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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

THIS author has given us an account of the sufferings of the Jews in the reign of Caius, in five books. He there also relates the madness of Caius, who called himself a god, and was guilty of innumerable oppressions in the exercise of his power. He mentions the miseries of the Jews under him, and the embassy which he himself performed when sent to the city of Rome, in behalf of his countrymen at Alexandria; how that when he pleaded before Caius, for the laws and institutions of his ancestors, he received nothing but laughter and derision in return, and had well nigh incurred the risk of his life. Josephus also mentions these things in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, in these words:

“A sedition having also arisen between the Jews dwelling at Alexandria and the Greeks, three chosen deputies were sent from each of the factions, and these appeared before Caius. One of the Alexandrian deputies was Apion, who uttered many slanders against the Jews; among other things, saying, that they treated the honours of Cæsar with contempt, that whilst all others, as many as were subject to the Roman empire, erected altars and temples to Caius, and in other respects regarded him as i god, they alone considered it disgraceful to raise statues to his honour, and to swear by his name. Apion having thus uttered many and severe charges, by which he hoped that Caius would be roused, as was very probable, Philo, the chief of the Jewish embassy, a man illustrious in every respect, being the brother of Alexander, the Alabarch, and not unskilled in philosophy, was well prepared to enter upon a defence against these charges. But he was precluded from this by Caius, who ordered him straightway to be gone, and, as he was very much incensed, it was very evident that he was meditating some great evil against them. Philo departed, covered with insult, and told the Jews that were with him, they had good reason to console themselves, that although Caius was enraged at them, he was already in fact challenging God against himself.” Thus far Josephus. And Philo himself, in the embassy which he describes, details the particulars of what was then done to him, with great accuracy. Passing by the greatest part of these, I shall only state those by which it will be made manifest to the reader, that these things happened to the Jews forthwith, and at no distant period, on account of that which they dared to perpetrate against Christ. First, then, he relates, that in the reign of Tiberius, at Rome, Sejanus, who was then in great favour with Tiberius, had made every effort utterly to destroy the whole nation of the Jews, and that in Judea Pontius Pilate, under whom the crimes were committed against our Saviour, having attempted something contrary to what was lawful among the Jews respecting the temple at Jerusalem, which was then yet standing, excited them to the greatest tumults.








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