« PreviousContinue »
The fate of Alexander, the elder son of Aristobulus. was no less deplorable than that of his father; for Pompey having sentenced him to death for seditious practices against the Romans, sent an order to Scipio to see it immediately put in execution, which was accordingly done at the city of Antioch.
Some time after this Pompey died, which putting an end to the war, Cæsar proceeded on his return home, in the way to which he made a short stay in Syria. While he was here, Antigonus, the second son of Aristobulus, met him, and laid his complaints before him relative to the murder of his father and brother, who he said were cruelly put to death by the contrivance of the friends of the late Pompey. He uttered the most bitter invectives against Hyrcanus and Antipater, whom he represented as the cause of himself and brethren being cruelly driven from their native country; and at the same time charged them with having oppressed the public for the sake of indulging their own private passions and desires. He farther said, that the assistance they had rendered him proceeded rather from fear than respect, and was only meant to make some compensation for their former attachment to Pompey.
Antipater, one of the parties thus accused by Antigonus, was at this time with Cæsar, and in order to destroy the intended effect of these reproaches, he exposed his wounds, as the best testimony he could give of his loyalty to Cæsar; having done which, he spoke as follows: 6 It *“ is a matter of astonishment (said he) that this man, the só son of a declared enemy to the state of Rome, and in“ heriting the rebellious principles of his father, should
have the effrontery thus to accuse the most zealous of “ Cæsar's subjects, and to arrogate a merit to himself, “ when his condact has rendered him deserving of 66 death."
Cæsar, having heard both parties, instead of giving the least countenance to Antigonus, immediately conferred the pontificate upon Hyrcanus; and for that purpose issued the following decree, which he caused to be circulated throughout all Judea, and the neighboring provinces :
“ Julius Cæsar, Emperor, the second time Dictator, and
“ Pontifex Maximus, &c.
“ Forasmuch as Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, a “ Jew, has, at all times, as well in war as peace, approved 6 himself to be our good and trusty friend and ally, as
appeareth by several attestations of unquestionable “ credit, &c. These services and good offices duly con“sidered, I do hereby confirm and establish, to him and “ bis heirs, the perpetual government of the Jews, both as “ their prince and high-priest, after the manner and 6i method of their own laws; and, from this day forward, " enrol them among the number of my trusty and well6 beloved friends, and ratify an affinity with them as my 6 associates. I order likewise, that all the legal pontifical
rights and privileges be devolved upon him and his “sons for ever; and that, in case any controversy shall 6 arise among the people concerning the Jewish disci. “ pline, himself and his family, in the course of suc“ cession, shall be the only persons to determine such “ disputes.”
Cæsar, having thus established Hyrcanus in the highpriesthood and sovereignty, and restored the civil administration to the Sanhedrim, which had been taken from them by Gabinius, was next inclined to bestow some distinguished favor on Antipater. He therefore desired him to mention any commission he wished to enjoy, and it should be readily granted. Antipater submitted the matter entirely to the pleasure of Cæsar, who appointed him procurator, or sub-governor of Judea, under Hyrcanus, and, as a farther instance of his favor, granted him permission to repair the walls of Jerusalem, wbich had been greatly damaged at the time Pompey laid siege to the place. Antipater made all proper acknowledgments to Cæsar for the distinguished favors he had been pleased to bestow on him; and, after accompanying him to the frontiers of Syria, took his leave, Cæsar returning to Rome and Antipater to Jerusalem.
Antipater the sub-governor of Judea, repairs the walls of Jerusalem, and exhorts the people to pay a proper submission to
the first to the government of the country round Jerusalem, and the latter to that of Galilee. Herod makes a prisoner of Hezekias, the ring-leader of an outrageous banditti, whom, with several of his associates, he puts to death. The enemics of Antipater envy the prosperity of his sons, and occasioni Herod to be brought before the Sanhedrim to answer for his conduct. He accordingly appears, upon which Hyrcanus, fearful of the consequences, adjourns the court, and advises Herod, in the mean time, to make his escape from Jerusalem, Herod takes this advice, and retires into Syria, where he is countenanced by Sextus Cæsar, who appoints him to the gocernment of Cælo-Syria. Herod resolves to march to Jerusalem, and depose Hyrcanus; but, by the expostulations of his father and brother, he is prevailed on to relinquish his design. A civil war takes place among the Romans, in which Sextus Caesar is basely murdered by means of Cæcilius Bassus. Julius Cæsar is assassinated in the senate-house at Rome. Antipater is poisoned by Malicus, and his death revenged by his son Herod. Felix declares war against Herod and his brother Phasael, the latter of whom prodes victorious, and all the attempts of Felix are rendered abortive. A considerable body of the Jews apply to Mark Antony against Herod and his brother, but without success. Antigonus (the younger son of the late Aristobulus) by the assistance of the Parthians, gains the kingdom of Judca. Hyrcanus and Phasael are taken prisoners and sent to Antigonus, the former of whom has his ears cut off, and the latter puts an end to his own existence. Herod goes to Rome, and by means of Antony and Augustus, obtains from the Senate a grant of the kingdom of Judea. He is opposed by Antigonus, and indifferently assisted by the Romans. He lays sicge to Jerusalemn, takes Antigonus prisoner, and prevails with Antony to have him put to death.
ANTIPATER, being appointed to the sub-government of Judea by Julius Cæsar, immediately on his return to Jerusalem set about the duties of his office, by making such regulations as he thought necessary for the
advantage of his master, and the general good of the people. The first thing he did was, to repair the walls both of the city and temple, which had been greatly damaged by Pompey. Having done this, he took an excursion into different parts of the province, in order to establish good order and tranquility among the people. He told them that if they observed a due obedience to Hyrcanus they should enjoy plenty and happiness; but, if they sought to gratify their private interests at the expense of the public, he would himself prove a rigid governor, and they would find in the person of Hyrcanus, instead of a gracious and mild prince, a cruel and unrelenting tyrant.
But though Antipater, for political reasons, recommended great deference from the people to Hyrcanus, yet he was conscious of his incapacity to discharge the duties of his office, and was therefore determined to take every necessary precaution against any dangers that might arise in consequence thereof. To this purpose he appointed his eldest son Phasael, who was a captain of the guards, as superintendant over Jerusalem and the adjoining country, and his younger son Herod he appointed to the government of Galilee.
Herod, though only fifteen years of age, was of a preg
de. was conse cterence from th Political rega
supertson Phthereof."st, any
fore he discovered himself to be capable of great undertakings. There happened at this time to be a gang of desperate robbers, who infested Galilee, with the neighboring parts of Cælo-Syria, committing the most horrid depredations wherever they went. Herod resolved, if possible, to remove so great an evil, and for this purpose marched at the head of a body of men, in pursuit of them. After some days search he came up with them, and a desperate affray took place, in which Herod proved victorious. Hezekias, the ring-leader, with the greater part of his associates, he took prisoners, all of whom, as a terror to those who escaped, and to prevent their committing the like depredations in future, he put to death.
This enterprize procured Herod a very distinguished share of reputation; and the Syrians in general considered him as the man to whom they were indebted for the
secure and happy enjoyment of their lives, liberties and possessions. It likewise made him known to Sextus Cæsar, cousin to Cæsar the Great, who at that time held the government of Syria.
While Herod was distinguishing himself as a man of courage, and well adapted for military exploits, his brother Phasael was equally endeavoring to obtain public favor by the uprightness of bis conduct. And so moderate was he in the exercise of that power with which he was invested, and so strictly observant of the principles of justice, that he gained the general approbation and respect of the people.
The reputation gained by Herod and his brother Phasael contributed not a little to increase that of the father, who experienced as high a degree of veneration as he could have done had he actually been the sovereign of the people; and so far was he from being transported beyond the bounds of moderation by his great success, that he preserved, in the strictest manner, his fidelity and respect towards Hyrcanus.
T'he wealth, power and grandeur of Antipater, the dignity of his family, and the veneration in which the people held him and his sons, created him many enemies among the leading men of the Jews, more especially when they found he was a favorite with the emperor, as well as with the common people of Rome. They therefore endeavored to traduce his character, and bring upon him the popular odium; to effect which, they insinuated that he had embezzled considerable sums of money which he had received from Hyrcanus for the use of the Romans. But the principal thing which they alledged as the cause of their dissatisfaction was, the violent, daring, and ambitious temper of Herod; insomuch that, in the heat of their indignation, they went in a body to Hyrcanus, whom they haughtily addressed in words to this effect: 61 Why will you be negligent while every thing is going 6 to destruction? Do you not perceive that Antipater and “ his sons divide the prerogatives and emoluments of “ the royal power, while you are a prince only in title “ and name? Be cautious ere matters proceed too far; for 66 depend on it, your government and life are equally in
The towards Hyhe stricteston by his g