitious practices severely reprobated by the rabbis. The pas- 
sage in Jeremiah (xxxii. 35) does not necessarily imply that 
those who took part in these rites deemed themselves to be 
worshiping Jehovah. 

^ Reinach, Textes, p. 121. 

^ Sat. XV. 78-81 and 93 seq. 

^ Sat. xiv. 103. 

^'' It is a curious and instructive fact that Chinese have 
charged Christian missionaries with precisely this same crime, 
i. e. of kidnaping and killing children as part of their religious 

394 NOTES [pp. 192-208 

Chapter XIV 


^ Cf. the whole Lucianic dialogue on Images, 459-484, and 
Zeus Tragoedus, 654 seq. 

* Cicero, De Nat. Deorum, i. 23, 63. Athenag. Supp. xii. 
^ Josephus, Contra Ap. ii. ^^y. 

^ Euthyphro, viii. 3 (7A). 

^ Sophocles, Oed. Rex, 661. 

° Cf. ch. XL, n. 19. Also II. Chron. xi. 15. The dHK^ ^^^ 
mentioned in Psalms cvi. 37 as deities to whom human sacri- 
fices are made. 

Msocr. Pan. 155-156; Lycurgus, In Leocr. 80-81. 

* For the Boeotians cf. the common i5s Boiwria; Pind. 01. vi. 
153 ; id. Fr. iv. 9, and Hor. Epp. II. i. 244 ; for Egyptian perHdia, 
Val. Max. v. i, 10; for Abdera, Juv. Sat. x. 50; Mart. x. 25, 
4 ; for the Cretans, the famous Kp^res ael \pevcTai, Call. Hymn 
in Jov. V. 8., a proverb also quoted from Epimenides by Paul, 
Ep. ad Tit. i. 13. One may also note in this connection the 
Greek proverb, rpia Kdinra KccKiara • KaTnradoKia Kai KprjTT) /cai 

'•Livy, XXXIV. xxiv. 4. 

" Plautus, Rud. V. 50, scelestus, Agrigentinus, urbis proditor. 

" Cicero, Pro Fonteio, 14, 30. 

^^ Cicero, Pro Scauro, 17, 38. 

" Pliny, Hist. Nat. Praef. 25. 

" Africanus, ap. Eus. Praep. Ev. x. 10, 490 B, Clemens Alex 
Strom, i. 22. 

^^ Reinach, Textes, p. 122. 

'' Cf. ch. VIIL, n. 14. 

" CL ch. XII., n. 12. 

^^ Strabo, i. 66; Cic. De Rep. i. 58. 

" Cicero, Paradoxon, iii. : otl IVa rd aiJ-aprrifiaTa Parva, inquit, 
est res. At magna culpa; nee enim pcccata reriini eventis, sed 
vitiis hominum meticnda sunt. 

^"^ Cumont, Lcs rej. orient, pp. 157 seq. 

pp. 212-226] NOTES 395 

Chapter XV 


^ The first Greek historians to deal with Roman history are 
Hieronymus of Cardia and Timaeus, both of the fourth century 
B. c. E. 

' Pliny, Nat. Hist. HI. Ivii. 

^ Psalms of Solomon, ii. 

* Livy, XLIX. v. : Syros omnis esse, haud paulo mancipiorum 
melius propter servilia ingenia quant militum genus. 

'Ci. ch. HI., n. 9. 

® Servile origin has been ascribed to such a family as the 
Sempronian, and is assumed for the praenomen Servius, as for 
the nomen Servilius. 

^ Macrob. Saturn. H. i. 13. 

^ The reading of the last phrase in the mss. is quod servata, 
which is scarcely consistent with the rest of the passage. Ber- 
nays, Rh. Mus. 1857, P- 464 seq., conjectured that it was a 
Jewish or Christian marginal gloss which found its way into 
the text, a supposition by no means to be dismissed as cavalierly 
as Reinach does (Textes, p. 241, n. i). A Christian scribe 
might easily have been moved by the taunt quani dis cara, to 
retort with the triumphant quod servata! It will be remem- 
bered that the Christians accepted as part of their own all the 
history and literature of the Jews till the birth of Christ, and 
resented as attacks upon themselves any slur against the Jews 
of pre-Christian times. Cf. the very interesting passage in 
Lactantius, Div. inst. iv. 2. 

"Cic. In Vat. 5, 12. 

^'^ It may be worth while to indicate briefly the relation 
between the senatorial authority and the executive power at 
Rome. Unless the senate acted at the instance of the magis- 
trate himself, a senatusconsultum was an advisory resolution, 
passed upon motion and suggesting to the holder of executive 
power, or imperium, a certain course of action. The words 
were generally: Placet senatui ut A. A., N. N. consules, alter 
ambove, si cis videretiir, ilia faciant. In practice, it is true, 
such a resolution was almost mandatory. A strong magistrate, 
however, or a rash one, might and did disregard it. 

396 NOTES [pp. 227-232 

While, accordingly, a magistrate might neglect a course of 
action prescribed by the senate, there was nothing to hinder 
any action on his part (whether or not there was senatorial 
authority for it), except the veto power residing in the tribune 
or in an equal or superior magistrate. The only restrictions 
were made by the laws concerning the inviolability of the 
person of a civis Romanus, and of the aerarium. 

^^ The contio was a formal assembly of citizens, called by 
a magistrate holding imperium. The purpose was generally 
to hear projected legislation either favorably or unfavorably 
discussed. No one spoke except the magistrate or those whom 
he designated. The contio took no action except to indicate 
its assent by acclamation, or its dissent equally emphatically. 
At the actual legislative assembly, for which the contiones were 
preparations, no discussion whatever took place. The law was 
presented to be accepted or refused. It will be seen that a 
mass of Orientals who less than two years before had been 
Aramaic-speaking slaves can scarcely have been a power in 
such gatherings as these. 

^ Philo, Leg. ad. Gaium, 23. 

" The language of the inscriptions in the various Jewish 
cemeteries at Rome is almost always Greek, as is that of most 
of the monuments in the Christian catacombs. Latin is rare 
and generally later. But these monuments belong to Jews who 
lived several generations after 63 b. c. e. As far as Palestine 
is concerned, both inscriptions and literature leave no doubt 
that the masses spoke only Aramaic or Hebrew. 

" Caesar, Bell. Gall. IL xxxiii. 7 ; IH. xvi. 4. 

^^ Foucart, Mem. sur 1' affranchissement des esclaves. 

" Suet. Div. lul. 84, 76, 80. 

" The pretensions of the senatorial party to be the only 
true Romans were not altogether unfounded. The terms 
boni and opiimates which they gave themselves were perhaps 
consciously adapted from the /caXoi Kdyadoi of Athens. The 
importance of nobilitas as a criterion of true Roman blood 
lay in the fact that it attested lineage in a wholly unmistakable 
way. We may compare the insistence of Nehemiah upon docu- 
mentary evidence of Israelitish blood (Neh. vii. 61, 64). 

" Pro Flacco, 15, 36, compared with 26, 62 seq. 

pp. 232-239] NOTES 397 

^'Cf. ch. XIV., notes 11, 12. 

^^ The chief political asset of the triumvirs was the orien- 
talized plebs of the city, whose origin and poverty would com- 
bine to make them bitterly detest the organized tax-farmers. 
Now Crassus, one of the triumvirs, was himself the head of 
a powerful financial group. It may be that the tax-farmers 
persecuted by Gabinius belonged to a rival organization, or that 
Crassus had withdrawn from that form of speculation before 
60 B. c. E. In the case of Flaccus, the complaint of the tax- 
financier Decianus was a pretext, or else Decianus may have 
been forethoughtful enough to have joined the right syndicate. 

" Cicero ad Att. ii. 9. 

^^ Augustinus, De Civ. Dei, iv. 31, 2. 

Chapter XVI 

^ Myths are understood by modern anthropologists ex- 
clusively as a " folk-way," with the effects of single creative 
imaginations almost wholly eliminated. However, the better- 
known Greek myths are not at all folk-devised. As far as the 
Romans are concerned, it has so far been impossible to pick 
out a definite story which does not appear to have been derived 
from an existing Greek myth by quite sophisticated methods. 

^ The phrase referred to is Uhi bene ibi patria, although just 
this form of it may not be ancient. However, the idea, thai 
a fatherland might brutally ill-use its citizens and still claim 
their loyalty, was something that the average Greek scarcely 
recognized even in theory. When Socrates propounds some 
such doctrine in Plato's Crito, 51 B, he is consciously advocat- 
ing a paradox. It was regarded as a noble ideal somewhat 
beyond the reach of ordinary men. Its disregard involved no 
moral turpitude. 

In Cicero, Tusc. v. 37, 108, the phrase runs, Patria est ubicun- 
que est bene. That is an evident adaptation of a Greek phrase, 
such as the one in Aristoph. Plut. 1151, Trarpls yap ean irda' tV 


* Livy, Epit. Ivi. Eunous, the leader, called his followers 
^3;^, and himself King Antiochus. Cf. Florus, ii. 7 (iii. 9), 

398 NOTES [pp. 240-244 

Diodorus fr. xxxiv. 2, 5. Atargatis was the Dea Syria that 
played so important a role in the life of the empire. 

* The philosophic schools had the usual corporate names of 
eiaaos, avuodos, and the like. Or like other corporations they 
have a cult name in the plural, oi Aioyeuiarai, oi 'AvmraTpcaTai, 
oi UapaiTLaarai (Athen. v. 186). For the International Ath- 
letic Union, 17 TrepnroXKrriKT} ^vgtlkt) avvobos, cf. Gk. Pap. in 
Brit. Mus. i. 214 seq. 

' Cf. ch. III., n. 9. 

" Cf. Menippus in Lucian's Icaromenippus, 6 seq. Menippus 
does not spare his fellow Cynics {ihid. 16). 

' Macrobius, Sat. II. i. 13. The jest has unfortunately not 
come down to us. 

^The book we know as the "Wisdom of Solomon" is un- 
questionably the finest in style and the profoundest in treat- 
ment of the Apocrypha. Such passages as i. ; ii. i seq.; ii. 6; iii. 
I seq. can hardly have appealed to any but highly cultured men. 

® Until the time of Claudius, we are told by John Lydus, no 
Roman citizen might actively participate in the rites of Cybele. 
Cf. Dendrophori, Pauly-Wissowa, p. 216. Claudius removed 
the restriction, perhaps to make Cybele a counterfoil to Isis. 

^° The story in Livy, XXXIX., viii. seq. is a case in point. 
The abominable excesses which, as Hispala testifies, took place 
among the Bacchae {ibid. 13) are almost certainly gross 

This hostility to new-comers was not a sudden departure 
from previous usage. Sporadic instances are mentioned in 
Livy's narrative. As early as 429 b. c. e., he tells us, Datum 
negotium aedilibus ne qui nisi Romani dii neu quo alio more 
quam patrio colerentur (Livy, IV. xxx. 11). The notice is of 
value as an indication that the general Roman feeling was not 
always so cordially receptive as is often assumed. 

" Valerius Max. I. iii. 3. 

^^ Cf. Cic. ad Att. iii. 15, 4; Asconius ad Pison. 8. 

^^ Suetonius, Div. lul. 42. Josephus, Ant. XIV. x. 8. Sue- 
tonius {ibid. 84) states that many exterae gentes enjoyed his 
favor. The Jews may have been only one group among many. 
However, the statement is indirectly made by Suetonius and 

p. 247] NOTES 399 

directly by Josephus, that they received his special protection 
to a striking extent. We have only the political support given 
the triumvirs and Caesar personally to fall back upon for a 

" I undertake with some diffidence to revive a conjecture 
made before without much success, that the 30th Sabbath 
was the Day of Atonement. One remarkable misunderstanding 
of the Sabbath institution was that it was a fast-day. When 
we consider the number and activity of the Roman Jews, it 
seems scarcely credible that so many otherwise well-informed 
persons supposed that the Jews fasted once a week. Augustus 
in his letter to Tiberius seems to do so (Suet. Aug. 76). Pomp. 
Trogus (Justinus), xxxvi. 2, explicitly states it. Cf- also Pet- 
ronius (Biicheler, Anth. Lat. Frg. S7) and Martial, iv. 4. But 
at least one man, Plutarch, not only knew that it was not so, 
but was aware that, if anything, the Sabbath was a joyous 
feast-day (Moralia ii., Quaest. Con. v. 2). To this testimony 
must be added that of Persius, Sat. v. 182 seq. It is in the 
highest degree surprising that Reinach (p. 265, n. 3) could 
have accepted the theory that the pallor alluded to is the faint- 
ness brought on by fasting. The tunny fish on the plate should 
have convinced him of his error. It may be remembered that 
fish in all its forms was one of the chief delicacies of the 
Romans. Tunny, however, was a very common fish, and one 
of the principal food staples of the proletariat. 

Persius writes from personal experience. Of the other 
writers it is only Pompeius Trogus who makes the unqualified 
statement that the Sabbath as such was a fast-day. When 
Strabo writes that Pompey is said to have taken Jerusalem 
TTjv TTJs ur}(TTeias rj/xepap TTjprjaas (xvi. 40), he is assumed to 
have been guilty of the same confusion. But it is not easy 
to see why he should have hesitated to say the Sabbath if he 
meant the Sabbath. Nor is it so certain that Josephus is 
mechanically copying Strabo (Reinach, p. 104. n. i) when 
he says (Ant. XIV. iv. 3) that Jerusalem was taken -rrepl rpLrov 
(irfva Txi TTjs PTjareias rifiipa. The details of Josephus are vastly 
fuller than those of Strabo, and he is not guilty of the latter's 
error regarding Jewish observance of the Sabbath in times of 
war (Ant. XIV. iv. 2). Besides, the siege lasted several weeks 

400 NOTES [p, 247 

— more than two months — so that Pompey's manoeuver, if it 
depended wholly upon the Sabbath, might have been performed 
at once. 

Hilgenfeld's supposition (Monatsschrift, 1885, pp. 109-115) 
that the day was the Atonement, is better founded than Reinach 
would have us think. In the mouth of Josephus, 17 rrjs 
prjareias ij/xepa can scarcely have any other sense. And if 
Josephus believed that Jerusalem fell on the Kippur, he 
believed so from more intimate tradition than the writings of 

Now, i] rrjs vTjareias rjfxepa, the great fast of the Jews, must 
have been as marked a feature in their life two thousand years 
ago as to-day. While all the other feasts have individual, 
it does not appear that this one did. D''"^'li3Dn D"l* (Lev. xxiii. 
27 ; LXX, ij/xepa e^iXaa/nov ) seems rather a descriptive term 
than a proper name. Josephus (Ant. IV. x.) has no name for 
it, although he has for the others. In the Talmud, it is 5<o\ 
"the Day," fc^ai 5<0r, "the Great Day," i<n"lt^D1V» "the 
Great Fast." In Acts xxvii. 9 we meet the phrase 17 prjareia, 
''the fast Kar' iioxvf." Similarly in Philo, De Septenario, all the 
festivals have names except this, which is referred to simply 
as " the Fast." It must be, however, evident that with the insti- 
tution of other fasts, v vrjareia would hardly be adequate. 
As a distinctive appellation, some other name had to be chosen. 

