Page images

discourse a little, and this the rather, because the infection which spread thence among the younger sort, who were zealous for it brought the public to destructiop.

2. The Jews had, for a great while, had three sects of philosophy peculiar to themselves, the sect of the Essens, and the sect of the Sadducees, and the third sort of opinions, was ihat of those called Pharisees; of which sects, although I have already spoken in the second book of the Jewish war, yet will I a little touch upon them now.

3. Now for the Pharisees they live meanly, and despise delicacies in rdiet; and they follow the conduct of reason ; and what that p escribes to them as good for them, they do; and they think they ought earnestly to strive to observe reason's dictates for practice. They also pay a respect to such as are in years; nor are they so bold as to contradict them in any thing which they have introduced ; and, when they determine that all things are done by fate, they do not take away the freedom from men of acting as they think fit; since their notion is, that it bath pleased God to make a temperament, whereby what he wills is done, but so that the will of man can act virtuously or viciously. They also believe, that souls have an immortal vigour in them, and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life ; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again, on account of which doctrines they are able greatly to persuade the body of the people: and whatsoever they do about divine worship, prayers, and sacrifices, they perform them according to their direction ; insomuch that the cities gave great attestations to them on account of their entire virtuous conduct, both in the actions of their lives, and their discour

ses also.

4. But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this, That souls die with the bodies; nor do they regard the observation of any thing besides what the law enjoins them; for they think it an instance of virtue to dispute with those teachers of philosophy whom they frequent; but this doctrine is received but by a few, yet by those still of the greatest dignity. But they are able to do almost nothing of themselves; for wben they become magistrates, as they are unwillingly and by force sometimes obliged to be, they addict themselves to the notions of the Pharisees, because the multitude would not otherwise bear them,

5. The doctrine of the Essens is this, That all things are best ascribed to God. They teach the immortality f souls, and esteem that the rewards of righteousness are to be earnestly striven for; and when they send * what they have dedicated to God into the temple, they do not offer sacrifices, because they have more pure lustrations of their own ; on which account they are excluded from the common court of the temple, but offer their sacrifices themselves; yet is their course of life better than that of other men; and they entirely addict themselves to husbandry. It also deserves our admiration how much they exceed all other men that addict themselves to virtue, and this in righteousness; and indeed to such a degree, that as it hath never appeared among any other men, neither Greeks nor Barbarian, no not for a little time, so hath it endured a long while among them. This is demonstrated by that institution of theirs, which will not suffer any thing to hinder them from having all things in common; so that a rich man enjoys no more of bis own wealth than he who hath nothing at all. There are about four 'thousand men that live in this way; and neither marry wives, nor are desirous to keep servants ; as thinking the latter tempts men to be unjust, and the former gives the 'handle to domestic quarrels ; but as they live by themselves, they minister one to another. They also appoint certain stewards to receive the incomes of their revenues, and of the fruits of the ground; sucb as are good men and priests, who are to get their corn and their food ready for them. They none of them differ from others of the Essens in their way of living, but do the most resemble those Dacæ, who are called Polistæ t, [dwell. ers in cities]

6. But of the fourth sect of Jewish philosophy, Judas the Galilean was the author. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions ; but they have an inviolable attach. ment to liberty, and say, that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of deatb, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord. And since this immoveable resolution of theirs is well known to a great many, I shall speak no farther about that matter; nor am I afraid that any thing I have said of them should be disbelieved, but rather fear, that what I have said is beneath the resolution they shew when they undergo pain. And it was in Gessius Florus's time that the nation began to go mad with this distemper, who was our procurator, and who occasioned the Jews to go wild with it by the abuse of his authority, and to make them revolt from the Romans. And these are the sects of Jewish philosophy.

* It seems by what Josephus says here, and Philo himself elsewhere, Op. p. 676, that these Essens did not use to go up to the Jewish festivals at Jerusalem, or to offer sacrifices there, which may be one great occasion why they are never mentioned in the ordinary books of the New Testament; though in the Apostolical Constitutions they are mentioned as those that observed the customs of their forefathers, and that without any such ill character laid upon them, as is there laid upon the other sects among that people.

+ Who these Ionisai in Josephus, or Krisai in Srabo, among the Pythagoric Dacæ w..e, it is not easy to determin Scaliger offers no improbable conjec. ture, th some of these Dicæ lived alone, like monks, in tents or caves, but that others of them lived together in built cities, and thence were called by such names as implied the same,


§ 1. W

How Herod and Philip built several cities in honour of Cæsar.

Concerning the succession of priests and procurators; as also what befel Phraates and the Parthians.

HEN Cyrenius had now disposed of Archelaus's money, and when the taxings were come to a conclusion, which were made in the thirty-seventh year of Cæsar's victory over Antony at Actium, he deprived Joazar of the highpriesthood, which dignity had been conferred on him by the multitude, and he appointed Ananus, the son of Seth, to be high-priest; while Herod and Philip had each of them received their own tetrarchy, and settled the affairs thereof. Herod also built a wall about Sepphoris, (which is the security of all Galilee,) and made it the metropolis of the country.

He also built a wall round Betharamphtha, which was itself a city also, and called it Julias, from the name of the emperor's wife. When Philip also had built Paneas, a city at the fountains of Jordan, he named it Cesarea. He also advanced the village Bethsaida, situate at the lake of Gennesareth, unto the dignity of a city, both by the number of inhabitants it contained, and its other grandeur, and called it by the name of Julias, the same name with Cæsar's daughter.

2. As Coponius, who we told you was sent along with Cyrenius, was exercising his office of procurator, and governing Judea, the following accidents happened. As the Jews were celebrating the feast of unleavened bread, which we call the Passover, it was customary for the priests to open the temple gates just after midnight. When therefore those gates were first opened, some of the Samaritans came privately into Jerusalem, and threw about dead mens bodies in the cloisters; on which account the Jews afterward excluded them out of the temple, which they had not used to do at such festivals; and on other accounts also they watched the temple more carefully than they had formerly done. A little after which acci. dent Coponius returned to Roine, and Marcus Ambivius came to be his successor in that government; under whom Salome, the sister of king Herod, died, and left to Julia (Cæsar's wife,] Jamnia, all its toparchy, and Phasaelis in the plain, and Archelais, where is a great plantation of palm trees, and their fruit is excellent in its kind. After him came Anpius Rufus, under whom died Cæsar, the second emperor of the Romans, the duration of whose reign was fifty-seven years, besides six months and two days, (of which time Antonius ruled together with him fourteen years; but the duration of his life was seventy-seven years ;) upon whose death Tiberius Nero, bis wife Julia's son, succeeded. He was now the third emperor; and he sent Valerius Gratus to be procurator of Judea, and to succeed Annius Rufus. This inan deprived Ananus of the high-priesthood, and appointed Ismael, the son of Phabi, to be bigh-priest. He also deprived him in a little time, and ordained Eleazar, the son of Ananus, who had been high-priest before, to be high-priest; which office, when he had held for a year, Gratus deprived him of it, and gave the high-priesthood to Simon, the son of Cavithus; and, when he had possessed that dignity no longer than a year, Joseph Caiaphas was made his successor. When Gratus had done these things, be went back to Rome, after he had tarried in Judea eleven years, when Pontius Pilate came as bis successor.

3. And now Herod the tetrarch, who was in great favour with Tiberius, built a city of the same name with him, and called it Tiberias. He built it in the best part of Galilee, at the lake of Gennesareth. There are warm baths, at a little distance from it, in a village named Emmaus. Strangers came and inhabited this city; a great number of the inhabitants were Galileans also; and many were necessitated by Herod to come thither out of the country belonging to him, and were by force compelled to be its inhabitants ; some of them were persons of condition. He also admitted poor people, and those such as were collected from all parts, to dwell in it. Nay, some of them were not quite freemen; and these he was a benefactor to, and made them free in great numbers; but obliged them not to forsake the city, by building them very good houses at his own expences, and by giving them land also; for he was sensible, that to make this place an habitation was to transgress the Jewish ancient laws, because many sepulchres were to be here taken away, in order to make room for the city Tiberias ; * whereas our laws days.*

* We may here take notice, as well as in the parallel parts of the books Of the War, B. II. ch. ix. sect. 1. Vol. III. that after the death of Herod the Great, and the succession of Archelaus, Josepbus is very brief his accouuts of Judea, till near his own time. I suppose the reason is, that after the large history of Nicolaus of Damascus, including the life of Herod, and probably the succession and first actions of his sons, he had but few good histories of those times before him,

pronounce, that such inhabitants are unclean for seven

4. About this time died Phraates, king of the Parthians, by the treachery of Phraataces his son, upon the occasion following: When Phraates had had legitimate sons of his own, he had also an Italian maid-servant, whose name was Thermusa, who had been formerly sent to him by Julius Cæsar, among other presents.

He first made her bis concubine; but he being a great admirer of her beauty, in process of time having a son by her, whose name was Phraataces, he made her his legitimate wife, and had a great respect for her. Now, she was able to persuade him to do any thing that she said, and was earnest in procuring the government of Parthia for her son ; but still she saw that her endeavours would not succeed, unless she could contrive how to remove Phraates's legitimate sons out [of the kingdom ;) so she persuaded him to send those his sons as pledges of his fidelity, to Rome; and they were sent to Rome accordingly, because it was not easy for him to contradict her commands. Now, while Phraataces was alone brought up in order to succeed in the government, he thought it very tedious to expect that government by bis father's donation [as his successor] ; he therefore formed a treacherous design against his father by his mother's assistance, with whom, as the report went, he had criminal versation also. So he was hated for both these vices, while his subjects esteemed this (wicked] love of his mother to be no way inferior to his parricide ; and he was by them in a sedition expelled out of the country, before he grew too great and died. But as the best sort of Parthians agreed together that it was impossible they should be governed without a king, while also it was their constant practice to choose one of the family of Arsaces, [nor did their law allow of any others; and they thought this kingdoin had been sufficiently injured already by the marriage with an Italian concubine, and by her issue], they sent ambassadors and called Orodes {to take the crown]; for the multitude would not otherwise have borne them; and though he were accused of very great cruelty, and was of an untractable temper, and prone to wrath, yet still he was one of the family of Arsaces. However, they made a conspiracy against him, and slew him, and that, as some say, at a festival, and among their sacrifices; (for it is the universal custom there to carry their swords with them); but as the more general report is, they slew him when they had drawn bim out a-hunting. So they sent ambassadors to Rome and desired they would send one of those that were there as pledges, to be their king. Accordingly, Vono


* Numb. xix. 11-14.

« PreviousContinue »