A Phantom Army at the Fall of Jerusalem

1280px-Jean-Guillaume_Moitte_-_Spoils_of_the_Temple-_After_a_Relief_from_the_Arch_of_Titus_Rome-660x350In The Histories, Tacitus describes the supernatural events that accompanied the fall of Jerusalem to the armies of Titus in 70AD:

Prodigies had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but hating all religious rites, did not deem it lawful to expiate by offering and sacrifice. There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of arms, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. The doors of the inner shrine were suddenly thrown open, and a voice of more than mortal tone was heard to cry that the Gods were departingAt the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure. Some few put a fearful meaning on these events, but in most there was a firm persuasion, that in the ancient records of their priests was contained a prediction of how at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers, coming from Judaea, were to acquire universal empire. These mysterious prophecies had pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, with the usual blindness of ambition, had interpreted these mighty destinies of themselves, and could not be brought even by disasters to believe the truth.

Of course, it wasn’t Vespasian and Titus who achieved universal empire, but Christ.