Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume I/Church History of Eusebius/Book II/Chapter 4
Chapter IV.—After the Death of Tiberius, Caius appointed Agrippa King of the Jews, having punished Herod with Perpetual Exile.
1. Tiberius died, after having reigned about twenty-two years, and Caius succeeded him in the empire. He immediately gave the government of the Jews to Agrippa, making him king over the tetrarchies of Philip and of Lysanias; in addition to which he bestowed upon him, not long afterward, the tetrarchy of Herod, having punished Herod (the one under whom the Saviour suffered) and his wife Herodias with perpetual exile on account of numerous crimes. Josephus is a witness to these facts.
2. Under this emperor, Philo became known; a man most celebrated not only among many of our own, but also among many scholars without the Church. He was a Hebrew by birth, but was inferior to none of those who held high dignities in Alexandria. How exceedingly he labored in the Scriptures and in the studies of his nation is plain to all from the work which he has done. How familiar he was with philosophy and with the liberal studies of foreign nations, it is not necessary to say, since he is reported to have surpassed all his contemporaries in the study of Platonic and Pythagorean philosophy, to which he particularly devoted his attention.
- From Aug. 29, a.d. 14, to March 16, a.d. 37.
- Caius ruled from the death of Tiberius until Jan. 24, a.d. 41.
- Herod Agrippa I. He was a son of Aristobulus, and a grandson of Herod the Great. He was educated in Rome and gained high favor with Caius, and upon the latter’s accession to the throne received the tetrarchies of Philip and Lysanias, and in a.d. 39 the tetrarchy of Galilee and Perea, which had belonged to Herod Antipas. After the death of Caius, his successor, Claudius, appointed him also king over the province of Judea and Samaria, which made him ruler of all Palestine, a dominion as extensive as that of Herod the Great. He was a strict observer of the Jewish law, and courted the favor of the Jews with success. It was by him that James the Elder was beheaded, and Peter imprisoned (Acts xii.). He died of a terrible disease in a.d. 44. See below, chap. 10.
- Herod Antipas.
- See Luke xxiii. 7–11.
- He was banished in a.d. 39 to Lugdunum in Gaul (according to Josephus, Ant. XVIII. 7. 2; or to Spain, according to his B. J. II. 9. 6), and died in Spain (according to B. J. II. 9. 6).
- See Ant. XVIII. 6 and 7, and B. J. II. 9.
- Philo was an Alexandrian Jew of high family, who was born probably about 20–10 b.c. (in his Legat. ad Cajum, he calls himself an old man). Very little is known about his life, and the time of his death is uncertain. The only fixed date which we have is the embassy to Caligula (a.d. 40), and he lived for at least some time after this. He is mentioned by Jerome (de vir. ill. 11), who says he was born of a priestly family; but Eusebius knows nothing of this, and there is probably no truth in the statement. He is mentioned also by Josephus in his Ant. XVIII. 8. 1. He was a Jewish philosopher, thoroughly imbued with the Greek spirit, who strove to unite Jewish beliefs with Greek culture, and exerted immense influence upon the thought of subsequent ages, especially upon Christian theology. His works (Biblical, historical, philosophical, practical, &c.) are very numerous, and probably the majority of them are still extant. For particulars, see chap. 18, below. For an excellent account of Philo, see Schürer, Geschichte des Jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi; zweite Auflage, Bd. II. p. 831 to 884 (Leipzig, 1886), where the chief literature upon the subject is given.
- Philo was thoroughly acquainted with Greek literature in all its departments, and shows great familiarity with it in his works. The influence of Plato upon him was very great, not only upon his philosophical system, but also upon his language; and all the Greek philosophers were studied and honored by him. He may, indeed, himself be called one of them. His system is eclectic, and contains not only Platonic, but also Pythagorean, and even Stoic, elements. Upon his doctrinal system, see especially Schürer, ibid. p. 836 sq.