Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

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

Part 2 out of 12

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

woman how Herod had escaped out of their hands, and that he said
thereupon, "I now die with comfort, since I leave behind me one
alive that will avenge me of mine enemies."

11. This was the death of Phasaelus; but the Parthians, although
they had failed of the women they chiefly desired, yet did they
put the government of Jerusalem into the hands of Antigonus, and
took away Hyrcanus, and bound him, and carried him to Parthia.

When Herod Is Rejected In Arabia, He Makes Haste To Rome Where
Antony And Caesar Join Their Interest To Make Him King .

1. Now Herod did the more zealously pursue his journey into
Arabia, as making haste to get money of the king, while his
brother was yet alive; by which money alone it was that he hoped
to prevail upon the covetous temper of the barbarians to spare
Phasaelus; for he reasoned thus with himself,: - that if the
Arabian king was too forgetful of his father's friendship with
him, and was too covetous to make him a free gift, he would
however borrow of him as much as might redeem his brother, and
put into his hands, as a pledge, the son of him that was to be
redeemed. Accordingly he led his brother's son along with him,
who was of the age of seven years. Now he was ready to give three
hundred talents for his brother, and intended to desire the
intercession of the Tyrians, to get them accepted; however, fate
had been too quick for his diligence; and since Phasaelus was
dead, Herod's brotherly love was now in vain. Moreover, he was
not able to find any lasting friendship among the Arabians; for
their king, Malichus, sent to him immediately, and commanded him
to return back out of his country, and used the name of the
Parthians as a pretense for so doing, as though these had
denounced to him by their ambassadors to cast Herod out of
Arabia; while in reality they had a mind to keep back what they
owed to Antipater, and not be obliged to make requitals to his
sons for the free gifts the father had made them. He also took
the impudent advice of those who, equally with himself, were
willing to deprive Herod of what Antipater had deposited among
them; and these men were the most potent of all whom he had in
his kingdom.

2. So when Herod had found that the Arabians were his enemies,
and this for those very reasons whence he hoped they would have
been the most friendly, and had given them such an answer as his
passion suggested, he returned back, and went for Egypt. Now he
lodged the first evening at one of the temples of that country,
in order to meet with those whom he left behind; but on the next
day word was brought him, as he was going to Rhinocurura, that
his brother was dead, and how he came by his death; and when he
had lamented him as much as his present circumstances could bear,
he soon laid aside such cares, and proceeded on his journey. But
now, after some time, the king of Arabia repented of what he had
done, and sent presently away messengers to call him back: Herod
had prevented them, and was come to Pelusium, where he could not
obtain a passage from those that lay with the fleet, so he
besought their captains to let him go by them; accordingly, out
of the reverence they bore to the fame and dignity of the man,
they conducted him to Alexandria; and when he came into the city,
he was received by Cleopatra with great splendor, who hoped he
might be persuaded to be commander of her forces in the
expedition she was now about; but he rejected the queen's
solicitations, and being neither aftrighted at the height of that
storm which. then happened, nor at the tumults that were now in
Italy, he sailed for Rome.

3. But as he was in peril about Pamphylia, and obliged to cast
out the greatest part of the ship's lading, he with difficulty
got safe to Rhodes, a place which had been grievously harassed in
the war with Cassius. He was there received by his friends,
Ptolemy and Sappinius; and although he was then in want of money,
he fitted up a three-decked ship of very great magnitude, wherein
he and his friends sailed to Brundusium, (21) and went thence to
Rome with all speed; where he first of all went to Antony, on
account of the friendship his father had with him, and laid
before him the calamities of himself and his family; and that he
had left his nearest relations besieged in a fortress, and had
sailed to him through a storm, to make supplication to him for

4. Hereupon Antony was moved to compassion at the change that had
been made in Herod's affairs, and this both upon his calling to
mind how hospitably he had been treated by Antipater, but more
especially on account of Herod's own virtue; so he then resolved
to get him made king of the Jews, whom he had himself formerly
made tetrarch. The contest also that he had with Antigonus was
another inducement, and that of no less weight than the great
regard he had for Herod; for he looked upon Antigonus as a
seditious person, and an enemy of the Romans; and as for Caesar,
Herod found him better prepared than Antony, as remembering very
fresh the wars he had gone through together with his father, the
hospitable treatment he had met with from him, and the entire
good-will he had showed to him; besides the activity which he saw
in Herod himself. So he called the senate together, wherein
Messalas, and after him Atratinus, produced Herod before them,
and gave a full account of the merits of his father, and his own
good-will to the Romans. At the same time they demonstrated that
Antigonus was their enemy, not only because he soon quarreled
with them, but because he now overlooked the Romans, and took the
government by the means of the Parthians. These reasons greatly
moved the senate; at which juncture Antony came in, and told them
that it was for their advantage in the Parthian war that Herod
should be king; so they all gave their votes for it. And when the
senate was separated, Antony and Caesar went out, with Herod
between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates
went before them, in order to offer sacrifices, and to lay the
decree in the Capitol. Antony also made a feast for Herod on the
first day of his reign.


Antigonus Besieges Those That Were In Masada, Whom Herod Frees
From Confinement When He Came Back From Rome, And Presently
Marches To Jerusalem Where He Finds Silo Corrupted By Bribes.
1. Now during this time Antigonus besieged those that were in
Masada, who had all other necessaries in sufficient quantity, but
were in want of water; on which account Joseph, Herod's brother,
was disposed to run away to the Arabians, with two hundred of his
own friends, because he had heard that Malichus repented of his
offenses with regard to Herod; and he had been so quick as to
have been gone out of the fortress already, unless, on that very
night when he was going away, there had fallen a great deal of
rain, insomuch that his reservoirs were full of water, and so he
was under no necessity of running away. After which, therefore,
they made an irruption upon Antigonus's party, and slew a great
many of them, some in open battles, and some in private ambush;
nor had they always success in their attempts, for sometimes they
were beaten, and ran away.

2. In the mean time Ventidius, the Roman general, was sent out of
Syria, to restrain the incursions of the Parthians; and after he
had done that, he came into Judea, in pretense indeed to assist
Joseph and his party, but in reality to get money of Antigonus;,
and when he had pitched his camp very near to Jerusalem, as soon
as he had got money enough, he went away with the greatest part
of his forces; yet still did he leave Silo with some part of
them, lest if he had taken them all away, his taking of bribes
might have been too openly discovered. Now Antigonus hoped that
the Parthians would come again to his assistance, and therefore
cultivated a good understanding with Silo in the mean time, lest
any interruption should be given to his hopes.

3. Now by this time Herod had sailed out of Italy, and was come
to Ptolemais; and as soon as he had gotten together no small army
of foreigners, and of his own countrymen, he marched through
Galilee against Antigonus, wherein he was assisted by Ventidius
and Silo, both whom Dellius, (22) a person sent by Antony,
persuaded to bring Herod [into his kingdom]. Now Ventidius was at
this time among the cities, and composing the disturbances which
had happened by means of the Parthians, as was Silo in Judea
corrupted by the bribes that Antigonus had given him; yet was not
Herod himself destitute of power, but the number of his forces
increased every day as he went along, and all Galilee, with few
exceptions, joined themselves to him. So he proposed to himself
to set about his most necessary enterprise, and that was Masada,
in order to deliver his relations from the siege they endured.
But still Joppa stood in his way, and hindered his going thither;
for it was necessary to take that city first, which was in the
enemies' hands, that when he should go to Jerusalem, no fortress
might be left in the enemies' power behind him. Silo also
willingly joined him, as having now a plausible occasion of
drawing off his forces [from Jerusalem]; and when the Jews
pursued him, and pressed upon him, [in his retreat,] Herod made
all excursion upon them with a small body of his men, and soon
put them to flight, and saved Silo when he was in distress.
4. After this Herod took Joppa, and then made haste to Masada to
free his relations. Now, as he was marching, many came in to him,
induced by their friendship to his father, some by the reputation
he had already gained himself, and some in order to repay the
benefits they had received from them both; but still what engaged
the greatest number on his side, was the hopes from him when he
should be established in his kingdom; so that he had gotten
together already an army hard to be conquered. But Antigonus laid
an ambush for him as he marched out, in which he did little or no
harm to his enemies. However, he easily recovered his relations
again that were in Masada, as well as the fortress Ressa, and
then marched to Jerusalem, where the soldiers that were with Silo
joined themselves to his own, as did many out of the city, from a
dread of his power.

5. Now when he had pitched his camp on the west side of the city,
the guards that were there shot their arrows and threw their
darts at them, while others ran out in companies, and attacked
those in the forefront; but Herod commanded proclamation to be
made at the wall, that he was come for the good of the people and
the preservation of the city, without any design to be revenged
on his open enemies, but to grant oblivion to them, though they
had been the most obstinate against him. Now the soldiers that
were for Antigonus made a contrary clamor, and did neither permit
any body to hear that proclamation, nor to change their party; so
Antigonus gave order to his forces to beat the enemy from the
walls; accordingly, they soon threw their darts at them from the
towers, and put them to flight.

6. And here it was that Silo discovered he had taken bribes; for
he set many of the soldiers to clamor about their want of
necessaries, and to require their pay, in order to buy themselves
food, and to demand that he would lead them into places
convenient for their winter quarters; because all the parts about
the city were laid waste by the means of Antigonus's army, which
had taken all things away. By this he moved the army, and
attempted to get them off the siege; but Herod went to the
captains that were under Silo, and to a great many of the
soldiers, and begged of them not to leave him, who was sent
thither by Caesar, and Antony, and the senate; for that he would
take care to have their wants supplied that very day. After the
making of which entreaty, he went hastily into the country, and
brought thither so great an abundance of necessaries, that he cut
off all Silo's pretenses; and in order to provide that for the
following days they should not want supplies, he sent to the
people that were about Samaria (which city had joined itself to
him) to bring corn, and wine, and oil, and cattle to Jericho.
When Antigonus heard of this, be sent some of his party with
orders to hinder, and lay ambushes for these collectors of corn.
This command was obeyed, and a great multitude of armed men were
gathered together about Jericho, and lay upon the mountains, to
watch those that brought the provisions. Yet was Herod not idle,
but took with him ten cohorts, five of them were Romans, and five
were Jewish cohorts, together with some mercenary troops
intermixed among them, and besides those a few horsemen, and came
to Jericho; and when he came, he found the city deserted, but
that there were five hundred men, with their wives and children,
who had taken possession of the tops of the mountains; these he
took, and dismissed them, while the Romans fell upon the rest of
the city, and plundered it, having found the houses full of all
sorts of good things. So the king left a garrison at Jericho, and
came back, and sent the Roman army into those cities which were
come over to him, to take their winter quarters there, viz. into
Judea, [or Idumea,] and Galilee, and Samaria. Antigonus also by
bribes obtained of Silo to let a part of his army be received at
Lydda, as a compliment to Antonius.


Herod Takes Sepphoris And Subdues The Robbers That Were In The
Caves ; He After That Avenges Himself Upon Macheras, As Upon An
Enemy Of His And Goes To Antony As He Was Besieging Samosata.
1. So the Romans lived in plenty of all things, and rested from
war. However, Herod did not lie at rest, but seized upon Idumea,
and kept it, with two thousand footmen, and four hundred
horsemen; and this he did by sending his brother Joseph thither,
that no innovation might be made by Antigonus. He also removed
his mother, and all his relations, who had been in Masada, to
Samaria; and when he had settled them securely, he marched to
take the remaining parts of Galilee, and to drive away the
garrisons placed there by Antigonus.

