Copyright
James Hastings.

Dictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) online

. (page 89 of 234)
Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 89 of 234)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


(ae Sacerd. iv. 7) makes Damaris the wife of Dion-
ysius the Areopagite, as does the Latin of Codex E
(' cum uxore suo ), though the Greek has only ' a
woman.' W. M. Ramsay (St. Paul, 1895, p. 252)
suggests that she was one of the educated iralpai.
She seems to have been a person of some import-
ance, since her name is mentioned, and it is open
to doubt whether a prominent Athenian woman
would have been present. Codex Bezae omits all
reference to her.

VOL. I. - -I8



LrnsRATTTRH. P. Blass, Com. tn loe. ; W. M. Ramsay, The
Church in the Roman Empire, London, 1893, p. 161 ; J. Felten,
Apostelgeschiehtt, Freiburg L B., 1892, p. 337.

F. W. WORSLEY.

DAMASCUS,DAMASCENES. Damascus (Aajucur-
*c6s) cannot now be regarded as the oldest city in the
world, but it has a surer title to fame in its possession
of the secret of eternal youth. While Tadmor and
Palmyra, Baalbek and Jerash, have only a ' glory
hovering round decay,' Damascus is still ' the
head of Syria,' the queen of Oriental cities. The
creations of architectural genius have their day
and cease to be, but Damascus is the perennial

S'ft of Nature. The green oasis between Mount
ermon and the desert must always be a theatre
of human activity. Wheresoever the river comes,
there is life. Damascus has no means of self-
defence, has never done anything memorable in
warfare, has been captured and plundered many
times, and more than once almost annihilated, but
it has always quickly recovered itself, and to-day
the white smokeless city, embowered in its gardens
and orchards and surrounded by its hundred villages,
is to every Arab what it was to young Muhammad
gazing down upon it from the brow of Salahiyeh
the symbol of Paradise.

During the centuries of Greek and of Roman
sway in Syria, Damascus had to yield precedence
to Antioch. The Hellenic city in the Levant
became the first metropolis of Gentile Christianity,
and organized the earliest missions to the Western
nations. Yet in a sense the religion of Europe



274



DARKNESS



DATES



came by the way of Damascus, which was the scene
of the conversion of the greatest of all mission-
aries. It is in connexion with this event alone
that the city is ever mentioned in the NT. The
story is told three times in Acts (9 1 ' 23 22 3 " 16 26 1 ' 20 ).

In the 1st cent, of our era the Jewish colony in
Damascus was large and influential. During a
tumult in the reign of Nero 10,000 Jews were
massacred. Josephus indicates the extent of
Jewish proselytism in the city when he states that
the Damascenes ' distrusted their own wives, who
were almost all addicted to the Jewish religion'
(BJ II. xx. 2). It is not known when or how
Christianity first came to Damascus. There were
doubtless Syrian Jews in Jerusalem at every feast
of Pentecost, though none are mentioned in Ac 2.
Damascus was the first of the ' foreign cities ' (Ac
2Q n ) from which the Jewish authorities resolved to
root out the Nazarene heresy. St. Paul came to it
as a voluntary inquisitor, to call the Christian Jews
to account for their apostasy. He was armed with
' the authority and commission of the chief priests '
(Ac 26 12 ).

' In a certain sense the Sanhedrin exercised jurisdiction over
every Jewish community in the world. . . . Its orders were
regarded as binding throughout the entire domain of orthodox
Judaism. It had power, for example, to issue warrants to the
congregations (synagogues) in Damascus for the apprehension of
the Christians in that quarter ' (Schiirer, H JP ll. i. [1885] 185).

St. Paul had instructions to deal summarily
' with any that were of the way ' (Ac 9 2 ), but the
letters which he carried ' for the synagogues ' (9 2 )
were never delivered, and his ' commission ' (26 12 )
was never executed. One of the Christians whom
lie intended to ' bring bound to Jerusalem ' (9 2 )
baptized him (9 18 ), and 'with the disciples who
were at Damascus ' (9 19 ) he enjoyed his first
Christian fellowship. None of them were among
the confessors who afterwards haunted him ' with
their remembered faces, dear men and women
whom ' he ' sought and slew.' In Damascus he
' preached Jesus ' (9 20 ), the substance of his gospel
being ' that he is the Son of God,' ' that this is the
Christ' (9 20 - M ). The incident of St. Paul's escape
from conspirators by his being let down over the
city wall in a basket (q.v.) is recorded by the
writer of Acts (Ac 9 23 ' 28 ), and confirmed in one of
St. Paul's own letters (2 Co ll 32 ). While St. Luke
ascribes the plot against him to the Jews, St. Paul
relates that it was the etlmarch under Aretas the
king who guarded the city of the Damascenes to
take him. The two versions of the story can be
reconciled by supposing that the governor turned
aut the garrison and set a watch at the instigation
Df influential Jews, who represented St. Paul as a
listurber of the peace of the city. The alleged
iscendancy of the Nabataean king in Damascus at
that time raises a difficult historical problem,
which has an important bearing upon the chrono-
logy of the primitive Church. This point is dis-
cussed under ARABIA, ARETAS, ETHNARCH.

LITERATURE. G. A. Smith, HGHL, 1897, p. 641 ft. ; Bae-
deker, Handbook to Syria and Palestine, 1912, p. 298 ft. ; W.
Smith, Diet, of Gr. and Rom. Geog. i. [1856] 748; R. W.
Pounder, St. Paul and his Cities, 1913, p. 58; H. Macmillan,
Gleanings in Holy Fields, 1899, pp. 101, 114 ; E. B. Redlich,
St. Paul and his Companions, 1913.

JAMES STRAHAN.
DARKNESS. See LIGHT AND DARKNESS.

DART. See ARMOUB.

DATES. The dates of the Apostolic Age are
interlinked with those of the NT as a whole. No
single date is fixed with the absolute precision
which modern historical science demands in the
case of recent or contemporaneous chronology.
Although some individual dates are so nearly agreed
upon that all practical ends aimed at in chronology
are secured, yet, in the words of W. M. Ramsay,



' No man can as yet prove his own opin ion about
chronology and order in the New Testament to the
satisfaction of other scholars ' (Expositor, 8th ser.,
ii. [1911] 154). In re-stating the information ac-
cessible on these dates, it will be well to exhibit
clearly the limits of the apostolic period, to repro-
duce some Roman Imperial dates, to fix some
pivotal points which may serve as landmarks, and
to determine the times of some of the important
events in the life of the Christian community so
far as they can be related to the above. What
has been said of the difficulty of reaching indisput-
able results will be found to be especially true of
the last part of this task.

I. GENERAL LIMIT DATES. In its broadest ac-
ceptance (in ecclesiastical history) the Apostolic
Age begins with the birth of Jesus Christ (usually
reckoned as 4 B.C.), and ends with the passing of
the last of the apostles from the scene of action, i.e.
the death of John in the reign of Trajan, or, for
the sake of convenience, A.D. 100. In a narrower
sense, the first 33 years of this general period are not
included in the Apostolic Age. They constitute an
epoch by themselves. The problems raised in them
are connected with the life and work of Jesus, and
the story is told in the Canonical Gospels. In this
definition of it, the Apostolic Age begins with the
Day of Pentecost, or at the point where the author
of Acts takes up the story ; and it ends with the
last of the apostles. In a still narrower sense, the
period beginning with the Fall of Jerusalem (A.D.
70) is thrown off on the ground that ' NT history
may fitly be said to close with the great catastrophe
of A.D. 70' (Turner in HDB i. 415 b ). This limita-
tion may be further justified by the fact that the de-
struction of the Temple established a new order of
things not simply with reference to Judaism, but
also to the whole apostolic activity, and that the
only items of importance in Christian history that
can be included in a chronology subsequent to that
event are the dates of some apostolic (or other NT)
writings.

