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Josephus: Jewish War, Book 1

Sections 364 - 444

Translated by William Whiston (1737). A few spellings have been changed. See key to translations for an explanation of the format.


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[19.]   [364] G   Now when the war about Actium was begun, Herodes prepared to come to the assistance of Antonius, as being already freed from his troubles in Judaea, and having gained Hyrcania, which was a place that was held by Antigonus's sister. [365] However, he was cunningly hindered from partaking of the hazards that Antonius went through by Cleopatra; for since, as we have already noted, she had laid a plot against the kings {of Judaea and Arabia}, she prevailed with Antonius to commit the war against the Arabians to Herodes; that so, if he got the better, she might become mistress of Arabia, or, if he were worsted, of Judaea; and that she might destroy one of those kings by the other.

[366] G   However, this contrivance tended to the advantage of Herodes; for at the very first he took hostages from the enemy, and got together a great body of horse, and ordered them to march against them about Diospolis; and he conquered that army, although it fought resolutely against him. After which defeat, the Arabians were in great motion, and assembled themselves together at Canatha, a city of Coele Syria, in vast multitudes, and waited for the Jews. [367] And when Herodes was come thither, he tried to manage this war with particular prudence, and gave orders that they should build a wall about their camp; yet the multitude did not comply with those orders, but were so emboldened by their foregoing victory, that they presently attacked the Arabians, and beat them at the first onset, and then pursued them; yet were there snares laid for Herodes in that pursuit; while Athenion, who was one of Cleopatra's generals, and always an antagonist to Herodes, sent out of Canatha the men of that country against him; [368] G   for, upon this fresh onset, the Arabians took courage, and returned back, and both joined their numerous forces about stony places, that were hard to be gone over, and there put Herodes' men to the rout, and made a great slaughter of them; but those that escaped out of the battle fled to Ormiza, where the Arabians surrounded their camp, and took it, with all the men in it.

[369] In a little time after this calamity, Herodes came to bring them aid; but he came too late. Now the occasion of that blow was this, that the officers would not obey orders; for had not the fight begun so suddenly, Athenion had not found a proper season for the snares he laid for Herodes: however, he was even with the Arabians afterwards, and overran their country, and did them more harm than their single victory could compensate. [370] G   But as he was avenging himself on his enemies, there fell upon him another providential calamity; for in the seventh year of his reign {31 B.C.}, when the war about Actium was at the height, at the beginning of the spring, the earth was shaken, and destroyed an immense number of cattle, with thirty thousand men; but the army received no harm, because it lay in the open air. [371] In the meantime, the fame of this earthquake elevated the Arabians to greater courage, and this by augmenting it to a fabulous height, as is constantly the case in melancholy accidents, and pretending that all Judaea was overthrown. Upon this assumption, therefore, that they should easily get a land that was destitute of inhabitants into their power, they first sacrificed those ambassadors who were come to them from the Jews, and then marched into Judaea immediately. [372] G   Now the Jewish nation were affrighted at this invasion, and quite dispirited at the greatness of their calamities one after another; whom yet Herodes got together, and endeavoured to encourage to defend themselves by the following speech which he made to them:

