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did it now so happen that they were fometimes very ill treated by those upon whom they tell with such violence, and were taken by them as men are taken in war: But still they pre. vented any farther punishment as do robbers, who, as soon as their ravages (are discovered] run their way. Nor was there now any part of Judea that was not in a miserable condition, as well as its most eminent city also.
3. These things were told Vespasian by deferters ; for al. though the seditious watched all the passages out of the city, and destroyed all, whosoever they were, that came thither, yet were there some that had concealed themselves, and when they had fled to the Romans, persuaded their General to come to their city's assistance, and save the remainder of the people; informing him withal, that it was upon account of the peo. ple's good will to the Romans that many of them were already lain, and the survivors in danger of the same treatment. Veli pasian did indeed already pity the calamities these men were in, and arose, in appearance, as though he was going to befiege Jerusalem, but in reality to deliver them from a worse siege they were already under. However, he was obliged first to overthrow what remained elsewhere, and to leave nothing out of Jerusalem behind him, that might interrupt him in that fiege. Accordingly he'marched against.Gadara the metropo. lis of Perea which was a place of strength, and entered that city on the fourth day of the month Dy strus (Adar); for the men of power had sent an embassage to him, without the knowledge of the seditious, to treat about a surrender ; which they did out of the desire they had of peace, and for saving their effects, because many of the citizens of Gadara were rich men. This embassy the opposite party knew nothing of, but discovered it as Vespasian was approaching near the city. However, they delpaired of keeping posseflion of the city, as being inferior in number to their enemies which were within the city, and seeing the Romans very near to the city ; so they resolved to fly, but thought it dishonourable to do it without thedding some blood, and revenging themlelves on the authors of this surrender; so they seized upon Dolesus, (a person not only the first in rank and family in that city, but one that seemed the occalion of sending such an embally) and few him, and treated his dead body after a barbarous manner, so very violent was their anger at him, and then ran out of the city. And as now the Roman army was jutt upon them, the people of Gadara admitted Vespasian with joyful acclainations, and received from him the security of his right hand, as also a garrison of horlemen, and footmen, to guard them against the excursions of the runagates ; for as to their wall they had pull.
Mdes of rivers, Acts xvi 13. or by the sea-side Antiq. B. XIV.ch. * $ 23. So did the LXXII. interpreters go to prayer every moming by the sea-fide, before chey went to their work, B. XII. ch. ii. 5:2. Vol. II.
ed it down belore the Romans desired them so to do, that they might thereby give them assurance that they were lovers of peace, and that, if they had a mind, they could not now make war against them. .
4. And now Vespasian fent Placidus against those that had Hled from Gadara, with five hundred horsemen, and three thoufand footmen, while he returned himself to Cesarea, with the rest of the army. But as loon as these fugitives saw the horse. men that pursued them juft upon their backs, and before they came to a close fight, they ran together to a certain village, which was called Bethennabris, where finding a great multitude of young men, and arming them, partly by their own consent, partly by force, they rashly and suddenly assaulted Placidus and the troops that were with him? These horsemen at the first onset gave way a little, as contriving to entice them fartheroff the wall, and when they had drawn them into a place fit for their purpose, they made their horse encompass them round, and threw their darts at them. So the horsemen cut off the flight of the fugitives, while the foot terribly destroyed thole that fought against them; for those Jews did no more than Shew their courage, and then werc destroyed, for as they fell upon the Romans, when they were joined close together, and, as it were walled about with their entire armour, they were not able to find any place where the darts could enter, nor were they any way able to break their ranks, while they were themselves run through by the Roman darts, and like the wildest of wild beasts, rushed upon the point of others swords ; so some of them were destroyed, as cut with their enemies swords upon their faces, and others were dispersed by the horsemen.
5. Now Placidus's concern was to exclude them in their flight from getting into the village, and causing his horse to march continually on that side of them, he then turned short upon them, and at the same time his men made use of their darts, and easily took their aim at those that were the nearest to them, as they made those that were farther, off turn back by the terror they were in, till at last the most courageous of them brake through those horsemen and fled to the wall of the vila Jage. And now those that guarded the wall were in great doubt what to do; for they could not bear the thoughts of excluding those that came from Gadara, because of their own people that were among them; and yet, if they should admit them, . they expe&ted to perish with them, which came to pass accordingly, for as they were crowding together at the wall, the Roman horiemen were just ready to fall in with them. How. ever, the guards prevented them, and shut the gates, when Placidus made an assault upom them, and fighting courage. ously till it was dark, he got possession of the people of the wall, and of them that were in the city, when the useless mula titude were destroyed, but those that were more potent ran a. way, and the foldiers plundered the houses, and set the vil. VOL. III
lage on fire. As for those that ran out of the village, they ftirred up such as were in the country, and exaggerating their own calamities, and telling them that the whole army of the Romans were upon them, they put them into great fear on every side : So they got in great numbers together and fled to Jericho, for they knew no other place that could afford them any hope of escaping, it being a city that had a strong wall, and a great multitude of inhabitants. But Placidus re. fying much upon his horsemen, and his former good success. followed them, and New all that he overtook as far as Jordan; and when he had driven the whole multitude to the river lide, where they were stopped by the current, (for it had been aug. mented lately by rains, and was not fordable), he put his fol. diers in array over against them, so the necessity the others were in provoked them to hazard a battle, because there was no place whither they could flee. They then extended themselves a very great way along the banks of the river, and sustained the darts that were thrown at them, as well as the attacks of the horesemen, who beat many of them and pushed them into the current. At which fight, hand to hand, fiiteen thousand of them were slain, while the number of those that were une willingly forced to leap into Jordan was prodigious. There were besides, two thousand and two hundred taken prisoners. A mighty prey was taken also, consisting of alles, and sheep, and camels, and oxen.
6. Now this destruction that fell upon the Jews as it wag not interior to any of the rest in itselt, so did it still appear greater than it really was ; and this because not only the whole country through which they fled was filled with slaughter and Jordan could not be passed over by reason of the dead bodies that were in it, but because the lake Asphaltitis was also full of dead bodies, that were carried down into it by the river. And now Placidus, after this good success that he had had, fell vioJently upon the neighbouring sınaller cities and villages; when he took Abila, and Julias, and Bezemoth, and all hole that lay as far as the lake Asphaltitis, and put such of the deserters into each of them as he thought proper. He then put his soldiers on board the ships, and flew such as had fled to the lake ; inlo. much that all Perea had either surrendered themselves, or were taken by the Romans, as far as Macherus.
CHA P. VIII. How Vespasian, upon hearing of some Commotions in * Gall, made hafle to finish the Jewish War. A description of Jericho, and of the Great piain; with an account besides of the Lake Asphaltitis.
V.1, IN the mean time an account came, that there were com
· I motions in Gall, and that Vindex, together with the men of power in that country, had revolted from Nero; which affair is more accurately described elsewhere. This report, thus related to Vespasian, excited him to go on briskly with the war; for he foresaw already the civil wars which were coming upon them, nay, that the very government was in danger, and he thought it he could first reduce the eattern parts of the em. pire to peace, he should make the fears for Italy the lighter ; while therefore the winter was his hindrance, [from going into the field), he put garrisons into the villages and smaller cities for their lecurity : he put decurions also into the villages, and centurions into the cities; he besides this built many of the cit. jes that had been laid waste.; but at the beginning of the Spring he took the greatest part of his army, and led it from Celarea, to Antipatris, where he spent two days in settling the affairs of that city, and then, on the third day, he marched on, laying walte and burning all the neighbouring villages. And when he had laid waste all the places about the toparchy of Thamnas, he passed on to Lydda, and Jamnia, and when both those cities had come over to him, he placed a great many of those that had come over to him sirom other places as inhabitants therein, and then came to Emmaus, where he leized upon the passages which led thence to their metropolis, and fortified his camp and leaving the fifth legion therein, he came to the toparchy of Bethletephon. He then destroyed that place, and the neighbouring places by fire, and fortified at proper places the strong holds all about Idumea ; and when he had leized upon two vil lages, which were in the very midst of Idumea, Betaris and Ca. partobas, he new above ten thousand of the people, and carried into captivity above a thousand, and drove away the rest of the multitude, and placed no small part of his own forces in them, who over-ran and laid waste the whole mountainous country: while he, with the rest of his forces, returned to Emmaus, whence he came down, through the country of Samaria, and hard by the city, by others called Neapolis (or Sicherr), but by the people of that country Mabortha, to Corea, where he pitched his camp, on the second day of the month Delius, (Si. van]; and on the day following he came to Jericho, on which
G. Galatia, and fo every whers.
Book IV. day Trajan, one of his commanders, joined him with the forces he brought out of Perea, all the places beyond Jordan being fubdued already.
2. Hereupon a great multitude prevented their approach, and came out of Jericho, and fled to those mountainous parts that Jay over against Jerusalem, while that part which was left behind was in a great measure destroyed; they also found the city desolate. It is situated in a plain, but a naked and barren mountain, of a very great length, hangs over it, which extends itself to the land about Scythopolis northward, but as far as the country of Sodom, and the utmost limits of the lake Asphali. tis fouthward. This mountain is all of it very uneven and uninhabited by realon ofits barrenness; there is an opposite moun. tain that is situated over against it, on the other side of Jordan; this last begins at Julias, and the northern quarters, and extends itself fouthward as far as * Somorrhon, which is the bounds of Petra, in Arabia. In this ridge of mountains there is one called the Iron mountain, that runs in length as far as Moab. Now the region that lies in the middle between these ridges of mountains, is called the Great plain ; it reaches from the village Ginnabrics, as far as the lake Asphaltitis ; its length is two hundred and thirty furlongs, and its breadth an hundred and twenty, and it is divided in the midst by Jordan. It hath two lakes in it, that of Asphaltitis, and that of Tiberias, whole patures are opposite to each other ; for the former is salt and unfruitful, but that of Tiberias is sweet and fruitful. This plain is much burnt up in summer time, and by reason of the extraordinary heat, contains a very unwholesome air ; it is ail destitute of water except the river Jordan, which water of Jordan is the occasion why those plantations of palm trees that are near its banks, are more flourilhing, and much more truit. ful, as are those that are remote from it not so flourishing, or fruitful.
3. Notwithstanding which, there is a fountain by Jericho, that runs plentifully, and is very fit for watering the ground; it arises near the old city, which Joshua, the fon of Naue, the general of the Hebrews, took the first of all the cities of the land of Canaan, by right of war. The report is, that this fountain, at the beginning, caused not only the blasting of the earth and the trees, but of the children born of women, and that it was en. tirely of a sickly and corruptive nature, to all things whatsoever, but that it was inade gentle, and very whole!ome and fruitul by the prophet Elisha. This prophet was familiar with Elijah, and was his successor, who, when he once was the guest of the people at Jericho, and the men of the place had treated him very
* Whether this Somorrhon or Somorrha, ought not to be here written Gomor. rho, as some MSS. in a manner bave it, (for the place meant by jolephus seems to be near Segor or Zoar, at the very south of the dead sea, hard by which stood Sodom and Gomorrha), cepnot now be certainly determined, but feans by no means in probable