Hegesippus, translated from Latin into English (2005). Book 5
[Translated by Wade Blocker, firstname.lastname@example.org]
HEGESIPPUS BOOK V BEGINS HERE
I. In the first year of the supreme power having been bestowed upon Vespasian Judea was tormented by savage battles and civil riots, nor had it experienced a cessation of evils during the winter, when the savageries of wars are accustomed to become less severe. But even the third tyrant Eleazarus had approached it as if intending to correct the faults of his predecessors, who Iudas and Simon the son of Ezeron and Ezechia a youth not of low birth conspiring with him, whom many others were following, and the interior parts of the temple having been seized and all the border, they stationed armed men before the gates in front of the entrance itself. Johannes however excelled in the number of conspirators and the size of his faction, but he was lower in place, and could not at all rest but must fight back against those higher up, he was incommoded however because he had enemies above. In truth Simon, whom the people had brought in as tyrant over themselves, held the highest places of the city, the lower places also were filled by his people. The city was suffering from a threefold battle within itself, no let up no respite no suspension of hostilities, there was conflict at every moment. Many fell, countless were butchered, blood flowed, it polluted everything, it filled the threshold itself of the temple, dead bodies piled up everywhere, some were struck by arrows, others by missiles. Among the three Johannes was in the middle lower than Eleazarus, higher than Simon; by the amount he was overtopped by Eleazarus, by that amount he himself overtopped Simon: in the middle therefore between both he held that place, so that by the amount he was more oppressed by the one, indeed he himself more oppressed the other. Better equipped however with other helps of siege machines and types of weapons, he made equal the battle, so that indeed besides those who were pushing for war many indeed [p. 294] of the priests were killed and immolated among the very sacrificial victims they had slaughtered. Although indeed a frequent multitude of missiles fell upon everything and battles seethed everywhere, however the priests religiously attended to the duties of sacrificing nor did they take a holiday from the office committed to them. And where they were in the interior of the temple, there they were more seriously killed, because things done by the siege engines had a more violent blow. Indeed many who had come to pray from the ends of the earth hoping for the blessing of safety, the more they clung to the temple the more they were involved in great danger. You would see foreigners with the citizens, priests and laymen thrown down together, the important with the base, the self indulgent with the abstinent, the blood of all indiscriminately mixed and flowing like a stream the interior recesses themselves of the temple lying in pools, blood swelling up in every path, so that many while they seek each other as champions of the factions , offended by the slipperiness and about to satisfy their fury were immersed in blood. Nor thus terrified even by the dangers did the followers of the tyrants however withdraw from the fighting, and where was the greater danger there the greater storm of madness raged. And if destruction gravely threatened anyone, others as if they were vigorously supporting the victory would destroy those thrown into confusion. And indeed there was opportunity of yielding to Eleazarus or Simon, so that they would be separated as if by some persons or truces of hours. Johannes however was always in readiness for battle, every moment in combat. If those above were inactive, he pressed upon those below from the faction of Simon, if he drove these away, Eleazarus attacked. If he drove some away, he would leap upon others, always watchful in combat and indefatigable in savagery itself. When they were sparing of javelins, they would throw burning darts, which laid hold of by the [p. 295] roofs of houses destroyed buildings which filled to bursting with produce and other foodstuffs for enduring a lengthy war were burned up together with great amounts of fodder they gave to the fire. They destroy the charred remains of the materials, the roofs of the high buildings roll down. Thus by blood fire destruction hunger the sinews of the entire city were cut down. No place was free from danger, no time was found for deliberation, no hope of change, no opportunity of escape. Everything was gloomy, full of dread, full of frightfulness, lamentations everywhere, panic, everywhere the cries of women, lamentations of the aged, groans of the dying, the despair of the living, so you would say those were wretched who remained, those were happy who had died.
II. How you have been deceived, the city, by your people, to whom you once appeared blessed, how you have been conquered by your own forces and even your own hands have been turned against you, how you were accustomed to conquer without weapons to strike the enemy without any battle, when the angels fought for you and the waves of the sea were soldiers for you, the openings of the earth, the noises of heaven? Arise now, Moses, and see your people and the inheritance of the people entrusted to you perish by their own hands. Look upon those people of god, for whom advancing upon the impassable the sea opened, to whom starving heaven furnished food, without confinement by the sea, without blockade by Pharaoh, without hunger from the barrenness of the lands. Arise, Aaron, you who once, when because of the displeasure of omnipotent god death was consuming many of the people, stood between the living and the dead, and death stood still and by the interposition of your body affliction clung to you and was not able to go over to the contagion of the living. Awaken also you, Jesus Navis, who [p. 296] leveled the impregnable walls of Jericho with priests playing the trumpet, and see the people, to whom you made subject the foreigners, now the same made subject to be oppressed. Awaken, David, accustomed to soothe the rough spirit with the charm of the lyre, and see how madness dominates and has obliterated every sweetness of your psalms from the senses of the destroyers, and each one of the leaders offers all the nation to death, that he may twist away liberty, on behalf of which you offered your own self to death. Awaken, Heliseus, who introduced the enemy into Samaria and made him an ally. Through you the rattle of chariots sounded in the camps of Syria and the voice of cavalry and the voice of manhood, the enemy fled, Judaeus avoided the siege. Where now are those merits, where now those divine services of the blessed? It is not surprising if they have lost the aid of the prophets, because they have refused the mediator of the prophets. And so against yourself, Judaea, your arms are turned, your prayers profit you nothing, because your faith attends nothing; thus your people has been made against you, because your faithlessness has been turned against you. What remedy is being searched for, when the proposer of the remedy is not reconciled? What were you thinking would happen, when with your own hands you put your salvation on the cross, with your own hands you extinguished your life, with your own voices you banished your supporter, with your own attacks you killed your helper, except that you also put your hands against yourself? You have what you sought, you have snatched away from yourself the patron of peace, you sought for the arbiter of life to be killed, for Barabbas to be released to you, who on account of rebellion done in the city and murder had been sent to prison. Thus salvation departed from you, peace went away, calm left off, rebellion was given to you, [p. 297] destruction was given. Recognize you that Barabbas is alive today, Jesus is dead. Thus in you rebellion rules, peace is buried, and you are being destroyed more cruelly by your own people than if you were being destroyed by foreigners. How much of mischief, miserable city, did a Roman with his armies bring in to you as did your own people? The Romans wished peace, you proclaimed war. What cause was there that you should provoke those stronger? It was truly harsh that contrary to sacred law a gentile should have entered the temple, but already it was not the temple of god. You were not the city of god, nor were you able to be, for you were a tomb of the dead and especially of your own people whom you yourself had killed, not whom you had lost by an enemy. For how were you able to be the abode of life, who were the dwelling place of death, the lodging house of wickedness, the den of thieves? There lay dead in you unburied Ananus and Jesus the foremost of the priests, and they not long since clothed in the priestly garments, which were objects of veneration even to foreigners, they have lain with disfigured body, the food of birds and the devouring of dogs, dismembered and scattered over the entire city, so that the appearance of former sanctity was seen to lament such a great affront of the sacred name and the degradation of the public office. But you yourself made for yourself the beginning of this vileness, who killed the prophets in the middle of your bosom, who stoned the blessed ones of the lord. Zacharias lay lifeless before the temple, he lay unburied. Here therefore blood bathes him. But what cause of death was there for Ananus except that he upbraided your people, because it did not rise up in defense of the temple, because he complained about the surrendered freedom, the forsaken courage, the trampled relics of ancient religious rites, the polluted [p. 298] altars? He claimed the people would be abandoned, from the use of insensible images and statues of marble already perceiving nothing. Even mute animals are accustomed to note a change of punishment, to feel injury, to be aroused by a prick, to avoid blows. Who therefore is neither aroused nor knows to avoid what is harmful, is like those not feeling. And where is your true freedom, with whose spirit you at one time judged that not to the Egyptians, not to the Palestinians, not to the Assyrians, later not to the Medes, must submission be made. Where is that faith of the Macchabaens, which once in a few routed the Babylonians, put the Persians to flight, overpowered Demetrius, finally in the women and children at Antioch it overcame arms swords and fires and in accordance with paternal precept preferred to die rather than be submissive to the commands of the king. Where is that devotion of the fathers the most beautiful of all passions, with which they offered themselves to death not for their children, not for their spouses, more than for the temple of god? Before indeed the priestly staff cut off from its forest root flourished, but now faith withers and piety is buried and the emulation of all virtue has gone away. It is not a wonder if the people, who have withdrawn from god and follow a wicked spirit of contradiction, are divided among themselves, for how were they able to hold their peace who rejected the peace of god? Christ is the peace of god who made both one. Deservedly therefore from one people many have been made against themselves, because divided they were unwilling to follow Jesus uniting them in fellowship, but joined together they followed the dividing spirit of madness. You paid therefore, Jerusalem, the price of your faithlessness, when you yourself with your own hands destroyed your defenses, when with your own swords you dug out your entrails, so that the enemy felt pity, that he was lenient that you might rage. Indeed he saw that god [p. 299] was fighting against you and was engaged on behalf of the Romans, and you yourself were bringing in a voluntary betrayal. And thus the onlookers preferred to be Romans rather than murderers, lest, your innards raging among themselves, it should be thought troops of contagion rather than of bravery to be approaching. To these sufferings of abominable murder was added the barbarity of wicked inhumanity, that they denied burial to everyone, who was killed either in the temple or around the streets of the city. Nor was anyone free to do burials while they were occupied between themselves with war and the task of killing more than burying held everyone. And so by a certain madness the services of piety perished, the employment of ungodliness grew worse, and nothing in such great misfortunes was destroyed more than compassion, which alone is accustomed to lighten miseries, to mitigate hardships. And in fact both those who had lost their own did not dare to bury them because of fear, because great terror advanced from the leaders of the opposing factions, and those who had killed strangers took care lest anyone should snatch them away for burial. And so it was necessary for everyone to fear that what they wished to give to another they might take away from themselves, or what is worse they themselves might not be granted the use of a tomb which they prepared for another. In the temple therefore itself instead of the good smelling ointments, instead of the censers breathing out good smells, instead of the odors of different flowers, the stench of unburied bodies was hard to bear, which the rains had unloosened, which the fires had charred, which the sun had heated. All the limbs of the murdered citizens had a horrible odor. From this the putrefaction of the loosened entrails, thence the strong smell of the burnt bodies filled every sense and the mouths of the living, so that they not much later were taken by very severe illness and they groaned themselves to be survivors, by which they would die from a harsher punishment, and by that to have been saved so that they should see the laws of nature to be dissolved at the same time with their country, justice to be denied to the living, peace to the citizens, [p. 300] burial to the dead, human and divine affairs equally to be dishonored and polluted, everything mingled together, compassion to be criminal, cruelty to be held in the place of reverence. A military camp in the temple, warfare on the threshold, death on the altars, themselves to see those things about to happen which they had not believed the prophets announcing. Had not David said about these very things: they polluted your sacred temple, they placed the remains of your servants as food for the birds of the sky, they poured out their blood like water around Jerusalem and there was no one who should do burials? For at that time gentiles came into the heirship of god, who would snatch away all things, and the temple was defiled with their corpses and the unburied bodies of the dead lay as the food of birds, the greediness of wild beasts: blood was shed so that it lay in pools in the temple, he was lacking who should do burying, because the madness was shifted from the living into the dead, from the dead into those who were still living. Anybody who wished to bury someone dead, was himself killed, and he who had killed the dead man transferred his anger to the burier, so that he should deny burial to the former he killed the latter. Again he who had killed the burier exercised a greater barbarity about the dead man, whom already owing nothing to hatred, not feeling sufferings, he despoils of the funeral rites owed to nature. What else could befall them, who were not accepting divine precepts? They mocked the announcements of the prophets, they spurned every command of heaven, They did not believe the things about to be, which that they should take place they themselves hastened. For there was an ancient and repeated saying that the city of Jerusalem would then be ruined and the sacred things destroyed. when the strife of war attacked the law and domestic hands should contaminate the temple of god. Not even this did they understand; indeed how many times was the house of god destroyed, how many times was there [p. 301] rebellion, how often blockade, how often war! Never was that city destroyed, unless when truly they fixed the temple of god to a cross with domestic hands. And about that temple, let them hear: break up this temple and in three days I will rouse it again. And indeed what was it other than sacrilege, when they extended irreverent hands against the source of salvation, when they stoned him, when they scourged him, when they seized him, when they killed him? Then truly the divine fire consumed their sacred things. For when they were burned by the Babylonians they were afterwards renewed, destroyed by Pompey they were restored again, but they were thoroughly burned, when Jesus came, broken up by the heat of the divine spirit they vanished. It was necessary with a certain abundant lamenting for us to recite certain funeral rites of our ancestral rituals, and as it were to follow a certain funeral procession and to loosen the funeral rites with the customs of our ancestors. But let us come to the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem.
III. Titus had returned into Judaea and a few days having been interposed, so that the ranks of military numbers might be filled again, from which a select band had been sent into Italy, he increased the fighting hastening to join his father, lest he should send him into danger alone about to fight against the Vitellianan forces. He moved the route of the army with great propriety the column careful everywhere and prepared, mistrustful of ambush, because it saw itself superior in valor. It came into the territory of Samaria. Gofna received it, which had long since conceded to the Romans. It came into Aulona, from which Jerusalem was not more than thirty stadia. From that place cavalry to the number of six hundred having been taken up he stretched out the cavalry before the city, to explore also the situation of the place, [p. 302] the character of the defenses, the height of the walls, the spirit of the common people, who were reported to be oppressed by the forces of the brigands, who had unwillingly assented to the siege, and accordingly would proffer their consent against the Romans less if freedom to speak were to be given. Impressively therefore he rode with a small escort on the common rampart which was directed at the walls of the city, not was anyone seen to come forth. However when he turned his horse to one side to go around the circuit of the walls, while the rest of the troop followed their leader, very many suddenly poured forth from the place which is located facing the tomb of Helena and bursting forth they captured the road, so that they blocked off the greater part of the horsemen who were following Titus. He with a few had gone past in accordance with the plan of the ambushers, so that left by the others he might more easily be overwhelmed, because it was neither easy to retreat to his men on account of the multitude of enemies inserted, nor did a ditch and wall and other hindrances of the place allow him to go further by which peril was presented from two directions.
IV. Seeing therefore that in valor alone was there any chance of safety for himself, nor of opening the road otherwise than by the sword --- for already the others with their horses turned around were departing, although they trusted that the son of the emperor would be following --- he turned his horse; having urged the rest with a shout that they should follow, he rushed against the enemy. This seemed impossible how he would be able to escape, unless it is noted that in war frequently boldness although alone can accomplish what is a wall for oneself, afterwards because with others following behind the common crowd thought more for looking after itself in danger than pursuing the enemy, as if he who had extended his hand so that he should hold a horse, should be killed. Finally only two of the associates of Titus having been killed, with [p. 303] those remaining the son of the emperor returned to his men. Nor truly does it seem possible to doubt, because with head bare and unprotected in other respects, who had gone forward in the sally not prepared for battle, who had put on neither a helmet nor a breastplate, and from that received nothing of a wound, although darts were thrown chiefly against him, that such a great man was being reserved for the overthrow of this city. Surely it is the heart of the king in the hand of god. And therefore the boldness did not increase for the Jews from the outcome of their trickery and the success of their deceit, he returns to the city with the army after a night and from a certain tower, from which the city was looked out upon and the great size of the temple, he pointed to his troops with what city there would be for himself a war, that it was necessary for them to be energetic and prudent because a numberless people prepared for trickery had to be conquered by them. He arranged which ranks should approach the walls; he had inquired which were yet wearied from the night march, he stations them at a distance as reserves. It is advanced little by little. When it was come to the mount of Olives, a valley below it lay midway between the route and the city which has the name Cedron, where looking from the walls upon the army drawn up, for it was six stadia away, they put aside for the time their zeal for strife and an external enemy arriving gave up in a domestic agreement the fights of the civil wars. For generally even fear suppressed the fierce hatreds. Finally the men of the parties encouraging each other in turns their zeals uniting that they should defend their country together, lest by their discord it should give a bloodless victory to the Romans, relying upon their numbers they thought that the enemy should quickly be attacked, and [p. 304] the foremost thrown into confusion by an unexpected attack. But when the Romans trained by actual long standing practice and battles of diverse types confirmed themselves in mind, relying upon their order they began to cut down those attacking, to push them away with their shields, to repulse them with the hurling of javelins, by no means however without mutual losses. Indeed the Jews were already pressing close and the Roman line was wavering, unless the situation having been learned Titus had arrived and charging against the adversaries encouraging his troops had renewed the battle had aroused the courage of the soldiers reproving the Roman ranks victory would have been yielded to the disordered multitude not without the shame of great disheartedness. And the Jews having been driven off, they pursued them divided by the valley, the victor he took himself back to his own men, secure in his judgment, because the higher positions against those lower, it they should attempt to give battle, were giving assistance, he took himself to another part of the Roman army. Caesar departing the Jews pour themselves down from the walls and rush in a great throng upon the enemy, so that the soldiers fled from the charge of the countless multitude and took themselves to the higher reaches of the mountains; the flank having been left unprotected even the rest who preferred battle, fled. In the meantime Caesar positioned in the middle, most beseeching, that he should not put himself in danger and with the army dispersed be placed alone in the greatest of the danger, when he was the master of the world, --- for he should not fight as before in the place of a soldier but of an emperor, in whose danger there was disaster for everyone, --- he did not acquiesce but placing the honor of military service before safety, in the view of which a glorious death outweighed the shame of a life, he turns his breast against the enemy and those deterred whom he had gone against he flings himself against others. For by his appearance alone and the fame of his exceedingly well known and courageous bravery he drove back the enemy. And so they fell back whom he had charged against, but from other sides the Jews more and more were pouring in. And they almost [p. 305] closed in upon Titus, except that many of the soldiers seeing Caesar to be engaged in the middle of the battle shout out to the rest pointing out that the son of the emperor must not be left in danger. Thus their sense of honor recalled everyone and armed their fears, that they should not be branded by the disgrace of having abandoned Caesar. And having wheeled about against the Jews with every effort and bravery they drove the undisciplined horde into the valley, nor was it difficult for those climbing out to fall back. Thus Titus twice called back from flight a number of fleeing soldiers and took them out of danger and disgrace, having made use of equal bravery and finally of their sense of honor, which while it turns aside faintheartedness, brought in bravery, first that Caesar should not be abandoned, afterwards even that the enemy should be driven back.
V. When the public fighting was inactive for a brief time, the internal fighting proceeded. For Johannes many having been incited by the occurrence of the passover celebration, that they should approach the temple as if for the sake of observing it, and as if the opportunity of entering had been given to allies, prepared a trick. For having entered with a peaceful appearance but armed on the inside the coverings having been thrown aside well prepared with defences and with armored breasts they raise their swords to fight. Demoralized by which panic those who were at leisure within the temple unarmed burst out and left the temple empty. The former having followed them and cutting the throats of those whom they were able to catch, pursuing the others beyond the bounds of the temple, the opportunity of breaking in was given to Johannes and his associates. Many humans were killed in that place, so that even those who had not resisted some cause or other having been feigned were killed, nor was stillness of benefit to the peaceful nor silence to those passed over nor patience to those yielding. And the interior parts of the temple having been seized Johannes rode against Simon even, Eleazarus and the other chief persons of the third faction having been named in the second place to himself. [p. 306]
VI. Also on the third day Titus advances against the enemy and leads forth the army. And reaching it he struck against the the crowded multitude of Jews before the city with the appearance of wishing to surrender themselves to the Romans but as if fearing. Having suspected treachery and especially inasmuch as recently he had seen them conspiring among themselves and obstinate not having thought it credible them to have suddenly changed, he warned the soldiers that trickery must be guarded against and it must not rashly be approached near the walls in crowded ranks unless by his command, lest those who had come out from the city should surround from the rear. Suddenly from the city a noise arose and a certain strife gradually resounded of some pretending a voluntary exit, of others still resisting, because the first were demanding that the gates be opened for them, the last were ordering them to be kept closed, some were wishing for peace, others for war. The crowd of soldiers rushed themselves forward to aid those, who had asked from the walls that assistance be given them. A great many go beyond the command without formation without any method as if rushing to meet and bringing assistance to those coming, so that by the nearer assistance confidence of breaking out should be granted to a great number and fear to those resisting, or an opportunity among those struggling of breaking out for themselves. Whom they began to pour themselves around from behind who stood firm outside, they pressed upon those surrounded. These fled to the wall as if suspecting nothing from those who were pretending peace. Thereupon stones and missiles were thrown down and suddenly the fiction of peace was changed into battle. Whence aroused they rush against the enemy, who although they had tried to surround the foremost of the Roman soldiers, feared however that they themselves might be surrounded by the entire army, and so while they feared the whole, they lost almost from their hands those whom they had already considered captured although many wounds had been inflicted and themselves for the most part wounded [p. 307]. Followed however all the way to the tomb of Helena they made noise as the manner is by clashing shields, mocking the Romans because they had surrounded them a second time by trickery.
VII. Caesar somewhat disturbed forbad those returning to be mingled with the rest and convoked an assembly saying: "Although the Roman valor is great, excelling the peoples of all the races, especially however it excels in orderly arrangement and obedience to orders. For that is the preservation of military training. Nor is it strange that the Jews devise tricks, they construct tricks who judge themselves unequal in strength. But as it is the part of the weaker to rely upon treachery, thus it is the part of the stronger to beware that trickery does not dupe strength. And so them to be amazed, because they agreed themselves to be in desperate straits, that the situation is not coming together in an advance of better things for the Romans 1 , and from that it happens that the performance of trickery for them is in doubt, for us the exertion of valor is in an uncertain state. But if the strength of the enemy is stronger than great trickery, it is less scandalous. For to be overcome by equals or indeed by those stronger is free from disgrace. But truly nothing in you gives offense except excess alone of contending and a certain hasty lack of self-control of the troops, what can be worse than for the discipline of the troops to be discarded when Caesar is present? Much I think the very rules of military service will groan from the shame of such a great disintegration, much the emperor will when he learns this, who always preferred himself to be obeyed by his soldiers than to be feared by the enemy. For obedience hastens the effect of the soldier, fear of the enemy delays victory. What is a father about to think of his son, whose authority is so weak over the army? For let it be proclaimed about the leader, whose order is disregarded, that he is more often vindicated against those who have fought the enemy against orders, than against those who attacking according to orders have yielded to valor. [p. 308]. For by the laws death is prescribed for anyone leaving the ranks. What therefore will happen when not one but everywhere the army leaves its post and disregards the orders of its commander? Be aware that you are soldiers of the Roman empire of the people of the senate, for whom even to conquer without the authorization of an order is a crime." He terrified with a speech of this type not only those in command of the soldiers but even the entire army. For when he aimed at pointedly the leaders of the ranks, he was seen to be about to punish everyone. And so all who were scattered around were asking that the censure of the few who had first left their posts should be imposed upon all. Although Caesar was not quick for a requital of the transgression, he was not however relentless for leniency. He pardoned with great seriousness saying himself to forgive all and to have been sufficiently satisfied against everyone by the consequences of the attack, the reason that attention ought to be directed against each one all the way up to the outcome, against the multitude up to the command, against those things all the way up to punishment, against these things up top censure. Often even in good armies battle failures have given reasons for future valor.
VIII. After these things Titus turned his wrath against the enemy and reflecting upon the dangerous blockade among so many headlong, so may steep places, with unexpected sorties the outstripped soldiers did not have the means with which they might restore their position, from which they might forestall the enemy, where they might station war machines, he ordered the steep places before the city to be filled in. Which when they were thus done the Jewish excursions were not even a present danger. They were afflicted with the domestic struggle, when the Romans were occupied with filling in the steep places. Nor was the band of either party small. Ten thousand and their fifty leaders were with Simon. Idumaeans [p. 309] also to the number five thousand were joined to the faction of Simon, which Iacobus and Simon junior were in charge of. Moreover Johannes the interior of the temple having been seized by that trick which we spoke of before, crowded together with six thousand armed men was stirring up the conflict. Two thousand with another four hundred men joined him, after they began to unite in a harmonious spirit for the defense of the city, Eleazarus and Simon Arinis whom they had used before the leaders .For whom fighting among themselves for booty the people were in the middle of those who won and as if the reward of the contest were transferred back and forth in accordance with the various outcomes. For a short time they had come together in the manner of armistices and awakened to the first attack of the Romans: they fell back with unsound entrails into the old disease of domestic fever, when the attack of the external diseases was more relaxed. Without there was generally war, within riot, more serious for the reason that the riot itself both was fed by the war and fed the war. The two factions were fighting for political power, the people between the two were concerned not about servitude, but that they should not fall to the worst master.
IX. A certain powerful man founded the city Jerusalem of the Chananaeans, who in the native speech was called a just king, which at first he named Solymam, afterwards he added a temple, from the place the city was named Jerusalem. It from the beginning had its inhabitants from the race of Chananaeans. David the leading man of the Hebrew race drove out the Chananaeans, he installed his own people, who in that country made a royal palace for himself. He wanted also to found a temple to god, [p. 310] but forbidden by a prophecy he left Solomon his heir, who would build the temple which he himself had wanted. And therefore Solomon established the temple, to which kings for the beautification of the city added many things. Envy arose from its magnificence. Among all works however the temple was supreme with great work and gleaming marble, in which were large and precious hanging curtains woven with scarlet and blue and fine linen and purple. Not idle material of such great diversity but whose splendor signified mysteries of hidden things, for the reason that his was the temple who was master of the sky and air, the earth and sea as the creator of the elements and who alone ruled and governed all things. In scarlet the fiery sky was fashioned, in blue the air, in fine linen the earth which is begotten in it, in purple the sea which is dyed with the maritime shell-fish, so that you bind together two from the color, two from their begetting. Indeed the chief priest had been accustomed to portray these four things in his garments, because the greatest assembly was of the feast days, as if about to pray for the people he dressed himself in the whole world, in his image who was about to come, the chief of the priests Jesus, that he should take away the sins of the world. The chief priest covered the thighs inside with a linen covering, for the reason that before the rest faith of mind in a priest is sought and purity of body, which ought to gird about the lewdness of the flesh. There were two sacred tabernacles, one the inner, and the other the outer. The priests always entered into the outer, into the inner which was called the second the chief only of the priests [p. 311] would enter once without blood, that he should make offerings for himself and for the transgressions of the people, this signifying Jesus about to come with the holy spirit who truly alone would enter the inner sanctuary of the divine sacraments and, because he knew all the mysteries of the heavenly nature, alone also would reconcile the entire world to the father with his blood, so that he would have compassion for heaven and earth. Finally after he came, he appeased all things with blood of his cross, which are either in the earth or in heaven. Within a censer, within a table, within a lamp: the censer, because thus to god the father, as incense, is directed the prayer of the high priest, the table, because on that is the passion of Christ and the mysteries of the sacraments, from which indeed David said you have prepared a table in my sight, just as whose twelves loaves, the twelve apostles are witnesses of his suffering and resurrection. The lamp, which is placed on the lamp-stand, previously it was beneath the corn-measure, that is beneath the measure of the law, now it is in the fullness of grace seven-wicked pouring out light, for the reason that the holy spirit lights up the temple of god with the virtues of the seven greatest graces. Knowledge of the trinity was therefore in the interiors of the temple which were called the holies of holies, where the rod of Aaron once placed flourished, which by the grace of priests in Christ was about to work after the death which redeemed the world. There were fourteen steps before the temple, through which in the time of king Ezechia a shadow ascended signifying to him the end of his life was about to occur. But warned by a prophecy he prayed and earned a postponement of death by this evidence that the sun poured back by these same steps, which signified by such a great number the passage of years of life poured back to him. [p. 312]
X. Since therefore the city was fortified on all sides by the works of many kings and especially of Herod, who strengthened the fortress which has the name Antonia to the splendor of the greatest work and adorned it with great beauty, Caesar went round it seeking, from what direction he would be able most easily to pour himself into the city, and the circuit of the wall having been examined through its entire circumference he settled upon the area neighboring the mound, where Johannes the the chief of the priests lay buried, for undertaking the siege. Adhering to which too closely reconnoitering Nicanor one of his friends giving his attention to the task too studiously was struck by an arrow and slain. Indeed he had approached too closely, while he thinks it would be some advance of future peace, if the opportunity of engaging in dialogue should be given him, whose effect it was reckoned would be powerful and strong in influencing the minds of the listeners. Caesar, angered because they had inflicted death by an unexpected wound on him who was exhorting well-being, orders the troops into battle and the war is stirred up by the hostile hurling of javelins and especially with missiles, the battering rams are moved up, with which the strong walls are struck. Alarmed by which all who previously were fighting with zeal among themselves about mastery enter into agreement and freedom from punishment of their superiors having been given they make themselves one body and the peril forcing acting in concert they defend the city. Coming forth against the mounds they hurl fire upon the war machines, that they might destroy the ramparts and burn up the moveable shelters, set fire to the battering rams. And they would have have burned almost all types of the machines, if many selected soldiers and allies especially from the region of the city of Alexandria had not fought back vigorously. To whom resisting strongly Caesar added the assistance of powerful cavalry. He himself [p. 313] fighting fiercely killed twelve champions of the opposing forces. Thus the force of the remaining multitude avoiding destruction returned into the city and the Roman works were protected from burning. Iohannes the leader of the Idumaeans fell in that battle, while he was engaged before the walls in conversation with a Roman soldier known to him, struck in the back by the wound of an arrow, he fell immediately. They consider Arabis the most skillful of his javelin throwers the author of his death, the Idumaeans affected by great grief, because they had lost a man quick in battle and wise in counsel.
XI. The following night it happened that three towers which Titus had ordered to be erected upon the rampart by which he might transfix the Jews with darts either from a level with them or from higher, suddenly with no force of the enemies fell. By which noise the entire of the Romans was thrown into confusion from the opinion that the ramparts had been destroyed by the enemy, they thought the towers had been cut down, which falling caused great destruction far and wide. And a miserable outrage almost was admitted, that the victors would have yielded in flight during the night to an uncertain enemy, if the darkness and the fall itself by the dust raised had not taken away vision, so that they considered it uncertain in what direction they should flee. Each one inquired from the nearest person what had happened, nor was able to learn the truth of the matter, because the cause of this was similarly unknown by everyone, until Caesar the matter having been investigated ordered to be spread about, that what had happened was from the sudden fall, not from any hostile incursion. Thus the panic was calmed and every aid to storming the city located in strength, for when they were the height of the walls and most things were covered by iron or brass and the enemy were fended off by darts and the height itself, the Romans advanced the battering ram machines, [p. 314] by whose frequent blow the strengths of the wall were loosened, they began to rely upon lighter darts and arrows that they might divert the defenders, that they might push aside the obstacles of those hindering. Thus little by little the wall was yielding to those pounding. From which the Jews called the very largest battering ram a destroyer of cities. And so a part of the walls having been battered down the Jews untroubled forsook the defence of the wall itself, because they had two other interior walls, and departed to the second wall. Them fleeing the Romans, entering through the gaps of the wall, opened the gates. The entire army having been admitted deep within, it destroyed the exterior wall, lest it should be an impediment to those fighting or, if there should be setbacks, an enclosure for those escaping.
XII. Allied together they allotted to themselves the places of Johannes and Simon around the second wall. Johannes with his men was fighting in the fortress which has the name Antonia. Neighboring to him was the arcade of the temple which faced to the north. For that location, in which was the fortress afterwards designated by the name Antonia, lying between two arcades, was named toward the norther, that is the northern. Simon undertook the task of defending the city up to the tomb of Johannes. The battle for them was for safety, for the Romans it was for victory. Although for them bravery was more important for fighting, the location however was worse for the siege, since the fighting might oppress them from the wall. Daring was more immoderate for the Jews, firmness more important for the Romans. The leaders hung over the factions, and from that the greatest competition arose, while each is eager to demonstrate his own bravery to his commanders. Simon spurred on his own men with fear and terror, Titus encouraged the Romans as much as possible by their sense of honor, because they thought it worse than death not to show their courage to Caesar, since he himself had not hesitated so many times to offer himself to dangers in front of the army. The habit of winning armed them [p. 315] and the ignorance of losing, especially with Titus present, the judge of the courage of each one, by whom a reward for bravery was not expected, but above everything the reward of greatest value was to have done anything vigorously with him watching which did not displease him. Aroused by that incentive Longinus a man of the equestrian forces seeing enemies before the walls clusters of Jews and as if indignant that they had provoked the Romans to war and dared to come forth on even terms, dismounted from his horse and threw himself into the middle of the enemy. And he pierced one preparing to resist in the mouth itself with a javelin and simultaneously took away his voice and life, he thrust the javelin torn from the prostrate body into another and took himself back to his own men a victor. We are speaking of those most prominent: but there were many imitators from each side but of a different type. Despair gave boldness to the Jews, to the Romans the desire for glory added courage: an equal contempt of death however for unequal spirits. The Jews thought it a consolation to die together with the enemy, Titus was hastening to finish the war, but without the loss of his own men, he preferred even to save all the enemy themselves if he were able rather than to destroy them. He did not admonish a soldier otherwise than that fighting must be for a purpose, true valor to be this alone, to which the companion is foresight, for bravery without judgement should be seen as rashness, and in no place should more caution be taken than in victory. Defeated to die with the winner is a triumph. And so counsel must be taken that the outcome not be seen to have been that he conquered, but to have been worthlessness that he did not avoid the conjunction of danger. He orders therefore that the battering ram be moved to the middle of the north wall.
XIII. Castor was there a clever man and prepared for trickery, who the rest having been put to flight through the arrows of the bowmen stretched out with nine other [p. 316] associates in trickery. He when he noticed the tower to be destroyed the wall to be tottering and easily to be about to fall if the blow of the war machine were repeated, extending his hands asked Caesar in a miserable voice that he should now spare the city about to be destroyed and not think it must be undermined in a final destruction. Caesar thought that about to give up his troops he was asking for pardon. So that the surrender could proceed he orders the war machine to stop, the javelin throwers to refrain from battle. He gave Castor an opportunity of speaking. He pretended to climb down, then as if persuading his men, some willing others not yielding, and suddenly as if protesters who were being forced striking themselves above their breastplates they fell down. A great wonder although a trick lay hidden. Thus they prolonged the time. Among which one of the Roman soldiers struck the nose of Castor with the dart of an arrow. He bewailed and complained to Caesar, asked that he order someone to extend their right hand to him, that he was about to take asylum. Caesar entrusted the task to Josephus, in truth he who had experience in the treacheries of the Jews answered that he saw nothing sincere in it. Aeneas however advanced nearer the wall and that he might receive the one coming ran to meet him. To whom shoutings that he should open his bosom that he might receive gold, let fly a stone. He with watchful eyes foresaw the stone and having dropped with a quick leap of his body evaded it. However the vast catastrophe of the stone enveloped another standing near. Caesar brooded over this bitterly ordering the war machine to be driven with greater force for the casting down of the walls. In opposition fires were hurled down to burn up the machines. But when the wall was brought down Castor pretending greatness of mind in contempt of death with a trick as if he threw himself in the fire, with a disgraceful trick seized a way of escape with his life. [p. 317]
XIV. By now one wall that is the third remained two having been destroyed. Thus far Caesar kept his patience, who noticed that whatever had been destroyed was already lost to him. While he spares and and calls for surrender, an unanticipated troop with a few rushing over the second wall, a band having been assembled the Jews wound a great many. Furthermore many on both sides were dead. Then Caesar pierced those resisting with arrows from a distance, among those crowded together the darts were never eluded, no blow was without its wound. So the Jews began to move back and Titus recovered his own men. And already in the city hunger had advanced deeply. The Jews however for their victories because they had recovered the second wall, were boasting as if the Romans had been driven out, but they were not able to repair those fallen down nor to defend those about fall. But they continued to resist to some extent. It was fought for three days at the second wall, on the fourth day not holding back the Roman valor they fled back within the third wall. Caesar meanwhile orders that an assault be refrained from, he ordered only that the second wall be destroyed. And because a great part of the war remained, he decided that a soldier should gather food for himself, lest a lack should threaten the conquerors, weakening those wanting food. For four days the army collected grain for itself, and the time was also deemed suitable that the Jews should take counsel for themselves, that they should turn about. And indeed the people preferred this, but the leaders of the strife thinking that they had acted against the people with great crimes, while they looked forward to no place of pardon, thought it easier to perish with all than if as the instigators they should perish alone. Therefore on the fifth day, because nothing tending to making peace was offered by the Jews, Caesar attacks the walls with a double column and orders two ramparts to be erected, one against Antonia, the other against the wall which was about the tomb of Johannes. By the latter he was seeking the overthrow of the upper city, while by the other [p. 318] that he should conquer the fortress, even that he should get possession of the temple. Which if he did not bring into his power, he was not able even to hold the city without danger. Titus had divided his army into two parts. Separated also Johannes and Simon had assigned to themselves the duties of defense. Johannes was defending Antonia, Simon with his armed men and the people of the Idumaeans looked to the tomb of Johannes and from his higher position baffled every attempt of the besiegers by whatever means he was able. Also the more practiced had been taught by their misfortunes to charge against the siege engines and had themselves taken over for themselves many types of siege engines, with which they destroyed the works of the Romans, impeded their undertakings. Noticing whose headlong stubbornness to be confusing the tasks, Caesar wished conversation, so that they would not perhaps from despair of pardon resist more obstinately, and might from trust of things promised give up. He began to persuade them that they should not involve themselves in the destruction of the captured city, that they should relinquish it to his power, which was already held by his arms and walled around by the siege was being pressed to its final destruction; he would give pardon to those yielding, if only they took counsel for themselves and their country, so that the entire city will not be destroyed. He commands Josephus that he should address the citizens in their native tongue, that he himself might perhaps change his fellow tribesmen, that they should reject their madness. Who although he knew the hatred of the Jews to have been showered upon himself, moved back from the walls as far beyond the flight of an arrow as he was able, however so that he could be heard, he described in detail what was to the best interests of the citizens in this well known address to them.
XV. "It has been, Hebrews, human nature to fight stubbornly, before things come to a climax, while you believed yourselves to be superior by reason of the place and assistance of the known region, although it would have been appropriate for the Romans insuperable in war not to be challenged in arms, by whom they have been often conquered who had conquered you, but however [p. 319] thoughtless minds of men have this lapse in favorable circumstances, at the same time because generally the outcome of war is doubtful, and so each one even though inferior in valor commits himself to chance, finally you have trusted to walls, you have not thought even all the way to the forthcoming destruction of the temple. Spare the sanctuaries, spare the altars, spare the one time house of god. For indeed god himself has already deserted you, because you have abandoned the observation of piety. We have suffered war in the middle of the temple. Fires distributed around the temple have gone astray, Fires scattered about the temple went astray, armed men stood around but not the sort as were accustomed. Up to this point however having hands unsoiled by sacrilege they prefer not to defile the sacred doorposts, nor to abolish the ancient rites, if you permit it. What more is expected? Two walls have been thrown down, a third survives but is weaker that the two torn down. Is divine help hoped for and assistance from the inner sanctuary? But he who was protecting us has gone over to the enemy, inasmuch as whom we were cherishing the Romans are venerating, we are offending. Who moreover does know that god is with them, who has made everything subservient to them except those things that are inaccessible from too much heat or cold, and thus outside the Roman empire because the same are outside human use? To different peoples god has given dominion by turns, no one denies him to have been the helper first to the Egyptians, after to the Jews, also to the Assyrians and Persians, afterwards turned to the Romans to remain with them; in fact all kingdoms to have yielded to them, all the earth to have been given into their possession. What do you with the victors over the entire earth, to whom the hidden parts of the ocean and the furthest limits of India lie open? What if I add Britain divided from all the world by an interposed sea but brought back into the circle of the earth by the Romans? The land of the Scots trembles before them which owes nothing to the world, Saxony inaccessible from swamps and hedged in by impassable regions trembles, [p. 320] which although it may seem to dare the intrigues of war, indeed itself is frequently added a captive to the Roman triumphs. It is regarded as the strongest race of men and as excelling the rest, it relies upon piracy and pirate ships, not upon strength, prepared for flight rather than battle. But you say to die is better than to lose freedom. When, Jews, did that opinion succeed among you, or when among the Hebrews was profitable servitude not preferred to unprofitable freedom? Jacob himself the patriarch led the Hebrews down into Egypt, lest they perish from starvation, likewise the twelve patriarchs his sons went down that famous beginning of our race. There the respected Judas from the race of Jews, who gave his name to the people, there Joseph exalted with his chariot and horses preferred to put himself under rule so that he might feed his people rather than go back to the freedom of his own origin, there Benjamin restrained by the conscientious trickery of his brother agreed to the deceit, because it was not a fault to be a slave to those more powerful, there their generation, when it was summoned by Moses, wanted to stay. Thus harsh servitude even did not displease your fathers so that it was preferred to dangers. You served the Egyptians and would that it were so again! And not only did you serve then, when you preferred the nourishment of foreign servitude to the showers of heavenly food, but even afterwards conquered and captives you descended into Egypt when you were fleeing from the Assyrians. You served even the Macedonians, you served even the Assyrians through the course of many years, and that servitude was pleasant. You served the Persians the Seleucians the Palestinians, you reckoned only the Romans oppressive to you, to whom indeed those were slaves whom you were serving. Which therefore hatred or gratitude do you owe them, who made you equals [p. 321] to your masters? I think this is your vengeance, not an indignity, because they have delivered you from those things to which you had been subjected. An Assyrian is oppressed by servitude who was ruling over all Asia. An Egyptian plows for the Romans, he sows from his own which he reaps for them. Macedonia which the Persian having been conquered spread its empire all the way to the Indians, recognizes as its masters those whom it disregarded, and remembers to no purpose that it imposed the name of Aeacides upon its kings, certainly it would not have stopped otherwise than for the triumph of the Romans, to whom even Pyrrus himself, an offspring and the race of Achilles and bearing the name, overcome by arms made himself subject from the desire of meriting peace do that he might ask for pardon. About the Palestinians what may I say whom the strength of a single governor restrains? Ungrateful, for is it not your renown to serve with the Persians? That is indeed to serve with royal powers and the greatest king to have the consolation of submission. But I ask when have you been free who are now rejecting servitude? When therefore have you been free? Or when were you master over others who were under a king? You had god for king, you rejected his rule under whom alone you were free. You were willing to serve men. Why do you tear away the testaments of the fathers, the hereditary succession willfully disobedient to the fathers? You chose a king who was named Saul. Him having been killed, the Palestinian people ruled you. After a time David succeeded to the rule of the entire people, indeed a gentler master but a master nevertheless. And before he rested David himself imposed a king upon the people. From Solomon the kingdom was again divided in two and the inheritance was divided through a long [p. 322] series of despotism. That I may pass over the captivities, Cyrus restored most of the Jews to their lands and their religious rites. But your fathers, when they were being ground down by the serious battles of the Persians, however much uplifted by the triumphs of the Machabaeans, chose the Roman alliance for themselves. The divine scripture held the agreements of many embassies. You were made allies of the Romans who were the slaves of the Persians. But again you preferred to have a king rather than a chief of the priests, to whom the people were submissive; when the savagery of your kings was intolerable, Herod having died, Archelaus having been defeated, you asked to be Roman under Caesar, you surrendered yourselves to Caesar, to whom all have been made subject, for a change to a softer servitude. In the common condition of every one to be a slave is a certain freedom, inasmuch as the obedience of the slaves is graced by the authority of those in control. Although the Romans do not exact slavery the supporters of freedom, who not only killed a harsh king but did not suffer an arrogant king, and thus among them the name of empire is in low regard because it increases theirs, not because it suppresses that of others. But be it: may it be useful to you not obey the Roman empire; let us see if it is free, if it is not deadly. The Roman battle lines beset us, the destruction of our country besets us, the destruction of the temple besets us. Assess carefully not what is useful but what is possible. For not the notion of vows but the prudence of possibility must be considered. The law of nature is certainly the same for everything, men, birds, wild animals, poured into beasts, and each yields to the more powerful, the bull to the lion, the stag to the bear, the wild goat to the leopard, the hawk to the eagle, the dove to the hawk, the weaker young bulls to the bull himself, the flocks of sheep to the ram, the she-goat to the he-goat, lest any difference of different birth be seen to exist, you to the more powerful. The Romans however drive out no one, you [p. 323] drive them out, on the contrary they promote, that not anyone even conquered should go out from their lands. They reserved a part of his kingdom for Antiochus. And now Caesar what does he work at unless that your land not be deserted, your region not be emptied, the city not be destroyed, the temple not be burned up? Not to everyone is victory given. Nature grants to be in charge to few, to be submissive to many. The bulls stand out over the herds, the rams over the flocks. Distinction belongs to few, tameness to many. And you clothe yourself in tameness, accept subjugation as even wild beasts clothe themselves in it." When Josephus was saying this, he was jeered from the wall, they slandered him who was persuading helpful actions. Many even were shooting arrows, trying if they could bring him down with death. But he, because he was not prevailing on the untameable with reasoning, thought they should be approached also with the evidences of the scriptures, especially because they were saying that god would not fail as a guard for his temple.
