The Antiquities of the Jews
Flavius Josephus

Part 16 out of 26

whatsoever favors have been hitherto granted them; and if at any
time hereafter there arise any questions about the Jewish
customs, I will that he determine the same. And I think it not
proper that they should be obliged to find us winter quarters, or
that any money should be required of them."

3. "The decrees of Caius Caesar, consul, containing what hath
been granted and determined, are as follows: That Hyrcanus and
his children bear rule over the nation of the Jews, and have the
profits of the places to them bequeathed; and that he, as himself
the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, defend those that are
injured; and that ambassadors be sent to Hyrcanus, the son of
Alexander, the high priest of the Jews, that may discourse with
him about a league of friendship and mutual assistance; and that
a table of brass, containing the premises, be openly proposed in
the capitol, and at Sidon, and Tyre, and Askelon, and in the
temple, engraven in Roman and Greek letters: that this decree may
also be communicated to the quaestors and praetors of the several
cities, and to the friends of the Jews; and that the ambassadors
may have presents made them; and that these decrees be sent every

4. "Caius Caesar, imperator, dictator, consul, hath granted, That
out of regard to the honor, and virtue, and kindness of the man,
and for the advantage of the senate, and of the people of Rome,
Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, both he and his children, be high
priests and priests of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish nation, by
the same right, and according to the same laws, by which their
progenitors have held the priesthood."

5. "Caius Caesar, consul the fifth time, hath decreed, That the
Jews shall possess Jerusalem, and may encompass that city with
walls; and that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest
and ethnarch of the Jews, retain it in the manner he himself
pleases; and that the Jews be allowed to deduct out of their
tribute, every second year the land is let [in the Sabbatic
period], a corus of that tribute; and that the tribute they pay
be not let to farm, nor that they pay always the same tribute."

6. "Caius Caesar, imperator the second time, hath ordained, That
all the country of the Jews, excepting Joppa, do pay a tribute
yearly for the city Jerusalem, excepting the seventh, which they
call the sabbatical year, because thereon they neither receive
the fruits of their trees, nor do they sow their land; and that
they pay their tribute in Sidon on the second year [of that
sabbatical period], the fourth part of what was sown: and besides
this, they are to pay the same tithes to Hyrcanus and his sons
which they paid to their forefathers. And that no one, neither
president, nor lieutenant, nor ambassador, raise auxiliaries
within the bounds of Judea; nor may soldiers exact money of them
for winter quarters, or under any other pretense; but that they
be free from all sorts of injuries; and that whatsoever they
shall hereafter have, and are in possession of, or have bought,
they shall retain them all. It is also our pleasure that the city
Joppa, which the Jews had originally, when they made a league of
friendship with the Romans, shall belong to them, as it. formerly
did; and that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, and his sons, have
as tribute of that city from those that occupy the land for the
country, and for what they export every year to Sidon, twenty
thousand six hundred and seventy-five modii every year, the
seventh year, which they call the Sabbatic year, excepted,
whereon they neither plough, nor receive the product of their
trees. It is also the pleasure of the senate, that as to the
villages which are in the great plain, which Hyrcanus and his
forefathers formerly possessed, Hyrcanus and the Jews have them
with the same privileges with which they formerly had them also;
and that the same original ordinances remain still in force which
concern the Jews with regard to their high priests; and that they
enjoy the same benefits which they have had formerly by the
concession of the people, and of the senate; and let them enjoy
the like privileges in Lydda. It is the pleasure also of the
senate that Hyrcanus the ethnarch, and the Jews, retain those
places, countries, and villages which belonged to the kings of
Syria and Phoenicia, the confederates of the Romans, and which
they had bestowed on them as their free gifts. It is also granted
to Hyrcanus, and to his sons, and to the ambassadors by them sent
to us, that in the fights between single gladiators, and in those
with beasts, they shall sit among the senators to see those
shows; and that when they desire an audience, they shall be
introduced into the senate by the dictator, or by the general of
the horse; and when they have introduced them, their answers
shall be returned them in ten days at the furthest, after the
decree of the senate is made about their affairs."

7. "Caius Cqesar, imperator, dictator the fourth time, and consul
the fifth time, declared to be perpetual dictator, made this
speech concerning the rights and privileges of Hyrcanus, the son
of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews. Since
those imperators that have been in the provinces before me have
borne witness to Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, and to
the Jews themselves, and this before the senate and people of
Rome, when the people and senate returned their thanks to them,
it is good that we now also remember the same, and provide that a
requital be made to Hyrcanus, to the nation of the Jews, and to
the sons of Hyrcanus, by the senate and people of Rome, and that
suitably to what good-will they have shown us, and to the
benefits they have bestowed upon us."

8. "Julius Caius, praetor [consul] of Rome, to the magistrates,
senate, and people of the Parians, sendeth greeting. The Jews of
Delos, and some other Jews that sojourn there, in the presence of
your ambassadors, signified to us, that, by a decree of yours,
you forbid them to make use of the customs of their forefathers,
and their way of sacred worship. Now it does not please me that
such decrees should be made against our friends and confederates,
whereby they are forbidden to live according to their own
customs, or to bring in contributions for common suppers and holy
festivals, while they are not forbidden so to do even at Rome
itself; for even Caius Caesar, our imperator and consul, in that
decree wherein he forbade the Bacchanal rioters to meet in the
city, did yet permit these Jews, and these only, both to bring in
their contributions, and to make their common suppers.
Accordingly, when I forbid other Bacchanal rioters, I permit
these Jews to gather themselves together, according to the
customs and laws of their forefathers, and to persist therein. It
will be therefore good for you, that if you have made any decree
against these our friends and confederates, to abrogate the same,
by reason of their virtue and kind disposition towards us."

9. Now after Caius was slain, when Marcus Antonius and Publius
Dolabella were consuls, they both assembled the senate, and
introduced Hyrcanus's ambassadors into it, and discoursed of what
they desired, and made a league of friendship with them. The
senate also decreed to grant them all they desired. I add the
decree itself, that those who read the present work may have
ready by them a demonstration of the truth of what we say. The
decree was this:

10. "The decree of the senate, copied out of the treasury, from
the public tables belonging to the quaestors, when Quintus
Rutilius and Caius Cornelius were quaestors, and taken out of the
second table of the first class, on the third day before the Ides
of April, in the temple of Concord. There were present at the
writing of this decree, Lucius Calpurnius Piso of the Menenian
tribe, Servius Papinins Potitus of the Lemonian tribe, Caius
Caninius Rebilius of the Terentine tribe, Publius Tidetius,
Lucius Apulinus, the son of Lucius, of the Sergian tribe,
Flavius, the son of Lucius, of the Lemonian tribe, Publius
Platins, the son of Publius, of the Papyrian tribe, Marcus
Acilius, the son of Marcus, of the Mecian tribe, Lucius Erucius,
the son of Lucius, of the Stellatine tribe, Mareils Quintus
Plancillus, the son of Marcus, of the Pollian tribe, and Publius
Serius. Publius Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, the consuls, made
this reference to the senate, that as to those things which, by
the decree of the senate, Caius Caesar had adjudged about the
Jews, and yet had not hitherto that decree been brought into the
treasury, it is our will, as it is also the desire of Publius
Dolabella and Marcus Antonius, our consuls, to have these decrees
put into the public tables, and brought to the city quaestors,
that they may take care to have them put upon the double tables.
This was done before the fifth of the Ides of February, in the
temple of Concord. Now the ambassadors from Hyrcanus the high
priest were these: Lysimachus, the son of Pausanias, Alexander,
the son of Theodorus, Patroclus, the son of Chereas, and Jonathan
the, son of Onias."

11. Hyrcanus sent also one of these ambassadors to Dolabella, who
was then the prefect of Asia, and desired him to dismiss the Jews
from military services, and to preserve to them the customs of
their forefathers, and to permit them to live according to them.
And when Dolabella had received Hyrcanus's letter, without any
further deliberation, he sent an epistle to all the Asiatics, and
particularly to the city of the Ephesians, the metropolis of
Asia, about the Jews; a copy of which epistle here follows:

12. "When Artermon was prytanis, on the first day of the month
Leneon, Dolabella, imperator, to the senate, and magistrates, and
people of the Ephesians, sendeth greeting. Alexander, the son of
Theodorus, the ambassador of Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the
high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, appeared before me, to show
that his countrymen could not go into their armies, because they
are not allowed to bear arms or to travel on the sabbath days,
nor there to procure themselves those sorts of food which they
have been used to eat from the times of their forefathers; - I do
therefore grant them a freedom from going into the army, as the
former prefects have done, and permit them to use the customs of
their forefathers, in assembling together for sacred and
religious purposes, as their law requires, and for collecting
oblations necessary for sacrifices; and my will is, that you
write this to the several cities under your jurisdiction."

13. And these were the concessions that Dolabella made to our
nation when Hyrcanus sent an embassage to him. But Lucius the
consul's decree ran thus: "I have at my tribunal set these Jews,
who are citizens of Rome, and follow the Jewish religious rites,
and yet live at Ephesus, free from going into the army, on
account of the superstition they are under. This was done before
the twelfth of the calends of October, when Lucius Lentulus and
Caius Marcellus were consuls, in the presence of Titus Appius
Balgus, the son of Titus, and lieutenant of the Horatian tribe;
of Titus Tongins, the son of Titus, of the Crustumine tribe; of
Quintus Resius, the son of Quintus; of Titus Pompeius Longinus,
the son of Titus; of Catus Servilius, the son of Caius, of the
Terentine tribe; of Bracchus the military tribune; of Publius
Lucius Gallus, the son of Publius, of the Veturian tribe; of
Caius Sentins, the son of Caius, of the Sabbatine tribe; of Titus
Atilius Bulbus, the son of Titus, lieutenant and vice-praetor to
the magistrates, senate, and people of the Ephesians, sendeth
greeting. Lucius Lentulus the consul freed the Jews that are in
Asia from going into the armies, at my intercession for them; and
when I had made the same petition some time afterward to Phanius
the imperator, and to Lucius Antonius the vice-quaestor, I
obtained that privilege of them also; and my will is, that you
take care that no one give them any disturbance."

14. The decree of the Delians. "The answer of the praetors, when
Beotus was archon, on the twentieth day of the month Thargeleon.
While Marcus Piso the lieutenant lived in our city, who was also
appointed over the choice of the soldiers, he called us, and many
other of the citizens, and gave order, that if there be here any
Jews who are Roman citizens, no one is to give them any
disturbance about going into the army, because Cornelius
Lentulus, the consul, freed the Jews from going into the army, on
account of the superstition they are under; - you are therefore
obliged to submit to the praetor." And the like decree was made
by the Sardians about us also.

15. "Caius Phanius, the son of Caius, imperator and consul, to
the magistrates of Cos, sendeth greeting. I would have you know
that the ambassadors of the Jews have been with me, and desired
they might have those decrees which the senate had made about
them; which decrees are here subjoined. My will is, that you have
a regard to and take care of these men, according to the senate's
decree, that they may be safely conveyed home through your

16. The declaration of Lucius Lentulus the consul: "I have
dismissed those Jews who are Roman citizens, and who appear to me
to have their religious rites, and to observe the laws of the
Jews at Ephesus, on account of the superstition they are under.
This act was done before the thirteenth of the calends of

17. "Lucius Antonius, the son of Marcus, vice-quaestor, and
vice-praetor, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the
Sardians, sendeth greeting. Those Jews that are our fellow
citizens of Rome came to me, and demonstrated that they had an
assembly of their own, according to the laws of their
forefathers, and this from the beginning, as also a place of
their own, wherein they determined their suits and controversies
with one another. Upon their petition therefore to me, that these
might be lawful for them, I gave order that these their
privileges be preserved, and they be permitted to do

18. The declaration of Marcus Publius, the son of Spurius, and of
Marcus, the son of Marcus, and of Lucius, the son of Publius: "We
went to the proconsul, and informed him of what Dositheus, the
son of Cleopatrida of Alexandria, desired, that, if he thought
good, he would dismiss those Jews who were Roman citizens, and
were wont to observe the rites of the Jewish religion, on account
of the superstition they were under. Accordingly, he did dismiss
them. This was done before the thirteenth of the calends of

19. "In the month Quntius, when Lucius Lentulus and Caius
Mercellus were consuls; and there were present Titus Appius
Balbus, the son of Titus, lieutenant of the Horatian tribe, Titus
Tongius of the Crustumine tribe, Quintus Resius, the son of
Quintus, Titus Pompeius, the son of Titus, Cornelius Longinus,
Caius Servilius Bracchus, the son of Caius, a military tribune,
of the Terentine tribe, Publius Clusius Gallus, the son of
Publius, of the Veturian tribe, Caius Teutius, the son of Caius,
a milital tribune, of the EmilJan tribe, Sextus Atilius Serranus,
the son of Sextus, of the Esquiline tribe, Caius Pompeius, the
son of Caius, of the Sabbatine tribe, Titus Appius Menander, the
son of Titus, Publius Servilius Strabo, the son of Publius,
Lucius Paccius Capito, the son of Lucius, of the Colline tribe,
Aulus Furius Tertius, the son of Aulus, and Appius Menus. In the
presence of these it was that Lentulus pronounced this decree: I
have before the tribunal dismissed those Jews that are Roman
citizens, and are accustomed to observe the sacred rites of the
Jews at Ephesus, on account of the superstition they are under."

20. "The magistrates of the Laodiceans to Caius Rubilius, the son
of Caius, the consul, sendeth greeting. Sopater, the ambassador
of Hyrcanus the high priest, hath delivered us an epistle from
thee, whereby he lets us know that certain ambassadors were come
from Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews, and brought an
epistle written concerning their nation, wherein they desire that
the Jews may be allowed to observe their Sabbaths, and other
sacred rites, according to the laws of their forefathers, and
that they may be under no command, because they are our friends
and confederates, and that nobody may injure them in our
provinces. Now although the Trallians there present contradicted
them, and were not pleased with these decrees, yet didst thou
give order that they should be observed, and informedst us that
thou hadst been desired to write this to us about them. We
therefore, in obedience to the injunctions we have received from
thee, have received the epistle which thou sentest us, and have
laid it up by itself among our public records. And as to the
other things about which thou didst send to us, we will take care
that no complaint be made against us."

21. "Publius Servilius, the son of Publius, of the Galban tribe,
the proconsul, to the magistrates, senate, and people of the
Mileslans, sendeth greeting. Prytanes, the son of Hermes, a
citizen of yours, came to me when I was at Tralles, and held a
court there, and informed me that you used the Jews in a way
different from my opinion, and forbade them to celebrate their
Sabbaths, and to perform the Sacred rites received from their
forefathers, and to manage the fruits of the land, according to
their ancient custom; and that he had himself been the promulger
of your decree, according as your laws require: I would therefore
have you know, that upon hearing the pleadings on both sides, I
gave sentence that the Jews should not be prohibited to make use
of their own customs."

22. The decree of those of Pergamus. "When Cratippus was
prytanis, on the first day of the month Desius, the decree of the
praetors was this: Since the Romans, following the conduct of
their ancestors, undertake dangers for the common safety of all
mankind, and are ambitious to settle their confederates and
friends in happiness, and in firm peace, and since the nation of
the Jews, and their high priest Hyrcanus, sent as ambassadors to
them, Strato, the son of Theodatus, and Apollonius, the son of
Alexander, and Eneas, the son of Antipater, and Aristobulus, the
son of Amyntas, and Sosipater, the son of Philip, worthy and good
men, who gave a particular account of their affairs, the senate
thereupon made a decree about what they had desired of them, that
Antiochus the king, the son of Antiochus, should do no injury to
the Jews, the confederates of the Romans; and that the
fortresses, and the havens, and the country, and whatsoever else
he had taken from them, should be restored to them; and that it
may be lawful for them to export their goods out of their own
havens; and that no king nor people may have leave to export any
goods, either out of the country of Judea, or out of their
havens, without paying customs, but only Ptolemy, the king of
Alexandria, because he is our confederate and friend; and that,
according to their desire, the garrison that is in Joppa may be
ejected. Now Lucius Pettius, one of our senators, a worthy and
good man, gave order that we should take care that these things
should be done according to the senate's decree; and that we
should take care also that their ambassadors might return home in
safety. Accordingly, we admitted Theodorus into our senate and
assembly, and took the epistle out his hands, as well as the
decree of the senate. And as he discoursed with great zeal about
the Jews, and described Hyrcanus's virtue and generosity, and how
he was a benefactor to all men in common, and particularly to
every body that comes to him, we laid up the epistle in our
public records; and made a decree ourselves, that since we also
are in confederacy with the Romans, we would do every thing we
could for the Jews, according to the senate's decree. Theodorus
also, who brought the epistle, desired of our praetors, that they
would send Hyrcanus a copy of that decree, as also ambassadors to
signify to him the affection of our people to him, and to exhort
them to preserve and augment their friendship for us, and be
ready to bestow other benefits upon us, as justly expecting to
receive proper requitals from us; and desiring them to remember
that our ancestors (19) were friendly to the Jews even in the
days of Abraham, who was the father of all the Hebrews, as we
have [also] found it set down in our public records."

23. The decree of those of Halicarnassus. "When Memnon, the son
of Orestidas by descent, but by adoption of Euonymus, was priest,
on the * * * day of the month Aristerion, the decree of the
people, upon the representation of Marcus Alexander, was this:
Since we have ever a great regard to piety towards God, and to
holiness; and since we aim to follow the people of the Romans,
who are the benefactors of all men, and what they have written to
us about a league of friendship and mutual assistance between the
Jews and our city, and that their sacred offices and accustomed
festivals and assemblies may be observed by them; we have
decreed, that as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so
to do, may celebrate their Sabbaths, and perform their holy
offices, according to Jewish laws; and may make their proseuchae
at the sea-side, according to the customs of their forefathers;
and if any one, whether he be a magistrate or private person,
hindereth them from so doing, he shall be liable to a fine, to be
applied to the uses of the city."

24. The decree of the Sardians. "This decree was made by the
senate and people, upon the representation of the praetors:
Whereas those Jews who are fellow citizens, and live with us in
this city, have ever had great benefits heaped upon them by the
people, and have come now into the senate, and desired of the
people, that upon the restitution of their law and their liberty,
by the senate and people of Rome, they may assemble together,
according to their ancient legal custom, and that we will not
bring any suit against them about it; and that a place may be
given them where they may have their congregations, with their
wives and children, and may offer, as did their forefathers,
their prayers and sacrifices to God. Now the senate and people
have decreed to permit them to assemble together on the days
formerly appointed, and to act according to their own laws; and
that such a place be set apart for them by the praetors, for the
building and inhabiting the same, as they shall esteem fit for
that purpose; and that those that take care of the provision for
the city, shall take care that such sorts of food as they esteem
fit for their eating may be imported into the city."

25. The decree of the Ephesians. "When Menophilus was prytanis,
on the first day of the month Artemisius, this decree was made by
the people: Nicanor, the son of Euphemus, pronounced it, upon the
representation of the praetors. Since the Jews that dwell in this
city have petitioned Marcus Julius Pompeius, the son of Brutus,
the proconsul, that they might be allowed to observe their
Sabbaths, and to act in all things according to the customs of
their forefathers, without impediment from any body, the praetor
hath granted their petition. Accordingly, it was decreed by the
senate and people, that in this affair that concerned the Romans,
no one of them should be hindered from keeping the sabbath day,
nor be fined for so doing, but that they may be allowed to do all
things according to their own laws."

26. Now there are many such decrees of the senate and imperators
of the Romans (20) and those different from these before us,
which have been made in favor of Hyrcanus, and of our nation; as
also, there have been more decrees of the cities, and rescripts
of the praetors, to such epistles as concerned our rights and
privileges; and certainly such as are not ill-disposed to what we
write may believe that they are all to this purpose, and that by
the specimens which we have inserted; for since we have produced
evident marks that may still be seen of the friendship we have
had with the Romans, and demonstrated that those marks are
engraven upon columns and tables of brass in the capitol, that
axe still in being, and preserved to this day, we have omitted to
set them all down, as needless and disagreeable; for I cannot
suppose any one so perverse as not to believe the friendship we
have had with the Romans, while they have demonstrated the same
by such a great number of their decrees relating to us; nor will
they doubt of our fidelity as to the rest of those decrees, since
we have shown the same in those we have produced, And thus have
we sufficiently explained that friendship and confederacy we at
those times had with the Romans.


How Marcus, Succeeded Sextus When He Had Been Slain By Bassus's
Treachery; And How, After The Death Of Caesar, Cassius Came Into
Syria, And Distressed Judea; As Also How Malichus Slew Antipater
And Was Himself Slain By Herod.

1. Now it so fell out, that about this very time the affairs of
Syria were in great disorder, and this on the occasion following:
Cecilius Bassus, one of Pompey's party, laid a treacherous design
against Sextus Ceasar, and slew him, and then took his army, and
got the management of public affairs into his own hand; so there
arose a great war about Apamia, while Ceasar's generals came
against him with an army of horsemen and footmen; to these
Antipater also sent succors, and his sons with them, as calling
to mind the kindnesses they had received from Caesar, and on that
account he thought it but just to require punishment for him, and
to take vengeance on the man that had murdered him. And as the
war was drawn out into a great length, Marcus (21) came from Rome
to take Sextus's government upon him. But Caesar was slain by
Cassius and Brutus in the senate-house, after he had retained the
government three years and six months. This fact however, is
related elsewhere.

2. As the war that arose upon the death of Caesar was now begun,
and the principal men were all gone, some one way, and some
another, to raise armies, Cassius came from Rome into Syria, in
order to receive the [army that lay in the] camp at Apamia; and
having raised the siege, he brought over both Bassus and Marcus
to his party. He then went over the cities, and got together
weapons and soldiers, and laid great taxes upon those cities; and
he chiefly oppressed Judea, and exacted of it seven hundred
talents: but Antipater, when he saw the state to be in so great
consternation and disorder, he divided the collection of that
sum, and appointed his two sons to gather it; and so that part of
it was to be exacted by Malichus, who was ill-disposed to him,
and part by others. And because Herod did exact what is required
of him from Galilee before others, he was in the greatest favor
with Cassius; for he thought it a part of prudence to cultivate a
friendship with the Romans, and to gain their goodwill at the
expense of others; whereas the curators of the other cities, with
their citizens, were sold for slaves; and Cassius reduced four
cities into a state of slavery, the two most potent of which were
Gophna and Emmaus; and, besides these, Lydia and Thamna. Nay,
Cassius was so very angry at Malichus, that he had killed him,
(for he assaulted him,) had not Hyrcanus, by the means of
Antipater, sent him a hundred talents of his own, and thereby
pacified his anger against him.

3. But after Cassius was gone out of Judea, Malichus laid snares
for Antipater, as thinking that his death would-be the
preservation of Hyrcanus's government; but his design was not
unknown to Antipater, which when he perceived, he retired beyond
Jordan, and got together an army, partly of Arabs, and partly of
his own countrymen. However, Malichus, being one of great
cunning, denied that he had laid any snares for him, and made his
defense with an oath, both to himself and his sons; and said that
while Phasaelus had a garrison in Jerusalem, and Herod had the
weapons of war in his custody, he could never have a thought of
any such thing. So Antipater, perceiving the distress that
Malichus was in, was reconciled to him, and made an agreement
with him: this was when Marcus was president of Syria; who yet
perceiving that this Malichus was making a disturbance in Judea,
proceeded so far that he had almost killed him; but still, at the
intercession of Antipater, he saved him.

