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

Part 9 out of 12

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Sanctuary," and was ascended to by fourteen
steps from the first court. This court was four-square, and had
a wall about it peculiar to itself; the height of its buildings,
although it were on the outside forty cubits, (13) was hidden by
the steps, and on the inside that height was but twenty-five
cubits; for it being built over against a higher part of the hill
with steps, it was no further to be entirely discerned within,
being covered by the hill itself. Beyond these thirteen steps
there was the distance of ten cubits; this was all plain; whence
there were other steps, each of five cubits a-piece, that led to
the gates, which gates on the north and south sides were eight,
on each of those sides four, and of necessity two on the east.
For since there was a partition built for the women on that side,
as the proper place wherein they were to worship, there was a
necessity for a second gate for them: this gate was cut out of
its wall, over against the first gate. There was also on the
other sides one southern and one northern gate, through which
was a passage into the court of the women; for as to the other
gates, the women were not allowed to pass through
them; nor when they went through their own gate could
they go beyond their own wall. This place was allotted to the
women of our own country, and of other countries,
provided they were of the same nation, and that equally. The
western part of this court had no gate at all, but the wall was
built entire on that side. But then the cloisters which were
betwixt the gates extended from the wall
inward, before the chambers; for they were supported by
very fine and large pillars. These cloisters were single, and,
excepting their magnitude, were no way inferior to those of the
lower court.

3. Now nine of these gates were on every side covered
over with gold and silver, as were the jambs of their doors and
their lintels; but there was one gate that was without the
[inward court of the] holy house, which was of
Corinthian brass, and greatly excelled those that were only
covered over with silver and gold. Each gate had two
doors, whose height was severally thirty cubits, and their
breadth fifteen. However, they had large spaces within of thirty
cubits, and had on each side rooms, and those, both in breadth
and in length, built like towers, and their height was above
forty cubits. Two pillars did also support these rooms, and were
in circumference twelve cubits. Now the
magnitudes of the other gates were equal one to another; but
that over the Corinthian gate, which opened on the east over
against the gate of the holy house itself, was much larger; for
its height was fifty cubits; and its doors were forty cubits; and
it was adorned after a most costly manner, as having much richer
and thicker plates of silver and gold upon them than the other.
These nine gates had that silver and gold poured upon them by
Alexander, the father of
Tiberius. Now there were fifteen steps, which led away from the
wall of the court of the women to this greater gate; whereas
those that led thither from the other gates were five steps

4. As to the holy house itself, which was placed in the midst
[of the inmost court], that most sacred part of the temple, it
was ascended to by twelve steps; and in front its height and its
breadth were equal, and each a hundred cubits,
though it was behind forty cubits narrower; for on its front it
had what may be styled shoulders on each side, that
passed twenty cubits further. Its first gate was seventy cubits
high, and twenty-five cubits broad; but this gate had no doors;
for it represented the universal visibility of heaven, and that
it cannot be excluded from any place. Its front was covered with
gold all over, and through it the first part of the house, that
was more inward, did all of it appear; which, as it was very
large, so did all the parts about the more inward gate appear to
shine to those that saw them; but then, as the entire house was
divided into two parts within, it was only the first part of it
that was open to our view. Its height extended all along to
ninety cubits in height, and its length was fifty cubits, and its
breadth twenty. But that gate which was at this end of the first
part of the house was, as we have already observed, all over
covered with
gold, as was its whole wall about it; it had also golden vines
above it, from which clusters of grapes hung as tall as a man's
height. But then this house, as it was divided into two parts,
the inner part was lower than the appearance of the outer, and
had golden doors of fifty-five cubits altitude, and sixteen in
breadth; but before these doors there was a veil of equal
largeness with the doors. It was a Babylonian
curtain, embroidered with blue, and fine linen, and scarlet,
and purple, and of a contexture that was truly wonderful. Nor was
this mixture of colors without its mystical
interpretation, but was a kind of image of the universe; for by
the scarlet there seemed to be enigmatically signified fire, by
the fine flax the earth, by the blue the air, and by the purple
the sea; two of them having their colors the
foundation of this resemblance; but the fine flax and the
purple have their own origin for that foundation, the earth
producing the one, and the sea the other. This curtain had also
embroidered upon it all that was mystical in the
heavens, excepting that of the [twelve] signs, representing
living creatures.

5. When any persons entered into the temple, its floor
received them. This part of the temple therefore was in
height sixty cubits, and its length the same; whereas its
breadth was but twenty cubits: but still that sixty cubits in
length was divided again, and the first part of it was cut off at
forty cubits, and had in it three things that were very wonderful
and famous among all mankind, the candlestick, the table [of
shew-bread], and the altar of incense. Now the seven lamps
signified the seven planets; for so many there were springing out
of the candlestick. Now the twelve
loaves that were upon the table signified the circle of the
zodiac and the year; but the altar of incense, by its thirteen
kinds of sweet-smelling spices with which the sea
replenished it, signified that God is the possessor of all
things that are both in the uninhabitable and habitable parts of
the earth, and that they are all to be dedicated to his use. But
the inmost part of the temple of all was of twenty cubits. This
was also separated from the outer part by a veil. In this there
was nothing at all. It was inaccessible and inviolable, and not
to be seen by any; and was called the Holy of Holies. Now, about
the sides of the lower part of the temple, there were little
houses, with passages out of one into another; there were a great
many of them, and they
were of three stories high; there were also entrances on each
side into them from the gate of the temple. But the superior part
of the temple had no such little houses any further, because the
temple was there narrower, and forty cubits higher, and of a
smaller body than the lower parts of it. Thus we collect that the
whole height, including the sixty cubits from the floor, amounted
to a hundred cubits.

6. Now the outward face of the temple in its front wanted
nothing that was likely to surprise either men's minds or their
eyes; for it was covered all over with plates of gold of great
weight, and, at the first rising of the sun, reflected back a
very fiery splendor, and made those who forced
themselves to look upon it to turn their eyes away, just as
they would have done at the sun's own rays. But this
temple appeared to strangers, when they were coming to it at a
distance, like a mountain covered with snow; for as to those
parts of it that were not gilt, they were exceeding white. On its
top it had spikes with sharp points, to prevent any pollution of
it by birds sitting upon it. Of its stones, some of them were
forty-five cubits in length, five in height, and six in breadth.
Before this temple stood the altar, fifteen cubits high, and
equal both in length and breadth; each of which dimensions was
fifty cubits. The figure it was built in was a square, and it had
corners like horns; and the
passage up to it was by an insensible acclivity. It was
formed without any iron tool, nor did any such iron tool so
much as touch it at any time. There was also a wall of
partition, about a cubit in height, made of fine stones, and so
as to be grateful to the sight; this encompassed the holy house
and the altar, and kept the people that were on the outside off
from the priests. Moreover, those that had the gonorrhea and the
leprosy were excluded out of the city
entirely; women also, when their courses were upon them, were
shut out of the temple; nor when they were free from that
impurity, were they allowed to go beyond the limit
before-mentioned; men also, that were not thoroughly pure, were
prohibited to come into the inner [court of the] temple; nay, the
priests themselves that were not pure were
prohibited to come into it also.

7. Now all those of the stock of the priests that could not
minister by reason of some defect in their bodies, came
within the partition, together with those that had no such
imperfection, and had their share with them by reason of their
stock, but still made use of none except their own private
garments; for nobody but he that officiated had on his sacred
garments; but then those priests that were
without any blemish upon them went up to the altar clothed in
fine linen. They abstained chiefly from wine, out of this fear,
lest otherwise they should transgress some rules of their
ministration. The high priest did also go up with them; not
always indeed, but on the seventh days and new
moons, and if any festivals belonging to our nation, which we
celebrate every year, happened. When he officiated, he had on a
pair of breeches that reached beneath his privy parts to his
thighs, and had on an inner garment of linen, together with a
blue garment, round, without seam, with
fringe work, and reaching to the feet. There were also
golden bells that hung upon the fringes, and pomegranates
intermixed among them. The bells signified thunder, and
the pomegranates lightning. But that girdle that tied the
garment to the breast was embroidered with five rows of
various colors, of gold, and purple, and scarlet, as also of
fine linen and blue, with which colors we told you before the
veils of the temple were embroidered also. The like
embroidery was upon the ephod; but the quantity of gold
therein was greater. Its figure was that of a stomacher for the
breast. There were upon it two golden buttons like small shields,
which buttoned the ephod to the garment; in these buttons were
enclosed two very large and very excellent
sardonyxes, having the names of the tribes of that nation
engraved upon them: on the other part there hung twelve
stones, three in a row one way, and four in the other; a
sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; a carbuncle, a jasper, and a
sapphire; an agate, an amethyst, and a ligure; an
onyx, a beryl, and a chrysolite; upon every one of which was
again engraved one of the forementioned names of the tribes. A
mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by
a blue ribbon, about which there was
another golden crown, in which was engraven the sacred
name [of God]: it consists of four vowels. However, the high
priest did not wear these garments at other times, but a more
plain habit; he only did it when he went into the most sacred
part of the temple, which he did but once in a year, on that day
when our custom is for all of us to keep a fast to God. And thus
much concerning the city and the temple; but for the customs and
laws hereto relating, we shall
speak more accurately another time; for there remain a
great many things thereto relating which have not been
here touched upon.

8. Now as to the tower of Antonia, it was situated at the
corner of two cloisters of the court of the temple; of that on
the west, and that on the north; it was erected upon a rock of
fifty cubits in height, and was on a great precipice; it was the
work of king Herod, wherein he demonstrated his
natural magnanimity. In the first place, the rock itself was
covered over with smooth pieces of stone, from its
foundation, both for ornament, and that any one who would
either try to get up or to go down it might not be able to hold
his feet upon it. Next to this, and before you come to the
edifice of the tower itself, there was a wall three cubits high;
but within that wall all the space of the tower of Antonia itself
was built upon, to the height of forty cubits. The inward parts
had the largeness and form of a palace, it being parted into all
kinds of rooms and other
conveniences, such as courts, and places for bathing, and broad
spaces for camps; insomuch that, by having all
conveniences that cities wanted, it might seem to be
composed of several cities, but by its magnificence it
seemed a palace. And as the entire structure resembled
that of a tower, it contained also four other distinct towers
at its four corners; whereof the others were but fifty cubits
high; whereas that which lay upon the southeast corner
was seventy cubits high, that from thence the whole temple
might be viewed; but on the corner where it joined to the two
cloisters of the temple, it had passages down to them both,
through which the guard (for there always lay in this tower a
Roman legion) went several ways among the
cloisters, with their arms, on the Jewish festivals, in order
to watch the people, that they might not there attempt to make
any innovations; for the temple was a fortress that guarded the
city, as was the tower of Antonia a guard to the temple; and in
that tower were the guards of those three (14).
There was also a peculiar fortress belonging to the upper city,
which was Herod's palace; but for the hill Bezetha, it was
divided from the tower Antonia, as we have already
told you; and as that hill on which the tower of Antonia stood
was the highest of these three, so did it adjoin to the new city,
and was the only place that hindered the sight of the temple on
the north. And this shall suffice at present to have spoken about
the city and the walls about it, because I have proposed to
myself to make a more accurate
description of it elsewhere.


