Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Hegesippus, translated from Latin into English (2005). Book 2


[Translated by Wade Blocker,]


[p. 128]

I. Herod having been buried the judgments of the people were drawn out as they customarily are against the dead: he was oppressive and intolerable to them; a tyrant not a king he enforced an unjust rule against the citizens; an assassin of his own family members, a plunderer of the people, who left behind nothing for anybody; taxes increased, everything taken away, foreigners enriched, the Jews impoverished; who brought an enemy into the temple, who defiled all things sacred by sacrilege. He rewarded those who were unworthy, while tortures were not lacking for the living, after the release from captivity Judea endured more evils in a few years under the rule of Herod than it sustained in the captivity itself under a barbarous enemy, when the kings of the Babylonians ruled them. Beneath them exile was more tolerable than living at home under Herod, [p. 129] released to their homeland by the former, driven into exile by the latter. More savage than Darius, more haughty than Artaxerxes, more rapacious than the Medians. To have hoped for an end to their evils, as it was permitted them to go out from exile, if he should end his day, but Archelaus as his voluntary successor invoked the misery of servitude, who would renew Herod and add new things. This misfortune in the kingdoms was that the master was chosen, the greater misfortune that he was imposed upon the unwilling. It is seen a solace of servitude, if they choose a master for themselves, that because he is more kindly if the supreme power is bestowed, more haughty if it is seized upon. By far therefore Archelaus would be more intolerable than Herod because the first seized the throne, the latter received it. These things were not only in Judea deliberated, but thrown in his face even in Rome Archelaus standing against vociferous accusers before Caesar and the senate, where it was long contested about confirming the kingdom of Archelaus or denying it. Finally when in the temple of Apollo, which Caesar had founded, and embellished with many ornaments, the opportunity was given for investigation, the son Antipater of Salome powerfully in speaking described in detail those things we mentioned above and many others: himself to marvel that Archelaus was alleging that the kingdom was being sought from Caesar, when he had already by a daring usurpation long exercised the kingship inside Judea without Caesar having been consulted. Why was the golden seat and the crown brought forth unless they were emblems of the kingdom? With what arrogance had he presumed to sit upon the royal throne? From the lofty throne to greet the people encompassed by surrounding military ranks; in the certain manner and practice of emperors the crown to be brought forth, which ought to have been preserved for the judgment of Caesar not only in behalf of the power of the Roman empire but in accordance with the law of testament. Indeed Herod had not been able to snatch from Caesar or [p. 130] the senate, what he had accepted from the senate or received from Caesar, and to have expressed adequately by an earlier testament an indication of his own wish, by which in sound mind and considered judgment he declared Antipas to succeed him in the royal power, and by a later to have reserved all things to the judgment of Caesar, although at this time of sound body, disturbed by the great danger and not capable at this time of any understanding or judgment he dictated not what he was thinking but what was forced upon him. The seizer of power therefore proclaimed about himself that he was not deserving by your judgment, Caesar, to be substituted in the kingship, for if he had been confident of his merit, he would have hastened to seek rather than to seize. Moreover by not seeking but by usurping those things that were set forth in the petition even to prejudge in money matters he mitigated that wrong-headed litigants might prejudice their cases. Here truly not the gain of property was called into question but the law of the Roman empire was violated, respect was disdained, its power was despised; the senate of the Roman court, which was accustomed to grant and to take away the kingship, was deemed unworthy, that it should maintain with Caesar the long established prerogative of conferring the supreme authority. Which was about to be done, when he began to be king lawfully, who before the royal power had grown haughty? In addition he had killed very many, because wearied by things they had asked for help and the alleviation of the taxes, he inflicted war on those demanding relief, he killed eight thousand Jews engaged in the venerable celebration itself among them of the Passover, men sacrificed instead of sheep, the blood spilled of the consecrated who had come together for the feast of the temple, a pitiable spectacle. If anyone should review the slaughter of those killed, he would think the Babylonians to have returned. How much more cruelly were those things committed by a citizen which in a barbarous enemy [p. 131] were considered full of savage cruelty and impiety? This dole he gave to the citizens, with this offering Archelaus committed the beginnings of his royal power. Caesar and the senate ought to pity the remnants of Judaea, which once supported by free peoples chose slavery, if only it should be permitted to endure tolerably under a just king. For a long while a king was away from the right of governing, since indeed to none among the Jews was the royal power suitable, unless to him who should be from the begetting of Juda, as the law asserted. But in truth that Idumaean race, which no origin of royal lineage touched, had crept into the honor not due them, inasmuch as, Antipater was an ancestor to them and to Archelaus, outstanding in wealth and strong in other skills and especially in the friendship of the Romans and proven in war to the elder Caesar. Since he was able to take over the kingdom for himself, he had never however aspired to it, moreover he preferred to fend off with others rather than to provide for himself, and deservedly he was considered as a good parent, who had delivered Judaea into freedom with his own wounds and had not led it into servitude. Herod by the testimony of Antonius who had been a paternal host to him had aspired to the kingdom; from him the condition of the Jews had been impaired, he had acted as an enemy not as a guide. Since therefore he has been a seducer itself of the kingdom, in what way could a legitimate king be created from him? It is not to be deprecated however that they are less under the kingship, but to demand that beneath the Roman whose favor to themselves had already been achieved in the Macchabaeans they had afterwards degenerated so much through the usurpation of the kingdom, that they were much inferior to those against whom they sought the Roman alliance. Finally themselves to pray 'that Judaea might obtain a guardian judgment from you under the condition that Syria had, by which a test of our devotion might be given, [p. 132] whether we who are called seditious and rebellious are able to be submissive to moderate judges'. Against these things Nicolaus responding in behalf of Archelaus claimed that a most stormy nation had paid the penalty for arrogance, lest from this especially Archelaus should be indicted on the grounds of an inexcusable offense, if through sedition they should disturb the peace and depart from the Roman alliance in spirit and with arms. About the display of the testament who should doubt, ' both that the last should customarily be preferred to those earlier and ought to be seen as much more valid than the rest, in which last the prerogative of confirming the royal power is reserved to Caesar, by which respect for the Roman name would be increased rather than diminished, and also there should not be taken away from kings by you, Caesar, what is allowed to private citizens, that their testaments are valid, and whom they wish most strongly to succeed them which they write with their final pen, and by them again that conferring of honor upon you is preserved, that the confirmation of the judgment should be sought from you, that he should succeed whom the father has chosen, you should approve? When therefore was Herod wiser, when he reserved to you, Caesar, the prerogative, or when he disregarded it? When Antipas is substituted, Caesar is disregarded, When Archelaus is chosen as successor, Caesar is approved of, without this support nothing is firm. And so by divine judgment, when justice was absent, when support has been lacking for either deceit or goodwill: when however fairness of mind was at hand, support was sought, that the judgment should be confirmed. Consider therefore whether he committed an injury who chose you, or if that ought to be rescinded which he left to be ratified by you as judge, the master of all things, to whom by right even kings concede power. For he who has investigated whom he should choose for confirmation, has certainly investigated whom he should choose [p. 133] for ruling, nor was he able to be mistaken in regard to the successor who was not mistaken in regard to the confirmer. For he who selected you as the arbiter certainly recognized that such a successor to himself should be established that he whom you would establish should not displease you.' The parties having been heard Caesar deferred his judgment. Then the decision having been discussed with the senate he placed Archelaus before the people, that he should perform the duty of a governor not with the status of a kingship. He promised however that the kingship would be granted, if he bore himself such that it should be approved. For already attempts of separation of the Israelite people were being reported . He established two tetrarchs the sons of Herod, Philippus, and Antipas who had contested with Archelaus for the kingship, he reserved a legateship for the sister of Herod who had the name Salome, and also he added other things. Also to the two daughters of Herod he added a thousand talents, which had been left to himself, having decided that they should be distributed and even another six hundred thousand and he decreed they should be shared with the children of Ferora.

II. In the meantime a certain young man, pretending to be Alexander and because of sympathy from those, to whom the task of killing had been given by Herod the father, others having been substituted in his place himself having been sent away with his brother Aristobolus, he traveled to Miletus and from thence to Rome, where it would be more difficult for him among strangers to be recognized. In which place he easily aroused the Jews most eager for new things, except that having learned these things Caesar had speedily ordered him to be brought to him by a certain Celadus who knew Alexander well. Celadus when he saw the young man, deceived by the similarity was undecided, but perceiving other information not [p. 134] to harmonize he asked where was Aristobolus. But he claimed him to remain alive on the island of Cyprus avoiding treachery there because the brothers joined together would be more easily killed. Thereon taken to Caesar he immediately revealed immunity having been promised that he relying on the appearance of similarity had pretended that he was Alexander, that he as the son of the king had obtained innumerable gifts from the Jews. Caesar laughed at the trickery, but dismissed him with immunity and those, who had bestowed gifts (upon him) as the son of the king beyond the manner of a private citizen, he pronounced to have been sufficiently punished, because with their overflowing expenditures they had suffered infinite losses. Archelaus however having set out to Judaea, charged before Caesar because of the indecency of his behaviour and his arrogance, his case having been examined between the parties, is banished to Vienna and his wealth joined to the treasury of Caesar. This price he deservedly paid who had not stifled his lusts for the wife of his half brother. For when Alexander died handed over to death at the command of his father, Glafyra his wife, descended from the the king Archelaus of Cappadocia, in what way we related above, was joined in a second marriage to Iuba the king of Libya. Who having died she returned to her father. Having gazed upon her there Archelaus, who by no means considered that the brother of a married man the uncle of sons should be conscientiously fled from, thus began to love (her) to distraction, so that he cast out his wife Mariamme and substituted Glafyra in her place. Not much later, when the woman returned to Judaea, she saw [p. 135] Alexander in a dream and desired to be embraced. But he similar to one resentful having fled from the embrace was seen to say: 'This is, Glafyra, the trustworthiness of a promise? Thus you have guarded my love for you, mindful of which you ought to be? But be you: as a young woman you had not shunned a second marriage, even a third, even the brother of your husband? Thus my injury pleased you, that you did not blush for shame to return to my home married to a third husband? But let not my affront your contagion remain longer a concern for me, not for long will the incest of a fraternal marriage be joyful. The woman arose and related the dream to the household, and herself dead two days later gave credibility, that marriages of this type are not unpunished by the laws of the living or by the desires of the dead.

