Early Accounts of the Temple of Jerusalem – Sources     HomeSourcesTopicsViews

Emperor Julian begins to rebuilt the Temple in 362 C.E.

The account of Ammianus Marcellinus, ROMAN HISTORY, c. 390 C.E.

Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum
ed. Charles Clark, Loeb Classical Library, 1940
Ammianus Marcellinus, Roman Antiquities
transl. J. C. Rolfe, Loeb Classical Library, 1940

BOOK XXIII, Chapter 1.
1 Haec eo anno – ut praetereamus negotiorum minutias – agebantur. Iulianus vero iam ter consul, adscito in collegium trabeae Sallustio praefecto per Gallias, quater ipse amplissimum inierat magistratum: et videbatur novum adiunctum esse Augusto privatum, quod post Diocletianum et Aristobulum nullus meminerat gestum. 2 Et licet accidentium varietatem sollicita mente praecipiens multiplicatos expeditionis apparatus flagranti studio perurgeret, diligentiam tamen ubique dividens imperiique sui memoriam magnitudine operum gestiens propagare, ambitiosum quondam apud Hierosolymam templum, quod post multa et interneciva certamina obsidente Vespasiano posteaque Tito aegre est expugnatum, instaurare sumptibus cogitabat inmodicis, negotiumque maturandum Alypio dederat Antiochensi, qui olim Brittannias curaverat pro praefectis. 3 Cum itaque rei idem fortiter instaret Alypius iuvaretque provinciae rector, metuendi globi flammarum prope fundamenta crebris adsultibus erumpentes fecere locum exustis aliquotiens operantibus inaccessum, hocque modo elemento destinatius repellente cessavit inceptum.
1 These were the events of that year, to pass over minor details. But Julian, who had already been consul three times, assumed the chief magistracy for the fourth time, taking as his colleague in the office Sallustius, prefect of Gaul. And for a private citizen to be associated with the reigning emperor seemed an innovation which no one recalled to have been made since Diocletian and Aristobulus. 2 And although he weighed every possible variety of events with anxious thought, and pushed on with burning zeal at many prepa­rations for his campaign, yet turning his activity to every part, and eager to extend the memory of his reign by great works, he planned at vast cost to restore the once splendid temple at Jerusalem, which after many mortal combats during the siege by Vespasian and later by Titus, had barely been stormed. He had entrusted the speedy performance of this work to Alypius of Antioch, who had once been vice-prefect of Britain. 3 But, though this Alypius pushed the work on with vigour, aided by the governor of the province, terrifying balls of flame kept bursting forth near the foundations of the temple, and made the place inaccessible to the workmen, some of whom were burned to death; and since in this way the element persistently repelled them, the enterprise halted.

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