[373] "The present dread you are under seems to me to have seized upon you very unreasonably. It is true, you might justly be dismayed at that providential chastisement which has befallen you; but to suffer yourselves to be equally terrified at the invasion of men is unmanly. As for myself, I am so far from being affrighted at our enemies after this earthquake, that I imagine that God has thereby laid a bait for the Arabians, that we may be avenged on them; for their present invasion proceeds more from our accidental misfortunes, than that they have any great dependence on their weapons, or their own fitness for action. Now that hope which depends not on men's own power, but on others' ill success, is a very ticklish thing; for there is no certainty among men, either in their bad or good fortunes; [374] G   but we may easily observe that fortune is mutable, and goes from one side to another; and this you may readily learn from examples among yourselves; for when you were once victors in the former fight, your enemies overcame you at last; and very likely it will now happen so, that these who think themselves sure of beating you will themselves be beaten. For when men are very confident, they are not upon their guard, while fear teaches men to act with caution; insomuch that I venture to prove from your very timorousness that you ought to take courage; [375] for when you were more bold than you ought to have been, and than I would have had you, and marched on, Athenion's treachery took place; but your present slowness and seeming dejection of mind is to me a pledge and assurance of victory. [376] G   And indeed it is proper beforehand to be thus provident; but when we come to action, we ought to erect our minds, and to make our enemies, be they ever so wicked, believe that neither any human, no, nor any providential misfortune, can ever depress the courage of Jews while they are alive; nor will any of them ever overlook an Arabian, or suffer such a one to become lord of his good things, whom he has in a manner taken captive, and that many times also. [377] And do not you disturb yourselves at the quaking of inanimate creatures, nor do you imagine that this earthquake is a sign of another calamity; for such affections of the elements are according to the course of nature, nor does it import anything further to men, than what mischief it does immediately of itself. Perhaps there may come some short sign beforehand in the case of pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes; but these calamities themselves have their force limited by themselves {without foreboding any other calamity]. And indeed what greater mischief can the war, though it should be a violent one, do to us than the earthquake has done? [378] G   Nay, there is a signal of our enemies' destruction visible, and that a very great one also; and this is not a natural one, nor derived from the hand of foreigners neither, but it is this, that they have barbarously murdered our ambassadors, contrary to the common law of mankind; and they have destroyed so many, as if they esteemed them sacrifices for God, in relation to this war. But they will not avoid his great eye, nor his invincible right hand; and we shall be revenged of them presently, if we still retain any of the courage of our forefathers, and rise up boldly to punish these covenant-breakers. [379] Let everyone therefore go on and fight, not so much for his wife or his children, or for the danger his country is in, as for these ambassadors of ours; those dead ambassadors will conduct this war of ours better than we ourselves who are alive. And if you will be ruled by me, I will myself go before you into danger; for you know this well enough, that your courage is irresistible, unless you hurt yourselves by acting rashly."

[380] G   When Herodes had encouraged them by this speech, and he saw with what alacrity they went, he offered sacrifice to God; and after that sacrifice, he passed over the river Jordan with his army, and pitched his camp about Philadelphia, near the enemy, and about a fortification that lay between them. He then shot at them at a distance, and was desirous to come to an engagement presently; [381] for some of them had been sent beforehand to seize upon that fortification: but the king sent some who immediately beat them out of the fortification, while he himself went in the forefront of the army, which he put in battle-array every day, and invited the Arabians to fight. But as none of them came out of their camp, for they were in a terrible fright, and their general, Elthemus, was stricken with fear, so Herodes came upon them, and pulled their fortification to pieces, [382] G   by which means they were compelled to come out to fight, which they did in disorder, and so that the horsemen and footmen were mixed together. They were indeed superior to the Jews in number, but inferior in their alacrity, although they were obliged to expose themselves to danger by their very despair of victory.

[383] Now while they made opposition, they had not a great number slain; but as soon as they turned their backs, a great many were trodden to pieces by the Jews, and a great many by themselves, and so perished, till five thousand were fallen down dead in their flight, while the rest of the multitude prevented their immediate death, by crowding into the fortification. Herodes encompassed these around, and besieged them; and while they were ready to be taken by their enemies in arms, they had another additional distress upon them, which was thirst and want of water; [384] G   for the king was above hearkening to their ambassadors; and when they offered five hundred talents, as the price of their redemption, he pressed still harder upon them. And as they were burnt up by their thirst, they came out and voluntarily delivered themselves up by multitudes to the Jews, till in five days' time four thousand of them were put into bonds; and on the sixth day the multitude that were left despaired of saving themselves, and came out to fight: with these Herodes fought, and slew again about seven thousand, [385] insomuch that he punished Arabia so severely, and so far extinguished the spirits of the men, that he was chosen by the nation for their ruler.

[20.]   [386] G   But now Herodes was under immediate concern about a most important affair, on account of his friendship with Antonius, who was already overcome at Actium by Caesar; yet he was more afraid than hurt; for Caesar did not think he had quite undone Antonius, while Herodes continued his assistance to him. [387] However, the king resolved to expose himself to dangers: accordingly he sailed to Rhodes, where Caesar then abode, and came to him without his diadem, and in the habit and appearance of a private person, but in his behaviour as a king. So he concealed nothing of the truth, but spoke thus before his face: [388] G   "Caesar, as I was made king of the Jews by Antonius, so do I profess that I have used my royal authority in the best manner, and entirely for his advantage; nor will I conceal this further, that you would have certainly found me in arms, and an inseparable companion of his, if the Arabians had not hindered me. However, I sent him as many auxiliaries as I was able, and many thousand measures of corn. Nay, indeed, I did not desert my benefactor after the blow that was given him at Actium; but I gave him the best advice I was able, [389] when I was no longer able to assist him in the war; and I told him that there was but one way of recovering his affairs, and that was to kill Cleopatra; and I promised him, that if she were once dead, I would afford him money and walls for his security, with an army and myself to assist him in his war against you: [390] G   but his affections for Cleopatra stopped his ears, as did God himself also, who has bestowed the government on you. I own myself also to be overcome together with him; and with his last fortune I have laid aside my diadem, and am come hither to you, having my hopes of safety in your virtue; and I desire that you will first consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been."

[391] Caesar replied to him thus: "Nay, you shall not only be in safety, but you shall be a king; and that more firmly than you were before; for you are worthy to reign over a great many subjects, by reason of the fastness of your friendship; and do you endeavour to be equally constant in your friendship to me, upon my good success, which is what I depend upon from the generosity of your disposition. However, Antonius has done well in preferring Cleopatra to you; for by this means we have gained you by her madness, [392] G   and thus you have begun to be my friend before I began to be yours; on which account Quintus Didius has written to me that you sent him assistance against the gladiators. I do therefore assure you that I will confirm the kingdom to you by decree: I shall also endeavour to do you some further kindness hereafter, that you may find no loss in the want of Antonius."

[393] When Caesar had spoken such obliging things to the king, and had put the diadem again about his head, he proclaimed what he had bestowed on him by a decree, in which he enlarged in the commendation of the man after a magnificent manner. Whereupon Herodes obliged him to be kind to him by the presents he gave him, and he desired him to forgive Alexas, one of Antonius's friends, who was become a supplicant to him. But Caesar's anger against him prevailed, and he complained of the many and very great offences the man whom he petitioned for had been guilty of; and by that means he rejected his petition. [394] G   After this, Caesar went for Egypt through Syria, when Herodes received him with royal and rich entertainments; and then did he first of all ride along with Caesar, as he was reviewing his army about Ptolemais, and feasted him with all his friends, and then distributed among the rest of the army what was necessary to feast them withal. [395] He also made a plentiful provision of water for them, when they were to march as far as Pelusium, through a dry country, which he did also in like manner at their return thence; nor were there any necessaries wanting to that army. It was therefore the opinion, both of Caesar and of his soldiers, that Herodes' kingdom was too small for those generous presents he made them; [396] G   for which reason, when Caesar was come into Egypt, and Cleopatra and Antonius were dead, he did not only bestow other marks of honour upon him, but made an addition to his kingdom, by giving him not only the country which had been taken from him by Cleopatra, but besides that, Gadara, and Hippos, and Samaria; and moreover, of the maritime cities, Gaza and Anthedon, and Joppa, and Strato's Tower. [397] He also made him a present of four hundred Gauls {Galatians} as a guard for his body, which they had been to Cleopatra before. Nor did anything so strongly induce Caesar to make these presents as the generosity of him that received them.

