Page images

covering, though his afflictions seemed greater than any one could bear. He also sent for physicians, and did not refuse to follow what they prescribed for his assistance, and went beyond the river Jordan, and bathed himself in the warm baths that were at Callirrhoe, which, besides their other general virtues, were also fit to drink; which water runs into the lake called Asphaltitis. And when the physicians once thought, fit to have him bathed in a vessel full of oil, it was supposed that he was just dying; but, upon the lamentable cries of his domestics, he revived : and having no longer the least hopes of recovering, he gave order that every soldier should be paid fifty drachmæ ; and he also gave a great deal to their commanders, and to his friends, and came again to Jericho, where he grew so choleric, that it brought him to do all things like a madman; and though he were near his death, he contrived the following wicked designs. He commanded that all the principal men of the entire Jewish nation, where.. soever they lived, should be called to him. Accordingly, there were a great number that came, because the whole na tion was called, and all men heard of this call, and death was the penalty of such as should despise the epistles that were sent to call them. And now the king was in a wild rage against them all, the innocent as well as those that had afforded him ground for accusations; and when they were come, he ordered them to be all shut up in the hippodrome,* and sent for his sister Salome, and her husband Alexis, and spake thus to them: “ I shall die in a little time, so great are my pains, « which death ought to be cheerfully borne, and to be welcom. 66 ed by all men; but what principally troubles me is this, « that I shall die without being lamented ; and without such « mourning as men usually expect at a king's death. For “6 that he was not unacquainted with the temper of the Jews, 66 that his death would be a thing very desirable, and exceed66 ingly acceptable to them; because during his lifetime they “ were ready to revolt from him, and to abuse the donations " he had dedicated to God: that it therefore was their busisó ness to resolve to afford him some alleviation of his great 66 sorrows on this occasion; for that, if they do not refuse him " their consent in what he desires, he shall have a great « mourning at his funeral, and such as never any king had 66 before him ; for then the whole nation would mourn from o their very soul, which otherwise would be done in sport 66 and mockery only. He desired therefore that as soon as 66 they see he hath given up the ghost, they shall place sol. 6 diers round the bippodrome, while they do not know that

* A place for the horse-races.

ci he is dead; and that they shall not declare bis death to the - multitude till this is done, but that they shall give orders " to have those that are in custody shot with their darts; and " that this slaughter of them all will cause that he shall not « miss to rejoice on a double account. That as he is dying, 66 they will make him secure that his will shall be executed 66 in what he charges then to do; and that he shall have the “ honour of a memorable mourning at his funera). So he “ deplored his condition, with tears in his eyes, and obtested 66 them by the kindness due from them, as of his kindred, " and by the faith they owed to God, and begged of them " that they would not hinder him of this honourable mourn66 ing at his funeral.” So they promised him not to transgress his commands.

6. Now any one may easily discover the temper of this man's mind, which not only took pleasure in doing what he had done formerly against his relations, out of the love of life, but by those coinmands of bis which savoured of no humanity: since he took care, when he was departing out of this life, that the whole nation should be put into mourning, and indeed made desolate of their dearest kindred, when he gave order that one out of every family should be slain, although they had done nothing that was unjust, or that was against him, nor were they accused of any other crimes; while it is usual for those who have any regard to virtue, to lay aside their hatred at such a time, even with respect to those they justly esteemed their enemies.


Herod has thoughts of killing himself with his own hand: and

a little afterwards he orders Antipater to be slain. $ 1. As he was giving these commands to his relations, there came letters from his ambassadors, who had been sent to Rome unto Cæsar, which, when they were read, their purport was this: That “ Acme was slain by Cæsar, out of á his indignation at what hand she had in Antipater's wicked of practices : and that as to Antipater himself, Cæsar left it to " Herod to act as became a father and a king, and either to “ banish him, or take away his life, which he pleased.” When Herod heard this, he was somewhat better, out of the pleasure he had from the contents of the letters, and was elevated at the death of Acme, and at the power that was given him over his son ; but as his pains were become very great, he was now ready to faint for want of somewhat to eat; so he called for an apple, and a knife; for it was his cus. tom formerly to pare the apple himself, and soon afterwards to cut it, and eat it. When he had got the knife, he looked about, and had a mind to stab hiinself with it; and he had done it, had not his first cousin Achiabus prevented him, and held his hand, and cried out loudly. Whereupon a woful lamentation echoed through the palace, and a great tumult was made, as if the king were dead. Upon which Antipater, who verily believed his father was deceased, grew bold in his

discourse, as hoping to be immediately and entirely released · from his bonds, and to take the kingdom into his hands, with

out any more ado; so he discoursed with the jailor about letting him go, and in that case promised him great things, both now and hereafter, as if that were the only thing now in question. But the jailor did not only refuse to do what Antipater would have him, but informed the king of his intentions, and how many solicitations he had had from him (of that nature]. Hereupon Herod, who had formerly no affec. tion nor good will towards his son to restrain him, when he heard what the jailor said, he cried out, and beat his head, although he was at death's door, and raised himself upon his. elbow, and sent for some of his guards, and commanded them to kill Antipater without any farther delay, and to do it presently, and to bury hiin in an ignoble manner at Hyrcania.


Concerning Herod's death, and testament, and burial. § 1. And now Herod altered bis testament upon the alteration of his mind; for he appointed Antipas, to whom he had before left the kingdomn, to be tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, and granted the kingdom to Archelaus. He also gave Gaulonitis, and Tracbonitis, and Paneas to Philip, who was his son, but own brother * to Archelaus, by the name of tetrarchy; and bequeathed Jamnia, and Ashdod, and Phasaelis, to Salome his sister, with five hundred thousand [drachmæ] of silver that was coined. He also made provision for all the rest of his kindred, by giving them sums of money and annual revenues, and so left them all in a wealthy condition. He bequeathed also to Cæsar ten millions (of drachmæ) of coined money, besides both vessels of gold and silver, and garments 'exceeding costly, to Julia, Cæsar's wife: and to certain others, five millions. When he had done these things, he died, the fifth day after he had caused Antipater to be slain; having reigned since he had procured Antigonus * to be slain, thirty-four years; but since he had been declared king by the Romans, thirty-seven. A man he was of great barbarity towards alt men equally, and a slave to his passion ; but above the consideration of what was right; yet was he favoured by fortune as much as any man erer was, for, from a private man he became a king; and though he were encompassed with ten thousand dangers, he got clear of thein all, and continued his life till a very old age. But then, as to the affairs of his family and children, in which indeed, according to his own opinion, he was also very fortunate, because he was able to conquer his enemies, yet, in my opinion, he was berein very unfortunate. per

* When it is here said, that Philip the tetrarch, and Archelaus the king, or ethnarch, were åden gou gunolol, or genuine brothers, if those words inean own brothers, or born of the same father and mother, there must be here some mistake; because they had indeed the same father, Herod, but different mothers; the former Cleopatra, and Archelaus Malthace. They were indeed brought up altogether privately at Rome like own brothers; and Philip was Archelaus's-deputy when he went to have his kingdom confirmed to him at Rome; ch. ix. 3. and Of the War, B. II. ch. ii. 8 1. Vol. III, which intimacy is perhaps all that Joseplus intended by the words before us.,

2. But then Salome and Alexis, before the king's death was made known, dismissed those that were shut up in the hippodrome, and told them that the king ordered them to go away to their own lands, and take care of their own affairs, which was esteemed by the nation a great benefit. And now the king's death was made public, wben Salome and Alexis gathered the soldiery together in the amphitheatre at Jericho; and the first thing they did was, they read Herod's letter, written to the solviery, thanking them for their fidelity and good-will to him, and exhorting them to afford his son Archelaus, whom he had appointed for their king, like fide lity and good-will. After which Ptolemy, who had the king's seal entrusted to bim, read the king's testament, which was to be of force no otherwise than as it should stand when Cæsar had inspected it; so there was presently an acclamation made to Archelaus, as king, and the soldiers came by bands, and their commanders with them, and promised the same good will to him, and readiness to serve him, which they had exhi. bited to Herod; and they prayed God to be assistant to him.

[ocr errors]

wheat benefit own a

3. After this was over they prepared for his funeral, it being Archelaus's care that the procession to his father's sepulchre should be very sumptuous. Accordingly he brought out all his ornaments to adorn the pomp of the funeral. Thre body was carried upon a golden bier, embroidered with very precious stones of great variety, and it was covered over

* These numbers of years for Herod's reign, 34 and 37, are the very same with those of the War, B. I. ch. xxxiii. $ 8, Vol. III. and are among the principal chronological characters belonging to the reign or death of Herod. See Harm, of the Evang, page 150.--155.

And th Wow Arcbelaus.he seventh day bers. And wherning, he

purple, as well as the body itself: he had a diadem upon his head, and above it a crown of gold; he also had a sceptre in, his right hand. About the bier were his sons and his numerous relations; next to these was the soldiery, distinguished according to their several countries and denominations; and they were put into the following order: First of all went bis guards; then the band of Thracians; and after them the Germans; and next the band of Galatians, every one in their ha. biliments of war; and behind these marched the whole army in the same manner as they used to go out to war, and as they used to be put in array by their muster-masters and centurions; these were followed by five bundred of his domestics carrying spices. So they went eight furlongs,* to Herodium; for there, by his own command, he was to be buried, And thus did Herod end his life.

4. Now Archelaus paid him so much respect, as to continue his mourning till the seventh day ; for so many days are appointed for it by the law of our fathers. And when he had given a treat to the multitude, and left off his mourning, he went up into the temple; he had also acclamations and praises given him, which way soever he went, every one striving with the rest who should appear to use the loudest acclamations. So he ascended an high elevation inade for him, and took his seat in a throne made of gold, and spake kindly to the multitude, and declared, “ with what joy he received " their acclamations, and the marks of the good-will they " shewed to him ; and returned them thanks that they did so not remember the injuries his father bad done them, to his “ disadvantage ; and promised them he would endeavour not “ to be behind hand with them in rewarding their alacrity in “ his service, after a suitable manner: but that he should ab66. stain at present from the name of king, and that he should " have the honour of that dignity, if Cæsar should confirm " and settle that testament which his father had made; and " that it was on this account, that when the army would “ have put the diadem on him at Jericho, he would not ac« cept of that honour, which is usually so much desired, be66 cause it was not yet evident that he who was to be princi. " pally concerned in bestowing it, would give it him; al" though, by his acceptance of the government, he should 66 not want the ability of rewarding their kindness to him, " and that it should be his endeavour, as to all things where" in they were concerned, to prove, in every respect, better " than his father.” Whereupon the multitude, as it is usual

* At eight stalia or furlongs a-day, as here, Herod's funeral, conducted to Herodium (which lay at the distance from Jericho, where he died, of 200 stadia or furlongs; Of the War, B. I. ch. Xxxjö. sect. 9, Vol III.) must have taken up no less than twenty-five days,

« PreviousContinue »