4. However, Antipater little thought that by saving Malichus he
had saved his own murderer; for now Cassius and Marcus had got
together an army, and intrusted the entire care of it with Herod,
and made him general of the forces of Celesyria, and gave him a
fleet of ships, and an army of horsemen and footmen; and promised
him, that after the war was over they would make him king of
Judea; for a war was already begun between Antony and the younger
Caesar: but as Malichus was most afraid of Antipater, he took him
out of the way; and by the offer of money, persuaded the butler
of Hyrcanus, with whom they were both to feast, to kill him by
poison. This being done, and he having armed men with him,
settled the affairs of the city. But when Antipater's sons, Herod
and Phasaelus, were acquainted with this conspiracy against their
father, and had indignation at it, Malichus denied all, and
utterly renounced any knowledge of the murder. And thus died
Antipater, a man that had distinguished himself for piety and
justice, and love to his country. And whereas one of his sons,
Herod, resolved immediately to revenge their father's death, and
was coming upon Malichus with an army for that purpose, the elder
of his sons, Phasaelus, thought it best rather to get this man
into their hands by policy, lest they should appear to begin a
civil war in the country; so he accepted of Malichus's defense
for himself, and pretended to believe him that he had had no hand
in the violent death of Antipater his father, but erected a fine
monument for him. Herod also went to Samaria; and when he found
them in great distress, he revived their spirits, and composed
their differences.

5. However, a little after this, Herod, upon the approach of a
festival, came with his soldiers into the city; whereupon
Malichus was aftrighted, and persuaded Hyrcanus not to permit him
to come into the city. Hyrcanus complied; and, for a pretense of
excluding him, alleged, that a rout of strangers ought not to be
admitted when the multitude were purifying themselves. But Herod
had little regard to the messengers that were sent to him, and
entered the city in the night time, and aftrighted Malichus; yet
did he remit nothing of his former dissimulation, but wept for
Antipater, and bewailed him as a friend of his with a loud voice;
but Herod and his friends though, it proper not openly to
contradict Malichus's hypocrisy, but to give him tokens of mutual
friendship, in order to prevent his suspicion of them.

6. However, Herod sent to Cassius, and informed him of the murder
of his father; who knowing what sort of man Malichus was as to
his morals, sent him back word that he should revenge his
father's death; and also sent privately to the commanders of his
army at Tyre, with orders to assist Herod in the execution of a
very just design of his. Now when Cassius had taken Laodicea,
they all went together to him, and carried him garlands and
money; and Herod thought that Malichus might be punished while he
was there; but he was somewhat apprehensive of the thing, and
designed to make some great attempt, and because his son was then
a hostage at Tyre, he went to that city, and resolved to steal
him away privately, and to march thence into Judea; and as
Cassius was in haste to march against Antony, he thought to bring
the country to revolt, and to procure the government for himself.
But Providence opposed his counsels; and Herod being a shrewd
man, and perceiving what his intention was, he sent thither
beforehand a servant, in appearance indeed to get a supper ready,
for he had said before that he would feast them all there, but in
reality to the commanders of the army, whom he persuaded to go
out against Malichus, with their daggers. So they went out and
met the man near the city, upon the sea-shore, and there stabbed
him. Whereupon Hyrcanus was so astonished at what had happened,
that his speech failed him; and when, after some difficulty, he
had recovered himself, he asked Herod what the matter could be,
and who it was that slew Malichus; and when he said that it was
done by the command of Cassius, he commended the action; for that
Malichus was a very wicked man, and one that conspired against
his own country. And this was the punishment that was inflicted
on Malichus for what he wickedly did to Antipater.

7. But when Cassius was marched out of Syria, disturbances arose
in Judea; for Felix, who was left at Jerusalem with an army, made
a sudden attempt against Phasaelus, and the people themselves
rose in arms; but Herod went to Fabius, the prefect of Damascus,
and was desirous to run to his brother's assistance, but was
hindered by a distemper that seized upon him, till Phasaelus by
himself had been too hard for Felix, and had shut him up in the
tower, and there, on certain conditions, dismissed him. Phasaelus
also complained of Hyrcanus, that although he had received a
great many benefits from them, yet did he support their enemies;
for Malichus's brother had made many places to revolt, and kept
garrisons in them, and particularly Masada, the strongest
fortress of them all. In the mean time, Herod was recovered of
his disease, and came and took from Felix all the places he bad
gotten; and, upon certain conditions, dismissed him also.


Herod Ejects Antigonus, The Son Of Aristobulus Out Of Judea, And
Gains The Friendship Of Antony, Who Was Now Come Into Syria, By
Sending Him Much Money; On Which Account He Would Not Admit Of
Those That Would Have Accused Herod: And What It Was That Antony
Wrote To The Tyrians In Behalf .

1. Now (22) Ptolemy, the son of Menneus, brought back into Judea
Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, who had already raised an
army, and had, by money, made Fabius to be his friend, add this
because he was of kin to him. Marion also gave him assistance. He
had been left by Cassius to tyrannize over Tyre; for this
Cussiris was a man that seized on Syria, and then kept it under,
in the way of a tyrant. Marion also marched into Galilee, which
lay in his neighborhood, and took three of his fortresses, and
put garrisons into them to keep them. But when Herod came, he
took all from him; but the Tyrian garrison he dismissed in a very
civil manner; nay, to some of the soldiers he made presents out
of the good-will he bare to that city. When he had despatched
these affairs, and was gone to meet Antigonus, he joined battle
with him, and beat him, and drove him out of Judea presently,
when he was just come into its borders. But when he was come to
Jerusalem, Hyrcanus and the people put garlands about his head;
for he had already contracted an affinity with the family of
Hyrcanus by having espoused a descendant of his, and for that
reason Herod took the greater care of him, as being to marry the
daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, add the
granddaughter of Hyrcanus, by which wife he became the father of
three male and two female children. He had also married before
this another wife, out of a lower family of his own nation, whose
name was Doris, by whom he had his eldest son Antipater.

2. Now Antonius and Caesar had beaten Cassius near Philippi, as
others have related; but after the victory, Caesar went into
Gaul, [Italy,] and Antony marched for Asia, who, when he was
arrived at Bithynia, he had ambassadors that met him from all
parts. The principal men also of the Jews came thither, to accuse
Phasaelus and Herod; and they said that Hyrcanus had indeed the
appearance of reigning, but that these men had all the power: but
Antony paid great respect to Herod, who was come to him to make
his defense against his accusers, on which account his
adversaries could not so much as obtain a hearing; which favor
Herod had gained of Antony by money. But still, when Antony was
come to Ephesus, Hyrcanus the high priest, and our nation, sent
an embassage to him, which carried a crown of gold with them, and
desired that he would write to the governors of the provinces, to
set those Jews free who had been carried captive by Cassius, and
this without their having fought against him, and to restore them
that country, which, in the days of Cassius, had been taken from
them. Antony thought the Jews' desires were just, and wrote
immediately to Hyrcanus, and to the Jews. He also sent, at the
same time, a decree to the Tyrians; the contents of which were to
the same purpose.

3. "Marcus Antonius, imperator, to Hyrcanus the high priest and
ethnarch of the Jews, sendeth greeting. It you be in health, it
is well; I am also in health, with the army. Lysimachus, the son
of Pausanias, and Josephus, the son of Menneus, and Alexander,
the son of Theodorus, your ambassadors, met me at Ephesus, and
have renewed the embassage which they had formerly been upon at
Rome, and have diligently acquitted themselves of the present
embassage, which thou and thy nation have intrusted to them, and
have fully declared the goodwill thou hast for us. I am therefore
satisfied, both by your actions and your words, that you are
well-disposed to us; and I understand that your conduct of life
is constant and religious: so I reckon upon you as our own. But
when those that were adversaries to you, and to the Roman people,
abstained neither from cities nor temples, and did not observe
the agreement they had confirmed by oath, it was not only on
account of our contest with them, but on account of all mankind
in common, that we have taken vengeance on those who have been
the authors of great injustice towards men, and of great
wickedness towards the gods; for the sake of which we suppose it
was that the sun turned away his light from us, (23) as unwilling
to view the horrid crime they were guilty of in the case of
Caesar. We have also overcome their conspiracies, which
threatened the gods themselves, which Macedonia received, as it
is a climate peculiarly proper for impious and insolent attempts;
and we have overcome that confused rout of men, half mad with
spite against us, which they got together at Philippi in
Macedonia, when they seized on the places that were proper for
their purpose, and, as it were, walled them round with mountains
to the very sea, and where the passage was open only through a
single gate. This victory we gained, because the gods had
condemned those men for their wicked enterprises. Now Brutus,
when he had fled as far as Philippi, was shut up by us, and
became a partaker of the same perdition with Cassius; and now
these have received their punishment, we suppose that we may
enjoy peace for the time to come, and that Asia may be at rest
from war. We therefore make that peace which God hath given us
common to our confederates also, insomuch that the body of Asia
is now recovered out of that distemper it was under by the means
of our victory. I, therefore, bearing in mind both thee and your
nation, shall take care of what may be for your advantage. I have
also sent epistles in writing to the several cities, that if any
persons, whether free-men or bond-men, have been sold under the
spear by Caius Cassius, or his subordinate officers, they may be
set free. And I will that you kindly make use of the favors which
I and Dolabella have granted you. I also forbid the Tyrians to
use any violence with you; and for what places of the Jews they
now possess, I order them to restore them. I have withal accepted
of the crown which thou sentest me."

4. "Marcus Antonius, imperator, to the magistrates, senate, and
people of Tyre, sendeth greeting. The ambassadors of Hyrcanus,
the high priest and ethnarch [of the Jews], appeared before me at
Ephesus, and told me that you are in possession of part of their
country, which you entered upon under the government of our
adversaries. Since, therefore, we have undertaken a war for the
obtaining the government, and have taken care to do what was
agreeable to piety and justice, and have brought to punishment
those that had neither any remembrance of the kindnesses they had
received, nor have kept their oaths, I will that you be at peace
with those that are our confederates; as also, that what you have
taken by the means of our adversaries shall not be reckoned your
own, but be returned to those from whom you took them; for none
of them took their provinces or their armies by the gift of the
senate, but they seized them by force, and bestowed them by
violence upon such as became useful to them in their unjust
proceedings. Since, therefore, those men have received the
punishment due to them, we desire that our confederates may
retain whatsoever it was that they formerly possessed without
disturbance, and that you restore all the places which belong to
Hyrcanus, the ethnarch of the Jews, which you have had, though it
were but one day before Caius Cassius began an unjustifiable war
against us, and entered into our province; nor do you use any
force against him, in order to weaken him, that he may not be
able to dispose of that which is his own; but if you have any
contest with him about your respective rights, it shall be lawful
for you to plead your cause when we come upon the places
concerned, for we shall alike preserve the rights and hear all
the causes of our confederates."

5. "Marcus Antonius, imperator, to the magistrates, senate, and
people of Tyre, sendeth greeting. I have sent you my decree, of
which I will that ye take care that it be engraven on the public
tables, in Roman and Greek letters, and that it stand engraven in
the most illustrious places, that it may be read by all. Marcus
Antonius, imperator, one of the triumvirate over the public
affairs, made this declaration: Since Caius Cassius, in this
revolt he hath made, hath pillaged that province which belonged
not to him, and was held by garrisons there encamped, while they
were our confederates, and hath spoiled that nation of the Jews
that was in friendship with the Roman people, as in war; and
since we have overcome his madness by arms, we now correct by our
decrees and judicial determinations what he hath laid waste, that
those things may be restored to our confederates. And as for what
hath been sold of the Jewish possessions, whether they be bodies
or possessions, let them be released; the bodies into that state
of freedom they were originally in, and the possessions to their
former owners. I also will that he who shall not comply with this
decree of mine shall be punished for his disobedience; and if
such a one be caught, I will take care that the offenders suffer
condign punishment."

6. The same thing did Antony write to the Sidonians, and the
Antiochians, and the Aradians. We have produced these decrees,
therefore, as marks for futurity of the truth of what we have
said, that the Romans had a great concern about our nation.


How Antony Made Herod And Phasaelus Tetrarchs, After They Had
Been Accused To No Purpose; And How The Parthians When They
Brought Antigonus Into Judea Took Hyrcanus And Phasaelus
Captives. Herod's Flight; And What Afflictions Hyrcanus And
Phasaelus Endured.

1. When after this Antony came into Syria, Cleopatra met him in
Cilicia, and brought him to fall in love with her. And there came
now also a hundred of the most potent of the Jews to accuse Herod
and those about him, and set the men of the greatest eloquence
among them to speak. But Messala contradicted them, on behalf of
the young men, and all this in the presence of Hyrcanus, who was
Herod's father-in-law (24) already. When Antony had heard both
sides at Daphne, he asked Hyrcanus who they were that governed
the nation best. He replied, Herod and his friends. Hereupon
Antony, by reason of the old hospitable friendship he had made
with his father [Antipater], at that time when he was with
Gabinius, he made both Herod and Phasaelus tetrarchs, and
committed the public affairs of the Jews to them, and wrote
letters to that purpose. He also bound fifteen of their
adversaries, and was going to kill them, but that Herod obtained
their pardon.

2. Yet did not these men continue quiet when they were come back,
but a thousand of the Jews came to Tyre to meet him there,
whither the report was that he would come. But Antony was
corrupted by the money which Herod and his brother had given him;
and so he gave order to the governor of the place to punish the
Jewish ambassadors, who were for making innovations, and to
settle the government upon Herod; but Herod went out hastily to
them, and Hyrcanus was with him, (for they stood upon the shore
before the city,) and he charged them to go their ways, because
great mischief would befall them if they went on with their
accusation. But they did not acquiesce; whereupon the Romans ran
upon them with their daggers, and slew some, and wounded more of
them, and the rest fled away and went home, and lay still in
great consternation. And when the people made a clamor against
Herod, Antony was so provoked at it, that he slew the prisoners.

3. Now, in the second year, Pacorus, the king of Parthia's son,
and Barzapharnes, a commander of the Parthians, possessed
themselves of Syria. Ptolemy, the son of Menneus, also was now
dead, and Lysanias his son took his government, and made a league
of friendship with Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus; and in
order to obtain it, made use of that commander, who had great
interest in him. Now Antigonus had promised to give the Parthians
a thousand talents, and five hundred women, upon condition they
would take the government away from Hyrcanus, and bestow it upon
him, and withal kill Herod. And although he did not give them
what he had promised, yet did the Parthians make an expedition
into Judea on that account, and carried Antigonus with them.
Pacorus went along the maritime parts, but the commander
Barzapharnes through the midland. Now the Tyrians excluded
Pacorus, but the Sidontans and those of Ptolemais received him.
However, Pacorus sent a troop of horsemen into Judea, to take a
view of the state of the country, and to assist Antigonus; and
sent also the king's butler, of the same name with himself. So
when the Jews that dwelt about Mount Carmel came to Antigonus,
and were ready to march with him into Judea, Antigonus hoped to
get some part of the country by their assistance. The place is
called Drymi; and when some others came and met them, the men
privately fell upon Jerusalem; and when some more were come to
them, they got together in great numbers, and came against the
king's palace, and besieged it. But as Phasaelus's and Herod's
party came to the other's assistance, and a battle happened
between them in the market-place, the young men beat their
enemies, and pursued them into the temple, and sent some armed
men into the adjoining houses to keep them in, who yet being
destitute of such as should support them, were burnt, and the
houses with them, by the people who rose up against them. But
Herod was revenged on these seditious adversaries of his a little
afterward for this injury they had offered him, when he fought
with them, and slew a great number of them.

4. But while there were daily skirmishes, the enemy waited for
the coming of the multitude out of the country to Pentecost, a
feast of ours so called; and when that day was come, many ten
thousands of the people were gathered together about the temple,
some in armor, and some without. Now those that came guarded both
the temple and the city, excepting what belonged to the palace,
which Herod guarded with a few of his soldiers; and Phasaelus had
the charge of the wall, while Herod, with a body of his men,
sallied out upon the enemy, who lay in the suburbs, and fought
courageously, and put many ten thousands to flight, some flying
into the city, and some into the temple, and some into the outer
fortifications, for some such fortifications there were in that
place. Phasaelus came also to his assistance; yet was Pacorus,
the general of the Parthians, at the desire of Antigonus,
admitted into the city, with a few of his horsemen, under
pretence indeed as if he would still the sedition, but in reality
to assist Antigonus in obtaining the government. And when
Phasaelus met him, and received him kindly, Pacorus persuaded him
to go himself as ambassador to Barzapharnes, which was done
fraudulently. Accordingly, Phasaelus, suspecting no harm,
complied with his proposal, while Herod did not give his consent
to what was done, because of the perfidiousness of these
barbarians, but desired Phasaelus rather to fight those that were
come into the city.

5. So both Hyrcanus and Phasaelus went on the embassage; but
Pacorus left with Herod two hundred horsemen, and ten men, who
were called the freemen, and conducted the others on their
journey; and when they were in Galilee, the governors of the
cities there met them in their arms. Barzaphanles also received
them at the first with cheerfulness, and made them presents,
though he afterward conspired against them; and Phasaelus, with
his horsemen, were conducted to the sea-side. But when they heard
that Antigonus had promised to give the Parthians a thousand
talents, and five hundred women, to assist him against them, they
soon had a suspicion of the barbarians. Moreover, there was one
who informed them that snares were laid for them by night, while
a guard came about them secretly; and they had then been seized
upon, had not they waited for the seizure of Herod by the
Parthians that were about Jerusalem, lest, upon the slaughter of
Hyrcanus and Phasaelus, he should have an intimation of it, and
escape out of their hands. And these were the circumstances they
were now in; and they saw who they were that guarded them. Some
persons indeed would have persuaded Phasaelus to fly away
immediately on horseback, and not stay any longer; and there was
one Ophellius, who, above all the rest, was earnest with him to
do so; for he had heard of this treachery from Saramalla, the
richest of all the Syrians at that time, who also promised to
provide him ships to carry him off; for the sea was just by them.
But he had no mind to desert Hyrcanus, nor bring his brother into
danger; but he went to Barzapharnes, and told him he did not act
justly when he made such a contrivance against them; for that if
he wanted money, he would give him more than Antigonus; and
besides, that it was a horrible thing to slay those that came to
him upon the security of their oaths, and that when they had done
them no injury. But the barbarian swore to him that there was no
truth in any of his suspicions, but that he was troubled with
nothing but false proposals, and then went away to Pacorus.

6. But as soon as he was gone away, some men came and bound
Hyrcanus and Phasaelus, while Phasaelus greatly reproached the
Parthians for their perjury; However, that butler who was sent
against Herod had it in command to get him without the walls of
the city, and seize upon him; but messengers had been sent by
Phasaelus to inform Herod of the perfidiousness of the Parthians.
And when he knew that the enemy had seized upon them, he went to
Pacorus, and to the most potent of the Parthians, as to the lord
of the rest, who, although they knew the whole matter, dissembled
with him in a deceitful way; and said that he ought to go out
with them before the walls, and meet those which were bringing
him his letters, for that they were not taken by his adversaries,
but were coming to give him an account of the good success
Phasaelus had had. Herod did not give credit to what they said;
for he had heard that his brother was seized upon by others also;
and the daughter of Hyrcanus, whose daughter he had espoused, was
his monitor also [not to credit them], which made him still more
suspicious of the Parthians; for although other people did not
give heed to her, yet did he believe her as a woman of very great

7. Now while the Parthians were in consultation what was fit to
be done; for they did not think it proper to make an open attempt
upon a person of his character; and while they put off the
determination to the next day, Herod was under great disturbance
of mind, and rather inclining to believe the reports he heard
about his brother and the Parthians, than to give heed to what
was said on the other side, he determined, that when the evening
came on, he would make use of it for his flight, and not make any
longer delay, as if the dangers from the enemy were not yet
certain. He therefore removed with the armed men whom he had with
him; and set his wives upon the beasts, as also his mother, and
sister, and her whom he was about to marry, [Mariamne,] the
daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, with her mother,
the daughter of Hyrcanus, and his youngest brother, and all their
servants, and the rest of the multitude that was with him, and
without the enemy's privity pursued his way to Idumea. Nor could
any enemy of his who then saw him in this case be so hardhearted,
but would have commiserated his fortune, while the women drew
along their infant children and left their own country, and their
friends in prison, with tears in their eyes, and sad
lamentations, and in expectation of nothing but what was of a
melancholy nature.

8. But for Herod himself, he raised his mind above the miserable
state he was in, and was of good courage in the midst of his
misfortunes; and as he passed along, he bid them every one to be
of good cheer, and not to give themselves up to sorrow, because
that would hinder them in their flight, which was now the only
hope of safety that they had. Accordingly, they tried to bear
with patience the calamity they were under, as he exhorted them
to do; yet was he once almost going to kill himself, upon the
overthrow of a waggon, and the danger his mother was then in of
being killed; and this on two accounts, because of his great
concern for her, and because he was afraid lest, by this delay,
the enemy should overtake him in the pursuit: but as he was
drawing his sword, and going to kill himself therewith, those
that were present restrained him, and being so many in number,
were too hard for him; and told him that he ought not to desert
them, and leave them a prey to their enemies, for that it was not
the part of a brave man to free himself from the distresses he
was in, and to overlook his friends that were in the same
distresses also. So he was compelled to let that horrid attempt
alone, partly out of shame at what they said to him, and partly
out of regard to the great number of those that would not permit
him to do what he intended. So he encouraged his mother, and took
all the care of her the time would allow, and proceeded on the
way he proposed to go with the utmost haste, and that was to the
fortress of Masada. And as he had many skirmishes with such of
the Parthians as attacked him and pursued him, he was conqueror
in them all.

9. Nor indeed was he free from the Jews all along as he was in
his flight; for by that time he was gotten sixty furlongs out of
the city, and was upon the road, they fell upon him, and fought
hand to hand with him, whom he also put to flight, and overcame,
not like one that was in distress and in necessity, but like one
that was excellently prepared for war, and had what he wanted in
great plenty. And in this very place where he overcame the Jews
it was that he some time afterward build a most excellent palace,
and a city round about it, and called it Herodium. And when he
was come to Idumea, at a place called Thressa, his brother Joseph
met him, and he then held a council to take advice about all his
affairs, and what was fit to be done in his circumstances, since
he had a great multitude that followed him, besides his mercenary
soldiers, and the place Masada, whither he proposed to fly, was
too small to contain so great a multitude; so he sent away the
greater part of his company, being above nine thousand, and bid
them go, some one way, and some another, and so save themselves
in Idumea, and gave them what would buy them provisions in their
journey. But he took with him those that were the least
encumbered, and were most intimate with him, and came to the
fortress, and placed there his wives and his followers, being
eight hundred in number, there being in the place a sufficient
quantity of corn and water, and other necessaries, and went
directly for Petra, in Arabia. But when it was day, the Parthians
plundered all Jerusalem, and the palace, and abstained from
nothing but Hyrcanus's money, which was three hundred talents. A
great deal of Herod's money escaped, and principally all that the
man had been so provident as to send into Idumea beforehand; nor
indeed did what was in the city suffice the Parthians, but they
went out into the country, and plundered it, and demolished the
city Marissa.

10. And thus was Antigonus brought back into Judea by the king of
the Parthians, and received Hyrcanus and Phasaelus for his
prisoners; but he was greatly cast down because the women had
escaped, whom he intended to have given the enemy, as having
promised they should have them, with the money, for their reward:
but being afraid that Hyrcanus, who was under the guard of the
Parthians, might have his kingdom restored to him by the
multitude, he cut off his ears, and thereby took care that the
high priesthood should never come to him any more, because he was
maimed, while the law required that this dignity should belong to
none but such as had all their members entire (25) But now one
cannot but here admire the fortitude of Phasaelus, who,
perceiving that he was to be put to death, did not think death
any terrible thing at all; but to die thus by the means of his
enemy, this he thought a most pitiable and dishonorable thing;
and therefore, since he had not his hands at liberty, but the
bonds he was in prevented him from killing himself thereby, he
dashed his head against a great stone, and thereby took away his
own life, which he thought to be the best thing he could do in
such a distress as he was in, and thereby put it out of the power
of the enemy to bring him to any death he pleased. It is also
reported, that when he had made a great wound in his head,
Antigonus sent physicians to cure it, and, by ordering them to
infuse poison into the wound, killed him. However, Phasaelus
hearing, before he was quite dead, by a certain woman, that his
brother Herod had escaped the enemy, underwent his death
cheerfully, since he now left behind him one who would revenge
his death, and who was able to inflict punishment on his enemies.


How Herod Got Away From The King Of Arabia And Made Haste To Go
Into Egypt And Thence Went Away In Haste Also To Rome; And How,
By Promising A Great Deal Of Money To Antony He Obtained Of The
Senate And Of Caesar To Be Made King Of The Jews.

1. As for Herod, the great miseries he was in did not discourage
him, but made him sharp in discovering surprising undertakings;
for he went to Malchus, king of Arabia, whom he had formerly been
very kind to, in order to receive somewhat by way of requital,
now he was in more than ordinary want of it, and desired he would
let him have some money, either by way of loan, or as his free
gift, on account of the many benefits he had received from him;
for not knowing what was become of his brother, he was in haste
to redeem him out of the hand of his enemies, as willing to give
three hundred talents for the price of his redemption. He also
took with him the son of Phasaelus, who was a child of but seven
years of age, for this very reason, that he might be a hostage
for the repayment of the money. But there came messengers from
Malchus to meet him, by whom he was desired to be gone, for that
the Parthians had laid a charge upon him not to entertain Herod.
This was only a pretense which he made use of, that he might not
be obliged to repay him what he owed him; and this he was further
induced to by the principal men among the Arabians, that they
might cheat him of what sums they had received from [his father]
Antipater, and which he had committed to their fidelity. He made
answer, that he did not intend to be troublesome to them by his
coning thither, but that he desired only to discourse with them
about certain affairs that were to him of the greatest

2. Hereupon he resolved to go away, and did go very prudently the
road to Egypt; and then it was that he lodged in a certain
temple; for he had left a great many of his followers there. On
the next day he came to Rhinocolura, and there it was that he
heard what was befallen his brother. Though Malehus soon repented
of what he had done, and came running after Herod; but with no
manner of success, for he was gotten a very great way off, and
made haste into the road to Pelusium; and when the stationary
ships that lay there hindered him from sailing to Alexandria, he
went to their captains, by whose assistance, and that out of much
reverence of and great regard to him, he was conducted into the
city [Alexandria], and was retained there by Cleopatra; yet was
she not able to prevail with him to stay there, because he was
making haste to Rome, even though the weather was stormy, and he
was informed that the affairs of Italy were very tumultuous, and
in great disorder.

3. So he set sail from thence to Pamphylia, and falling into a
violent storm, he had much ado to escape to Rhodes, with the loss
of the ship's burden; and there it was that two of his friends,
Sappinas and Ptolemeus, met with him; and as he found that city
very much damaged in the war against Cassius, though he were in
necessity himself, he neglected not to do it a kindness, but did
what he could to recover it to its former state. He also built
there a three-decked ship, and set sail thence, with his friends,
for Italy, and came to the port of Brundusium; and when he was
come from thence to Rome, he first related to Antony what had
befallen him in Judea, and how Phasaelus his brother was seized
on by the Parthians, and put to death by them, and how Hyrcanus
was detained captive by them, and how they had made Antigonus
king, who had promised them a sum of money, no less than a
thousand talents, with five hundred women, who were to be of the
principal families, and of the Jewish stock; and that he had
carried off the women by night; and that, by undergoing a great
many hardships, he had escaped the hands of his enemies; as also,
that his own relations were in danger of being besieged and
taken, and that he had sailed through a storm, and contemned all
these terrible dangers of it, in order to come, as soon as
possible, to him, who was his hope and only succor at this time.

4. This account made Antony commiserate the change that had
happened in Herod's condition; (26) and reasoning with himself
that this was a common case among those that are placed in such
great dignities, and that they are liable to the mutations that
come from fortune, he was very ready to give him the assistance
he desired, and this because he called to mind the friendship he
had had with Antipater because Herod offered him money to make
him king, as he had formerly given it him to make him tetrarch,
and chiefly because of his hatred to Antigonus; for he took him
to be a seditious person, and an enemy to the Romans. Caesar was
also the forwarder to raise Herod's dignity, and to give him his
assistance in what he desired, on account of the toils of war
which he had himself undergone with Antipater his father in
Egypt, and of the hospitality he had treated him withal, and the
kindness he had always showed him, as also to gratify Antony, who
was very zealous for Herod. So a senate was convocated; and
Messala first, and then Atratinus, introduced Herod into it, and
enlarged upon the benefits they had received from his father, and
put them in mind of the good-will he had borne to the Romans. At
the same time, they accused Antigonus, and declared him an enemy,
not only because of his former opposition to them, but that he
had now overlooked the Romans, and taken the government from the
Parthians. Upon this the senate was irritated; and Antony
informed them further, that it was for their advantage in the
Parthian war that Herod should be king. This seemed good to all
the senators; and so they made a decree accordingly.

5. And this was the principal instance of Antony's affection for
Herod, that he not only procured him a kingdom which he did not
expect, (for he did not come with an intention to ask the kingdom
for himself, which he did not suppose the Romans would grant him,
who used to bestow it on some of the royal family, but intended
to desire it for his wife's brother, who was grandson by his
father to Aristobulus, and to Hyrcanus by his mother,) but that
he procured it for him so suddenly, that he obtained what he did
not expect, and departed out of Italy in so few days as seven in
all. This young man [the grandson] Herod afterward took care to
have slain, as we shall show in its proper place. But when the
senate was dissolved, Antony and Caesar went out of the senate
house with Herod between them, and with the consuls and other
magistrates before them, in order to offer sacrifices, and to lay
up their decrees in the capitol. Antony also feasted Herod the
first day of his reign. And thus did this man receive the
kingdom, having obtained it on the hundred and eighty-fourth
olympiad, when Caius Domitius Calvinus was consul the second
time, and Caius Asinius Pollio [the first time].

6. All this while Antigonus besieged those that were in Masada,
who had plenty of all other necessaries, but were only in want of
water (27) insomuch that on this occasion Joseph, Herod's
brother, was contriving to run away from it, with two hundred of
his dependents, to the Arabians; for he had heard that Malchus
repented of the offenses he had been guilty of with regard to
Herod; but God, by sending rain in the night time, prevented his
going away, for their cisterns were thereby filled, and he was
under no necessity of running away on that account; but they were
now of good courage, and the more so, because the sending that
plenty of water which they had been in want of seemed a mark of
Divine Providence; so they made a sally, and fought hand to hand
with Antigonus's soldiers, (with some openly, with some
privately,) and destroyed a great number of them. At the same
time Ventidius, the general of the Romans, was sent out of Syria,
to drive the Parthians out of it, and marched after them into
Judea, in pretense indeed to succor Joseph; but in reality the
whole affair was no more than a stratagem, in order to get money
of Antigonus; so they pitched their camp very near to Jerusalem,
and stripped Antigonus of a great deal of money, and then he
retired himself with the greater part of the army; but, that the
wickedness he had been guilty of might be found out, he left Silo
there, with a certain part of his soldiers, with whom also
Antigonus cultivated an acquaintance, that he might cause him no
disturbance, and was still in hopes that the Parthians would come
again and defend him.


How Herod Sailed Out Of Italy To Judea, And Fought With Antigonus
And What Other Things Happened In Judea About That Time.

1. By this time Herod had sailed out of Italy to Ptolemais, and
had gotten together no small army, both of strangers and of his
own countrymen, and marched through Galilee against Antignus.
Silo also, and Ventidius, came and assisted him, being persuaded
by Dellius, who was sent by Antony to assist in bringing back
Herod. Now for Ventidius, he was employed in composing the
disturbances that had been made in the cities by the means of the
Parthians; and for Silo, he was in Judea indeed, but corrupted by
Antigonus. However, as Herod went along his army increased every
day, and all Galilee, with some small exception, joined him; but
as he was to those that were in Masada, (for he was obliged to
endeavor to save those that were in that fortress now they were
besieged, because they were his relations,) Joppa was a
hinderance to him, for it was necessary for him to take that
place first, it being a city at variance with him, that no strong
hold might be left in his enemies' hands behind him when he
should go to Jerusalem. And when Silo made this a pretense for
rising up from Jerusalem, and was thereupon pursued by the Jews,
Herod fell upon them with a small body of men, and both put the
Jews to flight and saved Silo, when he was very poorly able to
defend himself; but when Herod had taken Joppa, he made haste to
set free those of his family that were in Masada. Now of the
people of the country, some joined him because of the friendship
they had had with his father, and some because of the splendid
appearance he made, and others by way of requital for the
benefits they had received from both of them; but the greatest
number came to him in hopes of getting somewhat from him
afterward, if he were once firmly settled in the kingdom.

2. Herod had now a strong army; and as he marched on, Antigonus
laid snares and ambushes in the passes and places most proper for
them; but in truth he thereby did little or no damage to the
enemy. So Herod received those of his family out of Masada, and
the fortress Ressa, and then went on for Jerusalem. The soldiery
also that was with Silo accompanied him all along, as did many of
the citizens, being afraid of his power; and as soon as he had
pitched his camp on the west side of the city, the soldiers that
were set to guard that part shot their arrows and threw their
darts at him; and when some sallied out in a crowd, and came to
fight hand to hand with the first ranks of Herod's army, he gave
orders that they should, in the first place, make proclamation
about the wall, that he came for the good of the people, and for
the preservation of the city, and not to bear any old grudge at
even his most open enemies, but ready to forget the offenses
which his greatest adversaries had done him. But Antigonus, by
way of reply to what Herod had caused to be proclaimed, and this
before the Romans, and before Silo also, said that they would not
do justly, if they gave the kingdom to Herod, who was no more
than a private man, and an Idumean, i.e. a half Jew, (28) whereas
they ought to bestow it on one of the royal family, as their
custom was; for that in case they at present bear an ill-will to
him, and had resolved to deprive him of the kingdom, as having
received it from the Parthians, yet were there many others of his
family that might by their law take it, and these such as had no
way offended the Romans; and being of the sacerdotal family, it
would be an unworthy thing to put them by. Now while they said
thus one to another, and fell to reproaching one another on both
sides, Antigonus permitted his own men that were upon the wall to
defend themselves, who using their bows, and showing great
alacrity against their enemies, easily drove them away from the

3. And now it was that Silo discovered that he had taken bribes;
for he set a good number of his soldiers to complain aloud of the
want of provisions they were in, and to require money to buy them
food; and that it was fit to let them go into places proper for
winter quarters, since the places near the city were a desert, by
reason that Antigonus's soldiers had carried all away; so he set
the army upon removing, and endeavored to march away; but Herod
pressed Silo not to depart, and exhorted Silo's captains and
soldiers not to desert him, when Caesar, and Antony, and the
senate had sent him thither, for that he would provide them
plenty of all the things they wanted, and easily procure them a
great abundance of what they required; after which entreaty, he
immediately went out into the country, and left not the least
pretense to Silo for his departure; for he brought an unexpected
quantity of provisions, and sent to those friends of his who
inhabited about Samaria to bring down corn, and wine, and oil,
and cattle, and all other provisions, to Jericho, that those
might be no want of a supply for the soldiers for the time to
come. Antigonus was sensible of this, and sent presently over the
country such as might restrain and lie in ambush for those that
went out for provisions. So these men obeyed the orders of
Antigonus, and got together a great number of armed men about
Jericho, and sat upon the mountains, and watched those that
brought the provisions. However, Herod was not idle in the mean
time, for he took ten bands of soldiers, of whom five were of the
Romans, and five of the Jews, with some mercenaries among them,
and with some few horsemen, and came to Jericho; and as they
found the city deserted, but that five hundred of them had
settled themselves on the tops of the hills, with their wives and
children, those he took and sent away; but the Romans fell upon
the city, and plundered it, and found the houses full of all
sorts of good things. So the king left a garrison at Jericho, and
came back again, and sent the Roman army to take their winter
quarters in the countries that were come over to him, Judea, and
Galilee, and Samaria. And so much did Antigonus gain of Silo for
the bribes he gave him, that part of the army should be quartered
at Lydda, in order to please Antony. So the Romans laid their
weapons aside, and lived in plenty of all things.

