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

Part 4 out of 12

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2. For there are three philosophical sects among the Jews. The
followers of the first of which are the Pharisees; of the second,
the Sadducees; and the third sect, which pretends to a severer
discipline, are called Essens. These last are Jews by birth, and
seem to have a greater affection for one another than the other
sects have. These Essens reject pleasures as an evil, but esteem
continence, and the conquest over our passions, to be virtue.
They neglect wedlock, but choose out other persons children,
while they are pliable, and fit for learning, and esteem them to
be of their kindred, and form them according to their own
manners. They do not absolutely deny the fitness of marriage, and
the succession of mankind thereby continued; but they guard
against the lascivious behavior of women, and are persuaded that
none of them preserve their fidelity to one man.

3. These men are despisers of riches, and so very communicative
as raises our admiration. Nor is there any one to be found among
them who hath more than another; for it is a law among them, that
those who come to them must let what they have be common to the
whole order, - insomuch that among them all there is no
appearance of poverty, or excess of riches, but every one's
possessions are intermingled with every other's possessions; and
so there is, as it were, one patrimony among all the brethren.
They think that oil is a defilement; and if any one of them be
anointed without his own approbation, it is wiped off his body;
for they think to be sweaty is a good thing, as they do also to
be clothed in white garments. They also have stewards appointed
to take care of their common affairs, who every one of them have
no separate business for any, but what is for the uses of them

4. They have no one certain city, but many of them dwell in every
city; and if any of their sect come from other places, what they
have lies open for them, just as if it were their own; and they
go in to such as they never knew before, as if they had been ever
so long acquainted with them. For which reason they carry nothing
at all with them when they travel into remote parts, though still
they take their weapons with them, for fear of thieves.
Accordingly, there is, in every city where they live, one
appointed particularly to take care of strangers, and to provide
garments and other necessaries for them. But the habit and
management of their bodies is such as children use who are in
fear of their masters. Nor do they allow of the change of or of
shoes till be first torn to pieces, or worn out by time. Nor do
they either buy or sell any thing to one another; but every one
of them gives what he hath to him that wanteth it, and receives
from him again in lieu of it what may be convenient for himself;
and although there be no requital made, they are fully allowed to
take what they want of whomsoever they please.

5. And as for their piety towards God, it is very extraordinary;
for before sun-rising they speak not a word about profane
matters, but put up certain prayers which they have received from
their forefathers, as if they made a supplication for its rising.
After this every one of them are sent away by their curators, to
exercise some of those arts wherein they are skilled, in which
they labor with great diligence till the fifth hour. After which
they assemble themselves together again into one place; and when
they have clothed themselves in white veils, they then bathe
their bodies in cold water. And after this purification is over,
they every one meet together in an apartment of their own, into
which it is not permitted to any of another sect to enter; while
they go, after a pure manner, into the dining-room, as into a
certain holy temple, and quietly set themselves down; upon which
the baker lays them loaves in order; the cook also brings a
single plate of one sort of food, and sets it before every one of
them; but a priest says grace before meat; and it is unlawful for
any one to taste of the food before grace be said. The same
priest, when he hath dined, says grace again after meat; and when
they begin, and when they end, they praise God, as he that
bestows their food upon them; after which they lay aside their
[white] garments, and betake themselves to their labors again
till the evening; then they return home to supper, after the same
manner; and if there be any strangers there, they sit down with
them. Nor is there ever any clamor or disturbance to pollute
their house, but they give every one leave to speak in their
turn; which silence thus kept in their house appears to
foreigners like some tremendous mystery; the cause of which is
that perpetual sobriety they exercise, and the same settled
measure of meat and drink that is allotted them, and that such as
is abundantly sufficient for them.

6. And truly, as for other things, they do nothing but according
to the injunctions of their curators; only these two things are
done among them at everyone's own free-will, which are to assist
those that want it, and to show mercy; for they are permitted of
their own accord to afford succor to such as deserve it, when
they stand in need of it, and to bestow food on those that are in
distress; but they cannot give any thing to their kindred without
the curators. They dispense their anger after a just manner, and
restrain their passion. They are eminent for fidelity, and are
the ministers of peace; whatsoever they say also is firmer than
an oath; but swearing is avoided by them, and they esteem it
worse than perjury (4) for they say that he who cannot be
believed without [swearing by] God is already condemned. They
also take great pains in studying the writings of the ancients,
and choose out of them what is most for the advantage of their
soul and body; and they inquire after such roots and medicinal
stones as may cure their distempers.

7. But now if any one hath a mind to come over to their sect, he
is not immediately admitted, but he is prescribed the same method
of living which they use for a year, while he continues
excluded'; and they give him also a small hatchet, and the
fore-mentioned girdle, and the white garment. And when he hath
given evidence, during that time, that he can observe their
continence, he approaches nearer to their way of living, and is
made a partaker of the waters of purification; yet is he not even
now admitted to live with them; for after this demonstration of
his fortitude, his temper is tried two more years; and if he
appear to be worthy, they then admit him into their society. And
before he is allowed to touch their common food, he is obliged to
take tremendous oaths, that, in the first place, he will exercise
piety towards God, and then that he will observe justice towards
men, and that he will do no harm to any one, either of his own
accord, or by the command of others; that he will always hate the
wicked, and be assistant to the righteous; that he will ever show
fidelity to all men, and especially to those in authority,
because no one obtains the government without God's assistance;
and that if he be in authority, he will at no time whatever abuse
his authority, nor endeavor to outshine his subjects either in
his garments, or any other finery; that he will be perpetually a
lover of truth, and propose to himself to reprove those that tell
lies; that he will keep his hands clear from theft, and his soul
from unlawful gains; and that he will neither conceal any thing
from those of his own sect, nor discover any of their doctrines
to others, no, not though anyone should compel him so to do at
the hazard of his life. Moreover, he swears to communicate their
doctrines to no one any otherwise than as he received them
himself; that he will abstain from robbery, and will equally
preserve the books belonging to their sect, and the names of the
angels (5) [or messengers]. These are the oaths by which they
secure their proselytes to themselves.

8. But for those that are caught in any heinous sins, they cast
them out of their society; and he who is thus separated from them
does often die after a miserable manner; for as he is bound by
the oath he hath taken, and by the customs he hath been engaged
in, he is not at liberty to partake of that food that he meets
with elsewhere, but is forced to eat grass, and to famish his
body with hunger, till he perish; for which reason they receive
many of them again when they are at their last gasp, out of
compassion to them, as thinking the miseries they have endured
till they came to the very brink of death to be a sufficient
punishment for the sins they had been guilty of.

9. But in the judgments they exercise they are most accurate and
just, nor do they pass sentence by the votes of a court that is
fewer than a hundred. And as to what is once determined by that
number, it is unalterable. What they most of all honor, after God
himself, is the name of their legislator [Moses], whom if any one
blaspheme he is punished capitally. They also think it a good
thing to obey their elders, and the major part. Accordingly, if
ten of them be sitting together, no one of them will speak while
the other nine are against it. They also avoid spitting in the
midst of them, or on the right side. Moreover, they are stricter
than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the
seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day
before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that
day, but they will not remove any vessel out of its place, nor go
to stool thereon. Nay, on other days they dig a small pit, a foot
deep, with a paddle (which kind of hatchet is given them when
they are first admitted among them); and covering themselves
round with their garment, that they may not affront the Divine
rays of light, they ease themselves into that pit, after which
they put the earth that was dug out again into the pit; and even
this they do only in the more lonely places, which they choose
out for this purpose; and although this easement of the body be
natural, yet it is a rule with them to wash themselves after it,
as if it were a defilement to them.

10. Now after the time of their preparatory trial is over, they
are parted into four classes; and so far are the juniors inferior
to the seniors, that if the seniors should be touched by the
juniors, they must wash themselves, as if they had intermixed
themselves with the company of a foreigner. They are long-lived
also, insomuch that many of them live above a hundred years, by
means of the simplicity of their diet; nay, as I think, by means
of the regular course of life they observe also. They contemn the
miseries of life, and are above pain, by the generosity of their
mind. And as for death, if it will be for their glory, they
esteem it better than living always; and indeed our war with the
Romans gave abundant evidence what great souls they had in their
trials, wherein, although they were tortured and distorted, burnt
and torn to pieces, and went through all kinds of instruments of
torment, that they might be forced either to blaspheme their
legislator, or to eat what was forbidden them, yet could they not
be made to do either of them, no, nor once to flatter their
tormentors, or to shed a tear; but they smiled in their very
pains, and laughed those to scorn who inflicted the torments upon
them, and resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as
expecting to receive them again.

11. For their doctrine is this: That bodies are corruptible, and
that the matter they are made of is not permanent; but that the
souls are immortal, and continue for ever; and that they come out
of the most subtile air, and are united to their bodies as to
prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural
enticement; but that when they are set free from the bonds of the
flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and
mount upward. And this is like the opinions of the Greeks, that
good souls have their habitations beyond the ocean, in a region
that is neither oppressed with storms of rain or snow, or with
intense heat, but that this place is such as is refreshed by the
gentle breathing of a west wind, that is perpetually blowing from
the ocean; while they allot to bad souls a dark and tempestuous
den, full of never-ceasing punishments. And indeed the Greeks
seem to me to have followed the same notion, when they allot the
islands of the blessed to their brave men, whom they call heroes
and demi-gods; and to the souls of the wicked, the region of the
ungodly, in Hades, where their fables relate that certain
persons, such as Sisyphus, and Tantalus, and Ixion, and Tityus,
are punished; which is built on this first supposition, that
souls are immortal; and thence are those exhortations to virtue
and dehortations from wickedness collected; whereby good men are
bettered in the conduct of their life by the hope they have of
reward after their death; and whereby the vehement inclinations
of bad men to vice are restrained, by the fear and expectation
they are in, that although they should lie concealed in this
life, they should suffer immortal punishment after their death.
These are the Divine doctrines of the Essens (6) about the soul,
which lay an unavoidable bait for such as have once had a taste
of their philosophy.

12. There are also those among them who undertake to foretell
things to come, (7) by reading the holy books, and using several
sorts of purifications, and being perpetually conversant in the
discourses of the prophets; and it is but seldom that they miss
in their predictions.

13. Moreover, there is another order of Essens, (8) who agree
with the rest as to their way of living, and customs, and laws,
but differ from them in the point of marriage, as thinking that
by not marrying they cut off the principal part of human life,
which is the prospect of succession; nay, rather, that if all men
should be of the same opinion, the whole race of mankind would
fail. However, they try their spouses for three years; and if
they find that they have their natural purgations thrice, as
trials that they are likely to be fruitful, they then actually
marry them. But they do not use to accompany with their wives
when they are with child, as a demonstration that they do not
many out of regard to pleasure, but for the sake of posterity.
Now the women go into the baths with some of their garments on,
as the men do with somewhat girded about them. And these are the
customs of this order of Essens.

14. But then as to the two other orders at first mentioned, the
Pharisees are those who are esteemed most skillful in the exact
explication of their laws, and introduce the first sect. These
ascribe all to fate [or providence], and to God, and yet allow,
that to act what is right, or the contrary, is principally in the
power of men, although fate does co-operate in every action. They
say that all souls are incorruptible, but that the souls of good
men only are removed into other bodies, - but that the souls of
bad men are subject to eternal punishment. But the Sadducees are
those that compose the second order, and take away fate entirely,
and suppose that God is not concerned in our doing or not doing
what is evil; and they say, that to act what is good, or what is
evil, is at men's own choice, and that the one or the other
belongs so to every one, that they may act as they please. They
also take away the belief of the immortal duration of the soul,
and the punishments and rewards in Hades. Moreover, the Pharisees
are friendly to one another, and are for the exercise of concord,
and regard for the public; but the behavior of the Sadducees one
towards another is in some degree wild, and their conversation
with those that are of their own party is as barbarous as if they
were strangers to them. And this is what I had to say concerning
the philosophic sects among the Jews.


