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The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

Part 21 out of 26

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he heard of Tiberius's death, came running to tell Agrippa the
news; and finding him going out to the bath, he gave him a nod,
and said, in the Hebrew tongue, "The lion (26) is dead;" who,
understanding his meaning, and being ovejoyed at the news, "Nay,"
said he, "but all sorts of thanks and happiness attend thee for
this news of thine; only I wish that what thou sayest may prove
true." Now the centurion who was set to keep Agrippa, when he saw
with what haste Marsyas came, and what joy Agrippa had from what
he said, he had a suspicion that his words implied some great
innovation of affairs, and he asked them about what was said.
They at first diverted the discourse; but upon his further
pressing, Agrippa, without more ado, told him, for he was already
become his friend; so he joined with him in that pleasure which
this news occasioned, because it would be fortunate to Agrippa,
and made him a supper. But as they were feasting, and the cups
went about, there came one who said that Tiberius was still
alive, and would return to the city ill a few days. At which news
the centurion was exceedingly troubled, because he had done what
might cost him his life, to have treated so joyfully a prisoner,
and this upon the news of the death of Caesar; so he thrust
Agrippa from the couch whereon he lay, and said, "Dost thou think
to cheat me by a lie about the emperor without punishment? and
shalt not thou pay for this thy malicious report at the price of
thine head?" When he had so said, he ordered Agrippa to be bound
again, (for he had loosed him before,) and kept a severer guard
over him than formerly, and in that evil condition was Agrippa
that night; but the next day the rumor increased in the city, and
confirmed the news that Tiberius was certainly dead; insomuch
that men durst now openly and freely talk about it; nay, some
offered sacrifices on that account. Several letters also came
from Caius; one of them to the senate, which informed them of the
death of Tiberius, and of his own entrance on the government;
another to Piso, the governor of the city, which told him the
same thing. He also gave order that Agrippa should be removed out
of the camp, and go to that house where he lived before he was
put in prison; so that he was now out of fear as to his own
affairs; for although he was still in custody, yet it was now
with ease to his own affairs. Now, as soon as Caius was come to
Rome, and had brought Tiberius's dead body with him, and had made
a sumptuous funeral for him, according to the laws of his
country, he was much disposed to set Agrippa at liberty that very
day; but Antonia hindered him, not out of any ill-will to the
prisoner, but out of regard to decency in Caius, lest that should
make men believe that he received the death of Tiberius with
pleasure, when he loosed one whom he had bound immediately.
However, there did not many days pass ere he sent for him to his
house, and had him shaved, and made him change his raiment; after
which he put a diadem upon his head, and appointed him to be king
of the tetrarchy of Philip. He also gave him the tetrarchy of
Lysanias, (27) and changed his iron chain for a golden one of
equal weight. He also sent Marullus to be procurator of Judea.

11. Now, in the second year of the reign of Caius Caesar, Agrippa
desired leave to be given him to sail home, and settle the
affairs of his government; and he promised to return again, when
he had put the rest in order, as it ought to be put. So, upon the
emperor's permission, he came into his own country, and appeared
to them all unexpectedly as asking, and thereby demonstrated to
the men that saw him the power of fortune, when they compared his
former poverty with his present happy affluence; so some called
him a happy man, and others could not well believe that things
were so much changed with him for the better.


How Herod The Tetrarch Was Banished.

1. But Herodias, Agrippa's sister, who now lived as wife to that
Herod who was tetrarch of Galilee and Peres, took this authority
of her brother in an envious manner, particularly when she saw
that he had a greater dignity bestowed on him than her husband
had; since, when he ran away, it was because he was not able to
pay his debts; and now he was come back, he was in a way of
dignity, and of great good fortune. She was therefore grieved and
much displeased at so great a mutation of his affairs; and
chiefly when she saw him marching among the multitude with the
usual ensigns of royal authority, she was not able to conceal how
miserable she was, by reason of the envy she had towards him; but
she excited her husband, and desired him that he would sail to
Rome, to court honors equal to his; for she said that she could
not bear to live any longer, while Agrippa, the son of that
Aristobulus who was condemned to die by his father, one that came
to her husband in such extreme poverty, that the necessaries of
life were forced to be entirely supplied him day by day; and when
he fled away from his creditors by sea, he now returned a king;
while he was himself the son of a king, and while the near
relation he bare to royal authority called upon him to gain the
like dignity, he sat still, and was contented with a privater
life. "But then, Herod, although thou wast formerly not concerned
to be in a lower condition than thy father from whom thou wast
derived had been, yet do thou now seek after the dignity which
thy kinsman hath attained to; and do not thou bear this contempt,
that a man who admired thy riches should he in greater honor than
thyself, nor suffer his poverty to show itself able to purchase
greater things than our abundance; nor do thou esteem it other
than a shameful thing to be inferior to one who, the other day,
lived upon thy charity. But let us go to Rome, and let us spare
no pains nor expenses, either of silver or gold, since they
cannot be kept for any better use than for the obtaining of a

2. But for Herod, he opposed her request at this time, out of the
love of ease, and having a suspicion of the trouble he should
have at Rome; so he tried to instruct her better. But the more
she saw him draw back, the more she pressed him to it, and
desired him to leave no stone unturned in order to be king; and
at last she left not off till she engaged him, whether he would
or not, to be of her sentiments, because he could no otherwise
avoid her importunity. So he got all things ready, after as
sumptuous a manner as he was able, and spared for nothing, and
went up to Rome, and took Herodias along with him. But Agrippa,
when he was made sensible of their intentions and preparations,
he also prepared to go thither; and as soon as he heard they set
sail, he sent Fortunatus, one of his freed-men, to Rome, to carry
presents to the emperor, and letters against Herod, and to give
Caius a particular account of those matters, if he should have
any opportunity. This man followed Herod so quick, and had so
prosperous a voyage, and came so little after Herod, that while
Herod was with Caius, he came himself, and delivered his letters;
for they both sailed to Dicearchia, and found Caius at Bairn,
which is itself a little city of Campania, at the distance of
about five furlongs from Dicearchia. There are in that place
royal palaces, with sumptuous apartments, every emperor still
endeavoring to outdo his predecessor's magnificence; the place
,also affords warm baths, that spring out of the ground of their
own accord, which are of advantage for the recovery of the health
of those that make use of them; and, besides, they minister to
men's luxury also. Now Caius saluted Herod, for he first met with
him, and then looked upon the letters which Agrippa had sent him,
and which were written in order to accuse Herod; wherein he
accused him, that he had been in confederacy with Sejanus against
Tiberius's and that he was now confederate with Artabanus, the
king of Parthia, in opposition to the government of Caius; as a
demonstration of which he alleged, that he had armor sufficient
for seventy thousand men ready in his armory. Caius was moved at
this information, and asked Herod whether what was said about the
armor was true; and when he confessed there was such armor there,
for he could not deny the same, the truth of it being too
notorious, Caius took that to be a sufficient proof of the
accusation, that he intended to revolt. So he took away from him
his tetrarchy, and gave it by way of addition to Agrippa's
kingdom; he also gave Herod's money to Agrippa, and, by way of
punishment, awarded him a perpetual banishment, and appointed
Lyons, a city of Gaul, to be his place of habitation. But when he
was informed that Herodias was Agrippa's sister, he made her a
present of what money was her own, and told her that it was her
brother who prevented her being put under the same calamity with
her husband. But she made this reply: "Thou, indeed, O emperor!
actest after a magnificent manner, and as becomes thyself in what
thou offerest me; but the kindness which I have for my husband
hinders me from partaking of the favor of thy gift; for it is not
just that I, who have been made a partner in his prosperity,
should forsake him in his misfortunes." Hereupon Caius was angry
at her, and sent her with Herod into banishment, and gave her
estate to Agrippa. And thus did God punish Herodias for her envy
at her brother, and Herod also for giving ear to the vain
discourses of a woman. Now Caius managed public affairs with
great magnanimity during the first and second year of his reign,
and behaved himself with such moderation, that he gained the
good-will of the Romans themselves, and of his other subjects.
But, in process of time, he went beyond the bounds of human
nature in his conceit of himself, and by reason of the vastness
of his dominions made himself a god, and took upon himself to act
in all things to the reproach of the Deity itself.


Concerning The Embassage Of The Jews To Caius; (28) And How Caius
Sent Petronius Into Syria To Make War Against The Jews, Unless
They Would Receive His Statue.

1. There was now a tumult arisen at Alexandria, between the
Jewish inhabitants and the Greeks; and three ambassadors were
chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to
Caius. Now one of these ambassadors from the people of Alexandria
was Apion, (29) who uttered many blasphemies against the Jews;
and, among other things that he said, he charged them with
neglecting the honors that belonged to Caesar; for that while all
who were subject to the Roman empire built altars and temples to
Caius, and in other regards universally received him as they
received the gods, these Jews alone thought it a dishonorable
thing for them to erect statues in honor of him, as well as to
swear by his name. Many of these severe things were said by
Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Caius to anger at the Jews,
as he was likely to be. But Philo, the principal of the Jewish
embassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alexander
the alabarch, (30) and one not unskillful in philosophy, was
ready to betake himself to make his defense against those
accusations; but Caius prohibited him, and bid him begone; he was
also in such a rage, that it openly appeared he was about to do
them some very great mischief. So Philo being thus affronted,
went out, and said to those Jews who were about him, that they
should be of good courage, since Caius's words indeed showed
anger at them, but in reality had already set God against

2. Hereupon Caius, taking it very heinously that he should be
thus despised by the Jews alone, sent Petronius to be president
of Syria, and successor in the government to Vitellius, and gave
him order to make an invasion into Judea, with a great body of
troops; and if they would admit of his statue willingly, to erect
it in the temple of God; but if they were obstinate, to conquer
them by war, and then to do it. Accordingly, Petronius took the
government of Syria, and made haste to obey Caesar's epistle. He
got together as great a number of auxiliaries as he possibly
could, and took with him two legions of the Roman army, and came
to Ptolemais, and there wintered, as intending to set about the
war in the spring. He also wrote word to Caius what he had
resolved to do, who commended him for his alacrity, and ordered
him to go on, and to make war with them, in case they would not
obey his commands. But there came many ten thousands of the Jews
to Petronius, to Ptolemais, to offer their petitions to him, that
he would not compel them to transgress and violate the law of
their forefathers; "but if," said they, "thou art entirely
resolved to bring this statue, and erect it, do thou first kill
us, and then do what thou hast resolved on; for while we are
alive we cannot permit such things as are forbidden us to be done
by the authority of our legislator, and by our forefathers'
determination that such prohibitions are instances of virtue."
But Petronius was angry at them, and said, "If indeed I were
myself emperor, and were at liberty to follow my own inclination,
and then had designed to act thus, these your words would be
justly spoken to me; but now Caesar hath sent to me, I am under
the necessity of being subservient to his decrees, because a
disobedience to them will bring upon me inevitable destruction."
Then the Jews replied, "Since, therefore, thou art so disposed, O
Petronius! that thou wilt not disobey Caius's epistles, neither
will we transgress the commands of our law; and as we depend upon
the excellency of our laws, and, by the labors of our ancestors,
have continued hitherto without suffering them to be
transgressed, we dare not by any means suffer ourselves to be so
timorous as to transgress those laws out of the fear of death,
which God hath determined are for our advantage; and if we fall
into misfortunes, we will bear them, in order to preserve our
laws, as knowing that those who expose themselves to dangers have
good hope of escaping them, because God will stand on our side,
when, out of regard to him, we undergo afflictions, and sustain
the uncertain turns of fortune. But if we should submit to thee,
we should be greatly reproached for our cowardice, as thereby
showing ourselves ready to transgress our law; and we should
incur the great anger of God also, who, even thyself being judge,
is superior to Caius."

