« Prev CHAPTER 7. Next »

CHAPTER 7. THE HISTORY OF THE SPURIOUS ALEXANDER. ARCHELAUS IS BANISHED AND GLAPHYRA DIES, AFTER WHAT WAS TO HAPPEN TO BOTH OF THEM HAD BEEN SHOWED THEM IN DREAMS.

1. In the meantime, there was a man, who was by birth a Jew, but brought up at Sidon with one of the Roman freed-men, who falsely pretended, on account of the resemblance of their countenances, that he was that Alexander who was slain by Herod. This man came to Rome, in hopes of not being detected. He had one who was his assistant, of his own nation, and who knew all the affairs of the kingdom, and instructed him to say how those that were sent to kill him and Aristobulus had pity upon them, and stole them away, by putting bodies that were like theirs in their places. This man deceived the Jews that were at Crete, and got a great deal of money of them for traveling in splendor; and thence sailed to Melos, where he was thought so certainly genuine, that he got a great deal more money, and prevailed with those that had treated him to sail along with him to Rome. So he landed at Dicearchia, [Puteoli,] and got very large presents from the Jews who dwelt there, and was conducted by his father's friends as if he were a king; nay, the resemblance in his countenance procured him so much credit, that those who had seen Alexander, and had known him very well, would take their oaths that he was the very same person. Accordingly, the whole body of the Jews that were at Rome ran out in crowds to see him, and an innumerable multitude there was which stood in the narrow places through which he was carried; for those of Melos were so far distracted, that they carried him in a sedan, and maintained a royal attendance for him at their own proper charges.

2. But Caesar, who knew perfectly well the lineaments of Alexander's face, because he had been accused by Herod before him, discerned the fallacy in his countenance, even before he saw the man. However, he suffered the agreeable fame that went of him to have some weight with him, and sent Celadus, one who well knew Alexander, and ordered him to bring the young man to him. But when Caesar saw him, he immediately discerned a difference in his countenance; and when he had discovered that his whole body was of a more robust texture, and like that of a slave, he understood the whole was a contrivance. But the impudence of what he said greatly provoked him to be angry at him; for when he was asked about Aristobulus, he said that he was also preserved alive, and was left on purpose in Cyprus, for fear of treachery, because it would be harder for plotters to get them both into their power while they were separate. Then did Caesar take him by himself privately, and said to him, "I will give thee thy life, if thou wilt discover who it was that persuaded thee to forge such stories." So he said that he would discover him, and followed Caesar, and pointed to that Jew who abused the resemblance of his face to get money; for that he had received more presents in every city than ever Alexander did when he was alive. Caesar laughed at the contrivance, and put this spurious Alexander among his rowers, on account of the strength of his body, but ordered him that persuaded him to be put to death. But for the people of Melos, they had been sufficiently punished for their folly, by the expenses they had been at on his account.

3. And now Archelaus took possession of his ethnarchy, and used not the Jews only, but the Samaritans also, barbarously; and this out of his resentment of their old quarrels with him. Whereupon they both of them sent ambassadors against him to Caesar; and in the ninth year of his government he was banished to Vienna, a city of Gaul, and his effects were put into Caesar's treasury. But the report goes, that before he was sent for by Caesar, he seemed to see nine ears of corn, full and large, but devoured by oxen. When, therefore, he had sent for the diviners, and some of the Chaldeans, and inquired of them what they thought it portended; and when one of them had one interpretation, and another had another, Simon, one of the sect of Essens, said that he thought the ears of corn denoted years, and the oxen denoted a mutation of things, because by their ploughing they made an alteration of the country. That therefore he should reign as many years as there were ears of corn; and after he had passed through various alterations of fortune, should die. Now five days after Archelaus had heard this interpretation he was called to his trial.

4. I cannot also but think it worthy to be recorded what dream Glaphyra, the daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, had, who had at first been wife to Alexander, who was the brother of Archelaus, concerning whom we have been discoursing. This Alexander was the son of Herod the king, by whom he was put to death, as we have already related. This Glaphyra was married, after his death, to Juba, king of Libya; and, after his death, was returned home, and lived a widow with her father. Then it was that Archelaus, the ethnarch, saw her, and fell so deeply in love with her, that he divorced Mariamne, who was then his wife, and married her. When, therefore, she was come into Judea, and had been there for a little while, she thought she saw Alexander stand by her, and that he said to her; "Thy marriage with the king of Libya might have been sufficient for thee; but thou wast not contented with him, but art returned again to my family, to a third husband; and him, thou impudent woman, hast thou chosen for thine husband, who is my brother. However, I shall not overlook the injury thou hast offered me; I shall [soon] have thee again, whether thou wilt or no." Now Glaphyra hardly survived the narration of this dream of hers two days.

« Prev CHAPTER 7. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |