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was nigh them, he first of all got upon his horse, and ded, together with those whom he had corrupted ; hereupon a terror fell upon the whole mul. titude, and before it came to a close fight, they broke their ranks, and every one retired to his own home.
7. Thus did Simon unexpectedly march into Idumea without bloodshed, and made a sudden attack upon the city Hebron, and took it; wherein he got possession of a great deal of prey, and plundered it of a vast quantity of fruit. Now the people of the country say, that it is an ancienter city, not only than any in that country, but than Memphis in Egypt, and accordingly its age is reckoned at two thousand and three hundred years.They also relate, that it had been the habitation of Abram, the progenitor of the Jews, after he had reinoved out of Mesopotamia ; and they say, that his posterity descended from thence into Egypt, whose monuments are to this very time shown in that small city, the fabric of which monuments are of the most excellent marble, and wrought after the most elegant manner. There is also there shown, at the distance of six furlongs from the city, a very large turpentine tree ;* and report goes that this tree has continued since the creation of the world. Thence did Simon make his progress over all Idumea, and did not only ravage the cities and villages, but laid waste the whole country : for, besides those that were completely armed, he had forty thousand men that followed him, insomuch that he had not provisions enough to suffice such a multitude. Now, besides this want of provisions that he was in, he was of a barbarous disposition, and bore great anger at this nation, by which means it came to pass that Idumea was greatly depopulated ; and, as one may see all the woods behind despoiled of their leaves by locu-ts after they have been there, so was there nothing left behind Simon's army but a desert. Some places they burnt down, some they utterly demolished; and whatsoever grew in the country they either trod it down or fed upon it, and by their marches they made the ground that was cultivated harder and more untractable than that which was barren. In short, there was no sign remaining of those places that had been laid waste, that ever they had had a being.
8. This success of Simon excited the Zealots afresh; and though they were afraid to fight him openly in a fair battle, yet did they lay ambushes in the passes, and seized upon his wife, with a considerable number of her attendants; whereupon they came back to the city rejoicing, as if they had taken Simon himself captive, and were in present expectation that be would lay down his arms, and make supplication to them for his wife ; but instead of indulging any merciful affection, he grew very angry at them for seizing his beloved wtfe; so he came to the wall of Jerusalem, and, like wild beasts when they are wounded, and cannot overtake those that wounded them, he vented his spleen upon all persons that he met with. Accordingly he caught all those that were come out of the city gates, either to gather herbs or sticks, who were unarmed, and in years ; he then tormented them and destroyed them, out of the immense rage he was in, and was almost ready to taste the very flesh of their dead bodies. He also cut off the hands of a great many, and sent them into the city to astonish his enemies, and in order to make the people fall into a sedition, and desert
Some of the ancients call this famous tree or grove, oak, others a turpentine tree or grove. It has been very famous in all pasi ages, and is so, I suppose, at this day and that particularly for an eminent mart, or ineeting of merchants, there every year, as the travellers inform Os.
those that had been the authors of his wife's seizure. He also enjoicei them to tell the people, that Simon swore by the God of the universe, who sees all things, that unless they will restore him his wife, he will break down their wall, and inflict the like punishment upon all the citizens, without sparing any age, and without making any distinction between the guilty and the innocent. These threatenings so greatly affrighted, not the people only, but the Zealots themselves also, that they sent his wife back to him, when he became a little milder, and left off his perpetual bloodshedding.
9. But now sedition and civil war prevailed, not only over Judea, but in Italy also; for now Galba was slain in the midst of the Roman marketplace; then was Otho made emperor, and fought against Vitellius, who set up for emperor also, for the legions in Germany had chosen him. But when he gave battle to Valens and Cecipna, who were Vitellius's generals, at Betriacum in Gaul, Otho gained the advantage on the first day, but on qe second dav Vitellius's soldiers had the victory: and after much slaughter Otho slew himself, when he had heard of this defeat at Brixia, and after he had managed the public affairs* three months and two days. Otho's army also came over to Vitellius's generals, and he came himself down to Rome with his army. But in the mean time Vespasian removed from Cesarea, on the fifth day of the month Desius, (Sivan, and marched against those places of Judea which were not yet overthrown. So he went up to the mountainous country, and took those toparchies that were called the Gophnitick and Acrabattene toparchies. After which he took Bethel and Ephraim, two small cities, and, when he had put garrisons into them. he rode as far as Jerusalem, in which march he took many prisoners, and many captives ; but Cerealis, one of his commanders, took a body of horsemen and footmen, and laid waste that part of Idumea which was called the Upper Idumea, and attacked Caphethra, which pretended to be a small city, and took it at the first onset, and burnt it down. He also attacked Capharabim, and laid siege to it, for it had a very strong wall, and when he expected to spend a long time in that siege, those that were within opened their gates on the sudden, and came to beg pardon, and surrendered themselves up to him. When Cerealis had conquered them he went to Hebron, another very ancient city. I have told vou already, that this city is situated in a mountainous country not far off Jerusalem ; and when he had broken into the city by force, what multitude and young men were left therein he slew, and burnt down the city; so that, as now all the places were taken, excepting Herodium, Masada, and Macherus, which were in the possession of the robbers, so Jerusalem was what the Romans at present aimed at.
10. And now, as soon as Simon had set his wife free, and recovered her from the Zealots, he returned back to the remainders of Idumea, and, driv. ing the nation all before him, from all quarters, he compelled a great number of them to retire to Jerusalem ; he followed them bimself also to the city, and encompassed the wall all round again : and when he lighted upon any labourers that were coming thither out of the country, he slew them. Now this Simon, who was without the wall, was a greater terror to the people than the Romans themselves, as were the Zealots who were within it more heavy upon them than both of the others; and during this
• Suetonius differs hardly three days from Josephus, and says, Otho perished on the 95th day of his reign. In Othon. See the note on chap. xi. $ 4.
time did the mischievous contrivances and courage (of John) corrupt the body of the Galileans; for these Galileans had advanced this John, and made him very potent, who made them suitable requital from the authority he had obtained by their means ; for he permitted them to do all things that any of them desired to do, while their inclination to plunder was insatiable, as was their zeal in searching the houses of the rich ; and for the murdering of the men, and abusing of the women, it was sport to them. They also devoured what spoils they had taken, together with their blood, and indulged themselves in feminine wantonness, without any disturbance, till they were satiated therewith : while they decked their hair and put on women's garments, and were besmeared over with ointments; and that they might appear very comely, they had paints under their eyes, and imitated, not only the ornaments, but also the lusts of women, and were guilty of such intolerable uncleanness, that they invented unlawful pleasures of that sort; and thus did they roll themselves up and down the city, as in a brothel house, and defiled it entirely with their impure actions; nay, while their faces looked like the faces of women, they killed with their right hands; and when their gait was effeminate, they presently attacked men, and became warriors, and drew their swords from under their finely dyed cloaks, and ran every body through whom they lighted upon. However, Simon waited for such as ran away from John, and was the more bloody of the two: and he who had escaped the tyrant within the wall, was destroyed by the other that lay before the gates, so that all attempts of flying and deserting to the Romans were cut off, if any had a mind so to do.
11. Yet did the army that was under John raise a sedition against him, and all the Idumeans separated themselves from the tyrant, and attempted to destroy him, and this out of their envy at his power, and hatred of his cruelty ; so they got together, and slew many of the Zealots, and drove the rest before them into that royal palace that was built by Grapte, who was a relation of Izates, the king of Adiabene; the Idumeans fell in with them, and drove the Zealots out thence into the temple, and betook themselves to plunder John's effects ; for both he himself was in that palace, and therein had he laid up the spoils he had acquired by his tyranny. In the mean time the multitude of the Zealots that were dispersed over the city ran together to the temple unto those that had fled thither, and John prepared to bring them down against the people and the Idumeans, who were not so much afraid of being attacked by them, because they were themselves better soldiers than they, as at their madness, lest they should privately sally out of the temple and get among them, and not only destroy them, but set the city on fire also. So they assembled themselves together, and the high priests with them, and took counsel after what manner they should avoid their assault. Now it was God who turned their opinions to the worst advice, and thence they devised such a remedy to get themselves free, as was worse than the disease itself. Accordingly, in order to overthrow John, they determined to admit Simon, and carnestly to desire the introduction of a second tyrant into the city; which resolution they brought to perfection, and sent Matthias the high priest, to beseech this Simon to come in to them, of whom they had so often been afraid. Those also who had fled from the Zealots in Jerusalem, joined in this request to him, out of the desire they had of preserving their houses and their effects. Accordingly he, in an arrogant manner, granted them his lordly protection, and came into the city in order to deliver it from the Zealots. The people
also made joyful acclamations to him, as their saviour and their preserver: but when he was come in with his army, he took care to secure his own authority, and looked upon those that had invited him in, to be no less his enemies than those against whom the invitation was intended.
12. And thus did Simon get possession of Jerusalem, in the third year of the war, in the month Xanthicus, [Nisan ;] whereupon John, with his multitude of Zealots, as being both prohibited from coming out of the temple, and having lost their power in the city, (for Simon and his party had plundered them of what they had,) were in despair of deliverance. Simon also made an assault upon the temple, with the assistance of the people, while the others stood upon the cloisters and the battlements, and defended themselves from their assaults. However, a considerable number of Simon's party fell, and many were carried off wounded; for the Zealots threw their darts easily from a superior place, and seldom failed of hitting their enemies; but having the advantage of situation, and having withal erected four very large towers aforehand, that their darts might come from higher places, one at the north east corner of the court, one above the Xystus, the third at another corner over against the lower city, and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand, with a trumpet,* at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when the day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to leave off work, and when they were to go to work again. These men also set their engines to cast darts and stones withal, upon those towers, with their archers and slingers. And now Simon made bis assault upon the temple more faintly, by reason that the greatest part of his men grew weary of the work; yet did he leave off his opposition, because his army was superior to the others, although the darts which were thrown by the engines were carried a great way, and slew many of those that fought for him.
CHAP. X. How the Soldiers, both in Judea and Egypt, proclaimed Vespasian Emperor.
And how Vespasian released Josephus of his Bonds. 8 1. Now about this very time it was that heavy calamities came about Rome on all sides; for Vitellius was come from Germany with his sol. diery, and drew along with him a great multitude of other men besides. And when the spaces allotted for the soldiers could not contain them, he made all Rome itself his camp, and filled all the houses with armed men : which men, when they saw the riches of Rome with those eyes which had never seen such riches before, and found themselves shone round about on all sides with silver and gold, they had much ado to contain their covetous desires, and were ready to betake themselves to plunder, and to the slaughter of such as should stand in their way. And this was the state of affairs in Italy at that time.
• This beginning and ending the observation of the Jewish seventh day, or Sabbath, with a priest's blowing of a trumpet, is remarkable, and no where else mentioned, that I know of. Nor is Reland's conjecture here improbable, that this was the very place that has puzzled our commentators so long, called “ Musach Sabbati,” the “ Covert of the Sabbath,” if that be the true reading, 2 Kings xvi. 18. because here the proper priest stood dry under a “ covering," to proclaim the beginning and ending of every Jewish Sabbath.
2. But when Vespasian had overthrown all the places that were near to Jerusalem, he returned to Cesarea, and heard of the troubles that were at Rome, and that Vitellius was emperor. This produced indignation in him, although he well knew how to be governed as well as to govern, and could not, with any satisfaction, own him for his lord, who acted so madly, and seized upon the government as if it were absolutely destitute of a governor. And as this sorrow of his was violent, he was not able to support the torments he was under, nor to apply himself farther in other wars, when his native country was laid waste; but then, as much as his passion excited him to avenge his country, so much was he restrained by the consideration of his distance therefrom; because fortune might prevent him, and do a world of mischief before he could himself sail over the sea to Italy, especially as it was still the winter season: so he restrained his anger, how vehement soever it was, at this time.
3. But now his commanders and soldiers met in several companies, and consulted openly about changing the public affairs, and out of their indignation, cried out, how “at Rome there are soldiers that live delicately ; and when they have not veutured so much as to hear the fame of war, they ordain whom they please for our governors, and in hopes of gain make them emperors; while you who have gone through so many labours, and are grown into years under your helmets, give leave to others to use such a power, when yet you have among ourselves one more worthy to rule than any whom they have set up. Now what juster opportunity shall they ever have of requiting their generals, if they do not make use of this that is now before them ? while there is so much juster reasons for Vespa. sian's being emperor than for Vitellius; as they are themselves more deserving than those that made the other emperors : for that they have undergone as great wars as have the troops that come from Germany; nor are they inferior in war to those that have brought that tyrant to Rome, nor have they undergoue smaller labours than they; for that neither will the Roman senate, nor people, bear such a lascivious emperor as Vitellius, if he be compared with their chaste Vespasian ; nor will they endure a most barbarous tyrant, instead of a good governor, nor choose one that hath no child,* to preside over them, instead of him that is a father ; because the advancement of men's own children to dignities is certainly the greatest security kings can give for themselves. Whether, therefore, we estimate the capacity for governing from the skill of a person in years, we ought to have Vespasian; or whether from the strength of a young man, we ought to have Titus ; for by this means we shall have the advantage of both their ages, for that they will afford strength to those that shall be made emperors, they having already three legions, besides other auxiliaries from the neighbouring kings, and will have farther all the armies in the East to support them, as also those in Europe, so far as they are out of the distance and dread of Vitellius, besides such auxiliaries as they may have in Italy itself, that is, Vespasian's brother, t and his other son [Do
• The Roman authors that now remain, say, Vitellius had children, whereas Josephus introduces bere the Roman soldiers in Judea saying he had none. Which of these assertions was the truth, I know not. Spanheim thinks he hath given a peculiar reason for calling Vitellius “ childless,” though he really had children. Diss. de Num. pages 649, 650. to which it appears very difficult to give our assent.
+ This brother of Vespasian was Flavius Sabinus, as Suetonius informs us, in Vitell. f 15. and in Vespas. 6 2. He is also named by Josephus presently, chap. xi. $ 4.