Josephus: Jewish Antiquities, Book 14

Sections 156 - 323


Translated by R. Marcus (1943). The section numbers in the Greek text are shown in red; the traditional chapter numbers (as in Whiston's translation) are shown in green.  

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{9.}   [156] G   Now when Caesar had settled the affairs of Syria, he sailed away. And Antipater, after escorting Caesar out of Syria, returned to Judaea and at once raised again the wall which had been demolished by Pompey, and going about the country suppressed disorders therein by both threatening and advising the people to remain quiet. [157] For, he said, those who were on the side of Hyrcanus would be left in peace and could live undisturbed in the enjoyment of their own possessions, but if they clung to the hope of achieving something by revolution and were counting on any gains therefrom, they would have in him a master in place of a protector, and in Hyrcanus a tyrant in place of a king, and in the Romans and Caesar bitter enemies in place of rulers. For they would not allow any man to be removed from office whom they themselves had placed therein. Through such words he restored order throughout the country by his own efforts.   

[158] G   But as he saw that Hyrcanus was dull and sluggish, he appointed his eldest son Phasael governor of Jerusalem and the surrounding region, and entrusted Galilee to his second son Herod, who was still quite young ; he was, in fact, only fifteen years old. [159] But his youth in no way hindered him, and being a young man of high spirit, he quickly found an opportunity for showing his prowess. For on learning that Ezekias, a bandit leader, was overrunning the borders of Syria with a large troop, he caught and killed him and many of the bandits with him. [160] G   This achievement of his was greatly admired by the Syrians, for he had cleared their country of a gang of bandits of whom they longed to be rid. And so they sang his praises for this deed throughout their villages and cities, saying that he had given them peace and the secure enjoyment of their possessions. And through this action he became known to Sextus Caesar, a kinsman of the great Caesar and governor of Syria. [161] Thereupon the desire to emulate Herod's achievements seized his brother Phasael, and being moved by the thought of the reputation Herod had won, he was ambitious not to be behind him in achieving like fame ; and so he made the inhabitants of Jerusalem feel very friendly toward him, and though he kept the city under his own rule, he did not show any lack of discretion in governing it or abuse his authority. [162] G   This situation made it possible for Antipater to receive from the nation the respect shown a king and such honour as might be enjoyed by one who is an absolute master. With all this glory, however, he did not, as so often seems to happen, in any way alter his friendship and loyalty to Hyrcanus.   

[163] But when the leading Jews saw Antipater and his sons growing so great through the goodwill of the nation and the revenues which they received from Judaea and Hyrcanus' wealth, they became hostile toward him. [164] G   Moreover Antipater had formed a friendship with the Roman generals, and after persuading Hyrcanus to send them money, he took this gift and appropriated it for himself, and then sent it as though it came from him and were not a gift from Hyrcanus. [165] Hyrcanus heard of this but gave the matter no thought ; on the contrary he was actually pleased. But the chief Jews were in great fear when they saw how powerful and reckless Herod was and how much he desired to be a dictator. And so they came to Hyrcanus and now openly accused Antipater, saying, "How long will you keep quiet in the face of what is happening ? Do you not see that Antipater and his sons have girded themselves with royal power, while you have only the name of king given you ? [166] G   But do not let these things go unnoticed, nor consider yourself free of danger because you are careless of yourself and the kingdom. For no longer are Antipater and his sons merely your stewards in the government, and do not deceive yourself with the belief that they are ; they are openly acknowledged to be masters. [167] Thus Herod, his son, has killed Ezekias and many of his men in violation of our Law, which forbids us to slay a man, even an evildoer, unless he has first been condemned by the Synhedrion to suffer this fate. He, however, has dared to do this without authority from you."   

[168] G   Having heard these arguments, Hyrcanus was persuaded. And his anger was further kindled by the mothers of the men who had been murdered by Herod, for every day in the temple they kept begging the king and the people to have Herod brought to judgment in the Synhedrion for what he had done. [169] Being, therefore, moved by these pleas, Hyrcanus summoned Herod to stand trial for the crimes of which he was accused. Accordingly, after he had settled affairs in Galilee as he thought was to his best interests, because his father had advised him not to enter the city as a private individual but with the security of a bodyguard, he came with a troop sufficient for the purposes of the journey, and that he might not appear too formidable to Hyrcanus by arriving with a larger body of men and yet not be entirely unarmed and unprotected ; and so he went to his trial. [170] G   However Sextus, the governor of Syria, wrote to urge Hyrcanus to acquit Herod of the charge, and added threats as to what would happen if he disobeyed. The letter from Sextus gave Hyrcanus a pretext for letting Herod go without suffering any harm from the Synhedrion ; for he loved him as a son. [171] But when Herod stood in the Synhedrion with his troops, he overawed them all, and no one of those who had denounced him before his arrival dared to accuse him thereafter ; instead there was silence and doubt about what was to be done. [172] G   While they were in this state, someone named Samaias, an upright man and for that reason superior to fear, arose and said, "Fellow councillors and King, I do not myself know of, nor do I suppose that you can name, anyone who when summoned before you for trial has ever presented such an appearance. For no matter who it was that came before this Synhedrion for trial, he has shown himself humble and has assumed the manner of one who is fearful and seeks mercy from you by letting his hair grow long and wearing a black garment. [173] But this fine fellow Herod, who is accused of murder and has been summoned on no less grave a charge than this stands here clothed in purple, with the hair of his head carefully arranged and with his soldiers round him, in order to kill us if we condemn him as the law prescribes, and to save himself by outraging justice. [174] G   But it is not Herod whom I should blame for this or for putting his own interests above the law, but you and the king, for giving him such great licence. Be assured, however, that God is great, and this man, whom you now wish to release for Hyrcanus' sake, will one day punish you and the king as well." [175] And he was not mistaken in either part of his prediction. For when Herod assumed royal power, he killed Hyrcanus and all the other members of the Synhedrion with the exception of Samaias. [176] G   Him he held in the greatest honour, both because of his uprightness and because when the city was later besieged by Herod and Sossius, he advised the people to admit Herod, and said that on account of their sins they would not be able to escape him. And of these events we shall speak in the proper place { AJ 15.3 }.   

