Ps.Hegesippus, translated from Latin into English (2005). Preface and book 1
[Translated by Wade Blocker, firstname.lastname@example.org]
THE PROLOGUE TO HEGESIPPUS BEGINS HERE.
Having followed with my pen the four books of Kings which the sacred writings embrace all the way to the captivity of the Jews and the destruction of the wall and the triumphs of Babylon, I arranged this in the manner of history. The prophetic speech also summarizes in a few words the things done by the Macchabaeans; of the rest all the way to the burning of the temple and the booty of Titus Caesar the excellent narrator Josephus (covers) with his historical pen, would that he had been attentive to religion and truth as to tracking down events and the staidness of speeches. He showed himself in his own words even a partner of the treachery of the Jews, which he made known about their punishment, and whose arms he deserted, but whose sacrilege he did not give up: he lamented tearfully their hardships, but he did not understand the cause of this hardship. Whence it was a concern for us relying not upon the help of tricks but the purpose of faith to go in the history of the Jews a little beyond the chain of sacred writing so that, as if seeking a rose among the thorns, among the savage crimes of the impious, which were paid off at a price worthy of the impiety, we may dig up something of reverence of the sacred law or of the miracle of the divine destiny, which although to evil heirs were either a pretext in unfavorable circumstances or a reason for honor in favorable ones; at the same time, because it is proof of domestic wickedness, establishes for all that they themselves were for themselves the authors of their own destruction, first because they turned the Romans who desired something different against themselves [p. 4] and attracted them to an examination of their kingdom, for which it was preferable to be ignored, not about to keep faith they asked for friendship, unequal in strength they violated the peace, finally they brought on war, to whom all hope was in their walls not in their strength, since to be shut in by a siege is a miserable thing for all, which even if it proceeds well, is accustomed more frequently to increase rather than to decrease the dangers. And lest anyone should think us to have undertaken a task empty of faith and unnecessary, let us consider that all the tribe of Hebrews was so led by their leaders, as is plainly evident, whether from the loins of Judas the successors of his begetting nowhere were deficient, or in truth offended in the chain of leaders, but continued in him in whom all things remained placed and who was himself the hope of the nations. From here therefore we take up our beginning.
THE PROLOGUE TO HEGESIPPUS ENDS HERE.
BOOK I OF HEGESIPPUS BEGINS HERE.
I. In the Parthian war, which was long lasting and frequent and with varying victory between the Macchabaean commanders and the people of the Medes, the resentment of sacrilege gave an incentive, because king Antiochus who had the name Illustrious, the son of the king of Antioch, when he had joined Egypt to his empire, raised up to arrogance, because the uncertainties of the wars had rewarded him, had ordered the rites of the Hebrews to be disregarded and their mysteries to be profaned, daring to decide this with many Jews demanding it. Which fact the priest Matthathias was unable to endure, and not only did he refrain from the sacrilege and not comply with the royal edict, but truly even having found one among his people sacrificing victims to images he transfixed him with a sword. And a troop having been collected and the Asidaeans having been associated [p. 5] in alliance he with his sons violating the practice of the ancestors and justice of the law killed some, drove out many and was the originator of undertaking war on the sabbath, lest by a similar trick they should themselves also be duped, thus already many of them, while they deprecated undertaking war on the sabbath, lay dead unavenged killed by an enemy rushing in upon them. The actions gave the power of success, and the desire of defense and the vigor of piety continued in the man to the end of life. But when he understood the final day to be at hand for him, he urged the citizens who had been called and his children standing by that they should protect the fatherland and the religion of the temple, and he left Juda the Macchabaean as leader to them and the successor of his office and responsibilities. Who strong in war, good in counsel, in comparison with the rest manifest in faith, how frequently he routed innumerable forces of the enemy with a small band, it is not the present task to follow up. Because however it is granted to collect in a short time, having experienced frequently advantageous successes he aroused against himself a great multitude of enemies, surrounded by whom on all sides, since he thinks it shameful to yield, his allies fleeing he rushes into battle. Those having been killed whom he had advanced against, surrounded from the side but however having avenged his own death he is killed. Ionatha succeeded him not less equal in likeness of courage than in affinity of birth. Who after many achievements in warfare, duties in religious matters, which concerning the purification of the temple were seen and approved, good faith having been pretended by the treachery of friendship besieged within a city of enemies after a short interval he was killed. Iohannes a brother older by birth and Eleazar younger than the rest did not refuse death for their religion. After them Simon received the highest position, which he approached not untrained but already proven by the triumphs of the fraternal alliance, would that he had been as perspicacious in avoiding trickery as he was strong in hand and well tested in the arts of waging war. [p. 6] For indeed when with the help of bravery he had established by treaty friendship with the commanders of the Romans and the kings of the peoples, invited by the treachery of Ptolomaeus his son in law to a banquet between the tables and drinking cups he was surrounded with his two sons who were present and without arms is given up to a wicked death. Truly however Iohannes sprung from Simon who had the name Hyrcanus avoided the treachery and hastened to the walls of a neighboring city, where he was received by the people because of the excellent merits of his father, and also their dislike of the enemy crime. Indeed scarcely had he entered the city, and already Ptolomaeus was there. But when he wished to enter through another gate, driven away he judged that it must be yielded to the multitude. Ionathes immediately received the duties of his father's priesthood and having set out from the care of divine matters immediately pursued the duties of piety and the task of saving his relatives, desiring to remove his mother and brothers from danger. Made stronger by the assembly he was overcome by his natural feeling for their suffering, so that he did not gain control of the fortress in which they were held confined. For Ptolomaeus when he saw himself to be hard pressed, placed his mother and brothers on the walls to be thrown down immediately, if Ionathes did not desist from the war which he was waging. The young man was overcome by his feeling of tenderness, who conquered by the assumption of bravery, and called back the anger aroused against his enemy by compassion for the suffering of his kin. His mother however prepared for tortures extended her hands praying not for the remedy of safety but for the solace of vengeance. For she feared that her son was more afraid for his mother than devoted to vengeance for his father. For herself that death would be in place of immortality, by which her husband would be avenged and a wicked son in law would pay the price for his monstrous crime. But the youth fought himself more within himself than against his enemy; for whenever he thought upon his father, he was incensed, but again when he saw his mother to be lashed and to be ready for death, he weakened. He called back the attack, he gave back his position, because his passion dwindled. Idle between the pauses of the siege from the law [p. 7] the year arrived which was the seventh. Filial piety yielded to religion, the siege was lifted. But by that the brutality of Ptolomaeus was aroused more, so that he ordered them to be killed by whose putting into danger he had escaped destruction. Who immediately removed himself from retribution fleeing to the king of Philadelfia, Zenon who had the name Cotyla, that he might protect himself with his aid. Nor did Antiochus remain calm who resented his army to have been an object of mockery to Simon the father of Ionathas, and desiring to quench the beginnings of Ionathas yet rising, coming with a great band, he besieged Jerusalem and Hyrcanus. Hyrcanus fended him off with gold, which he was not able to do with weapons, and the tomb of David having been opened, as Josephus is our source, he dug up three thousand talents of gold, from which he counted out three hundred to Antiochus, so that he should abandon the siege, bought off by this price he went away. And that he should lighten the hatred of the deed, Hyrcanus first is said to have established a caravansary with this money, in which he received the visit of poor pilgrims. Furthermore having seen the difficult straits of Antiochus for he was inflicting war on the Medes, he avenged the expense and annexed many cities of Syria to himself. Also he surrounded Samaria, where afterwards Sebastia was established, with fortifications, whose storming he entrusted to his sons Aristobolus and Antigonus, whose slow siege forced those shut in all the way to fearful hunger and the offensive sustenance of human bodies. Driven by which necessity they thought that help must be sought from Antiochus, who had the name Aspondius, they added him bringing aid to the trouble with an alliance. For defeated by the brothers he saved himself from death by flight from the battle. The Samaritans however [p. 8] the city having been captured and destroyed by the sudden siege were given into slavery. Aroused by which progress of favorable things Aristobolus and Antigonus did not shrink from the attack, but thought to join to themselves forced by war the neighboring states not at all hiding this: until jealousy having arisen a savage war blazed up the inhabitants of the regions conspiring together and a strong band having been collected. Which however having been defeated produced a profound tranquility for Johannes and peace for themselves. Hyrcanus having experienced the benefits of a long peace in his thirty first year of rule closed his life with five surviving children, which is deemed a blessed condition by most. An excellent governor and supremely sober, who left nothing ever to a chance outcome, in which his action was obscured, he entrusted tasks of great importance to his wife, having carefully judged her moderate in public affairs, holding with a certain prescience of mind that his sons would not be long lasting.
II. Nor was his opinion mistaken, inasmuch as Aristobolus, to whom among the brothers his age was greater, his mind more hasty, turned the leadership of the priesthood into rule over the kingdom and first presumed to place a crown upon himself. After four hundred seventy five years and a span of three months, from when returning from Babylon Israel having put off servitude took itself into its own land. And so haughtily not pleased to put part upon the other brothers he treated Antigonus alone with the appearance of esteem, because he seemed to love him; his mother, because she complained herself to be without a share of power and cheated of the judgment of her husband, he bound with chains and cruel in a parricidal spirit he proceeded to the point that he detained both her and his brothers chained a similar manner in close confinement, in which [p. 9] they were driven by starvation almost to death, if Aristobolus fearing the reward of the crime of parricide had not timely loosened them. And his savage spirit was irritated first against Antigonus himself and was turned from love into hatred, that he should kill him before all others, whom alone he had promised would be a partner to him in the state. There were perverse dispositions among the wicked to the extent that he is quickly influenced by vile suggestions.
III. It is proper therefore that we do not pass over the train of his cruelty, by which the judgment of Iohannes even after his death is shown to be sound, who considered that the supreme power of the state should by no means be entrusted to his older son, whom he foresaw would sink down with great madness from the law of piety and the standards of justice, I know not at all from contemplation of his customs or from the innate gratitude to the leaders of the priests, that to them some things which were about to be were revealed even to the less deserving. It was a wretched crime that they existed who begrudged to the brothers the love of nature. From this first arose the stain of evil, the fabrications that followed the jealousy are of this type.
IV. They fabricated first things, to which Aristobolus gave no credence, he softened the disparagement from the influence of affection attributing to jealousy the harshness of the denunciation. Therefore they mixed false with true things, so that from those things which they had added for the appearance of truth they tricked him resisting.
V. The feast of the Tabernacles of the Jews was being celebrated in the lands according to law, a day naturally festive and full of reverence, where solemn sacrifice was being offered. On that day Antigonus famous for deeds of military service returned home and it happened that coming to his brother not equal he offended him. He goes immediately to the temple -- what indeed is placed ahead of religion -- girdled with military dress and surrounded by a suitable retinue, many there [p. 10] supplicating the lord for the safety of his brother, and from there attentive he hastens to his brother. From this a false accusation is constructed with bitter venom and prepared with a grievous outcome.
VI. Immediately wicked men approach the king and arouse ill will, that he directed a more crowded retinue of armed men than was the custom for private citizens, that it would be a show for the rabble, that no one dared to hinder his efforts; that with such a great splendor nothing other was aimed at than the murder of the king and the usurpation of the rule of the state. With no great difficulty the infirm mind worn out by a sick body is persuaded, that he should consider credible what was alleged as truth, especially since the day dedicated to worship shut out any suspicion of falsehood, the ostentation aroused dislike, his sickness added fear and the retinue of armed men completed the belief of a crime being carried out. and so before any attempt of a parricidal crime was proved to him, he ordered his bodyguards with arms to be stationed in a dark underground passage, who should remove the armor of the arriving Antigonus, nor should they await the order of the king but themselves should kill him, an order truly having been sent ahead through messengers that he should come without weapons. The bride to Aristobolus changed the character of his message into the opposite, that she caused to be insinuated to Antigonus by those sworn to her, that his brother was delighted by the appearance of the armor outfitted in which he had recently arrived, but because of illness had not examined attentively, to request now that he should wear to his brother all that richly adorned military attire which he had collected, it would be pleasing to the king if he would arrive armed. Antigonus did not foresee treachery, he obeyed the request the more carefully because he desired equally to please his king and brother. Aristobolus was lying in the fortress, which first had the name Baris, afterwards Antonia, for by the triumvir Antonius the name was given with the dignity of the city. There after Antigonus came near [p. 11] and approached that dark passage, the body guards of the king seeing him to have come armed suddenly attacked and carry out their orders and and kill the unsuspecting youth. This place was called the tower of Strato, the common opinion is that Judas who was an Essene by birth was deceived by this name, who early history has handed down from the uprightness of his life or from mystic observation often announced things which were about to happen.
VII. He, as we have received it, when he had seen Antigonus passing by to see his brother, said to those who were joined in the number of his disciples: "Father, now it good for me to die, when for me the truth is dead. Antigonus is alive whom to be killed today is unavoidable, the place however ordained for his death is the tower of Strato which is six hundred stadia from here. It is already the fourth hour of the day. And therefore faith in the predestined death is made impossible by the time." When he said this, he began to confer intently within himself how his opinion had been mistaken. And not much later the information is brought forth, Antigonus to have been killed in the underground passage at the tower of Strato, which place is accustomed to be named by the same word as that in the coastal region of Caesarea. Which crime having been accomplished Aristobolus reflecting within himself what a crime he had permitted fell into sickness. It was murder in his eyes, disturbance in his mind, nor was any interval given to dissimulation. Grief was imbedded deep in his heart, hatred was changed into suffering, because he killed an innocent man contrary to the law of brotherhood; the barbarity of this great wickedness festered in his mind, sleep was not given to his eyes, nor rest to his mind. [p. 12] The wound crawled with blind anguish, anxieties stirred up his sick vitals and concerns wounded his feeble limbs and exceedingly deep sighs with frequent groans broke forth.
VIII. And consequently the force of sickness broke out from the immoderate repentance to such a degree that his vitals having convulsed he threw out blood in the vomit of his mouth. Which a court servant performing his duties in accordance with court usages took outside and unaware of the fact, because it was done by chance rather by diligence, arrived at that place, in which Antigonus had been killed. There upon the spots of fraternal blood still wet he poured out the blood of his killer. An outcry suddenly was made there and the groans of those watching, because from a certain deep arrangement of the lord the blood of the wicked murderer was seen poured out upon the one murdered. Roused by the sound he inquired the cause; when no reply was forthcoming, he drew it out with insistence of inquiring and gestures of anger. Information of which having been obtained his eyes filled with tears and so great was the feeling within him that groaning he said: "a vicissitude fitting for my merits is weighed out. Nor was I the contriver of such a wicked crime able to get by the eye of god. A speedy disgrace and retribution is at hand and I am now met a price fitting my parricide. Goodbye, my body. How long will you detain a soul convicted by my brother and my mother? In what region do I pour out my blood for them? Against me all hands, if there is any goodness, brandish darts. Let all sons and brothers as the avengers of piety transfix me with swords. Let the parricidal victim be sacrificed and be offered to his violated relative. May his guilty flesh vomit out all its blood at once. Let it not be sated by the tortures of my flesh or the slow decay of evil spirits, which having dared thrust me into the abominable acts of a savage crime." With these words he gave an end to his rule and life having discharged the royal power for scarcely one year, because of the parricide which he had not fled from. [p. 13]
IX. His wife immediately released and set free from imprisonment the brothers of the deceased, she appointed Alexander as king, whom it was considered that greater age and self control favored. Who as soon as he had secured royal power immediately killed a brother whom he had noticed too desirous of the kingship. The one who remained of the brothers, intent upon life and safety rather than royal power, he spared but devoid of responsibilities. And at once, as troubles of behavior hold him, he changed peace for war and a clash having taken place against Laturus Ptolomaeus he indeed killed very many of the enemy, but the victory accrued to Laturus. From whom however his mother Cleopatra took away the fruits of victory and forced him to retire into Egypt, to escape his mother threatening him. Alexander having taken notice of his absence, while he wishes to invade parts of his kingdom, turns even Theodorus against himself, inasmuch as he had annexed the most important of his possessions to himself. And so by a sudden attack Theodorus recovered the royal wealth, he routed also ten thousand of the Jews in a battle, but recovering above this blow Alexander added still more from the territory of the enemy to his empire and he forced the peoples of the captured cities into slavery. A civil uprising interrupted these successes, and strife having arisen from dinner parties all the way to war proceeded by the plague of this type familiar to the men of Jews, so that from the pastime of sumptuous feasting they arouse themselves to arms. And unless foreign aid had been ready at hand for the king, the rebellion would have prevailed, but even with the foreign troops it was barely suppressed nevertheless eight thousand almost of the Jews had been killed. Whence he directed his march into Arabia, and some of its cities were subjugated, and tribute by the right of victory was assessed of Moab and Gilead. [p. 14] From there he returned to Amathus, Theodorus having been frightened by his [i.e., Alexander's] great successes, finding his [i.e., Theodorus'] fortress empty of defenders he [i.e., Alexander] captured it without delay. Obodeas the king of Arabia was not however altogether idle, nor did he long suffer the losses of his kingdom unavenged. For by ambushes advantageously located he destroyed all his [i.e., Alexander's] army which was crowded together at the bottom of a valley and squeezed together by a flock of camels. Alexander however escaped. Fleeing from the battle he seeks the shelter of the city of Jerusalem, hated by his own people, because they had broken out into hatred at the opportunity of his hardships, who previously were suppressed by fear of his power. Nor was the discord of minds hidden by silence or exercised by words only: it was fought not in one battle but in many, in which almost fifty thousand Jews were killed whom Alexander killed, as victor more destructive to his own forces than to his enemies and a greater detriment, because he diminished the strength of his kingdom by conquering. From which not even he was now pleased with his victories and having turned away from battle he treated those subordinate to himself with craft, so that now he pressed not with arms, but urged with words and dissolved the types of displeasures with speech only. He accomplished nothing however toward collecting favor for himself, because his outrages outweighed his pretenses and the sudden conversion itself to repentence and the cruel unevenness if his conduct was held suspect by those who had suffered.
X. Finally when they considered themselves to be surrounded by his pretended placidity, they aroused king Demetrius to be an aid to themselves in a war against Alexander. The fighting at close quarters was not delayed, although it had to be fought by one against two armies with inferior numbers. Accompanied by a thousand horsemen and six thousand foot soldiers, whon he had joined to himself by pay, also summoning to battle ten thousand Jews uniting with him near the city Sicim he came upon [p. 15] the enemy, who had three thousand horsemen and forty thousand foot soldiers. The troops were tested on both sides when Demetrius did not see those hired for money defect from faith, nor did Alexander see any of the Jews do so, to whom Demetrius had joined himself, he recognized hatred to be disposed against himself, they considered that it had to be fought with arms. Demetrius was made superior in the battle however with much blood of his troops. For it was fought with determination by those who had come hired for different pay, so that they fought with faith and valor all the way to death. And so Alexander seeing himself without troops bands of his cut down fled into the mountains. But beyond the expectation of either the appearance of victory came to the other of them, the profit was brought forth to the other, because Demetrius was left unprotected by the departure of the Hebrews, who had asked him to the alliance and six thousand of them joined themselves to Alexander in a certain fashion of human nature joining to pity in adverse circumstances. And so Demetrius yielded to him whom he had conquered in battle, seeing him with the Hebrews gradually drifting away already the gainer of the battle and himself left with a few. Whose victory moved fear of despotism to those accustomed to freedom. Savagery returned to Alexander with security and the kingdom was restored to his hands and the practice of war was resumed. To him inquiring from them doing what would reconcile the minds of the people to him it was answered, if he would die; scarcely even perhaps with him dead having endured such oppressive things would they be turned back to favor, that they should put aside hatred against him dead. Aroused by whom and the repeated practice of rebelling many having been killed he drove the rest into the city which has the name Bemeselel. Whose storming brought in a destruction more harsh than usual such a savage proceeding of cruelty, that from the number he crucified eight hundred [p. 16] in the middle of the city in whose sight he ordered their wives and children to be butchered.
XI. This he watched lying back in the midst of his concubines, happy in his wine and cups but drunk more from blood than wine. He frightened the people by this act alone more than by the war, so that on the next night eight thousand of the Jews departed farther than Judea, to whom the end of their flight would be the death of Alexander, the horror of such a great evil brought quiet to the kingdom. But when it was at leisure from domestic battles there arose for him a cause of disquietude an expedition of Antiochus against the Arabia, which he considered terrible for himself and about to be a danger. This is the Antiochus who was even called Dionisius, the brother of Demetrius, the last descendent of Seleucus. Desiring to deny transit to whom Alexander between the city Antipatris and the Joppan shore a great ditch having been led and a very tall wall, towers also of wood having been established, mocked the work with the great labor of his men, no hindrance of the enemy, indeed by an easy task the ditches were filled and the towers burned. Also Alexander himself decided upon flight for himself as safer for the reason that he was considered not at all so great that the victor ought to pursue him in the first place. For it was reserved for a second part that he should avenge the injury received of the obstructed route, therefore he directed a route straight into Arabia. Whose king had placed himself in a place advantageous for battle, then the cavalry having been turned about suddenly with great force and in a sprawling multitude and without order charging they attacked the troops of the enemy. It was fought fiercely as long as Antiochus resisted; for he offered resistance, although his army was being cut down in the manner of cattle. When truly he himself was slain [p. 17] -- for he was accustomed to offer himself to dangers in front of the rest -- all were routed, the greatest part of whom scattered in the uncertainty of flight is destroyed, the rest having been forced into the village which has the name Ana and consumed by the lack of food, a very few of them barely survived this great slaughter.
XII. With this success Areta was asked by the people of Damascus to rule, that he should govern at Coelesyria, from which they were shutting out Ptolomaeus whom they especially attacked with a hostile dislike, nor did he leave Judea exempt from attack, from which however, Alexander having been beaten and an agreement favorable to each party concluded, he departed as the victor and returned into his own kingdom. Alexander on the other hand overthrew Pella and advanced toward Gerasa again preparing to add to himself some parts from the possessions of Theodorus and he claimed that for himself in the war. From there he proceeded into Syria and overwhelmed Gaulane and Seleucia and Gamela, avenging the insult of the last battle, he demolished the fortifications themselves of Antioch. From which places he turned his route into Judea and beyond expectations was received with joy by the entire people for the extraordinary success of the things done. Whereby the calm born of the warring bestowed the beginning of sickness, affected to some degree by repeated bouts of the quartan fever, the ailment relieved for a short time, when he returns to his military undertakings and observes no limits, stronger in mind than body, he shattered all the vigor of his health and consumed his strength and therefore died. Thus for twenty and six years with various outcomes of events against countless commotions of wars he held the kingdom and he departed life with five children surviving. Judging whom unequal to the governing of the kingdom he consigned the supreme power to the care of his own wife, inasmuch as he recognized her to be more acceptable to the people and to have found favor among all for this reason, that she always thought to make herself apart from the brutality of her husband, [p. 18] so that she not only fled the partnership of his shameful acts, but even by opposing his unfairnesses she turned the goodwill of the entire people upon herself. Nor was the decision of her husband thoughtless. For the woman exercised the right of ruling without stumbling without any hindrance of her feminine sex and acquired the thanks of governing by the observation of the sacred law. For more attentive care is exercised concerning the templum and ministers are dismissed for fraud, and the power of the state increased. Nor was her love of the kingdom lessened by maternal affection, indeed from two children one was selected for the appearance of ruling, not for the power, Hyrcanus by name, the elder by birth, the lesser in ability, but she soothed Aristobolus the sharper in mind, lacking experience of power with the humbleness of a private citizen. The Pharisees attached themselves to the woman a class of men trained according to the teaching of the law, clever according to the nature of disposition, eager for jobs, desirous of money. Who captivating the exalted little woman acquired her power by extolling her, so that she committed to them most of the tasks of the kingdom, they employed whom they wished, they excluded whom they wished and deprived of court work. What more? They so insinuated themselves, that the fruits of all good things came to them; the costs and annoyances afflicted the woman alone. Nor was there a mediocre spirit in the woman, so that she dared great things and set out battles beyond the condition of the feminine sex, she even prepared an outstanding troop of her own forces and hired great forces of a foreign army, so that she would not only be safe at home for every contingency of ruling, but would truly be even formidable to external powers. She however excelled all the rest, but as if inferior she was submissive to the Pharisees. [p. 19] There was Diogenes in her kingdom who from the most powerful friends of Alexander had clung to her close friendship. Having attacked they killed him remembering that by his advice those eight hundred had been fixed a cross in the middle of the city by Alexander, against the other originators also of this outrage it was ordered that she should proceed for vengeance. And so they were killed whom the Pharisees ordered, not whom the state found guilty of crime. Many terrified by which fear to whom dangers of this type were held out and especially those oustanding in wealth or position beseeched intervention from Aristobolus, that he should bend his mother from the carrying of the too severe order to milder things. He wishing to obtain favor for himself did not refuse. She, although grudgingly, however yielded to the beseeching of her son, that in view of the honors which they had born, who were indicted on a charge of this type, the sentence of the supreme penalty would be softened and she would only order those whom she believed to have been the guilty inciters in preparing this crime to depart from the city. Who the security of life having been grasped dispersed into the countryside.
