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"danger. If you consider those youths as your deputies, you are mistaken, for, in fact, they are masters. Herod's "treatment of Hezekias and his companions was a viola"tion of public justice, it being murder to put a man to "death without the ceremony of trial, however atrocious "his crimes may have been; but Herod has exercised an "arbitrary power without the least pretence of authority "for so doing, and therefore ought to be rendered amen"able to justice for the iniquities he has committed."
In consequence of these complaints, Hyrcanus cited Herod to appear before the council at Jerusalem to answer for his conduct. By the advice of his father, after securing his garrisons in Galilee, he proceeded to obey the sovereign mandate; and, unwilling to offend Hyrcanus, went to Jerusalem, attended only by such a company of soldiers as he thought necessary for the security of his person. Sextus Cæsar, having conceived a great esteem for Herod, was greatly concerned when he heard of his being ordered to appear before the council at Jerusalem, lest, when in the power of his enemies, some fatal event might happen to him. He therefore interposed in his behalf, by immediately dispatching messengers to Hyrcanus, requesting, in the most earnest manner, that he would dismiss the complaint exhibited against him.
When Herod arrived at Jerusalem he immediately made his appearance before the Sanhedrim, at the head of whom sat Hyrcanus. He was dressed in a purple robe, and being surrounded with his guards, he so overawed that great council, that they all sat mute for a considerable time, no person whatever attempting to lay the least accusation against him; till at length one Simeas, who was more courageous than the rest, arising from his seat, addressed the court in words to this effect: "I never "(said he) before saw a prisoner at the bar behave in so "bold and daring a manner, and I believe your observa"vation and experience will hardly furnish you with "such another instance. It has been formerly customary "for people in such a situation to appear, by their dress "and behavior, resigned to the legal enquiry that awaits "them: but here is a culprit who seems to pride himself in his dress and attendants, which makes it appear as VOL. iii.
"if public justice was more to be dreaded by the court "than the criminal. Yet I censure not him for consulting "his own safety rather than the respect due to the laws, "so much as I do the king and the judges, who have permitted him to act in this matter. But remember that "God is just and powerful; and the time is advancing "when this man, whom you screen from the justice of "the laws, will be a scourge to you all."
After Simeas had finished this speech, Hyrcanus, judging from the countenances of the people in general, that Herod was in danger, adjourned the court till the following day, and in the mean time advised him to save himself by a private retreat. Herod took the advice of Hyrcanus, and immediately repaired to his friend Sextus Cæsar, who was then at Damascus, but with a full resolution that if he should be a second time cited to Jerusalem, not to appear on any account whatever.
As soon as the enemies of Herod understood that he had fled from Jerusalem, they used all the means they could to enrage Hyrcanus against him. They told him that he had departed in anger, and that he had certainly resolved on some desperate means of revenge: that there was not the least doubt but that Herod had already concerted his destruction; and though the matter was suffi ciently evident, and himself must be convinced of it, yet so pusillanimous was he, that he had not courage to take the necessary means to prevent it.
Hyrcanus was greatly embarrassed in his mind at this representation; but, on receiving information that Sextus had appointed Herod to the command of his troops in Syria, his fears increased to such a degree that he was continually tortured by the imagination that Herod was leading an army to depose him. Nor was he wrong in his conjecture; for Herod, violently enraged at having been treated as a criminal, raised a powerful body of forces, and proceeded towards Jerusalem, with a resolution of depriving Hyrcanus of the government. This enterprize he would certainly have carried into execution, had it not been for the interposition of Antipater and his brother Phasael, who, knowing his intentions, met him on the way, and by their arguments dissuaded him from so
imprudent a proceeding. "They besought him by no means whatever, to think of offering any violence to the king, to whose favor and countenance he was indebted for the dignified station he enjoyed. They told him that his indignation at being accused should, in a great measure, be appeased by the friendly advice of the king: that if he prided himself in his power, he should consider that the measure he was about to pursue was not only unjust, but likewise unprofitable: that the Divine protection* could not be expected by that man who revolted against his legal sovereign: that the prince he meant to oppose was his sincere friend and generous benefactor, and one who had in no instance wronged him, except when irritated by the injurious suggestions of his enemies." These arguments had the desired effect: Herod repressed his indignation, waved the design of proceeding to hostilities, and immediately returned with his army to Galilee.
At this time a civil war broke out among the Romans in the neighborhood of Apamia; during which Cæcilius Bassus caused Sextus Cæsar to be put to death, and afterwards assumed the command of his troops. In revenge for the murder of Sextus, the party attached to Julius Cæsar opposed Bassus with their utmost power; and from a veneration towards the surviving Cæsar, and the memory of the deceased, Antipater dispatched considerable succors to the avengers of the murderers of Sextus, under the command of his two sons Herod and Phasael.
Julius Cæsar was at this time making preparations for an expedition against the Parthians, but was prevented from executing his design by being barbarously assassinated in the senate-house at Rome. The baseness of this act was considerably heightened by the persons who concerted it, the principal authors being Marcus Brutus, Decimus Brutus, Cassius, Trebonius, and some others on whom Cæsar had conferred the highest favors. The manner in which they executed this horrid deed was as follows: As soon as Cæsar entered the senate-house, Attilius Cimber, who was one of the conspirators, presented himself (as it had been previously agreed among them) before Cæsar, demanding, in a peremptory manner, the pardon of his brother, who had been banished. Cæsar,
thinking that such a favor ought rather to be asked with humility than demanded with authority, refused to comply; upon which Attilius immediately laid hold of the bottom of his robe, and pulled him with such force as to throw him into a reclining posture, when another of the conspirators, named Casca, drawing his dagger, plunged it into Cæsar's shoulder. The wound, however, being slight, Cæsar fell upon the assassin, but, while they were scuffling together, another of the conspirators came behind, and stabbed Cæsar in the side, while Cassius at the same time wounded him in the face, and Brutus pierced his thigh. Cæsar still defended himself for some time, till at length, being greatly weakened with the loss of blood, he went to the foot of Pompey's statue, where he fell, and expired, after having held the government little more than three years.
The death of Julius Cæsar occasioned the most shocking contentions and disorders among the subjects of the Roman empire. The heads of the people were divided into factions, and, regardless of the public welfare, acted according to their respective interests and passions. Cassius (one of the principal conspirators against the life of Julius Cæsar) obtained the command of the army in Syria, which was then before Apamia; and having soon brought over to his interest Marcus and Bassus, with some others, he raised the siege. He then proceeded from one place to another, collecting men, money and arms wherever he went; but the place he most oppressed was Judea, on which he levied a tax of no less than seven hundred talents of silver.
During this confusion Antipater committed the care of gathering part of the money fixed on Judea to his two sons, while Malicus (who was the next to him in power and secretly his enemy) was concerned with others in collecting the rest. The first sum, amounting to an hundred talents, was gathered by Herod in Galilee, and his expedition in the business obtained him great favor with Cassius; but the other agents being negligent in their duty so exasperated Cassius that he entirely destroyed several cities under their jurisdiction, and sold the inhabitants for slaves. He was particularly incensed against
Malicus, and, for his neglect, formed the design of putting him to death, which he would certainly have done had it not been for Antipater, who pacified him with a present of an hundred talents out of his own coffers.
Malicus repeatedly acknowledged himself indebted to Antipater for the preservation of his life; but no sooner had Cassius left Syria with the treasures he had collected, than Malicus concerted measures for the destruction of his generous benefactor, whom he considered as the only obstacle to his ambitious views.
Antipater, knowing Malicus to be a man of au artful and disingenuous temper, entertained a suspicion of his design. He, therefore, as a necessary precaution, crossed the river Jordan, and placed himself at the head of as large a body of Jews and Arabians as he could collect together. Malicus, who was bold and artful, finding himself suspected, immediately went to Antipater (whose sons were then with him) and solemnly swore to his innocence. "Can it be imagined (said he) that I should be "so weak as to think of a plot or conspiracy, when I "knew that Herod had the command of the arms and "magazines, and that Phasael had the command of Je"rusalem?" In consequence of this, and other forcible arguments, the two sons of Antipater were induced to think their father had been wrong in his conjectures, and at their instigation Antipater was prevailed on to form a reconciliation with Malicus.
At this time a war commenced between Antony and the younger Cæsar (afterwards called Augustus) on the one part, and Brutus and Cassius on the other. In consequence of this, Cassius, being sensible of the distinguished qualities of Herod, nominated him to the government of Colo-Syria, and for his security appointed him a strong body guard both of horse and foot; promising, at the same time, that after the war was over, he would promote him to the sovereignty of Judea.
The advancement of Herod proved of fatal consequence to his father; for Malicus, thinking Antipater would become still more powerful on that account, resolved, by some means or other, to have him dispatched, and was continually laying plots for that purpose. At length he