Page images

er * juftly, and according to every one's deserts, he came to Antioch, and consulting which way he had best take, he preferred to go for Rome, rather than to march to Alexandria, because he saw that Alexandria was sure to him already, but that the affairs at Rome were put into disorder by Vitellius ; so he sent Mucianus to Italy, and committed a considerable army both of horlemen and footmen to him ; yet was Mucianus afraid of going by lea, because it was the middle of winter, and so he led his army on foot through Capadocia and Phrygia.

2. In the mean time Antonius Primus took the third of the legions that were in Mysia, for he was president of that province, and made hafte, in order to fight Vitellius; whereupon Vitellius fent away Cecinna, with a great army, having a mighty confidence in him, because of his having beaten Ocho. This Cecinna marched out of Rome in great halte, and found Antonius about Cremona in Gall, which city is in the bor. ders of Italy; but when he saw there that the enemy were nu. merous and in good order, he durft not fight them, and as he thought a retreat dangerous, lo he began to think of betraying his army to Antonius. Accordingly he assembled the centurions and tribunes that were under his command, and persuaded them to go over to Antonius, and this by diminithing the reputation of Vitellius, and by exaggerating the power ot Verpasian. He also told them, That with the one there was no inore than the bare name of dominion, but with the other was the power of it. And that it was better for them to prevent necessity, and gain lavour, and, while they were likely to be overcome in battle, to avoid the danger beforehand, and go over to Antonius willingly ; that Velpasian was able of him. self to subdue what had not yet submitted, without their allil. tance, while Vitellius could not preserve what he had already with it."

3. Cecinna said this, and much more to the same purpose, and persuaded them to comply with him, and both he and his army deserted; but ftill the very fame night the foldiers re. penied of what they had done, and a fear seized on them, left perhaps Vitellius who sent them should get the better : And drawing their swords, they assaulted Cecinna in order to kill him; and the thing had been done by them, if the tribunes had not fallen upon their knees, and befought them not to do it: So the soldiers did not kill him, but put him in honds, as a trai. tor, and were about to send him to Vitellius. When (Anto. nius] Primus heard of this, he raised up his men immediately,

• This is well observed by Josephus, that Vespasian, in order to secure his luce cess, and establish his government at first, distributed his offices and places upou ile foot of justice, and bestowed them on such as best deferved them, and were belt hit for theni. Which wile conduct in a mere Heathen, ought to put thole rulers and minifcrs of flate to fhaine, who, profesing Clcißianity, act othirwise, and thereby expose themselves and their kingdon.s to vice and to deftruction.


and made them put on their armour, and led them against those that had revolted; hereupon they put themselves in order of battle, and made a resistance for a while, but were foon beaten, and fled to Cremona ; then did Primus take his horsemen, and cut off their entrance into the city, and encompassed and deftroyed a great multitude of them before the city, and fell into the city together with the rest, and gave leave to his soldiers to plunder it. And here it was that many strangers who were merchants, as well as many of the people of that country, perilhed, among them Vitellius's whole army, being thirty thou. land and two hundred, while Antonius lost no more of those that came with him from Mysia than four thousand and five hundred : He then loosed Cecinna, and sent him to Velpafian to tell him the good news. So he came and was received by him, and covered the scandal of his treachery, by the unex. pected honours he received from Vespasian

And now, upon the news that Antonius was approaching, Sabinus took courage at Rome, and assembled those cohorts of soldiers that kept watch by nighi, and in the night time seized upon the capitol ; and as the day came on, many men of character came over to him, with Domitian his brother's lon, whose encouragement was of a very great weight for the coinpafl. ing the government. Now Vitellius was not much concerned at this Primus, but was very angry at those that had revolted with Sabinus, and thirsting, out of his own natural barbarity, after noble blood, he fent out that part of the army which came along with hiin to fight against the capitol, and many bold actions were done on this side, and on the side of those that held the temple. But at last the soldiers that came from Germany being too numerous for the others, got the hill into their potleflion, where Domitian, with many other of the principat Romans providentially escaped, while the rest of the multitude were entirely cut to pieces, and Sabinus himself was brought to Vitellius and then lain; the soldiers also plundered the temple of its ornaments, and set it on fire. But now, within a day's time, came Antonius, with his army, and were by Vitellius and his army, and having had a battle in three several places, the last were all destroyed. Then did Vitellius come out of the palace, in his cups, and satiated with an extravagant and luxurious meal, as in the last extremity, and be. ing drawn along through the multitude, and abused with ali forts of torments, had his head cut off in the midst of Rome, having retained the government* eight months and five days, and had he lived much longer I cannot but think the empire

The numbers in Josephus, ch. ix. $ 2, 9 for Galba 7 months 7 days, for Otho 3 months 2 days, and here for Vitellius 8 months 5 days, do not agree with any. Roman biltorians, who also disagree among themselves. And indeed Scaliger juste ly complains, is Dr. Hudson observes on chap. ix. 2. that this period is very confused and uncertain in the ancient authors. They were probably some of them contemporary together for some time ; one of the best evidences we have, I mean Ptolemy's Canon, omits them all, as if they did not altogether reign one whole would not have been sufficient for his luft. Of the others that were fain were numbered above fifty thousand. This battle was fought on the third day of the month Apelleus (Cafeu; on the next day Mucianus came into the city with his army, and ordered Antonius and his men to leave off killing; for they were still searching the houses, and killed many of Vitellius's foldiers, and many of the populace, as supposing them to be of his party, preventing by their rage any accurate diftin&ion between them and others. He then produced Domitian, and recommended him to the multitude, until his father should come himself : So the people being now freed from their fears, made acclamations of joy for Vespasian, as for their emperor, and kept festival days for his confirmation, and for the destruction of Vitellius.

5. And now, as Vespasian was come to Alexandria, this good news came from Rome, and at the same rime caine embaslies from all his own habitable earth, to congratulate him upon his advancement; and though this Alexandria was the greatest of all cities next to Rome, it proved 100 narrow to contain the multitude that then came to it. So upon this confirmation of Vespasian's entire government, which was now setiled, and upon the unexpected deliverance of the publicaf. fairs of the Romans from ruin, Vetpafian turned his thoughts to what remained unsubdued in Judea. However, he him. self made haite to go to Rome, as the winter was now almost over, and soon set the affairs of Alexandria in order, but fent his son Titus, with a select part of his army, to destroy Jerufalem. So Titus marched on foot as far as Nicopolis, which is diftant twenty furlongs from Alexandria ; there he put his army on board lome long ships, and failed upon the river along the Mendesian Nomus, as iar as the city Thmuis; there he got out of the ships, and walked on foot, and lodged all night at a Imall city called Tanis. His second station was Heracleopolis, and his third PeluGum; he then retrelhed his army at that place for two days, and on the third palled over the mouth of the Nile at Pelufium, he then proceeded one ftation over the desert, and pitched his camp at the temple of the * Calian Jupiter, and on the next day at Oftracine. This itation had no water, but the people of the country make use of water brought from other places. After this he rested at Rhinocolura, and from thence he went to Raphia, which was his fourth station. This city is the beginning of Syria. For his fifth station he pitched his camp at Gaza; after which he came to Alcalon, and thence to Jamnia, and after that to Joppa, and from Joppa to Cesarea, having taken a refolution to gather all his other forces together at that place. year, nor had a single Thoth or New-year's day (which then fell upon Aug. 6) in their entire reigns. Dio also, who says, that Vitellius reigned a year within ten days, does yet estimate all their reigns together at no more than one year one month and two days.

* There are coins of this Calian jupiter (till extant, as Spanbeim bere informs us,

[ocr errors]


Containing the Interval of near six months.

[From the coming of Titus to besiege Jerusalem, to the great

extremity to which the Jews were reduced.]

CH A P. I.

Concerning the Seditions at Jerusalem, and what Terrible Mifa

eries afflicted the City by their means.

[ocr errors]

9 1 ner forementioned, he came to Celarea, having relolved to let his forces in order at that place, belore he began the war. Nay, indeed, while he was aslifting his father at Alexandria, in fettling that government which had been newly conferred upon them by God, it to happened, that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one fac. tion fought against the other, which partition in such evil cases may be laid to be a good thing, and the effect of divine juftice. Now as to the attack the Želotes made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city's destruction, it hath been already explained after

an accurate manner ; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischiet it was increaled. But for the present sedition, one saould not mistake it he call. ed it a sedition begotten by another fedition, and to be like a wild beaft grown mad, which, for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh.

2. For Eleazar, the son of Simon, who made the first sepa. ration of the Zelotes from the people, and made them retire into the temple, appeared very angry at John's insolent attempts, which he made every day upon the people ; for this man never left off murdering : But the truth was, that he could not bear to submit to a tyrant who set up after him. So he being desirous of gaining the entire power and dominion to himselt, revolted from John, and took to his assistance Judas, the son of Chelcias, and Simon the son of Ezron, who were among the men of greatest power. There was also with him Hezekiah the son of Chobar, a person of eminence. Each of these were followed by a greai many of the Zelotes ; these

seized upon the inner court * of the temple, and laid their arms upon the holy gates, and over the holy fronts of that court. And because they had plenty of provisions, they were of good courage ; for there was a great abundance of what was consecrated to sacred uses, and they scrupled not the nak. ing use of them ; yet were they afraid on account of their small number, and when they had laid up their arms there, they did not ftir from the place they were in. Now as to John, what advantage he had above Eleazar in the multitude of his followers, the like disadvantage he had in the situation he was in, since he had his enemies over his head ; and as he could not make any assault upon them without some terror, so was his anger too great to let him be at rest : Nay, although he suffered more mischief from Eleazar and his party, than he could inflict upon them, yet would he not leave off assaulting them, insomuch that there were continual Sallies made one a. gainst another, and the temple was defiled every where with murders.

3. But now the tyrant Simon, the son of Gioras, whom the people had invited in out of the hopes they had of his assistance in the great distresses they were in, having in his power the upper city, and a great part of the lower, did now make more vehement assaults upon John and his party, because they were fought against from above also ; yet was he beneath their situation when he attacked them, as were they beneath the attacks of the others above them. Whereby it came to pass, that John did both receive and infliet great damage, and that easily, as he was fought against on both sides ; and the dame advantage that Eleazar and his party bad over him, since he was beneath them, the same advantage had he, by his high. er situation, over Simon. On which account he easily repell. ed the attacks that were made from beneath, by the weapons thrown from their hands only ; but was obliged to repel those that threw their darts from the temple above him, by his engines of war : For he had such engines as threw darts, and javelins, and stones, and that in no small number, by which he did not only defend himself from such as fought against him, but sew moreover many of the priests, as they were about their sacred ministrations. For notwithstanding these men were mad with all sorts of impiety, yet did they itill ad. mit those that desired to offer their sacrifices, although they took care to search the people of their own country beforehand, and both suspected and watched them ; while they were not so much afraid of strangers, who, although they had gotten

• This appears to be the first time that the Zelotes ventured to pollute this most sacred court of the temple, which was the court of the priests, wherein the temple itself and the altar stood. So that the conjecture of thole that would interpret that Zacharias, who was Nain" between the temple and the altar" several months before, B. v. 9 4. Vol. 111. as if he were Nain there by these Zelotes, is groundless , as I have noted on that place already.

« PreviousContinue »