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Containing the Interval of about one year.
[From VESPASIAN's coming to subdue the Jews, to the taking
C H A P. 1. Vefpapan is sent into Syria by Nero, in order to make war with
the Jews. NI. W HEN Nero was informed of the Romansill luccels
W in Judea, a concealed consternation and terror, as is usual in such cases, fell upon him; although he openly looked very big, and was very angry, and said, that what had happened was rather owing to the negligence of the commander, than to any valour of the enemy : And as he thought it fit for him, who bare the burden of the whole empire, to del: pise such misfortunes, he now pretended lo to do, and to have a soul superior to all such sad accidents whatsoever. Yet did the disturbance that was in his soul plainly appear by the solicitude he was in how to recover his affairs again.]
2. And as he was deliberating to whom he Thould commit the care of the east, now it was in fo great a commotion, and who might be best able to punilh the Jews for their rebellion, and might prevent the same diste'm per from seizing upon the neighbouring nations also ; he found no one but Vespasian equal to the task, and able to undergo the great burden of so mighty a war, seeing he was growing an old man already in the camp, and from his youth had been exercised in warlike exploits : He was also a man that had long ago pacified the west, and made it subjeet to the Romans, when it had been put into dilorder by the Germans ; he had also recovered to them Britain by his arms, which had been little known before * ; whereby he procured to his father Claudius to have a triumph bestowed on him, without any sweat or labour of his own.
* Take the confirmation of this in the words of Suetonius, here produced by Dr. Hudlon - In the reign of Claudius," says he, * Vespasian, for the sake of Narcissus, was sent as a lieutenant of a legion into Germany. Thence he removed into Britain, and fought thirty battles with the enemy" in Velp $14. We may allo here note from Josephus, that Claudius the emperor, who triumphed for the cenquest of Britain, was enabled so to do by Vespasian s conduct and bravery, and that he is here ftvied the father of Velpalian,"
3. So Nero esteemed these circumstances as favourable opens, and law that Vespasian's age gave him sure experience, and great skill, and that he had his fons as hostages for his fidelity to himself, and that the flourishing age they were in would make them fit instruments under their father's prudence. Perhaps also there was some interpofition of Providence, which was paving the way for Vespasian's being himself emperor afterwards. Upon the whole, he sent this man to take upon him the command of the armies that were in Syria ; but this not without great encomiums and flattering compellations, such as necessity required, and such as might mollify him in. to complaisance. So Vespasian sent his son Titus from Achaia, where he had been with Nero, to Alexandria, to bring back with him from thence the fifth and the tenth legions, while he himlelt, when he had passed over the Hellespont, came by land into Syria, where he gathered together the Roman forces, with a considerable number of auxiliaries from the kings in that neighbourhood.
A great Slaughter of the Jews about Alcalon. Vefpapan comes
TOW the Jews after they had beaten Cestius, were
I so much elevated with their unexpected success, that they could not govern their žeal, but like people blown up into a flame by Their good fortune, carried the war to re. moter places. Accordingly they presently got together a great multitude of all their most hardy soldiers, and marched away for Ascalon. This is an ancient city that is diftant from Jerusalem five hundred and twenty furlongs, and was always an enemy to the Jews ; on which account they determined to make their first effort against it, and to make their approaches to it as near as possible. This excursion was led on by three men, who were the chief of them all, both for strength and sagacity, Niger called the Peraite, Silas of Babylon, and be Gdes them John the Eliene. Now Ascalon was strongly wal. led about, but had almost no assistance to be relied on (near them l, for the garrison consisted of one cohort of footmen, and one troop of horlemen, whose captain was Antonius.
2. The Jews, therefore, out of their anger, marched faster than ordinary, and, as it they had come but a little way, ap. proached very near the city, and were come even to it; but Antonius, who was not unapprised of the attack they were going to make upon the city drew out his horsemen before, hand, and being neither daunted at the multitude, nor at the courage of the enemy, received their firft attacks with great bravery ; and when they crowded to the very walls, he beps Vol. III.
them off. Now the Jews were unskiltul in war, but were to fight with those that were skitful therein ; they were footmen to fight with horsemen ; they were in disorder, to fight those that were united together ; they were poorly armed to fight those that were completely so; they were to fight more by their rage than by sober counsel, and were exposed to soldiers that were exactly obedient, and did every thing they were bidden upon the least intimation. So they were easily beaten ; for as soon as ever their first ranks were once in disorder, they were put to flight by the enemy's cavalry, and those of them that came behind such as crowded to the wall, fell upon their own party's weapons, and became one another's enemies; and this so long till they all were forced to give way to the attacks of the horsemen, and were dispersed ali the plain over, which plain was wide, and all fit for the horsemen ; which circuin. Itance was very commodious for the Romans, and occasioned the slaughter of the greatest number of the Jews; for such as ran away, they could over-run them, and make them turn back; and when they had brought them back after their flight, and driven them together, they run them through, and slew a vast number of them, insomuch that others encompassed others of them, and drove them before them whithersoever they turned themselves, and flew them easily with their arrows"; and the great number there were of the Jews seemed a folia tude to themselves, by reason of the distress they were in, while the Romans had such good success with their small number, that they seemed to themselves to be the greater mul. titude. And as the former strove zealously under their misfortunes, out of the shame of a sudden flight, and hopes of the change in their success, so did the latter feel no weariness by reason of their good fortune ; insomuch that the fight lasted till the evening, till ten thousand men of the Jews side lay dead, with two of their generals, John and Silas, and the greaier part of the remainder were wounded, with Niger, their re. maining general, who fled away together to a small city of Idumea, called Sallis ; fome few also of the Romans were wounded in this battle.
3. Yet were not the spirits of the Jews broken by lo great a calamity, but the losses they had luftained rather quickened their relolution for other attempts'; for overlooking the dead bodies which lay under their feet, they were enticed by their foriner glorious actions to venture on a second destruction ; fo when they had lain still so little a while that their wounds were not yet thoroughly cured, they got together all their forces, and came with greater fury, and in much greater num. bers to Ascalon. But their former ill fortune followed them, as the consequence of their unskilfulness, and other deficien. scies in war; for Antonius laid ambushes for them in the pallages they were to go through, where they fell into snares un. expecledly, and where they were compassed about with horses men, before they could form themselves into a regular body for fighting and were above eight thousand of them slain : So all the rest of them ran away, and with them Niger, who still did a great many bold exploits in his flight. However, they were driven along together by the enemy, who pressed hard upon them, into a certain strong tower belonging to a village called Bezedel. However, Antonius and his party, that they might neither spend any considerable time about this tower, which was hard to be taken, nor suffer their commander, and the most courageous man of them all, to escape from thein, they set the wall on fire ; and as the tower was burning, the Romans went away rejoicing, as taking it for granted that Ni. ger was destroyed ; but he leaped out of the tower into a subterraneous cave, in the innermost part of it, and was preserved; and on the third day afterward he fpake out of the ground to those that with great lamentation were searching for him, in order to give him a decent funeral ; and when he was come out, he filled all the Jews with an unexpected joy, as though he were preserved by God's providence to be their commander for the time to come.
4. And now Vespasian took along with him his army from Antioch (which is the metropolis of Syria, and, without dispute, deserves the place of the * third city in the habitable earth that was under the Roman empire, both in magnitude, and other marks of prosperity,) where he found king Agripga, with all his forces, waiting for his coming, and marched to Ptolemais. At this city also the inhabitants of Sepphoris of Galilee met him, who were for peace with the Romans. These citizens had beforehand taken care of their own safety, and being sensible of the power of the Romans, they had been with Celtius Gallus, before Vespasian came, and had given their faith to him, and received the security of his right hand, and had received a Roman garrilon ; and at this time withal they received Vespasian, the Roman general very kindly, and readily promiled that they would alift him against their own countrymen. Now the general delivered them, at tbeir de. fire, as many horsemen and footmen as he thought sufficient tu oppose the incursions of the Jews, if they thould come against them. And indeed the danger of losing Sepphoris would be no small one, in this war that was now beginning, seeing it was the largest city of Galilee, and built in a place by nature very strong, and might be a security of the whole nation's [fidelity to the Romans.]
• Spanheim and Reland both agree, that the two cities here esteemed greater than Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, were Rome and Alexandria ; nor is there any occasion for doubt in so plain a cale,
CHA P. III. A Description of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. 01. N OW Phenicia and Syria encompass about the Gali.
W lees, which are two, and called the Upper Galilee, and the Lower. They are bounded, towards the sun-setting, with the borders of the territory belonging to Ptolemais, and by Carmel ; which mountain had formerly belonged to the Galileans, but now belonging to the Ty rians, to which mountain adjoins Gaba, which is called “the city of horsemen," because those horsemen that were dismissed by Herod the king dweli therein ; they are bounded on the south with Samaria, and Scythopolis, as far as the river Jordan ; on the east with Hippene and Gadaris, and also with Gaulonitis, and the borders of the kingdom of Agrippa ; its northern parts are bound. ed by Tyre, and the country of the Tyrians. As for that Galilee which is called the Lower, it extends in length from Tiberias to Zabulon, and of the maritime places Ptolemais is its neighbour ; its breadth is from the village called Xaloth. which lies in the great plain, as far as Berlabe, from which begin. ning also is taken the breadth of the Upper Galilee, as far as the village Baca, which divides the land of the Tyrians from it; its length is also from Meloth to Thella, a village near to, Jordan.
2. These two Galilees, of so great largeness, and encompalsed with to many nations of foreigners, have been always able to make a strong resistance on all occasions of war ; for the Galileans are inured to war froin their infancy, and have been always very numerous ; nor bath the country been ever defe titute of men of courage, or wanted a numerous set of them : For their soil is universally rich and fruitful, and full of the plantations of trees of all sorts, insomuch, that it invites the most flothful to take pains in its cultivation, by its fruitful. ness : Accordingly it is all cultivated by its inhabitants, and no part of it lies idle. Moreover, the cities lie here very thick, and the very many villages there are here are every where so full of people, by the richness of their soil, that the very least of them contained above fifteen thousand inhabitants.
3. In short, if any one will suppose that Galilee is inferior to Perea in magnitude, he will be obliged to prefer it before it in its strength; for this is all capable of cultivation, and is every where fruitful; but for Perea, which is indeed much larger in extent, the greater part of it is desert, and rough, and much less disposed for the production of the milder kinds of fruits ; yet hath it a moist loil (in other parts, and produces all kinds of fruits, and its plains are planted with trees of all forts, while yet the olive tree, the vine, and the palm trees, are chiefly cultivated there. It is also sufficiently watered with