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

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like to his wife and children, every one almost offering
themselves to his sword, as desirous to prevent being slain by
their enemies; so when he had gone over all his family, he stood
upon their bodies to be seen by all, and stretching out his right
hand, that his action might be observed by all, he sheathed his
entire sword into his own bowels. This young man was to be
pitied, on account of the strength of his body and the courage of
his soul; but since he had assured foreigners of his fidelity
[against his own countrymen], he suffered deservedly.

5. Besides this murder at Scythopolis, the other cities rose up
against the Jews that were among them; those of Askelon slew two
thousand five hundred, and those of Ptolemais two thousand, and
put not a few into bonds; those of Tyre also put a great number
to death, but kept a greater number in prison; moreover, those of
Hippos, and those of Gadara, did the like while they put to death
the boldest of the Jews, but kept those of whom they were afraid
in custody; as did the rest of the cities of Syria, according as
they every one either hated them or were afraid of them; only the
Antiochtans the Sidontans, and Apamians spared those that dwelt
with them, and would not endure either to kill any of the Jews,
or to put them in bonds. And perhaps they spared them, because
their own number was so great that they despised their attempts.
But I think the greatest part of this favor was owing to their
commiseration of those whom they saw to make no innovations. As
for the Gerasans, they did no harm to those that abode with them;
and for those who had a mind to go away, they conducted them as
far as their borders reached.

6. There was also a plot laid against the Jews in Agrippa's
kingdom; for he was himself gone to Cestius Gallus, to Antioch,
but had left one of his companions, whose name was Noarus, to
take care of the public affairs; which Noarus was of kin to king
Sohemus. (26) Now there came certain men seventy in number, out
of Batanea, who were the most considerable for their families and
prudence of the rest of the people; these desired to have an army
put into their hands, that if any tumult should happen, they
might have about them a guard sufficient to restrain such as
might rise up against them. This Noarus sent out some of the
king's armed men by night, and slew all those [seventy] men;
which bold action he ventured upon without the consent of
Agrippa, and was such a lover of money, that he chose to be so
wicked to his own countrymen, though he brought ruin on the
kingdom thereby; and thus cruelly did he treat that nation, and
this contrary to the laws also, until Agrippa was informed of it,
who did not indeed dare to put him to death, out of regard to
Sohemus; but still he put an end to his procuratorship
immediately. But as to the seditious, they took the citadel which
was called Cypros, and was above Jericho, and cut the throats of
the garrison, and utterly demolished the fortifications. This was
about the same time that the multitude of the Jews that were at
Machorus persuaded the Romans who were in garrison to leave the
place, and deliver it up to them. These Romans being in great
fear, lest the place should be taken by force, made an agreement
with them to depart upon certain conditions; and when they had
obtained the security they desired, they delivered up the
citadel, into which the people of Macherus put a garrison for
their own security, and held it in their own power.

7. But for Alexandria, the sedition of the people of the place
against the Jews was perpetual, and this from that very time when
Alexander [the Great], upon finding the readiness of the Jews in
assisting him against the Egyptians, and as a reward for such
their assistance, gave them equal privileges in this city with
the Grecians themselves; which honorary reward Continued among
them under his successors, who also set apart for them a
particular place, that they might live without being polluted [by
the Gentiles], and were thereby not so much intermixed with
foreigners as before; they also gave them this further privilege,
that they should be called Macedonians. Nay, when the Romans got
possession of Egypt, neither the first Caesar, nor any one that
came after him, thought of diminishing the honors which Alexander
had bestowed on the Jews. But still conflicts perpetually arose
with the Grecians; and although the governors did every day
punish many of them, yet did the sedition grow worse; but at this
time especially, when there were tumults in other places also,
the disorders among them were put into a greater flame; for when
the Alexandrians had once a public assembly, to deliberate about
an embassage they were sending to Nero, a great number of Jews
came flocking to the theater; but when their adversaries saw
them, they immediately cried out, and called them their enemies,
and said they came as spies upon them; upon which they rushed
out, and laid violent hands upon them; and as for the rest, they
were slain as they ran away; but there were three men whom they
caught, and hauled them along, in order to have them burnt alive;
but all the Jews came in a body to defend them, who at first
threw stones at the Grecians, but after that they took lamps, and
rushed with violence into the theater, and threatened that they
would burn the people to a man; and this they had soon done,
unless Tiberius Alexander, the governor of the city, had
restrained their passions. However, this man did not begin to
teach them wisdom by arms, but sent among them privately some of
the principal men, and thereby entreated them to be quiet, and
not provoke the Roman army against them; but the seditious made a
jest of the entreaties of Tiberius, and reproached him for so

8. Now when he perceived that those who were for innovations
would not be pacified till some great calamity should overtake
them, he sent out upon them those two Roman legions that were in
the city, and together with them five thousand other soldiers,
who, by chance, were come together out of Libya, to the ruin of
the Jews. They were also permitted not only to kill them, but to
plunder them of what they had, and to set fire to their houses.
These soldiers rushed violently into that part of the city that
was called Delta, where the Jewish people lived together, and did
as they were bidden, though not without bloodshed on their own
side also; for the Jews got together, and set those that were the
best armed among them in the forefront, and made a resistance for
a great while; but when once they gave back, they were destroyed
unmercifully; and this their destruction was complete, some being
caught in the open field, and others forced into their houses,
which houses were first plundered of what was in them, and then
set on fire by the Romans; wherein no mercy was shown to the
infants, and no regard had to the aged; but they went on in the
slaughter of persons of every age, till all the place was
overflowed with blood, and fifty thousand of them lay dead upon
heaps; nor had the remainder been preserved, had they not
be-taken themselves to supplication. So Alexander commiserated
their condition, and gave orders to the Romans to retire;
accordingly, these being accustomed to obey orders, left off
killing at the first intimation; but the populace of Alexandria
bare so very great hatred to the Jews, that it was difficult to
recall them, and it was a hard thing to make them leave their
dead bodies.

9. And this was the miserable calamity which at this time befell
the Jews at Alexandria. Hereupon Cestius thought fit no longer to
lie still, while the Jews were everywhere up in arms; so he took
out of Antioch the twelfth legion entire, and out of each of the
rest he selected two thousand, with six cohorts of footmen, and
four troops of horsemen, besides those auxiliaries which were
sent by the kings; of which Antiochus sent two thousand horsemen,
and three thousand footmen, with as many archers; and Agrippa
sent the same number of footmen, and one thousand horsemen;
Sohemus also followed with four thousand, a third part whereof
were horsemen, but most part were archers, and thus did he march
to Ptolemais. There were also great numbers of auxiliaries
gathered together from the [free] cities, who indeed had not the
same skill in martial affairs, but made up in their alacrity and
in their hatred to the Jews what they wanted in skill. There came
also along with Cestius Agrippa himself, both as a guide in his
march over the country, and a director what was fit to be done;
so Cestius took part of his forces, and marched hastily to
Zabulon, a strong city of Galilee, which was called the City of
Men, and divides the country of Ptolemais from our nation; this
he found deserted by its men, the multitude having fled to the
mountains, but full of all sorts of good things; those he gave
leave to the soldiers to plunder, and set fire to the city,
although it was of admirable beauty, and had its houses built
like those in Tyre, and Sidon, and Berytus. After this he overran
all the country, and seized upon whatsoever came in his way, and
set fire to the villages that were round about them, and then
returned to Ptolemais. But when the Syrians, and especially those
of Berytus, were busy in plundering, the Jews pulled up their
courage again, for they knew that Cestius was retired, and fell
upon those that were left behind unexpectedly, and destroyed
about two thousand of them. (27)

10. And now Cestius himself marched from Ptolemais, and came to
Cesarea; but he sent part of his army before him to Joppa, and
gave order, that if they could take that city [by surprise] they
should keep it; but that in case the citizens should perceive
they were coming to attack them, that they then should stay for
him, and for the rest of the army. So some of them made a brisk
march by the sea-side, and some by land, and so coming upon them
on both sides, they took the city with ease; and as the
inhabitants had made no provision beforehand for a flight, nor
had gotten any thing ready for fighting, the soldiers fell upon
them, and slew them all, with their families, and then plundered
and burnt the city. The number of the slain was eight thousand
four hundred. In like manner, Cestius sent also a considerable
body of horsemen to the toparchy of Narbatene, that adjoined to
Cesarea, who destroyed the country, and slew a great multitude of
its people; they also plundered what they had, and burnt their

11. But Cestius sent Gallus, the commander of the twelfth legion,
into Galilee, and delivered to him as many of his forces as he
supposed sufficient to subdue that nation. He was received by the
strongest city of Galilee, which was Sepphoris, with acclamations
of joy; which wise conduct of that city occasioned the rest of
the cities to be in quiet; while the seditious part and the
robbers ran away to that mountain which lies in the very middle
of Galilee, and is situated over against Sepphoris; it is called
Asamon. So Gallus brought his forces against them; but while
those men were in the superior parts above the Romans, they
easily threw their darts upon the Romans, as they made their
approaches, and slew about two hundred of them. But when the
Romans had gone round the mountains, and were gotten into the
parts above their enemies, the others were soon beaten; nor could
they who had only light armor on sustain the force of them that
fought them armed all over; nor when they were beaten could they
escape the enemies' horsemen; insomuch that only some few
concealed themselves in certain places hard to be come at, among
the mountains, while the rest, above two thousand in number, were


What Cestius Did Against The Jews; And How, Upon His Besieging
Jerusalem, He Retreated From The City Without Any Just Occasion
In The World. As Also What Severe Calamities He Under Went From
The Jews In His Retreat.

1. And now Gallus, seeing nothing more that looked towards an
innovation in Galilee, returned with his army to Cesarea: but
Cestius removed with his whole army, and marched to Antipatris;
and when he was informed that there was a great body of Jewish
forces gotten together in a certain tower called Aphek, he sent a
party before to fight them; but this party dispersed the Jews by
affrighting them before it came to a battle: so they came, and
finding their camp deserted, they burnt it, as well as the
villages that lay about it. But when Cestius had marched from
Antipatris to Lydda, he found the city empty of its men, for the
whole multitude (28) were gone up to Jerusalem to the feast of
tabernacles; yet did he destroy fifty of those that showed
themselves, and burnt the city, and so marched forwards; and
ascending by Betboron, he pitched his camp at a certain place
called Gabao, fifty furlongs distant from Jerusalem.

2. But as for the Jews, when they saw the war approaching to
their metropolis, they left the feast, and betook themselves to
their arms; and taking courage greatly from their multitude, went
in a sudden and disorderly manner to the fight, with a great
noise, and without any consideration had of the rest of the
seventh day, although the Sabbath (29) was the day to which they
had the greatest regard; but that rage which made them forget the
religious observation [of the sabbath] made them too hard for
their enemies in the fight: with such violence therefore did they
fall upon the Romans, as to break into their ranks, and to march
through the midst of them, making a great slaughter as they went,
insomuch that unless the horsemen, and such part of the footmen
as were not yet tired in the action, had wheeled round, and
succored that part of the army which was not yet broken, Cestius,
with his whole army, had been in danger: however, five hundred
and fifteen of the Romans were slain, of which number four
hundred were footmen, and the rest horsemen, while the Jews lost
only twenty-two, of whom the most valiant were the kinsmen of
Monobazus, king of Adiabene, and their names were Monobazus and
Kenedeus; and next to them were Niger of Perea, and Silas of
Babylon, who had deserted from king Agrippa to the Jews; for he
had formerly served in his army. When the front of the Jewish
army had been cut off, the Jews retired into the city; but still
Simon, the son of Giora, fell upon the backs of the Romans, as
they were ascending up Bethoron, and put the hindmost of the army
into disorder, and carried off many of the beasts that carded the
weapons of war, and led Shem into the city. But as Cestius
tarried there three days, the Jews seized upon the elevated parts
of the city, and set watches at the entrances into the city, and
appeared openly resolved not to rest when once the Romans should
begin to march.

3. And now when Agrippa observed that even the affairs of the
Romans were likely to be in danger, while such an immense
multitude of their enemies had seized upon the mountains round
about, he determined to try what the Jews would agree to by
words, as thinking that he should either persuade them all to
desist from fighting, or, however, that he should cause the sober
part of them to separate themselves from the opposite party. So
he sent Borceus and Phebus, the persons of his party that were
the best known to them, and promised them that Cestius should
give them his right hand, to secure them of the Romans' entire
forgiveness of what they had done amiss, if they would throw away
their arms, and come over to them; but the seditious, fearing
lest the whole multitude, in hopes of security to themselves,
should go over to Agrippa, resolved immediately to fall upon and
kill the ambassadors; accordingly they slew Phebus before he said
a word, but Borceus was only wounded, and so prevented his fate
by flying away. And when the people were very angry at this, they
had the seditious beaten with stones and clubs, and drove them
before them into the city.

4. But now Cestius, observing that the disturbances that were
begun among the Jews afforded him a proper opportunity to attack
them, took his whole army along with him, and put the Jews to
flight, and pursued them to Jerusalem. He then pitched his camp
upon the elevation called Scopus, [or watch-tower,] which was
distant seven furlongs from the city; yet did not he assault them
in three days' time, out of expectation that those within might
perhaps yield a little; and in the mean time he sent out a great
many of his soldiers into neighboring villages, to seize upon
their corn. And on the fourth day, which was the thirtieth of the
month Hyperbereteus, [Tisri,] when he had put his army in array,
he brought it into the city. Now for the people, they were kept
under by the seditious; but the seditious themselves were greatly
affrighted at the good order of the Romans, and retired from the
suburbs, and retreated into the inner part of the city, and into
the temple. But when Cestius was come into the city, he set the
part called Bezetha, which is called Cenopolis, [or the new
city,] on fire; as he did also to the timber market; after which
he came into the upper city, and pitched his camp over against
the royal palace; and had he but at this very time attempted to
get within the walls by force, he had won the city presently, and
the war had been put an end to at once; but Tyrannius Priseus,
the muster-master of the army, and a great number of the officers
of the horse, had been corrupted by Florus, and diverted him from
that his attempt; and that was the occasion that this war lasted
so very long, and thereby the Jews were involved in such
incurable calamities.

5. In the mean time, many of the principal men of the city were
persuaded by Ananus, the son of Jonathan, and invited Cestius
into the city, and were about to open the gates for him; but he
overlooked this offer, partly out of his anger at the Jews, and
partly because he did not thoroughly believe they were in
earnest; whence it was that he delayed the matter so long, that
the seditious perceived the treachery, and threw Ananus and those
of his party down from the wall, and, pelting them with stones,
drove them into their houses; but they stood themselves at proper
distances in the towers, and threw their darts at those that were
getting over the wall. Thus did the Romans make their attack
against the wall for five days, but to no purpose. But on the
next day Cestius took a great many of his choicest men, and with
them the archers, and attempted to break into the temple at the
northern quarter of it; but the Jews beat them off from the
cloisters, and repulsed them several times when they were gotten
near to the wall, till at length the multitude of the darts cut
them off, and made them retire; but the first rank of the Romans
rested their shields upon the wall, and so did those that were
behind them, and the like did those that were still more
backward, and guarded themselves with what they call Testudo,
[the back of] a tortoise, upon which the darts that were thrown
fell, and slided off without doing them any harm; so the soldiers
undermined the wall, without being themselves hurt, and got all
things ready for setting fire to the gate of the temple.

6. And now it was that a horrible fear seized upon the seditious,
insomuch that many of them ran out of the city, as though it were
to be taken immediately; but the people upon this took courage,
and where the wicked part of the city gave ground, thither did
they come, in order to set open the gates, and to admit Cestius
(30) as their benefactor, who, had he but continued the siege a
little longer, had certainly taken the city; but it was, I
suppose, owing to the aversion God had already at the city and
the sanctuary, that he was hindered from putting an end to the
war that very day.

7. It then happened that Cestius was not conscious either how the
besieged despaired of success, nor how courageous the people were
for him; and so he recalled his soldiers from the place, and by
despairing of any expectation of taking it, without having
received any disgrace, he retired from the city, without any
reason in the world. But when the robbers perceived this
unexpected retreat of his, they resumed their courage, and ran
after the hinder parts of his army, and destroyed a considerable
number of both their horsemen and footmen; and now Cestius lay
all night at the camp which was at Scopus; and as he went off
farther next day, he thereby invited the enemy to follow him, who
still fell upon the hindmost, and destroyed them; they also fell
upon the flank on each side of the army, and threw darts upon
them obliquely, nor durst those that were hindmost turn back upon
those who wounded them behind, as imagining that the multitude of
those that pursued them was immense; nor did they venture to
drive away those that pressed upon them on each side, because
they were heavy with their arms, and were afraid of breaking
their ranks to pieces, and because they saw the Jews were light,
and ready for making incursions upon them. And this was the
reason why the Romans suffered greatly, without being able to
revenge themselves upon their enemies; so they were galled all
the way, and their ranks were put into disorder, and those that
were thus put out of their ranks were slain; among whom were
Priscus, the commander of the sixth legion, and Longinus, the
tribune, and Emilius Secundus, the commander of a troop of
horsemen. So it was not without difficulty that they got to
Gabao, their former camp, and that not without the loss of a
great part of their baggage. There it was that Cestius staid two
days, and was in great distress to know what he should do in
these circumstances; but when on the third day he saw a still
much greater number of enemies, and all the parts round about him
full of Jews, he understood that his delay was to his own
detriment, and that if he staid any longer there, he should have
still more enemies upon him.

8. That therefore he might fly the faster, he gave orders to cast
away what might hinder his army's march; so they killed the mules
and other creatures, excepting those that carried their darts and
machines, which they retained for their own use, and this
principally because they were afraid lest the Jews should seize
upon them. He then made his army march on as far as Bethoron. Now
the Jews did not so much press upon them when they were in large
open places; but when they were penned up in their descent
through narrow passages, then did some of them get before, and
hindered them from getting out of them; and others of them thrust
the hinder-most down into the lower places; and the whole
multitude extended themselves over against the neck of the
passage, and covered the Roman army with their darts. In which
circumstances, as the footmen knew not how to defend themselves,
so the danger pressed the horsemen still more, for they were so
pelted, that they could not march along the road in their ranks,
and the ascents were so high, that the cavalry were not able to
march against the enemy; the precipices also and valleys into
which they frequently fell, and tumbled down, were such on each
side of them, that there was neither place for their flight, nor
any contrivance could be thought of for their defense; till the
distress they were at last in was so great, that they betook
themselves to lamentations, and to such mournful cries as men use
in the utmost despair: the joyful acclamations of the Jews also,
as they encouraged one another, echoed the sounds back again,
these last composing a noise of those that at once rejoiced and
were in a rage. Indeed, things were come to such a pass, that the
Jews had almost taken Cestius's entire army prisoners, had not
the night come on, when the Romans fled to Bethoron, and the Jews
seized upon all the places round about them, and watched for
their coming out [in the morning].

9. And then it was that Cestius, despairing of obtaining room for
a public march, contrived how he might best run away; and when he
had selected four hundred of the most courageous of his soldiers,
he placed them at the strongest of their fortifications, and gave
order, that when they went up to the morning guard, they should
erect their ensigns, that the Jews might be made to believe that
the entire army was there still, while he himself took the rest
of his forces with him, and marched, without any noise, thirty
furlongs. But when the Jews perceived, in the morning, that the
camp was empty, they ran upon those four hundred who had deluded
them, and immediately threw their darts at them, and slew them;
and then pursued after Cestius. But he had already made use of a
great part of the night in his flight, and still marched quicker
when it was day; insomuch that the soldiers, through the
astonishment and fear they were in, left behind them their
engines for sieges, and for throwing of stones, and a great part
of the instruments of war. So the Jews went on pursuing the
Romans as far as Antipatris; after which, seeing they could not
overtake them, they came back, and took the engines, and spoiled
the dead bodies, and gathered the prey together which the Romans
had left behind them, and came back running and singing to their
metropolis; while they had themselves lost a few only, but had
slain of the Romans five thousand and three hundred footmen, and
three hundred and eighty horsemen. This defeat happened on the
eighth day of the month Dius, [Marchesvan,] in the twelfth year
of the reign of Nero.


Cestius Sends Ambassadors To Nero. The People Of Damascus Slay
Those Jews That Lived With Them. The People Of Jerusalem After
They Had [Left Off] Pursuing Cestius, Return To The City And Get
Things Ready For Its Defense And Make A Great Many Generals For,
Their Armies And Particularly Josephus The Writer Of These Books.
Some Account Of His Administration.

1. After this calamity had befallen Cestius, many of the most
eminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when
it was going to sink; Costobarus, therefore, and Saul, who were
brethren, together with Philip, the son of Jacimus, who was the
commander of king Agrippa's forces, ran away from the city, and
went to Cestius. But then how Antipas, who had been besieged with
them in the king's palace, but would not fly away with them, was
afterward slain by the seditious, we shall relate hereafter.
However, Cestius sent Saul and his friends, at their own desire,
to Achaia, to Nero, to inform him of the great distress they were
in, and to lay the blame of their kindling the war upon Florus,
as hoping to alleviate his own danger, by provoking his
indignation against Florus.

2. In the mean time, the people of Damascus, when they were
informed of the destruction of the Romans, set about the
slaughter of those Jews that were among them; and as they had
them already cooped up together in the place of public exercises,
which they had done out of the suspicion they had of them, they
thought they should meet with no difficulty in the attempt; yet
did they distrust their own wives, which were almost all of them
addicted to the Jewish religion; on which account it was that
their greatest concern was, how they might conceal these things
from them; so they came upon the Jews, and cut their throats, as
being in a narrow place, in number ten thousand, and all of them
unarmed, and this in one hour's time, without any body to disturb

3. But as to those who had pursued after Cestius, when they were
returned back to Jerusalem, they overbore some of those that
favored the Romans by violence, and some them persuaded [by
en-treaties] to join with them, and got together in great numbers
in the temple, and appointed a great many generals for the war.
Joseph also, the son of Gorion, (31) and Ananus the high priest,
were chosen as governors of all affairs within the city, and with
a particular charge to repair the walls of the city; for they did
not ordain Eleazar the son of Simon to that office, although he
had gotten into his possession the prey they had taken from the
Romans, and the money they had taken from Cestius, together with
a great part of the public treasures, because they saw he was of
a tyrannical temper, and that his followers were, in their
behavior, like guards about him. However, the want they were in
of Eleazar's money, and the subtle tricks used by him, brought
all so about, that the people were circumvented, and submitted
themselves to his authority in all public affairs.

4. They also chose other generals for Idumea; Jesus, the son of
Sapphias, one of the high priests; and Eleazar, the son of
Ananias, the high priest; they also enjoined Niger, the then
governor of Idumea, (32) who was of a family that belonged to
Perea, beyond Jordan, and was thence called the Peraite, that he
should be obedient to those fore-named commanders. Nor did they
neglect the care of other parts of the country; but Joseph the
son of Simon was sent as general to Jericho, as was Manasseh to
Perea, and John, the Esscue, to the toparchy of Thamna; Lydda was
also added to his portion, and Joppa, and Emmaus. But John, the
son of Matthias, was made governor of the toparchies of
Gophnitica and Acrabattene; as was Josephus, the son of Matthias,
of both the Galilees. Gamala also, which was the strongest city
in those parts, was put under his command.

