Page images

most pompous funeral upon him. And this was the end that one of Alexander's and Aristobulus's inurderers came to.



When Herod male enquiry about Pheroras's death, a disco

vity was made that Antipater had prepared à poisonous draught for him. Herod casts Doris and her accomplices, às also Mariamne out of the palace, and blots her son Herod out of his testament.

1. Ut now the punishment was transferred unto the original author Antipater, and took its rise from the death of Pheroras : for certain of his freed-men came with a sad countenance to the king, and told him, That “ his brother bad “ been destroyed by poison, and that his wife had brought rc him somewhat that was prepared after an unusual manner, " and that, upon his eating it, he presently fell into his dis“ temper : that Antipater's mother and sister, two days be“ fore, brought a woman out of Arabia that was skilful in “ mixing such drugs, that she might prepare a love-potion “ for Pheroras; and that instead of a love-potion, she had

given him deadly poison; and that this was done by the “ management of Sylleus, who was acquainted with that


2. The king was deeply affected with so many suspicions, and had the maid-servants, and some of the free-wonen also, tortured ; one of which cried out in her agonies, “ May that Ged, that governs the earth and the heaven, punish this “ author of all these our miseries, Antipater's mother!" The king took a handle from this confession, and proceeded to enquire farther into the truth of the matter. So this woman discovered the friendship of Antipater's mother to Pheroras and Antipater's women, as also their secret meetings, and that Pheroras and Antipater had drunk with them for a whole night together as they returned from the king, and would not suffer any body, either man-servant or maid-servant, to be there ;, while one of the free women discovered the matter.

3. Upon this Herod tortured the maid-servants, every one by themselves separately, who all unanimously agreed in the foregoing discoveries, and that accordingly by agreement they went away, Antipater to Rome, and Pheroras to Perea; for that they oftentimes talked to one another thus, “ That " after Herod had slain Alexander and Aristobulus, he would " fall upon them and upon their wives, because, after he had “ not spared Mariamne and her children, he would spare no

body; and that for this reason it was best to get as far off

66 his own sons,

" the wild beast as they were able.” And that Antipater oftentimes lamented his own case before his mother, and said to her, That “ he had already grey hairs upon his head, and " that his father grew younger again every day, and that per6 haps death would overtake him before he should begin to “ be a king in earnest; and that, in case Herod should die, " which yet nobody knew when it would be, the enjoyment “ of the succession could certainly be but for a little time; " for that these heads of Hydra, the sons of Alexander and " Aristobulus, were growing up: that he was deprived by his “ father of the hopes of being succeeded by his children ; 66 for that bis-successor after his death was not to be any one of

but Herod, the son of Mariamne : that in this " point Herod was plainly distracted, to think that his testa“ ment should therein take place ; for he would take care " that not one of his posterity should remain, because he " was of all fathers the greatest hater of his children. Yet " does he hate his brother still worse ; whence it was that he

a while ago gave himself an hundred talents, that he should “6 not have any intercourse with Pheroras. And when Pheroras " said, wherein have we done him any harm; Antipater re" plied, I wish he would but deprive us of all we have, and " leave us naked and alive only; but it is indeed impossible " to escape this wild beast, who is thus given to murder, “ who will not permit us to love any person openly, although

we be together privately ; yet may we be so openly too, if we have but the courage and the hands of men."

4. These things were said by the women upon the torture; as also that Pheroras resolved to fly with them to Perea. Now Herod gave credit to all they said on account of the affair of the hundred talents; for he had had no discourse with any body about them, but only with Antipater. So he vented his anger first of all against Antipater's mother, and took away from her all the ornaments which he had given her, which cost a great many talents, and cast her out of the palace a second time. He also took care of Pberoras's women after their tortures, as being now reconciled to them; but he was in great consternation himself, and inflamed upon every suspicion, and had many innocent persons led to the torture out of his fear, lest he should leave any guilty person untortured.

5. And now it was that he betook himself to examine Antipater of Samaria, who was the steward of [his son] Antipater ; and upon torturing him he learned, that Antipater had sent for a potion of deadly poison for him out of Egypt, by Antiphilas a companion of his; that Theudio, the uncle of Antipater, had it from bim, and delivered it to Pheroras ;

..for that Antipater had charged him to take his father off while he was at Rome, and so free from the suspicion of doing it himself: that Pheroras also committed this potion to his wife. Then did the king send for her, and bid her bring to him what she had received immediately. So she came out of her house as if she would bring it with her, but threw herself down from the top of her house, in order to prevent any examination and torture from the king. However it came to pass, as it seems by the providence of God, when he intended to bring Antipater to punishment, that she fell not upon her head, but upon other parts of her body, and escaped. The king, when she was brought to him, took care of her (for she was at first quite senseless upon her fall) and asked her why she had thrown herself down ? and gave her his oath, that if she would speak the real truth, he would excuse ber from punishment; but that if she concealed any thing, he would have her body torn to pieces by torments, and leave no part of lit to be buried.

6. Upon this the woman paused a little, and then said, " Why do I spare to speak of these grand secrets, now Phe“ roras is dead, that would only tend to save Antipater, who 66 is all our destruction. Hear then, O king, and be thou " and God himself who cannot be deceived, witnesses to the “ the truth of what I am going to say. When thou didst sit

weeping by Pheroras as he was dying, then it was that he 66 called me to him and said, My dear wife, I have been

greatly mistaken as to the disposition of my brother to66 wards me, and have hated him that is so affectionate to me, " and have contrived to kill him who is in such disorder for

me before I am dead. As for myself, I receive the re

compense of my impiety; but do thou bring what poison " was left with us by Antipater, and which thou keepest in “ order to destroy him, and consume it immediately in the • fire in my sight, that I may not be liable to the avenger 56 in the invisible world." This I brought as he bade me, and emptied the greatest part of it into the fire, but reserved a little of it for my own use against uncertain futurity, and out of


fear of thee. 7. When she had said this, she brought the box, which had a small quantity of this potion in it: but the king let her alone, and transferred the tortures to Antipbilus's mother and brother; who both confessed that Antiphilus brought that box out of Egypt, and that they had received the potion from a brother of his, who was a physician at Alexandria. Then did the ghosts of Alexander and Aristobulus go round all the palace, and became the inquisitors and discoverers of what could not otherwise have been found out, and brought such as were the freest from suspicion to be examined ; whereby it was discovered, that Mariamne, the high-priest's daughter, was conscious of this plot; and her very brothers, when they were tortured, declared it so to be. Whereupon the king avenged this insolent attempt of the mother upon her son, and blotted Herod, whom he had by her, out of his testament, who had been before named therein as successor to Antipater.


Antipater is convicted by Bathyllus: but he still returns

from Rome, without knowing it. Herod brings him to his trial. § 1. After these things were over, Bathyllus came under examination, in order to convict Antipater, who proved the concluding attestation to Antipater's desigus; for indeed he was no other than his freed. man. This man came and brought another deadly potion, the poison of asps, and the juices of other serpents, that if the first potion did not do the business, Pheroras and his wife might be armed with this also to destroy the king. He brought also an addition to Antipater's insolent attempts against his father, which was the letters which he wrote against his brethren, Archelaus and Philip, which were the king's sons, and educated at Rome, being yet youths, but of generous dispositions. Antipater set himself to get rid of these as soon as he could, that they might not be prejudicial to his hopes, and to that end he forged letters against them in the name of his friends at Rome. Some of these he corrupted by bribes to write how they grossly reproached their father, and did openly bewail Alexander and Aristobulus, and were uneasy at their being recalled; for their father had already sent for them, which was the very thing that troubled Antipater.

2. Nay, indeed, while Antipater was in Judea, and before he was upon his journey to Rome, he gave money to have the like letters sent against them from Rome, and then came to his father, who had as yet no suspicion of him, and apologized for his brethren, and alledged on their behalf, that some of the things contained in those letters were false, and others of them were only youthful errors.

Yet at the same time that he expended a great deal of his money, by making presents to such as wrote against bis brethren, did he aim to bring his accounts into confusion, by buying costly garments, and carpets of various contextures, with silver and gold cups, and a great many more curious things, that so among the very great expences laid out upon such furniture, he might conceal the money he had used in hiring men [to write the letters ;] for he brought in an account of bis expences amounting to two hundred talents, his main pretence for which was the law-suit he had been in with Sylleus. So wbile all his rogueries, even those of a lesser sort also, were covered by his greater villainy, while all the examinations by torture proclaimed bis attempt to murder his fatber, and the letters proclaimed his second attempt to murder his brethren; yet did no one of those that came to Rome inform him of his misfortunes in Judea, although seven months had intervened between his conviction and his return, so great was the hatred which they all bore to him. And perhaps they were the ghosts of those brethren of his that had been murdered, that stopped the mouths of those that intended to have told him. He then wrote from Rome, and informed [bis friends] that he would soon come to them, and how he was dismissed with honour by Cæsar.

3. Now the king being desirous to get this plotter against him into his bands, and being also afraid lest he should some way come to the knowledge how his affairs stood, and be upon bis guard, he dissembled his anger in his epistle to him, as in other points he wrote kindly to him, and desired bim to make haste, because, if he came quickly, he would then lay aside the complaints he had against his mother; for Antipater was not ignorant that his mother had been expelled out of the palace. However, he had before received a letter, which contained an account of the death of Pheroras at Tarentum, and made great lamentations at it, for which some commended him, as being for his own uncle; though probably this confusion arose on account of his having thereby failed in his plot (on his father's life] and his tears were more for the loss of him that was to have been subservient therein, than for [an uncle] Pheroras : moreover, a sort of fear came upon bim as to his designs, lest the poison should have been discovered. However, when be was in Cilicia, he received the fore-mentioned epistle from his father, and made great haste accordingly. But when he had sailed to Celenderis, a suspicion came into his mind relating to his mother's misfortunes ; as if his soul foreboded some mischief to itself. Those therefore of his friends which were the most considerate, advised him not rashly to go to his father, till be had learned what were the occasions why his mother had been ejected, because they were afraid that he might be involved in the calumnies that bad been cast upon his mother : but those that

* Thiş Tarentum bas.coins, still extant, as Reland informs us. bere in his note.

« PreviousContinue »