User talk:Dataclarifier

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Welcome! God Bless + everyone who accesses this page! --Dataclarifier 12:18, 3 October 2014 (EDT)


Reply to non-English font issue

Characters from non-English alphabets can be copied from anywhere and then pasted in an edit box, and their fonts are usually preserved by the MediaWiki software.--Andy Schlafly 19:00, 3 October 2014 (EDT)

The appropriate font has to be installed on the system the reader is using. They are not on the site. For Hebrew, see this. You can use either cut-and-paste or the "Character Map" feature. You don't usually have to worry about fonts unless it's something really out of the ordinary like cuneiform. PeterKa 23:08, 3 October 2014 (EDT)
You guys, I really appreciate your replies. What you didn't know is: I've never done a copy and paste, and I've had a computer for 6 years. I had no idea what to do when you recommended that I do it, and when I looked at the tools menu top right my screen I was still in the dark how to use Edit Cut Copy Paste. I didn't know anyone I could ask to teach me what to do, and I didn't want to annoy you guys with that request, so I experimented a bit and got no results. So I went to bed, woke up 2 hours later, and it suddenly occurred to me (uh-Du-uh!) to turn on the computer and search "How to copy and paste". Well, the time now is 00:03 my time (CDT), and over the past several minutes I watched two tutorials on MyTube. I came here and found PeterKa's response added to Andy's. You guys are a lot friendlier than the Administrator-snipers on Wikipedia. So now I know what in the world you were telling me to do, and the added data you both supplied above--"preserved by the MediaWiki software" and "need installation of the font on the system I'm using"--helps complete the picture. After I complete this edit, I'll access the Hebrew font using the link PeterKa provided. Thanks, guys! God bless + you both. --Dataclarifier 01:30, 4 October 2014 (EDT)
Ho-kay! That was not really clear. I'm still a 68-year-old novice on the computer. This coming Wednesday, when I start constructing the articles I would like to contribute, I'll simply copy the Hebrew and Greek words and characters I need from other sites, like the Hebrew-English parallel MT and JPS 1917 text at Numbers 4, and's English-Greek Septuagint, and paste them onto the edit page of the constructed article. --Dataclarifier 02:05, 4 October 2014 (EDT)
I found an outstanding resource site --Dataclarifier 16:13, 18 October 2014 (EDT)

could use your assistance

I see that you are interested in Christian apologetics.

Please consider writing articles on Philosophical naturalism and Argument from religious experience and Swinburne's argument from religious experience.

And also expanding/improving these articles: Atheist worldview and Atheism and beliefs. Conservative 19:01, 18 October 2014 (EDT)

Thank you, Conservative, for your evident confidence in my expertise at researching a topic. I am willing, but the "flesh is weak", so I will do what I can after I have completed Badger skins (Bible) (this week?) and have taken a break. My difficulty is the stamina required to research, compose, create and edit an article. I edit slowly, and sometimes it takes me 5 hours to refine a single paragraph. (For example, I began this response 13:28, timestamp check, 12:28 my time, and posted it only after carefully proofreading and revising and reviewing it several times on [Show preview] before deeming it satisfactory.) Nevertheless, I will be happy to assist as long as I am able and have opportunity. Please be patient. I am looking forward to working with the Conservapedia community. Pax vobis --Dataclarifier 14:04, 19 October 2014 (EDT)
OK. We appreciate all your efforts. If you want to prioritize the work, expanding the Atheist worldview article would have the biggest priority. The external link section has good sources if you wish to use them. Conservative 15:30, 19 October 2014 (EDT)
Can do! Semper Fi! --Dataclarifier 19:08, 19 October 2014 (EDT)

assistance forthcoming

I have basically completed and finished the article Badger skins (Bible)—at 16:34, 24 October 2014.
I'll take a break and be back beginning 5 and 7 November ready to do what I can to improve Atheist worldview and Atheism and beliefs.
After those two, I'll research and compose an article on Swinburne's argument from religious experience followed by what promises to be the more general companion piece Argument from religious experience.

When these have been given concise and satisfactory encyclopedic treatment, I'll survey Philosophical naturalism, articulating more than a dictionary type definition of the subject—expect as brief an outline overview as I used in the "Badger skins (Bible)" article (I believe there were indications of it before the Greeks, in Sumer, about the time of Lugalzaggisi and Sargon I, but I'll have to check on that).
I realistically anticipate a probable research and development period of about 10 months total November through August for all 5 requests sequentially as set forth here ending about September 2015 with final finishing touches on "Philosophical naturalism". Expect my editing activity mainly on Wednesdays and Fridays. Pax vobis + --Dataclarifier 00:44, 25 October 2014 (EDT)
Sounds great. Thanks for all your work. Much appreciated. 04:45, 25 October 2014 (EDT)

Don't forget to do category tags for your articles

Don't forget to do category tags for your articles. For example, the article Keresh needs a category tag. Look at the bottom of the Conservapedia articles and you will quickly see how to do category tags. Conservative 06:12, 31 October 2014 (EDT)

Also, if you didn't do it already, try to build a link to a newly created article from an existing article so the page is not an orphan page that nobody finds. 06:15, 31 October 2014 (EDT)
I put a category tag on your Keresh article and built a link to the article from the article Deer. Conservative 06:18, 31 October 2014 (EDT)
Thanks, Conservative, for your help. (It's like you have my "six"!) I was cut off by 02:30 curfew (CDT) before I could finish the stub. Henceforth I will always provide a catagory tag and link/s to new articles with the first edit/s constructing them, instead of waiting until they are completed as I had originally intended. I now plan to finish any day's editing around 01:00 (CST).
Good to go. Pax vobis. --Dataclarifier 10:15, 31 October 2014 (EDT)


Would you like to collaborate with other editors on a wiki project to help Conservapedia be a strong resource for a given topic.

The topic could be decided by the editors participating.

If you are interested, please go to: The collaborative project. Conservative 21:55, 25 December 2014 (EST)


My pet Tommikat died 9 December 2014 11 years old (queened in 2003). I miss him, and I will not have another indoor pet at my age. Instead I keep the bird-feeder outside the dining room window full in winter for the sparrows, chickadees, juncos, cardinals, blue jays, and thieving squirrels. --Dataclarifier 16:37, 16 January 2015 (EST)

I'm very sorry to hear your pet died. I'm sure you loved him very much and he loved you. My sincere condolences DC. EJamesW 17:56, 16 January 2015 (EST)
Thanks, James, I very much appreciated your unexpected expression of sympathy. In July I relented and got another cat from the Animal Rescue League for my mother. He was queened in 2008. We retained his original name "Fuzz". 20 inches from nose to rump. He is a domestic shorthair, pussywillow grey, with a tan undercoat that shows only when he's stroked backward (he loves it!), and has beautiful green eyes. He was severely depressed before we adopted him, weighed 22 lbs. (!) and was shaped like a big football with feet and no legs. But after a good diet on Purina Natural for Indoor Cats (lost 4 lbs.) and gentle loving he is happily "retired" with us, his legs are visible, and he has discovered that he is free to "complain" when we are not doing things the way he wants. When we turn on TV in the morning at 0700 hrs for the EWTN Daily Mass he always comes in and lies down and listens to the whole program (his ears move), and as soon as it's over, even when we don't immediately get up, he leaves the room and goes back to sleep. Imagine that: a Christian cat (!) Outstanding ! --Dataclarifier (talk) 11:53, 17 September 2015 (EDT)
Fuzz suddenly lost his potty training and began having seizures over a period of 4 days end of February. He came to the side of my chair while I was at the computer, which was not normal, looked up at me and said a sad "ma-ow" and crouched on the floor. I looked down and asked, "Are you all right?" He made a sadder, much softer "ma-oh" (almost like "no"), he lowered his head, looked down and closed his eyes. I stroked him and he purred. Then 29 February I took him to ARL to be examined, and nothing could be done. I requested euthanasia for him and after the veterinarian checked him over and told me the procedure I assured her that I preferred to be with Fuzz as he died, so he would be less frightened, and told her that I have seen death close up many times, including men I have been with. She did not know that people also sometimes make a small spasm when they die. Within two minutes of the injection, the vet said "He's gone". Then she said quietly as she checked him again, "There was something seriously wrong with this cat. It's not normal for them to pass so quickly!" She agreed that I had done the right thing for him. I stroked him, kissed him on the head saying, "One last time, baby cat." Then I arranged for the ARL there to take care of his disposal, and I donated all of his kitty equipment and leftover supplies to ARL, for which they thanked me. I notified Home Again microchip services, then Fuzz's regular vet, and finally the city licensing clerk, that he was dead. I have good memories of all my pets, and Fuzzy is the last and final one. I thank God for all the animals, our companions in the miracle of life on earth. --Dataclarifier (talk) 13:59, 18 April 2016 (EDT)
Thank you for serving and we are grateful for your contributions. My deepest feelings for your loss. --Jpatt 15:04, 18 April 2016 (EDT)


It's just a minute detail... --AugustO 02:18, 19 January 2015 (EST)

Thanks, --AugustO 03:35, 19 January 2015 (EST)
Just another annotation: For emphasis, you put some verses in parentheses like [[haec est autem vita aeterna ut cognoscant te solum verum Deum et quem misisti Iesum Christum]]. Though this adds a nice red color, it has the disadvantage that a link to a nonexistent article is created: haec est autem vita aeterna ut cognoscant te solum verum Deum et quem misisti Iesum Christum
I don't know whether you intend to write an article on each of the versions of the verse - you can do so just by clicking on the red link above.
If you don't want to create these articles, you should try to avoid such links - as they appear at Special:WantedPages.
There are other ways to create emphasis:
  1. you could use <span style="color:red">haec est autem...</span> to get haec est autem.... Same optic, but no link!
  2. you could link to an existing article by piping: [[John 15-21 (Translated)|haec est autem...]] gives haec est autem..., [[John 15-21 (Translated)#Chapter 17|haec est autem...]] takes you to the respective chapter of the CBP.
I hope that helps, your "p-poor sniper" AugustO 10:53, 19 January 2015 (EST)
Yeah, it do help. I'm still relatively new to online editing. Will rectify. Pax --Dataclarifier 11:05, 19 January 2015 (EST)
This time your weapon was loaded with solid ammo when you fired, and you hit the target dead on. Well done. Empty blank cartridges make no impact. Only noise. Don't fire if you don't have a precision round in the chamber and adjusted crosshairs on the target. --Dataclarifier 12:25, 19 January 2015 (EST)

re: Argument from religious experience

Thanks for creating the article Argument from religious experience.


1. After Latin terms put in parenthesis the meaning of the Latin phrase.

2. Take into account Deism as far as the article.

3. You could also take into account the arguments relating to Divine Hiddenness.

"At that time Jesus said, 'I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.'" - Matthew 11:25. See also: 1 Corinthians 2: 6-9

Divine Hiddenness

I hope that helps. Conservative 16:15, 26 February 2015 (EST)

Thanks for your suggestions. I believe that the core meaning of the article as titled is the argument from testimony based on other people's experiences. The philosophically perceived and speculatively defined experience of Deus Absconditus is a distinctly separate subject which merits separate treatment, more related to Causes of atheism. The subsection, The argument of Jesus Christ, points to His intuitive evidential argument, which does not depend on the argument from religious experience but on what Vatican II pointed out is the inner knowing of each person when confronted with the evidential objective externalist doctrine of the truth of God's existence in Romans 1:19-22. If you are fully persuaded that the above material should be included, please feel free to insert it into the article with my full approbation and consent. I wish you well. Semper Fi! --Dataclarifier 16:10, 26 February 2015 (EST)
Additional thought. All of your suggested material appears to me to be more related to experiences of the absence of God, which has some treatment in Swinburne's argument from religious experience: Experiences of the absence of God: a negative principle of credulity pertaining to atheistic critiques of Swinburne's empirical argument, more particularly in the subsection "Response: Atheist Michael Martin". In my opinion it more pertinently belongs there. However, I believe you should compose a separate article with the cited and linked resources you provided above, "Divine hiddenness".
Again, I appreciate your message. Go ahead and improve the article if you are persuaded it needs the additional info.
Pax vobis. --Dataclarifier 16:39, 26 February 2015 (EST)


I have just been accepted as a volunteer ombudsman advocate for the rights of residents of a Long Term Care facility. This is an important work of justice and mercy, and will consume most of my attention from this date. I will still contribute what I can to Conservapedia, but on a much reduced level of participation. I must withdraw from the volunteer cooperative project proposed by Conservative. I will nevertheless fulfill my obligation to construct and contribute an article on Philosophical naturalism by September. I thank the Conservapedia staff for their courtesy and appreciation of my contributions. God + bless you all. Pax vobis --Dataclarifier 12:18, 27 February 2015 (EST)

Account promoted

Your account has been promoted to bypass Captcha. Congratulations!--Andy Schlafly (talk) 17:49, 12 August 2015 (EDT)

Andy, thank you for the promotion! I am late and remiss in not earlier acknowledging the honor, and I sincerely apologize. It is much appreciated and an improvement in convenience for me. I wish you and your whole staff good health and + blessings from Almighty God. Amen.
--Dataclarifier (talk) 03:24, 17 September 2015 (EDT)
Sorry about that. 5 thumbs on a touchscreen.--Jpatt 11:28, 19 April 2016 (EDT)

"Philosophical naturalism" (completed)

I have deleted all of the compiled material that I had copied from online sources and previously posted here for combining, editing and condensing into the article that was requested by Conservative: Philosophical naturalism. It was an honor to do it. And a relief to have finished it.

I was reflecting today, that fashioning an article for Conservapedia which factually explains error and defends Christianity is like a meditation and praise of God. The semitic expression found in the Bible, "Give glory to God and praise him", simply means "Tell the truth" (Josh. 7:19; cf. Luke 23:47). The information I gathered, sifted and put together improved my understanding of how reasonable is our faith in Jesus Christ and his body, his Church, the body of the faithful, his bride, militant, suffering and triumphant. I feel enriched in spirit, and deeply grateful to him. Please pray for the blessing of our country, our leaders, our military, in particular the United States Marines both at home and abroad, and our covert operatives and "black ops" specialists working in secret to secure for us the blessings of freedom of worship and liberty from the oppression all who wish us harm. It would be most appreciated. Thanks. Semper Fi ! Pax vobis.

--Dataclarifier (talk) 03:12, 17 September 2015 (EDT)

After submitting the text, I proofread it again and found multiple defects. After four more days of work on it the article is now finished. Pax vobis. All honor to God. --Dataclarifier (talk) 17:08, 19 September 2015 (EDT)

After re-reading it again, I made a few important improvements. Now it's finished. --Dataclarifier (talk) 14:12, 20 September 2015 (EDT)

Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis): article has been created

The article Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis) has been created. I have deleted the draft here. Other related sections have also been removed from this page.

Thanks to the Conservapedia staff for your patience while the draft was being developed. I have no intention of developing another project this extensive. Too many sleepless nights spent to "get it right". I am pleased with the final result. I would like to hear what you think of it. Thanks again. Blessed be the holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pax vobis. Semper Fi ! --Dataclarifier (talk) 00:29, 14 November 2015 (EST)

I neglected to perform a planned final proofread and edit on all the external links before initially creating the article. Over the past week and a half I have completed the procedure and made some improvements. The article is now finished. This is my last extensive project. --Dataclarifier (talk) 00:44, 23 November 2015 (EST)
My final finishing edit of the table of contents as improved aid to understanding the article: 13:15, 30 November 2015
--Dataclarifier (talk) 13:15, 30 November 2015 (EST)

Farewell note, and best wishes for all the coming years.

I am withdrawing from Conservapedia due to health. My best wishes to all of you. God bless + you all, forever.

Michael Paul Heart. --Dataclarifier (talk) 13:58, 19 December 2015 (EST)

Wow, this is a tragic loss, Michael. Thanks for all your superb contributions. We'll say prayers that you might be able to return some time in the future!--Andy Schlafly (talk) 14:15, 19 December 2015 (EST)
Thank you, Andy. I am deeply touched by your appreciation. I am grateful to God I was able to contribute in some small way to the benefit of so many readers. Pax vobiscum. --Dataclarifier (talk) 19:18, 19 December 2015 (EST)
Your work has helped many here. By the grace of God hopefully you can share more of your knowledge with future editing here, pursuant to the Great Commission.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 20:42, 19 December 2015 (EST)


I just last night, after having gone over the text, finished correcting a minor defect in copy by a more consistent use of the shorter "dash" ( – ) in the article Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis). It's finally finished. I must tell you that it was difficult and time-consuming, because my eyesight is failing, mostly due to the increased abundance of "floaters" which cloud my vision, having the same frustrating, fatiguing and annoying effect as oily dirt smears on eyeglasses or combat/sports goggles, when attempting to see small defects even up close, but these can't be wiped away. It's only getting worse. I felt that you all deserved to know why I had to withdraw from Conservapedia because of health. My consolation is the hope that what I have contributed will be of some lasting benefit to your readers and students. I assure you that I have not despaired of the pure goodness of God, and that my retirement is otherwise relatively free of stress. I am looking forward to a joyful homecoming in heaven with Jesus Christ Our Lord, and I wish all of you the very best and pray for the increased success of the mission of Conservapedia. Amen.

Michael Paul Heart --Dataclarifier (talk) 10:33, 22 January 2016 (EST)

Harmony of the Gospels?

Andy, Administrators, and Staff of Conservapedia, Peace be with you:

Probably due to the Holy Spirit responding to your prayers on my behalf in possibly prompting me to continue in some way to contribute to Conservapedia ("pursuant to the Great Commission", Andy's words, above), I feel a generous need to provide a kind of "literalistic" Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version), after the pattern of the well-known but no-longer-extant Diatessaron. (I was surprised to find no such treatment in a search on Conservapedia.) If I am able to accomplish this, it will undoubtedly take a while, due to fatigue from eyestrain, but I'm game to put forth the effort. This will be less arduous than constructing a major article, because I am very familiar with the material devotionally and from research, so that the particular limitation and needed withdrawal as noted by me above under "eyesight" still obtains.

I should like to incorporate the biblical text as rectified and revised by contributors to the Conservapedia Bible Project, according to the principles outlined in the Project, pasting the text from there to the dedicated subpage established here below and edited as a redaction. Thus it will be a specifically Conservapedia publication.

I do not intend to put forth a critical edition, but a text that demonstrates naturally to the reader and Bible student that there are no such contradictions as asserted by liberalist scholars. A marginal column of Bible links will be provided to demonstrate to the reader that nothing has been omitted. If Our Lord permits me to complete this Harmony, it may take me about 18 months to finish, from today, projected finishing date sometime around September/October 2017.

--Dataclarifier (talk) 10:46, 16 March 2016 (EDT)

Subpage (draft): Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version)

(The development and preparation of this Conservapedia feature is currently in progress. The text is being completed in stages, seven chapters at a time; and because of its projected finished length the two forms of this Harmony of the Gospel will each be made available in seven sections, each section divided into seven chapters.)

Access to Main article


Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form

Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form

Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 1-7
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 8-14
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 15-21
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 22-28
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 29-35
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 36-42
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 43-49
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form

Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form

Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 1-7
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 8-14
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 15-21
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 22-28
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 29-35
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 36-42
Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 43-49

--Michael Paul Heart

Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) longer form Chapters 43-49

Introduction (Main article)

Index longer form

+++Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) shorter form Chapters 43-49+++

Introduction (Main article)

Index shorter form


Chapter 43 Bible texts

After two years, Paul was released. Some would add the following text:

And Paul, full of the blessings of Christ, and abounding in the spirit, departed from Rome, determined to go into Spain, for he had for a long time proposed to journey there, and was also minded to go from there to Britain. For he had heard in Phoenicia that some of the descendants of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian exile, had escaped by sea to "the isles afar off" as spoken by the Prophet, and called by the Romans "Britain"; and the Lord commanded the gospel be preached far away to the Gentiles and to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

It is written in the end of the Prophet Isaiah at the time of the Assyrians:

"I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles."

And no one hindered Paul; for he testified boldly about Jesus before the tribunes and among the people. And he took with him some of the brothers who stayed with him at Rome, and they took ship at Ostrium, and having fair winds, were brought safely into a harbor of Spain.
Many people gathered together from the towns and villages, and the hill country; for they had heard of the conduct of the apostles, and the many miracles, which he had worked. And Paul preached powerfully in Spain, and a great multitude believed and were converted, for they perceived that he was an apostle sent from God.
Then they departed from Spain. And Paul and his company finding a ship in Armorica sailing to Britain, they entered; and passing along the south coast, they reached a port called Raphinus.
Now when word spread that the apostle had landed on their coast, huge crowds of the inhabitants met him, and they treated Paul with courtesy and he entered in at the east gate of their city, and he lodged at the house of a Hebrew, and one of his own tribe in Israel.
And the next day he came and stood on Mount Lud, and the people thronged around the gate. And they believed the word and testimony about Jesus. And at evening the Holy Ghost fell upon Paul, and he prophesied, saying, "Behold, in the last days the God of peace will dwell in the cities, and their inhabitants shall be counted; and in the seventh census of the people, their eyes will be opened, and the glory of their heritage shine out before them. The nations shall come to worship on the mount that testifies to the patience and longsuffering of a servant of the Lord. And in the latter days new reports of the gospel will come forth from Jerusalem, and the hearts of the people will rejoice, and behold, fountains shall open, and there shall be no more plague. In those days there will be wars and rumor of war; and a king shall rise up, and his sword shall be for the healing of the nations, and his peacemaking shall remain, and the glory of his kingdom be a wonder among princes."
And it happened that some of the Druids came to Paul privately, and showed by their rites and ceremonies that they were descended from the Jews who escaped from bondage in the land of Egypt; and the apostle believed these things, and he gave them the kiss of peace. And Paul remained in his lodgings three months confirming in the faith, and preaching Christ continually.
After these things, Paul and his brothers departed from Raphinus and sailed to Atium in Gaul. And Paul preached in the Roman garrison and among the people, urging all men to repent and confess all their sins. And there came to him some of the Belgae to inquire from him about the new doctrine and the man Jesus; and Paul opened his heart to them and told them everything that had happened to him, how it is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and they departed deeply discussing among themselves the things they had heard.
And after much preaching and labor, Paul and his fellow workers went into Helvetia, and came to Mount Pontius Pilate, where he who had condemned the Lord Jesus had thrown himself down headlong and so miserably perished; and instantly a torrent had gushed out of the mountain and washed his body, broken in pieces, into a lake. And Paul stretched out his hands over the water, and prayed to the Lord, saying, "O Lord God, give a sign to all nations that here Pontius Pilate, who condemned your only-begotten Son, plunged down headlong into the pit."
While Paul was still speaking, behold, a great earthquake came, and the surface of the water and the shape of the lake was changed, into a likeness of the Son of Man hanging in agony on the Cross. And a voice came from heaven, saying, "Even Pilate has escaped the wrath to come, for he washed his hands before the crowd at the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus."
Therefore, when Paul and those who were with him saw the earthquake, and heard the voice of the angel, they glorified God, and were greatly strengthened in the spirit.
And they journeyed on and came to Mount Julius in Rome where two pillars stood, one on the right hand and one on the left hand of the way, erected by Caesar Augustus. Then Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up between the two pillars, saying, "Men and brothers, these stones which you see this day shall testify to my journey here; and I truly say, they shall remain until the outpouring of the spirit upon all Israel's tribes, neither shall the way be obstructed throughout all generations."
And they went forward and came to Illitricum, intending to go past Macedonia into Asia; and grace was found in all the assemblies, and they prospered and had peace. Amen!

The holy apostles and disciples of our Savior, being scattered over the whole world, Thomas, according to tradition, received Parthia as his allotted region; Andrew received Scythia, and John, Asia Minor.

Peter appears to have preached through Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia, to the Jews that were scattered abroad; who also, finally coming to Rome, was crucified with his head downward, having requested of himself to suffer in this way.

You have also heard of the departure of Paul from the city of Rome when he journeyed on to Spain. From Jerusalem, even to Illyricum, Paul had fully preached the Gospel, and had taught even imperial Rome, and carried the earnest persuasiveness of his preaching as far as Spain, undergoing innumerable conflicts, and doing signs and wonders.

When Paul was going to Macedonia, he urged Timothy to remain at Ephesus to charge certain people to not teach any different doctrine, nor to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies, that is, with Jewish legends and spurious pedigrees added by false Judaizers to the Biblical scriptures.

Paul left Titus in Crete, that he might correct what was defective. He directed him to appoint elders in every town, bishops blameless, hospitable, lovers of goodness, masters of themselves, upright, holy, self-controlled, holding firmly to the sure word as taught, so that they may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also prove wrong those who contradict it.

Then after Paul had been in Rome, he returned to Spain, but whether he came from there again into these parts, we do not know.

Paul afterward wrote to Timothy in Ephesus, so that if he was delayed in coming to him, Timothy might certainly know how one ought to behave in the household of God, attending to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, and to teaching, holding to it; for by so doing he will save both himself and his hearers. He wrote the following letter:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and Christ Jesus our hope; to Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I urged you when I was going into Macedonia, stay at Ephesus that you might command certain men not to teach a different doctrine, and not to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which cause disputes, rather than God’s stewardship, which is in faith—but the goal of this command is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith; from which things some, having missed the mark, have turned aside to vain talking; desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor about what they strongly affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully, as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for man slayers, for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service; although I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the cosmos to save sinners; of whom I am chief. However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
This instruction I commit to you, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to you, that by them you may wage the good warfare; holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust away made a shipwreck concerning the faith; of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered to Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme.
I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks, be made for all men: for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times; to which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth in Christ, not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and doubting. In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; but (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works. Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I do not permit a woman to teach, nor to dominate authority over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; but she will be saved through her childbearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.
This is a faithful saying: if a man seeks the office of an Episcopos, he desires a good work. The Episcopos therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable, good at teaching; not a drinker, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having children in subjection with all reverence; (but if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the assembly of God?) not a new convert, lest being puffed up he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have good testimony from those who are outside, to avoid falling into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Deacons, in the same way, must be reverent, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for money; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. Let them also first be tested; then let them serve if they are blameless. Their wives in the same way must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let Deacons be husbands of only one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well gain for themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
These things I write to you, hoping to come to you shortly; but if I wait long, that you may know how men ought to behave themselves in God’s house, which is the Assembly of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great:
God was revealed in the flesh,
justified in the spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
and received up in glory.
But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer. If you instruct the brothers of these things, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which you have followed. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables. Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come. This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.
Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to those who believe, in word, in your way of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. Until I come, pay attention to reading, to exhortation, and to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the Presbyters. Be diligent in these things. Give yourself wholly to them, that your progress may be revealed to all. Pay attention to yourself, and to your teaching. Continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father; the younger men as brothers; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity. Honor widows who are widows indeed. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety towards their own family, and to repay their parents, for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed, and desolate, has her hope set on God, and continues in petitions and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives. Also command these things, that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. Let no one be enrolled as a widow under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, being approved by good works, if she has brought up children, if she has been hospitable to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, and if she has diligently followed every good work.
But refuse younger widows, for when they have grown wanton against Christ, they desire to marry; having condemnation, because they have rejected their first pledge. Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household, and give no occasion to the adversary for insulting. For already some have turned aside after Satan. If any man or woman who believes has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the assembly be burdened; that it might relieve those who are widows indeed.
Let the Presbyters who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching. For the Scripture says,
“You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain.” And, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Do not receive an accusation against a Presbyter, except at the word of two or three witnesses. Those who sin, reprove in the sight of all, that the rest also may be in fear. I command you in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the chosen angels, that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands hastily on no one, neither be a participant in other men’s sins. Keep yourself pure. Be no longer a drinker of water only, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
Some men’s sins are evident, preceding them to judgment, and some also follow later. In the same way also there are good works that are obvious, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.
Let as many as are bondservants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and the doctrine not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brothers, but rather let them serve them, because those who partake of the benefit are believing and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
If anyone teaches a different doctrine, and does not consent to sound words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, insulting, evil suspicions, constant friction of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be content with that. But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. I command you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession, that you keep the commandment without spot, blameless, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.
Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.
Timothy, guard that which is committed to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions of what is falsely called knowledge; which some profess, and thus have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.

After traveling throughout the region, Paul decided to spend the winter in Nicopolis. He wrote the following letter to Titus:

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s chosen ones, and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began; but in his own time revealed his word in the message with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior;
to Titus, my true child according to a common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
I left you in Crete for this reason, that you would set in order the things that were lacking, and appoint Presbyters in every city, as I directed you; if anyone is blameless, the husband of only one wife, having children who believe, who are not accused of loose or unruly behavior. For the Episcopos must be blameless, as God’s steward; not self-pleasing, not easily angered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain; but given to hospitality, a lover of good, sober minded, fair, holy, self-controlled; holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict those who contradict him.
For there are also many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain’s sake. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons.” This testimony is true. For this cause, reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess that they know God, but by their deeds they deny him, being abominable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.
But say the things which fit sound doctrine, that older men should be temperate, sensible, sober minded, sound in faith, in love, and in patience: and that older women likewise be reverent in behavior, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that God’s word may not be blasphemed.
Likewise, exhort the younger men to be sober minded; in all things showing yourself an example of good works; in your teaching showing integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned; that he who opposes you may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say about us. Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters, and to be well-pleasing in all things; not contradicting; not stealing, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. Say these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise you.
Remind them to be in subjection to rulers and to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all humility toward all men. For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men; but shun foolish questionings, genealogies, strife, and disputes about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. Avoid a factious man, a heretic, after a first and second warning; knowing that such a one is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.
When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me to Nicopolis, for I have determined to winter there. Send Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollos on their journey speedily, that nothing may be lacking for them. Let our people also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they may not be unfruitful.
All who are with me greet you.
Greet those who love us in faith.
Grace be with you all. Amen.

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Acts 29:1-3 Sonnini manuscript (modernized)
Isaiah 66:19
Acts 29:4-26 Sonnini manuscript (modernized)
Muratorian canon/fragment
Cyril of Jerusalem, Jerusalem Catecheses,
—Lecture 17.26 adapted
Chrysostom, Second Timothy, Homily 10
Eusebius Book III, Chapter 1
1 Timothy 1:3-4 adapted
Titus 1:5, 7-9 adapted
1 Timothy 3:14b-15 adapted
1 Timothy
Titus 3:12b adapted

World English Bible text
Greek original text
Latin Vulgate text
NRSV text
Scofield Reference Bible (1917 Edition)
Conservative Bible text
multiple versions of any verse
multiple commentaries any passage
interlinear Bible: Hebrew, Greek, English
Bible maps (click initial letter of place name)
Maps of Paul's journeys:

Eusebius: Church History: The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine ( pdf

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (

Tacitus: The Annals, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (


Journeys of St. Paul after the Book of Acts: Articles The following articles are historical commentaries:

Acts 29: The Sonnini Manuscript (in the public domain}. Text with notes and commentaries

"a port called Raphinus." Acts 29:7 Sonnini manuscript.

Raphinus is the Roman name for the town of Sandwich, in Kent. In Saxon times there was, still standing in Sandwich, an old house called the "House of the Apostles", and the tradition there says that Paul was one of the Apostles.

"Mount Lud" Acts 29:9 Sonnini manuscript.

Mount Lud is situated at Ludgate Hill and Broadway where St. Paul’s Cathedral stands in London, England. The word "Lud" is mentioned in Isaiah 66:19. Since Acts 29:9 specifically mentions "mount Lud" the writer may have seen the narrative of the preaching of the Gospel there as the fulfillment of the commandment of the Lord to preach there.
Compare Isaiah 66:19 and Acts 29:3, 9 Sonnini manuscript.

"And there came to him some of the Belgae" Acts 29:17

The text has Paul and his companions in Gaul when the Belgae come to him. Gaul today is France. Belgium borders France on the north, and its name comes from the name of the tribe that anciently settled there, the Belgae. These Belgae in Acts 29 are evidently Belgians from Belgium.
In one of the linked articles listed above, the author E. Raymond Capt in his commentary says the Belgae are from the coast of England. This raises the question of why these Britains would follow after Paul into Gaul when they could have queried him in Britain? And the next question is why he did not discuss the fact that the Belgians were anciently called Belgae? This fact is known to every competent historian, professional and amateur, and known to every informed reader of western history. This calls into question the competency of the commentator at the time he wrote his commentary. It suggests that he had also a personal agenda (Anglo-Israelism).

"Helvetia...Mount Pontius Pilate" Acts 29:18 Sonnini manuscript.

Helvetia is the ancient name for the region of Switzerland. There is a Mount Pilatus overshadowing Lake Lucerne in Switzerland (Helvetia) which is connected to a legend that the body of Pontius Pilate was finally sunk into a lake there, and that whenever anyone disturbed the water a violent storm came down on the whole area (Legend of Pilatus). In the sixteenth century, the people performed an exorcism and the curse was broken; they all immediately afterward tossed stones into the water and no storm occurred. There is no certainty that this legend was either suggested by a pre-existing text of Acts 29:18 brought to that country, or that the text of Acts 29:18-23 was written based on a pre-existing legend.

"the shape of the lake was changed, into a likeness of the Son of Man hanging in agony on the Cross." Acts 29:21 Sonnini manuscript.

Lake Lucerne in Switzerland is roughly cruciform.
See map. See also Images of Lake Lucerne

NOTE TO THE READER: Conservapedia does not accept Acts 29 as scripture.

It is purposely included here solely for the purpose of information, for the reader to evaluate on its own merits. Abundant research and professional scholarly commentary has also been provided through links to online external sources for careful consideration of the many sides of the debate. (See above)
The primary contributor of this encyclopedic feature absolutely rejects Acts 29 as being wholly unworthy of belief. It may be read for its entertainment value, as an historical fantasy. See Wishful thinking.
The Sonnini manuscript of Acts 29 may be viewed as being in the same category of historical fiction as Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
Christians who do not know of the text of the Sonnini manuscript of Acts 29 usually react with disbelief at the assertion that Paul preached in Switzerland, simply because they have "never heard this before!" (See Skeptic.) They assume from reading the Bible that while Paul planned to go to Spain, he had certainly never traveled further north. The episode of the earthquake reshaping the lake is especially unbelievable as being inconsistent with scripture, primarily because there is no record of any parallel miracle in the Bible other than the Great Flood, and secondarily because throughout the entire New Testament, outside of the vision of John in the Book of Revelation, no miraculous alteration of the geography of any land as a permanent sign and wonder of God is reported as an effect of either the presence of Jesus or the preaching and prayers of the Apostles and missionaries of the Gospel throughout Judea, Galilee, Arabia, Syria, Asia, Greece and Italy.
Paul frequently refers to his experiences in preaching the Gospel in various places, and in Romans 15 of his plans to go to Spain. While a missionary journey to Switzerland and Britain is not absolutely impossible, journeys of Paul to lands west and north of the Italian peninsula are not a part of Christian biblical tradition. Lack of any reference to experiences in these lands in any of Paul's Pastoral Letters (1 Timothy, Titus, and especially 2 Timothy) suggests that he had never preached the Gospel to those peoples.
Compare Romans 15:17-29, 1 Corinthians 15:32, 2 Corinthians 1:8-10, and 2 Timothy 3:10-11.
Catholic and Orthodox doctrine does not require belief in the possibility that Paul did visit Spain, Britain, Helvetia, and Gaul, and points out that belief in any of the events related in the text of Acts 29 is not a dogma of the Christian faith. Acts 29 has never been part of the Orthodox Greek Bible and never was a part of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of Jerome's Latin Vulgate. It is therefore not included in the dogmatic definition of the deposit of sacred scripture "as read in the Church" according to the Council of Trent. The text itself does not affect or alter in any way the Gospel of Christ, and it adds nothing to the "deposit of the faith", neither does it change the structure of Christian doctrine. It is read by the majority of serious textual scholars as composed to support the claims of British-Israelism.
The manuscript in Greek "found in the archives of Constantinople" (later renamed Istanbul), was brought to light, published and translated into English in the 19th century. For many biblical scholars and textual critics it is significant only as an historical curiosity, and possibly as a pious medieval legend. It may be a 19th-century hoax, or it may be an early form of purely entertaining Christian historical fiction, a short adventure story.
If it can be proven to be in fact as ancient as the first century it stands as a witness to the energetic outreach of Christian evangelistic efforts at the time of the apostles, and the ready response of gentile peoples to receive the Gospel of Christ. However, even if it is as dignified and flowing in its language as the Greek text of Luke-Acts (as some textual critics claim), and even if it should prove to be from the time of Luke, it is not theologically or historically on the same level as the canonical Acts of the Apostles, or the Epistles of Ignatius, or the Church History of Eusebius.
See Apostolic Fathers.
See also Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.
Christian Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestant doctrine warns that anything which claims to be scripture, and is not a part of the Bible, is to be rejected as counterfeit, and should be avoided as potentially dangerous to the soul of the Christian believer. Uncontrolled curiosity, seeking for lost teachings and mysteries withheld from the common people (Esoteric Christianity and Gnosticism), and theological speculations rooted in novel views of scripture interpretation which break with Christian tradition (Liberal Christianity), have misled many, even to the destruction of their souls.
See Deuteronomy 5:32-33; 17:18-20; 28:13-14; 32:45-47; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 3:13-17; 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1; 3:15-18; 2 John 9-11; Revelation 22:18-19.

"episcopos" 1 Timothy 3:1-2. Bishop, overseer.

The Greek words here are ἐπισκοπῆς episkopes and ἐπίσκοπον episkopon. The New Testament Greek term for this office in the church has been variously translated as "bishop" (DR, KJV) and "overseer" (WEB), "leadership/leader" (REB), "presiding elder" (NJB).
See multiple versions of 1 Timothy 3:1. See multiple commentaries.
This Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version) will read "episcopos" from this point through the rest of the remaining text. Similarly, "presbyters" and "presbyter" from the Greek will be read in place of the WEB reading "elders" and "elder", and "deacons" and "deacon" in place of "servants" and "servant" as designating ministers of service in the church.

"laying on of the hands of the presbyters" 1 Timothy 4:14.

Read by many as signifying ordination and Holy Orders, and by others as Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

"Lay hands hastily on no one" 1 Timothy 5:22 WEB. "Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands" (RSV).

Understood by the majority as a caution against impulsively and eagerly ordaining a man before carefully evaluating him spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and some also say physically. See commentaries.

"empty chatter and oppositions of what is falsely called knowledge" 1 Timothy 6:20.

"Knowledge" Greek γνώσις gnosis, here "false science or false knowledge", ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως pseudonumou gnoseos "pseudo-knowledge", also translated as "Pseudoscience". This is an early reference to the heresy called Gnosticism. Its seductively specious appeal is to the pleasures of the elitist intellect. See commentaries.
Compare Pelagianism and Humanism.

"I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective" Titus 1:5.

See article Paul Did Not Sin on Crete! (

[The Sonnini manuscript of Acts 29 is not included in the Conservative Bible because Acts 29 is not a part of the canonical scriptures.]

I told you to stay in Ephesus and teach during my trip to Macedonia, and urge you to continue doing so to stop the spread of false doctrine. Debunk junk science and revisionism, as these engender pointless speculation rather than the divine growth which is in faith.

For this reason I left you in Crete: that you should set right the things that are not right, and ordain elders in every city, as I ordained you.

a bishop must be blameless as the steward of God: not selfish, without a temper, not a drunkard, not a member of a union, not pursuing money dishonestly, but a lover of hospitality, a friend to all good men, a man who is sober, just, holy, and temperate. He must keep well the word of the scriptures as he has been taught, that he may use logic and reasoning to convince those who doubt.

I hope to come see you soon, but I write to you so that, should I be delayed, you know how one ought to behave in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of all truth.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ our hope, by the commandment of God our Saviour.

To Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

I told you to stay in Ephesus and teach during my trip to Macedonia, and urge you to continue doing so to stop the spread of false doctrine. Debunk junk science and revisionism, as these engender pointless speculation rather than the divine growth which is in faith.

The purpose of the commandment is charity from a pure heart, a good conscience, and true Faith. Some have strayed from it and started blabbering meaninglessly. They want to be teachers of the Law, but they have no understanding of what they say or the point they try to make.

We know the Law is good when used lawfully, and that it does not concern the righteous man: it is made against the lawless and insubordinate, against the atheists and the sinners, against the evil and profane, against the patricides and the matricides, against killers, against pimps, against those who engage in homosexual relations, against kidnappers and slave-traders, against liars, against perjurers, and against everything that is contrary to the sound doctrine described by the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me. I give thanks to Jesus Christ our Lord, who gave me strength by recognizing my faith and appointing me to His service.

I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and arrogant, but I was given Mercy because I did it out of ignorance and unbelief, and the Grace of our Lord overwhelmed me with the faith and love of Jesus Christ.

It is an undeniable truth worthy of universal acceptation that Jesus Christ came into the universe to save sinners- and I am the worst of them. It is for this very reason that I received Mercy, as an example of the infinite patience of Jesus-Christ for those who will come to believe in him. To the King eternal, incorruptible, invisible, wise, the unique God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

This is your duty, son Timothy, as foretold in the prophecies concerning you, that you have to follow to wage an ideal war. You have to keep your faith and a good conscience. Some lost faith and that ended in disaster, for example Hymaneaus and Alexander, that I gave up to Satan as a punishment for their blasphemy.

I urge then that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men. This includes kings and everyone in superior positions, so that we may live peacefully in godliness and honesty.

Our God and Saviour is pleased by this, who wants all men to be saved and realize the truth. For there is only one God, and only one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all, as the testimony will be given in its proper time. For this reason I was appointed a preacher and an apostle, a teacher of the true faith for the Gentiles. I speak the truth in Christ.

I want men to lift holy hands in prayer everywhere, without suffering from censorship.

I also want women to wear modest clothes, with decency and propriety. They should not dress themselves with braided hair, jewelery or expensive outfits, but with their good works, which become women professing godliness.

A woman should learn in silence and in full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man: she must be silent. This is because Adam was created first, and then Eve. Adam was not deceived, but the woman was. She is thus responsible for the transgression. A woman may nevertheless be saved through childbearing, provided she keeps her faith, charity, holiness, together with propriety.

It is true that if a man desires to be a supervisor, he desires a noble task. As such, a supervisor must be blameless, married, sober, self-controlled, hospitable, patient, and a good teacher, and certainly not someone who drinks wine, or loves money, or seeks fights, or covets. He has to manage properly his own household, and have respectful and obeying children, as a man unable to rule his own house would not know how to take care of the church of God. He should not be a novice, lest he become conceited and be condemned as Satan was. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, lest he should fall into reproach and Satan's trap.

Servants must likewise be grave, consistent, not addicted to wine, not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep the deep truths of the faith with a pure conscience. They must be tested and found blameless before being authorized to serve. In the same way, their wives should be grave, sober, and trustworthy, and not evil.

The servants can marry a woman, and should ideally rule over their children and their house. Those who have served well should earn an improvement in standing, and gain much assurance in their faith in Jesus Christ.

I hope to come see you soon, but I write to you so that, should I be delayed, you know how one ought to behave in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of all truth.

No-one denies the mystery of godliness is great: God appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, witnessed by messengers, preached to all nations, was believed on in the whole universe, and glorified.

The Spirit explicitly states that, in times to come, some will lose faith and pay attention to deceiving spirits and the doctrines of demons. They will tell lies with hypocrisy, and have closed minds. They will forbid to marry and eat certain food, that God created to be received with thanksgivings by believers who know the truth. Everything God created is good, and nothing should be refused as long as it is received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If you inform the brothers of these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up by the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you follow.

Steer clear of atheist and superstitious myths and train yourself in godliness. Indeed, physical training has a few beneficial aspects, but godliness benefits all, holding promise for both this life and the one to come. This is an undeniable truth for which we labor and suffer reproach, because we rely on the living God, Saviour of all believing men.

Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example to the believers in speech, in behavior, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.

Until I come, devote yourself to the reading of the Scripture, to public preaching and teaching. Do not neglect the grace that was given to you according to the prophecy, when the elders laid their hands on you. Meditate upon these matters and give yourself wholly to them, and everyone will see your progress.

Pay attention to your life and the doctrine, continue in them, and you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

Do not rebuke an elder, but treat him as a father, and the younger men as your brothers, the older and younger women, as mothers and sisters respectfully, with all purity.

Take care of real widows, but if any widow have children or descendants, they should be the ones to show piety in their own home, for this is good and desirable for God. A real widow, all alone, puts her trust in God and prays day and nights, but one living for pleasure is dead even as she lives.

Instruct people of this, so that they may be blameless. Anyone who does not provide for his own family, especially those residing under his roof, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Do not consider a woman a widow unless she is over sixty years old, has been married to one man only, has a good reputation, such as raising children, housing strangers, washing the saint's feet, relieving the afflicted, devoting herself to good deeds.

Do not care for younger widows, because once their devotion to Christ diminishes, they want to marry, and for this are damned as they recant their first faith. Meanwhile, they become idle, and propagate gossip as they wander from house to house. Thus, I want younger women to marry, bear children and manage their households, giving no occasion for Satan to spread slander. In truth, some are already lost to Satan.

If a believer has a widow in his family, he should take care of her, so that the church may tend for the widows that most need help.

The elders that rule well should be doubly honored, especially those who preach and teach. For the Scripture says: « Do not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn », and « The worthy worker deserves his wage »

Never accuse an elder unless two or more witnesses testify. The elders that sin should be rebuked publicly, as an example for others. I instruct you before God, and Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, to carry out these rules without favoring one of them.

Do not lay hands suddenly on a man, do not share other men's sins: keep yourself pure.

Stop drinking only water, and consume a little wine to treat your stomach and your illnesses.

The sins of some men are apparent to all, preceding them to judgment, while for others they only follow them. In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious immediately, but even the ones that are not can not be hidden.

All servants should fully respect their masters, so that the name of God and his teaching is not blasphemed. Those who have Christian masters must not be allowed to treat them with less respect on the pretext they are brothers. On the contrary, they should serve them even better, because those who benefit from their work are Christians and dear to them. This you must teach and urge on them.

If any man is teaching otherwise, and does not agree to the logical instruction and holy teachings of Jesus Christ, this man is liberal yet ignorant. He is a provocateur who incites generate calumny, suspicion, and altercations. Do not acquaint yourself with these men engaging in perverse disputes, with corrupt minds and deprived of the truth, who expect holiness from financial gain.

That being said, godliness with satisfaction is a great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we will carry noting out, so let's be satisfied with a proper house and decent food. Those who only aspire to become rich are falling to temptation into a trap, experiencing many foolish and destructive desires, that plunge men into ruin and perdition. For the love of money above all else is the root of numerous evils, and those who yearn only for money have strayed from the faith and suffered many sorrows.

You are a man of God, stay away from these things, and rather pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.

Wage the good war of faith. Accept the eternal life that was given to you, when you proclaimed your faith before many witnesses. In the sight of God, who created everything, and in the sight of Jesus Christ who stood tall before Pontius Pilate, I instruct you to follow this commandment irreproachably until the coming of Jesus Christ, who will be brought about by God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only is immortal, living in the light no man can approach, whom no man can see and ever has, to whom be honor and power for all eternity. Amen.

Instruct the rich people not to be arrogant and believe in wealth only, which is uncertain, but rather believe in the living God, who provides us richly in everything. Instruct them to do good deeds and become rich in them, and be generous and to contribute, building up a good foundation for the time to come, that they may gain eternal life.

Timothy, pay real care to what I entrust you, avoid the vain babbling of atheists, and the false affirmations of junk science, that some, proclaiming them, have departed to the faith.

May the Grace be with you. Amen.

be sure to come visit me in Nicopolis, for I will spend the winter there.

From Paul, a faithful servant of God and apostle to Jesus Christ, in accordance with his duties as one of God's faithful followers, and knowledge truth of God, in hope of eternal life, which God truthfully promised before the world began, but has since then manifested His word through preaching, which is committed to me in accordance with the commandment of God our savior.

To Titus, whom I converted from paganism: May the grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior be upon you. For this reason I left you in Crete: that you should set right the things that are not right, and ordain elders in every city, as I ordained you. That is, if you can find any elders blameless, that is, having only one wife, having good children not accused of rioting or other unruly behavior, because a bishop must be blameless as the steward of God: not selfish, without a temper, not a drunkard, not a member of a union, not pursuing money dishonestly, but a lover of hospitality, a friend to all good men, a man who is sober, just, holy, and temperate. He must keep well the word of the scriptures as he has been taught, that he may use logic and reasoning to convince those who doubt.

There are many liars and close-minded boasters, particularly those who demand circumcision of new converts. Their mouths must be shut, lest they subvert entire families, teaching what they should not teach, so that they may gain money dishonestly. One of them, a "prophet," even, said, "The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, with fat bellies slowing them down." This testimony is true. Which is why you must rebuke them, so that their faith will be accurate, not paying attention to Jewish fables, and the laws of men, that turn Christians from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to them who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure: even their mind and their conscience are defiled. They claim they know God, but in their deeds they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and against every good thing.

You must give them sound advice: that grown men must be sober, grave, temperate, faithful, charitable, patient; that grown women must be likewise, that they must keep to holy behavior, that they may not bear false witness, or drink much wine; that they must be teachers of the good. In this way they can teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, housewives; good, and obedient to their husbands, so that the word of God will not be blasphemed.

You must also exhort young men to be sober. In all things, be an example of behaving well; in doctrine show uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech which cannot be condemned; so that he who disagrees with you may be ashamed, and have nothing bad to say of you.

Exhort servants to be obedient to their masters, and to please them in all things, never talking back; not stealing, but showing fidelity to all, so that they might exalt the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing, of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us all from iniquity, and purify for himself a particular people, who desire good works. These things you must teach, and rebuke naysayers with all authority. Let no man despise you.

Put it into their minds to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to do good deeds, to speak ill of no man, to not fights, but to be gentle, showing meekness to all men.

We are all sometimes foolish, disobedient, lied to, giving into lusts and pleasures, living in anger and jealousy, and hating others. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior came to man, not because we were righteous, but because He is merciful, He saved us; by the washing of regeneration, and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, which He shed abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his grave, we should be made heirs to eternal life.

This is a saying of our faith, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, so that they who believe in God might be careful to maintain good deeds. These things are good and profitable to men.

But ignore foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and minute points about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man who is a heretic after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he who continues in sinful ways has condemned himself.

When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be sure to come visit me in Nicopolis, for I will spend the winter there. Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos, and keep them well - make sure they want for nothing.

And let us learn to keep our sermons for willing crowds, so that they will not be unfruitful.

All who are with me salute you. Greet them who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.


Chapter 44 Bible texts

Now this is the doctrinal instruction called "The Teaching of the Lord by the Twelve Apostles to the Nations", also called in Greek the "Didache", which means "doctrine".

There are two Ways, one of Life and one of Death; but there is a great difference between the two Ways.
Now the Way of Life is this: First, You shall love God who made you; secondly, your neighbor as yourself; and all things whatever you would not have done to you, you neither do to another.
Now the teaching of these two words of the Lord is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you; for what thanks is there if you love those who love you? Do not even Gentiles the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy.
Abstain from fleshly and bodily worldly lusts. If any one gives you a blow on the right cheek turn to him the other also, and you shall be perfect. If any one compels you to go with him one mile, go with him two; if any one takes away your cloak, give him also your tunic; if any one takes from you what is yours, ask not for it back, as indeed you cannot.
Give to every one who asks you, and ask not back, for the Father wills that from our own blessings we should give to all. Blessed is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless. Woe to him who receives; for if any one receives, having need, he shall be guiltless, but he who has no need shall give account, why he received and for what purpose, and coming into distress he shall be strictly examined concerning his deeds, and he shall not come out from there till he has paid the last cent.
But concerning this also it has been said, "Let your alms sweat in your hands till you know to whom you should give."
And the second commandment of the Teaching is:
You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery; you shalt not corrupt boys; you shall not commit fornication. You shalt not steal. You shall not use witchcraft; you shall not practice sorcery. You shalt not procure abortion, nor shall you kill the new-born child. You shall not covet thy neighbor's goods.
You shall not falsely swear. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not speak evil; you shalt not bear malice. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued; for duplicity in speech is a snare of death. Your speech shall not be false, nor vain, but fulfilled by deed.
You shall not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor malignant, nor haughty. You shalt not make evil plans against your neighbor. You shall not hate any one, but some you shall rebuke and for some you shall pray, and some you shall love above your own soul, your life.
My child, flee from every evil, and from every thing that resembles it. Be not prone to anger, for anger leads to murder; nor given to partisan spirit, nor contentious, nor quick-tempered, or passionate; for from all these things murders are generated.
My child, be not lustful, for lust leads to fornication; neither be a filthy talker, nor an eager gazer, for from all these adulteries are generated.
My child, be not a watcher of birds for divination for it leads to idolatry; nor a charmer or enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a purifier, a user of spells of purifications or expiations, nor be willing to look on those things; for from all these idolatry is generated.
My child, be not a liar, for lying leads to theft; nor avaricious, nor vainglorious, for from all these things thefts are generated.
My child, be not a grumbler, for it leads to blasphemy; neither presumptuously self-willed, nor evil-minded, for from all these things blasphemies are generated. But be meek, for the meek shall inherit the earth. Be long-suffering, and merciful, and harmless, and quiet, and good, and trembling continually at the words which you have heard.
You shall not exalt yourself, nor shall you assume presumptuous audacity in your soul. Your soul shall not be joined to the lofty, but with the just and lowly shall you converse.
The events that befall you you shalt accept as good, knowing that nothing happens without God.
My child, you shall remember night and day him who speaks to you the word of God, and you shalt honor him as the Lord, for where the Lordship is spoken of, there is the Lord. And you shall seek out day by day the faces of the saints, that you may rely on their words.
You shall not desire division, but shall make peace between those who have a bitter quarrel. You shall judge justly; you shall not respect a persons in rebuking them for transgressions. You shall not be double-minded or doubtful in your mind whether it should be or not.
Be not one of those who stretches out his hands for receiving, but draws them back for giving. If you have anything, you shall give with your hands as a ransom for your sins. You shall not hesitate to give, nor in giving shall you grumble, for then you shall know who is the good recompenser of the reward. You shall not turn away him who needs, but shall share all things with your brother, and shall not say that they are your own; for if you are fellow-sharers in that which is imperishable, how much more in perishable things?
You shall not withhold your hand from your son or from your daughter, but from their youth up you shalt teach them the reverent fear of God.
You shall not in your bitterness lay commands on your man-servant, your bondman, or your maid-servant, your bondwoman, who hope in the same God, lest they should lose reverence for Him who is God over you both; for He comes not to call men according to the condition of their outward appearance, but he comes on those whom the Spirit has prepared.
But you, bondmen, servants, shall be subject to your own, our Christian masters as to the image of God in modest reverence and fear.
You shall hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing to the Lord. You shall not ignore the commandments of the Lord, but you shall keep what you have received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them.
In the assembly you shall confess your transgressions, and you shall not come to your prayers with an evil conscience.
This is the way of life.
But the way of death is this:
First of all it is evil and full of curse; murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, witchcrafts, sorceries, robberies, false-witnessings, hypocrisies, double-heartedness, deceit, pride, wickedness, self-will, covetousness, filthy-talking, jealousy, presumption, haughtiness, boastfulness. Persecutors of the good, hating truth, loving a lie, not knowing the reward of righteousness, not holding to that which is good nor to righteous judgment, alert not for that which is good but for that which is evil; those from whom meekness and endurance is far off, loving vanity, seeking for reward, not pitying the poor, not toiling with him who is grieved with toil, not knowing Him Who made them, murderers of children, destroyers of the handiwork of God, turning away from the needy, grieving the afflicted, advocates of the rich, lawless judges of the poor, wholly sinful.
May you, children, be delivered from all these.
Take care that no one leads you astray from this way of teaching, since he teaches you apart from God. For if indeed you are able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord you shall be perfect; but if you are not able, do what you can.
And as regards food, bear what you can, but against idol-offerings be exceedingly on your guard, for it is a serving of dead gods.
Now concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first taught all these things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. And if you have no flowing water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot in cold, then in warm water.
But if you have neither, pour water three times on the head in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. But before Baptism let the baptizer and the baptized fast, and any others who can; but you shall command the baptized to fast for one or two days before.
Let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but you shall fast on the fourth day, and the preparation day, Friday. Neither pray as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, so pray: "Our Father, who are in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the power and the glory for ever."
Pray this way three times a day.
Now as regards the Eucharist, give thanks after this manner:
First for the cup:
"We give thanks to You, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which you have made known to us through Jesus, Your servant: to You be the glory for ever."
And for the broken bread:
"We give thanks to You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You have made known to us through Jesus, Your servant: to You be the glory for ever. As this broken bread was scattered on the mountains and gathered together became one, so let Your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom, for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever."
But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, except those baptized into the name of the Lord; for as regards this also the Lord has said: "Give not that which is holy to the dogs."
Now after being filled, give thanks after this manner:
"We thank You, Holy Father, for Your Holy Name, which You have caused to dwell as in a tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which You have made known to us through Jesus Your Servant, to You be the glory for ever. You, O, Almighty Sovereign, did make all things for Your Name's sake; You gave food and drink to men for enjoyment that they might give thanks to You; but to us You did freely give spiritual food and drink and eternal life through Your Servant.
"Before all things we give thanks to You that You are mighty; to You be the glory for ever.
"Remember, O Lord, Your Church to deliver her from all evil and to perfect her in Your love; and gather her together from the four winds, sanctified for Your kingdom which You have prepared for her; for Yours is the power and the glory for ever.
"Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If any one is holy let him come, if any one is not holy let him repent. Maranatha. Amen."
But permit the Prophets to give thanks in words as much as they wish.
Whosoever then comes and teaches you all the things aforesaid, receive him. But if the teacher himself being perverted teaches another teaching to the destruction of this teaching, hear him not, but if he teach to the increase of righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord.
Now with regard to the Apostles and Prophets, according to the decree of the gospel, as the gospel commands so do.
Let every Apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord Himself. But he shall not remain longer than one day; and, if need be, another day also; but if he remain three days he is a false prophet. And when the Apostle departs, let him take nothing except enough bread to sustain him till he reaches his night's lodging. But if he asks for money, he is a false prophet. And every prophet who speaks in the spirit you shall not test or prove; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven.
Not every one who speaks in the spirit is a Prophet, but only if he has the conduct of the Lord. By their behavior then shall the false prophet and the true Prophet be known. And no Prophet who orders a table of food in the spirit eats from it himself, unless he is a false prophet. And every Prophet who teaches the truth, if he does not practice what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every approved, genuine Prophet, who calls gatherings for a worldly mystery, but does not teach others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged by you; for he has his judgment from the hand of God; for so did the ancient Prophets also.
But whosoever says in the spirit: Give me money or any other thing, you shall not listen to him; but if he bids you to give for others who lack, let no one judge him.
Let every one who comes in the name of the Lord be received, and then proving him you shall thus know him; for you shall have discernment right and left. If he who comes is truly homeless, help him as much as you can; but he shall not remain with you longer than two or three days, unless there is a real need. If he wishes to settle among you, being a craftsman, let him work and eat, earning his living by work. But if he has no trade, provide according to your understanding so that no Christian shall live idly among you. And if he will not act this way he is a Christ-trafficker. Beware of such. But every true Prophet who wishes to settle among you is worthy of his food. Likewise a true Teacher is himself worthy, like the workman, of his food.
Therefore you shall take and give all the first-fruits of the produce of the wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and sheep, to the Prophets; for they are your chief-priests. But if you have no Prophet, give to the poor.
If thou prepare bread, take the first fruit and give according to the commandment. Likewise when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the first-fruit and give to the Prophets. And from silver, and raiment, and every possession, take the first-fruit, as may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment. And on the Lord's Day of the Lord come together, and break bread, and give thanks, having confessed your transgressions before participating, that your sacrifice may be pure.
Let no one who has a dispute with his fellow-believer come together with you until they are reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: "In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the Gentiles."
Therefore elect for yourselves Bishops and Deacons worthy of the Lord, men meek, and not lovers of money, and truthful, and approved; for they too minister to you the ministry of the Prophets and Teachers. Therefore do not despise them, for they are those who are the honored men among you with the Prophets and Teachers.
And do not with wrath reprove one another, but in peace, as you have heard in the gospel; and let no one talk with any one who transgresses against another, nor let him hear a word from you until he repents. But so perform your prayers and alms and all your actions as you have heard in the gospel of our Lord.
Watch over your life; let not your lamps go out and let not your belts be unloosed, but be ready; for you know not the hour in which our Lord comes. But be frequently gathered together, seeking the things that are profitable for your souls; for the whole time of your faith shall not profit you unless in the final time you are found perfect.
For in the last days the false prophets and destroyers shall multiply, and the sheep shall turn into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate. For when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute, and deliver up one another; and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall commit iniquities which have never before been committed from the beginning of the world. And then shall the race of men come to the fire of trial, and many shall be offended by their faith and shall perish; but they who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself.
And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first the sign of opening in heaven; then the sign of the voice of the trumpet; and the third, the resurrection of the dead. Not, however, of all, but as was said, "The Lord shall come, and all the saints with him."
Then shall the world see the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven.

Now this is the statement of faith according to the Old Roman Creed in the first century:

I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ His Only Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and Virgin Mary; crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; the life everlasting.

The faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ having been spread among men by the apostles and brothers, the enemy of salvation, seeking to capture the imperial city, sent Simon Magus there, the man who was previously rebuked by Peter in Samaria for seeking to purchase from the apostles the power of laying hands on believers who had been baptized that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Thereafter avoiding the apostles, he had quickly fled overseas from East to West so that he could live as he pleased. With the enemy assisting his sorcery, he attached to himself many in Rome and deceived them. Simon worked many magic rites during Claudius' reign, by the demons who possessed him. At Rome he was deemed to be a god, and was honored as a god with a statue erected on a site in the River Tiber between the two bridges. It carries an inscription in Latin, which many have interpreted as saying SIMONI DEO SANCTO, which means "To Simon the Holy God". Nearly all Samaritans and a few in other nations at the time of the apostles also confessed him as the Supreme God and worshiped him. A woman named Helen, who had previously lived in a brothel at Tyre and traveled around with him, the worshipers called the First Emanation from him, his original Thought and Concept.

According to tradition, Simon took the lead in all heresies leading away from Christ, and primary among them the gnostics. His original followers, while displaying the outward form of religious piety, and pretending to have the modest philosophy of the Christians which is famous among all for purity of life, turn from Christ and prostrate themselves in idolatry before pictures and images of Simon and Helen. They worship them with incense, sacrifices and libations, and their more secret rituals are so full of frenzy, madness, and degradation that it is not only impossible to commit them to writing in detail, but to even utter them with the lips and tongue to decent persons in words without causing scandal. They include the so-called "deep things of Satan", and they glory in their shame. The most disgusting and foul crime imaginable is completely surpassed by the utterly repulsive heresy of these worshipers, drenched in vice, who take advantage of the needs of weak women, burdened with sins and moved by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and are ever learning, yet never coming to a knowledge of the truth.

This was the wickedness which that malignant power, the enemy of all good, and the robber of human salvation, used to make Simon Magus the father and author of this heresy. In Rome his success was short-lived. For during the same reign of Claudius, the gracious Providence of God brought Peter also to Rome. Peter, with Mark accompanying him as he taught the Gospel of light and the Word that saves souls, having come at last to Rome, extinguished and immediately destroyed Simon's power, along with the man himself. According to tradition he fell headlong into the Tiber and drowned.

Peter's hearers pleaded with Mark to leave a written summary of the teaching of Peter, since he was a follower of Peter. The apostle was pleased with their enthusiasm to have a written account of the Gospel and he approved the reading of the book in the assemblies. Eusebius states that this same Mark is mentioned in Peter's first letter, and that it was composed in Rome, witnesses testifying that he indicated this city figuratively with the words,

"Your sister church in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark."

While Peter was teaching in Rome during the reign of Nero he was taken and imprisoned. And he knew that the putting off of his body would be soon, as our Lord Jesus showed him. And he wrote this letter:

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue; by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust. Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness; and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.
Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. For thus you will be richly supplied with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth. I think it right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you; knowing that the putting off of my tent comes swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. Yes, I will make every effort even after my departure that you may always be able to remember these things. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
But false prophets also arose among the people, as false teachers will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned. In covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old does not linger, and their destruction will not slumber. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was very distressed by the lustful life of the wicked (for that righteous man dwelling among them, was tormented in his righteous soul from day to day with seeing and hearing lawless deeds): then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment; but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries; whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not bring a railing judgment against them before the Lord. But these, as unreasoning creatures, born natural animals to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil in matters about which they are ignorant, will in their destroying surely be destroyed, receiving the wages of unrighteousness; people who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime, spots and defects, reveling in their deceit while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and who cannot cease from sin; enticing unsettled souls; having a heart trained in greed; children of cursing; forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing; but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever. For, uttering great swelling words of emptiness, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by licentiousness, those who are indeed escaping from those who live in error; promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption; for a man is brought into bondage by whoever overcomes him.
For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb,
“The dog turns to his own vomit again,”
“the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire.”
This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you; that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior: knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God; by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, seeing that you look for these things, be diligent to be found in peace, without defect and blameless in his sight. Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you; as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware, lest being carried away with the error of the wicked, you fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Eusebius long afterward wrote that Peter appears to have preached in Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia to the Jews of the dispersion. And at last, having come to Rome, he was crucified head-downwards; for he had requested that he might suffer in this way.

When Festus died in 62, Caesar sent Albinus to Judea as procurator. But before he arrived, King Agrippa appointed Ananus, a man inclined to rashness, to the high priesthood. He was a son of the elder Ananus called Annas, the same Annas before whom Christ Jesus was brought after he was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane. This elder Annas, after having been high priest, had five sons, all of whom achieved that office, which was unparalleled. The younger Ananus with characteristic rashness followed the Sadducees, who were heartless when they sit in judgment. With Festus dead and Albinus still on the way Ananus thought he had his opportunity. He convened the judges of the Sanhedrin and brought before them James, the brother of Jesus the Christ, and certain other men, whom he accused of transgressing the law, and condemned them to be stoned to death.

The people of Jerusalem who were considered most fair-minded and strict in observing the law were offended. They privately urged King Agrippa to order Ananus to desist from any further such actions. Some of them even went to meet Albinus on his way from Alexandria, and informed him that without his permission Ananus had no authority to convene the Sanhedrin. Albinus angrily wrote to Ananus, threatening vengeance for this.

King Agrippa then deposed Ananus from the high priesthood, which he had held for three months, and replaced him with Jesus, son of Damnaeus, and Jesus son of Gamaliel after him. As a result these two high priests feuded, and typical of the lawless confusion in the city their supporters threw stones at each other. Nero then sent Gessius Florus as successor to Albinus.

When Albinus heard that Florus was coming to replace him, he cleared the prisons by executing those who deserved death, and after accepting a bribe, he released those who were guilty of lesser offenses. He thus infested the land with brigands. He also stole private property, burdened the nation with excessive taxes, and committed every sort of villainy. At the same time the temple was finally completed in A.D. 63, leaving 18,000 workers unemployed, although they did pave Jerusalem with white stone.

Old Roman Creed
Ecclesiastical History II, chapters 13-15
1 Peter 5:13
2 Peter 1:14 adapted
2 Peter
Ecclesiatical History III, chapter 1: 2a adapted

World English Bible text
Greek original text
Latin Vulgate text
NRSV text
Scofield Reference Bible (1917 Edition)
Conservative Bible text
multiple versions of any verse
multiple commentaries any passage
interlinear Bible: Hebrew, Greek, English
Bible maps (click initial letter of place name)

Eusebius: Church History: The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine ( pdf

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (

Tacitus: The Annals By Tacitus, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (

DIDACHE (Doctrine) "The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations."

Also called "The Teaching of the Twelve".
See the following articles:
Compare the following translations:

"pour water three times on the head in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" Didache 7:3

This is early documented evidence of the practice of baptizing by affusion, that is, by pouring the water on the head of the person being baptized.
Christians, in particular Baptists and Fundamentalists, who practice only baptism by immersion point to this as documentary evidence of the corruption of the doctrine of Christianity as early as around A.D. 100. They firmly emphasize the word baptizō means "immerse", "whelm", "cover" (Strong's number 907), and that nowhere in the divinely inspired books of the New Testament is the practice of pouring water over the head for baptism either performed or commanded—not by Christ, not by any Apostle, nor any Episcopos, Presbyter, Deacon, Elder, Teacher, Messenger, nor is it even found being done by an ordinary Christian because of necessity. See Sola scriptura.
Orthodoxy and Catholicism affirm that the practice of both immersion and affusion has been handed down (Latin tradere) according to the tradition received from the apostles, who received it by word of mouth from Jesus Christ Himself (Acts 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Matthew 18:18; 28:19-20; 2 John 12; 3 John 13-14; John 20:30; 21:25). They point to the written documentary evidence of the constant teaching of the disciples of the apostles and successors of the apostles all through the first centuries of Christianity, in support of the validity of the forms of immersion, infusion, affusion, even aspersion (sprinkling), as being according to sacred apostolic tradition; they point to the pictures and images of baptism by affusion on the walls of the catacombs predating the reign of Constantine; they point to the constant practice of the Christian Church in the east and west going back to ancient times. See Apostolic succession.
Evangelical Christianity rejects this argument as opposed to the Bible's teaching, and as evidence of apostasy from Christ.

"I believe in God..." Old Roman Creed.

This was originally only taught orally as a secret doctrine revealed only to the baptized. Only near the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century was it written. See the following articles:

"give all the first-fruits of the produce of the wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and sheep, to the Prophets; for they are your chief-priests." Didache 13:3

See Galatians 6:6. The Prophets here are the Christian leaders and teachers of the people, evangelists and missionaries, who preach the word of God. The primary reference here is to the collection-offering for the ministry, which today is normally in the form of money taken up during the Christian worship service, which primarily provides the income for the salaries of the Ministers of the church, and for the expenses of the ministry of the Gospel to the congregation and purchase of necessary goods and services for the poor. See Tithe.
The commandment in the Didache 13:3-6 almost exactly parallels the commandment written in the Book of Sirach 7:31, "Fear the Lord and honor the priest, and give him his portion, as is commanded you: the first fruits, the guilt offering, the gift of the shoulders, the sacrifice of sanctification, and the first fruits of the holy things."
In the Vulgate the Book of Sirach was given the Latin title Ecclesiasticus, "Church Book", because it was used in the early centuries of the church as a primary catechetical resource for teaching practical Christian moral virtue to children and catechumens (converts, proselytes).
Compare 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Genesis 14:18-20; Exodus 23:19; 34:23, 26; Leviticus 2:12, 14; 23:10; Numbers 18:12; Deuteronomy 18:4-5.

Peter's Journeys (with map)

When Did the Apostle Peter Meet His Death? John D. Keyser (

Keyser examines all the material (both traditional and historical) and covers the events surrounding the final days of Simon Peter. He also rejects the interpretation that "Babylon" is a metaphorical reference to Rome in 1 Peter 5:13.

Peter and Rome by COGwriter (Church of God COG)

This writer contradicts most of the evidence and conclusions collected, presented and discussed by John D. Keyser in the article above.

Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles (

This is a biographical article from scripture and early written historical commentaries.

"According to tradition he fell headlong into the Tiber and drowned." Amplification of Eusebius EH II, 15.

See multiple commentaries on Acts 8:9 and 8:18.
See also the following articles:

"partakers of the divine nature" 2 Peter 1:4.

This is read by many as referring to both the partaking of the Real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and their participation in the indwelling life of the Holy Spirit of God, making them, both males and females, His adopted sons through the blood of Jesus Christ, and coheirs with him to eternal life. John 6:52-58; Romans 8:16-17.
Others read it as directly referring solely to the dynamic effect of the blessing of the true redeeming life in Christ, and not as a specifically inclusive reference to the Eucharist too.

"I will make every effort even after my departure that you may always be able to remember these things" 2 Peter 1:15.