XIII. At the same time it happened that the youth was directed to Damascus for the reason that Ptolomaeus was wearing down the inhabitants of this renowned city by frequent raids, the difficulties of which undertaking required a strong military force from the army of Alexandra. Also Tigranes who was ruling over Armenia had shut up Cleopatra by blockade in the city which has the name Ptolomais. Alexandra soothed him with bribes that he should turn away from herself. Whom Lucullus an attack having been made forced to return into the lands of the Armenians with his goals not accomplished considering it more prudent to look after his own lands rather than to annex those of others. And so strained by such great tasks Alexandra fell into sickness. Which opportunity Aristobolus seized to his advantage and a band having been collected, those conspiring with him whom [p. 20] the heat of nature for daring anything abrupt had joined to him wishing the same, he seizes treasuries and with their resources intices volunteers for military service, and for a price arranges that they should keep faith in everything that he wishes and he puts on the regalia of kingship. Hyrcanus thrown into confusion of mind comes to their mother with tears. But she breathing ferocity shut up the sons and wife of Aristobolus in the fortress to which was at first the name called Baris afterwards Antonia, about which we made mention previously. The undertakings of Alexandra are given up with her early death. Hyrcanus advanced into the entire inheritance, who his mother still living had put on the office of the priesthood, Aristobolus excelled (him) in valor and wisdom, things were brought all the way to contention and conflict. When it was composed, most, Hyrcanus having been abandoned, followed him the second as better in war. Hyrcanus those accompanying him who were remaining in the conflict fled into Antonia and the sons and wife of Aristobolus having been discovered he found safety through hostages, because Aristobolus decided upon an agreement lest anything harsh should be done against his family. The agreement of the brothers was of this nature, that Hyrcanus should withdraw from the kingship and all right of ruling should transfer to Aristobolus but he would not however leave Hyrcanus without honors, but without share in the kingship he would allow him to be engaged in other honors, which he himself had bestowed. The agreement of this nature held the voluntary assent of both with the sacred reverence of the temple. And so him having departed with favor, wishing each other well in turn, Aristobolus took himself into the royal court, Hyrcanus with equanimity departed into the home of Aristobolus.
XIV. But there were those whom fear from this change of things assaulted, who recalled to mind themselves to have busied themselves against Aristobolus, and in front of the rest Antipater. He was of the Idumaean race, [p. 21] famous among them for his ancestors, not lacking money and therefore possessing great influence, made by remarkable craft for disdaining money for the sake of acquiring favor. When he persuaded Hyrcanus who was very frightened by his advice, that he had no safe expectation of his safety, who had retired from rule, unless he took counsel for himself by desertion to the enemy, he insinuates to king Areta that the man should be cultivated by aid, who had been tricked that he should retire from the royal power, this would be fitting for the king, if he should become the judge of restoring the command, and it would be much better, if he should order the things taken away to be restored to him defrauded by cunning, to whom the birthrights of the kingdom belonged. The former was crafty and sly and mistrusted by his neighbors, the latter was gentle and peaceful, who would receive as a great kindness, whatever was bestowed upon him by a foreigner, whom his brother had actually deprived of his right of ruling. And so announcing to Hyrcanus the favor of king Areta that had been prepared he brought hope of fleeing and pointed out the way, that with him he should seek Petra located within the boundaries of Arabia, in which place they would visit the king. Who convinced by the persuasions and gifts of Antipater added a large troop of fighters to Hyrcanus so that he should be restored to his kingdom. There were almost fifty thousand foot soldiers and cavalry, defeated by which in the first encounter Aristobolus took refuge in Jerusalem, there also defenseless against such a great multitude of enemies, which would have captured him shut up, if Scaurus, the commander of the Roman army on the excuse of another war which was being waged against Tigranes, had not ended the siege having been sent by Pompey, for whom the avenging of Mithridates retaken had fired up the plan of a severe war undertaken against the father-in-law, for which reason he ordered Syria to be overrun by Scaurus, while he himself pressed against Tigranes and Armenia. And therefore to Scaurus arriving at Damascus, which Metullus and Lollius had completely overthrown, [p. 22] the legates of the brothers ran each beseeching for himself the aid of the Roman help, and although Aristobolus was inferior in strength, he prevailed however through the gift of money. The decision of the battle engagement is sold for three hundred talents and the justice of request is counterbalanced by the price, which money having counted out to him Scaurus orders Hyrcanus and the king of Arabia to depart from the siege, and if they should remain they should know it would have to be fought by them in a war against Pompey and the Romans. With that fear the siege is raised, Aretas set out for Philadelphia, Scaurus returned to Damascus. But Aristobolus not long satisfied with the danger having been averted collected a band, followed the enemy and near Papyron, that is the name for the place, killed six thousand of the enemies in a battle and at the same time Fallion the brother of Antipater. The hopes of Hyrcanus and Antipater were broken, for whom all reliance was on the forces of Arabia.
XV. But when Pompey the Great began to meet Syria and arrived at Damascus, from the Romans, broken by whose aiding forces they had lost the victory, they ask for help and approach Pompey as if (he were) the arbiter of justice and not at all avaricious for money. And so with accusations, not with gifts such as they had begun to rely upon previously, inasmuch as his mind untouched against the corruption of money was not captured by the noose of avarice and without pay was able to dislike the affront to a brother's dignity. And thus having assailed him with these grievances, in which even envy by Aristobolus took part, that undeservedly he invaded foreign places, and favor was won over to Hyrcanus, to whom either from the merit of his life or judgement of his age the right of ruling was fitting the authority of his mother especially supporting, who had judgement of choosing and the right of bestowing. Nor was Aristobolus long absent. [p. 23] Although he saw nothing in the heart of the Great 1 which favored his tricks, he presupposed however from the bribery of Scaurus and boasted himself in his society. He came therefore outfitted in regal dress and with a greater retinue and surrounded with more ostentation than customary, as some one who lacks confidence in justice, who shut out prejudgment of assenting, denied the expectation of obeying. But he was unable to endure longer the loftiness of the Roman consular official, whose habit it was without a kingdom to command kings. And so when he arrived at the city which has the name Diapolis, having disdained from pride of kingdom the arrogance of Roman authority he departed elsewhere. By which departure of Aristobolus a cause of intolerable offense was given to the aroused consul to such degree that immediately the Roman arms were turned against Judaea with many even auxiliaries of Syria conjoined. When Aristobolus learned him to be near the city of Scythopolis and from there to be approaching Coreas, from which there was the beginning of the possessions of Judaea, he took refuge in the fortress Alexandrium which was exceedingly well fortified and located on a high mountain. Having learned which Pompey orders him to come down; but he considering it shameful as it were to obey the order of a master, immoderate of mind thought undergoing danger preferable to complying with the command. But seeing from above the Roman camp crowded with people, and at the same time warned by his own people that they into whose name and power almost the entire world had yielded should not be provoked, he came down, using many excuses, by which he sought to show the kingdom to have been bestowed upon him by right, or owed by the obligation of birth, or by the decision of the army, which followed the stronger, abandoned the cowardly, or by the outcome of the battle or by the agreement of a bargain, he returned to his fortifications. Again when Hyrcanus approached the consul, called to judgement Aristobolus presented himself, but when he saw recognition to be still put off he returned to his fortress. [p. 24] For in the middle between hope and fear he thought that by obeying his commands he might influence Pompey to favor toward himself, but again he was not compelled by force to yield to his command, he took himself back to Alexandrium. Nor did the cunning of the king pass by the Great 2; he orders him to withdraw from the fortifications and required him instructions having been given to each guard of the fortification to be about to do that. Indeed he obeyed the orders which he did not dare to disobey, however he immediately removed himself to the walls of Jerusalem and began to prepare war against the Romans. Pompey not only followed him fleeing, he pressed him shut in and did not give any time for preparing the facilities of war. A report about Mitridates directed the attention of Pompey, that he (i.e., Mitridates) had ended the war with his death; the city of Jericho was holding Pompey in its vicinity, when information of this notable event came, the place near the city in which balsam is produced and is born of the trees which the children of the farmers cut with sharp stones, and through these incisions a beautiful fluid trickles down with dripping sap. From that place the man a veteran of military service his ranks having been drawn up moved his camp toward evening and at first light took a position before Jerusalem's walls and without warning poured in his armed soldiers.
XVI. Aristobolus astonished by the appearance of the arrangement, by the strength of the men, by the enthusiasm of the soldiers, voluntarily ran up beseeching pardon, offering money, the city, and himself. With words [p. 25] changed supplicatingly into more yielding he softened the anger of the consul; but with the supplication in vain, because the execution of his promise was lacking, the money not only having been denied but Gabinio having been excluded from the city, who had come seeking the things offered, he brooded on war. For Pompey, guards having been assigned to Aristobolus, began to examine the walls of the city and to explore carefully, in which places he should attempt a forcible entry, but when he had examined the strength of the walls, that they were not able to be stormed, and saw the temple in the city surrounded by fortifications not at all inferior so that there was a double danger to those who had entered both from the defenders of the temple and from those who were looking after the defence of the walls, he hesitated with a doubt in his mind and an uncertainty of opinion for some length of time, since suddenly an uprising had arisen within the city, the allies of Hyrcanus wishing to receive Pompey within the city, the champions of Aristobolus resisting: the former wishing to open the gates to Pompey, the latter to bar them and make war lest they might take away the king. But the weaker yielded to the majority whom fear of the Roman power had increased and took themselves into the temple the bridge having been broken down, which at the passable crossing in the middle joined the city and the temple. And so the Roman army was received into the city, and with their own hands the Jews opened the gates not much after that prophecy of David for the future was fulfilled by the conquerors of the city and temple: god, the nations have come into your inheritance, they have defiled your sacred temple. And so he voluntarily surrendered his royal trappings, yielded to the courtiers. To Piso, a man famous among his own and skilled in military services, was entrusted the task that with a strong band he should take care for the royal court and watch over the rest of the city. Which was looked after carefully by him, as if he led the Roman army to defend those things rather than to seize them. [p. 26] At the assault on the temple however, since it was stubbornly resisted, Pompey prepared the Jews, namely the supporters of Hyrcanus, that, if it was possible to be done, the Romans should not profane the foreign mysteries, at the same time that the Jews should fill the ditches with their own hands. With impious service and disgraceful servility they served their hands on a basket, their minds on robbery of sacred property. But filling the ditches profited nothing, since the partisans of Aristobolus resisted from the walls and caused hindrance from above, and Pompey's beginnings would have been ineffective, if not for the days of sacred religious rites occurring, on which the ancient observation was for the Jews to refrain from all work, he ordered his troops to concentrate on building up the ramparts of earth. In fact only the adoption contrary to custom of hand to hand fighting even on the sabbath having been changed, if however battle is brought in and extreme danger of safety is aimed at, Jews think it may be contested by them with weapons, remaining contests they consider to conscience. Already the wall had grown, already the siege engines had been brought near, the royal forces were fighting fiercely from the height of the walls, they were dejected by the nearer approach of Pompey. Pompey was astounded at the fierce minds of the men, at the appearance and magnitude of the wall and the never relaxed duties of the priests in the middle of the fury of war as if there were profound peace; nothing of the solemnity of the sacrifices was lacking, among the javelins of the fighters the bodies of the slain was poured out the blood of sacrificial victims, a victim was placed upon the altars; placed before the altar they were killed. Already the third month held the still doubtful contest. First was Sylla Faustus, descended from Cornelius, and two centurions, of whom one had the name Furius, to the second was Fabius, a tower of the walls having been knocked down they broke into the temple [p. 27] a crowd following each one, and going around the interior of the temple everywhere they transfixed with swords whomever they discovered. Those fleeing were killed, others fighting back were cut down, but however the ceremonies of the priests were not hindered by the savageries of those fighting. The enemy was threatening with bare swords, they however followed the order of the usual service. No class of service was interrupted. Whatever pertained to the ritual of purification, whatever to the observance of he sacred worship it could be seen was carried out; so great was the responsibility of the office, and if only it had been in behalf of devotion and faith. For the greater dangers arose from their own people, which were brought in by the Hebrews by turns upon themselves, and the fight within was more violent and closer to mutinous and a two front danger. From the front a foreign enemy threatened, from the back and sides a domestic.
XVII. And therefore shut in on all sides some threw themselves over the precipice, others were burned up in the flames of their country. The priests however persevered in their duty all the way to the end encouraging themselves in turn, that they should not place the obligations of the religion as lower in importance than the preservation of personal safety, it would be done with themselves properly if they were expended to their sense of duty, which was owed to necessity, if it was allowed to be buried in the bosom of their country. For what would it serve to escape and to live a survivor to the religion? A distinguished deed rather to die together for a conscientious duty. But if anyone should desert from fear of danger, it is sacrilege, if anyone should fulfill his duty, the sacrifice it is a victory of dutiful suffering. And so the head-banded priests were killed among their sacrificial victims and clothed in their priestly robes lay on the ground among the bodies of those slain. Scattered there were twelve thousand Jews, a few of the Romans were killed, many wounded. The Jews groaned over nothing more painfully in this misery than that [p. 28] the mysteries previously hidden of the sanctuary were uncovered by the Gentiles and revealed. Finally Pompey declining the balance of cares of this type, while he attended to the triumph rather than the burning, many of his following him, saw the second tabernacle, which in a solemn approach was open to the foremost of the priests alone, and within he saw the lamp and table and vessels for incense and the records of the covenant, and above these the heavenly choir, a great number of spices scattered about, and two thousand talents of sacred money. In which although there was much gold, untouched however by any greed of it or indeed if any of the sacred vessels were found, he ordered everything left untouched, and on the day following the introduction he ordered the temple overseers to purify the interior of the temple and to carry out the usual sacrifices. Also he gave Hyrcanus the leadership of the priesthood, having made use of his ready assistance in the difficult straits of the siege; for although faithless to his own people, he was faithful to he Romans so that his own country should be conquered --- but I think that no one can be called faithful who has been faithless to his own people --- because not perfunctorily in his own battle he gave assistance to the enemies of his own people and because he withdrew the multitude of people outside the walls supporting Aristobolus from his alliance. In all matters however by which Aristobolus was hindered or his authority taken away or the war was quickly finished Pompey was an outstanding commander, he added this splendid feature that he observed moderation in victory; in fact he joined those whom he had conquered to himself more with kindness than with fear, the originators only of the war he struck with the axe. He imposed tribute also on the conquered, he appointed the leader of Judaea, he set its boundaries. Judaea was circumscribed within its own territory. He restored [p. 29] even Gamara which the Jews had destroyed having been asked by Demetrius, who of his country had asked from his patron a favor of this nature, excelling with Pompey in this cause and many others above the norm of freedmen to the point of arousing jealousy. Aristobolus however with his sons and father in law he held as captives to take to Rome with him, but one of the royal offspring having escaped from his guards on the journey returned home; his name was Alexander, his age greater than his brother and two sisters. And so Antigonus younger in age and his siblings of the feminine sex were taken to Rome, Pompey went to Cilicia and from thence to Rome.
XVIII. While in Syria Scaurus, to whom the office of commander had been assigned, those cities which the Jews had invaded having been recovered, inland Scythopolis, Ipponis, Pella, Samaria, Iamnia, Maresa, Azoto, Arethusa, on the coast also Gaza, Iope, Dora and that which was once called Strato's tower, afterwards however was named Caesarea under the of Herod, who both added decorations and changed the name, he undertook war against Arabia. Confining by decree Judaea between the Euphrates and Egypt, Syria also restored within its own boundaries, from the desire of plundering, as I think, rather than carrying forward the interests of the empire, wishing to take possession of the great Petra of the kingdom of Arabia, hindered indeed by the difficulty of its location, he was unable to break in, he laid waste however many either neighboring to the city or located at a distance. In which places famine struck his tarrying army. And a wretched disaster would almost have happened, if Hyrcanus through Antipater had not furnished food to the suffering Romans, and likewise he with the counsel of Scaurus advised Aretas to end the war with money. Finally with three hundred talents the Arab freed himself from his enemy, [p. 30] he bought off Scaurus; this was the price of his retreat. Which thing established for Hyrcanus an alliance with the Romans and maintained the security of a profound peace, for which reason in territory hostile to the Roman army by his aid from a severe lack of grain a sufficiency was made and help was at hand.
XIX. But when Alexander having escaped from imprisonment by Pompey at first secretly and in a moderate of time collecting to himself a suitable band of soldiers, began to harass Judaea openly, Hyrcanus was disturbed and distrusted his situation, he pressed the Romans with his concern that the war might increase in violence, so that he had decided to repair the wall of Jerusalem, which Pompey had destroyed. And the task had nearly been undertaken, if Gabinius who had succeeded Scaurus, the remaining matters having been handled vigorously, by which he had strewn fear of his name, had not considered that resistance must be offered to the attempts of Alexander. Nor did Alexander think that he must flee but dared to contest it in a battle with ten thousand foot soldiers and one thousand five hundred cavalry. He even repaired the fortresses, Alexandrium, Hyrcanium, Macheruntis as places of refuge for himself, if circumstances should demand it, or would be a hindrance to enemies, for indeed near by Arabia was not sufficiently faithful to the Romans. Gabinius so that this might happen more quickly sent Marcus Antonius ahead with part of the army, so that the march of the enemy might be hindered, until he himself should arrive with the entire army. Antipater arriving with select troops and Malichus and Pitholaus relying upon diverse groups of Jews, joined their forces with Antonius. Whom when Alexander saw them massed together -- for Gabinius was now present -- he changed his plan so that he fell back. But since he was now not far from Jerusalem, [p. 31] forced to join battle, beaten he fled. Almost three thousand of his men having been killed, the rest captured or dispersed, scarcely a few were left to Alexander to be companions in flight rather than for the daring of rebelling. Finally seeking peace from Gabinius he surrendered even the fortresses to the Romans lest they hold something suspect. In that battle the valor of Antonius shone forth brightly, and everywhere gave very clear evidence of his bravery. Gabinius divided Judaea into five districts, in order to diminish its strength, from which arose haughtiness to one who had gained control of things. To Hyrcanus for the mildness of his temperament remained the public office of the priesthood, the responsibility however of an entire district of this region was bestowed by Gabinius not upon one but in common upon inhabitants of Jerusalem. Similarly the rest of the districts were assigned in like manner, through Gadara and Amathuntis and Hiericho and Sephoritanians, namely the more powerful cities, divided, by which nothing of the power of of the individual cities was left and the performance of the districts did not sway to and fro, which anticipated public concern. Which was received with gratitude both by the Romans for relieving the fear of rebellion and by the Jews for removing jealousy, since the race of Hebrews lived not under a king but beneath an aristocracy in a resemblance of the Roman state, in which not one governs, but all the best in turn, to whom selected by lot the magistrate yields, they direct without share of the kingdom but the judges of kings.
XX. Provident forethought as opposed to the turbulence of the people is esteemed. But the escape of Aristobolus and his return into Judaea aroused much commotion, many flowing back to him, whom he had stirred up by the favors of long established friendship or the latest events, to which a remedy from the public discord was being sought [p. 32] by those desiring to mix the lowest with the highest and there were other lapsed hopes. Therefore having returned he built fortifications, he began to restore Alexandrium. Which having been discovered Gabinius, Sisinius and Antonius and Servilius having been sent with part of the army, prevented the work begun. Even with the fortifications deserted Aristobolus prepared himself for war, and because he dragged an army with a greater number than was useful he removed a multitude of unarmed people, and he collected only eight thousand armed men Pitholaus also having been added, who had come voluntarily from Jerusalem with a thousand men. Thereupon a battle having arisen -- for the Romans overhung their necks -- indeed it was fought vigorously for a considerable time, however Roman strength prevailed, five thousand Jews were killed, Aristobolus with a thousand men broke through the line and took himself back into the protection of the fortress Macheruntis, two thousand were dispersed elsewhere. The Romans however having attacked the fortress were delayed almost two days, for in the last extreme Aristobolus fought with all his strength, but by no means was able to hold out longer; captured with his son Antigonus whom fleeing from prison he had taken away with himself, sent to Gabinius and by him they were sent to Rome. Aristobolus having placed in custody of the senate, he sent his sons to Bithynia, because they report Gabinius to have insinuated in letters to the wife of Aristobolus a promise of rewarding her assiduity in thanks for the fortresses surrendered to him.
XXI. These things having been done in Judaea Gabinius having believed that a bold action must be taken prepared an expedition against the Parthians, but suspicions of the faction of king Ptolomaeus recalled the army which had set out. So Gabinius turned back his march from the Euphrates into Egypt, making use [p. 33] of the necessities for everything from the services of Antipater and Hyrcanus, but of Hyrcanus through Antipater, who aided the army also with money grain arms auxiliaries; and especially at the encounters near Pelusium, unless for the Jews familiar with the location and and the type of the entire war they would have easily discouraged Gabinius. But the army delaying again Alexander the son of Aristobolus undertook to plunge himself into a second Syria as if into an empty province, unless Gabinius aroused by the news had hastened his return and having sent Antipater ahead had called back most of the Jews from their alliance to Alexander, relying upon a multitude of whom he was preparing to give to destruction all in the region which had offended the Romans. In the end, although most of the Jews had dispersed through an agreement with Antipater, he had not however put aside his recklessness, having undertaken a battle with thirty thousand men near the mountain Itabirium, ten thousand having been lost he fled. The war was ended by the scattering of the rest. The task of the Jerusalem state having been assigned to the judgment of Antipater having departed from there he subjugated the Nabathaeans in a battle and sent back Mitridates and Orsanis fleeing secretly from Persis, he publicly informed his soldiers however that they had escaped by flight. Crassus succeeded Gabinius and about to set out for the Parthian war he stole all the gold which was in the temple at Jerusalem and besides he ordered the two thousand talents to be taken, which Pompey had left untouched, nor did he long enjoy it when he crossed the Euphrates, he lost the army and was himself killed. The elated Parthians believed they must go over into Syria, [p. 34] whom Cassius followed vigorously with ambushes and drove from the boundaries of the province committed to him, not without severe damage to the enemy, marching freely, because they thought no one about to dare to take a stand against him, he had seized those outstripped in the narrower places. Finally many of their troops having been routed they abandoned the war. Cassius the enemy having been driven back secure in his province charged into Judaea and Tarichaeae having been destroyed he sold thirty thousand Jews into slavery. He also ordered Pitholaus suspected of treachery by which he was supporting the faction of Aristobolus to be executed. Nor was Antipater without his advice, that he should as much as possible exclude any rival for power.
XXII. He recognized a wife who had the name Cypris who sprang from a glittering place among the women of Arabia and from her he received four children of the male sex and one feminine. The names to the males of this fashion, they were called, the first Phasaelus, the following Herodes, the third Josephus, the fourth Feroras, and the daughter Salome. And for this reason a man made eminent for obtaining the society of the powerful by gifts and friendship, he won over beyond the rest for himself the favor of the king of Arabia, because he held out the bond of a wife received from the region of Arabia. Finally preparing to fight in battle against Aristobolus he sent his sons to the aforementioned king of Arabia as pledges of mutual affection. Whom he received as a sacrosanct trust in that care in which he held his children at home and afterwards recalled he returned to their father. But when Aristobolus overcome in war was being held in chains, Alexander his son when in accordance with the conventions of peace, to which Cassius about to return to the Euphrates had obligated him, left off from battle, [P. 35] the boundaries of Persis were not at all molested by any incursion undertaken by the Parthians and the appearance of pleasant tranquility lightened human concerns in the regions of the East, Caesar from the transalpine regions of Gaul pouring himself into Italy drove Pompey and the senate beyond the Ionian sea. Pompey shut out from Italy sought Enathias and ordered the Roman columns from diverse places to follow him there, because he was preparing for war there. Intent on doing which things he left Aristobolus fettered at Rome. Caesar who was midway between the city of Rome and Pompey, because he was following Pompey on the easy routes from the Flaminia into Appia, so that he should either capture him or intercept his army, directed him 3 freed from chains with a number of military forces assigned into Syria, so that he should join Judaea to himself and threaten Pompey from the rear. But in the beginning of his attempts, when he came to the place, done away with by poison he left the task unfinished. The opinion of his death was ascribed to the supporters of Pompey. And so the arrangements of Caesar were mocked and the ambitions of Aristobolus abandoned by a certain new variety of changes, so that the exile would have been safer among the enemy, a captive in chains, than master in a chamber among his own citizens, a king at a banquet. Which having been learned Pompey, because Aristobolus in the falling back Judaea tried to renew the war for himself, indeed ordered his son Alexander suspected of being too favorable to the Caesarian faction to be executed. He ordered Scipio. He on behalf of the seat of judgment decided his guilt, so that the appearance of a trial should be put forth accusers also having been brought in and against him who had disturbed the Roman state with arms the sentence was brought forth, [p. 36] that in accordance with the authority of law rather by the execution of an order, in the manner in which the leaders of enemies, convicted of rebellion he was sentenced to be struck with an axe.
XXIII. The death of both having been learned Ptolomaeus, who had taken the brothers of Aristobolus and the wife Alexandria, sent his son Philippion to the city Ascalona, to fetch those mentioned. He arriving took Antigonus and his sisters that he should escort them to his father; by the practice and custom of love a little spark pardonable certainly crept into the youth, if monarchs know to forgive, and he received the second of the sisters to himself in the bonds of marriage. His father Ptolomaeus did not tolerate this and the excellent censor of morals having killed his son united his own daughter-in-law to himself, who condemned the unasked joining to his son, so that he might defile his own self with parricide and incest. Pompey having been killed, who while he fled the arms of Caesar offered his head to an Egyptian eunuch to be cut off, an upheaval of things. He offered his head however with that patience with which he had so many times graced victory over great peoples, so that seeing in that fate the condition of a defeated exile, a mockery of the fluctuations of human fortunes, he offered his neck to the sword, from him to whom he had given a kingdom about to receive death as a favor. After whose death a change was made many from the familiars of Pompey seeking the friendship of Caesar and especially Antipater possessed in an incredible manner of the friendship of all whom he aimed at. For to all a wealth of necessities and especially in the instruments of battle, whereby from enemies and adversaries the most dear are repeatedly made. [p. 37]
XXIV. And indeed because Ptolomaeus the king of Egypt had broken faith, he was pressed hard by Caesar himself in very severe battles. Mithridates of Pergamum with all the troops which he had brought with him, repulsed by the obstacle of Pelusius, stayed in the city of Ascalon the passage having been despaired of and the attempt ineffective, nor did he yet dare to commit himself to battle in an unfavorable place and unequal in strength. To whom in aid Antipater at first associated Arabia, then led with himself three thousand Jews strong in numbers and armed with weapons. Now too he moved the powerful of Syria to the support of himself, and the Ptolemy who lived in Libanus and Iamblicus and a second Ptolemy, relying on whose alliance even other peoples were fired up to the war. Relying on whom joined to his forces Mithridates approached Pelusius and, when he was prevented from passage, started a siege. In which place Antipater gave outstanding evidence of military prowess, in fact with the townspeople resisting, when it was being fought with great force on both sides, he was the first with his men a part of the walls having been shattered, in which he himself was fighting, he rushed into the city and captured it. Nor was this the end of his labor and assistance, for even when the army had proceeded within, and around that which is named the region of Onia of Judaea the Egyptians wished to resist, by which they blocked the way, Antipater not only stopped the battle but even brought about for aiding the army that those things which were essential for the enjoyment of human nature were furnished by the very people who had prepared the weapons against them. Whence the people of Memphis [p. 38] also recalled their minds from the battle and willingly gave themselves to the alliance of Mithridates. Who having gone past the more mistrusted, having judged that it must be fought hand to hand with the remaining Egyptians, indeed in more unimpeded places but with the stronger men of the region itself, whose non-resident Jews were called an army, he fought vigorously to such a point that he gave himself to a sudden danger and was almost killed, except that Antipater seeing the entire right wing in which Mithridates was to be hard pressed by the enemy, and in another part to be shut in by a river, nor was there any way of escape for the men, he rushed in from the left wing upon those who were attacking the withdrawing Mithridates; he pursued those there until all the people of the enemy were killed. In that battle Antipater lost only eighty men of his forces, Mithridates above eight hundred, so that beyond expectation he himself escaped. And this slaughter followed in a moment. Antipater many wounds having been received by his body found excellent testimony of his bravery before Caesar, Mithridates especially not only an espouser of his perfection but even a proclaimer of his bravery. Exceptionally pleased by which Caesar in honor, as was fitting, received Antipater among his friends. Then when he arranged those things which were being set up in Egypt and proceeded into Syria, he honors him with the esteem of the Roman state, he conferred also freedom from taxes and other things as he bestowed pledges of his favor to a man proven to him. Now too he confirmed willingly to Hyrcanus the high priesthood in accordance with the desire of Antipater.
XXV. Antigonus also ran to meet Caesar in Syria, and who it was fitting either to weep the calamity of his father, [p. 39] killed with poison by the friends of Pompey, or the punishment of his brother, whom Scipio with great cruelty as if guilty had executed with the axe, pursued the side of dislike rather than of grief, so that he brooded over Hyrcanus and Antipater to foreigners, the things which had been taken from himself and his brothers through wickedness, he piled up with the bitterest complaint, himself made an exile from his ancestral home, the land in which he was born to be denied to him, however his own injuries to be seen as more tolerable, much worse those by which the entire nation of the people of the Jews was afflicted by Hyrcanus and Antipater. And them to claim thanks for the things done well in Egypt, when not any care based on goodwill toward Caesar bestowed that service of aiding Mithridates, since fear from the knowledge of their Pompeian alliance extorted it, so that it was for disguising the offense. Against these things Antipater offering not an exchange of words but a demonstration of facts cut his garments to pieces and stripped of clothing, full of wounds with cloak torn open pesenting to the eyes of those standing around the proofs of the observed bravery: "look at this," he said, "their testimony refutes the charge of ill-will toward Caesar, which glitter like lights of the soul. The scars I present to you, Caesar, pledges of my inward good will, I put down these pledges of my faith and I bear them written on the top of my heart. If it is not believed by the citizens, let the enemy be questioned for whom I received these wounds. What did they establish in me other than the faith which I am offering to you? But he charges against me the good will to Pompey; I confess, Caesar, me to have been friend not to the man but to the Roman name and to have desired that eagerly, so that my duties [p. 40] threatened your state. And so I fought not for one but for all; Pompey was dear to me, but he began to be a friend to me before he was an enemy to Caesar. He was your son in law and you his father in law. When he was in the regions of Judaea I supported him the Roman commander, I did not however receive those wounds for him which I have received for you. For you I have paid pledges of death and the blows of weapons of the enemy. What is strange then, if a captive does not know the honor of wounds and a fugitive does not know the faith which exists? What moreover may a lasting enemy throw in my face except for your friendship? It truly seems strange that Antigonus approaches someone blamed the Romans, whom he is accustomed to attack, and before them complains that he has been deprived of rule, whose use and practice he desired not for power for himself nor for domestic honor but for provoking Roman arms and avenging the deaths if his father and brother; ungrateful for safety, he does not fear the Roman tribunal but dares to attack it further, although he knows in this affair his brother to have paid the price for his rebellion." When Antipater made an end of speaking, Caesar announces Hyrcanus seems more worthy of the high priesthood, however he bestowed on Antipater his choice of office. Then he desiring that same choice of public office and the governorship and placing a measure of esteen in him who is bestowing the office, quite cunningly gave the distinction of modesty and the increase in power. He was made the procurator of all Judaea. Reasonably he asked that he might rebuild the walls of Judaea which had been destroyed in the war, and secure in the loyalty given he asked and procured this great task. And these things, as was the custom for Roman commanders, was inscribed in the Capitol, which marks of honor Caesar judged should be conferred on Antipater, so that proofs of his uprightness and merits should exist also for the examination of a man of posterity. Moreover Antipater having followed Caesar [p. 41] out of Syria changed his route into Judaea and first rebuilt to its former condition the wall which Pompey had destroyed. Then he checked the commotion bringing together all with affection of a parent, now with admonitions to the gentler, now with threats that they should consider that those things must be followed which were of peace rather than of war and not irritate the mind of the king, who if he remained unoffended would be better for the citizen, if he were aroused, would present a tyrant. Even if by nature Hyrcanus was mild, they should however beware and not provoke him by insulting behavior; also his desire to be that he should adopt a middle path in behalf of an affectionate concern, not in behalf of power, but if they should try to make a new rebellion, the spirit of punishing would not be lacking to him. They should experience the friendship of the Romans rather than their domination. To whom if there should be doubt that they were about to erupt from friends into arms, if they should learn that him to whom they themselves had confirmed the kingdom was deprived of rule? Because as soon as he had learned Hyrcanus to have been too slow from mildness of temperament at executing the requirements of public office, he thought the care of protecting the region must be divided among his sons, because he was unequal to such a great burden and to ruling. And therefore he appointed Phasaelus the older of his children the protector of Jerusalem and the commander of the military forces. Herod also younger by birth and quite young he put in charge of Galilaea with equal honor. Who when he attained power, more sagacious by nature immediately found means from his natural capacity for attending to the tasks.
XXVI. Syria was suffering from incursions of the brigand Ezechia, with which he the leader of a predatory band harassed the entire province and was present bitterly hostile in all places. Whom having seized he ordered to be executed and [p. 42] killed many of the robbers. Which produced both great glory of bravery and abundant gratitude among the Syrians. Whence he was celebrated in the cities and villages by the voices of people singing, as one who had restored peace and public tranquility after a long time. This talk with the favorable gossip of the people aroused the affectionate rivalry of praise of his brother, that Phasaelus equaled his junior by birth, whom he was not able to equal in bravery, in benevolence of mind, the most outstanding having been attracted into the rank of the foremost by benevolence, who tempered severity with kindness. Whence the greatest honor was bestowed publicly upon Antipater as the parent, he himself however changed nothing of his benevolence and faith, by which he was accustomed to treat Hyrcanus. But it is difficult to be without jealousy in triumphal circumstances. Finally the at first silent Hyrcanus criticized carpingly the praises of the young men, more vehemently however those things irritated him which were reported done famously in the campaigns of Herod, whom he saw to have gone beyond the laws of the Jews and the manner of a private citizen, that he had claimed all power for himself with his brother and father and they were stripping the king of every public office, to whom nothing but the name remained, because devoid of power he proffered a hollow appearance. Finally without him being consulted many had been given to death and killed without royal mandates, which the law of the fathers did not allow. From which many were saying it was necessary that Herod be called into court, that he should give the reason, by which favor, he had violated the law, which forbad that those unheard be given to death; Hyrcanus ought to rise up and from this put to the test, whether Herod was conducting himself as a king or a private citizen. Who called into judgement if he were not present, it would be evident to what by his great arrogance he had aspired. By these and [p. 43] words of this type of the royal courtiers Hyrcanus was by degrees inflamed, who uttered the nearer shame of faintheartedness, that he had retired from the duty of royal tasks, power to have been transferred to Antipater and his children, whom the diminished power to him of ruling had made masters. Aroused by which he decided that in his judgement Herod had not been at fault, he would be cleared of the usurpations against the law which were being charged. Herod nevertheless was resentful that he had been called into judgement, however either from the admonitions of his father or from calmer judgement he approached the fortifying of Galilaea undertaken beforehand, but however it did not seem that with an invidious troop war should be threatened or that he should bring forth safety for an unprotected garrison. He was the support of Sextus Caesar wishing favor himself, who fearing that something of treachery was being invited for the youth had ordered Hyrcanus with strict orders that he should consider refraining from the danger of an oppressive sentence. Whence he granted Sextus more an acquittal of the judgement than to his wish, although Hyrcanus, although he had ceased from making charges that he should call him into court, wishing however that he should acquit, since he preferred to protect Herod rather than take vengeance on him. But the latter with youthful passion grieving the offense, ungrateful for the absolution proceeded to Sextus the desire having put forward, that if he should be called again he would not obey, and he gave those disparaging him the opportunity of making charges. Although Hyrcanus did not rise up for vengeance, when he saw him superior, from the recollection however of injury, which is fed by the retracting, Herod angered an army having been collected was making for Jerusalem, that he should destroy every power of Hyrcanus, and he almost accomplished it, except that checked by his brother and father his attack weakened to them asking, so that he thought it enough to have risen up and he placed a limit with his threat of vengeance, he abstained however from the destruction of the commander, under whom [p. 44] he had achieved a not inconsiderable influence, so that he had secured great power. Indeed he seemed injured because he was called into judgement, but again he was treated with favor because he was absolved. It would be too unfeeling if he should follow up the injury and be ungrateful for his safety. The outcome of wars to be dubious and doubtful, grave also the burden of spite, when he should make war on his commander and on him, who had favored him with paternal affection, very frequently assisted him, never injured him, except when using wicked advisers he had aroused a shade of unfairness for him, by which he considered himself injured.
XXVII. With these and other things he broke off the juvenile attack and the civil war was removed from Judaea, but transferred to the slaughter of the Romans, in fact Sextus Caesar was killed through treachery by Caecilius Bassus, and afterwards Julius Caesar having discharged uninterrupted power for three years and seven months, because he had gone beyond the condition of a private citizen, paid the most severe penalty in the senate to Cassius and Brutus the proposers. Whence men having been collected when the adoptive Julius determined to go avenging the death of his father Antonius having been joined to him, because aid having been sent Herod was judged to have aided the greatest faction of the war, command over all of Syria was given to him ruling. Which thing for Antipater was the cause of his fatal death.
XXVIII. For Malichus fearing the power of Antipater, which was heaped up by the valor of Herod, one of the royal ministers having been suborned, prepared poison for Antipater. Which having been drunk after a banquetAntipater immediately died his innate quality energetic among the rest and especially vigorous in seeking and establishing the rule of Hyrcanus. Herod felt the death of his father deeply [p. 45] and with army aroused he promised an avenger, but called back by the counsel of his brother, lest Judaea be disturbed violently by a civil war between Herod and Malichus, Malichus prepared for denial and especially dissembling that he was an accessory to the death of Antipater, he was easily led into another form of vengeance, so that satisfaction having accepted, that Antipater had died through no deceit of Malichus, Herod called Hyrcanus and Malichus to a dinner. And from the sentence of Cassius who had even ordered by his own direction that task for accomplishing vengeance, prepared centurions and prepositioned Roman armies met Hyrcanus and Malichus arriving together on the shore and with drawn swords surrounded each of them; however they butchered only Malichus pierced with many wounds and torn apart in a final death. Overcome with that terror Hyrcanus lost consciousness and having lost all vigor of mind and body collapsed; after a bit however when he recovered himself, Herod having been asked who had ordered Malichus to be killed, when he learned from the prepositioned troops he had been killed by order of Cassius the Roman commander, he responded immediately: "therefore Cassius was the savior of both me and my country, who killed the ambusher of both." But that Hyrcanus said this either from fear or that he he felt thus, is not at all clearly evident nor is able to be defined in our judgement. Elichus had risen up, who from fraternal kinship had desired the death of Malichus to be avenged, but because he did not dare to provoke Herod, he thought to strike his brother Phasaelus. Which having been learned Herod desiring to move himself was held back by sickness of body. Elichus in the meantime had seized certain fortresses and especially Masada a garrison having been placed there. But when the vigor of health returned to Herod, he recovered all and sent Elichus himself beseeching from the fortress Masada. Antigonus the son of Aristobolus, Ptolomaeus his father in law supporting him, [p. 46] whom Herod put to flight in battle, and Antigonus having been thrown out from Jerusalem, Herod returned the victor.
Furthermore there was great happiness from the fresh victory and especially from the new association. For at first Dosis his wife had adhered to him, from whom he received a son Antipater; afterwards he joined physically to himself in a second marriage Miriamme born to Alexander the son of Aristobolus, nearest to Hyrcanus and on account of that provided with royal rank. He did not however escape dislike, because he aspired to the kingdom seized to go to Hyrcanus. For when in the Macedoniam war Caesar and Antonius crushed Cassius and the supporters of Brutus and as victors the one hastened to return into Italy, the other believed he must hurry into Syria, many embassies flocking together to meet Antonius and those who were the more important of the Jews proceeded into Bithynia accusing Herod and his brother Phasaelus, for the reason that they the rule over all the state having been taken possession of by force had left the name only to Hyrcanus for a show of honor. But the presence of Herod prevailed and the gratitude, who with a not inconsiderable amount of money but with rich gifts had bound the mind of Antonius to himself. Whence weakened by no speech he removed from Antonius the dislike against himself of the simple mission. Again almost a hundred men of the Jews went all the way to Antioch to accuse with no less spirit, near Daphne they met Antonius now completely surrendered to his infatuation with Cleopatra and serving his passion. There they began to charge the intolerable power of the brothers. Messala countered in reply with Hyrcano attending and he refuted the arrogance of the people, who having been stirred up by a faction of a few, had disparaged their own people, who were asking foreigners (for support) [p. 47] and contriving the injury of Hyrcanus, although Hyrcanus had preferred what was best for the citizens. And so the charges of the factions having been heard Antonius asked Hyrcanus whom he considered to be most suitable. Whose affection for Herod and his brother being consistent, the responses harmonized with his wish, greatly pleased, because he was joined to the brothers by the bond of parternal hospitality, since Antipater received him arriving in Judaea with Gabinius very graciously with hospitality and took care of him with many kindnesses, he appointed Herod and Phasaelus tetrarchs and ordered them to conduct the management of all of Judaea. From this also the number of those making complaints was multiplied; for although he received others of the legates with confinement, he treated others with abuse, however afterwards a thousand delegates having been ordered to proceed to Antonius spending time in the city of Tyre a rebellion having been raised in Jerusalem, he did not neglect the will of the citizens. And since he was violently enraged against those shouting in protest, the governor of the Tyrians was sent to those daring to cry out, who seized those guilty of arrogance, although as if himself even Herod and Hyrcanus were seeking, lest they should beget the most severe punishments for themselves and disturbances of their country and causes for wars. When nothing was accomplished and all began to be embroiled in an irrational struggle, Antonius sent armed men, by whom some were killed, many gravely wounded, from Hyrcanus however the dead received the favor of burial or those who were able to escape of medical care, he gave an occasion of twofold kindness, by which his benevolence toward the citizens was made evident. The rest who had not only fled so angered Antonius by stirring up the city, that even again those whom he was holding in chains he ordered the supreme punishment. [p. 48]
XXIX. Arrogance had yielded to harshness, but during almost two years the army of the Parthians had poured itself into Syria Pacorus the son of the king and Barzafranis a satrap of the Persians leading the barbarian army. Whom Lysanias the son of Ptolomaeus approached as instigator. His father having died who had the name Mennius, now deprived of rule, through the satrap mentioned he incited Pacorus a thousand talents of silver and five hundred women having been promised, that he should give the kingdom to Antigonus, he should take the highpriesthood from Hyrcanus. Pacorus gave part of the cavalry to a royal minister, inasmuch as he himself was detained by rebellions inside Syria, that he should cross into Judaea and manage things for Antigonus, that he might help his spirit. But this also had gone forward very little, unless the Jews fighting against themselves, Herod and Phasaelus opposed to Antigonus, from a way of thinking it had been proposed to Antigonus, that they should accept Pacorus as a mediator of peace. Which Phasaelus from levity of character, Herod objecting, approved in time, presently having experienced danger to himself, he recognized the barbarians by their nature to be treacherous. For sent to Barzafranis (who was) the mediator of peace and having set out with Hyrcanus he met the satrap concealing quite cunningly an ambush with the appearance of friendliness. In the end he gave gifts to those departing and he arranged in what way they were to be surrounded by his dispositions. They followed them more for the sake of confining them than as companions in dangers. Messages were delivered that Parthia had been bought with a thousand talents for the destruction of those mentioned. Ofellius also persuaded flight, because he had learned from Saramalla the richest of the Syrians that a party had been prepared for them. But not even thus was Phasaelus induced Hyrcanus having been abandoned to take counsel for himself, in truth he assailed the satrap [p. 49] with the most biting insults, that he betrayed a trust for money, that he considered money of greater value than justice, that he himself would give more for his safety than Antigonus would pay for the kingdom. But the Persian struggled to justify for himself with a false oath the trust which he had betrayed and to avert suspicion not much after he had completed the treachery. For that having been accomplished they carried away with curses Phasaelus and Hyrcanus to Pacorus, to whom they had given this task, when they were by now unable to accomplish the other, desiring false oaths of the barbarians and the treachery of betrayal to achieve vengeance. No small amount of wine had the accomplice sent into Judaea expended with his treacheries that he might capture Herod, but great concern for taking precautions had already exercised the latter suspecting for a long time the treacheries of the barbarians, he held himself within the fortifications. Nor did he think he should commit himself to go outside the walls and to talks with the enemy, orders having been counterfeited by Pacorus, with which as from Phasaelus he came with his arrogance to the brother. It having been learned that his brother and Hyrcanus were being held, he sent his troops ahead by night into Idumaea and he himself with servants routed the pursuing barbarians. Many having been killed he took himself hastily into Masada, having been tested more seriously than by the Parthians by the Jews, who had fallen upon him fleeing, and indeed he placed his troops within the fortifications having avenged himself upon those pursuing. He himself however a garrison having been left, which was a protection for his mother and younger brothers, hastened into the Arabian Petra. The Persians poured themselves into Jerusalem breaking into the homes of those fleeing. Everything was rurned into plunder war disturbance. And there the injustice went forward, the kingdom was awarded to Antigonus, Phasaelus and Hyrcanus were placed in his power for undergoing [p. 50] whatever might please him. He however was not able to restrain himself longer, but immediately an attack having been made upon Hyrcanus cut off his ears with his own teeth, lest at any time by a change of circumstances a return to the high priesthood might stand open for him. For it is necessary that the high priest be physically perfect, nor is it allowed through law to make a bid, that anyone with a mutilated body should hold the highest office of the priesthood. Phasaelus with swiftness avoided the disgrace of the death decreed for him, his head having been dashed against the rocks which by chance they had come upon, disdaining to be saved for mockery or to die by the order of a foreigner, who was able able although with bound hands and a sword denied to find an exit from life. There was nevertheless yet another report of this type, that Antigonus brought in a doctor for the wound, by whom poisons were poured upon the wound as if medications. Whichever of these his death had the defiant spirit of leaders. He is reported to have said in addition in his last moments when he was already breathing out his spirit, it having been learned that Herod was alive and had escaped by flight the prepared treachery, he died with thanks, who left behind a survivor, who would return vengeance for him. For Herod hastened in Arabia expecting that he would receive money with which alone he believed he would be able to influence the barbarian greed, that he would ransom the captivity of his brother and if he found the Arab either unmindful of his father's goodwill or holding fast against returning gifts, if he should demand money in return as the price of the ransom, for which he would pledge the son of the man to be ransomed, whom making use of the seven year old boy he had brought to them with himself. But this effort of pious brotherhood was forestalled [p. 51] by the death of Phasaelus and Herod was carefully pursuing his desire of a brotherly gift. Before however he had learned about the death of his brother, he met with Bocchus the foreign king of Arabia, whom he believed to be a friend. But he had changed his loyalty with time and he forbad Herod already approaching the boundaries of Arabia to enter, by prearrangement what had been insinuated to him by the messengers of the Parthians, that he should not consider receiving his fugitive into the kingdom of Arabia and beget for himself the cause of a painful war. Offended by which Herod immediately turned back, which the resentment of a justified agitation had brought forth, and from there he turned into Egypt. Presently however it repented Bocchus of the violated friendship those having been sent by whom he would be called back, Herod had outstripped them. To whom having entered the territory, which the Rinocorians inhabit, and (having learned) about the death of his brother and the captivity of Hyrcanus, who under chains had been led into Parthia, a great source of grief and made known by true evidence, such a great deposit of anxieties, that he prepared for flight rather than for war. Finally he hastened to Alexandria with the utmost zeal, and there was received with honor by Cleopatria, because she thought that a man of such a great name should be sought as the leader of their military forces by her party. From where the petitions of the queen having been put behind him he sailed for Rome the disturbances in Italy having been learned of and considering the storms of winter of lesser importance, than those more serious waves he shuddered at with every shipwreck in the fleet of Cleopatria. Finally having set out he fell into danger near Pamphilia from unexpected gusts of wind, but he escaped however and his ship having been replaced he arrived at Brundisium first and from there at Rome. There with the prerogative of paternal friendship he approached Antonius and his own afflictions and those of family relatives having been lamented, by which they had been placed under siege, he came to Rome beseeching, [p. 52] he influenced Antonius by the miseries received from such a great change of circumstances, because a powerful king for a long time and who had very often borne the task of the Roman state, suddenly as one shipwrecked and needing all things and destitute of help his people having been placed in peril he implores suppliantly, who had exchanged his seat for exile.
