He has changed the theme of the work from the Jewish War to the destruction of Jerusalem and its significance, and has omitted and adapted sections of the War or included materials from various other sources as it relates to that theme


On The Ruin of the City of Jerusalem
De excidio urbis Hierosolymitanae

Writer Unknown, Possibly Ambrose of Milan

Approx. 370-375

See Also:


Translated from Latin into English By Wade Blocker

“HE has changed the theme of the work from the Jewish War to the destruction of Jerusalem and its significance, and has omitted and adapted sections of the War or included materials from various other sources as it relates to that theme”

“exitium genti temploque maturatum excidium”

“About which the Jews themselves bear witness, Josephus a writer of histories saying, that there was in that time a wise man, if it is proper however, he said, to call a man the creator of marvelous works, who appeared living to his disciples after three days of his death in accordance with the writings of the prophets, who prophesied both this and innumerable other things full of miracles about him, from which began the community of Christians and penetrated into every tribe of men nor has any nation of the Roman world remained, which was left without worship of him. If the Jews don’t believe us, they should believe their own people.”

Preface to the online edition

There is a Latin text extant in numerous medieval manuscripts under the title of De excidio urbis Hierosolymitanae (On the ruin of the city of Jerusalem) or Historiae (History).  The text is an original composition which borrows very heavily from the Jewish War of Josephus, and is sometimes considered as a free translation and rearrangement of that work.

The author is given in the manuscripts sometimes as Hegesippus — which may be a corruption of Iosippus, the spelling of Josephus in many of the manuscripts.  In other manuscripts it is ascribed to Ambrose of Milan, and indeed is sometimes transmitted to us together with some of his works.  Scholars have sometimes attributed the work to him; others to Isaac, a Jewish convert active in Roman ecclesiastical politics in the 370’s.  Most scholars today consider the work anonymous, and by convention refer to it as Pseudo-Hegesippus.  It should not be confused with the Latin translation of the Jewish War made by Rufinus, which is more literal and arranged in seven books, and was made later.  It has nothing to do with the lost works of the second-century writer Hegesippus mentioned by Eusebius.

De excidio is arranged in five books.  Books 1-4 correspond to the same books of the Jewish War; book 5 contains the material from books 5-6 and part of book 7 of Josephus.  But material from Antiquities is also being used. In book 2 a version of the so-called Testimonium Flavianum can be found, although this might have come from one of the versions of the Jewish War into which that had been interpolated, or perhaps from Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History.  But in book 2 chapter 4 the story of the seduction of Paulina comes from Antiquities 18.3.  Likewise Book 1 chapter 38 contains material about a pestilence which followed Herod’s execution of his wife Mariamne, which comes from Antiquities 15.7, 9.  Neither appears in any version of the Jewish War, so indicating that the author had direct access to a manuscript of Antiquities.

The work is usually dated to between 370-c.375 AD.  It contains in book 2 chapter 9 what seems to be an allusion to the recent reconquest of Britain by Count Theodosius, ca. 370 AD, so cannot be earlier than this.  It also refers to Constantinople by name.  There is a reference to a Latin translation of Josephus in letter 71 of St. Jerome, written between 386 and 400 AD.  The author refers to the triumphant position of the Roman empire, which suggests that it must precede the imperial crisis brought on by the disastrous defeat and death of the emperor Valens in battle with the Goths at Adrianople in 378, and still more so the sack of Rome in 410.

The most recent critical edition was used for this translation : Hegesippi qui dicitur historiae libri V, edited by Vincente Ussani in the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum series, volume 66, Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky (1932).

The translation that follows was never originally intended for publication.  It is really a ‘crib’, originally written to assist an individual who was working with the Latin and didn’t need to look up every word every time.  The author, Dr Wade Blocker, has no time to turn it into a real translation but has kindly allowed it to appear online so other people may use it.  Dr Blocker has very kindly allowed us all access to it, but of course it must not be criticised for not being what it never attempted to be.  I suspect that most of us will simply be grateful that the translator spent the time to make a version of the whole of so obscure a work, and had the generosity to share it with the world.

Ipswich, 2005.

[Translated by Wade Blocker, wblocker@nmol.com]


It should be kept in mind that the translator is not a professional Latin scholar; Latin is a hobby for him, and therefore it should be no surprise if a reader finds errors or points of disagreement with what the translator offers. The translator is a professional physicist, now retired from a career mostly spent in the aerospace industry, with a Ph. D. in Physics received from the University of California, Berkeley, California, in 1952, where he worked under the direction of Edwin MacMillan, a Nobel prize laureate in Physics, and Wolfgang Panofsky, later Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator facility at Stanford University.

The translator assumes that any reader has some familiarity with Hegesippus, and therefore does not offer any discussion of the origin and nature of the work.

Although I have labeled the following work as a “translation” of Hegesippus it was not made for the purpose of stating in good English what is stated in Latin in Hegesippus. Rather the purpose has been to assist the translator in understanding what the Latin says as Latin without any translation into English. This translation was made mainly to serve as a prop to the translator’s memory of the meaning of the Latin words, obviating the need for too frequent resort to a dictionary. To the extent possible without causing absolute confusion in the English, the Latin sentence structure, word order, and phrasing have been followed. Therefore the Latin ablative absolute construction in almost all occurrences, for example, has been translated literally and not rephrased into how the thought would normally be expressed in English. The same has been done for the Latin infinitive with two accusative substantives, one equivalent to a subject and one to an object of the infinitive, where in many cases we must use context or knowledge of the situation under discussion to tell us which is which. Since the purpose of the translation is to be an aid to understanding the Latin, the translation is as close to literal as the translator can keep it without doing too much violence to standard English grammar and usage.

Bold Roman numerals in the translation followed by a period are the chapter numbers in Ussani’s Latin text. Bold Arabic numbers in brackets indicate the page in Ussani’s Latin text that is being translated.

The single item of most assistance to the translator in making the translation was William Whitaker’s computerized dictionary of the Latin language, which can be found online and downloaded from the Internet



Having followed with my pen the four books of Kings which the sacred writings embrace all the way to the captivity of the Jews and the destruction of the wall and the triumphs of Babylon, I arranged this in the manner of history. The prophetic speech also summarizes in a few words the things done by the Macchabaeans; of the rest all the way to the burning of the temple and the booty of Titus Caesar the excellent narrator Josephus (covers) with his historical pen, would that he had been attentive to religion and truth as to tracking down events and the staidness of speeches. He showed himself in his own words even a partner of the treachery of the Jews, which he made known about their punishment, and whose arms he deserted, but whose sacrilege he did not give up: he lamented tearfully their hardships, but he did not understand the cause of this hardship. Whence it was a concern for us relying not upon the help of tricks but the purpose of faith to go in the history of the Jews a little beyond the chain of sacred writing so that, as if seeking a rose among the thorns, among the savage crimes of the impious, which were paid off at a price worthy of the impiety, we may dig up something of reverence of the sacred law or of the miracle of the divine destiny, which although to evil heirs were either a pretext in unfavorable circumstances or a reason for honor in favorable ones; at the same time, because it is proof of domestic wickedness, establishes for all that they themselves were for themselves the authors of their own destruction, first because they turned the Romans who desired something different against themselves[p. 4] and attracted them to an examination of their kingdom, for which it was preferable to be ignored, not about to keep faith they asked for friendship, unequal in strength they violated the peace, finally they brought on war, to whom all hope was in their walls not in their strength, since to be shut in by a siege is a miserable thing for all, which even if it proceeds well, is accustomed more frequently to increase rather than to decrease the dangers. And lest anyone should think us to have undertaken a task empty of faith and unnecessary, let us consider that all the tribe of Hebrews was so led by their leaders, as is plainly evident, whether from the loins of Judas the successors of his begetting nowhere were deficient, or in truth offended in the chain of leaders, but continued in him in whom all things remained placed and who was himself the hope of the nations. From here therefore we take up our beginning.




I. In the Parthian war, which was long lasting and frequent and with varying victory between the Macchabaean commanders and the people of the Medes, the resentment of sacrilege gave an incentive, because king Antiochus who had the name Illustrious, the son of the king of Antioch, when he had joined Egypt to his empire, raised up to arrogance, because the uncertainties of the wars had rewarded him, had ordered the rites of the Hebrews to be disregarded and their mysteries to be profaned, daring to decide this with many Jews demanding it. Which fact the priest Matthathias was unable to endure, and not only did he refrain from the sacrilege and not comply with the royal edict, but truly even having found one among his people sacrificing victims to images he transfixed him with a sword. And a troop having been collected and the Asidaeans having been associated [p. 5] in alliance he with his sons violating the practice of the ancestors and justice of the law killed some, drove out many and was the originator of undertaking war on the sabbath, lest by a similar trick they should themselves also be duped, thus already many of them, while they deprecated undertaking war on the sabbath, lay dead unavenged killed by an enemy rushing in upon them. The actions gave the power of success, and the desire of defense and the vigor of piety continued in the man to the end of life. But when he understood the final day to be at hand for him, he urged the citizens who had been called and his children standing by that they should protect the fatherland and the religion of the temple, and he left Juda the Macchabaean as leader to them and the successor of his office and responsibilities. Who strong in war, good in counsel, in comparison with the rest manifest in faith, how frequently he routed innumerable forces of the enemy with a small band, it is not the present task to follow up. Because however it is granted to collect in a short time, having experienced frequently advantageous successes he aroused against himself a great multitude of enemies, surrounded by whom on all sides, since he thinks it shameful to yield, his allies fleeing he rushes into battle. Those having been killed whom he had advanced against, surrounded from the side but however having avenged his own death he is killed. Ionatha succeeded him not less equal in likeness of courage than in affinity of birth. Who after many achievements in warfare, duties in religious matters, which concerning the purification of the temple were seen and approved, good faith having been pretended by the treachery of friendship besieged within a city of enemies after a short interval he was killed. Iohannes a brother older by birth and Eleazar younger than the rest did not refuse death for their religion. After them Simon received the highest position, which he approached not untrained but already proven by the triumphs of the fraternal alliance, would that he had been as perspicacious in avoiding trickery as he was strong in hand and well tested in the arts of waging war. [p. 6] For indeed when with the help of bravery he had established by treaty friendship with the commanders of the Romans and the kings of the peoples, invited by the treachery of Ptolomaeus his son in law to a banquet between the tables and drinking cups he was surrounded with his two sons who were present and without arms is given up to a wicked death. Truly however Iohannes sprung from Simon who had the name Hyrcanus avoided the treachery and hastened to the walls of a neighboring city, where he was received by the people because of the excellent merits of his father, and also their dislike of the enemy crime. Indeed scarcely had he entered the city, and already Ptolomaeus was there. But when he wished to enter through another gate, driven away he judged that it must be yielded to the multitude. Ionathes immediately received the duties of his father’s priesthood and having set out from the care of divine matters immediately pursued the duties of piety and the task of saving his relatives, desiring to remove his mother and brothers from danger. Made stronger by the assembly he was overcome by his natural feeling for their suffering, so that he did not gain control of the fortress in which they were held confined. For Ptolomaeus when he saw himself to be hard pressed, placed his mother and brothers on the walls to be thrown down immediately, if Ionathes did not desist from the war which he was waging. The young man was overcome by his feeling of tenderness, who conquered by the assumption of bravery, and called back the anger aroused against his enemy by compassion for the suffering of his kin. His mother however prepared for tortures extended her hands praying not for the remedy of safety but for the solace of vengeance. For she feared that her son was more afraid for his mother than devoted to vengeance for his father. For herself that death would be in place of immortality, by which her husband would be avenged and a wicked son in law would pay the price for his monstrous crime. But the youth fought himself more within himself than against his enemy; for whenever he thought upon his father, he was incensed, but again when he saw his mother to be lashed and to be ready for death, he weakened. He called back the attack, he gave back his position, because his passion dwindled. Idle between the pauses of the siege from the law [p. 7] the year arrived which was the seventh. Filial piety yielded to religion, the siege was lifted. But by that the brutality of Ptolomaeus was aroused more, so that he ordered them to be killed by whose putting into danger he had escaped destruction. Who immediately removed himself from retribution fleeing to the king of Philadelfia, Zenon who had the name Cotyla, that he might protect himself with his aid. Nor did Antiochus remain calm who resented his army to have been an object of mockery to Simon the father of Ionathas, and desiring to quench the beginnings of Ionathas yet rising, coming with a great band, he besieged Jerusalem and Hyrcanus. Hyrcanus fended him off with gold, which he was not able to do with weapons, and the tomb of David having been opened, as Josephus is our source, he dug up three thousand talents of gold, from which he counted out three hundred to Antiochus, so that he should abandon the siege, bought off by this price he went away. And that he should lighten the hatred of the deed, Hyrcanus first is said to have established a caravansary with this money, in which he received the visit of poor pilgrims. Furthermore having seen the difficult straits of Antiochus for he was inflicting war on the Medes, he avenged the expense and annexed many cities of Syria to himself. Also he surrounded Samaria, where afterwards Sebastia was established, with fortifications, whose storming he entrusted to his sons Aristobolus and Antigonus, whose slow siege forced those shut in all the way to fearful hunger and the offensive sustenance of human bodies. Driven by which necessity they thought that help must be sought from Antiochus, who had the name Aspondius, they added him bringing aid to the trouble with an alliance. For defeated by the brothers he saved himself from death by flight from the battle. The Samaritans however [p. 8] the city having been captured and destroyed by the sudden siege were given into slavery. Aroused by which progress of favorable things Aristobolus and Antigonus did not shrink from the attack, but thought to join to themselves forced by war the neighboring states not at all hiding this: until jealousy having arisen a savage war blazed up the inhabitants of the regions conspiring together and a strong band having been collected. Which however having been defeated produced a profound tranquility for Johannes and peace for themselves. Hyrcanus having experienced the benefits of a long peace in his thirty first year of rule closed his life with five surviving children, which is deemed a blessed condition by most. An excellent governor and supremely sober, who left nothing ever to a chance outcome, in which his action was obscured, he entrusted tasks of great importance to his wife, having carefully judged her moderate in public affairs, holding with a certain prescience of mind that his sons would not be long lasting.

II. Nor was his opinion mistaken, inasmuch as Aristobolus, to whom among the brothers his age was greater, his mind more hasty, turned the leadership of the priesthood into rule over the kingdom and first presumed to place a crown upon himself. After four hundred seventy five years and a span of three months, from when returning from Babylon Israel having put off servitude took itself into its own land. And so haughtily not pleased to put part upon the other brothers he treated Antigonus alone with the appearance of esteem, because he seemed to love him; his mother, because she complained herself to be without a share of power and cheated of the judgment of her husband, he bound with chains and cruel in a parricidal spirit he proceeded to the point that he detained both her and his brothers chained a similar manner in close confinement, in which [p. 9] they were driven by starvation almost to death, if Aristobolus fearing the reward of the crime of parricide had not timely loosened them. And his savage spirit was irritated first against Antigonus himself and was turned from love into hatred, that he should kill him before all others, whom alone he had promised would be a partner to him in the state. There were perverse dispositions among the wicked to the extent that he is quickly influenced by vile suggestions.

III. It is proper therefore that we do not pass over the train of his cruelty, by which the judgment of Iohannes even after his death is shown to be sound, who considered that the supreme power of the state should by no means be entrusted to his older son, whom he foresaw would sink down with great madness from the law of piety and the standards of justice, I know not at all from contemplation of his customs or from the innate gratitude to the leaders of the priests, that to them some things which were about to be were revealed even to the less deserving. It was a wretched crime that they existed who begrudged to the brothers the love of nature. From this first arose the stain of evil, the fabrications that followed the jealousy are of this type.

IV. They fabricated first things, to which Aristobolus gave no credence, he softened the disparagement from the influence of affection attributing to jealousy the harshness of the denunciation. Therefore they mixed false with true things, so that from those things which they had added for the appearance of truth they tricked him resisting.

V. The feast of the Tabernacles of the Jews was being celebrated in the lands according to law, a day naturally festive and full of reverence, where solemn sacrifice was being offered. On that day Antigonus famous for deeds of military service returned home and it happened that coming to his brother not equal he offended him. He goes immediately to the temple — what indeed is placed ahead of religion — girdled with military dress and surrounded by a suitable retinue, many there [p. 10]supplicating the lord for the safety of his brother, and from there attentive he hastens to his brother. From this a false accusation is constructed with bitter venom and prepared with a grievous outcome.

VI. Immediately wicked men approach the king and arouse ill will, that he directed a more crowded retinue of armed men than was the custom for private citizens, that it would be a show for the rabble, that no one dared to hinder his efforts; that with such a great splendor nothing other was aimed at than the murder of the king and the usurpation of the rule of the state. With no great difficulty the infirm mind worn out by a sick body is persuaded, that he should consider credible what was alleged as truth, especially since the day dedicated to worship shut out any suspicion of falsehood, the ostentation aroused dislike, his sickness added fear and the retinue of armed men completed the belief of a crime being carried out. and so before any attempt of a parricidal crime was proved to him, he ordered his bodyguards with arms to be stationed in a dark underground passage, who should remove the armor of the arriving Antigonus, nor should they await the order of the king but themselves should kill him, an order truly having been sent ahead through messengers that he should come without weapons. The bride to Aristobolus changed the character of his message into the opposite, that she caused to be insinuated to Antigonus by those sworn to her, that his brother was delighted by the appearance of the armor outfitted in which he had recently arrived, but because of illness had not examined attentively, to request now that he should wear to his brother all that richly adorned military attire which he had collected, it would be pleasing to the king if he would arrive armed. Antigonus did not foresee treachery, he obeyed the request the more carefully because he desired equally to please his king and brother. Aristobolus was lying in the fortress, which first had the name Baris, afterwards Antonia, for by the triumvir Antonius the name was given with the dignity of the city. There after Antigonus came near [p. 11] and approached that dark passage, the body guards of the king seeing him to have come armed suddenly attacked and carry out their orders and and kill the unsuspecting youth. This place was called the tower of Strato, the common opinion is that Judas who was an Essene by birth was deceived by this name, who early history has handed down from the uprightness of his life or from mystic observation often announced things which were about to happen.

VII. He, as we have received it, when he had seen Antigonus passing by to see his brother, said to those who were joined in the number of his disciples: “Father, now it good for me to die, when for me the truth is dead. Antigonus is alive whom to be killed today is unavoidable, the place however ordained for his death is the tower of Strato which is six hundred stadia from here. It is already the fourth hour of the day. And therefore faith in the predestined death is made impossible by the time.” When he said this, he began to confer intently within himself how his opinion had been mistaken. And not much later the information is brought forth, Antigonus to have been killed in the underground passage at the tower of Strato, which place is accustomed to be named by the same word as that in the coastal region of Caesarea. Which crime having been accomplished Aristobolus reflecting within himself what a crime he had permitted fell into sickness. It was murder in his eyes, disturbance in his mind, nor was any interval given to dissimulation. Grief was imbedded deep in his heart, hatred was changed into suffering, because he killed an innocent man contrary to the law of brotherhood; the barbarity of this great wickedness festered in his mind, sleep was not given to his eyes, nor rest to his mind. [p. 12] The wound crawled with blind anguish, anxieties stirred up his sick vitals and concerns wounded his feeble limbs and exceedingly deep sighs with frequent groans broke forth.

VIII. And consequently the force of sickness broke out from the immoderate repentance to such a degree that his vitals having convulsed he threw out blood in the vomit of his mouth. Which a court servant performing his duties in accordance with court usages took outside and unaware of the fact, because it was done by chance rather by diligence, arrived at that place, in which Antigonus had been killed. There upon the spots of fraternal blood still wet he poured out the blood of his killer. An outcry suddenly was made there and the groans of those watching, because from a certain deep arrangement of the lord the blood of the wicked murderer was seen poured out upon the one murdered. Roused by the sound he inquired the cause; when no reply was forthcoming, he drew it out with insistence of inquiring and gestures of anger. Information of which having been obtained his eyes filled with tears and so great was the feeling within him that groaning he said: “a vicissitude fitting for my merits is weighed out. Nor was I the contriver of such a wicked crime able to get by the eye of god. A speedy disgrace and retribution is at hand and I am now met a price fitting my parricide. Goodbye, my body. How long will you detain a soul convicted by my brother and my mother? In what region do I pour out my blood for them? Against me all hands, if there is any goodness, brandish darts. Let all sons and brothers as the avengers of piety transfix me with swords. Let the parricidal victim be sacrificed and be offered to his violated relative. May his guilty flesh vomit out all its blood at once. Let it not be sated by the tortures of my flesh or the slow decay of evil spirits, which having dared thrust me into the abominable acts of a savage crime.” With these words he gave an end to his rule and life having discharged the royal power for scarcely one year, because of the parricide which he had not fled from. [p. 13]

IX. His wife immediately released and set free from imprisonment the brothers of the deceased, she appointed Alexander as king, whom it was considered that greater age and self control favored. Who as soon as he had secured royal power immediately killed a brother whom he had noticed too desirous of the kingship. The one who remained of the brothers, intent upon life and safety rather than royal power, he spared but devoid of responsibilities. And at once, as troubles of behavior hold him, he changed peace for war and a clash having taken place against Laturus Ptolomaeus he indeed killed very many of the enemy, but the victory accrued to Laturus. From whom however his mother Cleopatra took away the fruits of victory and forced him to retire into Egypt, to escape his mother threatening him. Alexander having taken notice of his absence, while he wishes to invade parts of his kingdom, turns even Theodorus against himself, inasmuch as he had annexed the most important of his possessions to himself. And so by a sudden attack Theodorus recovered the royal wealth, he routed also ten thousand of the Jews in a battle, but recovering above this blow Alexander added still more from the territory of the enemy to his empire and he forced the peoples of the captured cities into slavery. A civil uprising interrupted these successes, and strife having arisen from dinner parties all the way to war proceeded by the plague of this type familiar to the men of Jews, so that from the pastime of sumptuous feasting they arouse themselves to arms. And unless foreign aid had been ready at hand for the king, the rebellion would have prevailed, but even with the foreign troops it was barely suppressed nevertheless eight thousand almost of the Jews had been killed. Whence he directed his march into Arabia, and some of its cities were subjugated, and tribute by the right of victory was assessed of Moab and Gilead. [p. 14] From there he returned to Amathus, Theodorus having been frightened by his [i.e., Alexander’s] great successes, finding his [i.e., Theodorus’] fortress empty of defenders he [i.e., Alexander] captured it without delay. Obodeas the king of Arabia was not however altogether idle, nor did he long suffer the losses of his kingdom unavenged. For by ambushes advantageously located he destroyed all his [i.e., Alexander’s] army which was crowded together at the bottom of a valley and squeezed together by a flock of camels. Alexander however escaped. Fleeing from the battle he seeks the shelter of the city of Jerusalem, hated by his own people, because they had broken out into hatred at the opportunity of his hardships, who previously were suppressed by fear of his power. Nor was the discord of minds hidden by silence or exercised by words only: it was fought not in one battle but in many, in which almost fifty thousand Jews were killed whom Alexander killed, as victor more destructive to his own forces than to his enemies and a greater detriment, because he diminished the strength of his kingdom by conquering. From which not even he was now pleased with his victories and having turned away from battle he treated those subordinate to himself with craft, so that now he pressed not with arms, but urged with words and dissolved the types of displeasures with speech only. He accomplished nothing however toward collecting favor for himself, because his outrages outweighed his pretenses and the sudden conversion itself to repentence and the cruel unevenness if his conduct was held suspect by those who had suffered.

X. Finally when they considered themselves to be surrounded by his pretended placidity, they aroused king Demetrius to be an aid to themselves in a war against Alexander. The fighting at close quarters was not delayed, although it had to be fought by one against two armies with inferior numbers. Accompanied by a thousand horsemen and six thousand foot soldiers, whon he had joined to himself by pay, also summoning to battle ten thousand Jews uniting with him near the city Sicim he came upon [p. 15] the enemy, who had three thousand horsemen and forty thousand foot soldiers. The troops were tested on both sides when Demetrius did not see those hired for money defect from faith, nor did Alexander see any of the Jews do so, to whom Demetrius had joined himself, he recognized hatred to be disposed against himself, they considered that it had to be fought with arms. Demetrius was made superior in the battle however with much blood of his troops. For it was fought with determination by those who had come hired for different pay, so that they fought with faith and valor all the way to death. And so Alexander seeing himself without troops bands of his cut down fled into the mountains. But beyond the expectation of either the appearance of victory came to the other of them, the profit was brought forth to the other, because Demetrius was left unprotected by the departure of the Hebrews, who had asked him to the alliance and six thousand of them joined themselves to Alexander in a certain fashion of human nature joining to pity in adverse circumstances. And so Demetrius yielded to him whom he had conquered in battle, seeing him with the Hebrews gradually drifting away already the gainer of the battle and himself left with a few. Whose victory moved fear of despotism to those accustomed to freedom. Savagery returned to Alexander with security and the kingdom was restored to his hands and the practice of war was resumed. To him inquiring from them doing what would reconcile the minds of the people to him it was answered, if he would die; scarcely even perhaps with him dead having endured such oppressive things would they be turned back to favor, that they should put aside hatred against him dead. Aroused by whom and the repeated practice of rebelling many having been killed he drove the rest into the city which has the name Bemeselel. Whose storming brought in a destruction more harsh than usual such a savage proceeding of cruelty, that from the number he crucified eight hundred [p. 16] in the middle of the city in whose sight he ordered their wives and children to be butchered.

XI. This he watched lying back in the midst of his concubines, happy in his wine and cups but drunk more from blood than wine. He frightened the people by this act alone more than by the war, so that on the next night eight thousand of the Jews departed farther than Judea, to whom the end of their flight would be the death of Alexander, the horror of such a great evil brought quiet to the kingdom. But when it was at leisure from domestic battles there arose for him a cause of disquietude an expedition of Antiochus against the Arabia, which he considered terrible for himself and about to be a danger. This is the Antiochus who was even called Dionisius, the brother of Demetrius, the last descendent of Seleucus. Desiring to deny transit to whom Alexander between the city Antipatris and the Joppan shore a great ditch having been led and a very tall wall, towers also of wood having been established, mocked the work with the great labor of his men, no hindrance of the enemy, indeed by an easy task the ditches were filled and the towers burned. Also Alexander himself decided upon flight for himself as safer for the reason that he was considered not at all so great that the victor ought to pursue him in the first place. For it was reserved for a second part that he should avenge the injury received of the obstructed route, therefore he directed a route straight into Arabia. Whose king had placed himself in a place advantageous for battle, then the cavalry having been turned about suddenly with great force and in a sprawling multitude and without order charging they attacked the troops of the enemy. It was fought fiercely as long as Antiochus resisted; for he offered resistance, although his army was being cut down in the manner of cattle. When truly he himself was slain [p. 17] — for he was accustomed to offer himself to dangers in front of the rest — all were routed, the greatest part of whom scattered in the uncertainty of flight is destroyed, the rest having been forced into the village which has the name Ana and consumed by the lack of food, a very few of them barely survived this great slaughter.

XII. With this success Areta was asked by the people of Damascus to rule, that he should govern at Coelesyria, from which they were shutting out Ptolomaeus whom they especially attacked with a hostile dislike, nor did he leave Judea exempt from attack, from which however, Alexander having been beaten and an agreement favorable to each party concluded, he departed as the victor and returned into his own kingdom. Alexander on the other hand overthrew Pella and advanced toward Gerasa again preparing to add to himself some parts from the possessions of Theodorus and he claimed that for himself in the war. From there he proceeded into Syria and overwhelmed Gaulane and Seleucia and Gamela, avenging the insult of the last battle, he demolished the fortifications themselves of Antioch. From which places he turned his route into Judea and beyond expectations was received with joy by the entire people for the extraordinary success of the things done. Whereby the calm born of the warring bestowed the beginning of sickness, affected to some degree by repeated bouts of the quartan fever, the ailment relieved for a short time, when he returns to his military undertakings and observes no limits, stronger in mind than body, he shattered all the vigor of his health and consumed his strength and therefore died. Thus for twenty and six years with various outcomes of events against countless commotions of wars he held the kingdom and he departed life with five children surviving. Judging whom unequal to the governing of the kingdom he consigned the supreme power to the care of his own wife, inasmuch as he recognized her to be more acceptable to the people and to have found favor among all for this reason, that she always thought to make herself apart from the brutality of her husband, [p. 18] so that she not only fled the partnership of his shameful acts, but even by opposing his unfairnesses she turned the goodwill of the entire people upon herself. Nor was the decision of her husband thoughtless. For the woman exercised the right of ruling without stumbling without any hindrance of her feminine sex and acquired the thanks of governing by the observation of the sacred law. For more attentive care is exercised concerning the templum and ministers are dismissed for fraud, and the power of the state increased. Nor was her love of the kingdom lessened by maternal affection, indeed from two children one was selected for the appearance of ruling, not for the power, Hyrcanus by name, the elder by birth, the lesser in ability, but she soothed Aristobolus the sharper in mind, lacking experience of power with the humbleness of a private citizen. The Pharisees attached themselves to the woman a class of men trained according to the teaching of the law, clever according to the nature of disposition, eager for jobs, desirous of money. Who captivating the exalted little woman acquired her power by extolling her, so that she committed to them most of the tasks of the kingdom, they employed whom they wished, they excluded whom they wished and deprived of court work. What more? They so insinuated themselves, that the fruits of all good things came to them; the costs and annoyances afflicted the woman alone. Nor was there a mediocre spirit in the woman, so that she dared great things and set out battles beyond the condition of the feminine sex, she even prepared an outstanding troop of her own forces and hired great forces of a foreign army, so that she would not only be safe at home for every contingency of ruling, but would truly be even formidable to external powers. She however excelled all the rest, but as if inferior she was submissive to the Pharisees. [p. 19] There was Diogenes in her kingdom who from the most powerful friends of Alexander had clung to her close friendship. Having attacked they killed him remembering that by his advice those eight hundred had been fixed a cross in the middle of the city by Alexander, against the other originators also of this outrage it was ordered that she should proceed for vengeance. And so they were killed whom the Pharisees ordered, not whom the state found guilty of crime. Many terrified by which fear to whom dangers of this type were held out and especially those oustanding in wealth or position beseeched intervention from Aristobolus, that he should bend his mother from the carrying of the too severe order to milder things. He wishing to obtain favor for himself did not refuse. She, although grudgingly, however yielded to the beseeching of her son, that in view of the honors which they had born, who were indicted on a charge of this type, the sentence of the supreme penalty would be softened and she would only order those whom she believed to have been the guilty inciters in preparing this crime to depart from the city. Who the security of life having been grasped dispersed into the countryside.

XIII. At the same time it happened that the youth was directed to Damascus for the reason that Ptolomaeus was wearing down the inhabitants of this renowned city by frequent raids, the difficulties of which undertaking required a strong military force from the army of Alexandra. Also Tigranes who was ruling over Armenia had shut up Cleopatra by blockade in the city which has the name Ptolomais. Alexandra soothed him with bribes that he should turn away from herself. Whom Lucullus an attack having been made forced to return into the lands of the Armenians with his goals not accomplished considering it more prudent to look after his own lands rather than to annex those of others. And so strained by such great tasks Alexandra fell into sickness. Which opportunity Aristobolus seized to his advantage and a band having been collected, those conspiring with him whom [p. 20] the heat of nature for daring anything abrupt had joined to him wishing the same, he seizes treasuries and with their resources intices volunteers for military service, and for a price arranges that they should keep faith in everything that he wishes and he puts on the regalia of kingship. Hyrcanus thrown into confusion of mind comes to their mother with tears. But she breathing ferocity shut up the sons and wife of Aristobolus in the fortress to which was at first the name called Baris afterwards Antonia, about which we made mention previously. The undertakings of Alexandra are given up with her early death. Hyrcanus advanced into the entire inheritance, who his mother still living had put on the office of the priesthood, Aristobolus excelled (him) in valor and wisdom, things were brought all the way to contention and conflict. When it was composed, most, Hyrcanus having been abandoned, followed him the second as better in war. Hyrcanus those accompanying him who were remaining in the conflict fled into Antonia and the sons and wife of Aristobolus having been discovered he found safety through hostages, because Aristobolus decided upon an agreement lest anything harsh should be done against his family. The agreement of the brothers was of this nature, that Hyrcanus should withdraw from the kingship and all right of ruling should transfer to Aristobolus but he would not however leave Hyrcanus without honors, but without share in the kingship he would allow him to be engaged in other honors, which he himself had bestowed. The agreement of this nature held the voluntary assent of both with the sacred reverence of the temple. And so him having departed with favor, wishing each other well in turn, Aristobolus took himself into the royal court, Hyrcanus with equanimity departed into the home of Aristobolus.

XIV. But there were those whom fear from this change of things assaulted, who recalled to mind themselves to have busied themselves against Aristobolus, and in front of the rest Antipater. He was of the Idumaean race, [p. 21] famous among them for his ancestors, not lacking money and therefore possessing great influence, made by remarkable craft for disdaining money for the sake of acquiring favor. When he persuaded Hyrcanus who was very frightened by his advice, that he had no safe expectation of his safety, who had retired from rule, unless he took counsel for himself by desertion to the enemy, he insinuates to king Areta that the man should be cultivated by aid, who had been tricked that he should retire from the royal power, this would be fitting for the king, if he should become the judge of restoring the command, and it would be much better, if he should order the things taken away to be restored to him defrauded by cunning, to whom the birthrights of the kingdom belonged. The former was crafty and sly and mistrusted by his neighbors, the latter was gentle and peaceful, who would receive as a great kindness, whatever was bestowed upon him by a foreigner, whom his brother had actually deprived of his right of ruling. And so announcing to Hyrcanus the favor of king Areta that had been prepared he brought hope of fleeing and pointed out the way, that with him he should seek Petra located within the boundaries of Arabia, in which place they would visit the king. Who convinced by the persuasions and gifts of Antipater added a large troop of fighters to Hyrcanus so that he should be restored to his kingdom. There were almost fifty thousand foot soldiers and cavalry, defeated by which in the first encounter Aristobolus took refuge in Jerusalem, there also defenseless against such a great multitude of enemies, which would have captured him shut up, if Scaurus, the commander of the Roman army on the excuse of another war which was being waged against Tigranes, had not ended the siege having been sent by Pompey, for whom the avenging of Mithridates retaken had fired up the plan of a severe war undertaken against the father-in-law, for which reason he ordered Syria to be overrun by Scaurus, while he himself pressed against Tigranes and Armenia. And therefore to Scaurus arriving at Damascus, which Metullus and Lollius had completely overthrown, [p. 22] the legates of the brothers ran each beseeching for himself the aid of the Roman help, and although Aristobolus was inferior in strength, he prevailed however through the gift of money. The decision of the battle engagement is sold for three hundred talents and the justice of request is counterbalanced by the price, which money having counted out to him Scaurus orders Hyrcanus and the king of Arabia to depart from the siege, and if they should remain they should know it would have to be fought by them in a war against Pompey and the Romans. With that fear the siege is raised, Aretas set out for Philadelphia, Scaurus returned to Damascus. But Aristobolus not long satisfied with the danger having been averted collected a band, followed the enemy and near Papyron, that is the name for the place, killed six thousand of the enemies in a battle and at the same time Fallion the brother of Antipater. The hopes of Hyrcanus and Antipater were broken, for whom all reliance was on the forces of Arabia.

XV. But when Pompey the Great began to meet Syria and arrived at Damascus, from the Romans, broken by whose aiding forces they had lost the victory, they ask for help and approach Pompey as if (he were) the arbiter of justice and not at all avaricious for money. And so with accusations, not with gifts such as they had begun to rely upon previously, inasmuch as his mind untouched against the corruption of money was not captured by the noose of avarice and without pay was able to dislike the affront to a brother’s dignity. And thus having assailed him with these grievances, in which even envy by Aristobolus took part, that undeservedly he invaded foreign places, and favor was won over to Hyrcanus, to whom either from the merit of his life or judgement of his age the right of ruling was fitting the authority of his mother especially supporting, who had judgement of choosing and the right of bestowing. Nor was Aristobolus long absent. [p. 23] Although he saw nothing in the heart of the Great which favored his tricks, he presupposed however from the bribery of Scaurus and boasted himself in his society. He came therefore outfitted in regal dress and with a greater retinue and surrounded with more ostentation than customary, as some one who lacks confidence in justice, who shut out prejudgment of assenting, denied the expectation of obeying. But he was unable to endure longer the loftiness of the Roman consular official, whose habit it was without a kingdom to command kings. And so when he arrived at the city which has the name Diapolis, having disdained from pride of kingdom the arrogance of Roman authority he departed elsewhere. By which departure of Aristobolus a cause of intolerable offense was given to the aroused consul to such degree that immediately the Roman arms were turned against Judaea with many even auxiliaries of Syria conjoined. When Aristobolus learned him to be near the city of Scythopolis and from there to be approaching Coreas, from which there was the beginning of the possessions of Judaea, he took refuge in the fortress Alexandrium which was exceedingly well fortified and located on a high mountain. Having learned which Pompey orders him to come down; but he considering it shameful as it were to obey the order of a master, immoderate of mind thought undergoing danger preferable to complying with the command. But seeing from above the Roman camp crowded with people, and at the same time warned by his own people that they into whose name and power almost the entire world had yielded should not be provoked, he came down, using many excuses, by which he sought to show the kingdom to have been bestowed upon him by right, or owed by the obligation of birth, or by the decision of the army, which followed the stronger, abandoned the cowardly, or by the outcome of the battle or by the agreement of a bargain, he returned to his fortifications. Again when Hyrcanus approached the consul, called to judgement Aristobolus presented himself, but when he saw recognition to be still put off he returned to his fortress. [p. 24] For in the middle between hope and fear he thought that by obeying his commands he might influence Pompey to favor toward himself, but again he was not compelled by force to yield to his command, he took himself back to Alexandrium. Nor did the cunning of the king pass by the Great 2; he orders him to withdraw from the fortifications and required him instructions having been given to each guard of the fortification to be about to do that. Indeed he obeyed the orders which he did not dare to disobey, however he immediately removed himself to the walls of Jerusalem and began to prepare war against the Romans. Pompey not only followed him fleeing, he pressed him shut in and did not give any time for preparing the facilities of war. A report about Mitridates directed the attention of Pompey, that he (i.e., Mitridates) had ended the war with his death; the city of Jericho was holding Pompey in its vicinity, when information of this notable event came, the place near the city in which balsam is produced and is born of the trees which the children of the farmers cut with sharp stones, and through these incisions a beautiful fluid trickles down with dripping sap. From that place the man a veteran of military service his ranks having been drawn up moved his camp toward evening and at first light took a position before Jerusalem’s walls and without warning poured in his armed soldiers.

XVI. Aristobolus astonished by the appearance of the arrangement, by the strength of the men, by the enthusiasm of the soldiers, voluntarily ran up beseeching pardon, offering money, the city, and himself. With words [p. 25] changed supplicatingly into more yielding he softened the anger of the consul; but with the supplication in vain, because the execution of his promise was lacking, the money not only having been denied but Gabinio having been excluded from the city, who had come seeking the things offered, he brooded on war. For Pompey, guards having been assigned to Aristobolus, began to examine the walls of the city and to explore carefully, in which places he should attempt a forcible entry, but when he had examined the strength of the walls, that they were not able to be stormed, and saw the temple in the city surrounded by fortifications not at all inferior so that there was a double danger to those who had entered both from the defenders of the temple and from those who were looking after the defence of the walls, he hesitated with a doubt in his mind and an uncertainty of opinion for some length of time, since suddenly an uprising had arisen within the city, the allies of Hyrcanus wishing to receive Pompey within the city, the champions of Aristobolus resisting: the former wishing to open the gates to Pompey, the latter to bar them and make war lest they might take away the king. But the weaker yielded to the majority whom fear of the Roman power had increased and took themselves into the temple the bridge having been broken down, which at the passable crossing in the middle joined the city and the temple. And so the Roman army was received into the city, and with their own hands the Jews opened the gates not much after that prophecy of David for the future was fulfilled by the conquerors of the city and temple: god, the nations have come into your inheritance, they have defiled your sacred temple. And so he voluntarily surrendered his royal trappings, yielded to the courtiers. To Piso, a man famous among his own and skilled in military services, was entrusted the task that with a strong band he should take care for the royal court and watch over the rest of the city. Which was looked after carefully by him, as if he led the Roman army to defend those things rather than to seize them. [p. 26] At the assault on the temple however, since it was stubbornly resisted, Pompey prepared the Jews, namely the supporters of Hyrcanus, that, if it was possible to be done, the Romans should not profane the foreign mysteries, at the same time that the Jews should fill the ditches with their own hands. With impious service and disgraceful servility they served their hands on a basket, their minds on robbery of sacred property. But filling the ditches profited nothing, since the partisans of Aristobolus resisted from the walls and caused hindrance from above, and Pompey’s beginnings would have been ineffective, if not for the days of sacred religious rites occurring, on which the ancient observation was for the Jews to refrain from all work, he ordered his troops to concentrate on building up the ramparts of earth. In fact only the adoption contrary to custom of hand to hand fighting even on the sabbath having been changed, if however battle is brought in and extreme danger of safety is aimed at, Jews think it may be contested by them with weapons, remaining contests they consider to conscience. Already the wall had grown, already the siege engines had been brought near, the royal forces were fighting fiercely from the height of the walls, they were dejected by the nearer approach of Pompey. Pompey was astounded at the fierce minds of the men, at the appearance and magnitude of the wall and the never relaxed duties of the priests in the middle of the fury of war as if there were profound peace; nothing of the solemnity of the sacrifices was lacking, among the javelins of the fighters the bodies of the slain was poured out the blood of sacrificial victims, a victim was placed upon the altars; placed before the altar they were killed. Already the third month held the still doubtful contest. First was Sylla Faustus, descended from Cornelius, and two centurions, of whom one had the name Furius, to the second was Fabius, a tower of the walls having been knocked down they broke into the temple [p. 27] a crowd following each one, and going around the interior of the temple everywhere they transfixed with swords whomever they discovered. Those fleeing were killed, others fighting back were cut down, but however the ceremonies of the priests were not hindered by the savageries of those fighting. The enemy was threatening with bare swords, they however followed the order of the usual service. No class of service was interrupted. Whatever pertained to the ritual of purification, whatever to the observance of he sacred worship it could be seen was carried out; so great was the responsibility of the office, and if only it had been in behalf of devotion and faith. For the greater dangers arose from their own people, which were brought in by the Hebrews by turns upon themselves, and the fight within was more violent and closer to mutinous and a two front danger. From the front a foreign enemy threatened, from the back and sides a domestic.

XVII. And therefore shut in on all sides some threw themselves over the precipice, others were burned up in the flames of their country. The priests however persevered in their duty all the way to the end encouraging themselves in turn, that they should not place the obligations of the religion as lower in importance than the preservation of personal safety, it would be done with themselves properly if they were expended to their sense of duty, which was owed to necessity, if it was allowed to be buried in the bosom of their country. For what would it serve to escape and to live a survivor to the religion? A distinguished deed rather to die together for a conscientious duty. But if anyone should desert from fear of danger, it is sacrilege, if anyone should fulfill his duty, the sacrifice it is a victory of dutiful suffering. And so the head-banded priests were killed among their sacrificial victims and clothed in their priestly robes lay on the ground among the bodies of those slain. Scattered there were twelve thousand Jews, a few of the Romans were killed, many wounded. The Jews groaned over nothing more painfully in this misery than that [p. 28] the mysteries previously hidden of the sanctuary were uncovered by the Gentiles and revealed. Finally Pompey declining the balance of cares of this type, while he attended to the triumph rather than the burning, many of his following him, saw the second tabernacle, which in a solemn approach was open to the foremost of the priests alone, and within he saw the lamp and table and vessels for incense and the records of the covenant, and above these the heavenly choir, a great number of spices scattered about, and two thousand talents of sacred money. In which although there was much gold, untouched however by any greed of it or indeed if any of the sacred vessels were found, he ordered everything left untouched, and on the day following the introduction he ordered the temple overseers to purify the interior of the temple and to carry out the usual sacrifices. Also he gave Hyrcanus the leadership of the priesthood, having made use of his ready assistance in the difficult straits of the siege; for although faithless to his own people, he was faithful to he Romans so that his own country should be conquered — but I think that no one can be called faithful who has been faithless to his own people — because not perfunctorily in his own battle he gave assistance to the enemies of his own people and because he withdrew the multitude of people outside the walls supporting Aristobolus from his alliance. In all matters however by which Aristobolus was hindered or his authority taken away or the war was quickly finished Pompey was an outstanding commander, he added this splendid feature that he observed moderation in victory; in fact he joined those whom he had conquered to himself more with kindness than with fear, the originators only of the war he struck with the axe. He imposed tribute also on the conquered, he appointed the leader of Judaea, he set its boundaries. Judaea was circumscribed within its own territory. He restored [p. 29] even Gamara which the Jews had destroyed having been asked by Demetrius, who of his country had asked from his patron a favor of this nature, excelling with Pompey in this cause and many others above the norm of freedmen to the point of arousing jealousy. Aristobolus however with his sons and father in law he held as captives to take to Rome with him, but one of the royal offspring having escaped from his guards on the journey returned home; his name was Alexander, his age greater than his brother and two sisters. And so Antigonus younger in age and his siblings of the feminine sex were taken to Rome, Pompey went to Cilicia and from thence to Rome.

XVIII. While in Syria Scaurus, to whom the office of commander had been assigned, those cities which the Jews had invaded having been recovered, inland Scythopolis, Ipponis, Pella, Samaria, Iamnia, Maresa, Azoto, Arethusa, on the coast also Gaza, Iope, Dora and that which was once called Strato’s tower, afterwards however was named Caesarea under the of Herod, who both added decorations and changed the name, he undertook war against Arabia. Confining by decree Judaea between the Euphrates and Egypt, Syria also restored within its own boundaries, from the desire of plundering, as I think, rather than carrying forward the interests of the empire, wishing to take possession of the great Petra of the kingdom of Arabia, hindered indeed by the difficulty of its location, he was unable to break in, he laid waste however many either neighboring to the city or located at a distance. In which places famine struck his tarrying army. And a wretched disaster would almost have happened, if Hyrcanus through Antipater had not furnished food to the suffering Romans, and likewise he with the counsel of Scaurus advised Aretas to end the war with money. Finally with three hundred talents the Arab freed himself from his enemy, [p. 30] he bought off Scaurus; this was the price of his retreat. Which thing established for Hyrcanus an alliance with the Romans and maintained the security of a profound peace, for which reason in territory hostile to the Roman army by his aid from a severe lack of grain a sufficiency was made and help was at hand.

XIX. But when Alexander having escaped from imprisonment by Pompey at first secretly and in a moderate of time collecting to himself a suitable band of soldiers, began to harass Judaea openly, Hyrcanus was disturbed and distrusted his situation, he pressed the Romans with his concern that the war might increase in violence, so that he had decided to repair the wall of Jerusalem, which Pompey had destroyed. And the task had nearly been undertaken, if Gabinius who had succeeded Scaurus, the remaining matters having been handled vigorously, by which he had strewn fear of his name, had not considered that resistance must be offered to the attempts of Alexander. Nor did Alexander think that he must flee but dared to contest it in a battle with ten thousand foot soldiers and one thousand five hundred cavalry. He even repaired the fortresses, Alexandrium, Hyrcanium, Macheruntis as places of refuge for himself, if circumstances should demand it, or would be a hindrance to enemies, for indeed near by Arabia was not sufficiently faithful to the Romans. Gabinius so that this might happen more quickly sent Marcus Antonius ahead with part of the army, so that the march of the enemy might be hindered, until he himself should arrive with the entire army. Antipater arriving with select troops and Malichus and Pitholaus relying upon diverse groups of Jews, joined their forces with Antonius. Whom when Alexander saw them massed together — for Gabinius was now present — he changed his plan so that he fell back. But since he was now not far from Jerusalem, [p. 31] forced to join battle, beaten he fled. Almost three thousand of his men having been killed, the rest captured or dispersed, scarcely a few were left to Alexander to be companions in flight rather than for the daring of rebelling. Finally seeking peace from Gabinius he surrendered even the fortresses to the Romans lest they hold something suspect. In that battle the valor of Antonius shone forth brightly, and everywhere gave very clear evidence of his bravery. Gabinius divided Judaea into five districts, in order to diminish its strength, from which arose haughtiness to one who had gained control of things. To Hyrcanus for the mildness of his temperament remained the public office of the priesthood, the responsibility however of an entire district of this region was bestowed by Gabinius not upon one but in common upon inhabitants of Jerusalem. Similarly the rest of the districts were assigned in like manner, through Gadara and Amathuntis and Hiericho and Sephoritanians, namely the more powerful cities, divided, by which nothing of the power of of the individual cities was left and the performance of the districts did not sway to and fro, which anticipated public concern. Which was received with gratitude both by the Romans for relieving the fear of rebellion and by the Jews for removing jealousy, since the race of Hebrews lived not under a king but beneath an aristocracy in a resemblance of the Roman state, in which not one governs, but all the best in turn, to whom selected by lot the magistrate yields, they direct without share of the kingdom but the judges of kings.

XX. Provident forethought as opposed to the turbulence of the people is esteemed. But the escape of Aristobolus and his return into Judaea aroused much commotion, many flowing back to him, whom he had stirred up by the favors of long established friendship or the latest events, to which a remedy from the public discord was being sought [p. 32] by those desiring to mix the lowest with the highest and there were other lapsed hopes. Therefore having returned he built fortifications, he began to restore Alexandrium. Which having been discovered Gabinius, Sisinius and Antonius and Servilius having been sent with part of the army, prevented the work begun. Even with the fortifications deserted Aristobolus prepared himself for war, and because he dragged an army with a greater number than was useful he removed a multitude of unarmed people, and he collected only eight thousand armed men Pitholaus also having been added, who had come voluntarily from Jerusalem with a thousand men. Thereupon a battle having arisen — for the Romans overhung their necks — indeed it was fought vigorously for a considerable time, however Roman strength prevailed, five thousand Jews were killed, Aristobolus with a thousand men broke through the line and took himself back into the protection of the fortress Macheruntis, two thousand were dispersed elsewhere. The Romans however having attacked the fortress were delayed almost two days, for in the last extreme Aristobolus fought with all his strength, but by no means was able to hold out longer; captured with his son Antigonus whom fleeing from prison he had taken away with himself, sent to Gabinius and by him they were sent to Rome. Aristobolus having placed in custody of the senate, he sent his sons to Bithynia, because they report Gabinius to have insinuated in letters to the wife of Aristobolus a promise of rewarding her assiduity in thanks for the fortresses surrendered to him.

XXI. These things having been done in Judaea Gabinius having believed that a bold action must be taken prepared an expedition against the Parthians, but suspicions of the faction of king Ptolomaeus recalled the army which had set out. So Gabinius turned back his march from the Euphrates into Egypt, making use [p. 33] of the necessities for everything from the services of Antipater and Hyrcanus, but of Hyrcanus through Antipater, who aided the army also with money grain arms auxiliaries; and especially at the encounters near Pelusium, unless for the Jews familiar with the location and and the type of the entire war they would have easily discouraged Gabinius. But the army delaying again Alexander the son of Aristobolus undertook to plunge himself into a second Syria as if into an empty province, unless Gabinius aroused by the news had hastened his return and having sent Antipater ahead had called back most of the Jews from their alliance to Alexander, relying upon a multitude of whom he was preparing to give to destruction all in the region which had offended the Romans. In the end, although most of the Jews had dispersed through an agreement with Antipater, he had not however put aside his recklessness, having undertaken a battle with thirty thousand men near the mountain Itabirium, ten thousand having been lost he fled. The war was ended by the scattering of the rest. The task of the Jerusalem state having been assigned to the judgment of Antipater having departed from there he subjugated the Nabathaeans in a battle and sent back Mitridates and Orsanis fleeing secretly from Persis, he publicly informed his soldiers however that they had escaped by flight. Crassus succeeded Gabinius and about to set out for the Parthian war he stole all the gold which was in the temple at Jerusalem and besides he ordered the two thousand talents to be taken, which Pompey had left untouched, nor did he long enjoy it when he crossed the Euphrates, he lost the army and was himself killed. The elated Parthians believed they must go over into Syria, [p. 34] whom Cassius followed vigorously with ambushes and drove from the boundaries of the province committed to him, not without severe damage to the enemy, marching freely, because they thought no one about to dare to take a stand against him, he had seized those outstripped in the narrower places. Finally many of their troops having been routed they abandoned the war. Cassius the enemy having been driven back secure in his province charged into Judaea and Tarichaeae having been destroyed he sold thirty thousand Jews into slavery. He also ordered Pitholaus suspected of treachery by which he was supporting the faction of Aristobolus to be executed. Nor was Antipater without his advice, that he should as much as possible exclude any rival for power.

XXII. He recognized a wife who had the name Cypris who sprang from a glittering place among the women of Arabia and from her he received four children of the male sex and one feminine. The names to the males of this fashion, they were called, the first Phasaelus, the following Herodes, the third Josephus, the fourth Feroras, and the daughter Salome. And for this reason a man made eminent for obtaining the society of the powerful by gifts and friendship, he won over beyond the rest for himself the favor of the king of Arabia, because he held out the bond of a wife received from the region of Arabia. Finally preparing to fight in battle against Aristobolus he sent his sons to the aforementioned king of Arabia as pledges of mutual affection. Whom he received as a sacrosanct trust in that care in which he held his children at home and afterwards recalled he returned to their father. But when Aristobolus overcome in war was being held in chains, Alexander his son when in accordance with the conventions of peace, to which Cassius about to return to the Euphrates had obligated him, left off from battle, [P. 35] the boundaries of Persis were not at all molested by any incursion undertaken by the Parthians and the appearance of pleasant tranquility lightened human concerns in the regions of the East, Caesar from the transalpine regions of Gaul pouring himself into Italy drove Pompey and the senate beyond the Ionian sea. Pompey shut out from Italy sought Enathias and ordered the Roman columns from diverse places to follow him there, because he was preparing for war there. Intent on doing which things he left Aristobolus fettered at Rome. Caesar who was midway between the city of Rome and Pompey, because he was following Pompey on the easy routes from the Flaminia into Appia, so that he should either capture him or intercept his army, directed him 3 freed from chains with a number of military forces assigned into Syria, so that he should join Judaea to himself and threaten Pompey from the rear. But in the beginning of his attempts, when he came to the place, done away with by poison he left the task unfinished. The opinion of his death was ascribed to the supporters of Pompey. And so the arrangements of Caesar were mocked and the ambitions of Aristobolus abandoned by a certain new variety of changes, so that the exile would have been safer among the enemy, a captive in chains, than master in a chamber among his own citizens, a king at a banquet. Which having been learned Pompey, because Aristobolus in the falling back Judaea tried to renew the war for himself, indeed ordered his son Alexander suspected of being too favorable to the Caesarian faction to be executed. He ordered Scipio. He on behalf of the seat of judgment decided his guilt, so that the appearance of a trial should be put forth accusers also having been brought in and against him who had disturbed the Roman state with arms the sentence was brought forth, [p. 36] that in accordance with the authority of law rather by the execution of an order, in the manner in which the leaders of enemies, convicted of rebellion he was sentenced to be struck with an axe.

XXIII. The death of both having been learned Ptolomaeus, who had taken the brothers of Aristobolus and the wife Alexandria, sent his son Philippion to the city Ascalona, to fetch those mentioned. He arriving took Antigonus and his sisters that he should escort them to his father; by the practice and custom of love a little spark pardonable certainly crept into the youth, if monarchs know to forgive, and he received the second of the sisters to himself in the bonds of marriage. His father Ptolomaeus did not tolerate this and the excellent censor of morals having killed his son united his own daughter-in-law to himself, who condemned the unasked joining to his son, so that he might defile his own self with parricide and incest. Pompey having been killed, who while he fled the arms of Caesar offered his head to an Egyptian eunuch to be cut off, an upheaval of things. He offered his head however with that patience with which he had so many times graced victory over great peoples, so that seeing in that fate the condition of a defeated exile, a mockery of the fluctuations of human fortunes, he offered his neck to the sword, from him to whom he had given a kingdom about to receive death as a favor. After whose death a change was made many from the familiars of Pompey seeking the friendship of Caesar and especially Antipater possessed in an incredible manner of the friendship of all whom he aimed at. For to all a wealth of necessities and especially in the instruments of battle, whereby from enemies and adversaries the most dear are repeatedly made. [p. 37]

XXIV. And indeed because Ptolomaeus the king of Egypt had broken faith, he was pressed hard by Caesar himself in very severe battles. Mithridates of Pergamum with all the troops which he had brought with him, repulsed by the obstacle of Pelusius, stayed in the city of Ascalon the passage having been despaired of and the attempt ineffective, nor did he yet dare to commit himself to battle in an unfavorable place and unequal in strength. To whom in aid Antipater at first associated Arabia, then led with himself three thousand Jews strong in numbers and armed with weapons. Now too he moved the powerful of Syria to the support of himself, and the Ptolemy who lived in Libanus and Iamblicus and a second Ptolemy, relying on whose alliance even other peoples were fired up to the war. Relying on whom joined to his forces Mithridates approached Pelusius and, when he was prevented from passage, started a siege. In which place Antipater gave outstanding evidence of military prowess, in fact with the townspeople resisting, when it was being fought with great force on both sides, he was the first with his men a part of the walls having been shattered, in which he himself was fighting, he rushed into the city and captured it. Nor was this the end of his labor and assistance, for even when the army had proceeded within, and around that which is named the region of Onia of Judaea the Egyptians wished to resist, by which they blocked the way, Antipater not only stopped the battle but even brought about for aiding the army that those things which were essential for the enjoyment of human nature were furnished by the very people who had prepared the weapons against them. Whence the people of Memphis [p. 38] also recalled their minds from the battle and willingly gave themselves to the alliance of Mithridates. Who having gone past the more mistrusted, having judged that it must be fought hand to hand with the remaining Egyptians, indeed in more unimpeded places but with the stronger men of the region itself, whose non-resident Jews were called an army, he fought vigorously to such a point that he gave himself to a sudden danger and was almost killed, except that Antipater seeing the entire right wing in which Mithridates was to be hard pressed by the enemy, and in another part to be shut in by a river, nor was there any way of escape for the men, he rushed in from the left wing upon those who were attacking the withdrawing Mithridates; he pursued those there until all the people of the enemy were killed. In that battle Antipater lost only eighty men of his forces, Mithridates above eight hundred, so that beyond expectation he himself escaped. And this slaughter followed in a moment. Antipater many wounds having been received by his body found excellent testimony of his bravery before Caesar, Mithridates especially not only an espouser of his perfection but even a proclaimer of his bravery. Exceptionally pleased by which Caesar in honor, as was fitting, received Antipater among his friends. Then when he arranged those things which were being set up in Egypt and proceeded into Syria, he honors him with the esteem of the Roman state, he conferred also freedom from taxes and other things as he bestowed pledges of his favor to a man proven to him. Now too he confirmed willingly to Hyrcanus the high priesthood in accordance with the desire of Antipater.

XXV. Antigonus also ran to meet Caesar in Syria, and who it was fitting either to weep the calamity of his father, [p. 39] killed with poison by the friends of Pompey, or the punishment of his brother, whom Scipio with great cruelty as if guilty had executed with the axe, pursued the side of dislike rather than of grief, so that he brooded over Hyrcanus and Antipater to foreigners, the things which had been taken from himself and his brothers through wickedness, he piled up with the bitterest complaint, himself made an exile from his ancestral home, the land in which he was born to be denied to him, however his own injuries to be seen as more tolerable, much worse those by which the entire nation of the people of the Jews was afflicted by Hyrcanus and Antipater. And them to claim thanks for the things done well in Egypt, when not any care based on goodwill toward Caesar bestowed that service of aiding Mithridates, since fear from the knowledge of their Pompeian alliance extorted it, so that it was for disguising the offense. Against these things Antipater offering not an exchange of words but a demonstration of facts cut his garments to pieces and stripped of clothing, full of wounds with cloak torn open pesenting to the eyes of those standing around the proofs of the observed bravery: “look at this,” he said, “their testimony refutes the charge of ill-will toward Caesar, which glitter like lights of the soul. The scars I present to you, Caesar, pledges of my inward good will, I put down these pledges of my faith and I bear them written on the top of my heart. If it is not believed by the citizens, let the enemy be questioned for whom I received these wounds. What did they establish in me other than the faith which I am offering to you? But he charges against me the good will to Pompey; I confess, Caesar, me to have been friend not to the man but to the Roman name and to have desired that eagerly, so that my duties [p. 40] threatened your state. And so I fought not for one but for all; Pompey was dear to me, but he began to be a friend to me before he was an enemy to Caesar. He was your son in law and you his father in law. When he was in the regions of Judaea I supported him the Roman commander, I did not however receive those wounds for him which I have received for you. For you I have paid pledges of death and the blows of weapons of the enemy. What is strange then, if a captive does not know the honor of wounds and a fugitive does not know the faith which exists? What moreover may a lasting enemy throw in my face except for your friendship? It truly seems strange that Antigonus approaches someone blamed the Romans, whom he is accustomed to attack, and before them complains that he has been deprived of rule, whose use and practice he desired not for power for himself nor for domestic honor but for provoking Roman arms and avenging the deaths if his father and brother; ungrateful for safety, he does not fear the Roman tribunal but dares to attack it further, although he knows in this affair his brother to have paid the price for his rebellion.” When Antipater made an end of speaking, Caesar announces Hyrcanus seems more worthy of the high priesthood, however he bestowed on Antipater his choice of office. Then he desiring that same choice of public office and the governorship and placing a measure of esteen in him who is bestowing the office, quite cunningly gave the distinction of modesty and the increase in power. He was made the procurator of all Judaea. Reasonably he asked that he might rebuild the walls of Judaea which had been destroyed in the war, and secure in the loyalty given he asked and procured this great task. And these things, as was the custom for Roman commanders, was inscribed in the Capitol, which marks of honor Caesar judged should be conferred on Antipater, so that proofs of his uprightness and merits should exist also for the examination of a man of posterity. Moreover Antipater having followed Caesar [p. 41] out of Syria changed his route into Judaea and first rebuilt to its former condition the wall which Pompey had destroyed. Then he checked the commotion bringing together all with affection of a parent, now with admonitions to the gentler, now with threats that they should consider that those things must be followed which were of peace rather than of war and not irritate the mind of the king, who if he remained unoffended would be better for the citizen, if he were aroused, would present a tyrant. Even if by nature Hyrcanus was mild, they should however beware and not provoke him by insulting behavior; also his desire to be that he should adopt a middle path in behalf of an affectionate concern, not in behalf of power, but if they should try to make a new rebellion, the spirit of punishing would not be lacking to him. They should experience the friendship of the Romans rather than their domination. To whom if there should be doubt that they were about to erupt from friends into arms, if they should learn that him to whom they themselves had confirmed the kingdom was deprived of rule? Because as soon as he had learned Hyrcanus to have been too slow from mildness of temperament at executing the requirements of public office, he thought the care of protecting the region must be divided among his sons, because he was unequal to such a great burden and to ruling. And therefore he appointed Phasaelus the older of his children the protector of Jerusalem and the commander of the military forces. Herod also younger by birth and quite young he put in charge of Galilaea with equal honor. Who when he attained power, more sagacious by nature immediately found means from his natural capacity for attending to the tasks.

XXVI. Syria was suffering from incursions of the brigand Ezechia, with which he the leader of a predatory band harassed the entire province and was present bitterly hostile in all places. Whom having seized he ordered to be executed and [p. 42] killed many of the robbers. Which produced both great glory of bravery and abundant gratitude among the Syrians. Whence he was celebrated in the cities and villages by the voices of people singing, as one who had restored peace and public tranquility after a long time. This talk with the favorable gossip of the people aroused the affectionate rivalry of praise of his brother, that Phasaelus equaled his junior by birth, whom he was not able to equal in bravery, in benevolence of mind, the most outstanding having been attracted into the rank of the foremost by benevolence, who tempered severity with kindness. Whence the greatest honor was bestowed publicly upon Antipater as the parent, he himself however changed nothing of his benevolence and faith, by which he was accustomed to treat Hyrcanus. But it is difficult to be without jealousy in triumphal circumstances. Finally the at first silent Hyrcanus criticized carpingly the praises of the young men, more vehemently however those things irritated him which were reported done famously in the campaigns of Herod, whom he saw to have gone beyond the laws of the Jews and the manner of a private citizen, that he had claimed all power for himself with his brother and father and they were stripping the king of every public office, to whom nothing but the name remained, because devoid of power he proffered a hollow appearance. Finally without him being consulted many had been given to death and killed without royal mandates, which the law of the fathers did not allow. From which many were saying it was necessary that Herod be called into court, that he should give the reason, by which favor, he had violated the law, which forbad that those unheard be given to death; Hyrcanus ought to rise up and from this put to the test, whether Herod was conducting himself as a king or a private citizen. Who called into judgement if he were not present, it would be evident to what by his great arrogance he had aspired. By these and [p. 43] words of this type of the royal courtiers Hyrcanus was by degrees inflamed, who uttered the nearer shame of faintheartedness, that he had retired from the duty of royal tasks, power to have been transferred to Antipater and his children, whom the diminished power to him of ruling had made masters. Aroused by which he decided that in his judgement Herod had not been at fault, he would be cleared of the usurpations against the law which were being charged. Herod nevertheless was resentful that he had been called into judgement, however either from the admonitions of his father or from calmer judgement he approached the fortifying of Galilaea undertaken beforehand, but however it did not seem that with an invidious troop war should be threatened or that he should bring forth safety for an unprotected garrison. He was the support of Sextus Caesar wishing favor himself, who fearing that something of treachery was being invited for the youth had ordered Hyrcanus with strict orders that he should consider refraining from the danger of an oppressive sentence. Whence he granted Sextus more an acquittal of the judgement than to his wish, although Hyrcanus, although he had ceased from making charges that he should call him into court, wishing however that he should acquit, since he preferred to protect Herod rather than take vengeance on him. But the latter with youthful passion grieving the offense, ungrateful for the absolution proceeded to Sextus the desire having put forward, that if he should be called again he would not obey, and he gave those disparaging him the opportunity of making charges. Although Hyrcanus did not rise up for vengeance, when he saw him superior, from the recollection however of injury, which is fed by the retracting, Herod angered an army having been collected was making for Jerusalem, that he should destroy every power of Hyrcanus, and he almost accomplished it, except that checked by his brother and father his attack weakened to them asking, so that he thought it enough to have risen up and he placed a limit with his threat of vengeance, he abstained however from the destruction of the commander, under whom [p. 44] he had achieved a not inconsiderable influence, so that he had secured great power. Indeed he seemed injured because he was called into judgement, but again he was treated with favor because he was absolved. It would be too unfeeling if he should follow up the injury and be ungrateful for his safety. The outcome of wars to be dubious and doubtful, grave also the burden of spite, when he should make war on his commander and on him, who had favored him with paternal affection, very frequently assisted him, never injured him, except when using wicked advisers he had aroused a shade of unfairness for him, by which he considered himself injured.

XXVII. With these and other things he broke off the juvenile attack and the civil war was removed from Judaea, but transferred to the slaughter of the Romans, in fact Sextus Caesar was killed through treachery by Caecilius Bassus, and afterwards Julius Caesar having discharged uninterrupted power for three years and seven months, because he had gone beyond the condition of a private citizen, paid the most severe penalty in the senate to Cassius and Brutus the proposers. Whence men having been collected when the adoptive Julius determined to go avenging the death of his father Antonius having been joined to him, because aid having been sent Herod was judged to have aided the greatest faction of the war, command over all of Syria was given to him ruling. Which thing for Antipater was the cause of his fatal death.

XXVIII. For Malichus fearing the power of Antipater, which was heaped up by the valor of Herod, one of the royal ministers having been suborned, prepared poison for Antipater. Which having been drunk after a banquetAntipater immediately died his innate quality energetic among the rest and especially vigorous in seeking and establishing the rule of Hyrcanus. Herod felt the death of his father deeply [p. 45] and with army aroused he promised an avenger, but called back by the counsel of his brother, lest Judaea be disturbed violently by a civil war between Herod and Malichus, Malichus prepared for denial and especially dissembling that he was an accessory to the death of Antipater, he was easily led into another form of vengeance, so that satisfaction having accepted, that Antipater had died through no deceit of Malichus, Herod called Hyrcanus and Malichus to a dinner. And from the sentence of Cassius who had even ordered by his own direction that task for accomplishing vengeance, prepared centurions and prepositioned Roman armies met Hyrcanus and Malichus arriving together on the shore and with drawn swords surrounded each of them; however they butchered only Malichus pierced with many wounds and torn apart in a final death. Overcome with that terror Hyrcanus lost consciousness and having lost all vigor of mind and body collapsed; after a bit however when he recovered himself, Herod having been asked who had ordered Malichus to be killed, when he learned from the prepositioned troops he had been killed by order of Cassius the Roman commander, he responded immediately: “therefore Cassius was the savior of both me and my country, who killed the ambusher of both.” But that Hyrcanus said this either from fear or that he he felt thus, is not at all clearly evident nor is able to be defined in our judgement. Elichus had risen up, who from fraternal kinship had desired the death of Malichus to be avenged, but because he did not dare to provoke Herod, he thought to strike his brother Phasaelus. Which having been learned Herod desiring to move himself was held back by sickness of body. Elichus in the meantime had seized certain fortresses and especially Masada a garrison having been placed there. But when the vigor of health returned to Herod, he recovered all and sent Elichus himself beseeching from the fortress Masada. Antigonus the son of Aristobolus, Ptolomaeus his father in law supporting him, [p. 46] whom Herod put to flight in battle, and Antigonus having been thrown out from Jerusalem, Herod returned the victor.

Furthermore there was great happiness from the fresh victory and especially from the new association. For at first Dosis his wife had adhered to him, from whom he received a son Antipater; afterwards he joined physically to himself in a second marriage Miriamme born to Alexander the son of Aristobolus, nearest to Hyrcanus and on account of that provided with royal rank. He did not however escape dislike, because he aspired to the kingdom seized to go to Hyrcanus. For when in the Macedoniam war Caesar and Antonius crushed Cassius and the supporters of Brutus and as victors the one hastened to return into Italy, the other believed he must hurry into Syria, many embassies flocking together to meet Antonius and those who were the more important of the Jews proceeded into Bithynia accusing Herod and his brother Phasaelus, for the reason that they the rule over all the state having been taken possession of by force had left the name only to Hyrcanus for a show of honor. But the presence of Herod prevailed and the gratitude, who with a not inconsiderable amount of money but with rich gifts had bound the mind of Antonius to himself. Whence weakened by no speech he removed from Antonius the dislike against himself of the simple mission. Again almost a hundred men of the Jews went all the way to Antioch to accuse with no less spirit, near Daphne they met Antonius now completely surrendered to his infatuation with Cleopatra and serving his passion. There they began to charge the intolerable power of the brothers. Messala countered in reply with Hyrcano attending and he refuted the arrogance of the people, who having been stirred up by a faction of a few, had disparaged their own people, who were asking foreigners (for support) [p. 47] and contriving the injury of Hyrcanus, although Hyrcanus had preferred what was best for the citizens. And so the charges of the factions having been heard Antonius asked Hyrcanus whom he considered to be most suitable. Whose affection for Herod and his brother being consistent, the responses harmonized with his wish, greatly pleased, because he was joined to the brothers by the bond of parternal hospitality, since Antipater received him arriving in Judaea with Gabinius very graciously with hospitality and took care of him with many kindnesses, he appointed Herod and Phasaelus tetrarchs and ordered them to conduct the management of all of Judaea. From this also the number of those making complaints was multiplied; for although he received others of the legates with confinement, he treated others with abuse, however afterwards a thousand delegates having been ordered to proceed to Antonius spending time in the city of Tyre a rebellion having been raised in Jerusalem, he did not neglect the will of the citizens. And since he was violently enraged against those shouting in protest, the governor of the Tyrians was sent to those daring to cry out, who seized those guilty of arrogance, although as if himself even Herod and Hyrcanus were seeking, lest they should beget the most severe punishments for themselves and disturbances of their country and causes for wars. When nothing was accomplished and all began to be embroiled in an irrational struggle, Antonius sent armed men, by whom some were killed, many gravely wounded, from Hyrcanus however the dead received the favor of burial or those who were able to escape of medical care, he gave an occasion of twofold kindness, by which his benevolence toward the citizens was made evident. The rest who had not only fled so angered Antonius by stirring up the city, that even again those whom he was holding in chains he ordered the supreme punishment. [p. 48]

XXIX. Arrogance had yielded to harshness, but during almost two years the army of the Parthians had poured itself into Syria Pacorus the son of the king and Barzafranis a satrap of the Persians leading the barbarian army. Whom Lysanias the son of Ptolomaeus approached as instigator. His father having died who had the name Mennius, now deprived of rule, through the satrap mentioned he incited Pacorus a thousand talents of silver and five hundred women having been promised, that he should give the kingdom to Antigonus, he should take the highpriesthood from Hyrcanus. Pacorus gave part of the cavalry to a royal minister, inasmuch as he himself was detained by rebellions inside Syria, that he should cross into Judaea and manage things for Antigonus, that he might help his spirit. But this also had gone forward very little, unless the Jews fighting against themselves, Herod and Phasaelus opposed to Antigonus, from a way of thinking it had been proposed to Antigonus, that they should accept Pacorus as a mediator of peace. Which Phasaelus from levity of character, Herod objecting, approved in time, presently having experienced danger to himself, he recognized the barbarians by their nature to be treacherous. For sent to Barzafranis (who was) the mediator of peace and having set out with Hyrcanus he met the satrap concealing quite cunningly an ambush with the appearance of friendliness. In the end he gave gifts to those departing and he arranged in what way they were to be surrounded by his dispositions. They followed them more for the sake of confining them than as companions in dangers. Messages were delivered that Parthia had been bought with a thousand talents for the destruction of those mentioned. Ofellius also persuaded flight, because he had learned from Saramalla the richest of the Syrians that a party had been prepared for them. But not even thus was Phasaelus induced Hyrcanus having been abandoned to take counsel for himself, in truth he assailed the satrap [p. 49] with the most biting insults, that he betrayed a trust for money, that he considered money of greater value than justice, that he himself would give more for his safety than Antigonus would pay for the kingdom. But the Persian struggled to justify for himself with a false oath the trust which he had betrayed and to avert suspicion not much after he had completed the treachery. For that having been accomplished they carried away with curses Phasaelus and Hyrcanus to Pacorus, to whom they had given this task, when they were by now unable to accomplish the other, desiring false oaths of the barbarians and the treachery of betrayal to achieve vengeance. No small amount of wine had the accomplice sent into Judaea expended with his treacheries that he might capture Herod, but great concern for taking precautions had already exercised the latter suspecting for a long time the treacheries of the barbarians, he held himself within the fortifications. Nor did he think he should commit himself to go outside the walls and to talks with the enemy, orders having been counterfeited by Pacorus, with which as from Phasaelus he came with his arrogance to the brother. It having been learned that his brother and Hyrcanus were being held, he sent his troops ahead by night into Idumaea and he himself with servants routed the pursuing barbarians. Many having been killed he took himself hastily into Masada, having been tested more seriously than by the Parthians by the Jews, who had fallen upon him fleeing, and indeed he placed his troops within the fortifications having avenged himself upon those pursuing. He himself however a garrison having been left, which was a protection for his mother and younger brothers, hastened into the Arabian Petra. The Persians poured themselves into Jerusalem breaking into the homes of those fleeing. Everything was rurned into plunder war disturbance. And there the injustice went forward, the kingdom was awarded to Antigonus, Phasaelus and Hyrcanus were placed in his power for undergoing [p. 50] whatever might please him. He however was not able to restrain himself longer, but immediately an attack having been made upon Hyrcanus cut off his ears with his own teeth, lest at any time by a change of circumstances a return to the high priesthood might stand open for him. For it is necessary that the high priest be physically perfect, nor is it allowed through law to make a bid, that anyone with a mutilated body should hold the highest office of the priesthood. Phasaelus with swiftness avoided the disgrace of the death decreed for him, his head having been dashed against the rocks which by chance they had come upon, disdaining to be saved for mockery or to die by the order of a foreigner, who was able able although with bound hands and a sword denied to find an exit from life. There was nevertheless yet another report of this type, that Antigonus brought in a doctor for the wound, by whom poisons were poured upon the wound as if medications. Whichever of these his death had the defiant spirit of leaders. He is reported to have said in addition in his last moments when he was already breathing out his spirit, it having been learned that Herod was alive and had escaped by flight the prepared treachery, he died with thanks, who left behind a survivor, who would return vengeance for him. For Herod hastened in Arabia expecting that he would receive money with which alone he believed he would be able to influence the barbarian greed, that he would ransom the captivity of his brother and if he found the Arab either unmindful of his father’s goodwill or holding fast against returning gifts, if he should demand money in return as the price of the ransom, for which he would pledge the son of the man to be ransomed, whom making use of the seven year old boy he had brought to them with himself. But this effort of pious brotherhood was forestalled [p. 51] by the death of Phasaelus and Herod was carefully pursuing his desire of a brotherly gift. Before however he had learned about the death of his brother, he met with Bocchus the foreign king of Arabia, whom he believed to be a friend. But he had changed his loyalty with time and he forbad Herod already approaching the boundaries of Arabia to enter, by prearrangement what had been insinuated to him by the messengers of the Parthians, that he should not consider receiving his fugitive into the kingdom of Arabia and beget for himself the cause of a painful war. Offended by which Herod immediately turned back, which the resentment of a justified agitation had brought forth, and from there he turned into Egypt. Presently however it repented Bocchus of the violated friendship those having been sent by whom he would be called back, Herod had outstripped them. To whom having entered the territory, which the Rinocorians inhabit, and (having learned) about the death of his brother and the captivity of Hyrcanus, who under chains had been led into Parthia, a great source of grief and made known by true evidence, such a great deposit of anxieties, that he prepared for flight rather than for war. Finally he hastened to Alexandria with the utmost zeal, and there was received with honor by Cleopatria, because she thought that a man of such a great name should be sought as the leader of their military forces by her party. From where the petitions of the queen having been put behind him he sailed for Rome the disturbances in Italy having been learned of and considering the storms of winter of lesser importance, than those more serious waves he shuddered at with every shipwreck in the fleet of Cleopatria. Finally having set out he fell into danger near Pamphilia from unexpected gusts of wind, but he escaped however and his ship having been replaced he arrived at Brundisium first and from there at Rome. There with the prerogative of paternal friendship he approached Antonius and his own afflictions and those of family relatives having been lamented, by which they had been placed under siege, he came to Rome beseeching, [p. 52] he influenced Antonius by the miseries received from such a great change of circumstances, because a powerful king for a long time and who had very often borne the task of the Roman state, suddenly as one shipwrecked and needing all things and destitute of help his people having been placed in peril he implores suppliantly, who had exchanged his seat for exile.

