Gaius Julius Caesar would have been slandered to suicide if he lived today. First, he received large loans from local Roman Jewish bankers, and much assistance from the Judean high priests Hyrcanus. Caesar was always in pressing need of money to finance the political machine he maintained in Rome while he was campaigning in Germany. His decrees are amazingly pro-Jewish, to a point that would be unimaginable today:
"The Jews shall possess Jerusalem and may encompass that city with walls; Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, rule it in the manner he himself pleases; and the Jews be allowed to deduct out of their tribute a corus."The next decree, dated before Dec., 47 B.C., establishes that
"the Jews of the Empire pay a tribute to the city of Jerusalem except during the Sabbatical year. This decree provides for an annual tribute to Hyrcanus and his sons. It ordains that the original ordinances in regard to the high priests of the Jews shall remain in force, and that Hyrcanus and the Jews retain those places and countries which belonged to the kings of Syria and Phoenicia."It is known that Caesar was a friend of the Jews, but the details are amazing. Caesar, the ruler of the World largest Empire, did care a lot about the Jews, and granted not only the City of Jerusalem to the Jews but also the countries of Syria and Phoenicia (Lebanon). Jewish subjects paid less taxes than others and part of it was paid to the Jerusalem government. It is obvious to me that Greg Cochran is wrong when he says that the Jews of the Antiquity were not above-average intelligent. To achieve such unique privileges, that not even the smart Greeks could dream of, our ancestors had to be real special. More than we are now.