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The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 15 out of 26

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very kindly, when he saw them in a good humor, he began to say to
them, that they knew he was desirous to be a righteous man, and
to do all things whereby he might please God, which was the
profession of the Pharisees also. However, he desired, that if
they observed him offending in any point, and going out of the
right way, they would call him back and correct him. On which
occasion they attested to his being entirely virtuous; with which
commendation he was well pleased. But still there was one of his
guests there, whose name was Eleazar, a man of an ill temper, and
delighting in seditious practices. This man said," Since thou
desirest to know the truth, if thou wilt be righteous in earnest,
lay down the high priesthood, and content thyself with the civil
government of the people," And when he desired to know for what
cause he ought to lay down the high priesthood, the other
replied, "We have heard it from old men, that thy mother had been
a captive under the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. (29)" This
story was false, and Hyrcanus was provoked against him; and all
the Pharisees had a very great indignation against him.

6. Now there was one Jonathan, a very great friend of Hyrcanus's,
but of the sect of the Sadducees, whose notions are quite
contrary to those of the Pharisees. He told Hyrcanus that Eleazar
had cast such a reproach upon him, according to the common
sentiments of all the Pharisees, and that this would be made
manifest if he would but ask them the question, What punishment
they thought this man deserved? for that he might depend upon it,
that the reproach was not laid on him with their approbation, if
they were for punishing him as his crime deserved. So the
Pharisees made answer, that he deserved stripes and bonds, but
that it did not seem right to punish reproaches with death. And
indeed the Pharisees, even upon other occasions, are not apt to
be severe in punishments. At this gentle sentence, Hyrcanus was
very angry, and thought that this man reproached him by their
approbation. It was this Jonathan who chiefly irritated him, and
influenced him so far, that he made him leave the party of the
Pharisees, and abolish the decrees they had imposed on the
people, and to punish those that observed them. From this source
arose that hatred which he and his sons met with from the
multitude: but of these matters we shall speak hereafter. What I
would now explain is this, that the Pharisees have delivered to
the people a great many observances by succession from their
fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for that
reason it is that the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are
to esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the
written word, but are not to observe what are derived from the
tradition of our forefathers. And concerning these things it is
that great disputes and differences have arisen among them, while
the Sadducees are able to persuade none but the rich, and have
not the populace obsequious to them, but the Pharisees have the
multitude on their side. But about these two sects, and that of
the Essens, I have treated accurately in the second book of
Jewish affairs.

7. But when Hyrcanus had put an end to this sedition, he after
that lived happily, and administered the government in the best
manner for thirty-one years, and then died, (30) leaving behind
him five sons. He was esteemed by God worthy of three of the
greatest privileges, - the government of his nation, the dignity
of the high priesthood, and prophecy; for God was with him, and
enabled him to know futurities; and to foretell this in
particular, that, as to his two eldest sons, he foretold that
they would not long continue in the government of public affairs;
whose unhappy catastrophe will be worth our description, that we
may thence learn how very much they were inferior to their
father's happiness.


How Aristobulus, When He Had Taken The Government First Of All
Put A Diadem On His Head, And Was Most Barbarously Cruel To His
Mother And His Brethren; And How, After He Had Slain Antigonus,
He Himself Died.

1. Now when their father Hyrcanus was dead, the eldest son
Aristobulus, intending to change the government into a kingdom,
for so he resolved to do, first of all put a diadem on his head,
four hundred eighty and one years and three months after the
people had been delivered from the Babylonish slavery, and were
returned to their own country again. This Aristobulus loved his
next brother Antigonus, and treated him as his equal; but the
others he held in bonds. He also cast his mother into prison,
because she disputed the government with him; for Hyrcanus had
left her to be mistress of all. He also proceeded to that degree
of barbarity, as to kill her in prison with hunger; nay, he was
alienated from his brother Antigonus by calumnies, and added him
to the rest whom he slew; yet he seemed to have an affection for
him, and made him above the rest a partner with him in the
kingdom. Those calumnies he at first did not give credit to,
partly because he loved him, and so did not give heed to what was
said against him, and partly because he thought the reproaches
were derived from the envy of the relaters. But when Antigonus
was once returned from the army, and that feast was then at hand
when they make tabernacles to [the honor of God,] it happened
that Arlstobulus was fallen sick, and that Antigonus went up most
splendidly adorned, and with his soldiers about him in their
armor, to the temple to celebrate the feast, and to put up many
prayers for the recovery of his brother, when some wicked
persons, who had a great mind to raise a difference between the
brethren, made use of this opportunity of the pompous appearance
of Antigonus, and of the great actions which he had done, and
went to the king, and spitefully aggravated the pompous show of
his at the feast, and pretended that all these circumstances were
not like those of a private person; that these actions were
indications of an affectation of royal authority; and that his
coming with a strong body of men must be with an intention to
kill him; and that his way of reasoning was this: That it was a
silly thing in him, while it was in his power to reign himself,
to look upon it as a great favor that he was honored with a lower
dignity by his brother.

2. Aristobulus yielded to these imputations, but took care both
that his brother should not suspect him, and that he himself
might not run the hazard of his own safety; so he ordered his
guards to lie in a certain place that was under ground, and dark;
(he himself then lying sick in the tower which was called
Antonia;) and he commanded them, that in case Antigonus came in
to him unarmed, they should not touch any body, but if armed,
they should kill him; yet did he send to Antigonus, and desired
that he would come unarmed; but the queen, and those that joined
with her in the plot against Antigonus, persuaded the messenger
to tell him the direct contrary: how his brother had heard that
he had made himself a fine suit of armor for war, and desired him
to come to him in that armor, that he might see how fine it was.
So Antigonus suspecting no treachery, but depending on the
good-will of his brother, came to Aristobulus armed, as he used
to be, with his entire armor, in order to show it to him; but
when he was come to a place which was called Strato's Tower,
where the passage happened to be exceeding dark, the guards slew
him; which death of his demonstrates that nothing is stronger
than envy and calumny, and that nothing does more certainly
divide the good-will and natural affections of men than those
passions. But here one may take occasion to wonder at one Judas,
who was of the sect of the Essens, (31) and who never missed the
truth in his predictions; for this man, when he saw Antigonus
passing by the temple, cried out to his companions and friends,
who abode with him as his scholars, in order to learn the art of
foretelling things to come?" That it was good for him to die now,
since he had spoken falsely about Antigonus, who is still alive,
and I see him passing by, although he had foretold he should die
at the place called Strato's Tower that very day, while yet the
place is six hundred furlongs off, where he had foretold he
should be slain; and still this day is a great part of it already
past, so that he was in danger of proving a false prophet." As he
was saying this, and that in a melancholy mood, the news came
that Antigonus was slain in a place under ground, which itself
was called also Strato's Tower, or of the same name with that
Cesarea which is seated at the sea. This event put the prophet
into a great disorder.

3. But Aristobulus repented immediately of this slaughter of his
brother; on which account his disease increased upon him, and he
was disturbed in his mind, upon the guilt of such wickedness,
insomuch that his entrails were corrupted by his intolerable
pain, and he vomited blood: at which time one of the servants
that attended upon him, and was carrying his blood away, did, by
Divine Providence, as I cannot but suppose, slip down, and shed
part of his blood at the very place where there were spots of
Antigonus's blood, there slain, still remaining; and when there
was a cry made by the spectators, as if the servant had on
purpose shed the blood on that place, Aristobulus heard it, and
inquired what the matter was; and as they did not answer him, he
was the more earnest to know what it was, it being natural to men
to suspect that what is thus concealed is very bad: so upon his
threatening, and forcing them by terrors to speak, they at length
told him the truth; whereupon he shed many tears, in that
disorder of mind which arose from his consciousness of what he
had done, and gave a deep groan, and said, "I am not therefore, I
perceive, to be concealed from God, in the impious and horrid
crimes I have been guilty of; but a sudden punishment is coming
upon me for the shedding the blood of my relations. And now, O
thou most impudent body of mine, how long wilt thou retain a soul
that ought to die, in order to appease the ghosts of my brother
and my mother? Why dost thou not give it all up at once? And why
do I deliver up my blood drop by drop to those whom I have so
wickedly murdered?" In saying which last words he died, having
reigned a year. He was called a lover of the Grecians; and had
conferred many benefits on his own country, and made war against
Iturea, and added a great part of it to Judea, and compelled the
inhabitants, if they would continue in that country, to be
circumcised, and to live according to the Jewish laws. He was
naturally a man of candor, and of great modesty, as Strabo bears
witness, in the name of Timagenes; who says thus: "This man was a
person of candor, and very serviceable to the Jews; for he added
a country to them, and obtained a part of the nation of the
Itureans for them, and bound them to them by the bond of the
circumcision of their genitals."


How Alexander When He Had Taken The Government Made An Expedition
Against Ptolemais, And Then Raised The Siege Out Of Fear Of
Ptolemy Lathyrus; And How Ptolemy Made War Against Him, Because
He Had Sent To Cleopatra To Persuade Her To Make War Against
Ptolemy, And Yet Pretended To Be In Friendship With Him, When He
Beat The Jews In The Battle.

1. When Aristobulus was dead, his wife Salome, who, by the
Greeks, was called Alexandra, let his brethren out of prison,
(for Aristobulus had kept them in bonds, as we have said
already,) and made Alexander Janneus king, who was the superior
in age and in moderation. This child happened to be hated by his
father as soon as he was born, and could never be permitted to
come into his father's sight till he died. (32) The occasion of
which hatred is thus reported: when Hyrcanus chiefly loved the
two eldest of his sons, Antigonus and Aristobutus, God appeared
to him in his sleep, of whom he inquired which of his sons should
be his successor. Upon God's representing to him the countenance
of Alexander, he was grieved that he was to be the heir of all
his goods, and suffered him to be brought up in Galilee However,
God did not deceive Hyrcanus; for after the death of Aristobulus,
he certainly took the kingdom; and one of his brethren, who
affected the kingdom, he slew; and the other, who chose to live a
private and quiet life, he had in esteem.

2. When Alexander Janneus had settled the government in the
manner that he judged best, he made an expedition against
Ptolemais; and having overcome the men in battle, he shut them up
in the city, and sat round about it, and besieged it; for of the
maritime cities there remained only Ptolemais and Gaza to be
conquered, besides Strato's Tower and Dora, which were held by
the tyrant Zoilus. Now while Antiochus Philometor, and Antiochus
who was called Cyzicenus, were making war one against another,
and destroying one another's armies, the people of Ptolemais
could have no assistance from them; but when they were distressed
with this siege, Zoilus, who possessed Strato's Tower and Dora,
and maintained a legion of soldiers, and, on occasion of the
contest between the kings, affected tyranny himself, came and
brought some small assistance to the people of Ptolemais; nor
indeed had the kings such a friendship for them, as that they
should hope for any advantage from them. Both those kings were in
the case of wrestlers, who finding themselves deficient in.
strength, and yet being ashamed to yield, put off the fight by
laziness, and by lying still as long as they can. The only hope
they had remaining was from the kings of Egypt, and from Ptolemy
Lathyrus, who now held Cyprus, and who came to Cyprus when he was
driven from the government of Egypt by Cleopatra his mother. So
the people of Ptolemais sent to this Ptolemy Lathyrus, and
desired him to come as a confederate, to deliver them, now they
were in such danger, out of the hands of Alexander. And as the
ambassadors gave him hopes, that if he would pass over into
Syria, he would have the people of Gaza on the side of those of
Ptolemais; as also they said, that Zoilus, and besides these the
Sidonians, and many others, would assist them; so he was elevated
at this, and got his fleet ready as soon as possible.