This verse is read by some as scriptural evidence of the apostolic doctrine of the intercession of the saints after they have departed in sleep to be with the Lord. Roman Catholic commentators, Cornelius a Lapide and others, have connected the words “after my decease” with the verb “I will endeavour,” and have thus construed the exegetical meaning of the Apostle’s words into an interpretation that makes them an argument for his continued watchfulness and superintendence over the development of the Church’s doctrine even after his death.
Others exegetically read it instead as Peter's promise while he is alive to "make every effort that you may always be able to remember these things even after my departure" (that is, so that they will not forget what he taught them concerning all things pertaining to life and godliness, 2 Peter 1:3-11.) It is thus read as an insistent parallel restatement of the immediately preceding verse, "I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to arouse you by way of reminder."
One reading sees Peter determined to do this both before and after he dies, the other reading sees Peter, while he is alive, determined to make them remember even after he dies, "as long as I am in this body".
The particular interpretive reading of the Greek text by the individual exegete determines (in this case, for the English translator) where to position the phrase "after my departure" in the translated text. This is expressed in the observation of hermeneutical studies that "the Bible is always read through the doctrinal lenses of the interpreter's personal theology, opening the eyes of some and closing others to what is actually there." Compare the following renderings of 2 Peter 1:15 in English:
"I will make every effort even after my departure that you may always be able to remember these things."
"I will make every effort that you may always be able to remember these things even after my departure."
See the Interlinear Bible link.
Compare multiple versions of 2 Peter 1:15 and multiple commentaries.
The Greek grammar favors the first reading, which supports the interpretation that Peter's stated intention is to assist them from heaven even after he dies. This is also the Orthodox and Catholic doctrine. The words ΔῈ ΚΑΊ following on ΣΠΟΥΔΆΣΩ seem to imply that the author would do something else besides the ὙΠΟΜΙΜΝΉΣΚΕΙΝ, whereby his readers after his death would be put in a position to remember what he now writes to them and all he taught. (Compare Jesus' words in John 14:25-26.)
Other interpreters see some ambiguous evidence of possible grammatical latitude in the Greek structure of the sentence which allows the second reading. Such a reading by not referring to what Peter will do "after my departure" supports the Protestant doctrine that denies the traditional Catholic and Orthodox teaching about the intercession of the saints. The doctrine of the active intercessory ministry of the saints in heaven is dismissed by Evangelical theology as being a corrupt compromise with superstitious pagan polytheism, and a blasphemous denial of the mediation of the One Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5
Controversy over teachings about the prayers of the saints on behalf of the living is primarily rooted in confusing the meanings of "intercession" and "mediation". They are not the same thing. To intercede is to speak on behalf of another, to defend their cause, and to seek for favor or forgiveness from an estranged or hostile party (see 2 Samuel 14). In some situations, the intercessor seeks the decision of a judge to render a favorable decision or verdict. To mediate is to bring together two parties at odds and estranged from one another by favorably representing the interests of both to each other by intercession, and then actively assisting them to completely remove actual barriers to their unity, by providing when necessary all the means of substantial reparation for all damage done by one party to the other or done mutually by each to the other. The mediator seeks to avoid having any recourse to a judge, and in principle will not himself or herself make a judgment either for or against either party involved in the dispute. In very extreme cases, the mediator, to avoid having the matter brought before a judge and to bring about actual peace, has personally arranged to make the absolutely necessary reparation required to remove the offense, and at great personal cost, solely to bring both parties together totally reconciled. Once this necessary reparation has been made, both of them afterward are able (if they will) to acknowledge that the very cause of what divided them has been completely removed. It no longer exists, and because it is gone there is no longer any substantial reason for their avoidance of each other and for acts of war, the one against the other, and the shutting out of the offending party. The compassionate act of the mediator has made this agreeable union possible. (U.S. law prohibits an authorized mediator acting directly to personally remove the cause of the dispute in order to resolve the conflict. See Conflict of interest.)
An intercessor pleads the case, seeking a favorable judgment or at best a total dismissal of the charge brought against the accused by the plaintiff.
A mediator arranges for a full reconciliation through resolution of the conflict by proposing a just reparation or settlement agreeable to both parties, without pronouncing judgment in the matter, and without recourse to a judge. The case has been "settled out of court". See Matthew 5:25-26; Luke 12:57-59.
In addition to differences in variant Christian understandings and misunderstandings of intercession and mediation, there is also a difference in variant Christian understandings of the meaning of the word "prayer", which anciently meant simply "petition".
Most basically and fundamentally, to ""pray"" (verb) is "to "petition"" (
Compare Conservapedia article Prayer.
Petitions to the governing authorities of a nation or people were usually introduced with the phrase, "we pray you to [do this or that]". Attorneys for the prosecution and the defense even today frequently address the court (the bar), in words spoken or written, with the word "pray": for example, "Your Honor, the defense prays the court to ...". Formal petitions by governors to the king or queen anciently addressed that sovereign lord or lady first with a preamble acknowledgement of their authority, followed by the words: "The people pray Your Majesty [to do this or that, or to cause to cease this or that] for the benefit of the realm". In ordinary society individuals often begged other individuals for a favor or benefit by praying them to consider some factor in their favor or some distress that needs to be addressed; for example a mother praying her husband, the father of their daughter or son, to forgive what the son or daughter has done. Those who were not members of the court of the emperor or sovereign, nor members of the legislative body of the nation, but who wished to appeal for some relief or benefit for themselves or on behalf of another, normally petitioned a member of the court in favor with the ruler or governing council to favorably represent them and to personally present the petition or prayer on their behalf for due consideration, and request the sovereign or ruling body to render a favorable decision. This is the proper form. An individual with no official standing in the administration of the nation who entered and approached to represent himself or herself as having a legitimate petition would be held in contempt as presumptuous and bold, as having no respect for the authority of the court by going over their heads. In the military they would be guilty of circumventing the "appropriate chain of command". In none of these instances is divine worship meant by a prayer of petition to authority.
When the word prayer is narrowly defined and understood to mean only speaking to God, then its fuller meaning has been stripped away and its language has been abused and violated. Most often this occurs unconsciously, because of how the word is normally used in American culture. Many are surprised to discover its broader legitimate meaning as found in authoritative dictionaries of the English language.
The Protestant Reformers in their struggle against the Catholic Church sought to promote pure piety and worship of God by eliminating the practice of prayers for the intercession of the saints in God's court of heaven by strictly defining prayer as meaning only petition to God. From this came the understanding that prayers to the saints to pray for us to God is a form of pagan idolatry, with the worship of saints taking the place of the worship of God (Colossians 2;18-19). They represented the intercession of the saints as the placing of a barrier between the Christian and the Savior, and as a disguised form of the pagan doctrine of the lesser and greater ascending levels of gods and goddesses who alone had right of access to the throne of God the Unknown. The Reformers sought to emphasize the sovereign dignity of each individual Christian as having a right to bypass the saints with direct access to the Majesty on High through Jesus Christ alone, as having the right to approach "boldly" the throne of grace without any necessity for intercession by any other being in heaven or on earth to support their prayers. (Hebrews 10:19; Ephesians 3:12; 1 John 4:17). In the civil sphere of human activity the Reformers also objected to the distance that autocratic rulers maintained between themselves and their subjects by the bureaucratic structure of levels of administrators and ministers, governors and officials, officers and clerks, often perceived as interfering and obstructing the petitions of the people and as refusing to reasonably submit them to the ruler.
However, many regarded the Protestant interpretation of scripture in support of the dignity of individual human autonomy under Christ before God's Throne as an expression of philosophical anarchy, and as subversively dangerous to the stability of Christian society; and also as being at its core strongly opposed to the virtue of humility (Romans 13:1-7). See Individualism. The Reformers were regarded as confusing "arrogance" and "insulting effrontery" with godly "confidence", and as regarding arrogant behavior on behalf of the Gospel as confident assurance in the face of ungodly opposition (Acts 4:13). The Catholic Holy Roman Emperor Charles V saw the Reformation movement as subversive to his reign, and an attack on Christianity through rejection of the established authority of the Catholic Church, and on this basis persecuted Protestants as fomenters of insurrection and as anarchists. Anarchy as a political philosophy is based on the individualist position that no human authority over individuals is ever legitimate and must be either passively disregarded (ignored, the KJV "despised") or actively resisted and overthrown. Thus no visible ruling authority or government on earth has been authorized or established by God. The Reformers saw proof of this in the suppression of the Reformation by Sovereigns, Popes and Patriarchs, who saw the leaders of the Reformation as rebelliously resisting what God has appointed (Romans 13:1-4). The Reformation saw the established authorities of Church and State in their day as entrenched and stubborn ungodly evils to be rejected and finally eliminated before the Kingdom of God could be established on earth. They represented the corruption and abuse of authority by particular self-serving leaders in the Church in violation of the doctrine of the Church as evident proof that the whole of the doctrine of the Church itself was corrupted by the Devil. (By the same reasoning the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, is representative of Christ's teaching.) The Reformers condemned those who said the emperor, the pope and the Church should be obeyed in accordance with what Paul had written in Romans 13:1-4. The Prophet Jeremiah was condemned by Judean false prophets and influential politicians as a traitor for declaring God's command to submit to the ungodly pagan rule of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Jeremiah 11:21Jeremiah 29:27 and Jeremiah 38:4).
During the original Communist Revolution in the early 20th century, revolutionary elements were called Anarchists. The anarchist position is represented today in the United States by the Libertarian Party whose members use much milder methods of political persuasion, and in every election for president the Libertarian Party presents a Libertarian candidate.
Jesus told his followers to obey those corrupt leaders of the Jewish faith who represented Moses, but not to do what they do. (Matthew 23:2-3). As applied in principle to the leadership of the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformers in conscience and in full accordance with their interpretation of the Bible found this obedience impossible, because of what they saw as irreparable evils and pagan influences entrenched within the doctrines of Catholicism. The command of Paul in Romans 13:1-4 and of Peter in 1 Peter 2:13-17 and of Hebrews 13:17 when applied with regard to the established authority of the Holy Roman Emperor, of the Pope and of the Catholic Sovereigns of Europe, was for the Reformers equally abhorrent and impossible in conscience for them to obey, even if it was in the Bible. They had reached the conclusion that the Holy Spirit was not guiding the Catholic Church into all truth, but had departed from her, and that Jesus Himself had not remained with her, but that Satan was ruling the Church instead. This is also the fundamental claim of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. On this basis many Orthodox and Catholic Christians depart and join Protestant churches.
Catholic and Orthodox apologists respond that this implies that Jesus broke his promises in John 14:15-17, 25-26; 15:26; 16:12-13; 17:9-11; Matthew 16:18-19; 28:19-20; and they point to Jesus' word about the church in Matthew 18:17-20 as being always true and reliable, and to the fact that Paul testified to Timothy that the Church is the "pillar and ground of truth" and to the Ephesians that the wisdom of God is revealed even to the powers in heaven through the Church (1 Timothy 3:15 and Ephesians 3:10). On this basis many Protestant Christians depart from their churches and become Catholic and Orthodox.
As applied to both sides of the controversy see the counsel of Gamaliel in Acts 5:38-39 and the word of the angel in Revelation 22:10-11. See especially 2 Timothy 2:23-26. These verses express the guiding principle of Ecumenism.
Generally, abuse of language by changing or narrowing the meanings of key words in the culture of a whole people or within a particular subculture of the population is a strategy of cults and anti-Christian interests as a way to promote their ideas. George Orwell illustrated this in his novel 1984. This has more recently been seen in attempts to redefine the meanings of marriage and gender, and the promotion of murder as compassionate medical care and as preventive medicine.
See Eugenics and Planned Parenthood.
The Protestant Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches have redefined the word "prayer" to mean only petition to God so that any kind of prayer addressed to any other person on earth or in heaven is a sin. But they do not hesitate to ask (request, petition) the police and fire rescue teams for help. They do not hesitate to ask (request, petition) their pastors and prayer groups and friends for help to join them in prayer and to pray for them and intercede with them to God on behalf of those who have need of prayer. Orthodox and Catholic Christians claim that this is all that they mean by asking for the intercession of the saints in heaven for their help on behalf of themselves and others, because they are alive and their power and authority comes from God alone who has appointed them as protectors and helpers of souls for their salvation and for his glory alone. They claim that in honoring the saints alive in heaven they are honoring God, "but it is the same God which worketh all in all" 1 Corinthians 12:6, "For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him" Luke 20:38
The Christian Fundamentalist response is that the saints are dead and can do nothing, and only God can answer prayer. Compare Matthew 17:3; 22:32.
Communion of Saints: Dead or Alive in Christ?
It is a basic fact of human nature that if any practice, religious or secular, pagan or Christian, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Fundamentalist, Independent, Non-denominational, Humanist, is represented or misrepresented as an evil, then those who believe what they are told about that practice, and who wish to do good, will sincerely avoid that practice as being a sin, a thing harmful to individuals and to society as a whole, and will oppose it, either publicly in speeches, sermons, and public media, or privately.
The beliefs of committees of biblical translation and of individual translators have directly affected the translation of particular passages of the scriptures into English, sometimes deliberately slanted to support their doctrinal beliefs. 2 Peter 1:15 here is only one example.
See the following:

"When Festus died in 62..." Historical amplification drawn from historical texts.

See linked sources above (Eusebius, Josephus, Suetonius, Tacitus).

"At the same time, in A.D. 63, the temple was completed"

Begun by Herod the Great in 19/20 B.C., the work was not entirely finished until A.D. 63, only 7 years before the destruction of the entire Temple in A.D. 70.

"Nero sent Gessius Florus as successor to Albinus" See the following articles:

From Simon Peter, a devoted servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same privilege of precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ; much grace and peace is upon you because of your knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue, which gives us great promises, that by these things you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. In addition to this, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, understanding; and to understanding, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly friendship; and to brotherly friendship, charity. For if these things are in you, and abundantly, then you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in your understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who does not have these things is blind, and cannot see at a distance, and has forgotten that he had his old sins cleaned out.

So instead, brothers, be diligent about making your calling and election secure. If you do these things, you will never fail. For in that way, an entrance will be kept ready for you, and abundantly so, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

So I will always remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and are established in the present truth. In fact, I think it only proper, so long as I am in this tent of mine, to stir you up by reminding you, because I know that very shortly I will have to put this tent of mine off, even as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me how. Furthermore, I will try to make sure that you will be able, after my death, to have things things always uppermost in your memories.

Remember: we have not followed any cleverly invented fables, when we made the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ known to you. We were eyewitnesses of His Majesty. Because he received from God the Father both honor and glory, when such a voice as this came to him from the highest glory: "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." We heard this Voice That came from heaven, when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

We also have a more certain word of prophecy, and you would do well to take note of it, as you would to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day breaks, and the morning star arises in your hearts. Know this first: no prophecy of Scripture lends itself to any secret or private interpretation. The prophecy did not come in the old time by the will of man. Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

But false prophets were also to be found among the people, just as you will always have false teachers among you. They will, in private, bring in doctrines that are as damnable as they are divisive, and will go so far as to deny the Lord That redeemed them, and bring swift destruction on themselves. Many people will follow their sex-crazed ways, and on their account the Way of Truth will get a bad name. And through covetousness, they, with pretending words, will make merchandise of you. Their judgment will not linger now for long, and their condemnation does not sleep. If God did not spare those of His Messengers who sinned, but threw them down to Tartarus and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be held for trial, and did not spare the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth [man in line], a preacher of righteusness, and brought in the Great Flood upon the world of the ungodly, and turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, having condemned them to total destruction, to make them an example to those who would live ungodly lives afterward, and delivered only Lot, vexed as he was with the filthy conversation of wicked people, (because, given that this righteous man was living among them, within sight and hearing, they vexed his righteous soul day after day with their unlawful doings.) then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly from a test, and to hold the unjust for the Day of Trial to be punished, but especially those who walk after the flesh in the lust for uncleanness, and despise lordship. They are presumptuous and self-willed, and are not afraid to blaspheme against glorious beings. In contrast, God's Messengers, that are greater in power and might, do not bring railing accusations against them before the Lord.

But these people, acting like wild and brutish animals, made to be taken and destroyed, insult things that they don't understand, and will perish completely in their own corruption, and will receive the reward of unrighteousness, like those tho think it's a game to run riot in the daytime. They are spots and blenishes, making sport of themselves with their own deceptions while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, and cannot stop sinning. They beguile unstable souls. They have exercised a heart with covetous practices, cursed children that they are. They have walked off the right road, and have gone astray, following the way of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity. The dumb donkey, speaking with a man's voice, forbade the madness of the prophet.

These are like dry wells, and clouds blown by a storm. The mist of darkness is reserved for them forever. Because when they speak big, swelling, vain words, they lure others through fleshly desires, through wantonness. The clean ones escape from those who live in error. They promise them liberty, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. By whomever a man is overcome, of that same person he is bought into slavery. And if, after they have avoided the pollutions of the world through understanding of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are entangled in them all over again, and vanquished, then their second ending is worse for them than the beginning. It would have been better for them never to have known the Way of righteousness, than, after they knew it, to turn away from the holy instruction given to them. But everything happens to them according to this old saying: The dog returns to his own vomit, and the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mud.

I am writing this second letter to you now, my loved ones. In both these letters I want to stir up your clean minds by way of remembrance, so that you may remember the words that were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment from us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior. Know this first: in the last days, scoffers will come, who walk after their own lusts.

They will say, "Where is the promise of His Coming? Since the fathers died out, everything continues as it has since the beginning of time!" When they say things like this, this key fact escapes their attention: the heavens existed since long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and in water, by the Word of God. And by that same Word, the world that then existed, perished after being overflowed with water. But the heavens and the earth, which exist now, by that same Word are kept in store, and held for a trial by fire in the Day of Trial, as is the perdition of ungodly men.

But, loved ones, do not be ignorant of this one thing: one day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day. The Lord is not slack about His Promises, as some men think they know what slackness is. He is longsuffering toward us, and would rather that no man should perish, but all men come to repentance. But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. In that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will melt with great heat. The earth as well, and all the works in it, will be burned up.

And so, since all these things are going to be destroyed, what sort of persons you should be, in holy conversation and godliness, looking for and even hurrying to the coming of the Day of God, in which the heavens will catch fire and be dissolved, and the elements will melt with great heat? Regardless, we, as His promise dictates, are looking for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness lives.

And so, loved ones, since you are looking for such things, work hard to be found by Him in peace, spotless, and blameless, and reckon this longsuffering of our Lord as your salvation, even as our beloved brother Paul has also written to you, according to the wisdom given to him, as also in all his letters, as he speaks in them of these things. Some things in those letters might be hard to understand—and the unlearned and unstable wrest these things from them, as they do from other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

So you, loved ones, since you know these things before, be careful that you are not also led away with the error of the wicked and thus fall from your own steadfast position. Instead, grow in grace, and in the understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both now and forever. Amen.

Mark 1-8 (Translated)
Mark 9-16 (Translated)


Chapter 45 Bible texts

As Paul journeyed back to Rome, Erastus remained at Corinth. He left Trophimus ill at Miletus, and then finally arrived in Rome. While he was there teaching he was taken and put in chains. When Onesiphorus arrived in Rome he searched for Paul eagerly and found him. He often refreshed Paul, and he was not ashamed of Paul's chains. He had also previously rendered service at Ephesus.

At Paul's first defense no one stood with him; all deserted him. But the Lord stood by him and gave him strength to proclaim the word fully, so that all the Gentiles might hear it. And so he was rescued from the lion's mouth.

All in Asia turned away from him, among them Phygelus and Hermogenes. Demas deserted him and went to Thessalonica, Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone remained with him. Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus. It seems that Onesiphorus died at this time, for Paul prayed that the Lord grant Onesiphorus to find mercy from the Lord on the Day of the Lord.

He wrote the following letter:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience. How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy; having been reminded of the sincere faith that is in you; which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, in you also.
For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News. For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this cause I also suffer these things.
Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day.
Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain, but when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me (the Lord grant to him to find the Lord’s mercy in that day); and in how many things he served at Ephesus, you know very well.
You therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on duty entangles himself in the affairs of life, that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier. Also, if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he has competed by the rules. The farmers who labor must be the first to get a share of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, of the offspring of David, according to my Good News, in which I suffer hardship to the point of chains as a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the chosen ones’ sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy:
“For if we died with him, we will also live with him.
If we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we deny him, he also will deny us.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful.
He cannot deny himself.”
Remind them of these things, charging them in the sight of the Lord, that they do not argue about words, to no profit, to the subverting of those who hear.
Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth. But shun empty chatter, for it will go further in ungodliness, and those words will consume like gangrene, of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; men who have erred concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past, and overthrowing the faith of some. However God’s firm foundation stands, having this seal,
“The Lord knows those who are his,”
“Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness.”
Now in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of clay. Some are for honor, and some for dishonor. If anyone therefore purges himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, and suitable for the master’s use, prepared for every good work.
Flee from youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant questionings, knowing that they generate strife. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, patient, in gentleness correcting those who oppose him: perhaps God may give them repentance leading to a full knowledge of the truth, and they may recover themselves out of the devil’s snare, having been taken captive by him to his will.
But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also. For some of these are people who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Even as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so do these also oppose the truth; men corrupted in mind, who concerning the faith, are rejected. But they will proceed no further. For their folly will be evident to all men, as theirs also came to be.
But you did follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, persecutions, and sufferings: those things that happened to me at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. I endured those persecutions. The Lord delivered me out of them all. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
But you remain in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them. From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables. But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing. Be diligent to come to me soon, for Demas left me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. But I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. Bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus when you come, and the books, especially the parchments.
Alexander, the coppersmith, did much evil to me. The Lord will repay him according to his deeds, of whom you also must beware; for he greatly opposed our words.
At my first defense, no one came to help me, but all left me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me for his heavenly Kingdom; to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained at Corinth, but I left Trophimus at Miletus sick. Be diligent to come before winter. Eubulus salutes you, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Paul showed by example the prize that is given to patience: seven times was he cast into chains; he was banished; he was stoned; having become a herald, both in the East and in the West, he obtained the noble renown due to his faith; and having preached righteousness to the whole world, and having come to the extremity of the West, and having borne witness before rulers, he departed at length out of the world, and went to the holy place, having become the greatest example of patience.

Paul preached the Gospel of Christ from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and afterwards suffered martyrdom in Rome under Nero.

Nero was the first Roman emperor to persecute the doctrine of Christianity, particularly at that time, when, after subduing all the east, he exercised his cruelty against all at Rome. Those who knew him, knew that there was scarcely anything great and good that was not condemned by Nero. Thus announcing himself publicly as the chief enemy of God, he was led on by his fury to slaughter the apostles. Thus Paul is said to have been beheaded at Rome, and Peter to have been crucified under him.

What else needs to be said of Paul, who proclaimed the Gospel from Jerusalem to Illyricum and was afterward martyred in Rome under Nero?

Now Matthew had produced his Gospel written among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul proclaimed the gospel and founded the church at Rome. After the departure of these, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also passed on to us in writing what had been preached by Peter, his account of "the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God."

The Gospel According to Mark chapters 1 through 10
The Gospel According to Mark chapters 11 through 16

And Luke, the companion of Paul, committed to writing the Gospel preached by Paul; and he added a second treatise on the spreading of the Gospel of Christ through the Acts of the Apostles by the descent in power of the Holy Spirit and his testimony to the truth in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. Both of these volumes may be read with profit as a single account of the history of the beginning of the perpetual establishment of the Holy Assembly of God on earth.

The Gospel According to Luke chapters 1 through 9
The Gospel According to Luke chapters 10 through 21
The Gospel According to Luke chapters 22 through 24
The Acts of the Apostles chapters 1 through 13
The Acts of the Apostles chapters 14 through 26
The Acts of the Apostles chapters 27 through 28

2 Timothy 4:20 adapted
2 Timothy 4:16-17 adapted
2 Timothy 1:15 adapted
2 Timothy 1:17 adapted
2 Timothy 1:16b adapted
2 Timothy 1:18 adapted
2 Timothy 4:10-12 adapted
2 Timothy 1:16a adapted
2 Timothy
1 Clement 5.5-7 adapted
Ecclesiatical History III, chapter 1: 2b adapted
Ecclesiastical History II, chapter 25, adapted
Ecclesiastical History V, chapter 8, adapted

World English Bible text
Greek original text
Latin Vulgate text
NRSV text
Scofield Reference Bible (1917 Edition)
Conservative Bible text
multiple versions of any verse
multiple commentaries any passage
interlinear Bible: Hebrew, Greek, English
Bible maps (click initial letter of place name)
Maps of Paul's journeys:

Eusebius: Church History: The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine ( pdf

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (

Tacitus: The Annals, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (

Timeline of the Apostle Paul (

Dating according to the majority of Bible scholars and historians.

"having come to the extremity of the West" 1 Clement 5:7. (See Apocrypha.)

Whether Clement was speaking of Spain or of Britain is uncertain. The Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula is the most western part of the landmass of Europe, not including the British isles and Ireland. Roman ships out of the Mediterranean also docked at ports on the southeastern coast of Britain. Ireland is situated further west of Britain, but that island was not colonized by Rome at the time of the apostles. See Pax Romana.
See full text of 1 Clement.

"Now Matthew had produced his Gospel written among the Hebrews...And Luke...the Gospel preached by Paul." from Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, chapter 8.

Eusebius quotes Irenaeus as testifying to the order in which the Gospels were written: Matthew first, then Mark, then Luke, and finally John.
This is only one of many historical sources supporting the Augustinian hypothesis of the priority of Matthew before Mark. The hypothesis of Marcan priority first proposed in the nineteenth century by German theologians, which claims that a later Matthew and Luke drew on Mark as the previously written original source for their accounts of the ministry of Christ, became popular among the more moderate and liberal biblical scholars of the late nineteenth through the twentieth centuries. It has lately come under more exacting scrutiny by textual critics who have found little substantial basis for continuing to maintain that Mark was written before Matthew. See the following:

Erastus stays in Corinth but when I left Trophimus in Miletum, he was sick.

The first time, no one would stand beside me. Everyone abandoned me. I pray to God that they won't be blamed for it. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so I could spread his gospel to all the Gentiles. So I was saved from the lion's mouth.

You already know that everybody in Asia is turned against me, including Phygellus and Hermogenes.

Demas has abandoned me, as he loves worldliness, and left for Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke stays with me. Take Mark with you, as he will serve your ministry well. I've sent Tychicus to Ephesus.

As a matter of fact, in Rome, he [Onesiphorus] sought me with application until he found me.

Onesiphorus, as he as often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my bounds.

So may the Lord grant him mercy when the time comes, you know very well how he helped me in Ephesus.

May the Lord show mercy on the family of Onesiphorus,

From Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ

To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

I thank God, whom I serve as my ancestors did, with a pure conscience, that I constantly remember you in my prayers. When I remember your tears, I greatly desire to see you and be filled with joy. I remember the sincere faith that lives in you, that your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice also had.

For this reason, remember to fan into flame the grace of God that I gave when I laid my hands on you. For God did not give us a fearful spirit, but one of power and love, and a logical mind.

Do not be ashamed to testify for our Lord, or of me being his prisoner, but join me in the suffering for the Gospel, by the power of God. God has saved us, and called us to his holy works not because of our deeds, but because of a divine purpose that was given to us by Jesus Christ before the world began. This is apparent to all since the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.

I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher to the world, of this Gospel. For this I suffer but I am not ashamed, because I have faith, and I am sure Jesus Christ will remember what I have done in his name. You should remember these logical words form me, in the faith and love of Jesus Christ, and keep this good thing by the Holy Ghost that resides in us.

You already know that everybody in Asia is turned against me, including Phygellus and Hermogenes.

May the Lord show mercy on the family of Onesiphorus, as he as often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my bounds. As a matter of fact, in Rome, he sought me with application until he found me. So may the Lord grant him mercy when the time comes, you know very well how he helped me in Ephesus.

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Jesus Christ. And the things I told you, among many witnesses, you shall entrust to believers who will be qualified to teach others. Endure the hardships as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No soldier meddles with civilian affairs, he obeys his commanding officer. In the same way, an athlete does not win if he does not follow the rules of the game. The hardworking farmer should have the greater part of his crops. Think about these things, and the Lord shall provide you with insight on them.

Remember that I proclaim that Jesus Christ, descendant of David, was raised from the dead and for this I am chained like a criminal, but the word of God is not. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they may be saved by Jesus Christ.

This saying rings true: if we die with him, we will live with him. If we suffer, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us. If we are faithless, he will not, for he can not disown himself. Remind them of these things. Tell them not to fight over words, because this will only cause chaos.

Act as a student of God, one who need not be ashamed because he is telling the truth. Avoid profanity and gossip, because they will lead to atheism. Their words are like a cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are with them. They practice deceit, saying that the resurrection is past. They destroy the faith of some. But the foundation of God is not moved. God knows His children, and He turns them away from the devil.

In a mansion, there are valuable tools and common tools. Some have respectable uses and some have disreputable uses. If a man avoids the disreputable, he will become an honorable and holy tool, useful for God and His servants. Forget the evils of your youth. Embrace righteousness, faith, charity and peace of mind, and open your heart to God.

Avoid long and foolish arguments, they only lead to disorder. A servant of God must avoid arguments. He should be kind, patient and open-minded. He must respectfully teach those that oppose him. God will show them the truth. Then they will escape the trap of the devil, who has made them his servants.

Know this: The last days will be chaotic times. Men will be proud, selfish, godless, disobedient, ingrateful; perverse, disloyal, deceitful, violent and hateful; treacherous, headstrong, conceited, loving pleasure more than God. They respect God but deny his power. Stay away from these men. They sneak around, seducing silly and sinful women. These are students who never learn the truth. These men oppose the truth just like Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They are corrupt and faithless. But they will fail, because their foolishness is obvious to everyone.

However, you understand my ideas, lifestyle, goals, faith, patience and generosity; the censorship I experienced at Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. God delivered me from it.

Everyone who follows Jesus will suffer persecution. While evil men and liars will become worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you should practice the things you studied, because you know who taught them. You have known about the scriptures since you were a child; you know that they can lead you to Christ. The Bible is the Word of God, useful for teaching, correcting and training; so a man of God can be used for good deeds.

So I entrust you before God and Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and dead when He arrives with his kingdom, preach the truth, whether the times are good or bad. Correct, encourage, and condemn, all with patience and truth. Soon, people will not listen to the truth, but they'll call in teachers to tell them whatever lies they want to hear. They will ignore the truth and listen instead to myths.

Be vigilant in everything, endure your trials, and evangelize. Prove yourself a minister, for I am being made an offering, and it is almost time for me to leave. I have fought courageously and have finished my fight. I have stayed faithful. So there is a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will set upon me on that day. But not only on me, but on all who rejoice at his coming.

Work hard so you can join me soon. Demas has abandoned me, as he loves worldliness, and left for Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke stays with me. Take Mark with you, as he will serve your ministry well. I've sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the books, and the parchments.

Alexander, the metalworker, attacked me. The Lord judge him justly. Be wary of him. He has attacked our message.

The first time, no one would stand beside me. Everyone abandoned me. I pray to God that they won't be blamed for it. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so I could spread his gospel to all the Gentiles. So I was saved from the lion's mouth. The Lord will always save me from evil attempts and keep me safe right to his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever, Amen.

Say hello to Prisca and Aquila, and Onesiphorus' household.

Erastus stays in Corinth but when I left Trophimus in Miletum, he was sick.

Work hard to arrive before winter. Eubulus says hello, along with Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers.

Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. His grace be with you. Amen.

Gospel of Mark (Translated)

Gospel of Luke (Translated)

Acts of the Apostles (Translated)


Chapter 46 historical texts

The works of the world, the flesh and the Devil are opposed to the works of the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ. We can plainly see how the government of the pagan Roman Empire under the Caesars is opposed to the apostolic doctrine and practice of the catholic church of Christ under God. While we are like sheep in the midst of wolves, we are not ignorant of the designs of Satan, so that we may be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

While Jerusalem was particularly prosperous and peaceful, in A.D. 62, four years before the war and eight years before the temple was destroyed, a common countryman, Jesus, son of Ananias, came to the feast of booths called tabernacles, at which it was customary for all to make tents at the temple to the honor of God. He suddenly began shouting out: 'A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against bridegrooms and brides, a voice against all the people.' He went through all the alleys day and night shouting this.

Some of the more distinguished citizens, irritated by the ominous cry, seized and beat him with many strokes. But without saying a word to defend himself, or particularly addressing anyone present, he continued to cry out the same message.

The rulers, believing the man was moved by a higher power, which was true, brought him before the Roman governor Albinus. And though he was scourged to the bone, he did not plead or shed tears, but, changing his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, he repeated with each stroke the words, 'Woe, woe unto Jerusalem.'

In A.D. 63 the Jews completed the rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, a work which was begun under Herod king of Judea in 27 B.C.. The site was anciently a large threshing floor. Now, according to Josephus, this temple at the beginning was built upon a strong hill. At first the plain at the top was hardly sufficient for the holy house and the altar, for the area around it was very uneven, and like a precipice; but when king Solomon, who built the temple, had built a wall to it on its east side, there was then added one cloister founded on an embankment cast up for it, and on the other parts of it the holy house stood exposed; but in future ages the people added new embankments, and the hill became a larger plain. They then broke down the wall on the north side, and included as much as sufficed afterward for the area around the entire temple; and when they had built walls on the three sides of the temple round about, from the bottom of the hill, and had performed a work that was greater than could be hoped for (a work of long ages, exhausting also all their sacred treasures, which were still replenished by votive offerings sent to God from the whole habitable earth), they then enclosed their upper courts with cloisters, and they afterward did as well with the lowest court of the temple. The lowest part of this was erected to a height of three hundred cubits, in some places more; yet the entire depth of the foundations was not visible, for they brought earth, and filled up the valleys, desiring to make them level with the narrow streets of the city; in which they used massive stones of forty cubits; for the vast sums of money they then had, and the generosity of the people, made this attempt of theirs succeed to an incredible degree; and what no one had thought could be accomplished, was, by perseverance and length of time, brought to perfection.

Now, the works above those foundations were not unworthy of such foundations; for all the cloisters were double, and the pillars supporting them were twenty-five cubits high. These pillars were each of one whole stone, and that stone was white marble; and the roofs were adorned with cedar, elaborately carved. The natural magnificence, and excellent polish, and the harmony of joints in these cloisters, presented a sight that was very remarkable; nor was the outside adorned with the work of any painter or engraver. The cloisters of the outermost court were thirty cubits broad, while its entire encompass was, by measure, six furlongs, including the tower of Antonia; those entire courts open to the air were paved with stones of all kinds. After going through these first cloisters, to the second court of the temple, there was a stone partition all around it, three cubits high: its construction was very elegant; upon it stood pillars, equidistant from each other, declaring the law of purity, some in Greek, and some in Roman letters, that no foreigner should go inside that sanctuary; for that second court of the temple was called "the Sanctuary"; and was ascended by fourteen steps from the first court. This second court was foursquare, and had a peculiar wall of its own around it: although the height of its buildings on the outside was forty cubits, this was hidden by the steps, and on the inside its height was only twenty-five cubits; being built facing a higher part of the hill with steps, it could not be entirely seen farther inside, being covered by the hill itself. Beyond these fourteen steps was a distance of ten cubits, all smooth, where there were other steps, each five cubits, leading to the gates, eight on the north and south sides, four on each side, and of necessity two on the east; for since there was a partition built for the women on that side, as the proper place in which they were to worship, there was of necessity a second gate for them: this gate was cut out of its wall, facing the first gate. There was also on the other side one southern and one northern gate, through which was a passage into the court of the women; as for the other gates, the women were not allowed to pass through them; nor when they went through their own gate could they go beyond their own wall. This place was allotted equally to the Jewish women of this country and those of other countries, provided they were of the same nation; but the wall was completely built on that side; but then the cloisters between the gates extended from the wall inward, before the chambers; for they were supported by very fine and large pillars. These cloisters were single, and, excepting for their size, were in no way inferior to those of the lower court.

Now nine of these gates were entirely covered with gold and silver, as were the jambs of their doors and their lintels; but there was one gate outside the inward court of the holy house, which was of Corinthian brass, and greatly excelled those that were only covered with silver and gold. Each gate had two doors, thirty cubits high, and fifteen broad. However, within they had large spaces of thirty cubits, and on each side rooms, and those, both in breadth and in length, were built like towers, and their height more than forty cubits. Two pillars also supported these rooms, each twelve cubits in circumference. Now the size of the other gateways were equal to each other; but that over the Corinthian gate, which opened on the east facing the gateway of the holy house itself, was much larger; for its height was fifty cubits; and its doors forty cubits; and it was adorned in a most costly manner, having much richer and thicker plates of silver and gold than the other. The silver and gold of these nine gates had been poured on them by Alexander, the father of Tiberius. Now fifteen steps led away from the wall of the court of the women to this greater gate; while those that led there from the gates were five steps less.

As to the holy house itself, placed in the midst of the inmost court, that most sacred part of the temple, it was ascended by twelve steps; and in front its height and its breadth were equal, each a hundred cubits; it was forty cubits narrower in back, for in front it had what may be called shoulders on each side, extending twenty cubits farther. Its first gateway was seventy cubits high, and twenty-five cubits broad; but this gate had no doors; for it represented the universal visibility of heaven, and that it cannot be excluded from any place. Its front was covered with gold all over, and through it the first and more inward part of the house did all appear; which, as it was very large, so all the parts about the more inward gate appeared to shine to those that saw them; but, as the entire house within was divided into two parts, only the first part of it was open to view. All along its length it extended ninety cubits high, its length fifty cubits, and its breadth twenty; but that gate at this end of the first part of the house was, as stated, all covered with gold, as was the whole wall around it; it also had golden vines above it, from which hung clusters of grapes as tall as a man's height; but then, this house, being divided into two parts, the inner part was lower in appearance than the outer, with golden doors of fifty-five cubits altitude, and sixteen broad; but before these doors there was a veil equally large. It was a Babylonian curtain, embroidered with blue, fine linen, scarlet, and purple, and of a blending truly wonderful. This mixture of colors was not without its mystical interpretation, but was a kind of image of the universe; for the scarlet seemed enigmatically to signify fire, the fine flax the earth, the blue the air, and the purple the sea; two of them having colors based on resemblance; but the fine flax and the purple have their origins as their basis, the earth producing the one, and the sea the other. This curtain also had embroidered on it all that was mystical in the heavens, except the twelve signs, representing living creatures.

Any person who entered the temple immediately stepped onto its floor. This part of the temple was sixty cubits in height, and its length the same; while its breadth was only twenty cubits: but the sixty cubits length was divided again, the first part of it cut off at forty cubits, and it had in it three things that were very wonderful and famous among all mankind; the candlestick, the table of show bread, and the altar of incense. Now, the seven lamps signified the seven planets; for seven were springing out of the candlestick. Now, the twelve loaves that were on the table signified the circle of the zodiac and the year; but the altar of incense, by its thirteen kinds of sweet-smelling spices supplied by sea, signified that God is the possessor of all things that are, in both the uninhabitable and habitable parts of the earth, and that they are all to be dedicated to his use. But the second, inmost part of the temple of all, was twenty cubits in length, twenty in breadth. This was also separated from the outer part by a veil. In this there was nothing at all. It was inaccessible and inviolable, and not to be seen by any; and was called the Holy of Holies.

Now, around the sides of the lower part of the temple were little houses, with passages from one to another; there were a great many of them, and they were three stories high; there were also entrances into them on each side from the gate of the temple. But the superior part of the temple had no such little houses any farther, because the temple there was narrower, and forty cubits higher, and smaller than the lower parts of it. Thus Josephus gathered that the whole height, including the sixty cubits from the floor, amounted to a hundred cubits.

Now the outer face of the temple in front lacked nothing likely to surprise either men's minds or eyes, for it was covered all over with very heavy plates of gold, which, at the first rising of the sun, reflected a very fiery splendor, and made those who forced themselves to look upon it to turn their eyes away, just as they would have done at the sun's own rays. But this temple appeared to strangers at a distance like a mountain covered with snow; for those parts of it not gilt were exceedingly white. On its top were spikes with sharp points, to prevent any pollution of it by birds sitting upon it. Some of its stones were forty-five cubits long, five in height, and six in breadth. Before this temple stood the altar, fifteen cubits high, in both length and in breadth fifty cubits. It was a square figure, with corners like horns; and the passage up to it was an imperceptible incline. It was formed without any iron tool, nor did any such iron tool so much as touch it at any time. There was a separating wall of partition, about a cubit in height, made of fine stones, and pleasing to the sight; this encompassed the holy house, and the altar, and kept the people on the outside off and away from the priests. Moreover those who had gonorrhea and leprosy were entirely excluded from the city; also women, when their menses were on them were shut out of the temple; nor when they were free from that impurity, were they allowed to go beyond the limiting wall already mentioned; men also, who were not thoroughly pure, were prohibited from coming into the inner court of the temple; no, even the priests themselves who were not pure, were also prohibited to come into it.

Now all those of priestly stock, who could not minister because of some bodily defect, came inside the dividing wall of partition along with those who had no such imperfection, and had their share with them because of their priestly stock, but still used nothing except their own private garments; for nobody but he who officiated had on his sacred garments; but then the priests who were without any blemish went up to the altar clothed in fine linen. They abstained chiefly from wine, out of the fear that otherwise they should transgress some rules of their ministry. The high priest also did go up with them; indeed not always, but on the seventh days and new moons, and whenever any Jewish festivals, celebrated every year, happened. When he officiated, he had on a pair of breeches that reached under his private parts to his thighs, and had on an inner garment of linen, together with a blue garment, round, without seam, with fringework, and reaching to the feet. There were also golden bells hung on the fringes, and pomegranates between them. The bells signified thunder, and the pomegranates lightning. But the belt that tied the garment to the breast was embroidered with five rows of various colors of gold, and purple, and scarlet, also fine linen and blue; with these colors the veils of the temple were embroidered also. Similar embroidery was on the ephod, which was folded once, making it square; but the quantity of gold in it was greater. It was like a stomacher for the breast. There two golden buttons on it like small shields, which buttoned the ephod to the garment: these buttons enclosed two very large and very excellent sardonyxes on the one part, having the names of the tribes of that nation engraved upon them: on the other part were hung twelve stones, three in a row one way, and four in the other: a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald: a carbuncle, a jasper, and a sapphire: an agate, an amethyst, and a ligure: an onyx, a beryl, and a chrysolite; upon every one them was engraved one of the forementioned names of the tribes. A miter also of fine linen surrounded his head, tied by a blue ribbon, around which was another golden crown, in which was engraved the sacred Name; it consists of four vowels. However, the high priest did not wear these garments at other times, but a more plain habit; he only did it when he went into the most sacred part of the temple, which he did only once a year; on that day when the custom is for all Jews to keep a fast to God. And this much concerning the city and the temple.

Now, as to the tower of Antonia, it was situated at the corner of two cloisters of the court of the temple; that on the west, and that on the north; it was erected on a rock, fifty cubits high, and was on a great precipice; it was the work of king Herod, as a demonstration of his natural greatness. First, the rock itself was covered over with smooth pieces of stone from its foundation, both for ornament and so that anyone who would either try to get up or to go down it might not be able to get a foothold. Next to this, and before coming to the edifice of the tower itself, there was a wall three cubits high; but within that wall all the space of the tower of Antonia itself was built up, to the height of forty cubits. The inner parts had the largeness and form of a palace, partitioned into all kinds of rooms and other conveniences, such as courts, and places for bathing, and broad areas for camps; to such an extent that, by having all the conveniences that cities lacked, it might seem to be composed of several cities, but by its magnificence, it seemed to be a palace; and while the entire structure resembled a tower, it also included four other distinct towers at its four corners; and while the others were only fifty cubits high, the one on the southeast corner was seventy cubits high, so that from there the whole temple might be viewed; but on the corner where it was joined to the two cloisters of the temple, it had passages down to them both, through which the guard went several ways among the cloisters, with their arms, on the Jewish festivals, in order to watch the people, that they might not there attempt to make any social changes (for a Roman legion always lay in wait there in this tower); for the temple was a fortress that guarded the city, as the tower of Antonia was a guard to the temple; and in that tower were the guards of those three—the guards of the city, guards of the temple and guards of the tower of Antonia. There was also a peculiar fortress belonging to the upper city, which was Herod's palace; but as for the hill Bezetha, it was divided from the tower of Antonia by a valley; and as that hill on which the tower of Antonia stood was the highest of these three, so was it adjoined to the new city, and was the only place that hindered the sight of the temple on the north.

Now, about the same time, A.D. 63, Vespasian obtained from Nero the proconsulate of Africa. He had married one Flavia Domitilla, who bore his sons Titus and Domitian and a daughter, Flavia Domitilla. As proconsul of Africa, his extreme financial rigor made him so unpopular that on one occasion the people pelted him with turnips. While there was no ground for suspecting that his motives and policies were for personal financial gain, a reputation for avarice and greed remained with him the rest of his life.

In the Levant, Gessius Florus proved to be far worse than Albinus as procurator of Judea. He became a partner with the brigands to receive a share of the spoils, and openly showed his lawless wickedness before the nation. He stripped whole cities, ruined entire populations, and eventually compelled the Jews to go to war with the Romans.

About this time Nero developed strange religious enthusiasms and became increasingly attracted to the preachers of novel cults. Punishments were inflicted on the Christians, a sect seen as professing a new and disruptively harmful superstition unnaturally opposed to human nature, and to the worship of the gods. We were dismissed as fools by Stoics and Epicurians alike. The apostle Peter was martyred under Nero as well as the apostle Paul.

Nero's vices gradually began to dominate him completely. He no longer tried to trivialize or hide or deny them, but he became more brazen. His feasts began to last from noon to midnight. He sometimes drained the artificial lake in the Campus Martius or the other one in the Roman Circus and hold dinner parties there, with prostitutes and dancing girls from all over the city serving as waitresses. Whenever he floated down the Tiber to Ostia or cruised past the city of Baiae, he had a row of temporary brothels erected along the shore, where a number of Roman noblewomen, playing the role of madams, stood waiting to solicit his business.

Nero was not satisfied with seducing freeborn boys and married women. He tried to turn the boy Sporus into a girl by castration, and then later went through a wedding ceremony with him, which the whole court attended, complete with dowry, bridal veil, floral arrangements, musicians and lavishly dressed attendants. Then he brought him home and treated him as a wife. Many joked that the world would have been a happier place if Nero's father Domitus had married that kind of wife, because Nero would never have been born. He dressed Sporus in clothes normally worn by an empress, and took him in his own litter not only to every Greek legislative gathering and fair, but eventually through the market street in Rome called the Sigillaria, so-named because small decorative pottery pieces called sigillaria were typically sold there, and on the final day of the celebration of the Saturnalia gifts like these were exchanged—and there Nero kissed him frequently with a dramatic and loathsome display of amorous passion.

His lust for his own mother Agrippina was notorious, but her enemies, fearing that she would become even more powerful and ruthless than ever, would not permit him to consummate his passion for her; so he found a new mistress who resembled her exactly. It was said that he actually did commit incest with Agrippina herself every time they rode in the same litter, and the condition of his clothes when he emerged was seen as proof of this.

He invented for himself a game in which he dressed in animal skins, then burst forth suddenly from an artificial cave and attacked the private parts of both men and women bound to stakes; then, when he had reached an aroused peak of frenzy from this, he allowed his freedman Doryphorus to sodomize him. Doryphorus now married Nero just as Nero had married Sporus, and on the wedding night Nero imitated the screams and moans of a girl losing her virginity. It was said that he was convinced that no one could remain sexually chaste or pure in any respect and that most people concealed their secret vices. It was also said that, if anyone charged with obscene practices confessed to the charge, then Nero forgave him all his other crimes.

He believed that family fortunes were made to be squandered. He deeply admired his uncle Gaius Caligula merely because he had run through Tiberius' vast fortune, and he himself never hesitated about giving away or wasting money. He was most wasteful in his architectural projects. He built a magnificent house called the Passageway, stretching from the Palatine Hill to the Esquiline Hill. He spent 800,000 sesterces a day on the visiting King Tiridates of Parthia, and gave him a parting gift of 100 million. At dice he would stake 400,000 gold pieces on each spot of the winning face of the dice. He never wore the same clothes twice. He went fishing with a net made of gold strung with purple and scarlet thread. It was said that he seldom traveled with a train of less than 1,000 carriages. The draft mules were shod with silver, the muleteers wore Canusian wool from Canusium, a town renowned for the quality of its wool, and he was escorted by mounted North African Mazaces, those people most famously known as Mazacian horsemen; his outriders wore jingling bracelets and medallions.

He had long coveted the sites of several granaries, which were solidly built in stone near the Passageway palace. In A.D. 64 he knocked down their walls with siege engines, and set fire to their interiors. Pretending to be disgusted by the drab old buildings and narrow, winding streets of Rome, he brazenly set fire to the city. During the fire Nero was at his villa at Antium 35 miles from Rome and therefore could not legally be held personally responsible for the burning of the city. Although a number of former consuls caught his attendants trespassing on their property with tow and blazing torches, they dared not interfere. This terror lasted six days and seven nights. Many people took shelter in the tombs. A vast number of tenements burned down, houses of famous generals with their trophies, temples dating back to the time of the kingship with others dedicated during the Punic and Gallic Wars, and every ancient monument of historical interest that had survived to that time. The Passageway palace also burned. Nero, watching the conflagration from the tower in the Gardens of Maecenas, was enraptured by what he called "the beauty of the flames". He then put on his tragedian's costume, and sang in its entirety from beginning to end The Fall of Troy. Afterward, desiring to collect for himself as much loot as possible, he offered to remove corpses and rubble free of charge, but allowed no one else to search among the ruins, even of his own house. Then he opened a fire-relief fund and insisted on contributions. This bled the provincials dry and reduced all private citizens to almost total beggary.

Nero’s reputation sank to a new low when he took advantage of the fire’s destruction. Nero had the city reconstructed in the Greek style, and began building a prodigious palace—the Passageway palace had burned, but he rebuilt it and renamed it The Golden House. A threefold portico ran for a whole mile along it, and a 120 foot high huge statue of himself stood in the entrance hall. A vast, enormous pool, more like a sea, was surrounded by buildings resembling cities, and a garden of plowed fields, vineyards, pastures and woodlands full of roaming domestic and wild animals. Parts of this house were overlaid with gold, precious stones and mother-of-pearl. All the dining rooms had ceilings of carved ivory, with sliding panels that allowed a rain of flowers or perfume to suddenly shower down on the guests. The roof of the circular main dining room revolved slowly like the sky, all day and all night. When this was finished and Nero had dedicated it, he said, "Good. Now at last I can begin to live like a human being." Had the Golden House been finished according to plan, it would have covered a third of Rome. This was not his only building project.

The Roman populace believed that he himself had started the fire in Rome in order to indulge his aesthetic tastes in the city’s subsequent reconstruction. According to the Annals of the Roman historian Tacitus and to The Twelve Caesars of the Roman biographer Suetonius, Nero responded to public rumors that he was the arsonist by trying to shift responsibility for the fire onto the Christians, who were popularly thought to engage in many wicked practices, such as secret rites of initiation involving water, incestuous marriages between sisters and brothers, banquets of feasting on the flesh and blood of a man or a child, the treasonous atheism of intolerantly denying the existence of the gods of Rome and denying the divinity of the emperor, the worship of a dead man who had been executed by the Roman authorities and claiming that he alone was the supreme ruler and God, and their obvious hatred of the human race by their refusal to participate in civic festivals and entertainments, to attend plays and public spectacles, or to go to see the games in the arena, and the provoking of riots among the populace.

The historian Tacitus said that Nero used the Christians as scapegoats for the great fire of A.D. 64. He was a young man when he witnessed this. Nero attempted to systematically exterminate all people who professed faith in the newly found Christian religion. Under Nero's evil rule, Romans witnessed the worst atrocities upon his victims. He did not just kill Christians, he made them suffer extremely. Nero enjoyed dipping the Christians in hot tar, and impaling them alive on poles around his palace, he would then light them on fire. Up to that time, the government had not clearly distinguished Christians from Jews; but by his organized persecution of them in reprisal for the burning of Rome, Nero initiated a precedent for the later Roman state policy of persecution of the Christians, earning him the reputation of Antichrist in the Christian tradition.

When Nero found himself bankrupt and unable to provide either his soldiers' pay or his veterans their benefits, he resorted to bribery and blackmail. He imposed a death tax of five-sixths of an estate, seized the estates of those he deemed ingrates for not bequeathing him enough, and fined the legal specialists who had dictated and written such wills. He encouraged informants who testified with prejudice to words or deeds of anyone that could be interpreted as maiestas, or contempt of majesty: a crime punishable by loss of fortune, estate, freedom and even life. He took back those presents he had given Greek cities in acknowlegement of prizes won at musical or athletic contests, and finally robbed numerous temples of their treasures and melted down the gold and silver images of their gods, including the images of the household gods of Rome.

Nero also abused his power in the government, and committed the management of affairs to those vile wretches, Nymphidius and Tigellinus, his unworthy freedmen, so that he might the more fully devote himself to his artistic, dramatic and musical endeavors.

In A.D. 65, Nero kicked Poppaea to death in a violent beating while she was pregnant. Thus, Poppaea died, and he subsequently married the patrician lady Statilia Messalina, whose husband he was obliged to murder before he could marry her.

Nero had many antagonists by this time. The great conspiracy to make Gaius Calpurnius Piso emperor in 65 reveals the diversity of his enemies—senators, knights, officers, and philosophers. That the conspiracy included military officers was an ominous sign, but Nero did not panic. Slaves kept him out of danger by warning him of plots that were hatching among their masters, but he did not altogether abandon his lenient attitude toward the aristocracy. Out of 41 participants in the Piso conspiracy, only 18 died, either by his order or from fear, including Seneca and the poet Lucan; the others were exiled or pardoned.

After two conspiracies, one in Rome, and one in Beneventum, Nero resolved on a wholesale massacre of the nobility. Nothing and no one could restrain Nero from murdering anyone he pleased, on any pretext whatever. Those he ordered to commit suicide were never given more than an hour to settle their affairs.

In addition to the disasters of Nero's reign, in a single autumn 30,000 deaths from plague were recorded at the Grove of Libitina. Huge numbers of Romans and their allies were massacred when two important British garrison towns were taken by storm. Legions in Armenia were shamefully defeated and put under the yoke. Syria was almost lost at the same time. These humiliations were blamed on the anger of the gods, said to be aroused by the obstinate refusal of Christians to worship them.

Titus son of Vespasian married twice, but his first wife died, and he divorced the second soon after the birth (c. 65) of his only child, a daughter, Flavia Julia, to whom he accorded the title Augusta.

Meanwhile, in Judea, Cestius, being desirous of informing Nero of the power of the city, who otherwise was disposed to contemn that nation, entreated the high priests, if the thing were possible, to take the number of their whole multitude. So these high priests, upon the coming of their feast which is called the Passover, when they slay their sacrifices, from the ninth hour till the eleventh, but so that a company not less than ten belong to every sacrifice (for it is not lawful for them to feast singly by themselves), and many Jews are twenty in a company, found the number of sacrifices was two hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred; which, upon the allowance of no more than ten that feast together, amounts to two million seven hundred thousand and two hundred persons that were pure and holy; for as to those that have the leprosy, or the gonorrhea, or women that have their monthly courses, or such as are otherwise polluted, it is not lawful for them to be partakers of this sacrifice; nor indeed for any foreigners either, who come hither to worship; and no one of these was counted among the whole number of the multitude.

And truly, while Cestius Gallus was governor of the province of Syria, nobody durst do so much as send an embassage to him against Florus; but when he was come to Jerusalem, upon the approach of the feast of unleavened bread, a huge throng surrounded him not fewer than three million: these besought him to commiserate the calamities of their nation, and cried out upon Florus as the bane of their country, denouncing Florus as having ruined the country. Florus, who was at his side, scoffed at the protests, but Cestius promised the people greater moderation from Florus in the future, and he returned to Antioch. Florus accompanied him as far as Caesarea, scheming all the while to provoke the Jews into open revolt.

It is right to show the gracious kindness of God's Providence in delaying the destruction of the Jews for forty years after their crime against Christ. During that time, most of the apostles, including the first bishop of Jerusalem, James himself, called the Lord's brother, were still alive and dwelling in Jerusalem, as a bulwark providing powerful protection for the place. For God was patient, by giving the people opportunity to finally repent of their misdeeds and thus find pardon and salvation, and also by sending miraculous warnings and signs of what would happen if they failed to repent.

Members of the Jerusalem church were ordered by a prophetic revelation given to those worthy of it to leave the city and settle in a city of Perea called Pella. They migrated there from Jerusalem before the war in Judea began in A.D. 66, so that it seemed as if, once holy men had deserted the royal capital of the Jews and the whole land of Judea, and this restraint had been removed, as Lot had removed from Sodom, then the judgment of God might finally fall on them for their crimes against Christ and his apostles, utterly blotting out all that wicked generation, that upon them might come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom they murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

Meanwhile, prolonged military operations by Corbulo eventually led in A.D. 66 to a new settlement in Armenia. Tiridates, a claimant to the throne, was recognized as king, but he was compelled to come to Rome to receive his crown from Nero. Despite this success, the provinces were increasingly restive, for they were oppressed by governmental exactions, tribute payments, assessments and fees, to cover Nero’s extravagant expenditures on his court, new buildings, and gifts to his favorites. These gifts alone are said to have amounted to more than two billion sesterces, a sum that was several times the annual cost of the army.

At this time the people of Judaea were readily won over by impostors and false prophets, liars against God, but gave no heed or credit to visions and signs which foretold the approaching desolation. Phenomena had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but despising all religious rites, did not think it appropriate to respond to with offering and sacrifice. As if struck by stupidity, and possessing neither eyes nor understanding, they ignored the signs of God.

At one time a star, in appearance like a sword, stood over the city, a comet, which was observed for a whole year. And again, before the revolt and before the disturbances that led to the war, when the people had gathered for the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth of the month Xanthicus, in April, at the ninth hour of the night, a light shone around the altar and the temple so brilliant that it seemed to be bright day; and this continued for half an hour. This seemed to the ignorant a good sign, but was interpreted by the sacred scribes as portending those events which very soon took place. And the very massive bronze eastern gate of the inner temple, which rested on iron-bound hinges, with bars sunk deep in the ground, and was closed with difficulty every evening by twenty men, was seen at the sixth hour of the night to open by itself. And not many days after the feast of Unleavened Bread, on the twenty-first of the month Artemisium, in May, a marvelous vision was seen which was beyond belief. The phenomenon might seem to be a fiction if it had not been related by those who actually saw it and the calamities which followed had not corresponded to it. Before the setting of the sun chariots and armed troops were seen on high throughout the whole region, wheeling through the clouds and encircling the cities—armies were observed joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of weapons, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. And at the feast of Pentecost, when the priests entered the temple at night, as was their custom, to perform the services, they said at first they perceived a movement and a noise, the doors of the inner shrine were suddenly thrown open, and then a voice of more than human tone like a great multitude, was heard to cry out, saying, 'Let us go hence.' According to the interpretation of the pagan Tacitus, the voice cried out that the Gods were departing. At the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure.

A few attached a fearful meaning to these events, but most held to a firm conviction that in the ancient records of their priests was contained a prediction of how at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers, coming from Judaea, were to acquire universal empire. Josephus says that a certain oracle was found in their sacred writings which declared that at that time a certain person should go forth from their country to rule the world. The common people, blinded as usual by ambition, had interpreted these mighty destinies as referring to themselves, and they could not be brought to believe the truth even by disasters.

The war in Judea that Florus was scheming to provoke actually began in A.D. 66, the second year of Florus' procuratorship, and the twelfth year of Nero's reign. It was touched off by a Greek who refused to sell to the Jews at any price his land near their synagogue in Caesarea, and to insult them had begun to erect some workshops there which left the Jews only a very narrow passageway to get to their place of worship. Florus stopped some youths who hotheadedly interrupted the construction. Then he accepted a bribe of eight talents from the Jews to stop the builders—but he did nothing and left for Sebaste, leaving the riot to run its course. The next Sabbath, a local troublemaker mockingly sacrificed some birds over an inverted pot at the synagogue entryway, and was attacked by a youth for this blasphemy. Florus's Master of Horse removed the pot and attempted to stop the commotion. The Jews then fled with their copy of the Torah to Narbata, about seven miles away, and sent a delegation to Florus in Sebaste to protest and to remind him of the bribe they had paid him. He then imprisoned them for stealing the copy of their law from Caesarea.

When this news reached Jerusalem, the people restrained their outrage, but Florus, disappointed that they did not riot, and to make them revolt, then took eighteen talents from the temple, claiming governmental necessity. The people rushed to the temple shouting insults. Then, instead of preventing war in Caesarea, Florus marched on Jerusalem, expecting to have opportunity to pillage the city. The inhabitants of Jerusalem mocked Florus with applause when he arrived, but he sent a centurion with fifty horsemen to order them to stop, and they went home dejected and in anxiety.

The next morning at the palace, when he summoned the chief priests and leaders to hand over those who had mocked him, or face his vengeance, they said he should rather forgive and not make the many innocent suffer for the few offenders, to preserve both the city and the peace of the nation.

Florus, inflamed, shouted orders to his soldiers to plunder the upper market and kill everyone they encountered. They not only sacked the market, but massacred everyone in the houses. The streets were red with the blood of 3,600 men, women, and children who were slaughtered and crucified. King Agrippa was away, but his sister Berenice, being in Jerusalem, was so horrified that she several times sent Florus messengers imploring him to stop, and even came before him herself, barefoot and kneeling, to make appeal; but he refused, and she even had to flee into the palace to save her own life.

The next day, the chief priests begged the multitude to stop their lamentations and not to curse Florus, to avoid provoking him further. Out of respect for them the crowd complied. Florus was disappointed, so he tried again. He told the chief priests that to prove they were peaceful the people were to go out and welcome two cohorts advancing from Caesarea. Then he sent word to the cohorts to completely ignore the greetings of the people, and ordered that, if they ridiculed him, to attack. When some of the Jewish rebels started shouts against Florus, the troops surrounded and beat them with clubs while the cavalry trampled those who fled. More were crushed to death at the city gates as they ran to get inside. The troops running after them entered with them and tried to seize the temple and the Antonia fortress. At the same time Florus and his men burst out of the palace to reach the fortress, intending to pillage it, but they were unable to cut their way through the people blocking the streets, and others from the roofs also assaulted the Romans. Florus ordered a return to the palace, and he and his men returned, but the rebels were blocking the porticos connecting it to the fortress, and he was unable to plunder the temple treasure.

When order had been restored, Florus then informed the city leaders that he would leave. On their promise that they would keep the peace, he left one cohort and returned with the rest of the troops to Caesarea. He then sent a report to Cestius Gallus accusing the Jews of revolting and causing all the crimes and bloodshed. The magistrates of Jerusalem and Berenice also wrote to Cestius about what Florus had done.

Cestius sent a tribune, Neapolitanus, to investigate. On the way he met King Agrippa returning from Egypt and informed him of his mission. A deputation of priests and leaders, arriving at Jamnia to welcome Agrippa, paid their respects and reported what Florus had done to the people. Agrippa concealed his compassion, to avoid supporting their desire for revenge. As they approached Jerusalem the people and the widows ran to them, wailing and lamenting, with many begging Agrippa for relief from Florus, and reporting to Neapolitanus the miseries he had caused. Seeing the city was peaceful, Neapolitanus went to the temple. He commended the people for their loyalty to Rome, and urged them to maintain the peace. In the court of the gentiles he participated in the temple worship, and then returned to Cestius.

Agrippa did what he could to keep the people from sending a mission to Nero to accuse Florus, to discourage them from war. The people accepted his counsel, and he, and Berenice, and they, all went to the temple and began rebuilding the demolished galleries. The magistrates collected 40 talents from the villages, and the danger of war seemed averted. But when Agrippa urged the people to obey Florus until Caesar sent a replacement, they threw stones at the king and expelled him from the city. Agrippa withdrew in a fury to his own territory.

Then Eleazar, son of the high priest Ananias, lacking all reverence, and against all tradition and precedent, opposing the chief priests and experts of the law, persuaded those who offered the ritual sacrifices presented by the people and the gentiles to accept no offerings from any foreigners. He suspended all sacrifice on behalf of the emperor and Rome, while the most rebellious Jews attacked and captured the fortress Masada and killed the guards. The temple priests and the revolutionary party would not listen to lawful counsel. The leading citizens saw that they could not stop the revolt and that they themselves would be first to suffer Rome's vengeance. They sent a deputation to Florus and a deputation to Agrippa, requesting them to send an army to crush the rebellion. Florus was secretly delighted, and sent them away without an answer. Agrippa immediately sent 2,000 calvary to help.

For seven days neither side prevailed, and then a fierce attack by the sicarii from within the temple overpowered the royal troops, forcing them to retreat from the upper city. The residence of the high priest, and the palace of Agrippa, and the public archives containing the records of creditors, were set on fire. The chief priests and leaders hid in sewers or fled with the king's troops to Herod's upper palace and shut the gates. Then the attackers assaulted the upper palace.

Menahem took his followers to Masada, stripped the armory there, and returned to direct the siege. As the siege continued day and night, many of the attackers were killed by arrows and stones. After two days of attacks, the fortress Antonia was captured. The garrison soon sued for terms. The rebels granted safe passage to the royal troops, who withdrew. Their despondent Roman allies retreated to Herod's three towers, Hippicus, Phasael, and Mariamme. Menahem's men killed everyone in the palace. They killed the garrison, and torched it. Ananias the high priest and his brother Ezechias were apprehended near the canal in the palace and put to death.

The low-born Menahem began to be an unbearable tyrant over the people. He was wearing royal robes when he was attacked in the temple by the higher-born Eleazar and his party, who had revolted from the Roman tyranny. They killed every one they caught, and dragged Menahem to public execution, and put him to death by multiple tortures.

Another Eleazar, a relative, escaped with a few others and became the despot ruler of Masada. Metilius, commander of the Roman garrison, being hard pressed by Eleazar's siege, asked to be spared if he and his men surrendered arms and property. This was agreed. But as soon as they came down and laid down their arms, they were massacred, and Metilius alone escaped death by promising to become a Jew and be circumcised. This took place on the Sabbath. War was now inevitable; for at the same time the Caesareans slaughtered all the Jews in Caearea, 20,000 in one hour.

The whole province became a horror of bloody reprisals and slaughter, Jews against Jews who had armed themselves in defense against attack, Greeks and Romans killing Jews, and Jews killing them, in city after city, even in Egypt. Agrippa attempted to negotiate with the Jews in Jerusalem, but his emissaries were slain. Cestius, Florus and Tyrannius Priscus alternately gained and lost against the Jews. 10,500 Jews were massacred by the people of Damascus.

Simon, son of Giora, caused such havoc in his own territory that Ananus, the ex-high priest, and his leaders sent an army against him. He fled with his marauding band of revolutionaries to Masada and plundered Idumea instead, where the people had to protect themselves by raising an army.

John of Gischala seized power in Jerusalem, and after plotting to turn the people against Josephus son of Matthias who was general in Galilee, he was discovered to be a treacherous schemer and fled to his town of Gischala. Many Galileans wanted to burn him and the town, but Josephus offered his partisans five days to abandon his cause. Three thousand of them joined Josephus. But John sent emissaries to Jerusalem, warning that Josephus would become a tyrant. Josephus meanwhile reproached all the rebels for their rebellion. Using various stratagems multiple times to make them think he had superior forces, he promised pardon to any who would assist him. Various leaders were thus enticed to come over to him; and, being unwilling to put anyone to death, once he had them all, he imprisoned them. Galilee became quiet, and the Jews began making preparations for the impending struggle against Rome. The walls of Jerusalem were repaired and engines of war were constructed. Weapons and armor were forged and the young were trained for combat.

In the autumn of the year 66, Nero undertook a long visit to Greece that was to keep him away from Rome for 15 months, and during his absence he entrusted the consulate to one of his freedmen. Flavius Vespasian, the proconsul of Africa, accompanied Nero to Greece. On this trip Nero engaged in new displays of his artistic prowess, and he walked about garbed as an ascetic, barefoot and with flowing hair. His enthusiasm for Greek culture also prompted him to free a number of Greek cities in honor of their glorious past.

While attending Nero in Achaia, Vespasian was indiscreet enough to fall asleep at the emperor’s artistic performance, but this did not prevent his appointment by Nero to the command against the Jewish rebellion in Judaea in February of A.D. 67, the scene of two disastrous Roman defeats in the previous year. When Nero learned what had happened to his forces in Judea, he sent Vespasian to assume command in Syria and subdue the Jewish rebels. This appointment was exceptional because Judaea had never before been garrisoned by even one legionary army, and Vespasian was given three legions with a large force of auxiliary troops. For such an appointment Vespasian was regarded as a safe man—of the obscure Flavii family, a highly competent general but one whose humble origins made it almost inconceivable, as long as Nero was alive, that he would challenge Nero’s government if he should win victories. Vespasian sent his son Titus to bring up the Fifteenth Legion from Alexandria, while he proceeded to Syria and collected from neighboring rulers the Roman forces and auxiliary troops stationed there. Thus, after service in Britain and Germany, Titus commanded a legion under his father, Vespasian, in Judaea in 67.

Vespasian then conducted two successful campaigns, in 67 and 68, winning almost all of Judaea except Jerusalem.

In February of A.D. 68, Nero returned to Rome, and in the four months that followed, his delirious pretensions as both an artist and a religious worshiper aroused the enmity not only of the Senate and those patricians who had been dispossessed by him but also of the Italian middle class, which had conservative moral views and furnished most of the officers of the army. Even the common soldiers of the legions were scandalized to see the descendant of Caesar, Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Nero, publicly perform on stage the parts not only of ancient Greek heroes but of far lower characters. Gaius Julius Vindex, the praetorian governor of the province of Lugdunensis in Gaul, was to say, “I have seen him on stage, playing pregnant women and slaves about to be executed.”

Then, after almost fourteen years of abusive misrule, the earth rid herself of Nero. The tumultuous period began in March of A.D. 68 with a revolt against the unpopular taxation policies of the already unpopular Nero. The first move was by the Gauls under the legate who first rebelled against him, Julius Vindex, the governor of Lugdunensis in Gaul. Nero heard of the Gallic revolt on the anniversary of his mother's murder.

At the news of revolts brewing throughout the empire Nero only laughed and indulged in further megalomaniacal displays instead of taking action. He is reported to have said, “I have only to appear and sing to have peace once more in Gaul.”

Roman Governor Servius Sulpicius Galba joined in the revolt. Galba, who had been appointed in A.D. 60 as governor of Nearer Spain in the neighboring province of Tarraconensis and had served in that post for eight years, was holding assizes at Carthago Nova, that is, New Carthage, when news reached him of the revolt in the Gallic provinces. It came in the form of an appeal for help sent by the governor of Aquitania in Gaul, which was followed by another invitation (one perhaps prompted by him) from Vindex, the governor of Lugdunensis, asking whether he would take the lead in rescuing humanity from Nero and head a rebellion against him. Believing that the emperor Nero was planning his assassination, Galba accepted the suggested invitation, with some measure of both hope and fear but without much delay.

General Galba, taking his place on the tribunal, deplored the present state of the empire. He was at once hailed as imperator, and he accepted the honor, announcing that he represented the Senate and People of Rome.

He ordered the courts closed and began raising legions and auxiliary troops from the native population to increase his existing command, which was one legion, two squadrons of cavalry and three infantry cohorts. Next he chose the most distinguished and intelligent provincials to serve in a kind of senate, to which matters of importance could be referred whenever necessary. He also picked certain young equites instead of ordinary troops to guard his sleeping quarters, and although these ranked as volunteer infantrymen they still wore the gold rings proper to their condition as knights. He then recruited an additional new legion in Spain and built up a large following in many other regions of the empire—even though in May 68 Vindex himself was defeated in a battle with the Rhine armies of Upper Germany engaging in operations under L. Verginius Rufus against Vindex and the Gauls, and the war in Gaul ended.

Then he called upon everyone in the provinces to unite energetically in the common cause of rebellion, and Marcus Salvius Otho joined the rebellion against Nero. Otho, formerly the husband of Poppaea, had been sent from Rome in A.D. 58 to govern the province of Lusitania, and for 10 years he had ruled this province with integrity. Then, in 68, Otho also joined the rebellion against Nero led by Galba, governor of the neighboring province of Tarraconensis, and he promised the praetorians a bribe from Galba for supporting his claim to the throne.

At about this time a ring of ancient design was discovered in the fortifications of the city that Galba had chosen as his headquarters, the engraved gem representing Victory raising a trophy. Soon afterwards an Alexandrian ship drifted into Dertosa, now Tortosa, loaded with arms, but neither helmsman, crew nor passengers were found aboard her—which left no doubt in any of their minds that this must be a just and righteous war, favored by the gods.

Meanwhile, the revolt had spread—the rebellion of the provincial governor Julius Vindex at Lyon in Gaul, the provincial governor Servius Sulpicius Galba in Spain, and others on the eastern frontier—and the legions had made Galba emperor. Nero had meanwhile become so universally loathed that no abusive insult could be found by the people that was bad enough for him. When news arrived of the revolt also of Galba and the Spanish provinces, he fainted.

A plot was laid against Nero by Nymphidius Sabinus and Ofonius Tigellinus, who proved to be his two most untrustworthy freedmen. The praetorian prefect, Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus, encouraged the imperial palace guard to desert Nero for a large reward. The Praetorian Guard abandoned him, and he was quietly deserted by all his guards. His freedmen left to embark on the ships he kept in readiness at Ostia, the port of Rome.

When a dispatch brought news that other armies had also revolted, Nero hesitated, and then finding that his bodyguard had deserted him, he fled Rome. Faced with the disloyalty of his army, the Praetorian Guard and the Senate, he was obliged to flee the city, and ran away with four of his most trusty freedmen. Finally, he was declared a public enemy by the Senate. The Senate condemned Nero to die a slave’s death: on a cross and under the whip.

Meanwhile, on the advice of Phaon, an imperial freedman, he fled to Phaon's own suburban villa. There, a letter arrived from the Senate declaring Nero a public enemy, and saying that he would be punished in ancient style. He then learned that "ancient style" meant that the executioners would strip their victim naked, thrust his head into a wooden fork, and then flog him to death with sticks. He made his companions promise, whatever happened, to not let his head be cut off, but have him buried in one piece. When horses approached, Nero's last words were said to be, "What an artist dies in me!" Then, with the help of an eager slave, his secretary Epaphroditus, he stabbed himself in the throat, and committed suicide, and slew himself in the suburbs of Rome. He died with his eyes bulging from their sockets.

Meanwhile, Galba's rebellion had nearly collapsed, suddenly, without the least warning. News had not yet arrived that Nero was dead. As he approached the station where one of his cavalry troops was quartered, the men felt some measure of shame for their defection from their emperor and thought to turn against Galba. Galba kept them at their posts only by a great effort. Again, he was nearly murdered on his way to the baths. He had to pass down a narrow corridor lined by a company of slaves presented to him by one of Nero's freedmen, obviously with some treachery in view. But while they plucked up their courage by urging one another not to "miss this opportunity", one of his staff took the trouble to ask, "What 'opportunity' is this?". Later they confessed under torture.

Galba's embarrassments were increased by the death of Vindex, a blow so heavy that it almost turned him to despair and suicide. But messengers arrived from Rome with the news that Nero too was dead, and that the citizens had all sworn obedience to himself.

Nero had been Emperor of Rome from A.D. 54 to 8 June of 68. His request to be buried in one piece was granted. His body was laid on his funeral pyre dressed in gold-embroidered white robes. The funeral cost 200,000 sesterces. His old nurses Ecloge and Alexandria, helped Acte, his mistress, carry the remains to the Pincian Hill, which is visible from the Campus Martius. His coffin was of white porphyry and stood in the Domitian family tomb, overshadowed by an altar of Luna marble.

The pagan writer Apollonius of Tyana, a contemporary of Nero, specifically styled Nero a "beast". He is quoted by the biographer Philostratus as saying:

"In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen many, many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs."
"And of wild beasts you cannot say that they were ever known to eat their own mother, but Nero has gorged himself on this diet."

According to Suetonius, he had stabbed himself in the throat with a dagger. But according to another version recounted by Tacitus, and regarded by most historians as almost certainly fiction, after fleeing Rome he reached the Greek islands.

