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Friday, September 11, 2009

On Convincing Vespasian of His Kingship

At a time when Israel and Judea were in turmoil and Rome felt threatened from several angles, I was falsely imprisoned for being treasonous to the Empire. Though it was true that in my youth I led many a brigade in defense of Galilee, this was widely known and never held against me during the peace talks. To be accused of being a double agent was shocking to me, so I appealed directly to Vespasian's sense of self-worth and destiny.

I was brought before Vespasian, his son Titus (my 2nd cousin from my dad's side), and two friends of Titus. My only hope for survival meant looking beyond Nero's deepening travesty in Rome. I waxed as eloquently as I could:

Uncle Vespasian, you have the House of Aristobulus in your captivity but how long can Nero fiddle? You and your son here are each destined to lead the Empire, to restore Her Glory and bring peace and prosperity to many a nation. If the Descendants of Mariamme Unite, nobody can stop us. I have already prepared a route to Egypt for you, and from there you will arrive in Rome as a Champion.

A friend of Titus who was mental muscle (the other was brawn...) asked why I had not been able to predict the fall of Jotapata and my own imprisonment, and I quickly countered that I had indeed prophesied both of these events. Vespasian knew me from birth, and waved off the thug.

He leaned in close to my ear, and almost whispered: "What happens when I get to Egypt"

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