Jesus (Myth?): examining Suetonius
There must be a mistake! How is a group goaded on by a dead person? There should be a bigger story! Jews travelling to Rome spread oral (presumably) tales of what? Jesus walking on water? Turning the other cheek? Dying for sins? Which caused the Jews to agitate enough that the Romans threw them out, just here but not elsewhere in the Empire. Here is an ancient map showing the Roman Empire (and modern for orientation).
I have spent two days reading about Roman Emperor Claudius. Fascinating! I had no idea we knew so much! He became Emperor just after Jesus supposedly died. I could not find another reference to this Jewish Banishment that he (supposedly) ordered. The stuff we do know about is pretty neat, from his relationship with the Senate to his wives to his cause of death (mushrooms).
Just after becoming Emperor, Claudius in his 'famous' Letter to the Alexandrians didn't permit many Jewish families to move to Alexandria; if you read it you'll see he isn't the kindest towards Jews.
Still, Jewish historian Josephus records that Claudius "then reaffirmed the rights and freedoms of all the Jews in the empire" (quote is from wikipedia, I think referencing book 19 chapter 5 section 2). I don't know to find the date that book 19 refers to, anyone? Was it before or after the banishment? Josephus doesn't seem to notice the banishment. Should he have known about it?
It was in Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus' book The Twelve Caesars that contains the reference to Chrestus. He section on Claudius was finished around 112 AD, sixty-ish years after the banishment. The original Latin with translation is available, if I knew Latin I would try to pin down "instigation". Where did he learn that Jews had been banished from Rome? Where are the "imperial records" that he supposedly worked from? One part of this wikipedia entry says he is very significant and a main source of work, but the last line says much is "gossip and factually unrealiable", with no data to back up either view. Annoying!
How many Jews were banished? How long did the banishment last, when did it end? Were there guards posted around Rome to keep out the Jews? How did Claudius know the name of their instigator (Christ the ghost?)? I think I could spend another two days on this and have more questions. Feedback, please...