Josephus: Jewish War, Book 1

Sections 364 - 512


Translated by H.St.J. Thackeray (1927). The section numbers in the Greek text are shown in red; the traditional chapter numbers (as in Whiston's translation) are shown in green.  

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{19.}   [364] G   On the outbreak of the war of Actium Herod prepared to join forces with Antony ; for he was now rid of disturbances in Judaea and had captured the fortress of Hyrcania, hitherto held by the sister of Antigonus. [365] The craft of Cleopatra, however, precluded him from sharing Antony's perils. For, as we have stated, she had designs on the kings, in pursuance of which she now induced Antony to entrust the war against the Arabs to Herod, hoping, if he were successful, to become mistress of Arabia, if unsuccessful, of Judaea, and by means of one of the two potentates to overthrow the other.   

[366] G   Her scheme, however, turned to Herod's advantage. For, beginning with raids upon the enemy's territory, he mustered a large body of cavalry, flung them at the foe in the neighbourhood of Diospolis and, though he met with a stubborn resistance, defeated them. This defeat occasioned a great commotion among the Arabs, who assembled in vast numbers at Canatha in Coele-Syria and there awaited the Jews. [367] Herod, arriving with his troops, endeavoured to conduct operations with due caution and ordered the camp to be fortified. His orders, however, were defied by the rank and file, who, flushed with their recent victory, rushed upon the Arabs. With their first charge they routed them and followed at their heels ; but during the pursuit a snare was laid for Herod by Athenion, one of Cleopatra's generals, who had always been hostile to him, and now let loose upon him the natives of Canatha. [368] G   Encouraged by their allies' attack, the Arabs faced about and, after uniting their forces on rocky and difficult ground, routed Herod's troops with immense slaughter. Those who escaped from the battle took refuge in Ormiza, where, however, the Arabs surrounded and captured their camp with all its defenders.   

[369] Shortly after this disaster Herod arrived with reinforcements, too late to be of use. This calamity was brought upon him by the insubordination of the divisional officers ; for, had they not precipitated an engagement, Athenion would have found no opportunity for a ruse. However, Herod subsequently avenged himself on the Arabs by constantly raiding their territory, so that they had frequent occasion to rue their single victory. [370] G   But while he was punishing his foes, he was visited by another calamity - an act of God which occurred in the seventh year of his reign, when the war of Actium was at its height. In the early spring an earthquake destroyed innumerable cattle and thirty thousand souls; but the army, being quartered in the open, escaped injury. [371] At the same moment the confidence of the Arabs rose, stimulated by rumour which always exaggerates the horrors of a tragedy. Imagining that the whole of Judaea was in ruins and that they had only to take possession of an abandoned country, they hastened to invade it, after massacring the envoys whom the Jews had sent to them. [372] G   So dismayed were the people at this invasion, and so demoralised by the magnitude of these successive disasters, that Herod called them together and endeavoured to rouse them  to resistance by the following speech.   

[373] "This alarm which has now laid hold of you seems to me most unreasonable. To be disheartened by the visitations of heaven was natural ; but to be similarly despondent at the attack of a human foe is unmanly, for my part, far from being intimidated by the enemy's invasion following the earthquake, I regard that catastrophe as a snare which God has laid to decoy the Arabs and deliver them up to our vengeance. It is not because they have confidence in their weapons or their might that they are here, but because they count on our accidental calamities ; but hopes are fallacious which are dependent not on one's own strength, but on the misadventures of another. [374] G   Moreover, with mankind fortune is never permanently either adverse or favourable ; one sees her veering from one mood to the other. Of this you might find an illustration in your own experiences : conquerors in the first battle you were then conquered by our enemies, who in all probability, expecting a victory, will now be defeated. [375] For excessive confidence throws men off their guard, whereas fear teaches precaution ; so that your very timidity is to me reassuring. When you displayed uncalled for temerity and, disdaining my advice, dashed out upon the foe, Athenion had his opportunity for a ruse ; but now your hesitation and apparent despondency are to me a sure pledge of victory. [376] G   Appropriate, however, as are such feelings before an impending battle, when once in action your spirits must be roused and you must teach these scoundrels that no disaster, whether inflicted by God or man, will ever reduce the valour of Jews, so long as they have breath in their bodies, and that not one of them will consent to see his property pass into the hands of an Arab, who has often so narrowly escaped becoming his prisoner.   

[377] "Do not let the convulsions of inanimate nature disturb you or imagine that the earthquake is a portent of a further disaster. These accidents to which the elements are subject have physical causes, and beyond the immediate injury inflicted bring no further consequences to mankind. A pestilence, a famine, subterranean commotions may possibly be preceded by some slighter premonition, but these catastrophes themselves are limited by their very magnitude to their instant effects. I ask you, can war, even if we are defeated, do us more harm than the earthquake ?   

[378] G   "Our adversaries, on the other hand, have one grave portent of impending disaster in a recent incident, due neither to natural causes nor to the action of others. Contrary to the universal law of mankind they have brutally murdered our ambassadors ; such are the garlanded victims which they have offered to God to obtain success ! But they will not escape his mighty eye, his invincible right hand ; and to us they will soon answer for their crimes if, with some vestige of the spirit of our fathers, we now arise to avenge this violation of treaties. [379] Let us each go into action not to defend wife or children or country at stake, but to avenge our envoys. They will conduct the campaign better than we who are alive. I myself will bear the brunt of the battle, if I have you obedient at my back ; for, be assured, your courage is irresistible, if you do not by some reckless action bring injury upon yourselves."   

