Page images

ed upon the hindmost, and slew them; and of the rest some · he fell upon as they stood on heaps, and some he prevented,

and met them in the mouth, aud run them through; many also he leaped upon as they fell one upon another, and trod them clown, and cut off all the retreat they had to the wall,

and turned them back into the plain, till at last they forced a • passage by their multitude, and got away, and ran into the city.

4. But now there fell out a terrible sedition among them within the city; for the inhabitants themselves, who had pos. sessions there, and to whom the city belonged, were not disposed to fight from the very beginning ; and now the less so, · because they had been beaten ; but the foreigners, which were very numerous, would force them to fight so much the more, iusomuch that there was a clamour and a tumult among them, as all mutually angry one at another, and when Titus heard this tumult, for he was not far from the wall, he cried out, " Fellow soldiers, now is the time; and why do we make 4 any delay, when God has given up the Jews to us? Take ses the victory which is given you : do not you hear what a s poise they make ? Those that have escaped our hands are 55 in an uproar against one another. We have the city, if we V make haste; but besides haste we must undergo some la“bour, and use some courage; for no great thing uses to be saccomplished without danger : accordingly, we must not onssly prevent their uniting again, which pecessity will soon “ compel them to do, but we must also prevent the coming of "Es our men to our assistance, that as few as we are we may " conquer so great a multitude, and may ourselves alone take “the city.” • 5. As soon as ever Titus had said this he leaped upon his horse, and rode a pace down to the lake; by which lake he marched, and entered into the city the first of them all, as did the others soon after him. Hereupon those that were upon the walls were seized on with a terror at the boldness of the attempt, nor durst any one venture to fight with him, or to hinder him; so they left guarding the city, and some of those that were about Jesus fled over the country, while others of them rap down to the lake, and met the enemy in the teeth aud some were slain as they were getting up into the ships, but others of them, as they attempted to overtake those that were already gone aboard. There was also a great slaughter made in the city, while those foreigners that had not fled

away already, made opposition; but the natural inhabitants were killed without lighting; for in hopes of Titus giving them his right hand for their security, and out of consciousness that they had not given any consent to the war ,they avoided fighting, till Titus had slain the authors of this revolt, and then put a stop to any further slaughters, out of commiseration of these inhabitants of the place. But for those that lad ned to the lake upon seeing the city taken, they sailed as far as possibly they could from the army.

6. lerenpon Titus sent one of his borsemen to his father, and let him know the good news of what he had done ; at which, as was natural, he was very joylül, both on account of the courage and glorious actions of his son; for he thought that now the greatest part of the war was over. He then came thither himself, and set men to guard the city, and gave them command to take care that nobody got privately out of it, but to kill such as attempted so to do. And on the next : day he went down to the lake, and commanded that vessels should be fitted up in order to pursue those that had escaped in the ships. These vessels were quickly gotten ready ac(ordingly, because there was great pleoty of materials, and a great number of artificers also.

7. Now this lake of Gennesareth is so called from the country adjoining to it. Its breadth is forty furlongs, and i's length one hundred and forty ; its waters are sweet, and Very agreeable for drinking, for they are finer than the trick waters of other fends; the lake is also pure, and on every side ends directly at the shores, and at the sand; it is also of a temperate pature when you draw it up, and of a more gentle Hature than river or fountain water, and yet always cooler than one would expect in so diffuse a place as this is : D0W when this water is kept in the open air, it is as cold as that snow which the country people are accustomed to make by night in summer. There are several kinds of fish in it, different both to the taste and the sight from those elsewhere. It is diyided into two parts by the river Jordan. · Now Panium is thought to be the fountain of Jorilan, but in reality it is carried thither after an occult mapper from the place called Phiala : this place lies as you go up to Trachonitis, and is an hundred and twenty forlongs from Cæsarea, and is not far out of the road on the right hand; and indeed it hath its name of Phiala [vial or bowll very justly, from the roundness of its circumference, as being round like a wheel;

its water continues always up to its edges, without either sinking or running over. And as this origin of Jordan was formerly not known, it was discovered so to be when Philip was tetrarch of Trachopitis; for he had chaff thrown into Phalia, and it was found at Panium, where the ancients thought the fountain head of the river was, whither it had been therefore carried by the waters.] As for Panium, itself, its natural beauty had been improved by the royal liberality of Agrippa, and adorned at his expenses. Now Jordan's visible stream arises from this cavern and divides the marshes and fens of the lake Semehopitis; and when it hath rud another hundred and twenty furlongs, it first passes by the city Julias, and then passes through the middle of the lake Gennesareth; after which it runs a long way, over a desert, and then makes its exit into the lake Asphaltitis.

8. The country also that lies over against this lake bath the same name of Gennesareth ; its nature is wonderful as well as its beauty ; its soil is so fruitful that all sorts of trees can grow upon it, and the inhabitants accordingly plant all sorts of trees there ; for the temper of the air is so well mixed that it agrees very well with those several sorts, particularly walnuts which require the coldest air, flourish there in vast - plenty; there are palm trees also, which grow best in hot air ; fig trees also and olives grow near then, which yet require an air that is more temperate. One may call this place the ambitien of nature, where it forces those plants that are naturally enemies to one another to agree together: it is a happy contention of the seasons, as if every one of them . laid claim to this country; for it not only nourishes different sorts of autumpal fruit heyond men's expectation, but preserves them also a great while; it supplies men with the principal fruits, with grapes, * and figs, continually during ten months of the year, and the rest of the fruits as they ber ... It may be worth our while to observe here, that near this lake of Gennesareth grapes and figs hang on the trees ten months of the year. We may observe also, bat Cyril of Jerusalem, Cateches: xviii. S 3. which was delivered not long before Easter, there were no fresh leaves of fig trees, nor bunches of fresh grapes in Judea ; so 'hat when St. Mark says, ch. xi. ver. 13. that our Saviour soon after the same time of the year, came and found leaves on a fig-tree near Jerusalem,mbut no figs, because the time of new figs ripening was not yet, he says very true ; nor were they therefore other than old leaves which our Saviour saw and old figs which he expected, and which even with us commonly hang on the trees all winter long,

come ripe together through the whole year: for besides the gevula Palaturi vi the air, it is also watered from a most iritoce ou 'tall. The people of the country called it Cipinatum : some have thought it to be a vein of the Nile, barvilise li produces the Oracin fisis as well as that lake does which is up in to Alexandria. The length of this country extends liseil a long tire banks of this lake that bears the same Dame, for thirty lui longe, and is in breadth twenty. And this is the nature of that place.

9. Dui Dow, when the vessels were gotten ready, Ves. pasiau put on ship board as many of the forces as he thought sujicient to be too hard for those that were upon the lake, and se i sai! after them.' Now these which were driven into the lake, could neither fly to the land, where all was in their enemies hand, and in war against them; nor could they fight upon the level by sea, for their ships were small and fitted only for piracy; they were too weak to fight with Vespasian's Vessels and the mariners that were in them were so few, that they were afraid to come Dear the Romans, who attacked them in great numbers. However, as they sailed round about the vessels, and sometimes as they came near them, they threw stones at the Romans, wheu they were a good way off, or came closer and fought them : yet did they receive the greatest harm themselves in both cases. As for the stones they threw at the Romans, they only made a sound one after another, for they threw them against such as were in their armour, while the Roman darts could reach. the Jews themselves; and when they ventured to come near. the Romans they became sufferers themselves, before they , could do any harm to the other, and were drowned, they and their ships together. As for those that endeavoured to come to an actual fight, the Romans ran niany of them through with their long poles. Sometimes the Romans leaped into their ships with swords in their hands, and slew them ; but when some of them met the vessels, the Romans caught them by the middle, and destroyed at once their ships, and theme selves who were taken in them. And for such as were drowning in the sea, if they liited their heads up above the water, they were either killed by darts, or caught by the . vessels ; but if in the desperate case they were in, they attempted to swim to their enemies, the Romans cut off either their heads or their hands: and indeed they were destroyed after various pappers every where, till the rest being put to'

flight, were forced to get upon the land, while the vessels encompassed them about [on the sea :) but as many of these were repulsed when they were getting ashore', they were killed by the darts upon the lake; and the Romans leaped out of their vessels, and destroyed a great many more upon the land: one might then see the lake all bloody, aud full of dead bodies, for not one of them.escaped. Aud a terrible stink and a very sad sight there was on the following days over that country; for as for the shores they were full of shipwrecks, and lead bodies all swelled; and as the dead bodies were inflamed by the sun, and putrified, illey corrupted the air, insomuch that the misery was not only the object of. commiseration to the Jews, but to those that bated thein, and. bad been the authors of that misery. This was the upshot of the sea fight. The number of the slain, including those that were killed in the city before, was six thousand and five hundred.

10. After this fight was over Vespasian sat upon his tribunal at Taricheae, in order to distinguish the foreigners from the old inhabitants; for those foreigners appeared to have begun the war. So he deliberated with the other com : manders, whether he ought to save those old inhabitants or not. And when those commanders alleged, that the disn ission of them would be to his own disadvantage because wlien they were once set at liberty they would not be at rest, since they would be able to compel such as fled to fight against us; Vespasian acknowledged that they did not deserve to be . saved, and that if they had leave given them to fy away they would make use of it against those that gave them that leave. But still be considered with himself,* after what manner they should be slain ; for if he had them slain there .

* This is the most cruel and, barbarous action that Vespasian ever did in this whole war, as be did it with great reluctance also. It was done both after. public assurance given of sparing the prisoners lives, and when all knew and confessed that these prisoners were no way guilty of any sedition-against the Romans. Nor indeed did Titus now give his consent, so far as appears, nor ever acted of himself so barbarously; nay soon after this Titus grew quite weary of sheddling of blood, and of punishing the innocent with the guilty, and gave the people of Gischala leave to keep the Jewish Sabbath, B. iv. ch ii. $ 3. 5. in the midst of their siege. · Nor was Vespasian disposed to do wbat he did, till his officers persuaded bim, and that from two principal topics, viz. that nothing could be unjust that was done against the Jews, and that when both cannot be con.

« PreviousContinue »