XXX. In which although Antonius was favorably influenced by the gratitude, which had been in him with his father Antipater, and especially because likewise making him tetrarch had left him predetermined for rule, Caesar however more extravagant in natural benevolence held the military service of Antipater in Egypt borne in all the battles of his father Caesar and the hospitable fellowship as more valued with renewed pledges of favor. He mistrusted however the character full of cunning of the king, perversely intent not on fairness and goodness but on the advantages of his activities. The opportunity having been given of addressing the senate, before which Messala and Atratinus detailing the good deeds of the father, also the services of Herod himself for the Roman state, it was resolved by the authority of the fathers that the rule of Herod seemed advantageous for the Roman empire, that with Antonius joining in it was advantageous that in the war being waged against the Parthians the alliance of the celebrated king be joined to the Romans. The senate having been dismissed Caesar and Antonius and Herod coming out from the senate house together are escorted by the accompanying attendance of the magistrates, on the first day, on which the kingdom had been bestowed upon Herod by the decree of the senate, Antonius prepares a banquet and invites the king. At almost the same time Joseph the brother of Herod from the lack of water had arranged a flight during the night, but suddenly such a great force of rain poured upon the earth, that it filled every reservoir of water. [p. 53] Therefore the flight having been called off, which he was preparing to the Arab nation, he routed the forces of the besieging Antigonus partly by ambushes partly by attack and open battle. But generally with the departure of the enemy he kept himself in the fortress. And now Herod unexpectedly arrived from Italy in the city of Ptolomais of Syria having set out quickly by ship with a great troop of citizens and travelers he was seeking Antigonus, Ventidius and Silon the commanders of the Roman military forces meeting up with him, whom Antonius had ordered to be in attendance on the arriving Herod. Dellius using them against the enemy as ordered by Antonius although shuddering at the task, because Antigonus had turned each of them aside for a price, with the appearance however of the nearest he had persuaded to come together, accordingly Ventidius was delaying in the nearest cities for the purpose of repressing the commotions of the Parthian war, Silon however stationed inside Judaea in an open alliance with Antigonus was amassing money. But however Herod did not lack assistance, to whom all had adhered except a few of the Galilaeans, and because he had proposed that he should rescue his people from the siege at Masada as soon as possible, he captured Joppa placed in the middle by fighting, filled with a band of enemies, lest having progressed further he should leave an enemy in his rear, and although Antigonus desired to hinder his march, he took back Masada as an easy task and extracted his people from danger. Next having set out for Jerusalem when he had accomplished everything so that he had no necessity of fighting, asserting himself to be for the citizens against the rebellion, to have undertaken the battle not against his own people, harassed by the supporters of Antigonus with arrows and light javelins from the wall he forced those shouting against him to flee. Nor would there have been any delay of the victory, if [p. 54] Silon the commander of the Roman troops had not suborned the soldiers, who from want had made complaint and everything around the walls having been devastated they alleged in excuse the difficulty of useful things and the meanness of provisions and already the time was at hand when it was necessary for them to depart to winter quarters, they threatened themselves about to break up the command, unless it was assented to. And the rebellion would already have grown strong, if Herod offering himself as mediator equally to the centurions and the soldiers had not pleaded, that they should not forsake him, whom Caesar and Antonius and the senate too had joined together in upholding, since especially it was promised that nothing of advantage would be neglected. And the speech having been completed having gone out into the region suddenly he caused an abundance of all things to be made available to the army, so that no excuse was left for Silon. And from that time the spirits of everyone having been raised with two thousand foot soldiers and five hundred horsemen he recovered Iudumaea the army of the Romans having been calmed already and stationed in winter quarters. The leader of this achievement Joseph was chosen for a lighter task, lest he should think something involving greater danger should be undertaken against Antigonus. He himself however when he had stationed his family and supporters taken out of Masada in Samaria, those fortifications and things which he believed would be of advantage having been provided for, in the frozen winter and all places filled with snow outstripping news of his approach having entered for refitting without any battle into Sepphoris formerly called by this name, which was afterwards called Diocaesaria, whom the winter frost and roads rough with ice had fatigued, which he judged advantageous; for there were in that place great supplies of foodstuffs. Where with his soldiers restored by food and their stationary placement, he thought that battle must be undertaken against the brigands, who overrunning the entire region [p. 55] ground down the inhabitants of the places no less than a military incursion. Therefore at first he sent ahead a certain part of the horsemen and foot soldiers against the village Arbela and he himself with remainder of the troops was present forty days later. But however the brigands were not frightened by the appearance of the army, but considering that a charge must be made with arms, they displayed military discipline and the recklessness of brigands. A clash having been held the left wing of Herod fell back, but Herod quickly restored it and reinforcements having been added he stationed his men, he overpowered them being overtaken and overcame their attack. Who were unable to endure Herod fighting hand to hand, having pursued those turning aside all the way to the Jordan he delivered them to death. All the rest were scattered beyond the river, so that Galilaea was freed from all fear of raids only those remaining, who hiding themselves in lairs and digging in caves delayed the victory. There were however in the steep places of the mountains, in the hollow dens of the rocks, presenting fearful appearances among the sharp rocks impassable on all sides and impossible except by approach to the inhabitants of the places, who by transverse paths and narrow stony tracks, by which alone they were accustomed to be approached, they were safer by the practice of danger being applied against danger. Blind within the recesses of caves, in front of which a rock projecting as if from the ridge of the continent all the way to the deep meeting of the waters removed hope of approaching the position made hazardous on all sides, from the brow of the mountains by falling waters and the ragged course of the rivers, so that the fall of the plunging streams and the rock overhanging with deep gullies give more of terror. Finally for a considerable time the king from uncertainty hesitated not discovering how he should defeat nature, afterwards however having made use of a scheme of this nature that a defence having been devised in the manner of boxes he shut in the strongest whom [p. 56] armed he lowered with certain ropes to the very mouths of the caves, who began easily to slaughter and to kill the unarmed and with every relative and generation and if any dared to resist to burn them with fire thrown in. There was no place for pity, moreover Herod wishing to rescue many from death and to give trust in fleeing to himself turned them aside to a greater extent, so that not one attached himself to Herod voluntarily and if any were driven by force they preferred death to captivity. Finally one of the elderly, whose seven sons and wife were present, for whose safety he was able to take counsel, killed all of them in this manner, he himself stood in the entrance ordering each one to come out and he killed the one of his sons appearing. Herod catching sight of such a sad and miserable deed, weakened by paternal bonds, held out his hand and asked with words, that he should spare his children promising safety. But he was not at all influenced by these words and having reviled the king killed his sons and wife above, the bodies of his sons having been thrown down from on high at last he gave himself headlong to the abyss. Terrified by these things Antigonus, because Herod had so easily overcome the multitude of brigands and the difficulty of their locations, he indeed refused his own presence, but turned himself against Ptolomaeus, whom Herod had put in charge of a part of the army, and a man very suitable for the trick of war through those, to whom it was the habit to disturb Galilaea, by a sudden attack he forced Ptolomaeus to be killed. He killed also Joseph the brother of Herod, his brother being occupied in other parts, actively fighting back with Roman soldiers, who having been collected had advanced recklessly to his aid. Not content with such a great triumph he added to the victory a painful insult against the dead, that he was left with his head cut off, for which Ferora the brother of the slain [p. 57] offered fifty talents but did not obtain it. By which victory the enthusiasm of many inside Galilaea was again changed to Antigonus, the tasks of war were renewed. Herod hastened to Antioch; there in a sufficiently pleasant place which they name Daphnen he rested, when the news having been received of the death of his brother lamenting for a brief while he put aside the sorrow of his suffering, he prepared vengeance. Antigonus did not receive his raging resentment, but hid himself within the fortifications. Herod broke in, that he should take vengeance on the originators of such a heinous crime, and easily routed the opposing army. There was a great slaughter of many, the streets were obstructed by the bodies of the dead, so that he very roads were filled with the corpses of the slain. The battle had been finished with all routed by flight, if Herod had thought he should immediately direct his route to Jerusalem. Antigonus threw away his spears, he feared the final punishment. All were confused by fear so that, when Herod had been called from pursuing by the severity of the winter and arms having put down he had entered the public baths accompanied by one servant, three men ran to him with drawn swords, then many, who had fled from the battle seeking hiding places. These alarmed by fear the king having been seen crossed through and hastened to the exit of the baths, so that they were able to escape, who were able to produce the death of the king and end the war; finally there was no one who could seize those fleeing. From which Herod concluding, how great a fear was in the enemy, devoted himself to the battle and killed Pappus the leader of the opposing army and ordered his head to be cut off, because his royal brother Joseph had been killed by him. [p. 58]

XXXI. Meanwhile Antigonus who had prepared for flight delayed; whom delaying Herod besieged with the army poured around and gave attention to that part which was before the temple, actually that part where Pompey had broken into the city. However a great anticipation of victory was already upon the king. As with the siege having been started he was distracted to receiving as wife the daughter of Alexander and changing the trumpet call to a wedding celebration and mixing a wedding with war; and having seized the opportunity of a union from the occurrence of battle he turns back from the festival to war. Sossius came up sent by Antonius for assistance to the king. And thus the men having been joined since the Romans excelled in the practice of war and in military discipline and were supported by the desire of pleasing the king, a forcible entry having been made in barely the fifth month, the Herodians having dared to climb the wall, moreover the centurions of the Romans rushing in. Then there were countless slaughters, everything about the temple laid waste. Some fleeing to the temple, others collecting in their homes were cut down, no compassion for old age, none for infancy or feminine weakness. Antigonus presented himself and heedless of the place threw himself at the feet of Sossius. But the latter, whom such a great turning upside down of things ought to have prompted to compassion, having jeered the prostrate Antigonus called him, he did not however spare him like a woman, but thrust him bound into confinement. Herod was in doubt, how he should rescue the homeland from the hands of the Romans, how he might save the temple from being polluted by the gentiles. For the Romans were hurrying to look at the more intimate mysteries, to desecrate the holy of holies. In truth the king now by requests now by threats removed every one, having thought the victory worse than flight, if anything of the sacraments should be revealed. The Romans insisted upon booty, Herod resisted, [p. 59] lest they should leave an empty city for him and the rule of a desert would be left to him. Sossius spoke to the soldiers against the pillage of the captured city. But the king from his own promised the soldiers he would give them money and thus he saved with money the rest of his country which remained; he fulfilled what he had promised, he supported the soldiers most kindly, he rewarded the leaders reasonably, Sossius himself with royal generosity. No one departed ungrateful. Sossius offered the crown to god and having set out took Antigonus with him to Antonius, whom he struck as a man of degenerate mind with an axe.

XXXII. Herod moreover having given much even to his men, gave very much to Antonius and his friends as a gift, he was not able however to buy from Antonius security for himself. For already Antonius overwhelmed by love of Cleopatra was serving her interests and enslaved was a servant to his lust, and was not able to overcome her feminine appetites and especially of the practiced woman in the slaughters of her relatives, who having been killed she had joined their possessions to her own as if spoils. With the same avarice likewise and cruelty if she had received anyone from Syria who according to rumor was rich she caused them to be killed and Antonius having been enslaved already to her desires she thought the kingdom also of Judaea and Arabia, the governing people of each nation having been killed, could be added to her avarice. But although drunk with lust in sleep Antonius serious in this matter came to his senses, so that he declined to kill such men and powerful kings in accordance with the command of that impudent woman. However lest he dismiss them unharmed, he struck down their friends, he took away the greatest part of their possessions and especially that region which produced balsam, all the cities located [p. 60] within the river Eleutherus, Tyre and Sidon however excepted, he awarded to the cupidity of Cleopatra. Who cajoled by the man with such a bribe, followed Antonius setting out against the Parthians all the way to the Euphrates, she returned through Judaea, where Herod did not overlook to win over the mind of the queen to himself with gifts and especially bribes. To whom favorable things increased her arrogance, so that immoderate womanish behavior lifted her up beyond bound, so that not much later the king of the Parthians Artabases the son of the very powerful king Tigranes was given to her as a gift. Whom Antonius holding as a captive with all the booty and Persian spoils destined for his triumph awarded to the woman as a common slave, so that the more illustrious had been his victory, the more disgraceful had been his bribery, which dishonored kings with mockery. But not for long was she master of favorable things, who knew not how to use them, with womanly haughtiness she aroused Augustus against herself. And so with great efforts the Actiacus war was prepared on both sides. Unhesitatingly the king with Antonius entered into the war, because Judaea was empty of the hostile uproar and he had recovered Hyrcania long held by the sister of Antigonus. But in this also Herod was most fortunate, to whom it was inadvisable to mix himself in a foreign dangers. Therefore Cleopatra wishing to alienate and divert his mind from the kings, persuaded the man, that Herod should wage war against the Arabs, by which if he should be the winner, Arabia would fall to the queen, if he should be the loser, the rule of Cleopatra would be extended into Judaea. Whichever should conquer, the other would pay off. Which action not according to plan but according to the outcome favored Herod. Who as soon as he started the battle, stronger in cavalry he routed the enemy, in the end he is overcome by the great number of the enemy and surrounded by their number, the men of the adversaries having gathered in Canatha, against whom wishing to strengthen his line, the minds of his men elated [p. 61] by the outcome of the preceding and for that reason sallying against the enemy, he was deserted by the treachery especially of Athenius, whom Cleopatra had joined to the leader, not that he should aid Herod, but that he should desert him in difficult in difficult straits. Finally the Arabs attacked his army deserted in rocky and impassable terrain and scatter and rout it with great slaughter and having pursued those put to flight to their refuge give them over to destruction. Herod indeed arrived later than necessity demanded, buy however having avenged the calamity in following battles he so afflicted the Arabs, that they often lamented that one victory of theirs. Besides a great weakness of minds is added by an upheaval of the earth, by which many cattle and almost thirty thousand men also were swallowed up. Every military troop however there which stayed in the open air survived unharmed. From this cause also the spirits of the enemy were raised as they thought they might more easily invade a deserted Judaea and and crush those struck by such prodigies. From which Herod thought they should be roused to his defence, and especially because he had learned that the envoys whom he had sent to Arabia had been treacherously killed. With this speech therefore he addressed those trembling: “since the state of the enemy has been broken by so many of our favorable battles to the point of their confession, who stirred up by a frenzied resentment about to be conquered have killed our envoys, it seems strange to me, that an irrational fear has struck you so strongly, that you put fortuitous events of the elements before the famous successes of our valor. There was no encounter, in which the Arabs did not immediately fall back and turned back into flight think that they must yield and, as they held themselves stolen things of war, that they had captured remedies by trickery and ambush, not that they themselves had conquered, but that they had delayed our victory. For whom since it is necessary to be confident, [p. 62] a disturbance followed as if a terrifying event of war, because the earth trembled, since they alone were innocent who are waging war, or if we wish to consider whom it impedes, we consider rather the Arabs, whom it it has led into war, that they have not taken themselves from the braver by fleeing. For I see them relying not on arms and strength but to have come back to the battle line because of the looses of our herds. For fragile is the hope, which depends not from confidence of its own valor but upon the distress of others, since on earth nothing is so changeable as either favorable things or adverse things. In a few moments the conditions of human fortunes are changed; neither long lasting prosperity nor adversity is persevering. And so neither misery nor the contrary is everlasting, but there are frequently successive and various changes of circumstances in the same. Finally from things it is permitted to take an example; in the previous conflict we were superior, but in the process of the battle our luck changed, so that we were conquered by those whom we had beaten. And so it is for us to hope, that they may be conquered by us, who had beaten us. For too great presumption and neglectful of self is always incautious. Fear however warns to look into the future and teaches care. In prosperity boldness creeps in and ill-advised rashness does not know to await the plan of the commander. Finally you advancing against my opinion the worthlessness of Athenio discovered an opportunity of doing harm. Now your alarm hurries to me the expectation of victory. Arouse therefore your spirits and raise the old brave spirit of the Jews; let not the agitations of things not knowable by the senses frighten you, nor consider the motions of the earth the signs of a second disaster. The sufferings of the elements have their harm, but you should not fear anything other than what is offensive in itself. For there are not signs of danger in the motion of the earth and the affliction of animals but dangers themselves. There is nothing therefore that we should fear as burdens to be borne [p. 63] who have borne more burdensome things. He is able to be more well-disposed who has taken vengeance and more merciful, than if he had not taken vengeance. What is preserved after an earthquake and plague except sympathy, because we set free doubled sins. And however we have untouched what is useful for war; for plague has taken away those placed outside of the war, our victory moreover has taken from the enemy, what they consider proper for war. Afterward for us there were dead cattle, for them the decision who thought the envoys we sent must be killed against justice and divine law. They transgressed against the law of all men, indeed of themselves barbarians, among themselves also, who are ignorant of civilization, envoys are considered untouchable. While heavenly vengeance is to be feared and god is feared as the avenger of such a heinous crime. This therefore our adversaries have let in, which neither human nor divine laws leave unpunished. Let us march out therefore not for territory or spoils but about to do battle for injury to the gods. Not love of wife or children urges us to battle but the protection of god obtained. We are carrying out not our own decisions but the sacred orders of divine law, that for them we claim vengeance, whom religion orders must be untouchable. Between hostile arms an embassy alone is a mediator of peace, he puts aside his enemy who is engaged in an embassy. Whose blood now cries out to god and demands vengeance. Let us therefore hasten to battle while we have god the revenger and avenger of those murdered. They are fighting better for us and surrounded by hosts of angels spread before in the battle line.” Having exhorted his troops with such words he charged against the enemy seeking every opportunity of fighting. The Arabs were superior in numbers but inferior in spirit, whence an attack having been made almost five thousand of them were slain. The rest taking themselves into the fortifications were overcome by a lack of water, so an embassy having been sent [p. 64] they asked peace for a price. But when they saw themselves to be put off and their thirst was being inflamed further by the failing water, many coming out voluntarily offered themselves up to their enemies, preferring to die by the sword rather than from thirst, whom Herod guarded in fetters lest there should be treachery. And so in five days almost four thousand were taken in, others coming forth to fight again were killed to the number of seven thousand men. Humbled by which disaster the Arabs, as much inferior in courage as they were outstanding in good sense, sought from the king, whom they held an enemy, that he himself should be a defender and protector for them.

XXXIII. But a greater concern struck him the victor, as some one who had brought something upon himself, he trembled at not now the danger overhanging him of territory but of the entire kingdom. Antonius having been conquered whom he had joined to himself in faithful friendship. In fact Augustus Caesar the winner of the battle of Actiacus considered Antonius not yet overcome, since Herod had survived the victory. In anxiety therefore the king since he had discovered from a true source that Caesar had gone to Rhodes, sailed to him lest rumor should arrive before his earthly journey, and arriving his crown having been put aside he presented himself in private dress but with the mental attitude of a king. In fact leaving out nothing of the truth he kept his loyalty, he held on to his authority. “I,” he said, “Augustus, confess not to have been a true ally of Antonius, rather someone who received the kingdom from him, to whom I do not deny myself a debtor up to now; I would have demonstrated that with arms, if Cleopatra had not been jealous and the Arabs had not prevented it. From that necessity I did not bear arms against you, not as the deserter of a friend or as one afraid of battle, but as occupied at home with managing affairs. Antonius did not perceive me as ungrateful to him, to whom I not present sent the assistance of the army and countless supplies of grain. [p. 65] And also you, Caesar, would not have judged me unmindful of his kindnesses, if I had been at the Actiacus battle. See that I leave out nothing. Before you I fear more to be seen ungrateful to your enemy than to be seen an enemy to you. Your judgement to me is more serious that the war, before whom not the merits of valor but crimes are tried. And I before you prefer to be tried for faithfulness rather than for unfaithfulness. See, Caesar, that I did not abandon the uninjured Antonius, I did not run away from him beaten. You conquered, Caesar, Antonius with your great legions, you conquered with your intelligence, you conquered with the strength of the Roman empire, which he abandoned, and which he refused, and truly he was beaten by your power but more by his behavior. His wife Cleopatra conquered him, his Egyptian love conquered him, his Conopeian extravagances conquered him, it conquered him, because he preferred to be conquered with Cleopatra rather than to conquer without her. A woman more dangerous to her own people than to her enemies conquered him. I had urged the death of the woman, if he wished to take counsel for himself, I had promised aid with which I would repair damage, I had promised forces with I would protect him fleeing, I offered myself as a companion in war, but the desires of Cleopatra blocked up his mind. He was conquered because he did not wish to hear me, I too was conquered with Antonius with less shame however, because Cleopatra conquered him, Antonius conquered me. He left behind a foreign woman, I did not abandon a friend. I laid aside the crown with him, but I have come to you retaining the favor of a faithful friend; I have given up the emblems of royal power, but I have not cast away the consciousness of worth. Judge as you wish, I however, of whatever kind your judgement, I return thanks with myself, that it will be thought that I was a friend of this sort.”

XXXIV. Caesar responded to these things: “Be in good health,” he said, “and now enjoy your reign more, because we do not dislike good character but we delight in it. For you are worthy to rule many, who thus protect [p. 66] friendship, so that you do not reject him placed in adversity and you do not blush to confess him a friend to you. But you have sufficiently proved to honor the more fortunate to cling to and to keep faith in good circumstances as in adverse circumstances. Antonius conquered you, but I will not consider you conquered, whom friendship has made equal to the victors. Therefore you may make requests fom us, because no outcome of the war has changed you, seeing that you did not abandon Antonius but Antonius earlier abandoned you, who entrusted himself more to Cleopatra than to you. The foolishness of that man gained you for us, because he picked the worst for himself, he rejected faith. It is no wonder that Antonius conquered should adhere to Cleopatra, by whom a victor he was captured. Why should you wonder, if Cleopatra made Antonius defect from you, since he separated from me and from a wife made an enemy of the empire? And so you were rejected with us and therefore the kingdoms with us. Nor indeed is this empty of benefit because, while we are occupied with civil war, you made the untamed people of Arabia subject, because we consider the enemies of the Jews as our enemies. For they carry arms against us who attack you. Therefore you fought for us, when you conquered for yourself, and thus we reward you, so that your kingdom is confirmed as our gift. Meanwhile your favor is not at all reduced, we undertake in the future that you do not need Antonius. Nor indeed is it fitting, that we do not conquer with benevolence whom we have conquered by war.” When he had said this, he placed the crown on his head, adding painstaking attention to the gift. Encouraged by this esteem of Caesar wishing to reduce his displeasure against Alexan, one of the friends of Antonius, a man against whom Caesar was greatly angered, [p. 67] he pleaded with much prayer, but very great anger left no place for pardon. Having followed the march of Caesar setting forth into Egypt and having supplied all things, which were of use to him or to the army, he acquired the greatest goodwill and enthusiasm of the commander for himself, especially because in the very dry places all the way to Pelusium an abundant supply of water was supplied with royal foresight. With which services he infused a great love for himself into everyone, so that it was thought he deserved more than he had received and that the rule of a kingdom was less than the liberality of his kindness deserved. Therefore Caesar from this opinion, things having been accomplished in Egypt, Antonius and Cleopatra having died, returned to Herod not only what had been taken away, truly even beyond those things which Cleopatra had stolen, he granted to him Gadara, Ipponen, Samaria. He bestowed also at the same time the maritime cities, Gaza, Anthedon, Joppa, and Strato’s Tower; also four hundred bodyguards from Gaul, surrounded by whom Cleopatra traveled, he granted many other things for the protection of the body of the king. But from all these things the king considered most important that above all he was loved, by Caesar below Agrippa only, by Agrippa below Caesar only.

XXXV. And so in the fifteenth year of his reign, that he should respond to his blessed condition and favor, having been lifted up by such a great success of favorable things, he strained for goodness and so that he might demonstrate himself grateful to the heavenly gods for the favors flowing to him without limit, he adorned the temple, and he surrounded with a wall all that circuit of space about the temple and the space having been doubled he enclosed it at great expense of building and with exquisite beauty. For evidence there were great covered walks about the sanctuary, which he raised up from the foundations. Nor was his purpose less of guarding than of beautifying, [p. 68] accordingly he strengthened the fortress lying to the north, which he named Antonia in honor of Antonius, not at all inferior to the higher palaces. He added even in the citadel of the royal home twin residences of great extent of wonderful beauty, to whose grace you would think nothing should be added. One of them was named Caesarium, the other Agrippium, so that in his dwellings the lasting memory of such great friends would be celebrated. He also not only completed the building of the city Sebaste but even filled it with inhabitants, But I will not follow up every one, not at all easily was any place of long established cities neglected, which declining he did not renew or adorn with the buildings added which were seen to be lacking. Pouring his gifts to the five years contests he enriched that common class of men with his poured out riches. He even founded a temple of white marble to Caesar near the sources of the Jordan having been made unmindful of religious scruples, so that he consecrated a temple to the man and introduced a practice of the gentiles into Judaea. The name of the place is Panium, where a mountain of lofty height with a high peak extends high into the air, in whose side a gloomy cave is found, through which an oppressive abyss of a smelly precipice breathes out a harsh noxious exhalation. Within there was a meeting of the waters and without any motion much force, so that no estimation of the boundless depth could be made; without however around the base of the mountain itself springs gush out. Whence many have thought the source of the Jordan to be in that place, still it seems to us to us what the truth holds must be discovered in the future. There was [p. 69] in the coastal regions a city, which was called the Tower of Strato, already exhausted by frequent wars and decayed by old age itself into ruin, but prominent however by the the suitableness and loveliness of the place, which he renewed with white stone and buildings of the imperial court, and in it he expressed the character of his greatness of soul and the elegance of the work. For located in the middle between two coastal cities Dora and Iopen it is bound up in both directions by a harborless seashore, so that all whoever they may be who desire to travel from Egypt to Phoenicia, are rocked in the ocean, because in that place the sea is frequently stirred up by the winds and especially by the gusts of the southwest wind, by whose even more moderate blowing a disorder is raised, and likewise struck by the jutting rocks and thrown back by the broken attack it irritates the savage sea by yielding. And so the king setting no limit of expense conquered nature by greatness of soul and established a port greater than Piraeus and in it the devastation of the rocks having been penetrated he established safe stations. Also having measured the distance, to the size the port would come to, he put huge rocks into the sea, to which the depth was fifty feet and to others even greater. He divided the port itself with great towers, one of which he named Drusium, so that the name of Drusus, which was from the ancestors of Caesar, should weave into his conspicuous works. He even placed shorter steps at more frequent places, through which without severe labor ships could be hauled; he even beautified the entire loveliness of that port with three gigantic statues. Again he established a temple to Caesar in an elevated place and in the middle of the temple he placed a large statue with the name of Augustus as a likeness of the man himself, which was of not less magnitude [p. 70] than the likeness of Jupiter of Olympus or of Juno of Argos. You would not know the beauty in such great difficulties or the strength of the work and you might think the protection in such great beauty to be outstanding, since the work remains indestructible to the sea or age. And so many advantages accrue in one work; for a great city is added to the province and a port to sailors and honor to Caesar, from whose name Caesarea was named in this time.

XXXVI. The society sought of one woman lowered and weakened with sad pain this political power of the king flowing to his triumphal successes, from which against justice and divine law he thought a wife should be measured by the rank of her birth rather than by love, a certain royal practice. For he had in association a woman of Jerusalem Dosis by name, joined to himself a commoner previously, who ought to have been more pleasing to him, who had been good for her husband, with whom he had arrived at the royal peak. But unmindful of this goodness he cast aside Dosis, he marries Mariamme the granddaughter of Aristobolus, the daughter of Alexander. And so while he pursued noble birth, he met with turmoil, which his own home did not find fitting for him, to which the many peoples of the different provinces were submissive. And lest the eyes of the new bride with a stepmother’s dislike should be offended by him placed at home whom Dosis had given birth to, Antipater, for that was the name of the youth, was ejected not only from his father’s dwelling but also from the entire city, he made a situation with the inauspicious wedding, which he was celebrating with the banishment of his only son, and he was hardly summoned for the solemnities of the festal days. The woman seeing her husband to be compliant to her was even turned by the jeers of piety into haughtiness; for the reason was added, by which her mind was rightly inflamed, that she discovered that Hyrcanus her grandfather had been killed through the treachery of her husband, falsely accused because of a desire for royal power. [p. 71] He is the person about whom we made mention before, whom Barzafranes who was ruling the Persians, when he had seized Syria, took away captive, and held at first in Parthia, afterwards having pitied his worsened fate, relinquished to the Jews demanding him, who were living beyond the Euphrates. And would that he had conceded to those entreating him, even that he had believed those warning him, that the political power of his relatives should not in the manner of human nature arouse him, so that he would make the passage to Herod; she would be a danger to him, because desirous of saving his royal power he stirred up none more than those closest to him, and he should beware his relatives. But he from the tedium of living abroad and the desires of his people crossed the Euphrates, he returned into Judaea. Because he descended deeper into the breast of Herod than anyone had thought, not that he aspired to the royal power, but because a man of the royal stock and with the privilege of power long exercised him to be able to abstain from it was thought uncertain. The noose of death for Hyrcanus was therefore the husband of his granddaughter, with whose influence he had hurried to Herod, not knowing that captives lived more safely among the enemy than relatives near the king. And so with not even a slight expectation of ruling he was killed for this alone, that the kingdom was seen to be properly his. Meanwhile he loved Miriamme with an immoderate love and did not want her offended. Numerous offspring had piled favor upon the woman. For she had borne him five children, but of the three sons the youngest had died at Rome, while he was receiving a gentlemanly education. The remaining two were honored beyond the mode of commoners in royal style. The reason for the youths was the nobility of their mother and his rise in the kingdom, because they had been born with their father already ruling, but [p. 72] especially the love of Miriamme, by which the king was daily more and more inflamed, so that although no change of love was returned to him by his wife, he took care however that he should not sadden the mind of his wife in anything. With equal weight the hatred of his wife and the love of the man fought against him. More justly however Miriamme hated the man loving her, which Miriamme not loving him Herod loved, the hatred of the woman arose from the outrage, from the reliance on love, because first, by the grief of a granddaughter, she was turned away, second she was lifted up by the servility of a lover. And thus not even by the reprimands of the things thrown forth did he temper the crime, that he had through wickedness snatched away from her her grandfather Hyrcanus and her brother Jonathan, although one was his wife’s grandfather, the other a relative by marriage, the former ought to have been saved because feeble of old age, the latter at least because of his adolescent age. A shameful crime, to whom a youth of seventeen years he had committed the high priesthood, to whom immediately he had conferred the office he inflicted death for no other cause, as we grasp it, unless that having put on the priestly garments, when he first approached the high altar on the sacred and honored day, suddenly the people broke into tears. Because he was thus suspect to Herod, as he believed the people to have cried for joy and for that reason to have forsaken his affection for the boy, those tears to be indications of a wish, the enthusiasm of the people to be dangerous for himself, who showed with their inmost organs that they had enthusiasm for devotion to the young man, a noble descendent of kings, the son of a powerless woman, the brother of a shameless queen, who disdained her husband the king, who was about to rush forth to rule, if he were not timely taken from their midst, for whom beauty, for whom loveliness of appearance [p. 73]sufficed, by law it was thought that he should be preferred above all others. 4 And so he proposed to kill the young man. The mother of the youth attacked him, who was very keen for investigating and more vehement for avenging, nothing was endured hidden and nothing unpunished, and for this reason he decided to recall and restrain himself: Again the love heaped up as the days passed of everyone for the youth and the danger to his rule alarmed him. Whence aroused by a sudden rage he decided to take counsel for himself on some method.

XXXVII. The young man is sent at night to the city Jericho and there accustomed to take pleasure in his enthusiasm for swimming very many going together with him as if in a game, he is held submerged without limit, he is killed in the swimming pool. His sister did not tolerate this in silence, but from feelings of sisterhood announced it at a banquet and charged her husband that her brother had been taken from her by his order. Herself to have been abandoned by all, the home of her consort to be calamitous for her, who first took her grandfather from her, afterwards killed her brother, herself miserable to have been a cause of ruin for her relatives. Dire things to be called down upon her husband, father-in-law, and sister of the king; the common outrage of all, to ask god the avenger, that such a heinous crime should not be left unpunished. Herod received that as if captured by love and obedient to her commands, but the women raged and were not able to bear the insults of her cursing and her presumption expressing resentment, especially because overcome by his miracle Herod was not able to rise up against his beloved. And thus what the lover could to be more enraged with, a pretence of adultery is woven and a crime of this nature is constructed against the woman, that she had sent her likeness to Antonius in Egypt. That to have been a great lewdness, that to a man physically elsewhere and quick to passion, powerful besides, who made use of power in place of law, she offered her beauty for sale, that he might bid on her beauty. The woman [p. 74] had dishonored herself by the trafficking of an unusual auction from either the force of love or from hatred of her husband, danger for whom she had sought for the pay of adultery. With this fabrication of the women in the house of Herod Miriamme was loved the more the more she was seriously assailed, nor however was the accusation itself although made by resentful women completely contrary to the truth. For the mother Alexandria raging, because another was placed before her son Aristobolus in the priesthood — for by this name her son Ionathan, by which he brought back into memory his grandfather to have been king, preferred to be called — had sought from Antonius through a certain (trustee of documents?) the priesthood for her son trust was nearer the truth. Afterward the friend Gallicus of Antonius arriving in Judaea recognized the young man to have been wondrous because of the loveliness of his most outstanding beauty, not less even Miriamme, whose rank was higher, by the amount her fame was more illustrious, and perhaps was found so by a certain fashion of human nature, by which men dear to their intimate friends also want to declare themselves, if they are granting the society of their hospitable table also to their near kin. There also the opportunity was given to Alexandra of speaking with Sossius, granted that to an unimpeded widow another opportunity of becoming acquainted with her host would not be able to be lacking, since especially she would be seeking occasions and persons of that kind. Then a plan having been discussed on both sides it settled on this opinion, that pictures of both would be sent to Antonius. He was bound up by the magnificence of the pictures and especially by the testimony of Sossius, who declared himself to have seen nothing like it ever on earth and the beauty in them to be not of men but divine, meretriciously that it would arouse the greatest lusts of a man, he wrote Herod that he should send Aristobolus to him without delay, about Miriamme [p. 75] because she was married to him he let pass, not for the reason that he was accustomed in the presence of their husbands to conceal his lusts for those who were married, to whom without danger he would use, outrage without shame, but for the reason that he was taking precautions against the anger of Cleopatra, who indeed was offended by a rival of either sex, but more if she discovered a woman joined to her husband, because she thought herself to excel all women in beauty. And so the letter having been read Herod made the excuse that without a rebellion of the people and the disturbance of the entire nation he could not tear away the noble youth from his people and so that he might satisfy Alexandra, he promised the priesthood to Aristobolus, but since she thought herself to be mocked by a trick and a delay to be made to the promises, Alexandra prepared a ship and in the apparatus of flight itself the plan having been learned through Sabiones she was called back with her son. Alarmed by this Herod dissembled the offense for a time and quickened the conferring of the priesthood upon Aristobolus, so that by the appearance of honor he might conceal the hatred of the prepared murder, which having been accomplished, as we said, as if struck by lightning, at the same time he was stirred up by the crime of feigned adultery forged by his kin, because he knew Antonius to be quick to carnal desires, and unveiled lusts, from the fact that he was powerful, and burning for every amatory mode; also especially the inexpiable resentment and frightfulness of the rivalry of Cleopatra killed many of the men whom she had discovered too slow about restraining the licentious behavior of their wives. He recoiled in terror from the danger overhanging him not only of losing his wife but even of undergoing death. And so he himself proposed to hasten into Egypt so that he might prevail on Antonius or Cleopatra whom he chiefly feared. Others report that summoned by the letter of Antonius he exerted himself for the purpose [p. 76] that he might set forth the reasons of the young man having been killed. However about to depart, he reveals secretly to Joseph his relation by marriage, to whom Salome the sister of the king had come in marriage, that death had been suspected for himself because of a desire for the beauty of his wife, which it was disclosed a picture of her good looks having been sent the woman had made known. This he committed as a task to his relation, that if he himself should be killed by Antonius, he should kill Miriamme, so that a reward for her crime should not remain. Joseph, not at all, as I think, from a desire of betrayal but that he should put to rest the complaints of the woman against her husband, by which she said herself afflicted to burn with hatred of her husband, he reveals the order and interprets it as due to the affection of a lover, that not even dead could Herod allow himself to be separated from the companionship of his wife. But the woman quite otherwise than Joseph had judged this dragged to the argument of the still entangled cruelty against herself, after whose death still being exercised he had also ordered her execution to his own relation. He was disturbed by the injury to himself, he examined his own suspicions not with some proof of truth but urged the outcome of sudden death, there would be no end to the hatreds which were being stretched out beyond the end itself of life and health. But Joseph unmindful of the domestic evil, since he was trying to reconcile a hostile wife to her husband, inflamed the suspicions of his own wife against himself, which she considered the conversations of her own husband with Miriamme, the stops made not at all perfunctorily in the court of the king. Finally when her brother returned, she did not put aside the accusation, adding her own injury to the affronts to the king, because also from her Miriamme had taken away a husband. But Herod, although stricken, was not at all very seriously alarmed at first, nor did he present himself enraged to his wife, but overcome even by the force of love [p. 77] he began one day to swear to his wife, that he loved her with such great affection, that he had never blazed with desire for another woman, thus he threw all from his mind, that he kept trust in his wife. But she: “you declared your love for me adequately in the orders which you gave to Joseph, commanding that he should kill me. How is he able to love who is able to kill?” The king frantic immediately when he heard his secret to have been betrayed, from that began to think that Joseph was never about to betray him, unless captured by love of the woman he had sought the the reward of the betrayal in sexual intercourse. It revealed what lay hidden a long time, a crime in the open, an indubitable corruption, not in vain he aroused his sister who placed personal injury before all else. And so wild with too much anger and not in control of his mind he sprang forth from his bed fleeing the contagion of disgraceful misconduct, nor did the court seize him raging. His sister heard him shouting and immediately seizing the opportunity of alleging an argument, an opportunity of doing harm she confirmed the suspicions of the indignant person. And therefore driven by the pain of the offense, by the accusation of his sister he ordered both to be killed. Not much afterwards regret of the things done followed, and when anger abated, love followed, and and passion was reawakened and such a great heat of desire blazed up, that he did not believe her dead and in a departure of his mind he spoke to her as if living. And as if to her who was living he directed the boys, asking that rivalries having been put down she should come to him and restore him to marital pleasures, scarcely finally taught by a great interval of time did he believe her to have died, whom because of love as a woman of imperishable beauty he believed not to be able to die. So great was his passion for the dead woman. Finally afterward he became savage and [p. 78] is reported irritated by hatred into the murder of many present, nor did he suffer only from sickness of mind but even from a severe illness of the body, which they said had been contracted from plague and also from the air. For the more corrupt parts of the air drawn in gives rise to plague in many. Whence those experienced in medicine having been consulted he hid himself in the remote places of the forest and vigor have been gradually poured back from hunts he recovered good health of body and sobriety of mind.

XXXVIII. This also added to his marvels, by which he admired the grace of the deceased, himself to have suffered punishment for the unjust outrage and from the affliction of the elements had atoned the death of such a great beauty, by the ruin of the world, the death of one by the affliction of the people, vindicated however by an unequal fate, since the earth denied produce, famine increased the pestilence. A pure but immoderate knowledge of beauty brought to her husband in full possession of his senses this death of Miriamme. To whom magnanimity was superfluous, painstaking attention was lacking, so that she disdained the compliments of her husband, untroubled because she was able to endure nothing of ruin from him who loved her beyond measure. Not only did she discover vengeance for the present, but she transmitted inherited hatreds into the future. To whom followed her sons avengers of their mother’s resentment with pious love for their mother but with irreverent feeling for their father, although the law of nature should be shared to each of the parents with equal service. Nor did grief find them unpracticed. For having long been instructed at Rome in Latin alongside Greek literature, they had adopted a not ordinary astuteness and absent the death of their mother having been learned they were made violent into hatred of their father by many instigators. Also respect not even of the sight of their father [p. 79] had poured care into them having returned, their ill-will increased with age. The presumption arose even from the society of his wife because to one the daughter of Salome the granddaughter of Herod, to the other a daughter born to Archelaus, who held the kingdom of Cappadocia, had come in marriage, that the noble class of the union had given authority. Therefore Herod was offended by his sons’ silent nature more stirred up than the paternal tenderness could endure. Besides which he is frequently offended from his expression. And goads were added by those who as if worried frequently announced he should beware the treachery of his sons, asserting that vengeful of their mother’s death they were arming bands. Terrified by which Herod began to prefer Antipater the son of Doris to his brothers and began to excite favor to him by more plentiful affection, the royal court burned with greater hatreds and was struck by the conflict of the brothers, while they were indignant that the son of a woman who was a commoner was preferred to them born in royal power. He full of flattery the more he discerned himself inferior on his mother’s side, the more studiously he commended himself to his father, he did not cease to attack his brothers with fabricated accusations, until he himself through himself through others whom he had joined to himself excluded them from the paternal affections. Finally he took all expectation of ruling from them, so that by a will publicly established he was designated the sole successor of the supreme power. And sent to Rome to Caesar except for the emblem of the crown he was supported by every ornament and royal dress. Thence having returned into Judaea, the favor toward him of Caesar and many distinguished men having been increased, in an interval of almost no time he prevailed to such an extent, that he even restored his mother to the marriage of his father, and with the twin arms, the art of flattery and cunning in making accusations, he began to so attack his brothers before their father, that the father prepared death for his sons. Finally raging of mind he sought Rome Alexander dragged with him, [p. 80] whom he set before Caesar charged with the crime of magic against himself. He the opportunity having been given of responding to the charge and every complaint, when he saw to be at hand for himself the authority of such a great judge, who could neither be converted by Herod through influence, nor tricked by Antipater, having decided that nothing should be passed by he blunted the shameful acts of his father with a certain restraint, so that he seemed to neither urge them as an accuser nor to allow them to be hidden, since it would help his cause greatly if he demonstrated himself on account of the pain of his mother’s death to be attacked by the hatreds of his father. For in such trials nothing burdens children more, than the loyalty of nature and the influence of loyalty. Which if they are exhibited by some crime, prejudgment is reduced and its verdict hindered. Truly when it was come to the complaints of the father, rebutting with strong defenses he first showed his brother innocent of any crime, who was the sharer of their dangers, whom innocent he groaned to be called into judgment, the force of delivery and skill in speaking supported a clear conscience. He lamented most bitterly that nothing of honor had been left to him or his brother, that all had been taken away through the wickedness of his half-brother and the readiness of his father. Death for himself to be asked for, which his father hopes for to the point that he adds accusation, he attaches shameful things. With these words he forced everyone into tears and drew out the response of the court, that the accusation was not proven to Caesar, the father embraced reconciliation. It was very acceptable and most excellent to the Roman leader not only to have given a kingdom to the famous king but even to have restored his children. And so it was settled by a just balance, that respect for paternal rights remained unviolated and the innocence of the sons was protected, as was becoming for the father, that the children should be obedient, that he should exhibit the uninterrupted affection of nature for his sons, he might leave the kingdom however to whom he wished. Alexander returned with his father from the city of Rome freed more from judgment than from mistrust. For Antipater did not allow the mind of Herod to be free from hatred of his sons. And indeed he himself was [p. 81] the occasion of hatreds, he pressed still his pursuit with the appearance of a restorer so that he should not betray the public view of longed for brotherhood, he made plain his treachery. When it was come into Cilicia and sailing they landed at Eliusa, Archelaus received them with a rich banquet expressing thanks for the trial of his son in law Alexander, that freed from danger he had even been considered worthy of reconciliation. Furthermore he had asked friends in letters sent through his people, that they should be of assistance to the defence of his son in law, he presented him departing thirty talents a gift of hospitality and escorted him all the way to Zephyrium. Having returned home the king immediately summons the people, before whom he speaks in this manner.

XXXIX. “The reason for me, Hebrew citizens, of seeking Rome was both profitable and productive that Caesar should judge about my sons, so that I alone who was angry should not make inquiry. I proceeded to Caesar so that he who had given me the kingdom should make pronouncement about my successor. He added to his kindnesses that which was difficult he presented to the father his almost lost sons, to the brothers he restored amity which is above the kingdom. I return therefore richer than when I set out, I have learned to be a better father, because my sons have learned to be better children, by the kindness of Caesar. In fact he decided that the succession of my sons should depend upon my judgment; that the right of succession should not give birth to haughtiness, that I should give as successor to me whom I choose, him who had deserved it, him who had most honored his father. I will imitate Caesar, for he in absolving my younger sons made them equal to the oldest son. And so today at the same time I designate my three sons kings, age supports the one, birth the others. let not the number cause alarm, the size of the kingdom suffices for many. God is first the judge of my decision, afterwards you are added besides, whom Caesar joined, [p. 82] the father arranged, you follow with suitable honor, so that the honor may be neither immoderate nor too little. The one makes arrogant, the other makes angry. What is imparted to each as his share is sufficient for his merits. For something does not delight him so much whom it honors beyond measure, as it harms him to whom it denies what is owed. And generally each of them is hurt when there is a fawning of preference. I am certainly the father to all, the honor of my sons is certainly a pleasure of the father. If however anyone honors my children beyond measure, he is actually liable to me in behalf of my children, for whom he is the source of the fault. For the cultivation of effrontery is taken as too great. Should I be jealous of my children? May god forbid, but I prefer them to have less power with favor than more with rebellion. But it is a fact of haughtiness and plunder that it is quickly slipped into, which of pleasure is long held. Whence it will be a concern to me, that I will join the the sponsors of concord to my children as parents and friends, by whose encouragement they put on the affection of mutual love. But when every evil word poisons the mind of the hearer, then incessant conversations chiefly and lasting practice are accustomed to pour pestilence into the mind, which by a certain contagion quickly crosses into the habits of those dwelling together. Although there may be tranquility of behavior, however as a lake although placid, can rise into rage from disturbing winds, thus a good nature may be agitated by wicked counselors. And so I think that each one ought to put his greatest expectations in me, not indeed that he destroys me because he approaches my children. Each of the tribunes or soldiers ought to honor the father of the commanders more. I exist, I am he who will weigh out the reward to all for those things which you have bestowed even upon my sons. If I notice proper spirits I will reward the acts, an evil disposition will return its price, so that he is deprived of profit also whom he has believed to be flattering. You however, my good sons, consider first reverence for nature, whose favor [p. 83] binds wild beasts, which even forces savage animals into love of their relatives — there remains mutual love among untamed animals and wild creatures rescue their own kind from their own dangers — furthermore respect Caesar, who has made you from enemies into friends; third respect me myself, who prefer to ask when I am able to command: remain brothers, do not cast aside what you have been born to. I give you the imperial robes and training, but it is of more value that I persuade the pure mark of your love: if sense of duty remains, if royal power delights, but if gratitude is lacking, the supreme power is worthless and mostly harmful. Therefore while I am putting you to the test, you have meanwhile not the royal power but the honors of royal power. If you shall have valued your father, the duty will follow. Demonstrate however love of me in yourselves: as leaders you will get possession of all the things with which royal power is accustomed to delight, the burdens of rule and the troubles of work will remain mine alone, although I do not wish it. And so it is advantageous for you to prefer my things, because I both will and judge what things are yours and mine.” These things having been said he kissed his sons, so that he should bind them in turn to himself with one kiss of love. Which having been done he dismissed the convention.

XL. The majority departed happy, whom the concord of brotherhood pleased, but when dissension returned to the brothers, and more seriously by that amount, by which their position was superior who were more envied and to whom there was a greater power of doing harm. The sons of Mariamme grieved the son of a woman who was a commoner, who did not know the lineage of royal power, to have been made equal to themselves. On the other hand Antipater disdained the separate expectation of royal power of himself and his brothers and was jealous of his brothers, for whom the following were scarcely reserved before the chiefs. But he covered and veiled himself, pretending affection in place of dislike, they not even seeking any hostile meaning in their speech, with a tongue quick and lavish of secrets. Whatever they had said, [p. 84] was at once before Antipater, much even which they had not said was fabricated. The intermediary added much material with an increment. The author of everything by which the brothers were attacked was Antipater, whose life was nothing but a meeting of slyness, a theater of wickedness, the plotting of crimes, the service of scandals. He brought forward tale bearers, he suborned witnesses, he pretended a defense as if carrying around in a theater the personality of a brother, so that he would cast out the lighter charges, grant the more serious, by which he deceived their father more and aroused him more stongly against his brothers, he especially piled up with cunning hatred of a father’s murder made ready so that the kingdom might be seized, which from fear of danger was more suspected by kings. But lest these things might appear to the king less likely if no one objected, he himself first tried to refute them, then he wished himself to be seen to be constrained by the obvious proofs of the charges, so that the case having been delivered from both sides, as if nothing were lacking to a verdict, the father would be more aroused as if against convicted sons. For nothing gave more faith in the assertions than that Antipater was considered the defender of his brothers. By this trickery he captured the favor of most, he inclined the mind of his father to himself. Whatever was diminished daily from the brothers of paternal affection was transferred to himself. He enticed away the king’s friends and parents and he especially made Feroras the brother of the king and Salome his sister alienated from the prodigals, so that not only did they not defend them, but they even attacked and hated them. Glafyra the wife of Alexander added material of hatreds, who in woman’s fashion, quite overbearing of those present, [p. 85] had begun to extol herself with arrogant pride, for the reason that she excelled all the others in the fame of her lineage. And so she put herself forward as if she were the mistress of all who were in the royal court, and was accustomed to boast that the father and grandfather to her were kings and especially Darius the son of Hydaspes the highest honor of her mother’s line and to afflict Salome the sister of the king or Dosis his wife with insults of their low birth, which was a source of anger for them and of hatred against herself. She irritated the other women in similar fashion, who were joined to the king more because of their beauty than because of the nobleness of their birth. For Herod beyond the custom of kings even was delighted by the practice of the Jews as if by a certain freedom of error, who considered the fashions of their ancestors a cloaking of their own faults. Therefore Alexander bore with reluctance the haughtiness of his wife. Aristobolus also reproached his wife with the same words as Glaphyra, her of low status not matching the royal descendants, unequal to Glaphyra, it to be a shame to him that his brother had gained a wife of royal family, he had lowered himself by union to a commoner as wife: who raging dismayed his own relatives by his reproaches. Struck with which abuses the wife of Aristobolus carried them to her mother with tears. Salome however announced the things learned through her daughter to king Herod. But he believing it better to warn his sons rather than destroy them, summoned and partly terrified them imperially, partly with paternal affection exhorted them that they should love their brother and not be separated like enemies, offering pardon for prior offenses, threatening punishment for future offenses. But they lamenting themselves to be attacked by many charges that had been settled, beseeched and at the same time promised with their actions in the future that they would be given belief in their own defense, only their father should look at their acts and not rashly believe things heard. For indeed they would not lack [p. 86] dishonest accusers in the future, so long as he a credulous hearer was at hand. The father having been softened by these and such, although they pushed aside for a time the overhanging fear, they piled up sadness, because they saw themselves to be attacked by Feroras and Salome, one of them their paternal uncle, the other the sister of their father by whom who should have been a defence they were ambushed. A great fear was added, because they had great influence with their brother. For with the crown excepted, Herod shared almost the entire rule of the kingdom with his brother. He had bestowed not ordinary wealth upon both and especially upon Feroras. In fact he put away a yearly payment of one hundred talents besides that region, which located beyond the Euphrates increased the amount of his income. He had also been appointed a tetrarch by Caesar at the request of Herod. And besides he had been presented with a relative of the royal consort, because he had received the sister of the royal consort in the function of his marriage partner. After whose death the oldest daughter of the king having been betrothed to him he advanced in the gratitude of his son in law, except that captured by the love for a slave girl he rejected the bond of the royal maiden. Enraged by which insult Herod handed over his daughter to him who later was slain in the Parthian war. Feroras however was accused before him that he had sought the life of his brother with poison, which suspicion he had not lacked not even when his wife was still living, at first the questioning of many and finally of his friends having been enforced, he willingly acquitted him found free of his crime which was alleged, giving even pardon for the flight the arrangement entered into, that the slave girl whom he loved having been seized, he should flee to the Parthians, he was exposed by the confessions of his household members. Alexander had enjoyed to some extent a respite, while Feroras is attacked and he himself attacks Salome because she had pledged her marriage to Sylleus the son of Obaedas, who was the [p. 87] deputy of the king of Arabia and very unfriendly to Herod. But the accusation having been relaxed for each, the storm of the household fell upon Alexander and enveloped him with great danger. For Antipater raged with the savageness of a plague and the storm of the entire court, attacking his brother in every way and with the support of his relatives, so that his father with the state of his sober mind disturbed protested with a loud voice that Alexander stood over him with a sword. A scene of this type had come into view, that Alexander had enticed three eunuchs, one of whom was accustomed to tend the cups of the king, another to bring in the food tray of dinner, the third to watch the royal couch and never to leave when Herod had settled himself in bed, with rich gifts to his favor and participation in shameful acts. Which having been brought forth forced by tortures the eunuchs revealed the wantonness of obscene lust. For unable to hide the love potions promised they related with what words they had been solicited and with what price of shame, so that parricide wrapped in disgraceful conduct was believed. There was in him the grace of youth the charm of beauty, the strength of age, contrasted to a feeble Herod already oppressed by old age, who dyed his hair, lest it betray his age, from which since he wished the right of ruling should be transferred to himself, it was necessary that great rewards be promised and thus for them to establish their hope in a youth, not in a decrepit old man, for whom nature itself was hastening an end. Which things indeed seriously disturbed Herod, but he considered it more important than the rest that it was discovered from the information of the eunuchs that the military troops and the leaders of the army and the centurions were conspiring against him. Indeed he was so aroused, that he thought that no type of savagery should be omitted, that he should believe no one, that he should consider everyone suspect. Punishments were swifter than investigations of the crimes, and the death of the culprits [p. 88] preceded judgment. They were seized everywhere for punishment whom any suspicion attacked. False accusations abounded, many wishing to please the king lodged information against the guilty, but immediately even those who reported others were denounced and were led with their guilty parties to the place of punishment. And so Herod brutalized everyone, so that if anyone remained who was suspected, the king not otherwise thinking himself to be safe unless the human race should become extinct, with irreconcilable accusations, disbelieving his friends, arrogant to his familiars, unmerciful to the guilty, terrified of everything so that he changed his residence frequently, spent his nights without sleep. Who exasperated by all suddenly surrounded Alexander bound in chains with guards and summoned his friends for investigations. Those who refused died during tortures, those who were silent, because they revealed nothing in support of suspicions, were tortured to death. However some overcome by the harshness of the tortures and punishments, asserted that it had been proposed by the youths, that they should kill their father while he was intent upon hunting and proceed to the city of Rome without delay, so that they should foil punishment by flight. Although it was supported by no evidence, the father however derived support of his fierce pursuit wishing to have just reasons for the chains of his son. And so therefore Alexander considering the ears of his father to be blocked against any defense of himself and that in no way was the thing able to be diverted, so that he would presuppose him innocent, who was assailed by such a mass of false accusations, he thought that the wicked accusers must be met by similar craft, that he should surround with snares the deceitful contrivers of false accusations and call those guilty into calumny, by whose calumnies he believed himself to be threatened. He wrote therefore four small books, in which he confessed the invention of a crime by which [p. 89] he threatened the safety of his father, and he exposed those accomplices of this type of treacheries many of them those by whom he himself had been attacked. And in these same booklets he especially wrote of Feroras and Salome, that also in the dead of night the sleeping chamber of the youth having been broken into in which he lived she enticed him unwilling and extorted from him resisting that he should commit incest. He sent the booklets to the king as informers of his shameful acts, with which he involved the very powerful who were companions and friends of the king. Archelaus came quickly at the right time into Judaea, so that he should bring what he could of help and aid to his son in law and daughter. But foreseeing the chances of a genuine defense before the hostile father to blocked to him, he skillfully repressed his agitation. For as soon as he entered the royal court, in a loud voice although he was already heard and seen by Herod as if furious of mind he began to shout: “Does that poisonous son in law of mine still live and despoil this light? I ask where he is, where may I find that parricidal head, that I may rend it with my own hands? By parricide he ought to perish, who wished to commit parricide. What will he do with a father in law who has not spared his father? Who will point him out? I will disembowel the scoundrel first, may I give my daughter to a good bridegroom; although she was not conscious of his wickedness, she is not however removed from contagion, who is in the power of a parricide. I do not acknowledge a daughter who does not recognize the tricks of her husband, who has not shown herself such a daughter in law to her father in law that she returned the son made subject to his father. I gave her in marriage not for the service of crime but for participation in matrimony, that she should show herself the joint heir of favor not an assistant in crime. I wonder at you, Herod, that Alexander still lives that schemer against his father. I thought him to have already paid the just penalty, [p. 90] which it was not necessary to be put off. Why indeed should the confessor of a parricidal outrage be saved? But perhaps also this was divine foresight, that he who in you injured the piety of each should be condemned by the judgment of the parents of both. I will not deny myself to be an avenger, who prepared myself a preacher of exact retribution, but I do not make my daughter an exception, whom I myself betrothed to this unfortunate marriage following you as its sponsor. But I did not surrender her to the moods of a husband but to your trust. Let her deliver the reason that she has ignored her surety, she loved her husband. About both now judgment is for us. If you are a firm avenger of such a great grief, gird yourself; father follow your duty. Duty is not wished for by fathers, but must not be ignored. If piety softens you, nature bends you, let us change places, so that we are the executors of mutual service I in the case of your son and you in the case of my child.” Moving about with speech of this nature he converted Herod and from his fury of mind he little by little softened his intention, so that he believed himself a fellow sufferer and sharing the same purpose and gave him the the small booklets which Alexander had composed. But he giving attention to each when he realized them to be more crowded with pain than depending on faith, with a deep purpose gradually lessened the hatred of the parricidal attempt and the causes of the objections against them which they had described and began to transfer it especially against Feroras. And so when he noticed the king not to shrink from his opinion: “It must be considered,” he said, “if perhaps the young man was attacked more by the treacheries of disloyal persons than you were by the young man. What cause was there, that he should seek your life, to whom you had conceded the honors of kingship, to whom you had reserved the right of ruling and the hope of the succession? Why should he seek what he had, or how would he ungrateful consider these great gifts? How other would he behave [p. 91] upon your death unless it would affect his danger, which with you alive he could not fear, with you dead he would certainly fear from them, from whom even positioned beneath his father he feared the destruction of his safety. That age is open to trickery, it is easily deceived and gotten round by the treacheries of tricksters. Old age scarcely withstands trickery, generally still the good sense of the aged is entangled by the cunning of those circumscribing them. Therefore if mature experience is often affected, what wonder if immature age was not able to be at hand for itself, when it was threatened by crowds of those lying in ambush? These therefore are disturbers of the royal home, they are inciters of the young, the sowers of discord who have led the young man into despair of his safety, who has given way more to ill-temper and revenge than he has strained for perfection, he has imparted something even to the commotion. Gradually influenced by which Herod had begun indeed to soften his anger about Alexander, but truly to be moved more strongly against Feroras, because he was put forth by those four little books as the accomplice of all the crimes and the deviser of the entire scene. Who seeing the king to have inclined his mind to Archelaus and to extend to him beyond the rest the favor of his close friendship, took himself to him beseeching that he should render the mind of the king conciliated to himself. Truly that one had not doubted that he was tied in by many chains of crimes, by which he was convinced that he had prepared treacheries against the king and had assailed the youth, he said him to have no chance of pardon, unless, the cunning of denying what had been advanced against him having been put aside, to confess to his loving brother and to ask from him [p. 92] leniency for himself. Himself would not fail to assist an action of this sort in any way he could. And so his garments having been changed suffused with tears, with a pitiable appearance clinging to the feet of his brother he beseeched pardon, confessed his wickedness, did not deny but acknowledged everything with which he was charged, madness to have been the reason to himself of such a great misstep, that a too great frenzy of love of the wife selected for him had boiled up. And so Feroras having been established as an accuser of his own crimes and equally as a witness besides as if in recompense of the prepared argument which he was submitting against his own advantage, Archelaus interceded with Herod, that with nature taken into consideration he should soften his anger and forgive his brother placing the law of nature above punishment. Nor is it a wonder if in great kingdoms like in fat bodies often some part should become inflamed, which must not be cut away but healed by more gentle medicines. Against himself likewise much more serious treacheries had been prepared by his own brother, but he had lessened to his relative what was owed for the offense, as the more he raised the punishment upon the ungrateful man the more he would aggravate its cause. When he wove together these thing and other things like them, he indeed soothed Herod so that he pardoned his brother, but he himself remained relentless against his son in law. Finally he threatened that he would divorce his daughter from him and he bellowed with such a great commotion of his anger, that Herod himself considered the crime against himself of his son sufficiently atoned for and asked to be the avenger of his own injuries and himself intervened with the father in law in behalf of his guilty culprit, by which he restored the marriage anew. Archelaus persevered, Herod should join his daughter in law to anyone he wished except Alexander, from whose cause even his wife was taken, and by this craft he urged Herod much more, [p. 93] that he should think his son restored to him, if he should not set free his consort, because he loved his wife very much, from whom he had received sons dear to their grandfather, beloved by their parents. This would be the gift of his son restored to him, because a good wife in no small part would check the errors of her husband or would offset with her kindnesses the dislike of his offenses, who if she should be separated from him, there would be no remedy for her husband so that he should not rush headlong into every wrong act. For presumptions of evil deeds were accustomed to be made softer which were called back by domestic affections. Scarcely finally was Archelaus prevailed upon that he reconciles to his son in law and reconciles the father to the same. With this scheme he snatched his son in law from death, that for recompense he should receive his absolution, while he pretends to condemn rather than to intervene, for which if he had thought he must intervene, without doubt he would have accomplished nothing. He added that it was necessary that he go to Rome that cleared which his father had suspected in him, inasmuch as he himself had written everything to Caesar, which was likewise planned I think, that when Alexander had cleared himself by this method he would be recommended to Caesar and the treacheries to the brothers prepared by Antipater made known.

XLI. By this plan the partisanship was loosened, a conversion made to happiness, living together restored, evidence that reconciliation was begun, upon whose originator Archelaus seventy talents and a golden throne decorated with precious stones also selected royal eunuchs are bestowed with generosity, and a concubine, whose name was Pannychis, was given as a gift and accepted. Likewise by order of the king his relatives presented Archelaus with magnificent gifts, nor was any member of his household without gifts, to all of whom of his Herod bestowed great gifts according to the merits of each. With his important people he followed him returning to his own kingdom all the way [p. 94] to the most splendid city of Syria Antioch by name. Alexander had escaped except that a man much more practiced in the tricks of Archelaus plunged himself into Judaea, Eurycles by name of the Spartan race, excessively greedy for wealth and a despiser of those things connected with work, when a greater hope of attaining it glittered. Finally not satisfied with the Spartan opportunities he turned his mind to royal extravagances and a master of hunting having attacked Herod with rich gifts he prepared the place for a most ample remuneration, and having gained what was richer by far than he had presented he was however not satisfied, unless insatiably cruel and with impious partisanship he had won over the favor of the king to himself. And so in this manner and enjoying the friendship of the Greeks by praising the king to his household and by his proclaiming to all, not only what was unworthy of praise but was even involved with crimes, he came in a short time into his intimate friendship, so that he was chosen among the principal overseers of secrets, the foremost of the country even offering support, because the Jews held the Spartans by race kindred to themselves closely associated as brothers. He when he learned the faults of the royal home, the mind of the father mistrusted and the hatreds of the brothers for each other, with new tricks pretending himself dear to everyone so that he was considered loyal to each, but he shaped his devotion according to the character of the king and the reward of his services, so that he was more closely bound to Antipater, he beset Alexander with tricks and snares, arousing each with the appearance of a friend, that one destined for royal power by the prerogative of age, this one gifted by his mother’s noble birth superior by right of noble birth, nor a consort equal to him with a child of a worthless seduction. Captured by which Alexander as [p. 95] the younger, who took delight in the things which were being said to him, did not weigh those things carefully, which again were being fabricated about him before Antipater, he poured himself out to the hired worker to Antipater and he opened his mind to his betrayer with his easily moved nature and incautious affection, lamenting his father the originator of misfortunes for him, who snatched away his mother, brought shame on the kingdom, because he wished to turn away to himself from his grandfather and the marks of distinction of his ancient lineage the things owed. The legitimate to be defrauded of the right of succession, a bastard to be preferred at the price of shame, but not long would the judgements of god be quiet, that he who had killed an innocent wife that he should not be quickly deprived of the rule gained through his wife. Which without delay the Spartan took to Antipater, and also Aristobolus having been tricked that he would be tied by the nooses of the same complaint, and for a price he insinuated the piled up things to the king saying himself to have been unable to keep such a great crime in silence and for the service of hospitality himself to display his gratitude to the light, that the sons were proceeding to seize him, unless he had called them back by the pretense of faithful advice, that the father would have long since been killed by the sword of Alexander and the kingship made vacant for unworthy heirs. Nor to Alexander was this a parricidal atrocity to religion, who considered in the place of the greatest crime, that as yet they had not avenged the death of their mother. Them to be agreed and to be pressed by the grievance of those killed, that they should avenge that atrocious crime. Offerings to the dead of those killed were owed, blood was to be exacted, and their succession should not be contaminated, that the kingdom should be taken from him who had killed their ancestors. He would be restored by the judgement of Caesar not like as before from respect, but because Caesar would learn all the secrets of the king, [p. 96] the wealth obtained by blood, the province undermined. Themselves would recall from below their grandfather and would demonstrate the harsh death of their mother, that a foreigner might be elected as successor to the kingdom. Eurycles aroused the king, Antipater however considering a hint from just one to be of small account instigated many other accusers of the brothers also, who said talks to have been undertaken with the one time leaders of the cavalry of the army Jucundus and Tyrannus, ambushes to have been prepared for the king from the resentment of dismissal, danger upon his neck unless he should quickly take precautions. Indeed Herod did not delay and questions them seized immediately severely, but nothing is learned they having admitted what was being alleged. And because such terrible things were being fabricated with impunity before him, who was declaring himself the punisher of crimes, and unconcerned with false accusations, they were not lacking who devised plots of this kind, which they believed would be more acceptable to the father. For indeed a letter was brought forth as if it had been given to the commander of a fortress by Alexander and Aristobolus, that the king having been killed he should provide them a place of taking refuge, while they protected themselves with arms against hostile pursuers and were preparing a defense with their remaining forces. The commander of the fortress is tortured and confesses nothing. Nevertheless however not at all affected by any existing proofs of crime as if guilty Alexander and Aristobolus are given into custody. Eurycles having been given fifty talents is considered the source of safety and life. Nor is it fit that Coos be silent, the most faithful of the friends of Alexander, who had crossed into Judaea at the time of Eurycles, whom the king thought should be interrogated as knowledgeable about the attempts of that one, whether in truth they agreed with what the Spartan had had told about the young men. Truly he [p. 97] gave an oath a sacrament having been interposed that he had learned nothing from them whatever of this type, but it was of no benefit to the youths. He put aside the question from himself, lest he should reduce his dislike of the accusation and purge the dishonesty of Eurycles, if having been questioned very severely he should make denial. As if not worthy therefore to whom belief should be given he is excluded by Herod. For the good father willingly heard his sons to be accused, he did not allow them to be defended, he was delighted when they were accused, he was offended when they were cleared. Finally the Spartan made rich by royal gifts when however he reached Achaia he paid the price of his calumnies. Salome since she was unable to clear herself of the charge that she had agreed upon marriage to Syllaeus the Arab, when she betrayed the secret of her son in law warning her, that she should take heed for herself that she might evade the anger of her brother, because it was suspected from the hope of a future marriage she had announced the plans of the king to the Arabs, she might be summoned, she earned the requital of the transgression and twisted round all the storm of royal savagery against the youths, submerged by which latest and unavoidable shipwreck they paid the penalty. And so they are bound and because it was crueler than chains the brothers are separated from each other, and Voluntius the tribune of the military and Olympus a man from the friends of the king having been sent they disclose the matter before Caesar. But he although offended, because the father was asking punishment of his sons, not thinking however that the power should be denied to the father gave him license against his children, but added the advice that it would be better to consult, if a council should be convened of those nearest the king and of those who were preeminent in the provinces and the inquiry should proceed by the common verdict, whether or not any treacheries had been prepared by the sons against the father; if they should be found guilty of having threatened parricide let them be executed, but if in fact they should be convicted of flight or some lesser crime, [p. 98] the punishment should be more moderate. This having been permitted to him Herod with permission of parricide but with the stipulation of a trial, admonished besides of moderation hastens immediately to the city Beryton, which Caesar had prescribed for holding the trial. The leading men come together according to the instructions given to them by the Roman emperor Caesar. Saturninus and the legates hold sessions among whom is the procurator Volumnius, then the relatives and friends of the king, even Salome and Feroras and the first men of Syria. Archelaus alone the king of Cappadocia is excepted accused of suspected of favor toward his son in law, although the accusers of the youths and the ambushers of the judges were present. But what is the appearance of a trial, when for the accused to be present was not permitted to them and absent they were accused? For Herod had noticed that if they were only seen, they would be absolved the attitude of the men leaning toward sympathy, especially when there was a sign of natural favor, then if any opportunity of defense was allowed to Alexander, he would easily refute what was charged. And so they having been banished to the village of the Sidonians the accusation was directed against them as if present. Plots prepared against him were presented by the father, no proof was brought out, no evidence of the attempts. The accuser adhered to what none refuted; deserted on all sides he assembled classes of insults into hatred, which were thought harder to bear than death by those who were sitting in judgement; but no one disputed, no one dared to examine what was alleged by the father, what was commanded by the king. The appearance of piety prejudged, the law of power terrified. Confident of a sentence of victory he asked, ignorant that in a judgement of this sort he who won would be more distressed, than they who were sentenced so harshly. Saturninus finds the youths guilty because anything else was not permitted, but [p. 99] he moderates the sentence asserting that it must be avoided that two of he three brothers having been killed the death of the two might be ascribed to the third brother. Indeed apprehensively but he spoke the reason, that he was a supporter of peril for the brothers. Few of the many followed him. Volumnius moreover spoke out for death and after him everyone, weighing with the proposer what would be pleasing to such a king, they utter the sentence of death indeed with diverse feelings but with like fate, whom this or fawning had influenced or hatred had poured into, so that either the favor of the king was aimed at or the barbarity of parricide was afflicted with a greater punishment, who in his victory had reported nevertheless a bitter triumph about himself. No one however spoke as if he shuddered at the deed and as if disturbed. And indeed the appearance was of a stage, not the method of a court to condemn those not present, to condemn without a witness, with only the law of nature, which is accustomed to be derived for safety rather than for risk. All Syria was astounded and all Judaea and the end of such a great tragedy was awaited with astonished minds. For although the cruelty of Herod was well known, no one however was able to believe, that he would persevere all the way to parricide. But in him the savage force of mind was restrained neither by the sea or by land. And so as if by the practice of those celebrating a triumph, that he should drag his sons through hostiles, he made for the famous city of Tyre, from that place he crossed by ship to Caesarea, carrying around the distressing spectacle parricide, as long as any outward appearance of a bitter death was found in his sons. All the army was stirred up, but they suppressed anger from fear. There was in the royal army a man Tiro by name of the old military service, having a son very close to Alexander, a very kind father and for that reason dear to his child, inasmuch as the lure of love especially for his own is a certain obligation of popular piety: [p. 100] favorably disposed with enthusiasm about young men and also the sons of the king, because his son was loved by them. Who anger conceived beyond measure, disturbed of mind, began to shout justice to be crushed, truth to be shut out, reverence to be destroyed, the rights of relatives to overturned, injustices to overflow the kindnesses of nature. Finally advancing into the face of the king himself he threw in he was a miserable wretch, who thought the most wicked should be believed against his own sons. Feroras and Salome to be chosen as judges of a council: what faith could be placed in them, who knew themselves to have been so very frequently convicted by the king of capital offenses, or what else would they do except take account of vengeance, so that destitute of suitable successors he would incline toward one from the rest who was too weak who was easily led astray, because the royal army itself would follow with hatred him, for whom the death of the two brothers would be a release. There was no one whom pity of their harmless age did not touch. Moreover many of the commanders do not now restrain their anger but announce it. Having spoken their names he made an end of talking. Who having been immediately seized with Tiro Tryfon from the servants of the royal court, to whom the art and practice of barbering was at hand, suddenly by a certain foolishness of mind makes evidence of himself, asserting it have been organized and persuaded to him by Tiro that when according to custom he was shaving the beard of Herod, he should press the razor to his throat until he had accomplished his death, that would be for him a very great benefit which was being promised from the gifts of Alexander. Tiro is questioned with his son, also an examination of the informer is made. The former making denials, the latter revealing nothing further, since clear confidence in things was lacking, no proof was at hand, no evidence from documents, Tiro is ordered to be tortured with more violent tortures. Then the son viewing with compassion the torments of his father promises that he would reveal everything, [p. 101] if the safety of his father were granted him, and pardon having been promised by the king he suggests that his father persuaded by Alexander had prepared death for the king. Most thought this made up for the occasion, that it should be considered evidence of such a child to Tiro, others said it was spoken for truth. But Herod judged doubtful things as reliable as if fearing that the charge of parricide for himself might be ruined. And so the people having been called together and the leaders collected concerning the treacheries discovered he brings out into view his complaint and arouses the people to their death, and thereupon Tiro together with his son and the barber are killed with stones and clubs.

XLII. Alexander and Aristobolus sent to the city Sebaste which was not far from the city Caesarea were strangled by order of the king. The sons of Miriamme had this end. Whose deaths not having enjoyed long, the sons having been removed Antipater without doubt coaxed the succession to himself, but soon a great hatred of the entire people blazed up against him, because among all it was well known that the brothers lay dead from his partisanship. besides there followed a not moderate fear in him considering how large the family of the killed was growing with time, since Alexander had left sons Tigranes and Alexander born to him from Glafyra, to Aristobolus from Berenice, the daughter of Salome, Herod and Agrippa and Aristobolus remained as survivors, and daughters Herodias and Miriamme also, whom their sex did not hinder and desire of royal power stirred up. Terrified by which things Antipater [p. 102] placed his hope in trickery and cunning and more and more pledged each one with gifts and presents, even friends and servants of Caesar he tried to entice to gratitude toward himself with pay. But on the contrary those even who were of the household fell back into opposition. For the king gradually with the process of time softened toward his descendants born to Alexander and Aristobolus and put forth repentance of the deed, since he felt compassion for those whose parents he had killed. Finally his friends and those closest to him having been collected on a certain day his face suffused with tears he said to them: “I see age to proceed for me and without tears I am not able to look at these little ones, the offspring of unhappy fathers, to whom I am a source of pain. I do not leave them in a worse condition than that I took away their parents. But a certain calamity took them from me, nature and compassion more and more commend them to me, the one because they are my descendants, the other because they are destitute of parents. The sons erred against their father, what have these descendants done for their grandfather. I was a quite wretched father, I ought to be a more concerned grandfather. I will try to look out for my decendants after me, would that I had looked out for my sons. Truly the trickery of a joint enemy and foe crept in them. It must be guarded against that the perils of the former do not involve the latter also and from one wound I lost at the same time my sons, I imperiled my descendants. Let us provide them the defenders which I took away. And so I will betroth to the elder of the sons of Alexander your, Feroras, daughter and I will constitute you a father to him, and moreover to your son, Antipater, the daughter of Aristobolus, so that in this manner you become the father of an orphan girl. My Herod received from Miriamme the daughter of Hyrcanus will accept her sister. This,” he said, “is my decision, that the successors of my posterity may be united in turn to themselves by marriage entered into, by which no one may be suspect to another and I may see my descendants with more tranquil eyes than I saw [p. 103] their parents.” Which things having been said he joined the right hands of those mentioned and having kissed each he wept. Which Antipater the others rejoicing received so reluctantly, that he bound by a not all moderate concern immediately betrayed his resentment even by his facial expression, because he discerned the applause offered for the sons of Alexander, of king Archelaus and of Feroras, who held a tetrarchy, to be stronger than for the others. He noticed hatred for himself to increase, sympathy moreover to favor the grandchildren. Nor was he able to receive the daughter of Aristobolus at home, lest, a sign of evil, she should be offended by his lasting glances. He did not dare to approach his father, lest he might rouse him easily swayed to every suspicion, if he should propose the contracts of agreed on marriages should be dissolved. But nevertheless he delicately presumed to plead that his father should give consideration to him, that he should not be exposed to the power of two powerful men a king and a tetrarch powerless with the bare name of royal power, he might cherish the honor certainly, which he had declared would be conferred on his son, but the appearance of royal power should not arrive to him, the actuality to them. And truly he did not hold only the sons of Alexander and Aristobolus suspect, but he considered all to stand in his way, whoever from the many wives of Herod even though silent were seen as competent for the succession of the kingdom, whose number was very great. And indeed nine wives had the status of royal consort, from these only two were without children, to the others offspring were at hand. Antipater exalted Dosides as parent, Herod Miriamme, Antipas and Archelaus were the sons of Malthaces a Samaritan and Olympias a daughter, who by right of marriage was joined to Joseph. Also Cleopatra a girl from Jerusalem had borne Herod and Philip to Herod, Pallas had borne Phasael. There also [p. 104] other daughters of the king Roxane and Salome, of whom Phedra was mother of the first, Elpis of the second. There were also the two full sisters of Alexander and Aristobolus whom Miriamme had borne from Herod, as we mentioned previously. And so Antipater fearing the many descendants of Herod, although with difficulty and the king having been much angered in his first attempts, because the descendants having been deprived of paternal aid he disliked the alliances arranged of close relations, in the end he brought about that the daughter of Aristobolus was married to himself and a son born to himself was married to a daughter of his uncle Feroras. He prevailed so much with flattery, that he stopped the marriages that had been agreed upon. But on the other hand when Salome wished to marry Syllaeus, not even with the aid of Livia who was the wife of Caesar was she able to gain permission from her brother, but against her will came together in marriage to a certain Alexander from the friends of the king. And so the arrangements of the king having been overturned Antipater, as if he taken heed of him as he had wished, exulted in mind and overcame all with his cunning. However he was not able in any way to suppress the hatred for himself, but inflamed it, inasmuch as he aspired to prepare protection for himself with terror. Also he had joined to himself as a fellow worker of his faction Feroras the brother of his father, whom not much later refusing to be divorced from his own wife, to whom on account of injuries which that woman had inflicted on his wife Dosidis he was considered very hostile, Herod banished from his household. Feroras however having embraced the insult departed into his own region, which he presided over as tetrarch, truly with the intention of mind that he would never return to a living Herod; finally not even then, when he had learned him [p. 105] to be affected with a severe illness and frequently beseeching that he should come to him, he 5 thought he should be called upon because being about to die he thought certain things should be imparted to him [to him, i.e., to Feroras]. Although struck by the insult the king when beyond expectation he thrust aside his illness, however from brotherly affection went to him, when he learned him sick, and carefully looked after him and took him dead to Jerusalem and with great lamenting and much pomp arranged his burial. But he did not however with these evidences of attentive love exclude the conceived opinion, that he had eagerly assailed with poison. He was even that cruel against his own family. Nor was the belief difficult that he was able to kill his brother who had killed his sons.

