See also the story of the Jewish troop from Babylonia hired by Herod the Great to settle in Batanaea as a buffer-zone ibid. That the Hasmoneans left a tradition of active participation in international politics is abundantly clear from the frequent references in Josephus to envoys sent to Rome, Parthia, and other nearby kingdoms. And there is no reason to suppose that the number of Jews capable of serving as ambassadors, envoys, and advocates in such a setting was small.
We hear of Jewish envoys from the diasporas 52 as well as from Palestine; and after the death of Herod the Great, as many as fifty Jewish envoys are mentioned as sent from Jerusalem to Rome to protest the continuation of Herodian rule under Archelaus. That their "Jewishness" was not always consistent with later Rabbinic "orthodox" perspectives ought not concern us here! Later, after a decade of rule by Archelaus, a delegation of "Jews and Samaritans" successfully petitioned Caesar to remove Archelaus. See also S. Josephus is silent about this aspect of Berenice's involved life.
See Antiquities Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.
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See also in this book Chapter 2, page 67 and Chapter 4, page When we approach the problem of the legal and civil status of Jews in the eyes of the Roman officials in general, we are faced with several problems of interpreting the sources. In what sense were Jews "citizens" of Alexandria, for example, and what did it mean to be a "Roman citizen"? In many places, Josephus seems to display a studied vagueness in his use of the term "citizen," e. But was it in any way "legal" citizenship? The edict of Claudius in 41 CE raises strong doubts in that it seems to discourage the hope that some significant segments of the Alexandrian Jewish inhabitants addressed by it were legally entitled to the designation "citizen of Alexandria," which seems to have been a prerequisite for being a Roman citizen, 61 and which depended on successful participation in the Greek gymnastic education.
Other references to specific Jews holding Roman citizenship include Antipater thus also many of the Herods?
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This particular problem see p. In any event, these edicts suggest that there was a sizable group of Jews in western Asia Minor who enjoyed Roman citizenship and who also observed the ancestral customs. Philo adds an allusion to emancipated Jewish captives who enjoyed Roman citizenship in the city of Rome at the time of Augustus.
In Egypt, at least, the problem of citizenship and civil status also had definite financial overtones. Near the beginning of Roman rule in Egypt ca. Although in the fragmentary account of a dispute between King Agrippa I and Isodorus, Agrippa claimed that the Jews did not pay the tax, Tcherikover is convinced from the other evidence that, in general, the Jews did pay it. Whether similar measures were taken elsewhere in the Roman world, not to mention the Parthian world, is not clear.
Some of the specific rights supposedly granted to Jews in the early Roman Empire -- or at least to some Jews in some places and times in the period under consideration -- are of special interest in relation to the general structure of usual Roman policy. For evidence of the temple tax being collected in Parthia, see Antiquities Philo refers to these "first fruits" or "ransom" contributions, e. The religious situation in Jerusalem at this time is not always easy to assess because of Josephus' preoccupation with the more political and entertaining?
However, numerous Jews throughout the Roman and Parthian worlds sacrificially sent their annual contributions to Jerusalem until the very end. Our main detailed knowledge of the tax comes from Egypt, where it was collected at least to the middle of the second century. Whether the tax was a significant factor in influencing any individuals or groups to separate from Judaism e.
On the rather strict methods of determining whether an individual was liable to the tax or not, see Suetonius, Domitian In closing, a word is in order about the history of Judaism subsequent to the events of , for which we have no Josephus to guide us. From Egypt, we get little information except what relates to the revolt in the last days of Trajan, Apart from Egypt, we have some awareness of the general events in Palestine, and a few references to Jews elsewhere -- such as Justin's courteous opponent Trypho, with his disciples.
That some of the rabbinic leaders, including the famous teacher Aqiba himself, should take up the messianic cause of Bar Kochba against Rome some fifteen years later would seem to be a tribute to the image projected by that "Son of the Star," as well as an extreme display of dissatisfaction with the new conditions instituted by Hadrian after the Trajan revolt. But the results were disastrous -- Jews were expelled from the city area; cultic practices were forbidden as well as Rabbinic ordination: and at last Jerusalem was transformed into a hellenistic-Roman city, Aelia Capitolina.
Henceforth, many survivors in Palestinian Rabbinic Jewry began to look toward Parthian Babylon for solace and the hope of a brighter future. It is striking that there is virtually no evidence for support from the Babylonian area of either of the two major Palestinian revolts against Rome in 66 and , although Babylonian Jews did oppose Trajan's armies in the revolt of The reasons for such seeming inconsistencies are not apparent, 86 especially since there is evidence that Parthian interests, as well as the interests of Babylonia Jewry would have been well served by a defeat of the Roman legions in Judea.
Quasten, Patrology 1, Glen Rock, N. These were not "Councils" in the later Christian sense eg. On this paradoxical note, and with Judaism entering what proved to be a new era, perhaps it is fitting to end this all too brief overview of a frequently paradoxical period of Jewish history. Edited by P. Augsburg: Filser, Reprinted Darmstadt, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament.
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Edited by R. New York: Oxford University Press, Corpus Inscriptionum Judaicarum. Edited by J. Rome: Pontificio instituto di archeologia cristiana, , Edited by Victor Tcherikover and A. Cambridge, Mass. Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period. Edited by E. Goodenough, 12 vols. New York: Pantheon Books, Edited by Theodore Reinach.
Paris: Leroux, ; reprint Hildesheim: Georg Olms, The "Dead Sea Scrolls.
New York: The Viking Press, and The Works of Josephus. Edited by H.
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Translated bp David Green. Simon, Marcel, and Benoit, A. Nouvelle Clio Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, Tcherikover, Victor A. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, Feldman Askowith, D. Under Julius Caesar and Augustus.
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Bell, H. London: Oxford University Press, Clark, K. Farmer, W. Finkelstein, Louis, The Pharisees. Harnack, Adolf, "Judaism, its Diffusion and Limits. ET by J.