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Concerning Jonathan one of the Sicarii, that stirred up a sedition in Cyrene, and was a false accuser [of the innocent.]
§ 1. And now did the madness of the Sicarii, like a disease, reach as far as the cities of Cyrene; for one Jonathan, a vile person, and by trade a weaver came thither, and prevailed with no small number of the poorer sort to give ear to him: he also led them into the desert, upon promising them, that he would shew them signs and apparitions. And as for the other Jews of Cyrene he concealed his knavery from them, and put tricks upon them ; but those of the greatest dignity among them informed Catullus", the governor of the Libyan Pentapolis, of his march into the deserts, and of the preparations he had made for it. So he sent out after him both horsemen and footmen, and easily overcame them, because they were unarmed men; of these many were slain in the fight, but some were taken alive and brought to Catullus. As for Jonathan, the head of this plot, he fled away at that time; but upon a great and very diligent search which was made all the country over for him, he was at last taken. And, when he was brought to Catullus, he de-vised away whereby he both escaped punishment himself, and afforded an occasion to Catullus of doing much mischief; for he falsely accused the richest men among the Jews, and said, that they had put him upon what he did.
2. Now Catullus easily admitted of these his calumnies, and aggravated matters greatly, and made tragical exclamations, that he might be also supposed to have had an hand in the finishing of the Jewish war. But, what wag still harder, he did not only give a too easy belief to hi# stories, but he taught the Sacarii to accuse men falsely. He bid this Jonathan, therefore, to name one Alexander, a Jew, (with whom he had formerly had a quarrel, and openly professed that he hated him ;) he also got him to name his wife Berenice, as concerned with him. These two Catullus ordered to be slain in the first place; nay, after them he caused all the rich and wealthy Jews to be slain, being no fewer in all than three thousand. This he thought lie might do safely, because he confiscated their effects, and added them to Ca;sar's revenues.
3. Nay, indeed, lest any Jews that lived elsewhere should convict him of this villainy, he extended his false accusations farther, and persuaded Jonathan, and certain others that were caught with him, to bring an accusation of attempts for innovation against the Jews that were of the best character, both at Alexandria, and at Rome. One of these, against whom this treacherous accusation was laid, was Josephus, the writer of these books. However, this plot, thus contrived by Catullus, did not succeed according to his hopes; for, though he came himself to Rome, and brought Jonathan and his companions along with him in bonds, and thought he should have had no farther inquisition made as to those lies that were forged under his government, or by his means; yet did Vespasian suspect the matter, and make an inquiry how far it was true. And, when he understood that the accusation laid against the Jews was an unjust one, he cleared them of the crimes charged upon them, and this on account of Titus's concern about the matter, and brought a deserved punishment upon Jonathan; for he was first tormented, and then burnt alive.
4. But, as to Catullus, the emperors were so gentle to him, that he underwent no severer condemnation at this time: yet, was it not long before he fell into a complicated and almost incurable distemper, and died miserably. He was not only afflicted in body, but the distemper in his mind was more heavy upon him than the other; for he was terribly disturbed, and continually cried out, " That he "saw the ghosts of those whom he had slain standing before "him." Whereupon he was not able to contain himself, but leaped out of his bed, as if both torments and fire were brought to him. This his distemper grew still a great deal worse and worse continually, and his very entrails were so corroded, that they fell out of his body, and in that condition he died. Thus he became as great an instance of divine Providence as ever was, and demonstrated that God punishes wicked men.
5. And, here we shall put an end to this our history; wherein we formerly promised to deliver the same with all accuracy, to such as should be desirous of understanding after what manner this war of the Romans with the Jews 'was managed. Of which history, how good the style. is, must be left to the determination of the readers; but, as for its agreements with the facts, I shall not scruple to say, and that boldly, that truth hath been what I have alone aimed at through its entire composition.
§1.1 Suppose that, by my books of the Antiquity of the Tows, most excellent F,paphnrelitns,+ I have made it
* Tiiid first book has a wrong title. It U not written against Apion, a? is the first part of t!ie second hook, but against those Greeks in general who would not believe Josephus's former accounts of tlie very ancient state of the Jewish nation, in his XX Rooks of Antiquities; and in particular against Agaiharchides, Manetho, Cheremon, and Lysimnchiis. It is one of the most learned, excellent, and useful hooks of nil antiquity; and upon Jeroni'a perusal of this, and the following hooks, hedeclires. That " it seems to him 'l a maraculus thing, how one that was an Hebrew, who had been from his "infancy instructed in sacred learning, should be able to produce such a *4 mini her of testimonies out of profane authors, as if he had read over all tlie "Grecian libraries." Epiat 84, ad Magnum; and the learned Jew, Manasseh ben Israel, esteemed these hooks so excellent, as to translate them into Hebrew; thin we learn from his own catalogue of his works, which I have seen. As to the time and place, when and where these two books were written the learned have not hitherto been able to determine them, any farther than that they were written some time after his Antiquities, or some time after A. D. 93, which indeed is too obvious at their entrance to be overlooked even by a careless peruser; they being directly intended against those that would not believe what he had advanced in those books concerning the great antiquity of the Jewish nation. As to the place, they all imagine that these two books were written where the former were, I mean at Rome; and I confess that I myself believed both these determinations, till I came to finish my^ notes upon these books, when I met with plain indications that they were written not at Rome, but in Judea, and this after the third of Trajan, or A. J). 100.
+ Take Dr. Hudson's note here, which as it justly contradicts the common opinion, that Josephus either died under Domitian, or at least wrote nothing filler than his iJaysj so does it perfectly agree to my owp determination, evident to those that peruse them, that our Jewish nation is of very great antiquity, and had a distinct subsistence of its own originally; as also I have therein declared how we came to inhabit this country wherein we now live. Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue. However, since 1 observe a considerable number of people given ear to the reproaches that are laid against us by those who bear ill-will to us, and will not believe what I have written concerning the antiquity of our nation, while they take it for a plain sign that our nation is of a late date, because they are not so much as vouchsafed a bare mention by the most famous historiographers among the Grecians, I therefore have thought myself under an obligation to write somewhat briefly about these subjects, in order to convict those that reproach us, of spite and voluntary falsehood, and to correct the ignorance of others, and withall to instruct all those who are desirous of knowing the truth, of what great antiquity we really are. As for the witnesses whom I shall produce for the proof of what I say, they shall be such as are esteemed to be of the greatest reputation for truth, and the1 most skilful in the knowledge of all antiquity by the Greeks themselves. I will also shew, that those who have written so reproachfully and falsely about us, are to be convicted by what they have written themselves to the contrary. F shall also endeavour to give an account of the reasons why it hath so happened, that there have not been a great number of Greeks who have made mention of our nation in their histories: I will, however, bring those Grecians to,light, who have not omitted such our history, for the sake of those that either do not know them, or pretend not to know them already.
2. And now, in the first place. I cannot but greatly wonder at those men, who supposed that we must attend to none
from Justus of Tiberias, that he wrote or finished hi own ife after the 3d of Tr*jui. or A. D. 100, to which Noldliu also agrees, de Herod, No. 383. "[Lpnphndilu*] Since Flavins Josepbus," says Dr. Hudson, " wrote [or Gn"ishedl his hooks of Antiquities on the 13th of Domitiao, [A. D. 03. ] .and *l after that wrote the memoir* of his own life, as an Appendix to the book of "Antiquities, and at last his two books against Apion, and yet dedicated all "those writings to Epaphroditus, he can hardly be that Epsphroditus who "w;is formerly secretary to Nero, and was slain on the Hth [or 15th] of Do'i mitian, after he had been for a good while in banishment, but another "Epaphroditus, a freed man and procurator of Trajan, as says Grotiusw