3. When Petronius saw by their words that their determination was
hard to be removed, and that, without a war, he should not be
able to be subservient to Caius in the dedication of his statue,
and that there must be a great deal of bloodshed, he took his
friends, and the servants that were about him, and hasted to
Tiberias, as wanting to know in what posture the affairs of the
Jews were; and many ten thousands of the Jews met Petronius
again, when he was come to Tiberias. These thought they must run
a mighty hazard if they should have a war with the Romans, but
judged that the transgression of the law was of much greater
consequence, and made supplication to him, that he would by no
means reduce them to such distresses, nor defile their city with
the dedication of the statue. Then Petronius said to them, "Will
you then make war with Caesar, without considering his great
preparations for war, and your own weakness?" They replied, "We
will not by any means make war with him, but still we will die
before we see our laws transgressed." So they threw themselves
down upon their faces, and stretched out their throats, and said
they were ready to be slain; and this they did for forty days
together, and in the mean time left off the tilling of their
ground, and that while the season of the year required them to
sow it. (31) Thus they continued firm in their resolution, and
proposed to themselves to die willingly, rather than to see the
dedication of the statue.

4. When matters were in this state, Aristobulus, king Agrippa's
brother, and Heleias the Great, and the other principal men of
that family with them, went in unto Petronius, and besought him,
that since he saw the resolution of the multitude, he would not
make any alteration, and thereby drive them to despair; but would
write to Caius, that the Jews had an insuperable aversion to the
reception of the statue, and how they continued with him, and
left of the tillage off their ground: that they were not willing
to go to war with him, because they were not able to do it, but
were ready to die with pleasure, rather than suffer their laws to
be transgressed: and how, upon the land's continuing unsown,
robberies would grow up, on the inability they would be under of
paying their tributes; and that Caius might be thereby moved to
pity, and not order any barbarous action to be done to them, nor
think of destroying the nation: that if he continues inflexible
in his former opinion to bring a war upon them, he may then set
about it himself. And thus did Aristobulus, and the rest with
him, supplicate Petronius. So Petronius, (32) partly on account
of the pressing instances which Aristobulus and the rest with him
made, and because of the great consequence of what they desired,
and the earnestness wherewith they made their supplication, -
partly on account of the firmness of the opposition made by the
Jews, which he saw, while he thought it a terrible thing for him
to be such a slave to the madness of Caius, as to slay so many
ten thousand men, only because of their religious disposition
towards God, and after that to pass his life in expectation of
punishment; Petronius, I say, thought it much better to send to
Caius, and to let him know how intolerable it was to him to bear
the anger he might have against him for not serving him sooner,
in obedience to his epistle, for that perhaps he might persuade
him; and that if this mad resolution continued, he might then
begin the war against them; nay, that in case he should turn his
hatred against himself, it was fit for virtuous persons even to
die for the sake of such vast multitudes of men. Accordingly, he
determined to hearken to the petitioners in this matter.

5. He then called the Jews together to Tiberias, who came many
ten thousands in number; he also placed that army he now had with
him opposite to them; but did not discover his own meaning, but
the commands of the emperor, and told them that his wrath would,
without delay, be executed on such as had the courage to disobey
what he had commanded, and this immediately; and that it was fit
for him, who had obtained so great a dignity by his grant, not to
contradict him in any thing: - "yet," said he, "I do not think it
just to have such a regard to my own safety and honor, as to
refuse to sacrifice them for your preservation, who are so many
in number, and endeavor to preserve the regard that is due to
your law; which as it hath come down to you from your
forefathers, so do you esteem it worthy of your utmost contention
to preserve it: nor, with the supreme assistance and power of
God, will I be so hardy as to suffer your temple to fall into
contempt by the means of the imperial authority. I will,
therefore, send to Caius, and let him know what your resolutions
are, and will assist your suit as far as I am able, that you may
not be exposed to suffer on account of the honest designs you
have proposed to yourselves; and may God be your assistant, for
his authority is beyond all the contrivance and power of men; and
may he procure you the preservation of your ancient laws, and may
not he be deprived, though without your consent, of his
accustomed honors. But if Caius be irritated, and turn the
violence of his rage upon me, I will rather undergo all that
danger and that affliction that may come either on my body or my
soul, than see so many of you to perish, while you are acting in
so excellent a manner. Do you, therefore, every one of you, go
your way about your own occupations, and fall to the cultivation
of your ground; I will myself send to Rome, and will not refuse
to serve you in all things, both by myself and by my friends."

6. When Petronius had said this, and had dismissed rite assembly
of the Jews, he desired the principal of them to take care of
their husbandry, and to speak kindly to the people, and encourage
them to have good hope of their affairs. Thus did he readily
bring the multitude to be cheerful again. And now did God show
his presence to Petronius, and signify to him that he would
afford him his assistance in his whole design; for he had no
sooner finished the speech that he made to the Jews, but God sent
down great showers of rain, contrary to human expectation; (33)
for that day was a clear day, and gave no sign, by the appearance
of the sky, of any rain; nay, the whole year had been subject to
a great drought, and made men despair of any water from above,
even when at any time they saw the heavens overcast with clouds;
insomuch that when such a great quantity of rain came, and that
in an unusual manner, and without any other expectation of it,
the Jews hoped that Petronius would by no means fail in his
petition for them. But as to Petronius, he was mightily surprised
when he perceived that God evidently took care of the Jews, and
gave very plain signs of his appearance, and this to such a
degree, that those that were in earnest much inclined to the
contrary had no power left to contradict it. This was also among
those other particulars which he wrote to Caius, which all tended
to dissuade him, and by all means to entreat him not to make so
many ten thousands of these men go distracted; whom, if he should
slay, (for without war they would by no means suffer the laws of
their worship to be set aside,) he would lose the revenue they
paid him, and would be publicly cursed by them for all future
ages. Moreover, that God, who was their Governor, had shown his
power most evidently on their account, and that such a power of
his as left no room for doubt about it. And this was the business
that Petronius was now engaged in.

7. But king Agrippa, who now lived at Rome, was more and more in
the favor of Caius; and when he had once made him a supper, and
was careful to exceed all others, both in expenses and in such
preparations as might contribute most to his pleasure; nay, it
was so far from the ability of others, that Caius himself could
never equal, much less exceed it (such care had he taken
beforehand to exceed all men, and particularly. to make all
agreeable to Caesar); hereupon Caius admired his understanding
and magnificence, that he should force himself to do all to
please him, even beyond such expenses as he could bear, and was
desirous not to be behind Agrippa in that generosity which he
exerted in order to please him. So Caius, when he had drank wine
plentifully, and was merrier than ordinary, said thus during the
feast, when Agrippa had drunk to him: "I knew before now how
great a respect thou hast had for me, and how great kindness thou
hast shown me, though with those hazards to thyself, which thou
underwentest under Tiberius on that account; nor hast thou
omitted any thing to show thy good-will towards us, even beyond
thy ability; whence it would be a base thing for me to be
conquered by thy affection. I am therefore desirous to make thee
amends for every thing in which I have been formerly deficient;
for all that I have bestowed on thee, that may be called my
gifts, is but little. Everything that may contribute to thy
happiness shall be at thy service, and that cheerfully, and so
far as my ability will reach." (34) And this was what Caius said
to Agrippa, thinking be would ask for some large country, or the
revenues of certain cities. But although he had prepared
beforehand what he would ask, yet had he not discovered his
intentions, but made this answer to Caius immediately: That it
was not out of any expectation of gain that he formerly paid his
respects to him, contrary to the commands of Tiberius, nor did he
now do any thing relating to him out of regard to his own
advantage, and in order to receive any thing from him; that the
gifts he had already bestowed upon him were great, and beyond the
hopes of even a craving man; for although they may be beneath thy
power, [who art the donor,] yet are they greater than my
inclination and dignity, who am the receiver. And as Caius was
astonished at Agrippa's inclinations, and still the more pressed
him to make his request for somewhat which he might gratify him
with, Agrippa replied, "Since thou, O my lord! declarest such is
thy readiness to grant, that I am worthy of thy gifts, I will ask
nothing relating to my own felicity; for what thou hast already
bestowed on me has made me excel therein; but I desire somewhat
which may make thee glorious for piety, and render the Divinity
assistant to thy designs, and may be for an honor to me among
those that inquire about it, as showing that I never once fail of
obtaining what I desire of thee; for my petition is this, that
thou wilt no longer think of the dedication of that statue which
thou hast ordered to be set up in the Jewish temple by

8. And thus did Agrippa venture to cast the die upon this
occasion, so great was the affair in his opinion, and in reality,
though he knew how dangerous a thing it was so to speak; for had
not Caius approved of it, it had tended to no less than the loss
of his life. So Caius, who was mightily taken with Agrippa's
obliging behavior, and on other accounts thinking it a
dishonorable thing to be guilty of falsehood before so many
witnesses, in points wherein he had with such alacrity forced
Agrippa to become a petitioner, and that it would look as if he
had already repented of what he had said, and because he greatly
admired Agrippa's virtue, in not desiring him at all to augment
his own dominions, either with larger revenues, or other
authority, but took care of the public tranquillity, of the laws,
and of the Divinity itself, he granted him what he had requested.
He also wrote thus to Petronius, commending him for his
assembling his army, and then consulting him about these affairs.
"If therefore," said' he," thou hast already erected my statue,
let it stand; but if thou hast not yet dedicated it, do not
trouble thyself further about it, but dismiss thy army, go back,
and take care of those affairs which I sent thee about at first,
for I have now no occasion for the erection of that statue. This
I have granted as a favor to Agrippa, a man whom I honor so very
greatly, that I am not able to contradict what he would have, or
what he desired me to do for him." And this was what Caius wrote
to Petronius, which was before he received his letter, informing
him that the Jews were very ready to revolt about the statue, and
that they seemed resolved to threaten war against the Romans, and
nothing else. When therefore Caius was much displeased that any
attempt should be made against his government as he was a slave
to base and vicious actions on all occasions, and had no regard
to What was virtuous and honorable, and against whomsoever he
resolved to show his anger, and that for any cause whatsoever, he
suffered not himself to be restrained by any admonition, but
thought the indulging his anger to be a real pleasure, he wrote
thus to Petronius: "Seeing thou esteemest the presents made thee
by the Jews to be of greater value than my commands, and art
grown insolent enough to be subservient to their pleasure, I
charge thee to become thy own judge, and to consider what thou
art to do, now thou art under my displeasure; for I will make
thee an example to the present and to all future ages, that they.
may not dare to contradict the commands of their emperor."

9. This was the epistle which Caius wrote to. Petronius; but
Petronius did not receive it while Caius was alive, that ship
which carried it sailing so slow, that other letters came to
Petronius before this, by which he understood that Caius was
dead; for God would not forget the dangers Petronius had
undertaken on account of the Jews, and of his own honor. But when
he had taken Caius away, out of his indignation of what he had so
insolently attempted in assuming to himself divine worship, both
Rome and all that dominion conspired with Petronius, especially
those that were of the senatorian order, to give Caius his due
reward, because he had been unmercifully severe to them; for he
died not long after he had written to Petronius that epistle
which threatened him with death. But as for the occasion of his
death, and the nature of the plot against him, I shall relate
them in the progress of this narration. Now that epistle which
informed Petronius of Caius's death came first, and a little
afterward came that which commanded him to kill himself with his
own hands. Whereupon he rejoiced at this coincidence as to the
death of Caius, and admired God's providence, who, without the
least delay, and immediately, gave him a reward for the regard he
had to the temple, and the assistance he afforded the Jews for
avoiding the dangers they were in. And by this means Petronius
escaped that danger of death, which he could not foresee.


