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order to stop up every way for an exit; 'which thing making the Jews despair of escaping, excited them to act more boldly : for nothing makes men fight so desperately in war as necessity.
15. Now when the next day an assault was made by the Romans, the Jews at first staid out of the walls, and opposed them and met them, as having formed themselves a camp before the city walls. But when Vespasian had set against them the archers and slingers, and the whole multitude that could throw to a great distance, he permitted them to go to work, wbile he himself, with the footmen, got upon an acclivity, whence the city might easily be taken. Josephus was then in fear for the city, and leaped out, and all the Jewish multitude with him; these fell together upon the Romans in great numbers, and drove them away from the wall, and performed a great many glorious and bold actions. Yet did they suffer as much as they made the enemy suffer; for as despair of deliverance encouraged the Jews, so did a sense of shame equally encourage the Romans. These last had skill as well as strength; the other had only courage, which armed them, and made them fight furiously. And when the fight had lasted all day, it was put an end to by the coming on of the night. They had wounded a great many of the Romans, and killed them thirteen men; of the Jews' side seventeen were slain, and six hundred wounded.
6. On the next day the Jews made another attack upon the Romans, and went out of the walls, and fought a much more desperate battle with them than before. For they were now become more courageous than formerly, and that on account of the unexpected good opposition they had made the day before ; as they found the Romans also to fight more desperately; for a sense of shame inflamed these into a passion, as esteeming their failure of a sudden victory to be a kind of defeat. Thus did the Romans try to make an impression upon the Jews, till the fifth day continually, while the people of Jotapata made sallies out, and fought at the walls most desperately; nor were the Jews affrighted at the strength of the enemy, nor were the Romans discouraged at the difficulties they met with in taking the city. .
7. Now Jotapata is almost all of it built on a precipice, having on all the other sides of it every way valleys immensely deep and steep; insomuch that those who would look down would have their sight fail them before it reaches to the bottom. It is only to be come at on the north side, where the utmost part of the city is built on the mountain, as it ends obliquely at a plain. This mountain Josephus had encompassed with a wall when he fortified the city, that its
top might not be capable of being seized upon by the enemies. · The city is covered all round with other mountains, and can no way be seen till a man comes just upon it. And this was the strong situation of Jotapata.
8. Vespasian, therefore, in order to try how he might overcome the natural strength of the place, as well as the bold defence of the Jews, made a resolution to prosecute the siege with vigour. To that end he called the commanders that were under him to a council of war, and consulted with them which way the assault might be managed to the best advantage. And when the resolution was there taken to raise a bank against that part of the wall which was practicable, he sent his whole army abroad to get the materials together. So when they had cut down all the trees on the mountains that adjoined to the city, and had gotten together a vast heap of stones, besides the wood they had cut down, some of them brought hurdles, in order to avoid the effects of the darts that were shot from above them. These hurdles they spread over their banks, under cover whereof they formed their bank, and so were little or nothing hurt by the darts that were thrown upon them from the wall, while others pulled the neighbouring hillocks to pieces, and perpetually brought earth to them; so that while they were busy three sorts of ways, nobody was idle. However, the Jews cast great stones from the walls upon the hurdles which protected the men, with all sorts of darts also; and the noise of what could not reach them was yet so terrible that it was some impediment to the workmen.
9. Vespasian then set the engines for throwing stones and darts round about the city. The number of the engines was in all a hundred and sixty, and bid them fall to work, and dislodge those that were upon the wall. At the same time, such engines as were intended for that purpose threw at once lances upon them with a great noise, and stones of the weight of a talent were thrown by the engines that were prepared for that purpose, together with fire, and a vast multitude of arrows, which made the wall so dangerous that the Jews durst not only not come upon it, but durst not come to those parts within the wall which were reached by the engines; for the multitude of the Arabian archers, as well as all those also that threw darts and slung stones, fell to work at the same time with the engines. Yet did not the others lie still, when they could not throw at the Romans from a higher place; for they then made sallies out of the city, like private robbers by parties, and pulled away the hurdles that covered the workmen, and killed them when they were thus naked; and when those workmen gave way, these cast away the earth that composed the bank, and burnt the wooden parts of it, together with the hurdles, till at length Vespasian perceived that the intervals there were between the works were of disadvantage to him ; for those spaces of ground afforded the Jews a place for assaulting the Romans. So he united the hurdles, and at the same time joined one part of the army to the other, which prevented the private excursions of the Jews.