XLIII. And so one of the killers of Alexander and Aristobolus found this end of his evil doing, taking a beginning from which retribution crossed to Antipater the originator of the wickedness. For insomuch as Herod, urged by the complaints of freedmen, who asserted their patron to have been killed by poison, while he inquires with anxious care, it having been learned that Feroras had received from his wife a cup of a potion of Arabia, which was thought to be a love potion, and that to have been poison, which had been given at the urging of Syllaeus and immediately converted into destruction, it resulted in the questioning of many. From which one of the slave girls under torture cried out, that omnipotent god should transfer all suffering to the mother of Antipater the mistress of the shameful acts of all. Through her the hidden meetings of Antipater and Feroras carried out day and night, drinking to the point of drunkenness, since them returning from dinner parties of the king there would be drinking during entire nights. Which were [p. 106] not idle or free of attempts of intrigue, the servants and attendants especially having been removed, it was rightfully suspected, a long chain of meetings and evidence of a conspiracy of long delay, which are more suspect to kings in the privacy of solitude and the silence of night. It was arranged that Antipater would go to Rome and Feroras to Peraea. That they were accustomed to confer frequently among themselves was revealed, for the reason that after Alexander and Aristobolus Herod would turn himself to their death. They were wretched who had thought that Herod had disliked parricidal thoughts in them; he pursued heirs of the kingdom, not rivals of power to have been destroyed but sharers of wretchedness, against themselves every danger and hatreds to have crossed over. Not about to spare a woman because of her sex, who had not spared Miriamme beloved of him and those born from her. There was no other remedy for them except that they withdraw to some place far away, where they would be freed by flight from the fury of such a great beast. Frequent laments of Antipater deploring before his mother himself to burn from hatred of the royal succession, since the cruel aspects of the kingdom had especially settled upon him, that he is already not able to bear; he was given up to final rites and extreme dangers. Not only the right of ruling had died for him but of living also with the track rolled out of time. Age for him was very mature, his head was already gray, on the contrary however his father was growing younger, in vain to hope for his inheritance who perhaps even now surviving was spared such a long time. What however would be the value to him an aged heir of the succession, to whom the many children of Alexander and Aristobolus like a certain hydra with heads renewed sprouted forth what had been cut off. And by the testament of his father [p. 107]the common right even was taken away, that the appearance of ruling having been given, whose substitute he would be for a time, he could not place some one from his own sons in his rule, but he had the necessity to pour back the kingdom to Miriamme’s son Herod. And so the appearance of rule was given to him not for enjoyment but for peril, as he was an object of suspicion to the king retiring, would be a burden to the king succeeding. Finally the king himself vigorous during a long old age and intent upon the slaughter of his people would be the executor of his own will, as no one would remain who could succeed. To act with great hatred against his sons and with no less against his brother, who had given himself one hundred talents so that he would not have converse with his uncle. And Feroras responding: “In what way have we harmed him? Am I the successor?” Antipater replied him to have no reasons for offense, but to make himself that, to be a wild beast, who was not satiated even by deaths, and was not able to tolerate any affection among his relatives to remain. “And would that everything having been lost it might be permitted that naked merely living we should escape him, but it is impossible” and so for the time their necessary meetings were hidden. There would be a time when they would use mature vigor of mind and energetic deliberation, and also the services of a protector at their right hand. These things were answered by slaves placed under torture, and Herod believed, especially since he had spoken to Antipater alone about the one hundred talents, nor had any interpreter of his speech been present. And so set on fire with anger he seized many for torture including innocent people, lest any of the guilty should be missed. The Samaritan Antipater is brought in for torture, for the reason that he was a manager for Antipater, and is tortured [p. 108] in diverse manners. The investigation brings forth that poison had been sent from Egypt through Antifilus a certain companion and it had been given by him to Theudion a friend of Antipater, through him delivered to Feroras, to whom Antipater the son of the king had assigned the carrying out, that while he himself was living in the city of Rome his father Herod should be extinguished, at which time there would be no suspicion of the absent person for the death accomplished: but Feroras at the time had entrusted the poison received to his own wife. Now too a dislike of the poison occurred in the wife of Feroras. The king immediately ordered the wife of Feroras to come, to bring the poison. The woman comes out as if about to bring what was being sought and throws herself from the roof of the building by which she might avoid the punishment of the double crime and by dying prevent evidence of guilt and the hardship of questioning. But because a fatal retribution of the parricide was hastening to Antipater, she did not fall upon the top of her head, in which event she would easily have been killed, but she fell on another part of her body and death was beaten back. The woman was stupefied however and astonished, because she had fallen from a high place. Herod orders her to be revived for a brief while, until she returned to herself, he promises pardon if she frankly revealed the series of things done. It was not for nothing that she had thrown herself down, but conscious of her great crime she had sought the avoidance of torture. All crimes would be unpunished for her confessing, or tortures would be piled upon her not confessing, burial itself would also be denied. But when she had recovered a little: “And for whom” she said “will I still preserve the silence of secrets with Feroras dead? I owed him the faith of being silent, for whom I would not refuse tortures, if they were necessary. But he is now free from sufferings and if there correction of pardonable error, he is free from blame. What therefore [p. 109]compels to wrap truth in lies? Or that I do the will of Antipater? I should spare him, not spare myself? Indeed we owe a great recompense to the man who pulled us all into these sufferings with his crimes. Hear o king, with god our protector who alone is the judge of truth for me, for I proposed to conceal nothing, hear, I say, but first recall how you set weeping with your brother at risk, that you might fulfill every duty of affectionate brotherhood about Feroras. To which he having changed, when you departed, he at once called me back to him and said: not a little I, wife, went astray from the zeal and affection of my brother, who thus hated him loving me and wished to kill him who was not tolerating the pain in my suffering. He was not able to bear the chance that I pressed a debt not owed. I was fooled, I confess, by the tricks of Antipater, but I bear the price of his thinking. You bring quickly to me the poison which you have that was left by him and pour it out beneath my eyes, that I may not carry a parricidal soul to hell. May it be absolution to have repented what is shameful to have prepared. Quickly, I say, wife, that I may outstrip death, since I cannot blame. Then I brought the poison and in his sight poured it out, a little from it however I saved for myself who am in fear of you, so that it would be a remedy, if it should be betrayed, that poison had been prepared for this use.” These things having been said she brought forward the small box with that which remained of the poison. The mother of Antifilus and his brother are subjected to questioning. They confess Antifilus to have brought the box full of poison from Egypt, which he had received from [p. 110] a brother, who was abiding at Alexandria under the profession of medicine. Now too Miriamme is seized as aware of the plots which are being prepared by her husband, and that is made evident by the brothers confessing under torture. Whence the junior Herod paid the price of his mother’s daring, whom substituted for Antipater in the succession of the kingdom the father who had substituted the same thought must be deleted from his will. And this indeed not trivial error of the senior Herod, that the crime of one being discovered another is punished, but actually the punishment of the junior Herod was not unjust. For it is seen as a precaution from heaven, as granted that his deeds are not yet done rightly however as the price of future wickedness he should be disinherited of the kingdom. For who would be able to tolerate him as king, who as a tetrarch was so arrogant that he was unable to be tolerated? There is added even another type of poisoning, that Bathyllus a freedman of Antipater delivered to Feroras and his wife a compound of the secretions of serpents and the poison of asps, so that if the first had not been strong enough for the death of Herod they would use the second.

XLIV. There are discovered even letters composed against the brothers Archelaus and Philippus. These were sons of the king who were established at Rome, whom Antipater was attacking especially for this reason, that he saw them gifted with not ordinary wisdom, upon whom the king bent a father’s pride; finally he had summoned them with letters that they should return home speedily. And so Antipater thought to oppose them with his advantages and to attack with his tricks, so that the expectation of the youths having been copied they might be overshadowed by all the zeal of his own party. And so he made up letters in the name of powerful men, whom while located in Rome [p. 111] he had enticed into his friendship, he twisted others with a reward that they should write, that the young men were attacking their father with hostile hatreds and with too much complaint were lamenting the death of Alexander and Aristobolus. And with secret tricks he forced upon his father through the household servants of his wickedness letters of this type, with the same cunning with which he formerly pretended to be a mediator in behalf of his brothers, with the pretense of piety the protection of impiety he concealed the parricide. All of these things having been brought into the open with the questionings that the life of the father, the death of the brothers had been sought was spread out very clearly by the letters, the decision is defined about their author that punishment must be exacted, who had next put out with a false accusation that he had attacked his brothers not as parricides but as rivals of a legitimate succession, not that he should defend his father but that he should not have a partner in the royal power. Meanwhile although the passages of seven months were concluded between the documents of the crimes and the return of Antipater, no information of the things done became known to Antipater, such great hatreds of all boiled around him. Uncertain therefore of everything he writes from the city of Rome he would be present without delay and he had been dismissed by Caesar with the greatest honor. To which letters Herod quickly wrote back in reply that he should hasten secure in the affections of his father, for whom not only had nothing been diminished by his absence, but in truth even so much favor had accrued, that by looking upon him the offense of his mother would be diminished. For again he had sent her from the household, stripped of the gifts of royal generosity, her partnership of complicity in the tricks of her son having been discovered: to whom [p. 112]he made evident from the appearance of the things written that he was about to relax his anger, from fear lest the expulsion of his mother having been learned Antipater should stir up his suspicions to taking precautions. And so arriving at Tarentum he first learned about the death of Feroras and exhibited great sorrow there, which by certain ones was attributed to the passion of piety, that he suffered unbearably the death of his uncle. He however was bemoaning that the agent of the attempted parricide was taken from him, not only that the preparation of the crime had not gone forward but truly even the poison to have remained was a source of fright, lest in some fashion it should come to the knowledge of the king and he should make the existence of the crime public knowledge. He crossed therefore to the port of Caesarea by no means devoid of serious worry and concern, since his expelled mother gave her children a not insignificant example of condemnation. But with his friends urging, who thought that everything which pertained to Antipater should be considered secondary to the desires of his father, then his nature having been considered, by which he was accustomed to easily bend with his counsel even an averse father from his own feelings, exhorting that he should promptly present himself to his father and the kingdom predestined for him, which no one would dare with him present to oppose, but the occasion alone of his absence might give rise to derision, that the mind of the king might be considered to be able to be turned from him, and thus it must be quickly prevented, lest by delaying more he should offend one desiring him or irritate one suspecting him, he would put out distrust of himself, and so he trusted in those persuading willingness more than necessities. Truly when he entered the port looking around he saw not anyone in his way and he felt his presence to be avoided like a plague, in the most crowded of places the greatest solitude, since no one dared to run to meet him, [p. 113] some fearing, others turning away — and indeed at that time they had received authority so that they did not conceal hatreds — he began to think over his crimes within himself and to be disturbed by pricks of conscience, there was no possibility of flight or opportunity of escaping left to him, surrounded as if with nets and held captive. He placed all hope in impudence, so that everything having been dissembled he presented himself unforeseen to his father, he rushed into an embrace, he depended on the obligations of piety. However the latter with hands extended pushing back the one thrusting himself forward and turning away his head, lest he should be touched by the kiss of the parricide, exclaimed this was the madness of a parricide, “that you seek an embrace who know yourself hated, you afflict your father with dread of yourself, you wrench out the sweetness of living with the touch of your guilty body. You will therefore not touch lest you will contaminate him whom you have attacked with wickedness. Cleanse yourself certainly first, if you are able, wash off the things charged. I will not flee from a trial nor will I allow a hearing to be denied you, I will not take to myself an examination of you, lest I will leave you a pretext of arguing. Conveniently Varus is at hand, before whom prepare your defense. Nor is there reason for delay, tomorrow although rich with trickery and deceits you have the opportunity of clearing yourself.” But he struck dumb with fear of such a great commotion did not dare to reply anything nor was he able, but having gone out he wavered in mind, because he had learned nothing at all of those things which had been done and brought forth before the king. However his mother and wife coming to him later revealed everything. which things having been learned he began to collect and prepare himself in mind, in what fashion he should meet the accusation, diminish the offenses. On the following day all the relatives are assembled together, [p. 114] and the friends of Antipater were present for the judgement. All who had testified different things about Antipater were ordered to be brought in. And also the letters of the mother of Antipater are read, in which she had written to her son, that he should be aware of the picture of his crimes that had been presented to his father, he ought by no means to be present, unless somehow his hand should be summoned by Caesar, with whose protection he should wall himself round nor should he commit to judicial investigation who was assailed by the confessions of so many but should defend himself with arms. The having been added to the previous items Antipater having entered and throwing himself to the feet of his father beseeches, that he should not hold him precondemned, himself to be confident, if a hearing were granted, he would be free of crime if his father were willing. The father orders him to be silent and comes before him with speech of this sort: “that by no just person is a pardonable wickedness of Antipater able to be seen, I am quite certain, but from that me to be more burdened before you, Varus, I think. For I fear you will dislike me who have fathered parricides as sons, whom not even a father was able to spare, although from this also I am more to be pitied because I loved even such. But I am silent about them whom I myself irritated and I rejected their just charges against this man. They had no cause of anger against me, except that Antipater who had not been born into royal power was placed before them and had received the prerogative of a royal consort. I thought however that I would admit the elder by birth to guardianship over the younger, but I introduced an enemy, who was jealous of the more noble, aroused the little boys, assailed the weak, betrayed the unprotected. I do not deny the mistakes but it should be excused rather than attacked. Indeed Antipater took them from me, he compelled them to become plotters against me. I confess I grieved that those to whom I had given the expectation of royal power, for whom I had reserved the succession, plotted wicked actions against me, [p. 115] but in me they hated not the father but Antipater. And so they perished to the grief of their father, to the joy of Antipater. You ask, Varus, who killed them? Know whom their death profited. The household was emptied of the son of a stepmother, the royal court, which had many possible successors, opened to one for the succession. Nor was his bloodthirsty spirit and impious mind satisfied with the death of the brothers. After he did not have the brothers whom he had hated, he attacked his father. I reflect within myself: I who prepared this protection of inheritance for him, I am indeed seen to live too long for one disdaining him who is retiring. I have learned what he wished, I took away the competitors of his succession, he did not tolerate me delaying. He did not expect the kingship, unless he attained it by parricide. He gave me this return, because I collected the project and had given preference to him over those more noble. From whom indeed had I taken as much as I had given to him? To whom I living had yielded power, whom I had publicly by testament designated my heir, which is accustomed to be dangerous for kings, as he will know he will succeed in some way. I gave him fifty talents for enjoyment, I gave him departing for Rome three hundred talents. I commended him to Caesar as if an only son, I reserved nothing for myself, from which I should have feared parricide. But this armed him more for parricide, because he saw himself as superior. What so great of evil did his brothers commit, whom he forced to death? What evidence of this character against them was uncovered, what kind of this sort was discovered? But he dares to interrupt and roar with parricide and tries to roll up truth with trickery. You beware, Varus, I give warning, beware his simulated tears and groans composed by craft and not expressed from any grief. He is who took the feeling of tenderness from me, when with pretended fear he warned me to beware of Alexander, [p. 116] alleging the minds of many to agree with him, my presence must not be rashly committed to all. He pretended himself to be looking about at everything, to lead to the choice, to pick out and examine each one. He was the guardian of my sleep, my agent of safety, in whom I placed confidence, and with his services I lightened the pain from those killed. I thought that he would return them to me, that he would take away the grief, that he would spread goodness. He was my protector, whom I believed the guardian of my aged body. I know not how I am alive, how I escaped such a great plotter, with which blandishments he surrounded me, with which tricks he held me bound, so that I would entrust myself to him alone, whom alone it behooved me to beware. It is incredible to me that I escaped, nor do I seem to me to live but I think I dream. Who indeed would believe either that he would be so ungrateful, to whom I entrusted all power over me, or that I would be able to escape if Antipater did not wish it? I think however me to have been made safer from grace. But what thing. evil. my misfortune, makes them rise against me whom I most loved! I lament the trouble of my household, Varus, I mourn the loneliness, I groan over the force of such great pain. But however so great is the bitterness if the parricidal wickedness, that I allow no one to escape me, whosoever thirsts for my blood, not even if evidence of attempted parricide is brought forth against every son of mine.” When he was saying these things, the voice of the speaker was broken equally by anger and pain. Immediately Antipater raising his head — for as if struck and wounded by a severe wound he lay before the feet of his father — no thinking to stand up he said: “You indeed, father, angrily accuse, but there is no greater defense for me than the evidence of your accusation, that I was always the guard of your safety. [p. 117] You have furnished a defense for me in the solemn testimony of the person accusing. For how am I a parricide whom you yourself admit to be your protector, or how circumspect and astute whom you argue to be the contriver of parricide, since to have planned that is extreme foolishness and execrable among men and before god cannot be unpunished? Indeed from the example of my brothers I was able to learn that there is no way of escape from such a great crime, because a crime of this type neither finds a hiding place nor escapes punishment, seeing that they paid the penalty for such great malevolence against you. But, as you say, a certain jealousy drove them to parricide, because they saw me to be preferred by you, whom the nobility of their mother’s birth gave pride, so that they claimed that the kingdom was owed to them as if by maternal succession and they demanded it back as if it had been snatched away by you. Why would I do such who knew not to hope for a kingdom unless from you, to seek your verdict, to please you alone? What indeed was there that would impel me to dare anything against your safety? The hope of a kingdom? But I was a king; suspicion of your hatred? But I was loved; the pain of injury? But I was given preference. If fear alone of my preference armed them to parricide, I am absolved, because those preferred do not know how to plan parricide but hate it. Unless perhaps some fear from you compelled, but truly I, as your voice is a witness for me, knew nothing except to fear in behalf of you, for why would I fear who was the agent of your safety and the guardian of quiet? Or did a lack of money and poverty drive me, which is accustomed to persuade those in want to robbery? But you had given what not only was more than sufficient for the present but even for all time, and you had sent me rich to Rome, so that the kings of kings might proclaim about you that there was the beginning of rule, not of wealth. Finally I grasped Fabatus that governor of the Roman state and intimate of Caesar for you and so changed him, who had been bribed by Sylleus with a great amount of money that he should attack you, that he became your [p. 118] defender and a betrayer of his inciter. Through whom else, father, have plotters against your safety been detected? How therefore I a parricide who seized Corinthus the guard of your body hiding, I removed him lying in ambush, I brought him denying to confession? I was able not to consider parricide and to have the profit of parricide if I had been silent. But if I had the brutality of beasts, if the savagery of fierce wild animals were in me, however I was able to tame this with your great kindnesses, so that I placed no help except in assistance of your safety, in front of all I reported only love for you, I protected you with my body, I would contain you in my inmost organs if it were possible to be done. You displayed before more noble sons one less noble from his mother’s stock, his mother also an exile from the kingdom you summoned into the kingdom, you held me not already as the successor of rule but as if a partner. Oh wretched me to to whom so much of good things poured itself, that it kindled envy. Oh stupid me, who left you, father, if place was given for hatred and power to plotters, for while I delayed long for your safety, I gave up mine, I still have nothing which I may add for myself. You, father, ordered me to go away, I went abroad for you, father, lest Sylleus should confound your old age, lest he should deprive you living of the kingdom, lest he should attack your well being before Caesar. Rome is a witness for me of piety, Caesar also the ruler of the world and the censor of all and the judge of my breast was accustomed to call me “a lover of his father.” Testify, Caesar, before whom alone I would be able to do harm, what I spoke before you about my father, testify, I say, for me, you who have spoken about others, you thought I was not concealing parricide but investigating it. Oh if your presence breathed upon me! But you are absent and located far away, and [p. 119] and without you I am being judged by my father. You are absent but however are present in your letters. I offer your writings, which parricides are accustomed to fear, I carry your letter which they are accustomed to bring out who desire parricide not to lie hidden. Accept, father, the letter of Caesar, he may teach you who has long punished; accept the writings of Caesar stronger than all arguments. What you have long used for retribution, use now for redemption. I offer them as the chief witnesses of my innocence, that right hand has never failed you, that right hand of Caesar placed a crown upon you not took it away, that mind of Caesar presented again to you that kingdom which you had cast away. Caesar was able earlier to dislike me, if he had found me the like of my brothers, but he recognized and pronounced me the interpreter of goodness. Unless I had been at Rome, Sylleus would have won. For that I am being judged today, for that I wretched pay out a penalty. Be mindful, father, that I did not sail away voluntarily. I saw a pit of plotters already to be prepared for me, I preferred however, father, me rather than you to be put at risk. I do not however tremble at the risk to safety, but before you, father, I grieve me to be at risk as if your enemy. I am put in peril however, if before you the depositions of Caesar are challenged: I make use therefore of these evidences of my defense. I call upon Caesar not as if I must be heard but I invoke him as if I have been absolved. But if you think a judgement must be enforced, behold me, father: I came to you after Caesar, I hastened to you from Caesar, would that I had never been absent from you! But you, father, not knowing the dangers cast me out ordering me to go. I am at hand, father, I think for your safety the truth must be investigated not carelessly about worthless witnesses. They do not prejudge who [p. 120] are able to fear tortures, nor who are able to disdain them, every man is deceitful, says Scripture. I offer the incorruptible testimony of the elements. I come to you through the seas and the lands never suffering anything. As a parricide I ought not to have escaped if I were guilty. The sky acquits me before you, father, which did not strike me with lightning, the sea which did not submerge me, the land which did not swallow me. Through these I come to you safe, father, which they are not accustomed to escape even who are not parricides. The land devoured Dathan and Abyron with its wide open jaws, but they had not grasped after the fruitful father. The earth suspended Abessalon fleeing in the branches of its tree, lest he should reach to his father, if he had arrived to whom, he would have escaped. I came to you and as yet I am in peril. David punished his parricide, because he was not able to save him, I do not desire to be vindicated about my enemies and false accusers, that I might call them to tortures. Let them gain the punishment of false accusations. I ask one thing, father, that you not put trust in another’s tortures, seek against me from me myself. Hang up your guilty party, let the investigation of truth proceed into my internal organs, let the instruments of torture penetrate into my body and innermost parts, let the blood flow forth which is accustomed to proclaim parricide, let the fires be brought to the guilty limbs, why do you hesitate, father? If you forbear, you pronounce me innocent, if you refrain from torture, you acquit me of crime. It is not parricide, which is thought worthy of a simple death. Or if you are lenient as to a son, have compassion for the members born from you, they are not your members which are the attendants of cruelty.” When he said this, he made an end of speaking with great weeping and doleful groans and with great wailing bent Varus and all to pity. Herod alone was moved to no tears and himself [p. 121] intractable to pardon refrained from weeping, intent upon questioning, seeking vengeance.

XLV. Nicolaus by order of the king followed the speech of Antipater, who astutely responded to his cleverness and led away from pity those influenced by renewing against Antipater the hatred of the murder of the brothers, urging that if pity moved any one, those ought to be pitied, who killed by his trickery were seeking vengeance, if they absolved someone, all the household of the king would be brought into peril, brothers, relations, parents, the king himself, whose safety he had not spared. And so turned about to the cleverness of the speakers as if in conclusion he were rousing up from the lower regions the souls of those killed, who would fill the low seats with miserable complaint, themselves innocent to have died burdened by bribed witnesses, by contrived letters, by dishonest words. The father tricked to have believed his son, whom he did not think to be able to lie about his brothers. Him to offer now his punishments, who had not put faith in the tortures of his brothers, who bound them laden with chains, lest they be present for examination. A verdict to have been brought against them while they were absent, while they were located far away, to have been killed, lest their father should show compassion for them. And so there would be nothing left, if this one should escape who was trained to pour parricidal poisons into the entrails of his people, to change the minds of men, who even stirred up Feroras always the most loving of his brother Herod into his murder by a deadly parricide. When Nicolaus had added many other things to this for the purpose of arousing commotion, when he brought his speech to an end, Antipater was asked by Varus, if he wished to respond. He returned nothing other, except: “God is my witness that I have harmed nothing.” Then Varus ordered the poison to be brought forward and it to be given to one of those who had already been sentenced to the penalty of death, which having been drunk he immediately died. It was reported about this [p. 122] to Caesar and Antipater is led into chains by the command of his father. He as not yet free of snares. For besides he tried an attempt against Salome letters having been sent, which Antipater had composed in the name of Salome, full of abuse against the king and had ordered to be carried to Acme a maidservant of Julia, who was wife to Caesar, by a manservant of Antifilus, which delivered to her Acme transmitted to the king. And the fraud almost resulted in the destruction of the woman, if a letter had not been discovered of Acme to Antipater, which revealed the trick, written in this fashion: “as you wished, I wrote to your father and and I sent those letters, and I do not doubt the king will rise up into danger of his sister. You having gotten the affect wished for make good the payment.” These letters having been discovered the king was led into the suspicion, that Alexander with a like method had been attacked by a letter composed by his brother, and exasperated by by too great agitation he entered into severe illness. Seeing himself to be pressed by which danger he wrote in his will Antipas one of his sons to be the heir of the state preferred to Archelaus and Philippus his oldest children, because Antipater had made them also mistrusted by their father with his tricks and stratagems. To Caesar he bequeathed one thousand talents presents and gifts having been added, upon Caesar’s wife and sons, freedmen and friends he bestowed five hundred. And he did not leave his sister Salome without his gifts. The illness proceeded to worsen and with the passage of time became extreme, which his feeble old age with its disadvantageous circumstances aggravated daily, in fact his body was burdened with not less than seventy years, he bore the affliction with frequent sorrow of mind, having been wounded by so many parricides, which either to have discovered in his sons [p. 123] or to have borne was a great distress. The fury of his illness was incurable however, because the surviving Antipater was feared. The disregard also was worse each day, the statues of Caesar and the likenesses of animals adjacent to the temple contrary to law were dragged down, the originators especially being Iudas and Mathias instructors of the youth, who said the time to have come to them for conspiring, by which the injury of the violated law would be avenged. The wretch would give punishment, who thought to be right anything that was permitted to power, not influenced by reverence but lifted up by arrogance to have exercised as lawful in the interior of the temple the desire of doing what he wished. And although the divine power would hasten retribution, it would be seen as noble if besides they demonstrated for the holy temple their freedom in defending the observation of the paternal rite. Nor should anyone be restrained by fear of danger, since to die for the ancestral law was worthy of immortality. And the first attacking tore down the golden eagle affixed above the roof of the gate, arrested and taken to the king when they were questioned, desiring to obey what they had committed such a great crime, they responded: “the ancestral law.” And again to one asking on what they were so happily relying, since they summoned for the penalty of death, they replied, for the rewards of piety and devotion, the remuneration of which would pay those seeking death in behalf of the ancestral rite. He was no longer able to bear the consistency of the response, but made above his illness by anger, so that he overcame his weakness, he proceeded to an assembly of the people. And there reporting them to the people as if guilty of sacrilege he began to accuse, that more serious things than such as had been done were suspected. Which even if [p. 124] they should not be proved, however all suffering punishment every man fearing for himself of the originators who were seized entreated, that it not be proceeded against the rest, lest the investigation trouble many both outsiders and the innocent. And so having been asked against those present he spoke the sentence that they should be burned alive. From then his misfortune increased and the force of severe sickness consumed his entire body with diverse sufferings. His fever was severe, his itching was intolerable, the pains of his internal organs were continuous and without intermission, the middle of the large intestine was troubled, his feet were bothered by dropsy, the hidden parts of the body swarmed with maggots, spasms of the entire body, painful gasping and sighs were evidence of some trouble, which demanded the punishments of unjust parricide and sacrilegious condemnation. He did not however concede in mind and from desire of living struggled with his disease. The warm waters of Callirrhoe sought across the Jordan profited nothing. The Dead Sea bringing cures to many held the sick man without any progress. When while he was being kept warm with much oil relaxed with slackened body he turned up his eyes with the appearance of those dying, and his voice failed and feeling did not remain, but aroused by the noise of those shouting he recovers, And desiring to return to his own territory when he came to the neighborhood of the place which was called Jericho, he was bothered continually by black bile and being threatened in a certain way by death itself he thought up an atrocious crime, by which the people would be cast out as if into the lower region itself. For long since ordering those who were the most noble from all Judaea to be assembled, so that from each village they should come together into one place, when the order had been complied with, he ordered them to be confined inside [p. 125] the racecourse and Salome and her husband Alexa having been summoned he ordered a legacy of blood, asserting that his death would be a joy to the peoples of the nation of Judaea and therefore himself to have thought up, a reason why his funeral would be magnificently celebrated; to demand from them, that when he had exhaled his last breath, they should immediately order them all to be killed who were being held confined. Thus there would be no one in all Judaea and all his household, to whom his death would be unlamented, since he had left grief the inheritance to all of his house, who while they lamented their own deaths would seem to pay respects to the funeral rites of the king, and so the happiness of the public religious celebrations would be prevented by domestic anguish. And lest perhaps by a wicked command ordered the execution should be abandoned, he ordered fifty drachmas each to be given to the soldiers, so that with the bribe of so great a crime given the soldiers would not refuse this deadly work, the horror of the execution would be compensated by the benefit of the remuneration. Already it came near the punishments of the great misfortune, but he desired the responses of the sad legation, which reported about Acme that punishment had been exacted for the grievance of Herod, Antipater also had been convicted of parricide and sentenced to death, however if to him driven from his native land the father might wish to grant the power of flight from the kingdom, Caesar giving consideration to the crime would would order the sentence, leaving the decision to piety. Nature had cancelled the necessity of parricide. For restored for a short time the power having been permitted him of acting as he wished, while he considers the mode of his death, distracted by pains he had desired to anticipate the day of his own death. And so he asked for an apple and also a knife, so that accustomed to slice the apple with it he might receive some refreshment, and lifting himself briefly supporting himself on the couch he lifted up his right hand desiring to stab himself, but [p. 126] Achiabus ran up and prevented the blow, and the entire house resounded with lamentation, so that it was thought outside that Herod had died. Antipater rejoiced at the sound of wailing and demanded from his guards that he be released from chains. But the guard placed for this duty not only refused what was asked, but even announced it to the king. He shouting the still living assassins to have behaved insultingly toward him directed that they should kill Antipater, and ordered him killed to be buried in Hyrcania. And again he changed his will and made Archelaus the older of the brothers king, he left Antipas a tetrarch. And so outliving Antipater by five days he died, having ruled the kingdom for thirty seven years, from when he was ordered to rule by the Romans, from the time when however he destroyed Antigonus his competitor for the kingdom, he spent thirty four years in in supreme power, would that he was as happy in his domestic experience as in his public successes. For so outside thus favorable things blew upon him, so that as a commoner he was admitted into royal power, and there having experienced very many courses of years, which was difficult, his practice of rule safe he died leaving to his children the succession of rule, which he himself had not received from his parents, but in his household the most unfortunate of men, which he filled with sorrow and the bitter blood of his relatives. But however he did not achieve the execution of his greatest cruelty, in this alone Salome disregarding the previous mockery of their crimes, because she sent away all those whom the king had ordered to be killed, saying the king to have later repented of his deadly order and the previous orders having been recalled to have ordered that all should be sent away to their own territories.

XLVI. Then afterwards an assembly having been made in the amphitheater of the soldiers and the rest of the people an announcement [p. 127] was made about the death of the king. Ptolomaeus came forward, who was among the most faithful of the friends of the king, whom he had clung to to the end, and carrying his ring, which he took from the finger of the dead person, he extolled the king and warned the people to be tranquil. He opens a letter in which having beseeched the most faithful he exhorted the soldiers, that they should show benevolence and gratitude to his successor. The records of his will having been opened it is read aloud that Philippus was named heir of the region of Trachonitidis and the neighboring places, Antipas was named a tetrarch, and Archelaus the king, thus however that his ring was to be carried to Caesar and to him was reserved the approval and executions of all his arrangements, and then finally his will would be established if Caesar had approved it. The remaining things he ordered to be observed according to his previous wills. Immediately the acclamation of the soldiers arose applauding Archelaus, he was at once surrounded by a crowd of attendants, they promise good will, they pledge loyalty. After this his funeral rites were suitably and magnificently arranged all the display of the royal riches was sent ahead and all the multitude of the funeral procession, his funeral couch was entirely of gold and distinguished with jewels, the coverlet glittering with purple, the body overspread with a purple robe, which a buckle shining with precious stones bound up, a diadem rested on his head and above that was a golden crown, a scepter in his right hand, so you would have thought him living. A column of Thracians preceded and the German and Gallic bodyguards of the king preserved military rank. In the same manner girded with arms as if they were going forth to battle, but sad of face similar troops followed. The remaining troops preceded [p. 128] with the customary decorations and with the usual grooming the leaders and centurions together accompanying. Furthermore fifty slaves and freedmen of the royal household sprinkled aromatic spices so that the entire way was redolent with an agreeable odor. The sons of the king and a great force of relatives surrounded the bier. He was buried in Herodium as he himself ordered. Which was two hundred stadia from that place, in which he found the end of life, escorted through such a great distance with the great subservience of all but not with the equal affection of all. For fear had not extorted devoted service, the grief within himself at least had free expression. Herod had this end.


1. Translator’s note: i.e., of Pompey.

2. Translator’s note: i.e., by Pompey.

3. Translator’s note: him, i.e., Aristobolus.

4. Translator’s note: the translator has not tried in this literal translation to clarify the almost hopeless confusion in this Latin material of what pronoun refers to what individual as the confusion is inherent in the Latin.  It can be straightened out only with knowledge of the actual situation.

5. Translator’s note: he, i.e., Herod.


[p. 128]

I. Herod having been buried the judgments of the people were drawn out as they customarily are against the dead: he was oppressive and intolerable to them; a tyrant not a king he enforced an unjust rule against the citizens; an assassin of his own family members, a plunderer of the people, who left behind nothing for anybody; taxes increased, everything taken away, foreigners enriched, the Jews impoverished; who brought an enemy into the temple, who defiled all things sacred by sacrilege. He rewarded those who were unworthy, while tortures were not lacking for the living, after the release from captivity Judea endured more evils in a few years under the rule of Herod than it sustained in the captivity itself under a barbarous enemy, when the kings of the Babylonians ruled them. Beneath them exile was more tolerable than living at home under Herod, [p. 129] released to their homeland by the former, driven into exile by the latter. More savage than Darius, more haughty than Artaxerxes, more rapacious than the Medians. To have hoped for an end to their evils, as it was permitted them to go out from exile, if he should end his day, but Archelaus as his voluntary successor invoked the misery of servitude, who would renew Herod and add new things. This misfortune in the kingdoms was that the master was chosen, the greater misfortune that he was imposed upon the unwilling. It is seen a solace of servitude, if they choose a master for themselves, that because he is more kindly if the supreme power is bestowed, more haughty if it is seized upon. By far therefore Archelaus would be more intolerable than Herod because the first seized the throne, the latter received it. These things were not only in Judea deliberated, but thrown in his face even in Rome Archelaus standing against vociferous accusers before Caesar and the senate, where it was long contested about confirming the kingdom of Archelaus or denying it. Finally when in the temple of Apollo, which Caesar had founded, and embellished with many ornaments, the opportunity was given for investigation, the son Antipater of Salome powerfully in speaking described in detail those things we mentioned above and many others: himself to marvel that Archelaus was alleging that the kingdom was being sought from Caesar, when he had already by a daring usurpation long exercised the kingship inside Judea without Caesar having been consulted. Why was the golden seat and the crown brought forth unless they were emblems of the kingdom? With what arrogance had he presumed to sit upon the royal throne? From the lofty throne to greet the people encompassed by surrounding military ranks; in the certain manner and practice of emperors the crown to be brought forth, which ought to have been preserved for the judgment of Caesar not only in behalf of the power of the Roman empire but in accordance with the law of testament. Indeed Herod had not been able to snatch from Caesar or [p. 130] the senate, what he had accepted from the senate or received from Caesar, and to have expressed adequately by an earlier testament an indication of his own wish, by which in sound mind and considered judgment he declared Antipas to succeed him in the royal power, and by a later to have reserved all things to the judgment of Caesar, although at this time of sound body, disturbed by the great danger and not capable at this time of any understanding or judgment he dictated not what he was thinking but what was forced upon him. The seizer of power therefore proclaimed about himself that he was not deserving by your judgment, Caesar, to be substituted in the kingship, for if he had been confident of his merit, he would have hastened to seek rather than to seize. Moreover by not seeking but by usurping those things that were set forth in the petition even to prejudge in money matters he mitigated that wrong-headed litigants might prejudice their cases. Here truly not the gain of property was called into question but the law of the Roman empire was violated, respect was disdained, its power was despised; the senate of the Roman court, which was accustomed to grant and to take away the kingship, was deemed unworthy, that it should maintain with Caesar the long established prerogative of conferring the supreme authority. Which was about to be done, when he began to be king lawfully, who before the royal power had grown haughty? In addition he had killed very many, because wearied by things they had asked for help and the alleviation of the taxes, he inflicted war on those demanding relief, he killed eight thousand Jews engaged in the venerable celebration itself among them of the Passover, men sacrificed instead of sheep, the blood spilled of the consecrated who had come together for the feast of the temple, a pitiable spectacle. If anyone should review the slaughter of those killed, he would think the Babylonians to have returned. How much more cruelly were those things committed by a citizen which in a barbarous enemy [p. 131] were considered full of savage cruelty and impiety? This dole he gave to the citizens, with this offering Archelaus committed the beginnings of his royal power. Caesar and the senate ought to pity the remnants of Judaea, which once supported by free peoples chose slavery, if only it should be permitted to endure tolerably under a just king. For a long while a king was away from the right of governing, since indeed to none among the Jews was the royal power suitable, unless to him who should be from the begetting of Juda, as the law asserted. But in truth that Idumaean race, which no origin of royal lineage touched, had crept into the honor not due them, inasmuch as, Antipater was an ancestor to them and to Archelaus, outstanding in wealth and strong in other skills and especially in the friendship of the Romans and proven in war to the elder Caesar. Since he was able to take over the kingdom for himself, he had never however aspired to it, moreover he preferred to fend off with others rather than to provide for himself, and deservedly he was considered as a good parent, who had delivered Judaea into freedom with his own wounds and had not led it into servitude. Herod by the testimony of Antonius who had been a paternal host to him had aspired to the kingdom; from him the condition of the Jews had been impaired, he had acted as an enemy not as a guide. Since therefore he has been a seducer itself of the kingdom, in what way could a legitimate king be created from him? It is not to be deprecated however that they are less under the kingship, but to demand that beneath the Roman whose favor to themselves had already been achieved in the Macchabaeans they had afterwards degenerated so much through the usurpation of the kingdom, that they were much inferior to those against whom they sought the Roman alliance. Finally themselves to pray ‘that Judaea might obtain a guardian judgment from you under the condition that Syria had, by which a test of our devotion might be given, [p. 132] whether we who are called seditious and rebellious are able to be submissive to moderate judges’. Against these things Nicolaus responding in behalf of Archelaus claimed that a most stormy nation had paid the penalty for arrogance, lest from this especially Archelaus should be indicted on the grounds of an inexcusable offense, if through sedition they should disturb the peace and depart from the Roman alliance in spirit and with arms. About the display of the testament who should doubt, ‘ both that the last should customarily be preferred to those earlier and ought to be seen as much more valid than the rest, in which last the prerogative of confirming the royal power is reserved to Caesar, by which respect for the Roman name would be increased rather than diminished, and also there should not be taken away from kings by you, Caesar, what is allowed to private citizens, that their testaments are valid, and whom they wish most strongly to succeed them which they write with their final pen, and by them again that conferring of honor upon you is preserved, that the confirmation of the judgment should be sought from you, that he should succeed whom the father has chosen, you should approve? When therefore was Herod wiser, when he reserved to you, Caesar, the prerogative, or when he disregarded it? When Antipas is substituted, Caesar is disregarded, When Archelaus is chosen as successor, Caesar is approved of, without this support nothing is firm. And so by divine judgment, when justice was absent, when support has been lacking for either deceit or goodwill: when however fairness of mind was at hand, support was sought, that the judgment should be confirmed. Consider therefore whether he committed an injury who chose you, or if that ought to be rescinded which he left to be ratified by you as judge, the master of all things, to whom by right even kings concede power. For he who has investigated whom he should choose for confirmation, has certainly investigated whom he should choose [p. 133] for ruling, nor was he able to be mistaken in regard to the successor who was not mistaken in regard to the confirmer. For he who selected you as the arbiter certainly recognized that such a successor to himself should be established that he whom you would establish should not displease you.’ The parties having been heard Caesar deferred his judgment. Then the decision having been discussed with the senate he placed Archelaus before the people, that he should perform the duty of a governor not with the status of a kingship. He promised however that the kingship would be granted, if he bore himself such that it should be approved. For already attempts of separation of the Israelite people were being reported . He established two tetrarchs the sons of Herod, Philippus, and Antipas who had contested with Archelaus for the kingship, he reserved a legateship for the sister of Herod who had the name Salome, and also he added other things. Also to the two daughters of Herod he added a thousand talents, which had been left to himself, having decided that they should be distributed and even another six hundred thousand and he decreed they should be shared with the children of Ferora.

II. In the meantime a certain young man, pretending to be Alexander and because of sympathy from those, to whom the task of killing had been given by Herod the father, others having been substituted in his place himself having been sent away with his brother Aristobolus, he traveled to Miletus and from thence to Rome, where it would be more difficult for him among strangers to be recognized. In which place he easily aroused the Jews most eager for new things, except that having learned these things Caesar had speedily ordered him to be brought to him by a certain Celadus who knew Alexander well. Celadus when he saw the young man, deceived by the similarity was undecided, but perceiving other information not [p. 134] to harmonize he asked where was Aristobolus. But he claimed him to remain alive on the island of Cyprus avoiding treachery there because the brothers joined together would be more easily killed. Thereon taken to Caesar he immediately revealed immunity having been promised that he relying on the appearance of similarity had pretended that he was Alexander, that he as the son of the king had obtained innumerable gifts from the Jews. Caesar laughed at the trickery, but dismissed him with immunity and those, who had bestowed gifts (upon him) as the son of the king beyond the manner of a private citizen, he pronounced to have been sufficiently punished, because with their overflowing expenditures they had suffered infinite losses. Archelaus however having set out to Judaea, charged before Caesar because of the indecency of his behaviour and his arrogance, his case having been examined between the parties, is banished to Vienna and his wealth joined to the treasury of Caesar. This price he deservedly paid who had not stifled his lusts for the wife of his half brother. For when Alexander died handed over to death at the command of his father, Glafyra his wife, descended from the the king Archelaus of Cappadocia, in what way we related above, was joined in a second marriage to Iuba the king of Libya. Who having died she returned to her father. Having gazed upon her there Archelaus, who by no means considered that the brother of a married man the uncle of sons should be conscientiously fled from, thus began to love (her) to distraction, so that he cast out his wife Mariamme and substituted Glafyra in her place. Not much later, when the woman returned to Judaea, she saw [p. 135] Alexander in a dream and desired to be embraced. But he similar to one resentful having fled from the embrace was seen to say: ‘This is, Glafyra, the trustworthiness of a promise? Thus you have guarded my love for you, mindful of which you ought to be? But be you: as a young woman you had not shunned a second marriage, even a third, even the brother of your husband? Thus my injury pleased you, that you did not blush for shame to return to my home married to a third husband? But let not my affront your contagion remain longer a concern for me, not for long will the incest of a fraternal marriage be joyful. The woman arose and related the dream to the household, and herself dead two days later gave credibility, that marriages of this type are not unpunished by the laws of the living or by the desires of the dead.

III. Archelaus himself also saw in dreams nine large full ears of corn being devoured by oxen, to whom inquiring the interpreter answered nine years to be indicated by the nine ears, in which great and ample power would be enjoyed. But in the ninth year of his reign there would be a change for him, because the oxen, which are accustomed to plow the fields, indicate a change full of trouble, which would consume and swallow up the previous rewards. When these things had been learned on the fifth day there came from Caesar (a man) who should conduct him to Rome for judgment, in which found guilty and driven into exile he fulfilled his dreams by his death as well. The leadership of the tribe which belonged to Archelaus was changed into the name of a province by which term the Romans, when they drove back into their power by conquering, named regions located at a great distance. There remained however [p. 136] the tetrarchs Philippus and Herodes, the last who was previously called Antipas with a changed name. For Salome dying had left the regions which she had held and the rule over her people to Livia the wife of Caesar. This was the status of Judaea when Caesar died, leaving Tiberius, his stepson, the son of his wife Livia by her previous husband, the successor of the Roman empire, in whose honor Herodes founded Tiberiadis. Philippus also thought a city should be named Livia from the name of his mother. And because it has been proposed by us to reveal the causes, by which the people of the Jews defected from the Roman empire and hastened destruction for themselves, the event indicates that Pilatus the governor of the province gave the beginning of its ruin, seeing that the first of all he did hesitate to bring into the Jerusalem temples the images of Caesar. When the people disturbed by this resisted and he decreed the images had to be received. he forced very many into death. While these things were going on in Judaea, Agrippa the son of Aristobolus arrived at Rome desiring to contend in court before Tiberius against Herodes the tetrarch, but disdained by Tiberius, while he was spending time in Rome, he associated very many to himself in friendship and especially Gaius the son of Germanicus, who whether by reason of his father’s name was loved by the people, or from the nearness to the royal family was considered the closest to the supreme power, or whether by a certain presentiment he zealously cultivated, which consideration of either age or his reputation allowed, so that on a certain day raising his hands he prayed, that Tiberius would die soon and he would see Gaius as emperor. Which having been revealed by Eutychus his freedman, Agrippa by order of Tiberius is commanded into chains and tortured in the most severe fashion, [p. 137] he was not released before Tiberius concluded his life. Whose loathsome times and retirement to the wantonness of the island of Capri– the intolerable idleness–they incited no man however of effective work to his death, from respect for the recent Roman empire, as I judge, or from terror of the savage cruelty, because generally the more painful the harshness the safer it is.

IV. With him ruling the notorious mockery of Paulina a woman of the most respectable type was made well known at Rome. Who although she had an excellent reputation for chastity, was moreover of outstanding beauty and eminent loveliness, neither tempted nor affected by the appeals of Mundus the leader of the equestrian forces, from the fault of too much superstition she was open to error, for instance by the bribed priests of Isis who as if Anubis conveyed orders to her, which invited her to the temple, himself delighted by her earnestness and modesty to request a night, he had what he wished to impart to her in private. Accepting which gladly she reported to her husband, the god was attentive to her prayers, her presence was demanded by the god, she was not able to refuse obedience. And so in accordance with her and her husband’s decision she proceeds to the temple of Isis, and witnesses having been removed to a distance as if about to receive knowledge of the sacred mystery she arranged herself on her couch, thinking that her god would come to her in her dreams and show himself to her in a vision. However when something of the night had passed, by which a woman full of sleep might be more easily deceived, Mundus the mask and dress of Anubis having been assumed comes to her, he removes his garments, rushes into kisses. He says to the awakened woman that he is Anubis, he holds forth the mask of Anubis. She believes him the god, she asserts herself happy because the lord her god deemed her worthy to visit. [p. 138] She does not refuse the embrace of him seeking it, she puts the question however whether a god was able to unite to a human. He offered the examples that Alcmena had accepted Jupiter the greatest of the gods and that Leda had been gained in the sexual embrace of the same, and many others, who gave birth to gods. He persuades the woman about himself and also that a god would be borne by her, that they should mingle in intercourse. She returns to her husband quite happy, saying that she a woman had had intercourse with a god and according to his promise she would give birth to a god. The joy of the husband in the illicit intercourse of his wife is great. Afterwards Mundus met the woman and said: “You have been blessed, Paulina, by the embrace of a god, the great god Anubis, whose mysteries you accepted. But learn that you just like to gods have not denied to men, to whom they bestow what you would refuse, because they refused not to give your charms to us nor names. Behold the god Anubis called Mundus also to his sacred rites so that he should be united to you. What did your stubborness profit you, except that it deprived you of the twenty thousands which I had offered as payment. I mimicked the kind gods, who give us without price what cannot be obtained from you at great price. But if human names give offense to you, it pleases me to be called Anubis and the influence of his name supported the performance.” Stricken by this speech the woman understood she had been made sport of and grieving the injury to her modesty she declared the trickery to her husband. He having nothing which he should hold against his wife, to whom he had himself allowed the opportunity of sleeping in the temple, and conscious of her conjugal chastity took the grievance to the leader. Who provoked by the abuse of a powerful man and the fabrication of this heinous crime seized the priests from the temple, subjects them to questioning, [p. 139] puts them to death when they confessed, and sinks the statue of Isis in the Tiber. The opportunity of fleeing was granted to Mundus, for the reason that overcome by the force of love and the grace of beauty it was judged that he should punished by a lighter penalty for his offenses.

V. This wantonness therefore which occurred with Tiberius reigning I thought ought not to be passed over, so that from it the impropriety of the emperor might be assessed. For indeed the life of uprightness of a good leader is a certain rule and pattern of living for all, so the filth of an emperor is a law for scoundrels. Pilatus was sent by him into Judaea, a wicked man and putting falsehoods in unimportant matters, he encircled the Samaritans as they were going to the mountain which has the name Gadir–for it was sacred to them–for the reason that he wished to learn their mysteries. And going up he outstripped the people with cavalry and infantry, he spread abroad with a contrived charge, that they had prepared to withdraw from the Romans and were seeking a place of assembly for themselves. What indeed did he not dare, who had put even Christ the lord on the cross, coming for the salvation of the human race, pouring forth upon men with many and divine works the grace of his mercy and teaching nothing other, unless that he should make peoples obedient first to god, and then to emperors? A raving man who was the servant of the madness of sacrilege, and who killed the author of salvation. And so through him the the state of the Jews as destroyed, through him there was ruin for the nation and a hastened destruction for the temple. For if Herodes, who handed over Johannes to be killed, paid the price for his treachery and cruelty (by being) thrown out from the royal power and given into exile, by how much more headlong fury is the action to be understood given (against) him who killed Christ? What was the cause of death for Johannes I shall set forth briefly. Philippus and Herodes [p. 140] who was previously called Antipas we showed above to have been brothers; the wife of Philippus (had been) Herodias whom Herodes unlawfully and wickedly associated to himself by right of marriage. Johannes did not tolerate this and said to him: “it is not lawful for you to have the wife of your brother.” Then the former provoked threw Johannes into prison. And not much later he killed the just man and immovable executor of divine law. For not only as a preacher of the gospel had he blamed the incest of the brother’s marriage bed, but even as an executor of the law he censured the transgressor of the law who had taken by force the wife of a living brother, especially having seed of him. Aroused by this the hatred and retribution of almost all Jews was hastened against Herodes. The supporter of whom Herodias, seeing Agrippa to have had much influence with Caesar, drove him to go to Rome, where he should win over the favor of the emperor to himself, putting before him the affront of idleness, because shunning work, while he stayed at home, he allowed indignities to be brought forward against himself. For since from being a private citizen Agrippa had been made a king, how much more therefore should Caesar not hesitate that he should confer a kingdom upon him who had already long been a tetrarch. And so by no means sustaining the reproaches of his wife, he proceeded to Rome, while he was seeking the friendship of Gaius, impugned by Agrippa he lost even the tetrarchy, which he had received from Julius Augustus, and going into exile in Spain together with his wife Herodias he died from grief of mind. Tiberius having died also Gaius succeeded, who, [p. 141] wishing himself as the ruler both to be seen as and to be called a god, gave causes to the Jews of a very serious rebellion, and lest he should destroy the empire with a quick end, made a quicker end of the nation of the Jews. For not only did he not call his men back from illegal acts, but he even threatened those sent into Judaea with the ultimate punishment, unless they accomplished with their arms everything against justice and the dictates of religion. Agrippa was very powerful in his state, but while he wished to encircle Jerusalem with a great wall, so that it would become impregnable to the Romans—for he foresaw its imminent destruction—prevented by death he left the task unfinished. Nor did he exercise less power while Claudius was ruling, because he was also in the midst of his own beginnings, since with Gaius having been killed he had been thrust by the soldiers into the rule of the empire, the senate resisting him from weariness of the royal power, he sent Agrippa as his deputy, with whom as negotiator the promise of moderation having been given, an accommodation having been begun, a peace is agreed upon. In place of Agrippa the father Agrippa his son is substituted as king by Claudius Caesar.

VI. Claudius himself also, three and ten years having passed, died, he gave Nero to the Roman empire as its ruler having been captured by the persuasions of his wife Agrippina, who was so powerful through trickeries, that she rendered Britannicus the son of the emperor designated as the successor by the law of nature without share in the rule. Whose art soon displeased her, because as long as born from her he was deferent, she denied him the leadership, unaware that exalted by his supreme power he did not acknowledge his mother and would pervert the reward of (her) assistance into her destruction. Likewise however he held Octavia the daughter of Claudius in marriage, the son-in-law was preferred to the son in topsy-turvy order, the mischiefs of the state preponderated, to which is owed the parricide, the sacrilegious man, the incestuous man, so that in him crimes, not any [p. 142] merits of good conduct, ruled. Under such an emperor, whether from consideration of his morals or scorn of his indolence or because he was preparing a final destruction for the Jews the protection of the supreme god having been withdrawn because of their severe sacrilege, there broke out into great riots, brigandage, conflicts because of their haughtiness, whom for twenty years Eleazarus the leader of the robbers oppressively plundered, finally however captured by Felix, who was in charge of Judaea, and sent to Rome he suffered severe punishment. Not thus even were the people disheartened by the number killed of those inhabiting Judaea, but in Jerusalem itself another kind of brigands sprang forth, who were called dagger-men 1. Not indeed hidden in secret, nor in nocturnal darkness lying in ambush for those going about without any guard, but in the light of day and in the middle of the city and a crowd of people, they strike whomsoever they had approached closely, carrying short swords in their hands, mingling in a crowd of people, where they pierce someone adhering close, the unsuspecting victim falls with a hidden wound, and death prevents an outcry. The corpse is in view but the assassin escaped notice, and if anyone had been alarmed by another’s wound, happening closer to himself, he was a part of those struck down. Thus from the fear of the danger or the dissembling of the crime the assassin is not caught. So great was the speed of the ambushers and the skill of concealing themselves. The priest Ionathes is killed, many were added daily, the fear of the living was greater than the calamity of those killed. As if to a battle, each one came forth daily, the situation was worse however, because an enemy is foreseen, an assassin was hidden. Death before the eyes, fear in the mind. No one believed that he would return, nor was trust bestowed upon friends while the assassin was feared. By which the majority were terrified, indeed those innocent [p. 143] of the crime of brigandage or the companionship of assassins, although unhurt by the band, the less resolute purposely repaired to the desert. But while they are taking counsel with themselves, they aroused fear of a separation, from which at first a suspicion of war against the Romans, then a hatred blazed up. Alarmed by this the governor of the province, cavalry and a foot column having been sent, engendered a slaughter.

VII. Also an Egyptian false prophet instructed in the magic arts arrived, he boasted himself with the prophetic spirit to pronounce heavenly prophecies; he joined almost thirty thousand Jews to himself and assembling them at Mount Olive he invaded Jerusalem with frequent assaults, so that even he accused the Roman guards, who spread tshemselves before Jerusalem lest anything should be provoked by the people. When indeed this arrogance was suppressed, just as in a sick body another part was gravely inflamed. For many openly cried out that they should separate from the Romans, that liberty should be preferred to servitude and the food which was lacking to those who had gone out into the fields was sought by force.

VIII. Finally in the city Caesarea a serious riot broke out between the Jews and gentiles, the Jews claiming to themselves possession of the entire city as founded by the Jew Herod, the gentiles resisting that the founder was indeed a Jew, but he had made it known with the name of Caesar, and in fact had constructed temples within it and had set up statues and from that it was to be seen that it had been transferred more to the use of gentiles. The strife of these controversies turned into bands, because the leaders of the Jews were not able to restrain their people who were dedicated to rebellion and regarded the gentiles with taunts, if they thought it should be conceded to them by the Jews. And so they aroused Felix, so that while he wished passionately [p. 144] to restrain the mob of each party that was not quieting down, he decided upon arms when he was unable otherwise. To whom Festus succeeded, who very many brigands having been seized gave the by no means small number to the ultimate destruction. Albinus also the same power having been entrusted to him by the Romans let pass no type of wickedness, a flagrant of plunder, so that he who did not give money was dragged off in chains although blameless, he who gave even though guilty was set free. Avarice give birth to arrogance, so that he presented himself a tyrant to the poor, their agent to the rich. Likewise however as he went past the wickedness of his predecessors, so by his successor Florus as it were lazy and sluggish in shameful acts but passed by and left behind last in a long interval, so that in comparison with those worse, he was considered honest. And those who at first had complained as having been ruined, afterwards longed for Festus as a good judge. For he stripped individuals, Florus laid waste to cities, the most polluted in indecencies, the cruelest in barbarity, disquieting everything with arms and sowing battles from battles, who implored did not pardon and glutted did not spare. In the sight of Beronice, who the sister of Agrippa the king had come to the temple for the sake of religion, he raged against the people with the harshest slaughter, having judged that it should not be granted to one praying, although he saw him paying attention to his religion, standing with bare feet, and he considered him with contempt who was praying. From this to Agrippa the king both she herself wrote and the people of the Jews directed a prayer beseeching help for liberty. To whom returning from Egypt very many ran to meet on the road more than sixty stadia from the city of Jerusalem and led about through the city while they proved the justness of their complaints, they began to insist that he should send ambassadors to Nero. In truth he felt the pain of the citizens [p. 145] seeing however that the attempts of war against the Romans should be moved with profound prudence, lest hatred for himself and a very great danger to the people should be brought forth, to the people collected together, in that place, which next to the temple and separated by a bridge was called Xystus, he delivered a speech of this type.

IX. “Although in the majority thoughtless of taking counsel and impatient of moderation resentment may make some to seethe with angry complaints, however when counsel is taken, the effect of resentment is given up, for if I had learned that everyone out of this people so prompt at avenging injuries and at waging war against the Roman empire not to prefer the opinion of the better and quieter party which is for peace and which prefers calm, I would not have dared to come before you, nor to give advice. For it is useless to persuade what has to be done, when the assent of the hearers is for the worst. Because of the experience untried by some of the misfortunes of war, by others careless hopes of freedom, very sweet to aspire to but irrational for achieving, —indeed while freedom is being sought servitude is enhanced, and often is taken away completely from many, to whom the name of freedom had remained, —newness of things may excite others whom his supporters displease by present worthlessness, and if business is thrown into confusion it is considered a benefit, for that reason I considered that a consultation should be undertaken with you, lest either the sobriety of the more prudent be snatched away by the daring of the more arrogant, or so that those who do not know to be wise at least warned by our talk may recognize that there must be reconciliation with the more experienced. I recommend therefore that silence be offered, so that we may disclose those things which we think to be of advantage to you, [p. 146] and let no one of you be disturbed, if he hears something contrary to his own opinion. For no one will be able to judge how what is said may be, unless he shall have first heard it, whose approval or disapproval, since he himself is about to be the judge, disturbs to no purpose if he does not listen. It is permitted after deliberation to each one to think what he thinks and, if separation pleases him, even warned after sober considerations, to keep the opinion of his ill-advised desire. But someone says: why should I wish to be heard to no purpose, if they do not acquiesce who listen? Because if they do not wish to assent when they shall have heard, a part of the assembly will be in conflict with me, not the entire people; if however they are unwilling to listen, even when a part of the audience raises a disturbance, the profit of listening is taken away from all the people. And so my talk will die away among those who may have wished to hear it, if silence is not granted to me by even some part. For all the talk is cut off, as if it had all fallen away, as if it is deprived of life by the impediment of the tumultuous racket and the noise of the assembly. There are two things therefore to which I think response should be given first, which are in the great mass of the complaints, that very many are crying out about the injuries of the procurators and that many lament freedom for themselves to have been destroyed. The joining of which propositions it seems to me ought to be separated. For if the procurators are bad, what is necessary to achieve freedom? You should not be seen to impugn the procurators as agents of despotism not from their merits but from loathing of servitude. And if servitude is intolerable, then complaints about the procurators are superfluous. For if there is moderation in them, none the less servitude is shameful. Let us consider therefore whether in either of them there is not slight basis for wars. [p. 147] What however is more foolish than to complain about injuries and to attach a war and to change insults to dangers, while you run away from the judge, you bring on the enemy, while an unjust judge is generally an interpreter of the law, is an enemy however even always just a seeker after safety? It is fitting that a judge control himself and not be irritated, to beware an enemy, that you not aggravate another, that you not summon another, he becomes gentler with blandishments and such ought to be avoided lest he is able to do harm. Care must be taken with judges lest there be a quarrel greater than the injury and the dislike of the objection more serious than the reward of the perpetrator. For often those who at first more modestly commit offense, having been blamed are more immoderate, and who before stole secretly afterwards engage in brigandage openly. Nothing accordingly so irritates the fury of a wound than the incapacity to bear it. Finally in the fierce countrymen themselves the tightest of bonds, if they stir themselves up, are pressed in, if they should keep calm, they are loosened, the painful force of attacks of fever is lessened by tolerating it, it is increased by disturbances. But if they know country things to have regard for themselves so that they are forgetful of nature, by which they lessen pain, how much more so in men frequent experience has taught that of those who have been wounded tolerance for those wounding has been a disgrace, that without an accuser they have set right what they had not corrected by an accusation! But let it be, the arrogance of the Roman judges has been intolerable, what therefore is more tolerable, that everyone or one suffer? What moreover is the justice, when one has done the injury, to carry a war to all? Now are all the Romans the originators of the injury? Is Caesar himself? Or is the carefully chosen one dishonest who was sent to you? But they are not able to see across the seas and the eyes to stretch to the east from the west that they may see there what things are being done here, [p. 148] nor to hear easily, what, although solicitude should examine it, the great distance prevents by the difficulty of inspections. Will the fault of one therefore give birth to a separation from the Roman empire, when even without your complaints there may be a speedy correction with no ill will of an accusation, no hardship of a journey? With annual changes the Roman magistrates are moved, from which it happens that an arrogant one does not remain long and a more moderate one quickly succeeds. Nothing therefore will hurt anyone, since a remedy is bestowed even upon those who are keeping calm. To weave reasons for war is pernicious, since the condition of war is harsh against all, against the Romans it is a last resort. Whom if you wish to flee since you are not able to conquer, the world must be abandoned by you. But you allege the desire for freedom. That consideration of yours is too late. Before it had to be fought so that you would not lose your freedom, you demanded it back as if already lost. The experience of slavery is harsh, and therefore it ought not to have been submitted to from the beginning or having been accepted it ought to be borne with equanimity. It behooved to have resisted at that time, when you were called into slavery. That would have been a just fight. He however who has once given himself into slavery, although afterwards he may wish to withdraw, he is not considered as a lover of liberty, but is adjudged to be a defiant slave. Where was that defense of liberty when Pompeius was advancing upon your country, when he entered the city as your master? Where were the weapons for liberty? Why were they laid down by your fathers? And certainly they were braver than you. They were strong in mind, they had abundant forces, they desired to fight back, but they could not hold back even a small part of the Roman army. They were conquered but spared. They acknowledged the yoke of servitude, they did not bear the penalty of captivity. Why do you their heirs refuse what you owe by the law of succession? The actions of your fathers bind you. How do you refuse submission [p. 149] who are so much inferior to those who were submissive? And what will be left you when you arouse Caesar and all the Roman power against you? How can you resist them, who have triumphed in all things and are now helped by all who were fighting against them? And the Athenians even who surrendered their country to destruction for the freedom of all Greece, changing their homes for exile lest Xerxes should rule over them, who sailed across the land, marched across the waters, whom neither the seas stopped nor the land held back, the passage of his march included the space of all Europe, the boundaries of the earth narrower than the travels of his army, they so pursued him fleeing, that fleeing with scarcely one ship and lacking assistance, he took himself away from captivity. Truly these very men, who subdued all Asia because of little Salamis and gloriously put Xerxes to flight who ruled the waves and subjugated the seas in that he thought them subject to him, they now are subservient to the Romans, and the leaders of all Greece are now submissive to the commands of the Italians, and that Athens, which gave laws to others, now is a slave to foreign laws. The Lacedaemonians also after the triumphs of Thermopylae and of dead Leonidas, after Agesilaus the savior of Asia now love their masters. Macedonia and Africa, which through two very strong leaders had poured out the rule and control of the entire world into their authority, the power having been taken from them are not resentful and content with such a great change of fortune they desire the well-disposed whom they sought for slavery. Neither by the riches of Philippus nor the triumphs of Alexander [p. 150] are the Macedonians excited, which two leaders they consider not unmerited the most prudent of all, because one held himself inside Greece, the other fleeing the Roman arms arrived a conqueror all the way to the Caspian kingdoms and the limits of the Persian conquests and the remote regions of the Indians. He obtained the name of the Great, because he did not challenge the greatest of all. Whom an untimely death took away from the triumph of the Romans, it served however in his descendants by whom the plunder of the east was sought not for the support of domination but as the reward of slavery, so that the highest of the slaves might reach to the wealth of the victor. The great worth in Alexander: what was so wonderful? He extended his conquests to the ocean, the Romans beyond the ocean. The witness is Britain located outside the world but brought into the world by the valor of the Romans. They are slaves who indeed themselves did not know what slavery was having been born only for themselves and always free for themselves, who separated from the power of the strongest by an intervening ocean were not able to fear those whom they did not know. And so it was greater to have crossed to the Britons that to have triumphed over the Britons. What should be done by those elements already subject to Roman rule. The ocean taught them submission to slavery after it itself had acknowledged to itself unaccustomed servitude to the ships of the Romans and those crossing it. What shall I say about Hannibal? Who was the victor over so many countries and waged war on the Romans, to whose triumphs he opened the Alps, he laid out a path, he subjugated cities which were acquired by the victors. And although frequently victorious he never however had cut off hope to the beaten, and once beaten himself he was not able to recover. He fell back voluntarily to the victories, which as victor he did not keep up, and his arms having been abandoned to the victors [p. 151] he took himself to king Prusia, a hired soldier who had been a leader, a fugitive who had been a conqueror. A kindness to the inhabitants of Gaul a people wild by nature and wilder from the natural walls, whom not the cement of walls but the peaks of the Alps protect on the east, the ocean shuts in on the west, the ruggedness of the Pyrenees on the south, on the north the flowing of the Rhine and vast Germany were thought make them insuperable and inaccessible by the benefit of the barriers. To the Romans however traveling above the clouds and extending their rule beyond the Pillars of Hercules nothing was impassable: with great facility of the enemy both those who hid were discovered and those who resisted were conquered. From whose unexpected arrival Germany believed that the mountains had sunk down, the Rhine had dried up: more powerful than the rest from the size of their bodies and their contempt of death they previously thought their Rhine a shield, now a guardian of their safety. And so now it is filled not with the boats of the Germans but the warships of the Romans, which going over all the waters of the two-horned river to the sea press the at one time free tribes into slavery, so that those who had previously taken for granted their rule over the entire world, now have paid the price of their own slavery. What profited the Illyrians the gold dug out from the veins of their lands, to whom it was not sufficient for the fight for freedom? How much more valuable was the Roman iron, whom does the gold of the Pannonians serve? And so Pannonius gives a tribute of gold and willingly transfers its wealth to the Roman treasury, that it may be safer in its servitude. [p. 152] Nor did the wild wave turbid with the gold of the Pactolus raise its inhabitant into haughtiness: it was a willing slave to those to whom it saw the states to be a slave. Nor does the Indian marvel at his jewel or the Chinese his wool: they cultivate them for the use of their masters, not the rewards of trade but the duties of performance. We hear of the proud states of the Persians but we see their hostages also, and although they may rule many nations, however they offer their children and they rejoice their nobility to serve the Romans as a pledge of peace, at the same time they learn by serving to rule themselves. They offer clothing, necklaces, elephants also. The kings impose one tax to the Romans. We add Egypt overflowing with its wealth and not lacking heavenly rain, which itself generates showers for itself and creates the abundance of showers. Finally although it is hotter than all regions, it alone does not complain of drought, and what occurs for no other place, it nourishes its crops by irrigation, it sails in the sands, it sails through the crops where rain is not known. Whose however extraordinary return and natural fruitfulness serves the Romans so that it feeds the masters during four months. What shall I say of that city named after the most powerful king? Which surrounded by the wall of a river does not know a blockade, for which the greatest of all rivers in a bowl spread out through a space of the land keeps at a distance the hindrance of a blockade and by bringing in those things which are necessary for use furnishes the remedy. What would have been more advantageous for rebelling than for Egypt to be incited? Which numbers ten times seven hundred fifty thousand men beyond the inhabitants of Alexandria subject to Roman rule. And although it has such a great multitude, it prefers however to conduct itself with the taxes of the Roman empire rather [p. 153]than to make war with its own military service. I shall not pass over the Cyrenensians a race of the Lacedaemonians who at one time fought with the Carthaginians about their territories and rule, offering death as an end of the contest, defeated by which offering but nevertheless having avenged the injury they conceded victory to the Phileni brothers. Nor shall I pass by the Syrtes 3 frightful even just to hear about which draw all to themselves and cling to all approaching in the shallow sea. Those experienced in things assert a third part of the entire world from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pillars of Hercules to the Red Sea and Ethiopia to be marked off. Who would count the people of so many races, protected by which Carthage did not withstand the right wing of Scipio and preferred to feed Rome against itself during two parts of the year rather than relying upon the help of others to rebel against the Romans? Crete also with one hundred noble cities, preferring rich kingdoms, surrounded on all sides by the sea, accustomed to repel an enemy by the waves just as if by mountains, fears one consul, and very many people bow down from fear of the six rods of the fasces; Asia, the Pontus, Eniochians, the Scythian nomads, the Tauroscythians, the Moetian kingdoms, and all the Bosphorians are made subject to the Roman empire, and that before fifty ships reduced the unnavigable sea to peace. On the other hand what shall I say about Armenia which not [p. 154] only preserves the quiet of its borders, but truly even intent on the guardianship of the Gates carefully searches out lest anybody about to disturb the peace should creep in? All are therefore eager to serve the Romans, you alone refuse to be submissive to them, to whom all are made subject? relying on what arms, proud with what army? Where is the fleet of your ships, which might blockade the straits, run through the seas of the Romans? For against their name the elements have crossed, against which the world has crossed, which is shut off and bounded by the Roman empire, finally it is called by most a Roman world. For if we seek the truth, as we said above, the earth itself is within the Roman empire, having progressed beyond which the Roman valor has sought another world for itself beyond the ocean and in Britain has found a new possession for itself removed from the confines of the world. Finally they to whom the law not only of the Roman state but even almost of human activity itself is denied, are directed there, and they live there as if exiles from the world. The ocean has submitted to its boundaries, the Roman knows how to seek out its remote secrets. With ourselves there will be war against whom not even nature has its rights. The Euphrates inaccessible before unless to its inhabitants on both banks is Roman and shows the entire east to be under the Roman empire. Hister in the northern regions flowing among innumerable and savage tribes has receives hostages, it restrains enemies. The southern region as far as it is able to be habitable cultivates for the Romans and collects its harvest for them. In the west at one time the farthest of the lands Gaditana beaches received new visitors who carry their tribute to the Roman empire, it has its own resources with which it directs its commerce. Where previously it valued only piracy, there now it carries on commerce. Since therefore all places belong to the Romans, from where for yourselves against [p. 155] the Romans will you seek help? From what uninhabitable region will you seek allies? For whoever are in the world are Romans all. Will you direct an embassy beyond the Euphrates to the Adiabenians? Nor is it free to them to abandon their concerns nor does the Parthian allow the peace sought for him to be granted lest himself in the neighbors be guilty of rebellion. You should not think this war like as if they are battles waged by you against Arabs and Egyptians. Roman weapons are different, and there are other resources sought out from the entire world. Nor should you be deluded by the protections for Jerusalem its walls: they have broken down the the stronger wall of the ocean. But do you anticipate about assistance from religion when the disciples of Jesus have already filled the Roman world? Or without the nod of god do we think that religion to grow and the city of Rome to extend its rule over all regions? Truly our religion long ago forsook us, because we abandoned the faith and in great numbers sought things prohibited by heavenly edicts. From where did the Egyptian come against us? How were we made captives of the Assyrians? Did not scripture say these things would happen? Was it not written that all the sacraments of the temple would be profaned? Those things already too frequently profaned are displaying their strength and all the influence of their mysteries. The temple has been contaminated with human blood, the couches have been filled with bodies, the altars covered with gore. Battles have been fought on the sabbath, transgression has occurred while the temple is defended not by its usage and the solemnity of its festivals but by bloody battle. And this certainly can be said again. Therefore how can we deserve divine aid as if against enemies opposed to religion, when we ourselves [p. 156] are inflicting violations upon our religion? What therefore is the remedy, when human resources do not lend support, nor does divine grace bring aid? For some to call upon the second of these for war is the custom, for you each is not available. What therefore remains except certain destruction? But if you do not turn aside while it is possible to beware, nothing else except that you yourselves will burn up your country and will burn up the temple, and you will give your wives and children also to death. To whom you will be the originators of the greatest loss, since the inconsolable development of all these evils will be ascribed to our blame which we are supporting. It adds to this that the wars of other cities have ended with the destructions of their inhabitants, your rebellion will be the destruction of the entire religion, which having diffused over the entire world has spread its peoples everywhere, and in all cities there is a part of us. Therefore in your battle all Jews will be implicated, nor will there be any region free from our blood. And if the Romans are such, that they do not take vengeance on the Jews and are not provoked by the war, how unjust is it to make war on those whose kindness you hope for? It is well, dearest ones, it is well, while the ship is still in port, to foresee the future storm, and that anyone not throw himself into threatening dangers, lest, when you have proceeded into the deep, already your are not able to avoid the shipwreck. And frequently certainly a sudden storm arises, and war follows, even though it is not inflicted; but it is better to attack an enemy that to ward him off. Not provoked he spares more, and necessity excuses insolence, when truly anyone plunges himself into abrupt danger, he is burdened with disgrace. He is not an enemy whom you are able to avoid by flight. Wherever you will go, danger follows, indeed you will surely find it. For all [p. 157] are friends of the Romans, and whoever is outside the friendship of the Romans is an enemy of everyone. May love of your country move you. If consideration of your hostages, of your wives does not call you back, let contemplation of the most sacred temple recall you, spare at least our religion, spare the consecrated priests, whom the Romans will not spare nor the temple itself, who regret that they spared them, inasmuch as for a long time all the nations wish to destroy our religion, Pompeius however spared it although he could have destroyed it. I have omitted nothing, I have warned of everything which pertains to our safety. I recommend to you what I choose for myself, you consider closely what is advantageous for yourselves. I wish for there to be peace with the Romans for you and me. If you reject it, you yourselves take away my association. Either there will be common good fortune, or peril without me.” Saying this he wept, Beronice his sister also, for she herself was in the heights of Xystus. And Agrippa had influenced them greatly with his tears, so that the Jews say: ‘It is not the Romans we rebel against but Florus who has committed acts deserving of war and whom we consider to be waging war.’ Agrippa answered: ‘But this is to make war against the Romans, your acts seek injury of the Romans. Not to Florus but to the Romans, tribute is being denied not to Florus but to Caesar, the troops not of Florus but of the Romans are in the fort, which is called Antonia, from which the colonnades having been pulled down and broken up you have separated the temple so that the guard may be isolated. Restore the previous situation. Let the tribute which is owed to Caesar be paid to Caesar, lest Florus should report this, not himself but the rule of Caesar to have been rejected by you.’ The people had assented to his words, so that when Agrippa [p. 158] had ascended into the temple, they begin to build the colonnade as is was, they collect the tribute. Indeed within a short time diligent agents having been sent out for the duty of this type the forty talents were collected, which were lacking for the payment of the tribute. All the uproar of war had been suppressed, but Agrippa wishing to join to this, that they should be submissive to Florus, until a successor to him should come from Caesar, so irritated the common people, that they indeed did not refrain from abuse of him, but thrust out from the city it is uncertain whether some people stones having been thrown may have struck him. Provoked by which offense the king seized their leaders and sent them to Florus. Moreover he departed into his kingdom.

