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UPON THE PASSAGES TAKEN OUT OF TACITUS.
I. We see here what great regard the best of the Roman historians of that age, Tacitus, had to the history of Josephus, while, though he never names him, as he very rarely names any of those Roman authors whence he derives other parts of his history, yet does it appear that he refers to his seven books of the Jewish Wars several times in a very few pages, and almost always depends on his accounts of the affairs of the Romans and Parthians, as well as of the Jews, during no fewer than 240 years, to which those books extend.
II. Yet does it appear that when he now and then followed other historians or reports concerning the Romans, the Parthians, or the Jews, during that long in. terval, he was conimonly mistaken in them, and had better have kept close to Josephus, than hearken to any of his other authors or informers.
III. It also appears highly probable that Tacitus had seen the Antiquities of Josephus, and knew that the most part of the accounts he produced of the origin of the Jewish nation entirely contradicted those Antiquities. He also could hardly avoid seeing that those accounts contradicted one another also, and were childish, absurd, and supported by no good evidence whatsoever: as also, he could hardly avoid seeing that Josephus's accounts in those Antiquities were authentic, substantial, and thoroughly attested to by the ancient records of that natică, and of the neighbouring nations also, which, indeed, no one can now avoid sceing, that carefully peruses and considers them.
IV. Tacitus, therefore, in concealing the greatest part of the true ancient his. tory of the Jewish nation, which lay before him in Josephus, and producing such fabulous, ill-grounded, and partial histories, which he had from the heathens, acted a most unfair part: and this procedure of his is here the more gross, in re. gard he professed such great impartiality, Hist. B. i. cap. i. and is allowed to have observed that impartiality in the Roman affairs also.
V. Tacitus's hatred and contempt of God's peculiar people, the Jews, and his attachment to the grossest idolatry, superstition, and astral fatality of the Ro. mans, were, therefore, so strong in him, as to overbear all restraints of sober reason and equity in the case of those Jews, though he be allowed so exactly to have followed them on other occasions relating to the Romans.
VI. Since, therefore, Tacitus was so bitter against the Jews, and since he knew that Christ was a Jew himself, and that his apostles and first followers were Jews, and also knew that the Christian religion was derived into the Roman pro. vinces from Judea, it is no wonder that his hatred and contempt of the Jews ex. tended itself to the Christians also, whom the Romans usually confounded with the Jews : as, therefore, his hard words of the Jews appear to have been generally groundless, and hurt his own reputation, instead of theirs, so ought we to esteem his alike hard words of the Christians to be blots upon his own character,
theirs. VII. Since, therefore, Tacitus, soon after the publication of Josephus's An. tiquities, and in contradiction to them was determined to produce such idle stories about the Jews, and since one of those idle stories is much the same as that pub. lished in Josephus against Apion, from Manetho and Lysimachus, and nowhere else met with so fully in all antiquity, it is most probable that those Antiquities of Josephus were the very occasion of Tacitus giving us these stories, as we know from Josephus himself, contr. Apion, B. 1. sect. 1, that the same Antiquities were the very occasion of Apion's publication of his equally scandalous stories abou: them, and which Josephus so thoroughly confuted in his two books written against them. And if Tacitus, as I suppose, had also read those two books, his procedure in publishing such stories, after he had seen so thorough a confutation of them, was still more highly criminal. Nor will Tacitus's fault be muca less, though we suppose he neither saw the Antiquities, nor the books against Apior., because it was so very easy for him, then at Rome, to have had more au. thentic accounts of the origin of the Jewish nation, and of the nature of the Jewish and Christian religions, from the Jews and Christians themselves, which, he owns, were very numerous there in his days ; so that his publication of such idle stories is still utterly inexcusable.
and not upon
VIII. It is, therefore, very plain, after all, that notwithstanding the enco. miums of several of our learned critics upon Tacitus, and hard suspicions upon Josephus, that all the involuntary) mistakes of Josephus, in all his large works put together, their quality, as well as quantity, considered, do not amount to near so great a sum, as do these gross errors and misrepresentations of Tacitus about the Jews amount to in a few pages ; so little reason have some of our later and lesser critics to prefer the Greek and Roman profane historians and writers to the Jewish, and particularly to Josephus. Such later and lesser critics should have learned more judgment and modesty from their great father Joseph Sca. liger,
when as we have seen, after all his deeper inquiries, he solemnly pronounces, De Emend. Temp. Prolegom. p. 17,-that “ Josephus was the most diligent and the greatest lover of truth of all writers ;” and is not afraid to affirm, that "it is more safe to believe him, not only as to the affairs of the Jews, but also as to those that are foreign to them, than all the Greek and Latin writers, and this because his fidelity and compass of learning are everywhere conspicuous."
TABLE of the JEWISH Weights and MEASURES, particularly of those mentioned
in Josephus's WORKS.
Of the JEWISH Weights and Coins.
£S. Statur, Siclus, or shekel of the sanctuary, the standard 0 2 6
0 2 6 Tyrian coin, equal to the shekel
0 1 3 Bekah, half of the shekel Drachma Attica, one fourth
0 0 71 Drachma Alexandrina, or Darchmon, or Adarchmon,
0 1 3 Gerah, or Obolos, one twentieth
0 0 11 Maneh, or Mna, — 100 shekels in weight - 21900
0, 55, 0, 55, 0, 27, 0, 13,
Maneh, Mna, or Mina, as a Coin,-60 shekels
American £ s. d
$. cls. 7 10 0 30, 30, 0 375 0 0 1666, 66, 0 1 1
24, 0 4 4
96, 0 1 0 4 4, 51, 2 648 00 2880, 00, 0
Table of the JEWISH Months in Josephus and others, with the Syro-Macedonian
Names which Josephus gives them, and of the Julian or Roman Months cor.
responding to them. Hebrew names. Syro-Macedonian Names,
Roman Names. (1.) Nisan Xanthicus
March and April (2.) Jyar Artemisius
April and May (3.) Sivan Dæsius
May and June
June and July
July and August
August and September (7.) Tisri Hyperberetæus
September and October (S.) Marhesvan Dius
October and November (9.) Casleu Appellæus
November and December 10.) Tebeth Audinæus
December and January 11.) Shebat Peritius
January and February 12.) Adar Dystrus
February and March
The first number is that of the respective Volume, the second refers to the page.
Acme, ii. 233; her letters to Antipater
and Herod, ii. 17; her death, 21.
Acmon, attacks David, i. 248 ; is killed
by Abishai, ib.
Acratheus, or Hatach, i. 379.
Actium, battle at, i. 520, 525; ü. 202.
flies to David, 206 ; is high priest, Adad, a king of Damascus, I. 228.
Ader, or Hadad, i. 280.
Adonias, or Adonijah, pretends to the
is refused Abishag to wife, 258; killed,
his father, 287; conquers the ten Adonibesek, made prisoner, his hands
and feet cut off, and dies, i. 156.
Adrasar, or Hadadezer, i. 229, 280.
Æbutius, a decurion, ii. 137.
mites, i. 166; expelled, ib.; destroys Ægyptian kings called Pharaobs for
1300 years, i. 275.
Ægyptians, fainous for wisdom, i. 263;
learned mathematics of Abraham, 24;
their sacred scribes or priests, 63;
man, 192 ; general of his army, 219; Ægyptian false prophet put to flight bv
Ælius Gallus, i. 539.
goes to Canaan, i. 23; lives at Da. Æneas, succeeds Obodas, i. 575
23; at Hebron, 25; advises Æsop, a servant, i. 515.
Agyagsúodos or forcible pressure, takes
called by a stratagem of Joab's, 237; Aggeus, or Haggai, the prophet, i. 368;
i. 534; at the finishing Cæsarea, 561.
the Jews, i. 400; splendidly enter-