3. But in this interval Demenetus, one that was of abilities to
persuade men to do as he would have them, and a leader of the
populace, made those of Ptolemais change their opinions; and said
to them, that it was better to run the hazard of being subject to
the Jews, than to admit of evident slavery by delivering
themselves up to a master; and besides that, to have not only a
war at present, but to expect a much greater war from Egypt; for
that Cleopatra would not overlook an army raised by Ptolemy for
himself out of the neighborhood, but would come against them with
a great army of her own, and this because she was laboring to
eject her son out of Cyprus also; that as for Ptolemy, if he fail
of his hopes, he can still retire to Cyprus, but that they will
be left in the greatest danger possible. Now Ptolemy, although he
had heard of the change that was made in the people of Ptolemais,
yet did he still go on with his voyage, and came to the country
called Sycamine, and there set his army on shore. This army of
his, in the whole horse and foot together, were about thirty
thousand, with which he marched near to Ptolemais, and there
pitched his camp. But when the people of Ptolemais neither
received his ambassadors, nor would hear what they had to say, he
was under a very great concern.

4. But when Zoilus and the people of Gaza came to him, and
desired his assistance, because their country was laid waste by
the Jews, and by Alexander, Alexander raised the siege, for fear
of Ptolemy: and when he had drawn off his army into his own
country, he used a stratagem afterwards, by privately inviting
Cleopatra to come against Ptolemy, but publicly pretending to
desire a league of friendship and mutual assistance with him; and
promising to give him four hundred talents of silver, he desired
that, by way of requital, he would take off Zoilus the tyrant,
and give his country to the Jews. And then indeed Ptolemy, with
pleasure, made such a league of friendship with Alexander, and
subdued Zoilus; but when he afterwards heard that he had privily
sent to Cleopatra his mother, he broke the league with him, which
yet he had confirmed with an oath, and fell upon him, and
besieged Ptolemais, because it would not receive him. However,
leaving his generals, with some part of his forces, to go on with
the siege, he went himself immediately with the rest to lay Judea
waste; and when Alexander understood this to be Ptolemy's
intention, he also got together about fifty thousand soldiers out
of his own country; nay, as some writers have said, eighty
thousand (33) He then took his army, and went to meet Ptolemy;
but Ptolemy fell upon Asochis, a city of Galilee, and took it by
force on the sabbath day, and there he took about ten thousand
slaves, and a great deal of other prey.

5. He then tried to take Sepphoris, which was a city not far from
that which was destroyed, but lost many of his men; yet did he
then go to fight with Alexander; which Alexander met him at the
river Jordan, near a certain place called Saphoth, [not far from
the river Jordan,] and pitched his camp near to the enemy. He had
however eight thousand in the first rank, which he styled
Hecatontomachi, having shields of brass. Those in the first rank
of Ptolemy's soldiers also had shields covered with brass. But
Ptolemy's soldiers in other respects were inferior to those of
Alexander, and therefore were more fearful of running hazards;
but Philostephanus, the camp-master, put great courage into them,
and ordered them to pass the river, which was between their
camps. Nor did Alexander think fit to hinder their passage over
it; for he thought, that if the enemy had once gotten the river
on their back, that he should the easier take them prisoners,
when they could not flee out of the battle: in the beginning of
which, the acts on both sides, with their hands, and with their
alacrity, were alike, and a great slaughter was made by both the
armies; but Alexander was superior, till Philostephanus
opportunely brought up the auxiliaries, to help those that were
giving way; but as there were no auxiliaries to afford help to
that part of the Jews that gave way, it fell out that they fled,
and those near them did no assist them, but fled along with them.
However, Ptolemy's soldiers acted quite otherwise; for they
followed the Jews, and killed them, till at length those that
slew them pursued after them when they had made them all run
away, and slew them so long, that their weapons of iron were
blunted, and their hands quite tired with the slaughter; for the
report was, that thirty thousand men were then slain. Timagenes
says they were fifty thousand. As for the rest, they were part of
them taken captives, and the other part ran away to their own

6. After this victory, Ptolemy overran all the country; and when
night came on, he abode in certain villages of Judea, which when
he found full of women and children, he commanded his soldiers to
strangle them, and to cut them in pieces, and then to cast them
into boiling caldrons, and then to devour their limbs as
sacrifices. This commandment was given, that such as fled from
the battle, and came to them, might suppose their enemies were
cannibals, and eat men's flesh, and might on that account be
still more terrified at them upon such a sight. And both Strabo
and Nicholaus [of Damascus] affirm, that they used these people
after this manner, as I have already related. Ptolemy also took
Ptolemais by force, as we have declared elsewhere.


How Alexander, upon the League of Mutual Defense Which Cleopatra
Had Agreed with Him, Made an Expedition Against Coelesyria, and
Utterly Overthrew the City of Gaza; and How He Slew Many Ten
Thousands of Jews That Rebelled Against Him. Also Concerning
Antiochus Grypus, Seleucus Antiochus Cyziceius, and Antiochus
Pius, and Others.

1. When Cleopatra saw that her son was grown great, and laid
Judea waste, without disturbance, and had gotten the city of Gaza
under his power, she resolved no longer to overlook what he did,
when he was almost at her gates; and she concluded, that now he
was so much stronger than before, he would be very desirous of
the dominion over the Egyptians; but she immediately marched
against him, with a fleet at sea and an army of foot on land, and
made Chelcias and Ananias the Jews generals of her whole army,
while she sent the greatest part of her riches, her
grandchildren, and her testament, to the people of Cos (34)
Cleopatra also ordered her son Alexander to sail with a great
fleet to Phoenicia; and when that country had revolted, she came
to Ptolemais; and because the people of Ptolemais did not receive
her, she besieged the city; but Ptolemy went out of Syria, and
made haste unto Egypt, supposing that he should find it destitute
of an army, and soon take it, though he failed of his hopes. At
this time Chelcias, one of Cleopatra's generals, happened to die
in Celesyria, as he was in pursuit of Ptolemy.

2. When Cleopatra heard of her son's attempt, and that his
Egyptian expedition did not succeed according to his
expectations, she sent thither part of her army, and drove him
out of that country; so when he was returned out of Egypt again,
he abode during the winter at Gaza, in which time Cleopatra took
the garrison that was in Ptolemais by siege, as well as the city;
and when Alexander came to her, he gave her presents, and such
marks of respect as were but proper, since under the miseries he
endured by Ptolemy he had no other refuge but her. Now there were
some of her friends who persuaded her to seize Alexander, and to
overrun and take possession of the country, and not to sit still
and see such a multitude of brave Jews subject to one man. But
Ananias's counsel was contrary to theirs, who said that she would
do an unjust action if she deprived a man that was her ally of
that authority which belonged to him, and this a man who is
related to us; "for (said he) I would not have thee ignorant of
this, that what in. justice thou dost to him will make all us
that are Jews to be thy enemies. This desire of Ananias Cleopatra
complied with, and did no injury to Alexander, but made a league
of mutual assistance with him at Scythopolis, a city of

3. So when Alexander was delivered from the fear he was in of
Ptolemy, he presently made an expedition against Coelesyria. He
also took Gadara, after a siege of ten months. He took also
Areathus, a very strong fortress belonging to the inhabitants
above Jordan, where Theodorus, the son of Zeno, had his chief
treasure, and what he esteemed most precious. This Zeno fell
unexpectedly upon the Jews, and slew ten thousand of them, and
seized upon Alexander's baggage. Yet did not this misfortune
terrify Alexander; but he made an expedition upon the maritime
parts of the country, Raphia and Anthedon, (the name of which
king Herod afterwards changed to Agrippias,) and took even that
by force. But when Alexander saw that Ptolemy was retired from
Gaza to Cyprus, and his mother Cleopatra was returned to Egypt,
he grew angry at the people of Gaza, because they had invited
Ptolemy to assist them, and besieged their city, and ravaged
their country. But as Apollodotus, the general of the army of
Gaza, fell upon the camp of the Jews by night, with two thousand
foreign and ten thousand of his own forces, while the night
lasted, those of Gaza prevailed, because the enemy was made to
believe that it was Ptolemy who attacked them; but when day was
come on, and that mistake was corrected, and the Jews knew the
truth of the matter, they came back again, and fell upon those of
Gaza, and slew of them about a thousand. But as those of Gaza
stoutly resisted them, and would not yield for either their want
of any thing, nor for the great multitude that were slain, (for
they would rather suffer any hardship whatever than come under
the power of their enemies,) Aretas, king of the Arabians, a
person then very illustrious, encouraged them to go on with
alacrity, and promised them that he would come to their
assistance; but it happened that before he came Apollodotus was
slain; for his brother Lysimachus envying him for the great
reputation he had gained among the citizens, slew him, and got
the army together, and delivered up the city to Alexander, who,
when he came in at first, lay quiet, but afterward set his army
upon the inhabitants of Gaza, and gave them leave to punish them;
so some went one way, and some went another, and slew the
inhabitants of Gaza; yet were not they of cowardly hearts, but
opposed those that came to slay them, and slew as many of the
Jews; and some of them, when they saw themselves deserted, burnt
their own houses, that the enemy might get none of their spoils;
nay, some of them, with their own hands, slew their children and
their wives, having no other way but this of avoiding slavery for
them; but the senators, who were in all five hundred, fled to
Apollo's temple, (for this attack happened to be made as they
were sitting,) whom Alexander slew; and when he had utterly
overthrown their city, he returned to Jerusalem, having spent a
year in that siege.

4. About this very time Antiochus, who was called Grypus, died
(35) His death was caused by Heracleon's treachery, when he had
lived forty-five years, and had reigned twenty-nine. (36) His son
Seleucus succeeded him in the kingdom, and made war with
Antiochus, his father's brother, who was called Antiochus
Cyzicenus, and beat him, and took him prisoner, and slew him. But
after a while Antiochus, the son of Cyzicenus, who was called
Pius, came to Aradus, and put the diadem on his own head, and
made war with Seleucus, and beat him, and drove him out of all
Syria. But when he fled out of Syria, he came to Mopsuestia
again, and levied money upon them; but the people of Mopsuestin
had indignation at what he did, and burnt down his palace, and
slew him, together with his friends. But when Antiochus, the son
of Cyzicenus, was king of Syria, Antiochus, (37) the brother of
Seleucus, made war upon him, and was overcome, and destroyed, he
and his army. After him, his brother Philip put on the diadem,
and reigned over some part of Syria; but Ptolemy Lathyrus sent
for his fourth brother Demetrius, who was called Eucerus, from
Cnidus, and made him king of Damascus. Both these brothers did
Antiochus vehemently oppose, but presently died; for when he was
come as an auxiliary to Laodice, queen of the Gileadites, (38)
when she was making war against the Parthians, and he was
fighting courageously, he fell, while Demetrius and Philip
governed Syria, as hath been elsewhere related.

5. As to Alexander, his own people were seditious against him;
for at a festival which was then celebrated, when he stood upon
the altar, and was going to sacrifice, the nation rose upon him,
and pelted him with citrons [which they then had in their hands,
because] the law of the Jews required that at the feast of
tabernacles every one should have branches of the palm tree and
citron tree; which thing we have elsewhere related. They also
reviled him, as derived from a captive, and so unworthy of his
dignity and of sacrificing. At this he was in a rage, and slew of
them about six thousand. He also built a partition-wall of wood
round the altar and the temple, as far as that partition within
which it was only lawful for the priests to enter; and by this
means he obstructed the multitude from coming at him. He also
maintained foreigners of Pisidie and Cilicia; for as to the
Syrians, he was at war with them, and so made no use of them. He
also overcame the Arabians, such as the Moabites and Gileadites,
and made them bring tribute. Moreover, he demolished Amathus,
while Theodorus (39) durst not fight with him; but as he had
joined battle with Obedas, king of the Arabians, and fell into an
ambush in the places that were rugged and difficult to be
traveled over, he was thrown down into a deep valley, by the
multitude of the camels at Gadurn, a village of Gilead, and
hardly escaped with his life. From thence he fled to Jerusalem,
where, besides his other ill success, the nation insulted him,
and he fought against them for six years, and slew no fewer than
fifty thousand of them. And when he desired that they would
desist from their ill-will to him, they hated him so much the
more, on account of what had already happened; and when he had
asked them what he ought to do, they all cried out, that he ought
to kill himself. They also sent to Demetrius Eucerus, and desired
him to make a league of mutual defense with them.


