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Josephus: Jewish Antiquities, Book 14

Sections 156 - 323

Translated by William Whiston (1737). A few spellings have been changed. See key to translations for an explanation of the format.


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[9.]   [156] G   Now when Caesar had settled the affairs of Syria, he sailed away. And as soon as Antipater had conducted Caesar out of Syria, he returned to Judaea. He then immediately raised up the wall which had been thrown down by Pompeius; and, by coming thither, he pacified that tumult which had been in the country, and this by both threatening and advising them to be quiet; [157] for that if they would be of Hyrcanus's side, they would live happily, and lead their lives without disturbance, and in the enjoyment of their own possessions; but if they were addicted to the hopes of what might come by innovation, and aimed to get wealth thereby, they should have him a severe master instead of a gentle governor, and Hyrcanus a tyrant instead of a king, and the Romans, together with Caesar, their bitter enemies instead of rulers, for that they would never bear him to be set aside whom they had appointed to govern. And when Antipater had said this to them, he himself settled the affairs of this country.

[158] G   And seeing that Hyrcanus was of a slow and slothful temper, he made Phasaelus, his eldest son, governor of Jerusalem, and of the places that were about it, but committed Galilee to Herodes, his next son, who was then a very young man, for he was but fifteen years of age. [159] But that youth of his was no impediment to him; but as he was a youth of great mind, he presently met with an opportunity of signalising his courage; for finding that there was one Hezekiah, a captain of a band of robbers, who overran the neighbouring parts of Syria with a great troop of them, he seized him and slew him, as well as a great number of the other robbers that were with him; [160] G   for which action he was greatly beloved by the Syrians; for when they were very desirous to have their country freed from this nest of robbers, he purged it of them. So they sung songs in his commendation in their villages and cities, as having procured them peace, and the secure enjoyment of their possessions; and on this account it was that he became known to Sextus Caesar, who was a relation of the great Caesar, and was now president of Syria. [161] Now Phasaelus, Herodes's brother, was moved with emulation at his actions, and envied the fame he had thereby got, and became ambitious not to be behindhand with him in deserving it. So he made the inhabitants of Jerusalem bear him the greatest good-will while he held the city himself, but did neither manage its affairs improperly, nor abuse his authority therein. [162] G   This conduct procured from the nation to Antipater such respect as is due to kings, and such honours as he might partake of if he were an absolute lord of the country. Yet did not this splendour of his, as frequently happens, in the least diminish in him that kindness and fidelity which he owed to Hyrcanus.

[163] But now the principal men among the Jews, when they saw Antipater and his sons to grow so much in the good-will the nation bare to them, and in the revenues which they received out of Judaea, and out of Hyrcanus's own wealth, they became ill-disposed to him; [164] G   for indeed Antipater had contracted a friendship with the Roman emperors; and when he had prevailed with Hyrcanus to send them money, he took it to himself, and purloined the present intended, and sent it as if it were his own, and not Hyrcanus's gift to them. [165] Hyrcanus heard of this his management, but took no care about it; nay, he rather was very glad of it. But the chief men of the Jews were therefore in fear, because they saw that Herodes was a violent and bold man, and very desirous of acting tyrannically; so they came to Hyrcanus, and now accused Antipater openly, and said to him, "How long wilt thou be quiet under such actions as are now done? Or dost thou not see that Antipater and his sons have already seized upon the government, and that it is only the name of a king which is given thee? [166] G   But do not thou suffer these things to be hidden from thee, nor do thou think to escape danger by being so careless of thyself and of thy kingdom; for Antipater and his sons are not now stewards of thine affairs: do not thou deceive thyself with such a notion; they are evidently absolute lords; [167] for Herodes, Antipater's son, hath slain Hezekiah, and those that were with him, and hath thereby transgressed our law, which hath forbidden to slay any man, even though he were a wicked man, unless he had been first condemned to suffer death by the Sanhedrin, yet hath he been so insolent as to do this, and that without any authority from thee."

[168] G   Upon Hyrcanus hearing this, he complied with them. The mothers also of those that had been slain by Herodes raised his indignation; for those women continued every day in the temple, persuading the king and the people that Herodes might undergo a trial before the Sanhedrin for what he had done. [169] Hyrcanus was so moved by these complaints, that he summoned Herodes to come to his trial for what was charged upon him. Accordingly he came; but his father had persuaded him to come not like a private man, but with a guard, for the security of his person; and that when he had settled the affairs of Galilee in the best manner he could for his own advantage, he should come to his trial, but still with a body of men sufficient for his security on his journey, yet so that he should not come with so great a force as might look like terrifying Hyrcanus, but still such a one as might not expose him naked and unguarded [to his enemies.] [170] G   However, Sextus Caesar, president of Syria, wrote to Hyrcanus, and desired him to clear Herodes, and dismiss him at his trial, and threatened him beforehand if he did not do it. Which epistle of his was the occasion of Hyrcanus delivering Herodes from suffering any harm from the Sanhedrin, for he loved him as his own son. [171] But when Herodes stood before the Sanhedrin, with his body of men about him, he affrighted them all, and no one of his former accusers durst after that bring any charge against him, but there was a deep silence, and nobody knew what was to be done. [172] G   When affairs stood thus, one whose name was Sameas, a righteous man he was, and for that reason above all fear, rose up, and said, "O you that are assessors with me, and O thou that art our king, I neither have ever myself known such a case, nor do I suppose that any one of you can name its parallel, that one who is called to take his trial by us ever stood in such a manner before us; but every one, whosoever he be, that comes to be tried by this Sanhedrin, presents himself in a submissive manner, and like one that is in fear of himself, and that endeavours to move us to compassion, with his hair dishevelled, and in a black and mourning garment: [173] but this admirable man Herodes, who is accused of murder, and called to answer so heavy an accusation, stands here clothed in purple, and with the hair of his head finely trimmed, and with his armed men about him, that if we shall condemn him by our law, he may slay us, and by overbearing justice may himself escape death. [174] G   Yet do not I make this complaint against Herodes himself; he is to be sure more concerned for himself than for the laws; but my complaint is against yourselves, and your king, who gave him a license so to do. However, take you notice, that God is great, and that this very man, whom you are going to absolve and dismiss, for the sake of Hyrcanus, will one day punish both you and your king himself also." [175] Nor did Sameas mistake in any part of this prediction; for when Herodes had received the kingdom, he slew all the members of this Sanhedrin, and Hyrcanus himself also, excepting Sameas, [176] G   for he had a great honour for him on account of his righteousness, and because, when the city was afterward besieged by Herodes and Sosius, he persuaded the people to admit Herodes into it; and told them that for their sins they would not be able to escape his hands: - which things will be related by us in their proper places.