Concerning The Tyrants Simon And John. How Also As
Titus Was Going Round The Wall Of This City Nicanor Was
Wounded By A Dart; Which Accident Provoked Titus To
Press On The Siege.

1. Now the warlike men that were in the city, and the
multitude of the seditious that were with Simon, were ten
thousand, besides the Idumeans. Those ten thousand had
fifty commanders, over whom this Simon was supreme. The
Idumeans that paid him homage were five thousand, and
had eight commanders, among whom those of greatest
fame were Jacob the son of Sosas, and Simon the son of
Cathlas. Jotre, who had seized upon the temple, had six
thousand armed men under twenty commanders; the
zealots also that had come over to him, and left off their
opposition, were two thousand four hundred, and had the
same commander that they had formerly, Eleazar, together with
Simon the son of Arinus. Now, while these factions
fought one against another, the people were their prey on both
sides, as we have said already; and that part of the people who
would not join with them in their wicked
practices were plundered by both factions. Simon held the upper
city, and the great wall as far as Cedron, and as
much of the old wall as bent from Siloam to the east, and which
went down to the palace of Monobazus, who was
king of the Adiabeni, beyond Euphrates; he also held that
fountain, and the Acra, which was no other than the lower city;
he also held all that reached to the palace of queen Helena, the
mother of Monobazus. But John held the
temple, and the parts thereto adjoining, for a great way, as
also Ophla, and the valley called "the Valley of Cedron;" and
when the parts that were interposed between their
possessions were burnt by them, they left a space wherein they
might fight with each other; for this internal sedition did not
cease even when the Romans were encamped near
their very wall. But although they had grown wiser at the first
onset the Romans made upon them, this lasted but a while; for
they returned to their former madness, and
separated one from another, and fought it out, and did
everything that the besiegers could desire them to do; for they
never suffered any thing that was worse from the
Romans than they made each other suffer; nor was there
any misery endured by the city after these men's actions that
could be esteemed new. But it was most of all unhappy before it
was overthrown, while those that took it did it a greater
kindness for I venture to affirm that the sedition destroyed the
city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition, which it was a much
harder thing to do than to destroy the walls; so that we may
justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people, and the just
vengeance taken on them to the
Romans; as to which matter let every one determine by the
actions on both sides.

2. Now when affairs within the city were in this posture, Titus
went round the city on the outside with some chosen horsemen, and
looked about for a proper place where he
might make an impression upon the walls; but as he was in doubt
where he could possibly make an attack on any side, (for the
place was no way accessible where the valleys
were, and on the other side the first wall appeared too
strong to be shaken by the engines,) he thereupon thought it
best to make his assault upon the monument of John the high
priest; for there it was that the first fortification was lower,
and the second was not joined to it, the builders neglecting to
build strong where the new city was not much inhabited; here also
was an easy passage to the third wall, through which he thought
to take the upper city, and,
through the tower of Antonia, the temple itself But at this
time, as he was going round about the city, one of his
friends, whose name was Nicanor, was wounded with a
dart on his left shoulder, as he approached, together with
Josephus, too near the wall, and attempted to discourse to those
that were upon the wall, about terms of peace; for he was a
person known by them. On this account it was that
Caesar, as soon as he knew their vehemence, that they
would not hear even such as approached them to persuade
them to what tended to their own preservation, was
provoked to press on the siege. He also at the same time gave
his soldiers leave to set the suburbs on fire, and
ordered that they should bring timber together, and raise banks
against the city; and when he had parted his army
into three parts, in order to set about those works, he
placed those that shot darts and the archers in the midst of
the banks that were then raising; before whom he placed
those engines that threw javelins, and darts, and stones, that
he might prevent the enemy from sallying out upon
their works, and might hinder those that were upon the wall
from being able to obstruct them. So the trees were now
cut down immediately, and the suburbs left naked. But now while
the timber was carrying to raise the banks, and the whole army
was earnestly engaged in their works, the Jews were not, however,
quiet; and it happened that the people of Jerusalem, who had been
hitherto plundered and
murdered, were now of good courage, and supposed they
should have a breathing time, while the others were very busy
in opposing their enemies without the city, and that they should
now be avenged on those that had been the
authors of their miseries, in case the Romans did but get the

3. However, John staid behind, out of his fear of Simon, even
while his own men were earnest in making a sally
upon their enemies without. Yet did not Simon lie still, for he
lay near the place of the siege; he brought his engines of war,
and disposed of them at due distances upon the
wall, both those which they took from Cestius formerly, and
those which they got when they seized the garrison that lay in
the tower Antonia. But though they had these engines in their
possession, they had so little skill in using them, that they
were in great measure useless to them; but a few
there were who had been taught by deserters how to use
them, which they did use, though after an awkward manner. So
they cast stones and arrows at those that were making the banks;
they also ran out upon them by companies, and fought with them.
Now those that were at work covered
themselves with hurdles spread over their banks, and their
engines were opposed to them when they made their
excursions. The engines, that all the legions had ready
prepared for them, were admirably contrived; but still more
extraordinary ones belonged to the tenth legion: those that threw
darts and those that threw stones were more forcible and larger
than the rest, by which they not only repelled the excursions of
the Jews, but drove those away that were
upon the walls also. Now the stones that were cast were of the
weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and further.
The blow they gave was no way to be sustained,
not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those
that were beyond them for a great space. As for the Jews, they at
first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white
color, and could therefore not only be perceived by the great
noise it made, but could be seen also before it came by its
brightness; accordingly the watchmen that sat upon the towers
gave them notice when the engine was let go, and the stone came
from it, and cried out aloud, in their own country language, The
Stone Cometh (15) so those
that were in its way stood off, and threw themselves down upon
the ground; by which means, and by their thus
guarding themselves, the stone fell down and did them no harm.
But the Romans contrived how to prevent that by
blacking the stone, who then could aim at them with
success, when the stone was not discerned beforehand, as it had
been till then; and so they destroyed many of them at one blow.
Yet did not the Jews, under all this distress, permit the Romans
to raise their banks in quiet; but they shrewdly and boldly
exerted themselves, and repelled them both by night and by day.

4. And now, upon the finishing the Roman works, the
workmen measured the distance there was from the wall,
and this by lead and a line, which they threw to it from their
banks; for they could not measure it any otherwise,
because the Jews would shoot at them, if they came to
measure it themselves; and when they found that the
engines could reach the wall, they brought them thither. Then
did Titus set his engines at proper distances, so much nearer to
the wall, that the Jews might not be able to repel them, and gave
orders they should go to work; and when
thereupon a prodigious noise echoed round about from
three places, and that on the sudden there was a great
noise made by the citizens that were within the city, and no
less a terror fell upon the seditious themselves; whereupon both
sorts, seeing the common danger they were in,
contrived to make a like defense. So those of different
factions cried out one to another, that they acted entirely as
in concert with their enemies; whereas they ought however,
notwithstanding God did not grant them a lasting concord, in
their present circumstances, to lay aside their enmities one
against another, and to unite together against the
Romans. Accordingly, Simon gave those that came from
the temple leave, by proclamation, to go upon the wall;
John also himself, though he could not believe Simon was in
earnest, gave them the same leave. So on both sides
they laid aside their hatred and their peculiar quarrels, and
formed themselves into one body; they then ran round the walls,
and having a vast number of torches with them, they threw them at
the machines, and shot darts perpetually
upon those that impelled those engines which battered the wall;
nay, the bolder sort leaped out by troops upon the hurdles that
covered the machines, and pulled them to
pieces, and fell upon those that belonged to them, and beat
them, not so much by any skill they had, as principally by the
boldness of their attacks. However, Titus himself still sent
assistance to those that were the hardest set, and
placed both horsemen and archers on the several sides of the
engines, and thereby beat off those that brought the fire to
them; he also thereby repelled those that shot stones or darts
from the towers, and then set the engines to work in good
earnest; yet did not the wall yield to these blows, excepting
where the battering ram of the fifteenth legion moved the corner
of a tower, while the wall itself continued unhurt; for the wall
was not presently in the same danger with the tower, which was
extant far above it; nor could the fall of that part of the tower
easily break down any part of the wall itself together with it.

5. And now the Jews intermitted their sallies for a while; but
when they observed the Romans dispersed all abroad at
their works, and in their several camps, (for they thought the
Jews had retired out of weariness and fear,) they all at once
made a sally at the tower Hippicus, through an
obscure gate, and at the same time brought fire to burn the
works, and went boldly up to the Romans, and to their very
fortifications themselves, where, at the cry they made,
those that were near them came presently to their
assistance, and those farther off came running after them; and
here the boldness of the Jews was too hard for the
good order of the Romans; and as they beat those whom
they first fell upon, so they pressed upon those that were now
gotten together. So this fight about the machines was very hot,
while the one side tried hard to set them on fire, and the other
side to prevent it; on both sides there was a confused cry made,
and many of those in the forefront of the battle were slain.
However, the Jews were now too hard for the Romans, by the
furious assaults they made like
madmen; and the fire caught hold of the works, and both all
those works, and the engines themselves, had been in
danger of being burnt, had not many of these select
soldiers that came from Alexandria opposed themselves to
prevent it, and had they not behaved themselves with
greater courage than they themselves supposed they could have
done; for they outdid those in this fight that had
greater reputation than themselves before. This was the
state of things till Caesar took the stoutest of his horsemen,
and attacked the enemy, while he himself slew twelve of
those that were in the forefront of the Jews; which death of
these men, when the rest of the multitude saw, they gave way, and
he pursued them, and drove them all into the city, and saved the
works from the fire. Now it happened at this fight that a certain
Jew was taken alive, who, by Titus's order, was crucified before
the wall, to see whether the rest of them would be aftrighted,
and abate of their obstinacy. But after the Jews were retired,
John, who was commander of the Idumeans, and was talking to a
certain soldier of his acquaintance before the wall, was wounded
by a dart shot at him by an Arabian, and died immediately,
leaving the
greatest lamentation to the Jews, and sorrow to the
seditious. For he was a man of great eminence, both for his
actions and his conduct also.


How One Of The Towers Erected By The Romans Fell
Down Of Its Own Accord; And How The Romans After
Great Slaughter Had Been Made Got Possession Of The
First Wall. How Also Titus Made His Assaults Upon The
Second Wall; As Also Concerning Longinus The Roman,
And Castor The Jew.

1. Now, on the next night, a surprising disturbance fell upon
the Romans; for whereas Titus had given orders for the
erection of three towers of fifty cubits high, that by setting
men upon them at every bank, he might from thence drive
those away who were upon the wall, it so happened that
one of these towers fell down about midnight; and as its fall
made a very great noise, fear fell upon the army, and they,
supposing that the enemy was coming to attack them, ran
all to their arms. Whereupon a disturbance and a tumult
arose among the legions, and as nobody could tell what
had happened, they went on after a disconsolate manner;
and seeing no enemy appear, they were afraid one of
another, and every one demanded of his neighbor the
watchword with great earnestness, as though the Jews had
invaded their camp. And now were they like people under a panic
fear, till Titus was informed of what had happened, and gave
orders that all should be acquainted with it; and then, though
with some difficulty, they got clear of the disturbance they had
been under.

2. Now these towers were very troublesome to the Jews,
who otherwise opposed the Romans very courageously; for
they shot at them out of their lighter engines from those
towers, as they did also by those that threw darts, and the
archers, and those that flung stones. For neither could the Jews
reach those that were over them, by reason of their height; and
it was not practicable to take them, nor to
overturn them, they were so heavy, nor to set them on fire,
because they were covered with plates of iron. So they
retired out of the reach of the darts, and did no longer
endeavor to hinder the impression of their rams, which, by
continually beating upon the wall, did gradually prevail against
it; so that the wall already gave way to the Nico, for by that
name did the Jews themselves call the greatest of their engines,
because it conquered all things. And now
they were for a long while grown weary of fighting, and of
keeping guards, and were retired to lodge in the night time at a
distance from the wall. It was on other accounts also thought by
them to be superfluous to guard the wall, there being besides
that two other fortifications still remaining, and they being
slothful, and their counsels having been ill concerted on all
occasions; so a great many grew lazy and retired. Then the Romans
mounted the breach, where Nico
had made one, and all the Jews left the guarding that wall, and
retreated to the second wall; so those that had gotten over that
wall opened the gates, and received all the army within it. And
thus did the Romans get possession of this first wall, on the
fifteenth day of the siege, which was the seventh day of the
month Artemisius, [Jyar,] when they
demolished a great part of it, as well as they did of the
northern parts of the city, which had been demolished also by
Cestius formerly.

3. And now Titus pitched his camp within the city, at that
place which was called "the Camp of the Assyrians," having seized
upon all that lay as far as Cedron, but took care to be out of
the reach of the Jews' darts. He then presently began his
attacks, upon which the Jews divided themselves into several
bodies, and courageously defended that wall; while John and his
faction did it from the tower of Antonia, and from the northern
cloister of the temple, and fought the Romans before the
monuments of king Alexander; and
Sireoh's army also took for their share the spot of ground that
was near John's monument, and fortified it as far as to that gate
where water was brought in to the tower Hippicus. However, the
Jews made violent sallies, and that frequently also, and in
bodies together out of the gates, and there fought the Romans;
and when they were pursued all
together to the wall, they were beaten in those fights, as
wanting the skill of the Romans. But when they fought them from
the walls, they were too hard for them; the Romans
being encouraged by their power, joined to their skill, as were
the Jews by their boldness, which was nourished by
the fear they were in, and that hardiness which is natural to
our nation under calamities; they were also encouraged still by
the hope of deliverance, as were the Romans by their
hopes of subduing them in a little time. Nor did either side
grow weary; but attacks and rightings upon the wall, and
perpetual sallies out in bodies, were there all the day long; nor
were there any sort of warlike engagements that were not then put
in use. And the night itself had much ado to part them, when they
began to fight in the morning; nay, the night itself was passed
without sleep on both sides, and was more uneasy than the day to
them, while the one was
afraid lest the wall should be taken, and the other lest the
Jews should make sallies upon their camps; both sides also lay in
their armor during the night time, and thereby were ready at the
first appearance of light to go to the battle. Now among the Jews
the ambition was who should
undergo the first dangers, and thereby gratify their
commanders. Above all, they had a great veneration and
dread of Simon; and to that degree was he regarded by
every one of those that were under him, that at his
command they were very ready to kill themselves with their own
hands. What made the Romans so courageous was
their usual custom of conquering and disuse of being
defeated, their constant wars, and perpetual warlike
exercises, and the grandeur of their dominion; and what
was now their chief encouragement -Titus who was present every
where with them all; for it appeared a terrible thing to grow
weary while Caesar was there, and fought bravely as well as they
did, and was himself at once an eye-witness of such as behaved
themselves valiantly, and he who was to
reward them also. It was, besides, esteemed an advantage at
present to have any one's valor known by Caesar; on
which account many of them appeared to have more
alacrity than strength to answer it. And now, as the Jews were
about this time standing in array before the wall, and that in a
strong body, and while both parties were throwing their darts at
each other, Longinus, one of the equestrian order, leaped out of
the army of the Romans, and leaped
into the very midst of the army of the Jews; and as they
dispersed themselves upon the attack, he slew two of their men of
the greatest courage; one of them he struck in his mouth as he
was coming to meet him, the other was slain
by him by that very dart which he drew out of the body of the
other, with which he ran this man through his side as he was
running away from him; and when he had done
this, he first of all ran out of the midst of his enemies to
his own side. So this man signalized himself for his valor, and
many there were who were ambitious of gaining the like
reputation. And now the Jews were unconcerned at what
they suffered themselves from the Romans, and were only
solicitous about what mischief they could do them; and
death itself seemed a small matter to them, if at the same time
they could but kill any one of their enemies. But Titus took care
to secure his own soldiers from harm, as well as to have them
overcome their enemies. He also said that
inconsiderate violence was madness, and that this alone
was the true courage that was joined with good conduct.
He therefore commanded his men to take care, when they
fought their enemies, that they received no harm from them at
the same time, and thereby show themselves to be truly valiant

4. And now Titus brought one of his engines to the middle tower
of the north part of the wall, in which a certain crafty Jew,
whose name was Castor, lay in ambush, with ten
others like himself, the rest being fled away by reason of the
archers. These men lay still for a while, as in great fear, under
their breastplates; but when the tower was shaken, they arose,
and Castor did then stretch out his hand, as a petitioner, and
called for Caesar, and by his voice moved his compassion, and
begged of him to have mercy upon
them; and Titus, in the innocency of his heart, believing him
to be in earnest, and hoping that the Jews did now repent,
stopped the working of the battering ram, and forbade them to
shoot at the petitioners, and bid Castor say what he had a mind
to say to him. He said that he would come down, if he would give
him his right hand for his security. To which Titus replied, that
he was well pleased with such his
agreeable conduct, and would be well pleased if all the
Jews would be of his mind, and that he was ready to give the
like security to the city. Now five of the ten dissembled with
him, and pretended to beg for mercy, while the rest cried out
aloud that they would never be slaves to the
Romans, while it was in their power to die in a state of
freedom. Now while these men were quarrelling for a long while,
the attack was delayed; Castor also sent to Simon, and told him
that they might take some time for consultation about what was to
be done, because he would elude the
power of the Romans for a considerable time. And at the
same time that he sent thus to him, he appeared openly to
exhort those that were obstinate to accept of Titus's hand for
their security; but they seemed very angry at it, and brandished
their naked swords upon the breast-works, and struck themselves
upon their breast, and fell down as if they had been slain.
Hereupon Titus, and those with him, were amazed at the courage of
the men; and as they were
not able to see exactly what was done, they admired at
their great fortitude, and pitied their calamity. During this
interval, a certain person shot a dart at Castor, and
wounded him in his nose; whereupon he presently pulled
out the dart, and showed it to Titus, and complained that this
was unfair treatment; so Caesar reproved him that shot the dart,
and sent Josephus, who then stood by him, to
give his right hand to Castor. But Josephus said that he would
not go to him, because these pretended petitioners meant nothing
that was good; he also restrained those
friends of his who were zealous to go to him. But still there
was one Eneas, a deserter, who said he would go to him.
Castor also called to them, that somebody should come
and receive the money which he had with him; this made
Eneas the more earnestly to run to him with his bosom
open. Then did Castor take up a great stone, and threw it at
him, which missed him, because he guarded himself
against it; but still it wounded another soldier that was
coining to him. When Caesar understood that this was a
delusion, he perceived that mercy in war is a pernicious thing,
because such cunning tricks have less place under the exercise of
greater severity. So he caused the engine to work more strongly
than before, on account of his anger at the deceit put upon him.
But Castor and his companions
set the tower on fire when it began to give way, and leaped
through the flame into a hidden vault that was under it, which
made the Romans further suppose that they were
men of great courage, as having cast themselves into the fire.


How The Romans Took The Second Wall Twice,
And Got All Ready For Taking The Third Wall.

1. Now Caesar took this wall there on the fifth day after he
had taken the first; and when the Jews had fled from him, he
entered into it with a thousand armed men, and those of his
choice troops, and this at a place where were the
merchants of wool, the braziers, and the market for cloth, and
where the narrow streets led obliquely to the wall.
Wherefore, if Titus had either demolished a larger part of the
wall immediately, or had come in, and, according to the law of
war, had laid waste what was left, his victory would not, I
suppose, have been mixed with any loss to himself. But now, out
of the hope he had that he should make the
Jews ashamed of their obstinacy, by not being willing, when he
was able, to afflict them more than he needed to do, he did not
widen the breach of the wall, in order to make a safer retreat
upon occasion; for he did not think they would lay snares for him
that did them such a kindness. When
therefore he came in, he did not permit his soldiers to kill
any of those they caught, nor to set fire to their houses
neither; nay, he gave leave to the seditious, if they had a mind,
to fight without any harm to the people, and promised to restore
the people's effects to them; for he was very desirous to
preserve the city for his own sake, and the
temple for the sake of the city. As to the people, he had them
of a long time ready to comply with his proposals; but as to the
fighting men, this humanity of his seemed a mark of his weakness,
and they imagined that he made these
proposals because he was not able to take the rest of the city.
They also threatened death to the people, if they
should any one of them say a word about a surrender.
They moreover cut the throats of such as talked of a peace, and
then attacked those Romans that were come within the wall. Some
of them they met in the narrow streets, and
some they fought against from their houses, while they
made a sudden sally out at the upper gates, and assaulted such
Romans as were beyond the wall, till those that
guarded the wall were so aftrighted, that they leaped down from
their towers, and retired to their several camps: upon which a
great noise was made by the Romans that were
within, because they were encompassed round on every
side by their enemies; as also by them that were without,
because they were in fear for those that were left in the city.
Thus did the Jews grow more numerous perpetually,
and had great advantages over the Romans, by their full
knowledge of those narrow lanes; and they wounded a
great many of them, and fell upon them, and drove them
out of the city. Now these Romans were at present forced to
make the best resistance they could; for they were not able, in
great numbers, to get out at the breach in the wall, it was so
narrow. It is also probable that all those that were gotten
within had been cut to pieces, if Titus had not sent them
succors; for he ordered the archers to stand at the upper ends of
these narrow lakes, and he stood himself
where was the greatest multitude of his enemies, and with his
darts he put a stop to them; as with him did Domitius Sabinus
also, a valiant man, and one that in this battle appeared so to
be. Thus did Caesar continue to shoot darts at the Jews
continually, and to hinder them from coming
upon his men, and this until all his soldiers had retreated out
of the city.

2. And thus were the Romans driven out, after they had
possessed themselves of the second wall. Whereupon the
fighting men that were in the city were lifted up in their
minds, and were elevated upon this their good success,
and began to think that the Romans would never venture to come
into the city any more; and that if they kept within it
themselves, they should not be any more conquered. For
God had blinded their minds for the transgressions they
had been guilty of, nor could they see how much greater
forces the Romans had than those that were now expelled, no
more than they could discern how a famine was
creeping upon them; for hitherto they had fed themselves out of
the public miseries, and drank the blood of the city. But now
poverty had for a long time seized upon the better part, and a
great many had died already for want of
necessaries; although the seditious indeed supposed the
destruction of the people to be an easement to themselves; for
they desired that none others might be preserved but such as were
against a peace with the Romans, and were
resolved to live in opposition to them, and they were
pleased when the multitude of those of a contrary opinion were
consumed, as being then freed from a heavy burden.
And this was their disposition of mind with regard to those
that were within the city, while they covered themselves with
their armor, and prevented the Romans, when they
were trying to get into the city again, and made a wall of
their own bodies over against that part of the wall that was cast
down. Thus did they valiantly defend themselves for three days;
but on the fourth day they could not support themselves against
the vehement assaults of Titus but were compelled by force to fly
whither they had fled before; so he quietly possessed himself
again of that wall, and
demolished it entirely. And when he had put a garrison into the
towers that were on the south parts of the city, he
contrived how he might assault the third wall.


Titus When The Jews Were Not At All Mollified By His
Leaving Off The Siege For A While, Set Himself Again To
Prosecute The Same; But Soon Sent Josephus To
Discourse With His Own Countrymen About Peace.

1. A Resolution was now taken by Titus to relax the siege for a
little while, and to afford the seditious an interval for
consideration, and to see whether the demolishing of their second
wall would not make them a little more compliant, or whether they
were not somewhat afraid of a famine,
because the spoils they had gotten by rapine would not be
sufficient for them long; so he made use of this relaxation in
order to compass his own designs. Accordingly, as the
usual appointed time when he must distribute subsistence money
to the soldiers was now come, he gave orders that
the commanders should put the army into battle-array, in the
face of the enemy, and then give every one of the
soldiers their pay. So the soldiers, according to custom,
opened the cases wherein their arms before lay covered,
and marched with their breastplates on, as did the
horsemen lead their horses in their fine trappings. Then did
the places that were before the city shine very splendidly for a
great way; nor was there any thing so grateful to
Titus's own men, or so terrible to the enemy, as that sight.
For the whole old wall, and the north side of the temple, were
full of spectators, and one might see the houses full of such as
looked at them; nor was there any part of the city which was not
covered over with their multitudes; nay, a very great
consternation seized upon the hardiest of the Jews themselves,
when they saw all the army in the same
place, together with the fineness of their arms, and the good
order of their men. And I cannot but think that the seditious
would have changed their minds at that sight,
unless the crimes they had committed against the people
had been so horrid, that they despaired of forgiveness from the
Romans; but as they believed death with torments must be their
punishment, if they did not go on in the defense of the city,
they thought it much better to die in war. Fate also prevailed so
far over them, that the innocent were to perish with the guilty,
and the city was to be destroyed with the seditious that were in

2. Thus did the Romans spend four days in bringing this
subsistence-money to the several legions. But on the fifth day,
when no signs of peace appeared to come from the
Jews, Titus divided his legions, and began to raise banks, both
at the tower of Antonia and at John's monument. Now his designs
were to take the upper city at that monument, and the temple at
the tower of Antonia; for if the temple were not taken, it would
be dangerous to keep the city
itself; so at each of these parts he raised him banks, each
legion raising one. As for those that wrought at John's
monument, the Idumeans, and those that were in arms with Simon,
made sallies upon them, and put some stop to
them; while John's party, and the multitude of zealots with
them, did the like to those that were before the tower of
Antonia. These Jews were now too hard for the Romans,
not only in direct fighting, because they stood upon the higher
ground, but because they had now learned to use
their own engines; for their continual use of them one day
after another did by degrees improve their skill about them; for
of one sort of engines for darts they had three hundred, and
forty for stones; by the means of which they made it more tedious
for the Romans to raise their banks. But then Titus, knowing that
the city would be either saved or
destroyed for himself, did not only proceed earnestly in the
siege, but did not omit to have the Jews exhorted to
repentance; so he mixed good counsel with his works for
the siege. And being sensible that exhortations are
frequently more effectual than arms, he persuaded them to
surrender the city, now in a manner already taken, and
thereby to save themselves, and sent Josephus to speak to them
in their own language; for he imagined they might
yield to the persuasion of a countryman of their own.

3. So Josephus went round about the wall, and tried to find a
place that was out of the reach of their darts, and yet within
their hearing, and besought them, in many words, to spare
themselves, to spare their country and their temple, and not to
be more obdurate in these cases than foreigners themselves; for
that the Romans, who had no relation to
those things, had a reverence for their sacred rites and
places, although they belonged to their enemies, and had till now
kept their hands off from meddling with them; while such as were
brought up under them, and, if they be
preserved, will be the only people that will reap the benefit
of them, hurry on to have them destroyed. That certainly they
have seen their strongest walls demolished, and that the wall
still remaining was weaker than those that were already taken.
That they must know the Roman power was
invincible, and that they had been used to serve them; for,
that in case it be allowed a right thing to fight for liberty,
that ought to have been done at first; but for them that have
once fallen under the power of the Romans, and have now
submitted to them for so many long years, to pretend to
shake off that yoke afterward, was the work of such as had a
mind to die miserably, not of such as were lovers of
liberty. Besides, men may well enough grudge at the
dishonor of owning ignoble masters over them, but ought
not to do so to those who have all things under their
command; for what part of the world is there that hath
escaped the Romans, unless it be such as are of no use
for violent heat, or for violent cold? And evident it is that
fortune is on all hands gone over to them; and that God, when he
had gone round the nations with this dominion, is now settled in
Italy. That, moreover, it is a strong and fixed law, even among
brute beasts, as well as among men, to
yield to those that are too strong for them; and to stiffer
those to have the dominion who are too hard for the rest in war;
for which reason it was that their forefathers, who were far
superior to them, both in their souls and bodies, and other
advantages, did yet submit to the Romans, which
they would not have suffered, had they not known that God was
with them. As for themselves, what can they depend
on in this their opposition, when the greatest part of their
city is already taken? and when those that are within it are
under greater miseries than if they were taken, although their
walls be still standing? For that the Romans are not unacquainted
with that famine which is in the city, whereby the people are
already consumed, and the fighting men will in a little time be
so too; for although the Romans should leave off the siege, and
not fall upon the city with their swords in their hands, yet was
there an insuperable war
that beset them within, and was augmented every hour,
unless they were able to wage war with famine, and fight
against it, or could alone conquer their natural appetites. He
added this further, how right a thing it was to change their
conduct before their calamities were become incurable, and to
have recourse to such advice as might preserve them,
while opportunity was offered them for so doing; for that the
Romans would not be mindful of their past actions to their
disadvantage, unless they persevered in their insolent
behavior to the end; because they were naturally mild in their
conquests, and preferred what was profitable, before what their
passions dictated to them; which profit of theirs lay not in
leaving the city empty of inhabitants, nor the country a desert;
on which account Caesar did now offer
them his right hand for their security. Whereas, if he took the
city by force, he would not save any of them, and this
especially, if they rejected his offers in these their utmost
distresses; for the walls that were already taken could not but
assure them that the third wall would quickly be taken also. And
though their fortifications should prove too strong for the
Romans to break through them, yet would the
famine fight for the Romans against them.

4. While Josephus was making this exhortation to the Jews, many
of them jested upon him from the wall, and many
reproached him; nay, some threw their darts at him: but
when he could not himself persuade them by such open
good advice, he betook himself to the histories belonging to
their own nation, and cried out aloud, "O miserable
creatures! are you so unmindful of those that used to assist
you, that you will fight by your weapons and by your hands
against the Romans? When did we ever conquer any other
nation by such means? and when was it that God, who is
the Creator of the Jewish people, did not avenge them
when they had been injured? Will not you turn again, and look
back, and consider whence it is that you fight with such
violence, and how great a Supporter you have
profanely abused? Will not you recall to mind the prodigious
things done for your forefathers and this holy place, and how
great enemies of yours were by him subdued under
you? I even tremble myself in declaring the works of God before
your ears, that are unworthy to hear them; however, hearken to
me, that you may be informed how you fight not only against the
Romans, but against God himself. In old times there was one
Necao, king of Egypt, who was also
called Pharaoh; he came with a prodigious army of soldiers, and
seized queen Sarah, the mother of our nation. What
did Abraham our progenitor then do? Did he defend himself from
this injurious person by war, although he had three hundred and
eighteen captains under him, and an immense
army under each of them? Indeed he deemed them to be
no number at all without God's assistance, and only spread out
his hands towards this holy place, (16) which you have now
polluted, and reckoned upon him as upon his invincible supporter,
instead of his own army. Was not our queen
sent back, without any defilement, to her husband, the very
next evening? - while the king of Egypt fled away, adoring this
place which you have defiled by shedding thereon the blood of
your own countrymen; and he also trembled at
those visions which he saw in the night season, and
bestowed both silver and gold on the Hebrews, as on a
people beloved by God. Shall I say nothing, or shall I
mention the removal of our fathers into Egypt, who, (17) when
they were used tyrannically, and were fallen under
the power of foreign kings for four hundred ears together, and
might have defended themselves by war and by
fighting, did yet do nothing but commit themselves to God! Who
is there that does not know that Egypt was overrun
with all sorts of wild beasts, and consumed by all sorts of
distempers? how their land did not bring forth its fruit? how the
Nile failed of water? how the ten plagues of Egypt
followed one upon another? and how by those means our
fathers were sent away under a guard, without any
bloodshed, and without running any dangers, because God
conducted them as his peculiar servants? Moreover, did not
Palestine groan under the ravage the Assyrians made,
when they carried away our sacred ark? as did their idol Dagon,
and as also did that entire nation of those that
carried it away, how they were smitten with a loathsome
distemper in the secret parts of their bodies, when their very
bowels came down together with what they had eaten, till those
hands that stole it away were obliged to bring it back again, and
that with the sound of cymbals and
timbrels, and other oblations, in order to appease the anger of
God for their violation of his holy ark. It was God who then
became our General, and accomplished these great
things for our fathers, and this because they did not meddle
with war and fighting, but committed it to him to judge about
their affairs. When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, brought along
with him all Asia, and encompassed this city round with his army,
did he fall by the hands of men? were not those hands lifted up
to God in prayers, without meddling with their arms, when an
angel of God destroyed that
prodigious army in one night? when the Assyrian king, as he
rose the next day, found a hundred fourscore and five thousand
dead bodies, and when he, with the remainder of his army, fled
away from the Hebrews, though they were
unarmed, and did not pursue them. You are also
acquainted with the slavery we were under at Babylon,
where the people were captives for seventy years; yet were they
not delivered into freedom again before God made
Cyrus his gracious instrument in bringing it about;
accordingly they were set free by him, and did again
restore the worship of their Deliverer at his temple. And, to
speak in general, we can produce no example wherein our
fathers got any success by war, or failed of success when
without war they committed themselves to God. When they
staid at home, they conquered, as pleased their Judge; but when
they went out to fight, they were always disappointed: for
example, when the king of Babylon besieged this very city, and
our king Zedekiah fought against him, contrary to what
predictions were made to him by Jeremiah the
prophet, he was at once taken prisoner, and saw the city and
the temple demolished. Yet how much greater was the
moderation of that king, than is that of your present
governors, and that of the people then under him, than is that
of you at this time! for when Jeremiah cried out aloud, how very
angry God was at them, because of their
transgressions, and told them they should be taken
prisoners, unless they would surrender up their city, neither
did the king nor the people put him to death; but for you, (to
pass over what you have done within the city, which I am not able
to describe as your wickedness deserves,) you
abuse me, and throw darts at me, who only exhort you to
save yourselves, as being provoked when you are put in
mind of your sins, and cannot bear the very mention of
those crimes which you every day perpetrate. For another
example, when Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, lay
before this city, and had been guilty of many indignities
against God, and our forefathers met him in arms, they
then were slain in the battle, this city was plundered by our
enemies, and our sanctuary made desolate for three years and six
months. And what need I bring any more
examples? Indeed what can it be that hath stirred up an army of
the Romans against our nation? Is it not the impiety of the
inhabitants? Whence did our servitude commence? Was it not
derived from the seditions that were among our forefathers, when
the madness of Aristobulus and Hyrcanus, and our mutual quarrels,
brought Pompey upon this city, and when God reduced those under
subjection to the Romans who were unworthy of the liberty they
had enjoyed? After a siege, therefore, of three months, they were
forced to surrender themselves, although they had not been guilty
of such offenses, with regard to our sanctuary and our laws, as
you have; and this while they had much greater advantages to go
to war than you have. Do not we know what end Antigonus, the son
of Aristobulus, came to, under whose reign God provided that this
city should be taken again upon account of the people's offenses?
When Herod, the son of Antipater, brought upon us Sosius, and
Sosius brought upon us the Roman army, they were then encompassed
and besieged for six months, till, as a punishment for their
sins, they were taken, and the city was plundered by the enemy.
Thus it appears that arms were never given to our nation, but
that we are always given up to be fought against, and to be
taken; for I suppose that such as inhabit this holy place ought
to commit the disposal of all things to God, and then only to
disregard the assistance of men when they resign themselves up to
their Arbitrator, who is above. As for you, what have you done of
those things that are recommended by our legislator? and what
have you not done of those things that he hath condemned? How
much more impious are you than those who were so quickly taken!
You have not avoided so much as those sins that are usually done
in secret; I mean thefts, and treacherous plots against men, and
adulteries. You are quarrelling about rapines and murders, and
invent strange ways of wickedness. Nay, the temple itself is
become the receptacle of all, and this Divine place is polluted
by the hands of those of our own country; which place hath yet
been reverenced by the Romans when it was at a distance from
them, when they have suffered many of their own customs to give
place to our law. And, after all this, do you expect Him whom you
have so impiously abused to be your supporter? To be sure then
you have a right to be petitioners, and to call upon Him to
assist you, so pure are your hands! Did your king [Hezekiah] lift
up such hands in prayer to God against the king of Assyria, when
he destroyed that great army in one night? And do the Romans
commit such wickedness as did the king of Assyria, that you may
have reason to hope for the like vengeance upon them? Did not
that king accept of money from our king on this condition, that
he should not destroy the city, and yet, contrary to the oath he
had taken, he came down to burn the temple? while the Romans do
demand no more than that accustomed tribute which our fathers
paid to their fathers; and if they may but once obtain that, they
neither aim to destroy this city, nor to touch this sanctuary;
nay, they will grant you besides, that your posterity shall be
free, and your possessions secured to you, and will preserve our
holy laws inviolate to you. And it is plain madness to expect
that God should appear as well disposed towards the wicked as
towards the righteous, since he knows when it is proper to punish
men for their sins immediately; accordingly he brake the power of
the Assyrians the very first night that they pitched their camp.
Wherefore, had he judged that our nation was worthy of freedom,
or the Romans of punishment, he had immediately inflicted
punishment upon those Romans, as he did upon the Assyrians, when
Pompey began to meddle with our nation, or when after him Sosius
came up against us, or when Vespasian laid waste Galilee, or,
lastly, when Titus came first of all near to this city; although
Magnus and Sosius did not only suffer nothing, but took the city
by force; as did Vespasian go from the war he made against you to
receive the empire; and as for Titus, those springs that were
formerly almost dried up when they were under your power (18)
since he is come, run more plentifully than they did before;
accordingly, you know that Siloam, as well as all the other
springs that were without the city, did so far fail, that water
was sold by distinct measures; whereas they now have such a great
quantity of water for your enemies, as is sufficient not only for
drink both for themselves and their cattle, but for watering
their gardens also. The same wonderful sign you had also
experience of formerly, when the forementioned king of Babylon
made war against us, and when he took the city, and burnt the
temple; while yet I believe the Jews of that age were not so
impious as you are. Wherefore I cannot but suppose that God is
fled out of his sanctuary, and stands on the side of those
against whom you fight. Now even a man, if he be but a good man,
will fly from an impure house, and will hate those that are in
it; and do you persuade yourselves that God will abide with you
in your iniquities, who sees all secret things, and hears what is
kept most private? Now what crime is there, I pray you, that is
so much as kept secret among you, or is concealed by you? nay,
what is there that is not open to your very enemies? for you show
your transgressions after a pompous manner, and contend one with
another which of you shall be more wicked than another; and you
make a public demonstration of your injustice, as if it were
virtue. However, there is a place left for your preservation, if
you be willing to accept of it; and God is easily reconciled to
those that confess their faults, and repent of them. O
hard-hearted wretches as you are! cast away all your arms, and
take pity of your country already going to ruin; return from your
wicked ways, and have regard to the excellency of that city which
you are going to betray, to that excellent temple with the
donations of so many countries in it. Who could bear to be the
first that should set that temple on fire? who could be willing
that these things should be no more? and what is there that can
better deserve to be preserved? O insensible creatures, and more
stupid than are the stones themselves! And if you cannot look at
these things with discerning eyes, yet, however, have pity upon
your families, and set before every one of your eyes your
children, and wives, and parents, who will be gradually consumed
either by famine or by war. I am sensible that this danger will
extend to my mother, and wife, and to that family of mine who
have been by no means ignoble, and indeed to one that hath been
very eminent in old time; and perhaps you may imagine that it is
on their account only that I give you this advice; if that be
all, kill them; nay, take my own blood as a reward, if it may but
procure your preservation; for I am ready to die, in case you
will but return to a sound mind after my death."


How A Great Many Of The People Earnestly Endeavored
To Desert To The Romans; As Also What Intolerable
Things Those That Staid Behind Suffered By Famine, And
The Sad Consequences Thereof.

1. As Josephus was speaking thus with a loud voice, the seditious
would neither yield to what he said, nor did they deem it safe
for them to alter their conduct; but as for the people, they had
a great inclination to desert to the Romans; accordingly, some of
them sold what they had, and even the most precious things that
had been laid up as treasures by them, for every small matter,
and swallowed down pieces of gold, that they might not be found
out by the robbers; and when they had escaped to the Romans,
went to stool, and had wherewithal to provide plentifully for
themselves; for Titus let a great number of them go away into the
country, whither they pleased. And the main reasons why they were
so ready to desert were these: That now they should be freed from
those miseries which they had endured in that city, and yet
should not be in slavery to the Romans: however, John and Simon,
with their factions, did more carefully watch these men's going
out than they did the coming in of the Romans; and if any one did
but afford the least shadow of suspicion of such an intention,
his throat was cut immediately.

2. But as for the richer sort, it proved all one to them whether
they staid in the city, or attempted to get out of it; for they
were equally destroyed in both cases; for every such person was
put to death under this pretense, that they were going to desert,
but in reality that the robbers might get what they had. The
madness of the seditious did also increase together with their
famine, and both those miseries were every day inflamed more and
more; for there was no corn which any where appeared publicly,
but the robbers came running into, and searched men's private
houses; and then, if they found any, they tormented them, because
they had denied they had any; and if they found none, they
tormented them worse, because they supposed they had more
carefully concealed it. The indication they made use of whether
they had any or not was taken from the bodies of these miserable
wretches; which, if they were in good case, they supposed they
were in no want at all of food; but if they were wasted away,
they walked off without searching any further; nor did they think
it proper to kill such as these, because they saw they would very
soon die of themselves for want of food. Many there were indeed
who sold what they had for one measure; it was of wheat, if they
were of the richer sort; but of barley, if they were poorer. When
these had so done, they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of
their houses, and ate the corn they had gotten; some did it
without grinding it, by reason of the extremity of the want they
were in, and others baked bread of it, according as necessity and
fear dictated to them: a table was no where laid for a distinct
meal, but they snatched the bread out of the fire, half-baked,
and ate it very hastily.

