2. Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine’s flesh upon the altar; against which they all opposed themselves, and the most approved among them were put to death. Bacchides also, who was sent to keep the fortresses, having these wicked commands, joined to his own natural barbarity, indulged all sorts of the extremest wickedness, and tormented the worthiest of the inhabitants, man by man, and threatened their city every day with open destruction, till at length he provoked the poor sufferers by the extremity of his wicked doings to avenge themselves.
3. Accordingly Matthias, the son of Asamoneus, one of the priests who lived in a village called Modin, armed himself, together with his own family, which had five sons of his in it, and slew Bacchides with daggers; and thereupon, out of the fear of the many garrisons [of the enemy], he fled to the mountains; and so many of the people followed him, that he was encouraged to come down from the mountains, and to give battle to Antiochus’s generals, when he beat them, and drove them out of Judea. So he came to the government by this his success, and became the prince of his own people by their own free consent, and then died, leaving the government to Judas, his eldest son.
4. Now Judas, supposing that Antiochus would not lie still, gathered an army out of his own countrymen, and was the first that made a league of friendship with the Romans, and drove Epiphanes out of the country when he had made a second expedition into it, and this by giving him a great defeat there; and when he was warmed by this great success, he made an assault upon the garrison that was in the city, for it had not been cut off hitherto; so he ejected them out of the upper city, and drove the soldiers into the lower, which part of the city was called the Citadel. He then got the temple under his power, and cleansed the whole place, and walled it round about, and made new vessels for sacred ministrations, and brought them into the temple, because the former vessels had been profaned. He also built another altar, and began to offer the sacrifices; and when the city had already received its sacred constitution again, Antiochus died; whose son Antiochus succeeded him in the kingdom, and in his hatred to the Jews also.
5. So this Antiochus got together fifty thousand footmen, and five thousand horsemen, and fourscore elephants, and marched through Judea into the mountainous parts. He then took Bethsura, which was a small city; but at a place called Bethzacharis, where the passage was narrow, Judas met him with his army. However, before the forces joined battle, Judas’s brother Eleazar, seeing the very highest of the elephants adorned with a large tower, and with military trappings of gold to guard him, and supposing that Antiochus himself was upon him, he ran a great way before his own army, and cutting his way through the enemy’s troops, he got up to the elephant; yet could he not reach him who seemed to be the king, by reason of his being so high; but still he ran his weapon into the belly of the beast, and brought him down upon himself, and was crushed to death, having done no more than attempted great things, and showed that he preferred glory before life. Now he that governed the elephant was but a private man; and had he proved to be Antiochus, Eleazar had performed nothing more by this bold stroke than that it might appear he chose to die, when he had the bare hope of thereby doing a glorious action; nay, this disappointment proved an omen to his brother [Judas] how the entire battle would end. It is true that the Jews fought it out bravely for a long time, but the king’s forces, being superior in number, and having fortune on their side, obtained the victory. And when a great many of his men were slain, Judas took the rest with him, and fled to the toparchy of Gophna. So Antiochus went to Jerusalem, and staid there but a few days, for he wanted provisions, and so he went his way. He left indeed a garrison behind him, such as he thought sufficient to keep the place, but drew the rest of his army off, to take their winter-quarters in Syria.
6. Now, after the king was departed, Judas was not idle; for as many of his own nation came to him, so did he gather those that had escaped out of the battle together, and gave battle again to Antiochus’s generals at a village called Adasa; and being too hard for his enemies in the battle, and killing a great number of them, he was at last himself slain also. Nor was it many days afterward that his brother John had a plot laid against him by Antiochus’s party, and was slain by them.
2. However, Simon managed the public affairs after a courageous manner, and took Gazara, and Joppa, and Jamnia, which were cities in his neighborhood. He also got the garrison under, and demolished the citadel. He was afterward an auxiliary to Antiochus, against Trypho, whom he besieged in Dora, before he went on his expedition against the Medes; yet could not he make the king ashamed of his ambition, though he had assisted him in killing Trypho; for it was not long ere Antiochus sent Cendebeus his general with an army to lay waste Judea, and to subdue Simon; yet he, though he was now in years, conducted the war as if he were a much younger man. He also sent his sons with a band of strong men against Antiochus, while he took part of the army himself with him, and fell upon him from another quarter. He also laid a great many men in ambush in many places of the mountains, and was superior in all his attacks upon them; and when he had been conqueror after so glorious a manner, he was made high priest, and also freed the Jews from the dominion of the Macedonians, after one hundred and seventy years of the empire [of Seleucus].
3. This Simon also had a plot laid against him, and was slain at a feast by his son-in-law Ptolemy, who put his wife and two sons into prison, and sent some persons to kill John, who was also called Hyrcanus. (2) But when the young man was informed of their coming beforehand, he made haste to get to the city, as having a very great confidence in the people there, both on account of the memory of the glorious actions of his father, and of the hatred they could not but bear to the injustice of Ptolemy. Ptolemy also made an attempt to get into the city by another gate; but was repelled by the people, who had just then admitted of Hyrcanus; so he retired presently to one of the fortresses that were about Jericho, which was called Dagon. Now when Hyrcanus had received the high priesthood, which his father had held before, and had offered sacrifice to God, he made great haste to attack Ptolemy, that he might afford relief to his mother and brethren.
4. So he laid siege to the fortress, and was superior to Ptolemy in other respects, but was overcome by him as to the just affection [he had for his relations]; for when Ptolemy was distressed, he brought forth his mother, and his brethren, and set them upon the wall, and beat them with rods in every body’s sight, and threatened, that unless he would go away immediately, he would throw them down headlong; at which sight Hyrcanus’s commiseration and concern were too hard for his anger. But his mother was not dismayed, neither at the stripes she received, nor at the death with which she was threatened; but stretched out her hands, and prayed her son not to be moved with the injuries that she suffered to spare the wretch; since it was to her better to die by the means of Ptolemy, than to live ever so long, provided he might be punished for the injuries he done to their family. Now John’s case was this: When he considered the courage of his mother, and heard her entreaty, he set about his attacks; but when he saw her beaten, and torn to pieces with the stripes, he grew feeble, and was entirely overcome by his affections. And as the siege was delayed by this means, the year of rest came on, upon which the Jews rest every seventh year as they do on every seventh day. On this year, therefore, Ptolemy was freed from being besieged, and slew the brethren of John, with their mother, and fled to Zeno, who was also called Cotylas, who was tyrant of Philadelphia.
5. And now Antiochus was so angry at what he had suffered from Simon, that he made an expedition into Judea, and sat down before Jerusalem and besieged Hyrcanus; but Hyrcanus opened the sepulcher of David, who was the richest of all kings, and took thence about three thousand talents in money, and induced Antiochus, by the promise of three thousand talents, to raise the siege. Moreover, he was the first of the Jews that had money enough, and began to hire foreign auxiliaries also.
6. However, at another time, when Antiochus was gone upon an expedition against the Medes, and so gave Hyrcanus an opportunity of being revenged upon him, he immediately made an attack upon the cities of Syria, as thinking, what proved to be the case with them, that he should find them empty of god troops. So he took Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighborhood, as also Shechem, and Gerizzim; and besides these, [he subdued] the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt round about that temple which was built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem; he also took a great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa.
7. He also proceeded as far as Samaria, where is now the city Sebaste, which was built by Herod the king, and encompassed it all round with a wall, and set his sons, Aristobulus and Antigonus, over the siege; who pushed it on so hard, that a famine so far prevailed within the city, that they were forced to eat what never was esteemed food. They also invited Antiochus, who was called Cyzicenus, to come to their assistance; whereupon he got ready, and complied with their invitation, but was beaten by Aristobulus and Antigonus; and indeed he was pursued as far as Scythopolis by these brethren, and fled away from them. So they returned back to Samaria, and shut the multitude again within the wall; and when they had taken the city, they demolished it, and made slaves of its inhabitants. And as they had still great success in their undertakings, they did not suffer their zeal to cool, but marched with an army as far as Scythopolis, and made an incursion upon it, and laid waste all the country that lay within Mount Carmel.
8. But then these successes of John and of his sons made them be envied, and occasioned a sedition in the country; and many there were who got together, and would not be at rest till they brake out into open war, in which war they were beaten. So John lived the rest of his life very happily, and administered the government after a most extraordinary manner, and this for thirty-three entire years together. He died, leaving five sons behind him. He was certainly a very happy man, and afforded no occasion to have any complaint made of fortune on his account. He it was who alone had three of the most desirable things in the world, – the government of his nation, and the high priesthood, and the gift of prophecy. For the Deity conversed with him, and he was not ignorant of any thing that was to come afterward; insomuch that he foresaw and foretold that his two eldest sons would not continue masters of the government; and it will highly deserve our narration to describe their catastrophe, and how far inferior these men were to their father in felicity.
2. But vengeance circumvented him in the affair of his brother Antigonus, whom he loved, and whom he made his partner in the kingdom; for he slew him by the means of the calumnies which ill men about the palace contrived against him. At first, indeed, Aristobulus would not believe their reports, partly out of the affection he had for his brother, and partly because he thought that a great part of these tales were owing to the envy of their relaters: however, as Antigonus came once in a splendid manner from the army to that festival, wherein our ancient custom is to make tabernacles for God, it happened, in those days, that Aristobulus was sick, and that, at the conclusion of the feast, Antigonus came up to it, with his armed men about him; and this when he was adorned in the finest manner possible; and that, in a great measure, to pray to God on the behalf of his brother. Now at this very time it was that these ill men came to the king, and told him in what a pompous manner the armed men came, and with what insolence Antigonus marched, and that such his insolence was too great for a private person, and that accordingly he was come with a great band of men to kill him; for that he could not endure this bare enjoyment of royal honor, when it was in his power to take the kingdom himself.
3. Now Aristobulus, by degrees, and unwillingly, gave credit to these accusations; and accordingly he took care not to discover his suspicion openly, though he provided to be secure against any accidents; so he placed the guards of his body in a certain dark subterranean passage; for he lay sick in a place called formerly the Citadel, though afterwards its name was changed to Antonia; and he gave orders that if Antigonus came unarmed, they should let him alone; but if he came to him in his armor, they should kill him. He also sent some to let him know beforehand that he should come unarmed. But, upon this occasion, the queen very cunningly contrived the matter with those that plotted his ruin, for she persuaded those that were sent to conceal the king’s message; but to tell Antigonus how his brother had heard he had got a very the suit of armor made with fine martial ornaments, in Galilee; and because his present sickness hindered him from coming and seeing all that finery, he very much desired to see him now in his armor; because, said he, in a little time thou art going away from me.
4. As soon as Antigonus heard this, the good temper of his brother not allowing him to suspect any harm from him, he came along with his armor on, to show it to his brother; but when he was going along that dark passage which was called Strato’s Tower, he was slain by the body guards, and became an eminent instance how calumny destroys all good-will and natural affection, and how none of our good affections are strong enough to resist envy perpetually.
5. And truly any one would be surprised at Judas upon this occasion. He was of the sect of the Essens, and had never failed or deceived men in his predictions before. Now this man saw Antigonus as he was passing along by the temple, and cried out to his acquaintance, (they were not a few who attended upon him as his scholars,) “O strange!” said he, “it is good for me to die now, since truth is dead before me, and somewhat that I have foretold hath proved false; for this Antigonus is this day alive, who ought to hare died this day; and the place where he ought to be slain, according to that fatal decree, was Strato’s Tower, which is at the distance of six hundred furlongs from this place; and yet four hours of this day are over already; which point of time renders the prediction impossible to be fill filled.” And when the old man had said this, he was dejected in his mind, and so continued. But in a little time news came that Antigonus was slain in a subterraneous place, which was itself also called Strato’s Tower, by the same name with that Cesarea which lay by the sea-side; and this ambiguity it was which caused the prophet’s disorder.
6. Hereupon Aristobulus repented of the great crime he had been guilty of, and this gave occasion to the increase of his distemper. He also grew worse and worse, and his soul was constantly disturbed at the thoughts of what he had done, till his very bowels being torn to pieces by the intolerable grief he was under, he threw up a great quantity of blood. And as one of those servants that attended him carried out that blood, he, by some supernatural providence, slipped and fell down in the very place where Antigonus had been slain; and so he spilt some of the murderer’s blood upon the spots of the blood of him that had been murdered, which still appeared. Hereupon a lamentable cry arose among the spectators, as if the servant had spilled the blood on purpose in that place; and as the king heard that cry, he inquired what was the cause of it; and while nobody durst tell him, he pressed them so much the more to let him know what was the matter; so at length, when he had threatened them, and forced them to speak out, they told; whereupon he burst into tears, and groaned, and said, “So I perceive I am not like to escape the all-seeing eye of God, as to the great crimes I have committed; but the vengeance of the blood of my kinsman pursues me hastily. O thou most impudent body! how long wilt thou retain a soul that ought to die on account of that punishment it ought to suffer for a mother and a brother slain! How long shall I myself spend my blood drop by drop? let them take it all at once; and let their ghosts no longer be disappointed by a few parcels of my bowels offered to them.” As soon as he had said these words, he presently died, when he had reigned no longer than a year.
2. Now it happened that there was a battle between him and Ptolemy, who was called Lathyrus, who had taken the city Asochis. He indeed slew a great many of his enemies, but the victory rather inclined to Ptolemy. But when this Ptolemy was pursued by his mother Cleopatra, and retired into Egypt, Alexander besieged Gadara, and took it; as also he did Amathus, which was the strongest of all the fortresses that were about Jordan, and therein were the most precious of all the possessions of Theodorus, the son of Zeno. Whereupon Theodopus marched against him, and took what belonged to himself as well as the king’s baggage, and slew ten thousand of the Jews. However, Alexander recovered this blow, and turned his force towards the maritime parts, and took Raphia and Gaza, with Anthedon also, which was afterwards called Agrippias by king Herod.
3. But when he had made slaves of the citizens of all these cities, the nation of the Jews made an insurrection against him at a festival; for at those feasts seditions are generally begun; and it looked as if he should not be able to escape the plot they had laid for him, had not his foreign auxiliaries, the Pisidians and Cilicians, assisted him; for as to the Syrians, he never admitted them among his mercenary troops, on account of their innate enmity against the Jewish nation. And when he had slain more than six thousand of the rebels, he made an incursion into Arabia; and when he had taken that country, together with the Gileadires and Moabites, he enjoined them to pay him tribute, and returned to Areathus; and as Theodorus was surprised at his great success, he took the fortress, and demolished it.
4. However, when he fought with Obodas, king of the Arabians, who had laid an ambush for him near Golan, and a plot against him, he lost his entire army, which was crowded together in a deep valley, and broken to pieces by the multitude of camels. And when he had made his escape to Jerusalem, he provoked the multitude, which hated him before, to make an insurrection against him, and this on account of the greatness of the calamity that he was under. However, he was then too hard for them; and, in the several battles that were fought on both sides, he slew not fewer than fifty thousand of the Jews in the interval of six years. Yet had he no reason to rejoice in these victories, since he did but consume his own kingdom; till at length he left off fighting, and endeavored to come to a composition with them, by talking with his subjects. But this mutability and irregularity of his conduct made them hate him still more. And when he asked them why they so hated him, and what he should do in order to appease them, they said, by killing himself; for that it would be then all they could do to be reconciled to him, who had done such tragical things to them, even when he was dead. At the same time they invited Demetrius, who was called Eucerus, to assist them; and as he readily complied with their requests, in hopes of great advantages, and came with his army, the Jews joined with those their auxiliaries about Shechem.
5. Yet did Alexander meet both these forces with one thousand horsemen, and eight thousand mercenaries that were on foot. He had also with him that part of the Jews which favored him, to the number of ten thousand; while the adverse party had three thousand horsemen, and fourteen thousand footmen. Now, before they joined battle, the kings made proclamation, and endeavored to draw off each other’s soldiers, and make them revolt; while Demetrius hoped to induce Alexander’s mercenaries to leave him, and Alexander hoped to induce the Jews that were with Demetrius to leave him. But since neither the Jews would leave off their rage, nor the Greeks prove unfaithful, they came to an engagement, and to a close fight with their weapons. In which battle Demetrius was the conqueror, although Alexander’s mercenaries showed the greatest exploits, both in soul and body. Yet did the upshot of this battle prove different from what was expected, as to both of them; for neither did those that invited Demetrius to come to them continue firm to him, though he was conqueror; and six thousand Jews, out of pity to the change of Alexander’s condition, when he was fled to the mountains, came over to him. Yet could not Demetrius bear this turn of affairs; but supposing that Alexander was already become a match for him again, and that all the nation would [at length] run to him, he left the country, and went his way.
6. However, the rest of the [Jewish] multitude did not lay aside their quarrels with him, when the [foreign] auxiliaries were gone; but they had a perpetual war with Alexander, until he had slain the greatest part of them, and driven the rest into the city Berneselis; and when he had demolished that city, he carried the captives to Jerusalem. Nay, his rage was grown so extravagant, that his barbarity proceeded to the degree of impiety; for when he had ordered eight hundred to be hung upon crosses in the midst of the city, he had the throats of their wives and children cut before their eyes; and these executions he saw as he was drinking and lying down with his concubines. Upon which so deep a surprise seized on the people, that eight thousand of his opposers fled away the very next night, out of all Judea, whose flight was only terminated by Alexander’s death; so at last, though not till late, and with great difficulty, he, by such actions, procured quiet to his kingdom, and left off fighting any more.
7. Yet did that Antiochus, who was also called Dionysius, become an origin of troubles again. This man was the brother of Demetrius, and the last of the race of the Seleucidse. (3) Alexander was afraid of him, when he was marching against the Arabians; so he cut a deep trench between Antipatris, which was near the mountains, and the shores of Joppa; he also erected a high wall before the trench, and built wooden towers, in order to hinder any sudden approaches. But still he was not able to exclude Antiochus, for he burnt the towers, and filled up the trenches, and marched on with his army. And as he looked upon taking his revenge on Alexander, for endeavoring to stop him, as a thing of less consequence, he marched directly against the Arabians, whose king retired into such parts of the country as were fittest for engaging the enemy, and then on the sudden made his horse turn back, which were in number ten thousand, and fell upon Antiochus’s army while they were in disorder, and a terrible battle ensued. Antiochus’s troops, so long as he was alive, fought it out, although a mighty slaughter was made among them by the Arabians; but when he fell, for he was in the forefront, in the utmost danger, in rallying his troops, they all gave ground, and the greatest part of his army were destroyed, either in the action or the flight; and for the rest, who fled to the village of Cana, it happened that they were all consumed by want of necessaries, a few only excepted.
8. About this time it was that the people of Damascus, out of their hatred to Ptolemy, the son of Menhens, invited Aretas [to take the government], and made him king of Celesyria. This man also made an expedition against Judea, and beat Alexander in battle; but afterwards retired by mutual agreement. But Alexander, when he had taken Pella, marched to Gerasa again, out of the covetous desire he had of Theodorus’s possessions; and when he had built a triple wall about the garrison, he took the place by force. He also demolished Golan, and Seleucia, and what was called the Valley of Antiochus; besides which, he took the strong fortress of Gamala, and stripped Demetrius, who was governor therein, of what he had, on account of the many crimes laid to his charge, and then returned into Judea, after he had been three whole years in this expedition. And now he was kindly received of the nation, because of the good success he had. So when he was at rest from war, he fell into a distemper; for he was afflicted with a quartan ague, and supposed that, by exercising himself again in martial affairs, he should get rid of this distemper; but by making such expeditions at unseasonable times, and forcing his body to undergo greater hardships than it was able to bear, he brought himself to his end. He died, therefore, in the midst of his troubles, after he had reigned seven and twenty years.
2. And now the Pharisees joined themselves to her, to assist her in the government. These are a certain sect of the Jews that appear more religious than others, and seem to interpret the laws more accurately. low Alexandra hearkened to them to an extraordinary degree, as being herself a woman of great piety towards God. But these Pharisees artfully insinuated themselves into her favor by little and little, and became themselves the real administrators of the public affairs: they banished and reduced whom they pleased; they bound and loosed [men] at their pleasure; (4) and, to say all at once, they had the enjoyment of the royal authority, whilst the expenses and the difficulties of it belonged to Alexandra. She was a sagacious woman in the management of great affairs, and intent always upon gathering soldiers together; so that she increased the army the one half, and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation became not only very powerful at home, but terrible also to foreign potentates, while she governed other people, and the Pharisees governed her.
3. Accordingly, they themselves slew Diogenes, a person of figure, and one that had been a friend to Alexander; and accused him as having assisted the king with his advice, for crucifying the eight hundred men [before mentioned.] They also prevailed with Alexandra to put to death the rest of those who had irritated him against them. Now she was so superstitious as to comply with their desires, and accordingly they slew whom they pleased themselves. But the principal of those that were in danger fled to Aristobulus, who persuaded his mother to spare the men on account of their dignity, but to expel them out of the city, unless she took them to be innocent; so they were suffered to go unpunished, and were dispersed all over the country. But when Alexandra sent out her army to Damascus, under pretense that Ptolemy was always oppressing that city, she got possession of it; nor did it make any considerable resistance. She also prevailed with Tigranes, king of Armenia, who lay with his troops about Ptolemais, and besieged Cleopatra, (5) by agreements and presents, to go away. Accordingly, Tigranes soon arose from the siege, by reason of those domestic tumults which happened upon Lucullus’s expedition into Armenia.
4. In the mean time, Alexandra fell sick, and Aristobulus, her younger son, took hold of this opportunity, with his domestics, of which he had a great many, who were all of them his friends, on account of the warmth of their youth, and got possession of all the fortresses. He also used the sums of money he found in them to get together a number of mercenary soldiers, and made himself king; and besides this, upon Hyrcanus’s complaint to his mother, she compassionated his case, and put Aristobulus’s wife and sons under restraint in Antonia, which was a fortress that joined to the north part of the temple. It was, as I have already said, of old called the Citadel; but afterwards got the name of Antonia, when Antony was [lord of the East], just as the other cities, Sebaste and Agrippias, had their names changed, and these given them from Sebastus and Agrippa. But Alexandra died before she could punish Aristobulus for his disinheriting his brother, after she had reigned nine years.
2. Now those other people which were at variance with Aristobulus were afraid upon his unexpected obtaining the government; and especially this concerned Antipater (6) whom Aristobulus hated of old. He was by birth an Idumean, and one of the principal of that nation, on account of his ancestors and riches, and other authority to him belonging: he also persuaded Hyrcanus to fly to Aretas, the king of Arabia, and to lay claim to the kingdom; as also he persuaded Aretas to receive Hyrcanus, and to bring him back to his kingdom: he also cast great reproaches upon Aristobulus, as to his morals, and gave great commendations to Hyrcanus, and exhorted Aretas to receive him, and told him how becoming a filing it would be for him, who ruled so great a kingdom, to afford his assistance to such as are injured; alleging that Hyrcanus was treated unjustly, by being deprived of that dominion which belonged to him by the prerogative of his birth. And when he had predisposed them both to do what he would have them, he took Hyrcanus by night, and ran away from the city, and, continuing his flight with great swiftness, he escaped to the place called Petra, which is the royal seat of the king of Arabia, where he put Hyrcanus into Aretas’s hand; and by discoursing much with him, and gaining upon him with many presents, he prevailed with him to give him an army that might restore him to his kingdom. This army consisted of fifty thousand footmen and horsemen, against which Aristobulus was not able to make resistance, but was deserted in his first onset, and was driven to Jerusalem; he also had been taken at first by force, if Scaurus, the Roman general, had not come and seasonably interposed himself, and raised the siege. This Scaurus was sent into Syria from Armenia by Pompey the Great, when he fought against Tigranes; so Scaurus came to Damascus, which had been lately taken by Metellus and Lollius, and caused them to leave the place; and, upon his hearing how the affairs of Judea stood, he made haste thither as to a certain booty.
