HEROD IS CONFIRMED IN HIS KINGDOM BY CAESAR, AND CULTIVATES A FRIENDSHIP WITH THE EMPEROR BY MAGNIFICENT PRESENTS; WHILE CAESAR RETURNS HIS KINDNESS BY BESTOWING ON HIM THAT PART OF HIS KINGDOM WHICH HAD BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM IT BY CLEOPATRA WITH THE ADDITION OF ZENODORUSS COUNTRY ALSO.
1. BUT now Herod was under immediate concern about a most important affair, on account of his friendship with Antony, who was already overcome at Actium by Caesar; yet he was more afraid than hurt; for Caesar did not think he had quite undone Antony, while Herod continued his assistance to him. However, the king resolved to expose himself to dangers: accordingly he sailed to Rhodes, where Caesar then abode, and came to him without his diadem, and in the habit and appearance of a private person, but in his behavior as a king. So he concealed nothing of the truth, but spike thus before his face: "O Caesar, as I was made king of the Jews by Antony, so do I profess that I have used my royal authority in the best manner, and entirely for his advantage; nor will I conceal this further, that thou hadst certainly found me in arms, and an inseparable companion of his, had not the Arabians hindered me. However, I sent him as many auxiliaries as I was able, and many ten thousand [cori] of corn. Nay, indeed, I did not desert my benefactor after the bow that was given him at Actium; but I gave him the best advice I was able, when I was no longer able to assist him in the war; and I told him that there was but one way of recovering his affairs, and that was to kill Cleopatra; and I promised him that, if she were once dead, I would afford him money and walls for his security, with an army and myself to assist him in his war against thee: but his affections for Cleopatra stopped his ears, as did God himself also who hath bestowed the government on thee. I own myself also to be overcome together with him; and with his last fortune I have laid aside my diadem, and am come hither to thee, having my hopes of safety in thy virtue; and I desire that thou wilt first consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been."
2. Caesar replied to him thus: "Nay, thou shalt not only be in safety, but thou shalt be a king; and that more firmly than thou wast before; for thou art worthy to reign over a great many subjects, by reason of the fastness of thy friendship; and do thou endeavor to be equally constant in thy friendship to me, upon my good success, which is what I depend upon from the generosity of thy disposition. However, Antony hath done well in preferring Cleopatra to thee; for by this means we have gained thee by her madness, and thus thou hast begun to be my friend before I began to be thine; on which account Quintus Didius hath written to me that thou sentest him assistance against the gladiators. I do therefore assure thee that I will confirm the kingdom to thee by decree: I shall also endeavor to do thee some further kindness hereafter, that thou mayst find no loss in the want of Antony."
3. When Caesar had spoken such obliging things to the king, and had put the diadem again about his head, he proclaimed what he had bestowed on him by a decree, in which he enlarged in the commendation of the man after a magnificent manner. Whereupon Herod obliged him to be kind to him by the presents he gave him, and he desired him to forgive Alexander, one of Antony's friends, who was become a supplicant to him. But Caesar's anger against him prevailed, and he complained of the many and very great offenses the man whom he petitioned for had been guilty of; and by that means he rejected his petition. After this Caesar went for Egypt through Syria, when Herod received him with royal and rich entertainments; and then did he first of all ride along with Caesar, as he was reviewing his army about Ptolemais, and feasted him with all his friends, and then distributed among the rest of the army what was necessary to feast them withal. He also made a plentiful provision of water for them, when they were to march as far as Pelusium, through a dry country, which he did also in like manner at their return thence; nor were there any necessaries wanting to that army. It was therefore the opinion, both of Caesar and of his soldiers, that Herod's kingdom was too small for those generous presents he made them; for which reason, when Caesar was come into Egypt, and Cleopatra and Antony were dead, he did not only bestow other marks of honor upon him, but made an addition to his kingdom, by giving him not only the country which had been taken from him by Cleopatra, but besides that, Gadara, and Hippos, and Samaria; and moreover, of the maritime cities, Gaza (31) and Anthedon, and Joppa, and Strato's Tower. He also made him a present of four hundred Galls [Galatians] as a guard for his body, which they had been to Cleopatra before. Nor did any thing so strongly induce Caesar to make these presents as the generosity of him that received them.
4. Moreover, after the first games at Actium, he added to his kingdom both the region called Trachonitis, and what lay in its neighborhood, Batanea, and the country of Auranitis; and that on the following occasion: Zenodorus, who had hired the house of Lysanias, had all along sent robbers out of Trachonitis among the Damascenes; who thereupon had recourse to Varro, the president of Syria, and desired of him that he would represent the calamity they were in to Caesar. When Caesar was acquainted with it, he sent back orders that this nest of robbers should be destroyed. Varro therefore made an expedition against them, and cleared the land of those men, and took it away from Zenodorus. Caesar did also afterward bestow it on Herod, that it might not again become a receptacle for those robbers that had come against Damascus. He also made him a procurator of all Syria, and this on the tenth year afterward, when he came again into that province; and this was so established, that the other procurators could not do any thing in the administration without his advice: but when Zenodorus was dead, Caesar bestowed on him all that land which lay between Trachonitis and Galilee. Yet, what was still of more consequence to Herod, he was beloved by Caesar next after Agrippa, and by Agrippa next after Caesar; whence he arrived at a very great degree of felicity. Yet did the greatness of his soul exceed it, and the main part of his magnanimity was extended to the promotion of piety.
OF THE [TEMPLE AND] CITIES THAT WERE BUILT BY HEROD AND ERECTED FROM THE VERY FOUNDATIONS; AS ALSO OF THOSE OTHER EDIFICES THAT WERE ERECTED BY HIM; AND WHAT MAGNIFICENCE HE SHOWED TO FOREIGNERS; AND HOW FORTUNE WAS IN ALL THINGS FAVORABLE TO HIM.
1. ACCORDINGLY, in the fifteenth year of his reign, Herod rebuilt the temple, and encompassed a piece of land about it with a wall, which land was twice as large as that before enclosed. The expenses he laid out upon it were vastly large also, and the riches about it were unspeakable. A sign of which you have in the great cloisters that were erected about the temple, and the citadel which was on its north side. The cloisters he built from the foundation, but the citadel (32) he repaired at a vast expense; nor was it other than a royal palace, which he called Antonia, in honor of Antony. He also built himself a palace in the Upper city, containing two very large and most beautiful apartments; to which the holy house itself could not be compared [in largeness]. The one apartment he named Caesareum, and the other Agrippium, from his [two great] friends.
2. Yet did he not preserve their memory by particular buildings only, with their names given them, but his generosity went as far as entire cities; for when he had built a most beautiful wall round a country in Samaria, twenty furlongs long, and had brought six thousand inhabitants into it, and had allotted to it a most fruitful piece of land, and in the midst of this city, thus built, had erected a very large temple to Caesar, and had laid round about it a portion of sacred land of three furlongs and a half, he called the city Sebaste, from Sebastus, or Augustus, and settled the affairs of the city after a most regular manner.
3. And when Caesar had further bestowed upon him another additional country, he built there also a temple of white marble, hard by the fountains of Jordan: the place is called Panium, where is a top of a mountain that is raised to an immense height, and at its side, beneath, or at its bottom, a dark cave opens itself; within which there is a horrible precipice, that descends abruptly to a vast depth; it contains a mighty quantity of water, which is immovable; and when any body lets down any thing to measure the depth of the earth beneath the water, no length of cord is sufficient to reach it. Now the fountains of Jordan rise at the roots of this cavity outwardly; and, as some think, this is the utmost origin of Jordan: but we shall speak of that matter more accurately in our following history.
4. But the king erected other places at Jericho also, between the citadel Cypros and the former palace, such as were better and more useful than the former for travelers, and named them from the same friends of his. To say all at once, there was not any place of his kingdom fit for the purpose that was permitted to be without somewhat that was for Caesar's honor; and when he had filled his own country with temples, he poured out the like plentiful marks of his esteem into his province, and built many cities which he called Cesareas.
5. And when he observed that there was a city by the sea-side that was much decayed, (its name was Strato's Tower,) but that the place, by the happiness of its situation, was capable of great improvements from his liberality, he rebuilt it all with white stone, and adorned it with several most splendid palaces, wherein he especially demonstrated his magnanimity; for the case was this, that all the sea-shore between Dora and Joppa, in the middle, between which this city is situated, had no good haven, insomuch that every one that sailed from Phoenicia for Egypt was obliged to lie in the stormy sea, by reason of the south winds that threatened them; which wind, if it blew but a little fresh, such vast waves are raised, and dash upon the rocks, that upon their retreat the sea is in a great ferment for a long way. But the king, by the expenses he was at, and the liberal disposal of them, overcame nature, and built a haven larger than was the Pyrecum (33) [at Athens]; and in the inner retirements of the water he built other deep stations [for the ships also].
6. Now although the place where he built was greatly opposite to his purposes, yet did he so fully struggle with that difficulty, that the firmness of his building could not easily be conquered by the sea; and the beauty and ornament of the works were such, as though he had not had any difficulty in the operation; for when he had measured out as large a space as we have before mentioned, he let down stones into twenty fathom water, the greatest part of which were fifty feet in length, and nine in depth, and ten in breadth, and some still larger. But when the haven was filled up to that depth, he enlarged that wall which was thus already extant above the sea, till it was two hundred feet wide; one hundred of which had buildings before it, in order to break the force of the waves, whence it was called Procumatia, or the first breaker of the waves; but the rest of the space was under a stone wall that ran round it. On this wall were very large towers, the principal and most beautiful of which was called Drusium, from Drusus, who was son-in-law to Caesar.
7. There were also a great number of arches, where the mariners dwelt; and all the places before them round about was a large valley, or walk, for a quay [or landing-place] to those that came on shore; but the entrance was on the north, because the north wind was there the most gentle of all the winds. At the mouth of the haven were on each side three great Colossi, supported by pillars, where those Colossi that are on your left hand as you sail into the port are supported by a solid tower; but those on the right hand are supported by two upright stones joined together, which stones were larger than that tower which was on the other side of the entrance. Now there were continual edifices joined to the haven, which were also themselves of white stone; and to this haven did the narrow streets of the city lead, and were built at equal distances one from another. And over against the mouth of the haven, upon an elevation, there was a temple for Caesar, which was excellent both in beauty and largeness; and therein was a Colossus of Caesar, not less than that of Jupiter Olympius, which it was made to resemble. The other Colossus of Rome was equal to that of Juno at Argos. So he dedicated the city to the province, and the haven to the sailors there; but the honor of the building he ascribed to Caesar, (34) and named it Cesarea accordingly.
8. He also built the other edifices, the amphitheater, and theater, and market-place, in a manner agreeable to that denomination; and appointed games every fifth year, and called them, in like manner, Caesar's Games; and he first himself proposed the largest prizes upon the hundred ninety-second olympiad; in which not only the victors themselves, but those that came next to them, and even those that came in the third place, were partakers of his royal bounty. He also rebuilt Anthedon, a city that lay on the coast, and had been demolished in the wars, and named it Agrippeum. Moreover, he had so very great a kindness for his friend Agrippa, that he had his name engraved upon that gate which he had himself erected in the temple.
9. Herod was also a lover of his father, if any other person ever was so; for he made a monument for his father, even that city which he built in the finest plain that was in his kingdom, and which had rivers and trees in abundance, and named it Antipatris. He also built a wall about a citadel that lay above Jericho, and was a very strong and very fine building, and dedicated it to his mother, and called it Cypros. Moreover, he dedicated a tower that was at Jerusalem, and called it by the name of his brother Phasaelus, whose structure, largeness, and magnificence we shall describe hereafter. He also built another city in the valley that leads northward from Jericho, and named it Phasaelis.
10. And as he transmitted to eternity his family and friends, so did he not neglect a memorial for himself, but built a fortress upon a mountain towards Arabia, and named it from himself, Herodium (35) and he called that hill that was of the shape of a woman's breast, and was sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem, by the same name. He also bestowed much curious art upon it, with great ambition, and built round towers all about the top of it, and filled up the remaining space with the most costly palaces round about, insomuch that not only the sight of the inner apartments was splendid, but great wealth was laid out on the outward walls, and partitions, and roofs also. Besides this, he brought a mighty quantity of water from a great distance, and at vast charges, and raised an ascent to it of two hundred steps of the whitest marble, for the hill was itself moderately high, and entirely factitious. He also built other palaces about the roots of the hill, sufficient to receive the furniture that was put into them, with his friends also, insomuch that, on account of its containing all necessaries, the fortress might seem to be a city, but, by the bounds it had, a palace only.
11. And when he had built so much, he showed the greatness of his soul to no small number of foreign cities. He built palaces for exercise at Tripoli, and Damascus, and Ptolemais; he built a wall about Byblus, as also large rooms, and cloisters, and temples, and market-places at Berytus and Tyre, with theatres at Sidon and Damascus. He also built aqueducts for those Laodiceans who lived by the sea-side; and for those of Ascalon he built baths and costly fountains, as also cloisters round a court, that were admirable both for their workmanship and largeness. Moreover, he dedicated groves and meadows to some people; nay, not a few cities there were who had lands of his donation, as if they were parts of his own kingdom. He also bestowed annual revenues, and those for ever also, on the settlements for exercises, and appointed for them, as well as for the people of Cos, that such rewards should never be wanting. He also gave corn to all such as wanted it, and conferred upon Rhodes large sums of money for building ships; and this he did in many places, and frequently also. And when Apollo's temple had been burnt down, he rebuilt it at his own charges, after a better manner than it was before. What need I speak of the presents he made to the Lycians and Samnians? or of his great liberality through all Ionia? and that according to every body's wants of them. And are not the Athenians, and Lacedemonians, and Nicopolitans, and that Pergamus which is in Mysia, full of donations that Herod presented them withal? And as for that large open place belonging to Antioch in Syria, did not he pave it with polished marble, though it were twenty furlongs long? and this when it was shunned by all men before, because it was full of dirt and filthiness, when he besides adorned the same place with a cloister of the same length.