How Demetrius Eucerus Overcame Alexander And Yet In A Little Time
Retired Out Of The Country For Fear; As Also How Alexander Slew
Many Of The Jews And Thereby Got Clear Of His Troubles.
Concerning The Death Of Demetrius.

1. So Demetrius came with an army, and took those that invited
him, and pitched his camp near the city Shechem; upon which
Alexander, with his six thousand two hundred mercenaries, and
about twenty thousand Jews, who were of his party, went against
Demetrius, who had three thousand horsemen, and forty thousand
footmen. Now there were great endeavors used on both sides, -
Demetrius trying to bring off the mercenaries that were with
Alexander, because they were Greeks, and Alexander trying to
bring off the Jews that were with Demetrius. However, when
neither of them could persuade them so to do, they came to a
battle, and Demetrius was the conqueror; in which all Alexander's
mercenaries were killed, when they had given demonstration of
their fidelity and courage. A great number of Demetrius's
soldiers were slain also.

2. Now as Alexander fled to the mountains, six thousand of the
Jews hereupon came together [from Demetrius] to him out of pity
at the change of his fortune; upon which Demetrius was afraid,
and retired out of the country; after which the Jews fought
against Alexander, and being beaten, were slain in great numbers
in the several battles which they had; and when he had shut up
the most powerful of them in the city Bethome, he besieged them
therein; and when he had taken the city, and gotten the men into
his power, he brought them to Jerusalem, and did one of the most
barbarous actions in the world to them; for as he was feasting
with his concubines, in the sight of all the city, he ordered
about eight hundred of them to be crucified; and while they were
living, he ordered the throats of their children and wives to be
cut before their eyes. This was indeed by way of revenge for the
injuries they had done him; which punishment yet was of an
inhuman nature, though we suppose that he had been never so much
distressed, as indeed he had been, by his wars with them, for he
had by their means come to the last degree of hazard, both of his
life and of his kingdom, while they were not satisfied by
themselves only to fight against him, but introduced foreigners
also for the same purpose; nay, at length they reduced him to
that degree of necessity, that he was forced to deliver back to
the king of Arabia the land of Moab and Gilead, which he had
subdued, and the places that were in them, that they might not
join with them in the war against him, as they had done ten
thousand other things that tended to affront and reproach him.
However, this barbarity seems to have been without any necessity,
on which account he bare the name of a Thracian among the Jews
(40) whereupon the soldiers that had fought against him, being
about eight thousand in number, ran away by night, and continued
fugitives all the time that Alexander lived; who being now freed
from any further disturbance from them, reigned the rest of his
time in the utmost tranquillity.

3. But when Demetrius was departed out of Judea, he went to
Berea, and besieged his brother Philip, having with him ten
thousand footmen, and a thousand horsemen. However Strato, the
tyrant of Berea, the confederate of Philip, called in Zizon, the
ruler of the Arabian tribes, and Mithridates Sinax, the ruler of
the Parthians, who coming with a great number of forces, and
besieging Demetrius in his encampment, into which they had driven
them with their arrows, they compelled those that were with him
by thirst to deliver up themselves. So they took a great many
spoils out of that country, and Demetrius himself, whom they sent
to Mithridates, who was then king of Parthis; but as to those
whom they took captives of the people of Antioch, they restored
them to the Antiochinus without any reward. Now Mithridates, the
king of Parthis, had Demetrius in great honor, till Demetrius
ended his life by sickness. So Philip, presently after the fight
was over, came to Antioch, and took it, and reigned over Syria.


How Antiochus, Who Was Called Dionysus, And After Him Aretas Made
Expeditions Into Judea; As Also How Alexander Took Many Cities
And Then Returned To Jerusalem, And After A Sickness Of Three
Years Died; And What Counsel He Gave To Alexandra.

1. After this, Antiochus, who was called Dionysus, (41) and was
Philip's brother, aspired to the dominion, and carne to Damascus,
and got the power into his hands, and there he reigned; but as he
was making war against the Arabians, his brother Philip heard of
it, and came to Damascus, where Milesius, who had been left
governor of the citadel, and the Damascens themselves, delivered
up the city to him; yet because Philip was become ungrateful to
him, and had bestowed upon him nothing of that in hopes whereof
he had received him into the city, but had a mind to have it
believed that it was rather delivered up out of fear than by the
kindness of Milesius, and because he had not rewarded him as he
ought to have done, he became suspected by him, and so he was
obliged to leave Damascus again; for Milesius caught him marching
out into the Hippodrome, and shut him up in it, and kept Damascus
for Antiochus [Eucerus], who hearing how Philip's affairs stood,
came back out of Arabia. He also came immediately, and made an
expedition against Judea, with eight thousand armed footmen, and
eight hundred horsemen. So Alexander, out of fear of his coming,
dug a deep ditch, beginning at Chabarzaba, which is now called
Antipatris, to the sea of Joppa, on which part only his army
could be brought against him. He also raised a wall, and erected
wooden towers, and intermediate redoubts, for one hundred and
fifty furlongs in length, and there expected the coming of
Antiochus; but he soon burnt them all, and made his army pass by
that way into Arabia. The Arabian king [Aretas] at first
retreated, but afterward appeared on the sudden with ten thousand
horsemen. Antiochus gave them the meeting, and fought
desperately; and indeed when he had gotten the victory, and was
bringing some auxiliaries to that part of his army that was in
distress, he was slain. When Antiochus was fallen, his army fled
to the village Cana, where the greatest part of them perished by

2. After him (42) Arems reigned over Celesyria, being called to
the government by those that held Damascus, by reason of the
hatred they bare to Ptolemy Menneus. He also made thence an
expedition against Judea, and beat Alexander in battle, near a
place called Adida; yet did he, upon certain conditions agreed on
between them, retire out of Judea.

3. But Alexander marched again to the city Dios, and took it; and
then made an expedition against Essa, where was the best part of
Zeno's treasures, and there he encompassed the place with three
walls; and when he had taken the city by fighting, he marched to
Golan and Seleucia; and when he had taken these cities, he,
besides them, took that valley which is called The Valley of
Antiochus, as also the fortress of Gamala. He also accused
Demetrius, who was governor of those places, of many crimes, and
turned him out; and after he had spent three years in this war,
he returned to his own country, when the Jews joyfully received
him upon this his good success.

4. Now at this time the Jews were in possession of the following
cities that had belonged to the Syrians, and Idumeans, and
Phoenicians: At the sea-side, Strato's Tower, Apollonia, Joppa,
Jamhis, Ashdod, Gaza, Anthedon, Raphia, and Rhinocolura; in the
middle of the country, near to Idumea, Adorn, and Marissa; near
the country of Samaria, Mount Carmel, and Mount Tabor,
Scythopolis, and Gadara; of the country of Gaulonitis, Seleucia
and Gabala; in the country of Moab, Heshbon, and Medaba, Lemba,
and Oronas, Gelithon, Zorn, the valley of the Cilices, and Pollo;
which last they utterly destroyed, because its inhabitants would
not bear to change their religious rites for those peculiar to
the Jews. (43) The Jews also possessed others of the principal
cities of Syria, which had been destroyed.

5. After this, king Alexander, although he fell into a distemper
by hard drinking, and had a quartan ague, which held him three
years, yet would not leave off going out with his army, till he
was quite spent with the labors he had undergone, and died in the
bounds of Ragaba, a fortress beyond Jordan. But when his queen
saw that he was ready to die, and had no longer any hopes of
surviving, she came to him weeping and lamenting, and bewailed
herself and her sons on the desolate condition they should be
left in; and said to him, "To whom dost thou thus leave me and my
children, who are destitute of all other supports, and this when
thou knowest how much ill-will thy nation bears thee?" But he
gave her the following advice: That she need but follow what he
would suggest to her, in order to retain the kingdom securely,
with her children: that she should conceal his death from the
soldiers till she should have taken that place; after this she
should go in triumph, as upon a victory, to Jerusalem, and put
some of her authority into the hands of the Pharisees; for that
they would commend her for the honor she had done them, and would
reconcile the nation to her for he told her they had great
authority among the Jews, both to do hurt to such as they hated,
and to bring advantages to those to whom they were friendly
disposed; for that they are then believed best of all by the
multitude when they speak any severe thing against others, though
it be only out of envy at them. And he said that it was by their
means that he had incurred the displeasure of the nation, whom
indeed he had injured. "Do thou, therefore," said he, "when thou
art come to Jerusalem, send for the leading men among them, and
show them my body, and with great appearance of sincerity, give
them leave to use it as they themselves please, whether they will
dishonor the dead body by refusing it burial, as having severely
suffered by my means, or whether in their anger they will offer
any other injury to that body. Promise them also that thou wilt
do nothing without them in the affairs of the kingdom. If thou
dost but say this to them, I shall have the honor of a more
glorious Funeral from them than thou couldst have made for me;
and when it is in their power to abuse my dead body, they will do
it no injury at all, and thou wilt rule in safety." (44) So when
he had given his wife this advice, he died, after he had reigned
twenty-seven years, and lived fifty years within one.


How Alexandra By Gaining The Good-Will Of The Pharisees, Retained
The Kingdom Nine Years, And Then, Having Done Many Glorious
Actions Died.

1. So Alexandra, when she had taken the fortress, acted as her
husband had suggested to her, and spake to the Pharisees, and put
all things into their power, both as to the dead body, and as to
the affairs of the kingdom, and thereby pacified their anger
against Alexander, and made them bear goodwill and friendship to
him; who then came among the multitude, and made speeches to
them, and laid before them the actions of Alexander, and told
them that they had lost a righteous king; and by the commendation
they gave him, they brought them to grieve, and to be in
heaviness for him, so that he had a funeral more splendid than
had any of the kings before him. Alexander left behind him two
sons, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, but committed the kingdom to
Alexandra. Now, as to these two sons, Hyrcanus was indeed unable
to manage public affairs, and delighted rather in a quiet life;
but the younger, Aristobulus, was an active and a bold man; and
for this woman herself, Alexandra, she was loved by the
multitude, because she seemed displeased at the offenses her
husband had been guilty of.

2. So she made Hyrcanus high priest, because he was the elder,
but much more because he cared not to meddle with politics, and
permitted the Pharisees to do every thing; to whom also she
ordered the multitude to be obedient. She also restored again
those practices which the Pharisees had introduced, according to
the traditions of their forefathers, and which her father-in-law,
Hyrcanus, had abrogated. So she had indeed the name of the
regent, but the Pharisees had the authority; for it was they who
restored such as had been banished, and set such as were
prisoners at liberty, and, to say all at once, they differed in
nothing from lords. However, the queen also took care of the
affairs of the kingdom, and got together a great body of
mercenary soldiers, and increased her own army to such a degree,
that she became terrible to the neighboring tyrants, and took
hostages of them: and the country was entirely at peace,
excepting the Pharisees; for they disturbed the queen, and
desired that she would kill those who persuaded Alexander to slay
the eight hundred men; after which they cut the throat of one of
them, Diogenes; and after him they did the same to several, one
after another, till the men that were the most potent came into
the palace, and Aristobulus with them, for he seemed to be
displeased at what was done; and it appeared openly, that if he
had an opportunity, he would not permit his mother to go on so.
These put the queen in mind what great dangers they had gone
through, and great things they had done, whereby they had
demonstrated the firmness of their fidelity to their master,
insomuch that they had recieved the greatest marks of favor from
him; and they begged of her, that she would not utterly blast
their hopes, as it now happened, that when they had escaped the
hazards that arose from their [open] enemies, they were to be cut
off at home by their [private] enemies, like brute beasts,
without any help whatsoever. They said also, that if their
adversaries would be satisfied with those that had been slain
already, they would take what had been done patiently, on account
of their natural love to their governors; but if they must expect
the same for the future also, they implored of her a dismission
from her service; for they could not bear to think of attempting
any method for their deliverance without her, but would rather
die willingly before the palace gate, in case she would not
forgive them. And that it was a great shame, both for themselves
and for the queen, that when they were neglected by her, they
should come under the lash of her husband's enemies; for that
Aretas, the Arabian king, and the monarchs, would give any
reward, if they could get such men as foreign auxiliaries, to
whom their very names, before their voices be heard, may perhaps
be terrible; but if they could not obtain this their second
request, and if she had determined to prefer the Pharisees before
them, they still insisted that she would place them every one in
her fortresses; for if some fatal demon hath a constant spite
against Alexander's house, they would be willing to bear their
part, and to live in a private station there.

3. As these men said thus, and called upon Alexander's ghost for
commiseration of those already slain, and those in danger of it,
all the bystanders brake out into tears. But Aristobulus chiefly
made manifest what were his sentiments, and used. many
reproachful expressions to his mother, [saying,] "Nay, indeed,
the case is this, that they have been themselves the authors of
their own calamities, who have permitted a woman who, against
reason, was mad with ambition, to reign over them, when there
were sons in the flower of their age fitter for it." So
Alexandra, not knowing what to do with any decency, committed the
fortresses to them, all but Hyrcania, and Alexandrium, and
Macherus, where her principal treasures were. After a little
while also, she sent her son Aristobulus with an army to Damascus
against Ptolemy, who was called Menneus, who was such a bad
neighbor to the city; but he did nothing considerable there, and
so returned home.

4. About this time news was brought that Tigranes, the king of
Armenia, had made an irruption into Syria with five hundred
thousand soldiers, (45) and was coming against Judea. This news,
as may well be supposed, terrified the queen and the nation.
Accordingly, they sent him many and very valuable presents, as
also ambassadors, and that as he was besieging Ptolemais; for
Selene the queen, the same that was also called Cleopatra, ruled
then over Syria, who had persuaded the inhabitants to exclude
Tigranes. So the Jewish ambassadors interceded with him, and
entreated him that he would determine nothing that was severe
about their queen or nation. He commended them for the respects
they paid him at so great a distance, and gave them good hopes of
his favor. But as soon as Ptolemais was taken, news came to
Tigranes, that Lucullus, in his pursuit of Mithridates, could not
light upon him, who was fled into Iberia, but was laying waste
Armenia, and besieging its cities. Now when Tigranes knew this,
he returned home.

5. After this, when the queen was fallen into a dangerous
distemper, Aristobulus resolved to attempt the seizing of the
government; so he stole away secretly by night, with only one of
his servants, and went to the fortresses, wherein his friends,
that were such from the days of his father, were settled; for as
he had been a great while displeased at his mother's conduct, so
he was now much more afraid, lest, upon her death, their whole
family should be under the power of the Pharisees; for he saw the
inability of his brother, who was to succeed in the government;
nor was any one conscious of what he was doing but only his wife,
whom he left at Jerusalem with their children. He first of all
came to Agaba, where was Galestes, one of the potent men before
mentioned, and was received by him. When it was day, the queen
perceived that Aristobulus was fled; and for some time she
supposed that his departure was not in order to make any
innovation; but when messengers came one after another with the
news that he had secured the first place, the second place, and
all the places, for as soon as one had begun they all submitted
to his disposal, then it was that the queen and the nation were
in the greatest disorder, for they were aware that it would not
be long ere Aristobulus would be able to settle himself firmly in
the government. What they were principally afraid of was this,
that he would inflict punishment upon them for the mad treatment
his house had had from them. So they resolved to take his wife
and children into custody, and keep them in the fortress that was
over the temple. (46) Now there was a mighty conflux of people
that came to Aristobulus from all parts, insomuch that he had a
kind of royal attendants about him; for in a little more than
fifteen days he got twenty-two strong places, which gave him the
opportunity of raising an army from Libanus and Trachonitis, and
the monarchs; for men are easily led by the greater number, and
easily submit to them. And besides this, that by affording him
their assistance, when he could not expect it, they, as well as
he, should have the advantages that would come by his being king,
because they had been the occasion of his gaining the kingdom.
Now the eiders of the Jews, and Hyrcanus with them, went in unto
the queen, and desired that she would give them her sentiments
about the present posture of affairs, for that Aristobulus was in
effect lord of almost all the kingdom, by possessing of so many
strong holds, and that it was absurd for them to take any counsel
by themselves, how ill soever she were, whilst she was alive, and
that the danger would be upon them in no long time. But she bid
them do what they thought proper to be done; that they had many
circumstances in their favor still remaining, a nation in good
heart, an army, and money in their several treasuries; for that
she had small concern about public affairs now, when the strength
of her body already failed her.

6. Now a little while after she had said this to them, she died,
when she had reigned nine years, and had in all lived
seventy-three. A woman she was who showed no signs of the
weakness of her sex, for she was sagacious to the greatest degree
in her ambition of governing; and demonstrated by her doings at
once, that her mind was fit for action, and that sometimes men
themselves show the little understanding they have by the
frequent mistakes they make in point of government; for she
always preferred the present to futurity, and preferred the power
of an imperious dominion above all things, and in comparison of
that had no regard to what was good, or what was right. However,
she brought the affairs of her house to such an unfortunate
condition, that she was the occasion of the taking away that
authority from it, and that in no long time afterward, which she
had obtained by a vast number of hazards and misfortunes, and
this out of a desire of what does not belong to a woman, and all
by a compliance in her sentiments with those that bare ill-will
to their family, and by leaving the administration destitute of a
proper support of great men; and, indeed, her management during
her administration while she was alive, was such as filled the
palace after her death with calamities and disturbance. However,
although this had been her way of governing, she preserved the
nation in peace. And this is the conclusion of the affairs of,


Containing The Interval Of Thirty-Two Years.

From The Death Of Queen Alexandra To The Death Of Antigonus.


The War Between Aristobulus And Hyrcanus About The Kingdom; And
How They Made Anagreement That Aristobulus Should Be King, And
Hyrcanus Live A Private Life; As Also How Hyrcanus A Little
Afterward Was Persuaded By Antipater To Fly To Aretas.

1. We have related the affairs of queen Alexandra, and her death,
in the foregoing book and will now speak of what followed, and
was connected with those histories; declaring, before we proceed,
that we have nothing so much at heart as this, that we may omit
no facts, either through ignorance or laziness; (1) for we are
upon the history and explication of such things as the greatest
part are unacquainted withal, because of their distance from our
times; and we aim to do it with a proper beauty of style, so far
as that is derived from proper words harmonically disposed, and
from such ornaments of speech also as may contribute to the
pleasure of our readers, that they may entertain the knowledge of
what we write with some agreeable satisfaction and pleasure. But
the principal scope that authors ought to aim at above all the
rest, is to speak accurately, and to speak truly, for the
satisfaction of those that are otherwise unacquainted with such
transactions, and obliged to believe what these writers inform
them of.

2. Hyrcanus then began his high priesthood on the third year of
the hundred and seventy-seventh olympiad, when Quintus Hortensius
and Quintus Metellus, who was called Metellus of Crete, were
consuls at Rome; when presently Aristobulus began to make war
against him; and as it came to a battle with Hyrcanus at Jericho,
many of his soldiers deserted him, and went over to his brother;
upon which Hyrcanus fled into the citadel, where Aristobulus's
wife and children were imprisoned by their mother, as we have
said already, and attacked and overcame those his adversaries
that had fled thither, and lay within the walls of the temple. So
when he had sent a message to his brother about agreeing the
matters between them, he laid aside his enmity to him on these
conditions, that Aristobulus should be king, that he should live
without intermeddling with public affairs, and quietly enjoy the
estate he had acquired. When they had agreed upon these terms in
the temple, and had confirmed the agreement with oaths, and the
giving one an. other their right hands, and embracing one another
in the sight of the whole multitude, they departed; the one,
Aristobulus, to the palace; and Hyrcanus, as a private man, to
the former house of Aristobulus.

3. But there was a certain friend of Hyrcanus, an Idumean, called
Antipater, who was very rich, and in his nature an active and a
seditious man; who was at enmity with Aristobulus, and had
differences with him on account of his good-will to Hyrcanus. It
is true that Nicolatls of Damascus says, that Antipater was of
the stock of the principal Jews who came out of Babylon into
Judea; but that assertion of his was to gratify Herod, who was
his son, and who, by certain revolutions of fortune, came
afterward to be king of the Jews, whose history we shall give you
in its proper place hereafter. However, this Antipater was at
first called Antipas, (2) and that was his father's name also; of
whom they relate this: That king Alexander and his wife made him
general of all Idumea, and that he made a league of friendship
with those Arabians, and Gazites, and Ascalonites, that were of
his own party, and had, by many and large presents, made them his
fast friends. But now this younger Antipater was suspicious of
the power of Aristobulus, and was afraid of some mischief he
might do him, because of his hatred to him; so he stirred up the
most powerful of the Jews, and talked against him to them
privately; and said that it was unjust to overlook the conduct of
Aristobulus, who had gotten the government unrighteously, and
ejected his brother out of it, who was the elder, and ought to
retain what belonged to him by prerogative of his birth. And the
same speeches he perpetually made to Hyrcanus; and told him that
his own life would be in danger, unless he guarded himself, and
got shut of Aristobulus; for he said that the friends of
Aristobulus omitted no opportunity of advising him to kill him,
as being then, and not before, sure to retain his principality.
Hyrcanus gave no credit to these words of his, as being of a
gentle disposition, and one that did not easily admit of
calumnies against other men. This temper of his not disposing him
to meddle with public affairs, and want of spirit, occasioned him
to appear to spectators to be degenerous and unmanly; while.
Aristo-bulus was of a contrary temper, an active man, and one of
a great and generous soul.

4. Since therefore Antipater saw that Hyrcanus did not attend to
what he said, he never ceased, day by day, to charge reigned
crimes upon Aristobulus, and to calumniate him before him, as if
he had a mind to kill him; and so, by urging him perpetually, he
advised him, and persuaded him to fly to Aretas, the king of
Arabia; and promised, that if he would comply with his advice, he
would also himself assist him and go with him]. When Hyrcanus
heard this, he said that it was for his advantage to fly away to
Aretas. Now Arabia is a country that borders upon Judea. However,
Hyrcanus sent Antipater first to the king of Arabia, in order to
receive assurances from him, that when he should come in the
manner of a supplicant to him, he would not deliver him up to his
enemies. So Antipater having received such assurances, returned
to Hyrcanus to Jerusalem. A while afterward he took Hyrcanus, and
stole out of the city by night, and went a great journey, and
came and brought him to the city called Petra, where the palace
of Aretas was; and as he was a very familiar friend of that king,
he persuaded him to bring back Hyrcanus into Judea, and this
persuasion he continued every day without any intermission. He
also proposed to make him presents on that account. At length he
prevailed with Aretas in his suit. Moreover, Hyrcanus promised
him, that when he had been brought thither, and had received his
kingdom, he would restore that country, and those twelve cities
which his father Alexander had taken from the Arabians, which
were these, Medaba, Naballo, Libias, Tharabasa, Agala, Athone,
Zoar, Orone, Marissa, Rudda, Lussa, and Oruba.


How Aretas And Hyrcanus Made An Expedition Against Aristobulus
And Besieged Jerusalem; And How Scaurus The Roman General Raised
The Siege. Concerning The Death Of Onias.

1. After these promises had been given to Aretas, he made an
expedition against Aristobulus with an army of fifty thousand
horse and foot, and beat him in the battle. And when after that
victory many went over to Hyrcanus as deserters, Aristobulus was
left desolate, and fled to Jerusalem; upon which the king of
Arabia took all his army, and made an assault upon the temple,
and besieged Aristobulus therein, the people still supporting
Hyreanus, and assisting him in the siege, while none but the
priests continued with Aristobulus. So Aretas united the forces
of the Arabians and of the Jews together, and pressed on the
siege vigorously. As this happened at the time when the feast of
unleavened bread was celebrated, which we call the passover, the
principal men among the Jews left the country, and fled into
Egypt. Now there was one, whose name was Onias, a righteous man
be was, and beloved of God, who, in a certain drought, had prayed
to God to put an end to the intense heat, and whose prayers God
had heard, and had sent them rain. This man had hid himself,
because he saw that this sedition would last a great while.
However, they brought him to the Jewish camp, and desired, that
as by his prayers he had once put an end to the drought, so he
would in like manner make imprecations on Aristobulus and those
of his faction. And when, upon his refusal, and the excuses that
he made, he was still by the multitude compelled to speak, he
stood up in the midst of them, and said, "O God, the King of the
whole world! since those that stand now with me are thy people,
and those that are besieged are also thy priests, I beseech thee,
that thou wilt neither hearken to the prayers of those against
these, nor bring to effect what these pray against those."
Whereupon such wicked Jews as stood about him, as soon as he had
made this prayer, stoned him to death.

