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The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem by Flavius Josephus

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The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem

By Flavius Josephus

Translated by William Whiston


1. (1) Whereas the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath
been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our
times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both
of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations
against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the
affairs themselves have gotten together vain and contradictory
stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a
sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have
given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of
flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews; and while
their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes
encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts; I have
proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the
government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek
tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country,
and sent to the Upper Barbarians; (2) Joseph, the son of
Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first
fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at
what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work].

2. Now at the time when this great concussion of affairs
happened, the affairs of the Romans were themselves in great
disorder. Those Jews also who were for innovations, then arose
when the times were disturbed; they were also in a flourishing
condition for strength and riches, insomuch that the affairs of
the East were then exceeding tumultuous, while some hoped for
gain, and others were afraid of loss in such troubles; for the
Jews hoped that all of their nation which were beyond Euphrates
would have raised an insurrection together with them. The Gauls
also, in the neighborhood of the Romans, were in motion, and the
Geltin were not quiet; but all was in disorder after the death of
Nero. And the opportunity now offered induced many to aim at the
royal power; and the soldiery affected change, out of the hopes
of getting money. I thought it therefore an absurd thing to see
the truth falsified in affairs of such great consequence, and to
take no notice of it; but to suffer those Greeks and Romans that
were not in the wars to be ignorant of these things, and to read
either flatteries or fictions, while the Parthians, and the
Babylonians, and the remotest Arabians, and those of our nation
beyond Euphrates, with the Adiabeni, by my means, knew accurately
both whence the war begun, what miseries it brought upon us, and
after what manner it ended.

3. It is true, these writers have the confidence to call their
accounts histories; wherein yet they seem to me to fail of their
own purpose, as well as to relate nothing that is sound. For they
have a mind to demonstrate the greatness of the Romans, while
they still diminish and lessen the actions of the Jews, as not
discerning how it cannot be that those must appear to be great
who have only conquered those that were little. Nor are they
ashamed to overlook the length of the war, the multitude of the
Roman forces who so greatly suffered in it, or the might of the
commanders, whose great labors about Jerusalem will be deemed
inglorious, if what they achieved be reckoned but a small matter.
4. However, I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition
to those men who extol the Romans nor will I determine to raise
the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the
actions of both parties with accuracy. Yet shall I suit my
language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I
describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentations upon
the miseries undergone by my own country. For that it was a
seditious temper of our own that destroyed it, and that they were
the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us,
who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our
holy temple, Titus Caesar, who destroyed it, is himself a
witness, who, daring the entire war, pitied the people who were
kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the
taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to
let the authors have opportunity for repentance. But if any one
makes an unjust accusation against us, when we speak so
passionately about the tyrants, or the robbers, or sorely bewail
the misfortunes of our country, let him indulge my affections
herein, though it be contrary to the rules for writing history;
because it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had
arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under
the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of
calamities again. Accordingly, it appears to me that the
misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they
be compared to these of the Jews (3) are not so considerable as
they were; while the authors of them were not foreigners neither.
This makes it impossible for me to contain my lamentations. But
if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute
the facts themselves to the historical part, and the lamentations
to the writer himself only.

5. However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks,
who, when such great actions have been done in their own times,
which, upon the comparison, quite eclipse the old wars, do yet
sit as judges of those affairs, and pass bitter censures upon the
labors of the best writers of antiquity; which moderns, although
they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are
they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended to
do. While these also write new histories about the Assyrians and
Medes, as if the ancient writers had not described their affairs
as they ought to have done; although these be as far inferior to
them in abilities as they are different in their notions from
them. For of old every one took upon them to write what happened
in his own time; where their immediate concern in the actions
made their promises of value; and where it must be reproachful to
write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such.
But then, an undertaking to preserve the memory Of what hath not
been before recorded, and to represent the affairs of one's own
time to those that come afterwards, is really worthy of praise
and commendation. Now he is to be esteemed to have taken good
pains in earnest, not who does no more than change the
disposition and order of other men's works, but he who not only
relates what had not been related before, but composes an entire
body of history of his own: accordingly, I have been at great
charges, and have taken very great pains [about this history],
though I be a foreigner; and do dedicate this work, as a memorial
of great actions, both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians. But
for some of our own principal men, their mouths are wide open,
and their tongues loosed presently, for gain and law-suits, but
quite muzzled up when they are to write history, where they must
speak truth and gather facts together with a great deal of pains;
and so they leave the writing such histories to weaker people,
and to such as are not acquainted with the actions of princes.
Yet shall the real truth of historical facts be preferred by us,
how much soever it be neglected among the Greek historians.
6. To write concerning the Antiquities of the Jews, who they were
[originally], and how they revolted from the Egyptians, and what
country they traveled over, and what countries they seized upon
afterward, and how they were removed out of them, I think this
not to be a fit opportunity, and, on other accounts, also
superfluous; and this because many Jews before me have composed
the histories of our ancestors very exactly; as have some of the
Greeks done it also, and have translated our histories into their
own tongue, and have not much mistaken the truth in their
histories. But then, where the writers of these affairs and our
prophets leave off, thence shall I take my rise, and begin my
history. Now as to what concerns that war which happened in my
own time, I will go over it very largely, and with all the
diligence I am able; but for what preceded mine own age, that I
shall run over briefly.

7. [For example, I shall relate] how Antiochus, who was named
Epiphanes, took Jerusalem by force, and held it three years and
three months, and was then ejected out of the country by the sons
of Asamoneus: after that, how their posterity quarreled about the
government, and brought upon their settlement the Romans and
Pompey; how Herod also, the son of Antipater, dissolved their
government, and brought Sosins upon them; as also how our people
made a sedition upon Herod's death, while Augustus was the Roman
emperor, and Quintilius Varus was in that country; and how the
war broke out in the twelfth year of Nero, with what happened to
Cestius; and what places the Jews assaulted in a hostile manner
in the first sallies of the war.

8. As also [I shall relate] how they built walls about the
neighboring cities; and how Nero, upon Cestius's defeat, was in
fear of the entire event of the war, and thereupon made Vespasian
general in this war; and how this Vespasian, with the elder of
his sons (4) made an expedition into the country of Judea; what
was the number of the Roman army that he made use of; and how
many of his auxiliaries were cut off in all Galilee; and how he
took some of its cities entirely, and by force, and others of
them by treaty, and on terms. Now, when I am come so far, I shall
describe the good order of the Romans in war, and the discipline
of their legions; the amplitude of both the Galilees, with its
nature, and the limits of Judea. And, besides this, I shall
particularly go over what is peculiar to the country, the lakes
and fountains that are in them, and what miseries happened to
every city as they were taken; and all this with accuracy, as I
saw the things done, or suffered in them. For I shall not conceal
any of the calamities I myself endured, since I shall relate them
to such as know the truth of them.

9. After this, [I shall relate] how, When the Jews' affairs were
become very bad, Nero died, and Vespasian, when he was going to
attack Jerusalem, was called back to take the government upon
him; what signs happened to him relating to his gaining that
government, and what mutations of government then happened at
Rome, and how he was unwillingly made emperor by his soldiers;
and how, upon his departure to Egypt, to take upon him the
government of the empire, the affairs of the Jews became very
tumultuous; as also how the tyrants rose up against them, and
fell into dissensions among themselves.

10. Moreover, [I shall relate] how Titus marched out of Egypt
into Judea the second time; as also how, and where, and how many
forces he got together; and in what state the city was, by the
means of the seditious, at his coming; what attacks he made, and
how many ramparts he cast up; of the three walls that encompassed
the city, and of their measures; of the strength of the city, and
the structure of the temple and holy house; and besides, the
measures of those edifices, and of the altar, and all accurately
determined. A description also of certain of their festivals, and
seven purifications of purity, (5) and the sacred ministrations
of the priests, with the garments of the priests, and of the high
priests; and of the nature of the most holy place of the temple;
without concealing any thing, or adding any thing to the known
truth of things.

11. After this, I shall relate the barbarity of the tyrants
towards the people of their own nation, as well as the indulgence
of the Romans in sparing foreigners; and how often Titus, out of
his desire to preserve the city and the temple, invited the
seditious to come to terms of accommodation. I shall also
distinguish the sufferings of the people, and their calamities;
how far they were afflicted by the sedition, and how far by the
famine, and at length were taken. Nor shall I omit to mention the
misfortunes of the deserters, nor the punishments inflicted on
the captives; as also how the temple was burnt, against the
consent of Caesar; and how many sacred things that had been laid
up in the temple were snatched out of the fire; the destruction
also of the entire city, with the signs and wonders that went
before it; and the taking the tyrants captives, and the multitude
of those that were made slaves, and into what different
misfortunes they were every one distributed. Moreover, what the
Romans did to the remains of the wall; and how they demolished
the strong holds that were in the country; and how Titus went
over the whole country, and settled its affairs; together with
his return into Italy, and his triumph.]

12. I have comprehended all these things in seven books, and have
left no occasion for complaint or accusation to such as have been
acquainted with this war; and I have written it down for the sake
of those that love truth, but not for those that please
themselves [with fictitious relations]. And I will begin my
account of these things with what I call my First Chapter.


(1) I have already observed more than once, that this History of
the Jewish War was Josephus's first work, and published about
A.D. 75, when he was but thirty-eight years of age; and that when
he wrote it, he was not thoroughly acquainted with several
circumstances of history from the days of Antiochus Epiphanes,
with which it begins, till near his own times, contained in the
first and former part of the second book, and so committed many
involuntary errors therein. That he published his Antiquities
eighteen years afterward, in the thirteenth year of Domitian,
A.D. 93, when he was much more completely acquainted with those
ancient times, and after he had perused those most authentic
histories, the First Book of Maccabees, and the Chronicles of the
Priesthood of John Hyrcanus, etc. That accordingly he then
reviewed those parts of this work, and gave the public a more
faithful, complete, and accurate account of the facts therein
related; and honestly corrected the errors he bad before run

(2) Who these Upper Barbarians, remote from the sea, were,
Josephus himself will inform us, sect. 2, viz. the Parthians and
Babylonians, and remotest Arabians [of the Jews among them];
besides the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or
Assyrians. Whence we also learn that these Parthians,
Babylonians, the remotest Arabians, [or at least the Jews among
them,] as also the Jews beyond Euphrates, and the Adiabeni, or
Assyrians, understood Josephus's Hebrew, or rather Chaldaic,
books of The Jewish War, before they were put into the Greek

(3) That these calamities of the Jews, who were our Savior's
murderers, were to be the greatest that had ever been s nee the
beginning of the world, our Savior had directly foretold, Matthew
24:21; Mark 13:19; Luke 21:23, 24; and that they proved to be
such accordingly, Josephus is here a most authentic witness.

(4) Titus.

(5) These seven, or rather five, degrees of purity, or
purification, are enumerated hereafter, B. V. ch. 5. sect. 6. The
Rabbins make ten degrees of them, as Reland there informs us.


Containing The Interval Of One Hundred And Sixty-Seven Years.
From The Taking Of Jerusalem By Antiochus Epiphanes, To The Death
Of Herod The Great.


How The City Jerusalem Was Taken, And The Temple Pillaged [By
Antiochus Epiphanes]. As Also Concerning The Actions Of The
Maccabees, Matthias And Judas; And Concerning The Death Of Judas.
1. At the same time that Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, had
a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the whole
country of Syria, a great sedition fell among the men of power in
Judea, and they had a contention about obtaining the government;
while each of those that were of dignity could not endure to be
subject to their equals. However, Onias, one of the high priests,
got the better, and cast the sons of Tobias out of the city; who
fled to Antiochus, and besought him to make use of them for his
leaders, and to make an expedition into Judea. The king being
thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon
the Jews with a great army, and took their city by force, and
slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent
out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also spoiled
the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a
daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months. But
Onias, the high priest, fled to Ptolemy, and received a place
from him in the Nomus of Heliopolis, where he built a city
resembling Jerusalem, and a temple that was like its temple (1)
concerning which we shall speak more in its proper place

2. Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected
taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter
he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions,
and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he
compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to
keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine's flesh
upon the altar; against which they all opposed themselves, and
the most approved among them were put to death. Bacchides also,
who was sent to keep the fortresses, having these wicked
commands, joined to his own natural barbarity, indulged all sorts
of the extremest wickedness, and tormented the worthiest of the
inhabitants, man by man, and threatened their city every day with
open destruction, till at length he provoked the poor sufferers
by the extremity of his wicked doings to avenge themselves.
3. Accordingly Matthias, the son of Asamoneus, one of the priests
who lived in a village called Modin, armed himself, together with
his own family, which had five sons of his in it, and slew
Bacchides with daggers; and thereupon, out of the fear of the
many garrisons [of the enemy], he fled to the mountains; and so
many of the people followed him, that he was encouraged to come
down from the mountains, and to give battle to Antiochus's
generals, when he beat them, and drove them out of Judea. So he
came to the government by this his success, and became the prince
of his own people by their own free consent, and then died,
leaving the government to Judas, his eldest son.

4. Now Judas, supposing that Antiochus would not lie still,
gathered an army out of his own countrymen, and was the first
that made a league of friendship with the Romans, and drove
Epiphanes out of the country when he had made a second expedition
into it, and this by giving him a great defeat there; and when he
was warmed by this great success, he made an assault upon the
garrison that was in the city, for it had not been cut off
hitherto; so he ejected them out of the upper city, and drove the
soldiers into the lower, which part of the city was called the
Citadel. He then got the temple under his power, and cleansed the
whole place, and walled it round about, and made new vessels for
sacred ministrations, and brought them into the temple, because
the former vessels had been profaned. He also built another
altar, and began to offer the sacrifices; and when the city had
already received its sacred constitution again, Antiochus died;
whose son Antiochus succeeded him in the kingdom, and in his
hatred to the Jews also.

5. So this Antiochus got together fifty thousand footmen, and
five thousand horsemen, and fourscore elephants, and marched
through Judea into the mountainous parts. He then took Bethsura,
which was a small city; but at a place called Bethzacharis, where
the passage was narrow, Judas met him with his army. However,
before the forces joined battle, Judas's brother Eleazar, seeing
the very highest of the elephants adorned with a large tower, and
with military trappings of gold to guard him, and supposing that
Antiochus himself was upon him, he ran a great way before his own
army, and cutting his way through the enemy's troops, he got up
to the elephant; yet could he not reach him who seemed to be the
king, by reason of his being so high; but still he ran his weapon
into the belly of the beast, and brought him down upon himself,
and was crushed to death, having done no more than attempted
great things, and showed that he preferred glory before life. Now
he that governed the elephant was but a private man; and had he
proved to be Antiochus, Eleazar had performed nothing more by
this bold stroke than that it might appear he chose to die, when
he had the bare hope of thereby doing a glorious action; nay,
this disappointment proved an omen to his brother [Judas] how the
entire battle would end. It is true that the Jews fought it out
bravely for a long time, but the king's forces, being superior in
number, and having fortune on their side, obtained the victory.
And when a great many of his men were slain, Judas took the rest
with him, and fled to the toparchy of Gophna. So Antiochus went
to Jerusalem, and staid there but a few days, for he wanted
provisions, and so he went his way. He left indeed a garrison
behind him, such as he thought sufficient to keep the place, but
drew the rest of his army off, to take their winter-quarters in

6. Now, after the king was departed, Judas was not idle; for as
many of his own nation came to him, so did he gather those that
had escaped out of the battle together, and gave battle again to
Antiochus's generals at a village called Adasa; and being too
hard for his enemies in the battle, and killing a great number of
them, he was at last himself slain also. Nor was it many days
afterward that his brother John had a plot laid against him by
Antiochus's party, and was slain by them.


Concerning The Successors Of Judas, Who Were Jonathan And Simon,
And John Hyrcanus.

1. When Jonathan, who was Judas's brother, succeeded him, he
behaved himself with great circumspection in other respects, with
relation to his own people; and he corroborated his authority by
preserving his friendship with the Romans. He also made a league
with Antiochus the son. Yet was not all this sufficient for his
security; for the tyrant Trypho, who was guardian to Antiochus's
son, laid a plot against him; and besides that, endeavored to
take off his friends, and caught Jonathan by a wile, as he was
going to Ptolemais to Antiochus, with a few persons in his
company, and put him in bonds, and then made an expedition
against the Jews; but when he was afterward driven away by Simon,
who was Jonathan's brother, and was enraged at his defeat, he put
Jonathan to death.

2. However, Simon managed the public affairs after a courageous
manner, and took Gazara, and Joppa, and Jamnia, which were cities
in his neighborhood. He also got the garrison under, and
demolished the citadel. He was afterward an auxiliary to
Antiochus, against Trypho, whom he besieged in Dora, before he
went on his expedition against the Medes; yet could not he make
the king ashamed of his ambition, though he had assisted him in
killing Trypho; for it was not long ere Antiochus sent Cendebeus
his general with an army to lay waste Judea, and to subdue Simon;
yet he, though he was now in years, conducted the war as if he
were a much younger man. He also sent his sons with a band of
strong men against Antiochus, while he took part of the army
himself with him, and fell upon him from another quarter. He also
laid a great many men in ambush in many places of the mountains,
and was superior in all his attacks upon them; and when he had
been conqueror after so glorious a manner, he was made high
priest, and also freed the Jews from the dominion of the
Macedonians, after one hundred and seventy years of the empire
[of Seleucus].

3. This Simon also had a plot laid against him, and was slain at
a feast by his son-in-law Ptolemy, who put his wife and two sons
into prison, and sent some persons to kill John, who was also
called Hyrcanus. (2) But when the young man was informed of their
coming beforehand, he made haste to get to the city, as having a
very great confidence in the people there, both on account of the
memory of the glorious actions of his father, and of the hatred
they could not but bear to the injustice of Ptolemy. Ptolemy also
made an attempt to get into the city by another gate; but was
repelled by the people, who had just then admitted of Hyrcanus;
so he retired presently to one of the fortresses that were about
Jericho, which was called Dagon. Now when Hyrcanus had received
the high priesthood, which his father had held before, and had
offered sacrifice to God, he made great haste to attack Ptolemy,
that he might afford relief to his mother and brethren.

4. So he laid siege to the fortress, and was superior to Ptolemy
in other respects, but was overcome by him as to the just
affection [he had for his relations]; for when Ptolemy was
distressed, he brought forth his mother, and his brethren, and
set them upon the wall, and beat them with rods in every body's
sight, and threatened, that unless he would go away immediately,
he would throw them down headlong; at which sight Hyrcanus's
commiseration and concern were too hard for his anger. But his
mother was not dismayed, neither at the stripes she received, nor
at the death with which she was threatened; but stretched out her
hands, and prayed her son not to be moved with the injuries that
she suffered to spare the wretch; since it was to her better to
die by the means of Ptolemy, than to live ever so long, provided
he might be punished for the injuries he done to their family.
Now John's case was this: When he considered the courage of his
mother, and heard her entreaty, he set about his attacks; but
when he saw her beaten, and torn to pieces with the stripes, he
grew feeble, and was entirely overcome by his affections. And as
the siege was delayed by this means, the year of rest came on,
upon which the Jews rest every seventh year as they do on every
seventh day. On this year, therefore, Ptolemy was freed from
being besieged, and slew the brethren of John, with their mother,
and fled to Zeno, who was also called Cotylas, who was tyrant of

5. And now Antiochus was so angry at what he had suffered from
Simon, that he made an expedition into Judea, and sat down before
Jerusalem and besieged Hyrcanus; but Hyrcanus opened the
sepulcher of David, who was the richest of all kings, and took
thence about three thousand talents in money, and induced
Antiochus, by the promise of three thousand talents, to raise the
siege. Moreover, he was the first of the Jews that had money
enough, and began to hire foreign auxiliaries also.

6. However, at another time, when Antiochus was gone upon an
expedition against the Medes, and so gave Hyrcanus an opportunity
of being revenged upon him, he immediately made an attack upon
the cities of Syria, as thinking, what proved to be the case with
them, that he should find them empty of god troops. So he took
Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighborhood, as also
Shechem, and Gerizzim; and besides these, [he subdued] the nation
of the Cutheans, who dwelt round about that temple which was
built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem; he also took a
great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa.
7. He also proceeded as far as Samaria, where is now the city
Sebaste, which was built by Herod the king, and encompassed it
all round with a wall, and set his sons, Aristobulus and
Antigonus, over the siege; who pushed it on so hard, that a
famine so far prevailed within the city, that they were forced to
eat what never was esteemed food. They also invited Antiochus,
who was called Cyzicenus, to come to their assistance; whereupon
he got ready, and complied with their invitation, but was beaten
by Aristobulus and Antigonus; and indeed he was pursued as far as
Scythopolis by these brethren, and fled away from them. So they
returned back to Samaria, and shut the multitude again within the
wall; and when they had taken the city, they demolished it, and
made slaves of its inhabitants. And as they had still great
success in their undertakings, they did not suffer their zeal to
cool, but marched with an army as far as Scythopolis, and made an
incursion upon it, and laid waste all the country that lay within
Mount Carmel.

8. But then these successes of John and of his sons made them be
envied, and occasioned a sedition in the country; and many there
were who got together, and would not be at rest till they brake
out into open war, in which war they were beaten. So John lived
the rest of his life very happily, and administered the
government after a most extraordinary manner, and this for
thirty-three entire years together. He died, leaving five sons
behind him. He was certainly a very happy man, and afforded no
occasion to have any complaint made of fortune on his account. He
it was who alone had three of the most desirable things in the
world, - the government of his nation, and the high priesthood,
and the gift of prophecy. For the Deity conversed with him, and
he was not ignorant of any thing that was to come afterward;
insomuch that he foresaw and foretold that his two eldest sons
would not continue masters of the government; and it will highly
deserve our narration to describe their catastrophe, and how far
inferior these men were to their father in felicity.


How Aristobulus Was The First That Put A Diadem About His Head;
And After He Had Put His Mother And Brother To Death, Died
Himself, When He Had Reigned No More Than A Year.

1. For after the death of their father, the elder of them,
Aristobulus, changed the government into a kingdom, and was the
first that put a diadem upon his head, four hundred seventy and
one years and three months after our people came down into this
country, when they were set free from the Babylonian slavery.
Now, of his brethren, he appeared to have an affection for
Antigonus, who was next to him, and made him his equal; but for
the rest, he bound them, and put them in prison. He also put his
mother in bonds, for her contesting the government with him; for
John had left her to be the governess of public affairs. He also
proceeded to that degree of barbarity as to cause her to be pined
to death in prison.

2. But vengeance circumvented him in the affair of his brother
Antigonus, whom he loved, and whom he made his partner in the
kingdom; for he slew him by the means of the calumnies which ill
men about the palace contrived against him. At first, indeed,
Aristobulus would not believe their reports, partly out of the
affection he had for his brother, and partly because he thought
that a great part of these tales were owing to the envy of their
relaters: however, as Antigonus came once in a splendid manner
from the army to that festival, wherein our ancient custom is to
make tabernacles for God, it happened, in those days, that
Aristobulus was sick, and that, at the conclusion of the feast,
Antigonus came up to it, with his armed men about him; and this
when he was adorned in the finest manner possible; and that, in a
great measure, to pray to God on the behalf of his brother. Now
at this very time it was that these ill men came to the king, and
told him in what a pompous manner the armed men came, and with
what insolence Antigonus marched, and that such his insolence was
too great for a private person, and that accordingly he was come
with a great band of men to kill him; for that he could not
endure this bare enjoyment of royal honor, when it was in his
power to take the kingdom himself.

3. Now Aristobulus, by degrees, and unwillingly, gave credit to
these accusations; and accordingly he took care not to discover
his suspicion openly, though he provided to be secure against any
accidents; so he placed the guards of his body in a certain dark
subterranean passage; for he lay sick in a place called formerly
the Citadel, though afterwards its name was changed to Antonia;
and he gave orders that if Antigonus came unarmed, they should
let him alone; but if he came to him in his armor, they should
kill him. He also sent some to let him know beforehand that he
should come unarmed. But, upon this occasion, the queen very
cunningly contrived the matter with those that plotted his ruin,
for she persuaded those that were sent to conceal the king's
message; but to tell Antigonus how his brother had heard he had
got a very the suit of armor made with fine martial ornaments, in
Galilee; and because his present sickness hindered him from
coming and seeing all that finery, he very much desired to see
him now in his armor; because, said he, in a little time thou art
going away from me.

4. As soon as Antigonus heard this, the good temper of his
brother not allowing him to suspect any harm from him, he came
along with his armor on, to show it to his brother; but when he
was going along that dark passage which w{s called Strato's
Tower, he was slain by the body guards, and became an eminent
instance how calumny destroys all good-will and natural
affection, and how none of our good affections are strong enough
to resist envy perpetually.

5. And truly any one would be surprised at Judas upon this
occasion. He was of the sect of the Essens, and had never failed
or deceived men in his predictions before. Now this man saw
Antigonus as he was passing along by the temple, and cried out to
his acquaintance, (they were not a few who attended upon him as
his scholars,) "O strange!" said he, "it is good for me to die
now, since truth is dead before me, and somewhat that I have
foretold hath proved false; for this Antigonus is this day alive,
who ought to hare died this day; and the place where he ought to
be slain, according to that fatal decree, was Strato's Tower,
which is at the distance of six hundred furlongs from this place;
and yet four hours of this day are over already; which point of
time renders the prediction impossible to be fill filled." And
when the old man had said this, he was dejected in his mind, and
so continued. But in a little time news came that Antigonus was
slain in a subterraneous place, which was itself also called
Strato's Tower, by the same name with that Cesarea which lay by
the sea-side; and this ambiguity it was which caused the
prophet's disorder.

6. Hereupon Aristobulus repented of the great crime he had been
guilty of, and this gave occasion to the increase of his
distemper. He also grew worse and worse, and his soul was
constantly disturbed at the thoughts of what he had done, till
his very bowels being torn to pieces by the intolerable grief he
was under, he threw up a great quantity of blood. And as one of
those servants that attended him carried out that blood, he, by
some supernatural providence, slipped and fell down in the very
place where Antigonus had been slain; and so he spilt some of the
murderer's blood upon the spots of the blood of him that had been
murdered, which still appeared. Hereupon a lamentable cry arose
among the spectators, as if the servant had spilled the blood on
purpose in that place; and as the king heard that cry, he
inquired what was the cause of it; and while nobody durst tell
him, he pressed them so much the more to let him know what was
the matter; so at length, when he had threatened them, and forced
them to speak out, they told; whereupon he burst into tears, and
groaned, and said, "So I perceive I am not like to escape the
all-seeing eye of God, as to the great crimes I have committed;
but the vengeance of the blood of my kinsman pursues me hastily.
O thou most impudent body! how long wilt thou retain a soul that
ought to die on account of that punishment it ought to suffer for
a mother and a brother slain! How long shall I myself spend my
blood drop by drop? let them take it all at once; and let their
ghosts no longer be disappointed by a few parcels of my bowels
offered to them." As soon as he had said these words, he
presently died, when he had reigned no longer than a year.

What Actions Were Done By Alexander Janneus, Who Reigned
Twenty-Seven Years.

1. And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made
Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate
in his temper than the rest; who, when he came to the government,
slew one of his brethren, as affecting to govern himself; but had
the other of them in great esteem, as loving a quiet life,
without meddling with public affairs.

2. Now it happened that there was a battle between him and
Ptolemy, who was called Lathyrus, who had taken the city Asochis.
He indeed slew a great many of his enemies, but the victory
rather inclined to Ptolemy. But when this Ptolemy was pursued by
his mother Cleopatra, and retired into Egypt, Alexander besieged
Gadara, and took it; as also he did Amathus, which was the
strongest of all the fortresses that were about Jordan, and
therein were the most precious of all the possessions of
Theodorus, the son of Zeno. Whereupon Theodopus marched against
him, and took what belonged to himself as well as the king's
baggage, and slew ten thousand of the Jews. However, Alexander
recovered this blow, and turned his force towards the maritime
parts, and took Raphia and Gaza, with Anthedon also, which was
afterwards called Agrippias by king Herod.

3. But when he had made slaves of the citizens of all these
cities, the nation of the Jews made an insurrection against him
at a festival; for at those feasts seditions are generally begun;
and it looked as if he should not be able to escape the plot they
had laid for him, had not his foreign auxiliaries, the Pisidians
and Cilicians, assisted him; for as to the Syrians, he never
admitted them among his mercenary troops, on account of their
innate enmity against the Jewish nation. And when he had slain
more than six thousand of the rebels, he made an incursion into
Arabia; and when he had taken that country, together with the
Gileadires and Moabites, he enjoined them to pay him tribute, and
returned to Areathus; and as Theodorus was surprised at his great
success, he took the fortress, and demolished it.

4. However, when he fought with Obodas, king of the Arabians, who
had laid an ambush for him near Golan, and a plot against him, he
lost his entire army, which was crowded together in a deep
valley, and broken to pieces by the multitude of camels. And when
he had made his escape to Jerusalem, he provoked the multitude,
which hated him before, to make an insurrection against him, and
this on account of the greatness of the calamity that he was
under. However, he was then too hard for them; and, in the
several battles that were fought on both sides, he slew not fewer
than fifty thousand of the Jews in the interval of six years. Yet
had he no reason to rejoice in these victories, since he did but
consume his own kingdom; till at length he left off fighting, and
endeavored to come to a composition with them, by talking with
his subjects. But this mutability and irregularity of his conduct
made them hate him still more. And when he asked them why they so
hated him, and what he should do in order to appease them, they
said, by killing himself; for that it would be then all they
could do to be reconciled to him, who had done such tragical
things to them, even when he was dead. At the same time they
invited Demetrius, who was called Eucerus, to assist them; and as
he readily complied with their requests, in hopes of great
advantages, and came with his army, the Jews joined with those
their auxiliaries about Shechem.

5. Yet did Alexander meet both these forces with one thousand
horsemen, and eight thousand mercenaries that were on foot. He
had also with him that part of the Jews which favored him, to the
number of ten thousand; while the adverse party had three
thousand horsemen, and fourteen thousand footmen. Now, before
they joined battle, the kings made proclamation, and endeavored
to draw off each other's soldiers, and make them revolt; while
Demetrius hoped to induce Alexander's mercenaries to leave him,
and Alexander hoped to induce the Jews that were with Demetrius
to leave him. But since neither the Jews would leave off their
rage, nor the Greeks prove unfaithful, they came to an
engagement, and to a close fight with their weapons. In which
battle Demetrius was the conqueror, although Alexander's
mercenaries showed the greatest exploits, both in soul and body.
Yet did the upshot of this battle prove different from what was
expected, as to both of them; for neither did those that invited
Demetrius to come to them continue firm to him, though he was
conqueror; and six thousand Jews, out of pity to the change of
Alexander's condition, when he was fled to the mountains, came
over to him. Yet could not Demetrius bear this turn of affairs;
but supposing that Alexander was already become a match for him
again, and that all the nation would [at length] run to him, he
left the country, and went his way.

6. However, the rest of the [Jewish] multitude did not lay aside
their quarrels with him, when the [foreign] auxiliaries were
gone; but they had a perpetual war with Alexander, until he had
slain the greatest part of them, and driven the rest into the
city Berneselis; and when he had demolished that city, he carried
the captives to Jerusalem. Nay, his rage was grown so
extravagant, that his barbarity proceeded to the degree of
impiety; for when he had ordered eight hundred to be hung upon
crosses in the midst of the city, he had the throats of their
wives and children cut before their eyes; and these executions he
saw as he was drinking and lying down with his concubines. Upon
which so deep a surprise seized on the people, that eight
thousand of his opposers fled away the very next night, out of
all Judea, whose flight was only terminated by Alexander's death;
so at last, though not till late, and with great difficulty, he,
by such actions, procured quiet to his kingdom, and left off
fighting any more.

7. Yet did that Antiochus, who was also called Dionysius, become
an origin of troubles again. This man was the brother of
Demetrius, and the last of the race of the Seleucidse. (3)
Alexander was afraid of him, when he was marching against the
Arabians; so he cut a deep trench between Antipatris, which was
near the mountains, and the shores of Joppa; he also erected a
high wall before the trench, and built wooden towers, in order to
hinder any sudden approaches. But still he was not able to
exclude Antiochus, for he burnt the towers, and filled up the
trenches, and marched on with his army. And as he looked upon
taking his revenge on Alexander, for endeavoring to stop him, as
a thing of less consequence, he marched directly against the
Arabians, whose king retired into such parts of the country as
were fittest for engaging the enemy, and then on the sudden made
his horse turn back, which were in number ten thousand, and fell
upon Antiochus's army while they were in disorder, and a terrible
battle ensued. Antiochus's troops, so long as he was alive,
fought it out, although a mighty slaughter was made among them by
the Arabians; but when he fell, for he was in the forefront, in
the utmost danger, in rallying his troops, they all gave ground,
and the greatest part of his army were destroyed, either in the
action or the flight; and for the rest, who fled to the village
of Cana, it happened that they were all consumed by want of
necessaries, a few only excepted.

8. About this time it was that the people of Damascus, out of
their hatred to Ptolemy, the son of Menhens, invited Aretas [to
take the government], and made him king of Celesyria. This man
also made an expedition against Judea, and beat Alexander in
battle; but afterwards retired by mutual agreement. But
Alexander, when he had taken Pella, marched to Gerasa again, out
of the covetous desire he had of Theodorus's possessions; and
when he had built a triple wall about the garrison, he took the
place by force. He also demolished Golan, and Seleucia, and what
was called the Valley of Antiochus; besides which, he took the
strong fortress of Gamala, and stripped Demetrius, who was
governor therein, of what he had, on account of the many crimes
laid to his charge, and then returned into Judea, after he had
been three whole years in this expedition. And now he was kindly
received of the nation, because of the good success he had. So
when he was at rest from war, he fell into a distemper; for he
was afflicted with a quartan ague, and supposed that, by
exercising himself again in martial affairs, he should get rid of
this distemper; but by making such expeditions at unseasonable
times, and forcing his body to undergo greater hardships than it
was able to bear, he brought himself to his end. He died,
therefore, in the midst of his troubles, after he had reigned
seven and twenty years.


Alexandra Reigns Nine Years, During Which Time The Pharisees Were
The Real Rulers Of The Nation.

1. Now Alexander left the kingdom to Alexandra his wife, and
depended upon it that the Jews would now very readily submit to
her, because she had been very averse to such cruelty as he had
treated them with, and had opposed his violation of their laws,
and had thereby got the good-will of the people. Nor was he
mistaken as to his expectations; for this woman kept the
dominion, by the opinion that the people had of her piety; for
she chiefly studied the ancient customs of her country, and cast
those men out of the government that offended against their holy
laws. And as she had two sons by Alexander, she made Hyrcanus the
elder high priest, on account of his age, as also, besides that,
on account of his inactive temper, no way disposing him to
disturb the public. But she retained the younger, Aristobulus,
with her as a private person, by reason of the warmth of his

2. And now the Pharisees joined themselves to her, to assist her
in the government. These are a certain sect of the Jews that
appear more religious than others, and seem to interpret the laws
more accurately. low Alexandra hearkened to them to an
extraordinary degree, as being herself a woman of great piety
towards God. But these Pharisees artfully insinuated themselves
into her favor by little and little, and became themselves the
real administrators of the public affairs: they banished and
reduced whom they pleased; they bound and loosed [men] at their
pleasure; (4) and, to say all at once, they had the enjoyment of
the royal authority, whilst the expenses and the difficulties of
it belonged to Alexandra. She was a sagacious woman in the
management of great affairs, and intent always upon gathering
soldiers together; so that she increased the army the one half,
and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation
became not only very powerful at home, but terrible also to
foreign potentates, while she governed other people, and the
Pharisees governed her.

3. Accordingly, they themselves slew Diogenes, a person of
figure, and one that had been a friend to Alexander; and accused
him as having assisted the king with his advice, for crucifying
the eight hundred men [before mentioned.] They also prevailed
with Alexandra to put to death the rest of those who had
irritated him against them. Now she was so superstitious as to
comply with their desires, and accordingly they slew whom they
pleased themselves. But the principal of those that were in
danger fled to Aristobulus, who persuaded his mother to spare the
men on account of their dignity, but to expel them out of the
city, unless she took them to be innocent; so they were suffered
to go unpunished, and were dispersed all over the country. But
when Alexandra sent out her army to Damascus, under pretense that
Ptolemy was always oppressing that city, she got possession of
it; nor did it make any considerable resistance. She also
prevailed with Tigranes, king of Armenia, who lay with his troops
about Ptolemais, and besieged Cleopatra, (5) by agreements and
presents, to go away. Accordingly, Tigranes soon arose from the
siege, by reason of those domestic tumults which happened upon
Lucullus's expedition into Armenia.

4. In the mean time, Alexandra fell sick, and Aristobulus, her
younger son, took hold of this opportunity, with his domestics,
of which he had a great many, who were all of them his friends,
on account of the warmth of their youth, and got possession of
all the fortresses. He also used the sums of money he found in
them to get together a number of mercenary soldiers, and made
himself king; and besides this, upon Hyrcanus's complaint to his
mother, she compassionated his case, and put Aristobulus's wife
and sons under restraint in Antonia, which was a fortress that
joined to the north part of the temple. It was, as I have already
said, of old called the Citadel; but afterwards got the name of
Antonia, when Antony was [lord of the East], just as the other
cities, Sebaste and Agrippias, had their names changed, and these
given them from Sebastus and Agrippa. But Alexandra died before
she could punish Aristobulus for his disinheriting his brother,
after she had reigned nine years.


When Hyrcanus Who Was Alexander's Heir, Receded From His Claim To
The Crown Aristobulus Is Made King; And Afterward The Same
Hyrcanus By The Means Of Antipater, Is Brought Back By Abetas. At
Last Pompey Is Made The Arbitrator Of The Dispute Between The

1. Now Hyrcanus was heir to the kingdom, and to him did his
mother commit it before she died; but Aristobulus was superior to
him in power and magnanimity; and when there was a battle between
them, to decide the dispute about the kingdom, near Jericho, the
greatest part deserted Hyrcanus, and went over to Aristobulus;
but Hyrcanus, with those of his party who staid with him, fled to
Antonia, and got into his power the hostages that might he for
his preservation (which were Aristobulus's wife, with her
children); but they came to an agreement before things should
come to extremities, that Aristobulus should be king, and
Hyrcanus should resign that up, but retain all the rest of his
dignities, as being the king's brother. Hereupon they were
reconciled to each other in the temple, and embraced one another
in a very kind manner, while the people stood round about them;
they also changed their houses, while Aristobulus went to the
royal palace, and Hyrcanus retired to the house of Aristobulus.
2. Now those other people which were at variance with Aristobulus
were afraid upon his unexpected obtaining the government; and
especially this concerned Antipater (6) whom Aristobulus hated of
old. He was by birth an Idumean, and one of the principal of that
nation, on account of his ancestors and riches, and other
authority to him belonging: he also persuaded Hyrcanus to fly to
Aretas, the king of Arabia, and to lay claim to the kingdom; as
also he persuaded Aretas to receive Hyrcanus, and to bring him
back to his kingdom: he also cast great reproaches upon
Aristobulus, as to his morals, and gave great commendations to
Hyrcanus, and exhorted Aretas to receive him, and told him how
becoming a filing it would be for him, who ruled so great a
kingdom, to afford his assistance to such as are injured;
alleging that Hyrcanus was treated unjustly, by being deprived of
that dominion which belonged to him by the prerogative of his
birth. And when he had predisposed them both to do what he would
have them, he took Hyrcanus by night, and ran away from the city,
and, continuing his flight with great swiftness, he escaped to
the place called Petra, which is the royal seat of the king of
Arabia, where he put Hyrcanus into Aretas's hand; and by
discoursing much with him, and gaining upon him with many
presents, he prevailed with him to give him an army that might
restore him to his kingdom. This army consisted of fifty thousand
footmen and horsemen, against which Aristobulus was not able to
make resistance, but was deserted in his first onset, and was
driven to Jerusalem; he also had been taken at first by force, if
Scaurus, the Roman general, had not come and seasonably
interposed himself, and raised the siege. This Scaurus was sent
into Syria from Armenia by Pompey the Great, when he fought
against Tigranes; so Scaurus came to Damascus, which had been
lately taken by Metellus and Lollius, and caused them to leave
the place; and, upon his hearing how the affairs of Judea stood,
he made haste thither as to a certain booty.

3. As soon, therefore, as he was come into the country, there
came ambassadors from both the brothers, each of them desiring
his assistance; but Aristobulus's three hundred talents had more
weight with him than the justice of the cause; which sum, when
Scaurus had received, he sent a herald to Hyrcanus and the
Arabians, and threatened them with the resentment of the Romans
and of Pompey, unless they would raise the siege. So Aretas was
terrified, and retired out of Judea to Philadelphia, as did
Scaurus return to Damascus again; nor was Aristobulus satisfied
with escaping [out of his brother's hands,] but gathered all his
forces together, and pursued his enemies, and fought them at a
place called Papyron, and slew about six thousand of them, and,
together with them Antipater's brother Phalion.

4. When Hyrcanus and Antipater were thus deprived of their hopes
from the Arabians, they transferred the same to their
adversaries; and because Pompey had passed through Syria, and was
come to Damascus, they fled to him for assistance; and, without
any bribes, they made the same equitable pleas that they had
used to Aretas, and besought him to hate the violent behavior of
Aristobulus, and to bestow the kingdom on him to whom it justly
belonged, both on account of his good character and on account of
his superiority in age. However, neither was Aristobulus wanting
to himself in this case, as relying on the bribes that Scaurus
had received: he was also there himself, and adorned himself
after a manner the most agreeable to royalty that he was able.
But he soon thought it beneath him to come in such a servile
manner, and could not endure to serve his own ends in a way so
much more abject than he was used to; so he departed from

5. At this his behavior Pompey had great indignation; Hyrcanus
also and his friends made great intercessions to Pompey; so he
took not only his Roman forces, but many of his Syrian
auxiliaries, and marched against Aristobulus. But when he had
passed by Pella and Scythopolis, and was come to Corea, where you
enter into the country of Judea, when you go up to it through the
Mediterranean parts, he heard that Aristobulus was fled to
Alexandrium, which is a strong hold fortified with the utmost
magnificence, and situated upon a high mountain; and he sent to
him, and commanded him to come down. Now his inclination was to
try his fortune in a battle, since he was called in such an
imperious manner, rather than to comply with that call. However,
he saw the multitude were in great fear, and his friends exhorted
him to consider what the power of the Romans was, and how it was
irresistible; so he complied with their advice, and came down to
Pompey; and when he had made a long apology for himself, and for
the justness of his cause in taking the government, he returned
to the fortress. And when his brother invited him again [to plead
his cause], he came down and spake about the justice of it, and
then went away without any hinderance from Pompey; so he was
between hope and fear. And when he came down, it was to prevail
with Pompey to allow him the government entirely; and when he
went up to the citadel, it was that he might not appear to debase
himself too low. However, Pompey commanded him to give up his
fortified places, and forced him to write to every one of their
governors to yield them up; they having had this charge given
them, to obey no letters but what were of his own hand-writing.
Accordingly he did what he was ordered to do; but had still an
indignation at what was done, and retired to Jerusalem, and
prepared to fight with Pompey.

6. But Pompey did not give him time to make any preparations [for
a siege], but followed him at his heels; he was also obliged to
make haste in his attempt, by the death of Mithridates, of which
he was informed about Jericho. Now here is the most fruitful
country of Judea, which bears a vast number of palm trees (7)
besides the balsam tree, whose sprouts they cut with sharp
stones, and at the incisions they gather the juice, which drops
down like tears. So Pompey pitched his camp in that place one
night, and then hasted away the next morning to Jerusalem; but
Aristobulus was so aftrighted at his approach, that he came and
met him by way of supplication. He also promised him money, and
that he would deliver up both himself and the city into his
disposal, and thereby mitigated the anger of Pompey. Yet did not
he perform any of the conditions he had agreed to; for
Aristobulus's party would not so much as admit Gabinius into the
city, who was sent to receive the money that he had promised.

How Pompey Had The City Of Jerusalem Delivered Up To Him But Took
The Temple By Force. How He Went Into The Holy Of Holies; As Also
What Were His Other Exploits In Judea.

1. At this treatment Pompey was very angry, and took Aristobulus
into custody. And when he was come to the city, he looked about
where he might make his attack; for he saw the walls were so
firm, that it would be hard to overcome them; and that the valley
before the walls was terrible; and that the temple, which was
within that valley, was itself encompassed with a very strong
wall, insomuch that if the city were taken, that temple would be
a second place of refuge for the enemy to retire to.

2. Now as be was long in deliberating about this matter, a
sedition arose among the people within the city; Aristobulus's
party being willing to fight, and to set their king at liberty,
while the party of Hyrcanus were for opening the gates to Pompey;
and the dread people were in occasioned these last to be a very
numerous party, when they looked upon the excellent order the
Roman soldiers were in. So Aristobulus's party was worsted, and
retired into the temple, and cut off the communication between
the temple and the city, by breaking down the bridge that joined
them together, and prepared to make an opposition to the utmost;
but as the others had received the Romans into the city, and had
delivered up the palace to him, Pompey sent Piso, one of his
great officers, into that palace with an army, who distributed a
garrison about the city, because he could not persuade any one of
those that had fled to the temple to come to terms of
accommodation; he then disposed all things that were round about
them so as might favor their attacks, as having Hyrcanus's party
very ready to afford them both counsel and assistance.

3. But Pompey himself filled up the ditch that was oil the north
side of the temple, and the entire valley also, the army itself
being obliged to carry the materials for that purpose. And indeed
it was a hard thing to fill up that valley, by reason of its
immense depth, especially as the Jews used all the means possible
to repel them from their superior situation; nor had the Romans
succeeded in their endeavors, had not Pompey taken notice of the
seventh days, on which the Jews abstain from all sorts of work on
a religious account, and raised his bank, but restrained his
soldiers from fighting on those days; for the Jews only acted
defensively on sabbath days. But as soon as Pompey had filled up
the valley, he erected high towers upon the bank, and brought
those engines which they had fetched from Tyre near to the wall,
and tried to batter it down; and the slingers of stones beat off
those that stood above them, and drove them away; but the towers
on this side of the city made very great resistance, and were
indeed extraordinary both for largeness and magnificence.

4. Now here it was that, upon the many hardships which the Romans
underwent, Pompey could not but admire not only at the other
instances of the Jews' fortitude, but especially that they did
not at all intermit their religious services, even when they were
encompassed with darts on all sides; for, as if the city were in
full peace, their daily sacrifices and purifications, and every
branch of their religious worship, was still performed to God
with the utmost exactness. Nor indeed when the temple was
actually taken, and they were every day slain about the altar,
did they leave off the instances of their Divine worship that
were appointed by their law; for it was in the third month of the
siege before the Romans could even with great difficulty
overthrow one of the towers, and get into the temple. Now he that
first of all ventured to get over the wall, was Faustus Cornelius
the son of Sylla; and next after him were two centurions, Furius
and Fabius; and every one of these was followed by a cohort of
his own, who encompassed the Jews on all sides, and slew them,
some of them as they were running for shelter to the temple, and
others as they, for a while, fought in their own defense.

5. And now did many of the priests, even when they saw their
enemies assailing them with swords in their hands, without any
disturbance, go on with their Divine worship, and were slain
while they were offering their drink-offerings, and burning their
incense, as preferring the duties about their worship to God
before their own preservation. The greatest part of them were
slain by their own countrymen, of the adverse faction, and an
innumerable multitude threw themselves down precipices; nay, some
there were who were so distracted among the insuperable
difficulties they were under, that they set fire to the buildings
that were near to the wall, and were burnt together with them.
Now of the Jews were slain twelve thousand; but of the Romans
very few were slain, but a greater number was wounded.

6. But there was nothing that affected the nation so much, in the
calamities they were then under, as that their holy place, which
had been hitherto seen by none, should be laid open to strangers;
for Pompey, and those that were about him, went into the temple
itself (8) whither it was not lawful for any to enter but the
high priest, and saw what was reposited therein, the candlestick
with its lamps, and the table, and the pouring vessels, and the
censers, all made entirely of gold, as also a great quantity of
spices heaped together, with two thousand talents of sacred
money. Yet did not he touch that money, nor any thing else that
was there reposited; but he commanded the ministers about the
temple, the very next day after he had taken it, to cleanse it,
and to perform their accustomed sacrifices. Moreover, he made
Hyrcanus high priest, as one that not only in other respects had
showed great alacrity, on his side, during the siege, but as he
had been the means of hindering the multitude that was in the
country from fighting for Aristobulus, which they were otherwise
very ready to have done; by which means he acted the part of a
good general, and reconciled the people to him more by
benevolence than by terror. Now, among the Captives,
Aristobulus's father-in-law was taken, who was also his uncle: so
those that were the most guilty he punished with decollatlon; but
rewarded Faustus, and those with him that had fought so bravely,
with glorious presents, and laid a tribute upon the country, and
upon Jerusalem itself.

7. He also took away from the nation all those cities that they
had formerly taken, and that belonged to Celesyria, and made them
subject to him that was at that time appointed to be the Roman
president there; and reduced Judea within its proper bounds. He
also rebuilt Gadara, (9) that had been demolished by the Jews, in
order to gratify one Demetrius, who was of Gadara, and was one of
his own freed-men. He also made other cities free from their
dominion, that lay in the midst of the country, such, I mean, as
they had not demolished before that time; Hippos, and
Scythopolis, as also Pella, and Samaria, and Marissa; and besides
these Ashdod, and Jamnia, and Arethusa; and in like manner dealt
he with the maritime cities, Gaza, and Joppa, and Dora, and that
which was anciently called Strato's Tower, but was afterward
rebuilt with the most magnificent edifices, and had its name
changed to Cesarea, by king Herod. All which he restored to their
own citizens, and put them under the province of Syria; which
province, together with Judea, and the countries as far as Egypt
and Euphrates, he committed to Scaurus as their governor, and
gave him two legions to support him; while he made all the haste
he could himself to go through Cilicia, in his way to Rome,
having Aristobulus and his children along with him as his
captives. They were two daughters and two sons; the one of which
sons, Alexander, ran away as he was going; but the younger,
Antigonus, with his sisters, were carried to Rome.


Alexander, The Son Of Aristobulus, Who Ran Away From Pompey,
Makes An Expedition Against Hyrcanus; But Being Overcome By
Gabinius He Delivers Up The Fortresses To Him. After This
Aristobulus Escapes From Rome And Gathers An Army Together; But
Being Beaten By The Romans, He Is Brought Back To Rome; With
Other Things Relating To Gabinius, Crassus And Cassius.

1. In the mean time, Scaurus made an expedition into Arabia, but
was stopped by the difficulty of the places about Petra. However,
he laid waste the country about Pella, though even there he was
under great hardship; for his army was afflicted with famine. In
order to supply which want, Hyrcanus afforded him some
assistance, and sent him provisions by the means of Antipater;
whom also Scaurus sent to Aretas, as one well acquainted with
him, to induce him to pay him money to buy his peace. The king of
Arabia complied with the proposal, and gave him three hundred
talents; upon which Scaurus drew his army out of Arabia (10)
2. But as for Alexander, that son of Aristobulus who ran away
from Pompey, in some time he got a considerable band of men
together, and lay heavy upon Hyrcanus, and overran Judea, and was
likely to overturn him quickly; and indeed he had come to
Jerusalem, and had ventured to rebuild its wall that was thrown
down by Pompey, had not Gabinius, who was sent as successor to
Scaurus into Syria, showed his bravery, as in many other points,
so in making an expedition against Alexander; who, as he was
afraid that he would attack him, so he got together a large army,
composed of ten thousand armed footmen, and fifteen hundred
horsemen. He also built walls about proper places; Alexandrium,
and Hyrcanium, and Machorus, that lay upon the mountains of

3. However, Gabinius sent before him Marcus Antonius, and
followed himself with his whole army; but for the select body of
soldiers that were about Antipater, and another body of Jews
under the command of Malichus and Pitholaus, these joined
themselves to those captains that were about Marcus Antonius, and
met Alexander; to which body came Oabinius with his main army
soon afterward; and as Alexander was not able to sustain the
charge of the enemies' forces, now they were joined, he retired.
But when he was come near to Jerusalem, he was forced to fight,
and lost six thousand men in the battle; three thousand of which
fell down dead, and three thousand were taken alive; so he fled
with the remainder to Alexandrium.

4. Now when Gabinius was come to Alexandrium, because he found a
great many there en-camped, he tried, by promising them pardon
for their former offenses, to induce them to come over to him
before it came to a fight; but when they would hearken to no
terms of accommodation, he slew a great number of them, and shut
up a great number of them in the citadel. Now Marcus Antonius,
their leader, signalized himself in this battle, who, as he
always showed great courage, so did he never show it so much as
now; but Gabinius, leaving forces to take the citadel, went away
himself, and settled the cities that had not been demolished, and
rebuilt those that had been destroyed. Accordingly, upon his
injunctions, the following cities were restored: Scythopolis, and
Samaria, and Anthedon, and Apollonia, and Jamnia, and Raphia, and
Mariassa, and Adoreus, and Gamala, and Ashdod, and many others;
while a great number of men readily ran to each of them, and
became their inhabitants.

5. When Gabinius had taken care of these cities, he returned to
Alexandrium, and pressed on the siege. So when Alexander
despaired of ever obtaining the government, he sent ambassadors
to him, and prayed him to forgive what he had offended him in,
and gave up to him the remaining fortresses, Hyrcanium and
Macherus, as he put Alexandrium into his hands afterwards; all
which Gabinius demolished, at the persuasion of Alexander's
mother, that they might not be receptacles of men in a second
war. She was now there in order to mollify Gabinius, out of her
concern for her relations that were captives at Rome, which were
her husband and her other children. After this Gabinius brought
Hyrcanus to Jerusalem, and committed the care of the temple to
him; but ordained the other political government to be by an
aristocracy. He also parted the whole nation into five
conventions, assigning one portion to Jerusalem, another to
Gadara, that another should belong to Amathus, a fourth to
Jericho, and to the fifth division was allotted Sepphoris, a city
of Galilee. So the people were glad to be thus freed from
monarchical government, and were governed for the future by all

6. Yet did Aristobulus afford another foundation for new
disturbances. He fled away from Rome, and got together again many
of the Jews that were desirous of a change, such as had borne an
affection to him of old; and when he had taken Alexandrium in the
first place, he attempted to build a wall about it; but as soon
as Gabinius had sent an army against him under Siscuria, and
Antonius, and Servilius, he was aware of it, and retreated to
Macherus. And as for the unprofitable multitude, he dismissed
them, and only marched on with those that were armed, being to
the number of eight thousand, among whom was Pitholaus, who had
been the lieutenant at Jerusalem, but deserted to Aristobulus
with a thousand of his men; so the Romans followed him, and when
it came to a battle, Aristobulus's party for a long time fought
courageously; but at length they were overborne by the Romans,
and of them five thousand fell down dead, and about two thousand
fled to a certain little hill, but the thousand that remained
with Aristobulus brake through the Roman army, and marched
together to Macherus; and when the king had lodged the first
night upon its ruins, he was in hopes of raising another army, if
the war would but cease a while; accordingly, he fortified that
strong hold, though it was done after a poor manner. But the
Romans falling upon him, he resisted, even beyond his abilities,
for two days, and then was taken, and brought a prisoner to
Gabinius, with Antigonus his son, who had fled away together with
him from Rome; and from Gabinius he was carried to Rome again.
Wherefore the senate put him under confinement, but returned his
children back to Judea, because Gabinius informed them by letters
that he had promised Aristobulus's mother to do so, for her
delivering the fortresses up to him.

7. But now as Gabinius was marching to the war against the
Parthians, he was hindered by Ptolemy, whom, upon his return from
Euphrates, he brought back into Egypt, making use of Hyrcanus and
Antipater to provide every thing that was necessary for this
expedition; for Antipater furnished him with money, and weapons,
and corn, and auxiliaries; he also prevailed with the Jews that
were there, and guarded the avenues at Pelusium, to let them
pass. But now, upon Gabinius's absence, the other part of Syria
was in motion, and Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, brought the
Jews to revolt again. Accordingly, he got together a very great
army, and set about killing all the Romans that were in the
country; hereupon Gabinius was afraid, (for he was come back
already out of Egypt, and obliged to come back quickly by these
tumults,) and sent Antipater, who prevailed with some of the
revolters to be quiet. However, thirty thousand still continued
with Alexander, who was himself eager to fight also; accordingly,
Gabinius went out to fight, when the Jews met him; and as the
battle was fought near Mount Tabor, ten thousand of them were
slain, and the rest of the multitude dispersed themselves, and
fled away. So Gabinius came to Jerusalem, and settled the
government as Antipater would have it; thence he marched, and
fought and beat the Nabateans: as for Mithridates and Orsanes,
who fled out of Parthin, he sent them away privately, but gave it
out among the soldiers that they had run away.

8. In the mean time, Crassus came as successor to Gabinius in
Syria. He took away all the rest of the gold belonging to the
temple of Jerusalem, in order to furnish himself for his
expedition against the Parthians. He also took away the two
thousand talents which Pompey had not touched; but when he had
passed over Euphrates, he perished himself, and his army with
him; concerning which affairs this is not a proper time to speak
[more largely].

9. But now Cassius, after Crassus, put a stop to the Parthians,
who were marching in order to enter Syria. Cassius had fled into
that province, and when he had taken possession of the same, he
made a hasty march into Judea; and, upon his taking Taricheae, he
carried thirty thousand Jews into slavery. He also slew
Pitholaus, who had supported the seditious followers of
Aristobulus; and it was Antipater who advised him so to do. Now
this Antipater married a wife of an eminent family among the
Arabisus, whose name was Cypros, and had four sons born to him by
her, Phasaelus and Herod, who was afterwards king, and, besides
these, Joseph and Pheroras; and he had a daughter whose name was
Salome. Now as he made himself friends among the men of power
every where, by the kind offices he did them, and the hospitable
manner that he treated them; so did he contract the greatest
friendship with the king of Arabia, by marrying his relation;
insomuch that when he made war with Aristobulus, he sent and
intrusted his children with him. So when Cassius had forced
Alexander to come to terms and to be quiet, he returned to
Euphrates, in order to prevent the Parthians from repassing it;
concerning which matter we shall speak elsewhere. (11)


Aristobulus Is Taken Off By Pompey's Friends, As Is His Son
Alexander By Scipio. Antipater Cultivates A Friendship With
Caesar, After Pompey's Death; He Also Performs Great Actions In
That War, Wherein He Assisted Mithridates.

1. Now, upon the flight of Pompey and of the senate beyond the
Ionian Sea, Caesar got Rome and the empire under his power, and
released Aristobulus from his bonds. He also committed two
legions to him, and sent him in haste into Syria, as hoping that
by his means he should easily conquer that country, and the parts
adjoining to Judea. But envy prevented any effect of
Aristobulus's alacrity, and the hopes of Caesar; for he was taken
off by poison given him by those of Pompey's party; and, for a
long while, he had not so much as a burial vouchsafed him in his
own country; but his dead body lay [above ground], preserved in
honey, until it was sent to the Jews by Antony, in order to be
buried in the royal sepulchers.

2. His son Alexander also was beheaded by Sci-pio at Antioch, and
that by the command of Pompey, and upon an accusation laid
against him before his tribunal, for the mischiefs he had done to
the Romans. But Ptolemy, the son of Menneus, who was then ruler
of Chalcis, under Libanus, took his brethren to him by sending
his son Philippio for them to Ascalon, who took Antigonus, as
well as his sisters, away from Aristobulus's wife, and brought
them to his father; and falling in love with the younger
daughter, he married her, and was afterwards slain by his father
on her account; for Ptolemy himself, after he had slain his son,
married her, whose name was Alexandra; on the account of which
marriage he took the greater care of her brother and sister.
3. Now, after Pompey was dead, Antipater changed sides, and
cultivated a friendship with Caesar. And since Mithridates of
Pergamus, with the forces he led against Egypt, was excluded from
the avenues about Pelusium, and was forced to stay at Asealon, he
persuaded the Arabians, among whom he had lived, to assist him,
and came himself to him, at the head of three thousand armed men.
He also encouraged the men of power in Syria to come to his
assistance, as also of the inhabitants of Libanus, Ptolemy, and
Jamblicus, and another Ptolemy; by which means the cities of that
country came readily into this war; insomuch that Mithridates
ventured now, in dependence upon the additional strength that he
had gotten by Antipater, to march forward to Pelusium; and when
they refused him a passage through it, he besieged the city; in
the attack of which place Antipater principally signalized
himself, for he brought down that part of the wall which was over
against him, and leaped first of all into the city, with the men
that were about him.

4. Thus was Pelusium taken. But still, as they were marching on,
those Egyptian Jews that inhabited the country called the country
of Onias stopped them. Then did Antipater not only persuade them
not to stop them, but to afford provisions for their army; on
which account even the people about Memphis would not fight
against them, but of their own accord joined Mithridates.
Whereupon he went round about Delta, and fought the rest of the
Egyptians at a place called the Jews' Camp; nay, when he was in
danger in the battle with all his right wing, Antipater wheeled
about, and came along the bank of the river to him; for he had
beaten those that opposed him as he led the left wing. After
which success he fell upon those that pursued Mithridates, and
slew a great many of them, and pursued the remainder so far that
he took their camp, while he lost no more than fourscore of his
own men; as Mithridates lost, during the pursuit that was made
after him, about eight hundred. He was also himself saved
unexpectedly, and became an unreproachable witness to Caesar of
the great actions of Antipater.

5. Whereupon Caesar encouraged Antipater to undertake other
hazardous enterprises for him, and that by giving him great
commendations and hopes of reward. In all which enterprises he
readily exposed himself to many dangers, and became a most
courageous warrior; and had many wounds almost all over his body,
as demonstrations of his valor. And when Caesar had settled the
affairs of Egypt, and was returning into Syria again, he gave him
the privilege of a Roman citizen, and freedom from taxes, and
rendered him an object of admiration by the honors and marks of
friendship he bestowed upon him. On this account it was that he
also confirmed Hyrcanus in the high priesthood.


Caesar Makes Antipater Procurator Of Judea; As Does Antipater
Appoint Phasaelus To Be Governor Of Jerusalem, And Herod Governor
Of Galilee; Who, In Some Time, Was Called To Answer For Himself
[Before The Sanhedrim], Where He Is Acquitted. Sextus Caesar Is
Treacherously Killed By Bassus And Is Succeeded By Marcus.
1. About this time it was that Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus,
came to Caesar, and became, in a surprising manner, the occasion
of Antipater's further advancement; for whereas he ought to have
lamented that his father appeared to have been poisoned on
account of his quarrels with Pompey, and to have complained of
Scipio's barbarity towards his brother, and not to mix any
invidious passion when he was suing for mercy; besides those
things, he came before Caesar, and accused Hyrcanus and
Antipater, how they had driven him and his brethren entirely out
of their native country, and had acted in a great many instances
unjustly and extravagantly with relation to their nation; and
that as to the assistance they had sent him into Egypt, it was
not done out of good-will to him, but out of the fear they were
in from former quarrels, and in order to gain pardon for their
friendship to [his enemy] Pompey.

2. Hereupon Antipater threw away his garments, and showed the
multitude of the wounds he had, and said, that as to his
good-will to Caesar, he had no occasion to say a word, because
his body cried aloud, though he said nothing himself; that he
wondered at Antigonus's boldness, while he was himself no other
than the son of an enemy to the Romans, and of a fugitive, and
had it by inheritance from his father to be fond of innovations
and seditions, that he should undertake to accuse other men
before the Roman governor, and endeavor to gain some advantages
to himself, when he ought to be contented that he was suffered to
live; for that the reason of his desire of governing public
affairs was not so much because he was in want of it, but
because, if he could once obtain the same, he might stir up a
sedition among the Jews, and use what he should gain from the
Romans to the disservice of those that gave it him.

3. When Caesar heard this, he declared Hyrcanus to be the most
worthy of the high priesthood, and gave leave to Antipater to
choose what authority he pleased; but he left the determination
of such dignity to him that bestowed the dignity upon him; so he
was constituted procurator of all Judea, and obtained leave,
moreover, to rebuild (12) those walls of his country that had
been thrown down. These honorary grants Caesar sent orders to
have engraved in the Capitol, that they might stand there as
indications of his own justice, and of the virtue of Antipater.
4. But as soon as Antipater had conducted Caesar out of Syria he
returned to Judea, and the first thing he did was to rebuild that
wall of his own country [Jerusalem] which Pompey had overthrown,
and then to go over the country, and to quiet the tumults that
were therein; where he partly threatened, and partly advised,
every one, and told them that in case they would submit to
Hyrcanus, they would live happily and peaceably, and enjoy what
they possessed, and that with universal peace and quietness; but
that in case they hearkened to such as had some frigid hopes by
raising new troubles to get themselves some gain, they should
then find him to be their lord instead of their procurator; and
find Hyrcanus to be a tyrant instead of a king; and both the
Romans and Caesar to be their enemies, instead of rulers; for
that they would not suffer him to be removed from the government,
whom they had made their governor. And, at the same time that he
said this, he settled the affairs of the country by himself,
because he saw that Hyrcanus was inactive, and not fit to manage
the affairs of the kingdom. So he constituted his eldest son,
Phasaelus, governor of Jerusalem, and of the parts about it; he
also sent his next son, Herod, who was very young, (13) with
equal authority into Galilee.

5. Now Herod was an active man, and soon found proper materials
for his active spirit to work upon. As therefore he found that
Hezekias, the head of the robbers, ran over the neighboring parts
of Syria with a great band of men, he caught him and slew him,
and many more of the robbers with him; which exploit was chiefly
grateful to the Syrians, insomuch that hymns were sung in Herod's
commendation, both in the villages and in the cities, as having
procured their quietness, and having preserved what they
possessed to them; on which occasion he became acquainted with
Sextus Caesar, a kinsman of the great Caesar, and president of
Syria. A just emulation of his glorious actions excited Phasaelus
also to imitate him. Accordingly, he procured the good-will of
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, by his own management of the city
affairs, and did not abuse his power in any disagreeable manner;
whence it came to pass that the nation paid Antipater the
respects that were due only to a king, and the honors they all
yielded him were equal to the honors due to an absolute lord; yet
did he not abate any part of that good-will or fidelity which he
owed to Hyrcanus.

6. However, he found it impossible to escape envy in such his
prosperity; for the glory of these young men affected even
Hyrcanus himself already privately, though he said nothing of it
to any body; but what he principally was grieved at was the great
actions of Herod, and that so many messengers came one before
another, and informed him of the great reputation he got in all
his undertakings. There were also many people in the royal palace
itself who inflamed his envy at him; those, I mean, who were
obstructed in their designs by the prudence either of the young
men, or of Antipater. These men said, that by committing the
public affairs to the management of Antipater and of his sons, he
sat down with nothing but the bare name of a king, without any of
its authority; and they asked him how long he would so far
mistake himself, as to breed up kings against his own interest;
for that they did not now conceal their government of affairs any
longer, but were plainly lords of the nation, and had thrust him
out of his authority; that this was the case when Herod slew so
many men without his giving him any command to do it, either by
word of mouth, or by his letter, and this in contradiction to the
law of the Jews; who therefore, in case he be not a king, but a
private man, still ought to come to his trial, and answer it to
him, and to the laws of his country, which do not permit any one
to be killed till he hath been condemned in judgment.

7. Now Hyrcanus was, by degrees, inflamed with these discourses,
and at length could bear no longer, but he summoned Herod to take
his trial. Accordingly, by his father's advice, and as soon as
the affairs of Galilee would give him leave, he came up to
[Jerusalem], when he had first placed garrisons in Galilee;
however, he came with a sufficient body of soldiers, so many
indeed that he might not appear to have with him an army able to
overthrow Hyrcanus's government, nor yet so few as to expose him
to the insults of those that envied him. However, Sextus Caesar
was in fear for the young man, lest he should be taken by his
enemies, and brought to punishment; so he sent some to denounce
expressly to Hyrcanus that he should acquit Herod of the capital
charge against him; who acquitted him accordingly, as being
otherwise inclined also so to do, for he loved Herod.

8. But Herod, supposing that he had escaped punishment without
the consent of the king, retired to Sextus, to Damascus, and got
every thing ready, in order not to obey him if he should summon
him again; whereupon those that were evil-disposed irritated
Hyrcanus, and told him that Herod was gone away in anger, and was
prepared to make war upon him; and as the king believed what they
said, he knew not what to do, since he saw his antagonist was
stronger than he was himself. And now, since Herod was made
general of Coelesyria and Samaria by Sextus Caesar, he was
formidable, not only from the good-will which the nation bore
him, but by the power he himself had; insomuch that Hyrcanus fell
into the utmost degree of terror, and expected he would presently
march against him with his army.

9. Nor was he mistaken in the conjecture he made; for Herod got
his army together, out of the anger he bare him for his
threatening him with the accusation in a public court, and led it
to Jerusalem, in order to throw Hyrcanus down from his kingdom;
and this he had soon done, unless his father and brother had gone
out together and broken the force of his fury, and this by
exhorting him to carry his revenge no further than to threatening
and affrighting, but to spare the king, under whom he had been
advanced to such a degree of power; and that he ought not to be
so much provoked at his being tried, as to forget to be thankful
that he was acquitted; nor so long to think upon what was of a
melancholy nature, as to be ungrateful for his deliverance; and
if we ought to reckon that God is the arbitrator of success in
war, an unjust cause is of more disadvantage than an army can be
of advantage; and that therefore he ought not to be entirely
confident of success in a case where he is to fight against his
king, his supporter, and one that had often been his benefactor,
and that had never been severe to him, any otherwise than as he
had hearkened to evil counselors, and this no further than by
bringing a shadow of injustice upon him. So Herod was prevailed
upon by these arguments, and supposed that what he had already
done was sufficient for his future hopes, and that he had enough
shown his power to the nation.

10. In the mean time, there was a disturbance among the Romans
about Apamia, and a civil war occasioned by the treacherous
slaughter of Sextus Caesar, by Cecilius Bassus, which he
perpetrated out of his good-will to Pompey; he also took the
authority over his forces; but as the rest of Caesar's commanders
attacked Bassus with their whole army, in order to punish him for
the murder of Caesar, Antipater also sent them assistance by his
sons, both on account of him that was murdered, and on account of
that Caesar who was still alive, both of which were their
friends; and as this war grew to be of a considerable length,
Marcus came out of Italy as successor to Sextus.


Herod Is Made Procurator Of All Syria; Malichus Is Afraid Of Him,
And Takes Antipater Off By Poison; Whereupon The Tribunes Of The
Soldiers Are Prevailed With To Kill Him.

1. There, was at this time a mighty war raised among the Romans
upon the sudden and treacherous slaughter of Caesar by Cassius
and Brutus, after he had held the government for three years and
seven months. (14) Upon this murder there were very great
agitations, and the great men were mightily at difference one
with another, and every one betook himself to that party where
they had the greatest hopes of their own, of advancing
themselves. Accordingly, Cassius came into Syria, in order to
receive the forces that were at Apamia, where he procured a
reconciliation between Bassus and Marcus, and the legions which
were at difference with him; so he raised the siege of Apamia,
and took upon him the command of the army, and went about
exacting tribute of the cities, and demanding their money to such
a degree as they were not able to bear.

2. So he gave command that the Jews should bring in seven hundred
talents; whereupon Antipater, out of his dread of Cassius's
threats, parted the raising of this sum among his sons, and among
others of his acquaintance, and to be done immediately; and among
them he required one Malichus, who was at enmity with him, to do
his part also, which necessity forced him to do. Now Herod, in
the first place, mitigated the passion of Cassius, by bringing
his share out of Galilee, which was a hundred talents, on which
account he was in the highest favor with him; and when he
reproached the rest for being tardy, he was angry at the cities
themselves; so he made slaves of Gophna and Emmaus, and two
others of less note; nay, he proceeded as if he would kill
Malichus, because he had not made greater haste in exacting his
tribute; but Antipater prevented the ruin of this man, and of the
other cities, and got into Cassius's favor by bringing in a
hundred talents immediately. (15)

3. However, when Cassius was gone Malichus forgot the kindness
that Antipater had done him, and laid frequent plots against him
that had saved him, as making haste to get him out of the way,
who was an obstacle to his wicked practices; but Antipater was so
much afraid of the power and cunning of the man, that he went
beyond Jordan, in order to get an army to guard himself against
his treacherous designs; but when Malichus was caught in his
plot, he put upon Antipater's sons by his impudence, for he
thoroughly deluded Phasaelus, who was the guardian of Jerusalem,
and Herod who was intrusted with the weapons of war, and this by
a great many excuses and oaths, and persuaded them to procure his
reconciliation to his father. Thus was he preserved again by
Antipater, who dissuaded Marcus, the then president of Syria,
from his resolution of killing Malichus, on account of his
attempts for innovation.

4. Upon the war between Cassius and Brutus on one side, against
the younger Caesar [Augustus] and Antony on the other, Cassius
and Marcus got together an army out of Syria; and because Herod
was likely to have a great share in providing necessaries, they
then made him procurator of all Syria, and gave him an army of
foot and horse. Cassius premised him also, that after the war was
over, he would make him king of Judea. But it so happened that
the power and hopes of his son became the cause of his perdition;
for as Malichus was afraid of this, he corrupted one of the
king's cup-bearers with money to give a poisoned potion to
Antipater; so he became a sacrifice to Malichus's wickedness, and
died at a feast. He was a man in other respects active in the
management of affairs, and one that recovered the government to
Hyrcanus, and preserved it in his hands.

5. However, Malichus, when lie was suspected ef poisoning
Antipater, and when the multitude was angry with him for it,
denied it, and made the people believe he was not guilty. He also
prepared to make a greater figure, and raised soldiers; for he
did not suppose that Herod would be quiet, who indeed came upon
him with an army presently, in order to revenge his father's
death; but, upon hearing the advice of his brother Phasaelus, not
to punish him in an open manner, lest the multitude should fall
into a sedition, he admitted of Malichus's apology, and professed
that he cleared him of that suspicion; he also made a pompous
funeral for his father.

6. So Herod went to Samaria, which was then in a tumult, and
settled the city in peace; after which at the [Pentecost]
festival, he returned to Jerusalem, having his armed men with
him: hereupon Hyrcanus, at the request of Malichus, who feared
his reproach, forbade them to introduce foreigners to mix
themselves with the people of the country while they were
purifying themselves; but Herod despised the pretense, and him
that gave that command, and came in by night. Upon which Malithus
came to him, and bewailed Antipater; Herod also made him believe
[he admitted of his lamentations as real], although he had much
ado to restrain his passion at him; however, he did himself
bewail the murder of his father in his letters to Cassius, who,
on other accounts, also hated Malichus. Cassius sent him word
back that he should avenge his father's death upon him, and
privately gave order to the tribunes that were under him, that
they should assist Herod in a righteous action he was about.
7. And because, upon the taking of Laodicea by Cassius, the men
of power were gotten together from all quarters, with presents
and crowns in their hands, Herod allotted this time for the
punishment of Malichus. When Malichus suspected that, and was at
Tyre, he resolved to withdraw his son privately from among the
Tyrians, who was a hostage there, while he got ready to fly away
into Judea; the despair he was in of escaping excited him to
think of greater things; for he hoped that he should raise the
nation to a revolt from the Romans, while Cassius was busy about
the war against Antony, and that he should easily depose
Hyrcanus, and get the crown for himself.

8. But fate laughed at the hopes he had; for Herod foresaw what
he was so zealous about, and invited both Hyrcanus and him to
supper; but calling one of the principal servants that stood by
him to him, he sent him out, as though it were to get things
ready for supper, but in reality to give notice beforehand about
the plot that was laid against him; accordingly they called to
mind what orders Cassius had given them, and went out of the city
with their swords in their hands upon the sea-shore, where they
encompassed Malichus round about, and killed him with many
wounds. Upon which Hyrcanus was immediately aftrighted, till he
swooned away and fell down at the surprise he was in; and it was
with difficulty that he was recovered, when he asked who it was
that had killed Malichus. And when one of the tribunes replied
that it was done by the command of Cassius," Then," said he,
"Cassius hath saved both me and my country, by cutting off one
that was laying plots against them both." Whether he spake
according to his own sentiments, or whether his fear was such
that he was obliged to commend the action by saying so, is
uncertain; however, by this method Herod inflicted punishment
upon Malichus.


Phasaelus Is Too Hard For Felix; Herod Also Overcomes Antigonus
In Rattle; And The Jews Accuse Both Herod And Phasaelus But
Antonius Acquits Them, And Makes Them Tetrarchs.

1. When Cassius was gone out of Syria, another sedition arose at
Jerusalem, wherein Felix assaulted Phasaelus with an army, that
he might revenge the death of Malichus upon Herod, by falling
upon his brother. Now Herod happened then to be with Fabius, the
governor of Damascus, and as he was going to his brother's
assistance, he was detained by sickness; in the mean time,
Phasaelus was by himself too hard for Felix, and reproached
Hyrcanus on account of his ingratitude, both for what assistance
he had afforded Maliehus, and for overlooking Malichus's brother,
when he possessed himself of the fortresses; for he had gotten a
great many of them already, and among them the strongest of them
all, Masada.

2. However, nothing could be sufficient for him against the force
of Herod, who, as soon as he was recovered, took the other
fortresses again, and drove him out of Masada in the posture of a
supplicant; he also drove away Marion, the tyrant of the Tyrians,
out of Galilee, when he had already possessed himself of three
fortified places; but as to those Tyrians whom he had caught, he
preserved them all alive; nay, some of them he gave presents to,
and so sent them away, and thereby procured good-will to himself
from the city, and hatred to the tyrant. Marion had indeed
obtained that tyrannical power of Cassius, who set tyrants over
all Syria (16) and out of hatred to Herod it was that he assisted
Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, and principally on Fabius's
account, whom Antigonus had made his assistant by money, and had
him accordingly on his side when he made his descent; but it was
Ptolemy, the kinsman of Antigonus, that supplied all that he

3. When Herod had fought against these in the avenues of Judea,
he was conqueror in the battle, and drove away Antigonus, and
returned to Jerusalem, beloved by every body for the glorious
action he had done; for those who did not before favor him did
join themselves to him now, because of his marriage into the
family of Hyrcanus; for as he had formerly married a wife out of
his own country of no ignoble blood, who was called Doris, of
whom he begat Antipater; so did he now marry Mariamne, the
daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, and the
granddaughter of Hyrcanus, and was become thereby a relation of
the king.

4. But when Caesar and Antony had slain Cassius near Philippi,
and Caesar was gone to Italy, and Antony to Asia, amongst the
rest of the cities which sent ambassadors to Antony unto
Bithynia, the great men of the Jews came also, and accused
Phasaelus and Herod, that they kept the government by force, and
that Hyrcanus had no more than an honorable name. Herod appeared
ready to answer this accusation; and having made Antony his
friend by the large sums of money which he gave him, he brought
him to such a temper as not to hear the others speak against him;
and thus did they part at this time.

5. However, after this, there came a hundred of the principal men
among the Jews to Daphne by Antioch to Antony, who was already in
love with Cleopatra to the degree of slavery; these Jews put
those men that were the most potent, both in dignity and
eloquence, foremost, and accused the brethren. (17) But Messala
opposed them, and defended the brethren, and that while Hyrcanus
stood by him, on account of his relation to them. When Antony had
heard both sides, he asked Hyrcanus which party was the fittest
to govern, who replied that Herod and his party were the fittest.
Antony was glad of that answer, for he had been formerly treated
in an hospitable and obliging manner by his father Antipater,
when he marched into Judea with Gabinius; so he constituted the
brethren tetrarchs, and committed to them the government of

6. But when the ambassadors had indignation at this procedure,
Antony took fifteen of them, and put them into custody, whom he
was also going to kill presently, and the rest he drove away with
disgrace; on which occasion a still greater tumult arose at
Jerusalem; so they sent again a thousand ambassadors to Tyre,
where Antony now abode, as he was marching to Jerusalem; upon
these men who made a clamor he sent out the governor of Tyre, and
ordered him to punish all that he could catch of them, and to
settle those in the administration whom he had made tetrarchs.
7. But before this Herod, and Hyrcanus went out upon the
sea-shore, and earnestly desired of these ambassadors that they
would neither bring ruin upon themselves, nor war upon their
native country, by their rash contentions; and when they grew
still more outrageous, Antony sent out armed men, and slew a
great many, and wounded more of them; of whom those that were
slain were buried by Hyrcanus, as were the wounded put under the
care of physicians by him; yet would not those that had escaped
be quiet still, but put the affairs of the city into such
disorder, and so provoked Antony, that he slew those whom he had
in bonds also.


The Parthians Bring Antigonus Back Into Judea, And Cast Hyrcanus
And Phasaelus Into Prison. The Flight Of Herod, And The Taking Of
Jerusalem And What Hyrcanus And Phasaelus Suffered.

1. Now two years afterward, when Barzapharnes, a governor among
the Parthians, and Paeorus, the king's son, had possessed
themselves of Syria, and when Lysanias had already succeeded upon
the death of his father Ptolemy, the son of Menneus, in the
government [of Chalcis], he prevailed with the governor, by a
promise of a thousand talents, and five hundred women, to bring
back Antigonus to his kingdom, and to turn Hyrcanus out of it.
Pacorus was by these means induced so to do, and marched along
the sea-coast, while he ordered Barzapharnes to fall upon the
Jews as he went along the Mediterranean part of the country; but
of the maritime people, the Tyrians would not receive Pacorus,
although those of Ptolemais and Sidon had received him; so he
committed a troop of his horse to a certain cup-bearer belonging
to the royal family, of his own name [Pacorus], and gave him
orders to march into Judea, in order to learn the state of
affairs among their enemies, and to help Antigonus when he should
want his assistance.

2. Now as these men were ravaging Carmel, many of the Jews ran
together to Antigonus, and showed themselves ready to make an
incursion into the country; so he sent them before into that
place called Drymus, [the woodland (18) ] to seize upon the
place; whereupon a battle was fought between them, and they drove
the enemy away, and pursued them, and ran after them as far as
Jerusalem, and as their numbers increased, they proceeded as far
as the king's palace; but as Hyrcanus and Phasaelus received them
with a strong body of men, there happened a battle in the
market-place, in which Herod's party beat the enemy, and shut
them up in the temple, and set sixty men in the houses adjoining
as a guard to them. But the people that were tumultuous against
the brethren came in, and burnt those men; while Herod, in his
rage for killing them, attacked and slew many of the people, till
one party made incursions on the other by turns, day by day, in
the way of ambushes, and slaughters were made continually among

3. Now when that festival which we call Pentecost was at hand,
all the places about the temple, and the whole city, was full of
a multitude of people that were come out of the country, and
which were the greatest part of them armed also, at which time
Phasaelus guarded the wall, and Herod, with a few, guarded the
royal palace; and when he made an assault upon his enemies, as
they were out of their ranks, on the north quarter of the city,
he slew a very great number of them, and put them all to flight;
and some of them he shut up within the city, and others within
the outward rampart. In the mean time, Antigonus desired that
Pacorus might be admitted to be a reconciler between them; and
Phasaelus was prevailed upon to admit the Parthian into the city
with five hundred horse, and to treat him in an hospitable
manner, who pretended that he came to quell the tumult, but in
reality he came to assist Antigonus; however, he laid a plot for
Phasaelus, and persuaded him to go as an ambassador to
Barzapharnes, in order to put an end to the war, although Herod
was very earnest with him to the contrary, and exhorted him to
kill the plotter, but not expose himself to the snares he had
laid for him, because the barbarians are naturally perfidious.
However, Pacorus went out and took Hyrcanus with him, that he
might be the less suspected; he also (19) left some of the
horsemen, called the Freemen, with Herod, and conducted Phasaelus
with the rest.

4. But now, when they were come to Galilee, they found that the
people of that country had revolted, and were in arms, who came
very cunningly to their leader, and besought him to conceal his
treacherous intentions by an obliging behavior to them;
accordingly, he at first made them presents; and afterward, as
they went away, laid ambushes for them; and when they were come
to one of the maritime cities called Ecdippon, they perceived
that a plot was laid for them; for they were there informed of
the promise of a thousand talents, and how Antigonus had devoted
the greatest number of the women that were there with them, among
the five hundred, to the Parthians; they also perceived that an
ambush was always laid for them by the barbarians in the night
time; they had also been seized on before this, unless they had
waited for the seizure of Herod first at Jerusalem, because if he
were once informed of this treachery of theirs, he would take
care of himself; nor was this a mere report, but they saw the
guards already not far off them.

5. Nor would Phasaelus think of forsaking Hyrcanus and flying
away, although Ophellius earnestly persuaded him to it; for this
man had learned the whole scheme of the plot from Saramalla, the
richest of all the Syrians. But Phasaelus went up to the
Parfilian governor, and reproached him to his face for laying
this treacherous plot against them, and chiefly because he had
done it for money; and he promised him that he would give him
more money for their preservation, than Antigonus had promised to
give for the kingdom. But the sly Parthian endeavored to remove
all this suspicion by apologies and by oaths, and then went [to
the other] Pacorus; immediately after which those Parthians who
were left, and had it in charge, seized upon Phasaelus and
Hyrcanus, who could do no more than curse their perfidiousness
and their perjury.

6. In the mean time, the cup-bearer was sent [back], and laid a
plot how to seize upon Herod, by deluding him, and getting him
out of the city, as he was commanded to do. But Herod suspected
the barbarians from the beginning; and having then received
intelligence that a messenger, who was to bring him the letters
that informed him of the treachery intended, had fallen among the
enemy, he would not go out of the city; though Pacorus said very
positively that he ought to go out, and meet the messengers that
brought the letters, for that the enemy had not taken them, and
that the contents of them were not accounts of any plots upon
them, but of what Phasaelus had done; yet had he heard from
others that his brother was seized; and Alexandra (20) the
shrewdest woman in the world, Hyrcanus's daughter, begged of him
that he would not go out, nor trust himself to those barbarians,
who now were come to make an attempt upon him openly.

7. Now as Pacorus and his friends were considering how they might
bring their plot to bear privately, because it was not possible
to circumvent a man of so great prudence by openly attacking him,
Herod prevented them, and went off with the persons that were the
most nearly related to him by night, and this without their
enemies being apprized of it. But as soon as the Parthians
perceived it, they pursued after them; and as he gave orders for
his mother, and sister, and the young woman who was betrothed to
him, with her mother, and his youngest brother, to make the best
of their way, he himself, with his servants, took all the care
they could to keep off the barbarians; and when at every assault
he had slain a great many of them, he came to the strong hold of

8. Nay, he found by experience that the Jews fell more heavily
upon him than did the Parthians, and created him troubles
perpetually, and this ever since he was gotten sixty furlongs
from the city; these sometimes brought it to a sort of a regular
battle. Now in the place where Herod beat them, and killed a
great number of them, there he afterward built a citadel, in
memory of the great actions he did there, and adorned it with the
most costly palaces, and erected very strong fortifications, and
called it, from his own name, Herodium. Now as they were in their
flight, many joined themselves to him every day; and at a place
called Thressa of Idumea his brother Joseph met him, and advised
him to ease himself of a great number of his followers, because
Masada would not contain so great a multitude, which were above
nine thousand. Herod complied with this advice, and sent away the
most cumbersome part of his retinue, that they might go into
Idumea, and gave them provisions for their journey; but he got
safe to the fortress with his nearest relations, and retained
with him only the stoutest of his followers; and there it was
that he left eight hundred of his men as a guard for the women,
and provisions sufficient for a siege; but he made haste himself
to Petra of Arabia.

9. As for the Parthians in Jerusalem, they betook themselves to
plundering, and fell upon the houses of those that were fled, and
upon the king's palace, and spared nothing but Hyrcanus's money,
which was not above three hundred talents. They lighted on other
men's money also, but not so much as they hoped for; for Herod
having a long while had a suspicion of the perfidiousness of the
barbarians, had taken care to have what was most splendid among
his treasures conveyed into Idumea, as every one belonging to him
had in like manner done also. But the Parthians proceeded to that
degree of injustice, as to fill all the country with war without
denouncing it, and to demolish the city Marissa, and not only to
set up Antigonus for king, but to deliver Phasaelus and Hyrcanus
bound into his. hands, in order to their being tormented by him.
Antigonus himself also bit off Hyrcanus's ears with his own
teeth, as he fell down upon his knees to him, that so he might
never be able upon any mutation of affairs to take the high
priesthood again, for the high priests that officiated were to be
complete, and without blemish.

10. However, he failed in his purpose of abusing Phasaelus, by
reason of his courage; for though he neither had the command of
his sword nor of his hands, he prevented all abuses by dashing
his head against a stone; so he demonstrated himself to be
Herod's own brother, and Hyrcanus a most degenerate relation, and
died with great bravery, and made the end of his life agreeable
to the actions of it. There is also another report about his end,
viz. that he recovered of that stroke, and that a surgeon, who
was sent by Antigonus to heal him, filled the wound with
poisonous ingredients, and so killed him; whichsoever of these
deaths he came to, the beginning of it was glorious. It is also
reported that before he expired he was informed by a certain poor

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