12. It is true, a man may say, these were favors peculiar to those particular places on which he bestowed his benefits; but then what favors he bestowed on the Eleans was a donation not only in common to all Greece, but to all the habitable earth, as far as the glory of the Olympic games reached. For when he perceived that they were come to nothing, for want of money, and that the only remains of ancient Greece were in a manner gone, he not only became one of the combatants in that return of the fifth-year games, which in his sailing to Rome he happened to be present at, but he settled upon them revenues of money for perpetuity, insomuch that his memorial as a combatant there can never fail. It would be an infinite task if I should go over his payments of people's debts, or tributes, for them, as he eased the people of Phasaelis, of Batanea, and of the small cities about Cilicia, of those annual pensions they before paid. However, the fear he was in much disturbed the greatness of his soul, lest he should be exposed to envy, or seem to hunt after greater filings than he ought, while he bestowed more liberal gifts upon these cities than did their owners themselves.
13. Now Herod had a body suited to his soul, and was ever a most excellent hunter, where he generally had good success, by the means of his great skill in riding horses; for in one day he caught forty wild beasts: (36) that country breeds also bears, and the greatest part of it is replenished with stags and wild asses. He was also such a warrior as could not be withstood: many men, therefore, there are who have stood amazed at his readiness in his exercises, when they saw him throw the javelin directly forward, and shoot the arrow upon the mark. And then, besides these performances of his depending on his own strength of mind and body, fortune was also very favorable to him; for he seldom failed of success in his wars; and when he failed, he was not himself the occasion of such failings, but he either vas betrayed by some, or the rashness of his own soldiers procured his defeat.
THE MURDER OF ARISTOBULUS AND HYRCANUS, THE HIGH PRIESTS, AS ALSO OF MARIAMNE THE QUEEN.
1. HOWEVER, fortune was avenged on Herod in his external great successes, by raising him up domestical troubles; and he began to have wild disorders in his family, on account of his wife, of whom he was so very fond. For when he came to the government, he sent away her whom he had before married when he was a private person, and who was born at Jerusalem, whose name was Doris, and married Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus; on whose account disturbances arose in his family, and that in part very soon, but chiefly after his return from Rome. For, first of all, he expelled Antipater the son of Doris, for the sake of his sons by Mariamne, out of the city, and permitted him to come thither at no other times than at the festivals. After this he slew his wife's grandfather, Hyrcanus, when he was returned out of Parthin to him, under this pretense, that he suspected him of plotting against him. Now this Hyrcanus had been carried captive to Barzapharnes, when he overran Syria; but those of his own country beyond Euphrates were desirous he would stay with them, and this out of the commiseration they had for his condition; and had he complied with their desires, when they exhorted him not to go over the river to lierod, he had not perished: but the marriage of his granddaughter [to Herod] was his temptation; for as he relied upon him, and was over-fond of his own country, he came back to it. Herod's provocation was this, - not that Hyrcanus made any attempt to gain the kingdom, but that it was fitter for him to be their king than for Herod.
2. Now of the five children which Herod had by Mariamne, two of them were daughters, and three were sons; and the youngest of these sons was educated at Rome, and there died; but the two eldest he treated as those of royal blood, on account of the nobility of their mother, and because they were not born till he was king. But then what was stronger than all this was the love that he bare to Mariamne, and which inflamed him every day to a great degree, and so far conspired with the other motives, that he felt no other troubles, on account of her he loved so entirely. But Mariamne's hatred to him was not inferior to his love to her. She had indeed but too just a cause of indignation from what he had done, while her boldness proceeded from his affection to her; so she openly reproached him with what he had done to her grandfather Hyrcanus, and to her brother Aristobulus; for he had not spared this Aristobulus, though he were but a child; for when he had given him the high priesthood at the age of seventeen, he slew him quickly after he had conferred that dignity upon him; but when Aristobulus had put on the holy vestments, and had approached to the altar at a festival, the multitude, in great crowds, fell into tears; whereupon the child was sent by night to Jericho, and was there dipped by the Galls, at Herod's command, in a pool till he was drowned.
3. For these reasons Mariamne reproached Herod, and his sister and mother, after a most contumelious manner, while he was dumb on account of his affection for her; yet had the women great indignation at her, and raised a calumny against her, that she was false to his bed; which thing they thought most likely to move Herod to anger. They also contrived to have many other circumstances believed, in order to make the thing more credible, and accused her of having sent her picture into Egypt to Antony, and that her lust was so extravagant, as to have thus showed herself, though she was absent, to a man that ran mad after women, and to a man that had it in his power to use violence to her. This charge fell like a thunderbolt upon Herod, and put him into disorder; and that especially, because his love to her occasioned him to be jealous, and because he considered with himself that Cleopatra was a shrewd woman, and that on her account Lysanias the king was taken off, as well as Malichus the Arabian; for his fear did not only extend to the dissolving of his marriage, but to the danger of his life.
4. When therefore he was about to take a journey abroad, he committed his wife to Joseph, his sister Salome's husband, as to one who would be faithful to him, and bare him good-will on account of their kindred; he also gave him a secret injunction, that if Antony slew him, he should slay her. But Joseph, without any ill design, and only in order to demonstrate the king's love to his wife, how he could not bear to think of being separated from her, even by death itself, discovered this grand secret to her; upon which, when Herod was come back, and as they talked together, and he confirmed his love to her by many oaths, and assured her that he had never such an affection for any other woman as he had for her, - " Yes," says she, "thou didst, to be sure, demonstrate thy love to me by the injunctions thou gavest Joseph, when thou commandedst him to kill me." (37)
5. When he heard that this grand secret was discovered, he was like a distracted man, and said that Joseph would never have disclosed that injunction of his, unless he had debauched her. His passion also made him stark mad, and leaping out of his bed, he ran about the palace after a wild manner; at which time his sister Salome took the opportunity also to blast her reputation, and confirmed his suspicion about Joseph; whereupon, out of his ungovernable jealousy and rage, he commanded both of them to be slain immediately; but as soon as ever his passion was over, he repented of what he had done, and as soon as his anger was worn off, his affections were kindled again. And indeed the flame of his desires for her was so ardent, that he could not think she was dead, but would appear, under his disorders, to speak to her as if she were still alive, till he were better instructed by time, when his grief and trouble, now she was dead, appeared as great as his affection had been for her while she was living.
CALUMNIES AGAINST THE SONS OF MARIAMNE. ANTIPATERIS PREFERRED BEFORE THEM. THEY ARE ACCUSED BEFORE CAESAR, AND HEROD IS RECONCILED TO THEM.
1. NOW Mariamne's sons were heirs to that hatred which had been borne their mother; and when they considered the greatness of Herod's crime towards her, they were suspicious of him as of an enemy of theirs; and this first while they were educated at Rome, but still more when they were returned to Judea. This temper of theirs increased upon them as they grew up to be men; and when they were Come to an age fit for marriage, the one of them married their aunt Salome's daughter, which Salome had been the accuser of their mother; the other married the daughter of Archclaus, king of Cappadocia. And now they used boldness in speaking, as well as bore hatred in their minds. Now those that calumniated them took a handle from such their boldness, and certain of them spake now more plainly to the king that there were treacherous designs laid against him by both his sons; and he that was son-in-law to Archelaus, relying upon his father-in-law, was preparing to fly away, in order to accuse Herod before Caesar; and when Herod's head had been long enough filled with these calumnies, he brought Antipater, whom he had by Doris, into favor again, as a defense to him against his other sons, and began all the ways he possibly could to prefer him before them.
2. But these sons were not able to bear this change in their affairs; but when they saw him that was born of a mother of no family, the nobility of their birth made them unable to contain their indignation; but whensoever they were uneasy, they showed the anger they had at it. And as these sons did day after day improve in that their anger, Antipater already exercised all his own abilities, which were very great, in flattering his father, and in contriving many sorts of calumnies against his brethren, while he told some stories of them himself, and put it upon other proper persons to raise other stories against them, till at length he entirely cut his brethren off from all hopes of succeeding to the kingdom; for he was already publicly put into his father's will as his successor. Accordingly, he was sent with royal ornaments, and other marks of royalty, to Caesar, excepting the diadem. He was also able in time to introduce his mother again into Mariamne's bed. The two sorts of weapons he made use of against his brethren were flattery and calumny, whereby he brought matters privately to such a pass, that the king had thoughts of putting his sons to death.
3. So the father drew Alexander as far as Rome, and. charged him with an attempt of poisoning him before Caesar. Alexander could hardly speak for lamentation; but having a judge that was more skillful than Antipater, and more wise than Herod, he modestly avoided laying any imputation upon his father, but with great strength of reason confuted the calumnies laid against him; and when he had demonstrated the innocency of his brother, who was in the like danger with himself, he at last bewailed the craftiness of Antipater, and the disgrace they were under. He was enabled also to justify himself, not only by a clear conscience, which he carried within him, but by his eloquence; for he was a shrewd man in making speeches. And upon his saying at last, that if his father objected this crime to them, it was in his power to put them to death, he made all the audience weep; and he brought Caesar to that pass, as to reject the accusations, and to reconcile their father to them immediately. But the conditions of this reconciliation were these, that they should in all things be obedient to their father, and that he should have power to leave the kingdom to which of them he pleased.
4. After this the king came back from Rome, and seemed to have forgiven his sons upon these accusations; but still so that he was not without his suspicions of them. They were followed by Antipater, who was the fountain-head of those accusations; yet did not he openly discover his hatred to them, as revering him that had reconciled them. But as Herod sailed by Cilicia, he touched at Eleusa, (38) where Archclaus treated them in the most obliging manner, and gave him thanks for the deliverance of his son-in-law, and was much pleased at their reconciliation; and this the more, because he had formerly written to his friends at Rome that they should be assisting to Alexander at his trial. So he conducted Herod as far as Zephyrium, and made him presents to the value of thirty talents.
5. Now when Herod was come to Jerusalem, he gathered the people together, and presented to them his three sons, and gave them an apologetic account of his absence, and thanked God greatly, and thanked Caesar greatly also, for settling his house when it was under disturbances, and had procured concord among his sons, which was of greater consequence than the kingdom itself, -" and which I will render still more firm; for Caesar hath put into my power to dispose of the government, and to appoint my successor. Accordingly, in way of requital for his kindness, and in order to provide for mine own advantage, I do declare that these three sons of mine shall be kings. And, in the first place, I pray for the approbation of God to what I am about; and, in the next place, I desire your approbation also. The age of one of them, and the nobility of the other two, shall procure them the succession. Nay, indeed, my kingdom is so large that it may be sufficient for more kings. Now do you keep those in their places whom Caesar hath joined, and their father hath appointed; and do not you pay undue or unequal respects to them, but to every one according to the prerogative of their births; for he that pays such respects unduly, will thereby not make him that is honored beyond what his age requires so joyful, as he will make him that is dishonored sorrowful. As for the kindred and friends that are to converse with them, I will appoint them to each of them, and will so constitute them, that they may be securities for their concord; as well knowing that the ill tempers of those with whom they converse will produce quarrels and contentions among them; but that if these with whom they converse be of good tempers, they will preserve their natural affections for one another. But still I desire that not these only, but all the captains of my army, have for the present their hopes placed on me alone; for I do not give away my kingdom to these my sons, but give them royal honors only; whereby it will come to pass that they will enjoy the sweet parts of government as rulers themselves, but that the burden of administration will rest upon myself whether I will or not. And let every one consider what age I am of, how I have conducted my life, and what piety I have exercised; for my age is not so great that men may soon expect the end of my life; nor have I indulged such a luxurious way of living as cuts men off when they are young; and we have been so religious towards God, that we [have reason to hope we] may arrive at a very great age. But for such as cultivate a friendship with my sons, so as to aim at my destruction, they shall be punished by me on their account. I am not one who envy my own children, and therefore forbid men to pay them great respect; but I know that such [extravagant] respects are the way to make them insolent. And if every one that comes near them does but revolve this in his mind, that if he prove a good man, he shall receive a reward from me, but that if he prove seditious, his ill-intended complaisance shall get him nothing from him to whom it is shown, I suppose they will all be of my side, that is, of my sons' side; for it will be for their advantage that I reign, and that I be at concord with them. But do you, O my good children, reflect upon the holiness of nature itself, by whose means natural affection is preserved, even among wild beasts; in the next place, reflect upon Caesar, who hath made this reconciliation among us; and in the third place, reflect upon me, who entreat you to do what I have power to command you, - continue brethren. I give you royal garments, and royal honors; and I pray to God to preserve what I have determined, in case you be at concord one with another." When the king had thus spoken, and had saluted every one of his sons after an obliging manner, he dismissed the multitude; some of which gave their assent to what he had said, and wished it might take effect accordingly; but for those who wished for a change of affairs, they pretended they did not so much as hear what he said.
THE MALICE OF ANTIPATER AND DORIS. ALEXANDER IS VERY UNEASY ON GLAPHYRAS ACCOUNT. HEROD PARDONS PHERORAS, WHOM HE SUSPECTED, AND SALOME WHOM HE KNEW TO MAKE MISCHIEF AMONG THEM. HEROD'S EUNUCHS ARE TORTURED AND ALEXANDER IS BOUND.
