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The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 18 out of 26

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2. And this was the speech which Herod made to them; but still
this speech aftrighted many of the people, as being unexpected by
them; and because it seemed incredible, it did not encourage
them, but put a damp upon them, for they were afraid that he
would pull down the whole edifice, and not be able to bring his
intentions to perfection for its rebuilding; and this danger
appeared to them to be very great, and the vastness of the
undertaking to be such as could hardly be accomplished. But while
they were in this disposition, the king encouraged them, and told
them he would not pull down their temple till all things were
gotten ready for building it up entirely again. And as he
promised them this beforehand, so he did not break his word with
them, but got ready a thousand waggons, that were to bring stones
for the building, and chose out ten thousand of the most skillful
workmen, and bought a thousand sacerdotal garments for as many of
the priests, and had some of them taught the arts of
stone-cutters, and others of carpenters, and then began to build;
but this not till every thing was well prepared for the work.

3. So Herod took away the old foundations, and laid others, and
erected the temple upon them, being in length a hundred cubits,
and in height twenty additional cubits, which [twenty], upon the
sinking of their foundations (23) fell down; and this part it was
that we resolved to raise again in the days of Nero. Now the
temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each
of their length was twenty-five cubits, their height was eight,
and their breadth about twelve; and the whole structure, as also
the structure of the royal cloister, was on each side much lower,
but the middle was much higher, till they were visible to those
that dwelt in the country for a great many furlongs, but chiefly
to such as lived over against them, and those that approached to
them. The temple had doors also at the entrance, and lintels over
them, of the same height with the temple itself. They were
adorned with embroidered veils, with their flowers of purple, and
pillars interwoven; and over these, but under the crown-work, was
spread out a golden vine, with its branches hanging down from a
great height, the largeness and fine workmanship of which was a
surprising sight to the spectators, to see what vast materials
there were, and with what great skill the workmanship was done.
He also encompassed the entire temple with very large cloisters,
contriving them to be in a due proportion thereto; and he laid
out larger sums of money upon them than had been done before him,
till it seemed that no one else had so greatly adorned the temple
as he had done. There was a large wall to both the cloisters,
which wall was itself the most prodigious work that was ever
heard of by man. The hill was a rocky ascent, that declined by
degrees towards the east parts of the city, till it came to an
elevated level. This hill it was which Solomon, who was the first
of our kings, by Divine revelation, encompassed with a wall; it
was of excellent workmanship upwards, and round the top of it. He
also built a wall below, beginning at the bottom, which was
encompassed by a deep valley; and at the south side he laid rocks
together, and bound them one to another with lead, and included
some of the inner parts, till it proceeded to a great height, and
till both the largeness of the square edifice and its altitude
were immense, and till the vastness of the stones in the front
were plainly visible on the outside, yet so that the inward parts
were fastened together with iron, and preserved the joints
immovable for all future times. When this work [for the
foundation] was done in this manner, and joined together as part
of the hill itself to the very top of it, he wrought it all into
one outward surface, and filled up the hollow places which were
about the wall, and made it a level on the external upper
surface, and a smooth level also. This hill was walled all round,
and in compass four furlongs, [the distance of] each angle
containing in length a furlong: but within this wall, and on the
very top of all, there ran another wall of stone also, having, on
the east quarter, a double cloister, of the same length with the
wall; in the midst of which was the temple itself. This cloister
looked to the gates of the temple; and it had been adorned by
many kings in former times; and round about the entire temple
were fixed the spoils taken from barbarous nations; all these had
been dedicated to the temple by Herod, with the addition of those
he had taken from the Arabians.

4. Now on the north side [of the temple] was built a citadel,
whose walls were square, and strong, and of extraordinary
firmness. This citadel was built by the kings of the Asamonean
race, who were also high priests before Herod, and they called it
the Tower, in which were reposited the vestments of the high
priest, which the high priest only put on at the time when he was
to offer sacrifice. These vestments king Herod kept in that
place; and after his death they were under the power of the
Romans, until the time of Tiberius Caesar; under whose reign
Vitellius, the president of Syria, when he once came to
Jerusalem, and had been most magnificently received by the
multitude, he had a mind to make them some requital for the
kindness they had shewn him; so, upon their petition to have
those holy vestments in their own power, he wrote about them to
Tiberius Caesar, who granted his request: and this their power
over the sacerdotal vestments continued with the Jews till the
death of king Agrippa; but after that, Cassius Longinus, who was
president of Syria, and Cuspius Fadus, who was procurator of
Judea, enjoined the Jews to reposit those vestments in the tower
of Antonia, for that they ought to have them in their power, as
they formerly had. However, the Jews sent ambassadors to Claudius
Caesar, to intercede with him for them; upon whose coming, king
Agrippa, junior, being then at Rome, asked for and obtained the
power over them from the emperor, who gave command to Vitellius,
who was then commander in Syria, to give it them accordingly.
Before that time they were kept under the seal of the high
priest, and of the treasurers of the temple; which treasurers,
the day before a festival, went up to the Roman captain of the
temple guards, and viewed their own seal, and received the
vestments; and again, when the festival was over, they brought it
to the same place, and showed the captain of the temple guards
their seal, which corresponded with his seal, and reposited them
there. And that these things were so, the afflictions that
happened to us afterwards [about them] are sufficient evidence.
But for the tower itself, when Herod the king of the Jews had
fortified it more firmly than before, in order to secure and
guard the temple, he gratified Antonius, who was his friend, and
the Roman ruler, and then gave it the name of the Tower of

5. Now in the western quarters of the enclosure of the temple
there were four gates; the first led to the king's palace, and
went to a passage over the intermediate valley; two more led to
the suburbs of the city; and the last led to the other city,
where the road descended down into the valley by a great number
of steps, and thence up again by the ascent for the city lay over
against the temple in the manner of a theater, and was
encompassed with a deep valley along the entire south quarter;
but the fourth front of the temple, which was southward, had
indeed itself gates in its middle, as also it had the royal
cloisters, with three walks, which reached in length from the
east valley unto that on the west, for it was impossible it
should reach any farther: and this cloister deserves to be
mentioned better than any other under the sun; for while the
valley was very deep, and its bottom could not be seen, if you
looked from above into the depth, this further vastly high
elevation of the cloister stood upon that height, insomuch that
if any one looked down from the top of the battlements, or down
both those altitudes, he would be giddy, while his sight could
not reach to such an immense depth. This cloister had pillars
that stood in four rows one over against the other all along, for
the fourth row was interwoven into the wall, which [also was
built of stone]; and the thickness of each pillar was such, that
three men might, with their arms extended, fathom it round, and
join their hands again, while its length was twenty-seven feet,
with a double spiral at its basis; and the number of all the
pillars [in that court] was a hundred and sixty-two. Their
chapiters were made with sculptures after the Corinthian order,
and caused an amazement [to the spectators], by reason of the
grandeur of the whole. These four rows of pillars included three
intervals for walking in the middle of this cloister; two of
which walks were made parallel to each other, and were contrived
after the same manner; the breadth of each of them was thirty
feet, the length was a furlong, and the height fifty feet; but
the breadth of the middle part of the cloister was one and a half
of the other, and the height was double, for it was much higher
than those on each side; but the roofs were adorned with deep
sculptures in wood, representing many sorts of figures. The
middle was much higher than the rest, and the wall of the front
was adorned with beams, resting upon pillars, that were
interwoven into it, and that front was all of polished stone,
insomuch that its fineness, to such as had not seen it, was
incredible, and to such as had seen it, was greatly amazing. Thus
was the first enclosure. In the midst of which, and not far from
it, was the second, to be gone up to by a few steps: this was
encompassed by a stone wall for a partition, with an inscription,
which forbade any foreigner to go in under pain of death. Now
this inner enclosure had on its southern and northern quarters
three gates [equally] distant one from another; but on the east
quarter, towards the sun-rising, there was one large gate,
through which such as were pure came in, together with their
wives; but the temple further inward in that gate was not allowed
to the women; but still more inward was there a third [court of
the] temple, whereinto it was not lawful for any but the priests
alone to enter. The temple itself was within this; and before
that temple was the altar, upon which we offer our sacrifices and
burnt-offerings to God. Into none of these three did king Herod
enter, (24) for he was forbidden, because he was not a priest.
However, he took care of the cloisters and the outer enclosures,
and these he built in eight years.

6. But the temple itself was built by the priests in a year and
six months; upon which all the people were full of joy; and
presently they returned thanks, in the first place, to God; and
in the next place, for the alacrity the king had showed. They
feasted and celebrated this rebuilding of the temple: and for the
king, he sacrificed three hundred oxen to God, as did the rest
every one according to his ability; the number of which
sacrifices is not possible to set down, for it cannot be that we
should truly relate it; for at the same time with this
celebration for the work about the temple fell also the day of
the king's inauguration, which he kept of an old custom as a
festival, and it now coincided with the other, which coincidence
of them both made the festival most illustrious.

7. There was also an occult passage built for the king; it led
from Antonia to the inner temple, at its eastern gate; over which
he also erected for himself a tower, that he might have the
opportunity of a subterraneous ascent to the temple, in order to
guard against any sedition which might be made by the people
against their kings. It is also reported, (25) that during the
time that the temple was building, it did not rain in the
daytime, but that the showers fell in the nights, so that the
work was not hindered. And this our fathers have delivered to us;
nor is it incredible, if any one have regard to the
manifestations of God. And thus was performed the work of the
rebuilding of the temple.


Containing The Interval Of Twelve Years.

From The Finishing Of The Temple By Herod To The Death Of
Alexander And Aristobulus.


A Law Of Herod's About, Thieves. Salome And Pheroras Calumniate
Alexander And Aristobulus, Upon Their Return From Rome For Whom
Yet Herod Provides Wives.

1. As king Herod was very zealous in the administration of his
entire government, and desirous to put a stop to particular acts
of injustice which were done by criminals about the city and
country, he made a law, no way like our original laws, and which
he enacted of himself, to expose house-breakers to be ejected out
of his kingdom; which punishment was not only grievous to be
borne by the offenders, but contained in it a dissolution of the
customs of our forefathers; for this slavery to foreigners, and
such as did not live after the manner of Jews, and this necessity
that they were under to do whatsoever such men should command,
was an offense against our religious settlement, rather than a
punishment to such as were found to have offended, such a
punishment being avoided in our original laws; for those laws
ordain, that the thief shall restore fourfold; and that if he
have not so much, he shall be sold indeed, but not to foreigners,
nor so that he be under perpetual slavery, for he must have been
released after six years. But this law, thus enacted, in order to
introduce a severe and illegal punishment, seemed to be a piece
of insolence of Herod, when he did not act as a king, but as a
tyrant, and thus contemptuously, and without any regard to his
subjects, did he venture to introduce such a punishment. Now this
penalty, thus brought into practice, was like Herod's other
actions, and became a part of his accusation, and an occasion of
the hatred he lay under.