XXX. In which although Antonius was favorably influenced by the gratitude, which had been in him with his father Antipater, and especially because likewise making him tetrarch had left him predetermined for rule, Caesar however more extravagant in natural benevolence held the military service of Antipater in Egypt borne in all the battles of his father Caesar and the hospitable fellowship as more valued with renewed pledges of favor. He mistrusted however the character full of cunning of the king, perversely intent not on fairness and goodness but on the advantages of his activities. The opportunity having been given of addressing the senate, before which Messala and Atratinus detailing the good deeds of the father, also the services of Herod himself for the Roman state, it was resolved by the authority of the fathers that the rule of Herod seemed advantageous for the Roman empire, that with Antonius joining in it was advantageous that in the war being waged against the Parthians the alliance of the celebrated king be joined to the Romans. The senate having been dismissed Caesar and Antonius and Herod coming out from the senate house together are escorted by the accompanying attendance of the magistrates, on the first day, on which the kingdom had been bestowed upon Herod by the decree of the senate, Antonius prepares a banquet and invites the king. At almost the same time Joseph the brother of Herod from the lack of water had arranged a flight during the night, but suddenly such a great force of rain poured upon the earth, that it filled every reservoir of water. [p. 53] Therefore the flight having been called off, which he was preparing to the Arab nation, he routed the forces of the besieging Antigonus partly by ambushes partly by attack and open battle. But generally with the departure of the enemy he kept himself in the fortress. And now Herod unexpectedly arrived from Italy in the city of Ptolomais of Syria having set out quickly by ship with a great troop of citizens and travelers he was seeking Antigonus, Ventidius and Silon the commanders of the Roman military forces meeting up with him, whom Antonius had ordered to be in attendance on the arriving Herod. Dellius using them against the enemy as ordered by Antonius although shuddering at the task, because Antigonus had turned each of them aside for a price, with the appearance however of the nearest he had persuaded to come together, accordingly Ventidius was delaying in the nearest cities for the purpose of repressing the commotions of the Parthian war, Silon however stationed inside Judaea in an open alliance with Antigonus was amassing money. But however Herod did not lack assistance, to whom all had adhered except a few of the Galilaeans, and because he had proposed that he should rescue his people from the siege at Masada as soon as possible, he captured Joppa placed in the middle by fighting, filled with a band of enemies, lest having progressed further he should leave an enemy in his rear, and although Antigonus desired to hinder his march, he took back Masada as an easy task and extracted his people from danger. Next having set out for Jerusalem when he had accomplished everything so that he had no necessity of fighting, asserting himself to be for the citizens against the rebellion, to have undertaken the battle not against his own people, harassed by the supporters of Antigonus with arrows and light javelins from the wall he forced those shouting against him to flee. Nor would there have been any delay of the victory, if [p. 54] Silon the commander of the Roman troops had not suborned the soldiers, who from want had made complaint and everything around the walls having been devastated they alleged in excuse the difficulty of useful things and the meanness of provisions and already the time was at hand when it was necessary for them to depart to winter quarters, they threatened themselves about to break up the command, unless it was assented to. And the rebellion would already have grown strong, if Herod offering himself as mediator equally to the centurions and the soldiers had not pleaded, that they should not forsake him, whom Caesar and Antonius and the senate too had joined together in upholding, since especially it was promised that nothing of advantage would be neglected. And the speech having been completed having gone out into the region suddenly he caused an abundance of all things to be made available to the army, so that no excuse was left for Silon. And from that time the spirits of everyone having been raised with two thousand foot soldiers and five hundred horsemen he recovered Iudumaea the army of the Romans having been calmed already and stationed in winter quarters. The leader of this achievement Joseph was chosen for a lighter task, lest he should think something involving greater danger should be undertaken against Antigonus. He himself however when he had stationed his family and supporters taken out of Masada in Samaria, those fortifications and things which he believed would be of advantage having been provided for, in the frozen winter and all places filled with snow outstripping news of his approach having entered for refitting without any battle into Sepphoris formerly called by this name, which was afterwards called Diocaesaria, whom the winter frost and roads rough with ice had fatigued, which he judged advantageous; for there were in that place great supplies of foodstuffs. Where with his soldiers restored by food and their stationary placement, he thought that battle must be undertaken against the brigands, who overrunning the entire region [p. 55] ground down the inhabitants of the places no less than a military incursion. Therefore at first he sent ahead a certain part of the horsemen and foot soldiers against the village Arbela and he himself with remainder of the troops was present forty days later. But however the brigands were not frightened by the appearance of the army, but considering that a charge must be made with arms, they displayed military discipline and the recklessness of brigands. A clash having been held the left wing of Herod fell back, but Herod quickly restored it and reinforcements having been added he stationed his men, he overpowered them being overtaken and overcame their attack. Who were unable to endure Herod fighting hand to hand, having pursued those turning aside all the way to the Jordan he delivered them to death. All the rest were scattered beyond the river, so that Galilaea was freed from all fear of raids only those remaining, who hiding themselves in lairs and digging in caves delayed the victory. There were however in the steep places of the mountains, in the hollow dens of the rocks, presenting fearful appearances among the sharp rocks impassable on all sides and impossible except by approach to the inhabitants of the places, who by transverse paths and narrow stony tracks, by which alone they were accustomed to be approached, they were safer by the practice of danger being applied against danger. Blind within the recesses of caves, in front of which a rock projecting as if from the ridge of the continent all the way to the deep meeting of the waters removed hope of approaching the position made hazardous on all sides, from the brow of the mountains by falling waters and the ragged course of the rivers, so that the fall of the plunging streams and the rock overhanging with deep gullies give more of terror. Finally for a considerable time the king from uncertainty hesitated not discovering how he should defeat nature, afterwards however having made use of a scheme of this nature that a defence having been devised in the manner of boxes he shut in the strongest whom [p. 56] armed he lowered with certain ropes to the very mouths of the caves, who began easily to slaughter and to kill the unarmed and with every relative and generation and if any dared to resist to burn them with fire thrown in. There was no place for pity, moreover Herod wishing to rescue many from death and to give trust in fleeing to himself turned them aside to a greater extent, so that not one attached himself to Herod voluntarily and if any were driven by force they preferred death to captivity. Finally one of the elderly, whose seven sons and wife were present, for whose safety he was able to take counsel, killed all of them in this manner, he himself stood in the entrance ordering each one to come out and he killed the one of his sons appearing. Herod catching sight of such a sad and miserable deed, weakened by paternal bonds, held out his hand and asked with words, that he should spare his children promising safety. But he was not at all influenced by these words and having reviled the king killed his sons and wife above, the bodies of his sons having been thrown down from on high at last he gave himself headlong to the abyss. Terrified by these things Antigonus, because Herod had so easily overcome the multitude of brigands and the difficulty of their locations, he indeed refused his own presence, but turned himself against Ptolomaeus, whom Herod had put in charge of a part of the army, and a man very suitable for the trick of war through those, to whom it was the habit to disturb Galilaea, by a sudden attack he forced Ptolomaeus to be killed. He killed also Joseph the brother of Herod, his brother being occupied in other parts, actively fighting back with Roman soldiers, who having been collected had advanced recklessly to his aid. Not content with such a great triumph he added to the victory a painful insult against the dead, that he was left with his head cut off, for which Ferora the brother of the slain [p. 57] offered fifty talents but did not obtain it. By which victory the enthusiasm of many inside Galilaea was again changed to Antigonus, the tasks of war were renewed. Herod hastened to Antioch; there in a sufficiently pleasant place which they name Daphnen he rested, when the news having been received of the death of his brother lamenting for a brief while he put aside the sorrow of his suffering, he prepared vengeance. Antigonus did not receive his raging resentment, but hid himself within the fortifications. Herod broke in, that he should take vengeance on the originators of such a heinous crime, and easily routed the opposing army. There was a great slaughter of many, the streets were obstructed by the bodies of the dead, so that he very roads were filled with the corpses of the slain. The battle had been finished with all routed by flight, if Herod had thought he should immediately direct his route to Jerusalem. Antigonus threw away his spears, he feared the final punishment. All were confused by fear so that, when Herod had been called from pursuing by the severity of the winter and arms having put down he had entered the public baths accompanied by one servant, three men ran to him with drawn swords, then many, who had fled from the battle seeking hiding places. These alarmed by fear the king having been seen crossed through and hastened to the exit of the baths, so that they were able to escape, who were able to produce the death of the king and end the war; finally there was no one who could seize those fleeing. From which Herod concluding, how great a fear was in the enemy, devoted himself to the battle and killed Pappus the leader of the opposing army and ordered his head to be cut off, because his royal brother Joseph had been killed by him. [p. 58]
XXXI. Meanwhile Antigonus who had prepared for flight delayed; whom delaying Herod besieged with the army poured around and gave attention to that part which was before the temple, actually that part where Pompey had broken into the city. However a great anticipation of victory was already upon the king. As with the siege having been started he was distracted to receiving as wife the daughter of Alexander and changing the trumpet call to a wedding celebration and mixing a wedding with war; and having seized the opportunity of a union from the occurrence of battle he turns back from the festival to war. Sossius came up sent by Antonius for assistance to the king. And thus the men having been joined since the Romans excelled in the practice of war and in military discipline and were supported by the desire of pleasing the king, a forcible entry having been made in barely the fifth month, the Herodians having dared to climb the wall, moreover the centurions of the Romans rushing in. Then there were countless slaughters, everything about the temple laid waste. Some fleeing to the temple, others collecting in their homes were cut down, no compassion for old age, none for infancy or feminine weakness. Antigonus presented himself and heedless of the place threw himself at the feet of Sossius. But the latter, whom such a great turning upside down of things ought to have prompted to compassion, having jeered the prostrate Antigonus called him, he did not however spare him like a woman, but thrust him bound into confinement. Herod was in doubt, how he should rescue the homeland from the hands of the Romans, how he might save the temple from being polluted by the gentiles. For the Romans were hurrying to look at the more intimate mysteries, to desecrate the holy of holies. In truth the king now by requests now by threats removed every one, having thought the victory worse than flight, if anything of the sacraments should be revealed. The Romans insisted upon booty, Herod resisted, [p. 59] lest they should leave an empty city for him and the rule of a desert would be left to him. Sossius spoke to the soldiers against the pillage of the captured city. But the king from his own promised the soldiers he would give them money and thus he saved with money the rest of his country which remained; he fulfilled what he had promised, he supported the soldiers most kindly, he rewarded the leaders reasonably, Sossius himself with royal generosity. No one departed ungrateful. Sossius offered the crown to god and having set out took Antigonus with him to Antonius, whom he struck as a man of degenerate mind with an axe.
XXXII. Herod moreover having given much even to his men, gave very much to Antonius and his friends as a gift, he was not able however to buy from Antonius security for himself. For already Antonius overwhelmed by love of Cleopatra was serving her interests and enslaved was a servant to his lust, and was not able to overcome her feminine appetites and especially of the practiced woman in the slaughters of her relatives, who having been killed she had joined their possessions to her own as if spoils. With the same avarice likewise and cruelty if she had received anyone from Syria who according to rumor was rich she caused them to be killed and Antonius having been enslaved already to her desires she thought the kingdom also of Judaea and Arabia, the governing people of each nation having been killed, could be added to her avarice. But although drunk with lust in sleep Antonius serious in this matter came to his senses, so that he declined to kill such men and powerful kings in accordance with the command of that impudent woman. However lest he dismiss them unharmed, he struck down their friends, he took away the greatest part of their possessions and especially that region which produced balsam, all the cities located [p. 60] within the river Eleutherus, Tyre and Sidon however excepted, he awarded to the cupidity of Cleopatra. Who cajoled by the man with such a bribe, followed Antonius setting out against the Parthians all the way to the Euphrates, she returned through Judaea, where Herod did not overlook to win over the mind of the queen to himself with gifts and especially bribes. To whom favorable things increased her arrogance, so that immoderate womanish behavior lifted her up beyond bound, so that not much later the king of the Parthians Artabases the son of the very powerful king Tigranes was given to her as a gift. Whom Antonius holding as a captive with all the booty and Persian spoils destined for his triumph awarded to the woman as a common slave, so that the more illustrious had been his victory, the more disgraceful had been his bribery, which dishonored kings with mockery. But not for long was she master of favorable things, who knew not how to use them, with womanly haughtiness she aroused Augustus against herself. And so with great efforts the Actiacus war was prepared on both sides. Unhesitatingly the king with Antonius entered into the war, because Judaea was empty of the hostile uproar and he had recovered Hyrcania long held by the sister of Antigonus. But in this also Herod was most fortunate, to whom it was inadvisable to mix himself in a foreign dangers. Therefore Cleopatra wishing to alienate and divert his mind from the kings, persuaded the man, that Herod should wage war against the Arabs, by which if he should be the winner, Arabia would fall to the queen, if he should be the loser, the rule of Cleopatra would be extended into Judaea. Whichever should conquer, the other would pay off. Which action not according to plan but according to the outcome favored Herod. Who as soon as he started the battle, stronger in cavalry he routed the enemy, in the end he is overcome by the great number of the enemy and surrounded by their number, the men of the adversaries having gathered in Canatha, against whom wishing to strengthen his line, the minds of his men elated [p. 61] by the outcome of the preceding and for that reason sallying against the enemy, he was deserted by the treachery especially of Athenius, whom Cleopatra had joined to the leader, not that he should aid Herod, but that he should desert him in difficult in difficult straits. Finally the Arabs attacked his army deserted in rocky and impassable terrain and scatter and rout it with great slaughter and having pursued those put to flight to their refuge give them over to destruction. Herod indeed arrived later than necessity demanded, buy however having avenged the calamity in following battles he so afflicted the Arabs, that they often lamented that one victory of theirs. Besides a great weakness of minds is added by an upheaval of the earth, by which many cattle and almost thirty thousand men also were swallowed up. Every military troop however there which stayed in the open air survived unharmed. From this cause also the spirits of the enemy were raised as they thought they might more easily invade a deserted Judaea and and crush those struck by such prodigies. From which Herod thought they should be roused to his defence, and especially because he had learned that the envoys whom he had sent to Arabia had been treacherously killed. With this speech therefore he addressed those trembling: "since the state of the enemy has been broken by so many of our favorable battles to the point of their confession, who stirred up by a frenzied resentment about to be conquered have killed our envoys, it seems strange to me, that an irrational fear has struck you so strongly, that you put fortuitous events of the elements before the famous successes of our valor. There was no encounter, in which the Arabs did not immediately fall back and turned back into flight think that they must yield and, as they held themselves stolen things of war, that they had captured remedies by trickery and ambush, not that they themselves had conquered, but that they had delayed our victory. For whom since it is necessary to be confident, [p. 62] a disturbance followed as if a terrifying event of war, because the earth trembled, since they alone were innocent who are waging war, or if we wish to consider whom it impedes, we consider rather the Arabs, whom it it has led into war, that they have not taken themselves from the braver by fleeing. For I see them relying not on arms and strength but to have come back to the battle line because of the looses of our herds. For fragile is the hope, which depends not from confidence of its own valor but upon the distress of others, since on earth nothing is so changeable as either favorable things or adverse things. In a few moments the conditions of human fortunes are changed; neither long lasting prosperity nor adversity is persevering. And so neither misery nor the contrary is everlasting, but there are frequently successive and various changes of circumstances in the same. Finally from things it is permitted to take an example; in the previous conflict we were superior, but in the process of the battle our luck changed, so that we were conquered by those whom we had beaten. And so it is for us to hope, that they may be conquered by us, who had beaten us. For too great presumption and neglectful of self is always incautious. Fear however warns to look into the future and teaches care. In prosperity boldness creeps in and ill-advised rashness does not know to await the plan of the commander. Finally you advancing against my opinion the worthlessness of Athenio discovered an opportunity of doing harm. Now your alarm hurries to me the expectation of victory. Arouse therefore your spirits and raise the old brave spirit of the Jews; let not the agitations of things not knowable by the senses frighten you, nor consider the motions of the earth the signs of a second disaster. The sufferings of the elements have their harm, but you should not fear anything other than what is offensive in itself. For there are not signs of danger in the motion of the earth and the affliction of animals but dangers themselves. There is nothing therefore that we should fear as burdens to be borne [p. 63] who have borne more burdensome things. He is able to be more well-disposed who has taken vengeance and more merciful, than if he had not taken vengeance. What is preserved after an earthquake and plague except sympathy, because we set free doubled sins. And however we have untouched what is useful for war; for plague has taken away those placed outside of the war, our victory moreover has taken from the enemy, what they consider proper for war. Afterward for us there were dead cattle, for them the decision who thought the envoys we sent must be killed against justice and divine law. They transgressed against the law of all men, indeed of themselves barbarians, among themselves also, who are ignorant of civilization, envoys are considered untouchable. While heavenly vengeance is to be feared and god is feared as the avenger of such a heinous crime. This therefore our adversaries have let in, which neither human nor divine laws leave unpunished. Let us march out therefore not for territory or spoils but about to do battle for injury to the gods. Not love of wife or children urges us to battle but the protection of god obtained. We are carrying out not our own decisions but the sacred orders of divine law, that for them we claim vengeance, whom religion orders must be untouchable. Between hostile arms an embassy alone is a mediator of peace, he puts aside his enemy who is engaged in an embassy. Whose blood now cries out to god and demands vengeance. Let us therefore hasten to battle while we have god the revenger and avenger of those murdered. They are fighting better for us and surrounded by hosts of angels spread before in the battle line." Having exhorted his troops with such words he charged against the enemy seeking every opportunity of fighting. The Arabs were superior in numbers but inferior in spirit, whence an attack having been made almost five thousand of them were slain. The rest taking themselves into the fortifications were overcome by a lack of water, so an embassy having been sent [p. 64] they asked peace for a price. But when they saw themselves to be put off and their thirst was being inflamed further by the failing water, many coming out voluntarily offered themselves up to their enemies, preferring to die by the sword rather than from thirst, whom Herod guarded in fetters lest there should be treachery. And so in five days almost four thousand were taken in, others coming forth to fight again were killed to the number of seven thousand men. Humbled by which disaster the Arabs, as much inferior in courage as they were outstanding in good sense, sought from the king, whom they held an enemy, that he himself should be a defender and protector for them.
XXXIII. But a greater concern struck him the victor, as some one who had brought something upon himself, he trembled at not now the danger overhanging him of territory but of the entire kingdom. Antonius having been conquered whom he had joined to himself in faithful friendship. In fact Augustus Caesar the winner of the battle of Actiacus considered Antonius not yet overcome, since Herod had survived the victory. In anxiety therefore the king since he had discovered from a true source that Caesar had gone to Rhodes, sailed to him lest rumor should arrive before his earthly journey, and arriving his crown having been put aside he presented himself in private dress but with the mental attitude of a king. In fact leaving out nothing of the truth he kept his loyalty, he held on to his authority. "I," he said, "Augustus, confess not to have been a true ally of Antonius, rather someone who received the kingdom from him, to whom I do not deny myself a debtor up to now; I would have demonstrated that with arms, if Cleopatra had not been jealous and the Arabs had not prevented it. From that necessity I did not bear arms against you, not as the deserter of a friend or as one afraid of battle, but as occupied at home with managing affairs. Antonius did not perceive me as ungrateful to him, to whom I not present sent the assistance of the army and countless supplies of grain. [p. 65] And also you, Caesar, would not have judged me unmindful of his kindnesses, if I had been at the Actiacus battle. See that I leave out nothing. Before you I fear more to be seen ungrateful to your enemy than to be seen an enemy to you. Your judgement to me is more serious that the war, before whom not the merits of valor but crimes are tried. And I before you prefer to be tried for faithfulness rather than for unfaithfulness. See, Caesar, that I did not abandon the uninjured Antonius, I did not run away from him beaten. You conquered, Caesar, Antonius with your great legions, you conquered with your intelligence, you conquered with the strength of the Roman empire, which he abandoned, and which he refused, and truly he was beaten by your power but more by his behavior. His wife Cleopatra conquered him, his Egyptian love conquered him, his Conopeian extravagances conquered him, it conquered him, because he preferred to be conquered with Cleopatra rather than to conquer without her. A woman more dangerous to her own people than to her enemies conquered him. I had urged the death of the woman, if he wished to take counsel for himself, I had promised aid with which I would repair damage, I had promised forces with I would protect him fleeing, I offered myself as a companion in war, but the desires of Cleopatra blocked up his mind. He was conquered because he did not wish to hear me, I too was conquered with Antonius with less shame however, because Cleopatra conquered him, Antonius conquered me. He left behind a foreign woman, I did not abandon a friend. I laid aside the crown with him, but I have come to you retaining the favor of a faithful friend; I have given up the emblems of royal power, but I have not cast away the consciousness of worth. Judge as you wish, I however, of whatever kind your judgement, I return thanks with myself, that it will be thought that I was a friend of this sort."
XXXIV. Caesar responded to these things: "Be in good health," he said, "and now enjoy your reign more, because we do not dislike good character but we delight in it. For you are worthy to rule many, who thus protect [p. 66] friendship, so that you do not reject him placed in adversity and you do not blush to confess him a friend to you. But you have sufficiently proved to honor the more fortunate to cling to and to keep faith in good circumstances as in adverse circumstances. Antonius conquered you, but I will not consider you conquered, whom friendship has made equal to the victors. Therefore you may make requests fom us, because no outcome of the war has changed you, seeing that you did not abandon Antonius but Antonius earlier abandoned you, who entrusted himself more to Cleopatra than to you. The foolishness of that man gained you for us, because he picked the worst for himself, he rejected faith. It is no wonder that Antonius conquered should adhere to Cleopatra, by whom a victor he was captured. Why should you wonder, if Cleopatra made Antonius defect from you, since he separated from me and from a wife made an enemy of the empire? And so you were rejected with us and therefore the kingdoms with us. Nor indeed is this empty of benefit because, while we are occupied with civil war, you made the untamed people of Arabia subject, because we consider the enemies of the Jews as our enemies. For they carry arms against us who attack you. Therefore you fought for us, when you conquered for yourself, and thus we reward you, so that your kingdom is confirmed as our gift. Meanwhile your favor is not at all reduced, we undertake in the future that you do not need Antonius. Nor indeed is it fitting, that we do not conquer with benevolence whom we have conquered by war." When he had said this, he placed the crown on his head, adding painstaking attention to the gift. Encouraged by this esteem of Caesar wishing to reduce his displeasure against Alexan, one of the friends of Antonius, a man against whom Caesar was greatly angered, [p. 67] he pleaded with much prayer, but very great anger left no place for pardon. Having followed the march of Caesar setting forth into Egypt and having supplied all things, which were of use to him or to the army, he acquired the greatest goodwill and enthusiasm of the commander for himself, especially because in the very dry places all the way to Pelusium an abundant supply of water was supplied with royal foresight. With which services he infused a great love for himself into everyone, so that it was thought he deserved more than he had received and that the rule of a kingdom was less than the liberality of his kindness deserved. Therefore Caesar from this opinion, things having been accomplished in Egypt, Antonius and Cleopatra having died, returned to Herod not only what had been taken away, truly even beyond those things which Cleopatra had stolen, he granted to him Gadara, Ipponen, Samaria. He bestowed also at the same time the maritime cities, Gaza, Anthedon, Joppa, and Strato's Tower; also four hundred bodyguards from Gaul, surrounded by whom Cleopatra traveled, he granted many other things for the protection of the body of the king. But from all these things the king considered most important that above all he was loved, by Caesar below Agrippa only, by Agrippa below Caesar only.
XXXV. And so in the fifteenth year of his reign, that he should respond to his blessed condition and favor, having been lifted up by such a great success of favorable things, he strained for goodness and so that he might demonstrate himself grateful to the heavenly gods for the favors flowing to him without limit, he adorned the temple, and he surrounded with a wall all that circuit of space about the temple and the space having been doubled he enclosed it at great expense of building and with exquisite beauty. For evidence there were great covered walks about the sanctuary, which he raised up from the foundations. Nor was his purpose less of guarding than of beautifying, [p. 68] accordingly he strengthened the fortress lying to the north, which he named Antonia in honor of Antonius, not at all inferior to the higher palaces. He added even in the citadel of the royal home twin residences of great extent of wonderful beauty, to whose grace you would think nothing should be added. One of them was named Caesarium, the other Agrippium, so that in his dwellings the lasting memory of such great friends would be celebrated. He also not only completed the building of the city Sebaste but even filled it with inhabitants, But I will not follow up every one, not at all easily was any place of long established cities neglected, which declining he did not renew or adorn with the buildings added which were seen to be lacking. Pouring his gifts to the five years contests he enriched that common class of men with his poured out riches. He even founded a temple of white marble to Caesar near the sources of the Jordan having been made unmindful of religious scruples, so that he consecrated a temple to the man and introduced a practice of the gentiles into Judaea. The name of the place is Panium, where a mountain of lofty height with a high peak extends high into the air, in whose side a gloomy cave is found, through which an oppressive abyss of a smelly precipice breathes out a harsh noxious exhalation. Within there was a meeting of the waters and without any motion much force, so that no estimation of the boundless depth could be made; without however around the base of the mountain itself springs gush out. Whence many have thought the source of the Jordan to be in that place, still it seems to us to us what the truth holds must be discovered in the future. There was [p. 69] in the coastal regions a city, which was called the Tower of Strato, already exhausted by frequent wars and decayed by old age itself into ruin, but prominent however by the the suitableness and loveliness of the place, which he renewed with white stone and buildings of the imperial court, and in it he expressed the character of his greatness of soul and the elegance of the work. For located in the middle between two coastal cities Dora and Iopen it is bound up in both directions by a harborless seashore, so that all whoever they may be who desire to travel from Egypt to Phoenicia, are rocked in the ocean, because in that place the sea is frequently stirred up by the winds and especially by the gusts of the southwest wind, by whose even more moderate blowing a disorder is raised, and likewise struck by the jutting rocks and thrown back by the broken attack it irritates the savage sea by yielding. And so the king setting no limit of expense conquered nature by greatness of soul and established a port greater than Piraeus and in it the devastation of the rocks having been penetrated he established safe stations. Also having measured the distance, to the size the port would come to, he put huge rocks into the sea, to which the depth was fifty feet and to others even greater. He divided the port itself with great towers, one of which he named Drusium, so that the name of Drusus, which was from the ancestors of Caesar, should weave into his conspicuous works. He even placed shorter steps at more frequent places, through which without severe labor ships could be hauled; he even beautified the entire loveliness of that port with three gigantic statues. Again he established a temple to Caesar in an elevated place and in the middle of the temple he placed a large statue with the name of Augustus as a likeness of the man himself, which was of not less magnitude [p. 70] than the likeness of Jupiter of Olympus or of Juno of Argos. You would not know the beauty in such great difficulties or the strength of the work and you might think the protection in such great beauty to be outstanding, since the work remains indestructible to the sea or age. And so many advantages accrue in one work; for a great city is added to the province and a port to sailors and honor to Caesar, from whose name Caesarea was named in this time.
XXXVI. The society sought of one woman lowered and weakened with sad pain this political power of the king flowing to his triumphal successes, from which against justice and divine law he thought a wife should be measured by the rank of her birth rather than by love, a certain royal practice. For he had in association a woman of Jerusalem Dosis by name, joined to himself a commoner previously, who ought to have been more pleasing to him, who had been good for her husband, with whom he had arrived at the royal peak. But unmindful of this goodness he cast aside Dosis, he marries Mariamme the granddaughter of Aristobolus, the daughter of Alexander. And so while he pursued noble birth, he met with turmoil, which his own home did not find fitting for him, to which the many peoples of the different provinces were submissive. And lest the eyes of the new bride with a stepmother's dislike should be offended by him placed at home whom Dosis had given birth to, Antipater, for that was the name of the youth, was ejected not only from his father's dwelling but also from the entire city, he made a situation with the inauspicious wedding, which he was celebrating with the banishment of his only son, and he was hardly summoned for the solemnities of the festal days. The woman seeing her husband to be compliant to her was even turned by the jeers of piety into haughtiness; for the reason was added, by which her mind was rightly inflamed, that she discovered that Hyrcanus her grandfather had been killed through the treachery of her husband, falsely accused because of a desire for royal power. [p. 71] He is the person about whom we made mention before, whom Barzafranes who was ruling the Persians, when he had seized Syria, took away captive, and held at first in Parthia, afterwards having pitied his worsened fate, relinquished to the Jews demanding him, who were living beyond the Euphrates. And would that he had conceded to those entreating him, even that he had believed those warning him, that the political power of his relatives should not in the manner of human nature arouse him, so that he would make the passage to Herod; she would be a danger to him, because desirous of saving his royal power he stirred up none more than those closest to him, and he should beware his relatives. But he from the tedium of living abroad and the desires of his people crossed the Euphrates, he returned into Judaea. Because he descended deeper into the breast of Herod than anyone had thought, not that he aspired to the royal power, but because a man of the royal stock and with the privilege of power long exercised him to be able to abstain from it was thought uncertain. The noose of death for Hyrcanus was therefore the husband of his granddaughter, with whose influence he had hurried to Herod, not knowing that captives lived more safely among the enemy than relatives near the king. And so with not even a slight expectation of ruling he was killed for this alone, that the kingdom was seen to be properly his. Meanwhile he loved Miriamme with an immoderate love and did not want her offended. Numerous offspring had piled favor upon the woman. For she had borne him five children, but of the three sons the youngest had died at Rome, while he was receiving a gentlemanly education. The remaining two were honored beyond the mode of commoners in royal style. The reason for the youths was the nobility of their mother and his rise in the kingdom, because they had been born with their father already ruling, but [p. 72] especially the love of Miriamme, by which the king was daily more and more inflamed, so that although no change of love was returned to him by his wife, he took care however that he should not sadden the mind of his wife in anything. With equal weight the hatred of his wife and the love of the man fought against him. More justly however Miriamme hated the man loving her, which Miriamme not loving him Herod loved, the hatred of the woman arose from the outrage, from the reliance on love, because first, by the grief of a granddaughter, she was turned away, second she was lifted up by the servility of a lover. And thus not even by the reprimands of the things thrown forth did he temper the crime, that he had through wickedness snatched away from her her grandfather Hyrcanus and her brother Jonathan, although one was his wife's grandfather, the other a relative by marriage, the former ought to have been saved because feeble of old age, the latter at least because of his adolescent age. A shameful crime, to whom a youth of seventeen years he had committed the high priesthood, to whom immediately he had conferred the office he inflicted death for no other cause, as we grasp it, unless that having put on the priestly garments, when he first approached the high altar on the sacred and honored day, suddenly the people broke into tears. Because he was thus suspect to Herod, as he believed the people to have cried for joy and for that reason to have forsaken his affection for the boy, those tears to be indications of a wish, the enthusiasm of the people to be dangerous for himself, who showed with their inmost organs that they had enthusiasm for devotion to the young man, a noble descendent of kings, the son of a powerless woman, the brother of a shameless queen, who disdained her husband the king, who was about to rush forth to rule, if he were not timely taken from their midst, for whom beauty, for whom loveliness of appearance [p. 73] sufficed, by law it was thought that he should be preferred above all others. 4 And so he proposed to kill the young man. The mother of the youth attacked him, who was very keen for investigating and more vehement for avenging, nothing was endured hidden and nothing unpunished, and for this reason he decided to recall and restrain himself: Again the love heaped up as the days passed of everyone for the youth and the danger to his rule alarmed him. Whence aroused by a sudden rage he decided to take counsel for himself on some method.
XXXVII. The young man is sent at night to the city Jericho and there accustomed to take pleasure in his enthusiasm for swimming very many going together with him as if in a game, he is held submerged without limit, he is killed in the swimming pool. His sister did not tolerate this in silence, but from feelings of sisterhood announced it at a banquet and charged her husband that her brother had been taken from her by his order. Herself to have been abandoned by all, the home of her consort to be calamitous for her, who first took her grandfather from her, afterwards killed her brother, herself miserable to have been a cause of ruin for her relatives. Dire things to be called down upon her husband, father-in-law, and sister of the king; the common outrage of all, to ask god the avenger, that such a heinous crime should not be left unpunished. Herod received that as if captured by love and obedient to her commands, but the women raged and were not able to bear the insults of her cursing and her presumption expressing resentment, especially because overcome by his miracle Herod was not able to rise up against his beloved. And thus what the lover could to be more enraged with, a pretence of adultery is woven and a crime of this nature is constructed against the woman, that she had sent her likeness to Antonius in Egypt. That to have been a great lewdness, that to a man physically elsewhere and quick to passion, powerful besides, who made use of power in place of law, she offered her beauty for sale, that he might bid on her beauty. The woman [p. 74] had dishonored herself by the trafficking of an unusual auction from either the force of love or from hatred of her husband, danger for whom she had sought for the pay of adultery. With this fabrication of the women in the house of Herod Miriamme was loved the more the more she was seriously assailed, nor however was the accusation itself although made by resentful women completely contrary to the truth. For the mother Alexandria raging, because another was placed before her son Aristobolus in the priesthood -- for by this name her son Ionathan, by which he brought back into memory his grandfather to have been king, preferred to be called -- had sought from Antonius through a certain (trustee of documents?) the priesthood for her son trust was nearer the truth. Afterward the friend Gallicus of Antonius arriving in Judaea recognized the young man to have been wondrous because of the loveliness of his most outstanding beauty, not less even Miriamme, whose rank was higher, by the amount her fame was more illustrious, and perhaps was found so by a certain fashion of human nature, by which men dear to their intimate friends also want to declare themselves, if they are granting the society of their hospitable table also to their near kin. There also the opportunity was given to Alexandra of speaking with Sossius, granted that to an unimpeded widow another opportunity of becoming acquainted with her host would not be able to be lacking, since especially she would be seeking occasions and persons of that kind. Then a plan having been discussed on both sides it settled on this opinion, that pictures of both would be sent to Antonius. He was bound up by the magnificence of the pictures and especially by the testimony of Sossius, who declared himself to have seen nothing like it ever on earth and the beauty in them to be not of men but divine, meretriciously that it would arouse the greatest lusts of a man, he wrote Herod that he should send Aristobolus to him without delay, about Miriamme [p. 75] because she was married to him he let pass, not for the reason that he was accustomed in the presence of their husbands to conceal his lusts for those who were married, to whom without danger he would use, outrage without shame, but for the reason that he was taking precautions against the anger of Cleopatra, who indeed was offended by a rival of either sex, but more if she discovered a woman joined to her husband, because she thought herself to excel all women in beauty. And so the letter having been read Herod made the excuse that without a rebellion of the people and the disturbance of the entire nation he could not tear away the noble youth from his people and so that he might satisfy Alexandra, he promised the priesthood to Aristobolus, but since she thought herself to be mocked by a trick and a delay to be made to the promises, Alexandra prepared a ship and in the apparatus of flight itself the plan having been learned through Sabiones she was called back with her son. Alarmed by this Herod dissembled the offense for a time and quickened the conferring of the priesthood upon Aristobolus, so that by the appearance of honor he might conceal the hatred of the prepared murder, which having been accomplished, as we said, as if struck by lightning, at the same time he was stirred up by the crime of feigned adultery forged by his kin, because he knew Antonius to be quick to carnal desires, and unveiled lusts, from the fact that he was powerful, and burning for every amatory mode; also especially the inexpiable resentment and frightfulness of the rivalry of Cleopatra killed many of the men whom she had discovered too slow about restraining the licentious behavior of their wives. He recoiled in terror from the danger overhanging him not only of losing his wife but even of undergoing death. And so he himself proposed to hasten into Egypt so that he might prevail on Antonius or Cleopatra whom he chiefly feared. Others report that summoned by the letter of Antonius he exerted himself for the purpose [p. 76] that he might set forth the reasons of the young man having been killed. However about to depart, he reveals secretly to Joseph his relation by marriage, to whom Salome the sister of the king had come in marriage, that death had been suspected for himself because of a desire for the beauty of his wife, which it was disclosed a picture of her good looks having been sent the woman had made known. This he committed as a task to his relation, that if he himself should be killed by Antonius, he should kill Miriamme, so that a reward for her crime should not remain. Joseph, not at all, as I think, from a desire of betrayal but that he should put to rest the complaints of the woman against her husband, by which she said herself afflicted to burn with hatred of her husband, he reveals the order and interprets it as due to the affection of a lover, that not even dead could Herod allow himself to be separated from the companionship of his wife. But the woman quite otherwise than Joseph had judged this dragged to the argument of the still entangled cruelty against herself, after whose death still being exercised he had also ordered her execution to his own relation. He was disturbed by the injury to himself, he examined his own suspicions not with some proof of truth but urged the outcome of sudden death, there would be no end to the hatreds which were being stretched out beyond the end itself of life and health. But Joseph unmindful of the domestic evil, since he was trying to reconcile a hostile wife to her husband, inflamed the suspicions of his own wife against himself, which she considered the conversations of her own husband with Miriamme, the stops made not at all perfunctorily in the court of the king. Finally when her brother returned, she did not put aside the accusation, adding her own injury to the affronts to the king, because also from her Miriamme had taken away a husband. But Herod, although stricken, was not at all very seriously alarmed at first, nor did he present himself enraged to his wife, but overcome even by the force of love [p. 77] he began one day to swear to his wife, that he loved her with such great affection, that he had never blazed with desire for another woman, thus he threw all from his mind, that he kept trust in his wife. But she: "you declared your love for me adequately in the orders which you gave to Joseph, commanding that he should kill me. How is he able to love who is able to kill?" The king frantic immediately when he heard his secret to have been betrayed, from that began to think that Joseph was never about to betray him, unless captured by love of the woman he had sought the the reward of the betrayal in sexual intercourse. It revealed what lay hidden a long time, a crime in the open, an indubitable corruption, not in vain he aroused his sister who placed personal injury before all else. And so wild with too much anger and not in control of his mind he sprang forth from his bed fleeing the contagion of disgraceful misconduct, nor did the court seize him raging. His sister heard him shouting and immediately seizing the opportunity of alleging an argument, an opportunity of doing harm she confirmed the suspicions of the indignant person. And therefore driven by the pain of the offense, by the accusation of his sister he ordered both to be killed. Not much afterwards regret of the things done followed, and when anger abated, love followed, and and passion was reawakened and such a great heat of desire blazed up, that he did not believe her dead and in a departure of his mind he spoke to her as if living. And as if to her who was living he directed the boys, asking that rivalries having been put down she should come to him and restore him to marital pleasures, scarcely finally taught by a great interval of time did he believe her to have died, whom because of love as a woman of imperishable beauty he believed not to be able to die. So great was his passion for the dead woman. Finally afterward he became savage and [p. 78] is reported irritated by hatred into the murder of many present, nor did he suffer only from sickness of mind but even from a severe illness of the body, which they said had been contracted from plague and also from the air. For the more corrupt parts of the air drawn in gives rise to plague in many. Whence those experienced in medicine having been consulted he hid himself in the remote places of the forest and vigor have been gradually poured back from hunts he recovered good health of body and sobriety of mind.
XXXVIII. This also added to his marvels, by which he admired the grace of the deceased, himself to have suffered punishment for the unjust outrage and from the affliction of the elements had atoned the death of such a great beauty, by the ruin of the world, the death of one by the affliction of the people, vindicated however by an unequal fate, since the earth denied produce, famine increased the pestilence. A pure but immoderate knowledge of beauty brought to her husband in full possession of his senses this death of Miriamme. To whom magnanimity was superfluous, painstaking attention was lacking, so that she disdained the compliments of her husband, untroubled because she was able to endure nothing of ruin from him who loved her beyond measure. Not only did she discover vengeance for the present, but she transmitted inherited hatreds into the future. To whom followed her sons avengers of their mother's resentment with pious love for their mother but with irreverent feeling for their father, although the law of nature should be shared to each of the parents with equal service. Nor did grief find them unpracticed. For having long been instructed at Rome in Latin alongside Greek literature, they had adopted a not ordinary astuteness and absent the death of their mother having been learned they were made violent into hatred of their father by many instigators. Also respect not even of the sight of their father [p. 79] had poured care into them having returned, their ill-will increased with age. The presumption arose even from the society of his wife because to one the daughter of Salome the granddaughter of Herod, to the other a daughter born to Archelaus, who held the kingdom of Cappadocia, had come in marriage, that the noble class of the union had given authority. Therefore Herod was offended by his sons' silent nature more stirred up than the paternal tenderness could endure. Besides which he is frequently offended from his expression. And goads were added by those who as if worried frequently announced he should beware the treachery of his sons, asserting that vengeful of their mother's death they were arming bands. Terrified by which Herod began to prefer Antipater the son of Doris to his brothers and began to excite favor to him by more plentiful affection, the royal court burned with greater hatreds and was struck by the conflict of the brothers, while they were indignant that the son of a woman who was a commoner was preferred to them born in royal power. He full of flattery the more he discerned himself inferior on his mother's side, the more studiously he commended himself to his father, he did not cease to attack his brothers with fabricated accusations, until he himself through himself through others whom he had joined to himself excluded them from the paternal affections. Finally he took all expectation of ruling from them, so that by a will publicly established he was designated the sole successor of the supreme power. And sent to Rome to Caesar except for the emblem of the crown he was supported by every ornament and royal dress. Thence having returned into Judaea, the favor toward him of Caesar and many distinguished men having been increased, in an interval of almost no time he prevailed to such an extent, that he even restored his mother to the marriage of his father, and with the twin arms, the art of flattery and cunning in making accusations, he began to so attack his brothers before their father, that the father prepared death for his sons. Finally raging of mind he sought Rome Alexander dragged with him, [p. 80] whom he set before Caesar charged with the crime of magic against himself. He the opportunity having been given of responding to the charge and every complaint, when he saw to be at hand for himself the authority of such a great judge, who could neither be converted by Herod through influence, nor tricked by Antipater, having decided that nothing should be passed by he blunted the shameful acts of his father with a certain restraint, so that he seemed to neither urge them as an accuser nor to allow them to be hidden, since it would help his cause greatly if he demonstrated himself on account of the pain of his mother's death to be attacked by the hatreds of his father. For in such trials nothing burdens children more, than the loyalty of nature and the influence of loyalty. Which if they are exhibited by some crime, prejudgment is reduced and its verdict hindered. Truly when it was come to the complaints of the father, rebutting with strong defenses he first showed his brother innocent of any crime, who was the sharer of their dangers, whom innocent he groaned to be called into judgment, the force of delivery and skill in speaking supported a clear conscience. He lamented most bitterly that nothing of honor had been left to him or his brother, that all had been taken away through the wickedness of his half-brother and the readiness of his father. Death for himself to be asked for, which his father hopes for to the point that he adds accusation, he attaches shameful things. With these words he forced everyone into tears and drew out the response of the court, that the accusation was not proven to Caesar, the father embraced reconciliation. It was very acceptable and most excellent to the Roman leader not only to have given a kingdom to the famous king but even to have restored his children. And so it was settled by a just balance, that respect for paternal rights remained unviolated and the innocence of the sons was protected, as was becoming for the father, that the children should be obedient, that he should exhibit the uninterrupted affection of nature for his sons, he might leave the kingdom however to whom he wished. Alexander returned with his father from the city of Rome freed more from judgment than from mistrust. For Antipater did not allow the mind of Herod to be free from hatred of his sons. And indeed he himself was [p. 81] the occasion of hatreds, he pressed still his pursuit with the appearance of a restorer so that he should not betray the public view of longed for brotherhood, he made plain his treachery. When it was come into Cilicia and sailing they landed at Eliusa, Archelaus received them with a rich banquet expressing thanks for the trial of his son in law Alexander, that freed from danger he had even been considered worthy of reconciliation. Furthermore he had asked friends in letters sent through his people, that they should be of assistance to the defence of his son in law, he presented him departing thirty talents a gift of hospitality and escorted him all the way to Zephyrium. Having returned home the king immediately summons the people, before whom he speaks in this manner.
