The Antiquities of the Jews
Flavius Josephus

Part 22 out of 26

the laws determined to be shameful, and punished, that he
esteemed more honorable than what was virtuous. He was unmindful
of his friends, how intimate soever, and though they were persons
of the highest character; and if he was once angry at any of
them, he would inflict punishment upon them on the smallest
occasions, and esteemed every man that endeavored to lead a
virtuous life his enemy. And whatsoever he commanded, he would
not admit of any contradiction to his inclinations; whence it was
that he had criminal conversation with his own sister; (10) from
which occasion chiefly it was also that a bitter hatred first
sprang up against him among the citizens, that sort of incest not
having been known of a long time; and so this provoked men to
distrust him, and to hate him that was guilty of it. And for any
great or royal work that he ever did, which might be for the
present and for future ages, nobody can name any such, but only
the haven that he made about Rhegium and Sicily, for the
reception of the ships that brought corn from Egypt; which was
indeed a work without dispute very great in itself, and of very
great advantage to the navigation. Yet was not this work brought
to perfection by him, but was the one half of it left imperfect,
by reason of his want of application to it; the cause of which
was this, that he employed his studies about useless matters, and
that by spending his money upon such pleasures as concerned no
one's benefit but his own, he could not exert his liberality in
things that were undeniably of great consequence. Otherwise he
was an excellent orator, and thoroughly acquainted with the Greek
tongue, as well as with his own country or Roman language. He was
also able, off-hand and readily, to give answers to compositions
made by others, of considerable length and accuracy. He was also
more skillful in persuading others to very great things than any
one else, and this from a natural affability of temper, which had
been improved by much exercise and pains-taking; for as he was
the grandson (11) of the brother of Tiberius, whose successor he
was, this was a strong inducement to his acquiring of learning,
because Tiberius aspired after the highest pitch of that sort of
reputation; and Caius aspired after the like glory for eloquence,
being induced thereto by the letters of his kinsman and his
emperor. He was also among the first rank of his own citizens.
But the advantages he received from his learning did not
countervail the mischief he brought upon himself in the exercise
of his authority; so difficult it is for those to obtain the
virtue that is necessary for a wise man, who have the absolute
power to do what they please without control. At the first he got
himself such friends as were in all respects the most worthy, and
was greatly beloved by them, while he imitated their zealous
application to the learning and to the glorious actions of the
best men; but when he became insolent towards them, they laid
aside the kindness they had for him, and began to hate him; from
which hatred came that plot which they raised against him, and
wherein he perished.


How Claudius Was Seized Upon And Brought Out Of His House And
Brought To The Camp; And How The Senate Sent An Embassage To Him.

1. Now Claudius, as I said before, went out of that way along
which Caius was gone; and as the family was in a mighty disorder
upon the sad accident of the murder of Caius, he was in great
distress how to save himself, and was found to have hidden
himself in a certain narrow place, (12) though he had no other
occasion for suspicion of any dangers, besides the dignity of his
birth; for while he was a private man, he behaved himself with
moderation, and was contented with his present fortune, applying
himself to learning, and especially to that of the Greeks, and
keeping himself entirely clear from every thing that might bring
on any disturbance. But as at this time the multitude were under
a consternation, and the whole palace was full of the soldiers'
madness, and the very emperor's guards seemed under the like fear
and disorder with private persons, the band called pretorian,
which was the purest part of the army, was in consultation what
was to be done at this juncture. Now all those that were at this
consultation had little regard to the punishment Caius had
suffered, because he justly deserved such his fortune; but they
were rather considering their own circumstances, how they might
take the best care of themselves, especially while the Germans
were busy in punishing the murderers of Caius; which yet was
rather done to gratify their own savage temper, than for the good
of the public; all which things disturbed Claudius, who was
afraid of his own safety, and this particularly because he saw
the heads of Asprenas and his partners carried about. His station
had been on a certain elevated place, whither a few steps led
him, and whither he had retired in the dark by himself. But when
Gratus, who was one of the soldiers that belonged to the palace,
saw him, but did not well know by his countenance who he was,
because it was dark, though he could well judge that it was a man
who was privately there on some design, he came nearer to him;
and when Claudius desired that he would retire, be discovered who
he was, and owned him to be Claudius. So he said to his
followers, "This is a Germanicus; (12) come on, let us choose him
for our emperor." But when Claudius saw they were making
preparations for taking him away by force, and was afraid they
would kill him, as they had killed Caius, he besought them to
spare him, putting them in mind how quietly he had demeaned
himself, and that he was unacquainted with what had been done.
Hereupon Gratus smiled upon him, and took him by the right hand,
and said, "Leave off, sir, these low thoughts of saving yourself,
while you ought to have greater thoughts, even of obtaining the
empire, which the gods, out of their concern for the habitable
world, by taking Caius out of the way, commit to thy virtuous
conduct. Go to, therefore, and accept of the throne of thy
ancestors." So they took him up and carried him, because he was
not then able to go on foot, such was his dread and his joy at
what was told him.

2. Now there was already gathered together about Gratus a great
number of the guards; and when they saw Claudius carried off,
they looked with a sad countenance, as supposing that he was
carried to execution for the mischiefs that had been lately done;
while yet they thought him a man who never meddled with public
affairs all his life long, and one that had met with no
contemptible dangers under the reign of Caius; and some of them
thought it reasonable that the consuls should take cognizance of
these matters; and as still more and more of the soldiery got
together, the crowd about him ran away, and Claudius could hardly
go on, his body was then so weak; and those who carried his
sedan, upon an inquiry that was made about his being carried off,
ran away and saved themselves, as despairing of their Lord's
preservation. But when they were come into the large court of the
palace, (which, as the report goes about it, was inhabited first
of all the parts of the city of Rome,) and had just reached the
public treasury, many more soldiers came about him, as glad to
see Claudius's face, and thought it exceeding right to make him
emperor, on account of their kindness for Germanicus, who was his
brother, and had left behind him a vast reputation among all that
were acquainted with him. They reflected also on the covetous
temper of the leading men of the senate, and what great errors
they had been guilty of when the senate had the government
formerly; they also considered the impossibility of such an
undertaking, as also what dangers they should be in, if the
government should come to a single person, and that such a one
should possess it as they had no hand in advancing, and not to
Claudius, who would take it as their grant, and as gained by
their good-will to him, and would remember the favors they had
done him, and would make them a sufficient recompense for the

3. These were the discourses the soldiers had one with another by
themselves, and they communicated them to all such as came in to
them. Now those that inquired about this matter willingly
embraced the invitation that was made them to join with the rest;
so they carried Claudius into the camp, crowding about him as his
guard, and encompassing him about, one chairman still succeeding
another, that their vehement endeavors might not be hindered. But
as to the populace and senators, they disagreed in their
opinions. The latter were very desirous to recover their former
dignity, and were zealous to get clear of the slavery that had
been brought on them by the injurious treatment of the tyrants,
which the present opportunity afforded them; but for the people,
who were envious against them, and knew that the emperors were
capable of curbing their covetous temper, and were a refuge from
them, they were very glad that Claudius had been seized upon, and
brought to them, and thought that if Claudius were made emperor,
he would prevent a civil war, such as there was in the days of
Pompey. But when the senate knew that Claudius was brought into
the camp by the soldiers, they sent to him those of their body
which had the best character for their virtues, that they might
inform him that he ought to do nothing by violence, in order to
gain the government; that he who was a single person, one either
already or hereafter to be a member of their body, ought to yield
to the senate, which consisted of so great a number; that he
ought to let the law take place in the disposal of all that
related to the public order, and to remember how greatly the
former tyrants had afflicted their city, and what dangers both he
and they had escaped under Caius; and that he ought not to hate
the heavy burden of tyranny, when the injury is done by others,
while he did himself willfully treat his country after a mad and
insolent manner; that if he would comply with them, and
demonstrate that his firm resolution was to live quietly and
virtuously, he would have the greatest honors decreed to him that
a free people could bestow; and by subjecting himself to the law,
would obtain this branch of commendation, that he acted like a
man of virtue, both as a ruler and a subject; but that if he
would act foolishly, and learn no wisdom by Caius's death, they
would not permit him to go on; that a great part of the army was
got together for them, with plenty of weapons, and a great number
of slaves, which they could make use of; that good hope was a
great matter in such cases, as was also good fortune; and that
the gods would never assist any others but those that undertook
to act with virtue and goodness, who can be no other than such as
fight for the liberty of their country.

4. Now these ambassadors, Veranius and Brocchus, who were both of
them tribunes of the people, made this speech to Claudius; and
falling down upon their knees, they begged of him that he would
not throw the city into wars and misfortunes; but when they saw
what a multitude of soldiers encompassed and guarded Claudius,
and that the forces that were with the consuls were, in
comparison of them, perfectly inconsiderable, they added, that if
he did desire the government, he should accept of it as given by
the senate; that he would prosper better, and be happier, if he
came to it, not by the injustice, but by the good-will of those
that would bestow it upon him.


What Things King Agrippa Did For Claudius; And How Claudius When
He Had Taken The Government Commanded The Murderers Of Caius To
Be Slain.

1. Now Claudius, though he was sensible after what an insolent
manner the senate had sent to him yet did he, according to their
advice, behave himself for the present with moderation; but not
so far that he could not recover himself out of his fright; so he
was encouraged [to claim the government] partly by the boldness
of the soldiers, and partly by the persuasion of king Agrippa,
who exhorted him not to let such a dominion slip out of his
hands, when it came thus to him of its own accord. Now this
Agrippa, with relation to Caius, did what became one that had
been so much honored by him; for he embraced Caius's body after
he was dead, and laid it upon a bed, and covered it as well as he
could, and went out to the guards, and told them that Caius was
still alive; but he said that they should call for physicians,
since he was very ill of his wounds. But when he had learned that
Claudius was carried away violently by the soldiers, he rushed
through the crowd to him, and when he found that he was in
disorder, and ready to resign up the government to the senate, he
encouraged him, and desired him to keep the government; but when
he had said this to Claudius, he retired home. And upon the
senate's sending for him, he anointed his head with ointment, as
if he had lately accompanied with his wife, and had dismissed
her, and then came to them: he also asked of the senators what
Claudius did; who told him the present state of affairs, and then
asked his opinion about the settlement of the public. He told
them in words that he was ready to lose his life for the honor of
the senate, but desired them to consider what was for their
advantage, without any regard to what was most agreeable to them;
for that those who grasp at government will stand in need of
weapons and soldiers to guard them, unless they will set up
without any preparation for it, and so fall into danger. And when
the senate replied that they would bring in weapons in abundance,
and money, and that as to an army, a part of it was already
collected together for them, and they would raise a larger one by
giving the slaves their liberty, - Agrippa made answer, "O
senators! may you be able to compass what you have a mind to; yet
will I immediately tell you my thoughts, because they tend to
your preservation. Take notice, then, that the army which will
fight for Claudius hath been long exercised in warlike affairs;
but our army will be no better than a rude multitude of raw men,
and those such as have been unexpectedly made free from slavery,
and ungovernable; we must then fight against those that are
skillful in war, with men who know not so much as how to draw
their swords. So that my opinion is, that we should send some
persons to Claudius, to persuade him to lay down the government;
and I am ready to be one of your ambassadors."

