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At one point early in Julius Caesar’s political career, feelings ran

so high against him that he thought it best to leave Rome. He sailed

for the Aegean island of Rhodes, but en route the ship was attacked

by pirates and Caesar was captured. The pirates demanded a

ransom of 12,000 gold pieces, and Caesar’s staff was sent away to

arrange the payment. Caesar spent almost 40 days with his captors,

jokingly telling the pirates on several occasions that he would

someday capture and crucify them to a man. The kidnappers were

greatly amused, but when the ransom was paid and Caesar was

freed, the first thing he did was gather a fleet and pursue the

pirates. They were captured and crucified ... to a man! Such was

the Romans’ attitude toward crucifixion. It was to be reserved for

the worst of criminals, a means of showing extreme contempt for

the condemned. The suffering and humiliation of a Roman

crucifixion were unequaled (Today in the Word, November 23,


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