Book 1 – Containing The Interval Of One Hundred And Sixty-Seven Years. From The Taking Of Jerusalem By Antiochus Epiphanes, To The Death Of Herod The Great.
Chapter 1 – How The City Jerusalem Was Taken, And The Temple Pillaged [By Antiochus Epiphanes]. As Also Concerning The Actions Of The Maccabees, Matthias And Judas; And Concerning The Death Of Judas.
Chapter 2 – Concerning The Successors Of Judas, Who Were Jonathan And Simon, And John Hyrcanus.
Chapter 3 – How Aristobulus Was The First That Put A Diadem About His Head; And After He Had Put His Mother And Brother To Death, Died Himself, When He Had Reigned No More Than A Year.
Chapter 4 – What Actions Were Done By Alexander Janneus, Who Reigned Twenty-Seven Years.
Chapter 5 – Alexandra Reigns Nine Years, During Which Time The Pharisees Were The Real Rulers Of The Nation.
Chapter 6 – When Hyrcanus Who Was Alexander’s Heir, Receded From His Claim To The Crown Aristobulus Is Made King; And Afterward The Same Hyrcanus By The Means Of Antipater, Is Brought Back By Abetas. At Last Pompey Is Made The Arbitrator Of The Dispute Between The Brothers.
Chapter 7 – How Pompey Had The City Of Jerusalem Delivered Up To Him But Took The Temple By Force. How He Went Into The Holy Of Holies; As Also What Were His Other Exploits In Judea.
Chapter 8 – Alexander, The Son Of Aristobulus, Who Ran Away From Pompey, Makes An Expedition Against Hyrcanus; But Being Overcome By Gabinius He Delivers Up The Fortresses To Him. After This Aristobulus Escapes From Rome And Gathers An Army Together; But Being Beaten By The Romans, He Is Brought Back To Rome; With Other Things Relating To Gabinius, Crassus And Cassius.
Chapter 9 – Aristobulus Is Taken Off By Pompey’s Friends, As Is His Son Alexander By Scipio. Antipater Cultivates A Friendship With Caesar, After Pompey’s Death; He Also Performs Great Actions In That War, Wherein He Assisted Mithridates.
Chapter 10 – Caesar Makes Antipater Procurator Of Judea; As Does Antipater Appoint Phasaelus To Be Governor Of Jerusalem, And Herod Governor Of Galilee; Who, In Some Time, Was Called To Answer For Himself [Before The Sanhedrim], Where He Is Acquitted. Sextus Caesar Is Treacherously Killed By Bassus And Is Succeeded By Marcus.
Chapter 11 – Herod Is Made Procurator Of All Syria; Malichus Is Afraid Of Him, And Takes Antipater Off By Poison; Whereupon The Tribunes Of The Soldiers Are Prevailed With To Kill Him.
Chapter 12 – Phasaelus Is Too Hard For Felix; Herod Also Overcomes Antigonus In Rattle; And The Jews Accuse Both Herod And Phasaelus But Antonius Acquits Them, And Makes Them Tetrarchs.
Chapter 13 – The Parthians Bring Antigonus Back Into Judea, And Cast Hyrcanus And Phasaelus Into Prison. The Flight Of Herod, And The Taking Of Jerusalem And What Hyrcanus And Phasaelus Suffered.
Chapter 14 – When Herod Is Rejected In Arabia, He Makes Haste To Rome Where Antony And Caesar Join Their Interest To Make Him King .
Chapter 15 – Antigonus Besieges Those That Were In Masada, Whom Herod Frees From Confinement When He Came Back From Rome, And Presently Marches To Jerusalem Where He Finds Silo Corrupted By Bribes.
Chapter 16 – Herod Takes Sepphoris And Subdues The Robbers That Were In The Caves ; He After That Avenges Himself Upon Macheras, As Upon An Enemy Of His And Goes To Antony As He Was Besieging Samosata.
Chapter 17 – The Death Of Joseph [Herod’s Brother] Which Had Been Signified To Herod In Dreams. How Herod Was Preserved Twice After A Wonderful Manner. He Cuts Off The Head Of Pappus, Who Was The Murderer Of His Brother And Sends That Head To [His Other Brother] Pheroras, And In No Long Time He Besieges Jerusalem And Marries Mariamne.
Chapter 18 – Ow Herod And Sosius Took Jerusalem By Force; And What Death Antigonus Came To. Also Concerning Cleopatra’s Avaricious Temper.
Chapter 19 – How Antony At The Persuasion Of Cleopatra Sent Herod To Fight Against The Arabians; And Now After Several Battles, He At Length Got The Victory. As Also Concerning A Great Earthquake.
Chapter 20 – Herod Is Confirmed In His Kingdom By Caesar, And Cultivates A Friendship With The Emperor By Magnificent Presents; While Caesar Returns His Kindness By Bestowing On Him That Part Of His Kingdom Which Had Been Taken Away From It By Cleopatra With The Addition Of Zenodoruss Country Also.