1. BUT now the quarrel that was between them still accompanied these brethren when they parted, and the suspicions they had one of the other grew worse. Alexander and Aristobulus were much grieved that the privilege of the first-born was confirmed to Antipater; as was Antipater very angry at his brethren that they were to succeed him. But then this last being of a disposition that was mutable and politic, he knew how to hold his tongue, and used a great deal of cunning, and thereby concealed the hatred he bore to them; while the former, depending on the nobility of their births, had every thing upon their tongues which was in their minds. Many also there were who provoked them further, and many of their [seeming] friends insinuated themselves into their acquaintance, to spy out what they did. Now every thing that was said by Alexander was presently brought to Antipater, and from Antipater it was brought to Herod with additions. Nor could the young man say any thing in the simplicity of his heart, without giving offense, but what he said was still turned to calumny against him. And if he had been at any time a little free in his conversation, great imputations were forged from the smallest occasions. Antipater also was perpetually setting some to provoke him to speak, that the lies he raised of him might seem to have some foundation of truth; and if, among the many stories that were given out, but one of them could be proved true, that was supposed to imply the rest to be true also. And as to Antipater's friends, they were all either naturally so cautious in speaking, or had been so far bribed to conceal their thoughts, that nothing of these grand secrets got abroad by their means. Nor should one be mistaken if he called the life of Antipater a mystery of wickedness; for he either corrupted Alexander's acquaintance with money, or got into their favor by flatteries; by which two means he gained all his designs, and brought them to betray their master, and to steal away, and reveal what he either did or said. Thus did he act a part very cunningly in all points, and wrought himself a passage by his calumnies with the greatest shrewdness; while he put on a face as if he were a kind brother to Alexander and Aristobulus, but suborned other men to inform of what they did to Herod. And when any thing was told against Alexander, he would come in, and pretend [to be of his side], and would begin to contradict what was said; but would afterward contrive matters so privately, that the king should have an indignation at him. His general aim was this, - to lay a plot, and to make it believed that Alexander lay in wait to kill his father; for nothing afforded so great a confirmation to these calumnies as did Antipater's apologies for him.
2. By these methods Herod was inflamed, and as much as his natural affection to the young men did every day diminish, so much did it increase towards Antipater. The courtiers also inclined to the same conduct, some of their own accord, and others by the king's injunction, as particularly did Ptolemy, the king's dearest friend, as also the king's brethren, and all his children; for Antipater was all in all; and what was the bitterest part of all to Alexander, Antipater's mother was also all in all; she was one that gave counsel against them, and was more harsh than a step-mother, and one that hated the queen's sons more than is usual to hate sons-in-law. All men did therefore already pay their respects to Antipater, in hopes of advantage; and it was the king's command which alienated every body [from the brethren], he having given this charge to his most intimate friends, that they should not come near, nor pay any regard, to Alexander, or to his friends. Herod was also become terrible, not only to his domestics about the court, but to his friends abroad; for Caesar had given such a privilege to no other king as he had given to him, which was this, - that he might fetch back any one that fled from him, even out of a city that was not under his own jurisdiction. Now the young men were not acquainted with the calumnies raised against them; for which reason they could not guard themselves against them, but fell under them; for their father did not make any public complaints against either of them; though in a little time they perceived how things were by his coldness to them, and by the great uneasiness he showed upon any thing that troubled him. Antipater had also made their uncle Pheroras to be their enemy, as well as their aunt Salome, while he was always talking with her, as with a wife, and irritating her against them. Moreover, Alexander's wife, Glaphyra, augmented this hatred against them, by deriving her nobility and genealogy [from great persons], and pretending that she was a lady superior to all others in that kingdom, as being derived by her father's side from Temenus, and by her mother's side from Darius, the son of Hystaspes. She also frequently reproached Herod's sister and wives with the ignobility of their descent; and that they were every one chosen by him for their beauty, but not for their family. Now those wives of his were not a few; it being of old permitted to the Jews to marry many wives, (39) and this king delighting in many; all which hated Alexander, on account of Glaphyra's boasting and reproaches.
3. Nay, Aristobulus had raised a quarrel between himself and Salome, who was his mother-in-law, besides the anger he had conceived at Glaphyra's reproaches; for he perpetually upbraided his wife with the meanness of her family, and complained, that as he had married a woman of a low family, so had his brother Alexander married one of royal blood. At this Salome's daughter wept, and told it her with this addition, that Alexander threatened the mothers of his other brethren, that when he should come to the crown, he would make them weave with their maidens, and would make those brothers of his country schoolmasters; and brake this jest upon them, that they had been very carefully instructed, to fit them for such an employment. Hereupon Salome could not contain her anger, but told all to Herod; nor could her testimony be suspected, since it was against her own son-in-law There was also another calumny that ran abroad and inflamed the king's mind; for he heard that these sons of his were perpetually speaking of their mother, and, among their lamentations for her, did not abstain from cursing him; and that when he made presents of any of Mariamne's garments to his later wives, these threatened that in a little time, instead of royal garments, they would clothe theft in no better than hair-cloth.
4. Now upon these accounts, though Herod was somewhat afraid of the young men's high spirit, yet did he not despair of reducing them to a better mind; but before he went to Rome, whither he was now going by sea, he called them to him, and partly threatened them a little, as a king; but for the main, he admonished them as a father, and exhorted them to love their brethren, and told them that he would pardon their former offenses, if they would amend for the time to come. But they refuted the calumnies that had been raised of them, and said they were false, and alleged that their actions were sufficient for their vindication; and said withal, that he himself ought to shut his ears against such tales, and not be too easy in believing them, for that there would never be wanting those that would tell lies to their disadvantage, as long as any would give ear to them.
5. When they had thus soon pacified him, as being their father, they got clear of the present fear they were in. Yet did they see occasion for sorrow in some time afterward; for they knew that Salome, as well as their uncle Pheroras, were their enemies; who were both of them heavy and severe persons, and especially Pheroras, who was a partner with Herod in all the affairs of the kingdom, excepting his diadem. He had also a hundred talents of his own revenue, and enjoyed the advantage of all the land beyond Jordan, which he had received as a gift from his brother, who had asked of Caesar to make him a tetrarch, as he was made accordingly. Herod had also given him a wife out of the royal family, who was no other than his own wife's sister, and after her death had solemnly espoused to him his own eldest daughter, with a dowry of three hundred talents; but Pheroras refused to consummate this royal marriage, out of his affection to a maidservant of his. Upon which account Herod was very angry, and gave that daughter in marriage to a brother's son of his, [Joseph,] who was slain afterward by the Parthians; but in some time he laid aside his anger against Pheroras, and pardoned him, as one not able to overcome his foolish passion for the maid-servant.
6. Nay, Pheroras had been accused long before, while the queen [Mariamne] was alive, as if he were in a plot to poison Herod; and there came then so great a number of informers, that Herod himself, though he was an exceeding lover of his brethren, was brought to believe what was said, and to be afraid of it also. And when he had brought many of those that were under suspicion to the torture, he came at last to Pheroras's own friends; none of which did openly confess the crime, but they owned that he had made preparation to take her whom he loved, and run away to the Parthians. Costobarus also, the husband of Salome, to whom the king had given her in marriage, after her former husband had been put to death for adultery, was instrumental in bringing about this contrivance and flight of his. Nor did Salome escape all calumny upon herself; for her brother Pheroras accused her that she had made an agreement to marry Silleus, the procurator of Obodas, king of Arabia, who was at bitter enmity with Herod; but when she was convicted of this, and of all that Pheroras had accused her of, she obtained her pardon. The king also pardoned Pheroras himself the crimes he had been accused of.
7. But the storm of the whole family was removed to Alexander, and all of it rested upon his head. There were three eunuchs who were in the highest esteem with the king, as was plain by the offices they were in about him; for one of them was appointed to be his butler, another of them got his supper ready for him, and the third put him into bed, and lay down by him. Now Alexander had prevailed with these men, by large gifts, to let him use them after an obscene manner; which, when it was told to the king, they were tortured, and found guilty, and presently confessed the criminal conversation he had with them. They also discovered the promises by which they were induced so to do, and how they were deluded by Alexander, who had told them that they ought not to fix their hopes upon Herod, an old man, and one so shameless as to color his hair, unless they thought that would make him young again; but that they ought to fix their attention to him who was to be his successor in the kingdom, whether he would or not; and who in no long time would avenge himself on his enemies, and make his friends happy and blessed, and themselves in the first place; that the men of power did already pay respects to Alexander privately, and that the captains of the soldiery, and the officers, did secretly come to him.
8. These confessions did so terrify Herod, that he durst not immediately publish them; but he sent spies abroad privately, by night and by day, who should make a close inquiry after all that was done and said; and when any were but suspected [of treason], he put them to death, insomuch that the palace was full of horribly unjust proceedings; for every body forged calumnies, as they were themselves in a state of enmity or hatred against others; and many there were who abused the king's bloody passion to the disadvantage of those with whom they had quarrels, and lies were easily believed, and punishments were inflicted sooner than the calumnies were forged. He who had just then been accusing another was accused himself, and was led away to execution together with him whom he had convicted; for the danger the king was in of his life made examinations be very short. He also proceeded to such a degree of bitterness, that he could not look on any of those that were not accused with a pleasant countenance, but was in the most barbarous disposition towards his own friends. Accordingly, he forbade a great many of them to come to court, and to those whom he had not power to punish actually he spake harshly. But for Antipater, he insulted Alexander, now he was under his misfortunes, and got a stout company of his kindred together, and raised all sorts of calumny against him; and for the king, he was brought to such a degree of terror by those prodigious slanders and contrivances, that he fancied he saw Alexander coming to him with a drawn sword in his hand. So he caused him to be seized upon immediately, and bound, and fell to examining his friends by torture, many of whom died [under the torture], but would discover nothing, nor say any thing against their consciences; but some of them, being forced to speak falsely by the pains they endured, said that Alexander, and his brother Aristobulus, plotted against him, and waited for an opportunity to kill him as he was hunting, and then fly away to Rome. These accusations though they were of an incredible nature, and only framed upon the great distress they were in, were readily believed by the king, who thought it some comfort to him, after he had bound his son, that it might appear he had not done it unjustly.
ARCHELAUS PROCURES A RECONCILIATION BETWEEN ALEXANDER PHERORAS, AND HEROD.
1. NOW as to Alexander, since he perceived it impossible to persuade his father [that he was innocent], he resolved to meet his calamities, how severe soever they were; so he composed four books against his enemies, and confessed that he had been in a plot; but declared withal that the greatest part [of the courtiers] were in a plot with him, and chiefly Pheroras and Salome; nay, that Salome once came and forced him to lie with her in the night time, whether he would or no. These books were put into Herod's hands, and made a great clamor against the men in power. And now it was that Archelaus came hastily into Judea, as being affrighted for his son-in-law and his daughter; and he came as a proper assistant, and in a very prudent manner, and by a stratagem he obliged the king not to execute what he had threatened; for when he was come to him, he cried out, "Where in the world is this wretched son-in-law of mine? Where shall I see the head of him which contrived to murder his father, which I will tear to pieces with my own hands? I will do the same also to my daughter, who hath such a fine husband; for although she be not a partner in the plot, yet, by being the wife of such a creature, she is polluted. And I cannot but admire at thy patience, against whom this plot is laid, if Alexander be still alive; for as I came with what haste I could from Cappadocia, I expected to find him put to death for his crimes long ago; but still, in order to make an examination with thee about my daughter, whom, out of regard to thee and by dignity, I had espoused to him in marriage; but now we must take counsel about them both; and if thy paternal affection be so great, that thou canst not punish thy son, who hath plotted against thee, let us change our right hands, and let us succeed one to the other in expressing our rage upon this occasion."
2. When he had made this pompous declaration, he got Herod to remit of his anger, though he were in disorder, who thereupon gave him the books which Alexander had composed to be read by him; and as he came to every head, he considered of it, together with Herod. So Archclaus took hence the occasion for that stratagem which he made use of, and by degrees he laid the blame on those men whose names were in these books, and especially upon Pheroras; and when he saw that the king believed him [to he in earnest], he said, "We must consider whether the young man be not himself plotted against by such a number of wicked wretches, and not thou plotted against by the young man; for I cannot see any occasion for his falling into so horrid a crime, since he enjoys the advantages of royalty already, and has the expectation of being one of thy successors; I mean this, unless there were some persons that persuade him to it, and such persons as make an ill use of the facility they know there is to persuade young men; for by such persons, not only young men are sometimes imposed upon, but old men also, and by them sometimes are the most illustrious families and kingdoms overturned."
3. Herod assented to what he had said, and, by degrees, abated of his anger against Alexander, but was more angry at Pheroras; for the principal subject of the four books was Pheroras; who perceiving that the king's inclinations changed on a sudden, and that Archelaus's friendship could do every thing with him, and that he had no honorable method of preserving himself, he procured his safety by his impudence. So he left Alexander, and had recourse to Archelaus, who told him that he did not see how he could get him excused, now he was directly caught in so many crimes, whereby it was evidently demonstrated that he had plotted against the king, and had been the cause of those misfortunes which the young man was now under, unless he would moreover leave off his cunning knavery, and his denials of what he was charged withal, and confess the charge, and implore pardon of his brother, who still had a kindness for him; but that if he would do so, he would afford him all the assistance he was able.
4. With this advice Pheroras complied, and putting himself into such a habit as might most move compassion, he came with black cloth upon his body, and tears in his eyes, and threw himself down at Herod's feet, and begged his pardon for what he had done, and confessed that he had acted very wickedly, and was guilty of every thing that he had been accused of, and lamented that disorder of his mind, and distraction which his love to a woman, he said, had brought him to. So when Archelaus had brought Pheroras to accuse and bear witness against himself, he then made an excuse for him, and mitigated Herod's anger towards him, and this by using certain domestical examples; for that when he had suffered much greater mischiefs from a brother of his own, he prefered the obligations of nature before the passion of revenge; because it is in kingdoms as it is in gross bodies, where some member or other is ever swelled by the body's weight, in which case it is not proper to cut off such member, but to heal it by a gentle method of cure.
5. Upon Arehelaus's saying this, and much more to the same purpose, Herod's displeasure against Pheroras was mollified; yet did he persevere in his own indignation against Alexander, and said he would have his daughter divorced, and taken away from him, and this till he had brought Herod to that pass, that, contrary to his former behavior to him, he petitioned Archelaus for the young man, and that he would let his daughter continue espoused to him: but Archelaus made him strongly believe that he would permit her to be married to any one else, but not to Alexander, because he looked upon it as a very valuable advantage, that the relation they had contracted by that affinity, and the privileges that went along with it, might be preserved. And when the king said that his son would take it for a great favor to him, if he would not dissolve that marriage, especially since they had already children between the young man and her, and since that wife of his was so well beloved by him, and that as while she remains his wife she would be a great preservative to him, and keep him from offending, as he had formerly done; so if she should be once torn away from him, she would be the cause of his falling into despair, because such young men's attempts are best mollified when they are diverted from them by settling their affections at home. So Arehelaus complied with what Herod desired, but not without difficulty, and was both himself reconciled to the young man, and reconciled his father to him also. However, he said he must, by all means, be sent to Rome to discourse with Caesar, because he had already written a full account to him of this whole matter.
