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APPENDIX. I.

It is admitted pretty generally that the Jewish war under Hadrian entailed a siege and a final destruction of Jerusalem. So large a number of texts represent this view, that it at the first glance rash to call the fact in question. Nevertheless, the chief critics who have considered it—Scaliger, Henry de Valois, and P. Pazi—had perceived the difficulties of such an assertion, and rejected it.

And to commence with, what is it that Hadrian should have besieged and destroyed? The demolition of Jerusalem under Titus was entire, even exceeding that usual to military operations.

In admitting that a population of so many thousands of persons was able to dwell within the ruins which the victor of 70 left behind, it is clear in such a case that this heap of ruins was incapable of supporting a siege. Even while admitting that from the time of Titus to Hadrian some timid attempts of Jewish restoration might have been brought about, in spite of the “Legio Xa. Fratensis” who encamped on the ruins, one is not inclined to suppose that these attempts were of such a nature as to give the place any importance whatever in a military point of view.

It is also very true that a great many savants, with whose opinions we coincide, think that the restoration of Jerusalem, under the name of “Ælie Capitolina,” began in the year 122 or thereabouts.

It is of no use to the adversaries of our theme to lay great stress on that argument, because they unhesitatingly admit that Ælia Capitolina was not commenced to be built till after the last destruction of Jerusalem by Hadrian. But no matter! If, as we think, Ælia Capitolina had been in existence for about ten years at the time that the revolt of Bar-Coziba broke out, about 133, how can one conceive that the Romans would have had occasion to take it! Ælia would not again have possessed walls capable of sustaining a siege. How, moreover, suppose that the “Legio Xa. Fratensis” had left their positions knowing that it would be obliged to reconquer them. It may be said that the same thing occurred under Nero, when Gessius Florus abandoned Jerusalem, but the situation was totally different.

Gessius Florus found himself in the midst of a great city in revolution. The “Legio Xa. Fratensis” was situated in the midst of a population of veterans and squatters, all friendly to the Roman cause. Their retreat would not have explained itself in any fashion, and the siege 292which would have followed would have been a siege in a manner without purpose.

When one examines the texts, very scarce, which relate to the War of Hadrian, it is necessary to make a large distinction. The texts really historical not only do not speak of a capture and a destruction of Jerusalem, but by the style in which they are couched, they exclude such an event.

The oratorial and apologetic texts, on the contrary, where the second revolt of the Jews is cited, “non ad narrandum, sed ad probandum,” for the purpose of serving the arguments and the declamations of the preacher or of the polemic, imply that all the events that happened under Hadrian were as if they happened under Titus. It is clear that it is the first series of texts that deserves the preference. Criticism has for a long time refused to trust to the precision of documents drawn up in a style whose essence is to be inaccurate.

The historical texts reduce themselves unhappily into two in the question which concerns us, but both are excellent. There is, to commence with, the narrative of Dion Caasius, who appeared not to have been here abridged by Xiphilin; there is in the second place, that of Eusebius, who copied Ariston de Pella, a contemporary writer of events, and living close at hand to the seat of the war. These two narratives are in accord with one another. They do not speak a single word of a siege, nor of a destruction of Jerusalem. For an attentive reader of the two tales cannot admit that such a fact would have passed unnoticed. Dion Cassius is very particular; he knows that it was the construction of Ælia Capitolina which occasioned the revolt; he gives well the character of the war, which happened to be a war of little cities, of fortified market towns, of subterranean works—or rural war, if one is permitted thus to express oneself.

He insists on facts so secondary as that of the ruin of the pretended tomb of Solomon. How is it possible that he could have neglected to speak of the catastrophe of the principal city?

The omission of all notice about Jerusalem is still less understood in the narrative of Eusebius or rather of Ariston de Pella. The great event of the war for Eusebius is the siege of Bether, “the neighbouring town to Jerusalem;” of Jerusalem itself not a word. It is true that the chapter of the “Historie Ecclesiastique” relative to that event has for the title: Ἡ κατὰ Ἀνδριανὸν ὑστάτη Ἰουδαίων πολιορχίας, as the chapter relative to the war of Vespasian; and of Titus has for title (I. III. C.V.) Περὶ τῆς μετὰ τὸν Χριστὸν ὑστάτης Ἰουδαίων πολιορχίας; but the word adapts itself well to the whole of the campaign of Julius Severus, which consisted in sieges of little cities. In section 3 of the chapter relative to the war of Adrian, the word πολιορχία is used to designate the operations of the capture of Bether.

In his “Chronique” Eusebius follows the same plan. In his “Demonstration Evangélique,” and in his “Theophaive,” on the contrary, he points to that fact, and when he is no longer borne out by the very words of Ariston de Pella, he allows himself to be led away by the resemblance which has deranged nearly all the Jewish and Christian tradition. He pictures the events of the year 135 on the model of the events of the year 70, and he speaks of Hadrian as having contributed 293with Titus to the accomplishment of the prophecies on the annihilation of Jerusalem. This double destruction doubly serves him to realise a passage of Zacharias,22Zach. xiv. 1 et seq. and to furnish a basis for the theory which he advances of a Church of Jerusalem lasting from Titus to Hadrian.33Euseb. H.E., iv. 5. St Jerome presents the same contradiction. In his “Chronique,” mapped out on that of Eusebius, he follows Eusebius as an historian. Then he forgets that solid base, and speaks, as do all the fathers of the orator school, of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem under Hadrian.44In Dan. xiv., Joel i., Habakkuk ii., Jerem. xxxi., Ezekiel v. 24., Zach. viii. 14. Tertullian55Contra, Jud. 13. and St John Chrysostom66In Judæos, Homil. v. 2. Opp. 1, pp. 64-5 (Montf.) Cf. Seudas at the word βδελυγμα; Chronique d’Alex, year 119. express themselves in the same way. One knows how dangerous it is to introduce into history these vague phrases, well known to preachers and to apologists of all times. Still less is it necessary that we should examine the passages in the Talmud where the same assertion presents itself, mixed up with those historical monstrosities which destroy the value of the mentioned passages. In the Talmud the confusion of the war of Titus and that which took place under Hadrian is constant. The description of Bether is copied from that of Jerusalem—the duration of the siege is the same.

Is not this the proof that he had not separate mementoes of a new siege of Jerusalem, for the good reason that there had not been one. When the tale was started of a siege by a sort of argument a priori, it is possible that one a posteriori should be started also to give it in history a basis which it had not. Naturally, for it is on the first siege on which one falls back for that. That confusion has been the trap where the whole popular history of the Jewish mishaps has suffered itself to be taken. How can we prefer such blunders to strong arguments which, drawn from solitary historical evidence, we now have in the question Dion Cassibus or Ariston de Pella?

Two grave objections remain for me to solve: only can they smooth away the doubts on the theory which I maintain. The first is derived from a passage of Appius. This historian, enumerating the successive destructions which overthrew the walls of Jerusalem, puts one before the other, and on the same line the destruction of Titus and that of Hadrian.

The passage of Appius furnishes in every case a strong inaccuracy—he supposes that Jerusalem was walled under Hadrian. Appius foolishly supposes that the Jews, after Titus, re-erected their town, and fortified it. His ignorance on that point shows that he is not guided by the aforesaid comparison, but by the coarser similarity which has deceived every one. The difficulties of the campaign, the numberless πολιορχίαι of which it is full, show that even a contemporary who had not proof of the facts was able to commit a like error.

Assuredly more grave is the objection derived from the study of the old coins. It is certain that the Jews during the revolt did not coin nor stamp money. Such an operation seems at the first glance not to 294have been possible at Jerusalem. The types of these moneys lead to that idea. The “legend” is most often, “For the liberation of Jerusalem;” on some others, the figure of a temple surmounted by a star.

Jewish coin study is full of uncertainties, and it is dangerous to oppose it to history; it is history, on the contrary, which serves to throw a light upon it. Besides, the objection about which we speak has emboldened certain numismatic students of our days to deny absolutely the occupation of Jerusalem by the followers of Bar-Coziba. One will admit that the insurgents were able to coin money at Bether quite as well as at Jerusalem, if one thinks of the miserable plight in which in that supposition Jerusalem was. On the other hand, it seems that the types of coins of the second revolt had been imitated or taken directly from those of the first revolt, and on those of the Asmoneans. There is here an important point which deserves the attention of numismatists; for one could find here a means of solving the difficulties which yet hover over the entire groups of the autonomous coinage of Israel.

We wish to speak chiefly of the coins with the “impression” of Simeon Nasi of Israel. We fall into the greatest misrepresentation when we seek to find this Simeon in Bargioras, in Bar-Coziba, in Simeon, son of Gamaliel, etc. None of these persons could coin money. They were revolutionaries, or men of high authority, but not sovereigns. If one or the other had placed his name on the money, he would have marred the republican spirit and jealousy of the rebels, and so, up to a certain point, their religious ideas.

A similar matter would be mentioned by Josephus in the first revolt, and the identity of that Simeon would not be so doubtful as this is. It is never asked if the French Revolution had any coins with the effigy of Marat, or of Robespierre. This Simon, I believe, is no other than Simon Maccabeus, the first Jewish sovereign who coined money, and whose coins ought to be much sought after by orthodox persons. As the aim which they established was to overcome the scruples of the religious, such a counterfeit would suffice for the exigencies of the time. It had also the advantage of not putting into circulation only those types acknowledged by all. I think then, that neither in the first nor in the second revolt, that they had money struck in the name of a person then alive. The “Eleaser-Hac-Cohen” of certain coins ought probably to explain this in an analogous manner, which the numismatists will hit upon. I strongly think that the latter revolt had not a proper stamp, and they could best imitate the earlier ones. A material circumstance confirms that hypothesis. On the coins in question, in fact, one never sees שמעון—one frequently sees שמענו or שמצ. These two forms are so frequent that one can see a simple fault as to the position of the letters. In the second, in a great many cases, we cannot help thinking that the last two letters have disappeared. It is not impossible that the alteration of the name of Simeon was made expressly to imply a prayer,—“Hear me” or “Hear us.” It is, at all events, contrary to all probability that one sees in the name of Simeon the true name of Bar-Coziba. How is it that this royal name of the false Messiah, written on an abundant coinage, would remain unknown to St Justin, to Aristion de Pella, to the Talmudists, who clearly speak of the money of Bar-Coziba. 295Still less can on see any president of the Sanhedrim whose authority would have been recognised by Bar-Coziba.

So anyway, one is led to think that the coinage of Bar-Coziba did not consist but in impressions done from a religious motive, and that the types which bear these impressions were of the ancient Jewish types, which I conclude were for the rebellion of the time of Hadrian. By this are raised some enormous difficulties which the Jewish numismatism presents:—Firstly. That these persons unknown to history or these rebels should have coined money like sovereigns. Secondly, The unlikelihood that there is that these miserable insurgents caused issues of money so handsome and so considerable. Thirdly. The employment of the archaic Hebrew character, which was out of use in the second century of our era. Supposing that it had been attempted to bring back the national character, they would not have given them fashioned so grand and handsome. Fourthly, The form of the temple tetrastyle surmounted by a star. This form does not correspond either more or less to that of the temple of Herod. For one knows the scrupulous nicety that the ancient masters took to reproduce the features of the principal temple of the city exactly, by slight but very expressive touches.

The temple of the Jewish money, on the contrary, without the triangular pediment, and with its gate of a singular fashion, represents the second temple, that of the time of the Maccabees, which appears to have been tolerably shabby. If we reject that hypothesis, and which must belong to the second revolt, the types which bear the figure of the temple, and the era of “the liberation of Jerusalem,” we say that the deliverance of Jerusalem, and the reconstruction of the temple, were the only object of the revolts. It is not impossible that they portrayed these two events upon their money before they were realised. One takes for a fact that which one aspires to with such efforts. Bether, before all, was a sort of provisionary Jerusalem, a sacred asylum of Israel.

The numismatism of the Crusades presents, besides, identically the same phenomena. After the loss of Jerusalem, in fact, the later authority, transported to St Jean de Acre, continued to mint money bearing the effigy of the Holy Sepulchre, with the words “+Sepulchri Domini,” or “REX IERLM.” The moneys of John of Brienne, who never possessed Jerusalem, present, also the image of the Holy Sepulchre. “This markedly characteristic type,” says M. de Vogüé, “seems to be on the part of deposed kings a protestation against the invasion, and a maintenance of their rights in misfortune and exile.” There are also moneys with the title ‘Tvrris Davit, struck a long time after the taking of Jerusalem by the Mussulman. It must be admitted, however, that much of the Jewish money of the second revolt was struck away from Jerusalem. Every one, in fact, agrees that if the revolted were masters of Jerusalem, they were quickly driven out. One finds coins of the second and third year of the revolt. M. Caxdoni explained by this difference of the situation, the difference of the legends ישראל לחרות, and לחרות ירושלם, the second only answering to the epoch when the rebels were masters of Jerusalem.

Be that as it may, the possibility of a coinage struck at Bether is placed beyond doubt.

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That at one moment of the revolt, and amidst the numberless incidents of a war which occupied two or three years, the revolted occupied Ælia, and were speedily driven out; that the occupation of Jerusalem, in a word, was a brief episode of the aforesaid war, is strictly possible; it is little probable nevertheless.

The “Legio Xa. Fratensis” which Titus left to guard the ruin, was there in the second and in the third century, and even to the time of the Lower Empire, as if nothing had happened in the interval. If the insurgents had been for a day masters of the sacred space, they would have clung to it with fury, they would have come running there from all directions; all the fighting men of Judea would above all bend their steps there; the height of the war would have been there; the temple would have been restored; the religion re-established; there would have been fought the last battle; and as in 70 the fanatics would have caused a general slaughter on the ruins of the temple, or, failing them, on its site. Now it is nothing of the sort. The grand siege operation took place at Bether, nigh to Jerusalem; no trace of the scuffle on the site of the temple in the Jewish tradition, not a memento of a fourth temple, nor of a return to the religious ceremonials.

It seems certain, then, that under Hadrian Jerusalem did not suffer a serious siege, did not undergo a fresh destruction.

How could it be destroyed, I again repeat?

On the supposition that Ælia did not begin to exist until 136, after the end of the war, how could one destroy a heap of ruins?

On the supposition that there was an Alia, dated either 122 or a little after, one would destroy the beginnings of a new city which the Romans would substitute for the old one. What good would such a destruction effect, seeing that, far from relinquishing the idea of a new Jerusalem as irreverent, the Romans resume that idea from that time with more vigour than ever? What has been carelessly repeated about the plough which the Romans had passed over the soil of the temple and city, has no other foundations than the false Jewish traditions, referred to by the Talmud and St Jerome, wherein Terentius Rufus, who was charged by Titus to demolish Jerusalem, has been confounded by Tinlius Rufus, the imperial legate of the time of Hadrian. Here again the error has arisen from the historical delusion which has transferred to the war of Hadrian, which one knows is a trifle, the circumstances much better known of the war of Titus. It has often been attempted to find in the two bulls which are on the reverse of the medal of the foundation of Ælia Capitolina, a representation of a “Templum Aratum.” These two bulls are simply a colonial emblem, and they represent the earnest hopes which the new “Coloni “ entertained for the agriculture of Judea.

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