5. So every one of the other commanders administered the affairs
of his portion with that alacrity and prudence they were masters
of; but as to Josephus, when he came into Galilee, his first care
was to gain the good-will of the people of that country, as
sensible that he should thereby have in general good success,
although he should fail in other points. And being conscious to
himself that if he communicated part of his power to the great
men, he should make them his fast friends; and that he should
gain the same favor from the multitude, if he executed his
commands by persons of their own country, and with whom they were
well acquainted; he chose out seventy of the most prudent men,
and those elders in age, and appointed them to be rulers of all
Galilee, as he chose seven judges in every city to hear the
lesser quarrels; for as to the greater causes, and those wherein
life and death were concerned, he enjoined they should be brought
to him and the seventy (33) elders.

6. Josephus also, when he had settled these rules for determining
causes by the law, with regard to the people's dealings one with
another, betook himself to make provisions for their safety
against external violence; and as he knew the Romans would fall
upon Galilee, he built walls in proper places about Jotapata, and
Bersabee, and Selamis; and besides these, about Caphareccho, and
Japha, and Sigo, and what they call Mount Tabor, and Tarichee,
and Tiberias. Moreover, he built walls about the caves near the
lake of Gennesar, which places lay in the Lower Galilee; the same
he did to the places of Upper Galilee, as well as to the rock
called the Rock of the Achabari, and to Seph, and Jamnith, and
Meroth; and in Gaulonitis he fortified Seleucia, and Sogane, and
Gamala; but as to those of Sepphoris, they were the only people
to whom he gave leave to build their own walls, and this because
he perceived they were rich and wealthy, and ready to go to war,
without standing in need of any injunctions for that purpose. The
case was the same with Gischala, which had a wall built about it
by John the son of Levi himself, but with the consent of
Josephus; but for the building of the rest of the fortresses, he
labored together with all the other builders, and was present to
give all the necessary orders for that purpose. He also got
together an army out of Galilee, of more than a hundred thousand
young men, all of which he armed with the old weapons which he
had collected together and prepared for them.

7. And when he had considered that the Roman power became
invincible, chiefly by their readiness in obeying orders, and the
constant exercise of their arms, he despaired of teaching these
his men the use of their arms, which was to be obtained by
experience; but observing that their readiness in obeying orders
was owing to the multitude of their officers, he made his
partitions in his army more after the Roman manner, and appointed
a great many subalterns. He also distributed the soldiers into
various classes, whom he put under captains of tens, and captains
of hundreds, and then under captains of thousands; and besides
these, he had commanders of larger bodies of men. He also taught
them to give the signals one to another, and to call and recall
the soldiers by the trumpets, how to expand the wings of an army,
and make them wheel about; and when one wing hath had success, to
turn again and assist those that were hard set, and to join in
the defense of what had most suffered. He also continually
instructed them ill what concerned the courage of the soul, and
the hardiness of the body; and, above all, he exercised them for
war, by declaring to them distinctly the good order of the
Romans, and that they were to fight with men who, both by the
strength of their bodies and courage of their souls, had
conquered in a manner the whole habitable earth. He told them
that he should make trial of the good order they would observe in
war, even before it came to any battle, in case they would
abstain from the crimes they used to indulge themselves in, such
as theft, and robbery, and rapine, and from defrauding their own
countrymen, and never to esteem the harm done to those that were
so near of kin to them to be any advantage to themselves; for
that wars are then managed the best when the warriors preserve a
good conscience; but that such as are ill men in private life
will not only have those for enemies which attack them, but God
himself also for their antagonist.

8. And thus did he continue to admonish them. Now he chose for
the war such an army as was sufficient, i.e. sixty thousand
footmen, and two hundred and fifty horsemen; (34) and besides
these, on which he put the greatest trust, there were about four
thousand five hundred mercenaries; he had also six hundred men as
guards of his body. Now the cities easily maintained the rest of
his army, excepting the mercenaries, for every one of the cities
enumerated above sent out half their men to the army, and
retained the other half at home, in order to get provisions for
them; insomuch that the one part went to the war, and the other
part to their work, and so those that sent out their corn were
paid for it by those that were in arms, by that security which
they enjoyed from them.


Concerning John Of Gichala. Josephus Uses Stratagems Against The
Plots John Laid Against Him And Recovers Certain Cities Which Had
Revolted From Him.

1. Now as Josephus was thus engaged in the administration of the
affairs of Galilee, there arose a treacherous person, a man of
Gischala, the son of Levi, "whose name was John. His character
was that of a very cunning and very knavish person, beyond the
ordinary rate of the other men of eminence there, and for wicked
practices he had not his fellow any where. Poor he was at first,
and for a long time his wants were a hinderance to him in his
wicked designs. He was a ready liar, and yet very sharp in
gaining credit to his fictions: he thought it a point of virtue
to delude people, and would delude even such as were the dearest
to him. He was a hypocritical pretender to humanity, but where he
had hopes of gain, he spared not the shedding of blood: his
desires were ever carried to great things, and he encouraged his
hopes from those mean wicked tricks which he was the author of.
He had a peculiar knack at thieving; but in some time he got
certain companions in his impudent practices; at first they were
but few, but as he proceeded on in his evil course, they became
still more and more numerous. He took care that none of his
partners should be easily caught in their rogueries, but chose
such out of the rest as had the strongest constitutions of body,
and the greatest courage of soul, together with great skill in
martial affairs; as he got together a band of four hundred men,
who came principally out of the country of Tyre, and were
vagabonds that had run away from its villages; and by the means
of these he laid waste all Galilee, and irritated a considerable
number, who were in great expectation of a war then suddenly to
arise among them.

2. However, John's want of money had hitherto restrained him in
his ambition after command, and in his attempts to advance
himself. But when he saw that Josephus was highly pleased with
the activity of his temper, he persuaded him, in the first place,
to intrust him with the repairing of the walls of his native
city, [Gischala,] in which work he got a great deal of money from
the rich citizens. He after that contrived a very shrewd trick,
and pretending that the Jews who dwelt in Syria were obliged to
make use of oil that was made by others than those of their own
nation, he desired leave of Josephus to send oil to their
borders; so he bought four amphorae with such Tyrian money as was
of the value of four Attic drachmae, and sold every half-amphora
at the same price. And as Galilee was very fruitful in oil, and
was peculiarly so at that time, by sending away great quantities,
and having the sole privilege so to do, he gathered an immense
sum of money together, which money he immediately used to the
disadvantage of him who gave him that privilege; and, as he
supposed, that if he could once overthrow Josephus, he should
himself obtain the government of Galilee; so he gave orders to
the robbers that were under his command to be more zealous in
their thievish expeditions, that by the rise of many that desired
innovations in the country, he might either catch their general
in his snares, as he came to the country's assistance, and then
kill him; or if he should overlook the robbers, he might accuse
him for his negligence to the people of the country. He also
spread abroad a report far and near that Josephus was delivering
up the administration of affairs to the Romans; and many such
plots did he lay, in order to ruin him.

3. Now at the same time that certain young men of the village
Dabaritta, who kept guard in the Great Plain laid snares for
Ptolemy, who was Agrippa's and Bernice's steward, and took from
him all that he had with him; among which things there were a
great many costly garments, and no small number of silver cups,
and six hundred pieces of gold; yet were they not able to conceal
what they had stolen, but brought it all to Josephus, to
Tarichee. Hereupon he blamed them for the violence they had
offered to the king and queen, and deposited what they brought to
him with Eneas, the most potent man of Taricheae, with an
intention of sending the things back to the owners at a proper
time; which act of Josephus brought him into the greatest danger;
for those that had stolen the things had an indignation at him,
both because they gained no share of it for themselves, and
because they perceived beforehand what was Josephus's intention,
and that he would freely deliver up what had cost them so much
pains to the king and queen. These ran away by night to their
several villages, and declared to all men that Josephus was going
to betray them: they also raised great disorders in all the
neighboring cities, insomuch that in the morning a hundred
thousand armed men came running together; which multitude was
crowded together in the hippodrome at Taricheae, and made a very
peevish clamor against him; while some cried out, that they
should depose the traitor; and others, that they should burn him.
Now John irritated a great many, as did also one Jesus, the son
of Sapphias, who was then governor of Tiberias. Then it was that
Josephus's friends, and the guards of his body, were so
affrighted at this violent assault of the multitude, that they
all fled away but four; and as he was asleep, they awaked him, as
the people were going to set fire to the house. And although
those four that remained with him persuaded him to run away, he
was neither surprised at his being himself deserted, nor at the
great multitude that came against him, but leaped out to them
with his clothes rent, and ashes sprinkled on his head, with his
hands behind him, and his sword hanging at his neck. At this
sight his friends, especially those of Tarichae, commiserated his
condition; but those that came out of the country, and those in
their neighborhood, to whom his government seemed burdensome,
reproached him, and bid him produce the money which belonged to
them all immediately, and to confess the agreement he had made to
betray them; for they imagined, from the habit in which he
appeared, that he would deny nothing of what they suspected
concerning him, and that it was in order to obtain pardon that he
had put himself entirely into so pitiable a posture. But this
humble appearance was only designed as preparatory to a stratagem
of his, who thereby contrived to set those that were so angry at
him at variance one with another about the things they were angry
at. However, he promised he would confess all: hereupon he was
permitted to speak, when he said," I did neither intend to send
this money back to Agrippa, nor to gain it myself; for I did
never esteem one that was your enemy to be my friend, nor did I
look upon what would tend to your disadvantage to be my
advantage. But, O you people of Tariehete, I saw that your city
stood in more need than others of fortifications for your
security, and that it wanted money in order for the building it a
wall. I was also afraid lest the people of Tiberias and other
cities should lay a plot to seize upon these spoils, and
therefore it was that I intended to retain this money privately,
that I might encompass you with a wall. But if this does not
please you, I will produce what was brought me, and leave it to
you to plunder it; but if I have conducted myself so well as to
please you, you may if you please punish your benefactor."
4. Hereupon the people of Taricheae loudly commended him; but
those of Tiberias, with the rest of the company, gave him hard
names, and threatened what they would do to him; so both sides
left off quarrelling with Josephus, and fell on quarrelling with
one another. So he grew bold upon the dependence he had on his
friends, which were the people of Taricheae, and about forty
thousand in number, and spake more freely to the whole multitude,
and reproached them greatly for their rashness; and told them,
that with this money he would build walls about Taricheae, and
would put the other cities in a state of security also; for that
they should not want money, if they would but agree for whose
benefit it was to be procured, and would not suffer themselves to
be irritated against him who procured it for them.

5. Hereupon the rest of the multitude that had been deluded
retired; but yet so that they went away angry, and two thousand
of them made an assault upon him in their armor; and as he was
already gone to his own house, they stood without and threatened
him. On which occasion Josephus again used a second stratagem to
escape them; for he got upon the top of his house, and with his
right hand desired them to be silent, and said to them, "I cannot
tell what you would have, nor can hear what you say, for the
confused noise you make;" but he said that he would comply with
all their demands, in case they would but send some of their
number in to him that might talk with him about it. And when the
principal of them, with their leaders, heard this, they came into
the house. He then drew them to the most retired part of the
house, and shut the door of that hall where he put them, and then
had them whipped till every one of their inward parts appeared
naked. In the mean time the multitude stood round the house, and
supposed that he had a long discourse with those that were gone
in about what they claimed of him. He had then the doors set open
immediately, and sent the men out all bloody, which so terribly
aftrighted those that had before threatened him, that they threw
away their arms and ran away.