2. Now at this time it was that he sailed to Italy, as very
desirous to meet with Caesar, and to see his sons who lived at
Rome; and Caesar was not only very obliging to him in other
respects, but delivered him his sons again, that he might take
them home with him, as having already completed themselves in the
sciences; but as soon as the young men were come from Italy, the
multitude were very desirous to see them, and they became
conspicuous among them all, as adorned with great blessings of
fortune, and having the countenances of persons of royal dignity.
So they soon appeared to be the objects of envy to Salome, the
king's sister, and to such as had raised calumnies against
Mariamne; for they were suspicious, that when these came to the
government, they should be punished for the wickedness they had
been guilty of against their mother; so they made this very fear
of theirs a motive to raise calumnies against them also. They
gave it out that they were not pleased with their father's
company, because he had put their mother to death, as if it were
not agreeable to piety to appear to converse with their mother's
murderer. Now, by carrying these stories; that had indeed a true
foundation [in the fact], but were only built on probabilities as
to the present accusation, they were able to do them mischief,
and to make Herod take away that kindness from his sons which he
had before borne to them; for they did not say these things to
him openly, but scattered abroad such words, among the rest of
the multitude; from which words, when carried to Herod, he was
induced [at last] to hate them, and which natural affection
itself, even in length of time, was not able to overcome; yet was
the king at that time in a condition to prefer the natural
affection of a father before all the suspicions and calumnies his
sons lay under. So he respected them as he ought to do, and
married them to wives, now they were of an age suitable thereto.
To Aristobulus he gave for a wife Bernice, Salome's daughter; and
to Alexander, Glaphyra, the daughter of Archelaus, king of


How Herod Twice Sailed To Agrippa; And How Upon The Complaint In
Ionia Against The Greeks Agrippa Confirmed The Laws To Them.

1. When Herod had despatched these affairs, and he understood
that Marcus Agrippa had sailed again out of Italy into Asia, he
made haste to him, and besought him to come to him into his
kingdom, and to partake of what he might justly expect from one
that had been his guest, and was his friend. This request he
greatly pressed, and to it Agrippa agreed, and came into Judea;
whereupon Herod omitted nothing that might please him. He
entertained him in his new-built cities, and showed him the
edifices he had built, and provided all sorts of the best and
most costly dainties for him and his friends, and that at Sebaste
and Cesarea, about that port that he had built, and at the
fortresses which he had erected at great expenses, Alexandrium,
and Herodium, and Hyrcania. He also conducted him to the city
Jerusalem, where all the people met him in their festival
garments, and received him with acclamations. Agrippa also
offered a hecatomb of sacrifices to God; and feasted the people,
without omitting any of the greatest dainties that could be
gotten. He also took so much pleasure there, that he abode many
days with them, and would willingly have staid longer, but that
the season of the year made him make haste away; for as winter
was coming on, he thought it not safe to go to sea later, and yet
he was of necessity to return again to Ionia.

2. So Agrippa went away, when Herod had bestowed on him, and on
the principal of those that were with him, many presents; but
king Herod, when he had passed the winter in his own dominions,
made haste to get to him again in the spring, when he knew he
designed to go to a campaign at the Bosptiorus. So when he had
sailed by Rhodes and by Cos, he touched at Lesbos, as thinking he
should have overtaken Agrippa there; but he was taken short here
by a north wind, which hindered his ship from going to the shore;
so he continued many days at Chius, and there he kindly treated a
great many that came to him, and obliged them by giving them
royal gifts. And when he saw that the portico of the city was
fallen down, which as it was overthrown in the Mithridatic war,
and was very large and fine building, so was it not so easy to
rebuild that as it was the rest, yet did he furnish a sum not
only large enough for that purpose, but what was more than
sufficient to finish the building; and ordered them not to
overlook that portico, but to rebuild it quickly, that so the
city might recover its proper ornaments. And when the high winds
were laid, he sailed to Mytilene, and thence to Byzantium; and
when he heard that Agrippa was sailed beyond the Cyanean rocks,
he made all the haste possible to overtake him, and came up with
him about Sinope, in Pontus. He was seen sailing by the ship-men
most unexpectedly, but appeared to their great joy; and many
friendly salutations there were between them, insomuch that
Agrippa thought he had received the greatest marks of the king's
kindness and humanity towards him possible, since the king had
come so long a voyage, and at a very proper season, for his
assistance, and had left the government of his own dominions, and
thought it more worth his while to come to him. Accordingly,
Herod was all in all to Agrippa, in the management of the war,
and a great assistant in civil affairs, and in giving him counsel
as to particular matters. He was also a pleasant companion for
him when he relaxed himself, and a joint partaker with him in all
things; ill troubles because of his kindness, and in prosperity
because of the respect Agrippa had for him. Now as soon as those
affairs of Pontus were finished, for whose sake Agrippa was sent
thither, they did not think fit to return by sea, but passed
through Paphlagonia and Cappadocia; they then traveled thence
over great Phrygia, and came to Ephesus, and then they sailed
from Ephesus to Samos. And indeed the king bestowed a great many
benefits on every city that he came to, according as they stood
in need of them; for as for those that wanted either money or
kind treatment, he was not wanting to them; but he supplied the
former himself out of his own expenses: he also became an
intercessor with Agrippa for all such as sought after his favor,
and he brought things so about, that the petitioners failed in
none of their suits to him, Agrippa being himself of a good
disposition, and of great generosity, and ready to grant all such
requests as might be advantageous to the petitioners, provided
they were not to the detriment of others. The inclination of the
king was of great weight also, and still excited Agrippa, who was
himself ready to do good; for he made a reconciliation between
the people of Ilium, at whom he was angry, and paid what money
the people of Chius owed Caesar's procurators, and discharged
them of their tributes; and helped all others, according as their
several necessities required.

3. But now, when Agrippa and Herod were in Ionia, a great
multitude of Jews, who dwelt in their cities, came to them, and
laying hold of the opportunity and the liberty now given them,
laid before them the injuries which they suffered, while they
were not permitted to use their own laws, but were compelled to
prosecute their law-suits, by the ill usage of the judges, upon
their holy days, and were deprived of the money they used to lay
up at Jerusalem, and were forced into the army, and upon such
other offices as obliged them to spend their sacred money; from
which burdens they always used to be freed by the Romans, who had
still permitted them to live according to their own laws. When
this clamor was made, the king desired of Agrippa that he would
hear their cause, and assigned Nicolaus, one of his friends, to
plead for those their privileges. Accordingly, when Agrippa had
called the principal of the Romans, and such of the kings and
rulers as were there, to be his assessors, Nicolaus stood up, and
pleaded for the Jews, as follows: "It is of necessity incumbent
on such as are in distress to have recourse to those that have it
in their power to free them from those injuries they lie under;
and for those that now are complainants, they approach you with
great assurance; for as they have formerly often obtained your
favor, so far as they have even wished to have it, they now only
entreat that you, who have been the donors, will take care that
those favors you have already granted them may not be taken away
from them. We have received these favors from you, who alone have
power to grant them, but have them taken from us by such as are
no greater than ourselves, and by such as we know are as much
subjects as we are; and certainly, if we have been vouchsafed
great favors, it is to our commendation who have obtained them,
as having been found deserving of such great favors; and if those
favors be but small ones, it would be barbarous for the donors
not to confirm them to us. And for those that are the hinderance
of the Jews, and use them reproachfully, it is evident that they
affront both the receivers, while they will not allow those to be
worthy men to whom their excellent rulers themselves have borne
their testimony, and the donors, while they desire those favors
already granted may be abrogated. Now if any one should ask these
Gentiles themselves, which of the two things they would choose to
part with, their lives, or the customs of their forefathers,
their solemnities, their sacrifices, their festivals, which they
celebrated in honor of those they suppose to be gods? I know very
well that they would choose to suffer any thing whatsoever rather
than a dissolution of any of the customs of their forefathers;
for a great many of them have rather chosen to go to war on that
account, as very solicitous not to transgress in those matters.
And indeed we take an estimate of that happiness which all
mankind do now enjoy by your means from this very thing, that we
are allowed every one to worship as our own institutions require,
and yet to live [in peace]; and although they would not be thus
treated themselves, yet do they endeavor to compel others to
comply with them, as if it were not as great an instance of
impiety profanely to dissolve the religious solemnities of any
others, as to be negligent in the observation of their own
towards their gods. And let us now consider the one of these
practices. Is there any people, or city, or community of men, to
whom your government and the Roman power does not appear to be
the greatest blessing '. Is there any one that can desire to make
void the favors they have granted? No one is certainly so mad;
for there are no men but such as have been partakers of their
favors, both public and private; and indeed those that take away
what you have granted, can have no assurance but every one of
their own grants made them by you may be taken from them also;
which grants of yours can yet never be sufficiently valued; for
if they consider the old governments under kings, together with
your present government, besides the great number of benefits
which this government hath bestowed on them, in order to their
happiness, this is instead of all the rest, that they appear to
be no longer in a state of slavery, but of freedom. Now the
privileges we desire, even when we are in the best circumstances,
are not such as deserve to be envied, for we are indeed in a
prosperous state by your means, but this is only in common with
others; and it is no more than this which we desire, to preserve
our religion without any prohibition; which as it appears not in
itself a privilege to be envied us, so it is for the advantage of
those that grant it to us; for if the Divinity delights in being
honored, it must delight in those that permit them to be honored.
And there are none of our customs which are inhuman, but all
tending to piety, and devoted to the preservation of justice; nor
do we conceal those injunctions of ours by which we govern our
lives, they being memorials of piety, and of a friendly
conversation among men. And the seventh day we set apart from
labor; it is dedicated to the learning of our customs and laws,
(1) we thinking it proper to reflect on them, as well as on any
[good] thing else, in order to our avoiding of sin. If any one
therefore examine into our observances, he will find they are
good in themselves, and that they are ancient also, though some
think otherwise, insomuch that those who have received them
cannot easily be brought to depart from them, out of that honor
they pay to the length of time they have religiously enjoyed them
and observed them. Now our adversaries take these our privileges
away in the way of injustice; they violently seize upon that
money of ours which is owed to God, and called sacred money, and
this openly, after a sacrilegious manner; and they impose
tributes upon us, and bring us before tribunals on holy days, and
then require other like debts of us, not because the contracts
require it, and for their own advantage, but because they would
put an affront on our religion, of which they are conscious as
well as we, and have indulged themselves in an unjust, and to
them involuntary, hatred; for your government over all is one,
tending to the establishing of benevolence, and abolishing of
ill-will among such as are disposed to it. This is therefore what
we implore from thee, most excellent Agrippa, that we may not be
ill-treated; that we may not be abused; that we may not be
hindered from making use of our own customs, nor be despoiled of
our goods, nor be forced by these men to do what we ourselves
force nobody to do; for these privileges of ours are not only
according to justice, but have formerly been granted us by you.
And we are able to read to you many decrees of the senate, and
the tables that contain them, which are still extant in the
capitol, concerning these things, which it is evident were
granted after you had experience of our fidelity towards you,
which ought to be valued, though no such fidelity had been; for
you have hitherto preserved what people were in possession of,
not to us only, but almost to all men, and have added greater
advantages than they could have hoped for, and thereby your
government is become a great advantage to them. And if any one
were able to enumerate the prosperity you have conferred on every
nation, which they possess by your means, he could never put an
end to his discourse; but that we may demonstrate that we are not
unworthy of all those advantages we have obtained, it will be
sufficient for us, to say nothing of other things, but to speak
freely of this king who now governs us, and is now one of thy
assessors; and indeed in what instance of good-will, as to your
house, hath he been deficient? What mark of fidelity to it hath
he omitted? What token of honor hath he not devised? What
occasion for his assistance of you hath he not regarded at the
very first? What hindereth; therefore, but that your kindnesses
may be as numerous as his so great benefits to you have been? It
may also perhaps be fit not here to pass over in silence the
valor of his father Antipater, who, when Caesar made an
expedition into Egypt, assisted him with two thousand armed men,
and proved inferior to none, neither in the battles on land, nor
in the management of the navy; and what need I say any thing of
how great weight those soldiers were at that juncture? or how
many and how great presents they were vouchsafed by Caesar? And
truly I ought before now to have mentioned the epistles which
Caesar wrote to the senate; and how Antipater had honors, and the
freedom of the city of Rome, bestowed upon him; for these are
demonstrations both that we have received these favors by our own
deserts, and do on that account petition thee for thy
confirmation of them, from whom we had reason to hope for them,
though they had not been given us before, both out of regard to
our king's disposition towards you, and your disposition towards
him. And further, we have been informed by those Jews that were
there with what kindness thou camest into our country, and how
thou offeredst the most perfect sacrifices to God, and honoredst
him with remarkable vows, and how thou gavest the people a feast,
and acceptedst of their own hospitable presents to thee. We ought
to esteem all these kind entertainments made both by our nation
and to our city, to a man who is the ruler and manager of so much
of the public affairs, as indications of that friendship which
thou hast returned to the Jewish nation, and which hath been
procured them by the family of Herod. So we put thee in mind of
these things in the presence of the king, now sitting by thee,
and make our request for no more but this, that what you have
given us yourselves you will not see taken away by others from

4. When Nicolaus had made this speech, there was no opposition
made to it by the Greeks, for this was not an inquiry made, as in
a court of justice, but an intercession to prevent violence to be
offered to the Jews any longer; nor did the Greeks make any
defense of themselves, or deny what it was supposed they had
done. Their pretense was no more than this, that while the Jews
inhabited in their country, they were entirely unjust to them [in
not joining in their worship] but they demonstrated their
generosity in this, that though they worshipped according to
their institutions, they did nothing that ought to grieve them.
So when Agrippa perceived that they had been oppressed by
violence, he made this answer: That, on account of Herod's
good-will and friendship, he was ready to grant the Jews
whatsoever they should ask him, and that their requests seemed to
him in themselves just; and that if they requested any thing
further, he should not scruple to grant it them, provided they
were no way to the detriment of the Roman government; but that
while their request was no more than this, that what privileges
they had already given them might not be abrogated, he confirmed
this to them, that they might continue in the observation of
their own customs, without any one offering them the least
injury. And when he had said thus, he dissolved the assembly;
upon which Herod stood up and saluted him, and gave him thanks
for the kind disposition he showed to them. Agrippa also took
this in a very obliging manner, and saluted him again, and
embraced him in his arms; after which he went away from Lesbos;
but the king determined to sail from Samos to his own country;
and when he had taken his leave of Agrippa, he pursued his
voyage, and landed at Cesarea in a few days' time, as having
favorable winds; from whence he went to Jerusalem, and there
gathered all the people together to an assembly, not a few being
there out of the country also. So he came to them, and gave them
a particular account of all his journey, and of the affairs of
all the Jews in Asia, how by his means they would live without
injurious treatment for the time to come. He also told them of
the entire good fortune he had met with and how he had
administered the government, and had not neglected any thing
which was for their advantage; and as he was very joyful, he now
remitted to them the fourth part of their taxes for the last
year. Accordingly, they were so pleased with his favor and speech
to them, that they went their ways with great gladness, and
wished the king all manner of happiness.


How Great Disturbances Arose In Herods Family On His Preferring
Antipater His Eldest Son Before The Rest, Till Alexander Took
That Injury Very Heinously.

1. But now the affairs in Herod's family were in more and more
disorder, and became more severe upon him, by the hatred of
Salome to the young men [Alexander and Aristobulus], which
descended as it were by inheritance [from their mother Mariamne];
and as she had fully succeeded against their mother, so she
proceeded to that degree of madness and insolence, as to endeavor
that none of her posterity might be left alive, who might have it
in their power to revenge her death. The young men had also
somewhat of a bold and uneasy disposition towards their father
occasioned by the remembrance of what their mother had unjustly
suffered, and by their own affectation of dominion. The old
grudge was also renewed; and they east reproaches on Salome and
Pheroras, who requited the young men with malicious designs, and
actually laid treacherous snares for them. Now as for this
hatred, it was equal on both sides, but the manner of exerting
that hatred was different; for as for the young men, they were
rash, reproaching and affronting the others openly, and were
inexperienced enough to think it the most generous to declare
their minds in that undaunted manner; but the others did not take
that method, but made use of calumnies after a subtle and a
spiteful manner, still provoking the young men, and imagining
that their boldness might in time turn to the offering violence
to their father; for inasmuch as they were not ashamed of the
pretended crimes of their mother, nor thought she suffered
justly, these supposed that might at length exceed all bounds,
and induce them to think they ought to be avenged on their
father, though it were by despatching him with their own hands.
At length it came to this, that the whole city was full of their
discourses, and, as is usual in such contests, the unskilfulness
of the young men was pitied; but the contrivance of Salome was
too hard for them, and what imputations she laid upon them came
to be believed, by means of their own conduct; for they who were
so deeply affected with the death of their mother, that while
they said both she and themselves were in a miserable case, they
vehemently complained of her pitiable end, which indeed was truly
such, and said that they were themselves in a pitiable case also,
because they were forced to live with those that had been her
murderers, and to be partakers with them.

2. These disorders increased greatly, and the king's absence
abroad had afforded a fit opportunity for that increase; but as
soon as Herod was returned, and had made the forementioned speech
to the multitude, Pheroras and Salome let fill words immediately
as if he were in great danger, and as if the young men openly
threatened that they would not spare him any longer, but revenge
their mother's death upon him. They also added another
circumstance, that their hopes were fixed on Archclaus, the king
of Cappadocia, that they should be able by his means to come to
Caesar, and accuse their father. Upon hearing such things, Herod
was immediately disturbed; and indeed was the more astonished,
because the same things were related to him by some others also.
He then called to mind his former calamity, and considered that
the disorders in his family had hindered him from enjoying any
comfort from those that were dearest to him or from his wife whom
he loved so well; and suspecting that his future troubles would
soon be heavier and greater than those that were past, he was in
great confusion of mind; for Divine Providence had in reality
conferred upon him a great many outward advantages for his
happiness, even beyond his hopes; but the troubles he had at home
were such as he never expected to have met with, and rendered him
unfortunate; nay, both sorts came upon him to such a degree as no
one could imagine, and made it a doubtful question, whether, upon
the comparison of both, he ought to have exchanged so great a
success of outward good things for so great misfortunes at home,
or whether he ought not to have chosen to avoid the calamities
relating to his family, though he had, for a compensation, never
been possessed of the admired grandeur of a kingdom.

3. As he was thus disturbed and afflicted, in order to depress
these young men, he brought to court another of his sons, that
was born to him when he was a private man; his name was
Antipater; yet did he not then indulge him as he did afterwards,
when he was quite overcome by him, and let him do every thing as
he pleased, but rather with a design of depressing the insolence
of the sons of Marianme, and managing this elevation of his so,
that it might be for a warning to them; for this bold behavior of
theirs [he thought] would not be so great, if they were once
persuaded that the succession to the kingdom did not appertain to
them alone, or must of necessity come to them. So he introduced
Antipater as their antagonist, and imagined that he made a good
provision for discouraging their pride, and that after this was
done to the young men, there might be a proper season for
expecting these to be of a better disposition; but the event
proved otherwise than he intended, for the young men thought he
did them a very great injury; and as Antipater was a shrewd man,
when he had once obtained this degree of freedom, and began to
expect greater things than he had before hoped for, he had but
one single design in his head, and that was to distress his
brethren, and not at all to yield to them the pre-eminence, but
to keep close to his father, who was already alienated from them
by the calumnies he had heard about them, and ready to be wrought
upon in any way his zeal against them should advise him to
pursue, that he might be continually more and more severe against
them. Accordingly, all the reports that were spread abroad came
from him, while he avoided himself the suspicion as if those
discoveries proceeded from him; but he rather chose to make use
of those persons for his assistants that were unsuspected, and
such as might be believed to speak truth by reason of the
good-will they bore to the king; and indeed there were already
not a few who cultivated a friendship with Antipater, in hopes of
gaining somewhat by him, and these were the men who most of all
persuaded Herod, because they appeared to speak thus out of their
good-will to him: and with these joint accusations, which from
various foundations supported one another's veracity, the young
men themselves afforded further occasions to Antipater also; for
they were observed to shed tears often, on account of the injury
that was offered them, and had their mother in their mouths; and
among their friends they ventured to reproach their father, as
not acting justly by them; all which things were with an evil
intention reserved in memory by Antipater against a proper
opportunity; and when they were told to Herod, with aggravations,
increased the disorder so much, that it brought a great tumult
into the family; for while the king was very angry at imputations
that were laid upon the sons of Mariamne, and was desirous to
humble them, he still increased the honor that he had bestowed on
Antipater, and was at last so overcome by his persuasions, that
he brought his mother to court also. He also wrote frequently to
Caesar in favor of him, and more earnestly recommended him to his
care particularly. And when Agrippa was returning to Rome, after
he had finished his ten years' government in Asia. (2) Herod
sailed from Judea; and when he met with him, he had none with him
but Antipater, whom he delivered to Agrippa, that he might take
him along with him, together with many presents, that so he might
become Caesar's friend, insomuch that things already looked as if
he had all his father's favor, and that the young men were
already entirely rejected from any hopes of the kingdom.


How During Antipater's Abode At Rome, Herod Brought Alexander And
Aristobulus Before Caesar And Accused Them. Alexander's Defense
Of Himself Before Caesar And Reconciliation To His Father.

1. And now what happened during Antipater's absence augmented the
honor to which he had been promoted, and his apparent eminence
above his brethren; for he had made a great figure in Rome,
because Herod had sent recommendations of him to all his friends
there; only he was grieved that he was not at home, nor had
proper opportunities of perpetually calumniating his brethren;
and his chief fear was, lest his father should alter his mind,
and entertain a more favorable opinion of the sons of Mariamne;
and as he had this in his mind, he did not desist from his
purpose, but continually sent from Rome any such stories as he
hoped might grieve and irritate his father against his brethren,
under pretense indeed of a deep concern for his preservation, but
in truth such as his malicious mind dictated, in order to
purchase a greater hope of the succession, which yet was already
great in itself: and thus he did till he had excited such a
degree of anger in Herod, that he was already become very
ill-disposed towards the young men; but still while he delayed to
exercise so violent a disgust against them, and that he might not
either be too remiss or too rash, and so offend, he thought it
best to sail to Rome, and there accuse his sons before Caesar,
and not indulge himself in any such crime as might be heinous
enough to be suspected of impiety. But as he was going up to
Rome, it happened that he made such haste as to meet with Caesar
at the city Aquilei (3) so when he came to the speech of Caesar,
he asked for a time for hearing this great cause, wherein he
thought himself very miserable, and presented his sons there, and
accused them of their mad actions, and of their attempts against
him: That they were enemies to him; and by all the means they
were able, did their endeavors to show their hatred to their own
father, and would take away his life, and so obtain his kingdom,
after the most barbarous manner: that he had power from Caesar to
dispose of it, not by necessity, but by choice, to him who shall
exercise the greatest piety towards him; while these my sons are
not so desirous of ruling, as they are, upon a disappointment
thereof, to expose their own life, if so be they may but deprive
their father of his life; so wild and polluted is their mind by
time become, out of their hatred to him: that whereas he had a
long time borne this his misfortune, he was now compelled to lay
it before Caesar, and to pollute his ears with such language,
while he himself wants to know what severity they have ever
suffered from him, or what hardships he hath ever laid upon them
to make them complain of him; and how they can think it just that
he should not be lord of that kingdom which he in a long time,
and with great danger, had gained, and not allow him to keep it
and dispose of it to him who should deserve best; and this, with
other advantages, he proposes as a reward for the piety of such a
one as will hereafter imitate the care he hath taken of it, and
that such a one may gain so great a requital as that is: and that
it is an impious thing for them to pretend to meddle with it
beforehand; for he who hath ever the kingdom in his view, at the
same time reckons upon procuring the death of his father, because
otherwise he cannot come at the government: that as for himself,
he had hitherto given them all that he was able, and what was
agreeable to such as are subject to the royal authority, and the
sons of a king; what ornaments they wanted, with servants and
delicate fare, and had married them into the most illustrious
families, the one [Aristobulus] to his sister's daughter, but
Alexander to the daughter of king Archelaus; and, what was the
greatest favor of all, when their crimes were so very bad, and he
had authority to punish them, yet had he not made use of it
against them, but had brought them before Caesar, their common
benefactor, and had not used the severity which, either as a
father who had been impiously abused, or as a king who had been
assaulted treacherously, he might have done, but made them stand
upon a level with him in judgment: that, however, it was
necessary that all this should not be passed over without
punishment, nor himself live in the greatest fears; nay, that it
was not for their own advantage to see the light of the sun after
what they have done, although they should escape at this time,
since they had done the vilest things, and would certainly suffer
the greatest punishments that ever were known among mankind.

2. These were the accusations which Herod laid with great
vehemency against his sons before Caesar. Now the young men, both
while he was speaking, and chiefly at his concluding, wept, and
were in confusion. Now as to themselves, they knew in their own
conscience they were innocent; but because they were accused by
their father, they were sensible, as the truth was, that it was
hard for them to make their apology, since though they were at
liberty to speak their minds freely as the occasion required, and
might with force and earnestness refute the accusation, yet was
it not now decent so to do. There was therefore a difficulty how
they should be able to speak; and tears, and at length a deep
groan, followed, while they were afraid, that if they said
nothing, they should seem to be in this difficulty from a
consciousness of guilt, - nor had they any defense ready, by
reason of their youth, and the disorder they were under; yet was
not Caesar unapprized, when he looked upon them in the confusion
they were in, that their delay to make their defense did not
arise from any consciousness of great enormities, but from their
unskilfulness and modesty. They were also commiserated by those
that were there in particular; and they moved their father's
affections in earnest till he had much ado to conceal them.

3. But when they saw there was a kind disposition arisen both in
him and in Caesar, and that every one of the rest did either shed
tears, or at least did all grieve with them, the one of them,
whose name was Alexander, called to his father, and attempted to
answer his accusation, and said, "O father, the benevolence thou
hast showed to us is evident, even in this very judicial
procedure, for hadst thou had any pernicious intentions about us,
thou hadst not produced us here before the common savior of all,
for it was in thy power, both as a king and as a father, to
punish the guilty; but by thus bringing us to Rome, and making
Caesar himself a witness to what is done, thou intimatest that
thou intendest to save us; for no one that hath a design to slay
a man will bring him to the temples, and to the altars; yet are
our circumstances still worse, for we cannot endure to live
ourselves any longer, if it be believed that we have injured such
a father; nay, perhaps it would be worse for us to live with this
suspicion upon us, that we have injured him, than to die without
such guilt. And if our open defense may be taken to be true, we
shall be happy, both in pacifying thee, and in escaping the
danger we are in; but if this calumny so prevails, it is more
than enough for us that we have seen the sun this day; which why
should we see, if this suspicion be fixed upon us? Now it is easy
to say of young men, that they desire to reign; and to say
further, that this evil proceeds from the case of our unhappy
mother. This is abundantly sufficient to produce our present
misfortune out of the former; but consider well, whether such an
accusation does not suit all such young men, and may not be said
of them all promiscuously; for nothing can hinder him that
reigns, if he have children, and their mother be dead, but the
father may have a suspicion upon all his sons, as intending some
treachery to him; but a suspicion is not sufficient to prove such
an impious practice. Now let any man say, whether we have
actually and insolently attempted any such thing, whereby actions
otherwise incredible use to be made credible? Can any body prove
that poison hath been prepared? or prove a conspiracy of our
equals, or the corruption of servants, or letters written against
thee? though indeed there are none of those things but have
sometimes been pretended by way of calumny, when they were never
done; for a royal family that is at variance with itself is a
terrible thing; and that which thou callest a reward of piety
often becomes, among very wicked men, such a foundation of hope,
as makes them leave no sort of mischief untried. Nor does any one
lay any wicked practices to our charge; but as to calumnies by
hearsay, how can he put an end to them, who will not hear what we
have to say? Have we talked with too great freedom? Yes; but not
against thee, for that would be unjust, but against those that
never conceal any thing that is spoken to them. Hath either of us
lamented our mother? Yes; but not because she is dead, but
because she was evil spoken of by those that had no reason so to
do. Are we desirous of that dominion which we know our father is
possessed of? For what reason can we do so? If we already have
royal honors, as we have, should not we labor in vain? And if we
have them not, yet are not we in hopes of them? Or supposing that
we had killed thee, could we expect to obtain thy kingdom? while
neither the earth would let us tread upon it, nor the sea let us
sail upon it, after such an action as that; nay, the religion of
all your subjects, and the piety of the whole nation, would have
prohibited parricides from assuming the government, and from
entering into that most holy temple which was built by thee (4)
But suppose we had made light of other dangers, can any murderer
go off unpunished while Caesar is alive? We are thy sons, and not
so impious or so thoughtless as that comes to, though perhaps
more unfortunate than is convenient for thee. But in case thou
neither findest any causes of complaint, nor any treacherous
designs, what sufficient evidence hast thou to make such a
wickedness of ours credible? Our mother is dead indeed, but then
what befell her might be an instruction to us to caution, and not
an incitement to wickedness. We are willing to make a larger
apology for ourselves; but actions never done do not admit of
discourse. Nay, we will make this agreement with thee, and that
before Caesar, the lord of all, who is now a mediator between us,
If thou, O father, canst bring thyself, by the evidence of truth,
to have a mind free from suspicion concerning us let us live,
though even then we shall live in an unhappy way, for to be
accused of great acts of wickedness, though falsely, is a
terrible thing; but if thou hast any fear remaining, continue
thou on in thy pious life, we will give this reason for our own
conduct; our life is not so desirable to us as to desire to have
it, if it tend to the harm of our father who gave it us."

4. When Alexander had thus spoken, Caesar, who did not before
believe so gross a calumny, was still more moved by it, and
looked intently upon Herod, and perceived he was a little
confounded: the persons there present were under an anxiety about
the young men, and the fame that was spread abroad made the king
hated, for the very incredibility of the calumny, and the
commiseration of the flower of youth, the beauty of body, which
were in the young men, pleaded for assistance, and the more so on
this account, that Alexander had made their defense with
dexterity and prudence; nay, they did not themselves any longer
continue in their former countenances, which had been bedewed
with tears, and cast downwards to the ground, but now there arose
in them hope of the best; and the king himself appeared not to
have had foundation enough to build such an accusation upon, he
having no real evidence wherewith to correct them. Indeed he
wanted some apology for making the accusation; but Caesar, after
some delay, said, that although the young men were thoroughly
innocent of that for which they were calumniated, yet had they
been so far to blame, that they had not demeaned themselves
towards their father so as to prevent that suspicion which was
spread abroad concerning them. He also exhorted Herod to lay all
such suspicions aside, and to be reconciled to his sons; for that
it was not just to give any credit to such reports concerning his
own children; and that this repentance on both sides might still
heal those breaches that had happened between them, and might
improve that their good-will to one another, whereby those on
both sides, excusing the rashness of their suspicions, might
resolve to bear a greater degree of affection towards each other
than they had before. After Caesar had given them this
admonition, he beckoned to the young men. When therefore they
were disposed to fall down to make intercession to their father,
he took them up, and embraced them, as they were in tears, and
took each of them distinctly in his arms, till not one of those
that were present, whether free-man or slave, but was deeply
affected with what they saw. (5)

5. Then did they return thanks to Caesar, and went away together;
and with them went Antipater, with an hypocritical pretense that
he rejoiced at this reconciliation. And in the last days they
were with Caesar, Herod made him a present of three hundred
talents, as he was then exhibiting shows and largesses to the
people of Rome; and Caesar made him a present of half the revenue
of the copper mines in Cyprus, and committed the care of the
other half to him, and honored him with other gifts and incomes;
and as to his own kingdom, he left it in his own power to appoint
which of his sons he pleased for his successor, or to distribute
it in parts to every one, that the dignity might thereby come to
them all. And when Herod was disposed to make such a settlement
immediately, Caesar said he would not give him leave to deprive
himself, while he was alive, of the power over his kingdom, or
over his sons.

6. After this, Herod returned to Judea again. But during his
absence no small part of his dominion about Trachon had revolted,
whom yet the commanders he left there had vanquished, and
compelled to a submission again. Now as Herod was sailing with
his sons, and was come over against Cilicia, to [the island]
Eleusa, which hath now changed its name for Sebaste, he met with
Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, who received him kindly, as
rejoicing that he was reconciled to his sons, and that the
accusation against Alexander, who had married his daughter, was
at an end. They also made one another such presents as it became
kings to make, From thence Herod came to Judea and to the temple,
where he made a speech to the people concerning what had been
done in this his journey. He also discoursed to them about
Caesar's kindness to him, and about as many of the particulars he
had done as he thought it for his advantage other people should
be acquainted with. At last he turned his speech to the
admonition of his sons; and exhorted those that lived at court,
and the multitude, to concord; and informed them that his sons
were to reign after him; Antipater first, and then Alexander and
Aristobulus, the sons of Mariamne: but he desired that at present
they should all have regard to himself, and esteem him king and
lord of all, since he was not yet hindered by old age, but was in
that period of life when he must be the most skillful in
governing; and that he was not deficient in other arts of
management that might enable him to govern the kingdom well, and
to rule over his children also. He further told the rulers under
him, and the soldiery, that in case they would look upon him
alone, their life would be led in a peaceable manner, and they
would make one another happy. And when he had said this, he
dismissed the assembly. Which speech was acceptable to the
greatest part of the audience, but not so to them all; for the
contention among his sons, and the hopes he had given them,
occasioned thoughts and desires of innovations among them.


How Herod Celebrated The Games That Were To Return Every Fifth
Year Upon The Building Of Cesarea; And How He Built And Adorned
Many Other Places After A Magnificent Manner; And Did Many Other
Actions Gloriously

1. About this time it was that Cesarea Sebaste, which he had
built, was finished. The entire building being accomplished: in
the tenth year, the solemnity of it fell into the twenty-eighth
year of Herod's reign, and into the hundred and ninety-second
olympiad. There was accordingly a great festival and most
sumptuous preparations made presently, in order to its
dedication; for he had appointed a contention in music, and games
to be performed naked. He had also gotten ready a great number of
those that fight single combats, and of beasts for the like
purpose; horse races also, and the most chargeable of such sports
and shows as used to be exhibited at Rome, and in other places.
He consecrated this combat to Caesar, and ordered it to be
celebrated every fifth year. He also sent all sorts of ornaments
for it out of his own furniture, that it might want nothing to
make it decent; nay, Julia, Caesar's wife, sent a great part of
her most valuable furniture [from Rome], insomuch that he had no
want of any thing. The sum of them all was estimated at five
hundred talents. Now when a great multitude was come to that city
to see the shows, as well as the ambassadors whom other people
sent, on account of the benefits they had received from Herod, he
entertained them all in the public inns, and at public tables,
and with perpetual feasts; this solemnity having in the day time
the diversions of the fights, and in the night time such merry
meetings as cost vast sums of money, and publicly demonstrated
the generosity of his soul; for in all his undertakings he was
ambitious to exhibit what exceeded whatsoever had been done
before of the same kind. And it is related that Caesar and
Agrippa often said, that the dominions of Herod were too little
for the greatness of his soul; for that he deserved to have both
all the kingdom of Syria, and that of Egypt also.

2. After this solemnity and these festivals were over, Herod
erected another city in the plain called Capharsaba, where he
chose out a fit place, both for plenty of water and goodness of
soil, and proper for the production of what was there planted,
where a river encompassed the city itself, and a grove of the
best trees for magnitude was round about it: this he named
Antipatris, from his father Antipater. He also built upon another
spot of ground above Jericho, of the same name with his mother, a
place of great security and very pleasant for habitation, and
called it Cypros. He also dedicated the finest monuments to his
brother Phasaelus, on account of the great natural affection
there had been between them, by erecting a tower in the city
itself, not less than the tower of Pharos, which he named
Phasaelus, which was at once a part of the strong defenses of the
city, and a memorial for him that was deceased, because it bare
his name. He also built a city of the same name in the valley of
Jericho, as you go from it northward, whereby he rendered the
neighboring country more fruitful by the cultivation its
inhabitants introduced; and this also he called Phasaelus.

3. But as for his other benefits, it is impossible to reckon them
up, those which he bestowed on cities, both in Syria and in
Greece, and in all the places he came to in his voyages; for he
seems to have conferred, and that after a most plentiful manner,
what would minister to many necessities, and the building of
public works, and gave them the money that was necessary to such
works as wanted it, to support them upon the failure of their
other revenues: but what was the greatest and most illustrious of
all his works, he erected Apollo's temple at Rhodes, at his own
expenses, and gave them a great number of talents of silver for
the repair of their fleet. He also built the greatest part of the
public edifices for the inhabitants of Nicopolis, at Actium; (6)
and for the Antiochinus, the inhabitants of the principal city of
Syria, where a broad street cuts through the place lengthways, he
built cloisters along it on both sides, and laid the open road
with polished stone, and was of very great advantage to the
inhabitants. And as to the olympic games, which were in a very
low condition, by reason of the failure of their revenues, he
recovered their reputation, and appointed revenues for heir
maintenance, and made that solemn meeting more venerable, as to
the sacrifices and other ornaments; and by reason of this vast
liberality, he was generally declared in their inscriptions to be
one of the perpetual managers of those games.

4. Now some there are who stand amazed at the diversity of
Herod's nature and purposes; for when we have respect to his
magnificence, and the benefits which he bestowed on all mankind,
there is no possibility for even those that had the least respect
for him to deny, or not openly to confess, that he had a nature
vastly beneficent; but when any one looks upon the punishments he
inflicted, and the injuries he did, not only to his subjects, but
to his nearest relations, and takes notice of his severe and
unrelenting disposition there, he will be forced to allow that he
was brutish, and a stranger to all humanity; insomuch that these
men suppose his nature to be different, and sometimes at
contradiction with itself; but I am myself of another opinion,
and imagine that the occasion of both these sort of actions was
one and the same; for being a man ambitious of honor, and quite
overcome by that passion, he was induced to be magnificent,
wherever there appeared any hopes of a future memorial, or of
reputation at present; and as his expenses were beyond his
abilities, he was necessitated to be harsh to his subjects; for
the persons on whom he expended his money were so many, that they
made him a very bad procurer of it; and because he was conscious
that he was hated by those under him, for the injuries he did
them, he thought it not an easy thing to amend his offenses, for
that it was inconvenient for his revenue; he therefore strove on
the other side to make their ill-will an occasion of his gains.
As to his own court, therefore, if any one was not very
obsequious to him in his language, and would not confess himself
to be his slave, or but seemed to think of any innovation in his
government, he was not able to contain himself, but prosecuted
his very kindred and friends, and punished them as if they were
enemies and this wickedness he undertook out of a desire that he
might be himself alone honored. Now for this, my assertion about
that passion of his, we have the greatest evidence, by what he
did to honor Caesar and Agrippa, and his other friends; for with
what honors he paid his respects to them who were his superiors,
the same did he desire to be paid to himself; and what he thought
the most excellent present he could make another, he discovered
an inclination to have the like presented to himself. But now the
Jewish nation is by their law a stranger to all such things, and
accustomed to prefer righteousness to glory; for which reason
that nation was not agreeable to him, because it was out of their
power to flatter the king's ambition with statues or temples, or
any other such performances; And this seems to me to have been at
once the occasion of Herod's crimes as to his own courtiers and
counselors, and of his benefactions as to foreigners and those
that had no relation to him.


An Embassage In Cyrene And Asia To Caesar, Concerning The
Complaints They Had To Make Against The Greeks; With Copies Of
The Epistles Which Caesar And Agrippa Wrote To The Cities For

1. Now the cities ill-treated the Jews in Asia, and all those
also of the same nation which lived ill Libya, which joins to
Cyrene, while the former kings had given them equal privileges
with the other citizens; but the Greeks affronted them at this
time, and that so far as to take away their sacred money, and to
do them mischief on other particular occasions. When therefore
they were thus afflicted, and found no end of their barbarous
treatment they met with among the Greeks, they sent ambassadors
to Caesar on those accounts, who gave them the same privileges as
they had before, and sent letters to the same purpose to the
governors of the provinces, copies of which I subjoin here, as
testimonials of the ancient favorable disposition the Roman
emperors had towards us.

2. "Caesar Augustus, high priest and tribune of the people,
ordains thus: Since the nation of the Jews hath been found
grateful to the Roman people, not only at this time, but in time
past also, and chiefly Hyrcanus the high priest, under my father
(7) Caesar the emperor, it seemed good to me and my counselors,
according to the sentence and oath of the people of Rome, that
the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, according
to the law of their forefathers, as they made use of them under
Hyrcanus the high priest of the Almighty God; and that their
sacred money be not touched, but be sent to Jerusalem, and that
it be committed to the care of the receivers at Jerusalem; and
that they be not obliged to go before any judge on the sabbath
day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth
hour. (8) But if any one be caught stealing their holy books, or
their sacred money, whether it be out of the synagogue or public
school, he shall be deemed a sacrilegious person, and his goods
shall be brought into the public treasury of the Romans. And I
give order that the testimonial which they have given me, on
account of my regard to that piety which I exercise toward all
mankind, and out of regard to Caius Marcus Censorinus, together
with the present decree, be proposed in that most eminent place
which hath been consecrated to me by the community of Asia at
Ancyra. And if any one transgress any part of what is above
decreed, he shall be severely punished." This was inscribed upon
a pillar in the temple of Caesar.

3. "Caesar to Norbanus Flaccus, sendeth greeting. Let those Jews,
how many soever they be, who have been used, according to their
ancient custom, to send their sacred money to Jerusalem, do the
same freely." These were the decrees of Caesar.

4. Agrippa also did himself write after the manner following, on
behalf of the Jews: "Agrippa, to the magistrates, senate, and
people of the Ephesians, sendeth greeting. I will that the care
and custody of the sacred money that is carried to the temple at
Jerusalem be left to the Jews of Asia, to do with it according to
their ancient custom; and that such as steal that sacred money of
the Jews, and fly to a sanctuary, shall be taken thence and
delivered to the Jews, by the same law that sacrilegious persons
are taken thence. I have also written to Sylvanus the praetor,
that no one compel the Jews to come before a judge on the sabbath

5. "Marcus Agrippa to the magistrates, senate, and people of
Cyrene, sendeth greeting. The Jews of Cyrene have interceded with
me for the performance of what Augustus sent orders about to
Flavius, the then praetor of Libya, and to the other procurators
of that province, that the sacred money may be sent to Jerusalem
freely, as hath been their custom from their forefathers, they
complaining that they are abused by certain informers, and under
pretense of taxes which were not due, are hindered from sending
them, which I command to be restored without any diminution or
disturbance given to them. And if any of that sacred money in the
cities be taken from their proper receivers, I further enjoin,
that the same be exactly returned to the Jews in that place."

6. "Caius Norbanus Flaccus, proconsul, to the magistrates of the
Sardians, sendeth greeting. Caesar hath written to me, and
commanded me not to forbid the Jews, how many soever they be,
from assembling together according to the custom of their
forefathers, nor from sending their money to Jerusalem. I have
therefore written to you, that you may know that both Caesar and
I would have you act accordingly."

7. Nor did Julius Antonius, the proconsul, write otherwise. "To
the magistrates, senate, and people of the Ephesians, sendeth
greeting. As I was dispensing justice at Ephesus, on the Ides of
February, the Jews that dwell in Asia demonstrated to me that
Augustus and Agrippa had permitted them to use their own laws and
customs, and to offer those their first-fruits, which every one
of them freely offers to the Deity on account of piety, and to
carry them in a company together to Jerusalem without
disturbance. They also petitioned me that I also would confirm
what had been granted by Augustus and Agrippa by my own sanction.
I would therefore have you take notice, that according to the
will of Augustus and Agrippa, I permit them to use and do
according to the customs of their forefathers without

8. I have been obliged to set down these decree because the
present history of our own acts will go generally among the
Greeks; and I have hereby demonstrated to them that we have
formerly been in great esteem, and have not been prohibited by
those governors we were under from keeping any of the laws of our
forefathers; nay, that we have been supported by them, while we
followed our own religion, and the worship we paid to God; and I
frequently make mention of these decrees, in order to reconcile
other people to us, and to take away the causes of that hatred
which unreasonable men bear to us. As for our customs (9) there
is no nation which always makes use of the same, and in every
city almost we meet with them different from one another; but
natural justice is most agreeable to the advantage of all men
equally, both Greeks and barbarians, to which our laws have the
greatest regard, and thereby render us, if we abide in them after
a pure manner, benevolent and friendly to all men; on which
account we have reason to expect the like return from others, and
to inform them that they ought not to esteem difference of
positive institutions a sufficient cause of alienation, but [join
with us in] the pursuit of virtue and probity, for this belongs
to all men in common, and of itself alone is sufficient for the
preservation of human life. I now return to the thread of my


How, Upon Herod's Going Down Into David's Sepulcher, The Sedition
In His Family Greatly Increased.

1. As for Herod, he had spent vast sums about the cities, both
without and within his own kingdom; and as he had before heard
that Hyrcanus, who had been king before him, had opened David's
sepulcher, and taken out of it three thousand talents of silver,
and that there was a much greater number left behind, and indeed
enough to suffice all his wants, he had a great while an
intention to make the attempt; and at this time he opened that
sepulcher by night, and went into it, and endeavored that it
should not be at all known in the city, but took only his most
faithful friends with him. As for any money, he found none, as
Hyrcanus had done, but that furniture of gold, and those precious
goods that were laid up there; all which he took away. However,
he had a great desire to make a more diligent search, and to go
farther in, even as far as the very bodies of David and Solomon;
where two of his guards were slain, by a flame that burst out
upon those that went in, as the report was. So he was terribly
aftrighted, and went out, and built a propitiatory monument of
that fright he had been in; and this of white stone, at the mouth
of the sepulcher, and that at great expense also. And even
Nicolaus (10) his historiographer makes mention of this monument
built by Herod, though he does not mention his going down into
the sepulcher, as knowing that action to be of ill repute; and
many other things he treats of in the same manner in his book;
for he wrote in Herod's lifetime, and under his reign, and so as
to please him, and as a servant to him, touching upon nothing but
what tended to his glory, and openly excusing many of his
notorious crimes, and very diligently concealing them. And as he
was desirous to put handsome colors on the death of Mariamne and
her sons, which were barbarous actions in the king, he tells
falsehoods about the incontinence of Mariamne, and the
treacherous designs of his sons upon him; and thus he proceeded
in his whole work, making a pompous encomium upon what just
actions he had done, but earnestly apologizing for his unjust
ones. Indeed, a man, as I said, may have a great deal to say by
way of excuse for Nicolaus; for he did not so properly write this
as a history for others, as somewhat that might be subservient to
the king himself. As for ourselves, who come of a family nearly
allied to the Asamonean kings, and on that account have an
honorable place, which is the priesthood, we think it indecent to
say any thing that is false about them, and accordingly we have
described their actions after an unblemished and upright manner.
And although we reverence many of Herod's posterity, who still
reign, yet do we pay a greater regard to truth than to them, and
this though it sometimes happens that we incur their displeasure
by so doing.

2. And indeed Herod's troubles in his family seemed to be
augmented by reason of this attempt he made upon David's
sepulcher; whether Divine vengeance increased the calamities he
lay under, in order to render them incurable, or whether fortune
made an assault upon him, in those cases wherein the
seasonableness of the cause made it strongly believed that the
calamities came upon him for his impiety; for the tumult was like
a civil war in his palace, and their hatred towards one another
was like that where each one strove to exceed another in
calumnies. However, Antipater used stratagems perpetually against
his brethren, and that very cunningly; while abroad he loaded
them with accusations, but still took upon him frequently to
apologize for them, that this apparent benevolence to them might
make him be believed, and forward his attempts against them; by
which means he, after various manners, circumvented his father,
who believed all that he did was for his preservation. Herod also
recommended Ptolemy, who was a great director of the affairs of
his kingdom, to Antipater; and consulted with his mother about
the public affairs also. And indeed these were all in all, and
did what they pleased, and made the king angry against any other
persons, as they thought it might be to their own advantage; but
still the sons of Marianme were in a worse and worse condition
perpetually; and while they were thrust out, and set in a more
dishonorable rank, who yet by birth were the most noble, they
could not bear the dishonor. And for the women, Glaphyra,
Alexander's wife, the daughter of Archclaus, hated Salome, both
because of her love to her husband, and because Glaphyra seemed
to behave herself somewhat insolently towards Salome's daughter,
who was the wife of Aristobulus, which equality of hers to
herself Glaphyra took very impatiently.

3. Now, besides this second contention that had fallen among
them, neither did the king's brother Pheroras keep himself out of
trouble, but had a particular foundation for suspicion and
hatred; for he was overcome with the charms of his wife, to such
a degree of madness, that he despised the king's daughter, to
whom he had been betrothed, and wholly bent his mind to the
other, who had been but a servant. Herod also was grieved by the
dishonor that was done him, because he had bestowed many favors
upon him, and had advanced him to that height of power that he
was almost a partner with him in the kingdom, and saw that he had
not made him a due return for his labors, and esteemed himself
unhappy on that account. So upon Pheroras's unworthy refusal, he
gave the damsel to Phasaelus's son; but after some time, when he
thought the heat of his brother's affections was over, he blamed
him for his former conduct, and desired him to take his second
daughter, whose name was Cypros. Ptolemy also advised him to
leave off affronting his brother, and to forsake her whom he had
loved, for that it was a base thing to be so enamored of a
servant, as to deprive himself of the king's good-will to him,
and become an occasion of his trouble, and make himself hated by
him. Pheroras knew that this advice would be for his own
advantage, particularly because he had been accused before, and
forgiven; so he put his wife away, although he already had a son
by her, and engaged to the king that he would take his second
daughter, and agreed that the thirtieth day after should be the
day of marriage; and sware he would have no further conversation
with her whom he had put away; but when the thirty days were
over, he was such a slave to his affections, that he no longer
performed any thing he had promised, but continued still with his
former wife. This occasioned Herod to grieve openly, and made him
angry, while the king dropped one word or other against Pheroras
perpetually; and many made the king's anger an opportunity for
raising calumnies against him. Nor had the king any longer a
single quiet day or hour, but occasions of one fresh quarrel or
another arose among his relations, and those that were dearest to
him; for Salome was of a harsh temper, and ill-natured to
Mariamne's sons; nor would she suffer her own daughter, who was
the wife of Aristobulus, one of those young men, to bear a
good-will to her husband, but persuaded her to tell her if he
said any thing to her in private, and when any misunderstandings
happened, as is common, she raised a great many suspicions out of
it; by which means she learned all their concerns, and made the
damsel ill-natured to the young man. And in order to gratify her
mother, she often said that the young men used to mention
Mariamne when they were by themselves; and that they hated their
father, and were continually threatening, that if they had once
got the kingdom, they would make Herod's sons by his other wives
country schoolmasters, for that the present education which was
given them, and their diligence in learning, fitted them for such
an employment. And as for the women, whenever they saw them
adorned with their mother's clothes, they threatened, that
instead of their present gaudy apparel, they should be clothed in
sackcloth, and confined so closely that they should not see the
light of the sun. These stories were presently carried by Salome
to the king, who was troubled to hear them, and endeavored to
make up matters; but these suspicions afflicted him, and becoming
more and more uneasy, he believed every body against every body.
However, upon his rebuking his sons, and hearing the defense they
made for themselves, he was easier for a while, though a little
afterwards much worse accidents came upon him.

4. For Pheroras came to Alexander, the husband of Glaphyra, who
was the daughter of Archelaus, as we have already told you, and
said that he had heard from Salome that Herod has enamored on
Glaphyra, and that his passion for her was incurable. When
Alexander heard that, he was all on fire, from his youth and
jealousy; and he interpreted the instances of Herod's obliging
behavior to her, which were very frequent, for the worse, which
came from those suspicions he had on account of that word which
fell from Pheroras; nor could he conceal his grief at the thing,
but informed him what word: Pheroras had said. Upon which Herod
was in a greater disorder than ever; and not bearing such a false
calumny, which was to his shame, was much disturbed at it; and
often did he lament the wickedness of his domestics, and how good
he had been to them, and how ill requitals they had made him. So
he sent for Pheroras, and reproached him, and said, "Thou vilest
of all men! art thou come to that unmeasurable and extravagant
degree of ingratitude, as not only to suppose such things of me,
but to speak of them? I now indeed perceive what thy intentions
are. It is not thy only aim to reproach me, when thou usest such
words to my son, but thereby to persuade him to plot against me,
and get me destroyed by poison. And who is there, if he had not a
good genius at his elbow, as hath my son, but would not bear such
a suspicion of his father, but would revenge himself upon him?
Dost thou suppose that thou hast only dropped a word for him to
think of, and not rather hast put a sword into his hand to slay
his father? And what dost thou mean, when thou really hatest both
him and his brother, to pretend kindness to them, only in order
to raise a reproach against me, and talk of such things as no one
but such an impious wretch as thou art could either devise in
their mind, or declare in their words? Begone, thou art such a
plague to thy benefactor and thy brother, and may that evil
conscience of thine go along with thee; while I still overcome my
relations by kindness, and am so far from avenging myself of
them, as they deserve, that I bestow greater benefits upon them
than they are worthy of."

5. Thus did the king speak. Whereupon Pheroras, who was caught in
the very act of his villainy, said that "it was Salome who was
the framer of this plot, and that the words came from her." But
as soon as she heard that, for she was at hand, she cried out,
like one that would be believed, that no such thing ever came out
of her mouth; that they all earnestly endeavored to make the king
hate her, and to make her away, because of the good-will she bore
to Herod, and because she was always foreseeing the dangers that
were coming upon him, and that at present there were more plots
against him than usual; for while she was the only person who
persuaded her brother to put away the wife he now had, and to
take the king's daughter, it was no wonder if she were hated by
him. As she said this, and often tore her hair, and often beat
her breast, her countenance made her denial to be believed; but
the peverseness of her manners declared at the same time her
dissimulation in these proceedings; but Pheroras was caught
between them, and had nothing plausible to offer in his own
defense, while he confessed that he had said what was charged
upon him, but was not believed when he said he had heard it from
Salome; so the confusion among them was increased, and their
quarrelsome words one to another. At last the king, out of his
hatred to his brother and sister, sent them both away; and when
he had commended the moderation of his son, and that he had
himself told him of the report, he went in the evening to refresh
himself. After such a contest as this had fallen out among them,
Salome's reputation suffered greatly, since she was supposed to
have first raised the calumny; and the king's wives were grieved
at her, as knowing she was a very ill-natured woman, and would
sometimes be a friend, and sometimes an enemy, at different
seasons: so they perpetually said one thing or another against
her; and somewhat that now fell out made them the bolder in
speaking against her.

6. There was one Obodas, king of Arabia, an inactive and slothful
man in his nature; but Sylleus managed most of his affairs for
him. He was a shrewd man, although he was but young, and was
handsome withal. This Sylleus, upon some occasion coining to
Herod, and supping with him, saw Salome, and set his heart upon
her; and understanding that she was a widow, he discoursed with
her. Now because Salome was at this time less in favor with her
brother, she looked upon Sylleus with some passion, and was very
earnest to be married to him; and on the days following there
appeared many, and those very great, indications of their
agreement together. Now the women carried this news to the king,
and laughed at the indecency of it; whereupon Herod inquired
about it further of Pheroras, and desired him to observe them at
supper, how their behavior was one toward another; who told him,
that by the signals which came from their heads and their eyes,
they both were evidently in love. After this, Sylleus the Arabian
being suspected, went away, but came again in two or three months
afterwards, as it were on that very design, and spake to Herod
about it, and desired that Salome might be given him to wife; for
that his affinity might not be disadvantageous to his affairs, by
a union with Arabia, the government of which country was already
in effect under his power, and more evidently would be his
hereafter. Accordingly, when Herod discoursed with his sister
about it, and asked her whether she were disposed to this match,
she immediately agreed to it. But when Sylleus was desired to
come over to the Jewish religion, and then he should marry her,
and that it was impossible to do it on any other terms, he could
not bear that proposal, and went his way; for he said, that if he
should do so, he should be stoned by the Arabs. Then did Pheroras
reproach Salome for her incontinency, as did the women much more;
and said that Sylleus had debauched her. As for that damsel which
the king had betrothed to his brother Pheroras, but he had not
taken her, as I have before related, because he was enamored on
his former wife, Salome desired of Herod she might be given to
her son by Costobarus; which match he was very willing to, but
was dissuaded from it by Pheroras, who pleaded that this young
man would not be kind to her, since his father had been slain by
him, and that it was more just that his son, who was to be his
successor in the tetrarchy, should have her. So he begged his
pardon, and persuaded him to do so. Accordingly the damsel, upon
this change of her espousals, was disposal of to this young man,
the son of Pheroras, the king giving for her portion a hundred


How Herod Took Up Alexander And Bound Him; Whom Yet Archelaus
King Of Cappadocia Reconciled To His Father Herod Again.

1. But still the affairs of Herod's family were no better, but
perpetually more troublesome. Now this accident happened, which
arose from no decent occasion, but proceeded so far as to bring
great difficulties upon him. There were certain eunuchs which the
king had, and on account of their beauty was very fond of them;
and the care of bringing him drink was intrusted to one of them;
of bringing him his supper, to another; and of putting him to
bed, to the third, who also managed the principal affairs of the
government; and there was one told the king that these eunuchs
were corrupted by Alexander the king's son with great sums of
money. And when they were asked whether Alexander had had
criminal conversation with them, they confessed it, but said they
knew of no further mischief of his against his father; but when
they were more severely tortured, and were in the utmost
extremity, and the tormentors, out of compliance with Antipater,
stretched the rack to the very utmost, they said that Alexander
bare great ill-will and innate hatred to his father; and that he
told them that Herod despaired to live much longer; and that, in
order to cover his great age, he colored his hair black, and
endeavored to conceal what would discover how old he was; but
that if he would apply himself to him, when he should attain the
kingdom, which, in spite of his father, could come to no one
else, he should quickly have the first place in that kingdom
under him, for that he was now ready to take the kingdom, not
only as his birth-right, but by the preparations he had made for
obtaining it, because a great many of the rulers, and a great
many of his friends, were of his side, and those no ill men
neither, ready both to do and to suffer whatsoever should come on
that account.

