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that the Jews were divided between sedition and tyranny, they boldly undertook greater matters; and at the feast of unleavened bread, which the Jews celebrate in memory of their deliverance from the Egyptian bondage, when they were sept back into the country of their forefathers, they came down by night, without being discovered by those that could have prevented them, and over-ran a certain small ci. ty called Engaddi. Jo which expedition they prevented those citizens that could have stopped them, before they could arm themselves, and fight them. They also dispersed them, and cast them out of the city : as for such as could not run away, being women and children, they slew of them above seven hundred. Afterward, when they had carried eyery thing out of their houses, and had seized upon all the fruits that were in a flourishing condition, they brought them into Masada. And indeed these men laid all the villages that were about the fortress waste, and made the whole country desolate; while there came to them every day, from all parts, pot a few men, as corrupt as themselves. At that time all the other regions of Judea, that had hitherto been at rest, were in motion, by means of the robbers. Now as it is in a human body, if the principal part be inflamed, all the members are subject to the same distemper, so by means of the sedition and disorder that was in the metropolis, had the wicked men that were in the country opportunity to ravage the same. Accordingly when every one of them had, plundered their own villages, they then retired into the desert: yet were these men that now got together, and joined in the conspiracy by parties, too small for an army, and too many for a gang of thieves; and thus did they fall upon the * holy places, and the cities; yet did it now so happen that they were sometimes very ill treated by those upon whom they fell with such violence, and were taken by them as men are taken in war: but still they prevented any farther punishment, as do robbers, who, as soon as their ravages
* By these lege or holy places, as distinct from cities, must be meant proceuchae, or houses of prayer out of cities; of which we find mention made in the New Testament, and other authors, See Luke vi. 12. Acts xvi. 13, 16. Antiq. B. xiv. ch. x. $ 23. vol. iii. bis Life, $ 54, vol. iv. In qua te quero prosiecha? Juvenal. Sat. iii. ver. 296. They were situated sometimes by the sides of rivers, Acts xvi. 13. or by the sea-side. Antiq. B. xiv. ch. x. $ 23. So did the seventy-two interpreters go to prayer every morning by the sea, side, before they went to their work, B. xii. ch. ii. $ 12. vol. iii.
[are discovered] run their way. Nor was there now any part of Judea that was not in a miserable condition, as well as its most eminent city also.
3. These things were told Vespasian by deserters; for althou, h the seditious watched all the passages out of the city, and destroyed all, whosoever they were, that came thither, yet were there some that had concealed themselves, and when they had fled to the Romans, persuaded their general to come to the city's assistance, aud save the remainder of the people : informing him withal, that it was upon account of the people's good-will to the Romans that many of them were already slain, and the survivors in danger of the same treatment. Vespasian did indeed already pity the calainities these men were in, and arose, in appearance, as though he was going to besiege Jerusalem, but in reality to deliver them from a (worse] siege they were already upder. However, he was obliged first to overthrow what remained elsewhere, and to leave nothing out of Jerusalem behiod him, that might interrupt him in that siege. Accordingly he marched against Gadara, the metropolis of Perea, which was a place of strength, and entered that city on the fourth day of the month Dystrus, [Adar;] for the men of power had sent an embassaye to him without the knowledge of the seditious, to treat about a surrender; which they did out of the desire they had of peace, and for saving their effects, because many of the citizens of Gadara were rich men. This embassy the opposite party knew nothing of, but discovered it as Vespasian was approaching near the city. However, they despaired of keeping possession of the city, as being inferior in number to their enemies which were within the city; and seeing the Romans very vear to the city; so - they resolved to fly, but thought it dishonourable to do it without shedding some blood, and reveogiog themselves on the authors of this surrender; they seized upon Dolesus, (a person not only the first in rank and family in that city, but one that seemed the occasion of sending such ap embassy,) and slew hin, and treated his dead body after a barbarous manner, so very violent was their anger at him, and then ran out of the city. And as now the Roman army was just upon them, the people of Gadara adınitted Vespasian with joyful acclamations, and received from him the stcurity of his right hand, as also a garrison of horsemen and footmen, to guard them against the excursions of the runagates; for as to their wall, they had pulled it down before the
Romans desired them so to do, that they might thereby give tłiem assurance that they were lovers of peace, and that, if they had a mind, they could not now make war agaiust ** them.
4. And now Vespasian sent Placidus against those that had fled from Gadara, with five hundred horsemen, and three thousand footmen, while he returned himself to Cæsarea, with the rest of his army. But as soon as these fugitives saw the horsemen that pursued them just upon their backs, and before they came to a close fight, they ran together to a certain village, which was called Bethennabris, where finding a great multitude of young men, and arming them partly by their own consent, partly by force, they rashly and suddenly assaulted Placidus, and the troops that were with him.
These horsemen at the first onset gave way a little, as contriving to entice them further off the wall; and when they had drawn them into a place fit for their purpose, they made their horse encompass them round, and threw their darts at them. So the horsemen cut off the flight of the fugitives, while the foot terribly destroyed those that fought against them; for those Jews did no more than shew their courage, and then were destroyed; for as they fell upon the Romans, when they were joined close together, and as it were, walled about with their entire armour, they were not able to find any place where the darts could enter ; nor were they any way able to break their ranks, while they were themselves run through by the Roman darts, and like the wildest of
so sone of them were destroyed, as cut with their enemies swords upon their faces, and others were dispersed by the horsemen.
5. Now Placidus' concern was to esclude them in their flight from getting into the village and causing his horse to march continually on that side of them, he then turned short upon them, and at the same time his men made use of their darts, and easily took their aiin at those that were nearest to them, as they made those that were farther off turn back by the terror they were in till at last the most courageous of them brake through those horsemen, and fled to the wall of the village. And now those that guarded the wall were in great doubt what to do; for they could not bear the thoughts of excluding those that came from Gadara, because of their own people that were among them; and yet, if they should
admit of them, they expected to perish with them, which came to pass accordiogly, for as they were crowding together at the wall the lioman horsemen were just ready to fall in with them. However, the guards prevented them, and shut the gates, when Placidus made an assault upon them, and fighting courageously till it was dark, he got possession of the wall, and of the people that were in the city, when the useless multitude were destroyed, but those that were nore potent ran away, and the soldiers plundered the houses, and set the village on fire. As for those that ran out of the village, they stirred up such as were in the country, and exaggerating their own calanities, and telling them that the whole army of the Romans were upon them, they put them into great fear on every side : so they got in great numbers together and fed to Jericho, for they knew no other place that could afford them any hope of escaping, it being a city that had a strong wall, and a great multitude of inhabitants. But Placidus relying much upon his horsemen, and his former good success, followed them, and slew all that he overtook, as far as Jordan; and when he had driven the whole multitude to the river side, where they were stopped by the current (for it had been augmented lately by rains, and was not fordable,) he put his soldiers jo array, over against them, so the necessity the others were in, provoked them to lazard a battle, because there was no place whither they could flee. They then extended themselves a very great way along the baoks of the river, and sustained the darts that were thrown at them, as well as the attacks of the horsemen, who beat many of them, and pushed them into the current. At which fight, hand to hand fifteen thousand of them were slaio, while the pumber of those that were unwillingly forced to leap into Jordan, was prodigious. There were besides two thousand and two hundred taken prisoners. A mighty prey was taken also, consisting of asses and sheep, and camels, and oxen,
6. Now this destruction that fell upon the Jews, as it was not inferior to any of the rest in itself, so did it still appear greater than it really was; and this because not only the whole country through which they fled was filled with slaughter, and Jordan could not be passed over hy reason of the dead bodies that were in it but because the lake Asphaltitis was also full of dead bodies, that were carried down into it by the river. And uow Placidus, after this
good success that he had had, fell violently upon the neighbouring smaller cities and villages; when he took Abila, and Julias, and Bezemoth, and all those that lay as far as the lake Asphaltitis, and put such of the deserters into each of them as he thought proper. He then put his soldiers, on board the ships, and slew such as had fled to the lake; insomuch that all Perea had either surrendered themselves, or were taken by the Romans, as far as Macherus.
CHAP VIII: How Vespasian, upon hearing of some commotions in* Gall, made
haste to finish the Jewish war. A description of Jericho, and of the great plain ; with an account besides of the lake Asphaltitis.
8 1. In the mean time an account came, that there were commotions in Gall, and that Vindex, together with the men of power in that country, had revolted from Nero; which asfair is more accurately described elsewhere. This re
with the war; for he foresaw already the civil wars which were coming upon them, nay that the very government was in danger, and he thought, if he could first reduce the eastern parts of the empire to peace, he should make the fears for Italy the lighter; while therefore the winter was his hindrance, [from going into the field,) he put garrisons into the villages and smaller cities for their security; he put decurions also into the villages, and centurions into the cities; he besides this built many of the cities that had been laid waste; but at the beginning of the spring he took the greate est part of his army, and led it from Cæsarea to Autipatris, where be spent two days in settling the affairs of that city, and then, on the third day, he marched on, laying waste and burning all the neighbouring villages. And when he had laid waste all the places about the toparchy of Thampas, he passed on to Lydda, and Jampia, and when both those cities had come over to him, he placed a great many of those that had come over to him, [from other places) as inhabits ants therein, and then came to Emmaus, where he seized upon the passages which led thence to their metropolis, and fortified his camp, and leaving the fifth legion therein, he came to the toparchy of Bethletephon. He then destroyed that place, and the neighbouring places by fire, and forti
* Gr. Galatia, and so every where.