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Roman Spectacle in Second Temple Jerusalem
Josephus’s account of Herod’s games
“Herod went still farther departing from the native customs, and through foreign practices he gradually corrupted the ancient way of life, which had hitherto been inviolable. As a result of this we suffered considerable harm at a later time as well, because those things were neglected which had formerly induced piety in the masses. For in the first place he established athletic contests every fifth year in honor of Caesar, and he built a theater in Jerusalem, and after that a very large amphitheater in the plain, both being spectacularly lavish but foreign to Jewish custom, for the use of such buildings and the exhibitions of such spectacles have not been traditional [with the Jews]. Herod, however, celebrated …

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