May 072015
 

Gesta_Theodorici_-_Flavius_Magnus_Aurelius_Cassiodorus_(c_485_-_c_580)In a previous post on The Quotable Josephus, we’ve seen that Josephus was frequently used as a source for quotation (including quotation by way of Eusebius, who himself quotes the Jewish historian). In a post on Eusebius, Rufinus, and the Latin Antiquities, we saw (in agreement with Whealey and Levenson-Martin) that the Latin translation of the Antiquities created under the supervision of Cassiodorus made use of quotations from Josephus, by way of Eusebius, based on the Latin translation of Eusebius made earlier by Rufinus. In particular, a hypothesis was considered according to which the quotations from Josephus by Eusebius, in Rufinus’ Latin translation, came to the Latin Antiquities of Cassiodorus from a set of extracts of Josephus in Latin that were already made out of the Latin translation of Eusebius.

In another post on Jesus, John, and James in the Latin Table of Contents to Josephus, an argument was considered towards the probability of the conclusion that, unlike John the Baptist, Jesus was not originally mentioned in the Latin table of contents to the Antiquities.

Here’s a closer look at the passages from the Latin Antiquities based on the Latin translation of Eusebius.

The four passages concern Herod the Great’s death, the appointment of Caiaphas, John the Baptist, and Jesus. I have marked them up to make some relationships between the texts more clear. In every case, I have marked the Latin in italics to show points at which there is verbal disagreement. And, for the first three passages, where the Latin text of Cassiodorus disagrees with the Latin text of Rufinus but agrees again with the Greek text of Josephus instead, I have put the disagreement with Rufinus in bold and have the agreement of Josephus and Cassiodorus against Rufinus underlined.

The first passage shows three such agreements of Cassiodorus and Josephus against Rufinus: the reference to “God” in the first sentence found in the Greek of Josephus (θεοῦ) and in Cassiodorus (deo) but not Rufinus (dudum), the general sense found in Cassidorus (afflicto) and Josephus (κάκωσις) instead of the specificity of Rufinus (tumore distentus) in the second case, and the specific reference regarding what is translated as “contractions” in Cassiodorus (contractus) and Josephus (ἐσπασμένος) against the vagueness of Rufinus (cruciatibus) in the third case.

HE 1.8.6-8: Rufinus, Eusebius, McGiffert AJ 17.168-170: Cassiodorus, Josephus, Whiston
Herodem porro amarior in dies morbus urgebat, supplicia commissi dudum sceleris expetens. lento namque igni extrinsecus in superficie corporis urebatur, intrinsicus vero vastum condebatur incendium. aviditas inexplebilis semper inerat cibi, nec tamen satiare umquam rabidis incitata faucibus valebat ingluvies intestina intrinsecus ulceribus obsaepta, doloribus quoque coli quam maximis cruciabatur. umor liquidus et luridus erga pedes tumidos oberrabat, et ab inferioribus partibus pube tenus tumore distentus, sed et verenda ipsa putredine corrupta scatere vermibus, spiritus quoque incredibilis inflatio et tentigo obscaena satis et execranda. his autem omnibus doloribus fetor dirior vel ex membrorum putredine vel ex respiratione anhelitus reddebatur. ita ex omni parte cruciatibus fesso, nullae sufficere vires ad tolerantiam poterant. dicebant ergo hi, quibus divinandi peritia est, has divinitus poenas ab imperatore ob multa eius impie et cruduliter gesta deposci. Herodem porro amarior in dies morbus urgebat, supplicia deo comissi sceleris expetente. Ignis quippe lentus inerat: non tamen conflagrationem in superficiem corporis agentem prodens quantu extrisecus cresces operabatur incendium. Auditas quoque inexplebilis semper inerat cibi: nec tamen satietas umquam rabidis incitata faucibus valebat implere ingluvies intestina interius ulceribus ta bida putrescebant doloribus quoque coli seavissimus cruciabatur: humor liquidus ac luridus erga pedes tumidos oberrabat. Similis illi quoque et circa pube erat afflicto: sed et verenda ipsa putredine corrupta scatebant vermibus spiritus quoque incredibilis eracta tentigo que fuerat satis obscena diritate fetoris et anhelitus respiratione creberrima; contractus quoque per cuncta membra subsistens; uire noxiam operabatur: quae omnem tolerantiae contulerat firmitatem. Dicebatur igitur ab his: quibus inerat divinandi peritia: divinitus has poenas ob impietatem eius et multa creduliter gesta deposci.
Ἡρῴδῃ δὲ μειζόνως ἡ νόσος ἐνεπικραίνετο, δίκην ὧν παρηνόμησεν ἐκπρασσομένου τοῦ θεοῦ. πῦρ μὲν γὰρ μαλακὸν ἦν, οὐχ ὧδε πολλὴν ἀποσημαῖνον τοῖς ἐπαφωμένοις τὴν φλόγωσιν, ὅσην τοῖς ἐντὸς προσετίθει τὴν κάκωσιν, ἐπιθυμία δὲ δεινὴ τοῦ δέξασθαί τι, οὐδὲ ἦν μὴ οὐχ ὑπουργεῖν, καὶ ἕλκωσις τῶν τε ἐντέρων καὶ μάλιστα τοῦ κόλου δειναὶ ἀλγηδόνες καὶ φλέγμα ὑγρὸν περὶ τοὺς πόδας καὶ διαυγές· παραπλησία δὲ καὶ περὶ τὸ ἦτρον κάκωσις ἦν, ναὶ μὴν καὶ τοῦ αἰδοίου σῆψις, σκώληκας ἐμποιοῦσα, πνεύματός τε ὀρθία ἔντασις, καὶ αὐτὴ λίαν ἀηδὴς ἀχθηδόνι τε τῆς ἀποφορᾶς καὶ τῷ πυκνῷ τοῦ ἄσθματος, ἐσπασμέ νος τε περὶ πᾶν ἦν μέρος, ἰσχὺν οὐχ ὑπομενητὴν προστιθέμενος. ἐλέγετο γοῦν ὑπὸ τῶν θειαζόντων καὶ οἷς ταῦτα προαποφθέγγεσθαι σοφία πρόκειται, ποινὴν τοῦ πολλοῦ καὶ δυσσεβοῦς ταύτην ὁ θεὸς εἰσπράττεσθαι παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως. Ἡρώδῃ δὲ μειζόνως ἡ νόσος ἐνεπικραίνετο δίκην