« PreviousContinue »
espected joy, as though he were preserved by God's providence to be their commander for the time to come.
4. And now Vespasian took along with him his army from Antioch, (which is the metropolis of Syria, and, without dispute deserves the place of the *third city in the habitable earth that was under the Roman empire, both in magnitude and other marks of prosperity,) where he found king Agrippa with all his forces, waiting for his coming, and marched to Ptolemais. At this city also the inhabitants of Sepphoris of Galilee met him, who were for peace with the Romans.These citizens had beforehand taken care of their own safety, and being sensible of the power of the Romans, they had been with Cestius Gallus, before Vespasian came, and had given their faith to him, and received the security of his right hand, and had received a Roman garrison; and at this time withal they received Vespasian the Roman general very kindly, and readily promised that they would assist him against their own countrymen. Now the general delivered them, at their desire, as many horsemen, and footmen as he thought sufficient to oppose the incursions of the Jews, if they should come against them. And indeed the danger of loosing Sepphoris would be no small one, in this war, that was dow beginning, seeing it was the largest city of Galilee, and built in a place by nature very strong, and might be a securi. ty of the whole nation's [fidelity to the Romans.]
CHAP. III. A description of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. 8 1. Now Phoenicia and Syria encompass about the Galilees, which are two, and called the Upper Galilee, and the Lower. They are bounded towards the sun setting, with the borders of the territory belonging to Ptolemais, apd by Carmel; which mountain had fornierly belonged to the Galileans, but now belonged to the Tyrians, to which mountain adjoins Gaba, which is called the city of horsemen, because those horsemen that were dismissed by 'Herod the king dwelt therein; they are bounded on the south with Samaria, and Scythopolis, as far as the river Jordan ; on the east with Hip.
* Spanheim and Reland both agree, that the two cities here es. teemed greater than Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, were Rome and Alexandria ; nor is there any occasion for doubt in so plain a case.
pene and Gadaris, and also with Gaulonitis, and the borders of the kingdom of Agrippa ; its northern parts are bounded! by Tyre, and the country of the Tyrians. As for that Ga. lilee which is called the Lower, it extends in length from Ti. berias to Zabulon, and of the maritime places Ptolemais is its neighbour; its breadth is from the village called Xaloth, which lies in the great plain, as far as Bersabe, fron which beginning also is taken the breadth of the Upper Galilee, as far as the village Baca, which divides the land of the Tyriaps from it; its length is also from Meloth to Thella a village near to Jordan.
2. These two Galilees of so great largeness, and encompassed with so many nations of foreigners, have been always able to make a strong resistance on all occasions of war; for the Galileans are inured to war from their infancy, and have been always very numerous; nor hath the country been ever destitute of men of courage, or wanted a numerous set of them: for the soil is universally rich and fruitful, and full of the plantations of trees of all sorts, insomuch that it invites the most slothful to take pains in its cultivation by its fruitful. ness: accordingly it is all cultivated by its inhabitants, and no part of it lies idle. Moreover, the cities lie here very thick, and the very many villages there are here are every where so full of people by the richness of their soil, that the very least of them contained above fifteen thousand inhabitants.
3. In short, if any one will suppose that Galilee is inferior to Perea in magoitude, he will be obliged to prefer it before it in its strength; for this is all capable of cultivation, and is every where fruitful; but for Perea, which is indeed much larger in extent, the greater part of it is desert, and rough, and much disposed for the production of the milder kinds of fruits; yet hath it a moist soil (in other parts) and produces all kinds of fruits, and its plains are planted with trees of all sorts, while yet the olive tree, the vine, and the palm trees, are chiefly cultivated there, It is also sufficiently watered with torrents, which issue out of the mountains, and with springs that never fail to run, even when torrents fail them, as they do in the dog days. Now the length of Perea is from Macherus to Pella, and its breadth from Philadelphia to Jor. dan : its northern parts are bounded by Pella, as we have al. ready said, as well as its western with Jordan; the land of Moab is its southern border, and its eastern limits reach to
Arabia, and Silbonitis, and, besides to Philadelphene and Gerasa.
4. Now as to the country of Samaria, it lies between Judea and Galilee; it begins at a village that is in the great plain called Ginea, and ends at the Acrabbene toparchy, and is en. tirely of the same nature with Judea ; for both countries are made up of bills and valleys, and are moist enough for agriculture, and are very fruitful. They have abundance of trees, and are full of autumnal fruit, both that which grows wild, and that which is the effect of cultivation. They are not naturally watered by many rivers, but derive their chief mois. ture from rain-water, of which they have no want; and for those rivers which they have, all their waters are exceeciing sweet: by reason also of the excellent grass they have, their cattle yield more milk than do those in other places; and, what is the greatest sign of excellency, and of abundance, they each of them are very full of people.
