« PreviousContinue »
that had surrendered the citadel, he let them go, and reftored Eleazar to them.
5. When Bassus had settled these affairs, he marched hattily to the forest of Jarden, as it is called ; for he had heard that a great many of those that had fled from Jerusalem and Mache. rus formerly, were there gotten together. When he was there. fore come to the place, and understood that the former news was no mistake, he, in the first place, surrounded the whole place with his horsemen, that such of the Jews as had boldnels enough to try to break through, might have no way possible for elcaping, by reason of the situation ot their horlemen ; and for ihe looimen, he ordered them to cut down the trees that were in the wood whither they were fled. So the Jews were under a necessity ot performing Tome glorious exploit, and of greatly exposing themselves in a battle, since they żnight perhaps thereby escape. So they made a general at. tack, and with a great shout fell upon those that surrounded them, who received them with great courage ; and so while the one side fought desperately, and the uthers would not yield, the fight was prolonged on that account. But the event of the battle did not aplwer the expectation of the assailants ; for so it happened, that no more than twelve fell on the Roman fide, with a few that were wounded; but not one of the Jews escaped out of this battle, but they were all killed, being in the whole not fewer in number than three thousand, together with Judas, the son of Jairus, their general, concerning whom we have before spoken, that he had been a captain of a certain band at the fiege of Jerusalem, and by going down into a cer. tain vault under ground, had privately made his escape. · 6. About the lame time it was that Cælar fent a letter to Ballus, and to Tiberius Maximus who was the procurator (of Judea], and gave order that all Judea - Thould be exposed to lale* : For he did not found any city there, but reserved the country for himself. . However, he assigned a place for eight hundred men only whom he had dismissed from his army, which he gave them for their habitation ; it is called Emma. us t, and is distant from Jerusalem threescore furlongs. He
* It is very remarkable that Titus did not people this now desolate country of Judea, but ordered it to be all fold ; nos indeed is it properly peopled at this day, but lies ready for its old inhabitants the jews, at their future restoration. See Lis eral Accomplishment of Prophecies, page 77.
+ Thai the city Emmaus or Ammaus in Josephus and others, which was the place of the government of Julius Africanus, in the beginning of the third century, and which he then procured to be rebuilt, and aster which rebuilding it was called Axopolis, is entire y different from that Emmaus which is mentioned by St Luke xxiv. 17. see Reland's Palæstina, lib. II. page 429, and under the name Aminus allo. But he juftly thinks that that in St. Luke may well be the same with his Am. maus betore us, especially Since the Greek copies here usually make it 60 farlong diflant from Jerusalem, as does St Luke, though the Latin copies say only 30. The place allo allotted for thele 800 soldiers, as for a Roman garrison, in this place, wouid most raturally be not lo rcmote from Jerusalem, as was the other Emmaut or Nicopolis.
also laid a tribute upon the Jews wheresoever they were, and enjoined every one of them to bring two drachmæ every year into the capitol, as they uled to pay the same to the temple at Jerusalem. And this was the Itate of the Jewila affairs at this time.
"CH A P. VII. Concerning the Calamity that befel Antiochus King of Comina
gene. As also concerning the Alans, and what great Mischiefs
they did to the Medes and Armenians. $1. AND now, in the fourth year of the reign of Vespa
1 fian, it came to pass that Antiochus, the king of Commagene, with all his family, fell into very great calamities. The occasion was this : Cesennius Petus, who was president of Syria, at this time, whether it were done out of regard to truth, or whether out of hatred to Antiochus (for which was the real motive was never thoro’ghly discovered, sent an epiftle to Cælar, and therein told him that “ Antiochus, with his son Epiphanes, had resolved to rebel against the Romans, and had made a league with the king of Parthia to that parpose : That it was therefore fit to prevent them. left they prevent us, and begin luch a war as may cause a general disturbance in the Roman empire.” Now Cæsar was disposed to take some care about the matter, since this discovery was made; før the neighbourhood of the kingdoms made this affair worthy of a greater regard:.For Samosata, the capital of Coinmagene, lies upon Euphrates, and upon any such design could afford an easy passage over it to the Parthians, and could allo afford them a secure reception. Petus was accordingly believed, and had authority given him of doing what he should think proper in the case ; lo he fet about it without delay, and fell upon Commagene, before Antiochus, and his people had the least expectation of bis coming : He had with him the tenth legion, as also fome cohorts and troops of horsemen. These kings also came to his assistance, "Ariftobulus, king of the country called Chalcidene, and Sohemus, who was called King of Emela. Nor was there any opposition made to his forces when they entered the kingdom: for no one of that country would so much as lift up his hand against them. When Antiochus heard this unexpected news, he could not · think in the least of making war with the Romans, but determined to leave his whole kingdom in the state wherein it now was and to retire privately, with his wife and children, as thinking thereby to demonftrate himself to the Romans to be innocent as to the accusation. laid against him. So he went away from that city as far as an hundred and twenty furlongs, into a plain, and there pitched his tents.
2. Petus then sent lome of his men to seize upon Samosata, and by their means took possession of that city, while he went himsell to attack Antiochus with the rest of his army. Howcever, the king was not prevailed upon by the distress he was in to do any thing in the way of war against the Romans, but bemoaned his own hard fate, and endured with patience what he was not able to prevent. But his sons who were young and unexperienced in war, but of ftrong bodies, were not eas fily induced to bear this calamity without fighting. Epipha, nes, therefore, and Callinicus betook themselves to military force, and as the battle was a sore one, and lasted all the day long, they shewed their own valour in a remarkable manner, and nothing but the approach of night put a period thereto, and that without any diminution of their forces : Yet would not Antiochus, upon this conclusion of the fight, continue there by any means, but took his wife and his daughters, and fled away with them to Cilicia and by so doing quite discouraged the minds of his own soldiers. Accordingly they re. volied, and went over to the Romans, out of the delpair ihey were in of his keeping the kingdom; and bis case was look. ed upon by all as quite desperate. It was therelore necessary that Epiphanes and his soldiers should get clear of their ene, mies before they came entirely destitute of any conlederates: Nor were there any more than ten horsemen with him, who passed wish him over Euphraies, whence they went undifturb. ed to Vologeses, the king of Parthia, where they were not disa regarded as fugitives, but had the same respect paid them as it they had retained their ancient prosperity.
3. Now, when Antiochus was come to Tursus in Cilicia, Petns ordered a centurian to go to him, and lend him in bonds to Rome. However, Vespasian could not endure to have a king brought to him in that manner, but thought it fit rather to have a regard to the ancient friendship that had been between them, than to preserve an inexorable anger upon pre. tence of this war. 'Accordingly he gave orders ibat they Should take off his bonds, while he was fill upon the road, and that he Mould not come to Rome, but should now go and live at Lacedemon : He also gave him large revenues, that he might not only live in plenty, but like a king also. When Epiphanes, who before was in great fear for his father, was informed of this, their minds were freed from all that great and almost incurable concern they had been under. He allo hoped ihat Cæsar would be reconciled to them, upon the intercession of Vologeles ; for although he lived in plenty, he knew not how to bear living out of the Roman empire. So Cæsar gave him leave, after an obliging manner, and he came to Rome; and as his father came quickly to him from Lace. demon, he had all sorts of respects paid him there, and there hę remained.
4. Now there was a nation of the Alans, which we have formerly mentioned* somewhere as being Scythians, and inhab. iting at the Lake Meotis. This nation about this time laid a design of falling upon Media and the parts beyond it, in order
This is now wanting,
to plunder them; with which intention they treated with the king at Hyrcania ; for he was master of that passage which king Alexander the great] shut up with iron gates. This king gave them leave to come through them: So they came in great multitudes, and fell upon the Medes unexpectedly, and plundered their country, which they found full of people, and replenilhed with abundance of cattle, while nobody durft make any resistance against them; for Pacorus, the king of the country, had fled away for fear into places where they could not easily come at him, and had yielded up every thing he had to them, and had only fayed his wife and his concubines from them, and that with difficuliy also, after they had been made captives, by giving them an hundred talents for their ransom. These Alans therefore plundered the country with. out opposition, and with great eale, and proceeded as far as Armenia, laying all walte before them. Now Tiridates was king of that country, who met them, and fought them, but had like to have been taken alive in the battle ; for a certain man threw a net over him from a great distance, and had foon drawn him to him, unless he had iinmediately cut the cord with his sword, and ran away, and prevented it. So the Alans, being still more provoked by this fight, laid waste the country, and drove a great multitude of the men, and a great, quantity of the other prey they had gotten out of both kingdoms along with them, and then retreated back to their own country.
CH A P. VIII. Concerning Mafada and those Sicarii who kept it; and how Sil. va betook himself to form the Siege of that Citadel. Eleazar's
Speeches to the Besieged. $1. W H EN Bassus was dead in Judea, Flavius Silva fuc,
V ceeded him as procurator there; who when he saw that all the rest of the country was subdued in this war, and that there was but one only strong hold that was still in rebel. lion, he got all his army together that lay in different places, and made an expedition against it. This fortress was called · Malada. It was one Eleazar a potent man, and the command. er of these Sicarii, that had seized upon it. He was a defcendent from that Judas who had perluaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formerly related, not to submit to the taxation when Syrenius was lent into Judea to make one ; for then it was that the Sicarii got together against those that were willing to lubmit to the Romans, and treated them in all respeêts as if they had been their enemies, both by plundering them of what they had, by driving away their cattle, and by setting fire to the houses; for they said, that they differed not at all from foreigners, by betraying, in so cowardly a manner, that freedom which Jews thought worthy to be contended for to the utmoft, and by awning that they preferred Navery under the Romans before such a contention. Now this was in reale. ity no better than a pretence, and a cloak for the barbarity which was made use of by them, and to colour over their own avarice, which they afterward made evident by their own aco tion ; for those that were partners with them in their rebellion. joined also with them in the war against the Romans, and went farther 'lengths with them in their impudent undertakings ao gainst them; and when they were again convicted of diltembling in such their pretences, they ftill more abused thole that juftly reproached them for their wickedness. And indeed that was a time most fertile in all manner of wicked practices, insomuch that no kind of evil deeds were then left undone ; nor could any one so much as devise any bad thing that was new, so deeply were they all infected, and strove with one a. nother in their single capacity and in their communities, who should run the greatest lengths in impiety towards God, and in unjust actions towards their neighbours, the men of power oppressing the multitude, and the multitude earneftiy labour. ing to deftroy the men of power. The one part were desirous of tyrannizing over others, and the rest of offering violence to others, and of plundering such as were richer than themselves. They were the Sicarii who first began these transgressions, and first became barbarous towards thole allied to them, and left no words of reproach unsaid, and no works of perdition untried, in order to destroy those whom their contrivances affe&ted. Yet did John demonstrate by his actions, that these Sicarii were more moderate than he was himself ; for he not only flew all such as gave him good counsel to do what was right, but treate ed them worst of all, as the most bitter enemies that he had a. mong all the citizens : Nay, he filled his entire country with ten thousand instances of wickedness, Such as a man, who was already hardened sufficiently in his impiery towards God, would naturally do: For the food was unlawful that was set upon his table, and he rejected those purifications that the law of his country had ordained : So that it was no longer a won. der if he, who was fo mad in his irnpiety towards God, did not observe any rules of gentleness and common affection towards men. Again, therefore, what mischiet was there which Simon the son o: Gioras did not do ? or what kind of abules did he ab. Stain from as to those very free men who had set him up for a tyrant ? What triendlhip or kindred were there that did not make him more bold in his daily murders ? for they looked upon the doing of mischief to strangers only, as a work beneath their courage, but thought their barbarity towards their nearest relations would be a glorious demonftration thereof, The Idumeans also strove with these men, which should be guilty of the greatest tradness ; for they call] vile wretches as they were, cut the ihroats of the high priests, that so no part of a religious regard to God might be preserved : They thence proceeded to destroy utterly the leaft remains of a political