2. But when Herod had reached Sepphoris, (23) in a very great
snow, he took the city without any difficulty; the guards that
should have kept it flying away before it was assaulted; where he
gave an opportunity to his followers that had been in distress to
refresh themselves, there being in that city a great abundance of
necessaries. After which he hasted away to the robbers that were
in the caves, who overran a great part of the country, and did as
great mischief to its inhabitants as a war itself could have
done. Accordingly, he sent beforehand three cohorts of footmen,
and one troop of horsemen, to the village Arbela, and came
himself forty days afterwards (24) with the rest of his forces
Yet were not the enemy aftrighted at his assault but met him in
arms; for their skill was that of warriors, but their boldness
was the boldness of robbers: when therefore it came to a pitched
battle, they put to flight Herod's left wing with their right
one; but Herod, wheeling about on the sudden from his own right
wing, came to their assistance, and both made his own left wing
return back from its flight, and fell upon the pursuers, and
cooled their courage, till they could not bear the attempts that
were made directly upon them, and so turned back and ran away.
3. But Herod followed them, and slew them as he followed them,
and destroyed a great part of them, till those that remained were
scattered beyond the river [Jordan;] and Galilee was freed from
the terrors they had been under, excepting from those that
remained, and lay concealed in caves, which required longer time
ere they could be conquered. In order to which Herod, in the
first place, distributed the fruits of their former labors to the
soldiers, and gave every one of them a hundred and fifty drachmae
of silver, and a great deal more to their commanders, and sent
them into their winter quarters. He also sent to his youngest
brother Pheroas, to take care of a good market for them, where
they might buy themselves provisions, and to build a wall about
Alexandrium; who took care of both those injunctions accordingly.
4. In the mean time Antony abode at Athens, while Ventidius
called for Silo and Herod to come to the war against the
Parthians, but ordered them first to settle the affairs of Judea;
so Herod willingly dismissed Silo to go to Ventidius, but he made
an expedition himself against those that lay in the caves. Now
these caves were in the precipices of craggy mountains, and could
not be come at from any side, since they had only some winding
pathways, very narrow, by which they got up to them; but the rock
that lay on their front had beneath it valleys of a vast depth,
and of an almost perpendicular declivity; insomuch that the king
was doubtful for a long time what to do, by reason of a kind of
impossibility there was of attacking the place. Yet did he at
length make use of a contrivance that was subject to the utmost
hazard; for he let down the most hardy of his men in chests, and
set them at the mouths of the dens. Now these men slew the
robbers and their families, and when they made resistance, they
sent in fire upon them [and burnt them]; and as Herod was
desirous of saving some of them, he had proclamation made, that
they should come and deliver themselves up to him; but not one of
them came willingly to him; and of those that were compelled to
come, many preferred death to captivity. And here a certain old
man, the father of seven children, whose children, together with
their mother, desired him to give them leave to go out, upon the
assurance and right hand that was offered them, slew them after
the following manner: He ordered every one of them to go out,
while he stood himself at the cave's mouth, and slew that son of
his perpetually who went out. Herod was near enough to see this
sight, and his bowels of compassion were moved at it, and he
stretched out his right hand to the old man, and besought him to
spare his children; yet did not he relent at all upon what he
said, but over and above reproached Herod on the lowness of his
descent, and slew his wife as well as his children; and when he
had thrown their dead bodies down the precipice, he at last threw
himself down after them.

5. By this means Herod subdued these caves, and the robbers that
were in them. He then left there a part of his army, as many as
he thought sufficient to prevent any sedition, and made Ptolemy
their general, and returned to Samaria; he led also with him
three thousand armed footmen, and six hundred horsemen, against
Antigonus. Now here those that used to raise tumults in Galilee,
having liberty so to do upon his departure, fell unexpectedly
upon Ptolemy, the general of his forces, and slew him; they also
laid the country waste, and then retired to the bogs, and to
places not easily to be found. But when Herod was informed of
this insurrection, he came to the assistance of the country
immediately, and destroyed a great number of the seditions, and
raised the sieges of all those fortresses they had besieged; he
also exacted the tribute of a hundred talents of his enemies, as
a penalty for the mutations they had made in the country.

6. By this time (the Parthians being already driven out of the
country, and Pacorus slain) Ventidius, by Antony's command, sent
a thousand horsemen, and two legions, as auxiliaries to Herod,
against Antigonus. Now Antigonus besought Macheras, who was their
general, by letter, to come to his assistance, and made a great
many mournful complaints about Herod's violence, and about the
injuries he did to the kingdom; and promised to give him money
for such his assistance; but he complied not with his invitation
to betray his trust, for he did not contemn him that sent him,
especially while Herod gave him more money [than the other
offered]. So he pretended friendship to Antigonus, but came as a
spy to discover his affairs; although he did not herein comply
with Herod, who dissuaded him from so doing. But Antigonus
perceived what his intentions were beforehand, and excluded him
out of the city, and defended himself against him as against an
enemy, from the walls; till Macheras was ashamed of what he had
done, and retired to Emmaus to Herod; and as he was in a rage at
his disappointment, he slew all the Jews whom he met with,
without sparing those that were for Herod, but using them all as
if they were for Antigonus.

7. Hereupon Herod was very angry at him, and was going to fight
against Macheras as his enemy; but he restrained his indignation,
and marched to Antony to accuse Macheras of maladministration.
But Macheras was made sensible of his offenses, and followed
after the king immediately, and earnestly begged and obtained
that he would be reconciled to him. However, Herod did not desist
from his resolution of going to Antony; but when he heard that he
was besieging Samosata (25) with a great army, which is a strong
city near to Euphrates, he made the greater haste; as observing
that this was a proper opportunity for showing at once his
courage, and for doing what would greatly oblige Antony. Indeed,
when he came, he soon made an end of that siege, and slew a great
number of the barbarians, and took from them a large prey;
insomuch that Antony, who admired his courage formerly, did now
admire it still more. Accordingly, he heaped many more honors
upon him, and gave him more assured hopes that he should gain his
kingdom; and now king Antiochus was forced to deliver up


The Death Of Joseph [Herod's Brother] Which Had Been Signified To
Herod In Dreams. How Herod Was Preserved Twice After A Wonderful
Manner. He Cuts Off The Head Of Pappus, Who Was The Murderer Of
His Brother And Sends That Head To [His Other Brother] Pheroras,
And In No Long Time He Besieges Jerusalem And Marries Mariamne.
1. In the mean time, Herod's affairs in Judea were in an ill
state. He had left his brother Joseph with full power, but had
charged him to make no attempts against Antigonus till his
return; for that Macheras would not be such an assistant as he
could depend on, as it appeared by what he had done already; but
as soon as Joseph heard that his brother was at a very great
distance, he neglected the charge he had received, and marched
towards Jericho with five cohorts, which Macheras sent with him.
This movement was intended for seizing on the corn, as it was now
in the midst of summer; but when his enemies attacked him in the
mountains, and in places which were difficult to pass, he was
both killed himself, as he was very bravely fighting in the
battle, and the entire Roman cohorts were destroyed; for these
cohorts were new-raised men, gathered out of Syria, and here was
no mixture of those called veteran soldiers among them, who might
have supported those that were unskillful in war.

2. This victory was not sufficient for Antigonus; but he
proceeded to that degree of rage, as to treat the dead body of
Joseph barbarously; for when he had got possession of the bodies
of those that were slain, he cut off his head, although his
brother Pheroras would have given fifty talents as a price of
redemption for it. And now the affairs of Galilee were put in
such disorder after this victory of Antigonus's, that those of
Antigonus's party brought the principal men that were on Herod's
side to the lake, and there drowned them. There was a great
change made also in Idumea, where Macheras was building a wall
about one of the fortresses, which was called Gittha. But Herod
had not yet been informed of these things; for after the taking
of Samosata, and when Antony had set Sosius over the affairs of
Syria, and had given him orders to assist Herod against
Antigonus, he departed into Egypt; but Sosius sent two legions
before him into Judea to assist Herod, and followed himself soon
after with the rest of his army.

3. Now when Herod was at Daphne, by Antioch, he had some dreams
which clearly foreboded his brother's death; and as he leaped out
of his bed in a disturbed manner, there came messengers that
acquainted him with that calamity. So when he had lamented this
misfortune for a while, he put off the main part of his mourning,
and made haste to march against his enemies; and when he had
performed a march that was above his strength, and was gone as
far as Libanus, he got him eight hundred men of those that lived
near to that mountain as his assistants, and joined with them one
Roman legion, with which, before it was day, he made an irruption
into Galilee, and met his enemies, and drove them back to the
place which they had left. He also made an immediate and
continual attack upon the fortress. Yet was he forced by a most
terrible storm to pitch his camp in the neighboring villages
before he could take it. But when, after a few days' time, the
second legion, that came from Antony, joined themselves to him,
the enemy were aftrighted at his power, and left their
fortifications ill the night time.

4. After this he marched through Jericho, as making what haste he
could to be avenged on his brother's murderers; where happened to
him a providential sign, out of which, when he had unexpectedly
escaped, he had the reputation of being very dear to God; for
that evening there feasted with him many of the principal men;
and after that feast was over, and all the guests were gone out,
the house fell down immediately. And as he judged this to be a
common signal of what dangers he should undergo, and how he
should escape them in the war that he was going about, he, in the
morning, set forward with his army, when about six thousand of
his enemies came running down from the mountains, and began to
fight with those in his forefront; yet durst they not be so very
bold as to engage the Romans hand to hand, but threw stones and
darts at them at a distance; by which means they wounded a
considerable number; in which action Herod's own side was wounded
with a dart.

5. Now as Antigonus had a mind to appear to exceed Herod, not
only in the courage, but in the number of his men, he sent
Pappus, one of his companions, with an army against Samaria,
whose fortune it was to oppose Macheras; but Herod overran the
enemy's country, and demolished five little cities, and destroyed
two thousand men that were in them, and burned their houses, and
then returned to his camp; but his head-quarters were at the
village called Cana.

6. Now a great multitude of Jews resorted to him every day, both
out of Jericho and the other parts of the country. Some were
moved so to do out of their hatred to Antigonus, and some out of
regard to the glorious actions Herod had done; but others were
led on by an unreasonable desire of change; so he fell upon them
immediately. As for Pappus and his party, they were not terrified
either at their number or at their zeal, but marched out with
great alacrity to fight them; and it came to a close fight. Now
other parts of their army made resistance for a while; but Herod,
running the utmost hazard, out of the rage he was in at the
murder of his brother, that he might be avenged on those that had
been the authors of it, soon beat those that opposed him; and
after he had beaten them, he always turned his force against
those that stood to it still, and pursued them all; so that a
great slaughter was made, while some were forced back into that
village whence they came out; he also pressed hard upon the
hindermost, and slew a vast number of them; he also fell into the
village with the enemy, where every house was filled with armed
men, and the upper rooms were crowded above with soldiers for
their defense; and when he had beaten those that were on the
outside, he pulled the houses to pieces, and plucked out those
that were within; upon many he had the roofs shaken down, whereby
they perished by heaps; and as for those that fled out of the
ruins, the soldiers received them with their swords in their
hands; and the multitude of those slain and lying on heaps was so
great, that the conquerors could not pass along the roads. Now
the enemy could not bear this blow, so that when the multitude of
them which was gathered together saw that those in the village
were slain, they dispersed themselves, and fled away; upon the
confidence of which victory, Herod had marched immediately to
Jerusalem, unless he tad been hindered by the depth of winter's
[coming on]. This was the impediment that lay in the way of this
his entire glorious progress, and was what hindered Antigonus
from being now conquered, who was already disposed to forsake the

7. Now when at the evening Herod had already dismissed his
friends to refresh themselves after their fatigue, and when he
was gone himself, while he was still hot in his armor, like a
common soldier, to bathe himself, and had but one servant that
attended him, and before he was gotten into the bath, one of the
enemies met him in the face with a sword in his hand, and then a
second, and then a third, and after that more of them; these were
men who had run away out of the battle into the bath in their
armor, and they had lain there for some time in, great terror,
and in privacy; and when they saw the king, they trembled for
fear, and ran by him in a flight, although he was naked, and
endeavored to get off into the public road. Now there was by
chance nobody else at hand that might seize upon these men; and
for Herod, he was contented to have come to no harm himself, so
that they all got away in safety.

8. But on the next day Herod had Pappus's head cut off, who was
the general for Antigonus, and was slain in the battle, and sent
it to his brother Pheroras, by way of punishment for their slain
brother; for he was the man that slew Joseph. Now as winter was
going off, Herod marched to Jerusalem, and brought his army to
the wall of it; this was the third year since he had been made
king at Rome; so he pitched his camp before the temple, for on
that side it might be besieged, and there it was that Pompey took
the city. So he parted the work among the army, and demolished
the suburbs, end raised three banks, and gave orders to have
towers built upon those banks, and left the most laborious of his
acquaintance at the works. But he went himself to Samaria, to
take the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, to wife,
who had been betrothed to him before, as we have already said;
and thus he accomplished this by the by, during the siege of the
city, for he had his enemies in great contempt already.

9. When he had thus married Mariamne, he came back to Jerusalem
with a greater army. Sosius also joined him with a large army,
both of horsemen and footmen, which he sent before him through
the midland parts, while he marched himself along Phoenicia; and
when the whole army was gotten together, which were eleven
regiments of footmen, and six thousand horsemen, besides the
Syrian auxiliaries, which were no small part of the army, they
pitched their camp near to the north wall. Herod's dependence was
upon the decree of the senate, by which he was made king; and
Sosius relied upon Antony, who sent the army that was under him
to Herod's assistance.


How Herod And Sosius Took Jerusalem By Force; And What Death
Antigonus Came To. Also Concerning Cleopatra's Avaricious Temper.
1. Now the multitude of the Jews that were in the city were
divided into several factions; for the people that crowded about
the temple, being the weaker part of them, gave it out that, as
the times were, he was the happiest and most religious man who
should die first. But as to the more bold and hardy men, they got
together in bodies, and fell a robbing others after various
manners, and these particularly plundered the places that were
about the city, and this because there was no food left either
for the horses or the men; yet some of the warlike men, who were
used to fight regularly, were appointed to defend the city during
the siege, and these drove those that raised the banks away from
the wall; and these were always inventing some engine or another
to be a hinderance to the engines of the enemy; nor had they so
much success any way as in the mines under ground.

2. Now as for the robberies which were committed, the king
contrived that ambushes should be so laid, that they might
restrain their excursions; and as for the want of provisions, he
provided that they should be brought to them from great
distances. He was also too hard for the Jews, by the Romans'
skill in the art of war; although they were bold to the utmost
degree, now they durst not come to a plain battle with the
Romans, which was certain death; but through their mines under
ground they would appear in the midst of them on the sudden, and
before they could batter down one wall, they built them another
in its stead; and to sum up all at once, they did not show any
want either of painstaking or of contrivances, as having resolved
to hold out to the very last. Indeed, though they had so great an
army lying round about them, they bore a siege of five months,
till some of Herod's chosen men ventured to get upon the wall,
and fell into the city, as did Sosius's centurions after them;
and now they first of all seized upon what was about the temple;
and upon the pouring in of the army, there was slaughter of vast
multitudes every where, by reason of the rage the Romans were in
at the length of this siege, and by reason that the Jews who were
about Herod earnestly endeavored that none of their adversaries
might remain; so they were cut to pieces by great multitudes, as
they were crowded together in narrow streets, and in houses, or
were running away to the temple; nor was there any mercy showed
either to infants, or to the aged, or to the weaker sex; insomuch
that although the king sent about and desired them to spare the
people, nobody could be persuaded to withhold their right hand
from slaughter, but they slew people of all ages, like madmen.
Then it was that Antigonus, without any regard to his former or
to his present fortune, came down from the citadel, and fell at
Sosius's feet, who without pitying him at all, upon the change of
his condition, laughed at him beyond measure, and called him
Antigona. (26) Yet did he not treat him like a woman, or let him
go free, but put him into bonds, and kept him in custody.

3. But Herod's concern at present, now he had gotten his enemies
under his power, was to restrain the zeal of his foreign
auxiliaries; for the multitude of the strange people were very
eager to see the temple, and what was sacred in the holy house
itself; but the king endeavored to restrain them, partly by his
exhortations, partly by his threatenings, nay, partly by force,
as thinking the victory worse than a defeat to him, if any thing
that ought not to be seen were seen by them. He also forbade, at
the same time, the spoiling of the city, asking Sosius in the
most earnest manner, whether the Romans, by thus emptying the
city of money and men, had a mind to leave him king of a desert,
- and told him that he judged the dominion of the habitable earth
too small a compensation for the slaughter of so many citizens.
And when Sosius said that it was but just to allow the soldiers
this plunder as a reward for what they suffered during the siege,
Herod made answer, that he would give every one of the soldiers a
reward out of his own money. So he purchased the deliverance of
his country, and performed his promises to them, and made
presents after a magnificent manner to each soldier, and
proportionably to their commanders, and with a most royal bounty
to Sosius himself, whereby nobody went away but in a wealthy
condition. Hereupon Sosius dedicated a crown of gold to God, and
then went away from Jerusalem, leading Antigonus away in bonds to
Antony; then did the axe bring him to his end, (27) who still had
a fond desire of life, and some frigid hopes of it to the last,
but by his cowardly behavior well deserved to die by it.

4. Hereupon king Herod distinguished the multitude that was in
the city; and for those that were of his side, he made them still
more his friends by the honors he conferred on them; but for
those of Antigonus's party, he slew them; and as his money ran
low, he turned all the ornaments he had into money, and sent it
to Antony, and to those about him. Yet could he not hereby
purchase an exemption from all sufferings; for Antony was now
bewitched by his love to Cleopatra, and was entirely conquered by
her charms. Now Cleopatra had put to death all her kindred, till
no one near her in blood remained alive, and after that she fell
a slaying those no way related to her. So she calumniated the
principal men among the Syrians to Antony, and persuaded him to
have them slain, that so she might easily gain to be mistress of
what they had; nay, she extended her avaricious humor to the Jews
and Arabians, and secretly labored to have Herod and Malichus,
the kings of both those nations, slain by his order.

5. Now is to these her injunctions to Antony, he complied in
part; for though he esteemed it too abominable a thing to kill
such good and great kings, yet was he thereby alienated from the
friendship he had for them. He also took away a great deal of
their country; nay, even the plantation of palm trees at Jericho,
where also grows the balsam tree, and bestowed them upon her; as
also all the cities on this side the river Eleutherus, Tyre and
Sidon (28) excepted. And when she was become mistress of these,
and had conducted Antony in his expedition against the Parthians
as far as Euphrates, she came by Apamia and Damascus into Judea
and there did Herod pacify her indignation at him by large
presents. He also hired of her those places that had been torn
away from his kingdom, at the yearly rent of two hundred talents.
He conducted her also as far as Pelusium, and paid her all the
respects possible. Now it was not long after this that Antony was
come back from Parthia, and led with him Artabazes, Tigranes's
son, captive, as a present for Cleopatra; for this Parthian was
presently given her, with his money, and all the prey that was
taken with him.


How Antony At The Persuasion Of Cleopatra Sent Herod To Fight
Against The Arabians; And Now After Several Battles, He At Length
Got The Victory. As Also Concerning A Great Earthquake.

1. Now when the war about Actium was begun, Herod prepared to
come to the assistance of Antony, as being already freed from his
troubles in Judea, and having gained Hyrcania, which was a place
that was held by Antigonus's sister. However, he was cunningly
hindered from partaking of the hazards that Antony went through
by Cleopatra; for since, as we have already noted, she had laid a
plot against the kings [of Judea and Arabia], she prevailed with
Antony to commit the war against the Arabians to Herod; that so,
if he got the better, she might become mistress of Arabia, or, if
he were worsted, of Judea; and that she might destroy one of
those kings by the other.

2. However, this contrivance tended to the advantage of Herod;
for at the very first he took hostages from the enemy, and got
together a great body of horse, and ordered them to march against
them about Diespous; and he conquered that army, although it
fought resolutely against him. After which defeat, the Arabians
were in great motion, and assembled themselves together at
Kanatha, a city of Celesyria, in vast multitudes, and waited for
the Jews. And when Herod was come thither, he tried to manage
this war with particular prudence, and gave orders that they
should build a wall about their camp; yet did not the multitude
comply with those orders, but were so emboldened by their
foregoing victory, that they presently attacked the Arabians, and
beat them at the first onset, and then pursued them; yet were
there snares laid for Herod in that pursuit; while Athenio, who
was one of Cleopatra's generals, and always an antagonist to
Herod, sent out of Kanatha the men of that country against him;
for, upon this fresh onset, the Arabians took courage, and
returned back, and both joined their numerous forces about stony
places, that were hard to be gone over, and there put Herod's men
to the rout, and made a great slaughter of them; but those that
escaped out of the battle fled to Ormiza, where the Arabians
surrounded their camp, and took it, with all the men in it.
3. In a little time after this calamity, Herod came to bring them
succors; but he came too late. Now the occasion of that blow was
this, that the officers would not obey orders; for had not the
fight begun so suddenly, Athenio had not found a proper season
for the snares he laid for Herod: however, he was even with the
Arabians afterward, and overran their country, and did them more
harm than their single victory could compensate. But as he was
avenging himself on his enemies, there fell upon him another
providential calamity; for in the seventh (29) year of his reign,
when the war about Actium was at the height, at the beginning of
the spring, the earth was shaken, and destroyed an immense number
of cattle, with thirty thousand men; but the army received no
harm, because it lay in the open air. In the mean time, the fame
of this earthquake elevated the Arabians to greater courage, and
this by augmenting it to a fabulous height, as is constantly the
case in melancholy accidents, and pretending that all Judea was
overthrown. Upon this supposal, therefore, that they should
easily get a land that was destitute of inhabitants into their
power, they first sacrificed those ambassadors who were come to
them from the Jews, and then marched into Judea immediately. Now
the Jewish nation were affrighted at this invasion, and quite
dispirited at the greatness of their calamities one after
another; whom yet Herod got together, and endeavored to encourage
to defend themselves by the following speech which he made to