ὧν παρανομήσειεν ἐκπρασσομένου τοῦ θεοῦ: πῦρ μὲν γὰρ μαλακὸν ἦν οὐχ ὧδε πολλὴν ἀποσημαῖνον τοῖς ἐπαφωμένοις τὴν φλόγωσιν ὁπόσην τοῖς ἐντὸς προσετίθει τὴν κάκωσιν. ἐπιθυμία δὲ δεινὴ τοῦ δέξασθαί τι ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ, οὐ γὰρ ἦν μὴ οὐχ ὑπουργεῖν, καὶ ἕλκωσις τῶν τε ἐντέρων καὶ μάλιστα τοῦ κόλου δειναὶ ἀλγηδόνες, καὶ φλέγμα ὑγρὸν περὶ τοὺς πόδας καὶ διαυγές: παραπλησία δὲ καὶ περὶ τὸ ἦτρον κάκωσις ἦν, ναὶ μὴν καὶ τοῦ αἰδοίου σῆψις σκώληκας ἐμποιοῦσα, πνεύματός τε ὀρθία ἔντασις καὶ αὐτὴ λίαν ἀηδὴς ἀχθηδόνι τε τῆς ἀποφορᾶς καὶ τῷ πυκνῷ τοῦ ἄσθματος, ἐσπασμένος τε περὶ πᾶν ἦν μέρος, ἰσχὺν οὐχ ὑπομενητὴν προστιθέμενος. ἐλέγετο οὖν ὑπὸ τῶν θειαζόντων καὶ οἷς ταῦτα προαποφθέγγεσθαι σοφίᾳ πρόκειται, ποινὴν τοῦ πολλοῦ δυσσεβοῦς ταύτην ὁ θεὸς εἰσπράσσεσθαι παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως.
But the disease of Herod grew more severe, God inflicting punishment for his crimes. For a slow fire burned in him which was not so apparent to those who touched him, but augmented his internal distress; for he had a terrible desire for food which it was not possible to resist. He was affected also with ulceration of the intestines, and with especially severe pains in the colon, while a watery and transparent humor settled about his feet. He suffered also from a similar trouble in his abdomen. Nay more, his privy member was putrefied and produced worms. He found also excessive difficulty in breathing, and it was particularly disagreeable because of the offensiveness of the odor and the rapidity of respiration. He had convulsions also in every limb, which gave him uncontrollable strength. It was said, indeed, by those who possessed the power of divination and wisdom to explain such events, that God had inflicted this punishment upon the King on account of his great impiety. But now Herod’s distemper greatly increased upon him after a severe manner, and this by God’s judgment upon him for his sins; for a fire glowed in him slowly, which did not so much appear to the touch outwardly, as it augmented his pains inwardly; for it brought upon him a vehement appetite to eating, which he could not avoid to supply with one sort of food or other. His entrails were also ex-ulcerated, and the chief violence of his pain lay on his colon; an aqueous and transparent liquor also had settled itself about his feet, and a like matter afflicted him at the bottom of his belly. Nay, further, his privy-member was putrefied, and produced worms; and when he sat upright, he had a difficulty of breathing, which was very loathsome, on account of the stench of his breath, and the quickness of its returns; he had also convulsions in all parts of his body, which increased his strength to an insufferable degree. It was said by those who pretended to divine, and who were endued with wisdom to foretell such things, that God inflicted this punishment on the king on account of his great impiety.

