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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book V Chapter 8: The Jews. Their history according to Tacitus (cont.)[AD 70]
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A great part of Judaea consists of scattered villages. They have also towns. Jerusalem is the capital. There stood a temple of immense wealth. First came the city with its fortifications, then the royal palace, then, within the innermost defences, the temple itself. Only the Jew might approach the gates; all but priests were forbidden to pass the threshold. While the East was under the sway of the Assyrians, the Medes, and the Persians, Jews were the most contemptible of the subject tribes. When the Macedonians became supreme, king Antiochus strove to destroy the national superstition, and to introduce Greek civilization, but was prevented by his war with the Parthians from at all improving this vilest of nations; for at this time the revolt of Arsaces had taken place. The Macedonian power was now weak, while the Parthian had not yet reached its full strength, and, as the Romans were still far off, the Jews chose kings for themselves. Expelled by the fickle populace, and regaining their throne by force of arms, these princes, while they ventured on the wholesale banishment of their subjects, on the destruction of cities, on the murder of brothers, wives, and parents, and the other usual atrocities of despots, fostered the national superstition by appropriating the dignity of the priesthood as the support of their political power.

Event: The start of the Maccabee rebellion

Magna pars Iudaeae vicis dispergitur, habent et oppida; Hierosolyma genti caput. Illic immensae opulentiae templum, et primis munimentis urbs, dein regia, templum intimis clausum. Ad fores tantum Iudaeo aditus, limine praeter sacerdotes arcebantur. Dum Assyrios penes Medosque et Persas Oriens fuit, despectissima pars servientium: postquam Macedones praepolluere, rex Antiochus demere superstitionem et mores Graecorum dare adnisus, quo minus taeterrimam gentem in melius mutaret, Parthorum bello prohibitus est; nam ea tempestate Arsaces desciverat. Tum Iudaei Macedonibus invalidis, Parthis nondum adultis--et Romani procul erant--, sibi ipsi reges imposuere; qui mobilitate vulgi expulsi, resumpta per arma dominatione fugas civium, urbium eversiones, fratrum coniugum parentum neces aliaque solita regibus ausi superstitionem fovebant, quia honor sacerdotii firmamentum potentiae adsumebatur.