[380] G   Having by this speech reanimated his army, Herod, observing their ardour, offered sacrifice to God, and then proceeded to cross the Jordan with his troops. Encamping in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia, close to the enemy, and anxious to force on an engagement, he began skirmishing with them for the possession of a fort which lay between the opposing lines. The enemy on their side had sent forward a detachment to occupy this post ; [381] the party sent by the king promptly beat them off and secured the hill. Daily Herod marched out his troops, formed them in battle array, and challenged the Arabs to combat. But when none came out to oppose him - for a dire consternation had seized them and, even more than the rank and file, their general Elthemus was paralysed with fright - the king advanced and proceeded to tear up their palisades. [382] G   Thereupon, impelled by necessity, the enemy at length emerged for action, in disorder, infantry and cavalry intermingled. Superior in numbers to the Jews, they had less stomach for a fight, though despair of success rendered even them reckless.   

[383] Consequently, so long as they held out, their casualties were slight ; but when they turned their backs multitudes were slain by the Jews, and many others were trodden to death by their own men. Five thousand fell in the rout ; the rest of the crowd succeeded in forcing their way into their entrenched camp. There Herod surrounded and besieged them, and they must have succumbed to an assault, had not the failure of their water-supply and thirst precipitated their capitulation. [384] G   The king treated their envoys with scorn, and, although they offered a ransom of five hundred talents, only pressed his attack the harder. Parched with thirst, the Arabs came out in crowds and willingly surrendered to the Jews, so that in five days four thousand were made prisoners. On the sixth the remnant in desperation came forth to battle ; these Herod engaged, killing some seven thousand more. [385] Having, by this crushing blow, punished Arabia and broken the spirit of its people, he gained such a reputation with them that  the nation chose him for its Protector.   

{20.}   [386] G   But, this peril surmounted, Herod was instantly plunged into anxiety about the security of his position. He was Antony's friend, and Antony had been defeated by Caesar at Actium. (In reality, he inspired more fear than he felt himself ; for Caesar  considered his victory to be incomplete so long as Herod remained Antony's ally). [387] The king, nevertheless, resolved to confront the danger and, having sailed to Rhodes, where Caesar was sojourning, presented himself before him without a diadem, a commoner in dress and demeanour, but with the  proud spirit of a king. His speech was direct ; he told the truth without reserve.   

[388] G   " Caesar," he said, "I was made king by Antony, and I acknowledge that I have in all things devoted my services to him. Nor will I shrink from saying that, had not the Arabs detained me, you would assuredly have found me in arms inseparable from his side. I sent him, however, such auxiliary troops as I could and many thousand measures of corn ; nor even after his defeat at Actium did I desert my benefactor. When no longer useful as an ally, I became his best counsellor ; [389] I told him the one remedy for his disasters - the death of Cleopatra. Would he but kill her, I promised him money, walls to protect him, an army, and myself as his brother in arms in the war against you. [390] G   But his ears, it seems, were stopped by his infatuation for Cleopatra and by God who has granted you the mastery. I share Antony's defeat and with his downfall lay down my diadem. I am come to you resting my hope of safety upon my integrity, and presuming that the subject of inquiry will be not whose friend, but how loyal a friend, I have been."   

[391] To this Caesar replied : "Nay, be assured of your safety, and reign henceforth more securely than  before. So staunch a champion of the claims of  friendship deserves to be ruler over many subjects. Endeavour to remain as loyal to those who have been more fortunate ; since, for my part, I entertain the most brilliant hopes for your high spirit. Antony, however, did well in obeying Cleopatra's behests rather than yours ; for through his folly we have gained you. [392] G   But you have already, it seems, done me a service ; for Quintus Didius writes to me that you have sent a force to assist him against the gladiators. I therefore now confirm your kingdom to you by decree ; and hereafter I shall endeavour to confer upon you some further benefit, that you may not feel the loss of Antony."   

[393] Having thus graciously addressed the king, he placed the diadem on his head, and publicly notified this award by a decree, in which he expressed his commendation of the honoured man in ample and generous terms. Herod, after propitiating Caesar with presents, then sought to obtain pardon for Alexas, one of Antony's friends, who had come to sue for mercy ; but here Caesar's resentment was too strong for him, and with many bitter complaints against Herod's client the emperor rejected his petition. [394] G   Subsequently, when Caesar passed through Syria on his way to Egypt, Herod entertained him for the first time with all the resources of his realm ;  he accompanied the emperor on horseback when he reviewed his troops at Ptolemais ; he entertained  him and all his friends at a banquet ; and he followed this up by making ample provision for the good cheer of the rest of the army. [395] Then, for the march to Pelusium across the arid desert, and likewise for the return, he took care to furnish the troops with abundance of water ; in short, there were no necessaries which the army lacked. The thought could not but occur both to Caesar himself and to his soldiers that Herod's realm was far too restricted, in comparison with the services which he had rendered them. [396] G   Accordingly, when Caesar reached Egypt, after the death of Cleopatra and Antony, he not only conferred new honours upon him, but also annexed to his kingdom the territory which Cleopatra  had appropriated, with the addition of Gadara,  Hippos and Samaria and the maritime towns of Gaza, Anthedon, Joppa, and Straton's Tower. [397] He further presented him, as a bodyguard, with four hundred Gauls, who had formerly served Cleopatra in the same capacity. And nothing so strongly moved the emperor to this liberality as the generous spirit of him who was the object of it.   

[398] G   After the first period of the Actian era, Caesar added to Herod's realm the country called  Trachonitis, with the adjacent districts of Batanaea and Auranitis. The occasion of this grant was as  follows. Zenodorus, who had taken on lease the domain of Lysanias, was perpetually setting the brigands of Trachonitis to molest the inhabitants of Damascus. The latter fled for protection to Varro, the governor of Syria, and besought him to report their sufferings to Caesar ; on learning the facts Caesar sent back orders to exterminate the bandits. [399] Varro, accordingly, led out his troops, cleared the district of these pests and deprived Zenodorus of his tenure. This was the territory which Caesar subsequently presented to Herod, to prevent it from again being used by the brigands as a base for raids upon Damascus. When ten years after his first visit Caesar returned to the province, he, moreover, gave Herod the position of procurator of all Syria, for the (Roman) procurators were forbidden to take any measures without his concurrence. [400] G   Finally, on the death of Zenodorus, he further assigned to him all the territory between Trachonitis and Galilee. But what Herod valued more than all these privileges was that in Caesar's affection he stood next after Agrippa, in Agrippa's next after Caesar. Thenceforth he advanced to the utmost prosperity ; his noble spirit rose to greater heights, and his lofty ambition was mainly directed to works of piety.   

