Josephus: Jewish War, Book 1

Sections 120 - 235


Translated by H.St.J. Thackeray (1927). 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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{6.}   [120] G   Hyrcanus, to whom even in her lifetime his mother had entrusted the kingdom, was sole heir to the throne, but in capacity and courage was surpassed by Aristobulus. A battle for the crown took place near Jericho, when most of the troops of Hyrcanus deserted him and went over to Aristobulus. [121] Hyrcanus, with those who remained with him, hastily took refuge in Antonia and secured hostages for his safety in the persons of the wife and children of Aristobulus. However, before any irreparable harm was done, the brothers came to terms, to the effect that Aristobulus should be king and Hyrcanus, while abdicating the throne, should enjoy all his other honours as the king's brother. [122] G   The reconciliation on these terms took place in the temple. In the presence of the surrounding crowd they cordially embraced each other, and then exchanged residences, Aristobulus repairing to the palace, Hyrcanus to the house of Aristobulus.   

[123] The unexpected triumph of Aristobulus alarmed his adversaries, and, in particular, Antipater, an old and bitterly hated foe. An Idumaean by race, his, ancestry, wealth, and other advantages put him in the front rank of his nation. [124] G   It was he who now persuaded Hyrcanus to seek refuge with Aretas, king of Arabia, with a view to recovering his kingdom, and at the same time urged Aretas to receive him and to reinstate him on the throne. Heaping aspersions on the character of Aristobulus and encomiums on Hyrcanus, he represented how becoming it would be in the sovereign of so brilliant a realm to extend a protecting hand to the oppressed ; and such, he said, was Hyrcanus, robbed of the throne which by right of primogeniture belonged to him.   

[125] Having thus prepared both parties for action, Antipater one night fled with Hyrcanus from the city, and, pushing on at full speed, safely reached the capital of the Arabian kingdom, called Petra. [126] G   There he committed Hyrcanus into the hands of Aretas, and, by dint of conciliatory speeches and cajoling presents, induced the king to furnish an army, fifty thousand strong, both cavalry and infantry, to reinstate his ward. This force Aristobulus was unable to resist. Defeated in the first encounter he was driven into Jerusalem, [127] and would there have been speedily captured through the storming of the city, had not Scaurus the Roman general, intervening at this critical moment, raised the siege. The latter had been sent into Syria from Armenia by Pompey the Great, then at war with Tigranes. On reaching Damascus, which had recently been captured by  Metellus and Lollius, he superseded those officers, and then, hearing of the position of affairs in Judaea, hastened thither to snatch what seemed a god-sent opportunity.   

[128] G   Sure enough, no sooner had he entered Jewish territory, than he received deputations from the brothers, each imploring his assistance. Three hundred talents offered by Aristobulus outweighed considerations of justice ; Scaurus, having obtained that sum, dispatched a herald to Hyrcanus and the Arabs, threatening them with a visitation from the Romans and Pompey if they did not raise the siege. [129] Aretas, terror-struck, retired from Judaea to Philadelphia, and Scaurus returned to Damascus. [130] G   Aristobulus, however, not content with having escaped capture, mustered all his forces, pursued the enemy, fought them in the neighbourhood of a place called Papyron, and killed upwards of six thousand. Among the slain was Phallion, Antipater's brother.   

[131] Deprived of their Arab allies, Hyrcanus and Antipater turned their hopes to the opposite party, and when Pompey entered Syria and reached Damascus, took refuge with him. Coming without presents and resorting to the same pleas which they had used with Aretas, they implored him to show his detestation of the violence of Aristobulus, and to restore to the throne the man whose character and seniority entitled him to it. [132] G   Nor was Aristobulus behindhand ; relying on the fact that Scaurus was open to bribery, he too appeared, arrayed in the most regal style imaginable. But feeling it beneath his dignity to play the courtier, and scorning to further his ends by a servility that humiliated his magnificence, he, on reaching the city of Dium, took himself off.   

[133] Indignant at this behaviour, and yielding to the urgent entreaties of Hyrcanus and his friends, Pompey started in pursuit of Aristobulus, with the Roman forces and a large contingent of Syrian auxiliaries. [134] G   Passing Pella and Scythopolis, he reached Coreae, at which point a traveller ascending through the interior enters the territory of Judaea. There he heard that Aristobulus had taken refuge in Alexandreion, one of the most lavishly equipped of fortresses, situated on a high mountain, and sent orders to him to come down. [135] At this imperious summons Aristobulus felt disposed to brave the risk rather than obey ; but he saw that the people were terrified, and his friends urged him to reflect on the irresistible power of the Romans. He gave way, came down to Pompey, and after making a long defence in support of his claims to the throne, returned to his stronghold. [136] G   He descended again on his brother's invitation, discussed the rights of his case, and withdrew, unimpeded by Pompey. Torn between hope and fear, he would come down determined by importunity to force Pompey to deliver everything to him, and as often ascend to his citadel, lest it should be thought that he was prematurely throwing up his case. [137] In the end, Pompey commanded him to evacuate the fortresses and knowing that the governors had orders only to obey instructions given in Aristobulus's own hand, insisted on his writing to each of them a notice to quit. Aristobulus did what was required of him, but indignantly withdrew to Jerusalem and prepared for war with Pompey.   

[138] G   Pompey, allowing him no time for these preparations, followed forthwith. A further impetus to his pace was given by the death of Mithridates, news of which reached him near Jericho. (The soil here is the most fertile in Judaea and produces abundance of palms and balsam-trees ; the stems of the latter are cut with sharp stones and the balsam is collected it the incisions, where it exudes drop by drop.) [139] At this spot Pompey encamped for an evening only and it daybreak pressed on to Jerusalem. Terrified at his approach, Aristobulus went as a suppliant to meet him, and by the promise of money and of the surrender of himself and the city pacified Pompey's wrath. [140] G   However, none of his undertakings was fulfilled ; for when Gabinius was dispatched to take over the promised sum, the partisans of Aristobulus refused even to admit him to the city.   

{7.}   [141] Indignant at this treatment, Pompey kept Aristobulus under arrest and, advancing to the city, carefully considered the best method of attack. He  noted the solidity of the walls and the formidable task of their assault, the frightful ravine in front of them, and within the ravine the temple also so strongly fortified as to afford, after the capture of the town, a second line of defence to the enemy.   

[142] G   However, during his long period of indecision, sedition broke out within the walls ; the partisans of Aristobulus insisting on a battle and the rescue of the king, while those of Hyrcanus were for opening the gates to Pompey. The numbers of the latter were increased by the fear which the spectacle of the perfect order of the Romans inspired. [143] The party of Aristobulus, finding themselves beaten, retired into the temple, cut the bridge which connected it with the city, and prepared to hold out to the last. The others admitted the Romans to the city and delivered up the palace. Pompey sent a body of troops to occupy it under the command of Piso, one of his lieutenant-generals.

[144] G   That officer distributed sentries about the town and, failing to induce any of the refugees in the temple to listen to terms, prepared the surrounding ground for an assault. In this work the friends of Hyrcanus keenly assisted him with their advice and services.   

[145] Pompey himself was on the north side, engaged in banking up the fosse and the whole of the ravine with materials collected by the troops. The tremendous depth to be filled, and the impediments of every sort to which the work was exposed by the Jews above, rendered this a difficult task.

[146] G   Indeed, the labours of the Romans would have been endless, had not Pompey taken advantage of the seventh lay of the week, on which the Jews, from religious scruples, refrain from all manual work, and then proceeded to raise the earthworks, while forbidding his troops to engage in hostilities ; for on the sabbaths the Jews fight only in self-defence. [147] The ravine once filled up, he erected lofty towers on the earthworks, brought up the battering engines which had been conveyed from Tyre, and tried their effect upon the walls ; the ballistae, meanwhile, beating off resistance from above. However, the towers, which in this sector were extraordinarily massive and beautiful, long resisted the blows.   

[148] G   While the Romans were undergoing these severe hardships, Pompey was filled with admiration for the invariable fortitude of the Jews, and in particular for the way in which they carried on their religious services uncurtailed, though enveloped in a hail of missiles. Just as if the city had been wrapt in profound peace, the daily sacrifices, the expiations and all the ceremonies of worship were scrupulously performed to the honour of God. At the very hour when the temple was taken, when they were being massacred about the altar, they never desisted from the religious rites for the day. [149] It was the third month of the siege when, having with difficulty succeeded in overthrowing one of the towers, the Romans burst into the temple. The first to venture across the wall was Faustus Cornelius, son of Sulla ; after him came two centurions, Furius and Fabius. Followed by their respective companies, they formed a ring round the court of the temple and slew their victims, some flying to the sanctuary, others offering a brief resistance.   

[150] G   Then it was that many of the priests, seeing the enemy advancing sword in hand, calmly continued their sacred ministrations, and were butchered in the act of pouring libations and burning incense ; putting the worship of the Deity above their own preservation. Most of the slain perished by the hands of their countrymen of the opposite faction ; countless numbers flung themselves over the precipices ; some, driven mad by their hopeless plight, set fire to the buildings around the wall and were consumed in the flames. [151] Of the Jews twelve thousand perished ; the losses of the Romans in dead were trifling, in wounded considerable.   

[152] G   Of all the calamities of that time none so deeply affected the nation as the exposure to alien eyes of the Holy Place, hitherto screened from view. Pompey indeed, along with his staff, penetrated to the sanctuary, entry to which was permitted to none but the high priest, and beheld what it contained : the candelabrum and lamps, the table, the vessels for libation and censers, all of solid gold, an accumulation of spices and the store of sacred money amounting to two thousand talents. [153] However, he touched neither these nor any other of the sacred treasures ind, the very day after the capture of the temple, gave orders to the custodians to cleanse it and to resume the customary sacrifices. He reinstated Hyrcanus as high priest, in return for his enthusiastic support shown during the siege, particularly in detaching from Aristobulus large numbers of the rural population who were anxious to join his standard. By these methods, in which goodwill played a larger part than terrorism, he, like the able general he was, conciliated the people. [154] G   Among the prisoners was the father-in-law of Aristobulus, who was also his uncle. Those upon whom lay the main responsibility for the war were executed. Faustus and his brave companions in arms were presented with splendid rewards. The country and Jerusalem were laid  under tribute.   

[155] Pompey, moreover, deprived the Jews of the cities which they had conquered in Coele-Syria, placing these under the authority of a Roman governor appointed for the purpose, and thus confined the nation within its own boundaries. To gratify Demetrius, one of his freedmen, a Gadarene, he rebuilt Gadara, which had been destroyed by the Jews. [156] G   He also liberated from their rule all the towns in the interior which they had not already razed to the ground, namely Hippos, Scythopolis, Pella, Samaria, Jamnia, Marisa, Azotus, and Arethusa ; likewise the maritime towns of Gaza, Joppa, Dora, and the city formerly called Straton's Tower, which afterwards, when reconstructed by King Herod with magnificent buildings, took the name of Caesarea. [157] All these towns he restored to their legitimate inhabitants and annexed to the province of Syria. That province, together with Judaea and the whole region extending as far as Egypt and Euphrates, he entrusted, along with two legions, to the administration of Scaurus ; and then set out in haste across Cilicia for Rome, taking with him his prisoners, Aristobulus and his family. [158] G   That prince had two daughters and two sons. Of the latter,  one, Alexander, made his escape on the journey ; Antigonus, the younger, was conducted with his sisters to Rome.   

{8.}   [159] Meanwhile Scaurus had invaded Arabia. Being held up at Petra by the difficulties of the ground, he proceeded to lay waste the surrounding country, but here again suffered severely, his army being reduced to starvation. To relieve his wants Hyrcanus sent Antipater with supplies. Antipater being on intimate terms with Aretas, Scaurus dispatched him to the king to induce him to purchase release from hostilities. The Arab monarch consenting to pay three hundred talents, Scaurus on these conditions withdrew his troops from the country.   

[160] G   Alexander, son of Aristobulus, the one who escaped from Pompey, in course of time mustered  a considerable force and caused Hyrcanus serious annoyance by his raids upon Judaea. Having already advanced to Jerusalem and had the audacity to begin rebuilding the wall which Pompey had destroyed, he would in all probability have soon deposed his rival, but for the arrival of Gabinius, who had been sent to Syria as successor to Scaurus. Gabinius, whose valour had been proved on many other occasions, now marched against Alexander. [161] The latter, alarmed at his approach, raised the strength of his army to ten thousand foot and fifteen hundred horse, and fortified the strategic positions of Alexandreion, Hyrcania, and Machaerus, adjacent to the Arabian mountains.   

[162] G   Gabinius sent Mark Antony ahead with a division of his army, following himself with the main body. Antipater's picked troops and the rest of the Jewish contingent under the command of Malichus and Peitholaus joined forces with Antony's generals and proceeded against Alexander. Gabinius appeared before long with the heavy infantry. [163] Alexander, unable to withstand the combined forces of the enemy, retired, but when approaching Jerusalem was forced into an engagement. In this battle he lost six thousand of his men, three thousand killed, and as many prisoners. With the remnant of his army he fled to Alexandreion.   

[164] G   Gabinius, following him thither, found many of his men camping outside the walls. Before attacking them, he endeavoured, by promise of pardon for past offences, to bring them over to his side ; but, on their proudly refusing all terms, he killed a large number of them and confined the remainder in the fortress. [165] The honours of this combat went to the commanding officer, Mark Antony ; his valour, displayed on every battlefield, was never so conspicuous as here. Leaving the reduction of the fort to his troops, Gabinius made a parade of the country, restoring order in the cities which had escaped and rest devastation, and rebuilding those which he found in  ruins. [166] G   It was, for instance, by his orders that Scythopolis, Samaria, Anthedon, Apollonia, Jamnia, Raphia, Marisa, Adoreus, Gamala, Azotus, and many other towns were repeopled, colonists gladly flocking to each of them.   

[167] After supervising these arrangements, Gabinius returned to Alexandreion and pressed the siege so vigorously that Alexander, despairing of success, sent him a herald with a petition for pardon for his offences and an offer to surrender the fortresses of Hyrcania and Machaerus, still in his possession ; subsequently he gave up Alexandreion as well. [168] G   All these places Gabinius demolished, to prevent their serving as a base of operations for another war. He was instigated to take this step by Alexander's mother, who had come to propitiate him, in her concern for her husband and remaining children, then prisoners in Rome. [169] After this Gabinius reinstated Hyrcanus in Jerusalem and committed to him the custody of the Temple. The civil administration he reconstituted under the form of an aristocracy. [170] G   He divided the whole nation into five unions ; one of these he attached to Jerusalem, another to Gadara, the third had Amathus as its centre of government, the fourth was allotted to Jericho, the fifth to Sepphoris, a city of Galilee. The Jews welcomed their release from the rule of an individual and were from that time forward governed by an aristocracy.   

[171] They were soon, however, involved in fresh  troubles through the escape of Aristobulus from Rome. Once more he succeeded in mustering a large body of Jews, some eager for revolution, others long since his devoted admirers. He began by seizing Alexandreion and attempting to restore the fortifications ; but on hearing that Gabinius had dispatched an army against him, under the command of Sisenna, Antony, and Servianus, he retreated towards Machaerus. [172] G   Disencumbering himself of his rabble of inefficient followers, he retained only those who were armed, numbering eight thousand ; among these was Peitholaus, the second in command at Jerusalem, who had deserted to him with a thousand men. The Romans pursued and an engagement took place. Aristobulus and his men for long held their ground, fighting valiantly, but were ultimately overpowered by the Romans. Five thousand fell ; about two thousand took refuge on a hill ; Aristobulus and the remaining thousand cut their way through the Roman lines and flung themselves into Machaerus. [173] There, as he camped among the ruins on that first evening, the king entertained hopes of raising another army, given but a respite from war, and proceeded to erect some weak fortifications ; but, when the Romans attacked the place, after holding out beyond his strength for two days, he was taken, and, with his son Antigonus, who had shared his flight from Rome, was conducted in chains to Gabinius, and by Gabinius was sent back once more to Rome. [174] G   The Senate imprisoned the father, but allowed his children to return to Judaea, Gabinius having written to inform them that he had promised this favour to the wife of Aristobulus in return for the surrender of the fortresses.   

[175] An expedition against the Parthians, on which Gabinius had already started, was cut short by  Ptolemy, to effect whose restoration to Egypt the former returned from the banks of the Euphrates. For this campaign Hyrcanus and Antipater put their services entirely at his disposal. In addition to providing money, arms, corn, and auxiliaries, Antipater further induced the local Jewish guardians of the frontiers at Pelusium to let Gabinius through. [176] G   His departure, however, was the occasion for a general commotion in Syria ; and Alexander, son of Aristobulus, heading a new Jewish revolt, collected a vast army and proceeded to massacre all Romans in the country. [177] Gabinius was alarmed. He was already on the spot, news of the local disturbances having hastened his return from Egypt. Sending Antipater in advance to address some of the rebels he brought them over to reason. Alexander, however, had still thirty thousand left and was burning for action. Gabinius, accordingly, took the field, the Jews met him, and a battle was fought near Mount Tabor, in which they lost ten thousand men ; the remainder fled and dispersed. [178] G   Gabinius then proceeded to Jerusalem, where he reorganised the government in accordance with Antipater 's wishes. From there he marched against the Nabataeans, whom he fought and defeated. Two fugitives from Parthia, Mithridates and Orsanes, he privily dismissed, giving out to his soldiers that they had made their escape.   

[179] The government of Syria now passed into the hands of Crassus, who came to succeed Gabinius. To provide for his expedition against the Parthians,  Crassus stripped the temple at Jerusalem of all its gold, his plunder including the two thousand talents left untouched by Pompey. He then crossed the Euphrates and perished with his whole army ; but of those events this is not the occasion to speak.   

[180] G   After the death of Crassus the Parthians rushed to cross the river into Syria, but were repulsed by Cassius, who had made his escape to that province. Having secured Syria, he hastened towards Judaea, capturing Tarichaeae, where he reduced thirty thousand Jews to slavery and put to death Peitholaus, who was endeavouring to rally the partisans of Aristobulus. His execution was recommended by Antipater. [181] Antipater had married a lady named  Cypros, of an illustrious Arabian family, by whim he had four sons - Phasael, Herod afterwards king, Joseph, and Pheroras - and a daughter, Salome. He had, by kind offices and hospitality, attached to himself persons of influence in every quarter ; above all, through this matrimonial alliance, he had won the friendship of the king of Arabia, and it was to him that he entrusted his children when embarking on war with Aristobulus. [182] G   Cassius, having bound over Alexander by treaty to keep the peace, returned to the Euphrates to prevent the Parthians from crossing it. Of these events we shall speak elsewhere.  

{9.}   [183] When Pompey fled with the Senate across the Ionian Sea, Caesar, now master of Rome and the empire, set Aristobulus at liberty ; and, putting two legions at his service, dispatched him in haste to Syria, hoping by his means to have no difficulty in bringing over both that province and Judaea with the surrounding country to his side. [184] G   But the zeal of Aristobulus and the hopes of Caesar were thwarted by malice. Poisoned by Pompey's friends, it was long before Aristobulus obtained even burial in his native land ; the corpse lay preserved in honey until it was sent to the Jews by Antony for interment in the royal sepulchres.   

[185] His son Alexander also perished ; under Pompey's orders, he was beheaded at Antioch by Scipio, after a trial in which he was accused of the injuries which he had caused to the Romans. Alexander's brother and sisters were taken under the roof of Ptolemaeus, son of Mennaeus, prince of Chalcis in the Lebanon valley, who sent his son Philippion to Ascalon to fetch them. [186] G   The latter succeeded in tearing Antigonus and his sisters from the arms of Aristobulus's widow and escorted them to his father. Becoming enamoured of one of the princesses, the young man married her, but was subsequently slain by his father on account of this same Alexandra, whom Ptolemaeus, after murdering his son, married himself. His marriage made him a more attentive guardian to her brother and sister.   

[187] Antipater, on the death of Pompey, went over to his opponent and paid court to Caesar. When Mithridates of Pergamum, with the army which he was  leading to Egypt, was forbidden to pass the  frontier at Pelusium and was held up at Ascalon, it was Antipater who induced his friends the Arabs to lend their assistance, and himself brought up an army of three thousand Jewish infantry. [188] G   It was he who roused in support of Mithridates persons so powerful in Syria as Ptolemaeus, in his Lebanon home, and Jamblichus through whose influence the cities in those parts readily took their share in the war. [189] Emboldened by the reinforcements which Antipater had brought him, Mithridates now marched on Pelusium, and, being refused a passage, laid siege to the town. In the assault it was Antipater again who won the greatest distinction ; for he made a breach in the portion of the wall which faced him and was the first to plunge into the place at the head of his troops.   

[190] G   Thus Pelusium was taken ; but the conqueror's advance was again barred by the Egyptian Jews who occupied the so-called District of Onias. Antipater, however, prevailed on them not only to refrain from opposition, but even to furnish supplies for the troops ; with the result that no further resistance was encountered even at Memphis, whose inhabitants voluntarily joined Mithridates. [191] The latter, having now rounded the Delta, gave battle to the rest of the Egyptians at a spot called "Jews' camp." In this engagement he, with the whole of his right wing, was in serious danger, when Antipater, victorious on the left where he was in command, wheeled round and came along the river bank to his rescue. [192] G   Falling upon the Egyptians who were pursuing Mithridates he killed a large number of them and pushed his pursuit of the remainder so far that he captured their camp. He lost only eighty his men ; Mithridates in the rout had lost about eight hundred. Thus saved beyond all expectation, Mithridates bore to Caesar's ears ungrudging witness of Antipater's prowess.   

[193] The praise bestowed by Caesar at the time on the hero of the day and the hopes which it excited  spurred Antipater to further ventures in his service. Showing himself on all occasions the most daring of fighters, and constantly wounded, he bore the marks of his valour on almost every part of his person. [194] G   Later, when Caesar had settled affairs in Egypt and returned to Syria, he conferred on Antipater the privilege of Roman citizenship with exemption from taxes, and by other honours and marks of friendship made him an enviable man. It was to please him that Caesar confirmed the appointment of Hyrcanus to the office of high-priest.   

{10.}   [195] About this time Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, waited upon Caesar and, contrary to his intentions, became the means of Antipater's further before promotion. Antigonus ought to have confined himself to lamentation over his father's fate, believed to have been poisoned on account of his differences with Pompey, and to complaints of Scipio's cruelty to his brother, without mixing up with his plea for compassion any sentiments of jealousy. But, not content with that, he came forward and accused Hyrcanus and Antipater. [196] G   They had, he said, in utter defiance of justice, banished him and his brothers and sisters from their native land altogether ; they had, in their insolence, repeatedly done outrage to the nation ; they had sent supports into Egypt, not from any goodwill to Caesar, but from fear of the consequences of old quarrels and to obliterate the memory of their friendship for Pompey.   

[197] At these words Antipater stripped off his clothes and exposed his numerous scars. His loyalty to Caesar needed, he said, no words from him ; his body cried it aloud, were he to hold his peace. [198] G   But the audacity of Antigonus astounded him. The son of an enemy of the Romans, son of a fugitive from Rome, one who inherited from his father a passion for revolution and sedition, presuming to accuse others in the presence of the Roman general and looking for favours when he ought to be thankful to be alive ! Indeed (said Antipater), his present ambition for power was not due to indigence ; he wanted it in order to sow sedition among the Jews and to employ his resources against those who had provided them.   

[199] After hearing both speakers, Caesar pronounced Hyrcanus to be the more deserving claimant to the  high-priesthood, and left Antipater free choice of office. The latter, replying that it rested with him who conferred the honour to fix the measure of the honour, was then appointed viceroy of all Judaea. He was further authorised to rebuild the ruined walls of the metropolis. [200] G   Orders were sent by Caesar to Rome for these honours to be graven in the Capitol, as a memorial of his own justice and of Antipater's valour.   

[201] After escorting Caesar across Syria, Antipater returned to Judaea. There his first act was to rebuild the wall of the capital which had been overthrown  by Pompey. He then proceeded to traverse the  country, quelling the local disturbances, and everywhere combining menaces with advice. Their support of Hyrcanus, he told them, would ensure them a prosperous and tranquil existence, in the enjoyment of their own possessions and of the peace of the realm. [202] G   If, on the contrary, they put faith in the vain expectations raised by persons who for personal profit desired revolution, they would find in himself a master instead of a protector, in Hyrcanus a tyrant instead of a king, in the Romans and Caesar enemies instead of rulers and friends ; for they would never suffer their own nominee to be ousted from his office. [203] But, while he spoke in this strain, he took the organisation of the country into his own hands, finding Hyrcanus indolent and without the energy necessary to a king. He further appointed his eldest son, Phasael, governor of Jerusalem and the environs ; the second, Herod, he sent with equal authority to Galilee, though a mere lad.   

[204] G   Herod, energetic by nature, at once found material to test his metal. Discovering that Ezekias,  a brigand-chief, at the head of a large horde, was ravaging the district on the Syrian frontier, he caught him and put him and many of the brigands to death. [205] This welcome achievement was immensely admired by the Syrians. Up and down the villages and in the towns the praises of Herod were sung, as the restorer of their peace and possessions. This exploit, moreover, brought him to the notice of Sextus Caesar, a kinsman of the great Caesar and governor of Syria. [206] G   Phasael, on his side, with a generous emulation, vied  with his brother's reputation ; he increased his popularity with the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and kept the city under control without any tactless abuse of authority. [207] Antipater, in consequence, was courted by the nation as if he were king and universally honoured as lord of the realm. Notwithstanding this, his affection for Hyrcanus and his loyalty to him underwent no change.   

[208] G   But it is impossible in prosperity to escape envy. The young men's fame already caused Hyrcanus a secret pang. He was vexed in particular  by Herod's successes and by the arrival of messenger after messenger with news of each new honour that he had won. His resentment was further roused by a number of malicious persons at court, who had taken offence at the prudent behaviour either of Antipater or of his sons. [209] Hyrcanus, they said, had abandoned to Antipater and his sons the direction of affairs, and rested content with the mere title, without the authority, of a king. How long would he be so mistaken as to rear kings to his own undoing ? No longer masquerading as viceroys, they had now openly declared themselves masters of the state, thrusting him aside ; seeing that, without either oral or written instructions from Hyrcanus, Herod, in violation of Jewish law, had put all this large number of people to death. If he is not king but still a commoner, he ought to appear in court and answer for his conduct to his king and to his country's laws, which do not permit anyone to be put to death without trial.   

[210] G   These words gradually inflamed Hyrcanus until at last, in an explosion or rage, he summoned Herod to trial. Herod, on his father's advice, and with the confidence which his own conduct inspired, went up to the capital, after posting garrisons throughout Galilee. He went with a strong escort, calculated to avoid, on the one hand, the appearance of wishing to depose Hyrcanus by bringing an overwhelming force, and, on the other, the risk of falling unprotected a prey to envy. [211] Sextus Caesar, however, fearing that the young man might be isolated by his adversaries and meet with misfortune, sent express orders to Hyrcanus to clear Herod of the charge of manslaughter. Hyrcanus, being inclined to take that course on other grounds, for he loved Herod, acquitted him.   

[212] G   Herod, however, imagining that his escape was contrary to the king's wishes, retired to join Sextus at Damascus, and made ready to refuse compliance to a second summons. The knaves at court continued to exasperate Hyrcanus, saying that Herod lad departed in anger and was prepared to attack lim. The king believed them, but knew not what to do, seeing his adversary to be more than a match or himself. [213] But when Sextus Caesar proceeded to appoint Herod governor of Coele-Syria and Samaria, and he was now doubly formidable owing to his popularity with the nation and his own power, Hyrcanus was reduced to consternation, expecting every moment to see him marching upon him at the lead of an army.   

[214] G   Nor was he mistaken in his surmise. Herod, furious at the threat which this trial had held over him,  collected an army and advanced upon Jerusalem to depose Hyrcanus. This object he would indeed have speedily achieved, had not his father and brother gone out in time to meet him and mollified his rage. They implored him to restrict his revenge to menaces and intimidation, and to spare the king under whom he had attained to such great power. Indignant as he might be at the summons to trial, he ought on the other hand to be thankful for his acquittal ; after facing the black prospect of condemnation, he ought not to be ungrateful for escaping with his life. [215] Moreover, if we are to believe that the fortunes of war are in the hands of God, the injustice of his present campaign ought to be taken into consideration. He should not, therefore, be altogether confident of success, when about to make war on his king and companion, frequently his benefactor, never his oppressor, save that, under the influence of evil counsellors, he had menaced him with a mere shadow of injury. To this advice Herod yielded, thinking that he had satisfied his expectations for the future by this exhibition of his strength before the eyes of the nation.   

[216] G   Meanwhile at Apamea the Romans had trouble on their hands leading to civil war. Caecilius Bassus, out of devotion to Pompey, assassinated Sextus Caesar and took command of his army ; whereupon Caesar's other generals, to avenge the murder, attacked Bassus with all their forces. [217] Antipater, for the sake of his two friends, the deceased and the surviving Caesar, sent them reinforcements under his sons. The war dragged on and Murcus arrived from Italy to succeed Antistius.  

{11.}   [218] G   At this time the great war of the Romans broke out, arising out of the death of Caesar, treacherously murdered by Cassius and Brutus after holding sovereign power for three years and seven months. This murder produced a tremendous upheaval ; leading men split up into factions ; each joined the party which he considered would best serve his personal ambitions. Cassius, for his part, went to Syria to take command of the armies concentrated round Apamea. [219] There he effected a reconciliation between Murcus and Bassus and the opposing legions, raised the siege of Apamea, and, putting himself at the head of the troops, went round the towns levying tribute and exacting sums which it was beyond their ability to pay.   

[220] G   The Jews received orders to contribute seven hundred talents. Antipater, alarmed at the threats of Cassius, to expedite payment distributed the task of collection between his sons and some of his acquaintance, including - so urgent was the necessity of the case - one of his enemies named Malichus. [221] Herod was the first to bring his quota - the sum of one hundred talents - from Galilee, thereby appeasing Cassius and being regarded as one of his best friends. The rest Cassius abused for dilatoriness and then vented his wrath on the cities themelves. [222] G   Gophna, Emmaus and two other places of less importance he reduced to servitude. He was proceeding so far as to put Malichus to death for tardiness in levying the tribute ; but Antipater saved both his life and the other cities from destruction, by hastily propitiating Cassius with a gift of a hundred talents.   

[223] However, on the departure of Cassius, Malichus, far from remembering this service of Antipater, concocted a plot against the man who had often saved his life, impatient to remove one who was an obstacle to his malpractices. Antipater, dreading the man's strength and cunning, crossed the Jordan to collect an army to defeat the conspiracy. [224] G   Malichus, though detected, succeeded by effrontery in outwitting Antipater's sons ; for Phasael, the warden of Jerusalem, and Herod, the custodian of the armoury, cajoled by a multitude of excuses and oaths, consented to act as mediators with their father. Once again Antipater saved Malichus by his influence with Murcus, who when governor of Syria had determined put him to death as a revolutionary.   

[225] When the young Caesar and Antony declared war on Cassius and Brutus, Cassius and Murcus levied an army in Syria, and, regarding Herod's future assistance as a great asset, appointed him then and here prefect of the whole of Syria, putting a force of horse and foot at his disposal ; Cassius further promising on the termination of the war to make him king of Judaea. [226] G   These powers and brilliant expectations of the son proved in the end the occasion of his father's destruction. For Malichus, taking alarm, bribed one of the royal butlers to serve poison to Antipater. Thus, a victim of the villainy of Malichus, Antipater expired after leaving the banquet - a man of great energy in the conduct of affairs, whose crowning merit was that he recovered and preserved the kingdom for Hyrcanus.   

[227] Malichus, being suspected of poisoning him, appeased the indignant populace by denial, and strengthened his position by mustering troops. For he never supposed that Herod would remain idle, and in fact the latter appeared forthwith at the head of an army to avenge his father. [228] G   Phasael, however, advised his brother not to proceed to open vengeance on the scoundrel, for fear of exciting a popular riot. Herod, accordingly, for the moment accepted Malichus's defence and professed to clear him from suspicion. He then celebrated with splendid pomp the obsequies of his father.   

[229] Samaria being distracted by sedition, Herod betook himself thither, and, after restoring order in the city, set out on the return journey to Jerusalem, then keeping festival, at the head of his troops. Instigated by Malichus, who was alarmed at his approach, Hyrcanus sent orders forbidding him to intrude aliens upon the country-folk during their period of purification. Herod, scorning the subterfuge and the man from whom the order came, entered by night. [230] G   Malichus again waited on him and wept over Antipater's fate. Herod, scarce able to restrain his wrath, dissembled in his turn. At the same time he sent a letter to Cassius, deploring the murder of his father. Cassius, who had other grounds for hating Malichus, replied, "Have your revenge on the murderer," and gave secret orders to the tribunes under his command to lend Herod aid in a righteous deed.   

[231] When Cassius took Laodicea, and the grandees from all parts of the country flocked to him with gifts and crowns, Herod fixed on this as the moment for his revenge. Malichus had his suspicions, and on reaching Tyre resolved to effect the secret escape of his son, then a hostage in that city, while he made his own preparations to fly to Judaea. [232] G   Desperation stimulated him to conceive yet grander schemes ; he had dreams of raising a national revolt against the Romans, while Cassius was preoccupied with the war against Antony, of deposing Hyrcanus without difficulty, and of mounting the throne himself.   

[233] But Destiny derided his hopes. Herod, divinng his intention, invited him and Hyrcanus to supper, and then dispatched one of his attendant menials to his house, ostensibly to prepare the banquet, in reality to instruct the tribunes to come out for the ambuscade. [234] G   Remembering the orders of Cassius, they came out, sword in hand, to the sea-shore in front of the city, and there, surrounding Malichus, stabbed him through and through to death. Hyrcanus from sheer fright instantly swooned and fell ; when brought, not without difficulty, to himself, he asked Herod by whom Malichus was killed. [235] One of the tribunes replied "By Cassius's orders." "Then," said Hyrcanus, "Cassius has saved both me and my country, by destroying one who conspired against both." Whether he expressed his real opinion or from fear acquiesced in the deed, was uncertain. Be that as it may, thus was Herod avenged on Malichus.    

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