6. But as for John, his envy grew greater [upon this escape of
Josephus], and he framed a new plot against him; he pretended to
be sick, and by a letter desired that Josephus would give him
leave to use the hot baths that were at Tiberias, for the
recovery of his health. Hereupon Josephus, who hitherto suspected
nothing of John's plots against him, wrote to the governors of
the city, that they would provide a lodging and necessaries for
John; which favors, when he had made use of, in two days' time he
did what he came about; some he corrupted with delusive frauds,
and others with money, and so persuaded them to revolt from
Josephus. This Silas, who was appointed guardian of the city by
Josephus, wrote to him immediately, and informed him of the plot
against him; which epistle when Josephus had received, he marched
with great diligence all night, and came early in the morning to
Tiberias; at which time the rest of the multitude met him. But
John, who suspected that his coming was not for his advantage,
sent however one of his friends, and pretended that he was sick,
and that being confined to his bed, he could not come to pay him
his respects. But as soon as Josephus had got the people of
Tiberias together in the stadium, and tried to discourse with
them about the letters that he had received, John privately sent
some armed men, and gave them orders to slay him. But when the
people saw that the armed men were about to draw their swords,
they cried out; at which cry Josephus turned himself about, and
when he saw that the swords were just at his throat, he marched
away in great haste to the sea-shore, and left off that speech
which he was going to make to the people, upon an elevation of
six cubits high. He then seized on a ship which lay in the haven,
and leaped into it, with two of his guards, and fled away into
the midst of the lake.

7. But now the soldiers he had with him took up their arms
immediately, and marched against the plotters; but Josephus was
afraid lest a civil war should be raised by the envy of a few
men, and bring the city to ruin; so he sent some of his party to
tell them, that they should do no more than provide for their own
safety; that they should not kill any body, nor accuse any for
the occasion they had afforded [of disorder]. Accordingly, these
men obeyed his orders, and were quiet; but the people of the
neighboring country, when they were informed of this plot, and of
the plotter, they got together in great multitudes to oppose
John. But he prevented their attempt, and fled away to Gischala,
his native city, while the Galileans came running out of their
several cities to Josephus; and as they were now become many ten
thousands of armed men, they cried out, that they were come
against John the common plotter against their interest, and would
at the same time burn him, and that city which had received him.
Hereupon Josephus told them that he took their good-will to him
kindly, but still he restrained their fury, and intended to
subdue his enemies by prudent conduct, rather than by slaying
them; so he excepted those of every city which had joined in this
revolt with John, by name, who had readily been shown him by
these that came from every city, and caused public proclamation
to be made, that he would seize upon the effects of those that
did not forsake John within five days' time, and would burn both
their houses and their families with fire. Whereupon three
thousand of John's party left him immediately, who came to
Josephus, and threw their arms down at his feet. John then betook
himself, together with his two thousand Syrian runagates, from
open attempts, to more secret ways of treachery. Accordingly, he
privately sent messengers to Jerusalem, to accuse Josephus, as
having to great power, and to let them know that he would soon
come as a tyrant to their metropolis, unless they prevented him.
This accusation the people were aware of beforehand, but had no
regard to it. However, some of the grandees, out of envy, and
some of the rulers also, sent money to John privately, that he
might be able to get together mercenary soldiers, in order to
fight Josephus; they also made a decree of themselves, and this
for recalling him from his government, yet did they not think
that decree sufficient; so they sent withal two thousand five
hundred armed men, and four persons of the highest rank amongst
them; Joazar the son of Nomicus, and Ananias the son of Sadduk,
as also Simon and Judas the sons of Jonathan, all very able men
in speaking, that these persons might withdraw the good-will of
the people from Josephus. These had it in charge, that if he
would voluntarily come away, they should permit him to [come and]
give an account of his conduct; but if he obstinately insisted
upon continuing in his government, they should treat him as an
enemy. Now Josephus's friends had sent him word that an army was
coming against him, but they gave him no notice beforehand what
the reason of their coming was, that being only known among some
secret councils of his enemies; and by this means it was that
four cities revolted from him immediately, Sepphoris, and Gamala,
and Gischala, and Tiberias. Yet did he recover these cities
without war; and when he had routed those four commanders by
stratagems, and had taken the most potent of their warriors, he
sent them to Jerusalem; and the people [of Galilee] had great
indignation at them, and were in a zealous disposition to slay,
not only these forces, but those that sent them also, had not
these forces prevented it by running away.

8. Now John was detained afterward within the walls of Gischala,
by the fear he was in of Josephus; but within a few days Tiberias
revolted again, the people within it inviting king Agrippa [to
return to the exercise of his authority there]. And when he did
not come at the time appointed, and when a few Roman horsemen
appeared that day, they expelled Josephus out of the city. Now
this revolt of theirs was presently known at Taricheae; and as
Josephus had sent out all the soldiers that were with him to
gather corn, he knew not how either to march out alone against
the revolters, or to stay where he was, because he was afraid the
king's soldiers might prevent him if he tarried, and might get
into the city; for he did not intend to do any thing on the next
day, because it was the sabbath day, and would hinder his
proceeding. So he contrived to circumvent the revolters by a
stratagem; and in the first place he ordered the gates of
Taricheae to be shut, that nobody might go out and inform [those
of Tiberias], for whom it was intended, what stratagem he was
about; he then got together all the ships that were upon the
lake, which were found to be two hundred and thirty, and in each
of them he put no more than four mariners. So he sailed to
Tiberias with haste, and kept at such a distance from the city,
that it was not easy for the people to see the vessels, and
ordered that the empty vessels should float up and down there,
while himself, who had but seven of his guards with him, and
those unarmed also, went so near as to be seen; but when his
adversaries, who were still reproaching him, saw him from the
walls, they were so astonished that they supposed all the ships
were full of armed men, and threw down their arms, and by signals
of intercession they besought him to spare the city.

9. Upon this Josephus threatened them terribly, and reproached
them, that when they were the first that took up arms against the
Romans, they should spend their force beforehand in civil
dissensions, and do what their enemies desired above all things;
and that besides they should endeavor so hastily to seize upon
him, who took care of their safety, and had not been ashamed to
shut the gates of their city against him that built their walls;
that, however, he would admit of any intercessors from them that
might make some excuse for them, and with whom he would make such
agreements as might be for the city's security. Hereupon ten of
the most potent men of Tiberias came down to him presently; and
when he had taken them into one of his vessels, he ordered them
to be carried a great way off from the city. He then commanded
that fifty others of their senate, such as were men of the
greatest eminence, should come to him, that they also might give
him some security on their behalf. After which, under one new
pretense or another, he called forth others, one after another,
to make the leagues between them. He then gave order to the
masters of those vessels which he had thus filled to sail away
immediately for Taricheae, and to confine those men in the prison
there; till at length he took all their senate, consisting of six
hundred persons, and about two thousand of the populace, and
carried them away to Taricheae. (35)

10. And when the rest of the people cried out, that it was one
Clitus that was the chief author of this revolt, they desired him
to spend his anger upon him [only]; but Josephus, whose intention
it was to slay nobody, commanded one Levius, belonging to his
guards, to go out of the vessel, in order to cut off both
Clitus's hands; yet was Levius afraid to go out by himself alone
to such a large body of enemies, and refused to go. Now Clitus
saw that Josephus was in a great passion in the ship, and ready
to leap out of it, in order to execute the punishment himself; he
begged therefore from the shore, that he would leave him one of
his hands; which Josephus agreed to, upon condition that he would
himself cutoff the other hand; accordingly he drew his sword, and
with his right hand cut off his left, so great was the fear he
was in of Josephus himself. And thus he took the people of
Tiberias prisoners, and recovered the city again with empty ships
and seven of his guard. Moreover, a few days afterward he retook
Gischala, which had revolted with the people of Sepphoris, and
gave his soldiers leave to plunder it; yet did he get all the
plunder together, and restored it to the inhabitants; and the
like he did to the inhabitants of Sepphoris and Tiberias. For
when he had subdued those cities, he had a mind, by letting them
be plundered, to give them some good instruction, while at the
same time he regained their good-will by restoring them their
money again.


The Jews Make All Ready For The War; And Simon, The Son Of
Gioras, Falls To Plundering.

1. And thus were the disturbances of Galilee quieted, when, upon
their ceasing to prosecute their civil dissensions, they betook
themselves to make preparations for the war with the Romans. Now
in Jerusalem the high priest Artanus, and do as many of the men
of power as were not in the interest of the Romans, both repaired
the walls, and made a great many warlike instruments, insomuch
that in all parts of the city darts and all sorts of armor were
upon the anvil. Although the multitude of the young men were
engaged in exercises, without any regularity, and all places were
full of tumultuous doings; yet the moderate sort were exceedingly
sad; and a great many there were who, out of the prospect they
had of the calamities that were coming upon them, made great
lamentations. There were also such omens observed as were
understood to be forerunners of evils by such as loved peace, but
were by those that kindled the war interpreted so as to suit
their own inclinations; and the very state of the city, even
before the Romans came against it, was that of a place doomed to
destruction. However, Ananus's concern was this, to lay aside,
for a while, the preparations for the war, and to persuade the
seditious to consult their own interest, and to restrain the
madness of those that had the name of zealots; but their violence
was too hard for him; and what end he came to we shall relate

2. But as for the Acrabbene toparchy, Simon, the son of Gioras,
got a great number of those that were fond of innovations
together, and betook himself to ravage the country; nor did he
only harass the rich men's houses, but tormented their bodies,
and appeared openly and beforehand to affect tyranny in his
government. And when an army was sent against him by Artanus, and
the other rulers, he and his band retired to the robbers that
were at Masada, and staid there, and plundered the country of
Idumea with them, till both Ananus and his other adversaries were
slain; and until the rulers of that country were so afflicted
with the multitude of those that were slain, and with the
continual ravage of what they had, that they raised an army, and
put garrisons into the villages, to secure them from those
insults. And in this state were the affairs of Judea at that


(1) Hear Dean Aldrich's note on this place: "The law or Custom of
the Jews (says he) requires seven days' mourning for the dead,
Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 8. sect. 4; whence the author of the Book of
Ecclesiasticus, ch. 22:12, assigns seven days as the proper time
of mourning for the dead, and, ch. 38:17, enjoins men to mourn
for the dead, that they may not be evil spoken of; for, as
Josephus says presently, if any one omits this mourning [funeral
feast], he is not esteemed a holy person. How it is certain that
such a seven days' mourning has been customary from times of the
greatest antiquity, Genesis 1:10. Funeral feasts are also
mentioned as of considerable antiquity, Ezekiel 24:17; Jeremiah
16:7; Prey. 31:6; Deuteronomy 26:14; Josephus, Of the War B. III.
ch. 9. sect. 5.

(2) This holding a council in the temple of Apollo, in the
emperor's palace at Rome, by Augustus, and even the building of
this temple magnificently by himself in that palace, are exactly
agreeable to Augustus, in his elder years, as Aldrich and from
Suttonius and Propertius.

(3) Here we have a strong confirmation that it was Xerxes, and
not Artaxerxes, under whom the main part of the Jews returned out
of the Babylonian captivity, i.e. in the days of Ezra and
Nehemiah. The same thing is in the Antiquities, B. XI. ch.6

(4) This practice of the Essens, in refusing to swear, and
esteeming swearing in ordinary occasions worse than perjury, is
delivered here in general words, as are the parallel injunctions
of our Savior, Matthew 6:34; 23:16; and of St. James, 5:12; but
all admit of particular exceptions for solemn causes, and on
great and necessary occasions. Thus these very Essens, who here
do so zealously avoid swearing, are related, in the very next
section, to admit none till they take tremendous oaths to perform
their several duties to God, and to their neighbor, without
supposing they thereby break this rule, Not to swear at all. The
case is the same in Christianity, as we learn from the
Apostolical Constitutions, which although they agree with Christ
and St. James, in forbidding to swear in general, ch. 5:12; 6:2,
3; yet do they explain it elsewhere, by avoiding to swear
falsely, and to swear often and in vain, ch. 2:36; and again, by
"not swearing at all," but withal adding, that "if that cannot be
avoided, to swear truly," ch. 7:3; which abundantly explain to us
the nature of the measures of this general injunction.

