Peter's Ancient History and Religion Pages

Peter's Index Peter's Index  Maccabees Maccabees  Ancient History Home Ancient History Home  Ezra Ezra 

Ancient History and Religion with Peter Eyland

Pilate and Caligula

How far were events under Pilate and Caligula exceptional or characteristic of Roman rule of Judaea?


Roman control of Judaea started with Pompey[1] and ended with Hadrian, who removed the ethnic reference by renaming the province as Syria Palaestina[2].  An appearance of independence was maintained through the rules of Hyrcanus II[3], Herod and Archelaus, but from 6 CE to 66 CE Judaea was governed by fifteen Roman procurators or prefects[4] and this is the time that will be examined in detail. 

The argument of this essay is that the Roman governors of Judaea could only tolerate the Jewish religion when it was clear that there was nothing political about it[5].  Unlike Herod and Agrippa, Roman governors had no real understanding of Jewish beliefs and how closely their religion was linked to their national aspirations.  Pilate’s poor decisions were typical of Roman rule in Judaea.  However Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius, the main Roman Emperors of the period[6], ruled with tolerance towards the Jews and the crisis under Caligula was exceptional.

Josephus[7] and Philo are primary sources for this period.  Their writings were apologetic so it must be kept in mind that they intended their Graeco-Roman readers to see the Jews and their religion in the best possible light.


Roman procurators up to Pontius Pilate

The problem in Judaea, as fittingly summed up by Smallwood[8], “was that to the Jews religion and politics were inextricably bound up together as two facets of a single way of life, and though a modus vivendi might have been established between Rome and moderate Jewish opinion, the existence of a belligerent nationalist party focusing discontent and fostering opposition posed a problem which the Romans signally failed to solve”.

Coponius was the first procurator.  Augustus appointed Quirinius as the Legate of Syria, and Coponius who arrived with him was required to implement the normal Roman census, i.e. make an account of the wealth of the province, and "to dispose of Archelaus's money". [9] 

The census immediately met with religious opposition because along with the registration of land it also included a head count.[10]  Joazar, the high priest had great difficulty in convincing the people to accept the census because there were strong religious objections to it based on 2 Sam 24:1ff and its parallel in 1 Chronicles 21:1ff.[11] 

According to Josephus, a Galilean named Judas urged his followers to revolt and not to pay taxes to the Romans[12] because obedience to the Romans should come after obedience to God.[13]  Josephus saw in this the start of a “fourth philosophy” that could not accept Roman rule on religious grounds.[14]  It shows how religious issues became issues of nation identity.  Josephus, clearly for apologetic reasons, attacks Judas as “peculiar” and not like the rest of the Jewish leadership.[15]  Josephus wrote that “all sorts of misfortunes” came on Judaea from this doctrine.[16]  He also defamed Judas and his followers by claiming that they pretended to be concerned with public welfare when they were really out for their own gain.  Josephus thus took pains to place himself and moderate Jewish leadership firmly on the side of the Romans.

Josephus seemed to be offended with Coponius that he “deprived Joazar of the high priesthood” because it “had been conferred on him by the multitude”.[17]  This implies that Josephus saw that this went against an ancestral custom that should not have been interfered with by the Romans. 

The only other incident recorded from Coponius’ time was to do with Samaritans. Josephus records that during a feast of unleavened bread, after the temple gates had been opened at midnight, a group of Samaritans came into the cloisters and threw dead bodies around.[18] It was left to Jewish authorities to decide that from then on Samaritans should be excluded from the temple. Apparently Coponius violated customs with the high priesthood, seeing it in political terms, but the Samaritan issue was only religious so he took no action.

Nothing much is recorded of the next two procurators, Marcus Ambibulus and Annius Rufus, however this is probably due to lack of source material and should not be taken to mean that they governed without incident.  All that is recorded of the next procurator Valerius Gratus is that he successively “deprived” Ananus (Annas) and Ismael of their high priesthoods then gave it to Joseph Caiaphas.[21]  The Greek word used was παύσας (stopped, hindered, kept back) and suggests Josephus’ disapproval of his actions.

Pontius Pilate as Prefect of Judaea

Josephus wrote of Pilate that he “was inclined to violate Jewish customs”[22]; that “he refused to yield”.[23]  Philo accused Pilate of deliberately “vexing the multitude[24] and that “he was a man of a very inflexible disposition, and very merciless as well as very obstinate”[25].  This appears to be in contrast to the previous three procurators, but it may be due to the particular significance of Pilate’s actions rather than any real difference in behaviour from former governors.

Grabbe[26] has discussed the proposal that Pilate was anti-Jewish because he was Sejanus’ protégé.  Grabbe accepted from Philo that Sejanus had destructive intentions for Judaism[27].  However, Grabbe[28] also from Philo, has given three cogent reasons for denying that Pilate was dogmatically anti-Jewish.  His reasons are firstly that Philo wanted to blame Sejanus for anything that might discredit Tiberius.  Secondly, there is no evidence of a link between Sejanus and Pilate.  Thirdly, Tiberius wanted the provinces undisturbed by any kind of unrest.

Although Philo accused Pilate of corruption (which was probably the norm for a procurator[29]), Pilate was not removed from office for corruption, the “standards”, the “shields”, or the aqueduct killings, (which are to be discussed below) but for the Samaritan massacre.

Josephus has two accounts of the "standards" incident. The first, from War[30] related that “during the night, secretly and under cover, [they] conveyed to Jerusalem the images of Caesar known as standards”. The night arrival was probably not a deliberate ploy in relation to the standards.  It was probably intended to be a way for the military presence to be introduced without drawing a great deal of attention to it.  Pilate’s astonishment probably reflects a presupposition that having the standards in the military quarters of Jerusalem (i.e. not in the Temple area) would not be a problem.  His attempt to avoid confrontation would then have been thrown in his face as a deliberate provocation (hence his astonishment). 

Josephus characterises the Jewish resistance as non-violent.  This is in line with the teaching of Gamaliel[31] and such writings as The Testament of Moses[32].  Accordingly, in War[33], the Jews “begged” Pilate and “fell prone all round his house and remained motionless for five days and nights”.  In Antiquities[34], “for many days [the Jews] entreated him to take away the images”. 

When Pilate resorted to military intimidation, Josephus' record makes the point that the people all showed a common resolve against him. Josephus wrote, “at this the Jews as though by agreement[35] fell to the ground in a body and bent their necks, shouting that they were ready to be killed rather than transgress the Law”.  He makes the point also in Antiquities: “ casting themselves prostrate and baring their throats, [they] declared that they had gladly welcomed death rather than make bold to transgress the wise provisions of the laws”.

Rhoads[36] sees a latent threat of violence that is unwarranted.  Pilate’s astonishment shows that he removed the standards, not because of a unified threat of violence, but because of the Jews unified commitment to their ancestral customs.

The “shields” incident recorded by Philo[37] refers to a time when Pilate conducted a dedication service in Herod’s palace.  Feldman & Reinhold along with others[38] argue that this was not the same incident as the standards.  Schürer also related this incident to the previous one as an attempt to get around the “image” problem.[39]

Pilate dedicated some shields “with no image work traced on them nor anything else forbidden by the law”.[39a]   These shields also caused a conflict, probably not because of the “barest inscription” on them because Philo clearly asserts that there was nothing on them that violated the law.  More likely, with Davies, it was because of the dedication ceremony itself[40].  Perhaps Pilate tried to be innovative by deliberately omitting images from the shields.  He would have been frustrated again by Jewish protests that he did not anticipate.

Again the Jews chose non-violent action.  The king’s four sons as spokesmen harangued Pilate on his legal responsibilities “to undo his innovation” and not to “dishonour ancient laws”.  They asked Pilate not to “break the peace” and when they recognised that Pilate was caught up on the horns of a dilemma they short-circuited the situation by a letter to Tiberius.

The Aqueduct incident, when Pilate appropriated Temple funds, is also given in two accounts from Josephus.  Josephus’ War[41] has the people who “surrounded the tribunal and shouted [Pilate] down” then being beaten or trampled to death. Josephus’ Antiquities[42] recorded that they “hurled insults and abuse” but “showed no faint-heartedness” when “caught unarmed”.  The reasons for this incident are not clear but it may be that the funds were thought of as exclusively for sacrifices.