Chapter 21 – Of The [Temple And] Cities That Were Built By Herod And Erected From The Very Foundations; As Also Of Those Other Edifices That Were Erected By Him; And What Magnificence He Showed To Foreigners; And How Fortune Was In All Things Favorable To Him.
Chapter 22 – The Murder Of Aristobulus And Hyrcanus, The High Priests, As Also Of Mariamne The Queen.
Chapter 23 – Calumnies Against The Sons Of Mariamne. Antipateris Preferred Before Them. They Are Accused Before Caesar, And Herod Is Reconciled To Them.
Chapter 24 – The Malice Of Antipater And Doris. Alexander Is Very Uneasy On Glaphyras Account. Herod Pardons Pheroras, Whom He Suspected, And Salome Whom He Knew To Make Mischief Among Them. Herod’s Eunuchs Are Tortured And Alexander Is Bound.
Chapter 25 – Archelaus Procures A Reconciliation Between Alexander Pheroras, And Herod.
Chapter 26 – How Eurycles (40) Calumniated The Sons Of Mariamne; And How Euaratus Of Costs Apology For Them Had No Effect.
Chapter 27 – Herod By Caesars Direction Accuses His Sons At Eurytus. They Are Not Produced Before The Courts But Yet Are Condemned; And In A Little Time They Are Sent To Sebaste, And Strangled There.
Chapter 28 – How Antipater Is Hated Of All Men; And How The King Espouses The Sons Of Those That Had Been Slain To His Kindred;But That Antipater Made Him Change Them For Other Women. Of Herod’s Marriages, And Children.
Chapter 29 – Antipater Becomes Intolerable. He Is Sent To Rome, And Carries Herod’s Testament With Him; Pheroras Leaves His Brother, That He May Keep His Wife. He Dies At Home.
Chapter 30 – When Herod Made Inquiry About Pheroras’s Death A Discovery Was Made That Antipater Had Prepared A Poisonous Draught For Him. Herod Casts Doris And Her Accomplices, As Also Mariamne, Out Of The Palace And Blots Her Son Herod Out Of His Testament.
Chapter 31 – Antipater Is Convicted By Bathyllus ; But He Still Returns From Rome Without Knowing It. Herod Brings Him To His Trial.
Chapter 32 – Antipater Is Accused Before Varus, And Is Convicted Of Laying A Plot [Against His Father] By The Strongest Evidence. Herod Puts Off His Punishment Till He Should Be Recovered, And In The Mean Time Alters His Testament.
Chapter 33 – The Golden Eagle Is Cut To Pieces. Herod’s Barbarity When He Was Ready To Die. He Attempts To Kill Himself. He Commands Antipater To Be Slain. He Survives Him Five Days And Then Dies.
Book 2 – Containing The Interval Of Sixty-Nine Years. From The Death Of Herod Till Vespasian Was Sent To Subdue The Jews By Nero.
Chapter 1 – Archelaus Makes A Funeral Feast For The People, On The Account Of Herod. After Which A Great Tumult Is Raised By The Multitude And He Sends The Soldiers Out Upon Them, Who Destroy About Three Thousand Of Them.
Chapter 2 – Archelaus Goes To Rome With A Great Number Of His Kindred. He Is There Accused Before Caesar By Antipater; But Is Superior To His Accusers In Judgment By The Means Of That Defense Which Nicolaus Made For Him.
Chapter 3 – The Jews Fight A Great Battle With Sabinus’s Soldiers, And A Great Destruction Is Made At Jerusalem.
Chapter 4 – Herod’s Veteran Soldiers Become Tumultuous. The Robberies Of Judas. Simon And Athronoeus Take The Name Of King Upon Them.
Chapter 5 – Varus Composes The Tumults In Judea And Crucifies About Two Thousand Of The Seditious.
Chapter 6 – The Jews Greatly Complain Of Archelaus And Desire That They May Be Made Subject To Roman Governors. But When Caesar Had Heard What They Had To Say, He Distributed Herod’s Dominions Among His Sons According To His Own Pleasure.
Chapter 7 – The History Of The Spurious Alexander. Archelaus Is Banished And Glaphyra Dies, After What Was To Happen To Both Of Them Had Been Showed Them In Dreams.
Chapter 8 – Archelaus’s Ethnarchy Is Reduced Into A [Roman] Province. The Sedition Of Judas Of Galilee. The Three Sects.
Chapter 9 – The Death Of Salome. The Cities Which Herod And Philip Built. Pilate Occasions Disturbances. Tiberius Puts Agrippa Into Bonds But Caius Frees Him From Them, And Makes Him King. Herod Antipas Is Banished.
Chapter 10 – Caius Commands That His Statue Should Be Set Up In The Temple Itself; And What Petronius Did Thereupon.
Chapter 11 – Concerning The Government Of Claudius, And The Reign Of Agrippa. Concerning The Deaths Of Agrippa And Of Herod And What Children They Both Left Behind Them.