The Death Of Salome. The Cities Which Herod And Philip Built.
Pilate Occasions Disturbances. Tiberius Puts Agrippa Into Bonds
But Caius Frees Him From Them, And Makes Him King. Herod Antipas
Is Banished.

1. And now as the ethnarchy of Archelaus was fallen into a Roman
province, the other sons of Herod, Philip, and that Herod who was
called Antipas, each of them took upon them the administration of
their own tetrarchies; for when Salome died, she bequeathed to
Julia, the wife of Augustus, both her toparchy, and Jamriga, as
also her plantation of palm trees that were in Phasaelis. But
when the Roman empire was translated to Tiberius, the son of
Julia, upon the death of Augustus, who had reigned fifty-seven
years, six months, and two days, both Herod and Philip continued
in their tetrarchies; and the latter of them built the city
Cesarea, at the fountains of Jordan, and in the region of Paneas;
as also the city Julias, in the lower Gaulonitis. Herod also
built the city Tiberius in Galilee, and in Perea [beyond Jordan]
another that was also called Julias.

2. Now Pilate, who was sent as procurator into Judea by Tiberius,
sent by night those images of Caesar that are called ensigns into
Jerusalem. This excited a very among great tumult among the Jews
when it was day; for those that were near them were astonished at
the sight of them, as indications that their laws were trodden
under foot; for those laws do not permit any sort of image to be
brought into the city. Nay, besides the indignation which the
citizens had themselves at this procedure, a vast number of
people came running out of the country. These came zealously to
Pilate to Cesarea, and besought him to carry those ensigns out of
Jerusalem, and to preserve them their ancient laws inviolable;
but upon Pilate's denial of their request, they fell (9) down
prostrate upon the ground, and continued immovable in that
posture for five days and as many nights.

3. On the next day Pilate sat upon his tribunal, in the open
market-place, and called to him the multitude, as desirous to
give them an answer; and then gave a signal to the soldiers, that
they should all by agreement at once encompass the Jews with
their weapons; so the band of soldiers stood round about the Jews
in three ranks. The Jews were under the utmost consternation at
that unexpected sight. Pilate also said to them that they should
be cut in pieces, unless they would admit of Caesar's images, and
gave intimation to the soldiers to draw their naked swords.
Hereupon the Jews, as it were at one signal, fell down in vast
numbers together, and exposed their necks bare, and cried out
that they were sooner ready to be slain, than that their law
should be transgressed. Hereupon Pilate was greatly surprised at
their prodigious superstition, and gave order that the ensigns
should be presently carried out of Jerusalem.

4. After this he raised another disturbance, by expending that
sacred treasure which is called Corban (10) upon aqueducts,
whereby he brought water from the distance of four hundred
furlongs. At this the multitude had indignation; and when Pilate
was come to Jerusalem, they came about his tribunal, and made a
clamor at it. Now when he was apprized aforehand of this
disturbance, he mixed his own soldiers in their armor with the
multitude, and ordered them to conceal themselves under the
habits of private men, and not indeed to use their swords, but
with their staves to beat those that made the clamor. He then
gave the signal from his tribunal [to do as he had bidden them].
Now the Jews were so sadly beaten, that many of them perished by
the stripes they received, and many of them perished as trodden
to death by themselves; by which means the multitude was
astonished at the calamity of those that were slain, and held
their peace.

5. In the mean time Agrippa, the son of that Aristobulus who had
been slain by his father Herod, came to Tiberius, to accuse Herod
the tetrarch; who not admitting of his accusation, he staid at
Rome, and cultivated a friendship with others of the men of note,
but principally with Caius the son of Germanicus, who was then
but a private person. Now this Agrippa, at a certain time,
feasted Caius; and as he was very complaisant to him on several
other accounts, he at length stretched out his hands, and openly
wished that Tiberius might die, and that he might quickly see him
emperor of the world. This was told to Tiberius by one of
Agrippa's domestics, who thereupon was very angry, and ordered
Agrippa to be bound, and had him very ill-treated in the prison
for six months, until Tiberius died, after he had reigned
twenty-two years, six months, and three days.

6. But when Caius was made Caesar, he released Agrippa from his
bonds, and made him king of Philip's tetrarchy, who was now dead;
but when Agrippa had arrived at that degree of dignity, he
inflamed the ambitious desires of Herod the tetrarch, who was
chiefly induced to hope for the royal authority by his wife
Herodias, who reproached him for his sloth, and told him that it
was only because he would not sail to Caesar that he was
destitute of that great dignity; for since Caesar had made
Agrippa a king, from a private person, much mole would he advance
him from a tetrarch to that dignity. These arguments prevailed
with Herod, so that he came to Caius, by whom he was punished for
his ambition, by being banished into Spain; for Agrippa followed
him, in order to accuse him; to whom also Caius gave his
tetrarchy, by way of addition. So Herod died in Spain, whither
his wife had followed him.


Caius Commands That His Statue Should Be Set Up In The Temple
Itself; And What Petronius Did Thereupon.

1. Now Caius Caesar did so grossly abuse the fortune he had
arrived at, as to take himself to be a god, and to desire to be
so called also, and to cut off those of the greatest nobility out
of his country. He also extended his impiety as far as the Jews.
Accordingly, he sent Petronius with an army to Jerusalem, to
place his statues in the temple, (11) and commanded him that, in
case the Jews would not admit of them, he should slay those that
opposed it, and carry all the rest of the nation into captivity:
but God concerned himself with these his commands. However,
Petronius marched out of Antioch into Judea, with three legions,
and many Syrian auxiliaries. Now as to the Jews, some of them
could not believe the stories that spake of a war; but those that
did believe them were in the utmost distress how to defend
themselves, and the terror diffused itself presently through them
all; for the army was already come to Ptolemais.

2. This Ptolemais is a maritime city of Galilee, built in the
great plain. It is encompassed with mountains: that on the east
side, sixty furlongs off, belongs to Galilee; but that on the
south belongs to Carmel, which is distant from it a hundred and
twenty furlongs; and that on the north is the highest of them
all, and is called by the people of the country, The Ladder of
the Tyrians, which is at the distance of a hundred furlongs. The
very small river Belus (12) runs by it, at the distance of two
furlongs; near which there is Menmon's monument, (13) and hath
near it a place no larger than a hundred cubits, which deserves
admiration; for the place is round and hollow, and affords such
sand as glass is made of; which place, when it hath been emptied
by the many ships there loaded, it is filled again by the winds,
which bring into it, as it were on purpose, that sand which lay
remote, and was no more than bare common sand, while this mine
presently turns it into glassy sand. And what is to me still more
wonderful, that glassy sand which is superfluous, and is once
removed out of the place, becomes bare common sand again. And
this is the nature of the place we are speaking of.

3. But now the Jews got together in great numbers with their
wives and children into that plain that was by Ptolemais, and
made supplication to Petronius, first for their laws, and, in the
next place, for themselves. So he was prevailed upon by the
multitude of the supplicants, and by their supplications, and
left his army and the statues at Ptolemais, and then went forward
into Galilee, and called together the multitude and all the men
of note to Tiberias, and showed them the power of the Romans, and
the threatenings of Caesar; and, besides this, proved that their
petition was unreasonable, because while all the nations in
subjection to them had placed the images of Caesar in their
several cities, among the rest of their gods, for them alone to
oppose it, was almost like the behavior of revolters, and was
injurious to Caesar.

4. And when they insisted on their law, and the custom of their
country, and how it was not only not permitted them to make
either an image of God, or indeed of a man, and to put it in any
despicable part of their country, much less in the temple itself,
Petronius replied, "And am not I also," said he, "bound to keep
the law of my own lord? For if I transgress it, and spare you, it
is but just that I perish; while he that sent me, and not I, will
commence a war against you; for I am under command as well as
you." Hereupon the whole multitude cried out that they were ready
to suffer for their law. Petronius then quieted them, and said to
them, "Will you then make war against Caesar?" The Jews said, "We
offer sacrifices twice every day for Caesar, and for the Roman
people;" but that if he would place the images among them, he
must first sacrifice the whole Jewish nation; and that they were
ready to expose themselves, together with their children and
wives, to be slain. At this Petronius was astonished, and pitied
them, on account of the inexpressible sense of religion the men
were under, and that courage of theirs which made them ready to
die for it; so they were dismissed without success.

5. But on the following days he got together the men of power
privately, and the multitude publicly, and sometimes he used
persuasions to them, and sometimes he gave them his advice; but
he chiefly made use of threatenings to them, and insisted upon
the power of the Romans, and the anger of Caius; and besides,
upon the necessity he was himself under [to do as he was
enjoined]. But as they could be no way prevailed upon, and he saw
that the country was in danger of lying without tillage; (for it
was about seed time that the multitude continued for fifty days
together idle;) so he at last got them together, and told them
that it was best for him to run some hazard himself; "for either,
by the Divine assistance, I shall prevail with Caesar, and shall
myself escape the danger as well as you, which will he matter of
joy to us both; or, in case Caesar continue in his rage, I will
be ready to expose my own life for such a great number as you
are." Whereupon he dismissed the multitude, who prayed greatly
for his prosperity; and he took the army out of Ptolemais, and
returned to Antioch; from whence he presently sent an epistle to
Caesar, and informed him of the irruption he had made into Judea,
and of the supplications of the nation; and that unless he had a
mind to lose both the country and the men in it, he must permit
them to keep their law, and must countermand his former
injunction. Caius answered that epistle in a violent-way, and
threatened to have Petronius put to death for his being so tardy
in the execution of what he had commanded. But it happened that
those who brought Caius's epistle were tossed by a storm, and
were detained on the sea for three months, while others that
brought the news of Caius's death had a good voyage. Accordingly,
Petronins received the epistle concerning Caius seven and twenty
days before he received that which was against himself.


Concerning The Government Of Claudius, And The Reign Of Agrippa.
Concerning The Deaths Of Agrippa And Of Herod And What Children
They Both Left Behind Them.

1. Now when Caius had reigned three year's and eight months, and
had been slain by treachery, Claudius was hurried away by the
armies that were at Rome to take the government upon him; but the
senate, upon the reference of the consuls, Sentis Saturninns, and
Pomponins Secundus, gave orders to the three regiments of
soldiers that staid with them to keep the city quiet, and went up
into the capitol in great numbers, and resolved to oppose
Claudius by force, on account of the barbarous treatment they had
met with from Caius; and they determined either to settle the
nation under an aristocracy, as they had of old been governed, or
at least to choose by vote such a one for emperor as might be
worthy of it.