(5) This mention of the "names of angels," so particularly
preserved by the Essens, (if it means more than those
"messengers" which were employed to bring, them the peculiar
books of their Sect,) looks like a prelude to that "worshipping
of angels," blamed by St. Paul, as superstitious and unlawful, in
some such sort of people as these Essens were, Colossians 2:8; as
is the prayer to or towards the sun for his rising every morning,
mentioned before, sect. 5, very like those not much later
observances made mention of in the preaching of Peter, Authent.
Rec. Part II. p. 669, and regarding a kind of worship of angels,
of the month, and of the moon, and not celebrating the new moons,
or other festivals, unless the moon appeared. Which, indeed,
seems to me the earliest mention of any regard to the phases in
fixing the Jewish calendar, of which the Talmud and later Rabbins
talk so much, and upon so very little ancient foundation.

(6) Of these Jewish or Essene (and indeed Christian) doctrines
concerning souls, both good and bad, in Hades, see that excellent
discourse, or homily, of our Josephus concerning Hades, at the
end of the volume.

(7) Dean Aldrich reckons up three examples of this gift of
prophecy in several of these Essens out of Josephus himself, viz.
in the History of the War, B. I. ch. 3. sect. 5, Judas foretold
the death of Antigonus at Strato's Tower; B. II. ch. 7. sect. 3,
Simon foretold that Archelaus should reign but nine or ten years;
and Antiq. B. XV. ch. 10. sect. 4, 5, Menuhem foretold that Herod
should be king, and should reign tyrannically, and that for more
than twenty or even thirty years. All which came to pass

(8) There is so much more here about the Essens than is cited
from Josephus in Porphyry and Eusebius, and yet so much less
about the Pharisees and Sadducees, the two other Jewish sects,
than would naturally be expected in proportion to the Essens or
third sect, nay, than seems to be referred to by himself
elsewhere, that one is tempted to suppose Josephus had at first
written less of the one, and more of the two others, than his
present copies afford us; as also, that, by some unknown
accident, our present copies are here made up of the larger
edition in the first case, and of the smaller in the second. See
the note in Havercamp's edition. However, what Josephus says in
the name of the Pharisees, that only the souls of good men go out
of one body into another, although all souls be immortal, and
still the souls of the bad are liable to eternal punishment; as
also what he says afterwards, Antiq. B. XVIII. ch. 1. sect. 3,
that the soul's vigor is immortal, and that under the earth they
receive rewards or punishments according as their lives have been
virtuous or vicious in the present world; that to the bad is
allotted an eternal prison, but that the good are permitted to
live again in this world; are nearly agreeable to the doctrines
of Christianity. Only Josephus's rejection of the return of the
wicked into other bodies, or into this world, which he grants to
the good, looks somewhat like a contradiction to St. Paul's
account of the doctrine of the Jews, that they "themselves
allowed that there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of
the just and unjust," Acts 24:15. Yet because Josephus's account
is that of the Pharisees, and St. Patti's that of the Jews in
general, and of himself the contradiction is not very certain.

(9) We have here, in that Greek MS. which was once Alexander
Petavius's, but is now in the library at Leyden, two most
remarkable additions to the common copies, though declared worth
little remark by the editor; which, upon the mention of
Tiberius's coming to the empire, inserts first the famous
testimony of Josephus concerning Jesus Christ, as it stands
verbatim in the Antiquities, B. XVIII. ch. 3. sect. 3, with some
parts of that excellent discourse or homily of Josephus
concerning Hades, annexed to the work. But what is here
principally to be noted is this, that in this homily, Josephus
having just mentioned Christ, as "God the Word, and the Judge of
the world, appointed by the Father," etc., adds, that "he had
himself elsewhere spoken about him more nicely or particularly."

(10) This use of corban, or oblation, as here applied to the
sacred money dedicated to God in the treasury of the temple,
illustrates our Savior's words, Mark 7:11, 12.

(11) Tacitus owns that Caius commanded the Jews to place his
effigies in their temple, though he be mistaken when he adds that
the Jews thereupon took arms.

(12) This account of a place near the mouth of the river Belus in
Phoenicia, whence came that sand out of which the ancients made
their glass, is a known thing in history, particularly in Tacitus
and Strabo, and more largely in Pliny.

(13) This Memnon had several monuments, and one of them appears,
both by Strabo and Diodorus, to have been in Syria, and not
improbably in this very place.

(14) Reland notes here, that the Talmud in recounting ten sad
accidents for which the Jews ought to rend their garments,
reckons this for one, "When they hear that the law of God is

(15) This Ummidius, or Numidius, or, as Tacitus calls him,
Vinidius Quadratus, is mentioned in an ancient inscription, still
preserved, as Spanhelm here informs us, which calls him Urnmidius

(16) Take the character of this Felix (who is well known from the
Acts of the Apostles, particularly from his trembling when St.
Paul discoursed of "righteousness, chastity, and judgment to
come," Acts 24:5; and no wonder, when we have elsewhere seen that
he lived in adultery with Drusilla, another man's wife, (Antiq.
B. XX. ch. 7. sect. 1) in the words of Tacitus, produced here by
Dean Aldrich: "Felix exercised," says Tacitas, "the authority of
a king, with the disposition of a slave, and relying upon the
great power of his brother Pallas at court, thought he might
safely be guilty of all kinds of wicked practices." Observe also
the time when he was made procurator, A.D. 52; that when St. Paul
pleaded his cause before him, A.D. 58, he might have been "many
years a judge unto that nation," as St. Paul says he had then
been, Acts 24:10. But as to what Tacitus here says, that before
the death of Cumanus, Felix was procurator over Samaria only,
does not well agree with St. Paul's words, who would hardly have
called Samaria a Jewish nation. In short, since what Tacitus here
says is about countries very remote from Rome, where he lived;
since what he says of two Roman procurators, the one over
Galilee, the other over Samaria at the same time, is without
example elsewhere; and since Josephus, who lived at that very
time in Judea, appears to have known nothing of this
procuratorship of Felix, before the death of Cureanus; I much
suspect the story itself as nothing better than a mistake of
Tacitus, especially when it seems not only omitted, but
contradicted by Josephus; as any one may find that compares their
histories together. Possibly Felix might have been a subordinate
judge among the Jews some time before under Cureanus, but that he
was in earnest a procurator of Samaria before I do not believe.
Bishop Pearson, as well as Bishop Lloyd, quote this account, but
with a doubtful clause: confides Tacito, "If we may believe
Tacitus." Pears. Anhal. Paulin. p. 8; Marshall's Tables, at A.D.

(17) i.e. Herod king of Chalcis.

(18) Not long after this beginning of Florus, the wickedest of
all the Roman procurators of Judea, and the immediate occasion of
the Jewish war, at the twelfth year of Nero, and the seventeenth
of Agrippa, or A.D. 66, the history in the twenty books of
Josephus's Antiquities ends, although Josephus did not finish
these books till the thirteenth of Domitian, or A.D. 93,
twenty-seven years afterward; as he did not finish their
Appendix, containing an account of his own life, till Agrippa was
dead, which happened in the third year of Trajan, or A. D. 100,
as I have several times observed before.

(19) Here we may note, that three millions of the Jews were
present at the passover, A.D. 65; which confirms what Josephus
elsewhere informs us of, that at a passover a little later they
counted two hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred paschal
lambs, which, at twelve to each lamb, which is no immoderate
calculation, come to three millions and seventy-eight thousand.
See B. VI. ch. 9. sect. 3.

(20) Take here Dr. Hudson's very pertinent note. "By this
action," says he, "the killing of a bird over an earthen vessel,
the Jews were exposed as a leprous people; for that was to be
done by the law in the cleansing of a leper, Leviticus 14. It is
also known that the Gentiles reproached the Jews as subject to
the leprosy, and believed that they were driven out of Egypt on
that account. This that eminent person Mr. Reland suggested to

(21) Here we have examples of native Jews who were of the
equestrian order among the Romans, and so ought never to have
been whipped or crucified, according to the Roman laws. See
almost the like case in St. Paul himself, Acts 22:25-29.

(22) This vow which Bernice (here and elsewhere called queen, not
only as daughter and sister to two kings, Agrippa the Great, and
Agrippa junior, but the widow of Herod king of Chalcis) came now
to accomplish at Jerusalem was not that of a Nazarite, but such a
one as religious Jews used to make, in hopes of any deliverance
from a disease, or other danger, as Josephus here intimates.
However, these thirty days' abode at Jerusalem, for fasting and
preparation against the oblation of a proper sacrifice, seems to
be too long, unless it were wholly voluntary in this great lady.
It is not required in the law of Moses relating to Nazarites,
Numbers 6., and is very different from St. Paul's time for such
preparation, which was but one day, Acts 21:26. So we want
already the continuation of the Antiquities to afford us light
here, as they have hitherto done on so many occasions elsewhere.
Perhaps in this age the traditions of the Pharisees had obliged
the Jews to this degree of rigor, not only as to these thirty
days' preparation, but as to the going barefoot all that time,
which here Bernice submitted to also. For we know that as God's
and our Savior's yoke is usually easy, and his burden
comparatively light, in such positive injunctions, Matthew 11:30,
so did the scribes and Pharisees sometimes "bind upon men heavy
burdens, and grievous to be borne," even when they themselves
"would not touch them with one of their fingers," Matthew 23:4;
Luke 11:46. However, Noldius well observes, De Herod. No. 404,
414, that Juvenal, in his sixth satire, alludes to this
remarkable penance or submission of this Bernice to Jewish
discipline, and jests upon her for it; as do Tacitus, Dio,
Suetonius, and Sextus Aurelius mention her as one well known at

(23) I take this Bezetha to be that small hill adjoining to the
north side of the temple, whereon was the hospital with five
porticoes or cloisters, and beneath which was the sheep pool of
Bethesda; into which an angel or messenger, at a certain season,
descended, and where he or they who were the "first put into the
pool" were cured, John 5:1 etc. This situation of Bezetha, in
Josephus, on the north side of the temple, and not far off the
tower Antonia, exactly agrees to the place of the same pool at
this day; only the remaining cloisters are but three. See
Maundrel, p. 106. The entire buildings seem to have been called
the New City, and this part, where was the hospital, peculiarly
Bezetha or Bethesda. See ch. 19. sect. 4.

(24) In this speech of king Agrippa we have an authentic account
of the extent and strength of the Roman empire when the Jewish
war began. And this speech with other circumstances in Josephus,
demonstrate how wise and how great a person Agrippa was, and why
Josephus elsewhere calls him a most wonderful or admirable man,
Contr. Ap. I. 9. He is the same Agrippa who said to Paul," Almost
thou persuadest me to be a Christian," Acts 26;28; and of whom
St. Paul said, "He was expert in all the customs and questions of
the Jews," yet. 3. See another intimation of the limits of the
same Roman empire, Of the War, B. III. ch. 5. sect. 7. But what
seems to me very remarkable here is this, that when Josephus, in
imitation of the Greeks and Romans, for whose use he wrote his
Antiquities, did himself frequently he into their they appear, by
the politeness of their composition, and their flights of
oratory, to be not the real speeches of the persons concerned,
who usually were no orators, but of his own elegant composure,
the speech before us is of another nature, full of undeniable
facts, and composed in a plain and unartful, but moving way; so
it appears to be king Agrippa's own speech, and to have been
given Josephus by Agrippa himself, with whom Josephus had the
greatest friendship. Nor may we omit Agrippa's constant doctrine
here, that this vast Roman empire was raised and supported by
Divine Providence, and that therefore it was in vain for the
Jews, or any others, to think of destroying it. Nor may we
neglect to take notice of Agrippa's solemn appeal to the angels
here used; the like appeals to which we have in St. Paul, 1
Timothy 5:22, and by the apostles in general, in the form of the
ordination of bishops, Constitut. Apost. VIII. 4.

(25) Julius Caesar had decreed that the Jews of Jerusalem should
pay an annual tribute to the Romans, excepting the city Joppa,
and for the sabbatical year; as Spanheim observes from the Antiq.
B. XIV. ch. 10. sect. 6.

(26) Of this Sohemus we have mention made by Tacitus. We also
learn from Dio that his father was king of the Arabians of
Iturea, [which Iturea is mentioned by St. Luke, ch. 3:1.] both
whose testimonies are quoted here by Dr. Hudson. See Noldius, No.

(27) Spanheim notes on the place, that this later Antiochus, who
was called Epiphaues, is mentioned by Dio, LIX. p. 645, and that
he is mentioned by Josephus elsewhere twice also, B.V. ch. 11.
sect. 3; and Antiq. B. XIX. ch. 8. sect. I.

(28) Here we have an eminent example of that Jewish language,
which Dr. Wail truly observes, we several times find used in the
sacred writings; I mean, where the words "all" or" whole
multitude,"etc. are used for much the greatest part only; but not
so as to include every person, without exception; for when
Josephus had said that "the whole multitude" [all the males] of
Lydda were gone to the feast of tabernacles, he immediately adds,
that, however, no fewer than fifty of them appeared, and were
slain by the Romans. Other examples somewhat like this I have
observed elsewhere in Josephus, but, as I think, none so
remarkable as this. See Wall's Critical Observations on the Old
Testament, p. 49, 50.

(29) We have also, in this and the next section, two eminent
facts to be observed, viz. the first example, that I remember, in
Josephus, of the onset of the Jews' enemies upon their country
when their males were gone up to Jerusalem to one of their three
sacred festivals; which, during the theocracy, God had promised
to preserve them from, Exodus 34:24. The second fact is this, the
breach of the sabbath by the seditions Jews in an offensive
fight, contrary to the universal doctrine and practice of their
nation in these ages, and even contrary to what they themselves
afterward practiced in the rest of this war. See the note on
Antiq. B. XVI. ch. 2. sect. 4.

(30) There may another very important, and very providential,
reason be here assigned for this strange and foolish retreat of
Cestius; which, if Josephus had been now a Christian, he might
probably have taken notice of also; and that is, the affording
the Jewish Christians in the city an opportunity of calling to
mind the prediction and caution given them by Christ about
thirty-three years and a half before, that "when they should see
the abomination of desolation" [the idolatrous Roman armies, with
the images of their idols in their ensigns, ready to lay
Jerusalem desolate] "stand where it ought not;" or, "in the holy
place;" or, "when they should see Jerusalem any one instance of a
more unpolitic, but more providential, compassed with armies;"
they should then "flee to the mound conduct than this retreat of
Cestius visible during this whole rains." By complying with which
those Jewish Christians fled I siege of Jerusalem; which yet was
providentially such a "great to the mountains of Perea, and
escaped this destruction. See tribulation, as had not been from
the beginning of the world to that time; no, Lit. Accompl. of
Proph. p. 69, 70. Nor was there, perhaps, nor ever should
be."--Ibid. p. 70, 71.

(31) From this name of Joseph the son of Gorion, or Gorion the
son of Joseph, as B. IV. ch. 3. sect. 9, one of the governors of
Jerusalem, who was slain at the beginning of the tumults by the
zealots, B. IV. ch. 6. sect. 1, the much later Jewish author of a
history of that nation takes his title, and yet personates our
true Josephus, the son of Matthias; but the cheat is too gross to
be put upon the learned world.

(32) We may observe here, that the Idumeans, as having been
proselytes of justice since the days of John Hyrcanus, during
about one hundred and ninety-five years, were now esteemed as
part of the Jewish nation, and these provided of a Jewish
commander accordingly. See the note upon Antiq. B. XIII.. ch. 9.
sect. 1.

(33) We see here, and in Josephus's account of his own life,
sect. 14, how exactly he imitated his legislator Moses, or
perhaps only obeyed what he took to be his perpetual law, in
appointing seven lesser judges, for smaller causes, in particular
cities, and perhaps for the first hearing of greater causes, with
the liberty of an appeal to seventy-one supreme judges,
especially in those causes where life and death were concerned;
as Antiq. B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 14; and of his Life, sect. 14. See
also Of the War, B. IV. ch. 5. sect. 4. Moreover, we find, sect.
7, that he imitated Moses, as well as the Romans, in the number
and distribution of the subaltern officers of his army, as Exodus
18:25; Deuteronomy 1:15; and in his charge against the offenses
common among soldiers, as Denteronomy 13:9; in all which he
showed his great wisdom and piety, and skillful conduct in
martial affairs. Yet may we discern in his very high character of
Artanus the high priest, B. IV. ch. 5. sect. 2, who seems to have
been the same who condemned St. James, bishop of Jerusalem, to be
stoned, under Albinus the procurator, that when he wrote these
books of the War, he was not so much as an Ebionite Christian;
otherwise he would not have failed, according to his usual
custom, to have reckoned this his barbarous murder as a just
punishment upon him for that his cruelty to the chief, or rather
only Christian bishop of the circumcision. Nor, had he been then
a Christian, could he immediately have spoken so movingly of the
causes of the destruction of Jerusalem, without one word of
either the condemnation of James, or crucifixion of Christ, as he
did when he was become a Christian afterward.

(34) I should think that an army of sixty thousand footmen should
require many more than two hundred and fifty horsemen; and we
find Josephus had more horsemen under his command than two
hundred and fifty in his future history. I suppose the number of
the thousands is dropped in our present copies.

(35) I cannot but think this stratagem of Josephus, which is
related both here and in his Life, sect. 32, 33, to be one of the
finest that ever was invented and executed by any warrior


Containing The Interval Of About One Year.

From Vespasian's Coming To Subdue The Jews To The Taking Of


Vespasian Is Sent Into Syria By Nero In Order To Make War With
The Jews.

1. When Nero was informed of the Romans' ill success in Judea, a
concealed consternation and terror, as is usual in such cases,
fell upon him; although he openly looked very big, and was very
angry, and said that what had happened was rather owing to the
negligence of the commander, than to any valor of the enemy: and
as he thought it fit for him, who bare the burden of the whole
empire, to despise such misfortunes, he now pretended so to do,
and to have a soul superior to all such sad accidents whatsoever.
Yet did the disturbance that was in his soul plainly appear by
the solicitude he was in [how to recover his affairs again].
2. And as he was deliberating to whom he should commit the care
of the East, now it was in so great a commotion, and who might be
best able to punish the Jews for their rebellion, and might
prevent the same distemper from seizing upon the neighboring
nations also, - he found no one but Vespasian equal to the task,
and able to undergo the great burden of so mighty a war, seeing
he was growing an old man already in the camp, and from his youth
had been exercised in warlike exploits: he was also a man that
had long ago pacified the west, and made it subject to the
Romans, when it had been put into disorder by the Germans; he had
also recovered to them Britain by his arms, which had been little
known before (1) whereby he procured to his father Claudius to
have a triumph bestowed on him without any sweat or labor of his

3. So Nero esteemed these circumstances as favorable omens, and
saw that Vespasian's age gave him sure experience, and great
skill, and that he had his sons as hostages for his fidelity to
himself, and that the flourishing age they were in would make
them fit instruments under their father's prudence. Perhaps also
there was some interposition of Providence, which was paving the
way for Vespasian's being himself emperor afterwards. Upon the
whole, he sent this man to take upon him the command of the
armies that were in Syria; but this not without great encomiums
and flattering compellations, such as necessity required, and
such as might mollify him into complaisance. So Vespasian sent
his son Titus from Achaia, where he had been with Nero, to
Alexandria, to bring back with him from thence the fifth and. the
tenth legions, while he himself, when he had passed over the
Hellespont, came by land into Syria, where he gathered together
the Roman forces, with a considerable number of auxiliaries from
the kings in that neighborhood.


A Great Slaughter About Ascalon. Vespasian Comes To Ptolemais.
1. Now the Jews, after they had beaten Cestius, were so much
elevated with their unexpected success, that they could not
govern their zeal, but, like people blown up into a flame by
their good fortune, carried the war to remoter places.
Accordingly, they presently got together a great multitude of all
their most hardy soldiers, and marched away for Ascalon. This is
an ancient city that is distant from Jerusalem five hundred and
twenty furlongs, and was always an enemy to the Jews; on which
account they determined to make their first effort against it,
and to make their approaches to it as near as possible. This
excursion was led on by three men, who were the chief of them
all, both for strength and sagacity; Niger, called the Persite,
Silas of Babylon, and besides them John the Essene. Now Ascalon
was strongly walled about, but had almost no assistance to be
relied on [near them], for the garrison consisted of one cohort
of footmen, and one troop of horsemen, whose captain was

2. These Jews, therefore, out of their anger, marched faster than
ordinary, and, as if they had come but a little way, approached
very near the city, and were come even to it; but Antonius, who
was not unapprized of the attack they were going to make upon the
city, drew out his horsemen beforehand, and being neither daunted
at the multitude, nor at the courage of the enemy, received their
first attacks with great bravery; and when they crowded to the
very walls, he beat them off. Now the Jews were unskillful in
war, but were to fight with those who were skillful therein; they
were footmen to fight with horsemen; they were in disorder, to
fight those that were united together; they were poorly armed, to
fight those that were completely so; they were to fight more by
their rage than by sober counsel, and were exposed to soldiers
that were exactly obedient; and did every thing they were bidden
upon the least intimation. So they were easily beaten; for as
soon as ever their first ranks were once in disorder, they were
put to flight by the enemy's cavalry, and those of them that came
behind such as crowded to the wall fell upon their own party's
weapons, and became one another's enemies; and this so long till
they were all forced to give way to the attacks of the horsemen,
and were dispersed all the plain over, which plain was wide, and
all fit for the horsemen; which circumstance was very commodious
for the Romans, and occasioned the slaughter of the greatest
number of the Jews; for such as ran away, they could overrun
them, and make them turn back; and when they had brought them
back after their flight, and driven them together, they ran them
through, and slew a vast number of them, insomuch that others
encompassed others of them, and drove them before them
whithersoever they turned themselves, and slew them easily with
their arrows; and the great number there were of the Jews seemed
a solitude to themselves, by reason of the distress they were in,
while the Romans had such good success with their small number,
that they seemed to themselves to be the greater multitude. And
as the former strove zealously under their misfortunes, out of
the shame of a sudden flight, and hopes of the change in their
success, so did the latter feel no weariness by reason of their
good fortune; insomuch that the fight lasted till the evening,
till ten thousand men of the Jews' side lay dead, with two of
their generals, John and Silas, and the greater part of the
remainder were wounded, with Niger, their remaining general, who
fled away together to a small city of Idumea, called Sallis. Some
few also of the Romans were wounded in this battle.

