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Antiquities of the Jews -- 19

Caligula's Death. Claudius as emperor. Arrival of Fadus in Judea

1. Caligula's assassination by Cherea and his supporters

2. Senators, not soldiers, want the old republic. Portrayal of Gaius' morals

3. Claudius is kidnapped by soldiers. Senators bluster but submit to him

4. Claudius avenges the murder of Gaius. Agrippa advises him how to gain the throne

5. As thanks, Claudius restores to Agrippa his grandfather's territory

6. Agrippa's favour towards Jerusalem. Petronius deals with the idolators in Doris

7. Arrogance of Silas. Agrippa's new wall around Jerusalem Favour shown to Berytus

8. Final acts of Agrippa, and his death in Caesarea, for blasphemy

9. After Agrippa's death, Fadus is procurator over the whole kingdom of Judea

Chapter 1. [001-161]
Caligula's Disgraceful Rule. His Assassination and its Aftermath


001 Gaius showed his madness not only in his insolence to the Jews in Jerusalem and the inhabitants of that area, but spread it over land and sea, wherever was subject to the Romans, infecting the empire with so many evils as are nowhere else recorded in history. 002 But Rome itself felt the worst effects of what he did, for he reckoned it no more worthy of honour than other cities, but he harassed and harried its citizens, but especially the senate and the nobility and those who were dignified by illustrious ancestors. 003 He also devised thousands of indignities for the equestrians, as they was styled, who were regarded by the citizens as equal in dignity and wealth with the senators, since from them the senators were chosen. These he treated shamefully and pushed aside and often killed and plundered their wealth, because he generally killed people in order to take their riches. 004 He asserted his own divinity and made his subjects show him more honour than is due to any human being. He then went up to the temple of Zeus which they style the Capitol, and is the holiest of all their temples, where he boldly declared himself the brother of Zeus. 005 Other maniacal things he also did, as when disdained to sail from the town of Dicearchia in Campania, to Misenum, another town on the sea-side, in a trireme, 006 and thought he should cross it in another way, for as lord of the sea it should obey him just as does the dry land. So he joined one promontory to another, a length of thirty furlongs across the sea, with a bridge of boats that enclosed the whole bay, and drove his chariot over it, thinking that, as he was a god, it was his right to travel over such roads as this. 007 He left none of the Greek temples unplundered and ordered all their writings and sculptures and ornate statuary and sacred offerings to be brought to him, saying that the best things should be nowhere but in the best place and that was the city of Rome. 008 He adorned his own house and gardens with the curiosities brought from those temples, and from the houses he stayed in when he travelled all over Italy. Thus he did not scruple to order the statue of Olympian Zeus by Phidias the Athenian, so called because it was honoured by the Greeks at the Olympic games, to be transferred to Rome. 009 But he did not achieve this, because the architects told Memmius Regulus, who was to remove that statue of Zeus, that the workmanship would be spoiled and it would not survive the removal. It is also reported that Memmius, both on that account and due to some such mighty an incredible prodigies, postponed taking it down, 010 and when he wrote this to Gaius as his reason for not doing as his rescript required and that this put him in danger of death, he was saved by the death of Gaius himself, before he could have him executed.


011 His mania went so far, that when he had a daughter born, he brought her into the capitol and put her on the knees of the statue and said that the child belonged to both him and Zeus, declaring that she had two fathers, but which of these was greater he left undecided. 012 People had to put up with his deeds, as he allowed slaves to accuse their masters of any crimes they pleased, and all such accusations were fearful, for they were in great part made to please him and at his suggestion. 013 For instance, Pollux, Claudius's slave, had the temerity to make an accusation against Claudius himself, and Gaius was not ashamed to attend his trial of life and death, to hear that trial of his own uncle, hoping to be able to do away with him, although he did not succeed as he wanted. 014 When he had filled the whole world that he ruled with sycophancy and misery and had allowed slaves to tyrranise over their masters, many plots were made against him; some joined the conspiracy out of anger at what they had suffered from him, and others in order to remove the man before they themselves fell victim to him. 015 So his death came very fortunately for the rule of law for everyone and was greatly for the common good, and for that of our nation in particular, which might have utterly died out if his end had not come so soon. I want to give all the details about this matter, 016 as it offers a great proof of God's power and a reassurance to those in trouble and a wise caution to those who think their prosperity is permanent and that it will not be turned to woe, if they do not lead their lives in the ways of virtue.


017 There were three conspiracies to remove Gaius, with good men at the head of each of them. Aemilius Regulus, born at Cordoba in Spain, got some men together, intent on removing Gaius either through them or on his own. 018 Another ring was led by the tribune, Cherea Cassius. Then Vinucianus Annius too had significant status among those ready to oppose his tyranny. 019 The motive why these men hated and conspired against Gaius was as follows: Regulus was indignant at all injustice, for his temper was angry and bold and free, which made him not conceal his thoughts, so he shared them with many of his friends and with others whom he took to be men of action. 020 Vinucianus joined the plot to avenge his close friend Lepidus, a citizen of noblest character, whom Gaius had killed, and because he was afraid for himself, since when Gaius grew angry he tended towards indiscriminate murder. 021 Cherea joined it because he was ashamed of how Gaius insulted him and accused him of cowardice, and being in daily danger from Gaius whom he served only too well, felt himself unfree until he put an end to him. 022 These suggested it to all others concerned, who saw the insolence they endured from Gaius and hoped by removing him to escape the blade that had killed others. They might well succeed, and if so it would be well to have the support of people willing, even at the risk of their lives, to share in liberating the city and the leadership. 023 Cherea was especially eager, out of his desire to win the glory of it and because, as tribune, he could come into the presence of Gaius with less danger, and therefore it would be easier for him to kill him.


024 The horse-races which the Romans loved to watch were held about this time. At such times they crowd into the hippodrome in large numbers and make petitions about their needs to their emperors, who are not at all unpopular if the requests are granted. 025 They loudly demanded that Gaius lower the excise duty and relax some of their burden of taxes, but he would not listen, and when the complaints increased, he sent round soldiers to arrest those who were shouting and quickly take them out and execute them. 026 These were his commands, which were carried out by those sent by him, and many were killed in the incident. Seeing this, the people gave up their complaints, for with their own eyes they saw that asking to have their taxes reduced could cost them their lives. 027 This made Cherea all the more resolved to carry out his plot, so as to put an end to this savagery of Gaius towards people. Several times he thought to attack him at table, but prudence made him refrain. It was not that he had any doubt about killing him, but he waited for a proper occasion when the attempt would not fail and his stroke would achieve his purpose with security.


028 Cherea had been soldiering a long time and was very disturbed by the behaviour of Gaius. When Gaius sent him to exact the taxes and other dues, which, if not paid in due time, were forfeited to Caesar's treasury, he took his time in collecting them, since the rates had been doubled, and followed his own tendency rather than obeying Gaius's command. 029 His clemency and pity for the plight of those from whom he gathered the taxes made Gaius angry, and he rebuked him for sloth and weakness in being so long about collecting the money. He also insulted him in other ways, and gave him female watchwords of an obscene kind, 030 when it was his task to get the the watchword for the day, names made up by himself, of the kind used in certain mystery religions. Dressing up in women's clothes and wearing other items to make himself look like a woman, he had the audacity to invite Cherea to share these shameful actions. 031 Whenever Cherea received the watchword from him it made him furious, all the more so at having to pass it on, being mocked as the other tribunes made fun of him. When it was his turn to receive the watchword from Caesar, they knew he would be bringing them some of his usual laughable watchwords. 032 It was this sense of outrage that finally roused him to venture to gather some associates. One of them was Pompedius, a senator, who had gone through almost all posts in the leadership, but was otherwise an Epicurean and for that reason loved a quiet life. 033 Timidius, an enemy of his, had told Gaius that he had grossly insulted him and called as a witness Quintilia, a woman of great beauty much loved by many who frequented the theatre, and particularly by Pompedius. 034 This woman hated the thought of bearing false witness against her lover, but Timidius wanted to get it out of her by torture. The enraged Gaius, who used Cherea for acts of murder and torture, thinking he would act even more cruelly to avoid any hint of the effeminacy he was accused of, ordered Cherea to use torture on her. 035 But even under torture, Quintilia trod on the foot of one of the conspirators to tell him be brave, for under her pains she would not yield but bore them like a man. Cherea tortured her cruelly, though reluctantly, having no choice. Then he brought her to Gaius, still refusing to speak but a sad sight to see. 036 Moved by the sight of Quintilia's suffering, Gaius acquitted both her and Pompedius of the crime charged against them. He also gave her a grant of money to console her for the ill-treatment she had suffered and for her noble patience under such unbearable pains.


