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SABINUS:

  • 1. Roman procurator; treasurer of Augustus. After Varus had returned to Antioch, between Easter and Pentecost of the year 4 B.C., Sabinus arrived at Cæsarea, having been sent by Augustus to make an inventory of the estate left by Herod on his death. Despite his promise to Varus to remain at Cæsarea until the emperor should reach a decision regarding Herod's will, he broke his word and hurried to Jerusalem. His arrival was immediately followed, however, during the week of Pentecost, by a revolt, apparently due to his severe oppression of the people, who retired to the Temple Mount and the hippodrome, and besieged Sabinus in the tower Phasaelus. From this stronghold he encouraged the Romans to fight, and he also sent to Varus for aid; but the Jews hurled from the roof of the Temple stones upon the troops, and so enraged them that they threw inflammable material upon the roof of the colonnade, and set fire to it. The Jews there were unable to save themselves and either perished in the flames or were killed by the Romans, who then entered the Temple and sacked the treasury, from which, according to Josephus, Sabinus himself took 400 talents of gold. Other rioters then besieged Sabinus in the palace of Herod, threatening him with violence if he did not immediately withdraw. While he was still in terror of defeat, Varus arrived with his troops. The Jews then fled in panic; and Sabinus, who had rendered himself liable to the charge of sacrilege, returned at once to Rome.Bibliography: Josephus, Ant. xvii. 10, §§ 1-7; idem, B. J. ii. 3, §§ 1-4; 4, §§ 1-3; Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., iii. 250-252; Schürer, Gesch. i. 420-421.
  • 2. Syrian soldier. Encouraged by Titus, he, together with eleven comrades, attempted on the 3d of Panemus (July) to scale the wall which John of Giscala had built behind the tower Antonia, but he was killed with three of his companions.
Bibliography:
  • Josephus, B. J. vi. 1, §§ 3-6;
  • Schürer, Gesch. i. 629.
J. S. O.
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