III. Archelaus himself also saw in dreams nine large full ears of corn being devoured by oxen, to whom inquiring the interpreter answered nine years to be indicated by the nine ears, in which great and ample power would be enjoyed. But in the ninth year of his reign there would be a change for him, because the oxen, which are accustomed to plow the fields, indicate a change full of trouble, which would consume and swallow up the previous rewards. When these things had been learned on the fifth day there came from Caesar (a man) who should conduct him to Rome for judgment, in which found guilty and driven into exile he fulfilled his dreams by his death as well. The leadership of the tribe which belonged to Archelaus was changed into the name of a province by which term the Romans, when they drove back into their power by conquering, named regions located at a great distance. There remained however [p. 136] the tetrarchs Philippus and Herodes, the last who was previously called Antipas with a changed name. For Salome dying had left the regions which she had held and the rule over her people to Livia the wife of Caesar. This was the status of Judaea when Caesar died, leaving Tiberius, his stepson, the son of his wife Livia by her previous husband, the successor of the Roman empire, in whose honor Herodes founded Tiberiadis. Philippus also thought a city should be named Livia from the name of his mother. And because it has been proposed by us to reveal the causes, by which the people of the Jews defected from the Roman empire and hastened destruction for themselves, the event indicates that Pilatus the governor of the province gave the beginning of its ruin, seeing that the first of all he did hesitate to bring into the Jerusalem temples the images of Caesar. When the people disturbed by this resisted and he decreed the images had to be received. he forced very many into death. While these things were going on in Judaea, Agrippa the son of Aristobolus arrived at Rome desiring to contend in court before Tiberius against Herodes the tetrarch, but disdained by Tiberius, while he was spending time in Rome, he associated very many to himself in friendship and especially Gaius the son of Germanicus, who whether by reason of his father's name was loved by the people, or from the nearness to the royal family was considered the closest to the supreme power, or whether by a certain presentiment he zealously cultivated, which consideration of either age or his reputation allowed, so that on a certain day raising his hands he prayed, that Tiberius would die soon and he would see Gaius as emperor. Which having been revealed by Eutychus his freedman, Agrippa by order of Tiberius is commanded into chains and tortured in the most severe fashion, [p. 137] he was not released before Tiberius concluded his life. Whose loathsome times and retirement to the wantonness of the island of Capri-- the intolerable idleness--they incited no man however of effective work to his death, from respect for the recent Roman empire, as I judge, or from terror of the savage cruelty, because generally the more painful the harshness the safer it is.

IV. With him ruling the notorious mockery of Paulina a woman of the most respectable type was made well known at Rome. Who although she had an excellent reputation for chastity, was moreover of outstanding beauty and eminent loveliness, neither tempted nor affected by the appeals of Mundus the leader of the equestrian forces, from the fault of too much superstition she was open to error, for instance by the bribed priests of Isis who as if Anubis conveyed orders to her, which invited her to the temple, himself delighted by her earnestness and modesty to request a night, he had what he wished to impart to her in private. Accepting which gladly she reported to her husband, the god was attentive to her prayers, her presence was demanded by the god, she was not able to refuse obedience. And so in accordance with her and her husband's decision she proceeds to the temple of Isis, and witnesses having been removed to a distance as if about to receive knowledge of the sacred mystery she arranged herself on her couch, thinking that her god would come to her in her dreams and show himself to her in a vision. However when something of the night had passed, by which a woman full of sleep might be more easily deceived, Mundus the mask and dress of Anubis having been assumed comes to her, he removes his garments, rushes into kisses. He says to the awakened woman that he is Anubis, he holds forth the mask of Anubis. She believes him the god, she asserts herself happy because the lord her god deemed her worthy to visit. [p. 138] She does not refuse the embrace of him seeking it, she puts the question however whether a god was able to unite to a human. He offered the examples that Alcmena had accepted Jupiter the greatest of the gods and that Leda had been gained in the sexual embrace of the same, and many others, who gave birth to gods. He persuades the woman about himself and also that a god would be borne by her, that they should mingle in intercourse. She returns to her husband quite happy, saying that she a woman had had intercourse with a god and according to his promise she would give birth to a god. The joy of the husband in the illicit intercourse of his wife is great. Afterwards Mundus met the woman and said: "You have been blessed, Paulina, by the embrace of a god, the great god Anubis, whose mysteries you accepted. But learn that you just like to gods have not denied to men, to whom they bestow what you would refuse, because they refused not to give your charms to us nor names. Behold the god Anubis called Mundus also to his sacred rites so that he should be united to you. What did your stubborness profit you, except that it deprived you of the twenty thousands which I had offered as payment. I mimicked the kind gods, who give us without price what cannot be obtained from you at great price. But if human names give offense to you, it pleases me to be called Anubis and the influence of his name supported the performance." Stricken by this speech the woman understood she had been made sport of and grieving the injury to her modesty she declared the trickery to her husband. He having nothing which he should hold against his wife, to whom he had himself allowed the opportunity of sleeping in the temple, and conscious of her conjugal chastity took the grievance to the leader. Who provoked by the abuse of a powerful man and the fabrication of this heinous crime seized the priests from the temple, subjects them to questioning, [p. 139] puts them to death when they confessed, and sinks the statue of Isis in the Tiber. The opportunity of fleeing was granted to Mundus, for the reason that overcome by the force of love and the grace of beauty it was judged that he should punished by a lighter penalty for his offenses.

V. This wantonness therefore which occurred with Tiberius reigning I thought ought not to be passed over, so that from it the impropriety of the emperor might be assessed. For indeed the life of uprightness of a good leader is a certain rule and pattern of living for all, so the filth of an emperor is a law for scoundrels. Pilatus was sent by him into Judaea, a wicked man and putting falsehoods in unimportant matters, he encircled the Samaritans as they were going to the mountain which has the name Gadir--for it was sacred to them--for the reason that he wished to learn their mysteries. And going up he outstripped the people with cavalry and infantry, he spread abroad with a contrived charge, that they had prepared to withdraw from the Romans and were seeking a place of assembly for themselves. What indeed did he not dare, who had put even Christ the lord on the cross, coming for the salvation of the human race, pouring forth upon men with many and divine works the grace of his mercy and teaching nothing other, unless that he should make peoples obedient first to god, and then to emperors? A raving man who was the servant of the madness of sacrilege, and who killed the author of salvation. And so through him the the state of the Jews as destroyed, through him there was ruin for the nation and a hastened destruction for the temple. For if Herodes, who handed over Johannes to be killed, paid the price for his treachery and cruelty (by being) thrown out from the royal power and given into exile, by how much more headlong fury is the action to be understood given (against) him who killed Christ? What was the cause of death for Johannes I shall set forth briefly. Philippus and Herodes [p. 140] who was previously called Antipas we showed above to have been brothers; the wife of Philippus (had been) Herodias whom Herodes unlawfully and wickedly associated to himself by right of marriage. Johannes did not tolerate this and said to him: "it is not lawful for you to have the wife of your brother." Then the former provoked threw Johannes into prison. And not much later he killed the just man and immovable executor of divine law. For not only as a preacher of the gospel had he blamed the incest of the brother's marriage bed, but even as an executor of the law he censured the transgressor of the law who had taken by force the wife of a living brother, especially having seed of him. Aroused by this the hatred and retribution of almost all Jews was hastened against Herodes. The supporter of whom Herodias, seeing Agrippa to have had much influence with Caesar, drove him to go to Rome, where he should win over the favor of the emperor to himself, putting before him the affront of idleness, because shunning work, while he stayed at home, he allowed indignities to be brought forward against himself. For since from being a private citizen Agrippa had been made a king, how much more therefore should Caesar not hesitate that he should confer a kingdom upon him who had already long been a tetrarch. And so by no means sustaining the reproaches of his wife, he proceeded to Rome, while he was seeking the friendship of Gaius, impugned by Agrippa he lost even the tetrarchy, which he had received from Julius Augustus, and going into exile in Spain together with his wife Herodias he died from grief of mind. Tiberius having died also Gaius succeeded, who, [p. 141] wishing himself as the ruler both to be seen as and to be called a god, gave causes to the Jews of a very serious rebellion, and lest he should destroy the empire with a quick end, made a quicker end of the nation of the Jews. For not only did he not call his men back from illegal acts, but he even threatened those sent into Judaea with the ultimate punishment, unless they accomplished with their arms everything against justice and the dictates of religion. Agrippa was very powerful in his state, but while he wished to encircle Jerusalem with a great wall, so that it would become impregnable to the Romans---for he foresaw its imminent destruction---prevented by death he left the task unfinished. Nor did he exercise less power while Claudius was ruling, because he was also in the midst of his own beginnings, since with Gaius having been killed he had been thrust by the soldiers into the rule of the empire, the senate resisting him from weariness of the royal power, he sent Agrippa as his deputy, with whom as negotiator the promise of moderation having been given, an accommodation having been begun, a peace is agreed upon. In place of Agrippa the father Agrippa his son is substituted as king by Claudius Caesar.

VI. Claudius himself also, three and ten years having passed, died, he gave Nero to the Roman empire as its ruler having been captured by the persuasions of his wife Agrippina, who was so powerful through trickeries, that she rendered Britannicus the son of the emperor designated as the successor by the law of nature without share in the rule. Whose art soon displeased her, because as long as born from her he was deferent, she denied him the leadership, unaware that exalted by his supreme power he did not acknowledge his mother and would pervert the reward of (her) assistance into her destruction. Likewise however he held Octavia the daughter of Claudius in marriage, the son-in-law was preferred to the son in topsy-turvy order, the mischiefs of the state preponderated, to which is owed the parricide, the sacrilegious man, the incestuous man, so that in him crimes, not any [p. 142] merits of good conduct, ruled. Under such an emperor, whether from consideration of his morals or scorn of his indolence or because he was preparing a final destruction for the Jews the protection of the supreme god having been withdrawn because of their severe sacrilege, there broke out into great riots, brigandage, conflicts because of their haughtiness, whom for twenty years Eleazarus the leader of the robbers oppressively plundered, finally however captured by Felix, who was in charge of Judaea, and sent to Rome he suffered severe punishment. Not thus even were the people disheartened by the number killed of those inhabiting Judaea, but in Jerusalem itself another kind of brigands sprang forth, who were called dagger-men 1. Not indeed hidden in secret, nor in nocturnal darkness lying in ambush for those going about without any guard, but in the light of day and in the middle of the city and a crowd of people, they strike whomsoever they had approached closely, carrying short swords in their hands, mingling in a crowd of people, where they pierce someone adhering close, the unsuspecting victim falls with a hidden wound, and death prevents an outcry. The corpse is in view but the assassin escaped notice, and if anyone had been alarmed by another's wound, happening closer to himself, he was a part of those struck down. Thus from the fear of the danger or the dissembling of the crime the assassin is not caught. So great was the speed of the ambushers and the skill of concealing themselves. The priest Ionathes is killed, many were added daily, the fear of the living was greater than the calamity of those killed. As if to a battle, each one came forth daily, the situation was worse however, because an enemy is foreseen, an assassin was hidden. Death before the eyes, fear in the mind. No one believed that he would return, nor was trust bestowed upon friends while the assassin was feared. By which the majority were terrified, indeed those innocent [p. 143] of the crime of brigandage or the companionship of assassins, although unhurt by the band, the less resolute purposely repaired to the desert. But while they are taking counsel with themselves, they aroused fear of a separation, from which at first a suspicion of war against the Romans, then a hatred blazed up. Alarmed by this the governor of the province, cavalry and a foot column having been sent, engendered a slaughter.

VII. Also an Egyptian false prophet instructed in the magic arts arrived, he boasted himself with the prophetic spirit to pronounce heavenly prophecies; he joined almost thirty thousand Jews to himself and assembling them at Mount Olive he invaded Jerusalem with frequent assaults, so that even he accused the Roman guards, who spread tshemselves before Jerusalem lest anything should be provoked by the people. When indeed this arrogance was suppressed, just as in a sick body another part was gravely inflamed. For many openly cried out that they should separate from the Romans, that liberty should be preferred to servitude and the food which was lacking to those who had gone out into the fields was sought by force.

VIII. Finally in the city Caesarea a serious riot broke out between the Jews and gentiles, the Jews claiming to themselves possession of the entire city as founded by the Jew Herod, the gentiles resisting that the founder was indeed a Jew, but he had made it known with the name of Caesar, and in fact had constructed temples within it and had set up statues and from that it was to be seen that it had been transferred more to the use of gentiles. The strife of these controversies turned into bands, because the leaders of the Jews were not able to restrain their people who were dedicated to rebellion and regarded the gentiles with taunts, if they thought it should be conceded to them by the Jews. And so they aroused Felix, so that while he wished passionately [p. 144] to restrain the mob of each party that was not quieting down, he decided upon arms when he was unable otherwise. To whom Festus succeeded, who very many brigands having been seized gave the by no means small number to the ultimate destruction. Albinus also the same power having been entrusted to him by the Romans let pass no type of wickedness, a flagrant of plunder, so that he who did not give money was dragged off in chains although blameless, he who gave even though guilty was set free. Avarice give birth to arrogance, so that he presented himself a tyrant to the poor, their agent to the rich. Likewise however as he went past the wickedness of his predecessors, so by his successor Florus as it were lazy and sluggish in shameful acts but passed by and left behind last in a long interval, so that in comparison with those worse, he was considered honest. And those who at first had complained as having been ruined, afterwards longed for Festus as a good judge. For he stripped individuals, Florus laid waste to cities, the most polluted in indecencies, the cruelest in barbarity, disquieting everything with arms and sowing battles from battles, who implored did not pardon and glutted did not spare. In the sight of Beronice, who the sister of Agrippa the king had come to the temple for the sake of religion, he raged against the people with the harshest slaughter, having judged that it should not be granted to one praying, although he saw him paying attention to his religion, standing with bare feet, and he considered him with contempt who was praying. From this to Agrippa the king both she herself wrote and the people of the Jews directed a prayer beseeching help for liberty. To whom returning from Egypt very many ran to meet on the road more than sixty stadia from the city of Jerusalem and led about through the city while they proved the justness of their complaints, they began to insist that he should send ambassadors to Nero. In truth he felt the pain of the citizens [p. 145] seeing however that the attempts of war against the Romans should be moved with profound prudence, lest hatred for himself and a very great danger to the people should be brought forth, to the people collected together, in that place, which next to the temple and separated by a bridge was called Xystus, he delivered a speech of this type.

IX. "Although in the majority thoughtless of taking counsel and impatient of moderation resentment may make some to seethe with angry complaints, however when counsel is taken, the effect of resentment is given up, for if I had learned that everyone out of this people so prompt at avenging injuries and at waging war against the Roman empire not to prefer the opinion of the better and quieter party which is for peace and which prefers calm, I would not have dared to come before you, nor to give advice. For it is useless to persuade what has to be done, when the assent of the hearers is for the worst. Because of the experience untried by some of the misfortunes of war, by others careless hopes of freedom, very sweet to aspire to but irrational for achieving, ---indeed while freedom is being sought servitude is enhanced, and often is taken away completely from many, to whom the name of freedom had remained, ---newness of things may excite others whom his supporters displease by present worthlessness, and if business is thrown into confusion it is considered a benefit, for that reason I considered that a consultation should be undertaken with you, lest either the sobriety of the more prudent be snatched away by the daring of the more arrogant, or so that those who do not know to be wise at least warned by our talk may recognize that there must be reconciliation with the more experienced. I recommend therefore that silence be offered, so that we may disclose those things which we think to be of advantage to you, [p. 146] and let no one of you be disturbed, if he hears something contrary to his own opinion. For no one will be able to judge how what is said may be, unless he shall have first heard it, whose approval or disapproval, since he himself is about to be the judge, disturbs to no purpose if he does not listen. It is permitted after deliberation to each one to think what he thinks and, if separation pleases him, even warned after sober considerations, to keep the opinion of his ill-advised desire. But someone says: why should I wish to be heard to no purpose, if they do not acquiesce who listen? Because if they do not wish to assent when they shall have heard, a part of the assembly will be in conflict with me, not the entire people; if however they are unwilling to listen, even when a part of the audience raises a disturbance, the profit of listening is taken away from all the people. And so my talk will die away among those who may have wished to hear it, if silence is not granted to me by even some part. For all the talk is cut off, as if it had all fallen away, as if it is deprived of life by the impediment of the tumultuous racket and the noise of the assembly. There are two things therefore to which I think response should be given first, which are in the great mass of the complaints, that very many are crying out about the injuries of the procurators and that many lament freedom for themselves to have been destroyed. The joining of which propositions it seems to me ought to be separated. For if the procurators are bad, what is necessary to achieve freedom? You should not be seen to impugn the procurators as agents of despotism not from their merits but from loathing of servitude. And if servitude is intolerable, then complaints about the procurators are superfluous. For if there is moderation in them, none the less servitude is shameful. Let us consider therefore whether in either of them there is not slight basis for wars. [p. 147] What however is more foolish than to complain about injuries and to attach a war and to change insults to dangers, while you run away from the judge, you bring on the enemy, while an unjust judge is generally an interpreter of the law, is an enemy however even always just a seeker after safety? It is fitting that a judge control himself and not be irritated, to beware an enemy, that you not aggravate another, that you not summon another, he becomes gentler with blandishments and such ought to be avoided lest he is able to do harm. Care must be taken with judges lest there be a quarrel greater than the injury and the dislike of the objection more serious than the reward of the perpetrator. For often those who at first more modestly commit offense, having been blamed are more immoderate, and who before stole secretly afterwards engage in brigandage openly. Nothing accordingly so irritates the fury of a wound than the incapacity to bear it. Finally in the fierce countrymen themselves the tightest of bonds, if they stir themselves up, are pressed in, if they should keep calm, they are loosened, the painful force of attacks of fever is lessened by tolerating it, it is increased by disturbances. But if they know country things to have regard for themselves so that they are forgetful of nature, by which they lessen pain, how much more so in men frequent experience has taught that of those who have been wounded tolerance for those wounding has been a disgrace, that without an accuser they have set right what they had not corrected by an accusation! But let it be, the arrogance of the Roman judges has been intolerable, what therefore is more tolerable, that everyone or one suffer? What moreover is the justice, when one has done the injury, to carry a war to all? Now are all the Romans the originators of the injury? Is Caesar himself? Or is the carefully chosen one dishonest who was sent to you? But they are not able to see across the seas and the eyes to stretch to the east from the west that they may see there what things are being done here, [p. 148] nor to hear easily, what, although solicitude should examine it, the great distance prevents by the difficulty of inspections. Will the fault of one therefore give birth to a separation from the Roman empire, when even without your complaints there may be a speedy correction with no ill will of an accusation, no hardship of a journey? With annual changes the Roman magistrates are moved, from which it happens that an arrogant one does not remain long and a more moderate one quickly succeeds. Nothing therefore will hurt anyone, since a remedy is bestowed even upon those who are keeping calm. To weave reasons for war is pernicious, since the condition of war is harsh against all, against the Romans it is a last resort. Whom if you wish to flee since you are not able to conquer, the world must be abandoned by you. But you allege the desire for freedom. That consideration of yours is too late. Before it had to be fought so that you would not lose your freedom, you demanded it back as if already lost. The experience of slavery is harsh, and therefore it ought not to have been submitted to from the beginning or having been accepted it ought to be borne with equanimity. It behooved to have resisted at that time, when you were called into slavery. That would have been a just fight. He however who has once given himself into slavery, although afterwards he may wish to withdraw, he is not considered as a lover of liberty, but is adjudged to be a defiant slave. Where was that defense of liberty when Pompeius was advancing upon your country, when he entered the city as your master? Where were the weapons for liberty? Why were they laid down by your fathers? And certainly they were braver than you. They were strong in mind, they had abundant forces, they desired to fight back, but they could not hold back even a small part of the Roman army. They were conquered but spared. They acknowledged the yoke of servitude, they did not bear the penalty of captivity. Why do you their heirs refuse what you owe by the law of succession? The actions of your fathers bind you. How do you refuse submission [p. 149] who are so much inferior to those who were submissive? And what will be left you when you arouse Caesar and all the Roman power against you? How can you resist them, who have triumphed in all things and are now helped by all who were fighting against them? And the Athenians even who surrendered their country to destruction for the freedom of all Greece, changing their homes for exile lest Xerxes should rule over them, who sailed across the land, marched across the waters, whom neither the seas stopped nor the land held back, the passage of his march included the space of all Europe, the boundaries of the earth narrower than the travels of his army, they so pursued him fleeing, that fleeing with scarcely one ship and lacking assistance, he took himself away from captivity. Truly these very men, who subdued all Asia because of little Salamis and gloriously put Xerxes to flight who ruled the waves and subjugated the seas in that he thought them subject to him, they now are subservient to the Romans, and the leaders of all Greece are now submissive to the commands of the Italians, and that Athens, which gave laws to others, now is a slave to foreign laws. The Lacedaemonians also after the triumphs of Thermopylae and of dead Leonidas, after Agesilaus the savior of Asia now love their masters. Macedonia and Africa, which through two very strong leaders had poured out the rule and control of the entire world into their authority, the power having been taken from them are not resentful and content with such a great change of fortune they desire the well-disposed whom they sought for slavery. Neither by the riches of Philippus nor the triumphs of Alexander [p. 150] are the Macedonians excited, which two leaders they consider not unmerited the most prudent of all, because one held himself inside Greece, the other fleeing the Roman arms arrived a conqueror all the way to the Caspian kingdoms and the limits of the Persian conquests and the remote regions of the Indians. He obtained the name of the Great, because he did not challenge the greatest of all. Whom an untimely death took away from the triumph of the Romans, it served however in his descendants by whom the plunder of the east was sought not for the support of domination but as the reward of slavery, so that the highest of the slaves might reach to the wealth of the victor. The great worth in Alexander: what was so wonderful? He extended his conquests to the ocean, the Romans beyond the ocean. The witness is Britain located outside the world but brought into the world by the valor of the Romans. They are slaves who indeed themselves did not know what slavery was having been born only for themselves and always free for themselves, who separated from the power of the strongest by an intervening ocean were not able to fear those whom they did not know. And so it was greater to have crossed to the Britons that to have triumphed over the Britons. What should be done by those elements already subject to Roman rule. The ocean taught them submission to slavery after it itself had acknowledged to itself unaccustomed servitude to the ships of the Romans and those crossing it. What shall I say about Hannibal? Who was the victor over so many countries and waged war on the Romans, to whose triumphs he opened the Alps, he laid out a path, he subjugated cities which were acquired by the victors. And although frequently victorious he never however had cut off hope to the beaten, and once beaten himself he was not able to recover. He fell back voluntarily to the victories, which as victor he did not keep up, and his arms having been abandoned to the victors [p. 151] he took himself to king Prusia, a hired soldier who had been a leader, a fugitive who had been a conqueror. A kindness to the inhabitants of Gaul a people wild by nature and wilder from the natural walls, whom not the cement of walls but the peaks of the Alps protect on the east, the ocean shuts in on the west, the ruggedness of the Pyrenees on the south, on the north the flowing of the Rhine and vast Germany were thought make them insuperable and inaccessible by the benefit of the barriers. To the Romans however traveling above the clouds and extending their rule beyond the Pillars of Hercules nothing was impassable: with great facility of the enemy both those who hid were discovered and those who resisted were conquered. From whose unexpected arrival Germany believed that the mountains had sunk down, the Rhine had dried up: more powerful than the rest from the size of their bodies and their contempt of death they previously thought their Rhine a shield, now a guardian of their safety. And so now it is filled not with the boats of the Germans but the warships of the Romans, which going over all the waters of the two-horned river to the sea press the at one time free tribes into slavery, so that those who had previously taken for granted their rule over the entire world, now have paid the price of their own slavery. What profited the Illyrians the gold dug out from the veins of their lands, to whom it was not sufficient for the fight for freedom? How much more valuable was the Roman iron, whom does the gold of the Pannonians serve? And so Pannonius gives a tribute of gold and willingly transfers its wealth to the Roman treasury, that it may be safer in its servitude. [p. 152] Nor did the wild wave turbid with the gold of the Pactolus 2 raise its inhabitant into haughtiness: it was a willing slave to those to whom it saw the states to be a slave. Nor does the Indian marvel at his jewel or the Chinese his wool: they cultivate them for the use of their masters, not the rewards of trade but the duties of performance. We hear of the proud states of the Persians but we see their hostages also, and although they may rule many nations, however they offer their children and they rejoice their nobility to serve the Romans as a pledge of peace, at the same time they learn by serving to rule themselves. They offer clothing, necklaces, elephants also. The kings impose one tax to the Romans. We add Egypt overflowing with its wealth and not lacking heavenly rain, which itself generates showers for itself and creates the abundance of showers. Finally although it is hotter than all regions, it alone does not complain of drought, and what occurs for no other place, it nourishes its crops by irrigation, it sails in the sands, it sails through the crops where rain is not known. Whose however extraordinary return and natural fruitfulness serves the Romans so that it feeds the masters during four months. What shall I say of that city named after the most powerful king? Which surrounded by the wall of a river does not know a blockade, for which the greatest of all rivers in a bowl spread out through a space of the land keeps at a distance the hindrance of a blockade and by bringing in those things which are necessary for use furnishes the remedy. What would have been more advantageous for rebelling than for Egypt to be incited? Which numbers ten times seven hundred fifty thousand men beyond the inhabitants of Alexandria subject to Roman rule. And although it has such a great multitude, it prefers however to conduct itself with the taxes of the Roman empire rather [p. 153] than to make war with its own military service. I shall not pass over the Cyrenensians a race of the Lacedaemonians who at one time fought with the Carthaginians about their territories and rule, offering death as an end of the contest, defeated by which offering but nevertheless having avenged the injury they conceded victory to the Phileni brothers. Nor shall I pass by the Syrtes 3 frightful even just to hear about which draw all to themselves and cling to all approaching in the shallow sea. Those experienced in things assert a third part of the entire world from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pillars of Hercules to the Red Sea and Ethiopia to be marked off. Who would count the people of so many races, protected by which Carthage did not withstand the right wing of Scipio and preferred to feed Rome against itself during two parts of the year rather than relying upon the help of others to rebel against the Romans? Crete also with one hundred noble cities, preferring rich kingdoms, surrounded on all sides by the sea, accustomed to repel an enemy by the waves just as if by mountains, fears one consul, and very many people bow down from fear of the six rods of the fasces; Asia, the Pontus, Eniochians, the Scythian nomads, the Tauroscythians, the Moetian kingdoms, and all the Bosphorians are made subject to the Roman empire, and that before fifty ships reduced the unnavigable sea to peace. On the other hand what shall I say about Armenia which not [p. 154] only preserves the quiet of its borders, but truly even intent on the guardianship of the Gates carefully searches out lest anybody about to disturb the peace should creep in? All are therefore eager to serve the Romans, you alone refuse to be submissive to them, to whom all are made subject? relying on what arms, proud with what army? Where is the fleet of your ships, which might blockade the straits, run through the seas of the Romans? For against their name the elements have crossed, against which the world has crossed, which is shut off and bounded by the Roman empire, finally it is called by most a Roman world. For if we seek the truth, as we said above, the earth itself is within the Roman empire, having progressed beyond which the Roman valor has sought another world for itself beyond the ocean and in Britain has found a new possession for itself removed from the confines of the world. Finally they to whom the law not only of the Roman state but even almost of human activity itself is denied, are directed there, and they live there as if exiles from the world. The ocean has submitted to its boundaries, the Roman knows how to seek out its remote secrets. With ourselves there will be war against whom not even nature has its rights. The Euphrates inaccessible before unless to its inhabitants on both banks is Roman and shows the entire east to be under the Roman empire. Hister in the northern regions flowing among innumerable and savage tribes has receives hostages, it restrains enemies. The southern region as far as it is able to be habitable cultivates for the Romans and collects its harvest for them. In the west at one time the farthest of the lands Gaditana beaches received new visitors who carry their tribute to the Roman empire, it has its own resources with which it directs its commerce. Where previously it valued only piracy, there now it carries on commerce. Since therefore all places belong to the Romans, from where for yourselves against [p. 155] the Romans will you seek help? From what uninhabitable region will you seek allies? For whoever are in the world are Romans all. Will you direct an embassy beyond the Euphrates to the Adiabenians? Nor is it free to them to abandon their concerns nor does the Parthian allow the peace sought for him to be granted lest himself in the neighbors be guilty of rebellion. You should not think this war like as if they are battles waged by you against Arabs and Egyptians. Roman weapons are different, and there are other resources sought out from the entire world. Nor should you be deluded by the protections for Jerusalem its walls: they have broken down the the stronger wall of the ocean. But do you anticipate about assistance from religion when the disciples of Jesus have already filled the Roman world? Or without the nod of god do we think that religion to grow and the city of Rome to extend its rule over all regions? Truly our religion long ago forsook us, because we abandoned the faith and in great numbers sought things prohibited by heavenly edicts. From where did the Egyptian come against us? How were we made captives of the Assyrians? Did not scripture say these things would happen? Was it not written that all the sacraments of the temple would be profaned? Those things already too frequently profaned are displaying their strength and all the influence of their mysteries. The temple has been contaminated with human blood, the couches have been filled with bodies, the altars covered with gore. Battles have been fought on the sabbath, transgression has occurred while the temple is defended not by its usage and the solemnity of its festivals but by bloody battle. And this certainly can be said again. Therefore how can we deserve divine aid as if against enemies opposed to religion, when we ourselves [p. 156] are inflicting violations upon our religion? What therefore is the remedy, when human resources do not lend support, nor does divine grace bring aid? For some to call upon the second of these for war is the custom, for you each is not available. What therefore remains except certain destruction? But if you do not turn aside while it is possible to beware, nothing else except that you yourselves will burn up your country and will burn up the temple, and you will give your wives and children also to death. To whom you will be the originators of the greatest loss, since the inconsolable development of all these evils will be ascribed to our blame which we are supporting. It adds to this that the wars of other cities have ended with the destructions of their inhabitants, your rebellion will be the destruction of the entire religion, which having diffused over the entire world has spread its peoples everywhere, and in all cities there is a part of us. Therefore in your battle all Jews will be implicated, nor will there be any region free from our blood. And if the Romans are such, that they do not take vengeance on the Jews and are not provoked by the war, how unjust is it to make war on those whose kindness you hope for? It is well, dearest ones, it is well, while the ship is still in port, to foresee the future storm, and that anyone not throw himself into threatening dangers, lest, when you have proceeded into the deep, already your are not able to avoid the shipwreck. And frequently certainly a sudden storm arises, and war follows, even though it is not inflicted; but it is better to attack an enemy that to ward him off. Not provoked he spares more, and necessity excuses insolence, when truly anyone plunges himself into abrupt danger, he is burdened with disgrace. He is not an enemy whom you are able to avoid by flight. Wherever you will go, danger follows, indeed you will surely find it. For all [p. 157] are friends of the Romans, and whoever is outside the friendship of the Romans is an enemy of everyone. May love of your country move you. If consideration of your hostages, of your wives does not call you back, let contemplation of the most sacred temple recall you, spare at least our religion, spare the consecrated priests, whom the Romans will not spare nor the temple itself, who regret that they spared them, inasmuch as for a long time all the nations wish to destroy our religion, Pompeius however spared it although he could have destroyed it. I have omitted nothing, I have warned of everything which pertains to our safety. I recommend to you what I choose for myself, you consider closely what is advantageous for yourselves. I wish for there to be peace with the Romans for you and me. If you reject it, you yourselves take away my association. Either there will be common good fortune, or peril without me." Saying this he wept, Beronice his sister also, for she herself was in the heights of Xystus. And Agrippa had influenced them greatly with his tears, so that the Jews say: 'It is not the Romans we rebel against but Florus who has committed acts deserving of war and whom we consider to be waging war.' Agrippa answered: 'But this is to make war against the Romans, your acts seek injury of the Romans. Not to Florus but to the Romans, tribute is being denied not to Florus but to Caesar, the troops not of Florus but of the Romans are in the fort, which is called Antonia, from which the colonnades having been pulled down and broken up you have separated the temple so that the guard may be isolated. Restore the previous situation. Let the tribute which is owed to Caesar be paid to Caesar, lest Florus should report this, not himself but the rule of Caesar to have been rejected by you.' The people had assented to his words, so that when Agrippa [p. 158] had ascended into the temple, they begin to build the colonnade as is was, they collect the tribute. Indeed within a short time diligent agents having been sent out for the duty of this type the forty talents were collected, which were lacking for the payment of the tribute. All the uproar of war had been suppressed, but Agrippa wishing to join to this, that they should be submissive to Florus, until a successor to him should come from Caesar, so irritated the common people, that they indeed did not refrain from abuse of him, but thrust out from the city it is uncertain whether some people stones having been thrown may have struck him. Provoked by which offense the king seized their leaders and sent them to Florus. Moreover he departed into his kingdom.

X. With him departing the instigators of war ambushes having been arranged captured Masada a fortress the guards of the Romans having been killed they stationed their own men. Eleazarus the son of the foremost of the priests a man of reckless boldness, persuaded that an offering or sacrifice of a foreigner should not be accepted, which was a trumpet call of war against the Romans and aroused everyone into an uproar. And so those who were most prominent seeing that this thing would be the cause of an abrupt withdrawal, stressed upon the people that not only war against Caesar would be invited but even the institution of religion would be violated and reverence for the temple would be diminished, the traditions of the fathers would be complained of and condemned, who from the offerings of foreigners decorated the temple, to which much more of wealth accrued from the contribution of nations and the gifts of separate and innumerable peoples, the sacred things of our ancestors would be forgotten, the sacred rites would be changed. What will happen with those things which have been previously collected, if in a similar manner offerings of the nations should be prohibited to be collected in the future? Or if that should be forbidden to the Romans alone which is permitted to all others, which would be an incentive of war? Finally [p. 159] it would be wicked, if among the Jews only it was not permitted to foreigners to sacrifice or to make offerings. It was necessary for them to consider that the peace of Caesar would be broken, who provoked by an offense of this nature without doubt it would come about that he would take from the Jews every practice of sacrifices; that they should not sacrifice for themselves who rejected the sacrifice of Caesar, this must be prevented in time; for if such plans should come to Florus and without doubt from there to Caesar, they would make destruction to the nation of the Jews. At the same time wishing to build on this by the testimony of the priests they asked if an offering of gentiles had ever been rejected by our ancestors. That this should be less allowed, prepared for riot they made a great noise, not even the attendants dared to insert themselves into such a great controversy of those quarrelling. One remedy was seen to remain, that Florus and Agrippa the king should arrive with a troop of soldiers, so they at least should desist from fear who by no means were recalled from their plan. But Florus, who wished the strife to be increased lest there be any reason for pardon to the Jews, from whom if they were involved with war every opportunity would be extinguished of pressing upon his brigandage and serious crimes, he allowed the madness of war to come forth, he gave nothing of a response to the ambassadors. Agrippa, whom the embassy of his relatives Cylus and Antipas and Costobarus especially canvassed, for the common good, so that he should save the Jews for the Romans and their religion for the Jews, the temple for the country, the city for the citizens and the glory of rule for himself, tranquillity for the kingdom, sent three thousand horsemen, Darius and Philippus the leaders of the troops, that relying upon the help of the honest men should support the counsellors of the factions. From this cause confidence arose for the honest men, anger for the disloyal; [p. 160] combat became established, when the juster cause, which however being nothing of weaponry does not aid the conflicts, inflamed the former, fury and the number of their multitude inflamed the latter. There were scattered lines of combatants. The foremost of the priests and that part of the common people, which wished for peace, with the royal cavalry seized the higher part of the city, the others situated in the lower part claimed for themselves the temple and the neighboring sacred places. At first they provoke the fight on both sides with stones and rocks and the hurling of missiles, they decide it with arrows, afterwards hand to hand fighting when the necessity of fighting presented itself. From skill and experience the royal troops prevail wishing to keep the arousers of the war away from entry lest they should contaminate the temple. On the other side it was the desire of Eleazarus to take possession with his men of the higher part of the city which was called Sion. It was fought for seven days without any intermission. The eighth was the day of a festival, on which all were accustomed to bring in wood for the altars, lest at some time the fire should die out, which it was necessary to maintain inextinguishable, it added fury that all the attendants were shut out from the temple. The king's men yielded to the sicarii who were rushing in more daringly than usual nor did they dare to make a stand in the higher parts. The shrines of Agrippa and Beronice were burned, every royal instrument was plundered. The fire was spread about, so that even the hand written documents of debtors which were put away in the public records office were burned, so that those without resources rose up insolently against their lenders. Thinking themselves freed from every obligation they burned the city with their own hands. The sinews of the city were burned, the fort was stormed which has the name Antonia, all the guards discovered were killed, it was afterwards burned. Bursting into Masada also Manaemus the son of Judas the Galilaean, [p. 161] experienced in sophistical art and confusing situations, takes possession of the weapons armory and furnishes unarmed men with weapons. Going back into Jerusalem just as if in the royal manner with accompanying attendants he had become haughty to such a great extent that surpassing the practice of a private citizen not even from the unlawful, which free people were not able to bear, it was thought that he must be restrained. Many people rising up against him who upbraided him as a tyrant propped up by the royal garments and a lord lying upon the freedom of the citizens, he paid a heavy penalty as first overthrown he died from tortures. Not however was the conflict removed, for a much more serious disturbance rose up. At the end Metilius with the Roman soldiers pleaded that it should be permitted to them to depart, a pledge having been given and sacraments offered, when according to the agreement they had put down their weapons, they should depart without fear, by Eleazarus and the allies of his faction they were cut down unavenged, having decided that resistance should not be made against the violence nor beseeching, but only crying out the broken pledge and the perjury of the deceitful. And so all having been killed, Metilius himself the commander by asking and imploring, at the same time promising that he would become a Jew all the way also to circumcision alone is spared.

XI. All Judaea was on fire, the entire province of Syria also was aroused to war. Finally the Caesarians killed whatever Jews they held, aroused by which anguish the Jews having attacked many cities of Syria revolted. There was nowhere law, nowhere respect for religion, he was more respected who had plundered more amassing the rewards of bravery. It was a wretched spectacle, when unburied bodies lay everywhere in the cities, old men mixed with boys, women also nor on account of modesty of observers were any protections left behind with which the pudenda might be covered; all places were disgusting and full of [p. 162] miserable sights. Which although the painful and abominable cruelties had exceeded foul horror, threatened even still worse things to them in turn. There was brutal villainy between the Jews and the Syrians, since there was no hope of safety unless they should mutually stop themselves. Indeed what of the city, which had Jews and Syrians mixed together? The days were passed in blood, the nights in terror, neither to hatred nor to rapacity was there any limit. For beyond the difference of parties and culture which had broken out into a public evil, inordinate desire of having and pillaging had eagerly taken possession of the mind, so that they considered that no one whom from desire for booty they had assigned to death should be spared. What may I say about the small number of the murdered? For besides the Antiochians and Sidonians and Apamenians it is difficult to find any people who did not persecute the Jews dwelling with them. On the other hand the Gerasenians followed those wishing to depart all the way to their own boundaries so that they might go away without any treachery. But at Alexandria a controversy having arisen between the gentiles and the Jews since the Jews were demanding vengeance and were threatening to burn up with seized torches the people of the gentiles gathered in the amphitheater, they turned against themselves the commander of the place Alexander Tiberius who was looking after other matters. At first indeed he tried to restore public harmony with peaceful words, but when he noticed he was being mocked by those whom he was carefully warning, and that by no other means was it possible for the riot to be stopped, he gave his soldiers the power of attacking them, who having surrounded and attacked them made a great slaughter through the entire city, when they killed some who were resisting, others who were hiding in their homes, nor did any mercy [p. 163] even of small children appear or respect for the aged or concern for the modesty of women. And so fifty thousand of the Jews were slain. The streets were overflowing with blood, all were filled with bodies, flames crackled through the city from the fierce fire, which thrown into the houses of the Jews laid waste their neighborhoods. Unbending however Alexander finally orders the soldiers to abstain and the recall to be sounded, the anger of the mob however having once come forth into the capability of killing was by no means soothed.

XII. They indeed paid the punishments of their crimes, who after they had crucified Jesus the judge of divine matters, afterwards even persecuted his disciples. However a great part of the Jews, and very many of the gentiles believed in him, since they were attracted by his moral precepts, by works beyond human capability flowing forth. For whom not even his death put an end to their faith and gratitude, on the contrary it increased their devotion. And so they brought in murderous bands and conducted the originator of life to Pilatus to be killed, they began to press the reluctant judge. In which however Pilatus is not absolved, but the madness of the Jews is piled up, because he was not obliged to judge, whom not at all guilty he had arrested, nor to double the sacrilege to this murder, that by those he should be killed who had offered himself to redeem and heal them. About which the Jews themselves bear witness, Josephus a writer of histories saying, that there was in that time a wise man, if it is proper however, he said, to call a man the creator of marvelous works, who appeared living to his disciples after three days of his death in accordance with the writings of the prophets, who prophesied both this and innumerable other things full of miracles about him. [p. 164] from which began the community of Christians and penetrated into every tribe of men nor has any nation of the Roman world remained, which was left without worship of him. If the Jews don't believe us, they should believe their own people. Josephus said this, whom they themselves think very great, but it is so that he was in his own self who spoke the truth otherwise in mind, so that he did not believe his own words. But he spoke because of loyalty to history, because he thought it a sin to deceive, he did not believe because of stubbornness of heart and the intention of treachery. He does not however prejudge the truth because he did not believe but he added more to his testimony, because although disbelieving and unwilling he did not refuse. In which the eternal power of Jesus Christ shone bright because even the leaders of the synagogue confessed him to be god whom they had seized for death. And truly as god speaking without limitation of persons or any fear of death he announced also the future destruction of the temple. But the damage of the temple did not move them, but because they were chastized by him in scandal and sacrilege, from this their wrath flared up that they should kill him, whom no ages had held. For while others had earned by praying to do what they did, he had it in his power that he could order all things what he wished to be done. John the Baptist a holy man, who never placed the truth of salvation in second place, had been killed before the death of Jesus. Finally to all things which he taught to be full of righteousness, with which he invited the Jews to the worship of god, he had instituted baptism for the sake of purification of mind and body. For whom freedom was the cause of his death, because he was unable, the law having violated of the right of fraternal marriage, to endure the wife abducted from a brother by Herod. For when this same Herod was travelling to Rome, having entered the house of his brother for the purpose of lodging, the wife to whom was Herodias the daughter of Aristobolus, [p. 165] the sister of king Agrippa, unmindful of nature he dared to solicit her, that the brother having been left behind she should marry him, when he had returned from the city of Rome, with the consent of the woman an agreement of lewdness having been entered into information of which thing came to the daughter of king Areta still remaining in marriage of Herod. She indignant at her rival insinuated to her returning husband that he should go to the town Macherunta which was in the boundaries of king Petreus and Herod. He who suspected nothing, at the same time because he had impaired the whole state around the same, by which he could more easily keep the faith of the agreement to Herodias if he should get rid of his wife, agreed to her diversion. But she when he came near to her father's kingdom revealed the things learned to her father Areta, who by an ambush attacked and completely destroyed in a battle the entire force of Herod, the betrayal having been made through those, who from the people of Philippus the tetrarch had associated themselves to Herod. Whence Herod took the quarrel to Caesar, but the vengeance ordered by Caesar the anger of god took away, for in the very preparation of war the death of Caesar was announced. And we discover this assessed by the Jews and believed, the author Joseph a suitable witness against himself, that not by the treachery of men but by the arousing of god Herod lost his army and indeed rightly on account of the vengeance of John the Baptist a just man who had said to him: it is not permitted you to have that wife. But we construe this thusly as if in their own people the Jews preserved their lawful rights, among whom the power of the high priest had perished and the avarice of those killed and the arrogance of the powerful, who thought the right to do what they wished was permitted to them. For from the beginning Aaron [p. 166] was the chief priest, who transmitted to his sons by the will of god and a lawful anointing the prerogative of the priesthood, by whom by the order of succession are constituted those exercising the chief command of the priesthood. Whence by the custom of our fathers it became valid for no one to become the foremost of the priests, unless he was from the blood of Aaron, to whom the first law of this method of the priesthood was entrusted. It is not permitted to succeed to a man of another descent even if a king. Finally Ozias, because he seized the office of the priesthood, overspread with leprosy ejected from the temple, he spent the rest of his life without authority. And without doubt he was a good king, but it was not permitted to him to usurp the office of religion.

XIII. And so there were from the time when our fathers departed from Egypt up to the building of the temple which Solomon founded thirteen leaders of the priests who make up six hundred twelve years inasmuch as at first he who was the foremost of the priests continued all the way to his death, nor was anyone substituted in the place of those living. Afterwards they were substituted even for the living. Therefore these thirteen inherited the priesthood through the right of succession, at which times the power of judges and kings was both rule by the best born and absolute rule. On the other hand from Solomon to the times of the captivity, when the people emigrated into Syria the city having been captured and the temple destroyed, there were eighteen leaders of the priests through four hundred sixty years and six months and ten days. Moreover the people were in captivity for seventy years. Afterwards Cyrus when he dismissed the people from the territory of the Assyrians and gave them permission to rebuild the temple he even permitted the chief of the priests Iosedec who [p. 167] had been taken away at the same time to return, in order that the solemnity of the ancient rite might be restored through the knowledge of an accustomed priest. He therefore and his male descendants to the number fifteen from the return of the people up to Antiochus Eupator functioned in the office in the order of succession and represented the leadership of the priesthood for four hundred fourteen years, the first being Antiochus, whom we mentioned above, and his commander Lysias, Onia the chief of the priests having been killed, in his place they substituted Iacimus into the priesthood. Who although he was of the family of Aaron, he was not however from the house itself. From which Ananias a brother of Onia traveling into Egypt sought from Ptolomaeus Filometor and Cleopatra the wife of Filometor, who had inserted the rites of the practices in imitation of the Jerusalem ritual in the observances of the city of Alexandria, that from there a leader of the priests should be substituted, for the reason that Iacimus did not have a lawful right of succession of the priesthood. But the same however three years having passed died; nor did he deserve to have a successor, who had annulled the necessary formality of the lawful succession. And so the state was three years without a leader of the priesthood. Up to this time of the retreat of the fathers from the land of the Egyptians it had maintained a democracy, for the reason that the people of the Jews recognized themselves to have been led into captivity because of the wickednesses of their kings. Afterwards the Asamonaeans, having gained the power of presiding over the people, set up Ionathan as chief of the priests, who having served for seven years the office having been received found the end of life through the treachery of Tryphonis. In whose place however Simon a full brother just as if through selection by hereditary right succeeded, whom [p. 168] we have received as killed during a dinner by the treachery of a son-in-law. From whom to his son Hyrcanus, whom flight had taken away from danger, the prerogative of the priesthood migrated. But to Hyrcanus Aristobolus was substituted, who had joined the kingship to the mentioned office so that he was a partaker of each, and to Aristobolus Alexander was substituted. Both the kingship and the priesthood remained in the power of Alexander all the way to the last day of his life, namely through seven and twenty years, but for the most part in a doubtful status, for between himself and Demetrius the victory was doubtful and there was great hatred from the citizens. Alexander dying, who saw that the inheritance of his hatreds would be full of danger for his sons, wished his wife Alexandria practiced in the exercise of rule and the association of impartial advisors, more acceptable moreover to the people, because against the fierceness of her husband she had frequently been a protection to those imperiled, and a moderation to her husband, to control the governing of the kingdom, at the same time establishing her the judge, to which of the sons the powerful peak of the priesthood should be entrusted. She substituted Hyrcanus for her father in the priesthood, either because of the prerogative of greater age, or because it seemed to his mother with a gentler nature than his brother he would stir up no troubles in charge of the business of the kingdom. To Aristobolus she gave nothing of the public offices, but he actually with his mother living, on the occasion however of her illness, exercised the kingship in remote and well fortified places. Displeased by whom and made uneasy by the complaints of Hyrcanus she the force of sickness having proceeded not beyond nine years of rule left Hyrcanus the heir of everything, not that she anticipated that he would watch over it, but that she should not support someone unworthy or by a more favorable judgment arouse the insolence of a usurper. Truly the death of Alexandria deprived Hyrcanus of the priesthood and the kingship. For defeated in war he took himself to a fortified place, and the wife and sons of Aristobolus having been held back, whom [p. 169] he had found in the fort, he embraced them to change the situation, that all power and the priesthood should go over to Aristobolus, he himself as a private citizen would submit into the house of Aristobolus. But however he was not content for long to have exchanged the royal court for a private household. So incited at first by Antipater he went into Arabia as if contesting the unfairness of the agreement, then when they were irresolute on his behalf against the Romans, whom Aristobolus had enticed into partnership of himself through Scaurus, he turned to the assistance of the Arab king, he took his complaint to Pompeius who was arriving. Who struck down in battle the cheating Aristobolus who was already governing in his third year, and before victory he gave him to prison and his people having been overcome and the city captured, ordering him as a captive with his sons to be taken to Rome, he gave back the position of the priesthood to Hyrcanus and decided however that he should govern the citizens without a crown and the headbands of royal power, an adviser indeed of great honor but of peace, so that the peace should not be disturbed by a spirit of fraternal haughtiness. Thus Aristobolus, although a captive, still deprived Hyrcanus of the kingship, and for twenty four years afterwards exercised power more in practice than in name.. Still however he was not the end of life for Hyrcanus who was in his power. For he [i.e., Hyrcanus] yielded the remaining time of infamy, as we recounted before, in fact overcome in battle with the Parthians who were crossing the Euphrates he was captured and given into the power of Antigonus a son of Aristobolus and his ears also having been cut off not thus even did he satisfy the harshness of a wretched hardship. For after these things also carried away an exile into Parthia, a weak old man he showed himself a laughingstock to the barbarians, and it having been learned afterwards that Herod was ruling, whose wife Mariamme [p. 170] his granddaughter had gotten control of, he returned into Judaea. Where at first he was received with the greatest appearance of respect, by which a veil of treachery was concealed, not at all much later the crime having been alleged that he wished to regain power he was killed. Herod therefore having gained the kingdom, which he had received from the Romans at the price of the seige and surrender of the country, in the place of Antigonus, who had held the supreme power for three years and three months, he substituted as successors in the priestshood not of the family of Asamonaeus, whom we have accepted to have been of illustrious lineage, but of low birth whomever whom either lust or chance had given over, however fatigued by the requests of Alexandra or terrified by the accusations of his father-in-law he created Ionathen the brother of his wife a priest who served for seventeen years. Whom presently he himself gave to death suspected of a desire for supreme power, because around him the great favor of the entire people was seen to blaze up from day to day. And so Anhelus being held in less esteem, whom he had already nominated from the lowborn into the priesthood before Ionathan, he chose the rest in order of this sort, about whom he had nothing suspect. For what he was not able to tolerate in his relations, how could he not be ware of in strangers? Archelaus followed a similar pattern in making appointments of this character, with the appearance of an ancestral habit he held the opinion of a mean mind in a certain manner inherent in human mortals, that among them worthlessness of the stupid is less to be suspected than the favors of the good, although the weak mind may be more insolent in favorable circumstances, the more prudent will know to pay back reciprocally with favors. And therefore from the kingship of Herod to the rule of the Romans, which Archelaus having been deposed [p. 171] joined Iudaea to the other provinces, and so from there all the way to the destruction of the temple and the triumph of Titus there were twenty eight head priests during one hundred seventy years. Truly for most of these it was only a position of dignity, for in the hands of very few was there the exercise of power. It is evident therefore that among the chiefs of the priests succession of the legitimate family did not survive, because not all were from Aaron nor from his sons, who substituted in his place left to others the appearance of the prescribed succession. And so with avarice or treachery of their own the institutions of our elders were destroyed, the laws of religion dishonored, the protections of antiquity overthrown, not undeservedly the divine assistance deserted them. From that it proceeded as if against an empty people with every type of injuries, so that with domestic riots they turned their own hands against themselves, they were afflicted with most serious brigandage, the most offensive judges were chosen by lots, those more worthless succeeded the wicked. Finally Albinus the very worst was considered of the best, in truth with Florus his successor he was considered among the honest ones, who brought out the torch of war and inflamed the fight between the Romans and the Jews, which was the cause for the great destruction of the temple and the city.

XIV. For Cestius when he discovered the Jews to be on fire with madness of war, who had received from the Romans the great task of ruling the military in parts of Syria, in the twelfth year of the rule of Nero moved the forces of the Roman foot soldiers, to whom the guardianship of restraining madness and upholding peace was committed, so that he might punish murder. The forces of his allies having been collected and having entered into Iudaea, the city which has the name Zabulon, [p. 172] the inhabitants having melted away from fear, full of riches, which fleeing to the tops of mountains the owners had not been able to take away with them, having allowed it to be laid waste by the army, having admired also the beauty of the public works, he ordered to be burned. And as if this were not enough for vengeance, the army having been sent ahead lest anyone should take himself from destruction by flight, by land and sea, a rush by the boats which had been sent seized Joppa. Eight thousand men having been killed and four hundred more almost, when the pillage of robbery stopped, the city was burned. The neighborhood of Caesarea also having been pillaged, he plundered what was found, he burned the villages. Whose attack he broke off all the Sephorians coming forth to meet Cestius on the road, mollified by whose goodwill and favor he left the city exempt from ruin. A brotherhood of bandits was active in these places, but with the army coming they had departed into the mountains. Who, having attacked Gallus carrying standards in command of the twelfth legion, fought bravely, so that they killed about two hundred of the Romans. But truly when the Romans seized the higher places the robbers were not able to withstand the infantry in close combat, and fleeing easily surrounded by the cavalry they are killed. And so above two thousand were cut down, a few routed were able to hide in the steep places of the mountains, and all the region was cleansed of brigandage. Gallus returned into Caesarea; Cestius with all his troops proceeded to Antipatris, in which the Jews had amassed a not inconsiderable multitude. But before they put together their troops, dispersed through scattered areas they abandoned the region and villages to plundering and fire. Lydda also was found empty of inhabitants and was burned by Gabaus, which was fifty stadia from Jerusalem, where placed in view it received the Roman army, it armed the Jews. Who, the celebration of the sabbath having been postponed, which [p. 173] they initiated with solemn attention and ancient observance, they sprang forth against the Romans with such great vigor, that they would have routed the entire army if the cavalry had not come to the assistance of the oppressed foot soldiers. Five hundred fifteen men of the Romans were killed, but all were gravely endangered, of the Jews moreover twenty two were lost in the battle. In which place shone the valor of Monobazus and Cedaeus, who, it having been learned what had been raised up against the Romans by the Jews, having attacked from the front thrust back very many and forced them to retire into the city.

XV. Simon also drove off the ascending Romans in the vicinity of the city from their baggage, whence Cestius held himself in the region for three days. The enemy surrounded during this delay and situated on higher ground advanced and watched everyone, lest anyone should break in with impunity. Considering that without much loss on either side nothing could be attempted, king Agrippa sent his men Borcius and Phoebus, who were to say to the people that whatever of outrage had been committed by them against the Romans was pardonable, if only in the future their arms having been put down they would take counsel for themselves, reckoning what he believed that it would either be persuaded to all that they should reject war, or that part would be plucked away from the rest. But the mutinous to the contrary, from fear that the second of these might happen, attacked the ambassadors and killed Phoebus. Borcius however having received a wound was barely able to escape. Cestius, seeing contentions of this type in the city, in which some rose up against the ambassadors, others recommended that the Romans be received by the city, having tried to advance all the way to Jerusalem drove back those resisting and himself approached to the third stadia of the memorable city with the army and spent three days there, on the fourth [p. 174] day an attack having been made he entered and immediately burned Bethesda and Caenopolis. Who hastening to the heights of the city, the mutinous fleeing into its interior, if he had thought the city could be broken into, without a doubt the entire war could have ended. In fact Ananus the son of Jonathan had assembled a great number, so that they should encourage the Romans with their voices as if they were about to unbar the gates. But while Cestius either is called back by Priscus and several of the centurions, who having been corrupted by Florus desired that the war should flare up, or trusts too little, Ananus with his people lets himself down from the wall. Who fleeing back to their own supporters, the mutinous seized their place. The Romans trying different approaches for five days, when they realized that a break in was impossible for them, the strongest having been selected and with these and archers they attacked the temple from the northern side. The Jews fighting bravely also did not take a rest and the enemy having been driven back repeatedly were elated. But at last some having been wounded by the multitude of arrows, others struck and frightened yielded to the Romans to undermine the wall, to the attackers to burn the door of the temple. Great alarm invaded the mutinous and a certain confusion of their minds. Finally many as if by the uninterrupted destruction of the about to be destroyed city took themselves away in flight and not daring to make a stand they gave the people assurance that with those departing, by whose multitude they had been surrounded, as if already free and having put aside a certain blockade of the wicked they poured themselves around the gates, which having been opened they received Cestius as if he had come not to attack he city but to defend it. But also a certain stupidity suddenly took possession of Cestius himself, so that he did not consider the despair of the wicked nor the desire of the people, who if he had brooded over the undertaking a short while, would have averted the war, would have captured the city. But the opposite, as far [p. 175] as it is given to be understood, the will of god put off for the Jews the imminent end of the war, until ruin enveloped many and almost all of the Jewish race. It was awaited, as I think, that in every sin the enormous size of the crimes would grow and make equal the measure of the great shames to the increase of the impiety. Why was it that, when he should have pushed on, Cestius suddenly called back the army and lifted the seige? By what sudden reversal of the situation contrary to what was expected the spirits of the good people broken, and the robbers aroused that they took up confidence and having turned back from flight to pursuing they attack the rear of the marching army and attacking confusedly there they cut down many of the cavalry and foot soldiers. And already the day was declining, whence fearing the nearness of night and the fog of darkness, which they trusted more who were knowledgeable of the places, by which they urged on on all sides those uncertain of the region, Cestius established a wall before the city and on the following day, when he left the enemy, he armed it against himself, as they thought fear to be the cause of his departure. And so flowing around on the sides, at the rear, they cut down the hindmost, they harass the advancing army with darts, the force of darts thrown into crowded ranks is not at all easy to be eluded. If anyone dared to strike back, to be open to a wound, if anyone turned himself to those harassing, to be left by his companions, to be shut in by the enemy, he who follows always more protected than he who precedes, for the latter covers his chest, the former uncovers his back to the enemy. And so the Romans were vigorously urged on as if beset, and already themselves burdened by the weight of their arms not able to sustain or endure, the enemy being faster whom it was not easy to pursue, and there was great fear lest the battle array be broken up. [p. 176] From the unfair situation of the contest they were not able to do injury to the enemy, since they themselves were being seriously harassed. Cestius adhered to his plan, although through the entire march he saw that his forces were being wiped out, and already very many of the first rank had been hurt. He halted for two days as if about to renew the exhausted. But when he saw the number of the enemy to be increasing more and more and everything crowded together around the circumference to block the path to his adversaries and himself which would cause delay there because more were collecting together, on the third day seeking the saving of an easier passage he commanded that the baggage of the column be put away. The pack animals were killed, most of the vehicles were smashed and other things of this type, which were more of a burden than of use in perils, were burned up or thrown aside, as instruments of sieges and kinds of weapons, by which they were more frightened, lest they should arm the enemy against themselves with their own supplies. But when the Jews noticed that flight rather than battle was being prepared by the Romans, they occupied the confined parts of the route, they made a stand in the less spread out places, they hindered in the front, they hemmed in from the sides, they pressed from the rear, they forced against the precipices, against which they were confined on all sides or having fallen were thrown down. The many overspread the sky with javelins, they covered the troops with arrows their duty never relaxing and disaster alone for their adversaries. Already the foot soldiers were not able to hold out, and the danger was truly greater for the cavalry, who from the precipitousness of the rocks and the slipperiness the horses slipping and falling were rolled down and hindered by the narrow path could not maintain ranks. On one side the cliffs, on the other side the precipices denied the opportunity of either flight or defense. The Jews on the contrary were more fired up with the anticipation of victory, they were threatening weary troops, they were pressing hard against men in a difficult predicament, they trampled upon those who were giving up hope, and they would have completely destroyed almost all the the supplies of the Roman army, if night had not come, by whose darknesss the fighting was hampered, and for this reason the Romans were able to make [p. 177] their way into the nearest town to which the name Bethoron, so that the Jews having poured around on all sides spied out the exits from the place, lest the Romans should escape. Cestius despairing of an open path attempted flight by trickery. And so he chose forty men, to whom the despair of escaping had poured in contempt of death. He stationed them in the fortifications with the order that during the entire night with the greatest noise they should shout out the functions of those spread out on the wall so that the preparation of the departing army should not be made evident to Jews by any customary indications, by which those whoever they are who are agitated are wont to give themselves away, while in silence everyone went out with no indication to the mistrusting Jews, who heard the usual noise of the guards, from which all thought the Romans to be remaining in place. With this trickery Cestius led out the army, and had already accomplished thirty stadia taking advantage of the loyalty in doubtful circumstances of those few, who about to perish without payment preferred to stand up for their comrades rather than destroy their own dangers. And indeed night hid the trickery but day betrayed it. For when things were revealed in the diffuse light and every place, in which the Romans stayed, appeared empty, an attack having been made first against those, by whose simulated duties they had been deceived, the Jews rush in and the forty men having been destroyed a light task, they follow the army, which during the night had accomplished a great distance and was urging on the march even faster during the day, lest it should be involved in the dangers of the night. The road was full of baggage, which the fleeing Romans had abandoned, lest anyone should be delayed by a too heavy pack. Utensils lay everywhere, useful items, and even things necessary for fighting, spear throwing machines battering rams and other equipment brought along for the destruction of a city, which the Jews following passed by lest there should be delays, returning they collected them, so that they should use these against those, who had abandoned them. For having followed all the way to the city [p. 178] Antipatris, they struck against everything passed by and having dropped the hope of catching the Roman army, they turn back their track and picking up the spoils from those killed they return to Jerusalem with triumph and hymns. From which great rejoicing resulted, that few of their own having been lost five thousand foot soldiers from the Roman army and three hundred (eighty and three hundred) horsemen were killed. Which was done in the twelfth year of the rule of Nero, as previously mentioned.

XVI. But that exultation was not from all the Jews. For there were those who wished passionately after that to rescue themselves not from the battle with Cestius but from trouble as if from the great danger of a sinking ship and to swim away from the shipwreck of the state, before the rest Custobarus and Saulus brothers with Philippus the leader of the troops of king Agrippa. These fleeing took themselves to Cestius seeking that they should be sent into Achaia to Nero. Whom Cestius being willing received nor did he deny their requests, that through them Caesar might be taught the cause of the war to have been Florus; upon him the greatest responsibility for the war lay, that the army had been surrounded by an unexpected multitude of plotters, which it was established had been rescued from danger more by the plan of its leader than entangled in it. Cestius aroused against Florus had attempted to calm down the hatreds but had not been able to. And so he had fallen into the war, not brought it on. These indeed had been ordered, that alarmed by all the agitation of Caesar against Florus he hoped the displeasure of Caesar concerning himself to be lessened, that he had become fearful of the knowledge of a thing done badly. And so most however were terrified by the defeat of the Roman army, the inhabitants of Damascus, fearing the contagion of a mistrusted society on account of [p. 179] the sharing of lodging, killed the Jews collected in the sports center, who inhabited the city with them---because they either from mistrust or deceit had managed already for a long time that they were separated from social intercourse with the gentiles, lest they should change anything in the night or alone be open to destruction---a very great truly mystery of silence so that the attempt of this matter discussed should not be passed even to their wives, inasmuch as these also from a great part of the Jews were mixed together in their cultures.

XVII. And so in a confined place all of them having attacked they killed ten thousand Jews, which was easy as prevented by armed men and unarmed they died. And indeed a recent example of his barbarity at Scythopolis proceeded even farther, by which I think the Damascans were aroused. For when the Jews were laying waste every neighboring area, they came to Scythopolis and there the inhabitants having attacked to test the Jews submitted to their adversaries, whom they considered faithful to themselves, inasmuch as in the manner of human nature concern of safety outweighed distress. In favorable circumstances therefore establishing a brotherhood of fellow tribesmen they preferred an alliance of inhabitants, they threaten ruin to the fellow tribesman. Which was suspected by the people, because the performance was stretched out by the manifest spirit of hatreds, lest treachery should be gotten ready under the guise of pretense and they should attack the city at night with the residents less cautious, and with all the people having been overthrown they should restore favor to themselves among the Jews. .And besides to show their loyalty by this even around the gentiles if they wished, every generation they would go out from their city and seek out the neighboring grove. Which having been done the Scythopolitans were quiet for two days so that a part of the Jews would put aside mistrust, would put on carelessness. On the third night when already the anticipated trust in grace had removed any apprehension of the guard, incautious and sleeping, violence having been inflicted, and ten and three thousands of men were killed and whatever things they had were plundered. [p. 180]

XVIII. The suffering of Simon bitter to see and pitiable to hear drives an explanation, but it was remarkable from the strangeness of the thing. He was among the people of the Jews born of Saulus a not at all ignoble father, gifted with boldness of mind and strength of body, both of which he used in the destruction of his fellow tribesmen, who killed very many of the people coming in from outside in the frequent attack of the Jews, as if perhaps the conspirators were present, alone he was accustomed to hold out against the battle array and to rout the massed forces, he was the bond of the whole and a troop in war, and generally the savior in desperate circumstances. He demonstrated this to the citizens against his own people serving the forces of the Scythopolitans, but not for long to a kinsman was the vengeance owed to the blood lacking. For when, the good faith having broken, the surrounding Scythopolitans, who out of a peaceful situation had taken themselves to the grove, began to threaten with war and to press in, a mob even having killed the sons and parents of Simon although beyond reach of the rest they attacked with missiles and darts. Simon seeing the innumerable multitude superior in an easy task, since he was not able to bear it longer, drew his sword and having turned against the enemy shouted saying: I am receiving the proper return for my acts, who threatened with the death of kinsmen rather than yours and demonstrated good will and gave fraternal blood a pledge of peace to you, for which treachery is justly assigned. Now while I grant a pledge to foreigners I have sent against my family. I have betrayed my children and parents, whom however to be killed by you was not necessary, if you consider the reward of wickedness. I die therefore but angry at all, a friend to none, who have assailed my own people, with my own hands I will first seek retribution from myself. I have killed associates of my religion and sharers of my faith, I recognize what is owed for my wickedness. I will pay for the parricide suited for such a great sacrilege, that it may be both the penalty for the outrage and the glory for courage, lest anyone else should boast about a wound of mine, [p. 181] my own right hand will afterwards be turned against me myself, that it may be seen to be of fury that I die, not of weakness. Lest anyone should mock the dying, that madness should be a protector of parricide, parricide of sacrilege. Having spoken this he turned his gaze upon his children and parents and with indignant eyes, since already pathos mixed with anger was following, he transfixed his father snatched from the crowd with his sword, after him the mother is drawn lest there should be any who might appear as descendents. His wife voluntarily offers herself in succession lest dislodged from such a great husband she might survive. The sons run up, lest in death itself they should be judged unworthy of such a great father. He hastened with a swift blow to forestall the enemy. And therefore all his family having been killed he stood firm in the middle of his corpses and as though they were triumphing over their domestic sufferings because he saw no one of his to perish by an alien sword, he raised his right hand so that all should see and exposing to all the terrifying death for himself victorious he transfixed himself with his own sword. A remarkable young man because of his strength of body and greatness of mind, but because he bestowed trust upon foreigners rather than upon his own, he was worthy of such a death.


1. Note: in Latin, sicarii.

2. Translator's note: a river in Lydia.

3. Translator's note: the Syrtes are a shallow sandy reef near the African coast in the Mediterranean Sea.

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts