Varro, Marcus Terentius°

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VARRO, MARCUS TERENTIUS ° (116–27 b.c.e.), Roman scholar. Varro mentions the date palms of Judea (De re rustica 2:1, 27). Augustine reports that Varro identified the Jewish God with Jupiter (De consensu Evangelistarum 1:30, 31, 42). Elsewhere he notes that Varro, in praising a bygone era when Romans did not use images in worshiping gods, points to Judaism as proof of the greater piety in such practice (De Civitate Dei 4:31, 2). If the citation is accurate, it indicates a rare appreciation of Judaism, in contrast to the anti-Jewish remarks usually found in Roman literature.

[Jacob Petroff]