2. Upon this speech of Agrippa, the senate complied with him, and
he was sent among others, and privately informed Claudius of the
disorder the senate was in, and gave him instructions to answer
them in a somewhat commanding strain, and as one invested with
dignity and authority. Accordingly, Claudius said to the
ambassadors, that he did not wonder the senate had no mind to
have an emperor over them, because they had been harassed by the
barbarity of those that had formerly been at the head of their
affairs; but that they should taste of an equitable government
under him, and moderate times, while he should only he their
ruler in name, but the authority should be equally common to them
all; and since he had passed through many and various scenes of
life before their eyes, it would be good for them not to distrust
him. So the ambassadors, upon their hearing this his answer, were
dismissed. But Claudius discoursed with the army which was there
gathered together, who took oaths that they would persist in
their fidelity to him; Upon which he gave the guards every man
five thousand (13) drachmae a-piece, and a proportionable
quantity to their captains, and promised to give the same to the
rest of the armies wheresoever they were.

3. And now the consuls called the senate together into the temple
of Jupiter the Conqueror, while it was still night; but some of
those senators concealed themselves in the city, being uncertain
what to do, upon the hearing of this summons; and some of them
went out of the city to their own farms, as foreseeing whither
the public affairs were going, and despairing of liberty; nay,
these supposed it much better for them to be slaves without
danger to themselves, and to live a lazy and inactive life, than
by claiming the dignity of their forefathers, to run the hazard
of their own safety. However, a hundred and no more were gotten
together; and as they were in consultation about the present
posture of affairs, a sudden clamor was made by the soldiers that
were on their side, desiring that the senate would choose them an
emperor, and not bring the government into ruin by setting up a
multitude of rulers. So they fully declared themselves to be for
the giving the government not to all, but to one; but they gave
the senate leave to look out for a person worthy to be set over
them, insomuch that now the affairs of the senate were much worse
than before, because they had not only failed in the recovery of
their liberty, which they boasted themselves of, but were in
dread of Claudius also. Yet were there those that hankered after
the government, both on account of the dignity of their families
and that accruing to them by their marriages; for Marcus
Minucianus was illustrious, both by his own nobility, and by his
having married Julia, the sister of Caius, who accordingly was
very ready to claim the government, although the consuls
discouraged him, and made one delay after another in proposing
it: that Minucianus also, who was one of Caius's murderers,
restrained Valerius of Asia from thinking of such things; and a
prodigious slaughter there had been, if leave had been given to
these men to set up for themselves, and oppose Claudius. There
were also a considerable number of gladiators besides, and of
those soldiers who kept watch by night in the city, and rowers of
ships, who all ran into the camp; insomuch that, of those who put
in for the government, some left off their pretensions in order
to spare the city, and others out of fear for their own persons.

4. But as soon as ever it was day, Cherea, and those that were
with him, came into the senate, and attempted to make speeches to
the soldiers. However, the multitude of those soldiers, when they
saw that they were making signals for silence with their hands,
and were ready to begin to speak to them, grew tumultuous, and
would not let them speak at all, because they were all zealous to
be under a monarchy; and they demanded of the senate one for
their ruler, as not enduring any longer delays: but the senate
hesitated about either their own governing, or how they should
themselves be governed, while the soldiers would not admit them
to govern, and the murderers of Caius would not permit the
soldiers to dictate to them. When they were in these
circumstances, Cherea was not able to contain the anger he had,
and promised, that if they desired an emperor, he would give them
one, if any one would bring him the watchword from Eutychus. Now
this Eutychus was charioteer of the green-band faction, styled
Prasine, and a great friend of Caius, who used to harass the
soldiery with building stables for the horses, and spent his time
in ignominious labors, which occasioned Cherea to reproach them
with him, and to abuse them with much other scurrilous language;
and told them he would bring them the head of Claudius; and that
it was an amazing thing, that, after their former madness, they
should commit their government to a fool. Yet were not they moved
with his words, but drew their swords, and took up their ensigns,
and went to Claudius, to join in taking the oath of fidelity to
him. So the senate were left without any body to defend them, and
the very consuls differed nothing from private persons. They were
also under consternation and sorrow, men not knowing what would
become of them, because Claudius was very angry at them; so they
fell a reproaching one another, and repented of what they had
done. At which juncture Sabinus, one of Caius's murderers,
threatened that he would sooner come into the midst of them and
kill himself, than consent to make Claudius emperor, and see
slavery returning upon them; he also abused Cherea for loving his
life too well, while he who was the first in his contempt of
Caius, could think it a good thin to live, when, even by all that
they had done for the recovery of their liberty, they found it
impossible to do it. But Cherea said he had no manner of doubt
upon him about killing himself; that yet he would first sound the
intentions of Claudius before he did it.

5. These were the debates [about the senate]; but in the camp
every body was crowding on all sides to pay their court to
Claudius; and the other consul, Quintus Pomponhis, was reproached
by the soldiery, as having rather exhorted the senate to recover
their liberty; whereupon they drew their swords, and were going
to assault him, and they had done it, if Claudius had not
hindered them, who snatched the consul out of the danger he was
in, and set him by him. :But he did not receive that part of the
senate which was with Quintus in the like honorable manner; nay,
some of them received blows, and were thrust away as they came to
salute Claudius; nay, Aponius went away wounded, and they were
all in danger. However, king Agrippa went up to Claudius, and
desired he would treat the senators more gently; for if any
mischief should come to the senate, he would have no others over
whom to rule. Claudius complied with him, and called the senate
together into the palace, and was carried thither himself through
the city, while the soldiery conducted him, though this was to
the great vexation of the multitude; for Cherea and Sabinus, two
of Caius's murderers, went in the fore-front of them, in an open
manner, while Pollio, whom Claudius, a little before, had made
captain of his guards, had sent them an epistolary edict, to
forbid them to appear in public. Then did Claudius, upon his
coming to the palace, get his friends together, and desired their
suffrages about Cherea. They said that the work he had done was a
glorious one; but they accused him the he did it of
perfidiousness, and thought it just to inflict the punishment [of
death] upon him, to discountenance such actions for the time to
come. So Cherea was led to his execution, and Lupus and many
other Romans with him. Now it is reported that Cherea bore this
calamity courageously; and this not only by the firmness of his
own behavior under it, but by the reproaches he laid upon Lupus,
who fell into tears; for when Lupus laid his garment aside, and
complained of the cold (14) he said, that cold was never hurtful
to Lupus [i.e. a wolf] And as a great many men went along with
them to see the sight, when Cherea came to the place, he asked
the soldier who was to be their executioner, whether this office
was what he was used to, or whether this was the first time of
his using his sword in that manner, and desired him to bring him
that very sword with which he himself slew Caius. (15) So he was
happily killed at one stroke. But Lupus did not meet with such
good fortune in going out of the world, since he was timorous,
and had many blows leveled at his neck, because he did not
stretch it out boldly [as he ought to have done].

6. Now, a few days after this, as the Parental solemnities were
just at hand, the Roman multitude made their usual oblations to
their several ghosts, and put portions into the fire in honor of
Cherea, and besought him to be merciful to them, and not continue
his anger against them for their ingratitude. And this was the
end of the life that Cherea came to. But for Sabinus, although
Claudius not only set him at liberty, but gave him leave to
retain his former command in the army, yet did he think it would
be unjust in him to fail of performing his obligations to his
fellow confederates; so he fell upon his sword, and killed
himself, the wound reaching up to the very hilt of the sword.


How Claudius Restored To Agrippa His Grandfathers Kingdoms And
Augmented His Dominions; And How He Published An Edict In Behalf.

1. Now when Claudius had taken out of the way all those soldiers
whom he suspected, which he did immediately, he published an
edict, and therein confirmed that kingdom to Agrippa which Caius
had given him, and therein commended the king highly. He also
made all addition to it of all that country over which Herod, who
was his grandfather, had reigned, that is, Judea and Samaria; and
this he restored to him as due to his family. But for Abila (16)
of Lysanias, and all that lay at Mount Libanus, he bestowed them
upon him, as out of his own territories. He also made a league
with this Agrippa, confirmed by oaths, in the middle of the
forum, in the city of Rome: he also took away from Antiochus that
kingdom which he was possessed of, but gave him a certain part of
Cilicia and Commagena: he also set Alexander Lysimachus, the
alabarch, at liberty, who had been his old friend, and steward to
his mother Antonia, but had been imprisoned by Caius, whose son
[Marcus] married Bernice, the daughter of Agrippa. But when
Marcus, Alexander's son, was dead, who had married her when she
was a virgin, Agrippa gave her in marriage to his brother Herod,
and begged for him of Claudius the kingdom of Chalcis.

2. Now about this time there was a sedition between the Jews and
the Greeks, at the city of Alexandria; for when Caius was dead,
the nation of the Jews, which had been very much mortified under
the reign of Caius, and reduced to very great distress by the
people of Alexandria, recovered itself, and immediately took up
their arms to fight for themselves. So Claudius sent an order to
the president of Egypt to quiet that tumult; he also sent an
edict, at the requests of king Agrippa and king Herod, both to
Alexandria and to Syria, whose contents were as follows:
"Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, high priest, and
tribune of the people, ordains thus: Since I am assured that the
Jews of Alexandria, called Alexandrians, have been joint
inhabitants in the earliest times with the Alexandrians, and have
obtained from their kings equal privileges with them, as is
evident by the public records that are in their possession, and
the edicts themselves; and that after Alexandria had been
subjected to our empire by Augustus, their rights and privileges
have been preserved by those presidents who have at divers times
been sent thither; and that no dispute had been raised about
those rights and privileges, even when Aquila was governor of
Alexandria; and that when the Jewish ethnarch was dead, Augustus
did not prohibit the making such ethnarchs, as willing that all
men should be so subject [to the Romans] as to continue in the
observation of their own customs, and not be forced to transgress
the ancient rules of their own country religion; but that, in the
time of Caius, the Alexandrians became insolent towards the Jews
that were among them, which Caius, out of his great madness and
want of understanding, reduced the nation of the Jews very low,
because they would not transgress the religious worship of their
country, and call him a god: I will therefore that the nation of
the Jews be not deprived of their rights and privileges, on
account of the madness of Caius; but that those rights and
privileges which they formerly enjoyed be preserved to them, and
that they may continue in their own customs. And I charge both
parties to take very great care that no troubles may arise after
the promulgation of this edict."

3. And such were the contents of this edict on behalf of the Jews
that was sent to Alexandria. But the edict that was sent into the
other parts of the habitable earth was this which follows:
"Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, high priest,
tribune of the people, chosen consul the second time, ordains
thus: Upon the petition of king Agrippa and king Herod, who are
persons very dear to me, that I would grant the same rights and
privileges should be preserved to the Jews which are in all the
Roman empire, which I have granted to those of Alexandria, I very
willingly comply therewith; and this grant I make not only for
the sake of the petitioners, but as judging those Jews for whom I
have been petitioned worthy of such a favor, on account of their
fidelity and friendship to the Romans. I think it also very just
that no Grecian city should be deprived of such rights and
privileges, since they were preserved to them under the great
Augustus. It will therefore be fit to permit the Jews, who are in
all the world under us, to keep their ancient customs without
being hindered so to do. And I do charge them also to use this my
kindness to them with moderation, and not to show a contempt of
the superstitious observances of other nations, but to keep their
own laws only. And I will that this decree of mine be engraven on
tables by the magistrates of the cities, and colonies, and
municipal places, both those within Italy and those without it,
both kings and governors, by the means of the ambassadors, and to
have them exposed to the public for full thirty days, in such a
place whence it may plainly be read from the ground. (17)


What Things Were Done By Agrippa At Jerusalem When He Was
Returned Back Into Judea; And What It Was That Petronius Wrote To
The Inhabitants Of Doris, In Behalf .

