Μετὰ δὲ τὴν Ἡρώδου τελευτήν, ὃς ἦρχε τῆς Χαλκίδος, καθίστησιν Κλαύδιος εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θείου τὸν Ἀγρίππαν υἱὸν Ἀγρίππα· τῆς δ’ ἄλλης ἐπαρχίας διαδέχεται τὴν ἐπιτροπὴν ἀπὸ Ἀλεξάνδρου Κουμανός, ἐφ’ οὗ θόρυβοί τε ἤρξαντο καὶ φθορὰ πάλιν Ἰουδαίων ἐγένετο. συνεληλυθότος γὰρ τοῦ πλήθους ἐπὶ τὴν ἑορτὴν τῶν ἀζύμων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα καὶ τῆς Ῥωμαικῆς σπείρας ὑπὲρ τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ στοὰν ἐφεστώσης, ἔνοπλοι δ’ ἀεὶ τὰς ἑορτὰς παραφυλάττουσιν, ὡς μή τι νεωτερίζοι τὸ πλῆθος ἠθροισμένον, εἷς τις τῶν στρατιωτῶν ἀνασυράμενος τὴν ἐσθῆτα καὶ κατακύψας ἀσχημόνως προσαπέστρεψεν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις τὴν ἕδραν καὶ τῷ σχήματι φωνὴν ὁμοίαν ἐπεφθέγξατο. πρὸς τοῦτο ἅπαν μὲν τὸ πλῆθος ἠγανάκτησεν, καὶ κατεβόων τοῦ Κουμανοῦ κολάζειν τὸν στρατιώτην, οἱ δὲ ἧττον νήφοντες τῶν νέων καὶ τὸ φύσει στασιῶδες ἐκ τοῦ ἔθνους ἐχώρουν ἐπὶ μάχην λίθους τε ἁρπάσαντες ἐπὶ τοὺς στρατιώτας ἔβαλλον. καὶ Κουμανὸς δείσας μὴ τοῦ λαοῦ παντὸς ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ὁρμὴ γένοιτο, πλείους ὁπλίτας μεταπέμπεται. τῶν δὲ ταῖς στοαῖς ἐπιχεομένων φόβος ἐμπίπτει τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ἀκατάσχετος, καὶ τραπέντες ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ διέφευγον εἰς τὴν πόλιν. τοσαύτη δὲ περὶ τὰς ἐξόδους βία συνωθουμένων ἐγένετο, ὥστε πατηθέντας ὑπ’ ἀλλήλων καὶ συντριβέντας ὑπὲρ τρισμυρίους ἀποθανεῖν, γενέσθαι δὲ τὴν ἑορτὴν πένθος μὲν ὅλῳ τῷ ἔθνει θρῆνον δὲ καθ’ ἑκάστην οἰκίαν.
(Josephus, Bell. Iud. 2.223-227)

After the end of Herod who had been ruling Chalcis, Claudius appointed Agrippa son of Agrippa to his uncle’s kingdom. As for the rest of the province: Cumanus succeeded to the procuratorship after [Tiberius] Alexander. Under him disorders began, and again there was a [great] loss of Judeans. When a mob had come together into Hierosolyma for the Festival of the Unleavened and the Roman cohort had positioned itself above the colonnade of the temple (armed men always guard the festivals closely, so that the mob that has assembled will not attempt anything subversive), one of the soldiers pulled up his clothing, stooped over disgracefully, turned his rear end away towards the Judeans, and emitted a sound in keeping with his posture. At this the whole mob became indignant and kept yelling at Cumanus to punish the soldier; but those who were less sober among the youths and those of the nation who were factious by nature were advancing into a fight: they grabbed rocks and kept throwing them at the soldiers. Cumanus, becoming alarmed that there might be a rush against himself by the entire citizenry, summoned more armed troops. While they were pouring onto the colonnades, an uncontrollable fear attacked the Judeans; they turned away from the temple and kept trying to escape into the city. But such was the violence that occurred as they were being pressed together around the exits that, having been trampled and battered by one another, upwards of 30,000 died: the festival turned into mourning for the nation as a whole, lamentation in each household. (tr. Steve Mason)

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