5. In the limits of Samaria and Judea lies the village Annath, which is also named Borceos. This is the northern boundary of Judea. The southern parts of Judea, if they be measured lengthways, are bounded by a village adjoining to the confines of Arabia; the Jews that dwell there call it Jor. dan. However its breadth is extended from the river Jor. dan to Joppa. The city Jerusalem is situated in the very middle; on which account some have, with sagacity enough, called that city the navel of the country. Nor indeed is Judea destitute of such delights as come from the sea, since its maritime places estend as far as Ptolemais : it was parted into eleven portions, of which the royal city Jerusalem was the supreme, and presided over all the neighbouring country, as the bead does over the body. As to the other cities that were inferior to it, they presided over their several toparchies; Gophna was the second of those cities, and next to ibat Acrabatta ; after them Thamna, and Lydda, and Emmaus, and Pella, and Idumea, and Engaddi, and Herodium, and Jericho; and after them came Jampia and Joppa, as presiding over the neighbouring people: and besides these there was the region of Gamala, and Gaulanitis, and Batanea, and Trachonitis, which are also parts of the kingdom of Agrippa. This plast] country begins at mount Libanus, and the fountains of Jordan, and reaches breadth ways to the lake of Tiberias; and in length is extended from a village called
Arpha, as far as Julias. Its inhabitants are a mixture of Jews and Syrians. And thus have I, with all possible brevity, described the country of Judea, and those that lie around it,
• CILAP. IV. Josephus makes an attempt upon Sepphoris, but is repelled. Titus
comes with a great army to Ptolemais. $ 1. Now the auxiliaries which were sent to assist the people of Sepphoris, being a thousand horsemen, and six thousand footinen, under Placidus the tribune, pitched their camp in two bodies in the great plain. . The foot were put into the city to be a guard to it, but the horse lodged abroad in the camp. These last, by marching continually one way or other, and over-running the parts of the adjoinivg country, were very troublesome to Josephus and his men ; they also plundered all the places that were out of the city's liberty, and intercepted such as durst go abroad. On this account it was that Josephus marched against the city, as hoping to take what he had lately encompassed with so strong a wail, before they revolted from the rest of the Galileans, that the Romans would have had much ado to take it: by which means be proved too weak, and failed of his hopes, both as to the forcing the place, and as to his prevailing with the people of Sep. phoris to deliver it up to him. By this means he provoked the Romans to treat the country according to the law of war; nor did the Romans, out of the anger they bore at this attempt, leave off either by night or by day, burning the places iu the plain, and stealing away the cattle that were ill the country, and killing whatsoever appeared capable of fighting perpetually, and leading the weaker people as slaves into captivity; so that Galilee was all over filled with fire and blood; nor was it exempted from any kind of misery or calamity, for the only refuge they had was this, that wheu they were pursued, they could retire to the cities which bad walls built them by Josephus.
2. But as to Titus, he sailed over from Achaia to Alexandria, and that sooner than the winter season did usually per. mit;, so he took with hini those forces he was sent for, and marching with great expedition, he came suddenly to Ptolemais, and there finding his father, together with the two le. giops, the fifth and the tenth, which were the most eminent legions of all, he joined them to that fifteenth legion which was
with his father : eighteen coborts followed these legions: there came also five cohorts from Cæsarea with one troop of horsemen, and five other troops of horsemen from Syria. Now these ten cohorts had severaliy a thousand footmen, but the other sixteen cohorts had no more than six hundred footmen a-piece, with an hundred and twenty horsemen. There were also a considerable number of auxiliaries got together, that came from the kings Antiochus and Agrippa, and Sohemus, each of them contributing one thousand footmen that were archers, and a thousand horsemen. Malchus also, the king of Arabia, sent a thousand horsemen, besides five thousand footmeii, the greatest part of which were archers : so that the whole army, including the auxiliaries sent by the kings, as well horsement as fonimen, when all were united together, amounded to sixty thousand, besides the servants, who, ag they followed in vast numbers, so because they had been trained up in war with the rest, ought not to be distinguished from the fighting men ; for as they were in their masters service in times of peace, so did they undergo the like dan: gers with them in times of war, iosomuch that they were inferior to none either in skill or in strength, only they were subject to their masters.
A description of the Roman armies, and Roman camps; and of
other particulars, for which the Romans are commended. § 1. Now here one cannot but admire at the precaution of the Romans, in providing themselves of such household servants as might not only serve at other times for the common offices of life, but might also be of advantage to them in their wars. And indeed if any one does but attend to the other parts of their military discipline, he will be forced to confess that their obtaining so large a dominion, hath been the acquisition of their valour, and not the bare gift of fortune : for they do not begin to use their weapons first in time of war, nor do they then put their hands first into motion, while they avoided so to do in times of peace; but as if their weapors did always cling to them, they have never any truce from warlike exercises ; nor do they stay till times of war admonish them to use them; for their military exercises differ not at all from the real use of their arms, but every soldier is every day exercised, and that with great diligence, as if it