What Befell The Jews That Were In Babylon On Occasion Of Asineus
And Anileus, Two Brethren,

1. A Very sad calamity now befell the Jews that were in
Mesopotamia, and especially those that dwelt in Babylonia.
Inferior it was to none of the calamities which had gone before,
and came together with a great slaughter of them, and that
greater than any upon record before; concerning all which I shall
speak accurately, and shall explain the occasions whence these
miseries came upon them. There was a city of Babylonia called
Neerda; not only a ver populous one, but one that had a good and
a large territory about it, and, besides its other advantages,
full of men also. It was, besides, not easily to be assaulted by
enemies, from the river Euphrates encompassing it all round, and
from the wails that were built about it. There was also the city
Nisibis, situate on the same current of the river. For which
reason the Jews, depending on the natural strength of these
places, deposited in them that half shekel which every one, by
the custom of our country, offers unto God, as well as they did
other things devoted to him; for they made use of these cities as
a treasury, whence, at a proper time, they were transmitted to
Jerusalem; and many ten thousand men undertook the carriage of
those donations, out of fear of the ravages of the Parthians, to
whom the Babylonians were then subject. Now there were two men,
Asineus and Anileus, of the city Neerda by birth, and brethren to
one another. They were destitute of a father, and their mother
put them to learn the art of weaving curtains, it not being
esteemed ,disgrace among them for men to be weavers of cloth. Now
he that taught them that art, and was set over them, complained
that they came too late to their work, and punished them with
stripes; but they took this just punishment as an affront, and
carried off all the weapons which were kept in that house, which
were not a few, and went into a certain place where was a
partition of the rivers, and was a place naturally very fit for
the feeding of cattle, and for preserving such fruits as were
usually laid up against winter. The poorest sort of the young men
also resorted to them, whom they armed with the weapons they had
gotten, and became their captains; and nothing hindered them from
being their leaders into mischief; for as soon as they were
become invincible, and had built them a citadel, they sent to
such as fed cattle, and ordered them to pay them so much tribute
out of them as might be sufficient for their maintenance,
proposing also that they would be their friends, if they would
submit to them, and that they would defend them from all their
other enemies on every side, but that they would kill the cattle
of those that refused to obey them. So they hearkened to their
proposals, (for they could do nothing else,) and sent them as
many sheep as were required of them; whereby their forces grew
greater, and they became lords over all they pleased, because
they marched suddenly, and did them a mischief, insomuch that
every body who had to do with them chose to pay them respect; and
they became formidable to such as came to assault them, till the
report about them came to the ears of the king of Parthia

2. But when the governor of Babylonia understood this, and had a
mind to put a stop to them before they grew greater, and before
greater mischiefs should arise from them, he got together as
great an army as he could, both of Parthians and Babylonians, and
marched against them, thinking to attack them and destroy them
before any one should carry them the news that he had got an army
together. He then encamped at a lake, and lay still; but on the
next day (it was the sabbath, which is among the Jews a day of
rest from all sorts of work) he supposed that the enemy would not
dare to fight him thereon, but that he would take them and carry
them away prisoners, without fighting. He therefore proceeded
gradually, and thought to fall upon them on the sudden. Now
Asineus was sitting with the rest, and their weapons lay by them;
upon which he said, "Sirs, I hear a neighing of horses; not of
such as are feeding, but such as have men on their backs; I also
hear such a noise of their bridles, that I am afraid that some
enemies are coming upon us to encompass us round. However, let
somebody go to look about, and make report of what reality there
is in the present state of things; and may what I have said prove
a false alarm." And when he had said this, some of them went out
to spy out what was the matter; and they came again immediately,
and said to him, that "neither hast thou been mistaken in telling
us what our enemies were doing, nor will those enemies permit us
to be injurious to people any longer. We are caught by their
intrigues like brute beasts, and there is a large body of cavalry
marching upon us, while we are destitute of hands to defend
ourselves withal, because we are restrained from doing it by the
prohibition of our law, which obliges us to rest [on this day]."
But Asiueus did not by any means agree with the opinion of his
spy as to what was to be done, but thought it more agreeable to
the law to pluck up their spirits in this necessity they were
fallen into, and break their law by avenging themselves, although
they should die in the action, than by doing nothing to please
their enemies in submitting to be slain by them. Accordingly, he
took up his weapons, and infused courage into those that were
with him to act as courageously as himself. So they fell upon
their enemies, and slew a great many of them, because they
despised them and came as to a certain victory, and put the rest
to flight.

3. But when the news of this fight came to the king of Parthia,
he was surprised at the boldness of these brethren, and was
desirous to see them, and speak with them. He therefore sent the
most trusty of all his guards to say thus to them: "That king
Artsbanus, although he had been unjustly treated by you, who have
made an attempt against his government, yet hath he more regard
to your courageous behavior, than to the anger he bears to you,
and hath sent me to give you his right hand (35) and security;
and he permits you to come to him safely, and without any
violence upon the road; and he wants to have you address
yourselves to him as friends, without meaning any guile or deceit
to you. He also promises to make you presents, and to pay you
those respects which will make an addition of his power to your
courage, and thereby be of advantage to you." Yet did Asineus
himself put off his journey thither, but sent his brother Anileus
with all such presents as he could procure. So he went, and was
admitted to the king's presence; and when Artabanus saw Anileus
coming alone, he inquired into the reason why Asineus avoided to
come along with him; and when he understood that he was afraid,
and staid by the lake, he took an oath, by the gods of his
country, that he would do them no harm, if they came to him upon
the assurances he gave them, and gave him his right hand. This is
of the greatest force there with all these barbarians, and
affords a firm security to those who converse with them; for none
of them will deceive you when once they have given you their
right hands, nor will any one doubt of their fidelity, when that
is once given, even though they were before suspected of
injustice. When Artabanus had done this, he sent away Anileus to
persuade his brother to come to him. Now this the king did,
because he wanted to curb his own governors of provinces by the
courage of these Jewish brethren, lest they should make a league
with them; for they were ready for a revolt, and were disposed to
rebel, had they been sent on an expedition against them. He was
also afraid, lest when he was engaged in a war, in order to
subdue those governors of provinces that had revolted, the party
of Asineus, and those in Babylonia, should be augmented, and
either make war upon him, when they should hear of that revolt,
or if they should be disappointed in that case, they would not
fail of doing further mischief to him.

4. When the king had these intentions, he sent away Anileus, and
Anileus prevailed on his brother [to come to the king], when he
had related to him the king's good-will, and the oath that he had
taken. Accordingly, they made haste to go to Artsbanus, who
received them when they were come with pleasure, and admired
Asineus's courage in the actions he had done, and this because he
was a little man to see to, and at first sight appeared
contemptible also, and such as one might deem a person of no
value at all. He also said to his friends, how, upon the
comparison, he showed his soul to be in all respects superior to
his body; and when, as they were drinking together, he once
showed Asineus to Abdagases, one of the generals of his army, and
told him his name, and described the great courage he was of in
war, and Abdagases had desired leave to kill him, and thereby to
inflict on him a punishment for those injuries he had done to the
Parthian government, the king replied, "I will never give thee
leave to kill a man who hath depended on my faith, especially not
after I have sent him my right hand, and endeavored to gain his
belief by oaths made by the gods. But if thou be a truly warlike
man, thou standest not in need of my perjury. Go thou then, and
avenge the Parthian government; attack this man, when he is
returned back, and conquer him by the forces that are under thy
command, without my privity." Hereupon the king called for
Asineus, and said to him, "It is time for thee, O thou young man!
to return home, and not provoke the indignation of my generals in
this place any further, lest they attempt to murder thee, and
that without my approbation. I commit to thee the country of
Babylonia in trust, that it may, by thy care, be preserved free
from robbers, and from other mischiefs. I have kept my faith
inviolable to thee, and that not in trifling affairs, but in
those that concerned thy safety, and do therefore deserve thou
shouldst be kind to me." When he had said this, and given Asineus
some presents, he sent him away immediately; who, when he was
come home, built fortresses, and became great in a little time,
and managed things with such courage and success, as no other
person, that had no higher a beginning, ever did before him.
Those Parthian governors also, who were sent that way, paid him
great respect; and the honor that was paid him by the Babylonians
seemed to them too small, and beneath his deserts, although he
were in no small dignity and power there; nay, indeed, all the
affairs of Mesopotamia depended upon him, and he more and more
flourished in this happy condition of his for fifteen years.

5. But as their affairs were in so flourishing a state, there
sprang up a calamity among them on the following occasion. When
once they had deviated from that course of virtue whereby they
had gained so great power, they affronted and transgressed the
laws of their forefathers, and fell under the dominion of their
lusts and pleasures. A certain Parthian, who came as general of
an army into those parts, had a wife following him, who had a
vast reputation for other accomplishments, and particularly was
admired above all other women for her beauty. Anileus, the
brother of Asineus, either heard of that her beauty from others,
or perhaps saw her himself also, and so became at once her lover
and her enemy; partly because he could not hope to enjoy this
woman but by obtaining power over her as a captive, and partly
because he thought he could not conquer his inclinations for her.
As soon therefore as her husband had been declared an enemy to
them, and was fallen in the battle, the widow of the deceased was
married to this her lover. However, this woman did not come into
their house without producing great misfortunes, both to Anileus
himself, and to Asineus also; but brought great mischiefs upon
them on the occasion following. Since she was led away captive,
upon the death of her husband, she concealed the images of those
gods which were their country gods, common to her husband and to
herself: now it was the custom (36) of that country for all to
have the idols they worship in their own houses, and to carry
them along with them when they go into a foreign land; agreeable
to which custom of theirs she carried her idols with her. Now at
first she performed her worship to them privately; but when she
was become Anileus's married wife, she worshipped them in her
accustomed manner, and with the same appointed ceremonies which
she used in her former husband's days; upon which their most
esteemed friends blamed him at first, that he did not act after
the manner of the Hebrews, nor perform what was agreeable to
their laws, in marrying a foreign wife, and one that transgressed
the accurate appointments of their sacrifices and religious
ceremonies; that he ought to consider, lest, by allowing himself
in many pleasures of the body, he might lose his principality, on
account of the beauty of a wife, and that high authority which,
by God's blessing, he had arrived at. But when they prevailed not
at all upon him, he slew one of them for whom he had the greatest
respect, because of the liberty he took with him; who, when he
was dying, out of regard to the laws, imprecated a punishment
upon his murderer Anileus, and upon Asineus also, and that all
their companions might come to a like end from their enemies;
upon the two first as the principal actors of this wickedness,
and upon the rest as those that would not assist him when he
suffered in the defense of their laws. Now these latter were
sorely grieved, yet did they tolerate these doings, because they
remembered that they had arrived at their present happy state by
no other means than their fortitude. But when they also heard of
the worship of those gods whom the Parthians adore, they thought
the injury that Anileus offered to their laws was to be borne no
longer; and a greater number of them came to Asineus, and loudly
complained of Aniteus, and told him that it had been well that he
had of himself seen what was advantageous to them; but that
however it was now high time to correct what had been done amiss,
before the crime that had been committed proved the ruin of
himself and all the rest of them. They added, that the marriage
of this woman was made without their consent, and without a
regard to their old laws; and that the worship which this woman
paid [to her gods] was a reproach to the God whom they
worshipped. Now Asineus was sensible of his brother's offense,
that it had been already the cause of great mischiefs, and would
be so for the time to come; yet did he tolerate the same from the
good-will he had to so near a relation, and forgiving it to him,
on account that his brother was quite overborne by his wicked
inclinations. But as more and more still came about him every
day, and the clamors about it became greater, he at length spake
to Anileus about these clamors, reproving him for his former
actions, and desiring him for the future to leave them off, and
send the woman back to her relations. But nothing was gained by
these reproofs; for as the woman perceived what a tumult was made
among the people on her account, and was afraid for Anileus, lest
he should come to any harm for his love to her, she infused
poison into Asineus's food, and thereby took him off, and was now
secure of prevailing, when her lover was to be judge of what
should be done about her.