2. Now it happened that at this time Agrippa sojourned at Rome,
and that both the senate called him to consult with them, and at
the same time Claudius sent for him out of the camp, that he
might be serviceable to him, as he should have occasion for his
service. So he, perceiving that Claudius was in effect made
Caesar already, went to him, who sent him as an ambassador to the
senate, to let them know what his intentions were: that, in the
first place, it was without his seeking that he was hurried away
by the soldiers; moreover, that he thought it was not just to
desert those soldiers in such their zeal for him, and that if he
should do so, his own fortune would be in uncertainty; for that
it was a dangerous case to have been once called to the empire.
He added further, that he would administer the government as a
good prince, and not like a tyrant; for that he would be
satisfied with the honor of being called emperor, but would, in
every one of his actions, permit them all to give him their
advice; for that although he had not been by nature for
moderation, yet would the death of Caius afford him a sufficient
demonstration how soberly he ought to act in that station.
3. This message was delivered by Agrippa; to which the senate
replied, that since they had an army, and the wisest counsels on
their side, they would not endure a voluntary slavery. And when
Claudius heard what answer the senate had made, he sent Agrippa
to them again, with the following message: That he could not bear
the thoughts of betraying them that had given their oaths to be
true to him; and that he saw he must fight, though unwillingly,
against such as he had no mind to fight; that, however, [if it
must come to that,] it was proper to choose a place without the
city for the war, because it was not agreeable to piety to
pollute the temples of their own city with the blood of their own
countrymen, and this only on occasion of their imprudent conduct.
And when Agrippa had heard this message, he delivered it to the

4. In the mean time, one of the soldiers belonging to the senate
drew his sword, and cried out, "O my fellow soldiers, what is the
meaning of this choice of ours, to kill our brethren, and to use
violence to our kindred that are with Claudius? while we may have
him for our emperor whom no one can blame, and who hath so many
just reasons [to lay claim to the government]; and this with
regard to those against whom we are going to fight." When he had
said this, he marched through the whole senate, and carried all
the soldiers along with him. Upon which all the patricians were
immediately in a great fright at their being thus deserted. But
still, because there appeared no other way whither they could
turn themselves for deliverance, they made haste the same way
with the soldiers, and went to Claudius. But those that had the
greatest luck in flattering the good fortune of Claudius betimes
met them before the walls with their naked swords, and there was
reason to fear that those that came first might have been in
danger, before Claudius could know what violence the soldiers
were going to offer them, had not Agrippa ran before, and told
him what a dangerous thing they were going about, and that unless
he restrained the violence of these men, who were in a fit of
madness against the patricians, he would lose those on whose
account it was most desirable to rule, and would be emperor over
a desert.

5. When Claudius heard this, he restrained the violence of the
soldiery, and received the senate into the camp, and treated them
after an obliging manner, and went out with them presently to
offer their thank-offerings to God, which were proper upon, his
first coming to the empire. Moreover, he bestowed on Agrippa his
whole paternal kingdom immediately, and added to it, besides
those countries that had been given by Augustus to Herod,
Trachonitis and Auranitis, and still besides these, that kingdom
which was called the kingdom of Lysanius. This gift he declared
to the people by a decree, but ordered the magistrates to have
the donation engraved on tables of brass, and to be set up in the
capitol. He bestowed on his brother Herod, who was also his
son-in-law, by marrying [his daughter] Bernice, the kingdom of

6. So now riches flowed in to Agrippa by his enjoyment of so
large a dominion; nor did he abuse the money he had on small
matters, but he began to encompass Jerusalem with such a wall,
which, had it been brought to perfection, had made it
impracticable for the Romans to take it by siege; but his death,
which happened at Cesarea, before he had raised the walls to
their due height, prevented him. He had then reigned three years,
as he had governed his tetrarchies three other years. He left
behind him three daughters, born to him by Cypros, Bernice,
Mariamne, and Drusilla, and a son born of the same mother, whose
name was Agrippa: he was left a very young child, so that
Claudius made the country a Roman province, and sent Cuspius
Fadus to be its procurator, and after him Tiberius Alexander,
who, making no alterations of the ancient laws, kept the nation
in tranquillity. Now after this, Herod the king of Chalcis died,
and left behind him two sons, born to him of his brother's
daughter Bernice; their names were Bernie Janus and Hyrcanus. [He
also left behind him] Aristobulus, whom he had by his former wife
Mariamne. There was besides another brother of his that died a
private person, his name was also Aristobulus, who left behind
him a daughter, whose name was Jotape: and these, as I have
formerly said, were the children of Aristobulus the son of Herod,
which Aristobulus and Alexander were born to Herod by Mariamne,
and were slain by him. But as for Alexander's posterity, they
reigned in Armenia.


Many Tumults Under Cumanus, Which Were Composed By Quadratus.
Felix Is Procurator Of Judea. Agrippa Is Advanced From Chalcis To
A Greater Kingdom.

1 Now after the death of Herod, king of Chalcis, Claudius set
Agrippa, the son of Agrippa, over his uncle's kingdom, while
Cumanus took upon him the office of procurator of the rest, which
was a Roman province, and therein he succeeded Alexander; under
which Cureanus began the troubles, and the Jews' ruin came on;
for when the multitude were come together to Jerusalem, to the
feast of unleavened bread, and a Roman cohort stood over the
cloisters of the temple, (for they always were armed, and kept
guard at the festivals, to prevent any innovation which the
multitude thus gathered together might make,) one of the soldiers
pulled back his garment, and cowering down after an indecent
manner, turned his breech to the Jews, and spake such words as
you might expect upon such a posture. At this the whole multitude
had indignation, and made a clamor to Cumanus, that he would
punish the soldier; while the rasher part of the youth, and such
as were naturally the most tumultuous, fell to fighting, and
caught up stones, and threw them at the soldiers. Upon which
Cumanus was afraid lest all the people should make an assault
upon him, and sent to call for more armed men, who, when they
came in great numbers into the cloisters, the Jews were in a very
great consternation; and being beaten out of the temple, they ran
into the city; and the violence with which they crowded to get
out was so great, that they trod upon each other, and squeezed
one another, till ten thousand of them were killed, insomuch that
this feast became the cause of mourning to the whole nation, and
every family lamented their own relations.

2. Now there followed after this another calamity, which arose
from a tumult made by robbers; for at the public road at
Beth-boron, one Stephen, a servant of Caesar, carried some
furniture, which the robbers fell upon and seized. Upon this
Cureanus sent men to go round about to the neighboring villages,
and to bring their inhabitants to him bound, as laying it to
their charge that they had not pursued after the thieves, and
caught them. Now here it was that a certain soldier, finding the
sacred book of the law, tore it to pieces, and threw it into the
fire. (14) Hereupon the Jews were in great disorder, as if their
whole country were in a flame, and assembled themselves so many
of them by their zeal for their religion, as by an engine, and
ran together with united clamor to Cesarea, to Cumanus, and made
supplication to him that he would not overlook this man, who had
offered such an affront to God, and to his law; but punish him
for what he had done. Accordingly, he, perceiving that the
multitude would not be quiet unless they had a comfortable answer
from him, gave order that the soldier should be brought, and
drawn through those that required to have him punished, to
execution, which being done, the Jews went their ways.

3. After this there happened a fight between the Galileans and
the Samaritans; it happened at a village called Geman, which is
situate in the great plain of Samaria; where, as a great number
of Jews were going up to Jerusalem to the feast [of tabernacles,]
a certain Galilean was slain; and besides, a vast number of
people ran together out of Galilee, in order to fight with the
Samaritans. But the principal men among them came to Cumanus, and
besought him that, before the evil became incurable, he would
come into Galilee, and bring the authors of this murder to
punishment; for that there was no other way to make the multitude
separate without coming to blows. However, Cumanus postponed
their supplications to the other affairs he was then about, and
sent the petitioners away without success.

4. But when the affair of this murder came to be told at
Jerusalem, it put the multitude into disorder, and they left the
feast; and without any generals to conduct them, they marched
with great violence to Samaria; nor would they be ruled by any of
the magistrates that were set over them, but they were managed by
one Eleazar, the son of Dineus, and by Alexander, in these their
thievish and seditious attempts. These men fell upon those that
were ill the neighborhood of the Acrabatene toparchy, and slew
them, without sparing any age, and set the villages on fire.
5. But Cumanus took one troop of horsemen, called the troop of
Sebaste, out of Cesarea, and came to the assistance of those that
were spoiled; he also seized upon a great number of those that
followed Eleazar, and slew more of them. And as for the rest of
the multitude of those that went so zealously to fight with the
Samaritans, the rulers of Jerusalem ran out clothed with
sackcloth, and having ashes on their head, and begged of them to
go their ways, lest by their attempt to revenge themselves upon
the Samaritans they should provoke the Romans to come against
Jerusalem; to have compassion upon their country and temple,
their children and their wives, and not bring the utmost dangers
of destruction upon them, in order to avenge themselves upon one
Galilean only. The Jews complied with these persuasions of
theirs, and dispersed themselves; but still there were a great
number who betook themselves to robbing, in hopes of impunity;
and rapines and insurrections of the bolder sort happened over
the whole country. And the men of power among the Samaritans came
to Tyre, to Ummidius Quadratus, (15) the president of Syria, and
desired that they that had laid waste the country might be
punished: the great men also of the Jews, and Jonathan the son of
Ananus the high priest, came thither, and said that the
Samaritans were the beginners of the disturbance, on account of
that murder they had committed; and that Cumanus had given
occasion to what had happened, by his unwillingness to punish the
original authors of that murder.

6. But Quadratus put both parties off for that time, and told
them, that when he should come to those places, he would make a
diligent inquiry after every circumstance. After which he went to
Cesarea, and crucified all those whom Cumanus had taken alive;
and when from thence he was come to the city Lydda, he heard the
affair of the Samaritans, and sent for eighteen of the Jews, whom
he had learned to have been concerned in that fight, and beheaded
them; but he sent two others of those that were of the greatest
power among them, and both Jonathan and Ananias, the high
priests, as also Artanus the son of this Ananias, and certain
others that were eminent among the Jews, to Caesar; as he did in
like manner by the most illustrious of the Samaritans. He also
ordered that Cureanus [the procurator] and Celer the tribune
should sail to Rome, in order to give an account of what had been
done to Caesar. When he had finished these matters, he went up
from Lydda to Jerusalem, and finding the multitude celebrating
their feast of unleavened bread without any tumult, he returned
to Antioch.

7. Now when Caesar at Rome had heard what Cumanus and the
Samaritans had to say, (where it was done in the hearing of
Agrippa, who zealously espoused the cause of the Jews, as in like
manner many of the great men stood by Cumanus,) he condemned the
Samaritans, and commanded that three of the most powerful men
among them should be put to death; he banished Cumanus, and sent
Color bound to Jerusalem, to be delivered over to the Jews to be
tormented; that he should be drawn round the city, and then

8. After this Caesar sent Felix, (16) the brother of Pallas, to
be procurator of Galilee, and Samaria, and Perea, and removed
Agrippa from Chalcis unto a greater kingdom; for he gave him the
tetrarchy which had belonged to Philip, which contained Batanae,
Trachonitis, and Gaulonitis: he added to it the kingdom of
Lysanias, and that province [Abilene] which Varus had governed.
But Claudius himself, when he had administered the government
thirteen years, eight months, and twenty days, died, and left
Nero to be his successor in the empire, whom he had adopted by
his Wife Agrippina's delusions, in order to be his successor,
although he had a son of his own, whose name was Britannicus, by
Messalina his former wife, and a daughter whose name was Octavia,
whom he had married to Nero; he had also another daughter by
Petina, whose name was Antonia.


Nero Adds Four Cities To Agrippas Kingdom; But The Other Parts Of
Judea Were Under Felix. The Disturbances Which Were Raised By The
Sicarii The Magicians And An Egyptian False Prophet. The Jews And
Syrians Have A Contest At Cesarea.

1. Now as to the many things in which Nero acted like a madman,
out of the extravagant degree of the felicity and riches which he
enjoyed, and by that means used his good fortune to the injury of
others; and after what manner he slew his brother, and wife, and
mother, from whom his barbarity spread itself to others that were
most nearly related to him; and how, at last, he was so
distracted that he became an actor in the scenes, and upon the
theater, - I omit to say any more about them, because there are
writers enough upon those subjects every where; but I shall turn
myself to those actions of his time in which the Jews were

2. Nero therefore bestowed the kingdom of the Lesser Armenia upon
Aristobulus, Herod's son, (17) and he added to Agrippa's kingdom
four cities, with the toparchies to them belonging; I mean Abila,
and that Julias which is in Perea, Tarichea also, and Tiberias of
Galilee; but over the rest of Judea he made Felix procurator.
This Felix took Eleazar the arch-robber, and many that were with
him, alive, when they had ravaged the country for twenty years
together, and sent them to Rome; but as to the number of the
robbers whom he caused to be crucified, and of those who were
caught among them, and whom he brought to punishment, they were a
multitude not to be enumerated.

3. When the country was purged of these, there sprang up another
sort of robbers in Jerusalem, which were called Sicarii, who slew
men in the day time, and in the midst of the city; this they did
chiefly at the festivals, when they mingled themselves among the
multitude, and concealed daggers under their garments, with which
they stabbed those that were their enemies; and when any fell
down dead, the murderers became a part of those that had
indignation against them; by which means they appeared persons of
such reputation, that they could by no means be discovered. The
first man who was slain by them was Jonathan the high priest,
after whose death many were slain every day, while the fear men
were in of being so served was more afflicting than the calamity
itself; and while every body expected death every hour, as men do
in war, so men were obliged to look before them, and to take
notice of their enemies at a great distance; nor, if their
friends were coming to them, durst they trust them any longer;
but, in the midst of their suspicions and guarding of themselves,
they were slain. Such was the celerity of the plotters against
them, and so cunning was their contrivance.

4. There was also another body of wicked men gotten together, not
so impure in their actions, but more wicked in their intentions,
which laid waste the happy state of the city no less than did
these murderers. These were such men as deceived and deluded the
people under pretense of Divine inspiration, but were for
procuring innovations and changes of the government; and these
prevailed with the multitude to act like madmen, and went before
them into the wilderness, as pretending that God would there show
them the signals of liberty. But Felix thought this procedure was
to be the beginning of a revolt; so he sent some horsemen and
footmen both armed, who destroyed a great number of them.

5. But there was an Egyptian false prophet that did the Jews more
mischief than the former; for he was a cheat, and pretended to be
a prophet also, and got together thirty thousand men that were
deluded by him; these he led round about from the wilderness to
the mount which was called the Mount of Olives, and was ready to
break into Jerusalem by force from that place; and if he could
but once conquer the Roman garrison and the people, he intended
to domineer over them by the assistance of those guards of his
that were to break into the city with him. But Felix prevented
his attempt, and met him with his Roman soldiers, while all the
people assisted him in his attack upon them, insomuch that when
it came to a battle, the Egyptian ran away, with a few others,
while the greatest part of those that were with him were either
destroyed or taken alive; but the rest of the multitude were
dispersed every one to their own homes, and there concealed

6. Now when these were quieted, it happened, as it does in a
diseased body, that another part was subject to an inflammation;
for a company of deceivers and robbers got together, and
persuaded the Jews to revolt, and exhorted them to assert their
liberty, inflicting death on those that continued in obedience to
the Roman government, and saying, that such as willingly chose
slavery ought to be forced from such their desired inclinations;
for they parted themselves into different bodies, and lay in wait
up and down the country, and plundered the houses of the great
men, and slew the men themselves, and set the villages on fire;
and this till all Judea was filled with the effects of their
madness. And thus the flame was every day more and more blown up,
till it came to a direct war.

7. There was also another disturbance at Cesarea, - those Jews
who were mixed with the Syrians that lived there rising a tumult
against them. The Jews pretended that the city was theirs, and
said that he who built it was a Jew, meaning king Herod. The
Syrians confessed also that its builder was a Jew; but they still
said, however, that the city was a Grecian city; for that he who
set up statues and temples in it could not design it for Jews. On
which account both parties had a contest with one another; and
this contest increased so much, that it came at last to arms, and
the bolder sort of them marched out to fight; for the elders of
the Jews were not able to put a stop to their own people that
were disposed to be tumultuous, and the Greeks thought it a shame
for them to be overcome by the Jews. Now these Jews exceeded the
others in riches and strength of body; but the Grecian part had
the advantage of assistance from the soldiery; for the greatest
part of the Roman garrison was raised out of Syria; and being
thus related to the Syrian part, they were ready to assist it.
However, the governors of the city were concerned to keep all
quiet, and whenever they caught those that were most for fighting
on either side, they punished them with stripes and bands. Yet
did not the sufferings of those that were caught affright the
remainder, or make them desist; but they were still more and more
exasperated, and deeper engaged in the sedition. And as Felix
came once into the market-place, and commanded the Jews, when
they had beaten the Syrians, to go their ways, and threatened
them if they would not, and they would not obey him, he sent his
soldiers out upon them, and slew a great many of them, upon which
it fell out that what they had was plundered. And as the sedition
still continued, he chose out the most eminent men on both sides
as ambassadors to Nero, to argue about their several privileges.

Festus Succeeds Felix Who Is Succeeded By Albinus As He Is By
Florus; Who By The Barbarity Of His Government Forces The Jews
Into The War.

1. Now it was that Festus succeeded Felix as procurator, and made
it his business to correct those that made disturbances in the
country. So he caught the greatest part of the robbers, and
destroyed a great many of them. But then Albinus, who succeeded
Festus, did not execute his office as the other had done; nor was
there any sort of wickedness that could be named but he had a
hand in it. Accordingly, he did not only, in his political
capacity, steal and plunder every one's substance, nor did he
only burden the whole nation with taxes, but he permitted the
relations of such as were in prison for robbery, and had been
laid there, either by the senate of every city, or by the former
procurators, to redeem them for money; and no body remained in
the prisons as a malefactor but he who gave him nothing. At this
time it was that the enterprises of the seditious at Jerusalem
were very formidable; the principal men among them purchasing
leave of Albinus to go on with their seditious practices; while
that part of the people who delighted in disturbances joined
themselves to such as had fellowship with Albinus; and every one
of these wicked wretches were encompassed with his own band of
robbers, while he himself, like an arch-robber, or a tyrant, made
a figure among his company, and abused his authority over those
about him, in order to plunder those that lived quietly. The
effect of which was this, that those who lost their goods were
forced to hold their peace, when they had reason to show great
indignation at what they had suffered; but those who had escaped
were forced to flatter him that deserved to be punished, out of
the fear they were in of suffering equally with the others. Upon
the Whole, nobody durst speak their minds, but tyranny was
generally tolerated; and at this time were those seeds sown which
brought the city to destruction.

2. And although such was the character of Albinus, yet did
Gessius Florus (18) who succeeded him, demonstrate him to have
been a most excellent person, upon the comparison; for the former
did the greatest part of his rogueries in private, and with a
sort of dissimulation; but Gessius did his unjust actions to the
harm of the nation after a pompons manner; and as though he had
been sent as an executioner to punish condemned malefactors, he
omitted no sort of rapine, or of vexation; where the case was
really pitiable, he was most barbarous, and in things of the
greatest turpitude he was most impudent. Nor could any one outdo
him in disguising the truth; nor could any one contrive more
subtle ways of deceit than he did. He indeed thought it but a
petty offense to get money out of single persons; so he spoiled
whole cities, and ruined entire bodies of men at once, and did
almost publicly proclaim it all the country over, that they had
liberty given them to turn robbers, upon this condition, that he
might go shares with them in the spoils they got. Accordingly,
this his greediness of gain was the occasion that entire
toparchies were brought to desolation, and a great many of the
people left their own country, and fled into foreign provinces.
3. And truly, while Cestius Gallus was president of the province
of Syria, nobody durst do so much as send an embassage to him
against Florus; but when he was come to Jerusalem, upon the
approach of the feast of unleavened bread, the people came about
him not fewer in number than three millions (19) these besought
him to commiserate the calamities of their nation, and cried out
upon Florus as the bane of their country. But as he was present,
and stood by Cestius, he laughed at their words. However,
Cestius, when he had quieted the multitude, and had assured them
that he would take care that Florus should hereafter treat them
in a more gentle manner, returned to Antioch. Florus also
conducted him as far as Cesarea, and deluded him, though he had
at that very time the purpose of showing his anger at the nation,
and procuring a war upon them, by which means alone it was that
he supposed he might conceal his enormities; for he expected that
if the peace continued, he should have the Jews for his accusers
before Caesar; but that if he could procure them to make a
revolt, he should divert their laying lesser crimes to his
charge, by a misery that was so much greater; he therefore did
every day augment their calamities, in order to induce them to a

4. Now at this time it happened that the Grecians at Cesarea had
been too hard for the Jews, and had obtained of Nero the
government of the city, and had brought the judicial
determination: at the same time began the war, in the twelfth
year of the reign of Nero, and the seventeenth of the reign of
Agrippa, in the month of Artemisins [Jyar.] Now the occasion of
this war was by no means proportionable to those heavy calamities
which it brought upon us. For the Jews that dwelt at Cesarea had
a synagogue near the place, whose owner was a certain Cesarean
Greek: the Jews had endeavored frequently to have purchased the
possession of the place, and had offered many times its value for
its price; but as the owner overlooked their offers, so did he
raise other buildings upon the place, in way of affront to them,
and made working-shops of them, and left them but a narrow
passage, and such as was very troublesome for them to go along to
their synagogue. Whereupon the warmer part of the Jewish youth
went hastily to the workmen, and forbade them to build there; but
as Florus would not permit them to use force, the great men of
the Jews, with John the publican, being in the utmost distress
what to do, persuaded Florus, with the offer of eight talents, to
hinder the work. He then, being intent upon nothing but getting
money, promised he would do for them all they desired of him, and
then went away from Cesarea to Sebaste, and left the sedition to
take its full course, as if he had sold a license to the Jews to
fight it out.

5. Now on the next day, which was the seventh day of the week,
when the Jews were crowding apace to their synagogue, a certain
man of Cesarea, of a seditious temper, got an earthen vessel, and
set it with the bottom upward, at the entrance of that synagogue,
and sacrificed birds. This thing provoked the Jews to an
incurable degree, because their laws were affronted, and the
place was polluted. Whereupon the sober and moderate part of the
Jews thought it proper to have recourse to their governors again,
while the seditious part, and such as were in the fervor of their
youth, were vehemently inflamed to fight. The seditions also
among the Gentiles of Cesarea stood ready for the same purpose;
for they had, by agreement, sent the man to sacrifice beforehand
[as ready to support him;] so that it soon came to blows.
Hereupon Jucundus, the master of the horse, who was ordered to
prevent the fight, came thither, and took away the earthen
vessel, and endeavored to put a stop to the sedition; but when
(20) he was overcome by the violence of the people of Cesarea,
the Jews caught up their books of the law, and retired to
Narbata, which was a place to them belonging, distant from
Cesarea sixty furlongs. But John, and twelve of the principal men
with him, went to Florus, to Sebaste, and made a lamentable
complaint of their case, and besought him to help them; and with
all possible decency, put him in mind of the eight talents they
had given him; but he had the men seized upon, and put in prison,
and accused them for carrying the books of the law out of

6. Moreover, as to the citizens of Jerusalem, although they took
this matter very ill, yet did they restrain their passion; but
Florus acted herein as if he had been hired, and blew up the war
into a flame, and sent some to take seventeen talents out of the
sacred treasure, and pretended that Caesar wanted them. At this
the people were in confusion immediately, and ran together to the
temple, with prodigious clamors, and called upon Caesar by name,
and besought him to free them from the tyranny of Florus. Some
also of the seditious cried out upon Florus, and cast the
greatest reproaches upon him, and carried a basket about, and
begged some spills of money for him, as for one that was
destitute of possessions, and in a miserable condition. Yet was
not he made ashamed hereby of his love of money, but was more
enraged, and provoked to get still more; and instead of coming to
Cesarea, as he ought to have done, and quenching the flame of
war, which was beginning thence, and so taking away the occasion
of any disturbances, on which account it was that he had received
a reward [of eight talents], he marched hastily with an army of
horsemen and footmen against Jerusalem, that he might gain his
will by the arms of the Romans, and might, by his terror, and by
his threatenings, bring the city into subjection.

