XLIII. (338) And he was intending to do this while on his voyage along the coast during the period which he had allotted for his sojourn in Egypt. For an indescribable desire occupied his mind to see Alexandria, to which he was eager to go with all imaginable haste, and when he had arrived there he intended to remain a considerable time, urging that the deification about which he was so anxious, might easily be originated and carried to a great height in that city above all others, and then that it would be a model to all other cities of the adoration to which he was entitled, inasmuch as it was the greatest of all the cities of the east, and built in the finest situation in the world. For all inferior men and nations are eager to imitate great men and great states. (339) Moreover, Gaius was in other respects a man in whose nature there was nothing stable or trustworthy so that, even if he did anything good or kind, he speedily repented of it, and in such a manner that he soon attempted to annul what he had done in such a way as to cause even greater affliction and injury to those whom he had favoured. (340) For instance, he released some prisoners, and then for no reason whatever he threw them into prison a second time, inflicting upon them a second calamity more grievous than the first, namely, that which was caused by unexpected misfortune. (341) Again, he condemned some persons to banishment who had expected sentence of death; not because they were conscious of having committed crimes deserving of death, or indeed of any punishment at all, even the lightest, but because of the extravagant inhumanity of their master they did not expect to escape. Now to these men, banishment was a downright gain, and equivalent almost to a restoration, since they looked upon it that they had escaped the greatest of all evils, the danger of death. (342) But no long period elapsed before he sent some soldiers after them, though no new circumstances had arisen, and put to death simultaneously the most excellent and nobly-born of the exiles who were living in the different islands as their own countries, and who were bearing their misfortunes in the most contented manner, inflicting in this way the greatest and most pitiable and unexpected misery on many of the noblest families in Rome. (343) And if he ever gave any one a sum of money as a gift, he demanded it back again at some future time, not a simple loan but he also required interest and compound interest, and often treating the persons themselves who had received it from him as thieves, and punishing them with the severest penalties for having stolen it; for he was not contented that those miserable men should return what had been given to them, but he compelled them also to give up all their property which they had inherited from their parents, or relations, or from any friends, or which, having selected a life of industry and profit, they had acquired by their own resources. (344) And those who appeared to be in the greatest credit with him, and who lived with him in a round of pleasure, as one may say, with great appearances of friendship and good will, were greatly injured by him, being compelled to expend large sums in irregular, and illegal, and sudden journeys, and in entertainments; for they lavished whole properties in the preparation of a single banquet, so that they were compelled to have recourse to usurers, so vast was his prodigality; (345) therefore many men deprecated the receiving of any favours from him, thinking not only that it was of no advantage, but even that they were only a bait and a snare to lead them into intolerable suffering. (346) So great therefore was his inequality of temper towards every one, and most especially towards the nation of the Jews to which he was most bitterly hostile, and accordingly beginning in Alexandria he took from them all their synagogues there, and in the other cities, and filled them all with images and statues of his own form; for not caring about any other erection of any kind, he set up his own statue every where by main force; and the great temple in the holy city, which was left untouched to the last, having been thought worthy of all possible respect and preservation, he altered and transformed into a temple of his own, that he might call it the temple of the new Jupiter, the illustrious Gaius. (347) What is this that you say? Do you, who are a man, seek to take to yourself the air and the heaven, not being content with the vast multitude of continents, and islands, and nations, and countries of which you enjoy the sovereignty? And do you not think any one of the gods who are worshipped in that city or by our people worthy of any country or city or even of any small precinct which may have been consecrated to them in old time, and dedicated to them with oracles and sacred hymns, and are you intending to deprive them of that, that in all the vast circumference of the world there may be no visible trace or memorial to be found of any honour or pious worship paid to the true real living God? (348) Truly you are suggesting fine hopes to the race of mankind; are you ignorant that you are opening the fountains of evils of every kind, making innovations, and committing acts of audacious impiety such as it is wicked to do and even to think of?