6. Thus a period was put to Archelaus's stratagem, whereby he delivered his son-in-law out of the dangers he was in; but when these reconciliations were over, they spent their time in feastings and agreeable entertainments. And when Archelaus was going away, Herod made him a present of seventy talents, with a golden throne set with precious stones, and some eunuchs, and a concubine who was called Pannychis. He also paid due honors to every one of his friends according to their dignity. In like manner did all the king's kindred, by his command, make glorious presents to Archelaus; and so he was conducted on his way by Herod and his nobility as far as Antioch.
HOW EURYCLES (40) CALUMNIATED THE SONS OF MARIAMNE; AND HOW EUARATUS OF COSTS APOLOGY FOR THEM HAD NO EFFECT.
1. NOW a little afterward there came into Judea a man that was much superior to Arehelaus's stratagems, who did not only overturn that reconciliation that had been so wisely made with Alexander, but proved the occasion of his ruin. He was a Lacedemonian, and his name was Eurycles. He was so corrupt a man, that out of the desire of getting money, he chose to live under a king, for Greece could not suffice his luxury. He presented Herod with splendid gifts, as a bait which he laid in order to compass his ends, and quickly received them back again manifold; yet did he esteem bare gifts as nothing, unless he imbrued the kingdom in blood by his purchases. Accordingly, he imposed upon the king by flattering him, and by talking subtlely to him, as also by the lying encomiums which he made upon him; for as he soon perceived Herod's blind side, so he said and did every thing that might please him, and thereby became one of his most intimate friends; for both the king and all that were about him had a great regard for this Spartan, on account of his country. (41)
2. Now as soon as this fellow perceived the rotten parts of the family, and what quarrels the brothers had one with another, and in what disposition the father was towards each of them, he chose to take his lodging at the first in the house of Antipater, but deluded Alexander with a pretense of friendship to him, and falsely claimed to be an old acquaintance of Archelaus; for which reason he was presently admitted into Alexander's familiarity as a faithful friend. He also soon recommended himself to his brother Aristobulus. And when he had thus made trial of these several persons, he imposed upon one of them by one method, and upon another by another. But he was principally hired by Antipater, and so betrayed Alexander, and this by reproaching Antipater, because, while he was the eldest son he overlooked the intrigues of those who stood in the way of his expectations; and by reproaching Alexander, because he who was born of a queen, and was married to a king's daughter, permitted one that was born of a mean woman to lay claim to the succession, and this when he had Archelaus to support him in the most complete manner. Nor was his advice thought to be other than faithful by the young man, because of his pretended friendship with Archelaus; on which account it was that Alexander lamented to him Antipater's behavior with regard to himself, and this without concealing any thing from him; and how it was no wonder if Herod, after he had killed their mother, should deprive them of her kingdom. Upon this Eurycles pretended to commiserate his condition, and to grieve with him. He also, by a bait that he laid for him, procured Aristobulus to say the same things. Thus did he inveigle both the brothers to make complaints of their father, and then went to Antipater, and carried these grand secrets to him. He also added a fiction of his own, as if his brothers had laid a plot against him, and were almost ready to come upon him with their drawn swords. For this intelligence he received a great sum of money, and on that account he commended Antipater before his father, and at length undertook the work of bringing Alexander and Aristobulus to their graves, and accused them before their father. So he came to Herod, and told him that he would save his life, as a requital for the favors he had received from him, and would preserve his light [of life] by way of retribution for his kind entertainment; for that a sword had been long whetted, and Alexander's right hand had been long stretched out against him; but that he had laid impediments in his way, prevented his speed, and that by pretending to assist him in his design: how Alexander said that Herod was not contented to reign in a kingdom that belonged to others, and to make dilapidations in their mother's government after he had killed her; but besides all this, that he introduced a spurious successor, and proposed to give the kingdom of their ancestors to that pestilent fellow Antipater: - that he would now appease the ghosts of Hyrcanus and Mariamne, by taking vengeance on him; for that it was not fit for him to take the succession to the government from such a father without bloodshed: that many things happen every day to provoke him so to do, insomuch that he can say nothing at all, but it affords occasion for calumny against him; for that if any mention be made of nobility of birth, even in other cases, he is abused unjustly, while his father would say that nobody, to be sure, is of noble birth but Alexander, and that his father was inglorious for want of such nobility. If they be at any time hunting, and he says nothing, he gives offense; and if he commends any body, they take it in way of jest. That they always find their father unmercifully severe, and have no natural affection for any of them but for Antipater; on which accounts, if this plot does not take, he is very willing to die; but that in case he kill his father, he hath sufficient opportunities for saving himself. In the first place, he hath Archelaus his father-in-law to whom he can easily fly; and in the next place, he hath Caesar, who had never known Herod's character to this day; for that he shall not appear then before him with that dread he used to do when his father was there to terrify him; and that he will not then produce the accusations that concerned himself alone, but would, in the first place, openly insist on the calamities of their nation, and how they are taxed to death, and in what ways of luxury and wicked practices that wealth is spent which was gotten by bloodshed; what sort of persons they are that get our riches, and to whom those cities belong upon whom he bestows his favors; that he would have inquiry made what became of his grandfather [Hyrcanus], and his mother [Mariamne], and would openly proclaim the gross wickedness that was in the kingdom; on which accounts he should not be deemed a parricide.
3. When Eurycles had made this portentous speech, he greatly commended Antipater, as the only child that had an affection for his father, and on that account was an impediment to the other's plot against him. Hereupon the king, who had hardly repressed his anger upon the former accusations, was exasperated to an incurable degree. At which time Antipater took another occasion to send in other persons to his father to accuse his brethren, and to tell him that they had privately discoursed with Jucundus and Tyrannus, who had once been masters of the horse to the king, but for some offenses had been put out of that honorable employment. Herod was in a very great rage at these informations, and presently ordered those men to be tortured; yet did not they confess any thing of what the king had been informed; but a certain letter was produced, as written by Alexander to the governor of a castle, to desire him to receive him and Aristobulus into the castle when he had killed his father, and to give them weapons, and what other assistance he could, upon that occasion. Alexander said that this letter was a forgery of Diophantus. This Diophantus was the king's secretary, a bold man, and cunning in counterfeiting any one's hand; and after he had counterfeited a great number, he was at last put to death for it. Herod did also order the governor of the castle to be tortured, but got nothing out of him of what the accusations suggested.
4. However, although Herod found the proofs too weak, he gave order to have his sons kept in custody; for till now they had been at liberty. He also called that pest of his family, and forger of all this vile accusation, Eurycles, his savior and benefactor, and gave him a reward of fifty talents. Upon which he prevented any accurate accounts that could come of what he had done, by going immediately into Cappadocia, and there he got money of Archelaus, having the impudence to pretend that he had reconciled Herod to Alexander. He thence passed over into Greece, and used what he had thus wickedly gotten to the like wicked purposes. Accordingly, he was twice accused before Caesar, that he had filled Achaia with sedition, and had plundered its cities; and so he was sent into banishment. And thus was he punished for what wicked actions he had been guilty of about Aristobulus and Alexander.
5. But it will now be worth while to put Euaratus of Cos in opposition to this Spartan; for as he was one of Alexander's most intimate friends, and came to him in his travels at the same time that Eurycles came; so the king put the question to him, whether those things of which Alexander was accused were true? He assured him upon oath that he had never heard any such things from the young men; yet did this testimony avail nothing for the clearing those miserable creatures; for Herod was only disposed and most ready to hearken to what made against them, and every one was most agreeable to him that would believe they were guilty, and showed their indignation at them.
HEROD BY CAESARS DIRECTION ACCUSES HIS SONS AT EURYTUS. THEY ARE NOT PRODUCED BEFORE THE COURTS BUT YET ARE CONDEMNED; AND IN A LITTLE TIME THEY ARE SENT TO SEBASTE, AND STRANGLED THERE.
1. MOREOVER, Salome exasperated Herod's cruelty against his sons; for Aristobulus was desirous to bring her, who was his mother-in-law and his aunt, into the like dangers with themselves; so he sent to her to take care of her own safety, and told her that the king was preparing to put her to death, on account of the accusation that was laid against her, as if when she formerly endeavored to marry herself to Sylleus the Arabian, she had discovered the king's grand secrets to him, who was the king's enemy; and this it was that came as the last storm, and entirely sunk the young men when they were in great danger before. For Salome came running to the king, and informed him of what admonition had been given her; whereupon he could bear no longer, but commanded both the young men to be bound, and kept the one asunder from the other. He also sent Volumnius, the general of his army, to Caesar immediately, as also his friend Olympus with him, who carried the informations in writing along with them. Now as soon as they had sailed to Rome, and delivered the king's letters to Caesar, Caesar was mightily troubled at the case of the young men; yet did not he think he ought to take the power from the father of condemning his sons; so he wrote back to him, and appointed him to have the power over his sons; but said withal, that he would do well to make an examination into this matter of the plot against him in a public court, and to take for his assessors his own kindred, and the governors of the province. And if those sons be found guilty, to put them to death; but if they appear to have thought of no more than flying away from him, that he should moderate their punishment.
2. With these directions Herod complied, and came to Berytus, where Caesar had ordered the court to be assembled, and got the judicature together. The presidents sat first, as Caesar's letters had appointed, who were Saturninus and Pedanius, and their lieutenants that were with them, with whom was the procurator Volumnius also; next to them sat the king's kinsmen and friends, with Salome also, and Pheroras; after whom sat the principal men of all Syria, excepting Archelaus; for Herod had a suspicion of him, because he was Alexander's father-in-law. Yet did not he produce his sons in open court; and this was done very cunningly, for he knew well enough that had they but appeared only, they would certainly have been pitied; and if withal they had been suffered to speak, Alexander would easily have answered what they were accused of; but they were in custody at Platane, a village of the Sidontans.
3. So the king got up, and inveighed against his sons, as if they were present; and as for that part of the accusation that they had plotted against him, he urged it but faintly, because he was destitute of proofs; but he insisted before the assessors on the reproaches, and jests, and injurious carriage, and ten thousand the like offenses against him, which were heavier than death itself; and when nobody contradicted him, he moved them to pity his case, as though he had been condemned himself, now he had gained a bitter victory against his sons. So he asked every one's sentence, which sentence was first of all given by Saturninus, and was this: That he condemned the young men, but not to death; for that it was not fit for him, who had three sons of his own now present, to give his vote for the destruction of the sons of another. The two lieutenants also gave the like vote; some others there were also who followed their example; but Volumnius began to vote on the more melancholy side, and all those that came after him condemned the young men to die, some out of flattery, and some out of hatred to Herod; but none out of indignation at their crimes. And now all Syria and Judea was in great expectation, and waited for the last act of this tragedy; yet did nobody, suppose that Herod would be so barbarous as to murder his children: however, he carried them away to Tyre, and thence sailed to Cesarea, and deliberated with himself what sort of death the young men should suffer.
4. Now there was a certain old soldier of the king's, whose name was Tero, who had a son that was very familiar with and a friend to Alexander, and who himself particularly loved the young men. This soldier was in a manner distracted, out of the excess of the indignation he had at what was doing; and at first he cried out aloud, as he went about, that justice was trampled under foot; that truth was perished, and nature confounded; and that the life of man was full of iniquity, and every thing else that passion could suggest to a man who spared not his own life; and at last he ventured to go to the king, and said, "Truly I think thou art a most miserable man, when thou hearkenest to most wicked wretches, against those that ought to be dearest to thee; since thou hast frequently resolved that Pheroras and Salome should be put to death, and yet believest them against thy sons; while these, by cutting off the succession of thine own sons, leave all wholly to Antipater, and thereby choose to have thee such a king as may be thoroughly in their own power. However, consider whether this death of Antipater's brethren will not make him hated by the soldiers; for there is nobody but commiserates the young men; and of the captains, a great many show their indignation at it openly." Upon his saying this, he named those that had such indignation; but the king ordered those men, with Tero himself and his son, to be seized upon immediately.
5. At which time there was a certain barber, whose name was Trypho. This man leaped out from among the people in a kind of madness, and accused himself, and said, "This Tero endeavored to persuade me also to cut thy throat with my razor, when I trimmed thee, and promised that Alexander should give me large presents for so doing." When Herod heard this, he examined Tero, with his son and the barber, by the torture; but as the others denied the accusation, and he said nothing further, Herod gave order that Tero should be racked more severely; but his son, out of pity to his father, promised to discover the whole to the king, if he would grant [that his father should be no longer tortured]. When he had agreed to this, he said that his father, at the persuasion of Alexander, had an intention to kill him. Now some said this was forged, in order to free his father from his torments; and some said it was true.
6. And now Herod accused the captains and Tero in an assembly of the people, and brought the people together in a body against them; and accordingly there were they put to death, together with [Trypho] the barber; they were killed by the pieces of wood and the stones that were thrown at them. He also sent his sons to Sebaste, a city not far from Cesarea, and ordered them to be there strangled; and as what he had ordered was executed immediately, so he commanded that their dead bodies should be brought to the fortress Alexandrium, to be buried with Alexander, their grandfather by the mother's side. And this was the end of Alexander and Aristobulus.
HOW ANTIPATER IS HATED OF ALL MEN; AND HOW THE KING ESPOUSES THE SONS OF THOSE THAT HAD BEEN SLAIN TO HIS KINDRED;BUT THAT ANTIPATER MADE HIM CHANGE THEM FOR OTHER WOMEN. OF HEROD'S MARRIAGES, AND CHILDREN.
1. BUT an intolerable hatred fell upon Antipater from the nation, though he had now an indisputable title to the succession, because they all knew that he was the person who contrived all the calumnies against his brethren. However, he began to be in a terrible fear, as he saw the posterity of those that had been slain growing up; for Alexander had two sons by Glaphyra, Tigranes and Alexander; and Aristobulus had Herod, and Agrippa, and Aristobulus, his sons, with Herodias and Mariamne, his daughters, and all by Bernice, Salome's daughter. As for Glaphyra, Herod, as soon as he had killed Alexander, sent her back, together with her portion, to Cappadocia. He married Bernice, Aristobulus's daughter, to Antipater's uncle by his mother, and it was Antipater who, in order to reconcile her to him, when she had been at variance with him, contrived this match; he also got into Pheroras's favor, and into the favor of Caesar's friends, by presents, and other ways of obsequiousness, and sent no small sums of money to Rome; Saturninus also, and his friends in Syria, were all well replenished with the presents he made them; yet the more he gave, the more he was hated, as not making these presents out of generosity, but spending his money out of fear. Accordingly, it so fell out that the receivers bore him no more good-will than before, but that those to whom he gave nothing were his more bitter enemies. However, he bestowed his money every day more and more profusely, on observing that, contrary to his expectations, the king was taking care about the orphans, and discovering at the same time his repentance for killing their fathers, by his commiseration of those that sprang from them.
2. Accordingly, Herod got together his kindred and friends, and set before them the children, and, with his eyes full of tears, said thus to them: "It was an unlucky fate that took away from me these children's fathers, which children are recommended to me by that natural commiseration which their orphan condition requires; however, I will endeavor, though I have been a most unfortunate father, to appear a better grandfather, and to leave these children such curators after myself as are dearest to me. I therefore betroth thy daughter, Pheroras, to the elder of these brethren, the children of Alexander, that thou mayst be obliged to take care of them. I also betroth to thy son, Antipater, the daughter of Aristobulus; be thou therefore a father to that orphan; and my son Herod [Philip] shall have her sister, whose grandfather, by the mother's side, was high priest. And let every one that loves me be of my sentiments in these dispositions, which none that hath an affection for me will abrogate. And I pray God that he will join these children together in marriage, to the advantage of my kingdom, and of my posterity; and may he look down with eyes more serene upon them than he looked upon their fathers."
3. While he spake these words he wept, and joined the children's fight hands together; after which he embraced them every one after an affectionate manner, and dismissed the assembly. Upon this, Antipater was in great disorder immediately, and lamented publicly at what was done; for he supposed that this dignity which was conferred on these orphans was for his own destruction, even in his father's lifetime, and that he should run another risk of losing the government, if Alexander's sons should have both Archelaus [a king], and Pheroras a tetrarch, to support them. He also considered how he was himself hated by the nation, and how they pitied these orphans; how great affection the Jews bare to those brethren of his when they were alive, and how gladly they remembered them now they had perished by his means. So he resolved by all the ways possible to get these espousals dissolved.
4. Now he was afraid of going subtlely about this matter with his father, who was hard to be pleased, and was presently moved upon the least suspicion: so he ventured to go to him directly, and to beg of him before his face not to deprive him of that dignity which he had been pleased to bestow upon him; and that he might not have the bare name of a king, while the power was in other persons; for that he should never be able to keep the government, if Alexander's son was to have both his grandfather Archelaus and Pheroras for his curators; and he besought him earnestly, since there were so many of the royal family alive, that he would change those [intended] marriages. Now the king had nine wives, (42) and children by seven of them; Antipater was himself born of Doris, and Herod Philip of Mariamne, the high priest's daughter; Antipas also and Archelaus were by Malthace, the Samaritan, as was his daughter Olympias, which his brother Joseph's (43) son had married. By Cleopatra of Jerusalem he had Herod and Philip; and by Pallas, Phasaelus; he had also two daughters, Roxana and Salome, the one by Phedra, and the other by Elpis; he had also two wives that had no children, the one his first cousin, and the other his niece; and besides these he had two daughters, the sisters of Alexander and Aristobulus, by Mariamne. Since, therefore, the royal family was so numerous, Antipater prayed him to change these intended marriages.
5. When the king perceived what disposition he was in towards these orphans, he was angry at it, and a suspicion came into his mind as to those sons whom he had put to death, whether that had not been brought about by the false tales of Antipater; so that at that time he made Antipater a long and a peevish answer, and bid him begone. Yet was he afterwards prevailed upon cunningly by his flatteries, and changed the marriages; he married Aristobulus's daughter to him, and his son to Pheroras's daughter.
6. Now one may learn, in this instance, how very much this flattering Antipater could do, - even what Salome in the like circumstances could not do; for when she, who was his sister, and who, by the means of Julia, Caesar's wife, earnestly desired leave to be married to Sylleus the Arabian, Herod swore he would esteem her his bitter enemy, unless she would leave off that project: he also caused her, against her own consent, to be married to Alexas, a friend of his, and that one of her daughters should be married to Alexas's son, and the other to Antipater's uncle by the mother's side. And for the daughters the king had by Mariamne, the one was married to Antipater, his sister's son, and the other to his brother's son, Phasaelus.
ANTIPATER BECOMES INTOLERABLE. HE IS SENT TO ROME, AND CARRIES HEROD'S TESTAMENT WITH HIM; PHERORAS LEAVES HIS BROTHER, THAT HE MAY KEEP HIS WIFE. HE DIES AT HOME.
1. NOW when Antipater had cut off the hopes of the orphans, and had contracted such affinities as would be most for his own advantage, he proceeded briskly, as having a certain expectation of the kingdom; and as he had now assurance added to his wickedness, he became intolerable; for not being able to avoid the hatred of all people, he built his security upon the terror he struck into them. Pheroras also assisted him in his designs, looking upon him as already fixed in the kingdom. There was also a company of women in the court, which excited new disturbances; for Pheroras's wife, together with her mother and sister, as also Antipater's mother, grew very impudent in the palace. She also was so insolent as to affront the king's two daughters, (44) on which account the king hated her to a great degree; yet although these women were hated by him, they domineered over others: there was only Salome who opposed their good agreement, and informed the king of their meetings, as not being for the advantage of his affairs. And when those women knew what calumnies she had raised against them, and how much Herod was displeased, they left off their public meetings, and friendly entertainments of one another; nay, on the contrary, they pretended to quarrel one with another when the king was within hearing. The like dissimulation did Antipater make use of; and when matters were public, he opposed Pheroras; but still they had private cabals and merry meetings in the night time; nor did the observation of others do any more than confirm their mutual agreement. However, Salome knew every thing they did, and told every thing to Herod.
2. But he was inflamed with anger at them, and chiefly at Pheroras's wife; for Salome had principally accused her. So he got an assembly of his friends and kindred together, and there accused this woman of many things, and particularly of the affronts she had offered his daughters; and that she had supplied the Pharisees with money, by way of rewards for what they had done against him, and had procured his brother to become his enemy, by giving him love potions. At length he turned his speech to Pheroras, and told him that he would give him his choice of these two things: Whether he would keep in with his brother, or with his wife? And when Pheroras said that he would die rather than forsake his wife? Herod, not knowing what to do further in that matter, turned his speech to Antipater, and charged him to have no intercourse either with Pheroras's wife, or with Pheroras himself, or with any one belonging to her. Now though Antipater did not transgress that his injunction publicly, yet did he in secret come to their night meetings; and because he was afraid that Salome observed what he did, he procured, by the means of his Italian friends, that he might go and live at Rome; for when they wrote that it was proper for Antipater to be sent to Caesar for some time, Herod made no delay, but sent him, and that with a splendid attendance, and a great deal of money, and gave him his testament to carry with him, - wherein Antipater had the kingdom bequeathed to him, and wherein Herod was named for Antipater's successor; that Herod, I mean, who was the son of Mariarmne, the high priest's daughter.
3. Sylleus also, the Arabian, sailed to Rome, without any regard to Caesar's injunctions, and this in order to oppose Antipater with all his might, as to that law-suit which Nicolaus had with him before. This Sylleus had also a great contest with Aretas his own king; for he had slain many others of Aretas's friends, and particularly Sohemus, the most potent man in the city Petra. Moreover, he had prevailed with Phabatus, who was Herod's steward, by giving him a great sum of money, to assist him against Herod; but when Herod gave him more, he induced him to leave Syllcus, and by this means he demanded of him all that Caesar had required of him to pay. But when Sylleus paid nothing of what he was to pay, and did also accuse Phabatus to Caesar, and said that he was not a steward for Caesar's advantage, but for Herod's, Phabatus was angry at him on that account, but was still in very great esteem with Herod, and discovered Sylleus's grand secrets, and told the king that Sylleus had corrupted Corinthus, one of the guards of his body, by bribing him, and of whom he must therefore have a care. Accordingly, the king complied; for this Corinthus, though he was brought up in Herod's kingdom, yet was he by birth an Arabian; so the king ordered him to be taken up immediately, and not only him, but two other Arabians, who were caught with him; the one of them was Sylleus's friend, the other the head of a tribe. These last, being put to the torture, confessed that they had prevailed with Corinthus, for a large sum of money, to kill Herod; and when they had been further examined before Saturninus, the president of Syria, they were sent to Rome.
4. However, Herod did not leave off importuning Pheroras, but proceeded to force him to put away his wife; (45) yet could he not devise any way by which he could bring the woman herself to punishment, although he had many causes of hatred to her; till at length he was in such great uneasiness at her, that he cast both her and his brother out of his kingdom. Pheroras took this injury very patiently, and went away into his own tetrarchy, [Perea beyond Jordan,] and sware that there should be but one end put to his flight, and that should be Herod's death; and that he would never return while he was alive. Nor indeed would he return when his brother was sick, although he earnestly sent for him to come to him, because he had a mind to leave some injunctions with him before he died; but Herod unexpectedly recovered. A little afterward Pheroras himself fell sick, when Herod showed great moderation; for he came to him, and pitied his case, and took care of him; but his affection for him did him no good, for Pheroras died a little afterward. Now though Herod had so great an affection for him to the last day of his life, yet was a report spread abroad that he had killed him by poison. However, he took care to have his dead body carried to Jerusalem, and appointed a very great mourning to the whole nation for him, and bestowed a most pompous funeral upon him. And this was the end that one of Alexander's and Aristobulus's murderers came to.
WHEN HEROD MADE INQUIRY ABOUT PHERORAS'S DEATH A DISCOVERY WAS MADE THAT ANTIPATER HAD PREPARED A POISONOUS DRAUGHT FOR HIM. HEROD CASTS DORIS AND HER ACCOMPLICES, AS ALSO MARIAMNE, OUT OF THE PALACE AND BLOTS HER SON HEROD OUT OF HIS TESTAMENT.
1. BUT now the punishment was transferred unto the original author, Antipater, and took its rise from the death of Pheroras; for certain of his freed-men came with a sad countenance to the king, and told him that his brother had been destroyed by poison, and that his wife had brought him somewhat that was prepared after an unusual manner, and that, upon his eating it, he presently fell into his distemper; that Antipater's mother and sister, two days before, brought a woman out of Arabia that was skillful in mixing such drugs, that she might prepare a love potion for Pheroras; and that instead of a love potion, she had given him deadly poison; and that this was done by the management of Sylleus, who was acquainted with that woman.
2. The king was deeply affected with so many suspicions, and had the maid-servants and some of the free women also tortured; one of which cried out in her agonies, "May that God that governs the earth and the heaven punish this author of all these our miseries, Antipater's mother!" The king took a handle from this confession, and proceeded to inquire further into the truth of the matter. So this woman discovered the friendship of Antipater's mother to Pheroras, and Antipater's women, as also their secret meetings, and that Pheroras and Antipater had drunk with them for a whole night together as they returned from the king, and would not suffer any body, either man-servant or maidservant, to be there; while one of the free women discovered the matter.
3. Upon this Herod tortured the maid-servants every on by themselves separately, who all unanimously agreed in the foregoing discoveries, and that accordingly by agreement they went away, Antipater to Rome, and Pheroras to Perea; for that they oftentimes talked to one another thus: That after Herod had slain Alexander and Aristobulus, he would fall upon them, and upon their wives, because, after he Mariamne and her children he would spare nobody; and that for this reason it was best to get as far off the wild beast as they were able: - and that Antipater oftentimes lamented his own case before his mother, and said to her, that he had already gray hairs upon his head, and that his father grew younger again every day, and that perhaps death would overtake him before he should begin to be a king in earnest; and that in case Herod should die, which yet nobody knew when it would be, the enjoyment of the succession could certainly be but for a little time; for that these heads of Hydra, the sons of Alexander and Aristobulus, were growing up: that he was deprived by his father of the hopes of being succeeded by his children, for that his successor after his death was not to be any one of his own sons, but Herod the son of Mariamne: that in this point Herod was plainly distracted, to think that his testament should therein take place; for he would take care that not one of his posterity should remain, because he was of all fathers the greatest hater of his children. Yet does he hate his brother still worse; whence it was that he a while ago gave himself a hundred talents, that he should not have any intercourse with Pheroras. And when Pheroras said, Wherein have we done him any harm? Antipater replied, "I wish he would but deprive us of all we have, and leave us naked and alive only; but it is indeed impossible to escape this wild beast, who is thus given to murder, who will not permit us to love any person openly, although we be together privately; yet may we be so openly too, if we have but the courage and the hands of men."
4. These things were said by the women upon the torture; as also that Pheroras resolved to fly with them to Perea. Now Herod gave credit to all they said, on account of the affair of the hundred talents; for he had no discourse with any body about them, but only with Antipater. So he vented his anger first of all against Antipater's mother, and took away from her all the ornaments which he had given her, which cost a great many talents, and cast her out of the palace a second time. He also took care of Pheroras's women after their tortures, as being now reconciled to them; but he was in great consternation himself, and inflamed upon every suspicion, and had many innocent persons led to the torture, out of his fear lest he should leave any guilty person untortured.
5. And now it was that he betook himself to examine Antipater of Samaria, who was the steward of [his son] Antipater; and upon torturing him, he learned that Antipater had sent for a potion of deadly poison for him out of Egypt, by Antiphilus, a companion of his; that Theudio, the uncle of Antipater, had it from him, and delivered it to Pheroras; for that Antipater had charged him to take his father off while he was at Rome, and so free him from the suspicion of doing it himself: that Pheroras also committed this potion to his wife. Then did the king send for her, and bid her bring to him what she had received immediately. So she came out of her house as if she would bring it with her, but threw herself down from the top of the house, in order to prevent any examination and torture from the king. However, it came to pass, as it seems by the providence of God, when he intended to bring Antipater to punishment, that she fell not upon her head, but upon other parts of her body, and escaped. The king, when she was brought to him, took care of her, (for she was at first quite senseless upon her fall,) and asked her why she had thrown herself down; and gave her his oath, that if she would speak the real truth, he would excuse her from punishment; but that if she concealed any thing, he would have her body torn to pieces by torments, and leave no part. of it to be buried.
