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According to a tradition recorded by the second-century Christian writer Hegesippus, the grandsons of Jude, Jesus’ brother, were denounced to the Roman emperor Domitian (81–96) because they, like Jesus himself, were descendants of King David. Fearing a restoration of David’s kingdom, Domitian summoned Jesus’ relatives to his imperial court and interrogated them directly: “Domitian asked them if they were descended from David and they admitted it. Then he asked how much property and money they had, and they replied that they only had 9,000 denarii between them, half belonging to each. And this, they said, was not in the form of cash but the estimated value of only thirty-nine plethra of land, from which they paid taxes and supported themselves from their own labour.” Having seen their calloused hands for himself, Domitian proceeded to question the men about Christ and his kingdom, “its nature, origin, and time of appearance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Medieval Canon Law
EditorsAnders Winroth, John Wei
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781139177221
ISBN (Print)9781107025042
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


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