The Samaritan incident[43] finally caused Pilate to be recalled to Rome because despite his experiences with non-violent and unarmed Jews, he still could not see the difference between a religious gathering and a national rebellion. 

Josephus (to blame the Romans) presented Pilate as a hard and brutal man.   This is a different picture from the Gospels[44] (which blames the Jews so as to avoid believers being seen as followers of a criminal executed by the Romans).  Josephus thus portrayed Pilate as not being interested in justice, only in political control.  Pilate, as a Roman governor, expected his subjects to keep religion and nationalist issues apart. However, he did not understand that the Jews under his control simply did not do that and so he did not cope well.  Although Grabbe[45], stated that Tiberius generally had good administrators and Pilate was simply an exception, it is not clear that Pilate was all that different from other Judaean governors. 

Roman rule from Pilate to 66 CE

Josephus wrote that after Pilate, "Vitellius sent Marcellus[46], a friend of his, to take care of the affairs of Judaea."[47]  Feldman has hypothesized that Marcellus was put in charge temporarily.[48]  Again, no information does not imply that there were no controversies.  Marullus was procurator after Marcellus.  Schwartz[49] suggests Marullus and Marcellus were the same person, but if “Marcellus” were already there then “Marullus” did not need to be dispatched  (ἐκπέμπει) [50] to Judaea.  Vitellius brought a sense of relief by giving some tax concessions to Jerusalem and releasing the high priests vestments to the priests.[51]

After this, Caligula[52] was apparently going to appoint Agrippa's son as ruler in his place, but he was advised that the young Agrippa was not ready for the position. There was direct rule by the Syrian legate between 37 – 41 CE, while Agrippa ruled Philip’s Tetrarchy.  Agrippa apparently enjoyed Rome better because he spent only a year in his kingdom under Gaius.[53]  After the death of Caligula, Claudius appointed Agrippa Governor of Judaea.  Agrippa ruled from 41 CE till his death in 44 CE.  Josephus seems to have no sources that were antagonistic towards Agrippa.[54]  Agrippa understood and upheld Jewish customs (as seen in the incident of Caligula’s Temple image).

Cuspius Fadus was appointed procurator after Agrippa’s death.[55] Fadus wanted to retake control of the high priests vestments but Claudius (via Vitellius) ordered him to give them back to the Jewish authorities.  This shows latent tension between Fadus and the priests.

Fadus as ordered, “chastised” the people of Caesarea and Sebaste.  Then a border dispute occurred between the Jews of Perea and Philadelphia.  Josephus has Fadus being irritated.  He responds by killing some of the leaders and banishing others.[56]   According to Josephus, "Judaea was cleared of robberies by the care and providence of Fadus".[57]  This shows that Josephus had a high regard for law and order, even though Fadus acted from temper.

A “magician” named Theudas appeared and Fadus had Theudas’ head cut off and then killed many of his followers.[58]  This seems an inappropriate reaction to a “deluded” religious leader, but Josephus has no problem with it, as he is aligned with religious orthodoxy.  It also indicates that Fadus, like Pilate, got involved inappropriately in religious matters apparently mistaking them for political movements.

Tiberius Julius Alexander was related to Philo of Alexandria and a convert from Judaism.[59] He imported grain from Egypt because of famine in the province.  Josephus stated that he made “no alterations of the ancient laws” and “kept the nation in tranquility”[60], Grabbe[61] has argued that: “his term of office was basically peaceful because he understood the Jewish way of life”.  He did have James and Simon crucified.  They were sons of the Judas of Galilee who caused trouble for Coponius.  Even though Rhoads argued that the revolt was “small and ineffective”[62], the “fourth philosophy” was still alive.  More violence probably occurred than Josephus reported, because he wanted to portray Jewish leaders in a favourable light. 