[177] But when Hyrcanus saw that the members of the Sanhedrin were ready to pronounce the sentence of death upon Herodes, he put off the trial to another day, and sent privately to Herodes, and advised him to fly out of the city, for that by this means he might escape. [178] G   So he retired to Damascus, as though he fled from the king; and when he had been with Sextus Caesar, and had put his own affairs in a sure posture, he resolved to do thus; that in case he were again summoned before the Sanhedrin to take his trial, he would not obey that summons. [179] Hereupon the members of the Sanhedrin had great indignation at this posture of affairs, and endeavoured to persuade Hyrcanus that all these things were against him; which state of matters he was not ignorant of; but his temper was so unmanly, and so foolish, that he was able to do nothing at all. [180] G   But when Sextus had made Herodes general of the army of Coele Syria, for he sold him that post for money, Hyrcanus was in fear lest Herodes should make war upon him; nor was the effect of what he feared long in coming upon him; for Herodes came and brought an army along with him to fight with Hyrcanus, as being angry at the trial he bad been summoned to undergo before the Sanhedrin; [181] but his father Antipater, and his brother [Phasaelus], met him, and hindered him from assaulting Jerusalem. They also pacified his vehement temper, and persuaded him to do no overt action, but only to affright them with threatenings, and to proceed no further against one who had given him the dignity he had: [182] G   they also desired him not only to be angry that he was summoned, and obliged to come to his trial, but to remember withal how he was dismissed without condemnation, and how he ought to give Hyrcanus thanks for the same; and that he was not to regard only what was disagreeable to him, and be unthankful for his deliverance. [183] So they desired him to consider, that since it is God that turns the scales of war, there is great uncertainty in the issue of battles, and that therefore he ought of to expect the victory when he should fight with his king, and him that had supported him, and bestowed many benefits upon him, and had done nothing itself very severe to him; for that his accusation, which was derived from evil counsellors, and not from himself, had rather the suspicion of some severity, than any thing really severe in it. [184] G   Herodes was persuaded by these arguments, and believed that it was sufficient for his future hopes to have made a show of his strength before the nation, and done no more to it - and in this state were the affairs of Judaea at this time.

[10.]   [185] Now when Caesar was come to Rome, he was ready to sail into Africa to fight against Scipio and Cato, when Hyrcanus sent ambassadors to him, and by them desired that he would ratify that league of friendship and mutual alliance which was between them. [186] G   And it seems to me to be necessary here to give an account of all the honours that the Romans and their emperor paid to our nation, and of the leagues of mutual assistance they have made with it, that all the rest of mankind may know what regard the kings of Asia and Europe have had to us, and that they have been abundantly satisfied of our courage and fidelity; [187] for whereas many will not believe what hath been written about us by the Persians and Macedonians, because those writings are not every where to be met with, nor do lie in public places, but among us ourselves, and certain other barbarous nations, [188] G   while there is no contradiction to be made against the decrees of the Romans, for they are laid up in the public places of the cities, and are extant still in the capitol, and engraved upon pillars of brass; nay, besides this, Julius Caesar made a pillar of brass for the Jews at Alexandria, and declared publicly that they were citizens of Alexandria. Out of these evidences will I demonstrate what I say; [189] and will now set down the decrees made both by the senate and by Julius Caesar, which relate to Hyrcanus and to our nation.

[190] G   "Caius Julius Caesar, imperator and high priest, and dictator the second time, to the magistrates, senate, and people of Sidon, sendeth greeting. If you be in health, it is well. I also and the army are well. [191] I have sent you a copy of that decree, registered on the tables, which concerns Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, that it may be laid up among the public records; and I will that it be openly proposed in a table of brass, both in Greek and in Latin. It is as follows: [192] G   I Julius Caesar, imperator the second time, and high priest, have made this decree, with the approbation of the senate. Whereas Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander the Jew, hath demonstrated his fidelity and diligence about our affairs, and this both now and in former times, both in peace and in war, as many of our generals have borne witness, [193] and came to our assistance in the last Alexandrian war, with fifteen hundred soldiers; and when he was sent by me to Mithridates, showed himself superior in valour to all the rest of that army; - [194] G   for these reasons I will that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, and his children, be ethnarchs of the Jews, and have the high priesthood of the Jews for ever, according to the customs of their forefathers, and that he and his sons be our confederates; and that besides this, everyone of them be reckoned among our particular friends. [195] I also ordain that he and his children retain whatsoever privileges belong to the office of high priest, or whatsoever favours have been hitherto granted them; and if at any time hereafter there arise any questions about the Jewish customs, I will that he determine the same. And I think it not proper that they should be obliged to find us winter quarters, or that any money should be required of them."