3. As soon, therefore, as he was come into the country, there came ambassadors from both the brothers, each of them desiring his assistance; but Aristobulus’s three hundred talents had more weight with him than the justice of the cause; which sum, when Scaurus had received, he sent a herald to Hyrcanus and the Arabians, and threatened them with the resentment of the Romans and of Pompey, unless they would raise the siege. So Aretas was terrified, and retired out of Judea to Philadelphia, as did Scaurus return to Damascus again; nor was Aristobulus satisfied with escaping [out of his brother’s hands,] but gathered all his forces together, and pursued his enemies, and fought them at a place called Papyron, and slew about six thousand of them, and, together with them Antipater’s brother Phalion.
4. When Hyrcanus and Antipater were thus deprived of their hopes from the Arabians, they transferred the same to their adversaries; and because Pompey had passed through Syria, and was come to Damascus, they fled to him for assistance; and, without any bribes, they made the same equitable pleas that they had used to Aretas, and besought him to hate the violent behavior of Aristobulus, and to bestow the kingdom on him to whom it justly belonged, both on account of his good character and on account of his superiority in age. However, neither was Aristobulus wanting to himself in this case, as relying on the bribes that Scaurus had received: he was also there himself, and adorned himself after a manner the most agreeable to royalty that he was able. But he soon thought it beneath him to come in such a servile manner, and could not endure to serve his own ends in a way so much more abject than he was used to; so he departed from Diospolis.
5. At this his behavior Pompey had great indignation; Hyrcanus also and his friends made great intercessions to Pompey; so he took not only his Roman forces, but many of his Syrian auxiliaries, and marched against Aristobulus. But when he had passed by Pella and Scythopolis, and was come to Corea, where you enter into the country of Judea, when you go up to it through the Mediterranean parts, he heard that Aristobulus was fled to Alexandrium, which is a strong hold fortified with the utmost magnificence, and situated upon a high mountain; and he sent to him, and commanded him to come down. Now his inclination was to try his fortune in a battle, since he was called in such an imperious manner, rather than to comply with that call. However, he saw the multitude were in great fear, and his friends exhorted him to consider what the power of the Romans was, and how it was irresistible; so he complied with their advice, and came down to Pompey; and when he had made a long apology for himself, and for the justness of his cause in taking the government, he returned to the fortress. And when his brother invited him again [to plead his cause], he came down and spake about the justice of it, and then went away without any hinderance from Pompey; so he was between hope and fear. And when he came down, it was to prevail with Pompey to allow him the government entirely; and when he went up to the citadel, it was that he might not appear to debase himself too low. However, Pompey commanded him to give up his fortified places, and forced him to write to every one of their governors to yield them up; they having had this charge given them, to obey no letters but what were of his own hand-writing. Accordingly he did what he was ordered to do; but had still an indignation at what was done, and retired to Jerusalem, and prepared to fight with Pompey.
6. But Pompey did not give him time to make any preparations [for a siege], but followed him at his heels; he was also obliged to make haste in his attempt, by the death of Mithridates, of which he was informed about Jericho. Now here is the most fruitful country of Judea, which bears a vast number of palm trees (7) besides the balsam tree, whose sprouts they cut with sharp stones, and at the incisions they gather the juice, which drops down like tears. So Pompey pitched his camp in that place one night, and then hasted away the next morning to Jerusalem; but Aristobulus was so aftrighted at his approach, that he came and met him by way of supplication. He also promised him money, and that he would deliver up both himself and the city into his disposal, and thereby mitigated the anger of Pompey. Yet did not he perform any of the conditions he had agreed to; for Aristobulus’s party would not so much as admit Gabinius into the city, who was sent to receive the money that he had promised.
2. Now as be was long in deliberating about this matter, a sedition arose among the people within the city; Aristobulus’s party being willing to fight, and to set their king at liberty, while the party of Hyrcanus were for opening the gates to Pompey; and the dread people were in occasioned these last to be a very numerous party, when they looked upon the excellent order the Roman soldiers were in. So Aristobulus’s party was worsted, and retired into the temple, and cut off the communication between the temple and the city, by breaking down the bridge that joined them together, and prepared to make an opposition to the utmost; but as the others had received the Romans into the city, and had delivered up the palace to him, Pompey sent Piso, one of his great officers, into that palace with an army, who distributed a garrison about the city, because he could not persuade any one of those that had fled to the temple to come to terms of accommodation; he then disposed all things that were round about them so as might favor their attacks, as having Hyrcanus’s party very ready to afford them both counsel and assistance.
3. But Pompey himself filled up the ditch that was oil the north side of the temple, and the entire valley also, the army itself being obliged to carry the materials for that purpose. And indeed it was a hard thing to fill up that valley, by reason of its immense depth, especially as the Jews used all the means possible to repel them from their superior situation; nor had the Romans succeeded in their endeavors, had not Pompey taken notice of the seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted defensively on sabbath days. But as soon as Pompey had filled up the valley, he erected high towers upon the bank, and brought those engines which they had fetched from Tyre near to the wall, and tried to batter it down; and the slingers of stones beat off those that stood above them, and drove them away; but the towers on this side of the city made very great resistance, and were indeed extraordinary both for largeness and magnificence.
4. Now here it was that, upon the many hardships which the Romans underwent, Pompey could not but admire not only at the other instances of the Jews’ fortitude, but especially that they did not at all intermit their religious services, even when they were encompassed with darts on all sides; for, as if the city were in full peace, their daily sacrifices and purifications, and every branch of their religious worship, was still performed to God with the utmost exactness. Nor indeed when the temple was actually taken, and they were every day slain about the altar, did they leave off the instances of their Divine worship that were appointed by their law; for it was in the third month of the siege before the Romans could even with great difficulty overthrow one of the towers, and get into the temple. Now he that first of all ventured to get over the wall, was Faustus Cornelius the son of Sylla; and next after him were two centurions, Furius and Fabius; and every one of these was followed by a cohort of his own, who encompassed the Jews on all sides, and slew them, some of them as they were running for shelter to the temple, and others as they, for a while, fought in their own defense.
5. And now did many of the priests, even when they saw their enemies assailing them with swords in their hands, without any disturbance, go on with their Divine worship, and were slain while they were offering their drink-offerings, and burning their incense, as preferring the duties about their worship to God before their own preservation. The greatest part of them were slain by their own countrymen, of the adverse faction, and an innumerable multitude threw themselves down precipices; nay, some there were who were so distracted among the insuperable difficulties they were under, that they set fire to the buildings that were near to the wall, and were burnt together with them. Now of the Jews were slain twelve thousand; but of the Romans very few were slain, but a greater number was wounded.
6. But there was nothing that affected the nation so much, in the calamities they were then under, as that their holy place, which had been hitherto seen by none, should be laid open to strangers; for Pompey, and those that were about him, went into the temple itself (8) whither it was not lawful for any to enter but the high priest, and saw what was reposited therein, the candlestick with its lamps, and the table, and the pouring vessels, and the censers, all made entirely of gold, as also a great quantity of spices heaped together, with two thousand talents of sacred money. Yet did not he touch that money, nor any thing else that was there reposited; but he commanded the ministers about the temple, the very next day after he had taken it, to cleanse it, and to perform their accustomed sacrifices. Moreover, he made Hyrcanus high priest, as one that not only in other respects had showed great alacrity, on his side, during the siege, but as he had been the means of hindering the multitude that was in the country from fighting for Aristobulus, which they were otherwise very ready to have done; by which means he acted the part of a good general, and reconciled the people to him more by benevolence than by terror. Now, among the Captives, Aristobulus’s father-in-law was taken, who was also his uncle: so those that were the most guilty he punished with decollatlon; but rewarded Faustus, and those with him that had fought so bravely, with glorious presents, and laid a tribute upon the country, and upon Jerusalem itself.
7. He also took away from the nation all those cities that they had formerly taken, and that belonged to Celesyria, and made them subject to him that was at that time appointed to be the Roman president there; and reduced Judea within its proper bounds. He also rebuilt Gadara, (9) that had been demolished by the Jews, in order to gratify one Demetrius, who was of Gadara, and was one of his own freed-men. He also made other cities free from their dominion, that lay in the midst of the country, such, I mean, as they had not demolished before that time; Hippos, and Scythopolis, as also Pella, and Samaria, and Marissa; and besides these Ashdod, and Jamnia, and Arethusa; and in like manner dealt he with the maritime cities, Gaza, and Joppa, and Dora, and that which was anciently called Strato’s Tower, but was afterward rebuilt with the most magnificent edifices, and had its name changed to Cesarea, by king Herod. All which he restored to their own citizens, and put them under the province of Syria; which province, together with Judea, and the countries as far as Egypt and Euphrates, he committed to Scaurus as their governor, and gave him two legions to support him; while he made all the haste he could himself to go through Cilicia, in his way to Rome, having Aristobulus and his children along with him as his captives. They were two daughters and two sons; the one of which sons, Alexander, ran away as he was going; but the younger, Antigonus, with his sisters, were carried to Rome.
2. But as for Alexander, that son of Aristobulus who ran away from Pompey, in some time he got a considerable band of men together, and lay heavy upon Hyrcanus, and overran Judea, and was likely to overturn him quickly; and indeed he had come to Jerusalem, and had ventured to rebuild its wall that was thrown down by Pompey, had not Gabinius, who was sent as successor to Scaurus into Syria, showed his bravery, as in many other points, so in making an expedition against Alexander; who, as he was afraid that he would attack him, so he got together a large army, composed of ten thousand armed footmen, and fifteen hundred horsemen. He also built walls about proper places; Alexandrium, and Hyrcanium, and Machorus, that lay upon the mountains of Arabia.
3. However, Gabinius sent before him Marcus Antonius, and followed himself with his whole army; but for the select body of soldiers that were about Antipater, and another body of Jews under the command of Malichus and Pitholaus, these joined themselves to those captains that were about Marcus Antonius, and met Alexander; to which body came Oabinius with his main army soon afterward; and as Alexander was not able to sustain the charge of the enemies’ forces, now they were joined, he retired. But when he was come near to Jerusalem, he was forced to fight, and lost six thousand men in the battle; three thousand of which fell down dead, and three thousand were taken alive; so he fled with the remainder to Alexandrium.
4. Now when Gabinius was come to Alexandrium, because he found a great many there en-camped, he tried, by promising them pardon for their former offenses, to induce them to come over to him before it came to a fight; but when they would hearken to no terms of accommodation, he slew a great number of them, and shut up a great number of them in the citadel. Now Marcus Antonius, their leader, signalized himself in this battle, who, as he always showed great courage, so did he never show it so much as now; but Gabinius, leaving forces to take the citadel, went away himself, and settled the cities that had not been demolished, and rebuilt those that had been destroyed. Accordingly, upon his injunctions, the following cities were restored: Scythopolis, and Samaria, and Anthedon, and Apollonia, and Jamnia, and Raphia, and Mariassa, and Adoreus, and Gamala, and Ashdod, and many others; while a great number of men readily ran to each of them, and became their inhabitants.
5. When Gabinius had taken care of these cities, he returned to Alexandrium, and pressed on the siege. So when Alexander despaired of ever obtaining the government, he sent ambassadors to him, and prayed him to forgive what he had offended him in, and gave up to him the remaining fortresses, Hyrcanium and Macherus, as he put Alexandrium into his hands afterwards; all which Gabinius demolished, at the persuasion of Alexander’s mother, that they might not be receptacles of men in a second war. She was now there in order to mollify Gabinius, out of her concern for her relations that were captives at Rome, which were her husband and her other children. After this Gabinius brought Hyrcanus to Jerusalem, and committed the care of the temple to him; but ordained the other political government to be by an aristocracy. He also parted the whole nation into five conventions, assigning one portion to Jerusalem, another to Gadara, that another should belong to Amathus, a fourth to Jericho, and to the fifth division was allotted Sepphoris, a city of Galilee. So the people were glad to be thus freed from monarchical government, and were governed for the future by all aristocracy.
6. Yet did Aristobulus afford another foundation for new disturbances. He fled away from Rome, and got together again many of the Jews that were desirous of a change, such as had borne an affection to him of old; and when he had taken Alexandrium in the first place, he attempted to build a wall about it; but as soon as Gabinius had sent an army against him under Siscuria, and Antonius, and Servilius, he was aware of it, and retreated to Macherus. And as for the unprofitable multitude, he dismissed them, and only marched on with those that were armed, being to the number of eight thousand, among whom was Pitholaus, who had been the lieutenant at Jerusalem, but deserted to Aristobulus with a thousand of his men; so the Romans followed him, and when it came to a battle, Aristobulus’s party for a long time fought courageously; but at length they were overborne by the Romans, and of them five thousand fell down dead, and about two thousand fled to a certain little hill, but the thousand that remained with Aristobulus brake through the Roman army, and marched together to Macherus; and when the king had lodged the first night upon its ruins, he was in hopes of raising another army, if the war would but cease a while; accordingly, he fortified that strong hold, though it was done after a poor manner. But the Romans falling upon him, he resisted, even beyond his abilities, for two days, and then was taken, and brought a prisoner to Gabinius, with Antigonus his son, who had fled away together with him from Rome; and from Gabinius he was carried to Rome again. Wherefore the senate put him under confinement, but returned his children back to Judea, because Gabinius informed them by letters that he had promised Aristobulus’s mother to do so, for her delivering the fortresses up to him.
7. But now as Gabinius was marching to the war against the Parthians, he was hindered by Ptolemy, whom, upon his return from Euphrates, he brought back into Egypt, making use of Hyrcanus and Antipater to provide every thing that was necessary for this expedition; for Antipater furnished him with money, and weapons, and corn, and auxiliaries; he also prevailed with the Jews that were there, and guarded the avenues at Pelusium, to let them pass. But now, upon Gabinius’s absence, the other part of Syria was in motion, and Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, brought the Jews to revolt again. Accordingly, he got together a very great army, and set about killing all the Romans that were in the country; hereupon Gabinius was afraid, (for he was come back already out of Egypt, and obliged to come back quickly by these tumults,) and sent Antipater, who prevailed with some of the revolters to be quiet. However, thirty thousand still continued with Alexander, who was himself eager to fight also; accordingly, Gabinius went out to fight, when the Jews met him; and as the battle was fought near Mount Tabor, ten thousand of them were slain, and the rest of the multitude dispersed themselves, and fled away. So Gabinius came to Jerusalem, and settled the government as Antipater would have it; thence he marched, and fought and beat the Nabateans: as for Mithridates and Orsanes, who fled out of Parthin, he sent them away privately, but gave it out among the soldiers that they had run away.
8. In the mean time, Crassus came as successor to Gabinius in Syria. He took away all the rest of the gold belonging to the temple of Jerusalem, in order to furnish himself for his expedition against the Parthians. He also took away the two thousand talents which Pompey had not touched; but when he had passed over Euphrates, he perished himself, and his army with him; concerning which affairs this is not a proper time to speak [more largely].
9. But now Cassius, after Crassus, put a stop to the Parthians, who were marching in order to enter Syria. Cassius had fled into that province, and when he had taken possession of the same, he made a hasty march into Judea; and, upon his taking Taricheae, he carried thirty thousand Jews into slavery. He also slew Pitholaus, who had supported the seditious followers of Aristobulus; and it was Antipater who advised him so to do. Now this Antipater married a wife of an eminent family among the Arabisus, whose name was Cypros, and had four sons born to him by her, Phasaelus and Herod, who was afterwards king, and, besides these, Joseph and Pheroras; and he had a daughter whose name was Salome. Now as he made himself friends among the men of power every where, by the kind offices he did them, and the hospitable manner that he treated them; so did he contract the greatest friendship with the king of Arabia, by marrying his relation; insomuch that when he made war with Aristobulus, he sent and intrusted his children with him. So when Cassius had forced Alexander to come to terms and to be quiet, he returned to Euphrates, in order to prevent the Parthians from repassing it; concerning which matter we shall speak elsewhere. (11)
2. His son Alexander also was beheaded by Sci-pio at Antioch, and that by the command of Pompey, and upon an accusation laid against him before his tribunal, for the mischiefs he had done to the Romans. But Ptolemy, the son of Menneus, who was then ruler of Chalcis, under Libanus, took his brethren to him by sending his son Philippio for them to Ascalon, who took Antigonus, as well as his sisters, away from Aristobulus’s wife, and brought them to his father; and falling in love with the younger daughter, he married her, and was afterwards slain by his father on her account; for Ptolemy himself, after he had slain his son, married her, whose name was Alexandra; on the account of which marriage he took the greater care of her brother and sister.
3. Now, after Pompey was dead, Antipater changed sides, and cultivated a friendship with Caesar. And since Mithridates of Pergamus, with the forces he led against Egypt, was excluded from the avenues about Pelusium, and was forced to stay at Asealon, he persuaded the Arabians, among whom he had lived, to assist him, and came himself to him, at the head of three thousand armed men. He also encouraged the men of power in Syria to come to his assistance, as also of the inhabitants of Libanus, Ptolemy, and Jamblicus, and another Ptolemy; by which means the cities of that country came readily into this war; insomuch that Mithridates ventured now, in dependence upon the additional strength that he had gotten by Antipater, to march forward to Pelusium; and when they refused him a passage through it, he besieged the city; in the attack of which place Antipater principally signalized himself, for he brought down that part of the wall which was over against him, and leaped first of all into the city, with the men that were about him.
4. Thus was Pelusium taken. But still, as they were marching on, those Egyptian Jews that inhabited the country called the country of Onias stopped them. Then did Antipater not only persuade them not to stop them, but to afford provisions for their army; on which account even the people about Memphis would not fight against them, but of their own accord joined Mithridates. Whereupon he went round about Delta, and fought the rest of the Egyptians at a place called the Jews’ Camp; nay, when he was in danger in the battle with all his right wing, Antipater wheeled about, and came along the bank of the river to him; for he had beaten those that opposed him as he led the left wing. After which success he fell upon those that pursued Mithridates, and slew a great many of them, and pursued the remainder so far that he took their camp, while he lost no more than fourscore of his own men; as Mithridates lost, during the pursuit that was made after him, about eight hundred. He was also himself saved unexpectedly, and became an unreproachable witness to Caesar of the great actions of Antipater.
5. Whereupon Caesar encouraged Antipater to undertake other hazardous enterprises for him, and that by giving him great commendations and hopes of reward. In all which enterprises he readily exposed himself to many dangers, and became a most courageous warrior; and had many wounds almost all over his body, as demonstrations of his valor. And when Caesar had settled the affairs of Egypt, and was returning into Syria again, he gave him the privilege of a Roman citizen, and freedom from taxes, and rendered him an object of admiration by the honors and marks of friendship he bestowed upon him. On this account it was that he also confirmed Hyrcanus in the high priesthood.
2. Hereupon Antipater threw away his garments, and showed the multitude of the wounds he had, and said, that as to his good-will to Caesar, he had no occasion to say a word, because his body cried aloud, though he said nothing himself; that he wondered at Antigonus’s boldness, while he was himself no other than the son of an enemy to the Romans, and of a fugitive, and had it by inheritance from his father to be fond of innovations and seditions, that he should undertake to accuse other men before the Roman governor, and endeavor to gain some advantages to himself, when he ought to be contented that he was suffered to live; for that the reason of his desire of governing public affairs was not so much because he was in want of it, but because, if he could once obtain the same, he might stir up a sedition among the Jews, and use what he should gain from the Romans to the disservice of those that gave it him.
3. When Caesar heard this, he declared Hyrcanus to be the most worthy of the high priesthood, and gave leave to Antipater to choose what authority he pleased; but he left the determination of such dignity to him that bestowed the dignity upon him; so he was constituted procurator of all Judea, and obtained leave, moreover, to rebuild (12) those walls of his country that had been thrown down. These honorary grants Caesar sent orders to have engraved in the Capitol, that they might stand there as indications of his own justice, and of the virtue of Antipater.
4. But as soon as Antipater had conducted Caesar out of Syria he returned to Judea, and the first thing he did was to rebuild that wall of his own country [Jerusalem] which Pompey had overthrown, and then to go over the country, and to quiet the tumults that were therein; where he partly threatened, and partly advised, every one, and told them that in case they would submit to Hyrcanus, they would live happily and peaceably, and enjoy what they possessed, and that with universal peace and quietness; but that in case they hearkened to such as had some frigid hopes by raising new troubles to get themselves some gain, they should then find him to be their lord instead of their procurator; and find Hyrcanus to be a tyrant instead of a king; and both the Romans and Caesar to be their enemies, instead of rulers; for that they would not suffer him to be removed from the government, whom they had made their governor. And, at the same time that he said this, he settled the affairs of the country by himself, because he saw that Hyrcanus was inactive, and not fit to manage the affairs of the kingdom. So he constituted his eldest son, Phasaelus, governor of Jerusalem, and of the parts about it; he also sent his next son, Herod, who was very young, (13) with equal authority into Galilee.
5. Now Herod was an active man, and soon found proper materials for his active spirit to work upon. As therefore he found that Hezekias, the head of the robbers, ran over the neighboring parts of Syria with a great band of men, he caught him and slew him, and many more of the robbers with him; which exploit was chiefly grateful to the Syrians, insomuch that hymns were sung in Herod’s commendation, both in the villages and in the cities, as having procured their quietness, and having preserved what they possessed to them; on which occasion he became acquainted with Sextus Caesar, a kinsman of the great Caesar, and president of Syria. A just emulation of his glorious actions excited Phasaelus also to imitate him. Accordingly, he procured the good-will of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, by his own management of the city affairs, and did not abuse his power in any disagreeable manner; whence it came to pass that the nation paid Antipater the respects that were due only to a king, and the honors they all yielded him were equal to the honors due to an absolute lord; yet did he not abate any part of that good-will or fidelity which he owed to Hyrcanus.
6. However, he found it impossible to escape envy in such his prosperity; for the glory of these young men affected even Hyrcanus himself already privately, though he said nothing of it to any body; but what he principally was grieved at was the great actions of Herod, and that so many messengers came one before another, and informed him of the great reputation he got in all his undertakings. There were also many people in the royal palace itself who inflamed his envy at him; those, I mean, who were obstructed in their designs by the prudence either of the young men, or of Antipater. These men said, that by committing the public affairs to the management of Antipater and of his sons, he sat down with nothing but the bare name of a king, without any of its authority; and they asked him how long he would so far mistake himself, as to breed up kings against his own interest; for that they did not now conceal their government of affairs any longer, but were plainly lords of the nation, and had thrust him out of his authority; that this was the case when Herod slew so many men without his giving him any command to do it, either by word of mouth, or by his letter, and this in contradiction to the law of the Jews; who therefore, in case he be not a king, but a private man, still ought to come to his trial, and answer it to him, and to the laws of his country, which do not permit any one to be killed till he hath been condemned in judgment.
7. Now Hyrcanus was, by degrees, inflamed with these discourses, and at length could bear no longer, but he summoned Herod to take his trial. Accordingly, by his father’s advice, and as soon as the affairs of Galilee would give him leave, he came up to [Jerusalem], when he had first placed garrisons in Galilee; however, he came with a sufficient body of soldiers, so many indeed that he might not appear to have with him an army able to overthrow Hyrcanus’s government, nor yet so few as to expose him to the insults of those that envied him. However, Sextus Caesar was in fear for the young man, lest he should be taken by his enemies, and brought to punishment; so he sent some to denounce expressly to Hyrcanus that he should acquit Herod of the capital charge against him; who acquitted him accordingly, as being otherwise inclined also so to do, for he loved Herod.