It was during the rule of Publius Ventidius Cumanus that tensions became prominent.  There were riots because of army buffoonery[63], army looting and desecration.[64]  There was internecine warfare[65] and Josephus’ conclusion was that “Judaea was overrun with robbers”.[66]

Claudius then appointed Marcus Antonius Felix.[67]  According to Josephus, “things grew worse and worse continually … not a day passed, however, but that Felix captured and put to death many … impostors and brigands".[68]  The sicarii began to attack the rich who acquiesced to Roman rule.[69]  Civil unrest continued to develop with “false prophets” appearing such as an Egyptian who “was ready to break into Jerusalem by force”.[70]  Josephus even accused Felix of bribing Doras to get the sicarii to kill the high priest Jonathan[71] (this accusation may have been to put the sicarii in a bad light). 

Tacitus blamed Felix for all the unrest. He wrote: "Felix stimulated outbreaks by injudicious disciplinary measures".[72]  This description also probably characterises previous governors as well.

The next procurator, Porcius Festus[73] “eliminated” many brigands roaming around the province[74], however Festus may also have been the reason why the brigands multiplied.  When Agrippa built a dining room overlooking the temple sacrifice area, the temple authorities built a wall was to obscure the dining room view. This displeased not only Agrippa, but Festus as well and it was ordered to be torn down. Festus did allow an appeal to Nero who surprisingly sided with the Jews against Festus.[75]

Lucceius Albinus “bent every effort and made every provision to ensure peace in the land by exterminating most of the sicarii”.[76]  Then as “the beginning of greater troubles" he made a deal with leaders of the sicarii to perform a hostage swap.[77]  Josephus also accused Albinus of being "guilty of every possible misdemeanour"[78], and that he was easily bribed.

Gessius Florus “filled Judaea with abundance of miseries”.[79]  In fact Josephus assigned the historical cause of the war to Florus because “he necessitated us to take up arms against the Romans”.[80]  In this Josephus has an ally in Tacitus who wrote: “the endurance of the Jews lasted till Gessius Florus”.[81]  When Florus seized seventeen talents from the temple treasury a riot broke out and Florus was forced to leave the city.  This was a similar action to that of Pilate and the funds for the aqueduct. 

Marcus Antonius Julianus was mentioned by Josephus as "procurator of Judaea,"[82] and accompanied Tiberius Alexander on a mission during the Jewish War.  He may have been Florus' successor but nothing more is known.

It can be seen from the above, (apart from the favourable treatment given to Agrippa and Tiberius Julius Alexander), that Roman procurators generally tolerated a level of corruption and did not cope well with situations where Jewish religion and national identity mixed.  Pilate and Florus stand out for particular incidents but not exceptionally.


Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius

During Augustus’ time, Marcus Agrippa affirmed that Jews could be citizens in Ionia[83] and that Ephesian[84] and Cyrenian[85] Jews could freely transmit money for the Jerusalem Temple and honour their Sabbath.  Philo wrote (to press for relief from persecution) that Augustus knew Jewish customs and respected Jewish interests “religiously”.[86]  In this context Philo asserted that Augustus actually paid for the daily sacrifice to him at the Jerusalem Temple.  Josephus on the other hand to show the loyalty of the Jews stated that the Jews paid for them.[87]  Josephus has the more likely story.

Tiberius drafted Roman 4000 Jews for military service to Sardinia (after four Jews had miss-appropriated a noble proselyte’s gifts[88]).  Dio Cassius (and possibly Seneca the Younger) in line with this asserted that Jews were banished from Rome for converting too many non-Jews.[89] 

However Tiberius reprimanded Pilate for his violation of Jewish ancestral customs and Tacitus[90] concluded that “under Tiberius all was quiet”, until Caligula ordered his statue be set up in the Jerusalem Temple.

Feldman & Reinhold[91], give a date of 40 CE for an incident at Dora in Phoenicia[92], where some young men brought an image of Caesar into a synagogue.  This date puts it in Caligula’s time and makes the edict of toleration cited by Petronius anachronistic.  Claudius’ decree[93] (for which Feldman & Reinhold[94] give a date of 41 CE) gave Alexandrian Jews religious rights while denying them political status.[95]

These three Emperors accepted the rights of Judaean Jews to their ancestral customs, but denied them full political status.


