Page images
PDF
EPUB

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

8. And thus did he continue to 'admonish them. Now he chose for the war such an army as was sufficient, that is, sixty thousand footmen, and* two hundred and fifty horsemen : and besides these, on which he put the greatest trust, there were about four thousand five hundred mercenaries : he had

• I should think that an army of 60,000 footmen should require many more than 250 horsemen; and we find that Josephus had more horsemen under his command than 250 in his future history. I suppose the number of the thousands is dropt in our present copies.

also six hundred men as guards of his body. Now the cities easily maintained the rest of his army, excepting the mercedaries, for every one of the cities enumerated above, sent out half their men to the army, and retained the other half. at home, in order to get provisions for them : insomuch that the one part went to the war, and the other part to their work, and so those that sent out their corn were paid for it by those that were in arnis, by that security which they enjoyed from them.

CHAP. XXI. Concerning John of Gischala. Josephus uses stratagems against the

plots John laid against him; and recorers certain cities which had revolted from him.

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

Vou.. VI.

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

3. Now at the same time that certain young men of the village Dabaritta, who kept guard in the great plain, laid snares for Ptolemy, who was Agrippa's and Bereuice's sterard, and took from him all that he bad with him, among which things there were a great many costly garments, and no small number of silver cups, and six hundred pieces of gold, yet were they not able to conceal what they had stolen, but brought it all to Josephus, to Tarichea:. Hereupon he bla. meri them for the violence they had offered to the king and queen, and deposit d what they brought to him with Æneas, the most polent inan of Taricheæ, with an intention of send. ing the things back to the owners at a proper time; which act of Josephus brought him into the greatest danger; for those that had stolen the things had an indignation at him, both because they gained po share of it for themselves, and because they perceived beforehand what was Josephus' intention, and that he would freely deliver up what had cost theni so much pains, to the king and queen. These ran away by night to their several villages, and declared to all men that Josephus was going to betray them : they also raised great disorder in all the neighbouring cities, iosomuch that in the moruing an hundred thousand armed men came running together; which multitude was crowded together in the hippodrome at Taricheæ, and made a very peeyish clamour against him; while some cried out, that they should de56 pose the traitor ;" and others, that “they should burn himn.". Now John irritated a great many, as did also one Jesus, the son of Sapphias, who was then governor of Tiberias. Then it was that Josephus' friends, and the guards of his body, were so affrighted at this violent assault of the multitude, that they all fled away but four; and as he was asleep they awakech him, as the people were going to set fire to the house. And although those four that remained with him persuaded him to run away, he was neither surprised at his being himself de. serted, nor at the great multitude that came against him, but leaped out to them with his clothes rent, and ashes sprinkled on his head, with his hands behind him, and his sword hanging at his neck. At this sight his friends, especially those of Taricheæ, commiserated his condition; but those that came out of the country, and those in their neighbourhood to whom his government seemed burdensome, reproached him, and bid him produce the money which belonged to them all immediately, and to confess the agreement he had made to be. tray them; for they imagined, from the habit in which he appeared, that he would deny nothing of what they suspected concerning him, and that it was in order to obtain pardon that he had put himself entirely into so pitiable a posture. But this humble appearance was only designed as preparatory to a stratagem of his, who thereby contrived to set those that were so angry at him at variance with another about the things they were angry at. However, he promised he would confess all: hereupon he was permitted to speak, when he said, “I did neither intend to send this mo“ney back to Agrippa, por to gain it myself; for I did never "esteem one that was your enemy to be my friend, nor did I <* look upou what would tend to your disadvantage, to be my

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

“ advantage. But, () you people of Taricheæ, I saw that “ your city stood in more need than others of fortifications “ for your security, and that it wanted money in order for “ the building it a wall. I was also afraid lest the people of " Tiberias and other cities should lay a plot to seize upon “ these spoils, and therefore it was that I inteuded to retain “ this money privately, that I might encompass you with a 6 wall. But if this does not please you, I will produce what " was brought me, and leave it to you to plunder it; but if 6 I liave conducted myself so well as to please you, you “ may, if you please, punish your benefactor.”

4. IIereupon the people of Taricheæ loudly commended him, but those of Tiberias, with the rest of the company, gave him hard names, and threatened what they would do to him ; so both sides left off quarrelling with Josephus, and fell on quarrelling with one another. So he grew bold upon the dependence he had on his friends, which were the people of Taricheæ,and about sorty thousand in nuniber, and spake more freely to the whole multitude, and reproached them greatly for their rashness, and told them, that with this money he “ would build walls about Taricheæ, and would put the " other cities in a state of security also; for that they should “ not want money, if they would but agree for whose benefit “it was to be procured, and would not suffer themselves to 66 be irritated against him who procured it for them.”

5. Hereupon the rest of the multitude who had been deluded, retired ; but yet so that they went away apgry, and to thousand of them made an assault upon him in their armour ; as he was already gone to his own house, they stood without, and threatened him. On which occasion Josephus again used a second stratagem to escape them; for he got ripon the top of bis house, and with his right hand desired them to be sllent, and said to them, “I cannot tell what you would have, “nor can hear what you say, for the confused poise you make: “ but he said that he would comply with all their demands, “ in case they would but send some of their number in to " him, that might talk with him about it.” And when the principal of them, with their leaders, heard this, they came into the house. He then drew them to the most retired part of the house, and shut the door of that ball where he put them, and then had them whipped, till every one of their inward parts appeared oaked. In the mean time the multitude stood round the house, and supposed that he had a long dise

« PreviousContinue »