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(Hebr. Yehudim). The Jews came into historical contact with the Greeks during the Asiatic campaigns of Alexander the Great, who in 332, on his march through Palestine, spared Jerusalem and its temple at the intercession of Jaddua the highpriest. During the following century, when Iudaea became subject to Alexander's successors, the Ptolemies and Seleucidae in Egypt and Syria, Greek philosophy and Greek culture were widely diffused among the Jews. The Sadducees appear to have been largely influenced by the Epicurean doctrines, and the stricter Pharisees by the Even the worship of the Grecian gods made considerable progress in Iudaea, and the Greek language came into common use. Many Jews were drawn to Alexandria soon after the founding of that city, and enjoyed these unusual privileges under both Ptolemy I. and Ptolemy II. (B.C. 323- 247). Under the latter the celebrated translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, was made by a body of Jewish scholars, seventy in number, and this Greek version was even used in the synagogues. In B.C. 198 the Jews aided Antiochus the Great in expelling the Egyptians from Palestine; but found to their sorrow that, under the new régime of the Seleucidae, their lot was much less favourable, for an attempt was soon made to Hellenize the Empire at the expense of some of the most cherished Jewish traditions. The treasury of the temple at Jerusalem was several times robbed of its treasures; and in 169, owing to a revolt against the king of Syria, a general massacre of the inhabitants of that city occurred. At the same time its walls were destroyed, the image of Antiochus was placed in the temple, swine were sacrificed on its altar, the Jewish Scriptures were publicly burned, shrines to Zeus were erected, and great cruelty was shown to the surviving inhabitants. This savage rule was checked by the great revolt headed by the Maccabees, the priest Mattathias, and his five sons, under whom the Jews freed the land for a time (167-63) and defeated the Syrian armies, forming alliances with the Romans.

In B.C. 63 a civil war between the Jewish claimants for political power led to the intervention of Pompey, who had been invoked as arbiter. He laid siege to Jerusalem, violated the temple, even entering the Holy of Holies, and finally reduced Iudaea to the form of a Roman province. In 39 Herod the Great, having won the favour of the Second Triumvirate, was installed as king of Iudaea, and kept himself in power by his servile flattery of M. Antonius. (See Herodes.) At the death of Herod, Augustus Caesar divided his territories among his sons—Archelaüs, Philip, and Herodes Antipas; but a state of anarchy ensued, and the country was re-annexed to the Roman dominions. Under the emperors, the Jews suffered greatly from the oppression of their governors. Their religion was insulted, and their property wrung from them by the exactions of the procurators. Under Nero, a great revolt took place, owing to the severities of the governor Gessius Florus; and Jerusalem fell into the hands of the insurgents. The Roman governor of Syria, Cestius Gallus , was routed by the Jewish army. The revolt, however, was crushed by Vespasian, who took Jerusalem after a memorable siege (A.D. 68), in which the sufferings of the besieged and the ferocity of their defence are immortalized in the narrative of Iosephus (q.v.). The city was razed to the ground; and a new city, reared under Hadrian, received the name Aelia Capitolina. Into this no Jew was allowed to enter.

The Romans seem to have felt considerable interest in the Jews, being attracted by their monotheistic religion, though failing to understand it rightly, and accepting many strange stories regarding it. Thus, it was asserted that the Jews worshipped clouds and thunder (Juv.xiv. 97, with Mayor's note); that they adored an ass's head ( Apion in Ios. ii. 7); that they ate human flesh (Apion, Fr. 19, Didot); that they made it a practice annually to cook and eat a Greek, swearing hostility to the Greek race ( Apion in Ios. ii. 7). Nevertheless, the spiritual beauty of the Jewish faith impressed many serious minds among both the Greeks and Romans. Tacitus, in his Historiae, pays a high tribute to the Jews; and there are many instances recorded of acts of reverence paid by the Romans to the Mosaic religion. Thus, Cumanus ordered the execution of a soldier who had torn and burned the book of the law; Agrippa, the son-in-law of Augustus, visited the temple daily during his stay in Jerusalem, and offered sacrifices there; Iulius Caesar, before this, had removed restrictions set upon the practice of the Jewish faith, so that at his funeral rites the Jews took a conspicuous part in the public mourning (Iul. 84, with Peck's note). They were regarded as especially given to making proselytes (cf. Hor. Sat. i. 4, 43; Ioseph. Ant. Jud. vii. 3, 3), and were successful in spreading their religion (Dio Cass. lxvii. 14.2), especially among women ( 542 foll.; Ovid, A. A. i. 76). When the Romans began to import Oriental rites, the Sabbath was superstitiously observed by many (De Superst. iii. p. 166 a; cf. Hor.Sat. i. 9, 69). From the similarity of many of their usages, the Jews and Christians were often regarded as identical.

The heathen accounts of the Jews are carefully collected by Meyer, Judaica (Jena, 1832); Gill, Notices of the Jews, etc. (2d ed. London, 1872); and reference may be made to the following works: Göser, in the Tüb. Quartalschr. (1868); Friedländer, Sittengeschichte Roms, vol. iii. (Leipzig, 1890); Langen, Das Judenthum in Palästina zur Zeit Christi (1866); Hudekoper, Judaism at Rome (New York, 1876); Derenbourg, Essai sur l'Histoire, etc., de la Palestine, ch. xiv. (Paris, 1867); Lecky, Hist. of European Morals, ch. iii.; Döllinger, Heidenthum und Judenthum (Regensburg, 1857); and Mayor's elaborate notes to Juvenal, xiv. 96-106. See Palaestina.

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    • Horace, Satires, 1.4
    • Horace, Satires, 1.9
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 1
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