1. Now Claudius Caesar, by these decrees of his which were sent
to Alexandria, and to all the habitable earth, made known what
opinion he had of the Jews. So he soon sent Agrippa away to take
his kingdom, now he was advanced to a more illustrious dignity
than before, and sent letters to the presidents and procurators
of the provinces that they should treat him very kindly.
Accordingly, he returned in haste, as was likely he would, now
lie returned in much greater prosperity than he had before. He
also came to Jerusalem, and offered all the sacrifices that
belonged to him, and omitted nothing which the law required; (18)
on which account he ordained that many of the Nazarites should
have their heads shorn. And for the golden chain which had been
given him by Caius, of equal weight with that iron chain
wherewith his royal hands had been bound, he hung it up within
the limits of the temple, over the treasury, (19) that it might
be a memorial of the severe fate he had lain under, and a
testimony of his change for the better; that it might be a
demonstration how the greatest prosperity may have a fall, and
that God sometimes raises up what is fallen down: for this chain
thus dedicated afforded a document to all men, that king Agrippa
had been once bound in a chain for a small cause, but recovered
his former dignity again; and a little while afterward got out of
his bonds, and was advanced to be a more illustrious king than he
was before. Whence men may understand that all that partake of
human nature, how great soever they are, may fall; and that those
that fall may gain their former illustrious dignity again.

2. And when Agrippa had entirely finished all the duties of the
Divine worship, he removed Theophilus, the son of Ananus, from
the high priesthood, and bestowed that honor of his on Simon the
son of Boethus, whose name was also Cantheras whose daughter king
Herod married, as I have related above. Simon, therefore, had the
[high] priesthood with his brethren, and with his father, in like
manner as the sons of Simon, the son of Onias, who were three,
had it formerly under the government of the Macedonians, as we
have related in a former book.

3. When the king had settled the high priesthood after this
manner, he returned the kindness which the inhabitants of
Jerusalem had showed him; for he released them from the tax upon
houses, every one of which paid it before, thinking it a good
thing to requite the tender affection of those that loved him. He
also made Silas the general of his forces, as a man who had
partaken with him in many of his troubles. But after a very
little while the young men of Doris, preferring a rash attempt
before piety, and being naturally bold and insolent, carried a
statue of Caesar into a synagogue of the Jews, and erected it
there. This procedure of theirs greatly provoked Agrippa; for it
plainly tended to the dissolution of the laws of his country. So
he came without delay to Publius Petronius, who was then
president of Syria, and accused the people of Doris. Nor did he
less resent what was done than did Agrippa; for he judged it a
piece of impiety to transgress the laws that regulate the actions
of men. So he wrote the following letter to the people of Doris
in an angry strain: "Publius Petronius, the president under
Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, to the magistrates
of Doris, ordains as follows: Since some of you have had the
boldness, or madness rather, after the edict of Claudius Caesar
Augustus Germanicus was published, for permitting the Jews to
observe the laws of their country, not to obey the same, but have
acted in entire opposition thereto, as forbidding the Jews to
assemble together in the synagogue, by removing Caesar's statue,
and setting it up therein, and thereby have offended not only the
Jews, but the emperor himself, whose statue is more commodiously
placed in his own temple than in a foreign one, where is the
place of assembling together; while it is but a part of natural
justice, that every one should have the power over the place
belonging peculiarly to themselves, according to the
determination of Caesar, - to say nothing of my own
determination, which it would be ridiculous to mention after the
emperor's edict, which gives the Jews leave to make use of their
own customs, as also gives order that they enjoy equally the
rights of citizens with the Greeks themselves, - I therefore
ordain that Proculus Vitellius, the centurion, bring those men to
me, who, contrary to Augustus's edict, have been so insolent as
to do this thing, at which those very men, who appear to be of
principal reputation among them, have an indignation also, and
allege for themselves, 'that it was not done with their consent,
but by the violence of the multitude, that they may give an
account of what hath been done. I also exhort the principal
magistrates among them, unless they have a mind to have this
action esteemed to be done with their consent, to inform the
centurion of those that were guilty of it, and take care that no
handle be hence taken for raising a sedition or quarrel among
them; which those seem to me to treat after who encourage such
doings; while both I myself, and king Agrippa, for whom I have
the highest honor, have nothing more under our care, than that
the nation of the Jews may have no occasion given them of getting
together, under the pretense of avenging themselves, and become
tumultuous. And that it may be more publicly known what Augustus
hath resolved about this whole matter, I have subjoined those
edicts which he hath lately caused to be published at Alexandria,
and which, although they may be well known to all, yet did king
Agrippa, for whom I have the highest honor, read them at that
time before my tribunal, and pleaded that the Jews ought not to
be deprived of those rights which Augustus hath granted them. I
therefore charge you, that you do not, for the time to come, seek
for any occasion of sedition or disturbance, but that every one
be allowed to follow their own religious customs."

4. Thus did Petronius take care of this matter, that such a
breach of the law might be corrected, and that no such thing
might be attempted afterwards against the Jews. And now king
Agrippa took the [high] priesthood away from Simon Cantheras, and
put Jonathan, the son of Ananus, into it again, and owned that he
was more worthy of that dignity than the other. But this was not
a thing acceptable to him, to recover that his former dignity. So
he refused it, and said, "O king! I rejoice in the honor that
thou hast for me, and take it kindly that thou wouldst give me
such a dignity of thy own inclinations, although God hath judged
that I am not at all worthy of the high priesthood. I am
satisfied with having once put on the sacred garments; for I then
put them on after a more holy manner than I should now receive
them again. But if thou desirest that a person more worthy than
myself should have this honorable employment, give me leave to
name thee such a one. I have a brother that is pure from all sin
against God, and of all offenses against thyself; I recommend him
to thee, as one that is fit for this dignity." So the king was
pleased with these words of his, and passed by Jonathan, and,
according to his brother's desire, bestowed the high priesthood
upon Matthias. Nor was it long before Marcus succeeded Petronius,
as president of Syria.


Concerning Silas And On What Account It Was That King Agrippa Was
Angry At Him. How Agrippa Began To Encompass Jerusalem With A
Wall; And What Benefits He Bestowed On The Inhabitants Of

1. Now Silas, the general of the king's horse, because he had
been faithful to him under all his misfortunes, and had never
refused to be a partaker with him in any of his dangers, but had
oftentimes undergone the most hazardous dangers for him, was full
of assurance, and thought he might expect a sort of equality with
the king, on account of the firmness of the friendship he had
showed to him. Accordingly, he would no where let the king sit as
his superior, and took the like liberty in speaking to him upon
all occasions, till he became troublesome to the king, when they
were merry together, extolling himself beyond measure, and oft
putting the king in mind of the severity of fortune he had
undergone, that he might, by way of ostentation, demonstrate What
zeal he had showed in his service; and was continually harping
upon this string, what pains he had taken for him, and much
enlarged still upon that subject. The repetition of this so
frequently seemed to reproach the king, insomuch that he took
this ungovernable liberty of talking very ill at his hands. For
the commemoration of times when men have been under ignominy, is
by no means agreeable to them; and he is a very silly man who is
perpetually relating to a person what kindness he had done him.
At last, therefore, Silas had so thoroughly provoked the king's
indignation, that he acted rather out of passion than good
consideration, and did not only turn Silas out of his place, as
general of his horse, but sent him in bonds into his own country.
But the edge of his anger wore off by length of time, and made
room for more just reasonings as to his judgment about this man;
and he considered how many labors he had undergone for his sake.
So when Agrippa was solemnizing his birth-day, and he gave
festival entertainments to all his subjects, he sent for Silas on
the sudden to be his guest. But as he was a very frank man, he
thought he had now a just handle given him to be angry; which he
could not conceal from those that came for him, but said to them,
"What honor is this the king invites me to, which I conclude will
soon be over? For the king hath not let me keep those original
marks of the good-will I bore him, which I once had from him; but
he hath plundered me, and that unjustly also. Does he think that
I can leave off that liberty of speech, which, upon the
consciousness of my deserts, I shall use more loudly than before,
and shall relate how many misfortunes I have been delivered from;
how many labors I have undergone for him, whereby I procured him
deliverance and respect; as a reward for which I have borne the
hardships of bonds and a dark prison? I shall never forget this
usage. Nay, perhaps, my very soul, when it is departed out of the
body, will not forget the glorious actions I did on his account."
This was the clamor he made, and he ordered the messengers to
tell it to the king. So he perceived that Silas was incurable in
his folly, and still suffered him to lie in prison.

2. As for the walls of Jerusalem, that were adjoining to the new
city [Bezetha], he repaired them at the expense of the public,
and built them wider in breadth, and higher in altitude; and he
had made them too strong for all human power to demolish, unless
Marcus, the then president of Syria, had by letter informed
Claudius Caesar of what he was doing. And when Claudius had some
suspicion of attempts for innovation, he sent to Agrippa to leave
off the building of those walls presently. So he obeyed, as not
thinking it proper to contradict Claudius.

3. Now this king was by nature very beneficent and liberal in his
gifts, and very ambitious to oblige people with such large
donations; and he made himself very illustrious by the many
chargeable presents he made them. He took delight in giving, and
rejoiced in living with good reputation. He was not at all like
that Herod who reigned before him; for that Herod was
ill-natured, and severe in his punishments, and had no mercy on
them that he hated; and every one perceived that he was more
friendly to the Greeks than to the Jews; for he adorned foreign
cities with large presents in money; with building them baths and
theatres besides; nay, in some of those places he erected
temples, and porticoes in others; but he did not vouchsafe to
raise one of the least edifices in any Jewish city, or make them
any donation that was worth mentioning. But Agrippa's temper was
mild, and equally liberal to all men. He was humane to
foreigners, and made them sensible of his liberality. He was in
like manner rather of a gentle and compassionate temper.
Accordingly, he loved to live continually at Jerusalem, and was
exactly careful in the observance of the laws of his country. He
therefore kept himself entirely pure; nor did any day pass over
his head without its appointed sacrifice.

4. However, there was a certain mall of the Jewish nation at
Jerusalem, who appeared to be very accurate in the knowledge of
the law. His name was Simon. This man got together an assembly,
while the king was absent at Cesarea, and had the insolence to
accuse him as not living holily, and that he might justly be
excluded out of the temple, since it belonged only to native
Jews. But the general of Agrippa's army informed him that Simon
had made such a speech to the people. So the king sent for him;
and as he was sitting in the theater, he bid him sit down by him,
and said to him with a low and gentle voice, "What is there done
in this place that is contrary to the law?" But he had nothing to
say for himself, but begged his pardon. So the king was more
easily reconciled to him than one could have imagined, as
esteeming mildness a better quality in a king than anger, and
knowing that moderation is more becoming in great men than
passion. So he made Simon a small present, and dismissed him.

5. Now as Agrippa was a great builder in many places, he paid a
peculiar regard to the people of Berytus; for he erected a
theater for them, superior to many others of that sort, both in
Sumptuousness and elegance, as also an amphitheater, built at
vast expenses; and besides these, he built them baths and
porticoes, and spared for no costs in any of his edifices, to
render them both handsome and large. He also spent a great deal
upon their dedication, and exhibited shows upon them, and brought
thither musicians of all sorts, and such as made the most
delightful music of the greatest variety. He also showed his
magnificence upon the theater, in his great number of gladiators;
and there it was that he exhibited the several antagonists, in
order to please the spectators; no fewer indeed than seven
hundred men to fight with seven hundred other men (20) and
allotted all the malefactors he had for this exercise, that both
the malefactors might receive their punishment, and that this
operation of war might be a recreation in peace. And thus were
these criminals all destroyed at once.


What Other Acts Were Done By Agrippa Until His Death; And After
What Manner He Died.

1. When Agrippa had finished what I have above related at
Berytus, he removed to Tiberias, a city of Galilee. Now he was in
great esteem among other kings. Accordingly there came to him
Antiochus, king of Commalena, Sampsigeratnus, king of Emesa, and
Cotys, who was king of the Lesser Armenia, and Polemo, who was
king of Pontus, as also Herod his brother, who was king of
Chalcis. All these he treated with agreeable entertainments, and
after an obliging manner, and so as to exhibit the greatness of
his mind, and so as to appear worthy of those respects which the
kings paid to him, by coming thus to see him. However, while
these kings staid with him, Marcus, the president of Syria, came
thither. So the king, in order to preserve the respect that was
due to the Romans, went out of the city to meet him, as far as
seven furlongs. But this proved to be the beginning of a
difference between him and Marcus; for he took with him in his
chariot those other kings as his assessors. But Marcus had a
suspicion what the meaning could be of so great a friendship of
these kings one with another, and did not think so close an
agreement of so many potentates to be for the interest of the
Romans. He therefore sent some of his domestics to every one of
them, and enjoined them to go their ways home without further
delay. This was very ill taken by Agrippa, who after that became
his enemy. And now he took the high priesthood away from
Matthias, and made Elioneus, the son of Cantheras, high priest in
his stead.

2. Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea, he
came to the city Cesarea, which was formerly called Strato's
Tower; and there he exhibited shows in honor of Caesar, upon his
being informed that there was a certain festival celebrated to
make vows for his safety. At which festival a great multitude was
gotten together of the principal persons, and such as were of
dignity through his province. On the second day of which shows he
put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a contexture truly
wonderful, and came into the theater early in the morning; at
which time the silver of his garment being illuminated by the
fresh reflection of the sun's rays upon it, shone out after a
surprising manner, and was so resplendent as to spread a horror
over those that looked intently upon him; and presently his
flatterers cried out, one from one place, and another from
another, (though not for his good,) that he was a god; and they
added, "Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto
reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee
as superior to mortal nature." Upon this the king did neither
rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery. But as he
presently afterward looked up, he saw an owl (21) sitting on a
certain rope over his head, and immediately understood that this
bird was the messenger of ill tidings, as it had once been the
messenger of good tidings to him; and fell into the deepest
sorrow. A severe pain also arose in his belly, and began in a
most violent manner. He therefore looked upon his friends, and
said, "I, whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart
this life; while Providence thus reproves the lying words you
just now said to me; and I, who was by you called immortal, am
immediately to be hurried away by death. But I am bound to accept
of what Providence allots, as it pleases God; for we have by no
means lived ill, but in a splendid and happy manner." When he
said this, his pain was become violent. Accordingly he was
carried into the palace, and the rumor went abroad every where,
that he would certainly die in a little time. But the multitude
presently sat in sackcloth, with their wives and children, after
the law of their country, and besought God for the king's
recovery. All places were also full of mourning and lamentation.
Now the king rested in a high chamber, and as he saw them below
lying prostrate on the ground, he could not himself forbear
weeping. And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his
belly for five days, he departed this life, being in the
fifty-fourth year of his age, and in the seventh year of his
reign; for he reigned four years under Caius Caesar, three of
them were over Philip's tetrarchy only, and on the fourth he had
that of Herod added to it; and he reigned, besides those, three
years under the reign of Claudius Caesar; in which time he
reigned over the forementioned countries, and also had Judea
added to them, as well as Samaria and Cesarea. The revenues that
he received out of them were very great, no less than twelve
millions of drachme. (22) Yet did he borrow great sums from
others; for he was so very liberal that his expenses exceeded his
incomes, and his generosity was boundless. (23)

3. But before the multitude were made acquainted with Agrippa's
being expired, Herod the king of Chalcis, and Helcias the master
of his horse, and the king's friend, sent Aristo, one of the
king's most faithful servants, and slew Silas, who had been their
enemy, as if it had been done by the king's own command.


What Things Were Done After The Death Of Agrippa; And How
Claudius, On Account Of The Youth And Unskilfulness Of Agrippa,
Junior, Sent Cuspius Fadus To Be Procurator Of Judea, And Of The
Entire Kingdom.

1. And thus did king Agrippa depart this life. But he left behind
him a son, Agrippa by name, a youth in the seventeenth year of
his age, and three daughters; one of which, Bernice, was married
to Herod, his father's brother, and was sixteen years old; the
other two, Mariamne and Drusilla, were still virgins; the former
was ten years old, and Drusilla six. Now these his daughters were
thus espoused by their father; Marlatone to Julius Archclaus
Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, the son of Chelcias; and
Drusilla to the king of Commagena. But when it was known that
Agrippa was departed this life, the inhabitants of Cesarea and of
Sebaste forgot the kindnesses he had bestowed on them, and acted
the part of the bitterest enemies; for they cast such reproaches
upon the deceased as are not fit to be spoken of; and so many of
them as were then soldiers, which were a great number, went to
his house, and hastily carried off the statues (24) of this
king's daughters, and all at once carried them into the
brothel-houses, and when they had set them on the tops of those
houses, they abused them to the utmost of their power, and did
such things to them as are too indecent to be related. They also
laid themselves down in public places, and celebrated general
feastings, with garlands on their heads, and with ointments and
libations to Charon, and drinking to one another for joy that the
king was expired. Nay, they were not only unmindful of Agrippa,
who had extended his liberality to them in abundance, but of his
grandfather Herod also, who had himself rebuilt their cities, and
had raised them havens and temples at vast expenses.

2. Now Agrippa, the son of the deceased, was at Rome, and brought
up with Claudius Caesar. And when Caesar was informed that
Agrippa was dead, and that the inhabitants of Sebaste and Cesarea
had abused him, he was sorry for the first news, and was
displeased with the ingratitude of those cities. He was therefore
disposed to send Agrippa, junior, away presently to succeed his
father in the kingdom, and was willing to confirm him in it by
his oath. But those freed-men and friends of his, who had the
greatest authority with him, dissuaded him from it, and said that
it was a dangerous experiment to permit so large a kingdom to
come under the government of so very young a man, and one hardly
yet arrived at years of discretion, who would not be able to take
sufficient care of its administration; while the weight of a
kingdom is heavy enough to a grown man. So Caesar thought what
they said to be reasonable. Accordingly he sent Cuspins Fadus to
be procurator of Judea, and of the entire kingdom, and paid that
respect to the eceased as not to introduce Marcus, who had been
at variance with him, into his kingdom. But he determined, in the
first place, to send orders to Fadus, that he should chastise the
inhabitants of Cesarca and Sebaste for those abuses they had
offered to him that was deceased, and their madness towards his
daughters that were still alive; and that he should remove that
body of soldiers that were at Cesarea and Sebaste, with the five
regiments, into Pontus, that they might do their military duty
there; and that he should choose an equal number of soldiers out
of the Roman legions that were in Syria, to supply their place.
Yet were not those that had such orders actually removed; for by
sending ambassadors to Claudius, they mollified him, and got
leave to abide in Judea still; and these were the very men that
became the source of very great calamities to the Jews in
after-times, and sowed the seeds of that war which began under
Florus; whence it was that when Vespasian had subdued the
country, he removed them out of his province, as we shall relate


Containing The Interval Of Twenty-Two Years.

From Fadus The Procurator To Florus.


A Sedition Of The Philadelphians Against The Jews; And Also
Concerning The Vestments Of The High Priest.

1. Upon the death of king Agrippa, which we have related in the
foregoing book, Claudius Caesar sent Cassius Longinus as
successor to Marcus, out of regard to the memory of king Agrippa,
who had often desired of him by letters, while be was alive, that
he would not suffer Marcus to be any longer president of Syria.
But Fadus, as soon as he was come procurator into Judea, found
quarrelsome doings between the Jews that dwelt in Perea, and the
people of Philadelphia, about their borders, at a village called
Mia, that was filled with men of a warlike temper; for the Jews
of Perea had taken up arms without the consent of their principal
men, and had destroyed many of the Philadelphians. When Fadus was
informed of this procedure, it provoked him very much that they
had not left the determination of the matter to him, if they
thought that the Philadelphians had done them any wrong, but had
rashly taken up arms against them. So he seized upon three of
their principal men, who were also the causes of this sedition,
and ordered them to be bound, and afterwards had one of them
slain, whose name was Hannibal; and he banished the other two,
Areram and Eleazar. Tholomy also, the arch robber, was, after
some time, brought to him bound, and slain, but not till he had
done a world of mischief to Idumea and the Arabians. And indeed,
from that time, Judea was cleared of robberies by the care and
providence of Fadus. He also at this time sent for the high
priests and the principal citizens of Jerusalem, and this at the
command of the emperor, and admonished them that they should lay
up the long garment and the sacred vestment, which it is
customary for nobody but the high priest to wear, in the tower of
Antonia, that it might be under the power of the Romans, as it
had been formerly. Now the Jews durst not contradict what he had
said, but desired Fadus, however, and Longinus, (which last was
come to Jerusalem, and had brought a great army with him, out of
a fear that the [rigid] injunctions of Fadus should force the
Jews to rebel,) that they might, in the first place, have leave
to send ambassadors to Caesar, to petition him that they may have
the holy vestments under their own power; and that, in the next
place, they would tarry till they knew what answer Claudius would
give to that their request. So they replied, that they would give
them leave to send their ambassadors, provided they would give
them their sons as pledges [for their peaceable behavior]. And
when they had agreed so to do, and had given them the pledges
they desired, the ambassadors were sent accordingly. But when,
upon their coming to Rome, Agrippa, junior, the son of the
deceased, understood the reason why they came, (for he dwelt with
Claudius Caesar, as we said before,) he besought Caesar to grant
the Jews their request about the holy vestments, and to send a
message to Fadus accordingly.

2. Hereupon Claudius called for the ambassadors; and told them
that he granted their request; and bade them to return their
thanks to Agrippa for this favor, which had been bestowed on them
upon his entreaty. And besides these answers of his, he sent the
following letter by them: "Claudius Caesar Germanicus, tribune of
the people the fifth time, and designed consul the fourth time,
and imperator the tenth time, the father of his country, to the
magistrates, senate, and people, and the whole nation of the
Jews, sendeth greeting. Upon the presentation of your ambassadors
to me by Agrippa, my friend, whom I have brought up, and have now
with me, and who is a person of very great piety, who are come to
give me thanks for the care I have taken of your nation, and to
entreat me, in an earnest and obliging manner, that they may have
the holy vestments, with the crown belonging to them, under their
power, - I grant their request, as that excellent person
Vitellius, who is very dear to me, had done before me. And I have
complied with your desire, in the first place, out of regard to
that piety which I profess, and because I would have every one
worship God according to the laws of their own country; and this
I do also because I shall hereby highly gratify king Herod, and
Agrippa, junior, whose sacred regards to me, and earnest
good-will to you, I am well acquainted with, and with whom I have
the greatest friendship, and whom I highly esteem, and look on as
persons of the best character. Now I have written about these
affairs to Cuspius Fadus, my procurator. The names of those that
brought me your letter are Cornelius, the son of Cero, Trypho,
the son of Theudio, Dorotheus, the son of Nathaniel, and John,
the son of Jotre. This letter is dated before the fourth of the
calends of July, when Ruffis and Pompeius Sylvanus are consuls."

3. Herod also, the brother of the deceased Agrippa, who was then
possessed of the royal authority over Chalcis, petitioned
Claudius Caesar for the authority over the temple, and the money
of the sacred treasure, and the choice of the high priests, and
obtained all that he petitioned for. So that after that time this
authority continued among all his descendants till the end of the
war (1) Accordingly, Herod removed the last high priest, called
Cimtheras, and bestowed that dignity on his successor Joseph, the
son of Cantos.


How Helena The Queen Of Adiabene And Her Son Izates, Embraced The
Jewish Religion; And How Helena Supplied The Poor With Corn, When
There Was A Great Famine At Jerusalem.

1. About this time it was that Helena, queen of Adiabene, and her
son Izates, changed their course of life, and embraced the Jewish
customs, and this on the occasion following: Monobazus, the king
of Adiabene, who had also the name of Bazeus, fell in love with
his sister Helena, and took her to be his wife, and begat her
with child. But as he was in bed with her one night, he laid his
hand upon his wife's belly, and fell asleep, and seemed to hear a
voice, which bid him take his hand off his wife's belly, and not
hurt the infant that was therein, which, by God's providence,
would be safely born, and have a happy end. This voice put him
into disorder; so he awaked immediately, and told the story to
his wife; and when his son was born, he called him Izates. He had
indeed Monobazus, his elder brother, by Helena also, as he had
other sons by other wives besides. Yet did he openly place all
his affections on this his only begotten (2) son Izates, which
was the origin of that envy which his other brethren, by the same
father, bore to him; while on this account they hated him more
and more, and were all under great affliction that their father
should prefer Izates before them. Now although their father was
very sensible of these their passions, yet did he forgive them,
as not indulging those passions out of an ill disposition, but
out of a desire each of them had to be beloved by their father.
However, he sent Izates, with many presents, to Abennerig, the
king of Charax-Spasini, and that out of the great dread he was in
about him, lest he should come to some misfortune by the hatred
his brethren bore him; and he committed his son's preservation to
him. Upon which Abennerig gladly received the young man, and had
a great affection for him, and married him to his own daughter,
whose name was Samacha: he also bestowed a country upon him, from
which he received large revenues.

2. But when Monobazus was grown old, and saw that he had but a
little time to live, he had a mind to come to the sight of his
son before he died. So he sent for him, and embraced him after
the most affectionate manner, and bestowed on him the country
called Carra; it was a soil that bare amomum in great plenty:
there are also in it the remains of that ark, wherein it is
related that Noah escaped the deluge, and where they are still
shown to such as are desirous to see them. (3) Accordingly,
Izates abode in that country until his father's death. But the
very day that Monobazus died, queen Helena sent for all the
grandees, and governors of the kingdom, and for those that had
the armies committed to their command; and when they were come,
she made the following speech to them: "I believe you are not
unacquainted that my husband was desirous Izates should succeed
him in the government, and thought him worthy so to do. However,
I wait your determination; for happy is he who receives a
kingdom, not from a single person only, but from the willing
suffrages of a great many." This she said, in order to try those
that were invited, and to discover their sentiments. Upon the
hearing of which, they first of all paid their homage to the
queen, as their custom was, and then they said that they
confirmed the king's determination, and would submit to it; and
they rejoiced that Izates's father had preferred him before the
rest of his brethren, as being agreeable to all their wishes: but
that they were desirous first of all to slay his brethren and
kinsmen, that so the government might come securely to Izates;
because if they were once destroyed, all that fear would be over
which might arise from their hatred and envy to him. Helena
replied to this, that she returned them her thanks for their
kindness to herself and to Izates; but desired that they would
however defer the execution of this slaughter of Izates's
brethren till he should be there himself, and give his
approbation to it. So since these men had not prevailed with her,
when they advised her to slay them, they exhorted her at least to
keep them in bonds till he should come, and that for their own
security; they also gave her counsel to set up some one whom she
could put the greatest trust in, as a governor of the kingdom in
the mean time. So queen Helena complied with this counsel of
theirs, and set up Monobazus, the eldest son, to be king, and put
the diadem upon his head, and gave him his father's ring, with
its signet; as also the ornament which they call Sampser, and
exhorted him to administer the affairs of the kingdom till his
brother should come; who came suddenly upon hearing that his
father was dead, and succeeded his brother Monobazus, who
resigned up the government to him.

3. Now, during the time Izates abode at Charax-Spasini, a certain
Jewish merchant, whose name was Ananias, got among the women that
belonged to the king, and taught them to worship God according to
the Jewish religion. He, moreover, by their means, became known
to Izates, and persuaded him, in like manner, to embrace that
religion; he also, at the earnest entreaty of Izates, accompanied
him when he was sent for by his father to come to Adiabene; it
also happened that Helena, about the same time, was instructed by
a certain other Jew and went over to them. But when Izates had
taken the kingdom, and was come to Adiabene, and there saw his
brethren and other kinsmen in bonds, he was displeased at it; and
as he thought it an instance of impiety either to slay or
imprison them, but still thought it a hazardous thing for to let
them have their liberty, with the remembrance of the injuries
that had been offered them, he sent some of them and their
children for hostages to Rome, to Claudius Caesar, and sent the
others to Artabanus, the king of Parthia, with the like

4. And when he perceived that his mother was highly pleased with
the Jewish customs, he made haste to change, and to embrace them
entirely; and as he supposed that he could not he thoroughly a
Jew unless he were circumcised, he was ready to have it done. But
when his mother understood what he was about, she endeavored to
hinder him from doing it, and said to him that this thing would
bring him into danger; and that, as he was a king, he would
thereby bring himself into great odium among his subjects, when
they should understand that he was so fond of rites that were to
them strange and foreign; and that they would never bear to be
ruled over by a Jew. This it was that she said to him, and for
the present persuaded him to forbear. And when he had related
what she had said to Ananias, he confirmed what his mother had
said; and when he had also threatened to leave him, unless he
complied with him, he went away from him, and said that he was
afraid lest such an action being once become public to all, he
should himself be in danger of punishment for having been the
occasion of it, and having been the king's instructor in actions
that were of ill reputation; and he said that he might worship
God without being circumcised, even though he did resolve to
follow the Jewish law entirely, which worship of God was of a
superior nature to circumcision. He added, that God would forgive
him, though he did not perform the operation, while it was
omitted out of necessity, and for fear of his subjects. So the
king at that time complied with these persuasions of Ananias. But
afterwards, as he had not quite left off his desire of doing this
thing, a certain other Jew that came out of Galilee, whose name
was Eleazar, and who was esteemed very skillful in the learning
of his country, persuaded him to do the thing; for as he entered
into his palace to salute him, and found him reading the law of
Moses, he said to him, "Thou dost not consider, O king! that thou
unjustly breakest the principal of those laws, and art injurious
to God himself, [by omitting to be circumcised]; for thou
oughtest not only to read them, but chiefly to practice what they
enjoin thee. How long wilt thou continue uncircumcised? But if
thou hast not yet read the law about circumcision, and dost not
know how great impiety thou art guilty of by neglecting it, read
it now." When the king had heard what he said, he delayed the
thing no longer, but retired to another room, and sent for a
surgeon, and did what he was commanded to do. He then sent for
his mother, and Ananias his tutor, and informed them that he had
done the thing; upon which they were presently struck with
astonishment and fear, and that to a great degree, lest the thing
should be openly discovered and censured, and the king should
hazard the loss of his kingdom, while his subjects would not bear
to be governed by a man who was so zealous in another religion;
and lest they should themselves run some hazard, because they
would be supposed the occasion of his so doing. But it was God
himself who hindered what they feared from taking effect; for he
preserved both Izates himself and his sons when they fell into
many dangers, and procured their deliverance when it seemed to be
impossible, and demonstrated thereby that the fruit of piety does
not perish as to those that have regard to him, and fix their
faith upon him only. (4) But these events we shall relate

5. But as to Helena, the king's mother, when she saw that the
affairs of Izates's kingdom were in peace, and that her son was a
happy man, and admired among all men, and even among foreigners,
by the means of God's providence over him, she had a mind to go
to the city of Jerusalem, in order to worship at that temple of
God which was so very famous among all men, and to offer her
thank-offerings there. So she desired her son to give her leave
to go thither; upon which he gave his consent to what she desired
very willingly, and made great preparations for her dismission,
and gave her a great deal of money, and she went down to the city
Jerusalem, her son conducting her on her journey a great way. Now
her coming was of very great advantage to the people of
Jerusalem; for whereas a famine did oppress them at that time,
and many people died for want of what was necessary to procure
food withal, queen Helena sent some of her servants to Alexandria
with money to buy a great quantity of corn, and others of them to
Cyprus, to bring a cargo of dried figs. And as soon as they were
come back, and had brought those provisions, which was done very
quickly, she distributed food to those that were in want of it,
and left a most excellent memorial behind her of this
benefaction, which she bestowed on our whole nation. And when her
son Izates was informed of this famine, (5) he sent great sums of
money to the principal men in Jerusalem. However, what favors
this queen and king conferred upon our city Jerusalem shall be
further related hereafter.


How Artabanus, the King of Parthia out of Fear of the Secret
Contrivances of His Subjects Against Him, Went to Izates, and Was
By Him Reinstated in His Government; as Also How Bardanes His Son
Denounced War Against Izates.

1. But now Artabanus, king of the Parthians perceiving that the
governors of the provinces had framed a plot against him, did not
think it safe for him to continue among them; but resolved to go
to Izates, in hopes of finding some way for his preservation by
his means, and, if possible, for his return to his own dominions.
So he came to Izates, and brought a thousand of his kindred and
servants with him, and met him upon the road, while he well knew
Izates, but Izates did not know him. When Artabanus stood near
him, and, in the first place, worshipped him, according to the
custom, he then said to him, "O king! do not thou overlook me thy
servant, nor do thou proudly reject the suit I make thee; for as
I am reduced to a low estate, by the change of fortune, and of a
king am become a private man, I stand in need of thy assistance.
Have regard, therefore, unto the uncertainty of fortune, and
esteem the care thou shalt take of me to he taken of thyself
also; for if I be neglected, and my subjects go off unpunished,
many other subjects will become the more insolent towards other
kings also." And this speech Artabanus made with tears in his
eyes, and with a dejected countenance. Now as soon as Izates
heard Artabanus's name, and saw him stand as a supplicant before
him, he leaped down from his horse immediately, and said to him,
"Take courage, O king! nor be disturbed at thy present calamity,
as if it were incurable; for the change of thy sad condition
shall be sudden; for thou shalt find me to be more thy friend and
thy assistant than thy hopes can promise thee; for I will either
re-establish thee in the kingdom of Parthia, or lose my own."