3. It was now a miserable case, and a sight that would justly
bring tears into our eyes, how men stood as to their food, while
the more powerful had more than enough, and the weaker were
lamenting [for want of it.] But the famine was too hard for all
other passions, and it is destructive to nothing so much as to
modesty; for what was otherwise worthy of reverence was in this
case despised; insomuch that children pulled the very morsels
that their fathers were eating out of their very mouths, and what
was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as to their
infants; and when those that were most dear were perishing under
their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very
last drops that might preserve their lives: and while they ate
after this manner, yet were they not concealed in so doing; but
the seditious every where came upon them immediately, and
snatched away from them what they had gotten from others; for
when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a signal that
the people within had gotten some food; whereupon they broke open
the doors, and ran in, and took pieces of what they were eating
almost up out of their very throats, and this by force: the old
men, who held their food fast, were beaten; and if the women hid
what they had within their hands, their hair was torn for so
doing; nor was there any commiseration shown either to the aged
or to the infants, but they lifted up children from the ground as
they hung upon the morsels they had gotten, and shook them down
upon the floor. But still they were more barbarously cruel to
those that had prevented their coming in, and had actually
swallowed down what they were going to seize upon, as if they had
been unjustly defrauded of their right. They also invented
terrible methods of torments to discover where any food was, and
they were these to stop up the passages of the privy parts of the
miserable wretches, and to drive sharp stakes up their
fundaments; and a man was forced to bear what it is terrible even
to hear, in order to make him confess that he had but one loaf of
bread, or that he might discover a handful of barley-meal that
was concealed; and this was done when these tormentors were not
themselves hungry; for the thing had been less barbarous had
necessity forced them to it; but this was done to keep their
madness in exercise, and as making preparation of provisions for
themselves for the following days. These men went also to meet
those that had crept out of the city by night, as far as the
Roman guards, to gather some plants and herbs that grew wild; and
when those people thought they had got clear of the enemy, they
snatched from them what they had brought with them, even while
they had frequently entreated them, and that by calling upon the
tremendous name of God, to give them back some part of what they
had brought; though these would not give them the least crumb,
and they were to be well contented that they were only spoiled,
and not slain at the same time.

4. These were the afflictions which the lower sort of people
suffered from these tyrants' guards; but for the men that were in
dignity, and withal were rich, they were carried before the
tyrants themselves; some of whom were falsely accused of laying
treacherous plots, and so were destroyed; others of them were
charged with designs of betraying the city to the Romans; but the
readiest way of all was this, to suborn somebody to affirm that
they were resolved to desert to the enemy. And he who was utterly
despoiled of what he had by Simon was sent back again to John, as
of those who had been already plundered by Jotre, Simon got what
remained; insomuch that they drank the blood of the populace to
one another, and divided the dead bodies of the poor creatures
between them; so that although, on account of their ambition
after dominion, they contended with each other, yet did they very
well agree in their wicked practices; for he that did not
communicate what he got by the miseries of others to the other
tyrant seemed to be too little guilty, and in one respect only;
and he that did not partake of what was so communicated to him
grieved at this, as at the loss of what was a valuable thing,
that he had no share in such barbarity.

5. It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every
instance of these men's iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind
here at once briefly: - That neither did any other city ever
suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation
more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of
the world. Finally, they brought the Hebrew nation into contempt,
that they might themselves appear comparatively less impious
with regard to strangers. They confessed what was true, that they
were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive
offspring of our nation, while they overthrew the city
themselves, and forced the Romans, whether they would or no, to
gain a melancholy reputation, by acting gloriously against them,
and did almost draw that fire upon the temple, which they seemed
to think came too slowly; and indeed when they saw that temple
burning from the upper city, they were neither troubled at it,
nor did they shed any tears on that account, while yet these
passions were discovered among the Romans themselves; which
circumstances we shall speak of hereafter in their proper place,
when we come to treat of such matters.


How The Jews Were Crucified Before The Walls Of The
City Concerning Antiochus Epiphanes; And How The Jews
Overthrew The Banks That Had Been Raised By The

1. So now Titus's banks were advanced a great way,
notwithstanding his soldiers had been very much distressed from
the wall. He then sent a party of horsemen, and ordered they
should lay ambushes for those that went out into the valleys to
gather food. Some of these were indeed fighting men, who were not
contented with what they got by rapine; but the greater part of
them were poor people, who were deterred from deserting by the
concern they were under for their own relations; for they could
not hope to escape away, together with their wives and children,
without the knowledge of the seditious; nor could they think of
leaving these relations to be slain by the robbers on their
account; nay, the severity of the famine made them bold in thus
going out; so nothing remained but that, when they were concealed
from the robbers, they should be taken by the enemy; and when
they were going to be taken, they were forced to defend
themselves for fear of being punished; as after they had fought,
they thought it too late to make any supplications for mercy; so
they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of
tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the
wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to
pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay,
some days they caught more: yet it did not appear to be safe for
him to let those that were taken by force go their way, and to
set a guard over so many he saw would be to make such as great
deal them useless to him. The main reason why he did not forbid
that cruelty was this, that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield
at that sight, out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards
be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of
the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they
caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the
crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that
room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the
bodies. (19)

2. But so far were the seditious from repenting at this sad
sight, that, on the contrary, they made the rest of the multitude
believe otherwise; for they brought the relations of those that
had deserted upon the wall, with such of the populace as were
very eager to go over upon the security offered them, and showed
them what miseries those underwent who fled to the Romans; and
told them that those who were caught were supplicants to them,
and not such as were taken prisoners. This sight kept many of
those within the city who were so eager to desert, till the truth
was known; yet did some of them run away immediately as unto
certain punishment, esteeming death from their enemies to be a
quiet departure, if compared with that by famine. So Titus
commanded that the hands of many of those that were caught should
be cut off, that they might not be thought deserters, and might
be credited on account of the calamity they were under, and sent
them in to John and Simon, with this exhortation, that they would
now at length leave off [their madness], and not force him to
destroy the city, whereby they would have those advantages of
repentance, even in their utmost distress, that they would
preserve their own lives, and so find a city of their own, and
that temple which was their peculiar. He then went round about
the banks that were cast up, and hastened them, in order to show
that his words should in no long time be followed by his deeds.
In answer to which the seditious cast reproaches upon Caesar
himself, and upon his father also, and cried out, with a loud
voice, that they contemned death, and did well in preferring it
before slavery; that they would do all the mischief to the Romans
they could while they had breath in them; and that for their own
city, since they were, as he said, to be destroyed, they had no
concern about it, and that the world itself was a better temple
to God than this. That yet this temple would be preserved by him
that inhabited therein, whom they still had for their assistant
in this war, and did therefore laugh at all his threatenings,
which would come to nothing, because the conclusion of the whole
depended upon God only. These words were mixed with reproaches,
and with them they made a mighty clamor.

3. In the mean time Antiochus Epiphanes came to the city, having
with him a considerable number of other armed men, and a band
called the Macedonian band about him, all of the same age, tall,
and just past their childhood, armed, and instructed after the
Macedonian manner, whence it was that they took that name. Yet
were many of them unworthy of so famous a nation; for it had so
happened, that the king of Commagene had flourished more than any
other kings that were under the power of the Romans, till a
change happened in his condition; and when he was become an old
man, he declared plainly that we ought not to call any man happy
before he is dead. But this son of his, who was then come thither
before his father was decaying, said that he could not but wonder
what made the Romans so tardy in making their attacks upon the
wall. Now he was a warlike man, and naturally bold in exposing
himself to dangers; he was also so strong a man, that his
boldness seldom failed of having success. Upon this Titus smiled,
and said he would share the pains of an attack with him. However,
Antiochus went as he then was, and with his Macedonians made a
sudden assault upon the wall; and, indeed, for his own part, his
strength and skill were so great, that he guarded himself from
the Jewish darts, and yet shot his darts at them, while yet the
young men with him were almost all sorely galled; for they had so
great a regard to the promises that had been made of their
courage, that they would needs persevere in their fighting, and
at length many of them retired, but not till they were wounded;
and then they perceived that true Macedonians, if they were to be
conquerors, must have Alexander's good fortune also.

4. Now as the Romans began to raise their banks on the twelfth
day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] so had they much ado to
finish them by the twenty-ninth day of the same month, after they
had labored hard for seventeen days continually. For there were
now four great banks raised, one of which was at the tower
Antonia; this was raised by the fifth legion, over against the
middle of that pool which was called Struthius. Another was cast
up by the twelfth legion, at the distance of about twenty cubits
from the other. But the labors of the tenth legion, which lay a
great way off these, were on the north quarter, and at the pool
called Amygdalon; as was that of the fifteenth legion about
thirty cubits from it, and at the high priest's monument. And
now, when the engines were brought, John had from within
undermined the space that was over against the tower of Antonia,
as far as the banks themselves, and had supported the ground over
the mine with beams laid across one another, whereby the Roman
works stood upon an uncertain foundation. Then did he order such
materials to be brought in as were daubed over with pitch and
bitumen, and set them on fire; and as the cross beams that
supported the banks were burning, the ditch yielded on the
sudden, and the banks were shaken down, and fell into the ditch
with a prodigious noise. Now at the first there arose a very
thick smoke and dust, as the fire was choked with the fall of the
bank; but as the suffocated materials were now gradually
consumed, a plain flame brake out; on which sudden appearance of
the flame a consternation fell upon the Romans, and the
shrewdness of the contrivance discouraged them; and indeed this
accident coming upon them at a time when they thought they had
already gained their point, cooled their hopes for the time to
come. They also thought it would be to no purpose to take the
pains to extinguish the fire, since if it were extinguished, the
banks were swallowed up already [and become useless to them].

5. Two days after this, Simon and his party made an attempt to
destroy the other banks; for the Romans had brought their engines
to bear there, and began already to make the wall shake. And here
one Tephtheus, of Garsis, a city of Galilee, and Megassarus, one
who was derived from some of queen Mariamne's servants, and with
them one from Adiabene, he was the son of Nabateus, and called by
the name of Chagiras, from the ill fortune he had, the word
signifying "a lame man," snatched some torches, and ran suddenly
upon the engines. Nor were there during this war any men that
ever sallied out of the city who were their superiors, either in
their boldness, or in the terror they struck into their enemies.
For they ran out upon the Romans, not as if they were enemies,
but friends, without fear or delay; nor did they leave their
enemies till they had rushed violently through the midst of them,
and set their machines on fire. And though they had darts thrown
at them on every side, and were on every side assaulted with
their enemies' swords, yet did they not withdraw themselves out
of the dangers they were in, till the fire had caught hold of the
instruments; but when the flame went up, the Romans came running
from their camp to save their engines. Then did the Jews hinder
their succors from the wall, and fought with those that
endeavored to quench the fire, without any regard to the danger
their bodies were in. So the Romans pulled the engines out of the
fire, while the hurdles that covered them were on fire; but the
Jews caught hold of the battering rams through the flame itself,
and held them fast, although the iron upon them was become red
hot; and now the fire spread itself from the engines to the
banks, and prevented those that came to defend them; and all this
while the Romans were encompassed round about with the flame;
and, despairing of saying their works from it, they retired to
their camp. Then did the Jews become still more and more in
number by the coming of those that were within the city to their
assistance; and as they were very bold upon the good success they
had had, their violent assaults were almost irresistible; nay,
they proceeded as far as the fortifications of the enemies' camp,
and fought with their guards. Now there stood a body of soldiers
in array before that camp, which succeeded one another by turns
in their armor; and as to those, the law of the Romans was
terrible, that he who left his post there, let the occasion be
whatsoever it might be, he was to die for it; so that body of
soldiers, preferring rather to die in fighting courageously, than
as a punishment for their cowardice, stood firm; and at the
necessity these men were in of standing to it, many of the others
that had run away, out of shame, turned back again; and when they
had set the engines against the wall, they put the multitude from
coming more of them out of the city, [which they could the more
easily do] because they had made no provision for preserving or
guarding their bodies at this time; for the Jews fought now hand
to hand with all that came in their way, and, without any
caution, fell against the points of their enemies' spears, and
attacked them bodies against bodies; for they were now too hard
for the Romans, not so much by their other warlike actions, as by
these courageous assaults they made upon them; and the Romans
gave way more to their boldness than they did to the sense of the
harm they had received from them.