[177] Now when Hyrcanus saw that the members of the Synhedrion were bent on putting Herod to death, he postponed the trial to another day, and secretly sent to Herod, advising him to flee from the city, for in that way, he said, he might escape danger. [178] G   Herod accordingly withdrew to Damascus as if fleeing from the king, and coming to Sextus Caesar and making his position secure, he was determined not to obey if he were again summoned to a trial before the Synhedrion. [179] Thereupon the members of the Synhedrion became indignant and attempted to persuade Hyrcanus that all these things were directed against him. But though he was not unaware of this, he was incompetent to do anything, because of his cowardice and folly. [180] G   And when Sextus made Herod governor of Coele-Syria - for he gave him this title in return for money -, Hyrcanus was afraid that Herod would march against him. Nor was this fear long in being realised, for Herod did come against him with an army, being angry because of the trial and because he had been summoned to render an account of himself to the Synhedrion. [181] Herod, however, was prevented from attacking Jerusalem by his father Antipater and his brother, who went out to meet him and quieted his impetuosity, urging him not to undertake any violent action, but merely to strike terror into Hyrcanus by threats and not proceed further against one who had made it possible for him to attain to his present high office. [182] G   And as he expressed indignation at having been summoned to stand trial, they begged him to remember his acquittal and to be grateful for it rather than consider the unpleasant side and be ungrateful for his deliverance. [183] He ought, they said, to reflect that if the Deity decides the changing fortunes of war, the injustice of his cause might weigh more heavily than his military skill ; for that reason he should not be very confident of a victory when he was planning to make war on his king and comrade, one who had conferred many benefits upon him but had never done him any unkindness ; as for the things of which he complained, if Hyrcanus had given him the merest suspicion and shadow of harsh treatment, it was through evil counsellors and not of his own accord. [184] G   To these arguments Herod yielded, believing that it was enough for his future plans merely to have made a show of his strength to the people. This, then, was the state of affairs in Judaea.   

{10.} G     [185] Caesar on arriving at Rome was ready to sail for Africa to make war on Scipio and Cato, when Hyrcanus sent to him with the request that he should confirm the treaty of friendship and alliance with him. [186] G   And here it seems to me necessary to make public all the honours given our nation and the alliances made with them by the Romans and their emperors, in order that the other nations may not fail to recognise that both the kings of Asia and of Europe have held us in esteem and have admired our bravery and loyalty. [187] Since many persons, however, out of enmity to us refuse to believe what has been written about us by Persians and Macedonians because these writings are not found everywhere and are not deposited even in public places but are found only among us and some other barbarian peoples, [188] G   while against the decrees of the Romans nothing can be said, for they are kept in the public places of the cities and are still to be found engraved on bronze tablets in the Capitol ; and what is more, Julius Caesar made a bronze tablet for the Jews in Alexandria declaring that they were citizens of Alexandria - from these same documents I will furnish proof of my statements. [189] Accordingly I will now cite the decrees passed by the Senate and Julius Caesar concerning Hyrcanus and our nation.   

[190] G   "Gaius Julius Caesar, Imperator and Pontifex Maximus, Dictator for the second time, to the magistrates, council and people of Sidon, greeting. If you are in good health, it is well ; I also and the army are in good health. [191] I am sending you a copy of the decree, inscribed on a tablet, concerning Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, in order that it may be deposited among your public records. It is my wish that this be set up on a tablet of bronze in both Greek and Latin. [192] G   It reads as follows. 'I, Julius Caesar, Imperator and Pontifex Maximus, Dictator for the second time, have decided as follows with the advice of the council. Whereas the Jew Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, both now and in the past, in time of peace as well as in war, has shown loyalty and zeal toward our state, as many commanders have testified on his behalf, [193] and in the recent Alexandrian War came to our aid with fifteen hundred soldiers, and being sent by me to Mithridates, surpassed in bravery all those in the ranks, [194] G   for these reasons it is my wish that Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, and his children shall be ethnarchs of the Jews and shall hold the office of high priest of the Jews for all time in accordance with their national customs, and that he and his sons shall be our allies and also be numbered among our particular friends ; [195] and whatever high-priestly rights or other privileges exist in accordance with their laws, these he and his children shall possess by my command. And if, during this period, any question shall arise concerning the Jews' manner of life, it is my pleasure that the decision shall rest with them. Nor do I approve of troops being given winter-quarters among them or of money being demanded of them.' "   

[196] G   The following are the grants, concessions and awards made by Gaius Caesar, Imperator and Consul. "That his children shall rule over the Jewish nation and enjoy the fruits of the places given them, and that the high priest, being also ethnarch, shall be the protector of those Jews who are unjustly treated. [197] And that envoys be sent to Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, the high priest of the Jews, to discuss terms of friendship and alliance. And that a bronze tablet containing these decrees shall be set up in the Capitol and at Sidon and Tyre and Ascalon and in the temples, engraved in Latin and Greek characters. [198] G   Also that this decree shall be communicated to all the quaestors and magistrates of the several cities and to our friends, that hospitality may be shown the envoys, and that these ordinances may be published everywhere."   