[398] G   Moreover, after the first games at Actium, he added to his kingdom both the region called Trachonitis, and what lay in its neighbourhood, Batanea, and the country of Auranitis; and that on the following occasion: Zenodorus, who had hired the domain of Lysanias, had all along sent robbers out of Trachonitis among the Damascenes; who thereupon had recourse to Varro, the governor of Syria, and desired of him that he would represent the calamity they were in to Caesar. When Caesar was acquainted with it, he sent back orders that this nest of robbers should be destroyed. [399] Varro therefore made an expedition against them, and cleared the land of those men, and took it away from Zenodorus. Caesar did also afterward bestow it on Herodes, that it might not again become a receptacle for those robbers that had come against Damascus. He also made him a procurator of all Syria, and this on the tenth year afterward, when he came again into that province; and this was so established, that the other {Roman} procurators could not do anything in the administration without his advice: [400] G   but when Zenodorus was dead, Caesar bestowed on him all that land which lay between Trachonitis and Galilee. Yet, what was still of more consequence to Herodes, he was beloved by Caesar next after Agrippa, and by Agrippa next after Caesar; whence he arrived at a very great degree of felicity. Yet did the greatness of his soul exceed it, and the main part of his magnanimity was extended to the promotion of piety.

[21.]   [401] Accordingly, in the fifteenth year of his reign {23-22 B.C.}, Herodes rebuilt the temple, and encompassed a piece of land about it with a wall, which land was twice as large as that before enclosed. The expenses he laid out upon it were vastly large also, and the riches about it were unspeakable. A sign of which you have in the great cloisters that were erected about the temple, and the citadel which was on its north side. The cloisters he built from the foundation, but the citadel he repaired at a vast expense; nor was it other than a royal palace, which he called Antonia, in honour of Antonius. [402] G   He also built himself a palace in the Upper city, containing two very large and most beautiful apartments; to which the holy house itself could not be compared {in largeness]. The one apartment he named Caesareum, and the other Agrippium, from his {two great} friends.

[403] Yet did he not preserve their memory by particular buildings only, with their names given them, but his generosity went as far as entire cities; for when he had built a most beautiful wall round a country in Samaria, twenty stades long, and had brought six thousand inhabitants into it, and had allotted to it a most fruitful piece of land, and in the midst of this city, thus built, had erected a very large temple to Caesar, and had laid round about it a portion of sacred land of three furlongs and a half, he called the city Sebaste, from Sebastos, or Augustus, and settled the affairs of the city after a most regular manner.

[404] G   And when Caesar had further bestowed upon him another additional country, he built there also a temple of white marble, hard by the fountains of Jordan: the place is called Panium, [405] where is a top of a mountain that is raised to an immense height, and at its side, beneath, or at its bottom, a dark cave opens itself; within which there is a horrible precipice, that descends abruptly to a vast depth; it contains a mighty quantity of water, which is immovable; and when anybody lets down anything to measure the depth of the earth beneath the water, no length of cord is sufficient to reach it. [406] G   Now the fountains of Jordan rise at the roots of this cavity outwardly; and, as some think, this is the utmost origin of Jordan: but we shall speak of that matter more accurately in our following history.

[407] But the king erected other places at Jericho also, between the citadel Cypros and the former palace, such as were better and more useful than the former for travellers, and named them from the same friends of his. To say all at once, there was not any place of his kingdom fit for the purpose that was permitted to be without somewhat that was for Caesar's honour; and when he had filled his own country with temples, he poured out the like plentiful marks of his esteem into his province, and built many cities which he called Caesareas.

[408] G   And when he observed that there was a city by the seaside that was much decayed (its name was Strato's Tower) but that the place, by the happiness of its situation, was capable of great improvements from his liberality, he rebuilt it all with white stone, and adorned it with several most splendid palaces, wherein he especially demonstrated his magnanimity; [409] for the case was this, that all the seashore between Dora and Joppa, in the middle, between which this city is situated, had no good haven, insomuch that every one that sailed from Phoenicia for Egypt was obliged to lie in the stormy sea, by reason of the south winds that threatened them; which wind, if it blew but a little fresh, such vast waves are raised, and dash upon the rocks, that upon their retreat the sea is in a great ferment for a long way. [410] G   But the king, by the expenses he was at, and the liberal disposal of them, overcame nature, and built a haven larger than was the Peiraeus; and in the inner retirements of the water he built other deep stations {for the ships also}.

[411] Now, although the place where he built was greatly opposite to his purposes, yet did he so fully struggle with that difficulty, that the firmness of his building could not easily be conquered by the sea; and the beauty and ornament of the works were such, as though he had not had any difficulty in the operation; for when he had measured out as large a space as we have before mentioned, he let down stones into twenty fathoms of water, the greatest part of which were fifty feet in length, and nine in depth, and ten in breadth, and some still larger. [412] G   But when the haven was filled up to that depth, he enlarged that wall which was thus already extant above the sea, till it was two hundred feet wide; one hundred of which had buildings before it, in order to break the force of the waves, whence it was called procumia, or the first breaker of the waves; but the rest of the space was under a stone wall that ran round it. On this wall were very large towers, the principal and most beautiful of which was called Drusium, from Drusus, who was the step-son of Caesar.

[413] There were also a great number of arches, where the mariners dwelt; and all the places before them round about was a large valley, or walk, for a quay {or landing-place} to those that came on shore; but the entrance was on the north, because the north wind was there the most gentle of all the winds. At the mouth of the haven were on each side three great Colossi, supported by pillars, where those Colossi that are on your left hand as you sail into the port are supported by a solid tower; but those on the right hand are supported by two upright stones joined together, which stones were larger than that tower which was on the other side of the entrance. [414] G   Now there were continual edifices joined to the haven, which were also themselves of white stone; and to this haven did the narrow streets of the city lead, and were built at equal distances one from another. And over against the mouth of the haven, upon an elevation, there was a temple for Caesar, which was excellent both in beauty and largeness; and therein was a Colossus of Caesar, not less than that of Zeus at Olympia, which it was made to resemble. The other Colossus of Rome was equal to that of Hera at Argos. So he dedicated the city to the province, and the haven to the sailors there; but the honour of the building he ascribed to Caesar, and named it Caesareia accordingly.

[415] He also built the other edifices, the amphitheatre, and theatre, and agora, in a manner worthy of its name; and appointed games every fifth year, and called them, in like manner, Caesar's Games; and he first himself proposed the largest prizes upon the hundred ninety-second Olympiad {12-9 B.C.}; in which not only the victors themselves, but those that came next to them, and even those that came in the third place, were partakers of his royal bounty. [416] G   He also rebuilt Anthedon, a city that lay on the coast, and had been demolished in the wars, and named it Agrippeum. Moreover, he had so very great a kindness for his friend Agrippa, that he had his name engraved upon that gate which he had himself erected in the temple.

[417] Herodes was also a lover of his father {Antipater}, if any other person ever was so; for he made a monument for his father, even that city which he built in the finest plain that was in his kingdom, and which had rivers and trees in abundance, and named it Antipatris. He also built a wall about a citadel that lay above Jericho, and was a very strong and very fine building, and dedicated it to his mother {Cypros}, and called it Cypros. [418] G   Moreover, he dedicated a tower that was at Jerusalem, and called it by the name of his brother Phasaelus, whose structure, largeness, and magnificence we shall describe hereafter. He also built another city in the valley that leads northward from Jericho, and named it Phasaelis.

[419] And as he transmitted to eternity his family and friends, so did he not neglect a memorial for himself, but built a fortress upon a mountain towards Arabia, and named it from himself, Herodeium; and he called that hill that was of the shape of a woman's breast, and was sixty stades distant from Jerusalem, by the same name. He also bestowed much curious art upon it, with great ambition, [420] G   and built round towers all about the top of it, and filled up the remaining space with the most costly palaces round about, insomuch that not only the sight of the inner apartments was splendid, but great wealth was laid out on the outward walls, and partitions, and roofs also. Besides this, he brought a mighty quantity of water from a great distance, and at vast expense, and raised an ascent to it of two hundred steps of the whitest marble, for the hill was itself moderately high, and entirely man-made. [421] He also built other palaces about the roots of the hill, sufficient to receive the furniture that was put into them, with his friends also, insomuch that, on account of its containing all necessaries, the fortress might seem to be a city, but, by the bounds it had, a palace only.

[422] G   And when he had built so much, he showed the greatness of his soul to no small number of foreign cities. He built gymnasia at Tripolis, and Damascus, and Ptolemais; he built a wall about Byblus, as also large rooms {exedra}, and cloisters {stoa}, and temples, and agoras at Berytus and Tyre, with theatres at Sidon and Damascus. He also built aqueducts for those Laodiceans who lived by the seaside; and for those of Ascalon he built baths and costly fountains, as also cloisters round a court, that were admirable both for their workmanship and largeness. Moreover, he dedicated groves and meadows to some people; [423] nay, not a few cities there were who had lands of his donation, as if they were parts of his own kingdom. He also bestowed annual revenues in perpetuity, for the office of gymnasiarch, at places like Cos, so that this honour might never lapse. [424] G   He also gave corn to all such as wanted it, and conferred upon Rhodes large sums of money for building ships; and this he did in many places, and frequently also. And when the Pythian temple {at Rhodes} had been burnt down, he rebuilt it at his own expense, after a better manner than it was before. [425] What need I speak of the presents he made to the Lycians and Samians? or of his great liberality through all Ionia? and that according to everybody's wants of them. And are not the Athenians, and Lacedaemonians, and Nicopolitans, and Pergamum in Mysia, full of donations that Herodes presented them withal? And as for that large open place belonging to Antioch in Syria, did not he pave it with polished marble, though it were twenty stades long? and this when it was shunned by all men before, because it was full of dirt and filthiness, when he besides adorned the same place with a cloister of the same length.

[426] G   It is true, a man may say, these were favours peculiar to those particular places on which he bestowed his benefits; but then what favours he bestowed on the Eleans was a donation not only in common to all Greece, but to all the habitable earth, as far as the glory of the Olympic games reached. [427] For when he perceived that they were come to nothing, for want of money, and that the only remains of ancient Greece were in a manner gone, he not only became agonothete for that occurrence of the quadrennial games, in which he happened to be present while sailing to Rome, but he settled upon them revenues of money for perpetuity, insomuch that his memorial as agonothete there can never fail. [428] G   It would be an infinite task if I should go over his payments of people's debts, or tributes, for them, as he eased the people of Phaselis, of Balanea, and of the small cities about Cilicia, of those annual pensions they before paid. However, the fear he was in much disturbed the greatness of his soul, lest he should be exposed to envy, or seem to hunt after greater things than he ought, while he bestowed more liberal gifts upon these cities than did their owners themselves.

[429] 13. Now Herodes had a body suited to his soul, and was ever a most excellent hunter, where he generally had good success, by means of his great skill in riding horses; for in one day he caught forty wild beasts: that country breeds also bears, and the greatest part of it is replenished with stags and wild asses. [430] G   He was also such a warrior as could not be withstood: many men, therefore, there are who have stood amazed at his readiness in his exercises, when they saw him throw the javelin directly forward, and shoot the arrow upon the mark. And then, besides these performances of his depending on his own strength of mind and body, fortune was also very favourable to him; for he seldom failed of success in his wars; and when he failed, he was not himself the occasion of such failings, but he either was betrayed by some, or the rashness of his own soldiers procured his defeat.

[22.]   [431] However, fortune was avenged on Herodes in his external great successes, by raising him up domestic troubles; and he began to have wild disorders in his family, on account of his wife, of whom he was so very fond. [432] G   For when he came to the government, he sent away her whom he had before married when he was a private person, and who was born at Jerusalem, whose name was Doris, and married Mariamme, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus; on whose account disturbances arose in his family, and that in part very soon, but chiefly after his return from Rome. [433] For first of all, he banished Antipater the son of Doris from the city, for the sake of his sons by Mariamme, and permitted him to come thither at no other times than at the festivals. After this he slew his wife's grandfather, Hyrcanus, when he was returned out of Parthia to him, under this pretence, that he suspected him of plotting against him. Now this Hyrcanus had been carried away as captive by Barzapharnes, when he overran Syria; but those of his own country beyond Euphrates were desirous he would stay with them, and this out of the commiseration they had for his condition; [434] G   and had he complied with their desires, when they exhorted him not to go over the river to Herodes, he had not perished: but the marriage of his granddaughter {to Herodes} was his temptation; for as he relied upon him, and was over-fond of his own country, he came back to it. Herodes' provocation was this:- not that Hyrcanus made any attempt to gain the kingdom, but that it was fitter for him to be their king than for Herodes.

[435] Now of the five children which Herodes had by Mariamme, two of them were daughters, and three were sons; and the youngest of these sons was educated at Rome, and there died; but the two eldest he treated as those of royal blood, on account of the nobility of their mother, and because they were not born till he was king. [436] G   But then what was stronger than all this was the love that he bare to Mariamme, and which inflamed him every day to a great degree, and so far conspired with the other motives, that he felt no other troubles, on account of her he loved so entirely. But Mariamme's hatred to him was not inferior to his love to her. [437] She had indeed but too just a cause of indignation from what he had done, while her boldness proceeded from his affection to her; so she openly reproached him with what he had done to her grandfather Hyrcanus, and to her brother Aristobulus; for he had not spared this Aristobulus, though he were but a child; for when he had given him the high priesthood at the age of seventeen, he slew him quickly after he had conferred that dignity upon him; but when Aristobulus had put on the holy vestments, and had approached to the altar at a festival, the multitude, in great crowds, fell into tears; whereupon the child was sent by night to Jericho, and was there submerged by the Gauls, at Herodes' command, in a pool till he was drowned.

[438] G   For these reasons Mariamme reproached Herodes, and his sister and mother, after a most contumelious manner, while he was dumb on account of his affection for her; yet had the women great indignation at her, and raised a calumny against her, that she was false to his bed; which thing they thought most likely to move Herodes to anger. [439] They also contrived to have many other circumstances believed, in order to make the thing more credible, and accused her of having sent her picture into Egypt to Antonius, and that her lust was so extravagant, as to have thus showed herself, though she was absent, to a man that ran mad after women, and to a man that had it in his power to use violence to her. [440] G   This charge fell like a thunderbolt upon Herodes, and put him into disorder; and that especially, because his love to her occasioned him to be jealous, and because he considered with himself that Cleopatra was a shrewd woman, and that on her account Lysanias the king was slain, as well as Malchus the Arabian; for his fear did not only extend to the dissolving of his marriage, but to the danger of his life.

[441] When therefore he was about to take a journey abroad, he committed his wife to Joseph, his sister Salome's husband, as to one who would be faithful to him, and bare him goodwill on account of their kindred; he also gave him a secret injunction, that if Antonius slew him, he should slay her. But Joseph, without any ill design, and only in order to demonstrate the king's love to his wife, how he could not bear to think of being separated from her, even by death itself, revealed this grand secret to her; [442] G   upon which, when Herodes was come back, and as they talked together, and he confirmed his love to her by many oaths, and assured her that he had never such an affection for any other woman as he had for her, "Yes," says she, "you did, to be sure, demonstrate your love to me by the orders you gave to Joseph, when you commanded him to kill me."

[443] When he heard that this grand secret was revealed, he was like a distracted man, and said that Joseph would never have disclosed that injunction of his, unless he had debauched her. His passion also made him stark mad, and leaping out of his bed, he ran about the palace after a wild manner; at which time his sister Salome took the opportunity also to slander her reputation, and confirmed his suspicion about Joseph; whereupon, out of his ungovernable jealousy and rage, he commanded both of them to be slain immediately; [444] G   but as soon as ever his passion was over, he repented of what he had done, and as soon as his anger was worn off, his affections were kindled again. And indeed the flame of his desires for her was so ardent, that he could not think she was dead, but would appear, under his disorders, to speak to her as if she were still alive, till he were better instructed by time, when his grief and trouble, now she was dead, appeared as great as his affection had been for her while she was living.

Josephus: table of contents


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