2. But God punished them immediately for this their barbarity,
and took vengeance of them for the murder of Onias, in the manner
following: While the priests and Aristobulus were besieged, it
happened that the feast called the passover was come, at which it
is our custom to offer a great number of sacrifices to God; but
those that were with Aristobulus wanted sacrifices, and desired
that their countrymen without would furnish them with such
sacrifices, and assured them they should have as much money for
them as they should desire; and when they required them to pay a
thousand drachmae for each head of cattle, Aristobulus and the
priests willingly undertook to pay for them accordingly, and
those within let down the money over the walls, and gave it them.
But when the others had received it, they did not deliver the
sacrifices, but arrived at that height of wickedness as to break
the assurances they had given, and to be guilty of impiety
towards God, by not furnishing those that wanted them with
sacrifices. And when the priests found they had been cheated, and
that the agreements they had made were violated, they prayed to
God that he would avenge them on their countrymen. Nor did he
delay that their punishment, but sent a strong and vehement storm
of wind, that destroyed the fruits of the whole country, till a
modius of wheat was then bought for eleven drachmae.

3. In the mean time Pompey sent Scaurus into Syria, while he was
himself in Armenia, and making war with Tigranes; but when
Scaurus was come to Damascus, and found that Lollins and Metellus
had newly taken the city, he came himself hastily into Judea. And
when he was come thither, ambassadors came to him, both from
Aristobulus and Hyrcanus, and both desired he would assist them.
And when both of them promised to give him money, Aristobulus
four hundred talents, and Hyrcanus no less, he accepted of
Aristobulus's promise, for he was rich, and had a great soul, and
desired to obtain nothing but what was moderate; whereas the
other was poor, and tenacious, and made incredible promises in
hopes of greater advantages; for it was not the same thing to
take a city that was exceeding strong and powerful, as it was to
eject out of the country some fugitives, with a greater number of
Mabateans, who were no very warlike people. He therefore made an
agreement with Aristobulus, for the reasons before mentioned, and
took his money, and raised the siege, and ordered Aretas to
depart, or else he should be declared an enemy to the Romans. So
Scaurus returned to Damascus again; and Aristobulus, with a great
army, made war with Aretas and Hyrcanus, and fought them at a
place called Papyron, and beat them in the battle, and slew about
six thousand of the enemy, with whom fell Phalion also, the
brother of Antipater.


How Aristobulus And Hyrcanus Came To Pompey In Order To Argue Who
Ought To Have The Kingdom; And How Upon The Plight Of Aristobulus
To The Fortress Alexandrium Pompey Led His Army Against Him And
Ordered Him To Deliver Up The Fortresses Whereof He Was

1. A Little afterward Pompey came to Damascus, and marched over
Celesyria; at which time there came ambassadors to him from all
Syria, and Egypt, and out of Judea also, for Aristobulus had sent
him a great present, which was a golden vine (3) of the value of
five hundred talents. Now Strabo of Cappadocia mentions this
present in these words: "There came also an embassage out of
Egypt, and a crown of the value of four thousand pieces of gold;
and out of Judea there came another, whether you call it a vine
or a garden; they call the thing Terpole, the Delight. However,
we ourselves saw that present reposited at Rome, in the temple of
Jupiter Capitolinus, with this inscription, 'The gift of
Alexander, the king of the Jews.' It was valued at five hundred
talents; and the report is, that Aristobulus, the governor of the
Jews, sent it."

2. In a little time afterward came ambassadors again to him,
Antipater from Hyrcanus, and Nicodemus from Aristobulus; which
last also accused such as had taken bribes; first Gabinius, and
then Scaurus, - the one three hundred talents, and the other four
hundred; by which procedure he made these two his enemies,
besides those he had before. And when Pompey had ordered those
that had controversies one with another to come to him in the
beginning of the spring, he brought his army out of their winter
quarters, and marched into the country of Damascus; and as he
went along he demolished the citadel that was at Apamia, which
Antiochus Cyzicenus had built, and took cognizance of the country
of Ptolemy Menneus, a wicked man, and not less so than Dionysius
of Tripoli, who had been beheaded, who was also his relation by
marriage; yet did he buy off the punishment of his crimes for a
thousand talents, with which money Pompey paid the soldiers their
wages. He also conquered the place called Lysias, of which Silas
a Jew was tyrant. And when he had passed over the cities of
Heliopolis and Chalcis, and got over the mountain which is on the
limit of Colesyria, he came from Pella to Damascus; and there it
was that he heard the causes of the Jews, and of their governors
Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, who were at difference one with
another, as also of the nation against them both, which did not
desire to be under kingly' government, because the form of
government they received from their forefathers was that of
subjection to the priests of that God whom they worshipped; and
[they complained], that though these two were the posterity of
priests, yet did they seek to change the government of their
nation to another form, in order to enslave them. Hyrcanus
complained, that although he were the elder brother, he was
deprived of the prerogative of his birth by Aristobulus, and that
he had but a small part of the country under him, Aristobulus
having taken away the rest from him by force. He also accused
him, that the incursions which had been made into their
neighbors' countries, and the piracies that had been at sea, were
owing to him; and that the nation would not have revolted, unless
Aristobulus had been a man given to violence and disorder; and
there were no fewer than a thousand Jews, of the best esteem
among them, who confirmed this accusation; which confirmation was
procured by Antipater. But Aristobulus alleged against him, that
it was Hyrcanus's own temper, which was inactive, and on that
account contemptible, which caused him to be deprived of the
government; and that for himself, he was necessitated to take it
upon him, for fear lest it should be transferred to others. And
that as to his title [of king], it was no other than what his
father had taken [before him]. He also called for witnesses of
what he said some persons who were both young and insolent; whose
purple garments, fine heads of hair, and other ornaments, were
detested [by the court], and which they appeared in, not as
though they were to plead their cause in a court of justice, but
as if they were marching in a pompous procession.

3. When Pompey had heard the causes of these two, and had
condemned Aristobulus for his violent procedure, he then spake
civilly to them, and sent them away; and told them, that when he
came again into their country, he would settle all their affairs,
after he had first taken a view of the affairs of the Nabateans.
In the mean time, he ordered them to be quiet; and treated
Aristobulus civilly, lest he should make the nation revolt, and
hinder his return; which yet Aristobulus did; for without
expecting any further determination, which Pompey had promised
them, he went to the city Delius, and thence marched into Judea.

4. At this behavior Pompey was angry; and taking with him that
army which he was leading against the Nabateans, and the
auxiliaries that came from Damascus, and the other parts of
Syria, with the other Roman legions which he had with him, he
made an expedition against Aristobulus; but as he passed by Pella
and Scythopolis, he came to Corem, which is the first entrance
into Judea when one passes over the midland countries, where he
came to a most beautiful fortress that was built on the top of a
mountain called Alexandrium, whither Aristobulus had fled; and
thence Pompey sent his commands to him, that he should come to
him. Accordingly, at the persuasions of many that he would not
make war with the Romans, he came down; and when he had disputed
with his brother about the right to the government, he went up
again to the citadel, as Pompey gave him leave to do; and this he
did two or three times, as flattering himself with the hopes of
having the kingdom granted him; so that he still pretended he
would obey Pompey in whatsoever he commanded, although at the
same time he retired to his fortress, that he might not depress
himself too low, and that he might be prepared for a war, in case
it should prove as he feared, that Pompey would transfer the
government to Hyrcanus. But when Pompey enjoined Aristobulus to
deliver up the fortresses he held, and to send an injunction to
their governors under his own hand for that purpose, for they had
been forbidden to deliver them up upon any other commands, he
submitted indeed to do so; but still he retired in displeasure to
Jerusalem, and made preparation for war. A little after this,
certain persons came out of Pontus, and informed Pompey, as he
was on the way, and conducting his army against Aristobulus, that
Mithridates was dead, and was slain by his son Pharmaces.


How Pompey When The Citizens Of Jerusalem Shut Their Gates
Against Him Besieged The City And Took It By Force; As Also What
Other Things He Did In Judea.

1. Now when Pompey had pitched his camp at Jericho, (where the
palm tree grows,
and that balsam which is an ointment of all the most precious,
which upon any incision made in the wood with a sharp stone,
distills out thence like a juice,) (4) he marched in the morning
to Jerusalem. Hereupon Aristobulus repented of what he was doing,
and came to Pompey, had [promised to] give him money, and
received him into Jerusalem, and desired that he would leave off
the war, and do what he pleased peaceably. So Pompey, upon his
entreaty, forgave him, and sent Gabinius, and soldiers with him,
to receive the money and the city: yet was no part of this
performed; but Gabinius came back, being both excluded out of the
city, and receiving none of the money promised, because
Aristobulus's soldiers would not permit the agreements to be
executed. At this Pompey was very angry, and put Aristobulus into
prison, and came himself to the city, which was strong on every
side, excepting the north, which was not so well fortified, for
there was a broad and deep ditch that encompassed the city (5)
and included within it the temple, which was itself encompassed
about with a very strong stone wall.

2. Now there was a sedition of the men that were within the city,
who did not agree what was to be done in their present
circumstances, while some thought it best to deliver up the city
to Pompey; but Aristobulus's party exhorted them to shut the
gates, because he was kept in prison. Now these prevented the
others, and seized upon the temple, and cut off the bridge which
reached from it to the city, and prepared themselves to abide a
siege; but the others admitted Pompey's army in, and delivered up
both the city and the king's palace to him. So Pompey sent his
lieutenant Piso with an army, and placed garrisons both in the
city and in the palace, to secure them, and fortified the houses
that joined to the temple, and all those which were more distant
and without it. And in the first place, he offered terms of
accommodation to those within; but when they would not comply
with what was desired, he encompassed all the places thereabout
with a wall, wherein Hyrcanus did gladly assist him on all
occasions; but Pompey pitched his camp within [the wall], on the
north part of the temple, where it was most practicable; but even
on that side there were great towers, and a ditch had been dug,
and a deep valley begirt it round about, for on the parts towards
the city were precipices, and the bridge on which Pompey had
gotten in was broken down. However, a bank was raised, day by
day, with a great deal of labor, while the Romans cut down
materials for it from the places round about. And when this bank
was sufficiently raised, and the ditch filled up, though but
poorly, by reason of its immense depth, he brought his mechanical
engines and battering-rams from Tyre, and placing them on the
bank, he battered the temple with the stones that were thrown
against it. And had it not been our practice, from the days of
our forefathers, to rest on the seventh day, this bank could
never have been perfected, by reason of the opposition the Jews
would have made; for though our law gives us leave then to defend
ourselves against those that begin to fight with us and assault
us, yet does it not permit us to meddle with our enemies while
they do any thing else.

3. Which thing when the Romans understood, on those days which we
call Sabbaths they threw nothing at the Jews, nor came to any
pitched battle with them; but raised up their earthen banks, and
brought their engines into such forwardness, that they might do
execution the next day. And any one may hence learn how very
great piety we exercise towards God, and the observance of his
laws, since the priests were not at all hindered from their
sacred ministrations by their fear during this siege, but did
still twice a-day, in the morning and about the ninth hour, offer
their sacrifices on the altar; nor did they omit those
sacrifices, if any melancholy accident happened by the stones
that were thrown among them; for although the city was taken on
the third month, on the day of the fast, (6) upon the hundred and
seventy-ninth olympiad, when Caius Antonius and Marcus Tullius
Cicero were consuls, and the enemy then fell upon them, and cut
the throats of those that were in the temple; yet could not those
that offered the sacrifices be compelled to run away, neither by
the fear they were in of their own lives, nor by the number that
were already slain, as thinking it better to suffer whatever came
upon them, at their very altars, than to omit any thing that
their laws required of them. And that this is not a mere brag, or
an encomium to manifest a degree of our piety that was false, but
is the real truth, I appeal to those that have written of the
acts of Pompey; and, among them, to Strabo and Nicolaus [of
Damascus]; and besides these two, Titus Livius, the writer of the
Roman History, who will bear witness to this thing. (7)

4. But when the battering-engine was brought near, the greatest
of the towers was shaken by it, and fell down, and broke down a
part of the fortifications, so the enemy poured in apace; and
Cornelius Faustus, the son of Sylla, with his soldiers, first of
all ascended the wall, and next to him Furius the centurion, with
those that followed on the other part, while Fabius, who was also
a centurion, ascended it in the middle, with a great body of men
after him. But now all was full of slaughter; some of the Jews
being slain by the Romans, and some by one another; nay, some
there were who threw themselves down the precipices, or put fire
to their houses, and burnt them, as not able to bear the miseries
they were under. Of the Jews there fell twelve thousand, but of
the Romans very few. Absalom, who was at once both uncle and
father-in-law to Aristobulus, was taken captive; and no small
enormities were committed about the temple itself, which, in
former ages, had been inaccessible, and seen by none; for Pompey
went into it, and not a few of those that were with him also, and
saw all that which it was unlawful for any other men to see but
only for the high priests. There were in that temple the golden
table, the holy candlestick, and the pouring vessels, and a great
quantity of spices; and besides these there were among the
treasures two thousand talents of sacred money: yet did Pompey
touch nothing of all this, (8) on account of his regard to
religion; and in this point also he acted in a manner that was
worthy of his virtue. The next day he gave order to those that
had the charge of the temple to cleanse it, and to bring what
offerings the law required to God; and restored the high
priesthood to Hyrcanus, both because he had been useful to him in
other respects, and because he hindered the Jews in the country
from giving Aristobulus any assistance in his war against him. He
also cut off those that had been the authors of that war; and
bestowed proper rewards on Faustus, and those others that mounted
the wall with such alacrity; and he made Jerusalem tributary to
the Romans, and took away those cities of Celesyria which the
inhabitants of Judea had subdued, and put them under the
government of the Roman president, and confined the whole nation,
which had elevated itself so high before, within its own bounds.
Moreover, he rebuilt Gadara, (9) which had been demolished a
little before, to gratify Demetrius of Gadara, who was his
freedman, and restored the rest of the cities, Hippos, and
Scythopolis, and Pella, and Dios, and Samaria, as also Marissa,
and Ashdod, and Jamnia, and Arethusa, to their own inhabitants:
these were in the inland parts. Besides those that had been
demolished, and also of the maritime cities, Gaza, and Joppa, and
Dora, and Strato's Tower; which last Herod rebuilt after a
glorious manner, and adorned with havens and temples, and changed
its name to Caesarea. All these Pompey left in a state of
freedom, and joined them to the province of Syria.

5. Now the occasions of this misery which came upon Jerusalem
were Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, by raising a sedition one against
the other; for now we lost our liberty, and became subject to the
Romans, and were deprived of that country which we had gained by
our arms from the Syrians, and were compelled to restore it to
the Syrians. Moreover, the Romans exacted of us, in a little
time, above ten thousand talents; and the royal authority, which
was a dignity formerly bestowed on those that were high priests,
by the right of their family, became the property of private men.
But of these matters we shall treat in their proper places. Now
Pompey committed Celesyria, as far as the river Euphrates and
Egypt, to Scaurus, with two Roman legions, and then went away to
Cilicia, and made haste to Rome. He also carried bound along with
him Aristobulus and his children; for he had two daughters, and
as many sons; the one of which ran away, but the younger,
Antigonus, was carried to Rome, together with his sisters.


How Scaurus Made A League Of Mutual Assistance With Aretas; And
What Gabinius Did In Judea, After He Had Conquered Alexander, The
Son Of Aristobulus.

1. Scaurus made now an expedition against Petrea, in Arabia, and
set on fire all the places round about it, because of the great
difficulty of access to it. And as his army was pinched by
famine, Antipater furnished him with corn out of Judea, and with
whatever else he wanted, and this at the command of Hyrcanus. And
when he was sent to Aretas, as an ambassador by Scaurus, because
he had lived with him formerly, he persuaded Aretas to give
Scaurus a sum of money, to prevent the burning of his country,
and undertook to be his surety for three hundred talents. So
Scaurus, upon these terms, ceased to make war any longer; which
was done as much at Scaurus's desire, as at the desire of Aretas.

2. Some time after this, when Alexander, the son of Aristobulus,
made an incursion into Judea, Gabinius came from Rome into Syria,
as commander of the Roman forces. He did many considerable
actions; and particularly made war with Alexander, since Hyrcanus
was not yet able to oppose his power, but was already attempting
to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, which Pompey had overthrown,
although the Romans which were there restrained him from that his
design. However, Alexander went over all the country round about,
and armed many of the Jews, and suddenly got together ten
thousand armed footmen, and fifteen hundred horsemen, and
fortified Alexandrium, a fortress near to Corem, and Macherus,
near the mountains of Arabia. Gabinius therefore came upon him,
having sent Marcus Antonius, with other commanders, before. These
armed such Romans as followed them; and, together with them, such
Jews as were subject to them, whose leaders were Pitholaus and
Malichus; and they took with them also their friends that were
with Antipater, and met Alexander, while Gabinius himself
followed with his legion. Hereupon Alexander retired to the
neighborhood of Jerusalem, where they fell upon one another, and
it came to a pitched battle, in which the Romans slew of their
enemies about three thousand, and took a like number alive.

3. At which time Gabinius (10) came to Alexandrium, and invited
those that were in it to deliver it up on certain conditions, and
promised that then their former offenses should be forgiven. But
as a great number of the enemy had pitched their camp before the
fortress, whom the Romans attacked, Marcus Antonius fought
bravely, and slew a great number, and seemed to come off with the
greatest honor. So Gabinius left part of his army there, in order
to take the place, and he himself went into other parts of Judea,
and gave order to rebuild all the cities that he met with that
had been demolished; at which time were rebuilt Samaria, Ashdod,
Scythopolis, Anthedon, Raphia, and Dora; Marissa also, and Gaza,
and not a few others besides. And as the men acted according to
Gabinius's command, it came to pass, that at this time these
cities were securely inhabited, which had been desolate for a
long time.

4. When Gabinius had done thus in the country, he returned to
Alexandrium; and when he urged on the siege of the place,
Alexander sent an embassage to him, desiring that he would pardon
his former offenses; he also delivered up the fortresses,
Hyrcania and Macherus, and at last Alexandrium itself which
fortresses Gabinius demolished. But when Alexander's mother, who
was of the side of the Romans, as having her husband and other
children at Rome, came to him, he granted her whatsoever she
asked; and when he had settled matters with her, he brought
Hyrcanus to Jerusalem, and committed the care of the temple to
him. And when he had ordained five councils, he distributed the
nation into the same number of parts. So these councils governed
the people; the first was at Jerusalem, the second at Gadara, the
third at Amathus, the fourth at Jericho, and the fifth at
Sepphoris in Galilee. So the Jews were now freed from monarchic
authority, and were governed by an aristocracy.


How Gabinius Caught Aristobulus After He Had Fled From Rome, And
Sent Him Back To Rome Again; And Now The Same Gabinius As He
Returned Out Of Egypt Overcame Alexander And The Nabateans In

1. Now Aristobulus ran away from Rome to Judea, and set about the
rebuilding of Alexandrium, which had been newly demolished.
Hereupon Gabinius sent soldiers against him, add for their
commanders Sisenna, and Antonius, and Servilius, in order to
hinder him from getting possession of the country, and to take
him again. And indeed many of the Jews ran to Aristobulus, on
account of his former glory, as also because they should be glad
of an innovation. Now there was one Pitholaus, a lieutenant at
Jerusalem, who deserted to him with a thousand men, although a
great number of those that came to him were unarmed; and when
Aristobulus had resolved to go to Macherus, he dismissed those
people, because they were unarmed; for they could not be useful
to him in what actions he was going about; but he took with him
eight thousand that were armed, and marched on; and as the Romans
fell upon them severely, the Jews fought valiantly, but were
beaten in the battle; and when they had fought with alacrity, but
were overborne by the enemy, they were put to flight; of whom
were slain about five thousand, and the rest being dispersed,
tried, as well as they were able, to save themselves. However,
Aristobulus had with him still above a thousand, and with them he
fled to Macherus, and fortified the place; and though he had had
ill success, he still had good hope of his affairs; but when he
had struggled against the siege for two days' time, and had
received many wounds, he was brought as a captive to Gabinius,
with his son Antigonus, who also fled with him from Rome. And
this was the fortune of Aristobulus, who was sent back again to
Rome, and was there retained in bonds, having been both king and
high priest for three years and six months; and was indeed an
eminent person, and one of a great soul. However, the senate let
his children go, upon Gabinius's writing to them that he had
promised their mother so much when she delivered up the
fortresses to him; and accordingly they then returned into Judea.

2. Now when Gabinius was making an expedition against the
Parthians, and had already passed over Euphrates, he changed his
mind, and resolved to return into Egypt, in order to restore
Ptolemy to his kingdom. (11) This hath also been related
elsewhere. However, Antipater supplied his army, which he sent
against Archelaus, with corn, and weapons, and money. He also
made those Jews who were above Pelusium his friends and
confederates, and had been the guardians of the passes that led
into Egypt. But when he came back out of Egypt, he found Syria in
disorder, with seditions and troubles; for Alexander, the son of
Aristobulus, having seized on the government a second time by
force, made many of the Jews revolt to him; and so he marched
over the country with a great army, and slew all the Romans he
could light upon, and proceeded to besiege the mountain called
Gerizzim, whither they had retreated.

3. But when Gabinius found Syria in such a state, he sent
Antipater, who was a prudent man, to those that were seditious,
to try whether he could cure them of their madness, and persuade
them to return to a better mind; and when he came to them, he
brought many of them to a sound mind, and induced them to do what
they ought to do; but he could not restrain Alexander, for he had
an army of thirty thousand Jews, and met Gabinius, and joining
battle with him, was beaten, and lost ten thousand of his men
about Mount Tabor.

4. So Gabinius settled the affairs which belonged to the city
Jerusalem, as was agreeable to Antipater's inclination, and went
against the Nabateans, and overcame them in battle. He also sent
away in a friendly manner Mithridates and Orsanes, who were
Parthian deserters, and came to him, though the report went
abroad that they had run away from him. And when Gabinius had
performed great and glorious actions, in his management of the
affairs of war, he returned to Rome, and delivered the government
to Crassus. Now Nicolaus of Damascus, and Strabo of Cappadocia,
both describe the expeditions of Pompey and Gabinius against the
Jews, while neither of them say anything new which is not in the


How Crassus Came Into Judea, And Pillaged The Temple; And Then
Marched Against The Parthians And Perished, With His Army. Also
How Cassius Obtained Syria, And Put A Stop To The Parthians And
Then Went Up To Judea.

1. Now Crassus, as he was going upon his expedition against the
Parthians, came into Judea, and carried off the money that was in
the temple, which Pompey had left, being two thousand talents,
and was disposed to spoil it of all the gold belonging to it,
which was eight thousand talents. He also took a beam, which was
made of solid beaten gold, of the weight of three hundred minae,
each of which weighed two pounds and a half. It was the priest
who was guardian of the sacred treasures, and whose name was
Eleazar, that gave him this beam, not out of a wicked design, for
he was a good and a righteous man; but being intrusted with the
custody of the veils belonging to the temple, which were of
admirable beauty, and of very costly workmanship, and hung down
from this beam, when lie saw that Crassus was busy in gathering
money, and was in fear for the entire ornaments of the temple, he
gave him this beam of gold as a ransom for the whole, but this
not till he had given his oath that he would remove nothing else
out of the temple, but be satisfied with this only, which he
should give him, being worth many ten thousand [shekels]. Now
this beam was contained in a wooden beam that was hollow, but was
known to no others; but Eleazar alone knew it; yet did Crassus
take away this beam, upon the condition of touching nothing else
that belonged to the temple, and then brake his oath, and carried
away all the gold that was in the temple.