In the Pentateuch the term ( pjiit^ r\2^ ) is used of ordi- 
nary Sabbaths (Ex. xxxi. 15, xxxv, 2, Lev. xxiii. 3) as well 
as of the Atonement (Lev. xvi. 31, xxiii. 32). But the LXX 
expressly distinguishes the application of it to ordinary Sab- 
baths from its application to the Atonement. The former, it 
renders ad^^ara di^diravais, the latter ad^^ara aa^jSdrwu. This 
latter term may therefore be considered the specific designation 
of the Atonement Day, and it is so used by Philo, De Septen. 23, 
ad^^arov cra/S/Sdrwi', tuv dyicvu dy luirepai (e^dofiades) . 

We may, therefore, assume that in the Greek-speaking 
Jewish community of Rome, ad^^ara aajSpdrcov, " the Great 
Sabbath," was the common designation — or at least a familiar 
designation — of the Day of Atonement. In that case it could 
scarcely be otherwise than familiar to those who had any 
dealings whatever with the Jews. 

p. 247] NOTES 401 

Fuscus pretends to share a very general observance, and on 
the strength of it to be disinclined to discuss any personal 
matters with his friend. Can that day have been a simple 
Sabbath ? The tone indicates a rarer and more solemn occasion. 
Besides, we are definitely told that it is a special Sabbath, 
the "thirtieth." 

The Jews at that time seem to have reckoned their festivals 
by strict lunar months (Josephus, Ant. IV. x.) and their civil 
year by the Macedonian calendar. The thirtieth Sabbath, if we 
reckon by the Roman calendar, might conceivably have fallen on 
the Atonement. By the Macedonian or Athenian it could not 
have done so. However, as the Roman calendar was a solar one, 
the correspondence of the thirtieth Sabbath with the Atone- 
ment can only have been a fortuitous one in a single year. 
Tricesima sabbata can hardly apply to that. 

It is just possible that the reason for the word "thirtieth" 
is to be found in the widely and devoutly pursued astrology 
of that time. The number thirty had a certain significance in 
astrology, Firmicus Maternus, IV. xvii. 5; xxii. 3. If for one 
reason or another the mansio of the moon, which coincided 
with the second week of the seventh lunar month (cf. Firm. 
Mat. IV. i. seq. for the importance of the moon in astrology), 
bore the number thirty, then tricesima sabbata, to initiated 
and unmitiated, might bear the portentous meaning required 
for the Horatian passage. 

Whether that is so or not, the only Sabbath which we know 
to have been specially singled out from the rest of the year, 
was this crd/S/Sara aa^^aTtov, the Day of Atonement. What- 
ever reason there was for calling it the thirtieth, the mere fact 
of its being particularly designated makes it likely that Horace 
referred to that day. 

Nearly every one of the festivals in Tishri has already been 
suggested for the phrase, but these results have been reached 
by elaborate and intricate calculations, which bring the thirtieth 
Sabbath on the festival required. The main difficulty with all 
such calculations has been noted. The coincidence can only 
have been exceptional, and an exceptional coincidence will not 
help us here. Some especially rigorous Jews undoubtedly 
fasted every week like the Pharisee in Luke xviii. 11-20, but 
that was intended as a form of asceticism. The custom 

402 NOTES [pp. 247-256 

survived in some Christian communities, notably in Rome, 
which elevated it almost to a dogma, so that Augustine had to 
combat the point with especial vigor. (Ep. xxxvi., and Casu- 
lanum, Corp. Scr. Eccl. xxxiv. pp. 33 seq.) It may be interesting 
to remember that from a passage of this epistle referring to 
this Sabbath fast (xiv. 32) is derived the famous proverb, 
" When you are in Rome, do as the Romans do." 

'' Sat. I. iv. 18. 

"Sat. I. V. 97. 

" Apellas is a common name for a slave or freedman. Cic. 
ad Fam. vii. 25; C. 1. L. x, 61 14. That a Jew should bear a 
name derived from that of Apollo, is not at all strange. Cf. 
ch. IX., n. 6. 

^^ Cf. Ep. I. vi. I seq. The nil admirari of the first line is 
Horace's equivalent for the drapaiia of Epicurus. 

" As is stated in the text, the peregrina Sabbata and the 
septima festa, which is merely a metrical paraphrase for Sab- 
bata, are treated here as of annual occurrence. The word 
redcunt itself points to that. It has been suggested in Note 
14, that the great annual Sabbath was the Day of Atonement. 
If that is referred to here, the application is very natural. The 
season of the Tishri festivals coincided in the Mediterranean 
with rather severe storms. These generally began after the 
Day of Atonement, so that among Jews sailing was rarely 
undertaken after that day. This is strikingly shown by Acts 
xxvii. 9. But the equinoctial storms, while sufficient to make 
a sea-voyage dangerous, do not seem to have caused serious 
discomfort on land. The reference, accordingly, must in each 
case be understood from its context. In the first the courtship 
is to be begun, tu licet incipias, at the great Sabbath, to take 
advantage of the exquisite autumn of Italy. In the second, the 
voyage is not to be deferred even for this same Sabbath, 
which ordinarily marked the danger line of navigation. 

^" Vogelstein u. Rieger, Gesch. der Jud. in der Stadt Rom, 
p. 39 seq. 

^^ Reinach, Textes, p. 259. 

'' Pliny, Hist. Nat. XXIX. i. 6. Plaut. Amphitruo, 1013. 

^^ Cf. Garrucci, Cimitero .... in Signa Randanini ; F. X. 
Kraus, Roma Sott. p. 286 ff. ; Garucci, Storia del arte Cristiana, 
VI. tav. 489-491. 

pp. 257-269] NOTES 403 

Chapter XVII 


^ Verg. Eel. i. 6-7 ; Georg. i. 503 ; Horace, Odes, I. ii. 43 ; Ovid, 
Ex Ponto, ii. 8. 
' Xen. An. IV. i. 2-3. 
' Cic. ad Att. i. i. 

* While notoriously corrupt governors like Cotta (130 b. c. 
E.), Cic. Pro Mur. 58, and Aquilius (126 b. c. e.), Cic. Div. 
in Caec. 69, were acquitted, a rigidly honest man like Rufus 
was convicted under such a charge. Dio Cassius, fr. 97. 

' Ditt. Or. inscr. no. 456, 1. 35 ; from Mytilene, 457, 659. 

^ The Edict of Caracalla, called the Constitutio Antonina or 
Antoniniana, has been known in substance for a long time. 
Recently fragments of its exact words in Greek were dis- 
covered in a papyrus (Giessen, Pap. II, (P. Meyer), p. 30 seq) : 
didoofxi Tols avvd-nacnv ^euois rocs Kara ttju oiKovfieurju TToXiTeiav 
Toj/jLaicov jxevovTOS navrbs yevovs TroXLTev/idTcov X'^P'-^ '''^'' ^^SeiTiKicov 
The exact effect of the decree is not yet quite clear. It seems 
evident that the dcditicii were excluded. 

^ Dio Cassius, xxxvi. 6. 

* Suet. Aug. 93. 

"Josephus, Ant. XIV. x. ; XII. iii. 2. 

" The " heterodox Jewish propaganda " is of course Chris- 
tianity. The success of Paul and other missionaries in Asia 
Minor is best indicated by the churches of Asia to which 
Revelations is addressed. 

" Horace, Ep. II. ii. 184. The sumptuous present of Aris- 
tobulus, which formed part of Pompey's triumphal procession. 
Josephus, Ant. XIV. iii. i. Pliny, Hist. Nat. XXXVIL ii. 12. 
must have made the Jewish kings symbols of enormous wealth. 
None the less, Herod's unsparing severity toward his own sons 
was also well known, and it is said to have elicited from Augus- 
tus the phrase malleni Herodis porcus esse qiiam iilius — Mac- 
rob. Sat. II. iv. II — a jest which, as Reinach points out (Textes, 
p. 358), is of doubtful authenticity, and certainly not original. 

'^ Josephus, Ant. XX. iii. 

" Judea herself was free from tribute, but Herod was respon- 
sible for certain Arab revenues. Besides, he received from 

404 NOTES [pp. 271-277 

Augustus a number of Greek towns (Josephus, Wars, I. xx. 
seq.), and his kingdom included further Batanaea south of 
Damascus, Galilee, and Peraea, the Greek cities across the 
Jordan and south through Idumaea. All this was held by him 
as the acknowledged beneficiary of Rome (Josephus, Ant. XV. 
vi. 7). 

'"Josephus, Ant. XV. i. 2. 

"Josephus, Ant. XVII. vi. 6. 

"Cf. ch. XI., n. 15. Cf. also Josephus, Ant. XVII. x. 

" Not merely composed of Herod's old soldiers (Josephus, 
Ant. XVII. X. 4). Matt. xxii. 16; Mark iii. 6; xii. 13. 

'* Madden, Coins of the Jews. Cf. also Josephus, Ant. 
XVIII. iii. I. 

"Josephus, Ant. XX. viii. 11. 

■'" Josephus, Ant. XX. v. 4. 

^Josephus, Ant. XV. xi. 15. 

"Josephus, Ant. XVI. vii.-viii. seq. The many children of 
Herod's ten wives were in almost constant intrigues against 
him and one another. 

^ Strabo, xvi. 755. 

^* It is necessary at every point to note the uncertain character 
of our evidence. The Historiae Philippicae of Pompeius 
Trogus written under Augustus would have been of inestim- 
able value for us, if we had them in full. But we possess them 
merely in the summary of Justin (third century?), which gives 
us all the substance, but little or none of the personality of the 
writer. And in this case the loss is the more serious because 
Trogus seems to have had a keener feeling for the dramatic 
character of events and a broader sympathy than many other 
ancient historians. 

"'Josephus, Ant. XVII. x. 9. 

"^ This is the Varus made famous in the Teutoburg battle. 
The insurrection mentioned in the text is the polemos shel 
Varos of the Seder Olam. 

"^ Caesar, Bell. Gall. iii. 10. 

^Josephus, Ant. XVII. x. 9. 

^ Nicolaus of Damascus, philosopher and historian, was 
Herod's principal Greek adviser and the advocate of the Jews 
in many public controversies. As far as we can judge from 

pp. 279-285] NOTES 405 

fragments, his History of the World, in no less than 114 Books, 
was a loosely connected compilation rather than a work of 
literary merit. 

'"Josephus, Ant. XVIII. i. i and 6. 

^^ A complete investigation of this subject is contained in 
Domaszewski, Die Religion des romischen Heeres. 

^^ Cagnat. in Dar.-Sagl. Diet, des ant. s. v. legio, p. 1084. 

^ The signa were actually worshiped by the soldiers. They 
are the propria legionum numina. Tac. Ann. ii. 17. Cf. Cagnat., 
op. cit. p. 1065. Domaszewski, op. cit. p. 115. 

^* To the sense and tact of this typical Roman official the 
averting of a crisis in the history of Palestinian Jewry is due. 
The rebellion which Gains would undoubtedly have provoked 
might have dragged other parts of the world with it, and at 
that time the conditions were less favorable for re-establish- 
ment of the empire than in 68 c. e. 

^'Josephus, Ant. XVIII. vii. 2. 

^'Josephus, Ant. XIX. vi. 

" That Tacitus shows a strong antipathy to the Jews can 
scarcely be questioned. It is in these chapters (Hist. v. 2. 
seq.) more than most others, that we are able to see the 
rhetorical historian of ancient times almost in the act of pre- 
paring his narrative. The sources of Tacitus are open to us. 
That he used Manetho and Apion instead of Josephus and 
Nicolaus is itself ample indication of the complete lack of 
conscience with which such a writer could select his evidence 
according to the thesis he meant to establish. 

^* Cagnat. Inscr. Or. ad res Rom. pertin. ii. n. 176. 

^® Cf. for the Jewish feeling toward him, Jos. Ant. VI. i. 2 ; 
Ketub. 17a; Pes. 88b. He is represented as a rigidly obser- 
vant and pious Jew. However, the boon companion of the 
young Gains and the voluptuaries of the imperial court must 
have undergone an overwhelming change of heart if he was 
really worthy of the praise lavished upon him. 

*° Josephus, Ant. XIX. vii. 

*^ Josephus, Ant. XX. i. One of the slain rioters is named 

*■ Josephus, Ant. XX. v. 

*^ Josephus, Ant. XX. viii. 

4o6 NOTES [pp. 287-301 

Chapter XVIII 

' Cf. Livy, Books XXXIX and XL. 

*Tac. Ann. iii. 40 seq. ; ibid. ii. 52; iv. 23. In 52 c. e., Cilicia 
rose in revolt ; ibid. xii. 55. The Jewish disturbances of the 
same year are alluded to in Tac. Ann. xii. 54 — a passage 
omitted in Reinach. 

^Josephus, Wars, II. xvi. 

* The entire life of this curious impostor, as portrayed by 
Lucian, is of the highest interest. The maddest and most in- 
solent pranks received no severer punishment than exclusion 
from Rome. 

^ C. I. L. vii. 5471. 

" For the Armenian, British, etc., rebellions, see Suet. Nero. 
39, 40. In at least one other part of the empire, prophecy and 
poetry maintained the hope of an ultimate supremacy, some- 
thing like the Messianic hope of the Jews. This was in Spain, 
and upon this fact Galba laid great stress. Suet. Galba, 9: 
Quorum carniinum senteniia erat, oritm'um quandoque ex His- 
pania principem doniinumque rerum. 

^ Suetonius speaks first of the joy shown at his death, then 
of the grief. It is, however, easy to see that the latter mani- 
festation was probably the more genuine and lasting. 

* Josephus, Ant. XX. viii. 11 ; Vita, 3. 

" We learn from the same passage that a great many accounts 
of Nero existed, and many of them were favorable. The 
implication further is that these accounts were written after 
his death. We have only the picture drawn by Tacitus and 
Suetonius. If we had one written from the other side, like 
Velleius Paterculus' panegyric of Tiberius (Veil. Pat. ii. 129 
seq.), we should be better able to judge him. 

" Gittin 56a. 

" Reinach, Textes, pp. 176-178. 

^^ Neither the arch nor the inscription exists any longer. A 
copy of the inscription was made, before the ninth century, by a 
monk of the monastery of Einsiedeln, to whose observation 
and antiquarian interest we owe more than one valuable record. 

" The phrase ludaica superstitione imbuti, already quoted, 

pp. 302-315] NOTES 407 

shows what the term would be likely to suggest to Roman 
minds. In Diocletian's time, when the Persians were the arch- 
enemies of Rome, and Persian doctrine in the form of Mani- 
cheism was widely spread over the empire, the emperors did 
not hesitate to call themselves Pcrsicus. But Persicus never 
meant an adherent of a religious sect. 

^* Idumaea is used for ludaea in Statius Silvae, iii. 138; v. 
2, 138; Valerius Flaccus, Argon. 12. 

Chapter XIX 


* Philo, Leg. ad Gaium, 24. 

" We may compare such expressions as magica arte infecfi, 
Tac. Ann. ii. 2; Cic. Fin. III. ii. 9, 

^ Long before the attempts made in the nineteenth century 
to rehabilitate all the generally acknowledged historical mon- 
sters, historians had looked askance at the portrait of Tiberius 
drawn by Tacitus. For a recent discussion, cf. Jerome, The 
Tacitean Tiberius, Class. Phil. vii. pp. 265 seq. 