6. Upon this the woman paused a little, and then said, "Why do I spare to speak of these grand secrets, now Pheroras is dead? that would only tend to save Antipater, who is all our destruction. Hear then, O king, and be thou, and God himself, who cannot be deceived, witnesses to the truth of what I am going to say. When thou didst sit weeping by Pheroras as he was dying, then it was that he called me to him, and said, My dear wife, I have been greatly mistaken as to the disposition of my brother towards me, and have hated him that is so affectionate to me, and have contrived to kill him who is in such disorder for me before I am dead. As for myself, I receive the recompence of my impiety; but do thou bring what poison was left with us by Antipater, and which thou keepest in order to destroy him, and consume it immediately in the fire in my sight, that I may not be liable to the avenger in the invisible world." This I brought as he bid me, and emptied the greatest part of it into the fire, but reserved a little of it for my own use against uncertain futurity, and out of my fear of thee."
7. When she had said this, she brought the box, which had a small quantity of this potion in it: but the king let her alone, and transferred the tortures to Antiphilus's mother and brother; who both confessed that Antiphilus brought the box out of Egypt, and that they had received the potion from a brother of his, who was a physician at Alexandria. Then did the ghosts of Alexander and Aristobulus go round all the palace, and became the inquisitors and discoverers of what could not otherwise have been found out and brought such as were the freest from suspicion to be examined; whereby it was discovered that Mariamne, the high priest's daughter, was conscious of this plot; and her very brothers, when they were tortured, declared it so to be. Whereupon the king avenged this insolent attempt of the mother upon her son, and blotted Herod, whom he had by her, out of his treament, who had been before named therein as successor to Antipater.
ANTIPATER IS CONVICTED BY BATHYLLUS ; BUT HE STILL RETURNS FROM ROME WITHOUT KNOWING IT. HEROD BRINGS HIM TO HIS TRIAL.
1. AFTER these things were over, Bathyllus came under examination, in order to convict Antipater, who proved the concluding attestation to Antipater's designs; for indeed he was no other than his freed-man. This man came, and brought another deadly potion, the poison of asps, and the juices of other serpents, that if the first potion did not do the business, Pheroras and his wife might be armed with this also to destroy the king. He brought also an addition to Antipater's insolent attempt against his father, which was the letters which he wrote against his brethren, Archelaus and Philip, which were the king's sons, and educated at Rome, being yet youths, but of generous dispositions. Antipater set himself to get rid of these as soon as he could, that they might not be prejudicial to his hopes; and to that end he forged letters against them in the name of his friends at Rome. Some of these he corrupted by bribes to write how they grossly reproached their father, and did openly bewail Alexander and Aristobulus, and were uneasy at their being recalled; for their father had already sent for them, which was the very thing that troubled Antipater.
2. Nay, indeed, while Antipater was in Judea, and before he was upon his journey to Rome, he gave money to have the like letters against them sent from Rome, and then came to his father, who as yet had no suspicion of him, and apologized for his brethren, and alleged on their behalf that some of the things contained in those letters were false, and others of them were only youthful errors. Yet at the same time that he expended a great deal of his money, by making presents to such as wrote against his brethren, did he aim to bring his accounts into confusion, by buying costly garments, and carpets of various contextures, with silver and gold cups, and a great many more curious things, that so, among the view great expenses laid out upon such furniture, he might conceal the money he had used in hiring men [to write the letters]; for he brought in an account of his expenses, amounting to two hundred talents, his main pretense for which was file law-suit he had been in with Sylleus. So while all his rogueries, even those of a lesser sort also, were covered by his greater villainy, while all the examinations by torture proclaimed his attempt to murder his father, and the letters proclaimed his second attempt to murder his brethren; yet did no one of those that came to Rome inform him of his misfortunes in Judea, although seven months had intervened between his conviction and his return, so great was the hatred which they all bore to him. And perhaps they were the ghosts of those brethren of his that had been murdered that stopped the mouths of those that intended to have told him. He then wrote from Rome, and informed his [friends] that he would soon come to them, and how he was dismissed with honor by Caesar.
3. Now the king, being desirous to get this plotter against him into his hands, and being also afraid lest he should some way come to the knowledge how his affairs stood, and be upon his guard, he dissembled his anger in his epistle to him, as in other points he wrote kindly to him, and desired him to make haste, because if he came quickly, he would then lay aside the complaints he had against his mother; for Antipater was not ignorant that his mother had been expelled out of the palace. However, he had before received a letter, which contained an account of the death of Pheroras, at Tarentum, (46) and made great lamentations at it; for which some commended him, as being for his own uncle; though probably this confusion arose on account of his having thereby failed in his plot [on his father's life]; and his tears were more for the loss of him that was to have been subservient therein, than for [an uncle] Pheroras: moreover, a sort of fear came upon him as to his designs, lest the poison should have been discovered. However, when he was in Cilicia, he received the forementioned epistle from his father, and made great haste accordingly. But when he had sailed to Celenderis, a suspicion came into his mind relating to his mother's misfortunes; as if his soul foreboded some mischief to itself. Those therefore of his friends which were the most considerate advised him not rashly to go to his father, till he had learned what were the occasions why his mother had been ejected, because they were afraid that he might be involved in the calumnies that had been cast upon his mother: but those that were less considerate, and had more regard to their own desires of seeing their native country, than to Antipater's safety, persuaded him to make haste home, and not, by delaying his journey, afford his father ground for an ill suspicion, and give a handle to those that raised stories against him; for that in case any thing had been moved to his disadvantage, it was owing to his absence, which durst not have been done had he been present. And they said it was absurd to deprive himself of certain happiness, for the sake of an uncertain suspicion, and not rather to return to his father, and take the royal authority upon him, which was in a state of fluctuation on his account only. Antipater complied with this last advice, for Providence hurried him on [to his destruction]. So he passed over the sea, and landed at Sebastus, the haven of Cesarea.
4. And here he found a perfect and unexpected solitude, while ever body avoided him, and nobody durst come at him; for he was equally hated by all men; and now that hatred had liberty to show itself, and the dread men were in at the king's anger made men keep from him; for the whole city [of Jerusalem] was filled with the rumors about Antipater, and Antipater himself was the only person who was ignorant of them; for as no man was dismissed more magnificently when he began his voyage to Rome so was no man now received back with greater ignominy. And indeed he began already to suspect what misfortunes there were in Herod's family; yet did he cunningly conceal his suspicion; and while he was inwardly ready to die for fear, he put on a forced boldness of countenance. Nor could he now fly any whither, nor had he any way of emerging out of the difficulties which encompassed him; nor indeed had he even there any certain intelligence of the affairs of the royal family, by reason of the threats the king had given out: yet had he some small hopes of better tidings; for perhaps nothing had been discovered; or if any discovery had been made, perhaps he should be able to clear himself by impudence and artful tricks, which were the only things he relied upon for his deliverance.
5. And with these hopes did he screen himself, till he came to the palace, without any friends with him; for these were affronted, and shut out at the first gate. Now Varus, the president of Syria, happened to be in the palace [at this juncture]; so Antipater went in to his father, and, putting on a bold face, he came near to salute him. But Herod Stretched out his hands, and turned his head away from him, and cried out, "Even this is an indication of a parricide, to be desirous to get me into his arms, when he is under such heinous accusations. God confound thee, thou vile wretch; do not thou touch me, till thou hast cleared thyself of these crimes that are charged upon thee. I appoint thee a court where thou art to be judged, and this Varus, who is very seasonably here, to be thy judge; and get thou thy defense ready against tomorrow, for I give thee so much time to prepare suitable excuses for thyself." And as Antipater was so confounded, that he was able to make no answer to this charge, he went away; but his mother and wife came to him, and told him of all the evidence they had gotten against him. Hereupon he recollected himself, and considered what defense he should make against the accusations.
ANTIPATER IS ACCUSED BEFORE VARUS, AND IS CONVICTED OF LAYING A PLOT [AGAINST HIS FATHER] BY THE STRONGEST EVIDENCE. HEROD PUTS OFF HIS PUNISHMENT TILL HE SHOULD BE RECOVERED, AND IN THE MEAN TIME ALTERS HIS TESTAMENT.
1. NOW the day following the king assembled a court of his kinsmen and friends, and called in Antipater's friends also. Herod himself, with Varus, were the presidents; and Herod called for all the witnesses, and ordered them to be brought in; among whom some of the domestic servants of Antipater's mother were brought in also, who had but a little while before been caught, as they were carrying the following letter from her to her son: "Since all those things have been already discovered to thy father, do not thou come to him, unless thou canst procure some assistance from Caesar." When this and the other witnesses were introduced, Antipater came in, and falling on his face before his father's feet, he said, "Father, I beseech thee, do not condemn me beforehand, but let thy ears be unbiassed, and attend to my defense; for if thou wilt give me leave, I will demonstrate that I am innocent."
2. Hereupon Herod cried out to him to hold his peace, and spake thus to Varus: "I cannot but think that thou, Varus, and every other upright judge, will determine that Antipater is a vile wretch. I am also afraid that thou wilt abhor my ill fortune, and judge me also myself worthy of all sorts of calamity for begetting such children; while yet I ought rather to be pitied, who have been so affectionate a father to such wretched sons; for when I had settled the kingdom on my former sons, even when they were young, and when, besides the charges of their education at Rome, I had made them the friends of Caesar, and made them envied by other kings, I found them plotting against me. These have been put to death, and that, in great measure, for the sake of Antipater; for as he was then young, and appointed to be my successor, I took care chiefly to secure him from danger: but this profligate wild beast, when he had been over and above satiated with that patience which I showed him, he made use of that abundance I had given him against myself; for I seemed to him to live too long, and he was very uneasy at the old age I was arrived at; nor could he stay any longer, but would be a king by parricide. And justly I am served by him for bringing him back out of the country to court, when he was of no esteem before, and for thrusting out those sons of mine that were born of the queen, and for making him a successor to my dominions. I confess to thee, O Varus, the great folly I was guilty for I provoked those sons of mine to act against me, and cut off their just expectations for the sake of Antipater; and indeed what kindness did I do them; that could equal what I have done to Antipater? to I have, in a manner, yielded up my royal while I am alive, and whom I have openly named for the successor to my dominions in my testament, and given him a yearly revenue of his own of fifty talents, and supplied him with money to an extravagant degree out of my own revenue; and' when he was about to sail to Rome, I gave him three talents, and recommended him, and him alone of all my children, to Caesar, as his father's deliverer. Now what crimes were those other sons of mine guilty of like these of Antipater? and what evidence was there brought against them so strong as there is to demonstrate this son to have plotted against me? Yet does this parricide presume to speak for himself, and hopes to obscure the truth by his cunning tricks. Thou, O Varus, must guard thyself against him; for I know the wild beast, and I foresee how plausibly he will talk, and his counterfeit lamentation. This was he who exhorted me to have a care of Alexander when he was alive, and not to intrust my body with all men! This was he who came to my very bed, and looked about lest any one should lay snares for me! This was he who took care of my sleep, and secured me from fear of danger, who comforted me under the trouble I was in upon the slaughter of my sons, and looked to see what affection my surviving brethren bore me! This was my protector, and the guardian of my body! And when I call to mind, O Varus, his craftiness upon every occasion, and his art of dissembling, I can hardly believe that I am still alive, and I wonder how I have escaped such a deep plotter of mischief. However, since some fate or other makes my house desolate, and perpetually raises up those that are dearest to me against me, I will, with tears, lament my hard fortune, and privately groan under my lonesome condition; yet am I resolved that no one who thirsts after my blood shall escape punishment, although the evidence should extend itself to all my sons."
3. Upon Herod's saying this, he was interrupted by the confusion he was in; but ordered Nicolaus, one of his friends, to produce the evidence against Antipater. But in the mean time Antipater lifted up his head, (for he lay on the ground before his father's feet,) and cried out aloud, "Thou, O father, hast made my apology for me; for how can I be a parricide, whom thou thyself confessest to have always had for thy guardian? Thou callest my filial affection prodigious lies and hypocrisy! how then could it be that I, who was so subtle in other matters, should here be so mad as not to understand that it was not easy that he who committed so horrid a crime should be concealed from men, but impossible that he should be concealed from the Judge of heaven, who sees all things, and is present every where? or did not I know what end my brethren came to, on whom God inflicted so great a punishment for their evil designs against thee? And indeed what was there that could possibly provoke me against thee? Could the hope of being king do it? I was a king already. Could I suspect hatred from thee? No. Was not I beloved by thee? And what other fear could I have? Nay, by preserving thee safe, I was a terror to others. Did I want money? No; for who was able to expend so much as myself? Indeed, father, had I been the most execrable of all mankind, and had I had the soul of the most cruel wild beast, must I not have been overcome with the benefits thou hadst bestowed upon me? whom, as thou thyself sayest, thou broughtest [into the palace]; whom thou didst prefer before so many of thy sons; whom thou madest a king in thine own lifetime, and, by the vast magnitude of the other advantages thou bestowedst on me, thou madest me an object of envy. O miserable man! that thou shouldst undergo this bitter absence, and thereby afford a great opportunity for envy to arise against thee, and a long space for such as were laying designs against thee! Yet was I absent, father, on thy affairs, that Sylleus might not treat thee with contempt in thine old age. Rome is a witness to my filial affection, and so is Caesar, the ruler of the habitable earth, who oftentimes called me Philopater. (47) Take here the letters he hath sent thee, they are more to be believed than the calumnies raised here; these letters are my only apology; these I use as the demonstration of that natural affection I have to thee. Remember that it was against my own choice that I sailed [to Rome], as knowing the latent hatred that was in the kingdom against me. It was thou, O father, however unwillingly, who hast been my ruin, by forcing me to allow time for calumnies against me, and envy at me. However, I am come hither, and am ready to hear the evidence there is against me. If I be a parricide, I have passed by land and by sea, without suffering any misfortune on either of them: but this method of trial is no advantage to me; for it seems, O father, that I am already condemned, both before God and before thee; and as I am already condemned, I beg that thou wilt not believe the others that have been tortured, but let fire be brought to torment me; let the racks march through my bowels; have no regard to any lamentations that this polluted body can make; for if I be a parricide, I ought not to die without torture." Thus did Antipater cry out with lamentation and weeping, and moved all the rest, and Varus in particular, to commiserate his case. Herod was the only person whose passion was too strong to permit him to weep, as knowing that the testimonies against him were true.