7. But the people were desirous of making Florus ashamed of his
attempt, and met his soldiers with acclamations, and put
themselves in order to receive him very submissively. But he sent
Capito, a centurion, beforehand, with fifty soldiers, to bid them
go back, and not now make a show of receiving him in an obliging
manner, whom they had so foully reproached before; and said that
it was incumbent on them, in case they had generous souls, and
were free speakers, to jest upon him to his face, and appear to
be lovers of liberty, not only in words, but with their weapons
also. With this message was the multitude amazed; and upon the
coming of Capito's horsemen into the midst of them, they were
dispersed before they could salute Florus, or manifest their
submissive behavior to him. Accordingly, they retired to their
own houses, and spent that night in fear and confusion of face.
8. Now at this time Florus took up his quarters at the palace;
and on the next day he had his tribunal set before it, and sat
upon it, when the high priests, and the men of power, and those
of the greatest eminence in the city, came all before that
tribunal; upon which Florus commanded them to deliver up to him
those that had reproached him, and told them that they should
themselves partake of the vengeance to them belonging, if they
did not produce the criminals; but these demonstrated that the
people were peaceably disposed, and they begged forgiveness for
those that had spoken amiss; for that it was no wonder at all
that in so great a multitude there should be some more daring
than they ought to be, and, by reason of their younger age,
foolish also; and that it was impossible to distinguish those
that offended from the rest, while every one was sorry for what
he had done, and denied it out of fear of what would follow: that
he ought, however, to provide for the peace of the nation, and to
take such counsels as might preserve the city for the Romans, and
rather for the sake of a great number of innocent people to
forgive a few that were guilty, than for the sake of a few of the
wicked to put so large and good a body of men into disorder.
9. Florus was more provoked at this, and called out aloud to the
soldiers to plunder that which was called the Upper Market-place,
and to slay such as they met with. So the soldiers, taking this
exhortation of their commander in a sense agreeable to their
desire of gain, did not only plunder the place they were sent to,
but forcing themselves into every house, they slew its
inhabitants; so the citizens fled along the narrow lanes, and the
soldiers slew those that they caught, and no method of plunder
was omitted; they also caught many of the quiet people, and
brought them before Florus, whom he first chastised with stripes,
and then crucified. Accordingly, the whole number of those that
were destroyed that day, with their wives and children, (for they
did not spare even the infants themselves,) was about three
thousand and six hundred. And what made this calamity the heavier
was this new method of Roman barbarity; for Florus ventured then
to do what no one had done before, that is, to have men of the
equestrian order whipped (21) and nailed to the cross before his
tribunal; who, although they were by birth Jews, yet were they of
Roman dignity notwithstanding.


Concerning Bernice's Petition To Florus, To Spare The Jews, But
In Vain; As Also How, After The Seditious Flame Was Quenched, It
Was Kindled Again By Florus.

1. About this very time king Agrippa was going to Alexandria, to
congratulate Alexander upon his having obtained the government of
Egypt from Nero; but as his sister Bernice was come to Jerusalem,
and saw the wicked practices of the soldiers, she was sorely
affected at it, and frequently sent the masters of her horse and
her guards to Florus, and begged of him to leave off these
slaughters; but he would not comply with her request, nor have
any regard either to the multitude of those already slain, or to
the nobility of her that interceded, but only to the advantage he
should make by this plundering; nay, this violence of the
soldiers brake out to such a degree of madness, that it spent
itself on the queen herself; for they did not only torment and
destroy those whom they had caught under her very eyes, but
indeed had killed herself also, unless she had prevented them by
flying to the palace, and had staid there all night with her
guards, which she had about her for fear of an insult from the
soldiers. Now she dwelt then at Jerusalem, in order to perform a
vow (22) which she had made to God; for it is usual with those
that had been either afflicted with a distemper, or with any
other distresses, to make vows; and for thirty days before they
are to offer their sacrifices, to abstain from wine, and to shave
the hair of their head. Which things Bernice was now performing,
and stood barefoot before Florus's tribunal, and besought him [to
spare the Jews]. Yet could she neither have any reverence paid to
her, nor could she escape without some danger of being slain

2. This happened upon the sixteenth day of the month Artemisius
[Jyar]. Now, on the next day, the multitude, who were in a great
agony, ran together to the Upper Market-place, and made the
loudest lamentations for those that had perished; and the
greatest part of the cries were such as reflected on Florus; at
which the men of power were aftrighted, together with the high
priests, and rent their garments, and fell down before each of
them, and besought them to leave off, and not to provoke Florus
to some incurable procedure, besides what they had already
suffered. Accordingly, the multitude complied immediately, out of
reverence to those that had desired it of them, and out of the
hope they had that Florus would do them no more injuries.

3. So Florus was troubled that the disturbances were over, and
endeavored to kindle that flame again, and sent for the high
priests, with the other eminent persons, and said the only
demonstration that the people would not make any other
innovations should be this, that they must go out and meet the
soldiers that were ascending from Cesarea, whence two cohorts
were coming; and while these men were exhorting the multitude so
to do, he sent beforehand, and gave directions to the centurions
of the cohorts, that they should give notice to those that were
under them not to return the Jews' salutations; and that if they
made any reply to his disadvantage, they should make use of their
weapons. Now the high priests assembled the multitude in the
temple, and desired them to go and meet the Romans, and to salute
the cohorts very civilly, before their miserable case should
become incurable. Now the seditious part would not comply with
these persuasions; but the consideration of those that had been
destroyed made them incline to those that were the boldest for

4. At this time it was that every priest, and every servant of
God, brought out the holy vessels, and the ornamental garments
wherein they used to minister in sacred things. The harpers also,
and the singers of hymns, came out with their instruments of
music, and fell down before the multitude, and begged of them
that they would preserve those holy ornaments to them, and not
provoke the Romans to carry off those sacred treasures. You might
also see then the high priests themselves, with dust sprinkled in
great plenty upon their heads, with bosoms deprived of any
covering but what was rent; these besought every one of the
eminent men by name, and the multitude in common, that they would
not for a small offense betray their country to those that were
desirous to have it laid waste; saying, "What benefit will it
bring to the soldiers to have a salutation from the Jews? or what
amendment of your affairs will it bring you, if you do not now go
out to meet them? and that if they saluted them civilly, all
handle would be cut off from Florus to begin a war; that they
should thereby gain their country, and freedom from all further
sufferings; and that, besides, it would be a sign of great want
of command of themselves, if they should yield to a few seditious
persons, while it was fitter for them who were so great a people
to force the others to act soberly."

5. By these persuasions, which they used to the multitude and to
the seditious, they restrained some by threatenings, and others
by the reverence that was paid them. After this they led them
out, and they met the soldiers quietly, and after a composed
manner, and when they were come up with them, they saluted them;
but when they made no answer, the seditious exclaimed against
Florus, which was the signal given for falling upon them. The
soldiers therefore encompassed them presently, and struck them
with their clubs; and as they fled away, the horsemen trampled
them down, so that a great many fell down dead by the strokes of
the Romans, and more by their own violence in crushing one
another. Now there was a terrible crowding about the gates, and
while every body was making haste to get before another, the
flight of them all was retarded, and a terrible destruction there
was among those that fell down, for they were suffocated, an
broken to pieces by the multitude of those that were uppermost;
nor could any of them be distinguished by his relations in order
to the care of his funeral; the soldiers also who beat them, fell
upon those whom they overtook, without showing them any mercy,
and thrust the multitude through the place called Bezetha, (23)
as they forced their way, in order to get in and seize upon the
temple, and the tower Antonia. Florus also being desirous to get
those places into his possession, brought such as were with him
out of the king's palace, and would have compelled them to get as
far as the citadel [Antonia;] but his attempt failed, for the
people immediately turned back upon him, and stopped the violence
of his attempt; and as they stood upon the tops of their houses,
they threw their darts at the Romans, who, as they were sorely
galled thereby, because those weapons came from above, and they
were not able to make a passage through the multitude, which
stopped up the narrow passages, they retired to the camp which
was at the palace.

6. But for the seditious, they were afraid lest Florus should
come again, and get possession of the temple, through Antonia; so
they got immediately upon those cloisters of the temple that
joined to Antonia, and cut them down. This cooled the avarice of
Florus; for whereas he was eager to obtain the treasures of God
[in the temple], and on that account was desirous of getting into
Antonia, as soon as the cloisters were broken down, he left off
his attempt; he then sent for the high priests and the sanhedrim,
and told them that he was indeed himself going out of the city,
but that he would leave them as large a garrison as they should
desire. Hereupon they promised that they would make no
innovations, in case he would leave them one band; but not that
which had fought with the Jews, because the multitude bore
ill-will against that band on account of what they had suffered
from it; so he changed the band as they desired, and, with the
rest of his forces, returned to Cesarea.


Cestius Sends Neopolitanus The Tribune To See In What Condition
The Affairs Of The Jews Were. Agrippa Makes A Speech To The
People Of The Jews That He May Divert Them From Their Intentions
Of Making War With The Romans.

1. However, Florus contrived another way to oblige the Jews to
begin the war, and sent to Cestius, and accused the Jews falsely
of revolting [from the Roman government], and imputed the
beginning of the former fight to them, and pretended they had
been the authors of that disturbance, wherein they were only the
sufferers. Yet were not the governors of Jerusalem silent upon
this occasion, but did themselves write to Cestius, as did
Bernice also, about the illegal practices of which Florus had
been guilty against the city; who, upon reading both accounts,
consulted with his captains [what he should do]. Now some of them
thought it best for Cestius to go up with his army, either to
punish the revolt, if it was real, or to settle the Roman affairs
on a surer foundation, if the Jews continued quiet under them;
but he thought it best himself to send one of his intimate
friends beforehand, to see the state of affairs, and to give him
a faithful account of the intentions of the Jews. Accordingly, he
sent one of his tribunes, whose name was Neopolitanus, who met
with king Agrippa as he was returning from Alexandria, at Jamnia,
and told him who it was that sent him, and on what errands he was

2. And here it was that the high priests, and men of power among
the Jews, as well as the sanhedrim, came to congratulate the king
[upon his safe return]; and after they had paid him their
respects, they lamented their own calamities, and related to him
what barbarous treatment they had met with from Florus. At which
barbarity Agrippa had great indignation, but transferred, after a
subtle manner, his anger towards those Jews whom he really
pitied, that he might beat down their high thoughts of
themselves, and would have them believe that they had not been so
unjustly treated, in order to dissuade them from avenging
themselves. So these great men, as of better understanding than
the rest, and desirous of peace, because of the possessions they
had, understood that this rebuke which the king gave them was
intended for their good; but as to the people, they came sixty
furlongs out of Jerusalem, and congratulated both Agrippa and
Neopolitanus; but the wives of those that had been slain came
running first of all and lamenting. The people also, when they
heard their mourning, fell into lamentations also, and besought
Agrippa to assist them: they also cried out to Neopolitanus, and
complained of the many miseries they had endured under Florus;
and they showed them, when they were come into the city, how the
market-place was made desolate, and the houses plundered. They
then persuaded Neopolitanus, by the means of Agrippa, that he
would walk round the city, with one only servant, as far as
Siloam, that he might inform himself that the Jews submitted to
all the rest of the Romans, and were only displeased at Florus,
by reason of his exceeding barbarity to them. So he walked round,
and had sufficient experience of the good temper the people were
in, and then went up to the temple, where he called the multitude
together, and highly commended them for their fidelity to the
Romans, and earnestly exhorted them to keep the peace; and having
performed such parts of Divine worship at the temple as he was
allowed to do, he returned to Cestius.

3. But as for the multitude of the Jews, they addressed
themselves to the king, and to the high priests, and desired they
might have leave to send ambassadors to Nero against Florus, and
not by their silence afford a suspicion that they had been the
occasions of such great slaughters as had been made, and were
disposed to revolt, alleging that they should seem to have been
the first beginners of the war, if they did not prevent the
report by showing who it was that began it; and it appeared
openly that they would not be quiet, if any body should hinder
them from sending such an embassage. But Agrippa, although he
thought it too dangerous a thing for them to appoint men to go as
the accusers of Florus, yet did he not think it fit for him to
overlook them, as they were in a disposition for war. He
therefore called the multitude together into a large gallery, and
placed his sister Bernice in the house of the Asamoneans, that
she might be seen by them, (which house was over the gallery, at
the passage to the upper city, where the bridge joined the temple
to the gallery,) and spake to them as follows:

4.(24) " Had I perceived that you were all zealously disposed to
go to war with the Romans, and that the purer and more sincere
part of the people did not propose to live in peace, I had not
come out to you, nor been so bold as to give you counsel; for all
discourses that tend to persuade men to do what they ought to do
are superfluous, when the hearers are agreed to do the contrary.
But because some are earnest to go to war because they are young,
and without experience of the miseries it brings, and because
some are for it out of an unreasonable expectation of regaining
their liberty, and because others hope to get by it, and are
therefore earnestly bent upon it, that in the confusion of your
affairs they may gain what belongs to those that are too weak to
resist them, I have thought proper to get you all together, and
to say to you what I think to be for your advantage; that so the
former may grow wiser, and change their minds, and that the best
men may come to no harm by the ill conduct of some others. And
let not any one be tumultuous against me, in case what they hear
me say do not please them; for as to those that admit of no cure,
but are resolved upon a revolt, it will still be in their power
to retain the same sentiments after my exhortation is over; but
still my discourse will fall to the ground, even with a relation
to those that have a mind to hear me, unless you will all keep
silence. I am well aware that many make a tragical exclamation
concerning the injuries that have been offered you by your
procurators, and concerning the glorious advantages of liberty;
but before I begin the inquiry, who you are that must go to war,
and who they are against whom you must fight, I shall first
separate those pretenses that are by some connected together; for
if you aim at avenging yourselves on those that have done you
injury, why do you pretend this to be a war for recovering your
liberty? but if you think all servitude intolerable, to what
purpose serve your complaint against your particular governors?
for if they treated you with moderation, it would still be
equally an unworthy thing to be in servitude. Consider now the
several cases that may be supposed, how little occasion there is
for your going to war. Your first occasion is the accusations you
have to make against your procurators; now here you ought to be
submissive to those in authority, and not give them any
provocation; but when you reproach men greatly for small
offenses, you excite those whom you reproach to be your
adversaries; for this will only make them leave off hurting you
privately, and with some degree of modesty, and to lay what you
have waste openly. Now nothing so much damps the force of strokes
as bearing them with patience; and the quietness of those who are
injured diverts the injurious persons from afflicting. But let us
take it for granted that the Roman ministers are injurious to
you, and are incurably severe; yet are they not all the Romans
who thus injure you; nor hath Caesar, against whom you are going
to make war, injured you: it is not by their command that any
wicked governor is sent to you; for they who are in the west
cannot see those that are in the east; nor indeed is it easy for
them there even to hear what is done in these parts. Now it is
absurd to make war with a great many for the sake of one, to do
so with such mighty people for a small cause; and this when these
people are not able to know of what you complain: nay, such
crimes as we complain of may soon be corrected, for the same
procurator will not continue for ever; and probable it is that
the successors will come with more moderate inclinations. But as
for war, if it be once begun, it is not easily laid down again,
nor borne without calamities coming therewith. However, as to the
desire of recovering your liberty, it is unseasonable to indulge
it so late; whereas you ought to have labored earnestly in old
time that you might never have lost it; for the first experience
of slavery was hard to be endured, and the struggle that you
might never have been subject to it would have been just; but
that slave who hath been once brought into subjection, and then
runs away, is rather a refractory slave than a lover of liberty;
for it was then the proper time for doing all that was possible,
that you might never have admitted the Romans [into your city],
when Pompey came first into the country. But so it was, that our
ancestors and their kings, who were in much better circumstances
than we are, both as to money, and strong bodies, and [valiant]
souls, did not bear the onset of a small body of the Roman army.
And yet you, who have now accustomed yourselves to obedience from
one generation to another, and who are so much inferior to those
who first submitted, in your circumstances will venture to oppose
the entire empire of the Romans. While those Athenians, who, in
order to preserve the liberty of Greece, did once set fire to
their own city; who pursued Xerxes, that proud prince, when he
sailed upon the land, and walked upon the sea, and could not be
contained by the seas, but conducted such an army as was too
broad for Europe; and made him run away like a fugitive in a
single ship, and brake so great a part of Asia at the Lesser
Salamis; are yet at this time servants to the Romans; and those
injunctions which are sent from Italy become laws to the
principal governing city of Greece. Those Lacedemonians also who
got the great victories at Thermopylae. and Platea, and had
Agesilaus [for their king], and searched every corner of Asia,
are contented to admit the same lords. Those Macedonians also,
who still fancy what great men their Philip and Alexander were,
and see that the latter had promised them the empire over the
world, these bear so great a change, and pay their obedience to
those whom fortune hath advanced in their stead. Moreover, ten
thousand ether nations there are who had greater reason than we
to claim their entire liberty, and yet do submit. You are the
only people who think it a disgrace to be servants to those to
whom all the world hath submitted. What sort of an army do you
rely on? What are the arms you depend on? Where is your fleet,
that may seize upon the Roman seas? and where are those treasures
which may be sufficient for your undertakings? Do you suppose, I
pray you, that you are to make war with the Egyptians, and with
the Arabians? Will you not carefully reflect upon the Roman
empire? Will you not estimate your own weakness? Hath not your
army been often beaten even by your neighboring nations, while
the power of the Romans is invincible in all parts of the
habitable earth? nay, rather they seek for somewhat still beyond
that; for all Euphrates is not a sufficient boundary for them on
the east side, nor the Danube on the north; and for their
southern limit, Libya hath been searched over by them, as far as
countries uninhabited, as is Cadiz their limit on the west; nay,
indeed, they have sought for another habitable earth beyond the
ocean, and have carried their arms as far as such British islands
as were never known before. What therefore do you pretend to? Are
you richer than the Gauls, stronger than the Germans, wiser than
the Greeks, more numerous than all men upon the habitable earth?
What confidence is it that elevates you to oppose the Romans?
Perhaps it will be said, It is hard to endure slavery. Yes; but
how much harder is this to the Greeks, who were esteemed the
noblest of all people under the sun! These, though they inhabit
in a large country, are in subjection to six bundles of Roman
rods. It is the same case with the Macedonians, who have juster
reason to claim their liberty than you have. What is the case of
five hundred cities of Asia? Do they not submit to a single
governor, and to the consular bundle of rods? What need I speak
of the Henlochi, and Colchi and the nation of Tauri, those that
inhabit the Bosphorus, and the nations about Pontus, and Meotis,
who formerly knew not so much as a lord of their own, but arc now
subject to three thousand armed men, and where forty long ships
keep the sea in peace, which before was not navigable, and very
tempestuous? How strong a plea may Bithynia, and Cappadocia, and
the people of Pamphylia, the Lycians, and Cilicians, put in for
liberty! But they are made tributary without an army. What are
the circumstances of the Thracians, whose country extends in
breadth five days' journey, and in length seven, and is of a much
more harsh constitution, and much more defensible, than yours,
and by the rigor of its cold sufficient to keep off armies from
attacking them? do not they submit to two thousand men of the
Roman garrisons? Are not the Illyrlans, who inhabit the country
adjoining, as far as Dalmatia and the Danube, governed by barely
two legions? by which also they put a stop to the incursions of
the Daeians. And for the Dalmatians, who have made such frequent
insurrections in order to regain their liberty, and who could
never before be so thoroughly subdued, but that they always
gathered their forces together again, revolted, yet are they now
very quiet under one Roman legion. Moreover, if eat advantages
might provoke any people to revolt, the Gauls might do it best of
all, as being so thoroughly walled round by nature; on the east
side by the Alps, on the north by the river Rhine, on the south
by the Pyrenean mountains, and on the west by the ocean. Now
although these Gauls have such obstacles before them to prevent
any attack upon them, and have no fewer than three hundred and
five nations among them, nay have, as one may say, the fountains
of domestic happiness within themselves, and send out plentiful
streams of happiness over almost the whole world, these bear to
be tributary to the Romans, and derive their prosperous condition
from them; and they undergo this, not because they are of
effeminate minds, or because they are of an ignoble stock, as
having borne a war of eighty years in order to preserve their
liberty; but by reason of the great regard they have to the power
of the Romans, and their good fortune, which is of greater
efficacy than their arms. These Gauls, therefore, are kept in
servitude by twelve hundred soldiers, which are hardly so many as
are their cities; nor hath the gold dug out of the mines of Spain
been sufficient for the support of a war to preserve their
liberty, nor could their vast distance from the Romans by land
and by sea do it; nor could the martial tribes of the Lusitanians
and Spaniards escape; no more could the ocean, with its tide,
which yet was terrible to the ancient inhabitants. Nay, the
Romans have extended their arms beyond the pillars of Hercules,
and have walked among the clouds, upon the Pyrenean mountains,
and have subdued these nations. And one legion is a sufficient
guard for these people, although they were so hard to be
conquered, and at a distance so remote from Rome. Who is there
among you that hath not heard of the great number of the Germans?
You have, to be sure, yourselves seen them to be strong and tall,
and that frequently, since the Romans have them among their
captives every where; yet these Germans, who dwell in an immense
country, who have minds greater than their bodies, and a soul
that despises death, and who are in rage more fierce than wild
beasts, have the Rhine for the boundary of their enterprises, and
are tamed by eight Roman legions. Such of them as were taken
captive became their servants; and the rest of the entire nation
were obliged to save themselves by flight. Do you also, who
depend on the walls of Jerusalem, consider what a wall the
Britons had; for the Romans sailed away to them, an subdued them
while they were encompassed by the ocean, and inhabited an island
that is not less than the [continent of this] habitable earth;
and four legions are a sufficient guard to so large all island
And why should I speak much more about this matter, while the
Parthians, that most warlike body of men, and lords of so many
nations, and encompassed with such mighty forces, send hostages
to the Romans? whereby you may see, if you please, even in Italy,
the noblest nation of the East, under the notion of peace,
submitting to serve them. Now when almost all people under the
sun submit to the Roman arms, will you be the only people that
make war against them? and this without regarding the fate of the
Carthaginians, who, in the midst of their brags of the great
Hannibal, and the nobility of their Phoenician original, fell by
the hand of Scipio. Nor indeed have the Cyrenians, derived from
the Lacedemonians, nor the Marmaridite, a nation extended as far
as the regions uninhabitable for want of water, nor have the
Syrtes, a place terrible to such as barely hear it described, the
Nasamons and Moors, and the immense multitude of the Numidians,
been able to put a stop to the Roman valor. And as for the third
part of the habitable earth, [Akica,] whose nations are so many
that it is not easy to number them, and which is bounded by the
Atlantic Sea and the pillars of Hercules, and feeds an
innumerable multitude of Ethiopians, as far as the Red Sea, these
have the Romans subdued entirely. And besides the annual fruits
of the earth, which maintain the multitude of the Romans for
eight months in the year, this, over and above, pays all sorts of
tribute, and affords revenues suitable to the necessities of the
government. Nor do they, like you, esteem such injunctions a
disgrace to them, although they have but one Roman legion that
abides among them. And indeed what occasion is there for showing
you the power of the Romans over remote countries, when it is so
easy to learn it from Egypt, in your neighborhood? This country
is extended as far as the Ethiopians, and Arabia the Happy, and
borders upon India; it hath seven millions five hundred thousand
men, besides the inhabitants of Alexandria, as may be learned
from the revenue of the poll tax; yet it is not ashamed to submit
to the Roman government, although it hath Alexandria as a grand
temptation to a revolt, by reason it is so full of people and of
riches, and is besides exceeding large, its length being thirty
furlongs, and its breadth no less than ten; and it pays more
tribute to the Romans in one month than you do in a year; nay,
besides what it pays in money, it sends corn to Rome that
supports it for four months [in the year]: it is also walled
round on all sides, either by almost impassable deserts, or seas
that have no havens, or by rivers, or by lakes; yet have none of
these things been found too strong for the Roman good fortune;
however, two legions that lie in that city are a bridle both for
the remoter parts of Egypt, and for the parts inhabited by the
more noble Macedonians. Where then are those people whom you are
to have for your auxiliaries? Must they come from the parts of
the world that are uninhabited? for all that are in the habitable
earth are [under the] Romans. Unless any of you extend his hopes
as far as beyond the Euphrates, and suppose that those of your
own nation that dwell in Adiabene will come to your assistance;
but certainly these will not embarrass themselves with an
unjustifiable war, nor, if they should follow such ill advice,
will the Parthians permit them so to do; for it is their concern
to maintain the truce that is between them and the Romans, and
they will be supposed to break the covenants between them, if any
under their government march against the Romans. What remains,
therefore, is this, that you have recourse to Divine assistance;
but this is already on the side of the Romans; for it is
impossible that so vast an empire should be settled without God's
providence. Reflect upon it, how impossible it is for your
zealous observations of your religious customs to be here
preserved, which are hard to be observed even when you fight with
those whom you are able to conquer; and how can you then most of
all hope for God's assistance, when, by being forced to
transgress his law, you will make him turn his face from you? and
if you do observe the custom of the sabbath days, and will not be
revealed on to do any thing thereon, you will easily be taken, as
were your forefathers by Pompey, who was the busiest in his siege
on those days on which the besieged rested. But if in time of war
you transgress the law of your country, I cannot tell on whose
account you will afterward go to war; for your concern is but
one, that you do nothing against any of your forefathers; and how
will you call upon God to assist you, when you are voluntarily
transgressing against his religion? Now all men that go to war do
it either as depending on Divine or on human assistance; but
since your going to war will cut off both those assistances,
those that are for going to war choose evident destruction. What
hinders you from slaying your children and wives with your own
hands, and burning this most excellent native city of yours? for
by this mad prank you will, however, escape the reproach of being
beaten. But it were best, O my friends, it were best, while the
vessel is still in the haven, to foresee the impending storm, and
not to set sail out of the port into the middle of the
hurricanes; for we justly pity those who fall into great
misfortunes without fore-seeing them; but for him who rushes into
manifest ruin, he gains reproaches [instead of commiseration].
But certainly no one can imagine that you can enter into a war as
by agreement, or that when the Romans have got you under their
power, they will use you with moderation, or will not rather, for
an example to other nations, burn your holy city, and utterly
destroy your whole nation; for those of you who shall survive the
war will not be able to find a place whither to flee, since all
men have the Romans for their lords already, or are afraid they
shall have hereafter. Nay, indeed, the danger concerns not those
Jews that dwell here only, but those of them which dwell in other
cities also; for there is no people upon the habitable earth
which have not some portion of you among them, whom your enemies
will slay, in case you go to war, and on that account also; and
so every city which hath Jews in it will be filled with slaughter
for the sake of a few men, and they who slay them will be
pardoned; but if that slaughter be not made by them, consider how
wicked a thing it is to take arms against those that are so kind
to you. Have pity, therefore, if not on your children and wives,
yet upon this your metropolis, and its sacred walls; spare the
temple, and preserve the holy house, with its holy furniture, for
yourselves; for if the Romans get you under their power, they
will no longer abstain from them, when their former abstinence
shall have been so ungratefully requited. I call to witness your
sanctuary, and the holy angels of God, and this country common to
us all, that I have not kept back any thing that is for your
preservation; and if you will follow that advice which you ought
to do, you will have that peace which will be common to you and
to me; but if you indulge four passions, you will run those
hazards which I shall be free

5. When Agrippa had spoken thus, both he and his sister wept, and
by their tears repressed a great deal of the violence of the
people; but still they cried out, that they would not fight
against the Romans, but against Florus, on account of what they
had suffered by his means. To which Agrippa replied, that what
they had already done was like such as make war against the
Romans; "for you have not paid the tribute which is due to Caesar
(25) and you have cut off the cloisters [of the temple] from
joining to the tower Antonia. You will therefore prevent any
occasion of revolt if you will but join these together again, and
if you will but pay your tribute; for the citadel does not now
belong to Florus, nor are you to pay the tribute money to


How The War Of The Jews With The Romans Began, And Concerning

1. This advice the people hearkened to, and went up into the
temple with the king and Bernice, and began to rebuild the
cloisters; the rulers also and senators divided themselves into
the villages, and collected the tributes, and soon got together
forty talents, which was the sum that was deficient. And thus did
Agrippa then put a stop to that war which was threatened.
Moreover, he attempted to persuade the multitude to obey Florus,
until Caesar should send one to succeed him; but they were hereby
more provoked, and cast reproaches upon the king, and got him
excluded out of the city; nay, some of the seditious had the
impudence to throw stones at him. So when the king saw that the
violence of those that were for innovations was not to be
restrained, and being very angry at the contumelies he had
received, he sent their rulers, together with their men of power,
to Florus, to Cesarea, that he might appoint whom he thought fit
to collect the tribute in the country, while he retired into his
own kingdom.

2. And at this time it was that some of those that principally
excited the people to go to war made an assault upon a certain
fortress called Masada. They took it by treachery, and slew the
Romans that were there, and put others of their own party to keep
it. At the same time Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high priest,
a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple,
persuaded those that officiated in the Divine service to receive
no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner. And this was the true
beginning of our war with the Romans; for they rejected the
sacrifice of Caesar on this account; and when many of the high
priests and principal men besought them not to omit the
sacrifice, which it was customary for them to offer for their
princes, they would not be prevailed upon. These relied much upon
their multitude, for the most flourishing part of the innovators
assisted them; but they had the chief regard to Eleazar, the
governor of the temple.

3. Hereupon the men of power got together, and conferred with the
high priests, as did also the principal of the Pharisees; and
thinking all was at stake, and that their calamities were
becoming incurable, took counsel what was to be done.
Accordingly, they determined to try what they could do with the
seditious by words, and assembled the people before the brazen
gate, which was that gate of the inner temple [court of the
priests] which looked toward the sun-rising. And, in the first
place, they showed the great indignation they had at this attempt
for a revolt, and for their bringing so great a war upon their
country; after which they confuted their pretense as
unjustifiable, and told them that their forefathers had adorned
their temple in great part with donations bestowed on them by
foreigners, and had always received what had been presented to
them from foreign nations; and that they had been so far from
rejecting any person's sacrifice (which would be the highest
instance of impiety,) that they had themselves placed those
donation about the temple which were still visible, and had
remained there so long a time; that they did now irritate the
Romans to take arms against them, and invited them to make war
upon them, and brought up novel rules of a strange Divine
worship, and determined to run the hazard of having their city
condemned for impiety, while they would not allow any foreigner,
but Jews only, either to sacrifice or to worship therein. And if
such a law should be introduced in the case of a single private
person only, he would have indignation at it, as an instance of
inhumanity determined against him; while they have no regard to
the Romans or to Caesar, and forbid even their oblations to be
received also; that however they cannot but fear, lest, by thus
rejecting their sacrifices, they shall not be allowed to offer
their own; and that this city will lose its principality, unless
they grow wiser quickly, and restore the sacrifices as formerly,
and indeed amend the injury [they have offered foreigners] before
the report of it comes to the ears of those that have been

4. And as they said these things, they produced those priests
that were skillful in the customs of their country, who made the
report that all their forefathers had received the sacrifices
from foreign nations. But still not one of the innovators would
hearken to what was said; nay, those that ministered about the
temple would not attend their Divine service, but were preparing
matters for beginning the war. So the men of power perceiving
that the sedition was too hard for them to subdue, and that the
danger which would arise from the Romans would come upon them
first of all, endeavored to save themselves, and sent
ambassadors, some to Florus, the chief of which was Simon the son
of Ananias; and others to Agrippa, among whom the most eminent
were Saul, and Antipas, and Costobarus, who were of the king's
kindred; and they desired of them both that they would come with
an army to the city, and cut off the seditious before it should
be too hard to be subdued. Now this terrible message was good
news to Florus; and because his design was to have a war kindled,
he gave the ambassadors no answer at all. But Agrippa was equally
solicitous for those that were revolting, and for those against
whom the war was to be made, and was desirous to preserve the
Jews for the Romans, and the temple and metropolis for the Jews;
he was also sensible that it was not for his own advantage that
the disturbances should proceed; so he sent three thousand
horsemen to the assistance of the people out of Auranitis, and
Batanea, and Trachonitis, and these under Darius, the master of
his horse, and Philip the son of Jacimus, the general of his

5. Upon this the men of power, with the high priests, as also all
the part of the multitude that were desirous of peace, took
courage, and seized upon the upper city [Mount Sion;] for the
seditious part had the lower city and the temple in their power;
so they made use of stones and slings perpetually against one
another, and threw darts continually on both sides; and sometimes
it happened that they made incursions by troops, and fought it
out hand to hand, while the seditious were superior in boldness,
but the king's soldiers in skill. These last strove chiefly to
gain the temple, and to drive those out of it who profaned it; as
did the seditious, with Eleazar, besides what they had already,
labor to gain the upper city. Thus were there perpetual
slaughters on both sides for seven days' time; but neither side
would yield up the parts they had seized on.

6. Now the next day was the festival of Xylophory; upon which the
custom was for every one to bring wood for the altar (that there
might never be a want of fuel for that fire which was
unquenchable and always burning). Upon that day they excluded the
opposite party from the observation of this part of religion. And
when they had joined to themselves many of the Sicarii, who
crowded in among the weaker people, (that was the name for such
robbers as had under their bosoms swords called Sicae,) they grew
bolder, and carried their undertaking further; insomuch that the
king's soldiers were overpowered by their multitude and boldness;
and so they gave way, and were driven out of the upper city by
force. The others then set fire to the house of Ananias the high
priest, and to the palaces of Agrippa and Bernice; after which
they carried the fire to the place where the archives were
reposited, and made haste to burn the contracts belonging to
their creditors, and thereby to dissolve their obligations for
paying their debts; and this was done in order to gain the
multitude of those who had been debtors, and that they might
persuade the poorer sort to join in their insurrection with
safety against the more wealthy; so the keepers of the records
fled away, and the rest set fire to them. And when they had thus
burnt down the nerves of the city, they fell upon their enemies;
at which time some of the men of power, and of the high priests,
went into the vaults under ground, and concealed themselves,
while others fled with the king's soldiers to the upper palace,
and shut the gates immediately; among whom were Ananias the high
priest, and the ambassadors that had been sent to Agrippa. And
now the seditious were contented with the victory they had
gotten, and the buildings they had burnt down, and proceeded no

7. But on the next day, which was the fifteenth of the month
Lous, [Ab,] they made an assault upon Antonia, and besieged the
garrison which was in it two days, and then took the garrison,
and slew them, and set the citadel on fire; after which they
marched to the palace, whither the king's soldiers were fled, and
parted themselves into four bodies, and made an attack upon the
walls. As for those that were within it, no one had the courage
to sally out, because those that assaulted them were so numerous;
but they distributed themselves into the breast-works and
turrets, and shot at the besiegers, whereby many of the robbers
fell under the walls; nor did they cease to fight one with
another either by night or by day, while the seditious supposed
that those within would grow weary for want of food, and those
without supposed the others would do the like by the tediousness
of the siege.

8. In the mean time, one Manahem, the son of Judas, that was
called the Galilean, (who was a very cunning sophister, and had
formerly reproached the Jews under Cyrenius, that after God they
were subject to the Romans,) took some of the men of note with
him, and retired to Masada, where he broke open king Herod's
armory, and gave arms not only to his own people, but to other
robbers also. These he made use of for a guard, and returned in
the state of a king to Jerusalem; he became the leader of the
sedition, and gave orders for continuing the siege; but they
wanted proper instruments, and it was not practicable to
undermine the wall, because the darts came down upon them from
above. But still they dug a mine from a great distance under one
of the towers, and made it totter; and having done that, they set
on fire what was combustible, and left it; and when the
foundations were burnt below, the tower fell down suddenly. Yet
did they then meet with another wall that had been built within,
for the besieged were sensible beforehand of what they were
doing, and probably the tower shook as it was undermining; so
they provided themselves of another fortification; which when the
besiegers unexpectedly saw, while they thought they had already
gained the place, they were under some consternation. However,
those that were within sent to Manahem, and to the other leaders
of the sedition, and desired they might go out upon a
capitulation: this was granted to the king's soldiers and their
own countrymen only, who went out accordingly; but the Romans
that were left alone were greatly dejected, for they were not
able to force their way through such a multitude; and to desire
them to give them their right hand for their security, they
thought it would be a reproach to them; and besides, if they
should give it them, they durst not depend upon it; so they
deserted their camp, as easily taken, and ran away to the royal
towers, - that called Hippicus, that called Phasaelus, and that
called Mariamne. But Manahem and his party fell upon the place
whence the soldiers were fled, and slew as many of them as they
could catch, before they got up to the towers, and plundered what
they left behind them, and set fire to their camp. This was
executed on the sixth day of the month Gorpieus [Elul].

9. But on the next day the high priest was caught where he had
concealed himself in an aqueduct; he was slain, together with
Hezekiah his brother, by the robbers: hereupon the seditious
besieged the towers, and kept them guarded, lest any one of the
soldiers should escape. Now the overthrow of the places of
strength, and the death of the high priest Ananias, so puffed up
Manahem, that he became barbarously cruel; and as he thought he
had no antagonist to dispute the management of affairs with him,
he was no better than an insupportable tyrant; but Eleazar and
his party, when words had passed between them, how it was not
proper when they revolted from the Romans, out of the desire of
liberty, to betray that liberty to any of their own people, and
to bear a lord, who, though he should be guilty of no violence,
was yet meaner than themselves; as also, that in case they were
obliged to set some one over their public affairs, it was fitter
they should give that privilege to any one rather than to him;
they made an assault upon him in the temple; for he went up
thither to worship in a pompous manner, and adorned with royal
garments, and had his followers with him in their armor. But
Eleazar and his party fell violently upon him, as did also the
rest of the people; and taking up stones to attack him withal,
they threw them at the sophister, and thought, that if he were
once ruined, the entire sedition would fall to the ground. Now
Manahem and his party made resistance for a while; but when they
perceived that the whole multitude were falling upon them, they
fled which way every one was able; those that were caught were
slain, and those that hid themselves were searched for. A few
there were of them who privately escaped to Masada, among whom
was Eleazar, the son of Jairus, who was of kin to Manahem, and
acted the part of a tyrant at Masada afterward. As for Manahem
himself, he ran away to the place called Ophla, and there lay
skulking in private; but they took him alive, and drew him out
before them all; they then tortured him with many sorts of
torments, and after all slew him, as they did by those that were
captains under him also, and particularly by the principal
instrument of his tyranny, whose name was Apsalom.

10. And, as I said, so far truly the people assisted them, while
they hoped this might afford some amendment to the seditious
practices; but the others were not in haste to put an end to the
war, but hoped to prosecute it with less danger, now they had
slain Manahem. It is true, that when the people earnestly desired
that they would leave off besieging the soldiers, they were the
more earnest in pressing it forward, and this till Metilius, who
was the Roman general, sent to Eleazar, and desired that they
would. give them security to spare their lives only; but agreed
to deliver up their arms, and what else they had with them. The
others readily complied with their petition, sent to them Gorion,
the son of Nicodemus, and Ananias, the son of Sadduk, and Judas,
the son of Jonathan, that they might give them the security Of
their right hands, and of their oaths; after which Metilius
brought down his soldiers; which soldiers, while they were in
arms, were not meddled with by any of the seditious, nor was
there any appearance of treachery; but as soon as, according to
the articles of capitulation, they had all laid down their
shields and their swords, and were under no further suspicion of
any harm, but were going away, Eleazar's men attacked them after
a violent manner, and encompassed them round, and slew them,
while they neither defended themselves, nor entreated for mercy,
but only cried out upon the breach of their articles of
capitulation and their oaths. And thus were all these men
barbarously murdered, excepting Metilius; for when he entreated
for mercy, and promised that he would turn Jew, and be
circumcised, they saved him alive, but none else. This loss to
the Romans was but light, there being no more than a few slain
out of an immense army; but still it appeared to be a prelude to
the Jews' own destruction, while men made public lamentation when
they saw that such occasions were afforded for a war as were
incurable; that the city was all over polluted with such
abominations, from which it was but reasonable to expect some
vengeance, even though they should escape revenge from the
Romans; so that the city was filled with sadness, and every one
of the moderate men in it were under great disturbance, as likely
themselves to undergo punishment for the wickedness of the
seditious; for indeed it so happened that this murder was
perpetrated on the sabbath day, on which day the Jews have a
respite from their works on account of Divine worship.


The Calamities And Slaughters That Came Upon The Jews.

1. Now the people of Cesarea had slain the Jews that were among
them on the very same day and hour [when the soldiers were
slain], which one would think must have come to pass by the
direction of Providence; insomuch that in one hour's time above
twenty thousand Jews were killed, and all Cesarea was emptied of
its Jewish inhabitants; for Florus caught such as ran away, and
sent them in bonds to the galleys. Upon which stroke that the
Jews received at Cesarea, the whole nation was greatly enraged;
so they divided themselves into several parties, and laid waste
the villages of the Syrians, and their neighboring cities,
Philadelphia, and Sebonitis, and Gerasa, and Pella, and
Scythopolis, and after them Gadara, and Hippos; and falling upon
Gaulonitis, some cities they destroyed there, and some they set
on fire, and then went to Kedasa, belonging to the Tyrians, and
to Ptolemais, and to Gaba, and to Cesarea; nor was either Sebaste
[Samaria] or Askelon able to oppose the violence with which they
were attacked; and when they had burnt these to the ground; they
entirely demolished Anthedon and Gaza; many also of the villages
that were about every one of those cities were plundered, and an
immense slaughter was made of the men who were caught in them.

2. However, the Syrians were even with the Jews in the multitude
of the men whom they slew; for they killed those whom they caught
in their cities, and that not only out of the hatred they bare
them, as formerly, but to prevent the danger under which they
were from them; so that the disorders in all Syria were terrible,
and every city was divided into two armies, encamped one against
another, and the preservation of the one party was in the
destruction of the other; so the day time was spent in shedding
of blood, and the night in fear, which was of the two the more
terrible; for when the Syrians thought they had ruined the Jews,
they had the Judaizers in suspicion also; and as each side did
not care to slay those whom they only suspected on the other, so
did they greatly fear them when they were mingled with the other,
as if they were certainly foreigners. Moreover, greediness of
gain was a provocation to kill the opposite party, even to such
as had of old appeared very mild and gentle towards them; for
they without fear plundered the effects of the slain, and carried
off the spoils of those whom they slew to their own houses, as if
they had been gained in a set battle; and he was esteemed a man
of honor who got the greatest share, as having prevailed over the
greatest number of his enemies. It was then common to see cities
filled with dead bodies, still lying unburied, and those of old
men, mixed with infants, all dead, and scattered about together;
women also lay amongst them, without any covering for their
nakedness: you might then see the whole province full of
inexpressible calamities, while the dread of still more barbarous
practices which were threatened was every where greater than what
had been already perpetrated.

3. And thus far the conflict had been between Jews and
foreigners; but when they made excursions to Scythopolis, they
found Jew that acted as enemies; for as they stood in
battle-array with those of Scythopolis, and preferred their own
safety before their relation to us, they fought against their own
countrymen; nay, their alacrity was so very great, that those of
Scythopolis suspected them. These were afraid, therefore, lest
they should make an assault upon the city in the night time, and,
to their great misfortune, should thereby make an apology for
themselves to their own people for their revolt from them. So
they commanded them, that in case they would confirm their
agreement and demonstrate their fidelity to them, who were of a
different nation, they should go out of the city, with their
families to a neighboring grove; and when they had done as they
were commanded, without suspecting any thing, the people of
Scythopolis lay still for the interval of two days, to tempt them
to be secure; but on the third night they watched their
opportunity, and cut all their throats, some as they lay
unguarded, and some as they lay asleep. The number that was slain
was above thirteen thousand, and then they plundered them of all
that they had.

4. It will deserve our relation what befell Simon; he was the son
of one Saul, a man of reputation among the Jews. This man was
distinguished from the rest by the strength of his body, and the
boldness of his conduct, although he abused them both to the
mischieving of his countrymen; for he came every day and slew a
great many of the Jews of Scythopolis, and he frequently put them
to flight, and became himself alone the cause of his army's
conquering. But a just punishment overtook him for the murders he
had committed upon those of the same nation with him; for when
the people of Scythopolis threw their darts at them in the grove,
he drew his sword, but did not attack any of the enemy; for he
saw that he could do nothing against such a multitude; but he
cried out after a very moving manner, and said, "O you people of
Scythopolis, I deservedly suffer for what I have done with
relation to you, when I gave you such security of my fidelity to
you, by slaying so many of those that were related to me.
Wherefore we very justly experience the perfidiousness of
foreigners, while we acted after a most wicked manner against our
own nation. I will therefore die, polluted wretch as I am, by
nine own hands; for it is not fit I should die by the hand of our
enemies; and let the same action be to me both a punishment for
my great crimes, and a testimony of my courage to my
commendation, that so no one of our enemies may have it to brag
of, that he it was that slew me, and no one may insult upon me as
I fall." Now when he had said this, he looked round about him
upon his family with eyes of commiseration and of rage (that
family consisted of a wife and children, and his aged parents);
so, in the first place, he caught his father by his grey hairs,
and ran his sword through him, and after him he did the same to
his mother, who willingly received it; and after them he did the

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