[196] G   "The decrees of Caius Caesar, consul, containing what hath been granted and determined, are as follows: That Hyrcanus and his children bear rule over the nation of the Jews, and have the profits of the places to them bequeathed; and that he, as himself the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, defend those that are injured; [197] and that ambassadors be sent to Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest of the Jews, that may discourse with him about a league of friendship and mutual assistance; and that a table of brass, containing the premises, be openly proposed in the capitol, and at Sidon, and Tyre, and Ascalon, and in the temple, engraved in Roman and Greek letters: [198] G   that this decree may also be communicated to the quaestors and praetors of the several cities, and to the friends of the Jews; and that the ambassadors may have presents made them; and that these decrees be sent every where."

[199] "Caius Caesar, imperator, dictator, consul, hath granted, That out of regard to the honour, and virtue, and kindness of the man, and for the advantage of the senate, and of the people of Rome, Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, both he and his children, be high priests and priests of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish nation, by the same right, and according to the same laws, by which their progenitors have held the priesthood."

[200] G   "Caius Caesar, consul the fifth time, hath decreed, That the Jews shall possess Jerusalem, and may encompass that city with walls; and that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, retain it in the manner he himself pleases; [201] and that the Jews be allowed to deduct out of their tribute, every second year the land is let [in the Sabbatic period], a kor of that tribute; and that the tribute they pay be not let to farm, nor that they pay always the same tribute."

[202] G   "Caius Caesar, imperator the second time, hath ordained, That all the country of the Jews, excepting Joppa, do pay a tribute yearly for the city Jerusalem, excepting the seventh, which they call the sabbatical year, because thereon they neither receive the fruits of their trees, nor do they sow their land; [203] and that they pay their tribute in Sidon on the second year [of that sabbatical period], the fourth part of what was sown: and besides this, they are to pay the same tithes to Hyrcanus and his sons which they paid to their forefathers. [204] G   And that no one, neither president, nor lieutenant, nor ambassador, raise auxiliaries within the bounds of Judaea; nor may soldiers exact money of them for winter quarters, or under any other pretence; but that they be free from all sorts of injuries; [205] and that whatsoever they shall hereafter have, and are in possession of, or have bought, they shall retain them all. It is also our pleasure that the city Joppa, which the Jews had originally, when they made a league of friendship with the Romans, shall belong to them, as it formerly did; [206] G   and that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, and his sons, have as tribute of that city from those that occupy the land for the country, and for what they export every year to Sidon, twenty thousand six hundred and seventy-five modii every year, the seventh year, which they call the Sabbatic year, excepted, whereon they neither plough, nor receive the product of their trees. [207] It is also the pleasure of the senate, that as to the villages which are in the great plain, which Hyrcanus and his forefathers formerly possessed, Hyrcanus and the Jews have them with the same privileges with which they formerly had them also; [208] G   and that the same original ordinances remain still in force which concern the Jews with regard to their high priests; and that they enjoy the same benefits which they have had formerly by the concession of the people, and of the senate; and let them enjoy the like privileges in Lydda. [209] It is the pleasure also of the senate that Hyrcanus the ethnarch, and the Jews, retain those places, countries, and villages which belonged to the kings of Syria and Phoenicia, the confederates of the Romans, and which they had bestowed on them as their free gifts. [210] G   It is also granted to Hyrcanus, and to his sons, and to the ambassadors by them sent to us, that in the fights between single gladiators, and in those with beasts, they shall sit among the senators to see those shows; and that when they desire an audience, they shall be introduced into the senate by the dictator, or by the general of the horse; and when they have introduced them, their answers shall be returned them in ten days at the furthest, after the decree of the senate is made about their affairs."

[211] "Caius Caesar, imperator, dictator the fourth time, and consul the fifth time, declared to be perpetual dictator, made this speech concerning the rights and privileges of Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews. [212] G   Since those imperators that have been in the provinces before me have borne witness to Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, and to the Jews themselves, and this before the senate and people of Rome, when the people and senate returned their thanks to them, it is good that we now also remember the same, and provide that a requital be made to Hyrcanus, to the nation of the Jews, and to the sons of Hyrcanus, by the senate and people of Rome, and that suitably to what good-will they have shown us, and to the benefits they have bestowed upon us."

[213] "Julius Caius, praetor [consul] of Rome, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Parians, sendeth greeting. The Jews of Delos, and some other Jews that sojourn there, in the presence of your ambassadors, signified to us, that, by a decree of yours, you forbid them to make use of the customs of their forefathers, and their way of sacred worship. [214] G   Now it does not please me that such decrees should be made against our friends and confederates, whereby they are forbidden to live according to their own customs, or to bring in contributions for common suppers and holy festivals, while they are not forbidden so to do even at Rome itself; [215] for even Caius Caesar, our imperator and consul, in that decree wherein he forbade the Bacchanal rioters to meet in the city, did yet permit these Jews, and these only, both to bring in their contributions, and to make their common suppers. [216] G   Accordingly, when I forbid other Bacchanal rioters, I permit these Jews to gather themselves together, according to the customs and laws of their forefathers, and to persist therein. It will be therefore good for you, that if you have made any decree against these our friends and confederates, to abrogate the same, by reason of their virtue and kind disposition towards us."