* Suet. Tib. 36. The matheniatici are strictly the astrologers 
whose science was called /xadrjais. Cf. the title of Firmicus 
Maternus, Mathcscos libri. The governmental attempt to sup- 
press the mathematici was a total failure, but the law's attitude 
toward them may be seen from the rescript of Diocletian (294 
c. E.) : ars mathematica damnabilis interdicta est (Cod. Just. 
IX. xviii. 2). 

^ Nero assigned Sardinia to the senate as ample satisfaction 
for Achaea, which he took under his own jurisdiction. 

" Acts xi. 26 ; xxvi. 28. lri<jov xpv<^'^°^ in the inscription quoted 
in n. 10. In this case the identification of names may be due 
to iotacism. 

^ Cf. the well-known rhetorician Philostr. Vita. Soph. ii. 11, 
and in Rome itself Inscr. gr. Sic. et Ital. 1272; and ibid. 2417, 2. 

* The question of the authenticity and date of the Acts does 
not belong to this study. A thorough discussion will be found 
in Wendland, Die urchristlichen Literaturformen,^ p. 314 seq. 

4o8 NOTES [pp. 316-322 

° Acts xi. 19; xili. 5, 50. 

^'^ avpayuyri=:iKK\7](Tia. Le Bas, 2528 (318 c. E.), a Mar- 
cionite association. 

" There was a jurist Tertullian of whom some fragments 
have been preserved in the Digest (29, 2, 30 ; 49, 17, 4). He has 
on plausible grounds been assumed to be the same as the 
Church Father, There can be no question that the latter had 
legal training. As for the cruelties described by Tacitus, it 
may be said that Eusebius has no word of them, even in his 
denunciation of Nero, (Hist. Eccl. H, xxv.) 

^^ All the Church Fathers mention these outrageous charges, 
Pliny (Ep. x. 96) refers vaguely to wickednesses charged 
against them, but the Hagitia cohaerentia nomini are more likely 
to be the treasonable machinations which the Christian asso- 
ciations were assumed to be engaged in than these foul and 
stupid accusations. It will be remembered that Tertullian 
{loc. cit.) is more eager to free the Christians from the charge 
of treason than of any other. Treason in this case, however, 
meant not sedition or rebellion, but anarchy, i. e. attempts at 
the destruction of the state. The attitude of medieval law 
toward heresy gives a good analogy. 

" It would scarcely be necessary to refute this slander, if 
it had not recently renewed currency; Harnack, Mission and 
Ausbreitung. Tertullian knows nothing of it, nor Eusebius, 
although the latter refers in the case of Polycarp to Jewish 
persecution of Christians (Hist, Eccl, IV. xv, 29). Tertullian, 
on the contrary, implies that an enemy of the Jews would be 
likely to be a persecutor of Christians (Apol. 5), 

" Like most men of his time he bore two names, his native 
name of Saul and the name by which he was known among 
Christians, Paul. This is indicated by the phrase 1.av\os 6 Kai 
UavXos (Acts xiii, 9), which is the usual form in which such 
a double name was expressed. 

^" The mother church at Jerusalem consisted exclusively of 
Jews until the time of Hadrian (Euseb. Hist. Eccl, IV. v. 2). 

''^ Quint. Inst, X. i. 93. 

" Maecenas, too, was of the highest Etruscan nobility. Hor- 
ace, Sat. I. vi. I seq. The antiquity of Etruscan families was 
proverbial among the Romans. 

pp. 322-333'i NOTES 409 

^^ Mommsen seeks to make his crabbed style a racial char- 
acteristic. The statement is quite gratuitous. His peculiarity 
of expression is amply explained by his youth, his lack of 
literary practice, and his absorption in his philosophical pur- 

^^ Pers. V. 176. Reinach, Textes, p. 264. 

^ Strabo apud Jos. Ant. XIV. vii. 2 : /cat tottoi^ ovk ean padiivs 
cvpeiv TTJs olKovfievrjs 8s ov TrapadedeKrai tovto to (pv\ov /xt]8' eiriKpa- 
relrai vir' avrov. Seneca apud Aug. De Civ. Dei, vi. 10 : Cum 
interim usque eo sceleratissimae gentis consuetudo valet ut per 
omnes iam terras recepta sit ; victi victoribus leges dcderunt. 

^Besides the capital passage (Sat. xiv. 96) Juvenal speaks 
of Jews in Sat. iii. 10 seq., 296; vi. 156, 542. 

" Cf. Garrucci, Cimitero .... in Signa Randanini ; Rossi, 
Roma Sotteranea. especially the Indices. As late as 296 c. e. 
the epitaph of the Bishop of the Roman church is given in 

Chapter XX 

^ Perhaps the " egg laid on the Sabbath " would have excited 
less comment, if the fact were kept in mind that a decision in 
a specific case can hardly fail to be particular. 

^ C. I. L. ix. I. 26. 

' Laius outraged Chrysippus, son of Pelops, who had been 
left in his care. The Euripidean lost play on Oedipus seems 
to have adopted that version. Pisander, Schol. Eur. Phoen. 
1760: TrpaJTOS 5e Adtos top adifitTOV e'pwra tovtov ikax^^. 

^ Cf. Philo, De Spec. Leg. 7. 

'Tosefta Ab. Zar. ii. 6. 

"^ Ziebarth, Kulturbilder aus griechischen Stadten, p. 'J2)- 

~' In very much earlier times Jews left dedications in the 
temple of Pan Euhodus. Ditt. Inscr. Or. 74: GeOSoros Awpiojvos 
*\ov5alos ao}6eis e/c ireXdyov. Cf. y^, UroXefiaios ^lovvaiov louSaios. 

^ This became a standing formula and in inscriptions is regu- 
larly abbreviated N. K. C. (Valerius Probus, 4), i. e. non 
kalumniae causa. The use of k for c testifies to the antiquity 
of the formula. 

410 NOTES [pp. 333-344 

® Suet. Domit. 12. 

" Dio Cassius (Xiph.), Ixvii. 14. 

" Passed in 81 b. c. e. This law punished offenses as 
diverse as murder, arson, poisoning, perjury, abortion, and 
abuse of magisterial power. In every case it was the efifect 
of the act that was considered. 

"Reinach, Textes, p. 197, n. i. 

" The polemos shcl kitos of Mishnah Sota ix. 14 and the 
Seder Olam, 

Quietus was a Moorish chieftain of great military ability. 
He seems to have hoped for the succession to the throne. After 
the end of the revolt he was transferred to his native province, 
Mauretania, by Hadrian, and was ultimately executed for 

" Meg. Taan., Adar 12 ; Gratz, Gesch, der Juden,' iv. 445 seq. 

/^ In the case of non-Jews, the Messianic hope was simply 
the dread of an impending cataclysm. As far as this dread 
was connected with the failure of the Julian line, it proved 
groundless. But the Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of 
this time are full of prophecies of the end of the world. It 
was the general belief that the world was very old, and that 
a fixed cycle, then rapidly coming to its end, determined the 
limits it would reach. 

" Jerus. Taan. iv. 7, p. 68 d. Ekah Rab. ii. i. 

" Dio Cassius (Xiph.), Ixix. 12; Reinach, Textes, p. 198. 

*" Dig. 50, 15, I, 6. 

"Euseb. Hist. Eccl. IV. vi. 4. 

^ Gen. Rab. Ixiii. (xxv. 23) makes Hadrian the typical 
heathen king, as Solomon is the typical Jewish king. His name 
is followed, as is that of Trajan, by a drastic curse. But 
there are traditions of a kindlier feeling toward him. Sibyl, v. 
248. In the Meg. Taan. the 29th of Adar. 

'^ Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. IV. vi., quoting Aristo of Pella. 
Jerome in Ezek. i. 15. It is here that the famous passage of 
Jerome occurs, which describes the Jews as " buying their 
tears." Cf. also Itiner. Burdigal. (Hierosolymitanum), I. v. 22. 

