This is just a coincidence I noted when someone brought up Caligula’s attempt to deify himself and build a statue in his likeness in the Jewish Temple c. 40 CE
Caligula sought c 40 CE to have his image venerated in the Jerusalem Temple. This episode has probably helped shape the present form of Mark 13.
These texts refer to Caligula by his true name Caius/Gaius
I am interested. Do you happen to know where I can find more information on that?
Ιt’s also interesting to note that he was assassinated before he could follow through with it. If he had done it, the Jews would have probably went to war with Rome 26 years earlier than what history records.
Antiochus IV set up a statue of Zeus in the temple and the Jews went to war with the Greeks (and their Hellenized Jewish sycophants) over it. The Roman Emperor Hadrian set up a statue of Jupiter on the sacred ground of the temple and again 300 years later and the Jews went to war with Rome over it; even though they had their asses handed to them two times prior (1st Jewish/Roman war and the Kitos War). Both were “abominations” (the Hebrew word is interchangeable with “idol”) that caused desolation.
No doubt Gaius attempting to deify himself and erect a statue in his likeness in the temple would have infuriated the entire Judean populace. Though if Jesus is talking about Gaius and his potentially desolating abomination, then he would have to be alive sometime in the late 30s or very early 40s (40, 41). According to Josephus, this was around the time John the Baptist was imprisoned and killed.
The timeline is believed to go something like this:
Winter 39/40 CE = Petronius, governor of Syria, receives Gaius’ order to erect a statue and proceeds to head towards Judea with 2 legions.
April/May 40 CE = Petronius negotiates with Jewish elders at Ptolemais. Sends report to Gaius.
June 40 CE = Gaius receives Petronius’ report and writes back urging him to expedite execution of his order.
August 40 CE = Petronius receives Gaius’ reply but hesitates to act on it.
End of September 40 CE = Agrippa I faints when he learns what Gaius has ordered and appeals to his childhood buddy, persuading him to send an order to Petronius to abandon the plan.
Beginning of November 40 CE = Petronius has more negotiations with the Jewish elders. Sends a request to Gaius not to erect the statue.
Ending of November 40 CE = Petronius receives Gaius’ order to abandon the plan that was sent in Sept.
Beginning of January 41 CE = Gaius receives the petition from Petronius sent in early November, and responds with an order for Petronius to commit suicide for stalling instead of acting.
24 January 41 CE = Gaius is murdered.
Beginning of March 41 CE = Petronius receives the news of Gaius’ death.
Beginning of April CE = Petronius receives Gaius’ letter ordering him to commit suicide, sent in early January, but naturally ignores it. Hey, the man’s dead!