« PreviousContinue »
gently; for if any mischief should come to the senate, he would have no others over whom to rule. Claudius complied with him, and called the senate together into the palace, and was carried thither himself through the city, while the soldiery conducted him, though this was to the great vexation of the multitude ; for Cherea and Sabinus, two of Caius's murderers, went in the fore-front of them, in an open manner, when Polio, whom Claudius a little before had made captain of his guards, and sent them an epistolary edict, to forbid them to appear in public. Then did Claudius, upon his coming to the palace, get bis friends together, and desired their suffrages about Cherea. They said, that the work he had done, was a glorious one ; but they accused him that did it of perfidiousness, and thought it just to inflict the punishment (of death] upon him, to discountenance such actions for the time to come. So Cherea was led to his execution, and Lupus, and many other Romans with him. Now it is reported that Cherea bore his calamity courageously, and this not only by the firmness of bis own behaviour under it, but by the reproaches he laid upon Lupus, who fell into tears; for when Lupus laid his garment aside, and complained of the cold, * he said, that cold was never hurtful to Lupus, fi. e. a wolf.) And as a great many men went along with them to see the sight, when Cherea came to the place, he asked the soldier, who was to be their executioner, whether this office was what he was used to; or whether this was the first time of his using bis sword in that manner; and desired him to bring him that very sword with which he himself slew Caius. So he was happily killed at one stroke. But Lupus did not meet with such good fortune in going out of the world, since he was timorous, and had many blows levelled at his neck, because he did not stretch it out boldly, (as he ought to have done.
6. Now a few days after this, as the parental solemnities were just at hand, the Roman multitude made their usual oblations to their several ghosts, and put portions into the fire in honour of Cherea, and besought him to be merciful
* This piercing cold, here complained of by Lupus, agrees well to the time of the year when Clandins began his reign ; it being for certain, about the months of November, December, or January, , and most probably a few days after January 24th, and a few days before the Rouran Parentalia.
to them, and not'continue his anger against them for their ingratitude. And this was the end of the life that Chérea came to. But for Sabinus, although Claudius not only set him at liberty, but gave him leave to retain his former command in the army, yet did he think it would be unjust in him to fail of performing his obligations to his fellow-confederates : so he fell upon his sword, and killed himself, the wound reaching up to the very hilt of the sword.*
CHAP. V. How Claudius restored to Agrippa his grandfather's kingdom,
and augmented his dominions : and how he published an edict in behalf of the Jews.
$ 1. Now when Claudius had taken out of the way all those soldiers whom he suspected, which he did immediately, he published an edict, and therein confirmed that kingdom to Agrippa which Caius had given him, and there. in commended the king very highly. He also made an ad
* It is both here and elsewhere very remarkable, that the mura derers of the vilest tyrants, who yet highly deserved to die, when those murderers were under oaths, or other the like obligations of fidelity to them, were u:ually revenged, and the murderers were cut off themselves, and that after a remarkable manner; and this sometimes, as in the present case, by those very persons who were not sorry for such murders, but got kingdoms by them. The exauples are very numerous both in sacred and profane histories, and seem generally indications of divine vengeance on such nurderers. Nor is it unworthy of ren ark, that such murderers of tyrants do it usually on such il principles, in such a cruel manner, and as ready to involve the innocent with the guilty, which was the case here, chap. i. ( 14. and chap. ii. 4. as justly deserved the divine vengeance upon them. Which seems to have been the case of Jehu also, when, besides the house of Abab, for whose slaughter he had a commission from God, without any such commission, any justice or commiseration, he killed Ahab's great men, and acquaintance, and priests, and forty-two of the kindred of Ahaziah, 2 Kings X, 11, 13, 14. See Hosea, i. 4. I do not mean here to condemn Ehud, or Judith, or the like executioners of God's vengeance on those wicked tyrants, who had unjustly oppressed God's own people uno der their theocracy; who, as they appear stil to have had no selfish designs nor intentions to slay the innocent, so had they still a divine commi sion, or a divine impulse, which was their commission for what they did. Judges, iij. 15. 19, 20. .Judith, ix. 2. Test. Levi, $ 5, in Authent. Rec. page 312. See also page 432.
dition to it, of all that country over which Herod, who was his grandfather, had reigned, that is, Judea, and Samaria ; and this he restored to him as due to his family. But for Abila * of Lysanias, and all that lay at mount Libanus, he bestowed them upon him as out of his own territories. He also made a league with this Agrippa, confirmed by oaths, in the middle of the forum, in the city of Rome ; he also took away from Antiochus that kingdom which he was possessed of, but gave him a certain part of Cilicia, and Commagena: he also set Alexander Lysimachus, the alabarch, at liberty, who had been his old friend, and steward to his mother Antonia, but had been imprisoned by Caius, whose son [Marcus] married Berenice, the daughter of Agrippa. But when Marcus, Alexander's son, was dead, who had married her when ske was a virgin, Agrippa gave her in marriage to his brother Herod, and begged for him of Claudius the kingdom of Chalcis.
2. Now about this time there was a sedition between the Jews and the Greeks, at the city of Alexandria : for when Caius was dead, the nation of the Jews which had been very much mortified under the reign of Caius, and reduced to very great distress by the people of Alexandria, recovered itself, and immediately took up their arms to fight for themselves. So Claudius sent an order to the president of Egypt, to quiet that tumult: he also sent an edict, at the request of king Agrippa, and king Herod, both to Alexandria and to Syria, whose contents were as follow : “ Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, high-priest, and tribune of the
people, ordains thus. Since I am assured that the Jews of · Alexandria, called Alexandrians, have been joint inhabitants
in the earliest times with the Alexandrians, and have ob- tained from their kings equal privileges with them, as is evi
dent by the public records that are in their possession, and the edicts themselves; and that after Alexandria had been
* Here St. Luke is in some measure confirmed, when he informs us, chap. iii. 1. that Lysanias was some time before tetrarch of Abilene, whose capital was Abila ; as he is farther confirmed by Pto. lemy, the great geographer, which Spanheim here observes, when he calls that city Abila of Lysanias. See the note on B. xvii. chap. xi 14. and Prid. at the years 36 and 22. I esteem this principality to have belonged to the land of Canaan originally, to have been the burying place of Abel, and referred to as such, Matt. xxiii, 85. Luke xi. 51, See Authent. Rec. part ii. page 883-—885.
subjected to our empire by Augustus, their rights and privi. leges had been preserved by those presidents who have at divers times been sent thither; and that no dispute had been raised about those rights and privileges, even when Aquila was governor of Alexandria ; and that when the Jewish ethnarch was dead, Augustus did not prohibit the making such ethnarchs, as willing that all men should be so subject (to the Romans] as to continue in the observation of their own customs, and not be forced to transgress the ancient rules of their own country religion ; but that in the time of Caius, the Alexandrians became insolent towards the Jews that were among them, which Caius, out of his great madness, and want of understanding, reduced the nation of the Jews very low, because they would not transgress the religious worship of their country, and call him a god. I will, therefore, that the nation of the Jews be not deprived of their rights and privileges, on account of the madness of Caius ; but that those rights and privileges, which they formerly enjoyed, be preserved to them, and that they may continue in their own customs. And I charge both parties to take very great care that no troubles may arise after the promulgation of this edict."
3. And such were the contents of this edict on behalf of the Jews that was sent to Alexandria. But the edict that was sent into the other parts of the habitable earth was this which follows: “ Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, high-priest, tribune of the people, chosen consul the second time, ordains thus. Upon the petition of king Agrippa, and king Herod, who are persons very dear to me, that I would grant the same rights and privileges should be preserved to the Jews which are in all the Roman empire, which I have granted to those of Alexandria, I very willingly comply therewith; and this grant I make not only for the sake of the petitioners, but as judging those Jews for whom I have been petitioned worthy of such a favour, on account of their fidelity and friendship to the Romans. I think it also very just that no Grecian city should be deprived of such rights and privileges, since they were preserved to them under the great Augustus. It will therefore be fit to permit the Jews, who are in all the world under us, to keep their ancient custom, without being hindered so to do. And I do now charge them also to use this my kindness to them with moderation, and not to show a contempt of the super.
stitious observances of other nations, but to keep their own laws only. And I will, that this decree of mine bé engra. ven on the tables by the magistrates of the cities, and colonies, and municipal places, both those within Italy, and those without it, both kings and governors, by the means of the ambassadors, and to have them exposed to the public for full thirty days, in such a place,* whence it may plainly be read from the ground.”
CHAP. VI. What things were done by Agrippa at Jerusalem, when he was
returned back into Judea : and what it was that Petronius wrote to the inhabitants of Donis in behalf of the Jews.
8 1. Now Claudius Caesar, by these decrees of his, which were sent to Alexandria, and to all the habitable earth, made known what opinion he had of the Jews. So he soon sent Agrippa away, to take his kingdom, now he was advanced to a more illustrious dignity than before, and sent letters to the presidents and procurators of the provinces, that they should treat him very kindly. Accordingly he returned in haste, as was likely he would, now he returned in so much greater prosperity, than he had before. He also came to Jerusalem, and offered all the sacrifices that belonged to him, and omitted nothingt which the law required; on which account he ordained that many of the Nazarites should have their heads shorn. And for the golden chain which had been given him by Caius, of equal weight with that iron chain wherewith his royal hands had been bound, he hung it up
* This form was so known and frequent among the Romans, as Dr. Hudson here tells us, from the great Selden, that it is used to be thus represented at the bottom of their edicts, by the initial letters only, U. D. P. R. L. P. Unde De Plano Recle Legi Possit, " Whence it may plainly be read from the ground.”. · † Josephus shows both here, and chap. vii. ] 3. that he had a much greater opinion of king Agrippa I. than Simon the learned rabbi, than the people of Caesarea and Sebaste, chap. vii. $ 4. and chap. 9. 1 1. and indeed than his double dealing between the senate and Claudius, chap. iv. & 2. than his slaughter of James, the brother of John, and his imprisonment of Peter, or his vain glorious behaviour before he died, both in Acts, xij. 1, 2, 3, and here, chap. iv. 1. will justify or allow. Josephus's character was probably taken from his son Agrippa, junior.