Page images
PDF
EPUB

assistance they were able, in order to secure his succession, but in reality to accuse him for his breach of the laws, by what he had done at the temple.

2. But as they were come to Cæsarea, Sabinus, the procurator of Syria met them: he was going up to Judea, to secure Herod's effects : but Varus, (president of Syria,] who was come hither, restrained him from going any farther. This Varus Archelaus had sent for, by the earnest entreaty of Ptolemy. At this time indeed, Sabinus to gratify Varus, neither went to the citadels, nor did he shut up the treasuries where his father's money was laid up, but promised that he would lie still, until Cæsar should have taken cognizance of the af. fair. So he abode at Cæsarea; but as soon as those that were his hindrance were gone, when Varus was gone to Antioch, and Archelaus was sailed to Rome, he immediately went on to Jerusalem, and seized upon the palace. And when he had called for the governors of the citadels, and the stewards of the king's private affairs, 7 he tried to sift out the accounts of the money, and to take possession of the citadels. But the governors of those citadels were pot uomindful of the commands laid upon them by Archelaus, and continued to guard them, and said, the custody of them rather belonged to Cæsar, than to Archelaus.

3. In the meantime Antipas wept also to Rome, to strive for the kingdom, and to insist, that the former testament wherein he was named to be the king, was valid before the latter testament. Salome had also promised to assist him, as had many of Archelaus' kindred, who sailet along with Archelaus himself also. He also carried along with him his mother, and Ptolemy, the brother of Nicolaus, who seemed one of great weight, on account of the great trust Herod put in him, he having been one of his most honoured friends. However, Antipas depended chiefly upon Irenæus, the orator; upon whose authority he had rejected such as advised him to yield to Archelaus, because he was his elder brother, and because the second testament gave the kingdom to him. The inclinations also of all Archelaus' kindred, who hated him, were removed to Antipas, when they came to Rome, although in the first place every one rather desired to live under their own laws, [without a king, 7 and to be under a Roman governor; but if they should fail in that point, these desired that Antipas might be their king.

4. Sabinus did also afford these his assistance to the same purpose, by the letters he sent, wherein he accused Archelaus before Cæsar, and highly commended Autipas. Salome also, and those with her, put the crimes which they accused Archelaus of in order, and put them into Cæsar's hands : and after they had done that, Archelaus wrote down the reasods of his claim, aod by Ptolemy, sent in his father's rigg, and his father's accounts. And when Cæsar had maturely weighed by himself what both had to allege for themselves, as also had considered of the great burdeu of the kingdom, and largeness of the revenues, and withal the number of the cbildren Herod had left behind him, and had moreover read the letters, he had received from Varus and Sabinus on this occasion he assembled the principal persons among the Romans together, in which assembly Caius, the son of Agrippa, and his daughter Julias, but by himself adopted for his own son, sat in the first seat,) and gave the pleaders leave to speak.

5. Then stood up Salome's son, Antipater, (who of all Archelaus' antagonists was the shrewdest pleader,) and ac: cused him in the following speech : " That Archelaus did in 6 words contend for the kingdom, but that in deeds he had “ long exercised royal authority; and so did but insult Cæ“ sar in desiring to be now heard on that account; since he “had not staid for his determination about the succession, " and since he had suborned certain persons, after Herod's “ death, to move for putting the diadem upon his head; “ since he had set himself down in the throne, and given an“swers as a king and altered the disposition of the army, " and granted to some higher dignities; that he had also “ complied in all things with the people in their requests " they had made to him as to their king, and had also dis" missed those that had been put into bonds by his father, “ for most important reasons. Now, after all this he desires “ the shadow of that royal authority, whose substance he had "s already seized to himself, and so hath made Cæsar lord, “ not of things but of words. He also reproached him far. “ther, that his mourning for his father was only pretended, * while he put on a sad countenance in the day-time, but " drank to great excess in the night, from which behaviour, ” he said, the late disturbances anjong the multitude came, “ while they had an indignation thereat. And indeed the Spurport of his whole discourse was to aggravate Arche

“ laus' crime in slaying such a multitude about the temple, * which multitude came to the festival, but were barbarously “ slain' in the midst of their own sacrifices; and he said, “ there was such a vast number of dead bodies heaped to“gether in the temple, as even a foreign war, that should “ come upon them (suddenly,] before it was denounced, - could not have heaped together. And he added, that it ** was the foresight his father had of that his barbarity, which “i made him never give him any hopes of the kingdom, but .66 when his mind was more infirm than his body, and he was .. not able to reason soundly, and did not well know what 66 was the character of that son, whom in his second testa« ment he made his successor; and this was done by him at 56 a time when he had no complaints to make of him whom .66 he had named before when he was sound in body, and when “ his mind was free from all passion. That, however, if any “ one should suppose Herod's judgment, when he was sick, .66 was superior to that at another time, yet had · Archelaas 5 forfeited his kingdom by his own behaviour, and those his “ actions which were contrary to the law, and to its disad.“ Vantage. Or what sort of a king will this man be, when he 6 hath obtained the goveroment from Caesar, who bath slain 46 so many before he hath obtained it ?”

6. When Antipater had spoken largely to this purpose, and had produced a great number of Archelaus' kindred as witnesses, to prove every part of the accusation; he ended his discourse. Then stood up Nicolaus to plead for Archelaus. He alleged, that “the slaughter in the temple could not be “ avoided ; that those that were slain were become enemies “ not to Archelaus' kingdom only, but to Cæsar, who was

to determine about him. He also demonstrated that Ar46 chelaus' accusers had advised him to perpetrate other 5 things, of which he might have been accused. But he iui56 sisted that the latter testament should for this reason above - all others be esteemed valid, because Herod had therein " appointed Cæsar to be the person who should confirm the 46 succession; for he who shewed such prudence, as to re“ cede from his own power, and yield it up to the lord of the “ world cannot be supposed mistaken in his judgment about “ him that was to be his heir; and he that so well knew “ whom to choose for arbitrator of the succession, could < not be upacquainted with him whom he chose for his suc. s cessor,"

1. When Nicolaus had gone through all he had to say, Archelaus came, and fell down before Cæsar's knees, without any noise. Upon which he raised him up, after a very obliging manner, and declared, that truly he was worthy to succeed his father. However, he still made no firm determination in his case; but when he had dismissed those assessors that had beeu with him that day, he deliberated by himself about the allegations which he had heard, whether it was fit to constitute any of those named in the testaments for Herod's successor, or whether the government should be parted among all his posterity, and this because of the number of those that seemed to stand in need of support therefrom.

CHAP. II. The Jews fight a great battle with Sabinus' soldiers, and a great de

struction at Jerusalem. 1. Now before Cæsar had determined any thing about these affairs, Malthace, Archelaus' mother, fell sick and died. Letters also were brought out of Syria from Varus, about a revolt of the Jews. This was foreseen by Varus, who accordingly, after Archelaus was sailed, went up to Jerusalem to restrain the promoters of the sedition, since it was manifest that the nation would not be at rest; so he left one of those legions, which he brought with him out of Syria, in the city, and went himself to Antioch, But Sabinus came, after he was gone, and gave them an occasion of making in, novations; for he compelled the keepers of the citadels to deliver them up to him, and made a bitter search after the king's money, as depending not only on the soldiers which were left by Varus, but on the multitude of his own servants, all which he armed, and used as the instrument of his covet. ousness. Now when that feast, which was observed after seven weeks, and which the Jews call Pentecost si. e. the 50th day) was at hand, its name being taken from the num. ber of the days [after the passoever,] the people got together, but not on account of the accustomed divine worship, but of the indignation they had at [the present state of affairs.] Wherefore an immense multitude ran together, out of Gali. Jee and Idumea, and Jericho and Perea, that was beyond Jordan; but the people that naturally belonged to Judea itself were above the rest, both in number, and in the alacrity of the med. So they distributed themselves into three partsa and pitched their camps in three places ; one at the north side of the temple, another at the south side, by the Hippodrome, and the third part were at the palace on the west. So they lay round about the Romans on every side, and besieged them.

2. Nov Sabipus was affrighted both at the multitude, and at their courage, and sent messengers to Varus continually, and besought him to come to his succour quickly, for that, if he delayed, his legion would be cut to pieces. As for Sabinus himself, he got up to the highest tower of the fortress, which was called Phasaelus : it is of the same name with Herod's brother, who was destroyed by the Parthians; and when he made signs to the soldiers of that legion to attack the enemy; for his astonishment was so great, that he durst not go down to his own men. Hereupon the soldiers were prevailed upon, and leaped out into the temple, and fought a terrible battle with the Jews; in which, while there were none over their heads to distress them, they were two hard for them, by their skill, and the others' want of skill in war; but when once many of the Jews had gotten up to the top of the cloisters, and threw their darts downwards, upon the heads of the Romans, there were a great many of them destroyed. Nor was it easy to avenge theniselves upon those that threw their weapons from on high, nor was it more easy for them to sustain those who came to fight them hand to 'band.

3. Since therefore the Romans were sorely afflicted by both these circumstances, they set fire to the cloisters, which were works to be admired, both on account of their magnitude and costliness. Whereupon those that were above them were presently encompassed with the flame, and many of them perished therein; as many of them also were destroyed by the enemy, who came suddenly upon them; some of them also threw themselves down from the wall backward, and some there were who, fram the desperate condition they were in, prevented the fire by killing themselves with their own swords; but so many of them as crtpt out from the walls, and came upon the Romans, were easily mastered by them, by reason of the astonishment they were under; until at last some of the Jews being destroyed, and others dispersed by the terror they were in, the soldiers fell upon the treasure of God which was now deserted, and plundered about four hun.

« PreviousContinue »