XXXIX. "The reason for me, Hebrew citizens, of seeking Rome was both profitable and productive that Caesar should judge about my sons, so that I alone who was angry should not make inquiry. I proceeded to Caesar so that he who had given me the kingdom should make pronouncement about my successor. He added to his kindnesses that which was difficult he presented to the father his almost lost sons, to the brothers he restored amity which is above the kingdom. I return therefore richer than when I set out, I have learned to be a better father, because my sons have learned to be better children, by the kindness of Caesar. In fact he decided that the succession of my sons should depend upon my judgment; that the right of succession should not give birth to haughtiness, that I should give as successor to me whom I choose, him who had deserved it, him who had most honored his father. I will imitate Caesar, for he in absolving my younger sons made them equal to the oldest son. And so today at the same time I designate my three sons kings, age supports the one, birth the others. let not the number cause alarm, the size of the kingdom suffices for many. God is first the judge of my decision, afterwards you are added besides, whom Caesar joined, [p. 82] the father arranged, you follow with suitable honor, so that the honor may be neither immoderate nor too little. The one makes arrogant, the other makes angry. What is imparted to each as his share is sufficient for his merits. For something does not delight him so much whom it honors beyond measure, as it harms him to whom it denies what is owed. And generally each of them is hurt when there is a fawning of preference. I am certainly the father to all, the honor of my sons is certainly a pleasure of the father. If however anyone honors my children beyond measure, he is actually liable to me in behalf of my children, for whom he is the source of the fault. For the cultivation of effrontery is taken as too great. Should I be jealous of my children? May god forbid, but I prefer them to have less power with favor than more with rebellion. But it is a fact of haughtiness and plunder that it is quickly slipped into, which of pleasure is long held. Whence it will be a concern to me, that I will join the the sponsors of concord to my children as parents and friends, by whose encouragement they put on the affection of mutual love. But when every evil word poisons the mind of the hearer, then incessant conversations chiefly and lasting practice are accustomed to pour pestilence into the mind, which by a certain contagion quickly crosses into the habits of those dwelling together. Although there may be tranquility of behavior, however as a lake although placid, can rise into rage from disturbing winds, thus a good nature may be agitated by wicked counselors. And so I think that each one ought to put his greatest expectations in me, not indeed that he destroys me because he approaches my children. Each of the tribunes or soldiers ought to honor the father of the commanders more. I exist, I am he who will weigh out the reward to all for those things which you have bestowed even upon my sons. If I notice proper spirits I will reward the acts, an evil disposition will return its price, so that he is deprived of profit also whom he has believed to be flattering. You however, my good sons, consider first reverence for nature, whose favor [p. 83] binds wild beasts, which even forces savage animals into love of their relatives --- there remains mutual love among untamed animals and wild creatures rescue their own kind from their own dangers --- furthermore respect Caesar, who has made you from enemies into friends; third respect me myself, who prefer to ask when I am able to command: remain brothers, do not cast aside what you have been born to. I give you the imperial robes and training, but it is of more value that I persuade the pure mark of your love: if sense of duty remains, if royal power delights, but if gratitude is lacking, the supreme power is worthless and mostly harmful. Therefore while I am putting you to the test, you have meanwhile not the royal power but the honors of royal power. If you shall have valued your father, the duty will follow. Demonstrate however love of me in yourselves: as leaders you will get possession of all the things with which royal power is accustomed to delight, the burdens of rule and the troubles of work will remain mine alone, although I do not wish it. And so it is advantageous for you to prefer my things, because I both will and judge what things are yours and mine." These things having been said he kissed his sons, so that he should bind them in turn to himself with one kiss of love. Which having been done he dismissed the convention.
XL. The majority departed happy, whom the concord of brotherhood pleased, but when dissension returned to the brothers, and more seriously by that amount, by which their position was superior who were more envied and to whom there was a greater power of doing harm. The sons of Mariamme grieved the son of a woman who was a commoner, who did not know the lineage of royal power, to have been made equal to themselves. On the other hand Antipater disdained the separate expectation of royal power of himself and his brothers and was jealous of his brothers, for whom the following were scarcely reserved before the chiefs. But he covered and veiled himself, pretending affection in place of dislike, they not even seeking any hostile meaning in their speech, with a tongue quick and lavish of secrets. Whatever they had said, [p. 84] was at once before Antipater, much even which they had not said was fabricated. The intermediary added much material with an increment. The author of everything by which the brothers were attacked was Antipater, whose life was nothing but a meeting of slyness, a theater of wickedness, the plotting of crimes, the service of scandals. He brought forward tale bearers, he suborned witnesses, he pretended a defense as if carrying around in a theater the personality of a brother, so that he would cast out the lighter charges, grant the more serious, by which he deceived their father more and aroused him more stongly against his brothers, he especially piled up with cunning hatred of a father's murder made ready so that the kingdom might be seized, which from fear of danger was more suspected by kings. But lest these things might appear to the king less likely if no one objected, he himself first tried to refute them, then he wished himself to be seen to be constrained by the obvious proofs of the charges, so that the case having been delivered from both sides, as if nothing were lacking to a verdict, the father would be more aroused as if against convicted sons. For nothing gave more faith in the assertions than that Antipater was considered the defender of his brothers. By this trickery he captured the favor of most, he inclined the mind of his father to himself. Whatever was diminished daily from the brothers of paternal affection was transferred to himself. He enticed away the king's friends and parents and he especially made Feroras the brother of the king and Salome his sister alienated from the prodigals, so that not only did they not defend them, but they even attacked and hated them. Glafyra the wife of Alexander added material of hatreds, who in woman's fashion, quite overbearing of those present, [p. 85] had begun to extol herself with arrogant pride, for the reason that she excelled all the others in the fame of her lineage. And so she put herself forward as if she were the mistress of all who were in the royal court, and was accustomed to boast that the father and grandfather to her were kings and especially Darius the son of Hydaspes the highest honor of her mother's line and to afflict Salome the sister of the king or Dosis his wife with insults of their low birth, which was a source of anger for them and of hatred against herself. She irritated the other women in similar fashion, who were joined to the king more because of their beauty than because of the nobleness of their birth. For Herod beyond the custom of kings even was delighted by the practice of the Jews as if by a certain freedom of error, who considered the fashions of their ancestors a cloaking of their own faults. Therefore Alexander bore with reluctance the haughtiness of his wife. Aristobolus also reproached his wife with the same words as Glaphyra, her of low status not matching the royal descendants, unequal to Glaphyra, it to be a shame to him that his brother had gained a wife of royal family, he had lowered himself by union to a commoner as wife: who raging dismayed his own relatives by his reproaches. Struck with which abuses the wife of Aristobolus carried them to her mother with tears. Salome however announced the things learned through her daughter to king Herod. But he believing it better to warn his sons rather than destroy them, summoned and partly terrified them imperially, partly with paternal affection exhorted them that they should love their brother and not be separated like enemies, offering pardon for prior offenses, threatening punishment for future offenses. But they lamenting themselves to be attacked by many charges that had been settled, beseeched and at the same time promised with their actions in the future that they would be given belief in their own defense, only their father should look at their acts and not rashly believe things heard. For indeed they would not lack [p. 86] dishonest accusers in the future, so long as he a credulous hearer was at hand. The father having been softened by these and such, although they pushed aside for a time the overhanging fear, they piled up sadness, because they saw themselves to be attacked by Feroras and Salome, one of them their paternal uncle, the other the sister of their father by whom who should have been a defence they were ambushed. A great fear was added, because they had great influence with their brother. For with the crown excepted, Herod shared almost the entire rule of the kingdom with his brother. He had bestowed not ordinary wealth upon both and especially upon Feroras. In fact he put away a yearly payment of one hundred talents besides that region, which located beyond the Euphrates increased the amount of his income. He had also been appointed a tetrarch by Caesar at the request of Herod. And besides he had been presented with a relative of the royal consort, because he had received the sister of the royal consort in the function of his marriage partner. After whose death the oldest daughter of the king having been betrothed to him he advanced in the gratitude of his son in law, except that captured by the love for a slave girl he rejected the bond of the royal maiden. Enraged by which insult Herod handed over his daughter to him who later was slain in the Parthian war. Feroras however was accused before him that he had sought the life of his brother with poison, which suspicion he had not lacked not even when his wife was still living, at first the questioning of many and finally of his friends having been enforced, he willingly acquitted him found free of his crime which was alleged, giving even pardon for the flight the arrangement entered into, that the slave girl whom he loved having been seized, he should flee to the Parthians, he was exposed by the confessions of his household members. Alexander had enjoyed to some extent a respite, while Feroras is attacked and he himself attacks Salome because she had pledged her marriage to Sylleus the son of Obaedas, who was the [p. 87] deputy of the king of Arabia and very unfriendly to Herod. But the accusation having been relaxed for each, the storm of the household fell upon Alexander and enveloped him with great danger. For Antipater raged with the savageness of a plague and the storm of the entire court, attacking his brother in every way and with the support of his relatives, so that his father with the state of his sober mind disturbed protested with a loud voice that Alexander stood over him with a sword. A scene of this type had come into view, that Alexander had enticed three eunuchs, one of whom was accustomed to tend the cups of the king, another to bring in the food tray of dinner, the third to watch the royal couch and never to leave when Herod had settled himself in bed, with rich gifts to his favor and participation in shameful acts. Which having been brought forth forced by tortures the eunuchs revealed the wantonness of obscene lust. For unable to hide the love potions promised they related with what words they had been solicited and with what price of shame, so that parricide wrapped in disgraceful conduct was believed. There was in him the grace of youth the charm of beauty, the strength of age, contrasted to a feeble Herod already oppressed by old age, who dyed his hair, lest it betray his age, from which since he wished the right of ruling should be transferred to himself, it was necessary that great rewards be promised and thus for them to establish their hope in a youth, not in a decrepit old man, for whom nature itself was hastening an end. Which things indeed seriously disturbed Herod, but he considered it more important than the rest that it was discovered from the information of the eunuchs that the military troops and the leaders of the army and the centurions were conspiring against him. Indeed he was so aroused, that he thought that no type of savagery should be omitted, that he should believe no one, that he should consider everyone suspect. Punishments were swifter than investigations of the crimes, and the death of the culprits [p. 88] preceded judgment. They were seized everywhere for punishment whom any suspicion attacked. False accusations abounded, many wishing to please the king lodged information against the guilty, but immediately even those who reported others were denounced and were led with their guilty parties to the place of punishment. And so Herod brutalized everyone, so that if anyone remained who was suspected, the king not otherwise thinking himself to be safe unless the human race should become extinct, with irreconcilable accusations, disbelieving his friends, arrogant to his familiars, unmerciful to the guilty, terrified of everything so that he changed his residence frequently, spent his nights without sleep. Who exasperated by all suddenly surrounded Alexander bound in chains with guards and summoned his friends for investigations. Those who refused died during tortures, those who were silent, because they revealed nothing in support of suspicions, were tortured to death. However some overcome by the harshness of the tortures and punishments, asserted that it had been proposed by the youths, that they should kill their father while he was intent upon hunting and proceed to the city of Rome without delay, so that they should foil punishment by flight. Although it was supported by no evidence, the father however derived support of his fierce pursuit wishing to have just reasons for the chains of his son. And so therefore Alexander considering the ears of his father to be blocked against any defense of himself and that in no way was the thing able to be diverted, so that he would presuppose him innocent, who was assailed by such a mass of false accusations, he thought that the wicked accusers must be met by similar craft, that he should surround with snares the deceitful contrivers of false accusations and call those guilty into calumny, by whose calumnies he believed himself to be threatened. He wrote therefore four small books, in which he confessed the invention of a crime by which [p. 89] he threatened the safety of his father, and he exposed those accomplices of this type of treacheries many of them those by whom he himself had been attacked. And in these same booklets he especially wrote of Feroras and Salome, that also in the dead of night the sleeping chamber of the youth having been broken into in which he lived she enticed him unwilling and extorted from him resisting that he should commit incest. He sent the booklets to the king as informers of his shameful acts, with which he involved the very powerful who were companions and friends of the king. Archelaus came quickly at the right time into Judaea, so that he should bring what he could of help and aid to his son in law and daughter. But foreseeing the chances of a genuine defense before the hostile father to blocked to him, he skillfully repressed his agitation. For as soon as he entered the royal court, in a loud voice although he was already heard and seen by Herod as if furious of mind he began to shout: "Does that poisonous son in law of mine still live and despoil this light? I ask where he is, where may I find that parricidal head, that I may rend it with my own hands? By parricide he ought to perish, who wished to commit parricide. What will he do with a father in law who has not spared his father? Who will point him out? I will disembowel the scoundrel first, may I give my daughter to a good bridegroom; although she was not conscious of his wickedness, she is not however removed from contagion, who is in the power of a parricide. I do not acknowledge a daughter who does not recognize the tricks of her husband, who has not shown herself such a daughter in law to her father in law that she returned the son made subject to his father. I gave her in marriage not for the service of crime but for participation in matrimony, that she should show herself the joint heir of favor not an assistant in crime. I wonder at you, Herod, that Alexander still lives that schemer against his father. I thought him to have already paid the just penalty, [p. 90] which it was not necessary to be put off. Why indeed should the confessor of a parricidal outrage be saved? But perhaps also this was divine foresight, that he who in you injured the piety of each should be condemned by the judgment of the parents of both. I will not deny myself to be an avenger, who prepared myself a preacher of exact retribution, but I do not make my daughter an exception, whom I myself betrothed to this unfortunate marriage following you as its sponsor. But I did not surrender her to the moods of a husband but to your trust. Let her deliver the reason that she has ignored her surety, she loved her husband. About both now judgment is for us. If you are a firm avenger of such a great grief, gird yourself; father follow your duty. Duty is not wished for by fathers, but must not be ignored. If piety softens you, nature bends you, let us change places, so that we are the executors of mutual service I in the case of your son and you in the case of my child." Moving about with speech of this nature he converted Herod and from his fury of mind he little by little softened his intention, so that he believed himself a fellow sufferer and sharing the same purpose and gave him the the small booklets which Alexander had composed. But he giving attention to each when he realized them to be more crowded with pain than depending on faith, with a deep purpose gradually lessened the hatred of the parricidal attempt and the causes of the objections against them which they had described and began to transfer it especially against Feroras. And so when he noticed the king not to shrink from his opinion: "It must be considered," he said, "if perhaps the young man was attacked more by the treacheries of disloyal persons than you were by the young man. What cause was there, that he should seek your life, to whom you had conceded the honors of kingship, to whom you had reserved the right of ruling and the hope of the succession? Why should he seek what he had, or how would he ungrateful consider these great gifts? How other would he behave [p. 91] upon your death unless it would affect his danger, which with you alive he could not fear, with you dead he would certainly fear from them, from whom even positioned beneath his father he feared the destruction of his safety. That age is open to trickery, it is easily deceived and gotten round by the treacheries of tricksters. Old age scarcely withstands trickery, generally still the good sense of the aged is entangled by the cunning of those circumscribing them. Therefore if mature experience is often affected, what wonder if immature age was not able to be at hand for itself, when it was threatened by crowds of those lying in ambush? These therefore are disturbers of the royal home, they are inciters of the young, the sowers of discord who have led the young man into despair of his safety, who has given way more to ill-temper and revenge than he has strained for perfection, he has imparted something even to the commotion. Gradually influenced by which Herod had begun indeed to soften his anger about Alexander, but truly to be moved more strongly against Feroras, because he was put forth by those four little books as the accomplice of all the crimes and the deviser of the entire scene. Who seeing the king to have inclined his mind to Archelaus and to extend to him beyond the rest the favor of his close friendship, took himself to him beseeching that he should render the mind of the king conciliated to himself. Truly that one had not doubted that he was tied in by many chains of crimes, by which he was convinced that he had prepared treacheries against the king and had assailed the youth, he said him to have no chance of pardon, unless, the cunning of denying what had been advanced against him having been put aside, to confess to his loving brother and to ask from him [p. 92] leniency for himself. Himself would not fail to assist an action of this sort in any way he could. And so his garments having been changed suffused with tears, with a pitiable appearance clinging to the feet of his brother he beseeched pardon, confessed his wickedness, did not deny but acknowledged everything with which he was charged, madness to have been the reason to himself of such a great misstep, that a too great frenzy of love of the wife selected for him had boiled up. And so Feroras having been established as an accuser of his own crimes and equally as a witness besides as if in recompense of the prepared argument which he was submitting against his own advantage, Archelaus interceded with Herod, that with nature taken into consideration he should soften his anger and forgive his brother placing the law of nature above punishment. Nor is it a wonder if in great kingdoms like in fat bodies often some part should become inflamed, which must not be cut away but healed by more gentle medicines. Against himself likewise much more serious treacheries had been prepared by his own brother, but he had lessened to his relative what was owed for the offense, as the more he raised the punishment upon the ungrateful man the more he would aggravate its cause. When he wove together these thing and other things like them, he indeed soothed Herod so that he pardoned his brother, but he himself remained relentless against his son in law. Finally he threatened that he would divorce his daughter from him and he bellowed with such a great commotion of his anger, that Herod himself considered the crime against himself of his son sufficiently atoned for and asked to be the avenger of his own injuries and himself intervened with the father in law in behalf of his guilty culprit, by which he restored the marriage anew. Archelaus persevered, Herod should join his daughter in law to anyone he wished except Alexander, from whose cause even his wife was taken, and by this craft he urged Herod much more, [p. 93] that he should think his son restored to him, if he should not set free his consort, because he loved his wife very much, from whom he had received sons dear to their grandfather, beloved by their parents. This would be the gift of his son restored to him, because a good wife in no small part would check the errors of her husband or would offset with her kindnesses the dislike of his offenses, who if she should be separated from him, there would be no remedy for her husband so that he should not rush headlong into every wrong act. For presumptions of evil deeds were accustomed to be made softer which were called back by domestic affections. Scarcely finally was Archelaus prevailed upon that he reconciles to his son in law and reconciles the father to the same. With this scheme he snatched his son in law from death, that for recompense he should receive his absolution, while he pretends to condemn rather than to intervene, for which if he had thought he must intervene, without doubt he would have accomplished nothing. He added that it was necessary that he go to Rome that cleared which his father had suspected in him, inasmuch as he himself had written everything to Caesar, which was likewise planned I think, that when Alexander had cleared himself by this method he would be recommended to Caesar and the treacheries to the brothers prepared by Antipater made known.
XLI. By this plan the partisanship was loosened, a conversion made to happiness, living together restored, evidence that reconciliation was begun, upon whose originator Archelaus seventy talents and a golden throne decorated with precious stones also selected royal eunuchs are bestowed with generosity, and a concubine, whose name was Pannychis, was given as a gift and accepted. Likewise by order of the king his relatives presented Archelaus with magnificent gifts, nor was any member of his household without gifts, to all of whom of his Herod bestowed great gifts according to the merits of each. With his important people he followed him returning to his own kingdom all the way [p. 94] to the most splendid city of Syria Antioch by name. Alexander had escaped except that a man much more practiced in the tricks of Archelaus plunged himself into Judaea, Eurycles by name of the Spartan race, excessively greedy for wealth and a despiser of those things connected with work, when a greater hope of attaining it glittered. Finally not satisfied with the Spartan opportunities he turned his mind to royal extravagances and a master of hunting having attacked Herod with rich gifts he prepared the place for a most ample remuneration, and having gained what was richer by far than he had presented he was however not satisfied, unless insatiably cruel and with impious partisanship he had won over the favor of the king to himself. And so in this manner and enjoying the friendship of the Greeks by praising the king to his household and by his proclaiming to all, not only what was unworthy of praise but was even involved with crimes, he came in a short time into his intimate friendship, so that he was chosen among the principal overseers of secrets, the foremost of the country even offering support, because the Jews held the Spartans by race kindred to themselves closely associated as brothers. He when he learned the faults of the royal home, the mind of the father mistrusted and the hatreds of the brothers for each other, with new tricks pretending himself dear to everyone so that he was considered loyal to each, but he shaped his devotion according to the character of the king and the reward of his services, so that he was more closely bound to Antipater, he beset Alexander with tricks and snares, arousing each with the appearance of a friend, that one destined for royal power by the prerogative of age, this one gifted by his mother's noble birth superior by right of noble birth, nor a consort equal to him with a child of a worthless seduction. Captured by which Alexander as [p. 95] the younger, who took delight in the things which were being said to him, did not weigh those things carefully, which again were being fabricated about him before Antipater, he poured himself out to the hired worker to Antipater and he opened his mind to his betrayer with his easily moved nature and incautious affection, lamenting his father the originator of misfortunes for him, who snatched away his mother, brought shame on the kingdom, because he wished to turn away to himself from his grandfather and the marks of distinction of his ancient lineage the things owed. The legitimate to be defrauded of the right of succession, a bastard to be preferred at the price of shame, but not long would the judgements of god be quiet, that he who had killed an innocent wife that he should not be quickly deprived of the rule gained through his wife. Which without delay the Spartan took to Antipater, and also Aristobolus having been tricked that he would be tied by the nooses of the same complaint, and for a price he insinuated the piled up things to the king saying himself to have been unable to keep such a great crime in silence and for the service of hospitality himself to display his gratitude to the light, that the sons were proceeding to seize him, unless he had called them back by the pretense of faithful advice, that the father would have long since been killed by the sword of Alexander and the kingship made vacant for unworthy heirs. Nor to Alexander was this a parricidal atrocity to religion, who considered in the place of the greatest crime, that as yet they had not avenged the death of their mother. Them to be agreed and to be pressed by the grievance of those killed, that they should avenge that atrocious crime. Offerings to the dead of those killed were owed, blood was to be exacted, and their succession should not be contaminated, that the kingdom should be taken from him who had killed their ancestors. He would be restored by the judgement of Caesar not like as before from respect, but because Caesar would learn all the secrets of the king, [p. 96] the wealth obtained by blood, the province undermined. Themselves would recall from below their grandfather and would demonstrate the harsh death of their mother, that a foreigner might be elected as successor to the kingdom. Eurycles aroused the king, Antipater however considering a hint from just one to be of small account instigated many other accusers of the brothers also, who said talks to have been undertaken with the one time leaders of the cavalry of the army Jucundus and Tyrannus, ambushes to have been prepared for the king from the resentment of dismissal, danger upon his neck unless he should quickly take precautions. Indeed Herod did not delay and questions them seized immediately severely, but nothing is learned they having admitted what was being alleged. And because such terrible things were being fabricated with impunity before him, who was declaring himself the punisher of crimes, and unconcerned with false accusations, they were not lacking who devised plots of this kind, which they believed would be more acceptable to the father. For indeed a letter was brought forth as if it had been given to the commander of a fortress by Alexander and Aristobolus, that the king having been killed he should provide them a place of taking refuge, while they protected themselves with arms against hostile pursuers and were preparing a defense with their remaining forces. The commander of the fortress is tortured and confesses nothing. Nevertheless however not at all affected by any existing proofs of crime as if guilty Alexander and Aristobolus are given into custody. Eurycles having been given fifty talents is considered the source of safety and life. Nor is it fit that Coos be silent, the most faithful of the friends of Alexander, who had crossed into Judaea at the time of Eurycles, whom the king thought should be interrogated as knowledgeable about the attempts of that one, whether in truth they agreed with what the Spartan had had told about the young men. Truly he [p. 97] gave an oath a sacrament having been interposed that he had learned nothing from them whatever of this type, but it was of no benefit to the youths. He put aside the question from himself, lest he should reduce his dislike of the accusation and purge the dishonesty of Eurycles, if having been questioned very severely he should make denial. As if not worthy therefore to whom belief should be given he is excluded by Herod. For the good father willingly heard his sons to be accused, he did not allow them to be defended, he was delighted when they were accused, he was offended when they were cleared. Finally the Spartan made rich by royal gifts when however he reached Achaia he paid the price of his calumnies. Salome since she was unable to clear herself of the charge that she had agreed upon marriage to Syllaeus the Arab, when she betrayed the secret of her son in law warning her, that she should take heed for herself that she might evade the anger of her brother, because it was suspected from the hope of a future marriage she had announced the plans of the king to the Arabs, she might be summoned, she earned the requital of the transgression and twisted round all the storm of royal savagery against the youths, submerged by which latest and unavoidable shipwreck they paid the penalty. And so they are bound and because it was crueler than chains the brothers are separated from each other, and Voluntius the tribune of the military and Olympus a man from the friends of the king having been sent they disclose the matter before Caesar. But he although offended, because the father was asking punishment of his sons, not thinking however that the power should be denied to the father gave him license against his children, but added the advice that it would be better to consult, if a council should be convened of those nearest the king and of those who were preeminent in the provinces and the inquiry should proceed by the common verdict, whether or not any treacheries had been prepared by the sons against the father; if they should be found guilty of having threatened parricide let them be executed, but if in fact they should be convicted of flight or some lesser crime, [p. 98] the punishment should be more moderate. This having been permitted to him Herod with permission of parricide but with the stipulation of a trial, admonished besides of moderation hastens immediately to the city Beryton, which Caesar had prescribed for holding the trial. The leading men come together according to the instructions given to them by the Roman emperor Caesar. Saturninus and the legates hold sessions among whom is the procurator Volumnius, then the relatives and friends of the king, even Salome and Feroras and the first men of Syria. Archelaus alone the king of Cappadocia is excepted accused of suspected of favor toward his son in law, although the accusers of the youths and the ambushers of the judges were present. But what is the appearance of a trial, when for the accused to be present was not permitted to them and absent they were accused? For Herod had noticed that if they were only seen, they would be absolved the attitude of the men leaning toward sympathy, especially when there was a sign of natural favor, then if any opportunity of defense was allowed to Alexander, he would easily refute what was charged. And so they having been banished to the village of the Sidonians the accusation was directed against them as if present. Plots prepared against him were presented by the father, no proof was brought out, no evidence of the attempts. The accuser adhered to what none refuted; deserted on all sides he assembled classes of insults into hatred, which were thought harder to bear than death by those who were sitting in judgement; but no one disputed, no one dared to examine what was alleged by the father, what was commanded by the king. The appearance of piety prejudged, the law of power terrified. Confident of a sentence of victory he asked, ignorant that in a judgement of this sort he who won would be more distressed, than they who were sentenced so harshly. Saturninus finds the youths guilty because anything else was not permitted, but [p. 99] he moderates the sentence asserting that it must be avoided that two of he three brothers having been killed the death of the two might be ascribed to the third brother. Indeed apprehensively but he spoke the reason, that he was a supporter of peril for the brothers. Few of the many followed him. Volumnius moreover spoke out for death and after him everyone, weighing with the proposer what would be pleasing to such a king, they utter the sentence of death indeed with diverse feelings but with like fate, whom this or fawning had influenced or hatred had poured into, so that either the favor of the king was aimed at or the barbarity of parricide was afflicted with a greater punishment, who in his victory had reported nevertheless a bitter triumph about himself. No one however spoke as if he shuddered at the deed and as if disturbed. And indeed the appearance was of a stage, not the method of a court to condemn those not present, to condemn without a witness, with only the law of nature, which is accustomed to be derived for safety rather than for risk. All Syria was astounded and all Judaea and the end of such a great tragedy was awaited with astonished minds. For although the cruelty of Herod was well known, no one however was able to believe, that he would persevere all the way to parricide. But in him the savage force of mind was restrained neither by the sea or by land. And so as if by the practice of those celebrating a triumph, that he should drag his sons through hostiles, he made for the famous city of Tyre, from that place he crossed by ship to Caesarea, carrying around the distressing spectacle parricide, as long as any outward appearance of a bitter death was found in his sons. All the army was stirred up, but they suppressed anger from fear. There was in the royal army a man Tiro by name of the old military service, having a son very close to Alexander, a very kind father and for that reason dear to his child, inasmuch as the lure of love especially for his own is a certain obligation of popular piety: [p. 100] favorably disposed with enthusiasm about young men and also the sons of the king, because his son was loved by them. Who anger conceived beyond measure, disturbed of mind, began to shout justice to be crushed, truth to be shut out, reverence to be destroyed, the rights of relatives to overturned, injustices to overflow the kindnesses of nature. Finally advancing into the face of the king himself he threw in he was a miserable wretch, who thought the most wicked should be believed against his own sons. Feroras and Salome to be chosen as judges of a council: what faith could be placed in them, who knew themselves to have been so very frequently convicted by the king of capital offenses, or what else would they do except take account of vengeance, so that destitute of suitable successors he would incline toward one from the rest who was too weak who was easily led astray, because the royal army itself would follow with hatred him, for whom the death of the two brothers would be a release. There was no one whom pity of their harmless age did not touch. Moreover many of the commanders do not now restrain their anger but announce it. Having spoken their names he made an end of talking. Who having been immediately seized with Tiro Tryfon from the servants of the royal court, to whom the art and practice of barbering was at hand, suddenly by a certain foolishness of mind makes evidence of himself, asserting it have been organized and persuaded to him by Tiro that when according to custom he was shaving the beard of Herod, he should press the razor to his throat until he had accomplished his death, that would be for him a very great benefit which was being promised from the gifts of Alexander. Tiro is questioned with his son, also an examination of the informer is made. The former making denials, the latter revealing nothing further, since clear confidence in things was lacking, no proof was at hand, no evidence from documents, Tiro is ordered to be tortured with more violent tortures. Then the son viewing with compassion the torments of his father promises that he would reveal everything, [p. 101] if the safety of his father were granted him, and pardon having been promised by the king he suggests that his father persuaded by Alexander had prepared death for the king. Most thought this made up for the occasion, that it should be considered evidence of such a child to Tiro, others said it was spoken for truth. But Herod judged doubtful things as reliable as if fearing that the charge of parricide for himself might be ruined. And so the people having been called together and the leaders collected concerning the treacheries discovered he brings out into view his complaint and arouses the people to their death, and thereupon Tiro together with his son and the barber are killed with stones and clubs.
XLII. Alexander and Aristobolus sent to the city Sebaste which was not far from the city Caesarea were strangled by order of the king. The sons of Miriamme had this end. Whose deaths not having enjoyed long, the sons having been removed Antipater without doubt coaxed the succession to himself, but soon a great hatred of the entire people blazed up against him, because among all it was well known that the brothers lay dead from his partisanship. besides there followed a not moderate fear in him considering how large the family of the killed was growing with time, since Alexander had left sons Tigranes and Alexander born to him from Glafyra, to Aristobolus from Berenice, the daughter of Salome, Herod and Agrippa and Aristobolus remained as survivors, and daughters Herodias and Miriamme also, whom their sex did not hinder and desire of royal power stirred up. Terrified by which things Antipater [p. 102] placed his hope in trickery and cunning and more and more pledged each one with gifts and presents, even friends and servants of Caesar he tried to entice to gratitude toward himself with pay. But on the contrary those even who were of the household fell back into opposition. For the king gradually with the process of time softened toward his descendants born to Alexander and Aristobolus and put forth repentance of the deed, since he felt compassion for those whose parents he had killed. Finally his friends and those closest to him having been collected on a certain day his face suffused with tears he said to them: "I see age to proceed for me and without tears I am not able to look at these little ones, the offspring of unhappy fathers, to whom I am a source of pain. I do not leave them in a worse condition than that I took away their parents. But a certain calamity took them from me, nature and compassion more and more commend them to me, the one because they are my descendants, the other because they are destitute of parents. The sons erred against their father, what have these descendants done for their grandfather. I was a quite wretched father, I ought to be a more concerned grandfather. I will try to look out for my decendants after me, would that I had looked out for my sons. Truly the trickery of a joint enemy and foe crept in them. It must be guarded against that the perils of the former do not involve the latter also and from one wound I lost at the same time my sons, I imperiled my descendants. Let us provide them the defenders which I took away. And so I will betroth to the elder of the sons of Alexander your, Feroras, daughter and I will constitute you a father to him, and moreover to your son, Antipater, the daughter of Aristobolus, so that in this manner you become the father of an orphan girl. My Herod received from Miriamme the daughter of Hyrcanus will accept her sister. This," he said, "is my decision, that the successors of my posterity may be united in turn to themselves by marriage entered into, by which no one may be suspect to another and I may see my descendants with more tranquil eyes than I saw [p. 103] their parents." Which things having been said he joined the right hands of those mentioned and having kissed each he wept. Which Antipater the others rejoicing received so reluctantly, that he bound by a not all moderate concern immediately betrayed his resentment even by his facial expression, because he discerned the applause offered for the sons of Alexander, of king Archelaus and of Feroras, who held a tetrarchy, to be stronger than for the others. He noticed hatred for himself to increase, sympathy moreover to favor the grandchildren. Nor was he able to receive the daughter of Aristobolus at home, lest, a sign of evil, she should be offended by his lasting glances. He did not dare to approach his father, lest he might rouse him easily swayed to every suspicion, if he should propose the contracts of agreed on marriages should be dissolved. But nevertheless he delicately presumed to plead that his father should give consideration to him, that he should not be exposed to the power of two powerful men a king and a tetrarch powerless with the bare name of royal power, he might cherish the honor certainly, which he had declared would be conferred on his son, but the appearance of royal power should not arrive to him, the actuality to them. And truly he did not hold only the sons of Alexander and Aristobolus suspect, but he considered all to stand in his way, whoever from the many wives of Herod even though silent were seen as competent for the succession of the kingdom, whose number was very great. And indeed nine wives had the status of royal consort, from these only two were without children, to the others offspring were at hand. Antipater exalted Dosides as parent, Herod Miriamme, Antipas and Archelaus were the sons of Malthaces a Samaritan and Olympias a daughter, who by right of marriage was joined to Joseph. Also Cleopatra a girl from Jerusalem had borne Herod and Philip to Herod, Pallas had borne Phasael. There also [p. 104] other daughters of the king Roxane and Salome, of whom Phedra was mother of the first, Elpis of the second. There were also the two full sisters of Alexander and Aristobolus whom Miriamme had borne from Herod, as we mentioned previously. And so Antipater fearing the many descendants of Herod, although with difficulty and the king having been much angered in his first attempts, because the descendants having been deprived of paternal aid he disliked the alliances arranged of close relations, in the end he brought about that the daughter of Aristobolus was married to himself and a son born to himself was married to a daughter of his uncle Feroras. He prevailed so much with flattery, that he stopped the marriages that had been agreed upon. But on the other hand when Salome wished to marry Syllaeus, not even with the aid of Livia who was the wife of Caesar was she able to gain permission from her brother, but against her will came together in marriage to a certain Alexander from the friends of the king. And so the arrangements of the king having been overturned Antipater, as if he taken heed of him as he had wished, exulted in mind and overcame all with his cunning. However he was not able in any way to suppress the hatred for himself, but inflamed it, inasmuch as he aspired to prepare protection for himself with terror. Also he had joined to himself as a fellow worker of his faction Feroras the brother of his father, whom not much later refusing to be divorced from his own wife, to whom on account of injuries which that woman had inflicted on his wife Dosidis he was considered very hostile, Herod banished from his household. Feroras however having embraced the insult departed into his own region, which he presided over as tetrarch, truly with the intention of mind that he would never return to a living Herod; finally not even then, when he had learned him [p. 105] to be affected with a severe illness and frequently beseeching that he should come to him, he 5 thought he should be called upon because being about to die he thought certain things should be imparted to him [to him, i.e., to Feroras]. Although struck by the insult the king when beyond expectation he thrust aside his illness, however from brotherly affection went to him, when he learned him sick, and carefully looked after him and took him dead to Jerusalem and with great lamenting and much pomp arranged his burial. But he did not however with these evidences of attentive love exclude the conceived opinion, that he had eagerly assailed with poison. He was even that cruel against his own family. Nor was the belief difficult that he was able to kill his brother who had killed his sons.
XLIII. And so one of the killers of Alexander and Aristobolus found this end of his evil doing, taking a beginning from which retribution crossed to Antipater the originator of the wickedness. For insomuch as Herod, urged by the complaints of freedmen, who asserted their patron to have been killed by poison, while he inquires with anxious care, it having been learned that Feroras had received from his wife a cup of a potion of Arabia, which was thought to be a love potion, and that to have been poison, which had been given at the urging of Syllaeus and immediately converted into destruction, it resulted in the questioning of many. From which one of the slave girls under torture cried out, that omnipotent god should transfer all suffering to the mother of Antipater the mistress of the shameful acts of all. Through her the hidden meetings of Antipater and Feroras carried out day and night, drinking to the point of drunkenness, since them returning from dinner parties of the king there would be drinking during entire nights. Which were [p. 106] not idle or free of attempts of intrigue, the servants and attendants especially having been removed, it was rightfully suspected, a long chain of meetings and evidence of a conspiracy of long delay, which are more suspect to kings in the privacy of solitude and the silence of night. It was arranged that Antipater would go to Rome and Feroras to Peraea. That they were accustomed to confer frequently among themselves was revealed, for the reason that after Alexander and Aristobolus Herod would turn himself to their death. They were wretched who had thought that Herod had disliked parricidal thoughts in them; he pursued heirs of the kingdom, not rivals of power to have been destroyed but sharers of wretchedness, against themselves every danger and hatreds to have crossed over. Not about to spare a woman because of her sex, who had not spared Miriamme beloved of him and those born from her. There was no other remedy for them except that they withdraw to some place far away, where they would be freed by flight from the fury of such a great beast. Frequent laments of Antipater deploring before his mother himself to burn from hatred of the royal succession, since the cruel aspects of the kingdom had especially settled upon him, that he is already not able to bear; he was given up to final rites and extreme dangers. Not only the right of ruling had died for him but of living also with the track rolled out of time. Age for him was very mature, his head was already gray, on the contrary however his father was growing younger, in vain to hope for his inheritance who perhaps even now surviving was spared such a long time. What however would be the value to him an aged heir of the succession, to whom the many children of Alexander and Aristobolus like a certain hydra with heads renewed sprouted forth what had been cut off. And by the testament of his father [p. 107] the common right even was taken away, that the appearance of ruling having been given, whose substitute he would be for a time, he could not place some one from his own sons in his rule, but he had the necessity to pour back the kingdom to Miriamme's son Herod. And so the appearance of rule was given to him not for enjoyment but for peril, as he was an object of suspicion to the king retiring, would be a burden to the king succeeding. Finally the king himself vigorous during a long old age and intent upon the slaughter of his people would be the executor of his own will, as no one would remain who could succeed. To act with great hatred against his sons and with no less against his brother, who had given himself one hundred talents so that he would not have converse with his uncle. And Feroras responding: "In what way have we harmed him? Am I the successor?" Antipater replied him to have no reasons for offense, but to make himself that, to be a wild beast, who was not satiated even by deaths, and was not able to tolerate any affection among his relatives to remain. "And would that everything having been lost it might be permitted that naked merely living we should escape him, but it is impossible" and so for the time their necessary meetings were hidden. There would be a time when they would use mature vigor of mind and energetic deliberation, and also the services of a protector at their right hand. These things were answered by slaves placed under torture, and Herod believed, especially since he had spoken to Antipater alone about the one hundred talents, nor had any interpreter of his speech been present. And so set on fire with anger he seized many for torture including innocent people, lest any of the guilty should be missed. The Samaritan Antipater is brought in for torture, for the reason that he was a manager for Antipater, and is tortured [p. 108] in diverse manners. The investigation brings forth that poison had been sent from Egypt through Antifilus a certain companion and it had been given by him to Theudion a friend of Antipater, through him delivered to Feroras, to whom Antipater the son of the king had assigned the carrying out, that while he himself was living in the city of Rome his father Herod should be extinguished, at which time there would be no suspicion of the absent person for the death accomplished: but Feroras at the time had entrusted the poison received to his own wife. Now too a dislike of the poison occurred in the wife of Feroras. The king immediately ordered the wife of Feroras to come, to bring the poison. The woman comes out as if about to bring what was being sought and throws herself from the roof of the building by which she might avoid the punishment of the double crime and by dying prevent evidence of guilt and the hardship of questioning. But because a fatal retribution of the parricide was hastening to Antipater, she did not fall upon the top of her head, in which event she would easily have been killed, but she fell on another part of her body and death was beaten back. The woman was stupefied however and astonished, because she had fallen from a high place. Herod orders her to be revived for a brief while, until she returned to herself, he promises pardon if she frankly revealed the series of things done. It was not for nothing that she had thrown herself down, but conscious of her great crime she had sought the avoidance of torture. All crimes would be unpunished for her confessing, or tortures would be piled upon her not confessing, burial itself would also be denied. But when she had recovered a little: "And for whom" she said "will I still preserve the silence of secrets with Feroras dead? I owed him the faith of being silent, for whom I would not refuse tortures, if they were necessary. But he is now free from sufferings and if there correction of pardonable error, he is free from blame. What therefore [p. 109] compels to wrap truth in lies? Or that I do the will of Antipater? I should spare him, not spare myself? Indeed we owe a great recompense to the man who pulled us all into these sufferings with his crimes. Hear o king, with god our protector who alone is the judge of truth for me, for I proposed to conceal nothing, hear, I say, but first recall how you set weeping with your brother at risk, that you might fulfill every duty of affectionate brotherhood about Feroras. To which he having changed, when you departed, he at once called me back to him and said: not a little I, wife, went astray from the zeal and affection of my brother, who thus hated him loving me and wished to kill him who was not tolerating the pain in my suffering. He was not able to bear the chance that I pressed a debt not owed. I was fooled, I confess, by the tricks of Antipater, but I bear the price of his thinking. You bring quickly to me the poison which you have that was left by him and pour it out beneath my eyes, that I may not carry a parricidal soul to hell. May it be absolution to have repented what is shameful to have prepared. Quickly, I say, wife, that I may outstrip death, since I cannot blame. Then I brought the poison and in his sight poured it out, a little from it however I saved for myself who am in fear of you, so that it would be a remedy, if it should be betrayed, that poison had been prepared for this use." These things having been said she brought forward the small box with that which remained of the poison. The mother of Antifilus and his brother are subjected to questioning. They confess Antifilus to have brought the box full of poison from Egypt, which he had received from [p. 110] a brother, who was abiding at Alexandria under the profession of medicine. Now too Miriamme is seized as aware of the plots which are being prepared by her husband, and that is made evident by the brothers confessing under torture. Whence the junior Herod paid the price of his mother's daring, whom substituted for Antipater in the succession of the kingdom the father who had substituted the same thought must be deleted from his will. And this indeed not trivial error of the senior Herod, that the crime of one being discovered another is punished, but actually the punishment of the junior Herod was not unjust. For it is seen as a precaution from heaven, as granted that his deeds are not yet done rightly however as the price of future wickedness he should be disinherited of the kingdom. For who would be able to tolerate him as king, who as a tetrarch was so arrogant that he was unable to be tolerated? There is added even another type of poisoning, that Bathyllus a freedman of Antipater delivered to Feroras and his wife a compound of the secretions of serpents and the poison of asps, so that if the first had not been strong enough for the death of Herod they would use the second.
