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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 15



prison for robbery to redeem them for money ; and nobody remained in the prisons as a malefactor but he who gave him nothing ... . The principal men among the seditious purchased leave of Albinus to go on with their practices : and every one of these wretches was encompassed with his own band of robbers. Those who lost their goods were forced to hold their peace, when they had reason to show great indignation at what they had suffered ; those who had escaped were forced to flatter him, that deserved to be punished out of the fear they were in of suffering equally with the others." This, however, is a vague accusation, and is found in the ' Wars of the Jews,' where Josephus is anxious to represent the revolt of the people as caused by the bad government of the Eomans. From the ' Antiquities ' we learn that it was Albinus's wish to keep the country in peace, with which object he destroyed many of the Sicarii. Unfortunately for himself, he formed a great friendship with Ananias the high priest ; and when Eleazar, son of Ananias, fell into the hands of the Sicarii, he consented to release ten of his own prisoners for his ransom. This was a fatal measure, because henceforth the Sicarii, if one of their number fell into trouble, and got taken by the Eomans, caught a Jew and effected an exchange. Thus the prisons were emptied. At this time the Temple was finished, and eighteen thousand workmen found themselves suddenly out of employment. Terrified at the prospect of this starving mob being added to their difficulties (for the streets of Jerusalem were already filled with bands of armed men, partisans of deposed high priests), the citizens asked Agrippa to rebuild the Eastern Cloisters, the splendid piece of work which had been built originally by Solomon along that east wall which still stands overlooking the valley of the Kedron. But Agrippa, whose interest in the turbulent city was very small, already meditated departure to some safer quarter, and was spending all the money he


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