4. But Herod was not pleased with lying still, but sent out his
brother Joseph against Idumea with two thousand armed footmen,
and four hundred horsemen, while he himself came to Samaria, and
left his mother and his other relations there, for they were
already gone out of Masada, and went into Galilee, to take
certain places which were held by the garrisons of Antigonus; and
he passed on to Sepphoris, as God sent a snow, while Antigonus's
garrisons withdrew themselves, and had great plenty of
provisions. He also went thence, and resolved to destroy those
robbers that dwelt in the caves, and did much mischief in the
country; so he sent a troop of horsemen, and three companies of
armed footmen, against them. They were very near to a village
called Arbela; and on the fortieth day after, he came himself
with his whole army: and as the enemy sallied out boldly upon
him, the left wing of his army gave way; but he appearing with a
body of men, put those to flight who were already conquerors, and
recalled his men that ran away. He also pressed upon his enemies,
and pursued them as far as the river Jordan, though they ran away
by different roads. So he brought over to him all Galilee,
excepting those that dwelt in the caves, and distributed money to
every one of his soldiers, giving them a hundred and fifty
drachmae apiece, and much more to their captains, and sent them
into winter quarters; at which time Silo came to him, and his
commanders with him, because Antigonus would not give them
provisions any longer, for he supplied them for no more than one
month; nay, he had sent to all the country about, and ordered
them to carry off the provisions that were there, and retire to
the mountains, that the Romans might have no provisions to live
upon, and so might perish by famine. But Herod committed the care
of that matter to Pheroras, his youngest brother, and ordered him
to repair Alexandrium also. Accordingly, he quickly made the
soldiers abound with great plenty of provisions, and rebuilt
Alexandrium, which had been before desolate.

5. About this time it was that Antony continued some time at
Athens, and that Ventidius, who was now in Syria, sent for Silo,
and commanded him to assist Herod, in the first place, to finish
the present war, and then to send for their confederates for the
war they were themselves engaged in; but as for Herod, he went in
haste against the robbers that were in the caves, and sent Silo
away to Ventidius, while he marched against them. These caves
were in mountains that were exceeding abrupt, and in their middle
were no other than precipices, with certain entrances into the
caves, and those caves were encompassed with sharp rocks, and in
these did the robbers lie concealed, with all their families
about them; but the king caused certain chests to be made, in
order to destroy them, and to be hung down, bound about with iron
chains, by an engine, from the top of the mountain, it being not
possible to get up to them, by reason of the sharp ascent of the
mountains, nor to creep down to them from above. Now these chests
were filled with armed men, who had long hooks in their hands, by
which they might pull out such as resisted them, and then tumble
them down, and kill them by so doing; but the letting the chests
down proved to be a matter of great danger, because of the vast
depth they were to be let down, although they had their
provisions in the chests themselves. But when the chests were let
down, and not one of those in the mouths of the caves durst come
near them, but lay still out of fear, some of the armed men girt
on their armor, and by both their hands took hold of the chain by
which the chests were let down, and went into the mouths of the
caves, because they fretted that such delay was made by the
robbers not daring to come out of the caves; and when they were
at any of those mouths, they first killed many of those that were
in the mouths with their darts, and afterwards pulled those to
them that resisted them with their hooks, and tumbled them down
the precipices, and afterwards went into the caves, and killed
many more, and then went into their chests again, and lay still
there; but, upon this, terror seized the rest, when they heard
the lamentations that were made, and they despaired of escaping.
However, when the night came on, that put an end to the whole
work; and as the king proclaimed pardon by a herald to such as
delivered themselves up to him, many accepted of the offer. The
same method of assault was made use of the next day; and they
went further, and got out in baskets to fight them, and fought
them at their doors, and sent fire among them, and set their
caves on fire, for there was a great deal of combustible matter
within them. Now there was one old man who was caught within one
of these caves, with seven children and a wife; these prayed him
to give them leave to go out, and yield themselves up to the
enemy; but he stood at the cave's mouth, and always slew that
child of his who went out, till he had destroyed them every one,
and after that he slew his wife, and cast their dead bodies down
the precipice, and himself after them, and so underwent death
rather than slavery: but before he did this, he greatly
reproached Herod with the meanness of his family, although he was
then king. Herod also saw what he was doing, and stretched out
his hand, and offered him all manner of security for his life; by
which means all these caves were at length subdued entirely.

6. And when the king had set Ptolemy over these parts of the
country as his general, he went to Samaria, with six hundred
horsemen, and three thousand armed footmen, as intending to fight
Antigonus. But still this command of the army did not succeed
well with Ptolemy, but those that had been troublesome to Galilee
before attacked him, and slew him; and when they had done this,
they fled among the lakes and places almost inaccessible laying
waste and plundering whatsoever they could come at in those
places. But Herod soon returned, and punished them for what they
had done; for some of these rebels he slew, and others of them,
who had fled to the strong holds he besieged, and both slew them,
and demolished their strong holds. And when he had thus put an
end to their rebellion, he laid a fine upon the cities of a
hundred talents.

7. In the mean time, Pacorus was fallen in a battle, and the
Parthians were defeated, when Ventidius sent Macheras to the
assistance of Herod, with two legions, and a thousand horsemen,
while Antony encouraged him to make haste. But Macheras, at the
instigation of Antigonus, without the approbation of Herod, as
being corrupted by money, went about to take a view of his
affairs; but Antigonus suspecting this intention of his coming,
did not admit him into the city, but kept him at a distance, with
throwing stones at him, and plainly showed what he himself meant.
But when Macheras was sensible that Herod had given him good
advice, and that he had made a mistake himself in not hearkening
to that advice, he retired to the city Emmaus; and what Jews he
met with he slew them, whether they were enemies or friends, out
of the rage he was in at what hardships he had undergone. The
king was provoked at this conduct of his, and went to Samaria,
and resolved to go to Antony about these affairs, and to inform
him that he stood in no need of such helpers, who did him more
mischief than they did his enemies; and that he was able of
himself to beat Antigonus. But Macheras followed him, and desired
that he would not go to Antony; or if he was resolved to go, that
he would join his brother Joseph with them, and let them fight
against Antigonus. So he was reconciled to Macheras, upon his
earnest entreaties. Accordingly, he left Joseph there with his
army, but charged him to run no hazards, nor to quarrel with

8. But for his own part, he made haste to Antony (who was then at
the siege of Samosata, a place upon Euphrates) with his troops,
both horsemen and footmen, to be auxiliaries to him. And when he
came to Antioch, and met there a great number of men gotten
together that were very desirous to go to Antony, but durst not
venture to go, out of fear, because the barbarians fell upon men
on the road, and slew many, so he encouraged them, and became
their conductor upon the road. Now when they were within two
days' march of Samosata, the barbarians had laid an ambush there
to disturb those that came to Antony, and where the woods made
the passes narrow, as they led to the plains, there they laid not
a few of their horsemen, who were to lie still until those
passengers were gone by into the wide place. Now as soon as the
first ranks were gone by, (for Herod brought on the rear,) those
that lay in ambush, who were about five hundred, fell upon them
on the sudden, and when they had put the foremost to flight, the
king came riding hard, with the forces that were about him, and
immediately drove back the enemy; by which means he made the
minds of his own men courageous, and imboldened them to go on,
insomuch that those who ran away before now returned back, and
the barbarians were slain on all sides. The king also went on
killing them, and recovered all the baggage, among which were a
great number of beasts for burden, and of slaves, and proceeded
on in his march; and whereas there were a great number of those
in the woods that attacked them, and were near the passage that
led into the plain, he made a sally upon these also with a strong
body of men, and put them to flight, and slew many of them, and
thereby rendered the way safe for those that came after; and
these called Herod their savior and protector.

9. And when he was near to Samosata, Antony sent out his army in
all their proper habiliments to meet him, in order to pay Herod
this respect, and because of the assistance he had given him; for
he had heard what attacks the barbarians had made upon him [in
Judea]. He also was very glad to see him there, as having been
made acquainted with the great actions he had performed upon the
road. So he entertained him very kindly, and could not but admire
his courage. Antony also embraced him as soon as he saw him, and
saluted him after a most affectionate manner, and gave him the
upper hand, as having himself lately made him a king; and in a
little time Antiochus delivered up the fortress, and on that
account this war was at an end; then Antony committed the rest to
Sosius, and gave him orders to assist Herod, and went himself to
Egypt. Accordingly, Sosius sent two legions before into Judea to
the assistance of Herod, and he followed himself with the body of
the army.

10. Now Joseph was already slain in Judea, in the manner
following: He forgot what charge his brother Herod had given him
when he went to Antony; and when he had pitched his camp among
the mountains, for Macheras had lent him five regiments, with
these he went hastily to Jericho, in :order to reap the corn
thereto belonging; and as the Roman regiments were but newly
raised, and were unskillful in war, for they were in great part
collected out of Syria, he was attacked by the enemy, and caught
in those places of difficulty, and was himself slain, as he was
fighting bravely, and the whole army was lost, for there were six
regiments slain. So when Antigonus had got possession of the dead
bodies, he cut off Joseph's head, although Pheroras his brother
would have redeemed it at the price of fifty talents. After which
defeat, the Galileans revolted from their commanders, and took
those of Herod's party, and drowned them in the lake, and a great
part of Judea was become seditious; but Macheras fortified the
place Gitta [in Samaria].

11. At this time messengers came to Herod, and informed him of
what had been done; and when he was come to Daphne by Antioch,
they told him of the ill fortune that had befallen his brother;
which yet he expected, from certain visions that appeared to him
in his dreams, which clearly foreshowed his brother's death. So
he hastened his march; and when he came to Mount Libanus, he
received about eight hundred of the men of that place, having
already with him also one Roman legion, and with these he came to
Ptolemais. He also marched thence by night with his army, and
proceeded along Galilee. Here it was that the enemy met him, and
fought him, and were beaten, and shut up in the same place of
strength whence they had sallied out the day before. So he
attacked the place in the morning; but by reason of a great storm
that was then very violent, he was able to do nothing, but drew
off his army into the neighboring villages; yet as soon as the
other legion that Antony sent him was come to his assistance,
those that were in garrison in the place were afraid, and
deserted it in the night time. Then did the king march hastily to
Jericho, intending to avenge himself on the enemy for the
slaughter of his brother; and when he had pitched his tents, he
made a feast for the principal commanders; and after this
collation was over, and he had dismissed his guests, he retired
to his own chamber; and here may one see what kindness God had
for the king, for the upper part of the house fell down when
nobody was in it, and so killed none, insomuch that all the
people believed that Herod was beloved of God, since he had
escaped such a great and surprising danger.