XLIV. There are discovered even letters composed against the brothers Archelaus and Philippus. These were sons of the king who were established at Rome, whom Antipater was attacking especially for this reason, that he saw them gifted with not ordinary wisdom, upon whom the king bent a father's pride; finally he had summoned them with letters that they should return home speedily. And so Antipater thought to oppose them with his advantages and to attack with his tricks, so that the expectation of the youths having been copied they might be overshadowed by all the zeal of his own party. And so he made up letters in the name of powerful men, whom while located in Rome [p. 111] he had enticed into his friendship, he twisted others with a reward that they should write, that the young men were attacking their father with hostile hatreds and with too much complaint were lamenting the death of Alexander and Aristobolus. And with secret tricks he forced upon his father through the household servants of his wickedness letters of this type, with the same cunning with which he formerly pretended to be a mediator in behalf of his brothers, with the pretense of piety the protection of impiety he concealed the parricide. All of these things having been brought into the open with the questionings that the life of the father, the death of the brothers had been sought was spread out very clearly by the letters, the decision is defined about their author that punishment must be exacted, who had next put out with a false accusation that he had attacked his brothers not as parricides but as rivals of a legitimate succession, not that he should defend his father but that he should not have a partner in the royal power. Meanwhile although the passages of seven months were concluded between the documents of the crimes and the return of Antipater, no information of the things done became known to Antipater, such great hatreds of all boiled around him. Uncertain therefore of everything he writes from the city of Rome he would be present without delay and he had been dismissed by Caesar with the greatest honor. To which letters Herod quickly wrote back in reply that he should hasten secure in the affections of his father, for whom not only had nothing been diminished by his absence, but in truth even so much favor had accrued, that by looking upon him the offense of his mother would be diminished. For again he had sent her from the household, stripped of the gifts of royal generosity, her partnership of complicity in the tricks of her son having been discovered: to whom [p. 112] he made evident from the appearance of the things written that he was about to relax his anger, from fear lest the expulsion of his mother having been learned Antipater should stir up his suspicions to taking precautions. And so arriving at Tarentum he first learned about the death of Feroras and exhibited great sorrow there, which by certain ones was attributed to the passion of piety, that he suffered unbearably the death of his uncle. He however was bemoaning that the agent of the attempted parricide was taken from him, not only that the preparation of the crime had not gone forward but truly even the poison to have remained was a source of fright, lest in some fashion it should come to the knowledge of the king and he should make the existence of the crime public knowledge. He crossed therefore to the port of Caesarea by no means devoid of serious worry and concern, since his expelled mother gave her children a not insignificant example of condemnation. But with his friends urging, who thought that everything which pertained to Antipater should be considered secondary to the desires of his father, then his nature having been considered, by which he was accustomed to easily bend with his counsel even an averse father from his own feelings, exhorting that he should promptly present himself to his father and the kingdom predestined for him, which no one would dare with him present to oppose, but the occasion alone of his absence might give rise to derision, that the mind of the king might be considered to be able to be turned from him, and thus it must be quickly prevented, lest by delaying more he should offend one desiring him or irritate one suspecting him, he would put out distrust of himself, and so he trusted in those persuading willingness more than necessities. Truly when he entered the port looking around he saw not anyone in his way and he felt his presence to be avoided like a plague, in the most crowded of places the greatest solitude, since no one dared to run to meet him, [p. 113] some fearing, others turning away --- and indeed at that time they had received authority so that they did not conceal hatreds --- he began to think over his crimes within himself and to be disturbed by pricks of conscience, there was no possibility of flight or opportunity of escaping left to him, surrounded as if with nets and held captive. He placed all hope in impudence, so that everything having been dissembled he presented himself unforeseen to his father, he rushed into an embrace, he depended on the obligations of piety. However the latter with hands extended pushing back the one thrusting himself forward and turning away his head, lest he should be touched by the kiss of the parricide, exclaimed this was the madness of a parricide, "that you seek an embrace who know yourself hated, you afflict your father with dread of yourself, you wrench out the sweetness of living with the touch of your guilty body. You will therefore not touch lest you will contaminate him whom you have attacked with wickedness. Cleanse yourself certainly first, if you are able, wash off the things charged. I will not flee from a trial nor will I allow a hearing to be denied you, I will not take to myself an examination of you, lest I will leave you a pretext of arguing. Conveniently Varus is at hand, before whom prepare your defense. Nor is there reason for delay, tomorrow although rich with trickery and deceits you have the opportunity of clearing yourself." But he struck dumb with fear of such a great commotion did not dare to reply anything nor was he able, but having gone out he wavered in mind, because he had learned nothing at all of those things which had been done and brought forth before the king. However his mother and wife coming to him later revealed everything. which things having been learned he began to collect and prepare himself in mind, in what fashion he should meet the accusation, diminish the offenses. On the following day all the relatives are assembled together, [p. 114] and the friends of Antipater were present for the judgement. All who had testified different things about Antipater were ordered to be brought in. And also the letters of the mother of Antipater are read, in which she had written to her son, that he should be aware of the picture of his crimes that had been presented to his father, he ought by no means to be present, unless somehow his hand should be summoned by Caesar, with whose protection he should wall himself round nor should he commit to judicial investigation who was assailed by the confessions of so many but should defend himself with arms. The having been added to the previous items Antipater having entered and throwing himself to the feet of his father beseeches, that he should not hold him precondemned, himself to be confident, if a hearing were granted, he would be free of crime if his father were willing. The father orders him to be silent and comes before him with speech of this sort: "that by no just person is a pardonable wickedness of Antipater able to be seen, I am quite certain, but from that me to be more burdened before you, Varus, I think. For I fear you will dislike me who have fathered parricides as sons, whom not even a father was able to spare, although from this also I am more to be pitied because I loved even such. But I am silent about them whom I myself irritated and I rejected their just charges against this man. They had no cause of anger against me, except that Antipater who had not been born into royal power was placed before them and had received the prerogative of a royal consort. I thought however that I would admit the elder by birth to guardianship over the younger, but I introduced an enemy, who was jealous of the more noble, aroused the little boys, assailed the weak, betrayed the unprotected. I do not deny the mistakes but it should be excused rather than attacked. Indeed Antipater took them from me, he compelled them to become plotters against me. I confess I grieved that those to whom I had given the expectation of royal power, for whom I had reserved the succession, plotted wicked actions against me, [p. 115] but in me they hated not the father but Antipater. And so they perished to the grief of their father, to the joy of Antipater. You ask, Varus, who killed them? Know whom their death profited. The household was emptied of the son of a stepmother, the royal court, which had many possible successors, opened to one for the succession. Nor was his bloodthirsty spirit and impious mind satisfied with the death of the brothers. After he did not have the brothers whom he had hated, he attacked his father. I reflect within myself: I who prepared this protection of inheritance for him, I am indeed seen to live too long for one disdaining him who is retiring. I have learned what he wished, I took away the competitors of his succession, he did not tolerate me delaying. He did not expect the kingship, unless he attained it by parricide. He gave me this return, because I collected the project and had given preference to him over those more noble. From whom indeed had I taken as much as I had given to him? To whom I living had yielded power, whom I had publicly by testament designated my heir, which is accustomed to be dangerous for kings, as he will know he will succeed in some way. I gave him fifty talents for enjoyment, I gave him departing for Rome three hundred talents. I commended him to Caesar as if an only son, I reserved nothing for myself, from which I should have feared parricide. But this armed him more for parricide, because he saw himself as superior. What so great of evil did his brothers commit, whom he forced to death? What evidence of this character against them was uncovered, what kind of this sort was discovered? But he dares to interrupt and roar with parricide and tries to roll up truth with trickery. You beware, Varus, I give warning, beware his simulated tears and groans composed by craft and not expressed from any grief. He is who took the feeling of tenderness from me, when with pretended fear he warned me to beware of Alexander, [p. 116] alleging the minds of many to agree with him, my presence must not be rashly committed to all. He pretended himself to be looking about at everything, to lead to the choice, to pick out and examine each one. He was the guardian of my sleep, my agent of safety, in whom I placed confidence, and with his services I lightened the pain from those killed. I thought that he would return them to me, that he would take away the grief, that he would spread goodness. He was my protector, whom I believed the guardian of my aged body. I know not how I am alive, how I escaped such a great plotter, with which blandishments he surrounded me, with which tricks he held me bound, so that I would entrust myself to him alone, whom alone it behooved me to beware. It is incredible to me that I escaped, nor do I seem to me to live but I think I dream. Who indeed would believe either that he would be so ungrateful, to whom I entrusted all power over me, or that I would be able to escape if Antipater did not wish it? I think however me to have been made safer from grace. But what thing. evil. my misfortune, makes them rise against me whom I most loved! I lament the trouble of my household, Varus, I mourn the loneliness, I groan over the force of such great pain. But however so great is the bitterness if the parricidal wickedness, that I allow no one to escape me, whosoever thirsts for my blood, not even if evidence of attempted parricide is brought forth against every son of mine." When he was saying these things, the voice of the speaker was broken equally by anger and pain. Immediately Antipater raising his head --- for as if struck and wounded by a severe wound he lay before the feet of his father --- no thinking to stand up he said: "You indeed, father, angrily accuse, but there is no greater defense for me than the evidence of your accusation, that I was always the guard of your safety. [p. 117] You have furnished a defense for me in the solemn testimony of the person accusing. For how am I a parricide whom you yourself admit to be your protector, or how circumspect and astute whom you argue to be the contriver of parricide, since to have planned that is extreme foolishness and execrable among men and before god cannot be unpunished? Indeed from the example of my brothers I was able to learn that there is no way of escape from such a great crime, because a crime of this type neither finds a hiding place nor escapes punishment, seeing that they paid the penalty for such great malevolence against you. But, as you say, a certain jealousy drove them to parricide, because they saw me to be preferred by you, whom the nobility of their mother's birth gave pride, so that they claimed that the kingdom was owed to them as if by maternal succession and they demanded it back as if it had been snatched away by you. Why would I do such who knew not to hope for a kingdom unless from you, to seek your verdict, to please you alone? What indeed was there that would impel me to dare anything against your safety? The hope of a kingdom? But I was a king; suspicion of your hatred? But I was loved; the pain of injury? But I was given preference. If fear alone of my preference armed them to parricide, I am absolved, because those preferred do not know how to plan parricide but hate it. Unless perhaps some fear from you compelled, but truly I, as your voice is a witness for me, knew nothing except to fear in behalf of you, for why would I fear who was the agent of your safety and the guardian of quiet? Or did a lack of money and poverty drive me, which is accustomed to persuade those in want to robbery? But you had given what not only was more than sufficient for the present but even for all time, and you had sent me rich to Rome, so that the kings of kings might proclaim about you that there was the beginning of rule, not of wealth. Finally I grasped Fabatus that governor of the Roman state and intimate of Caesar for you and so changed him, who had been bribed by Sylleus with a great amount of money that he should attack you, that he became your [p. 118] defender and a betrayer of his inciter. Through whom else, father, have plotters against your safety been detected? How therefore I a parricide who seized Corinthus the guard of your body hiding, I removed him lying in ambush, I brought him denying to confession? I was able not to consider parricide and to have the profit of parricide if I had been silent. But if I had the brutality of beasts, if the savagery of fierce wild animals were in me, however I was able to tame this with your great kindnesses, so that I placed no help except in assistance of your safety, in front of all I reported only love for you, I protected you with my body, I would contain you in my inmost organs if it were possible to be done. You displayed before more noble sons one less noble from his mother's stock, his mother also an exile from the kingdom you summoned into the kingdom, you held me not already as the successor of rule but as if a partner. Oh wretched me to to whom so much of good things poured itself, that it kindled envy. Oh stupid me, who left you, father, if place was given for hatred and power to plotters, for while I delayed long for your safety, I gave up mine, I still have nothing which I may add for myself. You, father, ordered me to go away, I went abroad for you, father, lest Sylleus should confound your old age, lest he should deprive you living of the kingdom, lest he should attack your well being before Caesar. Rome is a witness for me of piety, Caesar also the ruler of the world and the censor of all and the judge of my breast was accustomed to call me "a lover of his father." Testify, Caesar, before whom alone I would be able to do harm, what I spoke before you about my father, testify, I say, for me, you who have spoken about others, you thought I was not concealing parricide but investigating it. Oh if your presence breathed upon me! But you are absent and located far away, and [p. 119] and without you I am being judged by my father. You are absent but however are present in your letters. I offer your writings, which parricides are accustomed to fear, I carry your letter which they are accustomed to bring out who desire parricide not to lie hidden. Accept, father, the letter of Caesar, he may teach you who has long punished; accept the writings of Caesar stronger than all arguments. What you have long used for retribution, use now for redemption. I offer them as the chief witnesses of my innocence, that right hand has never failed you, that right hand of Caesar placed a crown upon you not took it away, that mind of Caesar presented again to you that kingdom which you had cast away. Caesar was able earlier to dislike me, if he had found me the like of my brothers, but he recognized and pronounced me the interpreter of goodness. Unless I had been at Rome, Sylleus would have won. For that I am being judged today, for that I wretched pay out a penalty. Be mindful, father, that I did not sail away voluntarily. I saw a pit of plotters already to be prepared for me, I preferred however, father, me rather than you to be put at risk. I do not however tremble at the risk to safety, but before you, father, I grieve me to be at risk as if your enemy. I am put in peril however, if before you the depositions of Caesar are challenged: I make use therefore of these evidences of my defense. I call upon Caesar not as if I must be heard but I invoke him as if I have been absolved. But if you think a judgement must be enforced, behold me, father: I came to you after Caesar, I hastened to you from Caesar, would that I had never been absent from you! But you, father, not knowing the dangers cast me out ordering me to go. I am at hand, father, I think for your safety the truth must be investigated not carelessly about worthless witnesses. They do not prejudge who [p. 120] are able to fear tortures, nor who are able to disdain them, every man is deceitful, says Scripture. I offer the incorruptible testimony of the elements. I come to you through the seas and the lands never suffering anything. As a parricide I ought not to have escaped if I were guilty. The sky acquits me before you, father, which did not strike me with lightning, the sea which did not submerge me, the land which did not swallow me. Through these I come to you safe, father, which they are not accustomed to escape even who are not parricides. The land devoured Dathan and Abyron with its wide open jaws, but they had not grasped after the fruitful father. The earth suspended Abessalon fleeing in the branches of its tree, lest he should reach to his father, if he had arrived to whom, he would have escaped. I came to you and as yet I am in peril. David punished his parricide, because he was not able to save him, I do not desire to be vindicated about my enemies and false accusers, that I might call them to tortures. Let them gain the punishment of false accusations. I ask one thing, father, that you not put trust in another's tortures, seek against me from me myself. Hang up your guilty party, let the investigation of truth proceed into my internal organs, let the instruments of torture penetrate into my body and innermost parts, let the blood flow forth which is accustomed to proclaim parricide, let the fires be brought to the guilty limbs, why do you hesitate, father? If you forbear, you pronounce me innocent, if you refrain from torture, you acquit me of crime. It is not parricide, which is thought worthy of a simple death. Or if you are lenient as to a son, have compassion for the members born from you, they are not your members which are the attendants of cruelty." When he said this, he made an end of speaking with great weeping and doleful groans and with great wailing bent Varus and all to pity. Herod alone was moved to no tears and himself [p. 121] intractable to pardon refrained from weeping, intent upon questioning, seeking vengeance.
XLV. Nicolaus by order of the king followed the speech of Antipater, who astutely responded to his cleverness and led away from pity those influenced by renewing against Antipater the hatred of the murder of the brothers, urging that if pity moved any one, those ought to be pitied, who killed by his trickery were seeking vengeance, if they absolved someone, all the household of the king would be brought into peril, brothers, relations, parents, the king himself, whose safety he had not spared. And so turned about to the cleverness of the speakers as if in conclusion he were rousing up from the lower regions the souls of those killed, who would fill the low seats with miserable complaint, themselves innocent to have died burdened by bribed witnesses, by contrived letters, by dishonest words. The father tricked to have believed his son, whom he did not think to be able to lie about his brothers. Him to offer now his punishments, who had not put faith in the tortures of his brothers, who bound them laden with chains, lest they be present for examination. A verdict to have been brought against them while they were absent, while they were located far away, to have been killed, lest their father should show compassion for them. And so there would be nothing left, if this one should escape who was trained to pour parricidal poisons into the entrails of his people, to change the minds of men, who even stirred up Feroras always the most loving of his brother Herod into his murder by a deadly parricide. When Nicolaus had added many other things to this for the purpose of arousing commotion, when he brought his speech to an end, Antipater was asked by Varus, if he wished to respond. He returned nothing other, except: "God is my witness that I have harmed nothing." Then Varus ordered the poison to be brought forward and it to be given to one of those who had already been sentenced to the penalty of death, which having been drunk he immediately died. It was reported about this [p. 122] to Caesar and Antipater is led into chains by the command of his father. He as not yet free of snares. For besides he tried an attempt against Salome letters having been sent, which Antipater had composed in the name of Salome, full of abuse against the king and had ordered to be carried to Acme a maidservant of Julia, who was wife to Caesar, by a manservant of Antifilus, which delivered to her Acme transmitted to the king. And the fraud almost resulted in the destruction of the woman, if a letter had not been discovered of Acme to Antipater, which revealed the trick, written in this fashion: "as you wished, I wrote to your father and and I sent those letters, and I do not doubt the king will rise up into danger of his sister. You having gotten the affect wished for make good the payment." These letters having been discovered the king was led into the suspicion, that Alexander with a like method had been attacked by a letter composed by his brother, and exasperated by by too great agitation he entered into severe illness. Seeing himself to be pressed by which danger he wrote in his will Antipas one of his sons to be the heir of the state preferred to Archelaus and Philippus his oldest children, because Antipater had made them also mistrusted by their father with his tricks and stratagems. To Caesar he bequeathed one thousand talents presents and gifts having been added, upon Caesar's wife and sons, freedmen and friends he bestowed five hundred. And he did not leave his sister Salome without his gifts. The illness proceeded to worsen and with the passage of time became extreme, which his feeble old age with its disadvantageous circumstances aggravated daily, in fact his body was burdened with not less than seventy years, he bore the affliction with frequent sorrow of mind, having been wounded by so many parricides, which either to have discovered in his sons [p. 123] or to have borne was a great distress. The fury of his illness was incurable however, because the surviving Antipater was feared. The disregard also was worse each day, the statues of Caesar and the likenesses of animals adjacent to the temple contrary to law were dragged down, the originators especially being Iudas and Mathias instructors of the youth, who said the time to have come to them for conspiring, by which the injury of the violated law would be avenged. The wretch would give punishment, who thought to be right anything that was permitted to power, not influenced by reverence but lifted up by arrogance to have exercised as lawful in the interior of the temple the desire of doing what he wished. And although the divine power would hasten retribution, it would be seen as noble if besides they demonstrated for the holy temple their freedom in defending the observation of the paternal rite. Nor should anyone be restrained by fear of danger, since to die for the ancestral law was worthy of immortality. And the first attacking tore down the golden eagle affixed above the roof of the gate, arrested and taken to the king when they were questioned, desiring to obey what they had committed such a great crime, they responded: "the ancestral law." And again to one asking on what they were so happily relying, since they summoned for the penalty of death, they replied, for the rewards of piety and devotion, the remuneration of which would pay those seeking death in behalf of the ancestral rite. He was no longer able to bear the consistency of the response, but made above his illness by anger, so that he overcame his weakness, he proceeded to an assembly of the people. And there reporting them to the people as if guilty of sacrilege he began to accuse, that more serious things than such as had been done were suspected. Which even if [p. 124] they should not be proved, however all suffering punishment every man fearing for himself of the originators who were seized entreated, that it not be proceeded against the rest, lest the investigation trouble many both outsiders and the innocent. And so having been asked against those present he spoke the sentence that they should be burned alive. From then his misfortune increased and the force of severe sickness consumed his entire body with diverse sufferings. His fever was severe, his itching was intolerable, the pains of his internal organs were continuous and without intermission, the middle of the large intestine was troubled, his feet were bothered by dropsy, the hidden parts of the body swarmed with maggots, spasms of the entire body, painful gasping and sighs were evidence of some trouble, which demanded the punishments of unjust parricide and sacrilegious condemnation. He did not however concede in mind and from desire of living struggled with his disease. The warm waters of Callirrhoe sought across the Jordan profited nothing. The Dead Sea bringing cures to many held the sick man without any progress. When while he was being kept warm with much oil relaxed with slackened body he turned up his eyes with the appearance of those dying, and his voice failed and feeling did not remain, but aroused by the noise of those shouting he recovers, And desiring to return to his own territory when he came to the neighborhood of the place which was called Jericho, he was bothered continually by black bile and being threatened in a certain way by death itself he thought up an atrocious crime, by which the people would be cast out as if into the lower region itself. For long since ordering those who were the most noble from all Judaea to be assembled, so that from each village they should come together into one place, when the order had been complied with, he ordered them to be confined inside [p. 125] the racecourse and Salome and her husband Alexa having been summoned he ordered a legacy of blood, asserting that his death would be a joy to the peoples of the nation of Judaea and therefore himself to have thought up, a reason why his funeral would be magnificently celebrated; to demand from them, that when he had exhaled his last breath, they should immediately order them all to be killed who were being held confined. Thus there would be no one in all Judaea and all his household, to whom his death would be unlamented, since he had left grief the inheritance to all of his house, who while they lamented their own deaths would seem to pay respects to the funeral rites of the king, and so the happiness of the public religious celebrations would be prevented by domestic anguish. And lest perhaps by a wicked command ordered the execution should be abandoned, he ordered fifty drachmas each to be given to the soldiers, so that with the bribe of so great a crime given the soldiers would not refuse this deadly work, the horror of the execution would be compensated by the benefit of the remuneration. Already it came near the punishments of the great misfortune, but he desired the responses of the sad legation, which reported about Acme that punishment had been exacted for the grievance of Herod, Antipater also had been convicted of parricide and sentenced to death, however if to him driven from his native land the father might wish to grant the power of flight from the kingdom, Caesar giving consideration to the crime would would order the sentence, leaving the decision to piety. Nature had cancelled the necessity of parricide. For restored for a short time the power having been permitted him of acting as he wished, while he considers the mode of his death, distracted by pains he had desired to anticipate the day of his own death. And so he asked for an apple and also a knife, so that accustomed to slice the apple with it he might receive some refreshment, and lifting himself briefly supporting himself on the couch he lifted up his right hand desiring to stab himself, but [p. 126] Achiabus ran up and prevented the blow, and the entire house resounded with lamentation, so that it was thought outside that Herod had died. Antipater rejoiced at the sound of wailing and demanded from his guards that he be released from chains. But the guard placed for this duty not only refused what was asked, but even announced it to the king. He shouting the still living assassins to have behaved insultingly toward him directed that they should kill Antipater, and ordered him killed to be buried in Hyrcania. And again he changed his will and made Archelaus the older of the brothers king, he left Antipas a tetrarch. And so outliving Antipater by five days he died, having ruled the kingdom for thirty seven years, from when he was ordered to rule by the Romans, from the time when however he destroyed Antigonus his competitor for the kingdom, he spent thirty four years in in supreme power, would that he was as happy in his domestic experience as in his public successes. For so outside thus favorable things blew upon him, so that as a commoner he was admitted into royal power, and there having experienced very many courses of years, which was difficult, his practice of rule safe he died leaving to his children the succession of rule, which he himself had not received from his parents, but in his household the most unfortunate of men, which he filled with sorrow and the bitter blood of his relatives. But however he did not achieve the execution of his greatest cruelty, in this alone Salome disregarding the previous mockery of their crimes, because she sent away all those whom the king had ordered to be killed, saying the king to have later repented of his deadly order and the previous orders having been recalled to have ordered that all should be sent away to their own territories.
XLVI. Then afterwards an assembly having been made in the amphitheater of the soldiers and the rest of the people an announcement [p. 127] was made about the death of the king. Ptolomaeus came forward, who was among the most faithful of the friends of the king, whom he had clung to to the end, and carrying his ring, which he took from the finger of the dead person, he extolled the king and warned the people to be tranquil. He opens a letter in which having beseeched the most faithful he exhorted the soldiers, that they should show benevolence and gratitude to his successor. The records of his will having been opened it is read aloud that Philippus was named heir of the region of Trachonitidis and the neighboring places, Antipas was named a tetrarch, and Archelaus the king, thus however that his ring was to be carried to Caesar and to him was reserved the approval and executions of all his arrangements, and then finally his will would be established if Caesar had approved it. The remaining things he ordered to be observed according to his previous wills. Immediately the acclamation of the soldiers arose applauding Archelaus, he was at once surrounded by a crowd of attendants, they promise good will, they pledge loyalty. After this his funeral rites were suitably and magnificently arranged all the display of the royal riches was sent ahead and all the multitude of the funeral procession, his funeral couch was entirely of gold and distinguished with jewels, the coverlet glittering with purple, the body overspread with a purple robe, which a buckle shining with precious stones bound up, a diadem rested on his head and above that was a golden crown, a scepter in his right hand, so you would have thought him living. A column of Thracians preceded and the German and Gallic bodyguards of the king preserved military rank. In the same manner girded with arms as if they were going forth to battle, but sad of face similar troops followed. The remaining troops preceded [p. 128] with the customary decorations and with the usual grooming the leaders and centurions together accompanying. Furthermore fifty slaves and freedmen of the royal household sprinkled aromatic spices so that the entire way was redolent with an agreeable odor. The sons of the king and a great force of relatives surrounded the bier. He was buried in Herodium as he himself ordered. Which was two hundred stadia from that place, in which he found the end of life, escorted through such a great distance with the great subservience of all but not with the equal affection of all. For fear had not extorted devoted service, the grief within himself at least had free expression. Herod had this end.
BOOK I OF HEGESIPPUS ENDS HERE.
1. Translator's note: i.e., of Pompey.
2. Translator's note: i.e., by Pompey.
3. Translator's note: him, i.e., Aristobolus.
4. Translator's note: the translator has not tried in this literal translation to clarify the almost hopeless confusion in this Latin material of what pronoun refers to what individual as the confusion is inherent in the Latin. It can be straightened out only with knowledge of the actual situation.
5. Translator's note: he, i.e., Herod.
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