037 It sorely grieved Cherea to have caused harm to people whom Gaius himself wished to console, and he said to Clement and to Papinius, - Clement was a general and Papinius a tribune - 038 "Clement, we have not failed to guard the emperor, but see how we treated people conspiring against his rule: by our care and effort we have killed some and others we tortured so badly that he himself showed pity on them. How noble we are in doing our duties as soldiers!" 039 Clement stayed silent, but showed by his look and his blushes the shame he felt in obeying those orders, yet not thinking it right or safe to accuse the emperor of madness. 040 Cherea took courage from this and without fear of the danger involved, spoke to him about the severe troubles of the city and the government, saying that Gaius was felt to be the cause of them. 041 "Now Clement, in the view of those who know, it is I and Papinius here, and you above all, who torture the Romans and everybody in this way, not just in obedience to Gaius, but consenting to it. 042 Though it is in our power to put an end to this man's life, who has terribly wronged his citizens and subjects, we go on acting as his bodyguard and henchmen instead of being soldiers. We bear arms not for freedom or for the rule of Rome, but for the safety of the man who has enslaved them in body and mind, and every day we are stained with their blood and torture, until someone is sent by Gaius to do the same to us. 043 It is not out of goodwill that he employs us in this way, for the more people are killed the more he will suspect our loyalty. Gaius sets no limits to his anger, since in his actions he is not guided by justice, but by his own pleasure. We will become his targets, while we should be ensuring the security and freedom of all and at the same time doing something to put ourselves out of danger.


044 Clement clearly agreed with Cherea's view, but told him hold his tongue, for if word of the secret were to spread, the plot would be revealed before it was carried out and they would be punished. He would leave it alone for the present and in time something would turn in their favour. 045 He himself was ruled out by reason of his age. "However, Cherea, even if I could suggest a safer plan than yours, who could think of anything more honourable?" 046 Clement went home, reflecting deeply on what he had heard and what he himself had said. Full of anxiety, Cherea soon went to Cornelius Sabinus, one of the tribunes who was also, he knew, a worthy man and a lover of liberty, and under threat from the present regime. 047 Though wishing to involve some others, he wanted to carry out the plan immediately, afraid that Clement might reveal it, and regarding delay and hesitation as favouring those in charge.


048 Sabinus welcomed the plan, having formed the same idea independently of Cherea, but having stayed silent for lack of anyone with whom he could safely share it. Very encouraged to meet one who both opened his mind to him and promised to keep secret what he heard, he asked Cherea to waste no time. 049 They went to Vinucianus, who was as brave and eager for high ideals as themselves, and was held suspect by Gaius since the slaughter of Lepidus. Now Vinucianus and Lepidus had been close friends, both of them in grave danger from him. 050 For Gaius was feared by all the influential people, being quick to vent his mania on each of them in particular and all of them in general. 051 They were nervous of each other, even while clearly unhappy with the state of affairs, and avoided expressing their views and their hatred of Gaius, for fear of danger to themselves, although they felt their shared hatred of Gaius in other ways, and on that account had not ceased to be friendly towards each other.


052 When these two met and exchanged greetings, Vinucianus had precedence due to his high status, for he was eminent and highly praised by the people, 053 and was especially good in debate. Vinucianus now took the initiative and asked Cherea what watchword he had received that day, for the insults to Cherea about the watchwords were well known in the city. 054 Cherea, pleased that Vinucianus did not hesitate to address him in this familiar way, replied, "The watchword of liberty! And thanks for rousing me to even fuller commitment. 055 Not that I need many words to rouse me, since both you and I are of the same mind and share the same resolve, even before we met. I am wearing just one sword but it will serve us both. 056 Come on then, let us do it. Let you lead if you wish, and bid me follow you; or else I will lead with your support and we will act together and trust each other. There is no shortage of swords once the mind is determined to act, for it is the mind that brings the sword into action. 057 I am eager for action, and am not worried about what I may have to suffer, for I have no time to consider the dangers to myself, since I am so pained by the slavery our once free country and the contempt of Gaius for our fine laws and the ruin he has brought on everybody. 058 I hope you will judge me worthy of trust in these matters, as we are both of the same opinion and that you will not disown me in this."


059 When Vinucianus saw the fervour he expressed, he gladly embraced him and commended his bold plan, praising and embracing him, and wishing him well as they parted. 060 Some maintain that their words received a confirmation, for as Cherea was entering the senate house, a voice arose from among the crowd to spur him on, telling him finish the task with the help of the gods. 061 Cherea, it seems, suspected at first that one of the conspirators had betrayed him and that he was trapped, but then knew it was to urge him on. Whether the signal was given to encourage him by someone who knew his plans, or whether he was aroused by God, who looks upon the actions of men, is uncertain. 062 The plot was now shared by many and they all turned up in their armour. Some of them were senators and some of the equestrian order and as many of the soldiers as were made aware of it, for there was none who would not reckon the removal of Gaius to be a good thing. 063 So they were all eager in some way or other not be left out of this worthy enterprise, but to have some part, either by word or deed, in the removal of the tyrant. 064 For instance, Callistus: this freedman of Gaius had arrived at the highest power under him, becoming in a way equal to the tyrant himself, through the dread everyone had of him and the amount of wealth he had acquired, 065 for he took huge bribes and was most insolent and abused his power more than any other. He knew the implacable disposition of Gaius, how he never flinched from what he had resolved on, and felt himself in danger for various reasons, not least because of his great wealth. 066 For this reason he secretly ingratiated himself with Claudius and courted his favour, hoping that he would become leader when Gaius was removed, and he could preserve his rank under him, having supported him and gained his goodwill in advance. 067 He dared to pretend that he had been ordered to do away with Claudius by poison, but that he had invented countless excuses for postponing it. 068 But Callistus probably invented this story to ingratiate himself with Claudius, for if Gaius had seriously wanted to remove Claudius, he would not have accepted any excuses; and neither would Callistus, if ordered to do the deed, have regarded it as wrong, for he would not escape paying the price of disobeying his master's orders. 069 No, Claudius was preserved by some divine providence from the madness of Gaius, and Callistus merely claimed a merit that was not truly his.


070 But the execution of Cherea's designs was put off from day to day by the caution of many involved in it. Cherea himself was unwilling to delay its execution, thinking every time suitable for it. 071 Indeed he often had chances, as when Gaius went up to the Capitol to sacrifice for his daughter, or he could have beeen pushed down from the top of his royal palace as he threw gold and silver coins among the people, for the roof of the palace was very high, in the direction of the Forum; or when he celebrated the mysteries that he had appointed. 072 For he was then no way cut off from the people, but concentrated on doing everything carefully and had no suspicion of being attacked by anyone. But even if no god should bring death to Gaius, 073 he himself had the strength to despatch Gaius, even without a sword. So Cherea begged his fellow conspirators, not to let the opportunities pass them by, 074 but though they were aware that he wanted the rule of law and that his eagerness was in their favour, they still wanted him to wait a little longer, in case, if they met some obstacle, they would put the city into convulsion and the conspiracy would be found out and the courage of the conspirators would be foiled, and Gaius would then secure himself more than ever against them. 075 So it would be best to do the deed when the games were held on the Palatine, in honour of the Caesar who first transferred the government of the people to himself. Platforms were set up in front of the palace, where the Roman patricians could look on with their children and their wives, along with Caesar himself. 076 They reckoned that among the many thousands who would there be crowded into a small space, they would have a good chance to set upon him as he came in, because his bodyguards, if any of them wanted to protect him, could not give him any help.


077 Cherea agreed to this delay and it was resolved to do the work the first day the games were on. But fortune, which had delayed his assassination, overcame their first resolve, and as the usual three days for these games passed by, they would have to do the business on the last day. 078 Cherea called the conspirators together and said: "It is a shame to us that so much time has passed without carrying out our worthy plan, but this delay will prove more fatal if we are found out and the deed is foiled, for Gaius will act more cruelly then. 079 Don't you see how long we deprive all our friends of their liberty and allow Gaius to tyrannize over them? We should have won them security for the future, and while giving others a chance to prosper, win for ourselves admiration and honour for all time to come." 080 While the conspirators had nothing to say against this but still did not quite relish the deed, and stood silent and dismayed, he added, "Good men, are we still hesitating? Don't you see this is the last day of these games and that Gaius is about to sail away? 081 For he is preparing to sail to Alexandria, in order to see Egypt, and can you honourably let slip from your hands one who is a rebuke to mankind and let him to continue pompously triumphing over land and sea? 082 Should we not be ashamed of ourselves, if we leave it to some Egyptian or other to kill him, though we find his wrongdoing intolerable to free-men? 083 I can no longer bear your pretexts but will take the risk of it myself this day and cheerfully accept he consequences, come what may. For what could be worse for a wise and courageous man than to have someone else kill Gaius in my lifetime, and deprive me of the honour of such a deed?"


