Page images
PDF
EPUB

6 which I shewed him, he made use of that abundance I had “ given him against myself, for I seemed to him to live too “ long, and he was very uneasy at the old age I was arrived “ at; nor could he stay any longer, but would be a king by “ parricide. And justly I am served by him for bringing “ him back out of the country to court, when he was of no

eşteem before, and for thrusting out those sons of mine that 6 were born of the queen, and for making him a successor * to my dominions. I confess to thee O Varus, the great * folly I was guilty of; for I provoked those sons of mine to * act against me, and cut off their just expectations for the * sake of Antipater; and indeed what kindness did I do ." them, that could equal what I have done to Antipater ? to 166 whom I have in a manner, yielded up my royal authority · while I am alive, and whom I have openly named for the 46 successor to my dominions in my testament, and given him a 5 yearly revenue of his own of fifty talents, and supplied him 56 with money to an extravagant degree out of my own reve55 nue; and when he was lately about to sail to Rome, I gave 65 him three hundred talents, and recommended him, and him si alone of all my children, to Cæsar, as his father's deliverer. $ Now what crimes were those other sous of mine guilty of 56 like these of Antipater ? and what evidence was there 56 brought against them so strong as there is to demonstrate s this son to have plotted against me? Yet does this parri- cide presume to speak for himself, and hopes to obscure the " truth by his cunning tricks. Thou, O Varus, must guard 56 thyself against birn; for I know the wild beast, and I fore

$ tion. This was he who exhorted me to have a care of Al"exander, when he was alive, and not intrust my body with 66 all men ! This was he who came to my very bed, and “ looked about lest any one should lay spares for me! This 5 was he who took care of my sleep, and secured me from "any fear of danger, who comforted me under the trouble I " was in upon the slaughter of my sons, and looked to see "what affection my surviving brethren bore me! This was "my protector, and the guardian of my body! And when I “call to mind, 0 Varus, his craftiness upon every occa“sion, and his art of dissembling, I can hardly believe that “I am still alive, and I wonder how I have escaped such a " deep plotter of mischief. However since some fate or other "makes my house desolate, and perpetually raises up those 66 that are dearest to me against me, I will, with tears, lament “ my hard fortune, and privately groan under my lonesome s condition; yet am I resolved that no one who thirsts after “my blood shall escape punishment, although the evidence « should extend itself to all my sons.”

3. Upon Herod's saying this, he was interrupted by the confusion he was in; but ordered Nicolaus, one of his friends to produce the evidence against Antipater. But in the mean time Antipater lifted up his head (for he lay on the ground before his father's feet,) and cried out aloud, “ Thou, O 66 father, hast made my apology for me ; for how can I be a

parricide, whom thou thyself confessest to have always had 86 for thy guardian Thou callest my filial affection prodigCious lies, and hypocrisy; how then could it be that I, who t was so subtile in other matters, should here be so mad, as Ès not to understand that it was not easy that he who commit* ted so horrid a crime should be concealed from men, but * impossible that he should be concealed from the Judge of to heaven, who sees all things, and is present every where ? * or did not I know what end my brethren came to, on whom * God inflicted so great a punislıment for their evil designs *t against thee ? And indeed what was there that could possibly s provoke me against thee ? Could the hope of being king “ do it? I was a king already. Could I suspect hatred s from thee? No Was not I beloved by thee? And what s other fear could I have? Nay by preserving thee safe I 66 was a terror to others. Did I want money ? No; for who 66 was able to expend so much as myself ? Judeed, father, “ had I been the most execrable of all mankind, and had I 6 had the soul of the most cruel wild beast, must I not have But been overcome with the benefits thou hadst bestowed up66 on me? whom, as thou thyself sayest, thou broughtest

[into the palace ;] whom thou didst prefer before so many 66 of thy sons; whom thou madest a king in thy own lifetime, « and by the vast magnitude of the other advantages thou os bestowedst on me, thou madest me an object of ervy. -66 O miserable man ! that thou shouldst undergo this bitter “ absence, and thereby afford a great opportunity for envy “ to arise against thee, and a long space for such as

were laying designs against thee! Yet was I absent, fa46 ther, on thy affairs, that Sylleus might not treat thee with ca contempt in thive old age. Rome is a witness to my filial " affection, and so is Cæsar, the ruler of the habitable " earth, who oftentimes called me * Philopater. Take here the “ letters he hath sent thee, they are more to be believed " than the calúmnies raised here ; these letters are my only " apology; These I use as the demonstration of that natu6 ral affection I have to thee. Remember that it was against 6 my own choice that I sailed sto Rome,] as knowing the o latent hatred that was in the kingdom against me. It was * thiou, O father, however unwillingly, who hast been my “ ruin, by forcing me to allow time for calumnies against " me, and envy at me. However, I am come hither, and 66 am ready to hear the evidence there is against me. If I 56 be a parricide, I have passed by land and by sea, without 66 suffering any misfortune on either of them : but this me" thod of trial is of no advaotage to me; for it seems 0 " father, that I anı already condemned, both before God and « before thee; and as I am already condemned I beg that a thou wilt not believe the others that have been tortured,

but let fire be brought to torment me ; let the racks.

march through my bowels ; have no regard to any lamen& tations that this polluted body can make ; for if I be a “ parricide, I ought not to die without torture.” Thus did Antipater cry out with lamentation and weeping, and moved all the rest, and Varus in particular, to commiserate his case. Herod was the only person whose passion was too strong to • permit him to weep, as knowing that the testimonies against him were true.