2. When Herod heard this confession, he was all over anger and
fear, some parts seeming to him reproachful, and some made him
suspicious of dangers that attended him, insomuch that on both
accounts he was provoked, and bitterly afraid lest some more
heavy plot was laid against him than he should be then able to
escape from; whereupon he did not now make an open search, but
sent about spies to watch such as he suspected, for he was now
overrun with suspicion and hatred against all about him; and
indulging abundance of those suspicions, in order to his
preservation, he continued to suspect those that were guiltless;
nor did he set any bounds to himself, but supposing that those
who staid with him had the most power to hurt him, they were to
him very frightful; and for those that did not use to come to
him, it seemed enough to name them [to make them suspected], and
he thought himself safer when they were destroyed. And at last
his domestics were come to that pass, that being no way secure of
escaping themselves, they fell to accusing one another, and
imagining that he who first accused another was most likely to
save himself; yet when any had overthrown others, they were
hated; and they were thought to suffer justly who unjustly
accused others, and they only thereby prevented their own
accusation; nay, they now executed their own private enmities by
this means, and when they were caught, they were punished in the
same way. Thus these men contrived to make use of this
opportunity as an instrument and a snare against their enemies;
yet when they tried it, were themselves caught also in the same
snare which they laid for others: and the king soon repented of
what he had done, because he had no clear evidence of the guilt
of those whom he had slain; and yet what was still more severe in
him, he did not make use of his repentance, in order to leave off
doing the like again, but in order to inflict the same punishment
upon their accusers.

3. And in this state of disorder were the affairs of the palace;
and he had already told many of his friends directly that they
ought not to appear before him, her come into the palace; and the
reason of this injunction was, that [when they were there], he
had less freedom of acting, or a greater restraint on himself on
their account; for at this time it was that he expelled
Andromachus and Gamellus, men who had of old been his friends,
and been very useful to him in the affairs of his kingdom, and
been of advantage to his family, by their embassages and
counsels; and had been tutors to his sons, and had in a manner
the first degree of freedom with him. He expelled Andromachus,
because his son Demetrius was a companion to Alexander; and
Gamellus, because he knew that he wished him well, which arose
from his having been with him in his youth, when he was at
school, and absent at Rome. These he expelled out of his palace,
and was willing enough to have done worse by them; but that he
might not seem to take such liberty against men of so great
reputation, he contented himself with depriving them of their
dignity, and of their power to hinder his wicked proceedings.

4. Now it was Antipater who was the cause of all this; who when
he knew what a mad and licentious way of acting his father was
in, and had been a great while one of his counselors, he hurried
him on, and then thought he should bring him to do somewhat to
purpose, when every one that could oppose him was taken away.
When therefore Andromachus and his friends were driven away, and
had no discourse nor freedom with the king any longer, the king,
in the first place, examined by torture all whom he thought to be
faithful to Alexander, Whether they knew of any of his attempts
against him; but these died without having any thing to say to
that matter, which made the king more zealous [after
discoveries], when he could not find out what evil proceedings he
suspected them of. As for Antipater, he was very sagacious to
raise a calumny against those that were really innocent, as if
their denial was only their constancy and fidelity [to
Alexander], and thereupon provoked Herod to discover by the
torture of great numbers what attempts were still concealed. Now
there was a certain person among the many that were tortured, who
said that he knew that the young man had often said, that when he
was commended as a tall man in his body, and a skillful marksman,
and that in his other commendable exercises he exceeded all men,
these qualifications given him by nature, though good in
themselves, were not advantageous to him, because his father was
grieved at them, and envied him for them; and that when he walked
along with his father, he endeavored to depress and shorten
himself, that he might not appear too tall; and that when he shot
at any thing as he was hunting, when his father was by, he missed
his mark on purpose, for he knew how ambitious his father was of
being superior in such exercises. So when the man was tormented
about this saying, and had ease given his body after it, he
added, that he had his brother Aristobulus for his assistance,
and contrived to lie in wait for their father, as they were
hunting, and kill him; and when they had done so to fly to Rome,
and desire to have the kingdom given them. There were also
letters of the young man found, written to his brother, wherein
he complained that his father did not act justly in giving
Antipater a country, whose [yearly] revenues amounted to two
hundred talents. Upon these confessions Herod presently thought
he had somewhat to depend on, in his own opinion, as to his
suspicion about his sons; so he took up Alexander and bound him:
yet did he still continue to be uneasy, and was not quite
satisfied of the truth of what he had heard; and when he came to
recollect himself, he found that they had only made juvenile
complaints and contentions, and that it was an incredible thing,
that when his son should have slain him, he should openly go to
Rome [to beg the kingdom]; so he was desirous to have some surer
mark of his son's wickedness, and was very solicitous about it,
that he might not appear to have condemned him to be put in
prison too rashly; so he tortured the principal of Alexander's
friends, and put not a few of them to death, without getting any
of the things out of them which he suspected. And while Herod was
very busy about this matter, and the palace was full of terror
and trouble, one of the younger sort, when he was in the utmost
agony, confessed that Alexander had sent to his friends at Rome,
and desired that he might be quickly invited thither by Caesar,
and that he could discover a plot against him; that Mithridates,
the king of Parthia, was joined in friendship with his father
against the Romans, and that he had a poisonous potion ready
prepared at Askelori.

5. To these accusations Herod gave credit, and enjoyed hereby, in
his miserable case, some sort of consolation, in excuse of his
rashness, as fiattering himself with finding things in so bad a
condition; but as for the poisonous potion, which he labored to
find, he could find none. As for Alexander, he was very desirous
to aggravate the vast misfortunes he was under, so he pretended
not to deny the accusations, but punished the rashness of his
father with a greater crime of his own; and perhaps he was
willing to make his father ashamed of his easy belief of such
calumnies: he aimed especially, if he could gain belief to his
story, to plague him and his whole kingdom; for he wrote four
letters, and sent them to him, that he did not need to torture
any more persons, for he had plotted against him; and that he had
for his partners Pheroras and the most faithful of his friends;
and that Salome came in to him by night, and that she lay with
him whether he would or not; and that all men were come to be of
one mind, to make away with him as soon as they could, and so get
clear of the continual fear they were in from him. Among these
were accused Ptolemy and Sapinnius, who were the most faithful
friends to the king. And what more can be said, but that those
who before were the most intimate friends, were become wild
beasts to one another, as if a certain madness had fallen upon
them, while there was no room for defense or refutation, in order
to the discovery of the truth, but all were at random doomed to
destruction; so that some lamented those that were in prison,
some those that were put to death, and others lamented that they
were in expectation of the same miseries; and a melancholy
solitude rendered the kingdom deformed, and quite the reverse to
that happy state it was formerly in. Herod's own life also was
entirely disturbed; and because he could trust nobody, he was
sorely punished by the expectation of further misery; for he
often fancied in his imagination that his son had fallen upon
him, or stood by him with a sword in his hand; and thus was his
mind night and day intent upon this thing, and revolved it over
and over, no otherwise than if he were under a distraction. And
this was the sad condition Herod was now in.

6. But when Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, heard of the state
that Herod was in, and being in great distress about his
daughter, and the young man [her husband], and grieving with
Herod, as with a man that was his friend, on account of so great
a disturbance as he was under, he came [to Jerusalem] on purpose
to compose their differences; and when he found Herod in such a
temper, he thought it wholly unseasonable to reprove him, or to
pretend that he had done any thing rashly, for that he should
thereby naturally bring him to dispute the point with him, and by
still more and more apologizing for himself to be the more
irritated: he went, therefore, another way to work, in order to
correct the former misfortunes, and appeared angry at the young
man, and said that Herod had been so very mild a man, that he had
not acted a rash part at all. He also said he would dissolve his
daughter's marriage with Alexander, nor could in justice spare
his own daughter, if she were conscious of any thing, and did not
inform Herod of it. When Archelaus appeared to be of this temper,
and otherwise than Herod expected or imagined, and, for the main,
took Herod's part, and was angry on his account, the king abated
of his harshness, and took occasion from his appearing to have
acted justly hitherto, to come by degrees to put on the affection
of a father, and was on both sides to be pitied; for when some
persons refuted the calumnies that were laid on the young man, he
was thrown into a passion; but when Archclaus joined in the
accusation, he was dissolved into tears and sorrow after an
affectionate manner. Accordingly, he desired that he would not
dissolve his son's marriage, and became not so angry as before
for his offenses. So when Archclaus had brought him to a more
moderate temper, he transferred the calumnies upon his friends;
and said it must be owing to them that so young a man, and one
unacquainted with malice, was corrupted; and he supposed that
there was more reason to suspect the brother than the soft. Upon
which Herod was very much displeased at Pheroras, who indeed now
had no one that could make a reconciliation between him and his
brother. So when he saw that Archclaus had the greatest power
with Herod, he betook himself to him in the habit of a mourner,
and like one that had all the signs upon him of an undone man.
Upon this Archclaus did not overlook the intercession he made to
him, nor yet did he undertake to change the king's disposition
towards him immediately; and he said that it was better for him
to come himself to the king, and confess himself the occasion of
all; that this would make the king's anger not to be extravagant
towards him, and that then he would be present to assist him.
When he had persuaded him to this, he gained his point with both
of them; and the calumnies raised against the young man were,
beyond all expectation, wiped off. And Archclaus, as soon as he
had made the reconciliation, went then away to Cappadocia, having
proved at this juncture of time the most acceptable person to
Herod in the world; on which account he gave him the richest
presents, as tokens of his respects to him; and being on other
occasions magnanimous, he esteemed him one of his dearest
friends. He also made an agreement with him that he would go to
Rome, because he had written to Caesar about these affairs; so
they went together as far as Antioch, and there Herod made a
reconciliation between Archclaus and Titus, the president of
Syria, who had been greatly at variance, and so returned back to


Concerning The Revolt Of The Trachonites; How Sylleus Accused
Herod Before Caesar; And How Herod, When Caesar Was Angry At Him,
Resolved To Send Nicolaus To Rome.

1. When Herod had been at Rome, and was come back again, a war
arose between him and the Arabians, on the occasion following:
The inhabitants of Trachonitis, after Caesar had taken the
country away from Zenodorus, and added it to Herod, had not now
power to rob, but were forced to plough the land, and to live
quietly, which was a thing they did not like; and when they did
take that pains, the ground did not produce much fruit for them.
However, at the first the king would not permit them to rob, and
so they abstained from that unjust way of living upon their
neighbors, which procured Herod a great reputation for his care.
But when he was sailing to Rome, it was at that time when he went
to accuse his son Alexander, and to commit Antipater to Caesar's
protection, the Trachonites spread a report as if he were dead,
and revolted from his dominion, and betook themselves again to
their accustomed way of robbing their neighbors; at which time
the king's commanders subdued them during his absence; but about
forty of the principal robbers, being terrified by those that had
been taken, left the country, and retired into Arabia, Sylleus
entertaining them, after he had missed of marrying Salome, and
gave them a place of strength, in which they dwelt. So they
overran not only Judea, but all Celesyria also, and carried off
the prey, while Sylleus afforded them places of protection and
quietness during their wicked practices. But when Herod came back
from Rome, he perceived that his dominions had greatly suffered
by them; and since he could not reach the robbers themselves,
because of the secure retreat they had in that country, and which
the Arabian government afforded them, and yet being very uneasy
at the injuries they had done him, he went all over Trachonitis,
and slew their relations; whereupon these robbers were more angry
than before, it being a law among them to be avenged on the
murderers of their relations by all possible means; so they
continued to tear and rend every thing under Herod's dominion
with impunity. Then did he discourse about these robberies to
Saturninus and Volumnius, and required that they should be
punished; upon which occasion they still the more confirmed
themselves in their robberies, and became more numerous, and made
very great disturbances, laying waste the countries and villages
that belonged to Herod's kingdom, and killing those men whom they
caught, till these unjust proceedings came to be like a real war,
for the robbers were now become about a thousand; - at which
Herod was sore displeased, and required the robbers, as well as
the money which he had lent Obodas, by Sylleus, which was sixty
talents, and since the time of payment was now past, he desired
to have it paid him; but Sylleus, who had laid Obodas aside, and
managed all by himself, denied that the robbers were in Arabia,
and put off the payment of the money; about which there was a
hearing before Saturninus and Volumnius, who were then the
presidents of Syria. (11) At last he, by their means, agreed,
that within thirty days' time Herod should be paid his money, and
that each of them should deliver up the other's subjects
reciprocally. Now, as to Herod, there was not one of the other's
subjects found in his kingdom, either as doing any injustice, or
on any other account, but it was proved that the Arabians had the
robbers amongst them.

2. When this day appointed for payment of the money was past,
without Sylleus's performing any part of his agreement, and he
was gone to Rome, Herod demanded the payment of the money, and
that the robbers that were in Arabia should be delivered up; and,
by the permission of Saturninus and Volumnius, executed the
judgment himself upon those that were refractory. He took an army
that he had, and let it into Arabia, and in three days' time
marched seven mansions; and when he came to the garrison wherein
the robbers were, he made an assault upon them, and took them
all, and demolished the place, which was called Raepta, but did
no harm to any others. But as the Arabians came to their
assistance, under Naceb their captain, there ensued a battle,
wherein a few of Herod's soldiers, and Naceb, the captain of the
Arabians, and about twenty of his soldiers, fell, while the rest
betook themselves to flight. So when he had brought these to
punishment, he placed three thousand Idumeans in Trachonitis, and
thereby restrained the robbers that were there. He also sent an
account to the captains that were about Phoenicia, and
demonstrated that he had done nothing but what he ought to do, in
punishing the refractory Arabians, which, upon an exact inquiry,
they found to be no more than what was true.

3. However, messengers were hasted away to Sylleus to Rome, and
informed him what had been done, and, as is usual, aggravated
every thing. Now Sylleus had already insinuated himself into the
knowledge of Caesar, and was then about the palace; and as soon
as he heard of these things, he changed his habit into black, and
went in, and told Caesar that Arabia was afflicted with war, and
that all his kingdom was in great confusion, upon Herod's laying
it waste with his army; and he said, with tears in his eyes, that
two thousand five hundred of the principal men among the Arabians
had been destroyed, and that their captain Nacebus, his familiar
friend and kinsman, was slain; and that the riches that were at
Raepta were carried off; and that Obodas was despised, whose
infirm state of body rendered him unfit for war; on which account
neither he, nor the Arabian army, were present. When Sylleus said
so, and added invidiously, that he would not himself have come
out of the country, unless he had believed that Caesar would have
provided that they should all have peace one with another, and
that, had he been there, he would have taken care that the war
should not have been to Herod's advantage; Caesar was provoked
when this was said, and asked no more than this one question,
both of Herod's friends that were there, and of his own friends,
who were come from Syria, Whether Herod had led an army thither?
And when they were forced to confess so much, Caesar, without
staying to hear for what reason he did it, and how it was done,
grew very angry, and wrote to Herod sharply. The sum of his
epistle was this, that whereas of old he had used him as his
friend, he should now use him as his subject. Sylleus also wrote
an account of this to the Arabians, who were so elevated with it,
that they neither delivered up the robbers that had fled to them,
nor paid the money that was due; they retained those pastures
also which they had hired, and kept them without paying their
rent, and all this because the king of the Jews was now in a low
condition, by reason of Caesar's anger at him. Those of
Trachonitis also made use of this opportunity, and rose up
against the Idumean garrison, and followed the same way of
robbing with the Arabians, who had pillaged their country, and
were more rigid in their unjust proceedings, not only in order to
get by it, but by way of revenge also.

4. Now Herod was forced to bear all this, that confidence of his
being quite gone with which Caesar's favor used to inspire him;
for Caesar would not admit so much as an embassage from him to
'make an apology for him; and when they came again, he sent them
away without success. So he was cast into sadness and fear; and
Sylleus's circumstances grieved him exceedingly, who was now
believed by Caesar, and was present at Rome, nay, sometimes
aspiring higher. Now it came to pass that Obodas was dead; and
Aeneas, whose name was afterward changed to Aretas, (12) took the
government, for Sylleus endeavored by calumnies to get him turned
out of his principality, that he might himself take it; with
which design he gave much money to the courtiers, and promised
much money to Caesar, who indeed was angry that Aretas had not
sent to him first before he took the kingdom; yet did Aeneas send
an epistle and presents to Caesar, and a golden crown, of the
weight of many talents. Now that epistle accused Sylleus as
having been a wicked servant, and having killed Obodas by poison;
and that while he was alive, he had governed him as he pleased;
and had also debauched the wives of the Arabians; and had
borrowed money, in order to obtain the dominion for himself: yet
did not Caesar give heed to these accusations, but sent his
ambassadors back, without receiving any of his presents. But in
the mean time the affairs of Judea and Arabia became worse and
worse, partly because of the anarchy they were under, and partly
because, as bad as they were, nobody had power to govern them;
for of the two kings, the one was not yet confirmed in his
kingdom, and so had not authority sufficient to restrain the
evil-doers; and as for Herod, Caesar was immediately angry at him
for having avenged himself, and so he was compelled to bear all
the injuries that were offered him. At length, when he saw no end
of the mischief which surrounded him, he resolved to send
ambassadors to Rome again, to see whether his friends had
prevailed to mitigate Caesar, and to address themselves to Caesar
himself; and the ambassador he sent thither was Nicolans of


How Eurycles Falsely Accused Herod's Sons; And How Their Father
Bound Them, And Wrote To Caesar About Them. Of Sylleus And How He
Was Accused By Nicolaus.

1. The disorders about Herod's family and children about this
time grew much worse; for it now appeared certain, nor was it
unforeseen before-hand, that fortune threatened the greatest and
most insupportable misfortunes possible to his kingdom. Its
progress and augmentation at this time arose on the occasion
following: One Eurycles, a Lacedemonian, (a person of note there,
but a man of a perverse mind, and so cunning in his ways of
voluptuousness and flattery, as to indulge both, and yet seem to
indulge neither of them,) came in his travels to Herod, and made
him presents, but so that he received more presents from him. He
also took such proper seasons for insinuating himself into his
friendship, that he became one of the most intimate of the king's
friends. He had his lodging in Antipater's house; but he had not
only access, but free conversation, with Alexander, as pretending
to him that he was in great favor with Archclaus, the king of
Cappadocia; whence he pretended much respect to Glaphyra, and in
an occult manner cultivated a friendship with them all; but
always attending to what was said and done, that he might be
furnished with calumnies to please them all. In short, he behaved
himself so to every body in his conversation, as to appear to be
his particular friend, and he made others believe that his being
any where was for that person's advantage. So he won upon
Alexander, who was but young; and persuaded him that he might
open his grievances to him with assurance and with nobody else.
So he declared his grief to him, how his father was alienated
from him. He related to him also the affairs of his mother, and
of Antipater; that he had driven them from their proper dignity,
and had the power over every thing himself; that no part of this
was tolerable, since his father was already come to hate them;
and he added, that he would neither admit them to his table, nor
to his conversation. Such were the complaints, as was but
natural, of Alexander about the things that troubled him; and
these discourses Eurycles carried to Antipater, and told him he
did not inform him of this on his own account, but that being
overcome by his kindness, the great importance of the thing
obliged him to do it; and he warned him to have a care of
Alexander, for that what he said was spoken with vehemency, and
that, in consequence of what he said, he would certainly kill him
with his own hand. Whereupon Antipater, thinking him to be his
friend by this advice, gave him presents upon all occasions, and
at length persuaded him to inform Herod of what he had heard. So
when he related to the king Alexander's ill temper, as discovered
by the words he had heard him speak, he was easily believed by
him; and he thereby brought the king to that pass, turning him
about by his words, and irritating him, till he increased his
hatred to him and made him implacable, which he showed at that
very time, for he immediately gave Eurycles a present of fifty
talents; who, when he had gotten them, went to Archclaus, king of
Cappadocia, and commended Alexander before him, and told him that
he had been many ways of advantage to him, in making a
reconciliation between him and his father. So he got money from
him also, and went away, before his pernicious practices were
found out; but when Eurycles was returned to Lacedemon, he did
not leave off doing mischief; and so, for his many acts of
injustice, he was banished from his own country.

2. But as for the king of the Jews, he was not now in the temper
he was in formerly towards Alexander and Aristobulus, when he had
been content with the hearing their calumnies when others told
him of them; but he was now come to that pass as to hate them
himself, and to urge men to speak against them, though they did
not do it of themselves. He also observed all that was said, and
put questions, and gave ear to every one that would but speak, if
they could but say any thing against them, till at length he
heard that Euaratus of Cos was a conspirator with Alexander;
which thing to Herod was the most agreeable and sweetest news

3. But still a greater misfortune came upon the young men; while
the calumnies against them were continually increased, and, as a
man may say, one would think it was every one's endeavor to lay
some grievous thing to their charge, which might appear to be for
the king's preservation. There were two guards of Herod's body,
who were in great esteem for their strength and tallness,
Jucundus and Tyrannus; these men had been cast off by Herod, who
was displeased at them; these now used to ride along with
Alexander, and for their skill in their exercises were in great
esteem with him, and had some gold and other gifts bestowed on
them. Now the king having an immediate suspicion of those men,
had them tortured, who endured the torture courageously for a
long time; but at last confessed that Alexander would have
persuaded them to kill Herod, when he was in pursuit of the wild
beasts, that it might be said he fell from his horse, and was run
through with his own spear, for that he had once such a
misfortune formerly. They also showed where there was money
hidden in the stable under ground; and these convicted the king's
chief hunter, that he had given the young men the royal hunting
spears and weapons to Alexander's dependents, at Alexander's

4. After these, the commander of the garrison of Alexandrium was
caught and tortured; for he was accused to have promised to
receive the young men into his fortress, and to supply them with
that money of the king's which was laid up in that fortress, yet
did not he acknowledge any thing of it himself; but his son came
ill, and said it was so, and delivered up the writing, which, so
far as could be guessed, was in Alexander's hand. Its contents
were these: "When we have finished, by God's help, all that we
have proposed to do, we will come to you; but do your endeavors,
as you have promised, to receive us into your fortress." After
this writing was produced, Herod had no doubt about the
treacherous designs of his sons against him. But Alexander said
that Diophantus the scribe had imitated his hand, and that the
paper was maliciously drawn up by Antipater; for Diophantus
appeared to be very cunning in such practices; and as he was
afterward convicted of forging other papers, he was put to death
for it.

5. So the king produced those that had been tortured before the
multitude at Jericho, in order to have them accuse the young men,
which accusers many of the people stoned to death; and when they
were going to kill Alexander and Aristobulus likewise, the king
would not permit them to do so, but restrained the multitude, by
the means of Ptolemy and Pheroras. However, the young men were
put under a guard, and kept in custody, that nobody might come at
them; and all that they did or said was watched, and the reproach
and fear they were in was little or nothing different from those
of condemned criminals: and one of them, who was Aristobulus, was
so deeply affected, that he brought Salome, who was his aunt, and
his mother-in-law, to lament with him for his calamities, and to
hate him who had suffered things to come to that pass; when he
said to her, "Art thou not in danger of destruction also, while
the report goes that thou hadst disclosed beforehand all our
affairs to Syllcus, when thou wast in hopes of being married to

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