{21.}   [401] Thus, in the fifteenth year of his reign, he restored the Temple and, by erecting new foundation-walls, enlarged the surrounding area to double its former extent. The expenditure devoted to this work was incalculable, its magnificence never surpassed ; as evidence one would have pointed to the great colonnades around the Temple courts and to the fortress which dominated it on the north. The colonnades Herod reconstructed from the foundations ; the fortress he restored at a lavish cost in a  style no way inferior to that of a palace, and called  it Antonia in honour of Antony. [402] G   His own palace, which he erected in the upper city, comprised two most spacious and beautiful buildings, with which the Temple itself bore no comparison ; these he named after his friends, the one Caesareum, the other Agrippeum.   

[403] He was not content, however, to commemorate his patrons' names by palaces only ; his munificence  extended to the creation of whole cities. In the district of Samaria he built a town enclosed within magnificent walls twenty stades in length, introduced into it six thousand colonists, and gave them allotments of highly productive land. In the centre of this settlement he erected a massive temple, enclosed in ground, a furlong and a half in length, consecrated to Caesar ; while he named the town itself Sebaste. The inhabitants were given a privileged constitution.   

[404] G   When, later on, through Caesar's bounty he received additional territory, Herod there too dedicated to him a temple of white marble near the sources of the Jordan, at a place called Paneion. [405] At this spot a mountain rears its summit to an immense height aloft ; at the base of the cliff is an opening into an overgrown cavern ; within this, plunging down to an immeasurable depth, is a yawning chasm, enclosing a volume of still water, the bottom of which no sounding-line has been found long enough to reach. [406] G   Outside and from beneath the cavern well up the springs from which, as some think, the Jordan takes its rise ; but we will tell the true story of this in the sequel.   

[407] At Jericho, again, between the fortress of Cypros and the former palace, the king constructed new buildings, finer and more commodious for the other reception of guests, and named them after the same friends. In short, one can mention no suitable spot within his realm, which he left destitute of some mark of homage to Caesar. And then, after filling his own territory with temples, he let the memorials of his esteem overflow into the province and erected in numerous cities monuments to Caesar.   

[408] G   His notice was attracted by a town on the coast, called Straton's Tower, which, though then dilapidated, was, from its advantageous situation, suited for the exercise of his liberality. This he entirely rebuilt with white stone, and adorned with the most magnificent palaces, displaying here, as nowhere else, the innate grandeur of his character. [409] For the whole sea-board from Dora to Joppa, midway between which the city lies, was without a harbour, so that vessels bound for Egypt along the coast of Phoenicia had to ride at anchor in the open when menaced by the south-west wind ; for even a moderate breeze from this quarter dashes the waves to such a height against the cliffs, that their reflux spreads a wild commotion far out to sea. [410] G   However, by dint of expenditure and enterprise, the king triumphed over nature and constructed a harbour larger than the Piraeus, including other deep roadsteads within its recesses.   

[411] Notwithstanding the totally recalcitrant nature of the site, he grappled with the difficulties so successfully, that the solidity of his masonry defied the sea, while its beauty was such as if no obstacle had existed. Having determined upon the comparative size of the harbour as we have stated, he had blocks of stone let down into twenty fathoms of water, most of them measuring fifty feet in length by nine in depth and ten in breadth, some being even larger. [412] G   Upon the submarine foundation thus laid he constructed above the surface a mole two hundred feet broad ; of which one hundred were built out to break the surge, whence this portion was called the breakwater, while the remainder supported a stone wall encircling the harbour. From this wall arose, at intervals, massive towers, the loftiest and most magnificent of which was called Drusion after the step-son of Caesar.   

[413] Numerous inlets in the wall provided landing-places for mariners putting in to harbour, while the whole circular terrace fronting these channels served as a broad promenade for disembarking passengers. The entrance to the port faced northwards, because in these latitudes the north wind is the most favourable of all. At the harbour-mouth stood colossal statues, three on either side, resting on columns ; the columns on the left of vessels entering port were supported by a massive tower, those on the right by two upright blocks of stone clamped together, whose height exceeded that of the tower on the opposite side. [414] G   Abutting on the harbour were houses, also of white stone, and upon it converged the streets of the town, laid at equal distances apart. On an eminence facing the harbour-mouth stood Caesar's temple, remarkable for its beauty and grand proportions ; it contained a colossal statue of the emperor, not inferior to the Olympian Zeus, which served for its model, and another of Rome, rivalling that of Hera at Argos. The city Herod dedicated to the province, the harbour to navigators in these waters, to Caesar the glory of this new foundation, to which he accordingly gave the name of Caesarea.   

[415] The rest of the buildings - amphitheatre, theatre, public places - were constructed in a style worthy of the name which the city bore. He further instituted quinquennial games, likewise named after Caesar, and inaugurated them himself, in the hundred  and ninety-second Olympiad { 10/9 B.C. }, offering prizes of the highest value ; at these games not the victors only, but also those who obtained second and third places, participated in the royal bounty.   

[416] G   Another maritime town, which had been destroyed in war-time, namely Anthedon, he rebuilt and renamed Agrippium ; and so great was his affection) for this same friend Agrippa, that he engraved his name upon the gate which he erected in the Temple.   

[417] No man ever showed greater filial affection. As a memorial to his father he founded a city in the  fairest plain in his realm, rich in rivers and trees, and named it Antipatris. Above Jericho he built the walls of a fortress, remarkable alike for solidity and beauty, which he dedicated to his mother under the name of Cypros. [418] G   To his brother Phasael he erected the tower in Jerusalem called by his name, the appearance and splendid proportions of which we shall describe in the sequel. He also gave the name of Phasaelis to another city which he built in the valley to the north of Jericho.   