Chapter 12 – Many Tumults Under Cumanus, Which Were Composed By Quadratus. Felix Is Procurator Of Judea. Agrippa Is Advanced From Chalcis To A Greater Kingdom.
Chapter 13 – Nero Adds Four Cities To Agrippas Kingdom; But The Other Parts Of Judea Were Under Felix. The Disturbances Which Were Raised By The Sicarii The Magicians And An Egyptian False Prophet. The Jews And Syrians Have A Contest At Cesarea.
Chapter 14 – Festus Succeeds Felix Who Is Succeeded By Albinus As He Is By Florus; Who By The Barbarity Of His Government Forces The Jews Into The War.
Chapter 15 – Concerning Bernice’s Petition To Florus, To Spare The Jews, But In Vain; As Also How, After The Seditious Flame Was Quenched, It Was Kindled Again By Florus.
Chapter 16 – Cestius Sends Neopolitanus The Tribune To See In What Condition The Affairs Of The Jews Were. Agrippa Makes A Speech To The People Of The Jews That He May Divert Them From Their Intentions Of Making War With The Romans.
Chapter 17 – How The War Of The Jews With The Romans Began, And Concerning Manahem.
Chapter 18 – The Calamities And Slaughters That Came Upon The Jews.
Chapter 19 – What Cestius Did Against The Jews; And How, Upon His Besieging Jerusalem, He Retreated From The City Without Any Just Occasion In The World. As Also What Severe Calamities He Under Went From The Jews In His Retreat.
Chapter 20 – Cestius Sends Ambassadors To Nero. The People Of Damascus Slay Those Jews That Lived With Them. The People Of Jerusalem After They Had [Left Off] Pursuing Cestius, Return To The City And Get Things Ready For Its Defense And Make A Great Many Generals For, Their Armies And Particularly Josephus The Writer Of These Books. Some Account Of His Administration.
Chapter 21 – Concerning John Of Gichala. Josephus Uses Stratagems Against The Plots John Laid Against Him And Recovers Certain Cities Which Had Revolted From Him.
Chapter 22 – The Jews Make All Ready For The War; And Simon, The Son Of Gioras, Falls To Plundering.
Book 3 – Containing The Interval Of About One Year. From Vespasian’s Coming To Subdue The Jews To The Taking Of Gamala.
Chapter 1 – Vespasian Is Sent Into Syria By Nero In Order To Make War With The Jews.
Chapter 2 – A Great Slaughter About Ascalon. Vespasian Comes To Ptolemais.
Chapter 3 – A Description Op Galilee, Samaria, And Judea.
Chapter 4 – Josephus Makes An Attempt Upon Sepphoris But Is Repelled. Titus Comes With A Great Army To Ptolemais.
Chapter 5 – A Description Of The Roman Armies And Roman Camps And Of Other Particulars For Which The Romans Are Commended.
Chapter 6 – Placidus Attempts To Take Jotapata And Is Beaten Off. Vespasian Marches Into Galilee.
Chapter 7 – Vespasian, When He Had Taken The City Gadaea Marches To Jotapata. After A Long Siege The City Is Betrayed By A Deserter, And Taken By Vespasian.
Chapter 8 – How Josephus Was Discovered By A Woman, And Was Willing To Deliver Himself Up To The Romans; And What Discourse He Had With His Own Men, When They Endeavored To Hinder Him; And What He Said To Vespasian, When He Was Brought To Him; And After What Manner Vespasian Used Him Afterward.
Chapter 9 – How Joppa Was Taken, And Tiberias Delivered Up.
Chapter 10 – How Taricheae Was Taken. A Description Of The River Jordan, And Of The Country Of Gennesareth.
Book 4 – Containing The Interval Of About One Year. From The Siege Of Gamala To The Coming Of Titus To Besiege Jerusalem.
Chapter 1 – The Siege And Taking Of Gamala.
Chapter 2 – The Surrender Of Gischala; While John Flies Away From It To Jerusalem.
Chapter 3 – Concerning John Of Gischala. Concerning The Zealots And The High Priest Ananus; As Also How The Jews Raise Seditions One Against Another [In Jerusalem].
Chapter 4 – The Idumeans Being Sent For By The Zealots, Came Immediately To Jerusalem; And When They Were Excluded Out Of The City, They Lay All Night There. Jesus One Of The High Priests Makes A Speech To Them; And Simon The Idumean Makes A Reply To It.
Chapter 5 – The Cruelty Of The Idumeans When They Were Gotten Into The Temple During The Storm; And Of The Zealots. Concerning The Slaughter Of Ananus, And Jesus, And Zacharias; And How The Idumeans Retired Home.
Chapter 6 – How The Zealots When They Were Freed From The Idumeans, Slew A Great Many More Of The Citizens; And How Vespasian Dissuaded The Romans When They Were Very Earnest To March Against The Jews From Proceeding In The War At That Time.
Chapter 7 – How John Tyrannized Over The Rest; And What Mischiefs The Zealots Did At Masada. How Also Vespasian Took Gadara; And What Actions Were Performed By Placidus.
