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8279Re: [XTalk] Dating of Hebrews

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  • Jan Sammer
    Sep 4, 2001
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      From: "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@...>
      > Jan Sammer asked if I could try to find more precise citations for the
      > evidence suggested by Eisler, so I located a reference to Jewish
      > visitors at the Temple of Peace in Justinian's time, found in
      > Procopius' _de bello Vandalico_ ii.9.5 (my source here was Schurer's
      > revised _History of the Jewish People_, vol. 1 page 510 n133). ...

      I meant to reply earlier re: Procopius, which I only have in a Czech
      translation. The following is my translation of the Czech version into
      English (I have not found an English version available on the web, nor do I
      have one in my library--but this second-hand translation ought to be
      adequate for present purposes). This passage of Procopius has led to the
      speculation that amongst the "other things" mentioned by him as having been
      brought to Byzantium by Belisarius was the temple menorah, carved in the
      Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum, as having been captured by Titus, brought
      to Rome, and carried in his triumphal procession. I have not previously
      heard of the temple veil being allegedly among these objects. The fact is
      that the only objects actually listed by Procopius are certain vases--thus
      no menorah and no temple veil, at least not explicitly.


      When Belisarius came to Byzantium with Gelimer and the other Vandals, he
      received all the honors that it was customary in ancient times to grant
      generals for the greatest victories. Nobody had received these for six
      hundred years, with the exception of Titus and Trajan and other emperors who
      had personally commanded their armies and won victories over the barbarian
      nations. In the course of his triumph he marched through the entire city,
      having in front of him booty and prisoners of war. He did not ride in a
      carriage, as had been the custom among the ancestors, but went on foot from
      his own house to the hippodrome, from where he walked up to the Imperial
      throne. Among the booty it was possible to see what the captive king had
      been using-golden armchairs, small carriages used by the Vandal queens,
      everything artisticaly fashioned and decorated with a large quantity of
      precious stones; furthermore, there was a large number of golden vessels and
      other things that Gelimer had for his own use at the table. There were also
      many thousands of talents of sillver and all of the furniture of this ruler,
      very precious and luxurious; Geiseric had it brought from the Roman palace
      when he had captured Rome in the fashion I have described earlier. There
      were also very precious vases, which came from the Jews, and which Titus
      Vespasianus had brought to Rome along with other things, when he captured
      When a certain Jew, who was in Byzantium, saw them, he said to a man near to
      him, who had access to the Emperor: "I think that these things ought not be
      put into the Imperial palace. They have already become fatal to two great
      empires and caused Geiseric to destroy the great empire in the West and
      caused Belisarius to expel the Vandals from Libya, because these things
      could not remain anywhere else than the place for which King Solomon had
      them fashioned in his days." As soon as this was told to the Emperor, he
      became afraid and immediately sent everything to Jerusalem and had it stored
      in the Christian temples.


      Thus we are left with midrashic sources on Titus cutting the veil, but no
      thus far source stating that the veil was on display in Rome ca. 75 A.D.

      Jan Sammer
      Prague, Czech Republic
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