10. And when the bank was now raised, and brought nearer than ever to the battlements that belonged to the walls, Josephus thought it would be entirely wrong in him if he could make no contrivances in opposition to theirs, and that might be for the city's preservation; so he got together his workmen, and ordered them to build the wall higher; and when they said that this was impossible to be done while so many darts were thrown at them, he invented this sort of cover for them: he bid them fix piles, and expand before them the raw hides of oxen newly killed, that these hides, by yielding and hollowing themselves when the stones were thrown at them, might receive them; for that the other darts would slide off them, and the fire that was thrown would be quenched by the moisture that was in them. And these he set before the workmen, and under them these workmen went on with their works in safety, and raised the wall higher, and that both by day and by night, till it was twenty cubits high. He also built a good number of towers upon the wall, and fitted it to strong battlements. This greatly discouraged the Romans, who, in their own opinions, were already gotten within the walls, while they were now at once astonished at Josephus's contrivance, and at the fortitude of the citizens that were in the city.
u. And now Vespasian was plainly irritated at the great subtilty of this stratagem, and at the boldness of the citizens of Jotapata ; for taking heart again, upon the building of this wall, they made fresh sallies upon the Romans, and had every day conflicts with them by parties, together with all such contrivances as robbers make use of, and with the plundering of all that came to hand, as also with the setting fire to all the other works; and this till Vespasian made his army leave off fighting them, and resolved to lie round the city, and to starve them into a surrender, as supposing that either they would be forced to petition him for mercy, by want of provisions, or if they should have the courage to hold out till the last, they would perish by famine; and he concluded he should conquer them the more easily in fighting, if he gave them an interval, and then fell upon them when they were weakened by famine ; but still he gave orders that they should guard against their coming out of the city.
12. Now the besieged had plenty of corn within the city, and indeed of all other necessaries; but they wanted water, because there was no fountain in the city, the people being there usually satisfied with rain water; yet is it a rare thing in that country to have rain in summer; and at this season, during the siege, they were in great distress for some contrivance to satisfy their thirst; and they were very sad at this time particularly, as if they were already in want of water entirely; for Josephus, seeing that the city abounded with other necessaries, and that the men were of good courage, and being desirous to protract the siege to the Romans longer than they expected, ordered their drink to be given them by measure; but this scanty distribution of water by measure was deemed by them as a thing more hard upon them than the want of it; and their not being able to drink as much as they would made them more desirous of drinking than they had otherwise been; nay, they were as much disheartened thereby as if they were come to the last degree of thirst. Nor were the Romans unacquainted with the state they were in ; for when they stood over against them, beyond the wall, they could see them running together, and taking their water by measure, which made them throw their javelins thither, the place being within their reach, and kill a great many of them.
13. Hereupon Vespasian hoped that their receptacles of water would in no long time be emptied, and that they would be forced then to deliver up the city to him; but Josephus being minded to break such bis hope, gave command that they should wet a great many of their clothes, and hang them about the battlements, till the entire wall was of a sudden all wet with the running down of the water. At this sight the Romans were discouraged, and under consternation, when they saw them able to throw away in sport so much water, when they supposed them not to have enough to drink themselves. This made the Roman general despair of taking the city by their want of necessaries, and to betake himself again to arms, and to try to force them to surrender, which was what the Jews greatly desired; for as they despaired of either themselves or their city's being able to escape, they preferred a death in battle before one by hunger and thirst.
14. However, Josephus contrived another stratagem besides the foregoing to get plenty of what they wanted. There was a certain rough and uneven place that could hardly be ascended, and, on that account, was not guarded by the soldiers; so Josephus sent out certain persons along the westerni parts of the valley, and by them sent letters to whom he pleased of the Jews that were out of the city, and procured
from them what necessaries soever they wanted in the city in abundance: he enjoined them also to creep generally along by the watch, as they come into the city, and to cover their backs with such sheep skins as had their wool upon them, that if any one should spy them out in the nighttime, they might be believed to be dogs. This was done till the watch perceived the contrivance, and encompassed that rough place about themselves.
15. And now it was that Josephus perceived that the city could not hold out long, and that his own life would be in doubt if he continued in it; so he consulted how he and the most potent men of the city might fly out of it. When the multitude understood this, they came all round about him, and begged him, “ Not to overlook them while they entirely depended on bim, and him alone; for that there was still hope of the city's deliverance, if he would stay with them; because every body would undertake any pains with great cheerfulness on his account, and in that case there would be some comfort for them also, though they should be taken. That it became him neither to fly from his enemies, nor to desert his friends, nor to leap out of that city, as out of a ship that was sinking in a storm, into which he came when it was quiet and in a calm ; for that by going away he would be the cause of drowning the city, because nobody would then venture to oppose the enemy when he was once gone, upon whom they wholly confided.”
'16. Hereupon Josephus avoided letting them know that he was to go away to provide for his own safety, but told them, that “he would go out of the city for their sakes; for that if he stayed with them he should be able to do them little good, while they were in a safe condition; and that if they were once taken, he should only perish with them to no purpose; but that if he were once gotten free from this siege, he should be able to bring them very great relief; for that he would then immediately get the Galileans together out of the country in great multitudes, and draw the Romans off their city by another war. That he did not see what advantage he could bring to them now, by stayiog among them, but only provoke the Romans to besiege them more closely, as esteeming it a most valuable thing to take him; but that if they were once informed that he was fled out of the city, they would greatly remit of their eagerness against it.” Yet did not this plea move the people, but inflamed them the more to hang about him. Accordingly, both the children, and the old men, and the women, with their infants, came mourning to him, and fell down before him, and all of them caught hold of his feet and held him fast, and besought him