6. So Anileus took the government upon himself alone, and led his
army against the villages of Mithridates, who was a man of
principal authority in Parthin, and had married king Artabanus's
daughter; he also plundered them, and among that prey was found
much money, and many slaves, as also a great number of sheep, and
many other things, which, when gained, make men's condition
happy. Now when Mithridates, who was there at this time, heard
that his villages were taken, he was very much displeased to find
that Anileus had first begun to injure him, and to affront him in
his present dignity, when he had not offered any injury to him
beforehand; and he got together the greatest body of horsemen he
was able, and those out of that number which were of an age fit
for war, and came to fight Anileus; and when he was arrived at a
certain village of his own, he lay still there, as intending to
fight him on the day following, because it was the sabbath, the
day on which the Jews rest. And when Anileus was informed of this
by a Syrian stranger of another village, who not only gave him an
exact account of other circumstances, but told him where
Mithridates would have a feast, he took his supper at a proper
time, and marched by night, with an intent of falling upon the
Parthians while they were unaprrized what they should do; so he
fell upon them about the fourth watch of the night, and some of
them he slew while they were asleep, and others he put to flight,
and took Mithridates alive, and set him naked upon an ass (37)
which, among the Parthians, is esteemed the greatest reproach
possible. And when he had brought him into a wood with such a
resolution, and his friends desired him to kill Mithridates, he
soon told them his own mind to the contrary, and said that it was
not right to kill a man who was of one of the principal families
among the Parthians, and greatly honored with matching into the
royal family; that so far as they had hitherto gone was
tolerable; for although they had injured Mithridates, yet if they
preserved his life, this benefit would be remembered by him to
the advantage of those that gave it him; but that if be were once
put to death, the king would not be at rest till he had made a
great slaughter of the Jews that dwelt at Babylon; "to whose
safety we ought to have a regard, both on account of our relation
to them, and because if any misfortune befall us, we have no
other place to retire to, since he hath gotten the flower of
their youth under him." By this thought, and this speech of his
made in council, he persuaded them to act accordingly; so
Mithridates was let go. But when he was got away, his wife
reproached him, that although he was son-in-law to the king, he
neglected to avenge himself on those that had injured him, while
he took no care about it, but was contented to have been made a
captive by the Jews, and to have escaped them; and she bid him
either to go back like a man of courage, or else she sware by the
gods of their royal family that she would certainly dissolve her
marriage with him. Upon which, partly because he could not bear
the daily trouble of her taunts, and partly because he was afraid
of her insolence, lest she should in earnest dissolve their
marriage, he unwillingly, and against his inclinations, got
together again as great an army as he could, and marched along
with them, as himself thinking it a thing not to be borne any
longer, that he, a Parthian, should owe his preservation to the
Jews, when they had been too hard for him in the war.

7. But as soon as Anileus understood that Mithridates was
marching with a great army against him, he thought it too
ignominious a thing to tarry about the lakes, and not to take the
first opportunity of meeting his enemies, and he hoped to have
the same success, and to beat their enemies as they did before;
as also he ventured boldly upon the like attempts. Accordingly,
he led out his army, and a great many more joined themselves to
that army, in order to betake themselves to plunder the people,
and in order to terrify the enemy again by their numbers. But
when they had marched ninety furlongs, while the road had been
through dry [and sandy] places, and about the midst of the day,
they were become very thirsty; and Mithridates appeared, and fell
upon them, as they were in distress for want of water, on which
account, and on account of the time of the day, they were not
able to bear their weapons. So Anileus and his men were put to an
ignominious rout, while men in despair were to attack those that
were fresh and in good plight; so a great slaughter was made, and
many ten thousand men fell. Now Anileus, and all that stood firm
about him, ran away as fast as they were able into a wood, and
afforded Mithridates the pleasure of having gained a great
victory over them. But there now came in to Anileus a conflux of
bad men, who regarded their own lives very little, if they might
but gain some present ease, insomuch that they, by thus coming to
him, compensated the multitude of those that perished in the
fight. Yet were not these men like to those that fell, because
they were rash, and unexercised in war; however, with these he
came upon the villages of the Babylonians, and a mighty
devastation of all things was made there by the injuries that
Anileus did them. So the Babylonians, and those that had already
been in the war, sent to Neerda to the Jews there, and demanded
Anileus. But although they did not agree to their demands, (for
if they had been willing to deliver him up, it was not in their
power so to do,) yet did they desire to make peace with them. To
which the other replied, that they also wanted to settle
conditions of peace with them, and sent men together with the
Babylonians, who discoursed with Anileus about them. But the
Babylonians, upon taking a view of his situation, and having
learned where Anileus and his men lay, fell secretly upon them as
they were drunk and fallen asleep, and slew all that they caught
of them, without any fear, and killed Anileus himself also.

8. The Babylonians were now freed from Anileus's heavy
incursions, which had been a great restraint to the effects of
that hatred they bore to the Jews; for they were almost always at
variance, by reason of the contrariety of their laws; and which
party soever grew boldest before the other, they assaulted the
other: and at this time in particular it was, that upon the ruin
of Anileus's party, the Babylonians attacked the Jews, which made
those Jews so, vehemently to resent the injuries they received
from the Babylonians, that being neither able to fight them, nor
bearing to live with them, they went to Seleucia, the principal
city of those parts, which was built by Seleucus Nicator. It was
inhabited by many of the Macedonians, but by more of the
Grecians; not a few of the Syrians also dwelt there; and thither
did the Jews fly, and lived there five years, without any
misfortunes. But on the sixth year, a pestilence came upon these
at Babylon, which occasioned new removals of men's habitations
out of that city; and because they came to Seleucia, it happened
that a still heavier calamity came upon them on that account
which I am going to relate immediately.

9. Now the way of living of the people of Seleucia, which were
Greeks and Syrians, was commonly quarrelsome, and full of
discords, though the Greeks were too hard for the Syrians. When,
therefore, the Jews were come thither, and dwelt among them,
there arose a sedition, and the Syrians were too hard for the
other, by the assistance of the Jews, who are men that despise
dangers, and very ready to fight upon any occasion. Now when the
Greeks had the worst in this sedition, and saw that they had but
one way of recovering their former authority, and that was, if
they could prevent the agreement between the Jews and the
Syrians, they every one discoursed with such of the Syrians as
were formerly their acquaintance, and promised they would be at
peace and friendship with them. Accordingly, they gladly agreed
so to do; and when this was done by the principal men of both
nations, they soon agreed to a reconciliation; and when they were
so agreed, they both knew that the great design of such their
union would be their common hatred to the Jews. Accordingly, they
fell upon them, and slew about fifty thousand of them; nay, the
Jews were all destroyed, excepting a few who escaped, either by
the compassion which their friends or neighbors afforded them, in
order to let them fly away. These retired to Ctesiphon, a Grecian
city, and situate near to Seleucia, where the king [of Parthia]
lives in winter every year, and where the greatest part of his
riches are reposited; but the Jews had here no certain
settlement, those of Seleucia having little concern for the
king's honor. Now the whole nation of the Jews were in fear both
of the Babylonians and of the Seleucians, because all the Syrians
that live in those places agreed with the Seleucians in the war
against the Jews; so the most of them gathered themselves
together, and went to Neerda and Nisibis, and obtained security
there by the strength of those cities; besides which their
inhabitants, who were a great many, were all warlike men. And
this was the state of the Jews at this time in Babylonia.


Containing The Interval Of Three Years And A Half.

From The Departure Out Of Babylon To Fadus, The Roman Procurator.


How Caius (1) Was Slain By Cherea.

1. Now this Caius (2) did not demonstrate his madness in offering
injuries only to the Jews at Jerusalem, or to those that dwelt in
the neighborhood; but suffered it to extend itself through all
the earth and sea, so far as was in subjection to the Romans, and
filled it with ten thousand mischiefs; so many indeed in number
as no former history relates. But Rome itself felt the most
dismal effects of what he did, while he deemed that not to be any
way more honorable than the rest of the cities; but he pulled and
hauled its other citizens, but especially the senate, and
particularly the nobility, and such as had been dignified by
illustrious ancestors; he also had ten thousand devices against
such of the equestrian order, as it was styled, who were esteemed
by the citizens equal in dignity and wealth with the senators,
because out of them the senators were themselves chosen; these he
treated after all ignominious manner, and removed them out of his
way, while they were at once slain, and their wealth plundered,
because he slew men generally in order to seize on their riches.
He also asserted his own divinity, and insisted on greater honors
to be paid him by his subjects than are due to mankind. He also
frequented that temple of Jupiter which they style the Capitol,
which is with them the most holy of all their temples, and had
boldness enough to call himself the brother of Jupiter. And other
pranks he did like a madman; as when he laid a bridge from the
city Dicearchia, which belongs to Campania, to Misenum, another
city upon the sea-side, from one promontory to another, of the
length of thirty furlongs, as measured over the sea. And this was
done because he esteemed it to be a most tedious thing to row
over it in a small ship, and thought withal that it became him to
make that bridge, since he was lord of the sea, and might oblige
it to give marks of obedience as well as the earth; so he
enclosed the whole bay within his bridge, and drove his chariot
over it; and thought that, as he was a god, it was fit for him to
travel over such roads as this was. Nor did he abstain from the
plunder of any of the Grecian temples, and gave order that all
the engravings and sculptures, and the rest of the ornaments of
the statues and donations therein dedicated, should be brought to
him, saying that the best things ought to be set no where but in
the best place, and that the city of Rome was that best place. He
also adorned his own house and his gardens with the curiosities
brought from those temples, together with the houses he lay at
when he traveled all over Italy; whence he did not scruple to
give a command that the statue of Jupiter Olympius, so called
because he was honored at the Olympian games by the Greeks, which
was the work of Phidias the Athenian, should be brought to Rome.
Yet did not he compass his end, because the architects told
Memmius Regulus, who was commanded to remove that statue of
Jupiter, that the workmanship was such as would be spoiled, and
would not bear the removal. It was also reported that Memmius,
both on that account, and on account of some such mighty
prodigies as are of an incredible nature, put off the taking it
down, and wrote to Caius those accounts, as his apology for not
having done what his epistle required of him; and that when he
was thence in danger of perishing, he was saved by Caius being
dead himself, before he had put him to death.

2. Nay, Caius's madness came to this height, that when he had a
daughter born, he carried her into the capitol, and put her upon
the knees of the statue, and said that the child was common to
him and to Jupiter, and determined that she had two fathers, but
which of these fathers were the greatest he left undetermined;
and yet mankind bore him in such his pranks. He also gave leave
to slaves to accuse their masters of any crimes whatsoever they
pleased; for all such accusations were terrible, because they
were in great part made to please him, and at his suggestion,
insomuch that Pollux, Claudius's slave, had the boldness to lay
an accusation against Claudius himself; and Caius was not ashamed
to be present at his trial of life and death, to hear that trial
of his own uncle, in hopes of being able to take him off,
although he did not succeed to his mind. But when he had filled
the whole habitable world which he governed with false
accusations and miseries, and had occasioned the greatest insults
of slaves against their masters, who indeed in a great measure
ruled them, there were many secret plots now laid against him;
some in anger, and in order for men to revenge themselves, on
account of the miseries they had already undergone from him; and
others made attempts upon him, in order to take him off before
they should fall into such great miseries, while his death came
very fortunately for the preservation of the laws of all men, and
had a great influence upon the public welfare; and this happened
most happily for our nation in particular, which had almost
utterly perished if he had not been suddenly slain. And I confess
I have a mind to give a full account of this matter particularly,
because it will afford great assurance of the power of God, and
great comfort to those that are under afflictions, and wise
caution to those who think their happiness will never end, nor
bring them at length to the most lasting miseries, if they do not
conduct their lives by the principles of virtue.