[199] "Gaius Caesar, Imperator, Dictator and Consul, in recognition of the honour, virtue and benevolence of Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, and in the interest of the Senate and people of Rome, has granted that both he and his sons shall be high priests and priests of Jerusalem and of their nation with the same rights and under the same regulations as those under which their forefathers uninterruptedly held the office of priest."   

[200] G   "Gaius Caesar, Consul for the fifth time, has decreed that these men shall receive and fortify the city of Jerusalem, and that Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, shall occupy it as he himself may choose. [201] And that in the second year of the rent-term one kor shall be deducted from the tax paid by the Jews, and no one shall make profit out of them, nor shall they pay the same tribute."   

[202] G   "Gaius Caesar, Imperator for the second time, has ruled that they shall pay tax for the city of Jerusalem, Joppa excluded, every year except in the seventh year, which they call the sabbatical year, because in this time they neither take fruit from the trees nor do they sow. [203] And that in the second year a they shall pay the tribute at Sidon, consisting of one fourth of the produce sown, and in addition, they shall also pay tithes to Hyrcanus and his sons, just as they paid to their forefathers. [204] G   And that no one, whether magistrate or pro-magistrate, praetor or legate, shall rise auxiliary troops in the territories of the Jews, nor shall soldiers be allowed to exact money from them, whether for winter quarters or on any other pretext, but they shall be free from all molestation. [205] And whatever they may hereafter acquire or buy or possess or have assigned to them, all these they shall keep. It is also our pleasure that the city of Joppa, which the Jews had held from ancient times when they made a treaty of friendship with the Romans, shall belong to them as at first ; [206] G   and for this city Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, and his sons shall pay tribute, collected from those who inhabit the territory, as a tax on the land, the harbour and exports, payable at Sidon in the amount of twenty thousand six hundred and seventy-five modii every year except in the seventh year, which they call the sabbatical year, wherein they neither plow nor take fruit from the trees. [207] As for the villages in the Great Plain, which Hyrcanus and his forefathers before him possessed, it is the pleasure of the Senate that Hyrcanus and the Jews shall retain them with the same rights as they formerly had, [208] G   and that the ancient rights which the Jews and their high priests and priests had in relation to each other should continue, and also the privileges which they received by vote of the people and the Senate. And that they be permitted to enjoy these rights at Lydda also. [209] As for the places, lands and farms, the fruits of which the kings of Syria and Phoenicia, as allies of the Romans, were permitted to enjoy by their gift, these the Senate decrees that the ethnarch Hyrcanus and the Jews shall have. [210] G   And that to Hyrcanus and his children and to the envoys sent by him shall be given the right to sit with the members of the senatorial order as spectators of the contests of gladiators and wild beasts ; and that when they request permission of the Dictator or Master of the horse to enter the Senate chamber, they shall admit them and shall give them an answer within ten days at the latest from the time when a decree is passed."   

[211] "Gaius Caesar, Imperator, Dictator for the fourth time, Consul for the fifth time, designated Dictator for life, made the following speech concerning the rights of Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews. [212] G   'Inasmuch as the high commanders in the provinces before me have testified on behalf of Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, and of the Jews themselves before the Senate and the people of Rome, and the people and Senate have expressed thanks to them, it is fitting that we too should be mindful of this and provide that there be given by the Senate and people of Rome to Hyrcanus and the Jewish nation and the sons of Hyrcanus a token of gratitude worthy of their loyalty to us and of the benefits which they have conferred upon us.' "   

[213] "Julius Gaius, praetor, Consul of the Romans, to the magistrates, council and people of Parium, greeting. The Jews in Delos and some of the neighbouring Jews, some of your envoys also being present, have appealed to me and declared that you are preventing them by statute from observing their national customs and sacred rites. [214] G   Now it displeases me that such statutes should be made against our friends and allies and that they should be forbidden to live in accordance with their customs and to contribute money to common meals and sacred rites, for this they are not forbidden to do even in Rome. [215] For example. Gaius Caesar, our consular praetor, by edict forbade religious societies to assemble in the city, but these people alone he did not forbid to do so or to collect contributions of money or to hold common meals. [216] G   Similarly do I forbid other religious societies but permit these people alone to assemble and feast in accordance with their native customs and ordinances. And if you have made any statutes against our friends and allies, you will do well to revoke them because of their worthy deeds on our behalf and their goodwill toward us."   

[217] After the death of Gaius, Marcus Antonius and Publius Dolabella, the consuls, convened the Senate and having introduced the envoys sent by Hyrcanus, discussed the requests they presented, and made a treaty of friendship with them. And the Senate voted to grant them everything they sought. [218] G   I herewith give the decree itself in order that the readers of this History may have before them a proof of these statements. It read as follows.   

[219] "Decree of the Senate, copied from the Decree of Treasury, from the public tablets of the quaestors, Quintus Rutilius and Quintus Cornelius being quaestors of the city, second tablet, first column. Three days before the Ides of April, in the Temple of Concord, [220] G   there being present at the writing Lucius Calpurnius Piso of the Menenian tribe, Servius Sulpicius Quintus of the Lemonian tribe, Gaius Caninius Rebilus of the Teretine tribe, Publius Tedetius, son of Lucius, of the Pollian tribe, Lucius Apulius, son of Lucius, of the Sergian tribe, Flavius, son of Lucius, of the Lemonian tribe, Publius Plautius, son of Publius, of the Papirian tribe, Marcus Gellius, son of Marcus, of the Maecian tribe, Lucius Erucius, son of Lucius, of the Steletinian tribe, Marcus Quintus Plancinus, son of Marcus, of the Pollian tribe, and Publius Serrius. [221] Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, the consuls, made speeches. As for the decision rendered by Gaius Caesar, with the concurrence of the Senate, concerning the Jews, which there was not time to have registered in the Treasury, this matter we wish to be disposed of as the consuls Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius have decided, and that these decisions be recorded in tablets and brought to the quaestors of the city, and that they take care to have them inscribed on two-leaved tablets. [222] G   They were dated the fifth day before the Ides of February in the Temple of Concord. The envoys from the high priest Hyrcanus were the following : Lysimachus, son of Pausanias, Alexander, son of Theodorus, Patroclus, son of Chaireas, and Jonathan, son of Onias."   

[223] One of these envoys Hyrcanus sent also to Dolabella, who was then governor of Asia, requesting him to exempt the Jews from military service and to permit them to maintain their native customs and live in accordance with them. And this request he readily obtained ; [224] G   for Dolabella, on receiving the letter from Hyrcanus, without even taking counsel, sent to all (the officials) in Asia, and wrote to Ephesus, the chief city of Asia, about the Jews. His letter read as follows.   

[225] "In the presidency of Artemon, on the first day of the month of Lenaeon, Dolabella, Imperator, to the magistrates, council and people of Ephesus, greeting. [226] G   Alexander, son of Theodorus, the envoy of Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, has explained to me that his co-religionists cannot undertake military service because they may not bear arms or march on the days of the Sabbath ; nor can they obtain the native foods to which they are accustomed. [227] I, therefore, like the governors before me, grant them exemption from military service and allow them to follow their native customs and to come together for sacred and holy rites in accordance with their law, and to make offerings for their sacrifices ; and it is my wish that you write these instructions to the various cities."   

[228] G   These, then, were the favours which Dolabella granted to our people when Hyrcanus sent an envoy to him. And Lucius Lentulus, the consul, declared. "Those Jews who are Roman citizens and observe Jewish rites and practise them in Ephesus, I released from military service before the tribunal on the twelfth day before the Kalends of October in consideration of their religious scruples, in the consulship of Lucius Lentulus and Gaius Marcellus { 49 B.C. }. [229] Those present were the legate Titus Ampius Balbus, a son of Titus, of the Horatian tribe, Titus Tongius, son of Titus, of the Crustuminian tribe, Quintus Caesius, son of Quintus, Titus Pompeius Longinus, son of Titus, the military tribune Gaius Servilius Bracchus, son of Gaius, of the Teretine tribe, Publius Clusius Gallus, son of Publius, of the Veturian tribe, Gaius Sentius, son of Gaius . . . son of ... of the Sabatine tribe."   

[230] G   "Titus Ampius Balbus, son of Titus, legate and propraetor, to the magistrates, council and people of Ephesus, greeting. Lucius Lentulus, the consul, has at my petition exempted the Jews in Asia from military service. And on making the same request later of Fannius, the propraetor, and of Lucius Antonius, the proquaestor, I obtained my request ; and it is my wish that you take care that no one shall molest them."   

[231] Decree of the Delians. "In the archonship of Boeotus, on the twentieth day of the month of Thargelion, response of the magistrates. The legate Marcus Piso, when resident in our city, having been placed in charge of the recruiting of soldiers, summoned us and a considerable number of citizens, [232] G   and ordered that if there were any Jews who were Roman citizens, no one should bother them about military service, inasmuch as the consul Lucius Cornelius Lentulus had exempted the Jews from military service in consideration of their religious scruples. We must therefore obey the magistrate." Similar to this was the decree concerning us which the people of Sardis passed.   

[233] "Gaius Fannius, son of Gaius, proconsular praetor, to the magistrates of Cos, greeting. I would have you know that envoys have come to me from the the Jews, asking to have the decrees concerning them which were passed by the Senate. These decrees are herewith appended. It is my wish therefore that you take thought and care for these men in accordance with the decree of the Senate, in order that they may safely be brought through your country to their home."   

[234] G   "Lucius Lentulus, consul, declares : 'In consideration of their religious scruples I have released those Jews who are Roman citizens and appeared to me to have and to practise Jewish rites in Ephesus. Dated the twelfth day before the Kalends of July.'"   

[235] "Lucius Antonius, son of Marcus, proquaestor and propraetor, to the magistrates, council and people of Sardis, greeting. Jewish citizens of ours have come to me and pointed out that from the earliest times they have had an association of their own in accordance with their native laws and a place of their own, in which they decide their affairs and controversies with one another ; and upon their request that it be permitted them to do these things, I decided that they might be maintained, and permitted them so to do."   

[236] G   "Marcus Publius, son of Spurius, and Marcus, son of Marcus, and Lucius, son of Publius, declared : 'We have gone to the proconsul Lentulus and informed him of the statement made by Dositheus, son of Cleopatrides, the Alexandrian, [237] to the effect that, if it seemed proper to him, in consideration of their religious scruples he should exempt from military service those Jews who are Roman citizens and are accustomed to practise Jewish rites. And he did exempt them on the twelfth day before the Kalends of July.' "   

[238] G   "In the consulship of Lucius Lentulus and Gaius Marcellus { 49 B.C. }. Present were the legate Titus Ampius Balbus, son of Titus, of the Horatian tribe, Titus Tongius of the Crustuminian tribe, Quintus Caesius, son of Quintus, Titus Pompeius Longinus, son of Titus, of the Cornelian tribe, the military tribune Gaius Servilius Bracchus, son of Gaius, of the Teretine tribe, Publius Clusius Gallus, son of Publius, of the Veturian tribe, the military tribune Gaius Teutius, son of Gaius, of the Aemilian tribe, Sextus Atilius Serranus, son of Sextus, of the Aemilian tribe, [239] Gaius Pompeius, son of Gaius, of the Sabatine tribe, Titus Ampius Menander, son of Titus, Publius Servilius Strabo, son of Publius, Lucius Paccius Capito, son of Lucius, of the Colline tribe, Aulus Furius Tertius, son of Aulus, Appius Menas. [240] G   In their presence Lentulus announced the following decree. In consideration of their religious scruples I have released before the tribunal those Jews who are Roman citizens and are accustomed to observe Jewish rites in Ephesus."   

[241] "The magistrates of Laodicea to the proconsul Gaius Rabirius, son of Gaius, greeting. Sopatrus, the envoy of the high priest Hyrcanus, has delivered to us a letter from you, in which you have informed us that certain persons have come from Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, bringing documents concerning their nation, [242] G   to the effect that it shall be lawful for them to observe their Sabbaths and perform their other rites in accordance with their native laws, and that no one shall give orders to them, because they are our friends and allies, and that no one shall do them an injury in our province and as the people of Tralles objected in your presence that they were dissatisfied with the decrees concerning them, you gave orders that they should be carried out, adding that you have been requested to write also to us about the matters concerning them. [243] We, therefore, in obedience to your instructions, have accepted the letter delivered to us and have deposited it among our public archives ; and to the other matters on which you have given us instructions we shall give such attention that no one shall incur blame."   

[244] G   "Publius Servilius Galba, son of Publius, proconsul to the magistrates, council and people of Miletus, greeting. [245] Prytanis, son of Hermas, a citizen of yours, came to me when I was holding court at Tralles and informed me that contrary to our expressed wish you are attacking the Jews and forbid them to observe their Sabbaths, perform their native rites or manage their produce in accordance with their custom ; and that he had announced this decree in accordance with the laws. [246] G   I would therefore have you know that after hearing the arguments of the opposing sides, I have decided that the Jews are not to be forbidden to follow their customs."   

[247] Decree of the people of Pergamum. "In the presidency of Cratippus, on the first of the month Daisios, a decree of the magistrates. As the Romans in pursuance of the practices of their ancestors have accepted dangerous risks for the common safety of all mankind and strive emulously to place their allies and friends in a state of happiness and lasting peace, [248] G   the Jewish nation and their high priest Hyrcanus have sent as envoys to them Straton, son of Theodotus, Apollonius, son of Alexander, Aeneas, son of Antipater, Aristobulus, son of Amyntas, and Sosipater, son of Philip, worthy and excellent men, [249] and have made representations concerning certain particular matters, whereupon the Senate passed a decree concerning the matters on which they spoke, to the effect that King Antiochus, son of Antiochus, shall do no injury to the Jews, the allies of the Romans ; and that the fortresses, harbours, territory and whatever else he may have taken from them shall be restored to them : and that it shall be lawful for them to export goods from their harbours [250] G   and that no king or people exporting goods from the territory of the Jews or from their harbours shall be untaxed except only Ptolemy, king of Alexandria, because he is our ally and friend ; and that the garrison in Joppa shall be expelled, as they have requested. [251] And one of our council, Lucius Pettius, a worthy and excellent man, has given orders that we shall take care that these things are done as the Senate has decreed, and that we shall see to the safe return of the envoys to their homes. [252] G   We have also admitted Theodorus to the council and assembly, accepting from him the letter and the decree of the Senate : and after he had addressed with great earnestness and pointed out the virtues and generosity of Hyrcanus [253] and how he confers benefits upon all men generally, and in particular upon those who come to him, we deposited the documents in our public archives and passed a decree that we on our part, being allies of the Romans, would do everything possible on behalf of the Jews in accordance with the decree of the Senate. And when he delivered the letter to us. [254] G   Theodorus also requested our magistrates to send a copy of the decree to Hyrcanus, as well as envoys who would inform him of the friendly interest of our people, and would urge him to preserve and increase his friendship with us and always be responsible for some act of good [255] in the knowledge that he will receive a fitting recompense, and also remembering that in the time of Abraham, who was the father of all Hebrews, our ancestors were their friends, as we find in the public records."   

[256] G   Decree of the people of Halicarnassus. "In the priesthood of Memnon, son of Aristides and, by adoption, of Euonymus, ... of Anthesterion, the people passed the following decree on the motion of Marcus Alexander. [257] Whereas at all times we have had a deep regard for piety toward the Deity and holiness, and following the example of the people of Rome, who are benefactors of all mankind, and in conformity with what they have written to our city concerning their friendship and alliance with the Jews, to the effect that their sacred services to God and their customary festivals and religious gatherings shall be carried on, [258] G   we have also decreed that those Jewish men and women who so wish may observe their Sabbaths and perform their sacred rites in accordance with the Jewish laws, and may build places of prayer near the sea, in accordance with their native custom. And if anyone, whether magistrate or private citizen, prevents them, he shall be liable to the following fine and owe it to the city."   

[259] Decree of the people of Sardis. "The following decree was passed by the council and people on the motion of the magistrates. Whereas the Jewish citizens living in our city have continually received many great privileges from the people and have now come before the council and the people and have pleaded [260] G   that as their laws and freedom have been restored to them by the Roman Senate and people, they may, in accordance with their accepted customs, come together and have a communal life and adjudicate suits among themselves, and that a place be given them in which they may gather together with their wives and children and offer their ancestral prayers and sacrifices to God, [261] it has therefore been decreed by the council and people that permission shall be given them to come together on stated days to do those things which are in accordance with their laws, and also that a place shall be set apart by the magistrates for them to build and inhabit, such as they may consider suitable for this purpose, and that the market-officials {agoranomoi} of the city shall be charged with the duty of having suitable food for them brought in."   

[262] G   Decree of the people of Ephesus. "In the presidency of Menophilus, on the first of the month Artemision, the following decree was passed by the people on the motion of the magistrates, and was announced by Nicanor. [263] Whereas the Jews in the city have petitioned the proconsul Marcus Junius Brutus, son of Pontius, that they might observe their Sabbaths and do all those things which are in accordance with their native customs without interference from anyone, and the governor has granted this request, [264] G   it has therefore been decreed by the council and c people that as the matter is of concern to the Romans, no one shall be prevented from keeping the Sabbath days nor be fined for so doing, but they shall be permitted to do all those things which are in accordance with their own laws."   

[265] Now there are many other such decrees, passed by the Senate and the Imperators of the Romans, relating to Hyrcanus and our nation, as well as resolutions of cities and rescripts of provincial governors in reply to letters on the subject of our rights, all of which those who will read our work without malice will find it possible to take on faith from the documents we have cited. [266] G   For since we have furnished clear and visible proofs of our friendship with the Romans, indicating those decrees engraved on bronze pillars and tablets which remain to this day and will continue to remain in the Capitol, I have refrained from citing them all as being both superfluous and disagreeable : [267] for I cannot suppose that anyone is so stupid that he will actually refuse to believe the statements about the friendliness of the Romans towards us, when they have demonstrated this in a good many decrees relating to us, or will not admit that we are making truthful statements on the basis of the examples we have given. And herein we have set forth our friendship and alliance with the Romans in those times.   

{11.}   [268] G   About the same time disturbances broke out in Syria for the following reason. Bassus Caecilius, one of Pompey's sympathisers, formed a plot against Sextus Caesar, and after killing him, took over his army and made himself master of the country ; thereupon a great war began near Apamea, for Caesar's generals marched against him with a force of cavalry and infantry. [269] Antipater also sent them reinforcements together with his sons, being mindful of the benefits they had received from Caesar and on that account thinking it just to avenge Sextus and exact satisfaction from his murderer. [270] G   As the war was prolonged, Murcus came from Rome to take Sextus' command, and (Julius) Caesar was killed by Cassius, Brutus and their followers in the Senate-house, after having held power for three years and six months. This, however, has been related elsewhere.   

[271] On the outbreak of the war that followed Caesar's death and the dispersal to various quarters of all in authority in order to raise an army, Cassius arrived in Syria to take over the armies near Apamea. [272] G   And after raising the siege, he won over both Bassus and Murcus, and descending upon the cities, he collected arms and soldiers from them, and imposed heavy tribute upon them. Worst of all was his treatment of Judaea, from which he exacted seven hundred talents of silver. [273] But Antipater, seeing that affairs were in fearful disorder, apportioned the exacting of money and gave each of his sons a part to collect, and gave orders that some of it was to be raised by Malichus, who was hostile toward him, and the rest by others. [274] G   And Herod, being the first to raise the sum set for him from Galilee, became especially friendly with Cassius. For he thought it prudent to court the Romans and secure their goodwill at the expense of others. [275] But the officials of the other cities, every last man of them, were sold as slaves, and at that time Cassius reduced to servitude four cities, of which the most important were Gophna and Emmaus, the others being Lydda and Thamna. [276] G   And Cassius was moved by anger to the point of doing away with Malichus - for he had started to attack him - had not Hyrcanus through the agency of Antipater sent him a hundred talents of his own money and so stopped his hostile move.   

[277] But when Cassius had left Judaea, Malichus plotted against Antipater, thinking that his death would make for the security of Hyrcanus' rule. These plans of his did not, however, remain unknown to Antipater, who, on learning of them, moved across the Jordan and collected an army of Arabs as well as natives. [278] G   Thereupon Malichus, being a shrewd fellow, denied the plot and defended himself under oath before both him and his sons,- saying that with Phasael guarding Jerusalem and Herod having custody of the arms, he would never have entertained such a notion seeing how impossible it would be ; and so he became reconciled with Antipater, [279] and they came to an agreement at the time when Murcus was governing Syria, who, on learning that Malichus was stirring up a revolt in Judaea, came very near putting him to death, but on the plea of Antipater spared his life.   

[280] G   Now Antipater in saving Malichus' life had unwittingly, it turned out, saved his own murderer. For Cassius and Murcus collected an army and entrusted the entire charge of it to Herod ; and they made him governor of Coele-Syria, giving him ships and a force or cavalry and infantry, and also promised to appoint him king of Judaea after the war which they had just then begun with Antony and the young Caesar. [281] And as Malichus was now in greater fear than ever of Antipater, he sought to put him out of the way, and with money persuaded Hyrcanus' butler, at whose house they were both being entertained, to kill Antipater by poisoning ; and having soldiers there, he restored order in the city. [282] G   But to Herod and Phasael, who, on learning of the plot against their father, were incensed, Malichus again denied any part in it and professed to have no knowledge of the murder. [283] This was the manner in which Antipater died, a man distinguished for piety, justice and devotion to his country. But while one of his sons, Herod, resolved to avenge his father at once by leading his army against Malichus, the elder son Phasael thought it better to get their man by cunning lest it should be thought that they were beginning a civil war. [284] G   He therefore accepted Malichus' defence and pretended to believe that he had done nothing criminal in connexion with Antipater's death ; he then arranged the burial of his father. As for Herod, he came to Samaria and finding it in a sorry condition, repaired the damage, and put an end to the quarrels among its people.   

[285] Not long afterwards, when the festival took place at Jerusalem, he came to the city with his soldiers, and Malichus in fear sought to persuade Hyrcanus not to permit him to enter. Hyrcanus let himself be so persuaded, and gave the pretext for keeping him out that it was not proper to admit a crowd of foreigners when the people were in a state of ritual purity. [286] G   But Herod paid little attention to his messengers, and entered the city by night, to the terror of Malichus, who, however, did not give up his assumption of innocence but wept for Antipater and ostensibly mourned his memory as a friend ; nevertheless he secretly provided himself with a bodyguard. [287] But Herod and his friends still thought it best not to unmask his pretence ; on the contrary, they, in turn, treated Malichus with friendliness in order to avoid suspicion.   

[288] G   However Herod wrote to Cassius about the death of his father, and he, knowing what kind of man Malichus was, wrote in reply that he should avenge his father, and he secretly sent to the military tribunes at Tyre, ordering them to assist Herod in his plan to carry out justice. [289] Now when Cassius had taken Laodicea, and they presented themselves officially, bringing him crowns and money, Herod expected that Malichus would meet his punishment on coming there. [290] G   He, however, being near Tyre in Phoenicia, suspected what was being done, and played for greater stakes ; and as his son was a hostage in Tyre, he came to the city, determined to steal him away and depart for Judaea and then, when Cassius was marching in haste against Antony, to cause the nation to revolt, and seize power for himself. [291] These plans, however, were opposed by a heavenly power and by Herod, who was clever enough to perceive his intention, and sent ahead his servant, ostensibly to prepare a dinner - for he had earlier spoken of entertaining them all - but in reality to go to the military tribunes, whom he persuaded to come out against Malichus with their daggers ready. [292] G   So they came out, and meeting him near the city on the seashore, stabbed him to death. Hyrcanus was struck speeehless with amazement at what had been done, and on recovering with some difficulty, inquired of Herod's men what this act might mean and who had had Malichus slain. [293] But when they said that Cassius had ordered this, he commended the deed, saying that Malichus was a very bad man and a conspirator against his country. Such, then, was the penalty which Malichus paid for his lawless act against Antipater.  

[294] G   But when Cassius left Syria, disturbances arose in Judaea. For Helix, who had been left behind with an army in Jerusalem, marched against Phasael, and the citizens took up arms. [295] Now Herod was on his way to Fabius, who was governor at Damascus, but although he wished to rush to his brother's side, was prevented by illness ; finally Phasael by his own efforts got the better of Helix and shut him up in a tower, but later let him go under a truce : he also reproached Hyrcanus for acting with his foes although he had received many kindnesses from him. [296] G   For Malichus' brother, having stirred up a revolt, was then guarding a good many fortresses, including Masada, the strongest of all. Accordingly when Herod had recovered from his illness, he came against him and took from him all the fortresses he held, after which he released him under a truce.   

{12.} G     [297] But Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, who had collected an army and sought the favour of Fabius with bribes, was brought back to his country by Ptolemaeus, the son of Mennaeus, because of their kinship. He was also aided by Marion, whom Cassius had left as prince of Tyre, for that worthy on occupying Syria had controlled it through small principalities. [298] G   Marion therefore invaded Galilee, which lay on his borders, and captured three strongholds, in which he placed garrisons. But Herod came against him also and took from him all these places ; the Tyrian garrison, however, he considerately released, and even gave gifts to some of them out of goodwill to their city. [299] After achieving these things, he went to meet Antigonus, and joining battle with him, defeated him and drove him out of Judaea before he had time to penetrate further than its border. And when he arrived in Jerusalem, Hyrcanus and the people wreathed his head with crowns. [300] G   As Herod had already become connected by an agreement of marriage with the family of Hyrcanus, he was for that reason the more protective of him ; he was, in fact, about to marry the daughter of Aristobulus' son Alexander and granddaughter of Hyrcanus, by whom he was to become the father of three sons and two daughters. He had previously married a plebeian woman of his own nation, named Doris, by whom he had his eldest son Antipater.   

