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she pressed him to it, and desired him to leave po stone unturned in order to be king: and at last she left not off till she had engaged him, whether he would or not, to be of her sentiments, because he could no otherwise avoid her importunity. So he got all things ready, after as sumptuous a manner as he was able, and spared for nothing, and went up to Rome, and took Herodias along with him. But Agrippa, when he was made sensible of their intentions and preparations, he also prepared to go thither; and as soon as he heard they set sail, he sent Fortunatus, one of his freedmen, to Rome, to carry presents to the emperor, and letters against Herod, and to give Caius a particular account of those matters, if he should have any opportunity. This man followed Herod so quick, and had so prosperous a voyage, and came so little after Herod, that while Herod was with Caius, he came himself and delivered his letters ; for they both sailed to Dicearchia, and found Caius at Baiae, which is itself a little city of Campania, at the distance of about five furlongs from Dicearchia. There are in that place royal palaces, with sumptuous apartments, every emperor still endeavouring to outdo his predecessors' magnificence: the place also affords warm baths, that spring out of the ground of their own accord, which are of advantage for the recovery of the health of those that make use of them, and besides they minister to men's luxury also. Now Caius saluted Herod, for he first met with him, and then looked upon the letters which Agrippa bad sent him, and which were written in order to accuse Herod; wherein he accused him that he had been in a confederacy with Sejanus, against Tiberius's government, and that he was now confederate with Artabanus, the king of Parthia, in opposition to the government of Caius; as a demonstration of which, he al. leged, that he had armour sufficient for seventy thousand men in his armory. Caius was moved at this information, and asked Herod whether what was said about the armour was true ; and when he confessed there was such armour there, for he could not deny the same, the truth of it being notorious, Caius took that to be a sufficient proof of the accusation, that he intended to revolt. So he took away from him his tetrarchy, and gave it, by way of addition, to Agrippa's kingdom: he also gave Herod's money to Agrippa, and by way of punishment, awarded him a perpetual banishment, and appointed Lyons, a city of Gaul, to be his place of habitation. But when he was informed that Herodias was Agrippa's sister, he made her a present of what money was her own, and told her, “ That it was her brother who prevented her being put under the same calamity with her husband.” But she made this reply : “ Thou, indeed, 0 emperor, actest after a magnificent manner, and as becomes thyself in what thou offerest me ; but the kindness which I have for my husband hinders me from partaking of the favour of thy gift; for it is not just that I, who have been made a partner in his prosperity, should forsake him in his misfortunes." Hereupon Caius was angry at her, and sent her with Herod into banishment, and gave her estate to Agrippa. And thus did God punish Herodias for her envy at her brother, and Herod also for giving ear to the vain discourses of a woman. Now Caius managed public affairs with very great magnanimity during the first and second year of his reign, and behaved himself with such moderation, that he gained the good-will both of the Romans themselves, and of his other subjects. But in process of time he went beyond the bounds of human nature, in his conceit of himself, and, by reason of the vastness of his dominions, made himself a god, and took upon himself to act in all things to the reproach of the Deity. itself.
CHAP. VIII. Concerning * the embassage of the Jews to Caius; and how
Caius sent Petronius into Syria to make war against the Jews, unless they would receive his statue.
$ 1. THERE was now a tumult arisen at Alexandria, between the Jewish inhabitants, and the Greeks; and three †
* This is a most remarkable chapter, as containing such instances of the interposition of Providence, as have been always very rare among the other idolatrous nations, but of old very many among the posterity of Abraham, the worshippers of the true Gud; nor do those seem much inferior to those in the Old Testament, which are the more remarkable, because among all their other follies and vices, the Jews were not at this time idolaters ; and the deliverances liere mentioned were done in order to prevent their relapse into that idolatry.
+ Josephus here assures us, that the ambassadors from Alexandria to Caius, were on each part no more than three in number, for the Jews, and for the Gentiles, which are bụt six in all: whereas ambassadors were chosen out of each party that were at variance, who came to Caius. Now one of these ambassadors from the people of Alexandria was Apion, who uttered many blasphemies against the Jews; and, among other things that he said, he charged them with neglecting the honours that belonged to Caesar ; for that while all who were subject to the Roman empire built altars and temples to Caius, and in other regards universally received him as they received the gods, these Jews alone thought it a dishonourable thing for them to erect statues in honour of him, as well as to swear by his name. Many of these severe things were said by Apion, by which he hoped to provoke Caius to anger at the Jews, as he was likely to be; but Philo, the principal of the Jewish embassage, a man eminent on all accounts, brother to Alexander * the alabarch, and one not unskilful in philo. sophy, was ready to betake himself to make his defence against those accusations; but Caius prohibited him, and bid bim begone; he was also in such a rage, that it openly appeared he was about to do them some very great mischief. So Philo, being thus affronted, went out, and said to those Jews who were about him, that “they should be of good courage, since Caius's words indeed showed anger at them, but in reality had already set God against himself."
2. Hereupon Caius, taking it very heinously that he should be thus despised by the Jews alone, sent Petronius to the president of Syria, and successor in the government to Vi. tellius, and gare him order to make an invasion into Judea with a great body of troops, and if they would admit of his statue willingly, to erect it in the temple of God; but if they were obstinate, to conquer them by war, and then to do it. Accordingly, Petronius took the government of Syria, and mäưe naste iu obey Caesar's epistle. He got together as Philo, who was the principal ambassador from the Jews, as Josephus here confesses, (as was Apion for the Gentiles,) says, the Jews' ambassadors were themselves no fewer than five, towards the end of his legation to Caius; which, if there be no mistake in the copies. must be supposed tbe truth.; nor, in that case, would Josephus have contradicted so authentic a witness, had be seen tbat aecount of Philo's, which that he ever did does not appear.
* This Alexander, the alabarch, or governor of the Jews at Alexandria, and brother to Philo, is supposed by Bp. Pearson, in Act. Apost. page 41, 42. to be the same with that Alexander who is mentioned by St. Luke, as of the kiadred of the high-priests, Acts, xiv. 6.
great a number of auxiliaries as he possibly could, and took with him two legions of the Roman army, and came to Pto. lemais, and there wintered, as intending to set about the war in the spring. He also wrote word to Caius what he had resolved to do, who commended him for his alacrity, and ordered him to go on, and to make war with them, in case they would not obey his commands. But there came many ten thousands of the Jews to Petronius at Ptolemais, to offer their petitions to him, that “he would not compel them to transgress and violate the law of their forefathers: but if (said they) thou art entirely resolved to bring this statue, and erect it, do thou first kill us, and then do what thou hast resolved on; for, while we are alive, we cannot permit such things as are forbidden us to be done by the authority of our legislator, and by our forefathers' determination, that such prohibitions are instances of virtue." But Petronius was angry at them, and said, “If, indeed, I were myself emperor, and were at liberty to follow my own inclination, and then had designed to act thus, these your words would be justly spoken to me; but now Caesar hath sent to me, I am under the utmost necessity of being subservient to his decree, because a disobedience to them will bring upon me inevitable destruction." Then the Jews replied, “ Since, therefore, thou art so disposed, 0 Petronius, that thou wilt not disobey Caius's epistles, neither will we transgress the commands of our law; and as we depend upon the excellency of our laws, and by the labours of our ancestors, have continued hitherto without suffering them to be transgressed, we dare not by any means suffer ourselves to be so timorous as to transgress those laws out of the fear of death, which God hath determined are for our advantage ; and if we fall into misfortunes, we will bear them, in order to preserve our laws, as knowing that those who expose themselves to dangers, have good hope of escaping them ; because God will stand on our side, when out of regard to him we undergo. afflictions, and sustain the uncertain turns of fortune. But if we should submit to thee, we should be greatly reproached for our cowardice, as thereby showing ourselves ready to transgress our law; and we should incur the greatest anger of God also, who, even thyself being judge, is superior to Cajus."
3. When Petronius saw by their words that their determination was hard to be removed, and that without a won he should not be able to be subservient to Cajus in the dedication of his statue, and that there must be a great deal of blood shed, he took his friends, and the servants that were about him, and hasted to Tiberias, as wanting to know in what posture the affairs of the Jews were; and many ten thousands of the Jews met Petronius again, when he was come to Tiberias. These thought they must run a mighty hazard if they should have a war with the Romans, but judged that the transgression of the law was of much greater consequence, and made supplication to him, that he would by no means reduce them to such distresses, nor defile their city with the dedication of the statue. Then Petronius said to them, “Will you then make war with Caesar, without considering his great preparations for war, and your own weakness." They replied, “We will not by any means make war with him; but still we will die before we will see our laws transgressed." So they threw themselves down upon their faces, and stretched out their throats, and said they were ready to be slain ; and this they did for forty days together, and in the mean time left off the tilling of their ground, and that while the season * of the year required them to sow it. Thus they continued firm in their resolution, and proposed to themselves to die willingly, rather than to see the dedication of the statue.
4. When matters were in this state, Aristobulus, king Agrippa's brother, and Helcias the Great, and the other principal men of that family with them, went in unto Petronius, and besought him, that " since he saw the resolution of the multitude, he would not make any alteration, and thereby drive them to despair; but would write to Cajus, that the Jews bad an insuperable averseness to the reception of the statue, and how they continued with him, and left off the tillage of their ground: that they were not willing to go to war with him, because they were not able to do it, but were ready to die with pleasure, rather than suffer their laws to be transgressed: and how, upon the lands continuing unsown, robberies would grow up, on the inability they would
* What Josephus here, and 36. relates as done by the Jews before seed-time, is in Philo, not far off the time when the corn was ripe, who, as Le Clerc notes, differ here one from the other. This is another indication, that Josephus, when he wrote this account, had pot seen Philo's Legat. ad Caium, otherwise he would hardly have herein differed from bim..