2. And let no one wonder that there was so much wealth in our
temple, since all the Jews throughout the habitable earth, and
those that worshipped God, nay, even those of Asia and Europe,
sent their contributions to it, and this from very ancient times.
Nor is the largeness of these sums without its attestation; nor
is that greatness owing to our vanity, as raising it without
ground to so great a height; but there are many witnesses to it,
and particularly Strabo of Cappadocia, who says thus:
"Mithridates sent to Cos, and took the money which queen
Cleopatra had deposited there, as also eight hundred talents
belonging to the Jews." Now we have no public money but only what
appertains to God; and it is evident that the Asian Jews removed
this money out of fear of Mithridates; for it is not probable
that those of Judea, who had a strong city and temple, should
send their money to Cos; nor is it likely that the Jews who are
inhabitants of Alexandria should do so neither, since they were
ill no fear of Mithridates. And Strabo himself bears witness to
the same thing in another place, that at the same time that Sylla
passed over into Greece, in order to fight against Mithridates,
he sent Lucullus to put an end to a sedition that our nation, of
whom the habitable earth is full, had raised in Cyrene; where he
speaks thus: "There were four classes of men among those of
Cyrene; that of citizens, that of husbandmen, the third of
strangers, and the fourth of Jews. Now these Jews are already
gotten into all cities; and it is hard to find a place in the
habitable earth that hath not admitted this tribe of men, and is
not possessed by them; and it hath come to pass that Egypt and
Cyrene, as having the same governors, and a great number of other
nations, imitate their way of living, and maintain great bodies
of these Jews in a peculiar manner, and grow up to greater
prosperity with them, and make use of the same laws with that
nation also. Accordingly, the Jews have places assigned them in
Egypt, wherein they inhabit, besides what is peculiarly allotted
to this nation at Alexandria, which is a large part of that city.
There is also an ethnarch allowed them, who governs the nation,
and distributes justice to them, and takes care of their
contracts, and of the laws to them belonging, as if he were the
ruler of a free republic. In Egypt, therefore, this nation is
powerful, because the Jews were originally Egyptians, and because
the land wherein they inhabit, since they went thence, is near to
Egypt. They also removed into Cyrene, because that this land
adjoined to the government of Egypt, as well as does Judea, or
rather was formerly under the same government." And this is what
Strabo says.

3. So when Crassus had settled all things as he himself pleased,
he marched into Parthia, where both he himself and all his army
perished, as hath been related elsewhere. But Cassius, as he fled
from Rome to Syria, took possession of it, and was an impediment
to the Parthians, who by reason of their victory over Crassus
made incursions upon it. And as he came back to Tyre, he went up
into Judea also, and fell upon Tarichee, and presently took it,
and carried about thirty thousand Jews captives; and slew
Pitholaus, who succeeded Aristobulus in his seditious practices,
and that by the persuasion of Antipater, who proved to have great
interest in him, and was at that time in great repute with the
Idumeans also: out of which nation he married a wife, who was the
daughter of one of their eminent men, and her name was Cypros,
(12) by whom he had four sons, Phasael, and Herod, who was
afterwards made king, and Joseph, and Pheroras; and a daughter,
named Salome. This Antipater cultivated also a friendship and
mutual kindness with other potentates, but especially with the
king of Arabia, to whom he committed his children, while he
fought against Aristobulus. So Cassius removed his camp, and
marched to Euphrates, to meet those that were coming to attack
him, as hath been related by others.

4. But some time afterward Cesar, when he had taken Rome, and
after Pompey and the senate were fled beyond the Ionian Sea,
freed Aristobulus from his bonds, and resolved to send him into
Syria, and delivered two legions to him, that he might set
matters right, as being a potent man in that country. But
Aristobulus had no enjoyment of what he hoped for from the power
that was given him by Cesar; for those of Pompey's party
prevented it, and destroyed him by poison; and those of Caesar's
party buried him. His dead body also lay, for a good while,
embalmed in honey, till Antony afterward sent it to Judea, and
caused him to be buried in the royal sepulcher. But Scipio, upon
Pompey's sending to him to slay Alexander, the son of
Aristobulus, because the young man was accused of what offenses
he had been guilty of at first against the Romans, cut off his
head; and thus did he die at Antioch. But Ptolemy, the son of
Menneus, who was the ruler of Chalcis, under Mount Libanus, took
his brethren to him, and sent his son Philippion to Askelon to
Aristobulus's wife, and desired her to send back with him her son
Antigonus, and her daughters; the one of which, whose name was
Alexandra, Philippion fell in love with, and married her, though
afterward his father Ptolemy slew him, and married Alexandra, and
continued to take care of her brethren.


The Jews Become Confederates With Caesar When He Fought Against
Egypt. The Glorious Actions Of Antipater, And His Friendship With
Caesar. The Honors Which The Jews Received From The Romans And

1. Now after Pompey was dead, and after that victory Caesar had
gained over him, Antipater, who managed the Jewish affairs,
became very useful to Caesar when he made war against Egypt, and
that by the order of Hyrcanus; for when Mithridates of Pergainus
was bringing his auxiliaries, and was not able to continue his
march through Pelusium, but obliged to stay at Askelon, Antipater
came to him, conducting three thousand of the Jews, armed men. He
had also taken care the principal men of the Arabians should come
to his assistance; and on his account it was that all the Syrians
assisted him also, as not willing to appear behindhand in their
alacrity for Cesar, viz. Jamblicus the ruler, and Ptolemy his
son, and Tholomy the son of Sohemus, who dwelt at Mount Libanus,
and almost all the cities. So Mithridates marched out of Syria,
and came to Pelusium; and when its inhabitants would not admit
him, he besieged the city. Now Antipater signalized himself here,
and was the first who plucked down a part of the wall, and so
opened a way to the rest, whereby they might enter the city, and
by this means Pelusium was taken. But it happened that the
Egyptian Jews, who dwelt in the country called Onion, would not
let Antipater and Mithridates, with their soldiers, pass to
Caesar; but Antipater persuaded them to come over with their
party, because he was of the same people with them, and that
chiefly by showing them the epistles of Hyrcanus the high priest,
wherein he exhorted them to cultivate friendship with Caesar, and
to supply his army with money, and all sorts of provisions which
they wanted; and accordingly, when they saw Antipater and the
high priest of the same sentiments, they did as they were
desired. And when the Jews about Memphis heard that these Jews
were come over to Caesar, they also invited Mithridates to come
to them; so he came and received them also into his army.

2. And when Mithridates had gone over all Delta, as the place is
called, he came to a pitched battle with the enemy, near the
place called the Jewish Camp. Now Mithridates had the right wing,
and Antipater the left; and when it came to a fight, that wing
where Mithridates was gave way, and was likely to suffer
extremely, unless Antipater had come running to him with his own
soldiers along the shore, when he had already beaten the enemy
that opposed him; so he delivered Mithridates, and put those
Egyptians who had been too hard for him to flight. He also took
their camp, and continued in the pursuit of them. He also
recalled Mithridates, who had been worsted, and was retired a
great way off; of whose soldiers eight hundred fell, but of
Antipater's fifty. So Mithridates sent an account of this battle
to Caesar, and openly declared that Antipater was the author of
this victory, and of his own preservation, insomuch that Caesar
commended Antipater then, and made use of him all the rest of
that war in the most hazardous undertakings; he happened also to
be wounded in one of those engagements

3. However, when Caesar, after some time, had finished that war,
and was sailed away for Syria, he honored Antipater greatly, and
confirmed Hyrcanus in the high priesthood; and bestowed on
Antipater the privilege of a citizen of Rome, and a freedom from
taxes every where; and it is reported by many, that Hyrcanus went
along with Antipater in this expedition, and came himself into
Egypt. And Strabo of Cappadocia bears witness to this, when he
says thus, in the name of Aslnius: "After Mithridates had invaded
Egypt, and with him Hyrcanus the high priest of the Jews." Nay,
the same Strabo says thus again, in another place, in the name of
Hypsicrates, that "Mithridates at first went out alone; but that
Antipater, who had the care of the Jewish affairs, was called by
him to Askelon, and that he had gotten ready three thousand
soldiers to go along with him, and encouraged other governors of
the country to go along with him also; and that Hyrcanus the high
priest was also present in this expedition." This is what Strabo

4. But Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, came at this time to
Caesar, and lamented his father's fate; and complained, that it
was by Antipater's means that Aristobulus was taken off by
poison, and his brother was beheaded by Scipio, and desired that
he would take pity of him who had been ejected out of that
principality which was due to him. He also accused Hyrcanus and
Antipater as governing the nation by violence, and offering
injuries to himself. Antipater was present, and made his defense
as to the accusations that were laid against him. He demonstrated
that Antigonus and his party were given to innovation, and were
seditious persons. He also put Caesar in mind what difficult
services he had undergone when he assisted him in his wars, and
discoursed about what he was a witness of himself. He added, that
Aristobulus was justly carried away to Rome, as one that was an
enemy to the Romans, and could never be brought to be a friend to
them, and that his brother had no more than he deserved from
Scipio, as being seized in committing robberies; and that this
punishment was not inflicted on him in a way of violence or
injustice by him that did it.

5. When Antipater had made this speech, Caesar appointed Hyrcauus
to be high priest, and gave Antipater what principality he
himself should choose, leaving the determination to himself; so
he made him procurator of Judea. He also gave Hyrcanus leave to
raise up the walls of his own city, upon his asking that favor of
him, for they had been demolished by Pompey. And this grant he
sent to the consuls to Rome, to be engraven in the capitol. The
decree of the senate was this that follows: (13) "Lucius
Valerius, the son of Lucius the praetor, referred this to the
senate, upon the Ides of December, in the temple of Concord.
There were present at the writing of this decree Lucius Coponius,
the son of Lucius of the Colline tribe, and Papirius of the
Quirine tribe, concerning the affairs which Alexander, the son of
Jason, and Numenius, the son of Antiochus, and Alexander, the son
of Dositheus, ambassadors of the Jews, good and worthy men,
proposed, who came to renew that league of goodwill and
friendship with the Romans which was in being before. They also
brought a shield of gold, as a mark of confederacy, valued at
fifty thousand pieces of gold; and desired that letters might be
given them, directed both to the free cities and to the kings,
that their country and their havens might be at peace, and that
no one among them might receive any injury. It therefore pleased
[the senate] to make a league of friendship and good-will with
them, and to bestow on them whatsoever they stood in need of, and
to accept of the shield which was brought by them. This was done
in the ninth year of Hyrcanus the high priest and ethnarch, in
the month Panemus." Hyreanus also received honors from the people
of Athens, as having been useful to them on many occasions. And
when they wrote to him, they sent him this decree, as it here
follows "Under the prutaneia and priesthood of Dionysius, the son
of Esculapius, on the fifth day of the latter part of the month
Panemus, this decree of the Athenians was given to their
commanders, when Agathocles was archon, and Eucles, the son of
Menander of Alimusia, was the scribe. In the month Munychion, on
the eleventh day of the prutaneia, a council of the presidents
was held in the theater. Dorotheus the high priest, and the
fellow presidents with him, put it to the vote of the people.
Dionysius, the son of Dionysius, gave the sentence. Since
Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnareh of
the Jews, continues to bear good-will to our people in general,
and to every one of our citizens in particular, and treats them
with all sorts of kindness; and when any of the Athenians come to
him, either as ambassadors, or on any occasion of their own, he
receives them in an obliging manner, and sees that they are
conducted back in safety, of which we have had several former
testimonies; it is now also decreed, at the report of Theodosius,
the son of Theodorus, and upon his putting the people in mind of
the virtue of this man, and that his purpose is to do us all the
good that is in his power, to honor him with a crown of gold, the
usual reward according to the law, and to erect his statue in
brass in the temple of Demus and of the Graces; and that this
present of a crown shall be proclaimed publicly in the theater,
in the Dionysian shows, while the new tragedies are acting; and
in the Panathenean, and Eleusinian, and Gymnical shows also; and
that the commanders shall take care, while he continues in his
friendship, and preserves his good-will to us, to return all
possible honor and favor to the man for his affection and
generosity; that by this treatment it may appear how our people
receive the good kindly, and repay them a suitable reward; and he
may be induced to proceed in his affection towards us, by the
honors we have already paid him. That ambassadors be also chosen
out of all the Athenians, who shall carry this decree to him, and
desire him to accept of the honors we do him, and to endeavor
always to be doing some good to our city." And this shall suffice
us to have spoken as to the honors that were paid by the Romans
and the people of Athens to Hyrcanus.