[419] But while he thus perpetuated the memory  of his family and his friends, he did not neglect to leave memorials of himself. Thus he built a fortress in the hills on the Arabian frontier and called it after himself Herodium. An artificial rounded hill, sixty stades from Jerusalem, was given the same name, but more elaborate embellishment. [420] G   The crest he crowned with a ring of round towers ; the enclosure was filled with gorgeous palaces, the magnificent appearance of which was not confined to the interior of the apartments, but outer walls, battlements, and roofs, all had wealth lavished upon them in profusion. He had, at immense expense, an abundant supply of water brought into it from a distance, and provided an easy ascent by two hundred steps of the purest white marble ; the mound, though entirely artificial, being of a considerable height. [421] Around the base he erected other palaces for the accommodation of his furniture and his friends. Thus, in the amplitude of its resources this stronghold resembled a town, in its restricted area a simple palace.   

[422] G   After founding all these places, he proceeded to display his generosity to numerous cities outside his realm. Thus, he provided gymnasia for Tripolis,  Damascus and Ptolemais, a wall for Byblus, halls, porticoes, temples, and market-places for Berytus and Tyre, theatres for Sidon and Damascus, an aqueduct for Laodicea on Sea, baths, sumptuous fountains and colonnades, admirable alike for their architecture and their proportions, for Ascalon ; to other communities he dedicated groves and meadow-land. [423] Many cities, as though they had been associated with his realm, received from him grants of land ; others, like Cos, were endowed with revenues to maintain the annual office of gymnasiarch in perpetuity, to ensure that this honourable post should never lapse. [424] G   Corn he supplied to all applicants ; to the people of Rhodes he made contributions again and again for shipbuilding, and when their Pythian temple was burnt down he rebuilt it on a grander scale at his own expense. [425] Need I allude to his donations to the people of Lycia or Samos, or to his liberality, extended to every district of Ionia, to meet its needs ? Nay, are not Athenians and Lacedaemonians, the inhabitants of Nicopolis and of Pergamum in Mysia, laden with Herod's offerings ? And that broad street in Syrian Antioch, once shunned on account of the mud - was it not he who paved its twenty stades with polished marble, and, as a protection from the rain, adorned it with a colonnade of equal length ?   

[426] G   In these cases, it may be said, the individual communities concerned were the sole beneficiaries ; his bounty to the people of Elis, on the other hand, was a gift not only to Hellas at large but to the whole world, wherever the fame of the Olympic Games penetrates. [427] For, observing that these were declining for want of funds and that this solitary relic of ancient Greece was sinking into decay, he not only accepted the post of president for the quadrennial celebration which coincided with his visit on his voyage to Rome, but he endowed them for all time with revenues, which should preserve an unfading memory of his term as president. [428] G   The enumeration of the debts and taxes discharged by himself would be endless ; it was thus, for instance, that he lightened the burden of their annual taxes for the inhabitants of Phaselis, Balanea and various minor towns in Cilicia. Often, however, his noble generosity was thwarted by the fear of exciting either jealousy or the suspicion of entertaining some higher ambition, in conferring upon states greater benefits than they received from their own masters.   

[429] Herod's genius was matched by his physical constitution. Always foremost in the chase, in which  he distinguished himself above all by his skill in horsemanship, he on one occasion brought down forty wild beasts in a single day ; for the country breeds boars and, in greater abundance, stags and wild asses. As a fighter he was irresistible ; [430] G   and at practice spectators were often struck with astonishment at the precision with which he threw the javelin, the unerring aim with which he bent the bow. But besides these pre-eminent gifts of soul and body, he was blessed by good fortune ; he rarely met with a reverse in war, and, when he did, this was due not to his own fault, but either to treachery or to the recklessness of his troops.   

{22.}   [431] But, in revenge for his public prosperity, fortune visited Herod with troubles at home ; his ill-fated career originated with a woman to whom he was passionately attached. [432] G   For, on ascending the throne, he had dismissed the wife whom he had taken when he was still a commoner, a native of Jerusalem named Doris, and married Mariamme, daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus. It was she who brought into his house the discord, which, beginning at an earlier date, was greatly aggravated after his return from Rome. [433] For, in the first place, in the interests of his children by Mariamme, he banished from the capital the son whom he had had by Doris, namely Antipater, allowing him to visit it on the festivals only. Next he put to death, on suspicion of conspiracy, Hyrcanus, Mariamme's grandfather, who had come back from  Parthia to Herod's court. Hyrcanus had been taken prisoner by Barzapharnes when the latter overran Syria, but had been liberated through the intercession of his compassionate countrymen living beyond the Euphrates. [434] G   And had he but followed their advice not to cross the river to join Herod, he would have escaped his tragic fate ; but the marriage of his grand-daughter lured him to his death. He came relying upon that and impelled by an ardent longing for his native land, and roused Herod's resentment not by making any claim to the throne, but because it actually belonged to him by right.   

[435] Herod had five children by Mariamme, two daughters and three sons. The youngest son died in the course or his training in Rome ; to the two elder sons he gave a princely education, both out of respect for their mother's illustrious parentage, and because they had been born after his accession to the throne. [436] G   But a still stronger influence in their favour was Herod's passion for Mariamme, the consuming ardour of which increased from day to day,  so that he was insensible to the troubles of which his beloved one was the cause ; for Mariamme's hatred of him was as great as was his love for her. [437] As the events of the past gave her just reason for aversion, and her husband's love enabled her to speak plainly, she openly upbraided him with the fate of her grandfather Hyrcanus and her brother Jonathan. For Herod had not spared even this  poor lad ; he had bestowed upon him in his seventeenth year the office of high-priest, and then immediately after conferring this honour had put him to death, because, on the occasion of a festival, when  the lad approached the altar, clad in the priestly vestments, the multitude with one accord burst into tears. He was, consequently, sent by night to Jericho, and there, in accordance with instructions, plunged into a swimming-bath by the Gauls and drowned.   