6. And now Titus was come from the tower of Antonia, whither he
was gone to look out for a place for raising other banks, and
reproached the soldiers greatly for permitting their own walls to
be in danger, when they had taken the wails of their enemies, and
sustained the fortune of men besieged, while the Jews were
allowed to sally out against them, though they were already in a
sort of prison. He then went round about the enemy with some
chosen troops, and fell upon their flank himself; so the Jews,
who had been before assaulted in their faces, wheeled about to
Titus, and continued the fight. The armies also were now mixed
one among another, and the dust that was raised so far hindered
them from seeing one another, and the noise that was made so far
hindered them from hearing one another, that neither side could
discern an enemy from a friend. However, the Jews did not flinch,
though not so much from their real strength, as from their
despair of deliverance. The Romans also would not yield, by
reason of the regard they had to glory, and to their reputation
in war, and because Caesar himself went into the danger before
them; insomuch that I cannot but think the Romans would in the
conclusion have now taken even the whole multitude of the Jews,
so very angry were they at them, had these not prevented the
upshot of the battle, and retired into the city. However, seeing
the banks of the Romans were demolished, these Romans were very
much east down upon the loss of what had cost them so long pains,
and this in one hour's time. And many indeed despaired of taking
the city with their usual engines of war only.


Titus Thought Fit To Encompass The City Round With A
Wall; After Which The Famine Consumed The People By
Whole Houses And Families Together.

1. And now did Titus consult with his commanders what was to be
done. Those that were of the warmest tempers thought he should
bring the whole army against the city and storm the wall; for
that hitherto no more than a part of their army had fought with
the Jews; but that in case the entire army was to come at once,
they would not be able to sustain their attacks, but would be
overwhelmed by their darts. But of those that were for a more
cautious management, some were for raising their banks again; and
others advised to let the banks alone, but to lie still before
the city, to guard against the coming out of the Jews, and
against their carrying provisions into the city, and so to leave
the enemy to the famine, and this without direct fighting with
them; for that despair was not to be conquered, especially as to
those who are desirous to die by the sword, while a more terrible
misery than that is reserved for them. However, Titus did not
think it fit for so great an army to lie entirely idle, and that
yet it was in vain to fight with those that would be destroyed
one by another; he also showed them how impracticable it was to
cast up any more banks, for want of materials, and to guard
against the Jews coming out still more impracticable; as also,
that to encompass the whole city round with his army was not very
easy, by reason of its magnitude, and the difficulty of the
situation, and on other accounts dangerous, upon the sallies the
Jews might make out of the city. For although they might guard
the known passages out of the place, yet would they, when they
found themselves under the greatest distress, contrive secret
passages out, as being well acquainted with all such places; and
if any provisions were carried in by stealth, the siege would
thereby be longer delayed. He also owned that he was afraid that
the length of time thus to be spent would diminish the glory of
his success; for though it be true that length of time will
perfect every thing, yet that to do what we do in a little time
is still necessary to the gaining reputation. That therefore his
opinion was, that if they aimed at quickness joined with
security, they must build a wall round about the whole city;
which was, he thought, the only way to prevent the Jews from
coming out any way, and that then they would either entirely
despair of saving the city, and so would surrender it up to him,
or be still the more easily conquered when the famine had further
weakened them; for that besides this wall, he would not lie
entirely at rest afterward, but would take care then to have
banks raised again, when those that would oppose them were become
weaker. But that if any one should think such a work to be too
great, and not to be finished without much difficulty, he ought
to consider that it is not fit for Romans to undertake any small
work, and that none but God himself could with ease accomplish
any great thing whatsoever.

2. These arguments prevailed with the commanders. So Titus gave
orders that the army should be distributed to their several
shares of this work; and indeed there now came upon the soldiers
a certain divine fury, so that they did not only part the whole
wall that was to be built among them, nor did only one legion
strive with another, but the lesser divisions of the army did the
same; insomuch that each soldier was ambitious to please his
decurion, each decurion his centurion, each centurion his
tribune, and the ambition of the tribunes was to please their
superior commanders, while Caesar himself took notice of and
rewarded the like contention in those commanders; for he went
round about the works many times every day, and took a view of
what was done. Titus began the wall from the camp of the
Assyrians, where his own camp was pitched, and drew it down to
the lower parts of Cenopolis; thence it went along the valley of
Cedron, to the Mount of Olives; it then bent towards the south,
and encompassed the mountain as far as the rock called
Peristereon, and that other hill which lies next it, and is over
the valley which reaches to Siloam; whence it bended again to the
west, and went down to the valley of the Fountain, beyond which
it went up again at the monument of Ananus the high priest, and
encompassing that mountain where Pompey had formerly pitched his
camp, it returned back to the north side of the city, and was
carried on as far as a certain village called "The House of the
Erebinthi;" after which it encompassed Herod's monument, and
there, on the east, was joined to Titus's own camp, where it
began. Now the length of this wall was forty furlongs, one only
abated. Now at this wall without were erected thirteen places to
keep garrison in, whose circumferences, put together, amounted to
ten furlongs; the whole was completed in three days; so that what
would naturally have required some months was done in so short an
interval as is incredible. When Titus had therefore encompassed
the city with this wall, and put garrisons into proper places, be
went round the wall, at the first watch of the night, and
observed how the guard was kept; the second watch he allotted to
Alexander; the commanders of legions took the third watch. They
also cast lots among themselves who should be upon the watch in
the night time, and who should go all night long round the spaces
that were interposed between the garrisons.

3. So all hope of escaping was now cut off from the Jews,
together with their liberty of going out of the city. Then did
the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole
houses and families; the upper rooms were full of women and
children that were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city
were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also and
the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all
swelled with the famine, and fell down dead, wheresoever their
misery seized them. As for burying them, those that were sick
themselves were not able to do it; and those that were hearty and
well were deterred from doing it by the great multitude of those
dead bodies, and by the uncertainty there was how soon they
should die themselves; for many died as they were burying others,
and many went to their coffins before that fatal hour was come.
Nor was there any lamentations made under these calamities, nor
were heard any mournful complaints; but the famine confounded all
natural passions; for those who were just going to die looked
upon those that were gone to rest before them with dry eyes and
open mouths. A deep silence also, and a kind of deadly night, had
seized upon the city; while yet the robbers were still more
terrible than these miseries were themselves; for they brake open
those houses which were no other than graves of dead bodies, and
plundered them of what they had; and carrying off the coverings
of their bodies, went out laughing, and tried the points of their
swords in their dead bodies; and, in order to prove what metal
they were made of they thrust some of those through that still
lay alive upon the ground; but for those that entreated them to
lend them their right hand and their sword to despatch them, they
were too proud to grant their requests, and left them to be
consumed by the famine. Now every one of these died with their
eyes fixed upon the temple, and left the seditious alive behind
them. Now the seditious at first gave orders that the dead should
be buried out of the public treasury, as not enduring the stench
of their dead bodies. But afterwards, when they could not do
that, they had them cast down from the walls into the valleys

4. However, when Titus, in going his rounds along those valleys,
saw them full of dead bodies, and the thick putrefaction running
about them, he gave a groan; and, spreading out his hands to
heaven, called God to witness that this was not his doing; and
such was the sad case of the city itself. But the Romans were
very joyful, since none of the seditious could now make sallies
out of the city, because they were themselves disconsolate, and
the famine already touched them also. These Romans besides had
great plenty of corn and other necessaries out of Syria, and out
of the neighboring provinces; many of whom would stand near to
the wall of the city, and show the people what great quantities
of provisions they had, and so make the enemy more sensible of
their famine, by the great plenty, even to satiety, which they
had themselves. However, when the seditious still showed no
inclinations of yielding, Titus, out of his commiseration of the
people that remained, and out of his earnest desire of rescuing
what was still left out of these miseries, began to raise his
banks again, although materials for them were hard to he come at;
for all the trees that were about the city had been already cut
down for the making of the former banks. Yet did the soldiers
bring with them other materials from the distance of ninety
furlongs, and thereby raised banks in four parts, much greater
than the former, though this was done only at the tower of
Antonia. So Caesar went his rounds through the legions, and
hastened on the works, and showed the robbers that they were now
in his hands. But these men, and these only, were incapable of
repenting of the wickednesses they had been guilty of; and
separating their souls from their bodies, they used them both as
if they belonged to other folks, and not to themselves. For no
gentle affection could touch their souls, nor could any pain
affect their bodies, since they could still tear the dead bodies
of the people as dogs do, and fill the prisons with those that
were sick.


The Great Slaughters And Sacrilege That Were In

1. Accordingly Simon would not suffer Matthias, by whose means he
got possession of the city, to go off without torment. This
Matthias was the son of Boethus, and was one of the high priests,
one that had been very faithful to the people, and in great
esteem with them; he, when the multitude were distressed by the
zealots, among whom John was numbered, persuaded the people to
admit this Simon to come in to assist them, while he had made no
terms with him, nor expected any thing that was evil from him.
But when Simon was come in, and had gotten the city under his
power, he esteemed him that had advised them to admit him as his
enemy equally with the rest, as looking upon that advice as a
piece of his simplicity only; so he had him then brought before
him, and condemned to die for being on the side of the Romans,
without giving him leave to make his defense. He condemned also
his three sons to die with him; for as to the fourth, he
prevented him by running away to Titus before. And when he begged
for this, that he might be slain before his sons, and that as a
favor, on account that he had procured the gates of the city to
be opened to him, he gave order that he should be slain the last
of them all; so he was not slain till he had seen his sons slain
before his eyes, and that by being produced over against the
Romans; for such a charge had Simon given to Artanus, the son of
Bamadus, who was the most barbarous of all his guards. He also
jested upon him, and told him that he might now see whether those
to whom he intended to go over would send him any succors or not;
but still he forbade their dead bodies should be buried. After
the slaughter of these, a certain priest, Ananias, the son of
Masambalus, a person of eminency, as also Aristens, the scribe of
the sanhedrim, and born at Emmaus, and with them fifteen men of
figure among the people, were slain. They also kept Josephus's
father in prison, and made public proclamation, that no citizen
whosoever should either speak to him himself, or go into his
company among others, for fear he should betray them. They also
slew such as joined in lamenting these men, without any further

2. Now when Judas, the son of Judas, who was one of Simon's under
officers, and a person intrusted by him to keep one of the
towers, saw this procedure of Simon, he called together ten of
those under him, that were most faithful to him, (perhaps this
was done partly out of pity to those that had so barbarously been
put to death, but principally in order to provide for his own
safety,) and spoke thus to them: "How long shall we bear these
miseries? or what hopes have we of deliverance by thus continuing
faithful to such wicked wretches? Is not the famine already come
against us? Are not the Romans in a manner gotten within the
city? Is not Simon become unfaithful to his benefactors? and is
there not reason to fear he will very soon bring us to the like
punishment, while the security the Romans offer us is sure? Come
on, let us surrender up this wall, and save ourselves and the
city. Nor will Simon be very much hurt, if, now he despairs of
deliverance, he be brought to justice a little sooner than he
thinks on." Now these ten were prevailed upon by those arguments;
so he sent the rest of those that were under him, some one way,
and some another, that no discovery might be made of what they
had resolved upon. Accordingly, he called to the Romans from the
tower about the third hour; but they, some of them out of pride,
despised what he said, and others of them did not believe him to
be in earnest, though the greatest number delayed the matter, as
believing they should get possession of the city in a little
time, without any hazard. But when Titus was just coming thither
with his armed men, Simon was acquainted with the matter before
he came, and presently took the tower into his own custody,
before it was surrendered, and seized upon these men, and put
them to death in the sight of the Romans
themselves; and when he had mangled their dead bodies, he threw
them down before the wall of the city.