X. With him departing the instigators of war ambushes having been arranged captured Masada a fortress the guards of the Romans having been killed they stationed their own men. Eleazarus the son of the foremost of the priests a man of reckless boldness, persuaded that an offering or sacrifice of a foreigner should not be accepted, which was a trumpet call of war against the Romans and aroused everyone into an uproar. And so those who were most prominent seeing that this thing would be the cause of an abrupt withdrawal, stressed upon the people that not only war against Caesar would be invited but even the institution of religion would be violated and reverence for the temple would be diminished, the traditions of the fathers would be complained of and condemned, who from the offerings of foreigners decorated the temple, to which much more of wealth accrued from the contribution of nations and the gifts of separate and innumerable peoples, the sacred things of our ancestors would be forgotten, the sacred rites would be changed. What will happen with those things which have been previously collected, if in a similar manner offerings of the nations should be prohibited to be collected in the future? Or if that should be forbidden to the Romans alone which is permitted to all others, which would be an incentive of war? Finally [p. 159] it would be wicked, if among the Jews only it was not permitted to foreigners to sacrifice or to make offerings. It was necessary for them to consider that the peace of Caesar would be broken, who provoked by an offense of this nature without doubt it would come about that he would take from the Jews every practice of sacrifices; that they should not sacrifice for themselves who rejected the sacrifice of Caesar, this must be prevented in time; for if such plans should come to Florus and without doubt from there to Caesar, they would make destruction to the nation of the Jews. At the same time wishing to build on this by the testimony of the priests they asked if an offering of gentiles had ever been rejected by our ancestors. That this should be less allowed, prepared for riot they made a great noise, not even the attendants dared to insert themselves into such a great controversy of those quarrelling. One remedy was seen to remain, that Florus and Agrippa the king should arrive with a troop of soldiers, so they at least should desist from fear who by no means were recalled from their plan. But Florus, who wished the strife to be increased lest there be any reason for pardon to the Jews, from whom if they were involved with war every opportunity would be extinguished of pressing upon his brigandage and serious crimes, he allowed the madness of war to come forth, he gave nothing of a response to the ambassadors. Agrippa, whom the embassy of his relatives Cylus and Antipas and Costobarus especially canvassed, for the common good, so that he should save the Jews for the Romans and their religion for the Jews, the temple for the country, the city for the citizens and the glory of rule for himself, tranquillity for the kingdom, sent three thousand horsemen, Darius and Philippus the leaders of the troops, that relying upon the help of the honest men should support the counsellors of the factions. From this cause confidence arose for the honest men, anger for the disloyal; [p. 160] combat became established, when the juster cause, which however being nothing of weaponry does not aid the conflicts, inflamed the former, fury and the number of their multitude inflamed the latter. There were scattered lines of combatants. The foremost of the priests and that part of the common people, which wished for peace, with the royal cavalry seized the higher part of the city, the others situated in the lower part claimed for themselves the temple and the neighboring sacred places. At first they provoke the fight on both sides with stones and rocks and the hurling of missiles, they decide it with arrows, afterwards hand to hand fighting when the necessity of fighting presented itself. From skill and experience the royal troops prevail wishing to keep the arousers of the war away from entry lest they should contaminate the temple. On the other side it was the desire of Eleazarus to take possession with his men of the higher part of the city which was called Sion. It was fought for seven days without any intermission. The eighth was the day of a festival, on which all were accustomed to bring in wood for the altars, lest at some time the fire should die out, which it was necessary to maintain inextinguishable, it added fury that all the attendants were shut out from the temple. The king’s men yielded to the sicarii who were rushing in more daringly than usual nor did they dare to make a stand in the higher parts. The shrines of Agrippa and Beronice were burned, every royal instrument was plundered. The fire was spread about, so that even the hand written documents of debtors which were put away in the public records office were burned, so that those without resources rose up insolently against their lenders. Thinking themselves freed from every obligation they burned the city with their own hands. The sinews of the city were burned, the fort was stormed which has the name Antonia, all the guards discovered were killed, it was afterwards burned. Bursting into Masada also Manaemus the son of Judas the Galilaean, [p. 161] experienced in sophistical art and confusing situations, takes possession of the weapons armory and furnishes unarmed men with weapons. Going back into Jerusalem just as if in the royal manner with accompanying attendants he had become haughty to such a great extent that surpassing the practice of a private citizen not even from the unlawful, which free people were not able to bear, it was thought that he must be restrained. Many people rising up against him who upbraided him as a tyrant propped up by the royal garments and a lord lying upon the freedom of the citizens, he paid a heavy penalty as first overthrown he died from tortures. Not however was the conflict removed, for a much more serious disturbance rose up. At the end Metilius with the Roman soldiers pleaded that it should be permitted to them to depart, a pledge having been given and sacraments offered, when according to the agreement they had put down their weapons, they should depart without fear, by Eleazarus and the allies of his faction they were cut down unavenged, having decided that resistance should not be made against the violence nor beseeching, but only crying out the broken pledge and the perjury of the deceitful. And so all having been killed, Metilius himself the commander by asking and imploring, at the same time promising that he would become a Jew all the way also to circumcision alone is spared.

XI. All Judaea was on fire, the entire province of Syria also was aroused to war. Finally the Caesarians killed whatever Jews they held, aroused by which anguish the Jews having attacked many cities of Syria revolted. There was nowhere law, nowhere respect for religion, he was more respected who had plundered more amassing the rewards of bravery. It was a wretched spectacle, when unburied bodies lay everywhere in the cities, old men mixed with boys, women also nor on account of modesty of observers were any protections left behind with which the pudenda might be covered; all places were disgusting and full of [p. 162] miserable sights. Which although the painful and abominable cruelties had exceeded foul horror, threatened even still worse things to them in turn. There was brutal villainy between the Jews and the Syrians, since there was no hope of safety unless they should mutually stop themselves. Indeed what of the city, which had Jews and Syrians mixed together? The days were passed in blood, the nights in terror, neither to hatred nor to rapacity was there any limit. For beyond the difference of parties and culture which had broken out into a public evil, inordinate desire of having and pillaging had eagerly taken possession of the mind, so that they considered that no one whom from desire for booty they had assigned to death should be spared. What may I say about the small number of the murdered? For besides the Antiochians and Sidonians and Apamenians it is difficult to find any people who did not persecute the Jews dwelling with them. On the other hand the Gerasenians followed those wishing to depart all the way to their own boundaries so that they might go away without any treachery. But at Alexandria a controversy having arisen between the gentiles and the Jews since the Jews were demanding vengeance and were threatening to burn up with seized torches the people of the gentiles gathered in the amphitheater, they turned against themselves the commander of the place Alexander Tiberius who was looking after other matters. At first indeed he tried to restore public harmony with peaceful words, but when he noticed he was being mocked by those whom he was carefully warning, and that by no other means was it possible for the riot to be stopped, he gave his soldiers the power of attacking them, who having surrounded and attacked them made a great slaughter through the entire city, when they killed some who were resisting, others who were hiding in their homes, nor did any mercy [p. 163] even of small children appear or respect for the aged or concern for the modesty of women. And so fifty thousand of the Jews were slain. The streets were overflowing with blood, all were filled with bodies, flames crackled through the city from the fierce fire, which thrown into the houses of the Jews laid waste their neighborhoods. Unbending however Alexander finally orders the soldiers to abstain and the recall to be sounded, the anger of the mob however having once come forth into the capability of killing was by no means soothed.

XII. They indeed paid the punishments of their crimes, who after they had crucified Jesus the judge of divine matters, afterwards even persecuted his disciples. However a great part of the Jews, and very many of the gentiles believed in him, since they were attracted by his moral precepts, by works beyond human capability flowing forth. For whom not even his death put an end to their faith and gratitude, on the contrary it increased their devotion. And so they brought in murderous bands and conducted the originator of life to Pilatus to be killed, they began to press the reluctant judge. In which however Pilatus is not absolved, but the madness of the Jews is piled up, because he was not obliged to judge, whom not at all guilty he had arrested, nor to double the sacrilege to this murder, that by those he should be killed who had offered himself to redeem and heal them. About which the Jews themselves bear witness, Josephus a writer of histories saying, that there was in that time a wise man, if it is proper however, he said, to call a man the creator of marvelous works, who appeared living to his disciples after three days of his death in accordance with the writings of the prophets, who prophesied both this and innumerable other things full of miracles about him. [p. 164] from which began the community of Christians and penetrated into every tribe of men nor has any nation of the Roman world remained, which was left without worship of him. If the Jews don’t believe us, they should believe their own people. Josephus said this, whom they themselves think very great, but it is so that he was in his own self who spoke the truth otherwise in mind, so that he did not believe his own words. But he spoke because of loyalty to history, because he thought it a sin to deceive, he did not believe because of stubbornness of heart and the intention of treachery. He does not however prejudge the truth because he did not believe but he added more to his testimony, because although disbelieving and unwilling he did not refuse. In which the eternal power of Jesus Christ shone bright because even the leaders of the synagogue confessed him to be god whom they had seized for death. And truly as god speaking without limitation of persons or any fear of death he announced also the future destruction of the temple. But the damage of the temple did not move them, but because they were chastized by him in scandal and sacrilege, from this their wrath flared up that they should kill him, whom no ages had held. For while others had earned by praying to do what they did, he had it in his power that he could order all things what he wished to be done. John the Baptist a holy man, who never placed the truth of salvation in second place, had been killed before the death of Jesus. Finally to all things which he taught to be full of righteousness, with which he invited the Jews to the worship of god, he had instituted baptism for the sake of purification of mind and body. For whom freedom was the cause of his death, because he was unable, the law having violated of the right of fraternal marriage, to endure the wife abducted from a brother by Herod. For when this same Herod was travelling to Rome, having entered the house of his brother for the purpose of lodging, the wife to whom was Herodias the daughter of Aristobolus, [p. 165] the sister of king Agrippa, unmindful of nature he dared to solicit her, that the brother having been left behind she should marry him, when he had returned from the city of Rome, with the consent of the woman an agreement of lewdness having been entered into information of which thing came to the daughter of king Areta still remaining in marriage of Herod. She indignant at her rival insinuated to her returning husband that he should go to the town Macherunta which was in the boundaries of king Petreus and Herod. He who suspected nothing, at the same time because he had impaired the whole state around the same, by which he could more easily keep the faith of the agreement to Herodias if he should get rid of his wife, agreed to her diversion. But she when he came near to her father’s kingdom revealed the things learned to her father Areta, who by an ambush attacked and completely destroyed in a battle the entire force of Herod, the betrayal having been made through those, who from the people of Philippus the tetrarch had associated themselves to Herod. Whence Herod took the quarrel to Caesar, but the vengeance ordered by Caesar the anger of god took away, for in the very preparation of war the death of Caesar was announced. And we discover this assessed by the Jews and believed, the author Joseph a suitable witness against himself, that not by the treachery of men but by the arousing of god Herod lost his army and indeed rightly on account of the vengeance of John the Baptist a just man who had said to him: it is not permitted you to have that wife. But we construe this thusly as if in their own people the Jews preserved their lawful rights, among whom the power of the high priest had perished and the avarice of those killed and the arrogance of the powerful, who thought the right to do what they wished was permitted to them. For from the beginning Aaron [p. 166] was the chief priest, who transmitted to his sons by the will of god and a lawful anointing the prerogative of the priesthood, by whom by the order of succession are constituted those exercising the chief command of the priesthood. Whence by the custom of our fathers it became valid for no one to become the foremost of the priests, unless he was from the blood of Aaron, to whom the first law of this method of the priesthood was entrusted. It is not permitted to succeed to a man of another descent even if a king. Finally Ozias, because he seized the office of the priesthood, overspread with leprosy ejected from the temple, he spent the rest of his life without authority. And without doubt he was a good king, but it was not permitted to him to usurp the office of religion.

XIII. And so there were from the time when our fathers departed from Egypt up to the building of the temple which Solomon founded thirteen leaders of the priests who make up six hundred twelve years inasmuch as at first he who was the foremost of the priests continued all the way to his death, nor was anyone substituted in the place of those living. Afterwards they were substituted even for the living. Therefore these thirteen inherited the priesthood through the right of succession, at which times the power of judges and kings was both rule by the best born and absolute rule. On the other hand from Solomon to the times of the captivity, when the people emigrated into Syria the city having been captured and the temple destroyed, there were eighteen leaders of the priests through four hundred sixty years and six months and ten days. Moreover the people were in captivity for seventy years. Afterwards Cyrus when he dismissed the people from the territory of the Assyrians and gave them permission to rebuild the temple he even permitted the chief of the priests Iosedec who [p. 167] had been taken away at the same time to return, in order that the solemnity of the ancient rite might be restored through the knowledge of an accustomed priest. He therefore and his male descendants to the number fifteen from the return of the people up to Antiochus Eupator functioned in the office in the order of succession and represented the leadership of the priesthood for four hundred fourteen years, the first being Antiochus, whom we mentioned above, and his commander Lysias, Onia the chief of the priests having been killed, in his place they substituted Iacimus into the priesthood. Who although he was of the family of Aaron, he was not however from the house itself. From which Ananias a brother of Onia traveling into Egypt sought from Ptolomaeus Filometor and Cleopatra the wife of Filometor, who had inserted the rites of the practices in imitation of the Jerusalem ritual in the observances of the city of Alexandria, that from there a leader of the priests should be substituted, for the reason that Iacimus did not have a lawful right of succession of the priesthood. But the same however three years having passed died; nor did he deserve to have a successor, who had annulled the necessary formality of the lawful succession. And so the state was three years without a leader of the priesthood. Up to this time of the retreat of the fathers from the land of the Egyptians it had maintained a democracy, for the reason that the people of the Jews recognized themselves to have been led into captivity because of the wickednesses of their kings. Afterwards the Asamonaeans, having gained the power of presiding over the people, set up Ionathan as chief of the priests, who having served for seven years the office having been received found the end of life through the treachery of Tryphonis. In whose place however Simon a full brother just as if through selection by hereditary right succeeded, whom [p. 168] we have received as killed during a dinner by the treachery of a son-in-law. From whom to his son Hyrcanus, whom flight had taken away from danger, the prerogative of the priesthood migrated. But to Hyrcanus Aristobolus was substituted, who had joined the kingship to the mentioned office so that he was a partaker of each, and to Aristobolus Alexander was substituted. Both the kingship and the priesthood remained in the power of Alexander all the way to the last day of his life, namely through seven and twenty years, but for the most part in a doubtful status, for between himself and Demetrius the victory was doubtful and there was great hatred from the citizens. Alexander dying, who saw that the inheritance of his hatreds would be full of danger for his sons, wished his wife Alexandria practiced in the exercise of rule and the association of impartial advisors, more acceptable moreover to the people, because against the fierceness of her husband she had frequently been a protection to those imperiled, and a moderation to her husband, to control the governing of the kingdom, at the same time establishing her the judge, to which of the sons the powerful peak of the priesthood should be entrusted. She substituted Hyrcanus for her father in the priesthood, either because of the prerogative of greater age, or because it seemed to his mother with a gentler nature than his brother he would stir up no troubles in charge of the business of the kingdom. To Aristobolus she gave nothing of the public offices, but he actually with his mother living, on the occasion however of her illness, exercised the kingship in remote and well fortified places. Displeased by whom and made uneasy by the complaints of Hyrcanus she the force of sickness having proceeded not beyond nine years of rule left Hyrcanus the heir of everything, not that she anticipated that he would watch over it, but that she should not support someone unworthy or by a more favorable judgment arouse the insolence of a usurper. Truly the death of Alexandria deprived Hyrcanus of the priesthood and the kingship. For defeated in war he took himself to a fortified place, and the wife and sons of Aristobolus having been held back, whom [p. 169] he had found in the fort, he embraced them to change the situation, that all power and the priesthood should go over to Aristobolus, he himself as a private citizen would submit into the house of Aristobolus. But however he was not content for long to have exchanged the royal court for a private household. So incited at first by Antipater he went into Arabia as if contesting the unfairness of the agreement, then when they were irresolute on his behalf against the Romans, whom Aristobolus had enticed into partnership of himself through Scaurus, he turned to the assistance of the Arab king, he took his complaint to Pompeius who was arriving. Who struck down in battle the cheating Aristobolus who was already governing in his third year, and before victory he gave him to prison and his people having been overcome and the city captured, ordering him as a captive with his sons to be taken to Rome, he gave back the position of the priesthood to Hyrcanus and decided however that he should govern the citizens without a crown and the headbands of royal power, an adviser indeed of great honor but of peace, so that the peace should not be disturbed by a spirit of fraternal haughtiness. Thus Aristobolus, although a captive, still deprived Hyrcanus of the kingship, and for twenty four years afterwards exercised power more in practice than in name.. Still however he was not the end of life for Hyrcanus who was in his power. For he [i.e., Hyrcanus] yielded the remaining time of infamy, as we recounted before, in fact overcome in battle with the Parthians who were crossing the Euphrates he was captured and given into the power of Antigonus a son of Aristobolus and his ears also having been cut off not thus even did he satisfy the harshness of a wretched hardship. For after these things also carried away an exile into Parthia, a weak old man he showed himself a laughingstock to the barbarians, and it having been learned afterwards that Herod was ruling, whose wife Mariamme [p. 170] his granddaughter had gotten control of, he returned into Judaea. Where at first he was received with the greatest appearance of respect, by which a veil of treachery was concealed, not at all much later the crime having been alleged that he wished to regain power he was killed. Herod therefore having gained the kingdom, which he had received from the Romans at the price of the seige and surrender of the country, in the place of Antigonus, who had held the supreme power for three years and three months, he substituted as successors in the priestshood not of the family of Asamonaeus, whom we have accepted to have been of illustrious lineage, but of low birth whomever whom either lust or chance had given over, however fatigued by the requests of Alexandra or terrified by the accusations of his father-in-law he created Ionathen the brother of his wife a priest who served for seventeen years. Whom presently he himself gave to death suspected of a desire for supreme power, because around him the great favor of the entire people was seen to blaze up from day to day. And so Anhelus being held in less esteem, whom he had already nominated from the lowborn into the priesthood before Ionathan, he chose the rest in order of this sort, about whom he had nothing suspect. For what he was not able to tolerate in his relations, how could he not be ware of in strangers? Archelaus followed a similar pattern in making appointments of this character, with the appearance of an ancestral habit he held the opinion of a mean mind in a certain manner inherent in human mortals, that among them worthlessness of the stupid is less to be suspected than the favors of the good, although the weak mind may be more insolent in favorable circumstances, the more prudent will know to pay back reciprocally with favors. And therefore from the kingship of Herod to the rule of the Romans, which Archelaus having been deposed [p. 171] joined Iudaea to the other provinces, and so from there all the way to the destruction of the temple and the triumph of Titus there were twenty eight head priests during one hundred seventy years. Truly for most of these it was only a position of dignity, for in the hands of very few was there the exercise of power. It is evident therefore that among the chiefs of the priests succession of the legitimate family did not survive, because not all were from Aaron nor from his sons, who substituted in his place left to others the appearance of the prescribed succession. And so with avarice or treachery of their own the institutions of our elders were destroyed, the laws of religion dishonored, the protections of antiquity overthrown, not undeservedly the divine assistance deserted them. From that it proceeded as if against an empty people with every type of injuries, so that with domestic riots they turned their own hands against themselves, they were afflicted with most serious brigandage, the most offensive judges were chosen by lots, those more worthless succeeded the wicked. Finally Albinus the very worst was considered of the best, in truth with Florus his successor he was considered among the honest ones, who brought out the torch of war and inflamed the fight between the Romans and the Jews, which was the cause for the great destruction of the temple and the city.

XIV. For Cestius when he discovered the Jews to be on fire with madness of war, who had received from the Romans the great task of ruling the military in parts of Syria, in the twelfth year of the rule of Nero moved the forces of the Roman foot soldiers, to whom the guardianship of restraining madness and upholding peace was committed, so that he might punish murder. The forces of his allies having been collected and having entered into Iudaea, the city which has the name Zabulon, [p. 172] the inhabitants having melted away from fear, full of riches, which fleeing to the tops of mountains the owners had not been able to take away with them, having allowed it to be laid waste by the army, having admired also the beauty of the public works, he ordered to be burned. And as if this were not enough for vengeance, the army having been sent ahead lest anyone should take himself from destruction by flight, by land and sea, a rush by the boats which had been sent seized Joppa. Eight thousand men having been killed and four hundred more almost, when the pillage of robbery stopped, the city was burned. The neighborhood of Caesarea also having been pillaged, he plundered what was found, he burned the villages. Whose attack he broke off all the Sephorians coming forth to meet Cestius on the road, mollified by whose goodwill and favor he left the city exempt from ruin. A brotherhood of bandits was active in these places, but with the army coming they had departed into the mountains. Who, having attacked Gallus carrying standards in command of the twelfth legion, fought bravely, so that they killed about two hundred of the Romans. But truly when the Romans seized the higher places the robbers were not able to withstand the infantry in close combat, and fleeing easily surrounded by the cavalry they are killed. And so above two thousand were cut down, a few routed were able to hide in the steep places of the mountains, and all the region was cleansed of brigandage. Gallus returned into Caesarea; Cestius with all his troops proceeded to Antipatris, in which the Jews had amassed a not inconsiderable multitude. But before they put together their troops, dispersed through scattered areas they abandoned the region and villages to plundering and fire. Lydda also was found empty of inhabitants and was burned by Gabaus, which was fifty stadia from Jerusalem, where placed in view it received the Roman army, it armed the Jews. Who, the celebration of the sabbath having been postponed, which [p. 173] they initiated with solemn attention and ancient observance, they sprang forth against the Romans with such great vigor, that they would have routed the entire army if the cavalry had not come to the assistance of the oppressed foot soldiers. Five hundred fifteen men of the Romans were killed, but all were gravely endangered, of the Jews moreover twenty two were lost in the battle. In which place shone the valor of Monobazus and Cedaeus, who, it having been learned what had been raised up against the Romans by the Jews, having attacked from the front thrust back very many and forced them to retire into the city.

XV. Simon also drove off the ascending Romans in the vicinity of the city from their baggage, whence Cestius held himself in the region for three days. The enemy surrounded during this delay and situated on higher ground advanced and watched everyone, lest anyone should break in with impunity. Considering that without much loss on either side nothing could be attempted, king Agrippa sent his men Borcius and Phoebus, who were to say to the people that whatever of outrage had been committed by them against the Romans was pardonable, if only in the future their arms having been put down they would take counsel for themselves, reckoning what he believed that it would either be persuaded to all that they should reject war, or that part would be plucked away from the rest. But the mutinous to the contrary, from fear that the second of these might happen, attacked the ambassadors and killed Phoebus. Borcius however having received a wound was barely able to escape. Cestius, seeing contentions of this type in the city, in which some rose up against the ambassadors, others recommended that the Romans be received by the city, having tried to advance all the way to Jerusalem drove back those resisting and himself approached to the third stadia of the memorable city with the army and spent three days there, on the fourth [p. 174] day an attack having been made he entered and immediately burned Bethesda and Caenopolis. Who hastening to the heights of the city, the mutinous fleeing into its interior, if he had thought the city could be broken into, without a doubt the entire war could have ended. In fact Ananus the son of Jonathan had assembled a great number, so that they should encourage the Romans with their voices as if they were about to unbar the gates. But while Cestius either is called back by Priscus and several of the centurions, who having been corrupted by Florus desired that the war should flare up, or trusts too little, Ananus with his people lets himself down from the wall. Who fleeing back to their own supporters, the mutinous seized their place. The Romans trying different approaches for five days, when they realized that a break in was impossible for them, the strongest having been selected and with these and archers they attacked the temple from the northern side. The Jews fighting bravely also did not take a rest and the enemy having been driven back repeatedly were elated. But at last some having been wounded by the multitude of arrows, others struck and frightened yielded to the Romans to undermine the wall, to the attackers to burn the door of the temple. Great alarm invaded the mutinous and a certain confusion of their minds. Finally many as if by the uninterrupted destruction of the about to be destroyed city took themselves away in flight and not daring to make a stand they gave the people assurance that with those departing, by whose multitude they had been surrounded, as if already free and having put aside a certain blockade of the wicked they poured themselves around the gates, which having been opened they received Cestius as if he had come not to attack he city but to defend it. But also a certain stupidity suddenly took possession of Cestius himself, so that he did not consider the despair of the wicked nor the desire of the people, who if he had brooded over the undertaking a short while, would have averted the war, would have captured the city. But the opposite, as far [p. 175] as it is given to be understood, the will of god put off for the Jews the imminent end of the war, until ruin enveloped many and almost all of the Jewish race. It was awaited, as I think, that in every sin the enormous size of the crimes would grow and make equal the measure of the great shames to the increase of the impiety. Why was it that, when he should have pushed on, Cestius suddenly called back the army and lifted the seige? By what sudden reversal of the situation contrary to what was expected the spirits of the good people broken, and the robbers aroused that they took up confidence and having turned back from flight to pursuing they attack the rear of the marching army and attacking confusedly there they cut down many of the cavalry and foot soldiers. And already the day was declining, whence fearing the nearness of night and the fog of darkness, which they trusted more who were knowledgeable of the places, by which they urged on on all sides those uncertain of the region, Cestius established a wall before the city and on the following day, when he left the enemy, he armed it against himself, as they thought fear to be the cause of his departure. And so flowing around on the sides, at the rear, they cut down the hindmost, they harass the advancing army with darts, the force of darts thrown into crowded ranks is not at all easy to be eluded. If anyone dared to strike back, to be open to a wound, if anyone turned himself to those harassing, to be left by his companions, to be shut in by the enemy, he who follows always more protected than he who precedes, for the latter covers his chest, the former uncovers his back to the enemy. And so the Romans were vigorously urged on as if beset, and already themselves burdened by the weight of their arms not able to sustain or endure, the enemy being faster whom it was not easy to pursue, and there was great fear lest the battle array be broken up. [p. 176] From the unfair situation of the contest they were not able to do injury to the enemy, since they themselves were being seriously harassed. Cestius adhered to his plan, although through the entire march he saw that his forces were being wiped out, and already very many of the first rank had been hurt. He halted for two days as if about to renew the exhausted. But when he saw the number of the enemy to be increasing more and more and everything crowded together around the circumference to block the path to his adversaries and himself which would cause delay there because more were collecting together, on the third day seeking the saving of an easier passage he commanded that the baggage of the column be put away. The pack animals were killed, most of the vehicles were smashed and other things of this type, which were more of a burden than of use in perils, were burned up or thrown aside, as instruments of sieges and kinds of weapons, by which they were more frightened, lest they should arm the enemy against themselves with their own supplies. But when the Jews noticed that flight rather than battle was being prepared by the Romans, they occupied the confined parts of the route, they made a stand in the less spread out places, they hindered in the front, they hemmed in from the sides, they pressed from the rear, they forced against the precipices, against which they were confined on all sides or having fallen were thrown down. The many overspread the sky with javelins, they covered the troops with arrows their duty never relaxing and disaster alone for their adversaries. Already the foot soldiers were not able to hold out, and the danger was truly greater for the cavalry, who from the precipitousness of the rocks and the slipperiness the horses slipping and falling were rolled down and hindered by the narrow path could not maintain ranks. On one side the cliffs, on the other side the precipices denied the opportunity of either flight or defense. The Jews on the contrary were more fired up with the anticipation of victory, they were threatening weary troops, they were pressing hard against men in a difficult predicament, they trampled upon those who were giving up hope, and they would have completely destroyed almost all the the supplies of the Roman army, if night had not come, by whose darknesss the fighting was hampered, and for this reason the Romans were able to make [p. 177] their way into the nearest town to which the name Bethoron, so that the Jews having poured around on all sides spied out the exits from the place, lest the Romans should escape. Cestius despairing of an open path attempted flight by trickery. And so he chose forty men, to whom the despair of escaping had poured in contempt of death. He stationed them in the fortifications with the order that during the entire night with the greatest noise they should shout out the functions of those spread out on the wall so that the preparation of the departing army should not be made evident to Jews by any customary indications, by which those whoever they are who are agitated are wont to give themselves away, while in silence everyone went out with no indication to the mistrusting Jews, who heard the usual noise of the guards, from which all thought the Romans to be remaining in place. With this trickery Cestius led out the army, and had already accomplished thirty stadia taking advantage of the loyalty in doubtful circumstances of those few, who about to perish without payment preferred to stand up for their comrades rather than destroy their own dangers. And indeed night hid the trickery but day betrayed it. For when things were revealed in the diffuse light and every place, in which the Romans stayed, appeared empty, an attack having been made first against those, by whose simulated duties they had been deceived, the Jews rush in and the forty men having been destroyed a light task, they follow the army, which during the night had accomplished a great distance and was urging on the march even faster during the day, lest it should be involved in the dangers of the night. The road was full of baggage, which the fleeing Romans had abandoned, lest anyone should be delayed by a too heavy pack. Utensils lay everywhere, useful items, and even things necessary for fighting, spear throwing machines battering rams and other equipment brought along for the destruction of a city, which the Jews following passed by lest there should be delays, returning they collected them, so that they should use these against those, who had abandoned them. For having followed all the way to the city [p. 178] Antipatris, they struck against everything passed by and having dropped the hope of catching the Roman army, they turn back their track and picking up the spoils from those killed they return to Jerusalem with triumph and hymns. From which great rejoicing resulted, that few of their own having been lost five thousand foot soldiers from the Roman army and three hundred (eighty and three hundred) horsemen were killed. Which was done in the twelfth year of the rule of Nero, as previously mentioned.

XVI. But that exultation was not from all the Jews. For there were those who wished passionately after that to rescue themselves not from the battle with Cestius but from trouble as if from the great danger of a sinking ship and to swim away from the shipwreck of the state, before the rest Custobarus and Saulus brothers with Philippus the leader of the troops of king Agrippa. These fleeing took themselves to Cestius seeking that they should be sent into Achaia to Nero. Whom Cestius being willing received nor did he deny their requests, that through them Caesar might be taught the cause of the war to have been Florus; upon him the greatest responsibility for the war lay, that the army had been surrounded by an unexpected multitude of plotters, which it was established had been rescued from danger more by the plan of its leader than entangled in it. Cestius aroused against Florus had attempted to calm down the hatreds but had not been able to. And so he had fallen into the war, not brought it on. These indeed had been ordered, that alarmed by all the agitation of Caesar against Florus he hoped the displeasure of Caesar concerning himself to be lessened, that he had become fearful of the knowledge of a thing done badly. And so most however were terrified by the defeat of the Roman army, the inhabitants of Damascus, fearing the contagion of a mistrusted society on account of [p. 179] the sharing of lodging, killed the Jews collected in the sports center, who inhabited the city with them—because they either from mistrust or deceit had managed already for a long time that they were separated from social intercourse with the gentiles, lest they should change anything in the night or alone be open to destruction—a very great truly mystery of silence so that the attempt of this matter discussed should not be passed even to their wives, inasmuch as these also from a great part of the Jews were mixed together in their cultures.

XVII. And so in a confined place all of them having attacked they killed ten thousand Jews, which was easy as prevented by armed men and unarmed they died. And indeed a recent example of his barbarity at Scythopolis proceeded even farther, by which I think the Damascans were aroused. For when the Jews were laying waste every neighboring area, they came to Scythopolis and there the inhabitants having attacked to test the Jews submitted to their adversaries, whom they considered faithful to themselves, inasmuch as in the manner of human nature concern of safety outweighed distress. In favorable circumstances therefore establishing a brotherhood of fellow tribesmen they preferred an alliance of inhabitants, they threaten ruin to the fellow tribesman. Which was suspected by the people, because the performance was stretched out by the manifest spirit of hatreds, lest treachery should be gotten ready under the guise of pretense and they should attack the city at night with the residents less cautious, and with all the people having been overthrown they should restore favor to themselves among the Jews. .And besides to show their loyalty by this even around the gentiles if they wished, every generation they would go out from their city and seek out the neighboring grove. Which having been done the Scythopolitans were quiet for two days so that a part of the Jews would put aside mistrust, would put on carelessness. On the third night when already the anticipated trust in grace had removed any apprehension of the guard, incautious and sleeping, violence having been inflicted, and ten and three thousands of men were killed and whatever things they had were plundered. [p. 180]

XVIII. The suffering of Simon bitter to see and pitiable to hear drives an explanation, but it was remarkable from the strangeness of the thing. He was among the people of the Jews born of Saulus a not at all ignoble father, gifted with boldness of mind and strength of body, both of which he used in the destruction of his fellow tribesmen, who killed very many of the people coming in from outside in the frequent attack of the Jews, as if perhaps the conspirators were present, alone he was accustomed to hold out against the battle array and to rout the massed forces, he was the bond of the whole and a troop in war, and generally the savior in desperate circumstances. He demonstrated this to the citizens against his own people serving the forces of the Scythopolitans, but not for long to a kinsman was the vengeance owed to the blood lacking. For when, the good faith having broken, the surrounding Scythopolitans, who out of a peaceful situation had taken themselves to the grove, began to threaten with war and to press in, a mob even having killed the sons and parents of Simon although beyond reach of the rest they attacked with missiles and darts. Simon seeing the innumerable multitude superior in an easy task, since he was not able to bear it longer, drew his sword and having turned against the enemy shouted saying: I am receiving the proper return for my acts, who threatened with the death of kinsmen rather than yours and demonstrated good will and gave fraternal blood a pledge of peace to you, for which treachery is justly assigned. Now while I grant a pledge to foreigners I have sent against my family. I have betrayed my children and parents, whom however to be killed by you was not necessary, if you consider the reward of wickedness. I die therefore but angry at all, a friend to none, who have assailed my own people, with my own hands I will first seek retribution from myself. I have killed associates of my religion and sharers of my faith, I recognize what is owed for my wickedness. I will pay for the parricide suited for such a great sacrilege, that it may be both the penalty for the outrage and the glory for courage, lest anyone else should boast about a wound of mine, [p. 181] my own right hand will afterwards be turned against me myself, that it may be seen to be of fury that I die, not of weakness. Lest anyone should mock the dying, that madness should be a protector of parricide, parricide of sacrilege. Having spoken this he turned his gaze upon his children and parents and with indignant eyes, since already pathos mixed with anger was following, he transfixed his father snatched from the crowd with his sword, after him the mother is drawn lest there should be any who might appear as descendents. His wife voluntarily offers herself in succession lest dislodged from such a great husband she might survive. The sons run up, lest in death itself they should be judged unworthy of such a great father. He hastened with a swift blow to forestall the enemy. And therefore all his family having been killed he stood firm in the middle of his corpses and as though they were triumphing over their domestic sufferings because he saw no one of his to perish by an alien sword, he raised his right hand so that all should see and exposing to all the terrifying death for himself victorious he transfixed himself with his own sword. A remarkable young man because of his strength of body and greatness of mind, but because he bestowed trust upon foreigners rather than upon his own, he was worthy of such a death.


1. Note: in Latin, sicarii.

2. Translator’s note: a river in Lydia.

3. Translator’s note: the Syrtes are a shallow sandy reef near the African coast in the Mediterranean Sea.


[p. 181]

I. As soon as these things things were reported to Nero located in regions of Achaia, where he had striven in the rehearsal of songs in the tragic style so that he should bring back the theatrical crown — you would not know which was the more shameful, whether that the emperor should come forth onto the stage, or whether that he [p. 182] should fill the stage with his shameful acts, who would defile Oresten by singing and exhibit himself as a parricide — a great fear entered him, not greatly fearing those comparisons of the public spectacles but the ends of the wars, that he should at some time or other recover his senses from the foulness of the theatrical entertainments and the raving of the parricidal madness and turned back to the cares of the state he should roar and rage within himself, because from the want of care of the leader rather than from the valor of the opponents the Roman state might receive a great disaster. Indeed he was trying to simulate bravery, but fear contradicted, and as if to offer the appearance of magnanimity, that he had a mind above the tribulations of business, but was distracted by uneasiness of mind, he chose a leader for diminishing the disgrace by finishing off the war. The future subversion of the final ruin urged on Judaea, so that Nero assumed the regal character and with the voice of a foreseeing counselor rendered a sound decision. Vespasian alone to be (him) to whom he with justice would entrust the supreme command of military affairs in the districts of the east, a man from a youth of triumphal military service grown up in campaigning, who had pacified with lasting peace the warlike Gauls aroused into war by the disturbance of the Germans and the fierceness of innate rashness. Britain also heretofore lying hid among the waves he won for the Roman empire with arms, with the wealth of which triumphed over Rome was richer, Claudius was considered more wise, Nero braver. And so they did not see wars of which people, they celebrated victories over those subjugated. Under this leader, I say again, Nero was terrible. Nero was to be feared, powerful abroad, secure at home, the faith and fortitude of Vespasian between themselves being equal. That man of such greatness, by whose arms the faults of Nero were concealed from the minds of foreign peoples, [p. 183] as he also made bright by his triumphs the wantonness of (Nero’s) human affairs and the scandal of (Nero’s) unmanly impurity. And so when fighting had to be done in the farthest regions of the Roman territory, Vespasian was chosen out of all, when the war had been put down, Vespasian was associated in power in preference to all the rest, lest he should be left a public enemy or creep up a domestic enemy. He was worthy by (his) campaigns that he should have command of military affairs, he taught loyalty, he displayed high character. Nero reluctantly sent him, who took away guardianship of him, but he was restrained by future punishments of his crimes, so that he left himself defenceless dissociated from the great companionship of (this) leader. At no time actually would Galba have exercised desires of striving for the supreme power, unless he had learned Vespasian (to be) absent. But god managed this, that the man was sent into Syria, who both destroyed the insolence of the Jews by the final overthrow of the race and the disgrace of captivity, and forsook his support of Nero, granted that it is possible to bring an impediment of no value against celestial decisions. Demented however, when he had learned that a strong force of the Roman army had been shattered by the war of the Jews, he rose up against the Christians, so that a doomed end approached him.

II. At that time Peter and Paul were in Rome, teachers of the Christians, distinguished in works, brilliant in administration, who by virtue of their works had made Nero an adversary who had been captured by the enticements of the Magian Simon who had won over his mind to himself. To whom he promised with deadly arts the aid of victory, the subjections of peoples, longevity of life, the protection of safety, [p. 184] and he believed who did not know to examine the meaning of things. Finally he held the highest place of friendship with him, seeing that he was even considered the chief of his security and the guardian of his life. But when Peter uncovered his falsities and faults, and showed appearances to deceive him of things, and not to produce anything real or true, he was consumed with grief and considered an object of and worthy of mockery. And although in other parts of the world he had experienced the power of Peter, however preceding (Peter) to Rome he dared to boast, that he had restored the dead to life. There had died at that time at Rome a young noble relative of Caesar to the sorrow of everyone. Many suggested it should be tried whether he could be restored to life. Peter was considered the most renowned in these tasks, but among the gentiles no trust was accorded to achievements of this sort. Grief demanded a remedy, recourse was had to Peter. There were even those who thought Simon should be summoned. Both were at hand. Peter says to Simon, who was boasting about his ability, he would give (him) the first chances as if he were able to revivify the dead man. If he did not revivify (him), he would not be absent when Christ should carry succor to the dead man, at which time he would be able to arise. Simon, who thought his arts would be especially strong in the city of gentiles, proposed the condition that if he himself should revivify the dead man, Peter should be killed, who had proposed great authority, for it was named thus, by calling forth insults, but if indeed Peter should have superior power, he should in like manner make a claim against Simon. Peter assented, Simon made the attempt. He approached the bier of the dead man, he began to fix a spell and to murmur fearful incantations. He who was dead was seen to shake his head. a great clamor of the gentiles because he was now living, because he was speaking with Simon. Anger and displeasure against Peter because he had dared to compare himself to such great ability. Then the blessed apostle [p. 185] demanded silence and says: ‘if the dead man is alive, let him speak; if he has been revivified, let him stand up, walk, converse.’ That to be an illusion, not reality that he seems to have moved his head. Finally he says “let Simon be separated from the funeral-bed,’ and then indeed it will not be a pretence. Simon is led away from the bed, he who was dead remains without the appearance of any motion. Peter stood farther away and intent within himself for a short time on his words he says with a loud voice: ‘Young man, stand up: the lord Jesus makes you well.’ Immediately the young man rose up and spoke and walked and took food and Peter gave him to his mother. Who when he was asked that he should not depart from him said: ‘let him not depart from him who made him to rise up, whose servants we are. Be untroubled, mother, about your son, do not fear, he has his protector.’ And when the people rose up against Simon that he should be stoned, Peter says: ‘It is enough for his punishment that he knows his arts to have no strength. Let him live and even though unwilling see the kingdom of Christ to grow.’ The Magian turned away from the glory of the apostle. He collected himself and calls forth all the power of his enchantments, he assembles the people, he says himself offended by the Galilaeans and to be about to leave the city which he was wont to guard. He set a date, he promises that he will fly, where he would be borne on celestial thrones, to whom when he should wish the heavens would open. On the appointed day he ascended the Capitoline hill and throwing himself from the rock he began to fly. The people marvelled and many worshipped saying the ability was god’s, it was not a man, who should fly with a body, Christ to have done nothing similar. Then Peter standing in their midst says: ‘Jesus Lord, show him his arts to be empty, lest by this display this people who are about to believe should be deceived. Let him fall, lord, in such a way however, that living he will recall himself able to do nothing.’ And immediately on the words of Peter with a tangling of the wings [p. 186] which he had put on he fell to the ground, nor was he killed, but with a broken and lamed leg he withdrew to Aricia and died there. This having been learned Nero grieving himself deceived and abandoned by the fate of such a great friend, a man useful and necessary to the state having been taken away from him, indignant began to seek causes for which he should kill Peter. And already the time was at hand when the blessed apostles Peter and Paul would be called. Finally the order having been given that they should be seized Peter was asked that he should take himself elsewhere. He kept resisting saying he would never do it, as if terrified by the fear of death he should yield, it was good to suffer for Christ, who in behalf of all offered himself to death, not that death but immortality to come, how unworthy that he himself should flee the suffering of his body. Who by his teachings brought many to offer themselves as sacrifices for Christ, to be owed to himself according to the voice of the lord, that he himself also should give glory and honor to Christ in his suffering. This and other things Peter hid, but the common people sought with tears, that he should not abandon himself, and that he should abandon the wavering between the commotions of the gentiles. Overcome by the lamenting Peter conceded, he promised himself to be about to leave the city. The next night with brothers taken leave of and solemn speech he began to depart alone. When it was come to the gate, he saw Christ to be coming to meet him and adoring him he said: ‘lord, for what purpose do you come?’ Christ says to him: ‘I come again to be crucified.’ Peter understood it was said about his own suffering, because in him Christ would be seen about to suffer who suffered for every one, not certainly by pain of body but by a certain fellow-suffering of sympathy and celebration of glory. And turning around he returned into the city and was captured by pursuers. Condemned to the cross he demanded that he be fixed to the cross feet uppermost, because he was unworthy that he should be fixed to the cross in the same manner, [p. 187] as the son of god had suffered. Which was obtained either because it was owed as Christ had foretold, or because his persecutor not unwilling granted the augmentation of the punishment, and he himself and Paul one on the cross and the other by the sword were killed.

III. But let us return to the plan, alarmed by the serious news Nero, things in Judaea not going favorably, placed Vespasian a man experienced in war in charge of all military matters which were in Syria. He hastily, for indeed no time for delaying was given, his son Titus having been sent to Alexandria, so that he should lead thence some part of the soldiers who were present, he himself the Hellesponts strait having been crossed hastened his steps into Syria. In the meantime the Jews elated by the favorable affairs choose leaders of the military for the war. They assign the places to which each would be in charge, what duties each [what troops what function] should carry out. Joseph son of Gorion and Ananus chief of the priests they put in charge of the affairs of Jerusalem city and especially of restoring the walls. Eleazarus son of Simon desired ardently that something of the state offices be committed to him. But although he collected in his power all the booty they had captured from the Roman army, especially rich and fat, piled up by the avarice and unbounded robberies of Cestius, however having considered (him) more intent on preparing power for himself than appropriate for general benefit they determined that he should be turned down. But gradually by soliciting individually by giving by bribery he accomplished that the substance of all things should be committed to his control. Also one Jesus of the priests and Eleazarus the son of a priest [p. 188] placed in charge of military affairs received (the task of) guarding Idumaea, reserving however precedence always in the greatest matters to Nigerus the foremost man of all of Idumaea, <“#1”> 1 Hiericho was allotted to Joseph of Simon, to Manassus was committed Perea a region located across the Euphrates to which from there tne name was conferred, because the Euphrates is crossed by those travelling to that region. Iohannes Essaeus, also another Iohannes the son of Anania and others assigned to various regions, which they were to protect with their care. And so each was not to forsake the duties committed to him, to build walls, to gather a fighting band. From whom Josephus descending into Galilaea, quickly took care to fortify the citadels, to establish defences, to join to himself the strongest and promptest to fight of the region, to restrain brigandage, to be present daily in the camp, to exercise the soldiers in the manner of the Roman troops, to distribute the ranks, to assign the centurions, to place most in authority (those) by whom discipline could be most easily exacted from everybody, lest anyone should escape notice whoever abandoned his individual duties. He put into effect even that they should recognize the summons and retreats of the trumpets, that they should follow the regular arrangement of the ranks, set straight the battle line, join together their shields, like a wall, if perhaps a great force of the enemy should make an assault, they should defend themselves against those making a charge, they should go to the aid of those hard pressed, to have compassion for the exhausted, to turn against themselves the dangers of others, not only to teach the arts of war like the Roman military but even before war to threaten which further assists fighters, as a soldier he should carry food for himself and arms, he should protect himself by a wall and ditch and he should forestall the enemy by placing fortified camps, he should obey orders, he should be accustomed to abstain from theft and robbery, he should think his gain appropriate if [p. 189] he inflicts nothing of expense upon rural farmers. For what distinguishes (him) from the enemy who himself carries off in a hostile manner things found, unless because it is more serious to attack his own rather than a foreigner’s and to plunder his allies rather than his enemies? A good conscience avails much in war, because he anticipates more from divine aid who recognizes himself a connection of no crime. But from these things he experienced ill-will to have inflicted harm upon himself among the wicked more quickly than there was gratitude among the good. For when he had collected about sixty thousand foot soldiers, very few horsemen, those who fought for pay about four thousand men, also six hundred picked guards of his body, he took so much from the Jews, that more of peril before the war threatened from his own men than in the war itself from the Romans. I omit what of sedition was aroused, because it was suspected that they returned things seized by brigandage to those who had lost them, especially to Agrippa and Beronica, to whom things were rightly returned, lest they should make the king more hostile. But he however, by which he might soften the fury of the people, said that the money was saved for the construction rather of walls than for the indemnification of the rulers, and all those things which had been taken from Ptolomaeus, who had carried away the royal gold, garments, and remaining items; they judged that the Taricheatans to owe, for among them things were carried out, whether they thought it should be saved for the restoration of their walls, or whether it should be expended for plundering the robbers. It certainly seemed unfitting that he should receive punishment because he had planned better. And therefore these things having reversed he at the same time escaped ill-will and danger. Again when Tiberias had demanded the favor of king Agrippa and association, [p. 190] Josephus hurrying himself forth out of the celebrated city of the Taricheatians, closed the gates, lest any messenger should proceed to the city of Tiberias and point out that military assistance was lacking to Josephus. He however collected the fishing boats from the lake, which he was able to trace out in time, and he sought Tiberias by rowing, but when he came to that place, in which indeed a conspicuous display of boats had been stationed in the city, they were unable to be found out however whether they were empty of fighters, he ordered them to be scattered through the total space of the lake, that the number should be considered greater, nor could any be considered empty rather than filled with fighters, from which terrified, because they considered themselves powerless against such a great multitude, they threw down their arms and the gates having been opened they poured themselves out suppliant to Josephus, who as if the leader of a military host had approached nearer. It was sought by what madness finally they had put on the division in their minds, driven by what authorities were they about to surrender themselves to their adversaries. And at the same time those running up to him he ordered the governors that they should bring out Taricheas and with him almost six hundred members of the court, many of the people he seized in chains. Also Clituin the leader arraigned for his crimes he ordered to pay the penalty of his hands being amputated and he asking, that at least one hand be left to him, Josephus ordered, that he should take off for himself what he wished. Then he seizing a sword with his right hand cut off his left hand. And so Tiberias was recovered, but even Sephoris a separation having been attempted was nevertheless held fast by tenacity to Josephus among the cities (that were) partners of the Jews. He preferred to defend his own by peaceful policies rather than by attacking those hostile. [p. 191]

IV. But in fact the Periatian Niger and the Babylonian Sylas and Johannes Essaeus, collecting all that were in Judaea of strong young men, attacked Ascalonis, large however and a city defended by strong walls, but in want of aid and assistance, which was separated from the city of Jerusalem by 720 stadia and by great hatreds. Therefore the Jews wishing to destroy a city hostile to themselves rushed upon it with their collected troops. Antonius was in charge of the city with a lesser number of Roman troops than he considered to be able to resist the Jews. But a man of acute judgment and an equally experienced soldier he allowed them scattered and trusting more upon number than valor, his cavalry having been led out, to cross to the city, then he attacked those in advance, harassed those following, scattered those crowded together, put the disordered to flight and pursued those straggling over the entire plain. Others turned about are driven against the walls all possibility of flight cut off, others seek different ways but surrounded by the horsemen they are cut to pieces. Many fall down upon themselves and in turn scatter themselves in their impetuosity. And so until evening slaughtered they lost out of their troops ten thousand men, their leaders Johannes and Sylas as well killed. Few however of the Romans were wounded in that battle. The rashness of the Jews however was not restrained but inflamed. For grief aroused their daring and the disgrace called out eagerness of avenging themselves. They are armed therefore with greater by far fury and the wounds of the injured not yet healed and more having been collected than the first time they rush in to attack, but them having been caught by arranged ambushes, before they came into hand to hand combat, Antonius cut them off surrounded by cavalry, and surrounded ordered them to be destroyed. Once more eight thousand were killed, the rest [p. 192] having been put to flight. Niger himself having slipped away betook himself into a fortification. There was a tower, enclosed on all sides by strong rock, the Romans because they were not able to destroy it encompassed it with set fires. Them having been lighted having crossed over from the tower into a certain cave he lay hidden from the enemy, he escaped the fire, and untroubled by the Romans because he himself should have been consumed by the conflagration, after the third day his own troops searching for his body for burial, he is restored alive and flourishing. And so with great joy saved from the enemy he is presented to the Jews.

V. Vespasian in the meantime the Hellespont having been crossed and crossing Bythinia and Cilicia, when he reached Syria, he led forth the legions and the other military forces which he found in it to Antioch. That city of Syria without objection is regarded as the foremost and thus the chief city, founded by those who adhered to the fighting Alexander the Great, called by the name of its founder. The location of the city: the length spread out immensely, narrower in width, because it is limited on the left by the steepness of a mountain, so that the sizes of the boundaries of the city are unable to be extended further. Necessity marks out the location, because the lofty mountain would give a hiding place to Parthians bursting in through hidden byways, from which they would pour themselves in an unexpected arrival and a quick attack against the unprepared Syria, unless the city threw up as if a barrier to the mountain and blocked the exit for those arriving, so that if any of the foreigners should climb it, he would immediately be seen from the middle of the city. Finally they say, when stage plays are frequented in that city, a certain actor of the mimes with eyes raised to the mountain saw Persians coming and said immediately: ‘I either am dreaming or I see great danger. There! Persians!’ For the mountain so overhangs the city, that not even the [p. 193] height of the theater is an impediment to seeing the mountain. A river in the middle cuts it asunder, which arising from the rising of the sun not far from the city is plunged into the sea, which from the course of its beginning men of old called the Orient, as it is commonly thought they gave the name to places, when from thence it was accepted. From the vigor itself of which flowing and the colder zephyrs continually blowing through those places the entire state is cooled at nearly every moment, so that it will have hidden the Orient in parts of the Orient. Within sweet waters, without a neighboring grove interwoven with numerous cypresses and abundant fountains. They call it Daphnen, because it never puts aside its greenness. Numerous and happy people and as is the greatest part of the Orient more merry than almost all but nearer to licentiousness. Previously a city in the third place out of all, which in the Roman world are considered states, but now in the fourth place after the city of the Byzantines outgrew Constantinople, once the capital of the Persians, now a means of defence. I think enough has been said about the site of the city. Nor for instance does it seem worth delaying by describing its buildings. When I said the East was behind it, it was clear that South lay to the left, Europe lay in front, to the right the northern races live and the Caspian kingdoms are held, which previously were most inclined to invade Syria. But after Alexander the Great established the Caspian Gate at the critical spot of the Taurus mountain and shut off every route for the interior tribes, he restored the peaceful renowned city, unless perhaps mistrusting Persian movements. In that city king Agrippa with all his troops was awaiting the arrival of Vespasian, nor did he adhere longer [p. 194] to the loitering retinue. The route having been joined they began to make for the city Ptolomais. Near that city they met the inhabitants of Sepphorim seeking (that) the peace entered into long ago with Caesentius Gallus be confirmed by Vespasian. Whose discretion having been praised, because they took regard for their own safety by not provoking the Romans, and good faith having been accepted, he received them into friendship and auxiliary troops of foot soldiers and horsemen having been added he fostered security, lest perhaps stirred up by the pain of failure arousers of war should rise up against them, since like a certain frontier fortress of Judea, the Sepphoritanians offering themselves to the Roman empire, it was resolved, that a passable route into it would be open to an enemy, which would run against the protector of the entire race as a certain opportune obstacle against an enemy. For it was besides its fitness as a fortified place even the greatest city of Galilaea. Which thing suggests that since there are two Galilaeas, one higher, the other lower, connected and joined to themselves, we should distinguish one from the other. But first (something) must be said about each.

VI. Syria and Phoenice touch each Galilaea and Ptolomais with the boundaries of its territory and Mount Carmelus limits them on the west, Mount Carmelus which previously belonged to the Galilaeans, but now is joined to the territory of the Tyrians, to which is joined the state Gabaa, which at one time was a great source of mischief for the Jews. On the east Ippene and Gadara cut it off with their territories; moreover the same [p. 195] boundaries were prescribed in ancient times to the Gaulanitidian region and to the kingdom of Agrippa. On the southern flank Scythopolis and Samaria with their own territories intercept each and they are not allowed to extend beyond the river Jordanis. Its northern parts Tyrus shuts off on the right side and all the territory of the Tyrians, by whose interposition the territories of Galilaea are delimited. Between themselves however they are distinguished by this only, that lower Galilaea so-called extends in length from the city of Tiberias all the way to the city which has the name Zabulon above the maritime boundaries of Ptolomais. Its width however extends not at all doubtfully from the village Xaloth which is in the great plain all the way to Bersaben. From which even the beginning of upper Galilaea is uncovered, which extends as far as to the boundaries of the village Bachathe; moreover by this very village even the boundaries of the land of Tyria are fixed. Also the beginning of its length is the village Thalla, Roth is the end. Thalla borders upon the Jordan. It is given to be understood from this, how far the territories of upper Galilaea stretch themselves, whose beginning is the Jordan, or its limit. Therefore by this assessment of its size each Galilaea is distinguished. The land however is fertile, abounding in grass, supporting itself by diverse types of agriculture, studded with trees, so that its attracts anyone whatever to his satisfaction and invites and excites anyone avoiding labor to the pursuit of agriculture. Finally [p. 196] no part of the land in that place however small is idle, it is crowded with many inhabitants. Many cities, numerous towns, an innumerable multitude of men, so that a small town in his district might have fifteen thousand inhabitants. Each Galilaea is surrounded also by foreign races poured around, and thus a warlike race of men, from the earliest age trained in battle exercises, abundant in number, ready in daring, and prepared in all the arts of war. The Perea region however is preeminent in size, which from thence had received the designation, which we told above. This greater but more useful Galilaea, all of which is cultivated, nor is any part of it unfruitful of crops but all its land is rich and productive, Perea however is more extended but in the greater part deserted which does not know to be softened by plowing nor to subdue easily the rougher furrows. But again a part of it is easy for cultivation, fertile for use, pleasant in aspect, mild for exercising, useful for fruit trees by grafting, producing everything, so that trees separated in front border its fields, in the middle they generally beautify and protect the crops from too much sun or cold, and especially a field covered with olive trees interwoven with vines, or distinguished with palm trees. It is indescribable how charming it is when the rows of palm trees driven by the wind make sounds and the pleasant odors of the dactyls are poured forth as usual. It is no wonder if all of this is thanks to the greenness, when the overflowed field is watered by the pleasant wanderings of the streams running down from the high peak of the mountains, bubbling over with snowy fountains it is seized with envy, wished for with thanks. Its length is from Macheruntis all the way to Pella, that is from the south to the north, its width however is from Philadelphia all the way to the river Jordan [p. 197] that is on the east it is bordered by the fields of Arabia, in the west however it is seen to extend all the way to the Jordan river. Also the Samaritan region lies midway between Iudea and Galilaea, beginning from the village which has the name Eleas, ending in the land of the Acrabattenians, of a very similar nature and not differing in any respect from Judaea. For each is mountainous and level according to the difference of locations, neither is everything spread out in plains nor is its broken up by the cliffs of mountains in all places, but it has the loveliness of each characteristic. For the practice of agriculture the loose and softer land and from that useful for grains and as for the fertility of the soil almost second to none, certainly for the maturity of the crops earlier than all. For while in other places they are still sowing grain, here they are reaping. The appearance also and the very nature of the grain is by no means considered more outstanding in any place else. The water is sweet, good in appearance, agreeable for drinking, so that according to the pleasures of the elements the Jews considered it that land promised to their fathers flowing milk and honey, when he promised them preference of resurrection. And indeed divine goodness had gathered each, if they had kept the faith, but with disloyal souls each snatched away by the yoke of captivity, there in the bonds of sin. A well-wooded region and therefore rich in cattle and flowing with milk. Finally nowhere so full of milk, the cattle bear udders, the woods fruits or grafted things above the amounts of all regions, each filled full however [p. 198] with a multitude of men from Samaria or Judaea, so that the Jews seem to me to have interpreted from this place that which is written that there was nothing among these sterile and unfruitful, since the law directed this about the fecundity of the well-deserving and about the fruitfulness of courage. The beginning of Samaria (is) from the boundaries of Arabia from the village which has the name Jordan, it ends in the north at the village Borceus. the breadth however of Judaea (extends) from the river Jordan all the way to Iopen. For it begins at the sources of the Jordan and from Mount Libanus and extends all the way to the lake of Tiberias. Also from the village Arfa (there is) the beginning of its length which extends all the way to the village Iuliadis, in which (there is) the joint habitation equally of Jews and Tyrians. In the middle however the city of Judaea as if the center of the entire region, is called Jerusalem, as pleased the sensible. A region abounding with inland resources but not cheated of the maritime, because it extends all the way to Ptolomais and it fringes upon all that sea with its shores. (There are) many cities but among all these Jerusalem stands out, and just as the head in the body does not overshadow its limbs but rules and is beauty and a protection for them. About Judaea and the neighboring regions, although an abridgment is advantageous, we have not omitted those things which should have been pointed out. [p. 199]

VII. The Sepphoritanians also attacked their neighboring regions with (demands for) tribute, assistance, military items, claiming a free right for themselves to engage in brigandage under the pretext of the war, which was being waged by the Jews against the Roman empire. Whence Josephus eagerly desiring to avenge the injury of harshness received hastened to make an attack against the city Sepphorin having associated to himself a number of powerful people, in order that he should call them back into the alliance of Judaea or if he were able ovethrow them resisting by their final destruction. But he fell short in each attempt, because he was neither able to dissuade them from the election of the Roman alliance or to overthrow the city, which he himself had strengthened with such great fortifications, that it was not able to be stormed by the far more impressive Romans. And so an assault having been attempted without any effect he sounded the trumpet call and aroused war against the entire region. He laid waste everything by day and night burning buildings, plundering inheritances, killing whomever was fit for fighting that he had seized, throwing the weak into slavery. All Galilaea was filled with burning blood robbery, by the appearance of no exempt misery and of the deformity of all things, when if anything remained from fire and murder, it was held for captivity. For whose evils those things which a little before had been considered too harsh were brought forward.

VIII. This certain prelude of war was done before Titus should arrive. Who as soon as he crossed to Alexandria from Achaia, the troops having been brought over according the command of his father he hastened to the city of Ptolomais and there the fifth and tenth legions having been joined, the fifteenth also having been added, who were surpassingly good, the Roman army and its allies having been collected, they began the savage and remarkable war. For where the first beginnings with Placidus the leader were done successfully, those following ended in defeat, Vespasian having set out more dangerously with his son from the territory of Ptolomais [p. 200] plunged himself into Galilaea. It having been learned that they refused peace, to whom he had offered the opportunity of condemning a withdrawal if they should think to look after themselves, he destroyed Gadara completely, taking offense that it was empty of fighters, because all the stronger distrusting the weak fortifications had taken themselves to more strongly fortified places. And so he did not spare those discovered but ordered all to be killed with no consideration of age, with no compassion for weakness, which he carried out not so much from the right of war as from resentment of the Cestianus battle and hatred poured out against the Jews. Finally not only the city but even the villages and towns he ordered to be burned up. Nor was the commotion unjust, because after such great haughtiness he gave the opportunity of correcting their error but it was not taken advantage of. Joseph had crossed from that city into Tiberias before the Roman army had approached, but he had given over more fear than confidence from (their) presence. They were more afraid of this even, because Josephus considered himself unequal to waging war against the Romans. Nor did he anticipate this from elsewhere, unless perhaps the Jews had put aside the study of war: that was for him preferable to sentiment. If they should choose war, himself to prefer to be seen faithful to the citizens in undergoing danger than to be seen a traitor by declining it. There is nothing more to take precautions against than not to disfigure the honor committed to oneself of a military campaign. And so he writes to the city Jerusalem to pay attention to the war, and they should write back quickly in reply. Did they prefer peace or war, they should take counsel quickly. He pointed this out briefly, nothing readily against either side, he was not judged either a fearful fighter or stubborn in revolt. [p. 201]

IX. Again from the city of Tiberias he aimed at Iotapata, either because it was fortified better than the rest and therefore very many of those most eager for war had taken themselves into it, or because Vespasian had sent many of his troops there who should build a road, because through the mountains was difficult, rocky and rough, for foot soldiers, for cavalry however it would be impassable and insurmountable. Finally within four days lest the difficulties should block the way, the surface of the roads was made passable, a route prepared by which the entire army could be sent across. On the fifth day Josephus crossed to there and aroused the downcast spirits of the Jews. Also when information was provided to Vespasian that Josephus had arrived there, an incentive of hastening the route was added, because he thought it would be a shortening of finishing the war, if the leader and people most eager for war should be cut off. And therefore he arrived with the army and gave time the first day to providing food for the soldiers, lest from concern for the war he should abuse them fatigued from the march. On the following day with a doubled battle line he surrounded the city with a wall and on the third day with a row of cavalry. Which seeing the Jews themselves cut off and besieged on all sides and not any way of escape took courage from their despair itself. For no thing makes a soldier more eager for war than the necessity of fighting and the outbreak of dangers. Vespasian pressed hard with darts, he pressed with arrows, also many Jews having gone beyond the walls as a purposed way of killing were wounded by missiles, they remained however fearless. Roman valor tried everything and especially where it had noticed the weaker reinforcement of the walls, there it attacked with a larger band of soldiers. Shame armed the former <“#2”> 2, the last hopes the latter (i.e., the Jews) wanting to open with the sword a way of safety for themselves. The Jews suffered severe losses, but they did not respond with lesser trials of courage. [p. 202] On the part of the Romans skill fought with valor, on the oart of the Jews fury with rashness. And so wearied, the latter fighting all day for safety, the former for victory, night put an end to battle. Also on the following day and the third, on the fourth and the fifth it was fought fiercely, but, as is usual in battles of light-armed soldiers, more wounds than deaths are inflicted, although sallies are attempted by the Jews and incursions by the Romans, the latter of whom shame inflamed into anger the victors over Hannibal and Antioch and all races were stayed by the Jewish battles. So great was the consciousness of Roman valor that not to conquer quickly was considered the role of the conquered. But for them it was more a contest against nature than against an enemy. For the city was almost shut off on all sides by steep cliffs, not by a wall and ditch like other cities, but was surrounded by deep precipices, which not a thing seen by men he did not comprehend, not a thing used he did not investigate, and dread more and more enveloped him looking at it anxiously. Only from the north in a falling away of the mountain one approach to the city however by an arduous ascent lay open. Which Josephus shut off by a wall, he surrounded it by defenders, so that between the lower wall and the higher city it would become a very dangerous attack for the besiegers and a priceless source of knowledge for those watching higher up. For the city itself is located on the summit of the mountain in a circling of the neighboring mountains as if surrounded by a certain natural wall hidden by a fruitful wall so that no one would understand the city to be there before he would have entered into the city itself.

X. Vespasian since he was unable to overcome nature invoked her himself as an aid, so that by a blockade of long duration through a lack [p. 203] of drink and food he would force the beseiged into surrender. But the abundance of food collected long before averted the danger of hunger. The greatest difficulty was of water because there was no source in the city, and the customary dryness, rains being infrequent in those regions, lessened this assistance of drinking. They had blocked all the aqueducts so they should not go into the city. The dearth increased the desire, nature resisted. Josephus offered a scheme, that clothing should be spread out and suspended from the wall, so that gradually dripping water from the dew it would be believed that water for drinking was not lacking to them, because it was plentiful enough for the washing of clothing.

XI. Depressed by that Vespasian again was stirred up to attacking the city, he assembles the entire army, he shakes the wall with siege engines, the battering ram pounds (it). The appearance gave it the name from this that the head of a strong and knotty tree trunk is covered with iron in like manner as the forehead of a ram is covered, which covered over with plates of metal swells up and sticks out. From its middle it appears as if a horn of solid iron. Its size in the manner of the mast of a ship, which not a gale of winds, not the billowings of the sails can bend. This suspended by ropes to a high and strong support from the joining of many trees is driven against the wall by a strong band of men, then pulled back and in the fashion of a pair of scales held up by a halter, it is applied with greater force, so that the side of the wall fatigued from the frequent blows would yield an opening hollowed in the breach, by which a way would open to the Romans into the interior of the city. At the first blow therefore the wall is shaken and trembles violently. A cry of fear immediately of all those trembling just as if the city had been taken, lest the struck wall should crack open. But Josephus ordered sacks filled with chaff to be sent out in that place, against which the battering ram would be launched by the Romans, [p. 204] so that each blow of the battering ram frustrated by the loose folds of the sacks would be softened. For hard bodies struck against hard bodies do harm, against softer they do not avail. In short hard bodies yield to softer bodies more easily than softer to hard. For although rocks are dissolved by the application of water, the falling of a rock is not any injury of waters, but masses thrown into narrow straits water retains it uses, but rocks among waves knows not how to retain theirs. Also the falling of marble does not break up sand and marble is broken up by the falling of sand. Indeed however the Romans brought things with which they nullified the inventions of the Jews, pruning hooks attached to long poles, with which they cut open the lowered sacks, by which emptied of chaff they were were not able to weaken the blow of the battering ram. And so the shock of the siege machine having been restored when the Jews saw themselves to be hard pressed, one of them Eleazarus raising a rock of huge size from the wall above the battering ram struck with such great force that it broke off the head of the siege engine. Jumping also into the midst of the enemy he seized it and fearlessly carried it onto the wall in the sight if his adversaries and open to wounding. Finally he is transfixed by five darts but not all turned back to his wounds he concentrated upon how he might overwhelm the enemy by the fall of the rock. And therefore he ascended the wall and conqueror of his pain he stood clearly visible of great boldness and threw himself and the rock upon the battering ram and fell with it, overcome indeed by death but the victor over the siege engine, since in himself a single person departed his country, in the smashing of the siege engine however he preserved the entire city from destruction. Netiras and Philippus threw themselves into the middle of the troop so that they should rout those whom they were attacking. Josephus fire having been thrown down so that he should burn all the seige engines in a brief time consumed most, but those consumed were repaired. [p. 205]

XII. Vespasian pressed hard, he urged on so that he was struck in the heel by the dart of an arrow. The Romans were disturbed since they saw the blood of their leader to flow. Agitated his son ran to his father, but he bearing strength of mind above the pain of the wound forbad his son to worry and encouraged his soldiers more into the battle, that they should avenge the injury to their leader. Himself the standard bearer he recalled the army and collected it at the walls, he himself urged on the rest into the battle. Some with arrows, some with darts, some with military engines pressed hard upon the enemy. So great however was the force of this stone thrower, by which stones were thrown against the enemy, that one of the associates of Josephus having been struck, who was standing nearby, his head having been smashed died, the head was hurled beyond the third stadium. Also a pregnant woman struck in the stomach sent forth an infant more than half a stadium from the most secret seat of of her private genital organs. Finally when a victorious Roman soldier had already climbed the walls and it was being fought in the entrance itself with a strong band on both sides, they were so pressed together, Josephus ordered the Romans to be flooded with boiling oil, which flowed easily from the top to the lowest steps. Not less than by the heat of flame the heat of the boiling oil consumed every limb. Others advanced however and for most flowing sweat cooled the force of the oil. And although the nature of oil is of this type, that it quickly heats and later deposits its received heat, however in the enthusiasm of victory they ignore the injury. They rage in their minds and feel no burning of the body, nor did they consider the pain of boiling oil as great a penalty as the loss of glory, just as if those deprived of triumphs should desist from fighting who were the leaders in the dangers. And so extinguishing the fiery heat of the oil with their blood they fought. [p. 206]

XIII. Because of this delay of the siege the people of the city of Iafa which was neighboring became insolent, because it was being fought so long. Alarmed by this Vespasian sent Trajan who was head of the office of commander of the fifteenth legion with a thousand horsemen and two thousand men of the infantry. Who without discussion having set out a man keen and gifted in the arts of fighting he with his zeal met with the appropriate outcome of the combat. For since it was a city enclosed by the nature of the place and surrounded by a double wall, the people not content to protect themselves with its fortifications thought they should attack the Romans. But daring to resist only a short time they took themselves back inside the exterior wall wishing equally to bring back the enemy, for when they themselves hurrying the Romans also entered. Also the gates to the interior walls had been closed by those taking refuge lest again the Romans equally should break in. And so the aid of god having been turned away from themselves the Jews were fighting, with which previously they had been accustomed to win. But they had offended with infamous shameful acts, and thus from them the punishment owed was demanded, that they should give their punishments to the gentiles. Finally they were crushed more nearly by their wars between themselves than by an enemy. The people of Iafa are an example, who opened the gates the gates for the Romans and closed them for themselves. For as the Romans attacked the first wall, they themselves opened it, and so that Jews should not penetrate the second wall, Jews closed it. And so an enemy is received, an ally is shut out, the first is received lest an assassin should be wanting, the second was shut out lest about to perish it should escape. And so between two walls the Jews were cut to pieces fighting hand to hand, at a distance from the wall. Many men of the Roman forces compressed by the narrowness climbed the wall and hurled javelins against those below. And so the Galilaeans more dangerous to their own than to the enemy asked that they <“#3”> 3 should be received at the entrance of the interior wall, but they resisted their own. It was fought [p. 207] at the threshold of the gate Jews fighting among themselves. The one group warded off a rushing wedge with swords, the other group fought those resisting. They died calling down savage curses upon each other by turns and the smaller attested at the top of their voices themselves by their merits to have endured to the full. And so twelve thousand men out of all the fighters were killed. Thinking that either none would fight against him or that storming the city would be easy, being a man of long standing discipline, Trajan reserved the leadership of the victory for Vespasian and sent to him asking that he should send his son Titus, who would give an end to the battle. Who arriving a forcible entry having been made and many humans having been killed, not without labor and danger, victory yields to the Romans. Against them <“#4”> 4 who had entered the interior wall whoever was suitable for fighting threw themselves and positioned in the narrow passage made a two front fight against the victors fighting from above men and women alongside and often even throwing rocks against their own and all types of weapons which by chance they had found. To sum up it was fought for six hours to the end itself from the beginning. Finally those having been killed, who had stood firm ready to fight, it was proceeded against the rest without order without method without mercy. Old men with young men were butchered, women or small children were saved not for pardon but for slavery, all males were killed except those whom childhood or infancy defended. As booty were led away two thousand eight hundred slaves, masters with their slaves in the same sort of situation whom captivity had made equals.

XIV. Nor were the Samaritans exempt from these miseries. For when according to their custom assembled together they had ascended their mountain Garizim, which was sacred to them, where they were accustomed to worship, and in the Gospel the Samaritan woman says: Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, and the answer to her is: [p. 208] the hour will come, when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the father. For it was owed that superstition should cease and the true religion follow, the shade be purged, the truth come, so that no longer on the mountain like the Samaritans, not in Jerusalem three times in the year like the Jews, but in spirit in every place lifting clean hands each man should pay homage to god and in the name of Jesus should bend at the knee–, when therefore, as we said above, they remain assembled on the mountain according to their rites, the very appearance of the congregation puts forth threats of war or their sense, who were not recovering from evil neighbors, they were disturbed much more however through dislike by the triumphal successes of the Romans and things were near to an uproar, and it was considered most prudent for them to take precautions lest they should sally forth into a greater ruin. The commander of the fifth legion having been summoned, Vespasian sent him with three thousand men of each military service. But he considered that to ascend the mountain at the very beginning was dangerous, for there were at the same time joined a multitude of frightened people and the rugged places of nature, he surrounded the borders of the mountain with the army and for the entire day he made care be taken that no one should descend the mountain for water. When therefore he had harassed such a great crowd of people with thirst, which more and more was exasperated by the heat, and many preferred to offer themselves to slavery or even death lest they should die from hunger or thirst, Cerealis, for this was the name of the commander, judging that all of those coming down were exhausted surrounded the mountain with the military column, promising safety if they put down their arms, he ordered those refusing killed. And so eleven thousand six hundred men were killed in that place. [p. 209]

XV. Also at Iotapata an attack was made at early dawn on the forty eighth day, although up to now fatigued from much labor of the previous day they were resting. Titus first of all having entered with Sabinus provided a way for the rest. The higher places in the narrow passages of the streets having been seized everywhere, and unaware as yet of the attack made they were slain. Some in their beds, some awakened, some on watch but lax from fasting and sleep, paid the penalty. Up to now however the power of the evil ones was concealed from the entire city. But when the army having entered bellowed with a military yell, to a man almost they rose up against the mood of approaching death. And if any attempted to gain the higher places they were driven back and killed, and for those to whom a wish of avenging was able to be at hand, the crowding took away the possibility of vengeance, and if any were preparing to resist they were sheltered from the fight by others rushing in before them. Others much wearied by the fight dropped their hands and offered themselves to a wounding, so that by death they would be snatched away from the deadly spectacle of their misfortunes. Deceived by the carelessness of those dying the centurion Antonius asked by a certain one who had taken refuge in caves, that he should give him his right hand a pledge of pardon and safety, heedless of treachery immediately extended it and, woe to the wretched too confident of triumph, but that one strikes him off guard with a javelin and immediately transfixes him, lest the victory be complete for the Romans. That very day all whosoever who were found were killed, on the following days however even from cellars and other underground holes they were brought out or killed on the spot small children and women excepted. Forty thousands were killed through all the days, in the number who were seized two hundred thousand were led into servitude. The city was destroyed and burned up by fire and every redoubt [p. 210] in the thirteenth year of the reign of Nero. Josephus meanwhile in a certain cistern was hiding among the glowing ashes of the city, not all unaware that as the leader of the opposing forces he was being zealously sought for. Having come out on the second day, when he noticed that everything was encircled, he returned into the cistern. On the third day a certain woman found out <“#5”> 5 revealed to those seeking him that the hiding places of Josephus were known to her. But in the cistern also forty men who had fled there were hiding themselves. Who when they noticed Josephus to be summoned out by Vespasian in the hope of safety first through Paulinus and Gallicanus, afterwards through Nicanoris, who was bound to Josephus by virtue of ancient friendship, and for that reason sent that he should give a pledge, he willingly carried out the obligation of the assigned task, having surrounded Josephus they addressed him with words of such kind.

