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government, and introduced the most complete fcene of iniquity in all instances that were practicable ; under which scene that sort of people that were called Zelotes grew up; and who indeed corresponded to the name ; for they imitated every wicked work; nor if their menory suggested any evil thing that had formerly been done, did they avoid zealously. to pursue the same ; and although they gave themselves that name from their zeal for what was good, yet did it agree to them only by way of irony, on account of those they had un. juftly treated by their wild and brutish disposition, or as thinking the greatest mischiets to be the greatest good. Accordingly they all met with such ends as God defervedly brought upon them in way of punishment ; for all such miserics have been sent upon them as man's nature is capable of undergoing, till the utmost period of their lives, and till death came upon them in various ways of torment; yet might one fay juftly that they suffered less than they had done, because it was impossible they could be punished according to their deserving But to make a lamentation according to the deserts of those who fell under these men's barbarity, this is not a proper place for it: I therefore now return again to the remaining part of the present narration..
2. For now it was that the Roman general came, and led his army against Eleazar and those Sicarii who held the fortress Mafada together with him; and for the whole country adjoin. ing, he presently gained it, and put garrisons into the most proper places of it: He also built a wall quite round the entire fortress, that none of the besieged might easily escape: He also set bis men to guard the several parts of it : He also pitched his camp.in such an agreeable place as he had chosen for the fiege, and at which place the rock belonging to the fortress did make the nearest approach to the neighbouring moun. tain, which yet was a place of difficulty for getting plenty of provisions : For it was not only food that was to be brought from a great distance (to the army), and this with a great deat of pain to those Jews who were appointed for that purpose, but water was also to be brought to the camp, because the place afforded no fountain that was near it. When therefore Silva. had ordered these affairs beforehand, he fell to belieging the place : Which liege was likely to stand in need of a great deal of skill and pains by realon of the ftrength of the fortress, the nature of which I will now describe.
3. There was a rock, not small in circumference, and very high. It was encompafled with vallies of such valt depth downward, that the eye could not reach their bottoms : They were abrupt, and such as no animal could walk upon, excepting at two places of the rock, where it subsides, in order to at ford a passage for ascent, though not without difficulty. Now, of the ways that lead to it, one is that from the lake Alphalitis, towards the fun-riling, and another on the west, where the af. cent is easier : The one of the c ways is called ihe Serpent, as resembling that animal in its narrownels and its perpetual windings; for it is broken off at the prominent precipices of the rock, and returns frequently into itself, and lengthening a. gain by little and little, hath much ado to proceed forward ; and he that would walk along it must first go on one leg, and then on the other: There is also nothing but deftruétion, int case your feet Nip; for on each side there is a vaftly deep charm and precipice, sufficient to quell the courage of every body by the terror it infufes into the mind. When, therefore, a man hath gone along this way for thirty furlongs, the reft is the top of the hill not ending at a small point, but is no other than a plain upon the higheft part of the mountain. Upon this top of the hill Jonathan the high-priest first ot all built á fortress, and called it Mafada; after which the rebuilding of this place employed the care of king Herod to a great degree; he also built a wall round about tke entire top of the hill, feven furlongs long : It was composed of white ftone ; its height was twelve, and it's breadth eight cubits; there were allo erected upon that wall thirty-eight towers, each of them fifty cu. bits high ; out of which you might pass into Jeffer edifices, which were built on the inside, round the entire wall; for the king reserved the top of the hill, which was of a fat foil, and better mould than any valley for agriculture, that such as committed themselves to this tortress for their prelervation, might not even there he quite deftitute of food, in cale they should ever be in want of it from abroad. Moreover, he built a palace therein at the western ascent ; it was within and beneath the walls of the citadel, but inclined to its north fide. Now the wall of this palace was very high and flrong, and had at its tour corners towers sixty cubits high. The furniture allo of the edifices, and of the cloisters, and of the baths, was oł great variety, and very coftly; and these buildings were sup. ported by pillars of single stones on every side : The walls al. fo and the floors of the edifices were paved with stones of sev. eral colours. He also had cut many and great pits, as reser. voirs for water, out of the rocks, at every one of the places that were inhabited both above and round about the palace, and before the wall : And by this contrivance he endeavoured to have water for several uses, as if there had been fountains there. Here was also a road digged from the palace, and leading to the very top of the mountain, which yet could not be seen by such as were without (the walls) ; nor indeed could enemies easily make use of the plain roads ; for the road on the east side, as we have already taken notice, could not be walked upon, by reason of its naiure; and for the western road, he built a large tower at its narrowest place, at no less a distance froin the top of the hill than a thousand cubits; which tower could not poflibiy be passed by, nor could it be easily taken; nor indeed could those that walked along it without any fear, such was its contrivance, eafily get to the
end of it: And after such a manner was this citadel fortified both by nature and by the hands of men, in order to 'frustrate the attacks of energies.
4. As for the furniture that was within this fortress, it was stili more wonderful on account of its fplendour and long continuance ; for here was laid up corn in large quantities and such as would lubsist men for a long time: Here was also wine and oil in abundance, with all kinds of pulse and dates heaped up together : All which Eleazar found there, when he and his Sicarii got possession of the fortress by treachery. These fruits were allo freih and full ripe, no way inferior to such fruits newly laid in, although they were little short of an hundred years * from the laying in these provisions [by Herod). till the place was taken by the Romans ; nay, indeed, when the Romans got poffeffion of thole fruits that were left, they found them not corrupted all that while : Nor should we be mistaken, if we suppoled that the air was here the cause of their enduring so long ; this fortress being so high, and so free from the mixture of all terrene and muddy particles of matter. There was also found here a large quantity ot all sorts of weapons of war, which had been trealured up by thai king, and were sufficient for ten thousand men : There was cast iron, and brass, and tin, which thew that he had taken much pains . to have all things here ready for the greateit occasions : For the report goes how Herod thus prepared this fortress on his own account, as a refuge against two kinds of danger; the one for tear of the multitude of the Jews, left they should depose him, and restore their former kings to the government : The other danger was greater and more terrible, which arose from Cleopatra queen of Egypt, who did not conccal her intentions, but spoke often to Antony, and desired him to cut off Herod, and entreated him to beitow the kingdom of Judea upon her. And certainly it is a great wonder that Antony did never comply with her commands in this point, as he was so miserably enslaved to his passion for her; nor thould any one have been surprised if she had been gratified in such her request. So the fear of these dangers made Herod rebuild Mafada, and thereby leave it for the finishing stroke of the Romans in this Jewish war.
5. Since therefore the Roman commander Silva had now built a wall on the outside, round about this whole place, as. we have said already, and had thereby made a most accurate provision to prevent any one of the besieged running away, he undertook the fiege itself, though he found but one single place that would admit of the banks he was to raile : For behind that tower which secured the road that led to the palace, and to the top of the hill, from the west there was a certain emia nency of the rock, very broad and very prominent, but three
• Pliny and others confirm this strange paradox, that provisions laid up again? fieges will continue good for an hundred years, as Spanheim notes upon this placer Vol. III.
hundred cubits beneath the highest part of Masada : It was called the White Promontory. Accordingly he got upon that part of the rock, and ordered the army to bring earth ; and when they fell to that work with alacrity and abundance of them together, the bank was raised, and became solid for two hundred cubits in height. Yet was not this bank thought futficiently high, for the use of the engines that were to be set upon it; but fill another elevated work of great stones com: pacted together was raised upon that bank : This was fifty cubits, both in breadth and height. The other machines that were now got ready, were like to those that had been first de. vised by Vefpafian, and afterwards by Titus, for fieges. There was allo a tower made of the height of fixiy cubits, and all over plated with iron, out of which the Romans threw daris and stones from the engines, and soon made those that fought from the walls of the place to retire, and would not let them lift up their heads above the works. At the same time Silva ordered that great battering ram which he had made to be brought thither, and to be let against the wall, and 10 make frequcnt hatteries against it, which with some difficulty broke down a part of the wall, and quite overthrew it. However, the Sicarii made hafte, and prelently built another wall within that, which would not be liable to the same mistortune from the machines with the other : It was made foft and yielding, and so was capable of avoiding the terrible blows that affected the other. li was framed after the following manner : They laid together great beams of wood lengthways, one close to the end of another, and the same way in which they were cut: There were two of these rows parallel to one another, and laid at such a distance from each other as the breadth of the wall re. quired, and earth was put into the space between those rows. Now, that the earth might not fall a way upon the elevation of this bank 10 a greater height, they fariber laid other beams over cross them, and thereby bound those beams together that lay lengthways. This work of theirs was like a real edifice ; and when the machines were applied, the blows were weaken. ed by its yielding, and as the materials by. such concussion' were shaken cloler together, the pile by that means became firmer than before. When Silva law this, he thought it beft to endeavour the taking of this wall by letting fire to it; so he gave order that the soldiers should throw a great number of burning torches upon it: Accordingly, as it was chiefly made of wood, it soon took fire ; and when it was once set on fire, its hollowness made that fire spread to a mighty flame. Now at the very beginning of this fire, a north wind that then blew proved terrible to the Romans; for by bringing the flame downward it drove it upon them, and they were almost in despair of succes, as tearing their machines would be burnt: But after this, on a sudden the wind changed into the south, as if it were done by Divine Providence, and blew ftrongly
the contrary way, and carried the flame, and drove it against the wall, which was now on fire through its enure thickness. So the Romans, having now assistance from God, returned to their camp with joy, and resolved to attack their enemies the very next day ; on which occafion they let their watch more carelully that night, left any of the Jews thould run away from them without being discovered.
6. However, neither did Eleazar once think of flying away, nor would he permit any one elie to do so: But when he saw their wall burned down by the fire, and could devise no other way of escaping, or room for their farther courage, and setting belore their eyes what the Romans would do to them, their children and their wives, if they got them into their power, he consulted about having them all. flain. Now, as he judge ed this to be the best thing they could do in their preleni circumstances, he gathered the most courageous of his companions together, and encouraged them to take that course by a Speech * which he made to them in the manner following: "Since we, long ago, my generous friends, resolved never to be fervants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God himself, who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice. And let us not at this time bring a reproach upon ourselves for self-contradiction, while we formerly would not undergo slavery, though it were then without danger, but must nuw, together with llavery, choose luch punishments also as are intolerable : I mean this upon the supposition that the Romans once reduce us under their power while we are alive. We were the very first that revolted from them, and we are the lait that fight against them; and I cannot but eileem it as -a !avour that God hath granted us, that it is itill in our power to die bravely, and in a Itate of freedom, which hath not been the case of others, who were conquered unexpectedly. It is very plain that we shall be taken within a day's time ; but it is still an eligible thing to die afier a glorious inanner, together with our dearest friends. This is what our enemies chemselves cannot by any means hinder, although they be very desirous to take us alive. Nor can we propole to ourselves any more to fight them, and beat them. It had been proper indeed for us to have conjectured at the purpole of God much tooner, at
the very firft, when we were to desirous of detending our liberties and when we received such fore treatment from one
* The speeches in this and the next fe&ion, introduced under the perion of this Eleazar, are exceeding remarkable, and on the nobleit subjects, the contemnpe of death, and the dignity and immortality of the soul; and that not only among the Jews, but among the Indians themselves alio, and are highly worthy the peru ial of all the curious
It seems as if that philosophic lady who survived, ch. ix $1, 2 remeinbered the lubliance of these dilcourie, as ipoken by Eleazar, and to joke phus clothed them in his owo words : At the i well they contain the Jewih 110tions on thele heads, as underltood theo by our Jofephus, and cannot but deserve a buitable regard from us,