3. In the mean time, Josephus, as he was going round the city,
had his head wounded by a stone that was thrown at him; upon
which he fell down as giddy. Upon which fall of his the Jews made
a sally, and he had been hurried away into the city, if Caesar
had not sent men to protect him immediately; and as these men
were fighting, Josephus was taken up, though he heard little of
what was done. So the seditious supposed they had now slain that
man whom they were the most desirous of killing, and made
thereupon a great noise, in way of rejoicing. This accident was
told in the city, and the multitude that remained became very
disconsolate at the news, as being persuaded that he was really
dead, on whose account alone they could venture to desert to the
Romans. But when Josephus's mother heard in prison that her son
was dead, she said to those that watched about her, That she had
always been of opinion, since the siege of Jotapata, [that he
would be slain,] and she should never enjoy him alive any more.
She also made great lamentation privately to the maid-servants
that were about her, and said, That this was all the advantage
she had of bringing so extraordinary a person as this son into
the world; that she should not be able even to bury that son of
hers, by whom she expected to have been buried herself. However,
this false report did not put his mother to pain, nor afford
merriment to the robbers, long; for Josephus soon recovered of
his wound, and came out, and cried out aloud, That it would not
be long ere they should be punished for this wound they had given
him. He also made a fresh exhortation to the people to come out
upon the security that would be given them. This sight of
Josephus encouraged the people greatly, and brought a great
consternation upon the seditious.

4. Hereupon some of the deserters, having no other way, leaped
down from the wall immediately, while others of them went out of
the city with stones, as if they would fight them; but thereupon
they fled away to the Romans. But here a worse fate accompanied
these than what they had found within the city; and they met with
a quicker despatch from the too great abundance they had among
the Romans, than they could have done from the famine among the
Jews; for when they came first to the Romans, they were puffed up
by the famine, and swelled like men in a dropsy; after which they
all on the sudden overfilled those bodies that were before empty,
and so burst asunder, excepting such only as were skillful enough
to restrain their appetites, and by degrees took in their food
into bodies unaccustomed thereto. Yet did another plague seize
upon those that were thus preserved; for there was found among
the Syrian deserters a certain person who was caught gathering
pieces of gold out of the excrements of the Jews' bellies; for
the deserters used to swallow such pieces of gold, as we told you
before, when they came out, and for these did the seditious
search them all; for there was a great quantity of gold in the
city, insomuch that as much was now sold [in the Roman camp] for
twelve Attic [drams], as was sold before for twenty-five. But
when this contrivance was discovered in one instance, the fame of
it filled their several camps, that the deserters came to them
full of gold. So the multitude of the Arabians, with the Syrians,
cut up those that came as supplicants, and searched their
bellies. Nor does it seem to me that any misery befell the Jews
that was more terrible than this, since in one night's time about
two thousand of these deserters were thus dissected.

5. When Titus came to the knowledge of this wicked practice, he
had like to have surrounded those that had been guilty of it with
his horse, and have shot them dead; and he had done it, had not
their number been so very great, and those that were liable to
this punishment would have been manifold more than those whom
they had slain. However, he called together the commanders of the
auxiliary troops he had with him, as well as the commanders of
the Roman legions, (for some of his own soldiers had been also
guilty herein, as he had been informed,) and had great
indignation against both sorts of them, and said to them, "What!
have any of my own soldiers done such things as this out of the
uncertain hope of gain, without regarding their own weapons,
which are made of silver and gold? Moreover, do the Arabians and
Syrians now first of all begin to govern themselves as they
please, and to indulge their appetites in a foreign war, and
then, out of their barbarity in murdering men, and out of their
hatred to the Jews, get it ascribed to the Romans?" for this
infamous practice was said to be spread among some of his own
soldiers also. Titus then threatened that he would put such men
to death, if any of them were discovered to be so insolent as to
do so again; moreover, he gave it in charge to the legions, that
they should make a search after such as were suspected, and
should bring them to him. But it appeared that the love of money
was too hard for all their dread of punishment, and a vehement
desire of gain is natural to men, and no passion is so
venturesome as covetousness; otherwise such passions have certain
bounds, and are subordinate to fear. But in reality it was God
who condemned the whole nation, and turned every course that was
taken for their preservation to their destruction. This,
therefore, which was forbidden by Caesar under such a
threatening, was ventured upon privately against the deserters,
and these barbarians would go out still, and meet those that ran
away before any saw them, and looking about them to see that no
Roman spied them, they dissected them, and pulled this polluted
money out of their bowels; which money was still found in a few
of them, while yet a great many were destroyed by the bare hope
there was of thus getting by them, which miserable treatment
made many that were deserting to return back again into the city.

6. But as for John, when he could no longer plunder the people,
he betook himself to sacrilege, and melted down many of the
sacred utensils, which had been given to the temple; as also many
of those vessels which were necessary for such as ministered
about holy things, the caldrons, the dishes, and the tables; nay,
he did not abstain from those pouring vessels that were sent them
by Augustus and his wife; for the Roman emperors did ever both
honor and adorn this temple; whereas this man, who was a Jew,
seized upon what were the donations of foreigners, and said to
those that were with him, that it was proper for them to use
Divine things, while they were fighting for the Divinity, without
fear, and that such whose warfare is for the temple should live
of the temple; on which account he emptied the vessels of that
sacred wine and oil, which the priests kept to be poured on the
burnt-offerings, and which lay in the inner court of the temple,
and distributed it among the multitude, who, in their anointing
themselves and drinking, used [each of them] above an hin of
them. And here I cannot but speak my mind, and what the concern I
am under dictates to me, and it is this: I suppose, that had the
Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains,
that the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground
opening upon them, or been overflowed by water, or else been
destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom (20) perished
by, for it had brought forth a generation of men much more
atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments; for
by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.

7. And, indeed, why do I relate these particular calamities?
while Manneus, the son of Lazarus, came running to Titus at this
very time, and told him that there had been carried out through
that one gate, which was intrusted to his care, no fewer than a
hundred and fifteen thousand eight hundred and eighty dead
bodies, in the interval between the fourteenth day of the month
Xanthieus, [Nisan,] when the Romans pitched their camp by the
city, and the first day of the month Panemus [Tamuz]. This was
itself a prodigious multitude; and though this man was not
himself set as a governor at that gate, yet was he appointed to
pay the public stipend for carrying these bodies out, and so was
obliged of necessity to number them, while the rest were buried
by their relations; though all their burial was but this, to
bring them away, and cast them out of the city. After this man
there ran away to Titus many of the eminent citizens, and told
him the entire number of the poor that were dead, and that no
fewer than six hundred thousand were thrown out at the gates,
though still the number of the rest could not be discovered; and
they told him further, that when they were no longer able to
carry out the dead bodies of the poor, they laid their corpses on
heaps in very large houses, and shut them up therein; as also
that a medimnus of wheat was sold for a talent; and that when, a
while afterward, it was not possible to gather herbs, by reason
the city was all walled about, some persons were driven to that
terrible distress as to search the common sewers and old
dunghills of cattle, and to eat the dung which they got there;
and what they of old could not endure so much as to see they now
used for food. When the Romans barely heard all this, they
commiserated their case; while the seditious, who saw it also,
did not repent, but suffered the same distress to come upon
themselves; for they were blinded by that fate which was already
coming upon the city, and upon themselves also.


(1) This appears to be the first time that the zealots ventured
to pollute this most sacred court of the temple, which was the
court of the priests, wherein the temple itself and the altar
stood. So that the conjecture of those that would interpret that
Zacharias, who was slain "between the temple and the altar"
several months before, B. IV. ch. 5. sect. 4, as if he were slain
there by these zealots, is groundless, as I have noted on that
place already.

(2) The Levites.

(3) This is an excellent reflection of Josephus, including his
hopes of the restoration of the Jews upon their repentance, See
Antiq. B. IV. ch. 8. sect. 46, which is the grand "Hope of
Israel," as Manasseh-ben-Israel, the famous Jewish Rabbi, styles
it, in his small but remarkable treatise on that subject, of
which the Jewish prophets are every where full. See the principal
of those prophecies collected together at the end of the Essay on
the Revelation, p. 822, etc.

(4) This destruction of such a vast quantity of corn and other
provisions, as was sufficient for many years. was the direct
occasion of that terrible famine, which consumed incredible
numbers of Jews in Jerusalem during its siege. Nor probably could
the Romans have taken this city, after all, had not these
seditious Jews been so infatuated as thus madly to destroy, what
Josephus here justly styles, "The nerves of their power."

(5) This timber, we see, was designed for the rebuilding those
twenty additional cubits of the holy house above the hundred,
which had fallen down some years before. See the note on Antiq.
B. XV. ch. 11. sect. 3.

(6) There being no gate on the west, and only on the west, side
of the court of the priests, and so no steps there, this was the
only side that the seditious, under this John of Gischala, could
bring their engines close to the cloisters of that court
end-ways, though upon the floor of the court of Israel. See the
scheme of that temple, in the description of the temples hereto

(7) We may here note, that Titus is here called "a king," and
"Caesar," by Josephus, even while he was no more than the
emperor's son, and general of the Roman army, and his father
Vespasian was still alive; just as the New Testament says
"Archelaus reigned," or "was king," Matthew 2:22, though he was

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