 

The second passage has two agreements of Cassiodorus and Josephus against Rufinus. The beginning of the passage, clearly, is modeled after the Greek of Josephus instead of the abbreviating quotation of Eusebius, translated by Rufinus. And the reference to Simon, son of Camithus, losing his office, which forms a subordinate clause describing Simon in the Latin of Rufinus (quo), returns to being an independent clause beginning with a conjunction in Cassiodorus (sed), as in Josephus (δὲ). While most of the wording is retained from Rufinus’ translation, what is allowed to stand in Cassiodorus’ translation agrees with Josephus.

HE 1.10.5: Rufinus, Eusebius, McGiffert AJ 18.34-35: Cassiodorus, Josephus, Whiston
Valerius Gratus Anna sacerdotio deturbato Ismahelem pontificem designavit filium Fabi. sed et hunc non multo post abiciens Eleazarum Annaniae pontificis filium pontificatui subrogavit. post annum vero etiam hunc arcet officio et Symoni cuidam Canifi filio pontificatus tradidit ministerium, quo non amplius et ipse quam unius anni spatio perfunctus Ioseppum, cui et Caifas nomen fuit, accepit sucessorem. Huic succeddit in principatu Tyberius Nero uxoris eius Iuliae filius qui fuit Romanis iii. imperator: sub quo quintus Iudaeorum rector Valerius Gratus efficitur: Anni Rufi successor. Is Ananum removens sacerdotio: Ismahelum filium Fabi pontificem designavit. Sed et hunc non multo post abiciens: Eleazarum Anne pontificis filium sacerdotio subrogavit. Post annum vero etiam hunc arcet officio et Symoni cuidam Camithi filio ministerium pontificatus attribuit. Sed non amplius et ipse quam unius anni spatio codem perfunctus officio: Ioseppum cui Caiphas nomen fuit: habuit ordine successorem.
Οὐαλέριος Γρᾶτος, παύσας ἱερᾶσθαι Ἄνανον, Ἰσμάηλον ἀρχιερέα ἀποφαίνει τὸν τοῦ Φαβι, καὶ τοῦτον δὲ μετ’ οὐ πολὺ μεταστήσας, Ἐλεάζαρον τὸν Ἀνάνου τοῦ ἀρχιερέως υἱὸν ἀποδείκνυσιν ἀρχιερέα. ἐνιαυτοῦ δὲ διαγενομένου καὶ τόνδε παύσας, Σίμωνι τῷ Καμίθου τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην παραδίδωσιν. οὐ πλέον δὲ καὶ τῷδε ἐνιαυτοῦ τὴν τιμὴν ἔχοντι διεγένετο χρόνος, καὶ Ἰώσηπος, ὁ καὶ Καϊάφας, διάδοχος ἦν αὐτῷ. διαδέχεται δὲ τῷ Καίσαρι τὴν ἡγεμονίαν Τιβέριος Νέρων γυναικὸς αὐτοῦ Ἰουλίας υἱὸς ὤν, τρίτος ἤδη οὗτος αὐτοκράτωρ, καὶ πεμπτὸς ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ παρῆν Ἰουδαίοις ἔπαρχος διάδοχος Ἀννίῳ Ῥούφῳ Οὐαλέριος Γρᾶτος: ὃς παύσας ἱερᾶσθαι Ἄνανον Ἰσμάηλον ἀρχιερέα ἀποφαίνει τὸν τοῦ Φαβί, καὶ τοῦτον δὲ μετ᾽ οὐ πολὺ μεταστήσας Ἐλεάζαρον τὸν Ἀνάνου τοῦ ἀρχιερέως υἱὸν ἀποδείκνυσιν ἀρχιερέα. ἐνιαυτοῦ δὲ διαγενομένου καὶ τόνδε παύσας Σίμωνι τῷ Καμίθου τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην παραδίδωσιν. οὐ πλείων δὲ καὶ τῷδε ἐνιαυτοῦ τὴν τιμὴν ἔχοντι διεγένετο χρόνος, καὶ Ἰώσηπος ὁ καὶ Καϊάφας διάδοχος ἦν αὐτῷ.
Valerius Gratus having put an end to the priesthood of Ananus appoints Ishmael, the son of Fabi, high priest. And having removed him after a little he appoints Eleazer, the son of Ananus the high priest, to the same office. And having removed him also at the end of a year he gives the high priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus. But he likewise held the honor no more than a year, when Josephus, called also Caiaphas, succeeded him. … upon [Caesar’s] death Tiberius Nero, his wife Julia’s son, succeeded. He was now the third emperor; and he sent Valerius Gratus to be procurator of Judea, and to succeed Annius Rufus. This man deprived Ananus of the high priesthood, and appointed Ismael, the son of Phabi, to be high priest. He also deprived him in a little time, and ordained Eleazar, the son of Ananus, who had been high priest before, to be high priest; which office, when he had held for a year, Gratus deprived him of it, and gave the high priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus; and when he had possessed that dignity no longer than a year, Joseph Caiaphas was made his successor.