The Roman populace and the Praetorian Guard later came to regret that they had lost such a liberal patron, but to his subjects in general, Nero had been a tyrant, and the revolt his misrule provoked sparked a series of civil wars that for a time threatened the survival of the Roman Empire and caused widespread misery. After the Emperor Nero was assassinated, a period of struggle erupted, with multiple claimants to the throne vying for the emperorship.

His death in 68 marked the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, which had ruled since the beginning of the empire. With Nero's death the line of Caesars became extinct, so Galba dropped the title of governor and assumed that of Caesar. The legate of Spain, his legions had declared him the emperor, and he returned out of Spain to Rome. Accompanied by Otho, Galba marched on Rome to install himself as emperor. The Praetorian guard and senate soon recognized him as well, and he was proclaimed emperor by the Senate. Galba took power and became the Emperor of Rome at age 71 or 73 in the year 68.

Stories of Galba's cruelty and greed preceded him, and he confirmed this reputation on his entry into Rome. He now wore a commander's cloak, with a dagger hanging from his neck, and did not put on a toga again until he had accounted first for the men who were plotting further trouble: the praetorian prefect Nymphidius Sabinus in Rome; Fonteius Capito, who commanded in Germany; and Clodius Macer, who commanded in Africa. He decimated soldiers who protested his reassigning them to demeaning duty below their privileged rank, he disbanded the cohort of Germans who had served as bodyguards for the Caesars with consistent loyalty, and he appointed Vitellius imperial governor of Lower Germany in 68. However, Galba's position was never stable, as other men also claimed the throne almost immediately and the legions did not all swear their allegiance, and he quickly lost the support of the senate and armed forces.

He outraged all classes at Rome. Galba had a tablet set up in the forecourt of his house tracing his ancestry back to Jupiter on the male side, and to Pasiphae, Minos' wife, on the female side. In every way he disappointed and insulted those who had labored to please him, usually by expressions of burdened disgust in response to their efforts, and he rewarded outstanding performers who delighted him by handing them gratuities of only a few coins of minor value. He sentenced men of all ranks to death without trial on the scantiest evidence. He annulled all of Nero's awards for excellence or favor, letting the beneficiaries keep no more than a tenth part and enlisting the help of fifty equites to ensure that his order was obeyed. When the people demanded punishment for the vilest of all Nero's assistants, the eunuch Halotus and Tigellinus, Galba gave Halotus a lucrative procuratorship, and published an imperial edict charging the people with unjust hostility toward Tigellinus.

He brought about his own downfall by taking principle over political expediency. Although his advisers were allegedly corrupt, his administration has been characterized by some historians as "priggishly" upright. Galba’s attempt to cut back Nero’s extravagant spending was unpopular, as was his execution of troops recruited by Nero as well as those of several opponents, including Lucius Clodius Macer, whose revolt against Nero from Africa had cut off Rome’s grain supply. Though the officers of the army had promised a larger bonus than usual to the soldiers who had pledged their swords to Galba before his arrival in the city, he would not honor this commitment. When he arrived in Rome and found out about the deal, he refused on principle to pay the soldiers who had helped him attain the throne, believing that soldiers should serve because they are soldiers. He announced, "It is my custom to levy troops, not to buy them."

This infuriated troops everywhere. He was accused by the soldiers as a pusillanimous person. He earned particular resentment from the praetorians by refusing to pay the bribe Otho had promised to them in Galba's name for supporting his claim to the throne, and by his dismissal of a number of them suspected of being in Nymphidius' pay. Those infamous freedmen, Nymphidius and Tigellinus who had occasioned Nero's death, in no long time, were themselves brought to punishment. Galba’s refusal to pay the praetorians the promised donative led to the assassination of his ally Nymphidius. He ordered Tigellinus to commit suicide, who, knowing he could not escape death, then chose to slit his own throat with a razor.

Galba rewarded the parts of Gaul that had supported Vindex and thus outraged the legions of Upper Germany, which had defeated Vindex. The troops in Germany were not friendly to Galba, and Vitellius won them over with generosity. It was also at this time that the Batavian general Civilis in the Rhineland began to sow the seeds of the Batavian Rebellion, for independence from Roman domination. Camps in Upper Germany claimed they had not been rewarded with bounty for their share in the operations under L. Verginius Rufus in May A.D. 68 against Vindex and the Gauls, which put an end to the rebellion. These were the first troops bold enough to withhold their allegiance, taking their oath only in the name of the Senate. They sent a messenger to the praetorians, requesting them to choose someone who deserved the approval of the whole army.

On 1 January A.D. 69, the legions of Upper Germany refused the customary vote of allegiance to Galba. On the same day, the legions of Germania Inferior, Lower Germany, refused to swear allegiance and obedience to Galba, and on the next day, 2 January 69, Vitellius' men proclaimed him emperor. The armies of Upper Germany, the legions, then joined with the legions of Lower Germany in proclaiming their governor Aulus Vitellius emperor, as well as most of the governors of Spain, Gaul, and Britain, who soon gave him their support as well, and they acclaimed Vitellius as emperor. He then led his troops into Italy.

Historians refer to The Year of the Four Emperors, A.D. 69, as a politically unstable period in the Roman Empire during which four different emperors came to power in the space of a single year. Eight legions of the Rhine on 3 January had already hailed Aulus Vitellius as emperor and Vitellius was marching to Rome. However, before Vitellius could seize power, a young noble named Marcus Salvius Otho bribed the Praetorian Guard to kill Galba.

On 10 January, Galba, not grasping the situation but thinking that the unrest of the praetorians was due to uncertainty over the succession, responded by bringing into the praetorian camp a handsome young man whom he highly esteemed, and had singled out from a group of his courtiers, Piso Frugi Licinianus, and appointed him perpetual heir to his name and property, calling him "my son". It was to win senatorial support that Galba had chosen as his heir a scion of a noble Roman family, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, instead of Otho, who had been his loyal ally. However, in announcing Piso to the praetorians as his heir, he never said the word "bounty", thus giving General Marcus Salvius Otho an excellent opportunity to mount his coup d'etat five days later.

Galba's adoption of Piso came as a shock to Otho, who had hoped to secure this good fortune himself. He had hoped to be designated Galba’s successor, but when Galba disappointed him by adopting Lucius Piso Licinianus in January of 69, Otho turned on the emperor. After Galba failed to name him his heir, disappointment, resentment and a massive accumulation of debts now prompted him to revolt, and he prepared to seize power, with the help of the Praetorian guard. He organized a conspiracy among the Praetorian Guard, and won over the praetorians with the promise of a donative. The one million sesterces just paid him for a stewardship by one of the emperor's slaves served to finance the undertaking.

He first confided in five of his personal guards, and each of these co-opted two others as fellow conspirators. Each of them was paid 10,000 sesterces with the promised addition of 50,000 more. While these fifteen recruited a number of assistants, Otho also counted on mass support as soon as he raised the standard of revolt. The Praetorian guard then shifted their support to Otho.

His first plan was to occupy the praetorian camp immediately after Piso's adoption and to capture Galba during dinner at the palace. But he abandoned this because the same cohort happened to be on guard duty as when Gaius Caligula had been assassinated and again when Nero had been left to his fate; he felt reluctant to deal their reputation for loyalty a further blow. Unfavorable omens and the warnings of his astrologer Seleucus delayed matters another five days. However, on the morning of the sixth day, Otho posted his fellow conspirators in the Forum at the Golden Milestone near the temple of Saturn while he entered the palace to greet Galba, who kissed him as usual, and attended his sacrifice. The haruspices had finished their report on the omens of the victim, when a freedman arrived with the message "The architects are here". This was the agreed signal. Otho excused himself to the emperor, saying that he had arranged to view a house that was for sale, then slipped out of the palace by a back door and hurried to the rendezvous. Another account makes him plead a chill and leave his excuses with the emperor's attendents, in case anyone should miss him. Whichever account is true, when he had excused himself to Galba, he departed in the kind of closed sedan chair normally used by women and headed for the camp, but when the bearers' pace slackened from fatigue he jumped out and began to run. As he paused to lace a shoe, his companions hoisted him on their shoulders and acclaimed him emperor. The street crowds joined the procession as eagerly as if they were sworn accomplices, and Otho reached his headquarters to the sound of hurrahs and the flash of drawn swords. Otho was acclaimed emperor on 15 January A.D. 69.

Avoiding all rhetorical appeals, he told the troops merely that he would welcome whatever powers they might give him but claim no others. He then had Galba murdered.

Otho dispatched a troop of cavalry to murder both Galba and Piso. Galba was slain by treachery in the Roman Forum. Some reported that, just before his death, Galba had shouted out, "What is all this, comrades? I am yours; you are mine!" He even went so far as to promise to pay the troops the bounty Otho had promised them. The praetorians then murdered him beside the Curtian Lake, in the middle of the marketplace at Rome, and left him lying just as he fell. A private soldier decaptitated the body and brought the head to Otho, who handed it to a crowd of servants and camp boys, and they stuck it on a spear and carried it around scornfully. Galba had ruled for only a few months, from 8 June 68 through the first 2 weeks of A.D. 69. In the end, the head and trunk of the body were removed to the tomb in Galba's private gardens beside the Via Aurelia. After murdering Galba the praetorians also murdered Piso in the Roman Forum on the same day, January 15.

In Rome, the emperor Galba had been murdered, and Otho succeeded, but Vitellius was chosen emperor by the legions of Germany.

The historian Tacitus famously wrote of Galba, “It was everyone’s opinion that he was capable of ruling the empire, had he never ruled.” The assassination was accomplished on January 15 and the Senate proclaimed Otho emperor the same day.

Toward evening Otho delivered a brief speech to the Senate, claiming to have been picked up in the street and compelled to accept the imperial power, but also promising to respect the people's sovereign will. From there he proceeded to the palace, where he received false and excessively insincere congratulations and flattery from all present, making no protest even when the crowd called him "Nero". Suetonius records that Otho added the name Nero as his surname to some of his first certificates and letters to provincial governors, but no other historically documented evidence supports Otho's use of the name Nero. He did replace some of Nero's busts and statues and reinstated some of his procurators and freedmen—and, in addition, his first act as emperor was to make a grant of 50 million sesterces for the completion of the Golden House. According to historians his official title as emperor seems instead to have been Imperator Marcus Otho Caesar Augustus.

Otho is said to have been haunted that night by Galba's ghost in a terrible nightmare; the servants who ran in when he screamed for help found him lying on the bedroom floor. After this he did everything in his power to placate the ghost, but the next day, while he was taking the auspices, which is the practice of observing the flights of birds and movements of nature as omens or signs of augury, a storm sprang up and caused him a bad tumble, which made him mutter repeatedly, "Plying long flutes is hardly my trade", a Greek proverb about those who find themselves doing something for which they were not suited.

His reign was in fact short lived, as his support in Rome was not matched throughout the empire. Before Galba’s death the legions in Germany had already declared for Aulus Vitellius, and he was already marching on Rome to take power. As soon as news reached Germany of Galba's murder, eight legions of the Rhine on January 3 had already hailed him as emperor. Vitellius, whose troops were already moving toward Italy, put his affairs in order and split the army into two divisions, one of which stayed with him. He sent the other against Otho.

Meanwhile, when Otho heard that the armies in Germany had taken an oath of loyalty to Vitellius, he persuaded the Senate to send a deputation urging them to keep quiet, since an emperor had already been appointed. But he also wrote Vitellius a personal letter: an invitation to become his father-in-law and share the empire with him. Otho offered to share power with the advancing governor; Vitellius, however, rebuffed the offer. He had already sent troops forward to march on Rome under their generals, and war was inevitable.

Then, one night, in Rome the praetorians gave such unequivocal proof of their faithfulness to Otho that it almost involved a massacre of the Senate. A detachment of sailors had been ordered to fetch some arms from the praetorian camp and take them aboard their vessels. They were carrying out their instructions at dusk when the praetorians, suspecting treachery on the part of the Senate, rushed to the palace in a leaderless mob and demanded that every senator should die. Having driven away or murdered the tribunes who tried to stop them, they burst into the banqueting hall, dripping with blood, and shouted, "Where is the emperor?" But as soon as they saw him busy with his meal they calmed down.

Acting with speed and determination, Otho sent a naval expedition to Narbonensis, a region in southern Gaul, summoned the Danube legions, and himself marched out on March 14 with his expedition against the commanders of Vitellius. He set out on his campaign very energetically, but according to Suetonius haste prevented him from paying sufficient attention to the omens. The sacred shields used by the Salii in their procession had not yet been returned to the Temple of Mars—traditionally a bad sign—and this was the very day in March when the worshippers of Cybele the "Mother of the Gods" began their annual lamentation over the death of her consort Attis. Besides, the auspices were most unfavorable: at a sacrifice offered to Father Dis, the Roman god of the underworld, the victim's intestines had a healthy look, which was exactly what they should not have had. Otho's departure was, moreover, delayed by a flooding of the Tiber, and at the twentieth milestone he found the road blocked by the ruins of a collapsed building.

Although substantial forces joined Otho from Illyricum, by early April the Vitellian forces were far stronger. However, with Vitellius' forces badly lacking supplies and having little room for maneuver, Otho could have maintained the defensive, yet he rashly staked his fortunes on an immediate victory. Experienced advisers counseled delay, but Otho insisted on action. Otho so deeply abhorred the thought of civil war that he would not have moved against Galba to begin with if he had not been confident of a bloodless victory. He made Brixellium, also called Brixia, the Latin name of Brescia, Italy, his headquarters and kept clear of the fighting. Although his army had won three lesser engagements—in the Alps, at Placentia, and at a place called Castor's—they were tricked into a decisive defeat near Bedriacum. There had been talk of an armistice, but Otho's troops, preparing to fraternize with the enemy while peace was discussed, now found themselves suddenly committed to battle, and the two sides met in the inconclusive Battle of Bedriacum in Gaul. Otho gave battle to Valens and Cecinna, who were Vitellius' generals. And after much slaughter, his army was defeated at Bedriacum, about 22 miles east of Cremona.

The First battle of Bedriacum, between the troops of Otho and the troops of Vitellius, took place on April 19, and Otho's forces were defeated. When he heard of this defeat at his headquarters in Brixia, Otho immediately decided on suicide. It is more probable that his conscience prevented him from continuing to hazard lives and treasure in a bid for sovereignty than that his men had become demoralized and unreliable. Fresh troops stood in reserve for a counteroffensive, and reinforcements came streaming down from Dalmatia, Pannonia and Noesia. What is more, his defeated army were anxious to redeem their reputation, even without such assistance.

After embracing his brother, his nephew and his friends, he dismissed them with orders to consider their own safety. Then he retired and wrote two letters: one of consolation to his sister, and one of apology to Nero's widow, Statilia Messalina, whom he had meant to marry, at the same time begging her to bury him and preserve his memory. He next burned all his private correspondence to avoid incriminating anyone if it fell into Vitellius' hands, and distributed among his household staff whatever loose cash he had with him.

Deciding to add one extra night to life, he went to bed, but left his door open for several hours, in case anyone wished to speak with him. After drinking a glass of cold water and testing the points of two daggers, he put one of them under his pillow, closed the door, and slept soundly.

He awoke at dawn. Otho then committed suicide and promptly stabbed himself in the left side. His attendants heard him groan and rushed in. At first he could not decide whether to conceal or reveal the wound, which proved fatal.

Thus, the First battle of Bedriacum, between the troops of Otho and the troops of Vitellius, resulted in Otho's self-destruction afterward. Otho slew himself after he had managed public affairs three months and two days. His age was thirty-seven. Several soldiers visited the deathbed, where they kissed his hands and feet, praising him as the bravest man they had ever known and the best emperor imaginable. Afterward, they themselves committed suicide close to his funeral pyre. Thus many who had hated him while he was alive loved him for the way he died. He was even commonly believed to have killed Galba with the object not so much of becoming emperor as of restoring the free republic. They buried him at once, as he had ordered them to do. Otho had reigned for ninety days, a footnote in the ranks of Roman Emperors.

After Nero had held the government about thirteen years, Galba and Otho had reigned a total of about a year and six months. Each had reigned only an hour.

The news of the victory at Bedriacum and of Otho's suicide reached Vitellius before he had left Gaul. He deposed Otho after a 3-month reign on April 19. Vitellius assumed power that same day, the third man to be emperor that year.

At once Vitellius disbanded all praetorian cohorts in Rome by a comprehensive decree, accusing them of a disgraceful lapse in discipline: they must surrender their arms to the tribunes. He gave further orders for the arrest and punishment of 120 praetorians known to have demanded a bounty from Otho for services rendered him in regard to Galba's assassination. In the eyes of the Romans these irreproachably correct acts raised the hope that Vitellius would make an admirable emperor, but the rest of his behavior instead was in keeping with the character he had shown in the past, and fell far short of the dignity of the imperial office, for he proved unable to support the weight of power won for him by his legates.

It is beyond dispute that all authority is from God. And those authorities that exist are instituted by God, and those who have been entrusted with authority over the people he will judge with greater strictness. And every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.

Otho's army came over to Vitellius' generals, and he came himself down to Rome with his army. Thus Vitellius marched in triumph to Rome. He began by having himself carried through the main streets of the cities on his route to Rome wearing triumphal dress. He crossed rivers in elaborately decorated barges wreathed in garlands; and he always kept a lavish supply of delicacies within reach of his hand. He ignored discipline, and joked about the excesses committed by his men. Not content with being wined and dined everywhere at public expense, they amused themselves by freeing slaves at random and then whipping, wounding and murdering whoever tried to restrain them. When he reached one of the recent battlefields, where the stench of unburied corpses caused some consternation, Vitellius cheered his companions with the brazen remark, "Only one thing smells sweeter to me than a dead enemy, and that is a dead fellow citizen". This was his tribute to those who died in battle.

Meanwhile, all of Galilee was conquered by Vespasian's forces together with Agrippa's armies despite the resistance of the Jewish rebel forces. Now when Vespasian had returned to Caesarea, and was preparing with all his army to march directly on Jerusalem, he heard of Nero's death. He was informed that Nero was dead after he had reigned thirteen years and eight days. On news of Nero’s death in June of 68 Vespasian stopped fighting against the Jews, and halted, waiting to hear who would be emperor.

This pause was unexpected, and it was accompanied by the fact that at this moment, with his son Titus as intermediary, Vespasian settled certain differences he had had with the neighbouring governor of Syria, Gaius Licinius Mucianus. On learning that Galba had acceded to the throne, Vespasian seems to have claimed that further operations against the Jews required a directive from the new emperor, Galba. Vespasian did eventually decide to accept Galba, whose noble descent, given the standards of the day, would have been daunting to a man of Vespasian’s position in society. He therefore remained quiet, and in that subsequent winter of 68-69 he sent his son Titus to congratulate Galba, and to receive his orders and commands regarding the Jews, and Agrippa embarked with him.

King Agrippa sailed along with Titus on the very same errand to Galba. But as they were sailing in their long ships by the coast of Achaia, for it was wintertime, and before they could get to him, they heard that Galba had been slain, after he had reigned seven months and as many days, and after him Otho took the government, and undertook the management of public affairs. The news of Galba’s murder, on 15 January A.D. 69, reached Titus on the way at Corinth. So Agrippa resolved to go on to Rome without any terror on account of the change in the government; but Titus, by a divine impulse, sailed back from Greece to Syria, and he came in great haste and returned to Caesarea, to his father, to participate in more weighty discussions between Vespasian and Mucianus.

And now they were both in suspense about the public affairs, the Roman empire being then in a fluctuating condition, and did not go on with their expedition against the Jews, but thought that to make any attack upon foreigners was now unreasonable, on the account of the anxiety they were in for their own country.

A civil war in Italy was now inevitable; but the main contenders, Otho and Vitellius, were both men whom Vespasian could reasonably hope to challenge. The emperor Galba had been murdered, and Otho had succeeded, but Vitellius was chosen emperor by the legions of Germany. When Nero and Galba were both dead and Vitellius was disputing the rule with Otho, Vespasian began to remember his imperial ambitions, which had been raised by omens.

And now there arose another war at Jerusalem. Simon, son of Giora, came to the robbers who had seized Masada, and persuaded them to trust him. He went out with them, and together they ravaged and destroyed the country about Masada. But he could not persuade them to do even more, and go farther from their hiding-place in that citadel. So seeking to be great, and a tyrant, he went into the mountain region and gathered a set of wicked men from all quarters, proclaimed liberty to slaves, and rewards for all those already free.

With a strong body of men, he overran the villages of the mountains, gained more followers, went into the lower regions of the countryside, became more formidable, and corrupted many powerful men, so that, having an army of more than robbers and slaves, much of the populace obeyed him as their king. He built a wall at Nain, making it a fortress, and enlarged the caves in the valley of Paran to store all of their stolen treasures; and many of his partisans dwelt in them.

The Zealots, dreading his growing power to oppose them, came out against him with weapons. Simon met them and killed a considerable number, driving the rest before him into a city. He chose not to assault the wall of the city, but to subdue Idumea instead with twenty thousand men. The rulers gathered about twenty-five thousand warlike men, leaving the rest to guard their country because of the incursions of sicarii out of Masada, and met Simon at their border. But it was an inconclusive engagement. He went back to Nain, and they withdrew.

Simon increased his power by treachery against those who resisted him and marched suddenly into Idumea, captured Hebron, and gained much plunder. He ravaged the cities and villages and laid waste the whole country to provision his force of forty thousand men. Being barbarous, and angry with the whole country, he greatly depopulated that nation, his army leaving behind it as it advanced only a desert, so desolate that it looked like it had never been cultivated.

Simon's successes agitated the zealots, who laid ambushes in the passes because they were afraid of open battle with him, and seized his wife. He then advanced on the wall of Jerusalem without mercy, in anger killing all he met. All who came out to gather wood, the unarmed and the old, he tortured and destroyed. He was so furiously enraged that he was ready to taste the flesh of their dead bodies. He cut off the hands of many others and sent them back into the city to shock them, threatening by God to tear down the wall and kill everyone there if they did not return his wife to him. Both the people and the zealots themselves were so terrified that they sent her back to him, and only then did he temper his rage and stop his unending bloodshed.

But now sedition and civil war prevailed, not only over Judea, but in Italy also. Galba had been slain in the midst of the Roman marketplace. Then Otho was made emperor, and he fought against Vitellius, who was also set up as emperor; for the legions in Germany had chosen him. But when Otho gave battle to Valens and Cecinna, who were Vitellius' generals, at Bedriacum, in Gaul, Otho gained the advantage on the first day; but on the second day Vitellius' soldiers had the victory.

In the meantime, on the fifth day of the month Daesius, which is the third Jewish lunar month Sivan, in May and June, the time of the wheat harvest and Pentecost, Vespasian removed his forces from Caesarea and marched against those places in Judea which had not yet been overthrown. So he went up to the mountainous country, and took all the places, except Herodium and Masada, and Machaerus, which were in the possession of the robbers, so that Jerusalem was now the Romans' present aim.

Now Simon, as soon as he had recovered his wife, returned to Idumea and drove the nation before him, compelling a great number of them to retreat to Jerusalem. He himself also followed them to the city, and again encompassed the wall all around. And whenever he came upon any laborers that were coming there out of the country, he slew them.

In Jerusalem, John of Gischala, whom the Galileans had supported and advanced, had become a bloody tyrant himself, with his cutthroat army insatiably indulging every possible vice and treating the whole city as a brothel for its lust. In addition, John had erected four very large towers, that their arrows might come from higher places. The army of the Idumeans raised a sedition against John and separated themselves from this tyrant, and attempted to destroy him. This was out of envy of his power and hatred of his cruelty. So they got together, and slew many of the zealots, and drove the rest of them into the royal palace built by Grapte, a relative of Izates, the king of Adiabene. The Idumeans fell in with them and drove the zealots out of there and into the temple, and took to plundering John's effects; for he himself was there, and there he had laid up the spoils he had acquired by his tyranny. In the meantime the multitude of zealots dispersed over the city ran together to the temple to join those who had fled there, and John prepared to bring them down against the people and the Idumeans, who, being better soldiers than they, were not so much afraid of being attacked by them as at their madness, lest they should quietly sally forth out of the temple and mingle with them, and not only destroy them, but also set the city on fire. So they assembled, the high priests with them, and they discussed how they should prevent their assault. They devised a remedy to free themselves that was worse than the disease itself. In order to overthrow John and his zealots, they were determined to admit Simon, earnestly desiring the introduction of a second tyrant into the city. They completely agreed on this resolution, and sent Matthias, the high priest, to beg Simon, he whom they had so often feared, to come in to them. Those who had fled from the zealots in Jerusalem also joined in this request to him, hoping to preserve their houses and their effects. In an arrogant manner, he accordingly granted them his lordly protection, and he came into the city to deliver it from the zealots. The people also made joyful acclamations to him as their savior and their preserver. But when he had come in with his army, he took care to secure his own authority, and looked upon those who invited him as no less his enemies than those against whom the invitation had been intended, John of Gischala and the zealots.

And thus did Simon get possession of Jerusalem in the third year of the war, A.D. 69, in the month Xanthicus, which is the first Jewish lunar month Nisan, in March and April. With that, John, and his multitude of zealots, being prohibited from coming out of the temple, and having lost power in the city despaired of deliverance, for Simon and his party had plundered them of what they had. Simon also made an assault on the temple, with the assistance of the people, while the others stood on the cloisters and the battlements, and defended themselves from their assaults. However, a considerable number of Simon's party fell, and many were carried off wounded; for the zealots easily shot arrows from a higher position and seldom failed to hit their enemies. For they had the advantage of situation, having erected the four very large towers beforehand, that their arrows might come from higher places, one at the northeast corner of the court, one above the Xystus, the third at another corner over against the lower city, and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests normally stood, and gave a signal beforehand with a trumpet, as at the beginning of every seventh day in the evening twilight, and at evening when the day was finished, alerting the people when they were to leave off work and when they were to go to work again. These men also set their engines to shoot arrows, and sling stones also, onto those towers, with their archers and slingers. But now Simon made a weaker assault on the temple, because the majority of his men grew weary of that work. Yet he did not cease his opposition, because his army was superior to the others, although the arrows which were powered by the engines traveled a great distance, and slew many of those who fought for him.

Now, it was about this very time that heavy calamities came on Rome from all sides. News came to Vespasian in Judea that Otho’s forces were defeated, conquered by the troops of Vitellius, and soon after the battle, on 16 April, Otho had committed suicide; and after defeating Otho, Vitellius had been acclaimed Roman Emperor on 16 April in A.D. 69.

Vespasian had married one Flavia Domitilla, who bore his sons Titus and Domitian and a daughter, Flavia Domitilla. Both his wife and daughter died before he became emperor. He then returned to an earlier mistress, called Caenis, who had been a freedwoman of Antonia, sister-in-law to the emperor Tiberius.

The chronology of Vespasian’s actions cannot be precisely determined; what is certain is that, at the latest after Otho’s defeat and suicide on 16 April 69, he had begun to collect support. But Vespasian made no move, although his adherents were impatient to press his claims, until he was suddenly stirred to action by the fortuitous support of a distant group of soldiers whom he did not even know: 2,000 men belonging to the three legions of Moesia that had been sent to reinforce Otho. They had marched forward as far as Aquileia, despite the news of Otho's defeat and suicide which reached them on the way, and had there taken advantage of the unsettled times to plunder at pleasure. Pausing at last to consider what the reckoning might be on their return, they hit on the idea of setting up their own emperor. The troops in Spain had appointed Galba; the praetorians, Otho; the troops in Germany, Vitellius.

So they sent through the whole list of provincial governors, rejecting each name in turn for one reason or another until finally choosing Vespasian—on the strong recommendation of some Third Legion men who had been sent to Moesia from Syria just prior to Nero's death—and marking all their standards with his name. Though they were temporarily recalled to duty at this point and did no more in the matter, the news of their decision leaked out.

Tiberius Alexander, the prefect in Egypt, consequently made his legions take the oath to Vespasian, on the Kalends of July, the first day of the month, later celebrated as Vespasian's accession day. On 1 July 69, probably as a result of a contrived plot, the two Egyptian legions proclaimed him emperor, followed a few days later by the legions of Syria and Judaea.

But now Vespasian's commanders and soldiers met in several companies, and discussed openly about changing the public affairs. With indignation, they cried out how soldiers living in ease at Rome who have never tasted battle ordain whomever they please as governors of the army, and in hope of gain for themselves make them emperors, while those who have served long in armor in the field are leaving to them this power. They said that there is more good reason for Vespasian to be emperor than for Vitellius; and those troops who have undergone wars and labors as great as those troops from Germany are not inferior to those who brought that tyrant to Rome and are far more deserving. They reasoned that since the Roman Senate and people would not bear such a barbarous, lascivious and childless tyrant emperor as Vitellius to preside over them when compared with the good governorship of Vespasian who is both chaste and a father, and that the greatest security kings have for themselves is the advancement of their own children to great dignities; and estimating Vespasian's ability from years of governing, and the strength of a young man in his own son Titus, both of them able to support with strength anyone made emperor, each having three legions besides auxiliaries from neighboring kings; together with the support of all the armies in the east and those in Europe far from the dread of Vitellius, as well as those in Italy under Vespasian's brother, Flavius Sabinus, and his son Domitian entrusted with government of the city, and the fact that delay may allow the Senate to choose an emperor whom the soldiers, who are saviors of the empire, would hold in contempt; having gathered together in a great body, and mutually encouraging each other, they declared Vespasian emperor, and exhorted him to save the government which was now in danger.

His men thought that Vespasian, a great and popular leader, was the very antithesis of the childless wretch Vitellius, for Vespasian had two sons to succeed him, Titus and Domitian, and a brother, T. Flavius Sabinus who was the prefect of the city, in charge of the city of Rome. Accordingly, his troops proclaimed Vespasian emperor, and urged him to save the endangered empire. Vespasian, however, declined, but his officers pressed him. When he was reluctant to accept the danger of being emperor compared to the safety of a private life, his troops gathered around him, threatening him with death if he refused. The soldiers drew their swords, and threatened to kill him if he would not live as emperor. And failing to convince them with additional arguments, Vespasian finally yielded. Unable to persuade them, he yielded to their salute. Vespasian, who had distinguished himself in the campaigns against the Jews, and had become illustrious in the campaign against the Jews, was then proclaimed sovereign while still in Judea, receiving the title of emperor from the armies there. Then, having been hailed as imperator by the armies on 1 July 69, Vespasian was proclaimed emperor, and on 11 July the army in Judea swore allegiance to Vespasian in person. Three things helped him greatly: first, the copy of a letter, which may be forged, in which Otho begged him most earnestly to save Rome and take vengeance on Vitellius; second a persistent rumor that Vitellius had planned, after his victory, to restation the legions, transferring those in Gemany to the east, a much softer option; and lastly, the support of Licinius Mucianus, then commanding in Syria, who for a long time had not even tried to conceal his jealousy of Vespasian, a jealousy which he now swallowed, and promised to lend him the whole Syrian army, and the support of Vologaesus, king of the Parthians, who promised him 40,000 archers.

Following the emperor Nero’s death in June 68, Titus was energetic in promoting his father’s candidacy for the imperial crown. Licinius Mucianus, legate of Syria, whom Titus reconciled with Vespasian, considered that one of Vespasian’s greatest assets was to have so promising a son and heir.

Vespasian then became the founder of the [short-lived] Flavian dynasty after the civil wars that followed Nero’s death in 68.

When Vespasian was hailed as emperor on 1 July, the troops in the Balkan provinces recognized him and advanced to invade Italy under Marcus Antonius Primus. The unanimous response in other parts of the empire can hardly have been unplanned. Despite Vespasian’s later claim that his public proclamation was a response to the misgovernment of Vitellius, Vitellius only reached Rome in mid-July.

Vitellius had come from Germany with his forces, and drawn along with him a great multitude of other men besides. At last, amid fanfares of trumpets, Vitellius entered Rome, wearing a commander's cloak and a sword, surrounded by standards and banners; his staff wore military cloaks, and his soldiers carried drawn swords. His entrance into Rome took the form of a quasi-triumph, in the eyes of the people a grossly offensive way to mark a victory over fellow citizens.

Vitellius was recognized by the Senate. He next assumed the office of pontifex maximus—and, paying less and less attention to all laws, human or divine, chose to do so on 18 July, the anniversary of the Allia defeat of Rome. According to tradition, it was on that day in 390 B.C. that the Romans were defeated by the Gauls in a battle at the Allia river, a defeat that paved the way for the Gallic sack of Rome. After the capture of the city at that time a large amount in gold was paid to the Gauls to ransom the city, bankrupting the people. This anniversary was always superstitiously observed by the Romans as a day of ill omen. On the same occasion he announced his appointments for the next ten years ahead, and elected himself consul for life. Then he dispelled any doubt as to what model he would follow in managing the commonwealth by making commemorative sacrificial offerings to Nero in the middle of the Campus Martius, amid a crowd of public priests. He sacrificed to Nero as to a god, and replaced the Praetorian Guard with his troops from Germany. He did nothing to win over Otho’s troops or those from other parts of the empire. But when the spaces allotted for soldiers could not hold them, he made all Rome itself his camp. He converted Rome into a camp for his army, and filled all the houses with armed men, and his troops plundered the citizenry. Those men, when they saw the riches of Rome with eyes that had never seen such riches before, and found that gold and silver shone on all sides, it was all they could do to contain their covetous desires, and they were eager for plunder and ready to slaughter any who stood in their way. And this was the state of affairs in Italy at that time. This was how his reign began.

Vitellius' own ruling vices were gluttony and cruelty. He banqueted three and often four times a day, namely morning, noon, afternoon and evening—the last meal being mainly a drinking bout—and survived the ordeal well enough by vomiting frequently. What made things worse was that he used to invite himself out to private banquets at all hours, and these never cost his hosts less than 400,000 sesterces each.

His cruelty was such that he would kill or torture anyone at all on the slightest pretext—not excluding noblemen who had been his fellow students or friends, and whom he lured to court by promises of the highest advancement. One of them, afflicted with a fever, asked for a glass of cold water; Vitellius brought it with his own hands, but added poison. When one of his many former creditors who had always demanded prompt payment came to pay a courtesy call, Vitellius sent him off to be executed, but a moment later countermanded the order, explaining that he merely wanted to give himself a treat by having the man killed before his eyes. When two sons came to plead for their father's life, he had all three dispatched.

About this time, Vitellius received news that legions in Egypt had rejected his claim to power and sworn allegiance to a rival emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the governor of Judaea and a successful and popular general, who had sent troops to march on Rome and install him on the throne.

In the meantime, besides what troubles there were under Vitellius, after Nero's suicide in 68 there was also a widespread belief, especially in the eastern provinces, that he was not dead and somehow would return. According to Suetonius, Nero had stabbed himself in the throat with a dagger the previous year. But according to another version recounted by Tacitus, and regarded by most historians as almost certainly fiction, after fleeing Rome he had reached the Greek islands. At least three Nero imposters emerged after his death leading rebellions.

The first imposter, who sang and played the cithara or lyre and whose face was similar to that of the dead emperor, appeared in 69 during the reign of Vitellius. After persuading some to recognize him, he was captured and executed. The governor of Cythnos recognized him in the guise of a red-haired prophet and leader of the poor, had him arrested, and executed the sentence that had been passed by the Senate.

But there were disturbing rumors that Nero was still alive, and that he would return to Rome to claim his throne. For about the same time Greece and Asia were greatly alarmed by a false report that Nero was about to reappear, so that many pretended that he was alive and even believed it; and this rumor persisted for centuries. This belief came to be known as the Nero Redivivus Legend.

When Vespasian heard of the troubles that were at Rome, that Vitellius had converted Rome into a camp for his army, and his troops plundered the citizenry, Vespasian was furious at this news, and his army even more so. This produced indignation in him, and although he well knew how to be governed, as well as to govern, he could not with any satisfaction own as his lord one who acted so madly, and had seized the government as if it were absolutely destitute of a governor. His grief was so great that he was not able to bear the torment he was under and continue to apply himself farther in other wars when his native country was laid waste. But as much as his passion pressed him to avenge his country, to the same degree he was restrained by consideration of his distance from it, also because he superstitiously thought Fortune might precede him, and do a world of mischief before he himself could sail over the sea to Italy, especially as it was still the winter season, so he restrained his anger, however vehement it was, at this time.

Mucianus, legate of Syria, and other commanders sided with Vespasian. With the support of Mucianus and the other commanders, and the rest of the army, Vespasian sent the news to Tiberius Alexander, governor of Egypt, and desired to have him as confederate and supporter. He readily agreed, and obliged the legions and the multitude to take the oath of fidelity to Vespasian. The governor of Egypt, Tiberius Alexander, immediately declared for Vespasian, as did the legions there and in Moesia and Pannonia. News spread rapidly. The legions in Mysia, and Pannonia, in an uproar over the insolent rebellion of Vitellius, were delighted to take the oath of fidelity to Vespasian.

In December, the eighth month of Vitellius' reign, the Moesian and Pannonian legions repudiated him and swore allegiance to Vespasian. Those in Syria and Judea followed suit and took their oaths in person. And now, when Vespasian had given answers to the embassages, and had justly disposed the places of power according to what everyone deserved, he came to Antioch, and consulting about which way he had best take, he preferred to go to Rome, rather than march to Alexandria, because he saw that Alexandria was already sure to him, but that affairs at Rome were in disorder because of Vitellius.

To ensure his base he had fought a brief campaign against the Jews in midsummer. But now he sent Mucianus with an expeditionary force to the coast port city of Dyrrhachium, which is Durazzo in Albania, where a fleet was instructed to meet him. So he sent Mucianus to Italy, and committed a considerable army both of horsemen and footmen to him. Yet Mucianus was afraid of going by sea, because it was the middle of winter, so he led his army on foot through Cappadocia and Phrygia.

To keep the goodwill of his remaining troops, Vitellius embarked on a course of limitless public and private generosity. He opened a recruiting campaign in Rome and promised volunteers immediate discharge after victory, with the full rights and privileges of regular service.

In the meantime Marcus Antonius Primus took the Third of the legions that were in Mysia, for he was president of that province, and made haste, in order to fight Vitellius. Mucianus, having been sent by Vespasian to Italy with an army, was now joined by Antonius Primus from Moesia and his Third legion, and Mucianus invaded Italy under Antonius.

When the forces supporting Vespasian converged on Rome, Vitellius sent Cecinna off with a great army, having enormous confidence in him, because he had beaten Otho. He sent against them the troops who had fought at Bedriacum, under their original officers, and put his brother in command of a fleet manned by recruits and gladiators.

Cecinna marched out of Rome in great haste, and found Antonius around Cremona in Gaul, a city near the borders of Italy; but when he saw that the enemy there were numerous and in good order, he dared not fight them. Since he thought a retreat dangerous, he began to think of surrendering his army to Antonius. Accordingly, he assembled the centurions and tribunes under his command, and persuaded them to go over to Antonius by minimizing the reputation of Vitellius and exaggerating the power of Vespasian. He also told them, that with the one there was no more than the bare name of dominion, but with the other the power of it; and that it was better for them to avoid necessity, and gain favor; and, as long as they were likely to be overcome in battle, to avoid the danger beforehand and go over to Antonius willingly; and that Vespasian was able by himself to subdue what had not yet surrendered, without their assistance, while Vitellius could not preserve what he already had even with it.

Cecinna said this, and much more to the same point, and persuaded them to agree with him; and both he and his army deserted. But the very same night the soldiers repented, and a fear seized them that perhaps Vitellius who had sent them would get the better. So, drawing their swords, they assaulted Cecinna, in order to kill him; and they would have done it, if the tribunes had not fallen upon their knees, and begged them not to do it. So the soldiers did not kill him, but put him in chains, as a traitor, and were about to send him to Vitellius. But when Primus heard of this, he immediately roused his men, and made them put on their armor, and led them against those who had revolted, who put themselves in battle order, and for a while put up resistance, but Primus overcame them. They were soon beaten, and fled to Cremona.

But now within a day's time Antonius Primus came with his army, and met Vitellius and his army there. Then Primus took his horsemen, cut off his entrance into the city, and surrounded and destroyed a great multitude of them before it. He descended into the city together with the rest, and gave his soldiers leave to plunder it. And it was here that many foreigners who were merchants, as well as many of the people of that country, perished, and among them Vitellius' whole army, thirty thousand two hundred men, while Antonius lost no more than four thousand and five hundred of those who came with him from Mysia. Thus, Vespasian's followers defeated the forces of Vitellius. Having had a battle in three separate places, they were all destroyed.

After Vitellius’ troops were thus defeated in the Second battle of Bedriacum in October of 69, Antonius Primus then released Cecinna, and sent him to Vespasian to tell him the good news. So he came, and was received by him; and covered the scandal of his treachery to Vitellius by the unexpected honors he received from Vespasian.

And now, in Rome, with the news that Antonius Primus was approaching, Vespasian’s brother, Flavius Sabinus, the city prefect, took courage, and assembled those cohorts of soldiers which kept watch by night, and in the nighttime seized the Capitol building. As the day advanced, many men of character came over to him as Flavian supporters, with Domitian, his brother's son, whose encouragement was of very great weight in deciding the government. During his father’s uprising against Vitellius in AD 69, Domitian was in fact in Rome.

Now, Vitellius was not too concerned about Primus, but was very angry with those who had revolted with Sabinus. So out of his own barbaric nature, and thirsting after noble blood, he sent out that part of the army which came along with him, to fight against the Capitol. Many bold actions were done on his side, and on the side of those who held the temple. But at last, the soldiers of Vitellius from Germany, being too numerous for the others, took possession of the hill, where Domitian, with many other principal Romans, providentially made their escape. Domitian remained unharmed, while the rest of the multitude were entirely cut to pieces, and Sabinus himself was brought to Vitellius. Sabinus persuaded Vitellius to abdicate. Realizing that he was being beaten or betrayed on every side, he approached Sabinus, and asked, "What is my abdication worth?" Sabinus offered him his life and a fee of 100 million sesterces.

Later, from the palace steps, Vitellius announced his decision to the assembled soldiers, explaining that the imperial power had, after all, been forced upon him. When an uproar of protest greeted this speech, he put things off. But the next day, on 18 December A.D. 69, he went in mourning to the Rostra and tearfully read it out again from a scroll. Once more the soldiers and the crowds shouted "Stand fast!" and outdid one another in their expressions of loyalty. Vitellius attempted to resign as emperor but was overruled by his followers and the Praetorian Guard. When the city prefect of Rome and elder brother of Vespasian, Titus Flavius Sabinus, thus attempted to seize power, during the confusion about Vitellius' alleged abdication, Domitian was with his uncle Sabinus. Suddenly taking heart, Vitellius drove the unsuspecting Sabinus and the Flavian supporters into the Capitol. The Roman mob joined with Vitellius’s troops to chase Sabinus to the Capitoline Hill, and Sabinus was slain, executed by Vitellius. The soldiers also plundered the ornaments of the temple, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, and set it on fire, and burned the Flavian supporters—burned them alive. The temple of Jupiter was burned to the ground during the rioting.

Vitellius watched the play of the flames and his victims' struggles while banqueting in the mansion which had belonged to Tiberius. He was soon overcome by remorse and, blaming someone else for the murder, he called an assembly and forced all present to bear witness that peace was now his sole objective. Then, drawing his dagger, he tried in turn to make the consul, the other magistrates and the remaining senators accept it. When all refused, he went to lay it up in the Temple of Concord. However, they called him back by shouting, "No, you yourself are Concord!" So back he came, saying, "Very well, I will keep the dagger and adopt the divine name you have graciously awarded me."

Vitellius also made the Senate send envoys, accompanied by the Vestal Virgins, to arrange an armistice or at least to gain time for deliberation. But on the following day, while he was waiting for a response, a scout arrived with news that enemy detachments were close at hand.

Primus had arrived one day too late to save Sabinus. The fighting now moved to Rome. Vespasian’s army, under Primus’ leadership, attacked and entered Rome on December 20 with street to street battles and a fire that engulfed the city. And two days later, after street fighting in Rome, and the fight that was about the Capitol, Vespasian's troops easily defeated the Vitellian legions.

The others that were slain numbered above fifty thousand. This battle was fought on the third day of the month Apelleus, which is the ninth Jewish lunar month Casleu, in November and December. The advance guard entered Rome without opposition and at once began searching. Vitellius furtively hurried to his father's house on the Aventine, having planned an escape into Campania. But a rumor of peace enticed him back to the palace, which he found deserted. He hid with a money belt full of gold in the doorkeeper's quarters.

On the next day Mucianus came into the city with his army, and ordered Antonius and his men to leave off killing; for they were still searching the houses, and had killed many of Vitellius' soldiers and many of the populace, supposing them to be of his party, their rage preventing them from making any accurate distinction between them and others. He then produced Domitian, and recommended him to the multitude, until his father should come himself.

In the palace, they hauled Vitellius from hiding in the doorkeeper's quarters, and not recognizing him asked if he knew the emperor's whereabouts. Although he lied, he was soon identified. Josephus says that Vitellius emerged from a palace banquet, gorged and drunk. He himself came out of the palace, in his cups, and satiated with an extravagant and luxurious meal, as in the last extremity, the condemned man's last meal. The emperor himself was dragged from his palace. His hands were tied behind him, a noose was fastened around his neck, and amid cheers and abuse the soldiers dragged him, half-naked, with his clothes in tatters, along the Sacred Way to the Forum. And being drawn along by the multitude, they pulled his head back by the hair, as is done with criminals, and stuck a sword point under the chin, exposing his face to public contempt. Dung and filth were hurled at him, with name-calling, and his appearance provoked laughter. He was dragged through a mob and abused with all sorts of torments, and finally butchered—the soldiers put him through the torture of the little cuts before finally killing him near the Gemonian Stairs. He had his head cut off in the midst of Rome, having ruled eight months. Then they dragged his body to the Tiber with a hook and threw it in.

This was how Antonius Primus and Mucianus slew Vitellius, and his German legions, and thereby put an end to that civil war. Vitellius was slain 22 December A.D. 69 and died at the age of fifty-six. Josephus said of him, "had he lived much longer, I cannot but think the empire would not have been sufficient for his lust."

The Emperor Nero was assassinated in A.D. 68 and a period of struggle erupted with multiple claimants to the throne vying for the emperorship in 69. On 1 July several legions proclaimed Vespasian as emperor. By the time his forces arrived, out of the four candidates, only he and one other claimant, Vitellius, were left. Vespasian's armies defeated Vitellius at the second battle of Bedriacum, in October of 69, and after street fighting in Rome, Vitellius was slain; nor did his brother and son outlive him. He died on 22 December A.D. 69, in Rome, Italy. He was murdered with great barbarity and thrown into the Tiber river, the last of Nero’s three short-lived successors, having retained the government eight months and five days. Each had reigned only an hour.

Vespasian's men declared the emperorship for him, for he was in Alexandria. At last free from Vitellius' terrors, the Roman people also acclaimed Vespasian emperor. The senate, of course, agreed. The people being now freed from their fears, made acclamations of joy for Vespasian, as for their emperor, and kept festival-days for his confirmation, and for the destruction of Vitellius.

It was also alleged that but for Antonius’s invasion and its destructive progress Vespasian’s victory could have been bloodless, a very doubtful claim. Vespasian gave no thanks to Antonius, whose final misfortune was that Mucianus was able to cross quickly to Rome and take over the reins of power.

At Rome the Senate, delighted and full of confident hope, decreed to Vespasian all the honors customarily bestowed on the Emperors. And indeed the civil war, which, beginning in Gaul and Spain, and afterwards drawing into the struggle first Germany and then Illyricum, had traversed Aegypt, Judaea, and Syria, every province, and every army, this war, now that the whole earth was, as it were, purged from guilt, seemed to have reached its close. Their alacrity was increased by a letter from Vespasian, written during the continuance of the war. Such indeed was its character at first sight; the writer, however, expressed himself as an Emperor, speaking modestly about himself, in admirable language about the State. There was no want of deference on the part of the Senate. On the Emperor and his son Titus the consulship was bestowed by decree; on Domitian the office of praetor with consular authority.

On the day, however, that the Senate was voting about the Imperial dignities of Vespasian, it had been resolved that envoys should be sent to the new Emperor. Hence arose a sharp altercation.

That party prevailed which preferred that the envoys should be taken by lot.

While there was division in the Senate, resentment among the conquered, no real authority in the conquerors, and in the country at large no laws and no Emperor, Mucianus entered the capital, and at once drew all power into his own hands. He alone was canvassed and courted, and he, surrounding himself with armed men, and bargaining for palaces and gardens, ceased not, what with his magnificence, his proud bearing, and his guards, to grasp at the power, while he waived the titles of Empire. Before Vespasian’s return Mucianus reduced the Praetorian Guard, greatly enlarged by Vitellius, to approximately its former size.

On December 21 Vespasian’s position was officially confirmed by the Senate, but he remained quite frank about the military origin of his rule. He dated his powers to July 1, when the troops had acclaimed him, thus flouting constitutional precedent and contradicting even the behavior of his rival Vitellius, who had awaited confirmation by the Senate.

Meanwhile Vespasian (now consul for the second time) and Titus entered upon their office, both being absent from Rome. People were gloomy and anxious under the pressure of manifold fears, for, over and above immediate perils, they had taken groundless alarm under the impression that Africa was in rebellion through the revolutionary movements of Lucius Piso. He was governor of that province, and was far from being a man of turbulent disposition. The fact was that the wheat-ships were detained by the severity of the weather, and the lower orders, who were accustomed to buy their provisions from day to day, and to whom cheap corn was the sole subject of public interest, feared and believed that the ports had been closed and the supplies stopped, the Vitellianists, who had not yet given up their party feelings, helping to spread the report, which was not displeasing even to the conquerors. Their ambition, which even foreign campaigns could not fill to the full, was not satisfied by any triumphs that civil war could furnish.

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people.

Neither consanguinity nor adoption, as formerly, but great influence in the army having now become the road to the imperial throne, no person could claim a better title to that elevation than Titus Flavius Vespasian. He had not only served with great reputation in the wars both in Britain and Judaea, but seemed as yet untainted with any vice which could pervert his conduct in the civil administration of the empire. It appears, however, that he was prompted more by the persuasion of friends, than by his own ambition, to prosecute the attainment of the imperial dignity. To render this enterprise more successful, recourse was had to a new and peculiar artifice, which, while well accommodated to the superstitious credulity of the Romans, impressed them with an idea, that Vespasian’s destiny to the throne was confirmed by supernatural indications.

Vespasian, the new emperor, having been raised unexpectedly from a low estate, wanted something which might clothe him with divine majesty and authority. This, likewise, was now added. A poor man who was blind, and another who was lame, came both together before him, when he was seated on the tribunal, imploring him to heal them 747, and saying that they were admonished (450) in a dream by the god Serapis to seek his aid, who assured them that he would restore sight to the one by anointing his eyes with his spittle, and give strength to the leg of the other, if he vouchsafed but to touch it with his heel. At first he could scarcely believe that the thing would any how succeed, and therefore hesitated to venture on making the experiment. At length, however, by the advice of his friends, he made the attempt publicly, in the presence of the assembled multitudes, and it was crowned with success in both cases 748. About the same time, at Tegea in Arcadia, by the direction (451) of some soothsayers, several vessels of ancient workmanship were dug out of a consecrated place, on which there was an effigy resembling Vespasian.

But, after his elevation, we hear no more of his miraculous achievements.

Meanwhile, Vespasian having sent troops ahead to Italy, he himself had crossed over to Alexandria, so that he might occupy this key to Egypt. There he dismissed his companions and entered the Temple of Serapis, alone, to consult the auspices and discover how long he would last as emperor. After many propitiatory sacrifices, he turned to go. Almost at once dispatches from Italy brought the news of Vitellius' defeat at Cremona and his assassination at Rome.

And now, just as Vespasian had come to Alexandria, this good news came from Rome. And at the same time he received the good news in Alexandria, embassies came from all his own habitable earth, to congratulate him upon his advancement. And though Alexandria was the greatest of all cities next to Rome, it proved too small to contain the multitude that then came into it. Vespasian took power the same day. So on this confirmation of Vespasian's entire government, which was not yet settled, and with the unexpected deliverance of the public affairs of the Romans from ruin, peace having been established in Italy, foreign affairs were once more remembered.

The way was now open for the improvement of certain frontiers. Beyond Rome, important changes were made in the East. The emperor increased the number of legions in the East, where Vespasian replaced the single army (which until Nero’s time had only four legions) in Syria with three armies, with a total of six legions, in Cappadocia, Syria, and Judaea; and he continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. In southern Germany annexation of a territory called Agri Decumates cut off the reentrant angle formed by the Rhine at Basel. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period.

Vespasian meanwhile turned his thoughts to what remained unsubdued in Judea. He commits the care of the war against the Jews into the hands of his son Titus. Roman indignation was heightened by the circumstance that the Jews alone had not submitted. At the same time it was held to be more expedient, in reference to the possible results and contingencies of the new reign, that Titus should remain with the army. Entrusting to Titus the war against the Jews, he sends his son with a select party of elite troops of his army to crush and destroy Jerusalem. However, he himself made haste to go to Rome, as the winter of 69-70 was now almost over, and soon set the affairs of Alexandria in order, and from there he would sail to Rome. Directing his course, therefore, immediately to Rome, he set out.

Vespasian left for Rome, leaving the overseeing of the operations and their final conclusion to his son Titus. The insurrection in Judea that had begun in A.D. 66, now continued into A.D. 70.

Twelve Caesars: Nero 8–57
Antiquities 20.8.2–20.11.1 [20:153–258]
Wars 2.12.8–4.9.2 [2:248–494]
Ecclesiastical History Book II, chapter 24 through Book III, chapter 5:1

Twelve Caesars: Galba 12–23
Antiquities 18.6.9 [216]
Wars 4.9.2 [492–499]
Ecclesiastical History Book III, chapter 5:1

Twelve Caesars: Otho 4–11
Wars 4.9.2–4.9.9 [494–548]
Ecclesiastical History Book III, chapter 5:1

Twelve Caesars: Vitellius 9–18
Wars 4.9.9–4.11.4 [549–652]

Twelve Caesars: Vespasian 5–7
Wars 4.11.4–4.11.5 [653–658]
Ecclesiastical History Book III, chapters 5–11

See these Conservapedia articles:

Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian.
Year of the four Emperors

See also the following resources:

The Twelve Caesars: Nero
The Annals: Books XIV, XV,XVI
Nero, Roman Emperor (
Nero (
The Twelve Caesars: Galba
The Histories: Book I (January - March, A.D. 69)
Galba: Roman Emperor (
Galba (
The Twelve Caesars: Otho
The Histories: Book II (March - August, A.D. 69)
Otho: Roman Emperor (
Otho (

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome of Book LXIII (

The Twelve Caesars: Vitellius
The Histories: Book III (September - December, A.D. 69)
Vitellius: Roman Emperor (
Vitellius (
The Twelve Caesars: Vespasian
The Histories: Book IV (January - November, A.D. 70)
Vespasian: Roman Emperor (
Vespasian (
Rome and Parthia at War, by Invictus (
Wars Book III (
Wars Book IV (
Church History (Book III) (

Church History (Eusebius): The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (

The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop of Caesarea, In Palestine (

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (

Tacitus: The Annals, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Tacitus: The Histories, Written 109 A.C.E. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb (A.D. 69 through 70)

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (
See Biblical Canon and Apocrypha.

The relevant elements of each of the source texts have been separated, collated and arranged in strict chronological order, then condensed and redacted as a single narrative, while retaining much of the expressive language of the original sources. This accounts for the apparent repetitions within the narrative. Compare the method proposed by the Documentary Hypothesis.
An attempt has been made here to simplify the wordy, complex, convoluted, often reiterative, turgid literary styles of Josephus and Tacitus.

World English Bible text
Greek original text
Latin Vulgate text
NRSV text
Scofield Reference Bible (1917 Edition)
Conservative Bible text
multiple versions of any verse
multiple commentaries any passage
interlinear Bible: Hebrew, Greek, English
Bible maps (click initial letter of place name)

This chapter is the first part of a two-part summary of the intervening years between the martyrdom of Peter and Paul under Nero and the writing of the New Testament works of the Epistle of Jude, the Book of Revelation and the Letters of John the Apostle. Sources are linked above.

Historians and Bible scholars disagree on the precise dates of the intervening years. But in general they do agree that the entire historical period extends from about A.D. 67 through 90.
The summary of the intervening years continues in the next chapter Forty-seven. The concluding chapters Forty-eight and Forty-nine of this Harmony of the Gospel contain the First Letter of Clement and the Letter of Jude, and the Book of Revelation and the Letters of John.

"The works of the world, the flesh and the Devil are opposed to the works of the Kingdom of God..."

Compare Galatians 5:17-24; Romans 1:18-32; Matthew 10:16; and Revelation 2:19-29.

"the catholic church of Christ." The word "catholic" means "universal".

The earliest known documented use of the word "catholic" from the Greek katholikos ("thoroughly whole") as applied to the whole Christian Church is found in the epistles of Ignatius, dated to about A.D. 110.
The word "catholic" is also part of the ancient Apostles' Creed: "I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church."
The various ancient apostolic Christian denominations, or "Rites", of the self-governing ("autocephalous") members of the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches regard themselves as members of "one, holy, orthodox and catholic church".
Those ancient Christian Rites which include themselves under the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, the Bishop or Patriarch of Rome, the Pope, regard themselves as members of "the one, holy, catholic and orthodox church" commonly called the Catholic Church.
The Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in the west is most often called the "Roman Catholic Church."
Most members of the Anglican Communion of churches including the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, as well as all those denominations which claim apostolic succession, generically regard themselves as members of the "catholic Christian church" or "Christian catholic church."
Evangelical Protestants almost universally identify the word "catholic" with those hated abuses of the 15th and 16th centuries which were denounced by the Reformers erroneously as being firmly rooted in Catholic doctrines, but were actually violations of Catholic teaching. They also identify "catholic" with those actual, authentically Catholic and Orthodox doctrines which the Reformers rejected as pagan superstitions, polytheism, and "doctrines of devils", doctrines traceable all the way back to the 4th, the 2nd, and even the 1st centuries of Christianity, to the period they, together with the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, identify as the beginning of the Great Apostasy. For this reason, those Protestant Christian denominations who use a form of the Apostles' Creed in their worship services have commonly replaced the word "catholic" with the word "Christian", to avoid scandalizing the worshipers, saying instead, "I believe in one, holy, Christian church."
Those evangelicals who have looked into the historical roots of Christianity and found that the original Apostles' Creed included the word "catholic" sometimes do further research. Many of them, after much study, and influenced by what they have read, have left their churches and entered the Orthodox or Catholic Churches. One example is the conversion of the Anglican Bishop John Newman, who founded the Oxford Movement in 19th century England, and became a Bishop and later Cardinal of the Catholic Church. Many others, studying the history of Christianity, the development of Christian doctrines and the causes of the Protestant Reformation, are fully satisfied that their own denomination reflects the genuine pattern of New Testament Christianity as against the historical developments of what is called apostolic tradition in Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and they remain where they are.
See Invincible ignorance and Christian apologetics.

" In A.D. 63 the Jews completed the rebuilding of the Second Temple ... this temple at the beginning was built on a strong hill.". The description of the completed temple here is from Josephus, Wars, Book 5, Chapter 6.

Material in The Wars of the Jews, Book 5, Chapters 5 and 6, the descriptions of the city and of the temple provided by Josephus, have been here rearranged and placed in this Harmony according to a more chronological and historical sequence, as descriptions of them as they were before they were burnt and destroyed, rather than as the historian himself arranged and presented them within the account of the Roman siege, as retrospective reflections on what had been lost.

"another golden crown, in which was engraved the sacred Name; it consists of four vowels." Four Hebrew characters or letters.

Translations of Josephus specify that the Name here "consists of four vowels". Since Hebrew writing of the first century consisted of consonantal characters only, by the word "vowels" the text most probably implies "sounds", meaning that that Holy Name was pronounced with four sounds, known to us as the sounds of the four letters Yod, He, Vav, He, the Tetragrammaton יהוהwhich is actually four Hebrew consonants.

"Vespasian obtained from Nero the proconsulate of Africa" Nero appointed him proconsul of Africa.

In ancient Rome, proconsul was a lesser rank than consul. In the Roman Republic the title of consul was conferred on each of the two annually elected chief magistrates who jointly exercised the highest authority in the Republic for one year, one over the east and one over the west, and they could not be re-elected for ten years. In the subsequent Roman Empire, the title of consul was retained as a significant title of authority designating a rank immediately below the emperor, and often there were more than two consuls. The man who attained a consulate was a consul.
In both the ancient Roman Republic and the ancient Roman Empire, a proconsul was usually a former consul, who had consular rank as the governor or military commander of a province, under the immediate authority of a higher ranking consul, or was directly under the authority of the emperor. A man who obtained a proconsulate was a proconsul.
See the following resources:

"Vespasian had married one Flavia Domitilla, who bore his sons Titus and Domitian and a daughter, Flavia Domitilla."

Both mother and daughter have the same name. See end paragraph of Britannica article Vespasian, also Suetonius, Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 3.

"not fewer than three million" Jews in Jerusalem during the Passover at the time of Cestius Gallus the governor of Judea under Nero.

See Wars 2.14.3.
Compare the 1.1 million Jews shut up in Jerusalem at the time of the siege under Titus in A.D. 70 (Wars 5.3.1 and 6.9.3-4).

"We were dismissed as fools by Stoics and Epicurians alike."

Not much has changed. Christianity is dismissed as folly today by Liberals, Atheists and Humanists alike. See Elitism.

"his own litter"

In this context, a "litter" is defined as "a vehicle consisting of a couch carried between shafts by men or beasts of burden, and sometimes enclosed for privacy." See The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary 1966.

"His lust for his own mother Agrippina was notorious..."

See Incest. Compare Leviticus 18; 1 Corinthians 5.

"He invented for himself a game..." The historically documented perversions that Nero indulged in are no less explicitly described here than are those equally vile perversions committed by the Israelites at the time of the prophets and plainly cited and condemned in the Bible, without any delicacy of expression.

The inclusion here in this Harmony of the Gospel of the publicly known, moral perversions of the Roman Emperors, showing the contrast between them and Christ Jesus, is morally instructive. (See the various Conservapedia articles denouncing the resultant moral depravities of atheism and homosexuality in equally graphic terms.)
See Ezekiel 23; also Genesis 13:13; Genesis 19; Leviticus 18; Judges 19; 2 Samuel 13; 2 Kings 21; Romans 1:26-32; Jude 6-7, 23; Revelation 17:2-6, 16.
Because of textual passages like these, the Soviet Union banned all printing, distribution, and import shipments of the Bible on the pretext that it contained pornography (Bible Smuggling During the Cold War - The Tyndale Society).
See also the following article responding to Islamic charges that the Bible is pornographic:
Answering Ahmed Deedat charge that the Bible is pornographic and unworthy of God (
Compare the following Islamic apologetics article condemning the Bible:
Islam: The True Religion Of God Almighty:
X-Rated Pornography in the Bible - Answering Christianity: "Praised Pornography in the Bible Section" (

"800,000 sesterces a day" The equivalent of 200,000 denarii.

In the early Empire, a rate of 4 sesterces, which equals 1 denarius, is suggested as the daily wage by a variety of contemporaneous sources. 200,000 denarii at the rate of 300 denarii per year for a common seasonal field worker, is roughly equal to the wage paid one seasonal worker for 666 years of labor (200,000/300), or the wages of 50 seasonal workers (300 x 50) paid out over a period of almost 14 years (200,000/15,000).
One million sesterces equals 250,000 days' wages, or 833.4 years' wages for one worker (250,000/300), or 16.66 years' total payroll for 50 seasonal laborers (300 dn./yr. x 50 = 15,000—and 250,000/15,000 = 16.66666667 years' payroll). 800,000 sesterces per day for one week of 7 days equals 5 million, 6 hundred thousand sesterces.
See article How Much is That in Real Money? (

"King Tiridates of Parthia" Tiridates I of the Arcasid Dynasty.

See Tiridates I of Armenia (

"This bled the provincials dry..."

The provincials were the chief political leaders, wealthy leading citizens, large land owners and merchants of the provinces, as distinct from "private citizens".

"refusal to participate in civic festivals and entertainments"

These were similar to Mardi Gras, Fourth of July, and New Year's Eve celebrations, college football victories, Fall Homecoming and rowdy campus Spring Break Festivities, Olympics spectacles, and Election Year rallies. The mid-20th century saw Nazi Nuremberg rallies and Party Tag (Party Day) celebrations, and Russian Soviet May Day and Chinese Communist military parades.
Roman civic festivals, entertainments, and games in the arena were all dedicated to the glory of the gods, the Caesars, and the people of Rome, and the spirit or genius of the Roman Empire. See Patriotism.

"he would then light them on fire" See the following:

Statilia Messalina, third wife of Nero.

See Statilia third wife of Nero (

"that upon them might come all the righteous blood shed on earth"

See Matthew 23:34-38, also Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book III, chapter 5, adapted here.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God does not justify the killing of Jews by Christians. This is found nowhere in the New Testament, nor is it found in any of the writings of the Fathers of the Church before the 5th century. See Anti-Semitism.
Counsel to kill Jews is found in the writings of Martin Luther and the leaders of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and in the writings and directives of Catholic heads of governments of the 17th and 18th centuries.
See the following articles:

"According to the interpretation of the pagan Tacitus, the voice cried out that the Gods were departing."

See Tacitus, The Histories, Book V.

"Galba...holding assizes"

Originally, an assize (singular) was a session of a legislative or judicial body. The plural form assizes, in England, referred to one of the regular court sessions held in each county for the trial of civil and criminal cases by jury, and also generally denoted the time and place of such sessions. (From The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary.)
In this context, Galba the Roman governor of the province of Tarraconensis was presiding as the chief judge of court when news of the Gallic revolt came.

"Nymphidius Sabinus and Ofonius Tigellinus" See the following:

"and slew himself in the suburbs of Rome"

On 8 or 9 June A.D. 68. See Year of the four Emperors.

Apollonius of Tyana see the following:

"I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs" Apollonius of Tyana.

This quote is from the following sources:

"Galba dropped the title of governor and assumed that of Caesar"

The dynastic family name of Caesar thus became a synonym for the title of emperor in A.D. 68, and is the source of the German imperial title Kaiser and the Russian imperial title Tsar or Czar. The word "czar" also denotes an absolute ruler or despot. Informally it designates one in authority, a chief director, such as a czar of industry. In the U.S. Czar is an unofficial term for a high-ranking official in the Executive Branch of the United States Government. Presidents have appointed individuals as directors of dedicated operations pertaining to matters of great import or consequence to the government and the people, such as drug czar, trade czar, terms which were prominent during the presidential administrations of Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter, but used less now by journalists and public media.
See A Judicial Watch Special Report: President Obama's Czars (

"He decimated soldiers..."

Also called decimation. This is a cruel and barbaric form of disciplining a unit of military field personnel for failure, or at worse an arbitrarily inflicted measure by a ruthless commander for trivial infractions of military discipline to maintain terror and obedience among his command. One of every ten (decem) soldiers or sailors is chosen at random to be executed by their fellows as a punishment for their collective failure to fulfill orders, or as a means of enforcing discipline in the ranks by fear of the commander or staff of commanders under a chief commander.
Decimation is found in the Bible.
See 2 Samuel 8:2 and commentaries;
also Nahum 3:3 and commentaries.

"the vilest of all Nero's assistants, the eunuch Halotus and Tigellinus"

See Halotus (

"It was also at this time that the Batavian general Civilis in the Rhineland began to sow the seeds of the Batavian Rebellion, for independence from Roman domination."

The Batavian Rebellion was put down by Petilius Cerialis (variously spelled), a cousin of Vespasian, in operations from 7 April to 30 August A.D. 70. See The Batavian Rebellion ( and Tacitus, Histories Book IV

"...his administration has been characterized by some historians as "priggishly" upright"

"Prigs" are formal and narrow-minded persons who smugly believe themselves to have superior virtue and wisdom, and are inclined to regard ordinary human behavior as morally defective and inferior, as ruled primarily by unthinking animal passions of limited self-interest alone, and devoid of the higher and nobler abstract principles of human intelligence. Distinct from the "snob", whose self-identity is based on a social caste system.
See Intolerance, Elitism, Aristocracy, Bigotry.
Priggishness is opposed by the Christian virtues of humility and loving compassion toward other persons, making us mindful of their human dignity as beings created and redeemed by God, and prompting us to seek only their material and spiritual good. See
Romans 12:16 "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." KJV
Philippians 2:3 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." KJV
1 Timothy 6:17 "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God..." KJV
2 Timothy 3:2-4 "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God". KJV

"a pusillanimous person"

A person lacking strength of mind, courage, or spirit; cowardly; weak in purpose. The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary.

"It was everyone’s opinion that he was capable of ruling the empire, had he never ruled."

Tacitus, Histories, Book I, part 49.

"even when the crowd called him 'Nero'."

This reaction of the multitude is probably related to the Nero Redivivus Legend that Nero had returned. See related note below: "...after Nero's suicide in 68..."

"omens or signs of augury"

Augury is the superstitious practice of foretelling the future by signs or omens, divination. An augur was a religious official of ancient Rome whose duty was to foretell and advise on future events by interpreting omens. More generally "augur" is another name for prophet or soothsayer. (From The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary.)
See Astrology and Tarot.
Compare Numerology and Gematria.
Futurists look to the visions in the Book of Revelation, and in Daniel and Ezekiel, and compare them with signs and events of the present times as omens, to alert believers that the End Times have come. Some futurist writers, such as Tim LaHaye, became wealthy by publishing books interpreting the "signs of the times".
The Bible forbids all forms of augury. See
Leviticus 19:31 "You shall not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God."
Micah 5:12 "and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more soothsayers..."
Matthew 24:36, 44 "but of that day or hour no one knows...for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
Luke 21:27-28 "And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now, when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
Acts 1:7 "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority."
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 "...we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way..."

"The sacred shields used by the Salii"

The Salii were members of an ancient college of pagan priests. In spring and autumn they processed through Rome carrying shields of archaic design and performing ritual war dances. After these processions they enjoyed banquets that were proverbial for their luxury.

"All authority is from God...and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more."

This observation is adapted from Romans 13:1, James 3:1 and Luke 12:48.


This place is now Calvatone, Italy, between Verona and Cremona.

"He next assumed the office of pontifex maximus" Literally "Greatest Pontiff". The Roman high priest. See the following articles:

"after Nero's suicide in 68, there was also a widespread belief...that he was not dead...This belief came to be known as the Nero Redivivus Legend."

See (already cited above) History of the Christian Church - Chapter VI. The Great Tribulation. (Matt. 24:21) § The Roman Conflagration and the Neronian Persecution (
This source includes an account of the Nero Redivivus Legend, the rumor that Nero would return. See also:
According to the system of gematria, the total numerical value of the letters for NRWN QSR (NiRoN QaiSaR), Nero Caesar, at the time of the Roman Empire, is calculated as 666 and 616. Nero's likeness and various different forms of his name were stamped on coins of the empire, and were looked upon by the righteous as stamped images bearing his mark and the number of his name. Many interpreters have concluded from this gematria and from the Nero Redivivus Legend that the Beast of the Book of Revelation is Nero.
Many interpreters also caution that the Beast should not be identified solely with Nero alone.
Compare Revelation 13, and Revelation 17:8-11.

"Josephus says that Vitellius emerged from a palace banquet, gorged and drunk...I cannot but think the empire would not have been sufficient for his lust."

War 4.11.4 [651-652]

"He commits the care of the war against the Jews into the hands of his son Titus."

Preterists propose that John the Apostle was exiled to Patmos during the reign of Nero, and that the Book of Revelation was written A.D. 68-69 in anticipation of the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (War 5.9.2; 6.1.5; 6.2.4; 6.4.3; 6.9.1; 7.5.2).
Conservative Christian biblical scholarship strongly supports instead the traditional view that John himself wrote this book during the reign of Domitian around A.D. 96, foreshadowing the inevitable destruction of the pagan Roman Empire by Christ following a period of great tribulation.
See the historical analysis, When Was the Book of Revelation Written? by Wayne Jackson (
See also Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis).

The events of A.D. 63–70 are not included in the Conservative Bible New Testament.

See these Conservapedia articles: Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Year of the four Emperors.


Chapter 47 historical texts

God was not long in executing vengeance on the Jews for their wickedness against the Christ, the Anointed One of God.

Jerusalem in those days was regarded by Rome as a stubborn obstacle to the pacification of Judaea. The details of calamities from assaults by the sword and other means, which had overwhelmed the whole nation, the extreme miseries to which the inhabitants of Judea were particularly subjected, the vast numbers of men, women and children who perished by the sword, famine, and innumerable other forms of death—all these, and the great, incredibly excessive, sufferings endured by those who fled to Jerusalem itself, as to a city of perfect safety—these facts and the war itself can be essentially condensed and summarized by any competent historian from a multitude of ancient sources describing what took place at that time. Eusebius says it is not necessary to add to the accounts of the most ancient historians who wrote about the calamities that befell the whole Jewish nation after the Savior's passion and the words that the multitude of the Jews uttered, when they begged for the release of the robber and murderer, but begged that the Prince of Life should be removed from their midst.

The Hasmonean founders of the independent Jewish state had foreseen that frequent wars would result from a xenophobic hatred of their singular customs, so they had made every provision against the most protracted siege. After the capture of their city by Pompey in 63 B.C., experience and apprehension taught the Jews much. Availing themselves of the corrupt governmental policy of the Claudian era to allow purchase of the right of fortification, in time of peace they raised walls suited for war.

The city of Jerusalem was fortified with three walls at those parts not facing impassible valleys; but at such deep places it had only one wall. The city was built on two hills, opposite to one another, with a valley dividing them; the corresponding rows of houses on both hills end there. That hill which contains the Upper City is much higher, and in length more straight. Thus, it was called the "Citadel" by King David, the father of Solomon who first built the temple; but the Jews called it the "Upper Marketplace". The other hill, called "Acra", which supports the lower city, is shaped like a crescent moon with horns; facing this was a third hill, naturally lower than Acra, and formerly parted from it by a broad valley. However, in the times of the reign of the Hasmoneans, they filled in that valley with earth, and planned to join the city to the temple. They then removed part of the height of Acra, and reduced it to a lesser elevation, so the temple might be above it. Now what was called the Valley of the Cheesemongers, which distinguished the hill of the upper city from the lower, extended as far as Siloam, the name of a fountain which has sweeter water in it, in great plenty. These hills are surrounded outside by deep valleys, and because of the precipices on both sides, they are everywhere impassible.

