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Containing an Interval of about One Year.'
FROM THE SIEGE OF GAMALA, TO THE COMING OF TITUS TO BE.
FUE SIEGE AND TAKING OF GAMALA.
Now all those Galileans who, after the taking of Jotapata, bad revolted from the Romans, did, upon the conquest of Taricheæ, deliver themselves up to them again. And the Romans received all the fortresses, and the cities; excepting Gischala, and those that had seized upon mount Tabor. Gamala also, which is a city over against Taricheæ, but on the other side of the lake, conspired with them. This city lay upon the borders of Agrippa's kingdom, as also did Sogana, and Seleucia. And these were both parts of Gaulanitis. For Sogana was a part of that called the upper Gaulanitis; as was Gamala of the lower. While Seleucia was situate at the lake Semechonitis, which lake is thirty furlongs in breadth, and sixty in length. Its marshes reach as far as the place Daphne : which in other respects is a delicious place : and hath such fountains as supply water to what is called little Jordan, under the temple of the *golden calf, where it is sept into great Jordan Now Agrippa had united Sogana and Seleucia by leagues to himself, at the very beginning of the revolt from the Romans. Yet did not Gamala accede to them; but relied upon the difficulty of the place, which was greater than that of Jotapala. For it was situate upon a rough ridge of a high mountain, with a kind of neck in the middle. Where it begins to ascend, it lengthens itself, and declines as much downward before, as bebind. Insomuch that it is like a *camel in figure: from whence it is so named, although the people of the country do not pronounce it accurately. Both on the side and the face of these are abrupt parts, divided from the rest, and ending in deep vallies. Yet are the parts behind, where they are joined to the mountain, somewhat easier of ascent than the other. But then the people belonging to the place have cut an oblique ditch there, and made that hard to be ascended also. On its acclivity, which is straight, houses are built, and those very thick and close to one another. The city also hangs so strangely, that it looks as if it would fall down upon itself; so sharp is it at the top. It is exposed to the south: and its southern mount, which reaches to an immense height, was in the nature of a citadel to the city : and above that was a precipice, not walled about, but extending itself to an immense depth. There was also a spring of water within the wall, at the utmost limits of the city,
* Here we have the exact situation of one of Jeroboam's golden calves, at the exit of little Jordan, into great Jordan, near a place called Daphne, but of old Dan. See the note on Antiq. VIII. 8. 2. But Reland suspects, that even here we should read Dan, instead of Daphne. There being nowhere else any mention of a place called Daphne lrereabouts,
As this city was naturally hard to be taken, so had Josephus, by building a wall about it, made it still stronger ; as also by ditches and mines under ground. The people that were in it were made more bold by the nature of the place, than the people of Jotapata had been : but it had much fewer fighting men in it. And they had such a confidence in the situation of the place, that they thought the enemy could not be too many for them. For the city had been filled with those that had Aed to it for safety, on account of its strength. On which account they had been able to resist those whom Agrippa sent to besiege it, for seven months together.
But Vespasian removed from Emmaus, where he had last pitched his eamp, before the city Tiberias: (now Emmaus, if it be in
terpreted, may be rendered a warm bath ; for therein is a spring of warm water, useful for healing :) and came to Gamala. Yet was its situation such that he was not able to encompass it all round with soldiers to watch it. But where the places were practicable, he set men to watch it, and seized upon that mountain which was over it. And as the legions, according to their usual custom, were fortifying their camp upon that mountain, he began to cast up banks at the bottom, at the part towards the east, where the highest tower of the whole city was, and where the fifteenth legion pitched their camp; while the fifth legion did duty over against the midst of the city, and whilst the tenth legion filled up the ditches and the vallies. Now at this time it was, that as king Agrippa was come nigh the walls, and was endeavouring to speak to those that were on the walls, about a surrender, he was hit with a stone on his right elbow, by one of the slingers. He was then immediately surrounded by his own men. But the Romans were excited to set about the siege, by their indignation on the king's account, and by their fear on their own account; as concluding that those men would omit no kinds of barbarity against foreigners and enemies : who were so enraged against one of their own nation, and one that advised them to nothing but what was for their own advantage.
Now when the banks were finished, which was done on the sudden, both by the multitude of hands, and by their being accustomed to such work, they brought the machines. But Chares and Joseph, who were the most potent men of the city, set their armed men in order, though already in a fright, because they did not suppose that the city could hold out long, since they had not a sufficient quanty either of water, or of other necessaries. However, their leaders encouraged them, and brought them out upon the wall. And for a while, indeed, they drove away those that were bringing the machines. But when those machines threw darts and stones at them, they retired into the city. Then did the Romans bring battering rams to three several places, and made the wall shake and fall. They then poured in over the parts of the wall that were thrown down, with a mighty sound of trumpets, and noise of armour, and with a shout of the soldiers, and brake in by force upon those that were in the city. But these men fell upon the Romans for some time, at their first entrance, and prevented their going any farther; and with great courage beat them back. And the Romans were so overpowered by the greater multitude of the people, who beat them on every side, that they were obliged to run into the upper parts of the city. Whereupon the people turned about, and fell upon their enemies, who had attacked them, and thrust them down to the lower parts : and, as they were distressed by the narrowness and difficulty of the place, slew them. And as these Romans could neither beat those back that were above them, nor escape the force of their own men that were forcing their way forward, they were compelled to flee into their enemies' honses, which were low. But these houses, being thus full of soldiers, whose weight they could not bear, fell down suddenly. And when one house fell, it shook down a great many of those that were under it: as did those do to such as were under them. By this means a vast number of the Romans perished. For they were so terribly distressed, that although they saw the houses subsiding, they were compelled to leap upon the tops of them. So that a great many were crushed to powder by these ruins, and a great many of those that got from them lost some of their limbs. But still a greater number were suffocated by the dust that arose from these ruins. The people of Gamala supposed this to be an assistance afforded them by God : and without regarding what damage they suffered themselves, they pressed forward, and thrust the enemy upon the tops of their houses; and when they stumbled in the sharp and narrow streets, and were perpetually falling down, they threw their stones or darts at them, and slew them. Now the very ruins afforded them stones enough. And for iron weapons, the dead men of the enemy's side afforded them what they wanted. For, drawing the swords of those that were dead, they made use of them, to despatch such as were only half dead. Nay, there were a great number who, upon their falling down from the tops of the houses, stabbed themselves, and died after that manner. Nor, indeed, was it easy for those that were beaten back to flee away. For they were so unacquainted with the ways, and the dust was so thick, that they wandered about without knowing one another, and fell down dead among the crowd.
Those, therefore, that were able to find the ways out of the city, retired. But now Vespasian always stayed among those that were hard set, for he was deeply affected with seeing the ruins of the city falling upon his army, and forgot to take care of his own preservation. He went up gradually towards the highest parts of the city before he was aware, and was left in the midst of dangers: having only a very few with him. For even his son Titus was not with him at that time, having been sent into Syria, to *Mucianus. However, he thought it not safe to flee : nor did he esteem it a fit thing for him to do. But calling to mind the actions he had done from his youth, and recollecting his courage; as if he had been excited by a divine fury, he covered himself and those that were with him with their shields, and formed a testudo over both their bodies, and their armour; and bore up against the attacks of the enemy, who came running down from the top of the city: and without showing any dread at the multitude of the men, or of their darts, lie endured all, until the enemy took notice of that divine courage that was in him, and remitted of their attacks. And when they pressed less zealously upon him, he retired; though without turning his back to them, till he was gotten out of the walls of the city. Now a great number of the Romans fell in this battle : among whom was Ebutius, the decurion ; a man who appeared not only in this engagement, wherein he fell, but every where, and in former engagements, to be of the truest courage : and one that had done very great mischief to the Jews. But there was a centurion, whose name was Gallus, who, during this disorder, being encompassed about, he and ten other soldiers privately crept into the house of a certain person ; where he heard them talking at supper, what the people intended to do against the Romans, or about themselves. (For both the man bimself, and those with him, were Syrians.) So he got up in the night time, and cut all their throats, and escaped, together with his soldiers, to the Romans.
* Tacitus very often mentions this Mucianus, as president of Syria, and a great friend of Vespasian's, Hist. 1. pages 355, 397, 428, &c. 445, 466, 472, &c. 487, 505, 522, 627. And Spanheim assures us, that there are coins of his extant at this day. He is elsewhere spoken of by Jogephus several times, under the same capacities, IV, , 10, and 11. Antiq. XII. 3.