" Vopiscus, Vita Saturn, viii. ; Reinach, Textes, p. 326. The 
authenticity of this letter has been questioned, but the trans- 
mission, although indirect, is better documented than in most 

pp. 344-349I NOTES 411 

such cases. Hadrian is known to have written an autobi- 
ography, and Phlegon, his freedman, who also wrote his life, 
no doubt used it. Spartianus, Hadr. i, i ; xiv. 8. 

*' The writers Spartianus, Capitolinus, etc., dedicate their 
work to Diocletian or Constantine. It was suggested by Des- 
sau, Hermes, 24, S37, that these writers never existed, and were 
invented by a forger of a century later. Mommsen, Hermes, 
25, 2g8, assumed their existence, but regarded the extant works 
as revised at the time mentioned by Dessau. Other investi- 
gators, except H. Peter, accept Mommsen's conclusions. 
Whether they are authentic or not, these biographies are alike 
wretched in style and thought. 

^* Paul, Sent. V. xxiii. 14; Dig. 48, 8, 3, 2 ; 8, 8. The date is 
not certain ; Dig. 48, 8, 3, 4. 

'' B. G. U. 347. 82. 

^-Dig. 48, 8, II. pr. 

" Paul, Sent. V. xxii. 3. 

'^^ Lampridius, Vita Alex. 22. 

"^ Jews made converts even after the prohibition of Theo- 
dosius (Jerome, Migne Patrol, 25, p. 199; 26, p. 311). One 
further ground for doubting the statement of Paul as it appears 
in the extant texts is the following : In the Digest (48, 8, 4, 2) 
it is only the physician and the slave that are capitally punished 
for castration. The owner of the slave {ibid. 48, 8, 6) is pun- 
ished by the loss of half his property. Further, the penalty for 
circumcision is stated to be the same as that for castration. 
That was the case not only in Modestinus' time, who lived after 
Paul, but as late as Justinian, since it is received into the Digest. 
Yet Paul, according to the extant text, makes the circumcision of 
alien slaves a capital crime (V, xxii. 4). The discrepancy can 
scarcely be reconciled. 

^" Capitol. Antoninus Pius, 5. 

" 193 c. E. It was on this occasion that the Pretorians 
offered the imperial purple to the highest bidder. 

^-Josephus, Ant. XIV. x. 

^ The legend of Polycarp assumes a large and powerful 
Jewish community. In late Byzantine times, the Jews of Asia 
Minor were still a powerful factor. The emperor Michael 
II, a Phrygian, was suspected of Jewish leanings ; Theophanes 
(Contin.), ii. 3 ff. 

412 NOTES [pp. 351-361 

Chapter XXI 



^ The theory advanced by Wilcken-Mitteis (Grundziige und 
Chrestomathie der Pap. vol. I.) that all who paid a poll-tax were 
dediiicii, and therefore excluded from the Const. Ant. is wholly 
gratuitous. There is no evidence whatever connecting the 
dediticii with the poll-tax. 

'" There are few reliable statements in the extant texts for 
estimating the population. Beloch's work on the subject puts 
all the data together, but nothing except uncertain conjectures 
can be offered. 

^ Lanciani, Ancient Rome, pp. 50-51; Pelham, Essays on 
Roman History, pp. 268 seq. 

■* Lampridius, Alex, ss ' corpora omnium constituit vinari- 
orum . . . . et omnino omnium^ artium. 

"* These are the collegia, idcirco instituta ut necessariam 
opera m publicis utilitatibus exhiberent (Dig. 50, 6, 6, i). They 
are the transportation companies and others engaged in caring 
for and distributing the annona, the fire companies and the 
burial associations of the poor. Cf. C. 1. L. vi. 85, 29691 ; x. 
1642, xiv. 21 12. 

"The institutio alimentaria commemorated on the marble 
slabs (anaglypha) in the Forum and by the bronze tablets 
of Veleia and the Baebiani (C. I. L. ix. 1147; xi. 1455). It 
had begun with Nerva : puellas puerosque. natos parentibus 
e gestosis sumptu publico per Jtaliae oppida ali iussit (Aur. 
Vict, Nerva, xii.). 

'An entire article of the Digest (26, i) is devoted to the 
tutela. Another one (27, i) deals with excusationes, which 
are mainly exemptions from the burden of the tutela. 

^The distinction is thoroughgoing in the penal clauses cited 
in the Digest. It was already established in Trajan's time 
(Plin. Ep. X, Ixxix. 3). It is implied in Suetonius, Gains, 2y : 
multos honesti ordinis. It is doubtful, however, whether the 
distinction was already recognized in the time of Caligula. 

® Gains wrote about 150 c. e., probably in the eastern prov- 

pp. 362-367 J NOTES 413 

" Abot ii. 5. The saying of Hillel has no direct reference 
to apostasy, and concerns rather arrogance or eccentricity of 
conduct. But it literally describes the act by which such a 
man as Tiberius Julius Alexander ceased to be classed as a 

" Cf. Plutarch, Numa, 17 ; Dionys. Hal. iv. 43. 

"^ Dig. 50, 2, 3, 3. 

" Cod. Theod. viii. 14. 

" Exodus xxi. 2 ; Josephus, Ant. IV. viii. 28. 

" Bab. Bat. 3b ; Gittin 46b. The duty was regarded as of 
the highest urgency. 

'^ Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden, p. 61 seq. Fried- 
lander, Darstellungen der Sitt.^ i. p. 514. 

" Ox. Pap. ii. no. 276. 

" Aurelian reigned from 270-27^ c. e. The sol invictus 
whom he adored was probably the Baal of Palmyra. Cumont, 
Les rel. orient, pp. 170, 367, n. 59. 

" Cod. Theod. xvi. 4. 

^"In 311 c. E. Galerius, and in 318 c. e. Constantine and 
Licinius, legalized the practice of Christianity. In 380 c. e., 
by the edict of Thessalonica, most of the heathen practices 
became penal offenses. 

^^ Every state as such had its characteristic and legally estab- 
lished state ritual. Many centuries later Gladstone, then " the 
rising hope of the stern and unbending Tories," stated, as a 
self-evident proposition, that a government in its collective 
capacity must profess a religion (The Church in its Relation to 
the State, 1839). 

^^ Cyprian. De catholicae ecclesiae unitate, ch. x. 

^ Matth. V. 13. Cf. generally the Pauline Epistles, e. g. II. 
Corinth, xiii. 13. 



The Jewish Quarterly Review : First Series, London, i88g- 
1900. Second Series, Philadelphia, 1910-date. 

Revue de etudes juives, Paris, 1880-date. 

Monatsschrift fiir Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Juden- 
thums, Breslau, 1851-date. 


Jewish Encyclopedia: New York, 1901-1906. 

Encyclopedia Biblica : London, 1899. 

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1901-1904. 

Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 1908. Not 
yet completed. 

Daremberg-Saglio : Dictionnaire des antiquites grecques et 
romaines, 1877. Not yet completed. 

Pauly-Wissowa : Realenzyklopadie, 1894. Not yet completed. 

Schaff-Herzog-Hauck : Realencyklopadie fiir protestantische 
Kirche und Theologie. 3d ed. Eng. tr. 1908. 


Gratz : Geschichte der Juden (1873-1895). Eng. tr., History 
of the Jews (1891). 

Schiirer : Geschichte des jiidischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu 
Christi (4th ed.), 1901. 

Juster : Les juifs dans I'empire romain, 1914. 

Wendland : Die hellenistisch-romische. Kultur in ihren Be- 
ziehungen zum Judentum und Christentum, 1912. 

Wendland-Poland-Baumgarten : Die hellenistische Kultur. 