[217] Now after Caius was slain, when Marcus Antonius and Publius Dolabella were consuls, they both assembled the senate, and introduced Hyrcanus's ambassadors into it, and discoursed of what they desired, and made a league of friendship with them. The senate also decreed to grant them all they desired. [218] G   I add the decree itself, that those who read the present work may have ready by them a demonstration of the truth of what we say. The decree was this:

[219] "The decree of the senate, copied out of the treasury, from the public tables belonging to the quaestors, when Quintus Rutilius and Caius Cornelius were quaestors, and taken out of the second table of the first class, on the third day before the Ides of April, in the temple of Concord. [220] G   There were present at the writing of this decree, Lucius Calpurnius Piso of the Menenian tribe, Servius Papinius Potitus of the Lemonian tribe, Caius Caninius Rebilius of the Terentine tribe, Publius Tidetius, Lucius Apulinus, the son of Lucius, of the Sergian tribe, Flavius, the son of Lucius, of the Lemonian tribe, Publius Plautius, the son of Publius, of the Papirian tribe, Marcus Acilius, the son of Marcus, of the Maecian tribe, Lucius Erucius, the son of Lucius, of the Stellatine tribe, Marcus Quintus Plancinus, the son of Marcus, of the Pollian tribe, and Publius Serrius. [221] Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, the consuls, made this reference to the senate, that as to those things which, by the decree of the senate, Caius Caesar had adjudged about the Jews, and yet had not hitherto that decree been brought into the treasury, it is our will, as it is also the desire of Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, our consuls, to have these decrees put into the public tables, and brought to the city quaestors, that they may take care to have them put upon the double tables. [222] G   This was done on the fifth day before the Ides of February, in the temple of Concord. Now the ambassadors from Hyrcanus the high priest were these: Lysimachus, the son of Pausanias, Alexander, the son of Theodorus, Patroclus, the son of Chaereas, and Jonathan the, son of Onias."

[223] Hyrcanus sent also one of these ambassadors to Dolabella, who was then the prefect of Asia, and desired him to dismiss the Jews from military services, and to preserve to them the customs of their forefathers, and to permit them to live according to them. [224] G   And when Dolabella had received Hyrcanus's letter, without any further deliberation, he sent an epistle to all the Asiatics, and particularly to the city of the Ephesians, the metropolis of Asia, about the Jews; a copy of which epistle here follows:

[225] "When Artermon was prytanis, on the first day of the month Lenaeon, Dolabella, imperator, to the senate, and magistrates, and people of the Ephesians, sendeth greeting. [226] G   Alexander, the son of Theodorus, the ambassador of Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, appeared before me, to show that his countrymen could not go into their armies, because they are not allowed to bear arms or to travel on the sabbath days, nor there to procure themselves those sorts of food which they have been used to eat from the times of their forefathers; - [227] I do therefore grant them a freedom from going into the army, as the former prefects have done, and permit them to use the customs of their forefathers, in assembling together for sacred and religious purposes, as their law requires, and for collecting oblations necessary for sacrifices; and my will is, that you write this to the several cities under your jurisdiction."

[228] G   And these were the concessions that Dolabella made to our nation when Hyrcanus sent an embassy to him. But the decree of the consul Lucius Lentulus ran as follows: "I have at my tribunal set these Jews, who are citizens of Rome, and follow the Jewish religious rites, and yet live at Ephesus, free from going into the army, on account of the superstition they are under. This was done before the twelfth of the calends of October, when Lucius Lentulus and Caius Marcellus were consuls, [229] in the presence of Titus Appius Balbus, the son of Titus, and lieutenant of the Horatian tribe; of Titus Tongius, the son of Titus, of the Crustumine tribe; of Quintus Caesius, the son of Quintus; of Titus Pompeius Longinus, the son of Titus; of Caius Servilius, the son of Caius, of the Terentine tribe; of Bracchus the military tribune; of Publius Clusius Gallus, the son of Publius, of the Veturian tribe; of Caius Sentius, the son of Caius, of the Sabbatine tribe. [230] G   Titus Atilius Balbus, the son of Titus, lieutenant and pro-praetor to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Ephesians, sendeth greeting. Lucius Lentulus the consul freed the Jews that are in Asia from going into the armies, at my intercession for them; and when I had made the same petition some time afterward to Phanius the imperator, and to Lucius Antonius the pro-quaestor, I obtained that privilege of them also; and my will is, that you take care that no one give them any disturbance."

[231] The decree of the Delians. "The answer of the praetors, when Boeotus was archon, on the twentieth day of the month Thargelion. While Marcus Piso the lieutenant lived in our city, who was also appointed over the choice of the soldiers, he called us, and many other of the citizens, [232] G   and gave order, that if there be here any Jews who are Roman citizens, no one is to give them any disturbance about going into the army, because Cornelius Lentulus, the consul, freed the Jews from going into the army, on account of the superstition they are under; - you are therefore obliged to submit to the praetor." And the like decree was made by the Sardians about us also.

[233] "Caius Fannius, the son of Caius, imperator and consul, to the magistrates of Cos, sendeth greeting. I would have you know that the ambassadors of the Jews have been with me, and desired they might have those decrees which the senate had made about them; which decrees are here subjoined. My will is, that you have a regard to and take care of these men, according to the senate's decree, that they may be safely conveyed home through your country."

[234] G   The declaration of Lucius Lentulus the consul: "I have dismissed those Jews who are Roman citizens, and who appear to me to have their religious rites, and to observe the laws of the Jews at Ephesus, on account of the superstition they are under. This act was done before the thirteenth of the calends of October."

[235] "Lucius Antonius, the son of Marcus, pro-quaestor, and pro-praetor, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Sardians, sendeth greeting. Those Jews that are our fellow citizens of Rome came to me, and demonstrated that they had an assembly of their own, according to the laws of their forefathers, and this from the beginning, as also a place of their own, wherein they determined their suits and controversies with one another. Upon their petition therefore to me, that these might be lawful for them, I gave order that these their privileges be preserved, and they be permitted to do accordingly."

[236] G   The declaration of Marcus Publius, the son of Spurius, and of Marcus, the son of Marcus, and of Lucius, the son of Publius: "We went to the proconsul, and informed him of what Dositheus, the son of Cleopatrides of Alexandria, desired, [237] that, if he thought good, he would dismiss those Jews who were Roman citizens, and were wont to observe the rites of the Jewish religion, on account of the superstition they were under. Accordingly, he did dismiss them. This was done before the thirteenth of the calends of October."