4. And now it was, that at the kings's command, Nicolaus, when he had premised a great deal about the craftiness of Antipater, and had prevented the effects of their commiseration to him, afterwards brought in a bitter and large accusation against him, ascribing all the wickedness that had been in the kingdom on him, and specially the murder of his brethren, and demonstrated that they had perished by the calumpies he had raised against them. He also said, that he had laid designs against them thắt were still alive, as if they were laying plots for the succession ; and said he 7 how can it be supposed that he who prepared poison for his father, should abstain from mischief as to his brethren ? He then proceeded to convict him of the attempt to poišon Herod, and gave an account in order of the several discoveries that had been

. • A lover of his father.

made, and had great indignation as to the affair of Pheroras, because Antipater had been for making him murder his brother, and had corrupted those that were dearest to the king, and alled the whole palace with wickedness; and when he Lad insisted on many other accusations, and the proofs for them he left off.

5. Then Varus bid Antipater make bis defence ; but he lay along in silence, and said no more but this, “ God is my wil- ness that I am entirely innocent.”. So Varus asked for the potion, and gave it to be drunk by a condemned malefactor, who was then in prison, who died upon the spot. So Varus when he had had a very private discourse with Herod, and had written an account of this assembly to Casar, went away, after a days stay. The king also bound Antipater, and sent away to inform Cæsar of his misfortunes.

6. Now after this, it was discovered that Antipater had laiů a plot against Salome also ; for one of Antiphilus' domestic servants came and brought letters from Rome, from a maid-servant of Julia, Cæsar's wife,] whose name was Ac. me. By her a message was sent to the king that she had found a letter written by Salome, among Julia's papers, and had sent it to him privately out of her good-will to him. This letter of Salome contained the most bitter reproaches of the king, and the highest accusations against him. Antipater had forged this letter, and bad corrupteri Acme, and persuaded her to send it to Herod. This was proved by her letter to . Antipater, for thus did this woman write to bim : “As thou - desirest, I have written a letter to thy father, and have 6 sent that letter, and am persuaded that the king will not 6 spare his sister, when he reads it. Thou wilt do well to s remember what thou hast promised when all is accomplish. * ed.".

7. When this cpistle was discovered, and what the episte forged against Salome contained, a suspicion came into the king's mind, that perhaps the letters against Alexander were also forged: he was moreover greatly disturbed, and in a passion, because he had almost slaiu his sister ca Antipater's account. He did no longer delay therefore to bring him to punishment for all his crimes; yet when he was eagerly pursu ing Antipater, he was restrained by a severe distemper he fell into. However, he sent an account to Cæsar about ACme, and the contrivances against Salone: he sent also for his testament, and altered it, and therein made Antipas kius, as

taking no care of Archelaus and Philip, because Antipater had blasted their reputations with him ; but he bequeathed to Cæsar, besides other presents that he gave him, a thousand talents; as also to his wife, and children, and friends, and freed-men, about five hundred : he also bequeathed to all. others a great quantity of land, and of money, and shewed his respects to Salome his sister, by giving her most splendid gifts. And this was what was contained in his testament, as it was now altered.

CHAP. XXXIII. The golden eagle is cut to pieces. Herod's barbarity when he was ·

ready to die. He attempts to kill himself. He commands Antipater to be slain. He survives him five days and then dies.

§ 1. Now Herod's distemper became more and more severe to him, and this because these his disorders fell upon him in his old age, and when he was in a melancholy condition; for he was already almost seventy years of age, and had been brought low by the calamities that happened to him, about his children, whereby he had no pleasure in life, even when he was in health; the grief also that Antipater was still alive aggravated his disease, whom he resolved to put to death now at random, but as soon as he should be well again, and resolved to have him slain [in a public manner.]

2. There also now happened to him, among his other calamities, a certain popular sedition. There were two men of learning in the city (Jerusalem], who were thought the most skilful in the laws of their country, and were on that account had in very great esteem all over the nation; they were, the one Judas the son of Sepphoris, and the other Matthias, the son of Margalus. There was a great concourse of the young men, to these.men, when they expounded the laws, and there got together every day a kind of an army such as were growing up to be med. Now when these men were informed that the king was wearing away with melancholy, and with a distemper, they dropped words for their acquaintance how it was now a very proper time to defend the cause of God, and to pull down what had been erected contrary to the laws of their country; for it was unlawful there should be any such thing in the temple as images or faces, or the like representation of any animal whatsoever, Now the king had put up a golden eagle over the great gate of the temple, which these learned men exhorted them to cut down, and told them, that

« PreviousContinue »