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Chapter 192 - About the Temple’s right to tithes and dues
192,1. Says Cyrenius: 'Here too you are completely right, and I am happy to detect a wise and honourable bade in you, and shall have to elevate you to some public office with considerable authority.
192,2. Say Ebahl: 'This will be difficult, as I am still a Jew who is strictly precluded from accepting any office or title from Rome!'
192,3. Says Cyrenius: 'Well, what will it take me to make you a citizen of Rome? And once you are so you are able to accept every imaginable official dignity, and we shall know how to thoroughly punish the Temple if it objects! If you are therefore willing, I shall make you a citizen of Rome!'
192,4. Says Ebahl: 'Exalted Commander, verily not for the high esteem of a Roman citizen, but purely on account of the freedom bestowed upon every upright citizen of Rome, do I accept your offer! In heart I shall certainly remain an orthodox Jew eternally, - for one cannot escape the living conviction that the true Judaism really once came to mankind from the heavens and that true salvation is to be sought and found therein; but externally I shall be as one born of a genuine Roman woman in the heart of Rome.'
192,5. Says Cyrenius: 'Good, you shall at once, from my own hands written on parchment, receive a permanently legitimate pass, imbued with all rights of a citizen of Rome! On producing such letter to the Templers, they are certain to leave you in complete peace, and you shall then be able to do more for mankind than it could be the case heretofore; I want it, and so be it!'
192,6. Therewith Cyrenius gave his secret scribe a sign and the latter immediately brought the pass. Cyrenius signed it and handed it to Ebahl.
192,7. Ebahl, deeply touched by the Chief Governor‘s goodness, thanks Cyrenius from the bottom of his heart, terminating his eulogy with 'Verily, such honour I had not expected in the vicinity of Caesarea City! This letter shall on my part be verily used for mankind‘s greatest advantage, and that much more because the pass empowers me to make any upright Jew a citizen of Rome, who himself then in turn enjoys all the rights and privileges of a Roman citizen. Verily, our area shall soon count many Roman citizens, and the departure of Pharisees shall soon increase as the grass in spring! Oh, how splendid this shall be!'
192,8. Says Marcus, standing next to him: 'Brother, you are indeed right to be very happy about it, because it is a great thing to be a citizen of Rome! I have been so from birth; but I nevertheless have to pay the Temple-clerics a certain annual tribute. They take only a tithe from Jews, but from us Romans they have by devious means obtained from the imperia Court the right to an additional tax, and one has to come to a certain understanding with them in order to revert back from the tough taxation to the old tithe. This right to compulsory taxation of Roman citizens by the Templers should be taken back from them by Rome without misgivings; because firstly the tax is too harsh and secondly because it makes the Templers too powerful - and both are bad.
192,9. Among the current transport of felons to Sidon again are found several agitators who are certain to be in the Temple‘s pay for there work. It certainly is true that the compulsory taxation is permitted as an especial burden only in certain Canaanite principalities, where it still appears upheld by Rome; but the Templers are not satisfied therewith, committing excesses by means of false documentation which they present as recently originating in Rome, compelling the Roman citizens to settle for at least the tithe. I had to even this morning pay them the fish-tithe, otherwise they would probably have caused me all imaginable trouble.
192,10. Wherefore I think as follows: one should as soon as possible take away every Roman concession from the Temple, or Rome shall shortly be in danger of upheaval upon upheaval in Asia, and Rome shall before the passage of forty summers have the unpleasant honour of having to reconquer Canaan and the rest of Asia a second time, from Alpha to Omega; This my opinion of deep conviction, because I am well familiar with the Temple‘s state, and hence deeply despise it.'
192,11. Says Cyrenius: 'Even for this mis-shapen axe, a handle shall be found! But when the Templers dare to start collecting taxes to extract their tithe from it, then we shall know how to despatch a well-fed thunder-storm towards the Temple; for this again is high-handedness on the Temple‘s part that would have truly dire consequences for Rome.
192,12. (turning to Julius) You shall, Julius, still to-day receive rolls of prepared parchment from me whereon you shall be able to frame a few appropriate word for the Temple, as you see fit! -You get the picture!?'
192,13. Says Julius: 'This should be no problem, if only the princedom of Judea had not been leased out to the voracious Herod, with almost every power attached! Besides that there is installed at Jerusalem, an apathetic governor, namely Pontius Pilate, who is only too happy to be left alone and in peace; there is therefore not much to be done with him! But there is another fatal circumstance for careful consideration: prescribe a thousand ever so hard laws to the Temple, and it shall, like a Proteus, wriggle out of them; - whence I ask what more should then be undertaken.
192,14. To proceed against the Temple with force, publicly, would be quite risky; for the people are attached to it and, particularly in Judea, priests are taken for semi-gods and brokers between their God and mankind. If therefore one brought to bear evident force upon the Temple, one would have the fiercest rebellion upon one‘s neck in all of Judea. Wherefore much caution is called before undertaking something with the Temple in all earnest.
192,15. Ah, here in Galilee and namely Genezareth, which finds itself in a state of perpetual emergency and where people are of a more enlightened nature, one can take to the field against the black ones quite effectively; but in Judea not at all! Wherefore this means taking counsel, before anything against the Temple is undertaken!
192,16. The Temple has been able to, in all sorts of devious ways, to obtain all kind of privileges from Rome which we are bound to honour for as long as we have the fortune and honour to be Romans. Under these conditions the Charta Albas (white documents) shall be of little or no avail to me! I am however myself sufficiently Charta Alba in my area! I can by the way always find use for some anyway.
192,17. For Genezareth and its extensive surroundings I have in any case already driven the tribute and tithe-extorting out of the Templers to where they are certain to let go of their voracity, and if I am correctly informed, then our upright Chief Cornelius in Capernaum has long since done the same at Capernaum, -and thus Galilee is, except for a few Herodian extortions, fairly free of the Temple-grinds, but this shall not be achievable in mighty Judea for a long time yet. This is my opinion. But you esteemed Governor, are at liberty to command whatever you will, and I shall at all times remain your most ready servant!'
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