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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cassius Dio (also Dio Cassius) on the Bar Kokhba Revolt

Cassius Dio, Roman History, book LXIX [summary]

12 At Jerusalem he founded a city in place of the one which had been razed to the ground, naming it Aelia Capitolina, and on the site of the temple of the god he raised a new temple to Jupiter. This brought on a war of no slight importance nor of brief duration, for the Jews deemed it intolerable that foreign races should be settled in their city and foreign religious rites planted there. So long, indeed, as Hadrian was close by in Egypt and again in Syria, they remained quiet, save in so far as they purposely made of poor quality such weapons as they were called upon to furnish, in order that the Romans might reject them and they themselves might thus have the use of them; but when he went farther away, they openly revolted. To be sure, they did not dare try conclusions with the Romans in the open field, but they occupied the advantageous positions in the country and strengthened them with mines and walls, in order that they might have places of refuge whenever they should be hard pressed, and might meet together unobserved under ground; and they pierced these subterranean passages from above at intervals to let in air and light.

13 At first the Romans took no account of them. Soon, however, all Judaea had been stirred up, and the Jews everywhere were showing signs of disturbance, were gathering together, and giving evidence of great hostility to the Romans, partly by secret and partly by overt acts; many outside nations, too, were joining them through eagerness for gain, and the whole earth, one might almost say, was being stirred up over the matter. Then, indeed, Hadrian sent against them his best generals. First of these was Julius Severus, who was dispatched from Britain, where he was governor, against the Jews. Severus did not venture to attack his opponents in the open at any one point, in view of their numbers and their desperation, but by intercepting small groups, thanks to the number of his soldiers and his under-officers, and by depriving them of food and shutting them up, he was able, rather slowly, to be sure, but with comparatively little danger, to crush, exhaust and exterminate them. Very few of them in fact survived.

14 Fifty of their most important outposts and nine hundred and eighty-five of their most famous villages were razed to the ground. Five hundred and eighty thousand men were slain in the various raids and battles, and the number of those that perished by famine, disease and fire was past finding out. Thus nearly the whole of Judaea was made desolate, a result of which the people had had forewarning before the war. For the tomb of Solomon, which the Jews regard as an object of veneration, fell to pieces of itself and collapsed, and many wolves and hyenas rushed howling into their cities. Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war. Therefore Hadrian in writing to the senate did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, "If you and our children are in health, it is well; I and the legions are in health."

[Cary translation from Loeb Classical Library -- thanks to Bill Thayer for transcribing Dio Cassius onto the Internet]

Sunday, May 29, 2005


We all have heard lately [Spring 2005] about how holy the Qur'an is to Muslims, to the point that they riot over alleged desecrations of it. But do they really agree with all of what is written in it?
The Qur'an says that Allah assigned the Holy Land to the Jews. Do they accept or want to accept the implications of that teaching? Where do the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood and all the Jihad gangs stand on that issue?
1- the Qur'an says Allah made a covenant with the Sons of Israel
2- the Qur'an says Allah assigned the Holy Land to the Jews
3- Allah settled the Jews in a Blessed Land
4- The Jews will come back to their Land from dispersion
* * * *
Allah made a covenant with the Israelites and raised among them twelve chieftains.
. . .
Bear in mind the words of Moses to his people. He said: 'Remember my people, the favours which Allah has bestowed upon you. He has raised up prophets among you...
Enter, my people, the holy land which Allah assigned for you. Do not turn back or you shall be ruined.
The Koran (translated by Nissim J. Dawood; Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1966), pp378-79

12. Allah made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We raised among them twelve chieftains.
. . .
20. And (remember) when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Remember Allah's favour unto you, how He placed among you Prophets...
21. O my people! Go into the holy land which Allah hath ordained for you. Turn not in flight, for surely ye turn back as losers.
The Meaning of the Glorious Koran: An Explanatory Translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall (New York: New American Library, 1953); Sura V:12, 20-21.
- - - - - - - -

Children of Israel, remember that I have bestowed favours upon you and exalted you above the nations.
. . . We made a covenant with you (the Israelites) and raised the Mount above you, saying: "Receive what we have given you with earnestness... "
When We made a covenant with the Israelites...
Dawood trans., p329 (also p336), p 330, p332

47. O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures.
63. And (remember, O children of Israel) when We made a covenant with you and caused the Mount [Sinai] to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast that which We have given you...
83. And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel...
Pickthall, II:47, 63, 83
- - - - - - - - -

We settled the Israelites in a blessed land and provided them with good things.
Dawood trans., p 71

94. And We verily did allot unto the Children of Israel a fixed abode, and did provide them with good things...
Pickthall trans., X:94

We settled the children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling place, and provided for them sustenance of the best.
Quoted by Rebbetzin Jungreis in Jewish Press, X:92
- - - - - - - -

We gave the persecuted people dominion over the eastern and western lands which We had blessed. Thus your Lord's gracious word was fulfilled for the Israelites, because they had endured with fortitude; and We destroyed the edifices and towers of Pharaoh and his people.
Dawood trans., p 251

137 And We caused the folk that were despised to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We had blessed. And the fair word of the Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of their endurance. And We annihilated (all) that Pharaoh and his folk had done and that they had contrived.
Pickthall trans., VII:137

. . . We bequeathed . . . the land we had blessed
Arberry trans., VII:133 [= VII: 137 in Pickthall]
. . . cities we had blessed . . .
Arberry trans., XXXIV:18

And thereafter We said to the Children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.'
Qur`an 17:104 quoted by Abigail Radoszkowicz, Jerusalem Post, 9 February 2001

Then We said to the Israelites: 'Dwell in this land. When the promise of the hereafter comes to be fulfilled, We shall assemble you all together.'
Dawood trans., p236

104. And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass we shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.
Pickthall trans., XVII:104
- - - - - - - -

We gave the Scriptures to the Israelites and bestowed on them wisdom and prophethood. We provided them with good things and exalted them above the nations.
Dawood trans., p 129
* * * * NB-verse numbers vary in differing editions of the Qur`an * * * *

We really do need to know our enemy better. We will not find out if we listen to the typical "Leftist" politicians, academics, and journalists, who seem to have instructions to obfuscate the truth. But one of these mainstream writers has acknowledged the facts about Quranic agreement with Zionism. Andre Chouraqui has said, "Not only does the Coran recognize the election [choice] of Israel, but it even contains a sura [chapter] according to which, 'When the time will come, God will bring Israel back to his land.'" [Tribune Juive, January 2001]
If the Arabs want to really be faithful to the Qur'an, then they should support Zionism. The Qur'an is clear on this. If the Arabs continue to reject Zionism, then they reject Qur'anic principles.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Exile of the Jews from the Jerusalem Polis

UPDATING 7-3-2009 see at bottom

We are now under a multi-faceted psychological warfare assault which uses a whole series of lies which aims, among other things, to deny our very history. Hence the need to know the documents, Jewish and non-Jewish, that relate what happened to the Jews in the Land of Israel [called IVDAEA, Judea, by the Romans].
Here is an important passage from the Greek-speaking Christian Church Father, Eusebios (in Latin, Eusebius), describing the Bar Kokhba uprising [approx. 132-135]. As a consequence of this war, Rome forbid the Jews to live in the Jerusalem region, which was renamed and reconstituted as the polis or colonia of Aelia Capitolina, named after Emperor Hadrian's clan (Aelius).

Eusebios, The History of the Church (Historia Ecclesiae), IV:6

When the Jewish revolt again grew to formidable dimensions, Rufus governor of Judaea, on receiving military reinforcements from the emperor, took merciless advantage of their crazy folly and marched against them, destroying at one stroke unlimited numbers of men, women, and children alike, and -- as the laws of war permitted-- confiscating all their lands. The Jews at that time were under the command of a man called Bar Cochba, which means a star...
The climax of the war came in Hadrian's eighteenth year, in Betthera [Beitar], an almost impregnable little town not very far from Jerusalem. The blockade from without lasted so long that hunger and thirst brought the revolutionaries to complete destruction, and the instigator of their crazy folly paid the penalty he deserved. From that time on, the entire race has been forbidden to set foot anywhere in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, under the terms and ordinances of a law of Hadrian which ensured that not even from a distance might Jews have a view of their ancestral soil. Aristo of Pella tells the whole story. When in this way the city was closed to the Jewish race and suffered the total destruction of its former inhabitants, it was colonized by an alien race, and the Roman city which subsequently arose changed its name, so that now, in honour of the emperor then reigning, Aelius Hadrianus, it is known as Aelia...
[translation-G.A.Williamson, revised & edited by Andrew Louth-London: Penguin Books, 1989]

