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peror, and exhorted him to save the government, which was now in danger. Now Vespasian's concern had been for å considerable time about the public; yet did not he intend to set up for governor himself, though his actions showed him to deserve it, while he preferred that safety which is in a private life, before the dangers in a state of such dignity; but when he refused the empire, the commanders insisted the more earnestly upon his acceptance; and the soldiers came about him, with their drawn swords in their hands, and threatened to kill him, unless he would now live according to his dignity. And when he had shown his reluctance a great while, and had endeavoured to thrust away his dominion from him, he at length, being not able to persuade them, yielded to their solicitations that would salute him emperor.
5. So, upon the exhortations of Mucianus and the other commanders, that he would accept of the empire, and upon that of the rest of the army, who cried out, that they were willing to be led against all his opposers, he was, in the first place, intent upon gaining the dominion over Alexandria, as knowing that Egypt was of the greatest consequence, in order to obtain the entire government, because of its supplying of corn [to Rome), which corn, if he could be master of, he hoped to dethrone Vitellius, supposing he should aim to keep the empire by force (for he would not be able to support himself, if the multitude at Rome should once be in want of food), and because he was desirous to join the two legions that were at Alexandria to the other legions that were with him. He also considered with himself, that he should then have that country for a defence to himself against the uncertainty of fortune; for Egypt* is hard to be entered by land, and hath no good havens by sea. It hath on the west the dry deserts of Libya; and on the south Siene, that divides it from Ethiopia, as well as the cataracts of the Nile, that cannot be sailed over; and on the east the Red Sea, extended as far as Coptus, and it is fortified on the north by the land that reaches to Syria, together with that called the Egyptian Sea, having no havens in it for ships. And thus is Egypt walled about on every side. Its length
some time afterward in Egypt. Whence Tacitus's and Suetonius's present copies must be corrected, when they both say, that he was first proclaimed in Egypt, and that on the kalends of Joly, while they still say it was the fifth of the nones or ides of the same July before he was proclaimed in Judea, I suppose the month they there intended was June, and not July, as the copies now have it; nor does Tacitus's coherence imply less. See Essay on the Rev. p. 136.
• Here we have an authentic description of the bounds and circumstances of Egypt, in the days of Vespasian and Titus.
between Pelusium and Siene is two thousand furlongs; and the passage by sea, from Plinthine to Pelusium, is three thousand six hundred furlongs. Its river Nile is navigable as far as the city called Elphantine, the forenamed cataracts hindering ships from going any farther. The haven also of Alexandria is not entered by the mariners without difficulty, even in times of peace;. for the passage inward is narrow, and full of rocks, that lie under the water, which oblige the mariners to turn from a straight direction; its left side is blocked up by works made by men's hands on both sides; on its right side lies the island called Pharus, which is situated just before the entrance, and supports a very great tower, that affords the sight of a fire to such as sail within three hundred furlongs of it, that ships may cast anchor a great way off in the nighttime, by reason of the difficulty of sailing nearer. About this island are built very great piers, the handywork of men, against which, when the sea dashes it. self, and its waves are broken against those boundaries, the navigation becomes very troublesome, and the entrance through so narrow a passage is rendered dangerous; yet is the haven itself, when you are got into it, a very safe one, and of thirty furlongs in largeness; into which is brought what the country wants, in order to its happiness; as also what abundance the country affords, more than it wants itself, is hence distributed into all the habitable earth.
6. Justly, therefore, did Vespasian desire to obtain that government, in order to corroborate bis attempts upon the whole empire; so he immediately sent to Tiberius Alexander, who was then governor of Egypt and of Alexandria, and informed him what the army had put him upon, and how he, being forced to accept of the burden of the government, was desirous to have him for his confederate and supporter. Now as soon as ever Alexander had read this letter, he readily obliged the legions and the multitude to take the oath of fidelity to Vespasian, both which willingly complied with him, as already acquainted with the courage of the man, from that his conduct in their neighbourhood. Accordingly Vespasian, looking upon himself as already entrusted with the government, got all things ready for his journey (to Rome). Now fame carried this news abroad more suddenly than one could have thought, that he was emperor over the east, upon which every city kept festivals, and celebrated sacrifices and oblations for such good news; the legions also that were in Mysia and Pannonia, who had been in commotion a little before, on account of this insolent attempt of Vitellius, were very glad to take the oath of fidelity to Vespasian upon his coming to the empire. Vespasian then removed from Cæsarea to Berytus, where many embassages came to him from Syria, and many from other provinces, bringing with them from every city, crowns and the congratulations of the people. Mucianus came also, who was the president of the province, and told him with what alacrity the people (received the news of his advancement], and how the people of every city had taken the oath of fidelity to him.