Caligula and the Temple statue

Caligula, either did not understand (like Pilate), or simply rejected the idea that Jewish religion was linked to national identity. Accordingly he saw Jews everywhere as being politically disloyal by not honouring him as a god.[96]  When the letter from Capito[97] arrived complaining about the destruction of an altar, there were Jews already in Rome with an appeal from Alexandria for respite from the pogrom there (Philo’s delegation).  Caligula’s proposal to put a statue of himself in the Jerusalem Temple was designed to make himself the national god of the Jews.  The reaction of the delegation was frozen disbelief.  They did not know how to answer Caligula because there was a fundamental paradigm violation.  They could not disobey the Roman Emperor because they saw Roman authority as divinely appointed to protect them.[98]  Also they could not obey the Roman Emperor because that too would be an abandonment of divine will.

While Philo suggests that the Jews might fight[99], and Tacitus wrote that they actually took up arms[100] in a seditious outbreak[101], Josephus (with his brief to show the Jews as loyal) only records non-violent resistance.[102]  Philo’s prediction would probably have been right, Tacitus was probably premature in his comments and Josephus was only right because Caligula died when he did.

At this time, Petronius was the governor of all Syria which probably included Judaea. He knew from previous experience (the Dora incident in the reign of Agrippa I, where some people erected a statue of the emperor in the synagogue) that the Jews could not tolerate a statue of Caligula in the Jerusalem temple.  Petronius’ first letter to Caligula was clearly seen to be a delaying tactic.  Both Josephus[103] and Philo[104] record that Agrippa intervened successfully with Caligula.  Bilde[105] rejects the further claim by both Josephus and Philo that Caligula changed his mind when Petronius’ second letter arrived.  However Tacitus[106] seems correct that the resolution of the dilemma only came through Caligula’s death.



The Jewish religion had a status of a religio licita, mainly on the basis of its antiquity. The Roman governors of Judaea tolerated the Jewish religion and customs when it was clear that there was nothing political about it. Unlike Herod and Agrippa, Roman governors generally had no clear understanding of Jewish beliefs. As long as there were Jews who were working towards achieving an independent kingdom in Judaea, the Roman procurators had to pay close attention to any disturbance.[107]  Pilate’s decisions were typical of Roman rule in Judaea because his decisions originated from the same ethos as the other Roman governors.


Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius, the main Roman Emperors of the period ruled with tolerance towards the Jews.  Caligula saw Judaea as a state ruled by a god-king whose capital was at the Jerusalem Temple.[108]  By means of his statue, Caligula wanted to force the Jews to accept Judaea as a Roman state rather than a Jewish one.  Since no other Emperor had attempted to do this, the crisis under Caligula was exceptional.


Appendix: Table 1

Procurators of Judaea according to Josephus


Rule (CE)

Antiquities of the Jews

The Jewish War


6 - 9

18.1.1, 18.2.2


Marcus Ambibulus

9 - 12



Annius Rufus

12 - 15



Valerius Gratus

15 - 26

18.2.2, 18.6.1


Pontius Pilate

26 - 36




c.36 or 37




37 - 41

18.6.10 §237






Cuspius Fadus

44 - 45

15.11.4, 19.9.2, 20.1.1-20.1.2, 20.5.1-20.5.2


Tiberius Julius Alexander

46 - 48


2.11.6, 2.15.1, 2.18.7-2.18.8, 4.10.6, 5.01.6, 5.5.3, 5.12.2, 6.4.3

Publius Ventidius Cumanus

48 - 52


2.12.1-2.12.3, 2.12.5-2.12.7

Marcus Antonius Felix

52 - c. 59


2.12.8, 2.13.2, 2.13.4-2.13.5, 2.13.7-2.14.1

Porcius Festus

c.59 - 62



Lucceius Albinus

62 - 64

20.9.1-20.9.3, 20.9.5, 20.11.1

2.14.1-2.14.2, 6.5.3

Gessius Florus

64 - 66

18.1.6, 19.9.2, 20.11.1

2.14.2-2.16.3, 2.16.5-2.17.1, 2.17.4, 2.18.1, 2.19.4, 2.20.1

Marcus Antonius Julianus

c. 66 & 73




Primary Sources

Dio Cassius, Roman History, cited in Feldman & Reinhold op cit, p.317

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1989

Josephus, The Jewish War, trans. Whiston, W., Nelson, Nashville, 1998

Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, trans. Feldman, L., Loeb, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1962 and Whiston, W., trans., Nelson, Nashville, 1998