4. And now it was that, at the king's command, Nicolaus, when he had premised a great deal about the craftiness of Antipater, and had prevented the effects of their commiseration to him, afterwards brought in a bitter and large accusation against him, ascribing all the wickedness that had been in the kingdom to him, and especially the murder of his brethren; and demonstrated that they had perished by the calumnies he had raised against them. He also said that he had laid designs against them that were still alive, as if they were laying plots for the succession; and (said he) how can it be supposed that he who prepared poison for his father should abstain from mischief as to his brethren? He then proceeded to convict him of the attempt to poison Herod, and gave an account in order of the several discoveries that had been made; and had great indignation as to the affair of Pheroras, because Antipater had been for making him murder his brother, and had corrupted those that were dearest to the king, and filled the whole palace with wickedness; and when he had insisted on many other accusations, and the proofs for them, he left off.
5. Then Varus bid Antipater make his defense; but he lay along in silence, and said no more but this, "God is my witness that I am entirely innocent." So Varus asked for the potion, and gave it to be drunk by a condemned malefactor, who was then in prison, who died upon the spot. So Varus, when he had had a very private discourse with Herod, and had written an account of this assembly to Caesar, went away, after a day's stay. The king also bound Antipater, and sent away to inform Caesar of his misfortunes.
6. Now after this it was discovered that Antipater had laid a plot against Salome also; for one of Antiphilus's domestic servants came, and brought letters from Rome, from a maid-servant of Julia, [Caesar's wife,] whose name was Acme. By her a message was sent to the king, that she had found a letter written by Salome, among Julia's papers, and had sent it to him privately, out of her good-will to him. This letter of Salome contained the most bitter reproaches of the king, and the highest accusations against him. Antipater had forged this letter, and had corrupted Acme, and persuaded her to send it to Herod. This was proved by her letter to Antipater, for thus did this woman write to him: "As thou desirest, I have written a letter to thy father, and have sent that letter, and am persuaded that the king will not spare his sister when he reads it. Thou wilt do well to remember what thou hast promised when all is accomplished."
7. When this epistle was discovered, and what the epistle forged against Salome contained, a suspicion came into the king's mind, that perhaps the letters against Alexander were also forged: he was moreover greatly disturbed, and in a passion, because he had almost slain his sister on Antipater's account. He did no longer delay therefore to bring him to punishment for all his crimes; yet when he was eagerly pursuing Antipater, he was restrained by a severe distemper he fell into. However, he sent all account to Caesar about Acme, and the contrivances against Salome; he sent also for his testament, and altered it, and therein made Antipas king, as taking no care of Archclaus and Philip, because Antipater had blasted their reputations with him; but he bequeathed to Caesar, besides other presents that he gave him, a thousand talents; as also to his wife, and children, and friends, and freed-men about five hundred: he also bequeathed to all others a great quantity of land, and of money, and showed his respects to Salome his sister, by giving her most splendid gifts. And this was what was contained in his testament, as it was now altered.
THE GOLDEN EAGLE IS CUT TO PIECES. HEROD'S BARBARITY WHEN HE WAS READY TO DIE. HE ATTEMPTS TO KILL HIMSELF. HE COMMANDS ANTIPATER TO BE SLAIN. HE SURVIVES HIM FIVE DAYS AND THEN DIES.
1. NOW Herod's distemper became more and more severe to him, and this because these his disorders fell upon him in his old age, and when he was in a melancholy condition; for he was already seventy years of age, and had been brought by the calamities that happened to him about his children, whereby he had no pleasure in life, even when he was in health; the grief also that Antipater was still alive aggravated his disease, whom he resolved to put to death now not at random, but as soon as he should be well again, and resolved to have him slain [in a public manner].
2. There also now happened to him, among his other calamities, a certain popular sedition. There were two men of learning in the city [Jerusalem,] who were thought the most skillful in the laws of their country, and were on that account had in very great esteem all over the nation; they were, the one Judas, the son of Sepphoris, and the other Mattbias, the son of Margalus. There was a great concourse of the young men to these men when they expounded the laws, and there got together every day a kind of an army of such as were growing up to be men. Now when these men were informed that the king was wearing away with melancholy, and with a distemper, they dropped words to their acquaintance, how it was now a very proper time to defend the cause of God, and to pull down what had been erected contrary to the laws of their country; for it was unlawful there should be any such thing in the temple as images, or faces, or the like representation of any animal whatsoever. Now the king had put up a golden eagle over the great gate of the temple, which these learned men exhorted them to cut down; and told them, that if there should any danger arise, it was a glorious thing to die for the laws of their country; because that the soul was immortal, and that an eternal enjoyment of happiness did await such as died on that account; while the mean-spirited, and those that were not wise enough to show a right love of their souls, preferred a death by a disease, before that which is the result of a virtuous behavior.
3. At the same time that these men made this speech to their disciples, a rumor was spread abroad that the king was dying, which made the young men set about the work with greater boldness; they therefore let themselves down from the top of the temple with thick cords, and this at midday, and while a great number of people were in the temple, and cut down that golden eagle with axes. This was presently told to the king's captain of the temple, who came running with a great body of soldiers, and caught about forty of the young men, and brought them to the king. And when he asked them, first of all, whether they had been so hardy as to cut down the golden eagle, they confessed they had done so; and when he asked them by whose command they had done it, they replied, at the command of the law of their country; and when he further asked them how they could be so joyful when they were to be put to death, they replied, because they should enjoy greater happiness after they were dead. (48)
4. At this the king was in such an extravagant passion, that he overcame his disease [for the time,] and went out, and spake to the people; wherein he made a terrible accusation against those men, as being guilty of sacrilege, and as making greater attempts under pretense of their law, and he thought they deserved to be punished as impious persons. Whereupon the people were afraid lest a great number should be found guilty and desired that when he had first punished those that put them upon this work, and then those that were caught in it, he would leave off his anger as to the rest. With this the king complied, though not without difficulty, and ordered those that had let themselves down, together with their Rabbins, to be burnt alive, but delivered the rest that were caught to the proper officers, to be put to death by them.
5. After this, the distemper seized upon his whole body, and greatly disordered all its parts with various symptoms; for there was a gentle fever upon him, and an intolerable itching over all the surface of his body, and continual pains in his colon, and dropsical turnouts about his feet, and an inflammation of the abdomen, and a putrefaction of his privy member, that produced worms. Besides which he had a difficulty of breathing upon him, and could not breathe but when he sat upright, and had a convulsion of all his members, insomuch that the diviners said those diseases were a punishment upon him for what he had done to the Rabbins. Yet did he struggle with his numerous disorders, and still had a desire to live, and hoped for recovery, and considered of several methods of cure. Accordingly, he went over Jordan, and made use of those hot baths at Callirrhoe, which ran into the lake Asphaltitis, but are themselves sweet enough to be drunk. And here the physicians thought proper to bathe his whole body in warm oil, by letting it down into a large vessel full of oil; whereupon his eyes failed him, and he came and went as if he was dying; and as a tumult was then made by his servants, at their voice he revived again. Yet did he after this despair of recovery, and gave orders that each soldier should have fifty drachmae a-piece, and that his commanders and friends should have great sums of money given them.
6. He then returned back and came to Jericho, in such a melancholy state of body as almost threatened him with present death, when he proceeded to attempt a horrid wickedness; for he got together the most illustrious men of the whole Jewish nation, out of every village, into a place called the Hippodrome, and there shut them in. He then called for his sister Salome, and her husband Alexas, and made this speech to them: "I know well enough that the Jews will keep a festival upon my death however, it is in my power to be mourned for on other accounts, and to have a splendid funeral, if you will but be subservient to my commands. Do you but take care to send soldiers to encompass these men that are now in custody, and slay them immediately upon my death, and then all Judea, and every family of them, will weep at it, whether they will or no."
7. These were the commands he gave them; when there came letters from his ambassadors at Rome, whereby information was given that Acme was put to death at Caesar's command, and that Antipater was condemned to die; however, they wrote withal, that if Herod had a mind rather to banish him, Caesar permitted him so to do. So he for a little while revived, and had a desire to live; but presently after he was overborne by his pains, and was disordered by want of food, and by a convulsive cough, and endeavored to prevent a natural, death; so he took an apple, and asked for a knife for he used to pare apples and eat them; he then looked round about to see that there was nobody to hinder him, and lift up his right hand as if he would stab himself; but Achiabus, his first cousin, came running to him, and held his hand, and hindered him from so doing; on which occasion a very great lamentation was made in the palace, as if the king were expiring. As soon as ever Antipater heard that, he took courage, and with joy in his looks, besought his keepers, for a sum of money, to loose him and let him go; but the principal keeper of the prison did not only obstruct him in that his intention, but ran and told the king what his design was; hereupon the king cried out louder than his distemper would well bear, and immediately sent some of his guards and slew Antipater; he also gave order to have him buried at Hyrcanium, and altered his testament again, and therein made Archclaus, his eldest son, and the brother of Antipas, his successor, and made Antipas tetrarch.
8. So Herod, having survived the slaughter of his son five days, died, having reigned thirty-four years since he had caused Antigonus to be slain, and obtained his kingdom; but thirty-seven years since he had been made king by the Romans. Now as for his fortune, it was prosperous in all other respects, if ever any other man could be so, since, from a private man, he obtained the kingdom, and kept it so long, and left it to his own sons; but still in his domestic affairs he was a most unfortunate man. Now, before the soldiers knew of his death, Salome and her husband came out and dismissed those that were in bonds, whom the king had commanded to be slain, and told them that he had altered his mind, and would have every one of them sent to their own homes. When these men were gone, Salome, told the soldiers [the king was dead], and got them and the rest of the multitude together to an assembly, in the amphitheater at Jericho, where Ptolemy, who was intrusted by the king with his signet ring, came before them, and spake of the happiness the king had attained, and comforted the multitude, and read the epistle which had been left for the soldiers, wherein he earnestly exhorted them to bear good-will to his successor; and after he had read the epistle, he opened and read his testament, wherein Philip was to inherit Trachonitis, and the neighboring countries, and Antipas was to be tetrarch, as we said before, and Archelaus was made king. He had also been commanded to carry Herod's ring to Caesar, and the settlements he had made, sealed up, because Caesar was to be lord of all the settlements he had made, and was to confirm his testament; and he ordered that the dispositions he had made were to be kept as they were in his former testament.
9. So there was an acclamation made to Archelaus, to congratulate him upon his advancement; and the soldiers, with the multitude, went round about in troops, and promised him their good-will, and besides, prayed God to bless his government. After this, they betook themselves to prepare for the king's funeral; and Archelaus omitted nothing of magnificence therein, but brought out all the royal ornaments to augment the pomp of the deceased. There was a bier all of gold, embroidered with precious stones, and a purple bed of various contexture, with the dead body upon it, covered with purple; and a diadem was put upon his head, and a crown of gold above it, and a secptre in his right hand; and near to the bier were Herod's sons, and a multitude of his kindred; next to which came his guards, and the regiment of Thracians, the Germans. also and Gauls, all accounted as if they were going to war; but the rest of the army went foremost, armed, and following their captains and officers in a regular manner; after whom five hundred of his domestic servants and freed-men followed, with sweet spices in their hands: and the body was carried two hundred furlongs, to Herodium, where he had given order to be buried. And this shall suffice for the conclusion of the life of Herod.
(1) I see little difference in the several accounts in Josephus about the Egyptian temple Onion, of which large complaints are made by his commentators. Onias, it seems, hoped to have :made it very like that at Jerusalem, and of the same dimensions; and so he appears to have really done, as far as he was able and thought proper. Of this temple, see Antiq. B. XIII. ch. 3. sect. 1--3, and Of the War, B. VII. ch. 10. sect. 8.
(2) Why this John, the son of Simon, the high priest and governor of the Jews, was called Hyrcanus, Josephus no where informs us; nor is he called other than John at the end of the First Book of the Maccabees. However, Sixtus Seuensis, when he gives us an epitome of the Greek version of the book here abridged by Josephus, or of the Chronicles of this John Hyrcanus, then extant, assures us that he was called Hyrcanus from his conquest of one of that name. See Authent. Rec. Part I. p. 207. But of this younger Antiochus, see Dean Aldrich's note here.
(3) Josephus here calls this Antiochus the last of the Seleucidae, although there remained still a shadow of another king of that family, Antiochus Asiaticus, or Commagenus, who reigned, or rather lay hid, till Pompey quite turned him out, as Dean Aldrich here notes from Appian and Justin.
(4) Matthew 16:19; 18:18. Here we have the oldest and most authentic Jewish exposition of binding and loosing, for punishing or absolving men, not for declaring actions lawful or unlawful, as some more modern Jews and Christians vainly pretend.
(5) Strabo, B. XVI. p. 740, relates, that this Selene Cleopatra was besieged by Tigranes, not in Ptolemais, as here, but after she had left Syria, in Seleucia, a citadel in Mesopotamia; and adds, that when he had kept her a while in prison, he put her to death. Dean Aldrich supposes here that Strabo contradicts Josephus, which does not appear to me; for although Josephus says both here and in the Antiquities, B. XIII. ch. 16. sect. 4, that Tigranes besieged her now in Ptolemais, and that he took the city, as the Antiquities inform us, yet does he no where intimate that he now took the queen herself; so that both the narrations of Strabo and Josephus may still be true notwithstanding.