XVI. "You the reckless, now finally you hope that divine aid will appear for you, when you have thoroughly disturbed all things with arms, when you have violated the altars with fighting, when you have demolished the defences of the entire city? " he said, "and unmindful of your supporting forces, you have prepared shields and swords, and this against the Romans? Not with such arms are you accustomed to conquer. For when was the victory of the Hebrews in the spear and the sword? Call to mind from whence you arose, from what sites you set out, how your fathers conquered their enemies, you reckless ones, what assistant to you you snatched away when you asked for foreign help! not in a multitude of people but in the fear of god father Abraham entered Egypt and when he saw the modesty of his kidnapped wife captured, he abstained from war however, [p. 324] he took up the arms of pious speech, he summoned the protector who would wind around the sleeper, and the enemy having been conquered, would display his wife to him unstained. Sarra returned without arms reporting triumphant victory to her husband. Abraham slept and Pharao was turned. Sarra feared and Pharao refused guilt, he cast out another's wife and the crime having been condemned he respected purity more than he had desired to despoil it. He adds gold and silver for the shaming of Sarra, that he censured the desire free from outrage. He asked father Abraham that he pray to the lord on behalf of his household; for his household was unfruitful. Sarra returned richer with modesty unharmed, Abraham returned more blessed, who had recompensed the consideration for the modesty of his wife by the cure of sterility. What shall I say about his son Isaac? He also relying upon the ancestral defense against the haughtiness of a powerful neighbor led forth not armed troops, and certainly he had a strong band of 318 domestic troops, which had overcome five kings, had stripped them of booty, had restored the captive Loth to the uncle of Abraham. He did not take his sword from the sheath, but put on only patience against those who were jealous, he returned forthrightness. They came asking who had declared for expulsion, they demanded friendship who did not tolerate a neighbor. I tremble to review such a great marvel of the fathers. Jacob having been blessed his brother Esau threatening parricide left his homeland, abandoned his parents carrying a traveling allowance of prayer alone with him, and he rightly feared ambushes in strange places with his brothers, and he lacked the companionship and assistance of men, he found an association of angels, [p. 325] guided, as he said, to the stronghold of god, he wrestled with the lord and, as scripture says, prevailed over god, who thought himself unequal to men. What otherwise could Moses and his snakes have done against the army and king of the Egyptians if he had not raised his rod alone? O mighty rod which overlaid the sky with darkness, flooded the land with rain, dried up the sea with waves! The Egyptians had surrounded the Hebrews, Moses prayed and did not fight. The sea was divided and the people entered into it, Pharao followed, Moses positioned between the waves prayed. Pharao was submerged with his troops, Moses celebrated. Who considering these many things and others like them does not wonder and does not understand that for us the best weapons are in prayer rather than in valor? For the first brings divine aid to itself, the latter brings the aid of the body. The first acquired knowledge of those weapons which are not of the flesh but steadfastness in god, the disciple of Moses and also his successor Jesus Nave, his imitator and almost the equal of the teacher turned backwards the waters of the Jordan and likewise when he saw the invincible walls of the city of Jericho, ordered the priests to sound their trumpets and the people to sing out. Which having been done the walls suddenly fell and the city was destroyed and all were killed, except those whom the faith of the good courtesan Raab protected from the destruction of the celebrated city. Gedeon also chose 300 men for war, he ordered them to display not arms but mysteries, in the left hand to hold pots full of water, in the right torches. Demoralized by this sight the enemy fled immediately and victory came to the Hebrews. The observance of the sacred religion was interrupted by the negligence of the priest Helus, the divine authorities were forsaken. Battle was invited by foreigners, the Hebrews were conquered, captured even was the ark of god, and without any weapons necessary was returned, by which proof it became clear that [p. 326] indeed without reverence for religion arms do not conquer and religion conquers without arms. King Ezechias, the people of the Assyrians having been poured in to the people of Judaea with the voice of Rapsacis, in the empire of king Sennacherim, which reproaches were being thrown against god, which he discovered sufficiently well were being denounced by the people as the final ruin, to those creeping in he believed that words must not be returned to words nor arms to arms, but bestirring himself he clothed himself with a blanket as if with a shield, in the place of a helmet he covered his head with ashes, instead of javelins he hurled a prayer. The prayer ascended, an angel descended. One hundred eighty five thousand Assyrians were killed during the night. We counted the dead bodies, we did not see the killer. I passed over the five kings whom having engaged in war the lord not having been consulted, traveling through the desert, a lack of water began to greatly afflict, thirst harassed them also and their horses. Necessity forced the duties passed over to be revived. For there was a king Israhel negligent about the worship of god, warned however by others that he should seek a prophet of the lord, he learned that Heliseus was not far from the very places in which they were spending time. The aid of prayer and the cure of their troubles was desperately asked for. Although the offense was king Israhel's, because faithless he did not believe, he promised however both an abundance of water and swiftness of victory. Water began to flow through the desert and rivers voluntarily poured themselves over the land without any rains. The enemies arising whom confident of victory watchfulness having been relaxed abundant sleep had overwhelmed, suddenly saw the sun having been covered over the waters to redden and among the peoples of the kings they thought beaten, with whose blood the ground was wet. And so hastening in for booty everywhere without order without method they ran, each hindering the other, thus charging headlong into the middle of the enemy surrounded and killed they gave a huge slaughter of themselves. Thus the venerable prophet [p. 327] took away equally thirst and fear from our fathers. And he brought the same aid against famine. For when Samaria was under siege and king Israhel remained shut in there, severe famine developed, so that not even from abominable foods was there abstention. The prophet addressed by the ugliness of so much misery and likewise by a messenger of the king, who thought the famine to have become established because of he negligence of the prophet, answered: 'on the following day you will see both abundance of grain and cheapness.' He said to the not believing messenger, that he certainly because he did not believe would not see this, but that belief in the promises would not be wanting. Suddenly during the night in the camp of Syria the neighing of horses, the noise of chariots, the uproar of running four horse chariots, the sound of arms being heard threw fear into the victors, as if in aid to the Hebrews many and strong tribes had come, and were threatening them, as they thought, they hastened to extract themselves from danger by flight, the night hurried the decision, increased the terror. And so the Syrians fleeing all the supplies which they had brought in were found in their camp the following day. The abundance created cheapness, the cheapness inspired trust, the death of the unbeliever snatched away from him the enjoyment, it did not however hinder the rescue of the state. It is proven therefore that most leaders of the fathers gained victory when they fought least, others also to have been victorious in war to whom taking counsel as to the justice of waging war it had been permitted by the prophecy. Finally Amalech would have been conquered but when Moses raised his hand, Jesus Nave conquered when he caused the sun to stand still, and Gideon conquered he approved those about to fight in water, Samson also when he preserved his hair still untouched, Samuel also conquered, but when he proposed to pierce a helping stone. David triumphed when he joined Bersabea that is [p. 328] the daughter of Sabbatus as his wife in prophetic mysteries, he won even in civil war, because he fled from war inflicted, he did not wage war. Indeed nothing is more loathesome than civil war, except he who is able to wage war alone. Asaf also won in battle but afterwards his men despairing because they were inferior in number, he said nothing to be of advantage whether they were few or many, since god may make the few, fearing themselves before many, stronger, certainly a good man with faith if he had persevered to the end. Indeed also a woman won in arms who kept her faith in god. An truly Saul was conquered because he did not take heed of the commands of god; Iosias was wounded because contrary to commands he advanced against the enemy, otherwise blessed and thus snatched away so that he should not see the captivity appropriate to our sins. Nechao shouted: I have not been sent to you, bearing testimony of his trust, but he enveloped him, as previously Amessia, the partner of an unworthy society. Finally he had been warned by a man of god, that he should send away those whom he had hired for one hundred talents of silver as allies of the war, if he wished to win. To whom hesitating because he would lose such a great sum, the prophet answered, that the lord had much more from which indeed he restore to him the silver, relying on which he rejected the hired forces, and conquered with many fewer, not even he would have paid the price of such a great victory to god, but he had immediately offered sacrifices to the images themselves which as victor he had captured, as if he had conquered by their help those things which he had collected as the spoils of capture. Sedecias himself with ruin to the country already threatening, having agreed through the prophet Jeremiah, when he was pressed by a hostile siege, that he should not fear to go out from the city, that there would be victory if he obeyed the heavenly commands, but he would be a captive if he [p. 329] had thought it must be defended, cheated himself and his men by lack of faith. The people of the Jews were carried by the Assyrians into Babylonia, Those left who remained were considering transferring themselves to the Egyptians. The lord mandated through the prophet Isaiah and others that they should be content with rule of one race, lest a doubled captivity increase their calamity. Truly they neglecting the precepts of god were made the captives of two nations, who had impatiently desired to go out from under the yoke of one nation. But in truth they who were led into Assyria the time of their captivity having completed, that the lord had ordained because of the sins of the people, afterwards Cyrus ordering having received the opportunity of returning they returned with gratitude. The temple of god was restored with the help of Cyrus and the offerings of Darius and the rest of the Persians. And so the very ones who had destroyed gave the cost of restoring, they restored even the rights of the priests and assisted the observance of the religion, but in truth ours while they strive among themselves for the priesthood and canvass among the Parthians for the memorable office to be conferred upon them, made from the religion an object of merchandise. What should we complain of about the Babylonians? We experienced worse of our own. They returned to us the right of religion, they restored the creation of priests, and ours gave it back to the Persians. They permitted the priestly headbands to our authorities, ours made them subject to taxes for the Babylonians. What shall I add of the bloodstained sanctuary, the sacred threshold made wet with blood, the half ruined roof of the temple still standing? Less is the anger of god around us, than our own controversies. The first made us captives, these made us sacrilegious, the first spread the Jews abroad, the last destroyed them. Compare, if it seems good, what the difference is between our captivity and and our rebellion: our captivity spread the fellowship of our religion to the gentiles, our rebellion has actually taken from the Jews the favor of religion. What brought the Romans into Judaea, except the contention of Hyrcanus and Aristobolus? Who except Herod brought Sossius? Who Anthony except Sossius? Who appealed to Caesar as a king for themselves except you? Who other than you drove Antipater from the kingdom and the freedom under Antipater? And however I neither hold back nor deny that Florus acted wickedly against you. But the quarrel ought to have been submitted to the Romans, arms not to have been taken up. You despised Nero, but Vespasian had succeeded, who kindly by nature was able to be even more kind however from study, because he had taken over rule in Iudaea, or, if sense of responsibility did not move him, certainly his character ought to have impelled you that you took counsel of yourselves. For how could he not spare you who had spared Josephus? For indeed against whom ought he to have been more hostile than me? Who thrust out greater fortifications against the Romans? Who thought it must be fought more zealously for the country, after the option of war had been agreed upon by you? Indeed I did not approve the commencement of the warfare, but once it was undertaken I did not desert. The glowing ashes which still cover the struggle of the city of Iotapata bear witness to this, me not to have desisted from war until after the destruction of this city, me to have hidden as long as I was able in the grave of that destroyed city, me to have preferred starvation to surrendering myself to the Romans, me to have sought a way of escaping to you but was caught, not to have voluntarily come out, me to have preferred to die with my men but Caesar to have spared me, me to have wished to fight further with you, not because I approved of that policy, but because I chose the sharing of danger with you. Thanks be to god however that I did not fall into the partnership of such a great crime, that I might not be thought an inciter of rebellion or, because I was not able to be mixed with these, that I was able [p. 331] to divert murder from my hand lest I fill it with death: certainly that I should not see my blessed mother torn apart in front of me and my inner organs scattered about. Which indeed would be pitiable, but however it is more tolerable to suffer this than to do it. What therefore do you still expect? Signs from your ancestors? Those are not merited by you, not those obligations concerning the worship of god. But that of the Romans is not the unfaithfulness of the Assyrians, who the price of departure having been accepted broke faith, and thought not that they should leave but that they should advance more fiercely. But indeed, as we learn the thrust of the divine thought from those things happening, god is certainly against the Jews. In fact Siloa, which had dried up before the war, and every vein of water outside the city, which long since ceased to flow, so that water was lacking to our use unless sought out at a price, are now returning for their use and are pouring themselves out for the arriving Titus. Abundant streams are bubbling over and all things of overflowing water are filled, so that not only are they gushing up plentifully for the army for drinking, but even for the war horses and pack animals and all the cattle, and also an abundance of water is not lacking for the watering of the gardens, so that, as if the elements are supporting the Roman victory, you might believe there are great movements of the land. We recollect higher omens, which even then came before the capture of our city, water ceased for the Jews, it poured itself upon the enemy, lest the siege should be impeded by thirst. Nor is it a wonder that divine grace receded from the Jews, whom such great outrages walled round. And truly a good man filled with horror flees the inn and abandons his home, if he has learned that something of a crime has been committed in it, he avoids the close connection of a shameful residence, he detests the unfavorableness of associates: and we doubt about the great and unstained god, because he abhors the contagion of such great scandals, and recoils from the wickedness of such calamitous evils, nor lingers in the assemblies of murderers, who [p. 332] ordered Dathas and Abiron, because they had attacked Moses and Aaron by snatching away the offering of a benefice, to be separated from the blameless, lest he should contaminate the pious with a stain or from the association of the guilty involve them in punishment? But why should I delay longer with words, when full of dread and groans they are surrounded and ruin is hastening upon the temple? What eye is able to watch that, what sense to endure it, what soul to bear it? O more durable than stones, more hard than iron, who in such great wonders of human affairs till now have fought among yourselves from wickedness as if in emulation of virtue and what is worse you yourselves are destroying our country and are enlarging its ruin. Turn back before it is too late, come to your senses before it is too late, judge and see the beauty of the fatherland which you have betrayed. What city, what temple, what homes of the pious, what shrines of religious rites, what works of the prophets have been disemboweled by your hands? Against these does anyone lead flames and spread fires and supply conflagrations and not be moved by any compassion? The stiffness, if it could feel, of rocks would be relaxed. Certainly the insensible generally in the greatest harshness of circumstances feign the appearance of sense, so that rocks tremble and drops flow with dripping blood. But you persist unmoved, what is better that it should survive after this, what is better that you should spare it? Finally if these things do not move, which among the dutiful are most outstanding, show compassion at least for the close relatives of yours, place before your eyes the deaths of your sons, either by the sword or starvation and which are more harsh the slavery of your wives and daughters, to whom there will be a safe freedom with an agreement of surrender or captive slavery with the overthrowing of the city. Take heed while it is permitted, that you do not leave things worse after your death than [p. 333] you made them before death. Nor am I free from danger of this type. I know since the mother revered by me likewise fought with your people and my dear wife not at all of low birth and at one time a famous household. And perhaps because of my family members you think to persuade these things to me. Kill them and receive my blood above that recompense. I gladly pay that price of your salvation, if after me you can be wise."
XVII. Josephus cried out these things with tears and he influenced very many of the people, that they should take refuge with the Romans having sold all they possessed. Whom Titus directed whither each wished, to surrender themselves without fear to the Romans even though the remainder were being challenged. And so the opportunity found of coming out, assured of safety if they came to the Romans, and not anxious about slavery to whom freedom was saved. Those however who were supporting Johannes and Simon the overseers and inciters of the strife dreaded the punishment of their crimes more than the adversities of war and thus supposed this refuge unsafe for them. Not only did they not dare to go out, but they even alleged it was not allowed to any from the people to go out from the city, their greater concern was to prevent the departure of their people rather than the entrance of the Romans. And so they were held against their will and if anyone was caught, he received a severe punishment. A slight suspicion was reason for a painful death. The truth was sought not by evidence but by tortures. If they were wealthy the crime of betrayal having been counterfeited they were likewise dragged off to death; if they were destitute, because they did not have that with which to ransom themselves, they were open to death.
XVIII. Now too hunger had begun to rage and the strife to proceed with frenzy and madness. Grain could not be found, no bread available to the public. If it was discovered to be anywhere, that home was immediately plundered. The master of the house [p. 334] or the storer of the grain was killed because he had hidden it. On the other hand fruits not having been found as if they had been hidden more carefully tortures were applied. Many chose the relief of death, since either hunger afflicted them or savagery tortured them. Finally those who were the most savage refused to kill begrudging the kindness of death, for whom already the more severe executioner starvation, their internal organs eaten up by the pitiable leanness, covered their stripped bones with thin skin. Half-dead they breathed to this point with spirit alone and dragged their unsound bodies. If anywhere they saw scraps of vegetables either dropped accidentally or thrown aside as dried out, feeble with weakened body, they sucked with their mouth the things lying on the ground. Or if anywhere grass was seen growing between the walls seizing it the wretched people assuaged their hunger with its juices. Those who were richer bought a measure of wheat with their entire wealth --- for indeed why should they save what would not profit them? Those who were so poor that even of barley no one saw selling or buying. For this even was punished severely with every wickedness. Nor truly was the practice of baking bread awaited, lest death should come before or the delay should summon a betrayer. In secret those hiding devoured the uncooked wheat, who had any or a meager supply of grain. No table, no chair, no light, lest anyone should come between and unforeseen seize it. If there was any sound the food was hidden. Solitude was suspected, there were frequent murders of relatives, sad fights between those kin. And indeed starvation excludes every affection and especially shame. For those wanting food a sense of honor is cost of life and a detriment of survival. If any man, who has a wife, sons, daughters, had anything to eat, he would hardly admit it. Likewise for women. If anyone had kinder feelings, when he had set out food, it was snatched from his hands. The food was miserable, the food was worthy of tears. Sons snatched it from parents, parents from sons and from the very jaws to which the food was being offered. To many the vomit of others [p. 335] was food. Nor was there dread to take up withered droppings or shame to take from one's relatives the drops of last life. And this was a sight of such wretched misfortune that it was not to be discovered. And so it was done with closed doors, lest anyone should come, who was seeking food from the mouth of a stranger and in the manner of dogs would lick up with his tongue the vomit of strangers. Not even this with impunity, for wherever doors were barred, the offense of hidden food was suspected. The agents of the rebellions would rush forward, they stormed the closed places, they enforced unbearable punishments of new cruelty. Not even from the private parts of the body was it withheld. To these also the punishment was applied, because in these there is a greater sensation of punishment. Many when they already saw the murderers breaking in, seized the prepared food so that they should not themselves be cheated of a final allowance and might avenge their about to occur death. And where the barbarity was seen most painful, those who seized food from the starving were not themselves starving. By rapine they were piling up for themselves the supplies of others and feeding on the hidden supplies of strangers, while those who had collected them were wasting away from hunger and fasting. If any woman aroused by maternal feelings, pitying the crying of an infant wished to pour the juice of food in its mouth, she paid the penalty of her tender care, and with the child hanging from her neck or clinging to her breast she was transfixed at the same time. Furthermore many thinking it a benefit to die went out from the city, as if they wished herbs or that they should feed on roots or collect the bark of trees, if any greenness in these could serve for the solace of food; whom the Romans discovering killed. Or else he who had avoided the enemy died at the very threshold of the gates emaciated from hunger and infirm of mouth, whom already the very ability to eat had deserted. Also a deadly band warded off [p. 326] those who returned, which tore away with the harshest means from the bosoms of the wretched people what they had sought at great peril. It was abominable that it saved not a part as the recompense at least of their danger. And therefore they died from the greater assault of their own people than from that of he enemy. Indeed that which even the enemy had conceded a fellow citizen took away, nor however did it profit to have seized food of this type, for not much later those vigorous of body, their middles swelling, shook with the pain of their inmost entrails, or loosened in the bowels their strength exhausted died, so tha they repented of the vow, which at the time was a comfort, afterwards a suffering. Next to green lizards and to other spoils of the serpent race which they had cooked they added pestilence. For if they had discovered the bodies of horses dragging them they fought fierce battles among themselves. Not even from the enemy who were crowded together was destruction given a respite. For when the multitude going out from the city with their sons and wives had taken themselves into that part, which had bent into the bottom of the steep cliffs, the Romans, either that they might lead away as captive slaves especially those of younger age, or that they might kill the stronger, lest perhaps anyone might dare to creep in among those fighting, watched, so that if anyone for the sake of seeking food, while he searches for roots in the fields, should advance to a greater distance, he would be intercepted. However they were not able although the enemy was poured around to restrain themselves, whom hunger gave daring, when the love of parents was not able to bear small children to be exhausted by emaciation and mouths open from hunger to be extended in vain, whom they had associated to themselves in the danger, lest they should be killed in their places by the originators of the rebellion as hostages of their flight. Hunger forced to go out [p. 337] those to whom it was a kindness to die by the sword rather than by comparison from starvation: In opposition the Romans, because they thought them contemptuous of death, increased the types of tortures beating first, also affixing to the yoke of the cross whomever they had caught, by which indeed the rashness of the rest by the sight of those crucified might be called back from the arrogance of harassments. And so the pitiable suffering was seen by Titus as the harshness if such great misfortunes. Innumerable were captured, almost five hundred per day were crucified and they cloaked the plains before the city with a series of pitiable retinues so that they might be seen from the walls, the Romans pitied them, the Jews were not moved, the enemy had compassion for them, their allies were not softened, pity was more easily found among their adversaries than among their associates. Nevertheless many were stirred up by anger, that in the midst of such great evils they became meaner. You might discern people fastened up in diverse manners and various types of punishments, the forms of tortures such an innumerable multitude, that already space for the forked gibbets was lacking, and gibbets for the bodies. Simon raged within, Johannes raged, they lay in ambush each for the other through his agents. If anyone attempted to flee, dragged over the ground he was torn into pieces. Those nearest to those who had gone away were tortured and the bodies of the many were fixed to a cross and displayed to their kin who had slipped away. From a different side actually they had cloaked the wall with a crop of gibbets as if triumphing over the enemies, if they had caught any who wished to flee from their own people to the Romans, so that fear of fleeing across might assault those remaining. No place was free from harshness, outside was captivity, within was starvation, in both places was fear. Arms were feared less however than tortures and it was gentler to die from the uprising rather than from murder by the enemy. [p. 338] But Caesar did not cease however to invite the leaders of the factions in the hope of surrender. For instance he announced that when the ramparts had been built up the effect of the work would not be far off, destruction to be imminent for the city, they should take counsel for themselves so that they should gain safety and the temple be rescued from burning. For the reason that they should readily believe this, many of the Jews were lined up and their hands cut off, lest they should be considered to have crossed over to the Romans in a voluntary desertion and as faithless they should not bestow trust upon them or they should kill them themselves. And in truth they for a warning flung back unremitting oppressive mockeries. The gentle conduct of Caesar was seen as more calamitous for them than his severity, because the one took away freedom, the other life. They preferred their children to die rather than to live as slaves. They consecrated their souls to the temple. Immortality would be theirs if, burned up with the temple, they should die at the ancestral altars and tombs. Titus achieved nothing, he rescued little, he gave up much. Before the temple paradise would follow them and to that place those who fought for the temple must be transferred, only with their own eyes they should not see the Roman triumphs and put captive necks under the yoke. Their small children to be dedicated, not to be killed whose parents were defenders of the heavenly sacraments. Alarmed by which Titus so that he should at least rescue those who were being held unwillingly, ordered the war machines to be moved forward.
XIX. There was in the army a son of Antiochus of Commagenus, who had come to the fellowship of war, truly an energetic youth and eager of hand but not at all provident in counsel; who judging the guidance of the Roman army to be sluggish and not considering the difficulty of the task insinuated to Caesar, himself to marvel, that the Romans were delaying to approach the wall. Titus laughed and said: "The task is a joint one." At these words the youth rushed forward with those whom armed in the Machedonian fashion he regarded [p. 339] as most eager to fight. For in fact he although relying on others, had come, the cohort however, which was called the Machedonian, was considered to excel the rest in strength of body and stature itself. With these approaching the fighting peaked. In opposition by those eagerly fighting from the wall, whom the utmost dangers threatened and the approach of a prompt battle animated, although those lower down are very frequently pierced through by those higher up, not all darts reach those higher up, the son of the king however, an active youth, protected by armor, surrounded by an escort, avoided some blows, fended off others, which even as he avoided them he was informed about by his prompting associates, and therefore untouched by wounds he persisted. But many of the Machedonian corhort, because they thought it shame to yield even to nature and fortifications, fighting too stubbornly were wounded. And so after a fruitless attempt they yielded to those higher up, taught even by the Machedonian men, if they wished to prevail, the ardor of Alexander for fighting was necessary and his success in winning. For he when he besieged a city the rest staying behind and the army devoting attention to the usual machines of war, ladders having been placed he energetic mounted the wall and those present having been put to flight, who were fighting back from the wall, he alone threw himself into the city. And there was not time that he himself without a companion could open the gates, since dangers were threatening, but courageous beyond measure and eager for victory he leaped forward against the enemy. The troops fell back, but how many was he alone able to overthrow? Then through the diverse streets of the city the enemy crowded around. If Alexander attacked in one part, he gave others behind him the opportunity of blockading. And therefore the victor turns his steps, lest he should be surrounded by the people. But they crowded together began to press forward, a large body of missiles bristled in upon him. His helmet resounded with the clanging, his shield with the crash of stones. [p. 340] But unless the Macedonians not fearing to be led had rushed in, the conqueror of countless peoples had been overwhelmed within this poor city. Such was the eagerness with which he attacked the walls that he overwhelmed the enemy, with a triumphant leap he threw himself alone into the city, he routed the people with his attack; this was the outcome, which is chiefly attributable to the leader, in the face of so many threatening people, the flight of so many arrows, so many rushing missiles, there was no place for a fatal wound. For valor had brought on the danger, eagerness had brought in death, if fortune had abandoned the fighter. The Macedonians entered by the broken gate. Thus daring found a victory and the outcome turned danger into glory. Our David also when he was fighting against the giants, intent upon the enemy had a murderer behind him, but Abessa the follower of the king arrived balancing his blows. In truth chance saved Alexander, grace saved the prophet.
XX. And so the son of Commagenus the king of Antiochus withdrawing, when he learned that the careful moderation of the Roman army was not from fear but from wariness, that they might attack the walls with ramparts and sheltered battering rams also and other siege engines, platforms were constructed the task having divided among many workers. Four especially rose up, out of which one in the region of the fortification, which had the name Antonia, was led through the middle of the fishpond which they called the Strutia. The fifth legion had made this platform to the height of thirty cubits close to the tomb of John. To which from a distance John the leader of the rebellion dug a tunnel and hindered the work of the Romans. [p. 341] They were ignorant of what the Jews had plotted with their hidden tunnel, because they had supported the tops of the tunnels with supports of timbers and the material dug out, all the trickery was hidden. And so when the right time arrived, they set a fire, which fed by sulfur and pitch, with which the material which gave support to the tunnel had been saturated, easily consumed all the wood. The collapse of the undermined works followed the burning. And so the collapsed works of the Romans suddenly gave out a tremendous noise. And so all things filled with dust and smoke spread a great darkness and the hidden cause aroused great fear. Then when the remaining fuel had been consumed, by which it had at first been concealed, afterwards free the fire burst forth, it revealed the trickery and for the Romans fear of danger was immediately lessened, but the weariness of the work made useless followed painfully--and for the future confidence in the assault being prepared grew cold. In another area two days later, when already the wall was being shaken by the batering ram, Tepthaeus from Galilaea and Magassarus, an Adiabenian and Agiras having seized torches rushed forth against the seige engines attacking the walls. 2 Nothing was more daring than these men, nothing more frightful in that war came forth from the city against the enemy. For bursting forth into the middle of the enemy they did not waver, they did not draw back, but as if delaying in the fellowship of their households they did not think of returning, while from all sides javelins arrows spears were hurled against them, [p. 342] before they had destroyed by the fires they set the apparatus of the siege engines. There was a great charge of the Roman army, that they should extinguish the fires, and also a great clamor and zeal of the Jews, which constituted an impediment to the Romans, so that aid should not be brought. The former 3 were hastening to draw the battering rams from the flames, the latter [i.e., the Jews] were still spreading fires. From which everything having been ignited which was able to be burned, flames would have walled round the Romans, unless they had quickly taken counsel for themselves. For the Jews were pressing hard and from the very fact, that they had not had fruitless efforts in that region, success nourished their daring. In fact not satisfied indeed with the wall defense they proceeded further and assaulted the guards themselves of the Romans and the fort, in which the Romans were holding out, and would have overthrown it besides, except that the glory of the Roman name and the ancient discipline of the military service which prohibited to desert posts of this type by fear of the most severe punishment, they resisted those fighting furiously, and themselves the conquerors of cities they had fallen back to their own fortifications. And so the type of war and the use of blockade was altered. With catapults and missiles of a faster type the Romans were defending themselves, that they should repel the Jews by which by themselves resistance beyond the usual was offered. In the midst of these things Titus arrived aroused by the noise and summoned for assistance. Strength immediately added to the Romans with Caesar being present and shame fed their courage, shouting. To Titus it was a great disgrace of the Roman name, if they should in turn lose their own, they were failing to those of the enemy whose walls were already being torn down. The Jews despairing of their fortifications were relying upon rashness alone; the Romans had only to stand firm, victory would not be lacking. And so by encouraging and fighting equally Titus stationed his men, he turned aside [p. 343] the Jews, who were not only prepared in mind for death but by the exertion of body were rushing in that they might move the Romans from their position. Nor was the danger of Caesar moderate in all the confusion, when an ally could not be differentiated from an enemy. Among which Titus moved about in the midst a youth daring with eagerness for fame and very keen for fighting by which victory might be accomplished more quickly, placing any concern for his safety secondary to a triumph.
XXI. The enemy having been forced to withdraw, there were two choices: Some thought the platforms should be rebuilt, the siege machines for the walls repaired, others that the dangers of a blockade should be abstained from--material for repairing the platforms was lacking, danger was shared with the conquered--they thought closing off the city with a wall was more prudent, that hunger would kill off those weakened by the lack of nourishment. The opinion of this type prevailed, that they should be blockaded so that they had no unimpeded outlets, by which they would be finally defeated by the despair of fleeing and the lack of food. The parts having been distributed among a great number the wall rose quickly, by which the city was enclosed through its entire circumference. Caesar distributed the tasks to his men that at nights also they should not omit turns of guarding. During the first watch he himself undertook the task of going around each individual rank of pickets, he assigned the second watch to Alexander, then in order to the tribunes, in accordance as the skill of each was discovered, turns were ordered. The wall was interwoven at intervals with strong points, in these he spread out bands of soldiers, the watchmen were appointed by lot in a fair manner sleep for themselves and periods of wakefulness. They were going around the wall at every moment through the space assigned to each as his responsibility from strongpoint to strongpoint. [p. 344] By the changes of ranks and numbers the night was crowded. The hope of the Jews was cut off on every side and hunger had poured itself in upon those closed in and had penetrated the innermost parts of the people. Everything resounded with the groans of those lamenting the suffering of a miserable death. Every place was filled full with the half-dead and, if you would wait a bit, with bodies. They died in a short time whom you had found living. Also those who were still breathing finished off by poverty bore the appearance of death exhausted by hunger and ghastly from wasting away, not easily raising their eyes even, because their substance consumed by fasting gave no vigor of natural motion. The form only of a man remained, its use had ceased to exist. You would discern the likenesses, you would miss the functions. Skin shriveled with dryness clung to bones. If a light movement revealed one living, an offensive smell contradicted, thin limbs and complexion so dark you would think a shadow. Nor was the service of burying available for the wretched firstly everyone was exhausted and in consequence on the verge of dying. And if recent food gave some strength to anyone, the pile of bodies took away the hope, instilled the impossibility. Very many died while arranging the burial of their kin and left unfulfilled the duty of this final service by their own death. They collapsed upon the dead whom they had undertook to guard, so that he also added to the burden which he had come to lighten, requiring that service which he was offering to another. Nor was there any place for grief in the common misfortune of all, unless it was that the originators of such a great woe were surviving, nor was there time for complaint even indeed with free speech, if they were able to speak -- for what should those already dying fear for themselves? -- but however with mute senses gazing upon the temple as if from there vengeance for such a cruel [p. 345] death was being demanded. The tears of the final funeral rites had dried up, because the force of the misfortune had precluded every feeling. The mind had grown numb, every sense clung to more than could be relieved by weeping. Land was lacking for graves, all places inside the city had been dug up, which were able to be used for a burial. Some tried to go forth between the two walls, the new one of the enemy and the old one of the city, in the night time silence, very perilous although pious however trickery had persuaded them. And so instead of one many lay unburied, for the reason that, they were robbed of what they wished eagerly to bestow upon one as a good deed. For even when the enemy was absent, hunger was at work. For the one doing the burying generally anticipated that a burial would have to be done and in that grave which he had prepared for another, he was enclosed and suddenly lifeless and having fallen, when he had dug, as if with a certain zeal, he claimed the right of his own work. And were space was lacking, layers were woven together so that the bodies of the dead could be shut up in small places. Many prepared these for themselves with their own hands, lest a service of this type should not be available and inserted themselves voluntarily in these, mistrusting lest death might come and someone to bury them be wanting. All things were silent from fear, starvation had taken away voices, the city was full of death and there was no lamentation in funeral rites of the entire city. And although however the sense even of grief had ceased to be, wrong however did not cease. For there were not lacking in such great misfortunes profaners even of those buried much worse than all these. What shall I say that will not be shuddered at when they mocked the dead and tested the keenness of the swords in the bodies of the dead, some even tested by pressing upon the bodies of those still living, if their javelins were sharpened? And this service was denied to many asking, so that hunger should select the wretched people for more severe suffering. By no means however was vengeance lacking to those about to die, for because those alive were not able, the dead avenged themselves, creating an offensive smell an avenger for them by which [p. 346] they avenged themselves upon their plunderers. For whom violently raging seeking a remedy they put on a certain appearance of piety even those who were engaged in brigandage, so that they ordered them to be buried from the public treasury. But when this could not be done, then they threw the remains of the dead from the wall into deep chasms. And so Titus seeing the deep chasms full of bodies, the fluids flowing from the torn up entrails, groaned deeply and raising his hands to the heavens bore witness that this should by no means be attributed to him, who had wished to give pardon if submission had been made. Him to have hoped that they should ask for peace, him to have been ready that he should spare them unharmed if they had set aside war. And so he orders again that the platforms be advanced although there were no surrounding forests because every grove of trees close to the city had been cut down. The soldiers carried the lumber lightening the labor with the hope of victory. But however the leaders of the rebellion were not disheartened in mind. Simon raged nor satisfied with the deaths of so many did he yield and because personal enemies began to be lacking, he turned against his allies.
XXII. In the end even he tortured and killed Matthias, by whom as the responsible authority he was received into the city, convicted before him of no crime but charged of wanting to surrender and suspected of a plan, which it was insinuated he had entrusted carefully and without any deception to an intimate as advantageous for the people. He held that deeply impressed a long time, nor did he now trust him as a friend, but some other evidence of anger was counterfeited. Therefore accused [p. 347]before him that he had eagerly corresponded and met with the Romans, he ordered him to be seized with his sons. He is accused nor is any opportunity of defense given, before trial he is sentenced to execution nor are his progeny spared but are joined to the punishment. He pleaded not for the enjoyment of life but for a swift death, in the natural order, that he should be killed first, and not await the deaths of his sons, that he should not outlive the deaths of his children, his death to be accomplished immediately. He did not obtain what justice itself required, even if he had not asked it. And he asked this be granted to him for the service that he had opened the city to him. In guilt to the fatherland but a promoter of Simon, he owed this punishment to the citizens, however Simon owed him thanks: by which he was the more cruel, who neither spared a friend, nor relaxed the punishment of the advocate of his reception. The father is lead to execution with three children, for the fourth had saved himself by flight. He was placed as an object of mockery in view of the Roman army that they to whom he had wanted to go should witness his execution. "Let them free you," he said, "if your friends are able." And the sons are lead out. Nor was he allowed to give final kisses to his children nor to take his sons in a last embrace, not cheated however of the liberty of a father's voice, he addressed his sons with these pitiable words: "I, my sons, brought in the enemy to you, I invited the executioners, when I asked Simon to enter the city. That was the day of this death for us, that was the cause of this parricidal spectacle. I have deserved, I confess, and I do not excuse my fault: While I am eager to restrain one, I brought in a worser. Simon entreated for assistance and converted to the destruction of his country diverted careful plans into crime. We are guilty who sought a defender of our country. And rightly we have paid the penalty of our imprudence but not however of treachery. Simon himself absolves us while he kills, who proclaims it was not given to him by me but sought by consideration of the country, that [p. 348] he would be a help against the savagery of John as soon as he was present and brought in the Idumaeans. 4 We thought that with the two of us cooperating the people would be free. Who would believe me to have done this so eagerly not for you but to have judged this the most tolerable of the evils, so that you should not kill? But why should I speak as if I am offering excuses for a crime? Truly nothing worse than my decision was I able to do, than that I put you upon our necks. But in that I was guilty to the country, not to you. I owed death to the citizens but you owed thanks to me. I owed the country the penalty of my betrayal, that I brought you in. When did I begin to be a traitor to you? If I had thought I must flee, I had taken counsel for my own welfare, I had not dishonored my obligation to my country. For who does not flee an enemy and an internal enemy? We thought you a countryman but we found you an enemy. Summoned for assistance, what did you repay, what did you first promise and which you afterwards turned against? You entered that you should drive out the enemy not that you should exercise the role of the enemy, that you should prevent murders, not that you should add to them, that you should thrust back brigandage, not that you might engage in brigandage, that you should come to help an innocent people. Why did you turn your arms against them? Before this we were assailed by brigandage, you brought on war. Previously few were carried off to death, you accomplished the massacre of the people. Who is the traitor to the country, who helped the Roman arms, if not he who killed the defenders of the country, if not he who snatched away the defense of so many citizens, if not he who turned away the sword point from the enemy to his own allies? The enemy outside the walls offered peace, you fought inside the walls, he wished to lift the siege, you hastened the assault. He forbad the burning of our city, you hurled fire onto the roof itself of the temple. He gave a truce from respect for our sacraments, you on the very days of the sacrifices destroyed the high altars of god by the final destruction of the city, also with the blood of the priests. He had beset the walls, you the temple. I heap up the indictments of myself: I brought in gangs to our native city, I armed your madness, I brought on this total destruction by a folly of old age. I acknowledge [p. 349] the lack of wisdom of foolish age. We lessen the shame by confession, since we cannot cast off the sin by denying it. We two in advance of the others hastened the destruction of our native city, I by an error of policy, you by the practice of murder, I therefore pay out to you, my country, the punishment owed and I extend thanks to this Simon himself, because I will not be a witness to your ashes. And would that I should not outlive my children, but due to the harshness of your wickedness, Simon, I stand a spectator of the death of my sons. I have deserved it, I confess, who was not able to see Iohannes embellished and I chose you armed. O precipitous old age! We feared a phantom, we asked for a tyrant. I your guarantor, I your advocate, carried through the mission. I invited you as master, I brought in an assassin. Let us now see what we have done: the image of Iohannes frightened us, the villainy of Simon pleased us. The ostentation is hastened with funeral rites, let the executioner come, let the sons be killed before the eyes of the father and the father be killed upon the bodies of his sons. I a pitiable old man will drink in the blow of the executioner swinging his savage axe upon the necks of my children. Nothing is worse than this spectacle except he who orders it. Cruel, infamous man, I do what you order, I do it but unwillingly. I have however a consoling fact of this misfortune. I suffer whatever is most wretched, since you have ordered it. Whatever is most inhuman I undergo willingly with you the judge. I have filled the measure of the most savage crimes. May it at least be permitted to speak to my children, to say a last goodbye to my children. May there be an opportunity for last kisses, which are common to us with wild beasts. A pitiable embrace is not denied to nature, which fortune can even give to the dead. What therefore you have ordered for punishment, will accomplish justice for me. I will fall upon my dead [p. 350] and I will cover them still unburied with my body like a piece of turf lest vultures tear them to pieces or wild beasts devour them. I will lick up with a father's tongue the blood of my children and wash it away with mine, so that beasts do not lick it up. And perhaps this piety and compassion of nature itself will add that I dying will draw tight in a close embrace my children, so that you will not be able to separate us, though you may wish to. Certainly if you separate the bodies, you will not separate the souls. But enough, we have already exacted a supply of tears enough. Go before, my sons, and prepare the way for your father about to follow. If I will have been able to overtake, I will accompany at the same time, and if old age will be a hindrance there, so that I will follow active youths a little behind, go before to the mansion so that you may receive a weary father with lasting hospitality. I wished indeed to go before myself and I asked, but I was not granted this. However because you are blameless, better lodging will be given you there, than if I the summoner of Simon should come before. That mission oppresses me although ordered by the citizens, undertaken because the people asked. Therefore go ahead, sons, enjoying a heavenly path with a clean track. And the Macchabaeans came before their mother, but they came for a reward, we for punishment. The pious mother however saw her sons dying and wallowing in blood before, she saw the brothers embracing each other by turns from the bonds of nature, and she rejoiced in her triumph, which she followed from the tyrant. Indeed the merits of the sufferers were different, but the same cruelty of each receiving it. Antiochus found this in the Persian brutality, among them are devices of new tortures, you have followed. He however saved the great mother for the persuasion of the royal will, you ordered the father to be saved for the torture of paternal grief. Take comfort, dearest sons: we suffer what the martyrs have suffered, Simon has decided. What the savage persecutor has found, Simon has ordered. [p. 351] Let us therefore set out willingly, let us flee this gathering of thieves. Truly when we shall have departed life into that everlasting home, if they should come to us, who require, what that one time people of god is doing, what shall we respond ti them, especially if as is possible Ionathas untouched by age meets you who are young men, Saul me who am a sinner? What, I say, shall we reply, if not that that people, beloved when young by Juda, before whom the sea withdrew, for whom the sun stood still, the Jordan made way, that people, I say, for whom the flood was traversable, the sky was fruitful, the land was heavenly, which had not, like this our land, put on any appearance of corruption, but had taken on the grace of resurrection, now serves the Idumaeans and has been made subject to Simon the leader of thieves, and has neither a safe servitude nor danger with freedom? What do we think to answer to this, who chose to perish in war rather than to outlive the freedom of our country? What indeed would Mattathias the founder of the Macchabaeans respond, who preferred to die keeping holiday on the sabbath by observing the law rather than to live having fought, if he heard how Simon not only caused innumerable slaughters of the citizens on the sabbath but forced priests of the lord themselves to be slaughtered on days of the new moon and all holy days of festal celebration? How much will Iechonias sigh when he will have heard Simon, who at the beginning ruined the city by riots, dishonored the ancient religion of the temple by slaughter of the citizens, agreed many times that by giving in to him he would free the city from the danger of burning, preferred everything to perish, the city to be destroyed, the temple to be burned, all the people to be killed, so that he should not lower the dignity of the seized dominion! How much, I say, will [p. 352] Iechonias grieve, although less happy in the time of pressing evils than under the empire, better however than his son. For the father preferred himself to be less happy than his country, although pathetically dutiful however. And so having departed the city with his family the Babylonians besieging he surrendered himself into servitude, so that he should not see his fatherland overthrown and the people of god captive. His son however with equal troubles but a lesser impression, while he feared for himself, led himself into exile and the city to destruction. He therefore was unlucky for his country and not lucky for himself, who lost both his children and his eyes, the former however was more wise who saved the captivity of the citizens by his own captivity. In fact he pointed out the solution. He the older died in power, he the younger died in slavery, although later the Babylonian king assigned a royal throne to him next to himself, and bestowed the privilege of being asked advice before the others, the compensation of a miserable calamity. Finally my fate to die after the murder of my children is more tolerable than to live, since you know how cruel he is who kills the sons before the eyes of the father. Furthermore whose royal duties are worse than the wounds of tenderness. For indeed he ought first no to have inflicted such wicked things, and to have substituted such honorable things afterwards. As if any dignity can make up for the loss of a son, or the slaughter of offspring be compensated by by the exercise of any honor. For certainly nothing, no office lessens such a great grief. No honor cures this wound except death alone, which annuls feeling, takes away the recollection. Hurry then, you executor. But delay yet, while I look at my children, while, before they die, I observe, lest anyone perhaps disturbed from immaturity of age fears death, while he escapes the tyrant. It is a a kindness, my sons, to die so that we do not see the captivity of our country. The wounds of the body are more tolerable than of the mind. [p. 353] Already I look on your deaths more bearably which I was fleeing, so that I would not look upon the deaths of all in common, so that I may not see the remains of our country and the entire city their grave. For he will be happier who will have died died, than he who will have been saved. Great god, let not Simon with his children with his children be scattered among the crowds of the guilty, let him a captive see what he has brought about. No indeed," he says, "for what he was able to plan, he is able to bear. I do not however pray for that. Let him consider how heavy the sin which he is not able to turn aside with a prayer who suffers it, if the retribution is harsh, how savage the inhumanity of the evil deed committed. Let there be what he desires, captive a survivor of his country, because the follies of life are worse than the tortures of death. But already let there be an end to words. Make haste, executioner, while you carry the sword bloodied with the blood of my sons, strike the father that the wound may comfort him. This alone if medicine for one about to die, the blow of the sword, the pain of the wound, is not felt by him alone, strike in the view of the Roman army, as has been ordered, that those about to be vindicated may see. Let the enemy feel pity, because the ally does not feel pity, let the Romans judge, because Simon kills without a trial. They are witnesses me to have been not a traitor to my country but a defender, who saw me fighting not deserting. I with my children, if I had been able, would have turned aside the enemy, not summoned the enemy!" Nor was any end of such great cruelty shown: the unburied children still lay with their father, sacrilege is added to the parricidal spectacle. Ananias a priest born of a famous stock is killed, although no one is more illustrious in the brilliance of his birth or in the service of religion. For excellence was earned by him, it was not sought by him. Let the old family have for itself the emblems of diverse honors, let the priesthoods also have their emblems, who [p. 354] are raised up not on shoulders but by morals, who are judged not by the length of their rods but by the persistence of their toils, the depth of their faith, the extent of their piety. Killed also was the clerk Aristeus himself of a famous family and with them fifteen others of the people overhanging the rest, although it was not nobility that caused the unjust death but innocence. For eleven men are seized beforehand, who equally alarmed by the barbarity of his crimes and each one fearing for himself what he had seen exercised against others had conspired, because he had been treacherous to friends even and hopes had been taken away, hunger ravaging everyone, the Romans time and time again about to break in. Simon agitated to the support of the defense, in a frenzy to the point of barbarity, the easy allurement of surrendering, which Iudas one of his men in charge of a tower had undertaken. He therefore when he called the Romans promising himself to be about to surrender the tower, some scornful because the surrender had appeared so late, others doubting because surrender having been frequently promised they had prepared trickery, Simon came first and from all the companions of the plot he exacted punishment. Also their bodies were thrown from the wall.
XXIII. The father of Josephus was held imprisoned and access to him was not allowed to anyone. Josephus was zealously inviting the Jews to surrender and had too incautiously approached the wall, so that he might his country with his father. In which place struck in the head with a stone he fell, and would almost have been killed by the weapons thrown from above, unless by the order of Caesar they had been sent who snatched him protected by their shields from death. His mother the wound of her son having been learned and terrified by the shouts of the mocking bandits of his death put on alarm and faith at the same time. She also began to lament pitiably herself to have been saved for these fruits of fecundity, that she should neither gain the service of a living son nor bury him dead. It had been her prayer, that he rather would give burial to his mother, that she would breath out her last breath between his hands, that he would [p. 355] warm the cold limbs of her dying, that he would collect the last breaths from her mouth, he would close the eyes of her the dying, that he would compose her yet breathing face. But because he had escaped her prayer, it would have been a consolation, if she herself had even been able to be present at the last moments of her dying son, indeed a miserable circumstance but bearable however, that whom she had wished to outlive her, she should instead hold his funeral rites, "even if from the wall," she said. "May it be permitted me to see the dead body of my son, even if it is not permitted to touch it. Would indeed that no one prevents! But whom should I abandoned by such a great son fear? Why should I fear, for whom to die is a kindness? Would that all would turn their For whom indeed Titus weapons against me, that they would transfix me with a sword! What I was not able to do living, dead at least I will cover the body of my son with my clothing. The robe of one is sufficient for the burial of two, and perhaps someone of the enemy will feel pity, that with the mantle of the son he may cover the eyes of the mother, and may join eyes to eyes hands to hands face to faces." And so rushing herself to the walls she filled the sky itself with pitiable laments. Her own people mocked her, the Romans wept, among her compatriots there was cruelty, among the enemy there was compassion. "Pierce me," she said, " if there is any pity: I gave birth to him on whom you think vengeance must be taken. I gave an unlucky breast to him, kill me, if you demand vengeance for that."
XXIV. While she is lamenting, Josephus went forward to the voice of his mother and began to mourn bitterly that he had escaped death, to whom it had been sweet to die before his country and for his country, while he is urging salvation to it, to sink down, himself no longer to strive for the safety of his parents, who given up to old age, while they are finishing their last days of life in prison, would be liberated if they should die, feared for the altar for the temple for the thus far half-destroyed fortifications of the city. He had offered himself to wounding, so that he should not see the country being destroyed. Aroused by which lament many thought they must go over to the Romans by whatever route [p. 356] they were able to take themselves away from the ambushes of those engaged in brigandage and pretending to be guards. For whom in fact Titus reserved the promised mercy, but a worse misfortune befell them. For when a supply of food was given, food which previously had been an advantage began to be a burden, and work was taking a vacation from the unfamiliar tasks of eating. There was no strength of teeth that they could eat food, no strength of the gullet, they were not able to chew bread by any manner. Truly if they absorbed anything of a softer food, the movements of the gullet having been cut off they were strangled. The interior of the entrails had grown stiff, the paths of the food had been blocked up, the veins of the liver had dried up which draw the food. The use had ceased, the desire had increased, the ability had failed, the appetite remained. The pitiful people fell upon the food and practiced weak bites in the manner of infants. Many the food having been seen with joy itself died, and among the food they had longed for they were dying having lightened their wretchedness because they had fulfilled their wish. But there was a mournful procession, since many arose from the food to danger rather than to salvation, since the nourishment caused harm. For bodies were puffed up by the unaccustomed food rather that refreshed, and distended as if by the disease of dropsy they paid the penalty. And if there was still for anyone a value in eating, his greed knowing no bound he forced in beyond measure what they were not able to bear, stuffed by the hasty food they burst. Which indeed was not serious to those to whom the emotion only was important, that he should devour what he wished? It overwhelmed through long hunger even those incapable of emotions even the sense of nature and itself aggravated the emotion of joy. It is therefore no wonder if food is a danger to those exhausted. Finally if hungry after a two day [p. 357] fast you have taken anything, it immediately becomes hard. From whence it is the custom for many that they pour into weak stomachs a drink of milk, and with that mixed with honey they make mild the intemperance roughened by hunger of liquids, and they nourish with soft food the weakness of the body as if were an infant. Thus therefore some of the Jews, who had fled to the Romans, compensating by a certain wile were able to avoid the effects of the food, until their bodies unaccustomed to eating should revert to their uses. But this however did not profit the wretches, but was the cause of death for a great many. For when many of these food having been received voided their bellies, some discharged gold coins which they had swallowed when they were preparing for flight, lest to them seized, since the ambushers were searching everything carefully, they would be not only a loss but even a danger. For it was considered a crime for anybody to have gold except the thieves. This gold the Jews pitiable in appearance afterwards collected among the filth of the stomach. A certain one of the Syrians discovered this and from one the idea flowed to all. Because the human race is headstrong for avarice an prepared for cunning there is nothing so atrocious that it is fled from, nothing so indecent that it blushes for shame from the desire for money. The report spread out from the Syrians to the Arabs, to whom there is no less avarice and a savagery nearer to barbaric brutality: therefore because the Jews were stuffed with gold they ripped apart whomever coming they hit upon, against heaven's law, against the rules of surrender, against the promise of Caesar. Those whom it was not allowed to kill, they nevertheless cut open still living and with bloody hands disemboweled for the secret contents of their stomachs. They search the belly and among its flowing filth [p. 358] they seek gold no less repulsively than those whom hunger drove, furthermore with savage cruelty. Many outrages were committed in that fight, none more outrageous than this one. In fact in one night almost two thousand men were cut up in such shameful acts, the bodies having been shared Syria counted its gain, Arabia reckoned the benefit of the business, which without the dangers of the sea having been crossed over by a new scheme of cruelty they turned into a means of profit, and thought a merchandise. Which even now you may find in a race of men of this type and in some of the Egyptians, that they do business in taking care of corpses and they sell the services of civilization for the profit of commerce. The miserable hunger for gold thinks that nothing should be followed except what is immediately profitable, that nothing is worthwhile which is empty of money. The oppressive long ago oppressive greed of acquiring grew in human emotions and trade became the life of man. He lives by selling and buying, vice has crawled into everyone, and already the exchange of commodities is more tolerated than of morals and intellects. The greed of the Syrians infected even the Roman army. For nothing crosses more easily into another than the love of money and the longing to have especially the wealth of neighbors, by which the neighbor is burned. Nor is there any passion which more weakens the virtue of the mind than the lust for riches. In the end cunning is awarded praise, poverty is held a disgrace. This hampered the strictness of punishment, that very many were found guilty of this great madness. And so Titus who had proposed to surround the Syrians and Arabs with the army placed around them, from his contemplation of the great number called back the decision, that he should make an occasion of this last offense, and so that it would not be committed afterwards he announced a punishment, and by the harshness of his words he charged his men most seriously, that girdled with gold and silver and glittering with expensive weapons they should not blush for shame of their weapons, [p. 359] that they dishonored themselves with such disgraceful behavior. But he truly rebuked the Syrians and the Arabs because forgetful of the Roman name and also command, they had contrived horrible things. They had as allies in war, not for the committing of outrages. In the Roman army there was required not only manliness of body but even of mind, not only was bravery against the enemy to be considered but even the standard of discipline, so that a soldier should be not cruel, not irreverent, not haughty, not intent on booty rather than on victory. These crimes of the military would be regarded as very serious and would be punished very severely. Between arms also principles had validity, it was better for wars to be waged with good faith which is kept even by enemies. If therefore it is owed to armed foes, how much more so to those beseeching. Hence they should beware of offenses of this nature, lest they should be made without share in victory and prosperity. Nor would he any longer endure that their infamous crimes be attributed to the Romans, for whom they were a burden rather a help. And so he checked them to some extent, he did not eliminate the greed of the Syrians, so that they would shun his authority, so that they would not obey his orders. Finally it having been explored first if by chance the presence of a Roman soldier had been lacking, the detestable profit from the entrails of the wretched unfortunates was discovered. Not however did the outcome of booty follow for everyone but for a few, in whom the savagery was crueler, because many were killed not only on account of their money but on account of the hope of money, although the robbers themselves and the cruel pirates restrained the robbers from villainy, when they did not perceive booty. For it is only barbaric brutality to do hurt for nothing. For indeed wild beasts follow prey so that they may kill it. Outside there was harsh suffering, inside there was the brutal Johannes.
XXV. Finally although such things were being done by the Syrians, even if some the evidence having been discovered were called back, [p. 360] others however did not cease to to go over to the enemy. Among whom was Manneus the son of Lazarus, who stated that through the one gate entrusted to him one hundred fifteen thousand corpses had been brought out, eight hundred eighty burials having been added to this point, from which he had received the task of disposition in this fashion, this having been collected from a single enumeration of those, who had been buried at public expense, beyond those whom their relatives had buried -- which burial however was nothing except that the bodies were thrown down from the wall? -- after him many men not of low birth fleeing to Titus related that there had been six hundred thousand of the dead who had been counted carried through the gates. In truth the number of their bodies, which because of the infinite multitude of the poor had not been able to be carried out and had been piled up in the biggest buildings and the rooms of various works, was uncountable. And still there a progression of misfortunes, which outlasted the end of all the above, still the savage siege, the cruel war, already however the courage of the Jews were greater than than their strength. Above everything truly hunger was the worst which lay in wait for beasts of burden purging their stomachs and rummaged through the excrement of cattle, as if, which was horrible to see, this might become food for the starving. There were miserable heaps of unburied bodies and the land itself covered with bodies for long stretches, all places before the walls were filled, the appearance was frightful, the horror great, the odor unwholesome, which distinguished between neither conquerors nor conquered, noxious at the same time to both and a greater impediment to the Romans, for whom it was necessary to crush underfoot with bespattered feet the remains lying there, the disfigurement of the land itself, everything having been cut down which was collected for the use of the soldiery and needed for the siege machines. For nearly thirteen miles about the city the land far and wide had been ravaged and the soil stripped of growing things. All that open space, in which previously green forests, [p. 361] gardens fragrant with flowers, diverse orchards, farms near the city gave their pleasing appearance, if anyone afterwards saw, the visitor groaned in sorrow, the dweller did not recognize it, and having returned to his place of birth, when he was at hand in person, searched for his native city.
XXVI. The platforms having been repaired and the moveable shelters and the siege machines the madness of the war was renewed and as if it had been agreed with eagerness by both sides for the last phase of the conflict. For it was judged the critical point of the entire contest, for indeed if the siege were loosened by the Romans, if the platforms or the battering rams were to be burned, for which for reason of the lack of forests the means of repairs were not available, and for the Jews the destruction of their homeland loomed, if they fell back from the contest, when the battering of the walls by the renewed blows of the battering ram was being broken up. And so the Jews advanced with torches bold to such a degree, that, as if the Roman army were about to yield to them, they might scatter fire upon the machines, they might lift the siege. But their strength already exhausted by starvation and earlier broken things denied them success. Their resources had run out, their courage remained. On the other hand it would be a great shame for the Romans, if victory should be snatched from their hands by those who were drawing their last breaths from hunger. And so the battle having been joined the leaders of the rebellion having been driven back ran back inferior in the battle to the protection of the walls. But when from doubt of the walls about to fall from the repeated blows Iohannes by no means negligent searched for a last means of relief, he commanded an interior wall in the shape of the letter C. And so on the following day part of the wall having been shattered the noise of the falling structure and the shouting of the Roman army broke out at the same time, as if the overthrow had been accomplished by the collapse of the wall. But when the sound of the celebrated city reverberated, by a turned turn of things the unexpected appearance of a new wall quenched the joy of the Romans, the [p. 362] daring of the Jews increased because the danger was put off. Then Caesar began to urge on the army, that they should think that that new wall must be attacked without any delay, which the recent construction revealed to be weak and easily scattered. They should dare to proceed now with courage, the wall fragments would give the means of climbing it, so that the battling Romans would be equal to the Jews fighting from a higher position. And because he saw them hesitating because of the difficulty of the thing, collecting those who were the strongest next to himself he climbed up into the battle with a speech of this nature.
XXVII. "That the ends of all endeavors requires more effort than the beginnings is known to everyone, my brave comrades, that the completion of a task undertaken demands great effort. Accordingly an unimpeded ship speeds over the entire sea, although the blasts of the winds do not always blow from the stern, the helmsman turns aside the surfaces of the sails, and without hindrance the sea is split: but when the port is arrived at, a suitable mixture of breezes is essential and the entry of ships is confined by a narrow path. And so there is greater concern of the danger, when the expectation is near. And so the beginnings of the foundations are easy for the builders but the tasks of the high roofs are arduous. And generally in the very end of finishing a task the unfortunate workman is cheated of the reward of his pay, or buried by the falling of the roof or deceived by the shaky step, he falls to the bottom. What shall I say about the farmer, for whom the girding up for the harvesting is more laborious than for the sowing, for the grape gathering more laborious than for the pruning, and for the mature crops great dangers must always be feared? There is nothing therefore new if danger still remains for you on the very verge of finishing the course, because it must be climbed up through the difficulties of the paths to Antonia, from which our enemies having been ejected we occupying the high ground and stationed above the heads of the enemy cut off in a certain fashion their very breaths. But this seems difficult to you, my fellow soldiers. [p. 363] But truly we have come together as if for a game, not for war, in which men must either win or die! Then therefore you ought to have made excuse, when you were coming to the battle, that you would avenge the defeat of the Roman army and wash off the disgrace of the dishonored military. If in the time of Nero you considered that the injury to the Roman name must be avenged, what does it become you to want when Vespasian is emperor? Let us wash away the the stain of the last rule, lest it adhere to us, which indeed Nero thought about to be removed by Vespasian, Vespasian transferred to himself through Titus if he should not conquer. Father left the accomplishment only of the victory to be performed by us. On which so much labor having been poured out in vain is a disgrace and unavenged we give back the position abandoning victory, as if it were not a lighter offense to withdraw from military duties than to abandon victory? The first is a question of bravery the latter of betrayal. But you think it dangerous to descend upon the enemy and to surround the wall with the noise of arms, as if truly nature itself demands womanly and not manly services from us, which so poured vital spirit into us, that we willingly for fame pour it back. For what therefore unless for maximum effort is the warrior exhorted by his leader? For the exhortation of the usual effort is not only appropriate but even brings shame to those agreeing, that you exact what is owed voluntarily. This indeed it behooves a soldier to exhibit from himself. And what immoderate thing am I asking from you? A Jew frequently runs out into the middle of the battle lines of the Romans and fearlessly throws himself upon the enemy troops not in hope of victory but as proof of his bravery and an exhibition of his fame. You, to whom no one on earth or sea [p. 364] has as yet resisted with impunity, for whom to conquer and not be overwhelmed by crime is not new, since you have such tremendous help from heaven in conquering, not once even are you shamed that a position was snatched from you to the enemy, but armed men rub away tranquility and placed in readiness for battle with minds keeping holiday do you expect, that hunger may fight for you, and routed by their starvation rather than our swords they may turn an embarrassing triumph into a source of reproach for you? It does not shame, I say, my vigorous fellow soldiers, victors over all the races, to hope for nothing from your weapons, nothing from your strength but from the blockade alone, to await, when the enemy shall become feeble from disease and shall die in his bed? And what can the victory be without a battle? All places are filled with bodies, loathsome remnants lie bloodless the remains of the dead, except those among them whom they themselves slaughtered. Why should we fear them whom already starvation fire brigandage and riot is killing? Why would we give up divine aid? By whose unless by god's command have they in their arms been crushed, deprived also of the help of food, nor any end of the domestic madness? I fear lest already we may seem rebels against sanctity, who have sparing so long those faithless to our and their religion. It shall be true, let the war be savage and terrible. For why should I soothe you with the easiness of war? Let the victory be uncertain, the danger certain: is not the talk for me among them, who know with human wisdom that courage in all creatures is more manifest in dangers than in mild contentions? As wild beasts when they see themselves surrounded by armed men, they rush against them with a greater impetus so that they open a path to themselves with the effort. And a serpent struck in its den pours out a more virulent poison. And also there are those things that by nature are harmless but in danger however are vigorous in doing harm. Deer have their weapons, if anyone brings himself in their way, they fend off death with their horns, little injured bees have their stings. But what may I say about the fighting men among the Romans, [p. 365] when that Leonides born of the Lacedaemonians, about to fight against the innumerable army of the Persians said: "let us who are about to dine with the dead have dinner on earth" and so greatly among the Greeks was that speech valued, that not only did no one take himself from those three hundred Lacedaemonian men which he was at the head of except one however, whom surviving none afterwards received, but no one even from the rest who had come for fighting at the same time, except those of weaker stock whom Leonides had rejected for such a great battle. What may I say of the untouched legions of the Romans? Those things that Cato the champion of Roman eloquence and a sincere interpreter of truth asserted when they went forth to war with exultation, from which they did not think they would return, and all were beaten down gladly lest they should change that feeling. Happy are those no one of whom in flight announced to his people the victory of the enemy. Of the three hundred Lacedaemonians but one fled, and they fought in a narrow pass so that they should not be surrounded: from the Roman legions no one chose life but all the inheritance of death, whose descendents you are, if in contempt of the dangers as a glorious inborn quality of courage you do not reject your lineage. Who indeed of brave men does not know himself to be mortal, and an end of living to be in place for all? How much better therefore to expend for your country what you owe to nature and to exchange what is inevitable with glory, and not spend a timid life with the sighs of a breathless old age nor fear the calamity of a burning disease, when the daily trials are shed to age, of those however who have become weak with feebleness, senses and strength equally failing, as the opinion of most holds, souls are adjudged to the grave at the same time with the body! And truly the souls freed by steel from the chains of this body, of soldiers and vigorous men, who devoted themselves to death in behalf of their country, children, religion, [p. 366] it is a doubt to none that that pure ethereal element, shining by the light of the stars, takes up in celestial dwelling places in a lodging of heavenly peace. On earth also something significant of advantage or injury remains, that may either hide in oblivion those weakened by feebleness, or contrariwise pursue with renown those taking their breasts against the enemy, if death should come. I invite you to these rewards, my fellow soldiers, that we advance against the enemy, whom we hold shut in, that we scale the wall up the ruin of the strong wall, which serves for us like a rampart and reaches as high as the lesser wall. Whoever carrying forward the banner of valor will have been first to scale the wall or second or third or comrade to many, he will go away with a rich gift not at all granted by me, for there is no greater recompense than the renown of bravery which is commonly the most secure. For when he who most confident of courage and strength shall have mounted the wall, they will flee who resisting and will take themselves down and will conceal themselves in hiding places. That which we now located in an inferior position are seeking with danger, will follow without great effort, that the enemy having been thrown down the war will be ended."
XXVIII. Scarcely had Titus finished this speech when Sabinus an excellent fighter from the men of Syria presented himself and standing before Caesar said that he was prepared for the climb and would obey the commands. The outcome for him would be that he would please Caesar. If he should lack followers, nothing beyond expectation would happen to him, who by his own judgment had chosen to die for Caesar. With these words extending his left hand he raised his shield above his head and with his right hand waving his sword he rose up so much in arms, that no one would recognize him, who just a little before from the appearance of his small body [p. 367] had thought him to be worthy of disdain, when he suddenly saw him to advance against the enemy and to extend himself threatening equally the enemy and the walls, as if already higher he was fighting against those lower down and shaking the wall with his hand. Eleven men followed him anxious to imitate him but unequal in achievement. The Jews fought back from the wall with darts and arrows, and that weapon the hand of each had found was thrown against Sabinus. But he the charge having been aroused leaped upon the heap of fragments and stationed on the top routed the enemy, while the nearest fear the danger. But while he lifts and throws himself against the wall and secure in victory exerts himself against the enemy, having slipped he fell on his face with a great noise. Called back by which the Jews began to attack him lying there with missiles. He leaning upon one knee and protecting himself with his shield defended himself from wounds as long as he was able nor did he leave unharmed those whom he found nearest. Finally however engaged hand to hand with wounds he gave up life before he gave up fighting, nor was he thrown from his position or dislodged from the wall until he was dead, three others having been killed also. Eight although half dead were taken away from destruction by the rest.
XXIX. The death of Sabinus however was not a cause of fear for the rest but an incentive. For the Roman forces, who carried out the duties of night watchmen, desiring to offset the effect of this work, because they had been outstripped by the zeal of Sabinus, twenty in number formed a great and remarkable plan, that the standard bearer of the fifth legion having been summoned and two men of the equestrian forces, whom they thought more eager and one trumpeter during the fifth hour of the night they would raise themselves in silence upon the heaps of wall fragments to the top and the guards having been killed they would seize the wall of Antonia. Which having been done the sound of the trumpet more frightful than usual burst forth, so that the [p. 368] Jews weary from their labors and suddenly awakened from sleep were thrown into confusion, because they believed that everywhere was filled by the enemy. And so they began to flee before the truth of the matter was known. For indeed the condition of danger and the murkiness of a dark night did not permit that how many they were could be ascertained. And Caesar the sound of the trumpet having been heard orders the army to take up arms, he himself with chosen soldiers was first to climb upon the wall an aid to his men an impediment to the enemy. Day dawned and already Caesar in full view encouraged his men from the wall, some were raised up onto the wall by their hands, others through the tunnel, which Iohannes had dug for undermining the rampart of the Romans, took themselves into the city. Their treachery was turned into ruin for the treacherous. Shut off on all sides they took themselves into the temple. There also the Romans wishing to force their way in are hindered by the narrow places, they are pushed back by arms. A major battle takes place in the entrance, but the thing is not fought with darts and arrows but hand to hand with swords, hands to wounds, sword to sword, blow to blow. The one striking was bathed in the blood of those cut to pieces, so that he himself rather was judged the one struck. In the temple itself warlike fury dominated. The floors swam with blood. The groans of the dying, the shouts of those winning resounded without order or limit. The hope of finishing the struggle had inflamed the Romans, the final ruin of their fatherland took fear of death from the Jews. The former fed their valor for the reward of fame, the latter poured out everything from despair of safety and reserved nothing.
XXX. An illustrious deed also was attempted by the centurion Julianus a man very powerful in arms, enlisted from the province of Bythinia but trained in Roman methods and practiced in the wars and famous for the rewards of honorable service. Who when he was standing near to Caesar, when he saw the Romans to have been routed, because the Jews were greater in numbers, and as yet fewer Romans were at hand, suddenly he burst forth from Antonia and turned back those attacking. Nor did they dare to resist the very appearance of such an excellent [p. 369] man and the certain proud authority beyond the human norm of his courage, so that Caesar himself marveled. O variable and uncertain as if a dice-play of combat, which often mocks with unexpected outcomes like by a throw thus by chance rather than by valor accomplishing new outcomes. For there are here throws not indeed of dice but of many javelins and arrows, of stones also, by which often a victor is laid low by a hostile wound, and while he is seizing spoil from another is himself plundered. Like this Julianus, who was threatening the back of the enemy, while he was killing others and checking them with a barrier, too incautious in his haste itself, wearing shoes put together with nails according to the practice of military men, did not consider the grown strewn with polished stones, which should have been avoided, was fighting as if on a level surface, untroubled he slipped and gave out a great crash with his fall and spread out on the slippery soil was not able to stand up. Sustaining himself on one knee he fended off the the enemy who had returned, so that he killed those approaching near, he avoided those throwing javelins as much as he could. But fatigued by that and overwhelmed by the multitude since alone, because no one dared to put himself in such great danger, he did not however die quickly disdained and unavenged. Not at all for my part, as I think, was he deserving of such a death, that such great valor in a man should be cheated. But prudence in war is worth most, which always sharp and observant provides for the possibility of uncertain things. He took himself from Antonia alone, alone he rushed against hostile forces, alone he embroiled himself in combat, alone he forced the Jews to retire into the temple. I fear that that hurt most, that those unfaithful to god had been driven from the temple. And so the fall did not find a remedy. Titus watched him winning with joy, fighting with great concern, he wished to come to his aid but was far away. He was recalled by his men, because in the case of a soldier it is the fate of just one, in the case of an emperor it is the fate of everyone. [p. 370] The danger pointed out the example, which ought to be avoided rather than followed by Caesar. To sum up, his associates were so shocked, his adversaries so elated, that indeed the body of Julianus came into the possession of the enemy, as if they still feared him even dead, if he should be restored to the Romans. The rest Julianus having been killed fell back from the easy task. For a large force had not yet climbed up and the occurrence of his death had increased bravery for the Jews, Alexa and Gyptheus conspirators with Iohannes who were supporters of his faction, also Melchius and Jacobus the leader of the Idumaeans excellent fighters from the party of Simon, Aris Simonis also and Iudis men of the third faction equally supporting, who in a joined band shut the driven back Romans inside Antonia.