8. But Herod, supposing that he had escaped punishment without the consent of the king, retired to Sextus, to Damascus, and got every thing ready, in order not to obey him if he should summon him again; whereupon those that were evil-disposed irritated Hyrcanus, and told him that Herod was gone away in anger, and was prepared to make war upon him; and as the king believed what they said, he knew not what to do, since he saw his antagonist was stronger than he was himself. And now, since Herod was made general of Coelesyria and Samaria by Sextus Caesar, he was formidable, not only from the good-will which the nation bore him, but by the power he himself had; insomuch that Hyrcanus fell into the utmost degree of terror, and expected he would presently march against him with his army.
9. Nor was he mistaken in the conjecture he made; for Herod got his army together, out of the anger he bare him for his threatening him with the accusation in a public court, and led it to Jerusalem, in order to throw Hyrcanus down from his kingdom; and this he had soon done, unless his father and brother had gone out together and broken the force of his fury, and this by exhorting him to carry his revenge no further than to threatening and affrighting, but to spare the king, under whom he had been advanced to such a degree of power; and that he ought not to be so much provoked at his being tried, as to forget to be thankful that he was acquitted; nor so long to think upon what was of a melancholy nature, as to be ungrateful for his deliverance; and if we ought to reckon that God is the arbitrator of success in war, an unjust cause is of more disadvantage than an army can be of advantage; and that therefore he ought not to be entirely confident of success in a case where he is to fight against his king, his supporter, and one that had often been his benefactor, and that had never been severe to him, any otherwise than as he had hearkened to evil counselors, and this no further than by bringing a shadow of injustice upon him. So Herod was prevailed upon by these arguments, and supposed that what he had already done was sufficient for his future hopes, and that he had enough shown his power to the nation.
10. In the mean time, there was a disturbance among the Romans about Apamia, and a civil war occasioned by the treacherous slaughter of Sextus Caesar, by Cecilius Bassus, which he perpetrated out of his good-will to Pompey; he also took the authority over his forces; but as the rest of Caesar’s commanders attacked Bassus with their whole army, in order to punish him for the murder of Caesar, Antipater also sent them assistance by his sons, both on account of him that was murdered, and on account of that Caesar who was still alive, both of which were their friends; and as this war grew to be of a considerable length, Marcus came out of Italy as successor to Sextus.
2. So he gave command that the Jews should bring in seven hundred talents; whereupon Antipater, out of his dread of Cassius’s threats, parted the raising of this sum among his sons, and among others of his acquaintance, and to be done immediately; and among them he required one Malichus, who was at enmity with him, to do his part also, which necessity forced him to do. Now Herod, in the first place, mitigated the passion of Cassius, by bringing his share out of Galilee, which was a hundred talents, on which account he was in the highest favor with him; and when he reproached the rest for being tardy, he was angry at the cities themselves; so he made slaves of Gophna and Emmaus, and two others of less note; nay, he proceeded as if he would kill Malichus, because he had not made greater haste in exacting his tribute; but Antipater prevented the ruin of this man, and of the other cities, and got into Cassius’s favor by bringing in a hundred talents immediately. (15)
3. However, when Cassius was gone Malichus forgot the kindness that Antipater had done him, and laid frequent plots against him that had saved him, as making haste to get him out of the way, who was an obstacle to his wicked practices; but Antipater was so much afraid of the power and cunning of the man, that he went beyond Jordan, in order to get an army to guard himself against his treacherous designs; but when Malichus was caught in his plot, he put upon Antipater’s sons by his impudence, for he thoroughly deluded Phasaelus, who was the guardian of Jerusalem, and Herod who was intrusted with the weapons of war, and this by a great many excuses and oaths, and persuaded them to procure his reconciliation to his father. Thus was he preserved again by Antipater, who dissuaded Marcus, the then president of Syria, from his resolution of killing Malichus, on account of his attempts for innovation.
4. Upon the war between Cassius and Brutus on one side, against the younger Caesar [Augustus] and Antony on the other, Cassius and Marcus got together an army out of Syria; and because Herod was likely to have a great share in providing necessaries, they then made him procurator of all Syria, and gave him an army of foot and horse. Cassius premised him also, that after the war was over, he would make him king of Judea. But it so happened that the power and hopes of his son became the cause of his perdition; for as Malichus was afraid of this, he corrupted one of the king’s cup-bearers with money to give a poisoned potion to Antipater; so he became a sacrifice to Malichus’s wickedness, and died at a feast. He was a man in other respects active in the management of affairs, and one that recovered the government to Hyrcanus, and preserved it in his hands.
5. However, Malichus, when lie was suspected ef poisoning Antipater, and when the multitude was angry with him for it, denied it, and made the people believe he was not guilty. He also prepared to make a greater figure, and raised soldiers; for he did not suppose that Herod would be quiet, who indeed came upon him with an army presently, in order to revenge his father’s death; but, upon hearing the advice of his brother Phasaelus, not to punish him in an open manner, lest the multitude should fall into a sedition, he admitted of Malichus’s apology, and professed that he cleared him of that suspicion; he also made a pompous funeral for his father.
6. So Herod went to Samaria, which was then in a tumult, and settled the city in peace; after which at the [Pentecost] festival, he returned to Jerusalem, having his armed men with him: hereupon Hyrcanus, at the request of Malichus, who feared his reproach, forbade them to introduce foreigners to mix themselves with the people of the country while they were purifying themselves; but Herod despised the pretense, and him that gave that command, and came in by night. Upon which Malithus came to him, and bewailed Antipater; Herod also made him believe [he admitted of his lamentations as real], although he had much ado to restrain his passion at him; however, he did himself bewail the murder of his father in his letters to Cassius, who, on other accounts, also hated Malichus. Cassius sent him word back that he should avenge his father’s death upon him, and privately gave order to the tribunes that were under him, that they should assist Herod in a righteous action he was about.
7. And because, upon the taking of Laodicea by Cassius, the men of power were gotten together from all quarters, with presents and crowns in their hands, Herod allotted this time for the punishment of Malichus. When Malichus suspected that, and was at Tyre, he resolved to withdraw his son privately from among the Tyrians, who was a hostage there, while he got ready to fly away into Judea; the despair he was in of escaping excited him to think of greater things; for he hoped that he should raise the nation to a revolt from the Romans, while Cassius was busy about the war against Antony, and that he should easily depose Hyrcanus, and get the crown for himself.
8. But fate laughed at the hopes he had; for Herod foresaw what he was so zealous about, and invited both Hyrcanus and him to supper; but calling one of the principal servants that stood by him to him, he sent him out, as though it were to get things ready for supper, but in reality to give notice beforehand about the plot that was laid against him; accordingly they called to mind what orders Cassius had given them, and went out of the city with their swords in their hands upon the sea-shore, where they encompassed Malichus round about, and killed him with many wounds. Upon which Hyrcanus was immediately aftrighted, till he swooned away and fell down at the surprise he was in; and it was with difficulty that he was recovered, when he asked who it was that had killed Malichus. And when one of the tribunes replied that it was done by the command of Cassius,” Then,” said he, “Cassius hath saved both me and my country, by cutting off one that was laying plots against them both.” Whether he spake according to his own sentiments, or whether his fear was such that he was obliged to commend the action by saying so, is uncertain; however, by this method Herod inflicted punishment upon Malichus.
2. However, nothing could be sufficient for him against the force of Herod, who, as soon as he was recovered, took the other fortresses again, and drove him out of Masada in the posture of a supplicant; he also drove away Marion, the tyrant of the Tyrians, out of Galilee, when he had already possessed himself of three fortified places; but as to those Tyrians whom he had caught, he preserved them all alive; nay, some of them he gave presents to, and so sent them away, and thereby procured good-will to himself from the city, and hatred to the tyrant. Marion had indeed obtained that tyrannical power of Cassius, who set tyrants over all Syria (16) and out of hatred to Herod it was that he assisted Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, and principally on Fabius’s account, whom Antigonus had made his assistant by money, and had him accordingly on his side when he made his descent; but it was Ptolemy, the kinsman of Antigonus, that supplied all that he wanted.
3. When Herod had fought against these in the avenues of Judea, he was conqueror in the battle, and drove away Antigonus, and returned to Jerusalem, beloved by every body for the glorious action he had done; for those who did not before favor him did join themselves to him now, because of his marriage into the family of Hyrcanus; for as he had formerly married a wife out of his own country of no ignoble blood, who was called Doris, of whom he begat Antipater; so did he now marry Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, and the granddaughter of Hyrcanus, and was become thereby a relation of the king.
4. But when Caesar and Antony had slain Cassius near Philippi, and Caesar was gone to Italy, and Antony to Asia, amongst the rest of the cities which sent ambassadors to Antony unto Bithynia, the great men of the Jews came also, and accused Phasaelus and Herod, that they kept the government by force, and that Hyrcanus had no more than an honorable name. Herod appeared ready to answer this accusation; and having made Antony his friend by the large sums of money which he gave him, he brought him to such a temper as not to hear the others speak against him; and thus did they part at this time.
5. However, after this, there came a hundred of the principal men among the Jews to Daphne by Antioch to Antony, who was already in love with Cleopatra to the degree of slavery; these Jews put those men that were the most potent, both in dignity and eloquence, foremost, and accused the brethren. (17) But Messala opposed them, and defended the brethren, and that while Hyrcanus stood by him, on account of his relation to them. When Antony had heard both sides, he asked Hyrcanus which party was the fittest to govern, who replied that Herod and his party were the fittest. Antony was glad of that answer, for he had been formerly treated in an hospitable and obliging manner by his father Antipater, when he marched into Judea with Gabinius; so he constituted the brethren tetrarchs, and committed to them the government of Judea.
6. But when the ambassadors had indignation at this procedure, Antony took fifteen of them, and put them into custody, whom he was also going to kill presently, and the rest he drove away with disgrace; on which occasion a still greater tumult arose at Jerusalem; so they sent again a thousand ambassadors to Tyre, where Antony now abode, as he was marching to Jerusalem; upon these men who made a clamor he sent out the governor of Tyre, and ordered him to punish all that he could catch of them, and to settle those in the administration whom he had made tetrarchs.
7. But before this Herod, and Hyrcanus went out upon the sea-shore, and earnestly desired of these ambassadors that they would neither bring ruin upon themselves, nor war upon their native country, by their rash contentions; and when they grew still more outrageous, Antony sent out armed men, and slew a great many, and wounded more of them; of whom those that were slain were buried by Hyrcanus, as were the wounded put under the care of physicians by him; yet would not those that had escaped be quiet still, but put the affairs of the city into such disorder, and so provoked Antony, that he slew those whom he had in bonds also.
2. Now as these men were ravaging Carmel, many of the Jews ran together to Antigonus, and showed themselves ready to make an incursion into the country; so he sent them before into that place called Drymus, [the woodland (18) ] to seize upon the place; whereupon a battle was fought between them, and they drove the enemy away, and pursued them, and ran after them as far as Jerusalem, and as their numbers increased, they proceeded as far as the king’s palace; but as Hyrcanus and Phasaelus received them with a strong body of men, there happened a battle in the market-place, in which Herod’s party beat the enemy, and shut them up in the temple, and set sixty men in the houses adjoining as a guard to them. But the people that were tumultuous against the brethren came in, and burnt those men; while Herod, in his rage for killing them, attacked and slew many of the people, till one party made incursions on the other by turns, day by day, in the way of ambushes, and slaughters were made continually among them.
3. Now when that festival which we call Pentecost was at hand, all the places about the temple, and the whole city, was full of a multitude of people that were come out of the country, and which were the greatest part of them armed also, at which time Phasaelus guarded the wall, and Herod, with a few, guarded the royal palace; and when he made an assault upon his enemies, as they were out of their ranks, on the north quarter of the city, he slew a very great number of them, and put them all to flight; and some of them he shut up within the city, and others within the outward rampart. In the mean time, Antigonus desired that Pacorus might be admitted to be a reconciler between them; and Phasaelus was prevailed upon to admit the Parthian into the city with five hundred horse, and to treat him in an hospitable manner, who pretended that he came to quell the tumult, but in reality he came to assist Antigonus; however, he laid a plot for Phasaelus, and persuaded him to go as an ambassador to Barzapharnes, in order to put an end to the war, although Herod was very earnest with him to the contrary, and exhorted him to kill the plotter, but not expose himself to the snares he had laid for him, because the barbarians are naturally perfidious. However, Pacorus went out and took Hyrcanus with him, that he might be the less suspected; he also (19) left some of the horsemen, called the Freemen, with Herod, and conducted Phasaelus with the rest.
4. But now, when they were come to Galilee, they found that the people of that country had revolted, and were in arms, who came very cunningly to their leader, and besought him to conceal his treacherous intentions by an obliging behavior to them; accordingly, he at first made them presents; and afterward, as they went away, laid ambushes for them; and when they were come to one of the maritime cities called Ecdippon, they perceived that a plot was laid for them; for they were there informed of the promise of a thousand talents, and how Antigonus had devoted the greatest number of the women that were there with them, among the five hundred, to the Parthians; they also perceived that an ambush was always laid for them by the barbarians in the night time; they had also been seized on before this, unless they had waited for the seizure of Herod first at Jerusalem, because if he were once informed of this treachery of theirs, he would take care of himself; nor was this a mere report, but they saw the guards already not far off them.
5. Nor would Phasaelus think of forsaking Hyrcanus and flying away, although Ophellius earnestly persuaded him to it; for this man had learned the whole scheme of the plot from Saramalla, the richest of all the Syrians. But Phasaelus went up to the Parfilian governor, and reproached him to his face for laying this treacherous plot against them, and chiefly because he had done it for money; and he promised him that he would give him more money for their preservation, than Antigonus had promised to give for the kingdom. But the sly Parthian endeavored to remove all this suspicion by apologies and by oaths, and then went [to the other] Pacorus; immediately after which those Parthians who were left, and had it in charge, seized upon Phasaelus and Hyrcanus, who could do no more than curse their perfidiousness and their perjury.
6. In the mean time, the cup-bearer was sent [back], and laid a plot how to seize upon Herod, by deluding him, and getting him out of the city, as he was commanded to do. But Herod suspected the barbarians from the beginning; and having then received intelligence that a messenger, who was to bring him the letters that informed him of the treachery intended, had fallen among the enemy, he would not go out of the city; though Pacorus said very positively that he ought to go out, and meet the messengers that brought the letters, for that the enemy had not taken them, and that the contents of them were not accounts of any plots upon them, but of what Phasaelus had done; yet had he heard from others that his brother was seized; and Alexandra (20) the shrewdest woman in the world, Hyrcanus’s daughter, begged of him that he would not go out, nor trust himself to those barbarians, who now were come to make an attempt upon him openly.
7. Now as Pacorus and his friends were considering how they might bring their plot to bear privately, because it was not possible to circumvent a man of so great prudence by openly attacking him, Herod prevented them, and went off with the persons that were the most nearly related to him by night, and this without their enemies being apprized of it. But as soon as the Parthians perceived it, they pursued after them; and as he gave orders for his mother, and sister, and the young woman who was betrothed to him, with her mother, and his youngest brother, to make the best of their way, he himself, with his servants, took all the care they could to keep off the barbarians; and when at every assault he had slain a great many of them, he came to the strong hold of Masada.
8. Nay, he found by experience that the Jews fell more heavily upon him than did the Parthians, and created him troubles perpetually, and this ever since he was gotten sixty furlongs from the city; these sometimes brought it to a sort of a regular battle. Now in the place where Herod beat them, and killed a great number of them, there he afterward built a citadel, in memory of the great actions he did there, and adorned it with the most costly palaces, and erected very strong fortifications, and called it, from his own name, Herodium. Now as they were in their flight, many joined themselves to him every day; and at a place called Thressa of Idumea his brother Joseph met him, and advised him to ease himself of a great number of his followers, because Masada would not contain so great a multitude, which were above nine thousand. Herod complied with this advice, and sent away the most cumbersome part of his retinue, that they might go into Idumea, and gave them provisions for their journey; but he got safe to the fortress with his nearest relations, and retained with him only the stoutest of his followers; and there it was that he left eight hundred of his men as a guard for the women, and provisions sufficient for a siege; but he made haste himself to Petra of Arabia.
9. As for the Parthians in Jerusalem, they betook themselves to plundering, and fell upon the houses of those that were fled, and upon the king’s palace, and spared nothing but Hyrcanus’s money, which was not above three hundred talents. They lighted on other men’s money also, but not so much as they hoped for; for Herod having a long while had a suspicion of the perfidiousness of the barbarians, had taken care to have what was most splendid among his treasures conveyed into Idumea, as every one belonging to him had in like manner done also. But the Parthians proceeded to that degree of injustice, as to fill all the country with war without denouncing it, and to demolish the city Marissa, and not only to set up Antigonus for king, but to deliver Phasaelus and Hyrcanus bound into his. hands, in order to their being tormented by him. Antigonus himself also bit off Hyrcanus’s ears with his own teeth, as he fell down upon his knees to him, that so he might never be able upon any mutation of affairs to take the high priesthood again, for the high priests that officiated were to be complete, and without blemish.
10. However, he failed in his purpose of abusing Phasaelus, by reason of his courage; for though he neither had the command of his sword nor of his hands, he prevented all abuses by dashing his head against a stone; so he demonstrated himself to be Herod’s own brother, and Hyrcanus a most degenerate relation, and died with great bravery, and made the end of his life agreeable to the actions of it. There is also another report about his end, viz. that he recovered of that stroke, and that a surgeon, who was sent by Antigonus to heal him, filled the wound with poisonous ingredients, and so killed him; whichsoever of these deaths he came to, the beginning of it was glorious. It is also reported that before he expired he was informed by a certain poor woman how Herod had escaped out of their hands, and that he said thereupon, “I now die with comfort, since I leave behind me one alive that will avenge me of mine enemies.”
11. This was the death of Phasaelus; but the Parthians, although they had failed of the women they chiefly desired, yet did they put the government of Jerusalem into the hands of Antigonus, and took away Hyrcanus, and bound him, and carried him to Parthia.
2. So when Herod had found that the Arabians were his enemies, and this for those very reasons whence he hoped they would have been the most friendly, and had given them such an answer as his passion suggested, he returned back, and went for Egypt. Now he lodged the first evening at one of the temples of that country, in order to meet with those whom he left behind; but on the next day word was brought him, as he was going to Rhinocurura, that his brother was dead, and how he came by his death; and when he had lamented him as much as his present circumstances could bear, he soon laid aside such cares, and proceeded on his journey. But now, after some time, the king of Arabia repented of what he had done, and sent presently away messengers to call him back: Herod had prevented them, and was come to Pelusium, where he could not obtain a passage from those that lay with the fleet, so he besought their captains to let him go by them; accordingly, out of the reverence they bore to the fame and dignity of the man, they conducted him to Alexandria; and when he came into the city, he was received by Cleopatra with great splendor, who hoped he might be persuaded to be commander of her forces in the expedition she was now about; but he rejected the queen’s solicitations, and being neither aftrighted at the height of that storm which. then happened, nor at the tumults that were now in Italy, he sailed for Rome.
3. But as he was in peril about Pamphylia, and obliged to cast out the greatest part of the ship’s lading, he with difficulty got safe to Rhodes, a place which had been grievously harassed in the war with Cassius. He was there received by his friends, Ptolemy and Sappinius; and although he was then in want of money, he fitted up a three-decked ship of very great magnitude, wherein he and his friends sailed to Brundusium, (21) and went thence to Rome with all speed; where he first of all went to Antony, on account of the friendship his father had with him, and laid before him the calamities of himself and his family; and that he had left his nearest relations besieged in a fortress, and had sailed to him through a storm, to make supplication to him for assistance.
4. Hereupon Antony was moved to compassion at the change that had been made in Herod’s affairs, and this both upon his calling to mind how hospitably he had been treated by Antipater, but more especially on account of Herod’s own virtue; so he then resolved to get him made king of the Jews, whom he had himself formerly made tetrarch. The contest also that he had with Antigonus was another inducement, and that of no less weight than the great regard he had for Herod; for he looked upon Antigonus as a seditious person, and an enemy of the Romans; and as for Caesar, Herod found him better prepared than Antony, as remembering very fresh the wars he had gone through together with his father, the hospitable treatment he had met with from him, and the entire good-will he had showed to him; besides the activity which he saw in Herod himself. So he called the senate together, wherein Messalas, and after him Atratinus, produced Herod before them, and gave a full account of the merits of his father, and his own good-will to the Romans. At the same time they demonstrated that Antigonus was their enemy, not only because he soon quarreled with them, but because he now overlooked the Romans, and took the government by the means of the Parthians. These reasons greatly moved the senate; at which juncture Antony came in, and told them that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the senate was separated, Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices, and to lay the decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign.
2. In the mean time Ventidius, the Roman general, was sent out of Syria, to restrain the incursions of the Parthians; and after he had done that, he came into Judea, in pretense indeed to assist Joseph and his party, but in reality to get money of Antigonus;, and when he had pitched his camp very near to Jerusalem, as soon as he had got money enough, he went away with the greatest part of his forces; yet still did he leave Silo with some part of them, lest if he had taken them all away, his taking of bribes might have been too openly discovered. Now Antigonus hoped that the Parthians would come again to his assistance, and therefore cultivated a good understanding with Silo in the mean time, lest any interruption should be given to his hopes.
3. Now by this time Herod had sailed out of Italy, and was come to Ptolemais; and as soon as he had gotten together no small army of foreigners, and of his own countrymen, he marched through Galilee against Antigonus, wherein he was assisted by Ventidius and Silo, both whom Dellius, (22) a person sent by Antony, persuaded to bring Herod [into his kingdom]. Now Ventidius was at this time among the cities, and composing the disturbances which had happened by means of the Parthians, as was Silo in Judea corrupted by the bribes that Antigonus had given him; yet was not Herod himself destitute of power, but the number of his forces increased every day as he went along, and all Galilee, with few exceptions, joined themselves to him. So he proposed to himself to set about his most necessary enterprise, and that was Masada, in order to deliver his relations from the siege they endured. But still Joppa stood in his way, and hindered his going thither; for it was necessary to take that city first, which was in the enemies’ hands, that when he should go to Jerusalem, no fortress might be left in the enemies’ power behind him. Silo also willingly joined him, as having now a plausible occasion of drawing off his forces [from Jerusalem]; and when the Jews pursued him, and pressed upon him, [in his retreat,] Herod made all excursion upon them with a small body of his men, and soon put them to flight, and saved Silo when he was in distress.
4. After this Herod took Joppa, and then made haste to Masada to free his relations. Now, as he was marching, many came in to him, induced by their friendship to his father, some by the reputation he had already gained himself, and some in order to repay the benefits they had received from them both; but still what engaged the greatest number on his side, was the hopes from him when he should be established in his kingdom; so that he had gotten together already an army hard to be conquered. But Antigonus laid an ambush for him as he marched out, in which he did little or no harm to his enemies. However, he easily recovered his relations again that were in Masada, as well as the fortress Ressa, and then marched to Jerusalem, where the soldiers that were with Silo joined themselves to his own, as did many out of the city, from a dread of his power.
5. Now when he had pitched his camp on the west side of the city, the guards that were there shot their arrows and threw their darts at them, while others ran out in companies, and attacked those in the forefront; but Herod commanded proclamation to be made at the wall, that he was come for the good of the people and the preservation of the city, without any design to be revenged on his open enemies, but to grant oblivion to them, though they had been the most obstinate against him. Now the soldiers that were for Antigonus made a contrary clamor, and did neither permit any body to hear that proclamation, nor to change their party; so Antigonus gave order to his forces to beat the enemy from the walls; accordingly, they soon threw their darts at them from the towers, and put them to flight.
6. And here it was that Silo discovered he had taken bribes; for he set many of the soldiers to clamor about their want of necessaries, and to require their pay, in order to buy themselves food, and to demand that he would lead them into places convenient for their winter quarters; because all the parts about the city were laid waste by the means of Antigonus’s army, which had taken all things away. By this he moved the army, and attempted to get them off the siege; but Herod went to the captains that were under Silo, and to a great many of the soldiers, and begged of them not to leave him, who was sent thither by Caesar, and Antony, and the senate; for that he would take care to have their wants supplied that very day. After the making of which entreaty, he went hastily into the country, and brought thither so great an abundance of necessaries, that he cut off all Silo’s pretenses; and in order to provide that for the following days they should not want supplies, he sent to the people that were about Samaria (which city had joined itself to him) to bring corn, and wine, and oil, and cattle to Jericho. When Antigonus heard of this, be sent some of his party with orders to hinder, and lay ambushes for these collectors of corn. This command was obeyed, and a great multitude of armed men were gathered together about Jericho, and lay upon the mountains, to watch those that brought the provisions. Yet was Herod not idle, but took with him ten cohorts, five of them were Romans, and five were Jewish cohorts, together with some mercenary troops intermixed among them, and besides those a few horsemen, and came to Jericho; and when he came, he found the city deserted, but that there were five hundred men, with their wives and children, who had taken possession of the tops of the mountains; these he took, and dismissed them, while the Romans fell upon the rest of the city, and plundered it, having found the houses full of all sorts of good things. So the king left a garrison at Jericho, and came back, and sent the Roman army into those cities which were come over to him, to take their winter quarters there, viz. into Judea, [or Idumea,] and Galilee, and Samaria. Antigonus also by bribes obtained of Silo to let a part of his army be received at Lydda, as a compliment to Antonius.
2. But when Herod had reached Sepphoris, (23) in a very great snow, he took the city without any difficulty; the guards that should have kept it flying away before it was assaulted; where he gave an opportunity to his followers that had been in distress to refresh themselves, there being in that city a great abundance of necessaries. After which he hasted away to the robbers that were in the caves, who overran a great part of the country, and did as great mischief to its inhabitants as a war itself could have done. Accordingly, he sent beforehand three cohorts of footmen, and one troop of horsemen, to the village Arbela, and came himself forty days afterwards (24) with the rest of his forces Yet were not the enemy aftrighted at his assault but met him in arms; for their skill was that of warriors, but their boldness was the boldness of robbers: when therefore it came to a pitched battle, they put to flight Herod’s left wing with their right one; but Herod, wheeling about on the sudden from his own right wing, came to their assistance, and both made his own left wing return back from its flight, and fell upon the pursuers, and cooled their courage, till they could not bear the attempts that were made directly upon them, and so turned back and ran away.
3. But Herod followed them, and slew them as he followed them, and destroyed a great part of them, till those that remained were scattered beyond the river [Jordan;] and Galilee was freed from the terrors they had been under, excepting from those that remained, and lay concealed in caves, which required longer time ere they could be conquered. In order to which Herod, in the first place, distributed the fruits of their former labors to the soldiers, and gave every one of them a hundred and fifty drachmae of silver, and a great deal more to their commanders, and sent them into their winter quarters. He also sent to his youngest brother Pheroas, to take care of a good market for them, where they might buy themselves provisions, and to build a wall about Alexandrium; who took care of both those injunctions accordingly.
4. In the mean time Antony abode at Athens, while Ventidius called for Silo and Herod to come to the war against the Parthians, but ordered them first to settle the affairs of Judea; so Herod willingly dismissed Silo to go to Ventidius, but he made an expedition himself against those that lay in the caves. Now these caves were in the precipices of craggy mountains, and could not be come at from any side, since they had only some winding pathways, very narrow, by which they got up to them; but the rock that lay on their front had beneath it valleys of a vast depth, and of an almost perpendicular declivity; insomuch that the king was doubtful for a long time what to do, by reason of a kind of impossibility there was of attacking the place. Yet did he at length make use of a contrivance that was subject to the utmost hazard; for he let down the most hardy of his men in chests, and set them at the mouths of the dens. Now these men slew the robbers and their families, and when they made resistance, they sent in fire upon them [and burnt them]; and as Herod was desirous of saving some of them, he had proclamation made, that they should come and deliver themselves up to him; but not one of them came willingly to him; and of those that were compelled to come, many preferred death to captivity. And here a certain old man, the father of seven children, whose children, together with their mother, desired him to give them leave to go out, upon the assurance and right hand that was offered them, slew them after the following manner: He ordered every one of them to go out, while he stood himself at the cave’s mouth, and slew that son of his perpetually who went out. Herod was near enough to see this sight, and his bowels of compassion were moved at it, and he stretched out his right hand to the old man, and besought him to spare his children; yet did not he relent at all upon what he said, but over and above reproached Herod on the lowness of his descent, and slew his wife as well as his children; and when he had thrown their dead bodies down the precipice, he at last threw himself down after them.
5. By this means Herod subdued these caves, and the robbers that were in them. He then left there a part of his army, as many as he thought sufficient to prevent any sedition, and made Ptolemy their general, and returned to Samaria; he led also with him three thousand armed footmen, and six hundred horsemen, against Antigonus. Now here those that used to raise tumults in Galilee, having liberty so to do upon his departure, fell unexpectedly upon Ptolemy, the general of his forces, and slew him; they also laid the country waste, and then retired to the bogs, and to places not easily to be found. But when Herod was informed of this insurrection, he came to the assistance of the country immediately, and destroyed a great number of the seditions, and raised the sieges of all those fortresses they had besieged; he also exacted the tribute of a hundred talents of his enemies, as a penalty for the mutations they had made in the country.
6. By this time (the Parthians being already driven out of the country, and Pacorus slain) Ventidius, by Antony’s command, sent a thousand horsemen, and two legions, as auxiliaries to Herod, against Antigonus. Now Antigonus besought Macheras, who was their general, by letter, to come to his assistance, and made a great many mournful complaints about Herod’s violence, and about the injuries he did to the kingdom; and promised to give him money for such his assistance; but he complied not with his invitation to betray his trust, for he did not contemn him that sent him, especially while Herod gave him more money [than the other offered]. So he pretended friendship to Antigonus, but came as a spy to discover his affairs; although he did not herein comply with Herod, who dissuaded him from so doing. But Antigonus perceived what his intentions were beforehand, and excluded him out of the city, and defended himself against him as against an enemy, from the walls; till Macheras was ashamed of what he had done, and retired to Emmaus to Herod; and as he was in a rage at his disappointment, he slew all the Jews whom he met with, without sparing those that were for Herod, but using them all as if they were for Antigonus.
7. Hereupon Herod was very angry at him, and was going to fight against Macheras as his enemy; but he restrained his indignation, and marched to Antony to accuse Macheras of maladministration. But Macheras was made sensible of his offenses, and followed after the king immediately, and earnestly begged and obtained that he would be reconciled to him. However, Herod did not desist from his resolution of going to Antony; but when he heard that he was besieging Samosata (25) with a great army, which is a strong city near to Euphrates, he made the greater haste; as observing that this was a proper opportunity for showing at once his courage, and for doing what would greatly oblige Antony. Indeed, when he came, he soon made an end of that siege, and slew a great number of the barbarians, and took from them a large prey; insomuch that Antony, who admired his courage formerly, did now admire it still more. Accordingly, he heaped many more honors upon him, and gave him more assured hopes that he should gain his kingdom; and now king Antiochus was forced to deliver up Samosata.
2. This victory was not sufficient for Antigonus; but he proceeded to that degree of rage, as to treat the dead body of Joseph barbarously; for when he had got possession of the bodies of those that were slain, he cut off his head, although his brother Pheroras would have given fifty talents as a price of redemption for it. And now the affairs of Galilee were put in such disorder after this victory of Antigonus’s, that those of Antigonus’s party brought the principal men that were on Herod’s side to the lake, and there drowned them. There was a great change made also in Idumea, where Macheras was building a wall about one of the fortresses, which was called Gittha. But Herod had not yet been informed of these things; for after the taking of Samosata, and when Antony had set Sosius over the affairs of Syria, and had given him orders to assist Herod against Antigonus, he departed into Egypt; but Sosius sent two legions before him into Judea to assist Herod, and followed himself soon after with the rest of his army.
3. Now when Herod was at Daphne, by Antioch, he had some dreams which clearly foreboded his brother’s death; and as he leaped out of his bed in a disturbed manner, there came messengers that acquainted him with that calamity. So when he had lamented this misfortune for a while, he put off the main part of his mourning, and made haste to march against his enemies; and when he had performed a march that was above his strength, and was gone as far as Libanus, he got him eight hundred men of those that lived near to that mountain as his assistants, and joined with them one Roman legion, with which, before it was day, he made an irruption into Galilee, and met his enemies, and drove them back to the place which they had left. He also made an immediate and continual attack upon the fortress. Yet was he forced by a most terrible storm to pitch his camp in the neighboring villages before he could take it. But when, after a few days’ time, the second legion, that came from Antony, joined themselves to him, the enemy were aftrighted at his power, and left their fortifications ill the night time.
4. After this he marched through Jericho, as making what haste he could to be avenged on his brother’s murderers; where happened to him a providential sign, out of which, when he had unexpectedly escaped, he had the reputation of being very dear to God; for that evening there feasted with him many of the principal men; and after that feast was over, and all the guests were gone out, the house fell down immediately. And as he judged this to be a common signal of what dangers he should undergo, and how he should escape them in the war that he was going about, he, in the morning, set forward with his army, when about six thousand of his enemies came running down from the mountains, and began to fight with those in his forefront; yet durst they not be so very bold as to engage the Romans hand to hand, but threw stones and darts at them at a distance; by which means they wounded a considerable number; in which action Herod’s own side was wounded with a dart.
5. Now as Antigonus had a mind to appear to exceed Herod, not only in the courage, but in the number of his men, he sent Pappus, one of his companions, with an army against Samaria, whose fortune it was to oppose Macheras; but Herod overran the enemy’s country, and demolished five little cities, and destroyed two thousand men that were in them, and burned their houses, and then returned to his camp; but his head-quarters were at the village called Cana.
6. Now a great multitude of Jews resorted to him every day, both out of Jericho and the other parts of the country. Some were moved so to do out of their hatred to Antigonus, and some out of regard to the glorious actions Herod had done; but others were led on by an unreasonable desire of change; so he fell upon them immediately. As for Pappus and his party, they were not terrified either at their number or at their zeal, but marched out with great alacrity to fight them; and it came to a close fight. Now other parts of their army made resistance for a while; but Herod, running the utmost hazard, out of the rage he was in at the murder of his brother, that he might be avenged on those that had been the authors of it, soon beat those that opposed him; and after he had beaten them, he always turned his force against those that stood to it still, and pursued them all; so that a great slaughter was made, while some were forced back into that village whence they came out; he also pressed hard upon the hindermost, and slew a vast number of them; he also fell into the village with the enemy, where every house was filled with armed men, and the upper rooms were crowded above with soldiers for their defense; and when he had beaten those that were on the outside, he pulled the houses to pieces, and plucked out those that were within; upon many he had the roofs shaken down, whereby they perished by heaps; and as for those that fled out of the ruins, the soldiers received them with their swords in their hands; and the multitude of those slain and lying on heaps was so great, that the conquerors could not pass along the roads. Now the enemy could not bear this blow, so that when the multitude of them which was gathered together saw that those in the village were slain, they dispersed themselves, and fled away; upon the confidence of which victory, Herod had marched immediately to Jerusalem, unless he tad been hindered by the depth of winter’s [coming on]. This was the impediment that lay in the way of this his entire glorious progress, and was what hindered Antigonus from being now conquered, who was already disposed to forsake the city.
7. Now when at the evening Herod had already dismissed his friends to refresh themselves after their fatigue, and when he was gone himself, while he was still hot in his armor, like a common soldier, to bathe himself, and had but one servant that attended him, and before he was gotten into the bath, one of the enemies met him in the face with a sword in his hand, and then a second, and then a third, and after that more of them; these were men who had run away out of the battle into the bath in their armor, and they had lain there for some time in, great terror, and in privacy; and when they saw the king, they trembled for fear, and ran by him in a flight, although he was naked, and endeavored to get off into the public road. Now there was by chance nobody else at hand that might seize upon these men; and for Herod, he was contented to have come to no harm himself, so that they all got away in safety.
8. But on the next day Herod had Pappus’s head cut off, who was the general for Antigonus, and was slain in the battle, and sent it to his brother Pheroras, by way of punishment for their slain brother; for he was the man that slew Joseph. Now as winter was going off, Herod marched to Jerusalem, and brought his army to the wall of it; this was the third year since he had been made king at Rome; so he pitched his camp before the temple, for on that side it might be besieged, and there it was that Pompey took the city. So he parted the work among the army, and demolished the suburbs, end raised three banks, and gave orders to have towers built upon those banks, and left the most laborious of his acquaintance at the works. But he went himself to Samaria, to take the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, to wife, who had been betrothed to him before, as we have already said; and thus he accomplished this by the by, during the siege of the city, for he had his enemies in great contempt already.
9. When he had thus married Mariamne, he came back to Jerusalem with a greater army. Sosius also joined him with a large army, both of horsemen and footmen, which he sent before him through the midland parts, while he marched himself along Phoenicia; and when the whole army was gotten together, which were eleven regiments of footmen, and six thousand horsemen, besides the Syrian auxiliaries, which were no small part of the army, they pitched their camp near to the north wall. Herod’s dependence was upon the decree of the senate, by which he was made king; and Sosius relied upon Antony, who sent the army that was under him to Herod’s assistance.
2. Now as for the robberies which were committed, the king contrived that ambushes should be so laid, that they might restrain their excursions; and as for the want of provisions, he provided that they should be brought to them from great distances. He was also too hard for the Jews, by the Romans’ skill in the art of war; although they were bold to the utmost degree, now they durst not come to a plain battle with the Romans, which was certain death; but through their mines under ground they would appear in the midst of them on the sudden, and before they could batter down one wall, they built them another in its stead; and to sum up all at once, they did not show any want either of painstaking or of contrivances, as having resolved to hold out to the very last. Indeed, though they had so great an army lying round about them, they bore a siege of five months, till some of Herod’s chosen men ventured to get upon the wall, and fell into the city, as did Sosius’s centurions after them; and now they first of all seized upon what was about the temple; and upon the pouring in of the army, there was slaughter of vast multitudes every where, by reason of the rage the Romans were in at the length of this siege, and by reason that the Jews who were about Herod earnestly endeavored that none of their adversaries might remain; so they were cut to pieces by great multitudes, as they were crowded together in narrow streets, and in houses, or were running away to the temple; nor was there any mercy showed either to infants, or to the aged, or to the weaker sex; insomuch that although the king sent about and desired them to spare the people, nobody could be persuaded to withhold their right hand from slaughter, but they slew people of all ages, like madmen. Then it was that Antigonus, without any regard to his former or to his present fortune, came down from the citadel, and fell at Sosius’s feet, who without pitying him at all, upon the change of his condition, laughed at him beyond measure, and called him Antigona. (26) Yet did he not treat him like a woman, or let him go free, but put him into bonds, and kept him in custody.
3. But Herod’s concern at present, now he had gotten his enemies under his power, was to restrain the zeal of his foreign auxiliaries; for the multitude of the strange people were very eager to see the temple, and what was sacred in the holy house itself; but the king endeavored to restrain them, partly by his exhortations, partly by his threatenings, nay, partly by force, as thinking the victory worse than a defeat to him, if any thing that ought not to be seen were seen by them. He also forbade, at the same time, the spoiling of the city, asking Sosius in the most earnest manner, whether the Romans, by thus emptying the city of money and men, had a mind to leave him king of a desert, – and told him that he judged the dominion of the habitable earth too small a compensation for the slaughter of so many citizens. And when Sosius said that it was but just to allow the soldiers this plunder as a reward for what they suffered during the siege, Herod made answer, that he would give every one of the soldiers a reward out of his own money. So he purchased the deliverance of his country, and performed his promises to them, and made presents after a magnificent manner to each soldier, and proportionably to their commanders, and with a most royal bounty to Sosius himself, whereby nobody went away but in a wealthy condition. Hereupon Sosius dedicated a crown of gold to God, and then went away from Jerusalem, leading Antigonus away in bonds to Antony; then did the axe bring him to his end, (27) who still had a fond desire of life, and some frigid hopes of it to the last, but by his cowardly behavior well deserved to die by it.
4. Hereupon king Herod distinguished the multitude that was in the city; and for those that were of his side, he made them still more his friends by the honors he conferred on them; but for those of Antigonus’s party, he slew them; and as his money ran low, he turned all the ornaments he had into money, and sent it to Antony, and to those about him. Yet could he not hereby purchase an exemption from all sufferings; for Antony was now bewitched by his love to Cleopatra, and was entirely conquered by her charms. Now Cleopatra had put to death all her kindred, till no one near her in blood remained alive, and after that she fell a slaying those no way related to her. So she calumniated the principal men among the Syrians to Antony, and persuaded him to have them slain, that so she might easily gain to be mistress of what they had; nay, she extended her avaricious humor to the Jews and Arabians, and secretly labored to have Herod and Malichus, the kings of both those nations, slain by his order.
5. Now is to these her injunctions to Antony, he complied in part; for though he esteemed it too abominable a thing to kill such good and great kings, yet was he thereby alienated from the friendship he had for them. He also took away a great deal of their country; nay, even the plantation of palm trees at Jericho, where also grows the balsam tree, and bestowed them upon her; as also all the cities on this side the river Eleutherus, Tyre and Sidon (28) excepted. And when she was become mistress of these, and had conducted Antony in his expedition against the Parthians as far as Euphrates, she came by Apamia and Damascus into Judea and there did Herod pacify her indignation at him by large presents. He also hired of her those places that had been torn away from his kingdom, at the yearly rent of two hundred talents. He conducted her also as far as Pelusium, and paid her all the respects possible. Now it was not long after this that Antony was come back from Parthia, and led with him Artabazes, Tigranes’s son, captive, as a present for Cleopatra; for this Parthian was presently given her, with his money, and all the prey that was taken with him.
2. However, this contrivance tended to the advantage of Herod; for at the very first he took hostages from the enemy, and got together a great body of horse, and ordered them to march against them about Diespous; and he conquered that army, although it fought resolutely against him. After which defeat, the Arabians were in great motion, and assembled themselves together at Kanatha, a city of Celesyria, in vast multitudes, and waited for the Jews. And when Herod was come thither, he tried to manage this war with particular prudence, and gave orders that they should build a wall about their camp; yet did not the multitude comply with those orders, but were so emboldened by their foregoing victory, that they presently attacked the Arabians, and beat them at the first onset, and then pursued them; yet were there snares laid for Herod in that pursuit; while Athenio, who was one of Cleopatra’s generals, and always an antagonist to Herod, sent out of Kanatha the men of that country against him; for, upon this fresh onset, the Arabians took courage, and returned back, and both joined their numerous forces about stony places, that were hard to be gone over, and there put Herod’s men to the rout, and made a great slaughter of them; but those that escaped out of the battle fled to Ormiza, where the Arabians surrounded their camp, and took it, with all the men in it.
3. In a little time after this calamity, Herod came to bring them succors; but he came too late. Now the occasion of that blow was this, that the officers would not obey orders; for had not the fight begun so suddenly, Athenio had not found a proper season for the snares he laid for Herod: however, he was even with the Arabians afterward, and overran their country, and did them more harm than their single victory could compensate. But as he was avenging himself on his enemies, there fell upon him another providential calamity; for in the seventh (29) year of his reign, when the war about Actium was at the height, at the beginning of the spring, the earth was shaken, and destroyed an immense number of cattle, with thirty thousand men; but the army received no harm, because it lay in the open air. In the mean time, the fame of this earthquake elevated the Arabians to greater courage, and this by augmenting it to a fabulous height, as is constantly the case in melancholy accidents, and pretending that all Judea was overthrown. Upon this supposal, therefore, that they should easily get a land that was destitute of inhabitants into their power, they first sacrificed those ambassadors who were come to them from the Jews, and then marched into Judea immediately. Now the Jewish nation were affrighted at this invasion, and quite dispirited at the greatness of their calamities one after another; whom yet Herod got together, and endeavored to encourage to defend themselves by the following speech which he made to them:
4. “The present dread you are under seems to me to have seized upon you very unreasonably. It is true, you might justly be dismayed at that providential chastisement which hath befallen you; but to suffer yourselves to be equally terrified at the invasion of men is unmanly. As for myself, I am so far from being aftrighted at our enemies after this earthquake, that I imagine that God hath thereby laid a bait for the Arabians, that we may be avenged on them; for their present invasion proceeds more from our accidental misfortunes, than that they have any great dependence on their weapons, or their own fitness for action. Now that hope which depends not on men’s own power, but on others’ ill success, is a very ticklish thing; for there is no certainty among men, either in their bad or good fortunes; but we may easily observe that fortune is mutable, and goes from one side to another; and this you may readily learn from examples among yourselves; for when you were once victors in the former fight, your enemies overcame you at last; and very likely it will now happen so, that these who think themselves sure of beating you will themselves be beaten. For when men are very confident, they are not upon their guard, while fear teaches men to act with caution; insomuch that I venture to prove from your very timorousness that you ought to take courage; for when you were more bold than you ought to have been, and than I would have had you, and marched on, Athenio’s treachery took place; but your present slowness and seeming dejection of mind is to me a pledge and assurance of victory. And indeed it is proper beforehand to be thus provident; but when we come to action, we ought to erect our minds, and to make our enemies, be they ever so wicked, believe that neither any human, no, nor any providential misfortune, can ever depress the courage of Jews while they are alive; nor will any of them ever overlook an Arabian, or suffer such a one to become lord of his good things, whom he has in a manner taken captive, and that many times also. And do not you disturb yourselves at the quaking of inanimate creatures, nor do you imagine that this earthquake is a sign of another calamity; for such affections of the elements are according to the course of nature, nor does it import any thing further to men, than what mischief it does immediately of itself. Perhaps there may come some short sign beforehand in the case of pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes; but these calamities themselves have their force limited by themselves [without foreboding any other calamity]. And indeed what greater mischief can the war, though it should be a violent one, do to us than the earthquake hath done? Nay, there is a signal of our enemies’ destruction visible, and that a very great one also; and this is not a natural one, nor derived from the hand of foreigners neither, but it is this, that they have barbarously murdered our ambassadors, contrary to the common law of mankind; and they have destroyed so many, as if they esteemed them sacrifices for God, in relation to this war. But they will not avoid his great eye, nor his invincible right hand; and we shall be revenged of them presently, in case we still retain any of the courage of our forefathers, and rise up boldly to punish these covenant-breakers. Let every one therefore go on and fight, not so much for his wife or his children, or for the danger his country is in, as for these ambassadors of ours; those dead ambassadors will conduct this war of ours better than we ourselves who are alive. And if you will be ruled by me, I will myself go before you into danger; for you know this well enough, that your courage is irresistible, unless you hurt yourselves by acting rashly. (30)
5. When Herod had encouraged them by this speech, and he saw with what alacrity they went, he offered sacrifice to God; and after that sacrifice, he passed over the river Jordan with his army, and pitched his camp about Philadelphia, near the enemy, and about a fortification that lay between them. He then shot at them at a distance, and was desirous to come to an engagement presently; for some of them had been sent beforehand to seize upon that fortification: but the king sent some who immediately beat them out of the fortification, while he himself went in the forefront of the army, which he put in battle-array every day, and invited the Arabians to fight. But as none of them came out of their camp, for they were in a terrible fright, and their general, Elthemus, was not able to say a word for fear, – so Herod came upon them, and pulled their fortification to pieces, by which means they were compelled to come out to fight, which they did in disorder, and so that the horsemen and foot-men were mixed together. They were indeed superior to the Jews in number, but inferior in their alacrity, although they were obliged to expose themselves to danger by their very despair of victory.
6. Now while they made opposition, they had not a great number slain; but as soon as they turned their backs, a great many were trodden to pieces by the Jews, and a great many by themselves, and so perished, till five thousand were fallen down dead in their flight, while the rest of the multitude prevented their immediate death, by crowding into the fortification. Herod encompassed these around, and besieged them; and while they were ready to be taken by their enemies in arms, they had another additional distress upon them, which was thirst and want of water; for the king was above hearkening to their ambassadors; and when they offered five hundred talents, as the price of their redemption, he pressed still harder upon them. And as they were burnt up by their thirst, they came out and voluntarily delivered themselves up by multitudes to the Jews, till in five days’ time four thousand of them were put into bonds; and on the sixth day the multitude that were left despaired of saving themselves, and came out to fight: with these Herod fought, and slew again about seven thousand, insomuch that he punished Arabia so severely, and so far extinguished the spirits of the men, that he was chosen by the nation for their ruler.
2. Caesar replied to him thus: “Nay, thou shalt not only be in safety, but thou shalt be a king; and that more firmly than thou wast before; for thou art worthy to reign over a great many subjects, by reason of the fastness of thy friendship; and do thou endeavor to be equally constant in thy friendship to me, upon my good success, which is what I depend upon from the generosity of thy disposition. However, Antony hath done well in preferring Cleopatra to thee; for by this means we have gained thee by her madness, and thus thou hast begun to be my friend before I began to be thine; on which account Quintus Didius hath written to me that thou sentest him assistance against the gladiators. I do therefore assure thee that I will confirm the kingdom to thee by decree: I shall also endeavor to do thee some further kindness hereafter, that thou mayst find no loss in the want of Antony.”
3. When Caesar had spoken such obliging things to the king, and had put the diadem again about his head, he proclaimed what he had bestowed on him by a decree, in which he enlarged in the commendation of the man after a magnificent manner. Whereupon Herod obliged him to be kind to him by the presents he gave him, and he desired him to forgive Alexander, one of Antony’s friends, who was become a supplicant to him. But Caesar’s anger against him prevailed, and he complained of the many and very great offenses the man whom he petitioned for had been guilty of; and by that means he rejected his petition. After this Caesar went for Egypt through Syria, when Herod received him with royal and rich entertainments; and then did he first of all ride along with Caesar, as he was reviewing his army about Ptolemais, and feasted him with all his friends, and then distributed among the rest of the army what was necessary to feast them withal. He also made a plentiful provision of water for them, when they were to march as far as Pelusium, through a dry country, which he did also in like manner at their return thence; nor were there any necessaries wanting to that army. It was therefore the opinion, both of Caesar and of his soldiers, that Herod’s kingdom was too small for those generous presents he made them; for which reason, when Caesar was come into Egypt, and Cleopatra and Antony were dead, he did not only bestow other marks of honor upon him, but made an addition to his kingdom, by giving him not only the country which had been taken from him by Cleopatra, but besides that, Gadara, and Hippos, and Samaria; and moreover, of the maritime cities, Gaza (31) and Anthedon, and Joppa, and Strato’s Tower. He also made him a present of four hundred Galls [Galatians] as a guard for his body, which they had been to Cleopatra before. Nor did any thing so strongly induce Caesar to make these presents as the generosity of him that received them.
4. Moreover, after the first games at Actium, he added to his kingdom both the region called Trachonitis, and what lay in its neighborhood, Batanea, and the country of Auranitis; and that on the following occasion: Zenodorus, who had hired the house of Lysanias, had all along sent robbers out of Trachonitis among the Damascenes; who thereupon had recourse to Varro, the president of Syria, and desired of him that he would represent the calamity they were in to Caesar. When Caesar was acquainted with it, he sent back orders that this nest of robbers should be destroyed. Varro therefore made an expedition against them, and cleared the land of those men, and took it away from Zenodorus. Caesar did also afterward bestow it on Herod, that it might not again become a receptacle for those robbers that had come against Damascus. He also made him a procurator of all Syria, and this on the tenth year afterward, when he came again into that province; and this was so established, that the other procurators could not do any thing in the administration without his advice: but when Zenodorus was dead, Caesar bestowed on him all that land which lay between Trachonitis and Galilee. Yet, what was still of more consequence to Herod, he was beloved by Caesar next after Agrippa, and by Agrippa next after Caesar; whence he arrived at a very great degree of felicity. Yet did the greatness of his soul exceed it, and the main part of his magnanimity was extended to the promotion of piety.
2. Yet did he not preserve their memory by particular buildings only, with their names given them, but his generosity went as far as entire cities; for when he had built a most beautiful wall round a country in Samaria, twenty furlongs long, and had brought six thousand inhabitants into it, and had allotted to it a most fruitful piece of land, and in the midst of this city, thus built, had erected a very large temple to Caesar, and had laid round about it a portion of sacred land of three furlongs and a half, he called the city Sebaste, from Sebastus, or Augustus, and settled the affairs of the city after a most regular manner.
3. And when Caesar had further bestowed upon him another additional country, he built there also a temple of white marble, hard by the fountains of Jordan: the place is called Panium, where is a top of a mountain that is raised to an immense height, and at its side, beneath, or at its bottom, a dark cave opens itself; within which there is a horrible precipice, that descends abruptly to a vast depth; it contains a mighty quantity of water, which is immovable; and when any body lets down any thing to measure the depth of the earth beneath the water, no length of cord is sufficient to reach it. Now the fountains of Jordan rise at the roots of this cavity outwardly; and, as some think, this is the utmost origin of Jordan: but we shall speak of that matter more accurately in our following history.
4. But the king erected other places at Jericho also, between the citadel Cypros and the former palace, such as were better and more useful than the former for travelers, and named them from the same friends of his. To say all at once, there was not any place of his kingdom fit for the purpose that was permitted to be without somewhat that was for Caesar’s honor; and when he had filled his own country with temples, he poured out the like plentiful marks of his esteem into his province, and built many cities which he called Cesareas.
5. And when he observed that there was a city by the sea-side that was much decayed, (its name was Strato’s Tower,) but that the place, by the happiness of its situation, was capable of great improvements from his liberality, he rebuilt it all with white stone, and adorned it with several most splendid palaces, wherein he especially demonstrated his magnanimity; for the case was this, that all the sea-shore between Dora and Joppa, in the middle, between which this city is situated, had no good haven, insomuch that every one that sailed from Phoenicia for Egypt was obliged to lie in the stormy sea, by reason of the south winds that threatened them; which wind, if it blew but a little fresh, such vast waves are raised, and dash upon the rocks, that upon their retreat the sea is in a great ferment for a long way. But the king, by the expenses he was at, and the liberal disposal of them, overcame nature, and built a haven larger than was the Pyrecum (33) [at Athens]; and in the inner retirements of the water he built other deep stations [for the ships also].
6. Now although the place where he built was greatly opposite to his purposes, yet did he so fully struggle with that difficulty, that the firmness of his building could not easily be conquered by the sea; and the beauty and ornament of the works were such, as though he had not had any difficulty in the operation; for when he had measured out as large a space as we have before mentioned, he let down stones into twenty fathom water, the greatest part of which were fifty feet in length, and nine in depth, and ten in breadth, and some still larger. But when the haven was filled up to that depth, he enlarged that wall which was thus already extant above the sea, till it was two hundred feet wide; one hundred of which had buildings before it, in order to break the force of the waves, whence it was called Procumatia, or the first breaker of the waves; but the rest of the space was under a stone wall that ran round it. On this wall were very large towers, the principal and most beautiful of which was called Drusium, from Drusus, who was son-in-law to Caesar.
7. There were also a great number of arches, where the mariners dwelt; and all the places before them round about was a large valley, or walk, for a quay [or landing-place] to those that came on shore; but the entrance was on the north, because the north wind was there the most gentle of all the winds. At the mouth of the haven were on each side three great Colossi, supported by pillars, where those Colossi that are on your left hand as you sail into the port are supported by a solid tower; but those on the right hand are supported by two upright stones joined together, which stones were larger than that tower which was on the other side of the entrance. Now there were continual edifices joined to the haven, which were also themselves of white stone; and to this haven did the narrow streets of the city lead, and were built at equal distances one from another. And over against the mouth of the haven, upon an elevation, there was a temple for Caesar, which was excellent both in beauty and largeness; and therein was a Colossus of Caesar, not less than that of Jupiter Olympius, which it was made to resemble. The other Colossus of Rome was equal to that of Juno at Argos. So he dedicated the city to the province, and the haven to the sailors there; but the honor of the building he ascribed to Caesar, (34) and named it Cesarea accordingly.
8. He also built the other edifices, the amphitheater, and theater, and market-place, in a manner agreeable to that denomination; and appointed games every fifth year, and called them, in like manner, Caesar’s Games; and he first himself proposed the largest prizes upon the hundred ninety-second olympiad; in which not only the victors themselves, but those that came next to them, and even those that came in the third place, were partakers of his royal bounty. He also rebuilt Anthedon, a city that lay on the coast, and had been demolished in the wars, and named it Agrippeum. Moreover, he had so very great a kindness for his friend Agrippa, that he had his name engraved upon that gate which he had himself erected in the temple.
9. Herod was also a lover of his father, if any other person ever was so; for he made a monument for his father, even that city which he built in the finest plain that was in his kingdom, and which had rivers and trees in abundance, and named it Antipatris. He also built a wall about a citadel that lay above Jericho, and was a very strong and very fine building, and dedicated it to his mother, and called it Cypros. Moreover, he dedicated a tower that was at Jerusalem, and called it by the name of his brother Phasaelus, whose structure, largeness, and magnificence we shall describe hereafter. He also built another city in the valley that leads northward from Jericho, and named it Phasaelis.
10. And as he transmitted to eternity his family and friends, so did he not neglect a memorial for himself, but built a fortress upon a mountain towards Arabia, and named it from himself, Herodium (35) and he called that hill that was of the shape of a woman’s breast, and was sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, by the same name. He also bestowed much curious art upon it, with great ambition, and built round towers all about the top of it, and filled up the remaining space with the most costly palaces round about, insomuch that not only the sight of the inner apartments was splendid, but great wealth was laid out on the outward walls, and partitions, and roofs also. Besides this, he brought a mighty quantity of water from a great distance, and at vast charges, and raised an ascent to it of two hundred steps of the whitest marble, for the hill was itself moderately high, and entirely factitious. He also built other palaces about the roots of the hill, sufficient to receive the furniture that was put into them, with his friends also, insomuch that, on account of its containing all necessaries, the fortress might seem to be a city, but, by the bounds it had, a palace only.
11. And when he had built so much, he showed the greatness of his soul to no small number of foreign cities. He built palaces for exercise at Tripoli, and Damascus, and Ptolemais; he built a wall about Byblus, as also large rooms, and cloisters, and temples, and market-places at Berytus and Tyre, with theatres at Sidon and Damascus. He also built aqueducts for those Laodiceans who lived by the sea-side; and for those of Ascalon he built baths and costly fountains, as also cloisters round a court, that were admirable both for their workmanship and largeness. Moreover, he dedicated groves and meadows to some people; nay, not a few cities there were who had lands of his donation, as if they were parts of his own kingdom. He also bestowed annual revenues, and those for ever also, on the settlements for exercises, and appointed for them, as well as for the people of Cos, that such rewards should never be wanting. He also gave corn to all such as wanted it, and conferred upon Rhodes large sums of money for building ships; and this he did in many places, and frequently also. And when Apollo’s temple had been burnt down, he rebuilt it at his own charges, after a better manner than it was before. What need I speak of the presents he made to the Lycians and Samnians? or of his great liberality through all Ionia? and that according to every body’s wants of them. And are not the Athenians, and Lacedemonians, and Nicopolitans, and that Pergamus which is in Mysia, full of donations that Herod presented them withal? And as for that large open place belonging to Antioch in Syria, did not he pave it with polished marble, though it were twenty furlongs long? and this when it was shunned by all men before, because it was full of dirt and filthiness, when he besides adorned the same place with a cloister of the same length.
12. It is true, a man may say, these were favors peculiar to those particular places on which he bestowed his benefits; but then what favors he bestowed on the Eleans was a donation not only in common to all Greece, but to all the habitable earth, as far as the glory of the Olympic games reached. For when he perceived that they were come to nothing, for want of money, and that the only remains of ancient Greece were in a manner gone, he not only became one of the combatants in that return of the fifth-year games, which in his sailing to Rome he happened to be present at, but he settled upon them revenues of money for perpetuity, insomuch that his memorial as a combatant there can never fail. It would be an infinite task if I should go over his payments of people’s debts, or tributes, for them, as he eased the people of Phasaelis, of Batanea, and of the small cities about Cilicia, of those annual pensions they before paid. However, the fear he was in much disturbed the greatness of his soul, lest he should be exposed to envy, or seem to hunt after greater filings than he ought, while he bestowed more liberal gifts upon these cities than did their owners themselves.
13. Now Herod had a body suited to his soul, and was ever a most excellent hunter, where he generally had good success, by the means of his great skill in riding horses; for in one day he caught forty wild beasts: (36) that country breeds also bears, and the greatest part of it is replenished with stags and wild asses. He was also such a warrior as could not be withstood: many men, therefore, there are who have stood amazed at his readiness in his exercises, when they saw him throw the javelin directly forward, and shoot the arrow upon the mark. And then, besides these performances of his depending on his own strength of mind and body, fortune was also very favorable to him; for he seldom failed of success in his wars; and when he failed, he was not himself the occasion of such failings, but he either vas betrayed by some, or the rashness of his own soldiers procured his defeat.
2. Now of the five children which Herod had by Mariamne, two of them were daughters, and three were sons; and the youngest of these sons was educated at Rome, and there died; but the two eldest he treated as those of royal blood, on account of the nobility of their mother, and because they were not born till he was king. But then what was stronger than all this was the love that he bare to Mariamne, and which inflamed him every day to a great degree, and so far conspired with the other motives, that he felt no other troubles, on account of her he loved so entirely. But Mariamne’s hatred to him was not inferior to his love to her. She had indeed but too just a cause of indignation from what he had done, while her boldness proceeded from his affection to her; so she openly reproached him with what he had done to her grandfather Hyrcanus, and to her brother Aristobulus; for he had not spared this Aristobulus, though he were but a child; for when he had given him the high priesthood at the age of seventeen, he slew him quickly after he had conferred that dignity upon him; but when Aristobulus had put on the holy vestments, and had approached to the altar at a festival, the multitude, in great crowds, fell into tears; whereupon the child was sent by night to Jericho, and was there dipped by the Galls, at Herod’s command, in a pool till he was drowned.
3. For these reasons Mariamne reproached Herod, and his sister and mother, after a most contumelious manner, while he was dumb on account of his affection for her; yet had the women great indignation at her, and raised a calumny against her, that she was false to his bed; which thing they thought most likely to move Herod to anger. They also contrived to have many other circumstances believed, in order to make the thing more credible, and accused her of having sent her picture into Egypt to Antony, and that her lust was so extravagant, as to have thus showed herself, though she was absent, to a man that ran mad after women, and to a man that had it in his power to use violence to her. This charge fell like a thunderbolt upon Herod, and put him into disorder; and that especially, because his love to her occasioned him to be jealous, and because he considered with himself that Cleopatra was a shrewd woman, and that on her account Lysanias the king was taken off, as well as Malichus the Arabian; for his fear did not only extend to the dissolving of his marriage, but to the danger of his life.
4. When therefore he was about to take a journey abroad, he committed his wife to Joseph, his sister Salome’s husband, as to one who would be faithful to him, and bare him good-will on account of their kindred; he also gave him a secret injunction, that if Antony slew him, he should slay her. But Joseph, without any ill design, and only in order to demonstrate the king’s love to his wife, how he could not bear to think of being separated from her, even by death itself, discovered this grand secret to her; upon which, when Herod was come back, and as they talked together, and he confirmed his love to her by many oaths, and assured her that he had never such an affection for any other woman as he had for her, – ” Yes,” says she, “thou didst, to be sure, demonstrate thy love to me by the injunctions thou gavest Joseph, when thou commandedst him to kill me.” (37)
5. When he heard that this grand secret was discovered, he was like a distracted man, and said that Joseph would never have disclosed that injunction of his, unless he had debauched her. His passion also made him stark mad, and leaping out of his bed, he ran about the palace after a wild manner; at which time his sister Salome took the opportunity also to blast her reputation, and confirmed his suspicion about Joseph; whereupon, out of his ungovernable jealousy and rage, he commanded both of them to be slain immediately; but as soon as ever his passion was over, he repented of what he had done, and as soon as his anger was worn off, his affections were kindled again. And indeed the flame of his desires for her was so ardent, that he could not think she was dead, but would appear, under his disorders, to speak to her as if she were still alive, till he were better instructed by time, when his grief and trouble, now she was dead, appeared as great as his affection had been for her while she was living.
2. But these sons were not able to bear this change in their affairs; but when they saw him that was born of a mother of no family, the nobility of their birth made them unable to contain their indignation; but whensoever they were uneasy, they showed the anger they had at it. And as these sons did day after day improve in that their anger, Antipater already exercised all his own abilities, which were very great, in flattering his father, and in contriving many sorts of calumnies against his brethren, while he told some stories of them himself, and put it upon other proper persons to raise other stories against them, till at length he entirely cut his brethren off from all hopes of succeeding to the kingdom; for he was already publicly put into his father’s will as his successor. Accordingly, he was sent with royal ornaments, and other marks of royalty, to Caesar, excepting the diadem. He was also able in time to introduce his mother again into Mariamne’s bed. The two sorts of weapons he made use of against his brethren were flattery and calumny, whereby he brought matters privately to such a pass, that the king had thoughts of putting his sons to death.
3. So the father drew Alexander as far as Rome, and. charged him with an attempt of poisoning him before Caesar. Alexander could hardly speak for lamentation; but having a judge that was more skillful than Antipater, and more wise than Herod, he modestly avoided laying any imputation upon his father, but with great strength of reason confuted the calumnies laid against him; and when he had demonstrated the innocency of his brother, who was in the like danger with himself, he at last bewailed the craftiness of Antipater, and the disgrace they were under. He was enabled also to justify himself, not only by a clear conscience, which he carried within him, but by his eloquence; for he was a shrewd man in making speeches. And upon his saying at last, that if his father objected this crime to them, it was in his power to put them to death, he made all the audience weep; and he brought Caesar to that pass, as to reject the accusations, and to reconcile their father to them immediately. But the conditions of this reconciliation were these, that they should in all things be obedient to their father, and that he should have power to leave the kingdom to which of them he pleased.
4. After this the king came back from Rome, and seemed to have forgiven his sons upon these accusations; but still so that he was not without his suspicions of them. They were followed by Antipater, who was the fountain-head of those accusations; yet did not he openly discover his hatred to them, as revering him that had reconciled them. But as Herod sailed by Cilicia, he touched at Eleusa, (38) where Archclaus treated them in the most obliging manner, and gave him thanks for the deliverance of his son-in-law, and was much pleased at their reconciliation; and this the more, because he had formerly written to his friends at Rome that they should be assisting to Alexander at his trial. So he conducted Herod as far as Zephyrium, and made him presents to the value of thirty talents.
5. Now when Herod was come to Jerusalem, he gathered the people together, and presented to them his three sons, and gave them an apologetic account of his absence, and thanked God greatly, and thanked Caesar greatly also, for settling his house when it was under disturbances, and had procured concord among his sons, which was of greater consequence than the kingdom itself, -” and which I will render still more firm; for Caesar hath put into my power to dispose of the government, and to appoint my successor. Accordingly, in way of requital for his kindness, and in order to provide for mine own advantage, I do declare that these three sons of mine shall be kings. And, in the first place, I pray for the approbation of God to what I am about; and, in the next place, I desire your approbation also. The age of one of them, and the nobility of the other two, shall procure them the succession. Nay, indeed, my kingdom is so large that it may be sufficient for more kings. Now do you keep those in their places whom Caesar hath joined, and their father hath appointed; and do not you pay undue or unequal respects to them, but to every one according to the prerogative of their births; for he that pays such respects unduly, will thereby not make him that is honored beyond what his age requires so joyful, as he will make him that is dishonored sorrowful. As for the kindred and friends that are to converse with them, I will appoint them to each of them, and will so constitute them, that they may be securities for their concord; as well knowing that the ill tempers of those with whom they converse will produce quarrels and contentions among them; but that if these with whom they converse be of good tempers, they will preserve their natural affections for one another. But still I desire that not these only, but all the captains of my army, have for the present their hopes placed on me alone; for I do not give away my kingdom to these my sons, but give them royal honors only; whereby it will come to pass that they will enjoy the sweet parts of government as rulers themselves, but that the burden of administration will rest upon myself whether I will or not. And let every one consider what age I am of, how I have conducted my life, and what piety I have exercised; for my age is not so great that men may soon expect the end of my life; nor have I indulged such a luxurious way of living as cuts men off when they are young; and we have been so religious towards God, that we [have reason to hope we] may arrive at a very great age. But for such as cultivate a friendship with my sons, so as to aim at my destruction, they shall be punished by me on their account. I am not one who envy my own children, and therefore forbid men to pay them great respect; but I know that such [extravagant] respects are the way to make them insolent. And if every one that comes near them does but revolve this in his mind, that if he prove a good man, he shall receive a reward from me, but that if he prove seditious, his ill-intended complaisance shall get him nothing from him to whom it is shown, I suppose they will all be of my side, that is, of my sons’ side; for it will be for their advantage that I reign, and that I be at concord with them. But do you, O my good children, reflect upon the holiness of nature itself, by whose means natural affection is preserved, even among wild beasts; in the next place, reflect upon Caesar, who hath made this reconciliation among us; and in the third place, reflect upon me, who entreat you to do what I have power to command you, – continue brethren. I give you royal garments, and royal honors; and I pray to God to preserve what I have determined, in case you be at concord one with another.” When the king had thus spoken, and had saluted every one of his sons after an obliging manner, he dismissed the multitude; some of which gave their assent to what he had said, and wished it might take effect accordingly; but for those who wished for a change of affairs, they pretended they did not so much as hear what he said.
2. By these methods Herod was inflamed, and as much as his natural affection to the young men did every day diminish, so much did it increase towards Antipater. The courtiers also inclined to the same conduct, some of their own accord, and others by the king’s injunction, as particularly did Ptolemy, the king’s dearest friend, as also the king’s brethren, and all his children; for Antipater was all in all; and what was the bitterest part of all to Alexander, Antipater’s mother was also all in all; she was one that gave counsel against them, and was more harsh than a step-mother, and one that hated the queen’s sons more than is usual to hate sons-in-law. All men did therefore already pay their respects to Antipater, in hopes of advantage; and it was the king’s command which alienated every body [from the brethren], he having given this charge to his most intimate friends, that they should not come near, nor pay any regard, to Alexander, or to his friends. Herod was also become terrible, not only to his domestics about the court, but to his friends abroad; for Caesar had given such a privilege to no other king as he had given to him, which was this, – that he might fetch back any one that fled from him, even out of a city that was not under his own jurisdiction. Now the young men were not acquainted with the calumnies raised against them; for which reason they could not guard themselves against them, but fell under them; for their father did not make any public complaints against either of them; though in a little time they perceived how things were by his coldness to them, and by the great uneasiness he showed upon any thing that troubled him. Antipater had also made their uncle Pheroras to be their enemy, as well as their aunt Salome, while he was always talking with her, as with a wife, and irritating her against them. Moreover, Alexander’s wife, Glaphyra, augmented this hatred against them, by deriving her nobility and genealogy [from great persons], and pretending that she was a lady superior to all others in that kingdom, as being derived by her father’s side from Temenus, and by her mother’s side from Darius, the son of Hystaspes. She also frequently reproached Herod’s sister and wives with the ignobility of their descent; and that they were every one chosen by him for their beauty, but not for their family. Now those wives of his were not a few; it being of old permitted to the Jews to marry many wives, (39) and this king delighting in many; all which hated Alexander, on account of Glaphyra’s boasting and reproaches.
3. Nay, Aristobulus had raised a quarrel between himself and Salome, who was his mother-in-law, besides the anger he had conceived at Glaphyra’s reproaches; for he perpetually upbraided his wife with the meanness of her family, and complained, that as he had married a woman of a low family, so had his brother Alexander married one of royal blood. At this Salome’s daughter wept, and told it her with this addition, that Alexander threatened the mothers of his other brethren, that when he should come to the crown, he would make them weave with their maidens, and would make those brothers of his country schoolmasters; and brake this jest upon them, that they had been very carefully instructed, to fit them for such an employment. Hereupon Salome could not contain her anger, but told all to Herod; nor could her testimony be suspected, since it was against her own son-in-law There was also another calumny that ran abroad and inflamed the king’s mind; for he heard that these sons of his were perpetually speaking of their mother, and, among their lamentations for her, did not abstain from cursing him; and that when he made presents of any of Mariamne’s garments to his later wives, these threatened that in a little time, instead of royal garments, they would clothe theft in no better than hair-cloth.
4. Now upon these accounts, though Herod was somewhat afraid of the young men’s high spirit, yet did he not despair of reducing them to a better mind; but before he went to Rome, whither he was now going by sea, he called them to him, and partly threatened them a little, as a king; but for the main, he admonished them as a father, and exhorted them to love their brethren, and told them that he would pardon their former offenses, if they would amend for the time to come. But they refuted the calumnies that had been raised of them, and said they were false, and alleged that their actions were sufficient for their vindication; and said withal, that he himself ought to shut his ears against such tales, and not be too easy in believing them, for that there would never be wanting those that would tell lies to their disadvantage, as long as any would give ear to them.
5. When they had thus soon pacified him, as being their father, they got clear of the present fear they were in. Yet did they see occasion for sorrow in some time afterward; for they knew that Salome, as well as their uncle Pheroras, were their enemies; who were both of them heavy and severe persons, and especially Pheroras, who was a partner with Herod in all the affairs of the kingdom, excepting his diadem. He had also a hundred talents of his own revenue, and enjoyed the advantage of all the land beyond Jordan, which he had received as a gift from his brother, who had asked of Caesar to make him a tetrarch, as he was made accordingly. Herod had also given him a wife out of the royal family, who was no other than his own wife’s sister, and after her death had solemnly espoused to him his own eldest daughter, with a dowry of three hundred talents; but Pheroras refused to consummate this royal marriage, out of his affection to a maidservant of his. Upon which account Herod was very angry, and gave that daughter in marriage to a brother’s son of his, [Joseph,] who was slain afterward by the Parthians; but in some time he laid aside his anger against Pheroras, and pardoned him, as one not able to overcome his foolish passion for the maid-servant.
6. Nay, Pheroras had been accused long before, while the queen [Mariamne] was alive, as if he were in a plot to poison Herod; and there came then so great a number of informers, that Herod himself, though he was an exceeding lover of his brethren, was brought to believe what was said, and to be afraid of it also. And when he had brought many of those that were under suspicion to the torture, he came at last to Pheroras’s own friends; none of which did openly confess the crime, but they owned that he had made preparation to take her whom he loved, and run away to the Parthians. Costobarus also, the husband of Salome, to whom the king had given her in marriage, after her former husband had been put to death for adultery, was instrumental in bringing about this contrivance and flight of his. Nor did Salome escape all calumny upon herself; for her brother Pheroras accused her that she had made an agreement to marry Silleus, the procurator of Obodas, king of Arabia, who was at bitter enmity with Herod; but when she was convicted of this, and of all that Pheroras had accused her of, she obtained her pardon. The king also pardoned Pheroras himself the crimes he had been accused of.
7. But the storm of the whole family was removed to Alexander, and all of it rested upon his head. There were three eunuchs who were in the highest esteem with the king, as was plain by the offices they were in about him; for one of them was appointed to be his butler, another of them got his supper ready for him, and the third put him into bed, and lay down by him. Now Alexander had prevailed with these men, by large gifts, to let him use them after an obscene manner; which, when it was told to the king, they were tortured, and found guilty, and presently confessed the criminal conversation he had with them. They also discovered the promises by which they were induced so to do, and how they were deluded by Alexander, who had told them that they ought not to fix their hopes upon Herod, an old man, and one so shameless as to color his hair, unless they thought that would make him young again; but that they ought to fix their attention to him who was to be his successor in the kingdom, whether he would or not; and who in no long time would avenge himself on his enemies, and make his friends happy and blessed, and themselves in the first place; that the men of power did already pay respects to Alexander privately, and that the captains of the soldiery, and the officers, did secretly come to him.
8. These confessions did so terrify Herod, that he durst not immediately publish them; but he sent spies abroad privately, by night and by day, who should make a close inquiry after all that was done and said; and when any were but suspected [of treason], he put them to death, insomuch that the palace was full of horribly unjust proceedings; for every body forged calumnies, as they were themselves in a state of enmity or hatred against others; and many there were who abused the king’s bloody passion to the disadvantage of those with whom they had quarrels, and lies were easily believed, and punishments were inflicted sooner than the calumnies were forged. He who had just then been accusing another was accused himself, and was led away to execution together with him whom he had convicted; for the danger the king was in of his life made examinations be very short. He also proceeded to such a degree of bitterness, that he could not look on any of those that were not accused with a pleasant countenance, but was in the most barbarous disposition towards his own friends. Accordingly, he forbade a great many of them to come to court, and to those whom he had not power to punish actually he spake harshly. But for Antipater, he insulted Alexander, now he was under his misfortunes, and got a stout company of his kindred together, and raised all sorts of calumny against him; and for the king, he was brought to such a degree of terror by those prodigious slanders and contrivances, that he fancied he saw Alexander coming to him with a drawn sword in his hand. So he caused him to be seized upon immediately, and bound, and fell to examining his friends by torture, many of whom died [under the torture], but would discover nothing, nor say any thing against their consciences; but some of them, being forced to speak falsely by the pains they endured, said that Alexander, and his brother Aristobulus, plotted against him, and waited for an opportunity to kill him as he was hunting, and then fly away to Rome. These accusations though they were of an incredible nature, and only framed upon the great distress they were in, were readily believed by the king, who thought it some comfort to him, after he had bound his son, that it might appear he had not done it unjustly.
2. When he had made this pompous declaration, he got Herod to remit of his anger, though he were in disorder, who thereupon gave him the books which Alexander had composed to be read by him; and as he came to every head, he considered of it, together with Herod. So Archclaus took hence the occasion for that stratagem which he made use of, and by degrees he laid the blame on those men whose names were in these books, and especially upon Pheroras; and when he saw that the king believed him [to he in earnest], he said, “We must consider whether the young man be not himself plotted against by such a number of wicked wretches, and not thou plotted against by the young man; for I cannot see any occasion for his falling into so horrid a crime, since he enjoys the advantages of royalty already, and has the expectation of being one of thy successors; I mean this, unless there were some persons that persuade him to it, and such persons as make an ill use of the facility they know there is to persuade young men; for by such persons, not only young men are sometimes imposed upon, but old men also, and by them sometimes are the most illustrious families and kingdoms overturned.”
3. Herod assented to what he had said, and, by degrees, abated of his anger against Alexander, but was more angry at Pheroras; for the principal subject of the four books was Pheroras; who perceiving that the king’s inclinations changed on a sudden, and that Archelaus’s friendship could do every thing with him, and that he had no honorable method of preserving himself, he procured his safety by his impudence. So he left Alexander, and had recourse to Archelaus, who told him that he did not see how he could get him excused, now he was directly caught in so many crimes, whereby it was evidently demonstrated that he had plotted against the king, and had been the cause of those misfortunes which the young man was now under, unless he would moreover leave off his cunning knavery, and his denials of what he was charged withal, and confess the charge, and implore pardon of his brother, who still had a kindness for him; but that if he would do so, he would afford him all the assistance he was able.
4. With this advice Pheroras complied, and putting himself into such a habit as might most move compassion, he came with black cloth upon his body, and tears in his eyes, and threw himself down at Herod’s feet, and begged his pardon for what he had done, and confessed that he had acted very wickedly, and was guilty of every thing that he had been accused of, and lamented that disorder of his mind, and distraction which his love to a woman, he said, had brought him to. So when Archelaus had brought Pheroras to accuse and bear witness against himself, he then made an excuse for him, and mitigated Herod’s anger towards him, and this by using certain domestical examples; for that when he had suffered much greater mischiefs from a brother of his own, he prefered the obligations of nature before the passion of revenge; because it is in kingdoms as it is in gross bodies, where some member or other is ever swelled by the body’s weight, in which case it is not proper to cut off such member, but to heal it by a gentle method of cure.
5. Upon Arehelaus’s saying this, and much more to the same purpose, Herod’s displeasure against Pheroras was mollified; yet did he persevere in his own indignation against Alexander, and said he would have his daughter divorced, and taken away from him, and this till he had brought Herod to that pass, that, contrary to his former behavior to him, he petitioned Archelaus for the young man, and that he would let his daughter continue espoused to him: but Archelaus made him strongly believe that he would permit her to be married to any one else, but not to Alexander, because he looked upon it as a very valuable advantage, that the relation they had contracted by that affinity, and the privileges that went along with it, might be preserved. And when the king said that his son would take it for a great favor to him, if he would not dissolve that marriage, especially since they had already children between the young man and her, and since that wife of his was so well beloved by him, and that as while she remains his wife she would be a great preservative to him, and keep him from offending, as he had formerly done; so if she should be once torn away from him, she would be the cause of his falling into despair, because such young men’s attempts are best mollified when they are diverted from them by settling their affections at home. So Arehelaus complied with what Herod desired, but not without difficulty, and was both himself reconciled to the young man, and reconciled his father to him also. However, he said he must, by all means, be sent to Rome to discourse with Caesar, because he had already written a full account to him of this whole matter.
6. Thus a period was put to Archelaus’s stratagem, whereby he delivered his son-in-law out of the dangers he was in; but when these reconciliations were over, they spent their time in feastings and agreeable entertainments. And when Archelaus was going away, Herod made him a present of seventy talents, with a golden throne set with precious stones, and some eunuchs, and a concubine who was called Pannychis. He also paid due honors to every one of his friends according to their dignity. In like manner did all the king’s kindred, by his command, make glorious presents to Archelaus; and so he was conducted on his way by Herod and his nobility as far as Antioch.
2. Now as soon as this fellow perceived the rotten parts of the family, and what quarrels the brothers had one with another, and in what disposition the father was towards each of them, he chose to take his lodging at the first in the house of Antipater, but deluded Alexander with a pretense of friendship to him, and falsely claimed to be an old acquaintance of Archelaus; for which reason he was presently admitted into Alexander’s familiarity as a faithful friend. He also soon recommended himself to his brother Aristobulus. And when he had thus made trial of these several persons, he imposed upon one of them by one method, and upon another by another. But he was principally hired by Antipater, and so betrayed Alexander, and this by reproaching Antipater, because, while he was the eldest son he overlooked the intrigues of those who stood in the way of his expectations; and by reproaching Alexander, because he who was born of a queen, and was married to a king’s daughter, permitted one that was born of a mean woman to lay claim to the succession, and this when he had Archelaus to support him in the most complete manner. Nor was his advice thought to be other than faithful by the young man, because of his pretended friendship with Archelaus; on which account it was that Alexander lamented to him Antipater’s behavior with regard to himself, and this without concealing any thing from him; and how it was no wonder if Herod, after he had killed their mother, should deprive them of her kingdom. Upon this Eurycles pretended to commiserate his condition, and to grieve with him. He also, by a bait that he laid for him, procured Aristobulus to say the same things. Thus did he inveigle both the brothers to make complaints of their father, and then went to Antipater, and carried these grand secrets to him. He also added a fiction of his own, as if his brothers had laid a plot against him, and were almost ready to come upon him with their drawn swords. For this intelligence he received a great sum of money, and on that account he commended Antipater before his father, and at length undertook the work of bringing Alexander and Aristobulus to their graves, and accused them before their father. So he came to Herod, and told him that he would save his life, as a requital for the favors he had received from him, and would preserve his light [of life] by way of retribution for his kind entertainment; for that a sword had been long whetted, and Alexander’s right hand had been long stretched out against him; but that he had laid impediments in his way, prevented his speed, and that by pretending to assist him in his design: how Alexander said that Herod was not contented to reign in a kingdom that belonged to others, and to make dilapidations in their mother’s government after he had killed her; but besides all this, that he introduced a spurious successor, and proposed to give the kingdom of their ancestors to that pestilent fellow Antipater: – that he would now appease the ghosts of Hyrcanus and Mariamne, by taking vengeance on him; for that it was not fit for him to take the succession to the government from such a father without bloodshed: that many things happen every day to provoke him so to do, insomuch that he can say nothing at all, but it affords occasion for calumny against him; for that if any mention be made of nobility of birth, even in other cases, he is abused unjustly, while his father would say that nobody, to be sure, is of noble birth but Alexander, and that his father was inglorious for want of such nobility. If they be at any time hunting, and he says nothing, he gives offense; and if he commends any body, they take it in way of jest. That they always find their father unmercifully severe, and have no natural affection for any of them but for Antipater; on which accounts, if this plot does not take, he is very willing to die; but that in case he kill his father, he hath sufficient opportunities for saving himself. In the first place, he hath Archelaus his father-in-law to whom he can easily fly; and in the next place, he hath Caesar, who had never known Herod’s character to this day; for that he shall not appear then before him with that dread he used to do when his father was there to terrify him; and that he will not then produce the accusations that concerned himself alone, but would, in the first place, openly insist on the calamities of their nation, and how they are taxed to death, and in what ways of luxury and wicked practices that wealth is spent which was gotten by bloodshed; what sort of persons they are that get our riches, and to whom those cities belong upon whom he bestows his favors; that he would have inquiry made what became of his grandfather [Hyrcanus], and his mother [Mariamne], and would openly proclaim the gross wickedness that was in the kingdom; on which accounts he should not be deemed a parricide.
3. When Eurycles had made this portentous speech, he greatly commended Antipater, as the only child that had an affection for his father, and on that account was an impediment to the other’s plot against him. Hereupon the king, who had hardly repressed his anger upon the former accusations, was exasperated to an incurable degree. At which time Antipater took another occasion to send in other persons to his father to accuse his brethren, and to tell him that they had privately discoursed with Jucundus and Tyrannus, who had once been masters of the horse to the king, but for some offenses had been put out of that honorable employment. Herod was in a very great rage at these informations, and presently ordered those men to be tortured; yet did not they confess any thing of what the king had been informed; but a certain letter was produced, as written by Alexander to the governor of a castle, to desire him to receive him and Aristobulus into the castle when he had killed his father, and to give them weapons, and what other assistance he could, upon that occasion. Alexander said that this letter was a forgery of Diophantus. This Diophantus was the king’s secretary, a bold man, and cunning in counterfeiting any one’s hand; and after he had counterfeited a great number, he was at last put to death for it. Herod did also order the governor of the castle to be tortured, but got nothing out of him of what the accusations suggested.
4. However, although Herod found the proofs too weak, he gave order to have his sons kept in custody; for till now they had been at liberty. He also called that pest of his family, and forger of all this vile accusation, Eurycles, his savior and benefactor, and gave him a reward of fifty talents. Upon which he prevented any accurate accounts that could come of what he had done, by going immediately into Cappadocia, and there he got money of Archelaus, having the impudence to pretend that he had reconciled Herod to Alexander. He thence passed over into Greece, and used what he had thus wickedly gotten to the like wicked purposes. Accordingly, he was twice accused before Caesar, that he had filled Achaia with sedition, and had plundered its cities; and so he was sent into banishment. And thus was he punished for what wicked actions he had been guilty of about Aristobulus and Alexander.
5. But it will now be worth while to put Euaratus of Cos in opposition to this Spartan; for as he was one of Alexander’s most intimate friends, and came to him in his travels at the same time that Eurycles came; so the king put the question to him, whether those things of which Alexander was accused were true? He assured him upon oath that he had never heard any such things from the young men; yet did this testimony avail nothing for the clearing those miserable creatures; for Herod was only disposed and most ready to hearken to what made against them, and every one was most agreeable to him that would believe they were guilty, and showed their indignation at them.
2. With these directions Herod complied, and came to Berytus, where Caesar had ordered the court to be assembled, and got the judicature together. The presidents sat first, as Caesar’s letters had appointed, who were Saturninus and Pedanius, and their lieutenants that were with them, with whom was the procurator Volumnius also; next to them sat the king’s kinsmen and friends, with Salome also, and Pheroras; after whom sat the principal men of all Syria, excepting Archelaus; for Herod had a suspicion of him, because he was Alexander’s father-in-law. Yet did not he produce his sons in open court; and this was done very cunningly, for he knew well enough that had they but appeared only, they would certainly have been pitied; and if withal they had been suffered to speak, Alexander would easily have answered what they were accused of; but they were in custody at Platane, a village of the Sidontans.
3. So the king got up, and inveighed against his sons, as if they were present; and as for that part of the accusation that they had plotted against him, he urged it but faintly, because he was destitute of proofs; but he insisted before the assessors on the reproaches, and jests, and injurious carriage, and ten thousand the like offenses against him, which were heavier than death itself; and when nobody contradicted him, he moved them to pity his case, as though he had been condemned himself, now he had gained a bitter victory against his sons. So he asked every one’s sentence, which sentence was first of all given by Saturninus, and was this: That he condemned the young men, but not to death; for that it was not fit for him, who had three sons of his own now present, to give his vote for the destruction of the sons of another. The two lieutenants also gave the like vote; some others there were also who followed their example; but Volumnius began to vote on the more melancholy side, and all those that came after him condemned the young men to die, some out of flattery, and some out of hatred to Herod; but none out of indignation at their crimes. And now all Syria and Judea was in great expectation, and waited for the last act of this tragedy; yet did nobody, suppose that Herod would be so barbarous as to murder his children: however, he carried them away to Tyre, and thence sailed to Cesarea, and deliberated with himself what sort of death the young men should suffer.
4. Now there was a certain old soldier of the king’s, whose name was Tero, who had a son that was very familiar with and a friend to Alexander, and who himself particularly loved the young men. This soldier was in a manner distracted, out of the excess of the indignation he had at what was doing; and at first he cried out aloud, as he went about, that justice was trampled under foot; that truth was perished, and nature confounded; and that the life of man was full of iniquity, and every thing else that passion could suggest to a man who spared not his own life; and at last he ventured to go to the king, and said, “Truly I think thou art a most miserable man, when thou hearkenest to most wicked wretches, against those that ought to be dearest to thee; since thou hast frequently resolved that Pheroras and Salome should be put to death, and yet believest them against thy sons; while these, by cutting off the succession of thine own sons, leave all wholly to Antipater, and thereby choose to have thee such a king as may be thoroughly in their own power. However, consider whether this death of Antipater’s brethren will not make him hated by the soldiers; for there is nobody but commiserates the young men; and of the captains, a great many show their indignation at it openly.” Upon his saying this, he named those that had such indignation; but the king ordered those men, with Tero himself and his son, to be seized upon immediately.
5. At which time there was a certain barber, whose name was Trypho. This man leaped out from among the people in a kind of madness, and accused himself, and said, “This Tero endeavored to persuade me also to cut thy throat with my razor, when I trimmed thee, and promised that Alexander should give me large presents for so doing.” When Herod heard this, he examined Tero, with his son and the barber, by the torture; but as the others denied the accusation, and he said nothing further, Herod gave order that Tero should be racked more severely; but his son, out of pity to his father, promised to discover the whole to the king, if he would grant [that his father should be no longer tortured]. When he had agreed to this, he said that his father, at the persuasion of Alexander, had an intention to kill him. Now some said this was forged, in order to free his father from his torments; and some said it was true.
6. And now Herod accused the captains and Tero in an assembly of the people, and brought the people together in a body against them; and accordingly there were they put to death, together with [Trypho] the barber; they were killed by the pieces of wood and the stones that were thrown at them. He also sent his sons to Sebaste, a city not far from Cesarea, and ordered them to be there strangled; and as what he had ordered was executed immediately, so he commanded that their dead bodies should be brought to the fortress Alexandrium, to be buried with Alexander, their grandfather by the mother’s side. And this was the end of Alexander and Aristobulus.
2. Accordingly, Herod got together his kindred and friends, and set before them the children, and, with his eyes full of tears, said thus to them: “It was an unlucky fate that took away from me these children’s fathers, which children are recommended to me by that natural commiseration which their orphan condition requires; however, I will endeavor, though I have been a most unfortunate father, to appear a better grandfather, and to leave these children such curators after myself as are dearest to me. I therefore betroth thy daughter, Pheroras, to the elder of these brethren, the children of Alexander, that thou mayst be obliged to take care of them. I also betroth to thy son, Antipater, the daughter of Aristobulus; be thou therefore a father to that orphan; and my son Herod [Philip] shall have her sister, whose grandfather, by the mother’s side, was high priest. And let every one that loves me be of my sentiments in these dispositions, which none that hath an affection for me will abrogate. And I pray God that he will join these children together in marriage, to the advantage of my kingdom, and of my posterity; and may he look down with eyes more serene upon them than he looked upon their fathers.”
3. While he spake these words he wept, and joined the children’s fight hands together; after which he embraced them every one after an affectionate manner, and dismissed the assembly. Upon this, Antipater was in great disorder immediately, and lamented publicly at what was done; for he supposed that this dignity which was conferred on these orphans was for his own destruction, even in his father’s lifetime, and that he should run another risk of losing the government, if Alexander’s sons should have both Archelaus [a king], and Pheroras a tetrarch, to support them. He also considered how he was himself hated by the nation, and how they pitied these orphans; how great affection the Jews bare to those brethren of his when they were alive, and how gladly they remembered them now they had perished by his means. So he resolved by all the ways possible to get these espousals dissolved.
4. Now he was afraid of going subtlely about this matter with his father, who was hard to be pleased, and was presently moved upon the least suspicion: so he ventured to go to him directly, and to beg of him before his face not to deprive him of that dignity which he had been pleased to bestow upon him; and that he might not have the bare name of a king, while the power was in other persons; for that he should never be able to keep the government, if Alexander’s son was to have both his grandfather Archelaus and Pheroras for his curators; and he besought him earnestly, since there were so many of the royal family alive, that he would change those [intended] marriages. Now the king had nine wives, (42) and children by seven of them; Antipater was himself born of Doris, and Herod Philip of Mariamne, the high priest’s daughter; Antipas also and Archelaus were by Malthace, the Samaritan, as was his daughter Olympias, which his brother Joseph’s (43) son had married. By Cleopatra of Jerusalem he had Herod and Philip; and by Pallas, Phasaelus; he had also two daughters, Roxana and Salome, the one by Phedra, and the other by Elpis; he had also two wives that had no children, the one his first cousin, and the other his niece; and besides these he had two daughters, the sisters of Alexander and Aristobulus, by Mariamne. Since, therefore, the royal family was so numerous, Antipater prayed him to change these intended marriages.
5. When the king perceived what disposition he was in towards these orphans, he was angry at it, and a suspicion came into his mind as to those sons whom he had put to death, whether that had not been brought about by the false tales of Antipater; so that at that time he made Antipater a long and a peevish answer, and bid him begone. Yet was he afterwards prevailed upon cunningly by his flatteries, and changed the marriages; he married Aristobulus’s daughter to him, and his son to Pheroras’s daughter.
6. Now one may learn, in this instance, how very much this flattering Antipater could do, – even what Salome in the like circumstances could not do; for when she, who was his sister, and who, by the means of Julia, Caesar’s wife, earnestly desired leave to be married to Sylleus the Arabian, Herod swore he would esteem her his bitter enemy, unless she would leave off that project: he also caused her, against her own consent, to be married to Alexas, a friend of his, and that one of her daughters should be married to Alexas’s son, and the other to Antipater’s uncle by the mother’s side. And for the daughters the king had by Mariamne, the one was married to Antipater, his sister’s son, and the other to his brother’s son, Phasaelus.
2. But he was inflamed with anger at them, and chiefly at Pheroras’s wife; for Salome had principally accused her. So he got an assembly of his friends and kindred together, and there accused this woman of many things, and particularly of the affronts she had offered his daughters; and that she had supplied the Pharisees with money, by way of rewards for what they had done against him, and had procured his brother to become his enemy, by giving him love potions. At length he turned his speech to Pheroras, and told him that he would give him his choice of these two things: Whether he would keep in with his brother, or with his wife? And when Pheroras said that he would die rather than forsake his wife? Herod, not knowing what to do further in that matter, turned his speech to Antipater, and charged him to have no intercourse either with Pheroras’s wife, or with Pheroras himself, or with any one belonging to her. Now though Antipater did not transgress that his injunction publicly, yet did he in secret come to their night meetings; and because he was afraid that Salome observed what he did, he procured, by the means of his Italian friends, that he might go and live at Rome; for when they wrote that it was proper for Antipater to be sent to Caesar for some time, Herod made no delay, but sent him, and that with a splendid attendance, and a great deal of money, and gave him his testament to carry with him, – wherein Antipater had the kingdom bequeathed to him, and wherein Herod was named for Antipater’s successor; that Herod, I mean, who was the son of Mariarmne, the high priest’s daughter.
3. Sylleus also, the Arabian, sailed to Rome, without any regard to Caesar’s injunctions, and this in order to oppose Antipater with all his might, as to that law-suit which Nicolaus had with him before. This Sylleus had also a great contest with Aretas his own king; for he had slain many others of Aretas’s friends, and particularly Sohemus, the most potent man in the city Petra. Moreover, he had prevailed with Phabatus, who was Herod’s steward, by giving him a great sum of money, to assist him against Herod; but when Herod gave him more, he induced him to leave Syllcus, and by this means he demanded of him all that Caesar had required of him to pay. But when Sylleus paid nothing of what he was to pay, and did also accuse Phabatus to Caesar, and said that he was not a steward for Caesar’s advantage, but for Herod’s, Phabatus was angry at him on that account, but was still in very great esteem with Herod, and discovered Sylleus’s grand secrets, and told the king that Sylleus had corrupted Corinthus, one of the guards of his body, by bribing him, and of whom he must therefore have a care. Accordingly, the king complied; for this Corinthus, though he was brought up in Herod’s kingdom, yet was he by birth an Arabian; so the king ordered him to be taken up immediately, and not only him, but two other Arabians, who were caught with him; the one of them was Sylleus’s friend, the other the head of a tribe. These last, being put to the torture, confessed that they had prevailed with Corinthus, for a large sum of money, to kill Herod; and when they had been further examined before Saturninus, the president of Syria, they were sent to Rome.
4. However, Herod did not leave off importuning Pheroras, but proceeded to force him to put away his wife; (45) yet could he not devise any way by which he could bring the woman herself to punishment, although he had many causes of hatred to her; till at length he was in such great uneasiness at her, that he cast both her and his brother out of his kingdom. Pheroras took this injury very patiently, and went away into his own tetrarchy, [Perea beyond Jordan,] and sware that there should be but one end put to his flight, and that should be Herod’s death; and that he would never return while he was alive. Nor indeed would he return when his brother was sick, although he earnestly sent for him to come to him, because he had a mind to leave some injunctions with him before he died; but Herod unexpectedly recovered. A little afterward Pheroras himself fell sick, when Herod showed great moderation; for he came to him, and pitied his case, and took care of him; but his affection for him did him no good, for Pheroras died a little afterward. Now though Herod had so great an affection for him to the last day of his life, yet was a report spread abroad that he had killed him by poison. However, he took care to have his dead body carried to Jerusalem, and appointed a very great mourning to the whole nation for him, and bestowed a most pompous funeral upon him. And this was the end that one of Alexander’s and Aristobulus’s murderers came to.
2. The king was deeply affected with so many suspicions, and had the maid-servants and some of the free women also tortured; one of which cried out in her agonies, “May that God that governs the earth and the heaven punish this author of all these our miseries, Antipater’s mother!” The king took a handle from this confession, and proceeded to inquire further into the truth of the matter. So this woman discovered the friendship of Antipater’s mother to Pheroras, and Antipater’s women, as also their secret meetings, and that Pheroras and Antipater had drunk with them for a whole night together as they returned from the king, and would not suffer any body, either man-servant or maidservant, to be there; while one of the free women discovered the matter.
3. Upon this Herod tortured the maid-servants every on by themselves separately, who all unanimously agreed in the foregoing discoveries, and that accordingly by agreement they went away, Antipater to Rome, and Pheroras to Perea; for that they oftentimes talked to one another thus: That after Herod had slain Alexander and Aristobulus, he would fall upon them, and upon their wives, because, after he Mariamne and her children he would spare nobody; and that for this reason it was best to get as far off the wild beast as they were able: – and that Antipater oftentimes lamented his own case before his mother, and said to her, that he had already gray hairs upon his head, and that his father grew younger again every day, and that perhaps death would overtake him before he should begin to be a king in earnest; and that in case Herod should die, which yet nobody knew when it would be, the enjoyment of the succession could certainly be but for a little time; for that these heads of Hydra, the sons of Alexander and Aristobulus, were growing up: that he was deprived by his father of the hopes of being succeeded by his children, for that his successor after his death was not to be any one of his own sons, but Herod the son of Mariamne: that in this point Herod was plainly distracted, to think that his testament should therein take place; for he would take care that not one of his posterity should remain, because he was of all fathers the greatest hater of his children. Yet does he hate his brother still worse; whence it was that he a while ago gave himself a hundred talents, that he should not have any intercourse with Pheroras. And when Pheroras said, Wherein have we done him any harm? Antipater replied, “I wish he would but deprive us of all we have, and leave us naked and alive only; but it is indeed impossible to escape this wild beast, who is thus given to murder, who will not permit us to love any person openly, although we be together privately; yet may we be so openly too, if we have but the courage and the hands of men.”
4. These things were said by the women upon the torture; as also that Pheroras resolved to fly with them to Perea. Now Herod gave credit to all they said, on account of the affair of the hundred talents; for he had no discourse with any body about them, but only with Antipater. So he vented his anger first of all against Antipater’s mother, and took away from her all the ornaments which he had given her, which cost a great many talents, and cast her out of the palace a second time. He also took care of Pheroras’s women after their tortures, as being now reconciled to them; but he was in great consternation himself, and inflamed upon every suspicion, and had many innocent persons led to the torture, out of his fear lest he should leave any guilty person untortured.
5. And now it was that he betook himself to examine Antipater of Samaria, who was the steward of [his son] Antipater; and upon torturing him, he learned that Antipater had sent for a potion of deadly poison for him out of Egypt, by Antiphilus, a companion of his; that Theudio, the uncle of Antipater, had it from him, and delivered it to Pheroras; for that Antipater had charged him to take his father off while he was at Rome, and so free him from the suspicion of doing it himself: that Pheroras also committed this potion to his wife. Then did the king send for her, and bid her bring to him what she had received immediately. So she came out of her house as if she would bring it with her, but threw herself down from the top of the house, in order to prevent any examination and torture from the king. However, it came to pass, as it seems by the providence of God, when he intended to bring Antipater to punishment, that she fell not upon her head, but upon other parts of her body, and escaped. The king, when she was brought to him, took care of her, (for she was at first quite senseless upon her fall,) and asked her why she had thrown herself down; and gave her his oath, that if she would speak the real truth, he would excuse her from punishment; but that if she concealed any thing, he would have her body torn to pieces by torments, and leave no part. of it to be buried.
6. Upon this the woman paused a little, and then said, “Why do I spare to speak of these grand secrets, now Pheroras is dead? that would only tend to save Antipater, who is all our destruction. Hear then, O king, and be thou, and God himself, who cannot be deceived, witnesses to the truth of what I am going to say. When thou didst sit weeping by Pheroras as he was dying, then it was that he called me to him, and said, My dear wife, I have been greatly mistaken as to the disposition of my brother towards me, and have hated him that is so affectionate to me, and have contrived to kill him who is in such disorder for me before I am dead. As for myself, I receive the recompence of my impiety; but do thou bring what poison was left with us by Antipater, and which thou keepest in order to destroy him, and consume it immediately in the fire in my sight, that I may not be liable to the avenger in the invisible world.” This I brought as he bid me, and emptied the greatest part of it into the fire, but reserved a little of it for my own use against uncertain futurity, and out of my fear of thee.”
7. When she had said this, she brought the box, which had a small quantity of this potion in it: but the king let her alone, and transferred the tortures to Antiphilus’s mother and brother; who both confessed that Antiphilus brought the box out of Egypt, and that they had received the potion from a brother of his, who was a physician at Alexandria. Then did the ghosts of Alexander and Aristobulus go round all the palace, and became the inquisitors and discoverers of what could not otherwise have been found out and brought such as were the freest from suspicion to be examined; whereby it was discovered that Mariamne, the high priest’s daughter, was conscious of this plot; and her very brothers, when they were tortured, declared it so to be. Whereupon the king avenged this insolent attempt of the mother upon her son, and blotted Herod, whom he had by her, out of his treament, who had been before named therein as successor to Antipater.
2. Nay, indeed, while Antipater was in Judea, and before he was upon his journey to Rome, he gave money to have the like letters against them sent from Rome, and then came to his father, who as yet had no suspicion of him, and apologized for his brethren, and alleged on their behalf that some of the things contained in those letters were false, and others of them were only youthful errors. Yet at the same time that he expended a great deal of his money, by making presents to such as wrote against his brethren, did he aim to bring his accounts into confusion, by buying costly garments, and carpets of various contextures, with silver and gold cups, and a great many more curious things, that so, among the view great expenses laid out upon such furniture, he might conceal the money he had used in hiring men [to write the letters]; for he brought in an account of his expenses, amounting to two hundred talents, his main pretense for which was file law-suit he had been in with Sylleus. So while all his rogueries, even those of a lesser sort also, were covered by his greater villainy, while all the examinations by torture proclaimed his attempt to murder his father, and the letters proclaimed his second attempt to murder his brethren; yet did no one of those that came to Rome inform him of his misfortunes in Judea, although seven months had intervened between his conviction and his return, so great was the hatred which they all bore to him. And perhaps they were the ghosts of those brethren of his that had been murdered that stopped the mouths of those that intended to have told him. He then wrote from Rome, and informed his [friends] that he would soon come to them, and how he was dismissed with honor by Caesar.
3. Now the king, being desirous to get this plotter against him into his hands, and being also afraid lest he should some way come to the knowledge how his affairs stood, and be upon his guard, he dissembled his anger in his epistle to him, as in other points he wrote kindly to him, and desired him to make haste, because if he came quickly, he would then lay aside the complaints he had against his mother; for Antipater was not ignorant that his mother had been expelled out of the palace. However, he had before received a letter, which contained an account of the death of Pheroras, at Tarentum, (46) and made great lamentations at it; for which some commended him, as being for his own uncle; though probably this confusion arose on account of his having thereby failed in his plot [on his father’s life]; and his tears were more for the loss of him that was to have been subservient therein, than for [an uncle] Pheroras: moreover, a sort of fear came upon him as to his designs, lest the poison should have been discovered. However, when he was in Cilicia, he received the forementioned epistle from his father, and made great haste accordingly. But when he had sailed to Celenderis, a suspicion came into his mind relating to his mother’s misfortunes; as if his soul foreboded some mischief to itself. Those therefore of his friends which were the most considerate advised him not rashly to go to his father, till he had learned what were the occasions why his mother had been ejected, because they were afraid that he might be involved in the calumnies that had been cast upon his mother: but those that were less considerate, and had more regard to their own desires of seeing their native country, than to Antipater’s safety, persuaded him to make haste home, and not, by delaying his journey, afford his father ground for an ill suspicion, and give a handle to those that raised stories against him; for that in case any thing had been moved to his disadvantage, it was owing to his absence, which durst not have been done had he been present. And they said it was absurd to deprive himself of certain happiness, for the sake of an uncertain suspicion, and not rather to return to his father, and take the royal authority upon him, which was in a state of fluctuation on his account only. Antipater complied with this last advice, for Providence hurried him on [to his destruction]. So he passed over the sea, and landed at Sebastus, the haven of Cesarea.
4. And here he found a perfect and unexpected solitude, while ever body avoided him, and nobody durst come at him; for he was equally hated by all men; and now that hatred had liberty to show itself, and the dread men were in at the king’s anger made men keep from him; for the whole city [of Jerusalem] was filled with the rumors about Antipater, and Antipater himself was the only person who was ignorant of them; for as no man was dismissed more magnificently when he began his voyage to Rome so was no man now received back with greater ignominy. And indeed he began already to suspect what misfortunes there were in Herod’s family; yet did he cunningly conceal his suspicion; and while he was inwardly ready to die for fear, he put on a forced boldness of countenance. Nor could he now fly any whither, nor had he any way of emerging out of the difficulties which encompassed him; nor indeed had he even there any certain intelligence of the affairs of the royal family, by reason of the threats the king had given out: yet had he some small hopes of better tidings; for perhaps nothing had been discovered; or if any discovery had been made, perhaps he should be able to clear himself by impudence and artful tricks, which were the only things he relied upon for his deliverance.
5. And with these hopes did he screen himself, till he came to the palace, without any friends with him; for these were affronted, and shut out at the first gate. Now Varus, the president of Syria, happened to be in the palace [at this juncture]; so Antipater went in to his father, and, putting on a bold face, he came near to salute him. But Herod Stretched out his hands, and turned his head away from him, and cried out, “Even this is an indication of a parricide, to be desirous to get me into his arms, when he is under such heinous accusations. God confound thee, thou vile wretch; do not thou touch me, till thou hast cleared thyself of these crimes that are charged upon thee. I appoint thee a court where thou art to be judged, and this Varus, who is very seasonably here, to be thy judge; and get thou thy defense ready against tomorrow, for I give thee so much time to prepare suitable excuses for thyself.” And as Antipater was so confounded, that he was able to make no answer to this charge, he went away; but his mother and wife came to him, and told him of all the evidence they had gotten against him. Hereupon he recollected himself, and considered what defense he should make against the accusations.
2. Hereupon Herod cried out to him to hold his peace, and spake thus to Varus: “I cannot but think that thou, Varus, and every other upright judge, will determine that Antipater is a vile wretch. I am also afraid that thou wilt abhor my ill fortune, and judge me also myself worthy of all sorts of calamity for begetting such children; while yet I ought rather to be pitied, who have been so affectionate a father to such wretched sons; for when I had settled the kingdom on my former sons, even when they were young, and when, besides the charges of their education at Rome, I had made them the friends of Caesar, and made them envied by other kings, I found them plotting against me. These have been put to death, and that, in great measure, for the sake of Antipater; for as he was then young, and appointed to be my successor, I took care chiefly to secure him from danger: but this profligate wild beast, when he had been over and above satiated with that patience which I showed him, he made use of that abundance I had given him against myself; for I seemed to him to live too long, and he was very uneasy at the old age I was arrived at; nor could he stay any longer, but would be a king by parricide. And justly I am served by him for bringing him back out of the country to court, when he was of no esteem before, and for thrusting out those sons of mine that were born of the queen, and for making him a successor to my dominions. I confess to thee, O Varus, the great folly I was guilty for I provoked those sons of mine to act against me, and cut off their just expectations for the sake of Antipater; and indeed what kindness did I do them; that could equal what I have done to Antipater? to I have, in a manner, yielded up my royal while I am alive, and whom I have openly named for the successor to my dominions in my testament, and given him a yearly revenue of his own of fifty talents, and supplied him with money to an extravagant degree out of my own revenue; and’ when he was about to sail to Rome, I gave him three talents, and recommended him, and him alone of all my children, to Caesar, as his father’s deliverer. Now what crimes were those other sons of mine guilty of like these of Antipater? and what evidence was there brought against them so strong as there is to demonstrate this son to have plotted against me? Yet does this parricide presume to speak for himself, and hopes to obscure the truth by his cunning tricks. Thou, O Varus, must guard thyself against him; for I know the wild beast, and I foresee how plausibly he will talk, and his counterfeit lamentation. This was he who exhorted me to have a care of Alexander when he was alive, and not to intrust my body with all men! This was he who came to my very bed, and looked about lest any one should lay snares for me! This was he who took care of my sleep, and secured me from fear of danger, who comforted me under the trouble I was in upon the slaughter of my sons, and looked to see what affection my surviving brethren bore me! This was my protector, and the guardian of my body! And when I call to mind, O Varus, his craftiness upon every occasion, and his art of dissembling, I can hardly believe that I am still alive, and I wonder how I have escaped such a deep plotter of mischief. However, since some fate or other makes my house desolate, and perpetually raises up those that are dearest to me against me, I will, with tears, lament my hard fortune, and privately groan under my lonesome condition; yet am I resolved that no one who thirsts after my blood shall escape punishment, although the evidence should extend itself to all my sons.”
3. Upon Herod’s saying this, he was interrupted by the confusion he was in; but ordered Nicolaus, one of his friends, to produce the evidence against Antipater. But in the mean time Antipater lifted up his head, (for he lay on the ground before his father’s feet,) and cried out aloud, “Thou, O father, hast made my apology for me; for how can I be a parricide, whom thou thyself confessest to have always had for thy guardian? Thou callest my filial affection prodigious lies and hypocrisy! how then could it be that I, who was so subtle in other matters, should here be so mad as not to understand that it was not easy that he who committed so horrid a crime should be concealed from men, but impossible that he should be concealed from the Judge of heaven, who sees all things, and is present every where? or did not I know what end my brethren came to, on whom God inflicted so great a punishment for their evil designs against thee? And indeed what was there that could possibly provoke me against thee? Could the hope of being king do it? I was a king already. Could I suspect hatred from thee? No. Was not I beloved by thee? And what other fear could I have? Nay, by preserving thee safe, I was a terror to others. Did I want money? No; for who was able to expend so much as myself? Indeed, father, had I been the most execrable of all mankind, and had I had the soul of the most cruel wild beast, must I not have been overcome with the benefits thou hadst bestowed upon me? whom, as thou thyself sayest, thou broughtest [into the palace]; whom thou didst prefer before so many of thy sons; whom thou madest a king in thine own lifetime, and, by the vast magnitude of the other advantages thou bestowedst on me, thou madest me an object of envy. O miserable man! that thou shouldst undergo this bitter absence, and thereby afford a great opportunity for envy to arise against thee, and a long space for such as were laying designs against thee! Yet was I absent, father, on thy affairs, that Sylleus might not treat thee with contempt in thine old age. Rome is a witness to my filial affection, and so is Caesar, the ruler of the habitable earth, who oftentimes called me Philopater. (47) Take here the letters he hath sent thee, they are more to be believed than the calumnies raised here; these letters are my only apology; these I use as the demonstration of that natural affection I have to thee. Remember that it was against my own choice that I sailed [to Rome], as knowing the latent hatred that was in the kingdom against me. It was thou, O father, however unwillingly, who hast been my ruin, by forcing me to allow time for calumnies against me, and envy at me. However, I am come hither, and am ready to hear the evidence there is against me. If I be a parricide, I have passed by land and by sea, without suffering any misfortune on either of them: but this method of trial is no advantage to me; for it seems, O father, that I am already condemned, both before God and before thee; and as I am already condemned, I beg that thou wilt not believe the others that have been tortured, but let fire be brought to torment me; let the racks march through my bowels; have no regard to any lamentations that this polluted body can make; for if I be a parricide, I ought not to die without torture.” Thus did Antipater cry out with lamentation and weeping, and moved all the rest, and Varus in particular, to commiserate his case. Herod was the only person whose passion was too strong to permit him to weep, as knowing that the testimonies against him were true.
4. And now it was that, at the king’s command, Nicolaus, when he had premised a great deal about the craftiness of Antipater, and had prevented the effects of their commiseration to him, afterwards brought in a bitter and large accusation against him, ascribing all the wickedness that had been in the kingdom to him, and especially the murder of his brethren; and demonstrated that they had perished by the calumnies he had raised against them. He also said that he had laid designs against them that were still alive, as if they were laying plots for the succession; and (said he) how can it be supposed that he who prepared poison for his father should abstain from mischief as to his brethren? He then proceeded to convict him of the attempt to poison Herod, and gave an account in order of the several discoveries that had been made; and had great indignation as to the affair of Pheroras, because Antipater had been for making him murder his brother, and had corrupted those that were dearest to the king, and filled the whole palace with wickedness; and when he had insisted on many other accusations, and the proofs for them, he left off.
5. Then Varus bid Antipater make his defense; but he lay along in silence, and said no more but this, “God is my witness that I am entirely innocent.” So Varus asked for the potion, and gave it to be drunk by a condemned malefactor, who was then in prison, who died upon the spot. So Varus, when he had had a very private discourse with Herod, and had written an account of this assembly to Caesar, went away, after a day’s stay. The king also bound Antipater, and sent away to inform Caesar of his misfortunes.
6. Now after this it was discovered that Antipater had laid a plot against Salome also; for one of Antiphilus’s domestic servants came, and brought letters from Rome, from a maid-servant of Julia, [Caesar’s wife,] whose name was Acme. By her a message was sent to the king, that she had found a letter written by Salome, among Julia’s papers, and had sent it to him privately, out of her good-will to him. This letter of Salome contained the most bitter reproaches of the king, and the highest accusations against him. Antipater had forged this letter, and had corrupted Acme, and persuaded her to send it to Herod. This was proved by her letter to Antipater, for thus did this woman write to him: “As thou desirest, I have written a letter to thy father, and have sent that letter, and am persuaded that the king will not spare his sister when he reads it. Thou wilt do well to remember what thou hast promised when all is accomplished.”
7. When this epistle was discovered, and what the epistle forged against Salome contained, a suspicion came into the king’s mind, that perhaps the letters against Alexander were also forged: he was moreover greatly disturbed, and in a passion, because he had almost slain his sister on Antipater’s account. He did no longer delay therefore to bring him to punishment for all his crimes; yet when he was eagerly pursuing Antipater, he was restrained by a severe distemper he fell into. However, he sent all account to Caesar about Acme, and the contrivances against Salome; he sent also for his testament, and altered it, and therein made Antipas king, as taking no care of Archclaus and Philip, because Antipater had blasted their reputations with him; but he bequeathed to Caesar, besides other presents that he gave him, a thousand talents; as also to his wife, and children, and friends, and freed-men about five hundred: he also bequeathed to all others a great quantity of land, and of money, and showed his respects to Salome his sister, by giving her most splendid gifts. And this was what was contained in his testament, as it was now altered.