[438] G   It was on these grounds that Mariamme upbraided Herod, and then proceeded violently to abuse his mother and sister. He was paralysed by his infatuation ; but the women, seething with indignation, brought against her the charge which was bound in their opinion to touch Herod most nearly, that of adultery. [439] Among much else which they invented to convince him, they accused Mariamme of having sent her portrait to Antony in Egypt and of carrying wantonness so far as to exhibit herself, though at a distance, to a man with a madness for her sex and powerful enough to resort to violence. [440] G   This accusation struck Herod like a thunderbolt. His love intensified his jealousy ; he reflected on Cleopatra's craft which had brought both King Lysanias and the Arab Malchus to their end ; he was menaced, he reckoned, with the loss not merely of his consort but of his life.   

[441] So, being on the eve of departure from his realm, he entrusted his wife to Joseph, the husband of his sister Salome, a faithful friend whose loyalty was assured by this marriage connexion, giving him private injunctions to kill her, should Antony kill him. Joseph, not with any malicious intention, but from a desire to convince her of the love which the king bore her, since even in death he could not bear to be separated from her, betrayed the secret. [442] G   When Herod, on his return, in familiar intercourse was protesting with many oaths his affection for her and that he had never loved any other woman, "A fine exhibition you gave," she replied, "of your love for me by your orders to Joseph to put me to death ! "   

[443] He was beside himself, the moment he heard the secret was out. Joseph, he exclaimed, would never have disclosed his orders, had he not seduced her ; and, frenzied with passion, he leapt from the bed and paced the palace to and fro in his distraction. His sister Salome, seizing this opportunity to slander Mariamme, confirmed his suspicion of Joseph. Mad with sheer jealousy, he ordered that both should instantly be put to death. [444] G   But remorse followed hard upon rage ; his wrath subsided, his love revived. So consuming, indeed, was the flame of his passion that he believed she was not dead, and in his affliction would address her as though she were alive ; until time taught him the reality of his loss, when his grief was as profound as the love which he bore her while she was alive.   

{23.}   [445] The sons inherited their mother's resentment, and, reflecting on their father's abominable crimes, eyed him as an enemy, even in the early  days of their education in Rome, and still more on their return to Judaea. The antagonism grew with their years ; [446] G   and when, on reaching an age to marry, one espoused the daughter of his aunt Salome, their mother's accuser, and the other the daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, their hatred found vent in open speech. [447] Their rashness lent a handle to slanderers, and from this time certain persons threw out plainer hints to the king that both his sons were conspiring against him, and that the son-in-law of Archelaus, counting on his father-in-law's influence, was preparing to fly, in order to lay an accusation against his father before the emperor. [448] G   Herod, drugged with these calumnies, recalled Antipater, his son by Doris, to serve as a bulwark against his other sons, and began to honour him with every mark of his special esteem.   

[449] To the young men this new departure was intolerable. At the sight of the promotion of this son of a woman of no standing, they in their pride of birth could not restrain their indignation, and on every fresh occasion for annoyance openly displayed their wrath. The result was that, while each succeeding day saw them in greater disfavour, [450] G   Antipater was now gaining respect on his own merits. Showing remarkable adroitness in flattering his father, he concocted various calumnies upon his half-brothers, some of which he set in motion himself, while others were, at his instigation, circulated by his confidants, until he completely wrecked his brothers' prospects of the throne. [451] For both in his father's will and by public acts he was now declared to be the heir : thus, when he was sent on an embassy to Caesar, he  went as a prince, with the robes and all the ceremonial of royalty except the diadem. Eventually his influence was strong enough to bring back his mother to Mariamme's bed ; and by employing against his brothers the two weapons of flattery and slander, he stealthily so wrought upon the king's mind as to make him even contemplate putting his sons to death.   

[452] G   One of them, at any rate, namely Alexander, was dragged by his father to Rome and there accused at Caesar's tribunal of attempting to poison him. The young man, finding himself at last at liberty to  vent his grievances and in the presence of a judge  with far more experience than Antipater, more sagacity than Herod, modestly threw a veil over his father's faults, but forcibly exposed the calumnies directed against himself. [453] He next proved that his brother, his partner in peril, was equally innocent, and then proceeded bitterly to complain of Antipater's villainy and of the ignominy to which he and his brother were exposed. He was assisted not only by a clear conscience but by his powerful oratory, for he was an extremely able speaker. [454] G   Concluding with the remark that it was open to their father to put them to death, if he really believed the charge to be true, he reduced all his hearers to tears, and so deeply affected Caesar that he acquitted the accused and bright Herod to a reconciliation on the spot. The conditions of the agreement were that the sons should render implicit obedience to their father, and that he should be at liberty to bequeath the kingdom to whom he would.  

[455] After this the king left Rome on his homeward journey, apparently dismissing his charges against his sons, though not abandoning his suspicions.  He was accompanied by Antipater, the cause of all this hatred, who, however, was withheld by awe of the author of the reconciliation from openly displaying his animosity. [456] G   Skirting the coast of Cilicia, Herod put in at Elaeusa and received friendly entertainment at the table of Archelaus, who congratulated him on his son-in-law's acquittal and was delighted at the reconciliation ; for he had previously written to lis friends in Rome to assist Alexander on his trial. He accompanied his guests as far as Zephyrion and made them presents amounting in value to thirty talents.   

[457] On reaching Jerusalem, Herod assembled the people, presented to them his three sons, made his  excuses for his absence, and rendered profuse thanks to God, and no less to Caesar, who had re-established his disordered household and had given his sons a greater boon than a kingdom, namely concord.   