3. Now there were three several conspiracies made in order to
take off Caius, and each of these three were conducted by
excellent persons. Emilius Regulus, born at Corduba in Spain, got
some men together, and was desirous to take Caius off, either by
them or by himself. Another conspiracy there was laid by them,
under the conduct of Cherea Cassius, the tribune [of the
Pretorian band]. Minucianus Annins was also one of great
consequence among those that were prepared to oppose his tyranny.
Now the several occasions of these men's several hatred and
conspiracy against Caius were these: Regulus had indignation and
hatred against all injustice, for he had a mind naturally angry,
and bold, and free, which made him not conceal his counsels; so
he communicated them to many of his friends, and to others who
seemed to him persons of activity and vigor: Minucianus entered
into this conspiracy, because of the injustice done to Lepidus
his particular friend, and one of the best character of all the
citizens, whom Caius had slain, as also because he was afraid of
himself, since Caius's wrath tended to the slaughter of all
alike: and for Cherea, he came in, because he thought it a deed
worthy of a free ingenuous man to kill Caius, and was ashamed of
the reproaches he lay under from Caius, as though he were a
coward; as also because he was himself in danger every day from
his friendship with him, and the observance he paid him. These
men proposed this attempt to all the rest that were concerned,
who saw the injuries that were offered them, and were desirous
that Caius's slaughter might succeed by their mutual assistance
of one another, and they might themselves escape being killed by
the taking off Caius; that perhaps they should gain their point;
and that it would be a happy thing, if they should gain it, to
approve themselves to so many excellent persons, as earnestly
wished to be partakers with them in their design for the delivery
of the city and of the government, even at the hazard of their
own lives. But still Cherea was the most zealous of them all,
both out of a desire of getting himself the greatest name, and
also by reason of his access to Caius's presence with less
danger, because he was tribune, and could therefore the more
easily kill him.

4. Now at this time came on the horse-races [Circensian games];
the view of which games was eagerly desired by the people of
Rome, for they come with great alacrity into the hippodrome
[circus] at such times, and petition their emperors, in great
multitudes, for what they stand in need of; who usually did not
think fit to deny them their requests, but readily and gratefully
granted them. Accordingly, they most importunately desired that
Caius would now ease them in their tributes, and abate somewhat
of the rigor of their taxes imposed upon them; but he would not
hear their petition; and when their clamors increased, he sent
soldiers some one way and some another, and gave order that they
should lay hold on those that made the clamors, and without any
more ado bring them out, and put them to death. These were
Caius's commands, and those who were commanded executed the same;
and the number of those who were slain on this occasion was very
great. Now the people saw this, and bore it so far, that they
left off clamoring, because they saw with their own eyes that
this petition to be relieved, as to the payment of their money,
brought immediate death upon them. These things made Cherea more
resolute to go on with his plot, in order to put an end to this
barbarity of Caius against men. He then at several times thought
to fall upon Caius, even as he was feasting; yet did he restrain
himself by some considerations; not that he had any doubt on him
about killing him, but as watching for a proper season, that the
attempt might not be frustrated, but that he might give the blow
so as might certainly gain his purpose.

5. Cherea had been in the army a long time, yet was he not
pleased with conversing so much with Caius. But Caius had set him
to require the tributes, and other dues, which, when not paid in
due time, were forfeited to Caesar's treasury; and he had made
some delays in requiring them, because those burdens had been
doubled, and had rather indulged his own mild disposition than
performed Caius's command; nay, indeed, be provoked Caius to
anger by his sparing men, and pitying the hard fortunes of those
from whom he demanded the taxes; and Caius upbraided him with his
sloth and effeminacy in being so long about collecting the taxes.
And indeed he did not only affront him in other respects, but
when he gave him the watchword of the day, to whom it was to be
given by his place, he gave him feminine words, and those of a
nature very reproachful; and these watchwords he gave out, as
having been initiated in the secrets of certain mysteries, which
he had been himself the author of. Now although he had sometimes
put on women's clothes, and had been wrapt in some embroidered
garments to them belonging, and done a great many other things,
in order to make the company mistake him for a woman; yet did he,
by way of reproach, object the like womanish behavior to Cherea.
But when Cherea received the watchword from him, he had
indignation at it, but had greater indignation at the delivery of
it to others, as being laughed at by those that received it;
insomuch that his fellow tribunes made him the subject of their
drollery; for they would foretell that he would bring them some
of his usual watchwords when he was about to take the watchword
from Caesar, and would thereby make him ridiculous; on which
accounts he took the courage of assuming certain partners to him,
as having just reasons for his indignation against Caius. Now
there was one Pompedius, a senator, and one who had gone through
almost all posts in the government, but otherwise an Epicurean,
and for that reason loved to lead an inactive life. Now Timidius,
an enemy of his, had informed Caius that he had used indecent
reproaches against him, and he made use of Quintilia for a
witness to them; a woman she was much beloved by many that
frequented the theater, and particularly by Pompedius, on account
of her great beauty. Now this woman thought it a horrible thing
to attest to an accusation that touched the life of her lover,
which was also a lie. Timidius, however, wanted to have her
brought to the torture. Caius was irritated at this reproach upon
him, and commanded Cherea, without any delay, to torture
Quintilia, as he used to employ Cherea in such bloody matters,
and those that required the torture, because he thought he would
do it the more barbarously, in order to avoid that imputation of
effeminacy which he had laid upon him. But Quintilia, when she
was brought to the rack, trod upon the foot of one of her
associates, and let him know that he might be of good courage,
and not be afraid of the consequence of her tortures, for that
she would bear them with magnanimity. Cherea tortured this woman
after a cruel manner; unwillingly indeed, but because he could
not help it. He then brought her, without being in the least
moved at what she had suffered, into the presence of Caius, and
that in such a state as was sad to behold; and Caius, being
somewhat affected with the sight of Quintilia, who had her body
miserably disordered by the pains she had undergone, freed both
her and Pompedius of the crime laid to their charge. He also gave
her money to make her an honorable amends, and comfort her for
that maiming of her body which she had suffered, and for her
glorious patience under such insufferable torments.

6. This matter sorely grieved Cherea, as having been the cause,
as far as he could, or the instrument, of those miseries to men,
which seemed worthy of consolation to Caius himself; on which
account he said to Clement and to Papinius, (of whom Clement was
general of the army, and Papinius was a tribune,) "To be sure, O
Clement, we have no way failed in our guarding the emperor; for
as to those that have made conspiracies against his government,
some have been slain by our care and pains, and some have been by
us tortured, and this to such a degree, that he hath himself
pitied them. How great then is our virtue in submitting to
conduct his armies!" Clement held his peace, but showed the shame
he was under in obeying Caius's orders, both by his eyes and his
blushing countenance, while he thought it by no means right to
accuse the emperor in express words, lest their own safety should
be endangered thereby. Upon which Cherea took courage, and spake
to him without fear of the dangers that were before him, and
discoursed largely of the sore calamities under which the city
and the government then labored, and said, "We may indeed pretend
in words that Caius is the person unto whom the cause of such
miseries ought to be imputed; but, in the opinion of such as are
able to judge uprightly, it is I, O Clement! and this Papinius,
and before us thou thyself, who bring these tortures upon the
Romans, and upon all mankind. It is not done by our being
subservient to the commands of Caius, but it is done by our own
consent; for whereas it is in our power to put an end to the life
of this man, who hath so terribly injured the citizens and his
subjects, we are his guard in mischief, and his executioners
instead of his soldiers, and are the instruments of his cruelty.
We bear these weapons, not for our liberty, not for the Roman
government, but only for his preservation, who hath enslaved both
their bodies and their minds; and we are every day polluted with
the blood that we shed, and the torments we inflict upon others;
and this we do, till somebody becomes Caius's instrument in
bringing the like miseries upon ourselves. Nor does he thus
employ us because he hath a kindness for us, but rather because
he hath a suspicion of us, as also because when abundance more
have been killed, (for Caius will set no bounds to his wrath,
since he aims to do all, not out of regard to justice, but to his
own pleasure,) we shall also ourselves be exposed to his cruelty;
whereas we ought to be the means of confirming the security and
liberty of all, and at the same time to resolve to free ourselves
from dangers.

7. Hereupon Clement openly commended Cherea's intentions, but bid
him hold his tongue; for that in case his words should get out
among many, and such things should be spread abroad as were fit
to be concealed, the plot would come to be discovered before it
was executed, and they should be brought to punishment; but that
they should leave all to futurity, and the hope which thence
arose, that some fortunate event would come to their assistance;
that, as for himself, his age would not permit him to make any
attempt in that case. "However, although perhaps I could suggest
what may be safer than what thou, Cherea, hast contrived and
said, yet trow is it possible for any one to suggest what is more
for thy reputation?" So Clement went his way home, with deep
reflections on what he had heard, and what he had himself said.
Cherea also was under a concern, and went quickly to Cornelius
Sabinus, who was himself one of the tribunes, and whom he
otherwise knew to be a worthy man, and a lover of liberty, and on
that account very uneasy at the present management of public
affairs, he being desirous to come immediately to the execution
of what had been determined, and thinking it right for him to
propose it to the other, and afraid lest Clement should discover
them, and besides looking upon delays and puttings off to be the
next to desisting from the enterprise.

8. But as all was agreeable to Sabinus, who had himself, equally
without Cherea, the same design, but had been silent for want of
a person to whom he could safely communicate that design; so
having now met with one, who not only promised to conceal what he
heard, but who had already opened his mind to him, he was much
more encouraged, and desired of Cherea that no delay might be
made therein. Accordingly they went to Minucianus, who was as
virtuous a man, and as zealous to do glorious actions, as
themselves, and suspected by Caius on occasion of the slaughter
of Lepidus; for Minucianus and Lepidus were intimate friends, and
both in fear of the dangers that they were under; for Caius was
terrible to all the great men, as appearing ready to act a mad
part towards each of them in particular, and towards all of: them
in general; and these men were afraid of one another, while they
were yet uneasy at the posture of affairs, but avoided to declare
their mind and their hatred against Caius to one another, out of
fear of the dangers they might be in thereby, although they
perceived by other means their mutual hatred against Caius, and
on that account were not averse to a mutual kindness one towards

9. When Minuetanus and Cherea had met together, and saluted one
another, (as they had been used on former conversations to give
the upper hand to Minucianus, both on account of his eminent
dignity, for he was the noblest of all the citizens, and highly
commended by all men, especially when he made speeches to them,)
Minuetanus began first, and asked Cherea, What was the watchword
he had received that day from Caius; for the affront which was
offered Cherea, in giving the watchwords, was famous over the
city. But Cherea made no delay so long as to reply to that
question, out of the joy he had that Minueianus would have such
confidence in him as to discourse with him. "But do thou," said
he, "give me the watchword of liberty. And I return thee my
thanks that thou hast so greatly encouraged me to exert myself
after an extraordinary manner; nor do I stand in need of many
words to encourage me, since both thou and I are of the same
mind, and partakers of the same resolutions, and this before we
have conferred together. I have indeed but one sword girt on, but
this one will serve us both. Come on, therefore, let us set about
the work. Do thou go first, if thou hast a mind, and bid me
follow thee; or else I will go first, and thou shalt assist me,
and we will assist one another, and trust one another. Nor is
there a necessity for even one sword to such as have a mind
disposed to such works, by which mind the sword uses to be
successful. I am zealous about this action, nor am I solicitous
what I may myself undergo; for I can not at leisure to consider
the dangers that may come upon myself, so deeply am I troubled at
the slavery our once free country is now under, and at the
contempt cast upon our excellent laws, and at the destruction
which hangs over all men, by the means of Caius. I wish that I
may be judged by thee, and that thou mayst esteem me worthy of
credit in these matters, seeing we are both of the same opinion,
and there is herein no difference between us."