084 So he eagerly set about the work and inspired the others with courage to go on with it, so that all were eager to do it without further delay. 085 So he was at the Palatine in the morning, wearing his equestrian sword, for it was customary for the tribunes to wear their swords when asking the emperor for the watchword, and this was the day when he usually received the watchword. 086 The people had already arrived in large crowds at the palace, to be in time to see the games, and were restlessly jostling each other, and Gaius was pleased with their enthusiasm, and so no fixed seating was assigned, and no special places for the senators, or for the equestrian order, but all were seated at random, men and women together and free-men mixing with the slaves. 087 Gaius came out solemnly and offered sacrifice to Augustus Caesar, in whose honour these games were celebrated. Now it so happened that a priest fell and that the toga of a senator, Asprenas, was covered with blood, which made Gaius laugh, though it was ominous for Asprenas, for he was struck down over Gaius' dead body. 088 It is also reported that on that day, contrary to his usual custom, Gaius was so very affable and good-natured in conversation, that all of those present were astonished at it. 089 When the sacrifice was done, Gaius went and sat down to see the games, surrounded by his best friends. 090 The theatre was arranged in the usual way. It had two doors, one leading to the open air while the other was for entering or leaving the porticoes, so as not to disturb those inside the theatre. From one gallery ran an inner passage, also in sections and leading to another gallery, as an exit when required for the combatants and musicians. 091 When the people had sat down and Cherea and the other tribunes were also seated and the right corner of the theatre was assigned to Caesar, Vatinius, a leading senator asked Cluvius, a dignitary who was sitting beside him, if he had heard any news, taking care that nobody else could hear. 092 When Cluvius said he had heard no news, Vatinius said, "Well, the play about the slaughter of tyrants is on today." Cluvius replied "My brave friend, be quiet in case some other Greek should hear the myth." 093 A lot of autumn fruit was thrown among the spectators and many birds too, valued for their rarity, and Gaius enjoyed seeing the birds fighting for the fruits and the eagerness with which the spectators seized them. 094 Then he saw two strange things. A mime was performed, in which a brigand chief was crucified, and then they mimed a play called Cinyras, who was to be killed with his daughter Myrrha, so a great deal of stage blood was shed, around the crucified man and Cinyras. 095 This was declared to be the same date on which Pausanias killed his friend king Philip of Macedon, son of Amyntas, as he was entering the theatre. 096 Now as it was the final day, Gaius was wondering whether to wait until the end of the games, or whether to go first to the baths and dinner and then return to the theatre as before. This made Vinucianus, who was sitting above Gaius, fear that the opportunity might pass them by, and when he saw Cherea going out, he was hurrying to urge him to go ahead; 097 but Gaius affably took hold of his toga and said, "My good man, where are you going?" Out of respect for Caesar, as it seemed, he sat down again, but seized by fear he soon got up again. 098 This time Gaius did not prevent him from leaving, thinking he was going to answer a call of nature. Asprenas, one of the allies, persuaded Gaius to go to the baths and to dinner and then to return, wanting to achieve what they had resolved upon.


099 Cherea's associates had placed themselves as required and found it hard not to leave the places assigned to them. They were irritated by the tedious wait and felt that their affair could not be much longer delayed, as it was already about the ninth hour of the day. 100 Gaius delayed so long that Cherea was ready to go in and attack him where he sat, though he foresaw that this could not be done without much bloodshed to the senators and those of the equestrian order that were present; but despite this risk, he was still inclined to do it, thinking it fair to win security and freedom for all at the expense of whoever might die at the time. 101 As they turned back to the entrance to the theatre, word reached them that Gaius had risen to his feet, and that there was a crowd around him. So the conspirators thrust the crowd away, on the pretext that they were an annoyance to Gaius, but really wishing to have a quiet place to murder him, with none around him to defend him. 102 His uncle Claudius had already left with Marcus Vinicius his sister's husband, and Valellus of Asia, and though they might have wished to prevent them from leaving, they did not do so, out of respect for their dignity. Then Gaius followed, along with Paulus Arruntius. 103 Once within the palace, he left the main path, along which his servants stood in waiting and along which Claudius and his group had gone ahead. 104 The emperor turned aside into a narrow lane, a short-cut to the baths, to look at the Asian boys who were sent out from there to sing hymns in the mysteries which were now being celebrated and to dance in the Pyrrhic style in the theatre. 105 Cherea accosted him and asked him for the watchword. Then when Gaius gave him one of his ridiculous words, without hesitation he poured insults on him and drew his sword and with it gave him a mighty blow, though not a fatal one. 106 Some say that Cherea planned it that way, not to kill Gaius at a single stroke but to punish him more severely with many wounds; 107 but this seems incredible to me, for in such actions men's fear does not let them use their reason. If this was Cherea's intention, I would deem him the greatest of fools, for venting his spite against Gaius instead of immediately putting himself and his allies out of danger, since many things could still happen to help Gaius, if he had not passed away at once. Surely Cherea would concentrate less on punishing Gaius than on himself and his friends, 108 when he could keep silent after the deed was done, and escape the anger of Gaius's defenders and not leave it to chance whether or not he would achieve his purpose, and risk ruining himself and miss the chance that lay before him. But people may speculate about this matter as they please. 109 At any rate, Gaius reeled at the pain of the blow, for the sword fell between his shoulder and his neck, where his collar-bone blocked it from proceeding any further. In his shock he neither cried out nor called for any of his friends, either because he had no confidence in them or that his mind was so disordered, but he groaned in pain and tried to flee. 110 Cornelius Sabinus, who was already decided to do so, pushed him down on his knees, where many of them stood around him and struck him with their swords, calling out and urging each other to strike him again, and all agree that Aquila gave him the stroke that finished him off. 111 Still, we may justly attribute the deed to Cherea, for although many took a hand in the action, he was the first to plan it 112 and began to prepare for it long before the others and was the first to boldly speak of it to the others. When they accepted what he said, it was he who gathered the scattered conspirators and prepared everything well and gave good advice. He proved far superior to the rest and soothed them with his words, and even compelled some whose courage was failing to persevere in their purpose. 113 Then when given the chance to wield the sword, he was the first willing to do so and struck the first blow in this virtuous execution. It was he who put Gaius into the others' power and left him as good as dead, so that it is only fair to attribute all that the others did to Cherea's advice and bravery and handiwork.


114 So Gaius met his end and there he lay, lifeless, from the many wounds he had received. 115 Once Gaius was dead, Cherea's party saw that they could not save themselves by all going off in the same direction, but they were stunned, knowing they were in significant danger for killing an emperor who was honoured and loved by the senseless people, especially when the soldiers were likely to make a bloody search for his murderers; 116 and the alleys where the deed had been done were narrow, and thronged with many of the emperor's attendants, among them the soldiers who were his bodyguard that day. 117 So they took different paths and came to the house of Germanicus, the father of Gaius, whom they had just killed. This adjoined the palace, for while the building was one, it was divided into several parts by those who had been emperors and each part bore the name of whoever built it or the name of him who had begun to build part of it. 118 So they got away from the crowd and were out of danger for the moment, until what had happened to the emperor became known. 119 The Germans were the first to notice that Gaius had been killed. These were his bodyguard, bearing the name of the country from which they were chosen, and they formed the Celtic legion. 120 The men of that country are naturally passionate, as is often the case with other barbarians too, not given to thinking much about what they are about to do. They are robust in body and whenever attacked, they counter-attack their enemies with great success. 121 When these German guards grasped that Gaius had been killed, they were very upset, for they did not judge wisely about the common good, but measured everything in terms of advantage for themselves, and Gaius was popular with them for the money he had given them, by which he had bought their goodwill. 122 So they drew their swords led on by Sabinus who was a tribune, not due to any virtue or nobility of his ancestors, for he had been a gladiator whose physical strength had won him that army rank, and they went out the palace searching for Caesar's murderers. 123 Asprenas was the first man they came across and they hacked him to pieces, his garment was stained by the sacrificial blood which, as I said earlier, boded him no good. Norbanus was the second to meet them, one of the noblest citizens whose dignity they disregarded though he had many generals among his ancestors. 124 He was so strong that he wrested the sword from hands of the first man who attacked him and was clearly not going to die without struggle. But he was surrounded by many assailants and died of multiple wounds. 125 The third was Anteius, a senator who came with a few companions and did not meet these Germans by chance, as the others had, for he came for the pleasure of seeing with his own eyes Gaius lying there dead; for he had banished Anteius's father, of the same name, and not content with that, sent his soldiers and killed him. 126 Therefore this man had come to enjoy the sight of the emperor's corpse. As the house was all in confusion he tried to hide, but could not escape the Germans' careful search as they wantonly killed those who were guilty along with those who were not. That is how these people were killed.


127 When word of Gaius' death reached the theatre, they were astonished and could not credit it; and even some who welcomed his assassination and were more eager for it than almost any other news they could hear, were afraid to believe it. 128 There were some who totally distrusted it, because they were unwilling to believe that any such thing should happen to Gaius, and did not believe it was true because they thought no man had the courage to kill him. 129 Among them were the womenfold and children and slaves and some of the soldiers, who had taken his pay and in a way were tyrants along with him and for the sake of their status and profit had been subservient to his arrogance and abused the best of the citizens. 130 The womanly spirits and the youth had been inveigled by shows and gladiatorial battles and handouts of meat which had been given under pretext of caring for the people but which really served to satisfy the savagery and madness of Gaius. 131 The slaves too were sorry, for he had allowed them to accuse and scorn their masters and they could appeal to his help if harshly treated by them, for he readily believed them against their masters, even if the accusation was false, and if they disclosed where their money was they could soon gain both riches and freedom in return for their accusations, because the reward for informing was one eighth of the property. 132 The report appeared credible to some of the patricians, either because they had knowledge of the plot or because they wanted it to be true, but they concealed not only their joy at the report of it, but even that they had heard of it at all. 133 They were afraid that if the report proved false, they might be punished for having so soon shown others what they thought. But those who knew that Gaius was dead because they were part of the conspiracy were even more secretive, not knowing who else was involved and fearing to speak of it to some who had favoured the tyranny, and if Gaius proved to be alive, they might be reported and punished. 134 Another report went round that he had been wounded but had not yet died, and was alive under the care of the physicians. 135 Nobody was trusted enough to be told by another the secrets of one's heart, for he was either a friend and suspected of favouring his tyranny, or one who hated him, and therefore might be less believable about him, due to ill-will. 136 Some even said, and this indeed dampened the high hopes of the patricians, that Gaius had shrugged off his dangers and neglected to care for his wounds, and had fled to the Forum, where, covered in blood, he was making a speech to the people. 137 These were the conjectures of people who like to stir things up, and were given various slants according to the views of the bearers. So they did not leave their seats, for fear that if one left before the rest he could accused and sentenced not for his real reason for leaving but because of the views of their accusers and judges.


138 Then a crowd of the Germans surrounded the theatre with drawn swords, and the spectators expected nothing but death. Each one coming in was fearful of being killed on the spot, and was in a quandary, neither daring to leave the theatre, nor feeling safe while they remained there. 139 When the soldiers came upon them there was great outcry and the theatre rang with the spectators' pleas, saying they had no knowledge of anything to do with plans for revolt, and that if a revolt had begun, they knew nothing about it. 140 They implored them to spare them and not punish them for the rashness of others, instead of searching for the real authors of whatever had been done. 141 They appealed to God about this, deploring their with tears and striking their faces and in fear for their lives in face of this danger said whatever came into their heads. 142 This softened the fury of the soldiers and made them relent from what they had planned to do to the spectators, which would have been too cruel, as even these savages felt once they had fixed upon the altar the heads of Asprenas and their other victims. 143 The sight of it caused anguish to the spectators, due to the dignity of those involved and out of pity for what they suffered, and equally great was their anguish at their own danger, for it was still uncertain if they would escape a similar fate. 144 So even those who fully and rightly hated Gaius could not yet enjoy the pleasure of his death, since they themselves were in danger of dying along with him and up to this they had no assurance of survival.


145 A man called Evaristus Arruntius, once a public crier in the market and therefore with a strong and audible voice, was now as wealthy as the richest of the Romans and able both then and later to do as he pleased in the city. 146 This man, although he had hated Gaius more than anyone, dressed up in mourning, for prompted by fear and a love of safety he set aside his immediate pleasure, 147 and dressed as if he had lost his dearest friends in the world, and came into the theatre and announced the death of Gaius and so ended people's ignorance of what had happened. 148 Arruntius now took control and with the tribunes called out to the Germans, bidding them put up their swords and telling them that Gaius was dead. 149 It was this proclamation that saved those gathered in the theatre and all the rest who any way met the Germans, for while they had any hopes of Gaius being still breathing, they refrained from no sort of vengeance. 150 Their love for Gaius was so great that they would willingly have foiled the plot against him and saved him from such misfortune at the cost of their lives. 151 But they left off their rage for punishing his enemies once they were fully satisfied that Gaius was dead, since it was useless for them to show their zeal and affection for him, when the one to reward them was died, and they feared they would be punished if they continued on the rampage, if the authority of the supreme ruler reverted to the senate. 152 So finally, and not without difficulty, a stop was put to the rage which possessed the Germans at the death of Gaius.


153 Cherea was so afraid that Vinucianus might encounter the Germans in their fury that he went and spoke to each of the soldiers and asked them to look out for his safety and personally made a great inquiry to see that he had not been killed. 154 And Clement, when Vinucianus was brought to him, let him go and, along with many other of the senate, affirmed that the action was right and praised the bravery of those who planned it and had the courage to carry it out. 155 He said that tyrants enjoy themselves for a while by abusing their power to be insolent, but do not leave the world happily, since they are hated by the virtuous, 156 but meet a fate like Gaius, who had conspired against himself before those who attacked him did so, and by intolerably setting aside the wise provision of the laws had made his dearest friends see him as an enemy. Thus, while at the surface level it was the conspirators who killed Gaius, in reality he had been destroyed by himself."


157 By now the people in the theatre had risen from their seats as the guards had relented somewhat. The reason the spectators were in such a hurry to leave was Alcyon, a physician, who was rushing off to attend some wounded people and had sent his companions away as though to fetch what he needed for the healing of those wounds, but in reality to get them clear of the immediate danger. 158 Meanwhile the senate had met and the people too had assembled in the accustomed form and both were enquiring about the murderers of Gaius, the people doing so eagerly, but the senate only in appearance. 159 Valerius of Asia, a man of consular rank, was present, and went out to the people, who were shouting and angry at not knowing who had murdered the emperor. When hotly questioned by them all who had done it, he replied, "I wish it had been myself!" 160 The consuls published an edict condemning Gaius and ordering the people and the soldiers to go home. They gave the people much hope of relief, and promised the soldiers that, if they stayed properly peaceful and did not go about oppressing people, they would reward them, for there was reason to fear that the city would be harmed by their unruliness, if they started robbing the citizens, or plundering the temples. 161 All the senators got together and especially those who had conspired to take the life of Gaius, putting on an air of great assurance and magnanimity at this time, as if the government were already in their hands.

Chapter 2. [162-211]
The Senators seek the Return of the Republic. The Soldiers prefer the Empire. Reflection on Gaius' morals


162 In this state of affairs Claudius was suddenly hurried away from his house, for the soldiers held a meeting and after debating what to do, saw that a democracy could not manage such a vast administration, and if it were set up, it would not benefit them. 163 Also, if any of those in leadership positions were to gain the supreme power, it would be very regrettable if they did not help bring him to power. 164 Therefore their best bet, while matters were in turmoil, was to choose Claudius as emperor, the uncle of the dead Gaius and of higher dignity and worth than those assembled in the senate, both from the virtues of his ancestors and the learning he had acquired in his education. 165 Once settled as emperor, he would reward them according to their merits and heap gifts upon them. These were their plans and they put them immediately into effect. 166 So Claudius was seized by the soldiers, But Gnaeus Sentius Saturninns, learning that Claudius had been seized and intended to claim the leadership, in appearance against his will but in reality by his free choice, stood up in the senate, and made an unabashed plea to them in the spirit of freedom and generosity. He spoke as follows:


167 "Romans, although it be incredible, after such a long time, that such an unexpected thing has happened, yet finally we have the dignity of free men. How long this will last is uncertain and lies in the hands of the gods, whose gift it is, but it is enough to make us joyful and happy for the present, although we may soon be deprived of it. 168 A single hour is enough for those who are practiced in virtue, to live with minds accountable only to ourselves, in our own country, now free and ruled by the laws this country once lived under. 169 For myself, I cannot remember our former time of liberty, being born after it had passed, but I am filled with joy beyond measure at the thought of our present freedom. I also esteem happy the men who were born and brought up in our former liberty, and that those who have given us a taste of it in this age are as worthy of esteem as the very gods. 170 I heartily wish that our present peaceful enjoyment of it may continue to all ages, but for our young men, as well as for us that are older, this single day may suffice. It will seem an age to our old men, if they should die during its happy duration. 171 But for the younger people it may also serve to show what kind of virtue was practiced by those from whom we were born. Nothing is better than to live virtuously during our space of time, the only way that can preserve our liberty, 172 I have only heard of our ancient state by the reports of others, but I know it by experience how things were during my lifetime, and have learned from it the harm tyrannies have brought us, discouraging all virtue and depriving the noble of their liberty and promoting the teachers of flattery and slavish fear, since it leaves the state to be ruled not by wise laws, but by the humour of those who govern. 173 For since Julius Caesar took it into his head to subvert our democracy, and, by overturning our system of laws, brought our administration into disorder and soared above right and justice, to follow his own inclinations, there is no of misery but has infected this city. 174 All those who have succeeded him have outdone each other in destroying the ancient laws of our country and have left it lacking in citizens of noble principle, as they thought it helped their security to have vicious men in charge and not only to break the spirits of those most reputed for virtue, but to resolve to annihilate them utterly. 175 Of all the many emperors who have imposed upon us by their government, this Gaius, who has been killed today, brought worse troubles upon us than all the rest, by venting his unruly rage not only upon his fellow citizens, but upon his relatives and friends and everyone else, inflicting upon them wicked punishments, since his rage was equally against men and against the gods. 176 For tyrants are not content with arrogance or with taking men's property and wives, but their great pleasure is to utterly destroy the entire families of their enemies. 177 Anything free is the enemy of tyranny, so that even those who patiently endure the woes they cause cannot even gain their friendship, for as they see the evils they have brought on these men and how bravely they have borne it, they cannot but be aware of their wrongdoing and so can only be secure from whoever they hold suspect, if they can take their lives. 178 Now that we have got clear of these evils and are only accountable to each other, the form of government that gives the best basis for our present concord and promises the best security from evil plots and will do us most honour in settling the city in good order, each of you should think not only of his own good but for the public good. 179 Those who wish may declare their disagreement with what is proposed, without any risk of danger, for they have now no lord set over them, who could harm the city at will and had unbridled power to do away with those who spoke out freely. 180 Nothing so much contributed to the increase of tyranny of late as sloth and a fearful reluctance to say no. 181 Too attached to the sweetness of peace, men learned to live like slaves, and whether we heard of intolerable things happening at a distance from us, or saw the evils just beside us, from fear of dying for virtue, we suffered a death of utmost infamy. 182 We ought, firstly, to decree the highest possible honours to those who removed the tyrant, especially to Cherea Cassius, for with the help of the gods, by his advice and actions, this one man has gained our liberty. 183 We should not forget him now we have regained our liberty, under the former tyranny, he made plans and risked himself for our liberties; rather, we should decree him proper honours and openly declare that from the start he acted with our approval. 184 It is a noble thing and worthy of free men to repay their benefactors, as this man has done good to us all, though not at all like Cassius and Brutus, who killed Gaius Julius, for they laid the foundations of rebellion and civil discord in our city, but this man, along with killing the tyrant, has set our city free from all the woes of tyranny."


185 This is the gist of what Sentius said, which was received with pleasure by the senators and by those of the equestrian order as were present. Trebellius Maximus rose up quickly and took a ring from Sentius's finger, which had a stone with the image of Gaius engraved upon it and which, in his eagerness to speak and his zeal in doing so, he must have forgotten to take off himself, and the image was quickly broken. 186 But as it was now far in the night, Cherea asked the consuls for the watchword, and they gave him this word, Liberty. This exchange caused them awe and was almost incredible, 187 for it had been a hundred years since democracy had been set aside, and now giving the watchword returned to the consuls, who had been in charge of the soldiers before the city had come under the rule of tyrants. 188 When Cherea had received that watchword, he gave it to those who were on the senate's side, which were four regiments, who preferred non-imperial government rather than tyranny, 189 and these went away with their tribunes. The people too left in joyful spirits, full of hope and of courage at having recovered their former democracy and being no longer under an emperor, and they held Cherea in high esteem.


190 Cherea was very distressed that Gaius's daughter and wife were still alive and that all his family did not share his fate, since any of them who was left would be a menace to the city and the laws. In order to finish this matter properly and to satisfy his hatred of Gaius, he sent Julius Lupus, one of the tribunes, to kill Gaius's wife and daughter. 191 They gave this task to Lupus, a relative of Clement, so that in this way he could take part in the murder of the tyrant and gain the merit of having helped his fellow citizens and be seen as sharing with those who had made the plot from the start. 192 Yet some of the conspirators felt it would be cruel to be so severe upon a woman, arguing that Gaius was indulging his own wickedness rather than following her advice in all that he did, bringing the city to such a desperate condition and bringing the best of its citizens to ruin. 193 Others accused her of responsibility for these things and being the cause of all that Gaius had done, and said she had given a potion to Gaius, which had enslaved him and forced him to love her and drove him mad, so that she had launched all the evils that had happened to the Romans and the world subject to them. 194 At last it was decided that she must die, as those opposed to it were unable to save her, and Lupus was sent off and wasted no time in doing the deed at the first opportunity, wishing in no way to neglect what would benefit the people. 195 Arriving at the palace, he found Caesonia, the wife of Gaius, lying alongside her husband's body, which was laid on the floor, destitute of all that the law allows to the dead. She was covered in blood from his wounds and in a state of utter grief, and her daughter lay there beside her. There was no sound to be heard but her complaint to Gaius, that he had not heeded what she had so often predicted to him. 196 Even at the time this saying was taken in different senses, and it is still regarded as ambiguous, capable of being interpreted according to the mind of the hearers. One meaning was that she had advised him to give up his mad behaviour and his savagery to the citizens, and govern the public with moderation and justice, or he would die in just the same way as he treated others. 197 Another held that when a rumour was heard about the conspiracy, she had asked Gaius not to delay but to immediately put them all to death, whether guilty or not, so as to avoid any danger to himself, and that what she rebuked him for was being too soft in acting on to her prediction. 198 Anyway, that was what Cesonia said and how people variously interpreted it. When she saw Lupus approach, she showed him the body of Gaius and with grief and tears invited him to draw near. 199 But when she saw the intention of Lupus and that he was not coming for a purpose he found disagreeable, she knew why he was there and willingly bared her throat for him. Shouting aloud like a person in utter despair of her life, she told him not to flinch from finishing the drama that was planned for them. 200 So she willingly met her death at the hand of Lupus, as did the daughter after her, and Lupus hurried off to Cherea and his group to report what he had done.


201 Gaius met his end after ruling the Romans for four months short of four years. Even before he became emperor he was ill-natured and very depraved, a slave to pleasure and a lover of slander, excited by dreadful deeds and disposed to murder when he could get away with it. He used his power for the sole purpose of heaping insults on those who least deserved it, and grew wealthy by murder and lawlessness. 202 He sought to be above either religion or law, but was a slave to the praise of the crowd, and he placed a virtue on things that were shameful and condemned by the law. 203 He was forgetful of friends, no matter how close or noble they might be, and if he was angry with any of them, he would punish them for trivial matters and regarded with h ostility anyone who tried to live virtuously and would brook no challenge to any order he gave, in following his own whims. 204 So he even had intercourse with his own sister, a thing that made the citizens hate him bitterly, as such behaviour was unheard of in past ages and brought mistrust and hatred upon the perpetrator. 205 Nobody can name any great or royal work he ever did as a service to his own or future ages, except the harbour he planned near Rhegium and Sicily, to receive the ships bringing corn from Egypt. 206 This was indisputably great in itself and most useful to the sailors, but the work was not completed by him, but half of it was left unfinished through his lack of diligence, 207 since he gave his attention to useless things and spent his money upon pleasures just for his own satisfaction, so that he lost interest in things that were undeniably of more importance. 208 On the other hand he was an excellent orator and fluent in Greek as well as in his native Roman language, an intelligent men, able to give impromptu replies to speeches painstakingly made by others. He was more skilled than anybody at urging others to great things, from a natural affability which had been improved by much study and toil, 209 for as the grandson of the brother of Tiberius, whose successor he was, he was highly motivated to acquire learning, for the latter had achieved excellence in this field, and, prompted by the letters of his relative the emperor, Gaius aspired to similar glory and was highly esteemed by his citizens. 210 Still the benefits he had from his learning did not prevent him being corrupted by his rise to power, so difficult it is for people with absolute power to do what they please, to preserve the virtue of wisdom. 211 At first, due to his education and his zeal to imitate the best examples, the friends he made were people worthy in every way; but later, as he began to treat them insolently, they set aside their goodwill for him and began to hate him, and from this arose their plotting, from which he died.

Chapter 3. [212-235]
Claudius attempts to flee, but is kidnapped by soldiers. The Senators try to bully him, but then submit to him


212 Claudius, as I said earlier, had left the path along which Gaius was going, and as the family was shaken with the grief of Gaius' death he was in a quandary how to save himself and was found hiding in a tiny alcove, though he had no reason to suspect he was in any danger, apart from the dignity of his birth. 213 He had behaved modestly in his private life and was content with his lot, applying himself to study and especially in Greek, and keeping well clear of anything that could lead him into any trouble. 214 But as at this time the crowd were seized with panic and the whole palace was full of furious soldiers and even the imperial bodyguards seemed as fearful and confused as private citizens, the so-called "pretorian guard," the finest in the army, met to consider what should be done. Those present cared little about the punishment Gaius had suffered, because he had justly deserved his fate; 215 rather they were considering their own situation and how best to take care of themselves, especially as the Germans were out to punish the assassins - but more to satisfy their own savagery rather than for the public good. 216 All of troubled Claudius, who was afraid for his own safety and especially when he saw the heads of Asprenas and the others being carried about. He was in a raised alcove, with a few steps leading up to it, where he had retreated alone in the dark. 217 When Gratus, one of the palace soldiers, saw him, but did not recognise him exactly by his face since it was dark, but could well see that he was there secretly for some reason, he approached, and on being requested to withdraw, recognised him and said to those behind him, "This is Germanicus! Let us take him and set him up as emperor!" 218 As Claudius saw them preparing to take him by force, he feared that they would kill him for the death of Gaius and implored them to spare him, reminding them how he had never troubled them and saying he knew nothing about what had happened. 219 Gratus smiled at him and grasped his right hand and said, "Sir, give up these small thoughts about saving yourself, when you should be thinking higher thoughts, about taking over the empire, which the gods, in their concern for the world, have entrusted to your virtue by taking Gaius away. 220 Go and take up the throne of your ancestors." So they took him up and carried him, as his own legs would not carry him, in his dread and joy at what they had said.


221 Many of the bodyguards had already gathered around Gratus, and when they saw Claudius being carried off, they looked on sadly, thinking he was being brought to execution for the recent crimes, while they saw him as a man who all his life had not taken part in public affairs and had faced no little dangers during the reign of Gaius; and some of them thought that his case should be judged by the consuls. 222 Then, as still more of the military gathered, the crowd took flight but Claudius could hardly go anywhere, due to his physical weakness, and when his litter-bearers learned about his being carried off, they fled to save themselves, despairing of their master's survival. 223 When they reached the large court of the palace, which is said to be the earliest inhabited part of the city of Rome, and got as far as the public treasury, many more soldiers surrounded him, glad to see Claudius's face and happy to see him made emperor, due to their goodwill towards his brother Germanicus, who had left behind a great reputation among all who knew him. 224 They reflected on the covetousness of the leaders of the senate and the errors formerly committed when these had been in charge. 225 Seeing that outcome as impracticable, they considered it dangerous if another individual should seize power, while Claudius could only take it by their gift and goodwill, and would remember the favours they had done him and would recompense them well for it.


226 These were the ideas they discussed and communicated to whoever they came across. These enquirers willingly embraced the invitation, so they brought Claudius into the camp, crowding closely round him as his bodyguard, so that no one could block their progress. 227 But the people and senators disagreed in their views. The latter wanted to avail of the present opportunity to recover their previous status and be rid of the slavery imposed on them by the abuse of the tyrants, 228 while the people envied them and knew how the emperors could curb their greed and provide protection from them, so they were glad when Claudius was seized and brought to them and thought that if became emperor, he would prevent the kind of civil war there had been in Pompey's day. 229 When the senate knew that Claudius had been brought into the camp by the soldiers, they sent to him their men of highest reputation, to advise him not to use violence in order to come to power. 230 As an individual he should be one of them and yield to the senate, composed of so many men and let the law take its course in ruling the public order. He should remember how much harm earlier tyrants had done to the city and the dangers that both he and they had endured under Gaius, for a man who had so hated the burden of tyranny when imposed by others, ought not himself dare to act in a mad and insolent manner against his country. 231 If he would just agree with them and prove his firm resolve to live quietly and virtuously, he would be decreedd the highest honours that free people can bestow, and by submitting to the law, he would be praised for his virtue, whether as ruler or subject. 232 However, if he were foolish and had learned no wisdom from Gaius's death, they would block him, for much of the army was on their side, and plenty of weapons and slaves at their disposal, 233 and in such cases good hope was as important as good fortune, and the gods would only be on the side of those who in virtue and idealism fight for their country's freedom.


234 These envoys, Veranius and Brocchus, both of them tribunes of the people, made this speech to Claudius, and falling on their knees, implored him not to throw the city into war and disaster. But then they saw the crowd of soldiers surrounding and guarding Claudius and that the forces on the consuls's side were negligible compared with them, 235 they said that if he did desire the leadership, he should accept it as a grant of the senate. He would prosper better and be happier if he gained it, not by force but by the consent of those who could give it to him.

Chapter 4. [236-273]
Claudius avenges the murder of Gaius. Agrippa advises him how to gain the throne


236 Claudius, though he was aware of the arrogance with which the senate had sent to him, still took their advice and behaved more moderately. But he recovered from his fear of them, heartened by the audacity of the soldiers and by the persuasion of king Agrippa, who urged him not to let such power slip from his hands, when it came to him unsought. 237 Towards Gaius this man had done the duty of one who had been so honoured by him, for he took care of the dead body of Gaius and laid it upon a bed and covered it as best he could and went out to the guards to say that Gaius was still alive, but said that they should call for physicians, since he was badly wounded. 238 When he learned that Claudius had been carried off by the soldiers, he rushed through the crowd to him and when he found that he was shaken and ready to hand over to the senate, he roused him instead to hold on to the government. 239 After saying this to Claudius, he went home, and when the senate sent for him, he anointed his head with ointment, as if he had been sleeping with his wife and had come from there to them, and enquired of the senators what Claudius what doing. 240 They told him the situation and asked his opinion about it all, and then he told them expressly that he was ready to lose his life for the honour of the senate, but that they should consider what was best, and set aside their personal convenience. 241 Those who aspire to power need weapons and soldiers to guard them, unless they want to go unprepared and at risk to themselves. 242 When the senate replied that they would be going to it with plent of weapons and money and that part of the army was already on their side and that they would raise a larger one by giving the slaves their liberty, Agrippa answered "Senators, I hope you can achieve what you desire, but let me tell you my thoughts, for your own safety. 243 Note that the army on the side of Claudius has been long practiced in war, but our army will be just a crowd of raw recruits along with people suddenly set free from slavery and ungovernable. With men who know not even how to draw their swords, we must then do battle with those who are skilled in war. 244 So my view is that we should send people to Claudius to persuade him to abdicate the empire, and I am prepared to be one of your envoys."


245 He said this and the senate agreed with him, so he was sent with others and secretly told Claudius of the senate's confusion and advised him to answer them in the peremptory tone of one who wielded dignity and authority. 246 Accordingly, Claudius told the envoys, that he was not surprised that the senate was not disposed to be ruled, since they had been harassed by the savagery of those who had formerly been in charge, but that under him they would experience fair government and an era of moderation, as he would be their ruler only in name, for authority would be equally shared by them all; and since he had passed through many and various life experiences in their sight, they would do well not to distrust him. 247 The envoys, pacified on hearing his answer, were dismissed. But Claudius spoke with the assembled army, who took oaths to continue faithful to him. Then he gave each of the bodyguards five thousand drachmae and a proportionate sum to their officers and promised to give the same to the rest of the armies, wherever they were.


248 While it was still night, the consuls convoked the senate into the temple of Jupiter Victor, but on hearing this summons some of the senators hid in the city, uncertain of what to do, and some of them left the city to go to their farms, foreseeing where things were heading and despairing of liberty, for they reckoned it better for them to be subject and out of danger, able to live an inactive life than to claim the dignity of their ancestors, at the risk of their lives. 249 Only a hundred assembled, and as they debated the situation a sudden complaint arose from the soldiers on their side, demanding that the senate choose them an emperor and not destroy the government by a multiplicity of officers. 250 So they declared themselves in favour of trusting not to all, but to a single ruler, while demanding the right to look for someone worthy to be set over them; but that left the senate worse off than before, because they had not only failed to recover the liberty they boasted of, but were in dread of Claudius. 251 Some of them hankered to be emperor, due to the dignity of their families and their marriage alliances. Marcus Vinucianus had his own nobility and had married Julia, the sister of Gaius, and was quite ready to claim the government, but the consuls held him back with one pretext after another. 252 Vinucianus too, who was one of Gaius's murderers, restrained Valerius of Asia from thinking of it, and there would have been dreadful slaughter if these men had been let set themselves against Claudius. 253 Large numbers of gladiators and soldiers of the urban night watch, and rowers of ships, were also streaming into the camp, so that some of those vying for power gave up their claims in order to spare the city and others did so in fear for their own safety.


254 At daybreak, Cherea and his companions came into the senate and tried to make speeches to the soldiers. But when the crowd saw them making signs with their hands for silence and getting ready to speak, they grew restless and would not allow them, for they all wanted to be under a monarchy, and called for one single ruler without further delay. 255 The senate hesitated about whether to rule or let themselves be ruled, but the soldiers would not allow them to rule and the murderers of Gaius would not allow the soldiers to dictate to them. 256 In this situation Cherea could not contain his anger and promised that if they asked for an emperor he would give them one, if anyone would bring him the watchword from Eutychus. 257 This Eutychus was charioteer of the green troop, and a great friend of Gaius, who used to harass the military with building stables for the horses and made them spend their time in menial labour, 258 which caused Cherea to insult them and say other scurrilous things, and he said that he would bring them the head of Claudius, for it would be dire, after such an era of madness, to hand over the empire to a fool. 259 Unmoved by his words, they drew their swords and took their standards and went to Claudius, to join in swearing their loyalty to him. So the senators were left with no one to defend them and the consuls were no more than private citizens. 260 They were alarmed and saddened, not knowing what would happen, since Claudius was so angry with them, and began reproaching each other, sorry for what they had done. 261 Then one of Gaius's murderers, Sabinus, threatened to go into the middle and kill himself, rather than make Claudius emperor and see slavery return. He scorned Cherea for loving his life too much, if the man who first despised Gaius could think it worth going on with life when, despite all they had done for the sake of liberty, they could not achieve it. 262 Cherea replied that he did not hesitate about killing himself, but that first he would sound out the intentions of Claudius.


263 That was the situation, but in the camp everyone crowded in on all sides to pay court to Claudius, and the other consul, Quintus Pomponius, was insulted by the soldiers for urging the senate to regain their liberty. They drew their swords and were going to attack him and would have done so if Claudius had not prevented it, 264 for he snatched the consul out of danger and set him beside him. But he did not show the same honour to the senators who sided with Quintus. Some of them were struck and pushed aside as they came to greet him, and Aponius went away wounded and they were all in danger. 265 Then king Agrippa went up to Claudius and asked him to treat the senators more gently, for if any harm came to the senate, he would have nobody to rule over. 266 Claudius agreed and called the senate together to the Palatine and was carried there himself through the city, conducted by the soldiers, to the great vexation of the people. 267 Two of Gaius's murderers, Cherea and Sabinus, marched openly in the forefront although Pollio, whom a little earlier Claudius had made officer of his bodyguards, had expressly forbidden them to appear in public. 268 When he came to the Palatine, Claudius got his friends together and asked for their views about Cherea. They said that the deed he had done was a glorious one, yet still they accused him of treachery and thought it fit to inflict the death penalty upon him, to discourage such actions in the future. 269 So Cherea was led to execution along with Lupus and many other Romans. They say that Cherea bore his fate bravely, not only by being stolid during it, but by rebuking Lupus for giving way to tears, 270 for when Lupus, after taking off his toga, complained of the cold he said that cold was never hurtful to a Wolf. Since many people went along to see the execution, when Cherea came to the place he asked the soldier who was to be their executioner if this was a duty he was used to, or was it his first time to use his sword in this way, and he asked him to use the same sword with which he himself killed Gaius. 271 So he was successfully killed at one stroke, but Lupus did not have such good fortune in leaving this life, since he was nervous and had to take many strokes, as he did not bravely stretch out his neck.


272 A few days later, as the memorial to the dead was at hand, the Roman crowd made their usual sacrifices to the shades and put portions into the fire in honour of Cherea and implored him to show mercy to them and not remain angry at them for their ingratitude; and this was how Cherea met his end. 273 Sabinus, on the other hand, although Claudius set him free and allowed him keep his former office in the army, thought it would be unfair to fail in his duty to his fellow conspirators, so he killed himself by falling upon his sword until the very hilt came up to the wound.