4. "The present dread you are under seems to me to have seized
upon you very unreasonably. It is true, you might justly be
dismayed at that providential chastisement which hath befallen
you; but to suffer yourselves to be equally terrified at the
invasion of men is unmanly. As for myself, I am so far from being
aftrighted at our enemies after this earthquake, that I imagine
that God hath thereby laid a bait for the Arabians, that we may
be avenged on them; for their present invasion proceeds more from
our accidental misfortunes, than that they have any great
dependence on their weapons, or their own fitness for action. Now
that hope which depends not on men's own power, but on others'
ill success, is a very ticklish thing; for there is no certainty
among men, either in their bad or good fortunes; but we may
easily observe that fortune is mutable, and goes from one side to
another; and this you may readily learn from examples among
yourselves; for when you were once victors in the former fight,
your enemies overcame you at last; and very likely it will now
happen so, that these who think themselves sure of beating you
will themselves be beaten. For when men are very confident, they
are not upon their guard, while fear teaches men to act with
caution; insomuch that I venture to prove from your very
timorousness that you ought to take courage; for when you were
more bold than you ought to have been, and than I would have had
you, and marched on, Athenio's treachery took place; but your
present slowness and seeming dejection of mind is to me a pledge
and assurance of victory. And indeed it is proper beforehand to
be thus provident; but when we come to action, we ought to erect
our minds, and to make our enemies, be they ever so wicked,
believe that neither any human, no, nor any providential
misfortune, can ever depress the courage of Jews while they are
alive; nor will any of them ever overlook an Arabian, or suffer
such a one to become lord of his good things, whom he has in a
manner taken captive, and that many times also. And do not you
disturb yourselves at the quaking of inanimate creatures, nor do
you imagine that this earthquake is a sign of another calamity;
for such affections of the elements are according to the course
of nature, nor does it import any thing further to men, than what
mischief it does immediately of itself. Perhaps there may come
some short sign beforehand in the case of pestilences, and
famines, and earthquakes; but these calamities themselves have
their force limited by themselves [without foreboding any other
calamity]. And indeed what greater mischief can the war, though
it should be a violent one, do to us than the earthquake hath
done? Nay, there is a signal of our enemies' destruction visible,
and that a very great one also; and this is not a natural one,
nor derived from the hand of foreigners neither, but it is this,
that they have barbarously murdered our ambassadors, contrary to
the common law of mankind; and they have destroyed so many, as if
they esteemed them sacrifices for God, in relation to this war.
But they will not avoid his great eye, nor his invincible right
hand; and we shall be revenged of them presently, in case we
still retain any of the courage of our forefathers, and rise up
boldly to punish these covenant-breakers. Let every one therefore
go on and fight, not so much for his wife or his children, or for
the danger his country is in, as for these ambassadors of ours;
those dead ambassadors will conduct this war of ours better than
we ourselves who are alive. And if you will be ruled by me, I
will myself go before you into danger; for you know this well
enough, that your courage is irresistible, unless you hurt
yourselves by acting rashly. (30)

5. When Herod had encouraged them by this speech, and he saw with
what alacrity they went, he offered sacrifice to God; and after
that sacrifice, he passed over the river Jordan with his army,
and pitched his camp about Philadelphia, near the enemy, and
about a fortification that lay between them. He then shot at them
at a distance, and was desirous to come to an engagement
presently; for some of them had been sent beforehand to seize
upon that fortification: but the king sent some who immediately
beat them out of the fortification, while he himself went in the
forefront of the army, which he put in battle-array every day,
and invited the Arabians to fight. But as none of them came out
of their camp, for they were in a terrible fright, and their
general, Elthemus, was not able to say a word for fear, - so
Herod came upon them, and pulled their fortification to pieces,
by which means they were compelled to come out to fight, which
they did in disorder, and so that the horsemen and foot-men were
mixed together. They were indeed superior to the Jews in number,
but inferior in their alacrity, although they were obliged to
expose themselves to danger by their very despair of victory.
6. Now while they made opposition, they had not a great number
slain; but as soon as they turned their backs, a great many were
trodden to pieces by the Jews, and a great many by themselves,
and so perished, till five thousand were fallen down dead in
their flight, while the rest of the multitude prevented their
immediate death, by crowding into the fortification. Herod
encompassed these around, and besieged them; and while they were
ready to be taken by their enemies in arms, they had another
additional distress upon them, which was thirst and want of
water; for the king was above hearkening to their ambassadors;
and when they offered five hundred talents, as the price of their
redemption, he pressed still harder upon them. And as they were
burnt up by their thirst, they came out and voluntarily delivered
themselves up by multitudes to the Jews, till in five days' time
four thousand of them were put into bonds; and on the sixth day
the multitude that were left despaired of saving themselves, and
came out to fight: with these Herod fought, and slew again about
seven thousand, insomuch that he punished Arabia so severely, and
so far extinguished the spirits of the men, that he was chosen by
the nation for their ruler.


Herod Is Confirmed In His Kingdom By Caesar, And Cultivates A
Friendship With The Emperor By Magnificent Presents; While Caesar
Returns His Kindness By Bestowing On Him That Part Of His Kingdom
Which Had Been Taken Away From It By Cleopatra With The Addition
Of Zenodoruss Country Also.

1. But now Herod was under immediate concern about a most
important affair, on account of his friendship with Antony, who
was already overcome at Actium by Caesar; yet he was more afraid
than hurt; for Caesar did not think he had quite undone Antony,
while Herod continued his assistance to him. However, the king
resolved to expose himself to dangers: accordingly he sailed to
Rhodes, where Caesar then abode, and came to him without his
diadem, and in the habit and appearance of a private person, but
in his behavior as a king. So he concealed nothing of the truth,
but spike thus before his face: "O Caesar, as I was made king of
the Jews by Antony, so do I profess that I have used my royal
authority in the best manner, and entirely for his advantage; nor
will I conceal this further, that thou hadst certainly found me
in arms, and an inseparable companion of his, had not the
Arabians hindered me. However, I sent him as many auxiliaries as
I was able, and many ten thousand [cori] of corn. Nay, indeed, I
did not desert my benefactor after the bow that was given him at
Actium; but I gave him the best advice I was able, when I was no
longer able to assist him in the war; and I told him that there
was but one way of recovering his affairs, and that was to kill
Cleopatra; and I promised him that, if she were once dead, I
would afford him money and walls for his security, with an army
and myself to assist him in his war against thee: but his
affections for Cleopatra stopped his ears, as did God himself
also who hath bestowed the government on thee. I own myself also
to be overcome together with him; and with his last fortune I
have laid aside my diadem, and am come hither to thee, having my
hopes of safety in thy virtue; and I desire that thou wilt first
consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have

2. Caesar replied to him thus: "Nay, thou shalt not only be in
safety, but thou shalt be a king; and that more firmly than thou
wast before; for thou art worthy to reign over a great many
subjects, by reason of the fastness of thy friendship; and do
thou endeavor to be equally constant in thy friendship to me,
upon my good success, which is what I depend upon from the
generosity of thy disposition. However, Antony hath done well in
preferring Cleopatra to thee; for by this means we have gained
thee by her madness, and thus thou hast begun to be my friend
before I began to be thine; on which account Quintus Didius hath
written to me that thou sentest him assistance against the
gladiators. I do therefore assure thee that I will confirm the
kingdom to thee by decree: I shall also endeavor to do thee some
further kindness hereafter, that thou mayst find no loss in the
want of Antony."

3. When Caesar had spoken such obliging things to the king, and
had put the diadem again about his head, he proclaimed what he
had bestowed on him by a decree, in which he enlarged in the
commendation of the man after a magnificent manner. Whereupon
Herod obliged him to be kind to him by the presents he gave him,
and he desired him to forgive Alexander, one of Antony's friends,
who was become a supplicant to him. But Caesar's anger against
him prevailed, and he complained of the many and very great
offenses the man whom he petitioned for had been guilty of; and
by that means he rejected his petition. After this Caesar went
for Egypt through Syria, when Herod received him with royal and
rich entertainments; and then did he first of all ride along with
Caesar, as he was reviewing his army about Ptolemais, and feasted
him with all his friends, and then distributed among the rest of
the army what was necessary to feast them withal. He also made a
plentiful provision of water for them, when they were to march as
far as Pelusium, through a dry country, which he did also in like
manner at their return thence; nor were there any necessaries
wanting to that army. It was therefore the opinion, both of
Caesar and of his soldiers, that Herod's kingdom was too small
for those generous presents he made them; for which reason, when
Caesar was come into Egypt, and Cleopatra and Antony were dead,
he did not only bestow other marks of honor upon him, but made an
addition to his kingdom, by giving him not only the country which
had been taken from him by Cleopatra, but besides that, Gadara,
and Hippos, and Samaria; and moreover, of the maritime cities,
Gaza (31) and Anthedon, and Joppa, and Strato's Tower. He also
made him a present of four hundred Galls [Galatians] as a guard
for his body, which they had been to Cleopatra before. Nor did
any thing so strongly induce Caesar to make these presents as the
generosity of him that received them.

4. Moreover, after the first games at Actium, he added to his
kingdom both the region called Trachonitis, and what lay in its
neighborhood, Batanea, and the country of Auranitis; and that on
the following occasion: Zenodorus, who had hired the house of
Lysanias, had all along sent robbers out of Trachonitis among the
Damascenes; who thereupon had recourse to Varro, the president of
Syria, and desired of him that he would represent the calamity
they were in to Caesar. When Caesar was acquainted with it, he
sent back orders that this nest of robbers should be destroyed.
Varro therefore made an expedition against them, and cleared the
land of those men, and took it away from Zenodorus. Caesar did
also afterward bestow it on Herod, that it might not again become
a receptacle for those robbers that had come against Damascus. He
also made him a procurator of all Syria, and this on the tenth
year afterward, when he came again into that province; and this
was so established, that the other procurators could not do any
thing in the administration without his advice: but when
Zenodorus was dead, Caesar bestowed on him all that land which
lay between Trachonitis and Galilee. Yet, what was still of more
consequence to Herod, he was beloved by Caesar next after
Agrippa, and by Agrippa next after Caesar; whence he arrived at a
very great degree of felicity. Yet did the greatness of his soul
exceed it, and the main part of his magnanimity was extended to
the promotion of piety.


Of The [Temple And] Cities That Were Built By Herod And Erected
From The Very Foundations; As Also Of Those Other Edifices That
Were Erected By Him; And What Magnificence He Showed To
Foreigners; And How Fortune Was In All Things Favorable To Him.
1. Accordingly, in the fifteenth year of his reign, Herod rebuilt
the temple, and encompassed a piece of land about it with a wall,
which land was twice as large as that before enclosed. The
expenses he laid out upon it were vastly large also, and the
riches about it were unspeakable. A sign of which you have in the
great cloisters that were erected about the temple, and the
citadel which was on its north side. The cloisters he built from
the foundation, but the citadel (32) he repaired at a vast
expense; nor was it other than a royal palace, which he called
Antonia, in honor of Antony. He also built himself a palace in
the Upper city, containing two very large and most beautiful
apartments; to which the holy house itself could not be compared
[in largeness]. The one apartment he named Caesareum, and the
other Agrippium, from his [two great] friends.

2. Yet did he not preserve their memory by particular buildings
only, with their names given them, but his generosity went as far
as entire cities; for when he had built a most beautiful wall
round a country in Samaria, twenty furlongs long, and had brought
six thousand inhabitants into it, and had allotted to it a most
fruitful piece of land, and in the midst of this city, thus
built, had erected a very large temple to Caesar, and had laid
round about it a portion of sacred land of three furlongs and a
half, he called the city Sebaste, from Sebastus, or Augustus, and
settled the affairs of the city after a most regular manner.
3. And when Caesar had further bestowed upon him another
additional country, he built there also a temple of white marble,
hard by the fountains of Jordan: the place is called Panium,
where is a top of a mountain that is raised to an immense height,
and at its side, beneath, or at its bottom, a dark cave opens
itself; within which there is a horrible precipice, that descends
abruptly to a vast depth; it contains a mighty quantity of water,
which is immovable; and when any body lets down any thing to
measure the depth of the earth beneath the water, no length of
cord is sufficient to reach it. Now the fountains of Jordan rise
at the roots of this cavity outwardly; and, as some think, this
is the utmost origin of Jordan: but we shall speak of that matter
more accurately in our following history.

4. But the king erected other places at Jericho also, between the
citadel Cypros and the former palace, such as were better and
more useful than the former for travelers, and named them from
the same friends of his. To say all at once, there was not any
place of his kingdom fit for the purpose that was permitted to be
without somewhat that was for Caesar's honor; and when he had
filled his own country with temples, he poured out the like
plentiful marks of his esteem into his province, and built many
cities which he called Cesareas.

