Monday, June 25, 2007

St. Isidore -- The Fifth Age of the World and Sixth Age until St. John


42. The captivity of the Hebrews lasted for seventy years, during which time the fire was removed from the altar of God and deposited in filth. It is claimed that it was still burning after the seventieth year, the year of the return (of the Jews). During the same period of captivity, the story of Judith was written. Also Pythagoras, the philosopher and inventor of the art of arithmetic; Pherecydes, the first writer of histories; and Xenophanes, the inventor of tragedies, were regarded as distinguished.

43. Darius ruled for thirty-four years. In his second year, the captivity of the Jews ended, from which time in Jerusalem there were princes, not kings, up until Aristobulus. At that time the Romans, having expelled their kings, began to have consuls.

44. Xerxes ruled for twenty years. Aeschylus, Pindar, Sophocles, and Euripides, were celebrated as distinguished authors of tragedies. Herodotus, the author of histories, and Zeuxis, the painter, were also acknowledged.

45. Artaxerxes, also known as Longimanus, ruled for forty years. With him ruling, Ezra the priest renovated the law that had been burned by the invading peoples and Nehemiah restored the walls of Jerusalem. Aristarchus, Aristophanes, and Sophocles were regarded as distinguished authors of tragedy. Also Hippocrates the doctor, Socrates the philosopher, and Democritus excelled.

46. Darius, also known as Nothus, ruled for nineteen years. This age saw the philosopher, Plato, and Gorgias, the first rhetor.

47. Artaxerxes ruled for forty years. In his time the story of Esther, it is taught, was completed. Also Plato and Xenophon were regarded as distinguished Socratics. (4,834)

48. Artaxerxes, also known as Ochus, ruled for twenty-six years. Demosthenes was acknowledged to be the first orator and Aristotle was reported to be the first dialectician. Plato died.

49. Arses, son of Ochus, ruled for four years. Xenocrates was regarded as an illustrious philosopher.

50. Darius ruled for six years. Alexander, conquering Illyricum and Thrace, from there took Jerusalem and, entering the Temple, burned sacrifices to God. The kingdom of the Persians still remained standing. From this point began the kings of the Greeks.

51. Alexander the Macedonian ruled for fifteen years. In his last five years, in the order of years by which they are numbered, he obtained the monarchy of Asia, having destroyed the kingdom of the Persians. His first seven years are thought to have been spent among the kings of the Persians. From this point begin the kings of Alexandria.

52. Ptolemy, son of Lagus, ruled for forty years. Having seized Judea, he moved many of the Hebrews into Egypt. In this time Zeno the Stoic, Menander the comic, and Theophrastus the philosopher excelled. At the same time the first book of the Maccabees was begun.

53. Ptolemy Philadelphus ruled for thirty-eight years. He released the Jews that were in Egypt and, restoring the holy vase to Eleazar the priest, he sought out seventy translators and translated the divine scriptures into Greek. At the same time Aratus was acknowledged as an astrologer and the silver coins of the Romans were minted for the first time.

54. Ptolemy Evergetes ruled for twenty-six years. Under him Jesus, the son of Sirach, composed the Book of Wisdom. (4,978)

55. Ptolemy Philopator ruled for twenty-seven years. The Jews were defeated by him in battle, 60,000 soldiers falling. At the same time the consul Marcellus conquered Sicily.

56. Ptolemy Epiphanes ruled for twenty-four years. In his time the events occurred which are contained in the story of the second book of the Maccabees. In this age the Romans ordered the vanquished Greeks to be freed, saying: "It is impious to enslave people from the place where philosophy, the master of morals and the inventor of liberal disciplines, first arose." At the same time Ennius was celebrated as the first distinguished Latin poet of Rome.

57. Ptolemy Philomater ruled for thirty-five years. Antiochus overcame himin battle and oppressed the Jews with various calamities. At the same time Scipio conquered Africa. Terence the comic excelled.

58. Ptolemy Evergetes ruled for twenty-nine years. At this time Spain was conquered by the Romans under the consul Brutus.

59. Ptolemy Soter ruled for seventeen years. Varro and Cicero were born. Thrace was subjected to the Romans.

60. Ptolemy Alexander ruled for ten years. Syria passed under the dominion of the Romans under the general Gabinus. Also the poet Lucretius was born, who later killed himself as a result of a lover's madness.

61. Ptolemy, son of Cleopatra, ruled for eight years. At the same time Plotius Gallus was the first to teach Latin rhetoric in Rome. At that time also Sallust the historian was born.