Now, of these three walls, the old one was hard for enemy forces to take, both because of the valleys, and that hill on which it was built, which was above them. But besides that great advantage, the place where they were situated was also built very strong; because David and Solomon, and the following kings, were very zealous about this work. It began on the north, at the tower "Hippicus", and extended as far as the terrace, the "Xystus", as it was called, and then, joining to the council house, ended at the west cloister of the temple. But going the other way westward, it began at the same place, and extended through a place called "Bethso", to the gate of the Essenes; and then it went southward, having its bending above the fountain Siloam, where it also bends again towards the east at Solomon's pool, and reaches as far as a certain place called "Ophlas", where it was joined to the eastern cloister of the temple.

The second wall began at that gate called "Gennath", which belonged to the first wall; it only enclosed the northern quarter of the city, and reached as far as the tower Antonia.

The third wall began at the tower Hippicus, and reached as far as the north quarter of the city, and the tower Psephinus, and then was extended as far as the monuments of Helena, queen of Adiabene, the daughter of Izates; it then extended farther to a great length, past the burial caverns of the kings, and bent again at the tower of the Corner, at the Monument of the Fuller, and joined to the old wall at the Valley of Kidron. It was Agrippa who enclosed with this wall the parts added to the old city, which had all been exposed before; for as the population of the city grew, it gradually crept beyond its old limits, and the parts that stood northward of the temple and joined that hill to the city, made it considerably larger, causing that hill, the fourth, called "Bezetha", to be inhabited too. It lies opposite the tower Antonia, but divided from it by a deep valley, dug on purpose to keep the foundations of the tower Antonia from being joined to this hill and provide any opportunity for getting to that hill with ease and compromise the security of its superior elevation; for that reason the very depth of the ditch also made the elevation of the towers more remarkable. This newly-built part of the city was called "Bezetha" in the Jewish language, which, if interpreted in the Grecian language, may be called "New City". Since, therefore, its inhabitants stood in need of protection, Agrippa, the father of the present king, Agrippa II, of the same name, began that wall enclosing it; but he ceased when he had only laid the foundation, fearing that Claudius Caesar should suspect that so strong a wall was built as a prelude to introducing major changes in public affairs; for there was no way the city could have been taken if that wall had been finished the way it was begun; its parts were connected together by stones twenty-eight feet long, and fourteen feet wide, which could never have been easily undermined by any iron tools, or shaken by any siege engines. The base of the wall was, however, fourteen feet wide at ground level, and it would probably have had a height greater than that, if his zeal not been thus prevented from exerting itself. But after this the wall was erected with great diligence by the Jews, as high as twenty-eight feet, and surmounted by battlements three feet high, and turrets four and a quarter feet high, so that the entire altitude of the wall extended up as far as thirty-five and a half feet.

Now the towers on it were twenty-eight feet broad and twenty-eight feet in height; they were square and solid, as was the wall itself, and the precision of the joints and the beauty of the stones were in no way inferior to those of the holy house itself. Above this solid twenty-eight foot altitude of the towers, were rooms of great magnificence, and over them upper rooms and cisterns to receive rain water. They were very numerous, and every one of the steps ascending up to them was broad; and then the third wall had ninety towers, and the space between each of them was two hundred and eighty-three feet, or ninety-four and a half yards; but in the middle wall were forty towers; and the old wall was divided into sixty; while the whole circumference of the city was four miles two hundred twenty yards around, or nineteen thousand eight hundred feet. Now all of the third wall was a wonder to behold; yet the tower Psephinus was elevated above its northwest corner; and being ninety-nine feet high, it afforded a wide prospect of Arabia at sunrise, as well as the utmost limits of the Hebrew possessions westward to the sea. Moreover, it was an octagon, and facing it was the tower Hippicus; and close by were two others erected by king Herod, in the old wall. For largeness, beauty, and strength, these were beyond any buildings in the habitable earth; for Herod was an extraordinary builder, to gratify his vanity; and he dedicated these towers to the memory of those three persons who had been dearest to him, and he named them for his brother, his friend, and his wife. This wife he had slain, out of love and jealousy; the other two he lost in war, as they were courageously fighting.

Hippicus, named for his friend, was square; its length and breadth were each thirty-five and a half feet, its height forty-two and a half feet, with no hollow place in it. Over this solid structure, composed of great stones joined together, was a reservoir twenty-eight feet deep, over it a house of two stories, thirty-five and a half feet high, divided into several parts; and battlements of three feet over it, and turrets all round, each four and a quarter feet high, so that the entire height added together amounted to one hundred thirteen and a third feet.

The second tower, he named for his brother Phasaelus, its breadth and length equal, each fifty-six and two-thirds feet; and over this its solid height of fifty-six and two-thirds feet; and over it a cloister went round about, whose height was fourteen feet, protected from enemies by breast-works and bulwarks. There was also built over that cloister another tower, parted into magnificent rooms and a place for bathing; so that this tower lacked nothing that might make it appear to be a royal palace. It was also adorned with battlements and turrets, more than the foregoing, and the entire altitude was about one hundred twenty seven and a half feet; the appearance of it resembled the tower of Pharos, which exhibited a fire to those who sailed to Alexandria, but much larger in area.

The third tower was Mariamme, for that was his queen's name; it was solid as high as twenty-eight feet; its breadth and length were equally twenty-eight feet; its upper buildings were more magnificent, and had greater variety than the other towers; for the king thought it most proper for him to better adorn the one named for his wife, than those named for men, as they were built stronger than this one which bore his wife's name. The entire height of this tower was almost seventy-one feet.

Now these towers, so very tall, appeared much taller because of the place where they stood; for that very old wall was built on a high hill, itself an elevation of still forty-two and a half feet taller; on it the towers were situated, and thus were made much higher in appearance. The largeness also of the stones was wonderful, not common small stones nor only large ones men could carry, but white marble cut out of the rock; each stone twenty-eight feet in length, fourteen in breadth, and seven in depth. They were so exactly fitted together, that each tower looked like one entire rock of natural stone cut by the hands of the craftsmen into their present shape and corners, so imperceptible were their joints or connection. Now since the towers themselves were on the north side of the wall, the king built an adjoining palace inside, which Josephus says he was not able to describe; for it was so very elaborate that no cost or skill was spared in its construction, but was entirely walled around to a height of forty-two and a half feet, and adorned with towers at equal distances, with large bed chambers, each able to contain beds for a hundred guests apiece; the variety of the stones could not be expressed; for a large quantity of the rare kind was collected together. Their roofs were also wonderful, both for the length of the beams and the splendor of their ornaments. The number of rooms was also immense, and the variety of figures in them was prodigious; they were completely furnished, and the majority of the vessels in them was of silver and gold. Besides this there were many porticoes throughout, one after another, and in each of these porticoes elaborately carved pillars; yet all the courts open everywhere to the air were green. There were moreover several groves of trees, and long walks through them, with deep canals, and cisterns, which in several parts were filled with brazen statues, through which the water ran out. There were in addition many dove-courts of tame pigeons about the canal; but, indeed, it is not possible to give a complete description of these palaces, what vastly rich buildings they were.

Now, the war in Judaea, which had started under Nero, was continued in the reign of Vespasian; with his accession to the Roman throne he left the war against the Jews and the siege of Jerusalem to be conducted by his son Titus, who remained in the East to undertake the siege of Jerusalem, the exploit for which he is most remembered. While he was not a very experienced general, Titus' own quality was that the new emperor, his father, could trust him. While he was still assisting his father at Alexandria in settling the government newly conferred on them by God, the rebellion at Jerusalem, beset by violent factional strife and internal discord, had revived and divided into three factions, each fighting against the other. It would be no mistake to call it a rebellion begotten by another rebellion, like a wild beast grown mad with hunger, and without food, which began to devour its own flesh. This terrible situation may be said to be the result of divine justice, and therefore a good thing from God. Vespasian's strategy, to allow the Jews in Jerusalem to destroy themselves, had been successful.

Since these matters have been thought worthy of mention by the historian Josephus, we cannot do better than review them as a summary introduction for the benefit of the reader, before going into more detail.

The warlike men in the city were three generals, and as many armies. Besides the Zealots of Eleazar son of Simon and the private army of John of Gischala, a new leader had come to power, Simon, son of Giora, whom the people of Jerusalem had begged to come in to them. He was supported by men from Idumea, the southern part of Judaea that the Romans had reconquered only recently. John and Simon had different agendas. The first appeared to strive only for political freedom and had minted silver coins with the words "Freedom of Zion". Simon, on the other hand, stood at the head of a messianic movement; his copper coins have the words "Redemption of Zion". And now with Simon, son of Giora, there were three treacherous factions in the city, the one parted from the other. Their numbers were increased by a vast rabble collected from the overthrow of the other cities by Vespasian. All the most obstinate rebels had escaped into the place, and perpetual seditions were the consequence. All who were able bore arms, and a disproportionate number of the populace of Jerusalem had the courage to do so. Men and women showed equal resolution, and life seemed to them more terrible than death, if they were to be forced to leave their country.

The city as a whole consisted of four parts.

In the south, the Old Town was situated on a steep plateau; its walls, which faced the Valley of Hinnom in the west and south (also called the Valley of Ben Hinnom, and Gehenna) were old but almost impossible to assail. Here, Simon, son of Giora, was in charge. The multitude of the rebels with Simon, were ten thousand, besides the Idumeans. Those ten thousand had fifty commanders, over whom Simon was supreme. The Idumeans who paid him homage were five thousand, who had eight commanders, among the most famous of whom were Jacob the son of Sosas, and Simon the son of Cathlas.

In the east was the Temple complex. This inner bulwark was next to the Kidron ravine, which prevented any attack. Part of the Temple complex was a lofty castle or tower called Antonia. It was seized by Eleazar's Zealots, who were two thousand four hundred in number. For, desiring to gain for himself all the power and rule, he revolted from John with the assistance of Judas, son of Chelcias, and Simon, son of Ezron, among the most powerful men there; with him also was Hezekiah, son of Chobar, a man of eminence. A great many of the Zealots followed them.

West of the Temple complex and more to the north was the New Town section, Bezetha, built in the forties, during the reign of Claudius, which had walls of its own. This residential quarter named Bezetha (which also means New Town) had only recently been added to the city; it did not have many inhabitants, and old graves could still be seen between the houses. It was now occupied by the six thousand men of John's militia.

So it was that the city was at war from these treacherous crowds of wicked men, and the people between them were like a huge body torn in pieces. The inhabitants could not flee, for the heads of these robbers, while hostile to each other, agreed only on this: to kill the innocent, everyone who was for peace with the Romans, or were suspected of planning to desert to them, as being their common enemies. Elderly men and women wished for the Romans to come and free them by a war outside the city, to deliver them from the miseries within it, but they did not dare to say so in public, because they were afraid of death. Such was this city and nation.

Now, let us consider a condensed and orderly account of the history of both Rome and Jerusalem at this time, as subject to the absolute sovereignty of Almighty God in the power of the Holy Spirit through his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, the one true Lord of lords and King of kings; "for all his works are right and his ways just; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase."

In Rome, on Wednesday the first day of January, A.D. 70, the Kalends of Ianuarius 823 A.U.C. in the Roman calendar, at a meeting of the Senate convoked by Julius Frontinus, praetor of the city, votes of thanks were passed to the legates, to the armies, and to the allied kings. The office of praetor was taken from Tettius Julianus for deserting his legion when it decided to join the party of Vespasian, with a view to its being transferred to Plotius Griphus. Equestrian rank was conferred on Hormus. Then, with the resignation of Julius Frontinus, Domitian, the son of Vespasian in Rome, assumed the office of praetor of the city. His name was put at the head of dispatches and edicts. For a short time after arrival of his father's troops, Domitian enjoyed the privilege of acting as regent, but Gaius Licinius Mucianus held the real authority, with the exception that Domitian, either at the instigation of his friends, or his own whim, risked several acts of power. Mucianus (the governor of Syria and ally of Vespasian who had led an army of 20,000 to Rome) acted as Domitian's colleague in this regency and carefully kept Domitian in check. But the principal cause of apprehension for Mucianus was Primus Antonius and Varus Arrius, distinguished by great achievements and the loyal devotion of the troops, who in the freshness of their fame were also supported by the people, because they had not extended their harsh discipline beyond the battle-field. Antonius had also reportedly urged Scribonianus Crassus to assume the supreme power, whose illustrious descent, added to the honors of his brother, made him conspicuous; and a number of accomplices would not have failed to support him, if the proposal had not been rejected by Scribonianus, a man not easily tempted even by a certainty, and accordingly apprehensive of risk. Mucianus, seeing that Primus Antonius could not openly be crushed, heaped many praises upon him in the Senate, and in secret loaded him with promises, holding out as a prize the government of Eastern Spain, then vacant after the departure of Cluvius Rufus. At the same time he lavished on his friends tribuneships and prefectures; and then, when he had filled the vain heart of Antonius with hope and ambition, he destroyed his power by sending into winter quarters the Seventh Legion, whose affection for Antonius was especially strong. Part of the army was on its way to Germany. The Third Legion, old troops of Varus Arrius, the other man who was also cause of his apprehension, were sent back to Syria. Thus, all elements of potential disturbance being removed, the usual appearance of the capital, the laws, and the jurisdiction of the magistrates, were once more restored.

Domitian, the day he took his seat in the Senate, made a brief and measured speech referring to the absence of his father and brother, and to his own youth. He was graceful in bearing, and, his real character yet unknown, his frequent blushing passed for modesty. When he proposed restoring the Imperial honors of Galba, Curtius Montanus moved that respect should also be paid to the memory of Piso. The Senate passed both motions, but that for Piso was not carried out. Commissioners were then appointed by lot, to see to the restitution of property plundered during the war, to examine and restore to their place the bronze tables of the laws, which had fallen down through age, to free the Calendar from those grotesque additions which the sycophantic spirit of the time had imposed, and to curtail public expenditure. The day was marked by examples of public justice not barren of distinction to individuals. The signal for vengeance on informers having been given, Junius Mauricus asked Domitian to give the Senate access to the Imperial registers, from which they might learn what impeachments the several informers had proposed. Domitian answered, that in a matter of such importance the Emperor must be consulted.

The Senate, led by its principal members, then framed a form of oath, which was eagerly taken by all the magistrates and by the other Senators, one by one, in the order in which they voted. They called the gods to witness, that nothing had been done by them to prejudice the safety of any person, and that they had gained no distinction or advantage by the ruin of Roman citizens. Great was the alarm, among those who felt the consciousness of guilt, and various their subtle ways of altering the words of the oath, to avoid swearing falsely before the gods. The Senate appreciated the scruple, but denounced the perjury. This public censure, as it might be called, fell with especial severity on men infamous for having practiced the trade of informer in the days of Nero.

At the next meeting of the Senate Domitian began by recommending that the wrongs, the resentments, and the terrible necessities of former times, should be forgotten, and Mucianus spoke at great length in favor of the informers. At the same time he admonished in gentle terms and in a tone of entreaty those who were reviving indictments, which they had before commenced and afterwards dropped. The Senators, when they found themselves opposed, relinquished the liberty which they had begun to exercise. Two banished men of senatorial rank, Octavius Sagitta and Antistius Sosianus, both of whom had been banished to islands of exile by a solemn decision of the Senate, and who had quit their places of banishment, had returned. Sosianus and Sagitta were utterly insignificant, even if they did return; but men dreaded the abilities of the informers, their wealth, and the power which they exercised in many sinister ways. A trial, conducted in the Senate according to ancient precedents, brought into harmony for a time the feelings of its members. And though others were permitted to return, these two were kept under the same penalty. That it might not be thought that the opinion of the Senate was disregarded, or that impunity was accorded to all acts done in the days of Nero, Mucianus sent them back to their islands. This did not mitigate the hatred felt against Mucianus.

Amidst all this the army almost mutinied. The troops disbanded by Vitellius, who had flocked to support Vespasian, asked leave to serve again in the Praetorian Guard, and the soldiers who had been selected from the legions with the same prospect now clamored for their promised pay. Even the Vitellianists could not be removed without much bloodshed. But the money needed to retain in the service so vast a body of men was immense. Mucianus entered the camp to examine more accurately individual claims. He assembled the victorious army, wearing their proper decorations and arms, with moderate intervals of space between the divisions; then the Vitellianists, who had capitulated at Bovillae, and the other troops of the party, who had been collected from the capital and its neighborhood, were brought forth almost naked. Mucianus ordered these men to be assembled apart, making the British, the German, and any other troops who belonged to other armies, take up separate positions. Their first view of their situation paralyzed them. They saw opposite them what seemed a hostile array, threatening them with javelin and sword. They saw themselves hemmed in, without arms, filthy and squalid. And when they began to be separated, some to be marched to one spot, and some to another, a thrill of terror ran through them all. The troops from Germany believed this separation marked them for slaughter. They embraced their fellow soldiers with terror. They invoked now Mucianus, now the absent Emperor, and, as a last resort, heaven and the gods, before Mucianus came forward, and, calling them "soldiers bound by the same oath and servants of the same Emperor," stopped the groundless panic. The victorious army with approving shouts supported the tearful pleas of the vanquished. This terminated the proceedings for that day. But when Domitian addressed them a few days afterwards in a tirade, they received him with more confidence. The land offered them, at no cost to the Senate, they rejected with contempt, and begged for regular service and pay. Their prayers, genuine pleadings, were impossible to reject. They were therefore received into the Praetorian camp. Then those who had reached the prescribed age, or had served the proper number of campaigns, received an honorable discharge; others were dismissed for misconduct; but this was done by degrees and in detail, which is always the safest mode of reducing the united strength of a multitude. It is a fact that, whether suggested by real poverty or by a wish to give the appearance of it, a proposition passed the Senate to the effect that a loan of sixty million sesterces from private persons should be accepted.

At this time, in Britain additional important advances were made; the kingdom of Brigantia in northern England was incorporated in the province, and the pacification of Wales was completed. But in the Rhineland, the Batavian general Civilis was gathering support for a revolution of independence from the tyranny of Rome. With there being rebels against the new regime in Germany and Gaul, Domitian was eager to seek glory in suppressing the revolt, trying to equal his brother Titus' military exploits. But he was prevented from doing this by Mucianus.

Meanwhile, Titus spent the winter of A.D. 69-70 touring the East with a splendid retinue of legionaries and prisoners, presumably to provide a public display of Flavian military prowess and to underscore the consequences of rebellion against his father by the punishments inflicted on Jewish prisoners. Here he revealed a sympathy for brutality and humiliation, most evident in the way in which Jews were thrown to wild beasts or forced to fight each other in shows for public enjoyment.

Titus began early in the year to rise in power and reputation, as armies and provinces competed with each other in demonstrating their loyal attachment to him. Seeking to be thought superior to his station, the young man himself constantly displayed his grace and energy in war, inspiring willing obedience by his courtesy and affability, often mixing with the common soldiers while working or marching without compromising his dignity as general.

When spring approached, Titus marched his army from Alexandria on foot two and a half miles to Nicopolis. There they boarded some long ships, and sailed up the Nile as far as the city of Thmuis, which is situated between the Tanitic and Mendesian branches east of the river. They disembarked and marched to Tanis, to Heracleopolis, and then to Pelusium where they rested. They crossed the mouths of the Nile and proceeded over the desert, and camped at the temple of the Casian Jupiter, and on the next day camped at Ostracine. Afterward they rested at Rhinocolura, and went to Raphia, at that time the beginning of Syria. He pitched camp at Gaza, and afterward came to Ascalon, then to Jamnia (which is Jabneh), and then to Joppa.

When Titus had thus marched his forces over that desert between Egypt and Syria, he came to Caesarea, having resolved to set his forces in order there before he began the war. When he had gotten together part of his forces, and ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, he marched out of Caesarea. He had with him those three legions which had laid Judea waste, together with that Twelfth Legion that had formerly been beaten with Cestius, but was otherwise remarkable for its valor, which marched on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, remembering what they had previously suffered from them. He ordered the Fifth to meet him by going through Emmaus, and the Tenth to go up by Jericho; and he also moved himself, together with the rest; for besides these legions, there marched the auxiliaries that came from the kings, now more numerous than before, together with a considerable number that came to his assistance from Syria.

The two thousand men who had been selected from these four legions and sent with Mucianus to Italy had been replaced with those soldiers from the armies of Alexandria who came with Titus out of Egypt. There also followed him three thousand drawn from those who guarded the river Euphrates; Tiberius Alexander also came, a Friend of his, most valuable, both for his good will to him and for his prudence. He had formerly been governor of Alexandria, but was now thought worthy to be general of Titus's army, for he had most recently been the first who encouraged Vespasian to accept his new dominion, and joined himself to him with great fidelity when things were uncertain, and, in their view, the goddess Fortune had not yet declared for him. He also followed Titus as a counselor, very useful to him in this war, both by his age and skill in such affairs. With him also was Josephus, sent by Vespasian, together with Titus, to the siege of Jerusalem.

Now, as Titus was on his march into the enemy's country, the auxiliaries sent by the kings marched first, having with them all the other auxiliaries; after them those who were to prepare the roads and measure out the camp; then came the commander's baggage, followed by the other soldiers, who were completely armed to support them; then came Titus himself, having with him another select body; and then the pikemen; after whom came the cavalry belonging to that legion. All these came before the siege engines; and after these engines, the tribunes and the leaders of the cohorts, with their select bodies; after these came the trumpeters belonging to the ensigns with the eagle; next to these came the main body of the army in their ranks, every rank six deep; after them came their baggage with the servants belonging to every legion; and last came the mercenaries, and those who guarded them brought up the rear.

Now Titus went in the front of the army in a decent manner according to Roman form, and marched through Samaria to Gophna, a city formerly taken by his father, and then garrisoned by Roman soldiers: when he had lodged there one night, he marched on in the morning; and when he had gone a full day's march, he pitched his camp at that valley which the Jews, in their own tongue, call "the Valley of Thorns," near a certain village called Gabaothsaul, which means, "the Hill of Saul," about three and three-quarter miles distant from Jerusalem. There he chose six hundred select horsemen, and went to take a view of the city, to observe its strength and how courageous the Jews were when they saw him, and before they came to a direct battle, whether they would be terrified and submit; for he had been truthfully informed that the people who had fallen under the power of the rebels and the robbers greatly desired peace; but, being too weak to rise up against the rest, they did nothing.

Now, as long as he rode along the straight road which led to the city, no one came out of the gates; but when he diverted and left that road, and led the band of horsemen slanting towards the tower Psephinus, an immense number of the Jews leaped suddenly out from the Women's Towers through the gate facing the monuments of queen Helena, and intercepted his cavalrymen; and kept those who still ran along the road from joining those who had come down from it. They intercepted Titus also, with a few others. Now it was impossible for him to go forward, because all the places had ditches dug in them from the wall, to protect the surrounding gardens, and were full of gardens divided by walls, and many hedges; and to rejoin his own men, he saw was also impossible, because of the multitude of the enemy; and many of his men had no idea that Titus was in any danger, but supposed he was still among them. So he saw that he must courageously save himself, and turned his horse about, and shouted to those around him to follow, and he ran with violence into the midst of his enemies, to force his way through them to his own men. He had neither helmet, nor breastplate (for he went out not to fight, but to view the city), yet none of the arrows touched his body, as if all of them missed him on purpose, and only made a noise as they passed, without hurting him. He overthrew many of those who met him head on, and made his horse ride over them. The enemy made a great shout at the boldness of Titus, and exhorted one another to rush him. Yet those he marched against fled in great numbers; while those in the same danger with him kept close to him, though they were wounded on their backs and sides; for they each had only one hope of escape, if they could assist Titus himself open a way, that he might not be surrounded by his enemies before he got away from them. Now, two of his men were killed: one, at a distance from him, the enemy surrounded, and slew with their arrows and his horse also; the other, they slew as he leaped down from his horse, and carried off his horse. But Titus escaped with the rest, and came safe to the camp. So this success of the Jews' first attack elated them with a false hope; and gave them courage for the future.

But now, as soon as the legion at Emmaus joined Caesar at night, he moved from there, when it was day, and came to a place called Scopus, where the city could already be seen, with a plain view of the great temple. This place, on the border of the north quarter of the city, and slightly more than eight tenths of a mile distant from it, was a plain, and quite appropriately named Scopus, the Prospect. Here Titus ordered a camp to be fortified for two legions who were to be together; but ordered another camp a farther two hundred twenty yards distant behind them to be fortified for the Fifth Legion; for he thought that, by marching in the night, they might be tired, and might deserve to be thus protected from the enemy, and might therefore fortify themselves with less fear; and, as they were now beginning to build, the Tenth Legion, which came through Jericho, had already arrived at the place where a group of armed men had formerly lain in wait to guard that pass into the city, which had been taken before by Vespasian. These legions had orders to encamp at a distance of two thirds of a mile from Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, which lies near the city on the east side, and divided from it by a deep valley named Kidron.

Now, Eleazar, the son of Simon, appeared very angry at John's insolent attempts every day against the people; for this man never stopped murdering; but the truth was that he could not bear to submit to a tyrant younger than himself who had set himself up after him. So desiring to gain the entire power and dominion for himself, he revolted from John, and took to his assistance Judas the son of Chelcias, and Simon the son of Ezron, who were among the men of greatest power; with him also was Hezekiah the son of Chobar, a person of eminence. Each of them was followed by a great many of the Zealots. Eleazar was he who first separated the Zealots from the people, and made them retire into the temple; they seized the inner court of the temple, the Court of the Priests, and laid their arms on the holy gates, and over the holy fronts of that court; and they were of good courage because they saw that they had plenty of provisions, for here there was a great abundance of goods consecrated for sacred use, wine, oil, flour, grain, and first fruits, which they had no scruples about using; yet they were still afraid because of their own small number; and when they laid up their arms there, they did not move from that place. But while the three separate parties in the city were constantly dashing against each other, John also committed sacrilege by using timbers donated by King Agrippa at great expense, and consecrated solely for building the temple twenty-eight feet higher to honor God, beams admirable for their straightness and huge size, by cutting them up in preparation for building siege towers to oppose his adversaries in the temple. But God himself demonstrated that his efforts would prove useless to him, by bringing the Romans on him before he had them erected.

The rebels with astonishment now saw the Romans pitching three separate camps; and this foreign war, now so violently and suddenly come upon them, stopped them; and they began to think of coming to an awkward kind of agreement; and when they had gotten together, they said, "What are we doing, and what do we mean, by allowing three fortified walls to be built to coop us in, so that we shall not be able to breathe freely?—while the enemy is securely building a kind of city in opposition to us and while we sit still within our own walls, and have become only spectators of what they are doing, with our hands idle, and our armor set aside, as if they were going about something for our good and advantage." Then they exclaimed, "It seems we are only courageous against ourselves, while the Romans are likely to gain the city without bloodshed by our rebellion!" Thus they encouraged one another, and immediately took their armor and ran out on the Tenth Legion, and with a prodigious shout fell on the Romans with great eagerness as they were fortifying their camp and were caught in different parties performing their separate works, having largely laid aside their arms, thinking that the Jews would not have dared to make a sally on them, and that even had they been disposed to do so, they supposed that their rebellions against each other would have distracted them. So they were unexpectedly put to confusion when some left their works and immediately moved off, while many ran to their arms but were smitten and slain before they could turn back on the enemy. The Jews grew still more and more in number, encouraged by the good success of those who first made the attack; and, as long as they had such good fortune, they seemed to themselves and to the enemy to be many more than they really were. This wild kind of confused fighting also at first put the Romans to a stand, who had been constantly used to fighting skillfully and in good order, maintaining their ranks, and obeying orders given; for this reason the Romans were caught unexpectedly, and were obliged to give way to the assaults made on them. Now when these Romans were overtaken, and turned back on the Jews, they put a stop to the onslaught; yet, through their own vehement pursuit of the Jews without any care for their own safety, they were wounded by them; and as still more and more Jews sallied out of the city, the Romans at length were thrown into confusion and put to flight, and ran away from their camp.

The entire legion would have been in danger, if Titus had not been informed and sent reinforcements immediately. Reproaching them for cowardice, he bought back those running away, and assaulted the Jews on their flank with the select troops who were with him, slaying a considerable number, and wounding more, and, putting them all to flight, made them run hastily away down the valley; and suffering greatly on the downslope, after they got over it, the Jews turned and faced the Romans, having the valley between them, and there fought them; but, shortly after noon, Titus deployed the reinforcements he had sent, and those with the cohorts, to prevent more sallies by the Jews, and sent the rest of the legion back to the upper part of the mountain, to fortify their camp, while he continued the fight. This movement seemed to the Jews to be a flight; and when the watchman on the wall gave a signal by shaking his garment, a fresh multitude of Jews came out with mighty violence, like the running of the most terrible wild beasts. And truthfully, none who opposed them could withstand their furious attacks; but, as if they had been shot out of an engine, they broke and shattered the enemies' ranks, who fled, and ran away to the mountain; except Titus himself, and a few others with him, halfway up the incline. Now these, his Friends, despising the danger, and unwilling to leave their general, implored him to give way to these Jews who are so fond of dying, and not risk such dangers like a common soldier, by venturing to turn back on the enemy so suddenly; because he was general in the war, and lord of the inhabitable earth, on whose preservation the public affairs do all depend. Titus seemed not to hear, but opposing those Jews running on him he smote them on the face, and, when he had forced them back, he slew them, and fell on great numbers of them marching down the hill, thrusting forward and throwing them back. They were so amazed at his courage and his strength, that in their flight they could not charge straight back toward the city, but withdrew from him on both sides, and crowded after those who were fleeing up the hill; but he fell on their flank, and put a stop to their fury. In the meantime, disorder and terror again fell on those fortifying their camp at the top of the hill when they saw those below them running away, so much that the whole legion scattered, thinking the sallies of the Jews were invincible, and that Titus himself had fled; assuming that if he had stayed the rest would never have made a run for it. Thus a kind of panic fear surrounded them, some scattering one way, and some another, before some of them saw their general in the very midst of a battle, and, greatly concerned for him, loudly alerted the entire legion to the danger he was in, feeling that they did worse than run away, by deserting Titus. So they used their utmost force against the Jews, and charging straight down the slope, they drove them in heaps to the bottom of the valley. The Jews turned to fight them; but since they were retreating, the Romans were now above the Jews and had the ground advantage, and they drove them all into the valley, and Titus also pressed those near him; and while he, and those who had been with him from the start, opposed the enemy, and kept them from doing further mischief, he sent the legion back to fortify their camp, so that Titus himself twice delivered that entire legion when it was in jeopardy, and gave them opportunity to fortify their camp.

The war outside now ceased for a while, and with that, the rebellion within revived; and now, on the Feast of Unleavened Bread which had come, on Friday eleven April A.D. 70, Friday being always the day of preparation of the Sabbath, in the year 3830 of the Jewish Calendar, the fourteenth day after the first sighting of the new moon, in the lunar month Xanthicus, which is Nisan, the day when it is believed the Jews were first freed from the Egyptians, on this day Eleazar and his party opened the gates of the court of the temple, and admitted into it those of the people who desired to worship God.

Now when the siege started at Passover, on Friday, the very same day we observe as Good Friday, thousands who had flocked from all parts of Judea at the time of the Passover were now trapped inside the city. Eusebius says that it may, however, be necessary to state, how Josephus records—in the very words of that writer—that the multitude of those people who at the time of the Passover thronged into Jerusalem, as if to a prison, about three hundred thousand who flocked from all parts of Judea at the time of the Passover, were shut up in Jerusalem as in a prison, and were forced to live in tents in Bezetha.

Now this vast multitude is indeed gathered from remote places, but the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in a prison, and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. Josephus calculates ninety-seven thousand, in addition to eleven hundred thousand, which is one million one hundred thousand, and both numbers together yield a total sum of one million one hundred and ninety-seven thousand Jews in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover, on Friday that year, the sixth day of the week, the day of preparation.

For it was indeed appropriate, just and right, and a cause of weeping, that, in those very days in which they had inflicted sufferings on the Savior and benefactor of all men, the Christ of God, the very days on which they perpetrated the Savior's passion, shut up as in a prison, destruction should overtake them, as an exhibition of the divine justice—that they should meet with destruction and be thus shut up as being inside a prison, and receive the destruction meted out at the hands of divine justice.

And that this city could contain so many people in it is evident from the number of them taken two years before, in A.D. 68, under Cestius Gallus, who desiring to inform Nero of the power of the city, who was otherwise disposed to scornfully despise that nation, entreated the high priests, if the thing were possible, to take the number of the whole multitude; which they did, to the number of three million.

If any one compares the words of our Savior with the accounts of Josephus concerning the whole war, one cannot fail to wonder, and admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our Savior were truly divine. It is fitting to add the true prediction of our Savior in which he foretold these events: "Woe unto those who are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

These things took place in this manner in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, A.D. 70, in accordance with the prophecies of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who by divine power saw them beforehand as if they were already present, and wept and mourned according to the statement of the holy evangelists, who give the very words which he uttered. And let us also weep with him. When before his passion Jesus drew near to the descent of the Mount of Olives and saw the city he wept over it, saying, "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation."

And then, as if speaking concerning the people, he says, "For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." And again: "When you see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, then know that the desolation of it is near."

Remember for what cause this came upon them, how he had said to them, in truth, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate." And he said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down."

Now, Eleazar and his party, who had seized the inner court of the temple with a great many of the Zealots who followed them and laid their weapons on the holy gates and over the holy fronts of that inner court, opened the gates of the outer court of the temple, and admitted into it those of the people who desired to worship God. But John of Gischala, using this festival as a cloak for his own treacherous designs, armed with concealed weapons the least conspicuous members of his own party, most of whom were not purified, but unclean, and sent them with great zeal into the temple to seize it; and once they were in, they threw off their outer garments, revealing their armor, thus causing a very great disorder and disturbance about the holy house; and while the people who had no part in the rebellion supposed the attack was against all without distinction, the Zealots thought it was against themselves only. So they quickly stopped guarding the gates, and leaped down from their battlements before they were engaged in combat, and fled into the subterranean caverns of the temple; while the people trembling at the altar and about the holy house were pressed together, and trampled, and beaten mercilessly with both wooden and iron weapons. Those attackers having disputes with others slew many unresisting persons out of personal enmity and hatred, as if they opposed the rebels; and all who had formerly offended any of these plotters were identified and led away to the slaughter; and then, after horribly brutalizing the innocent, they granted a truce to the guilty who returned from the caverns, letting them go. These followers of John also now seized this inner temple and all the warlike engines there, and together with Eleazar's Zealots they challenged Simon; and the abomination of desolation now stood in the temple of God, as will now be shown. And thus that rebellion, which had been divided into three factions, was now two.

But Titus, intending to pitch his camp nearer to the city than Scopus, positioned opposite the Jews as many of his choice cavalry and infantry as he thought sufficient to prevent sallies, while he ordered the whole army to level the distance to the wall of the city. Its walls were high and a series of high towers sixty feet high dominated the scene, but for the Romans there would be one advantage: there was no valley in front of them. It was the logical place to attack Jerusalem. So they threw down all the hedges and walls the inhabitants had made about their gardens and groves of trees, and cut down all the fruit trees between them and the wall of the city, and filled up all the hollow places and the chasms, the ravines, and demolished the rocky precipices with iron instruments; and thereby made all the place level from Scopus to Herod's monument, which adjoined the Serpent's Pool.

This was done in four days; and desiring to bring safely to the camp the baggage of the army with the rest of the multitude that followed him, he set the strongest part of his army facing the wall on the north quarter of the city, against the western part of it, and made his army seven ranks deep, with the infantry in front and the horsemen behind, each of these in three ranks, while the rank of archers stood in the midst between them, making seven ranks. And now, as sallies by the Jews were checked by so great a body of men, both the beasts that bore the burdens and belonged to the three legions, and the rest of the multitude, as they marched were secure. But Titus himself was only a quarter mile from the wall, four hundred and forty feet, at the part with the Corner, near the tower Psephinus, where the north circuit of the wall bent and extended itself toward the west; but the other part of the army fortified themselves at the tower Hippicus, and was also at the same distance, four hundred and forty feet, a quarter mile away from the city. However, the tenth legion remained in its place on the Mount of Olives, a distance of two thirds of a mile from Jerusalem.

Now the multitude of the rebels with Simon, were ten thousand, besides the Idumeans. Those ten thousand had fifty commanders, over whom Simon was supreme. The tower Phasaelus was now converted to a house, where Simon exercised his tyrannical authority. The Idumeans who paid him homage were five thousand, and had eight commanders.

John, who had seized the temple, had six thousand armed men, under twenty commanders; the Zealots also who had come to him and ceased their opposition were two thousand four hundred and had the same commander they had formerly, Eleazar, together with Simon the son of Arinus. These now under John together with him opposed the tyrant Simon, son of Giora.

Now, while these two factions fought one against another, both sides continued to prey on the people; and those of the people who would not join them in their wicked practices, were plundered by both factions. Simon held the upper city, and the great wall as far as Kidron, and all of the old wall that bent from Siloam to the east, and went down to the palace of Monobazus, king of the Adiabeni, beyond Euphrates; he also held that fountain, Siloam, and the Acra, which was the lower city, and all that reached to the palace of queen Helena, the mother of Monobazus: but John held the temple and the parts adjoining it for a great way, also Ophlas, and the Valley of Kidron; and when the areas between their possessions were burnt by them, a space was left in which they might fight each other; for this internal rebellion did not cease even when the Romans were encamped near their very walls. But although they had grown wiser at the first Roman onset, this lasted only a while; for they resumed their previous madness, separated, and fought it out, and did everything the besiegers could desire; for during the whole period of the entire siege they never suffered from the Romans anything that was worse than they made each other suffer, nor was there any misery endured by the city resulting from these men's actions that was new, but it was most of all unhappy just before it was overthrown.

Remember the words that the multitude of the Jews uttered, when they begged for the release of the robber and murderer, but begged that the Prince of Life should be taken out of their midst. And now they were dominated by these robbers and murderers, who despised repentance and mercy.

While this was the condition of the city inside, Titus went round the city outside with some chosen horsemen, and looked for a proper place to batter the walls: but being in doubt as to where he could possibly make an attack on any side (for the place was inaccessible from the valleys, and on the other side the first wall appeared too strong to be shaken by the engines), he then thought the best assault position was at the monument of John Hyrcanus the high priest, where the first fortification was lower, and the second was not joined to it, the builders having neglected to build the wall strong where the new city was sparsely inhabited; here also was an easy passage to the third wall, through which he thought to take the upper city, and, through the tower of Antonia, the temple itself.

But as he was going round about the city, Nicanor, one of his Friends, was wounded with an arrow on his left shoulder as he approached too near the wall with Josephus and attempted to discuss terms of peace with those on the wall; for he was known to them. But when Titus saw their vehement rejection of anyone who approached to negotiate their preservation, he was provoked to press the siege. At the same time he gave his soldiers leave to fire the suburbs, and ordered timber brought to raise earthwork embankments against the city; and when he had separated his army into three parts to begin those works, he placed the archers and those that threw javelins among the embankments being raised; and he placed in front of them those engines that threw javelins, and arrows and stones, to prevent the enemy from sallying out against the works, and to hinder those on the wall from obstructing them. So the trees were cut down immediately, and the suburbs left exposed. But now while the whole army was earnestly engaged in carrying the timber to raise the embankments, the rebellious Jews were not idle; and it happened that while these were very busy opposing their enemies outside the city, the people of Jerusalem, who all the while had been plundered and murdered by them, were now encouraged, thinking they would have a respite, and that now, in case the Romans got the victory, they would be avenged on the authors of their miseries.

However, John, fearing Simon, held back, even while his own men were eager to sally outside against their enemies. Yet Simon was not inactive, for he lay near the place of the siege; he brought his engines of war, and deployed them at intervals on the wall, both those they had previously taken from Cestius, and those they had gotten after seizing the garrison in the tower of Antonia. But they were so unskilled that these engines were largely useless to them; but a few former deserters to the Romans, who had afterward returned from their ranks, had been taught how to use them, which they did, though awkwardly. So they hurled stones and arrows at those making the embankments; they also ran out on them by companies, and fought with them. Now those at work covered themselves with hurdles spread over their embankments, and their engines faced them when they made their excursions. The engines, ready-prepared for all the legions, were admirably constructed; but still more extraordinary ones belonged to the Tenth Legion: those that threw arrows and those that threw stones, were more forcible and larger than the rest, with which they not only repelled the excursions of the Jews, but also drove away those on the walls. Now, the stones were the weight of a talent, seventy-five to eighty-five pounds, and were hurled a distance of about a quarter mile and farther. The blow could not be withstood, not only by those who first stood in the way, but by those who were beyond them for a great space. The Jews, at first, were alerted to the coming of the stone before it came, not only by its bright, white color, but also by the great noise it made when the engine was let go and the stone came from it; then the watchmen sitting on the towers shouted in their own country language, "THE SON COMES!": so those in its way stood off and threw themselves on the ground; and the stone fell down and did them no harm. But the Romans then managed to blacken the stone so it would not be so easily seen, and then aimed with success; and so they destroyed many with one blow. And now Jesus the son of Ananus, a plebeian and an husbandman, had continued for seven years and five months his melancholy cry, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"; and his cry was loudest at the festivals, up to the very moment he saw his prediction fulfilled in earnest in the siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, "Woe, woe, to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" and as he was uttering these very same predictions, and just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe, to myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines and smote him, and killed him immediately; and he gave up the ghost. Yet the Jews, with all this distress from the stones, did not permit the Romans to quietly raise their embankments, but shrewdly and boldly exerted themselves, and repelled them by night and day.

And now, on finishing the Roman works, the workmen measured the distance from the wall by lead and a line, which they threw to it from their embankments; for they could not otherwise measure it themselves, because the Jews would shoot at them; and when they found that the engines could reach the wall, they brought them there. Then Titus set his engines at proper distances, so near to the wall that the Jews might not be able to repel them, and gave orders to go to work; and when a deafening noise echoed round about from three places and a sudden great noise was made by the citizens in the city, and no less a terror fell on the two factions of the rebels themselves, both of them, seeing the common danger they were in, managed to agree on defense.

So the warring factions inside cried out to each other that they were aiding their enemies, and instead, in spite of the fact that God did not grant them lasting concord in their present situation, to lay aside their enmities, and unite against the Romans. In agreement, Simon, by proclamation, gave leave to those who came out of the temple, to go up on the wall; and John too gave them the same leave, though he could not believe Simon was in earnest. So both sides laid aside their hatred and their separate quarrels, and formed themselves into one body; they then ran round the walls, and, having a vast number of torches, threw them at the machines, and showered arrows constantly on those who pushed those machines which battered the wall; the bolder sort leaped out by troops upon the hurdles covering the machines, and pulled them to pieces, and fell on those soldiers, and beat them, not so much by any skill, as by the boldness of their attacks. However, Titus himself sent reinforcements to those hardest set upon, placing horsemen and archers on all sides of the engines, who beat back those who shot stones or arrows from the towers, and then set the engines to work with greater intensity; yet the wall did not yield to these blows, except where the battering-ram of the Fifteenth Legion moved the corner of a tower, while the wall itself remained intact and unharmed above it; nor could the fall of that part of the tower easily break down any part of the wall itself together with it.

And now the Jews paused in their sallies for a while; but when they saw the Romans dispersed at their works and in their separate camps, who thought the Jews had withdrawn for weariness and fear, they suddenly made a sally through an unseen gate at the tower Hippicus, at the same time bringing fire to burn the works, and boldly went up to the Romans at the very fortifications themselves: and here the boldness of the Jews was too much for the discipline of the Romans. This fight about the machines was very hot, while the one side tried hard to set them on fire, and the other side to prevent it; both sides were shouting, and many in the forefront of battle were slain. However, the furious assaults of the Jews like madmen were now too much for the Romans; and the fire catching hold of the works, all those endangered works and the engines themselves would have been burnt, had not many select soldiers from Alexandria stood against them to prevent it, with greater courage than they themselves supposed they had, outdoing in this fight those of greater reputation before them. Titus then took the stoutest of his cavalry and attacked the enemy, himself slaying twelve of those at the forefront of the Jews; then the rest of the multitude on seeing this, gave way, and he pursued them, driving them all into the city, and he saved the works from the fire. By Titus's orders a certain Jew taken alive was crucified before the wall, to see if the rest would be frightened, and relax their obstinacy. But after the Jews had retired, John, who was commander of the Idumeans—not that John of Gischala, the leader of the Zealots, and tyrant—this John, a man of great eminence, both for his actions and his conduct, who was commander of the Idumeans, was talking to a soldier of his acquaintance before the wall, when he was wounded by an arrow shot at him by an Arabian, and died immediately, leaving the greatest lamentation to the Jews, and sorrow to the rebels.

Now, Titus had ordered the erection of three towers over seventy feet high, so that, by setting men on them at every embankment, from there he might drive away those on the wall; but on the next night, about midnight, it happened that one of these towers fell down, making a very great noise, and fear fell on the army; and they, supposing the enemy was coming to attack, all ran to their arms. And with that, a very great disturbance and a tumult arose among the legions; and as nobody knew what had happened, and seeing no enemy appear, they were afraid of one another; and with great earnestness everyone demanded of his fellows the password, as though the Jews had invaded their camp. And now they were like people under a panic fear, before Titus was informed of what had happened, and ordered that all should be made aware of it; and only then, and with some difficulty, was the disturbance cleared up.

Now, these towers were very troublesome to the Jews; and it was not practicable to take them, nor to overturn them, they were so heavy, nor to set them on fire, because they were covered with plates of iron. So they retired out of the reach of the Roman arrows, and no longer tried to prevent the impact of the rams, which, by continually beating upon the wall, gradually prevailed against it; so that the wall was already giving way to the Nico, which means "Victor", for that was the name the Jews themselves called the greatest of the Roman engines, because it conquered all things. And now, the Jews had long grown weary of fighting and keeping guard; and being careless, a great many grew lazy and they retired at night to lodge at a distance inside the outer wall. For other reasons they also thought it was superfluous to guard the wall, two other fortifications still remaining inside. Then the Romans mounted the breach that Nico had made, and all the Jews guarding that wall left and retreated to the second wall; and those who had gotten over that wall opened the gates and received inside all the army. And thus the Romans got possession of this first wall, on Sunday four May A.D. 70, the fifteenth day of the siege, on the seventh day of the month Artemisius, which is Iyyar, when they demolished a great part of it, as well as the northern parts of the city, which had also formerly been demolished by Cestius.

And now Titus pitched his camp inside the city, but out of the reach of the Jews' arrows, at that place called "the Camp of the Assyrians", having seized all that lay as far as the Kidron. When he began his attacks on the second wall, the Jews divided themselves into several bodies, and courageously defended that wall; John and his faction from the tower of Antonia, and from the northern cloister of the temple, and they fought the Romans before the monument of king Alexander; Simon's army also took for their share the spot of ground near John's monument, and fortified it as far as that gate through which an aqueduct brought water in to the tower Hippicus. However, the Jews frequently made violent sallies in bodies together out of the gates, and there fought the Romans; and whenever they were pursued to the wall, they were beaten, lacking the skill of the Romans; but when they fought them from the walls, they were too hard for them, the Romans being encouraged by their power joined to their skill, the Jews by their boldness nourished by their fear and that hardiness natural to them under calamities; the Jews were also encouraged still by the hope of deliverance, as were the Romans by hopes of subduing them in a short time. Neither side grew weary; but all day long there were attacks and fights on the wall, and constant sallies out in bodies, nor was there any sort of combat that was not then used. And the night itself did not part them; no, the night itself passed without sleep on both sides, and was more uneasy to them than the day; both sides also lay in their armor during the nighttime, being ready at the first appearance of light to go to battle, when they began to fight in the morning, while the one feared the wall should be taken, and the other that the Jews should make sallies on their camps.

Now, among the rebellious Jews their ambition was to risk the foremost dangers, and thus please their commanders. Above all, they had a great veneration and dread of Simon, regarded by every one under him to such a degree that, at his command they were very ready to kill themselves with their own hands. What made the Romans so courageous, was their usual custom of conquering and being undefeated, their constant wars and continual combat exercises, and the grandeur of their dominion; and now their chief encouragement, Titus himself, everywhere present with them all; for it appeared a terrible thing to grow weary while Titus was there, who fought bravely as well as they did, and was himself an immediate eyewitness of those who behaved valiantly, and he who was to reward them also. At present it was an esteemed advantage for anyone's valor to be known by Titus; and on this account many of them displayed a more eager willingness than strength to match it, and there were many who were ambitious to gain reputation. And now the Jews were unconcerned by what they themselves suffered from the Romans, and cared only about what damage they could do them; and death itself seemed a small matter to them, if only at the same time they could kill any one of their enemies. But Titus took care to secure his own soldiers from harm, as well as to have them overcome their enemies. He also said that reckless violence was madness; and that the only true courage was that joined with good conduct. He therefore commanded his men to take care, when they fought their enemies, that they received no harm from them at the same time, and they would show themselves to be truly valiant men.

And now Titus brought one of his engines to the middle tower of the north part of the wall, and because of his anger at the deceit and obstinacy of the Jews he caused the engine to be worked more strongly than before; and he took this wall there on the fifth day after taking the first; and when the Jews had fled from him, he entered with a thousand armed men, and those of his choice troops, at a place where the wool merchants, the braziers, and the cloth market were, and where the winding narrow lanes led to the wall. And now, Titus did not immediately demolish a larger part of the wall, nor, on coming in, did he lay waste what was left according to the law of war. When he came in, he did not permit his soldiers to kill any of those they caught, nor to set fire to their houses; for he greatly desired to preserve the city for his own sake, and the temple for the sake of the city; and now, out of the hope he had that he could make the Jews ashamed of their obstinacy by not being willing to afflict them more than he needed when he was able to do so, he did not widen the breach of the wall to make a safer retreat as occasion demanded; for he did not think they would lay snares for him who did them such a kindness; no, he gave leave to the rebels, if they chose, to fight without any harm to the people, and promised to restore the people's effects to them.

Now the people for a long time had been ready to comply with his proposals; but to the rebellious fighting men, this humanity seemed a mark of weakness; and they imagined he only made these proposals because he was not able to take the rest of the city. They also threatened death to the people, if any one of them should say a word about a surrender. Moreover they cut the throats of those who talked of a truce, and then attacked those Romans who had come inside the wall. Some of them they met in the narrow streets, and some they fought against from their houses, while they made a sudden sally out at the upper gates, and assaulted any Romans found beyond the wall, so that those Romans who guarded the wall were finally so frightened, that they leaped down from their towers, and retreated to their separate camps: and a great noise was made by the Romans inside, surrounded on every side by their enemies; and by those Romans outside, in fear for those left in the city. Thus the Jews grew increasingly more numerous, and had a great advantage over them, by their full knowledge of those narrow lanes; and they wounded a great many of them, and fell on them, and drove them out of the city. These Romans were now forced to resist as best they could; for they were not able to get out in great numbers through the breach in the wall, it was so narrow. It is probable that all of them would have been cut to pieces, if Titus had not sent help and ordered the archers to stand at the upper ends of these narrow lanes; and he himself stood facing the greatest multitude of his enemies, and with his arrows he put a stop to them, to hinder them from coming upon his men, before all his soldiers had finally retreated out of the city.

And thus the Romans were driven out, after they had held the second wall. Consequently, the fighting men in the city were elated, and began to think the Romans would never dare to come into the city any more; and that, if they themselves remained in it, they would never again be conquered; but God had blinded their minds for the guilt of their transgressions, nor would they see how much greater forces the Romans had than those who had now been expelled, no more than they discerned how a famine was creeping upon them; for so far they had fed themselves on the public miseries, and drunk the blood of the city. But now for a long time poverty had seized the better part of it, and a great many had already died for want of necessities; although the rebels actually supposed the destruction of the people benefited themselves; for they wanted none saved except those who were against a peace with the Romans and were resolved to live in opposition to them; and they were pleased when the multitude of those with a contrary opinion were consumed, as if they had been freed from a heavy burden; this was their attitude toward those in the city, while they covered themselves with their armor and thwarted the Romans when they were trying to get into the city again, by making a wall of their own bodies against that part of the wall that was cast down. Thus they valiantly defended themselves for three days. But on the fourth day they could not resist the vehement assaults of Titus, but were compelled by force to flee where they had fled before; so he quietly took possession of that wall again and demolished it entirely: and when he had put a garrison into the towers on the south parts of the city, he considered how he might assault the third wall.

Titus now resolved to relax the siege a little while, to afford the rebels time to consider; and to see if the demolishing of their second wall would not make them a little more compliant; or if they were not somewhat afraid of a famine, because the spoils they had gotten by violence would not be enough for them for long; so he used this time to form his plans. Since the usual appointed time had come when he must distribute the subsistence money to the soldiers, he ordered the commanders to assemble the army in battle array, in the face of the enemy, and then give every one of the soldiers their pay. So the soldiers, according to custom, each opened their cases of arms, and paraded with their breastplates on; and the cavalry led their horses in fine trappings. Then the places before the city shone very splendidly for a great way; nor was there anything so pleasing to Titus's own men, or so terrible to the enemy as that sight; for the whole old wall and the north side of the temple were full of spectators, and the houses full of onlookers; nor was there any part of the city not covered with their multitudes; no, such terror seized the hardiest of the Jews themselves when they saw all the army in the same place, together with the fineness of their arms and the good order of their men, that the rebels would have changed their minds at that sight, if the crimes they had committed against the people had not been so horrid that they despaired of forgiveness from the Romans; but believing death by torture must be their punishment if they did not go on in defense of the city, they thought it much better to die in war. Fate so dominated them that the innocent were to perish with the guilty, and the city was to be destroyed with the rebels in it.

The Romans spent four days distributing the subsistence money to each of the legions; but on the fifth day, with no signs of peace from the Jews, Titus divided his legions, and began to raise embankments, both at the tower of Antonia and at John's monument. His plans were now to take the upper city at that monument and the temple at the tower of Antonia; for if the temple were not taken it would be dangerous to hold the city itself; so at each of these places he raised his embankments, each legion raising one. But the Idumeans, and those in arms with Simon, made sallies on those working at John's monument, putting some stop to them; while John's party, and the multitude of Zealots with them, did the same to those before the tower of Antonia. These Jews were now too hard for the Romans, not only in direct fighting, because they stood on higher ground, but because they had now learned to use their own engines; for constant use day after day by degrees had improved their skill; for they had three hundred engines for javelins and arrows, and forty for stones, with which they made it more tedious for the Romans to raise their embankments, and retarded their work; but then Titus, knowing the city would be either saved or destroyed for himself, did not omit to also exhort the Jews to repent; so he mixed good counsel with his siege works; and being aware that exhortations are frequently more effectual than arms, he urged them to surrender the city, already practically taken, and save themselves; and sent Josephus to speak to them in their own language; for he imagined they might yield to persuasion by one of their own.

So Josephus went round the wall, and tried to find a place out of range of their arrows, yet within hearing, and implored them, in many words, to spare themselves, to spare their country and their temple, and not to be more hardhearted in these circumstances than foreigners themselves. Their own forefathers, men far superior to themselves, had yielded, because they knew that God was with the Romans, and now they cannot fight both famine and the siege of conquest. While Josephus was making this exhortation to the Jews, many of them ridiculed him from the wall, and many reproached him; some shot arrows at him; but when he could not persuade them by open good advice, he had recourse to their own history, reminding them of Pharaoh and the ten plagues, and the Philistines, and Sennacherib, and the king of Babylon, and Antiochus Epiphanes, and Aristobulus and John Hyrcanus, and of Antigonus, Herod and Sossius; that those who inhabit this holy place ought to commit the disposition of all things to God; and after these things he cried out aloud, "As for you, what have you done of those things recommended by our Legislator! And what have you not done of those things he has condemned! How much more impious you are than those who were so quickly taken! You have not avoided so much as those sins usually done in secret; I mean thefts, and treacherous plots against men, and adulteries. You are quarreling about violence and murders, and invent strange ways of wickedness. No, the temple itself has become the waste receptacle of all, and this divine place is polluted by the hands of those of our own country; a place yet reverenced by the Romans when it was at a distance from them, when they have permitted many of their own customs to give place to our Law. And, after all this, do you expect Him whom you have so impiously abused to be your supporter? To be sure then you have a right to be petitioners, and to call on Him to assist you, so pure are your hands!" He then reminded them of the king of Babylon, who took the city and burnt the temple, and said, "Yet I believe the Jews of that age were not so impious as you are. Thus, I cannot but suppose that God has fled out of his sanctuary, and stands on the side of those against whom you fight. Now, even a man, even if only a good man, will fly from an impure house, and hate those in it; and you persuade yourselves that God will abide with you in your iniquities, who sees all secret things, and hears what is kept most private! Now, what crime is there, I pray you, that is so much as kept secret among you, or is concealed by you! No, what is there that is not open to your very enemies! For you display your transgressions pompously, and fight with one another; and you make a public show of your injustice, as if it were virtue! However, there is a place for your probation, if you are willing to accept it, and God is easily reconciled to those who confess their faults, and repent them. O hardhearted wretches that you are, throw down all your arms, and take pity on your country already going to ruin; turn from your wicked ways, and have regard for the excellency of that city you are going to betray, and to that excellent temple with the donations of so many countries in it. Who could bear to be the first to set that temple on fire! Who could be willing that these things should be no more! And what can deserve more to be preserved! O senseless creatures, more stupid than the stones themselves! And if you cannot look at these things with discerning eyes, yet however, have pity on your families, and set before every one of your eyes your children, and wives, and parents, who will be gradually consumed either by famine or by war." And he said he was willing to die if only they would return to a sound mind after his death.

As Josephus was speaking thus with a loud voice, the rebels would neither yield to what he said, not did they deem it safe for them to alter their conduct; but the people had a great inclination to desert to the Romans; accordingly, some of them sold what they had, even their most precious treasures which they had stored away securely, for very little, and swallowed down pieces of gold, that they might not be found out by the robbers; and when they had escaped to the Romans, they went to stool, and had the means to provide plentifully for themselves; for Titus let a great number of them go away into the country, wherever they pleased; and the main reasons why they were so ready to desert were, that now they should be freed from those miseries they had endured in that city, and yet should not be in slavery to the Romans. Remember the words of Jesus, how he had said, "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; for these are the days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written." However, John and Simon, with their factions, more carefully watched these men's going out than they did the coming in of the Romans; and, if any one afforded even the least shadow of suspicion of such an intention, his throat was cut immediately.

Now, Eusebius in his history passes over the particular calamities that befell the Jews from the sword and other means used against them, and deems it only enough to add the calamities they endured from the famine, so that readers of his history might know in some measure that the divine vengeance did not long delay to visit them for their iniquity against the Christ of God. Let us, then, go through the tragedy of events which then occurred.

The richer classes, whether they stayed in the city or attempted to get out of it, were equally destroyed in both cases; for they were put to death on the pretext that they were going to desert, that the robbers might get what they had. The madness of the rebels also increased together with their hunger from the famine; both of those miseries every day inflamed them more and more; for wherever grain was seen, the robbers came running, and they searched private houses; and if they found any persons with food, they tortured them, because they denied they had any; and if they found none, they tormented them worse, supposing they had more carefully concealed it. If the bodies of these miserable wretches were in good condition, they supposed they were in no need of food at all; but if they were wasted away, they walked off without searching any farther; nor did they think it proper to kill them, seeing they would of themselves very soon die for want of food. Many sold what they had for one measure of wheat, if they were richer, but of barley, if they were poorer. Then they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of their houses, and ate the grain they had gotten; some without grinding it, because of the extremity of want they were in, and others baked it as bread, as both necessity and fear dictated; no table was set for a meal, but they snatched the bread out of the fire, half-baked, and very quickly ate it.

It was a miserable case, that the more powerful had more than enough food, and the weaker were lamenting for lack of it. But the famine overcame all other considerations, and of all things is most destructive of modest decency; for what was worthy of reverence was despised; children pulled the very morsels their fathers were eating out of their very mouths, and so the mothers did to their infants; and when those most dear were perishing under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last drops that might have preserved their lives; and even while they ate this way, they were not concealed; but the rebels everywhere came on them immediately, and snatched away from them what they had gotten from others; for when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a sign that the people inside had gotten some food, and they broke open the doors, and ran in and took what they were eating, almost up out of their very throats, by force; old men who held their food fast were beaten; and if women hid in their hands what they had, their hair was torn for this; no respect was shown either to the aged or to infants, but they lifted up children who clung to the morsels they had gotten, and dashed them down on the floor; but they were still more barbarously cruel to those who had prevented their coming in and had actually dared to swallow down what they were going to seize, as if they had been unjustly defrauded of their rights. They also invented terrible methods of torment to discover where any food was: they stopped up the private parts of the miserable wretches, and drove sharp stakes up their anuses!, and a man was forced to endure what is terrible even to hear, to make him confess that he had only one loaf of bread, or that he might uncover a handful of concealed barley meal; and these tormentors were not themselves hungry; for it would perhaps have been less barbarous if necessity had compelled them; but this was done as a way to exercise their madness, and to prepare provisions for themselves for the following days. These men also confronted those coming back inside, who had crept out of the city by night, as far as the Roman guards, to gather some plants and herbs that grew wild; and when they had gotten clear of the enemy, these men then snatched from them what they had brought back, even while they implored them, frequently by calling on the tremendous name of God, to give them back some part of what they had brought back, though these men would not give them the least crumb; and they were to content themselves with the fact that they were only robbed, and not also killed at the same time.

These were the afflictions which the lower classes suffered from these tyrants' guards; but men who were dignitaries, and rich, were carried before the tyrants themselves; some were falsely accused of treacherous plots, and so were destroyed; others were charged with conspiring to betray the city to the Romans: but the readiest way of all was to bribe someone to affirm that they had resolved to desert to the enemy; and he who was utterly despoiled of what he had by Simon, was sent back again to John, and from those who had already been plundered by John, Simon got what remained, to such an extent that they drank the blood of the populace to one another, and divided the dead bodies of the poor creatures between them; and though they fought each other, on account of their ambition for dominion, yet they very well agreed in their wicked practices; for he who did not inform the other tyrant of what he had gotten by the miseries of others, in this respect only seemed to be far less guilty; and he who did not partake of what was gotten by the other tyrant, when he was informed by him of what he had got, grieved, as if at the loss of a valuable thing, that he had had no hand in such barbarity. It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men's iniquity.

Now the work on Titus's embankments had progressed a great way, in spite of the fact that his soldiers had been very much harassed from the wall. He then sent a party of cavalry, and ordered them to set ambushes for those Jews who went out to the valleys to gather food. Some of these Jews were indeed rebel fighting men, who were not content with what they got from the people by force; but the majority of them were poor people, who were deterred from deserting by concern for their relatives inside; for they could not hope to escape together with their wives and children without the knowledge of the rebels; not could they think of leaving relatives to be slain by the robbers on their account: no, the severity of the famine made them bold in going out; so, when they were concealed from the robbers, nothing remained but being taken by the enemy; and when they were about to be taken, they were forced to defend themselves for fear of being punished, thinking it was too late to make any supplications for mercy after they had fought the Romans; so they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures before they died, and then they were crucified before the wall of the city. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught to the crosses, one one way and another another, for amusement, when their multitude was so great that they lacked both room for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly pity them, while every day they caught five hundred Jews; no, some days they caught more; yet it did not appear safe for him to let those taken by force go their way; and to set a guard over so many he saw would make those who guarded them useless to him. The main reason he did not forbid that cruelty was that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at the sight, out of the fear that they themselves might afterward be liable to the same cruel treatment, if they did not make supplication as deserters.

But the rebels were so far from repenting at this sad sight, that, on the contrary, they made the rest of the multitude believe otherwise, for they brought the relatives of those who had deserted up on the wall, with those of the populace who were very eager to go over to the Romans on the security Titus offered them, and showed them what miseries those who fled to the Romans endured; and told them that those who were caught were supplicants, and not those taken as prisoners. This sight kept within the city many who were so eager to desert, before the truth was known; yet some of them ran away immediately, expecting certain punishment, esteeming death from their enemies a more tolerable departure, compared with that by famine.

So Titus commanded that the hands of many of those caught should be cut off, that they might not be thought deserters, and might be believed on account of their calamity, and sent them in to John and Simon, with this exhortation, that they should now at length cease, and not force him to destroy the city, and they would have those advantages of repentance, even in their utmost distress; and that they would preserve their own lives, and so fine a city of their own, and that which was their peculiar temple. He then went round about the embankments that were cast up, and hurried them, to show that his words should shortly be followed by his deeds. In answer, the rebels cast insults on Titus himself, and on his father also, and cried out with a loud voice, that they despised death, and did well in preferring it before slavery; that they would do all the damage to the Romans they could while they had breath in them; as for their own city, since he said they were to be destroyed, they had no concern about it; and that the world itself was a better temple to God than this; and that this temple would yet be preserved by Him who dwelt there, Whom they still had as their assistant in this war, and therefore they laugh at all his threats, which would come to nothing; because the conclusion of the whole depended on God alone. These words were mixed with insults, and with them they made a mighty clamor.

The Romans began to raise their embankments on Friday nine May A.D. 70, the day of preparation, the twelfth day of the month Artemisius, which is Iyyar, and they labored hard continually for seventeen days to finish them by the twenty-ninth day of the same month, on Saturday twenty-six May, the Sabbath; and four great embankments were raised, one at the tower of Antonia, raised by the Fifth Legion, facing the middle of the pool Struthius; another by the Twelfth Legion, about nine and a half yards from the other; but that of the Tenth Legion was a great way off, on the north quarter, at the pool Amygdalon, and that of the Fifteenth Legion about fourteen yards from it, at the high priest's monument. And now, the engines were brought. But John from within had undermined the space near the tower of Antonia, as far as the embankments themselves, at the same time supporting the ground over the mine with beams laid across one another as he worked so the Roman works stood on an uncertain foundation. Then he ordered materials daubed all over with pitch and bitumen brought in, and set on fire; and as the cross beams supporting the embankments burned, the tunnel suddenly collapsed, and the embankments shook and fell into the ditch with a deafening noise. Now at first a very thick smoke and dust arose, as the fire was choked by the falling embankment; but as the buried materials were gradually consumed, suddenly a plain fire broke out, which dismayed the Romans, and the shrewdness of the strategy discouraged them; and this accident, coming at a time when they thought they had already achieved their purpose, cooled their hopes for the time to come, and they thought the effort to extinguish the fire would be pointless, since the embankments were swallowed up and useless to them.

Two days after this, on Saturday thirty-one May, the Sabbath, the fifth day of the month Dasius, which is Sivan, Simon and his party made an attempt to destroy the other embankments, on the north quarter and at the high priest's monument, for the Romans had brought their engines to bear there, and already began to make the wall shake. And here, Tephtheus, from Garsis in Galilee, and Megassarus, descended from some of Queen Mariamme's servants, and with them Chagiras son of Nabateus, from Adiabene, snatched some torches and without fear or delay, and acting as if they were friends of the Romans, ran suddenly upon the engines and set their machines on fire; and despite javelins and arrows, and assaults on all sides with swords, they did not withdraw from danger before the fire had caught hold; but when the Romans came running from their camp to save their engines, the Jews hindered them from the wall, and fought those who tried to quench the fire, without any regard for physical danger. So the Romans pulled the engines out of the fire while the hurdles covering them were on fire; but the Jews caught hold of the battering-rams through the flame itself, and held them fast, although the iron on them was red hot; and now the fire spread from the engines to the embankments, and prevented those who came to defend them, while the Romans were surrounded with the flame; and, despairing of saving their works from it, they retreated to their camp. Then the numbers of these Jews were increased by those in the city who came to their assistance; and being very bold with their success, their violent assaults were almost unbearable, and they proceeded as far as the fortifications of the enemy's camp, and fought the guards. Now since the law of the Romans was to punish with death whoever abandoned his post for any reason whatsoever, that body of soldiers stood firm, preferring to die fighting to being put to death for negligence or desertion; many of the others who had run away, and not guards, seeing their desperate fight, out of shame turned back again; and setting their engines against the wall, they kept more of the multitude from coming out of the city; for the Jews now fought hand to hand with all they met, without regard for personal safety, and fell against the points of their enemy's spears, and attacked them bodies against bodies; for by these courageous assaults they were now too hard for the Romans; and the Romans gave way more to their boldness than to the sense of the harm they had received from them. And now Titus came from the tower of Antonia where he had gone to look for a place to raise other embankments, and severely reprimanded the soldiers for allowing their own walls to be in danger, like men besieged, when they had taken the walls of their enemies, while the Jews, already in a sort of prison, were allowed to sally out against them. Then with some chosen troops he went round the enemy, and fell on their flank himself; so the Jews, who had been frontally assaulted, wheeled about to Titus, and continued the fight. The armies also were now mixed together, and the blinding dust and the deafening noise so hindered them, that neither side could tell enemy from friend. However, the Jews did not flinch, not so much from real strength, as from desperation. The Romans also would not yield, because they esteemed glory, and their reputation in war, and because Titus himself went into danger in the forefront of the battle; and the Romans were so angry that they would probably have taken the whole multitude of Jews had they not retreated into the city. But now, seeing that the embankments were demolished, these Romans were deeply downcast at the loss of all their long efforts, and in only one hour's time; and many despaired of taking the city with their usual engines of war only.

Titus now consulted with his commanders about what was to be done; and he heard each of their arguments. However, when they had spoken, Titus, in response to each of them, said first, that he did not think it fit for so great an army to lie entirely idle, and yet it was in vain to fight those who would destroy each other; he also showed how impractical it was to cast up any more embankments, lacking materials; and to guard against the Jews' coming out was still more impractical; also, to invest the whole city with his army was not very easy, because of its extent and difficult situation, and otherwise dangerous, from the sallies the Jews might make out of the city; for though they might guard the known passages out of the place, yet, when the Jews found themselves under the greatest distress, they would use those secret passages out that they knew well; and if any provisions were carried in by stealth, the siege would be delayed so much the longer. He also admitted that he feared the length of time spent would diminish the glory of his success; for though it is true that time perfects every thing, yet, to do what we do in a little time, is still necessary to gain reputation: therefore his opinion was, that if they aimed for quickness with security, they must build a wall around the whole city; which he thought was the only way to prevent the Jews from coming out in any way, and then they would either entirely despair of saving the city, and surrender it to him, or be more easily conquered when the famine had further weakened them; for besides this wall, he would not rest with that, but take care to have embankments raised again when those who would oppose them had become weaker: but if anyone thinks such a work too great to be finished without much difficulty, he ought to consider that it is not fitting for Romans to undertake any small work, and that none but God himself could accomplish any great thing with ease.

These arguments prevailed with the commanders. So Titus ordered that the army should be assigned to distributions of this work; and now a kind of divine fury came on the soldiers, so that what would naturally have required some months, was done in so incredibly short an interval that the whole was completed in three days, on Tuesday three June A.D. 70. Now the length of this wall was five miles, less an eighth of a mile, eight thousand five hundred eighty yards, twenty-five thousand seven hundred forty feet. When Titus had encircled the city with this wall and posted the garrisons, he himself went round the wall at the first night watch, and observed how the guard was kept; the second watch he allotted to Alexander; the commanders of the legions took the third watch. They also cast lots among themselves who should be on watch in the night, and who should go all night long round the spaces between the garrisons. So now all hope of escape was cut off from the Jews, along with their liberty to go out of the city.

About this same time in Europe an alarming revolt in the Rhineland, for independence and freedom from forced conscription, was led by the Batavian general Julius Civilis. The revolt of Civilis was particularly problematic, since it threatened the loss of an important and wealthy province, which would have weakened the Rhine frontier; unchecked, it could have renewed troubles in other regions of the empire, particularly Judaea. On the moonless night of Saturday seven June A.D. 70, after two years of marshalling forces in preparation to fight, Civilis launched a surprise attack on the Romans gathered at Trier. The prosecution of the war in Britain, which had been suspended for some years, was now resumed by Vespasian, who was on his way to Rome; and he sent there his cousin Petilius Cerialis, who by his bravery extended the limits of the Roman province. Cerialis was very familiar with local rebellions. Ten years prior, he had served in Britannia under Governor Paulinus against the rebel Queen Boudica, and had probably served with Civilis while he was stationed there as well. There now followed three months of bloody struggle.

In Jerusalem, all hope of escape was now cut off from the Jews, along with their liberty to go out of the city. Then the famine widened its progress, devouring whole houses and families; upper rooms were full of women and children dying; and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; children also and young men wandered about the marketplaces like shadows, all swollen with famine, and fell down dead wherever their misery finally seized them. Those who were sick themselves were not able to bury them; and those who were hearty and well were deterred from it by the great multitude of dead bodies, and their uncertainty about how soon they themselves should die, for many died as they were burying others, and many in anticipation went to their coffins before the fatal hour came! The famine choked all natural passions; under these calamities no lamentation was made, or any mournful sounds; for those who were just going to die, looked with dry eyes and open mouths on those who had gone to their rest before them. A deep silence, a kind of deadly night, had also seized the city; while the robbers were yet still more terrible than these miseries; for they broke open houses which were nothing more than graves of dead bodies, and plundered what they had; and carrying off the covering of the bodies, they left laughing, and tested the points of their swords on these dead bodies; to prove their mettle, they thrust through some of those who were still alive and lying on the ground; but those who implored them to lend their right hand, and their sword to dispatch them, they proudly refused, and left them to be consumed by the famine; and every one of these died with their eyes fixed on the temple, leaving the rebels alive behind them.

Now at first the rebels ordered that the dead should be buried, paid for out of the public treasury, because of the stench. But afterward, when they could not do that, they had them thrown from the walls into the valleys below. However, when Titus, in making his rounds along those valleys, saw them full of dead bodies, and the thick putrefaction oozing all about them, he gave a groan; and spreading out his hands to heaven, called God to witness that this was not his doing: and this was the sad case of the city itself.

