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The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 19 out of 26

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him?" But she immediately carried these words to her brother.
Upon this he was out of patience, and gave command to bind him;
and enjoined them both, now they were kept separate one from the
other, to write down the ill things they had done against their
father, and bring the writings to him, So when this was enjoined
them, they wrote this, that they had laid no treacherous designs,
nor made any preparations against their father, but that they had
intended to fly away; and that by the distress they were in,
their lives being now uncertain and tedious to them.

6. About this time there came an ambassador out of Cappadocia
from Archelaus, whose name was Melas; he was one of the principal
rulers under him. So Herod, being desirous to show Archelaus's
ill-will to him, called for Alexander, as he was in his bonds,
and asked him again concerning his fight, whether and how they
had resolved to retire Alexander replied, To Archclaus, who had
promised to send them away to Rome; but that they had no wicked
nor mischievous designs against their father, and that nothing of
that nature which their adversaries had charged upon them was
true; and that their desire was, that he might have examined
Tyrannus and Jucundus more strictly, but that they had been
suddenly slain by the means of Antipater, who put his own friends
among the multitude [for that purpose].

7. When this was said, Herod commanded that both Alexander and
Melas should be carried to Glaphyra, Archelaus's daughter, and
that she should be asked, whether she did not know somewhat of
Alexander's treacherous designs against Herod? Now as soon as
they were come to her, and she saw Alexander in bonds, she beat
her head, and in a great consternation gave a deep and moving
groan. The young man also fell into tears. This was so miserable
a spectacle to those present, that, for a great while, they were
not able to say or to do any thing; but at length Ptolemy, who
was ordered to bring Alexander, bid him say whether his wife was
conscious of his actions. He replied, "How is it possible that
she, whom I love better than my own soul, and by whom I have had
children, should not know what I do?" Upon which she cried out
that she knew of no wicked designs of his; but that yet, if her
accusing herself falsely would tend to his preservation, she
would confess it all. Alexander replied, "There is no such
wickedness as those (who ought the least of all so to do)
suspect, which either I have imagined, or thou knowest of, but
this only, that we had resolved to retire to Archelaus, and from
thence to Rome." Which she also confessed. Upon which Herod,
supposing that Archelaus's ill-will to him was fully proved, sent
a letter by Olympus and Volumnius; and bid them, as they sailed
by, to touch at Eleusa of Cilicia, and give Archelaus the letter.
And that when they had ex-postulated with him, that he had a hand
in his son's treacherous design against him, they should from
thence sail to Rome; and that, in case they found Nicolaus had
gained any ground, and that Caesar was no longer displeased at
him, he should give him his letters, and the proofs which he had
ready to show against the young men. As to Archelaus, he made his
defense for himself, that he had promised to receive the young
men, because it was both for their own and their father's
advantage so to do, lest some too severe procedure should be gone
upon in that anger and disorder they were in on occasion of the
present suspicions; but that still he had not promised to send
them to Caesar; and that he had not promised any thing else to
the young men that could show any ill-will to him.

8. When these ambassadors were come to Rome, they had a fit
opportunity of delivering their letters to Caesar, because they
found him reconciled to Herod; for the circumstances of
Nicolaus's embassage had been as follows: As soon as he was come
to Rome, and was about the court, he did not first of all set
about what he was come for only, but he thought fit also to
accuse Sylleus. Now the Arabians, even before he came to talk
with them, were quarrelling one with another; and some of them
left Sylleus's party, and joining themselves to Nicolaus,
informed him of all the wicked things that had been done; and
produced to him evident demonstrations of the slaughter of a
great number of Obodas's friends by Sylleus; for when these men
left Sylleus, they had carried off with them those letters
whereby they could convict him. When Nicolaus saw such an
opportunity afforded him, he made use of it, in order to gain his
own point afterward, and endeavored immediately to make a
reconciliation between Caesar and Herod; for he was fully
satisfied, that if he should desire to make a defense for Herod
directly, he should not be allowed that liberty; but that if he
desired to accuse Sylleus, there would an occasion present itself
of speaking on Herod's behalf. So when the cause was ready for a
hearing, and the day was appointed, Nicolaus, while Aretas's
ambassadors were present, accused Sylleus, and said that he
imputed to him the destruction of the king [Obodas], and of many
others of the Arabians; that he had borrowed money for no good
design; and he proved that he had been guilty of adultery, not
only with the Arabian, but Reinan women also. And. he added, that
above all the rest he had alienated Caesar from Herod, and that
all that he had said about the actions of Herod were falsities.
When Nicolaus was come to this topic, Caesar stopped him from
going on, and desired him only to speak to this affair of Herod,
and to show that he had not led an army into Arabia, nor slain
two thousand five hundred men there, nor taken prisoners, nor
pillaged the country. To which Nicolaus made this answer: "I
shall principally demonstrate, that either nothing at all, or but
a very little, of those imputations are true, of which thou hast
been informed; for had they been true, thou mightest justly have
been still more angry at Herod." At this strange assertion Caesar
was very attentive; and Nicolaus said that there was a debt due
to Herod of five hundred talents, and a bond, wherein it was
written, that if the time appointed be lapsed, it should be
lawful to make a seizure out of any part of his country. "As for
the pretended army," he said, "it was no army, but a party sent
out to require the just payment of the money; that this was not
sent immediately, nor so soon as the bond allowed, but that
Sylleus had frequently come before Saturninus and Volumnius, the
presidents of Syria; and that at last he had sworn at Berytus, by
thy fortune, (13) that he would certainly pay the money within
thirty days, and deliver up the fugitives that were under his
dominion. And that when Sylleus had performed nothing of this,
Herod came again before the presidents; and upon their permission
to make a seizure for his money, he, with difficulty, went out of
his country with a party of soldiers for that purpose. And this
is all the war which these men so tragically describe; and this
is the affair of the expedition into Arabia. And how can this be
called a war, when thy presidents permitted it, the covenants
allowed it, and it was not executed till thy name, O Caesar, as
well as that of the other gods, had been profaned? And now I must
speak in order about the captives. There were robbers that dwelt
in Trachonitis; at first their number was no more than forty, but
they became more afterwards, and they escaped the punishment
Herod would have inflicted on them, by making Arabia their
refuge. Sylleus received them, and supported them with food, that
they might be mischievous to all mankind, and gave them a country
to inhabit, and himself received the gains they made by robbery;
yet did he promise that he would deliver up these men, and that
by the same oaths and same time that he sware and fixed for
payment of his debt: nor can he by any means show that any other
persons have at this time been taken out of Arabia besides these,
and indeed not all these neither, but only so many as could not
conceal themselves. And thus does the calumny of the captives,
which hath been so odiously represented, appear to be no better
than a fiction and a lie, made on purpose to provoke thy
indignation; for I venture to affirm that when the forces of the
Arabians came upon us, and one or two of Herod's party fell, he
then only defended himself, and there fell Nacebus their general,
and in all about twenty-five others, and no more; whence Sylleus,
by multiplying every single soldier to a hundred, he reckons the
slain to have been two thousand five hundred."

9. This provoked Caesar more than ever. So he turned to Sylleus
full of rage, and asked him how many of the Arabians were slain.
Hereupon he hesitated, and said he had been imposed upon. The
covenants also were read about the money he had borrowed, and the
letters of the presidents of Syria, and the complaints of the
several cities, so many as had been injured by the robbers. The
conclusion was this, that Sylleus was condemned to die, and that
Caesar was reconciled to Herod, and owned his repentance for what
severe things he had written to him, occasioned by calumny,
insomuch that he told Sylleus, that he had compelled him, by his
lying account of things, to be guilty of ingratitude against a
man that was his friend. At the last all came to this, Sylleus
was sent away to answer Herod's suit, and to repay the debt that
he owed, and after that to be punished [with death]. But still
Caesar was offended with Aretas, that he had taken upon himself
the government, without his consent first obtained, for he had
determined to bestow Arabia upon Herod; but that the letters he
had sent hindered him from so doing; for Olympus and Volumnius,
perceiving that Caesar was now become favorable to Herod, thought
fit immediately to deliver him the letters they were commanded by
Herod to give him concerning his sons. When Caesar had read them,
he thought it would not be proper to add another government to
him, now he was old, and in an ill state with relation to his
sons, so he admitted Aretas's ambassadors; and after he had just
reproved him for his rashness, in not tarrying till he received
the kingdom from him, he accepted of his presents, and confirmed
him in his government.


Assembly Of Judges At Berytus ; And What Tero Suffered For Using
A Boundless And Military Liberty Of Speech. Concerning Also The
Death Of The Young Men And Their Burial At Alexandrium.

1. So Caesar was now reconciled to Herod, and wrote thus to him:
That he was grieved for him on account of his sons; and that in
case they had been guilty of any profane and insolent crimes
against him, it would behoove him to punish them as parricides,
for which he gave him power accordingly; but if they had only
contrived to fly away, he would have him give them an admonition,
and not proceed to extremity with them. He also advised him to
get an assembly together, and to appoint some place near Berytus,
(14) which is a city belonging to the Romans, and to take the
presidents of Syria, and Archelaus king of Cappadocia, and as
many more as he thought to be illustrious for their friendship to
him, and the dignities they were in, and determine what should be
done by their approbation. These were the directions that Caesar
gave him. Accordingly Herod, when the letter was brought to him,
was immediately very glad of Caesar's reconciliation to him, and
very glad also that he had a complete authority given him over
his sons. And it strangely came about, that whereas before, in
his adversity, though he had indeed showed himself severe, yet
had he not been very rash nor hasty in procuring the destruction
of his sons; he now, in his prosperity, took advantage of this
change for the better, and the freedom he now had, to exercise
his hatred against them after an unheard of manner; he therefore
sent and called as many as he thought fit to this assembly,
excepting Archclaus; for as for him, he either hated him, so that
he would not invite him, or he thought he would be an obstacle to
his designs.

2. When the presidents, and the rest that belonged to the cities,
were come to Berytus, he kept his sons in a certain village
belonging to Sidon, called Platana, but near to this city, that
if they were called, he might produce them, for he did not think
fit to bring them before the assembly: and when there were one
hundred and fifty assessors present, Herod came by himself alone,
and accused his sons, and that in such a way as if it were not a
melancholy accusation, and not made but out of necessity, and
upon the misfortunes he was under; indeed, in such a way as was
very indecent for a father to accuse his sons, for he was very
vehement and disordered when he came to the demonstration of the
crime they were accused of, and gave the greatest signs of
passion and barbarity: nor would he suffer the assessors to
consider of the weight of the evidence, but asserted them to be
true by his own authority, after a manner most indecent in a
father against his sons, and read himself what they themselves
had written, wherein there was no confession of any plots or
contrivances against him, but only how they had contrived to fly
away, and containing withal certain reproaches against him, on
account of the ill-will he bare them; and when he came to those
reproaches, he cried out most of all, and exaggerated what they
said, as if they had confessed the design against him, and took
his oath that he had rather lose his life than hear such
reproachful words. At last he said that he had sufficient
authority, both by nature and by Caesar's grant to him, [to do
what he thought fit]. He also added an allegation of a law of
their country, which enjoined this: That if parents laid their
hands on the head of him that was accused, the standers by were
obliged to cast stones at him, and thereby to slay him; which
though he were ready to do in his own country and kingdom, yet
did he wait for their determination; and yet they came thither
not so much as judges, to condemn them for such manifest designs
against him, whereby he had almost perished by his sons' means,
but as persons that had an opportunity of showing their
detestation of such practices, and declaring how unworthy a thing
it must be in any, even the most remote, to pass over such
treacherous designs [without punishment].