XXXI. On the other side Titus having judged the narrow passages of Antonia to be not a fortification for himself but an impediment orders the fort to be razed to its foundations, that a path to the enemy might be opened for those who would be coming up. It having been learned that the solemn observance of feast days for the Jews had approached, he ordered Josephus to translate into the Hebrew language what he himself would be saying. What, an evil, plan was persuading Iohannes that he should provoke the Romans to the destruction of the temple? If he had the confidence of courage, let him choose another place for battle, let him proceed there, if only he would spare the city, he would not contaminate the temple, he would not hinder the sacrifices of the feast days. Let him leave those whom he had considered suitable for the services of the sacrifices, let him give out where he wished except the city and the temple a document of his courage, the soldiers of Caesar would not be wanting for the encounter. He was unwilling to be forced to the destruction of the entire city, whose remains he wished to save, if Iohannes would allow it. Torches were overhanging the temple, not that the Romans were hastening to burn the temple [p. 371] but to lead out from the temple the inciters of the war. If they believed themselves conquered, they should surrender their troops, but if they expected themselves about to be the victors, they should not take themselves into an enclosure, but they should fight in the open, by which the temple would be rescued from the flames already licking it, it would be freed from the ritual purifications. This having been heard with silence Joseph interpreting for the Jews the silent common people approved but feared to express their opinion. To which Iohannes responded, no sacrifice to be more acceptable to god than for men dedicated to god to offer their soul in behalf of the altars before the altars for the temple, and thus, if it should be necessary, to die willingly for liberty, however to hope that the city of god could not suffer destruction. Titus to this: "rightly therefore you would save the city unsoiled for god and the holy place unstained by killing the citizens, by killing the innocent, by killing the priests. By such shameful acts the divine spirits are not placated but are offended. You have rejected your god from the observance of their sacrifices. If he denied food to you in same way, Iohannes, you sought him; his victims are not sacrificed to your god, his offerings are not returned, men are being killed, and you still think god is giving assistance? The things done teach the truth, the pile of dead so demonstrates and the heaps of your misfortunes. Who seeing these things would not groan? I would not blame that you were fighting for your country, if I were unwilling to spare you, if I were unwilling to spare your country or your temple. Nor indeed was Carthage worthy of this --- not at all was the Hebrew Hannibal to be feared, who had conquered the middle part of the Roman world --- and however Carthage itself was renewed, which had taken the rebellious minds of its citizens all the way to its destruction. I promise by my faith that all these things will be saved for you, I promise the pardon of safety for you not as the reward of [p. 372] wickedness but for the deliverance of the city, that I will make good the condition of the summit which is about to be destroyed. You should cease, I warn you, to disturb with your villainy the proposition of Roman goodness. It will not be feared by Jerusalem that it may be destroyed, when rather Antioch was spared for its resources. Certainly your Iechonias both trusted the Persians and went out from the city and committed himself with his relatives to savage rage lest the city should be destroyed because of him. His memory is celebrated by you, as they protect yours, Josephus is present his protector and a witness to his renown, by which you honor the man who offered himself to captivity for his country. The uncivilized Persian spared him, I moreover promise you safety. For Josephus certainly bore arms against the Romans: whose example we have exhibited. We give you Iosephus as an example of our promise, indeed we have already given him, whom we have spared. He speaks in his native tongue, he binds himself by that rite which you practice, it does not shame me to seek this example, to give a guarantor, that I who wish to pardon do not present one who destroys." Iosephus wept at this, he beseeched Iohannes, he lamented the condition of the country, he entreated with tearful speech, he called upon him as a fellow citizen although more stubborn than the rest, he bore witness that by the grace of omnipotent god he would be safe with his men, if only he would cease to arouse the Roman military to the overthrow of the city. When he was unable to prevail upon him: "It is not a wonder," he said, "Iohannes, if you persist all the way to the destruction of the city, since divine aid has already abandoned it. But it is a wonder that you do not believe it is about to be destroyed, since you may read the prophetic books, in which the destruction of our country has been announced to you and and the restored greatness again destroyed by the Roman army. For what else does Daniel shout? He prophesized not indeed what had already been done but what would happen. [p. 373] What is the abomination of devastation which he proclaimed would be by the coming Romans, unless it is that which now threatens? What is that prophecy, which has been often recalled by us announced by god on high, that the city would be utterly destroyed at that time, when its fellow tribesmen will have been killed by the hands of the citizens, unless that which we see now being fulfilled? And perhaps, because it no longer pleases for the temple polluted with forbidden blood to be defended, it pleases that it be cleansed by fire."
XXXII. Iosephus finished his speech but Iohannes is moved by no laments and not persuaded by promises. God had long been pressing the faithless minds, from which crucifying Jesus Christ they defiled themselves by that wicked murder. He is the one whose death is the ruin of the Jews, born from Maria. Who came to his people and his people did not receive him. When indeed have the Jews not killed their own people? Did they not kill the son of their own Saul? Nabutha the prophet was indeed stoned by his own people. Iezabel was a Jewish woman, who commanded the Jewish elders who carried out the command, Achab was a Jew, who became the cause of his death. How many other citizens killed by the citizens! And however the city long remained whole, although destroyed by the Babylonians after many years, but afterwards restored. This is the final destruction after which the the temple is not restorable, because they have alienated with wickedness the protector of the temple, the overseer of restoration.
XXXIII. The opinion of some was changed by such a desire of Caesar and the repeated speech, who were able to take themselves away so that they could come to the Romans. Fear of the danger called back the rest, which was exerted by the brigands, and perhaps there was a certain inclination of the minds, [p. 374] that so many would not be savced from the destruction about to take place. Whom fleeing to him Caesar, because there were among them both men of the priesthood with their sons and other men of outstanding families, received with good favor, promising the security of safety, the preservation of their possessions, and directed to the city, which has the name Gofna, lest any offense should arise from the unlike rite and the difference of their form of worship. Whether by those, who located in the city were resisting, or because a suspicion of this nature had arisen or some one had arranged by a trick that many should not slip away, it came into an argument of death, that they were being killed and cast aside. Having learned this Titus ordered them called back and to approach nearer the walls with Iosephus, that they might be recognized by their people. They with tears and great lamentation wept not because of their own , but because of the destruction of their country and the temple, they beseeched the citizens that they should follow the faith of Caesar, that they should rescue the temple from the burning that had been prepared, nothing had been ordered of them against the law, nothing of freedom had been diminished. That they should acquiesce, and they would experience the mercy of the Romans, whose insuperable valor they had put to the test.
XXXIV. With such they wretchedly lamented, they are pushed away by their own people and the war is inflamed. The Jews spring up and blindly burst into the inner shrine itself: every recess, they occupy every place inaccessible to men not chosen for the sacred rites. The Romans also prepared themselves for battle. They violated the prohibitions of the fathers from the necessity pf war, with greater reverence by the Romans however than by their own. The gentiles looked at the temple with awe, The Jews approached with rage and rashness and bearing hands wet with human blood laid hands upon the high altars themselves. Titus however still abiding by his resolution addressed [p. 375] Iohannes and called to witness that he was unwilling to be led to the destruction of the city and the temple saying to him: "what do they want for themselves, Iohannes, squeezed before he doors of the temple the summit of the elements? Do they not signify that no one not consecrated ought to approach the temple? What (was) the purpose of that fence before the temple? Is it not that its appearance should ward off the children of everyone, and and knowledge of the secret places should be open to the initiated alone, and that to these there should be a free view, to whom there is lawful entrance? You shut off the view of foreigners and you restrict their approach. You write that no foreigner may enter, no stranger may go inside, and you are scattering foreign blood inside the temple and you are polluting your altars at the same time with the blood of foreigners and citizens. I testify to be a witness not of our attack but of your violation of duty because have violated those things that are yours. I a foreigner do not exact, on the contrary I implore, if you are willing to depart, the temple will be safe, no one of the Romans will introduce hostile hands, nothing of your sacrifices will be violated, I will preserve your temple for you, even if you are unwilling. For the observance of religious rites may be different but the practice is a common experience. What was the observance has departed from you, what is the practice has remained to the victors."
XXXV. When even by these things put forth by Iosephus Caesar noticed the leaders of the faction not to be called back --- for they thought such a frequent calling for stopping to be from lack of confidence rather than from goodness --- he returned unwillingly to the inevitability of battle. He ordered the Romans to come up, but because the narrow passages were an impediment to such a great multitude, he prunes every thousand fighters to thirty picked men. For indeed such a dense obstruction of buildings would not receive the entire army. He himself wishing to climb down also was called back by his men, lest in the narrow places, even generally in nighttime hours, for which [p. 376] it was unavoidable to run against the trickery of ambushers, he might arouse something of danger against himself, when it would profit more, if he were present as an observer of the fight, since each one would think it had to be fought more unhesitatingly by him about to be fighting beneath the eyes of Caesar. For all things, which were being done around the temple, as if in a theater, from the position of Antonia were visible from above. Persuaded to that opinion Caesar entrusts the task to Cerealis, that he should come upon the Jews spread around the temple at the ninth hour of the night, he encourages the rest to come violently into the fight, that he would not fail the reward of those fighting, since from above he would watch the fight a witness either of any faintheartedness or a judge of valor. Cerealis energetically arrives at the prescribed time, but he found the watchmen vigilant. The battle is joined, since those positioned inside the temple were not sleeping, and those keeping watch went to meet those approaching, the rest easily prepared themselves for battle. The Roman approached in a crowded column. The Jews, since they are depending upon the enclosure and the narrow passages, so they would not be surrounded, rushed about in different directions, so that frequently there was danger to them from their own forces, since they were not recognized in the darkness, and very many were transfixed by their associates, since they were thought the enemy. For who indeed at night can distinguish whether he has run upon an ally or an enemy, when it is too late to ask, to take precautions usefully, to anticipate deliberation? And an outcome of blame to err in the wound of another is more tolerable than to disregard personal danger, when an enemy if feared. And so the Jews worked through the night in a two-headed danger, either because an enemy was attacking or in which an ally made a mistake, nor were they afflicted by a lesser mischief during the day: at night there was more danger from their own forces, during the day the Roman pressed vigorously whom Titus an observer of the entire contest even if silent was urging on. It was fought fiercely to the fifth hour the Jews also fighting strenuously, so that neither side retired from the place. [p. 377]
XXXVI. While they waged these battles between themselves for the space of seven days everything having pulled down, all the way to the foundations of the earth, which Herod had strengthened with a fortress, which had the name Antonia, the road was made wider, which led to the temple, so that not only would there be the opportunity of rushing in for the soldiers but the place was open even for establishing fortifications and piling up ramparts so much as was necessary, from which the tops of the roofs even of the temple were pounded. Through which the Romans attentively delaying, while the Jews were being pressed by intolerable hunger, they began to lie in ambush for the pack animals of the Romans. If anyone had loosened a war horse for grazing, or a pack mule by lightening the burden, they stole them for plunder, not only was it produced as food for them at the expense of the Romans but it was even a disgrace for the military. Caesar immediately removed the disgrace of this carelessness in the beginning by the punishment of death ordered. It did not however hold in check the trickery of obstinacy. For shut off from this type of plunder and the food necessary for the starving, grasping the help of grasses, the wall being destroyed, which Titus had led around the empty space outside the city, they wandering and searching for the roots of trees and forage thought sallies would be more unimpeded, whom the circuit of the wall the equivalent of a prison had shut in nor was there now anything with which they might lessen hunger. And so they creep up in a sudden sally, they rush upon those extended before the Mount of Olives. Nor did these fail the task assigned and the call of the trumpet summons others to the society of the battle from the rest of the camps and the fortifications of the towers. A fierce fight is joined in the beginning, when a sense of honor urges on the last, hunger the first, [p. 378] by a savage necessity and rule. But the Jews are driven by the Romans gathering together and turned back to the walls of their city. Then one from a squadron of horsemen --- Pedanius his name --- spurs his horse stretches out his right arm and bending down a little seizes one of Jews fleeing, carrying him captive to Caesar. And the conqueror of this glorious booty like an eagle with a rabbit or a hawk with a duck throws him living to the feet of Caesar. Exceedingly pleased by this Titus dismissed him praised and honored.
XXXVII. Now distributed around the temple they burn the colonnade. Everywhere there was grief everywhere death, outside there was war, inside above there was war and fire. But the Jews were not broken in spirit, they thought everything of vengeance to perish they acted without trickery or insolence. When they were now unable to do otherwise, they provoked the Romans to quickness of destruction. A certain Ionathes small of body, worthier in appearance, very near the tomb of Iohannes challenged the Romans, that he who wished could fight with him hand to hand. Some despising the smallness of the man, others disdaining to fight with him, whom they were about to hold captive soon, others considering the thing to be a perilous contest with men, who in the extremes of safety were seeking vengeance not with bravery but with recklessness alone, there would be nothing of praise if bordering upon destruction the man should be defeated, and much of disgrace, if any one by some lapse should mar the common victory, he was boasting arrogantly and throwing fear into the victors scattering loud abuse, that the Romans were relying not on their own forces but upon foreign assistance, and that the Jews were afflicted not by the war of their enemies but by domestic strife. There was in the number of Roman soldiers Pudens by name, who moved by the inane insults, thoughtlessly took counsel of his sense of honor, neglected his safety and incautious from that indignation stood open to injury and thrown prostrate onto the ground he instilled shame in his associates, he left at the same time also a cause of mockery by, and death for, Ionathes. For he elated by the success of the contest and raising the pomp of victory, while he celebrates and exults and gestures with his sword and by striking his shield, he arouses to his wounding the centurion Priscus, who did not tolerate him boasting with arrogance and pride and pierced him incautious in victory with the blow of an arrow. Struck down by which Ionathes points out that in a battle no one ought to mock irrationally, since the situation is uncertain for the conquerors and the conquered, until the war is concluded.
XXXVIII. But inside the city when they saw the enemy inside the walls projecting over the highest structures and overhanging all the walls and like a wound in the body they dreaded the danger to extend inward, they cut down the northern colonnade in that part, which was next to Antonia, lest the enemy go up through it to the higher parts of the temple or higher up press upon those located in the lower parts, and each cut off the closest parts, lest neighboring to the temple with raging fires fire even might destroy the temple itself, and cut through the fires burn out. That which they feared from the enemy they first began. They prepared the colonnade of Solomon also for trickery, so that they filled the interiors of the roofs with tar and pitch, which escaped notice inside the vault of the highest roof, and it having been pretended that they wished to defend it and they incite the enemy to attack and so arouse the Romans against themselves. They ladders having been moved up seek the high parts of the colonnade, the Jews gradually withdraw from the place to which many Romans ascend. These steal in eagerly, however the more prudent having suspected a trick take precautions, but the crowd intent upon victory [p. 380] hurries. When the thing of the trick was seen to flare up, many were placed as if in a net, the fire is moved up to the interior of the vault aand full grown from the tar and pitch and the other nourishments of the fire is spread out into the entire colonnade. The fires surround the victorious Romans, so that no opportunity of withstanding it is at hand or any possibility of fleeing. They did not discover what they should do. Titus regarded his endangered men with indignation because they had climbed up without orders, but with pity because victorious they were perishing. Many gave themselves to a fall, but, when they had escaped the fire, crushed in body with broken limbs they died, it was more unfortunate if disabled they survived. Caesar wished to come to their aid but was unable, he encouraged the nearest however, he shouted that there would be assistance for his men. These words, this grief of Caesar they considered as a final consolation. This was a parting provision for those about to die, as if exalted solacing themselves with this tomb they hastened to death, because they were ensconced in the innermost heart of Caesar and their life would not perish, whose renown survived, who were dying for Caesar leaving behind their triumphant inheritance. And so some were encircled by the flames, others avoided them, and not far away was the enemy who were striking those fleeing the flames.
XXXIX. Longus however a man of excellent character although he was called upon by the Jews, that he should entrust himself to them, with the security of safety promised, preferred to transfix himself with his sword rather than stain with a disgrace the bravery of the innate Roman character. On the other hand Artorius quite cunningly in a loud voice called Lucius saying: "you will be my heir, if you will catch me falling." And he felling pity runs to catch him falling and transferred to himself the death of the one about to die. Truly he sent ahead his heir as his military testament, written not in ink but in blood, and not on paper but on the blade of a sword; a great [p. 381] trick clearly, so that he might find a volunteer substitute for his death. And so the colonnade is burned all the way to the tower, which Iohannes when he was waging war against Simon, had constructed above the entrance of the royal house, which Ezechias as king had built for himself as a residence. The remaining paart of this the Jews themselves destroyed. Also on the following day all the northern colonnade all the way to the eastern colonnade was burned by the Romans. For when they themselves put hands on their own buildings, they taught the Romans not to spare the foreigners. The face of the temple was already bare and there was savage hunger of the men. They ambushed themselves by turns, each snatched food for himself. Where there was the suspicion of food, there was a battle fought between the natives for food. The dearest were killed, the dead were shaken violently lest any food should lie hidden in their clothing. Some were considered to pretend to be dead, lest living they should be suspected to have some food. But not even the living were able either to perform the function of life or to pretend death, truly with open mouth like mad dogs capturing a breath of air they moved around hither and thither with want as their guide. Often even as if drunk they returned to the same dwellings, that they should search again what they had left empty. And when they did not find other relief for hunger, they would pull away the leather from their shields that it should be food for them which was not a protection. They ate their shoes, nor was it a shame to take them up loosened from their feet with their mouth and to lick them with their tongue. Ancient husks also, which had once been thrown aside, were searched out with great eagerness, and if any were discovered, they were exchanged for a great price.
XL. What shall I say against the deed of Maria, which will horrify the mind of any whatsoever barbarous and impious person? She was from the wealthy women of the region of Perea, which lies across the Jordan. The fear of the war having arisen she had taken herself with the rest into city of Jerusalem, where it was safer. She had [p. 382] conveyed her wealth there also, which the leaders of the factions in competition took possession of. If anything even of food had been obtained for a price, it was taken from her hands. Disturbed continually by her losses, she called down horrible curses, she wished to die but did not find a killer. She wished to mock longer, to humble more, rather than to destroy quickly. She thought how long she might live to be preyed upon. All things had already run short and accustomed to self-indulgence she was not softening the harsh roughness of husks and hides. Fierce hunger poured itself into her innermost being, irritated her humors, stirred up her mind. The woman had a small infant which she had given birth to. Aroused by its crying which she saw to weaken herself and the child terribly, overcome by such great barbarity unequal to such a cruel misfortune she lost her mind and the practice of motherly tenderness forgotten she submerged her grief, took up madness. And so turned toward the little one having forgotten she was its mother and raging in mind she spoke thusly: "What can I do for you, little one, what can I do for you? Savage circumstances surround you, war, starvation, burnings, thieves, destruction. To whom shall I about to die entrust you, to whom shall I leave you so small? I had hoped that, if you reached manhood, you would feed me your mother or would bury me dead, certainly, if you preceded me in death, I would enclose you in a precious burial mound with my own hands. What shall I a miserable woman do? I see no help for you and me living. All things have been taken from us, for whom shall I save you? And in what tomb shall I place you so that you are not prey for dogs birds or wild beasts? All things, I say, have been taken from us, you can however, my sweet one, thus feed your mother, your hands are fit food. O agreeable to me is your flesh, your congenial limbs, before hunger completely consumes you, restore to your mother what you have received, return to [p. 383] that hidden place of nature. In which place you take your spirit, in it a grave is prepared for you dead. I myself embrace whom I gave birth to, I myself fondly kiss, and what the want of endurance of love has, let it have the force of necessity, that I myself may devour my own not with simulated but with imprinted bites. Therefore be food for me, rage for thieves and a tale of life, which alone is lacking for our misfortunes. What would you do, my son, if you too should have a son? We have done what is of goodness, we are doing what hunger urges. Your reason however is better and has a certain appearance of rightness, because it is more tolerable that you will have given your mother food from your parts than that your mother is able to kill or devour you." Saying this with face turned aside she plunged in the sword and cutting her son in pieces she placed him on the fire, she ate part, part she concealed lest anyone should come upon it. But the strong smell of the burned flesh came to the leaders of the rebellion and immediately following the odor they entered the lodging of the woman threatening death because she had dared to feed her own starving and to make them non-sharers of the food which she had discovered. But she: "your part," she said, "I have saved for you, I was not greedy nor discourteous. Do not be resentful, hold this and you may eat. I have prepared food for you from my flesh. Be seated quickly, I will arrange the table, you have my service to wonder at, to judge that you have found such a disposition of no woman who has not defrauded you of the favor of her sweet son." Saying which she at the same time uncovered the scorched limbs and presented them for eating with an exhortation of this type of speech: "This is my lunch, this is your portion, look carefully that I have not cheated you. Behold one hand of my boy, behold his foot, behold half of the rest of his body, and lest you think otherwise, he is my son, you should not think it the work of another, I did it, I carefully divided it, I [p. 384] ate what was mine, I saved what was yours. You have never been sweeter to me, my son. I owe you that I am still alive. Your sweetness has held my mind. It has put off for your pitiable mother the day of death. You came to the rescue in a time of starvation, you are the gift of the greatest old age, you are the restrainer of the killers. They came about to kill, they became table companions. And they themselves will hold what they owe to you, since they have consumed my banquet. But why do you give back a step, why are you horrified in mind? Why do you not feast upon what I his mother have made? They can indeed please you which have glutted the mother. I do not hunger now, after my son has fed me, I am abundantly satisfied, I know not hunger. Taste and see how sweet is my son. Do not become more effeminate that the mother, weaker than a woman. But if you are tenderhearted in the midst of a hurt and do not take up my offering and turn away from my burnt offering, I will consume my sacrifice, I will devour what is left. See that it is not a reproach to you that a woman is discovered more brave than you, who will take up the banquet of men. I indeed have prepared such banquets, but you have made a mother to feast so. And suffering held me but necessity conquered."
XLI. The impious act of such great wickedness immediately filled the entire city and each was filled with horror as if attendance of such a parricidal dinner party was placed before his eyes. Indeed they began themselves the inciters of the rebellion to examine those things which they seized for food, lest they should find similar food and incautiously consume it. Everybody began to be afraid, that they would live too long, and to wish to die. The brutality of this fact came even to the Romans. For many terrified by this horror fled to the enemy. Which having been found out, Caesar detesting the contagion of the unhappy land, raising his hands to heaven, testified publicly in this fashion: "Indeed we come for war but we are not contending with men.
Against [p. 385] every madness of monsters and wild animals, what sensible thing can I say? Wild animals love their offspring, which they feed even in their own hunger, which they feed on foreign bodies, they abstain from the bodies of very similar wild animals. This is beyond every hardship that a mother has devoured a member to which she gave birth. I clean absolve myself to you from this contagion, whatever power you are in heaven. You know, you know surely that with inmost feeling I frequently offered peace and I asked what it does not shame a victor to say, that I wished to pardon even the originators themselves of such great prodigies, to spare the people, to preserve the city. But what am I to do against those fighting back, what am I to do against those who rage against their own people? Arms for the most part having been set aside, because they did not desist from their own slaughtering, I returned to the war that I should set free those besieged, not that I should destroy them. They often encouraged us from the walls to fight so they would not be gravely harmed by their own people. Of what type are the citizens, to whom their enemy is a remedy? I had heard truly the fierceness of this people to be unendurable, who arouse themselves against every arrogance with extraordinary beliefs, their birth to lead them from heaven, there they first put on the form of body, themselves to have been inhabitants of the sky, to have descended for the cultivation of the earth, to return from the earth to the sky, to have crossed through the seas with dry feet, the waves of the sea to have fled before them, the stream of the Jordan turned backward to have returned to its source, the sun to have stood still that they might conquer their enemies and night not impede them, their men snatched into the sky in fiery chariots, the powers of the sky to have fought in their behalf, and themselves absent all the forces of their enemies to have been routed, victory brought forth to them sleeping. These things I had learned, but I thought that they boasted of the divine benefits surrounding them, that they did not altogether [p. 386] enlarge their daring, that they thought themselves unable to be conquered by the Romans. And so I admit it would be a battle for us with them, who believe themselves unconquerable, who boast themselves to be survivors of the flood, inheritors of the rivers, hosts of the lands, travelers of the seas, riders of the skies, for whom a wave is a wall, the air is a road, the sky a place of habitation, to whom flames yield and chains do not hold. For whom thirsting stones open up and pour themselves into water sources, for whom hungry the sky opens, food is sent, their camps are filled with the flesh of birds and man eats the bread of angels. Waters are stripped away, brackish water is sweetened, the sun stands still, darkness is illuminated. Finally what can be the greatest, when can courage be lacking to those, who, as they say, having died live and having been buried are roused again? There is the frequent opinion that these men also plotted against divine things and their punishment is the proof. The lands burn today because of the impiety of their inhabitants, many of these indeed an opening in the ground has swallowed. How long then can we stay in these places, where there is the ruin of the lands? We see even the sea to be dead, we see even things growing from the land to be dead, the earth to be shriveled, the shadows of green plants to be empty, loveliness outside but ashes within. Who can doubt that we move about in the lower worlds where even the very elements expire? In fact even, what is accustomed to live after death, in these places the goodness of nature is dead and respect for the dead a bystander. For who loves his parents not even dead? Who even now does not love his lost sons and hold in a place of pledges? The love remains, although the child has died, the name continues, the kindness of nature does not cease. In these places truly a mother does recognize a [p. 387] living son, does not hear him calling, does not pity him wailing, and because of the detestable things of one hour throws in a parricidal food the hand of her child. But why do I argue this as if new, since they consider the beginnings of this type from a fraternal murder, since of Abraham himself, whom they call father and the originator of the teaching and the first man of this form of worship, in him especially they proclaim faith, because he thought his son should not be spared and brought him to the altars as a victim and did not hesitate to offer him as a sacrifice? I do not condemn his devotion but I question his piety. Another also of his they say he as victor wished to dedicate, that whosoever should first run up to him returning home, he should sacrifice to his god, and, when he returned, his daughter ran up and so he placed his hands upon his daughter, and many other examples of this type. Of what kind is that people, who assign the killing of a human being to reverence and think that murder is a sacrifice? What god can exact this or what sort is the priest, who is able to do this? Finally they say this ancient man as more sensible did not do this but wished to do it, he as an imprudent man persevered. Let them have their rituals: stern men, among whom the teaching is to kill their sons, unhappy the state, in which there is such an office, such a service. May its destruction cover it over and conceal it, May the sun not see the contagion of that world, may the sphere of stars not look upon it; lest the puffs of air be tainted, may the cleansing fire rise up. We thought the feast of Thyestes a fable 5, we see a scandal, we see a truth more atrocious than the tragedies. For there the stronger sex and a stranger to the region, here a woman, for whom her own offspring was food. There the trickery of a stranger, here her own will. He grieved, she mocked. The food was deserved by such men, who by fighting obstinately had led their women to such a [p. 388] banquet. Indeed I think them afflicted with such great harshness of evils and minds made demented who did not feel these things. Wherefore let us finish the war quickly. Because these things are not able to be corrected, let us break in violently, that we may flee the dying waters of these regions, the lands being destroyed."
XLII. The things having been said he orders the battering rams to be moved to the temple, but strong blows accomplished nothing. However terrified many of the leaders themselves of the rebellion fled to Caesar, whom driven more by necessity not as if following a promise Titus hesitated to receive, but good faith tempered his anger. However he did not hold them in that state in which held the previous deserters, he began to urge his men on more intently, so that all of the enemy demoralized by fear might withdraw. But when they saw the walls unharmed by the blow of the battering ram with its massive structure, they maintained their boldness, Caesar however coming with a clever idea ordered the doors covered over with silver to be set on fire. From which the fire having been moved up the silver began to flow, then gradually even the wood to burn, thus an approach opened up into the interior of the colonnade. But Caesar taking pity, that the temple should not be burned the neighboring interiors of the colonnades having been seized, called the leaders of the army to a council saying, for him the fight was not with insensible objects nor was the war with buildings, which would profit the victors, if they were saved unburned. The leaders however asserted the strength of the walls and the fortification of the temple would be an incentive in the future for the Jews, from which there would be grateful haughtiness; the roots of the rebellion should be destroyed to the foundations, lest this rashness should break out again. Caesar however put off the discussion of the council to the following day. In truth the Jews thought themselves pouring forward, but the Romans with interlocked shields although [p. 389] fewer withstood the first attack. The battle wavered however from the charge of the innumerable multitude. Whence Caesar was at hand with cavalry easily crushing those whom he had discovered and he turned back the enemy column. Relying on the fact that a portion of the entrance court already stood open, he arranged to rush in upon the enemy with most of his forces the following day, to enter into the temple. Which act would have saved the city from burning, if the unpropitious attitude of the people had not provoked the flames of the enemy against themselves. Indeed Caesar orders the dense mass of fires to be extinguished, so they would not be a hindrance to the troops about to break in. Seeing which the Jews, while they are ambushing those wishing to put out the fires of the temple, some having been killed stirred up the enemy. And so one of the Romans having found half-burned lumber, which had fallen from the roof, moved with the full grown fire to the door, which was named the golden door, because it had an entrance clothed with gold. The stiffness of the gold having been immediately melted by the flames laid bare the wood, which like an uncovered flank was open to the fire. And so the doors having been burned the fire inserted itself into the innermost parts of the temple. Already the doors lighted up its entrance. All who themselves the defender of the temple were trying to protect it were thrown into confusion, they were immediately afraid, and there was a certain inclination of their minds, this would be the day of destruction, because on this very day the temple had once been burned by the Babylonians breaking in, which was the tenth day of the month of Loos, which already for a long time they counted among the unlucky days. The fire lifting itself up from the puffs of air also into the higher parts poured joy into the victors, grief fitting for such a great disaster into the defeated. The outcry of everyone having sprung up, not much afterwards a messenger gave Titus the news of the enemy's destruction, who rushing forth in as loud a voice as he was able [p. 390] ordered the fires to be extinguished. But through the uproar there was not an opportunity of hearing or the wish to spare it, since the Roman soldiers burned with the zeal for vengeance and the well known goodness of Caesar took away the fear of disobedience. There would be no trickery for his men, since he was forgiven even by the enemy. With his nod and hand however Titus called back whose whom he was able, he ordered some that they should restrain the attack of the soldiers. But with anger the leader they increased the burning, they pressed the enemy already wasteful of their safety from despair and exposing themselves totally to dangers. The common people of low birth were chiefly killed, whenever any was opposed, because they were protected by no armor suitable for fending off or turning aside a wound.
XLIII. Wearied by the shouting Caesar gave back a step, since the flame was still consuming the enclosed spaces of the temple, which having been burned down he in a rage took himself into the shrine itself. By which appearance most were greatly disturbed, some immersed themselves in the fires themselves, whose eyes were not able to bear that outliving the temple they were spared. Titus ran up again desiring to look about of what manner the shrine was. Moved by its grace he confessed it to have been more distinguished than the works of their own temples. He marveled at the size of the stones, the brilliance of the metal, the attractiveness of the work, the charm of its beauty. He proclaimed that not without cause had the fame of the place been so great, that there out of all the places it was agreed, so great not unless it was believed to be the dwelling place of the greatest god. The esteem added to the faith of the religion, with which the nations even of the barbarians venerated that temple and brought gifts. Robbers of their own religion who however were then plundering and utterly destroying, thieves breaking into everything, which had been the deposits of widows and orphans, as if [p. 391] they were claiming these things from the victors, if anything was diminished from the booty to the Romans. Seeing the temple also to be on fire they burned the rest, lest any building should survive the destruction of the temple, thinking whether all of the religion might perish with the temple. Not yet however had the Jews put aside their faithlessness, which was the cause of their great ruin. For since the minds of many were bent, that a column having been formed they should surrender themselves to the Romans, a certain pseudoprophet began to throw in the departure of his mind that the assistance of the divine god would not be lacking to his temple, to call the people to himself like as to a certain oracle, they should still remain in his temple, they were about immediately to drive back the battalions of the enemy, the conflagration of the flames. Thus the wretched people, since they faithfully believed the untrue fraud, discredited and helpless they were slaughtered. Who if they had wished to believe, had visible indications of the imminent destruction, by which as if by clear voices they were warned the end to be at hand for them.
XLIV. For through a year almost above the temple itself a comet burned, extending a certain likeness of fire and a sword announcing with iron and fire the coming destruction of the people and the kingdom and the city itself. What indeed did the likeness of a sword announce if not war, what the fire if not the burning? Moreover it was seen before the people dissociated themselves from the Romans. During the very days of the Passover on the eighth day of the month of Xanthicus and through every night around the ninth hour the temple and its altar so shone with light as if it were day, remaining daily through half an hour almost, which the crowd explained to be seen as an indication of the people heaping up and having been driven there as if the time were at hand for recovering their freedom. [p. 392] The wiser thought the contrary, because that type of star is accustomed to announce war. Nor was there anyone who thought our people to have spoken something foreign from our religion and teaching, first because we added not what seems good to us, but what happened, or what were the opinions at that time, what the wise people felt, what the foolish. Nor was anything said from the doctrines of the Jews, thus it might seem to have been written by us, as if in truth not as if in obscurity and figures of speech we were contriving their religion to have been sent in advance, so that more perfect things might follow. For about the signs of the stars even in the Gospels we are taught that there were signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. 6 They assert also that in the birth of a calf, when the victim stood before the altar, in the middle of the temple a sheep was born in the very celebration of the religious rites we mentioned above, also the heavy eastern interior door, which was accustomed to be closed at evening with the great effort of twenty men, fastened with iron bars, through several nights was spontaneously unbarred, and scarcely afterwards was shut by the guards. That also many thought a sign of future benefits, to which about to enter the door was opening. The more learned however said the protection of the temple having been loosened to be seen, that whatever was inside would be plundered by enemies, the worship would go out, devastation would enter, fame would be emptied, the offering would be destroyed. Which even before, when they crucified Christ Iesus, the narrative teaches the meaning clearly. Also after many days a certain figure appeared of tremendous size, which many saw, just as the books of the Jews have disclosed, and before the setting of the sun there were suddenly seen in the clouds chariots [p. 393] and armed battle arrays, by which the cities of all Iudaea and its territories were invaded. Moreover in the celebration itself of the Pentecost the priests entering the interior of the temple at night time, that they might celebrate the usual sacrifices, asserted themselves at first to have felt a certain movement and a sound given forth, afterwards even to have heard shouted in a sudden voice: "we cross over from here." Iesus also, the son of Ananias, a country-dweller, four years before the people of the Jews undertook the war, in great peace and abundance of the city, when the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles was being celebrated with joyful sacrifices, ascending the temple began to shout: " a voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and against the temple, a voice against bridegrooms and against brides, a voice against all people." This was shouted during the nights and during the days. Alarmed by which the men of rank in the place seized him, trembling at the frightful information of his voice, and afflicted him with many punishments, that at least afflicted with this pain he would cease to pronounce these frightful statements full of portents. But he neither from any fear nor blows or terrified by severe threats did not change his practice or words. With that same perseverance of denunciation and joining of words, with no interpolation of supplication, heedless of injury he remained in the same behavior, unmoved by this treatment. Considering him not heedless but to be squeezed out of his mind, as he was, they took him to the judge of the place, who at that time from the Romans handled the public business through these places. He for the sake of searching out the truth ulcerated him with the most severe punishments, the more he continued stubborn the more vigorously [p. 394] ordering the man to be beaten with whips, so that he should reveal if he had discovered any secret indications of a future uprising. But he neither cried not asked, but at each blow dolefully lamented not his own but his country's destruction saying: "woe to Jerusalem." Nor when asked who he was or where he was from or why he kept saying the same thing did he give a response, but only pursued that lamentation with the miserable complaint for his country. And so wearied Albinus, for that was the name of the man, dismissed him as from madness of mind not understanding what he was saying. But he neither had any conversation with anyone nor spoke anything else during the remaining time he was heard, but singing this mournful and funereal song day and night he resounded constantly: "woe to Jerusalem." Nor did he reproach anyone beating him, nor did he thank anyone giving him food. There was one and the same response full of wild yells to all and especially at the celebrations of the sacrifices. And so through seven years and five months the same train of words, the same sound off voice remained. And so unwearied for such a long time, when the siege began, he ceased to shout out the same things, as though it were proper to stop the announcing, when those things were present which had been announced. But when fire began to envelope the city and the temple equally, going around the wall he began again to shout: "woe to the city and the people and the temple." And last of all he added: "woe even to me" and struck by a catapult with these words he gave out his life. And it was written also in the ancient literature that the city itself too with the temple was then about to perish, when the temple had been made quadrangular. And so whether forgetful or dazed by the inevitability of the threatening evils, when Antonia was seized, they made the circuit of the temple quadrangular. Among which that [p. 395] was most outstanding, which equally in the ancient literature, which they called sacred, remained impressed, that following that time there would be a man, who from their region would take up rule over the whole world. Which thing put them in a great frenzy, that not only freedom but even a kingdom was being promised to them. That some thought had to make reference to Vespasian, the wiser thought it made reference to the lord Jesus, who in the flesh born of Maria in their lands spread his kingdom over all the space of the world. And so with such great things foretelling this they were not able to avoid what was decreed from heaven.
XLV. And so the originators of the rebellion fleeing when the temple was being burned, the Romans placed their standards inside the walls of the temple itself and against the eastern gate they celebrated Titus as imperator 7 proclaiming this with their loudest voices. In the meantime a certain boy in that place, where the priests still were, whom both the lack of water and the heat of the neighboring fire tortured with thirst, asked one of the Roman guards to give him his right hand, to offer a drink. Having pitied his age and necessity equally he extended it immediately. The small boy drank and because he had been carefully judged of harmless age, he seized the container of water and took himself away in a rush, that he might furnish a supply for drinking to the priests. The soldier wished to pursue him but was not able to catch him. He at his own peril relieved the thirst of the priests. This good trick which harmed no one, came to the aid of need. Finally the soldier himself marveled more at the attitude of the boy than he detested his trickery, because at that age and with the destruction of the entire city and the common danger [p. 396] he did not leave unexpressed by the service he was able to render that respect which was owed to the priests. Not much later the priests finally defeated by hunger and thirst asked for their life, whom Titus ordered to be killed, responding them to be of unworthy mind, who wished to outlive the temple and their office.
XLVI. Furthermore Iohannes and Simonis and the other leaders of the rebellions asking, that he order the the throwing of javelins and the noise to leave off for a short time and that he give them the opportunity of speaking, he did not shrink from the concession, silence having been made he gave his response thusly: "the time is too late, you depraved ones, for mercy, when already nothing is left which should be saved. It was offered to you and you despised it, you thought it lack of confidence, not a concession. But I groaned that harmless buildings would perish from your wickedness, I grieved the common people to be forced to death, I wished to be lenient: you did not allow it; I held up the fighting: you rushed in; I offered peace: you did not accept it; I called on you frequently, I went to meet you repeatedly: it does not shame to say, I made you more arrogant by asking. What were you thinking? That the Roman troops would yield to you and you would surround an army victorious over all lands with your multitude? What portion fought you, since your region was not able to withstand the entirety, nor did difficult straits allow it? A greater care for us was protecting our world rather than extending it. Where we may go nothing is new; nothing foreign, to whom all the world is a possession. We thought this brigandage as a mole long concealed in the body, finally provoked we believed it must be removed, lest your disobedience and a certain murkiness should mar the splendor of the Roman empire. You have experienced Roman might not by fighting but by dying. For we see your troops not on the field but on the wall, since for you not even an enclosure was advantageous for a means of protection of your safety. [p. 397] For what wall stops those whom the ocean does not stop? Or what city hemmed in by a guard of walls would be impregnable to our siege when the arms of the Romans have also penetrated the Britains walled around by a raging element? Spread out beneath us is that steep mountain of water. The wave of the Red sea, as the stories of Iudaea report, walled around with the appearance of a wall your fathers crossing it, Roman bravery broke down the wall of the ocean. I do not envy you the favors of another. The sea saw you and fled, so that shut off from the enemy you might flee, since you were not able to break through the enemy nor to hold it back. For us the flight of the ocean would have been an injury if it had fled. Before the war we fought with the waves, we overcame the raging sea before we arrived at the enemy. Brittania received us already the victors over the elements. Whom they trusted we subdued, so that the ocean itself acceded to the consummation of the triumph. But perhaps you rely upon the strength of the body. Now are you stronger than the Germans, whom fenced in by the wall of the Alps Roman courage led into servitude? Nor those similar to the mountains of the slope of Mount Taurus or the effeminate armies of the Egyptians with which it is your practice to fight. We climbed above the clouds and descending from the clouds we conquered the people, we opened the airy route to all: we do not envy you the watery regions, provided that the former of those celebrating a triumph, the latter of those fleeing. And so the mountains sink down to Roman valor, rivers dried up their course lost, which nature had directed, and turned aside to where the victors ordered. Turned around is your Jordan, as you say, and it returns to its source, that it may offer a route to you, Cloelia the Roman maiden did not lack it, [p. 398] who with broken chains escaped the enemy and racing with the river took herself into the Roman camp. Nor are we amazed at your fires, from which Hebrew boys to have escaped you are accustomed to put out great songs. Our Mucius with no one forcing him put his hand in the fire, and did not remove it, until victor over the fire the miracle of his bravery, which did not feel the flames, confounded the enemy. Finally they asked for peace who were hoping for triumph. And truly did those celestial beings bring out food to you and meat of the rivers against Roman valor? But it behooved you to consider the nourisher itself of the world Africa to have been subjected by Roman courage. It is a slave to us which feeds everyone, in our power if the hunger of everyone and the nourishment of the whole world. What nature gave to all, Roman valor has made its property. It defeated Hannibal himself and forced him into exile, whom of the whole world it did not capture, for whom Africa was too narrow, Spain was seen not suitable for lingering, Gallia confined for traveling, Italy unworthy of a treaty of friendship and the partnership of an alliance. Although you throw away what the lightning fought for for you, the celestial powers have fought for, we conquered Hannibal riding the lightning and thundering with the storms of the world itself: the world shook and he beat our walls with arms. Nor truly was it necessary, that our enemies like your Assyrians be killed while sleeping, but fighting. For not in sleep is victory sought, but in battle, it is not a prize of valor when by fortuitous favor. Our enemies not deceived by the redness of waters [p. 399] shining back at the rising of the sun rashly fell upon our troops, from the appearance of scattered blood they thought us killed, but understanding and prepared for battle they covered the fields with their bodies and refilled them with their own blood. What bravery placed you in such great arrogance? Did you not see them to serve you who governed you --- Egypt, which was accustomed to humble you, pays you an annual tribute and provides a path to the regions of India --- to go beyond the world and to seek another world, to join to our empire the secrets of the sea of the sun and the farthest stretches of the ocean and the inhabitants of another world? what? The kingdom of Antiochus, who afflicted you with severe suffering, took away the very right of religion, have we not given that back to you, thinking it more glorious to to rule over kings than to raise up a kingdom? Did not Antioch itself, the seat of your masters, zealously reject its own and choose us as masters? Have not you yourselves fled to us, that you might avoid them as masters? Did we not receive you and defend you against them? We protected you that you might live by your laws, we gave you the freedom to be devoted to your religion. We wished to understand your religious rites but we respected them, afterwards you believed you must rebel. Pompeius captured the temple but he did not destroy it, he seized the city but he preserved it, he saved all the sanctuaries untouched, for which things, o grateful associates, you returned this payment to us, that you waged war for third time. Nero had to be despised, but Roman power was not paid out in one man, but had the soldier Vespasian, who had already recalled the Gauls to peace, who was so strong in battle, that through [p. 400] him even Nero succeeded, through him Nero was formidable to his enemies, he was faithful to his lord, so that alone he did not seek the rule which alone he merited. But Cestius offended. It behooved that the quarrel be put off, not that arms be introduced. My father Vespasian was sent who unexpected was able to pour himself against those unready, he went through Galilaea, he destroyed over a wide area, that you would put aside arrogance, that you would ask for pardon. He exhibited valor and, when he held all men closed in, he went to Egypt, that he might grant an armistice to those becoming reasonable. Our absence made you more arrogant, because you thought us occupied; but we were never so occupied, that we were absent from the world. For even absent we were in attendance and positioned at a distance we took a position nearer. For as the soul in the body makes live all its members, thus Roman foresight is present in all parts of its empire and governs the entire Roman world as if present. But if to every soul that divine force gives the power of managing the body, how much more so to the Roman vigor by which as if one the body of our entire empire is animated, it furnished a certain resource of protecting its vitals. And so you renewed the war which had been suspended. And so my father about to set out for the city Rome that would be taken back from the tyrants separated me from his society lest an executor of his responsibility should be lacking to you. I came to a war with appearance of wasting away, the impression of asking. How many times from your walls have I called back the army? How often have I withdrawn from the inner shrine of your temple? How often have I put out fires? How often have I warned you? But you have never listened. Now finally you are asking, as if now anything might remain such as what has already been consumed? Nevertheless I rouse the soldiers from slaughter burning plundering. What do you want, why do you stand still armed, as if about to give out conditions, not about to receive them? --- if [p. 401] you seek surrender, put down your arms no longer fearing the victors, but proud in defeat and full of arrogance ---so that you ask armed as if you doubt our good faith or threatening war are you yet provoking force? The people have been destroyed. The temple is burning, we hold the city. Surviving what do you hope for unless that life be granted to you? So then put down your arms as if conquered, I will grant you to live, although you do merit it, for you refused to save what are your things with yourselves." Then they began to seek, that to them bound by oath, they at no time would surrender themselves to the Romans, that he would grant them permission of going out through the wall, they would proceed with their families into the desert, yielding the city to the Romans. More enraged by this Titus: "even now," he said, "you impose conditions on us? But defend rather your country, be in attendance at the temple, rise up with all your valor, observe the sacrament of death, because you have rejected life." And at the same time he ordered the Romans to rise up to kill the enemy. Many began to waver to the great indignation of the victors. However the sons of king Iaza surrendered themselves with his brothers and many of the people with them. Nor did Titus, although aroused to anger, revoke his offer in contemplation of the royal summit, but received those fleeing. He made the profit of his sense of duty only however, which is the greatest. For the originators of the rebellion snatched away all the booty of the royal home, so that nothing from it should reach the Romans.
XLVII. At the same time however an attack having been made that they broke into the royal court, rushing two of the Roman soldiers, they killed one man of the foot soldiers, a horseman demanded that he be taken to Simon alleging himself to have, what he insinuated would be remembered to the leader of the rebellion. But led to him when he wove certain untrustworthy things, he was ordered to be killed, while the executioner is delaying, his eyes already bound with a bandage, he tore himself away to the Romans. Who fighting hand to hand received him fleeing. And led to himself Titus as unworthy of the death of a man, who was able to be captured alive by the enemy, stripped of his weapons ordered to be discharged reserving to him what through the idleness of the enemy he had not lost, taking away the oath of military service, because a captive he surrendered, a deserter he was dishonored. That for him was the greatest punishment, among men there are even worse disgraces of military service than wounds of death. The Jews however immediately driven back took themselves to the high part of the city the defense of the temple and the city having been abandoned. A great massacre was enforced against those who had remained, the ways were filled with bodies and the half-dead. Now too Caesar ordered the war machines to be moved to the high places, which seeing the Idumaeans chose men whom they would send to Titus, who would ask him for surrender. That having been learned Simon prevented and intercepted the men chosen for seeking surrender, but the Idumaeans not much later, although disappointed in the assistance of their leaders, when they were unable to hold back the attack longer, surrendered themselves to the Roman army. Thus first starvation and finally despair of resisting accomplished the surrender. Nor did the Romans already weary from the great slaughter deny the concession of life and with eagerness for selling the captive slaves were quick to save their lives. There were many on sale but few buyers, because Romans refused to hold Jews as slaves, nor were Jews left who could buy back their own, since each congratulated himself to have escaped although destitute. And so everywhere they surrendered themselves fear having been removed, inasmuch as robbers were absent, the Romans pardoned them.
XLVIII. Finally Jesus, one of the priests the son of Thebutus, surrendered himself and vessels of the priestly services, two lamps, tables, basins and plates and all the gold vessels, and both the curtains and the clothing of the leaders [p. 403] of the priesthood with jewels, a pledge of safety having been accepted, he surrendered willingly. And Fineas was seized also, the keeper of the treasury, he pointed out much purple and scarlet dyed cloth and many other things of the priests, which were being saved for use. With which he handed over also cinnamon, cassia, and many spices and incense, many vessels also of the sacraments and the sacred garments, but forced by fear, from which among his own people it was a crime meriting sale as a slave. However although the wish was lacking, the power ought not to have been lacking. Although generally we judge more sternly, than we are able to guard against, if we dwell in such need, made a minister and proof of betrayal we ought to run away.
XLIX. Already the ramparts had risen up and the battering rams had began to strik the higher wall: on the seventh day of the month, which they call Gorpieum, it came to the end, disordered and terrified the leaders themselves of the factions also, who in extreme dangers behaved insultingly, they each fell on their knees praying for help. It was discerned how pitiable the change was from that terrible and haughty summit into this humble and plebeian degradation, into tears of weeping from fear. Not yet had the wall of the upper city yielded, already they rushed about individually, bewailing that no garrison remained, they thought that the enemy had made entry, many seemed to themselves to see the Romans fighting as if already from the higher locations, what the mind feared the eyes fashioned and the fear in the mind became the appearance of what was seen. Finally believing it certain that the enemy was already pressing upon their necks, to whom the three towers Mariamne et Fasaelus and Equestris much stronger than the rest still remained, they deserted the heights fleeing to underground cellars [p. 404] or hidden caves. Iohannes however not much later emaciated from hunger and weak from fasting surrendered himself to Caesar, who spared for the triumph but tied up in perpetual chains carrying them till death having tested more the spirit of life than a wish to live escaped the executioner's axe. Simon on the other hand as yet hid inside the ruins of the burned out city hiding himself with a few faithful supporters in underground chambers. Caesar had already departed from the burned city considering that Simon had likely been burned up by fire or crushed by a collapse or killed by some soldier. But truly he, as long as food was available, in a dug out pit was digging further, but when both food came to an end and no solution of escaping revealed itself, suddenly he crept out above ground covered with a white and purple garment over his clothing, that he might strike fear into those seeing him, who first orders the astounded Roman soldiers that they should take him to their leader. In that place was Rufus Terentius, whom Titus had left in place as prefect of the soldiers. Who arriving asked who he was first other things, afterwards he confessed himself to be Simon. Whence he was sent to Caesar and was himself saved for the triumph. But because he had exercised savage behavior against the citizens and had not surrendered himself to Caesar, he was sentenced to death after the celebration of the triumph. On the eighth day of he month Gorpieium the city was completely burned. Innumerable thousands were killed through all he time of the seige --- most assert ninety myriads --- all Jews however, but not all of the same region and place, for they came together there from all sides at the time of the celebration of Passover. Captives were led away to the number ninety seven thousand, almost all the brigands were immediately killed, those who were the strongest were led through the triumph afterwards thrown to the beasts, [p. 405] given to other punishments through almost all the cities, on the route Titus traveled, that by the punishment of the rebellions he might scatter fear into everyone.
L. At the same time the Alani, a wild people and long unknown, because of the difficulty of their interior location and the barrier of the iron gate, which Alexander the Great established at the summit of the steep mountain, with other wild and fierce tribes were held back within, they resided in Scythicum Tanain and its neighbor and the Meotis marshes as if shut inside a prison and are remembered for the talent of their king, so that they might cultivate their own lands, they did not make raids upon others. But whether because of the barrenness of the place, because the fruitfulness did not answer the wishes of a greedy farmer with the hoped for returns, or because they stirred up the king of the Hyrcanians, who was in charge of the place, with the desire for pillaging, unsure of the tribes because of the reward and the dissension between them, that an unbarred gate would give him the opportunity of a sally. Which having been achieved they poured themselves upon the people of the Medes unprepared in a short time with swift horses and others equally tied to their right hands, upon whom they leaped in turn when it pleased them, they overran almost the entire region, so that at first they threw everything into confusion and gave the appearance of a great multitude, against which no opportunity of escape was open, then all having been beset, then as much slaughter having been put forth as they wished, they took away their booty. For this was a region crowded with people and abounding in cattle, which with no one resisting was easily opened to plundering. Indeed Pacorus himself, the king of the Medes, took himself into hidden places for safety rather than looking out for the kingdom, with the result that his wife and children and concubines taken captive by the Alanians were afterwards ransomed for one hundred talents. Nor was Tiridates, the king of Armenia, exempt from danger, but more on guard against foreign mischief, he foresaw the raid and strongly even [p. 406] wished to go to meet it, that he might turn the enemy from his territories. While he was fighting however caught in a lariat he would have submitted alive into the power of he enemy, if he had not quickly cut through the shapeless knot with a sharpened sword. For with a certain arrogance of their own bravery and a proud disdain for others, at the same time they pretend with great trickery a familiar custom of fighting at a distance to themselves and taking the opportunity of fleeing, the skill of the Alanians and their method of fighting is to hurl nooses and bind up their enemy.
LI. And so Tiridates fled, to whom it was sufficient to have escaped. He left his kingdom however to be plundered. For as it were the injury having been received, because he had dared to meet them, they laid waste Armenia more violently than the kingdom of the Medes. And so with the spoils of each rich kingdom they made a retreat to their own country. Whose incursion having been learned Titus traveled to Antioch, slowly however as became one celebrating a triumph, and concealing the reason he celebrated the pomp of victory through each city. Jews were killed in the arena, wherever he went, torn to pieces by beasts they paid out the due reward of rebellion. The gentile people of Antioch also from ancient hatreds inveighed against them, for the reason that the kings of the Persians, had conveyed to the Antiochian synagogues what donations they had claimed from the city of Jerusalem by right of victory having bestowed other things of their own also. And so the piled up wealth easily aroused envy. For as we now omit those things, which rival priests carried on against the Machabaeans and that there was a desire for a great slaughter of the citizens, as we mentioned previously, Antiochus afterwards having arisen not from the common people but lost to custom a crime having been committed, that the Jews had conspired to destroy the city of Antioch by fire, forced to death his own father, who was in the first rank of the Jews, and many others accused [p. 407] by this attack of the gentile multitude. Nor sated with that murder and the slaughter of many he did not rest, but afterwards also having found an excuse, because afterwards it happened that by a chance fire a covered walkway of the same city and a public square and a great part of the buildings were burned, he began to blame the Jews again by the deceit of the aforementioned conspiracy and to attack them. And he would have accomplished the slaughter of almost all, if not that the knowledge kept back from Titus arriving was a fear, that Caesar would be provoked by the punishment unlawfully undertaken of so many. That thing was the saving factor for the Jews.
LII. At Masada also many of the Jews relying on the fortification of the place assembled themselves, whose task of assaulting Titus considering beneath him, because he possessed the general-ship, he committed to Silva, to whom he had entrusted the greater task of of the Roman military in these places of taking precautions lest something again of rebellion should arise. He himself hastened to Alexandria and from there he crossed by ship to Rome. Silva diligently pursuing the task imposed upon him destroyed the wall of Masada with the battering ram. They had constructed the interior with wood for the reason that the wall material would not readily yield to the blows of siege machines of this type. But the Romans the manner of fighting having been changed threw fire, which both easily stuck fast to the wood and grew strong without any delay. And so a great roar was produced by the full grown conflagration of the blaze, which at first was driven back from parts of the fortification by the breath of the north wind and instead burned the shelters of the Romans, then the breath of the south wind having arisen turned itself back against the fortress, so that the material having been consumed all that wooden wall opposed burned up. The Romans since night had intervened, secure of victory took themselves into camp, so that on the following day they might vanquish those unprotected and stripped of all help. But so that no one might escape they surrounded the fortress with stationed guards. [p. 408]
LIII. And so things having been despaired of Eleazarus the originator of the disturbance seeing nothing of a help to be left delivered this speech, which we as a mournful conclusion for finishing the work have not let pass in a rhetorical manner: "What are we to do, men descended from Abraham, a royal race, unconquerable by virtue of priestly favor? For not from the outcome of victory, which is frequently uncertain, but from the steadfastness of a way of life is character seen. From which it is permitted to conclude, because for the enemy to make us subject is fate, not to change your attitude of mind is the act of courage. Rightly therefore I have designated you unconquerable, if no fear of death has as yet conquered you. But not thus did father Abraham instruct you, who in his one son taught, his was not to be death but immortality, if he was sacrificed for his religion. What may I say about Iosias, than whom no one was a better interpreter of religion, a scorner of death, a champion of liberty? For he stationed on that royal dais to whom it was permitted to put off death, however because he saw on account of grave sins there would be captivity of the people of Israel, embroiled himself in another's war, he fled from life. Nechao proclaimed: I am not sent against you, but against the king of Israel. He however did not retreat before he underwent the lethal blow of an arrow. Routed by which wound he is an indication to us, whether in war merit or chance is more important. Iosias the restorer of the holy rites was conquered, Nechao the most wicked of all won, but he the conquered is now with the angels, he the winner is in torment. For who does not know, that the reward for men is not stored in this life, but after the finishing of this struggle? For we run to this, that we may arrive there at the palm, here the struggle, there the reward. Therefore there is not here [p. 409] any favor in a long lifetime. Abel quickly died, Cain survived. Thus there was death for innocence and hardship for life. From that we have come to the same fate, that to live would be a misery, to die would be blessed. For what is life except a prison for the soul which is confined within this prison and adheres to a carnal partner? By whose infirmities it is shaken, by whose labor it is afflicted, by whose wrath it is made weary, by whose lusts it is set on fire, it is vexed by madness, nor bound to the ground can it easily raise itself, mingled with dust, bound with chains, entangled in fetters. Not mediocre however is the power that makes live the body and pours into material incapable of sensation the vigor of feeling, and its soul confers this invisibly to every one, and rules the entire man and carries beyond human frailty, so that it seizes knowledge of the heavenly secrets, as it strains the mind to the future. And so it is not seen in the image and resemblance of its leader, since it is located in the body, not is it discerned with eyes belonging to the body, not is its entrance and exit detected by any act of looking. Representing the image of a divine gift, when it enters it pours in life, when it withdraws from the body it effects death. Where there is the soul there is life, where it is lacking there is death. Whatever it has visited is awakened, whatever it has left behind is immediately loosened and forthwith shrivels up. The dead rises with the infusion of the soul, the living is deprived of life by its departure. Who therefore doubts, that there seems to be in it the result of immortality, whose virtue is to turn aside death? That however is a burden to it, although it redounds to the advantage of another, and what it gives to a body, it takes from itself. For it is made heavy and as it were bends toward the earth with that mortal body. And so the life of the body is the death of the soul, and again the death of the body seems the freedom of the soul. For while we are in the body, our soul serves [p. 410] a wretched servitude which is exiled from paradise and wanders from its leader. When however it has been freed of these fleshly chains, it flies back to that pure and splendid higher place and is in attendance to its lord god and enjoys the dwelling places of the saints and the company of the blessed, it rejoices because it now has no communion with the dead, and has left behind the companionship of the dead body, heavenly grace has breathed upon it, nor does any irritation of human cares disturb it. Quiet is the proof to us, how much grace the soul recovers after the death of the body. With the body put to sleep and its desires and all its commotions as if dead we keep company with the saints more often, we recover what we have lost, and the absent are present with us and the dead live and every grief is at rest, and we approach and talk with god, we become acquainted with the future, there is respite from afflictions, there is freedom for slaves. Therefore because sleeping we dream, dead we gain this, and what in sleep is a phantom, this in death is the possession of truth and the favor of liberty. Whence in some peoples the custom is, that the birth of men is celebrated with wailing, their death with gladness, because they grieve those born to troubles, they rejoice for those who have returned to blessedness, they are in sorrow for the souls of those who have come into servitude, they rejoice for the souls of those who have returned to liberty. The wise men of the inhabitants of India are said, when they have put on the affliction of dying, to testify that they wish to depart and want none to interfere. Then when the state of death has approached, they leap happy upon the burning funeral pile and say farewell to those standing near, the wives grieve as if abandoned, and small children because they are being left behind, others neither bless nor envy because they are hastening to better dwellers, more splendid places, a purer fellowship. What therefore [p. 411] can I think otherwise about you, when even uncivilized peoples have the custom of pursuing liberty? And so you have long been well known to me and prepared to follow the customs of your fathers, which you think must be served neither to the Romans nor to any people but to god alone, who alone is the just and true lord of all, the day has come, who exacts to prove the will with actions and not dishonor the brilliance of ancient innate character, that born in liberty you place yourselves under the despotism of men, especially when it was permitted to you previously to be a slave without peril, now however it is necessary to accept dire punishments with slavery, if we should offer ourselves to be slaves to the empire of the Romans, whom we first of all provoked to war and last still are holding with arms. We did not give the emperor offering peace our hand, we gave it to Silva threatening harshness? O unhappy people, to what hope of this life will we reserve ourselves? So be it, let the enemy forgive. What will it profit, since the displeasure of god is evident? The fires have been turned round from the enemy against us, the breezes of the winds have been changed, the flames turned back, so that our reinforcements were burned down. Who will be able to live with god opposing? There is no place for pardon, but the power of a voluntary death is evident. Why indeed has night intervened, if not that the enemy should not prevent us, that he the wall defence having been burned down should not immediately break in, but that time of exercising a mutual death should be saved to us and it would be permitted to die with our children and relatives, that we not see breathless old people to be dragged off by the Romans, our dear wives to be dragged off for the pleasure of the victor? Let us die together for our country lest surviving we be a reproach of great shame. Whee then shall we flee from the face of god, or where shall we go with the lord of heaven hostile to us? If the mountains fall upon us and hide us with empty caves, how nevertheless will we be able to avoid the anger of such great power? Where indeed shall we go, where god is not, since he is everywhere? Or are they mediocre precedents, by which we are taught, that already for a long time [p. 412] he has been angered against our people on account of our sins, whom he was guarding? Who doubts this, when he considers, that our hands are turned against ourselves, domestic strife has killed more than war? I will not grant to the Romans that they have conquered, nor do they claim this for themselves, who know, that we have almost all been destroyed by our own rather than by another's arms. What Roman arms indeed did the Jews inhabiting Caesarea see, on whose leisure day of the sabbath during the customary celebration of religious rites a multitude of the gentile Caesarea inhabitants by a sudden attack and madness sent from above destroyed twenty thousands burned up, it put all to flight, so that it emptied the entire city? Did not a certain madness fill all Syria, so that Jews and gentiles situated in these same cities and resident aliens connected previously by favor to themselves afterwards clashed between themselves in arms, by which a channel of future victory to the Romans was set up? For what shall I say of Scythopolis? Where the Jews were first straining, that they should forestall the gentile populace, lest something should be plotted against our people according to the example of the other cities. And so the Jews for whom it was suitable the men joined together to fight in battle against the foreigners, on the contrary fought against themselves, so that part of them fought against their kinsmen and neighbors with the gentiles, then they as the reward for their labor and blood expended were destroyed by the gentiles, because they prohibited to become gentiles. The inhabitants of Damascus with no reason existing killed eight thousand of the Jews, the Ascalonitans two thousand five hundred. In the city also, which has the name Ptolomais, two thousand were killed. In truth at Alexandria the hatred between the Jews and the the people of the tribes was long standing, for which reason Alexander the Great made use of the zeal of the Jews for making subject the Egyptians, from which the city having been founded privileges were allotted equally to the Jews and Egyptians and [p. 413] different places of residence, so that their religious observances would not be mixed together, who wished to preserve their own purifications without any contagion. From this cause there were frequent conflicts between them. Quarrels arose, judgement was sought; nothing however by means of the great king was proven to have been violated. But afterwards a disturbance having been begun by the gentiles, when some of the Jews were killed, some were held for punishment, the people of the Jews aroused by the injury rose up against the originators of the injury, and when they wished stubbornly to go avenge themselves on the citizens, the Roman army was brought in, which routed the fifty thousand Jews within the city. Truly why do I linger over slight matters, when the destruction of an entire city in the ruin of a single state should be lamented by us? Where is the great city of Jerusalem, where the splendid Zion, where the wonderful temple, where that second tabernacle, the shrine of sanctity, where alone once in the year the chief of the priests was wont to enter not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the transgression of the people? It has been profaned by the people, they who destroyed it live in the remains of the city. Where, I say, are you, a city crowded with people, with august kings, acceptable to god, the seat of grace? Your pavements of marble, your walls shining with marble, your roofs were bright with precious marble, your gates glistening with gold, other places shining with silver. All have been killed, both who inhabited you continuously and who came to you from the parts of the earth of the entire world, so that there is no doubt the entire world to have perished in you. Laid bare laid bare is everything, burnt to ashes from the roofs, overthrown from the foundations, your residence has been made a wilderness nor is there anyone who lives in the tabernacles. And is there anyone whom it pleases to live and whom it does not grieve to have lived? Unfeeling eyes, which are able [p. 414] to see these things, cruel minds, who are able to wish, what remains from such griefs, not that the slaughters have ended, but that still there is no rest. For on what may we cast our eyes or what does it delight to see? The entire city if a tomb of the dead, only ashes meet those looking, the streets are empty of the living filled with bodies. The wretched old people in ash covered old age and torn clothing sit above the remains of the dead covering the bare bones, by which they defend them from the birds and the beasts. A few women at the entrance whom the wicked soldier has saved for indecency, not for life. Who seeing this and thinking on the following days of living would dare to raise his eyes to heaven? Who is so forgetful of his country, of their enemy, averse to pity, free from sweetness, whose soft spirit of the half-man, who is so fearful, whom it does not shame to have been saved for this? Oh would that we had first died, or if life had survived, that the light of our eyes had perished, before we looked upon our sacred city destroyed by the hands of the enemy, and this temple dedicated to god by our ancestors so irreverently burned by flames, or we should see the priests lying dead in the temple. Let us emend therefore that we have outlived these evils, that we appear to have put off death not from the desire for life but from the purpose of manliness. The enemy have walled in every fortification, nothing survives except we and our wives. Already for themselves they put our sons up for public sale, and fight among themselves, who shall lead away whose wife, whether they should be distributed according to the services of the rank of the persons or whether the wretched persons should be forced to undergo a lottery. For us also they are preparing prodigies of punishments, the most exquisite torments, not only burning flames and different deaths by the blow of the avenging axe, a harsh punishment even after the chains, after the prison, after the yoke, but [p. 415] more tolerable to men because it is free from mockery, but even limbs wrenched from the living and especially hands cut off. And not unjustly, because they are wanting their service, who could come to their aid. Undergoing also the jaws of wild animals as a spectacle for the victors, which already celebrated in different arenas of the cities ought to be causing shame to us as a warning or as a wretched practice, that we are saving ourselves either for the beasts or about to fight with our brothers. Why therefore should we delay? There is not a free choice for us which we fear to avoid. If we are unwilling to kill our children because of pity or ourselves because of valor, it will be necessary that we kill our brothers or our neighbors through disgrace. Love persuades this, the victors exact this. If we are unwilling to perform the service of duty, we will be forced to undergo the mockery of a parricidal procession. Let us therefore undertake what will benefit our children and wives. If they are weak, let us remove them from future cruelties, if they are strong let us conquer with the compassion of parents, of the affection of relatives, and in this we defeat the enemy, from whom we remove booty. This manliness exacts, this decency persuades. Not to fear death is bravery. And indeed we ae all born for death and we beget children for death, whose death is attributed to nature, whose captivity is attributed to shame. Therefore those whom we are not able to rescue from danger, let us rescue from mockery. Let you fathers have compassion for your children, husbands for your wives, let us all have compassion for little children, what is especial, for our own, while there is the possibility of offering compassion, that we feel compassion for our own, that we do not seem born and saved for dishonor. Who indeed is able to endure that fathers be killed in the presence of their sons, sons in the sight of their parents, men weary with old age to be dragged to their deaths or what is worse to slavery women with disheveled hair to be led away in view of their husbands and be dragged violently to shame, to hear the voice of a wailing small child calling his father, that he should help him seeking aid, when already [p. 416] hands bound you may hear in vain and captive necks placed under the yoke? Therefore while our hands are still free, while we unsheath our swords, let us approach the task, which the triumphant enemy may marvel at. Let our wives receive the last gift of our conjugal love as a dotal inheritance. We pour back these keys to them as a new testament of family, that they are our heiresses of liberty. They themselves urge this, certainly they deserve what they wish, being forced by what they escape. Nor will the small children fear the sword, which they because of their age do not know, which they ought to receive from their dutiful parents, so that they truly become free. To us also what will be outstanding, if we first burn up the stronghold, let us however spare the grain, lest they think we forced by hunger rather than encouraged by the zeal of valor to have seized the service of mutual slaughter? Let us give them food replete with blood, and if the flames shall burn it, the fumes themselves of the burned crops will be proof that what abounded to the besieged was destroyed by those being besieged. After that each one should offer himself to the wound and about to die defend his country and solicit in rotation with a last embrace. May our country be for us the tomb of freedom, which was the home of self-respect. This mound is fitting for our burials, that we may be protected by the folds of valor." Aroused by such an oration the rest held their swords drawn, they gave kisses to their wives, they took their children in an embrace, shedding tears at the same time and hastening, that they should forestall the enemy, "this to you," he said, "a pledge of love, we give as the solace of a last obligation." And with emotion manfully suppressed they shut out suffering, they finished the slaughter. The fearless wives offered themselves to the wound for the preservation of their chastity. They put on also the courage of their husbands. And so their relatives killed, their children also, they chose the strongest, who would follow up the completion of the killing. And so all were killed, nine hundred sixty with small children and wives. One woman alone survived, who hid five sons in the aqueduct, while the rest stretched out for the last necessity. She awoken to calling at dawn by the arriving Romans was the informer of the activity. Their wealth having been put aside by them earlier fire consumed it.
BOOK V OF HEGESIPPUS ENDS HERE.
THE TRANSLATION OF HEGESIPPUS ENDS HERE
1. Translator's note: that is, things are not turning out well for the Romans.
2. Translator's note: as written by Hegesippus in Latin there were four men involved, namely Tepthaeus, Magassarus, an Adiabenian, and Agiras, but in the Penguin Classic version of Josephus as translated into English by Williamson from the Greek there were only three men, with Agiras being the name of the Adiabenian.
3. Translator's note: i.e., the Romans.
4. Translator's note: Matthais now begins to speak to Simon.
5. Translater's note: Thyestes offered the flesh of his son as food.
6. Translator's note: this last bit is surely a later interpolation into the text by some Christian copier.
7. Translator's note: imperator, here not "emperor" but "imperator" a title granted by the troops to a successful general.
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