The matter of when and to what extent the Jews were exiled by the Romans has been subject to much confusion, ignorance, and misrepresentation in later generations. This passage, which can be dated to about 315 CE, is one of the most authoritative primary sources on the subject.
Note that the Jews were not expelled from all of the Land of Israel, the country that the Romans called Judea [IVDAEA], but only from "the neighborhood of Jerusalem." Israeli historian Michael Avi-Yonah says this area comprised four toparchies (local districts); E. Mary Sherwood claims that it included only three toparchies. Judea in Roman usage [Provincia Iudaea] included the Golan, Galilee, Samaria, the coastal plain, most of the east bank of the Jordan, the area of the former kingdom of Judah, and the northern Negev. This is the Land of Israel, roughly speaking. Judea as used in Israel today refers to the area of Judah alone, and is thus distinct from Judea in Greco-Roman usage.
The Jerusalem area was constituted as a colonia or polis (both terms were used). When Eusebios writes of "their ancestral soil," he is thinking in Greek terms of a state starting from a city and its surrounding rural area, possibly spreading from there. Both instances of the word "city" in the quoted passage translate forms of the word polis, thus the meaning of polis also includes the surrounding rural territory of the city. Jews remained a large and substantial population in the country, in several parts of Judah, the coastal plain, the Jordan Valley, the Hebron area, the Galilee and Golan.
Note especially that the Roman governor "confiscated all their lands." This means that non-Jews, Arabs and others, inhabiting the Land of Israel today, are likely living on land that earlier belonged to Jews and was confiscated by the Roman imperialist governor. Further, note 1) that the Colonia Aelia Capitolina (here called Aelia) was "colonized by an alien race" by the Roman empire. These aliens included Syrians and Arabs according to Avi-Yonah. The Arabs had to be rewarded for supplying troops as a part of a Roman legion for suppressing the Jewish revolt, as they had supplied auxiliary troops to help suppress the earlier revolt (see blog entry below). French historian Maurice Sartre writes in L'Orient Romain: "Colonia Aelia Capitolina was completed and populated by veterans of the Vth Legion, the Macedonica" [based on an article by J. Meyshan in PEQ]. Felix Abel, historian of the Land of Israel and Dominican priest, writes: "... the new inhabitants of Aelia and its territory" were non-Jewish residents of the Hellenistic cities in Israel and of neighboring provinces" [Histoire de la Palestine]. There is no necessary contradiction between Avi-Yonah's seeing the new settlers as Syrians and Arabs and Sartre's seeing them as veterans of the Vth Legion. This is because legionnaires could be recruited in the broad region where they were to fight. In this vein, Israeli historian Aryeh Kasher reports that Arabs from Provincia Arabia [the Arab-occupied areas of former Moab, Ammon, Edom, etc.] were recruited into a legion to fight against the Jews under Bar Kokhba.

2) the Emperor Hadrian changed Jerusalem's name to humiliate the Jews and honor his own clan (gens);
3) the country is called here Judea (IOUDAIA in Greek). Eusebios does not mention here that the name of the province was changed too, from Provincia Iudaea to Provincia Syria Palaestina, also for the purpose of humiliating the Jews. However, the geographer Claudius Ptolemy used the name Judea, after the revolt's suppression, together with the name Palaestina, as names for the country.
How do today's "post-colonial" theorists deal with the facts that the Jews were driven by imperialists from their ancestral soil, that their lands were confiscated by imperialists, and that the Jerusalem area (called "their ancestral soil" by Eusebios), was "colonized by an alien race" (including Arabs)?? How do they deal with Arab collaboration with the Roman Empire against the Jews??

Without getting into all the historical details and vicissitudes after the Bar Kokhba revolt, we note that Jews were still a substantial part of the country's population, especially in the Galilee, until the Crusades (Jerusalem conquered 1099) when most Jews in the country were massacred by the Crusaders [according to Prof. Moshe Gil and other Jewish historians].
- - - - - - -
UPDATING and the Start of the Jewish Exile 7-3-2009
Here is an article on the town of Beitar, Bar Kokhba's last fortress holding out against the Romans and the start of the Exile from the Jerusalem region. This article is not entirely correct since the exile referred to was only from the Jerusalem region [polis, colonia] at that time.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Arabs helped the Romans destroy the Temple

Arab auxiliary troops joined the Roman legions besieging Jerusalem in the year 70.
The Roman historian Tacitus writes in his book, The Histories (Kenneth Wellesley, translator, Penguin Books):

The Histories, Book V:1

... Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father, to complete the conquest of Judaea and already enjoyed the reputation of a general... received added support...
Awaiting him in Judaea were three Roman legions... the Fifth, Tenth, and Fifteenth...
Then there were strong levies of Arabs, who felt for the Jews the hatred common between neighbors...
... et solito inter accolas odio infensa Iudaeis Arabum manus...

This demonstrates that the Arabs were collaborating with the Roman Empire, that is, with imperialists, almost 2000 years ago. They collaborated in the siege of Jerusalem that resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple. In the twentieth century, Arabs collaborated with the British Empire and the Nazis against the Jews. Since the evil Oslo Accords of 1993 and into the twentieth-first century, the Arabs have been collaborating with the European Union --a new form of imperialism-- and with other imperial powers, against Israel and the Jews throughout the world.

UPDATING 10-19-2006
Two Italian translations of the Latin phrase above, for the sake of comparing translations.

Tacito, Le Storie 5:1
. . . e un consistente gruppo di Arabi, animati da sentimenti ostili contro i Giudei, per il solito odio tra popoli vicini
[traduzione: Mario Stefanoni]

. . . nonche' una valorosa banda di Arabi, che odiavano gli Ebrei per la solita rivalita` di confine. . .
[traduz.- Felice Dessi]

UPDATING 8-3-2014
A third Italian translation
Tacitus,  Historiae -- Liber Quintus -- Libro Quinto
. . . . e una valida schiera di Arabi, ostile ai Giudei per quell che e' tipico di popoli confinanti tra loro.
[traduzione -- Gian Domenico Mazzocato]

The Latin text as it appears in Mazzocato's translation:
. . . .et solito inter accolas odio infesa Iudaeis Arabum manus multi

Sunday, May 08, 2005


from ESTABLISH PEACE (Solomon ibn Gabirol)

Sweep away the Arab kings!
Devour the wild beasts
That tear to pieces
the scattered sheep!
Those who say "We are allowed to do it."
. . .
And this song shall be sung
In the Land of Judah, a mighty city is ours!

[translated by Eliyahu m'Tsiyon]


Thus, Lord, do Thou Zion support and uphold,
Arise, for the hour of her grace is at hand,
The day long appointed to sing as of old,
God reigneth, His Kingdom forever shall stand.

Note: "Arab kings" above is malkhey Nebayoth in original. Nebayoth was the eldest son of Ishmael. Ibn Gabirol, living under Arab rule, may have had a special need to write in allusions when cursing his oppressors. Even today the Arabs claim a right to devour others.
"The scattered sheep" above refers to the exiled and scattered people of Israel.
Hebrew texts plus translations by Israel Zangwill, in Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1974). [Passover Psalm translated by Israel Zangwill]

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


[from Zion! Wilt Thou Not Ask? by Yehudah haLevi]

O who will make me wings, that I may fly afar,
And lay the ruins of my cleft heart among thy broken cliffs!

I would fall, with my face upon thine earth and take
In thy stones [O Zion] and be tender to thy dust.

Yea, more, when standing by my father's tombs
I would marvel in Hebron over the chosen of thy graves.

I would pass into thy forest and thy fruitful field and stand
Within thy Gilead, and wonder at thy mount beyond--

[from Selected Poems of Jehudah Halevi, translation by Nina
Salaman, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1924]



Is it good for a simple and upright man
To be happy,
Like a bird tied up in the hands of boys--
Enslaved to Philistines and Hagarites and Hittites?

[from On the Wings of Eagles by Yehudah haLevi,
while on his way from Egypt to the Land of Israel,
translation by Eliyahu m'Tsiyon]

Mishbirei Yam (On the Sea)

My God, break not the breakers of the sea,
Nor say Thou to the deep, "Be dry",
Until I thank Thy mercies, and I thank
The waves of the sea and the wind of the west;
Let them waft me to the place of the yoke of
Thy Love,
And bear far from me the Arab yoke.

Zion! Perfect in beauty! love and grace thou didst bind on to thee
Of olden time; and still the souls of thy companions are bound up with thee.
It is they that rejoice at thy well-being, that are in pain
Over thy desolation, and that weep over thy ruin--
They that, from the pit of the captive, pant toward thee worshipping,
Everyone from his own place, toward thy gates;
The flocks of thy multitude, which were exiled and scattered
From mount to hill, but have not forgotten thy fold
Shinar and Pathros -- were they equal unto thee in their greatness?

Monday, May 02, 2005

It's All Done with Mirrors - Emet m'Tsiyon

The world is swimming in lies. Who doesn't know that? Even the dupes are told that there are lies about. We aim here to dispel the fog of lies, especially about Israel, in the spirit of our prophets of old, and our great poets like Yehudah haLevi.

My heart is in the East, and I in the uttermost West
How can I find savor in food? How shall it be sweet it to me?
How shall I render my vows and my bonds, While yet
Zion lieth beneath the fetter of Edom, and I in Arab chains?

Zion! Wilt thou not ask if peace be with thy captives
That seek thy peace -- that are the remnant of thy flocks?

The false prophets cry Peace, and there is no peace.