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Josephus: Jewish War, Book 1

Sections 236 - 363

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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[19.]   [236] G   When Cassius was gone out of Syria, another sedition arose at Jerusalem, wherein Felix assaulted Phasaelus with an army, that he might revenge the death of Malichus upon Herodes, by falling upon his brother. Now Herodes happened then to be with Fabius, the governor of Damascus, and as he was going to his brother's assistance, he was detained by sickness; [237] in the mean time, Phasaelus was by himself too hard for Felix, and reproached Hyrcanus on account of his ingratitude, both for what assistance he had afforded Malichus, and for overlooking Malichus's brother, when he possessed himself of the fortresses; for he had got a great many of them already, and among them the strongest of them all, Masada.

[238] G   However, nothing could be sufficient for him against the force of Herodes, who, as soon as he was recovered, took the other fortresses again, and drove him out of Masada in the posture of a supplicant; he also drove away Marion, the tyrant of the Tyrians, out of Galilee, when he had already possessed himself of three fortified places; but as to those Tyrians whom he had caught, he preserved them all alive; nay, some of them he gave presents to, and so sent them away, and thereby procured good-will to himself from the city, and hatred to the tyrant. [239] Marion had indeed obtained that tyrannical power of Cassius, who set tyrants over all Syria, and out of hatred to Herodes it was that he assisted Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, and principally on Fabius's account, whom Antigonus had made his assistant by money, and had him accordingly on his side when he made his descent; but it was Ptolemaeus, the kinsman of Antigonus, that supplied all that he wanted.

[240] G   When Herodes had fought against these in the avenues of Judaea, he was conqueror in the battle, and drove away Antigonus, and returned to Jerusalem, beloved by every body for the glorious action he had done; for those who did not before favour him did join themselves to him now, because of his marriage into the family of Hyrcanus; [241] for as he had formerly married a wife out of his own country of no ignoble blood, who was called Doris, of whom he begat Antipater; so did he now marry Mariamme, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, and the granddaughter of Hyrcanus, and was become thereby a relation of the king.

[242] G   But when Caesar and Antonius had slain Cassius near Philippi, and Caesar was gone to Italy, and Antonius to Asia, amongst the rest of the cities which sent ambassadors to Antonius unto Bithynia, the great men of the Jews came also, and accused Phasaelus and Herodes, that they kept the government by force, and that Hyrcanus had no more than an honourable name. Herodes appeared ready to answer this accusation; and having made Antonius his friend by the large sums of money which he gave him, he brought him to such a temper as not to hear the others speak against him; and thus did they part at this time.

[243] However, after this, there came a hundred of the principal men among the Jews to Daphne by Antioch to Antonius, who was already in love with Cleopatra to the degree of slavery; these Jews put those men that were the most potent, both in dignity and eloquence, foremost, and accused the brethren. But Messala opposed them, and defended the brethren, and that while Hyrcanus stood by him, on account of his relation to them. [244] G   When Antonius had heard both sides, he asked Hyrcanus which party was the fittest to govern, who replied that Herodes and his party were the fittest. Antonius was glad of that answer, for he had been formerly treated in an hospitable and obliging manner by his father Antipater, when he marched into Judaea with Gabinius; so he constituted the brethren tetrarchs, and committed to them the government of Judaea.

[245] But when the ambassadors had indignation at this procedure, Antonius took fifteen of them, and put them into custody, whom he was also going to kill presently, and the rest he drove away with disgrace; on which occasion a still greater tumult arose at Jerusalem; so they sent again a thousand ambassadors to Tyre, where Antonius now abode, as he was marching to Jerusalem; upon these men who made a clamour he sent out the governor of Tyre, and ordered him to punish all that he could catch of them, and to settle those in the administration whom he had made tetrarchs.

[246] G   But before this Herodes, and Hyrcanus went out upon the sea-shore, and earnestly desired of these ambassadors that they would neither bring ruin upon themselves, nor war upon their native country, by their rash contentions; and when they grew still more outrageous, Antonius sent out armed men, and slew a great many, and wounded more of them; of whom those that were slain were buried by Hyrcanus, as were the wounded put under the care of physicians by him; [247] yet would not those that had escaped be quiet still, but put the affairs of the city into such disorder, and so provoked Antonius, that he slew those whom he had in bonds also.

[13.]   [248] G   Now two years afterward, when Barzapharnes, a governor among the Parthians, and Pacorus, the king's son, had possessed themselves of Syria, and when Lysanias had already succeeded upon the death of his father Ptolemaeus, the son of Mennaeus, in the government [of Chalcis], he prevailed with the governor, by a promise of a thousand talents, and five hundred women, to bring back Antigonus to his kingdom, and to turn Hyrcanus out of it. [249] Pacorus was by these means induced so to do, and marched along the sea-coast, while he ordered Barzapharnes to fall upon the Jews as he went along the Mediterranean part of the country; but of the maritime people, the Tyrians would not receive Pacorus, although those of Ptolemais and Sidon had received him; so he committed a troop of his horse to a certain cup-bearer belonging to the royal family, of his own name [Pacorus], and gave him orders to march into Judaea, in order to learn the state of affairs among their enemies, and to help Antigonus when he should want his assistance.

[250] G   Now as these men were ravaging Carmel, many of the Jews ran together to Antigonus, and showed themselves ready to make an incursion into the country; so he sent them before into that place called Drymus, [the woodland ] to seize upon the place; whereupon a battle was fought between them, and they drove the enemy away, and pursued them, and ran after them as far as Jerusalem, and as their numbers increased, they proceeded as far as the king's palace; [251] but as Hyrcanus and Phasaelus received them with a strong body of men, there happened a battle in the market-place, in which Herodes's party beat the enemy, and shut them up in the temple, and set sixty men in the houses adjoining as a guard to them. [252] G   But the people that were tumultuous against the brethren came in, and burnt those men; while Herodes, in his rage for killing them, attacked and slew many of the people, till one party made incursions on the other by turns, day by day, in the way of ambushes, and slaughters were made continually among them.

[253] Now when that festival which we call Pentecost was at hand, all the places about the temple, and the whole city, was full of a multitude of people that were come out of the country, and which were the greatest part of them armed also, at which time Phasaelus guarded the wall, and Herodes, with a few, guarded the royal palace; and when he made an assault upon his enemies, as they were out of their ranks, on the north quarter of the city, he slew a very great number of them, and put them all to flight; and some of them he shut up within the city, and others within the outward rampart. [254] G   In the mean time, Antigonus desired that Pacorus might be admitted to be a reconciler between them; and Phasaelus was prevailed upon to admit the Parthian into the city with five hundred horse, and to treat him in an hospitable manner, who pretended that he came to quell the tumult, but in reality he came to assist Antigonus; [255] however, he laid a plot for Phasaelus, and persuaded him to go as an ambassador to Barzapharnes, in order to put an end to the war, although Herodes was very earnest with him to the contrary, and exhorted him to kill the plotter, but not expose himself to the snares he had laid for him, because the barbarians are naturally perfidious. However, Pacorus went out and took Hyrcanus with him, that he might be the less suspected; he also left some of the horsemen, called the Freemen, with Herodes, and conducted Phasaelus with the rest.

[256] G   But now, when they were come to Galilee, they found that the people of that country had revolted, and were in arms, who came very cunningly to their leader, and besought him to conceal his treacherous intentions by an obliging behaviour to them; accordingly, he at first made them presents; and afterward, as they went away, laid ambushes for them; [257] and when they were come to one of the maritime cities called Ecdippon, they perceived that a plot was laid for them; for they were there informed of the promise of a thousand talents, and how Antigonus had devoted the greatest number of the women that were there with them, among the five hundred, to the Parthians; [258] G   they also perceived that an ambush was always laid for them by the barbarians in the night time; they had also been seized on before this, unless they had waited for the seizure of Herodes first at Jerusalem, because if he were once informed of this treachery of theirs, he would take care of himself; nor was this a mere report, but they saw the guards already not far off them.

[259] Nor would Phasaelus think of forsaking Hyrcanus and flying away, although Ophellius earnestly persuaded him to it; for this man had learned the whole scheme of the plot from Saramalla, the richest of all the Syrians. But Phasaelus went up to the Parthian governor, and reproached him to his face for laying this treacherous plot against them, and chiefly because he had done it for money; and he promised him that he would give him more money for their preservation, than Antigonus had promised to give for the kingdom. [260] G   But the sly Parthian endeavoured to remove all this suspicion by apologies and by oaths, and then went [to the other] Pacorus; immediately after which those Parthians who were left, and had it in charge, seized upon Phasaelus and Hyrcanus, who could do no more than curse their perfidiousness and their perjury.

[261] In the mean time, the cup-bearer was sent [back], and laid a plot how to seize upon Herodes, by deluding him, and getting him out of the city, as he was commanded to do. But Herodes suspected the barbarians from the beginning; and having then received intelligence that a messenger, who was to bring him the letters that informed him of the treachery intended, had fallen among the enemy, he would not go out of the city; though Pacorus said very positively that he ought to go out, and meet the messengers that brought the letters, for that the enemy had not taken them, and that the contents of them were not accounts of any plots upon them, but of what Phasaelus had done; [262] G   yet had he heard from others that his brother was seized; and Alexandra, the shrewdest woman in the world, Hyrcanus's daughter, begged of him that he would not go out, nor trust himself to those barbarians, who now were come to make an attempt upon him openly.

[263] Now as Pacorus and his friends were considering how they might bring their plot to bear privately, because it was not possible to circumvent a man of so great prudence by openly attacking him, Herodes prevented them, and went off with the persons that were the most nearly related to him by night, and this without their enemies being apprised of it. [264] G   But as soon as the Parthians perceived it, they pursued after them; and as he gave orders for his mother, and sister, and the young woman who was betrothed to him, with her mother, and his youngest brother, to make the best of their way, he himself, with his servants, took all the care they could to keep off the barbarians; and when at every assault he had slain a great many of them, he came to the strong hold of Masada.

