Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

JEWISH WAR...

BOOK VI.

Containing an Interval of about three Years.

FROM THE TAKING OF JERUSALEM BY TITUS, TO THE SEDITION

OF THE JEWS AT CYRENE.

CHAP. I.

OF TUR DEMOLITION OF THE ENTIRE CITY OF JERUSALEM EX

CEPTING THREE TOWERS. ALSO OF THE COMMENDATIONS WHICH TITUS BESTOWED ON HIS SOLDIERS, AND HIS LIBERAL DISTRIBUTION OF BEWARDS.

NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay, or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury; (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other such work to be done :) Cæsar gave orders that they should demolish the entire city and temple : but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency, viz. Phasaelus, Hippicus, and Mariamne : and so much of the wall as inclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison : as were the towers also spared in order to denominate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valour had subdued. But for all the rest of the wall, it was so completely levelled with the ground, by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those who came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end wbich Jerusalem come to, by the madness of those that were for

innovations : *a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.

Cæsar' now resolved to leave there, as a guard, the tenth legion; with certain troops of horsemen, and companies of footmen. So having entirely completed this war, he was desirous to commend his whole army, on account of the great exploits they had performed; and to bestow proper rewards on such as had signalized themselves therein. He had, therefore an elevated tribunal made for him in the midst of the place where he had formerly encamped, and stood upon it with his principal commanders about him ; and spake so as to be heard by the whole army in the manner following : “That he returned them abundance of thanks for their good will, which they had showed to him. He commended them for that ready obedience they had exhibited in this whole war : which obedience had appeared in the many and great dangers which they had undergone ; as also for that courage they had shown, and had thereby augmented of themselves their country's power ; and had made it evident to all men, that neither the multitude of their enemies, the strength of their places, the largeness of their cities, nor their rash boldness and brutish rage, were sufficient at any time to get clear of the Roman valour : although some of them might have fortune in many respects on their side. He said farther, that it was but reasonable for them to put an end to this war, now it had lasted so long : for that they had nothing better to wish for when they entered into it. And that this happened more favourably for them, and more for their glory, that all the Romans had willingly accepted of those for their governors, and the curators of their dominions, whom they had chosen for them, and had sent into their own country for that purpose ; which still continued under the management of those whom they had chosen, and were thankful to them for electing them. That accordingly, although he did both admire, and tenderly regard them all, because he knew that every one of them had gone as cheerfully about their work, as their abilities and opportunities would give them

* This was the immediate cause of the ruin of the Jewish capital. But it was only the effect of their long existing and provoking obduracy. God punished them by rendering their stubbornness the principal instrument of their destruction. B. * See Chap. 5.

leave ; yet he said he would immediately bestow rewards and dignities on those that fought the most bravely and with greater force, and had signalized their conduct in the most glorious mander, and had made his army more famous by their poble exploits : and that no one who had been willing to take more pains than another, should miss of a just retribution for the same. For that he had been exceeding careful about this matter : and that the more, because he had much rather reward the virtues of his fellow soldiers, than punish such as offended."

Hereupon Titus ordered those, whose business it was, to read the list of all that had performed great exploits in this war. He then called them to him by their names, and commended them before the company; and rejoiced in them in the same manner as a man would have rejoiced in his own exploits. He also put on their heads crowns of gold, and golden ornaments about their necks, and gave them long spears of gold, aud ensigns that were made of silver, and removed every one of them to a higher rank. And besides this, he plentifully distributed among them, out of the spoils and the other prey they had taken, silver and gold, and garments. So when they had all these honours bestowed on them, according to his own appointment made to every one, and he had wished all sorts of happiness to the whole army, he came down, among the great acclamations which were made to him : and then betook himself to offer thank offerings to the gods, and at once sacrificed a vast number of oxen, that stood ready at the altars; and distributed them among the army to feast on. And when he had staid three days among the principal commanders, and so long feasted with them, be sent away the rest of his army to the several places where they would be every one best situate : but permitted the tenth legion to remain, as a guard at Jerusaləm; and did not send them away beyond Euphrates, where they had been before. And as he remembered that the twefth legion had given way to the Jews, under Cestius their general, he expectthem out of all Syria : for they had lain formerly at *Raphanea : and sent them away to a place called Meletine, near Euphrates ; which is in the limits of Armenia and Cappadocia. He also thought fit that two of the legions should stay with him, till be should go into Egypt. He then went down with his army to that Cæsarea which lay by the sea-side ; and there laid up the rest of his spoils in great quantities ; and gave order that the captives should be kept there : for the winter season hindered him then from sailing into Italy.

CHAP. IL

TITUS EXHIBITS ALL SORTS OF shows at CÆSAREA PHILIPPI..

ALSO CONCERNING THE SEIZURE OF SIMON THE TYRANT.

NOW at the same time that Titus Cæsar lay at the siege of Jerusalem, Vespasian went on board a merchant ship, and sailed from Alexandria to Rhodes. Whence he sailed away in ships with three rows of oars; and as he touched at several cities that lay in his road, he was joyfully received by them all; and so passed over from lonia into Greece. He then set sail from Corcyra, to the promontory of lapyx ; whence he took his journey by land. But as for Titus, he marched from that Cæsarea which lay by the sea-side, and came to that which is named Cæsarea Philippi, and staid there a considerable time, and exhibited all sorts of shows there. And here a great number of the captives were destroyed : some being thrown to wild beasts; and others in multitudes forced to kill one another, as if they were their enemies. And here it was that Titus was informed of the seizure of Simon, the son of Gioras : which was made after the following manner :

This Simon, during the siege of Jerusalem, was in the fupper eity. But when the Roman army was gotten within the walls, and were laying the city waste, he then took the most faithful of his friends with him, and among them some that were stone-cutters, with those iron tools which belonged to their occupation ; and as great a quantity of provisions as would suffice them for a long time, and let himself and all of them down into a certain subterraneous cavern, that was not visible above ground. Now so

* Mount Sicu.

by that means as to rise from und es mat they should h

far as had been dug of old, they went onward along it, withogt disturbance; but where they met with solid earth, they dug a mine under ground : and this in hopes that they should be able to proceed so far, as to rise from under ground in a safe place, and by that means escape. But when they came to make the experiment, they were disappointed of their hope. For the miners could make but small progress, and that with difficulty also. Insomuch that their provisions, though they distributed them by measure, began to fail. And now Simon thinking he might be able to astonish and delude the Romans, put on a white frock, and buttoned upon him a purple cloak, and appeared out of the ground, in the place where the temple had formerly been. At the first indeed, those that saw him were greatly astonished, and stood still where they were. But afterward they came nearer to him, and asked who he was ? Now Simon would not tell them, but bade them call for their captain. And when they ran to call him, *Terentius Rufus, who was left to command the army there, came to Simon, and learned of him the whole truth, and kept him in bonds : , and let Cæsar know that he was taken. Thus did God bring this man to be punished, for what bitter and savage tyranny he had exercised against his countrymen, by those who were his worst enemies; and this while he was not subdued by violence, but voluntarily delivered himself up to them to be punished; and that on the very same account that he had lain false accusations against many Jews, as if they were falling away to the Romans, and had barbarously slain them. For wicked actions do not escape the divine anger, nor is justice too weak to punish offenders : but in time overtakes those that transgress its laws, and inflicts its punishments upon the wicked in a manner so much more severe, as they expected to escape it, on account of their foot being punished immediately. Simon was made sensible of this, by falling under the indignation of the Romans. This

* This Terentius Rufus, as Reland in part observes here, is the same person whom the Talmudists call Turnus Rufus ; of whom they relate, that " He ploughed up Sion as a field; and made Jerusalem become as heaps; and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.” Which was long before foretold by the prophet Micah, iii. 12, and quoted from him in the prophecies of Jeremiah, xxvi. 18. + See Eccles. viii. 11. VOL. iv.

« PreviousContinue »