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Emperor Nerva’s Reform of the Jewish Tax

11 months ago

123 words

Under Domitian (emperor from 81 to 96 C.E.), the Fiscus Iudaicus was administered very harshly, and there was no shortage of informers (Suetonius, Domitian 12.1–2). In particular, new victims of the tax were non-Jews who “lived a Jewish life without publicly acknowledging that fact” (i.e., Jewish sympathizers and gentile Christians) and Jews who “concealed their origin and did not pay the tribute levied upon their people” (i.e., apostate Jews and Jewish Christians). Dio (67.14.1–2) records that Domitian had the consul, Flavius Clemens, and several others killed in 95 C.E. on account of a charge of atheism; this was a charge that condemned others who “drifted into Jewish ways.” Although some of the accused escaped execution, the property of all was confiscated by the state.

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