62. Ptolemy Dionysius ruled for thirty years. Pompey, having captured Jerusalem, made the Jews tributaries to the Romans. At the same time the philosopher Cato excelled. Virgil was born in Mantua, Horace in Venusia. At that time also Apollodorus, preceptor of the emperor, was regarded as illustrious and Cicero was celebrated with praise for his oratory.

63. Cleopatra ruled for two years. She was the daughter of Ptolemy (XI), king of the Egyptians, and sister and wife of her brother Ptolemy (XIII). Desiring to defraud him of the kingdom, in a time of civil war in Alexandria, she went to Caesar, who was besieging the city, and, using pretense and debasing herself, she begged, in the presence of Julius, for the death of Ptolemy and to have the kingdom for herself. The kingdom of Alexandria, in the third year of the reign of Cleopatra, passed under the dominion of the Romans under Julius Caesar.

64. Gaius Julius Caesar ruled for five years. Before he was made consul, he conquered Gauland triumphed in Britain. And after having waged a war against Pompey, he obtained the monarchy of the entire empire. The succeeding emperors were called "Caesars" after his name.

65. From the migration to Babylonia up to the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ: 587 years. The fifth age came to an end in the year 5,155.


66. Octavian Augustus ruled for fifty-six years. He, in his imperium, after the Sicilian war, had three triumphs: Dalmatia, Asia, and later Alexandria against Anthony. From there, Spain. At that point, having brought peace on land and sea to the entire world, he closed the gates of Janus. Under his imperium, the writings of Daniel were completed in seventy weeks and, as the kingdom and priesthood of the Jews was coming to an end, the Lord Jesus Christ was born from a virgin in Bethlehem of Judah in the forty-second year of Octavian's rule.

67. Tiberus, the son of the Augustus, ruled for twenty-two years. He, out of cupidity, did not let the kings coming to him return, and many peoples receded from the Roman empire. The Lord was crucified in the eighteenth year of his reign, 5,229 years having elapsed since the beginning of the world.

68. Caius Caligula ruled for four years. He was fierce with avarice, cruelty, and lust and, elevating himself to the level of the gods, he ordered a statue of Olympian Jove to be placed under his name in the Temple of Jerusalem. At the same time, in Judea, the apostle Matthew was the first to write a gospel.

69. Claudius ruled for fourteen years. With him ruling, the apostle Peter went to Rome against Simon Magus. Also Mark the Evangelist, preaching Christ in Alexandria, wrote his gospel.

70. Nero ruled for fourteen years. Given to injury, cruelty, and lust, he even fished with nets of gold. He prostituted and killed his mother and sister, wiped out much of the senate, lost many cities and provinces of the republic, and also burned down the city of Rome so that he might witness an image of the destruction of Troy. In his times, Simon Magus was reported to have had an altercation with the apostles Peter and Paul. Claiming that a certain great power that he had came from God, he proposed at midday to fly to the Father in heaven with the help of demons, by whom he was to be born aloft. But, with Peter swearing at the demons and Paul praying, Simon was cast down and he crashed. Because of Simon's death, Peter was crucified by Nero and Paul was killed with a sword. In this same storm, a Persian poet died. In addition, Lucan and Seneca were killed by order of Nero.

71. Vespasian ruled for ten years. Vigorous in military discipline, through his fighting he restored to the republic many provinces which Nero had lost. He was unmindful of offenses and he bore lightly the insults said against him. In his second year Titus took and overthrew Jerusalem, where 1,100,000 Jews perished by famine and the sword. Beyond these, another 100,000 were publicly sold into slavery.

72. Titus ruled for eleven years. He was so eloquent in both languages that he could prepare legal cases in Latin and compose poems and tragedies in Greek. He was, however, so bellicose that in the assault on Jerusalem, fighting under his father, he pierced twelve soldiers with twelve arrows. But he was of such magnanimity in the exercise of his imperial rule, that he punished no one at all, but dismissed those convicted of conspiring against him and maintained the same familiarity with them which he had had before. Among all of his sayings, the most famous was: "The day is lost in which nothing good is accomplished."

73. Domitian, brother of Titus, ruled for sixteen years. He was the second after Nero who, cursed with pride, commanded that he be considered a god and ordered the Christians to be persecuted by the pagans. Under him, the apostle John was banished to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse. (Domitian) killed and sent many of the senators into exile, and he ordered everyone from the line of David to be killed so that none of the Jews from the royal line would survive.

74. Nerva ruled for one year. A moderate man in his imperium, he presented himself as equal to, andapproachable by, everyone. In his time, John the Apostle returned from exile to Ephesus and, entreated by the bishops of Asia, became the most recent to edit a new gospel.

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