12. But the next day six thousand of the enemy came down from the
tops of the mountains to fight the Romans, which greatly
terrified them; and the soldiers that were in light armor came
near, and pelted the king's guards that were come out with darts
and stones, and one of them hit him on the side with a dart.
Antigonus also sent a commander against Samaria, whose name was
Pappus, with some forces, being desirous to show the enemy how
potent he was, and that he had men to spare in his war with them.
He sat down to oppose Macheras; but Herod, when he had taken five
cities, took such as were left in them, being about two thousand,
and slew them, and burnt the cities themselves, and then returned
to go against Pappus, who was encamped at a village called
Isanas; and there ran in to him many out of Jericho and Judea,
near to which places he was, and the enemy fell upon his men, so
stout were they at this time, and joined battle with them, but he
beat them in the fight; and in order to be revenged on them for
the slaughter of his brother, he pursued them sharply, and killed
them as they ran away; and as the houses were full of armed men,
(29) and many of them ran as far as the tops of the houses, he
got them under his power, and pulled down the roofs of the
houses, and saw the lower rooms full of soldiers that were
caught, and lay all on a heap; so they threw stones down upon
them as they lay piled one upon another, and thereby killed them;
nor was there a more frightful spectacle in all the war than
this, where beyond the walls an immense multitude of dead men lay
heaped one upon another. This action it was which chiefly brake
the spirits of the enemy, who expected now what would come; for
there appeared a mighty number of people that came from places
far distant, that were now about the village, but then ran away;
and had it not been for the depth of winter, which then
restrained them, the king's army had presently gone to Jerusalem,
as being very courageous at this good success, and the whole work
had been done immediately; for Antigonus was already looking
about how he might fly away and leave the city.

13. At this time the king gave order that the soldiers should go
to supper, for it was late at night, while he went into a chamber
to use the bath, for he was very weary; and here it was that he
was in the greatest danger, which yet, by God's providence, he
escaped; for as he was naked, and had but one servant that
followed him, to be with him while he was bathing in an inner
room, certain of the enemy, who were in their armor, and had fled
thither, out of fear, were then in the place; and as he was
bathing, the first of them came out with his naked sword drawn,
and went out at the doors, and after him a second, and a third,
armed in like manner, and were under such a consternation, that
they did no hurt to the king, and thought themselves to have come
off very well ill suffering no harm themselves in their getting
out of the house. However, on the next day, he cut off the head
of Pappus, for he was already slain, and sent it to Pheroras, as
a punishment of what their brother had suffered by his means, for
he was the man that slew him with his own hand.

14. When the rigor of winter was over, Herod removed his army,
and came near to Jerusalem, and pitched his camp hard by the
city. Now this was the third year since he had been made king at
Rome; and as he removed his camp, and came near that part of the
wall where it could be most easily assaulted, he pitched that
camp before the temple, intending to make his attacks in the same
manner as did Pompey. So he encompassed the place with three
bulwarks, and erected towers, and employed a great many hands
about the work, and cut down the trees that were round about the
city; and when he had appointed proper persons to oversee the
works, even while the army lay before the city, he himself went
to Samaria, to complete his marriage, and to take to wife the
daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus; for he had
betrothed her already, as I have before related.


How Herod, When He Had Married Mariamne Took Jerusalem With The
Assistance Of Sosius By Force; And How The Government Of He
Asamoneans Was Put An End To

1. After the wedding was over, came Sosius through Phoenicia,
having sent out his army before him over the midland parts. He
also, who was their commander, came himself, with a great number
of horsemen and footmen. The king also came himself from Samaria,
and brought with him no small army, besides that which was there
before, for they were about thirty thousand; and they all met
together at the walls of Jerusalem, and encamped at the north
wall of the city, being now an army of eleven legions, armed men
on foot, and six thousand horsemen, with other auxiliaries out of
Syria. The generals were two: Sosius, sent by Antony to assist
Herod, and Herod on his own account, in order to take the
government from Antigonus, who was declared all enemy at Rome,
and that he might himself be king, according to the decree of the

2. Now the Jews that were enclosed within the walls of the city
fought against Herod with great alacrity and zeal (for the whole
nation was gathered together); they also gave out many prophecies
about the temple, and many things agreeable to the people, as if
God would deliver them out of the dangers they were in; they had
also carried off what was out of the city, that they might not
leave any thing to afford sustenance either for men or for
beasts; and by private robberies they made the want of
necessaries greater. When Herod understood this, he opposed
ambushes in the fittest places against their private robberies,
and he sent legions of armed men to bring its provisions, and
that from remote places, so that in a little time they had great
plenty of provisions. Now the three bulwarks were easily erected,
because so many hands were continually at work upon it; for it
was summer time, and there was nothing to hinder them in raising
their works, neither from the air nor from the workmen; so they
brought their engines to bear, and shook the walls of the city,
and tried all manner of ways to get its; yet did not those within
discover any fear, but they also contrived not a few engines to
oppose their engines withal. They also sallied out, and burnt not
only those engines that were not yet perfected, but those that
were; and when they came hand to hand, their attempts were not
less bold than those of the Romans, though they were behind them
in skill. They also erected new works when the former were
ruined, and making mines underground, they met each other, and
fought there; and making use of brutish courage rather than of
prudent valor, they persisted in this war to the very last; and
this they did while a mighty army lay round about them, and while
they were distressed by famine and the want of necessaries, for
this happened to be a Sabbatic year. The first that scaled the
walls were twenty chosen men, the next were Sosius's centurions;
for the first wall was taken in forty days, and the second in
fifteen more, when some of the cloisters that were about the
temple were burnt, which Herod gave out to have been burnt by
Antigonus, in order to expose him to the hatred of the Jews. And
when the outer court of the temple and the lower city were taken,
the Jews fled into the inner court of the temple, and into the
upper city; but now fearing lest the Romans should hinder them
from offering their daily sacrifices to God, they sent an
embassage, and desired that they would only permit them to bring
in beasts for sacrifices, which Herod granted, hoping they were
going to yield; but when he saw that they did nothing of what he
supposed, but bitterly opposed him, in order to preserve the
kingdom to Antigonus, he made an assault upon the city, and took
it by storm; and now all parts were full of those that were
slain, by the rage of the Romans at the long duration of the
siege, and by the zeal of the Jews that were on Herod's side, who
were not willing to leave one of their adversaries alive; so they
were murdered continually in the narrow streets and in the houses
by crowds, and as they were flying to the temple for shelter, and
there was no pity taken of either infants or the aged, nor did
they spare so much as the weaker sex; nay, although the king sent
about, and besought them to spare the people, yet nobody
restrained their hand from slaughter, but, as if they were a
company of madmen, they fell upon persons of all ages, without
distinction; and then Antigonus, without regard to either his
past or present circumstances, came down from the citadel, and
fell down at the feet of Sosius, who took no pity of him, in the
change of his fortune, but insulted him beyond measure, and
called him Antigone [i.e. a woman, and not a man;] yet did he not
treat him as if he were a woman, by letting him go at liberty,
but put him into bonds, and kept him in close custody.

3. And now Herod having overcome his enemies, his care was to
govern those foreigners who had been his assistants, for the
crowd of strangers rushed to see the temple, and the sacred
things in the temple; but the king, thinking a victory to be a
more severe affliction than a defeat, if any of those things
which it was not lawful to see should be seen by them, used
entreaties and threatenings, and even sometimes force itself, to
restrain them. He also prohibited the ravage that was made in the
city, and many times asked Sosius whether the Romans would empty
the city both of money and men, and leave him king of a desert;
and told him that he esteemed the dominion over the whole
habitable earth as by no means an equivalent satisfaction for
such a murder of his citizens'; and when he said that this
plunder was justly to be permitted the soldiers for the siege
they had undergone, he replied, that he would give every one
their reward out of his own money; and by this means be redeemed
what remained of the city from destruction; and he performed what
he had promised him, for he gave a noble present to every
soldier, and a proportionable present to their commanders, but a
most royal present to Sosius himself, till they all went away
full of money.

4. This destruction befell the city of Jerusalem when Marcus
Agrippa and Caninius Gallus were consuls of Rome (30) on the
hundred eighty and fifth olympiad, on the third month, on the
solemnity of the fast, as if a periodical revolution of
calamities had returned since that which befell the Jews under
Pompey; for the Jews were taken by him on the same day, and this
was after twenty-seven years' time. So when Sosius had dedicated
a crown of gold to God, he marched away from Jerusalem, and
carried Antigonus with him in bonds to Antony; but Herod was
afraid lest Antigonus should be kept in prison [only] by Antony,
and that when he was carried to Rome by him, he might get his
cause to be heard by the senate, and might demonstrate, as he was
himself of the royal blood, and Herod but a private man, that
therefore it belonged to his sons however to have the kingdom, on
account of the family they were of, in case he had himself
offended the Romans by what he had done. Out of Herod's fear of
this it was that he, by giving Antony a great deal of money,
endeavored to persuade him to have Antigonus slain, which if it
were once done, he should be free from that fear. And thus did
the government of the Asamoneans cease, a hundred twenty and six
years after it was first set up. This family was a splendid and
an illustrious one, both on account of the nobility of their
stock, and of the dignity of the high priesthood, as also for the
glorious actions their ancestors had performed for our nation;
but these men lost the government by their dissensions one with
another, and it came to Herod, the son of Antipater, who was of
no more than a vulgar family, and of no eminent extraction, but
one that was subject to other kings. And this is what history
tells us was the end of the Asamonean family.


Containing The Interval Of Eighteen Years.

From The Death Of Antigonus To The Finishing Of The Temple By


Concerning Pollio And Sameas. Herod Slays The Principal Of
Antigonus's Friends, And Spoils The City Of Its Wealth. Antony
Beheads Antigonus.

1. How Sosius and Herod took Jerusalem by force; and besides
that, how they took Antigonus captive, has been related by us in
the foregoing book. We will now proceed in the narration. And
since Herod had now the government of all Judea put into his
hands, he promoted such of the private men in the city as had
been of his party, but never left off avenging and punishing
every day those that had chosen to be of the party of his
enemies. But Pollio the Pharisee, and Sameas, a disciple of his,
were honored by him above all the rest; for when Jerusalem was
besieged, they advised the citizens to receive Herod, for which
advice they were well requited. But this Pollio, at the time when
Herod was once upon his trial of life and death, foretold, in way
of reproach, to Hyrcanus and the other judges, how this Herod,
whom they suffered now to escape, would afterward inflict
punishment on them all; which had its completion in time, while
God fulfilled the words he had spoken.

2. At this time Herod, now he had got Jerusalem under his power,
carried off all the royal ornaments, and spoiled the wealthy men
of what they had gotten; and when, by these means, he had heaped
together a great quantity of silver and gold, he gave it all to
Antony, and his friends that were about him. He also slew
forty-five of the principal men of Antigonus's party, and set
guards at the gates of the city, that nothing might be carried
out together with their dead bodies. They also searched the dead,
and whatsoever was found, either of silver or gold, or other
treasure, it was carried to the king; nor was there any end of
the miseries he brought upon them; and this distress was in part
occasioned by the covetousness of the prince regent, who was
still in want of more, and in part by the Sabbatic year, which
was still going on, and forced the country to lie still
uncultivated, since we are forbidden to sow our land in that
year. Now when Antony had received Antigonus as his captive, he
determined to keep him against his triumph; but when he heard
that the nation grew seditious, and that, out of their hatred to
Herod, they continued to bear good-will to Antigonus, he resolved
to behead him at Antioch, for otherwise the Jews could no way be
brought to be quiet. And Strabo of Cappadocia attests to what I
have said, when he thus speaks: "Antony ordered Antigonus the Jew
to be brought to Antioch, and there to be beheaded. And this
Antony seems to me to have been the very first man who beheaded a
king, as supposing he could no other way bend the minds of the
Jews so as to receive Herod, whom he had made king in his stead;
for by no torments could they he forced to call him king, so
great a fondness they had for their former king; so he thought
that this dishonorable death would diminish the value they had
for Antigonus's memory, and at the same time would diminish the
hatred they bare to Herod." Thus far Strabo.