[238] G   "In the month Quintilis, when Lucius Lentulus and Caius Marcellus were consuls; and there were present Titus Appius Balbus, the son of Titus, lieutenant of the Horatian tribe, Titus Tongius of the Crustumine tribe, Quintus Caesius, the son of Quintus, Titus Pompeius Longinus, the son of Titus, of the Cornelian tribe, Caius Servilius Bracchus, the son of Caius, a military tribune, of the Terentine tribe, Publius Clusius Gallus, the son of Publius, of the Veturian tribe, Caius Teutius, the son of Caius, a military tribune, of the Aemilian tribe, Sextus Atilius Serranus, the son of Sextus, of the Esquiline tribe, [239] Caius Pompeius, the son of Caius, of the Sabbatine tribe, Titus Appius Menander, the son of Titus, Publius Servilius Strabo, the son of Publius, Lucius Paccius Capito, the son of Lucius, of the Colline tribe, Aulus Furius Tertius, the son of Aulus, and Appius Menas. In the presence of these it was that Lentulus pronounced this decree: [240] G   I have before the tribunal dismissed those Jews that are Roman citizens, and are accustomed to observe the sacred rites of the Jews at Ephesus, on account of the superstition they are under."

[241] "The magistrates of the Laodiceans to Caius Rabirius, the son of Caius, the consul, sendeth greeting. Sopater, the ambassador of Hyrcanus the high priest, hath delivered us an epistle from thee, whereby he lets us know that certain ambassadors were come from Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, and brought an epistle written concerning their nation, [242] G   wherein they desire that the Jews may be allowed to observe their Sabbaths, and other sacred rites, according to the laws of their forefathers, and that they may be under no command, because they are our friends and confederates, and that nobody may injure them in our provinces. Now although the Trallians there present contradicted them, and were not pleased with these decrees, yet didst thou give order that they should be observed, and informedst us that thou hadst been desired to write this to us about them. [243] We therefore, in obedience to the injunctions we have received from thee, have received the epistle which thou sentest us, and have laid it up by itself among our public records. And as to the other things about which thou didst send to us, we will take care that no complaint be made against us."

[244] G   "Publius Servilius Vatia, the son of Publius, the proconsul, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the Milesians, sendeth greeting. [245] Prytanes, the son of Hermes, a citizen of yours, came to me when I was at Tralles, and held a court there, and informed me that you used the Jews in a way different from my opinion, and forbade them to celebrate their Sabbaths, and to perform the Sacred rites received from their forefathers, and to manage the fruits of the land, according to their ancient custom; and that he had himself been the promulgator of your decree, according as your laws require: [246] G   I would therefore have you know, that upon hearing the pleadings on both sides, I gave sentence that the Jews should not be prohibited to make use of their own customs."

[247] The decree of those of Pergamum. "When Cratippus was prytanis, on the first day of the month Daesius, the decree of the praetors was this: Since the Romans, following the conduct of their ancestors, undertake dangers for the common safety of all mankind, and are ambitious to settle their confederates and friends in happiness, and in firm peace, [248] G   and since the nation of the Jews, and their high priest Hyrcanus, sent as ambassadors to them, Straton, the son of Theodotus, and Apollonius, the son of Alexander, and Aeneias, the son of Antipater, [249] and Aristobulus, the son of Amyntas, and Sosipater, the son of Philippus, worthy and good men, who gave a particular account of their affairs, the senate thereupon made a decree about what they had desired of them, that Antiochus the king, the son of Antiochus, should do no injury to the Jews, the confederates of the Romans; and that the fortresses, and the havens, and the country, and whatsoever else he had taken from them, should be restored to them; and that it may be lawful for them to export their goods out of their own havens; [250] G   and that no king nor people may have leave to export any goods, either out of the country of Judaea, or out of their havens, without paying customs, but only Ptolemaeus, the king of Alexandria, because he is our confederate and friend; and that, according to their desire, the garrison that is in Joppa may be ejected. [251] Now Lucius Pettius, one of our senators, a worthy and good man, gave order that we should take care that these things should be done according to the senate's decree; and that we should take care also that their ambassadors might return home in safety. [252] G   Accordingly, we admitted Theodorus into our senate and assembly, and took the epistle out his hands, as well as the decree of the senate. And as he discoursed with great zeal about the Jews, and described Hyrcanus's virtue and generosity, [253] and how he was a benefactor to all men in common, and particularly to every body that comes to him, we laid up the epistle in our public records; and made a decree ourselves, that since we also are in confederacy with the Romans, we would do every thing we could for the Jews, according to the senate's decree. [254] G   Theodorus also, who brought the epistle, desired of our praetors, that they would send Hyrcanus a copy of that decree, as also ambassadors to signify to him the affection of our people to him, and to exhort them to preserve and augment their friendship for us, and be ready to bestow other benefits upon us, [255] as justly expecting to receive proper requitals from us; and desiring them to remember that our ancestors were friendly to the Jews even in the days of Abraham, who was the father of all the Hebrews, as we have [also] found it set down in our public records."

[256] G   The decree of those of Halicarnassus. "When Memnon, the son of Orestidas by descent, but by adoption of Euonymus, was priest, on the ** day of the month Anthesterion, the decree of the people, upon the representation of Marcus Alexander, was this: [257] Since we have ever a great regard to piety towards God, and to holiness; and since we aim to follow the people of the Romans, who are the benefactors of all men, and what they have written to us about a league of friendship and mutual assistance between the Jews and our city, and that their sacred offices and accustomed festivals and assemblies may be observed by them; [258] G   we have decreed, that as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so to do, may celebrate their Sabbaths, and perform their holy offices, according to Jewish laws; and may make their places of prayer at the sea-side, according to the customs of their forefathers; and if any one, whether he be a magistrate or private person, hindereth them from so doing, he shall be liable to a fine, to be applied to the uses of the city."

[259] The decree of the Sardians. "This decree was made by the senate and people, upon the representation of the praetors: Whereas those Jews who are fellow citizens, and live with us in this city, have ever had great benefits heaped upon them by the people, and have come now into the senate, and desired of the people, [260] G   that upon the restitution of their law and their liberty, by the senate and people of Rome, they may assemble together, according to their ancient legal custom, and that we will not bring any suit against them about it; and that a place may be given them where they may have their congregations, with their wives and children, and may offer, as did their forefathers, their prayers and sacrifices to God. [261] Now the senate and people have decreed to permit them to assemble together on the days formerly appointed, and to act according to their own laws; and that such a place be set apart for them by the praetors, for the building and inhabiting the same, as they shall esteem fit for that purpose; and that those that take care of the provision for the city, shall take care that such sorts of food as they esteem fit for their eating may be imported into the city."

[262] G   The decree of the Ephesians. "When Menophilus was prytanis, on the first day of the month Artemisius, this decree was made by the people: Nicanor, the son of Euphemus, pronounced it, upon the representation of the praetors. [263] Since the Jews that dwell in this city have petitioned Marcus Junius (?) Brutus, the son of Pompeius, the proconsul, that they might be allowed to observe their Sabbaths, and to act in all things according to the customs of their forefathers, without impediment from any body, the praetor hath granted their petition. [264] G   Accordingly, it was decreed by the senate and people, that in this affair that concerned the Romans, no one of them should be hindered from keeping the sabbath day, nor be fined for so doing, but that they may be allowed to do all things according to their own laws."

[265] Now there are many such decrees of the senate and imperators of the Romans and those different from these before us, which have been made in favour of Hyrcanus, and of our nation; as also, there have been more decrees of the cities, and rescripts of the praetors, to such epistles as concerned our rights and privileges; and certainly such as are not ill-disposed to what we write may believe that they are all to this purpose, and that by the specimens which we have inserted; [266] G   for since we have produced evident marks that may still be seen of the friendship we have had with the Romans, and demonstrated that those marks are engraved upon columns and tables of brass in the capitol, that axe still in being, and preserved to this day, we have omitted to set them all down, as needless and disagreeable; [267] for I cannot suppose any one so perverse as not to believe the friendship we have had with the Romans, while they have demonstrated the same by such a great number of their decrees relating to us; nor will they doubt of our fidelity as to the rest of those decrees, since we have shown the same in those we have produced, And thus have we sufficiently explained that friendship and confederacy we at those times had with the Romans.

[11.]   [268] G   Now it so fell out, that about this very time the affairs of Syria were in great disorder, and this on the occasion following: Caecilius Bassus, one of Pompeius's party, laid a treacherous design against Sextus Caesar, and slew him, and then took his army, and got the management of public affairs into his own hand; so there arose a great war about Apameia, while Caesar's generals came against him with an army of horsemen and footmen; [269] to these Antipater also sent succour, and his sons with them, as calling to mind the kindnesses they had received from Caesar, and on that account he thought it but just to require punishment for him, and to take vengeance on the man that had murdered him. [270] G   And as the war was drawn out into a great length, Murcus came from Rome to take Sextus's government upon him. But Caesar was slain by Cassius and Brutus in the senate-house, after he had retained the government three years and six months. This fact however, is related elsewhere.

[271] As the war that arose upon the death of Caesar was now begun, and the principal men were all gone, some one way, and some another, to raise armies, Cassius came from Rome into Syria, in order to receive the [army that lay in the] camp at Apameia; [272] G   and having raised the siege, he brought over both Bassus and Marcus to his party. He then went over the cities, and got together weapons and soldiers, and laid great taxes upon those cities; and he chiefly oppressed Judaea, and exacted of it seven hundred talents: [273] but Antipater, when he saw the state to be in so great consternation and disorder, he divided the collection of that sum, and appointed his two sons to gather it; and so that part of it was to be exacted by Malichus, who was ill-disposed to him, and part by others. [274] G   And because Herodes did exact what is required of him from Galilee before others, he was in the greatest favour with Cassius; for he thought it a part of prudence to cultivate a friendship with the Romans, and to gain their goodwill at the expense of others; [275] whereas the curators of the other cities, with their citizens, were sold for slaves; and Cassius reduced four cities into a state of slavery, the two most potent of which were Gophna and Emmaus; and, besides these, Lydia and Thamna. [276] G   Nay, Cassius was so very angry at Malichus, that he had killed him, (for he assaulted him,) had not Hyrcanus, by the means of Antipater, sent him a hundred talents of his own, and thereby pacified his anger against him.

[277] But after Cassius was gone out of Judaea, Malichus laid snares for Antipater, as thinking that his death would-be the preservation of Hyrcanus's government; but his design was not unknown to Antipater, which when he perceived, he retired beyond Jordan, and got together an army, partly of Arabs, and partly of his own countrymen. [278] G   However, Malichus, being one of great cunning, denied that he had laid any snares for him, and made his defence with an oath, both to himself and his sons; and said that while Phasaelus had a garrison in Jerusalem, and Herodes had the weapons of war in his custody, he could never have a thought of any such thing. So Antipater, perceiving the distress that Malichus was in, was reconciled to him, and made an agreement with him. [279] This was when Murcus was governing Syria; who yet perceiving that this Malichus was making a disturbance in Judaea, proceeded so far that he had almost killed him; but still, at the intercession of Antipater, he saved him.