[458] G   "The ties of that concord," he continued, "I shall bind more closely myself ; for Caesar has appointed me lord of the realm and arbiter of the succession, and I, in consulting my own advantage, also repay my debt to him. I now declare these my three sons kings, and I beseech first God, and then you, to ratify my decision. They are entitled to the succession, this one by his age, the others by their noble birth ; indeed the extent of my kingdom would suffice for even a greater number. [459] Those, therefore, whom Caesar has united and their father now nominates, do you uphold ; let the honours you award them be neither undeserved nor unequal, but proportioned to the rank of each ; for in paying deference to any beyond the deserts of his age, you gratify him less than you grieve the one whom you slight. [460] G   I myself shall select the advisers and attendants who are to consort with each of my sons, and shall hold them responsible for keeping the peace, being well aware that factions and rivalries among princes are produced by the malign influence of associates, while virtuous companions promote natural affection.   

[461] "I must require these persons, however, and not them only but also the officers of my army, for the present to rest their hopes on me alone ; for it is not the kingdom, but the mere honours of royalty, which I am now delivering over to my sons. They will enjoy the pleasures of power, as if actual rulers, but upon me, however unwilling, will fall the burden of office. [462] G   Consider, each one of you, my age, my manner of life, my piety. I am not so old that my life may soon be past praying for, nor given over to the pleasures of luxury, which cut short the lives even of the young : I have served the deity so faithfully that I may hope for the longest term of life. [463] Whoever, then, pays court to my sons to bring about my downfall shall be punished by me for their sakes as well as my own. For it is not jealousy of my offspring which causes me to restrict the homage to be paid them ; it is the knowledge that such flattering attentions foster recklessness in the young. [464] G   If everyone who is brought into contact with my sons will but remember that, if he acts honourably he will win his reward from me, whereas if he promotes discord his malicious conduct will bring him no benefit even from the object of his flattery, then I think that all will have my interests, in other words my sons' interest, at heart ; for it is to their advantage that I should govern, and to mine that they should live in harmony.   

[465] "As for you, my good children, think first of the sacred ties of nature and the constancy of affection which she instils even into the beasts ; think of Caesar, who brought about our reconciliation ; think, lastly, of me, who entreat you, when I might command, and continue as brothers. I present you, from this moment, with the robes and retinue of royalty ; and I pray God to uphold my decision, if you live in unity."   

[466] G   With these words he tenderly embraced each of his sons and then dismissed the multitude. Of these some joined in his prayer ; while those who hankered for change pretended that they had not even heard him.   

{24.}   [467] But the brothers on parting carried with them discord in their hearts. They separated more suspicious of each other than before : Alexander and Aristobulus aggrieved at the confirmation of Antipater's right of primogeniture, Antipater resenting the rank accorded to his brothers, even though second to his own. [468] G   The latter, however, with the extreme subtlety of his character, knew how to hold his tongue and, with much adroitness, dissembled his hatred of his brothers ; while they, from their pride of birth, had all their thoughts upon their lips. They were, moreover, beset by many persons trying to excite them, while a still larger number insinuated themselves into their friendship to spy upon them. [469] Every word spoken in Alexander's circle was instantly in the possession of Antipater and passed from Antipater to Herod, with amplifications. The young man could not make the simplest remark without becoming incriminated, so distorted were his words for the purposes of slander ; if he spoke with a little freedom, the merest trifles were magnified into enormities. [470] G   Antipater was constantly setting his agents on to irritate him, in order that his lies might have some basis of truth ; and if among the speeches reported one item was established, that was sufficient warrant for the rest. His own friends were all either of a very secretive nature or were induced by presents to divulge no secrets ; so that Antipater's life might have been not incorrectly described as a mystery of iniquity. Alexander's associates, on the other hand, either by bribery or by that seductive flattery, which Antipater invariably found effective, had been converted by the latter into traitors and detectives to report all that was said or done by his brother. [471] With a careful eye to every detail in the staging of the play, he would plan with consummate art the modes of bringing these calumnies to the ears of Herod, himself assuming the role of a devoted brother, and leaving that of informer to others. Then, when any word was spoken against Alexander, he would come forward and play his part, and, beginning by ridiculing the allegation, would afterwards quietly proceed to confirm it and so call forth the king's indignation. [472] G   Everything was interpreted as a plot and made to produce the impression that Alexander was watching his opportunity to murder his father ; and nothing lent more credit to these calumnies than Antipater's pleading in his brother's defence.   

[473] These insinuations exasperating Herod, his affection for the young princes diminished daily,  while his regard for Antipater proportionately increased. The king's alienation from the lads was shared by people at court, some acting of their own accord, others under orders, such as Ptolemaeus, the most honoured of his friends, the king's brothers and all his family. For Antipater was all-powerful, and - this was Alexander's bitterest blow - all-powerful too was Antipater's mother, who was in league with him against the two and harsher than a stepmother, with a hatred for these sons of a princess greater than for ordinary stepchildren. [474] G   All persons, accordingly, now paid court to Antipater, because of the expectations which he inspired ; everyone was further instigated to desert his rivals by the orders of the king, who had forbidden those highest in his favour to approach or pay any attention to Alexander or his brother. Herod's formidable influence extended, moreover, beyond his realm to his friends abroad ; for no other sovereign had been empowered by Caesar, as he had, to reclaim a fugitive subject even from a state outside his jurisdiction. [475] The young men, meanwhile, as their father had never openly reproached them, were ignorant of these calumnies, and being, consequently, off their guard, laid themselves still more open to them ; but little by little their eyes were opened by his coldness and increased asperity whenever anything annoyed him. Antipater further roused against them the enmity of their uncle Pheroras and their aunt Salome, perpetually coaxing and working upon his aunt's feelings, as though she had been his wife. [476] G   Salome's hostility was aggravated by Glaphyra, Alexander's wife, who boasted of her noble ancestry and claimed to be mistress of all the  ladies at court, because she was descended on her father's side from Temenus, on her mother's from Darius, son of Hystaspes. [477] On the other hand, she was constantly taunting with their low birth Herod's sister and his wives, all of whom had been chosen for their beauty and not for their family. His wives were numerous, since polygamy was permitted by Jewish custom and the king gladly availed himself of the privilege. All these, on account of Glaphyra's arrogance and abuse, hated Alexander.   