3. Yet were not the spirits of the Jews broken by so great a
calamity, but the losses they had sustained rather quickened
their resolution for other attempts; for, overlooking the dead
bodies which lay under their feet, they were enticed by their
former glorious actions to venture on a second destruction; so
when they had lain still so little a while that their wounds were
not yet thoroughly cured, they got together all their forces, and
came with greater fury, and in much greater numbers, to Ascalon.
But their former ill fortune followed them, as the consequence of
their unskilfulness, and other deficiencies in war; for Antonius
laid ambushes for them in the passages they were to go through,
where they fell into snares unexpectedly, and where they were
encompassed about with horsemen, before they could form
themselves into a regular body for fighting, and were above eight
thousand of them slain; so all the rest of them ran away, and
with them Niger, who still did a great many bold exploits in his
flight. However, they were driven along together by the enemy,
who pressed hard upon them, into a certain strong tower belonging
to a village called Bezedeh However, Antonius and his party, that
they might neither spend any considerable time about this tower,
which was hard to be taken, nor suffer their commander, and the
most courageous man of them all, to escape from them, they set
the wall on fire; and as the tower was burning, the Romans went
away rejoicing, as taking it for granted that Niger was
destroyed; but he leaped out of the tower into a subterraneous
cave, in the innermost part of it, and was preserved; and on the
third day afterward he spake out of the ground to those that with
great lamentation were searching for him, in order to give him a
decent funeral; and when he was come out, he filled all the Jews
with an unexpected joy, as though he were preserved by God's
providence to be their commander for the time to come.

4. And now Vespasian took along with him his army from Antioch,
(which is the metropolis of Syria, and without dispute deserves
the place of the third city in the habitable earth that was under
the Roman empire, (2) both in magnitude, and other marks of
prosperity,) where he found king Agrippa, with all his forces,
waiting for his coming, and marched to Ptolemais. At this city
also the inhabitants of Sepphoris of Galilee met him, who were
for peace with the Romans. These citizens had beforehand taken
care of their own safety, and being sensible of the power of the
Romans, they had been with Cestius Gallus before Vespasian came,
and had given their faith to him, and received the security of
his right hand, and had received a Roman garrison; and at this
time withal they received Vespasian, the Roman general, very
kindly, and readily promised that they would assist him against
their own countrymen. Now the general delivered them, at their
desire, as many horsemen and footmen as he thought sufficient to
oppose the incursions of the Jews, if they should come against
them. And indeed the danger of losing Sepphoris would be no small
one, in this war that was now beginning, seeing it was the
largest city of Galilee, and built in a place by nature very
strong, and might be a security of the whole nation's [fidelity
to the Romans].


A Description Op Galilee, Samaria, And Judea.

1. Now Phoenicia and Syria encompass about the Galilees, which
are two, and called the Upper Galilee and the Lower. They are
bounded toward the sun-setting, with the borders of the territory
belonging to Ptolemais, and by Carmel; which mountain had
formerly belonged to the Galileans, but now belonged to the
Tyrians; to which mountain adjoins Gaba, which is called the City
of Horsemen, because those horsemen that were dismissed by Herod
the king dwelt therein; they are bounded on the south with
Samaria and Scythopolis, as far as the river Jordan; on the east
with Hippeae and Gadaris, and also with Ganlonitis, and the
borders of the kingdom of Agrippa; its northern parts are hounded
by Tyre, and the country of the Tyrians. As for that Galilee
which is called the Lower, it, extends in length from Tiberias to
Zabulon, and of the maritime places Ptolemais is its neighbor;
its breadth is from the village called Xaloth, which lies in the
great plain, as far as Bersabe, from which beginning also is
taken the breadth of the Upper Galilee, as far as the village
Baca, which divides the land of the Tyrians from it; its length
is also from Meloth to Thella, a village near to Jordan.

2. These two Galilees, of so great largeness, and encompassed
with so many nations of foreigners, have been always able to make
a strong resistance on all occasions of war; for the Galileans
are inured to war from their infancy, and have been always very
numerous; nor hath the country been ever destitute of men of
courage, or wanted a numerous set of them; for their soil is
universally rich and fruitful, and full of the plantations of
trees of all sorts, insomuch that it invites the most slothful to
take pains in its cultivation, by its fruitfulness; accordingly,
it is all cultivated by its inhabitants, and no part of it lies
idle. Moreover, the cities lie here very thick, and the very many
villages there are here are every where so full of people, by the
richness of their soil, that the very least of them contain above
fifteen thousand inhabitants.

3. In short, if any one will suppose that Galilee is inferior to
Perea in magnitude, he will be obliged to prefer it before it in
its strength; for this is all capable of cultivation, and is
every where fruitful; but for Perea, which is indeed much larger
in extent, the greater part of it is desert and rough, and much
less disposed for the production of the milder kinds of fruits;
yet hath it a moist soil [in other parts], and produces all kinds
of fruits, and its plains are planted with trees of all sorts,
while yet the olive tree, the vine, and the palm tree are chiefly
cultivated there. It is also sufficiently watered with torrents,
which issue out of the mountains, and with springs that never
fail to run, even when the torrents fail them, as they do in the
dog-days. Now the length of Perea is from Macherus to Pella, and
its breadth from Philadelphia to Jordan; its northern parts are
bounded by Pella, as we have already said, as well as its Western
with Jordan; the land of Moab is its southern border, and its
eastern limits reach to Arabia, and Silbonitis, and besides to
Philadelphene and Gerasa.

4. Now as to the country of Samaria, it lies between Judea and
Galilee; it begins at a village that is in the great plain called
Ginea, and ends at the Acrabbene toparchy, and is entirely of the
same nature with Judea; for both countries are made up of hills
and valleys, and are moist enough for agriculture, and are very
fruitful. They have abundance of trees, and are full of autumnal
fruit, both that which grows wild, and that which is the effect
of cultivation. They are not naturally watered by many rivers,
but derive their chief moisture from rain-water, of which they
have no want; and for those rivers which they have, all their
waters are exceeding sweet: by reason also of the excellent grass
they have, their cattle yield more milk than do those in other
places; and, what is the greatest sign of excellency and of
abundance, they each of them are very full of people.

5. In the limits of Samaria and Judea lies the village Anuath,
which is also named Borceos. This is the northern boundary of
Judea. The southern parts of Judea, if they be measured
lengthways, are bounded by a Village adjoining to the confines of
Arabia; the Jews that dwell there call it Jordan. However, its
breadth is extended from the river Jordan to Joppa. The city
Jerusalem is situated in the very middle; on which account some
have, with sagacity enough, called that city the Navel of the
country. Nor indeed is Judea destitute of such delights as come
from the sea, since its maritime places extend as far as
Ptolemais: it was parted into eleven portions, of which the royal
city Jerusalem was the supreme, and presided over all the
neighboring country, as the head does over the body. As to the
other cities that were inferior to it, they presided over their
several toparchies; Gophna was the second of those cities, and
next to that Acrabatta, after them Thamna, and Lydda, and Emmaus,
and Pella, and Idumea, and Engaddi, and Herodium, and Jericho;
and after them came Jamnia and Joppa, as presiding over the
neighboring people; and besides these there was the region of
Gamala, and Gaulonitis, and Batanea, and Trachonitis, which are
also parts of the kingdom of Agrippa. This [last] country begins
at Mount Libanus, and the fountains of Jordan, and reaches
breadthways to the lake of Tiberias; and in length is extended
from a village called Arpha, as far as Julias. Its inhabitants
are a mixture of Jews and Syrians. And thus have I, with all
possible brevity, described the country of Judea, and those that
lie round about it.


Josephus Makes An Attempt Upon Sepphoris But Is Repelled. Titus
Comes With A Great Army To Ptolemais.

1. Now the auxiliaries which were sent to assist the people of
Sepphoris, being a thousand horsemen, and six thousand footmen,
under Placidus the tribune, pitched their camp in two bodies in
the great plain. The foot were put into the city to be a guard to
it, but the horse lodged abroad in the camp. These last, by
marching continually one way or other, and overrunning the parts
of the adjoining country, were very troublesome to Josephus and
his men; they also plundered all the places that were out of the
city's liberty, and intercepted such as durst go abroad. On this
account it was that Josephus marched against the city, as hoping
to take what he had lately encompassed with so strong a wall,
before they revolted from the rest of the Galileans, that the
Romans would have much ado to take it; by which means he proved
too weak, and failed of his hopes, both as to the forcing the
place, and as to his prevailing with the people of Sepphoris to
deliver it up to him. By this means he provoked the Romans to
treat the country according to the law of war; nor did the
Romans, out of the anger they bore at this attempt, leave off,
either by night or by day, burning the places in the plain, and
stealing away the cattle that were in the country, and killing
whatsoever appeared capable of fighting perpetually, and leading
the weaker people as slaves into captivity; so that Galilee was
all over filled with fire and blood; nor was it exempted from any
kind of misery or calamity, for the only refuge they had was
this, that when they were pursued, they could retire to the
cities which had walls built them by Josephus.

2. But as to Titus, he sailed over from Achaia to Alexandria, and
that sooner than the winter season did usually permit; so he took
with him those forces he was sent for, and marching with great
expedition, he came suddenly to Ptolemais, and there finding his
father, together with the two legions, the fifth and the tenth,
which were the most eminent legions of all, he joined them to
that fifteenth legion which was with his father; eighteen cohorts
followed these legions; there came also five cohorts from
Cesarea, with one troop of horsemen, and five other troops of
horsemen from Syria. Now these ten cohorts had severally a
thousand footmen, but the other thirteen cohorts had no more than
six hundred footmen apiece, with a hundred and twenty horsemen.
There were also a considerable number of auxiliaries got
together, that came from the kings Antiochus, and Agrippa, and
Sohemus, each of them contributing one thousand footmen that were
archers, and a thousand horsemen. Malchus also, the king of
Arabia, sent a thousand horsemen, besides five thousand footmen,
the greatest part of which were archers; so that the whole army,
including the auxiliaries sent by the kings, as well horsemen as
footmen, when all were united together, amounted to sixty
thousand, besides the servants, who, as they followed in vast
numbers, so because they had been trained up in war with the
rest, ought not to be distinguished from the fighting men; for as
they were in their masters' service in times of peace, so did
they undergo the like dangers with them in times of war, insomuch
that they were inferior to none, either in skill or in strength,
only they were subject to their masters.


A Description Of The Roman Armies And Roman Camps And Of Other
Particulars For Which The Romans Are Commended.

1. Now here one cannot but admire at the precaution of the
Romans, in providing themselves of such household servants, as
might not only serve at other times for the common offices of
life, but might also be of advantage to them in their wars. And,
indeed, if any one does but attend to the other parts of their
military discipline, he will be forced to confess that their
obtaining so large a dominion hath been the acquisition of their
valor, and not the bare gift of fortune; for they do not begin to
use their weapons first in time of war, nor do they then put
their hands first into motion, while they avoided so to do in
times of peace; but, as if their weapons did always cling to
them, they have never any truce from warlike exercises; nor do
they stay till times of war admonish them to use them; for their
military exercises differ not at all from the real use of their
arms, but every soldier is every day exercised, and that with
great diligence, as if it were in time of war, which is the
reason why they bear the fatigue of battles so easily; for
neither can any disorder remove them from their usual regularity,
nor can fear affright them out of it, nor can labor tire them;
which firmness of conduct makes them always to overcome those
that have not the same firmness; nor would he be mistaken that
should call those their exercises unbloody battles, and their
battles bloody exercises. Nor can their enemies easily surprise
them with the suddenness of their incursions; for as soon as they
have marched into an enemy's land, they do not begin to fight
till they have walled their camp about; nor is the fence they
raise rashly made, or uneven; nor do they all abide ill it, nor
do those that are in it take their places at random; but if it
happens that the ground is uneven, it is first leveled: their
camp is also four-square by measure, and carpenters are ready, in
great numbers, with their tools, to erect their buildings for
them. (3)

2. As for what is within the camp, it is set apart for tents, but
the outward circumference hath the resemblance to a wall, and is
adorned with towers at equal distances, where between the towers
stand the engines for throwing arrows and darts, and for slinging
stones, and where they lay all other engines that can annoy the
enemy, all ready for their several operations. They also erect
four gates, one at every side of the circumference, and those
large enough for the entrance of the beasts, and wide enough for
making excursions, if occasion should require. They divide the
camp within into streets, very conveniently, and place the tents
of the commanders in the middle; but in the very midst of all is
the general's own tent, in the nature of a temple, insomuch, that
it appears to be a city built on the sudden, with its
market-place, and place for handicraft trades, and with seats for
the officers superior and inferior, where, if any differences
arise, their causes are heard and determined. The camp, and all
that is in it, is encompassed with a wall round about, and that
sooner than one would imagine, and this by the multitude and the
skill of the laborers; and, if occasion require, a trench is
drawn round the whole, whose depth is four cubits, and its
breadth equal.