Friedlander : Darstellungen aus der Sittengeschichte Roms. 
Leipzig (7th ed.). Eng. tr. London, 1909. 

Cumont : Les religions orientales dans le paganisme romain, 


Aboda Zara, 329. 

Abstraction, 42. 

Aelia Capitolina, 288, 342. 

Aeolian, 50. 

Africanus, the Younger, 45. 

Agatharchidas, 178. 

Agrippa I, king of the Jews, 283, 

Agrippa II, king of the Jews, 290. 

Akiba, rabbi, 342. 

Akmonia, z^T. 

Alexander (Jannai), king of the 
Jews, 274. 

Alexander Severus, Roman em- 
peror, 346, 356. 

Alexander the Great, 37, 38, 52, 
78, 212, 368. 

Alexandria, 91, 107 seq., 200, 229, 
255, 339, 362. 

Allia, 252. 

Amalekites, tj. 

Antigonus, 128. 

Antigonus, king of the Jews, 267, 

Antigonus of Socho, 128, 133, 386. 

Antinois, 107. 

Antioch, 119, 138, 282. 

Antiochus Cyzicenus, 63, 275. 

Antiochus Epiphanes, 135 seq., 205. 

Antiochus Sidetes, 63. 

Anti-Semitism, ^"j. 

Apamea, 22(). 

Apella, 177, 248, 402. 

Aphrodite, Z2, 114, ZT^' 

Apion, 168, 170, 189. 

Apocrypha, 18, 67, 331. 

Apollo, 2T, 46, 168. 

ApoUonius Molo, 170, 194. 

Appuleius Decianus, 227,. 


Aramaic, 118. 

Archelaus, 278. 

Archigallus, 389. 

Aristobulus I, son of John Hyr- 

canus, 63. 
Aristobulus II, son of Alexander 

Jannai, 64, 267. 
Aristophanes, 24. 
Aristotle, 81, 84, 212. 
Armenia, 265. 
Army, Roman, 352. 
Artaxerxes Ochus, 61, 181. 
Artemis, 2"], 140. 
Asclepius, 46. 
Asebeia, 34, 35, 123, 163 seq., 334. 

Asia Minor, 58, 63, 331, 348. 

Asianism, 198. 

Ass, 168 seq. 

Assideans. See Hasidim. 

Assuan, 60, 96. 

Astrology, 241, 243, 317, 407. 

Atheism, 100, 191 seq., 335. 

Athena, ZZ, 83. 

Athens, 52. 

Atonement, Day of, 399 seq. 

Atticism, 198. 

Augustus, Roman emperor, 245, 

254, 257, 294. 
Aurelian, Roman emperor, 366. 
Avaris, 173. 

Babylon, 56, 366. 

Bacchanalia, 166, 238, 310. 

Bagoas, 62. 

Barbarian, 49, 51. 

Bar Kochba See Bar Kosiba. 

Bar Kosiba, 65, 342, 348. 

Bastian, 377. 

Ben Sira. See Jesus, son of Sira. 



Bible, 20, 59, 60. 
Byzantine, 411. 

Cabiri, 149. 

Caesar (Gaius Julius Caesar), 222, 

244, 294. 
Caligula. See Gaius. 
Calumnia, 332 seg. 
Camillus, 45. 
Candide, 85. 
Caphthor, 77, 381. 
Caracalla, 348, 351. 
Carthage, 45, 188. 
Cassius, Dio. See Dio Cassius. 
Catiline, 222, 260. 
Celsus, 255. 
Chaeremo, 201. 
Chaldeans, 244, 255. 
Charles, 19. 
Chrestus, 313. 

Christians, 313, 316, 346, 366. 
Cicero, 53, 196, 220 seq. 
Circumcision, 80, 143, 345, 411. 
Citium, 1 14, 376. 
City-state, 69, 105 seq. 
Claudius, Roman emperor, 284, 

Clearchus, 84. 

Clemens. See Flavius Clemens. 
Clemens, of Alexandria, 86, 200. 
Clodius, 244. 
Constantine, 353. 
Constitutio Antoniniana, 262, 350, 

361, 371, 403. 
Crassus, 265, 397. 
Credulity, 176, 271. 
Crete, 164, 186. 
Cybele, 46, 158, 161, 238, 242. 
Cynics, 158, 240. 
Cyprian, 366. 
Cyprus, 33, 338. 
Cyrene, 249, 338. 

Damocritus, 170, 189. 
Daniel, Book of, 52, 135. 
David, 73, 179. 
Dead Sea, 81. 
Dediticii, 361. 

Deification, 37 seq., 261. 

Delphi, 231, 378. 

Deme, 107. 

Demeter, 27. 

Demetrius, Jewish writer, 127. 

Demetrius (the Besieger), 38, 127, 

Demosthenes, 53. 
Diagoras of Melos, 193. 
Diana. See Artemis. 
Diaspora, 60, 208, 369. 
Diatribe, 158. 

Dio Cassius, 300, 334, 338, 342. 
Diocletian, 350, 353, 365. 
Dionysus, 32, 35, 142, 171, 376. 
Dioscuri, 46. 
Domitian, 335. 
Dorian, 50. 
Druids, 142, 319. 

Ecclesia, 366, 408. 

Ecclesiasticus. See Jesus, son of 

Egypt, 80, 88, 97, 144, 152, 153, 

166, 172, 249, 269, 305, 338, 

345, 353, 362. 
Eleazar, 206. 

Elephantine, 60, 96, 97, 180. 
Eleusis, 35, 152, 377- 
Eliphaz, 70. 
Ennius, 53. 
Epicurus, 164. 
Eschatology, 72, 161. 
Essenes, 279. 
Ethiopic, 19. 

Etruscans, 43, 210, 213, 321. 
Euhemerus, 47. 
Euphrates, river, 87. 
Eusebia, 339, 342. 
Euthyphro, 84. 
Exodus, 96. 99. 
Ezra, 57- 

Fast, 399- 

Fiscus ludaicus, 332, 363- 
Flaccus, prefect of Egypt, 200. 
Flaccus, proconsul of Asia, 221. 
Flavius Clemens, 335, 336. 



Florus, Gessius, 283, 286. 

Formula, 43. 

Freedmen, 220, 245, 255, 307, 379. 

Gabinius, 223. 

Gaius, Roman emperor (Caligula), 

282, 313. 
Gaius, Roman jurist, 361, 412. 
Galilee, 280. 
Gauls, 187, 2:^2. 
Gerizim, 57, 138. 
Gods, 24, 40. 
Greek names, 123, 128. 
Grundideen, 40, 277. 

Haberim. See Pharisees. 
Hades, 152, 154. 
Hadrian, 107, 340, 343. 
Hannibal, 174, 188. 
Harmodius, 37. 
Hasidim, 130 seq., 147. 
Hasmoneans, 63, 74, 158. 
Hecataeus of Abdera, 92 seq., 176, 

Helladius, 102. 
Hellene, 49. 
Hellenization, 79, 116, 133, 145, 

Henotheism, 29. 
Heracles, 46. 
Hermippus, 89. 
Herod (the Great), king of the 

Jews, 264, 269, 222, 403. 
Herodotus, 80. 
Heroes, 29, 30, 36. 
Hillel, 69. 
Hindu, 85. 

Historia Augusta, 344, 357, 411. 
Homer, 23, 25, 49, 150, 184, 200. 
Horace (Quintus Hora:tius Flac- 

cus), 245 seq., 321. 
Human sacrifices, 187. 
Hyksos, 98. 
Hyrcanus II, son of Alexander 

Jannai, 267. 

Idumaea, 157, 168, 270. 
Images, 273, 280. 

Immortality, 71, 153 seq., 237. 
Impiety. See Asebeia. 
Inhospitality, 93, 183 seq. 
Ionian, 50. 

