Destroys the Temple
Severus, a Christian historian who lived from ca. 363 to 420 CE,
wrote a history of the world entitled Chronica. In it he
claimed that the Roman historian Tacitus (ca. 56 BCE-120 CE) recorded
that Titus, the Roman general who conquered Jerusalem, favored
destroying the Jerusalem Temple to help uproot the Jewish and
His view of Titus, quoted here, contradicts the account of Josephus
who was present at the siege. Josephus described Titus as wanting
to spare the Temple. It is impossible to judge for certain the
accuracy of the various accounts.
It is said that Titus
summoned his council, and before taking action consulted
it whether he should overthrow a sanctuary of such workmanship,
since it seemed to many that a sacred building, one more
remarkable than any other human work, should not be destroyed.
For if preserved it would testify to the moderation of the
Romans, while if demolished it would be a perpetual sign
of cruelty. On the other hand, others, and Titus himself,
expressed their opinion that the Temple should be destroyed
without delay, in order that the religion of the Jews
and Christians should be more completely exterminated.
For those religions, though opposed to one another, derive
from the same founders; the Christians stemmed from the
Jews and the extirpation of the root would easily cause
the offspring to perish.