3. When they have thus secured themselves, they live together by
companies, with quietness and decency, as are all their other
affairs managed with good order and security. Each company hath
also their wood, and their corn, and their water brought them,
when they stand in need of them; for they neither sup nor dine as
they please themselves singly, but all together. Their times also
for sleeping, and watching, and rising are notified beforehand by
the sound of trumpets, nor is any thing done without such a
signal; and in the morning the soldiery go every one to their
centurions, and these centurions to their tribunes, to salute
them; with whom all the superior officers go to the general of
the whole army, who then gives them of course the watchword and
other orders, to be by them cared to all that are under their
command; which is also observed when they go to fight, and
thereby they turn themselves about on the sudden, when there is
occasion for making sallies, as they come back when they are
recalled in crowds also.

4. Now when they are to go out of their camp, the trumpet gives a
sound, at which time nobody lies still, but at the first
intimation they take down their tents, and all is made ready for
their going out; then do the trumpets sound again, to order them
to get ready for the march; then do they lay their baggage
suddenly upon their mules, and other beasts of burden, and stand,
as at the place of starting, ready to march; when also they set
fire to their camp, and this they do because it will be easy for
them to erect another camp, and that it may not ever be of use to
their enemies. Then do the trumpets give a sound the third time,
that they are to go out, in order to excite those that on any
account are a little tardy, that so no one may be out of his rank
when the army marches. Then does the crier stand at the general's
right hand, and asks them thrice, in their own tongue, whether
they be now ready to go out to war or not? To which they reply as
often, with a loud and cheerful voice, saying, "We are ready."
And this they do almost before the question is asked them: they
do this as filled with a kind of martial fury, and at the same
time that they so cry out, they lift up their right hands also.
5. When, after this, they are gone out of their camp, they all
march without noise, and in a decent manner, and every one keeps
his own rank, as if they were going to war. The footmen are armed
with breastplates and head-pieces, and have swords on each side;
but the sword which is upon their left side is much longer than
the other, for that on the right side is not longer than a span.
Those foot-men also that are chosen out from the rest to be about
the general himself have a lance and a buckler, but the rest of
the foot soldiers have a spear and a long buckler, besides a saw
and a basket, a pick-axe and an axe, a thong of leather and a
hook, with provisions for three days, so that a footman hath no
great need of a mule to carry his burdens. The horsemen have a
long sword on their right sides, axed a long pole in their hand;
a shield also lies by them obliquely on one side of their horses,
with three or more darts that are borne in their quiver, having
broad points, and not smaller than spears. They have also
head-pieces and breastplates, in like manner as have all the
footmen. And for those that are chosen to be about the general,
their armor no way differs from that of the horsemen belonging to
other troops; and he always leads the legions forth to whom the
lot assigns that employment.

6. This is the manner of the marching and resting of the Romans,
as also these are the several sorts of weapons they use. But when
they are to fight, they leave nothing without forecast, nor to be
done off-hand, but counsel is ever first taken before any work is
begun, and what hath been there resolved upon is put in execution
presently; for which reason they seldom commit any errors; and if
they have been mistaken at any time, they easily correct those
mistakes. They also esteem any errors they commit upon taking
counsel beforehand to be better than such rash success as is
owing to fortune only; because such a fortuitous advantage tempts
them to be inconsiderate, while consultation, though it may
sometimes fail of success, hath this good in it, that it makes
men more careful hereafter; but for the advantages that arise
from chance, they are not owing to him that gains them; and as to
what melancholy accidents happen unexpectedly, there is this
comfort in them, that they had however taken the best
consultations they could to prevent them.

7. Now they so manage their preparatory exercises of their
weapons, that not the bodies of the soldiers only, but their
souls may also become stronger: they are moreover hardened for
war by fear; for their laws inflict capital punishments, not only
for soldiers running away from the ranks, but for slothfulness
and inactivity, though it be but in a lesser degree; as are their
generals more severe than their laws, for they prevent any
imputation of cruelty toward those under condemnation, by the
great rewards they bestow on the valiant soldiers; and the
readiness of obeying their commanders is so great, that it is
very ornamental in peace; but when they come to a battle, the
whole army is but one body, so well coupled together are their
ranks, so sudden are their turnings about, so sharp their hearing
as to what orders are given them, so quick their sight of the
ensigns, and so nimble are their hands when they set to work;
whereby it comes to pass that what they do is done quickly, and
what they suffer they bear with the greatest patience. Nor can we
find any examples where they have been conquered in battle, when
they came to a close fight, either by the multitude of the
enemies, or by their stratagems, or by the difficulties in the
places they were in; no, nor by fortune neither, for their
victories have been surer to them than fortune could have granted
them. In a case, therefore, where counsel still goes before
action, and where, after taking the best advice, that advice is
followed by so active an army, what wonder is it that Euphrates
on the east, the ocean on the west, the most fertile regions of
Libya on the south, and the Danube and the Rhine on the north,
are the limits of this empire? One might well say that the Roman
possessions are not inferior to the Romans themselves.

8. This account I have given the reader, not so much with the
intention of commending the Romans, as of comforting those that
have been conquered by them, and for the deterring others from
attempting innovations under their government. This discourse of
the Roman military conduct may also perhaps be of use to such of
the curious as are ignorant of it, and yet have a mind to know
it. I return now from this digression.


Placidus Attempts To Take Jotapata And Is Beaten Off. Vespasian
Marches Into Galilee.

1. And now Vespasian, with his son Titus, had tarried some time
at Ptolemais, and had put his army in order. But when Placidus,
who had overrun Galilee, and had besides slain a number of those
whom he had caught, (which were only the weaker part of the
Galileans, and such as were of timorous souls,) saw that the
warriors ran always to those cities whose walls had been built by
Josephus, he marched furiously against Jotapata, which was of
them all the strongest, as supposing he should easily take it by
a sudden surprise, and that he should thereby obtain great honor
to himself among the commanders, and bring a great advantage to
them in their future campaign; because if this strongest place of
them all were once taken, the rest would be so aftrighted as to
surrender themselves. But he was mightily mistaken in his
undertaking; for the men of Jotapata were apprized of his coming
to attack them, and came out of the city, and expected him there.
So they fought the Romans briskly when they least expected it,
being both many in number, and prepared for fighting, and of
great alacrity, as esteeming their country, their wives, and
their children to be in danger, and easily put the Romans to
flight, and wounded many of them, and slew seven of them; (4)
because their retreat was not made in a disorderly manner,
be-cause the strokes only touched the surface of their bodies,
which were covered with their armor in all parts, and because the
Jews did rather throw their weapons upon them from a great
distance, than venture to come hand to hand with them, and had
only light armor on, while the others were completely armed.
However, three men of the Jews' side were slain, and a few
wounded; so Placidus, finding himself unable to assault the city,
ran away.

2. But as Vespasian had a great mind to fall upon Galilee, he
marched out of Ptolemais, having put his army into that order
wherein the Romans used to march. He ordered those auxiliaries
which were lightly armed, and the archers, to march first, that
they might prevent any sudden insults from the enemy, and might
search out the woods that looked suspiciously, and were capable
of ambuscades. Next to these followed that part of the Romans
which was completely armed, both footmen ,and horsemen. Next to
these followed ten out of every hundred, carrying along with them
their arms, and what was necessary to measure out a camp withal;
and after them, such as were to make the road even and straight,
and if it were any where rough and hard to be passed over, to
plane it, and to cut down the woods that hindered their march,
that the army might not be in distress, or tired with their
march. Behind these he set such carriages of the army as belonged
both to himself and to the other commanders, with a considerable
number of their horsemen for their security. After these he
marched himself, having with him a select body of footmen, and
horsemen, and pikemen. After these came the peculiar cavalry of
his own legion, for there were a hundred and twenty horsemen that
peculiarly belonged to every legion. Next to these came the mules
that carried the engines for sieges, and the other warlike
machines of that nature. After these came the commanders of the
cohorts and tribunes, having about them soldiers chosen out of
the rest. Then came the ensigns encompassing the eagle, which is
at the head of every Roman legion, the king, and the strongest of
all birds, which seems to them a signal of dominion, and an omen
that they shall conquer all against whom they march; these sacred
ensigns are followed by the trumpeters. Then came the main army
in their squadrons and battalions, with six men in depth, which
were followed at last by a centurion, who, according to custom,
observed the rest. As for the servants of every legion, they all
followed the footmen, and led the baggage of the soldiers, which
was borne by the mules and other beasts of burden. But behind all
the legions carne the whole multitude of the mercenaries; and
those that brought up the rear came last of all for the security
of the whole army, being both footmen, and those in their armor
also, with a great number of horsemen.

3. And thus did Vespasian march with his army, and came to the
bounds of Galileo, where he pitched his camp and restrained his
soldiers, who were eager for war; he also showed his army to the
enemy, in order to affright them, and to afford them a season for
repentance, to see whether they would change their minds before
it came to a battle, and at the same time he got things ready for
besieging their strong minds. And indeed this sight of the
general brought many to repent of their revolt, and put them all
into a consternation; for those that were in Josephus's camp,
which was at the city called Garis, not far from Sepphoris, when
they heard that the war was come near them, and that the Romans
would suddenly fight them hand to hand, dispersed themselves and
fled, not only before they came to a battle, but before the enemy
ever came in sight, while Josephus and a few others were left
behind; and as he saw that he had not an army sufficient to
engage the enemy, that the spirits of the Jews were sunk, and
that the greater part would willingly come to terms, if they
might be credited, he already despaired of the success of the
whole war, and determined to get as far as he possibly could out
of danger; so he took those that staid along with him, and fled
to Tiberias.


Vespasian, When He Had Taken The City Gadaea Marches To Jotapata.
After A Long Siege The City Is Betrayed By A Deserter, And Taken
By Vespasian.

1. So Vespasian marched to the city Gadara, and took it upon the
first onset, because he found it destitute of any considerable
number of men grown up and fit for war. He came then into it, and
slew all the youth, the Romans having no mercy on any age
whatsoever; and this was done out of the hatred they bore the
nation, and because of the iniquity they had been guilty of in
the affair of Cestius. He also set fire not only to the city
itself, but to all the villas and small cities that were round
about it; some of them were quite destitute of inhabitants, and
out of some of them he carried the inhabitants as slaves into

2. As to Josephus, his retiring to that city which he chose as
the most fit for his security, put it into great fear; for the
people of Tiberias did not imagine that he would have run away,
unless he had entirely despaired of the success of the war. And

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