XVI. ‘Now the great downfall of the Jewish name is tested, now the bitter ashes, which submerge and hide the teaching of our splendid lineage and undermine every distinction, when Josephus a captive is ordered to be saved for the triumph. What do such solicitous inducements of the enemy suddenly wish for themselves? What of this voluntary offer of safety? They did not spare others seeking life: Josephus is sought out, Josephus is asked that he should live. They fear evidently that they may lose the pomp of a triumph, lest he should be wanting whom Rome would see a captive, whom in chains Vespasian would direct before his chariot. You wish therefore to be saved for this spectacle? And from what will they triumph, if their leader will be lacking that over which the triumph is celebrated? Or what sort of triumph, if an alliance is given to the conquered? Do not believe, Josephus, life is promised you, but worse things than death are being prepared. Roman arms conquered you, do not let deceit capture you. [p. 211] Their gifts are more heinous than wounds, the former threaten servitude, the latter save freedom. You are bowing, Joseph, and broken by a certain weakness of spirit you wish to be a survivor of your country? Where is the teaching of Moses, who sought to be erased from the divine book that he might not outlive the people of the lord? Where is Aaron, who stood in the middle between the living and the dead, so that death should not destroy a living people with a cruel contagion? Where is the spirit devoted to their country of king Saul and Ionathas, and that death bravely borne for the citizens, gloriously received? The son encouraged the father by example, the father did not forsake the son in the purpose of death, who although he was able to live, preferred himself to be killed rather than to be triumphed over by the enemy. He encouraged his weapon bearer saying: Strike me lest these uncircumcised should come and strike me and make sport of me. Because his weapon bearer feared to do this, he transfixed himself with his sword, worthy whom that David in a prophetic spirit would vindicate, because Amalechita had boasted falsely about the manner of his death and had thought to diminish the renown of the man who had saved himself from the enemy, he lied that he had been killed by himself <“#6”> 6, worthy whom that even such a great prophet should praise saying: Saul and Ionathas beautiful and beloved inseparables in their life and in death they were not separated, lighter than eagles, more powerful than lions. David himself also when he saw his people struck by an angel, wished to draw the heavenly vengeance upon himself lest he should be spared with the people perishing. Finally what of the divine law, whose interpreter you have always been, which promised everlasting immortality to the righteous instead of this brief life? When the god of the Hebrews, who teaches the righteous to have contempt for death, [p. 212] to owe it even to escape this earthly dwelling place, to fly back to the heavenly, to that region of paradise where god consecrates pious souls? Now finally you wish, Josephus, to live, when it is not fitting, indeed not permitted, what indeed is more important it is not proper? And you want to snatch at that life, I dare to say, of slavery which is in another’s power? So that a Roman may snatch it away when he wishes? May throw into the dark corner of a prison when he wishes? And you would choose to flee from here and not be allowed to die? And with shame you go to them, from those whom you persuaded to die for their country? What excuse will you have that you have stayed so long? They are awaiting what you might do, they are certainly saying already: Why is Josephus delaying who ought to have come? Why does he come so tardily? Why is he refusing to imitate his followers whom he persuaded to die for freedom? We will permit certainly that you choose to serve a champion of freedom, but that you doom yourself a slave to the Romans, that you put bondage before freedom? But be it that you wish to live, how will you obtain this from them against whom you have fought so many times? How will they look upon you, with what eyes, with what feelings? How will you wish to live with angry masters even if it allowed? And who will not believe you to have been a traitor to your country, who will see to whom the reward of treason was paid? Choose whichever you may prefer, that it be one of these is necessary: your life will be the reward of treachery or the suffering of slavery.’

XVII. To this Joseph responds: ‘And who would wish to be a survivor of so much death? Who would choose to become the inheritor of sorrow? Who does not wish his soul to be freed from that corpse of death if it is permitted? But permission is not given to set free unless to him who has done the binding. The soul is joined to the body by the chains of nature. Who is the originator of nature if not [p. 213] omnipotent god? Who would dare to break up and separate this companionship pleasing to god of our soul and body? If anyone should take away the chain put upon his hands by the order of his master without the authority of his master, will he not be found guilty of having inflicted his master with a severe injury? We are a possession of god, we owe servitude to god, as servants we may expect commands, as conquered we may be held with chains, as the faithful we should watch over the goods entrusted to us. We may not refuse the gift of that life which he gave us, we may not run away from the heavenly gift. If you should reject the gifts of a man, you are insulting: how much more we ought to protect what we have received from our god? from him himself we have received what we are, therefore we ought to be his as long as he wishes that we should be. Each is the act of an ungrateful person to depart earlier than he <“#7”> 7 wishes and to live longer than he himself <“#8”> 8 has wished, who has granted the life. For what happened in the past when Abraham hastened? What in the past when Moses ascended Mount Abarim this was said to him: Ascend Mount Abarim? However it was said ascend, and he ascended it and died. Like a good servant he awaited the command of the lord. It was Iob himself who said: May that day perish on which I was born, However although placed in wounds and griefs he did not sever the chains of this life but asked that he should be freed saying: As how light is given in bitterness, life however in the grief of souls? He was praising death certainly when he said: death is rest for man, however he did not rip it away but asked as is written: I am shattered in all my members and inasmuch as I am wicked why am I not dead? Why did I not fall from the womb of my mother into the grave or why the brief period [p. 214] of my life? Allow me to rest a little. Also another holy man said: Lead out my soul from confinement. He sought to escape, he sought to be freed from this body as if from a prison. None however of the holy men usurps this himself for himself, none snatches (his own life) away. If to die is a gain, then it is theft to usurp it before it is expected, if it is a good thing to live, then it is sacrilege to reject (life) before it is demanded. But you think it glorious to die in battle. Nor do I deny that it is good to die in battle for your country, for the citizens. But by the law of war I offer the throat, if the enemy seeks it, if the Romans should sink the sword point, to whom from us god gave the victory, to whom because of our sins he adjudged us. Nor is it more attractive to me because they promised to spare me. If only they are lying! but I would consider this a gain that they so feared me that they would deceive me, or that I should return this vengeance because they break faith. To die by an evil villainy of theirs rather than by mine. It is villainy if I turn my hand against myself, a favor if the enemy does it. Therefore they can give that favor by putting and end to me, if they have thought it should be granted: because if they have been engaged in villainy they have it in their power that they should kill a captive. But you are promising me the service of your band of soldiers. A true killer has been lacking to us, so that we are dying by our own evil deed. I am unwilling to perish by my own, by your own evil deed, but what is more than by mine, I am unwilling by mutual. That is, that each of us inflict his hands against himself, pay the price of a substitute death, so that the evil deed should owe not only for its own but even for the blood of another. Truly the precedent of king Saul comes to mind, his certainly who was both chosen king against the divine will and merited the displeasure of god, whence even while he was living he received his successor. [p. 215] An excellent example of a man to whom the favor of god was wanting. Yet also he wanted to die, because he could no longer live. He wanted moreover that his companion should kill him, but the latter thought it a sin, he refused the service. Not therefore making use of his plan but lacking a helper he accomplished, that he should turn his sword upon himself. If fearful he accomplished that he should not bring ridicule upon himself, how do you praise what is the result of fear? If he feared not, why did he first choose another? I do not fear the Romans either speaking mockingly or lying. Saul alone killed only himself, not Ionathas, not anyone else in our scriptures. Is it a wonder if he was able to kill himself, who was able even to kill his son? Aaron stood between the living and the dead, and this is an act of valor, not of daring. For he did inflict death upon himself, but he did not fear death, who thrust it away from his body and was an obstacle to the serpent against everything. Indeed I am not Aaron but however I am not unworthy of him behold! I offer my hands, let them strike who will. If I can fear their hands, I am deserving that I should perish at my own hands. If they show consideration for an adversary, why should I not show consideration for myself? If you seek why they should wish to show consideration, even among the enemy they may admire valor. For so great is the esteem of valor, that frequently even it delights an enemy. For you yourselves know how great the destruction I inflicted upon the Romans, how I turned aside the victors over all races from the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the long lasting siege of the obscure city of Iotapata. I played a game of dice at the risk of a small loss of the entire war. All the others learned from my attempt to choose peace. Perhaps we are spared for this that the others are not discouraged but challenged. But you assert that it is pleasant to die for freedom. Who indeed denies that? However it is sweet to live with freedom. For who is offering friendship, is promising freedom. But if [p. 216] he should impose servitude, then certainly there will be a more suitable purpose in dying, if it should be fitting to die. Now however they offer life, they do not want to kill. He is cowardly however who does not wish to die when it is necessary, and wishes to when it not necessary. For who does not know that to wish to die, not that you may die, is a woman’s freedom and a woman’s fear? In fact fearful women, when they have learned some danger hangs over them, are wont to give themselves to the precipice. With a poor intellect they are not able to support the burden of terror and the fear of death. A man on the other hand is more enduring, who does not fear the present and reflects on the future, knows not to tremble when there is no fear. Finally it is written that the spirits of the effeminate will hunger for the sustenance of courage which not having they are hungry, and so they hasten to death before its time. Nor indeed filled with food does he ask for the hand of spiritual grace upon himself, since it is written that the mouth of the foolish invokes death. And again scripture says: he who does not take regard for himself in his works is the brother of him who puts himself away. Therefore he is condemned who kills himself. For what even is so against the law of nature? For what is against the nature of all living things? For it is innate in all creatures, whether wild beasts or peasants, to love themselves. For it is a strong law of nature to wish to live and not to aspire to death for oneself. And finally all families of living beings are not able to be armed against themselves with a sword even if they wished it. Men have found the noose of death hideous, wild beasts do not know it. But the jaws of wild beasts are weapons, their teeth are swords. When however has anyone heard, that some wild beast has deprived itself of a limb with its own jaws? Against others they use the weapons of their jaws, against themselves (they use) their mouths. As for us what is so sweet as life, what so [p. 217] unwelcome as death? Lastly he who will have defended life is a protector, he who will have tried to seek death is an ambusher. What therefore we detest in others, if they should assail us, we ourselves wish to inflict upon us? And although we exact something from others as a punishment, we ourselves invite this upon us as a favor? And although we take revenge on the helmsman if he strikes the ship entrusted to him upon a rock, we destroy with a sword the helm of our body entrusted to us and assign it to a voluntary shipwreck? But you throw before me an early death, when I shall have been led into the power of the enemy, I should receive it as a benefit, if what I fear from the enemy I myself shall bring upon me, when it can happen that what you are persuading me to do the enemy will not do? It is as if the helmsman seeing there is about to be a storm should sink the ship beneath the waves for the benefit of avoiding the storm. And because the enemy will demand the most severe punishments, you think it should be thus prevented? Or because you think it quick, that we ourselves should use the sword against us? But that is the refuge of weakness, not a sign of courage, to grasp the benefit of the punishments. To this therefore we hold fast, that it neither has the marks of bravery, nor the profit of usefulness? To which I may add that the religion of the dead person is dishonored? Omnipotent god has given us the best treasure, and included and sealed it in this vessel of clay he entrusted to us to be guarded by us, until it shall please him to ask it back. Is it not a crime in both, either to refuse the trust him who has given it not demanding it back, or to refuse it to him demanding it back? If it incurs the penalty of dishonor to violate that entrusted by a man, how much worse to violate that entrusted by god? That entrusted by god is the soul in this body, a soul that is not within the capacity of that death. For it is not bound and grasped by any fetters of death, but seems to produce death, when it is freed from the body [p. 218] and separated from the cohabitation committed to it. Why therefore before the thing entrusted is requested back are we asking for death and sending back the soul as if useless to us and excluding it from our home and are releasing the body into the earth without dignity and thanks? Why are we not awaiting the command of going forth from here? A soldier expects a signal, a slave a command. If any of these should leave without an order, the one is a deserter, the other a runaway slave. Who flees a man is liable to punishment although he may have fled a wicked master. Are not we fleeing the best of all things able to be bound by the shameful act of irreverence? For indeed that goes beyond our opinion, that god placed an angel near to the neighborhood of those fearing him? It is he therefore who prohibits unless he has received an order. If there is no order, there is no provision for a journey. And how do we arrive without provision for a journey? Who will accept us in that unsoiled and secret place? Who will admit us to that community of blessed souls? Adam hid himself, because he violated an order of god, he was excluded from paradise, because he did not keep a command. It was said to him: Adam, where are you? as if to him who had fled, as if to him whose presence is not before god? Will it not be said to me: where are you, who have come contrary to an order, whom I have not loosed from natural chains? Lift him up into the outer darkness, in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. We have received not only this disease of men but prohibitions with laws. For some order them to be thrown out unburied who have thrust a sword into themselves. It is indeed fitting that those who have not awaited the command of the father should be deprived, as if of the bosom of his mother, of a grave of earth. Others cut off the right hand of the dead person, so that there is separated from the limbs of his body that which in a mad rage made war against his body. But this consequence of sacrilege suffer [p. 219] either traitors or murderers of their parents. Who in truth do not acknowledge their father nor recognize themselves. Thus they are prohibited to be buried at all, or are not buried entire. Paradise also does not receive back their souls but the darkness of hell and fierce sufferings. To me reflecting on these things, although all things might be taken away, they are things only for fear and panic, that I should not impose upon myself, which even the enemy will not be able to impose, nor should I take away the things of paradise, which a Roman as yet has not been able to take away — certainly he will be able to hasten it, he will not be able to take it away — which things alone I impatiently long for. For not any desire of this life holds me, in which neither in the citizens nor in the enemy have I grasped what would give delight. The former denied me peace, the latter took away my homeland. Among so many disasters what can survive of charm in this life? You only, omnipotent father, who are the originator and judge of nature, grant an honorable death, you break this natural bond, return my soul to its haunts. Although my people may be extinguished, justice snatched away, freedom crushed, I will not however transgress your law that I might die unbidden. I await that you command, I await that you liberate one willing. You have many assistants, I await a command from you, and service from an assistant. It is good to die, but if I die as a Jew, not as a robber, not as a murderer, not as an enemy. Granted that I have been defeated in war, I will remain however what I was born, so that I will not desert the inheritance of father Abraham. I will not go over into the number of the enemy, so that I am my own destroyer. Expose me to the enemy to be killed without loss of loyalty, I am not able to turn my hands against the enemy for myself without sin. And in truth there is fear, that it is not fitted to us to live according to the law? In fact there is now great freedom for those to whom it is not permitted to die according to law.’ [p. 220]

XVIII. These things Josephus laid out, by which he voided the vindication of voluntary death. But those who had once vowed themselves to death, because they were unable to oppose their words, with their swords stood around the man as if they were about to strike immediately unless he should think he must acquiesce. But he surrounded called back one by the authority of a leader by the consciousness of courage he approached another with a severe gaze. He withdrew his right hand, he turned aside the wrath of that one, he soothed them with the wholesomeness of his counsel. By various methods he twisted away the irrational fury of each. And indeed although a last lot had twisted away the dignity of the conquered, he had not completely destroyed their respect. And so gradually their hands were withdrawn, their swords were sheathed, however their purpose persisted. When he saw himself to be held alone beset by many, he thought that by some chance or plan he should reduce the number of those opposing. ‘Let us commit,’ he said, ‘the order of dying to a lottery, so that no one withdraws himself, since the lottery applies to all. The agreement of a lottery of this sort is, that he who will die by chance will be killed by him who follows.’ And therefore it was that the lottery adjudged each to death, not his own will. ‘Let each stand therefore beneath the lottery as the judge without sin and free from captivity, so that he does not quicken his future death by the decision of another or avoid it by his own. No one will be able to refuse the outcome, which either chance will have inflicted or the will of god will have designated.’ An offering established faith and the agreement of everybody assented to the lottery. Each was chosen by chance, he provided death to the man following. And so it happened that all the rest having killed Josephus with one other remained for death. It necessarily remained that he would either be condemned by the lottery, or certainly if he should survive the slaughter he would be defiled by the blood of a comrade. He proposes that they should reject the lottery. Thus he escaped a domestic fight and by Nicanor [p. 221] was escorted to Vespasian. There was a rush to the sight of his coming almost all the Romans assembling together. Some wished to see him killed, whom shortly before they saw in charge of great affairs in a position of the greatest honor, others struggled to mock the captive, others marveled at such different and changeable turns of human events. Most prudently sighed, who thought that in other circumstances the same thing could happen to them. Titus in view of all the rest was moved by an innate gentleness of spirit, him for so long a proud fighter, suddenly sentenced to the power of the enemy, to await the lottery of an alien nod the shipwreck of life banished from hope uncertain of safety. To exert such great influence in battles, so that in a short time by chance he renders unequal to himself, when the powerful are either thrown out or overthrown are released. And so the better part of them, namely those in positions of honor, give the gentler counsel. Titus was for Josephus before his father the greatest portion of his safety. Vespasian ordered him to be kept in custody, lest by chance he should escape.

XIX. From there after a few days he returns to Ptolomaidis and from there he hastens to Caesarea, the greatest city of Judaea, but mostly filled with gentile inhabitants, for which reason they received the Roman army with applause and happiness not only from the favor of the Roman alliance having been longed for, but from an innate hatred also of the people of Judaea, whose leader Josephus they cried with the greatest clamor should be punished. Which Vespasian ignored in silence as the rabble’s anger conceived without judgment. And because the season and the city were suitable for spending the winter, he stationed two legions in Caesarea, also the tenth and the fifth legion in the city of Scythopolis lest Caesarea [p. 222] should be worn away by the burden of the entire army. And therefore the celebrated city dedicated to Diana Scythica, although founded by Scythians, and named a city of the Scythians as Marseilles is of the Greeks. The location of the place reveals that the founders selected it more from the innate accessible hardness of the plains than from its advantages for the use of residences. For instance open to both the severity of winter and the burning season of summer it has more of labor than of pleasure, inasmuch as in winter they are open more to cold and the burning heat of summer is more severe in these places, in which they receive the entire sun without any pleasantness of a green field. And so the flat and coastal region of the renowned city is heated even more by the heat of the sea.

XX. But however Vespasian was not unoccupied by military tasks. And indeed it having been learned that very many from separate locations had taken themselves to the city Iopen it being ideal to them for piratical raids the buildings having been repaired which had been destroyed by Cestius, they renewed them, since the region having been ravaged the supplying of food was obtained by sea, he searched out everything. But they building ships of such nature that were adapted to the use of pirates, having observed the passages of those traveling, the entire commerce almost of Phoenicia and Egypt was being plundered, so that the frequent pillagings closed all that sea with panic and its use for navigation was interrupted by fear of the certain danger. Which having been discovered he orders a band of foot soldiers and most of the cavalry to proceed and and to go into Iopen by night. Which was easily done, since no guard was spread before the city, inasmuch as it was thought that the rumor that the city had been destroyed would arouse no worries in the Roman leader. They were present however but not daring to resist and to deny entrance to the arriving Romans, having embarked on the boats beyond the range of an arrow of the advance force they spent the night on the sea. The situation is seen [p. 223] to demand a position on the shore from which to show quickly that Iopen is hemmed in, so that it would be clearly evident to the aforesaid city in what manner without any battle that there will be a second destruction. The city is without harbors by nature, whose shore is rough and straight but gently bent with curves on both sides, in which there are deep rocks and gigantic stones which stick up from the sea, and although they may rise up from the depths of the sea, they extend into the sea however. From which even Andromeda (is said) to have been there, when she was offered to the sea monster, the patterns of the places and the very appearances of things are seen to hand this down, applying a not mediocre trust to the old tales. And so by the breath of the north wind falling against the shore huge waves are raised up, which striking against the cliffs cause a great noise and falling back into the waves render that bay of the sea unquiet, so that there is more danger in the port than in desert wastes. In that place toward early morning a violent wind, which those sailing in these regions call the Melamborium, struck against the boats bouncing on the waves, which had been brought out from the city of Iopen as we said above, and immediately entangled the boats among themselves and overturned them with driving waves. Some their anchor cables having broken it drove into the rocks, the wave which standing very high above sank those crushed by its mass opposed others when they were lifted up violently against the sea — the danger of the rocky shore or slaughter by the Romans, who scattered themselves on the shore, the sailors fleeing. Nor was there any place for one fleeing or hope of staying when the wind drove them from the sea. The sound of the ships was painful when they dashed [p. 224] together, the cries of the men unbearable when the ships broke up. Who when they saw the sea to break into the tottering ships, some experienced in swimming threw themselves (into the sea), others while they jump into the approaching ships having fallen into the sea are crushed by the collision of the ships, most sank down in the depths with the small ships, whom it deprived of any hope of swimming out. Death transfixed itself with less suffering however upon those to whom skill was lacking or any hope of attempts. But yet having been attacked in the nose the shattered remnants of the ships shook from frequent blows and struck in the sides they cruelly beat up the wretched limbs or death followed them driven against the rocks between the very vows of embracing the shore, having however whatever consolation it is to have perished on land. The face however had to be pitied, the heads of the unlucky having been struck the rocks were stained, and the shores were wet with blood. You could see the sea dyed with blood, the whole filled with bodies. And if anyone escaped those approaching the shore were killed by the appraising Romans, because a storm did not lessen its rage in these places from the roughness of the places or the use of the winds, but from divine anger beyond the ordinary the sea was enveloped by winds blowing together, lest the Jews should escape, and thus to pardon those fearing, whom god had not pardoned. There were those who killed themselves with the sword judging it more tolerable to perish by the sword than by shipwreck, others who wishing to push with the long lances had pierced the ships, some who pushed off with oars or struck with a dart those who having fallen into the sea if perhaps they were praying that they should be picked by those sailing by. I have not thus passed over that by which it is clear that the greatest danger to have been from the very people of the Jews to themselves rather than from the enemy, who <“#9”> 9 were killing themselves, as if the dangers were inadequate for their destruction at the same time as everything else, heaven, the enemy, [p. 225] the sea, and the rocks. And so four thousand five hundred bodies of the dead were counted, which the sea had spat out, without a battle the city was captured and razed to its foundations. And thus in a second short time the Roman troops razed Iopen, which with justice Vespasian thought should have been warned, that dwellings of pirates should not be built in that place a second time. Although departing from that place he left in it cavalry with a few foot soldiers, so that the foot soldiers should remain in the place lest a band accustomed to brigandage of robbers should dare something, the cavalry would harry the neighboring areas of the region, and the villages and small towns, where all were completely destroyed lest daringly they should conspire against somebody.

XXI. While these things are being done in Iopen, although at a distance the inhabitants of Jerusalem were passing the time, not even thusly by the partnership of the slaughter they were keeping holiday. It having been heard what things have been done by the Romans in Judaea and especially because they had learned that Josephus had been killed, at first, because no one from those places had come to them as an informer, they did not believe, then they thought that such a great leader not to have fallen recklessly into the hands of the enemy. And in fact no messenger of such a great slaughter had survived, and from this itself the rumor of such a tremendous destruction, because no informer had survived, it was piled on everything to have been destroyed, and nothing to have remained or gotten abroad as information of the things done any rumor whatever greater in the telling, because the very silences themselves terrify the uncertain, everything was believed that was feared, and it was so far from anything that was announced, that even things that had not been done were added. For rumor declared emphatically that Josephus also had been killed and that was a great grief to everyone. But when he was discovered to be passing time with the Romans, [p. 226] they followed up with such a great hatred, that whose death at first they had grieved, that same one’s life they called down curses upon as a sign of cowardice or betrayal. From this there was great excitement against the Romans, that they should avenge themselves for Josephus, and the more their situation grew worse, the more they were inflamed to war. When it ought to have been the finish, from there the beginning of misfortunes was seized. For to the wise unfavorable outcomes of things are more a warning to take precautions, lest again the same things happen which have already happened badly, for the foolish however (they are) an incentive of misfortunes. The peril of their allies ought therefore to have been for people of Jerusalem a reason for sobriety, but because they were unwilling to understand that they should conduct themselves rightly, it turned into their ruin.

XXII. Vespasian however, as they considered they themselves would be benefited by the delay itself and that the army should rest a short time from work, granted to Agrippa asking that he should interpose about twenty days in the city Caesarea of Phillipus of his kingdom, at the same time the troubles of his factions were recovering from the frenzy of agitation and disagreement, who should be able to recognize themselves to be able to be received by the intervention of the king, if they should turn aside, although the very painstaking contracts of agreements between the king and the Romans might come up. Finally Tiberias being close to Caesarea he did not deny a benefit, he found a reason. For also the very people boiled up from the serious distemper of disagreeing between themselves. Whence in a task to his son Vespasian ordered three strong legions to be summoned and to attack Scythopolis directly. Of ten cities that was the greatest neighboring to Tiberias. He orders Valerianus to approach the walls from there with fifty horsemen, who should recommend peace offerings and call those shut in to loyalty to the alliance, that fear of the collected army should dismay those who were hostile, as a messenger of peace he should invite those willing. [p. 227] Valerianus near the walls dismounted from his horse, and also those did the same who had approached closer at the same time. Who thinking they should be scorned because of their (small) number, Jesus the the chief of the plundering band with his men, who having dared equally to attack, they drove (them) from the place with a sudden attack, and at the same time they madly rushed upon the horses which he had led away of those withdrawing, who did not notice that Valerianus had prudently withdrawn, and seized them the booty of haughtiness from those who were offering peace. Finally the elders incensed by the harshness of the deed leaving the city came to Vespasian begging that he would not ascribe the insolence of a few to all the people. Vespasian immediately ordered Traianus to the city, that he should investigate if the people turned themselves away from rashness of the ambushers. And they making known with prayers the agreements of the people the eagerness of the elders piled up their loyalty to the embassy. And so pardons were given to those petitioning for them, especially because Vespasian was giving consideration to the king who was concerned about the status of the entire city, with whose loyalty interposed nothing of the sort would be dared afterwards, wishing pardon of the offense, he departed.

XXIII. From there he sought Taricheas with the army watchful and prepared, for the reason that very many of the rabble had collected at that very city because of the fortification of the place. And because Josephus had surrounded it with a wall, by which it was made inaccessible to foot soldiers, it was washed by the waves of lake Gennesarus, thus boats having been collected they clamored for a two front war: if a land battle should grow worse against them, they should flee to the ships, if they should yield in a naval contest, they should go back to the city and defend themselves by the encircling walls. The protection was similar in all respects in both places either in the city of Tiberias or Taricheas, but at Taricheas the natural disposition was better, the wall was stronger at Tiberias, but the fury of Taricheorans was more manifest, so that if it should be necessary that they could mix up everything, naval battles with land ones, land battles with fleet engagements. At worst blockaded by an enemy battle line since they would would act more boldly [p. 228] with resources, nor would any foolhardiness whatsoever move forward against the management of the Roman activity or also the valor of the veteran army, before they should undergo anything of destruction, overthrown into flight, they flew together to the ships. Who were pressed together as if they were fighting in a packed battle line, as if it were being fought hand to hand on land. And also in the plain an innumerable multitude awaited the enemy. Having learned that, Vespasian sent his son with selected horsemen. Who when he saw himself surrounded by huge forces, reported to his father that the multitude of the enemy was greater than rumor had expressed, but he infused into those assembled together whom he had brought with him an incentive of fighting with an address of this nature.

XXIV. “Men,’ he says “Romans — it is proper that you who are about to fight should be mindful of your name and race, whose hands no one who is in the Roman world has escaped. For how have you given this name to all the world unless by conquering. Indeed you should be mindful of the place in which you now are and against whom you Romans are waging war. In the farthest part of the world we are standing together. Crossing even such a great distances of the world you have seen nothing belonging to others. For what does not belong to us, in whose possession is the world? Whatever is anywhere is your right. Whatever of the entire world a dwelling holds is your property — you traveled well. Who has stopped you running triumphant over the entire world? Whom not Hasdrubal the Punician, not Pyrrus the Greek, not Brennus attacking the entrance of the Capitol, not the hordes of the Persians, not the Egyptian phalanxes were able to stop, them stopped rebellious Judaea offering an ignorant rashness of waging war, more suited for a noisy quarrel than a fight. Nor moreover is there anything I fear; but I think full of modesty [p. 229] you are wearied by conquering, those however who are defeated so many times have taken up daring, you are exhausted by favorable things, while they are more hardened to adverse things. Therefore lift up your spirits, men of Rome, and relying on your ancestral valor rise up against the swarms of the enemy. Nor should the number of the people of Judaea disturb you, although the innumerable marks of our valor may not discourage them, which are far more powerful than their number. Nor is there in the Hebrews any knowledge of military affairs or expertise in fighting or the value of control, no practice of discipline, no enduring of suffering. Only into battle they bring a contempt for death, but no one ever conquered an enemy by dying but by destroying him. They do not know weapons except in war, we in peace times exercise with weapons, so that in war we do not experience the uncertain chances of war. The outcome a matter of doubt to those not experienced, a customary victory to veterans. For why else do we practice every day, unless so that to us battles may never be strange. Each one at home exercises as if in battle, so that in battle there may be a certain view of the contest. Finally anyone will not have erred asserting that our practices are wars without blood, our wars are practices. We go into war completely protected, the head is covered by a helmet, the breast by a coat of armor, the entire body by a shield. An enemy is not able to discover where he should strike a Roman soldier, whom he sees enclosed in iron. To others such arms are a burden, to us they are a protection, because they are lightened by practice. Against those unarmored and therefore as if naked the battle is ours. And should we truly fear that we might be surrounded by their number? In the first place the cavalry is unimpeded in battles, it practices war by withdrawing and pursuing, and although it runs around the largest battle arrays, it withdraws to whatever distances it pleases. And afterwards in the battle on foot it is not so much the number of the larger group that determines the battle as the excellence of the smaller group. For a multitude arrogant of training is itself to itself an impediment [p. 230] to victory in good circumstances, an impediment to flight in bad circumstances. Truly patient courage strengthens in good circumstances nor does it fall away completely in adverse circumstances. That repeated experience of victories comes which is an incentive to us in fighting. For although they are fighting for their homeland for their children, they are not thereby more ready than is necessary for us. Nor indeed is it unimportant, indeed I do not at all know if it is more important, to fight for ourselves rather than for our people. We fight for ourselves when we fight for glory, nor are we the lesser because of that which we are. For who would doubt that it is better to fight for glory than for safety? For us however this fight is a test of reputation lest the right of birth should perish. We victors over the nations and foremost of the world make trial to appear the equals to the Jews, whom from the equal to us we have established as adversaries, if we approach not otherwise than equal in number. Our ancestors frequently routed great numbers of the enemy with a small band. And what has daily training conferred on us, the daily toil, if we come to battle equals? Indeed we have reported about the number to my father, because it is not permitted to do otherwise, but he directs us not to fear about the danger but to hold to our respect as a judge of the war. It is permitted to pour a libation for the battle to hold the enemy to seize the victory, while help is coming, lest those who shall have come should boast to us the enemy not to have been overcome so much by the common strength as protected by their valor. With what expression therefore will we come into the sight of my father if we have feared to begin the battle? With what shame shall I an ignoble son come into the eyes of such a great man, who does not know how to see his soldier unless as a victor? How shall I show myself his son, since he is always a victor, while I who overcome by my own judgment, which is most serious, [p. 231] have yielded to the enemy Judaea? What will happen to you your leader having been found unworthy, whom his confident father has sent to you? But I prefer you to plead the case about the courage of your leader rather than about his faintheartedness. Therefore let us rush forward against our adversaries, let us hurry, let us come before them. I shall run out first into danger, you will follow so that you may guard the trust and preserve the undertaking of my father. I weigh not the companions of danger but the partners in victory. You however take care that the palm of triumph offered to you not be taken from you, that you do not appear to have saved it for others. Certainly if it happens otherwise, I prefer that my father should recognize me his son in my wounds, if he shall not have recognized me among his soldiers. Let us put aside that my father would be offended by our undertaking of the battle. Which therefore is more tolerable, to have seized the victory or to have forsaken it? Haste in the seizing is a sign of bravery, in the forsaking a blame of faintheartedness. My father may disapprove certainly of the victors, I do not shrink from a charge of this nature, I prefer to be a culprit with the state celebrating a triumph rather than be unhurt with the state injured. Would that it be permitted to me in the peril alone to imitate the son of Manlius Torquatus, whom his father ordered to be struck with the headsman’s axe, because against the command of his father he lead the army against the enemy. The young man with the enemy slaughtered and clothed in the triumphal garb stood firm beneath the executioner of his death because he thought it happy to die in victory. For what is more illustrious than to conclude life with a triumph and not be saved for the uncertainties of life after a certain victory? Oh the crime of victory should be sought by the farseeing, would that this be presented to us because we shall have conquered! certainly by this example I alone shall be put in peril, you will celebrate a triumph. But however my father has not forbad us to fight, but has ordered, whom he has sent to battle. And so I consider it more unworthy for us to have yielded to the Jews, when we can win, than to have fought.’ [p. 232]

XXV. Saying this he as the foremost drove his horse against the enemy. And with a great shout the rest having followed stretched out over the entire field, by which even they were estimated to be more. Trajan also sent by Vespasian with three hundred horsemen came up to the advancing Titus. Nor were the Jews able to resist longer, since they were thrown into confusion by the lances of the men and the noises of the horses. Some were turned about in diverse directions, most sought the city. Titus leaps out, some fleeing he falls upon from their rear, he cuts down others wandering around aimlessly, and having reversed his course he thrusts back all from the walls and blocking the path of those running back he shuts off their flight. And again while some were overthrown, others escaped to whom the city was a refuge. But in that place also there was a fierce battle. For those who had flown in from neighboring regions at the beginning preferred peace, but the people coming up wrenched out an eagerness for fighting from the unwilling. Whence inside the city there was great conflict and uproar. Roused by this noise Titus turns himself to his troops. ‘This,’ he says ‘is the situation, most blessed fellow soldiers, which I was hoping for. The enemy inside the city are sowing discord among themselves, outside they are being slaughtered, inside they are fighting. Let us hasten while they are still disagreeing, lest perhaps from the fear of danger they return to agreement.’ And so he mounted his horse, from which he had dismounted near to the walls and having turned to the lake he sought the city through the waves of the waters. And as the foremost he rushes into the city and the rest after him. And immediately all within were scattered into flight. Some were struck down, others climbing into boats were plunged into the lake, many people were killed inside. However many who were in the fields presented themselves to the Romans asserting themselves to be unconnected to the offense, to whom with conscientious management Titus thought he should be lenient, pursuing the originators of the rebellion alone. He sent a horseman to his father to report [p. 233] the results of the victory. By which Vespasian was delighted and especially by the triumph of his son, who had finished the greatest portion of the entire war which was being waged against the Jews, he hastened there and ordered the city to be watched carefully lest anyone should slip away, that because all were deserving of punishment. On another day however because of those who had taken themselves into boats, he ordered rafts to be built, which were made without delay, inasmuch as the neighboring forests and the many workers gave the ability of hurrying the task.

XXVI. For a very large bay of the lake itself, as if an extent of the sea, extends one hundred forty stadia in length, spreads out forty stadia in width, raising up a breeze with its sparkling waters to itself from its own self, from which it is called Gennesar from a Greek word as if producing a breeze for itself, of sweet water and suitable for drinking, accordingly as it does not receive anything thick or muddy of a marshy swamp, because it is surrounded on all sides by a sandy shore. And it is milder than the cold of a spring or river, it is colder however than the surface of a placid marsh, from the very fact that the water is not spread out in the manner of a lake, but the lake is frequently stirred up over great distances up by the blowing breezes. From which water drawn from it is both purer and softer for the use of drinking, and if anyone should wish to add spirit to the natural grace, as it appears in the summers suspended to the breezes in the nights by the custom of the inhabitants for drinking, it is considered to differ not at all from the usage of snow. The types also of fish [p. 234] are more outstanding in taste and appearance than in another lake. To finish things it seems good that we disclose the source of the Jordan which we promised elsewhere. For it was a matter of doubt of the previous generation, whether the Jordan arose from the lake to which is the name Gennesar, Philippus the tetrarch <“#10”> 10 of the Trachonitidis region refuted the false belief and ended the error sending chaff into the Fiala which a river in Panium bubbled up. From which is established that the beginning of the Jordan is not in Panium but a river. For its source is not there, so that it began from it in the manner of other rivers, but it draws off from the Fiala to the same place by underground courses. There again as if its source it gushes up and emerging it is put forth. It is moreover from Fiala in the Trachonitidis region one hundred twenty intervening stadia all the way to the city of Caesarea. The name of Fiala moreover gives the appearance as expressing the character of a wheel, because it is so continuously full of water, that neither overflows nor again is understood to be drawn off by any lessening. The water drops away below by a certain amount and again bubbles up where Panium is, as is made evident by the resurfacing chaff. So the Jordan is revealed to have risen up again there where it was considered to come into existence by the men of previous times. Nor however was it the same at Panium from the beginning except for the natural beauty alone, but by the royal bountifulness of Agrippa richer and more splendid decoration having been added to the place, from whom we received a cave constructed and adorned with wonderful beauty through which the Jordan raises itself. From whence no longer by a hidden and concealed movement through the hollows of the earth but beginning with a visible and exposed river it pours itself through the lands, [p. 235] it cuts through lake Semechonitin and its marshes. From that place also directing its courses one hundred twenty stadia without any influx it goes forward all the way to the city which has the name Julias. Afterwards it crosses that lake which is called Gennesar flowing through its middle, from which places wandering about through much wilderness it is received by the Dead Sea and is buried in it. And so the victor over two lakes having entered in a third it sticks. The district Gennesar stretches over the lake of the same name, from which the district itself takes its name, with a wonderful favor of nature and appearance of beauty. For the richness of the soil furnishes voluntary crops, and prolific of woods it raises itself up voluntarily into all types of fruit bearing trees, and cleverness of cultivation having imitated nature in which revolves the use of the rich fertility it diverts thanks, so that there is nothing in that place which nature has denied, which cultivation has disregarded. The weather is suitable for everything and not unsuitable ever for any crops, whose temperateness is so great that it is appropriate for the differences of all growing things. In that place those things which are nourished by cold spread themselves out in many ways and those things which are favored by heat, there summer mixed with winter you may see at the same time northern nuts and dates unless in the very hottest places they do not know how to be grown. What shall I say of figs or olives, which a milder period of weather nourishes? They do not however equal those last. The former indeed and certain domestic crops are the chief products of Palestine and are more abundant there, the latter are almost equal and however although at long intervals very close. You might say a congenial competition of nature and circumstances: the former as a fruitful mother creates everything, the proper mixture of the latter as a good nurse brings up all things with a gentle warming. And so not only are produced satisfactorily [p. 236] varieties of fruits but they are even kept under observation, so that some chief kinds do not become unavailable during part of the year. All the rest are available during the entire period of the year all the way to the end. For both grapes and figs, which are in grafts of a certain royal favor, are numerous during ten months without any disappearance, and the remaining fruits of the branches, which willing farms have either brought into existence of their own will or human industry has produced, have not learned from a certain practice of those managing to give up their service, unless to new replacements. To this fruitfulness of nature and temperateness of the air is added also the favor of a spring, which irrigates the renowned region with a certain generative watering. Its name is Capharnaum, which some have considered not at all superfluously a branch of the Nile river, not only because it makes fat fields fruitful, but truly even because it produces a fish of such a type, that you would think it a coracinum <“#11”> 11 which is found in the Alexandrine lake from the flooding of the Nile. The region also named from the name of the lake stretches out thirty stadia in length, twenty in width. Inasmuch as we have spoken about the nature of the region, we are going back to the conclusion of the battle. And so Vespasian placed a military troop on the rafts prepared according to his order, which pursued those who had avoided destruction by the flight of the boats. They could not discover therefore what they should do. No place of safety on the land, all things surrounded by the enemy, no opportunity of fleeing on the waters, inasmuch as the lake was closed off and surrounded on all sides by the Romans, no confidence of resisting even in the light naval vessels, what even could a few do against the many on the approaching rafts? Even the slow approach of these and the more effective charge of the boats, but without any wound to themselves only the rattling of shields [p. 237] the darts having been deflected back was heard. The Jews did not dare to approach, nor had any light boat approached nearer with impunity, since from close by it would either be easily pierced by the blows of darts or sunk by the rafts, and if anyone should have tried to swim out or escape, pierced by the dart of an arrow he would have laid down his wretched life in the waves. Nor were they able to resist longer, since they were being reduced by a different method. For the Romans gradually by the many rafts running together forced a great number of boats to the shore. And crowded together there they either leaped down onto the land and were killed there by the Romans, or they were cut down by those who pressed upon them from the rafts, or were treaded under by the running together of the rafts, or they threw themselves into the lake, when the enemy jumped into their boats. You would see the waters mixed with blood, the lake full of dead bodies. For no one was spared whoever was resisting. A terrible odor, a most foul stench of the region. Six thousand Jews, with those preceding however, and seven hundred killed in this battle. The victor Vespasian went back to Taricheas. There he was preparing to separate the people of the region from the city, so that those who were not the originators of the rebellion might be spared. But in the opinion of most, those who were such a great multitude, which could rouse again the recurring battles, they considered a foe of peace and harmful to the region — for where indeed cast out from their country could they subsist? With what food would they sustain themselves without a share of anything unless they should live by plunder? — he persuaded the opinion and the forgiveness of death having been implanted he ordered that they should go out by that gate which was in the direction of Tiberias and that they should take themselves to that city. They easily believed what they hoped for. They began to go out but all the route having being lined beforehand the troops shut off any deviation of the Jews and [p. 238] led them into the stadium of the city. Vespasian entered also and the age and strength of everyone having been looked at, whom he had ordered to be stood before him, he chose six thousand of the strongest young people, whom he sent to Nero on the Isthmus. However he ordered one thousand two hundred of the old and weak to be killed, thirty thousand four hundred of the rest he offered for sale. All however who were found to be from parts of the kingdom of Agrippa he granted to the king, whom the king in like manner the prize having been received transferred into the service of slavery. In addition the other people of the Trachonitidis and Gaulanitidis region and of Hippenus and Gadarita as the inciters of the war and disturbers of harmony, abandoning proper behavior and raiding foreign soil, who having taken up arms had violated the peace, paid the just and owed penalties according to what was merited for their crimes.


1. Translator’s note: In G. A. Williamson’s translation of Book 2 of The Jewish War the opposite of this last phrase is stated (p. 180 of the Penguin  Classic’s edition), that Niger was instructed to take orders from these two.

2. Translator’s note: i.e., the Romans.

3. Translator’s note: i.e., the enemy, the Romans.

4. Translator’s note: i.e., against the Romans.

5. Translator’s note: i.e., found by the Romans.

6. Translator’s note: i.e., killed by Amalechita.

7. Translator’s note: he, i.e., God.

8. Translator’s note: he himself, i.e., God himself.

9. Translator’s note: who, i.e., the Jews.

10. Translator’s note: tetrarch, a minor king.

11. Translator’s note: coracinum, a fish of the Nile river.


[p. 238]

I. The Taricheans having been eliminated, for the most part the Romans were able to gain control of the Galilaean cities and territory, save only that the city Gamala of an obstinate people of the Gaulanitidian region relying upon (its) inaccessible location maintained (its) arrogance. For it is situated on a mountain. Circumscribed on the right and left sides by rugged cliffs, it is constrained to the summit, in front it is cut off by a deep opening, in the after part it is somewhat extended, from that side also, a narrow path and a difficult approach meandering to the city, you would judge the route similar to a tail; from the highest point a neck extending a great distance displays a fortress as if a head and lifts to a high [p. 239] altitude, narrow from the beginning and like a curved bottom with steep turnings and buried to a great depth, thence as if raising up in the middle a certain tendon of the neck, for the rest rugged and without a path. Whence very many from previous times think (it) to have been named Camela, because it offers the shape of a camel, but the name of Gamala to have stuck to the city from the incorrect usage of the inhabitants. Indeed if you look at the buildings jammed together, you would adjudge the city to be suspended and would especially consider its northern parts to hang suspended, turned back a little southerly. Josephus added fortifications to this city also, relying upon which and the number of the multitude coming together there they made sport through seven months of the siege of King Agrippa. For this city and Sotanis and Seleucia were parts of his kingdom, Seleucia next to that very pleasant forest Daphnes famous throughout Syria, filled with cypress trees, gushing with springs by which it pours in certain nutriments with milky abundance into the meandering river of this region, which they designate the Lesser Jordan. However this state and upper Sotanis and the portion of Gaulanitidis below Gamala, from where with dissonant enthusiasm the former chose the Roman partnership, the latter revolted so obstinately that when the king wished to address them too close to the walls he was wounded by the missile of a sling. Incensed by whose injury the Romans applied themselves to the siege more strongly, and it was conflicted promptly by both sides, by the Jews also, who had treated with violence their own king while he was persuading useful actions, who assessing themselves to be without any forgiveness if they were conquered were fighting with all their strength. Agrippa [p. 240] for the reason that he had been struck on the right elbow by a rock went out from the fighting, the Romans broke into the city. The enemy gave way to the missiles, the wall to the battering rams. For those who fought the war machines were not at all able to resist longer, and the wall shattered by three battering rams furnished an accessible route to the besiegers into the besieged. But that thing the impatience of haste brought an extraordinary slaughter upon the victors. For when they poured themselves into the dwellings, while they are searching through or hastening to go plundering, the critical falling to weight of houses, with crumbling foundations brought on catastrophe and the nearest and whatever was in proximity was dashed to destruction. Many Romans involved with these collapses met death in victory. Most pushing themselves forward were overwhelmed by falling dwellings, others half-dead with mangled body barely dug out, dust killed most. Pressed together in tight spaces they were killed, also women and weak old men and those of the younger who had fled were thrown down beneath stones from above. Darkness poured in upon everything took away sight confused the mind. Want of knowledge did not find a way out. And so barely withdrawing themselves from the danger they withdrew from the city. Vespasian meanwhile while pressing upon the enemy in the middle of the city had withdrawn and in the midst of a surrounded force of the enemy he spurred on the fight. For indeed it was totally unfitting for a man to offer his back to the enemy nor did he think it safe. He had directed his son Titus against Syria. He aroused the consciousness of their famous bravery and collecting themselves into their arms with shields joined together with the few whom he had at hand undaunted he stood as if weighing against whom he should launch himself. Whose attack the fearful Jews [p. 241] began to stand against with less strength and each fearing for himself to weaken their battle line. Thus Vespasian against the enemy gradually made progress resembling fighters more than advancers. At that place fell the decurion Butius proven previously in many battles and against the Jews a famous man of experience and great bravery. A centurion also with ten other Syrians accomplished an outstanding and memorable deed. For in the same confusion when he perceived the Romans to be hard pressed he took them 1  into a hiding place of a certain home and there when the Jews were conferring among themselves while dining what they were contriving against the Romans, in the dead of night he killed them all and brought himself with his soldiers back to the Roman army.

II. Vespasian however when he noticed the army to be sorrowful because of the loss of so many men and especially because of the shame of having deserted their leader, because they had left him alone in the city of the enemy, with greatest kindness he consoled them saying: “if the occurrence of my peril is a matter of shame for you, I did not proceed to war in order to shun dangers but to grasp them; but truly so many of ours killed is not at all to be astonished at; for when is there any victory without blood? battles have their consequences. If proved valor is accustomed to excel in war, it is however usual that something be allowed to chance. But it is the part of a prudent man in adverse times to correct a fault, in prosperous times to exercise moderation; on the contrary however (persons) of a certain unskilled and ignorant temperament anticipate a successful outcome always as if the contest were not against men, the superstitious however at any setback despair of the main goal, when at some brief moments all the things that are being carried out in a war suddenly go awry. And so he is the most outstanding who in adverse circumstances sensibly [p. 242] deals with events and supplants (his) superior and to recover and correct himself seeks out his own failings. And truly he who is too reckless often falls (a victim) to his impulses and while he rushes in heedless diffuse in his attack he falls prostrate. But if this frequently happens when (there is) valor alone, how much more frequently in war when engaged armies of a different type are fighting, and there is neither one plan nor a common purpose, an unfavorable ground of difficult roughness, uneven in difficult condition for fighting, many against few, when even the multitude is a hindrance to itself, and few in the many are not frustrated. But these often burst forth in a moment, which come not from merit but happen from chance. Whence there is nothing which ought to trouble you, (my) fellow-soldiers, because the adverse circumstances (arose) not through any weakness of your hand and not through the bravery of the Jews, but the difficulty of the places was an impediment for us to victory, for them an opportunity for delay. Nor is there anything which it is possible to blame, unless the unadvised and confused attack. For when you followed them to the upper parts of the city and rushed blindly into their homes, you involved yourselves in dangers. Whose hospitality you come into, you take upon yourselves (their) dangers. You were holding the city, who forced you to go inside it? The enemy had to descend to you, you had not to fight unrestrainedly for victory unmindful of life and safety. Therefore ease your minds and about your worth take not only comfort, but what is more important take justification. You will have me certainly leading the way to battle. Be prepared in mind, Dangers make you more brave not more cowardly. It is easy to make good a mistake, if worth recollects itself.”

III. With these words he kindled the courage of the soldiers, who repairing the wall the most part withdrew themselves [p. 243] from the siege through the broken openings. For already a lack of food was at hand, and the broken walls were thought about to yield to the siege machines, furthermore there was but one (water) well within the city and that was very close to the walls. Which thing put them in great fear and they slipped away in great numbers. Those who truly thought (the fight) should be continued fought obstinately. In the meantime the Romans undermining the highest tower overthrew it with great force, by which misfortune the city was greatly alarmed, all were disturbed and fearing the ruin of the entire city. From which Chares sick in body, making sounds of great terror breathless from fright accomplished (his) death. The Romans however having broken the city open refrained from entry, until Titus having returned and aroused by the smart of his father’s danger rushed into the city with a few and inflicted a great slaughter on the Jews. However those who were in the higher elevations rolling rocks prohibited the Romans from access, they hurled darts violently, and shot arrows. By the Jews rocks pushed forward were easily rolled down, missiles came through, arrows came down not without danger to those whom they struck. Missiles thrown by the Romans against the higher elevations of the mountain were ineffective, the attempt was ineffectual and dangerous to themselves, when suddenly a storm of wind arose and bent back the arrows of the Jews, repelled their darts; and indeed carried those against the enemy which the Roman army was hurling. Thus oppressed by the restraints of their own elements and the commotions of the winds in the final sacking of the captured city all whosoever who were discovered there perished. We learned four thousands however to have been killed by the Romans, five thousands to have perished at a precipice, grace to have been granted to no age.

IV. Thus far Gischala alone from the parts of Galilaea had not turned the enemy against itself, since contented [p. 244] with their fruits the more peaceful natures of its inhabitants seeing that (they were) a rural people manifested nothing bellicose, but by the communion of many, who employed their life in brigandage, even the inclinations of the milder (persons) were corrupted by wicked practices. There was besides a man, Levis Iohannes by name, a native, a plague of (his) people, second to none of the cunning in craft, knowing no equal in depravity, to whom a disposition of doing harm never lacked, sometime however a want of means of exercising iniquity was an impediment–which however I shall define not at all plainly I know whether poverty made him or hindered him, cunning in fraud, skilled in deceiving, trained to seek trust through lies and to ally credulity to concord, who thinks deceit is a virtue and would consider (it) tasteful to cheat those dearest (to him), ready to conspire impetuous to daring vigorous in performing, a trouble maker in leisure a deserter in danger, arrogant of good looks accustomed to brigandage, which when he was unable to conform to he joined however for the sake of obtaining control. Therefore a restless disposition, ready boldness supported him rather than deliberation, and wealth for uniting a band of profligates. Hence Vespasian discovered the people of the mentioned city with his faction to be roused up to war, in order that he should not fatigue the whole army he directed (his) son Titus with one thousand horsemen accompanied by whom he should draw near the city. But when he saw the walls crowded with people, he said himself to be astonished because they followed their example to make war, from whose destruction they ought to have come to their senses. Be it so however that the first trials have something of a presumption, what did the destruction of the hope of everyone show? [p. 245]The hopes of liberty were certainly pardonable in the beginning, however perseverance is not attainable by entreaty in extreme and hopeless circumstances. For those who are not influenced by an example of human kindness, by diligent warning of words, against them not words but arms are necessary. Having confidence in walls as if they would protect anyone against the valor of the Romans. Whatever else those shut in are able to bring forward, are not the besiegers able to stretch out (before it) except that the foolhardy are in captivity? No one had the opportunity to speak. The predatory band had seized the entire circuit of the walls. Iohannes was on guard lest anyone should invite the Romans in a friendly parley. And so he himself snatched away a report of a conversation, saying freely that he himself had undertaken the management of common concerns and had not neglected making use of a trial, if perhaps he was persuaded of its usefulness, or was satisfied with those things which brought forward, but he was prohibited by the law of his country, since there remained a day of the sacred week, to treat of conditions of peace, because forbidden that he should move the arms, thus even it was not allowed to take measures about peace on holidays. For indeed (it is) sacrilege for those forced to address the task at least with words, and not unpunished those who did the forcing. Himself to ask the indulgence of one day, a postponement so small as not to be in any way an impediment. Nor indeed with the enemy surrounding them was flight possible for those shut in. Conditions of peace to be offered him? such an equable option that fear was absent, him to be urged in the meantime that it was not necessary for considerations of peace for those for whom it was a moral obligation to that the law of the country be prevaricated. Such a generous offering of peace was arrived at that he who beyond hope freely offered peace, lest anyone should make a test, reserved his own laws for any about to attempt escape. Considering these things binding without treachery Titus sounded acceptance and recalled from the walls those whom he had brought with him. Thus Johannes having obtained the opportunity of fleeing departed in the dead of night with most of his forces. [p. 246] The women besides followed him departing. But the farther the men progressed the more women and children were left behind and abandoned by their men the frightened women regarded the road. And when already they lost their own men from sight, they thought the enemy to be at hand, trembling at every sound, if anyone should run, the miserable women were turned back, themselves to be sought, fearing to be thrown into chains, as if those whom they feared were already present. Titus in accordance with the convention, the sun already pouring down, hastened to the city with the army. The gates are opened, The people come out with exultation and receive the Romans with joy and eagerness, rejoicing the pestilential man to have gone away. Him to have fled during the night, the opportunity of free judgment to have been given to themselves, themselves to pray pardon that his fleeing not be a crime upon themselves, whom they were not able to hold without their own destruction. He satisfied with the delaying of punishment and the swiftness of accomplishing the task forthwith sent a great many to seize Johannes, if by chance they could overtake him. He having entered the city content to manage disturbers of the peace more by threats than by punishment pardoned everyone, so that no one aroused by hatred or domestic tasks should lead the blameless into ill-will and should strike with the fierceness of a severe crime, since it is much more tolerable to leave to the conscience of a fearful participant that which is uncertain than to condemn an innocent. For often fear corrects the guilty, punishment however of the innocent is without any remedy of correction. And so Johannes was not found by those whom Titus had sent, but the children and women who were following him were discovered. Up to two thousand almost were killed, three thousand however of infirm age and sex, when satiety of killing was achieved, were sentenced to servitude. He assigned a military guard to the state. [p. 247] And so all of Galilaea was brought into Roman power. For even the mountain Tabyrius, whose altitude is thirty stadia 2, the very highest point of the level country lies at thirty three stadia, from scarcity of water deserted by some, pardon having been sought surrendered to the Romans by others, although by the valor also and diligence of Placidus, to whom this task had been committed by Vespasian, the entire crowd of refugees, he followed while going away and by cunning earnestly urged them to retrace their steps, surrounded in the middle of the plain lost their place of refuge, found death.

V. Up to this point it has been permissible to wander about, while we occupy our pen with the contagion of the sacred temple founded by our ancestors and of the sacred law and with those fleeing around other cities. But already it is time that we take up those things that were done at Jerusalem relying not upon memory, but so that we do not seem to have denied the administration of the law of our fatherland, or of the pain of our ancient culture. There will be perhaps in these a shadow not truth, but however the shadow points out the track of the truth. For the shadow has the features of the picture, it does not have the brightness, nor is it carried out to perfection, but it portrays the future to those observing carefully. And thus the less the image charms, the more it attracts thanks. Whence it was decided by a witness of things to destroy the old things, to found new things so that they should follow the truth who did not follow the phantoms of faithlessness through difficulties.

VI. Fleeing as we said above, from the districts of Galilaea Johannes took himself to the city of Jerusalem and as if a certain plague infected the minds of a great many, who [p. 248] the leaders of outrages from diverse regions had assembled there as if in a cesspool. For this was in fact for that city the cause of its great destruction, that the incorrigible brought about with their villainies, that most came together there, in which place they believed they would be safer or more arrogantly could pile up their outrages, they were considered to put aside their faith. And so they were received everywhere as if they came from devoted love of the temple to defend it. This was the foremost stroke of misfortune. From this was suppressed the mildness of the few by the haughtiness of the many, from this it progressed into slaughter, since a stranger is less forbearing, from this it was plotted that the solemnities of the law should be be disregarded, the sacerdotal offices should be diverted from the good people to the wicked, because it was not known by men unacquainted not only with religious education but even with knowledge of the law what was sacred. At first were overcome the men of royal stock who were resisting, by which the rest yielded from fear, then were killed, and that the crime should be concealed, those whom they killed without trial assassins having been sent into the prison, they fabricated the same to have been killed for the invented crime of treachery. And so all were terrified by fear. For which powerful men and the blameless Antipas, Levias, and Foras were easily crushed, and already did not dare to resist. From this it progressed to the point that undistinguished and unfit men replaced the leaders of the priests and for whom no reason for meriting the honor was advanced, they contrary to their worth having obtained the priesthood were suborned to every crime in the judgement of those considering the matter. But when the priestly men and especially Ananus senior to the rest, lest through esteem should be granted a prerogative of the highest name, they demand the foremost of the priests be created by a drawing of lots, in which [p. 249] it is considered that the outcome of the drawing is entrusted not to favor but to a divine judgment. In truth they pretended an ancient usage by which it was the custom that those being placed in the first rank of the priesthood were selected by lot, evidently however they worked out a loosening of the law. For when the law of priestly succession selected men for the drawing, they for the sake of appearance alone from the priestly tribe set up one present Eniachim by name and ordered it done by lot. Then a certain Phanis was selected by lot, a village man the son of Samuel, to whom not only was no succession supported by leaders of the priests, but to whom there was not even any knowledge of priestly duty, for the reason that he was at leisure in the country and thus what the foremost of the priests was he did not know. Finally a false character if placed upon him drawn from his fields and resisting as if in a play. He puts on also the holy garments, at the right time he is taught what it is necessary for him to do. And therefore by the outcome of the lot was exposed the wickedness of the seditious, that the carrying out of the great sacerdotal duties was entrusted to an ignorant and rustic person. To them the mockery of the ancient solemnity was a joke, to the priests a grief, who weeping bewailed the mockery of the law by corrupt men. Relying however upon the power itself of devotion and the indignation of good men they collect themselves together and make an attack upon the troublemakers. But the latter although they distrusted their cause and numbers, fleeing to the temple as if into a refuge like a certain fort for themselves they prepared to drive back the multitude of people rushing in. But first placed before the doors of the temple and in the forecourt itself they fought against the people. If anybody was wounded he sought the interior of the temple, pouring out his blood there at interior doors and [p. 250] wounded wiping off his bloody features on the pavement. Wounds and entrails of an open wound were stuffed with those garments which it was not permitted to them to touch. There was fighting within the city, fighting between citizens, fighting before the temple. Not only this but fearing the brigands, since they were insistently urged by the people, they took themselves back into the temple itself and closed there the doors of the temple. Which having been set in the way Ananus was recalled, who lest he should be seen to carry fighting into the temple and to break down the temple doors which had been consecrated by the devoutness of their ancestors, he turned back the attack of the common people and stationed six thousand men in the porticos, who in attendance armed with weapons pretended a careful guarding. Gradually however he softened the passion so that he considered peace with this aim especially that he not defile the temple with the blood of the citizens, that he should persuade also that a legation a negotiator of peace should be sent so that the intestine war would be put aside. Johannes is associated to accompany the legation a man of doubtful faith and inflamed by the desire to achieve power. An oath is sought, he did not decline lest he be exposed to a charge of perjury if he should have refused. In order to deceive he pretended that he favored the common people. What else? He continues, he sends ahead a few things about peace, he hides more for an incitement of war saying in the name of peace that war was involved, that treachery was hidden, that Ananus had prepared to surrender the city to the Romans by which the practices of the ancients would be abolished, the precepts of the law annulled, collecting everything from all directions and expressing envy against the leader of the priests of those things he himself was intending. Shrewdly even he stirred up those whom he knew of those who had been imprisoned to be chiefs and leaders of a faction with dread of a prepared death, claiming that especially for them Ananus had planned death, he himself had come to expose the deceit, by quickly seeking help [p. 251] before the punishment should be demanded of them. What more? In the midst of peace he kindles the war. The are selected who would crave the Idumaeans to battle, a fickle race, restless, arrogant, quick to dissension, rejoicing in the changing of things, heedless of danger, rushing into a fight. And so diverting their course they come without delay, twenty thousand men are assembled, as is natural attentive to no cultivation of the lands but prepared for brigandage. It was not possible to conceal from Ananus the arrival of the Idumaeans. Immediately he ordered the gates to be closed lest they should make entrance with disorder, but if it were possible to be done that they should learn the truth, that they should renounce war.

VII. And so the leaders of the priests ascending the wall spoke to the Idumaeans from a tower, it to be a great wonder to them, that so quickly ensnared in a net of lies they were pursuing with arms causes with which they had not yet become acquainted, when it was proper for them first to be arbitrators of affairs rather than fighters of wars and for the future to learn the merits rather than take up arms, and arms against men of their own race, their own culture, their own solemnities. Upon none was more of injury inflicted than upon the Idumaeans, who were aroused into an association of such loathsome scoundrels. For what other was demanded from them except horrible crime against the citizens, sacrilege against the temple? It is not wont for different inclinations among themselves and different ways to come together. In fact the similarity of customs makes a fellowship of inclinations and and it binds to itself kindred inclinations. The most worthless men, who support themselves by brigandage, took to themselves that they should invite the Idumaeans to be associates to them, so greatly abhorring the proposal of those by whom they were asked, that they wage war against their country, you truly [p. 252] they implored to come as if to defend a foreign city. We who are not criminal have nothing in common with robbers, who are sober have nothing in common with drunkards. Would that that drunkenness was from wine and not from rage. Who when they addict themselves to disgraceful acts, by overthrowing proper successions, they steal the property of others and things evilly acquired they carelessly destroy, they throw away the worst. There is no limit to their thievery, because there are no bounds to their luxurious consumption. When they have filled themselves with wine and sated their drunkenness, they throw up the excessive drinking of affairs of state, and make themselves drunk again with our blood and mock the sacred religious duties, which have always been for us a reason for veneration and reverence. Drive off the parricidal assemblies and abandon sacrilegious ventures, forsake the assemblages of brigands. You have been summoned to a society of wickedness: you have come to the assistance of native land. We see a distinguished people whom it is fitting to come to ask in a public assembly that to the most outstanding city of the Jews, which is considered the mother-city of the entire race, it should be of assistance against the enemy. But if we fail in our aim, while we hope for peace and do not wish to quickly tire you, we who offered peace to the arousers of war, you however, who have come as if by divine judgment, take counsel avoiding both extremes and display judges of both sides. Inquire from whence arose the beginnings of the disorder, who sounded the trumpet call to a peaceful city, who poured out the blood of the most outstanding citizens, by what authorities was punishment exacted from uncondemned persons, who were a ruination to us before the Romans. Against the former we resolved on war and at the present time we suffer them as enemies. [p. 253] Whose friendship with the Romans is therefore an object of suspicion, those who championed the Romans or those who rejected the Romans? This is certainly more important to us than the strifes of the Romans. From the former we died on behalf of freedom, by the latter we are murdered as if for a crime. Crimes of treason against the innocent are pretended and after death calumnies are fabricated, although judicial judgment is accustomed to precede punishment, not punishment the judicial judgment. For what profits it the dead man to be absolved when already nothing is withheld of the judgment? For however we admit a lottery of this sort, that after death an inquiry is made about innocence and we also gladly conduct the case of our and the dead persons’ innocence before you who are armed in the presence of the established adversaries. Thus no evidence is supplied the calumniators, so that they have also a more difficult case before you who so quickly believed them. For a good judge grieves that he was deceived with lies and is more disturbed by the deceiving than by having been courted, that he had been rashly urged to believe falsehoods he thought must be avenged. But let us therefore reserve the complete consideration for ourselves and collect the truth not from a putting together of disputations, but from an ordering of tasks. First of all why we might surrender our country to the Romans, whom we were able not to provoke, and perhaps it was necessary to be done, that we should not incite the conquerors of every people. But this is already not an item of deliberation of the present factions. It was a task of previous times to choose the path we should follow, now it is necessary to die in behalf of freedom. For it is best to die for one’s country. It would have beat before the war to prefer peace to death, but because war is upon us, many of our brothers already captured, others killed, grief from those dead lamentations from those bound up, a voluntary death is more to elected than a life of servitude. Notwithstanding there is available to those about to die because of false charges the effacing of the infamy of the charge of treason. In your presence, the Idumaeans, we plead the cause: [p. 254] let them be brought forth, let the witnessing expounders be summoned into the midst of the witnesses. If they hold witnesses, let them be brought forth, if they do not hold witnesses, what complaints do they make and what empty suspicions do they bring as charges, which they themselves have composed for themselves. They ought not to make charges which they are not able to prove. But because they do not dare to make accusations they wish to spread accusations about among the multitude and thus they spring forth to war lest they be called into judgment. For in war there is a content of madness, in peace there is an examination of truth. Behold! we are first at hand, we of our own accord offer ourselves for punishment, if indeed an accuser comes forth. Or if ill-will is whirled about in the people’s presence, diligently inquire what was the purpose in a public meeting. Is it not that troops drawn up are being prepared for war, so that every one may aid his country in behalf of freedom. Surely against the bandits themselves what had been considered except that peace should be concluded. The anguish of every individual had provoked the displeasure of the people, the blood of innocents, the lamentations of women, the duplicity about the laws of our fathers, made the groans of all men resound, because each feared similar things for himself. The sacerdotal offices were conferred upon the most unfit. They began to be sought by voice, they struck the people with stones, they killed with weapons. The publish anguish blazed out, they made a place of refuge for themselves in the temple of the bandits. And so a place of peace inspiring awe even for the tribes and the seat of sanctity was made the place of assembly of plunderers, and that place to which from all parts of the land it was flocked together for the honoring of a festal celebration, there are now certain stables of wild beasts flowing with human blood. It is permitted to you, or the armed men, to inquire after these things, without the stipulation of war however. There was generally a judicial investigation in the midst of arms and compassion set aside the instruments of war, the judgment of fairness held in check the war-trumpets. You are able to transform these weapons to the defence of the city, which you took up for its subversion. For it is permitted to enter without weapons, to hear and investigate everything. If you should discover anything negligent against the enemy, consider it treachery. But if [p. 255] you wish to present neither defenders nor witnesses, why do you wonder if the gates are not opened to armed men? They are not closed against kinsmen but against weapons. Put aside war and the gates will open.’

VIII. When the priests and most particularly Iesus who was older than the rest, less important than Ananus however, who was engaged in second place, had said these things to the Idumaeans who were most indignant because they had been straightway received by the city, Simon one of the leaders of the Idumaeans (spoke thusly): ‘It is not in the least,’ he said, ‘ to be wondered at if they rage against citizens and hold them shut up who have closed the gates to an allied tribe and do not allow their colleagues and comrades to enter, who speak to us from the wall and drive us back from the walls as if enemies, whom they consider friends. Who may doubt that they prepare to admit the Romans and perhaps to wreathe the gates while they are entering? What is the greater injury? Certainly that city is accustomed to be open to all men for the reason of reverence of the way of life, to us alone as if enemies is it shut off, we alone are rejected, we alone are driven off. They pretend to seek our judgment whom they consider worthy not even of the threshold of the city. Those things are hidden which they have done against them, we are the witnesses and judges of our hurt. We have noticed what those shut in are enduring, when we are ordered to put down our arms, and it is believable what their decision is anticipated to be, whose credibility is mistrusted? Let us hasten therefore to rescue those who are shut up, for whom the temple has been made a prison, lest they should be held up to the arrival of the Roman army and given up as captives to Vespasian. Let us take away the siege from the temple, let us drive away the offensive guards who allow no one to go out even for purging their bowels. If anyone wishes to carry in food for those shut up, it is prevented, if anyone wishes to go out, he is snatched away to death. The practice of religion has been made a crime.’ [p. 256]

IX. Hearing these things Jesus retired considering himself to be resisting to no purpose with the will of god opposed, and indeed hostile forces were resounding within and without, and the state was being attacked from two sides. The Idumaeans were complaining because they were shut out, those located in the temple were plotting how they should be joined with the Idumaeans. Fear tormented the latter that the Idumaeans might go away before the accomplishment (of their purpose), the shame the intention of withdrawing tortured the former. And already almost distrust had arisen when suddenly at night there arises a terrible windstorm, a black tempest. The winds howl, the sky begins to tremble, the violence of the heavy rains pours forth strongly, there are dreadful flashes of lightning, monstrous thunderings, such rumblings of the earth that the world is thought to be dissolving. Who would think that this would more injure those located within the city than those existing outside the city, since the first were protected by roofed structures, the latter were exposed to the pouring rains? But the fear of injury frightened more than the injury itself. Finally those who had no refuge of roofed structures covered themselves with shields remaining on duty and not dispersing. Those about their homes and those who scattered gave opportunity that the gates should be opened by those who were within the temple. The opinions of the people were wavering and diverse. Some thought that the great offended god had moved the storms against the Idumaeans because they had come armed against their fellows. Ananus and the more profound abilities of the elders conjectured that the Idumaeans by the insult of themselves were more aroused to the destruction of their allies. Finally more disturbed than other nights Ananus that night remissly not from fatigue of the body but more from despair of the mind yielded to the circumstances flowing against him and the storms fighting for his and the world’s destruction, he thought that the watches need not be looked to, as if he gave permission to disperse wherever and to whomever there was the desire. Having gotten which opportunity those who had taken refuge in the temple rising up cut the bars of the city gates. The din of the heavens worked with them so that [p. 257] the sound of the saws was not heard and the noise of those going out. Next coming to the wall they opened the gate near the crowds of Idumaeans. It would have been the last day for the entire people if they had not thought to go straightway to the temple before a place of concealment in the city. But because those who were being held shut in within the temple fearing for themselves and, the entrance of the Idumaeans having been recognized, fearing that an attack of the surrounding people might be made against themselves, that those about to die might demand vengeance, they asked that they themselves be taken away first for execution, then afterwards themselves and kindred men having been set free that they be sent forth among the people, to turn aside to those who had sent delegates asking assistance of safety, as soon as the price of the unexpected breakin should be paid to its originators chiefly by this service. For when things proceeded in accordance with their wish, all having poured forth from the temple like from a certain fortress in an extended battle line, they killed in every street whomsoever they met with, some sleeping, some terrified. Nothing availed prayers, nothing tears, nothing the insignia of public office, tokens of no merits, all were indiscriminately slain. Finally seeing the monstrous bestiality in these follow-ups, because none were spared, they themselves ensnared themselves, by a more wretched means as it seems to me, than if they had been killed by an enemy, because the suicide will be ascribed to cruelty, the knot of the hideous noose is given even to the upright. But what is the place for deliberation, when the fear of executions was so great, when each feared not death but torture before death, to which death would be a remedy. Blood overflowed everywhere and especially around the temple, because there were collected those who were guarding those shut in. Finally there were found that day of the killed eight thousand five hundred men. Afterwards turning against the city they killed in this way like a certain herd of cattle whatever men they [p. 258] encountered in their path. It was a lamentable sight for war to be waged within the city that was previously reverenced by all, for ruin to be brought upon the poor and feeble. Indeed the young and stronger were shut into prison, who were considered suitable for the faction, but with great courage the majority preferred to undergo every suffering rather than associate themselves with the morally lost. Nor was there any limit or sense of decency, so raged the madness of the monstrousness. Later when these (things) were seen to be madness, with the progress of time they began to pretend to themselves reasons for those slain, that they had brought the guilty to justice, not that justice was sought for, but that cruelty was aroused.

X. There was in the community of citizens Zacharias, who hated the wicked and would not mingle with the infamous, rich in property, whose abundance they thought would be effectual in disuniting his party or a rich booty for themselves. This they thought to acquire by a charge of betrayal. But he untouched by knowledge of this began to help himself with boldness, so that he not only countered the charges, but added those guilty of the greatest outrages. The matter was heard before seventy men. They set everyone free, because nothing was brought forward that was pertinent to the crime. But yet the former bursting in throw matters into disorder and drive away the judges not only with injury but with peril, so that by their example others in the future would beware to take steadfastness in making judgments if their will was opposed. On the contrary however lest anyone should be discharged, they themselves the executors of their wraths killed without judgment those whom they pleased. Gorgon a man pleasing and amiable was slain. Also Niger Peraites, who among the defenders of Iudaea had been chosen for watching over great matters, a fighting man, so that he even [p. 259] exhibited as signs of valor the scars of wounds, was seized for death and when he saw himself being led outside the city, he began to beg not for life but for burial. But he received a response of not even his so pitiable petition in accordance with mercifulness. False accusations were contrived: if anyone ransomed himself, he was innocent, whoever did not offer money was killed as if guilty.

XI. While these things are being done in Jerusalem, Vespasian in the meantime was subduing other parts of the tribe of Judaea. It came to him what civil discord there was in Jerusalem, what slaughter they inflicted upon themselves in domestic battles, what sufferings of citizens was exacted by citizens. Many urged that he should hasten there, lest anything from the Roman triumph and of his glory should be detracted. But he a moderate and prudent man did not think that suitable which was judged so by the opinion of the crowd but thought to conduct matters by the higher consideration of the primary goal, he began to remind these things to those persuading that the state was not , who provoke the Romans. But if anyone claims anything of our glory to be detracted, let him learn that a solution with tranquility is always benefited by battles but generally even arms having been laid down praise is obtained and any debt of the country is dissolved. ‘Of what interest is it how an enemy is overcome by our or his arms, unless that he is overcome by own arms without Roman unpopularity. For indeed they are not able to complain about us when they themselves have wounded themselves. At the same time they have promoted a true war against us they show, at the same time they do not spare themselves. This vindication to be seen from heaven, that they are inflicted with madness always regarded as superior to a battle with danger. Finally our Maximus conquered Hannibal more by delaying than by fighting. Although the Scipios subjugated Africa, however the victory of the wars was in common with many, to Maximus alone is given that he restored the Roman fortunes by delaying. It is more important [p. 260] to have preserved the Roman empire than to have enlarged it. Let us compare however the merits of the virtues. Indeed the thoughts of wisdom are not of less value in war itself than the marks of bravery. Let them perish therefore of their own arms, nothing is taken away from praise and much is added to our victory. They do not know theirs to be saved whom we spare. But what if we shall begin to threaten, perhaps they will come to their senses among themselves and will return to favor? — which I do not fear, but I bring forward against your opinion — but if the civil discord continues, let themselves be seen to have subdued themselves, the Roman army to have done nothing, our hands to have been idle, victory to have been obtained not by our valor but by the hostile slaughter between themselves? And so this more prudent counsel that in our absence they should rage to the point of destruction for themselves, let no one think them to have been engaged more by ours than by their own factions. Therefore we will approach better, when a victor shall be left who shall accede to our triumph. Certainly let those come to us who are fleeing their own, let them find among us the safety for themselves whom their own plague shall have harassed.’

XII. Nor did his opinion fail Vespasian, for those who were able for a price to ransom themselves that they should be let go fled to the Romans. Every street of the roads was filled with those fleeing, every path. The rich were set free, and the poor, to whom money was lacking for ransoming, were killed, . Many even outside the city greatly feared ambushes and high-way robbery and especially those without resources to whom attendants were lacking. And so equal danger was offered to them outdoors and at home, both places dangerous, to most therefore with the hope of burial in their country death among their own was considered most tolerable. [p. 261]

XIII. When the fear of the people, from the great destruction spread among all, made everything subject to the faction, Johannes not content to exercise power in common with the leaders of the faction, began to aspire to despotic rule, and was offended by an equal. Therefore he destroyed the resolutions of the others, nothing except what was pleasing to him had approval, and he gradually joined followers to himself, whom he a master wished to deceive by guile and fraud, to put under obligation with money, to frighten with power, with which practices he had joined many to himself. Again there were not lacking those who from a dangerous eagerness had refused servitude, although especially accustomed to tyranny, were unable to endure servitude. And so there contended in one city three sorts of destructive calamities, tyranny, war, civil discord, of which each had destroyed not one but many cities. Of the three however war was the mildest and a just enemy seemed more tolerable than tyranny or faction. A fourth type added to these, of assassins who seeing the city seized by tyrannical commotions or the disturbances of civil disorder laid waste the entire vicinity, they carried off everything, women and boys who were not able to endure the labor of the journey from the infirmity of either sex or age they gave to death. And so to the number seven hundred were killed. Grain was collected in fortresses. They invaded fields, cities, temples, they carried off booty, an opportunity of killings was not let pass, with the appearance of an army on the march more exercised highway-robbery than had the experience of highway-robbery. The violence of robbery aggravated the war without forgiveness accorded surrender or gentleness in taking a thing in hand. [p. 262]

XIV. And so Vespasian was begged that he should come to (their) assistance, because of which (their) destruction was feared. He hastened to Gadara, where very many rich persons, who because of their paternal estates more and more feared the traps and assaults of the brigands and therefore secretly sent to Vespasian that he should come to them, by whom the state should be rescued from the brigands. The Roman army was at hand, seeing which the Gadarensians had a desire of fleeing, but by what route that would be without death for them they did not discover, so that the faction would not rise up against them departing and kill them all. Naturally conscious of his delegation, that Vespasian had been invited by a delegation of Gadarensians did not escape the attention of the chief of the city Dolesus by name. Capturing whom they killed, and having avenged their injury and left the city they took themselves into hiding and better protection. Gadara is surrendered to the Romans and Vespasian is received with great applause. He immediately ordered Placidus to pursue those who had fled. He himself returned to Caesarea.