Chapter 5. [274-291]
Claudius restores to the Jews the rights taken away by Caligula


274 When Claudius had removed all the soldiers whom he suspected, which he did immediately, he published an edict confirming that kingdom to Agrippa which Gaius had given him and in it praised the king highly. He also added to it all that country over which Herod, who was his grandfather, had reigned, that is, Judea and Samaria, 275 and this he restored to him as belonging to his family. To them he added Abila of Lysanias and the district round Mount Lebanon, and made a sworn treaty with Agrippa in the middle of the Forum, in the city of Rome. 276 He removed from Antiochus the kingdom he held, but gave him a part of Cilicia and Commagene. Also he freed his old friend, the alabarch Alexander Lysimachus, who had been steward to his mother Antonia and was imprisoned by the anger of Gaius, and whose son was married to Berenice, Agrippa's daughter. 277 After the death of Alexander's son, Marcus, who had married her when she was a virgin, Agrippa gave her in marriage to his brother Herod and begged Claudius to grant him the kingdom of Chalcis.


278 About this time there was a revolt of the Jews against the Greeks, in the city of Alexandria. For when Gaius died, the Jewish nation, which had been humiliated under his reign and terribly treated by the people of Alexandria, took courage and immediately armed themselves. 279 Claudius directed the ruler of Egypt to calm that uprising, and sent an edict, at the request of kings Agrippa and Herod, to Alexandria and Syria, on the following lines: 280 "Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, with the power of tribune, says: 281 Since I have long known that the Jews of Alexandria, called Alexandrians, have from the start been joint inhabitants with the Alexandrians and have obtained from their kings equal privileges with them, as is clear from the public records in their possession and the edicts themselves, 282 and that after Alexandria was subjected to our empire by Augustus, their rights and privileges were safeguarded by the prefects who were sent there at various times, and that no dispute was raised about those rights, 283 even when Aquila was ruler of Alexandria, and that when the Jewish ethnarch died, Augustus did not prohibit such ethnarchs being appointeded, wanting all subject people to continue observing their own customs and not be forced to transgress their ancestral religion, 284 but that the Alexandrians rose up against the Jews living among them in the time of Gaius, who in his mad lack of understanding, grought the Jewish nation very low, when they would not transgress their ancestral religion and call him a god: 285 I will therefore that the Jewish nation not be deprived of their rights and privileges due to the madness of Gaius, but that the rights and privileges they formerly enjoyed remain with them and that they may continue in their own customs. And I charge both parties to see that no upheaval arises after the promulgation of this edict."


286 Such were the contents of this edict sent to Alexandria on behalf of the Jews. But the edict sent into the other parts of the world went as follows: 287 "Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, high priest, tribune of the people, chosen consul the second time, decrees: 288 At the request of my dear friends king Agrippa and Herod, that the same rights and privileges I have granted to the Jews of Alexandria be retained for those throughout the Roman empire, I willingly grant it, and not only for the sake of the petitioners, 289 but judging the Jews for whom it was requested to be worthy of such a favour, for their loyalty and friendship towards the Romans. I also think it wrong for any Greek city to be deprived of the rights granted to them under the divine Augustus. 290 I therefore see fit to permit the Jews who are under us throughout the world, to retain their ancient customs, unhindered; and I charge them not to abuse my kindness to them by showing scorn for the superstitins of other nations, but just to keep their own laws. 291 Let this my decree be engraved on tablets by the officers of the cities and colonies and municipalities both in Italy and elsewhere, and let kings and officers have it done by means of envoys, and have them exposed to the public for all of thirty days, in places where it may be plainly read from the ground.

Chapter 6. [292-316]
Agrippa shows favour to the people in Jerusalem. Petronius deals with the young idolators of the city of Doris


292 Claudius Caesar published his verdict regarding the Jews by these decrees which were sent to Alexandria and to all the world. Soon he sent Agrippa, now promoted to a higher dignity than before, back home to take over his kingdom and sent letters to the officers and procurators of the provinces to treat him with respect. 293 With the benefit of his improved status, he naturally went home quickly and went to Jerusalem and offered sacrifices of thanksgiving, omitting nothing which the law required. 294 He arranged for many of the Nazarites to have their hair cut, and hung up within the limits of the temple, above the treasury, the golden chain which Gaius had given to him, equal in weight to the iron chain with which his royal hands had been bound, as a memorial of the bitter fate he had endured and a witness to his change for the better, to show how the greatest may fall and how God may also raise what has fallen. 295 For this dedication of the chain illustrated for all how king Agrippa had once been in chains for a trivial reason, but soon after had emerged from his chains and been raised to reign with more glory than before. 296 From this one may learn that to fall lies in man's nature and grandeur may pass away, but fallen things may also be restored to splendour.


297 When Agrippa had duly worshipped God, he deposed Theophilus, son of Ananus, from the high priesthood and gave that honour to Simon the son of Boethus, surnamed Cantheras, whose daughter king Herod had married, as I have said earlier. 298 Simon, therefore, held the priesthood with his brothers and his father, just as the three sons of Simon, son of Onias, had formerly held it under the rule of the Macedonians, as we said in a previous passage.


299 When the king had settled the high priesthood in this way, he reciprocated to the people of Jerusalem the favour they had shown him, for he released them from the tax which had been payable on every house, out of a desire to repay the affection of those who loved him. He also made Silas the general of his forces, for sharing in many of his troubles. 300 But a little while later the young men of Doris, in a boldly insolent deed of impiety, brought a statue of Caesar into a synagogue of the Jews and erected it there. 301 This greatly provoked Agrippa, as it meant to subvert the laws of his country, so without delay he went to the governor of Syria, Publius Petronius, to denounce the people of Doris. 302 This man was just as angry at what they had done, judging this breach of the laws as sacreligious, so he angrily wrote this letter to the people of Doris: 303 "Publius Petronius, governor under Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, to the officers of Doris, says this: 304 Some of you have had the mad audacity to disobey the edict issued by Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, permitting the Jews to observe their ancestral laws, 305 and have done the reverse, by preventing the Jews from having their synagogue, and placing Caesar's statue in it and thereby offending not only the Jews but the emperor himself, whose statue should rather be placed in his own temple than anywhere else, especially in the synagogue, since each should be in charge of their own, as Caesar has decreed. 306 I had also decreed the same thing, though this need hardly be mentioned in light of the emperor's edict allowing the Jews to follow their own customs, since he commands that they be given the same rights of citizenship as the Greeks. 307 Therefore I require the centurion Proculus Vitellius to bring to me for reckoning those who dared to do this despite the edict of Augustus, and which has also upset those who are best reputed among that faction, who say that it was done by a mob impulse and without their explicit consent. 308 I urge their top magistrates, unless they want to be seen as consenting to this action, to point out the guilty parties to the centurion and provide no grounds for strife or battle, which I believe could easily arise from such doings. 309 Both I and king Agrippa, whom I hold in highest honour, have no greater cconcern than to avoid giving the Jewish nation any reason to come together for self defence or do anything drastic. 310 And that it may be more publicly known what Augustus has ruled about this whole matter, I have subjoined the edicts he has recently published published in Alexandria and which, though known to all, my honoured friend king Agrippa read aloud before my tribunal, arguing that the Jews not be deprived of the rights granted them by Augustus. 311 I charge you therefore, in future not to give any grounds for strife or disturbance, but let each be let worship in their own way."


312 Thus Petronius acted to correct this lawbreaking and prevent any such thing being done against them in the future. 313 Now king Agrippa took the priesthood from Simon Cantheras, wishing to return it to Jonathan, son of Ananus, as being more worthy of that dignity, but he did not welcome the restoring of this dignity, but refused it saying, 314 "Your Majesty, my soul rejoices at the honour and that you wish to give it to me, though God has judged me unfit for the high priesthood. I am satisfied with having once worn the sacred vestments, but then it was more sacred than for me to now resume them again. 315 But if you want someone worthier than myself to have this honour, take my advice. My own brother is blameless towards God and yourself, and I recommend him as fit for this honour." 316 The king was pleased with this and took Jonathan's advice, and conferred the high priesthood upon his brother, Matthias. Soon afterwards, Marsus succeeded Petronius as ruler of Syria.

Chapter 7. [317-337]
The arrogance of Silas. Agrippa builds a new wall around Jerusalem, and shows favour to the people of Berytus


317 Silas, the king's captain who had stayed faithful to him in all his troubles, never refusing to share any danger with him and often taking great risks on his behalf, felt assured of a sort of equality with the king, due to his firm support. 318 He would nowhere sit lower than the king and took every liberty in conversation with him, until he became a nuisance to the king at social occasions. The man praise himself too much and often reminded the king of the misfortunes he had endured in order to highlight the zeal he had shown in his service, always going on about all that he had done his behalf. 319 This frequent repetition seemed insulting and his unrestrained liberty of speech angered the king. For it is by not pleasing to be reminded of shameful times and it is silly to be always referring to the favours one did for someone in the past. 320 Finally Silas made the king so angry that he acted out of passion more than good sense and not only deposed Silas from his captaincy, but sent him in chains back to his own country. 321 But in time his anger softened and yielded to a fairer judgment about this man, as he considered the hardships he had endured for his sake. So when he was celebrating his birth-day and giving a festival for all his subjects, he suddenly sent for Silas to be his guest. 322 But as a very independent man, the latter took this as a spur to indignation, which he did not hide from those who came for him, but said, 323 "What sort of honour does the king invite me to, which will soon be over? For he did not let me keep the signs of goodwill I once had from him, but haughtily took them away. 324 Does he think I will give up speaking my mind? No, I shall do it more loudly than before and tell of the hazards I rescued him from and all I underwent for him, to win him safety and respect, as reward for which I am bound in chains in this dark place? 325 This I shall never forget and even when it has left the body, my soul will not forget all I have achieved." These words he shouted and told the messengers to tell them to the king. So seeing him incurable in his foolishness, he let him stay on in prison.