But the Romans were very joyful, since none of the rebels could now make sallies out of the city, and were themselves without any consolation; and the famine already touched them also. These Romans, besides, had huge supplies of grain and other necessities from Syria and the neighboring provinces; many would stand near the wall of the city, and show the people what great quantities of provisions they had, and make the enemy more keenly aware of their famine by the great plenty, even to satiety, which they had themselves. However when the rebels still showed no inclination of yielding, Titus, from his sympathy for the people who remained, and his earnest desire of rescuing from these miseries what was still left, began to raise his embankments again, although materials for them were hard to come by; for all the trees about the city had already been cut down for making the former embankments. Yet the soldiers brought with them other materials from a distance of three and three-quarter miles, and raised embankments in four parts, much greater than the former, though this was done only at the tower of Antonia. So Titus made his rounds through the legions, and hurried the works, and showed the robbers that they were now in his hands.

But these men, and these only, were incapable of repenting of the wickedness they had been guilty of, since they could still tear the dead bodies of the people as dogs do, and fill the prisons with those who were sick. So Simon would not permit Matthias, by whose help he had gotten possession of the city, to depart without torment. This Matthias was the son of Boethus, and one of the high priests, who had been very faithful to the people, and held in great esteem; so he had him brought before him, and condemned him to die for being on the side of the Romans, without giving him leave to make his defense. He condemned also his three sons to die with him: for the fourth had already anticipated him by running away to Titus before. And when Matthias begged that he might be slain before his sons, as a favor, for having arranged for the gates of the city to be opened to him, Simon ordered that he should be slain last: he charged Ananus, the son of Bamadus, and the most barbarous of all his guards, that he was not to be slain before he had seen his sons slain before his eyes, and facing the Romans. As a personal jest he also told him that he might now see if those to whom he intended to defect would send him any helpers or not; but he still forbade their dead bodies be buried. After slaughtering these, he also slew Ananias, a priest, the son of Masambulus, a person of eminency, also Aristeus, the scribe of the Sanhedrin, born at Emmaus, and with them fifteen men of prominence among the people. They also slew any who joined in lamenting these men, without any farther examination.

Now when Judas, the son of Judas, one of Simon's commanding officers entrusted by him to keep one of the towers, saw this, he called together ten of those under him, and most faithful to him, and spoke to them, "How long shall we bear these miseries; or, what hope have we of deliverance by continuing to be faithful to such wicked wretches? Has not the famine already come against us? Are not the Romans in a way already in the city? Has not Simon become treacherous to his benefactors? And, is there not reason to fear he will very soon bring us to a similar punishment, while the security the Romans offer us is sure? Come, let us surrender this wall, and save ourselves and the city. Nor will Simon be very much harmed, if, now that he despairs of deliverance, he is brought to justice a little sooner than he thinks." Now these ten were persuaded by these arguments; so he sent off the rest of those who were under him, some one way and some another, so no discovery might be made of what they had resolved. So about 9 A.M., the third hour of the day, he called to the Romans from the tower; but they did not believe him, and delayed the matter, believing they should get possession of the city in a little time, without any hazard: but Simon was made aware of the matter, and as Titus was just coming with his armed men, Simon took the tower into his own custody, before it was surrendered, and seized these men, and put them to death in the sight of the Romans themselves; and when he had mangled their dead bodies, he threw them down before the wall.

In the meantime, as Josephus was going round the city, he was wounded in the head by a stone thrown at him, and fell down; the Jews immediately made a sally, and he would have been hurried away into the city if Titus had not immediately sent men to protect him; and, as they were fighting, Josephus was taken up, but heard little. So the rebels supposed they had now slain the one man they most desired to kill, and made a great noise of rejoicing. However, Josephus soon recovered, and came out, and shouted that it would not be long before they should be punished for the wound they had given him. He also made a fresh exhortation to the people to come out, on the security that would be given them. This sight of Josephus greatly encouraged the people, on whose account alone they could dare to desert to the Romans, but brought a paralyzing fear on the rebels. Some of the deserters, having no other way, immediately leaped down from the wall, while others went out of the city with stones, as if they would fight them; but at once they fled away to the Romans: but here a worse fate accompanied them; for when they first came to the Romans, puffed up by the famine, and swelled like men in a dropsy, they all quickly overfilled those empty bodies, swallowing so much they burst, except those who knew enough to restrain their appetites, and, by degrees, took food into bodies unaccustomed to it.

Yet another plague seized those thus preserved; for one of the Syrian deserters was caught gathering pieces of gold out of the Jews' excrements; for the deserters used to swallow pieces of gold, before they came out, because the rebels searched them all for these; for there was a great quantity of gold in the city, so much that what sold for twenty-five Attic drams was now sold in the Roman camp for twelve; but when this trick was discovered in one instance, the rumor filled their camps that the deserters came to them full of gold. So the multitude of the Arabians, with the Syrians, ripped up those who came as supplicants, and searched their bellies. Josephus says that it seemed to him that no misery befell the Jews more terrible than this, since in one night's time about two thousand of these deserters were thus dissected.

When Titus knew of this wicked practice, he would have surrounded those guilty of it with his cavalry, and shot them dead, had they not been so very many; and those liable to punishment would have been far more than those they had slain. However, he called together the commanders of the auxiliary troops he had with him, as well as the commanders of the Roman legions (for some of his own soldiers had also been guilty, as he had been informed), and with great indignation against both he threatened that he would put such men to death, if any of them were discovered to be so insolent again; moreover, he charged the legions to search for anyone suspected of this, and bring them to him; but it appeared that, for all their dread of punishment, the love of money was too much for them; but in reality it was God who had condemned the whole nation, and turned every course that was taken for their preservation to their destruction.

Therefore, this abomination, which was forbidden by Titus under such a threat, was privately dared; and these barbarians would still go out, and meet those who deserted before anyone saw them; and looking about to see that no Roman spied them, they dissected them, and pulled this polluted money out of their bowels, which was found only in a few of them, while a great many were destroyed by the bare hope of gain, which made many who were deserting go back again into the city.

Now, when John could no longer plunder the people, he resorted to sacrilege, and melted down many of the sacred utensils given to the temple; also many vessels necessary for the ministers of holy things, the caldrons, dishes and tables; no, he did not even abstain from those pouring-vessels sent them by Augustus and his wife; for the Roman emperors had ever honored and adorned this temple; while this man, a Jew, seized the donations of foreigners; and said to those with him that it was proper to use divine things without fear while they were fighting for the Divinity, and that those whose warfare is for the temple should live off the temple, and for this reason he emptied the vessels of sacred wine and oil, which the priests kept for pouring on burnt offerings, and lay in the inner court of the temple and distributed it among the multitude, each of whom, in their anointing themselves and drinking, used more than a gallon of them: Josephus supposes that had the Romans delayed any longer in coming against these villains, the city would either have been swallowed up by earthquake, or swept away by flood, or else destroyed by thunder like Sodom, for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistic than those who suffered such punishments; for it was by their madness that all the people came to be destroyed.

Manneus, the son of Lazarus, also ran away to Titus as a deserter at this very time, and told him that there had been carried out through the gate entrusted to his care no fewer than a hundred and fifteen thousand eight hundred and eighty dead bodies, in the seventy-seven day interval between the fourteenth day of the month Xanthicus, which is Nisan, the same day of Passover when the Romans pitched their camp by the city, and the first day of the month Panemus, which is Tammuz—between Friday eleven April A.D. 70, and Thursday twenty-six June A.D. 70—which is an average of one thousand five hundred and five bodies every day through that one gate alone. This was itself an enormous multitude; and though this man himself had not been appointed officer of that gate, yet he was appointed to pay the public stipend for carrying these bodies out, and was obliged by necessity to number them, while the rest were buried by their relations, though their entire burial was only to take them away, and throw them out of the city. After him, there also ran away to Titus many of the eminent citizens, who told him the entire number of the poor who were dead; that no fewer than six hundred thousand were thrown out at the gates, though the number of the rest still could not be determined; and they told him further, that when they were no longer able to carry out the dead bodies of the poor, they laid their corpses in heaps in very large houses, and shut them up there; also that a medimnus of wheat, one and a half bushels, was sold for a talent; and when, a while afterward, it was not possible to gather herbs, because the city was all walled around, some persons were driven to the terrible distress of searching the common sewers and old dung hills of cattle, and to eat the dung they found; and what they once could not endure to look at they now used for food. As soon as the Romans heard all this, they pitied them; while the rebels, who also saw it, did not repent, but allowed the same distress to come on themselves, blinded by that fate which was already coming on the city, and on themselves also.

The miseries of Jerusalem grew worse and worse every day, and the rebels were still more irritated under these calamities, even while the famine preyed on them, after it had preyed on the people. The multitude of carcasses lying in heaps one after another, was a horrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench, which hindered those who would make sallies out of the city and fight the enemy; but since those who were already used to ten thousand murders were to go in battle-array, and must necessarily tread on those dead bodies as they marched, they were not terrified, nor did they pity men as they marched over them; nor did they believe this affront offered to the deceased was a bad sign; but as their right hands were already polluted with the murders of their own countrymen, and they ran out in that condition to fight with foreigners, they did not go on with the war as if they had any hope of victory, but they took a fierce animal glory in their despair of deliverance. And now the Romans, although suffering greatly in getting their materials together, after cutting down all the trees in the country for eleven and a quarter miles around the city, raised their embankments in twenty-one days. The most beautiful suburbs of the city, places once adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now a desolation everywhere; for the war had utterly laid waste every sign of beauty; and if anyone who knew the place before, had suddenly come to it now, he would not have recognized it; but even though he was at the city itself, he still would have inquired about it.

And now that the embankments were finished, they were also grounds for fear to both the Romans and the Jews; for the Jews expected that the city would be taken, unless they could burn those banks, as the Romans expected that, if these were once burnt down, they should never be able to take it; for there was a mighty scarcity of materials, and the bodies of the soldiers began to fail them with such hard labors, as also their souls fainted with so many episodes of failure. These considerations made the Romans keep a stronger guard about their banks than they had formerly done.

But now John and his party inside the tower of Antonia took steps for their own security, in case this wall should be thrown down, and went to work before the battering-rams were brought against them. Yet they did not clearly plan their attempts, but when they went out with their torches, they came back greatly discouraged, even before they got near the embankments; they were not coordinated, but went out in small bands, at separate intervals, and cautiously, without Jewish courage; defective in boldness, in violence of assault, in running together on the enemy, and in persevering, even when they do not at first succeed; but they now went out less motivated than usual, and at the same time found the Romans battle-ready, and more courageous than ordinary, and that they guarded their banks both with their bodies and their entire armor, to such a degree on all sides, that they left no room for the fire to get among them, and that every one of their souls was in such good courage, that they would sooner die than desert their ranks; for besides the notion that all their hopes were cut off if their works were burnt, the soldiers were greatly ashamed that, in this war, cunning should overcome courage, madness armor, multitude skill, and Jews Romans. The Romans now also had the advantage that their siege engines cooperated in throwing arrows and stones as far as the Jews as they came out of the city; so that each fallen man was an immediate obstacle to the next man, and the danger of going any farther dampened the zeal of their attempts; and some of those who had run under the arrows were terrified by the good close order of the enemies' ranks before they ever came to a close fight, and others being pricked with their spears, turned back; and finally, reproaching themselves for cowardice, they retreated without doing anything. This attack was made on Thursday twenty-six June A.D. 70, the first day of the month Panemus, which is Tammuz. So, when the Jews had retreated the Romans brought their engines, all the while stones were thrown at them from the tower Antonia, and they were being assaulted by fire and sword, and all sorts of arrows, which necessity demanded the Jews use; yet these Romans struggled hard to bring them, deeming this zeal of the Jews was to prevent any impacts on the Antonia, because its wall was weak, and its foundations rotten. However, that tower did not yield to blows from the engines; but the Romans bore the blows of the enemies' arrows, which constantly came on them from above, and the stones, and did not themselves yield to any of those dangers, and so they brought their engines to bear; but then, some threw their shields over their bodies together, and partly with their hands, partly with their bodies, and partly with crowbars, they undermined its foundations, and with great pains removed four of its stones. Then night came, and put an end to this struggle for the moment; however, that night the wall was so shaken by the battering-rams where John had earlier undermined their embankments, that the ground gave way, and the wall fell down suddenly.

This unexpected accident affected both parties; for though one might expect the Jews would be discouraged, having made no provision for it, they took courage, because the tower Antonia was still standing; and the unexpected joy of the Romans at the fall of the wall was quickly quenched by the sight of another wall, which John and his party had built inside it. However, this one seemed easier to get up to through the broken sections of the former wall that was now thrown down. This new wall appeared also to be much weaker than the tower of Antonia, so that the Romans imagined it had been erected so quickly that they should soon be able to overthrow it; yet no one dared now to go up to this wall; for whoever first attempted it would most certainly be killed.

And now Titus, on considering that the eagerness of soldiers in war is chiefly excited by hopes and by good words, and that exhortation and promises frequently make men forget the hazards they run, and sometimes even to despise death itself, he assembled the most courageous part of his army, and tried to do what he could with his men, by several methods of persuasion; he cited as happy the estate of those who die bravely in war, and contrasted as ignoble the state of those who die by sickness in their beds; and then he said, "As for that person who first mounts the wall, I should blush for shame if I did not make him to be envied by others, by those rewards I would bestow on him. If such a one escape with his life, he shall have the command of others, who are now only his equals; although it be true too, that the greatest rewards will accrue to those who die in the attempt."

At this speech of Titus, the rest of the multitude were frightened at so great a danger. But there was one named Sabinus, who was the first who rose, who said he would voluntarily choose death for him. Then he, and no more than eleven others, marched up to the wall just about 12 noon, the sixth hour of the day, excited by a divine fury. Those who guarded the wall shot at them, and also rolled very large stones on them, which overcame some of those eleven with him. And though Sabinus was overwhelmed, yet he did not give up the violence of his attack before he had gotten up on top of the wall and put the enemy to flight. The Jews were astonished at his great strength, and imagining that more of them had gotten upon the wall than really had, they were put to flight. But then Sabinus stumbled over a large stone, and fell headlong on it with a very great noise. At this the Jews turned around, and when they saw he was alone, they threw arrows at him from every side as he got up on his knee and covered himself with his shield, and he wounded many who came to him, and at length he was covered with arrows before he gave up the ghost. The Jews dashed three of his partners to pieces with stones, and slew them as they reached the top of the wall; the other eight, being wounded, were pulled down and carried back to the camp. These things were done on the Sabbath, Saturday twenty-eight June A.D. 70, the third day of the month Panemus, which is Tammuz.

Now two days afterward, on Monday thirty June, twelve of those men who were front guards keeping watch on the embankments got together, and called to them the standard-bearer of the fifth legion, and two others of a troop of cavalry, and one trumpeter: these went without noise about 3 A.M., the ninth hour of the night, through the ruins, to the tower of Antonia; and when they had cut the throats of the first guards of the place as they were asleep, they got possession of the wall, and ordered the trumpeter to sound his trumpet. The rest of the guards suddenly jumped up and ran away before anybody could see how many had gotten up; for from the fear they were in, and the sound of the trumpet, they imagined a great number of the enemy had gotten up. But as soon as Titus heard the signal he ordered the army to put on their armor immediately, and came there with his commanders, and ascended first of all, and the chosen men with him. And as the Jews fled to the temple, they fell into that mine John had dug under the Roman embankments. Then the rebels of both bodies of the Jewish army, the one belonging to John, and the other belonging to Simon, drove them away with the highest degree of force and alacrity, esteeming themselves entirely ruined if the Romans once got into the temple; the Romans seeing the same thing as the beginning of their complete conquest. So a terrible battle was fought at the entrance of the temple, while the Romans were forcing their way in order to get possession of that temple, and the Jews were driving them back to the tower of Antonia; the arrows on both sides were useless in this battle, as well as the spears, and both sides drew swords and fought it out hand to hand at random, mixed with one another and confounded in that narrow place; while the noise they made was a confusing din, because it was so very loud. Great slaughter was now made on both sides, and the combatants trod on the bodies and armor of those who were dead, and dashed them to pieces; but those in the first ranks were under the necessity of killing or being killed, without any way of escaping; for those who came from behind forced those before them to go on, on both sides, without leaving any space between the armies. At length the Jews' violent zeal was too hard for the Romans' skill, and the battle had already turned entirely that way; for the fight had lasted ten hours, from 3 A.M., the ninth hour of the night, to 1 P.M., the seventh hour of the day, while the Jews came in crowds, motivated by the danger the temple was in; the Romans having no more here than a part of their army; for those legions on which the soldiers depended had not come up. So the Romans thought it was enough at present to take possession of the tower of Antonia.

And now Titus ordered those of his soldiers with him to dig up the foundations of that tower, and make ready also a broad, easy avenue for his army to come up; while he himself had Josephus brought to him, and commanded him to say the same things to John that he had said before, that he might come out with as many of his men as he pleased, to fight, without danger of destroying either his city or temple; but that he desired that he not defile the temple, nor by fighting there offend against God. Josephus stood where he might be heard, not only by John, but by many more, and then declared what Titus had charged him to say, in the common language of the Jews in Judea, earnestly praying them to spare their own city, and to prevent that fire now so ready to seize the temple, and to resume again the offering of their usual sacrifices to God (for Titus had been informed that on that very day, Saturday twelve July A.D. 70, the Sabbath, on the seventeenth day of Panemus, which is Tammuz, that which is called the daily sacrifice had not been offered to God, for lack of men to offer it, and that the people were grievously troubled by this). When he had spoken, and had rebuked John for his sacrileges and murders, and again promised that the Romans shall still forgive him, he said, "Are not both the city and the entire temple now full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of pollutions."

As Josephus spoke these words with groans, and tears in his eyes, his discourse influenced a great many of the upper class; but truly some of them were so afraid of the guards sent by the rebels, that they waited where they were, satisfied that both they and the city were already doomed to destruction. Some, watching for any opportunity to get quietly away, fled to the Romans. And then a great many fled to the Romans. These men also got together before the Romans in a great number, and calling out implored the rebels, with groans, and tears in their eyes, to receive the Romans entirely into the city, and again save their place of residence; but, if they would not agree, that they would at least depart out of the temple, and save the holy house for their own use; for the Romans would not dare to set the sanctuary on fire, except under the most pressing necessity. Yet the rebels still more and more contradicted them; and while they cast loud and bitter reproaches on these deserters, they also set their engines for throwing arrows, javelins and stones, on the sacred gates of the inner temple, at effective intervals, so that all the space round about and within the outer court of the temple, the Court of the Gentiles, might be compared to a burying ground, so great was the number of the dead bodies there; just as the holy house itself might be compared to a citadel or fortress stronghold. So, these men in their armor rushed on holy places that were otherwise unapproachable, while their hands were still warm with the blood of their own people, which they had shed; no, they proceeded to such great transgressions, that the very same outrage the Jews would naturally have had against Romans for such transgressions, the Romans now had against Jews, for their gross impiety with regard to their own Jewish religious customs. Indeed, there was not one of the Roman soldiers who did not look with sacred horror on the holy house, and adored it, and wished that the robbers would repent before their miseries became incurable.

Titus, now deeply affected, rebuked John and his party for polluting the holy house with the blood of both foreigners and Jews; and he said, "Why do you trample upon dead bodies in this temple? And why do you pollute this holy house with the blood of both foreigners and Jews themselves? I appeal to the gods of my own country, and to every god that ever had regard for this place (for I do not suppose it to be regarded by any of them now); I also appeal to my own army, and to those Jews who are now with me, and even to you yourselves, that I do not force you to defile this your sanctuary; and if only you will change the place where you will fight, no Roman shall either come near your sanctuary, or offer any affront to it; no, I will endeavor to preserve for you your holy house, whether you will or not."

But when Titus saw that these men, both the robbers and the tyrant, were neither to be moved by compassion towards themselves, nor had any concern that the holy house be spared, he proceeded, unwillingly, to go on again with the war against them. He could not bring all his army against them, the place was so narrow; but choosing thirty soldiers of the most valiant out of every hundred, and committing a thousand to each tribune, and making Sextus Cerealis their commander-in-chief, he gave orders to attack the guard of the temple about 3 A.M., the ninth hour of that night, the hour of the power of darkness; but now, in his armor, and preparing to go, the commanders, because of the greatness of the danger, suggested that he would do more by sitting above in the tower of Antonia, as a dispenser of rewards to soldiers who distinguished themselves in the fight, than by coming down and hazarding his own person in their front; for they would all fight stoutly while Titus looked on. Titus complied, and said that the only reason he did so was that he might be able to judge their courageous actions, and that no valiant soldier might be unnoticed and miss his reward; and no cowardly soldier might go unpunished; but that he himself, who was to be the dispenser of punishments and rewards to them, might be an eyewitness, and be able to give evidence of all that was done. So he sent the soldiers about their work at the designated hour, while he went out himself to a higher place in the tower of Antonia, where he might see what was done, and there waited with impatience to see the event.

However, the soldiers sent did not find the temple guards asleep, as they hoped; but were immediately obliged to fight with them hand to hand, as they rushed with violence on them with a great shout. Now, as soon as the rest of them in the temple heard that shout of the watch, they ran out in troops on them. The Romans competed with each other over who should fight the most strenuously, both individual men and entire regiments, as being under the eye of Titus; and everyone concluded that this day would begin his promotion if he fought bravely. The great encouragements the Jews had to act vigorously were fear for themselves and for the temple, and the presence of their tyrant, who exhorted some, and beat and threatened others to act courageously. Now, it so happened, that it appeared that this fight, which began at 3 A.M., the ninth hour of the night, at length was not over before it passed 11 A.M., the fifth hour of the day; that this fight was for the most part a stationary one; and that, in the same place where the battle began, neither party could say they had made the other to retire.

In the meantime, the rest of the Roman army, in seven days' time, had overthrown some foundations of the tower Antonia, and had made a ready, broad way to the temple. Then the legions came near the first court, the Court of the Gentiles, and began to raise their embankments; but not without great pains and difficulty, and particularly by being obliged to bring their materials from the distance of twelve and a half miles: one near the northwest corner of the inner temple, the Court of Israel; another at the northern edifice between the two gates; another one at the western cloister of the outer court of the temple; and the other against its northern cloister.

In the meantime, the Jews were so distressed by the battles, and the war now creeping closer to the holy house, that they cut off those limbs of the body which they deemed to be infected, to keep the disease from spreading farther; for it was they who set on fire the northwest cloister, which was joined to the tower of Antonia, and after that broke off about nine and a half yards of that cloister, and thus it was they who made a beginning in burning the sanctuary; and then, two days after that, on Saturday nineteen July A.D. 70, the Sabbath, the twenty-fourth day of the same month Panemus or Tammuz, the Romans set fire to the cloister that joined to the other, when the fire went seven yards farther. The Jews, in like manner, cut off its roof, nor did they entirely stop what they were doing before the tower of Antonia was parted from the temple, even when it was in their power to have stopped the fire; no, they lay still while the temple was first set on fire, and deemed this spreading of the fire to be for their own advantage. However, the armies were still fighting one against another about the temple; and the war was managed by continual sallies of single units one against another.

But now every day the rebels in the temple openly strove to beat off the soldiers on the embankments, and three days later, on Tuesday twenty-two July A.D. 70, the twenty-seventh day of the same month Panemus, or Tammuz, they filled that part of the western cloister between the beams, and the Court of the Gentiles, and the roof under them, with dry materials, and with bitumen and pitch, and then retreated from that place as though they were tired with the pains they had taken; at this, many of the most reckless Romans, carried away with violent passions, followed hard after them as they were retreating, and applied ladders to the cloister, and suddenly got up to it; but the more prudent soldiers, when they grasped this unaccountable retreat of the Jews, stood where they were. However, the cloister was full of those who had gone up the ladders when the Jews set it all on fire: and as the flames suddenly burst out everywhere, the Romans who were not in danger were panic-stricken, as those in the midst of the danger were in utmost distress when they perceived themselves surrounded with flames; some threw themselves down backwards into the city, and some down among their enemies in the temple; many leaped down to their own men, shattering their limbs; but a great number who were going to take these violent methods, were prevented from doing so by the fire; though some anticipated the fire by using their own swords on themselves. However, the fire was suddenly carried so far that it surrounded those who would have chosen to perish otherwise. Titus himself could only pity those who thus perished, even though they had got up there without orders, and without permission of their commanders, since there was no way of giving them any relief. For he cried out openly to them, and leaped up, and exhorted those who were about him to do their utmost to relieve them; yet this was some comfort to those who were destroyed, that everyone might see that person grieve for whose sake they came to their end. So every one of them died cheerfully, carrying with him these words and this intention of Titus as a memorial monument. Some had retreated into the wall of the cloister, which was broad, and were saved from the fire, but then were surrounded by the Jews; and although they resisted them for a long time, they were wounded by them, and at length all fell down dead. After the Jews had destroyed those that got up to it, they also cut off the rest of that cloister from the temple. Now this cloister was burnt down as far as the tower that John had built in the war he had made against Simon, over the gates that led to the Xystus. But the next day the Romans burnt down the northern cloister entirely, as far as the east cloister, whose common angle was built over the Kidron valley, and joined to it; on this account the depth was frightful. And this was the state of the temple at that time.

Now the number of those who perished by famine in the city was immense, and their miseries were unspeakable; for if even the shadow of any food appeared anywhere, a war began; the dearest friends fell to fighting one another, snatching from each other the most miserable supports of life. Nor would anyone believe that the dying had no food; but the robbers searched them as they were expiring, in case they had food concealed in their garments, and were only pretending to be dying: no, these robbers gaped for want, and ran around stumbling and staggering like mad dogs, and reeling against the doors of the houses like drunken men; in their great desperation they rushed into the very same houses two or three times in one and the same day. Moreover, their hunger was so intolerable, that it forced them to chew everything, gathering and eating things that the most filthy animals would not touch; nor did they abstain from girdles and shoes, even gnawing the very leather they pulled off their shields: wisps of old hay became food for some; and some gathered up fibers, and sold a very small weight of them for four Attic drachmae.

And now I am going to relate a matter of fact, incredible, yet attested by multiple eyewitnesses, and horrible to hear: A certain woman named Mary, of the village Bethezub, eminent for her family and her wealth, who had fled away into Jerusalem with the rest of the multitude, was besieged there at this time. Pierced with famine, and outraged against the robbers who took everything she had, and always seizing every piece of food she got, and did not kill her even when she violently reproached them, decided to avenge herself on them; she spoke tenderly to her son, a child sucking at her breast, and then she slew him, and roasted him, and ate half of him, and kept the other half by her, concealed. The rebels presently came in, and smelling the aroma, they threatened to cut her throat immediately if she did not show them what food she had prepared. She replied that she had saved a very fine portion of it for them; and then uncovered what was left of her son. They were seized with horror and astonishment, and stood dumbfounded; then she said to them, "This is my own son; and what has been done was my own doing! Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of it myself! Do not pretend to be either more tender than a woman, or more compassionate than a mother; but if you are so scrupulous, and abominate this my sacrifice, since I have eaten half, let the rest be reserved for me also." After this, those men left trembling, being never so frightened at anything as this, and with some difficulty they left the rest of that meat to the mother. The whole city was immediately filled with the news of this horrid action; and while each laid before their own eyes this miserable case, they trembled, as if this unheard-of action had been done by themselves. So those thus distressed by the famine desired very much to die; and those already dead were esteemed happy, because they had not lived long enough to hear or see such miseries.

This sad instance was quickly told to the Romans; some of them could not believe it, and others pitied the distress the Jews were under; but this induced in many of them a hatred more than ordinary against the Jews; but Titus excused himself before God in this matter, and said that he had proposed peace and liberty to the Jews, as well as an oblivion of all their former insolent practices; but they, instead of concord had chosen sedition; instead of peace, war; and before satiety and abundance, a famine. That they had begun with their own hands to burn down that temple, and therefore they deserved to eat such food as this; and said, "men ought not to leave such a city upon the habitable earth to be seen by the sun, since it is they who still continue in a state of war against us, after they have undergone such miseries as these." As he said this he reflected on the desperate condition these men must be in; nor could he expect that such men could be brought to a sober mind, after they had endured those very sufferings, when in order to avoid them it was only probable that they might have repented. They had voluntarily chosen to reduce their citizens to that extremity.

And now two of the legions had completed their embankments on Friday one August A.D. 70, the day of preparation, the eighth day of the month Lous, which is Av or Ab. So Titus ordered that the battering-rams should be brought and set against the western edifice of the inner temple; for the firmest of all the other engines had already battered the wall for six days straight without making any impression on it; the vast size and strong connection of the stones had proved superior to the engine, and to the other battering-rams also. The workmen, despairing of all such attempts by engines and crowbars, then brought their ladders to the cloisters. But when they had gotten up, the Jews fell on them and fought them, and at length got possession of these engines, and destroyed those who had gone up the ladders, while the rest were so intimidated by what those slain had suffered, that they retreated. When Titus perceived that his efforts to spare a foreign temple had resulted in the harm and killing of his soldiers, he gave orders to set the gates on fire.

And now the soldiers fired the gates, and the silver over them quickly carried the flames to the wood inside, and then it spread itself all of a sudden, and caught hold of the cloisters. The Jews, on seeing this fire all about them, their spirits together with their bodies sank, and they were so astonished, that they stood paralyzed as mute spectators only, watching the fire, without defending themselves or attempting to quench the flames. They did not grieve at the loss, but instead, as if the holy house itself were already on fire, they sharpened their passions against the Romans. This fire prevailed during that day and the next also; for the soldiers were not able to burn together all the cloisters at one time, but only by pieces.

The next day, Saturday two August, the Sabbath, on the ninth day of the month Lous, which is Av, Titus commanded part of his army to quench the fire, and to make a road for the easy marching up of the legions, while he himself gathered the commanders together; the principal six were: Tiberius Alexander, commander of the whole army; Sextus Cerealis the commander of the fifth legion; Larcius Lepidus, the commander of the tenth legion; Titus Frigius the commander of the fifteenth legion; Eternius, leader of the two legions from Alexandria; and Marcus Antonius Julianus, procurator of Judea; and after these came all the rest of the procurators and tribunes, and Fronto, one of his Friends. Titus said that he was not in any case for burning down so vast a work, because this would harm the Romans themselves, and while it continued it would be an ornament to their government. Three of his generals boldly agreed with him: Fronto, Alexander, and Cerealis. When Titus had given orders to the commanders that the rest of their forces should lie still, but that they should make use of those who were most courageous in this attack, then this assembly was dissolved. So he commanded that those chosen men who were taken out of the cohorts should make their way through the ruins, and quench the fire.

Now it is true, that on this day, the Sabbath, the Jews were so weary, and so completely dismayed, that they refrained from any attacks; but on the next day, Sunday three August, the tenth day of the month Av, they gathered their whole force together, and very boldly ran on those who guarded the outer court of the temple, through the east gate, and this about 7 A.M., the second hour of the day. These guards met the Jews' attack with great bravery, and by covering themselves with their shields in front, like a wall, they drew their squadrons together, closing ranks; yet it was obvious that they could not stand very long, but would be crushed by the multitude of those who sallied out on them in the heat of their passion. However, Titus seeing from the tower of Antonia that this squadron was likely to give way, he sent some chosen cavalry to support them, and the Jews found themselves not able to withstand their assault; and with the slaughter of those in the forefront, many of the rest were put to flight; but as the Romans went off after them, the Jews turned back on them and fought them; and as those Romans came back on them, the Jews retreated again, up to about 11 A.M., the fifth hour of the day, when they were overcome, and shut themselves up in the inner court of the temple.

So Titus retired to the tower Antonia, and resolved to storm the temple the next day, early in the morning, with his whole army, and to encamp round about the holy house; but God had long ago for certain doomed it to the fire; but now that fatal day had already come; it was still Sunday three August A.D. 70, the tenth day of the month Lous, which is Av or Ab, the same day on which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon, although these flames now took their rise from the Jews themselves, as their cause; for when Titus retired, the rebels lay still for a little while, and then attacked the Romans again, when those who guarded the holy house fought with those who quenched the fire burning in the inner court of the temple; but these Romans put the Jews to flight, and proceeded as far as the holy house itself; and one of the soldiers, without waiting for any orders, and without any concern or dread for so great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury, snatched some of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house on the north side.

As the flames shot upward the Jews made a great clamor, and ran together to prevent it, not sparing their lives or allowing anything to restrain their force, since that holy house was perishing, for whose sake they kept such a guard about it.

Someone came running to Titus and told him of this fire as he was resting himself in his tent after the last battle; he rose in great haste and ran as he was to the holy house, to put a stop to the fire; all his commanders followed after him, and after them the several legions in great astonishment; so a great clamor and tumult naturally arose, from the disordered moving of so great an army. Then Titus, with a loud voice called to the soldiers who were fighting, and gave a signal to them with his right hand, and ordered them to quench the fire; but they did not hear what he said, though he spoke so loud, for their ears were already dinned by the greater noise, which drowned out his words with sound; neither did they pay any attention to the signal he made with his hand, as some of them were still distracted with fighting, and others with passion; but as they were crowding into the temple together, many were trampled, while a great number fell among the ruins of the cloisters which were still hot and smoking, and were destroyed in the same miserable way as those they had conquered: and when they neared the holy house, they acted as if they did not so much as hear Titus's orders to the contrary, but encouraged those before them to set it on fire. As for the rebels, they were already in too great distress to assist in quenching the fire; they were everywhere slain, and everywhere beaten; and a great part of the people, weak and without arms, had their throats cut wherever they were caught. Now, round about the altar lay dead bodies heaped one upon another; and the steps going up to the whole wide paved space about it ran with a great quantity of their blood, where the dead bodies slain above on the altar fell down.

And now, since Titus was unable in any way to restrain the enthusiastic fury of the soldiers, and the fire progressed more and more, he went into the holy place of the temple with his commanders, and saw it, with what was in it, which he found to be far superior to what the accounts of foreigners reported, and not inferior to what the Jews themselves boasted of and believed about it; but as the flame had not yet reached its inward parts, but was still consuming the rooms about the holy house, and Titus supposing that the fact was that the house itself might yet be saved, he came in haste and endeavored to persuade the soldiers to quench the fire, and ordered Liberius the centurion, and one of the spearmen about him, to beat the soldiers who were obstinate with their staffs, and restrain them, yet their passions overwhelmed any regards they had for Titus and the dread they had of him who forbade them, as did their hatred of the Jews and a certain vehement inclination to fight them. Moreover, the hope of plunder induced many to go on, with the assumption that all the places within were full of money, seeing that everything about the temple was made of gold; and besides, one of those who went into the place, went ahead of Titus when he ran so hastily out to restrain the soldiers and threw the fire on the hinges of the gate, in the dark; and immediately the flame burst forth from within the holy house itself, as soon as the commanders retired, and Titus with them; and no one any longer forbade those outside to set fire to it; and so the holy house burnt down, leaving only the stones.

So by Sunday three August A.D. 70, the tenth day of the month Lous, which is Av, the outer Temple court had been reached and, in the ensuing attack, the Temple was burned to the ground, leaving only the stones. While the holy house was on fire, everything was plundered, and all captives butchered; ten thousand of those caught were slain without pity for age, or reverence for dignity; but children and old men, profane persons and priests, were all slain alike; so that this war made the rounds bringing all kinds of men to destruction, those who made supplication for their lives and those who defended themselves by fighting. The flame carried a long way, and made an echo, together with the groans of those slain; and because this hill was high, and the works at the temple were very great, one would have thought the whole city was on fire. Nothing seemed greater or more terrible than this noise: at once the shout of the Roman legions marching all together, and the sad clamor of the rebels now surrounded with fire and sword. The people also left above were beaten back on the enemy, under great dread, and made sad moans at their calamity; the multitude also in the city joined this outcry with those on the hill; and besides, many of those worn away by the famine, their mouths almost closed, when they saw the fire of the holy house, exerted their utmost strength, and broke into groans and outcries again: Perea, as well as the surrounding mountains also returned the echo, and augmented the force of the entire noise. Yet the misery itself was more terrible than this confusion; one would have thought the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething hot, every part of it full of fire; that the quantity of blood was greater than the fire; and those slain more in number than those who slew them; for the ground could not be seen for all the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of these bodies, as they ran down those who fled from them. And it was only now that the multitude of the robbers was expelled from the inner court of the temple by the Romans, and with much commotion got into the outer court, and from there into the city, while the remainder of the populace fled into the cloister of that outer court. Yet two priests eminent among them, Meirus the son of Belgas, and Joseph the son of Daleus, who might have saved themselves by deserting to the Romans, or might have borne up with courage and taken their fortune with the others, threw themselves into the fire, and were burnt together with the holy house.

And now the Romans, judging it in vain to spare whatever was round about the holy house, burnt all those places, the remains of the cloisters, and the gates, except the one on the east side, and the other on the south; which they burnt afterward. They also burnt down the treasury chambers, in which were deposited an immense quantity of money, an immense number of garments, and other precious goods, and there that all the riches of the Jews were piled together, while the rich had built there vaults for themselves to contain such furnishings. The soldiers also came to the rest of the cloisters in the outer court of the temple, where the women and children, and a great mixed multitude of the people had fled, in number about six thousand. But before Titus had made any determination about these people, or given the commanders any orders about them, the soldiers in their rage set the cloister on fire; and some were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Not one of them escaped with his life. For a false prophet had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get up upon the temple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. A great number of false prophets were bribed by the tyrants then to impose on the people, who solemnly announced that they should wait for deliverance from God: this was to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes.

Thus the miserable people who had rejected their own true prophet, Christ, though he had done so many signs before them, were readily persuaded by these deceivers, who had misrepresented God himself; while they did not heed those evident signs that had preceded the war, which had so plainly foretold their future desolation; but these men willfully misinterpreted some of these signs according to their own pleasure; and some of them they utterly despised, until their madness was made so plainly and undeniably evident, both by the taking of their city, and their own destruction. But what most incited them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle, which was also found in their sacred writings, how, about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth: "Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men deceived themselves in their determination of its meaning. Josephus says,

"Now, this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed governor in Judea."

But he was mistaken, as Eusebius says,

"This prediction, he supposed, was fulfilled in Vespasian. He, however, did not obtain the sovereignty over the whole world, but only over the Romans. More justly, therefore, would it be referred to Christ, by whom it was said by the Father, 'Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.' Regarding whom, indeed, at this very time, 'the sound of the holy apostles went throughout all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world'."

Josephus says that

"the rebels in Jerusalem did everything the besiegers could desire; for they never suffered from the Romans anything that was worse than they made each other suffer, nor was there any misery endured by the city resulting from these men's actions that was new, but it was most of all unhappy before it was overthrown, while those who took it did it a greater kindness; for I venture to affirm that the rebellion destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the rebellion, which was a much harder thing to do than to destroy the walls; so that we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people and the just vengeance taken on them to the Romans; as to this matter let every one determine by the actions on both sides."

Now although anyone would be right in lamenting the destruction of such a work as this temple, yet its fate had already been decreed, because they did not acknowledge the time of their visitation; for it was the same month and day in which the holy house was formerly burnt by the Babylonians.

They refused to hearken, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts like adamant lest they should hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. "As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear", says the LORD of hosts, "and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known." Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.

Now the number of years from its first foundation, laid by king Solomon, to its destruction in A.D. 70, the second year of the reign of Vespasian, are reckoned to be one thousand one hundred and thirty years, and seven months and fifteen days, which is from 960 B.C. to A.D. 70; and from the second building of it by Haggai and Zechariah in the days of Zerubbabel in the second year of Cyrus the king, to its destruction under Vespasian, there were six hundred and thirty-nine years and forty-five days, which is from 570 B.C. to A.D. 70.

And now all the soldiers had such vast quantities of spoils gotten by plunder, that in Syria a pound weight of gold was sold for half its former value. On the fifth day afterward, the priests starving with the famine came down, and when they were brought to Titus by the guards, they begged for their lives; but he replied, that the time of pardon was over for them; that this very holy house, on whose sole account they could rightly hope to be preserved, was destroyed; and that it was appropriate that the priests of the house should perish with the house. So he ordered them to be put to death, slaying seven of its defenders with the same number of arrows, according to Tacitus; and being left to finish the reduction of Judaea, in the final assault of Jerusalem, Titus managed to kill twelve of the garrison with successive arrows, and the city was captured on his daughter’s birthday, according to Suetonius.

And now, with the flight of the rebellious out of the temple area into the city, and the burning of the holy house itself, and of all the buildings round about it, the Romans brought their ensigns to the temple, and set them by its eastern gate; and there they made Titus imperator. So great was the joy and attachment of the soldiers, that, in their congratulations, Titus was hailed as imperator by his troops; they unanimously saluted him by the title of Emperor with the greatest acclamations of joy; and there, in a final desecration of the Temple, sacrifice was made to the Roman standards in the Temple court. Finally, the abomination of desolation, according to the prophetic declaration, stood in the very temple of God. In the end the Abomination of Desolation, declared by the prophets, was set up in the very temple of God, so celebrated of old, when it was utterly destroyed by fire.

But this was not yet the end of the matter. When the tyrants themselves, Simon and John, and those that were with them, found that they were encompassed and virtually walled round on every side without any method of escape, they desired to negotiate a treaty with Titus by word of mouth. Titus then came and placed himself on the western side of the outer court of the temple, and discoursed to them regarding their rejection of every one of his proposals, one by one; and he finished by saying, "And now, vile wretches, do you desire to negotiate a treaty with me by word of mouth? to what purpose is it that you would save such a holy house as this was, which is now destroyed? What preservation can you now desire after the destruction of your temple? Yet you stand, still at this very time, in your armor; nor can you bring yourselves so much as to pretend to be supplicants, even in this your most utmost extremity! O miserable creatures! What is it you depend on? Are not your people dead? Is not your holy house gone? Is not your city in my power? And are not your own very lives in my hands? And do you still deem it a part of valor to die? However, I will not imitate your madness. If you throw down your arms, and deliver up your bodies to me, I grant you your lives; and I will act like a mild master of a family; what cannot be healed shall be punished, and the rest I will preserve for my own use."

To this offer they replied that they could not accept it, because they had sworn never to do so; but desired leave to go through the wall that had been made about them, with their wives and children; they would go into the desert, and leave the city to him. At this Titus had great indignation; that, when they were like men taken captive, they should pretend to make their own terms with him as if they were the conquerors! So he ordered this proclamation to be made: they should no longer come out to him as deserters, nor hope for any further security; for henceforth he would spare no one, but fight them with his whole army; and that they must save themselves as well as they could: for he would henceforth treat them according to the laws of war. So he issued orders to the soldiers to burn and plunder the city; who did nothing that day; but on the next day they set fire to the depository of the archives, to Acra, to the council house, and to the place called Ophlas; and the fire proceeded as far as the palace of queen Helena, in the middle of Acra: the lanes also were burnt down, as were those houses full of the dead bodies of those destroyed by famine. And now the rebels rushed into the royal palace, where many of them had put their effects, because it was so strong, and drove the Romans away from it. They also slew all the people who had crowded into it, in number about eight thousand four hundred, and plundered them of what they had.

The next day the Romans drove the robbers out of the lower city, and set all on fire as far as Siloam. These soldiers were indeed glad to see the city destroyed, but missed the plunder, because the rebels had carried off all their effects and retreated into the upper city; for they were not yet at all repentant, but insolent, as if they had done well; for as they saw the city on fire, they put on joyful faces and appeared cheerful—as they said, in expectation of death to end their miseries. Since the people were now slain, the holy house burnt down, and the city on fire, there was nothing left for the enemy to do. Surrendering themselves was unthinkable, because of the oath they had taken, and they were not strong enough to fight any longer with the Romans on the square, being surrounded on all sides, like prisoners already; yet they were so used to killing people that they dispersed themselves before the city, and lay in ambush among its ruins, to catch those who attempted to desert to the Romans; so many deserters were caught, for they were too weak from lack of food to flee; and all were slain; and their dead bodies were thrown to the dogs.

Now every sort of death was thought more tolerable than the famine, so that, though the Jews now despaired of mercy, yet they would fly to the Romans, and of their own accord themselves would also even fall among the murderous rebels. There was not any place in the city not entirely covered with dead bodies and full of the dead bodies of those who had been killed, who had perished either by the famine or the rebellion.

So now the last hope which supported the tyrants and that crew of robbers with them was in the caves and caverns underground; once they could fly there, they did not expect to be searched for, but were planning that after the whole city was destroyed, and the Romans had gone away, they might come out again, and escape from them. This was no better than a dream; for they were not able to lie hidden from either God or the Romans. However, relying on these underground coverts, they set more places on fire than the Romans; and they killed without mercy those who fled into ditches when their houses were set on fire, and pillaged them also; and if they discovered anyone with food, they seized it and swallowed it down, along with their blood; no, they had now come to fighting one another about their plunder; and Josephus says he could only think that, if their destruction had not prevented it, their barbarity would have made them taste even the dead bodies themselves.

Now, when Titus perceived that the upper city was so steep that it could not possibly be taken without raising embankments against it, he divided the work among his army, on Wednesday thirteen August A.D. 70, the twentieth day of the month Lous, which is Av or Ab. The four legions erected theirs on the west side of the city near the royal palace; the auxiliaries and the rest of the multitude with them erected theirs at the Xystus, reaching to the bridge and the tower of Simon which he had built as a citadel in his war against John. At the same time the commanders of the Idumeans got together privately, and took counsel about surrendering themselves to the Romans; and sent five men to Titus, praying him to give them his right hand for their security. After some reluctance and delay, he gave them security for their lives, and sent the five men back; but as these Idumeans were preparing to march out, Simon perceived it, and immediately slew the five men who had gone to Titus, and put their commanders in prison; he had the Idumeans watched, and secured the walls with a more numerous garrison. Yet that garrison could not resist those who were deserting; for though a great number of them were slain, yet more escaped. These were all received by the Romans, because Titus himself failed to enforce his previous orders to kill them, and because even the soldiers grew weary of killing them, and because they hoped to get some money by sparing them; for they left only the populace of Jerusalem, and sold the rest of the multitude, with their wives and children, every one of them at a very low price, because the number of those sold was so very immense, and the buyers very few; but of the populace more than forty thousand were saved, whom Titus let go, every one of them wherever he pleased.

It was at this time that one of the priests named Jesus, the son of Thebuthus, on being given security that he should be spared on the condition that he should deliver to Titus some of the precious things deposited in the vaults of the temple, came out of it, and delivered from the wall a great many treasures, and not a few sacred ornaments of the temple; two candlesticks like those in the holy house, with tables and cisterns, and vials, all made of solid gold, and heavy; veils and garments, with the precious stones, and a great number of other precious vessels for their sacred rites; the coats and girdles of the priests, with a great quantity of purple and scarlet stored for the veil; also a great deal of cinnamon and cassia, with a great quantity of other sweet spices, which used to be mixed together and offered as incense to God every day; all this, delivered to Titus, obtained from him for this man the same pardon he had allowed to those who had deserted of their own accord.

And now at Jerusalem the embankments were finished in eighteen days' time on Saturday thirty August A.D. 70, the Sabbath.

It was at this time also, on Saturday thirty August A.D. 70, in the Rhineland, that the Batavian Revolt had finally been put down by forces under Petilius Cerialis, and the Batavian general Civilis was defeated. The Batavians were forced to rebuild their capital in a less defensible position, and a full Roman legion was stationed near the new Batavian capital at a newly built Roman fort just outside the capital, to guard against any further resistance. The Batavians were forced to give men and arms to the Roman Empire henceforth without interruption, but no tribute or taxes was ever collected from them.

In Judea, on the same Saturday thirty August A.D. 70, the seventh day of the month Gorpieus, which is Elul, on the Sabbath, the Romans brought their machines against the wall of Jerusalem; but for the rebels, some of them, despairing of saving the city, retired from the wall to the citadel; others went down into the subterranean vaults, though a great many of them still defended themselves against those who brought the engines for the battery; yet the Romans overcame them by their number and strength; and, principally, by going about their work cheerfully, while the Jews had become quite weak and dejected. Now, as soon as a part of the wall was battered down, and some of the towers yielded to the impact of the battering-rams, those opposing them fled away, and such a terror, much greater than the occasion demanded, fell on the tyrants, that, before the enemy got over the breach, they were quite stunned, and were immediately for flying away; these men, so insolent and arrogant in their wicked practices before, were cast down and trembling; and such was the change made in those vile persons that they ran with great violence on the wall that encompassed them, intending to force away those who guarded it, and break through and get away; but when they saw that those who had formerly been faithful to them had gone away and fled wherever the great distress they were in persuaded them to flee, and those who came running before the rest told them that the western wall was entirely demolished, while others said the Romans had gotten in, and others that they were near, and looking for them, and now seeing only what was dictated by their fear and imagination, they fell on their faces, and greatly lamented their own mad conduct; and their nerves were so terribly unstrung, that they could not flee; and here one may chiefly reflect on the power God exercised on these wicked wretches, and on the good fortune of the Romans; for these tyrants now completely deprived themselves of the security they had in their own power, roused themselves, and quickly came down from those very towers of their own accord, or rather, they were ejected out of them by God himself. So they now left these towers of themselves, in which they could have never been taken by force, nor by any other way than by famine, and fled immediately to that valley within the city under Siloam, where they recovered from the dread they were in for a while; and then ran violently against that part of the wall which lay on that side; but as their courage was too much depressed to make their attacks with sufficient force, and their power was now broken with fear and affliction, they were repulsed by the guards; and dispersing themselves at distances from each other, they went down into the subterranean caverns. And thus the Romans, when they had taken such great pains against weaker walls, got by good fortune what they could never have gotten by their engines; for three of the towers were too strong for all mechanical engines whatever.

So the Romans, having now become masters of the walls, placed their ensigns upon the towers with joyful shouts for the victory they had gained, having found the end of this war much lighter than its beginning; for when they had gotten up on the last wall, without shedding any blood, they could hardly believe to be true what they found; but seeing no one to oppose them, they were uncertain what this unusual solitude meant. But when they went in numbers into the lanes of the city, with their swords drawn, they mercilessly slew those they overtook, and set fire to the houses where the Jews had fled, and burnt every soul in them, and laid waste a great many of the rest; and when they had come to the houses to plunder them, they found whole families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of the dead corpses of those who had died by the famine, and then stood in mute horror, and went out without touching anything. But although they had pity for these, who were not combatants, yet they had none for those still alive, but every one they met they ran through with the sword, and obstructed the very lanes with their dead bodies, and made the whole city run down with blood, to such a degree that the fire in many of the houses was quenched with their blood. And though the slayers stopped at evening, yet it happened that the fire greatly prevailed in the night; and as all was burning, that day of Sunday thirty-one August A.D. 70, the eighth day of the month Gorpieus, which is Elul, came upon Jerusalem; a city that had been liable to so many miseries during the siege, by producing such a generation of men who were the several occasions of its overthrow.

Of these men, Josephus says,

"It is impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men's iniquity, so justly punished by divine justice. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: — No other city ever suffered such miseries, nor did any age from the beginning of the world ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this one. Finally, bringing the Hebrew nation into contempt, that they themselves might appear less impious compared to strangers, they said that they were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of the nation—which was true!—while they overthrew the city themselves, and forced the Romans to gain a melancholy reputation, whether they would or no, by acting gloriously against them, and almost drew that fire on the temple, which they seemed to think came too slowly; indeed, when they saw the temple burning from the upper city, they were neither troubled, nor did they shed any tears on account of it, yet these passions were discovered among the Romans themselves."

Now, when Titus had come into this upper city, he admired not only other places of strength in it, but in particular those strong towers which the tyrants, in their mad conduct, had relinquished; for when he saw their solid height, and the largeness of their individual stones, and their exact joints, also how great their breadth, and extensive their length, he expressed himself this way: "We have certainly had God as our assistant in this war, and it was no other than God who ejected the Jews out of these fortifications; for what could the hands of men, or any machines, do towards overthrowing these towers!" At that time, he gave many such discourses to his Friends. To conclude, when he entirely demolished the rest of the city, and overthrew its wall, he left these towers as a monument of his good fortune, which had so tested his auxiliaries, and enabled him to take what could not otherwise have been taken by him; he also released those who had been bound and left in the prisons by the tyrants.

And now, since his soldiers were already quite tired with killing men, and yet there appeared to be a vast multitude remaining, still alive, Titus gave orders that they should kill none but those in arms who opposed them, but should take the rest alive. But, along with those they had orders to slay they slew the aged and the infirm; but those in their flourishing age, who might be useful, they drove together into the temple, and shut them up within the wall of the court of the women; over which Titus set one of his freed men, and also Fronto, one of his own Friends, who was to determine everyone's fate, according to their merits. So this Fronto slew all who had been rebels and robbers, who betrayed and accused each other; but from the young men he chose the tallest and most beautiful, and reserved them for the triumph; the rest of the multitude over seventeen years of age, he put in bonds, and sent them to hard labor in the Egyptian mines. Titus also sent a great number into the provinces as a present, to be destroyed in the arena, by the sword and by wild beasts; but those under seventeen were sold as slaves, and the number of these alone was ninety thousand. Eleven thousand perished for want of food while Fronto was determining their fate; some without tasting any food, through the hatred their guards bore them; and others would not take any food when it was given. The multitude not imprisoned was also so very great, that they lacked even enough grain for their sustenance.

Now the number of those carried off captive during this whole war was estimated by Josephus at ninety-seven thousand; the number of those who perished during the whole siege was also eleven hundred thousand, that is, one million one hundred thousand, the greater part not belonging to the city itself but indeed of the same nation with the citizens of Jerusalem; for they had come up from all the country to the feast of Unleavened Bread, and were suddenly shut up by an army, which, from the start, caused such overcrowding among them that a destructive pestilence came upon them, and soon afterward a famine so severe it destroyed them even more suddenly; so that the multitude of those who perished there exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought on the world; for, to speak only of what was publicly known, the Romans slew some of them, some they carried off captive, and others they searched for underground, and when they found where they were, they broke up the ground and slew all they met. There were also over two thousand persons found dead there, slain partly by their own hands, and partly by one another, but mainly destroyed by the famine; but the stench of the dead bodies was so offensive to some, that they were forced to get away immediately, while others were so greedy of gain, that they would go in among the dead bodies lying in heaps, and tread on them; for a great deal of treasure was found in these caverns, and the hope of gain made every way of getting it seem legitimate. Many also of those imprisoned by the two tyrants were now brought out; for they had continued their barbarous cruelty to the very end; yet God avenged himself on both of them, wholly agreeable to justice. John, together with his brethren, desperately needing food in these caverns, now begged the Romans to give him their right hand for his security, which he had so often proudly rejected; but Simon struggled even harder with the distress that he was in, before he was forced finally to surrender himself: he was reserved for the triumph, and then was to be slain; John was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, alive.

And thus was Jerusalem taken, in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, on Sunday thirty-one August A.D. 70, the eighth day of the month Gorpieus, which is Elul. Having taken over the crushing of the Judean revolt for his father Vespasian, who left and became Emperor, it was Titus who defeated the Jews and destroyed their temple.

And now, as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because none remained to be objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had any other such work remained to be done), Titus gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but leave standing the three most imposing towers, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamme, and that section of the wall enclosing the city on the west side. This wall was spared to afford a camp for those who were to be placed in garrison; the towers were also spared, to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which Roman valor had subdued. There was not left of the temple one stone upon another, that was not thrown down; and all of that ancient threshing floor was swept clean and left desolate, where the chaff was blown away; and only the western wall of the outer foundation, which Herod had built to cover the face of the precipice below and outside of the temple area, remained, and it remains to this day. When Titus finally gave them permission to sack and burn the city, he was merely giving his official approbation to what was going to happen anyway. And now, the Romans set fire to the most outlying extremities of the city, burnt them down, and entirely demolished its walls; all the rest of the wall was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those who razed it to the foundation, that nothing was left to make those who came there believe it had ever been inhabited.

After the destruction of the city, Titus paraded his army, decorating and promoting and rewarding with booty those who had distinguished themselves and thanking his soldiers in general for their courage and obedience.

Jerusalem was finally demolished. After an obstinate defense by the Jews, that city, so much celebrated in the sacred writings, and the glorious temple itself, the admiration of the world, was reduced to ashes; contrary to the will of Titus, who had exerted his utmost efforts to extinguish the flames. The word spoken by John the prophet was fulfilled which he spoke, saying, "He will thoroughly purge his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire!" This was the end to which Jerusalem came, because of the madness of those who were for innovation in public affairs; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and mighty fame among all mankind. Upon her came all the righteous blood shed since the foundation of the world.

This all happened in accordance with the prophesies of Christ, who foresaw them by divine power, as if already present, and wept over them. Josephus says that the period from King David, who was the first of the Jews who reigned there, to this destruction under Titus, was one thousand one hundred and seventy-nine years, beginning 1109 B.C.; but from its first building as Jebus to this last destruction, was two thousand one hundred and seventy seven years, from 2107 B.C. to A.D. 70; yet neither its great antiquity, nor its vast riches, nor the spread of its nation over all the habitable earth, nor the greatness of the venerations paid to it on a religious account, were sufficient to save it from being destroyed. And thus ended the siege of Jerusalem.

Titus's use of traditional Roman military tactics—defense walls, towers, catapults, and battering rams—in overtaking the city demonstrated that he was a capable, but not innovative, military leader. He was also greatly aided by the competence of Tiberius Alexander his military advisor, and former governor of Egypt, who was distinguished for his wisdom and loyalty. Titus had sometimes displayed a reckless interference, especially in the early stages of the siege, but these flaws were more due to inexperience than to military incompetence. However, he also displayed remarkable energy in the field and the ability to inspire deep loyalty in his troops. As a result, Jerusalem was efficiently, if not brutally, overcome, and the large-scale campaign in Judaea entrusted to Titus was effectively won, culminating in the capture and final destruction of Jerusalem in September of that year.

Indiscretion also played a part in his activities, particularly in his dalliance with Berenice. In Jerusalem, he had an affair with Berenice of Cilicia, the daughter of King Herod Agrippa, the thrice-married sister of Marcus Julius Herod Agrippa II, an Eastern monarch with a strong allegiance to Rome. Powerful, wealthy, and experienced in Eastern affairs, Berenice was a formidable match for Titus. Yet, as Cleopatra's relationship with Mark Antony had earlier shown, involvement with an Eastern queen represented a threat to Roman stability that could not be tolerated. The Romans had memories of Cleopatra, and marriage to an Eastern queen was repugnant to public opinion. Marriage remained an impossibility.

Soon afterwards Titus prepared to return to Rome, leaving to his successors the final operations after the campaign to root out remaining enemy forces or installations in Judea; and, on his quitting the province, with Titus there was cause for alarm when his victorious troops in Palestine, after his victory in Judaea, urged him to take them with him to Italy; the soldiers would have detained him, earnestly begging him, and not without threats, either to stay, or take them all with him. There seems to have been some talk of the successful general revolting against his father; and it was suspected that they acted on his prompting. This occurrence gave rise to the suspicion that he was considering some sort of challenge to his father, of his being engaged in a design to rebel, and claim for himself the government of the East; and the suspicion increased, when, on his way to Alexandria, he wore a diadem at the consecration of the ox Apis at Memphis; and, though he did it only in compliance with an ancient religious custom of that country, yet there were some who put a bad construction upon it; but he returned alone.

Making, therefore, what haste he could into Italy, he arrived first at Rhegium, and sailing from there in a merchant ship to Puteoli, he went to Rome with all possible speed.

Ecclesiastical History III, chapters 5–8
Wars 4.11.3–7.11.5 [Book 4:659–663; Books 5–6; Book 7:1]
Twelve Caesars: Titus 8–11

Reading time approximately 3 hours.

The Twelve Caesars: Divus Vespasian
The Histories: Book IV (January - November, A.D. 70)
Vespasian: Roman Emperor (
Vespasian (

The Twelve Caesars: Divus Titus
The Histories: Book V (A.D. 70)
Titus: Roman Emperor (
Titus (

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome of Book LXIV (

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome of Book LXV (

War, Book 4 (
War, Book 5 (
War, Book 6 (
War, Book 7 (

Wars between the Jews and Romans: the destruction of Jerusalem (70 CE) (

First Jewish-Roman War: Siege of Jerusalem, J. E. Lendon, associate professor of history at the University of Virginia. (

Josephus: The Essential Writings A Condensation of Jewish Antiquities and The Jewish War, Translated and Edited by Paul L. Maier, © 1988, Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel, Inc. P.O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Eusebius—The Church History: A New Translation with Commentary, Copyright © 1999 by Paul Maier, Published by Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel Inc., P.O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501

Church History (Eusebius): The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (

The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop of Caesarea, In Palestine (

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (
See Biblical Canon and Apocrypha.

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multiple versions of any verse
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Hebrew Calendar Converter See exact equivalents of Gregorian Calendar dates.

This chapter is the second part of a summary of the intervening years between the martyrdom of Peter and Paul under Nero and the writing of the New Testament works of the Epistle of Jude and the Book of Revelation and Letters of John the Apostle. Sources are linked above.

Historians and Bible scholars disagree on the precise dates of the intervening years. But in general they do agree that the entire historical period extends from about A.D. 67 through 90.
This chapter summary of the intervening years is a continuation from the previous chapter Forty-six. The two concluding chapters include the Letter of Jude and the First Letter of Clement in chapter Forty-eight, and the Book of Revelation, and the Letters of John in chapter Forty-nine.

"xenophobic hatred", from Greek ξένος, xenos stranger, and φόβος, phobos fear.

This is a hatred rooted in an unreasoning fear or rejection of what is unfamiliar and strange, of anything perceived as unnatural, even unhealthy, and as threatening the stability, even the life, the very existence, of any ethnic group, people, race and nation, a stability which they regard and take for granted as the established order of society and of nature itself. See xenophobia.

"The city of Jerusalem was fortified with three walls". From Wars Book 5.

Material in The Wars of the Jews, Book 5, Chapters 5 and 6, the descriptions of the city and of the temple provided by Josephus, have been here rearranged and placed in this Harmony according to a more chronological and historical sequence, as descriptions of them before they were burnt and destroyed, rather than as the historian himself arranged and presented them, as retrospective reflections on what had been lost.
See Images of the model of Jerusalem at the Jerusalem Hotel
See Map of the Siege of Jerusalem

"Xystus" also Xistus. From the ancient Greek ξυστός ksustos xystus "scraped", from ξυω ksuo xuō "scrape", referring to its polished floor. —from Xystus (

The word denotes a long and open portico inside a gymnasium, used especially by ancient Greeks or Romans for athletic exercises in wintry or stormy weather; and sometimes also a walkway lined with trees.
The Xystus of Jerusalem was an open terrace, erected in the Hellenistic period, probably under the Herodians. The classical term denotes a covered colonnade in the gymnasia, although the Romans also employed the word to designate open terraces before the colonnades of their country houses.
See Xystus (

"a certain place called Ophlas" Grecized form of "Ophel".

See Ophel and Hulda Gates (, includes photos, maps and archaeological information.
See 2 Chronicles 27:3; 33:14; Nehemiah 3:26-27; 11:21
The Book of Nehemiah, chapter 3, gives an account of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem by the Jews, after they had returned from the Babylonian exile, with the names of all the gates. Nehemiah 3 RSVCE

"stones twenty-eight feet long, and fourteen feet wide"—literally, "twenty cubits long, and ten cubits broad" Whiston translation.

Throughout this version the cubit is taken to be seventeen inches, approximately a foot and a half, a length as measured from the tip of the bent elbow to the tip of the middle finger of the average five foot tall Middle Eastern first century male.
20 cu. = 17" × 20" = 340" ÷ 12 = 28.3333...ft., roughly twenty-eight feet
10 cu. = 17" × 10" = 170" ÷ 12 = 14.16666...ft., about fourteen feet
2 cu. = 34" ÷ 12 = 2.83333...ft., about three feet
3 cu. = 51" ÷ 12 = 4.25 ft., or four and a quarter feet
25 cu. = 425" ÷ 12 = 35.416666...ft, about thirty-five and a half feet
200 cu. = 3400" ÷ 12 = 283.3333...ft., "the spaces between them two hundred eighty-three feet and four inches"
70 cu. = 1190" ÷ 12 = 99.16666...ft, almost exactly ninety-nine feet and one and a quarter inches, or more simply about "ninety-nine feet high" ("for being seventy cubits high, it afforded a prospect of Arabia...").

"the whole circumference of the city was four miles two hundred twenty yards around, or nineteen thousand eight hundred feet"—literally, "the whole compass of the city was thirty-three furlongs" Whiston translation.

Throughout this version the furlong in Whiston's translation of Josephus is taken to be six hundred and sixty feet, one eighth of a mile. One mile is 5280 feet, or 1760 yards, or 8 furlongs.
See Convert furlongs to miles (

"towers" a generic term for any strongly built structure representing governmental or regional authority.

This term was anciently used to denote a castle, fortress or palace with defensible walls. It did not necessarily indicate tall structures like the Washington Monument or the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Modern examples of the ancient meaning of tower are the Pentagon, the Kremlin, and Saint Peter's Basilica.

"the appearance of it resembled the tower of Pharos"

The Lighthouse of Pharos at Alexandria in antiquity was one of the classical Seven Wonders of the World.

"brazen statues" brass statuary. These may have been made of actual brass, not bronze.

According to many biblical scholars the English KJV Bible word "brass" probably indicates bronze, or copper, especially in references to brazen (brass) objects in events predating 500 B.C. and the time of Ezra.
However, the mention of brazen statues rather than bronze statues in Whiston, et al, translations of the description of the city of Jerusalem by Josephus in Wars 5.4.4 [181] may in fact be historically accurate.
See the following:
Brass or Bronze? Is the word "brass" an error in the King James Bible? by Another King James Bible Believer (
Brass - Easton's Bible Dictionary - Smith's Bible Dictionary (
It is not impossible that brazen statues were in the palaces of A.D. 1st century Jerusalem. Greek and Roman documents suggest that the intentional production of alloys similar to modern brass, using copper and a zinc oxide-rich ore known as calamine, began around the 1st century B.C..
The History of Brass—From Coins to Modern Ammunition. by Terence Bell

"for all his works are right and his ways just; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase." Daniel 4:37b.

A citation of the words of the humbled tyrant Nebuchadnezzar, after God had stricken him with madness for his arrogant pride.
Compare Sirach 10:12-19 in light of the accounts of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in Josephus and Eusebius.

"A.U.C." Latin abbreviation of anno urbis conditae: "in the year of the founded city" : in the year that Rome was founded. —Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

This A.U.C. is an abbreviation related to a Latin phrase meaning "from the founding of the City (Rome)", Ab urbe condita, traditionally dated to 753 B.C..
Add 753 to the normal Gregorian date to derive the Roman date A.U.C. (the designating abbreviation is always placed after the number of the date: for example, the year A.D. 2001 converts to 2754 A.U.C.). Thus A.D. 70 is 823 A.U.C., and A.D. 1 is 754 A.U.C..

"praetor of the city"

Praetor, Latin, from præir, to go before; foremost, the first (-ranking citizen). A city magistrate of ancient Rome, having charge of the administration of justice; also spelled pretor.

"Gaius Licinius Mucianus" See the following articles:

"the legates" (plural; singular, legate)

In ancient Rome, a legate was: a An advisor or deputy of a general or commander in chief. b Under the empire, a governor of a province.
Generally, a legate is an official envoy, usually acting as a diplomatic representative of a government; most particularly, in ecclesiastical usage, the legate is an ecclesiastic, either priest or bishop, appointed as an official representative of the Pope, a papal legate.

"impeachments" charges leveled against high public officials.

This refers to accusations, either true or false, made against individuals with influence or power for the purpose of ruining them, such as impeachment proceedings against a judge or governor, or head of state like the president of the United States; guilty persons who denounce each other when apprehended and confronted with evidence, either real or manufactured, of their cooperation or conspiracy in wrongdoing are said to impeach each other, usually to avoid condemnation or as a means of seeking reduction in their punishment ("to make a deal"), also sometimes to increase the charges against others—each blames the other.
See Genesis 3:12.

"sycophantic spirit of the times"

Sycophant denotes a servile flatterer; a parasite.
The phrase here denotes a social period when offering insincere and exaggerated praise was expected, as a customary way of advancing and maintaining one's own position in the government and in society, and, at its most debased, as a necessary means of avoiding execution.
The Roman calendar had become bloated and encumbered with frequent observances and titles of empty adulation in honor of the emperors and their favorites, of their hobbies and interests (gardening, hunting, minor astrological phenomena, obscure pagan deities and minor spirits, invented secular and religious holidays, numbered anniversaries, fifth, tenth, twentieth, hundredth, etc.), celebrating their favorite athletes, politicians, generals, heroes, singers, poets, playwrights, writers, philosophers, architects, past and present military victories, of countless other things, and of dead persons who were to be publicly honored as gods, including parents, wives, sons, daughters, and dead pets.

"With him also was Josephus, sent by Vespasian, together with Titus, to the siege of Jerusalem."

William Whiston, translator, The Works of Flavius Josephus: The Life of Flavius Josephus, 75.

"a place called Scopus" From the Greek σκοπος, skopos.

This word means "broad view, lookout, watch(-point), or prospect".

"Titus ordered a camp to be fortified", that is, ordered defensive fortifications be erected.

Fortifications are defensive works. Field fortifications were frequently trenches surmounted by protective barriers, either natural or constructed, or were constructed protective barriers only, set up for defense against attack; to "fortify" is to provide with defensive works, to strengthen against attack. See the following sources:

"thinking that the Jews would not have dared to make a sally on them"

A sally is a rushing forth, as of troops against besiegers, from Latin salire, to leap.

"Now when the siege started...about three hundred thousand who flocked from all parts of Judea"—Eusebius, citing the words of Josephus, Ecclesiastical History Book III, Chapter 5.

Various sources listed above, with links, give differing totals of the number of pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover, apart from the number of the residents: half a million, six hundred thousand, three hundred thousand (Livius, Lendon, Maier, et al).
Compare Wars 6.9.3 and 2.14.3 "three million".

"Josephus calculates ... a total sum of one million, one hundred and ninety-seven thousand Jews in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover." Wars 6.9.3 [420]

Josephus gives the figures of 97,000 and "eleven hundred thousand" (1100 × 1000 = 1,100,000) at the end of his account of the siege of Jerusalem.
"Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand, the greater part of whom were indeed of the same nation [with the citizens of Jerusalem], but not belonging to the city itself".
The majority of these were fellow Jews, pilgrims, but not registered residents of Jerusalem.
These figures representing the number of Jews in Jerusalem at the time of Passover are presented chronologically in this Harmony at the beginning of the siege, when the city was surrounded by the armies of Titus, and they were all shut in.

"that in those very days in which they had inflicted sufferings upon the Savior and benefactor of all men, the Christ of God" —Eusebius

The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine, Translated by C.F.Cruse, 1874, George Bell and Sons, page 76.

"For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

This passage, as quoted by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III, 7, is taken from Matthew 24:21 and is seen by him in the context of Matthew 24 verses 15-21; compare Mark 13:19 in the context of Mark 13 verses 14-19.
Compare Josephus, Wars 6.9.4 "Accordingly the multitude of those that therein perished exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world."
If Matthew 24:21, with this passage, in this context
—together with the historical testimonies of both Josephus (Wars 6.6.1 [316]) and Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History III, 5) that the "Abomination of Desolation" was set up in the temple at that time
does in fact directly apply to the devastating siege and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70, and only applies to that catastrophe
—that it was unequalled in the history of the world, and absolutely will not be equaled or ever surpassed for all time to come
then the Great Tribulation which many are now expecting to occur, just before the Second Coming of Christ in the future, cannot, and never will be, as intense, or as devastating in its totality, as the tribulation of A.D. 70: as it is written: "not since the beginning of the, nor ever shall be [again]".
Many theologians and scripture scholars over the centuries have shared and promoted this interpretation, that the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 was itself the Great Tribulation foretold by Christ, who also spoke of what was to happen "immediately after the tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:22-31; Mark 13:20-28). Thus, according to this interpretation, all that remains to be fulfilled is the Second Coming of Christ in glory, the Resurrection of the dead, and the Final Judgment.
See multiple translations of Matthew 24:21 and multiple commentaries.
See also Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis).
Conservative Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists repudiate such an interpretation, and reject it entirely as a false and misleading teaching designed to entrap believers into complacency and carelessness about the salvation of their souls (see Matthew 24:42; Mark 13:37), and as an example of how "in latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" (1 Timothy 4:1 KJV; see Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10; and 2 Peter 3).
See End Times and Great Apostasy.
The Catholic Church also teaches that a final great tribulation will precede the Parousia.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 675 says:
"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. Cf. Lk 18:8; Mt 24:12"
See CCC 675, 676, 677 — full text:
Catechism of the Catholic Church: Article 7 "FROM THENCE HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD" (paragraphs 668-677).
Compare the devastation of Jerusalem and the temple in the first century with the much larger 20th century devastation of cities, synagogues, churches, and the Holocaust of World War II. Seen in this context, the unequivocal statement of Eusebius in Book 3, chapter 5, that "the Abomination of Desolation, according to the prophetic declaration, stood in the very temple of God", is taken as an accurate characterization of a single manifestation of a more pervasive and persistent evil, "a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh", not limited to a single episode in the first century, but "the Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment" (CCC 675-676). Hence, on this basis, what Eusebius stated is true: the Roman standards were the Abomination of Desolation: "finally, the abomination of desolation, according to the prophetic declaration, stood in the very temple of God"—Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book III, chapter 5 (the temple had been burned, but had not yet been demolished, since stone does not burn; see Wars 6.6.1 and 7.1.1 which states that the Romans brought their ensigns to the temple and "set them over against its eastern gate"—compare Matthew 24:15). But this was not the end. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken..." Matthew 24:29.
Compare 1 John 2:18 and commentaries regarding the coming of the Antichrist, already present in the first century, and still to come. Thus, what happened in the past, has happened many times, can happen even now, and will happen in the future. Compare Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Osama Bin Laden. Every one of them, and every leader like them, has brought and will bring devastation, death and desolation. But none of these has stood in the temple of God.
The literalist expectation of Evangelical Fundamentalism holds that the temple in Jerusalem must first be rebuilt on the original site, where now stands Islam's Dome of the Rock, and then the Great Apostasy will occur and the Antichrist will take over and sit within the holy of holies within it as the Abomination of Desolation and declare himself to be God (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 4).
See article Does The Temple Need To Be Rebuilt? (
The Protestant Reformers of the 16th century instead saw the Church as the temple of God, and the Popes as the Abomination of Desolation.
See the following:
Martin Luther: The Reformation View of Roman Catholicism (
End Times Deceptions: Pope Quotes Reveal They Are The Son Of Perdition (
See also refutations of this view:
The Path of Truth: False Teacher - Martin Luther: Unleashing the Man of Sin (
Does the Pope Claim to be God? (
The Plain Truth About Protestantism: The Errors of Protestantism (

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!...there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down." —Mt. 23:25-38; 24:2b

An additional citation, omitted by Eusebius, setting forth in context the whole cause of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, in which Jesus Christ himself declares the bloodguilt of the whole nation of the Jews, the cause for which he wept.
See multiple commentaries on Matthew 23:35 and Matthew 27:25.