XV. Placidus five hundred cavalry having been sent ahead followed those fleeing and drove them into a village which was nearest, in which grown up males of picked young men were discovered to have assumed the audacity to rise up against the Romans. Which thing was the greatest disaster for them, because surrounded by cavalry and shut off from the village they were cut to pieces without hindrance, while others crowded together were withdrawing they were slaughtered before the thresholds of the gates. The mass piled up with bodies of the slain was level with the height of the walls. The Romans pierced some with arrows, they wounded others with various missiles, finally [p. 263] they captured the stronghold and there all except those to whom there was an opportunity to escape were killed. Others fleeing heightened the great reputation of Roman strength by their remarks, their bodies bigger than those seen of men, no assurance to anyone of resisting against the invincible. From which place terrified everyone fled immediately, not only from the vicinity and neighboring places but even the city of Jericho, which on account of the number of its inhabitant multitude encouraged the hope of the rest, was abandoned. Placidus with events occurring to his satisfaction pursued them also with cavalry, some crowded together, others dispersed he laid low all the way to the river Jordan. He also found the greatest number at the bank of the river, the crossing hindered, because then by chance the heralded river had been enlarged by rains or swollen up by melted snows. But they when they saw the Romans to be at hand, prepare themselves and crowd together at the edge of the river. The aid of flight having been shut off, the remedy is turned back into their hands and an attack having been made the many throw themselves against the fewer horsemen. They with the known art and ancient custom of warfare riding in between begin to scatter the formations of the enemy, to break apart masses, to press upon the weary, to follow those giving way. Thus some by the weapons of the enemy, others by their own, because crowded together and thrown back upon themselves they run into one bunch, they are killed. Some tumble down into the river, who are a ruin to themselves, and others entangled with one another were submerged. Yet most thinking that they are able to get across gave themselves to the river, whom when they had progressed a short distance the force of the whirlpools swallowed up or the power of the river carried away. And if any by the exercise of swimming had moved forward upon the waters and by floating or floating under [p. 264] had sustained themselves, or hindered by the branches of trees which are carried off by the river or buffeted by the trunks themselves they deposited their soul in the river. Often even untrained in swimming, when he had grabbed a swimmer, he held on, in order that he himself should escape as well, and tired the one held in the arms, until both immersed each was the death of the other. And if anyone by chance running with a favorable river was thought to be about to escape, he was stitched up with arrows and suddenly on his back the oars of his arms stopping he perished. And there were even those who not knowing how to swim, while they seek a death devoid of pain, voluntarily throw themselves into the river from a high protuberance of the banks, others entering onto the sandy river-bank their foot-prints having been swallowed up sank down. Still the majority vexed by the slipperiness of the smooth rocks or by the shallow places and hesitating on the unstable ground of the stream were overwhelmed by those following. Thirteen thousands were cut to pieces with swords, however an innumerable multitude was annihilated by the river, a huge booty was acquired from the flocks of sheep and herds of camels and asses and cattle. Granted that the butchery of men was very great, it was estimated to be more, because not only was the entire region filled with human bodies, since dispersed and wandering about they were killed in whatever places they were seized, truly even the Jordan itself blocked up with the bodies of the dead was not able to follow its proper course, the Dead Sea also from the blood and viscera of the dead changed the appearance of its nature, into which everything whatever that the Jordan had attracted was carried. Finally on that day ninety two thousands and two hundreds of Judeans were estimated to have perished by only five hundred horsemen and three thousands of foot soldiers. Having progressed also to the farther places Placidus restored to the Roman Empire Abila and Iuliadis and Bethesmon and all [p. 265] the villages of this very place up to the Dead Sea. He placed soldiers also in boats, by whom all who had fled into the celebrated lake 3were killed.

XVI. And thus both these and everything all the way to Maecheruntis was regained. Vespasian however was waiting for the time of the battle by which the chief city of the whole of Judaea would be attacked. In the midst of this to him occupied with the things entrusted to him news of an uprising from regions of Gaul found its way, that certain powerful men of the Roman military service had revolted from Nero. Which having become known, wishing to mitigate internal wars and the danger to the interests of the entire Roman empire, the disorder of the wars in the East having been reduced, alarmed by news of following events, in order to check or restrain all of Italy, as soon as the rigors of winter were moderated by the beginning of spring, with the greater part of the army he moved away from Caesarea. The state called by the name of Antipater received him. Proceeding from that place he burned villages, killed those whom he had found hostile, and he especially ravaged whatever neighbors to the Idumaeans he came upon, because an unquiet race of men would be a friend to wars rather than to peace and tranquillity. Seizing too two villages Legarim and Caphartoris of Idumaea and their inhabitants he overthrew them with great slaughter. Indeed more than ten thousands of men having been killed, he carried off a thousand captives, he drove out the remaining population, in order that he should station there a band of his own, because the mountainous places of this region were disturbed by brigandage. He himself with the army fell upon Amathun again, which takes the name from the hot waters, [p. 266] because the steam of the waters is said to be called Amathus in the speech of Syria. It is therefore called Thermae in Greek because it has hot springs within its walls. Next through Samaria near to Neapolis he hastened to Jericho, where Trajan driving a great band from those located beyond the Jordan at Perea, conquered peoples of the region, who had come back into Roman control, met him. And so at the news of the arriving Roman army, most from the city of Jericho, because they thought it unsafe, took themselves into the mountains of the region of Jerusalem. The entire crowd of those remaining was destroyed. For it was not difficult for the city to be captured quickly, which was not supported by natural defences and had been abandoned and deserted by its scattering inhabitants. The city was established on a plain, which a wide mountain bare of vegetation overhung. For it stretched out northwards all the way to the region of the city of Scythopolis, and was considered extended from the southern part all the way to the Sodomitana region and the Asphaltius boundaries. Moreover a diseased and barren soil and therefore deserted by inhabitants, because it was without any benefit to farmers because of its natural sterility. Opposite to this above the Jordan (is) a mountain whose beginning arises from Iuliade and northern parts. It stretches forth to the south all the way to Arabian Sebarus which is neighboring to Petra, where indeed the mountain by the usage of the ancients is called Ferreus. A plain lies between these two mountains, which an account of its size, which stretches out into a great space, the inhabitants by ancient usage called Magnus. Whose length is two hundred thirty stadia, [p. 267] its width one hundred twenty, its beginning from the village Genuabaris, its end all the way to the Dead Sea. The Jordan intersects it in the middle of the plain, not only inoffensive but also annexed with thanks for the green banks from the flooding of the river and from the succeeding Asphaltio and the Tiberiadis 4 of a single source, and each lake of a separate quality. For the taste of the water of one is salt and its use unproductive, of the Tiberiadis sweet and fruitful. Truly in the days of summer an immoderate emanation boils up through the extent of the plain, whence from the increasing fault of excessive dryness and the dry earth the bad air brings about deplorable sicknesses for the inhabitants. For all things are dry except for the borders of the river. Finally at great distances even the fruit of trees grows worse, indeed the supply is more abundant and the fruit of palm trees more copious, that is produced above the banks of the river Jordan, another is far more meager.

XVII. There is near the city of Jericho an overflowing spring and indeed more than enough for drinking, plentiful for irrigation, which the Hebrew Jesus strong of hand, of the Nave stock, first wrested from the tribe of Chananaeans. It in the beginning was considered too contaminated, too unproductive for producing things, not healthy enough to be used for drinking. And so the prophet Heliseus, and likewise (his) disciple Heliae, in no way an unworthy successor to such a great teacher, was asked that he should leave recompense of his hospitality which he had come to see in places and that he should mitigate the corruption of the waters, he gave a cure, just as the ancient book of Kings clearly teaches, ordering a clay vessel with [p. 268] salt to be brought to him. Receiving which he threw the salt into the spring and said: I have healed these waters and there will not be dying in them nor barrenness from them. And the waters were healed according to the word it says of Heliseus the prophet. And so from that infusion of salt which had been blessed the waters were regulated and the banks of the spring opened, the movements of the waters made holy, in order that the gushing spring should pour forth sweeter drinks of its water courses and all the bitterness of the waters should become sweet, the earth should give more copious fruit, that a fertile succession also of generating offspring should furnish an abundant supply of progeny nor should the generative water fail him whom divine grace had breathed upon with the benedictions of such a great prophet for his faithful studies of the righteous. The reverberation of the divine declaration transformed the nature of the waters and immediately drove out the barrenness, it poured in fruitfulness. The begettings of men there began to increase, (and) the fruits of the lands, and the moisture hitherto dry and bitter and wont to destroy the crops and twist awry with disagreeableness the mouths of those drinking to pour in fertility to the soil, sweetness to those drinking, so that if it briefly touches fields of crops, it does more good than if it shall have flooded in for a longer period. It is indeed a new favor, that the increase is more overflowing, where the use is less, and where any use has been greater, there less fruit is, and there it irrigates more than the other springs, because indeed even its small use gives an abundant harvest. Finally the plain lies around it standing open seventy stadia in length [p. 269] twenty in width. In it you may discern an extraordinary beauty of gardens, various species of palm trees, and such a great sweetness of the dates, that you would consider honey to flow forth not at all inferior to others. Likewise there are in that place superior broods of bees, not to be wondered at where breathing in from different blossoms the parks pour out pleasant scents. In that place the juice of the balsam-tree is produced, which therefore we indicate with the addition, that the farmers cut into the branches through the bark in which the balsam is produced and through these cavities the fluid gradually trickling down collects itself. The cavity in the Greek language is called “ope.” They say that in this place cyprum and mirobalanum are produced and other things of this type, which are not at all found in other places. Water and the rest of the springs. In summer it is cool, in winter moderately warm; The air is softer and in midwinter the inhabitants make use of linen clothing.

XVIII. Now let us look at the nature of the Dead Sea. Fot it is better in descriptions of ancient places to occupy the pen with the marvel of the remaining elements rather than the dissensions of the Jews, if indeed the latter provoke the mind with outrage, the former soothe the mind while they are reviewed and recall the knowledge of ancient history. To us however, who have a more uncultivated nature, it is a matter of the heart to seek the tracks of our fathers coming out of Egypt all the way into the land of recovery, so that [p. 270] if by chance ours should come into the hands of anyone, let him go over not our (tracks), but retrace (our) fathers’. For indeed it is more pleasant to abide among the dwellings of our elders and to review in memory the sayings and deeds of the ancients and to cling to their graces. But already let us express either the nature or the property of the waters, so that our pen also not be thrown off in that lake, from which all things whatever the opinion is (if) immersed leap back, you would think living, and however violently thrown in are immediately ejected. The water itself is bitter and sterile, receiving nothing of living origins, and finally it supports neither fish nor birds accustomed to waters and happy with the practice of submerging. They report a lighted oil lamp to float, without any alteration the light having been extinguished to be immersed, and by whatever stratagem it is submerged, it is difficult for whatever may be living to remain submerged at a depth. Lastly they say Vespasian to have ordered persons ignorant of swimming to be cast into the deep with bound hands and all of them to have floated on the spot as if raised by a certain spirit of the wind and thrust back by a great force to have rebounded to a higher place. The majority have thought many fabulous things about this lake, which for us without experience to give out the truth of the thing has not at all been (our) intention. It has not suited to claim as true that the color of the water changes three times per day and glistens differently in the beams of the sun, since the water of the lake itself is darker than other waters and as if offering a resemblance to brown. Certainly if it is resplendent in the rays of the sun, nothing new and as if for a miracle must be brought forward, since this is common to all waters. [p. 271] It is certain that lumps of bitumen are scattered on the waters with a black fluid, which approaching with boats they for whom this is a duty collect. Bitumen is said to adhere to itself, so that it is not at all cut with iron tools or other sharpened forms of metal. It yields truly to the blood of women, by which monthly flows are said to be eased. By whose touch or urine, as they allege by whom it has been the practice of making tests, it is reported to be broken into pieces. Furthermore it is said to be useful for the caulking of ships and healthful added to medicines for the bodies of men. The length of this lake stretches out five hundred eighty stadia all the way to Zoaros of Arabia, the width in stadia one hundred fifty all the way to the neighborhood of the Sodomites, who once inhabited a very fertile region abounding in crops, and distinguished also by the most splendid cities. Now however these places are deserted and consumed by fire. For when god had conferred all things upon them of his kindness, fields fruitful of produce, and lands planted with vineyards and also trees abounding in fruit, ungrateful and not holding before their eyes the power of the great god as if he does not discern everything, does not see all shameful things, and there is nothing which can be hidden from him or escape him, thus they began to mix and defile everything with the shameful acts of their excesses, by which they drew down divine displeasure. And for the punishment of their sins from heaven came down fire which consumed that region. And so five cities were burned, some traces of which and their appearance is seen in the ashes. [p. 272] The lands burned, the waters burn, in which the remnants of the fire from heaven are recognized and to this time there remain there fruits green in appearance, a cluster formed of grapes so that they produce in those seeing them the desire of eating. If you should pluck them, they fall apart and are loosened into ash and send forth smoke as is they are still burning. This on account of the well known punishment of the wicked people of the Sodomitan territory it is not necessary to pass over in silence. From these things that have been discussed it is not possible for a recompense to the righteous to be doubted.

XIX. And accordingly Vespasian with the distributed reserves of the Roman army or of allies refilled the fortresses nearest the city of Jerusalem and the defenses of the cities, so that they should understand everything against them which they should consider before conspiracies among themselves for waging war against the Romans. Nevertheless Lucius Annius having been sent to Gerasa he captured the city by a stratagem. For he killed one thousand young people, who having been prevented, flight was taken away. Very many captives were taken away and the estates of everyone were invaded by the soldiers by the order of the leader, and the belongings which were found were destroyed, plunderings were carried out with license. They laid waste all the hilly regions and the flat areas, by which the city Jerusalem is surrounded he burned everywhere in the war. Nor were the inhabitants of Jerusalem freed from the perception of their dangers, by which all ways out were shut off lest anyone should be removed from peril by flight. Within (was) civil war, from without all was shut off, there was neither the choice of remaining nor the possibility of fleeing. And if anyone hoped for pardon from the Romans by going over to them he was prevented from going out by his own (people). [p. 273]

XX. Vespasian returned to the city Caesarea, so that having collected all his forces he might undertake from there the investment of the city of Jerusalem. A messenger arrived (who reported) Nero had been slain the thirteenth year of his reign having been passed by, when already of the following year he had spent the eighth day 5, deserving of that punishment, who not only had violated faith with sacrilege, dutiful conduct with parricide, virtue with incest, but also the sovereignty itself of the Roman Empire, whose duties and and tasks he had entrusted to the most wicked of freedmen. For since he himself kept faith with no one, he suspected everybody and thus thought himself especially trusted by the most worthless Nymfidius and Gemellinus, whom low in condition he had made servile. But even they sometimes shuddered at the example of his cruelty, and because he had killed those most dear to him, reckoning it was necessary to be on guard against him, they wished to prevent what they feared. And therefore a conspiracy having been made with others they forsook the parricide. For who was he considered about to spare who had not spared his (own) mother? Deserted therefore by all his own he fled out of the city with his four freedmen. And when he saw himself to be pressed by imminent conspirators and a hostile crowd, he withdrew secretly to the country near Rome torn asunder and torn apart by thorns while he feared to be seen by anyone lest he be given up. Then when he understood himself to be encircled, lest grievous punishments should be exacted, he prepared a certain contrivance for himself of wood and placed it with his own hands by which he should kill himself, and turning to his freedmen he said “what an artist dies.” Thus the most repulsive parricide suffered a departure from life that fitted his merits, that he who had killed his mother and his (relatives) nor spared himself, truly a good engineer of his own death, who contrived that he should so perish, that his death should be free from indignities. [p. 274]

XXI. The report of the dead Nero had arrived in the manner of human nature, for which it is sufficient, when it will have received the desired (news), not to search for the remainder, but immediately to spread abroad into the public the incomplete (news) which will have pleased. And not much later however it became known that Galba was at the head of the Roman Empire. Hence it was the intention of Vespasian to inquire the opinion of the new leader about the war of the Jews and he sent his son Titus and the king Agrippa. Titus returned from Achaia, it having been learned that Galba in the seventh month and day of taking power was put aside and paid the penalty for the notable in the heart of the city, that is in the Roman forum, and Otho took possession of favorable circumstances and the imperial succession. Agrippa hastened to Rome, in order to establish favor with the new leader. Regard for paternal devotion seemed better to Titus than for imperial power, because if he should press on without his father’s advice he thought it would not be pleasing to the ruler himself. Certainly the death seasonably informed him to return with the news to his father uncertain of where they tended. For finally Vespasian anxious about the entire Roman empire and the condition of his country suspended the war and withheld his attack, what was going on Judaea being considered of less importance compared to concern for the entire situation and to a dutiful solicitude for his country.

XXII. But Judaea was not keeping holiday, which was waging a more serious war within itself than against external enemies. For since the faction of Johannis was intolerable, there arose in addition Simon indeed inferior by the depravity of his behavior but relying more upon the beauty of his body for daring every crime and upon brigandage, accustomed to the practice and trial of outrageous deeds. He was [p. 275] a Gerasan citizen, a strong youth, whom Ananus the leader of the priests had beaten down because of feigned stories of debauchery and had forced him driven from that place where he was dwelling to go away into other regions. But he for whom there was no place among the peaceful and gentle betook himself to a consortium of robbers. By them also in the beginning he was mistrusted, lest he should deceive them by partisanship, afterwards he easily ingratiated himself in by the mingling of customs. He plundered with them those places which were adjoining to fortifications because they did not venture to seek further places, but as if hiding in pits they lay in wait for passersby without any going abroad as if satisfied with domestic robbery. Simon unrestrained of mind was not long able to tolerate that and in a short time sought for himself a band of many promising liberty to slaves, plunder to free persons, recompense for those reduced to poverty, license to plunder for the many collecting together, daring to assault fortifications, to seize the peoples of cities, he was terrible to all. A place of refuge for himself in a village, which had the name Aiacis, he prepared walls. And already surrounded by twenty thousand armed men he was proceeding, when suddenly the inhabitants of Jerusalem fearing his daily advances and judging that these would be against them if they should come to maturity longer judged they must be cut down and in a sudden excursion armed men attacked Simon. Nor was he incautious and unprepared open to an ambush but he received those coming on and put most to flight, others routed in the battle he forced to retreat into the city.

XXIII. Engaging with the Idumaeans also on equal terms he fell back and as if conquered because he had not won, he was vexed. When there should again be a coming together, considering it more favorable to try trickery he found a voluntary abettor of deceit. For when it was understood [p. 276] what he was striving for, Jacob one of the leaders of the Idumaeans, cunning and clever at tasks of this sort, came secretly to Simon and offered the betrayal of his country, that he would give good faith that he would encompass all the Idumaeans, the price asked for a future association, which would be the most powerful and the most faithful to him, he promises the surrender of all. With a social feast allied thanks and great promises of Simon the bargain was confirmed on both sides. When Jacob returned to his own people he began at first to boast to a few the exploring the strengths of the opponents to have gone forward, to have seen a strong band, men expert in war, a great multitude and invincible in war. He gradually implanted speech of this sort to the leaders, finally to spread it out to all, Simon himself to be vigorous in full measure, who had organized his army in a regal manner, had maintained the ranks, had apportioned the numbers, had appointed suitable leaders. It was necessary that the Idumaeans take counsel with themselves that they should experience such a man as a friend rather than as an enemy. Certainly if in a conference they should see him superior, they should withdraw without danger, they should beware of battle. When he learned that the sentiment of most was inclined to his opinion, Simon having been instructed that he should go forth into battle line, confident of the future routing of the Idumaeans, he did not disperse, here like a leader in battle and as if prepared for fighting, when a testing battle with the light armed troops, before it came to close quarters, his horse having been turned around he gave himself to flight. His men did the same. Thus he turned back and scattered all the forces and surrendered victory to Simon without the contest of battle. He having become master of such a great people by the triumph, was made more arrogant [p. 277] toward the rest. Chebron an ancient city, crowded with people, rich in treasure, he captured before it was expected and found in it much booty, he ravaged very rich crops. It is reported to be the most ancient community not only of the cities of Palestine, but even of all that were established in Egypt by the ancients, even Memphis, which is considered the most ancient, most judge to be later. There have been those even who have said father Abraham to have dwelled in it, afterwards having departed from Mesopotamia he traveled to Egypt, his sons to have there a tomb beautifully constructed of marble and with the most elegant workmanship, at the seventh stadium from the city. A large terebinthus tree is asserted to have been there from the constitution of the world, now however whether it remains to this time is uncertain to us. Proceeding from there he laid waste territories, stormed cities, collected peoples. Accompanied by forty thousand armed men he made desolate everything at whatever place he had approached even as if a friend or ally. For what place would suffice for the food of so many? Every place was trampled down by the footsteps alone of the foot soldiers in the manner of a pavement, in which he had stationed such a great number of fighters. Not only was whatever was a crop carried away, as if consumed by certain locusts, but even later the the beaten down earth was denying crops. It terrified Johannis that the power of Simon was increasing and the partners of the entire faction were shaking. They wished him destroyed but did not dare to provoke him to war. Once more they prepared an ambush and blocking the routes they seize and carry off his wife with all the feminine retinue and a few [p. 278] attendants of the men. They boasted as if they had achieved an important victory and, as if they were holding Simon himself captive, they thought that he would humble himself before them. But he unyielding, fierce, would meet with them from love for no one, he held nothing dear or sacred, he was angered as if by an injury received rather than by a dear one snatched away, and much more furious he tortured with severe pains those whom he discovered. He cut off the hands from many whom he sent to the enemy with maimed bodies, so that they would make known his cruelty, would would insinuate to threaten that he would throw down the walls, raze the city, unless his wife were restored to him immediately, likewise he would cut off the hands and cut out the viscera from everyone who lived within the city, unless they should have agreed without delay. And so terrified they send his wife straight to him, by which his anger having been softened he gave some little opportunity of reposing, that he would not press the siege.

XXIV. Not only had Galba been killed, but even Othon had been killed, the leaders of Vitellius having come to an agreement, whom the army in Gaul had chosen as emperor. And indeed in the first battle Othon seemed superior. The battle having been resumed after a day Othon discovered that victory had fallen to Valentius and Caecina associates of Vitellius, also most of his men had been killed, located at Brixia he saved himself by a voluntary death with the jest, that he had been master for only three months and two days. And so the Victor with that army, which remained from both sides, hastened to Rome. [p. 279]

XXV. Vespasian at that time set out from the city Caesarea. He laid waste Iudaea, he finished off the neighboring hill country and fortified places. He killed those resisting, he bestowed the grace of safety to those beseeching it, he routed his adversaries, he stationed his men. Cerealis also a leader of the Roman army overran everything with the cavalry, he killed some, he subjugated others, he collected a multitude of captives. He burned out everything around Jerusalem, lest there be any refuge for the Jews. Thus every way out for the Jews was cut off before a siege. But they not only did not take counsel with themselves, they even fought among themselves in domestic strife, Johannes a tyrant on the inside, Simon the enemy outside the walls, who issuing forth for a short time, his wife having been recovered, ravaged Idumaea and returned even stronger and surrounded the walls of the city Jerusalem on every side with armed men. Johannes positioned on the inside drove his men to the fight with unfavorable auspices, the judgment of crimes having been given. They seethed with eagerness for plunder, desires of base deeds, profusions of riotous living, odors of perfumes. They crimped their hair with curling irons, painted their eyes with antimony. donned women’s clothing. Not only the clothing of women but even women’s effeminacy was striven for, and the passions of unlawful pleasures. Men exercised the role of women, made womanish sounds, destroyed their sex by the weakness of their body, let grow their hair, whitened their face, smoothed their cheeks with pumice, plucked their little beard, and in this effeminacy exercised an intolerable savagery of cruelty. Finally they were advancing with irregular steps and suddenly fighters for a short while, covering hidden swords with purple cloaks, when [p. 280] they had suddenly bared them, whomever they met with they tore open. Anyone who had escaped Simon was killed by Johannes if he took himself into the city, anyone who had fled Johannes and was captured by Simon was killed before the walls. There was great dissension. The Idumaeans were seeking to end the tyranny of Johannes, they envied his power and hated his cruelty. They come together against the abettors of the tyranny, they divert them, they follow all the way to the royal court, which he had put together with the nearest family of king Adiabenus, the defenders having been driven out they rush in and they seize the temple, plundering the booty of the tyranny, since Johannes had established the hiding place of their treasures there. Great fear had arisen, that during the night the Idumaeans entering the city from the temple might kill the people with their arms, might destroy the city by burning. Terrified by which fear, by the judgment of the council, while they were unable to bear one tyrant, they admitted another. And Johannes had stolen into the tyranny by deceit: he having been asked, that he should grant the remedy of safety, brought in the domineering despot to the citizens of the city. Mathias the foremost of the priests was sent that he might beseech his entry. But he satisfied to be in power haughtily assented and as if he were vexed yielded to the canvassing for office, so that he could pour himself into the city with all his troops. They opened the gates to his troops so that they could bring in even worse, while they cursed the interior. And so Simon in accordance with the decision having entered showed himself equally an enemy to all, so that he took vengeance with a common hatred upon all, upon those who had summoned (him) and those against whom his aid had been requested: Johannes was impelled by his delusions, the state vacillated. There was a contest between Johannes and Simon who should most injure his own followers. [p. 281]

XXVI. The rumor grew strong of civil wars in the Roman army: disclosed by the death of Galba and Otho and the ascendency of Vitellius, who more worthless than his predecessors had sunk down as if refuse. Men of the old military service began to gather with him and to tolerate indignantly that the praetorian legions at Rome should take so much upon themselves that although they had already become unaccustomed to experience the dangers of wars, although they did not know the names of the peoples who set war in motion, nevertheless they themselves decreed the leader in wars and decided that the choosing of the ruler of the Roman state was in their hands. Thence as an example of this sort the soldiers stationed in Gaul sought that they should give the supreme command to Vitellius without consulting the senate and the Roman people. Themselves in the meantime to be considered as hired servants, who obeyed foreign masters, the first into dangers, the last to be honored, they were waging war at such a time with triumphal celebrations increasing daily and were receiving masters from (their) inferiors, and them not even suitable but the most sluggish who were devoted to their appetites and shameful practices. They should go forward in the face of obstacles and the insult should be removed. They had an active man Vespasian whom it was fitting to be chosen ruler by all, mature of an age for taking counsel, stronger than his juniors for fighting. It should be hastened quickly, lest he should be chosen first by others, and those with whom he had grown up triumphing in military service should be objects of contempt. When would be a more opportune time, in which a recompense fitting for his accomplishments should be rewarded? Vitellius an abyss of personal causes of shame, not I should say of rulers. This the senate was not about to tolerate longer, not the Roman people, that the disgrace of drunkards should remain longer at the summit of the empire, to support whom the Roman state does not suffice. For who should suffer a tyrant to reign, when he has in the army a ruler worthy [p. 282] of the Roman empire? Which crew in truth threw itself into debauchery and devoted itself to vice, at the time when the incentive of war is the slothfulness of the state’s ruler and on the contrary the stability of peace in the enemy is bravery, in the ruler of the state is moderation. Who does not admire in Vespasian up until now a private citizen the glory of power and the supremacy of the Roman empire? For whom so great a number of military men are at hand and the strongest band of the entire Roman army? What should we expect, that support for us is owed to anothers bravery because he is ruler and we give place to others because he is in command of our power? Certainly if we are unwilling to honor, we should not detract, nor should we make this injury, that he should be repudiated in our judgment as if unfit for the supreme command, for which Vitellius was considered fit. Finally since his brother and his son Domitian are in Italy, it must certainly be feared, lest anyone who ought to have long since been an embellishment to his family should be a danger, or if they as we believe should begin to urge an absolute ruler, to this deceit let it be that the brother and son had rebelled, and we should begin to see him responsible, whom we are unwilling to see as supreme commander. These with them the soldiers crying aloud address Vespasian, they ask that he take over the control of the Roman empire. He truly refused and said himself to be not fit, a supreme ruler to have been already put in place, a civil war should be avoided. They were quick to insist, he was most persevering in resisting. Finally armed men stood around him who was still resisting threatening death with swords, who pointed out a crime to themselves to remain and a grave danger, if he should refuse. And so he conceded to those pressing him rather than taking upon himself voluntarily that which others are accustomed to campaign for. The soldiers urged him, the leaders persuaded, that he should assume the administration before the honor. He hastened in to Egypt, for he knew the greatest forces of the Roman state to be there. From which place a supply of food was furnished, reserves for himself sought, if he should have conquered, resistance to Vitellius, if he [p. 283] thought the war would drag out longer. For there were two ranks of military men there, which he hastened to join to himself, so that the city very large and surrounded by many defences of nature should remain in his power rather than in another’s, useful enough for either outcome of the war. And for that reason a few things should be said about the location of the places and above all about the metropolitan city itself.

XXVII. Alexander founded the city of Alexandria to which the name of the great leader was given because of his great merits. It lies between Egypt and the sea as if closed off, a city without a harbor, as is most of Egypt, and difficult to approach from other places since it lies in the more distant parts of Asia. In the west Egypt itself borders upon the deserts of Libya, Soenen and the unnavigable cataracts of the Nile river divide its southern and upper regions from the Ethiopians, in the east the Red Sea is flung back all the way to Coptos, which most distant place opens a passable route for sailors from the farthest lands to the Indians. Hedged in on one side therefore by the boiling hot burning sun, from India and from the Egyptian sea, it leans upon one only northern wall of land which leads into Syria. The rest is shut off on every side and protected with the help of nature. However the defence of the northern region (is) separated and accessible by a certain twin entrance, by which foreign forces are conveyed to it through the Egyptian sea or a freer use is extended to the lands. The land extends to a boundless measure. For between Soenen and Pelusium (there is) an immense distance of two thousand stadia, if [p. 284] belief is given to assertions, and from Plinthinis all the way to Pelusium likewise three thousand six hundred stadia. A region unaccustomed to heavy rains but not however lacking in showers, upon which the overflowings of the Nile poured out water freely. The Nile is both things to it, the copiousness of the heavens and the fertility of the earth. It regulates the cultivated lands, it enriches the soil, to the benefit alike af sailors and farmers. The first sail upon it, the latter plant crops, they sail around the estates in boats, they farm: sowing without a plow, travelling without a carriage. You may see it divided by the river and as if elevated by a certain wall of boats. Dwelling places are spread over all the lands, which they overflow with the Nile. For it is navigable all the way to the city that they name Elephantus. The cataracts which we have mentioned do not allow a boat to proceed further, not by the falling away of a whirlpool but by the headlong falling down of the entire river and a certain tumbling down of the waters. The harbor of the city as most accesses to maritime places is difficult to approach and far more difficult than the rest, as if in the form of the human body, in the head itself and the harbor rather spacious, in the throat more narrow, by which one undertakes the passage of the sea and ships, by which certain aids of breathing are furnished to the port. If anyone shall have passed out the narrow neck and mouth of the port, the remaining shape of the body so to speak, the spreading out of the sea is extended far and wide. In the right side of the port there is a small island, on it is a tall tower, which the Greeks and Romans [p. 285] commonly have called Pharus from the use of the thing itself, because it may be seen from afar by sailors so that, before they come near the port, especially at night time they may learn that land is near them by the indication of flames, so that they deceived by darkness do not come upon rocks or are not able to discover the passage of the entrance. And so there are attendants there, by whom firebrands having been tossed in and other piles of wood the fire is burned as an indication of land and as a marker of the entrance of the port, showing the strait to anyone entering, the power of the waves, the winding of the entrance, so that the thin keels should not strike the jagged rocks and during the entrance itself strike against reefs hidden among the waves. And so it is necessary that the direct course be altered for a short time, lest dashed against hidden rocks a ship should run into danger there, where an escape from dangers is expected. For the approach into the port is more difficult, because on the right side it is contracted by brick, on the left by rocks, by which the left side of the port is obstructed. Also around the island heaped up piles of great size are thrown down, lest by the continual pounding of the surging sea the foundations of the island should give way and be loosened by the age-old assault. Whence it happens from the waves dashing themselves against part of the island and returning in the opposite direction between the jagged rocks and heaped together moles, the middle of the channel is always restless and entering becomes dangerous for boats because of the rough passage. The breadth of the port is thirty stadia, a safe harbor, great tranquility regardless of the weather, because having brought to mind the narrowness of the mouth and the interposition of the island it repels from itself the waves of the sea [p. 286] and inside it becomes a very safe port by a certain compensation of the dangerous ingress, because by the same narrowness of the mouth of the port the basin of the entire port is protected and removed from the effects of storms, it is calmed by the breaking of the waves by which the ingress is made rough. Not undeserved is either the protection or the size of a port of this sort, since it is necessary to bring together into it those things which contribute to the profit of the entire world. For indeed innumerable peoples of the same places seek the commerce of the entire world for the benefit of themselves, and a region, rich in crops and other rewards of the earth or businesses, overflowing entirely with grain nourish and furnish the world with necessary commodities.

XXVIII. Things with regard to himself in Alexandria and the desires of all who dealt with military matters about his supreme authority having been settled, relieved of anxiety about conspirators he hastens the going back of his absence into Syria, Tiberius Alexander having agreed to his orders, who was then presiding over Egypt, that he should join the allegiance of his army, which was then in the upper regions, to himself 6, he himself also would further the interests of the Roman empire to the extent he could with the forces which had been assigned to him. Tiberius circulated a letter to the provincial administrators and the soldiers, and this was received by all with joy, faithfulness was promised, approval was poured forth. Caesarea received Vespasian, after that Beritus, legations of these cities assembling with the greatest delight. There I, Josephus, who had been ordered chained, was set free. Titus approached the commander that the chains should be broken rather than unfastened, because if they were broken it would be as if he had not been fettered. His father agreed. He ordered an ax to be brought, the chains to be broken [p. 287] so that the Jews should notice that pardon would also not be denied to them, if they should turn around and ask for peace; he was saving him at once because of a not unfriendly judgment, since decisions on all matters had been referred to him.

XXIX. He arrived at Antioch. There a discussion having been held, from which it was thought necessary to transfer into Italy, because he considered everything safe in Egypt or at Alexandria, a decision for speed. And therefore he sends Mucianus with a great part of the cavalry and the foot soldiers, so that he should precede the arrival in Italy of the supreme commander. He called back by the fear of a long voyage directed his march through Cappadocia and Phrygia. He also ordered Antonius the commander of the third military rank who was in Moesia to pour himself against the unprepared Italy, before the forces of Vitellius should move themselves. For Vitellius as if drunk with wine and sunk in sleep, thinking it was a matter of a social feast be managed, not of empire, placed in such great affairs was sleeping. And finally scarcely at last aroused by the news of the arriving Antonius he directs Caecina with part of the army and he entrusts the greatest of his danger to the judgment of another relying on the forces of Caecina, which had routed the troops of Otho. He near the city of the inhabitants of Cremona meets the advancing Antonius, he examines everything, he learns a very strong band from different directions to be at hand, active in wars, experienced in victories, himself on the other hand not of equal strength nor equal in number to be able to fight against those much stronger. The centurions having been called together he urges (them) to desist from fighting, because they were inferior in number and the renown of the commander was greater. It is sufficient in war that the reputation of a leader be strong to those engaging in great matters. Vespasian shone forth in the sections of Gaul and the British victories, Vespasian girded about with his eastern glories [p. 288] the great renown of his brilliant name. Vitellius nothing else except disorderly from wine and at social feasts always vomiting yesterday’s sumptuous food awaiting nothing other than that when he should come up with the enemy full of drink he should perish without any sense of pain. From the former the spirits of the soldiers were enhanced by the fame of such a great commander, from the last they were thrown down by his scandals and foulnesses. They took counsel lest they should lose (their) good repute from the previous battle. They had vanquished Otho an equal to Vitellius, opposed to him now was the task, who had encompassed the entire world with his victories. The necessity must be anticipated with grace that they should rather choose Vespasian as a fellow citizen than try him as an enemy. It is wretched in a civil war even to conquer: how much more wretched to be conquered, that you are considered the enemy of your people. To the victor his fatherland remains, to the conquered it disappears, or, if it remains, there will remain the odium of a crime, that we appear to the citizens to have waged war in behalf of a tyrant. For he who is overcome is at the moment not a fellow citizen but is a tyrant. How do we bring together the hurts of the troops? Once let it be sufficient for the evil one to have conquered, that he shames whom we have conquered. We reckoned to be either temperate for the empire or aroused up by the weight of things to repudiate uninterrupted sleep. Why expect anything further? Our dangers are unwelcome to all fellow soldiers, our judgments blamed and and condemned by all peoples because of the outrages of the selected person. However deliberately it may be, yet he who was the victor has been repudiated. It was deliberated certainly prior to the outcome of the war and thus it was fought. If dangers have prevented, you will deliberate to no purpose, where the deliberation shall be acceptable, you may properly begin. What was a matter of the concerned leader, all things having been investigated for him, it was evident that the army of Vespasian was the stronger. His loyalty to Vitellius had long been proved. When he took for granted the outcome of the war, the following victory, when he distrusted, it was manifest what was about to be. Nor truly was his own death a matter of dread to him but the peril of the Roman army and, what grieves the men more, the loss at once of a part of their fame, [p. 289] that they should be seen conquered who are accustomed to conquer. It certainly had to be guarded against by him that it should be judged a matter not of bravery, but to have been a consequence because he had conquered in a preceding battle, (that it should be judged) a matter of cowardice because he had afterwards been beaten.

XXX. By these and talks of this kind he led the soldiers to his opinion, that they should go forward with him to Antonius. And so as volunteers they surrender themselves to him. But as the fickleness of the military crowd most particularly holds itself, many were pricked during the night in their beds by repentence of the deserted Vitellius, lest if he should be superior, no possibility of pardon for them would remain, who had abandoned their proper commander. And so arising they began to confer first with whomever they met in the way. then with everyone, how they would atone for their fault. Their swords having been unsheathed they threw themselves upon Caecina wishing to go avenge their injury. But the centurions and commanders 7   intervening, having considered that indeed it must be moderated from his death, they prepared however to send him bound to Vitellius. Which having been learned Antonius set in motion those he had brought with with him, and with them under arms he rushed in upon the rebels. But they, the column turned different directions having been seen, prepared themselves for battle. But daring to resist only a short time, when they turned themselves that they might flee to Cremona, Antonius ran to meet them with cavalry, and prevented the approach of all, lest those fleeing together should be received, and killed them shut up before the city. A great multitude was killed there, he followed the rest into the city itself and killed them. Everything having been plundered, many traders from other places arriving, many inhabitants for the sake of booty were killed while protecting their property. Thirty thousand were killed and two hundred men who were present from the army of Vitellius. Also Primus, for this even was a surname to Antonius, lost four thousand five hundred of the Mesiacian soldiers, because [p. 290] from despair of safety and wishing to avenge themselves the Vitellian troops when they saw themselves surrounded yielded a by no means bloodless victory to the Antonian troops. Set free from his chains Caecina is sent to Vespasian by Antonius and there he was relieved of the stain of betrayal not only by freedom of anxiety about his safety but even by the payment of rewards.

XXXI. Elated by the news of which victory Sabinus, wishing himself to prepare a commendation for himself in the eyes of the commander, if he should precede the arriving Antonius, either by the destruction or expulsion of Vitellius, if Vitellius should resist, if Antonius should come to help, who now and again was heard to be at hand, he assembled soldiers to himself, a band from those ranks, who stationed at Rome attended to the duties of keeping order. Indeed during the night he occupies the Capitol. Many of the nobles flock to him in the course of the day, among whom even was Domitian, the son of the brother of Vespasian, who feared that the Vitellian revenge might be diverted against himself as a nephew of Vespasian. Between the two Vitellius attacks the nearer, less worried by the more distant — for the nearer dangers frighten more — and angered he sends the Germans against the Capitol, who very violent from the monstrous size of the race, at the same time stronger in numbers, surrounded the martial band of Sabinus. Almost all were killed. Domitian however with most of the nobles, while the Germans are pressing against the heights of the Capitol and are driven back with the help of the position and by Sabinus and his associates, found an opportunity of fleeing, and by chance to the injury of the state was himself saved to be in future a tyrant. Vitellius puts Sabinus to death by torture, all the gifts that had been offered to the Capitol are plundered and the temple is burned. [P. 291]

XXXII. After a day Antonius arrives, he comes in from different directions, a triple encounter having taken place around the walls of the city all the Vitellians are put to flight and killed. Meanwhile Vitellius was feasting lest being about to die he should miss a meal, and like those overflowing as they are accustomed to be at the last, he kept stuffing himself with the viands of his last table, he stupified himself with numerous goblets of wine, that he should lose consciousness of either future abuse or peril. He is plucked from a banquet, dragged through the throng, reviled as one about to die, injuries are applied that being drunk he did not feel. He is killed in the middle of the city pouring out wine and blood simultaneously, belching forth the wine drunk. Who if he had lived longer, would have consumed in daily living the wealth of the Roman empire in the expenses of his extravagances and the cost of his tables. In the end he ruled eight months and five days and already Rome had fallen short of his gluttony. Others of the killed were reckoned above fifty thousand.

XXXIII. Moreover on the following day Mucianus and Antonius having entered together with the army barely imposed an end to the killing upon the raging soldiers, that because they were hunting down the Vitellians who had presumed to establish the supreme authority of the empire and aroused by such a great provocation they were searching the homes of private citizens so that when they had discovered among the people some hiding from fear, they killed them as Vitellians, before an inquiry had disclosed the truth, so that too often the fury of the victors preceded a questioning. And because Vespasian was not present Mucianus put Domitian in charge of public affairs on account of the interregnum, lest any fault should lack appropriate handling. Not yet however had eagerness for shameful acts poured itself completely into Domitian. He was to this point clumsy in his moral faults and a beginner in crime as in authority. Vespasian had been held back by stormy weather and so the sea having been cut off by the winds he returns to Alexandria with his son. There the news of the victory and the good-will of the Roman people toward him having been made known [P. 292] he decided his departure should be hastened lest in his absence any change should be effected, nor however did he leave the war of Judaea unlooked after, which he thought should be entrusted to his son as a partner in their tasks and his successor, so that he himself should not be lacking to the Romans, nor Vespasian to the Jews, whom his son would represent. Selected the performer of his father’s triumph Titus is directed with a select troop. The foot soldiers go forth, they seek Nicopolis. That city is twenty three stadia from Alexandria. From there the soldiers having been embarked on a fleet of bigger ships he travels on the Nile to the city of Thmui. Going forth from there he lingered in the city which has the name Thanis. The second stay for the travelers is the city Heracles, the third Pelusium. Two days of a stationary camp having been spent thanks to Pelusium making a journey through the desert he arrived all the way to the temple of Casus Jupiter. A stay Ostracine followed it, lacking sources of water, however by industry the inhabitants prepared a relief for themselves, they put in place a channel of waters. The Rinocorians received the advancing army not without a welcome refreshment. The city Raphiul presented itself, which city is the beginning of Syria for those traveling out of Egypt. It was come to Gaza — that was the fifth city for those coming — thence into Ascalona, then into Jamnia, from which it is crossed into Iopen, Caesarea is arrived at, where it was necessary to stay a short time, also to collect a troop of soldiers who were as yet in winter quarters. And already the severity of the winter was abating.


1. Translator’s note: them, i.e., his own men.

2. Translator’s note: one stadium is approximately 606 English feet.

3. Translator’s note: i.e., into the Dead Sea.

4. Translator’s note: both lakes in the region, actually the Asphaltio is now called the Dead Sea.

5. Translator’s note: an error in the text, this should read “the eighth month”.

6. Translator’s note: i.e., to Vespasian.

7. Translator’s note: centurion, nominally commander of a hundred; chiliarches, nominally commander of a thousand.


[p. 293]

I. In the first year of the supreme power having been bestowed upon Vespasian Judea was tormented by savage battles and civil riots, nor had it experienced a cessation of evils during the winter, when the savageries of wars are accustomed to become less severe. But even the third tyrant Eleazarus had approached it as if intending to correct the faults of his predecessors, who Iudas and Simon the son of Ezeron and Ezechia a youth not of low birth conspiring with him, whom many others were following, and the interior parts of the temple having been seized and all the border, they stationed armed men before the gates in front of the entrance itself. Johannes however excelled in the number of conspirators and the size of his faction, but he was lower in place, and could not at all rest but must fight back against those higher up, he was incommoded however because he had enemies above. In truth Simon, whom the people had brought in as tyrant over themselves, held the highest places of the city, the lower places also were filled by his people. The city was suffering from a threefold battle within itself, no let up no respite no suspension of hostilities, there was conflict at every moment. Many fell, countless were butchered, blood flowed, it polluted everything, it filled the threshold itself of the temple, dead bodies piled up everywhere, some were struck by arrows, others by missiles. Among the three Johannes was in the middle lower than Eleazarus, higher than Simon; by the amount he was overtopped by Eleazarus, by that amount he himself overtopped Simon: in the middle therefore between both he held that place, so that by the amount he was more oppressed by the one, indeed he himself more oppressed the other. Better equipped however with other helps of siege machines and types of weapons, he made equal the battle, so that indeed besides those who were pushing for war many indeed [p. 294] of the priests were killed and immolated among the very sacrificial victims they had slaughtered. Although indeed a frequent multitude of missiles fell upon everything and battles seethed everywhere, however the priests religiously attended to the duties of sacrificing nor did they take a holiday from the office committed to them. And where they were in the interior of the temple, there they were more seriously killed, because things done by the siege engines had a more violent blow. Indeed many who had come to pray from the ends of the earth hoping for the blessing of safety, the more they clung to the temple the more they were involved in great danger. You would see foreigners with the citizens, priests and laymen thrown down together, the important with the base, the self indulgent with the abstinent, the blood of all indiscriminately mixed and flowing like a stream the interior recesses themselves of the temple lying in pools, blood swelling up in every path, so that many while they seek each other as champions of the factions , offended by the slipperiness and about to satisfy their fury were immersed in blood. Nor thus terrified even by the dangers did the followers of the tyrants however withdraw from the fighting, and where was the greater danger there the greater storm of madness raged. And if destruction gravely threatened anyone, others as if they were vigorously supporting the victory would destroy those thrown into confusion. And indeed there was opportunity of yielding to Eleazarus or Simon, so that they would be separated as if by some persons or truces of hours. Johannes however was always in readiness for battle, every moment in combat. If those above were inactive, he pressed upon those below from the faction of Simon, if he drove these away, Eleazarus attacked. If he drove some away, he would leap upon others, always watchful in combat and indefatigable in savagery itself. When they were sparing of javelins, they would throw burning darts, which laid hold of by the [p. 295] roofs of houses destroyed buildings which filled to bursting with produce and other foodstuffs for enduring a lengthy war were burned up together with great amounts of fodder they gave to the fire. They destroy the charred remains of the materials, the roofs of the high buildings roll down. Thus by blood fire destruction hunger the sinews of the entire city were cut down. No place was free from danger, no time was found for deliberation, no hope of change, no opportunity of escape. Everything was gloomy, full of dread, full of frightfulness, lamentations everywhere, panic, everywhere the cries of women, lamentations of the aged, groans of the dying, the despair of the living, so you would say those were wretched who remained, those were happy who had died.

II. How you have been deceived, the city, by your people, to whom you once appeared blessed, how you have been conquered by your own forces and even your own hands have been turned against you, how you were accustomed to conquer without weapons to strike the enemy without any battle, when the angels fought for you and the waves of the sea were soldiers for you, the openings of the earth, the noises of heaven? Arise now, Moses, and see your people and the inheritance of the people entrusted to you perish by their own hands. Look upon those people of god, for whom advancing upon the impassable the sea opened, to whom starving heaven furnished food, without confinement by the sea, without blockade by Pharaoh, without hunger from the barrenness of the lands. Arise, Aaron, you who once, when because of the displeasure of omnipotent god death was consuming many of the people, stood between the living and the dead, and death stood still and by the interposition of your body affliction clung to you and was not able to go over to the contagion of the living. Awaken also you, Jesus Navis, who [p. 296] leveled the impregnable walls of Jericho with priests playing the trumpet, and see the people, to whom you made subject the foreigners, now the same made subject to be oppressed. Awaken, David, accustomed to soothe the rough spirit with the charm of the lyre, and see how madness dominates and has obliterated every sweetness of your psalms from the senses of the destroyers, and each one of the leaders offers all the nation to death, that he may twist away liberty, on behalf of which you offered your own self to death. Awaken, Heliseus, who introduced the enemy into Samaria and made him an ally. Through you the rattle of chariots sounded in the camps of Syria and the voice of cavalry and the voice of manhood, the enemy fled, Judaeus avoided the siege. Where now are those merits, where now those divine services of the blessed? It is not surprising if they have lost the aid of the prophets, because they have refused the mediator of the prophets. And so against yourself, Judaea, your arms are turned, your prayers profit you nothing, because your faith attends nothing; thus your people has been made against you, because your faithlessness has been turned against you. What remedy is being searched for, when the proposer of the remedy is not reconciled? What were you thinking would happen, when with your own hands you put your salvation on the cross, with your own hands you extinguished your life, with your own voices you banished your supporter, with your own attacks you killed your helper, except that you also put your hands against yourself? You have what you sought, you have snatched away from yourself the patron of peace, you sought for the arbiter of life to be killed, for Barabbas to be released to you, who on account of rebellion done in the city and murder had been sent to prison. Thus salvation departed from you, peace went away, calm left off, rebellion was given to you, [p. 297] destruction was given. Recognize you that Barabbas is alive today, Jesus is dead. Thus in you rebellion rules, peace is buried, and you are being destroyed more cruelly by your own people than if you were being destroyed by foreigners. How much of mischief, miserable city, did a Roman with his armies bring in to you as did your own people? The Romans wished peace, you proclaimed war. What cause was there that you should provoke those stronger? It was truly harsh that contrary to sacred law a gentile should have entered the temple, but already it was not the temple of god. You were not the city of god, nor were you able to be, for you were a tomb of the dead and especially of your own people whom you yourself had killed, not whom you had lost by an enemy. For how were you able to be the abode of life, who were the dwelling place of death, the lodging house of wickedness, the den of thieves? There lay dead in you unburied Ananus and Jesus the foremost of the priests, and they not long since clothed in the priestly garments, which were objects of veneration even to foreigners, they have lain with disfigured body, the food of birds and the devouring of dogs, dismembered and scattered over the entire city, so that the appearance of former sanctity was seen to lament such a great affront of the sacred name and the degradation of the public office. But you yourself made for yourself the beginning of this vileness, who killed the prophets in the middle of your bosom, who stoned the blessed ones of the lord. Zacharias lay lifeless before the temple, he lay unburied. Here therefore blood bathes him. But what cause of death was there for Ananus except that he upbraided your people, because it did not rise up in defense of the temple, because he complained about the surrendered freedom, the forsaken courage, the trampled relics of ancient religious rites, the polluted [p. 298] altars? He claimed the people would be abandoned, from the use of insensible images and statues of marble already perceiving nothing. Even mute animals are accustomed to note a change of punishment, to feel injury, to be aroused by a prick, to avoid blows. Who therefore is neither aroused nor knows to avoid what is harmful, is like those not feeling. And where is your true freedom, with whose spirit you at one time judged that not to the Egyptians, not to the Palestinians, not to the Assyrians, later not to the Medes, must submission be made. Where is that faith of the Macchabaens, which once in a few routed the Babylonians, put the Persians to flight, overpowered Demetrius, finally in the women and children at Antioch it overcame arms swords and fires and in accordance with paternal precept preferred to die rather than be submissive to the commands of the king. Where is that devotion of the fathers the most beautiful of all passions, with which they offered themselves to death not for their children, not for their spouses, more than for the temple of god? Before indeed the priestly staff cut off from its forest root flourished, but now faith withers and piety is buried and the emulation of all virtue has gone away. It is not a wonder if the people, who have withdrawn from god and follow a wicked spirit of contradiction, are divided among themselves, for how were they able to hold their peace who rejected the peace of god? Christ is the peace of god who made both one. Deservedly therefore from one people many have been made against themselves, because divided they were unwilling to follow Jesus uniting them in fellowship, but joined together they followed the dividing spirit of madness. You paid therefore, Jerusalem, the price of your faithlessness, when you yourself with your own hands destroyed your defenses, when with your own swords you dug out your entrails, so that the enemy felt pity, that he was lenient that you might rage. Indeed he saw that god [p. 299] was fighting against you and was engaged on behalf of the Romans, and you yourself were bringing in a voluntary betrayal. And thus the onlookers preferred to be Romans rather than murderers, lest, your innards raging among themselves, it should be thought troops of contagion rather than of bravery to be approaching. To these sufferings of abominable murder was added the barbarity of wicked inhumanity, that they denied burial to everyone, who was killed either in the temple or around the streets of the city. Nor was anyone free to do burials while they were occupied between themselves with war and the task of killing more than burying held everyone. And so by a certain madness the services of piety perished, the employment of ungodliness grew worse, and nothing in such great misfortunes was destroyed more than compassion, which alone is accustomed to lighten miseries, to mitigate hardships. And in fact both those who had lost their own did not dare to bury them because of fear, because great terror advanced from the leaders of the opposing factions, and those who had killed strangers took care lest anyone should snatch them away for burial. And so it was necessary for everyone to fear that what they wished to give to another they might take away from themselves, or what is worse they themselves might not be granted the use of a tomb which they prepared for another. In the temple therefore itself instead of the good smelling ointments, instead of the censers breathing out good smells, instead of the odors of different flowers, the stench of unburied bodies was hard to bear, which the rains had unloosened, which the fires had charred, which the sun had heated. All the limbs of the murdered citizens had a horrible odor. From this the putrefaction of the loosened entrails, thence the strong smell of the burnt bodies filled every sense and the mouths of the living, so that they not much later were taken by very severe illness and they groaned themselves to be survivors, by which they would die from a harsher punishment, and by that to have been saved so that they should see the laws of nature to be dissolved at the same time with their country, justice to be denied to the living, peace to the citizens, [p. 300] burial to the dead, human and divine affairs equally to be dishonored and polluted, everything mingled together, compassion to be criminal, cruelty to be held in the place of reverence. A military camp in the temple, warfare on the threshold, death on the altars, themselves to see those things about to happen which they had not believed the prophets announcing. Had not David said about these very things: they polluted your sacred temple, they placed the remains of your servants as food for the birds of the sky, they poured out their blood like water around Jerusalem and there was no one who should do burials? For at that time gentiles came into the heirship of god, who would snatch away all things, and the temple was defiled with their corpses and the unburied bodies of the dead lay as the food of birds, the greediness of wild beasts: blood was shed so that it lay in pools in the temple, he was lacking who should do burying, because the madness was shifted from the living into the dead, from the dead into those who were still living. Anybody who wished to bury someone dead, was himself killed, and he who had killed the dead man transferred his anger to the burier, so that he should deny burial to the former he killed the latter. Again he who had killed the burier exercised a greater barbarity about the dead man, whom already owing nothing to hatred, not feeling sufferings, he despoils of the funeral rites owed to nature. What else could befall them, who were not accepting divine precepts? They mocked the announcements of the prophets, they spurned every command of heaven, They did not believe the things about to be, which that they should take place they themselves hastened. For there was an ancient and repeated saying that the city of Jerusalem would then be ruined and the sacred things destroyed. when the strife of war attacked the law and domestic hands should contaminate the temple of god. Not even this did they understand; indeed how many times was the house of god destroyed, how many times was there [p. 301] rebellion, how often blockade, how often war! Never was that city destroyed, unless when truly they fixed the temple of god to a cross with domestic hands. And about that temple, let them hear: break up this temple and in three days I will rouse it again. And indeed what was it other than sacrilege, when they extended irreverent hands against the source of salvation, when they stoned him, when they scourged him, when they seized him, when they killed him? Then truly the divine fire consumed their sacred things. For when they were burned by the Babylonians they were afterwards renewed, destroyed by Pompey they were restored again, but they were thoroughly burned, when Jesus came, broken up by the heat of the divine spirit they vanished. It was necessary with a certain abundant lamenting for us to recite certain funeral rites of our ancestral rituals, and as it were to follow a certain funeral procession and to loosen the funeral rites with the customs of our ancestors. But let us come to the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem.

III. Titus had returned into Judaea and a few days having been interposed, so that the ranks of military numbers might be filled again, from which a select band had been sent into Italy, he increased the fighting hastening to join his father, lest he should send him into danger alone about to fight against the Vitellianan forces. He moved the route of the army with great propriety the column careful everywhere and prepared, mistrustful of ambush, because it saw itself superior in valor. It came into the territory of Samaria. Gofna received it, which had long since conceded to the Romans. It came into Aulona, from which Jerusalem was not more than thirty stadia. From that place cavalry to the number of six hundred having been taken up he stretched out the cavalry before the city, to explore also the situation of the place, [p. 302] the character of the defenses, the height of the walls, the spirit of the common people, who were reported to be oppressed by the forces of the brigands, who had unwillingly assented to the siege, and accordingly would proffer their consent against the Romans less if freedom to speak were to be given. Impressively therefore he rode with a small escort on the common rampart which was directed at the walls of the city, not was anyone seen to come forth. However when he turned his horse to one side to go around the circuit of the walls, while the rest of the troop followed their leader, very many suddenly poured forth from the place which is located facing the tomb of Helena and bursting forth they captured the road, so that they blocked off the greater part of the horsemen who were following Titus. He with a few had gone past in accordance with the plan of the ambushers, so that left by the others he might more easily be overwhelmed, because it was neither easy to retreat to his men on account of the multitude of enemies inserted, nor did a ditch and wall and other hindrances of the place allow him to go further by which peril was presented from two directions.

IV. Seeing therefore that in valor alone was there any chance of safety for himself, nor of opening the road otherwise than by the sword — for already the others with their horses turned around were departing, although they trusted that the son of the emperor would be following — he turned his horse; having urged the rest with a shout that they should follow, he rushed against the enemy. This seemed impossible how he would be able to escape, unless it is noted that in war frequently boldness although alone can accomplish what is a wall for oneself, afterwards because with others following behind the common crowd thought more for looking after itself in danger than pursuing the enemy, as if he who had extended his hand so that he should hold a horse, should be killed. Finally only two of the associates of Titus having been killed, with [p. 303] those remaining the son of the emperor returned to his men. Nor truly does it seem possible to doubt, because with head bare and unprotected in other respects, who had gone forward in the sally not prepared for battle, who had put on neither a helmet nor a breastplate, and from that received nothing of a wound, although darts were thrown chiefly against him, that such a great man was being reserved for the overthrow of this city. Surely it is the heart of the king in the hand of god. And therefore the boldness did not increase for the Jews from the outcome of their trickery and the success of their deceit, he returns to the city with the army after a night and from a certain tower, from which the city was looked out upon and the great size of the temple, he pointed to his troops with what city there would be for himself a war, that it was necessary for them to be energetic and prudent because a numberless people prepared for trickery had to be conquered by them. He arranged which ranks should approach the walls; he had inquired which were yet wearied from the night march, he stations them at a distance as reserves. It is advanced little by little. When it was come to the mount of Olives, a valley below it lay midway between the route and the city which has the name Cedron, where looking from the walls upon the army drawn up, for it was six stadia away, they put aside for the time their zeal for strife and an external enemy arriving gave up in a domestic agreement the fights of the civil wars. For generally even fear suppressed the fierce hatreds. Finally the men of the parties encouraging each other in turns their zeals uniting that they should defend their country together, lest by their discord it should give a bloodless victory to the Romans, relying upon their numbers they thought that the enemy should quickly be attacked, and [p. 304] the foremost thrown into confusion by an unexpected attack. But when the Romans trained by actual long standing practice and battles of diverse types confirmed themselves in mind, relying upon their order they began to cut down those attacking, to push them away with their shields, to repulse them with the hurling of javelins, by no means however without mutual losses. Indeed the Jews were already pressing close and the Roman line was wavering, unless the situation having been learned Titus had arrived and charging against the adversaries encouraging his troops had renewed the battle had aroused the courage of the soldiers reproving the Roman ranks victory would have been yielded to the disordered multitude not without the shame of great disheartedness. And the Jews having been driven off, they pursued them divided by the valley, the victor he took himself back to his own men, secure in his judgment, because the higher positions against those lower, it they should attempt to give battle, were giving assistance, he took himself to another part of the Roman army. Caesar departing the Jews pour themselves down from the walls and rush in a great throng upon the enemy, so that the soldiers fled from the charge of the countless multitude and took themselves to the higher reaches of the mountains; the flank having been left unprotected even the rest who preferred battle, fled. In the meantime Caesar positioned in the middle, most beseeching, that he should not put himself in danger and with the army dispersed be placed alone in the greatest of the danger, when he was the master of the world, — for he should not fight as before in the place of a soldier but of an emperor, in whose danger there was disaster for everyone, — he did not acquiesce but placing the honor of military service before safety, in the view of which a glorious death outweighed the shame of a life, he turns his breast against the enemy and those deterred whom he had gone against he flings himself against others. For by his appearance alone and the fame of his exceedingly well known and courageous bravery he drove back the enemy. And so they fell back whom he had charged against, but from other sides the Jews more and more were pouring in. And they almost [p. 305] closed in upon Titus, except that many of the soldiers seeing Caesar to be engaged in the middle of the battle shout out to the rest pointing out that the son of the emperor must not be left in danger. Thus their sense of honor recalled everyone and armed their fears, that they should not be branded by the disgrace of having abandoned Caesar. And having wheeled about against the Jews with every effort and bravery they drove the undisciplined horde into the valley, nor was it difficult for those climbing out to fall back. Thus Titus twice called back from flight a number of fleeing soldiers and took them out of danger and disgrace, having made use of equal bravery and finally of their sense of honor, which while it turns aside faintheartedness, brought in bravery, first that Caesar should not be abandoned, afterwards even that the enemy should be driven back.

V. When the public fighting was inactive for a brief time, the internal fighting proceeded. For Johannes many having been incited by the occurrence of the passover celebration, that they should approach the temple as if for the sake of observing it, and as if the opportunity of entering had been given to allies, prepared a trick. For having entered with a peaceful appearance but armed on the inside the coverings having been thrown aside well prepared with defences and with armored breasts they raise their swords to fight. Demoralized by which panic those who were at leisure within the temple unarmed burst out and left the temple empty. The former having followed them and cutting the throats of those whom they were able to catch, pursuing the others beyond the bounds of the temple, the opportunity of breaking in was given to Johannes and his associates. Many humans were killed in that place, so that even those who had not resisted some cause or other having been feigned were killed, nor was stillness of benefit to the peaceful nor silence to those passed over nor patience to those yielding. And the interior parts of the temple having been seized Johannes rode against Simon even, Eleazarus and the other chief persons of the third faction having been named in the second place to himself. [p. 306]

VI. Also on the third day Titus advances against the enemy and leads forth the army. And reaching it he struck against the the crowded multitude of Jews before the city with the appearance of wishing to surrender themselves to the Romans but as if fearing. Having suspected treachery and especially inasmuch as recently he had seen them conspiring among themselves and obstinate not having thought it credible them to have suddenly changed, he warned the soldiers that trickery must be guarded against and it must not rashly be approached near the walls in crowded ranks unless by his command, lest those who had come out from the city should surround from the rear. Suddenly from the city a noise arose and a certain strife gradually resounded of some pretending a voluntary exit, of others still resisting, because the first were demanding that the gates be opened for them, the last were ordering them to be kept closed, some were wishing for peace, others for war. The crowd of soldiers rushed themselves forward to aid those, who had asked from the walls that assistance be given them. A great many go beyond the command without formation without any method as if rushing to meet and bringing assistance to those coming, so that by the nearer assistance confidence of breaking out should be granted to a great number and fear to those resisting, or an opportunity among those struggling of breaking out for themselves. Whom they began to pour themselves around from behind who stood firm outside, they pressed upon those surrounded. These fled to the wall as if suspecting nothing from those who were pretending peace. Thereupon stones and missiles were thrown down and suddenly the fiction of peace was changed into battle. Whence aroused they rush against the enemy, who although they had tried to surround the foremost of the Roman soldiers, feared however that they themselves might be surrounded by the entire army, and so while they feared the whole, they lost almost from their hands those whom they had already considered captured although many wounds had been inflicted and themselves for the most part wounded [p. 307]. Followed however all the way to the tomb of Helena they made noise as the manner is by clashing shields, mocking the Romans because they had surrounded them a second time by trickery.

VII. Caesar somewhat disturbed forbad those returning to be mingled with the rest and convoked an assembly saying: “Although the Roman valor is great, excelling the peoples of all the races, especially however it excels in orderly arrangement and obedience to orders. For that is the preservation of military training. Nor is it strange that the Jews devise tricks, they construct tricks who judge themselves unequal in strength. But as it is the part of the weaker to rely upon treachery, thus it is the part of the stronger to beware that trickery does not dupe strength. And so them to be amazed, because they agreed themselves to be in desperate straits, that the situation is not coming together in an advance of better things for the Romans 1 , and from that it happens that the performance of trickery for them is in doubt, for us the exertion of valor is in an uncertain state. But if the strength of the enemy is stronger than great trickery, it is less scandalous. For to be overcome by equals or indeed by those stronger is free from disgrace. But truly nothing in you gives offense except excess alone of contending and a certain hasty lack of self-control of the troops, what can be worse than for the discipline of the troops to be discarded when Caesar is present? Much I think the very rules of military service will groan from the shame of such a great disintegration, much the emperor will when he learns this, who always preferred himself to be obeyed by his soldiers than to be feared by the enemy. For obedience hastens the effect of the soldier, fear of the enemy delays victory. What is a father about to think of his son, whose authority is so weak over the army? For let it be proclaimed about the leader, whose order is disregarded, that he is more often vindicated against those who have fought the enemy against orders, than against those who attacking according to orders have yielded to valor. [p. 308]. For by the laws death is prescribed for anyone leaving the ranks. What therefore will happen when not one but everywhere the army leaves its post and disregards the orders of its commander? Be aware that you are soldiers of the Roman empire of the people of the senate, for whom even to conquer without the authorization of an order is a crime.” He terrified with a speech of this type not only those in command of the soldiers but even the entire army. For when he aimed at pointedly the leaders of the ranks, he was seen to be about to punish everyone. And so all who were scattered around were asking that the censure of the few who had first left their posts should be imposed upon all. Although Caesar was not quick for a requital of the transgression, he was not however relentless for leniency. He pardoned with great seriousness saying himself to forgive all and to have been sufficiently satisfied against everyone by the consequences of the attack, the reason that attention ought to be directed against each one all the way up to the outcome, against the multitude up to the command, against those things all the way up to punishment, against these things up top censure. Often even in good armies battle failures have given reasons for future valor.

VIII. After these things Titus turned his wrath against the enemy and reflecting upon the dangerous blockade among so many headlong, so may steep places, with unexpected sorties the outstripped soldiers did not have the means with which they might restore their position, from which they might forestall the enemy, where they might station war machines, he ordered the steep places before the city to be filled in. Which when they were thus done the Jewish excursions were not even a present danger. They were afflicted with the domestic struggle, when the Romans were occupied with filling in the steep places. Nor was the band of either party small. Ten thousand and their fifty leaders were with Simon. Idumaeans [p. 309] also to the number five thousand were joined to the faction of Simon, which Iacobus and Simon junior were in charge of. Moreover Johannes the interior of the temple having been seized by that trick which we spoke of before, crowded together with six thousand armed men was stirring up the conflict. Two thousand with another four hundred men joined him, after they began to unite in a harmonious spirit for the defense of the city, Eleazarus and Simon Arinis whom they had used before the leaders .For whom fighting among themselves for booty the people were in the middle of those who won and as if the reward of the contest were transferred back and forth in accordance with the various outcomes. For a short time they had come together in the manner of armistices and awakened to the first attack of the Romans: they fell back with unsound entrails into the old disease of domestic fever, when the attack of the external diseases was more relaxed. Without there was generally war, within riot, more serious for the reason that the riot itself both was fed by the war and fed the war. The two factions were fighting for political power, the people between the two were concerned not about servitude, but that they should not fall to the worst master.

IX. A certain powerful man founded the city Jerusalem of the Chananaeans, who in the native speech was called a just king, which at first he named Solymam, afterwards he added a temple, from the place the city was named Jerusalem. It from the beginning had its inhabitants from the race of Chananaeans. David the leading man of the Hebrew race drove out the Chananaeans, he installed his own people, who in that country made a royal palace for himself. He wanted also to found a temple to god, [p. 310] but forbidden by a prophecy he left Solomon his heir, who would build the temple which he himself had wanted. And therefore Solomon established the temple, to which kings for the beautification of the city added many things. Envy arose from its magnificence. Among all works however the temple was supreme with great work and gleaming marble, in which were large and precious hanging curtains woven with scarlet and blue and fine linen and purple. Not idle material of such great diversity but whose splendor signified mysteries of hidden things, for the reason that his was the temple who was master of the sky and air, the earth and sea as the creator of the elements and who alone ruled and governed all things. In scarlet the fiery sky was fashioned, in blue the air, in fine linen the earth which is begotten in it, in purple the sea which is dyed with the maritime shell-fish, so that you bind together two from the color, two from their begetting. Indeed the chief priest had been accustomed to portray these four things in his garments, because the greatest assembly was of the feast days, as if about to pray for the people he dressed himself in the whole world, in his image who was about to come, the chief of the priests Jesus, that he should take away the sins of the world. The chief priest covered the thighs inside with a linen covering, for the reason that before the rest faith of mind in a priest is sought and purity of body, which ought to gird about the lewdness of the flesh. There were two sacred tabernacles, one the inner, and the other the outer. The priests always entered into the outer, into the inner which was called the second the chief only of the priests [p. 311] would enter once without blood, that he should make offerings for himself and for the transgressions of the people, this signifying Jesus about to come with the holy spirit who truly alone would enter the inner sanctuary of the divine sacraments and, because he knew all the mysteries of the heavenly nature, alone also would reconcile the entire world to the father with his blood, so that he would have compassion for heaven and earth. Finally after he came, he appeased all things with blood of his cross, which are either in the earth or in heaven. Within a censer, within a table, within a lamp: the censer, because thus to god the father, as incense, is directed the prayer of the high priest, the table, because on that is the passion of Christ and the mysteries of the sacraments, from which indeed David said you have prepared a table in my sight, just as whose twelves loaves, the twelve apostles are witnesses of his suffering and resurrection. The lamp, which is placed on the lamp-stand, previously it was beneath the corn-measure, that is beneath the measure of the law, now it is in the fullness of grace seven-wicked pouring out light, for the reason that the holy spirit lights up the temple of god with the virtues of the seven greatest graces. Knowledge of the trinity was therefore in the interiors of the temple which were called the holies of holies, where the rod of Aaron once placed flourished, which by the grace of priests in Christ was about to work after the death which redeemed the world. There were fourteen steps before the temple, through which in the time of king Ezechia a shadow ascended signifying to him the end of his life was about to occur. But warned by a prophecy he prayed and earned a postponement of death by this evidence that the sun poured back by these same steps, which signified by such a great number the passage of years of life poured back to him. [p. 312]

X. Since therefore the city was fortified on all sides by the works of many kings and especially of Herod, who strengthened the fortress which has the name Antonia to the splendor of the greatest work and adorned it with great beauty, Caesar went round it seeking, from what direction he would be able most easily to pour himself into the city, and the circuit of the wall having been examined through its entire circumference he settled upon the area neighboring the mound, where Johannes the the chief of the priests lay buried, for undertaking the siege. Adhering to which too closely reconnoitering Nicanor one of his friends giving his attention to the task too studiously was struck by an arrow and slain. Indeed he had approached too closely, while he thinks it would be some advance of future peace, if the opportunity of engaging in dialogue should be given him, whose effect it was reckoned would be powerful and strong in influencing the minds of the listeners. Caesar, angered because they had inflicted death by an unexpected wound on him who was exhorting well-being, orders the troops into battle and the war is stirred up by the hostile hurling of javelins and especially with missiles, the battering rams are moved up, with which the strong walls are struck. Alarmed by which all who previously were fighting with zeal among themselves about mastery enter into agreement and freedom from punishment of their superiors having been given they make themselves one body and the peril forcing acting in concert they defend the city. Coming forth against the mounds they hurl fire upon the war machines, that they might destroy the ramparts and burn up the moveable shelters, set fire to the battering rams. And they would have have burned almost all types of the machines, if many selected soldiers and allies especially from the region of the city of Alexandria had not fought back vigorously. To whom resisting strongly Caesar added the assistance of powerful cavalry. He himself [p. 313] fighting fiercely killed twelve champions of the opposing forces. Thus the force of the remaining multitude avoiding destruction returned into the city and the Roman works were protected from burning. Iohannes the leader of the Idumaeans fell in that battle, while he was engaged before the walls in conversation with a Roman soldier known to him, struck in the back by the wound of an arrow, he fell immediately. They consider Arabis the most skillful of his javelin throwers the author of his death, the Idumaeans affected by great grief, because they had lost a man quick in battle and wise in counsel.

XI. The following night it happened that three towers which Titus had ordered to be erected upon the rampart by which he might transfix the Jews with darts either from a level with them or from higher, suddenly with no force of the enemies fell. By which noise the entire of the Romans was thrown into confusion from the opinion that the ramparts had been destroyed by the enemy, they thought the towers had been cut down, which falling caused great destruction far and wide. And a miserable outrage almost was admitted, that the victors would have yielded in flight during the night to an uncertain enemy, if the darkness and the fall itself by the dust raised had not taken away vision, so that they considered it uncertain in what direction they should flee. Each one inquired from the nearest person what had happened, nor was able to learn the truth of the matter, because the cause of this was similarly unknown by everyone, until Caesar the matter having been investigated ordered to be spread about, that what had happened was from the sudden fall, not from any hostile incursion. Thus the panic was calmed and every aid to storming the city located in strength, for when they were the height of the walls and most things were covered by iron or brass and the enemy were fended off by darts and the height itself, the Romans advanced the battering ram machines, [p. 314] by whose frequent blow the strengths of the wall were loosened, they began to rely upon lighter darts and arrows that they might divert the defenders, that they might push aside the obstacles of those hindering. Thus little by little the wall was yielding to those pounding. From which the Jews called the very largest battering ram a destroyer of cities. And so a part of the walls having been battered down the Jews untroubled forsook the defence of the wall itself, because they had two other interior walls, and departed to the second wall. Them fleeing the Romans, entering through the gaps of the wall, opened the gates. The entire army having been admitted deep within, it destroyed the exterior wall, lest it should be an impediment to those fighting or, if there should be setbacks, an enclosure for those escaping.

XII. Allied together they allotted to themselves the places of Johannes and Simon around the second wall. Johannes with his men was fighting in the fortress which has the name Antonia. Neighboring to him was the arcade of the temple which faced to the north. For that location, in which was the fortress afterwards designated by the name Antonia, lying between two arcades, was named toward the norther, that is the northern. Simon undertook the task of defending the city up to the tomb of Johannes. The battle for them was for safety, for the Romans it was for victory. Although for them bravery was more important for fighting, the location however was worse for the siege, since the fighting might oppress them from the wall. Daring was more immoderate for the Jews, firmness more important for the Romans. The leaders hung over the factions, and from that the greatest competition arose, while each is eager to demonstrate his own bravery to his commanders. Simon spurred on his own men with fear and terror, Titus encouraged the Romans as much as possible by their sense of honor, because they thought it worse than death not to show their courage to Caesar, since he himself had not hesitated so many times to offer himself to dangers in front of the army. The habit of winning armed them [p. 315] and the ignorance of losing, especially with Titus present, the judge of the courage of each one, by whom a reward for bravery was not expected, but above everything the reward of greatest value was to have done anything vigorously with him watching which did not displease him. Aroused by that incentive Longinus a man of the equestrian forces seeing enemies before the walls clusters of Jews and as if indignant that they had provoked the Romans to war and dared to come forth on even terms, dismounted from his horse and threw himself into the middle of the enemy. And he pierced one preparing to resist in the mouth itself with a javelin and simultaneously took away his voice and life, he thrust the javelin torn from the prostrate body into another and took himself back to his own men a victor. We are speaking of those most prominent: but there were many imitators from each side but of a different type. Despair gave boldness to the Jews, to the Romans the desire for glory added courage: an equal contempt of death however for unequal spirits. The Jews thought it a consolation to die together with the enemy, Titus was hastening to finish the war, but without the loss of his own men, he preferred even to save all the enemy themselves if he were able rather than to destroy them. He did not admonish a soldier otherwise than that fighting must be for a purpose, true valor to be this alone, to which the companion is foresight, for bravery without judgement should be seen as rashness, and in no place should more caution be taken than in victory. Defeated to die with the winner is a triumph. And so counsel must be taken that the outcome not be seen to have been that he conquered, but to have been worthlessness that he did not avoid the conjunction of danger. He orders therefore that the battering ram be moved to the middle of the north wall.