[280] G   However, Antipater little thought that by saving Malichus he had saved his own murderer; for now Cassius and Murcus had got together an army, and entrusted the entire care of it with Herodes, and made him general of the forces of Coele Syria, and gave him a fleet of ships, and an army of horsemen and footmen; and promised him, that after the war was over they would make him king of Judaea; for a war was already begun between Antonius and the younger Caesar: [281] but as Malichus was most afraid of Antipater, he took him out of the way; and by the offer of money, persuaded the butler of Hyrcanus, with whom they were both to feast, to kill him by poison. This being done, and he having armed men with him, settled the affairs of the city. [282] G   But when Antipater's sons, Herodes and Phasaelus, were acquainted with this conspiracy against their father, and had indignation at it, Malichus denied all, and utterly renounced any knowledge of the murder. [283] And thus died Antipater, a man that had distinguished himself for piety and justice, and love to his country. And whereas one of his sons, Herodes, resolved immediately to revenge their father's death, and was coming upon Malichus with an army for that purpose, the elder of his sons, Phasaelus, thought it best rather to get this man into their hands by policy, lest they should appear to begin a civil war in the country; [284] G   so he accepted of Malichus's defence for himself, and pretended to believe him that he had had no hand in the violent death of Antipater his father, but erected a fine monument for him. Herodes also went to Samaria; and when he found them in great distress, he revived their spirits, and composed their differences.

[285] However, a little after this, Herodes, upon the approach of a festival, came with his soldiers into the city; whereupon Malichus was affrighted, and persuaded Hyrcanus not to permit him to come into the city. Hyrcanus complied; and, for a pretence of excluding him, alleged, that a rout of strangers ought not to be admitted when the multitude were purifying themselves. [286] G   But Herodes had little regard to the messengers that were sent to him, and entered the city in the night time, and affrighted Malichus; yet did he remit nothing of his former dissimulation, but wept for Antipater, and bewailed him as a friend of his with a loud voice; [287] but Herodes and his friends though, it proper not openly to contradict Malichus's hypocrisy, but to give him tokens of mutual friendship, in order to prevent his suspicion of them.

[288] G   However, Herodes sent to Cassius, and informed him of the murder of his father; who knowing what sort of man Malichus was as to his morals, sent him back word that he should revenge his father's death; and also sent privately to the commanders of his army at Tyre, with orders to assist Herodes in the execution of a very just design of his. [289] Now when Cassius had taken Laodicea, they all went together to him, and carried him garlands and money; and Herodes thought that Malichus might be punished while he was there; [290] G   but he was somewhat apprehensive of the thing, and designed to make some great attempt, and because his son was then a hostage at Tyre, he went to that city, and resolved to steal him away privately, and to march thence into Judaea; and as Cassius was in haste to march against Antonius, he thought to bring the country to revolt, and to procure the government for himself. [291] But Providence opposed his counsels; and Herodes being a shrewd man, and perceiving what his intention was, he sent thither beforehand a servant, in appearance indeed to get a supper ready, for he had said before that he would feast them all there, but in reality to the commanders of the army, whom he persuaded to go out against Malichus, with their daggers. [292] G   So they went out and met the man near the city, upon the sea-shore, and there stabbed him. Whereupon Hyrcanus was so astonished at what had happened, that his speech failed him; and when, after some difficulty, he had recovered himself, he asked Herodes what the matter could be, and who it was that slew Malichus; [293] and when he said that it was done by the command of Cassius, he commended the action; for that Malichus was a very wicked man, and one that conspired against his own country. And this was the punishment that was inflicted on Malichus for what he wickedly did to Antipater.

[294] G   But when Cassius was marched out of Syria, disturbances arose in Judaea; for Felix, who was left at Jerusalem with an army, made a sudden attempt against Phasaelus, and the people themselves rose in arms; [295] but Herodes went to Fabius, the prefect of Damascus, and was desirous to run to his brother's assistance, but was hindered by a distemper that seized upon him, till Phasaelus by himself had been too hard for Felix, and had shut him up in the tower, and there, on certain conditions, dismissed him. Phasaelus also complained of Hyrcanus, that although he had received a great many benefits from them, yet did he support their enemies; [296] G   for Malichus's brother had made many places to revolt, and kept garrisons in them, and particularly Masada, the strongest fortress of them all. In the mean time, Herodes was recovered of his disease, and came and took from Felix all the places he had got; and, upon certain conditions, dismissed him also.

[12.]   [297] Now Ptolemaeus, the son of Mennaeus, brought back into Judaea Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, who had already raised an army, and had, by money, made Fabius to be his friend, add this because he was of kin to him. Marion also gave him assistance. He had been left by Cassius to tyrannise over Tyre; for this (?) Cussiris was a man that seized on Syria, and then kept it under, in the way of a tyrant. [298] G   Marion also marched into Galilee, which lay in his neighbourhood, and took three of his fortresses, and put garrisons into them to keep them. But when Herodes came, he took all from him; but the Tyrian garrison he dismissed in a very civil manner; nay, to some of the soldiers he made presents out of the good-will he bare to that city. [299] When he had despatched these affairs, and was gone to meet Antigonus, he joined battle with him, and beat him, and drove him out of Judaea presently, when he was just come into its borders. But when he was come to Jerusalem, Hyrcanus and the people put garlands about his head; [300] G   for he had already contracted an affinity with the family of Hyrcanus by having espoused a descendant of his, and for that reason Herodes took the greater care of him, as being to marry the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, add the granddaughter of Hyrcanus, by which wife he became the father of three male and two female children. He had also married before this another wife, out of a lower family of his own nation, whose name was Doris, by whom he had his eldest son Antipater.

[301] Now Antonius and Caesar had beaten Cassius near Philippi, as others have related; but after the victory, Caesar went into Gaul, [Italy,] and Antonius marched for Asia, who, when he was arrived at Bithynia, he had ambassadors that met him from all parts. [302] G   The principal men also of the Jews came thither, to accuse Phasaelus and Herodes; and they said that Hyrcanus had indeed the appearance of reigning, but that these men had all the power: [303] but Antonius paid great respect to Herodes, who was come to him to make his defence against his accusers, on which account his adversaries could not so much as obtain a hearing; which favour Herodes had gained of Antonius by money. [304] G   But still, when Antonius was come to Ephesus, Hyrcanus the high priest, and our nation, sent an embassy to him, which carried a crown of gold with them, and desired that he would write to the governors of the provinces, to set those Jews free who had been carried captive by Cassius, and this without their having fought against him, and to restore them that country, which, in the days of Cassius, had been taken from them. [305] Antonius thought the Jews' desires were just, and wrote immediately to Hyrcanus, and to the Jews. He also sent, at the same time, a decree to the Tyrians; the contents of which were to the same purpose.

[306] G   "Marcus Antonius, imperator, to Hyrcanus the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, sendeth greeting. It you be in health, it is well; I am also in health, with the army. [307] Lysimachus, the son of Pausanias, and Josephus, the son of Mennaeus, and Alexander, the son of Theodorus, your ambassadors, met me at Ephesus, and have renewed the embassy which they had formerly been upon at Rome, and have diligently acquitted themselves of the present embassy, which thou and thy nation have entrusted to them, and have fully declared the goodwill thou hast for us. [308] G   I am therefore satisfied, both by your actions and your words, that you are well-disposed to us; and I understand that your conduct of life is constant and religious: so I reckon upon you as our own. [309] But when those that were adversaries to you, and to the Roman people, abstained neither from cities nor temples, and did not observe the agreement they had confirmed by oath, it was not only on account of our contest with them, but on account of all mankind in common, that we have taken vengeance on those who have been the authors of great injustice towards men, and of great wickedness towards the gods; for the sake of which we suppose it was that the sun turned away his light from us, as unwilling to view the horrid crime they were guilty of in the case of Caesar. [310] G   We have also overcome their conspiracies, which threatened the gods themselves, which Macedonia received, as it is a climate peculiarly proper for impious and insolent attempts; and we have overcome that confused rout of men, half mad with spite against us, which they got together at Philippi in Macedonia, when they seized on the places that were proper for their purpose, and, as it were, walled them round with mountains to the very sea, and where the passage was open only through a single gate. This victory we gained, because the gods had condemned those men for their wicked enterprises. [311] Now Brutus, when he had fled as far as Philippi, was shut up by us, and became a partaker of the same perdition with Cassius; and now these have received their punishment, we suppose that we may enjoy peace for the time to come, and that Asia may be at rest from war. [312] G   We therefore make that peace which God hath given us common to our confederates also, insomuch that the body of Asia is now recovered out of that distemper it was under by the means of our victory. I, therefore, bearing in mind both thee and your nation, shall take care of what may be for your advantage. [313] I have also sent epistles in writing to the several cities, that if any persons, whether free-men or bond-men, have been sold under the spear by Caius Cassius, or his subordinate officers, they may be set free. And I will that you kindly make use of the favours which I and Dolabella have granted you. I also forbid the Tyrians to use any violence with you; and for what places of the Jews they now possess, I order them to restore them. I have withal accepted of the crown which thou sentest me."

[314] G   "Marcus Antonius, imperator, to the magistrates, senate, and people of Tyre, sendeth greeting. The ambassadors of Hyrcanus, the high priest and ethnarch [of the Jews], appeared before me at Ephesus, and told me that you are in possession of part of their country, which you entered upon under the government of our adversaries. [315] Since, therefore, we have undertaken a war for the obtaining the government, and have taken care to do what was agreeable to piety and justice, and have brought to punishment those that had neither any remembrance of the kindnesses they had received, nor have kept their oaths, I will that you be at peace with those that are our confederates; as also, that what you have taken by the means of our adversaries shall not be reckoned your own, but be returned to those from whom you took them; [316] G   for none of them took their provinces or their armies by the gift of the senate, but they seized them by force, and bestowed them by violence upon such as became useful to them in their unjust proceedings. [317] Since, therefore, those men have received the punishment due to them, we desire that our confederates may retain whatsoever it was that they formerly possessed without disturbance, and that you restore all the places which belong to Hyrcanus, the ethnarch of the Jews, which you have had, though it were but one day before Caius Cassius began an unjustifiable war against us, and entered into our province; nor do you use any force against him, in order to weaken him, that he may not be able to dispose of that which is his own; [318] G   but if you have any contest with him about your respective rights, it shall be lawful for you to plead your cause when we come upon the places concerned, for we shall alike preserve the rights and hear all the causes of our confederates."

[319] "Marcus Antonius, imperator, to the magistrates, senate, and people of Tyre, sendeth greeting. I have sent you my decree, of which I will that ye take care that it be engraved on the public tables, in Roman and Greek letters, and that it stand engraved in the most illustrious places, that it may be read by all. [320] G   Marcus Antonius, imperator, one of the triumvirate over the public affairs, made this declaration: Since Caius Cassius, in this revolt he hath made, hath pillaged that province which belonged not to him, and was held by garrisons there encamped, while they were our confederates, and hath spoiled that nation of the Jews that was in friendship with the Roman people, as in war; [321] and since we have overcome his madness by arms, we now correct by our decrees and judicial determinations what he hath laid waste, that those things may be restored to our confederates. And as for what hath been sold of the Jewish possessions, whether they be bodies or possessions, let them be released; the bodies into that state of freedom they were originally in, and the possessions to their former owners. [322] G   I also will that he who shall not comply with this decree of mine shall be punished for his disobedience; and if such a one be caught, I will take care that the offenders suffer condign punishment."

[323] The same thing did Antonius write to the Sidonians, and the Antiochians, and the Aradians. We have produced these decrees, therefore, as marks for futurity of the truth of what we have said, that the Romans had a great concern about our nation.

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