The date of the Crucifixion. Since the Apostolic
Age begins with the Day of Pentecost, the question
of the year in which the Crucifixion occurred falls
to be briefly reviewed here. The line of departure
for the chronology of the Crucifixion is given by the
Gospel narratives. These name both the Roman
and the Jewish rulers of the day. The Roman
Emperor was Tiberius (A.D. 14-37), the procurator
of Judaea was Pontius Pilate (A.D. 26-36), the high
priest of the Jews was Caiaphas (A.D. 25[?]-34[?]).
Since Pilate must have been procurator for two or
three years before the case of Jesus came for trial
(cf. Jos. Ant. xvill. iii. 1-3, BJ II. ix. 2-4), and
since, according to St. Luke, the whole ministry of
Jesus falls after the 15th year of Tiberius (A.D. 29,
if sole reign is meant, and 27, if co-regency with
Augustus), it follows that the earliest year for the
Crucifixion is 28.* The latest limit is fixed by the
fact that after 34 Caiaphas was no longer high
priest. Between 28 ana 34, however, the deter-
mination of the exact year is facilitated by the
astronomical calculations as to the coincidence of
Passover with the day of the week implied in the
Gospel narrative. There is a margin of uncertainty
on this point ; but, whichever way the perplexing
problem is solved, the year 29 or 30 still satisfies
the conditions.f As between the two years to
which the discussion narrows down the choice, the
year 30 seems upon the whole, in view of traditional
as well as internal grounds, to be the more satisfac-
tory.

* The question is somewhat complicated by the uncertainty
as to the length of the ministry of Jesus (cf . L. Fendt, Die Dauer
tier ii/ent lichen Wirksamkeit Jem, 1906 ; W. Homanner, Die
Dauer der 6/entlichen Wirksamkeit Jesu, 1908).

t For full discussion see Turner in HDB i. 410 ; cf. also art.
'Dates' in DCGi. 413.



DATES



DATES



275



The net results arrived at for limiting dates,
therefore, are :

(1) The Apostolic Church =4 B.C.-A.D. 100.

(2) The Apostolic Age = A.D. 30-100.

(3) The Apostolic Era=A.D. 30-70.

II. ROMAN IMPERIAL DATES. Jesus Christ was
crucified during the reign of Tiberius, and more
precisely in the 15th year of that Emperor's sole
rule, and the 17th, or 18th, of his co-regency with
Augustus. Tiberius was followed by Caius Cali-
yula in A.D. 37. Caligula was succeeded by Claud-
ius in 41. Nero followed Claudius in 54, and was
supplanted in 68 by Galba. Otho succeeded Galba
in 69, and was followed by Vespasian in 70. Ves-
pasian was followed by his son Titus in 79. Domi-
tian came next in 81, reigning until 96. Then came
Nerva, whose reign lasted till 98 ; and, so far as the
Apostolic Age was concerned, Trajan closed the suc-
cession, ascending the throne in 98 and reigning till
117.



Tiberius
Caligula
Claudius
Nero .
Galba .
Otho



A.D.
14-37
37-41
41-54
64-68
68-69
69-70



Vespasian
Titus .
Domitian
Nerva .
Trajan .



A.D.

70-79
79-81
81-96
96-98
98-117



III. PIVOTAL DATES. Close scrutiny brings into
measurably clear detail the following fixed points
in the apostolic chronology, which, therefore, may
serve as general landmarks.