7. So Vespasian's good fortune succeeded to his wishes every where, and the public affairs were, for the greatest part, already in his hands; upon which he considered that he had not arrived at the government without Divine Providence, but that a righteous kind of fate had brought the empire under his power; for as he called to mind the other signals which had been a great many every where, that foretold he should obtain the government, so did he remember what Josephus had said to him, when he ventured to foretell his coming to the empire wbile Nero was alive; so he was much concerned that this man was still in bonds with him. He then called for Mucianus, together with his other conmanders and friends, and, in the first place, he informed them what a valiant man Josephus had been, and what great hardships he had made him undergo in the siege of Jotapata. After that lie related those predictions* of his which he had then suspected as fictions, suggested out of the fear he was in, but which had by time been demonstrated to be divine. “It is a shameful thing," said he, “that this man who hath foretold my coming to the empire beforehand, and been the minister of a divine message to me, should still be retained in the condition of a captive or prisoner.” So he called for Josephus, and commanded that he should be set at liberty; whereupon the commanders promised themselves glorious things, from this requital Vespasian made to a stranger. Titus was then present with his father, and said, "O father, it is but just that the scandal [of a prisoner) should be taken off Josephus, together with his iron chain. For if we do not barely loose his bonds, but cut them to pieces, he will be like a man that hath never been bound at all.” For that this is the usual method as to such as have been bound without a cause. This advice was agreed to by Vespasian also; so there came a man in, and cut the chain to pieces, while Josephus received this testimony of his integrity for a reward, and was moreover esteemed a person of credit as to futurities also.
* As Daniel was preferred by Darius and Cyrns, on account of his having foretold tbe destruction of the Babylonian monarchy by their means, and the consequent exaltation of the Medes and Persians, Dan. v. 6; or rather as Jeremiah, when he was a prisoner, was set at liberty, and honourably treated by Nebuzaradan, at the command of Nebuchadnezzar, on account of his having foretold the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, Jer. xl. 1--6, so was our Josephus set at liberty, and honourably treated, on account of his having foretold the advancement of Vespasian and Titus to the Roman empire. All these are most eminent instances of the interposition of Divine Providence, and of the certainty of divine predictions in the great revolutions of the four monarchies. Several such like examples there are, both in the sacred and other histories; as in the case of Joseph in Egypt, and of Jaddua the high-priest, in the days of Alexander the Great, &c.
CHAP. XI. That, upon the Conquest and Slaughter of Vitellius, Vespasian hastened his Journey to Rome, but Titus his Son
returned to Jerusalem. $ 1. And now, when Vespasian had given answers to the embassages, and had disposed of the places of power justly*, and according to every one's deserts, he came to Antioch, and consulting which way he had best take, he preferred to go for Rome, rather than to march to Alexandria, because he saw that Alexandria was sure to him already, but that the affairs at Rome were put into disorder by Vitellius; so he sent Mucianus to Italy, and committed a considerable army both of horsemen and footmen to him; yet was Mucianus afraid of going by sea, because it was the middle of winter, and so he led his army on foot through Cappadocia and Phrygia.
2. In the mean time Antonius Primus took the third of the legions that were in Mysia, for he was president of that province, and made haste in order to fight Vitellius; whereupon Vitellius sent away Cecinna, with a great army, having a mighty confidence in him, because of his having beaten Otho. This Cecinna marched out of Rome in great haste, and found Antonius about Cremona in Gall, which city is in the borders of Italy; but when he saw there that the enemy were numerous and in good order, he durst not fight theni; and as he thought a retreat dangerous, so he began to think of betraying his army to Antonius. Accordingly he assembled the centurions and tribunes that were under his com
* This is well observed by Josephus, that Vespasian, in order to secure his success and establish bis government at first, distributed his offices and places upon the foot of justice, and bestowed them on such as best deserved them, and were best fit for them. Which wise conduct in a mere heathen ought to put those rulers and ministers of state to shame, who, professing Cbristianity, act otherwise, and thereby expose themselves and their kingdoins to vice and to destruction.
mand, and persuaded them to go over to Antonius; and this by diminishing the reputation of Vitellius, and by exaggerating the power of Vespasian. He also told them, that “ with the one there was no more than the bare name of dominion, but with the other was the power of it: and that it were better for them to prevent necessity and gain favour, and, while they were likely to be overcome in battle, to avoid the danger beforehand, and to go over to Antonius willingly; that Vespasian was able of himself to subdue what had not yet submitted, without their assistance; while Vitellius could not preserve what he had already with it.”
3. Cecinna said this, and much more to the same purpose, and persuaded them to comply with him, and both he and his army deserted; but still the very same night the soldiers repented of what they had done, and a fear seized on them, lest perhaps Vitellius who sent them should get the better; and drawing their swords, they assaulted Cecinna in order to kill him; and the thing had been done by them, if the tri. bunes had not fallen upon their knees, and besought them not to do it; so the soldiers did not kill him, but put him in bonds, as a traitor, and were about to send him to Vitellius. When [Antonius] Primus heard of this, he raised up bis men immediately, and made them put on their armour, and led them against those that had revolted; hereupon they put themselves in order of battle, and made a resistance for a while, but were soon beaten, and fled to Cremona. Then did Primus take his horsemen, and cut off their entrance into the city, and encompassed and destroyed a great multitude of them before the city, and fell into the city together with the rest, and gave leave to his soldiers to plunder it. And here it was that many strangers who were merchants, as well as many of the people of that country perished, and among them Vitellius's whole army, being thirty thousand and two hundred, while Antonius lost no more of those that came with him from Mysia than four thousand and five hundred: he then loosened Cecinna, and sent him to Vespasian to tell him the good news. So he came, and was received by him, and covered the scandal of his treachery by the unexpected honours he received from Vespasian.
4. And now, upon the news that Antonius was approaching, Sabinus took courage at Rome, and assembled those cohorts of soldiers that kept watch by night, and in the nighttime seized upon the capitol; and as the day came on, many men of character came over to him, with Domitian, his bro. ther's son, whose encouragement was of very great weight for the compassing the government. Now Vitellius was not inuch concerned at this Primus, but was very angry at those