2. When he had said this, he set Artabanus upon his horse, and
followed him on foot, in honor of a king whom he owned as greater
than himself; which, when Artabanus saw, he was very uneasy at
it, and sware by his present fortune and honor that he would get
down from his horse, unless Izates would get upon his horse
again, and go before him. So he complied with his desire, and
leaped upon his horse; and when he had brought him to his royal
palace, he showed him all sorts of respect when they sat
together, and he gave him the upper place at festivals also, as
regarding not his present fortune, but his former dignity, and
that upon this consideration also, that the changes of fortune
are common to all men. He also wrote to the Parthians, to
persuade them to receive Artabanus again; and gave them his right
hand and his faith, that he should forget what was past and done,
and that he would undertake for this as a mediator between them.
Now the Parthians did not themselves refuse to receive him again,
but pleaded that it was not now in their power so to do, because
they had committed the government to another person, who had
accepted of it, and whose name was Cinnamus; and that they were
afraid lest a civil war should arise on this account. When
Cinnamus understood their intentions, he wrote to Artabanus
himself, for he had been brought up by him, and was of a nature
good and gentle also, and desired him to put confidence in him,
and to come and take his own dominions again. Accordingly,
Artabanus trusted him, and returned home; when Cinnamus met him,
worshipped him, and saluted him as a king, and took the diadem
off his own head, and put it on the head of Artabanus.

3. And thus was Artahanus restored to his kingdom again by the
means of Izates, when he had lost it by the means of the grandees
of the kingdom. Nor was he unmindful of the benefits he had
conferred upon him, but rewarded him with such honors as were of
the greatest esteem among them; for he gave him leave to wear his
tiara upright, (6) and to sleep upon a golden bed, which are
privileges and marks of honor peculiar to the kings of Parthia.
He also cut off a large and fruitful country from the king of
Armenia, and bestowed it upon him. The name of the country is
Nisibis, wherein the Macedonians had formerly built that city
which they called Antioch of Mygodonla. And these were the honors
that were paid Izates by the king of the Parthians.

4. But in no long time Artabanus died, and left his kingdom to
his son Bardanes. Now this Bardanes came to Izates, and would
have persuaded him to join him with his army, and to assist him
in the war he was preparing to make with the Romans; but he could
not prevail with him. For Izates so well knew the strength and
good fortune of the Romans, that he took Bardanes to attempt what
was impossible to be done; and having besides sent his sons, five
in number, and they but young also, to learn accurately the
language of our nation, together with our learning, as well as he
had sent his mother to worship at our temple, as I have said
already, was the more backward to a compliance; and restrained
Bardanes, telling him perpetually of the great armies and famous
actions of the Romans, and thought thereby to terrify him, and
desired thereby to hinder him from that expedition. But the
Parthian king was provoked at this his behavior, and denounced
war immediately against Izates. Yet did he gain no advantage by
this war, because God cut off all his hopes therein; for the
Parthians perceiving Bardanes's intentions, and how he had
determined to make war with the Romans, slew him, and gave his
kingdom to his brother Gotarzes. He also, in no long time,
perished by a plot made against him, and Vologases, his brother,
succeeded him, who committed two of his provinces to two of his
brothers by the same father; that of the Medes to the elder,
Pacorus; and Armenia to the younger, Tiridates.


How Izates Was Betrayed By His Own Subjects, And Fought Against
By The Arabians And How Izates, By The Providence Of God, Was
Delivered Out Of Their Hands.

1. Now when the king's brother, Monobazus, and his other kindred,
saw how Izates, by his piety to God, was become greatly esteemed
by all men, they also had a desire to leave the religion of their
country, and to embrace the customs of the Jews; but that act of
theirs was discovered by Izates's subjects. Whereupon the
grandees were much displeased, and could not contain their anger
at them; but had an intention, when they should find a proper
opportunity, to inflict a punishment upon them. Accordingly, they
wrote to Abia, king of the Arabians, and promised him great sums
of money, if he would make an expedition against their king; and
they further promised him, that, on the first onset, they would
desert their king, because they were desirous to punish him, by
reason of the hatred he had to their religious worship; then they
obliged themselves, by oaths, to be faithful to each other, and
desired that he would make haste in this design. The king of
Arabia complied with their desires, and brought a great army into
the field, and marched against Izates; and, in the beginning of
the first onset, and before they came to a close fight, those
Handees, as if they had a panic terror upon them, all deserted
Izates, as they had agreed to do, and, turning their backs upon
their enemies, ran away. Yet was not Izates dismayed at this; but
when he understood that the grandees had betrayed him, he also
retired into his camp, and made inquiry into the matter; and as
soon as he knew who they were that made this conspiracy with the
king of Arabia, he cut off those that were found guilty; and
renewing the fight on the next day, he slew the greatest part of
his enemies, and forced all the rest to betake themselves to
flight. He also pursued their king, and drove him into a fortress
called Arsamus, and following on the siege vigorously, he took
that fortress. And when he had plundered it of all the prey that
was in it, which was not small, he returned to Adiabene; yet did
not he take Abia alive, because, when he found himself
encompassed on every side, he slew himself.

2. But although the grandees of Adiabene had failed in their
first attempt, as being delivered up by God into their king's
hands, yet would they not even then be quiet, but wrote again to
Vologases, who was then king of Parthia, and desired that he
would kill Izates, and set over them some other potentate, who
should be of a Parthian family; for they said that they hated
their own king for abrogating the laws of their forefathers, and
embracing foreign customs. When the king of Parthia heard this,
he boldly made war upon Izates; and as he had no just pretense
for this war, he sent to him, and demanded back those honorable
privileges which had been bestowed on him by his father, and
threatened, on his refusal, to make war upon him. Upon hearing of
this, Izates was under no small trouble of mind, as thinking it
would be a reproach upon him to appear to resign those privileges
that had been bestowed upon him out of cowardice; yet because he
knew, that though the king of Parthia should receive back those
honors, yet would he not be quiet, he resolved to commit himself
to God, his Protector, in the present danger he was in of his
life; and as he esteemed him to be his principal assistant, he
intrusted his children and his wives to a very strong fortress,
and laid up his corn in his citadels, and set the hay and the
grass on fire. And when he had thus put things in order, as well
as he could, he awaited the coming of the enemy. And when the
king of Parthia was come, with a great army of footmen and
horsemen, which he did sooner than was expected, (for he marched
in great haste,) and had cast up a bank at the river that parted
Adiabene from Media, - Izates also pitched his camp not far off,
having with him six thousand horsemen. But there came a messenger
to Izates, sent by the king of Parthia, who told him how large
his dominions were, as reaching from the river Euphrates to
Bactria, and enumerated that king's subjects; he also threatened
him that he should be punished, as a person ungrateful to his
lords; and said that the God whom he worshipped could not deliver
him out of the king's hands. When the messenger had delivered
this his message, Izates replied that he knew the king of
Parthia's power was much greater than his own; but that he knew
also that God was much more powerful than all men. And when he
had returned him this answer, he betook himself to make
supplication to God, and threw himself upon the ground, and put
ashes upon his head, in testimony of his confusion, and fasted,
together with his wives and children. (7) Then he called upon
God, and said, "O Lord and Governor, if I have not in vain
committed myself to thy goodness, but have justly determined that
thou only art the Lord and principal of all beings, come now to
my assistance, and defend me from my enemies, not only on my own
account, but on account of their insolent behavior with regard to
thy power, while they have not feared to lift up their proud and
arrogant tongue against thee." Thus did he lament and bemoan
himself, with tears in his eyes; whereupon God heard his prayer.
And immediately that very night Vologases received letters, the
contents of which were these, that a great band of Dahe and
Sacse, despising him, now he was gone so long a journey from
home, had made an expedition, and laid Parthis waste; so that he
[was forced to] retire back, without doing any thing. And thus it
was that Izates escaped the threatenings of the Parthians, by the
providence of God.

3. It was not long ere Izates died, when he had completed
fifty-five years of his life, and had ruled his kingdom
twenty-four years. He left behind him twenty-four sons and
twenty-four daughters. However, he gave order that his brother
Monobazus should succeed in the government, thereby requiting
him, because, while he was himself absent after their father's
death, he had faithfully preserved the government for him. But
when Helena, his mother, heard of her son's death, she was in
great heaviness, as was but natural, upon her loss of such a most
dutiful son; yet was it a comfort to her that she heard the
succession came to her eldest son. Accordingly, she went to him
in haste; and when she was come into Adiabene, she did not long
outlive her son Izates. But Monobazus sent her bones, as well as
those of Izates, his brother, to Jerusalem, and gave order that
they should be buried at the pyramids (8) which their mother had
erected; they were three in number, and distant no more than
three furlongs from the city Jerusalem. But for the actions of
Monobazus the king, which he did during the rest of his life. we
will relate them hereafter.-


Concerning Theudas And The Sons Of Judas The Galilean; As Also
What Calamity Fell Upon The Jews On The Day Of The Passover.

1. Now it came to pass, while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that
a certain magician, whose name was Theudas, (9) persuaded a great
part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow
him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and
that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford
them an easy passage over it; and many were deluded by his words.
However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his
wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them; who,
falling upon them unexpectedly, slew many of them, and took many
of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, and cut off his
head, and carried it to Jerusalem. This was what befell the Jews
in the time of Cuspius Fadus's government.

2. Then came Tiberius Alexander as successor to Fadus; he was the
son of Alexander the alabarch of Alexandria, which Alexander was
a principal person among all his contemporaries, both for his
family and wealth: he was also more eminent for his piety than
this his son Alexander, for he did not continue in the religion
of his country. Under these procurators that great famine
happened in Judea, in which queen Helena bought corn in Egypt at
a great expense, and distributed it to those that were in want,
as I have related already. And besides this, the sons of Judas of
Galilee were now slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the
people to revolt, when Cyrenius came to take an account of the
estates of the Jews, as we have showed in a foregoing book. The
names of those sons were James and Simon, whom Alexander
commanded to be crucified. But now Herod, king of Chalcis,
removed Joseph, the son of Camydus, from the high priesthood, and
made Ananias, the son of Nebedeu, his successor. And now it was
that Cumanus came as successor to Tiberius Alexander; as also
that Herod, brother of Agrippa the great king, departed this
life, in the eighth year of the reign of Claudius Caesar. He left
behind him three sons; Aristobulus, whom he had by his first
wife, with Bernicianus, and Hyrcanus, both whom he had by Bernice
his brother's daughter. But Claudius Caesar bestowed his
dominions on Agrippa, junior.

3. Now while the Jewish affairs were under the administration of
Cureanus, there happened a great tumult at the city of Jerusalem,
and many of the Jews perished therein. But I shall first explain
the occasion whence it was derived. When that feast which is
called the passover was at hand, at which time our custom is to
use unleavened bread, and a great multitude was gathered together
from all parts to that feast, Cumanus was afraid lest some
attempt of innovation should then be made by them; so he ordered
that one regiment of the army should take their arms, and stand
in the temple cloisters, to repress any attempts of innovation,
if perchance any such should begin; and this was no more than
what the former procurators of Judea did at such festivals. But
on the fourth day of the feast, a certain soldier let down his
breeches, and exposed his privy members to the multitude, which
put those that saw him into a furious rage, and made them cry out
that this impious action was not done to approach them, but God
himself; nay, some of them reproached Cumanus, and pretended that
the soldier was set on by him, which, when Cumanus heard, he was
also himself not a little provoked at such reproaches laid upon
him; yet did he exhort them to leave off such seditious attempts,
and not to raise a tumult at the festival. But when he could not
induce them to be quiet for they still went on in their
reproaches to him, he gave order that the whole army should take
their entire armor, and come to Antonia, which was a fortress, as
we have said already, which overlooked the temple; but when the
multitude saw the soldiers there, they were affrighted at them,
and ran away hastily; but as the passages out were but narrow,
and as they thought their enemies followed them, they were
crowded together in their flight, and a great number were pressed
to death in those narrow passages; nor indeed was the number
fewer than twenty thousand that perished in this tumult. So
instead of a festival, they had at last a mournful day of it; and
they all of them forgot their prayers and sacrifices, and betook
themselves to lamentation and weeping; so great an affliction did
the impudent obsceneness of a single soldier bring upon them.

4. Now before this their first mourning was over, another
mischief befell them also; for some of those that raised the
foregoing tumult, when they were traveling along the public road,
about a hundred furlongs from the city, robbed Stephanus, a
servant of Caesar, as he was journeying, and plundered him of all
that he had with him; which things when Cureanus heard of, he
sent soldiers immediately, and ordered them to plunder the
neighboring villages, and to bring the most eminent persons among
them in bonds to him. Now as this devastation was making, one of
the soldiers seized the laws of Moses that lay in one of those
villages, and brought them out before the eyes of all present,
and tore them to pieces; and this was done with reproachful
language, and much scurrility; which things when the Jews heard
of, they ran together, and that in great numbers, and came down
to Cesarea, where Cumanus then was, and besought him that he
would avenge, not themselves, but God himself, whose laws had
been affronted; for that they could not bear to live any longer,
if the laws of their forefathers must be affronted after this
manner. Accordingly Cumanus, out of fear lest the multitude
should go into a sedition, and by the advice of his friends also,
took care that the soldier who had offered the affront to the
laws should be beheaded, and thereby put a stop to the sedition
which was ready to be kindled a second time.


How There Happened A Quarrel Between The Jews And The Samaritans;
And How Claudius Put An End To Their Differences.

1. Now there arose a quarrel between the Samaritans and the Jews
on the occasion following: It was the custom of the Galileans,
when they came to the holy city at the festivals, to take their
journeys through the country of the Samaritans; (11) and at this
time there lay, in the road they took, a village that was called
Ginea, which was situated in the limits of Samaria and the great
plain, where certain persons thereto belonging fought with the
Galileans, and killed a great many of them. But when the
principal of the Galileans were informed of what had been done,
they came to Cumanus, and desired him to avenge the murder of
those that were killed; but he was induced by the Samaritans,
with money, to do nothing in the matter; upon which the Galileans
were much displeased, and persuaded the multitude of the Jews to
betake themselves to arms, and to regain their liberty, saying
that slavery was in itself a bitter thing, but that when it was
joined with direct injuries, it was perfectly intolerable, And
when their principal men endeavored to pacify them, and promised
to endeavor to persuade Cureanus to avenge those that were
killed, they would not hearken to them, but took their weapons,
and entreated the assistance of Eleazar, the son of Dineus, a
robber, who had many years made his abode in the mountains, with
which assistance they plundered many villages of the Samaritans.
When Cumanus heard of this action of theirs, he took the band of
Sebaste, with four regiments of footmen, and armed the
Samaritans, and marched out against the Jews, and caught them,
and slew many of them, and took a great number of them alive;
whereupon those that were the most eminent persons at Jerusalem,
and that both in regard to the respect that was paid them, and
the families they were of, as soon as they saw to what a height
things were gone, put on sackcloth, and heaped ashes upon their
heads, and by all possible means besought the seditious, and
persuaded them that they would set before their eyes the utter
subversion of their country, the conflagration of their temple,
and the slavery of themselves, their wives, and children, (12)
which would be the consequences of what they were doing; and
would alter their minds, would cast away their weapons, and for
the future be quiet, and return to their own homes. These
persuasions of theirs prevailed upon them. So the people
dispersed themselves, and the robbers went away again to their
places of strength; and after this time all Judea was overrun
with robberies.

2. But the principal of the Samaritans went to Ummidius
Quadratus, the president of Syria, who at that time was at Tyre,
and accused the Jews of setting their villages on fire, and
plundering them; and said withal, that they were not so much
displeased at what they had suffered, as they were at the
contempt thereby showed the Romans; while if they had received
any injury, they ought to have made them the judges of what had
been done, and not presently to make such devastation, as if they
had not the Romans for their governors; on which account they
came to him, in order to obtain that vengeance they wanted. This
was the accusation which the Samaritans brought against the Jews.
But the Jews affirmed that the Samaritans were the authors of
this tumult and fighting, and that, in the first place, Cumanus
had been corrupted by their gifts, and passed over the murder of
those that were slain in silence; - which allegations when
Quadratus heard, he put off the hearing of the cause, and
promised that he would give sentence when he should come into
Judea, and should have a more exact knowledge of the truth of
that matter. So these men went away without success. Yet was it
not long ere Quadratus came to Samaria, where, upon hearing the
cause, he supposed that the Samaritans were the authors of that
disturbance. But when he was informed that certain of the Jews
were making innovations, he ordered those to be crucified whom
Cumanus had taken captives. From whence he came to a certain
village called Lydda, which was not less than a city in
largeness, and there heard the Samaritan cause a second time
before his tribunal, and there learned from a certain Samaritan
that one of the chief of the Jews, whose name was Dortus, and
some other innovators with him, four in number, persuaded the
multitude to a revolt from the Romans; whom Quadratus ordered to
be put to death: but still he sent away Ananias the high priest,
and Ananus the commander [of the temple], in bonds to Rome, to
give an account of what they had done to Claudius Caesar. He also
ordered the principal men, both of the Samaritans and of the
Jews, as also Cumanus the procurator, and Ceier the tribune, to
go to Italy to the emperor, that he might hear their cause, and
determine their differences one with another. But he came again
to the city of Jerusalem, out of his fear that the multitude of
the Jews should attempt some innovations; but he found the city
in a peaceable state, and celebrating one of the usual festivals
of their country to God. So he believed that they would not
attempt any innovations, and left them at the celebration of the
festival, and returned to Antioch.

3. Now Cumanus, and the principal of the Samaritans, who were
sent to Rome, had a day appointed them by the emperor whereon
they were to have pleaded their cause about the quarrels they had
one with another. But now Caesar's freed-men and his friends were
very zealous on the behalf of Cumanus and the Samaritans; and
they had prevailed over the Jews, unless Agrippa, junior, who was
then at Rome, had seen the principal of the Jews hard set, and
had earnestly entreated Agrippina, the emperor's wife, to
persuade her husband to hear the cause, so as was agreeable to
his justice, and to condemn those to be punished who were really
the authors of this revolt from the Roman government: - whereupon
Claudius was so well disposed beforehand, that when he had heard
the cause, and found that the Samaritans had been the ringleaders
in those mischievous doings, he gave order that those who came up
to him should be slain, and that Cureanus should be banished. He
also gave order that Celer the tribune should be carried back to
Jerusalem, and should be drawn through the city in the sight of
all the people, and then should be slain.


Felix Is Made Procurator Of Judea; As Also Concerning Agrippa,
Junior And His Sisters.

1. So Claudius sent Felix, the brother of Pallas, to take care of
the affairs of Judea; and when he had already completed the
twelfth year of his reign, he bestowed upon Agrippa the tetrarchy
of Philip and Batanea, and added thereto Trachonites, with Abila;
which last had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias; but he took from
him Chalcis, when he had been governor thereof four years. And
when Agrippa had received these countries as the gift of Caesar,
he gave his sister Drusilla in marriage to Azizus, king of Emesa,
upon his consent to be circumcised; for Epiphanes, the son of
king Antiochus, had refused to marry her, because, after he had
promised her father formerly to come over to the Jewish religion,
he would not now perform that promise. He also gave Mariamne in
marriage to Archelaus, the son of Helcias, to whom she had
formerly been betrothed by Agrippa her father; from which
marriage was derived a daughter, whose name was Bernice.

2. But for the marriage of Drusilla with Azizus, it was in no
long time afterward dissolved upon the following occasion: While
Felix was procurator of Judea, he saw this Drusilla, and fell in
love with her; for she did indeed exceed all other women in
beauty; and he sent to her a person whose name was Simon (13) one
of his friends; a Jew he was, and by birth a Cypriot, and one who
pretended to be a magician, and endeavored to persuade her to
forsake her present husband, and marry him; and promised, that if
she would not refuse him, he would make her a happy woman.
Accordingly she acted ill, and because she was desirous to avoid
her sister Bernice's envy, for she was very ill treated by her on
account of her beauty, was prevailed upon to transgress the laws
of her forefathers, and to marry Felix; and when he had had a son
by her, he named him Agrippa. But after what manner that young
man, with his wife, perished at the conflagration of the mountain
Vesuvius, (14) in the days of Titus Caesar, shall be related
hereafter. (15)

3. But as for Bernice, she lived a widow a long while after the
death of Herod [king of Chalcis], who was both her husband and
her uncle; but when the report went that she had criminal
conversation with her brother, [Agrippa, junior,] she persuaded
Poleme, who was king of Cilicia, to be circumcised, and to marry
her, as supposing that by this means she should prove those
calumnies upon her to be false; and Poleme was prevailed upon,
and that chiefly on account of her riches. Yet did not this
matrimony endure long; but Bernice left Poleme, and, as was said,
with impure intentions. So he forsook at once this matrimony, and
the Jewish religion; and, at the same time, Mariamne put away
Archclaus, and was married to Demetrius, the principal man among
the Alexandrian Jews, both for his family and his wealth; and
indeed he was then their alabarch. So she named her son whom she
had by him Agrippinus. But of all these particulars we shall
hereafter treat more exactly. (16)


After What Manner Upon The Death Of Claudius, Nero Succeeded In
The Government; As Also What Barbarous Things He Did. Concerning
The Robbers, Murderers And Impostors, That Arose While Felix And
Festus Were Procurators Of Judea.

1. Now Claudius Caesar died when he had reigned thirteen years,
eight months, and twenty days; (17) and a report went about that
he was poisoned by his wife Agrippina. Her father was Germanicus,
the brother of Caesar. Her husband was Domitius Aenobarbus, one
of the most illustrious persons that was in the city of Rome;
after whose death, and her long continuance in widowhood,
Claudius took her to wife. She brought along with her a son,
Domtitus, of the same name with his father. He had before this
slain his wife Messalina, out of jealousy, by whom he had his
children Britannicus and Octavia; their eldest sister was
Antonia, whom he had by Pelina his first wife. He also married
Octavia to Nero; for that was the name that Caesar gave him
afterward, upon his adopting him for his son.

2. But now Agrippina was afraid, lest, when Britannicus should
come to man's estate, he should succeed his father in the
government, and desired to seize upon the principality beforehand
for her own son [Nero]; upon which the report went that she
thence compassed the death of Claudius. Accordingly, she sent
Burrhus, the general of the army, immediately, and with him the
tribunes, and such also of the freed-men as were of the greatest
authority, to bring Nero away into the camp, and to salute him
emperor. And when Nero had thus obtained the government, he got
Britannicus to be so poisoned, that the multitude should not
perceive it; although he publicly put his own mother to death not
long afterward, making her this requital, not only for being born
of her, but for bringing it so about by her contrivances that he
obtained the Roman empire. He also slew Octavia his own wife, and
many other illustrious persons, under this pretense, that they
plotted against him.

