The Jews after the Exile
This chapter presents an overview of the Foundations of Christianity. The Jews were exposed for four generations longer than the ten tribes to all those influences mentioned by us as stimulating national fanaticism to the highest degree. Babylon was conquered by the Persians without a sword-stroke, which shows how weak the city must have been; and in the next year Cyrus, the Persian king, already permits the Jews to return home. The civil wars after Caesar's death devastated Judea also and imposed heavy burdens upon it. After the victory of Augustus, the latter again, like Caesar, showed himself favorable to the Jews, but Judea remained dependent on the Romans, was again occupied by Roman troops, came under the supervision of Rome and finally under direct administration by Roman officials. The Pharisees became the spiritual masters of the masses; among the Pharisees, the 'scribes', who are always mentioned together with them in the New Testament, the rabbis, were the dominant group.