10. When Minucianus saw the vehemency with which Cherea delivered
himself, he gladly embraced him, and encouraged him in his bold
attempt, commending him, and embracing him; so he let him go with
his good wishes; and some affirm that he thereby confirmed
Minuclanus in the prosecution of what had been agreed among them;
for as Cherea entered into the court, the report runs, that a
voice came from among the multitude to encourage him, which bid
him finish what he was about, and take the opportunity that
Providence afforded; and that Cherea at first suspected that some
one of the conspirators had betrayed him, and he was caught, but
at length perceived that it was by way of exhortation. Whether
somebody (3) that was conscious of what he was about, gave a
signal for his encouragement, or whether it was God himself, who
looks upon the actions of men, that encouraged him to go on
boldly in his design, is uncertain. The plot was now communicated
to a great many, and they were all in their armor; some of the
conspirators being senators, and some of the equestrian order,
and as many of the soldiery as were made acquainted with it; for
there was not one of them who would not reckon it a part of his
happiness to kill Caius; and on that account they were all very
zealous in the affair, by what means soever any one could come at
it, that he might not be behindhand in these virtuous designs,
but might be ready with all his alacrity or power, both by words
and actions, to complete this slaughter of a tyrant. And besides
these, Callistus also, who was a freed-man of Caius, and was the
only man that had arrived at the greatest degree of power under
him, - such a power, indeed, as was in a manner equal to the
power of the tyrant himself, by the dread that all men had of
him, and by the great riches he had acquired; for he took bribes
most plenteously, and committed injuries without bounds, and was
more extravagant in the use of his power in unjust proceedings
than any other. He also knew the disposition of Caius to be
implacable, and never to be turned from what he had resolved on.
He had withal many other reasons why he thought himself in
danger, and the vastness of his wealth was not one of the least
of them; on which account he privately ingratiated himself with
Claudius, and transferred his courtship to him, out of this hope,
that in case, upon the removal of Caius, the government should
come to him, his interest in such changes should lay a foundation
for his preserving his dignity under him, since he laid in
beforehand a stock of merit, and did Claudius good offices in his
promotion. He had also the boldness to pretend that he had been
persuaded to make away with Claudius, by poisoning him, but had
still invented ten thousand excuses for delaying to do it. But it
seems probable to me that Callistus only counterfeited this, in
order to ingratiate himself with Claudius; for if Caius had been
in earnest resolved to take off Claudius, he would not have
admitted of Callistus's excuses; nor would Callistus, if he had
been enjoined to do such an act as was desired by Caius, have put
it off; nor if he had disobeyed those injunctions of his master,
had he escaped immediate punishment; while Claudius was preserved
from the madness of Caius by a certain Divine providence, and
Callistus pretended to such a piece of merit as he no way

11. However, the execution of Cherea's designs was put off from
day to day, by the sloth of many therein concerned; for as to
Cherea himself, he would not willingly make any delay in that
execution, thinking every time a fit time for it; for frequent
opportunities offered themselves; as when Caius went up to the
capitol to sacrifice for his daughter, or when he stood upon his
royal palace, and threw gold and silver pieces of money among the
people, he might be pushed down headlong, because the top of the
palace, that looks towards the market-place, was very high; and
also when he celebrated the mysteries, which he had appointed at
that time; for he was then no way secluded from the people, but
solicitous to do every thing carefully and decently, and was free
from all suspicion that he should be then assaulted by any body;
and although the gods should afford him no divine assistance to
enable him to take away his life, yet had he strength himself
sufficient to despatch Caius, even without a sword. Thus was
Chorea angry at his fellow conspirators, for fear they should
suffer a proper opportunity to pass by; and they were themselves
sensible that he had just cause to be angry at them, and that his
eagerness was for their advantage; yet did they desire he would
have a little longer patience, lest, upon any disappointment they
might meet with, they should put the city into disorder, and an
inquisition should be made after the conspiracy, and should
render the courage of those that were to attack Caius without
success, while he would then secure himself more carefully than
ever against them; that it would therefore be the best to set
about the work when the shows were exhibited in the palace. These
shows were acted in honor of that Caesar (4) who first of all
changed the popular government, and transferred it to himself;
galleries being fixed before the palace, where the Romans that
were patricians became spectators, together with their children
and their wives, and Caesar himself was to be also a spectator;
and they reckoned, among those many ten thousands who would there
be crowded into a narrow compass, they should have a favorable
opportunity to make their attempt upon him as he came in, because
his guards that should protect him, if any of them should have a
mind to do it, would not here be able to give him any assistance.

12. Cherea consented to this delay; and when the shows were
exhibited, it was resolved to do the work the first day. But
fortune, which allowed a further delay to his slaughter, was too
hard for their foregoing resolution; and as three days of the
regular times for these shows were now over, they had much ado to
get the business done on the last day. Then Cherea called the
conspirators together, and spake thus to them: "So much time
passed away without effort is a reproach to us, as delaying to go
through such a virtuous design as we are engaged in; but more
fatal will this delay prove if we be discovered, and the design
be frustrated; for Caius will then become more cruel in his
unjust proceedings. Do we not see how long we deprive all our
friends of their liberty, and give Caius leave still to tyrannize
over them? while we ought to have procured them security for the
future, and, by laying a foundation for the happiness of others,
gain to ourselves great admiration and honor for all time to
come." Now while the conspirators had nothing tolerable to say by
way of contradiction, and yet did not quite relish what they were
doing, but stood silent and astonished, he said further, "O my
brave comrades! why do we make such delays? Do not you see that
this is the last day of these shows, and that Caius is about to
go to sea? for he is preparing to sail to Alexandria, in order to
see Egypt. Is it therefore for your honor to let a man go out of
your hands who is a reproach to mankind, and to permit him to go,
after a pompous manner, triumphing both at land and sea? Shall
not we be justly ashamed of ourselves, if we give leave to some
Egyptian or other, who shall think his injuries insufferable to
free-men, to kill him? As for myself, I will no longer bear your
stow proceedings, but will expose myself to the dangers of the
enterprise this very day, and bear cheerfully whatsoever shall be
the consequence of the attempt; nor, let them be ever so great,
will I put them off any longer: for, to a wise and courageous
man, what can be more miserable than that, while I am alive, any
one else should kill Caius, and deprive me of the honor of so
virtuous an action?"

13. When Cherea had spoken thus, he zealously set about the work,
and inspired courage into the rest to go on with it, and they
were all eager to fall to it without further delay. So he was at
the palace in the morning, with his equestrian sword girt on him;
for it was the custom that the tribunes should ask for the
watchword with their swords on, and this was the day on which
Cherea was, by custom, to receive the watchword; and the
multitude were already come to the palace, to be soon enough for
seeing the shows, and that in great crowds, and one tumultuously
crushing another, while Caius was delighted with this eagerness
of the multitude; for which reason there was no order observed in
the seating men, nor was any peculiar place appointed for the
senators, or for the equestrian order; but they sat at random,
men and women together, and free-men were mixed with the slaves.
So Caius came out in a solemn manner, and offered sacrifice to
Augustus Caesar, in whose honor indeed these shows were
celebrated. Now it happened, upon the fall of a certain priest,
that the garment of Asprenas, a senator, was filled with blood,
which made Caius laugh, although this was an evident omen to
Asprenas, for he was slain at the same time with Caius. It is
also related that Caius was that day, contrary to his usual
custom, so very affable and good-natured in his conversation,
that every one of those that were present were astonished at it.
After the sacrifice was over, Caius betook himself to see the
shows, and sat down for that purpose, as did also the principal
of his friends sit near him. Now the parts of the theater were so
fastened together, as it used to be every year, in the manner
following: It had two doors, the one door led to the open air,
the other was for going into, or going out of, the cloisters,
that those within the theater might not be thereby disturbed; but
out of one gallery there went an inward passage, parted into
partitions also, which led into another gallery, to give room to
the combatants and to the musicians to go out as occasion served.
When the multitude were set down, and Cherea, with the other
tribunes, were set down also, and the right corner of the theater
was allotted to Caesar, one Vatinius, a senator, commander of the
praetorian band, asked of Cluvius, one that sat by him, and was
of consular dignity also, whether he had heard any thing of news,
or not? but took care that nobody should hear what he said; and
when Cluvius replied, that he had heard no news, "Know then,"
said Vatinius, "that the game of the slaughter of tyrants is to
be played this dav." But Cluvius replied "O brave comrade hold
thy peace, lest some other of the Achaians hear thy tale." And as
there was abundance of autumnal fruit thrown among the
spectators, and a great number of birds, that were of great value
to such as possessed them, on account of their rareness, Caius
was pleased with the birds fighting for the fruits, and with the
violence wherewith the spectators seized upon them: and here he
perceived two prodigies that happened there; for an actor was
introduced, by whom a leader of robbers was crucified, and the
pantomime brought in a play called Cinyras, wherein he himself
was to be slain, as well as his daughter Myrrha, and wherein a
great deal of fictitious blood was shed, both about him that was
crucified, and also about Cinyras. It was also confessed that
this was the same day wherein Pausanias, a friend of Philip, the
son of Amyntas, who was king of Macedonia, slew him, as he was
entering into the theater. And now Caius was in doubt whether he
should tarry to the end of the shows, because it was the last
day, or whether he should not go first to the bath, and to
dinner, and then return and sit down as before. Hereupon
Minucianus, who sat over Caius, and was afraid that the
opportunity should fail them, got up, because he saw Cherea was
already gone out, and made haste out, to confirm him in his
resolution; but Caius took hold of his garment, in an obliging
way, and said to him, "O brave man! whither art thou going?"
Whereupon, out of reverence to Caesar, as it seemed, he sat down
again; but his fear prevailed over him, and in a little time he
got up again, and then Caius did no way oppose his going out, as
thinking that he went out to perform some necessities of nature.
And Asprenas, who was one of the confederates, persuaded Caius to
go out to the bath, and to dinner, and then to come in again, as
desirous that what had been resolved on might be brought to a
conclusion immediately.

14. So Cherea's associates placed themselves in order, as the
time would permit them, and they were obliged to labor hard, that
the place which was appointed them should not be left by them;
but they had an indignation at the tediousness of the delays, and
that what they were about should be put off any longer, for it
was already about the ninth (5) hour of the day; and Cherea, upon
Caius's tarrying so long, had a great mind to go in, and fall
upon him in his seat, although he foresaw that this could not be
done without much bloodshed, both of the senators, and of those
of the equestrian order that were present; and although he knew
this must happen, yet had he a great mind to do so, as thinking
it a right thing to procure security and freedom to all, at the
expense of such as might perish at the same time. And as they
were just going back into the entrance to the theater, word was
brought them that Caius was arisen, whereby a tumult was made;
hereupon the conspirators thrust away the crowd, under pretense
as if Caius was angry at them, but in reality as desirous to have
a quiet place, that should have none in it to defend him, while
they set about Caius's slaughter. Now Claudius, his uncle, was
gone out before, and Marcus Vinicius his sister's husband, as
also Valellus of Asia; whom though they had had such a mind to
put out of their places, the reverence to their dignity hindered
them so to do; then followed Caius, with Paulus Arruntius: and
because Caius was now gotten within the palace, he left the
direct road, along which those his servants stood that were in
waiting, and by which road Claudius had gone out before, Caius
turned aside into a private narrow passage, in order to go to the
place for bathing, as also in order to take a view of the boys
that came out of Asia, who were sent thence, partly to sing hymns
in these mysteries which were now celebrated, and partly to dance
in the Pyrrhic way of dancing upon the theatres. So Cherea met
him, and asked him for the watchword; upon Caius's giving him one
of his ridiculous words, he immediately reproached him, and drew
his sword, and gave him a terrible stroke with it, yet was not
this stroke mortal. And although there be those that say it was
so contrived on purpose by Chorea, that Caius should not be
killed at one blow, but should be punished more severely by a
multitude of wounds; yet does this story appear to me incredible,
because the fear men are under in such actions does not allow
them to use their reason. And if Cherea was of that mind, I
esteem him the greatest of all fools, in pleasing himself in his
spite against Caius, rather than immediately procuring safety to
himself and to his confederates from the dangers they were in,
because there might many things still happen for helping Caius's
escape, if he had not already given up the ghost; for certainly
Cherea would have regard, not so much to the punishment of Caius,
as to the affliction himself and his friends were in, while it
was in his power, after such success, to keep silent, and to
escape the wrath of Caius's defenders, and not to leave it to
uncertainty whether he should gain the end he aimed at or not,
and after an unreasonable manner to act as if he had a mind to
ruin himself, and lose the opportunity that lay before him. But
every body may guess as he please about this matter. However,
Caius was staggered with the pain that the blow gave him; for the
stroke of the sword falling in the middle, between the shoulder
and the neck, was hindered by the first bone of the breast from
proceeding any further. Nor did he either cry out, (in such
astonishment was he,) nor did he call out for any of his friends;
whether it were that he had no confidence in them, or that his
mind was otherwise disordered, but he groaned under the pain he
endured, and presently went forward and fled; when Cornelius
Sabinus, who was already prepared in his mind so to do, thrust
him down upon his knee, where many of them stood round about him,
and struck him with their swords; and they cried out, and
encouraged one another all at once to strike him again; but all
agree that Aquila gave him the finishing stroke, which directly
killed him. But one may justly ascribe this act to Cherea; for
although many concurred in the act itself, yet was he the first
contriver of it, and began long before all the rest to prepare
for it, and was the first man that boldly spake of it to the
rest; and upon their admission of what he said about it, he got
the dispersed conspirators together; he prepared every thing
after a prudent manner, and by suggesting good advice, showed
himself far superior to the rest, and made obliging speeches to
them, insomuch that he even compelled them all to go on, who
otherwise had not courage enough for that purpose; and when
opportunity served to use his sword in hand, he appeared first of
all ready so to do, and gave the first blow in this virtuous
slaughter; he also brought Caius easily into the power of the
rest, and almost killed him himself, insomuch that it is but just
to ascribe all that the rest did to the advice, and bravery, and
labors of the hands of Cherea.

15. Thus did Caius come to his end, and lay dead, by the many
wounds which had been given him. Now Cherea and his associates,
upon Caius's slaughter, saw that it was impossible for them to
save themselves, if they should all go the same way, partly on
account of the astonishment they were under; for it was no small
danger they had incurred by killing an emperor, who was honored
and loved by the madness of the people, especially when the
soldiers were likely to make a bloody inquiry after his
murderers. The passages also were narrow wherein the work was
done, which were also crowded with a great multitude of Caius's
attendants, and of such of the soldiers as were of the emperor's
guard that day; whence it was that they went by other ways, and
came to the house of Germanicus, the father of Caius, whom they
had now killed (which house adjoined to the palace; for while the
edifice was one, it was built in its several parts by those
particular persons who had been emperors, and those parts bare
the names of those that built them or the name of him who had
begun to build its parts). So they got away from the insults of
the multitude, and then were for the present out of danger, that
is, so long as the misfortune which had overtaken the emperor was
not known. The Germans were the first who perceived that Caius
was slain. These Germans were Caius's guard, and carried the name
of the country whence they were chosen, and composed the Celtic
legion. The men of that country are naturally passionate, which
is commonly the temper of some other of the barbarous nations
also, as being not used to consider much about what they do; they
are of robust bodies and fall upon their enemies as soon as ever
they are attacked by them; and which way soever they go, they
perform great exploits. When, therefore, these German guards
understood that Caius was slain, they were very sorry for it,
because they did not use their reason in judging about public
affairs, but measured all by the advantages themselves received,
Caius being beloved by them because of the money he gave them, by
which he had purchased their kindness to him; so they drew their
swords, and Sabinus led them on. He was one of the tribunes, not
by the means of the virtuous actions of his pro genitors, for he
bad been a gladiator, but he had obtained that post in the army
by his having a robust body. So these Germans marched along the
houses in quest of Caesar's murderers, and cut Asprenas to
pieces, because he was the first man they fell upon, and whose
garment it was that the blood of the sacrifices stained, as I
have said already, and which foretold that this his meeting the
soldiers would not be for his good. Then did Norbanus meet them,
who was one of the principal nobility of and could show many
generals of armies among his ancestors; but they paid no regard
to his dignity; yet was he of such great strength, that he
wrested the sword of the first of those that assaulted him out of
his hands, and appeared plainly not to be willing to die without
a struggle for his life, until he was surrounded by a great
number of assailants, and died by the multitude of the wounds
which they gave him. The third man was Anteius, a senator, and a
few others with him. He did not meet with these Germans by
chance, as the rest did before, but came to show his hatred to
Caius, and because he loved to see Caius lie dead with his own
eyes, and took a pleasure in that sight; for Caius had banished
Anteius's father, who was of the same name with himself, and
being not satisfied with that, he sent out his soldiers, and slew
him; so he was come to rejoice at the sight of him, now he was
dead. But as the house was now all in a tumult, when he was
aiming to hide himself, he could not escape that accurate search
which the Germans made, while they barbarously slew those that
were guilty, and those that were not guilty, and this equally
also. And thus were these [three] persons slain.

16. But when the rumor that Caius was slain reached the theater,
they were astonished at it, and could not believe it; even some
that entertained his destruction with great pleasure, and were
more desirous of its happening than almost any other faction that
could come to them, were under such a fear, that they could not
believe it. There were also those who greatly distrusted it,
because they were unwilling that any such thing should come to
Caius, nor could believe it, though it were ever so true, because
they thought no man could possibly so much power as to kill
Caius. These were the women, and the children, and the slaves,
and some of the soldiery. This last sort had taken his pay, and
in a manner tyrannized with him, and had abused the best of the
citizens, in being subservient to his unjust commands, in order
to gain honors and advantages to themselves; but for the women
and the youth, they had been inveigled with shows, and the
fighting of the gladiators, and certain distributions of
flesh-meat among them, which things them pretense were designed
for the pleasing of multitude, but in reality to satiate the
barbarous cruelty and madness of Caius. The slaves also were
sorry, because they were by Caius allowed to accuse and to
despise their masters, and they could have recourse to his
assistance when they had unjustly affronted them; for he was very
easy in believing them against their masters, even when they the
city, accused them falsely; and if they would discover what money
their masters had, they might soon obtain both riches and
liberty, as the rewards of their accusations, because the reward
of these informers was the eighth (6) part of the criminal's
substance. As to the nobles, although the report appeared
credible to some of them, either because they knew of the plot
beforehand, or because they wished it might be true; however,
they concealed not only the joy they had at the relation of it,
but that they had heard any thing at all about it. These last
acted so out of the fear they had, that if the report proved
false, they should be punished, for having so soon let men know
their minds. But those that knew Caius was dead, because they
were partners with the conspirators, they concealed all still
more cautiously, as not knowing one another's minds; and fearing
lest they should speak of it to some of those to whom the
continuance of tyranny was advantageous; and if Caius should
prove to be alive, they might be informed against, and punished.
And another report went about, that although Caius had been
wounded indeed, yet was not he dead, but alive still, and under
the physician's hands. Nor was any one looked upon by another as
faithful enough to be trusted, and to whom any one would open his
mind; for he was either a friend to Caius, and therefore
suspected to favor his tyranny, or he was one that hated him, who
therefore might be suspected to deserve the less credit, because
of his ill-will to him. Nay, it was said by some (and this indeed
it was that deprived the nobility of their hopes, and made them
sad) that Caius was in a condition to despise the dangers he had
been in, and took no care of healing his wounds, but was gotten
away into the market-place, and, bloody as he was, was making an
harangue to the people. And these were the conjectural reports of
those that were so unreasonable as to endeavor to raise tumults,
which they turned different ways, according to the opinions of
the bearers. Yet did they not leave their seats, for fear of
being accused, if they should go out before the rest; for they
should not be sentenced according to the real intention with
which they went out, but according to the supposals of the
accusers and of the judges.

17. But now a multitude of Germans had surrounded the theater
with their swords drawn: all the spectators looked for nothing
but death, and at every one coming in a fear seized upon them, as
if they were to be cut in pieces immediately; and in great
distress they were, as neither having courage enough to go out of
the theater, nor believing themselves safe from dangers if they
tarried there. And when the Germans came upon them, the cry was
so great, that the theater rang again with the entreaties of the
spectators to the soldiers, pleading that they were entirely
ignorant of every thing that related to such seditious
contrivances, and that if there were any sedition raised, they
knew nothing of it; they therefore begged that they would spare
them, and not punish those that had not the least hand in such
bold crimes as belonged to other persons, while they neglected to
search after such as had really done whatsoever it be that hath
been done. Thus did these people appeal to God, and deplore their
infelicity with shedding of tears, and beating their faces, and
said every thing that the most imminent danger and the utmost
concern for their lives could dictate to them. This brake the
fury of the soldiers, and made them repent of what they minded to
do to the spectators, which would have been the greatest instance
of cruelty. And so it appeared to even these savages, when they
had once fixed the heads of those that were slain with Asprenas
upon the altar; at which sight the spectators were sorely
afflicted, both upon the consideration of the dignity of the
persons, and out of a commiseration of their sufferings; nay,
indeed, they were almost in as great disorder at the prospect of
the danger themselves were in, seeing it was still uncertain
whether they should entirely escape the like calamity. Whence it
was that such as thoroughly and justly hated Caius could yet no
way enjoy the pleasure of his death, because they were themselves
in jeopardy of perishing together with him; nor had they hitherto
any firm assurance of surviving.

18. There was at this time one Euaristus Arruntius, a public
crier in the market, and therefore of a strong and audible voice,
who vied in wealth with the richest of the Romans, and was able
to do what he pleased in the city, both then and afterward. This
man put himself into the most mournful habit he could, although
he had a greater hatred against Caius than any one else; his fear
and his wise contrivance to gain his safety taught him so to do,
and prevailed over his present pleasure; so he put on such a
mournful dress as he would have done had he lost his dearest
friends in the world; this man came into the theater, and
informed them of the death of Caius, and by this means put an end
to that state of ignorance the men had been in. Arruntius also
went round about the pillars, and called out to the Germans, as
did the tribunes with him, bidding them put up their swords, and
telling them that Caius was dead. And this proclamation it was
plainly which saved those that were collected together in the
theater, and all the rest who any way met the Germans; for while
they had hopes that Caius had still any breath in him, they
abstained from no sort of mischief; and such an abundant kindness
they still had for Caius, that they would willingly have
prevented the plot against him, and procured his escape from so
sad a misfortune, at the expense of their own lives. But they now
left off the warm zeal they had to punish his enemies, now they
were fully satisfied that Caius was dead, because it was now in
vain for them to show their zeal and kindness to him, when he who
should reward them was perished. They were also afraid that they
should be punished by the senate, if they should go on in doing
such injuries; that is, in case the authority of the supreme
governor should revert to them. And thus at length a stop was
put, though not without difficulty, to that rage which possessed
the Germans on account of Caius's death.

19. But Cherea was so much afraid for Minucianus, lest he should
light upon the Germans now they were in their fury, that he went
and spike to every one of the soldiers, and prayed them to take
care of his preservation, and made himself great inquiry about
him, lest he should have been slain. And for Clement, he let
Minucianus go when he was brought to him, and, with many other of
the senators, affirmed the action was right, and commended the
virtue of those that contrived it, and had courage enough to
execute it; and said that "tyrants do indeed please themselves
and look big for a while, upon having the power to act unjustly;
but do not however go happily out of the world, because they are
hated by the virtuous; and that Caius, together with all his
unhappiness, was become a conspirator against himself, before
these other men who attacked him did so; and by becoming
intolerable, in setting aside the wise provision the laws had
made, taught his dearest friends to treat him as an enemy;
insomuch that although in common discourse these conspirators
were those that slew Caius, yet that, in reality, he lies now
dead as perishing by his own self."

