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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Church History of Eusebius.: Chapter II

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Chapter II.—The Calamities of the Jews during Trajan’s Reign.

1. The teaching and the Church of our Saviour flourished greatly and made progress from day to day; but the calamities of the Jews increased, and they underwent a constant succession of evils. In the eighteenth year of Trajan’s reign 973 there was another disturbance of the Jews, through which a great multitude of them perished. 974

2. For in Alexandria and in the rest of Egypt, and also in Cyrene, 975 as if incited by some terrible and factious spirit, they rushed into seditious measures against their fellow-inhabitants, the Greeks. The insurrection increased greatly, and in the following year, while Lupus was governor of all Egypt, 976 it developed into a war of no mean magnitude.

3. In the first attack it happened that they were victorious over the Greeks, who fled to Alexandria and imprisoned and slew the Jews that were in the city. But the Jews of Cyrene, although deprived of their aid, continued to plunder the land of Egypt and to devastate its districts, 977 under the leadership of Lucuas. 978 Against them the emperor sent Marcius Turbo 979 with a foot and naval force and also with a force of cavalry.

4. He carried on the war against them for a p. 175 long time and fought many battles, and slew many thousands of Jews, not only of those of Cyrene, but also of those who dwelt in Egypt and had come to the assistance of their king Lucuas.

5. But the emperor, fearing that the Jews in Mesopotamia would also make an attack upon the inhabitants of that country, commanded Lucius Quintus 980 to clear the province of them. And he having marched against them slew a great multitude of those that dwelt there; and in consequence of his success he was made governor of Judea by the emperor. These events are recorded also in these very words by the Greek historians that have written accounts of those times. 981



115 a.d.


Closs says: “According to Dion Cassius, LXVIII. 32, they slew in Cyrene 220,000 persons with terrible cruelty. At the same time there arose in Cyprus a disturbance of the Jews, who were very numerous in that island. According to Dion, 240,000 of the inhabitants were slain there. Their leader was Artemion.” Compare Dion Cassius, Hist. Rom. LXVIII. 32, and LXIX. 12 sq. The Jews and the Greeks that dwelt together in different cities were constantly getting into trouble. The Greeks scorned the Jews, and the Jews in return hated the Greeks and stirred up many bloody commotions against them. See Jost’s Geschichte der Israeliten, chap. III. p. 181 sq. The word “another” in this passage is used apparently with reference to the Jewish war under Vespasian, of which Eusebius has spoken at length in the early part of the third Book.


The Jews were very numerous both in Egypt and in Cyrene, which lay directly west of Egypt. The Jews of Cyrene had a synagogue at Jerusalem, according to Acts vi. 9.


Lupus is, to me at least, an otherwise unknown character.


νόμοι. See Bk. II. chap. 17, note 10.


Lucuas is called by Dion Cassius (LXVIII. 32) Andreas. Münter suggests that he may have borne a double name, a Jewish and a Roman, as did many of the Jews of that time.


Marcius Turbo was one of the most distinguished of the Roman generals under Trajan and Hadrian, and finally became prætorian prefect under Hadrian. See Dion Cassius, LXIX. 18, and Spartian, Hadr. 4–9, 15.


Lucius Quintus was an independent Moorish chief, who served voluntarily in the Roman army and became one of Trajan’s favorite generals. He was made governor of Judea by Trajan, and was afterward raised to the consulship. According to Themistius (Orat. XVI.), Trajan at one time intended to make him his successor. See Dion Cassius, LXVIII. 8, 22, 30, 32; LXIX. 2; Spartian, Hadr. 5, 7, and cf. Valesius’ note on this passage.


The language of Eusebius might imply that he had other sources than the Greek writers, but this does not seem to have been the case. He apparently followed Dion Cassius for the most part, but evidently had some other source (the same which Orosius afterward followed), for he differs from Dion in the name of the Jewish leader, calling him Lucuas instead of Andreas. The only extant accounts of these affairs by Greek historians are those of Dion Cassius and Orosius, but there were evidently others in Eusebius’ time.

Next: Chapter III

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