Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Works of Sulpitius Severus.: Chapter IX.
In the meantime, those Jews, who, as we have said above, returned into their native land by the permission of Cyrus, attempted to restore their city and temple. But, being few and poor, they made but little progress, until, at last, after the lapse of about a hundred years, while Artaxerxes the king ruled over the Persians, they were absolutely deterred from building by those who had local authority. For, at that time, Syria and all Judæa was ruled under the empire of the Persians by magistrates and governors. Accordingly, these took counsel to write to king Artaxerxes, that it was not fitting that opportunity should be granted to the Jews of rebuilding their city, lest, in accordance with their stubborn character, and being accustomed to rule over other nations, they should, on recovering their strength, not submit to live under the sway of a foreign power. Thus, the plan of the rulers being approved of by the king, the building of the city was put a stop to, and delayed until the second year of Darius the king. But, who were kings of Persia throughout this period of time, we shall here insert, in order that the succession of the dates may be set forth in a regular and fixed order. Well, then, after Darius the Mede, who, as we have said above, reigned eighteen years, Cyrus held the supreme power for thirty-one years. While making war upon the Scythians, he fell in battle, in the second year after Tarquinius Superbus began to reign at Rome. To Cyrus succeeded his son Cambyses, and reigned eight years. He, after harassing with war Egypt and Ethiopia, and subduing these countries, returned as victor to Persia, but accidentally hurt himself, and died from that wound. After his death, two brothers, who were magi, and Medes by nation, held rule over the Persians for seven months. To slay these, seven of the most noble of the Persians formed a conspiracy, of whom the leader was Darius, the son of Hystaspes, who was a cousin of Cyrus, and by unanimous consent the kingdom was bestowed on him: he reigned thirty and six years. He, four years before his death, fought at Marathon, in a battle greatly celebrated both in Greek and Roman history. That took place about the two hundred and sixtieth year after the founding of Rome, while Macerinus and Augurinus were consuls, that is, eight hundred and eighty-eight years ago, provided the research I have made into the succession of Roman consuls does not deceive me; for I have made the entire reckoning down to the time of Stilico. 338 After Darius came Xerxes, and he is said to have reigned twenty-one years, although I have found that the length of his rule is, in most copies, 339 set down at twenty and five years. To him succeeded Artaxerxes, of whom we have made mention above. Since he ordered the building of the Jewish city and temple to be stopped, the work was suspended to the second year of king Darius. But that the succession of dates may be completed up to him, I have to state that Artaxerxes reigned forty-one years, Xerxes two months, and that, after him, Sucdianus ruled for seven months.
Stilico was consul during the lifetime of Sulpitius.101:339
“in plerisque exemplaribus”: the mss. varying, as they so often do, with respect to numbers.
Next: Chapter X.
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