[478] G   Aristobulus himself alienated Salome, his own mother-in-law, furious as she was already at  Glaphyra's scurrility ; for he was continually upbraiding his wife for her low origin, saying that he had married a woman of the people and his brother Alexander a princess. [479] Salome's daughter reported this, with tears, to her mother ; she added that Alexander and Aristobulus had threatened, when they came to the throne, to set the mothers of their other brothers to work at the loom along with the slave-girls, and to make the princes themselves village clerks, sarcastically referring to the careful education which they had received. At that Salome, unable to control her indignation, reported the whole to Herod ; as she was accusing her own son-in-law, her evidence carried very great weight. [480] G   Another calumny came simultaneously to inflame the king's wrath. He was told that the young princes had their mother's name perpetually on their lips, cursing him while they bemoaned her, and that when he distributed, as he often did, some of Mariamme's apparel to his more recent wives, they would threaten that they would ere long strip them of these royal robes and clothe them in rags.   

[481] Herod, though he had learnt through such reports to fear these high-spirited young men, did not abandon hopes of their reformation. Just before setting sail for Rome he sent for them, and delivered some curt threats as sovereign, followed by a long paternal admonition, exhorting them to love their brothers and promising to pardon their past offences if they would amend their ways for the future. [482] G   For their part, they repudiated the charges, declaring that they were false, and assured their father that their actions would vindicate their statement ; he ought, however (they added), on his side to stop the mouths of these tale-bearers by refusing so readily to believe them ; for there would never be wanting persons ready to calumniate them, so long as they found anyone to listen to them.   

[483] The father's heart was quickly reassured by their words; but if the youths thus dispelled their  immediate anxiety, the thought of the future brought them new apprehensions, knowing, as they did, the hostility of Salome and their uncle Pheroras. Both were formidable and dangerous, but the more redoubtable was Pheroras, who shared with Herod all the honours of royalty, except the diadem. He had a private income of a hundred talents, exclusive of the revenue derived from the whole of the Transjordan region, a gift from his brother, who had also, after requesting Caesar's permission, appointed him tetrarch. Herod had conferred upon him the further honour of marrying one of the royal family, by uniting him to the sister of his own wife. On her death, he had pledged to him the eldest of his own daughters, with a dowry of three hundred talents ; [484] G   but Pheroras rejected the royal wedding to run after a slave-girl of whom he was enamoured. Herod, indignant at this slight, married his daughter to one of his nephews, who was subsequently killed by the Parthians ; his resentment, however, subsided ere long and he made allowance for his love-sick brother.   

[485] Long before, while the queen was still alive, Pheroras had been accused of a plot to poison Herod ;  but at the period now reached informers came forward in such numbers that Herod, though the most affectionate of brothers, was led to believe their statements and to take alarm. After putting many suspected persons to the torture he came last of all to the friends of Pheroras. [486] G   None of these admitted outright that there was such a plot, though they said that Pheroras was preparing to fly to Parthia, carrying off his mistress with him, and that his accomplice in this design and partner in his intended flight was Costobarus, Salome's husband, to whom the king had given his sister, when her former husband was put to death on a charge of adultery. [487] Even Salome herself did not escape calumny : she was accused by her brother Pheroras of signing a contract to marry Syllaeus, the procurator of Obadas {III}, king of Arabia, and Herod's bitterest enemy. However, though convicted of this and of everything else of which she was accused by Pheroras, she was pardoned ; while Pheroras himself was acquitted by  the king of the charges against him.

[488] G   The tempest lowering over Herod's house thus veered round to Alexander and burst in full force  about his devoted head. There were three eunuchs who held a special place in the king's esteem, as is indicated by the services with which they were charged : one poured out his wine, another served him his supper, and the third put him to bed and slept in his chamber. [489] Alexander by large presents corrupted these menials for criminal ends ; on being informed of which the king submitted them to trial by torture. They at once confessed their relations with Alexander, and then went on to reveal the promises which had brought them about. Alexander, they said, had inveigled them by saying : [490] G   "You ought not to place your hopes on Herod, a shameless old man who dyes his hair, unless this disguise has actually made you take him for a youngster ; it is to me, Alexander, that you should look, to me, who am to inherit the throne, whether he will or no, and shall ere long be avenged on my enemies and bring fortune and bliss to my friends, and above all to you." [491] They added that persons of rank secretly paid court to Alexander and that the generals and officers of the army had clandestine interviews with him.   

[492] G   These disclosures so terrified Herod that at the time he did not even dare to divulge them ; but, sending out spies night and day, he scrutinised all that was done or said, and at once put to death any who fell under suspicion. [493] The palace was given over to frightful anarchy. Everyone, to gratify some personal enmity or hatred, invented calumnies ; many turned to base account against their adversaries the murderous mood of wrathful royalty. Lies found instant credit, but chastisement was even swifter than calumny : the accuser of a moment ago found himself accused and led off to death with him whose conviction he had obtained ; for the grave peril to his life cut short the king's inquiries. [494] G   He grew so embittered that he had no gentle looks even for those who were not accused and treated his own friends with the utmost harshness : many of these he refused to admit to court, while those who were beyond the reach of his arm came under the lash of his tongue. [495] To add to Alexander's misfortunes, Antipater returned to the charge and, raising a band of kindred spirits, had recourse to every conceivable form of calumny. By his portentous fictions and fabrications the king was, in fact, reduced to such a state of alarm, that he fancied he saw Alexander coming upon him sword in hand. [496] G   He, accordingly , had the prince suddenly arrested and imprisoned, and then proceeded to put his friends to the torture. Many died silent, without saying anything beyond what they knew ; but some were driven by their sufferings to falsehood and declared that Alexander and his brother Aristobulus were conspiring against him and were watching for an opportunity to kill him, while out hunting, meaning then to escape to Rome. [497] This statement, improbable as it was and invented off-hand under the pressure of torment, the king nevertheless found satisfaction in believing, consoling himself for having imprisoned his son with the thought that his action had been justified.   