Josephus, Contra Apion, Whiston, W., trans., Nelson, Nashville, 1998

Moses, The Testament of, from R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1913

Philo, In Flaccum, trans. Colson, F.H., Loeb, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1960, Vol 9

Philo, De legatione ad Gaium trans. Colson, F.H., Loeb, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1960, Vol 10

Seneca the Younger, Moral Epistles, cited in Feldman & Reinhold op cit, pp.317.318

Suetonius, Life of Tiberius, cited in Feldman & Reinhold op cit, p.317

Tacitus, P.C., The Annals, Great Books of the Western World, vol 15, Gen. ed. Hutchins, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 1952

Tacitus, The Histories, Great Books of the Western World, vol 15, Gen. ed. Hutchins, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 1952


Secondary Sources

Bilde, P., Studia Theologica 32 (1978), cited in Schwartz, op cit, p.77

Bilde, P., Flavius Josephus between Jerusalem and Rome, JSOT Press, Sheffield, 1988

Davies, P.S., “The meaning of Philo’s text about the Gilded Shields”, JTS, cited in Grabbe, op cit, p.397

Feldman, L.H., & Reinhold, M., eds. Jewish Life and Thought among Greeks and Romans, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1996

Grabbe, L.L., Judaism from Cyrus to Hadrian, SCM Press, London, 1994

Jagersma, H., A History of Israel to Bar Kochba, SCM, London, 1994

Kraeling, C.H., "The Episode of the Roman Standards at Jerusalem", Harvard Theological Review (35) 1942

Maier, P.L., "The Episode of the Golden Shields at Jerusalem," Harvard Theological Review (62) 1969

Millar, F., The Roman Near East 31 BC – AD 227, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1993

Rhoads, D.M., Israel in Revolution 6 – 74 C.E. – A Political History based on the writings of Josephus, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1976

Schürer, E., The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, rev. and ed. by Geza Vermes and Fergus Millar, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1973

Schwartz, D.R., Agrippa I The Last King of Judaea, JCB Mohr, Tübingen, 1990

Smallwood, E.M., The Jews Under Roman Rule from Pompey to Diocletian, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1981

[1] Josephus, Antiquities, 14.4.4 §74, 14.4.5 §77, Jagersma, H., A History of Israel to Bar Kochba, SCM, London, 1994, part 2, p.98

[2] Millar, F., The Roman Near East 31 BC – AD 227, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1993, p.108

[3] Judaea was Parthian from 40 – 37 BCE under Antigonus their vassal ruler.

[4] Except for the rule of Agrippa 41 – 44 CE.  See Table of Governors on page 16.

[5] Schwartz, D.R., Agrippa I The Last King of Judaea, JCB Mohr, Tübingen, 1990, p.174

[6] Augustus until 14 CE, Tiberius 14 – 37 CE, Gaius 37 – 41 CE, Claudius 41 – 54 CE, Nero 54 – 68 CE.

[7] According to Bilde P., Flavius Josephus between Jerusalem and Rome, JSOT Press, Sheffield, 1988, pp.196, 197 Josephus was a “creative author with artistic ambitions … loyal to his sources … retains the sequence of events, persons, … topography, chronology, etc”

[8] Smallwood, E.M., The Jews Under Roman Rule from Pompey to Diocletian, Brill, Leiden, 1981, p. 155

[9] Josephus, Antiquities 18.1.1 §2

[10] Jagersma, op cit, p.117

[11] A difference in the writers’ theology is seen in the change from, “Yahweh inciting David”, to “Satan inciting David”.

