159 MISCELLANEA THE IDES OF MARCH AND JUDAISM On the 15th of Mard>, 1957, two thousand years had gone by since Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C.E. by a few plotters, much against the will of the majo- rity of the Roman people and the nations of the Roman provinces. Judaism, from Palestine to Rome, had been stoutly Caesarian for many years. Julius Caesar had given Roman citizenship to some distinguished Jews, among them the Herodean family and, after a preponderantly Jewish army had saved him from the danger- ous siege of the palace of Alexandria in 48 B.C.E., had bestowed valuable privi- leges upon all the Jews of Palestine and Egypt. In that year Caesar and Cleopatra had had to fight for their very lives against the citizens of this, the largest city of their time. But there was more to this friendship between Judaism and Caesar than politi- cal opportunism and gratitude. Memorable and spontaneous religious assemblies which are unique in the history of Judaism indicate this clearly. They took place in the night between the 15th and 20th of March, 44 B.C.E., on the Roman Forum, as Sueton (Chap. 84) informs us. Although it
Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1958
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