 

As Levenson and Martin also note, some of the innovations of Rufinus’ Latin translation of Eusebius, not paralleled by the Greek text, are retained in the Latin Antiquities in the passage regarding John the Baptist (“omniumque pariter uirtutum uelut signaculum et custodia quaedam fidelis habeatur,” “quae cum ab eo per praecepta huiuscemodi docerentur,” and “forte doctrinae”). On the other hand, there is a significant agreement of Cassiodorus (Hunc enim occidit) and Josephus (κτείνει γὰρ … τοῦτον) against Rufinus (quem puniuit).

HE 1.11.4-6: Rufinus, Eusebius, Levenson-Martin, McGiffert AJ 18.116-119: Cassiodorus, Josephus, Levenson-Martin, Whiston
Quibusdam autem Iudaeorum uidebatur ideo perisse Herodis exercitum, quod in eum satis iuste ultio diuina commota sit pro uindicta Iohannis, qui uocabatur baptista, quem puniuit Herodes, uirum ualde bonum, qui praecipiebat Iudaeis uirtuti operam dare, iustitiam inter se inuicem custodire et in deum seruare pietatem, per baptismum in unum coire. Hoc enim pacto baptismum acceptabile fore, si non solum ad abluenda peccata sumatur, uerum et ad castimoniam corporis atque ad animae iustitiam purificationemque seruetur omniumque pariter uirtutum uelut signaculum et custodia quaedam fidelis habeatur. Quae cum ab eo per praecepta huiuscemodi docerentur atque ad audiendum eum perplurima multitudo concurreret, ueritus Herodes, ne forte doctrinae eius persuasione populi a suo regno desciscerent, uidebat enim, quod praeceptis eius ac monitis oboedire in omnibus plebs esset parata, melius credidit, priusquam noui aliquid fieret, anticipare hominem nece, quam postmodum turbatis rebus seram paenitudinem gerere. Ex sola igitur suspicione Herodis uinctus in castellum Macherunta abducitur Iohannes ibique obtruncatur. A quibusdam autem Iudaeorum uidebatur ideo perisse Herodis exercitum, quod in eum satis iuste indignatio diuina commota sit pro uindicta Iohannis, qui uocabatur baptista. Hunc enim Herodes occidit, uirum ualde bonum, qui praecipiebat Iudaeis uirtuti operam dare, iustitiam colere, in deum seruare pietatem, et per baptismum in unum coire. Tum demum enim baptismum acceptabile fore, si non solum ad abluenda peccata sumatur, uerum etiam ad castimoniam corporis atque ad animae iustitiam purificationemque seruetur omniumque pariter uirtutum uelut signaculum et custodia quaedam fidelis habeatur. Quae cum ab eo praecepta huiusmodi docerentur atque ad audiendum eum perplurima multitudo concurreret, ueritus Herodes, ne forte doctrinae eius persuasione populi a suo regno discederent, uidebat enim, quod praeceptis eius ac monitis parata esset plebs in omnibus oboedire, melius credidit, priusquam noui aliquid fieret, praeuenire hominem nece, quam postmodum turbatis rebus seram paenitudinem gerere. Ex sola igitur suspicione Herodis uinctus in castellum Macherunta abducitur Iohannes ibique obtruncatur. Iudaeis autem sicut iam diximus uidebatur pro eius ultione interitum illi exercitui deum importasse quo Herodes sumpsisset digna supplicia.
τισὶ δὲ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐδόκει ὀλωλέναι τὸν Ἡρῴδου στρατὸν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ μάλα δικαίως τιννυμένου κατὰ ποινὴν Ἰωάννου τοῦ καλουμένου βαπτιστοῦ. κτείνει γὰρ τοῦτον Ἡρῴδης, ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα, καὶ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις κελεύοντα ἀρετὴν ἐπασκοῦσιν καὶ τὰ πρὸς ἀλλήλους δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εὐσεβείᾳ χρωμένους βαπτισμῷ συνιέναι. οὕτω γὰρ δὴ καὶ τὴν βάπτισιν ἀποδεκτὴν αὐτῷ φανεῖσθαι, μὴ ἐπί τινων ἁμαρτάδων παραιτήσει χρωμένων, ἀλλ’ ἐφ’ ἁγνείᾳ τοῦ σώματος, ἅτε δὴ καὶ τῆς ψυχῆς δικαιοσύνῃ προεκκεκαθαρμένης. καὶ τῶν ἄλλων συστρεφομένων (καὶ γὰρ ἤρθησαν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον τῇ ἀκροάσει τῶν λόγων), δείσας Ἡρῴδης τὸ ἐπὶ τοσόνδε πιθανὸν αὐτοῦ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, μὴ ἐπὶ ἀποστάσει τινὶ φέροι (πάντα γὰρ ἐοίκεσαν συμβουλῇ τῇ ἐκείνου πράξοντες), πολὺ κρεῖττον ἡγεῖται, πρίν τι νεώτερον ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ γενέσθαι, προλαβὼν ἀναιρεῖν, ἢ μεταβολῆς γενομένης εἰς πράγματα ἐμπεσὼν μετανοεῖν. καὶ ὁ μὲν ὑποψίᾳ τῇ Ἡρῴδου δέσμιος εἰς τὸν Μαχαιροῦντα πεμφθείς, τὸ προειρημένον φρούριον, ταύτῃ κτίννυται. Τισὶ δὲ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐδόκει ὀλωλέναι τὸν Ἡρώδου στρατὸν ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ μάλα δικαίως τινυμένου κατὰ ποινὴν Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἐπικαλουμένου βαπτιστοῦ. κτείνει γὰρ δὴ τοῦτον Ἡρώδης, ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα, καὶ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις κελεύοντα ἀρετὴν ἐπασκοῦσιν καὶ τὰ πρὸς ἀλλήλους δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εὐσεβείᾳ χρωμένοις βαπτισμῷ συνιέναι: οὕτω γὰρ δὴ καὶ τὴν βάπτισιν ἀποδεκτὴν αὐτῷ φανεῖσθαι μὴ ἐπί τινων ἁμαρτάδων παραιτήσει χρωμένων, ἀλλ᾽ ἐφ᾽ ἁγνείᾳ τοῦ σώματος, ἅτε δὴ καὶ τῆς ψυχῆς δικαιοσύνῃ προεκκεκαθαρμένης. καὶ τῶν ἄλλων συστρεφομένων, καὶ γὰρ ἥσθησαν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον τῇ ἀκροάσει τῶν λόγων, δείσας Ἡρώδης τὸ ἐπὶ τοσόνδε πιθανὸν αὐτοῦ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις μὴ ἐπὶ ἀποστάσει τινὶ φέροι, πάντα γὰρ ἐῴκεσαν συμβουλῇ τῇ ἐκείνου πράξοντες, πολὺ κρεῖττον ἡγεῖται πρίν τι νεώτερον ἐξ αὐτοῦ γενέσθαι προλαβὼν ἀνελεῖν τοῦ μεταβολῆς γενομένης μὴ εἰς πράγματα ἐμπεσὼν μετανοεῖν. καὶ ὁ μὲν ὑποψίᾳ τῇ Ἡρώδου δέσμιος εἰς τὸν Μαχαιροῦντα πεμφθεὶς τὸ προειρημένον φρούριον ταύτῃ κτίννυται. τοῖς δὲ Ἰουδαίοις δόξαν ἐπὶ τιμωρίᾳ τῇ ἐκείνου τὸν ὄλεθρον ἐπὶ τῷ στρατεύματι γενέσθαι τοῦ θεοῦ κακῶσαι Ἡρώδην θέλοντος.
