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rage he was of in war, and Abdagases had desired leave to kill him, and thereby to inflict on him a punishment for those injuries he had done to the Parthian government, the king replied, “I will never give thee leave to kill a man who hath depended on my faith, especially not after I have sent him my right hand, and endeavoured to gain his belief by oaths made by the gods. But if thou beest a truly warlike man, thou standest not in need of my perjury. Go thuu then and avenge the Parthian government ; attack this man, when he is returned back, and conquer him by the forces that are under thy command, without my privity.” Hereupon the king called for Asineus, and said to him, “ It is time for thee, O thou young man ! to return home, and not provoke the indignation of the generals of my army in this place any farther, lest they attempt to murder thee, and that without my approbation. I commit to thee the country of Babylonia in trust, that it may, by thy care, be preserved free from robbers, and from other mischiefs. I have kept my faith inviolable to thee, and that not in trifling affairs, but in those that concerned thy safety, and do therefore deserve thou shouldest be kind to me.” When he had said this, and given Asineus some presents, he sent him away immediately ; who, when he was come home, built fortresses, and became great in a little time, and managed things with such courage and success, as no other person, that had no higher a beginning, ever did befo e him. Those Parthian governors also, who were sent that way, paid him great respect; and the honour that was paid him by the Babylonians seemed to them too small, and beneath his deserts, although he were in no small dignity and power there: nay, indeed, all the affairs of Mesopotamia depended on him, and he more and more flourished in this happy condition of his for fifteen vears.
5. But as their affairs were in so flourishing a state, there sprang up a calamity among them on the following occasion. When once they had deviated from that course of virtue whereby they had gained so great power, they affronted and transgressed the laws of their forefathers, and fell under the dominion of their lusts and pleasures. A certain Parthian, who came as general of an army into those parts, had a wife following him, who had a vast reputation for other accomplishments, and particularly was admired above all other women for her beauty ; Anileus, the brother of Asineus, either heard of that her beauty from others, or perhaps saw her himself also, and so became at once her lover and her enemy ; partly because he could not hope to enjoy this woman but by obtaining power over her as a captive, and partly because he thought he could not conquer his inclinations for her; as soon therefore as her husband had been declared an enemy to them, and was fallen in the battle, the widow of the deceased was married to this her lover. However, this woman did not come into their house without producing great misfortunes both to Anileus himself, and to Asineus also, but brought great mischief upon them on the occasion following. Since she was led away captive, upon the death of her husband, she concealed the images of those gods which were their country gods, common to her husband and herself; now it is the custom* of that country for all to have the idols they worship in their own houses,
• This custom of the Mesopotamians to carry their household gods along with them wherever they travelled, is as old as the days of Jacob, when Rachel his wife did the same, Gen. xxxi. 19.30—35. nor is it to pass here unobserved, what great miseries came on these Jews, because they suffered one of their leaders to marry an idolatrous wife, contrary to the law of Moses. Of which matter see the note on b. xix. chap. v. 68
and to carry them along with them when they go into a foreign land, agreeable to wbich custom of theirs she carried her idols with her. Now at first she performed her worship to them privately, but when she became Anileus's married wife, she worshipped them in her accustoined manner, and with the same appointed ceremonies which she used in her former husband's days ; upon which their most esteemed friends blamed him at first that he did not act after the manner of the Hebrews, nor perform what was agreeable to their laws, in marrying a foreign wife, and one that transgressed the accurate appointments of their sacrifices and religious ceremonies ; that he ought to consider, lest by allowing himself in many pleasures of the body, he might lose his principality, on account of the beauty of a wife, and that high authority which, by God's blessing, he had arrived at. But, when they prevailed not at all upon him, he slew one of them for whom he had the greatest respect, because of the liberty he took with him ; who, when he was dying out of regard to the laws, imprecated a punishment upon his murderer, Anileus, and upon Asineus also, and that all their companions might come to a like end from their enemies ; upon the two first as the principal actors of this wickedness, and upon the rest as those that would not assist him when he suffered in the defence of their laws. Now these latter were sorely grieved, yet did they tolerate these doings, because they remembered that they had arrived at their present happy state by no other means than their fortitude. But when they also heard of the worship of those gods whom the Parthians adore, they thought the injury that Anileus ofered to their laws was to be borne no longer; and a great number of them came to Asineus, and loudly complained of Anileus, and told him, that "it had been well that he had of himself seen what was advantageous to them, but that however it was now high time to correct what had been done amiss, before the crime that had been committed proved the ruin of himself and all the rest of them. They added, that the marriage of this woman was made without their consent, and without a regard to their own laws; and that the worship which this woman (paid to their gods ) was a reproach to the God whom they worshipped.” Now, Asineus was sensible of his brother's offence, that it had been already the cause of great mischiefs, and would be so for the time to come ; yet did he tolerate the same, from the good-will he had to so near a relation, and forgiving it to him, on account that his brother was quite overborne by his wicked inclinations. But as more and more still came about him every day, and the clamours about it became greater, he at length spoke to Anileus about these clamours, reproving him for his former actions, and desiring him for the future to leave them off, and send the woman back to her relations. But nothing was gained by these reproofs; for, as the woman perceived what a tumult was made among the people on her account, and was afraid for Anileus, lest he should come to any harm for his love to her, she infused poison into Asineus' food, and thereby took him off, and was now secure of prevailing, when her lover was to be judge of what should be done about her.
6. So Anileus took the government upon himself alone, and led his army against the villages of Mithridates, who was a man of principal authority in Parthia, and had married king Artabanus' daughter; he also plundered them, and among that prey was found much money, and many slaves, as also a great number of sheep and many other things, which, when gained, make men's condition happy. Now, when Mithridates, who was there at this time, heard that his villages were taken, he was very much
displeased to find that Anileus had first begun to injure him, and to affront him in his present dignity, when he had not offered any injury to him beforehand; and he got together the greatest body of horsemen he was able, and those out of that number which were of an age fit for war, and came to fight Anileus; and when he was arrived at a certain village of his own, he lay still there, as intending to fight him on the day following, because it was the sabbath, the day on which the Jews rest. And when Anileus was informed of this by a Syrian stranger of another village, who not only gave him an exact account of other circumstances, but told him where Mithri. dates would have a feast, the took his supper at a proper time, and marched by night, with an intent of falling upon the Parthians while they were unapprized what they should do; so he fell upon them about the fourth watch of the night, and some of them he slew while they were asleep, and others he put to flight, and took Mithridates alive, and set him naked upon an ass, * which, among the Parthians, is esteemed the greatest reproach possible. And when he had brought him into a wood with such a resolution, and his friends desired him to kill Mithridates, be soon told them his own mind to the contrary, and said, that it “ was not right to kill a man who was one of the principal families among the Parthians, and greatly honoured with matching into the royal family; that so far as they had hitherto gune was tolerable ; for although they had injured Mithridates, yet if they preserved his life, this benefit would be remembered by him to the advantage of those that gave it him, but that if he were once put to death, the king would not be at rest till he had made a great slaughter of the Jews that dwelt at Babylon; to whose safety we ought to have a regard, both ou acccunt of our relation to them, and because, if any misfortune befall us, we have no other place to retire to, since he hath gotten the flower of their youth under him." By this thought, and this speech of his made in council, he persuaded them to act accordingly; so Mithridates was let go. But, when he was got away, his wife reproached him, that although he was son-in-law to the king, he neglected to avenge himself on those that had injured him, while he took no care about it, but was contented to have been made a captive by the Jews, and to have escaped them, and she bade him either go back like a man of courage, or else she swore by the gods of their royal family, that she would certainly dissolve her marriage with him. Upon which, partly because he could not bear the daily trouble of her taunts, and partly because he was afraid of her insolence, lest she should in earnest dissolve her marriage, he unwillingly, and against his inclinations, got together again as great an army as he could, and marched along with them, as himself thinking it a thing not to be borne any longer, that he, a Parthian, should owe his preservation to the Jews, when they had been too hard for him in the war.
7. But as soon as Anileus understood that Mithridates was marching with a great army against him, he thought it too ignominious a thing to tarry about the lakes, and not to take the first opportunity of meeting his enemies, and he hoped to have the same success, and to beat their enemies as they did before; as also he ventured boldly upon the like attempts. Accordingly, he led out his army, and a great many more joined themselves
• This custom in Syria and Mesopotamia, of setting men upon an ass, by way of disgrace, is still kept up at Damascus in Syria, where, in order to show their despite against the Christians, the l'urks will not suffer them to hire horses, but asses ouly, when they go abroad to see the country, as Mr. Maundreli assures us.
to that army, in order to betake themselves to plunder the people, and in order to terrify the enemy again by their numbers. But when they had marched ninety furlongs, while the road had been through drv sand sandy, places, and about the midst of the day, they were become very thirsty; and Mithridates appeared, and fell upon them, as they were in distress for want of water, on which account, and on account of the time of the day, thev were not able to bear their weapons. So Anileus and his men were put to an ignominious rout, while men in despair were to attack those that were fresh and in good plight; so great slaughter was made, and many ten thousand men fell. Now Anileus, and all that stcod firm about him, ran away as fast as they were able, into a wood, and afforded Mithridates the pleasure of having gained a great victory over them. But there now came unto Anileus a conflux of bad men, who regarded their own lives very little, if they might but gain some present ease, insomuch that they, by thus coming to him, compensated the multitude of those that perished in the fight. Yet were not these men like to those that fell, because they were rash, and unexercised in war ; however, with these he came upon the villages of the Babylonians, and a mighty devastation of all things was made there by the injuries that Anileus did thein. So the Babylonians, and those that had already been in the war, sent to Neerda to the Jews there, and demanded Anileus. But, although they did not agree to their demands, (for if they had been willing to deliver him up, it was not in their power so to do,) yet did they desire to make peace with them. To which the other replied, that they also wanted to settle conditions of peace with them, and sent men together with the Babylonians, who discoursed with Anileus about them. But the Babylonians, upon tukirg a view of his situation, and having learned where Anileus and his men lay, fell secretly upon them as they were drunk, and fallen asleep, and slew all that they cought of them, without any fear, and killed Anileus himseif also.
8. The Babylonians were now freed from Anileus' heavy incursions, which had been a great restraint to the effects of that hatred they bore to the Jews, for they were almost always at variance, by reason of the contrariety of their laws; and which party soever grew boldest before the other, they assaulted the other ; and at this time in particular it was, that upon the ruin of Anileus' party, the Babylonians attacked the Jews, which made those Jews so vehemently to resent the injuries they received from the Babylonians, that being neither able to fight them, nor bearing to live with them, they went to Seleucia, the principal city of those parts, which was built by Seleucus Nicator. It was inhabited by many of the Macedonians, but by more of the Grecians ; not a few of the Syrians also dwelt there; and thither did the Jews fly, and lived there five years, without any misfortunes. But on the sixth year, a pestilence came upon those at Babylon, which occasioned new removals of men's habitations out of that city: and because they came to Seleucia, it happened that a still heavier calamity came upon them on that account, which I am going to relate immediately.
9. Now the way of living of the people of Seleucia, who were Greeks and Syrians, was commonly quarrelsome, and full of discords, though the Greeks were too hard for the Syrians. When, therefore, the Jews were come thither and dwelt among them, there arose a sedition, and the Syrians were too hard for the other, by the assistance of the Jews, who are men that despise dangers, and very ready to fight upon any occasion. Nor, when the Greeks had the worst in this sedition, and saw that they had but
one way of recovering their former authority, and that was, if they could prevent the agreement between the Jews and the Syrians, they every one discoursed with such of the Syrians as were formerly their acquaintance, and promised they would be at peace and friendship with them. Accordingly, they gladly agreed so to do; and when this was done by the principal men of both nations, they soon agreed to a reconciliation, and when they were so agreed, they both knew that the great design of such their union would be their common hatred to the Jews. Accordingly, they fell upon them, and slew about fifty thousand of them; nay, the Jews were all des. troyed, excepting a few who escaped, by the compassion which their friends or neighbours afforded them, in order to let them fly away. These retired to Ctesiphon, a Grecian city, and situate near to Seleucia, where the king of Parthia] lives in winter every year, and where the greatest part of his riches are reposited, but the Jews had here no certain settlement, those of Seleucia having little concern for the king's honour. Now the whole nation of the Jews were in fear both of the Babylonians, and of the Seleucians, because all the Syrians that lived in those places agreed with the Seleucians in the war against the Jews : so the most of them gathered themselves together, and went to Neerda, and Nisibis, and obtained security there by the strength of those cities; besides which, their inhabitants, who were a great many, were all warlike men. And this was the state of the Jews at this time in Babylonia.
CONTAINING THE INTERVAL OF THREE YEARS AND A HALF.- FROM THE
DEPARTURE OF THE JEWS OUT OF BABYLON, TO FADUS, THE ROMAN PROCURATOR,
How Caius was slain by Cherea.* $1. Now this Caiust did not demonstrate his madness in offering injuries only to the Jews at Jerusalem, or to those that dwelt in the neighbournood, but suffered it to extend itself through all the earth and sea, so far as was in subjection to the Romans, and filled it with ten thousand mischiefs, so many indeed in number as no former history relates. But Rome itself felt the most dismal effects of what he did, while he deemed that not to be any way more honourable than the rest of the cities; but he pulled and hauled its other citizens, but especially the senate, and particularly the nobility, and such as had been dignified by illustrious ancestors ; he also had ten thousand devices against such of the equestrian order, as it was styled, who were esteemed by the citizens equal in dignity and
• In this and the next three chapters, we have, I think, a larger and more distinct account of the slaughter of Caius, and the succession of Claudius, than we have of any such ancient facts whatsoever elsewhere. Some of the ocasions of which probably were, Josephus' bitter hatred against tyranny, and the pleasure he took in giving the history of the slaughter of such a barbarous tyrant as was this Caius Caligula, as also the deli. verance his own nation had by that slaughter, of which he speaks, $ 2. together with the great intimacy he bad with Agrippa, junior, whose father was deeply concerned in the advancement of Claudius upon the death of Caius; from which Agrippa, junior, Josephus might be fully informed of this history.
4 Called Caligula by the Romans.