[265] Nay, he found by experience that the Jews fell more heavily upon him than did the Parthians, and created him troubles perpetually, and this ever since he had got sixty furlongs from the city; these sometimes brought it to a sort of a regular battle. Now in the place where Herodes beat them, and killed a great number of them, there he afterward built a citadel, in memory of the great actions he did there, and adorned it with the most costly palaces, and erected very strong fortifications, and called it, from his own name, Herodeium. [266] G   Now as they were in their flight, many joined themselves to him every day; and at a place called Thressa of Idumaea his brother Joseph met him, and advised him to ease himself of a great number of his followers, because Masada would not contain so great a multitude, which were above nine thousand. [267] Herodes complied with this advice, and sent away the most cumbersome part of his retinue, that they might go into Idumaea, and gave them provisions for their journey; but he got safe to the fortress with his nearest relations, and retained with him only the stoutest of his followers; and there it was that he left eight hundred of his men as a guard for the women, and provisions sufficient for a siege; but he made haste himself to Petra of Arabia.

[268] G   As for the Parthians in Jerusalem, they betook themselves to plundering, and fell upon the houses of those that were fled, and upon the king's palace, and spared nothing but Hyrcanus's money, which was not above three hundred talents. They lighted on other men's money also, but not so much as they hoped for; for Herodes having a long while had a suspicion of the perfidiousness of the barbarians, had taken care to have what was most splendid among his treasures conveyed into Idumaea, as every one belonging to him had in like manner done also.[269] But the Parthians proceeded to that degree of injustice, as to fill all the country with war without denouncing it, and to demolish the city Marissa, and not only to set up Antigonus for king, but to deliver Phasaelus and Hyrcanus bound into his. hands, in order to their being tormented by him. [270] G   Antigonus himself also bit off Hyrcanus's ears with his own teeth, as he fell down upon his knees to him, that so he might never be able upon any mutation of affairs to take the high priesthood again, for the high priests that officiated were to be complete, and without blemish.

[271] However, he failed in his purpose of abusing Phasaelus, by reason of his courage; for though he neither had the command of his sword nor of his hands, he prevented all abuses by dashing his head against a stone; so he demonstrated himself to be Herodes's own brother, and Hyrcanus a most degenerate relation, and died with great bravery, and made the end of his life agreeable to the actions of it. [272] G   There is also another report about his end, viz. that he recovered of that stroke, and that a surgeon, who was sent by Antigonus to heal him, filled the wound with poisonous ingredients, and so killed him; whichsoever of these deaths he came to, the beginning of it was glorious. It is also reported that before he expired he was informed by a certain poor woman how Herodes had escaped out of their hands, and that he said thereupon, "I now die with comfort, since I leave behind me one alive that will avenge me of mine enemies."

[273] This was the death of Phasaelus; but the Parthians, although they had failed of the women they chiefly desired, yet did they put the government of Jerusalem into the hands of Antigonus, and took away Hyrcanus, and bound him, and carried him to Parthia.

[14.]   [274] G   Now Herodes did the more zealously pursue his journey into Arabia, as making haste to get money of the king, while his brother was yet alive; by which money alone it was that he hoped to prevail upon the covetous temper of the barbarians to spare Phasaelus; for he reasoned thus with himself,: - that if the Arabian king was too forgetful of his father's friendship with him, and was too covetous to make him a free gift, he would however borrow of him as much as might redeem his brother, and put into his hands, as a pledge, the son of him that was to be redeemed. [275] Accordingly he led his brother's son along with him, who was of the age of seven years. Now he was ready to give three hundred talents for his brother, and intended to desire the intercession of the Tyrians, to get them accepted; however, fate had been too quick for his diligence; and since Phasaelus was dead, Herodes's brotherly love was now in vain. Moreover, he was not able to find any lasting friendship among the Arabians; [276] G   for their king, Malchus, sent to him immediately, and commanded him to return back out of his country, and used the name of the Parthians as a pretence for so doing, as though these had denounced to him by their ambassadors to cast Herodes out of Arabia; while in reality they had a mind to keep back what they owed to Antipater, and not be obliged to make requitals to his sons for the free gifts the father had made them. He also took the impudent advice of those who, equally with himself, were willing to deprive Herodes of what Antipater had deposited among them; and these men were the most potent of all whom he had in his kingdom.

[277] So when Herodes had found that the Arabians were his enemies, and this for those very reasons whence he hoped they would have been the most friendly, and had given them such an answer as his passion suggested, he returned back, and went for Egypt. Now he lodged the first evening at one of the temples of that country, in order to meet with those whom he left behind; but on the next day word was brought him, as he was going to Rhinocolura, that his brother was dead, and how he came by his death; [278] G   and when he had lamented him as much as his present circumstances could bear, he soon laid aside such cares, and proceeded on his journey. But now, after some time, the king of Arabia repented of what he had done, and sent presently away messengers to call him back: Herodes had prevented them, and was come to Pelusium, where he could not obtain a passage from those that lay with the fleet, so he besought their captains to let him go by them; accordingly, out of the reverence they bore to the fame and dignity of the man, they conducted him to Alexandria; [279] and when he came into the city, he was received by Cleopatra with great splendour, who hoped he might be persuaded to be commander of her forces in the expedition she was now about; but he rejected the queen's solicitations, and being neither affrighted at the height of that storm which. then happened, nor at the tumults that were now in Italy, he sailed for Rome.

[280] G   But as he was in peril about Pamphylia, and obliged to cast out the greatest part of the ship's lading, he with difficulty got safe to Rhodes, a place which had been grievously harassed in the war with Cassius. He was there received by his friends, Ptolemaeus and Sappinius; and although he was then in want of money, he fitted up a three-decked ship of very great magnitude, [281] wherein he and his friends sailed to Brundisium, and went thence to Rome with all speed; where he first of all went to Antonius, on account of the friendship his father had with him, and laid before him the calamities of himself and his family; and that he had left his nearest relations besieged in a fortress, and had sailed to him through a storm, to make supplication to him for assistance.