1. The rule of Aretas over Damascus. In un-
ravelling the complications of the problem raised
by the mention of an ' ethnarch of Aretas ' by St.
Paul (2 Co II 32 ), it must be borne in mind that
Rome governed the subject territories of Asia either
directly or through subject princes. Before 33-34
and after 62-63 Damascus was under direct Roman
administration. This is made clear from the extant
Syrian coins of these years, which bear the heads
of the Roman Emperors Tiberius and Nero and
do not allude to subject rulers. Since some allusion
is always made where subject princes intervene,
the case seems clearly made out that only after 34
and before 62 could a Nabataean king have secured
ascendancy at Damascus. How this came about,
however, is not definitely known. It could certainly
not have been due to rebellion or any other form of
violence. And if it was brought about peacefully,
it is probable that it was done upon the initiative,
or by consent, of Caligula, who is known to have
encouraged the devolution of as much autonomy on
the native dynasts as was consistent with Roman
suzerainty. The Nabataean ascendancy in Damas-
cus was thus near its beginning during the last
years of Aretas (Harithath) IV. For the accession
of this king is placed by Josephus (Ant. XVI. ix. 4)
in connexion with certain events in the latter part
of the reign of Herod the Great. His immediate
successor Abia ruled under Claudius and was a con-
temporary of Izates, of Adiabene, against whom he
waged war upon invitation of certain malcontents
and traitors (Ant. XX. iv. 1). The probable limits of
his reign thus appear to be 9 B.C. and A.D. 39 or 40
(cf. CIS, pt. ii. 197-217 ; also Schiirer, HJPl. ii. 357,
II. i. 66, 67). The 'governor (ethnarch) of Aretas'
referred to by St. Paul must therefore have acted his
part of guarding the gates of Damascus before the
year 39. But how long before is not certain. And
since from Gal I 17 it is clear thafc Saul returned to
Damascus as a Christian leader after a period of
three years spent in Arabia, and the flight from
Damascus (2 Co II 32 ) cannot be identified with any
later event than this visit, his conversion must have
taken place not later than 36, and perhaps several
years earlier. See also art. ARETAS.

2. The death of Herod Agrippa I According to
Josephus (Ant. XIX. viii. 2, BJ II. xi. 6), Agrippa
died at the age of 54, at the end of the seventh



year of his reign, four of which had been passed
under Caligula and three under Claudius ; Josephus
also makes it plain that the three years that fell
under the reign of Claudius were the period of
Agrippa's sole rule over the whole of Palestine,
and that he had been made king over the whole of
Palestine by Claudius immediately after his acces-
sion (Ant. XIX. v. 1, BJ II. xi. 5). Since Claudius
succeeded Caligula on 24th Jan. 41, the death of
Agrippa must be dated in 44. This conclusion
harmonizes with the circumstance that the festivi-
ties at Csesarea during which he was stricken with
his fata,! illness were being held in honour of the
safe return of the Emperor from Britain (a-wrypias,
Ant. XIX. viii. 2) in the year 44 (Dio Cass. Ix. 23 ;
Suet. Claud. 17). But if this was the occasion for
the celebration, the time of the year for it was in
all probability the late summer or early autumn,
since news of the return of the Emperor must have
taken some time to reach the East. The year 44
is thus fixed as the date of the events in Ac 12,
and at the same time serves as a terminus ad quern
for all that precedes.

3. The proconsulship of Gallio in Achaia. L.
Junius Gallio (Ac 18 12 ), brother of the philosopher
Seneca and mentioned by him in affectionate
terms (Quest. Nat., Preface), but adopted by the
rhetorician Gallio, served a proconsulship of one
year in Achaia some time between 44 and 54. The
fact of his residence in Achaia is certified by Seneca,
who alludes (Ep. xvm. i. 104) to his having been
obliged to leave that province on account of a fever.
It is further attested by the mention of his name
in an inscription found near Platsea in which he is
designated as a benefactor of the city: 'H irdXis
nXaraifuv AO$K[IOV 'Iov]viov TaXXiuva 'Aviav6v [av6ii]-
TTO.TOV rbv tavTTJs f>uepy[tTr)v]. But, since neither of
these references to Gallio's experience in Achaia is
associated with any date, the exact year of his pro-
consulship was left to be determined in the earlier
computations upon purely conjectural grounds ; and
these yielded no palpable gain in the direction of
greater fixity.

Thus a great variety of results was reached : Anger (de Tern-
porum . . . Katione, 1833, p. 119), A.D. 52-54 ; Vfieseler(Chronol.
des apostol. Zeitalters, 1848, p. 119), Lewin (Fasti Sacri, 1865,
p. 299), Blass (Acta Apost., 1895, p. 22), Harnack (Geseh. der
altchristl. Lit., 1897, ii. 237), 48-50 ; Turner (HDB i. 417^), after
44, probably after 49 or 50 ; Hoennicke (Chron. des Lebens des
Apostels Paulus, 1903, p. 30), at the latest 53-54; Clemen
(Paulus, 1904), 52-53 ; O. Holtzmann (NTZG*, 1906, p. 144),
53 ; andZahn (Introd. to NT, Eng. tr., 1909, iii. 470), 53-54.