XIII. Castor was there a clever man and prepared for trickery, who the rest having been put to flight through the arrows of the bowmen stretched out with nine other [p. 316] associates in trickery. He when he noticed the tower to be destroyed the wall to be tottering and easily to be about to fall if the blow of the war machine were repeated, extending his hands asked Caesar in a miserable voice that he should now spare the city about to be destroyed and not think it must be undermined in a final destruction. Caesar thought that about to give up his troops he was asking for pardon. So that the surrender could proceed he orders the war machine to stop, the javelin throwers to refrain from battle. He gave Castor an opportunity of speaking. He pretended to climb down, then as if persuading his men, some willing others not yielding, and suddenly as if protesters who were being forced striking themselves above their breastplates they fell down. A great wonder although a trick lay hidden. Thus they prolonged the time. Among which one of the Roman soldiers struck the nose of Castor with the dart of an arrow. He bewailed and complained to Caesar, asked that he order someone to extend their right hand to him, that he was about to take asylum. Caesar entrusted the task to Josephus, in truth he who had experience in the treacheries of the Jews answered that he saw nothing sincere in it. Aeneas however advanced nearer the wall and that he might receive the one coming ran to meet him. To whom shoutings that he should open his bosom that he might receive gold, let fly a stone. He with watchful eyes foresaw the stone and having dropped with a quick leap of his body evaded it. However the vast catastrophe of the stone enveloped another standing near. Caesar brooded over this bitterly ordering the war machine to be driven with greater force for the casting down of the walls. In opposition fires were hurled down to burn up the machines. But when the wall was brought down Castor pretending greatness of mind in contempt of death with a trick as if he threw himself in the fire, with a disgraceful trick seized a way of escape with his life. [p. 317]

XIV. By now one wall that is the third remained two having been destroyed. Thus far Caesar kept his patience, who noticed that whatever had been destroyed was already lost to him. While he spares and and calls for surrender, an unanticipated troop with a few rushing over the second wall, a band having been assembled the Jews wound a great many. Furthermore many on both sides were dead. Then Caesar pierced those resisting with arrows from a distance, among those crowded together the darts were never eluded, no blow was without its wound. So the Jews began to move back and Titus recovered his own men. And already in the city hunger had advanced deeply. The Jews however for their victories because they had recovered the second wall, were boasting as if the Romans had been driven out, but they were not able to repair those fallen down nor to defend those about fall. But they continued to resist to some extent. It was fought for three days at the second wall, on the fourth day not holding back the Roman valor they fled back within the third wall. Caesar meanwhile orders that an assault be refrained from, he ordered only that the second wall be destroyed. And because a great part of the war remained, he decided that a soldier should gather food for himself, lest a lack should threaten the conquerors, weakening those wanting food. For four days the army collected grain for itself, and the time was also deemed suitable that the Jews should take counsel for themselves, that they should turn about. And indeed the people preferred this, but the leaders of the strife thinking that they had acted against the people with great crimes, while they looked forward to no place of pardon, thought it easier to perish with all than if as the instigators they should perish alone. Therefore on the fifth day, because nothing tending to making peace was offered by the Jews, Caesar attacks the walls with a double column and orders two ramparts to be erected, one against Antonia, the other against the wall which was about the tomb of Johannes. By the latter he was seeking the overthrow of the upper city, while by the other [p. 318] that he should conquer the fortress, even that he should get possession of the temple. Which if he did not bring into his power, he was not able even to hold the city without danger. Titus had divided his army into two parts. Separated also Johannes and Simon had assigned to themselves the duties of defense. Johannes was defending Antonia, Simon with his armed men and the people of the Idumaeans looked to the tomb of Johannes and from his higher position baffled every attempt of the besiegers by whatever means he was able. Also the more practiced had been taught by their misfortunes to charge against the siege engines and had themselves taken over for themselves many types of siege engines, with which they destroyed the works of the Romans, impeded their undertakings. Noticing whose headlong stubbornness to be confusing the tasks, Caesar wished conversation, so that they would not perhaps from despair of pardon resist more obstinately, and might from trust of things promised give up. He began to persuade them that they should not involve themselves in the destruction of the captured city, that they should relinquish it to his power, which was already held by his arms and walled around by the siege was being pressed to its final destruction; he would give pardon to those yielding, if only they took counsel for themselves and their country, so that the entire city will not be destroyed. He commands Josephus that he should address the citizens in their native tongue, that he himself might perhaps change his fellow tribesmen, that they should reject their madness. Who although he knew the hatred of the Jews to have been showered upon himself, moved back from the walls as far beyond the flight of an arrow as he was able, however so that he could be heard, he described in detail what was to the best interests of the citizens in this well known address to them.

XV. “It has been, Hebrews, human nature to fight stubbornly, before things come to a climax, while you believed yourselves to be superior by reason of the place and assistance of the known region, although it would have been appropriate for the Romans insuperable in war not to be challenged in arms, by whom they have been often conquered who had conquered you, but however [p. 319] thoughtless minds of men have this lapse in favorable circumstances, at the same time because generally the outcome of war is doubtful, and so each one even though inferior in valor commits himself to chance, finally you have trusted to walls, you have not thought even all the way to the forthcoming destruction of the temple. Spare the sanctuaries, spare the altars, spare the one time house of god. For indeed god himself has already deserted you, because you have abandoned the observation of piety. We have suffered war in the middle of the temple. Fires distributed around the temple have gone astray, Fires scattered about the temple went astray, armed men stood around but not the sort as were accustomed. Up to this point however having hands unsoiled by sacrilege they prefer not to defile the sacred doorposts, nor to abolish the ancient rites, if you permit it. What more is expected? Two walls have been thrown down, a third survives but is weaker that the two torn down. Is divine help hoped for and assistance from the inner sanctuary? But he who was protecting us has gone over to the enemy, inasmuch as whom we were cherishing the Romans are venerating, we are offending. Who moreover does know that god is with them, who has made everything subservient to them except those things that are inaccessible from too much heat or cold, and thus outside the Roman empire because the same are outside human use? To different peoples god has given dominion by turns, no one denies him to have been the helper first to the Egyptians, after to the Jews, also to the Assyrians and Persians, afterwards turned to the Romans to remain with them; in fact all kingdoms to have yielded to them, all the earth to have been given into their possession. What do you with the victors over the entire earth, to whom the hidden parts of the ocean and the furthest limits of India lie open? What if I add Britain divided from all the world by an interposed sea but brought back into the circle of the earth by the Romans? The land of the Scots trembles before them which owes nothing to the world, Saxony inaccessible from swamps and hedged in by impassable regions trembles, [p. 320] which although it may seem to dare the intrigues of war, indeed itself is frequently added a captive to the Roman triumphs. It is regarded as the strongest race of men and as excelling the rest, it relies upon piracy and pirate ships, not upon strength, prepared for flight rather than battle. But you say to die is better than to lose freedom. When, Jews, did that opinion succeed among you, or when among the Hebrews was profitable servitude not preferred to unprofitable freedom? Jacob himself the patriarch led the Hebrews down into Egypt, lest they perish from starvation, likewise the twelve patriarchs his sons went down that famous beginning of our race. There the respected Judas from the race of Jews, who gave his name to the people, there Joseph exalted with his chariot and horses preferred to put himself under rule so that he might feed his people rather than go back to the freedom of his own origin, there Benjamin restrained by the conscientious trickery of his brother agreed to the deceit, because it was not a fault to be a slave to those more powerful, there their generation, when it was summoned by Moses, wanted to stay. Thus harsh servitude even did not displease your fathers so that it was preferred to dangers. You served the Egyptians and would that it were so again! And not only did you serve then, when you preferred the nourishment of foreign servitude to the showers of heavenly food, but even afterwards conquered and captives you descended into Egypt when you were fleeing from the Assyrians. You served even the Macedonians, you served even the Assyrians through the course of many years, and that servitude was pleasant. You served the Persians the Seleucians the Palestinians, you reckoned only the Romans oppressive to you, to whom indeed those were slaves whom you were serving. Which therefore hatred or gratitude do you owe them, who made you equals [p. 321] to your masters? I think this is your vengeance, not an indignity, because they have delivered you from those things to which you had been subjected. An Assyrian is oppressed by servitude who was ruling over all Asia. An Egyptian plows for the Romans, he sows from his own which he reaps for them. Macedonia which the Persian having been conquered spread its empire all the way to the Indians, recognizes as its masters those whom it disregarded, and remembers to no purpose that it imposed the name of Aeacides upon its kings, certainly it would not have stopped otherwise than for the triumph of the Romans, to whom even Pyrrus himself, an offspring and the race of Achilles and bearing the name, overcome by arms made himself subject from the desire of meriting peace do that he might ask for pardon. About the Palestinians what may I say whom the strength of a single governor restrains? Ungrateful, for is it not your renown to serve with the Persians? That is indeed to serve with royal powers and the greatest king to have the consolation of submission. But I ask when have you been free who are now rejecting servitude? When therefore have you been free? Or when were you master over others who were under a king? You had god for king, you rejected his rule under whom alone you were free. You were willing to serve men. Why do you tear away the testaments of the fathers, the hereditary succession willfully disobedient to the fathers? You chose a king who was named Saul. Him having been killed, the Palestinian people ruled you. After a time David succeeded to the rule of the entire people, indeed a gentler master but a master nevertheless. And before he rested David himself imposed a king upon the people. From Solomon the kingdom was again divided in two and the inheritance was divided through a long [p. 322] series of despotism. That I may pass over the captivities, Cyrus restored most of the Jews to their lands and their religious rites. But your fathers, when they were being ground down by the serious battles of the Persians, however much uplifted by the triumphs of the Machabaeans, chose the Roman alliance for themselves. The divine scripture held the agreements of many embassies. You were made allies of the Romans who were the slaves of the Persians. But again you preferred to have a king rather than a chief of the priests, to whom the people were submissive; when the savagery of your kings was intolerable, Herod having died, Archelaus having been defeated, you asked to be Roman under Caesar, you surrendered yourselves to Caesar, to whom all have been made subject, for a change to a softer servitude. In the common condition of every one to be a slave is a certain freedom, inasmuch as the obedience of the slaves is graced by the authority of those in control. Although the Romans do not exact slavery the supporters of freedom, who not only killed a harsh king but did not suffer an arrogant king, and thus among them the name of empire is in low regard because it increases theirs, not because it suppresses that of others. But be it: may it be useful to you not obey the Roman empire; let us see if it is free, if it is not deadly. The Roman battle lines beset us, the destruction of our country besets us, the destruction of the temple besets us. Assess carefully not what is useful but what is possible. For not the notion of vows but the prudence of possibility must be considered. The law of nature is certainly the same for everything, men, birds, wild animals, poured into beasts, and each yields to the more powerful, the bull to the lion, the stag to the bear, the wild goat to the leopard, the hawk to the eagle, the dove to the hawk, the weaker young bulls to the bull himself, the flocks of sheep to the ram, the she-goat to the he-goat, lest any difference of different birth be seen to exist, you to the more powerful. The Romans however drive out no one, you [p. 323] drive them out, on the contrary they promote, that not anyone even conquered should go out from their lands. They reserved a part of his kingdom for Antiochus. And now Caesar what does he work at unless that your land not be deserted, your region not be emptied, the city not be destroyed, the temple not be burned up? Not to everyone is victory given. Nature grants to be in charge to few, to be submissive to many. The bulls stand out over the herds, the rams over the flocks. Distinction belongs to few, tameness to many. And you clothe yourself in tameness, accept subjugation as even wild beasts clothe themselves in it.” When Josephus was saying this, he was jeered from the wall, they slandered him who was persuading helpful actions. Many even were shooting arrows, trying if they could bring him down with death. But he, because he was not prevailing on the untameable with reasoning, thought they should be approached also with the evidences of the scriptures, especially because they were saying that god would not fail as a guard for his temple.

XVI. “You the reckless, now finally you hope that divine aid will appear for you, when you have thoroughly disturbed all things with arms, when you have violated the altars with fighting, when you have demolished the defences of the entire city? ” he said, “and unmindful of your supporting forces, you have prepared shields and swords, and this against the Romans? Not with such arms are you accustomed to conquer. For when was the victory of the Hebrews in the spear and the sword? Call to mind from whence you arose, from what sites you set out, how your fathers conquered their enemies, you reckless ones, what assistant to you you snatched away when you asked for foreign help! not in a multitude of people but in the fear of god father Abraham entered Egypt and when he saw the modesty of his kidnapped wife captured, he abstained from war however, [p. 324] he took up the arms of pious speech, he summoned the protector who would wind around the sleeper, and the enemy having been conquered, would display his wife to him unstained. Sarra returned without arms reporting triumphant victory to her husband. Abraham slept and Pharao was turned. Sarra feared and Pharao refused guilt, he cast out another’s wife and the crime having been condemned he respected purity more than he had desired to despoil it. He adds gold and silver for the shaming of Sarra, that he censured the desire free from outrage. He asked father Abraham that he pray to the lord on behalf of his household; for his household was unfruitful. Sarra returned richer with modesty unharmed, Abraham returned more blessed, who had recompensed the consideration for the modesty of his wife by the cure of sterility. What shall I say about his son Isaac? He also relying upon the ancestral defense against the haughtiness of a powerful neighbor led forth not armed troops, and certainly he had a strong band of 318 domestic troops, which had overcome five kings, had stripped them of booty, had restored the captive Loth to the uncle of Abraham. He did not take his sword from the sheath, but put on only patience against those who were jealous, he returned forthrightness. They came asking who had declared for expulsion, they demanded friendship who did not tolerate a neighbor. I tremble to review such a great marvel of the fathers. Jacob having been blessed his brother Esau threatening parricide left his homeland, abandoned his parents carrying a traveling allowance of prayer alone with him, and he rightly feared ambushes in strange places with his brothers, and he lacked the companionship and assistance of men, he found an association of angels, [p. 325] guided, as he said, to the stronghold of god, he wrestled with the lord and, as scripture says, prevailed over god, who thought himself unequal to men. What otherwise could Moses and his snakes have done against the army and king of the Egyptians if he had not raised his rod alone? O mighty rod which overlaid the sky with darkness, flooded the land with rain, dried up the sea with waves! The Egyptians had surrounded the Hebrews, Moses prayed and did not fight. The sea was divided and the people entered into it, Pharao followed, Moses positioned between the waves prayed. Pharao was submerged with his troops, Moses celebrated. Who considering these many things and others like them does not wonder and does not understand that for us the best weapons are in prayer rather than in valor? For the first brings divine aid to itself, the latter brings the aid of the body. The first acquired knowledge of those weapons which are not of the flesh but steadfastness in god, the disciple of Moses and also his successor Jesus Nave, his imitator and almost the equal of the teacher turned backwards the waters of the Jordan and likewise when he saw the invincible walls of the city of Jericho, ordered the priests to sound their trumpets and the people to sing out. Which having been done the walls suddenly fell and the city was destroyed and all were killed, except those whom the faith of the good courtesan Raab protected from the destruction of the celebrated city. Gedeon also chose 300 men for war, he ordered them to display not arms but mysteries, in the left hand to hold pots full of water, in the right torches. Demoralized by this sight the enemy fled immediately and victory came to the Hebrews. The observance of the sacred religion was interrupted by the negligence of the priest Helus, the divine authorities were forsaken. Battle was invited by foreigners, the Hebrews were conquered, captured even was the ark of god, and without any weapons necessary was returned, by which proof it became clear that [p. 326] indeed without reverence for religion arms do not conquer and religion conquers without arms. King Ezechias, the people of the Assyrians having been poured in to the people of Judaea with the voice of Rapsacis, in the empire of king Sennacherim, which reproaches were being thrown against god, which he discovered sufficiently well were being denounced by the people as the final ruin, to those creeping in he believed that words must not be returned to words nor arms to arms, but bestirring himself he clothed himself with a blanket as if with a shield, in the place of a helmet he covered his head with ashes, instead of javelins he hurled a prayer. The prayer ascended, an angel descended. One hundred eighty five thousand Assyrians were killed during the night. We counted the dead bodies, we did not see the killer. I passed over the five kings whom having engaged in war the lord not having been consulted, traveling through the desert, a lack of water began to greatly afflict, thirst harassed them also and their horses. Necessity forced the duties passed over to be revived. For there was a king Israhel negligent about the worship of god, warned however by others that he should seek a prophet of the lord, he learned that Heliseus was not far from the very places in which they were spending time. The aid of prayer and the cure of their troubles was desperately asked for. Although the offense was king Israhel’s, because faithless he did not believe, he promised however both an abundance of water and swiftness of victory. Water began to flow through the desert and rivers voluntarily poured themselves over the land without any rains. The enemies arising whom confident of victory watchfulness having been relaxed abundant sleep had overwhelmed, suddenly saw the sun having been covered over the waters to redden and among the peoples of the kings they thought beaten, with whose blood the ground was wet. And so hastening in for booty everywhere without order without method they ran, each hindering the other, thus charging headlong into the middle of the enemy surrounded and killed they gave a huge slaughter of themselves. Thus the venerable prophet [p. 327] took away equally thirst and fear from our fathers. And he brought the same aid against famine. For when Samaria was under siege and king Israhel remained shut in there, severe famine developed, so that not even from abominable foods was there abstention. The prophet addressed by the ugliness of so much misery and likewise by a messenger of the king, who thought the famine to have become established because of he negligence of the prophet, answered: ‘on the following day you will see both abundance of grain and cheapness.’ He said to the not believing messenger, that he certainly because he did not believe would not see this, but that belief in the promises would not be wanting. Suddenly during the night in the camp of Syria the neighing of horses, the noise of chariots, the uproar of running four horse chariots, the sound of arms being heard threw fear into the victors, as if in aid to the Hebrews many and strong tribes had come, and were threatening them, as they thought, they hastened to extract themselves from danger by flight, the night hurried the decision, increased the terror. And so the Syrians fleeing all the supplies which they had brought in were found in their camp the following day. The abundance created cheapness, the cheapness inspired trust, the death of the unbeliever snatched away from him the enjoyment, it did not however hinder the rescue of the state. It is proven therefore that most leaders of the fathers gained victory when they fought least, others also to have been victorious in war to whom taking counsel as to the justice of waging war it had been permitted by the prophecy. Finally Amalech would have been conquered but when Moses raised his hand, Jesus Nave conquered when he caused the sun to stand still, and Gideon conquered he approved those about to fight in water, Samson also when he preserved his hair still untouched, Samuel also conquered, but when he proposed to pierce a helping stone. David triumphed when he joined Bersabea that is [p. 328] the daughter of Sabbatus as his wife in prophetic mysteries, he won even in civil war, because he fled from war inflicted, he did not wage war. Indeed nothing is more loathesome than civil war, except he who is able to wage war alone. Asaf also won in battle but afterwards his men despairing because they were inferior in number, he said nothing to be of advantage whether they were few or many, since god may make the few, fearing themselves before many, stronger, certainly a good man with faith if he had persevered to the end. Indeed also a woman won in arms who kept her faith in god. An truly Saul was conquered because he did not take heed of the commands of god; Iosias was wounded because contrary to commands he advanced against the enemy, otherwise blessed and thus snatched away so that he should not see the captivity appropriate to our sins. Nechao shouted: I have not been sent to you, bearing testimony of his trust, but he enveloped him, as previously Amessia, the partner of an unworthy society. Finally he had been warned by a man of god, that he should send away those whom he had hired for one hundred talents of silver as allies of the war, if he wished to win. To whom hesitating because he would lose such a great sum, the prophet answered, that the lord had much more from which indeed he restore to him the silver, relying on which he rejected the hired forces, and conquered with many fewer, not even he would have paid the price of such a great victory to god, but he had immediately offered sacrifices to the images themselves which as victor he had captured, as if he had conquered by their help those things which he had collected as the spoils of capture. Sedecias himself with ruin to the country already threatening, having agreed through the prophet Jeremiah, when he was pressed by a hostile siege, that he should not fear to go out from the city, that there would be victory if he obeyed the heavenly commands, but he would be a captive if he [p. 329] had thought it must be defended, cheated himself and his men by lack of faith. The people of the Jews were carried by the Assyrians into Babylonia, Those left who remained were considering transferring themselves to the Egyptians. The lord mandated through the prophet Isaiah and others that they should be content with rule of one race, lest a doubled captivity increase their calamity. Truly they neglecting the precepts of god were made the captives of two nations, who had impatiently desired to go out from under the yoke of one nation. But in truth they who were led into Assyria the time of their captivity having completed, that the lord had ordained because of the sins of the people, afterwards Cyrus ordering having received the opportunity of returning they returned with gratitude. The temple of god was restored with the help of Cyrus and the offerings of Darius and the rest of the Persians. And so the very ones who had destroyed gave the cost of restoring, they restored even the rights of the priests and assisted the observance of the religion, but in truth ours while they strive among themselves for the priesthood and canvass among the Parthians for the memorable office to be conferred upon them, made from the religion an object of merchandise. What should we complain of about the Babylonians? We experienced worse of our own. They returned to us the right of religion, they restored the creation of priests, and ours gave it back to the Persians. They permitted the priestly headbands to our authorities, ours made them subject to taxes for the Babylonians. What shall I add of the bloodstained sanctuary, the sacred threshold made wet with blood, the half ruined roof of the temple still standing? Less is the anger of god around us, than our own controversies. The first made us captives, these made us sacrilegious, the first spread the Jews abroad, the last destroyed them. Compare, if it seems good, what the difference is between our captivity and and our rebellion: our captivity spread the fellowship of our religion to the gentiles, our rebellion has actually taken from the Jews the favor of religion. What brought the Romans into Judaea, except the contention of Hyrcanus and Aristobolus? Who except Herod brought Sossius? Who Anthony except Sossius? Who appealed to Caesar as a king for themselves except you? Who other than you drove Antipater from the kingdom and the freedom under Antipater? And however I neither hold back nor deny that Florus acted wickedly against you. But the quarrel ought to have been submitted to the Romans, arms not to have been taken up. You despised Nero, but Vespasian had succeeded, who kindly by nature was able to be even more kind however from study, because he had taken over rule in Iudaea, or, if sense of responsibility did not move him, certainly his character ought to have impelled you that you took counsel of yourselves. For how could he not spare you who had spared Josephus? For indeed against whom ought he to have been more hostile than me? Who thrust out greater fortifications against the Romans? Who thought it must be fought more zealously for the country, after the option of war had been agreed upon by you? Indeed I did not approve the commencement of the warfare, but once it was undertaken I did not desert. The glowing ashes which still cover the struggle of the city of Iotapata bear witness to this, me not to have desisted from war until after the destruction of this city, me to have hidden as long as I was able in the grave of that destroyed city, me to have preferred starvation to surrendering myself to the Romans, me to have sought a way of escaping to you but was caught, not to have voluntarily come out, me to have preferred to die with my men but Caesar to have spared me, me to have wished to fight further with you, not because I approved of that policy, but because I chose the sharing of danger with you. Thanks be to god however that I did not fall into the partnership of such a great crime, that I might not be thought an inciter of rebellion or, because I was not able to be mixed with these, that I was able [p. 331] to divert murder from my hand lest I fill it with death: certainly that I should not see my blessed mother torn apart in front of me and my inner organs scattered about. Which indeed would be pitiable, but however it is more tolerable to suffer this than to do it. What therefore do you still expect? Signs from your ancestors? Those are not merited by you, not those obligations concerning the worship of god. But that of the Romans is not the unfaithfulness of the Assyrians, who the price of departure having been accepted broke faith, and thought not that they should leave but that they should advance more fiercely. But indeed, as we learn the thrust of the divine thought from those things happening, god is certainly against the Jews. In fact Siloa, which had dried up before the war, and every vein of water outside the city, which long since ceased to flow, so that water was lacking to our use unless sought out at a price, are now returning for their use and are pouring themselves out for the arriving Titus. Abundant streams are bubbling over and all things of overflowing water are filled, so that not only are they gushing up plentifully for the army for drinking, but even for the war horses and pack animals and all the cattle, and also an abundance of water is not lacking for the watering of the gardens, so that, as if the elements are supporting the Roman victory, you might believe there are great movements of the land. We recollect higher omens, which even then came before the capture of our city, water ceased for the Jews, it poured itself upon the enemy, lest the siege should be impeded by thirst. Nor is it a wonder that divine grace receded from the Jews, whom such great outrages walled round. And truly a good man filled with horror flees the inn and abandons his home, if he has learned that something of a crime has been committed in it, he avoids the close connection of a shameful residence, he detests the unfavorableness of associates: and we doubt about the great and unstained god, because he abhors the contagion of such great scandals, and recoils from the wickedness of such calamitous evils, nor lingers in the assemblies of murderers, who [p. 332] ordered Dathas and Abiron, because they had attacked Moses and Aaron by snatching away the offering of a benefice, to be separated from the blameless, lest he should contaminate the pious with a stain or from the association of the guilty involve them in punishment? But why should I delay longer with words, when full of dread and groans they are surrounded and ruin is hastening upon the temple? What eye is able to watch that, what sense to endure it, what soul to bear it? O more durable than stones, more hard than iron, who in such great wonders of human affairs till now have fought among yourselves from wickedness as if in emulation of virtue and what is worse you yourselves are destroying our country and are enlarging its ruin. Turn back before it is too late, come to your senses before it is too late, judge and see the beauty of the fatherland which you have betrayed. What city, what temple, what homes of the pious, what shrines of religious rites, what works of the prophets have been disemboweled by your hands? Against these does anyone lead flames and spread fires and supply conflagrations and not be moved by any compassion? The stiffness, if it could feel, of rocks would be relaxed. Certainly the insensible generally in the greatest harshness of circumstances feign the appearance of sense, so that rocks tremble and drops flow with dripping blood. But you persist unmoved, what is better that it should survive after this, what is better that you should spare it? Finally if these things do not move, which among the dutiful are most outstanding, show compassion at least for the close relatives of yours, place before your eyes the deaths of your sons, either by the sword or starvation and which are more harsh the slavery of your wives and daughters, to whom there will be a safe freedom with an agreement of surrender or captive slavery with the overthrowing of the city. Take heed while it is permitted, that you do not leave things worse after your death than [p. 333] you made them before death. Nor am I free from danger of this type. I know since the mother revered by me likewise fought with your people and my dear wife not at all of low birth and at one time a famous household. And perhaps because of my family members you think to persuade these things to me. Kill them and receive my blood above that recompense. I gladly pay that price of your salvation, if after me you can be wise.”

XVII. Josephus cried out these things with tears and he influenced very many of the people, that they should take refuge with the Romans having sold all they possessed. Whom Titus directed whither each wished, to surrender themselves without fear to the Romans even though the remainder were being challenged. And so the opportunity found of coming out, assured of safety if they came to the Romans, and not anxious about slavery to whom freedom was saved. Those however who were supporting Johannes and Simon the overseers and inciters of the strife dreaded the punishment of their crimes more than the adversities of war and thus supposed this refuge unsafe for them. Not only did they not dare to go out, but they even alleged it was not allowed to any from the people to go out from the city, their greater concern was to prevent the departure of their people rather than the entrance of the Romans. And so they were held against their will and if anyone was caught, he received a severe punishment. A slight suspicion was reason for a painful death. The truth was sought not by evidence but by tortures. If they were wealthy the crime of betrayal having been counterfeited they were likewise dragged off to death; if they were destitute, because they did not have that with which to ransom themselves, they were open to death.

XVIII. Now too hunger had begun to rage and the strife to proceed with frenzy and madness. Grain could not be found, no bread available to the public. If it was discovered to be anywhere, that home was immediately plundered. The master of the house [p. 334] or the storer of the grain was killed because he had hidden it. On the other hand fruits not having been found as if they had been hidden more carefully tortures were applied. Many chose the relief of death, since either hunger afflicted them or savagery tortured them. Finally those who were the most savage refused to kill begrudging the kindness of death, for whom already the more severe executioner starvation, their internal organs eaten up by the pitiable leanness, covered their stripped bones with thin skin. Half-dead they breathed to this point with spirit alone and dragged their unsound bodies. If anywhere they saw scraps of vegetables either dropped accidentally or thrown aside as dried out, feeble with weakened body, they sucked with their mouth the things lying on the ground. Or if anywhere grass was seen growing between the walls seizing it the wretched people assuaged their hunger with its juices. Those who were richer bought a measure of wheat with their entire wealth — for indeed why should they save what would not profit them? Those who were so poor that even of barley no one saw selling or buying. For this even was punished severely with every wickedness. Nor truly was the practice of baking bread awaited, lest death should come before or the delay should summon a betrayer. In secret those hiding devoured the uncooked wheat, who had any or a meager supply of grain. No table, no chair, no light, lest anyone should come between and unforeseen seize it. If there was any sound the food was hidden. Solitude was suspected, there were frequent murders of relatives, sad fights between those kin. And indeed starvation excludes every affection and especially shame. For those wanting food a sense of honor is cost of life and a detriment of survival. If any man, who has a wife, sons, daughters, had anything to eat, he would hardly admit it. Likewise for women. If anyone had kinder feelings, when he had set out food, it was snatched from his hands. The food was miserable, the food was worthy of tears. Sons snatched it from parents, parents from sons and from the very jaws to which the food was being offered. To many the vomit of others [p. 335] was food. Nor was there dread to take up withered droppings or shame to take from one’s relatives the drops of last life. And this was a sight of such wretched misfortune that it was not to be discovered. And so it was done with closed doors, lest anyone should come, who was seeking food from the mouth of a stranger and in the manner of dogs would lick up with his tongue the vomit of strangers. Not even this with impunity, for wherever doors were barred, the offense of hidden food was suspected. The agents of the rebellions would rush forward, they stormed the closed places, they enforced unbearable punishments of new cruelty. Not even from the private parts of the body was it withheld. To these also the punishment was applied, because in these there is a greater sensation of punishment. Many when they already saw the murderers breaking in, seized the prepared food so that they should not themselves be cheated of a final allowance and might avenge their about to occur death. And where the barbarity was seen most painful, those who seized food from the starving were not themselves starving. By rapine they were piling up for themselves the supplies of others and feeding on the hidden supplies of strangers, while those who had collected them were wasting away from hunger and fasting. If any woman aroused by maternal feelings, pitying the crying of an infant wished to pour the juice of food in its mouth, she paid the penalty of her tender care, and with the child hanging from her neck or clinging to her breast she was transfixed at the same time. Furthermore many thinking it a benefit to die went out from the city, as if they wished herbs or that they should feed on roots or collect the bark of trees, if any greenness in these could serve for the solace of food; whom the Romans discovering killed. Or else he who had avoided the enemy died at the very threshold of the gates emaciated from hunger and infirm of mouth, whom already the very ability to eat had deserted. Also a deadly band warded off [p. 326] those who returned, which tore away with the harshest means from the bosoms of the wretched people what they had sought at great peril. It was abominable that it saved not a part as the recompense at least of their danger. And therefore they died from the greater assault of their own people than from that of he enemy. Indeed that which even the enemy had conceded a fellow citizen took away, nor however did it profit to have seized food of this type, for not much later those vigorous of body, their middles swelling, shook with the pain of their inmost entrails, or loosened in the bowels their strength exhausted died, so tha they repented of the vow, which at the time was a comfort, afterwards a suffering. Next to green lizards and to other spoils of the serpent race which they had cooked they added pestilence. For if they had discovered the bodies of horses dragging them they fought fierce battles among themselves. Not even from the enemy who were crowded together was destruction given a respite. For when the multitude going out from the city with their sons and wives had taken themselves into that part, which had bent into the bottom of the steep cliffs, the Romans, either that they might lead away as captive slaves especially those of younger age, or that they might kill the stronger, lest perhaps anyone might dare to creep in among those fighting, watched, so that if anyone for the sake of seeking food, while he searches for roots in the fields, should advance to a greater distance, he would be intercepted. However they were not able although the enemy was poured around to restrain themselves, whom hunger gave daring, when the love of parents was not able to bear small children to be exhausted by emaciation and mouths open from hunger to be extended in vain, whom they had associated to themselves in the danger, lest they should be killed in their places by the originators of the rebellion as hostages of their flight. Hunger forced to go out [p. 337] those to whom it was a kindness to die by the sword rather than by comparison from starvation: In opposition the Romans, because they thought them contemptuous of death, increased the types of tortures beating first, also affixing to the yoke of the cross whomever they had caught, by which indeed the rashness of the rest by the sight of those crucified might be called back from the arrogance of harassments. And so the pitiable suffering was seen by Titus as the harshness if such great misfortunes. Innumerable were captured, almost five hundred per day were crucified and they cloaked the plains before the city with a series of pitiable retinues so that they might be seen from the walls, the Romans pitied them, the Jews were not moved, the enemy had compassion for them, their allies were not softened, pity was more easily found among their adversaries than among their associates. Nevertheless many were stirred up by anger, that in the midst of such great evils they became meaner. You might discern people fastened up in diverse manners and various types of punishments, the forms of tortures such an innumerable multitude, that already space for the forked gibbets was lacking, and gibbets for the bodies. Simon raged within, Johannes raged, they lay in ambush each for the other through his agents. If anyone attempted to flee, dragged over the ground he was torn into pieces. Those nearest to those who had gone away were tortured and the bodies of the many were fixed to a cross and displayed to their kin who had slipped away. From a different side actually they had cloaked the wall with a crop of gibbets as if triumphing over the enemies, if they had caught any who wished to flee from their own people to the Romans, so that fear of fleeing across might assault those remaining. No place was free from harshness, outside was captivity, within was starvation, in both places was fear. Arms were feared less however than tortures and it was gentler to die from the uprising rather than from murder by the enemy. [p. 338] But Caesar did not cease however to invite the leaders of the factions in the hope of surrender. For instance he announced that when the ramparts had been built up the effect of the work would not be far off, destruction to be imminent for the city, they should take counsel for themselves so that they should gain safety and the temple be rescued from burning. For the reason that they should readily believe this, many of the Jews were lined up and their hands cut off, lest they should be considered to have crossed over to the Romans in a voluntary desertion and as faithless they should not bestow trust upon them or they should kill them themselves. And in truth they for a warning flung back unremitting oppressive mockeries. The gentle conduct of Caesar was seen as more calamitous for them than his severity, because the one took away freedom, the other life. They preferred their children to die rather than to live as slaves. They consecrated their souls to the temple. Immortality would be theirs if, burned up with the temple, they should die at the ancestral altars and tombs. Titus achieved nothing, he rescued little, he gave up much. Before the temple paradise would follow them and to that place those who fought for the temple must be transferred, only with their own eyes they should not see the Roman triumphs and put captive necks under the yoke. Their small children to be dedicated, not to be killed whose parents were defenders of the heavenly sacraments. Alarmed by which Titus so that he should at least rescue those who were being held unwillingly, ordered the war machines to be moved forward.

XIX. There was in the army a son of Antiochus of Commagenus, who had come to the fellowship of war, truly an energetic youth and eager of hand but not at all provident in counsel; who judging the guidance of the Roman army to be sluggish and not considering the difficulty of the task insinuated to Caesar, himself to marvel, that the Romans were delaying to approach the wall. Titus laughed and said: “The task is a joint one.” At these words the youth rushed forward with those whom armed in the Machedonian fashion he regarded [p. 339] as most eager to fight. For in fact he although relying on others, had come, the cohort however, which was called the Machedonian, was considered to excel the rest in strength of body and stature itself. With these approaching the fighting peaked. In opposition by those eagerly fighting from the wall, whom the utmost dangers threatened and the approach of a prompt battle animated, although those lower down are very frequently pierced through by those higher up, not all darts reach those higher up, the son of the king however, an active youth, protected by armor, surrounded by an escort, avoided some blows, fended off others, which even as he avoided them he was informed about by his prompting associates, and therefore untouched by wounds he persisted. But many of the Machedonian corhort, because they thought it shame to yield even to nature and fortifications, fighting too stubbornly were wounded. And so after a fruitless attempt they yielded to those higher up, taught even by the Machedonian men, if they wished to prevail, the ardor of Alexander for fighting was necessary and his success in winning. For he when he besieged a city the rest staying behind and the army devoting attention to the usual machines of war, ladders having been placed he energetic mounted the wall and those present having been put to flight, who were fighting back from the wall, he alone threw himself into the city. And there was not time that he himself without a companion could open the gates, since dangers were threatening, but courageous beyond measure and eager for victory he leaped forward against the enemy. The troops fell back, but how many was he alone able to overthrow? Then through the diverse streets of the city the enemy crowded around. If Alexander attacked in one part, he gave others behind him the opportunity of blockading. And therefore the victor turns his steps, lest he should be surrounded by the people. But they crowded together began to press forward, a large body of missiles bristled in upon him. His helmet resounded with the clanging, his shield with the crash of stones. [p. 340] But unless the Macedonians not fearing to be led had rushed in, the conqueror of countless peoples had been overwhelmed within this poor city. Such was the eagerness with which he attacked the walls that he overwhelmed the enemy, with a triumphant leap he threw himself alone into the city, he routed the people with his attack; this was the outcome, which is chiefly attributable to the leader, in the face of so many threatening people, the flight of so many arrows, so many rushing missiles, there was no place for a fatal wound. For valor had brought on the danger, eagerness had brought in death, if fortune had abandoned the fighter. The Macedonians entered by the broken gate. Thus daring found a victory and the outcome turned danger into glory. Our David also when he was fighting against the giants, intent upon the enemy had a murderer behind him, but Abessa the follower of the king arrived balancing his blows. In truth chance saved Alexander, grace saved the prophet.

XX. And so the son of Commagenus the king of Antiochus withdrawing, when he learned that the careful moderation of the Roman army was not from fear but from wariness, that they might attack the walls with ramparts and sheltered battering rams also and other siege engines, platforms were constructed the task having divided among many workers. Four especially rose up, out of which one in the region of the fortification, which had the name Antonia, was led through the middle of the fishpond which they called the Strutia. The fifth legion had made this platform to the height of thirty cubits close to the tomb of John. To which from a distance John the leader of the rebellion dug a tunnel and hindered the work of the Romans. [p. 341] They were ignorant of what the Jews had plotted with their hidden tunnel, because they had supported the tops of the tunnels with supports of timbers and the material dug out, all the trickery was hidden. And so when the right time arrived, they set a fire, which fed by sulfur and pitch, with which the material which gave support to the tunnel had been saturated, easily consumed all the wood. The collapse of the undermined works followed the burning. And so the collapsed works of the Romans suddenly gave out a tremendous noise. And so all things filled with dust and smoke spread a great darkness and the hidden cause aroused great fear. Then when the remaining fuel had been consumed, by which it had at first been concealed, afterwards free the fire burst forth, it revealed the trickery and for the Romans fear of danger was immediately lessened, but the weariness of the work made useless followed painfully–and for the future confidence in the assault being prepared grew cold. In another area two days later, when already the wall was being shaken by the batering ram, Tepthaeus from Galilaea and Magassarus, an Adiabenian and Agiras having seized torches rushed forth against the seige engines attacking the walls. 2 Nothing was more daring than these men, nothing more frightful in that war came forth from the city against the enemy. For bursting forth into the middle of the enemy they did not waver, they did not draw back, but as if delaying in the fellowship of their households they did not think of returning, while from all sides javelins arrows spears were hurled against them, [p. 342] before they had destroyed by the fires they set the apparatus of the siege engines. There was a great charge of the Roman army, that they should extinguish the fires, and also a great clamor and zeal of the Jews, which constituted an impediment to the Romans, so that aid should not be brought. The former 3 were hastening to draw the battering rams from the flames, the latter [i.e., the Jews] were still spreading fires. From which everything having been ignited which was able to be burned, flames would have walled round the Romans, unless they had quickly taken counsel for themselves. For the Jews were pressing hard and from the very fact, that they had not had fruitless efforts in that region, success nourished their daring. In fact not satisfied indeed with the wall defense they proceeded further and assaulted the guards themselves of the Romans and the fort, in which the Romans were holding out, and would have overthrown it besides, except that the glory of the Roman name and the ancient discipline of the military service which prohibited to desert posts of this type by fear of the most severe punishment, they resisted those fighting furiously, and themselves the conquerors of cities they had fallen back to their own fortifications. And so the type of war and the use of blockade was altered. With catapults and missiles of a faster type the Romans were defending themselves, that they should repel the Jews by which by themselves resistance beyond the usual was offered. In the midst of these things Titus arrived aroused by the noise and summoned for assistance. Strength immediately added to the Romans with Caesar being present and shame fed their courage, shouting. To Titus it was a great disgrace of the Roman name, if they should in turn lose their own, they were failing to those of the enemy whose walls were already being torn down. The Jews despairing of their fortifications were relying upon rashness alone; the Romans had only to stand firm, victory would not be lacking. And so by encouraging and fighting equally Titus stationed his men, he turned aside [p. 343] the Jews, who were not only prepared in mind for death but by the exertion of body were rushing in that they might move the Romans from their position. Nor was the danger of Caesar moderate in all the confusion, when an ally could not be differentiated from an enemy. Among which Titus moved about in the midst a youth daring with eagerness for fame and very keen for fighting by which victory might be accomplished more quickly, placing any concern for his safety secondary to a triumph.

XXI. The enemy having been forced to withdraw, there were two choices: Some thought the platforms should be rebuilt, the siege machines for the walls repaired, others that the dangers of a blockade should be abstained from–material for repairing the platforms was lacking, danger was shared with the conquered–they thought closing off the city with a wall was more prudent, that hunger would kill off those weakened by the lack of nourishment. The opinion of this type prevailed, that they should be blockaded so that they had no unimpeded outlets, by which they would be finally defeated by the despair of fleeing and the lack of food. The parts having been distributed among a great number the wall rose quickly, by which the city was enclosed through its entire circumference. Caesar distributed the tasks to his men that at nights also they should not omit turns of guarding. During the first watch he himself undertook the task of going around each individual rank of pickets, he assigned the second watch to Alexander, then in order to the tribunes, in accordance as the skill of each was discovered, turns were ordered. The wall was interwoven at intervals with strong points, in these he spread out bands of soldiers, the watchmen were appointed by lot in a fair manner sleep for themselves and periods of wakefulness. They were going around the wall at every moment through the space assigned to each as his responsibility from strongpoint to strongpoint. [p. 344] By the changes of ranks and numbers the night was crowded. The hope of the Jews was cut off on every side and hunger had poured itself in upon those closed in and had penetrated the innermost parts of the people. Everything resounded with the groans of those lamenting the suffering of a miserable death. Every place was filled full with the half-dead and, if you would wait a bit, with bodies. They died in a short time whom you had found living. Also those who were still breathing finished off by poverty bore the appearance of death exhausted by hunger and ghastly from wasting away, not easily raising their eyes even, because their substance consumed by fasting gave no vigor of natural motion. The form only of a man remained, its use had ceased to exist. You would discern the likenesses, you would miss the functions. Skin shriveled with dryness clung to bones. If a light movement revealed one living, an offensive smell contradicted, thin limbs and complexion so dark you would think a shadow. Nor was the service of burying available for the wretched firstly everyone was exhausted and in consequence on the verge of dying. And if recent food gave some strength to anyone, the pile of bodies took away the hope, instilled the impossibility. Very many died while arranging the burial of their kin and left unfulfilled the duty of this final service by their own death. They collapsed upon the dead whom they had undertook to guard, so that he also added to the burden which he had come to lighten, requiring that service which he was offering to another. Nor was there any place for grief in the common misfortune of all, unless it was that the originators of such a great woe were surviving, nor was there time for complaint even indeed with free speech, if they were able to speak — for what should those already dying fear for themselves? — but however with mute senses gazing upon the temple as if from there vengeance for such a cruel [p. 345] death was being demanded. The tears of the final funeral rites had dried up, because the force of the misfortune had precluded every feeling. The mind had grown numb, every sense clung to more than could be relieved by weeping. Land was lacking for graves, all places inside the city had been dug up, which were able to be used for a burial. Some tried to go forth between the two walls, the new one of the enemy and the old one of the city, in the night time silence, very perilous although pious however trickery had persuaded them. And so instead of one many lay unburied, for the reason that, they were robbed of what they wished eagerly to bestow upon one as a good deed. For even when the enemy was absent, hunger was at work. For the one doing the burying generally anticipated that a burial would have to be done and in that grave which he had prepared for another, he was enclosed and suddenly lifeless and having fallen, when he had dug, as if with a certain zeal, he claimed the right of his own work. And were space was lacking, layers were woven together so that the bodies of the dead could be shut up in small places. Many prepared these for themselves with their own hands, lest a service of this type should not be available and inserted themselves voluntarily in these, mistrusting lest death might come and someone to bury them be wanting. All things were silent from fear, starvation had taken away voices, the city was full of death and there was no lamentation in funeral rites of the entire city. And although however the sense even of grief had ceased to be, wrong however did not cease. For there were not lacking in such great misfortunes profaners even of those buried much worse than all these. What shall I say that will not be shuddered at when they mocked the dead and tested the keenness of the swords in the bodies of the dead, some even tested by pressing upon the bodies of those still living, if their javelins were sharpened? And this service was denied to many asking, so that hunger should select the wretched people for more severe suffering. By no means however was vengeance lacking to those about to die, for because those alive were not able, the dead avenged themselves, creating an offensive smell an avenger for them by which [p. 346] they avenged themselves upon their plunderers. For whom violently raging seeking a remedy they put on a certain appearance of piety even those who were engaged in brigandage, so that they ordered them to be buried from the public treasury. But when this could not be done, then they threw the remains of the dead from the wall into deep chasms. And so Titus seeing the deep chasms full of bodies, the fluids flowing from the torn up entrails, groaned deeply and raising his hands to the heavens bore witness that this should by no means be attributed to him, who had wished to give pardon if submission had been made. Him to have hoped that they should ask for peace, him to have been ready that he should spare them unharmed if they had set aside war. And so he orders again that the platforms be advanced although there were no surrounding forests because every grove of trees close to the city had been cut down. The soldiers carried the lumber lightening the labor with the hope of victory. But however the leaders of the rebellion were not disheartened in mind. Simon raged nor satisfied with the deaths of so many did he yield and because personal enemies began to be lacking, he turned against his allies.

XXII. In the end even he tortured and killed Matthias, by whom as the responsible authority he was received into the city, convicted before him of no crime but charged of wanting to surrender and suspected of a plan, which it was insinuated he had entrusted carefully and without any deception to an intimate as advantageous for the people. He held that deeply impressed a long time, nor did he now trust him as a friend, but some other evidence of anger was counterfeited. Therefore accused [p. 347]before him that he had eagerly corresponded and met with the Romans, he ordered him to be seized with his sons. He is accused nor is any opportunity of defense given, before trial he is sentenced to execution nor are his progeny spared but are joined to the punishment. He pleaded not for the enjoyment of life but for a swift death, in the natural order, that he should be killed first, and not await the deaths of his sons, that he should not outlive the deaths of his children, his death to be accomplished immediately. He did not obtain what justice itself required, even if he had not asked it. And he asked this be granted to him for the service that he had opened the city to him. In guilt to the fatherland but a promoter of Simon, he owed this punishment to the citizens, however Simon owed him thanks: by which he was the more cruel, who neither spared a friend, nor relaxed the punishment of the advocate of his reception. The father is lead to execution with three children, for the fourth had saved himself by flight. He was placed as an object of mockery in view of the Roman army that they to whom he had wanted to go should witness his execution. “Let them free you,” he said, “if your friends are able.” And the sons are lead out. Nor was he allowed to give final kisses to his children nor to take his sons in a last embrace, not cheated however of the liberty of a father’s voice, he addressed his sons with these pitiable words: “I, my sons, brought in the enemy to you, I invited the executioners, when I asked Simon to enter the city. That was the day of this death for us, that was the cause of this parricidal spectacle. I have deserved, I confess, and I do not excuse my fault: While I am eager to restrain one, I brought in a worser. Simon entreated for assistance and converted to the destruction of his country diverted careful plans into crime. We are guilty who sought a defender of our country. And rightly we have paid the penalty of our imprudence but not however of treachery. Simon himself absolves us while he kills, who proclaims it was not given to him by me but sought by consideration of the country, that [p. 348] he would be a help against the savagery of John as soon as he was present and brought in the Idumaeans. 4 We thought that with the two of us cooperating the people would be free. Who would believe me to have done this so eagerly not for you but to have judged this the most tolerable of the evils, so that you should not kill? But why should I speak as if I am offering excuses for a crime? Truly nothing worse than my decision was I able to do, than that I put you upon our necks. But in that I was guilty to the country, not to you. I owed death to the citizens but you owed thanks to me. I owed the country the penalty of my betrayal, that I brought you in. When did I begin to be a traitor to you? If I had thought I must flee, I had taken counsel for my own welfare, I had not dishonored my obligation to my country. For who does not flee an enemy and an internal enemy? We thought you a countryman but we found you an enemy. Summoned for assistance, what did you repay, what did you first promise and which you afterwards turned against? You entered that you should drive out the enemy not that you should exercise the role of the enemy, that you should prevent murders, not that you should add to them, that you should thrust back brigandage, not that you might engage in brigandage, that you should come to help an innocent people. Why did you turn your arms against them? Before this we were assailed by brigandage, you brought on war. Previously few were carried off to death, you accomplished the massacre of the people. Who is the traitor to the country, who helped the Roman arms, if not he who killed the defenders of the country, if not he who snatched away the defense of so many citizens, if not he who turned away the sword point from the enemy to his own allies? The enemy outside the walls offered peace, you fought inside the walls, he wished to lift the siege, you hastened the assault. He forbad the burning of our city, you hurled fire onto the roof itself of the temple. He gave a truce from respect for our sacraments, you on the very days of the sacrifices destroyed the high altars of god by the final destruction of the city, also with the blood of the priests. He had beset the walls, you the temple. I heap up the indictments of myself: I brought in gangs to our native city, I armed your madness, I brought on this total destruction by a folly of old age. I acknowledge [p. 349] the lack of wisdom of foolish age. We lessen the shame by confession, since we cannot cast off the sin by denying it. We two in advance of the others hastened the destruction of our native city, I by an error of policy, you by the practice of murder, I therefore pay out to you, my country, the punishment owed and I extend thanks to this Simon himself, because I will not be a witness to your ashes. And would that I should not outlive my children, but due to the harshness of your wickedness, Simon, I stand a spectator of the death of my sons. I have deserved it, I confess, who was not able to see Iohannes embellished and I chose you armed. O precipitous old age! We feared a phantom, we asked for a tyrant. I your guarantor, I your advocate, carried through the mission. I invited you as master, I brought in an assassin. Let us now see what we have done: the image of Iohannes frightened us, the villainy of Simon pleased us. The ostentation is hastened with funeral rites, let the executioner come, let the sons be killed before the eyes of the father and the father be killed upon the bodies of his sons. I a pitiable old man will drink in the blow of the executioner swinging his savage axe upon the necks of my children. Nothing is worse than this spectacle except he who orders it. Cruel, infamous man, I do what you order, I do it but unwillingly. I have however a consoling fact of this misfortune. I suffer whatever is most wretched, since you have ordered it. Whatever is most inhuman I undergo willingly with you the judge. I have filled the measure of the most savage crimes. May it at least be permitted to speak to my children, to say a last goodbye to my children. May there be an opportunity for last kisses, which are common to us with wild beasts. A pitiable embrace is not denied to nature, which fortune can even give to the dead. What therefore you have ordered for punishment, will accomplish justice for me. I will fall upon my dead [p. 350] and I will cover them still unburied with my body like a piece of turf lest vultures tear them to pieces or wild beasts devour them. I will lick up with a father’s tongue the blood of my children and wash it away with mine, so that beasts do not lick it up. And perhaps this piety and compassion of nature itself will add that I dying will draw tight in a close embrace my children, so that you will not be able to separate us, though you may wish to. Certainly if you separate the bodies, you will not separate the souls. But enough, we have already exacted a supply of tears enough. Go before, my sons, and prepare the way for your father about to follow. If I will have been able to overtake, I will accompany at the same time, and if old age will be a hindrance there, so that I will follow active youths a little behind, go before to the mansion so that you may receive a weary father with lasting hospitality. I wished indeed to go before myself and I asked, but I was not granted this. However because you are blameless, better lodging will be given you there, than if I the summoner of Simon should come before. That mission oppresses me although ordered by the citizens, undertaken because the people asked. Therefore go ahead, sons, enjoying a heavenly path with a clean track. And the Macchabaeans came before their mother, but they came for a reward, we for punishment. The pious mother however saw her sons dying and wallowing in blood before, she saw the brothers embracing each other by turns from the bonds of nature, and she rejoiced in her triumph, which she followed from the tyrant. Indeed the merits of the sufferers were different, but the same cruelty of each receiving it. Antiochus found this in the Persian brutality, among them are devices of new tortures, you have followed. He however saved the great mother for the persuasion of the royal will, you ordered the father to be saved for the torture of paternal grief. Take comfort, dearest sons: we suffer what the martyrs have suffered, Simon has decided. What the savage persecutor has found, Simon has ordered. [p. 351] Let us therefore set out willingly, let us flee this gathering of thieves. Truly when we shall have departed life into that everlasting home, if they should come to us, who require, what that one time people of god is doing, what shall we respond ti them, especially if as is possible Ionathas untouched by age meets you who are young men, Saul me who am a sinner? What, I say, shall we reply, if not that that people, beloved when young by Juda, before whom the sea withdrew, for whom the sun stood still, the Jordan made way, that people, I say, for whom the flood was traversable, the sky was fruitful, the land was heavenly, which had not, like this our land, put on any appearance of corruption, but had taken on the grace of resurrection, now serves the Idumaeans and has been made subject to Simon the leader of thieves, and has neither a safe servitude nor danger with freedom? What do we think to answer to this, who chose to perish in war rather than to outlive the freedom of our country? What indeed would Mattathias the founder of the Macchabaeans respond, who preferred to die keeping holiday on the sabbath by observing the law rather than to live having fought, if he heard how Simon not only caused innumerable slaughters of the citizens on the sabbath but forced priests of the lord themselves to be slaughtered on days of the new moon and all holy days of festal celebration? How much will Iechonias sigh when he will have heard Simon, who at the beginning ruined the city by riots, dishonored the ancient religion of the temple by slaughter of the citizens, agreed many times that by giving in to him he would free the city from the danger of burning, preferred everything to perish, the city to be destroyed, the temple to be burned, all the people to be killed, so that he should not lower the dignity of the seized dominion! How much, I say, will [p. 352] Iechonias grieve, although less happy in the time of pressing evils than under the empire, better however than his son. For the father preferred himself to be less happy than his country, although pathetically dutiful however. And so having departed the city with his family the Babylonians besieging he surrendered himself into servitude, so that he should not see his fatherland overthrown and the people of god captive. His son however with equal troubles but a lesser impression, while he feared for himself, led himself into exile and the city to destruction. He therefore was unlucky for his country and not lucky for himself, who lost both his children and his eyes, the former however was more wise who saved the captivity of the citizens by his own captivity. In fact he pointed out the solution. He the older died in power, he the younger died in slavery, although later the Babylonian king assigned a royal throne to him next to himself, and bestowed the privilege of being asked advice before the others, the compensation of a miserable calamity. Finally my fate to die after the murder of my children is more tolerable than to live, since you know how cruel he is who kills the sons before the eyes of the father. Furthermore whose royal duties are worse than the wounds of tenderness. For indeed he ought first no to have inflicted such wicked things, and to have substituted such honorable things afterwards. As if any dignity can make up for the loss of a son, or the slaughter of offspring be compensated by by the exercise of any honor. For certainly nothing, no office lessens such a great grief. No honor cures this wound except death alone, which annuls feeling, takes away the recollection. Hurry then, you executor. But delay yet, while I look at my children, while, before they die, I observe, lest anyone perhaps disturbed from immaturity of age fears death, while he escapes the tyrant. It is a a kindness, my sons, to die so that we do not see the captivity of our country. The wounds of the body are more tolerable than of the mind. [p. 353]Already I look on your deaths more bearably which I was fleeing, so that I would not look upon the deaths of all in common, so that I may not see the remains of our country and the entire city their grave. For he will be happier who will have died died, than he who will have been saved. Great god, let not Simon with his children with his children be scattered among the crowds of the guilty, let him a captive see what he has brought about. No indeed,” he says, “for what he was able to plan, he is able to bear. I do not however pray for that. Let him consider how heavy the sin which he is not able to turn aside with a prayer who suffers it, if the retribution is harsh, how savage the inhumanity of the evil deed committed. Let there be what he desires, captive a survivor of his country, because the follies of life are worse than the tortures of death. But already let there be an end to words. Make haste, executioner, while you carry the sword bloodied with the blood of my sons, strike the father that the wound may comfort him. This alone if medicine for one about to die, the blow of the sword, the pain of the wound, is not felt by him alone, strike in the view of the Roman army, as has been ordered, that those about to be vindicated may see. Let the enemy feel pity, because the ally does not feel pity, let the Romans judge, because Simon kills without a trial. They are witnesses me to have been not a traitor to my country but a defender, who saw me fighting not deserting. I with my children, if I had been able, would have turned aside the enemy, not summoned the enemy!” Nor was any end of such great cruelty shown: the unburied children still lay with their father, sacrilege is added to the parricidal spectacle. Ananias a priest born of a famous stock is killed, although no one is more illustrious in the brilliance of his birth or in the service of religion. For excellence was earned by him, it was not sought by him. Let the old family have for itself the emblems of diverse honors, let the priesthoods also have their emblems, who [p. 354] are raised up not on shoulders but by morals, who are judged not by the length of their rods but by the persistence of their toils, the depth of their faith, the extent of their piety. Killed also was the clerk Aristeus himself of a famous family and with them fifteen others of the people overhanging the rest, although it was not nobility that caused the unjust death but innocence. For eleven men are seized beforehand, who equally alarmed by the barbarity of his crimes and each one fearing for himself what he had seen exercised against others had conspired, because he had been treacherous to friends even and hopes had been taken away, hunger ravaging everyone, the Romans time and time again about to break in. Simon agitated to the support of the defense, in a frenzy to the point of barbarity, the easy allurement of surrendering, which Iudas one of his men in charge of a tower had undertaken. He therefore when he called the Romans promising himself to be about to surrender the tower, some scornful because the surrender had appeared so late, others doubting because surrender having been frequently promised they had prepared trickery, Simon came first and from all the companions of the plot he exacted punishment. Also their bodies were thrown from the wall.

XXIII. The father of Josephus was held imprisoned and access to him was not allowed to anyone. Josephus was zealously inviting the Jews to surrender and had too incautiously approached the wall, so that he might his country with his father. In which place struck in the head with a stone he fell, and would almost have been killed by the weapons thrown from above, unless by the order of Caesar they had been sent who snatched him protected by their shields from death. His mother the wound of her son having been learned and terrified by the shouts of the mocking bandits of his death put on alarm and faith at the same time. She also began to lament pitiably herself to have been saved for these fruits of fecundity, that she should neither gain the service of a living son nor bury him dead. It had been her prayer, that he rather would give burial to his mother, that she would breath out her last breath between his hands, that he would [p. 355] warm the cold limbs of her dying, that he would collect the last breaths from her mouth, he would close the eyes of her the dying, that he would compose her yet breathing face. But because he had escaped her prayer, it would have been a consolation, if she herself had even been able to be present at the last moments of her dying son, indeed a miserable circumstance but bearable however, that whom she had wished to outlive her, she should instead hold his funeral rites, “even if from the wall,” she said. “May it be permitted me to see the dead body of my son, even if it is not permitted to touch it. Would indeed that no one prevents! But whom should I abandoned by such a great son fear? Why should I fear, for whom to die is a kindness? Would that all would turn their For whom indeed Titus weapons against me, that they would transfix me with a sword! What I was not able to do living, dead at least I will cover the body of my son with my clothing. The robe of one is sufficient for the burial of two, and perhaps someone of the enemy will feel pity, that with the mantle of the son he may cover the eyes of the mother, and may join eyes to eyes hands to hands face to faces.” And so rushing herself to the walls she filled the sky itself with pitiable laments. Her own people mocked her, the Romans wept, among her compatriots there was cruelty, among the enemy there was compassion. “Pierce me,” she said, ” if there is any pity: I gave birth to him on whom you think vengeance must be taken. I gave an unlucky breast to him, kill me, if you demand vengeance for that.”

XXIV. While she is lamenting, Josephus went forward to the voice of his mother and began to mourn bitterly that he had escaped death, to whom it had been sweet to die before his country and for his country, while he is urging salvation to it, to sink down, himself no longer to strive for the safety of his parents, who given up to old age, while they are finishing their last days of life in prison, would be liberated if they should die, feared for the altar for the temple for the thus far half-destroyed fortifications of the city. He had offered himself to wounding, so that he should not see the country being destroyed. Aroused by which lament many thought they must go over to the Romans by whatever route [p. 356] they were able to take themselves away from the ambushes of those engaged in brigandage and pretending to be guards. For whom in fact Titus reserved the promised mercy, but a worse misfortune befell them. For when a supply of food was given, food which previously had been an advantage began to be a burden, and work was taking a vacation from the unfamiliar tasks of eating. There was no strength of teeth that they could eat food, no strength of the gullet, they were not able to chew bread by any manner. Truly if they absorbed anything of a softer food, the movements of the gullet having been cut off they were strangled. The interior of the entrails had grown stiff, the paths of the food had been blocked up, the veins of the liver had dried up which draw the food. The use had ceased, the desire had increased, the ability had failed, the appetite remained. The pitiful people fell upon the food and practiced weak bites in the manner of infants. Many the food having been seen with joy itself died, and among the food they had longed for they were dying having lightened their wretchedness because they had fulfilled their wish. But there was a mournful procession, since many arose from the food to danger rather than to salvation, since the nourishment caused harm. For bodies were puffed up by the unaccustomed food rather that refreshed, and distended as if by the disease of dropsy they paid the penalty. And if there was still for anyone a value in eating, his greed knowing no bound he forced in beyond measure what they were not able to bear, stuffed by the hasty food they burst. Which indeed was not serious to those to whom the emotion only was important, that he should devour what he wished? It overwhelmed through long hunger even those incapable of emotions even the sense of nature and itself aggravated the emotion of joy. It is therefore no wonder if food is a danger to those exhausted. Finally if hungry after a two day [p. 357] fast you have taken anything, it immediately becomes hard. From whence it is the custom for many that they pour into weak stomachs a drink of milk, and with that mixed with honey they make mild the intemperance roughened by hunger of liquids, and they nourish with soft food the weakness of the body as if were an infant. Thus therefore some of the Jews, who had fled to the Romans, compensating by a certain wile were able to avoid the effects of the food, until their bodies unaccustomed to eating should revert to their uses. But this however did not profit the wretches, but was the cause of death for a great many. For when many of these food having been received voided their bellies, some discharged gold coins which they had swallowed when they were preparing for flight, lest to them seized, since the ambushers were searching everything carefully, they would be not only a loss but even a danger. For it was considered a crime for anybody to have gold except the thieves. This gold the Jews pitiable in appearance afterwards collected among the filth of the stomach. A certain one of the Syrians discovered this and from one the idea flowed to all. Because the human race is headstrong for avarice an prepared for cunning there is nothing so atrocious that it is fled from, nothing so indecent that it blushes for shame from the desire for money. The report spread out from the Syrians to the Arabs, to whom there is no less avarice and a savagery nearer to barbaric brutality: therefore because the Jews were stuffed with gold they ripped apart whomever coming they hit upon, against heaven’s law, against the rules of surrender, against the promise of Caesar. Those whom it was not allowed to kill, they nevertheless cut open still living and with bloody hands disemboweled for the secret contents of their stomachs. They search the belly and among its flowing filth [p. 358] they seek gold no less repulsively than those whom hunger drove, furthermore with savage cruelty. Many outrages were committed in that fight, none more outrageous than this one. In fact in one night almost two thousand men were cut up in such shameful acts, the bodies having been shared Syria counted its gain, Arabia reckoned the benefit of the business, which without the dangers of the sea having been crossed over by a new scheme of cruelty they turned into a means of profit, and thought a merchandise. Which even now you may find in a race of men of this type and in some of the Egyptians, that they do business in taking care of corpses and they sell the services of civilization for the profit of commerce. The miserable hunger for gold thinks that nothing should be followed except what is immediately profitable, that nothing is worthwhile which is empty of money. The oppressive long ago oppressive greed of acquiring grew in human emotions and trade became the life of man. He lives by selling and buying, vice has crawled into everyone, and already the exchange of commodities is more tolerated than of morals and intellects. The greed of the Syrians infected even the Roman army. For nothing crosses more easily into another than the love of money and the longing to have especially the wealth of neighbors, by which the neighbor is burned. Nor is there any passion which more weakens the virtue of the mind than the lust for riches. In the end cunning is awarded praise, poverty is held a disgrace. This hampered the strictness of punishment, that very many were found guilty of this great madness. And so Titus who had proposed to surround the Syrians and Arabs with the army placed around them, from his contemplation of the great number called back the decision, that he should make an occasion of this last offense, and so that it would not be committed afterwards he announced a punishment, and by the harshness of his words he charged his men most seriously, that girdled with gold and silver and glittering with expensive weapons they should not blush for shame of their weapons, [p. 359]that they dishonored themselves with such disgraceful behavior. But he truly rebuked the Syrians and the Arabs because forgetful of the Roman name and also command, they had contrived horrible things. They had as allies in war, not for the committing of outrages. In the Roman army there was required not only manliness of body but even of mind, not only was bravery against the enemy to be considered but even the standard of discipline, so that a soldier should be not cruel, not irreverent, not haughty, not intent on booty rather than on victory. These crimes of the military would be regarded as very serious and would be punished very severely. Between arms also principles had validity, it was better for wars to be waged with good faith which is kept even by enemies. If therefore it is owed to armed foes, how much more so to those beseeching. Hence they should beware of offenses of this nature, lest they should be made without share in victory and prosperity. Nor would he any longer endure that their infamous crimes be attributed to the Romans, for whom they were a burden rather a help. And so he checked them to some extent, he did not eliminate the greed of the Syrians, so that they would shun his authority, so that they would not obey his orders. Finally it having been explored first if by chance the presence of a Roman soldier had been lacking, the detestable profit from the entrails of the wretched unfortunates was discovered. Not however did the outcome of booty follow for everyone but for a few, in whom the savagery was crueler, because many were killed not only on account of their money but on account of the hope of money, although the robbers themselves and the cruel pirates restrained the robbers from villainy, when they did not perceive booty. For it is only barbaric brutality to do hurt for nothing. For indeed wild beasts follow prey so that they may kill it. Outside there was harsh suffering, inside there was the brutal Johannes.

XXV. Finally although such things were being done by the Syrians, even if some the evidence having been discovered were called back, [p. 360] others however did not cease to to go over to the enemy. Among whom was Manneus the son of Lazarus, who stated that through the one gate entrusted to him one hundred fifteen thousand corpses had been brought out, eight hundred eighty burials having been added to this point, from which he had received the task of disposition in this fashion, this having been collected from a single enumeration of those, who had been buried at public expense, beyond those whom their relatives had buried — which burial however was nothing except that the bodies were thrown down from the wall? — after him many men not of low birth fleeing to Titus related that there had been six hundred thousand of the dead who had been counted carried through the gates. In truth the number of their bodies, which because of the infinite multitude of the poor had not been able to be carried out and had been piled up in the biggest buildings and the rooms of various works, was uncountable. And still there a progression of misfortunes, which outlasted the end of all the above, still the savage siege, the cruel war, already however the courage of the Jews were greater than than their strength. Above everything truly hunger was the worst which lay in wait for beasts of burden purging their stomachs and rummaged through the excrement of cattle, as if, which was horrible to see, this might become food for the starving. There were miserable heaps of unburied bodies and the land itself covered with bodies for long stretches, all places before the walls were filled, the appearance was frightful, the horror great, the odor unwholesome, which distinguished between neither conquerors nor conquered, noxious at the same time to both and a greater impediment to the Romans, for whom it was necessary to crush underfoot with bespattered feet the remains lying there, the disfigurement of the land itself, everything having been cut down which was collected for the use of the soldiery and needed for the siege machines. For nearly thirteen miles about the city the land far and wide had been ravaged and the soil stripped of growing things. All that open space, in which previously green forests, [p. 361] gardens fragrant with flowers, diverse orchards, farms near the city gave their pleasing appearance, if anyone afterwards saw, the visitor groaned in sorrow, the dweller did not recognize it, and having returned to his place of birth, when he was at hand in person, searched for his native city.

XXVI. The platforms having been repaired and the moveable shelters and the siege machines the madness of the war was renewed and as if it had been agreed with eagerness by both sides for the last phase of the conflict. For it was judged the critical point of the entire contest, for indeed if the siege were loosened by the Romans, if the platforms or the battering rams were to be burned, for which for reason of the lack of forests the means of repairs were not available, and for the Jews the destruction of their homeland loomed, if they fell back from the contest, when the battering of the walls by the renewed blows of the battering ram was being broken up. And so the Jews advanced with torches bold to such a degree, that, as if the Roman army were about to yield to them, they might scatter fire upon the machines, they might lift the siege. But their strength already exhausted by starvation and earlier broken things denied them success. Their resources had run out, their courage remained. On the other hand it would be a great shame for the Romans, if victory should be snatched from their hands by those who were drawing their last breaths from hunger. And so the battle having been joined the leaders of the rebellion having been driven back ran back inferior in the battle to the protection of the walls. But when from doubt of the walls about to fall from the repeated blows Iohannes by no means negligent searched for a last means of relief, he commanded an interior wall in the shape of the letter C. And so on the following day part of the wall having been shattered the noise of the falling structure and the shouting of the Roman army broke out at the same time, as if the overthrow had been accomplished by the collapse of the wall. But when the sound of the celebrated city reverberated, by a turned turn of things the unexpected appearance of a new wall quenched the joy of the Romans, the [p. 362] daring of the Jews increased because the danger was put off. Then Caesar began to urge on the army, that they should think that that new wall must be attacked without any delay, which the recent construction revealed to be weak and easily scattered. They should dare to proceed now with courage, the wall fragments would give the means of climbing it, so that the battling Romans would be equal to the Jews fighting from a higher position. And because he saw them hesitating because of the difficulty of the thing, collecting those who were the strongest next to himself he climbed up into the battle with a speech of this nature.

XXVII. “That the ends of all endeavors requires more effort than the beginnings is known to everyone, my brave comrades, that the completion of a task undertaken demands great effort. Accordingly an unimpeded ship speeds over the entire sea, although the blasts of the winds do not always blow from the stern, the helmsman turns aside the surfaces of the sails, and without hindrance the sea is split: but when the port is arrived at, a suitable mixture of breezes is essential and the entry of ships is confined by a narrow path. And so there is greater concern of the danger, when the expectation is near. And so the beginnings of the foundations are easy for the builders but the tasks of the high roofs are arduous. And generally in the very end of finishing a task the unfortunate workman is cheated of the reward of his pay, or buried by the falling of the roof or deceived by the shaky step, he falls to the bottom. What shall I say about the farmer, for whom the girding up for the harvesting is more laborious than for the sowing, for the grape gathering more laborious than for the pruning, and for the mature crops great dangers must always be feared? There is nothing therefore new if danger still remains for you on the very verge of finishing the course, because it must be climbed up through the difficulties of the paths to Antonia, from which our enemies having been ejected we occupying the high ground and stationed above the heads of the enemy cut off in a certain fashion their very breaths. But this seems difficult to you, my fellow soldiers. [p. 363] But truly we have come together as if for a game, not for war, in which men must either win or die! Then therefore you ought to have made excuse, when you were coming to the battle, that you would avenge the defeat of the Roman army and wash off the disgrace of the dishonored military. If in the time of Nero you considered that the injury to the Roman name must be avenged, what does it become you to want when Vespasian is emperor? Let us wash away the the stain of the last rule, lest it adhere to us, which indeed Nero thought about to be removed by Vespasian, Vespasian transferred to himself through Titus if he should not conquer. Father left the accomplishment only of the victory to be performed by us. On which so much labor having been poured out in vain is a disgrace and unavenged we give back the position abandoning victory, as if it were not a lighter offense to withdraw from military duties than to abandon victory? The first is a question of bravery the latter of betrayal. But you think it dangerous to descend upon the enemy and to surround the wall with the noise of arms, as if truly nature itself demands womanly and not manly services from us, which so poured vital spirit into us, that we willingly for fame pour it back. For what therefore unless for maximum effort is the warrior exhorted by his leader? For the exhortation of the usual effort is not only appropriate but even brings shame to those agreeing, that you exact what is owed voluntarily. This indeed it behooves a soldier to exhibit from himself. And what immoderate thing am I asking from you? A Jew frequently runs out into the middle of the battle lines of the Romans and fearlessly throws himself upon the enemy troops not in hope of victory but as proof of his bravery and an exhibition of his fame. You, to whom no one on earth or sea [p. 364] has as yet resisted with impunity, for whom to conquer and not be overwhelmed by crime is not new, since you have such tremendous help from heaven in conquering, not once even are you shamed that a position was snatched from you to the enemy, but armed men rub away tranquility and placed in readiness for battle with minds keeping holiday do you expect, that hunger may fight for you, and routed by their starvation rather than our swords they may turn an embarrassing triumph into a source of reproach for you? It does not shame, I say, my vigorous fellow soldiers, victors over all the races, to hope for nothing from your weapons, nothing from your strength but from the blockade alone, to await, when the enemy shall become feeble from disease and shall die in his bed? And what can the victory be without a battle? All places are filled with bodies, loathsome remnants lie bloodless the remains of the dead, except those among them whom they themselves slaughtered. Why should we fear them whom already starvation fire brigandage and riot is killing? Why would we give up divine aid? By whose unless by god’s command have they in their arms been crushed, deprived also of the help of food, nor any end of the domestic madness? I fear lest already we may seem rebels against sanctity, who have sparing so long those faithless to our and their religion. It shall be true, let the war be savage and terrible. For why should I soothe you with the easiness of war? Let the victory be uncertain, the danger certain: is not the talk for me among them, who know with human wisdom that courage in all creatures is more manifest in dangers than in mild contentions? As wild beasts when they see themselves surrounded by armed men, they rush against them with a greater impetus so that they open a path to themselves with the effort. And a serpent struck in its den pours out a more virulent poison. And also there are those things that by nature are harmless but in danger however are vigorous in doing harm. Deer have their weapons, if anyone brings himself in their way, they fend off death with their horns, little injured bees have their stings. But what may I say about the fighting men among the Romans, [p. 365] when that Leonides born of the Lacedaemonians, about to fight against the innumerable army of the Persians said: “let us who are about to dine with the dead have dinner on earth” and so greatly among the Greeks was that speech valued, that not only did no one take himself from those three hundred Lacedaemonian men which he was at the head of except one however, whom surviving none afterwards received, but no one even from the rest who had come for fighting at the same time, except those of weaker stock whom Leonides had rejected for such a great battle. What may I say of the untouched legions of the Romans? Those things that Cato the champion of Roman eloquence and a sincere interpreter of truth asserted when they went forth to war with exultation, from which they did not think they would return, and all were beaten down gladly lest they should change that feeling. Happy are those no one of whom in flight announced to his people the victory of the enemy. Of the three hundred Lacedaemonians but one fled, and they fought in a narrow pass so that they should not be surrounded: from the Roman legions no one chose life but all the inheritance of death, whose descendents you are, if in contempt of the dangers as a glorious inborn quality of courage you do not reject your lineage. Who indeed of brave men does not know himself to be mortal, and an end of living to be in place for all? How much better therefore to expend for your country what you owe to nature and to exchange what is inevitable with glory, and not spend a timid life with the sighs of a breathless old age nor fear the calamity of a burning disease, when the daily trials are shed to age, of those however who have become weak with feebleness, senses and strength equally failing, as the opinion of most holds, souls are adjudged to the grave at the same time with the body! And truly the souls freed by steel from the chains of this body, of soldiers and vigorous men, who devoted themselves to death in behalf of their country, children, religion, [p. 366] it is a doubt to none that that pure ethereal element, shining by the light of the stars, takes up in celestial dwelling places in a lodging of heavenly peace. On earth also something significant of advantage or injury remains, that may either hide in oblivion those weakened by feebleness, or contrariwise pursue with renown those taking their breasts against the enemy, if death should come. I invite you to these rewards, my fellow soldiers, that we advance against the enemy, whom we hold shut in, that we scale the wall up the ruin of the strong wall, which serves for us like a rampart and reaches as high as the lesser wall. Whoever carrying forward the banner of valor will have been first to scale the wall or second or third or comrade to many, he will go away with a rich gift not at all granted by me, for there is no greater recompense than the renown of bravery which is commonly the most secure. For when he who most confident of courage and strength shall have mounted the wall, they will flee who resisting and will take themselves down and will conceal themselves in hiding places. That which we now located in an inferior position are seeking with danger, will follow without great effort, that the enemy having been thrown down the war will be ended.”

XXVIII. Scarcely had Titus finished this speech when Sabinus an excellent fighter from the men of Syria presented himself and standing before Caesar said that he was prepared for the climb and would obey the commands. The outcome for him would be that he would please Caesar. If he should lack followers, nothing beyond expectation would happen to him, who by his own judgment had chosen to die for Caesar. With these words extending his left hand he raised his shield above his head and with his right hand waving his sword he rose up so much in arms, that no one would recognize him, who just a little before from the appearance of his small body [p. 367] had thought him to be worthy of disdain, when he suddenly saw him to advance against the enemy and to extend himself threatening equally the enemy and the walls, as if already higher he was fighting against those lower down and shaking the wall with his hand. Eleven men followed him anxious to imitate him but unequal in achievement. The Jews fought back from the wall with darts and arrows, and that weapon the hand of each had found was thrown against Sabinus. But he the charge having been aroused leaped upon the heap of fragments and stationed on the top routed the enemy, while the nearest fear the danger. But while he lifts and throws himself against the wall and secure in victory exerts himself against the enemy, having slipped he fell on his face with a great noise. Called back by which the Jews began to attack him lying there with missiles. He leaning upon one knee and protecting himself with his shield defended himself from wounds as long as he was able nor did he leave unharmed those whom he found nearest. Finally however engaged hand to hand with wounds he gave up life before he gave up fighting, nor was he thrown from his position or dislodged from the wall until he was dead, three others having been killed also. Eight although half dead were taken away from destruction by the rest.

