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XVII.11161116    In Syncellus, p. 307, al. 244.

On the Fortunes of Hyrcanus and Antigonus, and on Herod, Augustus, Antony, and Cleopatra, in Abstract.

1. Octavius Sebastus, or, as the Romans call him, Augustus, the adopted son of Caius, on returning to Rome from Apollonias in Epirus, where he was educated, possessed himself of the first place in the government. And Antony afterwards obtained the rule of Asia and the districts beyond. In his time the Jews accused Herod; but he put the deputies to death, and restored Herod to his government. Afterwards, however, along with Hyrcanus and Phasælus his brother, he was driven out, and betook himself in flight to Antony. And as the Jews would not receive him, an obstinate battle took place; and in a short time after, as he had conquered in battle, he also drove out Antigonus, who had returned. And Antigonus fled to Herod the Parthian king, and was restored by the help of his son Pacorus, which help was given on his promising to pay 1000 talents of gold. And Herod then in his turn had to flee, while Phasælus was slain in battle, and Hyrcanus was surrendered alive to Antigonus. And after cutting off his ears, that he might be disqualified for the priesthood, he gave him to the Parthians to lead into captivity; for he scrupled to put him to death, as he was a relation of his own. And Herod, on his expulsion, betook himself first to Malichus king of the Arabians; and when he did not receive him, through fear of the Parthians, he went away to Alexandria to Cleopatra. That was the 185th Olympiad. Cleopatra having put to death her brother, who was her consort in the government, and being then summoned by Antony to Cilicia to make her defence, committed the care of the sovereignty to Herod; and as he requested that he should not be entrusted with anything until he was restored to his own government,11171117    The sense is doubtful here: καὶ ὡς οὐδὲν ἠξίου πιστεύεσθαι ἔστ᾽ ἂν καταχθῇ εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀρχήν, etc. she took him with her and went to Antony. And as he was smitten with love for the princess, they despatched Herod to Rome to Octavius Augustus, who, on behalf of Antipater, Herod’s father, and on behalf of Herod himself, and also because Antigonus was established as king by the help of the Par136thians, gave a commission to the generals in Palestine and Syria to restore him to his government. And in concert with Sosius he waged war against Antigonus for a long time, and in manifold engagements. At that time also, Josephus, Herod’s brother, died in his command. And Herod coming to Antony11181118    There is a break here in the original.

2. For three years they besieged Antigonus, and then brought him alive to Antony. And Antony himself also proclaimed Herod as king, and gave him, in addition, the cities Hippus, Gadara, Gaza, Joppa, Anthedon, and a part of Arabia, Trachonitis, and Auranitis, and Sacia, and Gaulanitis;11191119    This is according to the rendering of the Latin version. and besides these, also the procuratorship of Syria. Herod was declared king of the Jews by the senate and Octavius Augustus, and reigned 34 years. Antony, when about to go on an expedition against the Parthians, slew Antigonus the king of the Jews, and gave Arabia to Cleopatra; and passing over into the territory of the Parthians, sustained a severe defeat, losing the greater part of his army. That was in the 186th Olympiad. Octavius Augustus led the forces of Italy and all the West against Antony, who refused to return to Rome through fear, on account of his failure in Parthia, and through his love for Cleopatra. And Antony met him with the forces of Asia. Herod, however, like a shrewd fellow, and one who waits upon the powerful, sent a double set of letters, and despatched his army to sea, charging his generals to watch the issue of events. And when the victory was decided, and when Antony, after sustaining two naval defeats, had fled to Egypt along with Cleopatra, they who bore the letters delivered to Augustus those which they had been keeping secretly for Antony. And on Herod falls11201120    Here again there is a blank in the original.

3. Cleopatra shut herself up in a mausoleum,11211121    The text is corrupt here. It gives, ἐν τῷ μεσαιολίῳ, a word unknown in Greek. Scaliger reads Μαισαιόλιον. Goarus proposes Μαυσωλαῖον, which we adopt in the translation. and made away with herself, employing the wild asp as the instrument of death. At that time Augustus captured Cleopatra’s sons, Helios and Selene,11221122    i.e., sun and moon. on their flight to the Thebaid. Nicopolis was founded opposite Actium, and the games called Actia were instituted. On the capture of Alexandria, Cornelius Gallus was sent as first governor of Egypt, and he destroyed the cities of the Egyptians that refused obedience. Up to this time the Lagidæ ruled; and the whole duration of the Macedonian empire after the subversion of the Persian power was 298 years. Thus is made up the whole period from the foundation of the Macedonian empire to its subversion in the time of the Ptolemies, and under Cleopatra, the last of these, the date of which event is the 11th year of the monarchy and empire of the Romans, and the 4th year of the 187th Olympiad. Altogether, from Adam 5472 years are reckoned.

4. After the taking of Alexandria the 188th Olympiad began. Herod founded anew the city of the Gabinii,11231123    Samaria was so named in reference to its restoration by Gabinius, the proconsul of Syria. See Josephus (Antiq., book xiv. ch. x.), who states that Gabinius traversed Judea, and gave orders for the rebuilding of such towns as he found destroyed; and that in this way Samaria, Azotus, Scythopolis, Antedon, Raphia, Dora, Marissa, and not a few others, were restored. the ancient Samaria, and called it Sebaste; and having erected its seaport, the tower of Strato, into a city, he named it Cæsarea after the same, and raised in each a temple in honour of Octavius. And afterwards he founded Antipatris in the Lydian plain, so naming it after his father, and settled in it the people about Sebaste, whom he had dispossessed of their land. He founded also other cities; and to the Jews he was severe, but to other nations most urbane.

It was now the 189th Olympiad, which (Olympiad) in the year that had the bissextile day, the 6th day before the Calends of March,—i.e., the 24th of February,—corresponded with the 24th year of the era of Antioch, whereby the year was determined in its proper limits.11241124    The text is: ἦν ᾽Ολυμπιὰς ρπθ᾽, ἥτις πρὸ * καλανδῶν Μαρτίων κατὰ ᾽Αντιοχεῖς κδ᾽ ἔτει ἤχθη, δι᾽ ἧς ἐπὶ τῶν ἰδίων ὁρίων ἔστη ὁ ἐνιαυτός. In every fourth year the 24th day of February ( = vi. Cal. Mart.) was reckoned twice. There were three different eras of Antioch, of which the one most commonly used began in November 49 b.c. Migne refers the reader to the notes of Goarus on the passage, which we have not seen. The sense of this obscure passage seems to be, that that period formed another fixed point in chronology.


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