This uncertainty has been altogether removed
by the discovery at Delphi of four fragments of an
inscription naming Gallio and linking his proconsul-
ship with the 26th acclamation of Claudius as
Imperator. The fragments were fitted together
and the inscription was given to the public by
Emile Bourguet (de Rebus Delphicis Imperatorice
JEtatis Capita Duo, Montpellier, 1905). The dis-
covery ana its significance were discussed more or
less fully by Deissmann (Paulus, 1911, pp. 159-
176 ; Eng. tr., 1912, Appendix I. p. 235), Offord
(PEFSt April 1908, p. 163), and Ramsay (Expositor,
7th ser., vii. [1909] 468). The text is not in a per-
fect state of preservation, but is sufficiently clear,
with the restorations which have been proposed
by Bourguet, to cover the chronological point
under dispute. It was a letter sent by Claudius
when he bore the title of Imperator xxvi. (KG
HaTypirarpldos). It names Junius Gallio as the
friend of the writer and proconsul of Achaia :
floi/lXIOS rAAAIflNO[0aos] MOT KAI [avBti}-
IIATOS. This meaning of the inscription was first
pointed out by A. J. Reinach (REG, 1907, p. 49),
and is independently reached or otherwise accepted
by Offord (loc. cit.), Ramsay (loc. cit.), Clemen
(ThLZ, 1910, col. 656), Loisy (with his usual hyper-
critical caution, Revue d'hist. et de lit. relig.,



276



DATES



DATES



March, April, 1911, pp. 139-144), and Deissmann
(loc. cit.). The exact date of the acclamation of
Claudius as Imperator xxvi. is not given any-
where. But, since from R. Cagnat's tables (Cours
d?6pigraphie latine?, 1898, p. 478) it appears that at
the beginning of 52 Claudius was Imperator xxiv.
and at the end Imperator xxvil., both the 25th and
the 26th acclamations must have been issued some
time in 52, and in all probability after victories
secured during the summer season. Butif Gallio was
proconsul when the document was sent to Delphi,
since the proconsular year was fixed by Claudius as
beginning April 1 (Dio Cassius, Ivii. 14. 5 ; Ix. 11. 6,
17. 3), Gallio's term of office falls in the year begin-
ning with the spring of 52. Cf. art. ACTS OF THE
APOSTLES, VI. 3.

4. The recall of Felix and the accession of
Festus. The appointment of Felix was one of the
later acts of the Emperor Claudius ; and Nero on
his accession confirmed it (BJ II. xii. 8, xiii. 2-7 ;
Ant. XX. viii. 4, 5). The exact year of the event
is given by Eusebius (Chron. [Arm en. VS and
some MSS of Jerome's tr.]) as the llth year of
Claudius. Tacitus (Ann. xii. 54 ; cf. Jos. BJ H.
xii. 7f.), in his account of the troubles leading to
the deposition of Cumanus, placed the event in
connexion with the year 52. Although Harnack
has drawn a different conclusion from the Eusebian
Chronicle, it seems upon the whole that these three
sources agree in pointing to the year 52 for the
arrival of Felix in Palestine, or, at all events, for
his assumption of the proconsulship. Much more
complicated, however, is the question of the ter-
mination of Felix's tenure of office. There is no
doubt that, like Cumanus, Felix had by his misrule
made himself the object of hatred and the ground
of complaint on the part of the Jews, and that,
owing to representations made by the latter, he
had fallen into disfavour, and had escaped con-
demnation only by the timely intercession of his
brother Pallas (Josephus, Ant. xx. viii. 7-9).
According to the apparent meaning of Josephus'
words, this occurred after Festus had assumed
control of Palestine in succession to Felix. But
Tacitus informs us that Pallas had already fallen
from his place as Nero's favourite in 55 (Ann. xiii.
14), i.e. when Britannicus was 13 years of age.
With this Dio Cassius (Ixi. 7. 4) agrees.

Assuming that Josephus is correct, and taking
in addition the testimony of Eusebius (Chron.),
who places the accession of Festus in the second
year of Nero, Harnack (Gesch. der altchristl. Lit.
i. 235) and Holtzmann (NTZG, p. 128 f.) place the
vindication of Felix in 55 and the arrival of Festus
in Palestine in 56. But, while this course seems
the natural one upon the narrow range of evidence
taken into account, it is precluded when the follow-
ing considerations come in to view. (1) The sedition
of 'the Egyptian' (Ac 21 38 ) occurred during the
procuratorship of Felix, and some time earlier than
the arrest of St. Paul. But Josephus informs us
that it took place during the reign of Nero, or
after 54 (BJ n. xiii. 5 ; Ant. xx. viii. 6). If the
downfall of Felix is to be dated before 56, the
arrest of St. Paul must have been made in 53 or at
the latest in 54, and the uprising of ' the Egyptian '
still earlier, or from two to four years before the
accession of Nero. (2) The marriage of Felix and
Drusilla is, according to Josephus, rendered impos-
sible before 55. For she had been given by her
brother Agrippa to Azizus of Emesa, being herself
15 years of age, in 53 (Ant. XX. vii. 1). But accord-
ing to Ac 24 24 she was married to Felix at the time
of St. Paul's appearance before the procurator.
Either, therefore, the arrest of the Apostle and the
end of the proconsulship of Felix must be dated
several years later than 53, to allow time for the
necessary development of the intrigues by which



Felix lured her to unfaithfulness to her husband
and persuaded her to marry him, or these events
must be condensed within an incredibly short
interval. Besides, between the appearance of St.
Paul before Felix and Drusilla and the deposi-
tion of Felix two years must be allowed (Ac 24 27 ).
(3) Felix had sent certain Jewish leaders to Home,
where they were imprisoned pending trial. Jos-
ephus says that in his own 27th year (63-64) he
went to Rome to negotiate the liberation of these
prisoners. But if Felix ceased ruling Judaea in 55,
these men were kept confined for the unparalleled
period of 8 or 10 years. If, on the other hand,
Felix remained in office until 60, their imprison-
ment lasted only 4 years. (4) The length of the
procuratorship of Pelix may be approximately
computed from a comparison of Ac 24 10 and 24 1 ".
In the former passage Felix is said to have already
ruled 'many years.' It would be impossible to
construe this as meaning less than three years. In
the latter his rule is reported as continuing for
two years longer, thus giving a minimum of five
years. This is, however, a bare minimum, and
may well be doubled without violence to the
situation. If, therefore, the computations which
fix the date of the appointment of Felix be correct
as given above, and the year 52 is approximately
the correct time of that event, the year 59 or 60
would be a reasonable one to. fix on as the time of
the end of his rule.

The only consideration that offers any difficulty in the way of
this conclusion is the fact that Josephus associates the recall of
Felix with the influential period of Pallas at court; but (a)
Josephus may have been in error in attributing Felix's escape
from punishment to the intercession of Pallas. (b) He may
have grouped together events belonging to two separate dates,
i.e. certain charges made at the early date, when Pallas by his
plea on behalf of Felix saved him from punishment, and the
final complaints which ended in his removal. If this be the
case, the effectiveness of the later accusations of the Jews could
be all the more easily understood, since at that time Poppaea
had acquired her influence over Nero and an appeal of the
Jewish leaders would enlist her strong endorsement, (c) It
may be, however, that Pallas, after being charged with high
treason and found innocent, was re-instated into favour by
Nero, and so continued until the year 60. This is not probable
In view of the testimony of Tacitus, who tells us that Pallas was
indeed acquitted along with Burrhus (Ann. xiii. 23) ; but that
he was never again treated with special favour (ib. xiii. 2). He
died of poison in the year 62. The conflict between the state-
ments of Tacitus and Josephus is best harmonized if we take
the former to have been well informed on the order and time
of events in Rome, but misled as to similar matters in Judaea ;
Josephus, on the other hand, may be regarded as accurate in his
statements regarding Palestinian events and less so on matters
of an internal character hi Rome. The result yielded by this
view is that Felix was found guilty of maladministration in



Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 89 of 234)