3. When the king had said this, and the young men had not been
produced to make any defense for themselves, the assessors
perceived there was no room for equity and reconciliation, so
they confirmed his authority. And in the first place, Saturninus,
a person that had been consul, and one of great dignity,
pronounced his sentence, but with great moderation and trouble;
and said that he condemned Herod's sons, but did not think they
should be put to death. He had sons of his own, and to put one's
son to death is a greater misfortune than any other that could
befall him by their means. After him Saturninus's sons, for he
had three sons that followed him, and were his legates,
pronounced the same sentence with their father. On the contrary,
Volumnius's sentence was to inflict death on such as had been so
impiously undutiful to their father; and the greatest part of the
rest said the same, insomuch that the conclusion seemed to be,
that the young men were condemned to die. Immediately after this
Herod came away from thence, and took his sons to Tyre, where
Nicolaus met him in his voyage from Rome; of whom he inquired,
after he had related to him what had passed at Berytus, what his
sentiments were about his sons, and what his friends at Rome
thought of that matter. His answer was, "That what they had
determined to do to thee was impious, and that thou oughtest to
keep them in prison; and if thou thinkest any thing further
necessary, thou mayst indeed so punish them, that thou mayst not
appear to indulge thy anger more than to govern thyself by
judgment; but if thou inclinest to the milder side, thou mayst
absolve them, lest perhaps thy misfortunes be rendered incurable;
and this is the opinion of the greatest part of thy friends at
Rome also." Whereupon Herod was silent, and in great
thoughtfulness, and bid Nicolaus sail along with him.

4. Now as they came to Cesarea, every body was there talking of
Herod's sons, and the kingdom was in suspense, and the people in
great expectation of what would become of them; for a terrible
fear seized upon all men, lest the ancient disorders of the
family should come to a sad conclusion, and they were in great
trouble about their sufferings; nor was it without danger to say
any rash thing about this matter, nor even to hear another saying
it, but men's pity was forced to be shut up in themselves, which
rendered the excess of their sorrow very irksome, but very silent
yet was there an old soldier of Herod's, whose name was Tero, who
had a son of the same age with Alexander, and his friend, who was
so very free as openly to speak out what others silently thought
about that matter; and was forced to cry out often among the
multitude, and said, in the most unguarded manner, that truth was
perished, and justice taken away from men, while lies and
ill-will prevailed, and brought such a mist before public
affairs, that the offenders were not able to see the greatest
mischiefs that can befall men. And as he was so bold, he seemed
not to have kept himself out of danger, by speaking so freely;
but the reasonableness of what he said moved men to regard him as
having behaved himself with great manhood, and this at a proper
time also, for which reason every one heard what he said with
pleasure; and although they first took care of their own safety
by keeping silent themselves, yet did they kindly receive the
great freedom he took; for the expectation they were in of so
great an affliction, put a force upon them to speak of Tero
whatsoever they pleased.

5. This man had thrust himself into the king's presence with the
greatest freedom, and desired to speak with him by himself alone,
which the king permitted him to do, where he said this: "Since I
am not able, O king, to bear up under so great a concern as I am
under, I have preferred the use of this bold liberty that I now
take, which may be for thy advantage, if thou mind to get any
profit by it, before my own safety. Whither is thy understanding
gone, and left thy soul empty? Whither is that extraordinary
sagacity of thine gone whereby thou hast performed so many and
such glorious-actions? Whence comes this solitude, and desertion
of thy friends and relations? Of which I cannot but determine
that they are neither thy friends nor relations, while they
overlook such horrid wickedness in thy once happy kingdom. Dost
not thou perceive what is doing? Wilt thou slay these two young
men, born of thy queen, who are accomplished with every virtue in
the highest degree, and leave thyself destitute in thy old age,
but exposed to one son, who hath very ill managed the hopes thou
hast given him,' and to relations, whose death thou hast so often
resolved on thyself? Dost not thou take notice, that the very
silence of the multitude at once sees the crime, and abhors the
fact? The whole army and the officers have commiseration on the
poor unhappy youths, and hatred to those that are the actors in
this matter." These words the king heard, and for some time with
good temper. But what can one say? When Tero plainly touched upon
the bad behavior and perfidiousness of his domestics, he was
moved at it; but Tero went on further, and by degrees used an
unbounded military freedom of speech, nor was he so well
disciplined as to accommodate himself to the time. So Herod was
greatly disturbed, and seeming to be rather reproached by this
speech, than to be hearing what was for his advantage, while he
learned thereby that both the soldiers abhorred the thing he was
about, and the officers had indignation at it, he gave order that
all whom Tero had named, and Tero himself, should be bound and
kept in prison.

6. When this was over, one Trypho, who was the king's barber,
took the opportunity, and came and told the king, that Tero would
often have persuaded him, when he trimmed him with a razor, to
cut his throat, for that by this means he should be among the
chief of Alexander's friends, and receive great rewards from him.
When he had said this, the king gave order that Tero, and his
son, and the barber should be tortured, which was done
accordingly; but while Tero bore up himself, his son seeing his
father already in a sad case, and had no hope of deliverance, and
perceiving what would be the consequence of his terrible
sufferings, said, that if the king would free him and his father
from these torments for what he should say, he would tell the
truth. And when the king had given his word to do so, he said
that there was an agreement made, that Tero should lay violent
hands on the king, because it was easy for him to come when he
was alone; and that if, when he had done the thing, he should
suffer death for it, as was not unlikely, it would be an act of
generosity done in favor of Alexander. This was what Tero's son
said, and thereby freed his father from the distress he was in;
but uncertain it is whether he had been thus forced to speak what
was true, or whether it were a contrivance of his, in order to
procure his own and his father's deliverance from their miseries.

7. As for Herod, if he had before any doubt about the slaughter
of his sons, there was now no longer any room left in his soul
for it; but he had banished away whatsoever might afford him the
least suggestion of reasoning better about this matter, so he
already made haste to bring his purpose to a conclusion. He also
brought out three hundred of the officers that were under an
accusation, as also Tero and his son, and the barber that accused
them before an assembly, and brought an accusation against them
all; whom the multitude stoned with whatsoever came to hand, and
thereby slew them. Alexander also and Aristobulus were brought to
Sebaste, by their father's command, and there strangled; but
their dead bodies were in the night time carried to Alexandraum,
where their uncle by the mother's side, and the greatest part of
their ancestors, had been deposited.

8. (15) And now perhaps it may not seem unreasonable to some,
that such an inveterate hatred might increase so much [on both
sides], as to proceed further, and overcome nature; but it may
justly deserve consideration, whether it be to be laid to the
charge of the young men, that they gave such an occasion to their
father's anger, and led him to do what he did, and by going on
long in the same way put things past remedy, and brought him to
use them so unmercifully; or whether it be to be laid to the
father's charge, that he was so hard-hearted, and so very tender
in the desire of government, and of other things that would tend
to his glory, that tae would take no one into a partnership with
him, that so whatsoever he would have done himself might continue
immovable; or, indeed, whether fortune have not greater power
than all prudent reasonings; whence we are persuaded that human
actions are thereby determined beforehand by an inevitable
necessity, and we call her Fate, because there is nothing which
is not done by her; wherefore I suppose it will be sufficient to
compare this notion with that other, which attribute somewhat to
ourselves, and renders men not unaccountable for the different
conducts of their lives, which notion is no other than the
philosophical determination of our ancient law. Accordingly, of
the two other causes of this sad event, any body may lay the
blame on the young men, who acted by youthful vanity, and pride
of their royal birth, that they should bear to hear the calumnies
that were raised against their father, while certainly they were
not equitable judges of the actions of his life, but ill-natured
in suspecting, and intemperate in speaking of it, and on both
accounts easily caught by those that observed them, and revealed
them to gain favor; yet cannot their father be thought worthy
excuse, as to that horrid impiety which he was guilty of about
them, while he ventured, without any certain evidence of their
treacherous designs against him, and without any proofs that they
had made preparations for such attempt, to kill his own sons, who
were of very comely bodies, and the great darlings of other men,
and no way deficient in their conduct, whether it were in
hunting, or in warlike exercises, or in speaking upon occasional
topics of discourse; for in all these they were skillful, and
especially Alexander, who was the eldest; for certainly it had
been sufficient, even though he had condemned them, to have kept
them alive in bonds, or to let them live at a distance from his
dominions in banishment, while he was surrounded by the Roman
forces, which were a strong security to him, whose help would
prevent his suffering any thing by a sudden onset, or by open
force; but for him to kill them on the sudden, in order to
gratify a passion that governed him, was a demonstration of
insufferable impiety. He also was guilty of so great a crime in
his older age; nor will the delays that he made, and the length
of time in which the thing was done, plead at all for his excuse;
for when a man is on a sudden amazed, and in commotion of mind,
and then commits a wicked action, although this be a heavy crime,
yet is it a thing that frequently happens; but to do it upon
deliberation, and after frequent attempts, and as frequent
puttings-off, to undertake it at last, and accomplish it, was the
action of a murderous mind, and such as was not easily moved from
that which is evil. And this temper he showed in what he did
afterward, when he did not spare those that seemed to be the best
beloved of his friends that were left, wherein, though the
justice of the punishment caused those that perished to be the
less pitied, yet was the barbarity of the man here equal, in that
he did not abstain from their slaughter also. But of those
persons we shall have occasion to discourse more hereafter.


Containing The Interval Of Fourteen Years.

From The Death Of Alexander And Aristobulus To The Banishment Of


How Antipater Was Hated By All The Nation [Of The Jews] For The
Slaughter Of His Brethren; And How, For That Reason He Got Into
Peculiar Favor With His Friends At Rome, By Giving Them Many
Presents; As He Did Also With Saturninus, The President Of Syria
And The Governors Who Were Under Him; And Concerning Herod's
Wives And Children.

1. When Antipater had thus taken off his brethren, and had
brought his father into the highest degree of impiety, till he
was haunted with furies for what he had done, his hopes did not
succeed to his mind, as to the rest of his life; for although he
was delivered from the fear of his brethren being his rivals as
to the government, yet did he find it a very hard thing, and
almost impracticable, to come at the kingdom, because the hatred
of the nation against him on that account was become very great;
and besides this very disagreeable circumstance, the affair of
the soldiery grieved him still more, who were alienated from him,
from which yet these kings derived all the safety which they had,
whenever they found the nation desirous of innovation: and all
this danger was drawn upon him by his destruction of his
brethren. However, he governed the nation jointly with his
father, being indeed no other than a king already; and he was for
that very reason trusted, and the more firmly depended on, for
the which he ought himself to have been put to death, as
appearing to have betrayed his brethren out of his concern for
the preservation of Herod, and not rather out of his ill-will to
them, and, before them, to his father himself: and this was the
accursed state he was in. Now all Antipater's contrivances tended
to make his way to take off Herod, that he might have nobody to
accuse him in the vile practices he was devising: and that Herod
might have no refuge, nor any to afford him their assistance,
since they must thereby have Antipater for their open enemy;
insomuch that the very plots he had laid against his brethren
were occasioned by the hatred he bore his father. But at this
time he was more than ever set upon the execution of his attempts
against Herod, because if he were once dead, the government would
now be firmly secured to him; but if he were suffered to live any
longer, he should be in danger, upon a discovery of that
wickedness of which he had been the contriver, and his father
would of necessity then become his enemy. And on this account it
was that he became very bountiful to his father's friends, and
bestowed great sums on several of them, in order to surprise men
with his good deeds, and take off their hatred against him. And
he sent great presents to his friends at Rome particularly, to
gain their good-will; and above all to Saturninus, the president
of Syria. He also hoped to gain the favor of Saturninus's brother
with the large presents he bestowed on him; as also he used the
same art to [Salome] the king's sister, who had married one of
Herod's chief friends. And when he counterfeited friendship to
those with whom he conversed, he was very subtle in gaining their
belief, and very cunning to hide his hatred against any that he
really did hate. But he could not impose upon his aunt, who
understood him of a long time, and was a woman not easily to be
deluded, especially while she had already used all possible
caution in preventing his pernicious designs. Although
Antipeter's uncle by the mother's side was married to her
daughter, and this by his own connivance and management, while
she had before been married to Aristobulus, and while Salome's
other daughter by that husband was married to the son of Calleas;
yet that marriage was no obstacle to her, who knew how wicked he
was, in her discovering his designs, as her former kindred to him
could not prevent her hatred of him. Now Herod had compelled
Salome, while she was in love with Sylleus the Arabian, and had
taken a fondness for him, to marry Alexas; which match was by her
submitted to at the instance of Julia, who persuaded Salome not
to refuse it, lest she should herself be their open enemy, since
Herod had sworn that he would never be friends with Salome, if
she would not accept of Alexas for her husband; so she submitted
to Julia as being Caesar's wife; and besides that, she advised
her to nothing but what was very much for her own advantage. At
this time also it was that Herod sent back king Archelaus's
daughter, who had been Alexander's wife, to her father, returning
the portion he had with her out of his own estate, that there
might be no dispute between them about it.

2. Now Herod brought up his sons' children with great care; for
Alexander had two sons by Glaphyra; and Aristobulus had three
sons by Bernice, Salome's daughter, and two daughters; and as his
friends were once with him, he presented the children before
them; and deploring the hard fortune of his own sons, he prayed
that no such ill fortune would befall these who were their
children, but that they might improve in virtue, and obtain what
they justly deserved, and might make him amends for his care of
their education. He also caused them to be betrothed against they
should come to the proper age of marriage; the elder of
Alexander's sons to Pheroras's daughter, and Antipater's daughter
to Aristobulus's eldest son. He also allotted one of
Aristobulus's daughters to Antipater's son, and Aristobulus's
other daughter to Herod, a son of his own, who was born to him by
the high priest's daughter; for it is the ancient practice among
us to have many wives at the same time. Now the king made these
espousals for the children, out of commiseration of them now they
were fatherless, as endeavoring to render Antipater kind to them
by these intermarriages. But Antipater did not fail to bear the
same temper of mind to his brothers' children which he had borne
to his brothers themselves; and his father's concern about them
provoked his indignation against them upon this supposal, that
they would become greater than ever his brothers had been; while
Archclaus, a king, would support his daughter's sons, and
Pheroras, a tetrarch, would accept of one of the daughters as a
wife to his son. What provoked him also was this, that all the
multitude would so commiserate these fatherless children, and so
hate him [for making them fatherless], that all would come out,
since they were no strangers to his vile disposition towards his
brethren. He contrived, therefore, to overturn his father's
settlements, as thinking it a terrible thing that they should be
so related to him, and be so powerful withal. So Herod yielded to
him, and changed his resolution at his entreaty; and the
determination now was, that Antipater himself should marry
Aristobulus's daughter, and Antipater's son should marry
Pheroras's daughter. So the espousals for the marriages were
changed after this manner, even without the king's real

3. Now Herod the king had at this time nine wives; one of them
Antipater's mother, and another the high priest's daughter, by
whom he had a son of his own name. He had also one who was his
brother's daughter, and another his sister's daughter; which two
had no children. One of his wives also was of the Samaritan
nation, whose sons were Antipas and Archelaus, and whose daughter
was Olympias; which daughter was afterward married to Joseph, the
king's brother's son; but Archelaus and Antipas were brought up
with a certain private man at Rome. Herod had also to wife
Cleopatra of Jerusalem, and by her he had his sons Herod and
Philip; which last was also brought up at Rome. Pallas also was
one of his wives, which bare him his son Phasaelus. And besides
these, he had for his wives Phedra and E1pis, by whom he had his
daughters Roxana and Salome. As for his elder daughters by the
same mother with Alexander and Aristobulus, and whom Pheroras
neglected to marry, he gave the one in marriage to Antipater, the
king's sister's son, and the other to Phasaelus, his brother's
son. And this was the posterity of Herod.


Concerning Zamaris, The Babylonian Jew; Concerning The Plots Laid
By Antipater Against His Father; And Somewhat About The

1. And now it was that Herod, being desirous of securing himself
on the side of the Trachonites, resolved to build a village as
large as a city for the Jews, in the middle of that country,
which might make his own country difficult to be assaulted, and
whence he might be at hand to make sallies upon them, and do them
a mischief. Accordingly, when he understood that there was a man
that was a Jew come out of Babylon, with five hundred horsemen,
all of whom could shoot their arrows as they rode on horde-back,
and, with a hundred of his relations, had passed over Euphrates,
and now abode at Antioch by Daphne of Syria, where Saturninus,
who was then president, had given them a place for habitation,
called Valatha, he sent for this man, with the multitude that
followed him, and promised to give him land in the toparchy
called Batanea, which country is bounded with Trachonitis, as
desirous to make that his habitation a guard to himself. He also
engaged to let him hold the country free from tribute, and that
they should dwell entirely without paying such customs as used to
be paid, and gave it him tax-free.

2. The Babylonian was reduced by these offers to come hither; so
he took possession of the land, and built in it fortresses and a
village, and named it Bathyra. Whereby this man became a
safeguard to the inhabitants against the Trachonites, and
preserved those Jews who came out of Babylon, to offer their
sacrifices at Jerusalem, from being hurt by the Trachonite
robbers; so that a great number came to him from all those parts
where the ancient Jewish laws were observed, and the country
became full of people, by reason of their universal freedom from
taxes. This continued during the life of Herod; but when Philip,
who was [tetrarch] after him, took the government, he made them
pay some small taxes, and that for a little while only; and
Agrippa the Great, and his son of the same name, although they
harassed them greatly, yet would they not take their liberty
away. From whom, when the Romans have now taken the government
into their own hands, they still gave them the privilege of their
freedom, but oppress them entirely with the imposition of taxes.
Of which matter I shall treat more accurately in the progress of
this history. (2)

3. At length Zamaris the Babylonian, to whom Herod had given that
country for a possession, died, having lived virtuously, and left
children of a good character behind him; one of whom was Jacim,
who was famous for his valor, and taught his Babylonians how to
ride their horses; and a troop of them were guards to the
forementioned kings. And when Jacim was dead in his old age, he
left a son, whose name was Philip, one of great strength in his
hands, and in other respects also more eminent for his valor than
any of his contemporaries; on which account there was a
confidence and firm friendship between him and king Agrippa. He
had also an army which he maintained as great as that of a king,
which he exercised and led wheresoever lie had occasion to march.

4. When the affairs of Herod were in the condition I have
described, all the public affairs depended upon Antipater; and
his power was such, that he could do good turns to as many as he
pleased, and this by his father's concession, in hopes of his
good-will and fidelity to him; and this till he ventured to use
his power still further, because his wicked designs were
concealed from his father, and he made him believe every thing he
said. He was also formidable to all, not so much on account of
the power and authority he had, as for the shrewdness of his vile
attempts beforehand; but he who principally cultivated a
friendship with him was Pheroras, who received the like marks of
his friendship; while Antipater had cunningly encompassed him
about by a company of women, whom he placed as guards about him;
for Pheroras was greatly enslaved to his wife, and to her mother,
and to her sister; and this notwithstanding the hatred he bare
them for the indignities they had offered to his virgin
daughters. Yet did he bear them, and nothing was to he done
without the women, who had got this man into their circle, and
continued still to assist each other in all things, insomuch that
Antipater was entirely addicted to them, both by himself and by
his mother; for these four women, (3) said all one and the same
thing; but the opinions of Pheroras and Antipater were different
in some points of no consequence. But the king's sister [Salome]
was their antagonist, who for a good while had looked about all
their affairs, and was apprized that this their friendship was
made in order to do Herod some mischief, and was disposed to
inform the king of it. And since these people knew that their
friendship was very disagreeable to Herod, as tending to do him a
mischief, they contrived that their meetings should not be
discovered; so they pretended to hate one another, and to abuse
one another when time served, and especially when Herod was
present, or when any one was there that would tell him: but still
their intimacy was firmer than ever, when they were private. And
this was the course they took. But they could not conceal from
Salome neither their first contrivance, when they set about these
their intentions, nor when they had made some progress in them;
but she searched out every thing; and, aggravating the relations
to her brother, declared to him, as well their secret assemblies
and compotations, as their counsels taken in a clandestine
manner, which if they were not in order to destroy him, they
might well enough have been open and public. But to appearance
they are at variance, and speak about one another as if they
intended one another a mischief, but agree so well together when
they are out of the sight of the multitude; for when they are
alone by themselves, they act in concert, and profess that they
will never leave off their friendship, but will fight against
those from whom they conceal their designs. And thus did she
search out these things, and get a perfect knowledge of them, and
then told her brother of them, who understood also of himself a
great deal of what she said, but still durst not depend upon it,
because of the suspicions he had of his sister's calumnies. For
there was a certain sect of men that were Jews, who valued
themselves highly upon the exact skill they had in the law of
their fathers, and made men believe they were highly favored by
God, by whom this set of women were inveigled. These are those
that are called the sect of the Pharisees, who were in a capacity
of greatly opposing kings. A cunning sect they were, and soon
elevated to a pitch of open fighting and doing mischief.
Accordingly, when all the people of the Jews gave assurance of
their good-will to Caesar, and to the king's government, these
very men did not swear, being above six thousand; and when the
king imposed a fine upon them, Pheroras's wife paid their fine
for them. In order to requite which kindness of hers, since they
were believed to have the foreknowledge of things to come by
Divine inspiration, they foretold how God had decreed that
Herod's government should cease, and his posterity should be
deprived of it; but that the kingdom should come to her and
Pheroras, and to their children. These predictions were not
concealed from Salome, but were told the king; as also how they
had perverted some persons about the palace itself; so the king
slew such of the Pharisees as were principally accused, and
Bagoas the eunuch, and one Carus, who exceeded all men of that
time in comeliness, and one that was his catamite. He slew also
all those of his own family who had consented to what the
Pharisees foretold; and for Bagoas, he had been puffed up by
them, as though he should be named the father and the benefactor
of him who, by the prediction, was foretold to be their appointed
king; for that this king would have all things in his power, and
would enable Bagoas to marry, and to have children of his own
body begotten.


Concerning The Enmity Between Herod And Pheroras; How Herod Sent
Antipater To Caesar; And Of The Death Of Pheroras.

1. When Herod had punished those Pharisees who had been convicted
of the foregoing crimes, he gathered an assembly together of his
friends, and accused Pheroras's wife; and ascribing the abuses of
the virgins to the impudence of that woman, brought an accusation
against her for the dishonor she had brought upon them: that she
had studiously introduced a quarrel between him and his brother,
and, by her ill temper, had brought them into a state of war,
both by her words and actions; that the fines which he had laid
had not been paid, and the offenders had escaped punishment by
her means; and that nothing which had of late been done had been
done without her; "for which reason Pheroras would do well, if he
would of his own accord, and by his own command, and not at my
entreaty, or as following my opinion, put this his wife away, as
one that will still be the occasion of war between thee and me.
And now, Pheroras, if thou valuest thy relation to me, put this
wife of thine away; for by this means thou wilt continue to be a
brother to me, and wilt abide in thy love to me." Then said
Pheroras, (although he was pressed hard by the former words,)
that as he would not do so unjust a thing as to renounce his
brotherly relation to him, so would he not leave off his
affection for his wife; that he would rather choose to die than
to live, and be deprived of a wife that was so dear unto him.
Hereupon Herod put off his anger against Pheroras on these
accounts, although he himself thereby underwent a very uneasy
punishment. However, he forbade Antipater and his mother to have
any conversation with Pheroras, and bid them to take care to
avoid the assemblies of the women; which they promised to do, but
still got together when occasion served, and both Ptieroras and
Antipater had their own merry meetings. The report went also,
that Antipater had criminal conversation with Pheroras's wife,
and that they were brought together by Antipater's mother.

2. But Antipater had now a suspicion of his father, and was
afraid that the effects of his hatred to him might increase; so
he wrote to his friends at Rome, and bid them to send to Herod,
that he would immediately send Antipater to Caesar; which when it
was done, Herod sent Antipater thither, and sent most noble
presents along with him; as also his testament, wherein Antipater
was appointed to be his successor; and that if Antipater should
die first, his son [Herod Philip] by the high priest's daughter
should succeed. And, together with Antipater, there went to Rome
Sylleus the Arabian, although he had done nothing of all that
Caesar had enjoined him. Antipater also accused him of the same
crimes of which he had been formerly accused by Herod. Sylleus
was also accused by Aretas, that without his consent he had slain
many of the chief of the Arabians at Petra; and particularly
Soemus, a man that deserved to be honored by all men; and that he
had slain Fabatus, a servant of Caesar. These were the things of
which Sylleus was accused, and that on the occasion following:
There was one Corinthus, belonging to Herod, of the guards of the
king's body, and one who was greatly trusted by him. Sylleus had
persuaded this man with the offer of a great sum of money to kill
Herod; and he had promised to do it. When Fabatus had been made
acquainted with this, for Sylleus had himself told him of it, he
informed the king of it; who caught Corinthus, and put him to the
torture, and thereby got out of him the whole conspiracy. He also
caught two other Arabians, who were discovered by Corinthus; the
one the head of a tribe, and the other a friend to Sylleus, who
both were by the king brought to the torture, and confessed that
they were come to encourage Corinthus not to fail of doing what
he had undertaken to do; and to assist him with their own hands
in the murder, if need should require their assistance. So
Saturninns, upon Herod's discovering the whole to him, sent them
to Rome.

3. At this time Herod commanded Pheroras, that since he was so
obstinate in his affection for his wife, he should retire into
his own tetrarchy; which he did very willingly, and sware many
oaths that he would not come again till he heard that Herod was
dead. And indeed when, upon a sickness of the king, he was
desired to come to him before he died, that he might intrust him
with some of his injunctions, he had such a regard to his oath,
that he would not come to him; yet did not Herod so retain his
hatred to Pheroras, but remitted of his purpose [not to see him],
which he before had, and that for such great causes as have been
already mentioned: but as soon as he began to be ill, he came to
him, and this without being sent for; and when he was dead, he
took care of his funeral, and had his body brought to Jerusalem,
and buried there, and appointed a solemn mourning for him. This
[death of Pheroras] became the origin of Antipater's misfortunes,
although he were already sailed for Rome, God now being about to
punish him for the murder of his brethren, I will explain the
history of this matter very distinctly, that it may be for a
warning to mankind, that they take care of conducting their whole
lives by the rules of virtue.


Pheroras's Wife Is Accused By His Freedmen, As Guilty Of
Poisoning Him; And How Herod, Upon Examining; Of The Matter By
Torture Found The Poison; But So That It Had Been Prepared For
Himself By His Son Antipater; And Upon An Inquiry By Torture He
Discovered The Dangerous Designs Of Antipater.

1. As soon as Pheroras was dead, and his funeral was over, two of
Pheroras's freed-men, who were much esteemed by him, came to
Herod, and entreated him not to leave the murder of his brother
without avenging it, but to examine into such an unreasonable and
unhappy death. When he was moved with these words, for they
seemed to him to be true, they said that Pheroras supped with his
wife the day before he fell sick, and that a certain potion was
brought him in such a sort of food as he was not used to eat; but
that when he had eaten, he died of it: that this potion was
brought out of Arabia by a woman, under pretense indeed as a
love-potion, for that was its name, but in reality to kill
Pheroras; for that the Arabian women are skillful in making such
poisons: and the woman to whom they ascribe this was confessedly
a most intimate friend of one of Sylleus's mistresses; and that
both the mother and the sister of Pheroras's wife had been at the
places where she lived, and had persuaded her to sell them this
potion, and had come back and brought it with them the day before
that his supper. Hereupon the king was provoked, and put the
women slaves to the torture, and some that were free with them;
and as the fact did not yet appear, because none of them would
confess it, at length one of them, under the utmost agonies, said
no more but this, that she prayed that God would send the like
agonies upon Antipater's mother, who had been the occasion of
these miseries to all of them. This prayer induced Herod to
increase the women's tortures, till thereby all was discovered;
their merry meetings, their secret assemblies, and the disclosing
of what he had said to his son alone unto Pheroras's (4) women.
(Now what Herod had charged Antipater to conceal, was the gift of
a hundred talents to him not to have any conversation with
Pheroras.) And what hatred he bore to his father; and that he
complained to his mother how very long his father lived; and that
he was himself almost an old man, insomuch that if the kingdom
should come to him, it would not afford him any great pleasure;
and that there were a great many of his brothers, or brothers'
children, bringing up, that might have hopes of the kingdom as
well as himself, all which made his own hopes of it uncertain;
for that even now, if he should himself not live, Herod had
ordained that the government should be conferred, not on his son,
but rather on a brother. He also had accused the king of great
barbarity, and of the slaughter of his sons; and that it was out
of the fear he was under, lest he should do the like to him, that
made him contrive this his journey to Rome, and Pheroras contrive
to go to his own tetrarchy. (5)

2. These confessions agreed with what his sister had told him,
and tended greatly to corroborate her testimony, and to free her
from the suspicion of her unfaithfulness to him. So the king
having satisfied himself of the spite which Doris, Antipater's
mother, as well as himself, bore to him, took away from her all
her fine ornaments, which were worth many talents, and then sent
her away, and entered into friendship with Pheroras's women. But
he who most of all irritated the king against his son was one
Antipater, the procurator of Antipater the king's son, who, when
he was tortured, among other things, said that Antipater had
prepared a deadly potion, and given it to Pheroras, with his
desire that he would give it to his father during his absence,
and when he was too remote to have the least suspicion cast upon
him thereto relating; that Antiphilus, one of Antipater's
friends, brought that potion out of Egypt; and that it was sent
to Pheroras by Thendion, the brother of the mother of Antipater,
the king's son, and by that means came to Pheroras's wife, her
husband having given it her to keep. And when the king asked her
about it, she confessed it; and as she was running to fetch it,
she threw herself down from the house-top; yet did she not kill
herself, because she fell upon her feet; by which means, when the
king had comforted her, and had promised her and her domestics
pardon, upon condition of their concealing nothing of the truth
from him, but had threatened her with the utmost miseries if she
proved ungrateful [and concealed any thing]: so she promised, and
swore that she would speak out every thing, and tell after what
manner every thing was done; and said what many took to be
entirely true, that the potion was brought out of Egypt by
Antiphilus; and that his brother, who was a physician, had
procured it; and that" when Thendion brought it us, she kept it
upon Pheroras's committing it to her; and that it was prepared by
Antipater for thee. When, therefore, Pheroras was fallen sick,
and thou camest to him and tookest care of him, and when he saw
the kindness thou hadst for him, his mind was overborne thereby.
So he called me to him, and said to me, 'O woman! Antipater hath
circumvented me in this affair of his father and my brother, by
persuading me to have a murderous intention to him, and procuring
a potion to be subservient thereto; do thou, therefore, go and
fetch my potion, (since my brother appears to have still the same
virtuous disposition towards me which he had formerly, and I do
not expect to live long myself, and that I may not defile my
forefathers by the murder of a brother,) and burn it before my
face:' that accordingly she immediately brought it, and did as
her husband bade her; and that she burnt the greatest part of the
potion; but that a little of it was left, that if the king, after
Pheroras's death, should treat her ill, she might poison herself,
and thereby get clear of her miseries." Upon her saying thus, she
brought out the potion, and the box in which it was, before them
all. Nay, there was another brother of Antiphilus, and his mother
also, who, by the extremity of pain and torture, confessed the
same things, and owned the box [to be that which had been brought
out of Egypt]. The high priest's daughter also, who was the
king's wife, was accused to have been conscious of all this, and
had resolved to conceal it; for which reason Herod divorced her,
and blotted her son out of his testament, wherein he had been
mentioned as one that was to reign after him; and he took the
high priesthood away from his father-in-law, Simeon the son of
Boethus, and appointed Matthias the son of Theophilus, who was
born at Jerusalem, to be high priest in his room.

3. While this was doing, Bathyllus also, Antipater's freed-man,
came from Rome, and, upon the torture, was found to have brought
another potion, to give it into the hands of Antipater's mother,
and of Pheroras, that if the former potion did not operate upon
the king, this at least might carry him off. There came also
letters from Herod's friends at Rome, by the approbation and at
the suggestion of Antipater, to accuse Archelaus and Philip, as
if they calumniated their father on account of the slaughter of
Alexander and Aristobulus, and as if they commiserated their
deaths, and as if, because they were sent for home, (for their
father had already recalled them,) they concluded they were
themselves also to be destroyed. These letters had been procured
by great rewards by Antipater's friends; but Antipater himself
wrote to his father about them, and laid the heaviest things to
their charge; yet did he entirely excuse them of any guilt, and
said they were but young men, and so imputed their words to their
youth. But he said that he had himself been very busy in the
affair relating to Sylleus, and in getting interest among the
great men; and on that account had bought splendid ornaments to
present them withal, which cost him two hundred talents. Now one
may wonder how it came about, that while so many accusations were
laid against him in Judea during seven months before this time,
he was not made acquainted with any of them. The causes of which
were, that the roads were exactly guarded, and that men hated
Antipater; for there was nobody who would run any hazard himself
to gain him any advantages.


Antipater's Navigation From Rome To His Father; And How He Was
Accused By Nicolaus Of Damascus And Condemned To Die By His
Father, And By Quintilius Varus, Who Was Then President Of Syria;
And How He Was Then Bound Till Caesar Should Be Informed Of His

1. Now Herod, upon Antipater's writing to him, that having done
all that he was to do, and this in the manner he was to do it, he
would suddenly come to him, concealed his anger against him, and
wrote back to him, and bid him not delay his journey, lest any
harm should befall himself in his absence. At the same time also
he made some little complaint about his mother, but promised that
he would lay those complaints aside when he should return. He
withal expressed his entire affection for him, as fearing lest he
should have some suspicion of him, and defer his journey to him;
and lest, while he lived at Rome, he should lay plots for the
kingdom, and, moreover, do somewhat against himself. This letter
Antipater met with in Cilicia; but had received an account of
Pheroras's death before at Tarentum. This last news affected him
deeply; not out of any affection for Pheroras, but because he was
dead without having murdered his father, which he had promised
him to do. And when he was at Celenderis in Cilicia, he began to
deliberate with himself about his sailing home, as being much
grieved with the ejection of his mother. Now some of his friends
advised him that he should tarry a while some where, in
expectation of further information. But others advised him to
sail home without delay; for that if he were once come thither,
he would soon put an end to all accusations, and that nothing
afforded any weight to his accusers at present but his absence.
He was persuaded by these last, and sailed on, and landed at the
haven called Sebastus, which Herod had built at vast expenses in
honor of Caesar, and called Sebastus. And now was Antipater
evidently in a miserable condition, while nobody came to him nor
saluted him, as they did at his going away, with good wishes of
joyful acclamations; nor was there now any thing to hinder them
from entertaining him, on the contrary, with bitter curses, while
they supposed he was come to receive his punishment for the
murder of his brethren.

2. Now Quintilius Varus was at this time at Jerusalem, being sent
to succeed Saturninus as president of Syria, and was come as an
assessor to Herod, who had desired his advice in his present
affairs; and as they were sitting together, Antipater came upon
them, without knowing any thing of the matter; so he came into
the palace clothed in purple. The porters indeed received him in,
but excluded his friends. And now he was in great disorder, and
presently understood the condition he was in, while, upon his
going to salute his father, he was repulsed by him, who called
him a murderer of his brethren, and a plotter of destruction
against himself, and told him that Varus should be his auditor
and his judge the very next day; so he found that what
misfortunes he now heard of were already upon him, with the
greatness of which he went away in confusion; upon which his
mother and his wife met him, (which wife was the daughter of
Antigonus, who was king of the Jews before Herod,) from whom he
learned all circumstances which concerned him, and then prepared
himself for his trial.

3. On the next day Varus and the king sat together in judgment,
and both their friends were also called in, as also the king's
relations, with his sister Salome, and as many as could discover
any thing, and such as had been tortured; and besides these, some
slaves of Antipater's mother, who were taken up a little before
Antipater's coming, and brought with them a written letter, the
sum of which was this: That he should not come back, because all
was come to his father's knowledge; and that Caesar was the only
refuge he had left to prevent both his and her delivery into his
father's hands. Then did Antipater fall down at his father's
feet, and besought him not to prejudge his cause, but that he
might be first heard by his father, and that his father would
keep himself unprejudiced. So Herod ordered him to be brought
into the midst, and then lamented himself about his children,
from whom he had suffered such great misfortunes; and because
Antipater fell upon him in his old age. He also reckoned up what
maintenance and what education he had given them; and what
seasonable supplies of wealth he had afforded them, according to
their own desires; none of which favors had hindered them from
contriving against him, and from bringing his very life into
danger, in order to gain his kingdom, after an impious manner, by
taking away his life before the course of nature, their father's
wishes, or justice required that that kingdom should come to
them; and that he wondered what hopes could elevate Antipater to
such a pass as to be hardy enough to attempt such things; that he
had by his testament in writing declared him his successor in the
government; and while he was alive, he was in no respect inferior
to him, either in his illustrious dignity, or in power and
authority, he having no less than fifty talents for his yearly
income, and had received for his journey to Rome no fewer than
thirty talents. He also objected to him the case of his brethren
whom he had accused; and if they were guilty, he had imitated
their example; and if not, he had brought him groundless
accusations against his near relations; for that he had been
acquainted with all those things by him, and by nobody else, and
had done what was done by his approbation, and whom he now
absolved from all that was criminal, by becoming the inheritor of
the guilt of such their parricide.

4. When Herod had thus spoken, he fell a weeping, and was not
able to say any more; but at his desire Nicolaus of Damascus,
being the king's friend, and always conversant with him, and
acquainted with whatsoever he did, and with the circumstances of
his affairs, proceeded to what remained, and explained all that
concerned the demonstrations and evidences of the facts. Upon
which Antipater, in order to make his legal defense, turned
himself to his father, and enlarged upon the many indications he
had given of his good-will to him; and instanced in the honors
that had been done him, which yet had not been done, had he not
deserved them by his virtuous concern about him; for that he had
made provision for every thing that was fit to be foreseen
beforehand, as to giving him his wisest advice; and whenever
there was occasion for the labor of his own hands, he had not
grudged any such pains for him. And that it was almost impossible
that he, who had delivered his father from so many treacherous
contrivances laid against him, should be himself in a plot
against him, and so lose all the reputation he had gained for his
virtue, by his wickedness which succeeded it; and this while he
had nothing to prohibit him, who was already appointed his
successor, to enjoy the royal honor with his father also at
present; and that there was no likelihood that a person who had
the one half of that authority without any danger, and with a
good character, should hunt after the whole with infamy and
danger, and this when it was doubtful whether he could obtain it
or not; and when he saw the sad example of his brethren before
him, and was both the informer and the accuser against them, at a
time when they might not otherwise have been discovered; nay, was
the author of the punishment inflicted upon them, when it
appeared evidently that they were guilty of a wicked attempt
against their father; and that even the contentions there were in
the king's family were indications that he had ever managed
affairs out of the sincerest affection to his father. And as to
what he had done at Rome, Caesar was a witness thereto, who yet
was no more to be imposed upon than God himself; of whose
opinions his letters sent hither are sufficient evidence; and
that it was not reasonable to prefer the calumnies of such as
proposed to raise disturbances before those letters; the greatest
part of which calumnies had been raised during his absence, which
gave scope to his enemies to forge them, which they had not been
able to do if he had been there. Moreover he showed the weakness
of the evidence obtained by torture, which was commonly false,
because the distress men are in under such tortures naturally
obliges them to say many things in order to please those that
govern them. He also offered himself to the torture.

5. Hereupon there was a change observed in the assembly, while
they greatly pitied Antipater, who by weeping and putting on a
countenance suitable to his sad case made them commiserate the
same, insomuch that his very enemies were moved to compassion;
and it appeared plainly that Herod himself was affected in his
own mind, although he was not willing it should be taken notice
of. Then did Nicolaus begin to prosecute what the king had begun,
and that with great bitterness; and summed up all the evidence
which arose from the tortures, or from the testimonies. He
principally and largely cried up the king's virtues, which he had
exhibited in the maintenance and education of his sons; while he
never could gain any advantage thereby, but still fell from one
misfortune to another. Although he owned that he was not so much
surprised with that thoughtless behavior of his former sons, who
were but young, and were besides corrupted by wicked counselors,
who were the occasion of their wiping out of their minds the
righteous dictates of nature, and this out of a desire of coming
to the government sooner than they ought to do; yet that he could
not but justly stand amazed at the horrid wickedness of
Antipater, who, although he had not only had great benefits
bestowed on him by his father, enough to tame his reason, yet
could not be more tamed than the most envenomed serpents; whereas
even those creatures admit of some mitigation, and will not bite
their benefactors, while Antipater hath not let the misfortunes
of his brethren be any hinderance to him, but he hath gone on to
imitate their barbarity notwithstanding. "Yet wast thou, O
Antipater! (as thou hast thyself confessed,) the informer as to
what wicked actions they had done, and the searcher out of the
evidence against them, and the author of the punishment they
underwent upon their detection. Nor do we say this as accusing
thee for being so zealous in thy anger against them, but are
astonished at thy endeavors to imitate their profligate behavior;
and we discover thereby that thou didst not act thus for the
safety of thy father, but for the destruction of thy brethren,
that by such outside hatred of their impiety thou mightest be
believed a lover of thy father, and mightest thereby get thee
power enough to do mischief with the greatest impunity; which
design thy actions indeed demonstrate. It is true, thou tookest
thy brethren off, because thou didst convict theft of their
wicked designs; but thou didst not yield up to justice those who
were their partners; and thereby didst make it evident to all men
that thou madest a covenant with them against thy father, when
thou chosest to be the accuser of thy brethren, as desirous to
gain to thyself alone this advantage of laying plots to kill thy
father, and so to enjoy double pleasure, which is truly worthy of
thy evil disposition, which thou has openly showed against thy
brethren; on which account thou didst rejoice, as having done a
most famous exploit, nor was that behavior unworthy of thee. But
if thy intention were otherwise, thou art worse than they: while
thou didst contrive to hide thy treachery against thy father,
thou didst hate them, not as plotters against thy father, for in
that case thou hadst not thyself fallen upon the like crime, but
as successors of his dominions, and more worthy of that
succession than thyself. Thou wouldst kill thy father after thy
brethren, lest thy lies raised against them might be detected;
and lest thou shouldst suffer what punishment thou hadst
deserved, thou hadst a mind to exact that punishment of thy
unhappy father, and didst devise such a sort of uncommon
parricide as the world never yet saw. For thou who art his son
didst not only lay a treacherous design against thy father, and
didst it while he loved thee, and had been thy benefactor, had
made thee in reality his partner in the kingdom, and had openly
declared thee his successor, while thou wast not forbidden to
taste the sweetness of authority already, and hadst the firm hope
of what was future by thy father's determination, and the
security of a written testament; but, for certain, thou didst not
measure these things according to thy father's various
disposition, but according to thy own thoughts and inclinations;
and was desirous to take the part that remained away from thy too
indulgent father, and soughtest to destroy him with thy deeds,
whom thou in words pretendedst to preserve. Nor wast thou content
to be wicked thyself, but thou filledst thy mother's head with
thy devices, and raised disturbances among thy brethren, and
hadst the boldness to call thy father a wild beast; while thou
hadst thyself a mind more cruel than any serpent, whence thou
sentest out that poison among thy nearest kindred and greatest
benefactors, and invitedst them to assist thee and guard thee,
and didst hedge thyself in on all sides, by the artifices of both
men and women, against an old man, as though that mind of thine
was not sufficient of itself to support so great a hatred as thou
baredst to him. And here thou appearest, after the tortures of
free-men, of domestics, of men and women, which have been
examined on thy account, and after the informations of thy fellow
conspirators, as making haste to contradict the truth; and hast
thought on ways not only how to take thy father out of the world,
but to disannul that written law which is against thee, and the
virtue of Varus, and the nature of justice; nay, such is that
impudence of thine on which thou confidest, that thou desirest to
be put to the torture thyself, while thou allegest that the
tortures of those already examined thereby have made them tell
lies; that those that have been the deliverers of thy father may
not be allowed to have spoken the truth; but that thy tortures
may be esteemed the discoverers of truth. Wilt not thou, O Varus!
deliver the king from the injuries of his kindred? Wilt not thou
destroy this wicked wild beast, which hath pretended kindness to
his father, in order to destroy his brethren; while yet he is
himself alone ready to carry off the kingdom immediately, and
appears to be the most bloody butcher to him of them all? for
thou art sensible that parricide is a general injury both to
nature and to common life, and that the intention of parricide is
not inferior to its perpetration; and he who does not punish it
is injurious to nature itself."

6. Nicolaus added further what belonged to Antipater's mother,
and whatsoever she had prattled like a woman; as also about the
predictions and the sacrifices relating to the king; and
whatsoever Antipater had done lasciviously in his cups and his
amours among Pheroras's women; the examination upon torture; and
whatsoever concerned the testimonies of the witnesses, which were
many, and of various kinds; some prepared beforehand, and others
were sudden answers, which further declared and confirmed the
foregoing evidence. For those men who were not acquainted with
Antipater's practices, but had concealed them out of fear, when
they saw that he was exposed to the accusations of the former
witnesses, and that his great good fortune, which had supported
him hitherto, had now evidently betrayed him into the hands of
his enemies, who were now insatiable in their hatred to him, told
all they knew of him. And his ruin was now hastened, not so much
by the enmity of those that were his accusers, as by his gross,
and impudent, and wicked contrivances, and by his ill-will to his
father and his brethren; while he had filled their house with
disturbance, and caused them to murder one another; and was
neither fair in his hatred, nor kind in his friendship, but just
so far as served his own turn. Now there were a great number who
for a long time beforehand had seen all this, and especially such
as were naturally disposed to judge of matters by the rules of
virtue, because they were used to determine about affairs without
passion, but had been restrained from making any open complaints
before; these, upon the leave now given them, produced all that
they knew before the public. The demonstrations also of these
wicked facts could no way be disproved, because the many
witnesses there were did neither speak out of favor to Herod, nor
were they obliged to keep what they had to say silent, out of
suspicion of any danger they were in; but they spake what they
knew, because they thought such actions very wicked, and that
Antipater deserved the greatest punishment; and indeed not so
much for Herod's safety, as on account of the man's own
wickedness. Many things were also said, and those by a great
number of persons, who were no way obliged to say them, insomuch
that Antipater, who used generally to be very shrewd in his lies
and impudence, was not able to say one word to the contrary. When
Nicolaus had left off speaking, and had produced the evidence,
Varus bid Antipater to betake himself to the making his defense,
if he had prepared any thing whereby it might appear that he was
not guilty of the crimes he was accused of; for that, as he was
himself desirous, so did he know that his father was in like
manner desirous also, to have him found entirely innocent. But
Antipater fell down on his face, and appealed to God and to all
men for testimonials of his innocency, desiring that God would
declare, by some evident signals, that he had not laid any plot
against his father. This being the usual method of all men
destitute of virtue, that when they set about any wicked
undertakings, they fall to work according to their own
inclinations, as if they believed that God was unconcerned in
human affairs; but when once they are found out, and are in
danger of undergoing the punishment due to their crimes, they
endeavor to overthrow all the evidence against them by appealing
to God; which was the very thing which Antipater now did; for
whereas he had done everything as if there were no God in the
world, when he was on all sides distressed by justice, and when
he had no other advantage to expect from any legal proofs, by
which he might disprove the accusations laid against him, he
impudently abused the majesty of God, and ascribed it to his
power that he had been preserved hitherto; and produced before
them all what difficulties he had ever undergone in his bold
acting for his father's preservation.

7. So when Varus, upon asking Antipater what he had to say for
himself, found that he had nothing to say besides his appeal to
God, and saw that there was no end of that, he bid them bring the
potion before the court, that he might see what virtue still
remained in it; and when it was brought, and one that was
condemned to die had drank it by Varus's command, he died
presently. Then Varus got up, and departed out of the court, and
went away the day following to Antioch, where his usual residence
was, because that was the palace of the Syrians; upon which Herod
laid his son in bonds. But what were Varus's discourses to Herod
was not known to the generality, and upon what words it was that
he went away; though it was also generally supposed that
whatsoever Herod did afterward about his son was done with his
approbation. But when Herod had bound his son, he sent letters to
Rome to Caesar about him, and such messengers withal as should,
by word of mouth, inform Caesar of Antipater's wickedness. Now at
this very time there was seized a letter of Antiphilus, written
to Antipater out of Egypt (for he lived there); and when it was
opened by the king, it was found to contain what follows: "I have
sent thee Acme's letter, and hazarded my own life; for thou
knowest that I am in danger from two families, if I be
discovered. I wish thee good success in thy affair." These were
the contents of this letter; but the king made inquiry about the
other letter also, for it did not appear; and Antiphilus's slave,
who brought that letter which had been read, denied that he had
received the other. But while the king was in doubt about it, one
of Herod's friends seeing a seam upon the inner coat of the
slave, and a doubling of the cloth, (for he had two coats on,) he
guessed that the letter might be within that doubling; which
accordingly proved to be true. So they took out the letter, and
its contents were these: "Acme to Antipater. I have written such
a letter to thy father as thou desiredst me. I have also taken a
copy and sent it, as if it came from Salome, to my lady [Livia];
which, when thou readest, I know that Herod Will punish Salome,
as plotting against him?' Now this pretended letter of Salome to
her lady was composed by Antipater, in the name of Salome, as to
its meaning, but in the words of Acme. The letter was this: "Acme
to king Herod. I have done my endeavor that nothing that is done
against thee should be concealed from thee. So, upon my finding a
letter of Salome written to my lady against thee, I have written
out a copy, and sent it to thee; with hazard to myself, but for
thy advantage. The reason why she wrote it was this, that she had
a mind to be married to Sylleus. Do thou therefore tear this
letter in pieces, that I may not come into danger of my life."
Now Acme had written to Antipater himself, and informed him,
that, in compliance with his command, she had both herself
written to Herod, as if Salome had laid a sudden plot entirely
against him, and had herself sent a copy of an epistle, as coming
from Salome to her lady. Now Acme was a Jew by birth, and a
servant to Julia, Caesar's wife; and did this out of her
friendship for Antipater, as having been corrupted by him with a
large present of money, to assist in his pernicious designs
against his father and his aunt.

8. Hereupon Herod was so amazed at the prodigious wickedness of
Antipater, that he was ready to have ordered him to be slain
immediately, as a turbulent person in the most important
concerns, and as one that had laid a plot not only against
himself, but against his sister also, and even corrupted Caesar's
own domestics. Salome also provoked him to it, beating her
breast, and bidding him kill her, if he could produce any
credible testimony that she had acted in that manner. Herod also
sent for his son, and asked him about this matter, and bid him
contradict if he could, and not suppress any thing he had to say
for himself; and when he had not one word to say, he asked him,
since he was every way caught in his villainy, that he would make
no further delay, but discover his associates in these his wicked
designs. So he laid all upon Antiphilus, but discovered nobody
else. Hereupon Herod was in such great grief, that he was ready
to send his son to Rome to Caesar, there to give an account of
these his wicked contrivances. But he soon became afraid, lest he
might there, by the assistance of his friends, escape the danger
he was in; so he kept him bound as before, and sent more
ambassadors and letters [to Rome] to accuse his son, and an
account of what assistance Acme had given him in his wicked
designs, with copies of the epistles before mentioned.


Concerning The Disease That Herod Fell Into And The Sedition
Which The Jews Raised Thereupon; With The Punishment Of The

1. Now Herod's ambassadors made haste to Rome; but sent, as
instructed beforehand, what answers they were to make to the
questions put to them. They also carried the epistles with them.
But Herod now fell into a distemper, and made his will, and
bequeathed his kingdom to [Antipas], his youngest son; and this
out of that hatred to Archclaus and Philip, which the calumnies
of Antipater had raised against them. He also bequeathed .a
thousand talents to Caesar, and five hundred to Julia, Caesar's
wife, to Caesar's children, and friends and freed-men. He also
distributed among his sons and their sons his money, his
revenues, and his lands. He also made Salome his sister very
rich, because she had continued faithful to him in all his
circumstances, and was never so rash as to do him any harm; and
as he despaired of recovering, for he was about the seventieth
year of his age, he grew fierce, and indulged the bitterest anger
upon all occasions; the cause whereof was this, that he thought
himself despised, and that the nation was pleased with his
misfortunes; besides which, he resented a sedition which some of
the lower sort of men excited against him, the occasion of which
was as follows.

2. There was one Judas, the son of Saripheus, and Mattbias, the
son of Margalothus, two of the most eloquent men among the Jews,
and the most celebrated interpreters of the Jewish laws, and men
well beloved by the people, because of their education of their
youth; for all those that were studious of virtue frequented
their lectures every day. These men, when they found that the
king's distemper was incurable, excited the young men that they
would pull down all those works which the king had erected
contrary to the law of their fathers, and thereby obtain the
rewards which the law will confer on them for such actions of
piety; for that it was truly on account of Herod's rashness in
making such things as the law had forbidden, that his other
misfortunes, and this distemper also, which was so unusual among
mankind, and with which he was now afflicted, came upon him; for
Herod had caused such things to be made which were contrary to
the law, of which he was accused by Judas and Matthias; for the
king had erected over the great gate of the temple a large golden
eagle, of great value, and had dedicated it to the temple. Now
the law forbids those that propose to live according to it, to
erect images (6) or representations of any living creature. So
these wise men persuaded [their scholars] to pull down the golden
eagle; alleging, that although they should incur any danger,
which might bring them to their deaths, the virtue of the action
now proposed to them would appear much more advantageous to them
than the pleasures of life; since they would die for the
preservation and observation of the law of their fathers; since
they would also acquire an everlasting fame and commendation;
since they would be both commended by the present generation, and
leave an example of life that would never be forgotten to
posterity; since that common calamity of dying cannot be avoided
by our living so as to escape any such dangers; that therefore it
is a right thing for those who are in love with a virtuous
conduct, to wait for that fatal hour by such behavior as may
carry them out of the world with praise and honor; and that this
will alleviate death to a great degree, thus to come at it by the
performance of brave actions, which bring us into danger of it;
and at the same time to leave that reputation behind them to
their children, and to all their relations, whether they be men
or women, which will be of great advantage to them afterward.

3. And with such discourses as this did these men excite the
young men to this action; and a report being come to them that
the king was dead, this was an addition to the wise men's
persuasions; so, in the very middle of the day, they got upon the
place, they pulled down the eagle, and cut it into pieces with
axes, while a great number of the people were in the temple. And
now the king's captain, upon hearing what the undertaking was,
and supposing it was a thing of a higher nature than it proved to
be, came up thither, having a great band of soldiers with him,
such as was sufficient to put a stop to the multitude of those
who pulled down what was dedicated to God; so he fell upon them
unexpectedly, and as they were upon this bold attempt, in a
foolish presumption rather than a cautious circumspection, as is
usual with the multitude, and while they were in disorder, and
incautious of what was for their advantage; so he caught no fewer
than forty of the young men, who had the courage to stay behind
when the rest ran away, together with the authors of this bold
attempt, Judas and Matthius, who thought it an ignominious thing
to retire upon his approach, and led them to the king. And when
they were come to the king, and he asked them if they had been so
bold as to pull down what he had dedicated to God, "Yes, (said
they,) what was contrived we contrived, and what hath been
performed we performed it, and that with such a virtuous courage
as becomes men; for we have given our assistance to those things
which were dedicated to the majesty of God, and we have provided
for what we have learned by hearing the law; and it ought not to
be wondered at, if we esteem those laws which Moses had suggested
to him, and were taught him by God, and which he wrote and left
behind him, more worthy of observation than thy commands.
Accordingly we will undergo death, and all sorts of punishments
which thou canst inflict upon us, with pleasure, since we are
conscious to ourselves that we shall die, not for any unrighteous
actions, but for our love to religion." And thus they all said,
and their courage was still equal to their profession, and equal
to that with which they readily set about this undertaking. And
when the king had ordered them to be bound, he sent them to
Jericho, and called together the principal men among the Jews;
and when they were come, he made them assemble in the theater,
and because he could not himself stand, he lay upon a couch, and
enumerated the many labors that he had long endured on their
account, and his building of the temple, and what a vast charge
that was to him; while the Asamoneans, during the hundred and
twenty-five years of their government, had not been able to
perform any so great a work for the honor of God as that was;
that he had also adorned it with very valuable donations, on
which account he hoped that he had left himself a memorial, and
procured himself a reputation after his death. He then cried out,
that these men had not abstained from affronting him, even in his
lifetime, but that in the very day time, and in the sight of the
multitude, they had abused him to that degree, as to fall upon
what he had dedicated, and in that way of abuse had pulled it
down to the ground. They pretended, indeed, that they did it to
affront him; but if any one consider the thing truly, they will
find that they were guilty of sacrilege against God therein.

4. But the people, on account of Herod's barbarous temper, and
for fear he should be so cruel and to inflict punishment on them,
said what was done was done without their approbation, and that
it seemed to them that the actors might well be punished for what
they had done. But as for Herod, he dealt more mildly with others
[of the assembly] but he deprived Matthias of the high
priesthood, as in part an occasion of this action, and made
Joazar, who was Matthias's wife's brother, high priest in his
stead. Now it happened, that during the time of the high
priesthood of this Matthias, there was another person made high
priest for a single day, that very day which the Jews observed as
a fast. The occasion was this: This Matthias the high priest, on
the night before that day when the fast was to be celebrated,
seemed, in a dream, (7) to have conversation with his wife; and
because he could not officiate himself on that account, Joseph,
the son of Ellemus, his kinsman, assisted him in that sacred
office. But Herod deprived this Matthias of the high priesthood,
and burnt the other Matthias, who had raised the sedition, with
his companions, alive. And that very night there was an eclipse
of the moon. (8)

5. But now Herod's distemper greatly increased upon him after a
severe manner, and this by God's judgment upon him for his sins;
for a fire glowed in him slowly, which did not so much appear to
the touch outwardly, as it augmented his pains inwardly; for it
brought upon him a vehement appetite to eating, which he could
not avoid to supply with one sort of food or other. His entrails
were also ex-ulcerated, and the chief violence of his pain lay on
his colon; an aqueous and transparent liquor also had settled
itself about his feet, and a like matter afflicted him at the
bottom of his belly. Nay, further, his privy-member was
putrefied, and produced worms; and when he sat upright, he had a
difficulty of breathing, which was very loathsome, on account of
the stench of his breath, and the quickness of its returns; he
had also convulsions in all parts of his body, which increased
his strength to an insufferable degree. It was said by those who
pretended to divine, and who were endued with wisdom to foretell
such things, that God inflicted this punishment on the king on
account of his great impiety; yet was he still in hopes of
recovering, though his afflictions seemed greater than any one
could bear. He also sent for physicians, and did not refuse to
follow what they prescribed for his assistance, and went beyond
the river Jordan, and bathed himself in the warm baths that were
at Callirrhoe, which, besides their other general virtues, were
also fit to drink; which water runs into the lake called
Asphaltiris. And when the physicians once thought fit to have him
bathed in a vessel full of oil, it was supposed that he was just
dying; but upon the lamentable cries of his domestics, he
revived; and having no longer the least hopes of recovering, he
gave order that every soldier should be paid fifty drachmae; and
he also gave a great deal to their commanders, and to his
friends, and came again to Jericho, where he grew so choleric,
that it brought him to do all things like a madman; and though he
were near his death, he contrived the following wicked designs.
He commanded that all the principal men of the entire Jewish
nation, wheresoever they lived, should be called to him.
Accordingly, they were a great number that came, because the
whole nation was called, and all men heard of this call, and
death was the penalty of such as should despise the epistles that
were sent to call them. And now the king was in a wild rage
against them all, the innocent as well as those that had afforded
ground for accusations; and when they were come, he ordered them
to be all shut up in the hyppodrome, (9) and sent for his sister
Salome, and her husband Alexas, and spake thus to them: "I shall
die in a little time, so great are my pains; which death ought to
be cheerfully borne, and to be welcomed by all men; but what
principally troubles me is this, that I shall die without being
lamented, and without such mourning as men usually expect at a
king's death. For that he was not unacquainted with the temper of
the Jews, that his death would be a thing very desirable, and
exceedingly acceptable to them, because during his lifetime they
were ready to revolt from him, and to abuse the donations he had
dedicated to God that it therefore was their business to resolve
to afford him some alleviation of his great sorrows on this
occasion; for that if they do not refuse him their consent in
what he desires, he shall have a great mourning at his funeral,
and such as never had any king before him; for then the whole
nation would mourn from their very soul, which otherwise would be
done in sport and mockery only. He desired therefore, that as
soon as they see he hath given up the ghost, they shall place
soldiers round the hippodrome, while they do not know that he is
dead; and that they shall not declare his death to the multitude
till this is done, but that they shall give orders to have those
that are in custody shot with their darts; and that this
slaughter of them all will cause that he shall not miss to
rejoice on a double account; that as he is dying, they will make
him secure that his will shall be executed in what he charges
them to do; and that he shall have the honor of a memorable
mourning at his funeral. So he deplored his condition, with tears
in his eyes, and obtested them by the kindness due from them, as
of his kindred, and by the faith they owed to God, and begged of
them that they would not hinder him of this honorable mourning at
his funeral. So they promised him not to transgress his commands.

6. Now any one may easily discover the temper of this man's mind,
which not only took pleasure in doing what he had done formerly
against his relations, out of the love of life, but by those
commands of his which savored of no humanity; since he took care,
when he was departing out of this life, that the whole nation
should be put into mourning, and indeed made desolate of their
dearest kindred, when he gave order that one out of every family
should be slain, although they had done nothing that was unjust,
or that was against him, nor were they accused of any other
crimes; while it is usual for those who have any regard to virtue
to lay aside their hatred at such a time, even with respect to
those they justly esteemed their enemies.


Herod Has Thoughts Of Killing Himself With His Own Hand; And A
Little Afterwards He Orders Antipater To Be Slain.

1. As he was giving these commands to his relations, there came
letters from his ambassadors, who had been sent to Rome unto
Caesar, which, when they were read, their purport was this: That
Acme was slain by Caesar, out of his indignation at what hand,
she had in Antipater's wicked practices; and that as to Antipater
himself, Caesar left it to Herod to act as became a father and a
king, and either to banish him, or to take away his life, which
he pleased. When Herod heard this, he was some-what better, out
of the pleasure he had from the contents of the letters, and was
elevated at the death of Acme, and at the power that was given
him over his son; but as his pains were become very great, he was
now ready to faint for want of somewhat to eat; so he called for
an apple and a knife; for it was his custom formerly to pare the
apple himself, and soon afterwards to cut it, and eat it. When he
had got the knife, he looked about, and had a mind to stab
himself with it; and he had done it, had not his first cousin,
Achiabus, prevented him, and held his hand, and cried out loudly.
Whereupon a woeful lamentation echoed through the palace, and a
great tumult was made, as if the king were dead. Upon which
Antipater, who verily believed his father was deceased, grew bold
in his discourse, as hoping to be immediately and entirely
released from his bonds, and to take the kingdom into his hands
without any more ado; so he discoursed with the jailer about
letting him go, and in that case promised him great things, both
now and hereafter, as if that were the only thing now in
question. But the jailer did not only refuse to do what Antipater
would have him, but informed the king of his intentions, and how
many solicitations he had had from him [of that nature]. Hereupon
Herod, who had formerly no affection nor good-will towards his
son to restrain him, when he heard what the jailer said, he cried
out, and beat his head, although he was at death's door, and
raised himself upon his elbow, and sent for some of his guards,
and commanded them to kill Antipater without tiny further delay,
and to do it presently, and to bury him in an ignoble manner at


Concerning Herod's Death, And Testament, And Burial.

1. And now Herod altered his testament upon the alteration of his
mind; for he appointed Antipas, to whom he had before left the
kingdom, to be tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, and granted the
kingdom to Archclaus. He also gave Gaulonitis, and Trachonitis,
and Paneas to Philip, who was his son, but own brother to
Archclaus (10) by the name of a tetrarchy; and bequeathed
Jarnnia, and Ashdod, and Phasaelis to Salome his sister, with
five hundred thousand [drachmae] of silver that was coined. He
also made provision for all the rest of his kindred, by giving
them sums of money and annual revenues, and so left them all in a
wealthy condition. He bequeathed also to Caesar ten millions [of
drachmae] of coined money, besides both vessels of gold and
silver, and garments exceeding costly, to Julia, Caesar's wife;
and to certain others, five millions. When he had done these
things, he died, the fifth day after he had caused Antipater to
be slain; having reigned, since he had procured Antigonus to be
slain, thirty-four years; but since he had been declared king by
the Romans, thirty-seven. (11) A man he was of great barbarity
towards all men equally, and a slave to his passion; but above
the consideration of what was right; yet was he favored by
fortune as much as any man ever was, for from a private man he
became a king; and though he were encompassed with ten thousand
dangers, he got clear of them all, and continued his life till a
very old age. But then, as to the affairs of his family and
children, in which indeed, according to his own opinion, he was
also very fortunate, because he was able to conquer his enemies,
yet, in my opinion, he was herein very unfortunate.

2. But then Salome and Alexas, before the king's death was made
known, dismissed those that were shut up in the hippodrome, and
told them that the king ordered them to go away to their own
lands, and take care of their own affairs, which was esteemed by
the nation a great benefit. And now the king's death was made
public, when Salome and Alexas gathered the soldiery together in
the amphitheater at Jericho; and the first thing they did was,
they read Herod's letter, written to the soldiery, thanking them
for their fidelity and good-will to him, and exhorting them to
afford his son Archelaus, whom he had appointed for their king,
like fidelity and good-will. After which Ptolemy, who had the
king's seal intrusted to him, read the king's testament, which
was to be of force no otherwise than as it should stand when
Caesar had inspected it; so there was presently an acclamation
made to Archelaus, as king; and the soldiers came by bands, and
their commanders with them, and promised the same good-will to
him, and readiness to serve him, which they had exhibited to
Herod; and they prayed God to be assistant to him.

3. After this was over, they prepared for his funeral, it being
Archelaus's care that the procession to his father's sepulcher
should be very sumptuous. Accordingly, he brought out all his
ornaments to adorn the pomp of the funeral. The body was carried
upon a golden bier, embroidered with very precious stones of
great variety, and it was covered over with purple, as well as
the body itself; he had a diadem upon his head, and above it a
crown of gold: he also had a scepter in his right hand. About the
bier were his sons and his numerous relations; next to these was
the soldiery, distinguished according to their several countries
and denominations; and they were put into the following order:
First of all went his guards, then the band of Thracians, and
after them the Germans; and next the band of Galatians, every one
in their habiliments of war; and behind these marched the whole
army in the same manner as they used to go out to war, and as
they used to be put in array by their muster-masters and
centurions; these were followed by five hundred of his domestics
carrying spices. So they went eight furlongs (12) to Herodium;
for there by his own command he was to be buried. And thus did
Herod end his life.

4. Now Archelaus paid him so much respect, as to continue his
mourning till the seventh day; for so many days are appointed for
it by the law of our fathers. And when he had given a treat to
the multitude, and left off his motoring, he went up into the
temple; he had also acclamations and praises given him, which way
soever he went, every one striving with the rest who should
appear to use the loudest acclamations. So he ascended a high
elevation made for him, and took his seat, in a throne made of
gold, and spake kindly to the multitude, and declared with what
joy he received their acclamations, and the marks of the
good-will they showed to him; and returned them thanks that they
did not remember the injuries his father had done them to his
disadvantage; and promised them he would endeavor not to be
behindhand with them in rewarding their alacrity in his service,
after a suitable manner; but that he should abstain at present
from the name of king, and that he should have the honor of that
dignity, if Caesar should confirm and settle that testament which
his father had made; and that it was on this account, that when
the army would have put the diadem on him at Jericho, he would
not accept of that honor, which is usually so much desired,
because it was not yet evident that he who was to be principally
concerned in bestowing it would give it him; although, by his
acceptance of the government, he should not want the ability of
rewarding their kindness to him and that it should be his
endeavor, as to all things wherein they were concerned, to prove
in every respect better than his father. Whereupon the multitude,
as it is usual with them, supposed that the first days of those
that enter upon such governments declare the intentions of those
that accept them; and so by how much Archelaus spake the more
gently and civilly to them, by so much did they more highly
commend him, and made application to him for the grant of what
they desired. Some made a clamor that he would ease them of some
of their annual payments; but others desired him to release those
that were put into prison by Herod, who were many, and had been
put there at several times; others of them required that he would
take away those taxes which had been severely laid upon what was
publicly sold and bought. So Archelaus contradicted them in
nothing, since he pretended to do all things so as to get the
good-will of the multitude to him, as looking upon that good-will
to be a great step towards his preservation of the government.
Hereupon he went and offered sacrifice to God, and then betook
himself to feast with his friends.


How The People Raised A Sedition Against Archelaus, And How He
Sailed To Rome.

1. At this time also it was that some of the Jews got together
out of a desire of innovation. They lamented Matthias, and those
that were slain with him by Herod, who had not any respect paid
them by a funeral mourning, out of the fear men were in of that
man; they were those who had been condemned for pulling down the
golden eagle. The people made a great clamor and lamentation
hereupon, and cast out some reproaches against the king also, as
if that tended to alleviate the miseries of the deceased. The
people assembled together, and desired of Archelaus, that, in way
of revenge on their account, he would inflict punishment on those
who had been honored by Herod; and that, in the first and
principal place, he would deprive that high priest whom Herod had
made, and would choose one more agreeable to the law, and of
greater purity, to officiate as high priest. This was granted by
Archelaus, although he was mightily offended at their
importunity, because he proposed to himself to go to Rome
immediately to look after Caesar's determination about him.
However, he sent the general of his forces to use persuasions,
and to tell them that the death which was inflicted on their
friends was according to the law; and to represent to them that
their petitions about these things were carried to a great height
of injury to him; that the time was not now proper for such
petitions, but required their unanimity until such time as he
should be established in the government by the consent of Caesar,
and should then be come back to them; for that he would then
consult with them in common concerning the purport of their
petitions; but that they ought at present to be quiet, lest they
should seem seditious persons.

2. So when the king had suggested these things, and instructed
his general in what he was to say, be sent him away to the
people; but they made a clamor, and would not give him leave to
speak, and put him in danger of his life, and as many more as
were desirous to venture upon saying openly any thing which might
reduce them to a sober mind, and prevent their going on in their
present courses, because they had more concern to have all their
own wills performed than to yield obedience to their governors;
thinking it to be a thing insufferable, that, while Herod was
alive, they should lose those that were most dear to them, and
that when he was dead, they could not get the actors to be
punished. So they went on with their designs after a violent
manner, and thought all to be lawful and right which tended to
please them, and being unskillful in foreseeing what dangers they
incurred; and when they had suspicion of such a thing, yet did
the present pleasure they took in the punishment of those they
deemed their enemies overweigh all such considerations; and
although Archelaus sent many to speak to them, yet they treated
them not as messengers sent by him, but as persons that came of
their own accord to mitigate their anger, and would not let one
of them speak. The sedition also was made by such as were in a
great passion; and it was evident that they were proceeding
further in seditious practices, by the multitude running so fast
upon them.

3. Now, upon the approach of that feast of unleavened bread,
which the law of their fathers had appointed for the Jews at this
time, which feast is called the Passover (13) and is a memorial
of their deliverance out of Egypt, when they offer sacrifices
with great alacrity; and when they are required to slay more
sacrifices in number than at any other festival; and when an
innumerable multitude came thither out of the country, nay, from
beyond its limits also, in order to worship God, the seditious
lamented Judas and Matthias, those teachers of the laws, and kept
together in the temple, and had plenty of food, because these
seditious persons were not ashamed to beg it. And as Archelaus
was afraid lest some terrible thing should spring up by means of
these men's madness, he sent a regiment of armed men, and with
them a captain of a thousand, to suppress the violent efforts of
the seditious before the whole multitude should be infected with
the like madness; and gave them this charge, that if they found
any much more openly seditious than others, and more busy in
tumultuous practices, they should bring them to him. But those
that were seditious on account of those teachers of the law,
irritated the people by the noise and clamors they used to
encourage the people in their designs; so they made an assault
upon the soldiers, and came up to them, and stoned the greatest
part of them, although some of them ran away wounded, and their
captain among them; and when they had thus done, they returned to
the sacrifices which were already in their hands. Now Archelaus
thought there was no way to preserve the entire government but by
cutting off those who made this attempt upon it; so he sent out
the whole army upon them, and sent the horsemen to prevent those
that had their tents without the temple from assisting those that
were within the temple, and to kill such as ran away from the
footmen when they thought themselves out of danger; which
horsemen slew three thousand men, while the rest went to the
neighboring mountains. Then did Archelaus order proclamation to
be made to them all, that they should retire to their own homes;
so they went away, and left the festival, out of fear of somewhat
worse which would follow, although they had been so bold by
reason of their want of instruction. So Archelaus went down to
the sea with his mother, and took with him Nicolaus and Ptolemy,
and many others of his friends, and left Philip his brother as
governor of all things belonging both to his own family and to
the public. There went out also with him Salome, Herod's sister
who took with her, her children, and many of her kindred were
with her; which kindred of hers went, as they pretended, to
assist Archelaus in gaining the kingdom, but in reality to oppose
him, and chiefly to make loud complaints of what he had done in
the temple. But Sabinus, Caesar's steward for Syrian affairs, as
he was making haste into Judea to preserve Herod's effects, met
with Archclaus at Caesarea; but Varus (president of Syria) came
at that time, and restrained him from meddling with them, for he
was there as sent for by Archceaus, by the means of Ptolemy. And
Sabinus, out of regard to Varus, did neither seize upon any of
the castles that were among the Jews, nor did he seal up the
treasures in them, but permitted Archelaus to have them, until
Caesar should declare his resolution about them; so that, upon
this his promise, he tarried still at Cesarea. But after
Archelaus was sailed for Rome, and Varus was removed to Antioch,
Sabinus went to Jerusalem, and seized on the king's palace. He
also sent for the keepers of the garrisons, and for all those
that had the charge of Herod's effects, and declared publicly
that he should require them to give an account of what they had;
and he disposed of the castles in the manner he pleased; but
those who kept them did not neglect what Archelaus had given them
in command, but continued to keep all things in the manner that
had been enjoined them; and their pretense was, that they kept
them all for Caesar,

4. At the same time also did Antipas, another of Herod's sons,
sail to Rome, in order to gain the government; being buoyed up by
Salome with promises that he should take that government; and
that he was a much honester and fitter man than Archelaus for
that authority, since Herod had, in his former testament, deemed
him the worthiest to be made king, which ought to be esteemed
more valid than his latter testament. Antipas also brought with
him his mother, and Ptolemy the brother of Nicolaus, one that had
been Herod's most honored friend, and was now zealous for
Antipas; but it was Ireneus the orator, and one who, on account
of his reputation for sagacity, was intrusted with the affairs of
the kingdom, who most of all encouraged him to attempt to gain
the kingdom; by whose means it was, that when some advised him to
yield to Archelaus, as to his elder brother, and who had been
declared king by their father's last will, he would not submit so
to do. And when he was come to Rome, all his relations revolted
to him; not out of their good-will to him, but out of their
hatred to Archelaus; though indeed they were most of all desirous
of gaining their liberty, and to be put under a Roman governor;
but if there were too great an opposition made to that, they
thought Antipas preferable to Archelaus, and so joined with him,
in order to procure the kingdom for him. Sabinus also, by
letters, accused Archelaus to Caesar.

5. Now when Archelaus had sent in his papers to Caesar, wherein
he pleaded his right to. the kingdom, and his father's testament,
with the accounts of Herod's money, and with Ptolemy, who brought
Herod's seal, he so expected the event; but when Caesar had read
these papers, and Varus's and Sabinus's letters, with the
accounts of the money, and what were the annual incomes of the
kingdom, and understood that Antipas had also sent letters to lay
claim to the kingdom, he summoned his friends together, to know
their opinions, and with them Caius, the son of Agrippa, and of
Julia his daughter, whom he had adopted, and took him, and made
him sit first of all, and desired such as pleased to speak their
minds about the affairs now before them. Now Antipater, Salome's
son, a very subtle orator, and a bitter enemy to Archelaus, spake
first to this purpose: That it was ridiculous in Archelaus to
plead now to have the kingdom given him, since he had, in
reality, taken already the power over it to himself, before
Caesar had granted it to him; and appealed to those bold actions
of his, in destroying so many at the Jewish festival; and if the
men had acted unjustly, it was but fit the punishing of them
should have been reserved to those that were out of the country,
but had the power to punish them, and not been executed by a man
that, if he pretended to be a king, he did an injury to Caesar,
by usurping that authority before it was determined for him by
Caesar; but if he owned himself to be a private person, his case
was much worse, since he who was putting in for the kingdom could
by no means expect to have that power granted him, of which he
had already deprived Caesar [by taking it to himself]. He also
touched sharply upon him, and appealed to his changing the
commanders in the army, and his sitting in the royal throne
beforehand, and his determination of law-suits; all done as if he
were no other than a king. He appealed also to his concessions to
those that petitioned him on a public account, and indeed doing
such things, than which he could devise no greater if he had been
already settled in the kingdom by Caesar. He also ascribed to him
the releasing of the prisoners that were in the hippodrome, and
many other things, that either had been certainly done by him, or
were believed to be done, and easily might be believed to have
been done, because they were of such a nature as to be usually
done by young men, and by such as, out of a desire of ruling,
seize upon the government too soon. He also charged him with his
neglect of the funeral mourning for his father, and with having
merry meetings the very night in which he died; and that it was
thence the multitude took the handle of raising a tumult: and if
Archelaus could thus requite his dead father, who had bestowed
such benefits upon him, and bequeathed such great things to him,
by pretending to shed tears for him in the day time, like an
actor on the stage, but every night making mirth for having
gotten the government, he would appear to be the same Archelaus
with regard to Caesar, if he granted him the kingdom, which he
hath been to his father; since he had then dancing and singing,
as though an enemy of his were fallen, and not as though a man
were carried to his funeral, that was so nearly related, and had
been so great a benefactor to him. But he said that the greatest
crime of all was this, that he came now before Caesar to obtain
the government by his grant, while he had before acted in all
things as he could have acted if Caesar himself, who ruled all,
had fixed him firmly in the government. And what he most
aggravated in his pleading was the slaughter of those about the
temple, and the impiety of it, as done at the festival; and how
they were slain like sacrifices themselves, some of whom were
foreigners, and others of their own country, till the temple was
full of dead bodies: and all this was done, not by an alien, but
by one who pretended to the lawful title of a king, that he might
complete the wicked tyranny which his nature prompted him to, and
which is hated by all men. On which account his father never so
much as dreamed of making him his successor in the kingdom, when
he was of a sound mind, because he knew his disposition; and in
his former and more authentic testament, he appointed his
antagonist Antipas to succeed; but that Archelaus was called by
his father to that dignity when he was in a dying condition, both
of body and mind; while Antipas was called when he was ripest in
his judgment, and of such strength of body as made him capable of
managing his own affairs: and if his father had the like notion
of him formerly that he hath now showed, yet hath he given a
sufficient specimen what a king he is likely to be, when he hath
[in effect] deprived Caesar of that power of disposing of the
kingdom, which he justly hath, and hath not abstained from making
a terrible slaughter of his fellow citizens in the temple, while
lie was but a private person.

6. So when Antipater had made this speech, and had confirmed what
he had said by producing many witnesses from among Archelaus's
own relations, he made an end of his pleading. Upon which
Nicolaus arose up to plead for Archelaus, and said, "That what
had been done at the temple was rather to be attributed to the
mind of those that had been killed, than to the authority of
Archelaus; for that those who were the authors of such things are
not only wicked in the injuries they do of themselves, but in
forcing sober persons to avenge themselves upon them. Now it is
evident that what these did in way of opposition was done under
pretense, indeed, against Archelaus, but in reality against
Caesar himself, for they, after an injurious manner, attacked and
slew those who were sent by Archelaus, and who came only to put a
stop to their doings. They had no regard, either to God or to the
festival, whom Antipater yet is not ashamed to patronize, whether
it be out of his indulgence of an enmity to Archelaus, or out of
his hatred of virtue and justice. For as to those who begin such
tumults, and first set about such unrighteous actions, they are
the men who force those that punish them to betake themselves to
arms even against their will. So that Antipater in effect
ascribes the rest of what was done to all those who were of
counsel to the accusers; for nothing which is here accused of
injustice has been done but what was derived from them as its
authors; nor are those things evil in themselves, but so
represented only in order to do harm to Archelaus. Such is these
men's inclination to do an injury to a man that is of their
kindred, their father's benefactor, and familiarity acquainted
with them, and that hath ever lived in friendship with them; for
that, as to this testament, it was made by the king when he was
of a sound mind, and so ought to be of more authority than his
former testament; and that for this reason, because Caesar is
therein left to be the judge and disposer of all therein
contained; and for Caesar, he will not, to be sure, at all
imitate the unjust proceedings of those men, who, during Herod's
whole life, had on all occasions been joint partakers of power
with him, and yet do zealously endeavor to injure his
determination, while they have not themselves had the same regard
to their kinsman [which Archelaus had]. Caesar will not therefore
disannul the testament of a man whom he had entirely supported,
of his friend and confederate, and that which is committed to him
in trust to ratify; nor will Caesar's virtuous and upright
disposition, which is known and uncontested through all the
habitable world, imitate the wickedness of these men in
condemning a king as a madman, and as having lost his reason,
while he hath bequeathed the succession to a good son of his, and
to one who flies to Caesar's upright determination for refuge.
Nor can Herod at any time have been mistaken in his judgment
about a successor, while he showed so much prudence as to submit
all to Caesar's determination."

7. Now when Nicolaus had laid these things before Caesar, he

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