3. But I omit any further discourse about these affairs; for
there have been a great many who have composed the history of
Nero; some of which have departed from the truth of facts out of
favor, as having received benefits from him; while others, out of
hatred to him, and the great ill-will which they bare him, have
so impudently raved against him with their lies, that they justly
deserve to be condemned. Nor do I wonder at such as have told
lies of Nero, since they have not in their writings preserved the
truth of history as to those facts that were earlier than his
time, even when the actors could have no way incurred their
hatred, since those writers lived a long time after them. But as
to those that have no regard to truth, they may write as they
please; for in that they take delight: but as to ourselves, who
have made truth our direct aim, we shall briefly touch upon what
only belongs remotely to this undertaking, but shall relate what
hath happened to us Jews with great accuracy, and shall not
grudge our pains in giving an account both of the calamities we
have suffered, and of the crimes we have been guilty of. I will
now therefore return to the relation of our own affairs.

4. For in the first year of the reign of Nero, upon the death of
Azizus, king of Emesa, Soemus, his brother, succeeded in his
kingdom, and Aristobulus, the son of Herod, king of Chalcis, was
intrusted by Nero with the government of the Lesser Armenia.
Caesar also bestowed on Agrippa a certain part of Galilee,
Tiberias, and Tarichae, (18) and ordered them to submit to his
jurisdiction. He gave him also Julias, a city of Perea, with
fourteen villages that lay about it.

5. Now as for the affairs of the Jews, they grew worse and worse
continually, for the country was again filled with robbers and
impostors, who deluded the multitude. Yet did Felix catch and put
to death many of those impostors every day, together with the
robbers. He also caught Eleazar, the son of Dineas, who had
gotten together a company of robbers; and this he did by
treachery; for he gave him assurance that he should suffer no
harm, and thereby persuaded him to come to him; but when he came,
he bound him, and sent him to Rome. Felix also bore an ill-will
to Jonathan, the high priest, because he frequently gave him
admonitions about governing the Jewish affairs better than he
did, lest he should himself have complaints made of him by the
multitude, since he it was who had desired Caesar to send him as
procurator of Judea. So Felix contrived a method whereby he might
get rid of him, now he was become so continually troublesome to
him; for such continual admonitions are grievous to those who are
disposed to act unjustly. Wherefore Felix persuaded one of
Jonathan's most faithful friends, a citizen of Jerusalem, whose
name was Doras, to bring the robbers upon Jonathan, in order to
kill him; and this he did by promising to give him a great deal
of money for so doing. Doras complied with the proposal, and
contrived matters so, that the robbers might murder him after the
following manner: Certain of those robbers went up to the city,
as if they were going to worship God, while they had daggers
under their garments, and by thus mingling themselves among the
multitude they slew Jonathan (19) and as this murder was never
avenged, the robbers went up with the greatest security at the
festivals after this time; and having weapons concealed in like
manner as before, and mingling themselves among the multitude,
they slew certain of their own enemies, and were subservient to
other men for money; and slew others, not only in remote parts of
the city, but in the temple itself also; for they had the
boldness to murder men there, without thinking of the impiety of
which they were guilty. And this seems to me to have been the
reason why God, out of his hatred of these men's wickedness,
rejected our city; and as for the temple, he no longer esteemed
it sufficiently pure for him to inhabit therein, but brought the
Romans upon us, and threw a fire upon the city to purge it; and
brought upon us, our wives, and children, slavery, as desirous to
make us wiser by our calamities.

6. These works, that were done by the robbers, filled the city
with all sorts of impiety. And now these impostors and deceivers
persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and
pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs,
that should be performed by the providence of God. And many that
were prevailed on by them suffered the punishments of their
folly; for Felix brought them back, and then punished them.
Moreover, there came out of Egypt (20) about this time to
Jerusalem one that said he was a prophet, and advised the
multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount
of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and
at the distance of five furlongs. He said further, that he would
show them from hence how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem
would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them
an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were
fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he
ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them
with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and
attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also
slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the
Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any
more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war
with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and
when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to
their villages, and plundered them.

7. And now it was that a great sedition arose between the Jews
that inhabited Cesarea, and the Syrians who dwelt there also,
concerning their equal right to the privileges belonging to
citizens; for the Jews claimed the pre-eminence, because Herod
their king was the builder of Cesarea, and because he was by
birth a Jew. Now the Syrians did not deny what was alleged about
Herod; but they said that Cesarea was formerly called Strato's
Tower, and that then there was not one Jewish inhabitant. When
the presidents of that country heard of these disorders, they
caught the authors of them on both sides, and tormented them with
stripes, and by that means put a stop to the disturbance for a
time. But the Jewish citizens depending on their wealth, and on
that account despising the Syrians, reproached them again, and
hoped to provoke them by such reproaches. However, the Syrians,
though they were inferior in wealth, yet valuing themselves
highly on this account, that the greatest part of the Roman
soldiers that were there were either of Cesarea or Sebaste, they
also for some time used reproachful language to the Jews also;
and thus it was, till at length they came to throwing stones at
one another, and several were wounded, and fell on both sides,
though still the Jews were the conquerors. But when Felix saw
that this quarrel was become a kind of war, he came upon them on
the sudden, and desired the Jews to desist; and when they refused
so to do, he armed his soldiers, and sent them out upon them, and
slew many of them, and took more of them alive, and permitted his
soldiers to plunder some of the houses of the citizens, which
were full of riches. Now those Jews that were more moderate, and
of principal dignity among them, were afraid of themselves, and
desired of Felix that he would sound a retreat to his soldiers,
and spare them for the future, and afford them room for
repentance for what they had done; and Felix was prevailed upon
to do so.

8. About this time king Agrippa gave the high priesthood to
Ismael, who was the son of Fabi. And now arose a sedition between
the high priests and the principal men of the multitude of
Jerusalem; each of which got them a company of the boldest sort
of men, and of those that loved innovations about them, and
became leaders to them; and when they struggled together, they
did it by casting reproachful words against one another, and by
throwing stones also. And there was nobody to reprove them; but
these disorders were done after a licentious manner in the city,
as if it had no government over it. And such was the impudence
(21) and boldness that had seized on the high priests, that they
had the hardiness to send their servants into the
threshing-floors, to take away those tithes that were due to the
priests, insomuch that it so fell out that the poorest sort of
the priests died for want. To this degree did the violence of the
seditious prevail over all right and justice.

9. Now when Porcius Festus was sent as successor to Felix by
Nero, the principal of the Jewish inhabitants of Cesarea went up
to Rome to accuse Felix; and he had certainly been brought to
punishment, unless Nero had yielded to the importunate
solicitations of his brother Pallas, who was at that time had in
the greatest honor by him. Two of the principal Syrians in
Cesarea persuaded Burrhus, who was Nero's tutor, and secretary
for his Greek epistles, by giving him a great sum of money, to
disannul that equality of the Jewish privileges of citizens which
they hitherto enjoyed. So Burrhus, by his solicitations, obtained
leave of the emperor that an epistle should be written to that
purpose. This epistle became the occasion of the following
miseries that befell our nation; for when the Jews of Cesarea
were informed of the contents of this epistle to the Syrians,
they were more disorderly than before, till a war was kindled.

10. Upon Festus's coming into Judea, it happened that Judea was
afflicted by the robbers, while all the villages were set on
fire, and plundered by them. And then it was that the sicarii, as
they were called, who were robbers, grew numerous. They made use
of small swords, not much different in length from the Persian
acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicae, [or
sickles,] as they were called; and from these weapons these
robbers got their denomination; and with these weapons they slew
a great many; for they mingled themselves among the multitude at
their festivals, when they were come up in crowds from all parts
to the city to worship God, as we said before, and easily slew
those that they had a mind to slay. They also came frequently
upon the villages belonging to their enemies, with their weapons,
and plundered them, and set them on fire. So Festus sent forces,
both horsemen and footmen, to fall upon those that had been
seduced by a certain impostor, who promised them deliverance and
freedom from the miseries they were under, if they would but
follow him as far as the wilderness. Accordingly, those forces
that were sent destroyed both him that had deluded them, and
those that were his followers also.

11. About the same time king Agrippa built himself a very large
dining-room in the royal palace at Jerusalem, near to the
portico. Now this palace had been erected of old by the children
of Asamoneus. and was situate upon an elevation, and afforded a
most delightful prospect to those that had a mind to take a view
of the city, which prospect was desired by the king; and there he
could lie down, and eat, and thence observe what was done in the
temple; which thing, when the chief men of Jerusalem saw they
were very much displeased at it; for it was not agreeable to the
institutions of our country or law that what was done in the
temple should be viewed by others, especially what belonged to
the sacrifices. They therefore erected a wall upon the uppermost
building which belonged to the inner court of the temple towards
the west, which wall when it was built, did not only intercept
the prospect of the dining-room in the palace, but also of the
western cloisters that belonged to the outer court of the temple
also, where it was that the Romans kept guards for the temple at
the festivals. At these doings both king Agrippa, and principally
Festus the procurator, were much displeased; and Festus ordered
them to pull the wall down again: but the Jews petitioned him to
give them leave to send an embassage about this matter to Nero;
for they said they could not endure to live if any part of the
temple should be demolished; and when Festus had given them leave
so to do, they sent ten of their principal men to Nero, as also
Ismael the high priest, and Helcias, the keeper of the sacred
treasure. And when Nero had heard what they had to say, he not
only forgave (22) them what they had already done, but also gave
them leave to let the wall they had built stand. This was granted
them in order to gratify Poppea, Nero's wife, who was a religious
woman, and had requested these favors of Nero, and who gave order
to the ten ambassadors to go their way home; but retained Helcias
and Ismael as hostages with herself. As soon as the king heard
this news, he gave the high priesthood to Joseph, who was called
Cabi, the son of Simon, formerly high priest.


Concerning Albinus Under Whose Procuratorship James Was Slain; As
Also What Edifices Were Built By Agrippa.

1. And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus
into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the
high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on
the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the
report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man;
for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high
priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long
time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high
priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you
already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper,
and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, (23)
who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of
the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus
was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper
opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and
Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of
judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was
called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some
of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against
them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but
as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and
such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they
disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa],
desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for
that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some
of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey
from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for
Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. (24)
Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in
anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to
punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the
high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and
made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.

2. Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he
used all his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in
peace, and this by destroying many of the Sicarii. But as for the
high priest, Ananias (25) he increased in glory every day, and
this to a great degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of
the citizens in a signal manner; for he was a great hoarder up of
money: he therefore cultivated the friendship of Albinus, and of
the high priest [Jesus], by making them presents; he also had
servants who were very wicked, who joined themselves to the
boldest sort of the people, and went to the thrashing-floors, and
took away the tithes that belonged to the priests by violence,
and did not refrain from beating such as would not give these
tithes to them. So the other high priests acted in the like
manner, as did those his servants, without any one being able to
prohibit them; so that [some of the] priests, that of old were
wont to be supported with those tithes, died for want of food.

3. But now the Sicarii went into the city by night, just before
the festival, which was now at hand, and took the scribe
belonging to the governor of the temple, whose name was Eleazar,
who was the son of Ananus [Ananias] the high priest, and bound
him, and carried him away with them; after which they sent to
Ananias, and said that they would send the scribe to him, if he
would persuade Albinus to release ten of those prisoners which he
had caught of their party; so Ananias was plainly forced to
persuade Albinus, and gained his request of him. This was the
beginning of greater calamities; for the robbers perpetually
contrived to catch some of Ananias's servants; and when they had
taken them alive, they would not let them go, till they thereby
recovered some of their own Sicarii. And as they were again
become no small number, they grew bold, and were a great
affliction to the whole country.

4. About this time it was that king Agrippa built Cesarea
Philippi larger than it was before, and, in honor of Nero, named
it Neronlas. And when he had built a theater at Berytus, with


Back to Full Books