326 He repaired at public expense the ramparts of Jerusalem beside the new part of the city, building them even wider and higher, and would have made them too strong for human power to demolish if Marsus, the governor of Syria, had not by letter told Claudius Caesar of what he was doing. 327 As Claudius suspected some attempted revolt, he sent to Agrippa to immediately stop building those walls, and he thought it wisest to obey.


328 This king was very beneficent and generous by nature and wanted to please foreigners by his gifts, and became famous for the massive sums he spent. His delight was in giving and took pleasure in his reputation for it. He was not at all like the Herod who reigned before him, 329 who had been ill-tempered and severe in punishing and had no mercy on anyone he hated, and was seen to be friendlier to the Greeks than to the Jews. He adorned foreign cities with large gifts of money, building them baths and theatres, with temples in some places and colonnades in others, while he scarcely raised a building in any Jewish city, or made them any donation worth mentioning. 330 But Agrippa's temper was mild and equally generous to all. He was kind to foreigners and showed them his generosity, being of a gentle and merciful temper. 331 He loved to reside in Jerusalem and was most exact in observing the laws of his nation, keeping the laws of purity and letting no day pass without its appointed sacrifice.


332 But a local man in Jerusalem, named Simon, reputed for his accurate knowledge of the law, held a meeting while the king was away in Caesarea, and dared to accuse him of not living in a holy fashion, saying that by right he should be excluded from the temple, since it belonged only to those who did right. 333 Agrippa was told by the commander of the city that Simon had made this speech to the people, so the king sent for him, and as he was sitting in the theatre, told him to sit down beside him and in a low and gentle voice said to him, "What thing contrary to the law is being done in this place?" 334 But he had nothing to say and begged for pardon. So the king was reconciled surprisingly easily with him, deeming mildness a more royal quality than anger and that for great men fairness is better than passion; and giving Simon a small gift, he dismissed him.


335 Though he built many things in many places, he specially honoured the people of Berytus by building a theatre for them, more splendid and elegant than many others of the kind, and an amphitheatre built at vast expense. He built them baths and porticoes too, sparing no costs in any of his works, which were both handsome and large. 336 Further, he spent huge sums upon their dedication and held shows in them, bringing in all sorts of musicians to provide the most delightful variety of music. He was also munificent in the large number of gladiators he provided in the theatre, 337 offering various kinds of opponents to please the spectators. He had no fewer than seven hundred men to fight against another seven hundred, assigning to it all the criminals he held, so that as they paid their penalty their war-games provided entertainment in time of peace; and so these criminals all were killed in one go.

Chapter 8. [338-353]
Final acts of Agrippa, and his mysterious death in Caesarea, for blasphemy


338 When Agrippa had completed in Berytus the work I have earlier mentioned, he moved to Tiberias, a city in Galilee, where he was highly esteemed by other kings. Among those who came to him were Antiochus, king of Commagene, Sampsigeramus, king of Emesa and Cotys, who the king of Lesser Armenia and Polemo, the king of Pontus, and Herod his brother, who was king of Chalcis. 339 All these he treated most cordially, with pleasant conversation that showed his refined spirit, worthy of the respect paid him by the kings who came to see him in this way. 340 While they were staying with him, Marsus, the governor of Syria, also came and the king, in order to show the respect due to the Romans, went seven furlongs out from the city to meet him. 341 But it proved to be the beginning of a difference between him and Marsus; for he took the other kings with him in his chariot and Marsus wondered what such friendship between these kings could mean and did not think such a close agreement of so many powerful men was in the interest of the Romans. Therefore he sent some of his servants to each of them, telling them to go off home without delay. 342 Agrippa took this badly and was hostile to him from then on. He also took the high priesthood away from Matthias and made Elioneus, son of Cantheras, high priest in his place.


343 When Agrippa had reigned for three years over all Judea, he came to the city of Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato's Tower, where he held shows in honour of Caesar, when he heard that a festival was being held to make vows for his safety, bringing together a large crowd of officials and the men of rank of his province. 344 On the second day of the games he wore a robe all made of silver, of wonderful texture, and came into the theatre early in the morning, a time when the silver of his robe glowed in the rays of the rising sun, and shone so brightly as to fill with awe those who looked directly at him. 345 Soon his flatterers cried out from various places, though not for his good, that he was a god. They added, "Be merciful to us, for though up to now we have reverenced you only as a man, from now on we shall confess that you are above mortal nature." 346 The king did not rebuke them or reject their flattery as impious. But later he looked up and saw an owl sitting on a rope above his head and immediately understood that this bird was an omen of bad news, as it had once brought him the message of good news, and he felt an ache around his heart. An intense pain arose in his belly that severely affected him from the start. 347 Looking up at his friends he said, "This god, as you call me, is now commanded to depart this life; for that is how Fate punishes the lying words you said to me just now, and I whom you called immortal, am sentenced to death. But I have to accept what God decrees, for we have by no means fared badly, but lived in splendid good fortune." 348 As he said this, he gasped with pain and he was quickly carried into the palace, and the rumour went round that he was about to die. 349 Straight away the people with their wives and children put on sackcloth, according to their ancestral law and prayed for the king's recovery and all was full of mourning and lamentation. The king lay in a lofty bedchamber and as he saw them lying prostrate on the ground below, he could not help weeping. 350 After five days tormented the pain in his belly, he departed this life, in the fifty-fourth year of his age and the seventh year of his reign. 351 He reigned for four years under Gaius Caesar, three of them over Philip's tetrarchy only and in the fourth with the addition of that of Herod. Then he reigned for three years under the reign of Claudius Caesar, during which time he ruled the above countries, in addition to Judea and Samaria and Caesarea. 352 The revenues he received from them were great, no less than twelve million drachmae, yet he borrowed a large amount from others, as his generosity and liberality were so boundless that his expenses exceeded his income.


353 Before the people learned of Agrippa's death, Herod the king of Chalcis and captain Helcias, the friend of the king, sent one of the king's most faithful servants, Aristo, to kill Silas, who was their enemy, as if it were done at the king's own command.

Chapter 9. [354-366]
After Agrippa's death, Claudius sets a procurator, Cuspius Fadus, over the kingdom of Judea


354 So king Agrippa departed this life, leaving behind him a son, Agrippa by name, a youth in the seventeen, and three daughters; one of whom, Berenice, was sixteen years old and married to Herod, his father's brother. The other two, Mariamne and Drusilla, were still virgins, the former being ten years old and Drusilla six. 355 Their father had arranged marriages for these daughters, Mariamne to Julius Archelaus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus, son of Chelcias, and Drusilla to the king of Commagene. 356 When it was known that Agrippa was dead, the people of Caesarea and of Sebaste forgot his goodness to them and became his bitterest critics. 357 They blasphemed the deceased with unrepeatable insults and the many of the soldiers there went quickly to his house and took the statues of his king's daughters and brought them to the brothels and set them on the rooftops, and violated them by actions too indecent to report. 358 They sprawled about in public places and celebrated publicly, with garlands on their heads and anointing and libations to Charon and drinking to each other's health in their joy at the kings death. 359 Not only did they scorn Agrippa, who had been so generous towards them, but also his grandfather Herod, who had rebuilt their cities and made them harbours and temples at huge expense.


360 Agrippa, son of the deceased, was in Rome and had been reared in the company of Claudius Caesar. 361 When Caesar was told that Agrippa was dead and that the people of Sebaste and Caesarea had insulted him, he was sorry to hear it and enraged at their ingratitude. 362 He immediately resolved to send off the younger Agrippa to succeed his father in the kingdom and to confirm it to him on oath. But his freedmen and friends who had the greatest influence on him, dissuaded him from it and said it would be dangerous to put so large a kingdom under the rule of such a young man, who had hardly arrived at the age of discretion, as he could not cope with such a burden of administation, heavy enough for a grown man to bear. 363 Caesar thought what they said was reasonable, so he sent Cuspinus Fadus as procurator of Judea and of the entire kingdom and showed respect to the deceased by not setting Marsus, who had been at variance with him, over his kingdom. 364 But he decided first to send orders to Fadus to punish the people of Caesarea and Sebaste for insulting the deceased and offending the living [his daughters,]
365 and to move the troop of soldiers based in Caesarea and Sebaste, all five regiments, to do military service in Pontus, and choose an equal number of soldiers from the Roman legions in Syria to replace them. 366 However, those who got those orders were not actually moved, for by sending envoys to Claudius, they mollified him and got permission to stay on in Judea. These were the very men who later became the source of great misfortunes to the Jews and sowed the seeds of the war which began under Florus. Therefor, when Vespasian had subdued the country, he moved them out of his province, as we shall later report.