2. There also now happened to him, among his other calamities, a certain popular sedition. There were two men of learning in the city [Jerusalem,] who were thought the most skillful in the laws of their country, and were on that account had in very great esteem all over the nation; they were, the one Judas, the son of Sepphoris, and the other Mattbias, the son of Margalus. There was a great concourse of the young men to these men when they expounded the laws, and there got together every day a kind of an army of such as were growing up to be men. Now when these men were informed that the king was wearing away with melancholy, and with a distemper, they dropped words to their acquaintance, how it was now a very proper time to defend the cause of God, and to pull down what had been erected contrary to the laws of their country; for it was unlawful there should be any such thing in the temple as images, or faces, or the like representation of any animal whatsoever. Now the king had put up a golden eagle over the great gate of the temple, which these learned men exhorted them to cut down; and told them, that if there should any danger arise, it was a glorious thing to die for the laws of their country; because that the soul was immortal, and that an eternal enjoyment of happiness did await such as died on that account; while the mean-spirited, and those that were not wise enough to show a right love of their souls, preferred a death by a disease, before that which is the result of a virtuous behavior.
3. At the same time that these men made this speech to their disciples, a rumor was spread abroad that the king was dying, which made the young men set about the work with greater boldness; they therefore let themselves down from the top of the temple with thick cords, and this at midday, and while a great number of people were in the temple, and cut down that golden eagle with axes. This was presently told to the king’s captain of the temple, who came running with a great body of soldiers, and caught about forty of the young men, and brought them to the king. And when he asked them, first of all, whether they had been so hardy as to cut down the golden eagle, they confessed they had done so; and when he asked them by whose command they had done it, they replied, at the command of the law of their country; and when he further asked them how they could be so joyful when they were to be put to death, they replied, because they should enjoy greater happiness after they were dead. (48)
4. At this the king was in such an extravagant passion, that he overcame his disease [for the time,] and went out, and spake to the people; wherein he made a terrible accusation against those men, as being guilty of sacrilege, and as making greater attempts under pretense of their law, and he thought they deserved to be punished as impious persons. Whereupon the people were afraid lest a great number should be found guilty and desired that when he had first punished those that put them upon this work, and then those that were caught in it, he would leave off his anger as to the rest. With this the king complied, though not without difficulty, and ordered those that had let themselves down, together with their Rabbins, to be burnt alive, but delivered the rest that were caught to the proper officers, to be put to death by them.
5. After this, the distemper seized upon his whole body, and greatly disordered all its parts with various symptoms; for there was a gentle fever upon him, and an intolerable itching over all the surface of his body, and continual pains in his colon, and dropsical turnouts about his feet, and an inflammation of the abdomen, and a putrefaction of his privy member, that produced worms. Besides which he had a difficulty of breathing upon him, and could not breathe but when he sat upright, and had a convulsion of all his members, insomuch that the diviners said those diseases were a punishment upon him for what he had done to the Rabbins. Yet did he struggle with his numerous disorders, and still had a desire to live, and hoped for recovery, and considered of several methods of cure. Accordingly, he went over Jordan, and made use of those hot baths at Callirrhoe, which ran into the lake Asphaltitis, but are themselves sweet enough to be drunk. And here the physicians thought proper to bathe his whole body in warm oil, by letting it down into a large vessel full of oil; whereupon his eyes failed him, and he came and went as if he was dying; and as a tumult was then made by his servants, at their voice he revived again. Yet did he after this despair of recovery, and gave orders that each soldier should have fifty drachmae a-piece, and that his commanders and friends should have great sums of money given them.
6. He then returned back and came to Jericho, in such a melancholy state of body as almost threatened him with present death, when he proceeded to attempt a horrid wickedness; for he got together the most illustrious men of the whole Jewish nation, out of every village, into a place called the Hippodrome, and there shut them in. He then called for his sister Salome, and her husband Alexas, and made this speech to them: “I know well enough that the Jews will keep a festival upon my death however, it is in my power to be mourned for on other accounts, and to have a splendid funeral, if you will but be subservient to my commands. Do you but take care to send soldiers to encompass these men that are now in custody, and slay them immediately upon my death, and then all Judea, and every family of them, will weep at it, whether they will or no.”
7. These were the commands he gave them; when there came letters from his ambassadors at Rome, whereby information was given that Acme was put to death at Caesar’s command, and that Antipater was condemned to die; however, they wrote withal, that if Herod had a mind rather to banish him, Caesar permitted him so to do. So he for a little while revived, and had a desire to live; but presently after he was overborne by his pains, and was disordered by want of food, and by a convulsive cough, and endeavored to prevent a natural, death; so he took an apple, and asked for a knife for he used to pare apples and eat them; he then looked round about to see that there was nobody to hinder him, and lift up his right hand as if he would stab himself; but Achiabus, his first cousin, came running to him, and held his hand, and hindered him from so doing; on which occasion a very great lamentation was made in the palace, as if the king were expiring. As soon as ever Antipater heard that, he took courage, and with joy in his looks, besought his keepers, for a sum of money, to loose him and let him go; but the principal keeper of the prison did not only obstruct him in that his intention, but ran and told the king what his design was; hereupon the king cried out louder than his distemper would well bear, and immediately sent some of his guards and slew Antipater; he also gave order to have him buried at Hyrcanium, and altered his testament again, and therein made Archclaus, his eldest son, and the brother of Antipas, his successor, and made Antipas tetrarch.
8. So Herod, having survived the slaughter of his son five days, died, having reigned thirty-four years since he had caused Antigonus to be slain, and obtained his kingdom; but thirty-seven years since he had been made king by the Romans. Now as for his fortune, it was prosperous in all other respects, if ever any other man could be so, since, from a private man, he obtained the kingdom, and kept it so long, and left it to his own sons; but still in his domestic affairs he was a most unfortunate man. Now, before the soldiers knew of his death, Salome and her husband came out and dismissed those that were in bonds, whom the king had commanded to be slain, and told them that he had altered his mind, and would have every one of them sent to their own homes. When these men were gone, Salome, told the soldiers [the king was dead], and got them and the rest of the multitude together to an assembly, in the amphitheater at Jericho, where Ptolemy, who was intrusted by the king with his signet ring, came before them, and spake of the happiness the king had attained, and comforted the multitude, and read the epistle which had been left for the soldiers, wherein he earnestly exhorted them to bear good-will to his successor; and after he had read the epistle, he opened and read his testament, wherein Philip was to inherit Trachonitis, and the neighboring countries, and Antipas was to be tetrarch, as we said before, and Archelaus was made king. He had also been commanded to carry Herod’s ring to Caesar, and the settlements he had made, sealed up, because Caesar was to be lord of all the settlements he had made, and was to confirm his testament; and he ordered that the dispositions he had made were to be kept as they were in his former testament.
9. So there was an acclamation made to Archelaus, to congratulate him upon his advancement; and the soldiers, with the multitude, went round about in troops, and promised him their good-will, and besides, prayed God to bless his government. After this, they betook themselves to prepare for the king’s funeral; and Archelaus omitted nothing of magnificence therein, but brought out all the royal ornaments to augment the pomp of the deceased. There was a bier all of gold, embroidered with precious stones, and a purple bed of various contexture, with the dead body upon it, covered with purple; and a diadem was put upon his head, and a crown of gold above it, and a secptre in his right hand; and near to the bier were Herod’s sons, and a multitude of his kindred; next to which came his guards, and the regiment of Thracians, the Germans. also and Gauls, all accounted as if they were going to war; but the rest of the army went foremost, armed, and following their captains and officers in a regular manner; after whom five hundred of his domestic servants and freed-men followed, with sweet spices in their hands: and the body was carried two hundred furlongs, to Herodium, where he had given order to be buried. And this shall suffice for the conclusion of the life of Herod.
(2) Why this John, the son of Simon, the high priest and governor of the Jews, was called Hyrcanus, Josephus no where informs us; nor is he called other than John at the end of the First Book of the Maccabees. However, Sixtus Seuensis, when he gives us an epitome of the Greek version of the book here abridged by Josephus, or of the Chronicles of this John Hyrcanus, then extant, assures us that he was called Hyrcanus from his conquest of one of that name. See Authent. Rec. Part I. p. 207. But of this younger Antiochus, see Dean Aldrich’s note here.
(3) Josephus here calls this Antiochus the last of the Seleucidae, although there remained still a shadow of another king of that family, Antiochus Asiaticus, or Commagenus, who reigned, or rather lay hid, till Pompey quite turned him out, as Dean Aldrich here notes from Appian and Justin.
(4) Matthew 16:19; 18:18. Here we have the oldest and most authentic Jewish exposition of binding and loosing, for punishing or absolving men, not for declaring actions lawful or unlawful, as some more modern Jews and Christians vainly pretend.
(5) Strabo, B. XVI. p. 740, relates, that this Selene Cleopatra was besieged by Tigranes, not in Ptolemais, as here, but after she had left Syria, in Seleucia, a citadel in Mesopotamia; and adds, that when he had kept her a while in prison, he put her to death. Dean Aldrich supposes here that Strabo contradicts Josephus, which does not appear to me; for although Josephus says both here and in the Antiquities, B. XIII. ch. 16. sect. 4, that Tigranes besieged her now in Ptolemais, and that he took the city, as the Antiquities inform us, yet does he no where intimate that he now took the queen herself; so that both the narrations of Strabo and Josephus may still be true notwithstanding.
(6) That this Antipater, the father of Herod the Great was an Idumean, as Josephus affirms here, see the note on Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 15. sect. 2. It is somewhat probable, as Hapercamp supposes, and partly Spanheim also, that the Latin is here the truest; that Pompey did him Hyrcanus, as he would have done the others from Aristobulus, sect. 6, although his remarkable abstinence from the 2000 talents that were in the Jewish temple, when he took it a little afterward, ch. 7. sect. 6, and Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 4. sect. 4, will to Greek all which agree he did not take them.
(7) Of the famous palm trees and balsam about Jericho and Engaddl, see the notes in Havercamp’s edition, both here and B. II. ch. 9. sect. 1. They are somewhat too long to be transcribed in this place.
(8) Thus says Tacitus: Cn. Pompelna first of all subdued the Jews, and went into their temple, by right of conquest, Hist. B. V. ch. 9. Nor did he touch any of its riches, as has been observed on the parallel place of the Antiquities, B. XIV. ch. 4. sect. 4, out of Cicero himself.
(9) The coin of this Gadara, still extant, with its date from this era, is a certain evidence of this its rebuilding by Pompey, as Spanheim here assures us.
(10) Take the like attestation to the truth of this submission of Aretas, king of Arabia, to Scaurus the Roman general, in the words of Dean Aldrich. “Hence (says he) is derived that old and famous Denarius belonging to the Emillian family [represented in Havercamp’s edition], wherein Aretas appears in a posture of supplication, and taking hold of a camel’s bridle with his left hand, and with his right hand presenting a branch of the frankincense tree, with this inscription, M. SCAURUS EX S.C.; and beneath, REX ARETAS.”
(11) This citation is now wanting.
(12) What is here noted by Hudson and Spanheim, that this grant of leave to rebuild the walls of the cities of Judea was made by Julius Caesar, not as here to Antipater, but to Hyrcanas, Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 8. sect. 5, has hardly an appearance of a contradiction; Antipater being now perhaps considered only as Hyrcanus’s deputy and minister; although he afterwards made a cipher of Hyrcanus, and, under great decency of behavior to him, took the real authority to himself.
(13) Or twenty-five years of age. See note on Antiq. B. I. ch. 12. sect. 3; and on B. XIV. ch. 9. sect. 2; and Of the War, B. II. ch. 11. sect. 6; and Polyb. B. XVII. p. 725. Many writers of the Roman history give an account of this murder of Sextus Caesar, and of the war of Apamia upon that occasion. They are cited in Dean Aldrich’s note.
(14) In the Antiquities, B. XIV. ch. 11. sect. 1, the duration of the reign of Julius Caesar is three years six months; but here three years seven months, beginning nightly, says Dean Aldrich, from his second dictatorship. It is probable the real duration might be three years and between six and seven months.
(15) It appears evidently by Josephus’s accounts, both here and in his Antiquities, B. XIV. ch. 11. sect. 2, that this Cassius, one of Caesar’s murderers, was a bitter oppressor, and exactor of tribute in Judea. These seven hundred talents amount to about three hundred thousand pounds sterling, and are about half the yearly revenues of king Herod afterwards. See the note on Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 11. sect. 4. It also appears that Galilee then paid no more than one hundred talents, or the seventh part of the entire sum to be levied in all the country.
(16) Here we see that Cassius set tyrants over all Syria; so that his assisting to destroy Caesar does not seem to have proceeded from his true zeal for public liberty, but from a desire to be a tyrant himself.
(17) Phasaelus and Herod.
(18) This large and noted wood, or woodland, belonging to Carmel, called apago by the Septuagint, is mentioned in the Old Testament, 2 Kings 19:23; Isaiah 37:24, and by I Strabo, B. XVI. p. 758, as both Aldrich and Spanheim here remark very pertinently.
(19) These accounts, both here and Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 5, that the Parthians fought chiefly on horseback, and that only some few of their soldiers were free-men, perfectly agree with Trogus Pompeius, in Justin, B. XLI. 2, 3, as Dean Aldrich well observes on this place.
(20) Mariamac here, in the copies.
(21) This Brentesium or Brundusium has coin still preserved, on which is written, as Spanheim informs us.
(22) This Dellius is famous, or rather infamous, in the history of Mark Antony, as Spanheim and Aldrich here note, from the coins, from Plutarch and Dio.
(23) This Sepphoris, the metropolis of Galilee, so often mentioned by Josephus, has coins still remaining, as Spanheim here informs us.
(24) This way of speaking, “after forty days,” is interpreted by Josephus himself, “on the fortieth day,” Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 15. sect. 4. In like manner, when Josephus says, ch. 33. sect. 8, that Herod lived “after” he had ordered Antipater to be slain “five days;” this is by himself interpreted, Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 8. sect. 1, that he died “on the fifth day afterward.” So also what is in this book, ch. 13. sect. 1, “after two years,” is, Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 3, “on the second year.” And Dean Aldrich here notes that this way of speaking is familiar to Josephus.
(25) This Samosata, the metropolis of Commagena, is well known from its coins, as Spanheim here assures us. Dean Aldrich also confirms what Josephus here notes, that Herod was a great means of taking the city by Antony, and that from Plutarch and Dio.
(26) That is, a woman, not, a man.
(27) This death of Antigonus is confirmed by Plutarch and. Straho; the latter of whom is cited for it by Josephus himself, Antiq. B. XV. ch. 1. sect. 2, as Dean Aldrich here observes.
(28) This ancient liberty of Tyre and Sidon under the Romans, taken notice of by Josephus, both here and Antiq. B. XV. ch. 4. sect. 1, is confirmed by the testimony of Sirabe, B. XVI. p. 757, as Dean Aldrich remarks; although, as he justly adds, this liberty lasted but a little while longer, when Augtus took it away from them.
(29) This seventh year of the reign of Herod [from the conquest or death of Antigonus], with the great earthquake in the beginning of the same spring, which are here fully implied to be not much before the fight at Actium, between Octavius and Antony, and which is known from the Roman historians to have been in the beginning of September, in the thirty-first year before the Christian era, determines the chronology of Josephus as to the reign of Herod, viz. that he began in the year 37, beyond rational contradiction. Nor is it quite unworthy of our notice, that this seventh year of the reign of Herod, or the thirty-first before the Christian era, contained the latter part of a Sabbatic year, on which Sabbatic year, therefore, it is plain this great earthquake happened in Judea.
(30) This speech of Herod is set down twice by Josephus, here and Antiq. B. XV. ch. 5. sect. 3, to the very same purpose, but by no means in the same words; whence it appears that the sense was Herod’s, but the composition Josephus’s.
(31) Since Josephus, both here and in his Antiq. B. XV. ch. 7. sect. 3, reckons Gaza, which had been a free city, among the cities given Herod by Augustus, and yet implies that Herod had made Costobarus a governor of it before, Antiq. B. XV. ch. 7. sect. 9, Hardain has some pretense for saying that Josephus here contradicted himself. But perhaps Herod thought he had sufficient authority to put a governor into Gaza, after he was made tetrarch or king, in times of war, before the city was entirely delivered into his hands by Augustus.
(32) This fort was first built, as it is supposed, by John Hyrcanus; see Prid. at the year 107; and called “Baris,” the Tower or Citadel. It was afterwards rebuilt, with great improvements, by Herod, under the government of Antonius, and was named from him “the Tower of Antoni;” and about the time when Herod rebuilt the temple, he seems to have put his last hand to it. See Antiq. B. XVIII. ch. 5. sect. 4; Of the War, B. I. ch. 3. sect. 3; ch. 5. sect. 4. It lay on the northwest side of the temple, and was a quarter as large.
(33) That Josephus speaks truth, when he assures us that the haven of this Cesarea was made by Herod not less, nay rather larger, than that famous haven at Athens, called the Pyrecum, will appear, says Dean Aldrich, to him who compares the descriptions of that at Athens in Thucydides and Pausanias, with this of Cesarea in Josephus here, and in the Antiq. B. XV. ch. 9. sect. 6, and B. XVII. ch. 9. sect. 1.
(34) These buildings of cities by the name of Caesar, and institution of solemn games in honor of Augustus Caesar, as here, and in the Antiquities, related of Herod by Josephus, the Roman historians attest to, as things then frequent in the provinces of that empire, as Dean Aldrich observes on this chapter.
(35) There were two cities, or citadels, called Herodium, in Judea, and both mentioned by Josephus, not only here, but Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 9; B. XV. ch. 9. sect. 6; Of the War, B. I. ch. 13. sect. 8; B. III. ch. 3. sect. 5. One of them was two hundred, and the other sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem. One of them is mentioned by Pliny, Hist. Nat. B. V. ch. 14., as Dean Aldrich observes here.
(36) Here seems to be a small defect in the copies, which describe the wild beasts which were hunted in a certain country by Herod, without naming any such country at all.
(37) Here is either a defect or a great mistake in Josephus’s present copies or memory; for Mariamne did not now reproach Herod with this his first injunction to Joseph to kill her, if he himself were slain by Antony, but that he had given the like command a second time to Soemus also, when he was afraid of being slain by Augustus. Antiq. B. XV. ch. 3. sect. 5, etc.
(38) That this island Eleusa, afterward called Sebaste, near Cilicia, had in it the royal palace of this Archclaus, king of Cappadocia, Strabo testifies, B. XV. p. 671. Stephanus of Byzantiam also calls it “an island of Cilicia, which is now Sebaste;” both whose testimonies are pertinently cited here by Dr. Hudson. See the same history, Antiq. B. XVI. ch. 10. sect. 7.
(39) That it was an immemorial custom among the Jews, and their forefathers, the patriarchs, to have sometimes more wives or wives and concubines, than one at the same the and that this polygamy was not directly forbidden in the law of Moses is evident; but that polygamy was ever properly and distinctly permitted in that law of Moses, in the places here cited by Dean Aldrich, Deuteronomy 17:16, 17, or 21:15, or indeed any where else, does not appear to me. And what our Savior says about the common Jewish divorces, which may lay much greater claim to such a permission than polygamy, seems to me true in this case also; that Moses, “for the hardness of their hearts,” suffered them to have several wives at the same time, but that “from the beginning it was not so,” Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:5.
(40) This vile fellow, Eurycles the Lacedemonian, seems to have been the same who is mentioned by Plutarch, as (twenty-live years before) a companion to Mark Antony, and as living with Herod; whence he might easily insinuate himself into the acquaintance of Herod’s sons, Antipater and Alexander, as Usher, Hudson, and Spanheim justly suppose. The reason why his being a Spartan rendered him acceptable to the Jews as we here see he was, is visible from the public records of the Jews and Spartans, owning those Spartans to be of kin to the Jews, and derived from their common ancestor Abraham, the first patriarch of the Jewish nation, Antiq. B. XII. ch. 4. sect. 10; B. XIII. ch. 5. sect. 8; and 1 Macc. 12:7.
(41) See the preceding note.
(42) Dean Aldrich takes notice here, that these nine wives of Herod were alive at the same time; and that if the celebrated Mariamne, who was now dead, be reckoned, those wives were in all ten. Yet it is remarkable that he had no more than fifteen children by them all.
(43) To prevent confusion, it may not be amiss, with Dean Aldrich, to distinguish between four Josephs in the history of Herod. 1. Joseph, Herod’s uncle, and the [second] husband of his sister Salome, slain by Herod, on account of Mariamne. 2. Joseph, Herod’s quaestor, or treasurer, slain on the same account. 3. Joseph, Herod’s brother, slain in battle against Antigonus. 4. Joseph, Herod’s nephew, the husband of Olympias, mentioned in this place.
(44) These daughters of Herod, whom Pheroras’s wife affronted, were Salome and Roxana, two virgins, who were born to him of his two wives, Elpide and Phedra. See Herod’s genealogy, Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 1. sect. 3.
(45) This strange obstinacy of Pheroras in retaining his wife, who was one of a low family, and refusing to marry one nearly related to Herod, though he so earnestly desired it, as also that wife’s admission to the counsels of the other great court ladies, together with Herod�s own importunity as to Pheroras’s divorce and other marriage, all so remarkable here, or in the Antiquities XVII. ch. 2. sect. 4; and ch. 3. be well accounted for, but on the supposal that Pheroras believed, and Herod suspected, that the Pharisees’ prediction, as if the crown of Judea should be translated from Herod to Pheroras’s posterity and that most probably to Pheroras’s posterity by this his wife, also would prove true. See Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 2. sect. 4; and ch. 3. sect. 1.
(46) This Tarentum has coins still extant, as Reland informs us here in his note.
(47) A lover of his father.
(48) Since in these two sections we have an evident account of the Jewish opinions in the days of Josephus, about a future happy state, and the resurrection of the dead, as in the New Testament, John 11:24, I shall here refer to the other places in Josephus, before he became a catholic Christian, which concern the same matters. Of the War, B. II. ch. 8. sect. 10, 11; B. III. ch. 8. sect. 4; B. VII. ch. 6. sect. 7; Contr. Apion, B. II. sect. 30; where we may observe, that none of these passages are in his Books of Antiquities, written peculiarly for the use of the Gentiles, to whom he thought it not proper to insist on topics so much out of their way as these were. Nor is this observation to be omitted here, especially on account of the sensible difference we have now before us in Josephus’s reason of the used by the Rabbins to persuade their scholars to hazard their lives for the vindication of God’s law against images, by Moses, as well as of the answers those scholars made to Herod, when they were caught, and ready to die for the same; I mean as compared with the parallel arguments and answers represented in the Antiquities, B. XVII. ch. 6. sect, 2, 3. A like difference between Jewish and Gentile notions the reader will find in my notes on Antiquities, B. III. ch. 7. sect. 7; B. XV. ch. 9. sect. 1. See the like also in the case of the three Jewish sects in the Antiquities, B. XIII. ch. 5. sect. 9, and ch. 10. sect. 4, 5; B. XVIII. ch. 1. sect. 5; and compared with this in his Wars of the Jews, B. II. ch. 8. sect. 2-14. Nor does St. Paul himself reason to Gentiles at Athens, Acts 17:16-34, as he does to Jews in his Epistles.