Chapter 8 – How Vespasian .Upon Hearing Of Some Commotions In Gall, (12) Made Haste To Finish The Jewish War. A Description Of. Jericho, And Of The Great Plain; With An Account Besides Of The Lake Asphaltitis.
Chapter 9 – That Vespasian, After He Had Taken Gadara Made Preparation For The Siege Of Jerusalem; But That, Upon His Hearing Of The Death Of Nero, He Changed His Intentions. As Also Concerning Simon Of Geras.
Chapter 10 – How The Soldiers, Both In Judea And Egypt, Proclaimed Vespasian Emperor;And How Vespasian Released Josephus From His Bonds.
Chapter 11 – That Upon The Conquest And Slaughter Of Vitellius Vespasian Hastened His Journey To Rome; But Titus His Son Returned To Jerusalem.
Book 5 – Containing The Interval Of Near Six Months. From The Coming Of Titus To Besiege Jerusalem, To The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced.
Chapter 1 – Concerning The Seditions At Jerusalem And What Terrible Miseries Afflicted The City By Their Means.
Chapter 2 – How Titus Marched To Jerusalem, And How He Was In Danger As He Was Taking A View O The City Of The Place Also Where He Pitched His Camp.
Chapter 3 – How The Sedition Was Again Revived Within Jerusalem And Yet The Jews Contrived Snares For The Romans. How Titus Also Threatened His Soldiers For Their Ungovernable Rashness.
Chapter 4 – The Description Of Jerusalem.
Chapter 5 – A Description Of The Temple.
Chapter 6 – Concerning The Tyrants Simon And John. How Also As Titus Was Going Round The Wall Of This City Nicanor Was Wounded By A Dart; Which Accident Provoked Titus To Press On The Siege.
Chapter 7 – How One Of The Towers Erected By The Romans Fell Down Of Its Own Accord; And How The Romans After Great Slaughter Had Been Made Got Possession Of The First Wall. How Also Titus Made His Assaults Upon The Second Wall; As Also Concerning Longinus The Roman, And Castor The Jew.
Chapter 8 – How The Romans Took The Second Wall Twice, And Got All Ready For Taking The Third Wall.
Chapter 9 – Titus When The Jews Were Not At All Mollified By His Leaving Off The Siege For A While, Set Himself Again To Prosecute The Same; But Soon Sent Josephus To Discourse With His Own Countrymen About Peace.
Chapter 10 – How A Great Many Of The People Earnestly Endeavored To Desert To The Romans; As Also What Intolerable Things Those That Staid Behind Suffered By Famine, And The Sad Consequences Thereof.
Chapter 11 – How The Jews Were Crucified Before The Walls Of The City Concerning Antiochus Epiphanes; And How The Jews Overthrew The Banks That Had Been Raised By The Romans.
Chapter 12 – Titus Thought Fit To Encompass The City Round With A Wall; After Which The Famine Consumed The People By Whole Houses And Families Together.
Chapter 13 – The Great Slaughters And Sacrilege That Were In Jerusalem.
Book 6 – Containing The Interval Of About One Month. From The Great Extremity To Which The Jews Were Reduced To The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus.
Chapter 1 – That The Miseries Still Grew Worse; And How The Romans Made An Assault Upon The Tower Of Antonia.
Chapter 2 – How Titus Gave Orders To Demolish The Tower Of Antonia And Then Persuaded Josephus To Exhort The Jews Again [To A Surrender].
Chapter 3 – Concerning A Stratagem That Was Devised By The Jews, By Which They Burnt Many Of The Romans; With Another Description Of The Terrible Famine That Was In The City.
Chapter 4 – When The Banks Were Completed And The Battering Rams Brought, And Could Do Nothing, Titus Gave Orders To Set Fire To The Gates Of The Temple; In No Long Time After Which The Holy House Itself Was Burnt Down, Even Against His Consent.
Chapter 5 – The Great Distress The Jews Were In Upon The Conflagration Of The Holy House. Concerning A False Prophet, And The Signs That Preceded This Destruction.
Chapter 6 – How The Romans Carried Their Ensigns To The Temple, And Made Joyful Acclamations To Titus. The Speech That Titus Made To The Jews When They Made Supplication For Mercy. What Reply They Made Thereto; And How That Reply Moved Titus’s Indignation Against Them.
Chapter 7 – What Afterward Befell The Seditious When They Had Done A Great Deal Of Mischief, And Suffered Many Misfortunes; As Also How Caesar Became Master Of The Upper City.
Chapter 8 – How Caesar Raised Banks Round About The Upper City [Mount Zion] And When They Were Completed, Gave Orders That The Machines Should Be Brought. He Then Possessed Himself Of The Whole City.
Chapter 9 – What Injunctions Caesar Gave When He Was Come Within The City. The Number Of The Captives And Of Those That Perished In The Siege; As Also Concerning Those That Had Escaped Into The Subterranean Caverns, Among Whom Were The Tyrants Simon And John Themselves.