Isis, 161, 166, 251, 307, 311. 
Isocrates, 78. 

Jerusalem, 178, 224, 222. 

Jesus, founder of Christianity. 

See Christians. 
Jesus, son of Sira (Ecclesiasticus), 

19, 67, 118. 
Joel, Book of, 78, 382. 
John, high priest, son of Simon 

(Hyrcanus), 63, 155, 274. 
Jonathan, Hasmonean prince, son 

of Mattathiah, 63. 
Jordan, 73. 
Jose ben Joezer, 133. 
Joseph, son of Tobiah, Egyptian 

tax-farmer, 130. 
Josephus, Titus(?) Flavius, 18, 85, 

99, 109, 155, 164, 193, 285, 

289, 296, 306, 272. 
Judah Makkabi, 63, 132, 214. 
Jupiter, 43. 
Juvenal, 54» 189, 222 seq. 

Kautzsch, 19. 

Lectisternium, 46. 

Levant, 72. 

I.ex Cornelia de Sicariis, 337, 344. 

Liby-Phoenicians, 53. 

Lucian, 192. 

Lysimachus, 195. 

Ma. See Cybele. 

Maccabeans. See Hasmoneans. 

Maccabees, First Book of, 74, 130, 

132, 141, 180, 214. 
Maccabees, Second Book of, 131, 

141, 180. 
Maccabees, Fourth Book of, 204, 

Macedonians, 50, 108, no. 
Macrobius, 45, 222. 
Maecenas, 245, 247, 263. 



Magi, 85. 

Magic, 41, 239. 

Manetho, 99. 

Marathon, 60. 

Martial, 302, 325 seq., 329. 

Mathematici. See Astrology. 

Mattathiah, 63, 74, 180. 

Megasthenes, 86. 

Megillat Taanit, 20, 410. 

Meir, rabbi, 297. 

Meleager of Gadara, 177, 329. 

Menelaus, 37. 

Messiah, 72 seq., 293, 298, 319, 

341, 370, 406, 410. 
Metics, 34, 109, 1 12. 
Miletus, 331. 
Minoan, 13, 77, 374. 
Misanthropy. See Inhospitality. 
Mishnah, 69, 328. 
Mithra, 241, 357. 
Mithradates, 63. 
Mnaseas, 168. 
Molech, 188, 393. 
Molo. See Apollonius Molo. 
Moloch. See Molech. 
Miiller, Max, 375. 
Mysteries, 35, 152. 
Mythology, 25, 26, 44, 236. 

Names, 123, 128. 

Nasi, 265, 363. 

Naucratis, 104. 

Nehemiah, 57, 61. 

Nero, Roman emperor, 285, 294, 

315 seq. 
Nerva, 334. 
Nicarchus, 201. 
Nicocles, 387. 

Nicolaus, of Damascus, 277, 405. 
Nile, 91. 

Olam ha-bo. See Immortality. 

Orphism, 153. 

Osarsiph, 100. 

Osiris, 100, 115, 385. 

Ostia, Z27- 

Ovid, 250 seq. 

Pantheism, 31. 

Papyri, 339. See also Elephantine; 

Parthians, 265, 297, 340, 370, 
Passover, 97. 
Paul, of Tarsus, 315, 320. 
Paul, Roman jurist, 338, 346. 
Pederasty, 160, 330. 
Pentateuch, 67. 
Pergamon, 107. 
Persians, 52, 108. 
Persius, 321 seq. 
Petronius, legate of Syria, 282. 
Pharisees, 71, 155, 265, 283. 
Philistia, 72. 
Philo (of Alexandria)), 17, 200, 

227, 307, Z73- 
Phoenicia, 77,. 78. 
Pilate (Titus Pontius Pilatus), 280. 
Pirke Abot, 128. 
Plato, 42, 194. 
Pliny, 196. 
Plutarch, 171. 
Polis. See City-state. 
Polybius, 140, 141, 174. 
Polytheism, 160. 
Pompeius Trogus, 274, 404. 
Pompey, 64, 181, 215, 227. 
Poppaea Sabina, 316. 
Porphyrius, 81. 
Poseidon, 23- 
Posidonius, 169, 170, 203. 
Prayer, houses of, 69. 
Propaganda, 148 seq., 208, 240, 

263, 370. 
Proselyte, 247. 296, 316, 389. 
Proseucha, 65. 
Psalms of Solomon, 216. 
Pseudepigrapha, 19. 
Ptolemies, 116, 133, 180. 
Ptolemy Philadelphus, 102. 
Ptolemy Philometor, 175, 178. 
Ptolemy Philopator, 182. 
Ptolemy Soter, 80, 91, 178. 
Pyrrhus, 212. 
Pythagoras, 89. 

Quietus, Lusius, 339, 



Ra, 38, 116. 
Race, 48 seq., 379. 
Reinach, Theodore, 17. 
Religion, 21, 22. 
Resurrection, 71, 155. 
Rhetoric, 85, 167, 173, 178, 391. 
Rhodes, 198. 
Ritual murder, 190. 
Rome, 63, 210 seq. 

Sabazios, 161, 171, 179, 2:55. 
Sabbath, 143, 177, 181, 246 seq., 

254, 321. See also Thirtieth 

Sabbatistae, 179. 
Sacrifice, 28. 
Sadducees, 155. 
Salamis (Cyprus), 340. 
Salvation, 150. 

Samaritans, 58, 138, 281, 285. 
Sambethe, 179. 
Sanhedrin, 265, 363. 
Sarapis, 114, 385. 
Sardinia, 307, 312. 
Satire, 246, 321. 
Scipionic Circle, 138. 
Scribes, 61. 
Scythians, 186, 190. 
Seder 01am, 20, 404. 
Sejanus, 312. 
Seleucia, 164. 
Seleucid, ^z^ 146. 
Seleucus, 38. 
Seneca, 310, 318, 324. 
Septuagint, 102. 
Shechem, 57. 
Sheol, 70, ISO, 388. 
Sibyl, 179, 298. 
Sidon, 79, 83, 382. 
Simon, high priest, son of Matta- 

thiah, 230. 
Slavas, 219, 2Z1, 309, 352, 364. 
Socrates, 84, 193. 
Sodom, 330. 
Sparta, 51, 151, 186. 
Standards, 280. 
Stoics, 204, 240, Z22. 

Strabo, 186, 249. 
Suetonius, 295, 305, 317 
Suidas, 170. 

Synagogue, 254, zjy, 362. 
Syria, 76 seq., 215, 264, ztj. 
Syrians, 216, 2ZZ, 239, 244, 363, 

Tacitus, 102, 170, 189, 283, 307, 

Talmud, 20. "■ 

Tertullian, 318, 408. 
Theodore of Cyrene, 193. 
Theodosius, 347, 366. 
Theophrastus, 81. 
Theudas, 284. 
Thiasi, 244, 357, 
Thirtieth Sabbath, 399 seq. 
Thracians, 187, 188. 
Tiberius, 200, 254, 304. 
Titus, Roman emperor, 300 seq. 
Tosefta, 331. 
Trajan, 338. 

Trogus. See Pompeius Trogus. 
Trojan, 49. 
Typhon, 172. 
Tyre, 78. 

Valerius Maximus, 255. 
Varro, Marcus Terentius, 234. 
Varus, Publius Quintilius, 276. 
Veil, 45. 
Vespasian, 341. 

Wisdom of Solomon, 159, 242. 

Xenophanes, 31. 
Xenophon, 194, 258. 
Xiphilinus, 335, 338. 

Yavan, 50, 79. 

Zabidus, 168. 
Zealot, 288. 
Zechariah, -jz^ 87. 
Zerubbabel, 59. 
Zeus, 28, 138. 
Zion, 268. 



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