(6) That this Antipater, the father of Herod the Great was an Idumean, as Josephus affirms here, see the note on Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 15. sect. 2. It is somewhat probable, as Hapercamp supposes, and partly Spanheim also, that the Latin is here the truest; that Pompey did him Hyrcanus, as he would have done the others from Aristobulus, sect. 6, although his remarkable abstinence from the 2000 talents that were in the Jewish temple, when he took it a little afterward, ch. 7. sect. 6, and Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 4. sect. 4, will to Greek all which agree he did not take them.
(7) Of the famous palm trees and balsam about Jericho and Engaddl, see the notes in Havercamp's edition, both here and B. II. ch. 9. sect. 1. They are somewhat too long to be transcribed in this place.
(8) Thus says Tacitus: Cn. Pompelna first of all subdued the Jews, and went into their temple, by right of conquest, Hist. B. V. ch. 9. Nor did he touch any of its riches, as has been observed on the parallel place of the Antiquities, B. XIV. ch. 4. sect. 4, out of Cicero himself.
(9) The coin of this Gadara, still extant, with its date from this era, is a certain evidence of this its rebuilding by Pompey, as Spanheim here assures us.
(10) Take the like attestation to the truth of this submission of Aretas, king of Arabia, to Scaurus the Roman general, in the words of Dean Aldrich. "Hence (says he) is derived that old and famous Denarius belonging to the Emillian family [represented in Havercamp's edition], wherein Aretas appears in a posture of supplication, and taking hold of a camel's bridle with his left hand, and with his right hand presenting a branch of the frankincense tree, with this inscription, M. SCAURUS EX S.C.; and beneath, REX ARETAS."
(11) This citation is now wanting.
(12) What is here noted by Hudson and Spanheim, that this grant of leave to rebuild the walls of the cities of Judea was made by Julius Caesar, not as here to Antipater, but to Hyrcanas, Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 8. sect. 5, has hardly an appearance of a contradiction; Antipater being now perhaps considered only as Hyrcanus's deputy and minister; although he afterwards made a cipher of Hyrcanus, and, under great decency of behavior to him, took the real authority to himself.
(13) Or twenty-five years of age. See note on Antiq. B. I. ch. 12. sect. 3; and on B. XIV. ch. 9. sect. 2; and Of the War, B. II. ch. 11. sect. 6; and Polyb. B. XVII. p. 725. Many writers of the Roman history give an account of this murder of Sextus Caesar, and of the war of Apamia upon that occasion. They are cited in Dean Aldrich's note.
(14) In the Antiquities, B. XIV. ch. 11. sect. 1, the duration of the reign of Julius Caesar is three years six months; but here three years seven months, beginning nightly, says Dean Aldrich, from his second dictatorship. It is probable the real duration might be three years and between six and seven months.
(15) It appears evidently by Josephus's accounts, both here and in his Antiquities, B. XIV. ch. 11. sect. 2, that this Cassius, one of Caesar's murderers, was a bitter oppressor, and exactor of tribute in Judea. These seven hundred talents amount to about three hundred thousand pounds sterling, and are about half the yearly revenues of king Herod afterwards. See the note on Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 11. sect. 4. It also appears that Galilee then paid no more than one hundred talents, or the seventh part of the entire sum to be levied in all the country.
(16) Here we see that Cassius set tyrants over all Syria; so that his assisting to destroy Caesar does not seem to have proceeded from his true zeal for public liberty, but from a desire to be a tyrant himself.
(17) Phasaelus and Herod.
(18) This large and noted wood, or woodland, belonging to Carmel, called apago by the Septuagint, is mentioned in the Old Testament, 2 Kings 19:23; Isaiah 37:24, and by I Strabo, B. XVI. p. 758, as both Aldrich and Spanheim here remark very pertinently.
(19) These accounts, both here and Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 5, that the Parthians fought chiefly on horseback, and that only some few of their soldiers were free-men, perfectly agree with Trogus Pompeius, in Justin, B. XLI. 2, 3, as Dean Aldrich well observes on this place.
(20) Mariamac here, in the copies.
(21) This Brentesium or Brundusium has coin still preserved, on which is written, as Spanheim informs us.
(22) This Dellius is famous, or rather infamous, in the history of Mark Antony, as Spanheim and Aldrich here note, from the coins, from Plutarch and Dio.
(23) This Sepphoris, the metropolis of Galilee, so often mentioned by Josephus, has coins still remaining, as Spanheim here informs us.
(24) This way of speaking, "after forty days," is interpreted by Josephus himself, "on the fortieth day," Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 15. sect. 4. In like manner, when Josephus says, ch. 33. sect. 8, that Herod lived "after" he had ordered Antipater to be slain "five days;" this is by himself interpreted, Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 8. sect. 1, that he died "on the fifth day afterward." So also what is in this book, ch. 13. sect. 1, "after two years," is, Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 3, "on the second year." And Dean Aldrich here notes that this way of speaking is familiar to Josephus.
(25) This Samosata, the metropolis of Commagena, is well known from its coins, as Spanheim here assures us. Dean Aldrich also confirms what Josephus here notes, that Herod was a great means of taking the city by Antony, and that from Plutarch and Dio.
(26) That is, a woman, not, a man.
(27) This death of Antigonus is confirmed by Plutarch and. Straho; the latter of whom is cited for it by Josephus himself, Antiq. B. XV. ch. 1. sect. 2, as Dean Aldrich here observes.
(28) This ancient liberty of Tyre and Sidon under the Romans, taken notice of by Josephus, both here and Antiq. B. XV. ch. 4. sect. 1, is confirmed by the testimony of Sirabe, B. XVI. p. 757, as Dean Aldrich remarks; although, as he justly adds, this liberty lasted but a little while longer, when Augtus took it away from them.
(29) This seventh year of the reign of Herod [from the conquest or death of Antigonus], with the great earthquake in the beginning of the same spring, which are here fully implied to be not much before the fight at Actium, between Octavius and Antony, and which is known from the Roman historians to have been in the beginning of September, in the thirty-first year before the Christian era, determines the chronology of Josephus as to the reign of Herod, viz. that he began in the year 37, beyond rational contradiction. Nor is it quite unworthy of our notice, that this seventh year of the reign of Herod, or the thirty-first before the Christian era, contained the latter part of a Sabbatic year, on which Sabbatic year, therefore, it is plain this great earthquake happened in Judea.
(30) This speech of Herod is set down twice by Josephus, here and Antiq. B. XV. ch. 5. sect. 3, to the very same purpose, but by no means in the same words; whence it appears that the sense was Herod's, but the composition Josephus's.
(31) Since Josephus, both here and in his Antiq. B. XV. ch. 7. sect. 3, reckons Gaza, which had been a free city, among the cities given Herod by Augustus, and yet implies that Herod had made Costobarus a governor of it before, Antiq. B. XV. ch. 7. sect. 9, Hardain has some pretense for saying that Josephus here contradicted himself. But perhaps Herod thought he had sufficient authority to put a governor into Gaza, after he was made tetrarch or king, in times of war, before the city was entirely delivered into his hands by Augustus.
(32) This fort was first built, as it is supposed, by John Hyrcanus; see Prid. at the year 107; and called "Baris," the Tower or Citadel. It was afterwards rebuilt, with great improvements, by Herod, under the government of Antonius, and was named from him "the Tower of Antoni;" and about the time when Herod rebuilt the temple, he seems to have put his last hand to it. See Antiq. B. XVIII. ch. 5. sect. 4; Of the War, B. I. ch. 3. sect. 3; ch. 5. sect. 4. It lay on the northwest side of the temple, and was a quarter as large.
(33) That Josephus speaks truth, when he assures us that the haven of this Cesarea was made by Herod not less, nay rather larger, than that famous haven at Athens, called the Pyrecum, will appear, says Dean Aldrich, to him who compares the descriptions of that at Athens in Thucydides and Pausanias, with this of Cesarea in Josephus here, and in the Antiq. B. XV. ch. 9. sect. 6, and B. XVII. ch. 9. sect. 1.
(34) These buildings of cities by the name of Caesar, and institution of solemn games in honor of Augustus Caesar, as here, and in the Antiquities, related of Herod by Josephus, the Roman historians attest to, as things then frequent in the provinces of that empire, as Dean Aldrich observes on this chapter.
(35) There were two cities, or citadels, called Herodium, in Judea, and both mentioned by Josephus, not only here, but Antiq. B. XIV. ch. 13. sect. 9; B. XV. ch. 9. sect. 6; Of the War, B. I. ch. 13. sect. 8; B. III. ch. 3. sect. 5. One of them was two hundred, and the other sixty furlongs distant from Jerusalem. One of them is mentioned by Pliny, Hist. Nat. B. V. ch. 14., as Dean Aldrich observes here.
(36) Here seems to be a small defect in the copies, which describe the wild beasts which were hunted in a certain country by Herod, without naming any such country at all.
(37) Here is either a defect or a great mistake in Josephus's present copies or memory; for Mariamne did not now reproach Herod with this his first injunction to Joseph to kill her, if he himself were slain by Antony, but that he had given the like command a second time to Soemus also, when he was afraid of being slain by Augustus. Antiq. B. XV. ch. 3. sect. 5, etc.
(38) That this island Eleusa, afterward called Sebaste, near Cilicia, had in it the royal palace of this Archclaus, king of Cappadocia, Strabo testifies, B. XV. p. 671. Stephanus of Byzantiam also calls it "an island of Cilicia, which is now Sebaste;" both whose testimonies are pertinently cited here by Dr. Hudson. See the same history, Antiq. B. XVI. ch. 10. sect. 7.
(39) That it was an immemorial custom among the Jews, and their forefathers, the patriarchs, to have sometimes more wives or wives and concubines, than one at the same the and that this polygamy was not directly forbidden in the law of Moses is evident; but that polygamy was ever properly and distinctly permitted in that law of Moses, in the places here cited by Dean Aldrich, Deuteronomy 17:16, 17, or 21:15, or indeed any where else, does not appear to me. And what our Savior says about the common Jewish divorces, which may lay much greater claim to such a permission than polygamy, seems to me true in this case also; that Moses, "for the hardness of their hearts," suffered them to have several wives at the same time, but that "from the beginning it was not so," Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:5.
(40) This vile fellow, Eurycles the Lacedemonian, seems to have been the same who is mentioned by Plutarch, as (twenty-live years before) a companion to Mark Antony, and as living with Herod; whence he might easily insinuate himself into the acquaintance of Herod's sons, Antipater and Alexander, as Usher, Hudson, and Spanheim justly suppose. The reason why his being a Spartan rendered him acceptable to the Jews as we here see he was, is visible from the public records of the Jews and Spartans, owning those Spartans to be of kin to the Jews, and derived from their common ancestor Abraham, the first patriarch of the Jewish nation, Antiq. B. XII. ch. 4. sect. 10; B. XIII. ch. 5. sect. 8; and 1 Macc. 12:7.
(41) See the preceding note.
(42) Dean Aldrich takes notice here, that these nine wives of Herod were alive at the same time; and that if the celebrated Mariamne, who was now dead, be reckoned, those wives were in all ten. Yet it is remarkable that he had no more than fifteen children by them all.
(43) To prevent confusion, it may not be amiss, with Dean Aldrich, to distinguish between four Josephs in the history of Herod. 1. Joseph, Herod's uncle, and the [second] husband of his sister Salome, slain by Herod, on account of Mariamne. 2. Joseph, Herod's quaestor, or treasurer, slain on the same account. 3. Joseph, Herod's brother, slain in battle against Antigonus. 4. Joseph, Herod's nephew, the husband of Olympias, mentioned in this place.
(44) These daughters of Herod, whom Pheroras's wife affronted, were Salome and Roxana, two virgins, who were born to him of his two wives, Elpide and Phedra. See Herod's genealogy, Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 1. sect. 3.
(45) This strange obstinacy of Pheroras in retaining his wife, who was one of a low family, and refusing to marry one nearly related to Herod, though he so earnestly desired it, as also that wife's admission to the counsels of the other great court ladies, together with Herod’s own importunity as to Pheroras's divorce and other marriage, all so remarkable here, or in the Antiquities XVII. ch. 2. sect. 4; and ch. 3. be well accounted for, but on the supposal that Pheroras believed, and Herod suspected, that the Pharisees' prediction, as if the crown of Judea should be translated from Herod to Pheroras's posterity and that most probably to Pheroras's posterity by this his wife, also would prove true. See Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 2. sect. 4; and ch. 3. sect. 1.
(46) This Tarentum has coins still extant, as Reland informs us here in his note.
(47) A lover of his father.
(48) Since in these two sections we have an evident account of the Jewish opinions in the days of Josephus, about a future happy state, and the resurrection of the dead, as in the New Testament, John 11:24, I shall here refer to the other places in Josephus, before he became a catholic Christian, which concern the same matters. Of the War, B. II. ch. 8. sect. 10, 11; B. III. ch. 8. sect. 4; B. VII. ch. 6. sect. 7; Contr. Apion, B. II. sect. 30; where we may observe, that none of these passages are in his Books of Antiquities, written peculiarly for the use of the Gentiles, to whom he thought it not proper to insist on topics so much out of their way as these were. Nor is this observation to be omitted here, especially on account of the sensible difference we have now before us in Josephus's reason of the used by the Rabbins to persuade their scholars to hazard their lives for the vindication of God's law against images, by Moses, as well as of the answers those scholars made to Herod, when they were caught, and ready to die for the same; I mean as compared with the parallel arguments and answers represented in the Antiquities, B. XVII. ch. 6. sect, 2, 3. A like difference between Jewish and Gentile notions the reader will find in my notes on Antiquities, B. III. ch. 7. sect. 7; B. XV. ch. 9. sect. 1. See the like also in the case of the three Jewish sects in the Antiquities, B. XIII. ch. 5. sect. 9, and ch. 10. sect. 4, 5; B. XVIII. ch. 1. sect. 5; and compared with this in his Wars of the Jews, B. II. ch. 8. sect. 2-14. Nor does St. Paul himself reason to Gentiles at Athens, Acts 17:16-34, as he does to Jews in his Epistles.