"Xanthicus, which is the month Nisan"

Josephus cites the names of the months of the Ancient Macedonian lunar calendar, with the corresponding names of the Hebrew lunar calendar:
Intercalary months are not listed here.

"Now those at work covered themselves with hurdles spread over their embankments." —Wars 5.6.3 [269].

Hurdles here in the context of military action denote light, portable barriers designed to present an obstruction or shielding difficult to penetrate or remove, to prevent enemy access to siege engines and equipment; usually a moveable framework constructed of interwoven branches or sticks (with leaves), similar to heavy camouflage coverings set over tanks and artillery in the field, or temporary fencing or pens for animals, such as the large encircling thorn-brush barriers used by nomadic Middle Eastern shepherds as sheepfolds, either planted and fixed or harvested as hurdles and transported and set up as needed during migration over ranges of pasture land. Paul L. Maier renders the word "hurdles" as "wicker-work screens" (Josephus: The Essential Writings, 1988, p. 340.)

"Now, the stones were the weight of a talent, seventy-five to eighty-five pounds" Wars 5.6.3

Some translations render talent as "hundred-weight" or "hundred pounds".
Compare Revelation 16:21 and commentaries with Wars 5.9.3-4; 5.10.1-5; 5.13.4-6.
See also Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis).

"THE SON COMES" (Wars 5.6.3 [272]). Both Greek and Latin text editions of Wars of the Jews from antiquity have this reading.

"Ha-eben" in Hebrew is "the stone", and "Ha-ben" is "the son". However, Josephus did not issue a Hebrew edition of this work, and both Greek and Latin manuscripts agree in the reading "the son comes".
There has been wide linguistic and theological scholarly speculation about the significance of these words in the text, including Jewish mockery of the public prophetic warnings of Christ about the coming judgment on Jerusalem, and unintended but ironically truthful prophetic utterances prompted by God and constantly repeated by the defenders on the wall (compare John 11:49-52 and Isaiah 62:6).
Josephus here, as a witness to the siege of Jerusalem, only reports what the defenders shouted, without offering any explanation of what they meant. It may simply have been an example of Semitic word play, paronomasia, used by the defiant defenders of Jerusalem much in the same way that modern military personnel joke ironically about artillery fire as "incoming mail", and their references to especially intimidating armor, and to particular pieces of large ordnance, or to firearms such as the .357 Magnum, as "the Big Boy".
Paul L. Meier (Josephus: The Essential Writings p. 340) renders the text as, "SONNY'S COMING!"
Compare the parable Jesus spoke about how the king sent his son (as a form of intimidation) to the rebellious land tenants who killed his servants, saying, "They will respect my son." (Matthew 21:37). Thus the cultural reference may simply be the same as a phrase commonly used today among cheating and misbehaving employees in the offices, factories, fields and mines of a very rich and powerful man, when his most trusted chief overseer, his own son, comes unannounced for an inspection, "Watch out! Here comes the son!"

"a plebeian and an husbandman"

A plebeian was one of the common people, especially of ancient Rome, "one of the Roman mob"; from Latin plebeius, from plebs "the common people". In the U.S. military academies at West Point and Annapolis, a plebe (from pleb) is a member of the lowest class.
The archaic meaning of an husbandman is one who tills the soil; a farmer.

"they had fed themselves on the public miseries, and drunk the blood of the city." A Semitic expression for abusive tyranny and oppression.

This metaphor does not express a blessing or a reward for devoted service, but applies only to those who do evil, who crush the people, and ruin individual lives. Bible readers who believe that Jesus was speaking only metaphorically, spiritually, or poetically, about eating his flesh and drinking his blood are thus faced with a contradiction. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life within you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." John 6:52-56. See Strong's Concordance entry EATETH for these verses in John, keyed to Strong's number 5176 τρώγω, trõgõ, to gnaw or chew. This Greek word had and has no figurative, or metaphorical meaning. This passage in John is one of the biblical texts cited by Catholic, Orthodox, and some major Protestant churches regarding the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. See Real presence and Transubstantiation. Many Protestant Churches firmly deny that Jesus was speaking literally when He said "He who eateth my flesh...".
Compare Psalm 14:4; Proverbs 29:10; Isaiah 49:26; Revelation 16:6.

"our Legislator"

The Lawgiver, Moses. See Torah.

"Many sold what they had for one measure of wheat...of barley"

One measure of grain equals one dry quart, or four cups full.

"About the same time an alarming revolt in the Rhineland was broken by Vespasian’s cousin Petilius Cerialis." See The Batavian Rebellion (

The particular events of the putting down of the Batavian Rebellion of Civilis in Germany in A.D. 70 from 7 June to 30 August under the Roman general Cerialis were concurrent with the siege of Jerusalem by Titus. See also
The Histories: Book IV (January - November, A.D. 70)
Quintus Petillius Cerialis (
Who Was Petilius Cerialis? Nancy Jardine (
Quintus Petillius Cerialis (
Imperial General: The Remarkable Career of Petilius Cerealis (

"Remember the words of Jesus, how he had said..." Luke 21:20-22.

This text has been inserted in the appropriate place in the text as a demonstration that even when Titus had surrounded the city with armies, and was besieging it, the inhabitants were still able to depart for a time, and that those who did so escaped with their lives. Thus, it was not impossible, as some have imagined, for those inside the city to be able to obey the commandment of the Lord to depart when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies. Compare Jeremiah 38:2-3

"a medimnus of wheat was sold for a talent" Wars 5.13.7 [571].

A medimnus equals one and a half bushels.
See Medimnus definition by Merriam-Webster
A talent of money equals 3000 shekels, or 60 minas, 76.5 lbs. of precious metal, either silver or gold (Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary 2003, "Coins" p. 315; "Weights and Measures" p. 1666).
The Bible mentions both talents of silver and talents of gold. 1 Kings 20:39; 2 Kings 5:22; 23:33; 1 Chronicles 26:2; 2 Chronicles 36:3.
Compare the famine text of 2 Kings 6:25.

"So the rebels supposed they had now slain the one man they most desired to kill"

Josephus, a Jewish general who supported the Romans against the rebellious tyrants, was regarded by many Jews as the worst kind of turncoat traitor.
See The Life Of Flavius Josephus, from The Works of Flavius Josephus: Autobiography William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (

"twelve of these men who were front guards keeping watch on the embankments" Wars 6.1.7 [68].

Paul L. Maier says "twenty" men. "Two days later, twenty of the guards..." Josephus: The Essential Writings p. 353 (top of the page).

"he gave orders to attack the guard of the temple about 3 A.M., the ninth hour of that night, the hour of the power of darkness" (The following note is taken from footnote #292 of the article Literalist Bible chronology.)

Jesus was arrested at the "hour of darkness" Luke 22:53 (3 A.M.)
The hour of darkness is about 3 A.M. according to the ancient traditions of many cultures, the hour when most people die at night, when physiological human vitality temporarily ebbs, and when hostile military forces favor launching a sudden night attack.
See five distinct points of view sharing similar common ground on the time of the hour of darkness:
Titus had a practical military intuitive understanding of human physiology when the posted night watch guard of the enemy is least alert and most vulnerable. Also 3 A.M. was the traditional beginning of the fourth watch of the night, with the changing of the watch, when they would be most distracted. Both would have a tendency to mild drowsiness, one having just woke up, the other looking forward to sleep. (Woe to the guard whose relief came and found him asleep!) The Romans "did not find the guards asleep" as they had (hoped and) expected.

"Perea" In New Testament times the territory east of the Jordan River, "beyond the Jordan" (peran tou Iordanou: Greek peran, beyond), with Galilee forming the Tetrarchy of Herod Antipas, about 25 miles from Jerusalem.

On rare occasions, when atmospheric conditions permit, sounds from Jerusalem can be heard on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.
However, William Whiston, 1736, in his note regarding Perea in Wars 6.5.1, expresses doubt that the region of Perea returned echoes of the tremendous, combined sound of the roar of the burning of the temple, the cries of the people, and the shouts of the victorious legions. (The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume, New Updated Edition, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1987, p. 741.)
See Perea (
See also Map of New Testament Israel showing Perea (

"an ambiguous oracle, which was also found in their sacred writings, how, about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth." Wars 6.6.4 [312]

This "ambiguous oracle" was not only an oracle outside of the sacred scriptures of the Tanakh, the Jewish Bible, but parallel to (and most probably based on) the text of Psalm 2:8, which Eusebius quotes, Book III, chapter 8, at the end of that chapter.

"'They refused to hearken, and turned a stubborn shoulder" Zechariah 7:11-14.

A reminder of why the Lord destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, as applicable in the first century as it was in 587 B.C.

"in a final desecration of the Temple, sacrifice was made to the Roman standards.... Finally, the abomination of desolation ... stood in the very temple of God." (Wars 6.6.1 [316]; Ecclesiastical History III, 5).

According to scholars such as Havercamp, and Tertullian, the entire religion of the Roman camp almost consisted in worshipping the ensigns, in swearing by the ensigns, and in preferring the ensigns before all the other gods (Tertullian, Apologetic 16.162, and Havercamp's note there).
They were regarded as more than magical totems, similar to minor gods, or patron deities, or idols.
See the following links:

"underground coverts"

Whiston translation: "underground subterfuges"; subterranean concealments, hiding places, hideouts; not the same as catacombs or underground tombs, such as the hiding places of the early Christians where they gathered for worship during periods of Roman state persecution. The word "crypt" is from Greek κρύπτέ krupé hidden, a chamber or vault, especially one beneath a church, used as a place of burial.

"and sold the rest of the multitude, with their wives and children, and every one of them at a very low price"—
—"he put them into bonds, and sent them to the Egyptian mines."

See Deuteronomy 28:68; Ezekiel 19:4; Hosea 8:13.
Moses and the prophets warned the Jews that if they became obstinate in their idolatry and wickedness, they would be sold, and sent again into Egypt, for their punishment.

"and reserved them for the triumph"

The Roman triumph was a spectacular victory celebration parade held in the city of Rome for a military commander who had won an important victory on the battlefield, which included spoils of war, representative numbers of captives, slaves, and captured and defeated leaders (many of them executed afterward).
The triumph of Vespasian and his son Titus in A.D. 71 for their victory in Judea was notable for its ostentatious display of the riches from the temple at Jerusalem.
See Roman Triumph (

"but those under seventeen were sold as slaves, and the number of these alone was ninety thousand"

This figure of "ninety thousand" is found in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History Book III, Chapter 7.

"all of that ancient threshing floor was swept clean and left desolate, where the chaff was blown away" Compare Matthew 3:12.

A threshing floor in general is a wide flat area open to the sky, usually in a windy location, where workers at harvest time winnow the grain by drawing threshing-sledges over the gathered sheaves, which have been spread out, which breaks the stalks, loosening the ears of grain, and then with winnowing baskets or winnowing forks toss the separated ears of grain into the air, allowing the wind to blow away the lighter chaff as the grains of wheat fall to the ground. The chaff is gathered up and burned, while the grain is stored away.
The temple of God first built by Solomon was erected on the site of the threshing floor where David had first built an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings (2 Samuel 24:25). After the plague the LORD had inflicted on Israel for the sin that David had committed in numbering the people, the prophet Gad came to David and told him to build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:18), also called Ornan the Jebusite (1 Chronicles 21:18). After David had purchased the threshing floor from Araunah/Ornan—and the oxen also for an additional fifty shekels of silver—he dedicated it by vow to the LORD as the future site of the one holy temple of the living God (1 Chronicles28:11-19). Now, in accordance with the Law of Moses, so that this site so wholly dedicated as a sacrifice to the LORD might not be burned and destroyed by being demolished, as a total offering to God, but redeemed intact to be dedicated to the worship of the LORD (see Leviticus 27:28-29 and commentaries), the priests evidently assessed the monetary equivalent of the religious and spiritual value of the site dedicated to so lofty and sacred a purpose above the value of all other material offerings that could be made out of all the possessions of the Israelites, and more particularly out of the possessions of him whom God had made king over all his people Israel and had prospered (see Leviticus 27:16-25), and had pronounced its value at six hundred shekels of gold by weight (1 Chronicles 21:25). Having now purchased the site at its full value as ground to be dedicated entirely to the LORD, he gave what had now cost him such an enormously adjusted sum, representing its full worth as holy real estate, entirely to the LORD ("I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing" 2 Samuel 24:24; 1 Chronicles 21:4-25). David paid out six hundred shekels of gold for the threshing floor, and fifty shekels of silver for the oxen. If this is not a proper reading of the text, and this is not what actually happened, then a contradiction exists in the Bible.
Those textual critics who see a contradiction between the texts of 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles regarding the purchase of the threshing floor have not taken all facts into account. There is no actual contradiction in the inspired text, for God cannot contradict himself, nor is the value stated in 1 Chronicles necessarily an exaggeration based on an unrealistic symbolic or poetic expression solely designed to impress the reader with the importance of the site, but it may be simply instead an actual statement of fact. Honest textual critics who believe in the veracity of the sacred text in accordance with the literal sense of scripture are careful to point out that biblical researchers, scholars and readers should not be ready to say, "I don't believe that!" before considering all of the available textual and historical evidence and the fact that the Bible represents a culture, even a form of spirituality, very different from their own. What the Bible states as a fact is not in fact "absolutely impossible" or "highly improbable" simply because some cannot or will not accept it. The reader should always be ready to ask, "What is their factual basis for this assertion?" and "What is their motivation for making such assertions?" See Historical-critical method (Higher criticism).
After the temple was built by Solomon, the area of this threshing floor was expanded by constructing a wider platform around the temple, supported at the outer edges by layers of foundation stones. Herod, who rebuilt the second temple erected by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah after the return of the Jews from exile, had further expanded the whole area of the temple complex and erected magnificent stone foundations around the outer area of the temple mount, using stones cut into blocks so huge they are even today called Herodian stones. The Western Wall had never been part of the temple itself. The whole of the temple area atop the temple mount, Mount Moriah, was the threshing floor of the Lord.

"Upon her came all the righteous blood shed since the foundation of the world."

Compare Matthew 23:34-36; Luke 11:49-51

"but from its first building as Jebus" See 1 Chronicles 11:4-5.

The original name of Jerusalem, before David took it. Compare Judges 19:10.

"Marcus Julius Herod Agrippa II, son of Agrippa I.

See Agrippa II (

"consecration of the ox Apis at Memphis" An Egyptian god of the harvest.

See Apis (

The events of A.D. 70 are not included in the Conservative Bible New Testament.

See these Conservapedia articles: Vespasian, Titus, Domitian.


Chapter 48 Historical texts
Bible text

After the conquest of Jerusalem, tradition says that the apostles and disciples of the Lord who were still alive gathered from everywhere together with those who were relatives of the Lord according to the flesh, for many of them were still alive. They all discussed together who ought to succeed James, and unanimously decided that Symeon, son of the Clopas mentioned in the Gospels, was worthy of the bishop's throne in Jerusalem, and by the blessing of the Lord, through the laying on of their hands, he was made Episcopos. It is said that he was a first cousin of the Savior, for Hegesippus the historian relates that Symeon's father Clopas was the brother of Joseph the husband of Mary, the mother of the Lord.

In Rome Domitian was acting as regent for his father Vespasian. He was in Rome during his father's uprising against Vitellius in A.D. 69, but he remained unharmed, though he was in the fighting there. And when his uncle Titus Flavius Sabinus, elder brother of Vespasian and city prefect of Rome, attempted to seize power from Vitellius on eighteen December, he was with Sabinus; and when Vitellius decided not to abdicate when his soldiers cried out for him to stand fast, he went through the fighting on the Capitol. He managed to escape, but Sabinus was executed. Then after the arrival of twenty thousand of his father's troops, led by Gaius Licinius Mucianus, the governor of Syria and ally of Vespasian, and the execution of Vitellius, Domitian enjoyed the privilege of acting as regent for a short time, beginning one January A.D. 70.

On first succeeding to power, he felt such an abhorrence for the shedding of blood that he planned to publish a proclamation, “to forbid the sacrifice of oxen,” before his father’s arrival in Rome, calling to mind the verse of Virgil,

Impia quam caesis gens est epulata juvencis,
“Ere impious man, restrain’d from blood in vain,
Began to feast on flesh of bullocks slain—.”

But the older Mucianus acted as Domitian's colleague in this regency, and he carefully kept Domitian in check. For example, with rebels against the new regime in Germany and Gaul, Domitian was eager to seek glory in suppressing the revolt, in an attempt to equal his brother Titus' military exploits. But he was prevented by Mucianus. The general lawlessness with which he exploited his position as the emperor's son clearly showed what might be expected of him later.

Before Vespasian’s return Mucianus reduced the Praetorian Guard, greatly enlarged by Vitellius, to approximately its former size; and the legions on the frontiers were soon regrouped to remove from dangerous positions those who had fought for Vitellius.

In late summer, about the end of September, early October A.D. 70, Vespasian returned to Rome from Alexandria.

Suetonius considered Vespasian to be the "savior that would come out of Judea," setting forth his opinion in De Vitae Caesarium, Vespasian 4, saying.

"An ancient superstition was current in the east that out of Judaea would come the rulers of the world. This prediction, as it later proved, referred to the Roman emperors, but the Jews, who read it as referring to themselves, rebelled."

Thus, even the Romans acknowledged the Jewish belief of the time that a savior would arise from Judea.

Josephus also thought this was fulfilled in Vespasian; that this and other mysterious prophecies had pointed to Vespasian and Titus; but the common people of the Jews, blinded as usual by ambition, had interpreted these mighty destinies as referring to themselves, and they could not be brought to believe the truth even by disasters foretold to them by the true Christ who had divine knowledge of the judgment which fell upon them. For Vespasian did not rule the whole world, but only that part of it subject to the Romans. With better right it could be applied to Christ, to whom the Father said, "Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession." And it was at that very time, indeed, that the voice of his holy apostles went throughout all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

Vespasian himself clearly felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He accumulated acclamations and salutations as imperator from his armies, and he allowed Titus to share them with him. He carefully and zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted and portended his accession to the throne, and he also built up the titles surrounding his name.

Suetonius relates that when Vespasian was made emperor, he remembered the following omens:

An ancient oak tree, sacred to Mars, growing on the Flavian estate near Rome, put out a shoot on each of the three occasions when his mother gave birth, and these clearly had a bearing on the child's future. The first slim shoot withered quickly, and the eldest child, a girl, died within the year. The second shoot was long and healthy, promising good luck, but the third seemed more like a tree than a branch. Sabinus, the father, also is said to have been greatly impressed by an inspection of a sacrificial animal's entrails and to have congratulated his mother on having a grandson who would become emperor. She roared with laughter and said, "Fancy your going soft in the head before your old mother does!"

Later, during Vespasian's aedileship, the emperor Gaius Caligula, furious because Vespasian had not kept the streets clean as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with mud; they obeyed by stuffing into the fold of his senatorial toga as much as it could hold—an omen interpreted to mean that one day the soil of Italy would be neglected and trampled upon as the result of civil war, but that Vespasian would protect it and take it to his bosom.

Then the incident in which a stray dog picked up a human hand at the crossroads, which it brought into the room where Vespasian was breakfasting and dropped under the table, a hand, manus, signifying to the Romans the power that a husband has over a wife or a father over his children and slaves, as also the expression manus dei means the "hand of God", and the representation of a hand on the Roman standard signifies the imperium, the right to command, and authority to use the force of the state to enforce its laws.

On another occasion an ox shook off its plow-yoke, burst into Vespasian's dining room, scattered the servants, and then, as if suddenly exhausted, fell at his feet and lowered its neck.

He also found a cypress tree lying uprooted on his grandmother's farm, even though there had been no storm to account for it; yet the next day it had taken root again and was greener and stronger than ever.

In Achaia, Vespasian dreamed he and his family would begin to prosper from the moment Nero lost a tooth, and on the following day, while he was in the imperial quarters, a doctor entered and showed him one of Nero's teeth which he had just extracted.

In Judaea, Vespasian had consulted the pagan god of Carmel and was given a promise by the augurs that he would never be disappointed in what he planned or desired, however lofty his ambitions. Also, a distinguished Jewish prisoner of Vespasian's, Josephus by name, insisted that he would soon be released by the very man who had now put him in fetters and who would then be emperor.

Reports of additional omens also came from Rome: Nero had seemingly been warned in a dream shortly before his death to take the sacred chariot of Jupiter Optimus Maximus from the Capitol to the Circus, calling at Vespasian's house as he went. Soon after this, while Galba was on his way to the elections which gave him a second consulship, there was a report that a statue of Julius Caesar turned of its own accord to face east; and at Betriacum, when the battle was about to begin, two eagles fought in full view of both armies, but a third appeared from the rising sun and drove off the victor.

And in Egypt, after entering the temple of Serapis alone to consult the auspices and discover how long he would last as emperor, and after offering many sacrifices, and turning to leave, Vespasian saw his freedman Basilides, whose name means king, and for a long time nearly crippled from rheumatism and moreover still far away, approaching and extending to him the customary branches, garlands and bread which were symbols of kingship in Hellenistic Egypt, when almost at once dispatches from Italy brought the news of the defeat of Vitellius at Cremona and his assassination at Rome; and still rather bewildered in his new role of emperor, though he felt a certain lack of authority and what might be called the divine spark, yet both these attributes, the authority and the feeling of divinity, were seemingly granted him. As he sat on the tribunal, two laborers, one blind, the other lame, approached together, begging to be healed. He was informed that the god Serapis had promised them in a dream that if Vespasian would consent to spit on the blind man's eyes and touch the lame man's leg with his heel, both would be made well. Vespasian had so little faith in his curative powers that he showed great reluctance in doing as he was asked, but his friends persuaded him to try them, and in the presence of a large audience too—and the charm apparently worked. At the same time, certain soothsayers felt inspired to excavate a sacred site at Tegea in Arcadia, where a hoard of very ancient vases was discovered, all painted with a striking effigy, or likeness, of Vespasian.

Returning now to Rome, under these auspicious omens, and with a great reputation, at every opportunity he accumulated imperial salutations and multiple consulships.

Upon his arrival in Rome, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. While in Egypt he had been concerned with raising money; and his exorbitant taxations and extortions, coupled with sales of imperial estates to speculators, caused great discontent among the Egyptians. He now announced that about three times the revenue of the empire was needed to put the state to rights, and both before and after his return he promoted his financial program. During his reign he increased, and sometimes doubled, provincial taxation and revoked immunities granted to various Greek-speaking provinces and cities. He reclaimed public land in Italy from squatters and instituted various new taxes, including diverting to Rome’s treasury the tax paid by Jews of the Diaspora to the Temple at Jerusalem. While such measures were essential after the deficit incurred by Nero and the devastations of the civil wars, contemporary sources continued to charge Vespasian with avarice. The measures he imposed are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. But such a charge is irrelevant to any emperor in the year 70. His fiscal reforms and consolidation of the empire generated political stability and a vast Roman building program.

Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was the only man who presumed to salute him on his return from Syria by his common name Vespasian, and, when he came to be praetor, omitted any mark of honor to him, or even any honorable mention of him in his edicts, yet Vespasian was not angry, and allowed him great leniency. Helvidius and his friends had already expressed general misgivings about Vespasian’s government in the early months of 70. With Helvidius Priscus may be associated a group accused of posing as stoic philosophers who were later expelled from Italy for voicing their public opinions of opposition.

Vespasian had some difficulty with his sons at the beginning of his reign. Domitian had been overbearing and irresponsible in the months before his father’s return. With his son Titus there was apparent cause for alarm when his troops, after his victory in Judaea, asked him to take them to Italy; but he returned alone, and without Berenice. Making what haste he could into Italy, Titus arrived first at Rhegium, and sailing from there in a merchant ship to Puteoli, he went to Rome with all possible speed. But eventually he returned alone. Presenting himself unexpectedly to his father, he said, by way of contradicting the strange reports that had been raised concerning him, “I am come, father, I am come.”

Titus thus returned to Rome; and he triumphed jointly with Vespasian. A man of great promise and reputation, Vespasian, on the occasion of his own return in Rome, now celebrated the whole of the Judaean campaign with a triumph over the Jews; Vespasian, Titus and their soldiers celebrated, participating in a lavish joint triumph, Domitian also riding a white horse behind his father and brother, who were gloriously arrayed in the imperial chariot ahead of him. They paraded through the streets of their capital in a beautiful procession, which culminated in the punishment of the Jewish leaders: Simon son of Giora was executed and John of Gischala was sentenced to life imprisonment. The sacred vessels, the table on which the Bread of God's Presence, the showbread, had been put, the Menorah, the curtain and all the other objects that no one except the high priest, descended from Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, son of Israel, was allowed to see, were carried through the Roman streets.

Vespasian was so little fond of external and superficially added adornments, that, on the day of his triumph, being quite fatigued with the length and tediousness of the procession, he could not resist saying that it served him right, for having in his old age been so silly as to desire a triumph; as if it had either been expected by himself or more rightly was due his ancestors. Nor would he for a long time accept the tribunician authority, or the title of Father of his Country. And in regard to the custom of searching those who came to salute him, he had already dropped it even in the time of the civil war.

During the four years of war, the Romans had taken ninety-seven thousand prisoners. Thousands of them were forced to become gladiators and were killed in the arena, fighting wild animals or fellow gladiators. Some, who were known as criminals, were burned alive. Others were employed at Seleucia, where they were forced to dig a tunnel. But most of these prisoners were brought to Rome, where they were forced afterwards to build the Forum of Peace, a park in the heart of Rome, and the Colosseum. The Menorah and the Table were exhibited in the Temple of Concord.

The boundless riches from the treasury of the Jerusalem Temple were used to strike coins with the words JUDAEA CAPTA, which is, Judaea captive. The basic design elements of the coins struck in Rome or in its Empire are a palm tree and a seated figure of a female as an allegorical representative of Judaea in an attitude of mourning, sometimes also represented as dominated by a powerfully erect, standing figure of a Roman male wearing imperial armor. Any Roman would be reminded of the victory of their emperor. The Jews were forced to pay an additional tax, a poll-tax, or head tax, called fiscus Judaicus. Hegesippus also reports that after the conquest of Jerusalem, Vespasian ordered a search be made for all descendants of David so that no member of the royal house should be left among the Jews, which resulted in another great persecution of the Jews.

After enjoying a triumph for victories over the Jews, Vespasian added during his reign eight more consulships to his former one, the one he had already earned. His first consulship had been in A.D. 51; on becoming emperor, he again held the consulate in A.D. 70 and thereafter, for brief periods on each occasion, every year of his reign except two, A.D. 73 and 78, a total of eight; and he gave frequent consulates to his two sons, Titus and Domitian. He also likewise assumed the censorship, the office of censor, head of the census and supervisor of public manners and morals, and made it his principal concern, during the whole of his government, first to restore order in the state, which had been almost ruined, and was in a tottering condition, and then to improve it; throughout his reign making it his principal business to shore up the foundations of the commonwealth, which were in a state of collapse, and then to embellish it artistically with public works and buildings of admirable beauty.

It was in the same spirit of stabilization that Vespasian turned to military affairs; and he also re-established discipline in the army.

The first task was to restore discipline to the armies after the events of 68 and 69. The troops, whose discipline had become slack either from the exultation of victory or the humiliation of defeat, had been indulging in all sorts of wild excesses; the soldiers, one part of them emboldened by victory, and the other smarting with the disgrace of their defeat, had abandoned themselves to every kind of licentiousness and insolent behavior. He therefore disbanded many of Vitellius’s soldiers, discharging and dismissing large numbers of them; and he punished others; and, he was so far from granting any extraordinary favors to the sharers of his success, his own troops, that he was slow or late in paying them the gratuities due to them by law, even the victory bonus to which they were entitled.

He missed no opportunity of tightening discipline: that he might not let slip any opportunity of reforming the discipline of the army, by way of making an example, when a young man reeking of too much perfume came to him to return thanks for having appointed him to command a squadron of cavalry, he turned away his head in disgust, and crushed him with this sharp reprimand, “I had rather that you had smelled of garlic,” and cancelled the order, revoking his commission, saying, "I should not have minded so much if it had been garlic." When the men belonging to the fleet marine brigade, whose detachments were constantly on the march and travelled by turns between Ostia or Puteoli and Rome, petitioned for an addition to their pay by applying for a special shoe allowance under the name of shoe-money, Vespasian not only turned down the application, but, thinking it would serve little purpose to send them away without a reply, ordered them for the future to march and run barefoot, and so they did, and this has been their practice ever since.

Now, when Vespasian arrived in Rome to rule it was made evidently clear to everyone that Titus was to be the imperial heir. Because Domitian had been overbearing and irresponsible in the months before his father’s return, he was kept firmly in a junior position during the remaining years. Domitian therefore, instead, dedicated himself to poetry and the arts, though it is thought he harbored much resentment at his treatment, firmly persuaded in his own mind that Vespasian and Titus had denied him what rightfully should have been his rightful place as the imperial colleague. From that time Titus constantly acted as a colleague with his father, and, indeed, as regent of the empire. He triumphed with his father, bore jointly with him the office of censor, and was, besides, his colleague, not only in the tribunician authority, having the full authority of a Roman tribune, but also in seven consulships. Although Titus was not allowed an independent triumph, the joint celebration was deliberate, as Vespasian wished to waste no time in establishing an heir-apparent to the throne. Consequently, Titus shared in virtually every honor with the emperor during the A.D. seventies, including the tribunicial power, seven joint-consulships, and a share of the office of censor. He became virtually a partner in Vespasian’s rule, not only accumulating consulates and imperatorial salutations with his father but also, in being given command of the Praetorian Guard, was made commander of the Praetorian Guard. In front of one of Rome's Jewish quarters an arch was erected to honor Titus. Another arch was built on the Forum Romanum, where it can still be seen.

Titus had no son. Hence, if he still failed to produce or adopt an heir, the throne would eventually fall to Domitian. While Titus was meticulously groomed to be emperor, Domitian was never granted any position of authority nor allowed to win any military glory for himself. It appears he was not deemed fit by his father to hold power.

His contemporaries say that Vespasian was extremely covetous by nature, that his one serious failing was avarice, and the only thing deserving blame in his character was his love of money. On the other hand, some are of opinion that he was urged to his rapacious policies by genuine necessity, and the extreme poverty of the state treasury, which he publicly noted in his addresses at the beginning of his reign. Although many particulars are missing, the Roman sources portray him as a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. As for Rome itself, above all he resolved to rebuild the Capitol complex, burned in A.D. 69, for Rome had become unsightly, since many buildings had burned or collapsed. Because the ruins of houses which had been burnt down long before were a great eyesore to the city, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on abandoned lots; he gave leave, to any one who would, to take possession of the vacant ground and build upon it, if the original owners failed to come forward, and the proprietors should hesitate to perform the work themselves. He personally inaugurated the restoration of the burned Capitol by being the first to put his hand to clearing the ground of the rubbish, and removed some of it by collecting the first basketful of rubble and carrying it on his own shoulder. He restored the Capitol, and likewise began erecting several new buildings: a temple to Divus Claudius, the deified Claudius, on the Caelian Hill, begun by Agrippina but almost entirely demolished by Nero, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero; he was able to build his Forum and the Temple of Concord near the Forum, and to begin construction on the magnificent Flavian Amphitheatre in the center of the city, on finding that Augustus had projected such a work, located on the site of the lake over the foundations of Nero's Golden House. After a colossal statue of Nero had been moved into it, it was called the Colosseum; and it was under Vespasian that construction on the Roman Colosseum was begun.

He likewise also undertook to replace and restore the three thousand bronze tablets which had been destroyed in the fire which consumed the Capitol, hunting high and low for copies of the inscriptions engraved on them. Those curious and ancient, beautifully phrased records contained the decrees of the Senate, almost from the building of the city, senatorial decrees as well as the acts of the people, the popular ordinances which dealt with such matters as alliances, treaties and the privileges granted to any individual person, dating back almost to the foundation of Rome.

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces, forty billion, about three times the revenue of the empire, for these projects, and for others aimed at continuing the government and putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is also said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. Not satisfied with reviving the duty-taxes which had been repealed in the time of Galba, he levied new and heavier taxes, increased the tribute of the provinces, and doubled that of some of them, and he likewise openly trafficked and engaged in business dealings which would have disgraced even a private citizen, buying great quantities of goods for the purpose of retailing them again at an inflated profit. As Suetonius claims, this is most likely true, because in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source, and applied to the best purposes what he procured by bad means. However, the sum raised by Vespasian for public funds cannot be determined.

He made no scruple about extorting fees from candidates for public office, selling the great offices of the state, or selling pardons to persons under prosecution, whether they were innocent or guilty, and he is said to have deliberately advanced his greediest procurators to higher offices in which they could satisfactorily fatten their purses before he came down hard on them for extortion after they had acquired great wealth. He used them to soak up money like sponges, because it was his practice, according to the saying, to wet them when dry, only to squeeze them dry later when wet. Moreover, rumbles of internal dissension could be heard in the provinces, too, and free cities, as well as certain of the subject kingdoms in alliance with Rome, were all in a disturbed state. He revoked the privilege of self-governance from Achaia, Lycia, Rhodes, Byzantium and Samos and deprived them of their liberties; and he reduced them to the form of provinces; the kingdoms of Thrace, also, and Cilicia, as well as Comagene, which until that time had been under the government of kings, he reduced to provincial status. He stationed legions as garrisons in Cappadocia on account of the frequent barbarian raids, and appointed a governor of consular rank instead of a mere eques, a Roman knight.

Later Vespasian received by law a number of powers for which his Julio-Claudian predecessors had not sought explicit Senate approval but had implicitly assumed. Whether similar grants had been made to Galba, Otho, and Vitellius or were to be made to Vespasian’s successors is not now known; but a fragment of the empowering law survives, and it includes a provision that can be said to confer on him a naked autocracy, complete sovereignty: by law of the Senate he was now answerable to no one on earth.

More important to him than any legal enactment, however, was the recognition of his extralegal authority, auctoritas, and the prestige of what many powerful aristocratic Roman families regarded as his upstart house, a house suddenly risen from a humble position to one of importance, and, even if not actually presumptuous, is persistently seen by the aristocracy as being insufferably arrogant in tone or conduct. He actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his sons; for, he was so supremely confident in his own horoscope, and those of his family, that he dared to declare to the Senate that his sons would succeed him or no one would, and thus, throughout his reign he was insistent that his sons would succeed him, one after the other, Titus having no male issue to succeed him. Vespasian also deified his dead daughter Flavia Domitilla with the title Augusta. Before he became emperor, after an earlier mistress called Caenis, who had been a freedwoman of Antonia, sister-in-law to the emperor Tiberius, he had married one Flavia Domitilla, who bore his sons Titus and Domitian and a daughter of the same name, Flavia Domitilla. Both his wife and daughter died before he became emperor.

Vespasian behaved most generously to all classes. We find the princeps offering financial interventions of support to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, securing impoverished men of consular rank an annual pension of five hundred thousand sesterces; also rebuilding at government expense on a grander scale than before the many cities throughout the empire which had been burned or destroyed by earthquakes; and he entertained company constantly at his table, and put on lavish state dinners, often in great state and very sumptuously, to promote and assist the food trades.

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern, proving himself a devoted patron of the arts and sciences by granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. He granted to the Latin and Greek professors of rhetoric the yearly stipend of a hundred thousand sesterces each out of the state treasury. He also secured the financial freedom of superior poets and artists, and gave a noble gratuity to the restorer of the Coan of Venus, and to another artist who repaired the Colossus. He rewarded very handsomely, for his invention, someone who offered to convey some immense columns into the Capitol at a small expense by an ingeniously simple mechanical contrivance, but would not accept the service, saying, “Suffer me to find maintenance for the poor people.” To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus. In the games celebrated when the stage-scenery of the theatre of Marcellus was repaired, he restored the old musical entertainments. He gave Apollinaris, the tragedian, four hundred thousand sesterces, and to Terpinus and Diodorus, the harpers, two hundred thousand; to some a hundred thousand; and the least amount he gave to any of the performers was forty thousand, besides many golden crowns. As in the Saturnalia he made presents to the men, which they were to carry away with them, so he did to the women on the Kalends of March; even so, he could not wipe off the bad reputation of his former stinginess. The Alexandrians constantly called him Cybiosactes; a name given to one of their most corrupt kings who was insatiably avaricious.

By his encouragement of science, he displayed a liberality without example under all the preceding emperors, since the time of Augustus. Pliny the elder was now at the height of his reputation, for he was also a government minister in great favor with Vespasian; and it is probably owing to his advice that the emperor showed himself so much the patron of literary men. A writer mentioned frequently by Pliny, and who lived during this reign, was Licinius Mucianus, a Roman eques, who treated the history and geography of the eastern countries. Juvenal, who had begun his Satires several years before, continued to vehemently condemn the flagrant vices of the times, lust and luxury, rooted in the pervasive licentiousness which had so long prevailed.

The corrupted manners of the Romans had now grown to an enormous height of depravity, through the unbounded license of the times; and, to the honor of Vespasian, he discovered great zeal in his endeavors as censor to effect a national reformation of morals. He induced the Senate to enact specific measures to counteract the debauched and reckless style of living then in fashion. He obtained a decree of the Senate that a woman who formed a union with the slave of another person should also lose her freedom, and be treated as a bondwoman herself; and that usurers should not be allowed to undertake legal proceedings for recovery of money loaned to youths while they lived with their father’s family, not even after their fathers were dead.

He restored the weakened and depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders, the senators and the knights, which had been greatly reduced by the havoc made among them at different times by frequent murders, and had fallen into disgrace because of persistent apathy, and reformed them by reviewing their memberships and replacing undesirables with the most eligible Italian and provincial candidates available. Having expelled the most unworthy, he chose in their places the most honorable persons in Italy and the provinces. And when some heated remarks passed between a senator and a Roman eques, to let it be known that these two orders, the senatorial and the equestrian, differed not so much in privileges as in dignity, he declared publicly that senators ought not to be treated with grossly offensive abuse at any time, unless they were the aggressors, and then it was fair and lawful to return it.

He reduced the enormous backlog of pending court cases at Rome. The business of the courts had overwhelmingly accumulated, partly from old law-suits still undecided, because of interruptions in the course of justice, and partly from the increase of new suits arising from the disorders of the times. He therefore chose commissioners by lot for a board of commissioners, to provide for restitution in the settlement of war-compensation claims for what had been seized by violence during the war, and others, with extraordinary jurisdiction, to make emergency decisions in cases belonging to the centumviral court, that is, the centumviri, The Hundred Men, thus greatly reducing the caseload to as small a number as possible, otherwise, the lives of the litigants could scarcely allow sufficient time for their disposition, and they would have been dead before they were summoned to appear.

He showed good-natured tolerance of offensiveness that could do no harm, but with opponents he considered dangerous or irreconcilable, he could be ruthless. Yet he felt little inclination to execute anyone whom he feared or suspected. He never rejoiced at the death of any man; no, he would shed tears, and sigh, at the just punishment of the guilty, grieving that they had chosen to do wrong. Suetonius' researches showed him that it was scarcely found that so much as one innocent party ever suffered punishment during Vespasian's reign, except without his knowledge or while he was absent from Rome, by deliberate defiance of his wishes, contrary to his inclination, or when he was imposed upon by misinforming him about the facts in the case.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. The policies of his reign, though sensible, reveal no great imagination, compared with those of later emperors such as Trajan or Hadrian. Yet it was justly believed by his contemporaries that Vespasian had prevented the dissolution of the empire by putting an end to civil war, and that it was fitting that pax, “civil peace”, should be a principle motif on his coinage. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability to rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for those afterward who have been called the good emperors of the second century. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor.

He enjoyed a good state of health, though he used no other means to preserve it than repeated friction, as much as he could bear, on his neck and other parts of his body, in the ball-court attached to the baths, besides fasting one day in every month. He was physically broad and strong-limbed, and his features suggested a man in the act of straining himself, which is reflected in the rugged and uncompromising features of his portrait busts. When the emperor desired one of the city wits to say something droll about himself, he facetiously answered, “I will, when you have finished relieving your bowels.” He cultivated a bluff and even coarse manner, characteristic of the humble origins he liked to recall. This was popular, as also were his great capacity for hard work and the simplicity of his daily life, which was taken as a model by the contemporary aristocracy.

He was astute and ambitious, vigilant, active, and persevering, and he was untiring in the management of public affairs. From the beginning of his reign, he built up a powerful party quickly, and many of his initial appointments were dictated by nepotism or the desire to reward past services. After he became emperor, he used to rise in the winter very early, often before daybreak. Having read over his letters, and the briefs of all the departments of the government offices, he admitted his Friends; and while they were paying him their compliments, he would put on his own shoes, and dress himself with his own hands. Then, after dispatching the business brought before him, he rode out, and afterwards retired to relax, lying on his couch with one of his mistresses, for he kept several of them after the death of Caenis. Coming out of his private apartments, he went to the bath, and then entered the dining-room. He never seemed more good-humoured and indulgent than at that time, and his attendants always seized that opportunity to ask a favor.

Vespasian was nearly always good-natured, making frequent jokes; in fact he was a man of considerable wit, although it often took a low and vulgar form, and he would sometimes use indecent language, like that addressed by crude, athletic youths to young girls about to be married. Yet there are some things related of him not lacking in cleverly inventive pleasantry. Once, being reminded by Mestrius Florus, that plaustra was a more proper expression than plostra, the next day he greeted him by the name of Flaurus instead of Florus. A certain lady pretending to be desperately in love with him, prevailed on him to admit her to his bed; and after he had gratified her desires, he gave her four hundred thousand sesterces. When his steward desired to know how he would have the sum entered in his accounts, he replied, “For Vespasian’s being seduced.”

He endured with great patience the freedom used by his Friends, the satirical allusions of advocates, and the petulance of philosophers. He was little disposed to keep up the memory of affronts or quarrels, nor did he harbor any resentment on account of them, but he showed good-natured tolerance of harmless offensiveness. Licinius Mucianus, who had been guilty of notorious acts of lewdness, and who treated him very rudely, presuming on his great services, he reprimanded only in private; and when complaining of his conduct to a common friend of theirs, Vespasian concluded with these words, “However, I am a man.” Salvius Liberalis, in pleading the cause of a rich man under prosecution, on presuming to say, “What is it to Caesar, if Hipparchus possesses a hundred millions of sesterces?” he commended him for it. When Demetrius, the Cynic philosopher, who had been sentenced to banishment, met him on the road, and refused to rise up or salute him, no, even snarling at him with offensively abusive language, he only said, "good dog", calling him a cur.

In other affairs, from the beginning to the end of his government, he conducted himself with great moderation and clemency. He was so far from concealing the obscurity of his ancestry, that he frequently made mention of it himself. According to Suetonius, he was born in the hamlet of Falacrina, just beyond Reate, near where he used to spend his summers at a retreat on his country estates. When some affected to trace his pedigree to the founders of Reate, and a companion of Hercules, whose monument is still to be seen on the Salarian road, he laughed at them for it. He arranged a very splendid marriage for the daughter of his enemy Vitellius, and gave her, besides, a suitable fortune and a carriage outfitted with horses, attendants and equipment. In the time of Nero, after he was forbidden access to the court, and being in great consternation, asking those about him what he should do, or where he should go, one of those whose office it was to introduce people to the emperor, on thrusting him out, bid him go to Morbonia, "Plagueville". But when this same person came afterwards to beg his pardon, he only vented his resentment by using nearly the same words to him. He was so far from being influenced by suspicion or fear to seek the destruction of any one, that, when his Friends advised him to beware of Metius Pomposianus, because it was commonly believed, on his horoscope being cast, that he was destined by fate to the empire, instead of doing away with him as a potential threat, he made him consul, promising for himself the security that now he was deeply in debt to him, out of the gratitude he owed him for the benefit thus conferred.

By A.D. 71, finally, the lengthy unrest in Gaul, which had begun with Vindex in the last days of Nero's reign, and, more recently, had resurged with the attempted grassroots Gallic secession under Civilis, commander of the Batavian auxiliaries, was successfully quelled under Vespasian's generals, Mucianus and Cerealis.

Meanwhile, Vespasian chiefly reacted with witticisms on the subject of his own shameful means of raising money, in order to wipe off the odium by some joke, and turn it into a ridiculous topic.

When one of his ministers, much in his favor, requested a stewardship for some person, under the pretense that he was his brother, he deferred granting his petition, in the meantime sending for the candidate; and having squeezed out of him as much money as he had previously agreed to give to his friend at court, he appointed him immediately to the office. When the minister soon afterward renewed his petition, Vespasian said, “You must find another brother; for the one you adopted is in truth mine.”

Once, during a journey, suspecting that his mule-driver had alighted to shoe his mules only in order to have opportunity for allowing a person they met, who was engaged in a law-suit, to speak to him, he asked him how much he got for shoeing his mules, and insisted on having a share of the profit.

When his son Titus blamed him for even laying a tax on urine, commonly used for bleaching cloth, he held to his nose a piece of the money he received in the first instalment, and asked him if it stunk. And when he replied, "no", he said, “And yet it is derived from urine.” This whimsical imposition of a tax on urine, if true, does not impress us with either his talents as a financier, or the resources of the Roman empire. When some deputies came to inform him that a large statue, which would cost a vast sum, was ordered to be erected for him at public expense, he told them to pay down immediately, holding out the hollow of his hand, and saying, "Here is a base, ready for the statue."

His son Titus was himself the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Tradition records that Titus was skilled as a forger. Taking on the care and inspection of all offices, he dictated letters, wrote proclamations in his father’s name, and solemnly delivered his speeches in the senate in place of the quaestor, the magistrate in charge of the public treasury and expenditure.

In A.D. 72, Titus was also appointed praetorian prefect with responsibility for the army at Rome, a particularly important post since military loyalty was indispensable to the success of the new regime. It seems clear that not only did Vespasian need a trusted colleague in this post but also one who would do his dirty work as his enforcer. He quickly assumed command of the pretorian guards, although no one but a Roman knight had ever been their prefect before, and being in charge of them we learn from Suetonius that he was "somewhat arrogant and tyrannical", that he conducted himself with great haughtiness and violence, and, without scruple or delay, getting rid of all those suspicious characters whom he had most reason to suspect, after he had sent his emissaries unannounced into the theaters and camp, to demand, as if by the general consent of every loyal person there, and in their name, as though tried by popular pressure and not by trial, that the suspected persons should be delivered up to immediate punishment, and they were executed. By these acts, though Titus, son of the emperor, provided for his own future security, yet for the present he incurred the hatred of the people so much, that there was hardly anyone who ever came to the rule of empire with a more odious character, or more universally disliked, than Titus. A certain amount of ill-repute can be expected for Vespasian's enforcer, but apart from the account of these acts, as related by the historian Suetonius, only a single instance of justice of this kind survives, making any further evaluation of Titus's role difficult for the historian who with prejudice distrusts singular historical accounts not corroborated or duplicated by other sources as verification.

Besides his cruelty, he was suspected of giving way to habits of luxury, as he often prolonged his revels up to midnight with the most riotous revelers of his acquaintances. He was suspected of lewdness, because of the swarms of catamites and eunuchs about him, and his well-known attachment to queen Berenice, who reportedly received from him a promise of marriage.

On the other hand, Titus is also portrayed during these years as a capable and diligent administrator who attended Senate meetings, requested advice, and generally mixed well with all parties. Yet the sources appear to offer no indication that he was ever considered a "co-ruler" with Vespasian. Titus also received tribunician power, and it was in A.D. 73 that Vespasian and Titus became censors, and he was his father’s colleague in the censorship of 73 and in several consulships after. Although little is known about the details of their censorship, in the office of censor they probably carried out extensive reorganization of the provincial communities, including some of the taxation reforms. They bestowed Latin rights on all Spain, that is, the whole Iberian Peninsula, which meant that all city magistrates obtained Roman citizenship, bringing profit to the imperial treasury as a result; and no doubt Roman citizenship was granted liberally elsewhere. In addition they recruited to the Roman Senate many new members, provincial as well as Italian; and this too brought in more profit.

With the Senate, Vespasian succeeded in maintaining friendly relations, despite the discords of the early months. To the historian Tacitus, Vespasian was “the only emperor who had changed for the better.”

In A.D. 73, the final drama involving the Jews in Judaea played out at the fortress of Masada, perched on a gaunt fourteen-hundred-foot prominence and besieged by the Tenth Legion and several thousand auxiliaries under the command of Flavius Silva, governor of Judaea. Over a period of months, in a massive engineering feat, the Romans built an enormous ramp to the walls of the fortress and winched up their siege engines. The end came in April, on the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus, which is Nisan, on the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, the day after the feast of the Passover, when more than nine hundred of Masada’s defenders chose suicide over inevitable defeat—all but two women and five children. The women, having hidden themselves and the children from the defenders of Masada, and from the Romans, in their underground cavern heard the noise of the great shout of the Romans suddenly exulting over the capture of that fortress, and they came out, and informed them what had been done, as it was done; and the second woman clearly described all of what had been said by the defenders and what was done, and the manner in which it had been done. The Romans did not believe them, before they opened the palace, and there they saw the bodies of the dead, in room after room, slain by the dagger of the assassins in the hands of their own defenders. Miserable men indeed were they, whose distress and defiance chose for them in violation of Moses to slay their own wives and children with their own hands, as the better choice among the many evils that they saw before them; for they despaired of the mercy of God, utterly unmindful of their guilt in rejecting him, and despised with insolence and contempt the security offered by Silva, if only they would submit and save their lives; neither did Eleazar ben Jair the commander of the sicarii and the robbers once think of fleeing away, nor would he permit anyone else to do so. It was he who, after setting before their eyes an imagination of what he said the Romans would do to them, their children, and their wives, if they got them in their power, took counsel about having them all slain. And they chose by lot ten men, and these ten slew all of the others; and then they chose by lot one among themselves, and the one slew the nine, and finally the last one slew himself. And the Romans took no pleasure in the fact, that here their enemies were dead. And God is just in his judgments, and righteous altogether. And this was the end of that war.

In A.D. 75, Sarmatian tribes overran Parthia’s northern borders, deposing local Parthian nobles. Internal havoc continued to take its toll. It is therefore accurate to describe Parthia as a state in decline. Although the Romans themselves had also overextended and faced problems of their own, the declining stability in Parthia left it vulnerable.

There were occasional political problems in Rome as well:

Although Vespasian had in various ways avoided making Titus his own equal, the son became the military arm of the new principate and is described by Suetonius as particeps atque etiam tutor imperii, “sharer and even protector of the empire”. As his father's enforcer of security he incurred unpopularity, worsened by his involvement with Berenice.

Berenice, sister of the Syrian Herod Agrippa II, now visited Rome in A.D. 75 with her brother Agrippa and openly lived with Titus for a time in the palace, and hoped to become his wife. Yet, marriage remained an impossibility. An eastern queen represented a threat to Roman stability that could not be tolerated. Titus reluctantly had to dismiss her. Tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, allegations of his heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. With respect to his natural disposition, and moral behavior, the expectations entertained by the public were not flattering. He was immoderately addicted to luxury; he had betrayed a strong inclination to cruelty; and he lived in the habitual practice of lewdness, no less unnatural than intemperate. He was supposed, besides, to be of a rapacious disposition; for it is certain, that, in causes which came before his father, he used to offer his interest for sale, and take bribes. In short, people publicly expressed an unfavorable opinion of him, and said he would prove to be another Nero.

Titus having no male issue, Vespasian throughout his reign was insistent that his sons would succeed him, one after the other, first Titus, then Domitian; and it was probably over hereditary succession that he quarreled with certain doctrinaire senators such as Helvidius Priscus. An advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, Helvidius and his friends had already expressed general misgivings about Vespasian’s government in the early months of A.D. 70; yet Vespasian was not angry, and was lenient toward him. But now Helvidius proceeded to bitterly stand against him and condemn with the most offensively abusive and demeaning language. Feeling himself thus debased to the level of a common foot-soldier by Priscus' insufferable rudeness, Vespasian, outraged, banished him to exile.

About A.D. 76, though Vespasian had indeed banished Helvidius Priscus in A.D. 75, afterwards, he ordered him to be put to death, yet he would gladly have saved him notwithstanding, and accordingly dispatched messengers to fetch back the executioners; and he would have saved him, had he not been deceived at that moment by a false account brought to him, that Priscus had already perished, and cancelled the order to the messengers; and he was executed.

In Britain more important advances were made; the kingdom of Brigantia in northern England had been incorporated in the province, the pacification of Wales had been completed, and in A.D. 78 the general Gnaeus Agricola began the seven years’ governorship that was to lead Roman arms into the Scottish Highlands.

In 78 Vespasian executed Eprius Marcellus, one of his earliest and most efficient supporters, accused of a conspiracy that may have been directed at Titus’s association with the Jewish princess Berenice; and being offered the opportunity, Eprius committed suicide.

All are agreed that he had such confidence in the astrological calculations based on his own horoscope and that of his sons, that, after several conspiracies against him, he told the senate that either his sons would succeed him, or nobody. It is said likewise, that he once saw in a dream a balance in the middle of the porch of the Palatine house exactly poised; in one scale of it stood Claudius and Nero, in the other, himself and his sons. The event corresponded to the symbol; for the reigns of the two parties were precisely of the same duration.

In 79 Titus suppressed a conspiracy, doubtless concerned with the succession. Aulus Alienus Caecina, a man of consular rank, was condemned by Titus for conspiracy; for Titus had discovered a writing in the handwriting of Caecina, containing an account of a plot hatched among the soldiers; he invited him to supper, and, on his departure, ordered that he be stabbed, immediately after he had gone out of the room. To this act, indeed, he was provoked by an imminent danger. Caecina was executed in A.D. 79.

Vespasian's wife and daughter had died before he became emperor. And an earlier mistress of Vespasian, called Caenis, who had been a freedwoman of Antonia, sister-in-law to the emperor Tiberius, died before he did.

Not even when he was under immediate apprehension and peril of death could he resist joking. For when, among other prodigies, the doors of the mausoleum of the Caesars suddenly flew open, and a blazing star called a hairy star appeared in the heavens; one of these prodigies, he said, concerned Julia Calvina, who was of the family of Augustus; and the other, the king of the Parthians, who wore his hair long. And during his ninth and last consulship Vespasian visited Campania; and being seized, while in Campania, with a slight indisposition, and he was bothered by slight attacks of fever when his distemper first seized him, he said, “I suppose I shall soon be a god.”

He hurried back to Rome. Immediately returning to the city, he then soon afterwards went on to Cutiliae, and his estates in the country, to his summer retreat near Reate, where he constantly used to spend the summer, where he made things worse. Here, though his disorder much increased, and he injured his bowels by too free use of the cold waters, by bathing in cold water and irritating his stomach, yet he carried on with his imperial duties as usual; he nevertheless attended to the dispatch of business, and even received a deputation at his bedside, and gave audience to ambassadors in bed, before he had a sudden episode of diarrhea.

At last, being suddenly taken ill by a violent bout of diarrhea, to such a degree that he was ready to faint, and in fact almost fainted, he cried out, “An emperor ought to die standing upright.” He struggled to rise, muttering that an emperor ought to die at least on his feet; in endeavoring to rise, in his last illness he said, “Vae, puto deus fio”, which is, “Oh dear, I think I’m becoming a god”; and collapsed in the arms of attendants who went to his rescue. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" His deathbed joke was, "Dear me! I must be turning into a god." And thus, after contracting a brief illness, he died in the hands of those who were helping him up. Many say this was twenty-three June, A.D. 79, when he had lived sixty-nine years, seven months and seven days; others say on the eighth of the Kalends of July, which is the 24th of June, being sixty-nine years, one month, and seven days old.

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79; and, when Vespasian died, on his death his son Titus promptly and peacefully succeeded him, succeeded to the rule as Emperor.

The ancient historians that lived through the period such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Pliny the Elder speak well of Vespasian while condemning the emperors that came before him. Eusebius says of Vespasian's policy regarding Christians, that Vespasian had attempted nothing to our prejudice during his reign. His biographer Suetonius claims that throughout Vespasian’s reign his firm policy was “first to restore stability to the tottering state, and then to adorn it.” But, despite his buildings and his generosity to needy friends, he probably bequeathed a substantial surplus of public money to his successors.

Vespasian, Roman emperor, died on twenty-four June A.D. 79, and it was after Vespasian's death that Titus assumed full imperial powers. When Vespasian had reigned for about ten years, emperor from A.D. 70 to 79, his son Titus succeeded him as emperor.

At Vespasian's funeral, Favo, the principal mimic, impersonating him, and imitating, as actors do, both his manner of speaking and his gestures, asked aloud of the procurators how much his funeral and the procession would cost. And being answered “ten millions of sesterces,” he cried out to give him only a hundred thousand sesterces, and that they might throw his body into the Tiber, if they would; and after his death he was immediately accorded deification. In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

Titus, in full Titus Vespasianus Augustus, original name Titus Flavius Vespasianus, was born thirty December A.D. 39—the conqueror of Jerusalem in 70, and Roman emperor from 79 to 81.

When Titus eventually acceded to the throne in A.D. 79 nothing changed for Domitian. He was granted honors, but nothing else. Relations between the two brothers were markedly cool and it is largely believed that Titus shared his deceased father's opinion that Domitian was not fit for office.

Titus Flavius Vespasian, the younger, was the first prince who succeeded to the empire by hereditary right; and having constantly acted, after his return from Judaea, as colleague with his father in the administration, he seemed to be as well qualified by experience as he was by abilities, for conducting the affairs of the empire. Before becoming emperor, tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, his alleged heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. And now, with a degree of virtuous resolution without example in history, he had no sooner taken into his hands the entire reins of government, than he renounced every vicious attachment. This turned out in the end to his advantage, and enhanced his praises to the highest pitch when he was found to possess no vicious propensities, but, on the contrary, the noblest virtues. Instead of wallowing in luxury, as before, he became a model of temperance; instead of cruelty, he displayed the strongest proofs of humanity and benevolence; and in the room of lewdness, he exhibited a transition to the most unblemished chastity and virtue. In a word, so sudden and great a change was never known in the character of mortal men; and he had the peculiar glory to receive the appellation of “the darling and delight of mankind.” The suddenness of this transformation raises immediate suspicions, yet it is difficult to know whether the historical tradition is suspect or if Titus was in fact adept at taking off one mask for another. Once in office, however, both emperor and his reign were portrayed in universally positive terms. It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one.

Under a prince of such a disposition, the government of the empire could only be conducted with the strictest regard to the public welfare. Titus after becoming ruler committed no act of murder or of amorous passion, but showed himself upright, though plotted against, and self-controlled, though Berenice came to Rome again. He now dismissed her a second time, with mutual regret, upon his accession to the throne; he immediately sent Berenice away from the city, much against both their inclinations. This may have been because he had really undergone a change; indeed, for men to wield power as assistants to another is a very different thing from exercising independent authority themselves. In the former case, they are heedless of the good name of the sovereignty and in their greed misuse the authority it gives them, thus doing many things that make their power the object of envy and slander; but actual monarchs, knowing that everything depends upon them, have an eye to good repute also. It was this realization, doubtless, that caused Titus to say to someone whose society he had previously affected: "It is not the same thing to request a favor of another as to decide a case yourself, nor the same to ask something of another as to give it to someone yourself."

The [Vespasian] reform, which was begun in the late reign, he prosecuted with the most ardent application; he capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well.

It is clear that Titus sought to present the Flavians as the legitimate successors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Proof came through the issuing of a series of restoration coins of previous emperors, the most popular being Augustus and Claudius.

In money matters he was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditures, yet he did not punish anyone for following a different course.

He violated no private right; and if ever man refrained from injustice, he did; nay, he would not accept of the allowable and customary offerings. Yet, in munificence, he was inferior to none of the princes before him.

His entertainments were agreeable rather than extravagant; and he surrounded himself with such excellent friends, that the succeeding princes adopted them as most serviceable to themselves and the state.

He was so far from treating with any extraordinary kindness some of his old eunuchs, though such accomplished dancers that they bore an uncontrollable sway upon the stage, that he would not so much as witness their performances in the crowded theatre.

His relations with his brother Domitian were bad, but in other ways his short rule was unexpectedly popular in Rome. He was outstandingly good-looking, cultivated, and affable; Suetonius called him “the darling of the human race.” Though Domitian was continually plotting against him, almost openly stirring up the armies to rebellion, and contriving to get away, yet he could not endure to put him to death, or to banish him from his presence; nor did he treat him with less respect than before. But from his first accession to the empire, he constantly declared him his partner in it, and that he should be his successor; begging of him sometimes in private, with tears in his eyes, “to return the affection he had for him.”

In his reign also a second False Nero appeared, who was an Asiatic named Terentius Maximus. He resembled Nero both in appearance and in voice, for he too sang to the accompaniment of the lyre. He gained a few followers in Asia, and in his advance to the Euphrates attached a far greater number, and finally sought refuge with Artabanus, the Parthian leader, who, because of his anger against Titus, both received him and set about making preparations to restore him to Rome.

Titus was responsible for many architectural achievements during his tenure, including the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus.

He was by nature extremely benevolent; for whereas all the emperors after Tiberius, according to the example he had set them, would not admit the grants made by former princes to be valid, unless they received their own sanction, he confirmed them all by one general edict, without waiting for any applications respecting them. Of all who petitioned for any favor, he sent none away without hopes. And when his ministers represented to him that he promised more than he could perform, he replied, “No one ought to go away downcast from an audience with his prince.” Once at supper, reflecting that he had done nothing for anyone that day, he broke out into that memorable and justly-admired saying: “My friends, I have lost a day.” More particularly, he treated the people on all occasions with so much courtesy, that, on his presenting them with a show of gladiators, he declared, he should manage it, not according to his own fancy, "but that of the spectators,” and did accordingly. He denied them nothing, and very frankly encouraged them to ask what they pleased in the games. Espousing the cause of the Thracian party among the gladiators, he frequently joined in the popular demonstrations in their favor, but without compromising his dignity or doing injustice.

Having declared that he accepted the office of Pontifex Maximus, the office of chief priest of Rome, for the purpose of preserving his hands undefiled, he faithfully adhered to his promise. For after that time he was neither directly nor indirectly concerned in the death of any person, though he sometimes was justly irritated. He swore “that he would perish himself, rather than prove the destruction of any man.” Two men of patrician rank being convicted of aspiring to the empire, he only advised them to desist, saying, “that the sovereign power was disposed of by fate,” and promised them, that if there was any thing else they desired of him, he would grant it. He also immediately sent messengers to the mother of one of them, who was at a great distance, and in deep anxiety about her son, to assure her of his safety. Nay, he not only invited them to sup with him, but next day, at a show of gladiators, purposely placed them close by him; and handed to them the arms of the combatants for his inspection. It is said likewise, that having had their nativities cast, their horoscopes, he assured them, “that a great calamity was impending on both of them, but from another hand, and not from his.”

Titus during his reign put no senator to death, nor, indeed, was anyone else slain by him during his rule. Cases based on the charge of maiestas he would never entertain himself nor allow others to entertain; for he declared: "It is impossible for me to be insulted or abused in any way. For I do naught that deserves censure, and I care not for what is reported falsely. As for the emperors who are dead and gone, they will avenge themselves in case anyone does them a wrong, if in very truth they are demigods and possess any power." He also instituted various other measures designed to render men's lives more secure and free from trouble. Thus, he issued an edict confirming all gifts that had been bestowed upon any persons by the former emperors, thus saving them the trouble of petitioning him individually about the matter. He also banished the informers from the City.

Amongst the calamities of the times, were informers and their agents; a tribe of miscreants who had grown up under the license of former reigns. These he frequently ordered to be scourged or beaten with sticks in the Forum, and then, after he had obliged them to pass through the amphitheatre as a public spectacle, commanded them to be sold for slaves, or else banished them to some rocky islands. And to discourage such practices for the future, amongst other things, he prohibited actions to be successively brought under different laws for the same cause, or the state of affairs of deceased persons to be inquired into after a certain number of years.

Meanwhile war had again broken out in Britain, and Gnaeus Julius Agricola overran the whole of the enemy's territory there. He was the first of the Romans whom we know to discover the fact that Britain is surrounded by water. It seems that some soldiers rebelled, and after slaying the centurions and a military tribune took refuge in boats, in which they put out to sea and sailed round the western portion of the country just as the wind and the waves chanced to carry them; and without realizing it, since they approached from the opposite direction, they put in at the camps on the first side again. Thereupon Agricola sent others to attempt the voyage around Britain, and learned from them, too, that it was an island. As a result of these events in Britain Titus received the title of imperator for the fifteenth time, and Agricola received triumphal honors from Titus in Rome.

There happened also in the beginning of his reign some dreadful accidents.

During the reign of this emperor, happened the first eruption of Mount Vesuvius, [in the memory of men.] Mt. Vesuvius stands over against Neapolis near the sea. Before this time, Vesuvius is spoken of, by ancient writers, as being covered with orchards and vineyards, and of which the middle was dry and barren.

This was what befell. In the seventy-ninth year of the Christian era, in Campania, remarkable and frightful occurrences took place; for a great fire suddenly flared up at the very end of the summer. Once it [Vesuvius] was equally high at all points and the fire rose from the center of it. Thick columns of smoke appeared, resembling what Tacitus plainly describes: numbers of huge men, quite surpassing any human stature—such creatures, in fact, as the Giants are pictured to have been—now on the mountain, now in the surrounding country, and again in the cities, wandering over the earth day and night and also flitting through the air. After this, fearful droughts and sudden and violent earthquakes occurred, so that the whole plain round about seethed and the peaks leaped into the air.

There were frequent rumblings, some of them subterranean, that resembled thunder, and some on the surface, that sounded like bellowings; the sea also joined in the roar and the sky re-echoed it. Then suddenly a portentous crash was heard, as if the mountains were tumbling in ruins; and first huge stones were hurled aloft, rising as high as the very summits, then came a great quantity of fire and endless smoke, so that the whole atmosphere was obscured and the sun was entirely hidden, as if eclipsed. Thus day was turned into night and light into darkness. Some thought that the Giants were rising again in revolt (for at this time also many of their forms could be discerned in the smoke and, moreover, a sound as of trumpets was heard), while others believed that the whole universe was being resolved into chaos or fire. Therefore they fled, some from the houses into the streets, others from outside into the houses, now from the sea to the land and now from the land to the sea; for in their excitement they regarded any place where they were not as safer than where they were.

The eruption was accompanied by an earthquake, which destroyed several cities of Campania. Furthermore, it buried two entire cities, particularly Pompeii and Herculaneum, the former place while its populace was seated in the theatre, while the lava, pouring down the mountain in torrents, overwhelmed, in various directions, the adjacent plains.

Amongst those to whom this dreadful eruption proved fatal, was Pliny, the celebrated naturalist, whose curiosity to examine the phenomenon led him so far within the verge of danger, that he could not afterwards escape.

While this was going on, an inconceivable quantity of ashes was blown out, which covered both sea and land and filled all the air. It wrought much injury of various kinds, as chance befell, to men and farms and cattle, and in particular it destroyed all fish and birds. The burning ashes were carried not only over the neighboring country, but indeed, the amount of dust, taken all together, was so great that some of it reached as far as the shores of Egypt and Syria and Africa, and it also reached Rome, filling the air overhead and darkening the sun. There, too, no little fear was occasioned, that lasted for several days, since the people did not know and could not imagine what had happened, but, like those close at hand, believed that the whole world was being turned upside down, that the sun was disappearing into the earth and that the earth was being lifted to the sky. These ashes, now, did the Romans no great harm at the time, though later they brought a terrible pestilence upon them.

Mt. Vesuvius has inexhaustible fountains of fire. for here only have the fires broken out, whereas all the outer parts of the mountain remain even now untouched by fire. Consequently, as the outside is never burned, while the central part is constantly growing brittle and being reduced to ashes, the peaks surrounding the center retain their original height to this day, but the whole section that is on fire, having been consumed, has in the course of time settled and therefore become concave; thus the entire mountain resembles a hunting theatre — if we may compare great things to small. Its outlying heights support both trees and vines in abundance, but the crater is given over to the fire and sends up smoke by day and a flame by night; in fact, it gives the impression that quantities of incense of all kinds are being burned in it. This, now, goes on all the time, sometimes to a greater, sometimes to a less extent; but often the mountain throws up ashes, whenever there is an extensive settling in the interior, and discharges stones whenever it is rent by a violent blast of air. It also rumbles and roars because its vents are not all grouped together but are narrow and concealed.

Such is Vesuvius, and these phenomena usually occur there every year. But all the other occurrences that had taken place there in the course of time, however notable, because unusual, they may have seemed to those who on each occasion observed them, nevertheless would be regarded as trivial in comparison with what happened, even if all had been combined into one.

However, while Titus was absent in Campania attending to the catastrophe that had befallen that region, which has ever since been celebrated for its volcano, in the following year, A.D. 80, a second conflagration, above ground, spread over very large sections of Rome; a devastating fire destroyed large sections of the city, which continued during three days and three nights. It consumed the temple of Serapis, the temple of Isis, the Saepta, the temple of Neptune, the Baths of Agrippa, the Pantheon, the Diribitorium, the theatre of Balbus, the stage building of Pompey's theatre, the Octavian buildings together with their books, and the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus with their surrounding temples; besides a terrible pestilence, a plague, such as was scarcely ever known before. Hence the disaster seemed to be not of human but of divine origin; for anyone can estimate, from the list of buildings, how many others must have been destroyed.

Amidst these many great disasters, Titus not only manifested the concern which might be expected from a prince but even the affection of a father, for his people; one while comforting them by his proclamations, and another while relieving them to the utmost of his power. In response to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Titus spent large sums to relieve distress in that area; he chose by lot, from amongst the men of consular rank, commissioners for repairing the losses in Campania. He accordingly sent two ex-consuls to the Campanians to supervise the restoration of the region, and bestowed upon the inhabitants not only general gifts of money, but also the property of such as had lost their lives and left no heirs. The estates of those who had perished by the eruption of Vesuvius, and who had left no heirs, he applied to the repair of the ruined cities. As for himself, with regard to the public buildings destroyed by fire in the City, he declared that nobody should be a loser but himself. Accordingly, he applied all the ornaments of his palaces to the decoration of the temples, and purposes of public utility, and appointed several men of the equestrian order to superintend the work. Likewise, the imperial purse contributed heavily to rebuilding Rome. He accepted nothing from any private citizen or city or king, although many kept offering and promising him large sums; but he restored all the damaged regions from funds already on hand. For the relief of the people during the plague, he employed, in the way of sacrifice and medicine, all means both human and divine.

As a result of these actions, Titus earned a reputation for generosity and geniality. Even so, his financial acumen must not be under-estimated. He left the treasury with a surplus, as he had found it, and dealt promptly and efficiently with costly natural disasters. The Greek historian of the third-century A.D., Cassius Dio, perhaps offered the most accurate and succinct assessment of Titus' economic policy: "In money matters, Titus was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditure.". In other areas, the brevity of Titus' reign limits our ability to detect major emphases or trends in policy. As far as can be discerned from the limited evidence, senior officials and amici were well chosen, and his legislative activity tended to focus on popular social measures, with the army as a particular beneficiary in the areas of land ownership, marriage, and testamentary freedom. In the provinces, Titus continued his father's policies by strengthening roads and forts in the East and along the Danube.

In the same year, A.D. 80, Titus also set out to establish an imperial cult in honor of Vespasian. The temple, in which this cult was housed, the first imperial cult that was not connected with the Julio-Claudians, was begun by Titus, but not completed by him.

Legitimacy was also sought through various economic measures, which Titus enthusiastically funded. His success was won largely by lavish expenditure, some of it purely personal largesse but some public bounty, like the assistance to Campania after Vesuvius erupted in 79 and the rebuilding of Rome after the fire in 80. Vast amounts of capital poured into extensive building schemes in Rome, especially the Flavian Amphitheater. He also greatly expedited construction of new imperial warm baths to the south-east of the Amphitheater close by it and began work on the celebrated Arch of Titus, a memorial to his Jewish victories. Large sums were directed to Italy and the provinces as well, especially for road building.

In A.D. 81, when he finally completed the construction of the Flavian Amphitheatre, popularly known as the Colosseum, he opened it with ceremonies lasting more than 100 days. Having dedicated his amphitheatre, he entertained the people with most magnificent spectacles. In celebration of additions made to the structure, Titus provided a grand 100-day festival, with sea fights staged on an artificial lake, infantry battles, wild beast hunts, and similar activities. There, too, on the first day there was a gladiatorial exhibition and wild-beast hunt, the lake in front of the images having first been covered over with a platform of planks and wooden stands erected around it. On the second day there was a horse-race, and on the third day a naval battle between three thousand men, followed by an infantry battle. The "Athenians" conquered the "Syracusans" (these were the names the combatants used), made a landing on the islet and assaulted and captured a wall that had been constructed around the monument. These were the spectacles that were offered, and they continued for a hundred days; but Titus also furnished some things that were of practical use to the people. He would throw down into the theatre from aloft little wooden balls variously inscribed, one designating some article of food, another clothing, another a silver vessel or perhaps a gold one, or again horses, pack-animals, cattle or slaves. Those who seized them were to carry them to the dispensers of the bounty, from whom they would receive the article named. He likewise exhibited a naval fight in the old Naumachia, besides a combat of gladiators; and in one day brought into the theatre five thousand wild beasts of all kinds. To omit no opportunity of acquiring popularity, he sometimes made use himself of the baths he had erected, without excluding the common people.

