Page images

nes was preferred before the rest, and sent to them; (for he seemed capable of such great fortune, which two of the greatest kingdoms under the sun now offered him, his own,

and à foreign one.). However, the barbarians soon changed their minds, they being naturally of a mutable disposition, upon the supposal, that this man was not worthy to be their governor; for they could not think of obeying the commands of one that had been a slave, (for so they called those that had been hostages,) nor could they bear tbe ignominy of that name; and this was the more intolerable, because then the Parthians must have such a king set over them, not by right of war, but in a time of peace. So they presently invited Artabanus, king of Media, to be their king, he being also of the race of Arsaces. Artabamus complied with the offer that was made hini, and came to them with an army. So Vonones met him; and at first the multitude of the Parthians stood on his side, and he put his army in array, but Artabanas, was beaten, and fled to the mountains of Media. Yet did he a little time after gather a great army together, and fought with Vonones, and beat him; whereupon Vonones fled away on horseback, with a few of his attendants about him, to Seleucia (upon Tigris]: So when Artabanus had slain a great number, and this after he had gotten the victory by reason of the very great dismay the barbarians were in, he retired to Ctesiphon with a great number of his people; and so he now reigned over the Parthians. But Vonones fled away to Armenia ; and as soon as he came thither, he had an inclination to have the government of the country given him, and sent ambassadors to Rome [for that purpose]. But because Tiberius refused it him, and because he wanted courage, and because the Parthian king threatened him, and sent ambassa. dors to him to denounce war against him if he proceeded, and because he had no way to take to regain any other kingdom, (for the people of authority among the Armenians about Niphates joined themselves to Artabanus,) he delivered up himself to Silanus, the president of Syria, who, out of regard to his education at Rome, kept him in Syria, while Artabanus gave Armenia to Orodes, one of his own sons.

5. At this time died Antiochus, the king of Commagene; whereupon the multitude contended with the nobility, and both sent ambassadors to (Rome); for the men of power were desirous that their form of goverument might be changed into that of a [Romanprovince ; as were the multitude desi. roas to be under kings, as their fathers had been.

So the senate made a decree, that Germanicus should be sent to settle the affairs of the east, fortune hereby taking a proper opportunity for depriving him of his life; for when he had been in the east, and settled all affairs there, his life was taken away by the poison which Piso gave him, as hath been related elsewhere *


[ocr errors]

there ;

A sedition of the Jews against Pontius Pilate. Concerning

Christ, and what befel Paulina and the Jews at Rome.

1. But now Pilate the procurator of Judea, removed the army from Cesarea to Jerusalem, to take their winterquarters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he introduced Cæsar's effigies, which were upon the ensigns, and brought them into the city ; whereas our law forbids us the very making of images; on which account the former procurators were wont to make their entry into the city with such ensigns as had not those ornaments. Pilate was the first who brought those images to Jerusalem, and set them

up which was done without the knowledge of the people, because it was done in the night time; but as soon as they knew it, they came in multitudes to Cesarea, and interceded with Pilate many days, that he would remove the images; and when he would not grant their requests, because this would tend to the injury of Cæsar, while yet they persevered in their request, on the sixth day he ordered his soldiers to have their weapons privately, while he came and sat upon bis judgmentseat; which seat was so prepared in the open place of the city, that it concealed the army that lay ready to oppress them; and when the Jews petitioned him again, he gave a signal to the soldiers to encompass them round, and threatened that their punishment should be no less than immediate death, unless they would leave off disturbing him, and go their ways home. But they threw themselves upon the ground, and laid their necks bare, and said they would take their death very willingly, rather than the wisdom of their laws should be transgressed; upon which Pilate wss deeply affected with their firm resolution to keep their laws inviolable, and presently commanded the images to be carried back from Jerusalem to Cesarea.

2. But Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money, and derived the origin of the stream from the distance of two hundred furlongs. However the Jews t were not pleased with wbat had been done about this water; and many ten thousands of the people got together, and made a clamour against bim, and insisted that he should leave off that design. Some of them also used reproaches, and abused the man, as crowds of such people usually do. So he habited a great number of his soldiers in their habit, who carried daggers under their garments, and sent them to a place where they might surround them. So he bid the Jews himself go away ; but they boldly casting reproaches upon bim, he gave the soldiers that signal which had been beforehand agreed on; who laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had commanded them, and equally punished those that were tumultuous, and those that were not; nor did they spare them in the least ; and since the people were unarıned, and were caught by men prepared for what they were about, there were a great number of them slain by this means, and others of them ran away wounded, And thus an end was put to this sedition.

* This citation is now wanting. + These Jews, as they are here called, whose blood Pilate shed on this occa. sion may very well be those very Galilean Jews whose blood Pilate had mingleil with their sacrifices; Luke xiii, 1, %; these tumults being usually excited at some of the Jews great festivals, when they slew abundance of sacrifices, and the Gali. Jeans being commonly much more busy in such tumults than those of Judea and Jerusalem, as we learn from the history of Archelaus, Antiq. B. XVII. ch. ix. sect. 3. and ch. x. sect. 2, 9. Vol. II. ; though indeed Josephus's present com pies say not one word of those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slem them, which the 4th verse of the same xiji chapter of St Luke informs us of. But sioce our gospel teaches us, Luke xxiii. 6, 7. that, when filate heard of Galilee, he asked whether Jesus were a Galilean? And as soon as he knew that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod. Aud ver. 12. The same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together; for, before they had been at enmity between themselves. Take the very probable key of this matter in the words of the learned Noldius de Herod, No. 249.“ The cause of the enmity between Herod and “ Pilate (says he), seems to have been this, that Pilate had intermeddled with “ the tetrarch's jurisdiction, and had slain some of his Galilean subjects; Luke “ xiii. 1. : and, as he was willing to correct that error, he sent Christ to Herod at " this time.” *A. D. 33. April 3.

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man ; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with plea

He drew over to bim both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, *those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; † as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

4. About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder, and certain shameful practices happened about the temple of Isis that was at Rome. I will now first


7. April 5:

take notice of the wicked attempt about the temple of Isis, and will then give an account of the Jewish affairs, There was at Rome a woman whose name was Paulina ; one who, on account of the dignity of her ancestors, and by the regular conduct of a virtuous life, had a great reputation : she was also

very rich; and although she were of a beautiful countenance, and in that flower of ber age wherein women are the wost gay, yet did she lead a life of great modesty. She was married to Saturninus, one that was every way answerable to her in an excellent character. Decius Mundus fell in love with this woman, who was a man very high in the equestrian order; and as she was of too great dignity to be caught by presents, and had already rejected them, though they had been sent in great abundance, he was still more infiamed with love to her, insomuch that he promised to give her two hundred thousand Attic drachma for one night's lodging; and and when this would not prevail upon her, and he was not able to bear this misfortune in his amours, he thought it the best way to famish himself to death for want of food, on account of Paulina's sad refusal: and he determined with himself to die after such a manner, and he went on with his purpose accordingly. Now Mundus had a freed woman, who had been made free by his father, whose name was lde, one skilful in all sorts of mischief. This woman was very much grieved at the young man's resolution to kill himself, (for he did not conceal his intentions to destroy himself from others,) and came to bim, and encouraged him by her discourse, and made him to hope by some promises she gave him, that he might obtain a night's lodging with Paulina; and when he joyfully hearkened to her entreaty, she said, she wanted no more than fifty thousand drachmæ for the entrapping of the

So when she had encouraged the young man, and gotten as much money as she required, she did not take the same methods as had been taken before, because she perceived that the woman was by no means to be tempted by money, but as she knew that she was very much given to the worship of the goddess Isis, she devised the following stratagem : she went to some of Isis's priests, and upon


strongest assurances (of concealment), she persuaded them by words, but chiefly by the offer of money, of 25,000 drachmæ in hand, and as much more when the thing had taken effect; and told them the passion of the young man, and persuaded them to use all means possible to beguile the woman. So they were drawn in to promise so to do, by that large sum of gold they were to have. Accordingly the oldest of them went immediately to Paulina, and upon his admittance, he desired to speak with her by herself. When that was granted him, he


told her, that “ he was sent by the god Anubis, who was “ fallen in love with her, and enjoined her to come to him.” Upon this she took the message very, kindly, and valued herself greatly upon this condescension of Anubis, and told her husband, that she had a message sent her, and was to sup and to lie with Anubis; so he agreed to her acceptance of the offer, as fully satisfied with the chastity of his wife. Accordingly she went to the temple, and after she had supped there, and it was the hour to go to sleep, the priest shut the doors of the temple, when in the holy part of it, the lights were also put out. Then did Muudus leap out, (for he was hidden therein), and did not fail of enjoying her, who was at his service all the night long, as supposing he was the god; and when he was gone away, which was before those priests who knew nothing of this stratagem were stirring, Paulina came early to her husband, and told him how the god Anubis had appeared to her. Among her friends also she declared how great a value she put upon this favour, who partly disbelieved the thing, when they reflected on its nature, and partly were amazed at it, as having no pretence for not believing it, when they considered the modesty and the dignity of the person. But now on the third day after what had been done, Mundus met Paulina, and said, “ Nay, Paulina, thou hast “ saved me two hundred thousand drachmæ, which sum thou “ mightest have added to thy own family; yet hast thou not “ failed to be at my service in the manner I invited thee. “ As for the reproaches thou hast laid upon Mundus, I va« lue not the business of names; but I rejoice in the pleasure " I reaped by what I did, while I took to myself the name of 66 Anubis." "When he had said this, he went his way. But now she began to come to the sense of the grossness of what she had done, and rent her garments, and told her husband of the horrid nature of this wicked contrivance, and prayed him not to neglect to assist her in this case. So he discovered the fact to the emperor ; whereupon Tiberius enquired into the inatter thoroughly, by examining the priests about it, and ordered them to be crucified, as well as Ide, who was the occasion of their perdition, and who had contrived the whole matter, which was so injurious to the woman. He also demolished the temple of Isis, and gave order that her statue should be thrown into the river Tiber; wbile he only banished Mundus, but did no more to him, because he supposed that what crime he had committed was done out of the passion of love. And these were the circumstances which concerned the temple of Isis, and the injuries occasioned by her priests. I now return to the relation of



« PreviousContinue »