XXXIX. (306) “Now the things set up on that occasion were shields, on which there was no representation of any living thing whatever engraved. But now the thing proposed to be erected is a colossal statue. Moreover, then the erection was in the dwelling-house of the governor; but they say, that which is now contemplated is to be in the inmost part of the temple, in the very holy of holies itself, into which, once in the year, the high priest enters, on the day called the great fast, to offer incense, and on no other day, being then about in accordance with our national law also to offer up prayers for a fertile and ample supply of blessings, and for peace of all mankind. (307) And if any one else, I will not say of the Jews, but even of the priests, and those not of the lowest order, but even those who are in the rank next to the first, should go in there, either with him or after him, or even if the very high priest himself should enter in thither on two days in the year, or three or four times on the same day, he is subjected to inevitable death for his impiety, (308) so great are the precautions taken by our lawgiver with respect to the holy of holies, as he determined to preserve it alone inaccessible to and untouched by any human being. “How many deaths then do you not suppose that the people, who have been taught to regard this place with such holy reverence, would willingly endure rather than see a statue introduced into it? I verily believe that they would rather slay all their whole families, with their wives and children, and themselves last of all, in the ruins of their houses and families, and Tiberius knew this well. (309) And what did your great-grandfather, the most excellent of all emperors that ever lived upon the earth, he who was the first to have the appellation of Augustus given him, on account of his virtue and good fortune; he who diffused peace in every direction over earth and sea, to the very furthest extremities of the world? (310) Did not he, when he had heard a report of the peculiar characteristics of our temple, and that there is in it no image or representation made by hands, no visible likeness of Him who is invisible, no attempt at any imitation of his nature, did not he, I say, marvel at and honour it? for as he was imbued with something more than a mere smattering of philosophy, inasmuch as he had deeply feasted on it, and continued to feast on it every day, he partly retraced in his recollection all the precepts of philosophy which his mind had previously learnt, and partly also he kept his learning alive by the conversation of the literary men who were always about him; for at his banquets and entertainments, the greatest part of the time was devoted to learned conversation, in order that not only his friends’ bodies but their minds also might be nourished.