Chapter 10 – That Whereas The City Of Jerusalem Had Been Five Times Taken Formerly, This Was The Second Time Of Its Desolation. A Brief Account Of Its History.
Book 7 – Containing The Interval Of About Three Years. From The Taking Of Jerusalem By Titus To The Sedition At Cyrene.
Chapter 1 – How The Entire City Of Jerusalem Was Demolished, Excepting Three Towers; And How Titus Commended His Soldiers In A Speech Made To Them, And Distributed Rewards To Them And Then Dismissed Many Of Them.
Chapter 2 – How Titus Exhibited All Sorts Of Shows At Cesarea Philippi. Concerning Simon The Tyrant How He Was Taken, And Reserved For The Triumph.
Chapter 3 – How Titus Upon The Celebration Of His Brothers And Fathers Birthdays Had Many Of The Jews Slain. Concerning The Danger The Jews Were In At Antioch, By Means Of The Transgression And Impiety Of One Antiochus, A Jew.
Chapter 4 – How Vespasian Was Received At Rome; As Also How The Germans Revolted From The Romans, But Were Subdued. That The Sarmatians Overran Mysia, But Were Compelled To Retire To Their Own Country Again.
Chapter 5 – Concerning The Sabbatic River Which Titus Saw As He Was Journeying Through Syria; And How The People Of Antioch Came With A Petition To Titus Against The Jews But Were Rejected By Him; As Also Concerning Titus’s And Vespasian’s Triumph.
Chapter 6 – Concerning Macherus, And How Lucilius Bassus Took That Citadel, And Other Places.
Chapter 7 – Concerning The Calamity That Befell Antiochus, King Of Commagene. As Also Concerning The Alans And What Great Mischiefs They Did To The Medes And Armenians.
Chapter 8 – Concerning Masada And Those Sicarii Who Kept It; And How Silva Betook Himself To Form The Siege Of That Citadel. Eleazar’s Speeches To The Besieged.
Chapter 9 – How The People That Were In The Fortress Were Prevailed On By The Words Of Eleazar, Two Women And Five Children Only Excepted And All Submitted To Be Killed By One Another.
Chapter 10 – That Many Of The Sicarii Fled To Alexandria Also And What Dangers They Were In There; On Which Account That Temple Which Had Formerly Been Built By Onias The High Priest Was Destroyed.
Chapter 11 – Concerning Jonathan, One Of The Sicarii, That Stirred Up A Sedition In Cyrene, And Was A False Accuser [Of The Innocent].
1. (1) WHEREAS the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affairs themselves have gotten together vain and contradictory stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts; I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians; (2) Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work].
2. Now at the time when this great concussion of affairs happened, the affairs of the Romans were themselves in great disorder. Those Jews also who were for innovations, then arose when the times were disturbed; they were also in a flourishing condition for strength and riches, insomuch that the affairs of the East were then exceeding tumultuous, while some hoped for gain, and others were afraid of loss in such troubles; for the Jews hoped that all of their nation which were beyond Euphrates would have raised an insurrection together with them. The Gauls also, in the neighborhood of the Romans, were in motion, and the Geltin were not quiet; but all was in disorder after the death of Nero. And the opportunity now offered induced many to aim at the royal power; and the soldiery affected change, out of the hopes of getting money. I thought it therefore an absurd thing to see the truth falsified in affairs of such great consequence, and to take no notice of it; but to suffer those Greeks and Romans that were not in the wars to be ignorant of these things, and to read either flatteries or fictions, while the Parthians, and the Babylonians, and the remotest Arabians, and those of our nation beyond Euphrates, with the Adiabeni, by my means, knew accurately both whence the war begun, what miseries it brought upon us, and after what manner it ended.
3. It is true, these writers have the confidence to call their accounts histories; wherein yet they seem to me to fail of their own purpose, as well as to relate nothing that is sound. For they have a mind to demonstrate the greatness of the Romans, while they still diminish and lessen the actions of the Jews, as not discerning how it cannot be that those must appear to be great who have only conquered those that were little. Nor are they ashamed to overlook the length of the war, the multitude of the Roman forces who so greatly suffered in it, or the might of the commanders, whose great labors about Jerusalem will be deemed inglorious, if what they achieved be reckoned but a small matter.
4. However, I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy. Yet shall I suit my language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentations upon the miseries undergone by my own country. For that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it, and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us, who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy temple, Titus Caesar, who destroyed it, is himself a witness, who, daring the entire war, pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to let the authors have opportunity for repentance. But if any one makes an unjust accusation against us, when we speak so passionately about the tyrants, or the robbers, or sorely bewail the misfortunes of our country, let him indulge my affections herein, though it be contrary to the rules for writing history; because it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. Accordingly, it appears to me that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews (3) are not so considerable as they were; while the authors of them were not foreigners neither. This makes it impossible for me to contain my lamentations. But if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute the facts themselves to the historical part, and the lamentations to the writer himself only.