To some [quibusdam] of the Jews it seemed that the army of Herod had been destroyed for the reason that divine vengeance [ultio] was very justly carried out against him as punishment for John, who was called the baptizer. For Herod punished him [puniuit], a very good man, who admonished the Jews to give attention to virtue, to maintain righteousness mutually among themselves [iustitiam inter se inuicem custodire], to observe piety toward God, through baptism to come together in unity. For in this way [Hoc] baptism would be acceptable, if it would be taken up not only for washing away misdeeds, but also [et] would be observed for the purpose of purity of the body and indeed for the purpose of righteousness and purification of the soul, and would be considered as a sign of all virtues equally and a certain faithful safeguard. When these things were taught by him through injunctions of this kind [Quae cum ab eo praecepta huiusmodi docerentur] and for the purpose of hearing him indeed a very great multitude came together, Herod feared that perhaps through the persuasiveness of his teaching, the populace might break away [desciscerent] from his kingdom. For since he [Herod] saw that the common people were prepared through his [John’s] injunctions and warnings to obey [John] in all things, he believed that it was better, before something revolutionary happened, to anticipate [anticipare] the man through murder, than, after affairs had been stirred up, afterwards to have a feeling of regret too late. Therefore on the basis of Herod’s suspicion alone, John was taken away in fetters to the fortress Macherunta and was there cut down. To some [a quibusdam] of the Jews it seemed that the army of Herod had been destroyed for the reason that divine anger [indignatio] was very justly carried out against him as punishment for John, who was called the baptizer. For Herod killed this person [occidit], a very good man, who admonished the Jews to give attention to virtue, to cultivate righteousness [iustitiam colere], to observe piety toward God, and [et] through baptism to come together in unity. For then indeed [Tum demum] baptism would be acceptable, if it would be taken up not only for washing away misdeeds, but also [etiam] would be observed for the purpose of purity of the body and indeed for the purpose of righteousness and purification of the soul, and would be considered as a sign of all virtues equally and a certain faithful safeguard. When these injunctions of this kind were taught by him [Quae cum ab eo praecepta huiusmodi docerentur] and for the purpose of hearing him indeed a very great multitude came together, Herod feared that perhaps through the persuasiveness of his teaching, the populace might desert [discederent] from his kingdom. For since he [Herod] saw that the common people were prepared through his [John’s] injunctions and warnings to obey [John] in all things, he believed that it was better, before something revolutionary happened, to anticipate [praeuenire] the man through murder, than, after affairs had been stirred up, afterwards to have a feeling of regret too late. Therefore on the basis of Herod’s suspicion alone, John was taken away in fetters to the fortress Macherunta and was there cut down. To the Jews, just as we have already said, it seemed that, as vengeance for him [John], God had brought destruction on his [Herod’s] army, through which Herod had received fitting punishment.
It seemed to some of the Jews that the army of Herod was destroyed by God, who most justly avenged John called the Baptist. For Herod slew him, a good man and one who exhorted the Jews to come and receive baptism, practicing virtue and exercising righteousness toward each other and toward God; for baptism would appear acceptable unto Him when they employed it, not for the remission of certain sins, but for the purification of the body, as the soul had been already purified in righteousness. And when others gathered about him (for they found much pleasure in listening to his words), Herod feared that his great influence might lead to some sedition, for they appeared ready to do whatever he might advise. He therefore considered it much better, before any new thing should be done under John’s influence, to anticipate it by slaying him, than to repent after revolution had come, and when he found himself in the midst of difficulties. On account of Herod’s suspicion John was sent in bonds to the above-mentioned citadel of Machæra, and there slain. Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away of some sins , but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God’s displeasure to him.

 

There are no agreements of Josephus and Cassiodorus against Rufinus to report in the passage regarding Jesus. There are, indeed, only two very minor verbal disagreements in the Latin (et que and gentibus gentilibus), which make no difference to the sense of the passage. Because there are no such agreements against Rufinus to report in the Latin Testimonium, the parts where the Latin translation has a different sense than the Greek original have been highlighted, in bold, instead.

HE 1.11.7-8: Rufinus, Eusebius, Levenson-Martin, McGiffert AJ 18.63-64: Cassiodorus, Josephus, Levenson-Martin, Whiston
Fuit autem iisdem temporibus Iesus sapiens uir, si tamen uirum eum nominare fas est. Erat enim mirabilium operum effector doctorque hominum eorum, qui libenter quae uera sunt audiunt. Et multos quidem Iudaeorum, multos etiam ex gentilibus sibi adiunxit. Christus hic erat. Hunc accusatione primorum nostrae gentis uirorum cum Pilatus in crucem agendum esse decreuisset, non deseruerunt hi qui ab initio eum dilexerant. Apparuit enim eis tertio die iterum uiuus, secundum quod diuinitus inspirati prophetae uel haec uel alia de eo innumera miracula futura esse praedixerant. Sed et in hodiernum Christianorum, qui ab ipso nuncupati sunt, et nomen perseuerat et genus. Fuit autem eisdem temporibus Ihesus sapiens uir, si tamen uirum eum nominare fas est. Erat enim mirabilium operum effector et doctor hominum eorum qui libenter quae uera sunt audiunt. Et multos quidem Iudaeorum multos etiam ex gentibus sibi adiunxit. Christus hic erat. Hunc accusatione primorum nostrae gentis uirorum cum Pilatus in crucem agendum esse decreuisset, non deseruerunt hi qui ab initio eum dilexerant. Apparuit enim eis tertio die, iterum uiuus, secundum quod diuinitus inspirati prophetae, uel haec uel alia de eo innumera miracula futura esse praedixerant. Sed et in hodiernum Christianorum, qui ab ipso nuncupati sunt, et nomen perseuerat et genus.
γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον Ἰησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴ γε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή. ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν Ἰουδαίων, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο. ὁ Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν, καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος Πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες· ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων. εἰς ἔτι τε νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὠνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον. Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον Ἰησοῦς σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή: ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν Ἰουδαίους, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο: ὁ χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν. καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος Πιλάτου οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες: ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων. εἰς ἔτι τε νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὠνομασμένον οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον.
There was in those same times Jesus, a wise man, if nevertheless it is right to call him a man. For he was a doer of wondrous deeds and a teacher of those people who gladly hear what things are true. And many indeed of the Jews, many even from the gentiles, he joined to himself. This one was Christ. When, on the indictment of the first men of our nation, Pilate had decreed that he be led to the cross, they did not desert him who from the start had loved him. For he appeared to them on the third day once again alive in accordance with what the divinely inspired prophets had foretold, that both these and countless other wonders concerning him would occur. But even up to today both the name of the Christians, who are named from that one, has endured, as well as the group. There was in those same times Jesus, a wise man, if nevertheless it is right to call him a man. For he was a doer of wondrous deeds and a teacher of those people who gladly hear what things are true. And many indeed of the Jews, many even from the gentiles, he joined to himself. This one was Christ. When, on the indictment of the first men of our nation, Pilate had decreed that he be led to the cross, they did not desert him who from the start had loved him. For he appeared to them on the third day once again alive in accordance with what the divinely inspired prophets had foretold, that both these and countless other wonders concerning him would occur. But even up to today both the name of the Christians, who are named from that one, has endured, as well as the group.
And there lived at that time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it be proper to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, and a teacher of such men as receive the truth in gladness. And he attached to himself many of the Jews, and many also of the Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, on the accusation of our principal men, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him in the beginning did not cease loving him. For he appeared unto them again alive on the third day, the divine prophets having told these and countless other wonderful things concerning him. Moreover, the race of Christians, named after him, continues down to the present day. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

 

Compare the Latin translation made by Jerome in 492 A.D., which appears to be independent of Rufinus’ translation of Eusebius in 401 A.D. (on account of extensive variation), and which has neither of the two distinctive changes to the Greek noted in the text of Rufinus.

Rufinus, Church History (401 A.D.) Jerome, On Famous Men (492 A.D.)
Fuit autem iisdem temporibus Iesus, sapiens vir, si tamen virum eum nominare fas est; erat enim mirabilium operum effector doctorque hominum eorum qui libenter quae vera sunt audiunt, et multos quidem Iudaeorum, multos etiam ex gentilibus sibi adiunxit; Christus hic erat. hunc accusatione primorum nostrae gentis virorum, cum Pilatus in crucem agendum esse decrevisset, non deseruerunt hi qui ab initio eum dilexerant; apparuit enim eis tertio die iterum vivus, secundum quod divinitus inspirati prophetae vel haec vel alia de eo innumera miracula futura esse praedixerant. sed et in hodiernum diem Christianorum, qui ab ipso nuncupati sunt, et nomen perseverat et genus. Eodem tempore fuit Iesus, sapiens vir, si tamen virum eum oportet dicere; erat enim mirabilium patrator operum et doctor eorum qui libenter vera suscipiunt; plurimos quoque tam de Iudaeis quam de gentilibus habuit sectatores, et credebatur esse Christus. cumque invidia nostrorum principum cruci eum Pilatus adfixisset, nihilominus qui primum dilexerant perseverarunt {in fide}; apparuit enim eis tertia die vivens; multa et haec et alia mirabilia carminibus prophetarum de eo vaticinantibus. et usque hodie Christianorum gens ab hoc sortita vocabulum non defecit.

 

There are two intriguing facts to notice here:

  1. The fact that the translators have decided to use a source other than the Greek in the first place.
  2. The fact that the passage on Jesus, unlike the other three, demonstrates no influence from the Greek.

It is perfectly possible that the translators decided to lean on a secondary source in Latin when translating Josephus for no discernable reason. It is also perfectly possible that the translators would have copied the Latin very exactly, with no discernable influence from the Greek, when presenting the passage on Jesus, despite having access to the Greek text of the Testimonium in the exemplar. So nothing about these facts necessitates the conclusion that the Greek exemplar did not have the passage on Jesus. On the other hand, nothing necessitates that the passage were present in the Greek text used to translate Josephus into Latin either. So the first thing that we can notice here is that the Latin version of Josephus provides no confirmation of the idea that the Ant. 18.63-64 passage were ubiquitous in the Greek text of Josephus in the sixth century. As evidence for the passage, the Latin version is, at best, ambiguous.

On the other hand, these facts may be considered a better explanatory fit with a hypothesis that the Greek exemplar being used in the translation of the Antiquities into Latin did not have the Ant. 18.63-64 passage. This would explain why the translators reached for a secondary source for Josephus in the first place, because they knew the passage on Jesus were missing and wished to restore it in the place at which they remembered it being, from other manuscripts of Josephus’ Antiquities which were known but not at hand, and secondly explain why the translators did not pull any details from the Greek text of the passage. (This may further explain a third thing, which is the probability that the Latin translation of the Antiquities did not mention Jesus in the table of contents but did mention John, as this may reflect something about the state of the underlying Greek text.)

This can indeed be formulated in Bayesian terms, if doing this is regarded as helpful, as follows.

Bayes’ Theorem for Hypotheses that are Logical Complements (source: Wikipedia)

If, for example, the prior probability of the passage being absent in the Greek exemplar were 50% [=P(A)=P(¬A)], and if the conditional probability of the facts noted is 90% on the hypothesis that the translators did not have the text of Ant. 18.63-64 in the exemplar [=P(B|A)], and if the conditional probability of the facts noted is 20% on the hypothesis that the translators did have the text of Ant. 18.63-64 in the exemplar [=P(B|¬A)], then the math for the posterior probability of the hypothesis that the passage were absent in the exemplar, given our knowledge of these facts, is, using the formula above, (0.9 * 0.5) / (0.9 * 0.5 + 0.2 * 0.5) = (0.9 * 0.5) / (1.1 * 0.5) = 9 / 11 = 81%. Perhaps these numbers would need to be tweaked (and the equal prior probabilities assigned could be challenged), but the point would still remain that the direction in which these facts in evidence point (although such evidence is inconclusive) is towards the conclusion that the passage weren’t present in the Greek text of the Antiquities being used by the translators of Josephus into Latin under Cassiodorus.

Comments

comments

  6 Responses to “The Latin Testimonium from the Latin Eusebius”

  1. Peter,

    If the Latin translators did not have the Testimonium in their exemplar of the Antiquities, are they responsible for its insertion into the text between 18.61 and 18.64? Is the Testimonium’s location in the Greek text dependent on the work of Cassiodorus’ group?

    Best,

    Ken

    • Thanks for the question, Ken. I wouldn’t suggest that. I would suggest that, if it were absent in the exemplar, “This would explain why the translators reached for a secondary source for Josephus in the first place, because they knew the passage on Jesus were missing and wished to restore it in the place at which they remembered it being, from other manuscripts of Josephus’ Antiquities which were known but not at hand…”

  2. Oops. That should have been “between 18.62 and 18.65”.

  3. […] The Latin Testimonium from the Latin Eusebius by Peter Kirby […]

  4. […] the earliest of which dates to the eleventh century.” It is also attested by the Latin translation made in the sixth century. It is referenced already by Origen in the middle of the third century […]

  5. There appear to be literary similarities between Flavius Josephus’ Greek descriptions of Judean rabble-rousers, and Livy’s Latin account of the murderous and perverse Bacchanalian conspirators. One should ask oneself, why the laudatory Testimonium Flavianum has the same outline as Livy’s account of the sociopath founder of the the Bacchic cult.

    https://rogerviklund.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/a-proposed-literary-parallel-between-livys-history-of-the-bacchanalian-conspiracy-and-the-stories-about-rabble-rousers-and-religious-charlatans-in-the-works-of-flavius-josephus/
    and
    https://rogerviklund.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/livy-bacchanalia-vs-josephus-rabble-rousers-and-tf.pdf

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