5. And when he observed that there was a city by the sea-side
that was much decayed, (its name was Strato's Tower,) but that
the place, by the happiness of its situation, was capable of
great improvements from his liberality, he rebuilt it all with
white stone, and adorned it with several most splendid palaces,
wherein he especially demonstrated his magnanimity; for the case
was this, that all the sea-shore between Dora and Joppa, in the
middle, between which this city is situated, had no good haven,
insomuch that every one that sailed from Phoenicia for Egypt was
obliged to lie in the stormy sea, by reason of the south winds
that threatened them; which wind, if it blew but a little fresh,
such vast waves are raised, and dash upon the rocks, that upon
their retreat the sea is in a great ferment for a long way. But
the king, by the expenses he was at, and the liberal disposal of
them, overcame nature, and built a haven larger than was the
Pyrecum (33) [at Athens]; and in the inner retirements of the
water he built other deep stations [for the ships also].

6. Now although the place where he built was greatly opposite to
his purposes, yet did he so fully struggle with that difficulty,
that the firmness of his building could not easily be conquered
by the sea; and the beauty and ornament of the works were such,
as though he had not had any difficulty in the operation; for
when he had measured out as large a space as we have before
mentioned, he let down stones into twenty fathom water, the
greatest part of which were fifty feet in length, and nine in
depth, and ten in breadth, and some still larger. But when the
haven was filled up to that depth, he enlarged that wall which
was thus already extant above the sea, till it was two hundred
feet wide; one hundred of which had buildings before it, in order
to break the force of the waves, whence it was called Procumatia,
or the first breaker of the waves; but the rest of the space was
under a stone wall that ran round it. On this wall were very
large towers, the principal and most beautiful of which was
called Drusium, from Drusus, who was son-in-law to Caesar.
7. There were also a great number of arches, where the mariners
dwelt; and all the places before them round about was a large
valley, or walk, for a quay [or landing-place] to those that came
on shore; but the entrance was on the north, because the north
wind was there the most gentle of all the winds. At the mouth of
the haven were on each side three great Colossi, supported by
pillars, where those Colossi that are on your left hand as you
sail into the port are supported by a solid tower; but those on
the right hand are supported by two upright stones joined
together, which stones were larger than that tower which was on
the other side of the entrance. Now there were continual edifices
joined to the haven, which were also themselves of white stone;
and to this haven did the narrow streets of the city lead, and
were built at equal distances one from another. And over against
the mouth of the haven, upon an elevation, there was a temple for
Caesar, which was excellent both in beauty and largeness; and
therein was a Colossus of Caesar, not less than that of Jupiter
Olympius, which it was made to resemble. The other Colossus of
Rome was equal to that of Juno at Argos. So he dedicated the city
to the province, and the haven to the sailors there; but the
honor of the building he ascribed to Caesar, (34) and named it
Cesarea accordingly.

8. He also built the other edifices, the amphitheater, and
theater, and market-place, in a manner agreeable to that
denomination; and appointed games every fifth year, and called
them, in like manner, Caesar's Games; and he first himself
proposed the largest prizes upon the hundred ninety-second
olympiad; in which not only the victors themselves, but those
that came next to them, and even those that came in the third
place, were partakers of his royal bounty. He also rebuilt
Anthedon, a city that lay on the coast, and had been demolished
in the wars, and named it Agrippeum. Moreover, he had so very
great a kindness for his friend Agrippa, that he had his name
engraved upon that gate which he had himself erected in the

9. Herod was also a lover of his father, if any other person ever
was so; for he made a monument for his father, even that city
which he built in the finest plain that was in his kingdom, and
which had rivers and trees in abundance, and named it Antipatris.
He also built a wall about a citadel that lay above Jericho, and
was a very strong and very fine building, and dedicated it to his
mother, and called it Cypros. Moreover, he dedicated a tower that
was at Jerusalem, and called it by the name of his brother
Phasaelus, whose structure, largeness, and magnificence we shall
describe hereafter. He also built another city in the valley that
leads northward from Jericho, and named it Phasaelis.

10. And as he transmitted to eternity his family and friends, so
did he not neglect a memorial for himself, but built a fortress
upon a mountain towards Arabia, and named it from himself,
Herodium (35) and he called that hill that was of the shape of a
woman's breast, and was sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, by
the same name. He also bestowed much curious art upon it, with
great ambition, and built round towers all about the top of it,
and filled up the remaining space with the most costly palaces
round about, insomuch that not only the sight of the inner
apartments was splendid, but great wealth was laid out on the
outward walls, and partitions, and roofs also. Besides this, he
brought a mighty quantity of water from a great distance, and at
vast charges, and raised an ascent to it of two hundred steps of
the whitest marble, for the hill was itself moderately high, and
entirely factitious. He also built other palaces about the roots
of the hill, sufficient to receive the furniture that was put
into them, with his friends also, insomuch that, on account of
its containing all necessaries, the fortress might seem to be a
city, but, by the bounds it had, a palace only.

11. And when he had built so much, he showed the greatness of his
soul to no small number of foreign cities. He built palaces for
exercise at Tripoli, and Damascus, and Ptolemais; he built a wall
about Byblus, as also large rooms, and cloisters, and temples,
and market-places at Berytus and Tyre, with theatres at Sidon and
Damascus. He also built aqueducts for those Laodiceans who lived
by the sea-side; and for those of Ascalon he built baths and
costly fountains, as also cloisters round a court, that were
admirable both for their workmanship and largeness. Moreover, he
dedicated groves and meadows to some people; nay, not a few
cities there were who had lands of his donation, as if they were
parts of his own kingdom. He also bestowed annual revenues, and
those for ever also, on the settlements for exercises, and
appointed for them, as well as for the people of Cos, that such
rewards should never be wanting. He also gave corn to all such as
wanted it, and conferred upon Rhodes large sums of money for
building ships; and this he did in many places, and frequently
also. And when Apollo's temple had been burnt down, he rebuilt it
at his own charges, after a better manner than it was before.
What need I speak of the presents he made to the Lycians and
Samnians? or of his great liberality through all Ionia? and that
according to every body's wants of them. And are not the
Athenians, and Lacedemonians, and Nicopolitans, and that Pergamus
which is in Mysia, full of donations that Herod presented them
withal? And as for that large open place belonging to Antioch in
Syria, did not he pave it with polished marble, though it were
twenty furlongs long? and this when it was shunned by all men
before, because it was full of dirt and filthiness, when he
besides adorned the same place with a cloister of the same

12. It is true, a man may say, these were favors peculiar to
those particular places on which he bestowed his benefits; but
then what favors he bestowed on the Eleans was a donation not
only in common to all Greece, but to all the habitable earth, as
far as the glory of the Olympic games reached. For when he
perceived that they were come to nothing, for want of money, and
that the only remains of ancient Greece were in a manner gone, he
not only became one of the combatants in that return of the
fifth-year games, which in his sailing to Rome he happened to be
present at, but he settled upon them revenues of money for
perpetuity, insomuch that his memorial as a combatant there can
never fail. It would be an infinite task if I should go over his
payments of people's debts, or tributes, for them, as he eased
the people of Phasaelis, of Batanea, and of the small cities
about Cilicia, of those annual pensions they before paid.
However, the fear he was in much disturbed the greatness of his
soul, lest he should be exposed to envy, or seem to hunt after
greater filings than he ought, while he bestowed more liberal
gifts upon these cities than did their owners themselves.

13. Now Herod had a body suited to his soul, and was ever a most
excellent hunter, where he generally had good success, by the
means of his great skill in riding horses; for in one day he
caught forty wild beasts: (36) that country breeds also bears,
and the greatest part of it is replenished with stags and wild
asses. He was also such a warrior as could not be withstood: many
men, therefore, there are who have stood amazed at his readiness
in his exercises, when they saw him throw the javelin directly
forward, and shoot the arrow upon the mark. And then, besides
these performances of his depending on his own strength of mind
and body, fortune was also very favorable to him; for he seldom
failed of success in his wars; and when he failed, he was not
himself the occasion of such failings, but he either vas betrayed
by some, or the rashness of his own soldiers procured his defeat.

The Murder Of Aristobulus And Hyrcanus, The High Priests, As Also
Of Mariamne The Queen.

1. However, fortune was avenged on Herod in his external great
successes, by raising him up domestical troubles; and he began to
have wild disorders in his family, on account of his wife, of
whom he was so very fond. For when he came to the government, he
sent away her whom he had before married when he was a private
person, and who was born at Jerusalem, whose name was Doris, and
married Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of
Aristobulus; on whose account disturbances arose in his family,
and that in part very soon, but chiefly after his return from
Rome. For, first of all, he expelled Antipater the son of Doris,
for the sake of his sons by Mariamne, out of the city, and
permitted him to come thither at no other times than at the
festivals. After this he slew his wife's grandfather, Hyrcanus,
when he was returned out of Parthin to him, under this pretense,
that he suspected him of plotting against him. Now this Hyrcanus
had been carried captive to Barzapharnes, when he overran Syria;
but those of his own country beyond Euphrates were desirous he
would stay with them, and this out of the commiseration they had
for his condition; and had he complied with their desires, when
they exhorted him not to go over the river to lierod, he had not
perished: but the marriage of his granddaughter [to Herod] was
his temptation; for as he relied upon him, and was over-fond of
his own country, he came back to it. Herod's provocation was
this, - not that Hyrcanus made any attempt to gain the kingdom,
but that it was fitter for him to be their king than for Herod.
2. Now of the five children which Herod had by Mariamne, two of
them were daughters, and three were sons; and the youngest of
these sons was educated at Rome, and there died; but the two
eldest he treated as those of royal blood, on account of the
nobility of their mother, and because they were not born till he
was king. But then what was stronger than all this was the love
that he bare to Mariamne, and which inflamed him every day to a
great degree, and so far conspired with the other motives, that
he felt no other troubles, on account of her he loved so
entirely. But Mariamne's hatred to him was not inferior to his
love to her. She had indeed but too just a cause of indignation
from what he had done, while her boldness proceeded from his
affection to her; so she openly reproached him with what he had
done to her grandfather Hyrcanus, and to her brother Aristobulus;
for he had not spared this Aristobulus, though he were but a
child; for when he had given him the high priesthood at the age
of seventeen, he slew him quickly after he had conferred that
dignity upon him; but when Aristobulus had put on the holy
vestments, and had approached to the altar at a festival, the
multitude, in great crowds, fell into tears; whereupon the child
was sent by night to Jericho, and was there dipped by the Galls,
at Herod's command, in a pool till he was drowned.

3. For these reasons Mariamne reproached Herod, and his sister
and mother, after a most contumelious manner, while he was dumb
on account of his affection for her; yet had the women great
indignation at her, and raised a calumny against her, that she
was false to his bed; which thing they thought most likely to
move Herod to anger. They also contrived to have many other
circumstances believed, in order to make the thing more credible,
and accused her of having sent her picture into Egypt to Antony,
and that her lust was so extravagant, as to have thus showed
herself, though she was absent, to a man that ran mad after
women, and to a man that had it in his power to use violence to
her. This charge fell like a thunderbolt upon Herod, and put him
into disorder; and that especially, because his love to her
occasioned him to be jealous, and because he considered with
himself that Cleopatra was a shrewd woman, and that on her
account Lysanias the king was taken off, as well as Malichus the
Arabian; for his fear did not only extend to the dissolving of
his marriage, but to the danger of his life.

4. When therefore he was about to take a journey abroad, he
committed his wife to Joseph, his sister Salome's husband, as to
one who would be faithful to him, and bare him good-will on
account of their kindred; he also gave him a secret injunction,
that if Antony slew him, he should slay her. But Joseph, without
any ill design, and only in order to demonstrate the king's love
to his wife, how he could not bear to think of being separated
from her, even by death itself, discovered this grand secret to
her; upon which, when Herod was come back, and as they talked
together, and he confirmed his love to her by many oaths, and
assured her that he had never such an affection for any other
woman as he had for her, - " Yes," says she, "thou didst, to be
sure, demonstrate thy love to me by the injunctions thou gavest
Joseph, when thou commandedst him to kill me." (37)

5. When he heard that this grand secret was discovered, he was
like a distracted man, and said that Joseph would never have
disclosed that injunction of his, unless he had debauched her.
His passion also made him stark mad, and leaping out of his bed,
he ran about the palace after a wild manner; at which time his
sister Salome took the opportunity also to blast her reputation,
and confirmed his suspicion about Joseph; whereupon, out of his
ungovernable jealousy and rage, he commanded both of them to be
slain immediately; but as soon as ever his passion was over, he
repented of what he had done, and as soon as his anger was worn
off, his affections were kindled again. And indeed the flame of
his desires for her was so ardent, that he could not think she
was dead, but would appear, under his disorders, to speak to her
as if she were still alive, till he were better instructed by
time, when his grief and trouble, now she was dead, appeared as
great as his affection had been for her while she was living.

Calumnies Against The Sons Of Mariamne. Antipateris Preferred
Before Them. They Are Accused Before Caesar, And Herod Is
Reconciled To Them.

1. Now Mariamne's sons were heirs to that hatred which had been
borne their mother; and when they considered the greatness of
Herod's crime towards her, they were suspicious of him as of an
enemy of theirs; and this first while they were educated at Rome,
but still more when they were returned to Judea. This temper of
theirs increased upon them as they grew up to be men; and when
they were Come to an age fit for marriage, the one of them
married their aunt Salome's daughter, which Salome had been the
accuser of their mother; the other married the daughter of
Archclaus, king of Cappadocia. And now they used boldness in
speaking, as well as bore hatred in their minds. Now those that
calumniated them took a handle from such their boldness, and
certain of them spake now more plainly to the king that there
were treacherous designs laid against him by both his sons; and
he that was son-in-law to Archelaus, relying upon his
father-in-law, was preparing to fly away, in order to accuse
Herod before Caesar; and when Herod's head had been long enough
filled with these calumnies, he brought Antipater, whom he had by
Doris, into favor again, as a defense to him against his other
sons, and began all the ways he possibly could to prefer him
before them.

2. But these sons were not able to bear this change in their
affairs; but when they saw him that was born of a mother of no
family, the nobility of their birth made them unable to contain
their indignation; but whensoever they were uneasy, they showed
the anger they had at it. And as these sons did day after day
improve in that their anger, Antipater already exercised all his
own abilities, which were very great, in flattering his father,
and in contriving many sorts of calumnies against his brethren,
while he told some stories of them himself, and put it upon other
proper persons to raise other stories against them, till at
length he entirely cut his brethren off from all hopes of
succeeding to the kingdom; for he was already publicly put into
his father's will as his successor. Accordingly, he was sent with
royal ornaments, and other marks of royalty, to Caesar, excepting
the diadem. He was also able in time to introduce his mother
again into Mariamne's bed. The two sorts of weapons he made use
of against his brethren were flattery and calumny, whereby he
brought matters privately to such a pass, that the king had
thoughts of putting his sons to death.

3. So the father drew Alexander as far as Rome, and. charged him
with an attempt of poisoning him before Caesar. Alexander could
hardly speak for lamentation; but having a judge that was more
skillful than Antipater, and more wise than Herod, he modestly
avoided laying any imputation upon his father, but with great
strength of reason confuted the calumnies laid against him; and
when he had demonstrated the innocency of his brother, who was in
the like danger with himself, he at last bewailed the craftiness
of Antipater, and the disgrace they were under. He was enabled
also to justify himself, not only by a clear conscience, which he
carried within him, but by his eloquence; for he was a shrewd man
in making speeches. And upon his saying at last, that if his
father objected this crime to them, it was in his power to put
them to death, he made all the audience weep; and he brought
Caesar to that pass, as to reject the accusations, and to
reconcile their father to them immediately. But the conditions of
this reconciliation were these, that they should in all things be
obedient to their father, and that he should have power to leave
the kingdom to which of them he pleased.

4. After this the king came back from Rome, and seemed to have
forgiven his sons upon these accusations; but still so that he
was not without his suspicions of them. They were followed by
Antipater, who was the fountain-head of those accusations; yet
did not he openly discover his hatred to them, as revering him
that had reconciled them. But as Herod sailed by Cilicia, he
touched at Eleusa, (38) where Archclaus treated them in the most
obliging manner, and gave him thanks for the deliverance of his
son-in-law, and was much pleased at their reconciliation; and
this the more, because he had formerly written to his friends at
Rome that they should be assisting to Alexander at his trial. So
he conducted Herod as far as Zephyrium, and made him presents to
the value of thirty talents.

5. Now when Herod was come to Jerusalem, he gathered the people
together, and presented to them his three sons, and gave them an
apologetic account of his absence, and thanked God greatly, and
thanked Caesar greatly also, for settling his house when it was
under disturbances, and had procured concord among his sons,
which was of greater consequence than the kingdom itself, -" and
which I will render still more firm; for Caesar hath put into my
power to dispose of the government, and to appoint my successor.
Accordingly, in way of requital for his kindness, and in order to
provide for mine own advantage, I do declare that these three
sons of mine shall be kings. And, in the first place, I pray for
the approbation of God to what I am about; and, in the next
place, I desire your approbation also. The age of one of them,
and the nobility of the other two, shall procure them the
succession. Nay, indeed, my kingdom is so large that it may be
sufficient for more kings. Now do you keep those in their places
whom Caesar hath joined, and their father hath appointed; and do
not you pay undue or unequal respects to them, but to every one
according to the prerogative of their births; for he that pays
such respects unduly, will thereby not make him that is honored
beyond what his age requires so joyful, as he will make him that
is dishonored sorrowful. As for the kindred and friends that are
to converse with them, I will appoint them to each of them, and
will so constitute them, that they may be securities for their
concord; as well knowing that the ill tempers of those with whom
they converse will produce quarrels and contentions among them;
but that if these with whom they converse be of good tempers,
they will preserve their natural affections for one another. But
still I desire that not these only, but all the captains of my
army, have for the present their hopes placed on me alone; for I
do not give away my kingdom to these my sons, but give them royal
honors only; whereby it will come to pass that they will enjoy
the sweet parts of government as rulers themselves, but that the
burden of administration will rest upon myself whether I will or
not. And let every one consider what age I am of, how I have
conducted my life, and what piety I have exercised; for my age is
not so great that men may soon expect the end of my life; nor
have I indulged such a luxurious way of living as cuts men off
when they are young; and we have been so religious towards God,
that we [have reason to hope we] may arrive at a very great age.
But for such as cultivate a friendship with my sons, so as to aim
at my destruction, they shall be punished by me on their account.
I am not one who envy my own children, and therefore forbid men
to pay them great respect; but I know that such [extravagant]
respects are the way to make them insolent. And if every one that
comes near them does but revolve this in his mind, that if he
prove a good man, he shall receive a reward from me, but that if
he prove seditious, his ill-intended complaisance shall get him
nothing from him to whom it is shown, I suppose they will all be
of my side, that is, of my sons' side; for it will be for their
advantage that I reign, and that I be at concord with them. But
do you, O my good children, reflect upon the holiness of nature
itself, by whose means natural affection is preserved, even among
wild beasts; in the next place, reflect upon Caesar, who hath
made this reconciliation among us; and in the third place,
reflect upon me, who entreat you to do what I have power to
command you, - continue brethren. I give you royal garments, and
royal honors; and I pray to God to preserve what I have
determined, in case you be at concord one with another." When the
king had thus spoken, and had saluted every one of his sons after
an obliging manner, he dismissed the multitude; some of which
gave their assent to what he had said, and wished it might take
effect accordingly; but for those who wished for a change of
affairs, they pretended they did not so much as hear what he


The Malice Of Antipater And Doris. Alexander Is Very Uneasy On
Glaphyras Account. Herod Pardons Pheroras, Whom He Suspected, And
Salome Whom He Knew To Make Mischief Among Them. Herod's Eunuchs
Are Tortured And Alexander Is Bound.

1. But now the quarrel that was between them still accompanied
these brethren when they parted, and the suspicions they had one
of the other grew worse. Alexander and Aristobulus were much
grieved that the privilege of the first-born was confirmed to
Antipater; as was Antipater very angry at his brethren that they
were to succeed him. But then this last being of a disposition
that was mutable and politic, he knew how to hold his tongue, and
used a great deal of cunning, and thereby concealed the hatred he
bore to them; while the former, depending on the nobility of
their births, had every thing upon their tongues which was in
their minds. Many also there were who provoked them further, and
many of their [seeming] friends insinuated themselves into their
acquaintance, to spy out what they did. Now every thing that was
said by Alexander was presently brought to Antipater, and from
Antipater it was brought to Herod with additions. Nor could the
young man say any thing in the simplicity of his heart, without
giving offense, but what he said was still turned to calumny
against him. And if he had been at any time a little free in his
conversation, great imputations were forged from the smallest
occasions. Antipater also was perpetually setting some to provoke
him to speak, that the lies he raised of him might seem to have
some foundation of truth; and if, among the many stories that
were given out, but one of them could be proved true, that was
supposed to imply the rest to be true also. And as to Antipater's
friends, they were all either naturally so cautious in speaking,
or had been so far bribed to conceal their thoughts, that nothing
of these grand secrets got abroad by their means. Nor should one
be mistaken if he called the life of Antipater a mystery of
wickedness; for he either corrupted Alexander's acquaintance with
money, or got into their favor by flatteries; by which two means
he gained all his designs, and brought them to betray their
master, and to steal away, and reveal what he either did or said.
Thus did he act a part very cunningly in all points, and wrought
himself a passage by his calumnies with the greatest shrewdness;
while he put on a face as if he were a kind brother to Alexander
and Aristobulus, but suborned other men to inform of what they
did to Herod. And when any thing was told against Alexander, he
would come in, and pretend [to be of his side], and would begin
to contradict what was said; but would afterward contrive matters
so privately, that the king should have an indignation at him.
His general aim was this, - to lay a plot, and to make it
believed that Alexander lay in wait to kill his father; for
nothing afforded so great a confirmation to these calumnies as
did Antipater's apologies for him.

2. By these methods Herod was inflamed, and as much as his
natural affection to the young men did every day diminish, so
much did it increase towards Antipater. The courtiers also
inclined to the same conduct, some of their own accord, and
others by the king's injunction, as particularly did Ptolemy, the
king's dearest friend, as also the king's brethren, and all his
children; for Antipater was all in all; and what was the
bitterest part of all to Alexander, Antipater's mother was also
all in all; she was one that gave counsel against them, and was
more harsh than a step-mother, and one that hated the queen's
sons more than is usual to hate sons-in-law. All men did
therefore already pay their respects to Antipater, in hopes of
advantage; and it was the king's command which alienated every
body [from the brethren], he having given this charge to his most
intimate friends, that they should not come near, nor pay any
regard, to Alexander, or to his friends. Herod was also become
terrible, not only to his domestics about the court, but to his
friends abroad; for Caesar had given such a privilege to no other
king as he had given to him, which was this, - that he might
fetch back any one that fled from him, even out of a city that
was not under his own jurisdiction. Now the young men were not
acquainted with the calumnies raised against them; for which
reason they could not guard themselves against them, but fell
under them; for their father did not make any public complaints
against either of them; though in a little time they perceived
how things were by his coldness to them, and by the great
uneasiness he showed upon any thing that troubled him. Antipater
had also made their uncle Pheroras to be their enemy, as well as
their aunt Salome, while he was always talking with her, as with
a wife, and irritating her against them. Moreover, Alexander's
wife, Glaphyra, augmented this hatred against them, by deriving
her nobility and genealogy [from great persons], and pretending
that she was a lady superior to all others in that kingdom, as
being derived by her father's side from Temenus, and by her
mother's side from Darius, the son of Hystaspes. She also
frequently reproached Herod's sister and wives with the
ignobility of their descent; and that they were every one chosen
by him for their beauty, but not for their family. Now those
wives of his were not a few; it being of old permitted to the
Jews to marry many wives, (39) and this king delighting in many;
all which hated Alexander, on account of Glaphyra's boasting and

3. Nay, Aristobulus had raised a quarrel between himself and
Salome, who was his mother-in-law, besides the anger he had
conceived at Glaphyra's reproaches; for he perpetually upbraided
his wife with the meanness of her family, and complained, that as
he had married a woman of a low family, so had his brother
Alexander married one of royal blood. At this Salome's daughter
wept, and told it her with this addition, that Alexander
threatened the mothers of his other brethren, that when he should
come to the crown, he would make them weave with their maidens,
and would make those brothers of his country schoolmasters; and
brake this jest upon them, that they had been very carefully
instructed, to fit them for such an employment. Hereupon Salome
could not contain her anger, but told all to Herod; nor could her
testimony be suspected, since it was against her own son-in-law
There was also another calumny that ran abroad and inflamed the
king's mind; for he heard that these sons of his were perpetually
speaking of their mother, and, among their lamentations for her,
did not abstain from cursing him; and that when he made presents
of any of Mariamne's garments to his later wives, these
threatened that in a little time, instead of royal garments, they
would clothe theft in no better than hair-cloth.

4. Now upon these accounts, though Herod was somewhat afraid of
the young men's high spirit, yet did he not despair of reducing
them to a better mind; but before he went to Rome, whither he was
now going by sea, he called them to him, and partly threatened
them a little, as a king; but for the main, he admonished them as
a father, and exhorted them to love their brethren, and told them
that he would pardon their former offenses, if they would amend
for the time to come. But they refuted the calumnies that had
been raised of them, and said they were false, and alleged that
their actions were sufficient for their vindication; and said
withal, that he himself ought to shut his ears against such
tales, and not be too easy in believing them, for that there
would never be wanting those that would tell lies to their
disadvantage, as long as any would give ear to them.

5. When they had thus soon pacified him, as being their father,
they got clear of the present fear they were in. Yet did they see
occasion for sorrow in some time afterward; for they knew that
Salome, as well as their uncle Pheroras, were their enemies; who
were both of them heavy and severe persons, and especially
Pheroras, who was a partner with Herod in all the affairs of the
kingdom, excepting his diadem. He had also a hundred talents of
his own revenue, and enjoyed the advantage of all the land beyond
Jordan, which he had received as a gift from his brother, who had
asked of Caesar to make him a tetrarch, as he was made
accordingly. Herod had also given him a wife out of the royal
family, who was no other than his own wife's sister, and after
her death had solemnly espoused to him his own eldest daughter,
with a dowry of three hundred talents; but Pheroras refused to
consummate this royal marriage, out of his affection to a
maidservant of his. Upon which account Herod was very angry, and
gave that daughter in marriage to a brother's son of his,
[Joseph,] who was slain afterward by the Parthians; but in some
time he laid aside his anger against Pheroras, and pardoned him,
as one not able to overcome his foolish passion for the

6. Nay, Pheroras had been accused long before, while the queen
[Mariamne] was alive, as if he were in a plot to poison Herod;
and there came then so great a number of informers, that Herod
himself, though he was an exceeding lover of his brethren, was
brought to believe what was said, and to be afraid of it also.
And when he had brought many of those that were under suspicion
to the torture, he came at last to Pheroras's own friends; none
of which did openly confess the crime, but they owned that he had
made preparation to take her whom he loved, and run away to the
Parthians. Costobarus also, the husband of Salome, to whom the
king had given her in marriage, after her former husband had been
put to death for adultery, was instrumental in bringing about
this contrivance and flight of his. Nor did Salome escape all
calumny upon herself; for her brother Pheroras accused her that
she had made an agreement to marry Silleus, the procurator of
Obodas, king of Arabia, who was at bitter enmity with Herod; but
when she was convicted of this, and of all that Pheroras had
accused her of, she obtained her pardon. The king also pardoned
Pheroras himself the crimes he had been accused of.

7. But the storm of the whole family was removed to Alexander,
and all of it rested upon his head. There were three eunuchs who
were in the highest esteem with the king, as was plain by the
offices they were in about him; for one of them was appointed to
be his butler, another of them got his supper ready for him, and
the third put him into bed, and lay down by him. Now Alexander
had prevailed with these men, by large gifts, to let him use them
after an obscene manner; which, when it was told to the king,
they were tortured, and found guilty, and presently confessed the
criminal conversation he had with them. They also discovered the
promises by which they were induced so to do, and how they were
deluded by Alexander, who had told them that they ought not to
fix their hopes upon Herod, an old man, and one so shameless as
to color his hair, unless they thought that would make him young
again; but that they ought to fix their attention to him who was
to be his successor in the kingdom, whether he would or not; and
who in no long time would avenge himself on his enemies, and make
his friends happy and blessed, and themselves in the first place;
that the men of power did already pay respects to Alexander
privately, and that the captains of the soldiery, and the
officers, did secretly come to him.

8. These confessions did so terrify Herod, that he durst not
immediately publish them; but he sent spies abroad privately, by
night and by day, who should make a close inquiry after all that
was done and said; and when any were but suspected [of treason],
he put them to death, insomuch that the palace was full of
horribly unjust proceedings; for every body forged calumnies, as
they were themselves in a state of enmity or hatred against
others; and many there were who abused the king's bloody passion
to the disadvantage of those with whom they had quarrels, and
lies were easily believed, and punishments were inflicted sooner
than the calumnies were forged. He who had just then been
accusing another was accused himself, and was led away to
execution together with him whom he had convicted; for the danger
the king was in of his life made examinations be very short. He
also proceeded to such a degree of bitterness, that he could not
look on any of those that were not accused with a pleasant
countenance, but was in the most barbarous disposition towards
his own friends. Accordingly, he forbade a great many of them to
come to court, and to those whom he had not power to punish
actually he spake harshly. But for Antipater, he insulted
Alexander, now he was under his misfortunes, and got a stout
company of his kindred together, and raised all sorts of calumny
against him; and for the king, he was brought to such a degree of
terror by those prodigious slanders and contrivances, that he
fancied he saw Alexander coming to him with a drawn sword in his
hand. So he caused him to be seized upon immediately, and bound,
and fell to examining his friends by torture, many of whom died
[under the torture], but would discover nothing, nor say any
thing against their consciences; but some of them, being forced
to speak falsely by the pains they endured, said that Alexander,
and his brother Aristobulus, plotted against him, and waited for
an opportunity to kill him as he was hunting, and then fly away
to Rome. These accusations though they were of an incredible
nature, and only framed upon the great distress they were in,
were readily believed by the king, who thought it some comfort to
him, after he had bound his son, that it might appear he had not
done it unjustly.


Archelaus Procures A Reconciliation Between Alexander Pheroras,
And Herod.

1. Now as to Alexander, since he perceived it impossible to
persuade his father [that he was innocent], he resolved to meet
his calamities, how severe soever they were; so he composed four
books against his enemies, and confessed that he had been in a
plot; but declared withal that the greatest part [of the
courtiers] were in a plot with him, and chiefly Pheroras and
Salome; nay, that Salome once came and forced him to lie with her
in the night time, whether he would or no. These books were put
into Herod's hands, and made a great clamor against the men in
power. And now it was that Archelaus came hastily into Judea, as
being affrighted for his son-in-law and his daughter; and he came
as a proper assistant, and in a very prudent manner, and by a
stratagem he obliged the king not to execute what he had
threatened; for when he was come to him, he cried out, "Where in
the world is this wretched son-in-law of mine? Where shall I see
the head of him which contrived to murder his father, which I
will tear to pieces with my own hands? I will do the same also to
my daughter, who hath such a fine husband; for although she be
not a partner in the plot, yet, by being the wife of such a
creature, she is polluted. And I cannot but admire at thy
patience, against whom this plot is laid, if Alexander be still
alive; for as I came with what haste I could from Cappadocia, I
expected to find him put to death for his crimes long ago; but
still, in order to make an examination with thee about my
daughter, whom, out of regard to thee and by dignity, I had
espoused to him in marriage; but now we must take counsel about
them both; and if thy paternal affection be so great, that thou
canst not punish thy son, who hath plotted against thee, let us
change our right hands, and let us succeed one to the other in
expressing our rage upon this occasion."

2. When he had made this pompous declaration, he got Herod to
remit of his anger, though he were in disorder, who thereupon
gave him the books which Alexander had composed to be read by
him; and as he came to every head, he considered of it, together
with Herod. So Archclaus took hence the occasion for that
stratagem which he made use of, and by degrees he laid the blame
on those men whose names were in these books, and especially upon
Pheroras; and when he saw that the king believed him [to he in
earnest], he said, "We must consider whether the young man be not
himself plotted against by such a number of wicked wretches, and
not thou plotted against by the young man; for I cannot see any
occasion for his falling into so horrid a crime, since he enjoys
the advantages of royalty already, and has the expectation of
being one of thy successors; I mean this, unless there were some
persons that persuade him to it, and such persons as make an ill
use of the facility they know there is to persuade young men; for
by such persons, not only young men are sometimes imposed upon,
but old men also, and by them sometimes are the most illustrious
families and kingdoms overturned."

3. Herod assented to what he had said, and, by degrees, abated of
his anger against Alexander, but was more angry at Pheroras; for
the principal subject of the four books was Pheroras; who
perceiving that the king's inclinations changed on a sudden, and
that Archelaus's friendship could do every thing with him, and
that he had no honorable method of preserving himself, he
procured his safety by his impudence. So he left Alexander, and
had recourse to Archelaus, who told him that he did not see how
he could get him excused, now he was directly caught in so many
crimes, whereby it was evidently demonstrated that he had plotted
against the king, and had been the cause of those misfortunes
which the young man was now under, unless he would moreover leave
off his cunning knavery, and his denials of what he was charged
withal, and confess the charge, and implore pardon of his
brother, who still had a kindness for him; but that if he would
do so, he would afford him all the assistance he was able.
4. With this advice Pheroras complied, and putting himself into
such a habit as might most move compassion, he came with black
cloth upon his body, and tears in his eyes, and threw himself
down at Herod's feet, and begged his pardon for what he had done,
and confessed that he had acted very wickedly, and was guilty of
every thing that he had been accused of, and lamented that
disorder of his mind, and distraction which his love to a woman,
he said, had brought him to. So when Archelaus had brought
Pheroras to accuse and bear witness against himself, he then made
an excuse for him, and mitigated Herod's anger towards him, and
this by using certain domestical examples; for that when he had
suffered much greater mischiefs from a brother of his own, he
prefered the obligations of nature before the passion of revenge;
because it is in kingdoms as it is in gross bodies, where some
member or other is ever swelled by the body's weight, in which
case it is not proper to cut off such member, but to heal it by a
gentle method of cure.

5. Upon Arehelaus's saying this, and much more to the same
purpose, Herod's displeasure against Pheroras was mollified; yet
did he persevere in his own indignation against Alexander, and
said he would have his daughter divorced, and taken away from
him, and this till he had brought Herod to that pass, that,
contrary to his former behavior to him, he petitioned Archelaus
for the young man, and that he would let his daughter continue
espoused to him: but Archelaus made him strongly believe that he
would permit her to be married to any one else, but not to
Alexander, because he looked upon it as a very valuable
advantage, that the relation they had contracted by that
affinity, and the privileges that went along with it, might be
preserved. And when the king said that his son would take it for
a great favor to him, if he would not dissolve that marriage,
especially since they had already children between the young man
and her, and since that wife of his was so well beloved by him,
and that as while she remains his wife she would be a great
preservative to him, and keep him from offending, as he had
formerly done; so if she should be once torn away from him, she
would be the cause of his falling into despair, because such
young men's attempts are best mollified when they are diverted
from them by settling their affections at home. So Arehelaus
complied with what Herod desired, but not without difficulty, and
was both himself reconciled to the young man, and reconciled his
father to him also. However, he said he must, by all means, be
sent to Rome to discourse with Caesar, because he had already
written a full account to him of this whole matter.