[282] G   Hereupon Antonius was moved to compassion at the change that had been made in Herodes's affairs, and this both upon his calling to mind how hospitably he had been treated by Antipater, but more especially on account of Herodes's own virtue; so he then resolved to get him made king of the Jews, whom he had himself formerly made tetrarch. The contest also that he had with Antigonus was another inducement, and that of no less weight than the great regard he had for Herodes; for he looked upon Antigonus as a seditious person, and an enemy of the Romans; [283] and as for Caesar, Herodes found him better prepared than Antonius, as remembering very fresh the wars he had gone through together with his father, the hospitable treatment he had met with from him, and the entire good-will he had showed to him; besides the activity which he saw in Herodes himself. [284] G   So he called the senate together, wherein Messala, and after him Atratinus, produced Herodes before them, and gave a full account of the merits of his father, and his own good-will to the Romans. At the same time they demonstrated that Antigonus was their enemy, not only because he soon quarrelled with them, but because he now overlooked the Romans, and took the government by the means of the Parthians. These reasons greatly moved the senate; at which juncture Antonius came in, and told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herodes should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. [285] And when the senate was separated, Antonius and Caesar went out, with Herodes between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices, and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antonius also made a feast for Herodes on the first day of his reign.

[15.]   [286] G   Now during this time Antigonus besieged those that were in Masada, who had all other necessaries in sufficient quantity, but were in want of water; on which account Joseph, Herodes's brother, was disposed to run away to the Arabians, with two hundred of his own friends, because he had heard that Malchus repented of his offences with regard to Herodes; [287] and he had been so quick as to have been gone out of the fortress already, unless, on that very night when he was going away, there had fallen a great deal of rain, insomuch that his reservoirs were full of water, and so he was under no necessity of running away. After which, therefore, they made an irruption upon Antigonus's party, and slew a great many of them, some in open battles, and some in private ambush; nor had they always success in their attempts, for sometimes they were beaten, and ran away.

[288] G   In the mean time Ventidius, the Roman general, was sent out of Syria, to restrain the incursions of the Parthians; and after he had done that, he came into Judaea, in pretence indeed to assist Joseph and his party, but in reality to get money of Antigonus; [289] and when he had pitched his camp very near to Jerusalem, as soon as he had got money enough, he went away with the greatest part of his forces; yet still did he leave Silo with some part of them, lest if he had taken them all away, his taking of bribes might have been too openly discovered. Now Antigonus hoped that the Parthians would come again to his assistance, and therefore cultivated a good understanding with Silo in the mean time, lest any interruption should be given to his hopes.

[290] G   Now by this time Herodes had sailed out of Italy, and was come to Ptolemais; and as soon as he had got together no small army of foreigners, and of his own countrymen, he marched through Galilee against Antigonus, wherein he was assisted by Ventidius and Silo, both whom Dellius, a person sent by Antonius, persuaded to bring Herodes [into his kingdom]. [291] Now Ventidius was at this time among the cities, and composing the disturbances which had happened by means of the Parthians, as was Silo in Judaea corrupted by the bribes that Antigonus had given him; yet was not Herodes himself destitute of power, but the number of his forces increased every day as he went along, and all Galilee, with few exceptions, joined themselves to him. [292] G   So he proposed to himself to set about his most necessary enterprise, and that was Masada, in order to deliver his relations from the siege they endured. But still Joppa stood in his way, and hindered his going thither; for it was necessary to take that city first, which was in the enemies' hands, that when he should go to Jerusalem, no fortress might be left in the enemies' power behind him. Silo also willingly joined him, as having now a plausible occasion of drawing off his forces [from Jerusalem]; and when the Jews pursued him, and pressed upon him, [in his retreat,] Herodes made all excursion upon them with a small body of his men, and soon put them to flight, and saved Silo when he was in distress.

[293] After this Herodes took Joppa, and then made haste to Masada to free his relations. Now, as he was marching, many came in to him, induced by their friendship to his father, some by the reputation he had already gained himself, and some in order to repay the benefits they had received from them both; but still what engaged the greatest number on his side, was the hopes from him when he should be established in his kingdom; so that he had got together already an army hard to be conquered. [294] G   But Antigonus laid an ambush for him as he marched out, in which he did little or no harm to his enemies. However, he easily recovered his relations again that were in Masada, as well as the fortress Ressa, and then marched to Jerusalem, where the soldiers that were with Silo joined themselves to his own, as did many out of the city, from a dread of his power.

[295] Now when he had pitched his camp on the west side of the city, the guards that were there shot their arrows and threw their darts at them, while others ran out in companies, and attacked those in the forefront; but Herodes commanded proclamation to be made at the wall, that he was come for the good of the people and the preservation of the city, without any design to be revenged on his open enemies, but to grant oblivion to them, though they had been the most obstinate against him. [296] G   Now the soldiers that were for Antigonus made a contrary clamour, and did neither permit any body to hear that proclamation, nor to change their party; so Antigonus gave order to his forces to beat the enemy from the walls; accordingly, they soon threw their darts at them from the towers, and put them to flight.

[297] And here it was that Silo discovered he had taken bribes; for he set many of the soldiers to clamour about their want of necessaries, and to require their pay, in order to buy themselves food, and to demand that he would lead them into places convenient for their winter quarters; because all the parts about the city were laid waste by the means of Antigonus's army, which had taken all things away. By this he moved the army, and attempted to get them off the siege; [298] G   but Herodes went to the captains that were under Silo, and to a great many of the soldiers, and begged of them not to leave him, who was sent thither by Caesar, and Antonius, and the senate; for that he would take care to have their wants supplied that very day. [299] After the making of which entreaty, he went hastily into the country, and brought thither so great an abundance of necessaries, that he cut off all Silo's pretences; and in order to provide that for the following days they should not want supplies, he sent to the people that were about Samaria (which city had joined itself to him) to bring corn, and wine, and oil, and cattle to Jericho. [300] G   When Antigonus heard of this, be sent some of his party with orders to hinder, and lay ambushes for these collectors of corn. This command was obeyed, and a great multitude of armed men were gathered together about Jericho, and lay upon the mountains, to watch those that brought the provisions. [301] Yet was Herodes not idle, but took with him ten cohorts, five of them were Romans, and five were Jewish cohorts, together with some mercenary troops intermixed among them, and besides those a few horsemen, and came to Jericho; and when he came, he found the city deserted, but that there were five hundred men, with their wives and children, who had taken possession of the tops of the mountains; [302] G   these he took, and dismissed them, while the Romans fell upon the rest of the city, and plundered it, having found the houses full of all sorts of good things. So the king left a garrison at Jericho, and came back, and sent the Roman army into those cities which were come over to him, to take their winter quarters there, viz. into Judaea, [or Idumaea,] and Galilee, and Samaria. Antigonus also by bribes obtained of Silo to let a part of his army be received at Lydda, as a compliment to Antonius.

[16.]   [303] So the Romans lived in plenty of all things, and rested from war. However, Herodes did not lie at rest, but seized upon Idumaea, and kept it, with two thousand footmen, and four hundred horsemen; and this he did by sending his brother Joseph thither, that no innovation might be made by Antigonus. He also removed his mother, and all his relations, who had been in Masada, to Samaria; and when he had settled them securely, he marched to take the remaining parts of Galilee, and to drive away the garrisons placed there by Antigonus.

[304] G   But when Herodes had reached Sepphoris, in a very great snow, he took the city without any difficulty; the guards that should have kept it flying away before it was assaulted; where he gave an opportunity to his followers that had been in distress to refresh themselves, there being in that city a great abundance of necessaries. After which he hastened away to the robbers that were in the caves, who overran a great part of the country, and did as great mischief to its inhabitants as a war itself could have done. [305] Accordingly, he sent beforehand three cohorts of footmen, and one troop of horsemen, to the village Arbela, and came himself forty days afterwards with the rest of his forces. Yet were not the enemy affrighted at his assault but met him in arms; for their skill was that of warriors, but their boldness was the boldness of robbers: [306] G   when therefore it came to a pitched battle, they put to flight Herodes's left wing with their right one; but Herodes, wheeling about on the sudden from his own right wing, came to their assistance, and both made his own left wing return back from its flight, and fell upon the pursuers, and cooled their courage, till they could not bear the attempts that were made directly upon them, and so turned back and ran away.

[307] But Herodes followed them, and slew them as he followed them, and destroyed a great part of them, till those that remained were scattered beyond the river [Jordan;] and Galilee was freed from the terrors they had been under, excepting from those that remained, and lay concealed in caves, which required longer time ere they could be conquered. [308] G   In order to which Herodes, in the first place, distributed the fruits of their former labours to the soldiers, and gave every one of them a hundred and fifty drachmae of silver, and a great deal more to their commanders, and sent them into their winter quarters. He also sent to his youngest brother Pheroras, to take care of a good market for them, where they might buy themselves provisions, and to build a wall about Alexandreium; who took care of both those injunctions accordingly.

[309] In the mean time Antonius abode at Athens, while Ventidius called for Silo and Herodes to come to the war against the Parthians, but ordered them first to settle the affairs of Judaea; so Herodes willingly dismissed Silo to go to Ventidius, but he made an expedition himself against those that lay in the caves. [310] G   Now these caves were in the precipices of craggy mountains, and could not be come at from any side, since they had only some winding pathways, very narrow, by which they got up to them; but the rock that lay on their front had beneath it valleys of a vast depth, and of an almost perpendicular declivity; insomuch that the king was doubtful for a long time what to do, by reason of a kind of impossibility there was of attacking the place. Yet did he at length make use of a contrivance that was subject to the utmost hazard; [311] for he let down the most hardy of his men in chests, and set them at the mouths of the dens. Now these men slew the robbers and their families, and when they made resistance, they sent in fire upon them [and burnt them]; and as Herodes was desirous of saving some of them, he had proclamation made, that they should come and deliver themselves up to him; but not one of them came willingly to him; and of those that were compelled to come, many preferred death to captivity. [312] G   And here a certain old man, the father of seven children, whose children, together with their mother, desired him to give them leave to go out, upon the assurance and right hand that was offered them, slew them after the following manner: he ordered every one of them to go out, while he stood himself at the cave's mouth, and slew that son of his perpetually who went out. Herodes was near enough to see this sight, and his bowels of compassion were moved at it, and he stretched out his right hand to the old man, and besought him to spare his children; [313] yet did not he relent at all upon what he said, but over and above reproached Herodes on the lowness of his descent, and slew his wife as well as his children; and when he had thrown their dead bodies down the precipice, he at last threw himself down after them.

[314] G   By this means Herodes subdued these caves, and the robbers that were in them. He then left there a part of his army, as many as he thought sufficient to prevent any sedition, and made Ptolemaeus their general, and returned to Samaria; he led also with him three thousand armed footmen, and six hundred horsemen, against Antigonus. [315] Now here those that used to raise tumults in Galilee, having liberty so to do upon his departure, fell unexpectedly upon Ptolemaeus, the general of his forces, and slew him; they also laid the country waste, and then retired to the bogs, and to places not easily to be found. [316] G   But when Herodes was informed of this insurrection, he came to the assistance of the country immediately, and destroyed a great number of the seditions, and raised the sieges of all those fortresses they had besieged; he also exacted the tribute of a hundred talents of his enemies, as a penalty for the mutations they had made in the country.

[317] By this time (the Parthians being already driven out of the country, and Pacorus slain) Ventidius, by Antonius's command, sent a thousand horsemen, and two legions, as auxiliaries to Herodes, against Antigonus. Now Antigonus besought Machaeras, who was their general, by letter, to come to his assistance, and made a great many mournful complaints about Herodes's violence, and about the injuries he did to the kingdom; and promised to give him money for such his assistance; [318] G   but he complied not with his invitation to betray his trust, for he did not contemn him that sent him, especially while Herodes gave him more money [than the other offered]. So he pretended friendship to Antigonus, but came as a spy to discover his affairs; although he did not herein comply with Herodes, who dissuaded him from so doing. [319] But Antigonus perceived what his intentions were beforehand, and excluded him out of the city, and defended himself against him as against an enemy, from the walls; till Machaeras was ashamed of what he had done, and retired to Emmaus to Herodes; and as he was in a rage at his disappointment, he slew all the Jews whom he met with, without sparing those that were for Herodes, but using them all as if they were for Antigonus.

[320] G   Hereupon Herodes was very angry at him, and was going to fight against Machaeras as his enemy; but he restrained his indignation, and marched to Antonius to accuse Machaeras of maladministration. But Machaeras was made sensible of his offences, and followed after the king immediately, and earnestly begged and obtained that he would be reconciled to him. [321] However, Herodes did not desist from his resolution of going to Antonius; but when he heard that he was besieging Samosata with a great army, which is a strong city near to Euphrates, he made the greater haste; as observing that this was a proper opportunity for showing at once his courage, and for doing what would greatly oblige Antonius. [322] G   Indeed, when he came, he soon made an end of that siege, and slew a great number of the barbarians, and took from them a large prey; insomuch that Antonius, who admired his courage formerly, did now admire it still more. Accordingly, he heaped many more honours upon him, and gave him more assured hopes that he should gain his kingdom; and now king Antiochus was forced to deliver up Samosata.

[17.]   [323] In the mean time, Herodes's affairs in Judaea were in an ill state. He had left his brother Joseph with full power, but had charged him to make no attempts against Antigonus till his return; for that Machaeras would not be such an assistant as he could depend on, as it appeared by what he had done already; but as soon as Joseph heard that his brother was at a very great distance, he neglected the charge he had received, and marched towards Jericho with five cohorts, which Machaeras sent with him. This movement was intended for seizing on the corn, as it was now in the midst of summer; [324] G   but when his enemies attacked him in the mountains, and in places which were difficult to pass, he was both killed himself, as he was very bravely fighting in the battle, and the entire Roman cohorts were destroyed; for these cohorts were new-raised men, gathered out of Syria, and here was no mixture of those called veteran soldiers among them, who might have supported those that were unskilful in war.

[325] This victory was not sufficient for Antigonus; but he proceeded to that degree of rage, as to treat the dead body of Joseph barbarously; for when he had got possession of the bodies of those that were slain, he cut off his head, although his brother Pheroras would have given fifty talents as a price of redemption for it. [326] G   And now the affairs of Galilee were put in such disorder after this victory of Antigonus's, that those of Antigonus's party brought the principal men that were on Herodes's side to the lake, and there drowned them. There was a great change made also in Idumaea, where Machaeras was building a wall about one of the fortresses, which was called Gittha. [327] But Herodes had not yet been informed of these things; for after the taking of Samosata, and when Antonius had set Sosius over the affairs of Syria, and had given him orders to assist Herodes against Antigonus, he departed into Egypt; but Sosius sent two legions before him into Judaea to assist Herodes, and followed himself soon after with the rest of his army.

[328] G   Now when Herodes was at Daphne, by Antioch, he had some dreams which clearly foreboded his brother's death; and as he leaped out of his bed in a disturbed manner, there came messengers that acquainted him with that calamity. So when he had lamented this misfortune for a while, he put off the main part of his mourning, and made haste to march against his enemies; and when he had performed a march that was above his strength, [329] and was gone as far as Libanus, he got him eight hundred men of those that lived near to that mountain as his assistants, and joined with them one Roman legion, with which, before it was day, he made an irruption into Galilee, and met his enemies, and drove them back to the place which they had left. [330] G   He also made an immediate and continual attack upon the fortress. Yet was he forced by a most terrible storm to pitch his camp in the neighbouring villages before he could take it. But when, after a few days' time, the second legion, that came from Antonius, joined themselves to him, the enemy were affrighted at his power, and left their fortifications ill the night time.

[331] After this he marched through Jericho, as making what haste he could to be avenged on his brother's murderers; where happened to him a providential sign, out of which, when he had unexpectedly escaped, he had the reputation of being very dear to God; for that evening there feasted with him many of the principal men; and after that feast was over, and all the guests were gone out, the house fell down immediately. [332] G   And as he judged this to be a common signal of what dangers he should undergo, and how he should escape them in the war that he was going about, he, in the morning, set forward with his army, when about six thousand of his enemies came running down from the mountains, and began to fight with those in his forefront; yet durst they not be so very bold as to engage the Romans hand to hand, but threw stones and darts at them at a distance; by which means they wounded a considerable number; in which action Herodes's own side was wounded with a dart.

[333] Now as Antigonus had a mind to appear to exceed Herodes, not only in the courage, but in the number of his men, he sent Pappus, one of his companions, with an army against Samaria, [334] G   whose fortune it was to oppose Machaeras; but Herodes overran the enemy's country, and demolished five little cities, and destroyed two thousand men that were in them, and burned their houses, and then returned to his camp; but his head-quarters were at the village called Cana.

[335] Now a great multitude of Jews resorted to him every day, both out of Jericho and the other parts of the country. Some were moved so to do out of their hatred to Antigonus, and some out of regard to the glorious actions Herodes had done; but others were led on by an unreasonable desire of change; so he fell upon them immediately. As for Pappus and his party, they were not terrified either at their number or at their zeal, but marched out with great alacrity to fight them; and it came to a close fight. [336] G   Now other parts of their army made resistance for a while; but Herodes, running the utmost hazard, out of the rage he was in at the murder of his brother, that he might be avenged on those that had been the authors of it, soon beat those that opposed him; and after he had beaten them, he always turned his force against those that stood to it still, and pursued them all; [337] so that a great slaughter was made, while some were forced back into that village whence they came out; he also pressed hard upon the hindmost, and slew a vast number of them; he also fell into the village with the enemy, where every house was filled with armed men, and the upper rooms were crowded above with soldiers for their defence; [338] G   and when he had beaten those that were on the outside, he pulled the houses to pieces, and plucked out those that were within; upon many he had the roofs shaken down, whereby they perished by heaps; and as for those that fled out of the ruins, the soldiers received them with their swords in their hands; and the multitude of those slain and lying on heaps was so great, that the conquerors could not pass along the roads. [339] Now the enemy could not bear this blow, so that when the multitude of them which was gathered together saw that those in the village were slain, they dispersed themselves, and fled away; upon the confidence of which victory, Herodes had marched immediately to Jerusalem, unless he tad been hindered by the depth of winter's [coming on]. This was the impediment that lay in the way of this his entire glorious progress, and was what hindered Antigonus from being now conquered, who was already disposed to forsake the city.

[340] G   Now when at the evening Herodes had already dismissed his friends to refresh themselves after their fatigue, and when he was gone himself, while he was still hot in his armour, like a common soldier, to bathe himself, and had but one servant that attended him, and before he had got into the bath, one of the enemies met him in the face with a sword in his hand, and then a second, and then a third, and after that more of them; [341] these were men who had run away out of the battle into the bath in their armour, and they had lain there for some time in, great terror, and in privacy; and when they saw the king, they trembled for fear, and ran by him in a flight, although he was naked, and endeavoured to get off into the public road. Now there was by chance nobody else at hand that might seize upon these men; and for Herodes, he was contented to have come to no harm himself, so that they all got away in safety.

[342] G   But on the next day Herodes had Pappus's head cut off, who was the general for Antigonus, and was slain in the battle, and sent it to his brother Pheroras, by way of punishment for their slain brother; for he was the man that slew Joseph. [343] Now as winter was going off, Herodes marched to Jerusalem, and brought his army to the wall of it; this was the third year since he had been made king at Rome; so he pitched his camp before the temple, for on that side it might be besieged, and there it was that Pompeius took the city. [344] G   So he parted the work among the army, and demolished the suburbs, end raised three banks, and gave orders to have towers built upon those banks, and left the most laborious of his acquaintance at the works. But he went himself to Samaria, to take the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, to wife, who had been betrothed to him before, as we have already said; and thus he accomplished this by the by, during the siege of the city, for he had his enemies in great contempt already.

[345] When he had thus married Mariamme, he came back to Jerusalem with a greater army. Sosius also joined him with a large army, both of horsemen and footmen, which he sent before him through the midland parts, while he marched himself along Phoenicia; [346] G   and when the whole army was got together, which were eleven regiments of footmen, and six thousand horsemen, besides the Syrian auxiliaries, which were no small part of the army, they pitched their camp near to the north wall. Herodes's dependence was upon the decree of the senate, by which he was made king; and Sosius relied upon Antonius, who sent the army that was under him to Herodes's assistance.

[18.]   [347] Now the multitude of the Jews that were in the city were divided into several factions; for the people that crowded about the temple, being the weaker part of them, gave it out that, as the times were, he was the happiest and most religious man who should die first. But as to the more bold and hardy men, they got together in bodies, and fell a robbing others after various manners, and these particularly plundered the places that were about the city, and this because there was no food left either for the horses or the men; [348] G   yet some of the warlike men, who were used to fight regularly, were appointed to defend the city during the siege, and these drove those that raised the banks away from the wall; and these were always inventing some engine or another to be a hindrance to the engines of the enemy; nor had they so much success any way as in the mines under ground.

[349] Now as for the robberies which were committed, the king contrived that ambushes should be so laid, that they might restrain their excursions; and as for the want of provisions, he provided that they should be brought to them from great distances. He was also too hard for the Jews, by the Romans' skill in the art of war; [350] G   although they were bold to the utmost degree, now they durst not come to a plain battle with the Romans, which was certain death; but through their mines under ground they would appear in the midst of them on the sudden, and before they could batter down one wall, they built them another in its stead; and to sum up all at once, they did not show any want either of painstaking or of contrivances, as having resolved to hold out to the very last. [351] Indeed, though they had so great an army lying round about them, they bore a siege of five months, till some of Herodes's chosen men ventured to get upon the wall, and fell into the city, as did Sosius's centurions after them; and now they first of all seized upon what was about the temple; and upon the pouring in of the army, there was slaughter of vast multitudes every where, by reason of the rage the Romans were in at the length of this siege, and by reason that the Jews who were about Herodes earnestly endeavored that none of their adversaries might remain; [352] G   so they were cut to pieces by great multitudes, as they were crowded together in narrow streets, and in houses, or were running away to the temple; nor was there any mercy showed either to infants, or to the aged, or to the weaker sex; insomuch that although the king sent about and desired them to spare the people, nobody could be persuaded to withhold their right hand from slaughter, but they slew people of all ages, like madmen. [353] Then it was that Antigonus, without any regard to his former or to his present fortune, came down from the citadel, and fell at Sosius's feet, who without pitying him at all, upon the change of his condition, laughed at him beyond measure, and called him Antigone. Yet did he not treat him like a woman, or let him go free, but put him into bonds, and kept him in custody.

[354] G   But Herodes's concern at present, now he had got his enemies under his power, was to restrain the zeal of his foreign auxiliaries; for the multitude of the strange people were very eager to see the temple, and what was sacred in the holy house itself; but the king endeavoured to restrain them, partly by his exhortations, partly by his threatenings, nay, partly by force, as thinking the victory worse than a defeat to him, if any thing that ought not to be seen were seen by them. [355] He also forbade, at the same time, the spoiling of the city, asking Sosius in the most earnest manner, whether the Romans, by thus emptying the city of money and men, had a mind to leave him king of a desert, - and told him that he judged the dominion of the habitable earth too small a compensation for the slaughter of so many citizens. [356] G   And when Sosius said that it was but just to allow the soldiers this plunder as a reward for what they suffered during the siege, Herodes made answer, that he would give every one of the soldiers a reward out of his own money. So he purchased the deliverance of his country, and performed his promises to them, and made presents after a magnificent manner to each soldier, and proportionately to their commanders, and with a most royal bounty to Sosius himself, whereby nobody went away but in a wealthy condition. [357] Hereupon Sosius dedicated a crown of gold to God, and then went away from Jerusalem, leading Antigonus away in bonds to Antonius; then did the axe bring him to his end, who still had a fond desire of life, and some frigid hopes of it to the last, but by his cowardly behaviour well deserved to die by it.

[358] G   Hereupon king Herodes distinguished the multitude that was in the city; and for those that were of his side, he made them still more his friends by the honours he conferred on them; but for those of Antigonus's party, he slew them; and as his money ran low, he turned all the ornaments he had into money, and sent it to Antonius, and to those about him. [359] Yet could he not hereby purchase an exemption from all sufferings; for Antonius was now bewitched by his love to Cleopatra, and was entirely conquered by her charms. Now Cleopatra had put to death all her kindred, till no one near her in blood remained alive, and after that she fell a slaying those no way related to her. [360] G   So she calumniated the principal men among the Syrians to Antonius, and persuaded him to have them slain, that so she might easily gain to be mistress of what they had; nay, she extended her avaricious humour to the Jews and Arabians, and secretly laboured to have Herodes and Malchus, the kings of both those nations, slain by his order.

[361] Now as to these her injunctions to Antonius, he complied in part; for though he esteemed it too abominable a thing to kill such good and great kings, yet was he thereby alienated from the friendship he had for them. He also took away a great deal of their country; nay, even the plantation of palm trees at Jericho, where also grows the balsam tree, and bestowed them upon her; as also all the cities on this side the river Eleutherus, Tyre and Sidon excepted. [362] G   And when she was become mistress of these, and had conducted Antonius in his expedition against the Parthians as far as Euphrates, she came by Apameia and Damascus into Judaea and there did Herodes pacify her indignation at him by large presents. He also hired of her those places that had been torn away from his kingdom, at the yearly rent of two hundred talents. He conducted her also as far as Pelusium, and paid her all the respects possible. [363] Now it was not long after this that Antonius was come back from Parthia, and led with him Artabazes, Tigranes's son, captive, as a present for Cleopatra; for this Parthian was presently given her, with his money, and all the prey that was taken with him.

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