How Hyrcanus Was Set At Liberty By The Parthians, And Returned To
Herod; And What Alexandra Did When She Heard That Ananelus Was
Made High Priest.

1. Now after Herod was in possession of the kingdom, Hyrcanus the
high priest, who was then a captive among the Parthians, came to
him again, and was set free from his captivity, in the manner
following: Barzapharnes and Pacorus, the generals of the
Parthians, took Hyreanus, who was first made high priest and
afterward king, and Herod's brother, Phasaelus captives, and were
them away into Parthis. Phasaelus indeed could not bear the
reproach of being in bonds; and thinking that death with glory
was better than any life whatsoever, he became his own
executioner, as I have formerly related.

2. But when Hyrcanus was brought into Parthia the king Phraates
treated him after a very gentle manner, as having already learned
of what an illustrious family he was; on which account he set him
free from his bonds, and gave him a habitation at Babylon, (1)
where there were Jews in great numbers. These Jews honored
Hyrcanus as their high priest and king, as did all the Jewish
nation that dwelt as far as Euphrates; which respect was very
much to his satisfaction. But when he was informed that Herod had
received the kingdom, new hopes came upon him, as having been
himself still of a kind disposition towards him, and expecting
that Herod would bear in mind what favor be had received from
him; and when he was upon his trial, and when he was in danger
that a capital sentence would be pronounced against him, he
delivered him from that danger, and from all punishment.
Accordingly, he talked of that matter with the Jew that came
often to him with great affection; but they endeavored to retain
him among them, and desired that he would stay with them, putting
him in mind of the kind offices and honors they did him, and that
those honors they paid him were not at all inferior to what they
could pay to either their high priests or their kings; and what
was a greater motive to determine him, they said, was this, that
he could not have those dignities [in Judea] because of that maim
in his body, which had been inflicted on him by Antigonus; and
that kings do not use to requite men for those kindnesses which
they received when they were private persons, the height of their
fortune making usually no small changes in them.

3. Now although they suggested these arguments to him for his own
advantage, yet did Hyrcanus still desire to depart. Herod also
wrote to him, and persuaded him to desire of Phraates, and the
Jews that were there, that they should not grudge him the royal
authority, which he should have jointly with himself, for that
now was the proper time for himself to make him amends for the
favors he had received from him, as having been brought up by
him, and saved by him also, as well as for Hyrcanus to receive
it. And as he wrote thus to Hyrcanus, so did he send also
Saramallas, his ambassador, to Phraates, and many presents with
him, and desired him in the most obliging way that he would be no
hinderance to his gratitude towards his benefactor. But this zeal
of Herod's did not flow from that principle, but because he had
been made governor of that country without having any just claim
to it, he was afraid, and that upon reasons good enough, of a
change in his condition, and so made what haste he could to get
Hyrcanus into his power, or indeed to put him quite out of the
way; which last thing he compassed afterward.

4. Accordingly, when Hyrcanus came, full of assurance, by the
permission of the king of Parthia, and at the expense of the
Jews, who supplied him with money, Herod received him with all
possible respect, and gave him the upper place at public
meetings, and set him above all the rest at feasts, and thereby
deceived him. He called him his father, and endeavored, by all
the ways possible, that he might have no suspicion of any
treacherous design against him. He also did other things, in
order to secure his government, which yet occasioned a sedition
in his own family; for being cautious how he made any illustrious
person the high priest of God, (2) he sent for an obscure priest
out of Babylon, whose name was Ananelus, and bestowed the high
priesthood upon him.

5. However, Alexandra, the daughter of Hyrcanus, and wife of
Alexander, the son of Aristobulus the king, who had also brought
Alexander [two] children, could not bear this indignity. Now this
son was one of the greatest comeliness, and was called
Aristobulus; and the daughter, Mariamne, was married to Herod,
and eminent for her beauty also. This Alexandra was much
disturbed, and took this indignity offered to her son exceeding
ill, that while be was alive, any one else should be sent for to
have the dignity of the high priesthood conferred upon him.
Accordingly, she wrote to Cleopatra (a musician assisting her in
taking care to have her letters carried) to desire her
intercession with Antony, in order to gain the high priesthood
for her son.

6. But as Antony was slow in granting this request, his friend
Dellius (3) came into Judea upon some affairs; and when he saw
Aristobulus, he stood in admiration at the tallness and
handsomeness of the child, and no less at Mariarune, the king's
wife, and was open in his commendations of Alexandra, as the
mother of most beautiful children. And when she came to discourse
with him, he persuaded her to get pictures drawn of them both,
and to send them to Antony, for that when he saw them, he would
deny her nothing that she should ask. Accordingly, Alexandra was
elevated with these words of his, and sent the pictures to
Antony. Dellius also talked extravagantly, and said that these
children seemed not derived from men, but from some god or other.
His design in doing so was to entice Antony into lewd pleasures
with them, who was ashamed to send for the damsel, as being the
wife of Herod, and avoided it, because of the reproaches he
should have from Cleopatra on that account; but he sent, in the
most decent manner he could, for the young man; but added this
withal, unless he thought it hard upon him so to do. When this
letter was brought to Herod, he did not think it safe for him to
send one so handsome as was Aristobulus, in the prime of his
life, for he was sixteen years of age, and of so noble a family,
and particularly not to Antony, the principal man among the
Romans, and one that would abuse him in his amours, and besides,
one that openly indulged himself in such pleasures as his power
allowed him without control. He therefore wrote back to him, that
if this boy should only go out of the country, all would be in a
state of war and uproar, because the Jews were in hopes of a
change in the government, and to have another king over them.

7. When Herod had thus excused himself to Antony, he resolved
that he would not entirely permit the child or Alexandra to be
treated dishonorably; but his wife Mariamne lay vehemently at him
to restore the high priesthood to her brother; and he judged it
was for his advantage so to do, because if he once had that
dignity, he could not go out of the country. So he called his
friends together, and told them that Alexandra privately
conspired against his royal authority, and endeavored, by the
means of Cleopatra, so to bring it about, that he might be
deprived of the government, and that by Antony's means this youth
might have the management of public affairs in his stead; and
that this procedure of hers was unjust, since she would at the
same time deprive her daughter of the dignity she now had, and
would bring disturbances upon the kingdom, for which he had taken
a great deal of pains, and had gotten it with extraordinary
hazards; that yet, while he well remembered her wicked practices,
he would not leave off doing what was right himself, but would
even now give the youth the high priesthood; and that he formerly
set up Ananelus, because Aristobulus was then so very young a
child. Now when he had said this, not at random, but as he
thought with the best discretion he had, in order to deceive the
women, and those friends whom he had taken to consult withal,
Alexandra, out of the great joy she had at this unexpected
promise, and out of fear from the suspicions she lay under, fell
a weeping; and made the following apology for herself; and said,
that as to the [high] priesthood, she was very much concerned for
the disgrace her son was under, and so did her utmost endeavors
to procure it for him; but that as to the kingdom, she had made
no attempts, and that if it were offered her [for her son], she
would not accept it; and that now she would be satisfied with her
son's dignity, while he himself held the civil government, and
she had thereby the security that arose from his peculiar ability
in governing to all the remainder of her family; that she was now
overcome by his benefits, and thankfully accepted of this honor
showed by him to her son, and that she would hereafter be
entirely obedient. And she desired him to excuse her, if the
nobility of her family, and that freedom of acting which she
thought that allowed her, had made her act too precipitately and
imprudently in this matter. So when they had spoken thus to one
another, they came to an agreement, and all suspicions, so far as
appeared, were vanished away.


How Herod Upon His Making Aristobulus High Priest Took Care That
He Should Be Murdered In A Little Time; And What Apology He Made
To Antony About Aristobulus; As Also Concerning Joseph And

1. So king Herod immediately took the high priesthood away from
Ananelus, who, as we said before, was not of this country, but
one of those Jews that had been carried captive beyond Euphrates;
for there were not a few ten thousands of this people that had
been carried captives, and dwelt about Babylonia, whence Ananelus
came. He was one of the stock of the high priests (4) and had
been of old a particular friend of Herod; and when he was first
made king, he conferred that dignity upon him, and now put him
out of it again, in order to quiet the troubles in his family,
though what he did was plainly unlawful, for at no other time [of
old] was any one that had once been in that dignity deprived of
it. It was Antiochus Epiphanes who first brake that law, and
deprived Jesus, and made his brother Onias high priest in his
stead. Aristobulus was the second that did so, and took that
dignity from his brother [Hyrcanus]; and this Herod was the
third, who took that high office away [from Arianflus], and gave
it to this young man, Aristobulus, in his stead.

2. And now Herod seemed to have healed the divisions in his
family; yet was he not without suspicion, as is frequently the
case, of people seeming to be reconciled to one another, but
thought that, as Alexandra had already made attempts tending to
innovations, so did he fear that she would go on therein, if she
found a fit opportunity for so doing; so he gave a command that
she should dwell in the palace, and meddle with no public
affairs. Her guards also were so careful, that nothing she did in
private life every day was concealed. All these hardships put her
out of patience, by little and little and she began to hate
Herod; for as she had the pride of a woman to the utmost degree,
she had great indignation at this suspicious guard that was about
her, as desirous rather to undergo any thing that could befall
her, than to be deprived of her liberty of speech, and, under the
notion of an honorary guard, to live in a state of slavery and
terror. She therefore sent to Cleopatra, and made a long
complaint of the circumstances she was in, and entreated her to
do her utmost for her assistance. Cleopatra hereupon advised her
to take her son with her, and come away immediately to her into
Egypt. This advice pleased her; and she had this contrivance for
getting away: She got two coffins made, as if they were to carry
away two dead bodies and put herself into one, and her son into
the other and gave orders to such of her servants as knew of her
intentions to carry them away in the night time. Now their road
was to be thence to the sea-side and there was a ship ready to
carry them into Egypt. Now Aesop, one of her servants, happened
to fall upon Sabion, one of her friends, and spake of this matter
to him, as thinking he had known of it before. When Sabion knew
this, (who had formerly been an enemy of Herod, and been esteemed
one of those that laid snares for and gave the poison to [his
father] Antipater,) he expected that this discovery would change
Herod's hatred into kindness; so he told the king of this private
stratagem of Alexandra: whereupon be suffered her to proceed to
the execution of her project, and caught her in the very fact;
but still he passed by her offense; and though he had a great
mind to do it, he durst not inflict any thing that was severe
upon her, for he knew that Cleopatra would not bear that he
should have her accused, on account of her hatred to him; but
made a show as if it were rather the generosity of his soul, and
his great moderation, that made him forgive them. However, he
fully proposed to himself to put this young man out of the way,
by one means or other; but he thought he might in probability be
better concealed in doing it, if he did it not presently, nor
immediately after what had lately happened.

3. And now, upon the approach of the feast of tabernacles, which
is a festival very much observed among us, he let those days pass
over, and both he and the rest of the people were therein very
merry; yet did the envy which at this time arose in him cause him
to make haste to do what lie was about, and provoke him to it;
for when this youth Aristobulus, who was now in the seventeenth
year of his age, went up to the altar, according to the law, to
offer the sacrifices, and this with the ornaments of his high
priesthood, and when he performed the sacred offices, (5) he
seemed to be exceedingly comely, and taller than men usually were
at that age, and to exhibit in his countenance a great deal of
that high family he was sprung from, - a warm zeal and affection
towards him appeared among the people, and the memory of the
actions of his grandfather Aristobulus was fresh in their minds;
and their affections got so far the mastery of them, that they
could not forbear to show their inclinations to him. They at once
rejoiced and were confounded, and mingled with good wishes their
joyful acclamations which they made to him, till the good-will of


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