Most that he did was not characterized by anything noteworthy, but in dedicating the hunting-theatre and the baths that bear his name he produced many remarkable spectacles. There was a battle between cranes and also between four elephants; animals both tame and wild were slain to the number of nine thousand; and women (not those of any prominence, however) took part in despatching them. As for the men, several fought in single combat and several groups contended together both in infantry and naval battles. For Titus suddenly filled this same theatre with water and brought in horses and bulls and some other domesticated animals that had been taught to behave in the liquid element just as on land. He also brought in people on ships, who engaged in a sea-fight there, impersonating the Corcyreans and Corinthians; and others gave a similar exhibition outside the city in the grove of Gaius and Lucius, a place which Augustus had once excavated for this very purpose.

After he had finished these exhibitions, and had wept so bitterly on the last day that all the people saw him, he performed no other deed of importance; but the next day, in the consulship of Flavius and Pollio, after the dedication of the buildings mentioned, amidst all these favourable circumstances, he was cut off by an untimely death, more to the loss of mankind than himself. At the close of the public spectacles, he wept bitterly in the presence of the people, and then retired into the Sabine country, rather melancholy, because a victim had made its escape while he was sacrificing, and loud thunder had been heard while the atmosphere was serene. While he and his brother were travelling outside Rome, at the first resting-place on the road, he was seized with a fever, and being carried forward in a litter, they said that he drew back the curtains, and looked up to heaven, complaining heavily that his life was taken from him, though he had done nothing to deserve it; for there was no action of his that he had occasion to repent of, but one. What that was, he neither disclosed himself, nor is it easy for us to conjecture. Mystery surrounded the last minutes before Titus’s death. But Domitian was not even to wait for his brother to die. Whether or not he had a hand in Titus’s death, Domitian did not wait for his brother to die. As Titus lay dying, he quickly returned to Rome and hastened to the Praetorian camp to be proclaimed emperor, where he had himself proclaimed emperor by the soldiers, and was hailed as emperor.

Titus died on thirteen September, or fourteen September, A.D. 81 amidst rumors that Domitian had poisoned him. But more likely he died of natural causes, from illness. As soon as the news of his death was published, all people mourned for him, as for the loss of some near relative. On news of Titus' death, the senate assembled in haste, before they could be summoned by proclamation, and locking the doors of their house at first, but afterwards opening them, gave Titus such thanks, and heaped upon him such praises, now he was dead, as they never had done whilst he was alive and present amongst them; the senate chose first to honor the dead emperor before elevating his brother, an early indication perhaps of Domitian's future troubles with the aristocracy. His ascension to the throne came on the following day, 14 September A.D. 81. With Titus dead, he was confirmed emperor by the senate. At any rate, after waiting an extra day, Domitian received imperium, the title Augustus, and tribunician power along with the office of pontifex maximus and the title pater patriae, father of his country.

Later, rumors circulated that Domitian may have had a hand in his brother’s death, possibly by poison. Gossip also ran rampant that the new emperor had at one point even plotted to overthrow his brother and take the throne for himself.

Suetonius records that Titus died on his way to the Sabine country of his ancestors, he passed away at the same watering-place that had been the scene of his father's death, in the same villa where his father had died before him, upon the Ides of September, the 13th of September; Titus died in September, A.D. 81 after only 26 months in office, having ruled two years, two months, and twenty days after he had succeeded his father; and in the one-and-fortieth year of his age. Titus Flavius Vespasianus (born in A.D. 39) was Roman Emperor from A.D. 79 to 81, and, had he lived for a longer time, it is probable that his authority and example would have produced the most beneficial effects upon the manners of the Romans.

The common report is that he was put out of the way by his brother, for Domitian had previously plotted against him; but some writers state that he died a natural death. A competing tradition persistently implicated his brother, Domitian, as having had a hand in the emperor's demise. His sudden death at age forty-one was supposedly hastened by Domitian, who became his successor as emperor, but the evidence is highly contradictory and any wrongdoing is difficult to prove, from the available evidence. The tradition is that, while he was still breathing and possibly had a chance of recovery, Domitian, in order to hasten his end, placed him in a chest packed with a quantity of snow, pretending that the disease required, perhaps, that a chill be administered. At any rate, he rode off to Rome while Titus was still alive, entered the camp, and received the title and authority of emperor, after giving the soldiers all that his brother had given them. Titus, as he expired, said: "I have made but one mistake." There is some disagreement on the meaning of Titus’s last words: “I have made but one mistake.” What this was he did not make clear, and no one else recognized it with certainty. Some have conjectured one thing and some another. Suetonius wrote he “gazed up at the sky, and complained bitterly that life was being undeservedly taken from him, since a single sin lay on his conscience.” He added, “… this enigmatic remark has been taken as referring to incest with Domitian’s wife, Domitia, she herself solemnly denied the allegation.” Suetonius did not believe this was the case because if she had had an affair, she would have bragged about it. The prevailing view is that of those who say that he referred to his taking his brother's wife, Domitia. Some imagine that he alluded to the connection which he had formerly had with his brother’s wife. But Domitia solemnly denied it on oath; which she would never have done, had there been any truth in the report; no, she would certainly have gloried in it, as she was forward enough to boast of all her scandalous intrigues. Some others, those not overly fond of the new emperor, took a more negative view of these words, that Titus meant he should have killed Domitian when he had the chance—and say that what he meant as his mistake was that he had not killed Domitian when he found him openly plotting against him, but had chosen rather to suffer that fate himself at his rival's hands, and had surrendered the empire of the Romans to a man like Domitian, whose character will now be made clear.

Domitian himself delivered the funeral eulogy and had Titus deified.

Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. Again, his satisfactory record may also have been due to the fact that he survived his accession but a very short time (short, that is, for a ruler), for he was thus given no opportunity for wrongdoing. For he lived afterward only two years, two months and twenty days—in addition to the thirty-nine years, five months and twenty-five days he had already lived at that time. In this respect, indeed, he is regarded as having equalled the long reign of Augustus, since it is maintained that Augustus would never have been loved had he lived a shorter time, nor Titus had he lived longer. For Augustus, though at the outset he showed himself rather harsh because of the wars and the factional strife, was later able, in the course of time, to achieve a brilliant reputation for his kindly deeds; Titus, on the other hand, ruled with mildness and died at the height of his glory, whereas, if he had lived a long time, it might have been shown that he owes his present fame more to good fortune than to merit.

Meanwhile the holy apostles of our Savior were scattered across the whole world. They traveled into every land, teaching their message in the power of Christ, who had told them, "Go and make disciples of all nations in my name", as written in the close of the Gospel According to Matthew. Thomas, according to tradition, was allotted Parthia, Andrew Scythia, and John Asia, where he stayed until his death at Ephesus.

After the martyrdom of Paul and Peter, Linus, a Roman, was the first who received the episcopate at Rome, the first to be appointed Bishop of Rome, whom Paul mentions in his second epistle from Rome to Timothy, in the salutation at the close of the epistle, saying, "Eubulus and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, salute thee."

But the rest of the apostles, who were harassed in innumerable ways with a view to destroy them, and driven from the land of Judea, had gone forth to preach the gospel to all nations, relying upon the aid of Christ, when he said, "Go ye, teach all nations in my name." The whole body, however, of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella. Here, those that believed in Christ, having removed from Jerusalem, as if holy men had entirely abandoned the royal city itself, and the whole land of Judea; the divine justice, for their crimes against Christ and his apostles, finally overtook them during the second year of the reign of Vespasian, totally destroying the whole generation of these evil-doers from the earth.

Titus Flavius Domitianus, known as Roman emperor and persecutor of the Church, son of Vespasian and younger brother and successor of the Emperor Titus; b. 24 Oct., A.D. 51., Domitian reigned as Roman Emperor from A.D. 81 to 96. The younger son of the Emperor Vespasian and brother of the Emperor Titus, Domitian took over the Emperorship on the death of his brother.

His first act was, no doubt reluctantly, to enact Titus' deification. He may have held a grudge, but his own interests were best served by further celebrating the Flavian house. Construction of the temple begun by Titus in A.D. 80 to house the imperial cult of his father Vespasian was continued by Domitian.

In the beginning of his reign, he used to spend daily an hour by himself in private, during which time he did nothing else but catch flies, and stick them through the body with a sharp pin. When some one therefore inquired, “whether any one was with the emperor,” it was significantly answered by Vibius Crispus, “Not so much as a fly.” Soon after his advancement, his wife Domitia, by whom he had a son in his second consulship, and whom the year following he complimented with the title of Augusta, being desperately in love with Paris, the actor, he put her away; but within a short time afterwards, being unable to bear the separation, he took her again, under pretense of complying with the people’s importunity.

Before his accession to the imperial authority, and during some time afterwards, he scarcely ever gave the least grounds for being suspected of covetousness or avarice; but, on the contrary, he often afforded proofs, not only of his justice, but his liberality.

He made many innovations in common practices. He abolished the Sportula, and revived the old practice of regular suppers. To the four former parties in the Circensian games, he added two new, who were gold and scarlet. He prohibited the players from acting in the theatre, but permitted them the practice of their art in private houses.

Domitian also liked games, in particular, chariot races, even adding two new factions - Golden and Purple. In fact he loved public entertainments of any kind, especially those involving women and dwarves. There were also wild beast hunts and gladiatorial contests by torchlight and there were competitions to the death between infantry and cavalry. The basement of the Colosseum (built by his father) was flooded and used for a naval battle. He even founded a festival of music, horsemanship, and gymnastics that was to be held every five years. However, while both Domitian and the public enjoyed these entertainments, their cost would eventually take a heavy toll on his and the empire’s finances. It might be fairer to criticize him for undue paternalism.

He frequently entertained the people with most magnificent and costly shows, not only in the amphitheatre, but the circus; where, besides the usual races with chariots drawn by two or four horses a-breast, he exhibited the representation of an engagement between both horse and foot, and a sea-fight in the amphitheatre. The people were also entertained with the chase of wild beasts and the combat of gladiators, even in the night-time, by torch-light. Nor did men only fight in these spectacles, but women also. He constantly attended at the games given by the quaestors, which had been disused for some time, but were revived by him; and upon those occasions, always gave the people the liberty of demanding two pair of gladiators out of his own school, who appeared last in court uniforms. Whenever he attended the shows of gladiators, there stood at his feet a little boy dressed in scarlet, with a prodigiously small head, with whom he used to talk very much, and sometimes seriously. We are assured, that he was overheard asking him, “if he knew for what reason he had in the late appointment, made Metius Rufus governor of Egypt?” He presented the people with naval fights, performed by fleets almost as numerous as those usually employed in real engagements; making a vast lake near the Tiber, and building seats round it. And he witnessed them himself during a very heavy rain. He likewise celebrated the Secular games, reckoning not from the year in which they had been exhibited by Claudius, but from the time of Augustus’s celebration of them. In these, upon the day of the Circensian sports, in order to have a hundred races performed, he reduced each course from seven rounds to five. He likewise instituted, in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, a solemn contest in music to be performed every five years; besides horse-racing and gymnastic exercises, with more prizes than are at present allowed. There was also a public performance in elocution, both Greek and Latin and besides the musicians who sung to the harp, there were others who played concerted pieces or solos, without vocal accompaniment. Young girls also ran races in the Stadium, at which he presided in his sandals, dressed in a purple robe, made after the Grecian fashion, and wearing upon his head a golden crown bearing the effigies of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva; with the flamen of Jupiter, and the college of priests sitting by his side in the same dress; excepting only that their crowns had also his own image on them. He celebrated also upon the Alban mount every year the festival of Minerva, for whom he had appointed a college of priests, out of which were chosen by lot persons to preside as governors over the college; who were obliged to entertain the people with extraordinary chases of wild-beasts, and stage-plays, besides contests for prizes in oratory and poetry. He thrice bestowed upon the people a largess of three hundred sesterces each man; and, at a public show of gladiators, a very plentiful feast. At the festival of the Seven Hills, he distributed large hampers of provisions to the senatorian and equestrian orders, and small baskets to the common people, and encouraged them to eat by setting them the example. The day after, he scattered among the people a variety of cakes and other delicacies to be scrambled for; and on the greater part of them falling amidst the seats of the crowd, he ordered five hundred tickets to be thrown into each range of benches belonging to the senatorian and equestrian orders.

He made many innovations in common practices. He abolished the Sportula, and revived the old practice of regular suppers. To the four former parties in the Circensian games, he added two new, who were gold and scarlet. He prohibited the players from acting in the theatre, but permitted them the practice of their art in private houses.

On the other hand, there were notable successes. Early in his reign, Domitian proved to be an able administrator and did not ignore the welfare of the people. He rebuilt many noble edifices which had been destroyed by fire, and amongst them the Capitol, which had been burnt down a second time; but all the inscriptions were in his own name, without the least mention of the original founders.

Before the Flavians came to power, much of Rome needed rebuilding, mostly due to fire, decay, and the failure of previous emperors to do anything about it. The great fire of A.D. 64, the civil wars of A.D. 68-69, and another devastating fire in A.D. 80 had left Rome badly in need of repair. Domitian restored the gutted ruins of many public buildings, including the Capitol which had burned in A.D. 80; he responded by erecting, restoring, or completing some 50 structures, including the restored Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol. He likewise erected a new temple to Jupiter the Guardian, Jupiter Custos, in the Capitol, and a forum, which is now called Nerva’s, as also the temple of the Flavian family, a stadium, a new stadium, and an odeum, a concert hall for musicians and poets, and a naumachia, a place designed to be flooded for mock sea battles; the sides of the Circus Maximus, which had been burnt down, were rebuilt out of the stone dug from it. For himself, because he did not like the old imperial palace, he built a magnificent new Flavian Palace on Palatine Hill for official functions, and to the south he constructed the Domus Augustana where he held numerous banquets and receptions. Domitian built several monuments in honor of Titus and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, changing the name of the structure to include his brother's and setting up his cult statue in the Temple itself. The building program, ambitious and spectacular, was matched by hardly any other emperor

He was tall in stature, his face modest, and very ruddy; he had large eyes, but was dim-sighted [near-sighted]; naturally graceful in his person, particularly in his youth, excepting only that his toes were bent somewhat inward, he was at last disfigured by baldness, corpulence, and the slenderness of his legs, which were reduced by a long illness. He was so sensible how much the modesty of his countenance recommended him, that he once made this boast to the senate, “Thus far you have approved both of my disposition and my countenance.” His baldness so much annoyed him, that he considered it an affront to himself, if any other person was reproached with it, either in jest or in earnest; though in a small tract he published, addressed to a friend, “concerning the preservation of the hair,” he uses for their mutual consolation the words following: Ouch oraas oios kago kalos te megas te; Seest thou my graceful mien, my stately form? “and yet the fate of my hair awaits me; however, I bear with fortitude this loss of my hair while I am still young. Remember that nothing is more fascinating than beauty, but nothing of shorter duration.”

He so shrunk from undergoing fatigue, that he scarcely ever walked through the city on foot. In his expeditions and on a march, he seldom rode on horse-back; but was generally carried in a litter. He had no inclination for the exercise of arms, but was very expert in the use of the bow. Many persons have seen him often kill a hundred wild animals, of various kinds, at his Alban retreat, and fix his arrows in their heads with such dexterity, that he could, in two shots, plant them, like a pair of horns, in each. He would sometimes direct his arrows against the hand of a boy standing at a distance, and expanded as a mark, with such precision, that they all passed between the boy’s fingers, without hurting him.

In the beginning of his reign, he gave up the study of the liberal sciences, though he took care to restore, at a vast expense, the libraries which had been burnt down; collecting manuscripts from all parts, and sending scribes to Alexandria, either to copy or correct them. Yet he never gave himself the trouble of reading history or poetry, or of employing his pen even for his private purposes. He perused nothing but the Commentaries and Acts of Tiberius Caesar. His letters, speeches, and edicts, were all drawn up for him by others; though he could converse with elegance, and sometimes expressed himself in memorable sentiments.

He once said, “I could wish that I was but as handsome as Metius fancies himself to be.” And of the head of some one whose hair was partly reddish, and partly grey, he said that it was “snow sprinkled with mead.”

He remarked, “The lot of princes was very miserable, for no one believed them when they discovered a conspiracy, until they were murdered.”

When he had leisure, he amused himself with dice, even on days that were not festivals, and in the morning. He went to the bath early, and made a plentiful dinner, insomuch that he seldom ate more at supper than a Matian apple, to which he added a draught of wine, out of a small flask. He gave frequent and splendid entertainments, but they were soon over, for he never prolonged them after sun-set, and indulged in no revel after. For, till bed-time, he did nothing else but walk by himself in private.

By those around him, at least early in his reign, he was viewed as being generous, possessing self-restraint, considerate of all of his friends, and conscientious when dispensing justice.

In Rome however, things were different.

During some time, there was in his administration a strange mixture of virtue and vice, until at last his virtues themselves degenerated into vices; being inclined to avarice through want, and to cruelty through fear, as we may reasonably conjecture concerning his character.

He was insatiable in his lusts, calling frequent commerce with women, as if it was a sort of exercise, klinopalaen, bed-wrestling; and it was reported that he plucked the hair from his concubines, and swam about in company with the lowest prostitutes. His brother’s daughter was offered him in marriage when she was a virgin; but being at that time enamored of Domitia, he obstinately refused her. Yet not long afterwards, when she was given to another, he was ready enough to debauch her, and that even while Titus was living. But after she had lost both her father and her husband, he loved her most passionately, and without disguise; insomuch that he was the occasion of her death, by obliging her to procure a miscarriage when she was with child by him.

As emperor, Domitian was to become one of Rome's foremost micromanagers, especially concerning the economy. Shortly after taking office, he raised the silver content of the denarius by about 12% (to the earlier level of Augustus), and he incurred censure for attempting to curb vices from which he himself was not immune.

In spite of his private vices, and his own lack of moral values, he set himself up as a reformer of morals and religion. Seeking to impose his morals, he attempted to raise the standards of public morality by forbidding male castration. He prohibited the castration of males; and reduced the price of the eunuchs who were still left in the hands of the dealers in slaves, and admonishing homosexual senators, he penalized senators who practiced homosexuality,

In legislation he was severe. In A.D. 83 Domitian displayed that terrifying adherence to the very letter of the law, which should make him so feared by the people of Rome; and censuring the Vestal Virgins for, among other indiscretions, incest. During his reign three Vestal Virgins, convicted of immoral behavior, were put to death. It is true that these stringent rules and punishments had once been observed by Roman society. But times had changed, moral standards once admired and praised as Roman virtue were no longer popular, and the public now tended to see these punishments of the Vestals as mere acts of cruelty.

On another front, he sought to promote grain production by calling for empire-wide limitations on viticulture. On the occasion of a great abundance of wine, accompanied by a scarcity of corn, and supposing that the tillage of the ground was neglected for the sake of attending too much to the cultivation of vineyards, he published a proclamation forbidding the planting of any new vines in Italy, and ordering the vines in the provinces to be cut down, nowhere permitting more than one half of them to remain. But he did not persist in the execution of this project. An edict ordaining destruction of half the provincial vineyards was typical: it was designed to encourage the growing of grain and to limit the importing of wine into Italy, while, at the same time, no increased production was permitted, but Domitian was unable to carry the matter through. Pliny the Younger’s letters to Trajan show that Domitian’s administrative decisions were not usually revoked, but the edict met with immediate opposition and was never implemented.

He conferred some of the greatest offices on his freedmen and soldiers. He forbad two legions to be quartered in the same camp, and more than a thousand sesterces to be deposited by any soldier with the standards, because it was rumored that Lucius Antonius had been encouraged in his late project by the large sum deposited in the military chest by the two legions which he had in the same winter-quarters. He made an addition to the soldiers’ pay, of three gold pieces a year.

Before his accession to the imperial authority, and during some time afterwards, Domitian seldom ever provided the least grounds for being suspected of covetousness or avarice; but, on the contrary, he often afforded proofs, not only of his justice, but his liberality. To all about him he was generous even to profuseness, and recommended nothing more earnestly to them than to avoid doing anything mean. He would not accept the property left to him by those who had children. He also set aside a legacy bequeathed by the will of Ruscus Caepio, who had ordered his heir to make a present yearly to each of the senators upon their first assembling. He exonerated all those who had been under prosecution from the treasury more than five years before; and would not permit lawsuits to be renewed, unless it was done within a year, and on condition that the prosecutor should be banished if he could not make good his case. He pardoned the secretaries of the quaestors for what was past, having engaged in trade according to custom, but contrary to the Clodian law restricting the private business dealings of the scribes of quaestors. Such portions of land as had been left when it was divided amongst the veteran soldiers, he granted to the ancient possessors, as belonging to them by prescription. He put a stop to false prosecutions in the treasury, by severely punishing the prosecutors; and much notice was taken of this saying of his: “a prince who does not punish informers, encourages them.”

But now Domitian was determined to equal the military achievements of his predecessors. While the military abilities of Vespasian and Titus were genuine, those of Domitian were not. Partly as an attempt to remedy this deficiency, Domitian frequently became involved in his own military exploits outside of Rome. He wanted to be known as a conqueror. Although not a military man, unlike Vespasian and Titus, he considered himself one and constantly sent messages to the generals in the field with advice and recommendations.

He undertook several expeditions, some from choice, and some from necessity.

In A.D. 83 he completed the conquest of the Agri Decumates, the lands beyond the upper Rhine and upper Danube, which his father Vespasian had begun. The greatest threat, however, remained on the Danube.

Having no personal experience himself and hoping to claim some credibility with the army, he embarked on a victorious campaign to Germany to engage the Chatti in A.D. 83. That against the Catti was unprovoked. He claimed a triumph in A.D. 83 for subduing the Chatti in Gaul, but the conquest was illusory. More campaigns against the Chatti followed in western Germany from A.D. 83 to 85.

Moving against tribes like the Chatti, he drove the empire's frontier to the rivers Lahn and Main, building border fortifications called limes in Germany.

Shortly afterward he raised the pay of the army from three hundred to four hundred sesterces, a fact which should naturally make him popular with the soldiery. Despite the results of his military achievements, he earned the respect of the army when he became the first emperor since Augustus to give them a raise, although by that time a pay rise had perhaps very well become necessary, as over time inflation had reduced the soldiers' income.

In A.D. 84, Domitian put to death Flavius Sabinus, one of his cousins, because, on his being chosen to that office at the consular election, the herald, in proclaiming his consulship, had called him Imperator instead of consul—the public crier had, by a blunder, proclaimed him to the people not consul, but emperor. The execution of his cousin Flavius Sabinus on this frivolous pretext as evidence of treachery was an isolated event. Cornelius Fuscus, prefect of the praetorian cohorts, sought some means of trying to avenge Sabinus' death.

Titus had an only child, a daughter, Flavia Julia, to whom he accorded the title Augusta, a title of divinity. She had married her cousin Flavius Sabinus, but now, after his death in A.D. 84 she lived openly as mistress of her uncle Domitian.

He quelled the civil war, begun by Lucius Antonius, governor of Upper Germany, without being obliged to be personally present at it, with remarkable good fortune. For, at the very moment of joining battle, the Rhine suddenly thawing, the troops of the barbarians which were ready to join Antonius, were prevented from crossing the river. Of this victory he had notice by some presages, before the messengers who brought the news of it arrived. For upon the very day the battle was fought, a splendid eagle spread its wings round his statue at Rome, making most joyful cries. And shortly after, a rumor became common, that Antonius was slain; no, many positively affirmed, that they saw his head brought to the city.

After such victorious campaigns against the Germans, Domitian would often wear the costume of a victorious general in public, at times also when he visited the senate.

After several battles with the Catti and Daci, he celebrated a double triumph. Afterwards, he awarded himself the title of Germanicus for his “success.” He even renamed two of the months after himself. After his two triumphs, when he assumed the cognomen of Germanicus, he called the months of September and October, Germanicus and Domitian, after his own names, because he commenced his reign in the one, and was born in the other - September becomes Germanicus, and October Domitianus.

The emperor saw himself as an absolute ruler and took pride in being called master and god: “dominus et deus.” The Senate was almost stripped entirely of its power and his paranoia led to the execution of both senators and imperial officers for the most trivial of offences. Out of jealousy, he had Sullustius Lucullus, governor of Britannia, executed for naming a new type of lance after himself and he recalled Agricola, a victorious general in Britain because he became too popular.

Meanwhile the governor of Britain, Cnaeus Julius Agricola, was successfully campaigning against the Picts. He had already won some victories in various parts of Britain and now advanced into northern Scotland where at Mons Graupius he gained a significant victory over the Picts in battle.

Then in A.D. 85 Agricola was suddenly recalled from Britain. The possibility that he was virtually on the brink of actually achieving the final conquest of Britain, has been the subject of much speculation, and we will never know. It appears that Domitian, so eager to prove himself a great conqueror, was in fact jealous of Agricola's success.

In his book On Britain and Germany Tacitus recounted the tenuous relationship between Agricola and Domitian. The general’s victories in Britain put the emperor in a precarious position as he was torn between pride for a Roman victory and keeping up appearances to the public, and jealousy because of his own failure as a commander. “Agricola…was received by Domitian with the smile on his face that so often masked a secret disquiet. He was bitterly aware of the ridicule that had greeted his sham triumph over Germany….”. Upon returning to Rome, the general was offered the governorship of Syria but refused.

Now, General Gnaeus Julius Agricola in spite of his having received triumphal honors from Titus, for the rest of his life lived not only in disgrace but in actual want, because the deeds which he had wrought were thought by Domitian too great for a mere general.

The circumstances surrounding the recall of Agricola and the suspicions that this had been done only for purposes of jealousy, only further fueled Domitian's hunger for military glory. This time his attention turned to the kingdom of Dacia.

In A.D. 85 the Dacians under their king Decebalus had crossed the Danube onto the northern frontier in raids in which they even killed the governor of Moesia, Oppius Sabinus, a man of consular rank. The emperor visited Moesia in A.D. 85 shortly after Sabinus had been killed by the invaders. On hearing of the death of Oppius Sabinus, Domitian sent the first of two expeditions against the Dacians. Domitian led his troops to the Danube region but returned soon after, leaving his armies to fight. To Cornelius Fuscus, prefect of the pretorian cohorts, he entrusted the conduct of that war. At first these armies suffered another defeat at the hands of the Dacians. However, the Dacians were eventually driven back.

As emperor, Domitian was hated by the aristocracy. Domitian's reach extended well beyond the economy.

Late in A.D. 85, in a move to increase his power over the senate, Domitian proclaimed himself censor perpetuus, "perpetual censor"; he made himself censor for life, which granted him near unlimited power over the assembly, with a general supervision of conduct and morals. The move was without precedent and, although largely symbolic, it nevertheless revealed Domitian's obsessive interest in all aspects of Roman life. Domitian was more and more being understood as a tyrant, who did not even refrain from having senators who opposed his policies assassinated.

But his strict enforcement of the law also brought its benefits. Corruption amongst city officials and within the law courts was reduced. In the administration of justice he was diligent and assiduous; and frequently sat in the Forum out of course, to cancel the judgments of the court of Centumviri, The One Hundred, which had been procured through favor, or interest. He occasionally cautioned the judges of the court of recovery to beware of being too ready to admit claims for freedom brought before them. He set a mark of infamy upon judges who were convicted of taking bribes, as well as upon their assessors. He likewise instigated the tribunes of the people to prosecute a corrupt aedile for extortion, and to desire the senate to appoint judges for his trial. He likewise took such effectual care in punishing magistrates of the city, and governors of provinces, guilty of misconduct in public office, that they never were at any other time more moderate or more just. Most of these, since his reign, we have seen prosecuted for crimes of various kinds. Having taken upon himself the reformation of the public manners, he restrained the license of the populace in sitting promiscuously with the knights in the theatre. He suppressed scandalous libels, published to defame persons of rank, of either sex, and inflicted upon their authors a mark of infamy. He expelled a man of quaestorian rank from the senate, for practicing mimicry and dancing. He barred infamous women from the use of litters, and the right of receiving legacies, or inheriting estates. He struck out of the list of judges a Roman knight for taking again his wife whom he had divorced and prosecuted for adultery. He condemned several men of the senatorian and equestrian orders, on the basis of Scantinian law. The lewdness of the Vestal Virgins, which had been overlooked by his father and brother, he punished severely, but in different ways: offences committed before his reign, with death, and those since its commencement, according to ancient custom. For to the two sisters called Ocellatae, he gave liberty to choose the mode of death which they preferred, and banished their paramours; but Cornelia, the president of the Vestals, was acquitted upon a charge of incontinence. And to preserve pure and undefiled reverence due the gods, he ordered the soldiers to demolish a tomb, which one of his freedmen had erected for his son out of stones designed for the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, and to sink in the sea the bones and relics buried in it.

But he did not long persevere in this course of clemency and justice, although he sooner fell into cruelty than into avarice. It seems certain that cruelty and ostentation were the chief grounds of his unpopularity, rather than any military or administrative incompetence.

Domitian's administration is judged to have been sound and efficient, though at times pedantic - he insisted on spectators at public games being properly dressed in togas.

But the finances of the empire were further organized, to the point that imperial expenditure could at last be reasonably forecast. And under his rule Rome itself became yet more cosmopolitan.

Always worried about state finances, he at times displayed near neurotic meanness.

Having exhausted the imperial treasury by the expense of his buildings and public spectacles, with the augmentation of pay lately granted to the troops, he made an attempt at reducing the army, in order to lessen military costs. But reflecting, that by this measure he should expose himself to the insults of the barbarians, while it would not be enough to extricate him from his military embarrassments, he had recourse to plundering his subjects by every mode of extortion. The estates of the living and the dead were confiscated and held for any accusation, by anyone who preferred to do so. The unsupported allegation of any one person, relative to a word or action construed to affect the dignity of the emperor, was sufficient. Inheritances, to which he had not the slightest pretension, were confiscated, if there was found so much as one person to say that he had heard from the deceased when living that he had made the emperor his heir.

Domitian’s financial difficulties are a much disputed question. Cruelty came earlier in his reign than rapacity, but eventually he regularly confiscated the property of his victims. His building program had been heavy: Rome received a new forum, later called Forum Nervae, and many other works. Then there were the expenses of Domitian’s new house on the Palatine Hill and his vast villa on the Alban Mount. Meanwhile, the increased army pay was a recurrent cost. Probably only his confiscations averted bankruptcy in the last years.

Shortly after taking office, he had raised the silver content of the denarius by about 12% (to the earlier level of Augustus), only to devaluate it now in A.D. 85, when the imperial income must have proved insufficient to meet military and public expenses. Confiscations and the rigorous collection of taxes soon became necessary. He was also able to maintain the debased currency standard of A.D. 85, which was still higher than the Vespasianic one, until the end of his reign. The economy, therefore, offered a ready outlet for Domitian's autocratic tendencies. There were failures, but he also left the treasury with a surplus, perhaps the best proof of a financially sound administration.

Beyond Rome, Domitian taxed provincials rigorously and was not afraid to impose his will on officials of every rank. Consistent with his concern for the details of administration, he also made essential changes in the organization of several provinces and established the office of curator to investigate financial mismanagement in the cities. Other evidence points to a concern with civic improvements of all kinds, from road building in Asia Minor, Sardinia and near the Danube to building and defensive improvements in North Africa.

Domitian, already considered by many in the government to be a difficult man and a poor ruler with questionable morals, also now in his reign enacted the first heavy persecution of Christians since Nero.

Domitian, indeed, having exercised his cruelty against many, and unjustly slain no small number of noble and illustrious men at Rome, and having, without cause, punished vast numbers of honorable men with exile and the confiscation of their property, at length established himself as the successor of Nero, in his hatred and hostility to God. He was the second that raised a persecution against us, although his father Vespasian had attempted nothing to our prejudice.

According to Eusebius, in the fourth year of Domitian, A.D. 85 Annianus, who was the first Episcopos of Alexandria, died, after having filled that office for twenty-two years. He was succeeded by Avilius, who was the second Episcopos of that city.

As his reign progressed and the pressures of ruling mounted, his paranoia seized him. In order to pay for his extravagances he tightened the Jewish tax enacted by his father and seized the fortunes of senators and wealthy Romans.

When the Acts of Nero's reign were reversed after his death, an exception was made regarding the persecution of the Christians. The Jewish revolt brought upon them fresh unpopularity, and the subsequent destruction of the Holy City deprived them of the last shreds of protection afforded them by being confounded with the Jews. Hence Domitian in his attack upon the aristocratic party found little difficulty in condemning those who were Christians. To observe Jewish practices was no longer lawful; to reject the national religion, without being able to plead the excuse of being a Jew, was atheism. On one count or the other, as Jews or as atheists, the Christians were liable to punishment. Among the more famous martyrs in this Second Persecution were Domitian's cousin, Flavius Clemens, the consul, and M. Acilius Glabrio who had also been consul. Flavia Domitilla, the wife of Flavius, was banished to Pandataria. But the persecution was not confined to such noble victims. We read of many others who suffered death or the loss of their goods.

Some scholars, dismissing many reliable contemporary historical sources attesting the persecutions, claim that it is less easy from these sources to gauge Domitian's attitude toward Christians and Jews, asserting that reliable evidence for their persecution is difficult to find; that Christians may have been among those banished or executed from time to time during the 90's, but that the documented testimony they accept as verifiable falls short of confirming any organized program of persecution under Domitian's reign. They acknowledge that there is clear evidence that Jews were made to feel uneasy under Domitian, who scrupulously collected the Jewish tax and harassed Jewish tax dodgers during much of his rule, taxes which had been imposed by emperors since Vespasian for allowing them to practice their own faith, fiscus iudaicus. Besides the exactions from others, the poll-tax on the Jews was in fact levied with extreme rigor, both on those who lived after the manner of Jews in the city, without publicly professing themselves to be such, and on those who, by concealing their origin, avoided paying the tribute imposed on that people. Many Christians were also tracked down and forced to pay the tax, based on the widespread Roman belief that they were Jews pretending to be something else. But Domitian was especially rigorous in exacting taxes from the Jews. Suetonius remembers, when he was a youth, that he was present, when an old man, ninety years of age, had his person exposed to view in a very crowded court, in order that, on inspection, the procurator might satisfy himself whether he was circumcised and therefore whether he was required to pay the fiscus Judaicus. Some scholars claim that, as with Christians, such policies did not amount to persecution, but that, in their view, it does help to explain the Jewish fears of expulsion present in the sources. Scholars who dismiss contemporary Roman and Christian sources offering evidence of persecution, claim that, on balance, the tradition of Domitian as persecutor has been greatly overstated, yet given his autocratic tendencies and devotion to Roman pagan religion, they claim that it is easy to see how such stories could have evolved and multiplied.

An ardent supporter of traditional Roman religion, Domitian also closely identified himself with Minerva and Jupiter, publicly linking Jupiter to his regime through the Ludi Capitolini, the Capitoline Games, which he began in A.D. 86. Held every four years in the early summer, the Games consisted of chariot races, athletics and gymnastics, and music, oratory and poetry. Contestants came from many nations, and no expense was spared; the emperor himself awarded the prizes. In the same manner, Domitian offered frequent and elaborate public shows, always with an emphasis on the innovative: gladiator contests held at night; female combatants and dwarves; food showered down upon the public from ropes stretched across the top of the Amphitheater. Thus the emperor sought to underscore not only Rome's importance but also his own and that of the Flavian regime.

He had long entertained a suspicion of the year and day when he should die, and even of the very hour and manner of his death; all which he had learned from the Chaldeans, when he was a very young man. His father once at supper laughed at him for refusing to eat some mushrooms, saying, that if he knew his fate, he would rather be afraid of the sword. Being, therefore, in perpetual apprehension and anxiety, he was keenly alive to the slightest suspicions, insomuch that he is thought to have withdrawn the edict ordering the destruction of the vines, chiefly because the copies of it which were dispersed had the following lines written upon them: Kaen me phagaes epi rizanomos epi kartophoraeso, Osson epispeisai Kaisari thuomeno.

Gnaw thou my root, yet shall my juice suffice To pour on Caesar’s head in sacrifice.

It was from the same principle of fear, that he refused a new honor, devised and offered him by the Senate, though he was greedy of all such compliments. It was that as often as he held the consulship, Roman knights, chosen by lot, should walk before him, clad in the Trabea, with lances in their hands, amongst his lictors and apparitors. As the time of the danger which he apprehended drew near, he became daily more and more disturbed in mind; so that he even lined the walls of the porticos in which he used to walk, and the gallery where he took his daily walks, with the stone called Phengites, highly-polished moonstone, so that by the reflection he could see every object behind him. His paranoia led him to take extreme measures such as employing informers. As a means to obtain information on possible plots or rebels, he ordered interrogators to cut off the hands, or scorched the genitals, of prisoners.

However, plots against the emperor did exist. In September of A.D. 87 several senators who were used in a conspiracy were executed.

His military and foreign policy was not uniformly successful. Domitian was the first emperor since Claudius to campaign in person. Both in Britain and in Germany advances were made by the Romans early in the reign, and the construction of the Rhine-Danube limes (“fortified line”) owes more to Domitian than to any other emperor. In Britain, similar propaganda masked the withdrawal of Roman forces from the northern borders to positions farther south, a clear sign of Domitian's rejection of expansionist warfare in the province. But consolidation in Scotland was halted by serious wars on the Danube, where Domitian never achieved an entirely satisfactory settlement and, worse still, lost two legions and many other troops. Difficulties with the Dacians which began in 86 continued to A.D. 90. This, though admitted even by Tacitus to be due to the slackness or rashness of his commanders, was naturally held against Domitian at Rome. It did not affect his popularity with the army, however, whose pay he had wisely raised by one-third in A.D. 84.

The real issue was his own constitutional and ceremonial position. He continued his father’s policy of holding frequent consulates; he was consul ordinarius every year from 82 to 88; he became censor for life in 85, with consequent control over senatorial membership and general behavior; he wore triumphal dress in the Senate; and he presided, wearing Greek dress and a golden crown, over four yearly games on the Greek model, with his fellow judges wearing crowns bearing his own effigy among effigies of the gods.

From his earliest years Domitian was any thing but courteous, of a forward, assuming disposition, and extravagant both in his words and actions. When Caenis, his father’s concubine, upon her return from Istria, offered him a kiss, as she had been used to do, he presented her his hand to kiss. Being indignant, that his brother’s son-in-law should be waited on by servants dressed in white, he exclaimed, ouk agathon polykoiraniae. Too many princes are not good.

In fact Domitian later claimed that Titus had denied him what should had rightfully been his rightful place as imperial colleague. After he became emperor, he had the assurance to boast in the senate that he had bestowed the empire on his father and brother, and they had restored it to him. And upon taking his wife again, after the divorce, he declared by proclamation that he had recalled her to his pulvinar. He was not a little pleased too, at hearing the acclamations of the people in the amphitheatre on a day of festival, “All happiness to our lord and lady.” But when, during the celebration of the Capitoline trial of skill, the whole concourse of people entreated him with one voice to restore Palfurius Sura to his place in the senate, from which he had been long before expelled—he having then carried away the prize of eloquence from all the orators who had contended for it,—he did not vouchsafe to give them any answer, but only commanded silence to be proclaimed by the voice of the crier.

With equal arrogance, when he dictated the form of a letter to be used by his procurators, he began it thus: “Our lord and god commands so and so”; and showing all the signs of someone drunk with power, he preferred to be addressed as "dominus et deus", "master and god". From this it became a rule that no one should style him otherwise either in writing or speaking. According to Suetonius, a grave source of offense was his insistence on being addressed as dominus et deus, “master and god”. He was the first of the emperors to deify himself during his lifetime by assuming the title of "Lord and God".

The temple begun by Titus in A.D. 80 to house the imperial cult of his father Vespasian and completed by Domitian sometime during the fifteen years of his reign was known near the end of his reign as the Temple of Vespasian and Domitian.

There were campaigns against the Chatti in western Germany from A.D. 83 to 85. After several battles with the Catti and Daci, he celebrated a double triumph in 85.

In the First Dacian War, initial success against the aggressors by Domitian's praetorian prefect, Cornelius Fuscus, allowed the emperor to celebrate his second triumph at Rome in A.D. 86.

But there are hints of more general trouble about A.D. 87.

After Nero's suicide in 68, there was a widespread belief, especially in the eastern provinces, that he was not dead and somehow would return. This belief came to be known as the Nero Redivivus Legend.

Now, twenty years after Nero's death, in A.D. 88, during the reign of Domitian, there was a third Nero pretender. He was supported by the Parthians, who only reluctantly gave him up, and the matter almost came to war.

The legend of Nero's return lasted for hundreds of years after Nero's death.

Domitian soon returned to the Danube, where the Roman army won another decisive victory; Roman forces, under the newly appointed governor of Upper Moesia, Tettius Julianus, defeated the Dacians at Tapae in the Second Dacian War, most likely in A.D. 88. The time he spent with the soldiers on the Danube only further increased his popularity with the army.

But matters remained far from settled. The crisis came on one January, A.D. 89, with the revolt of Lucius Antonius Saturninus, governor of Upper Germany, who mutinied at Mainz. Saturninus was proclaimed emperor by two legions in Upper Germany. Much of Saturninus' cause for rebellion was the increasing oppression of homosexuals by the emperor. Saturninus being a homosexual himself, he rebelled against the oppressor. But Lappius Maximus, the commander of Lower Germany remained loyal. This rebellion was suppressed by the Lower German army, At the following battle of Castellum, Saturninus was killed and this brief rebellion was at an end. For, at the very moment of joining battle, the Rhine suddenly thawing, the troops of the barbarians which were ready to join Lucius Antonius, were prevented from crossing the river. Of this victory he had notice by some presages, before the messengers who brought the news of it arrived. For upon the very day the battle was fought, a splendid eagle spread its wings round his statue at Rome, making most joyful cries. And shortly after, a rumor became common, that Antonius was slain; no, many positively affirmed, that they saw his head brought to the city.

Domitian had quelled the civil war begun by Lucius Antonius, governor of Upper Germany, without being obliged to be personally present at it, with remarkable good fortune, and a mutiny by Lucius Antonius Saturninus, governor of Upper Germany, in A.D. 89 was stamped out. The revolt was promptly suppressed. Lappius purposely destroyed Saturninus' files in the hope of preventing a massacre. But Domitian wanted vengeance, and the rebel leaders were punished. On the emperor's arrival Saturninus' officers were brutally and mercilessly executed.

But a number of executions followed, and the law of majestas, treason against majesty, was later employed freely against senators. Domitian suspected, most likely with good reason, that Saturninus had hardly acted on his own. Powerful allies in the senate of Rome more than likely had been his secret supporters. And so in Rome now the vicious treason trials returned, seeking to purge the senate of conspirators.

However, later that same year, A.D. 89, after this interlude on the Rhine, Domitian's attention was soon drawn back to the Danube. The Germanic Marcomanni and Quadi and the Sarmatian Jazyges were causing trouble.

Cornelius Fuscus was subsequently killed trying to avenge Sabinus' death, however, and Domitian sent a second expedition against the Dacians; the first was in A.D. 85, on the killing of Oppius Sabinus by the Dacian invaders; and now, four years later, A.D. 89, the second expedition, on the death of Cornelius Fuscus, prefect of the pretorian cohorts, to whom he had entrusted the conduct of that war. Domitian attacked the Suebian Marcomanni and Quadi in the First Pannonian War, while offering the Dacian king Decebalus a settlement to avoid conflicts on two fronts. Domitian was forced reluctantly to conclude a truce with King Decebalus. A treaty was agreed with the Dacians who were all too happy to accept peace. Difficulties with the Dacians were settled by making King Decebalus a client ruler. Then Domitian moved against the troublesome barbarians and defeated them.

Domitian had claimed a triumph in A.D. 83 for subduing the Chatti in Gaul, but the conquest was illusory. Final victory over them did not really come until now in A.D. 89.

Domitian's autocratic tendencies meant that the real seat of power during his reign resided with his court. The features typically associated with later courts, a small band of favored courtiers, a keen interest in the bizarre and the unusual, wrestlers, jesters, and dwarves, and a highly mannered, if somewhat artificial atmosphere, characterized Domitian's palace too, whether at Rome or at his Alban villa, some twenty kilometers outside of the capital. Courtiers included family members and freedmen, as well as Friends, amici, a group of politicians, generals, and praetorian prefects who offered input on important matters. Reliance upon amici was not new, yet the arrangement underscored Domitian's mistrust of the aristocracy, most notably the Senate, whose role suffered as Domitian deliberately concentrated power in the hands of few senators while expanding the duties of the equestrian class. Domitian's mistake was that he made no attempt to mask his feelings about the Senate. Inclined neither by nature nor by conviction to include the body in his emperorship, he treated the group no differently than any other. Senatorial grievances were not without basis: at least 11 senators of consular rank were executed and many others exiled, ample attestation of the emperor's contempt for the body and its membership.

In A.D. 90, after censuring the Vestal Virgins for, among other indiscretions, incest, one was even buried alive; her lover was also executed. Cornelia, the president of the Vestals, who had formerly been acquitted upon a charge of incontinence, being a long time afterward again prosecuted and condemned, he ordered to be buried alive; the head of the Vestal Virgins was walled up alive in an underground cell, after being convicted of the charge of immoral behavior, while her alleged lovers were beaten to death; her gallants to be whipped to death with rods in the Comitium, excepting only a man of praetorian rank, to whom he granted the favor of banishment, because he confessed the fact while the case was dubious and it was not established against him, though the witnesses had been put to the torture.

Suetonius claimed in De Vitae Caesarium, The Twelve Caesars, that Domitian was not evil to begin with; however, greed and fear of assassination made him extremely cruel. Historian Cassius Dio in his Roman History said the emperor was both bold and quick to anger. He was extremely vain and very self-conscious of his being bald. By all accounts Domitian appears to have been a thoroughly nasty, ill-natured, disagreeable, mean and spiteful] person, rarely polite, insolent, arrogant and cruel. He was treacherous as well as secretive, feeling no affection for anyone, except women. His paranoia even extended to his wife, Domitia Logina. He accused her of adultery, and planned to put her to death, a common practice for the time. Some accounts claimed she deserved it. Domitia had been married to a senator, Aelius Lamia, but he was convinced to divorce her so she could marry Domitian. Domitian temporarily left his wife to live with his niece Julia, Titus’s daughter by his second marriage, until he was convinced by others to return to his wife.

In Judaea Domitian stepped up the policy introduced by his father to track down and execute Jews claiming descent from their ancient king David. But if this policy under Vespasian had been introduced to eliminate any potential leaders of rebellions, then with Domitian it was pure religious oppression. Even among leading Romans in Rome itself this religious tyranny found victims. He executed another niece’s husband Flavius Clemons on the charge of atheism because he was sympathetic to the plight of the Roman Jews. The consul Flavius Clemens was killed and his wife Flavia Domitilla banished, for being convicted of 'godlessness'. Most likely they were sympathisers with Jews. Domitian's ever greater religious zealotry was a sign of the emperor's increasing tyranny. The senate by then was treated with open contempt by him.

Meanwhile the treason trials had so far cost the lives of twelve former consuls. Ever more senators were falling victim to allegations of treason. Members of Domitian's own family were not safe from accusation by the emperor.

In A.D. 92, the Sarmatians crossed the Danube and attacked the Roman frontier, a war that would endure after the emperor’s death. That against the Catti in A.D. 83 had been unprovoked, but that against the Sarmatians was necessary; an entire legion, with its commander, having been cut off by them. Few other details are available beyond the fact that a Roman legion was destroyed in a campaign that lasted about eight months. Compelled to return to the Danube, Domitian fought the combined forces of the Suebi and the Sarmatians in the Second Pannonian War.

By January, A.D. 93, Domitian was back in Rome, not to accept a full triumph but the lesser ovatio, a sign perhaps of unfinished business along the Danube. After several battles with the Catti and Daci, he had celebrated a double triumph; but for his successes against the Sarmatians, he only bore in procession the laurel crown to Jupiter Capitolinus. In fact, during the final years of Domitian's reign, the buildup of forces on the middle Danube and the appointment and transfer of key senior officials suggest that a third Pannonian campaign directed against the Suebi and Sarmatians may have been underway. Even so, there is no testimony of actual conflicts and the evidence does not extend beyond A.D. 97.

The years A.D. 93 to 96 were regarded as a period of terror hitherto unsurpassed. After the revolt of Saturninus, Dormitian organized in 93 a series of bloodthirsty proscriptions, of condemnations and banishments into exile, against all the wealthy and noble families.

He seldom gave an audience to persons held in custody, unless in private, being alone, and he himself holding their chains in his hand. To convince his domestics that the life of a master was not to be attempted upon any pretext, however plausible, he condemned to death Epaphroditus his secretary, because it was believed that he had assisted Nero, in his extremity, to kill himself.

It also appears that Domitian, so eager to prove himself a great conqueror, was in fact jealous of the military successes and reputation of the forcibly retired general Cnaeus Julius Agricola. Finally, Agricola, at the age of fifty-four, was murdered by Domitian for no other reason than this, that the deeds which he had wrought were too great for a mere general, in spite of his having received triumphal honors from Titus, but were those of an emperor. Agricola's death in A.D. 93 is rumored to have been the work of Domitian by having him poisoned. His death at the young age of fifty-four, again, put Domitian in a difficult position. “Domitian made a decent show of genuine sorrow; he was relieved of the need to hate, and he could always hide satisfaction more convincingly than fear.”

[Domitian] erected so many magnificent gates and arches, surmounted by representations of chariots drawn by four horses, and other triumphal ornaments, in different quarters of the city, that a wit inscribed on one of the arches the Greek word Axkei, “It is enough.” He suffered no statues to be erected for him in the Capitol, unless they were of gold and silver, and of a certain weight. He filled the office of consul seventeen times, which no one had ever done before him, and for the seven middle occasions in successive years; but in scarcely any of them had he more than the title; for he never continued in office beyond the kalends of May, [one May], and for the most part only till the ides of January, [thirteen January].

In the twelfth year of the same reign, A.D. 93, after Anencletus had been Episcopos of Rome twelve years, he was succeeded by Clement, whom the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, shows had been his fellow laborer, in these words:

"With Clement and the rest of my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life."

St. Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians was also written about this time; Eusebius states that there is one extant letter of Clement, acknowledged by all as genuine, of considerable length and of great merit which he wrote in the name of the church at Rome to the church at Corinth.

here, while it speaks of the terrible trials of the Christians, we do not find the same denunciations of the persecutors as are found among the accounts of their contemporary Roman writers, Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio. The Roman Church continued loyal to the empire, and sent up its prayers to God that He would direct the rulers and magistrates in the exercise of the power committed to their hands (Clem., Ep. ad Cor., c. lxi; cf. St. Paul , Romans 13:1 ; 1 Peter 2:13 ).

About this time rumor reached Clement, the Episcopos of the church in Rome, and those who have no connection with Christianity, that one or two persons were engaging in rebellion against the Presbyters of the church in Corinth, so that the name of the Lord is blasphemed. He wrote the following letter:

The church of God which currently dwells at Rome, to the church of God which is currently dwelling at Corinth, to those who are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be greatly increased.
Due, dear brothers, to the sudden, and successive, calamitous events which have happened to Ourselves, We feel that We have been rather tardy in turning Our attention to the points about which you consulted Us; and especially to that shameful and detestable rebellion, utterly abhorrent to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-confident persons have sparked to such a frenzied pitch, that your venerable and illustrious name, so worthy of being universally loved, has suffered grievous injury. For who has ever dwelt for even a short time among you, who did not find your faith to be as productive of virtue as it was firmly established? Who did not admire the sobriety and moderation of your godliness in Christ? Who did not proclaim the magnificence of your habitual hospitality? And who did not rejoice over your perfect and well-grounded knowledge? For you did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the commandments of God, obedient to those who had the rule over you, and giving all fitting honour to the Presbyters among you. You urged young men to be sober and seriously minded, you instructed your wives to do all things with a blameless and admirably pure conscience, loving their husbands as duty demands; and you taught them that, living according to the standard of obedience, they should becomingly manage their household affairs, and marked in every respect by discretion.
Moreover, you were all distinguished by humility, and in no respect were you puffed up with pride, but you inspired obedience rather than extorted it, and were more willing to give than to receive. Content with the provision God had made for you, and carefully attending to His words, you were inwardly filled with His doctrine, and His sufferings were before your eyes. Thus a profound and abundant peace was given to all of you, and you had an insatiable desire to do good, while a full outpouring of the Holy Spirit was over you all. Full of holy intentions, and with true earnestness of mind and a godly confidence, you stretched out your hands to God Almighty, begging Him to be merciful to you if you had been guilty of any involuntary offense. Day and night you were anxious for the whole brotherhood, desiring that the number of God's elect might be saved with mercy and a good conscience. You were sincere and uncorrupted, and unmindful of injuries between one another. Every kind of division and schism was abominable in your sight. You mourned over the transgressions of your neighbours: their deficiencies you regarded as your own. You never resented any act of kindness, being ready for every good work. Adorned with a thoroughly virtuous and religious life, you did all things in the awe of God. The commandments and ordinances of the Lord were written on the tablets of your hearts.
Every kind of honour and happiness was bestowed on you. And then was fulfilled that which is written,
My beloved ate and drank, and increased and became fat, and kicked.
Out of that flowed rivalry and envy, strife and rebellion, persecution and disorder, war and captivity. So the worthless rose up against the honoured, those of no reputation against those who were renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against those advanced in years. For this reason righteousness and peace have now departed far from you, since every one abandons the fear of God, and has become blind in His Faith, neither walks in the ordinances He established, nor acts the admirable role of a Christian, but walks according to his own wicked lusts, resuming the custom of that unrighteous and ungodly envy through which death itself entered into the world.
For thus it is written:
And it happened that after certain days, Cain brought from the fruits of the earth a sacrifice to God; and Abel also brought from the firstlings of his sheep, and from the fattest of them. And God respected Abel and his offerings, but Cain and his sacrifices He did not regard. And Cain was deeply grieved, and his face fell. And God said to Cain, Why are you grieved, and why has your face fallen? If you offer rightly, but do not divide rightly, have you not sinned? Be at peace: your offering returns to yourself, and you shall again possess it. And Cain said to his brother Abel, Let us go into the field. And it happened, while they were in the field, that Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.
You see, brothers, how envy and jealousy led to the murder of a brother. Through envy also, our father Jacob fled from the face of his brother Esau. Envy made Joseph persecuted to death, and become a slave. Envy compelled Moses to flee from the face of Pharaoh king of Egypt, when he heard these words from his fellow-countryman, "Who made you a judge or ruler over us? Will you kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?" On account of envy, Aaron and Miriam had to make their dwelling outside the camp. Envy brought Dathan and Abiram alive down into Hades, through the rebellion which they stirred up against God's servant Moses. Through envy, David not only endured the hatred of foreigners, but was also persecuted by Saul king of Israel.
But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples provided us in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy the greatest and most righteous pillars of the church have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, he departed to the place of glory due him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and gone to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects of Rome. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself to be a striking example of patience.
To these men who spent their lives in the practice of holiness, there is added a great multitude of the elect, who, because of envy having endured many indignities and tortures, have provided us with a most excellent example. Through envy, those women, the Danaids and Dircæ, being persecuted, after they had suffered terrible and unspeakable torments, finished the course of their faith with steadfastness, and though weak in body, received a noble reward. Envy has alienated wives from their husbands, and changed the saying of our father Adam, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh." Envy and strife have overthrown great cities, and uprooted mighty nations.
These things, beloved, we write to you, not merely to admonish you about your duty, but also to remind Ourselves. For We are struggling on the same arena, and the same conflict is assigned to both of us. Wherefore let us give up vain and fruitless cares, and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling. Let us tend to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us. Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious is that blood to God which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that from generation to generation the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all those willing to be converted unto Him. Noah preached repentance, and as many as listened to him were saved. Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites; but they, repenting of their sins, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation, although they were aliens to the covenant of God.
The ministers of the grace of God, by the Holy Spirit, have spoken of repentance; and the Lord of all things has himself declared with an oath regarding it,
As I live, says the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance;
adding, moreover, this gracious declaration,
Repent, O house of Israel, of your iniquity. Say to the children of my people, Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sack-cloth, yet if you turn to me with your whole heart, and say, Father! I will listen to you, as to a holy people.
And in another place He speaks thus:
Wash you, and become clean; put away the wickedness of your souls from before my eyes; cease from your evil ways, and learn to do well; seek out judgment, deliver the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and see that justice is done to the widow; and come, and let us reason together.
He declares,
Though your sins be like crimson, I will make them white as snow; though they be like scarlet, I will whiten them like wool. And if you are willing and obey me, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse, and will not hearken unto me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken these things.
Desiring, therefore, that all His beloved should be partakers of repentance, He has, by His almighty will, established these declarations.
For this reason, let us submit to obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labours and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions. Let us steadfastly contemplate those who have perfectly served his excellent glory. Let us take as an example Enoch, who, being found righteous in obedience, was translated, and death was never known to have happened to him. Noah, being found faithful, preached regeneration to the world through his ministry; and by him the Lord saved the animals which, with one agreement, entered the ark. Abraham, called the Friend, was found faithful, since he gave obedience to the words of God. He, in the exercise of obedience, went out from his own country, and from his kindred, and from his father's house, in order that, by forsaking a small territory, and a weak family, and an insignificant house, he might inherit the promises of God. For God said to him,
Get you out of your country, and away from your kindred, and from your father's house, to the land which I shall show you. And I will make you a great nation, and will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be blessed. And I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you; and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
And again, when he separated from Lot, God said to him,
Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are now, north, and south, and east, and west; for all the land you see, to you I will give it, and to your offspring for ever. And I will make your offspring like the dust particles of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust particles of the earth, then shall your seed also be numbered.
And again the Scripture says,
God brought Abram out, and spoke to him, "Look up now to heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them; so shall your seed be." And Abram believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.
On account of his faith and hospitality, a son was given him in his old age; and in the exercise of obedience, he offered him as a sacrifice to God on one of the mountains which He showed him.
On account of his hospitality and godliness, Lot was saved out of Sodom when all the country round about was punished by means of fire and brimstone, the Lord thus making it evident that He does not forsake those who hope in Him, but gives up those who abandon Him to punishment and torture. For Lot's wife, who left with him, being of a different mind from him, and not continuing in agreement with him regarding the command which had been given them, was made an example of, so that she became a pillar of salt to this day. This was done so that all might know that those who are of a double mind, and who distrust the power of God, bring down judgment on themselves and become a sign to all succeeding generations.
On account of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved. For when spies were sent by Joshua, the son of Nun, to Jericho, the king of the country discovered that they had come to spy out their land, and sent men to seize them, in order that, when taken, they might be put to death. But the hospitable Rahab receiving them, concealed them on the roof of her house under some stalks of flax. And when the men sent by the king arrived and said,
There came men to you who are to spy out our land; bring them out, for so the king commands,
she answered them,
The two men whom you seek came to me, but quickly left again and are gone,
thus not revealing the spies to them. Then she said to the men,
I know with assurance that the Lord your God has given you this city, for the fear and dread of you have fallen on its inhabitants. Therefore when you have taken it, keep me and the house of my father in safety. And they said to her, It shall be as you have said to us. Therefore, as soon as you know that we have come, you are to gather all your family under your roof, and they shall be safe, but all who are found outside your dwelling shall die.
Moreover, they gave her a sign to this effect, that she should hang outside her house a scarlet cord. And thus they made it evident that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all those who believe and hope in God. You see, beloved, that there was not only faith, but prophecy, in this woman.
Therefore, brothers, let us be humble minded, discarding all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings; and let us act according to what is written (for the Holy Spirit says,
Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, neither let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glories glory in the Lord,
in diligently seeking Him, and doing judgment and righteousness), being especially mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus which He said in teaching us meekness and long-suffering. For this He said:
Be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven you; as you do, so shall it be done to you; as you judge, so shall you be judged; as you are kind, so shall kindness be shown to you; with what measure you dispense, with the same shall it be measured to you.
By this precept and by these rules let us establish ourselves, so that we act with all humility in obedience to His holy words. For the holy word says,
On whom shall I look, except him who is meek and peaceable, and who trembles at my words?
It is therefore right and holy, men and brothers, to rather obey God than to follow those who, through pride and rebellion, have become the leaders of a detestable rivalry. For we shall incur no slight injury, but rather great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the inclinations of men who aim at exciting strife and commotions, so as to draw us away from what is good. Let us be kind one to another after the pattern of the tender mercy and benign nature of our Creator. For it is written,
The kind-hearted shall inhabit the land, and the guiltless shall be left on it, but transgressors shall be destroyed from off the face of it.
And again the Scripture says,
I saw the ungodly highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Lebanon: I passed by, and, behold, he was not there; and I diligently sought his place, and could not find it. Preserve innocence, and look on equity: for there shall be something remaining for the peaceable man.
Let us therefore, hold to those who cultivate peace with godliness, and not to those who hypocritically profess to desire it. For the Scripture says in a certain place,
This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
And again:
They bless with their mouth, but curse with their heart.
And again it says,
They loved Him with their mouth, and lied to Him with their tongue; but their heart was not right with Him, neither were they faithful in keeping His covenant. Let deceitful lips become silent, and let the Lord destroy all lying lips, and the boastful tongue of those who have said, Let us exalt our tongue: our lips are our own; who is lord over us? For the oppression of the poor, and for the sighing of the needy, will I now arise, says the Lord: I will place him in safety; I will deal confidently with him.
For Christ is from those who are humble-minded, and not from those who exalt themselves over His flock. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Sceptre of the majesty of God, did not come in the pomp of pride or arrogance, although He might have done so, but in a lowly condition, as the Holy Spirit had declared regarding Him. For He says,
Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? We have declared our message in His presence: He is, as it were, a child, and like a root in thirsty ground; He has no form nor glory, yes, we saw Him, and He had no form nor comeliness; but His form was without eminence, yes, deficient in comparison with the ordinary form of men. He is a man exposed to stripes and suffering, and acquainted with the endurance of grief: for His face was turned away; He was despised, and not esteemed. He bears our iniquities, and is in sorrow for our sakes; yet we supposed that on His own account He was exposed to labour, and stripes, and affliction. But He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we were healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; every man has wandered in his own way; and the Lord has delivered Him up for our sins, while He in the midst of His sufferings opens not His mouth. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before her shearer is dumb, so He opens not His mouth. In His humiliation His judgment was taken away; who shall declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth. For the transgressions of my people was He brought down to death. And I will give the wicked for His sepulchre, and the rich for His death, because He did no iniquity, neither was deceit found in His mouth. And the Lord is pleased to purify him by stripes. If you make an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived offspring. And the Lord is pleased to relieve Him of the affliction of His soul, to show Him light, and to form Him with understanding, to justify the Just One who ministers well to many; and He Himself shall carry their sins. On this account He shall inherit many, and shall divide the spoil of the strong; because His soul was delivered to death, and He was reckoned among the transgressors, and He bore the sins of many, and for their sins was He delivered.
And again He says,
I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All that see me have derided me; they have spoken with their lips; they have wagged their head, saying He hoped in God, let Him deliver Him, let Him save Him, since He delights in Him.
You see, beloved, the example which has been given us; for if the Lord thus humbled Himself, how should we act, who have, through Him, come under the yoke of His grace?
Let us be imitators also of those who in goat-skins and sheep-skins went about proclaiming the coming of Christ; I mean Elijah, Elisha, and Ezekiel among the prophets, with those others to whom a similar testimony is given in Scripture. Abraham was specially honored, and was called the Friend of God; yet he, with complete sincerity respecting the glory of God, humbly declared,
I am only dust and ashes.
Moreover, it is thus written of Job,
Job was a righteous man, and blameless, truthful, God-fearing, and one who kept himself from all evil. But bringing an accusation against himself, he said,
No man is free from defilement, even if his life is only one day.
Moses was called faithful in all God's house; and through him as his instrument, God punished Egypt with plagues and tortures. Yet he, though thus greatly honoured, did not adopt lofty speech, but said, when the divine revealing word came to him out of the bush,
Who am I, that You send me? I am a man of feeble voice and slow tongue.
And again he said,
I am only like the smoke of a pot.
But what shall we say concerning David, to whom such testimony was given, and of whom God said,
"I have found a man after my own heart, David the son of Jesse; and in everlasting mercy have I anointed him"?
Yet this same man says to God,
Have mercy on me, O Lord, according to Your great mercy; and according to the multitude of Your compassions, blot out my transgression. Wash me still more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against You only have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your sight; that You may be justified in Your sayings, and may overcome when You are judged. For, behold, I was conceived in transgressions, and in sins did my mother conceive me. For, behold, You have loved truth; the secret and hidden things of wisdom have You shown me. You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed; You shall wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. You shall make me to hear joy and gladness; my bones, which have been humbled, shall exult. Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and establish me by Your governing Spirit. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and the ungodly shall be converted unto You. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation: my tongue shall exult in Your righteousness. O Lord, You shall open my mouth, and my lips shall show forth Your praise. For if You had desired sacrifice, I would have given it; You will not delight in burnt-offerings. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a bruised spirit; a broken and a contrite heart God will not despise.
Thus the humility and godly submission of such great and illustrious men have rendered not only us, but also all the generations before us, better; even as many as have received His revealed words in fear and truth. Wherefore, having so many great and glorious examples set before us, let us turn again to the practice of that peace which from the beginning was the target set before us; and let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe, and hold to His mighty and surpassingly great gifts and benefactions of peace. Let us contemplate Him with our understanding, and look with the eyes of our soul to His long-suffering will. Let us reflect on how free from the wrath He is towards all His creation.
The heavens, revolving under His government, are subject to Him in peace. Day and night run the course appointed by Him, in no wise hindering each other. The sun and moon, with the companies of the stars, roll on in harmony according to His command, within their prescribed limits, and without any deviation. The fruitful earth, according to His will, brings forth food in abundance, at the proper seasons, for man and beast and all the living beings on it, never hesitating, nor changing any of the ordinances which He has fixed. The unsearchable places of the deeps, and the indescribable arrangements of the lower world, are restrained by the same laws. The vast unmeasurable sea, gathered together by His working into various basins, never passes beyond the bounds placed around it, but does as He has commanded. For He said,
Thus far shall you come, and your waves shall be broken within you.
The ocean, impassable to man and the worlds beyond it, are regulated by the same decrees of the Lord. The seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, peacefully give place to one another. The winds in their several quarters fulfil, at the proper time, their service without hindrance. The ever-flowing fountains, formed both for enjoyment and health, provide without fail their breasts for the life of men. The very smallest of living beings meet together in peace and concord. All these the great Creator and Lord of all has appointed to exist in peace and harmony; while He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have
fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.
Take heed, beloved, lest His many kindnesses lead to the condemnation of us all. For it must be thus, unless we walk worthy of Him and with one mind do those things which are good and well-pleasing in His sight. For the Scripture says in a certain place,
The Spirit of the Lord is a candle searching the secret parts of the belly.
Let us reflect how near He is, and realize that none of the thoughts or reasonings in which we engage are hidden from Him. It is therefore right, that we should not abandon the post which His will has assigned us. Let us rather offend those men who are foolish, and inconsiderate, and lifted up, and who glory in the pride of their speech, than offend God. Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us; let us esteem those who have the rule over us; let us honor the elderly among us; let us train up the young men in the fear of God; let us direct our wives to that which is good. Let them exhibit the lovely habit of purity in all their conduct; let them show outwardly the sincere disposition of meekness; let them make evident the command they have of their tongue, by their manner of speaking; let them display their love, not by preferring one over another, but by showing equal affection to all who piously fear God. Let your children receive true Christian training; let them learn how greatly availing humility is with God—how much the spirit of pure affection can prevail with Him—how excellent and great His fear is, and how it saves all those who conduct themselves in it with a pure mind. For He is a Searcher of the thoughts and desires of the heart: His breath is in us; and when He pleases, He will take it away.
Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these admonitions. For He Himself by the Holy Spirit thus addresses us:
Come, you children, hearken to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he who desires life, and loves to see good days? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The Righteous cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles. Many are the stripes appointed for the wicked; but mercy shall encircle those who hope in the Lord.
The all-merciful and beneficent Father has profound depths of compassion towards those who fear Him, and kindly and lovingly bestows His favors on those who come to Him with a simple mind. For this reason let us not be double-minded; neither let our soul be lifted up on account of His exceedingly great and glorious gifts. Far from us be that which is written,
Wretched are those who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart; who say, These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened to us;
You foolish ones! compare yourselves to a tree; take for instance the vine. First of all, it sheds its leaves, then it buds, next it puts forth leaves, and then it flowers; after that comes the sour grape, and then follows the ripened fruit. You perceive how in a little time the fruit of a tree comes to maturity. Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying,
Speedily will He come, and will not tarry; and, The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom you look.
Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has made the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day again departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits of the earth, how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower goes forth, and throws it on the ground, and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell on the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.
Let us consider that wonderful sign of the resurrection which takes place in eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phœnix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has gained strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And flying in open day in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, quickly goes back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the chronicles of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly when the five hundredth year was completed.
Do we then think it is any great and wonderful thing for the Maker of all things to raise up again those who have piously served Him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird He shows us the strength of His ability to fulfil His promise? For the Scripture says in a certain place,
You shall raise me up, and I shall confess unto You; and again, I laid me down, and slept; I awoke, because You are with me;
and again, Job says,
You shall raise up this flesh of mine, which has suffered all these things.
Having then this hope, let our souls be bound to Him who is Faithful in His Promises, and Just in His Judgments. He who has commanded us not to lie, shall Himself much more not lie; for nothing is impossible with God, except to lie. Let His Faith therefore be stirred up again within us, and let us consider that all things are near with Him. By the word of His might He established all things, and by His word He can overthrow them. Who shall say to Him, What have you done? Or, Who shall resist the power of His strength? When, and just as He pleases, He will do all things, and none of the things determined by Him shall pass away. All things are open before Him, and nothing can be hidden from His counsel.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handy-work. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. And there are no words or speeches of which the voices are not heard.
Since then all things are seen and heard by God, let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For where can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? For the Scripture says in a certain place,
Where shall I go, and where shall I be hidden from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I go away even to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is Your right hand; if I make my bed in the abyss, there is Your Spirit.
Where, then, shall anyone go, or where shall he escape from Him who comprehends all things?
Let us then draw near to Him with holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto Him, loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us partakers in the blessings of His elect. For thus it is written,
When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the sons of Adam, He fixed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the Messengers of God. His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of His inheritance.
And in another place the Scripture says,
Behold, the Lord takes to Himself a nation out of the midst of the nations, as a man takes the first-fruits of his threshing-floor; and from that nation shall come forth the Most Holy.
Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking for change, all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride. For
God (says the Scripture) resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Let us hold, then, to those to whom grace has been given by God. Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever practicing self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words. For the Scripture says,
He that speaks much, shall also hear much in answer. And does he that is ready in speech count himself righteous? Blessed is he who is born of woman, who lives but a short time: be not given to much speaking. Let our praise be in God, and not of ourselves; for God hates those who commend themselves.
Let testimony to our good deeds be given by others, as it was in the case of our righteous forefathers. Boldness, and arrogance, and audacity belong to those who are accursed of God; but moderation, humility, and meekness to those who are blessed by Him.
Let us hold then to His blessing, and consider what are the means of possessing it. Let us think over the things which have taken place from the beginning. For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? Was it not because he worked righteousness and truth through faith? Isaac, with perfect confidence, as if knowing what was to happen, cheerfully gave himself as a sacrifice. Jacob, by reason of his brother, went forth with humility from his own land, and came to Laban and served him; and there was given to him the sceptre of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Whoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also was descended our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. From him arose kings, princes, and rulers of the race of Judah. Nor are his other tribes in small glory, since God had promised,
Your offspring shall be as the stars of heaven.
All these were therefore highly honored, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that Faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work. For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For by His infinitely great power He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible wisdom He adorned them. He also divided the earth from the water which surrounds it, and fixed it upon the immovable foundation of His own will. The animals also which are upon it He commanded by His own word into existence. So likewise, when He had formed the sea, and the living creatures which are in it, He enclosed them within their proper bounds by His own power. Above all, with His holy and undefiled hands He formed man, the most excellent of His creatures, and truly great through the understanding given him—the express likeness of His own image. For thus says God:
Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them.
Having thus finished all these things,
He approved them, and blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply.
We see, then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay readily concent to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength.
The good servant receives the bread of his labor with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face. It is requisite, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of well-doing; for from Him are all things. And thus He forewarns us: Behold, the Lord comes, and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work. He exhorts us, therefore, with our whole heart to attend to this, that we be not lazy or slothful in any good work. Let our boasting and our confidence be in Him. Let us submit ourselves to His will. Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels, how they stand ever ready to minister to His will. For the Scripture says,
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood around Him, and thousands of thousands ministered unto Him, and cried, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Sabaoth; the whole creation is full of His glory.
And let us therefore, conscientiously gathering together in harmony, call out to Him earnestly, as with one mouth, that we may be made partakers of His great and glorious promises. For the Scripture says,
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which He has prepared for them that wait for Him.
How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in perfect confidence, faith in assurance, self-control in holiness! And all these fall under the recognition of our individual understandings now; what then shall be those things which are prepared for those who wait for Him? The Creator and Father of all worlds, the Most Holy, alone knows their amount and their beauty. Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found among the number of those who wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? Only if our understanding is fixed by faith towards God; only if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; only if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and only if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vain glory and ambition. For those who do such things are hateful to God; and not only they who do them, but also those who take pleasure in those who do them. For the Scripture says,
But to the sinner God said, For what reason do you declare my statutes, and take my covenant into your mouth, seeing you hate instruction, and castest my words behind you? When you saw a thief, you agreed with him, and took your part with adulterers. Your mouth has abounded with wickedness, and your tongue contrived deceit. You sit, and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought, wicked one, that I would be like yourself. But I will reprove you, and set yourself before you. Consider now these things, you who forget God, lest He tear you in pieces, like a lion, and there be none to deliver. The sacrifice of praise will glorify me, and there is a road by which I will show him the salvation of God.
This is the road, beloved, on which we find our Saviour, even Jesus Christ, the High Priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our infirmity. By Him we look up to the heights of heaven. By Him we behold, as in a reflecting glass, His immaculate and most excellent visage. By Him are the eyes of our hearts opened. By Him our foolish and darkened understanding blossoms up new towards His marvellous light. By Him the Lord has willed that we should taste immortal knowledge, who, being the brightness of His majesty, is, by so much, greater than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For it is thus written,
Who makes His Messengers spirits, and His Ministers a flame of fire. But concerning His Son the Lord spoke thus: You are my Son, today have I begotten You. Ask of me, and I will give You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. And again He says to Him, Sit at my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.
But who are His enemies? All the wicked, and those who set themselves to oppose the will of God.
Let us then, men and brothers, with all energy act the part of soldiers, in accordance with His holy commandments. Let us consider those who serve under our generals, with what order, obedience, and submissiveness they perform the things that are commanded them. All are not prefects, nor commanders of a thousand, nor of a hundred, nor of fifty, nor the like, but each one in his own rank performs the things commanded by the king and the generals. The great cannot subsist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a kind of mixture in all things, and from this arises mutual advantage. Let us take our body for an example. The head is nothing without the feet, and the feet are nothing without the head; yes, the very smallest members of our body are necessary and useful to the whole body. But all work harmoniously together, and are under one common rule for the preservation of the whole body.
Let our whole body, then, be preserved in Christ Jesus; and let every one be subject to his neighbour, according to the special gift bestowed upon him. Let the strong not despise the weak, and let the weak show respect to the strong. Let the rich man provide for the wants of the poor; and let the poor man bless God, because He has given him one by whom his need may be supplied. Let the wise man display his wisdom, not by mere words, but through good deeds. Let the humble not give testimony to himself, but leave witness to be given about him by another. Let him who is pure in the flesh not grow proud about it and boast, knowing that it was another who bestowed on him the gift of continence. Let us consider, then, brethren, of what matter we were made—who and what manner of beings we came into the world, as it were out of a sepulchre, and from utter darkness. He who made us and fashioned us, having prepared His bountiful gifts for us before we were born, introduced us into His world. Since, therefore, we receive all these things from Him, we ought for everything to give Him thanks; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Foolish and inconsiderate men, who have neither wisdom nor instruction, mock and deride us, being eager to exalt themselves in their own conceits. For what can a mortal man do, or what strength is there in one made out of the dust? For it is written,
There was no shape before my eyes, only I heard a sound, and a voice saying, What then? Shall a man be pure before the Lord? Or shall such an one be counted blameless in his deeds, seeing He does not confide in His servants, and has charged even His angels with perversity? The heaven is not clean in His sight: how much less they that dwell in houses of clay, of which also we ourselves were made! He smote them as a moth; and from morning even until evening they endure not. Because they could furnish no assistance to themselves, they perished. He breathed upon them, and they died, because they had no wisdom. But call now, if any one will answer you, or if you will look to any of the holy angels; for wrath destroys the foolish man, and envy kills him that is in error. I have seen the foolish taking root, but their habitation was presently consumed. Let their sons be far from safety; let them be despised before the gates of those less than themselves, and there shall be none to deliver. For what was prepared for them, the righteous shall eat; and they shall not be delivered from evil.
These things therefore being obvious to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it is best for us to do all things in their proper order which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times. He has decreed offerings to be presented and service to be performed to Him, and this not thoughtlessly or irregularly, but at the appointed times and hours. Where and by whom He desires these things to be done, He Himself has fixed by His own supreme will, in order that all things, being piously done according to His good pleasure, may be acceptable unto Him. Those, therefore, who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for since they follow the laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministrations designated to the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen.
Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. Not in every place, brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered, or the peace-offerings, or the sin-offerings and the trespass-offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in any place, but only at the altar before the temple, that which is offered being first carefully examined by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those, therefore, who do anything beyond that which is agreeable to His will, are punished with death. You see, brethren, that the greater the knowledge that has been entrusted to us, the greater also is the danger to which we are exposed.
The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ has done so from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits of their labours, having first proved them by the Spirit, to be Episcopes and Deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning Episcopes and Deacons. For thus says the Scripture in a certain place,
I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.
And what marvel is it if those in Christ who were entrusted with such a duty by God, appointed those Ministers before mentioned, when the blessed Moses also, a faithful servant in all his house, noted down in the sacred books all the injunctions which were given him, and when the other prophets also followed him, bearing witness with one consent to the ordinances which he had appointed? For, when rivalry arose concerning the priesthood, and the tribes were contending among themselves as to which of them should be adorned with that glorious title, he commanded the twelve princes of the tribes to bring him their rods, each one being inscribed with the name of the tribe. And he took them and bound them together, and sealed them with the rings of the princes of the tribes, and laid them up in the tabernacle of witness on the table of God. And having shut the doors of the tabernacle, he sealed the keys, as he had done the rods, and said to them, "Men and brethren, the tribe whose rod shall blossom has God chosen to fulfil the office of the priesthood, and to minister unto Him." And when the morning had come, he assembled all Israel, six hundred thousand men, and showed the seals to the princes of the tribes, and opened the tabernacle of witness, and brought forth the rods. And the rod of Aaron was found not only to have blossomed, but to bear fruit upon it. What do you think, beloved? Did Moses not know beforehand that this would happen? Undoubtedly he knew; but he acted thus, that there might be no rebellion in Israel, and that the name of the true and only God might be glorified; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the Episcopate. For this reason, therefore, since they had obtained a perfect foreknowledge of this, they appointed those ministers already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we expell from the Episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those Presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure from this world; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honor.
You are fond of contention, brothers, and full of zeal about things which do not pertain to salvation. Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit. Observe that nothing of an unjust or counterfeit character is written in them. There you will not find that the righteous were cast off by men who themselves were holy. The righteous were indeed persecuted, but only by the wicked. They were cast into prison, but only by the unholy; they were stoned, but only by transgressors; they were slain, but only by the accursed, and those who had conceived an unrighteous envy against them. Exposed to such sufferings, they endured them gloriously. For what shall we say, brothers? Was Daniel cast into the den of lions by those who feared God? Were Ananias, and Azarias, and Michael shut up in a furnace of fire by those who observed the great and glorious worship of the Most High? Far from us be such a thought! Who, then, were those who did such things? The hateful, and those full of all wickedness, were roused to such a pitch of fury that they inflicted torture on those who served God with a holy and blameless purpose of heart, not knowing that the Most High is the Defender and Protector of all who with a pure conscience venerate His all-excellent name; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. But they who with confidence endured these things are now heirs of glory and honour, and have been exalted and made illustrious by God in their memorial for ever and ever. Amen.
It is therefore right, brothers, that we should follow such examples; since it is written,
Hold to the holy, for those that hold to them shall themselves be made holy.
And again, in another place, the Scripture says,
With a harmless man you shall prove yourself harmless, and with an elect man you shall be elect, and with a perverse man you shall show yourself perverse.
Therefore, let us hold to the innocent and righteous, since these are the elect of God. Why are there strifes, and commotions, and divisions, and schisms, and wars among you? Have we all not one God and one Christ? Is there not one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And have we not one calling in Christ? Why do we divide and tear in pieces the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and have reached such a height of madness as to forget that we are members of one another? Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said,
Woe to that man by whom offenses come! It would be better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yes, it would be better for him that a millstone should be hung about his neck, and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones.
Your division has overthrown the faith of many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all. And still your rebellion continues.
Read the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the gospel first began to be preached? Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you. But that inclination for one above another brought less guilt on you, since you then showed your differences of partiality towards apostles, already of high reputation, and towards a man whom they had approved. But now consider who they are who have perverted you, and lessened the renown of your far-famed brotherly love. It is disgraceful, beloved, yes, highly disgraceful, and unworthy of your Christian profession, that such a thing should be heard of, that the most steadfast and ancient church of the Corinthians should, on account of one or two persons, engage in mutiny against its Presbyters. And this rumor has reached not only us, but also those who are unconnected with us; so that, through your infatuation, the name of the Lord is blasphemed, while danger is also brought upon yourselves.
Therefore, let us with all haste put an end to this state of things; and let us fall down before the Lord, and beg Him with tears, that He would mercifully be reconciled to us, and restore us to our former appropriate and holy practice of brotherly love. For such conduct is the gate of righteousness, which is set open for the attainment of life, as it is written,
Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go in by them, and will praise the Lord: this is the gate of the Lord: the righteous shall enter in by it.
Therefore, although many gates have been set open, yet this gate of righteousness is that gate in Christ by which all those are blessed who have entered in and have directed their path in holiness and righteousness, doing all things without disorder. Let a man be faithful: let him be powerful in the utterance of knowledge; let him be wise in judging of words; let him be pure in all his deeds; yet the more he seems to be superior to others in these respects, the more humble-minded he ought to be, and seek the common good of all, and not merely his own advantage.
Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ. Who can describe the blessed bond of the love of God? What man is able to tell the excellence of its beauty, as it ought to be told? The height to which love exalts is unspeakable. Love unites us to God. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love bears all things, is long-suffering in all things. There is nothing base, nothing arrogant in love. Love permits no schisms: love gives rise to no rebellions: love does all things in harmony. By love all the elect of God have been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God. In love the Lord has taken us to Himself. On account of the love He bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.
You see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing is love, and that there is no describing its perfection. Who is fit to be found in it, except those whom God has guaranteed to render so? Let us pray, therefore, and implore His mercy, that we may live blamelessly in love, free from all human preferences for one above another. All the generations from Adam even to this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God, have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be made evident at the revelation of the kingdom of Christ. For it is written,
Enter into your secret chambers for a little time, until my wrath and fury pass away; and I will remember a favorable day, and will raise you up out of your graves.
Blessed are we, beloved, if we keep the commandments of God in the harmony of love; so that through love our sins may be forgiven us. For it is written,
Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not impute to him, and in whose mouth there is no guile.
This blessedness comes on those who have been chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Let us therefore beg forgiveness for all those transgressions which we have committed through any suggestion of the adversary. And these who have been the leaders of mutiny and disagreement ought to have respect for the common hope. For those who live in fear and love would rather that they themselves should be involved in suffering than their neighbors. And they prefer to bear blame themselves, rather than permit that the concord should suffer which has been well and piously handed down to us. For it is better that a man should acknowledge his transgressions than that he should harden his heart, as the hearts of those were hardened who stirred up rebellion against Moses the servant of God, and whose condemnation was made apparent to all. For they went down alive into Hades, and death swallowed them up. Pharaoh with his army and all the princes of Egypt, and the chariots with their riders, were sunk in the depths of the Red Sea, and perished, for no other reason than that their foolish hearts were hardened, after so many signs and wonders had been worked in the land of Egypt by Moses the servant of God.
The Lord, brothers, stands in need of nothing; and He desires nothing of any one except that confession be made to Him. For, says the elect David,
I will confess unto the Lord; and that will please Him more than a young bullock that has horns and hoofs. Let the poor see it, and be glad.
And again he says,
Offer to God the sacrifice of praise, and pay your vows to the Most High. And call on me in the day of your trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. For the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.
You understand, beloved, you understand well the sacred Scriptures, and you have looked very seriously into the revealed words of God. Call these things to your remembrance then. When Moses went up into the mount, and remained there, with fasting and humiliation, forty days and forty nights, the Lord said unto him,
Moses, Moses, go down quickly from here; for your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have committed iniquity. They have speedily departed from the way in which I commanded them to walk, and have made to themselves molten images.
And the Lord said unto him,
I have spoken to you once and again, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: let me destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make you a great and wonderful nation, and one much more numerous than this. But Moses said, Far be it from You, Lord: pardon the sin of this people; else blot me also out of the book of the living.
O marvellous love! O insuperable perfection! The servant speaks freely to his Lord, and asks forgiveness for the people, or begs that he himself might perish along with them.
Who then among you is noble-minded? Who is compassionate? Who is full of love? Let him declare, "If on my account rebellion and disagreement and schisms have arisen, I will depart, I will go away wherever you desire, and I will do whatever the majority commands; only let the flock of Christ live on terms of peace with the Presbyters set over it." He who acts thus shall procure for himself great glory in the Lord; and every place will welcome him. For
the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.
These things they who live a godly life never to be repented of, have both done and will always do.
To bring forward some examples from among the heathen: Many kings and princes, in times of pestilence, when they had been instructed by a pagan oracle, have given themselves up to die, in order that by their own blood they might deliver their fellow citizens from destruction. Many have gone forth from their own cities, so that rebellion might be brought to an end within them. We know many among ourselves who have given themselves up to chains, in order that they might ransom others. Many, too, have surrendered themselves to slavery, so that with the price they received for themselves, they might provide food for others. Many women also, being strengthened by the grace of God, have performed numerous manly exploits. The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked permission of the elders to go forth into the camp of the strangers; and exposing herself to danger, she went out for the love which she bore for her country and people then being besieged; and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman. Esther also, being perfect in faith, exposed herself to no less danger, in order to deliver the twelve tribes of Israel from impending destruction. For with fasting and humiliation she entreated the everlasting God, who sees all things; and He, perceiving the humility of her spirit, delivered the people for whose sake she had confronted danger.
Let us then pray also for those who have fallen into any sin, that meekness and humility may be given to them, so that they may submit, not to Us, but to the will of God. For in this way they shall secure a fruitful and perfect remembrance from Us, with sympathy for them, both in Our prayers to God, and Our mention of them to the saints. Let us receive correction, beloved, on account of which no one should feel displeased. Those exhortations by which we admonish one another are both good in themselves, and highly profitable, for they tend to unite us to the will of God. For thus says the holy Word:
The Lord has severely chastened me, yet has not given me over to death. For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. The righteous (says it) shall chasten me in mercy, and reprove me; but let not the oil of sinners make fat my head.
And again he says,
Blessed is the man whom the Lord reproves, and reject not the warning of the Almighty. For He causes sorrow, and again restores to gladness; He wounds, and His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes, in the seventh no evil shall touch you. In famine He shall rescue you from death, and in war He shall free you from the power of the sword. From the scourge of the tongue He will hide you, and you shall not fear when evil comes. You shall laugh at the unrighteous and the wicked, and shall not be afraid of the beasts of the field. For the wild beasts shall be at peace with you: then shall you know that your house shall be in peace, and the place of your dwelling shall not fail. You shall know also that your offspring shall be great, and your children like the grass of the field. And you shall come to the grave like ripened grain which is reaped in season, or like a heap of the threshing-floor gathered together at the proper time.
You see, beloved, that protection is afforded to those who are chastized by the Lord; for since God is good, He corrects us, that we may be admonished by His holy chastisement.
You therefore, who laid the foundation of this mutiny, submit yourselves to the Presbyters, and receive correction so as to repent, bending the knees of your hearts. Learn to be subject, laying aside the proud and arrogant self-confidence of your tongue. For it is better for you that you should occupy a humble but honourable place in the flock of Christ, than, being highly exalted, that you should be cast out from the hope of His people. For thus speaks all-virtuous Wisdom:
Behold, I will bring forth to you the words of my Spirit, and I will teach you my speech. Since I called, and you did not hear; I presented my words, and you regarded not, but set at naught my counsels, and yielded not at my reproofs; therefore I too will laugh at your destruction; yes, I will rejoice when ruin comes upon you, and when sudden confusion overtakes you, when defeat presents itself like a tempest, or when tribulation and oppression fall upon you. For it shall happen, that when you call on me, I will not hear you; the wicked shall seek me, and they shall not find me. For they hated wisdom, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; nor would they listen to my counsels, but despised my reproofs. For this reason they shall eat the fruits of their own way, and they shall be filled with their own ungodliness. For, in punishment for the wrongs which they inflicted on babies, they shall be slain, and inquiry will be death to the ungodly; but he who hears me shall rest in hope and be undisturbed by the fear of any evil.
Therefore, let us flee from the warning threats pronounced by Wisdom on the disobedient, and give submission to His all-holy and glorious name, that we may place our trust in the most hallowed name of His majesty. Accept Our counsel, and you shall be without regret. For, as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost live—both the faith and hope of the elect—he who in lowliness of mind, with instant gentleness and without regret, has observed the ordinances and appointments given by God—the same shall obtain a place and name among the number of those who are being saved through Jesus Christ, through whom is glory to Him for ever and ever. Amen.
If, however, any shall disobey the words spoken by Him through Us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and serious danger; but We shall be innocent of this sin, and, instant in prayer and supplication, shall desire that the Creator of all preserve unbroken the computed number of His elect in the whole world through His beloved Son Jesus Christ, through whom He called us from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge of the glory of His name, our hope resting on Your name which is primal cause of every creature—having opened the eyes of Our heart to the knowledge of You, who alone rests highest among the highest, holy among the holy, who lays low the insolence of the haughty, who destroys the calculations of the heathen, who sets the low on high and brings low the exalted; who makes rich and makes poor, who kills and makes to live, the only Benefactor of spirits and God of all flesh, who beholds the depths, the eye-witness of human works, the help of those in danger, the Saviour of those in despair, the Creator and Guardian of every spirit, who multiplies nations on earth, and from all made choice of those who love You through Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, through whom You instructed, sanctify, honour Us. We would have You, Lord, to prove our help and succour. Those of us in affliction save, on the lowly take pity; the fallen raise; upon those in need arise; the sick heal; the wandering ones of Your people turn back; fill the hungry; redeem those of us in chains; raise up those who are weak; comfort the faint-hearted; let all the nations know that You are God alone and Jesus Christ Your Son, and
we are Your people and the sheep of Your pasture.
You made to appear the enduring fabric of the world by the works of Your hand; You, Lord, created the earth on which we dwell—You, who are faithful in all generations, just in judgments, wonderful in strength and majesty, with wisdom creating and with understanding fixing the things which were made, who are good among those who are being saved and faithful among them whose trust is in You; O merciful and Compassionate One, forgive us our iniquities and offenses and transgressions and trespasses. Count not every sin of Your servants and handmaids, but You will purify us with the purification of Your truth; and direct our steps that we may walk in holiness of heart and do what is good and well-pleasing in Your sight and in the sight of our rulers. Yes, Lord, make Your face to shine on us for good in peace, that we may be shielded by Your mighty hand and delivered from every sin by Your uplifted arm, and deliver us from those who hate us wrongfully. Give concord and peace to us and all who dwell on the earth, even as You gave to our fathers, when they called on You in faith and truth, submissive as we are to Your almighty and all-excellent Name.
To our rulers and governors on the earth—to them You, Lord, gave the power of the kingdom by Your glorious and ineffable might, to the end that we may know the glory and honor given to them by You and be subject to them, in nothing resisting Your will; to them, Lord, give health, peace, concord, stability, so that they may exercise the authority given to them without offense. For You, O heavenly Lord and King eternal, give to the sons of men glory and honour and power over the things that are on the earth; do, Lord, direct their counsel according to that which is good and well-pleasing in Your sight, that, devoutly, in peace and meekness exercising the power given them by You, they may find You favorable. O You, who alone has power to do these things and more abundant good with us, we praise You through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls Jesus Christ, through whom be glory and majesty to You both now and from generation to generation and for evermore. Amen.
Concerning the things pertaining to our religious practice which are most profitable for a life of goodness to those who would pursue a godly and righteous course, we have written to you, men and brothers, at sufficient length. For concerning faith and repentance and true love and continence and soberness and patience, we have touched on every passage, putting you in mind that you ought in righteousness and truth and long-suffering to be well-pleasing to Almighty God with holiness, being of one mind—not remembering evil—in love and peace with instant gentleness, even as our fathers also forementioned found favor by the humility of their thoughts towards the Father and God and Creator and all mankind. And we put you in mind of these things with the greater pleasure, since we were well assured that we were writing to men who were faithful and of highest repute and had peered into the revealed words of the instruction of God.
It is right, therefore, to approach examples so good and so many, and bend the neck and fulfil the part of obedience, in order that, undisturbed by vain rebellion, we may attain to the goal set before us in truth wholly free from blame. Joy and gladness will you give Us, if you become obedient to the words written by Us and through the Holy Spirit root out the lawless wrath of your jealousy according to the intercession which We have made for peace and unity in this letter. We have sent men faithful and discreet, whose behavior from youth to old age has been blameless among us—the same shall be witnesses between you and Us. This We have done, that you may know that Our whole concern has been and is that you may be speedily at peace.
May God, who sees all things, and who is the Ruler of all spirits and the Lord of all flesh—who chose our Lord Jesus Christ and us through Him to be a peculiar people—grant to every soul that calls upon His glorious and holy name, faith, fear, peace, patience, long-suffering, self-control, purity, and sobriety, to the well-pleasing of His name, through our High Priest and Protector, Jesus Christ, by whom be to Him glory, and majesty, and power, and honour, both now and for evermore. Amen.
Speedily send back to Us in peace and with joy these our Messengers to you: Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Bito, with Fortunatus; that they may the sooner announce to Us the peace and harmony We so earnestly desire and long for among you, and that We may the more quickly rejoice over the good order re-established among you.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and with all everywhere who are the called of God through Him, by whom be to Him glory, honour, power, majesty, and eternal dominion, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.