5. However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks, who, when such great actions have been done in their own times, which, upon the comparison, quite eclipse the old wars, do yet sit as judges of those affairs, and pass bitter censures upon the labors of the best writers of antiquity; which moderns, although they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended to do. While these also write new histories about the Assyrians and Medes, as if the ancient writers had not described their affairs as they ought to have done; although these be as far inferior to them in abilities as they are different in their notions from them. For of old every one took upon them to write what happened in his own time; where their immediate concern in the actions made their promises of value; and where it must be reproachful to write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such. But then, an undertaking to preserve the memory Of what hath not been before recorded, and to represent the affairs of one’s own time to those that come afterwards, is really worthy of praise and commendation. Now he is to be esteemed to have taken good pains in earnest, not who does no more than change the disposition and order of other men’s works, but he who not only relates what had not been related before, but composes an entire body of history of his own: accordingly, I have been at great charges, and have taken very great pains [about this history], though I be a foreigner; and do dedicate this work, as a memorial of great actions, both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians. But for some of our own principal men, their mouths are wide open, and their tongues loosed presently, for gain and law-suits, but quite muzzled up when they are to write history, where they must speak truth and gather facts together with a great deal of pains; and so they leave the writing such histories to weaker people, and to such as are not acquainted with the actions of princes. Yet shall the real truth of historical facts be preferred by us, how much soever it be neglected among the Greek historians.
6. To write concerning the Antiquities of the Jews, who they were [originally], and how they revolted from the Egyptians, and what country they traveled over, and what countries they seized upon afterward, and how they were removed out of them, I think this not to be a fit opportunity, and, on other accounts, also superfluous; and this because many Jews before me have composed the histories of our ancestors very exactly; as have some of the Greeks done it also, and have translated our histories into their own tongue, and have not much mistaken the truth in their histories. But then, where the writers of these affairs and our prophets leave off, thence shall I take my rise, and begin my history. Now as to what concerns that war which happened in my own time, I will go over it very largely, and with all the diligence I am able; but for what preceded mine own age, that I shall run over briefly.
7. [For example, I shall relate] how Antiochus, who was named Epiphanes, took Jerusalem by force, and held it three years and three months, and was then ejected out of the country by the sons of Asamoneus: after that, how their posterity quarreled about the government, and brought upon their settlement the Romans and Pompey; how Herod also, the son of Antipater, dissolved their government, and brought Sosins upon them; as also how our people made a sedition upon Herod’s death, while Augustus was the Roman emperor, and Quintilius Varus was in that country; and how the war broke out in the twelfth year of Nero, with what happened to Cestius; and what places the Jews assaulted in a hostile manner in the first sallies of the war.
8. As also [I shall relate] how they built walls about the neighboring cities; and how Nero, upon Cestius’s defeat, was in fear of the entire event of the war, and thereupon made Vespasian general in this war; and how this Vespasian, with the elder of his sons (4) made an expedition into the country of Judea; what was the number of the Roman army that he made use of; and how many of his auxiliaries were cut off in all Galilee; and how he took some of its cities entirely, and by force, and others of them by treaty, and on terms. Now, when I am come so far, I shall describe the good order of the Romans in war, and the discipline of their legions; the amplitude of both the Galilees, with its nature, and the limits of Judea. And, besides this, I shall particularly go over what is peculiar to the country, the lakes and fountains that are in them, and what miseries happened to every city as they were taken; and all this with accuracy, as I saw the things done, or suffered in them. For I shall not conceal any of the calamities I myself endured, since I shall relate them to such as know the truth of them.
9. After this, [I shall relate] how, When the Jews’ affairs were become very bad, Nero died, and Vespasian, when he was going to attack Jerusalem, was called back to take the government upon him; what signs happened to him relating to his gaining that government, and what mutations of government then happened at Rome, and how he was unwillingly made emperor by his soldiers; and how, upon his departure to Egypt, to take upon him the government of the empire, the affairs of the Jews became very tumultuous; as also how the tyrants rose up against them, and fell into dissensions among themselves.
10. Moreover, [I shall relate] how Titus marched out of Egypt into Judea the second time; as also how, and where, and how many forces he got together; and in what state the city was, by the means of the seditious, at his coming; what attacks he made, and how many ramparts he cast up; of the three walls that encompassed the city, and of their measures; of the strength of the city, and the structure of the temple and holy house; and besides, the measures of those edifices, and of the altar, and all accurately determined. A description also of certain of their festivals, and seven purifications of purity, (5) and the sacred ministrations of the priests, with the garments of the priests, and of the high priests; and of the nature of the most holy place of the temple; without concealing any thing, or adding any thing to the known truth of things.