[12] Josephus, War 2.8.1 §118, Antiquities 18.1.1 §4, 20.5.2 §102

[13] Josephus, War 2.17.8 §443

[14] Josephus, Antiquities 18.1.6 §23

[15] Josephus, War 2.8.1 §118

[16] Josephus, Antiquities 18.1.1 §6

[17] Josephus, Antiquities 18.2.1 §26

[18] Josephus, Antiquities 18.2.2 §§29, 30

[21] Josephus, Antiquities 18.2.2 §§33-35 Valerius Gratus governed Judaea for eleven years (the longest serving procurator in the period).

[22] Josephus, Antiquities, 18.3.1 §55

[23] Josephus, Antiquities, 18.3.1 §57

[24] Philo, De legatione ad Gaium 38, 299

[25] Philo, De Legatione ad Gaium 38, 299

[26] Grabbe, L.L., Judaism from Cyrus to Hadrian, SCM Press, London, 1994, p.395

[27] Philo, In Flaccum 1.1 “Flaccus Avillius succeeded Sejanus in his hatred of and hostile designs against the Jewish nation”. De legatione ad Gaium 24, 159-160 “Sejanus was preparing to make his attempt against our nation … Sejanus … was desirous to destroy our nation”.

[28] Grabbe, op cit, pp.395-396

[29] Philo, Legatione ad Caium 38, 302 mentioned briberies, insults, robberies, outrages, injuries and executions without trial.

[30] Josephus, War 2.9.4 §§175-203

[31] Acts 5:33-39

[32] The Testament of Moses 9.7 from R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1913, 2, pp. 407-424

[33] Josephus, War 2.9.2 §§169-171

[34] Josephus, Antiquities, 18.3.1 §57

[35] The phrase “as though by agreement” is suspicious and sounds like stage management or exaggeration

[36] Rhoads, D.M., Israel in Revolution 6 –74 C.E. A Political History based on the writings of Josephus, Fortress, Philadelphia, 1976, p.61

[37] Philo, Legatione ad Caium 38, 299

[38] Feldman, L.H., & Reinhold, M., eds. Jewish Life and Thought among Greeks and Romans, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1996, p.319.  Others agreeing with this are: Kraeling, C.H., "The Episode of the Roman Standards at Jerusalem", Harvard Theological Review (35) 1942, pp. 276-277; Maier, P.L., "The Episode of the Golden Shields at Jerusalem," Harvard Theological Review (62) 1969, p. 112; and Smallwood, E.M., The Jews Under Roman Rule from Pompey to Diocletian, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1981, p. 166

[39] Schürer, E., The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, rev. and ed. by Geza Vermes and Fergus Millar, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1973, vol 1, p.386

[39a] Philo, Legatione ad Caium 38, 299

[40] Davies, P.S., “The meaning of Philo’s text about the Gilded Shields”, JTS 37, 1986, pp.109-114, cited in Grabbe, op cit, p.397

[41] Josephus, War, 2.9.4 §§175-177

[42] Josephus, Antiquities, 18.3.2 §§60-62

[43] Josephus, Antiquities, 18.4.1-2 §§85-89

[44] Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 3:1, 13:1, 23; John 18:28-19:38; Acts 3:13, 4:27, 13:28; Bilde overstates the Gospels' picture of Pilate when he wrote (Bilde, P., Flavius Josephus, p.224) that “the Gospels portray Pilate as a pious and righteous procurator”.

[45] Grabbe, op cit, p.422

[46] From Tacitus, Histories 2.53, 2.95, 4.6-10, 4.42, this Marcellus may be the Eprius Marcellus, who was consul during the reigns of Nero and Vespasian, and governor of Asia from 70 to 73

[47] Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.2 §89

[48] Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.1 §89, trans. Feldman, L., Loeb, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1969, note d. pp.62, 63

[49] Schwartz, op cit, p.63

[50] Josephus, Antiquities, 18.6.10 §237, Feldman’s translation, p.143 note f continuation from p.245

[51] Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.3 §§90, 91

[52] Josephus, Antiquities 19.6.1-3 §292-299 has Claudius, but it is a mistake (see Schwartz, op cit, p65)

[53] Schwartz, op cit, p.68

[54] Schwartz, op cit, p.157

[55] Josephus, War 2.11.6 §218, Antiquities 19.9.2 §362

[56] Josephus, Antiquities 20.1.1 §§2-4

[57] Josephus, Antiquities 20.1.1 §5

[58] Josephus, Antiquities 20.5.1 §97

[59] Josephus, Antiquities 20.5.2 §100

[60] War 2.11.6 §220

[61] Grabbe, op cit, p.439

[62] Rhoads, op cit, p.59

[63] Josephus, War 2.12.1 §§223-227, Antiquities 20.5.3 §§105-112, Grabbe, op cit, p.440

[64] Josephus, Antiquities 20.5.4 §§113-117

[65] Josephus, Antiquities 20.6.1 §§118-123

[66] Josephus, Antiquities 20.6.1 §§124

[67] Josephus, Antiquities 20.7.1 §137

[68] Josephus, Antiquities 20.8.5 §§160-161, War 2.13.6 §265

[69] Josephus, War 2.13.3 §§254-257

[70] Josephus, War 2.13.5 §261-262

[71] Josephus, Antiquities 20.8.5 §§163-164

[72] Tacitus, Annals 12.54

[73] Josephus, Antiquities 20.8.9-10 §§182,185

[74] Josephus, War 2.14.1 §271

[75] Josephus, Antiquities 20.11.2 §§191-195

[76] Josephus, Antiquities 20.9.2 §204

[77] Josephus, Antiquities 20.9.3 §§209,210

[78] Josephus, War 2.14.1 §§272,273

[79] Josephus, Antiquities 20.11.1 §252

[80] Josephus, Antiquities 20.11.1 §257

[81] Tacitus, Histories 5.10

[82] Josephus, War 6.4.3 §238

[83] Josephus, Antiquities 12.3.2 §§125-127

[84] Josephus, Antiquities 16.6.4 §§167-170

[85] Josephus, Antiquities 16.6.4 §§169-170

[86] Philo, De Legatione ad Caium 23, 155-158

[87] Josephus, Contra Apion 2.6 §76

[88] Josephus, Antiquities 18.3.5 §§81-84; Tacitus Annals, 2.85; Suetonius, Life of Tiberius, 36

[89] Dio Cassius, Roman History, 57.18.5a; Seneca the Younger, Moral Epistles, 108.22

[90] Tacitus, The Histories, 5.9.2

[91] Feldman & Reinhold, op cit, p.87

[92] Josephus, Antiquities, 19.6.3 §§303-311

[93] Josephus, Antiquities, 19.5.3 §§286-291

[94] Feldman & Reinhold, op cit, p.90

[95] Schwartz, op cit, p.174

[96] Philo, De Legatione ad Caium 30.198 “[Gaius] desires to be considered a god; and he conceives that the Jews alone are likely to be disobedient”

[97] Schwartz, op cit, p.81, argued that Josephus omitted this letter in order to conceal any conflict between Jewish religion and the Roman state

[98]  Philo, De Legatione ad Caium 28.194 “how can it be holy or lawful for us to struggle in any other manner, pointing out that we are citizens of Alexandria”

[99] Philo, De Legatione ad Caium, 31.208 “Are you making war upon us, because you anticipate …that we will fight?” and 31.215 has the hint that there could be a general uprising of all Jews

[100] Tacitus, Histories 5.9.2

[101] Tacitus, Annals 12.54.1

[102] Josephus, War, 2.10.4 §197 “[the Jews] were ready to expose themselves to be slain, together with their children and wives”

[103] Josephus, Antiquities, 18.8.7 §297,

[104] Philo, De Legatione ad Caium, 42.330

[105] Bilde, P., Studia Theologica 32 (1978), pp.86 – 89, cited in Schwartz, op cit, p.77

[106] Tacitus, Histories 9.2, Annals 12.54.1

[107] Schwartz, op cit, p.174

[108] Schwartz, op cit, p.82



Peter's Index Peter's Index  maccabees.html Maccabees  top of page top of page  Ezra Ezra

email Write me a note if you found this useful