20. Now by this time the people in the theatre were arisen from
their seats, and those that were within made a very great
disturbance; the cause of which was this, that the spectators
were too hasty in getting away. There was also one Aleyon, a
physician, who hurried away, as if to cure those that were
wounded, and under that pretense he sent those that were with him
to fetch what things were necessary for the healing of those
wounded persons, but in reality to get them clear of the present
dangers they were in. Now the senate, during this interval, had
met, and the people also assembled together in the accustomed
form, and were both employed in searching after the murderers of
Caius. The people did it very zealously, but the senate in
appearance only; for there was present Valerius of Asia, one that
had been consul; this man went to the people, as they were in
disorder, and very uneasy that they could not yet discover who
they were that had murdered the emperor; he was then earnestly
asked by them all who it was that had done it. He replied, "I
wish I had been the man." The consuls (7) also published an
edict, wherein they accused Caius, and gave order to the people
then got together, and to the soldiers, to go home; and gave the
people hopes of the abatement of the oppressions they lay under;
and promised the soldiers, if they lay quiet as they used to do,
and would not go abroad to do mischief unjustly, that they would
bestow rewards upon them; for there was reason to fear lest the
city might suffer harm by their wild and ungovernable behavior,
if they should once betake themselves to spoil the citizens, or
plunder the temples. And now the whole multitude of the senators
were assembled together, and especially those that had conspired
to take away the life of Caius, who put on at this time an air of
great assurance, and appeared with great magnanimity, as if the
administration of the public affairs were already devolved upon


How The Senators Determined To Restore The Democracy; But The
Soldiers Were For Preserving The Monarchy, Concerning The
Slaughter Of Caius's Wife And Daughter. A Character Of Caius's

1. When the public affairs were in this posture, Claudius was on
the sudden hurried away out of his house; for the soldiers had a
meeting together; and when they had debated about what was to be
done, they saw that a democracy was incapable of managing such a
vast weight of public affairs; and that if it should be set up,
it would not be for their advantage; and in case any one of those
already in the government should obtain the supreme power, it
would in all respects be to their grief, if they were not
assisting to him in this advancement; that it would therefore be
right for them, while the public affairs were unsettled, to
choose Claudius emperor, who was uncle to the deceased Caius, and
of a superior dignity and worth to every one of those that were
assembled together in the senate, both on account of the virtues
of his ancestors, and of the learning he had acquired in his
education; and who, if once settled in the empire, would reward
them according to their deserts, and bestow largesses upon them.
These were their consultations, and they executed the same
immediately. Claudius was therefore seized upon suddenly by the
soldiery. But Cneas Sentins Saturninns, although he understood
that Claudius was seized, and that he intended to claim the
government, unwillingly indeed in appearance, but in reality by
his own free consent, stood up in the senate, and, without being
dismayed, made an exhortatory oration to them, and such a one
indeed as was fit for men of freedom and generosity, and spake

2. "Although it be a thing incredible, O Romans! because of the
great length of time, that so unexpected an event hath happened,
yet are we now in possession of liberty. How long indeed this
will last is uncertain, and lies at the disposal of the gods,
whose grant it is; yet such it is as is sufficient to make us
rejoice, and be happy for the present, although we may soon be
deprived of it; for one hour is sufficient to those that are
exercised in virtue, wherein we may live with a mind accountable
only to ourselves, in our own country, now free, and governed by
such laws as this country once flourished under. As for myself, I
cannot remember our former time of liberty, as being born after
it was gone; but I am beyond measure filled with joy at the
thoughts of our present freedom. I also esteem those that were
born and bred up in that our former liberty happy men, and that
those men are worthy of no less esteem than the gods themselves
who have given us a taste of it in this age; and I heartily wish
that this quiet enjoyment of it, which we have at present, might
continue to all ages. However, this single day may suffice for
our youth, as well as for us that are in years. It will seem an
age to our old men, if they might die during its happy duration:
it may also be for the instruction of the younger sort, what kind
of virtue those men, from whose loins we are derived, were
exercised in. As for ourselves, our business is, during the space
of time, to live virtuously, than which nothing can be more to
our advantage; which course of virtue it is alone that can
preserve our liberty; for as to our ancient state, I have heard
of it by the relations of others; but as to our later state,
during my lifetime, I have known it by experience, and learned
thereby what mischiefs tyrannies have brought upon this
commonwealth, discouraging all virtue, and depriving persons of
magnanimity of their liberty, and proving the teachers of
flattery and slavish fear, because it leaves the public
administration not to be governed by wise laws, but by the humor
of those that govern. For since Julius Caesar took it into his
head to dissolve our democracy, and, by overbearing the regular
system of our laws, to bring disorders into our administration,
and to get above right and justice, and to be a slave to his own
inclinations, there is no kind of misery but what hath tended to
the subversion of this city; while all those that have succeeded
him have striven one with another to overthrow the ancient laws
of their country, and have left it destitute of such citizens as
were of generous principles, because they thought it tended to
their safety to have vicious men to converse withal, and not only
to break the spirits of those that were best esteemed for their
virtue, but to resolve upon. their utter destruction. Of all
which emperors, who have been many in number, and who laid upon
us insufferable hardships during the times of their government,
this Caius, who hath been slain today, hath brought more terrible
calamities upon us than did all the rest, not only by exercising
his ungoverned rage upon his fellow citizens, but also upon his
kindred and friends, and alike upon all others, and by inflicting
still greater miseries upon them, as punishments, which they
never deserved, he being equally furious against men and against
the gods. For tyrants are not content to gain their sweet
pleasure, and this by acting injuriously, and in the vexation
they bring both upon men's estates and their wives; but they look
upon that to be their principal advantage, when they can utterly
overthrow the entire families of their enemies; while all lovers
of liberty are the enemies of tyranny. Nor can those that
patiently endure what miseries they bring on them gain their
friendship; for as they are conscious of the abundant mischiefs
they have brought on these men, and how magnanimously they have
borne their hard fortunes, they cannot but be sensible what evils
they have done, and thence only depend on security from what they
are suspicious of, if it may be in their power to take them quite
out of the world. Since, then, we are now gotten clear of such
great misfortunes, and are only accountable to one another,
(which form of government affords us the best assurance of our
present concord, and promises us the best security from evil
designs, and will be most for our own glory in settling the city
in good order,) you ought, every one of you in particular, to
make provision for his own, and in general for the public
utility: or, on the contrary, they may declare their dissent to
such things as have been proposed, and this without any hazard of
danger to come upon them, because they have now no lord set over
them, who, without fear of punishment, could do mischief to the
city, and had an uncontrollable power to take off those that
freely declared their opinions. Nor has any thing so much
contributed to this increase of tyranny of late as sloth, and a
timorous forbearance of contradicting the emperor's will; while
men had an over-great inclination to the sweetness of peace, and
had learned to live like slaves; and as many of us as either
heard of intolerable calamities that happened at a distance from
us, or saw the miseries that were near us, out of the dread of
dying virtuously, endured a death joined with the utmost infamy.
We ought, then, in the first place, to decree the greatest honors
we are able to those that have taken off the tyrant, especially
to Cherea Cassius; for this one man, with the assistance of the
gods, hath, by his counsel and by his actions, been the procurer
of our liberty. Nor ought we to forget him now we have recovered
our liberty, who, under the foregoing tyranny, took counsel
beforehand, and beforehand hazarded himself for our liberties;
but ought to decree him proper honors, and thereby freely declare
that he from the beginning acted with our approbation. And
certainly it is a very excellent thing, and what becomes
free-men, to requite their benefactors, as this man hath been a
benefactor to us all, though not at all like Cassius and Brutus,
who slew Caius Julius [Caesar]; for those men laid the
foundations of sedition and civil wars in our city; but this man,
together with his slaughter of the tyrant, hath set our city free
from all those sad miseries which arose from the tyranny." (8)

3. And this was the purport of Sentius's oration, (9) which was
received with pleasure by the senators, and by as many of the
equestrian order as were present. And now one Trebellius Maximus
rose up hastily, and took off Sentius's finger a ring, which had
a stone, with the image of Caius engraven upon it, and which, in
his zeal in speaking, and his earnestness in doing what he was
about, as it was supposed, he had forgotten to take off himself.
This sculpture was broken immediately. But as it was now far in
the night, Cherea demanded of the consuls the watchword, who gave
him this word, Liberty. These facts were the subjects of
admiration to themselves, and almost incredible; for it was a
hundred years since the democracy had been laid aside, when this
giving the watchword returned to the consuls; for before the city
was subject to tyrants, they were the commanders of the soldiers.
But when Cherea had received that watchword, he delivered it to
those who were on the senate's side, which were four regiments,
who esteemed the government without emperors to be preferable to
tyranny. So these went away with their tribunes. The people also
now departed very joyful, full of hope and of courage, as having
recovered their former democracy, and were no longer under an
emperor; and Cherea was in very great esteem with them.

4. And now Cherea was very uneasy that Caius's daughter and wife
were still alive, and that all his family did not perish with
him, since whosoever was left of them must be left for the ruin
of the city and of the laws. Moreover, in order to finish this
matter with the utmost zeal, and in order to satisfy his hatred
of Caius, he sent Julius Lupus, one of the tribunes, to kill
Caius's wife and daughter. They proposed this office to Lupus as
to a kinsman of Clement, that he might be so far a partaker of
this murder of the tyrant, and might rejoice in the virtue of
having assisted his fellow citizens, and that he might appear to
have been a partaker with those that were first in their designs
against him. Yet did this action appear to some of the
conspirators to be too cruel, as to this using such severity to a
woman, because Caius did more indulge his own ill-nature than use
her advice in all that he did; from which ill-nature it was that
the city was in so desperate a condition with the miseries that
were brought on it, and the flower of the city was destroyed. But
others accused her of giving her consent to these things; nay,
they ascribed all that Caius had done to her as the cause of it,
and said she had given a potion to Caius, which had made him
obnoxious to her, and had tied him down to love her by such evil
methods; insomuch that she, having rendered him distracted, was
become the author of all the mischiefs that had befallen the
Romans, and that habitable world which was subject to them. So
that at length it was determined that she must die; nor could
those of the contrary opinion at all prevail to have her saved;
and Lupus was sent accordingly. Nor was there any delay made in
executing what he went about, but he was subservient to those
that sent him on the first opportunity, as desirous to be no way
blameable in what might be done for the advantage of the people.
So when he was come into the palace, he found Cesonia, who was
Caius's wife, lying by her husband's dead body, which also lay
down on the ground, and destitute of all such things as the law
allows to the dead, and all over herself besmeared with the blood
of her husband's wounds, and bewailing the great affliction she
was under, her daughter lying by her also; and nothing else was
heard in these her circumstances but her complaint of Caius, as
if he had not regarded what she had often told him of beforehand;
which words of hers were taken in a different sense even at that
time, and are now esteemed equally ambiguous by those that hear
of them, and are still interpreted according to the different
inclinations of people. Now some said that the words denoted that
she had advised him to leave off his mad behavior and his
barbarous cruelty to the citizens, and to govern the public with
moderation and virtue, lest he should perish by the same way,
upon their using him as he had used them. But some said, that as
certain words had passed concerning the conspirators, she desired
Caius to make no delay, but immediately to put them all to death,
and this whether they were guilty or not, and that thereby he
would be out of the fear of any danger; and that this was what
she reproached him for, when she advised him so to do, but he was
too slow and tender in the matter. And this was what Cesonia
said, and what the opinions of men were about it. But when she
saw Lupus approach, she showed him Caius's dead body, and
persuaded him to come nearer, with lamentation and tears; and as
she perceived that Lupus was in disorder, and approached her in
order to execute some design disagreeable to himself, she was
well aware for what purpose he came, and stretched out her naked
throat, and that very cheerfully to him, bewailing her case, like
one that utterly despaired of her life, and bidding him not to
boggle at finishing the tragedy they had resolved upon relating
to her. So she boldly received her death's wound at the hand of
Lupus, as did the daughter after her. So Lupus made haste to
inform Cherea of what he had done.

5. This was the end of Caius, after he had reigned four years,
within four months. He was, even before he came to be emperor,
ill-natured, and one that had arrived at the utmost pitch of
wickedness; a slave to his pleasures, and a lover of calumny;
greatly affected by every terrible accident, and on that account
of a very murderous disposition where he durst show it. He
enjoyed his exorbitant power to this only purpose, to injure
those who least deserved it, with unreasonable insolene and got
his wealth by murder and injustice. He labored to appear above
regarding either what was divine or agreeable to the laws, but
was a slave to the commendations of the populace; and whatsoever

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