This letter of Clement to the Corinthians was publicly read for common benefit in most of the churches. At the time of Clement a rebellion against the authority of the Presbyters did take place at Corinth as abundantly attested by Hegesippus. Many held it to be inspired sacred scripture worthy of being included in the Bible.

About the same period during the same reign of Domitian Jude the Apostle wrote the following letter of warning addressed to all believers:

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.
Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into indecency, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. Angels who did not keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place, he has kept in everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are shown as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. Yet in the same way, these also in their dreaming defile the flesh, despise authority, and slander celestial beings. But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation, but said,
“May the Lord rebuke you!”
But these speak evil of whatever things they do not know. They are destroyed in these things that they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason. Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden rocky reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you, shepherds who without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever. About these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying,
“Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
These are murmurers and complainers, walking after their lusts (and their mouth speaks proud things), showing respect of persons to gain advantage.
But you, beloved, remember the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you that
“In the last time there will be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts.”
These are they who cause divisions, and are sensual, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, keep building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. On some have compassion, making a distinction, and some save, snatching them out of the fire with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.
Now to him who is able to keep them from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory in great joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

Twelve Caesars: Vespasian 5-23
Twelve Caesars: Titus 5-11
Ecclesiastical History III, chapter 11–13
Twelve Caesars: Domitian 2–13
Ecclesiastical History III, chapters 14–16
1 Clement (to the Corinthians)

Epistle of Jude

Note to the reader:
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The Twelve Caesars: Divus Vespasian
Vespasian: Roman Emperor (
Vespasian (
Vespasian (

The Twelve Caesars: Divus Titus
Titus: Roman Emperor (
Titus (
Titus (

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome of Book LXVI (

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome of Book LXVII(

Eccesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, Book III, chapters 11 through 16
Christian Classics Ethereal Library (

Chapter 11 Simeon ruled the Church of Jerusalem after James
Chapter 12 Vespasian commands the descendants of David be sought
Chapter 13 Anencletus, the second Bishop of Rome
Chapter 14 Avilus, the second Bishop of Alexandria
Chapter 15 Clement, the third Bishop of Rome
Chapter 16 The Epistle of Clement
Chapter 17 The Persecution of the Christians under Domitian
Chapter 18 Of John the Apostle, and the Revelation

1 Clement J. B. Lightfoot translation (

The Twelve Caesars: Domitian
Domitian: Roman Emperor (
Domitian (
Domitian, by Donald L. Wasson (
Titus Flavius Domitianus (AD 51-96) (
Domitian (
Domitian Catholic Encyclopedia online (

Josephus: The Essential Writings A Condensation of Jewish Antiquities and The Jewish War, Translated and Edited by Paul L. Maier, © 1988, Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel, Inc. P.O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Eusebius—The Church History: A New Translation with Commentary, Copyright © 1999 by Paul Maier, Published by Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel Inc., P.O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars: Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, The Twelve Caesars, Translated by Robert Graves, Revised with an Introduction and Notes by J. B. Rives, Penguin Classics, published by the Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 USA, copyright 1957 by Robert Graves, Introduction, editorial matter and revisions to the translation, copyright James Rives 2007 all rights reserved. The moral right of the editor has been asserted.

Church History (Eusebius): The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine (

The Works of Flavius Josephus William Whiston, Translator, 1737 (

Suetonius: Twelve Caesars: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquilus; To which are added His Lives of the Grammarians, Rhetoricians, and Poets. The Translation of Alexander Thomson, M.D., Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq., A.M. (

Cassius Dio: Roman History Epitome (

Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (

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"relatives of the Lord according to the flesh"

See Romans 1:3

"through the laying on of their hands", that is, the hands of the apostles and episcopoi (bishops).

See Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22; Hebrews 6:2; also Apostolic succession.
The relatives of the Lord according to the flesh probably joined in by also laying their hands on him, to indicate their approval and prayerful support. And while there is no indication one way or the other that they actually did or did not do so, and no evidence in the sources that they did, the supposition is not an unreasonable one.
The Catholic Church teaches that the ordinary faithful who have received Baptismal priesthood, as anointed prophets, priests and kings, but who have not received the sacrament of Holy Orders, have no authority to ordain priests and consecrate bishops; and that only validly consecrated bishops, with the approval of the Pope, can consecrate a man who is a validly ordained priest and approved candidate as a bishop and successor of the apostles.
The requirement of approval by the Pope is rejected as unnecessary by many Eastern churches, and also by disobedient and schismatic Catholic bishops and priests. For example: those Old Catholics who rejected the dogma of papal infallibility as defined by Vatican I, and applied to the bishops of the semi-autonomous Church of Utrecht for priestly ordination and episcopal consecration, and received their approval, and the sacraments, according to the Augustinian theory of Holy Orders which states that because of the indelible character of a consecration, a validly consecrated bishop permanently retains Episcopal powers notwithstanding any schisms or excommunications; and the followers of schismatic bishop Marcel Lefebvre, who rejected the reforms of Vatican II, and with the cooperation of other dissidents consecrated bishops and priests for his separatist movement, the "Lefebrvites" of the Society of St. Pius X.
Before them, John and Charles Wesley similarly saw need finally to ordain ministers of the Gospel without seeking authorized approval from the leaders of the Anglican Church; and before them, the leaders of the Protestant Reformation elected to ordain their own ministers of the Gospel, missionaries, preachers, teachers, pastors, presbyters, priests and bishops, depending on their various theological, philosophical, and denominational points of view.
Compare Matthew 18:17; Acts 15:6; Acts 15:24; Romans 13:1; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 13:17;
also 3 John 9; 1 John 2:19
See Sedevacantism.

"Hegesippus" an early Christian historian. See the following:

"son of the Clopas mentioned in the Gospels"

See John 19:25; Luke 24:18

"the voice of his holy apostles went throughout all the earth, and their words to the end of the world"
Ecclesiastical History III, 8.

Eusebius adapts Psalm 19:4 as cited by Paul in Romans 10:18 as a prophesy of the missionary work of the apostles.

"Mucianus reduced the Praetorian Guard" Gaius Licinius Mucianus.

See Britannica article Gaius Licinius Mucianus (

"In late summer, about the end of September, early October A.D. 70"
This sentence is redacted from two modern sources, and adapted:

"Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70".
—Vespasian (
"About October 70 Vespasian returned to Rome from Alexandria."
—Vespasian: Roman Emperor (
The phrase, "about the end of September", has been added here to bridge the apparent discrepancy, according to the usual temperature and weather conditions of Italy in late September, early October, as hot and warm, exactly like summer, instead of according to the date of the autumnal equinox officially ending summer and beginning autumn in the calendar (conditions similar to the summer-like Labor Day Weekend in the U.S. which feels more like a warm, sometimes hot, summer weekend, than a cooler autumn weekend). The cooler temperature and climate characteristic of autumn begins to be noticed in Rome normally during the last week of October, much later in the month, or beginning early in November.

"aedileship" office of magistrate.

An aedile was a magistrate of ancient Rome who had charge of public lands, buildings, public spectacles, etc.; also spelled edile; from Latin aedilis, from aedes building.

"given a promise by the augurs" pagan diviners, fortune-tellers.

The augur was a religious official of ancient Rome whose duty was to foretell and advise on future events by interpreting omens. Augury is a form of divination.

"a distinguished Jewish prisoner of Vespasian's, Josephus by name, insisted that he would soon be released by the very man who had now put him in fetters and who would then be emperor."

Josephus himself relates this event in Wars 3.8.9 [399-408].
Readers of Josephus occasionally come across passages such as this in which Josephus offers what he sees as evidence that he is personally favored by God with the gift of prophecy.

"Returning now to Rome, under these auspices" favorable omens, signs.

The Romans and the Greeks had an entirely superstitious view of reality.
See Auspices: Auspices definition: Augury (
See also Superstition.
Vespasian probably had these omens interpreted officially by augurs (after the fact), as a means of supporting the legitimacy of his election as emperor of Rome, and as particular evidences to the people that he had been chosen by the gods.
This is a form of what many Christians also unwittingly practice in choosing to see particular occurrences in their lives as signs from God—such as finding a rose or a coin, or unexpectedly seeing, hearing, feeling something in nature, such as prickling of the skin, a light-headed feeling, a sudden breeze, aromas, odors, smells, birdsong, formations of rocks or patterns of woodgrain, cloud formations, or visual disturbances in the eye or visual cortex of the brain ("floaters", spots, flashes of color, temporary blind spots), weirdly odd dreams, or accidentally opening the Bible to an unexpected passage that seems to speak to their current circumstance—coincidences which they interpret as signs of direction or support or approval or warning. There is a form of divination called "bibliomancy" which uses the deliberately random opening of a book, especially the Bible, for the purpose of instantly finding a passage of counsel or guidance, as a way of getting God to speak directly to the reader.
See the following links:
The Catholic Church forbids as a sin against God the seeking of omens, and the superstitious use of the Bible and of authorized and approved devotional practices: "Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2110); see especially CCC Paragraph 2115.
"Worship becomes indebitus cultus when incongruous, meaningless, improper elements are added to the proper and approved performance" [of approved forms of prayer or worship]
—Catholic Encyclopedia Online: "Superstition" (see entire article Superstition (
The term "indebitus cultus" is Latin, literally translated as "undue culture"; illicit custom, deviant or improper practice or observance; unauthorized, forbidden, a practice perverting the good
—to "pervert" is to turn to an improper use or purpose; misapply.
Perverting or frustrating the original purpose or function of what is good is an essential characteristic of sin.
Determining the future by means of augury or taking omens as a guide to making decisions and taking any important action, or refraining, is forbidden by God in the Bible.
See Leviticus 19:26; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Isaiah 8:19; 19:3; Micah 5:12; Acts 16:16.
Compare Numbers 24:1
Some Christians even use the promise of Jesus in Matthew 18:19 as a form of magic (unrecognized)—that is, as a means to automatically compel God to do their bidding—an abuse of scripture which James addresses in James 4:3. Compare Acts 19:13.


Obduracy is the primary character flaw in people who are stubborn and unyielding, unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent of any genuine mistakes they have made or offenses, even outrages, they have committed. See Narcissism and Pride, also Sociopath. Compare Repentance and Humility.

"praetor" Latin, from praeire to go before.

A city magistrate of ancient Rome, having charge of the administration of justice.

"triumph" a spectacular grand parade.

In Roman antiquity, a triumph was the religious pageant of the entry of a victorious Roman general, consul, dictator, or praetor into Rome. Patriotic Roman celebrations in antiquity were expressions of pagan Roman religion.
Secular U.S. parallels in the 20th century were the parades honoring elected presidents, military leaders, astronauts, and occasionally Olympic athletes.
See Arch of Titus and reliefs, Via Sacra (

"coins with the words JUDAEA CAPTA, which is Judaea captive" some of these Judaea Capta coins are extremely degrading.
See articles:

"tribunician authority, the full authority of a Roman tribune" A Roman official.

In Roman history, a tribune was a magistrate chosen by the plebeians, the common lower class, to protect them from patrician oppression (the rich).
See Britannica article Tribune: Roman Official (

"Caelian hill"

One of the famous Seven hills of Rome.
The Vatican Hill where St. Peter's Basilica is located was not one of the seven hills on which sat the city of Rome. See Revelation 17:9

"forty thousand million sesterces, forty billion"

An appalling sum.
The amount stated, "40,000 million" is according to Suetonius, Twelve Caesars, Vespasian XVI:
The calculated numerical amount is
40,000 × 1,000,000 = 40,000,000,000 !
The worded numerical figure in the U.S. is "forty billion"; in the U.K. "forty thousand million"; also sometimes expressed as "forty milliard".
Previously in British English (but not American English), the word "billion" referred exclusively to a million millions (1,000,000 × 1,000,000 = 1,000,000,000,000—in the U.S. "one trillion"). However, this is no longer as common, and the word "billion" has been more recently used in the 20th and 21st centuries internationally to commonly mean one thousand million (1,000 × 1,000,000 = 1,000,000,000—in the U.S. one billion).
The alternative term "one thousand million" is mainly used in the U.K.. The worded figure, as opposed to the numerical figure (one thousand million/1,000,000,000) is used in the U.K. to differentiate between "one thousand million" and "one billion".
The lesser used term milliard can also be used to refer to 1,000,000,000 (U.S. "billion"); while "milliard" is seldom used in English, variations on this name often appear in other languages.
One million sesterces equals 250,000 days' wages at one denarius/day, or 833.4 years' wages for one seasonal worker at 300 days/yr. (250,000/300 days = 833.4 yrs.), or 8.33 years' total payroll for 100 seasonal workers. This is roughly equivalent to one year's payroll for 800 unskilled laborers.
(Multiply hourly wage times 48 hours per week times 42 weeks per year for one migrant worker times 800. HW × 48 × 42 × 800.)
Multiply these figures by 40,000.
(40,000 × 1,000,000 = 40,000,000,000 ÷ 250,000 days' wages per million sesterces = 16,000 yrs. wages for one seasonal worker, or 8 years' wages for 2,000 paid seasonal workers at 300 days/yr.)
This does not include numbers of unpaid slaves who would also be assigned to work detail in the cities.)
See article How Much is That in Real Money? (

"and applied to the best purposes what he procured by bad means"—in other words, "The end justifies the means."

This reflects the personal policy of Vespasian's governing philosophy. He wished to repair, restore and improve Rome and the Empire, and did whatever he deemed necessary, good or bad, to achieve that end.
This proverbial saying expresses the essential character of the corrupt and evil philosophies of both Pragmatism and Utilitarianism—"Whatever works!" (see Romans 3:7 and 8).
Some individuals, especially career criminals, and unscrupulous, self-serving government officials will even do what is objectively good, solely in order to achieve an end that is objectively evil. See Relativism.
Practitioners of magic and sorcery in Paganism and the New Age Movement distinguish between three kinds of workings:
black magic, purely evil methods, for evil purposes (immoral),
gray magic, good and bad methods, for any purpose (amoral), and
white magic, purely good methods, for good purposes (moral).
Many of them are guided by their own consciences, according to what they themselves see as right or wrong. (See Judges 21:25.)
Many of them follow the precept (in 16th century English)
"An it harm none, do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law".
In contrast to this is the dictum,
"Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law"
(see especially Thelema.)
In either case, the individual, seduced by this appeal to personal pride (self-sufficiency) as a core principle of their existence, and motivated by a misguided religious impulse as spiritual justification, makes himself or herself the final authority, in effect, their own god; many of them actually do much good in society, because they feel it is right; but they are not completely submitted to the one true God who is, and to the revelation of the fundamental, external reality of objective truth through Jesus Christ our Lord and his body, the Christian church, the pillar and foundation of the truth
(1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 1:18); Hebrews 13:7); Hebrews 13:17). See Acts 19:19.
See also Catechism of the Catholic Church, (CCC) 1786-1794.

"auctoritas" Latin, (commanding) authority.

Moral and social impact, what we call a "commanding presence", which is more than mere celebrity.
Involving more persuasion than good advice but slightly less compelling than official commands, decrees, laws or military orders, auctoritas represented a powerful moral, social, cultural, even spiritual influence that was consequential, and therefore difficult to dismiss or ignore. In ancient Rome, it referred to the general level of prestige a person had in Roman society, and, as a consequence, the power to influence others, especially because of one's commanding manner or recognized expertise and knowledge about something, with ability to rally support around one's will. It could be either benevolent or malevolent. Auctoritas was not merely political, but had a mysteriously awe-inspiring quality that could actually be felt, the "power of command" of heroic Roman figures. There were influential women in Roman society too who had auctoritas. For example, the wives, sisters, and mothers of the Julio-Claudians had immense influence on society, the masses, and the political machine.
See the following sources:

"Vespasian also deified his dead daughter Flavia Domitilla." Her Apostheosis.

See end paragraph of Britannica article Vespasian
Vespasian declared Flavia Domitilla to be divine, a goddess, and authorized her cult of worship.
See also Catholic Encyclopedia article apotheosis (
Compare Wisdom 14:15-21 RSVCE.

"he admitted his Friends", his special Advisors.

The office or special position of Friend (of the ruler) is analogous to the office of "specially appointed presidential Advisor", as distinct from Member of the Cabinet, or Leader of the House or Senate.

"Metius Pomposianus...was destined by fate to the empire" that is, destined by fate to be emperor.

The ancient expressions, "come to empire", and, "he came to the empire", is equivalent to saying, "become Emperor," and, "he became ruler of the empire (as Imperator, emperor)".
It is worth noting that Metius Pomposianus was never emperor.
Astrologers and their horoscopes are notoriously unreliable. They take three approaches: descriptive, prescriptive, predictive: describing the subject's character; recommending what should be done and what should be avoided, day by day, year by year, over a lifetime; and predicting the unavoidable destinies of individuals, peoples and nations.
Several studies have completely debunked astrology:
Jeane Dixon, the famous U.S. psychic and astrologer, who advised presidents and famous celebrities, was completely discredited after her false prognostications about the presidency and international events never occurred:

"the historian who with prejudice distrusts singular historical accounts not corroborated or duplicated by other sources as verification"

The presence of a persistent prejudice against accepting elements of historical narrative not multiply attested by others is readily evident.
Ancient historians, whose accounts of particular matters have been consistently verified as factually accurate and altogether trustworthy, by the finding of parallel accounts of the same particular matters in the works of other ancient historians, are nevertheless, on the demanding principle of multiple verification, held to be untrustworthy when they relate particular matters found only in their works alone, and not found related elsewhere.
The highly significant fact that other writers of their times do not raise questions about the accuracy of their historical narratives appears, on the contrary, to validate the integrity of the whole of their works by their silences. Where no dissenting voice is raised, and several elements of the historical narrative of the writer have been consistently verified by other historical writers of their time, the evidence is in favor of accepting as reliable those elements of the writing not found elsewhere.
The fact that "A certain amount of ill-repute can be expected for Vespasian's enforcer, but apart from the account of these acts, only a single instance of justice of this kind survives", does not in fact make "any further evaluation of Titus's role difficult", for there is an abundance of narrative about his character and deeds in other ancient sources which supports the narrative of Suetonius regarding his behavior toward suspected members of the Praetorian guard.
No contemporary writer of the times charges Suetonius with falsehood, inflation, gross exaggeration or distortion of facts. Tacitus, Cassius Dio, Josephus and Eusebius do not contradict each other, they do not contradict Suetonius, and they do not defame each other as liars. This supports the integrity and veracity of their historical narratives, and this supports Suetonius' assertions regarding Titus, making "evaluation of Titus's role", on the contrary, relatively simple, as well as providing grounds for accepting as reliable the historical assessment presented by Suetonius.
This common prejudice among liberal historians, on the principle of demanding a priori multiple independent verification, especially by insisting on first seeking independent verifying support in the works of non-Christian pagan authors hostile to the claims of Christ, as if the pagan writer is more trustworthy than the Christian, is responsible for the prevalence of negative, unfavorable evaluations of the Gospel accounts of Jesus, his words, and his miracles, as "highly improbable literary inventions" of the church "without any factual basis in reality", simply because no pagan historian outside of Christianity independently verifies them. Christianity is dismissed as grounded in fiction, and Christians are implicitly represented as dupes or as ignorant and credulous fools, because the multiple documentations of the historical eyewitness accounts in the Gospels (Luke 1:2) are dismissed as fabrications lacking independent verification. But this is not a case of only one single document being questioned, and of only one single first century writer's personal point of view. Each of the four Gospels is a separate historical narrative independently attested and verified by the corroborating multiple testimonies of each of the other three, supported by the book of the Acts of the Apostles, each of them written independently by their authors, based on their researches of the background testimony of the eyewitnesses, and preserved and copied as truthful documents of historical fact.
See Historical-critical method (Higher criticism).
See also Historicity of Jesus.
Compare Literary Traditions: Ten Reasons the Gospels are Works of Fiction (

"catamites" from Latin Catamitus, a Latin altered form of Greek Ganamēdēs Ganymede.

The term springs from the name in Greek mythology of the beautiful young boy who was made cupbearer of the gods on Mount Olympus.
Catamites are young boys used as tools for prostitution (sodomy). St. Paul mentions them in 1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV "effeminate"). The Greek word is μαλακoί malakōi (plural), Strong's number 3120 (singular, μαλακoς malakōs): soft, i.e. fine; figuratively a catamite:—effeminate, soft. The NAB translates the word as "boy prostitutes"; NRSV "sodomites"; REB "sexual perverts" (see multiple translations*). Robert Graves in his translation of The Twelve Caesars, Titus 7, renders the plural form of the term as "boy toys".
"Eunuchs", also mentioned, are castrated males, usually surgically mutilated before the onset of puberty, many of whom in Roman times frequently dressed as women.

"the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, the day after the observance of the LORD's Passover", Leviticus 23:5-6, Mark 14:1.

While the fourteenth day of the month Nisan was the LORD's Passover (Leviticus 23:5), and the fifteenth day of the month immediately following was the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, which is seven days (Leviticus 23:6), by the first century both together were commonly called the days of Unleavened Bread (Mark 14:1; Luke 22:1; Matthew 26:2). Here, the distinction between the two is reiterated in accordance with the law of Moses.

"Eleazar ben Jair"

See Eleazar ben Jair Encyclopedia Judaica, Thomson Gale (

"sicarii", also called Zealots.

The sicarii were so-called because of the daggers, sicae (singular, sica), they carried hidden on their persons under their clothing, ready to kill their enemies whenever they had opportunity. They are thought to be an extremist subgroup of the Zealot party.
In Latin, "sicarius" is a common term for an assassin.
See the following articles:
See Matthew 10:4 and Luke 6:15
"Simon the Canaanean", "Simon the Zealot", "Simon zealotes";
also multiple commentaries on Matthew 10:4.

"Many say this was twenty-three June, A.D. 79, when he had lived sixty-nine years, seven months and seven days; others say on the eighth of the Kalends of July, which is the 24th of June, being sixty-nine years, one month, and seven days old."

Historical writers disagree on the exact date of Vespasian's death and the exact length of his life. See for example the following sources:
  • "...upon the eighth of the calends of July [24th June], being sixty-nine years, one month, and seven days old."— Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 24, translated by Alexander Thomson, M.D. 1796, Revised and corrected by T. Forester, Esq. A.M. (boldface emphasis added).
  • " This was 23 June, when he had lived sixty-nine years, seven months, and seven days."— Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 24, translated by Robert Graves, 1965 (boldface emphasis added).

"Vesuvius...Pompeii" 7 August A.D. 79.

See following articles:

"another Nero imposter appeared"

After Nero's suicide in 68, there was a widespread belief, especially in the eastern provinces, that he was not dead and somehow would return. This belief came to be known as the Nero Redivivus Legend.
At least three Nero imposters emerged leading rebellions. The first appeared in A.D. 69 during the reign of Vitellius, and was executed by the governor of Cythnos according to the sentence passed on Nero by the Senate.
Sometime during the reign of Titus (79–81), another impostor appeared in Asia and sang to the accompaniment of the lyre and looked like Nero but he, too, was killed (Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVI.19).
The legend of Nero's return lasted for hundreds of years after Nero's death. Augustine of Hippo wrote of the legend as a popular belief in 422 (Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX.19.3).

"Meanwhile war had again broken out in Britain" A.D. 79–81.

Cerealis, Agricola and the Conquest of Northern Britain, David Shotter

"The ancient historians that lived through the period such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Pliny the Elder speak well of Vespasian while condemning the emperors that came before him."

Source: "Otho, Vitellius, and the Propaganda of Vespasian", The Classical Journal (1965), p. 267-269.

"Sportula" a gift; a present; a prize; hence, an alms; a largess.

The Roman sportula was usually a small basket containing food. It was part of the meaning of "bread and circuses" provided to the people by the emperors and rulers of the Roman Empire. See the following:

"flamen of Jupiter" priests of Jupiter.

The word "flamen" (Latin, plural "flamens or flamines"), in ancient Rome, denotes a priest serving one particular deity.

"another Nero imposter appeared"

After Nero's suicide in 68, there was a widespread belief, especially in the eastern provinces, that he was not dead and somehow would return. This belief came to be known as the Nero Redivivus Legend.
At least three Nero imposters emerged leading rebellions. Twenty years after Nero's death, during the reign of Domitian, there was a third Nero pretender. He was supported by the Parthians, who only reluctantly gave him up (Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caears, Life of Nero 57) and the matter almost came to war (Tacitus histories I.2).
The legend of Nero's return lasted for hundreds of years after Nero's death. Augustine of Hippo wrote of the legend as a popular belief in 422 (Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX.19.3).

"contrary to the Clodian law"

Leges Clodiae ("Clodian Laws") were a series of laws (plebiscites) passed by the Plebeian Council of the Roman Republic under the tribune Publius Clodius Pulcher in 58 B.C.
See Notes and Discussion: The Lex Clodia de censoria notione W. Jeffrey Tatum (

"Scantinian law" Lex Scantinia

A Roman law that was created to penalize any male citizen of high status for taking a willing role in passive sexual behavior. See the following:

"he had recalled her to his pulvinar" Latin term

A cushioned seat or sofa; also the marriage bed.

"an exception was made as to the persecution of the Christians"

See Tertullian, To the Nations, Book I, Chapter VII (

"the tradition of Domitian as persecutor has been greatly overstated" This position is clearly stated and presented in the following paper:

Did Domitian Persecute Christians? An Investigation ( The author asserts that many Christians confuse the great persecution under Diocletian with Domitian.
Contrast the following articles:
"The emperor was the head of the state. If the head was ill, the whole state was ill. This was one of the reasons why Christians had been persecuted when they refused to sacrifice to the emperor. With this act they attacked the whole system of the Roman state organization."
Failure to worship Domitian as Lord and God guaranteed persecution, and is evidence that Domitian persecuted Christians for their religion.

"We read of many others who suffered death or the loss of their goods"

See Dio Cassius, Roman History, Book LXVII.

"Suetonius remembers, when he was a youth, that he was present, when an old man"

See Suetonius, Twelve Caesars, Domitian 12 (

"Friends" Latin, amici (singular amicus).

The word "amici" denotes a group of trusted politicians, generals, and praetorian prefects who offered input on important matters.
Compare John 19:12.

"The Roman Church continued loyal to the empire, and sent up its prayers to God that He would direct the rulers and magistrates in the exercise of the power committed to their hands." Compare:

Clement to the Corinthians, chapter 61 (;
Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13.

I Clement The First Epistle of Clement of Rome.

I CLEMENT has been dated c. 80, others range the date of authorship at 75-110. It is evident from the text that Clement is writing from Rome, and that he addresses the Corinthian church, in the name of the church of Rome, with firm magisterial authority, and sound Christian doctrine, firmly rooted in sacred scripture as well as apostolic tradition. Eusebius (EH III, 15) says Clement became Bishop of Rome in the 12th year of reign Domitian = A.D. September 81/September 82 + 12 years = A.D. 92/93 (counting A.D. 81/82 as the first year and 82/83 as the second)
Christian conservatives take Eusebius as a reliable historian, who verified his sources, and therefore, the year 92-93, based on the historically verified dates of the reign of Domitian, is conservatively viewed as the earliest year that First Clement could have been written.

" which have happened to Ourselves, We feel that We have been rather tardy in turning Our attention to the points about which you consulted Us..." 1 Clement 1:1ff and throughout.

The majestic plural, pluralis majestaticus, is the use of a plural pronoun to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a sovereign (royal we) or religious leader. Here in the text of 1 Clement the semantic context is used to determine capitalization. As the Episcopos of the church at Rome and addressing the Corinthians with authority he does not use the personal pronoun forms of "myself", "I", "me", "mine". Compare Ezra 4:17-18.
See Royal we (
See also (single article title)
"Plural of Majesty", "pluralis majestaticus", "singular of intensity", the "Royal we". God is one in unity, but three persons: "Let US make man in OUR image". (Gen. 1:26) (

"so that the name of the Lord is blasphemed" 1 Clement 47

The Corinthians were causing a scandal. Scandals of rejection of authority have frequently occurred in Christian history.
In the eleventh century, controversy over authority led to the Great Schism of 1054.
In the sixteenth century, a multitude of ecclesiastical and political scandals caused by members of the Catholic Church, who abused the authority of their offices as leaders of the Church and heads of governments, sparked resentments which helped promote the scandal of the Protestant Reformation.
From the sixteenth century to the present day, controversies over doctrine and authority have divided Protestantism into more than 42,000 denominations, causing further scandal in the eyes of Christians and the world.
In the twentieth century, racial, ethnic, political, sexual, monetary and theological scandals of infighting within the major and minor denominations of Christianity and the rise of separatist cults severely damaged the name of Christian, giving atheists, liberals, public media and militant Islamic extremists abundant pretext to blaspheme the name of Christ.

"Korah’s rebellion" Jude 11. Numbers 16:1-35.

Jude is here referring to the rebellion in which Korah, and Dathan and Abiram "took men; and they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, 'You have gone too far! For all the congregation are holy, every one of them; why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?' "
See commentaries on Jude 11, Numbers 16:3.
The Protestant Reformation has been characterized by its critics as an example of Korah's rebellion, especially those Reformation theologians who emphasize the common priesthood of all Christian believers in Christ ("all the congregation are holy, every one of them") and reject all forms of ecclesiastical hierarchy ("why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?"): popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, all forms of ordained clergy.
The Papacy has been characterized by its critics as an example of what Paul warned against:
"the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God."
(See commentaries on 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
See Polemic.
There is no documented historical evidence that any Pope ever proclaimed himself to be God ("Have Popes Really Claimed to be God?" (
The Roman Caesars did proclaim themselves to be God: Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Domitian (The Roman Cult of Emperor Worship (
See List of people who have been considered deities (
See also the following articles:

[The Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (1 Clement) is not included in the Conservative Bible because it is not canonical scripture.]

(From:) Jude, the slave of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To: all those who are beloved by God the Father, and held in Jesus Christ, and called Christians: May mercy, and peace, and love be spread to you.

Beloved, when I wrote to you with all haste about our common salvation, I needed to write to you, to exhort you to sincerely maintain the faith as it was originally delivered to the saints. For there are certain men, who have crept in unnoticed, who have already been written up for condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into sensuality, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

So I will remind you of what you already know, of how the Lord, once He saved the people out of the land of Egypt, then destroyed those who did not believe in Him. And all those former Messengers of God who did not remain in their proper place, but left it, He shackled forever in darkness until Judgment Day. Furthermore, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them whose people also gave themselves over to sensuality, and homosexuality and bestiality, were made examples of, and suffered the vengeance of eternal fire.

And despite all that, these dreamers on the one hand defile the flesh, and on the other hand treat powerful spirit beings as if they were nothing, and insult heavenly beings. Even Michael, the Chief Messenger of God, when arguing with the Devil in a dispute over the body of Moses, did not accuse the Devil himself, but instead said, "The Lord rebukes you." But on the one hand these people insult things that they do not understand, and on the other hand with what they do understand, in their wild-animal nature, they destroy themselves. They shall perish! For they have followed the example of Cain, greedily imitated the error of Balaam, and self-destructed the way Korah the Mutineer did.

These people are threats to you in your love-feasts, when they dine with you without reverence, feeding themselves. They are like rainless clouds carried around by the winds; trees with withered fruit, dead twice over and uprooted, raging sea waves foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom the gloom of darkness is forever reserved.

Even Enoch, seventh in line of descent from Adam, prophesied about people like this. He said, "Look! The Lord is coming with huge numbers of His holy ones, to put everyone on trial, and to convict every living person among them of their ungodly works that they did in an ungodly manner, and of all their harsh speeches that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

These are people who like to grumble and blame others and walk after their own lusts. They speak boastful words to shock people for their own advantage.

But you, beloved, remember the words that were spoken before by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They told you, didn't they, that "There will be mockers in the last times, who would walk after their own ungodly lusts. These are the divisive and non-spiritual ones, taking no guidance from the Divine Guide."

But you, beloved, while you're building yourselves up on your most holy faith, and praying for guidance from the Divine Guide, keep yourselves in the love of God, and look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that will carry you into eternal life.

Be merciful with some people in a discerning manner. Save other people as if you're snatching them out of the fire. And be merciful with still others with caution, and don't even touch the cloak that is spotted by the flesh.

Now let Him Who can keep you from falling, and can present you faultless before the presence of His glory with great joy, Our only God and Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, take all glory, majesty, power and authority, now and forever. Amen.


Chapter 35 Historical texts
Bible texts

His [Domitian's] cruelties were not only excessive, but subtle and unexpected. The day before he crucified a collector of his rents, he sent for him into his bed-chamber, made him sit down upon the bed by him, and sent him away well pleased, and, so far as could be inferred from his treatment, in a state of perfect security; having vouchsafed him the favor of a plate of meat from his own table. When he was on the point of condemning to death Aretinus Clemens, a man of consular rank, and one of his friends and emissaries, he retained him about his person in the same or greater favor than ever; until at last, as they were riding together in the same litter, upon seeing the man who had informed against him, he said, “Are you willing that we should hear this base slave tomorrow?” Contemptuously abusing the patience of men, he never pronounced a severe sentence without prefacing it with words which gave hopes of mercy; so that, at last, there was not a more certain token of a fatal conclusion, than a mild commencement. He brought before the senate some persona accused of treason, declaring, “that he should prove that day how dear he was to the senate;” and so influenced them, that they condemned the accused to be punished according to the ancient usage. Then, as if alarmed at the extreme severity of their punishment, to lessen the odiousness of the proceeding, he interposed in these words; for it is not foreign to the purpose to give them precisely as they were delivered: “Permit me, Conscript Fathers, so far to prevail upon your affection for me, however extraordinary the request may seem, as to grant the condemned criminals the favor of dying in the manner they choose. For by so doing, ye will spare your own eyes, and the world will understand that I interceded with the senate on their behalf.”

He put to death a scholar of Paris, the pantomimic, though a minor, and then sick, only because, both in person and the practice of his art, he resembled his master; as he did likewise Hermogenes of Tarsus for some oblique reflections in his History; crucifying, besides, the scribes who had copied the work. One who was master of a band of gladiators, happening to say, “that a Thrax was a match for a Marmillo, but not so for the exhibitor of the games”, he ordered him to be dragged from the benches into the arena, and exposed to the dogs, with this label upon him, “A Parmularian guilty of talking impiously.” He put to death many senators, and amongst them several men of consular rank. In this number were, Civica Cerealis, when he was proconsul in Africa, Salvidienus Orfitus, and Acilius Glabrio in exile, under the pretence of their planning to revolt against him. The rest he punished upon very trivial occasions; as Aelius Lamia for some jocular expressions, which were of old date, and perfectly harmless; because, upon his commending his voice after he had taken his wife from him, he replied, “Alas! I hold my tongue.” And when Titus advised him to take another wife, he answered him thus: “What! have you a mind to marry?” Salvius Cocceianus was condemned to death for keeping the birth-day of his uncle Otho, the emperor: Metius Pomposianus, because he was commonly reported to have an imperial nativity, and to carry about with him a map of the world upon vellum, with the speeches of kings and generals extracted out of Titus Livius; and for giving his slaves the names of Mago and Hannibal; Sallustius Lucullus, lieutenant in Britain, for suffering some lances of a new invention to be called “Lucullean;” and Junius Rusticus, for publishing a treatise in praise of Paetus Thrasea and Helvidius Priscus, and calling them both “most upright men.” Upon this occasion, he likewise banished all the philosophers from the city and Italy.

The execution of his cousin Flavius Clemens in A.D. 95 convinced his closest associates that no one was safe.

In A.D. 95, the fifteenth year of Domitian, Flavia Domitilla, daughter of a sister of Flavius Clement, who at that time was one of the consuls of Rome, was exiled with many others to the island of Pontia in consequence of testimony borne to Christ.

The Apostle John's exile to the island of Patmos took place under Domitian, and many believe that the beloved Apostle wrote the book of Revelation around A.D. 95 in the fifteenth year of Domitian's reign.

It would seem that participation in the feasts held in honour of the divinity of the tyrant was made the test for the Christians of the East. Those who did not adore the "image of the beast" were slain. The writer joins to his sharp denunciation of the persecutors ' words of encouragement for the faithful by foretelling the downfall of the great harlot "who made drunk the earth with the wine of her whoredom", and steeped her robe in their blood. The book of the Apocalypse was written in the midst of this storm, when many of the Christians had already perished and more were to follow them (St. Irenæus, Adv. Hæres., V, xxx). Rome, "the great Babylon", "was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus " ( Revelation 17:5, 6 ; 2:10, 13 ; 6:11 ; 13:15 ; 20:4 ).

Among Domitian’s opponents was a group of doctrinaire senators, friends of Tacitus and Pliny and headed by the younger Helvidius Priscus, whose father of the same name had been executed by Vespasian. Their Stoic views were probably the cause of Domitian’s expulsions of “philosophers” from Rome on two occasions.

He put to death the younger Helvidius, for writing a farce, in which, under the character of Paris and Oenone, he reflected upon his having divorced his wife; and also Flavius Sabinus, one of his cousins, because, upon his being chosen at the consular election to that office, the public crier had, by a blunder, proclaimed him to the people not consul, but emperor. Becoming still more savage after his success in the civil war, he employed the utmost industry to discover those of the adverse party who absconded: many of them he racked with a new-invented torture, inserting fire through their private parts; and from some he cut off their hands. It is certain, that only two of any note were pardoned, a tribune who wore the narrow stripe, and a centurion; who, to clear themselves from the charge of being concerned in any rebellious project, proved themselves to have been guilty of prostitution, and consequently incapable of exercising any influence either over the general or the soldiers.

At least 12 former consuls were executed during his reign, but there is no reason to think they were Stoics.

His last victim was Flavius Clemens, his cousin-german, a man below contempt for his want of energy, whose sons, then of very tender age, he had avowedly destined for his successors, and, discarding their former names, had ordered one to be called Vespasian, and the other Domitian; whose niece was Flavia Domitilla, daughter of his sister. Nevertheless, he [Domitian] suddenly put him to death upon some very slight suspicion, almost before he was well out of his consulship. By this violent act he very much hastened his own destruction.

Becoming by these means universally feared and odious, he was at last taken off by a conspiracy of his friends and favorite freedmen, in concert with his wife. A conspiracy, in which his wife joined, was formed against him, and he was murdered, 18 Sept., 96.

During eight months together there was so much lightning at Rome, and such accounts of the phenomenon were brought from other parts, that at last he cried out, “Let him now strike whom he will.” The Capitol was struck by lightning, as well as the temple of the Flavian family, with the Palatine-house, and his own bed-chamber. The tablet also, inscribed upon the base of his triumphal statue was carried away by the violence of the storm, and fell upon a neighboring monument. The tree which just before the advancement of Vespasian had been prostrated, and rose again, suddenly fell to the ground. The goddess Fortune of Praeneste, to whom it was his custom on new year’s day to commend the empire for the ensuing year, and who had always given him a favorable reply, at last returned him a melancholy answer, not without mention of blood. He dreamt that Minerva, whom he worshipped even to a superstitious excess, was withdrawing from her sanctuary, declaring she could protect him no longer, because she was disarmed by Jupiter. Nothing, however, so much affected him as an answer given by Ascletario, the astrologer, and his subsequent fate. This person had been informed against, and did not deny his having predicted some future events, of which, from the principles of his art, he confessed he had a foreknowledge. Domitian asked him, what end he thought he should come to himself? To which replying, “I shall in a short time be torn to pieces by dogs,” he ordered him immediately to be slain, and, in order to demonstrate the vanity of his art, to be carefully buried. But during the preparations for executing this order, it happened that the funeral pile was blown down by a sudden storm, and the body, half-burnt, was torn to pieces by dogs; which being observed by Latinus, the comic actor, as he chanced to pass that way, he told it, amongst the other news of the day, to the emperor at supper.

Before the end of his reign Domitian ceased to persecute [Christians | and Jews]. (See PERSECUTIONS .)

The day before his death, he ordered some dates, served up at table, to be kept till the next day, adding, “If I have the luck to use them.” And turning to those who were nearest him, he said, “To-morrow the moon in Aquarius will be bloody instead of watery, and an event will happen, which will be much talked of all the world over.” About midnight, he was so terrified that he leaped out of bed. That morning he tried and passed sentence on a soothsayer sent from Germany, who being consulted about the lightning that had lately happened, predicted from it a change of government. The blood running down his face as he scratched an ulcerous tumour on his forehead, he said, “Would this were all that is to befall me!” Then, upon his asking the time of the day, instead of five o’clock, which was the hour he dreaded, they purposely told him it was six. Overjoyed at this information; as if all danger were now passed, and hastening to the bath, Parthenius, his chamberlain, stopped him, by saying that there was a person come to wait upon him about a matter of great importance, which would admit of no delay. Upon this, ordering all persons to withdraw, he retired into his chamber, and was there slain.

Concerning the contrivance and mode of his death, the common account is this. The conspirators being in some doubt when and where they should attack him, whether while he was in the bath, or at supper, Stephanus, a steward of Domitilla’s, then under prosecution for defrauding his mistress, offered them his advice and assistance; and wrapping up his left arm, as if it was hurt, in wool and bandages for some days, to prevent suspicion, at the hour appointed, he secreted a dagger in them. Pretending then to make a discovery of a conspiracy, and being for that reason admitted, he presented to the emperor a memorial, and while he was reading it in great astonishment, stabbed him in the groin. But Domitian, though wounded, making resistance, Clodianus, one of his guards, Maximus, a freedman of Parthenius’s, Saturius, his principal chamberlain, with some gladiators, fell upon him, and stabbed him in seven places. A boy who had the charge of the Lares in his bed-chamber, and was then in attendance as usual, gave these further particulars: that he was ordered by Domitian, upon receiving his first wound, to reach him a dagger which lay under his pillow, and call in his domestics; but that he found nothing at the head of the bed, excepting the hilt of a poniard, and that all the doors were fastened: that the emperor in the mean time got hold of Stephanus, and throwing him upon the ground, struggled a long time with him; one while endeavouring to wrench the dagger from him, another while, though his fingers were miserably mangled, to tear out his eyes. He was slain upon the fourteenth of the calends of October [18th Sept.], in the forty-fifth year of his age, and the fifteenth of his reign. His corpse was carried out upon a common bier by the public bearers, and buried by his nurse Phyllis, at his suburban villa on the Latin Way. But she afterwards privately conveyed his remains to the temple of the Flavian family, and mingled them with the ashes of Julia, the daughter of Titus, whom she had also nursed.

Revenge of the Senate would come in the form of an aristocratically based literary tradition that would miss no opportunity to vilify thoroughly both emperor and his rule. The senate's enthusiastic support for the damning of Domitian's memory, therefore, came as no surprise. Nevertheless, the situation must be placed in its proper context. By comparison, the emperor Claudius(A.D. 41-54) executed 35 senators and upwards of 300 equestrians, yet he was still deified by the senate!

Domitian Ecclesiastical History III, chapters 17–18

Chapter XVII.—The Persecution under Domitian. Domitian, having shown great cruelty toward many, and having unjustly put to death no small number of well-born and notable men at Rome, and having without cause exiled and confiscated the property of a great many other illustrious men, finally became a successor of Nero in his hatred and enmity toward God. He was in fact the second that stirred up a persecution against us, although his father Vespasian had undertaken nothing prejudicial to us.

Chapter XVIII.—The Apostle John and the Apocalypse. 1. It is said that in this persecution the apostle and evangelist John, who was still alive, was condemned to dwell on the island of Patmos in consequence of his testimony to the divine word.713 2. Irenæus, in the fifth book of his work Against Heresies, where he discusses the number of the name of Antichrist which is given in the so-called Apocalypse of John, speaks as follows concerning him: 3. “If it were necessary for his name to be proclaimed openly at the present time, it would have been declared by him who saw the revelation. For it was seen not long ago, but almost in our own generation, at the end of the reign of Domitian.” 4. To such a degree, indeed, did the teaching of our faith flourish at that time that even those writers who were far from our religion did not hesitate to mention in their histories the persecution and the martyrdoms which took place during it. 5. And they, indeed, accurately indicated the time. For they recorded that in the fifteenth year of Domitian717 Flavia Domitilla, daughter of a sister of Flavius Clement, who at that time was one of the consuls of Rome, was exiled with many others to the island of Pontia in consequence of testimony borne to Christ.

Revelation 1-22 World English Bible (WEB)

This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel[a] to his servant, John, 2 who testified to God’s word, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is at hand. 4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood; 6 and he made us to be a Kingdom, priests[b] to his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold,[c] he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,[d]” says the Lord God,[e] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 9 I John, your brother and partner with you in oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God’s Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet 11 saying, “[f] What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies[g] : to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” 12 I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lamp stands. 13 And among the lamp stands was one like a son of man,[h] clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters. 16 He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last, 18 and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forever more. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.[i] 19 Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen hereafter; 20 the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands. The seven stars are the angels[j] of the seven assemblies. The seven lamp stands are seven assemblies. 2 “To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write: “He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lamp stands says these things: 2 “I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can’t tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false. 3 You have perseverance and have endured for my name’s sake, and have[k] not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God. 8 “To the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write: “The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life says these things: 9 “I know your works, oppression, and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes won’t be harmed by the second death. 12 “To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write: “He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things: 13 “I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. You hold firmly to my name, and didn’t deny my faith in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans likewise[l] . 16 Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna,[m] and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it. 18 “To the angel of the assembly in Thyatira write: “The Son of God, who has his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like burnished brass, says these things: 19 “I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate your[n] woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great oppression, unless they repent of her works. 23 I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24 But to you I say, to the rest who are in Thyatira, as many as don’t have this teaching, who don’t know what some call ‘the deep things of Satan,’ to you I say, I am not putting any other burden on you. 25 Nevertheless, hold that which you have firmly until I come. 26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. 27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots;[o] as I also have received of my Father: 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. 3 “And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: “He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things: “I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and keep the things that remain, which you were about to throw away, for I have found no works of yours perfected before my God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If therefore you won’t watch, I will come as a thief, and you won’t know what hour I will come upon you. 4 Nevertheless you have a few names in Sardis that did not defile their garments. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will be arrayed in white garments, and I will in no way blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. 7 “To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: “He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one can shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says these things: 8 “I know your works (behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut), that you have a little power, and kept my word, and didn’t deny my name. 9 Behold, I give some of the synagogue of Satan, of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but lie. Behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will go out from there no more. I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. 14 “To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Head of God’s creation, says these things: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and don’t know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich; and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me. 21 He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.” 4 After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, “Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne 3 that looked like a jasper stone and a sardius. There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald to look at. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones. On the thrones were twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads. 5 Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the middle of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. 7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy[p] is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come!” 9 When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One,[q] to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!” 5 I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals. 2 I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to break its seals?” 3 No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look in it. 4 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look in it. 5 One of the elders said to me, “Don’t weep. Behold, the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome; he who opens the book and its seven seals.” 6 I saw in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 Now when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book,     and to open its seals: for you were killed,     and bought us for God with your blood,     out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, 10  and made us kings and priests to our God,     and we will reign on earth.” 11 I saw, and I heard something like a voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands; 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!” 13 I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen!”[r] 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen!” The [s] elders fell down and worshiped.[t] 6 I saw that the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as with a voice of thunder, “Come and see!” 2 And behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow. A crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. 3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4 Another came out, a red horse. To him who sat on it was given power to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. There was given to him a great sword. 5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come and see!” And behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a balance in his hand. 6 I heard a voice in the middle of the four living creatures saying, “A choenix [u] of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don’t damage the oil and the wine!” 7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see!” 8 And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades [v] followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him. 9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had. 10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 A long white robe was given to each of them. They were told that they should rest yet for a while, until their fellow servants and their brothers, [w] who would also be killed even as they were, should complete their course. 12 I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood. 13 The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was removed like a scroll when it is rolled up. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. 16 They told the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?” 7 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. 2 I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Don’t harm the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads!” 4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel: 5  of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand, of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 6  of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, 7  of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 8  of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” 13 One of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?” 14 I told him, “My lord, you know.” He said to me, “These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb’s blood. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them. 16 They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more; neither will the sun beat on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the middle of the throne shepherds them, and leads them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” 8 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first sounded, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. One third of the earth was burnt up, [x] and one third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great burning mountain was thrown into the sea. One third of the sea became blood, 9 and one third of the living creatures which were in the sea died. One third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch, and it fell on one third of the rivers, and on the springs of the waters. 11 The name of the star is called “Wormwood.” One third of the waters became wormwood. Many people died from the waters, because they were made bitter. 12 The fourth angel sounded, and one third of the sun was struck, and one third of the moon, and one third of the stars; so that one third of them would be darkened, and the day wouldn’t shine for one third of it, and the night in the same way. 13 I saw, and I heard an eagle,[y] flying in mid heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe! Woe! Woe for those who dwell on the earth, because of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, who are yet to sound!” 9 The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from the sky which had fallen to the earth. The key to the pit of the abyss was given to him. 2 He opened the pit of the abyss, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke from a[z] burning furnace. The sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke from the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke came locusts on the earth, and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those people who don’t have God’s seal on their foreheads. 5 They were given power not to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion, when it strikes a person. 6 In those days people will seek death, and will in no way find it. They will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 7 The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for war. On their heads were something like golden crowns, and their faces were like people’s faces. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like those of lions. 9 They had breastplates, like breastplates of iron. The sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, or of many horses rushing to war. 10 They have tails like those of scorpions, and stings. In their tails they have power to harm men for five months. 11 They have over them as king the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is “Abaddon”,[aa] but in Greek, he has the name “Apollyon”. [ab] 12 The first woe is past. Behold, there are still two woes coming after this. 13 The sixth angel sounded. I heard a voice from the horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had one trumpet, “Free the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates!” 15 The four angels were freed who had been prepared for that hour and day and month and year, so that they might kill one third of mankind. 16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million.[ac] I heard the number of them. 17 Thus I saw the horses in the vision, and those who sat on them, having breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of lions. Out of their mouths proceed fire, smoke, and sulfur. 18 By these three plagues were one third of mankind killed: by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur, which proceeded out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths, and in their tails. For their tails are like serpents, and have heads, and with them they harm. 20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, didn’t repent of the works of their hands, that they wouldn’t worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk. 21 They didn’t repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries,[ad] nor of their sexual immorality, nor of their thefts. 10 I saw a mighty angel coming down out of the sky, clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. 2 He had in his hand a little open book. He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land. 3 He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don’t write them.” 5 The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to the sky, 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there will no longer be delay, 7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as he declared to his servants, the prophets. 8 The voice which I heard from heaven, again speaking with me, said, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” 9 I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. He said to me, “Take it, and eat it up. It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth. When I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11 They told me, “You must prophesy again over many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.” 11 A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, “Rise, and measure God’s temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside of the temple, and don’t measure it, for it has been given to the nations. They will tread the holy city under foot for forty-two months. 3 I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands, standing before the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. If anyone desires to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6 These have the power to shut up the sky, that it may not rain during the days of their prophecy. They have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. 7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them. 8 Their dead bodies will be in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 From among the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations people will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not allow their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10 Those who dwell on the earth rejoice over them, and they will be glad. They will give gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. 11 After the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In that day there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe comes quickly. 15 The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!” 16 The twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God’s throne, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was[ae]; because you have taken your great power, and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and your wrath came, as did the time for the dead to be judged, and to give your bondservants the prophets, their reward, as well as to the saints, and those who fear your name, to the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19 God’s temple that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant was seen in his temple. Lightnings, sounds, thunders, an earthquake, and great hail followed. 12 A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth. 3 Another sign was seen in heaven. Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven crowns. 4 His tail drew one third of the stars of the sky, and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that there they may nourish her one thousand two hundred sixty days. 7 There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. 8 They didn’t prevail, neither was a place found for him any more in heaven. 9 The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ has come; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 They overcame him because of the Lamb’s blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn’t love their life, even to death. 12 Therefore rejoice, heavens, and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time.” 13 When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 Two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, so that she might be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 The serpent spewed water out of his mouth after the woman like a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream. 16 The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth. 17 The dragon grew angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her offspring,[af] who keep God’s commandments and hold Jesus’ testimony. 13 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads. On his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads, blasphemous names. 2 The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 3 One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled at the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” 5 A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him. 6 He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is to go into captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, he must be killed.[ag] Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints. 11 I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people. 14 He deceives my own[ah] people who dwell on the earth because of the signs he was granted to do in front of the beast; saying to those who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who had the sword wound and lived. 15 It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn’t worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; 17 and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six. 14 I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. 2 I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of a great thunder. The sound which I heard was like that of harpists playing on their harps. 3 They sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the one hundred forty-four thousand, those who had been redeemed out of the earth. 4 These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed by Jesus from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 In their mouth was found no lie, for they are blameless.[ai] 6 I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 He said with a loud voice, “Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!” 8 Another, a second angel, followed, saying, “Babylon the great has fallen, which has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality.” 9 Another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” 13 I heard the voice from heaven saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them.” 14 I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man,[aj] having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 Another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Send your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!” 16 He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. 17 Another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle. 18 Another angel came out from the altar, he who has power over fire, and he called with a great voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Send your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for the earth’s grapes are fully ripe!” 19 The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. 20 The wine press was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even to the bridles of the horses, as far as one thousand six hundred stadia.[ak] 15 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God’s wrath is finished. 2 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast, his image,[al] and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty!     Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations. 4  Who wouldn’t fear you, Lord,     and glorify your name? For you only are holy.     For all the nations will come and worship before you.     For your righteous acts have been revealed.