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Philo, Flaccus 36-40

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  • Jim West
    I ran across this section of Flaccus today and thought it a remarkable piece. What struck me was the similarity between the event here narrated and the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2003
      I ran across this section of Flaccus today and thought it a remarkable
      piece. What struck me was the similarity between the event here narrated
      and the treatment of Jesus at the hands of the Roman soldiers. Has there
      been an extended study on the Roman practice of mocking officials by means
      of clothing them as a king and making light of them?

      here is the excerpt:

      (36) There was a certain madman named Carabbas, afflicted not with a wild,
      savage, and dangerous madness (for that comes on in fits without being
      expected either by the patient or by bystanders), but with an intermittent
      and more gentle kind; this man spent all this days and nights naked in the
      roads, minding neither cold nor heat, the sport of idle children and wanton
      youths; (37) and they, driving the poor wretch as far as the public
      gymnasium, and setting him up there on high that he might be seen by
      everybody, flattened out a leaf of papyrus and put it on his head instead of
      a diadem, and clothed the rest of his body with a common door mat instead of
      a cloak and instead of a sceptre they put in his hand a small stick of the
      native papyrus which they found lying by the way side and gave to him; (38)
      and when, like actors in theatrical spectacles, he had received all the
      insignia of royal authority, and had been dressed and adorned like a king,
      the young men bearing sticks on their shoulders stood on each side of him
      instead of spear-bearers, in imitation of the bodyguards of the king, and
      then others came up, some as if to salute him, and others making as though
      they wished to plead their causes before him, and others pretending to wish
      to consult with him about the affairs of the state. (39) Then from the
      multitude of those who were standing around there arose a wonderful shout of
      men calling out Maris; and this is the name by which it is said that they
      call the kings among the Syrians; for they knew that Agrippa was by birth a
      Syrian, and also that he was possessed of a great district of Syria of which
      he was the sovereign; (40) when Flaccus heard, or rather when he saw this,
      he would have done right if he had apprehended the maniac and put him in
      prison, that he might not give to those who reviled him any opportunity or
      excuse for insulting their superiors, and if he had chastised those who
      dressed him up for having dared both openly and disguisedly, both with words
      and actions, to insult a king and a friend of Caesar, and one who had been
      honoured by the Roman senate with imperial authority; but he not only did
      not punish them, but he did not think fit even to check them, but gave
      complete license and impunity to all those who designed ill, and who were
      disposed to show their enmity and spite to the king, pretending not to see
      what he did see, and not to hear what he did hear.

      Dr Jim West
      Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
      http://biblical-studies.org -- Biblical Studies Resources
      http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com --- Biblical Theology Weblog
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