[301] Meanwhile Cassius was conquered by Antony and Caesar at Philippi, as has been related by others. And after their victory Caesar proceeded to Italy, while Antony departed for Asia ; when he came to Bithynia, he was met by embassies from all parts. [302] G   Also present were the leading Jews, who brought accusations against Phasael and Herod to the effect that while Hyrcanus had the outward appearance of sovereignty, it was they who had all the power. [303] But Herod, who was held in great honour by Antony, came to him to defend himself against his accusers, and in this way his adversaries did not even get a chance to speak, for this service had been obtained by Herod from Antony with money. [304] G   And when Antony came to Ephesus, the high priest Hyrcanus and our nation sent an embassy to him, bringing a golden crown and requesting that he would write to the provincial governors to set free those Jews who had been taken captive by Cassius in violation of the laws of war, and restore to them the territory of which they had been deprived in the time of Cassius. [305] These demands Antony decided the Jews were justified in making, and so he immediately wrote to Hyrcanus and the Jews. He also sent to the Tyrians a decree to the same effect.   

[306] G   "Marcus Antonius, Imperator, to Hyrcanus, high priest and ethnarch, and to the Jewish nation, greeting. If you are in good health, it is well. I also am in good health, as is the army. [307] The envoys Lysimachus, son of Pausanias, Josephus, son of Mennaeus, and Alexander, son of Theodorus, who met me at Ephesus, have renewed the mission previously carried out by them in Rome, and have conscientiously discharged their present mission on behalf of you and the nation, making clear the goodwill you have for us. [308] G   Being, therefore, persuaded by both deeds and words that you have the friendliest feelings for us, and being aware of your obliging and pious nature, I regard your interests as my own." [309] For when our adversaries and those of the Roman people overran all Asia, sparing neither cities nor temples, and disregarding the sworn agreements they had made, it was not only our own battle but that of all mankind in common that we fought when we avenged ourselves on those who were guilty both of lawless deeds against men and of unlawful acts against the gods, from which we believe the very sun turned away, as if it too were loath to look upon the foul deed against Caesar. [310] G   But their god-defying plots, which Macedonia received as though its climate were proper to their unholy crimes, and the confused mob of half-crazed villains whom they got together at Philippi in Macedonia, where they occupied places naturally favourable and walled in by mountains as far as the sea, so that the passage could be controlled through only one gate - these plots and this mob, condemned by the gods for their unjust enterprise, we have overcome. [311] And Brutus, who fled to Philippi and was hemmed in by us, shared the ruin of Cassius. Now that these men have been punished, we hope that henceforth we shall enjoy peace and give Asia respite from war. [312] G   We are therefore ready to let our allies also participate in the peace given us by God ; and so, owing to our victory, the body of Asia is now recovering, as it were, from a serious illness. Having, therefore, in mind to promote the welfare both of you and your nation, I shall take care of your interests. [313] And I have also sent notices throughout the cities that if any persons, whether freemen or slaves, were sold at auction by Gaius Cassius or by those subordinate to him, they shall be released ; and it is my wish that you shall enjoy the privileges granted by me and Dolabella. And I forbid the Tyrians to use violence against you, and command that they restore whatever they possess belonging to the Jews. As for the crown which you have sent, I have accepted it."   

[314] G   "Marcus Antonius, Imperator, to the magistrates, council and people of Tyre, greeting. It has been made known to me at Ephesus by the envoys of Hyrcanus, the high priest and ethnarch, that you are in possession of their territory, which you invaded during the time when our adversaries were in control ; [315] and since we have undertaken a war for the supreme power, and having in mind the cause of piety and justice, have taken vengeance on those who neither remembered kindnesses nor observed their oaths, it is my wish that our allies shall have peace at your hands, and that whatever you have received from our opponents shall not be retained by you but shall be restored to those from whom it was taken. [316] G   For none of these men obtained his province or army by grant of the Senate, but they seized them by force, and by an act of violence presented them to those who had been useful to them in their unjust activities. [317] And now that they have paid the penalty, we think it right that our allies shall remain in undisturbed possession of whatever they formerly owned, and also that you, if you now hold any places which belonged to Hyrcanus, the ethnarch of the Jews, as recently as one day before Gaius Cassius, waging an unlawful war, invaded our province, you shall return them to him, and shall not use any force against them in order to make them incapable of managing their own possessions. [318] G   And if you have any plea against him in justification, you will be permitted to make it when we come to these parts, for we preserve the rights of all our allies equally in giving judgment."   

[319] "Marcus Antonius, Imperator, to the magistrates, council and people of Tyre, greeting. I have sent you my edict, and it is my wish that you take care to register it in the public tablets in Latin and Greek characters, and, when it is written, keep it in the most conspicuous place in order that it may be read by all. [320] G   'Statement of Marcus Antonius, Imperator, one of the triumvirs appointed to govern the republic. Whereas Gaius Cassius in the late rebellion seized a province which did not belong to him, and after occupying it with armed forces, plundered it and our allies, and forced the surrender of the Jewish nation, which was a friend of the Roman people, [321] we, therefore, having overcome his madness by our arms, do establish order by our edicts and decisions in the territories plundered by him, so that they may be restored to our allies. And whatever was sold belonging to the Jews, whether persons or possessions, shall be released, the slaves to be free, as they were originally, and the possessions to be returned to their former owners. [322] G   And it is my wish that whoever disobeys my edict shall be brought to trial, and if such a person is convicted, it shall be my concern to prosecute the offender in accordance with the seriousness of his act.' "   

[323] In the same way he also wrote to the people of Sidon, Antioch and Aradus. Now we have cited these documents in a suitable place, for they will be proofs of our statements concerning the thoughtfulness which the Romans showed for our nation.    

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