JOSEPHUS AND THE BANDITS BY RICHARD A. HORSLEY Boston According to Josephus, Judaea and Galilee were periodically in- fested with brigands, from the "archbrigand" Hezekiah, who was murdered by the ambitious young Herod, to John son of Levi and Jesus the Galilean, both prominent leaders in the Jewish rebellion against Rome. HENGEL and RENGSTORF would have us believe, how- ever, that such "brigands" were not actually brigands at all 1). Indeed modern historians generally agree with the ancient Roman historians that once Augustus had re-established law and order, the world was safe for Roman civilization z). "The Imperial peace keeps every corner of the earth safe from the fear of bandits' attacks." Regarding Syria- Palestine in particular, Ramsay MACMuLLEN reassures us in his sur- vey of "enemies of the Roman order" that bandits never established themselves dangerously, there being little or no trouble at all from the first half of the first century till the adventures of the audacious outlaw Claudius in the 190s 3). MncMur.LEN, however, would appear to have overlooked most of the reports regarding banditry by Josephus, including the Jewish revolt against Rome in 66-70 which, according to the Jewish historian who participated in the
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1979
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