How Antipater Committed The Care Of Galilee To Herod, And That Of
Jerusalem To Phasaelus; As Also How Herod Upon The Jews' Envy At
Antipater Was Accused Before Hyrcanus.

1. Now when Caesar had settled the affairs of Syria, he sailed
away. And as soon as Antipater had conducted Caesar out of Syria,
he returned to Judea. He then immediately raised up the wall
which had been thrown down by Pompey; and, by coming thither, he
pacified that tumult which had been in the country, and this by
both threatening and advising them to be quiet; for that if they
would be of Hyrcanus's side, they would live happily, and lead
their lives without disturbance, and in the enjoyment of their
own possessions; but if they were addicted to the hopes of what
might come by innovation, and aimed to get wealth thereby, they
should have him a severe master instead of a gentle governor, and
Hyrcanus a tyrant instead of a king, and the Romans, together
with Caesar, their bitter enemies instead of rulers, for that
they would never bear him to be set aside whom they had appointed
to govern. And when Antipater had said this to them, he himself
settled the affairs of this country.

2. And seeing that Hyrcanus was of a slow and slothful temper, he
made Phasaelus, his eldest son, governor of Jerusalem, and of the
places that were about it, but committed Galilee to Herod, his
next son, who was then a very young man, for he was but fifteen
years of age (14) But that youth of his was no impediment to him;
but as he was a youth of great mind, he presently met with an
opportunity of signalizing his courage; for finding that there
was one Hezekiah, a captain of a band of robbers, who overran the
neighboring parts of Syria with a great troop of them, he seized
him and slew him, as well as a great number of the other robbers
that were with him; for which action he was greatly beloved by
the Syrians; for when they were very desirous to have their
country freed from this nest of robbers, he purged it of them. So
they sung songs in his commendation in their villages and cities,
as having procured them peace, and the secure enjoyment of their
possessions; and on this account it was that he became known to
Sextus Caesar, who was a relation of the great Caesar, and was
now president of Syria. Now Phasaetus, Herod's brother, was moved
with emulation at his actions, and envied the fame be had thereby
gotten, and became ambitious not to be behindhand with him in
deserving it. So he made the inhabitants of Jerusalem bear him
the greatest good-will while he held the city himself, but did
neither manage its affairs improperly, nor abuse his authority
therein. This conduct procured from the nation to Antipater such
respect as is due to kings, and such honors as he might partake
of if he were an absolute lord of the country. Yet did not this
splendor of his, as frequently happens, in the least diminish in
him that kindness and fidelity which he owed to Hyrcanus.

3. But now the principal men among the Jews, when they saw
Antipater and his sons to grow so much in the good-will the
nation bare to them, and in the revenues which they received out
of Judea, and out of Hyrcanus's own wealth, they became
ill-disposed to him; for indeed Antipater had contracted a
friendship with the Roman emperors; and when he had prevailed
with Hyrcanus to send them money, he took it to himself, and
purloined the present intended, and sent it as if it were his
own, and not Hyrcanus's gift to them. Hyrcanus heard of this his
management, but took no care about it; nay, he rather was very
glad of it. But the chief men of the Jews were therefore in fear,
because they saw that Herod was a violent and bold man, and very
desirous of acting tyrannically; so they came to Hyrcanus, and
now accused Antipater openly, and said to him, "How long wilt
thou be quiet under such actions as are now done? Or dost thou
not see that Antipater and his sons have already seized upon the
government, and that it is only the name of a king which is given
thee? But do not thou suffer these things to be hidden from thee,
nor do thou think to escape danger by being so careless of
thyself and of thy kingdom; for Antipater and his sons are not
now stewards of thine affairs: do not thou deceive thyself with
such a notion; they are evidently absolute lords; for Herod,
Antipater's son, hath slain Hezekiah, and those that were with
him, and hath thereby transgressed our law, which hath forbidden
to slay any man, even though he were a wicked man, unless he had
been first condemned to suffer death by the Sanhedrim (15) yet
hath he been so insolent as to do this, and that without any
authority from thee."

4. Upon Hyrcanus hearing this, he complied with them. The mothers
also of those that had been slain by Herod raised his
indignation; for those women continued every day in the temple,
persuading the king and the people that Herod might undergo a
trial before the Sanhedrim for what he had done. Hyrcanus was so
moved by these complaints, that he summoned Herod to come to his
trial for what was charged upon him. Accordingly he came; but his
father had persuaded him to come not like a private man, but with
a guard, for the security of his person; and that when he had
settled the affairs of Galilee in the best manner he could for
his own advantage, he should come to his trial, but still with a
body of men sufficient for his security on his journey, yet so
that he should not come with so great a force as might look like
terrifying Hyrcanus, but still such a one as might not expose him
naked and unguarded [to his enemies.] However, Sextus Caesar,
president of Syria, wrote to Hyrcanus, and desired him to clear
Herod, and dismiss him at his trial, and threatened him
beforehand if he did not do it. Which epistle of his was the
occasion of Hyrcanus delivering Herod from suffering any harm
from the Sanhedrim, for he loved him as his own son. But when
Herod stood before the Sanhedrim, with his body of men about him,
he aftrighted them all, and no one of his former accusers durst
after that bring any charge against him, but there was a deep
silence, and nobody knew what was to be done. When affairs stood
thus, one whose name was Sameas, (16) a righteous man he was, and
for that reason above all fear, rose up, and said, "O you that
are assessors with me, and O thou that art our king, I neither
have ever myself known such a case, nor do I suppose that any one
of you can name its parallel, that one who is called to take his
trial by us ever stood in such a manner before us; but every one,
whosoever he be, that comes to be tried by this Sanhedrim,
presents himself in a submissive manner, and like one that is in
fear of himself, and that endeavors to move us to compassion,
with his hair dishevelled, and in a black and mourning garment:
but this admirable man Herod, who is accused of murder, and
called to answer so heavy an accusation, stands here clothed in
purple, and with the hair of his head finely trimmed, and with
his armed men about him, that if we shall condemn him by our law,
he may slay us, and by overbearing justice may himself escape
death. Yet do not I make this complaint against Herod himself; he
is to be sure more concerned for himself than for the laws; but
my complaint is against yourselves, and your king, who gave him a
license so to do. However, take you notice, that God is great,
and that this very man, whom you are going to absolve and
dismiss, for the sake of Hyrcanus, will one day punish both you
and your king himself also." Nor did Sameas mistake in any part
of this prediction; for when Herod had received the kingdom, he
slew all the members of this Sanhedrim, and Hyrcanus himself
also, excepting Sameas, for he had a great honor for him on
account of his righteousness, and because, when the city was
afterward besieged by Herod and Sosius, he persuaded the people
to admit Herod into it; and told them that for their sins they
would not be able to escape his hands: - which things will be
related by us in their proper places.

5. But when Hyrcanus saw that the members of the Sanhedrim were
ready to pronounce the sentence of death upon Herod, he put off
the trial to another day, and sent privately to Herod, and
advised him to fly out of the city, for that by this means he
might escape. So he retired to Damascus, as though he fled from
the king; and when he had been with Sextus Caesar, and had put
his own affairs in a sure posture, he resolved to do thus; that
in case he were again summoned before the Sanhedrim to take his
trial, he would not obey that summons. Hereupon the members of
the Sanhedrim had great indignation at this posture of affairs,
and endeavored to persuade Hyrcanus that all these things were
against him; which state of matters he was not ignorant of; but
his temper was so unmanly, and so foolish, that he was able to do
nothing at all. But when Sextus had made Herod general of the
army of Celesyria, for he sold him that post for money, Hyrcanus
was in fear lest Herod should make war upon him; nor was the
effect of what he feared long in coming upon him; for Herod came
and brought an army along with him to fight with Hyrcanus, as
being angry at the trial he bad been summoned to undergo before
the Sanhedrim; but his father Antipater, and his brother
[Phasaelus], met him, and hindered him from assaulting Jerusalem.
They also pacified his vehement temper, and persuaded him to do
no overt action, but only to affright them with threatenings, and
to proceed no further against one who had given him the dignity
he had: they also desired him not only to be angry that he was
summoned, and obliged to come to his trial, but to remember
withal how he was dismissed without condemnation, and how he
ought to give Hyrcanus thanks for the same; and that he was not
to regard only what was disagreeable to him, and be unthankful
for his deliverance. So they desired him to consider, that since
it is God that turns the scales of war, there is great
uncertainty in the issue of battles, and that therefore he ought
of to expect the victory when he should fight with his king, and
him that had supported him, and bestowed many benefits upon him,
and had done nothing itself very severe to him; for that his
accusation, which was derived from evil counselors, and not from
himself, had rather the suspicion of some severity, than any
thing really severe in it. Herod was persuaded by these
arguments, and believed that it was sufficient for his future
hopes to have made a show of his strength before the nation, and
done no more to it - and in this state were the affairs of Judea
at this time.


The Honors That Were Paid The Jews; And The Leagues That Were
Made By The Romans And Other Nations, With Them.

1. Now when Caesar was come to Rome, he was ready to sail into
Africa to fight against Scipio and Cato, when Hyrcanus sent
ambassadors to him, and by them desired that he would ratify that
league of friendship and mutual alliance which was between them,
And it seems to me to be necessary here to give an account of all
the honors that the Romans and their emperor paid to our nation,
and of the leagues of mutual assistance they have made with it,
that all the rest of mankind may know what regard the kings of
Asia and Europe have had to us, and that they have been
abundantly satisfied of our courage and fidelity; for whereas
many will not believe what hath been written about us by the
Persians and Macedonians, because those writings are not every
where to be met with, nor do lie in public places, but among us
ourselves, and certain other barbarous nations, while there is no
contradiction to be made against the decrees of the Romans, for
they are laid up in the public places of the cities, and are
extant still in the capitol, and engraven upon pillars of brass;
nay, besides this, Julius Caesar made a pillar of brass for the
Jews at Alexandria, and declared publicly that they were citizens
of Alexandria. Out of these evidences will I demonstrate what I
say; and will now set down the decrees made both by the senate
and by Julius Caesar, which relate to Hyrcanus and to our nation.

2. "Caius Julius Caesar, imperator and high priest, and dictator
the second time, to the magistrates, senate, and people of Sidon,
sendeth greeting. If you be in health, it is well. I also and the
army are well. I have sent you a copy of that decree, registered
on the tables, which concerns Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the
high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, that it may be laid up
among the public records; and I will that it be openly proposed
in a table of brass, both in Greek and in Latin. It is as
follows: I Julius Caesar, imperator the second time, and high
priest, have made this decree, with the approbation of the
senate. Whereas Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander the Jew, hath
demonstrated his fidelity and diligence about our affairs, and
this both now and in former times, both in peace and in war, as
many of our generals have borne witness, and came to our
assistance in the last Alexandrian war, (17) with fifteen hundred
soldiers; and when he was sent by me to Mithridates, showed
himself superior in valor to all the rest of that army; - for
these reasons I will that Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, and his
children, be ethnarchs of the Jews, and have the high priesthood
of the Jews for ever, according to the customs of their
forefathers, and that he and his sons be our confederates; and
that besides this, everyone of them be reckoned among our
particular friends. I also ordain that he and his children retain
whatsoever privileges belong to the office of high priest, or

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