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By Steve Mason

A clash that erupted among Roman legions and a few Judaeans in past due A.D. sixty six had an incalculable impression on Rome's actual visual appeal and imperial governance; on historical Jews bereft in their mother-city and temple; and on early Christian fortunes. old scholarship and cinema alike are likely to see the clash because the end result of lengthy Jewish resistance to Roman oppression. during this quantity, Steve Mason re-examines the struggle in all proper contexts (e.g., the Parthian size, Judaea's position in Roman Syria) and levels, from the Hasmoneans to the autumn of Masada. Mason techniques every one subject as a ancient research, clarifying difficulties that have to be solved, knowing the on hand proof, and contemplating eventualities that will clarify the facts. the best reconstructions make the clash extra humanly intelligible whereas casting doubt on obtained wisdom.

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After the bar had been raised even higher by the monumental triumphs of Pompey and Augustus, first-century emperors understandably felt performance anxiety. Their withdrawal of triumphs from field commanders who might become rivals, politically necessary though this was, placed enormous pressure on themselves. Each man had to appear supremely deserving of all the honour he was hoarding. But what could a serving emperor triumph for? Going to war could get him killed. Second-century emperors would decide they had no choice but to become a “fellow-soldier” if they hoped to keep the army’s loyalty and pre-empt challenge from popular commanders,55 but the Julio-Claudians had not yet embraced this reality.

D. 14) and triumphed as Augustus’ heir,56 but not as emperor. D. 17 he (via the Senate) awarded his nephew Germanicus a triumph, merely for crossing the Rhine and recovering a legionary standard from the Germans. 57 Tacitus’ account of the “triumph” is sardonic:58 a few prisoners and some spoils, yes, but mostly arts and crafts (simulacra) made in Rome. Creative artists were summoned to portray Germany’s mountains and rivers and the battles over there to impress the home audience. Although Germanicus had not won an actual war, the triumph said otherwise and that was all anyone needed to know (Ann.

What else was one to do with an untutored and impulsive mob: reason with them? Teach them truths they could not handle? The notion that political leaders ought to tell the truth to the masses was far from the ancient horizon. Josephus’ self-assigned literary task in Rome, as a Judaean nobleman and historian, was to tell the moral truth about what had really happened over there, for audiences experienced in such political complexities. His avowedly Judaean account is unavoidably at cross purposes with the agendas of Vespasian and Titus at certain points (see Chapter 2).

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