{25.}   [498] G   Alexander, perceiving the impossibility of shaking his father's belief, resolved boldly to confront the perils that menaced him. He, therefore, composed four books directed against his enemies, in which he avowed the conspiracy, but denounced most of them as accomplices, above all Pheroras and Salome ; the latter, he declared, had one night even forced her way into his chamber and, against his will, had immoral relations with him. [499] These documents - a mass of shocking accusations incriminating persons of the highest rank - had passed into Herod's  hands, when Archelaus, alarmed for his son-in-law  and daughter, arrived in haste in Judaea. Coming with singular sagacity to their aid, he succeeded by stratagem in diverting the king's threats in another direction. [500] G   For, the moment he met him, he exlaimed : "Where is my scoundrel of a son-in-law ? Where shall I set eyes on the person of this parricide, that I may tear him in pieces with my own hands ? My daughter, too, shall share the fate of her fine spouse ; for even if she has had no part in his schemes, as the wife of such a miscreant she is polluted. [501] But you too, the intended victim of the plot, astonish me by your forbearance, in leaving, as it seems, Alexander still alive ! For my part, I hurried hither from Cappadocia expecting to find that the culprit had long since paid his penalty and to hold an inquiry with you upon my daughter, whom, out of regard for your exalted rank, I gave away to that wretch. But now, I find, we have to deliberate about the pair of them. If, then, the fondness of a father's heart unnerves you for punishing a rebellious son, let us each lend the other his hand, each take the other's place in visiting our wrath upon our children."   

[502] G   With this blustering oration he deluded Herod, notwithstanding the latter's attitude of defiance. Herod, at any rate, handed him for perusal the documents composed by Alexander and examined chapter after chapter with him, dwelling upon each. Archelaus, finding here an opportunity for furthering his ruse, little by little shifted the blame on to the persons whose names appeared in the volumes, particularly Pheroras. [503] When he observed that he was gaining the king's confidence, he remarked : "We must be careful to see that all these villains have lot been conspiring against this young man, and not he young man against you. For I can see no reason why he should have plunged into such heinous crime, when he already enjoyed the honours of royalty and expected to succeed to the throne, unless there were others seducing him and misguiding the tractable spirit of youth. Such persons, indeed, have been known to impose not only on the young, but on old men as well ; by them the most illustrious houses and entire kingdoms have been overturned."   

[504] G   Herod assented to this speech ; and for a while relaxed his wrath with Alexander and vented it upon Pheroras, as he was the main theme of the four documents. Pheroras, observing this quick change in the king's feelings and the paramount influence exercised on him by his friend Archelaus, despairing of saving himself by honourable means sought protection in effrontery : he abandoned Alexander and threw himself on the mercy of Archelaus. [505] The latter replied that he did not see how he could sue for pardon for a man involved in such grave charges, which clearly proved that he had plotted against the king and been the cause of the young prince's present misfortunes, unless he were prepared to renounce his villainy and his denials, to own up to the crimes of which he was accused, and to ask pardon of his brother, who indeed loved him ; for that object, said Archelaus, he would render him every possible assistance.   

[506] G   Pheroras took his advice, and assuming an attitude calculated to arouse the deepest compassion, in black raiment and in tears, threw himself at Herod's feet and craved his pardon as he had often successfully done before. He confessed himself a polluted wretch, guilty of all that was laid to his charge, but deplored his mental derangement and madness, which he attributed to his passion for his wife. [507] Archelaus, after thus inducing Pheroras to appear as his own accuser and to bear witness against himself, now proceeded to plead for him and sought to appease Herod's wrath, citing parallel cases in his own family history. He had himself, he said, suffered much worse injury from his brother, but had preferred the claims of natural affection to revenge ; for in kingdoms, as in corpulent individuals, there was always some member becoming inflamed from the weight which it supported ; yet what it needed was not amputation but some milder method of cure.   

[508] G   By many such representations Archelaus succeeded in soothing Herod's anger against Pheroras. He himself, however, affected to be still indignant with Alexander, protesting that he would divorce his daughter and carry her off with him, until he brought Herod round into the position of a suppliant on the young man's behalf and a suitor, once more, for the hand of Archelaus's daughter for his son. With an air of complete sincerity, Archelaus said that he had his permission to unite her to whom he would, save only Alexander ; for his dearest desire was to maintain the marriage ties which linked him to Herod. [509] To this the king replied that Archelaus, by consenting not to break the marriage, would really be giving his son back to him, seeing that they already had children and that the young man was so deeply attached to his wife ; if she remained with him, her very presence would make him ashamed of his errors, whereas, were she torn from him, he would be driven to utter desperation ; for the domestic affections exercised a chastening and diverting influence on reckless characters. [510] G   Archelaus was induced, not without difficulty, to assent, was reconciled to the youthful offender, and reconciled him to his father ; he added, however, that it was absolutely essential that the latter should be sent to Rome for an interview with Caesar, as he himself had forwarded a full report of the matter to the emperor.   

[511] Such was the end of the ruse by which Archelaus rescued his son-in-law. After the reconciliation the time was passed in festivity and interchange of courtesies. On his departure Herod presented him with seventy talents, a throne of gold set with precious stones, some eunuchs, and a concubine, named Pannychis ; he conferred other favours upon each of his friends, proportionate to their rank. [512] G   Magnificent presents were, likewise, by order of royalty, made to Archelaus by all the high officials at court. Herod and his nobles then escorted him as far as Antioch.     

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