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history of the siege of Jerusalem, and observes the pertinacity and irreconcilable hatred with which the Jews conducted the contest, a pertinacity which obliged the Romans to gain the advance of a few feet by the unremitting labor of days and months, and a hatred which was able even to overrule the violence of party spirit among the Jews themselves, will doubt the possibility of stopping short of the total destruction of the city and temple, apart from political considerations. It is somewhat singular that Bernays himself, in another branch of his argument, while speaking of the policy of the Romans as represented by Severus and Tacitus, seems to adopt the same view. There was unquestionably both a military and a political necessity for destroying Jerusalem and annihilating the national existence of the Jews, however generous and kind might be the wishes and intentions of Titus previous to, and even during the progress of, the final contest.
The second point relates to the veracity and reliability of Josephus. Bernays, of course, in order to gain credence for the account of Severus, must impugn the character of Josephus for veracity in this part of his work; for he does not carry his hardihood so far as to deny the general reliability of Josephus. A moment's consideration will determine whether there is a shadow of evidence for this charge. Bernays supposes (we say supposes, for he adduces not a particle of evidence, direct or indirect) that Josephus was influenced and fettered by his personal relation to Titus. This is certainly not the character of Josephus. There are many portions of his works in which we might expect him to write under the influence of national or religious prejudices, but we find him above them. This unusual freedom from prejudice is acknowledged by such men as Neander. Neander (Vol. I. p. 34), speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the influence of false prophets over the fanatical people, says: "Josephus, who was not a Christian, but regarded with more independence of judgment than others the fate of his nation, of which he had been an eyewitness, closes his narrative with this remarkable reflection: The wretched people suffered themselves to be cheated by impostors, who dared to lie in the
name of God. But they disregarded the evident miracles predicting the impending destruction." In the same volume (p. 38), Neander, while giving an account of the sect of the Esseni, and of the description which Philo furnishes of them, says: "The account of Philo does not in this agree with that of Josephus; but the more historical Josephus in general deserves more credit than Philo, who is too much given to philosophizing and idealizing." A little later, after adverting to the advantages enjoyed by Josephus, being a resident of Palestine, and knowing the sect from personal intercourse, he adds: "Josephus shows himself, in this description particularly, entirely free from bias." And any one who knows the controlling tyrannical influence of sectarian prejudices, and remembers that Josephus had after mature consideration joined the sect of the Pharisees, will appreciate this testimony of impartiality. We think so strong, so unqualified a testimony in favor of the veracity and independence of Josephus weighs more than the sly insinuations of Bernays, altogether unsupported by evidence.
But suppose, for argument's sake, that Josephus allowed himself, through outside influence, to misrepresent the facts,that Titus, who had himself voted for the destruction of the temple, later, when his dynasty was established, wished it to be understood that he had been in favor of sparing the city and temple. Whose good opinion was to be gained by this assumed appearance of clemency? That of the Jews? They were too insignificant and despised a fraction of the Roman empire to render such a falsification worth the trouble. Of the Romans? Can any one seriously suppose that the lenient course advocated by Titus would have been a recommendation to the Romans, who still preserved, even at that period, much of their political instinct, which did not admit of the existence of a really independent nation within the limits of the Roman empire, and whose national vanity was tickled by the destruction of the temple and stronghold of a nation that had dared to resist the Roman power? The supposition of Bernays, that, after the excitement of the war was passed, a change took place in public opinion as regards the expediency of the destruction of the temple, besides being at variance
with the character of the Romans, whose feelings were to be conciliated, is entirely destitute of proof; it is nothing but a gratuitous supposition. Another circumstance is not to be overlooked in connection with this point. If the object of Josephus and Titus was to substitute a false for the true representation of the occurrence, were they likely to succeed by a work written in Greek? The great mass of the Romans were of course ignorant of this language, and to them the book would have been a sealed one; and the educated who were acquainted with Greek, and whose minds it would have. been the object to influence by such a falsification of history, were guarded against the attempted imposition, their very education rendering other sources of information, whether histories or memoirs, accessible to them. That such sources then existed, is known; for instance, the work of Antonius Julianus, referred to by Bernays himself. That most of them have in the lapse of time been lost to us, is greatly to be lamented; at the time when this fraud was to be perpetrated they were both extant and accessible.
The third point relates to the council of war and its decision. Josephus says that three members voted for the destruction, and three, together with Titus, for the sparing of the temple; while Severus says some were for sparing, some, with Titus, for destroying the temple. We notice, in the first place, the fulness, distinctness, and precision in the account of Josephus, and their absence in that of Severus. Josephus mentions the names of the six members of the council, and after setting forth the several opinions expressed in the meeting, he states definitely that Fronto, Alexander, and Cerealis agreed with Titus that the temple was to be spared under any circumstances. How is it possible to suppose that a man of Josephus's position, a leading man among his own nation, a man of uncommon culture and information, an historian of unquestioned honesty, could be fool enough, even if he were a knave, to manufacture such a story, designating by name the individuals present at the council, and the part taken by each, when he must have expected to be at once and flatly contradicted, not only by the six members of the council, but by hundreds and thousands of others. Credat Judæus! This is carrying his
VOL. LXXII. - 5TH S. VOL. X. NO. I.
torical scepticism a little too far. It is undeniable, that the accounts of Josephus and Severus contradict each other; they cannot be reconciled, they cannot both be true; we must choose one and reject the other. We have before seen that Severus is by no means disinclined to modify facts in order to make them more striking illustrations of a favorite view, whether political or religious. We may entertain a high and sincere respect for the many excellent qualities which distinguished the character of Severus; but to give his statement the preference over that of Josephus, after having carefully examined into their respective claims for historical integrity, seems not justified by the facts in the case.
This brings us to the fourth point. Since Severus rejected, or at least did not adopt, the account of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple as given by Josephus, the question arises, What authority did he follow? Bernays does not hesitate to decide the question in favor of Tacitus. We have before expressed our opinion that this part of the dissertation of Bernays is one of the most brilliant exhibitions of his remarkable power of combination, as well as of his knowledge of the language. But we frankly confess that the result of the latter is much more valuable than that of the former. We are not prepared to contradict the opinion of Bernays, that in this passage we have substantially the work of Tacitus; but we do say, that it appears to us in the highest degree improbable, and conflicting with all sound principles of criticism.
To say nothing of the remark, that in using Tacitus in this part of his work Severus was not obliged to turn to another volume, since it is known that before this time both works of Tacitus, the Annals and Histories, were collected into one whole of thirty books, no one will deny that at the time of Severus the entire work of Tacitus was yet extant; but this concession neither proves that Tacitus's account of the fall of Jerusalem agreed with the one given by Severus, nor that the latter derived his from the former. It is very true that Tacitus betrays gross ignorance of Jewish history and antiquities,
* This remark, if it has any meaning at all, implies a strange conception of the form and arrangement of ancient manuscripts. We cannot for one moment suppose that Bernays intends to say that the whole work was contained in one volume.
which he might have corrected if he had so far overcome his contempt for a foreigner, a Jew, as to read the work of Josephus; but it does not follow that his account of the destruction of the temple must necessarily have differed from that of Josephus; although he may not have availed himself of the help of Josephus, he may have obtained the same facts, and essentially the same representation of the event, from other (Roman) sources, such as the work of Julianus, who was an actor in the drama; for it is a mere assumption of Bernays that the book of Julianus gave an account different from that of Josephus. Nothing is known of the book of Julianus, nor, of course, of its agreement with the supposed account of Tacitus. Finally Bernays's attempt of aiding his hypothesis by a restoration of the very language of Tacitus, is very clever (and the linguistic remarks are highly valuable), but it proves nothing. If Severus were known to have confined himself to the works of Tacitus as his authority, the theory of Bernays would considerably gain in probability. But the reverse is true, and Bernays himself enumerates a large number of passages pointing out the several classical writers who influenced Severus in each instance, and displaying, in doing so, a linguistic knowledge and tact truly admirable. The whole argument is a series of hypotheses, ingenious, indeed, but unsubstantial.
The last point on which Bernays impugns the veracity of Josephus relates to the repeated attempts to bring about an accommodation between the hostile parties. Josephus gives a very detailed account of his repeated efforts as a mediator, including the arguments which he employed towards his countrymen; he describes the circumstances under which the interviews took place, and the manner in which his suggestions were received. This precise and detailed account, taking into consideration the character of Josephus as an historian, is incompatible with the hypothesis that the account of the peace negotiations is from beginning to end a fabrication. Even if there were reason for supposing, which we are not inclined to grant, that Josephus, in imitation of other classical historians, composed a speech or speeches, never actually delivered, for the purpose of illustrating more vividly the main fact, it is