XXIX. The death of Sabinus however was not a cause of fear for the rest but an incentive. For the Roman forces, who carried out the duties of night watchmen, desiring to offset the effect of this work, because they had been outstripped by the zeal of Sabinus, twenty in number formed a great and remarkable plan, that the standard bearer of the fifth legion having been summoned and two men of the equestrian forces, whom they thought more eager and one trumpeter during the fifth hour of the night they would raise themselves in silence upon the heaps of wall fragments to the top and the guards having been killed they would seize the wall of Antonia. Which having been done the sound of the trumpet more frightful than usual burst forth, so that the [p. 368] Jews weary from their labors and suddenly awakened from sleep were thrown into confusion, because they believed that everywhere was filled by the enemy. And so they began to flee before the truth of the matter was known. For indeed the condition of danger and the murkiness of a dark night did not permit that how many they were could be ascertained. And Caesar the sound of the trumpet having been heard orders the army to take up arms, he himself with chosen soldiers was first to climb upon the wall an aid to his men an impediment to the enemy. Day dawned and already Caesar in full view encouraged his men from the wall, some were raised up onto the wall by their hands, others through the tunnel, which Iohannes had dug for undermining the rampart of the Romans, took themselves into the city. Their treachery was turned into ruin for the treacherous. Shut off on all sides they took themselves into the temple. There also the Romans wishing to force their way in are hindered by the narrow places, they are pushed back by arms. A major battle takes place in the entrance, but the thing is not fought with darts and arrows but hand to hand with swords, hands to wounds, sword to sword, blow to blow. The one striking was bathed in the blood of those cut to pieces, so that he himself rather was judged the one struck. In the temple itself warlike fury dominated. The floors swam with blood. The groans of the dying, the shouts of those winning resounded without order or limit. The hope of finishing the struggle had inflamed the Romans, the final ruin of their fatherland took fear of death from the Jews. The former fed their valor for the reward of fame, the latter poured out everything from despair of safety and reserved nothing.

XXX. An illustrious deed also was attempted by the centurion Julianus a man very powerful in arms, enlisted from the province of Bythinia but trained in Roman methods and practiced in the wars and famous for the rewards of honorable service. Who when he was standing near to Caesar, when he saw the Romans to have been routed, because the Jews were greater in numbers, and as yet fewer Romans were at hand, suddenly he burst forth from Antonia and turned back those attacking. Nor did they dare to resist the very appearance of such an excellent [p. 369] man and the certain proud authority beyond the human norm of his courage, so that Caesar himself marveled. O variable and uncertain as if a dice-play of combat, which often mocks with unexpected outcomes like by a throw thus by chance rather than by valor accomplishing new outcomes. For there are here throws not indeed of dice but of many javelins and arrows, of stones also, by which often a victor is laid low by a hostile wound, and while he is seizing spoil from another is himself plundered. Like this Julianus, who was threatening the back of the enemy, while he was killing others and checking them with a barrier, too incautious in his haste itself, wearing shoes put together with nails according to the practice of military men, did not consider the grown strewn with polished stones, which should have been avoided, was fighting as if on a level surface, untroubled he slipped and gave out a great crash with his fall and spread out on the slippery soil was not able to stand up. Sustaining himself on one knee he fended off the the enemy who had returned, so that he killed those approaching near, he avoided those throwing javelins as much as he could. But fatigued by that and overwhelmed by the multitude since alone, because no one dared to put himself in such great danger, he did not however die quickly disdained and unavenged. Not at all for my part, as I think, was he deserving of such a death, that such great valor in a man should be cheated. But prudence in war is worth most, which always sharp and observant provides for the possibility of uncertain things. He took himself from Antonia alone, alone he rushed against hostile forces, alone he embroiled himself in combat, alone he forced the Jews to retire into the temple. I fear that that hurt most, that those unfaithful to god had been driven from the temple. And so the fall did not find a remedy. Titus watched him winning with joy, fighting with great concern, he wished to come to his aid but was far away. He was recalled by his men, because in the case of a soldier it is the fate of just one, in the case of an emperor it is the fate of everyone. [p. 370] The danger pointed out the example, which ought to be avoided rather than followed by Caesar. To sum up, his associates were so shocked, his adversaries so elated, that indeed the body of Julianus came into the possession of the enemy, as if they still feared him even dead, if he should be restored to the Romans. The rest Julianus having been killed fell back from the easy task. For a large force had not yet climbed up and the occurrence of his death had increased bravery for the Jews, Alexa and Gyptheus conspirators with Iohannes who were supporters of his faction, also Melchius and Jacobus the leader of the Idumaeans excellent fighters from the party of Simon, Aris Simonis also and Iudis men of the third faction equally supporting, who in a joined band shut the driven back Romans inside Antonia.

XXXI. On the other side Titus having judged the narrow passages of Antonia to be not a fortification for himself but an impediment orders the fort to be razed to its foundations, that a path to the enemy might be opened for those who would be coming up. It having been learned that the solemn observance of feast days for the Jews had approached, he ordered Josephus to translate into the Hebrew language what he himself would be saying. What, an evil, plan was persuading Iohannes that he should provoke the Romans to the destruction of the temple? If he had the confidence of courage, let him choose another place for battle, let him proceed there, if only he would spare the city, he would not contaminate the temple, he would not hinder the sacrifices of the feast days. Let him leave those whom he had considered suitable for the services of the sacrifices, let him give out where he wished except the city and the temple a document of his courage, the soldiers of Caesar would not be wanting for the encounter. He was unwilling to be forced to the destruction of the entire city, whose remains he wished to save, if Iohannes would allow it. Torches were overhanging the temple, not that the Romans were hastening to burn the temple [p. 371] but to lead out from the temple the inciters of the war. If they believed themselves conquered, they should surrender their troops, but if they expected themselves about to be the victors, they should not take themselves into an enclosure, but they should fight in the open, by which the temple would be rescued from the flames already licking it, it would be freed from the ritual purifications. This having been heard with silence Joseph interpreting for the Jews the silent common people approved but feared to express their opinion. To which Iohannes responded, no sacrifice to be more acceptable to god than for men dedicated to god to offer their soul in behalf of the altars before the altars for the temple, and thus, if it should be necessary, to die willingly for liberty, however to hope that the city of god could not suffer destruction. Titus to this: “rightly therefore you would save the city unsoiled for god and the holy place unstained by killing the citizens, by killing the innocent, by killing the priests. By such shameful acts the divine spirits are not placated but are offended. You have rejected your god from the observance of their sacrifices. If he denied food to you in same way, Iohannes, you sought him; his victims are not sacrificed to your god, his offerings are not returned, men are being killed, and you still think god is giving assistance? The things done teach the truth, the pile of dead so demonstrates and the heaps of your misfortunes. Who seeing these things would not groan? I would not blame that you were fighting for your country, if I were unwilling to spare you, if I were unwilling to spare your country or your temple. Nor indeed was Carthage worthy of this — not at all was the Hebrew Hannibal to be feared, who had conquered the middle part of the Roman world — and however Carthage itself was renewed, which had taken the rebellious minds of its citizens all the way to its destruction. I promise by my faith that all these things will be saved for you, I promise the pardon of safety for you not as the reward of [p. 372] wickedness but for the deliverance of the city, that I will make good the condition of the summit which is about to be destroyed. You should cease, I warn you, to disturb with your villainy the proposition of Roman goodness. It will not be feared by Jerusalem that it may be destroyed, when rather Antioch was spared for its resources. Certainly your Iechonias both trusted the Persians and went out from the city and committed himself with his relatives to savage rage lest the city should be destroyed because of him. His memory is celebrated by you, as they protect yours, Josephus is present his protector and a witness to his renown, by which you honor the man who offered himself to captivity for his country. The uncivilized Persian spared him, I moreover promise you safety. For Josephus certainly bore arms against the Romans: whose example we have exhibited. We give you Iosephus as an example of our promise, indeed we have already given him, whom we have spared. He speaks in his native tongue, he binds himself by that rite which you practice, it does not shame me to seek this example, to give a guarantor, that I who wish to pardon do not present one who destroys.” Iosephus wept at this, he beseeched Iohannes, he lamented the condition of the country, he entreated with tearful speech, he called upon him as a fellow citizen although more stubborn than the rest, he bore witness that by the grace of omnipotent god he would be safe with his men, if only he would cease to arouse the Roman military to the overthrow of the city. When he was unable to prevail upon him: “It is not a wonder,” he said, “Iohannes, if you persist all the way to the destruction of the city, since divine aid has already abandoned it. But it is a wonder that you do not believe it is about to be destroyed, since you may read the prophetic books, in which the destruction of our country has been announced to you and and the restored greatness again destroyed by the Roman army. For what else does Daniel shout? He prophesized not indeed what had already been done but what would happen. [p. 373] What is the abomination of devastation which he proclaimed would be by the coming Romans, unless it is that which now threatens? What is that prophecy, which has been often recalled by us announced by god on high, that the city would be utterly destroyed at that time, when its fellow tribesmen will have been killed by the hands of the citizens, unless that which we see now being fulfilled? And perhaps, because it no longer pleases for the temple polluted with forbidden blood to be defended, it pleases that it be cleansed by fire.”

XXXII. Iosephus finished his speech but Iohannes is moved by no laments and not persuaded by promises. God had long been pressing the faithless minds, from which crucifying Jesus Christ they defiled themselves by that wicked murder. He is the one whose death is the ruin of the Jews, born from Maria. Who came to his people and his people did not receive him. When indeed have the Jews not killed their own people? Did they not kill the son of their own Saul? Nabutha the prophet was indeed stoned by his own people. Iezabel was a Jewish woman, who commanded the Jewish elders who carried out the command, Achab was a Jew, who became the cause of his death. How many other citizens killed by the citizens! And however the city long remained whole, although destroyed by the Babylonians after many years, but afterwards restored. This is the final destruction after which the the temple is not restorable, because they have alienated with wickedness the protector of the temple, the overseer of restoration.

XXXIII. The opinion of some was changed by such a desire of Caesar and the repeated speech, who were able to take themselves away so that they could come to the Romans. Fear of the danger called back the rest, which was exerted by the brigands, and perhaps there was a certain inclination of the minds, [p. 374] that so many would not be savced from the destruction about to take place. Whom fleeing to him Caesar, because there were among them both men of the priesthood with their sons and other men of outstanding families, received with good favor, promising the security of safety, the preservation of their possessions, and directed to the city, which has the name Gofna, lest any offense should arise from the unlike rite and the difference of their form of worship. Whether by those, who located in the city were resisting, or because a suspicion of this nature had arisen or some one had arranged by a trick that many should not slip away, it came into an argument of death, that they were being killed and cast aside. Having learned this Titus ordered them called back and to approach nearer the walls with Iosephus, that they might be recognized by their people. They with tears and great lamentation wept not because of their own , but because of the destruction of their country and the temple, they beseeched the citizens that they should follow the faith of Caesar, that they should rescue the temple from the burning that had been prepared, nothing had been ordered of them against the law, nothing of freedom had been diminished. That they should acquiesce, and they would experience the mercy of the Romans, whose insuperable valor they had put to the test.

XXXIV. With such they wretchedly lamented, they are pushed away by their own people and the war is inflamed. The Jews spring up and blindly burst into the inner shrine itself: every recess, they occupy every place inaccessible to men not chosen for the sacred rites. The Romans also prepared themselves for battle. They violated the prohibitions of the fathers from the necessity pf war, with greater reverence by the Romans however than by their own. The gentiles looked at the temple with awe, The Jews approached with rage and rashness and bearing hands wet with human blood laid hands upon the high altars themselves. Titus however still abiding by his resolution addressed [p. 375] Iohannes and called to witness that he was unwilling to be led to the destruction of the city and the temple saying to him: “what do they want for themselves, Iohannes, squeezed before he doors of the temple the summit of the elements? Do they not signify that no one not consecrated ought to approach the temple? What (was) the purpose of that fence before the temple? Is it not that its appearance should ward off the children of everyone, and and knowledge of the secret places should be open to the initiated alone, and that to these there should be a free view, to whom there is lawful entrance? You shut off the view of foreigners and you restrict their approach. You write that no foreigner may enter, no stranger may go inside, and you are scattering foreign blood inside the temple and you are polluting your altars at the same time with the blood of foreigners and citizens. I testify to be a witness not of our attack but of your violation of duty because have violated those things that are yours. I a foreigner do not exact, on the contrary I implore, if you are willing to depart, the temple will be safe, no one of the Romans will introduce hostile hands, nothing of your sacrifices will be violated, I will preserve your temple for you, even if you are unwilling. For the observance of religious rites may be different but the practice is a common experience. What was the observance has departed from you, what is the practice has remained to the victors.”

XXXV. When even by these things put forth by Iosephus Caesar noticed the leaders of the faction not to be called back — for they thought such a frequent calling for stopping to be from lack of confidence rather than from goodness — he returned unwillingly to the inevitability of battle. He ordered the Romans to come up, but because the narrow passages were an impediment to such a great multitude, he prunes every thousand fighters to thirty picked men. For indeed such a dense obstruction of buildings would not receive the entire army. He himself wishing to climb down also was called back by his men, lest in the narrow places, even generally in nighttime hours, for which [p. 376] it was unavoidable to run against the trickery of ambushers, he might arouse something of danger against himself, when it would profit more, if he were present as an observer of the fight, since each one would think it had to be fought more unhesitatingly by him about to be fighting beneath the eyes of Caesar. For all things, which were being done around the temple, as if in a theater, from the position of Antonia were visible from above. Persuaded to that opinion Caesar entrusts the task to Cerealis, that he should come upon the Jews spread around the temple at the ninth hour of the night, he encourages the rest to come violently into the fight, that he would not fail the reward of those fighting, since from above he would watch the fight a witness either of any faintheartedness or a judge of valor. Cerealis energetically arrives at the prescribed time, but he found the watchmen vigilant. The battle is joined, since those positioned inside the temple were not sleeping, and those keeping watch went to meet those approaching, the rest easily prepared themselves for battle. The Roman approached in a crowded column. The Jews, since they are depending upon the enclosure and the narrow passages, so they would not be surrounded, rushed about in different directions, so that frequently there was danger to them from their own forces, since they were not recognized in the darkness, and very many were transfixed by their associates, since they were thought the enemy. For who indeed at night can distinguish whether he has run upon an ally or an enemy, when it is too late to ask, to take precautions usefully, to anticipate deliberation? And an outcome of blame to err in the wound of another is more tolerable than to disregard personal danger, when an enemy if feared. And so the Jews worked through the night in a two-headed danger, either because an enemy was attacking or in which an ally made a mistake, nor were they afflicted by a lesser mischief during the day: at night there was more danger from their own forces, during the day the Roman pressed vigorously whom Titus an observer of the entire contest even if silent was urging on. It was fought fiercely to the fifth hour the Jews also fighting strenuously, so that neither side retired from the place. [p. 377]

XXXVI. While they waged these battles between themselves for the space of seven days everything having pulled down, all the way to the foundations of the earth, which Herod had strengthened with a fortress, which had the name Antonia, the road was made wider, which led to the temple, so that not only would there be the opportunity of rushing in for the soldiers but the place was open even for establishing fortifications and piling up ramparts so much as was necessary, from which the tops of the roofs even of the temple were pounded. Through which the Romans attentively delaying, while the Jews were being pressed by intolerable hunger, they began to lie in ambush for the pack animals of the Romans. If anyone had loosened a war horse for grazing, or a pack mule by lightening the burden, they stole them for plunder, not only was it produced as food for them at the expense of the Romans but it was even a disgrace for the military. Caesar immediately removed the disgrace of this carelessness in the beginning by the punishment of death ordered. It did not however hold in check the trickery of obstinacy. For shut off from this type of plunder and the food necessary for the starving, grasping the help of grasses, the wall being destroyed, which Titus had led around the empty space outside the city, they wandering and searching for the roots of trees and forage thought sallies would be more unimpeded, whom the circuit of the wall the equivalent of a prison had shut in nor was there now anything with which they might lessen hunger. And so they creep up in a sudden sally, they rush upon those extended before the Mount of Olives. Nor did these fail the task assigned and the call of the trumpet summons others to the society of the battle from the rest of the camps and the fortifications of the towers. A fierce fight is joined in the beginning, when a sense of honor urges on the last, hunger the first, [p. 378] by a savage necessity and rule. But the Jews are driven by the Romans gathering together and turned back to the walls of their city. Then one from a squadron of horsemen — Pedanius his name — spurs his horse stretches out his right arm and bending down a little seizes one of Jews fleeing, carrying him captive to Caesar. And the conqueror of this glorious booty like an eagle with a rabbit or a hawk with a duck throws him living to the feet of Caesar. Exceedingly pleased by this Titus dismissed him praised and honored.

XXXVII. Now distributed around the temple they burn the colonnade. Everywhere there was grief everywhere death, outside there was war, inside above there was war and fire. But the Jews were not broken in spirit, they thought everything of vengeance to perish they acted without trickery or insolence. When they were now unable to do otherwise, they provoked the Romans to quickness of destruction. A certain Ionathes small of body, worthier in appearance, very near the tomb of Iohannes challenged the Romans, that he who wished could fight with him hand to hand. Some despising the smallness of the man, others disdaining to fight with him, whom they were about to hold captive soon, others considering the thing to be a perilous contest with men, who in the extremes of safety were seeking vengeance not with bravery but with recklessness alone, there would be nothing of praise if bordering upon destruction the man should be defeated, and much of disgrace, if any one by some lapse should mar the common victory, he was boasting arrogantly and throwing fear into the victors scattering loud abuse, that the Romans were relying not on their own forces but upon foreign assistance, and that the Jews were afflicted not by the war of their enemies but by domestic strife. There was in the number of Roman soldiers Pudens by name, who moved by the inane insults, thoughtlessly took counsel of his sense of honor, neglected his safety and incautious from that indignation stood open to injury and thrown prostrate onto the ground he instilled shame in his associates, he left at the same time also a cause of mockery by, and death for, Ionathes. For he elated by the success of the contest and raising the pomp of victory, while he celebrates and exults and gestures with his sword and by striking his shield, he arouses to his wounding the centurion Priscus, who did not tolerate him boasting with arrogance and pride and pierced him incautious in victory with the blow of an arrow. Struck down by which Ionathes points out that in a battle no one ought to mock irrationally, since the situation is uncertain for the conquerors and the conquered, until the war is concluded.

XXXVIII. But inside the city when they saw the enemy inside the walls projecting over the highest structures and overhanging all the walls and like a wound in the body they dreaded the danger to extend inward, they cut down the northern colonnade in that part, which was next to Antonia, lest the enemy go up through it to the higher parts of the temple or higher up press upon those located in the lower parts, and each cut off the closest parts, lest neighboring to the temple with raging fires fire even might destroy the temple itself, and cut through the fires burn out. That which they feared from the enemy they first began. They prepared the colonnade of Solomon also for trickery, so that they filled the interiors of the roofs with tar and pitch, which escaped notice inside the vault of the highest roof, and it having been pretended that they wished to defend it and they incite the enemy to attack and so arouse the Romans against themselves. They ladders having been moved up seek the high parts of the colonnade, the Jews gradually withdraw from the place to which many Romans ascend. These steal in eagerly, however the more prudent having suspected a trick take precautions, but the crowd intent upon victory [p. 380] hurries. When the thing of the trick was seen to flare up, many were placed as if in a net, the fire is moved up to the interior of the vault aand full grown from the tar and pitch and the other nourishments of the fire is spread out into the entire colonnade. The fires surround the victorious Romans, so that no opportunity of withstanding it is at hand or any possibility of fleeing. They did not discover what they should do. Titus regarded his endangered men with indignation because they had climbed up without orders, but with pity because victorious they were perishing. Many gave themselves to a fall, but, when they had escaped the fire, crushed in body with broken limbs they died, it was more unfortunate if disabled they survived. Caesar wished to come to their aid but was unable, he encouraged the nearest however, he shouted that there would be assistance for his men. These words, this grief of Caesar they considered as a final consolation. This was a parting provision for those about to die, as if exalted solacing themselves with this tomb they hastened to death, because they were ensconced in the innermost heart of Caesar and their life would not perish, whose renown survived, who were dying for Caesar leaving behind their triumphant inheritance. And so some were encircled by the flames, others avoided them, and not far away was the enemy who were striking those fleeing the flames.

XXXIX. Longus however a man of excellent character although he was called upon by the Jews, that he should entrust himself to them, with the security of safety promised, preferred to transfix himself with his sword rather than stain with a disgrace the bravery of the innate Roman character. On the other hand Artorius quite cunningly in a loud voice called Lucius saying: “you will be my heir, if you will catch me falling.” And he felling pity runs to catch him falling and transferred to himself the death of the one about to die. Truly he sent ahead his heir as his military testament, written not in ink but in blood, and not on paper but on the blade of a sword; a great [p. 381] trick clearly, so that he might find a volunteer substitute for his death. And so the colonnade is burned all the way to the tower, which Iohannes when he was waging war against Simon, had constructed above the entrance of the royal house, which Ezechias as king had built for himself as a residence. The remaining paart of this the Jews themselves destroyed. Also on the following day all the northern colonnade all the way to the eastern colonnade was burned by the Romans. For when they themselves put hands on their own buildings, they taught the Romans not to spare the foreigners. The face of the temple was already bare and there was savage hunger of the men. They ambushed themselves by turns, each snatched food for himself. Where there was the suspicion of food, there was a battle fought between the natives for food. The dearest were killed, the dead were shaken violently lest any food should lie hidden in their clothing. Some were considered to pretend to be dead, lest living they should be suspected to have some food. But not even the living were able either to perform the function of life or to pretend death, truly with open mouth like mad dogs capturing a breath of air they moved around hither and thither with want as their guide. Often even as if drunk they returned to the same dwellings, that they should search again what they had left empty. And when they did not find other relief for hunger, they would pull away the leather from their shields that it should be food for them which was not a protection. They ate their shoes, nor was it a shame to take them up loosened from their feet with their mouth and to lick them with their tongue. Ancient husks also, which had once been thrown aside, were searched out with great eagerness, and if any were discovered, they were exchanged for a great price.

XL. What shall I say against the deed of Maria, which will horrify the mind of any whatsoever barbarous and impious person? She was from the wealthy women of the region of Perea, which lies across the Jordan. The fear of the war having arisen she had taken herself with the rest into city of Jerusalem, where it was safer. She had [p. 382] conveyed her wealth there also, which the leaders of the factions in competition took possession of. If anything even of food had been obtained for a price, it was taken from her hands. Disturbed continually by her losses, she called down horrible curses, she wished to die but did not find a killer. She wished to mock longer, to humble more, rather than to destroy quickly. She thought how long she might live to be preyed upon. All things had already run short and accustomed to self-indulgence she was not softening the harsh roughness of husks and hides. Fierce hunger poured itself into her innermost being, irritated her humors, stirred up her mind. The woman had a small infant which she had given birth to. Aroused by its crying which she saw to weaken herself and the child terribly, overcome by such great barbarity unequal to such a cruel misfortune she lost her mind and the practice of motherly tenderness forgotten she submerged her grief, took up madness. And so turned toward the little one having forgotten she was its mother and raging in mind she spoke thusly: “What can I do for you, little one, what can I do for you? Savage circumstances surround you, war, starvation, burnings, thieves, destruction. To whom shall I about to die entrust you, to whom shall I leave you so small? I had hoped that, if you reached manhood, you would feed me your mother or would bury me dead, certainly, if you preceded me in death, I would enclose you in a precious burial mound with my own hands. What shall I a miserable woman do? I see no help for you and me living. All things have been taken from us, for whom shall I save you? And in what tomb shall I place you so that you are not prey for dogs birds or wild beasts? All things, I say, have been taken from us, you can however, my sweet one, thus feed your mother, your hands are fit food. O agreeable to me is your flesh, your congenial limbs, before hunger completely consumes you, restore to your mother what you have received, return to [p. 383] that hidden place of nature. In which place you take your spirit, in it a grave is prepared for you dead. I myself embrace whom I gave birth to, I myself fondly kiss, and what the want of endurance of love has, let it have the force of necessity, that I myself may devour my own not with simulated but with imprinted bites. Therefore be food for me, rage for thieves and a tale of life, which alone is lacking for our misfortunes. What would you do, my son, if you too should have a son? We have done what is of goodness, we are doing what hunger urges. Your reason however is better and has a certain appearance of rightness, because it is more tolerable that you will have given your mother food from your parts than that your mother is able to kill or devour you.” Saying this with face turned aside she plunged in the sword and cutting her son in pieces she placed him on the fire, she ate part, part she concealed lest anyone should come upon it. But the strong smell of the burned flesh came to the leaders of the rebellion and immediately following the odor they entered the lodging of the woman threatening death because she had dared to feed her own starving and to make them non-sharers of the food which she had discovered. But she: “your part,” she said, “I have saved for you, I was not greedy nor discourteous. Do not be resentful, hold this and you may eat. I have prepared food for you from my flesh. Be seated quickly, I will arrange the table, you have my service to wonder at, to judge that you have found such a disposition of no woman who has not defrauded you of the favor of her sweet son.” Saying which she at the same time uncovered the scorched limbs and presented them for eating with an exhortation of this type of speech: “This is my lunch, this is your portion, look carefully that I have not cheated you. Behold one hand of my boy, behold his foot, behold half of the rest of his body, and lest you think otherwise, he is my son, you should not think it the work of another, I did it, I carefully divided it, I [p. 384] ate what was mine, I saved what was yours. You have never been sweeter to me, my son. I owe you that I am still alive. Your sweetness has held my mind. It has put off for your pitiable mother the day of death. You came to the rescue in a time of starvation, you are the gift of the greatest old age, you are the restrainer of the killers. They came about to kill, they became table companions. And they themselves will hold what they owe to you, since they have consumed my banquet. But why do you give back a step, why are you horrified in mind? Why do you not feast upon what I his mother have made? They can indeed please you which have glutted the mother. I do not hunger now, after my son has fed me, I am abundantly satisfied, I know not hunger. Taste and see how sweet is my son. Do not become more effeminate that the mother, weaker than a woman. But if you are tenderhearted in the midst of a hurt and do not take up my offering and turn away from my burnt offering, I will consume my sacrifice, I will devour what is left. See that it is not a reproach to you that a woman is discovered more brave than you, who will take up the banquet of men. I indeed have prepared such banquets, but you have made a mother to feast so. And suffering held me but necessity conquered.”

XLI. The impious act of such great wickedness immediately filled the entire city and each was filled with horror as if attendance of such a parricidal dinner party was placed before his eyes. Indeed they began themselves the inciters of the rebellion to examine those things which they seized for food, lest they should find similar food and incautiously consume it. Everybody began to be afraid, that they would live too long, and to wish to die. The brutality of this fact came even to the Romans. For many terrified by this horror fled to the enemy. Which having been found out, Caesar detesting the contagion of the unhappy land, raising his hands to heaven, testified publicly in this fashion: “Indeed we come for war but we are not contending with men.

Against [p. 385] every madness of monsters and wild animals, what sensible thing can I say? Wild animals love their offspring, which they feed even in their own hunger, which they feed on foreign bodies, they abstain from the bodies of very similar wild animals. This is beyond every hardship that a mother has devoured a member to which she gave birth. I clean absolve myself to you from this contagion, whatever power you are in heaven. You know, you know surely that with inmost feeling I frequently offered peace and I asked what it does not shame a victor to say, that I wished to pardon even the originators themselves of such great prodigies, to spare the people, to preserve the city. But what am I to do against those fighting back, what am I to do against those who rage against their own people? Arms for the most part having been set aside, because they did not desist from their own slaughtering, I returned to the war that I should set free those besieged, not that I should destroy them. They often encouraged us from the walls to fight so they would not be gravely harmed by their own people. Of what type are the citizens, to whom their enemy is a remedy? I had heard truly the fierceness of this people to be unendurable, who arouse themselves against every arrogance with extraordinary beliefs, their birth to lead them from heaven, there they first put on the form of body, themselves to have been inhabitants of the sky, to have descended for the cultivation of the earth, to return from the earth to the sky, to have crossed through the seas with dry feet, the waves of the sea to have fled before them, the stream of the Jordan turned backward to have returned to its source, the sun to have stood still that they might conquer their enemies and night not impede them, their men snatched into the sky in fiery chariots, the powers of the sky to have fought in their behalf, and themselves absent all the forces of their enemies to have been routed, victory brought forth to them sleeping. These things I had learned, but I thought that they boasted of the divine benefits surrounding them, that they did not altogether [p. 386] enlarge their daring, that they thought themselves unable to be conquered by the Romans. And so I admit it would be a battle for us with them, who believe themselves unconquerable, who boast themselves to be survivors of the flood, inheritors of the rivers, hosts of the lands, travelers of the seas, riders of the skies, for whom a wave is a wall, the air is a road, the sky a place of habitation, to whom flames yield and chains do not hold. For whom thirsting stones open up and pour themselves into water sources, for whom hungry the sky opens, food is sent, their camps are filled with the flesh of birds and man eats the bread of angels. Waters are stripped away, brackish water is sweetened, the sun stands still, darkness is illuminated. Finally what can be the greatest, when can courage be lacking to those, who, as they say, having died live and having been buried are roused again? There is the frequent opinion that these men also plotted against divine things and their punishment is the proof. The lands burn today because of the impiety of their inhabitants, many of these indeed an opening in the ground has swallowed. How long then can we stay in these places, where there is the ruin of the lands? We see even the sea to be dead, we see even things growing from the land to be dead, the earth to be shriveled, the shadows of green plants to be empty, loveliness outside but ashes within. Who can doubt that we move about in the lower worlds where even the very elements expire? In fact even, what is accustomed to live after death, in these places the goodness of nature is dead and respect for the dead a bystander. For who loves his parents not even dead? Who even now does not love his lost sons and hold in a place of pledges? The love remains, although the child has died, the name continues, the kindness of nature does not cease. In these places truly a mother does recognize a [p. 387] living son, does not hear him calling, does not pity him wailing, and because of the detestable things of one hour throws in a parricidal food the hand of her child. But why do I argue this as if new, since they consider the beginnings of this type from a fraternal murder, since of Abraham himself, whom they call father and the originator of the teaching and the first man of this form of worship, in him especially they proclaim faith, because he thought his son should not be spared and brought him to the altars as a victim and did not hesitate to offer him as a sacrifice? I do not condemn his devotion but I question his piety. Another also of his they say he as victor wished to dedicate, that whosoever should first run up to him returning home, he should sacrifice to his god, and, when he returned, his daughter ran up and so he placed his hands upon his daughter, and many other examples of this type. Of what kind is that people, who assign the killing of a human being to reverence and think that murder is a sacrifice? What god can exact this or what sort is the priest, who is able to do this? Finally they say this ancient man as more sensible did not do this but wished to do it, he as an imprudent man persevered. Let them have their rituals: stern men, among whom the teaching is to kill their sons, unhappy the state, in which there is such an office, such a service. May its destruction cover it over and conceal it, May the sun not see the contagion of that world, may the sphere of stars not look upon it; lest the puffs of air be tainted, may the cleansing fire rise up. We thought the feast of Thyestes a fable 5, we see a scandal, we see a truth more atrocious than the tragedies. For there the stronger sex and a stranger to the region, here a woman, for whom her own offspring was food. There the trickery of a stranger, here her own will. He grieved, she mocked. The food was deserved by such men, who by fighting obstinately had led their women to such a [p. 388] banquet. Indeed I think them afflicted with such great harshness of evils and minds made demented who did not feel these things. Wherefore let us finish the war quickly. Because these things are not able to be corrected, let us break in violently, that we may flee the dying waters of these regions, the lands being destroyed.”

XLII. The things having been said he orders the battering rams to be moved to the temple, but strong blows accomplished nothing. However terrified many of the leaders themselves of the rebellion fled to Caesar, whom driven more by necessity not as if following a promise Titus hesitated to receive, but good faith tempered his anger. However he did not hold them in that state in which held the previous deserters, he began to urge his men on more intently, so that all of the enemy demoralized by fear might withdraw. But when they saw the walls unharmed by the blow of the battering ram with its massive structure, they maintained their boldness, Caesar however coming with a clever idea ordered the doors covered over with silver to be set on fire. From which the fire having been moved up the silver began to flow, then gradually even the wood to burn, thus an approach opened up into the interior of the colonnade. But Caesar taking pity, that the temple should not be burned the neighboring interiors of the colonnades having been seized, called the leaders of the army to a council saying, for him the fight was not with insensible objects nor was the war with buildings, which would profit the victors, if they were saved unburned. The leaders however asserted the strength of the walls and the fortification of the temple would be an incentive in the future for the Jews, from which there would be grateful haughtiness; the roots of the rebellion should be destroyed to the foundations, lest this rashness should break out again. Caesar however put off the discussion of the council to the following day. In truth the Jews thought themselves pouring forward, but the Romans with interlocked shields although [p. 389] fewer withstood the first attack. The battle wavered however from the charge of the innumerable multitude. Whence Caesar was at hand with cavalry easily crushing those whom he had discovered and he turned back the enemy column. Relying on the fact that a portion of the entrance court already stood open, he arranged to rush in upon the enemy with most of his forces the following day, to enter into the temple. Which act would have saved the city from burning, if the unpropitious attitude of the people had not provoked the flames of the enemy against themselves. Indeed Caesar orders the dense mass of fires to be extinguished, so they would not be a hindrance to the troops about to break in. Seeing which the Jews, while they are ambushing those wishing to put out the fires of the temple, some having been killed stirred up the enemy. And so one of the Romans having found half-burned lumber, which had fallen from the roof, moved with the full grown fire to the door, which was named the golden door, because it had an entrance clothed with gold. The stiffness of the gold having been immediately melted by the flames laid bare the wood, which like an uncovered flank was open to the fire. And so the doors having been burned the fire inserted itself into the innermost parts of the temple. Already the doors lighted up its entrance. All who themselves the defender of the temple were trying to protect it were thrown into confusion, they were immediately afraid, and there was a certain inclination of their minds, this would be the day of destruction, because on this very day the temple had once been burned by the Babylonians breaking in, which was the tenth day of the month of Loos, which already for a long time they counted among the unlucky days. The fire lifting itself up from the puffs of air also into the higher parts poured joy into the victors, grief fitting for such a great disaster into the defeated. The outcry of everyone having sprung up, not much afterwards a messenger gave Titus the news of the enemy’s destruction, who rushing forth in as loud a voice as he was able [p. 390] ordered the fires to be extinguished. But through the uproar there was not an opportunity of hearing or the wish to spare it, since the Roman soldiers burned with the zeal for vengeance and the well known goodness of Caesar took away the fear of disobedience. There would be no trickery for his men, since he was forgiven even by the enemy. With his nod and hand however Titus called back whose whom he was able, he ordered some that they should restrain the attack of the soldiers. But with anger the leader they increased the burning, they pressed the enemy already wasteful of their safety from despair and exposing themselves totally to dangers. The common people of low birth were chiefly killed, whenever any was opposed, because they were protected by no armor suitable for fending off or turning aside a wound.

XLIII. Wearied by the shouting Caesar gave back a step, since the flame was still consuming the enclosed spaces of the temple, which having been burned down he in a rage took himself into the shrine itself. By which appearance most were greatly disturbed, some immersed themselves in the fires themselves, whose eyes were not able to bear that outliving the temple they were spared. Titus ran up again desiring to look about of what manner the shrine was. Moved by its grace he confessed it to have been more distinguished than the works of their own temples. He marveled at the size of the stones, the brilliance of the metal, the attractiveness of the work, the charm of its beauty. He proclaimed that not without cause had the fame of the place been so great, that there out of all the places it was agreed, so great not unless it was believed to be the dwelling place of the greatest god. The esteem added to the faith of the religion, with which the nations even of the barbarians venerated that temple and brought gifts. Robbers of their own religion who however were then plundering and utterly destroying, thieves breaking into everything, which had been the deposits of widows and orphans, as if [p. 391] they were claiming these things from the victors, if anything was diminished from the booty to the Romans. Seeing the temple also to be on fire they burned the rest, lest any building should survive the destruction of the temple, thinking whether all of the religion might perish with the temple. Not yet however had the Jews put aside their faithlessness, which was the cause of their great ruin. For since the minds of many were bent, that a column having been formed they should surrender themselves to the Romans, a certain pseudoprophet began to throw in the departure of his mind that the assistance of the divine god would not be lacking to his temple, to call the people to himself like as to a certain oracle, they should still remain in his temple, they were about immediately to drive back the battalions of the enemy, the conflagration of the flames. Thus the wretched people, since they faithfully believed the untrue fraud, discredited and helpless they were slaughtered. Who if they had wished to believe, had visible indications of the imminent destruction, by which as if by clear voices they were warned the end to be at hand for them.

XLIV. For through a year almost above the temple itself a comet burned, extending a certain likeness of fire and a sword announcing with iron and fire the coming destruction of the people and the kingdom and the city itself. What indeed did the likeness of a sword announce if not war, what the fire if not the burning? Moreover it was seen before the people dissociated themselves from the Romans. During the very days of the Passover on the eighth day of the month of Xanthicus and through every night around the ninth hour the temple and its altar so shone with light as if it were day, remaining daily through half an hour almost, which the crowd explained to be seen as an indication of the people heaping up and having been driven there as if the time were at hand for recovering their freedom. [p. 392] The wiser thought the contrary, because that type of star is accustomed to announce war. Nor was there anyone who thought our people to have spoken something foreign from our religion and teaching, first because we added not what seems good to us, but what happened, or what were the opinions at that time, what the wise people felt, what the foolish. Nor was anything said from the doctrines of the Jews, thus it might seem to have been written by us, as if in truth not as if in obscurity and figures of speech we were contriving their religion to have been sent in advance, so that more perfect things might follow. For about the signs of the stars even in the Gospels we are taught that there were signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. 6 They assert also that in the birth of a calf, when the victim stood before the altar, in the middle of the temple a sheep was born in the very celebration of the religious rites we mentioned above, also the heavy eastern interior door, which was accustomed to be closed at evening with the great effort of twenty men, fastened with iron bars, through several nights was spontaneously unbarred, and scarcely afterwards was shut by the guards. That also many thought a sign of future benefits, to which about to enter the door was opening. The more learned however said the protection of the temple having been loosened to be seen, that whatever was inside would be plundered by enemies, the worship would go out, devastation would enter, fame would be emptied, the offering would be destroyed. Which even before, when they crucified Christ Iesus, the narrative teaches the meaning clearly. Also after many days a certain figure appeared of tremendous size, which many saw, just as the books of the Jews have disclosed, and before the setting of the sun there were suddenly seen in the clouds chariots [p. 393] and armed battle arrays, by which the cities of all Iudaea and its territories were invaded. Moreover in the celebration itself of the Pentecost the priests entering the interior of the temple at night time, that they might celebrate the usual sacrifices, asserted themselves at first to have felt a certain movement and a sound given forth, afterwards even to have heard shouted in a sudden voice: “we cross over from here.” Iesus also, the son of Ananias, a country-dweller, four years before the people of the Jews undertook the war, in great peace and abundance of the city, when the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles was being celebrated with joyful sacrifices, ascending the temple began to shout: ” a voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and against the temple, a voice against bridegrooms and against brides, a voice against all people.” This was shouted during the nights and during the days. Alarmed by which the men of rank in the place seized him, trembling at the frightful information of his voice, and afflicted him with many punishments, that at least afflicted with this pain he would cease to pronounce these frightful statements full of portents. But he neither from any fear nor blows or terrified by severe threats did not change his practice or words. With that same perseverance of denunciation and joining of words, with no interpolation of supplication, heedless of injury he remained in the same behavior, unmoved by this treatment. Considering him not heedless but to be squeezed out of his mind, as he was, they took him to the judge of the place, who at that time from the Romans handled the public business through these places. He for the sake of searching out the truth ulcerated him with the most severe punishments, the more he continued stubborn the more vigorously [p. 394] ordering the man to be beaten with whips, so that he should reveal if he had discovered any secret indications of a future uprising. But he neither cried not asked, but at each blow dolefully lamented not his own but his country’s destruction saying: “woe to Jerusalem.” Nor when asked who he was or where he was from or why he kept saying the same thing did he give a response, but only pursued that lamentation with the miserable complaint for his country. And so wearied Albinus, for that was the name of the man, dismissed him as from madness of mind not understanding what he was saying. But he neither had any conversation with anyone nor spoke anything else during the remaining time he was heard, but singing this mournful and funereal song day and night he resounded constantly: “woe to Jerusalem.” Nor did he reproach anyone beating him, nor did he thank anyone giving him food. There was one and the same response full of wild yells to all and especially at the celebrations of the sacrifices. And so through seven years and five months the same train of words, the same sound off voice remained. And so unwearied for such a long time, when the siege began, he ceased to shout out the same things, as though it were proper to stop the announcing, when those things were present which had been announced. But when fire began to envelope the city and the temple equally, going around the wall he began again to shout: “woe to the city and the people and the temple.” And last of all he added: “woe even to me” and struck by a catapult with these words he gave out his life. And it was written also in the ancient literature that the city itself too with the temple was then about to perish, when the temple had been made quadrangular. And so whether forgetful or dazed by the inevitability of the threatening evils, when Antonia was seized, they made the circuit of the temple quadrangular. Among which that [p. 395] was most outstanding, which equally in the ancient literature, which they called sacred, remained impressed, that following that time there would be a man, who from their region would take up rule over the whole world. Which thing put them in a great frenzy, that not only freedom but even a kingdom was being promised to them. That some thought had to make reference to Vespasian, the wiser thought it made reference to the lord Jesus, who in the flesh born of Maria in their lands spread his kingdom over all the space of the world. And so with such great things foretelling this they were not able to avoid what was decreed from heaven.

XLV. And so the originators of the rebellion fleeing when the temple was being burned, the Romans placed their standards inside the walls of the temple itself and against the eastern gate they celebrated Titus as imperator 7 proclaiming this with their loudest voices. In the meantime a certain boy in that place, where the priests still were, whom both the lack of water and the heat of the neighboring fire tortured with thirst, asked one of the Roman guards to give him his right hand, to offer a drink. Having pitied his age and necessity equally he extended it immediately. The small boy drank and because he had been carefully judged of harmless age, he seized the container of water and took himself away in a rush, that he might furnish a supply for drinking to the priests. The soldier wished to pursue him but was not able to catch him. He at his own peril relieved the thirst of the priests. This good trick which harmed no one, came to the aid of need. Finally the soldier himself marveled more at the attitude of the boy than he detested his trickery, because at that age and with the destruction of the entire city and the common danger [p. 396]he did not leave unexpressed by the service he was able to render that respect which was owed to the priests. Not much later the priests finally defeated by hunger and thirst asked for their life, whom Titus ordered to be killed, responding them to be of unworthy mind, who wished to outlive the temple and their office.

XLVI. Furthermore Iohannes and Simonis and the other leaders of the rebellions asking, that he order the the throwing of javelins and the noise to leave off for a short time and that he give them the opportunity of speaking, he did not shrink from the concession, silence having been made he gave his response thusly: “the time is too late, you depraved ones, for mercy, when already nothing is left which should be saved. It was offered to you and you despised it, you thought it lack of confidence, not a concession. But I groaned that harmless buildings would perish from your wickedness, I grieved the common people to be forced to death, I wished to be lenient: you did not allow it; I held up the fighting: you rushed in; I offered peace: you did not accept it; I called on you frequently, I went to meet you repeatedly: it does not shame to say, I made you more arrogant by asking. What were you thinking? That the Roman troops would yield to you and you would surround an army victorious over all lands with your multitude? What portion fought you, since your region was not able to withstand the entirety, nor did difficult straits allow it? A greater care for us was protecting our world rather than extending it. Where we may go nothing is new; nothing foreign, to whom all the world is a possession. We thought this brigandage as a mole long concealed in the body, finally provoked we believed it must be removed, lest your disobedience and a certain murkiness should mar the splendor of the Roman empire. You have experienced Roman might not by fighting but by dying. For we see your troops not on the field but on the wall, since for you not even an enclosure was advantageous for a means of protection of your safety. [p. 397] For what wall stops those whom the ocean does not stop? Or what city hemmed in by a guard of walls would be impregnable to our siege when the arms of the Romans have also penetrated the Britains walled around by a raging element? Spread out beneath us is that steep mountain of water. The wave of the Red sea, as the stories of Iudaea report, walled around with the appearance of a wall your fathers crossing it, Roman bravery broke down the wall of the ocean. I do not envy you the favors of another. The sea saw you and fled, so that shut off from the enemy you might flee, since you were not able to break through the enemy nor to hold it back. For us the flight of the ocean would have been an injury if it had fled. Before the war we fought with the waves, we overcame the raging sea before we arrived at the enemy. Brittania received us already the victors over the elements. Whom they trusted we subdued, so that the ocean itself acceded to the consummation of the triumph. But perhaps you rely upon the strength of the body. Now are you stronger than the Germans, whom fenced in by the wall of the Alps Roman courage led into servitude? Nor those similar to the mountains of the slope of Mount Taurus or the effeminate armies of the Egyptians with which it is your practice to fight. We climbed above the clouds and descending from the clouds we conquered the people, we opened the airy route to all: we do not envy you the watery regions, provided that the former of those celebrating a triumph, the latter of those fleeing. And so the mountains sink down to Roman valor, rivers dried up their course lost, which nature had directed, and turned aside to where the victors ordered. Turned around is your Jordan, as you say, and it returns to its source, that it may offer a route to you, Cloelia the Roman maiden did not lack it, [p. 398] who with broken chains escaped the enemy and racing with the river took herself into the Roman camp. Nor are we amazed at your fires, from which Hebrew boys to have escaped you are accustomed to put out great songs. Our Mucius with no one forcing him put his hand in the fire, and did not remove it, until victor over the fire the miracle of his bravery, which did not feel the flames, confounded the enemy. Finally they asked for peace who were hoping for triumph. And truly did those celestial beings bring out food to you and meat of the rivers against Roman valor? But it behooved you to consider the nourisher itself of the world Africa to have been subjected by Roman courage. It is a slave to us which feeds everyone, in our power if the hunger of everyone and the nourishment of the whole world. What nature gave to all, Roman valor has made its property. It defeated Hannibal himself and forced him into exile, whom of the whole world it did not capture, for whom Africa was too narrow, Spain was seen not suitable for lingering, Gallia confined for traveling, Italy unworthy of a treaty of friendship and the partnership of an alliance. Although you throw away what the lightning fought for for you, the celestial powers have fought for, we conquered Hannibal riding the lightning and thundering with the storms of the world itself: the world shook and he beat our walls with arms. Nor truly was it necessary, that our enemies like your Assyrians be killed while sleeping, but fighting. For not in sleep is victory sought, but in battle, it is not a prize of valor when by fortuitous favor. Our enemies not deceived by the redness of waters [p. 399] shining back at the rising of the sun rashly fell upon our troops, from the appearance of scattered blood they thought us killed, but understanding and prepared for battle they covered the fields with their bodies and refilled them with their own blood. What bravery placed you in such great arrogance? Did you not see them to serve you who governed you — Egypt, which was accustomed to humble you, pays you an annual tribute and provides a path to the regions of India — to go beyond the world and to seek another world, to join to our empire the secrets of the sea of the sun and the farthest stretches of the ocean and the inhabitants of another world? what? The kingdom of Antiochus, who afflicted you with severe suffering, took away the very right of religion, have we not given that back to you, thinking it more glorious to to rule over kings than to raise up a kingdom? Did not Antioch itself, the seat of your masters, zealously reject its own and choose us as masters? Have not you yourselves fled to us, that you might avoid them as masters? Did we not receive you and defend you against them? We protected you that you might live by your laws, we gave you the freedom to be devoted to your religion. We wished to understand your religious rites but we respected them, afterwards you believed you must rebel. Pompeius captured the temple but he did not destroy it, he seized the city but he preserved it, he saved all the sanctuaries untouched, for which things, o grateful associates, you returned this payment to us, that you waged war for third time. Nero had to be despised, but Roman power was not paid out in one man, but had the soldier Vespasian, who had already recalled the Gauls to peace, who was so strong in battle, that through [p. 400] him even Nero succeeded, through him Nero was formidable to his enemies, he was faithful to his lord, so that alone he did not seek the rule which alone he merited. But Cestius offended. It behooved that the quarrel be put off, not that arms be introduced. My father Vespasian was sent who unexpected was able to pour himself against those unready, he went through Galilaea, he destroyed over a wide area, that you would put aside arrogance, that you would ask for pardon. He exhibited valor and, when he held all men closed in, he went to Egypt, that he might grant an armistice to those becoming reasonable. Our absence made you more arrogant, because you thought us occupied; but we were never so occupied, that we were absent from the world. For even absent we were in attendance and positioned at a distance we took a position nearer. For as the soul in the body makes live all its members, thus Roman foresight is present in all parts of its empire and governs the entire Roman world as if present. But if to every soul that divine force gives the power of managing the body, how much more so to the Roman vigor by which as if one the body of our entire empire is animated, it furnished a certain resource of protecting its vitals. And so you renewed the war which had been suspended. And so my father about to set out for the city Rome that would be taken back from the tyrants separated me from his society lest an executor of his responsibility should be lacking to you. I came to a war with appearance of wasting away, the impression of asking. How many times from your walls have I called back the army? How often have I withdrawn from the inner shrine of your temple? How often have I put out fires? How often have I warned you? But you have never listened. Now finally you are asking, as if now anything might remain such as what has already been consumed? Nevertheless I rouse the soldiers from slaughter burning plundering. What do you want, why do you stand still armed, as if about to give out conditions, not about to receive them? — if [p. 401] you seek surrender, put down your arms no longer fearing the victors, but proud in defeat and full of arrogance —so that you ask armed as if you doubt our good faith or threatening war are you yet provoking force? The people have been destroyed. The temple is burning, we hold the city. Surviving what do you hope for unless that life be granted to you? So then put down your arms as if conquered, I will grant you to live, although you do merit it, for you refused to save what are your things with yourselves.” Then they began to seek, that to them bound by oath, they at no time would surrender themselves to the Romans, that he would grant them permission of going out through the wall, they would proceed with their families into the desert, yielding the city to the Romans. More enraged by this Titus: “even now,” he said, “you impose conditions on us? But defend rather your country, be in attendance at the temple, rise up with all your valor, observe the sacrament of death, because you have rejected life.” And at the same time he ordered the Romans to rise up to kill the enemy. Many began to waver to the great indignation of the victors. However the sons of king Iaza surrendered themselves with his brothers and many of the people with them. Nor did Titus, although aroused to anger, revoke his offer in contemplation of the royal summit, but received those fleeing. He made the profit of his sense of duty only however, which is the greatest. For the originators of the rebellion snatched away all the booty of the royal home, so that nothing from it should reach the Romans.

XLVII. At the same time however an attack having been made that they broke into the royal court, rushing two of the Roman soldiers, they killed one man of the foot soldiers, a horseman demanded that he be taken to Simon alleging himself to have, what he insinuated would be remembered to the leader of the rebellion. But led to him when he wove certain untrustworthy things, he was ordered to be killed, while the executioner is delaying, his eyes already bound with a bandage, he tore himself away to the Romans. Who fighting hand to hand received him fleeing. And led to himself Titus as unworthy of the death of a man, who was able to be captured alive by the enemy, stripped of his weapons ordered to be discharged reserving to him what through the idleness of the enemy he had not lost, taking away the oath of military service, because a captive he surrendered, a deserter he was dishonored. That for him was the greatest punishment, among men there are even worse disgraces of military service than wounds of death. The Jews however immediately driven back took themselves to the high part of the city the defense of the temple and the city having been abandoned. A great massacre was enforced against those who had remained, the ways were filled with bodies and the half-dead. Now too Caesar ordered the war machines to be moved to the high places, which seeing the Idumaeans chose men whom they would send to Titus, who would ask him for surrender. That having been learned Simon prevented and intercepted the men chosen for seeking surrender, but the Idumaeans not much later, although disappointed in the assistance of their leaders, when they were unable to hold back the attack longer, surrendered themselves to the Roman army. Thus first starvation and finally despair of resisting accomplished the surrender. Nor did the Romans already weary from the great slaughter deny the concession of life and with eagerness for selling the captive slaves were quick to save their lives. There were many on sale but few buyers, because Romans refused to hold Jews as slaves, nor were Jews left who could buy back their own, since each congratulated himself to have escaped although destitute. And so everywhere they surrendered themselves fear having been removed, inasmuch as robbers were absent, the Romans pardoned them.

XLVIII. Finally Jesus, one of the priests the son of Thebutus, surrendered himself and vessels of the priestly services, two lamps, tables, basins and plates and all the gold vessels, and both the curtains and the clothing of the leaders [p. 403] of the priesthood with jewels, a pledge of safety having been accepted, he surrendered willingly. And Fineas was seized also, the keeper of the treasury, he pointed out much purple and scarlet dyed cloth and many other things of the priests, which were being saved for use. With which he handed over also cinnamon, cassia, and many spices and incense, many vessels also of the sacraments and the sacred garments, but forced by fear, from which among his own people it was a crime meriting sale as a slave. However although the wish was lacking, the power ought not to have been lacking. Although generally we judge more sternly, than we are able to guard against, if we dwell in such need, made a minister and proof of betrayal we ought to run away.

XLIX. Already the ramparts had risen up and the battering rams had began to strik the higher wall: on the seventh day of the month, which they call Gorpieum, it came to the end, disordered and terrified the leaders themselves of the factions also, who in extreme dangers behaved insultingly, they each fell on their knees praying for help. It was discerned how pitiable the change was from that terrible and haughty summit into this humble and plebeian degradation, into tears of weeping from fear. Not yet had the wall of the upper city yielded, already they rushed about individually, bewailing that no garrison remained, they thought that the enemy had made entry, many seemed to themselves to see the Romans fighting as if already from the higher locations, what the mind feared the eyes fashioned and the fear in the mind became the appearance of what was seen. Finally believing it certain that the enemy was already pressing upon their necks, to whom the three towers Mariamne et Fasaelus and Equestris much stronger than the rest still remained, they deserted the heights fleeing to underground cellars [p. 404] or hidden caves. Iohannes however not much later emaciated from hunger and weak from fasting surrendered himself to Caesar, who spared for the triumph but tied up in perpetual chains carrying them till death having tested more the spirit of life than a wish to live escaped the executioner’s axe. Simon on the other hand as yet hid inside the ruins of the burned out city hiding himself with a few faithful supporters in underground chambers. Caesar had already departed from the burned city considering that Simon had likely been burned up by fire or crushed by a collapse or killed by some soldier. But truly he, as long as food was available, in a dug out pit was digging further, but when both food came to an end and no solution of escaping revealed itself, suddenly he crept out above ground covered with a white and purple garment over his clothing, that he might strike fear into those seeing him, who first orders the astounded Roman soldiers that they should take him to their leader. In that place was Rufus Terentius, whom Titus had left in place as prefect of the soldiers. Who arriving asked who he was first other things, afterwards he confessed himself to be Simon. Whence he was sent to Caesar and was himself saved for the triumph. But because he had exercised savage behavior against the citizens and had not surrendered himself to Caesar, he was sentenced to death after the celebration of the triumph. On the eighth day of he month Gorpieium the city was completely burned. Innumerable thousands were killed through all he time of the seige — most assert ninety myriads — all Jews however, but not all of the same region and place, for they came together there from all sides at the time of the celebration of Passover. Captives were led away to the number ninety seven thousand, almost all the brigands were immediately killed, those who were the strongest were led through the triumph afterwards thrown to the beasts, [p. 405] given to other punishments through almost all the cities, on the route Titus traveled, that by the punishment of the rebellions he might scatter fear into everyone.

L. At the same time the Alani, a wild people and long unknown, because of the difficulty of their interior location and the barrier of the iron gate, which Alexander the Great established at the summit of the steep mountain, with other wild and fierce tribes were held back within, they resided in Scythicum Tanain and its neighbor and the Meotis marshes as if shut inside a prison and are remembered for the talent of their king, so that they might cultivate their own lands, they did not make raids upon others. But whether because of the barrenness of the place, because the fruitfulness did not answer the wishes of a greedy farmer with the hoped for returns, or because they stirred up the king of the Hyrcanians, who was in charge of the place, with the desire for pillaging, unsure of the tribes because of the reward and the dissension between them, that an unbarred gate would give him the opportunity of a sally. Which having been achieved they poured themselves upon the people of the Medes unprepared in a short time with swift horses and others equally tied to their right hands, upon whom they leaped in turn when it pleased them, they overran almost the entire region, so that at first they threw everything into confusion and gave the appearance of a great multitude, against which no opportunity of escape was open, then all having been beset, then as much slaughter having been put forth as they wished, they took away their booty. For this was a region crowded with people and abounding in cattle, which with no one resisting was easily opened to plundering. Indeed Pacorus himself, the king of the Medes, took himself into hidden places for safety rather than looking out for the kingdom, with the result that his wife and children and concubines taken captive by the Alanians were afterwards ransomed for one hundred talents. Nor was Tiridates, the king of Armenia, exempt from danger, but more on guard against foreign mischief, he foresaw the raid and strongly even [p. 406] wished to go to meet it, that he might turn the enemy from his territories. While he was fighting however caught in a lariat he would have submitted alive into the power of he enemy, if he had not quickly cut through the shapeless knot with a sharpened sword. For with a certain arrogance of their own bravery and a proud disdain for others, at the same time they pretend with great trickery a familiar custom of fighting at a distance to themselves and taking the opportunity of fleeing, the skill of the Alanians and their method of fighting is to hurl nooses and bind up their enemy.

LI. And so Tiridates fled, to whom it was sufficient to have escaped. He left his kingdom however to be plundered. For as it were the injury having been received, because he had dared to meet them, they laid waste Armenia more violently than the kingdom of the Medes. And so with the spoils of each rich kingdom they made a retreat to their own country. Whose incursion having been learned Titus traveled to Antioch, slowly however as became one celebrating a triumph, and concealing the reason he celebrated the pomp of victory through each city. Jews were killed in the arena, wherever he went, torn to pieces by beasts they paid out the due reward of rebellion. The gentile people of Antioch also from ancient hatreds inveighed against them, for the reason that the kings of the Persians, had conveyed to the Antiochian synagogues what donations they had claimed from the city of Jerusalem by right of victory having bestowed other things of their own also. And so the piled up wealth easily aroused envy. For as we now omit those things, which rival priests carried on against the Machabaeans and that there was a desire for a great slaughter of the citizens, as we mentioned previously, Antiochus afterwards having arisen not from the common people but lost to custom a crime having been committed, that the Jews had conspired to destroy the city of Antioch by fire, forced to death his own father, who was in the first rank of the Jews, and many others accused [p. 407] by this attack of the gentile multitude. Nor sated with that murder and the slaughter of many he did not rest, but afterwards also having found an excuse, because afterwards it happened that by a chance fire a covered walkway of the same city and a public square and a great part of the buildings were burned, he began to blame the Jews again by the deceit of the aforementioned conspiracy and to attack them. And he would have accomplished the slaughter of almost all, if not that the knowledge kept back from Titus arriving was a fear, that Caesar would be provoked by the punishment unlawfully undertaken of so many. That thing was the saving factor for the Jews.

LII. At Masada also many of the Jews relying on the fortification of the place assembled themselves, whose task of assaulting Titus considering beneath him, because he possessed the general-ship, he committed to Silva, to whom he had entrusted the greater task of of the Roman military in these places of taking precautions lest something again of rebellion should arise. He himself hastened to Alexandria and from there he crossed by ship to Rome. Silva diligently pursuing the task imposed upon him destroyed the wall of Masada with the battering ram. They had constructed the interior with wood for the reason that the wall material would not readily yield to the blows of siege machines of this type. But the Romans the manner of fighting having been changed threw fire, which both easily stuck fast to the wood and grew strong without any delay. And so a great roar was produced by the full grown conflagration of the blaze, which at first was driven back from parts of the fortification by the breath of the north wind and instead burned the shelters of the Romans, then the breath of the south wind having arisen turned itself back against the fortress, so that the material having been consumed all that wooden wall opposed burned up. The Romans since night had intervened, secure of victory took themselves into camp, so that on the following day they might vanquish those unprotected and stripped of all help. But so that no one might escape they surrounded the fortress with stationed guards. [p. 408]

LIII. And so things having been despaired of Eleazarus the originator of the disturbance seeing nothing of a help to be left delivered this speech, which we as a mournful conclusion for finishing the work have not let pass in a rhetorical manner: “What are we to do, men descended from Abraham, a royal race, unconquerable by virtue of priestly favor? For not from the outcome of victory, which is frequently uncertain, but from the steadfastness of a way of life is character seen. From which it is permitted to conclude, because for the enemy to make us subject is fate, not to change your attitude of mind is the act of courage. Rightly therefore I have designated you unconquerable, if no fear of death has as yet conquered you. But not thus did father Abraham instruct you, who in his one son taught, his was not to be death but immortality, if he was sacrificed for his religion. What may I say about Iosias, than whom no one was a better interpreter of religion, a scorner of death, a champion of liberty? For he stationed on that royal dais to whom it was permitted to put off death, however because he saw on account of grave sins there would be captivity of the people of Israel, embroiled himself in another’s war, he fled from life. Nechao proclaimed: I am not sent against you, but against the king of Israel. He however did not retreat before he underwent the lethal blow of an arrow. Routed by which wound he is an indication to us, whether in war merit or chance is more important. Iosias the restorer of the holy rites was conquered, Nechao the most wicked of all won, but he the conquered is now with the angels, he the winner is in torment. For who does not know, that the reward for men is not stored in this life, but after the finishing of this struggle? For we run to this, that we may arrive there at the palm, here the struggle, there the reward. Therefore there is not here [p. 409] any favor in a long lifetime. Abel quickly died, Cain survived. Thus there was death for innocence and hardship for life. From that we have come to the same fate, that to live would be a misery, to die would be blessed. For what is life except a prison for the soul which is confined within this prison and adheres to a carnal partner? By whose infirmities it is shaken, by whose labor it is afflicted, by whose wrath it is made weary, by whose lusts it is set on fire, it is vexed by madness, nor bound to the ground can it easily raise itself, mingled with dust, bound with chains, entangled in fetters. Not mediocre however is the power that makes live the body and pours into material incapable of sensation the vigor of feeling, and its soul confers this invisibly to every one, and rules the entire man and carries beyond human frailty, so that it seizes knowledge of the heavenly secrets, as it strains the mind to the future. And so it is not seen in the image and resemblance of its leader, since it is located in the body, not is it discerned with eyes belonging to the body, not is its entrance and exit detected by any act of looking. Representing the image of a divine gift, when it enters it pours in life, when it withdraws from the body it effects death. Where there is the soul there is life, where it is lacking there is death. Whatever it has visited is awakened, whatever it has left behind is immediately loosened and forthwith shrivels up. The dead rises with the infusion of the soul, the living is deprived of life by its departure. Who therefore doubts, that there seems to be in it the result of immortality, whose virtue is to turn aside death? That however is a burden to it, although it redounds to the advantage of another, and what it gives to a body, it takes from itself. For it is made heavy and as it were bends toward the earth with that mortal body. And so the life of the body is the death of the soul, and again the death of the body seems the freedom of the soul. For while we are in the body, our soul serves [p. 410] a wretched servitude which is exiled from paradise and wanders from its leader. When however it has been freed of these fleshly chains, it flies back to that pure and splendid higher place and is in attendance to its lord god and enjoys the dwelling places of the saints and the company of the blessed, it rejoices because it now has no communion with the dead, and has left behind the companionship of the dead body, heavenly grace has breathed upon it, nor does any irritation of human cares disturb it. Quiet is the proof to us, how much grace the soul recovers after the death of the body. With the body put to sleep and its desires and all its commotions as if dead we keep company with the saints more often, we recover what we have lost, and the absent are present with us and the dead live and every grief is at rest, and we approach and talk with god, we become acquainted with the future, there is respite from afflictions, there is freedom for slaves. Therefore because sleeping we dream, dead we gain this, and what in sleep is a phantom, this in death is the possession of truth and the favor of liberty. Whence in some peoples the custom is, that the birth of men is celebrated with wailing, their death with gladness, because they grieve those born to troubles, they rejoice for those who have returned to blessedness, they are in sorrow for the souls of those who have come into servitude, they rejoice for the souls of those who have returned to liberty. The wise men of the inhabitants of India are said, when they have put on the affliction of dying, to testify that they wish to depart and want none to interfere. Then when the state of death has approached, they leap happy upon the burning funeral pile and say farewell to those standing near, the wives grieve as if abandoned, and small children because they are being left behind, others neither bless nor envy because they are hastening to better dwellers, more splendid places, a purer fellowship. What therefore [p. 411]can I think otherwise about you, when even uncivilized peoples have the custom of pursuing liberty? And so you have long been well known to me and prepared to follow the customs of your fathers, which you think must be served neither to the Romans nor to any people but to god alone, who alone is the just and true lord of all, the day has come, who exacts to prove the will with actions and not dishonor the brilliance of ancient innate character, that born in liberty you place yourselves under the despotism of men, especially when it was permitted to you previously to be a slave without peril, now however it is necessary to accept dire punishments with slavery, if we should offer ourselves to be slaves to the empire of the Romans, whom we first of all provoked to war and last still are holding with arms. We did not give the emperor offering peace our hand, we gave it to Silva threatening harshness? O unhappy people, to what hope of this life will we reserve ourselves? So be it, let the enemy forgive. What will it profit, since the displeasure of god is evident? The fires have been turned round from the enemy against us, the breezes of the winds have been changed, the flames turned back, so that our reinforcements were burned down. Who will be able to live with god opposing? There is no place for pardon, but the power of a voluntary death is evident. Why indeed has night intervened, if not that the enemy should not prevent us, that he the wall defence having been burned down should not immediately break in, but that time of exercising a mutual death should be saved to us and it would be permitted to die with our children and relatives, that we not see breathless old people to be dragged off by the Romans, our dear wives to be dragged off for the pleasure of the victor? Let us die together for our country lest surviving we be a reproach of great shame. Whee then shall we flee from the face of god, or where shall we go with the lord of heaven hostile to us? If the mountains fall upon us and hide us with empty caves, how nevertheless will we be able to avoid the anger of such great power? Where indeed shall we go, where god is not, since he is everywhere? Or are they mediocre precedents, by which we are taught, that already for a long time [p. 412] he has been angered against our people on account of our sins, whom he was guarding? Who doubts this, when he considers, that our hands are turned against ourselves, domestic strife has killed more than war? I will not grant to the Romans that they have conquered, nor do they claim this for themselves, who know, that we have almost all been destroyed by our own rather than by another’s arms. What Roman arms indeed did the Jews inhabiting Caesarea see, on whose leisure day of the sabbath during the customary celebration of religious rites a multitude of the gentile Caesarea inhabitants by a sudden attack and madness sent from above destroyed twenty thousands burned up, it put all to flight, so that it emptied the entire city? Did not a certain madness fill all Syria, so that Jews and gentiles situated in these same cities and resident aliens connected previously by favor to themselves afterwards clashed between themselves in arms, by which a channel of future victory to the Romans was set up? For what shall I say of Scythopolis? Where the Jews were first straining, that they should forestall the gentile populace, lest something should be plotted against our people according to the example of the other cities. And so the Jews for whom it was suitable the men joined together to fight in battle against the foreigners, on the contrary fought against themselves, so that part of them fought against their kinsmen and neighbors with the gentiles, then they as the reward for their labor and blood expended were destroyed by the gentiles, because they prohibited to become gentiles. The inhabitants of Damascus with no reason existing killed eight thousand of the Jews, the Ascalonitans two thousand five hundred. In the city also, which has the name Ptolomais, two thousand were killed. In truth at Alexandria the hatred between the Jews and the the people of the tribes was long standing, for which reason Alexander the Great made use of the zeal of the Jews for making subject the Egyptians, from which the city having been founded privileges were allotted equally to the Jews and Egyptians and [p. 413] different places of residence, so that their religious observances would not be mixed together, who wished to preserve their own purifications without any contagion. From this cause there were frequent conflicts between them. Quarrels arose, judgement was sought; nothing however by means of the great king was proven to have been violated. But afterwards a disturbance having been begun by the gentiles, when some of the Jews were killed, some were held for punishment, the people of the Jews aroused by the injury rose up against the originators of the injury, and when they wished stubbornly to go avenge themselves on the citizens, the Roman army was brought in, which routed the fifty thousand Jews within the city. Truly why do I linger over slight matters, when the destruction of an entire city in the ruin of a single state should be lamented by us? Where is the great city of Jerusalem, where the splendid Zion, where the wonderful temple, where that second tabernacle, the shrine of sanctity, where alone once in the year the chief of the priests was wont to enter not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the transgression of the people? It has been profaned by the people, they who destroyed it live in the remains of the city. Where, I say, are you, a city crowded with people, with august kings, acceptable to god, the seat of grace? Your pavements of marble, your walls shining with marble, your roofs were bright with precious marble, your gates glistening with gold, other places shining with silver. All have been killed, both who inhabited you continuously and who came to you from the parts of the earth of the entire world, so that there is no doubt the entire world to have perished in you. Laid bare laid bare is everything, burnt to ashes from the roofs, overthrown from the foundations, your residence has been made a wilderness nor is there anyone who lives in the tabernacles. And is there anyone whom it pleases to live and whom it does not grieve to have lived? Unfeeling eyes, which are able [p. 414] to see these things, cruel minds, who are able to wish, what remains from such griefs, not that the slaughters have ended, but that still there is no rest. For on what may we cast our eyes or what does it delight to see? The entire city if a tomb of the dead, only ashes meet those looking, the streets are empty of the living filled with bodies. The wretched old people in ash covered old age and torn clothing sit above the remains of the dead covering the bare bones, by which they defend them from the birds and the beasts. A few women at the entrance whom the wicked soldier has saved for indecency, not for life. Who seeing this and thinking on the following days of living would dare to raise his eyes to heaven? Who is so forgetful of his country, of their enemy, averse to pity, free from sweetness, whose soft spirit of the half-man, who is so fearful, whom it does not shame to have been saved for this? Oh would that we had first died, or if life had survived, that the light of our eyes had perished, before we looked upon our sacred city destroyed by the hands of the enemy, and this temple dedicated to god by our ancestors so irreverently burned by flames, or we should see the priests lying dead in the temple. Let us emend therefore that we have outlived these evils, that we appear to have put off death not from the desire for life but from the purpose of manliness. The enemy have walled in every fortification, nothing survives except we and our wives. Already for themselves they put our sons up for public sale, and fight among themselves, who shall lead away whose wife, whether they should be distributed according to the services of the rank of the persons or whether the wretched persons should be forced to undergo a lottery. For us also they are preparing prodigies of punishments, the most exquisite torments, not only burning flames and different deaths by the blow of the avenging axe, a harsh punishment even after the chains, after the prison, after the yoke, but [p. 415] more tolerable to men because it is free from mockery, but even limbs wrenched from the living and especially hands cut off. And not unjustly, because they are wanting their service, who could come to their aid. Undergoing also the jaws of wild animals as a spectacle for the victors, which already celebrated in different arenas of the cities ought to be causing shame to us as a warning or as a wretched practice, that we are saving ourselves either for the beasts or about to fight with our brothers. Why therefore should we delay? There is not a free choice for us which we fear to avoid. If we are unwilling to kill our children because of pity or ourselves because of valor, it will be necessary that we kill our brothers or our neighbors through disgrace. Love persuades this, the victors exact this. If we are unwilling to perform the service of duty, we will be forced to undergo the mockery of a parricidal procession. Let us therefore undertake what will benefit our children and wives. If they are weak, let us remove them from future cruelties, if they are strong let us conquer with the compassion of parents, of the affection of relatives, and in this we defeat the enemy, from whom we remove booty. This manliness exacts, this decency persuades. Not to fear death is bravery. And indeed we ae all born for death and we beget children for death, whose death is attributed to nature, whose captivity is attributed to shame. Therefore those whom we are not able to rescue from danger, let us rescue from mockery. Let you fathers have compassion for your children, husbands for your wives, let us all have compassion for little children, what is especial, for our own, while there is the possibility of offering compassion, that we feel compassion for our own, that we do not seem born and saved for dishonor. Who indeed is able to endure that fathers be killed in the presence of their sons, sons in the sight of their parents, men weary with old age to be dragged to their deaths or what is worse to slavery women with disheveled hair to be led away in view of their husbands and be dragged violently to shame, to hear the voice of a wailing small child calling his father, that he should help him seeking aid, when already [p. 416] hands bound you may hear in vain and captive necks placed under the yoke? Therefore while our hands are still free, while we unsheath our swords, let us approach the task, which the triumphant enemy may marvel at. Let our wives receive the last gift of our conjugal love as a dotal inheritance. We pour back these keys to them as a new testament of family, that they are our heiresses of liberty. They themselves urge this, certainly they deserve what they wish, being forced by what they escape. Nor will the small children fear the sword, which they because of their age do not know, which they ought to receive from their dutiful parents, so that they truly become free. To us also what will be outstanding, if we first burn up the stronghold, let us however spare the grain, lest they think we forced by hunger rather than encouraged by the zeal of valor to have seized the service of mutual slaughter? Let us give them food replete with blood, and if the flames shall burn it, the fumes themselves of the burned crops will be proof that what abounded to the besieged was destroyed by those being besieged. After that each one should offer himself to the wound and about to die defend his country and solicit in rotation with a last embrace. May our country be for us the tomb of freedom, which was the home of self-respect. This mound is fitting for our burials, that we may be protected by the folds of valor.” Aroused by such an oration the rest held their swords drawn, they gave kisses to their wives, they took their children in an embrace, shedding tears at the same time and hastening, that they should forestall the enemy, “this to you,” he said, “a pledge of love, we give as the solace of a last obligation.” And with emotion manfully suppressed they shut out suffering, they finished the slaughter. The fearless wives offered themselves to the wound for the preservation of their chastity. They put on also the courage of their husbands. And so their relatives killed, their children also, they chose the strongest, who would follow up the completion of the killing. And so all were killed, nine hundred sixty with small children and wives. One woman alone survived, who hid five sons in the aqueduct, while the rest stretched out for the last necessity. She awoken to calling at dawn by the arriving Romans was the informer of the activity. Their wealth having been put aside by them earlier fire consumed it.



1. Translator’s note: that is, things are not turning out well for the Romans.

2. Translator’s note: as written by Hegesippus in Latin there were four men involved, namely Tepthaeus, Magassarus, an Adiabenian, and Agiras, but in the Penguin Classic version of Josephus as translated into English by Williamson from the Greek there were only three men, with Agiras being the name of the Adiabenian.

3. Translator’s note: i.e., the Romans.

4. Translator’s note: Matthais now begins to speak to Simon.

5. Translater’s note: Thyestes offered the flesh of his son as food.

6. Translator’s note: this last bit is surely a later interpolation into the text by some Christian copier.

7. Translator’s note: imperator, here not “emperor” but “imperator” a title granted by the troops to a successful general.

Hegesippus (2) (Egesippus), the alleged author of a work of which a translation from Greek into Latin, or what purported to be such, appeared c.400, and is commonly referred to asde Bello Judaico or as de Excidio Urbis Hierosolymitanae. It is mainly taken from the Wars of Josephus. The translator freely adds to his author, sometimes from the later books of the Antiquities of Josephus, sometimes from Roman historians and other sources, and also freely composes speeches for the actors.

The work is that of an earnest defender of the Christian faith. An approximation to his date is supplied by several passages; as when he speaks of Constantinople having long become the second city of the Roman empire (iii. 5, p. 179), and of Antioch, once the metropolis of the Persians, being in his time the defence of the Byzantines against that people. He also speaks of the triumphs of the Romans in “Scotia” and in “Saxonia,” using language strikingly similar to that of Claudian (c. 398) (v. 18, p. 299; Claud. de iv. Cons. Honor. 31–34). The work early acquired a considerable reputation. Some have ascribed the translation to Ambrose. The Benedictines, however, strongly reject the Ambrosian authorship, asserting that it contains nothing whatever in Ambrose’s style; while Galland earnestly contends for it, and reprints an elaborate dissertation of Mazochius which he regards as conclusive (Galland. Biblioth. Patr. vii. prolegom. p. xxix.). The editors of the Patrologiaincline to reject the Ambrosias authorship, though they print it among his writings (xv. 1962). The most correct edition (Marburg, 1858, 1864, 4to) was commenced by Prof. C. F. Weber of Marburg, and completed after his death by Prof. Julius Caesar, who elaborately discussed the authorship and date (pp. 389–399). Cf. G. Landgraf, “Die Hegesippus Frage” in Archiv. f. Latin Lexicogr. (1902), xii. 465·472, who decides in favour of the Ambrosian authorship.”

Andrew Criddle

“Pseudo-Hegesippus is of interest in providing (in book 2 chapter 12) a version of the Testimonium Flavianum(Josephus’ account of Christ) which is unlikely to be directly or indirectly influenced by Eusebius:

“About which the Jews themselves bear witness, Josephus a writer of histories saying, that there was in that time a wise man, if it is proper however, he said, to call a man the creator of marvelous works, who appeared living to his disciples after three days of his death in accordance with the writings of the prophets, who prophesied both this and innumerable other things full of miracles about him. from which began the community of Christians and penetrated into every tribe of men nor has any nation of the Roman world remained, which was left without worship of him. If the Jews don’t believe us, they should believe their own people. Josephus said this, whom they themselves think very great, but it is so that he was in his own self who spoke the truth otherwise in mind, so that he did not believe his own words. But he spoke because of loyalty to history, because he thought it a sin to deceive, he did not believe because of stubbornness of heart and the intention of treachery. He does not however prejudge the truth because he did not believe but he added more to his testimony, because although disbelieving and unwilling he did not refuse.”

For the importance of a witness to Josephus that is independent of Eusebius, please see my series of posts:

  1. “Josephus, the Testimonium Flavianum, and Eusebius” (Aug. 6, 2004)

  2. “A Pre-Eusebian Witness to the Testimonium” (Aug. 7, 2004)

  3. “Tacitus, Josephus, and Eusebius” (Dec. 10, 2004)

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