11. After this, I shall relate the barbarity of the tyrants towards the people of their own nation, as well as the indulgence of the Romans in sparing foreigners; and how often Titus, out of his desire to preserve the city and the temple, invited the seditious to come to terms of accommodation. I shall also distinguish the sufferings of the people, and their calamities; how far they were afflicted by the sedition, and how far by the famine, and at length were taken. Nor shall I omit to mention the misfortunes of the deserters, nor the punishments inflicted on the captives; as also how the temple was burnt, against the consent of Caesar; and how many sacred things that had been laid up in the temple were snatched out of the fire; the destruction also of the entire city, with the signs and wonders that went before it; and the taking the tyrants captives, and the multitude of those that were made slaves, and into what different misfortunes they were every one distributed. Moreover, what the Romans did to the remains of the wall; and how they demolished the strong holds that were in the country; and how Titus went over the whole country, and settled its affairs; together with his return into Italy, and his triumph.
12. I have comprehended all these things in seven books, and have left no occasion for complaint or accusation to such as have been acquainted with this war; and I have written it down for the sake of those that love truth, but not for those that please themselves [with fictitious relations]. And I will begin my account of these things with what I call my First Chapter.
(1) I have already observed more than once, that this History of the Jewish War was Josephus’s first work, and published about A.D. 75, when he was but thirty- eight years of age; and that when he wrote it, he was not thoroughly acquainted with several circumstances of history from the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, with which it begins, till near his own times, contained in the first and former part of the second book, and so committed many involuntary errors therein. That he published his Antiquities eighteen years afterward, in the thirteenth year of Domitian, A.D. 93, when he was much more completely acquainted with those ancient times, and after he had perused those most authentic histories, the First Book of Maccabees, and the Chronicles of the Priesthood of John Hyrcanus, etc. That accordingly he then reviewed those parts of this work, and gave the public a more faithful, complete, and accurate account of the facts therein related; and honestly corrected the errors he bad before run into.
(2) Who these Upper Barbarians, remote from the sea, were, Josephus himself will inform us, sect. 2, viz. the Parthians and Babylonians, and remotest Arabians [of the Jews among them]; besides the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or Assyrians. Whence we also learn that these Parthians, Babylonians, the remotest Arabians, [or at least the Jews among them,] as also the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or Assyrians, understood Josephus’s Hebrew, or rather Chaldaic, books of The Jewish War, before they were put into the Greek language.
(3) That these calamities of the Jews, who were our Savior’s murderers, were to be the greatest that had ever been sence the beginning of the world, our Savior had directly foretold, Mat_24:21; Mar_13:19; Luk_21:23-24; and that they proved to be such accordingly, Josephus is here a most authentic witness.
(5) These seven, or rather five, degrees of purity, or purification, are enumerated hereafter, B. V. ch. 5. sect. 6. The Rabbins make ten degrees of them, as Reland there informs us.
HOW THE CITY JERUSALEM WAS TAKEN, AND THE TEMPLE PILLAGED [BY ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES]. AS ALSO CONCERNING THE ACTIONS OF THE MACCABEES, MATTHIAS AND JUDAS; AND CONCERNING THE DEATH OF JUDAS.
1. AT the same time that Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, had a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the whole country of Syria, a great sedition fell among the men of power in Judea, and they had a contention about obtaining the government; while each of those that were of dignity could not endure to be subject to their equals. However, Onias, one of the high priests, got the better, and cast the sons of Tobias out of the city; who fled to Antiochus, and besought him to make use of them for his leaders, and to make an expedition into Judea. The king being thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon the Jews with a great army, and took their city by force, and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months. But Onias, the high priest, fled to Ptolemy, and received a place from him in the Nomus of Heliopolis, where he built a city resembling Jerusalem, and a temple that was like its temple (1) concerning which we shall speak more in its proper place hereafter.
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.
(1) I see little difference in the several accounts in Josephus about the Egyptian temple Onion, of which large complaints are made by his commentators. Onias, it seems, hoped to have :made it very like that at Jerusalem, and of the same dimensions; and so he appears to have really done, as far as he was able and thought proper. Of this temple, see Antiq. B. XIII. ch. 3. sect. 1–3, and Of the War, B. VII. ch. 10. sect. 8.
CONCERNING THE SUCCESSORS OF JUDAS, WHO WERE JONATHAN AND SIMON, AND JOHN HYRCANUS.
1. WHEN Jonathan, who was Judas’s brother, succeeded him, he behaved himself with great circumspection in other respects, with relation to his own people; and he corroborated his authority by preserving his friendship with the Romans. He also made a league with Antiochus the son. Yet was not all this sufficient for his security; for the tyrant Trypho, who was guardian to Antiochus’s son, laid a plot against him; and besides that, endeavored to take off his friends, and caught Jonathan by a wile, as he was going to Ptolemais to Antiochus, with a few persons in his company, and put him in bonds, and then made an expedition against the Jews; but when he was afterward driven away by Simon, who was Jonathan’s brother, and was enraged at his defeat, he put Jonathan to death.
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) 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.
HOW ARISTOBULUS WAS THE FIRST THAT PUT A DIADEM ABOUT HIS HEAD; AND AFTER HE HAD PUT HIS MOTHER AND BROTHER TO DEATH, DIED HIMSELF, WHEN HE HAD REIGNED NO MORE THAN A YEAR.
1. FOR after the death of their father, the elder of them, Aristobulus, changed the government into a kingdom, and was the first that put a diadem upon his head, four hundred seventy and one years and three months after our people came down into this country, when they were set free from the Babylonian slavery. Now, of his brethren, he appeared to have an affection for Antigonus, who was next to him, and made him his equal; but for the rest, he bound them, and put them in prison. He also put his mother in bonds, for her contesting the government with him; for John had left her to be the governess of public affairs. He also proceeded to that degree of barbarity as to cause her to be pined to death in prison.
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.
WHAT ACTIONS WERE DONE BY ALEXANDER JANNEUS, WHO REIGNED TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS.
1. AND now the king’s wife loosed the king’s brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest; who, when he came to the government, slew one of his brethren, as affecting to govern himself; but had the other of them in great esteem, as loving a quiet life, without meddling with public affairs.
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.
(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.
ALEXANDRA REIGNS NINE YEARS, DURING WHICH TIME THE PHARISEES WERE THE REAL RULERS OF THE NATION.
1. NOW Alexander left the kingdom to Alexandra his wife, and depended upon it that the Jews would now very readily submit to her, because she had been very averse to such cruelty as he had treated them with, and had opposed his violation of their laws, and had thereby got the good-will of the people. Nor was he mistaken as to his expectations; for this woman kept the dominion, by the opinion that the people had of her piety; for she chiefly studied the ancient customs of her country, and cast those men out of the government that offended against their holy laws. And as she had two sons by Alexander, she made Hyrcanus the elder high priest, on account of his age, as also, besides that, on account of his inactive temper, no way disposing him to disturb the public. But she retained the younger, Aristobulus, with her as a private person, by reason of the warmth of his temper.
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.
(4) Mat_16:19; Mat_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.
WHEN HYRCANUS WHO WAS ALEXANDER’S HEIR, RECEDED FROM HIS CLAIM TO THE CROWN ARISTOBULUS IS MADE KING; AND AFTERWARD THE SAME HYRCANUS BY THE MEANS OF ANTIPATER, IS BROUGHT BACK BY ABETAS. AT LAST POMPEY IS MADE THE ARBITRATOR OF THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE BROTHERS.
1. NOW Hyrcanus was heir to the kingdom, and to him did his mother commit it before she died; but Aristobulus was superior to him in power and magnanimity; and when there was a battle between them, to decide the dispute about the kingdom, near Jericho, the greatest part deserted Hyrcanus, and went over to Aristobulus; but Hyrcanus, with those of his party who staid with him, fled to Antonia, and got into his power the hostages that might he for his preservation (which were Aristobulus’s wife, with her children); but they came to an agreement before things should come to extremities, that Aristobulus should be king, and Hyrcanus should resign that up, but retain all the rest of his dignities, as being the king’s brother. Hereupon they were reconciled to each other in the temple, and embraced one another in a very kind manner, while the people stood round about them; they also changed their houses, while Aristobulus went to the royal palace, and Hyrcanus retired to the house of Aristobulus.
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.
(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.
HOW POMPEY HAD THE CITY OF JERUSALEM DELIVERED UP TO HIM BUT TOOK THE TEMPLE BY FORCE. HOW HE WENT INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES; AS ALSO WHAT WERE HIS OTHER EXPLOITS IN JUDEA.
1. At this treatment Pompey was very angry, and took Aristobulus into custody. And when he was come to the city, he looked about where he might make his attack; for he saw the walls were so firm, that it would be hard to overcome them; and that the valley before the walls was terrible; and that the temple, which was within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, that temple would be a second place of refuge for the enemy to retire to.
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.
(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.
ALEXANDER, THE SON OF ARISTOBULUS, WHO RAN AWAY FROM POMPEY, MAKES AN EXPEDITION AGAINST HYRCANUS; BUT BEING OVERCOME BY GABINIUS HE DELIVERS UP THE FORTRESSES TO HIM. AFTER THIS ARISTOBULUS ESCAPES FROM ROME AND GATHERS AN ARMY TOGETHER; BUT BEING BEATEN BY THE ROMANS, HE IS BROUGHT BACK TO ROME; WITH OTHER THINGS RELATING TO GABINIUS, CRASSUS AND CASSIUS.
1. IN the mean time, Scaurus made an expedition into Arabia, but was stopped by the difficulty of the places about Petra. However, he laid waste the country about Pella, though even there he was under great hardship; for his army was afflicted with famine. In order to supply which want, Hyrcanus afforded him some assistance, and sent him provisions by the means of Antipater; whom also Scaurus sent to Aretas, as one well acquainted with him, to induce him to pay him money to buy his peace. The king of Arabia complied with the proposal, and gave him three hundred talents; upon which Scaurus drew his army out of Arabia (10)
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)
(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.”