6. Thus a period was put to Archelaus's stratagem, whereby he
delivered his son-in-law out of the dangers he was in; but when
these reconciliations were over, they spent their time in
feastings and agreeable entertainments. And when Archelaus was
going away, Herod made him a present of seventy talents, with a
golden throne set with precious stones, and some eunuchs, and a
concubine who was called Pannychis. He also paid due honors to
every one of his friends according to their dignity. In like
manner did all the king's kindred, by his command, make glorious
presents to Archelaus; and so he was conducted on his way by
Herod and his nobility as far as Antioch.


How Eurycles (40) Calumniated The Sons Of Mariamne; And How
Euaratus Of Costs Apology For Them Had No Effect.

1. Now a little afterward there came into Judea a man that was
much superior to Arehelaus's stratagems, who did not only
overturn that reconciliation that had been so wisely made with
Alexander, but proved the occasion of his ruin. He was a
Lacedemonian, and his name was Eurycles. He was so corrupt a man,
that out of the desire of getting money, he chose to live under a
king, for Greece could not suffice his luxury. He presented Herod
with splendid gifts, as a bait which he laid in order to compass
his ends, and quickly received them back again manifold; yet did
he esteem bare gifts as nothing, unless he imbrued the kingdom in
blood by his purchases. Accordingly, he imposed upon the king by
flattering him, and by talking subtlely to him, as also by the
lying encomiums which he made upon him; for as he soon perceived
Herod's blind side, so he said and did every thing that might
please him, and thereby became one of his most intimate friends;
for both the king and all that were about him had a great regard
for this Spartan, on account of his country. (41)

2. Now as soon as this fellow perceived the rotten parts of the
family, and what quarrels the brothers had one with another, and
in what disposition the father was towards each of them, he chose
to take his lodging at the first in the house of Antipater, but
deluded Alexander with a pretense of friendship to him, and
falsely claimed to be an old acquaintance of Archelaus; for which
reason he was presently admitted into Alexander's familiarity as
a faithful friend. He also soon recommended himself to his
brother Aristobulus. And when he had thus made trial of these
several persons, he imposed upon one of them by one method, and
upon another by another. But he was principally hired by
Antipater, and so betrayed Alexander, and this by reproaching
Antipater, because, while he was the eldest son he overlooked the
intrigues of those who stood in the way of his expectations; and
by reproaching Alexander, because he who was born of a queen, and
was married to a king's daughter, permitted one that was born of
a mean woman to lay claim to the succession, and this when he had
Archelaus to support him in the most complete manner. Nor was his
advice thought to be other than faithful by the young man,
because of his pretended friendship with Archelaus; on which
account it was that Alexander lamented to him Antipater's
behavior with regard to himself, and this without concealing any
thing from him; and how it was no wonder if Herod, after he had
killed their mother, should deprive them of her kingdom. Upon
this Eurycles pretended to commiserate his condition, and to
grieve with him. He also, by a bait that he laid for him,
procured Aristobulus to say the same things. Thus did he inveigle
both the brothers to make complaints of their father, and then
went to Antipater, and carried these grand secrets to him. He
also added a fiction of his own, as if his brothers had laid a
plot against him, and were almost ready to come upon him with
their drawn swords. For this intelligence he received a great sum
of money, and on that account he commended Antipater before his
father, and at length undertook the work of bringing Alexander
and Aristobulus to their graves, and accused them before their
father. So he came to Herod, and told him that he would save his
life, as a requital for the favors he had received from him, and
would preserve his light [of life] by way of retribution for his
kind entertainment; for that a sword had been long whetted, and
Alexander's right hand had been long stretched out against him;
but that he had laid impediments in his way, prevented his speed,
and that by pretending to assist him in his design: how Alexander
said that Herod was not contented to reign in a kingdom that
belonged to others, and to make dilapidations in their mother's
government after he had killed her; but besides all this, that he
introduced a spurious successor, and proposed to give the kingdom
of their ancestors to that pestilent fellow Antipater: - that he
would now appease the ghosts of Hyrcanus and Mariamne, by taking
vengeance on him; for that it was not fit for him to take the
succession to the government from such a father without
bloodshed: that many things happen every day to provoke him so to
do, insomuch that he can say nothing at all, but it affords
occasion for calumny against him; for that if any mention be made
of nobility of birth, even in other cases, he is abused unjustly,
while his father would say that nobody, to be sure, is of noble
birth but Alexander, and that his father was inglorious for want
of such nobility. If they be at any time hunting, and he says
nothing, he gives offense; and if he commends any body, they take
it in way of jest. That they always find their father
unmercifully severe, and have no natural affection for any of
them but for Antipater; on which accounts, if this plot does not
take, he is very willing to die; but that in case he kill his
father, he hath sufficient opportunities for saving himself. In
the first place, he hath Archelaus his father-in-law to whom he
can easily fly; and in the next place, he hath Caesar, who had
never known Herod's character to this day; for that he shall not
appear then before him with that dread he used to do when his
father was there to terrify him; and that he will not then
produce the accusations that concerned himself alone, but would,
in the first place, openly insist on the calamities of their
nation, and how they are taxed to death, and in what ways of
luxury and wicked practices that wealth is spent which was gotten
by bloodshed; what sort of persons they are that get our riches,
and to whom those cities belong upon whom he bestows his favors;
that he would have inquiry made what became of his grandfather
[Hyrcanus], and his mother [Mariamne], and would openly proclaim
the gross wickedness that was in the kingdom; on which accounts
he should not be deemed a parricide.

3. When Eurycles had made this portentous speech, he greatly
commended Antipater, as the only child that had an affection for
his father, and on that account was an impediment to the other's
plot against him. Hereupon the king, who had hardly repressed his
anger upon the former accusations, was exasperated to an
incurable degree. At which time Antipater took another occasion
to send in other persons to his father to accuse his brethren,
and to tell him that they had privately discoursed with Jucundus
and Tyrannus, who had once been masters of the horse to the king,
but for some offenses had been put out of that honorable
employment. Herod was in a very great rage at these informations,
and presently ordered those men to be tortured; yet did not they
confess any thing of what the king had been informed; but a
certain letter was produced, as written by Alexander to the
governor of a castle, to desire him to receive him and
Aristobulus into the castle when he had killed his father, and to
give them weapons, and what other assistance he could, upon that
occasion. Alexander said that this letter was a forgery of
Diophantus. This Diophantus was the king's secretary, a bold man,
and cunning in counterfeiting any one's hand; and after he had
counterfeited a great number, he was at last put to death for it.
Herod did also order the governor of the castle to be tortured,
but got nothing out of him of what the accusations suggested.
4. However, although Herod found the proofs too weak, he gave
order to have his sons kept in custody; for till now they had
been at liberty. He also called that pest of his family, and
forger of all this vile accusation, Eurycles, his savior and
benefactor, and gave him a reward of fifty talents. Upon which he
prevented any accurate accounts that could come of what he had
done, by going immediately into Cappadocia, and there he got
money of Archelaus, having the impudence to pretend that he had
reconciled Herod to Alexander. He thence passed over into Greece,
and used what he had thus wickedly gotten to the like wicked
purposes. Accordingly, he was twice accused before Caesar, that
he had filled Achaia with sedition, and had plundered its cities;
and so he was sent into banishment. And thus was he punished for
what wicked actions he had been guilty of about Aristobulus and

5. But it will now be worth while to put Euaratus of Cos in
opposition to this Spartan; for as he was one of Alexander's most
intimate friends, and came to him in his travels at the same time
that Eurycles came; so the king put the question to him, whether
those things of which Alexander was accused were true? He assured
him upon oath that he had never heard any such things from the
young men; yet did this testimony avail nothing for the clearing
those miserable creatures; for Herod was only disposed and most
ready to hearken to what made against them, and every one was
most agreeable to him that would believe they were guilty, and
showed their indignation at them.


Herod By Caesars Direction Accuses His Sons At Eurytus. They Are
Not Produced Before The Courts But Yet Are Condemned; And In A
Little Time They Are Sent To Sebaste, And Strangled There.
1. Moreover, Salome exasperated Herod's cruelty against his sons;
for Aristobulus was desirous to bring her, who was his
mother-in-law and his aunt, into the like dangers with
themselves; so he sent to her to take care of her own safety, and
told her that the king was preparing to put her to death, on
account of the accusation that was laid against her, as if when
she formerly endeavored to marry herself to Sylleus the Arabian,
she had discovered the king's grand secrets to him, who was the
king's enemy; and this it was that came as the last storm, and
entirely sunk the young men when they were in great danger
before. For Salome came running to the king, and informed him of
what admonition had been given her; whereupon he could bear no
longer, but commanded both the young men to be bound, and kept
the one asunder from the other. He also sent Volumnius, the
general of his army, to Caesar immediately, as also his friend
Olympus with him, who carried the informations in writing along
with them. Now as soon as they had sailed to Rome, and delivered
the king's letters to Caesar, Caesar was mightily troubled at the
case of the young men; yet did not he think he ought to take the
power from the father of condemning his sons; so he wrote back to
him, and appointed him to have the power over his sons; but said
withal, that he would do well to make an examination into this
matter of the plot against him in a public court, and to take for
his assessors his own kindred, and the governors of the province.
And if those sons be found guilty, to put them to death; but if
they appear to have thought of no more than flying away from him,
that he should moderate their punishment.

2. With these directions Herod complied, and came to Berytus,
where Caesar had ordered the court to be assembled, and got the
judicature together. The presidents sat first, as Caesar's
letters had appointed, who were Saturninus and Pedanius, and
their lieutenants that were with them, with whom was the
procurator Volumnius also; next to them sat the king's kinsmen
and friends, with Salome also, and Pheroras; after whom sat the
principal men of all Syria, excepting Archelaus; for Herod had a
suspicion of him, because he was Alexander's father-in-law. Yet
did not he produce his sons in open court; and this was done very
cunningly, for he knew well enough that had they but appeared
only, they would certainly have been pitied; and if withal they
had been suffered to speak, Alexander would easily have answered
what they were accused of; but they were in custody at Platane, a
village of the Sidontans.

3. So the king got up, and inveighed against his sons, as if they
were present; and as for that part of the accusation that they
had plotted against him, he urged it but faintly, because he was
destitute of proofs; but he insisted before the assessors on the
reproaches, and jests, and injurious carriage, and ten thousand
the like offenses against him, which were heavier than death
itself; and when nobody contradicted him, he moved them to pity
his case, as though he had been condemned himself, now he had
gained a bitter victory against his sons. So he asked every one's
sentence, which sentence was first of all given by Saturninus,
and was this: That he condemned the young men, but not to death;
for that it was not fit for him, who had three sons of his own
now present, to give his vote for the destruction of the sons of
another. The two lieutenants also gave the like vote; some others
there were also who followed their example; but Volumnius began
to vote on the more melancholy side, and all those that came
after him condemned the young men to die, some out of flattery,
and some out of hatred to Herod; but none out of indignation at
their crimes. And now all Syria and Judea was in great
expectation, and waited for the last act of this tragedy; yet did
nobody, suppose that Herod would be so barbarous as to murder his
children: however, he carried them away to Tyre, and thence
sailed to Cesarea, and deliberated with himself what sort of
death the young men should suffer.

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest