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THE JEWISH WAR
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Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20.

From the procuratorship of Fadus, to Florus

1. Revolt of Philadelphians against the Jews. High Priestly robes

2. Helena of Adiabene and Izates her son embrace the Jewish religion

3. Artabanus of Parthia is reinstated in government by Izates

4. Izates opposed by his people. Providence saves him from death

5. Revolt of Theudas and sons of Judas; bloodshed at Passover

6. Jews and Samaritans clash. Claudius restores order

7. Felix procurator of Judea. His love for young Agrippa's sisters

8. Nero succeeds Claudius. Disorder in Judea, under Felix and Festus

9. James the brother of Jesus is killed. Achievements of Agrippa

10. List of the high priests, from Aaron to the time of Josephus

11. Excesses of Gessius Florus. Jewish revolt. Conclusion


Chapter 1. [001-016]
Rebellion of Philadelphians against the Jews. Priestly Vestments; Holders of the High Priesthood

1.

001 After the death of king Agrippa, as reported in the previous volume, Claudius Caesar sent Cassius Longinus as successor to Marsus, out of regard to the memory of king Agrippa, who during his lifetime had often asked him by letters not to allow Marsus rule any longer in Syria. 002 But Fadus, as soon as he arrived as procurator into Judea, found quarrels between the Jews who lived in Perea and the people of Philadelphia, about their borders, at a village called Mia, that was full of people of a warlike temper, for the Jews of Perea had taken up arms without the consent of their leading men and had destroyed many of the Philadelphians. 003 When Fadus was told of this procedure, he was furious that they had not left the matter to be settled by him, if they thought that the Philadelphians had done them wrong, instead of rashly taking up arms against them. 004 So he seized three of their leading men who were responsible for this rebellion and ordered them to be chained; then he executed one of them, named Hannibal, and banished the other two, Areram and Eleazar. 005 Some time later, Tholomy the arch brigand was also brought to him in chains and killed, but not until he had done a world of harm to Idumaea and the Arabs. From then on Judea was cleared of robberies by the care and providence of Fadus. 006 He also at this time sent for the high priests and the leading citizens of Jerusalem and this at the command of the emperor and admonished them to lay up the long garment and the sacred vestment, which it is traditional for nobody but the high priest to wear, in the Antonia tower, to have it under the power of the Romans, as it had been formerly. 007 They dared not contradict what he had said, but petitioned Fadus and Longinus, who had arrived in Jerusalem with a large army with him, for fear that the instructions of Fadus should force the Jews to rebel, in the first place for leave to send envoys to Caesar, to ask his permission to keep the holy vestments in their own power, and secondly, to wait until they learned Claudius' answer to this request. 008 They agreed to let them send their envoys, provided they handed over their sons as hostages to them. When they had agreed to this and had given them the hostages, the envoys were sent. 009 After their arrival in Rome, when Agrippa the younger (the son of the deceased,) who lived with Claudius Caesar, as we said before, learned the reason why they came, he begged Caesar to grant the Jews their request about the holy vestments and to send a message to Fadus about it.

2.

010 Claudius called for the envoys, and told them that he granted their request, and bade them to return their thanks to Agrippa for this favour, which had been given to them upon his petition. And besides these answers of his, he sent the following letter by them: 011 "Claudius Caesar Germanicus, tribune of the people the fifth time and designed consul the fourth time and imperator the tenth time, the father of his country, to the leaders, council and people and the whole nation of the Jews, greetings. 012 Since my friend Agrippa, whom I have brought up and have now with me and who is a person of great piety, has brought to me your envoys who have come to thank me for the care I have taken of your nation and to ask earnestly and in a friendly manner, to have the holy vestments, with the crown belonging to them, under their power, I grant it, as the excellent and dear Vitellius did before me. 013 I grant your desire, firstly, out of regard to that piety which I profess and because I would have every one worship God according to the laws of their own country, and this I do also in order to gratify king Herod and Agrippa, junior, whose dutiful regard for me and earnest goodwill towards you I know well, and for whom I have the greatest friendship and highest esteem, regarding them as persons of real excellence. 014 I have written about these matters to my procurator, Cuspius Fadus. The names of those who brought me your letter are Cornelius, son of Cero, Trypho, son of Theudio, Dorotheus, son of Nathaniel and John, son of Jotre. This letter is dated before the fourth of the calends of July, in the consulship of Rufus and Pompeius Sylvanus."

3.

015 Herod, the brother of the deceased Agrippa, who then ruled over Chalcis, also asked Claudius Caesar for authority over the temple and the money of the sacred treasure and over the choosing of the high priests, and obtained all that he asked for. 016 From then on, this authority passed on to his descendants until the end of the war. Accordingly, Herod removed the high priesthood from Cantheras, and in his place bestowed that dignity upon his successor, Joseph Cameus.

Chapter 2. [017-053]
Helena, queen of Adiabene and Izates her son embrace Judaism

1.

017 About this time Helena, queen of Adiabene and her son Izates, changed their lifestyle and embraced the Jewish customs for following reason. 018 The king of Adiabene, Monobazus, also named Bazeus, fell in love with his sister Helena and took her as his wife and got her pregnant. But as he was in bed with her one night, he laid his hand upon his wife's stomach as he fell asleep and seemed to hear a voice bidding him take his hand away and not harm the infant that was inside, who, by God's providence, would be safely born and have a happy future. 019 Terrified by the voice, he immediately woke up and told his wife about it, and when the son was born, he called him Izates. 020 Monobazus, the elder brother, was also born to him by Helena, and he had other sons by other wives. However, he publicly showed his primary affection to Izates, as though he were his only son, 021 which was the source of the envy which his other brothers, by the same father, felt towards him, and they hated him more and more, aggrieved that their father preferred Izates over them. 022 Although their father was well aware of their feelings, he knew that they felt this way not out of malice but because they each desired their father's favour, so, fearing some mishap due to his brothers' hatred, he sent Izates off to Abennerig, king of Charak Spasinos, with large gifts and committing his son's safety to him. 023 Abennerig gladly received the young man and treated him with great affection and married him to his own daughter, Samacha. He also gave him a territory from which he drew large revenues.

2.

024 When Monobazus had grown old and saw that he had only a little time to live, he wished to see his son before he died. So he sent for him and embraced him affectionately and gave him the territory called Charra. 025 This was good land that held plenty of amomum and which also holds the remains of an ark said to be the one in which Noah escaped the flood; these are still shown to those who wish to see them. 026 Izates lived in that country until his father's death. But on the very day Monobazus died, queen Helena summoned all the nobles and satraps of the kingdom and those who had armies under their command, 027 and when they arrived, she said to them: "I believe you know that my husband wanted Izates to succeed him as king and thought him worthy of it, but I bow to your decision. 028 Happy is he who receives his authority not from one person only, but by the will of many." She said this to test the feelings ofthose who were invited, and when they heard it they first paid their customary homage to the queen, and then they confirmed the king's determination, saying they would submit to it, and they were glad that Izates's father had preferred him over the rest of his brothers, just as they all had hoped. 029 First they wished to kill his brothers and relatives, so that the kingship of Izates might rest secure, for once they were destroyed, all the fear arising from their hatred and envy of him would be removed. 030 In reply Helena thanked them for their kindness to herself and to Izates, but asked them to defer the execution of Izates's brothers until he could give his approval to it in person. 031 Since their advice to kill them had not swayed her, they urged her at least to keep them chained until he arrived. They also advised her to appoint in the meantime a really trustworthy interim ruler. 032 Queen Helena agreed to this and set up as king Monobazus, the eldest son, putting the crown upon his head and giving him his father's ring, with its signet which they call the "Sampser," urging him to administer the affairs of the kingdom until his brother arrived. 033 He came quickly, on hearing of his father's death, and succeeded his brother Monobazus, who left him the throne.

3.

034 During the time Izates lived in Charax-Spasini, Ananias, a Jewish merchant, came among the king's women and taught them to worship God according to the Jewish religion. 035 Through them he became known to Izates and similarly persuaded him to embrace that religion. He was persuaded by Izates to accompany him to Adiabene, when he was sent for by his father. As it happened, about the same time, Helena also was instructed by another Jew and went over to them. 036 When Izates became king and came to Adiabene and saw his brothers and other relatives in prison there, he was displeased, 037 and as he thought it an impiety either to kill or imprison them, but still thought it dangerous to let them have their liberty, in view of the wrongs that had been done them, he sent some of them and their children as hostages to Rome, to Claudius Caesar and sent the others to Artabanus, the king of Parthia, with the same intentions.

4.

038 When he saw that his mother was so pleased with the Jewish customs, he soon converted and embraced them in their entirety, and as he thought he could not be fully a Jew without being circumcised, he was about to have it done. 039 When his mother learned of his intention she tried to stop him from doing it, telling him that it would put him in danger, and that as a king, he would rouse great hostility among his subjects if they knew he had such an attachment to rites that found strange and foreign, and that they would never let themselves be ruled by a Jew. 040 When she said this it stopped him from doing it, for he reported her words to Ananias who threatened to leave him if he did the deed. 041 The fear was that if such an action became public knowledge, he could be penalised for having caused it and for advising the king to blameworthy actions. He declared that he could worship God without being circumcised, if he were faithful to the Jewish law, which is above circumcision, 042 adding that God would forgive him for not doing this deed, out of necessity and for fear of his subjects. So at the time the king was persuaded. 043 Later, since he had not quite given up his desire for this, another Jew from Galilee, Eleazar, a man highly reputed in the learning of his country, urged him to do the deed. 044 As he entered the palace to greet him and found him reading the law of Moses, he said to him, "Don't you know, my king, that you are in the wrong, and offend God by breaking the first of the laws, for you should not just read them, but rather do what they say. 045 How long will you continue uncircumcised? If you have not yet read the law about circumcision and do not know the sin you commit by neglecting it, read it now." 046 When the king heard his words he postponed the act no longer, but retired to another room and sent for a surgeon and did as he was ordered and then sent for his mother and Ananias his tutor to tell them that he had done the deed. 047 They were stunned and fearful that if it were publicly revealed and censured, the king risked losing his kingdom, since his subjects would not let themselves be ruled by a man so zealous for another religion, and that they would risk being thought the cause of it. 048 But God prevented what they feared from happening and he preserved both Izates and his children amid many dangers and kept them safe in the most difficult situations, thereby proving that the fruit of piety does not abandon those who look to Him and place their trust in Him alone. But these events we will tell later.

5.

049 Helena, the king's mother, on seeing that the affairs of Izates's kingdom were at peace and that her son enjoyed fortune and was admired by all, even foreigners, because of God's providence towards him, felt a desire to go to the city of Jerusalem to worship and offer her thank-offerings at the temple of God, famous among all people. When she asked her son's permission to go, 050 he willingly gave consent and made great preparations for her departure and gave her a lot of money, and then conducted her for a good part of the journey on the road to Jerusalem. 051 Her coming was a great benefit to the people of Jerusalem, who were going through a famine at the time and many died for lack of food. Queen Helena sent some of her servants to Alexandria with money to buy a large amount of corn and others to Cyprus, to bring a cargo of dried figs. 052 They soon returned bringing the provisions, and she distributed food to those in need and left behind her an excellent memory of this good deed toward our whole nation. 053 When her son Izates was told of this famine, he sent a lot of money to Jerusalem's leaders. Later we will tell of other favours this queen and king conferred upon our city.

Chapter 3. [054-074]
Artabanus of Parthia is reinstated in government by Izates

1.

054 Artabanus, king of the Parthians, learning that the provincial leaders were plotting against him, did not think it safe for him to continue among them, but resolved to go to Izates, in the hope of finding from him some way to save himself and, if possible, to return to his own realm. 055 So he came to Izates, bringing with him a thousand of his relatives and servants and they met upon the road, 056 but while he knew Izates well, Izates did not know him. When Artabanus stood near him, and first showed him reverence, according to the custom, he said to him, "Your Majesty, do not ignore me your servant, or proudly reject my request, for I need your help now that the change in my fortune has brought me down from being a king to the status of a private citizen. 057 Remember the uncertainty of fortune and think of any care you may take of me as shown to yourself in advance. For if I am left without vindication, many subjects will grow more insolent towards other kings." 058 He said this with tears in his eyes and with head bowed. When Izates heard Artabanus's name and saw him standing in petition before him, he immediately got down from his horse and said: "Take heart, your Majesty, and do not imagine that your present state is hopeless. 059 The change in your fortunes shall be sudden, and you will find me a friend and helper beyond your hopes, for either I will restore the kingdom of Parthia to you, or lose my own."

2.

060 Saying this, he set Artabanus upon his horse and followed him on foot, to honour a king whom he acknowledged as greater than himself. Artabanus was distressed when he saw this, and swore by his present fortune and honour to dismount from his horse, unless Izates mounted his own horse again and went ahead of him. 061 He did as requested and remounted his horse, and he brought him to his royal palace and when they sat together showed him every respect. He gave him the first place at banquets too, based not upon his present fortune, but on his former dignity and on the realisation that changes of fortune are common to all. 062 He also wrote to the Parthians to persuade them to receive Artabanus back, and gave them his promise and guarantee of amnesty, and to act as their mediator in this matter. 063 The Parthians did not refuse to receive him back, but said they could not do so, since they had handed over the government to another, named Cinnamus, who had accepted, and they feared that he could start a civil war about it. 064 On hearing of the proposal, Cinnamus wrote personally to Artabanus, for he had been brought up by him and was good-natured and mild, asking him to trust him and to return and take over his realm again. 065 So Artabanus trusted him and returned home, and Cinnamus met him, bowed to him as to a king and removed the crown from his own head and put it on the other's head.

3.

066 That is how Artabanus was restored by Izates, when he had lost his kingdom through the action of the nobles. He did not forget his services to him, but rewarded him with the highest honours among them, 067 letting him wear a high crown and sleep on a golden bed, which are privileges and honours special to the kings of Parthia. 068 He also sectioned off a large and fruitful district from the king of Armenia to give to him. The name of the district is Nisibis, where the Macedonians had formerly built the city they called Antioch of Mygodonia. These were the honours paid to Izates by the king of the Parthians.

4.

069 Shortly afterwards Artabanus died and left his kingdom to his son Bardanes. This man came to Izates and wanted him as an ally to help him in a war he was preparing to make with the Romans. 070 He failed to persuade him, however, for Izates knew the strength and good fortune of the Romans so well that he thought Bardanes was attempting the impossible. 071 Also, having sent his five young sons to study our native tongue and our learning, and having sent his mother to worship at our temple, as I have said, he was all the slower to agree, and tried to restrain Bardanes by fear, telling him of the mighty armies and famous deeds of the Romans, to deter him from that enterprise. 072 But this angered the Parthian and he declared war on Izates, a war that brought him no gain, since God frustrated his hopes. 073 For when the Parthians saw Bardanes intending to go to war with the Romans, they killed him and gave his kingdom to his brother Gotarzes. 074 Not long afterwards a plot was made against him too and he died. His successor, his brother Vologases, gave two of his provinces to two of his brothers by the same father: to the elder, Pacorus, that of the Medes and to the younger, Tiridates, he gave Armenia.

Chapter 4. [075-096]
Izates is opposed by his subjects. Providentially he escapes death

1.

075 When the king's brother, Monobazus and his other relatives saw how, through his piety towards God, Izates had become highly regarded by all, they too wished to leave their ancestral religion and to embrace the customs of the Jews. 076 As their intention was found out by Izates's subjects, the nobles were angry but did not show their rage, intending to wait for a good opportunity to inflict justice on them. 077 They wrote to Abia, king of the Arabians, promising him a lot of money if he made a campaign against their king, and further, that once he invaded they would desert the king, wishing to punish him for his hatred towards their own religion. Then they swore fidelity to each other on oath and asked him to hurry in this plan. 078 The Arab agreed and mustered a large army to march against Izates, and at the beginning of the invasion, before they came to fighting hand-to-hand, those nobles, as if in a panic, all deserted Izates, as they had agreed to do, and, turning their backs to the enemy, ran away. 079 Izates was not too worried by this, but when he learned that the nobles had betrayed him, he retreated to his camp and enquired about it, and when he learned who had conspired with the king of Arabia, he destroyed those who were found guilty, and resumed the battle on the following day, and killed most of them and put the rest to flight. 080 He pursued their king and drove him into a fortress called Arsamus and took the fortress after a tough siege. When he had plundered it of all its considerable booty, he returned to Adiabene; but he did not take Abia alive, for when he was surrounded on all sides, he killed himself.

2.

081 But though the nobles of Adiabene had failed in their first attempt, as God delivered them into the king's hands, even then they would not be at peace, but wrote again to Vologases, who was now king of Parthia, asking him to kill Izates and set over them some other powerful man of Parthian origin. They said that they hated their own king for abrogating their ancestral laws and embracing foreign customs. 082 When the Parthian heard this, he boldly made war upon Izates, and as he had no just pretext for this war, he sent to him to demand the return of the honours and privileges granted him by his father and threatening to make war on him if he refused. 083 Hearing this, Izates was troubled in spirit, thinking it would be a shame for him to seem to resign out of fear the privileges granted to him. 084 He knew that the Parthian would not keep the peace even if he got those honours back, so he decided to entrust his danger to God as his Protector, 085 and trusting mainly in His help, placed his children and wives in a very strong fortress and deposited his corn in his citadels and set the hay and the grass on fire and having arranged things as well as he could, awaited the coming of the enemy. 086 The king of Parthia soon arrived with a large army of infantry and cavalry, for he marched very quickly, and built earthworks at the river dividing Adiabene from Media, and Izates also encamped not far away, with his six thousand cavalry. 087 Then a messenger was sent by the king of Parthia to Izates to proclaim the size of his dominions, reaching from the river Euphrates to Bactria, and the number of the king's subjects. 088 He threatened him with punishment for disloyalty to his masters, and that the God whom he worshipped could not deliver him from the king's hands. 089 To this message Izates replied that he knew the king of Parthia's power was much greater than his own, but that he also knew that God was much more powerful than everyone. After this reply he went to pray to God and threw himself upon the ground and put ashes upon his head, as a sign of his distress, and fasted, along with his wives and children. Then he called on God and said, 090 "O Lord and Ruler, if I have trusted to your goodness in vain, but am right to believe in you as the first and only Lord of all beings, come now to my help and defend me from my enemies, not just for me but because of their insolence towards your power." 091 So he lamented and grieved, with tears, and God heard him, for that very night Vologases received letters saying that a great attacking force of Dahae and Saccae had laid Parthia waste, scorning him now that he was so far from home; so that he had to retreat without achieving anything. And so Izates escaped from the Parthian's threats, by the providence of God.

3.

092 Soon afterwards Izates died, at the age of fifty-five years, having ruled his kingdom for twenty-four years, leaving behind him twenty-four sons and twenty-four daughters. 093 He named his brother Monobazus as his successor, thereby rewarding him for faithfully preserving the dynasty for him, while he was absent after their father's death. 094 When Helena, his mother, heard of her son's death, she was naturally much saddened at her loss of such a dutiful son, but it was a comfort to her to hear that her eldest son was his successor. So she quickly went to him, but she did not long outlive her son Izates, after she came to Adiabene. 095 Monobazus sent her bones, as well as those of his brother Izates, to Jerusalem, with orders to have them buried at the three pyramids which their mother had built, no more than three furlongs from the city of Jerusalem. 096 We will return later to the actions of Monobazus the king, which he did during the rest of his life.

Chapter 5. [097-117]
Revolt of Theudas and Judas of Galilee. Bloodshed at Passover

1.

097 While Fadus was procurator of Judea, a magician named Theudas persuaded many of the people to take their property with them and follow him to the river Jordan, for he told them he was a prophet and that at his command he would divide the river and provide them an easy passage over it. 098 Many were taken in by his words, but Fadus did not let them go on with this madness but sent a troop of cavalry out against them, attacking them unexpectedly and killing many of them while capturing many more alive, including Theudas, whose head they cut off and brought to Jerusalem. 099 These were the disasters that occurred among the Jews in the time of Cuspius Fadus's rule.

2.

100 After Fadus came his successor Tiberius Alexander, the son of Alexander the alabarch of Alexandria, who was noted both for his family and his wealth and was also more pious than his son Alexander, who did not continue in our ancestral customs. 101 Under these procurators the great famine happened in Judea, when queen Helena bought corn in Egypt at a great expense and distributed it to those who were in want, as I have said. 102 Then too, the sons of Judas of Galilee were killed, that man who caused the people to revolt when Quirinius came to assess the estates of the Jews, as we mentioned in an earlier book; the sons were James and Simon, whom Alexander had crucified. 103 And now Herod, king of Chalcis, too the high priesthood from Joseph, son of Camydus, naming as his successor Ananias, the son of Nebedeu; and Cumanus came as successor to Tiberius Alexander. 104 Herod, the brother of the great king Agrippa, departed this life in the eighth year of the reign of Claudius Caesar, leaving behind him three sons; Aristobulus, whom he had by his first wife, and Bernicianus and Hyrcanus, both whom he had by Berenice his brother's daughter. Then Claudius Caesar bestowed his dominions on Agrippa the younger.

3.

105 While Cumanus was in charge of Jewish affairs, a great riot took place in the city of Jerusalem, in which many Jews died. I shall first explain how this arose. 106 When the feast we call the Passover was near, when it is our custom to use unleavened bread, a large crowd gathered from all parts to the festival, and Cumanus was afraid that a revolt might occur, so he stationed one regiment of the army, fully armed, at the temple porticoes, to curb any signs of rebellion, that might arise. 107 This was what the former procurators of Judea did at such festivals. 108 But on the fourth day of the feast, a soldier exposed himself and flaunted his genitals at the people, which filled the onlookers with fury and rage and they shouted that this impious action was an insult not just to them, but to God himself. Some of them blasphemed Cumanus and said that the soldier had just done his bidding. 109 When Cumanus heard this, he was enraged by the blasphemies on him, but urged them to give up such seditious behaviour and not to start a riot at the festival. 110 As he could not get them to be quiet and they went on insulting him, he ordered the whole army to come in their armour to Antonia, which as we have said, was a fortress overlooking the temple. 111 When the people saw the soldiers there, they were frightened and quickly fled, but as the exits were narrow and they thought the enemy was following them, they crowded together in their flight and many were pressed to death in those narrow passages. 112 No fewer than twenty thousand died in this riot, so that instead of a festival, they had a day of mourning, and they all forgot their prayers and sacrifices and turned to lamenting and tears. The obscene action of one individual soldier brought this terrible disaster upon them.

4.

113 Before their first wave of mourning ended, another tragedy happened to them. Some of the instigators of the above-mentioned disturbance robbed Stephanus, a servant of Caesar, on the public highway about a hundred furlongs from the city, and robbed him of all he had with him. 114 When Cumanus heard of it he immediately sent soldiers with orders to ransack the neighbouring villages and to bring their most distinguished people to him in chains. 115 During this vandalism, one of the soldiers seized the laws of Moses found in one of those villages and brought them out and tore them to pieces in the sight of everyone, blaspheming in the most scurrilous way. 116 When the Jews heard of this, they got together in large numbers and came down to Caesarea where Cumanus was at the time, imploring him to vindicate not themselves, but God, whose laws had been insulted, for they could bear to live no longer if their ancestral laws must be affronted in this way. 117 So Cumanus, on the advice of his friends and fearing the people would start a revolt, beheaded the soldier who had insulted the laws in this way, and thereby put a stop to the rebellion which was about to flare up again.

Chapter 6. [118-136]
The Jews clash with the Samaritans. Claudius forces them to make peace

1.

118 The following quarrel then arose between the Samaritans and the Jews. It was the custom of the Galileans to journey through the district of the Samaritans on their way to the festivals in the holy city. On this road lay a village called Ginea, on the border between Samaria and the great plain, some of whose inhabitants fought with the Galileans and killed many of them. 119 When the Galilean leaders learned of this, they came to Cumanus to ask him to avenge the murder of those people, but by a bribe the Samaritans persuaded him to overlook the matter. 120 This so angered the Galileans that they persuaded the Jewish population to take up arms to regain their liberty, saying that slavery was bitter enough in itself, but that when joined to insult, it was quite intolerable. 121 When their notables tried to pacify them and promised to persuade Cumanus to avenge those who had been killed, they paid no heed but took their weapons and asked the help of Eleazar, son of Dineus, a brigand who had lived many years in the mountains, and with his help plundered some Samaritan villages. 122 When Cumanus heard of this action, he took the troops from Sebaste with four regiments of infantry and armed the Samaritans and then marched out and defeated the Jews, killing many of them and taking many alive. 123 Seeing how far things had gone, the most respected and high-born inhabitants of Jerusalem put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads and in every possible way begged and cajoled the rebels to see that what they were doing would lead to their country's utter ruin, their temple being burned, and themselves, their wives and children being enslaved, unless they changed their minds, put aside their weapons and returned quietly to their own homes. 124 Saying this they persuaded them, so that the mob dispersed and the brigands returned to their strongholds, but in the aftermath all Judea was plagued by robberies.

2.

125 The Samaritan leaders went to Ummidius Quadratus, the ruler of Syria who was in Tyre at that time, and accused the Jews of burning and looting their villages. 126 They claimed to be less upset by their losses than by the contempt it showed towards the Romans, who, if the Jews had a complaint, should have been the judges of the affair, rather than making havoc like this, as if they were not in subjection to the Romans. Therefore they came to him to seek redress. 127 That was the Samaritans' accusation against the Jews, but the Jews blamed the Samaritans for starting this disturbance and fighting, saying that from the start Cumanus had been corrupted by their gifts and had ignored the murder of the victims. 128 When Quadratus heard these allegations, he postponed judgment until he could come to Judea and learn the truth more critically. 129 So the plaintiffs left without success. Before long Quadratus reached Samaria, and on hearing the case, deemed the Samaritans had begun the trouble. When he learned that some Jews and Samaritans were rebelling, he crucified the captives taken by Cumanus. 130 From there he came to a village called Lydda, large enough to be a city, where he set his tribunal and heard the Samaritan case for a second time, when he heard from one of the Samaritans that a Jewish leader named Dortus, with four other rebels, had persuaded the people to revolt from the Romans. 131 These Quadratus ordered to be put to death, but he sent Ananias the high priest and general Ananus off in chains to Rome, to account for their actions to Claudius Caesar. 132 He also ordered the leaders of both the Samaritans and the Jews, as well as Cumanus the procurator and Celer the tribune, to go to Italy, for the emperor to hear their cause and decide their mutual differences. 133 Then fearing that the Jewish population might attempt a revolt, he returned to Jerusalem but found the city in a peaceful state and celebrating one of their usual festivals to God. So not believing they would try any revolt he left them to celebrate the festival and returned to Antioch.

3.

134 The group sent to Rome, including Cumanus and the Samaritan leaders, had a day assigned them by the emperor on which to plead their cause about their mutual quarrels. 135 But Caesar's freedmen and his friends took the side of Cumanus and the Samaritans, and would have won the case against the Jews, if Agrippa the younger, who was then in Rome, had not seen the Jewish leaders so stressed and begged the emperor's wife, Agrippina, to persuade her husband to hear the case in a way worthy of his justice, and condemn the real authors of this revolt. 136 By this petition, Claudius was well disposed in advance, so when he had heard the case and found that the Samaritans had been the ringleaders in this mischief, he ordered the execution of those who had come up to him and the banishment of Cumanus. Celer the tribune he sent back back to Jerusalem to be dragged through the city in the sight of all the people and then killed.

Chapter 7. [137-147]
Felix becomes procurator of Judea. His love for Agrippa's two sisters, Drusilla and Berenice

1.

137 Claudius sent Felix, the brother of Pallas, to take care of the affairs of Judea, 138 and in the twelfth year of his reign he gave Agrippa the tetrarchy of Philip and Batanea, adding to them Trachonitis and Abila which had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias, but he took from him Chalcis, which he had ruled for four years. 139 Agrippa, on receiving these countries by gift of Caesar, gave his sister Drusilla in marriage to Azizus, king of Emesa, once he consented to be circumcised. Epiphanes, the son of king Antiochus, had already refused to marry her because, after first promising her father to convert to the Jewish religion, he failed to fulfil that promise. 140 He also gave Mariamne in marriage to Archelaus, son of Helcias, to whom she had formerly been betrothed by her father, Agrippa, and from this marriage a daughter named Berenice was born.

2.

141 But Drusilla's marriage to Azizus was soon dissolved, for the following reason. 142 While Felix was procurator of Judea, he saw this Drusilla and fell in love with her, for her beauty surpassed all other women, and he sent to her one of his friends, a Jew named Simon, born in Cyprus, who claimed to be a magician in order to persuade her to forsake her present husband and marry him, and promised to make her a happy woman if she did not turn him down. 143 She did the wrong thing, because she wished to get away from the envy of her sister Berenice, who treated her very badly on account of her beauty, and she was persuaded to break the ancestral laws and marry Felix. 144 When she had a son by him, she named him Agrippa, and I will later tell how that young man, along with his wife, died at the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, in the days of Titus Caesar.

3.

145 Berenice remained a widow for a long time after the death of Herod, who was both her husband and uncle, but when it was rumored that she was having sinful intercourse with her brother, she persuaded Polemon, the king of Cilicia, to be circumcised and marry her, in order to disprove the lying rumours. 146 Polemon agreed, mainly on account of her wealth, but the marriage did not last long, for she left Polemon, because of lack of discipline, people said, and he left both this marriage and the Jewish religion. 147 About the same time, Mariamne left Archelaus and married Demetrius, prominent among the Alexandrian Jews both for his lineage and his wealth, being their alabarch at the time, and she named the son she had by him Agrippinus. But we will speak of all these particulars in more detail, later.

Chapter 8. [148-196]
Nero succeeds Claudius; his corrupt rule. Growing unease in Judea, under Felix and Festus

1.

148 Claudius Caesar died after a reign of thirteen years, eight months and twenty days, and it was rumoured that he was poisoned by his wife Agrippina, whose father was Germanicus, the brother of Caesar. Her previous husband was Domitius Ahenobarbus, among the noblest men in the city of Rome. 149 When he died and she had been a long time widowed, Claudius married her, and with her she brought a son, Domitius, named after his father. Earlier, out of jealousy, Claudius had killed his former wife Messalina, by whom he had his children Britannicus and Octavia. 150 Their eldest sister was Antonia, whom he had with his first wife, Pelina. He then espoused Octavia to Nero, for that was the name that Caesar later gave him, on adopting him as his son.

2.

151 Agrippina was afraid that when Britannicus came to manhood, he would succeed his father as emperor, so she sought in advance to gain the empire for her own son, and rumour has it that this is why she caused the death of Claudius. 152 Immediately she sent Burrhus, the general of the army, along with the tribunes and the most powerful of the freedmen, to bring Nero off to the army camp and have him proclaimed emperor. 153 When Nero had so come to power, he had Britannicus poisoned, unknown to the common people. Not long afterward he openly put his own mother to death, which was her thanks not only for giving him birth but for arranging for him to gain the Roman empire. He also killed his wife Octavia and many other prominent people, under the pretext that they were scheming against him.

3.

154 But I will write no more about these matters, for many have written the history of Nero, some of whom have deviated from the truth from partiality, having been favoured by him, while others, out of hatred and ill-will, have raved and lied against him so madly that they are unworthy of notice. 155 It's no surprise to me that these have lied about Nero, since in their writings they have not preserved the truth even of the history preceding his time, whose protagonists they could not have hated, since they were a long period removed in time. 156 Those who have no regard to truth may write what they like, just as they please. 157 But we who make truth our aim will touch briefly upon things that belong only remotely to our topic, but tell in great detail what happened to us Jews, sparing no efforts to tell both the disasters we endured and the sins we have committed. So let me now return to telling of our own affairs.

4.

158 In the first year of the reign of Nero, after the death of Azizus, king of Emesa, his brother Soemus succeeded to his kingdom and Aristobulus, the son of Herod, king of Chalcis, was entrusted by Nero with the government of Lesser Armenia. 159 Caesar gave Agrippa a part of Galilee, Tiberias and Tarichea, ordering them to submit to his jurisdiction. He also gave him Julias, a city of Perea, with fourteen villages round about it.

5.

160 Matters in Judea were getting progressively worse, for the country was again full of brigands and charlatans who were leading the mob astray. 161 Felix daily caught and put to death many of those pretenders and brigands. By treachery he also caught Eleazar, son of Dineas, who had gathered a troop of brigands, by persuading him to come to him, assuring him that he would suffer no harm; but when he came, he put him in chains and sent him to Rome. 162 Felix was hostile to Jonathan the high priest, who had often warned him that he should improve his governing of Jewish affairs, to snotables complaining about him, since it was he who had asked Caesar to send him as procurator of Judea. He became so tiresome that he had to be got rid of, for those who are disposed to injustice are angered by such frequent warnings. 163 By promising a lot of money Felix persuaded one of Jonathan's most faithful friends, Doras, a citizen of Jerusalem, to set the brigands on Jonathan and do away with him. Doras did so and arranged for the brigands to murder him, in this way. 164 Some of those brigands went up to the city as though to worship God, bringing daggers under their clothing and by so getting close to Jonathan they killed him. 165 As this murder was never avenged, the brigands went up to the festivals with the greatest safety from then on, with weapons concealed as before and mingling among the people. Some of their enemies they killed and they were at the service of others for money, and people were killed not only in outer parts of the city, but within the temple itself. For they even dared to commit murder there, heedless of the impiety they were committing. 166 I think this is why God, in hatred for their wickedness, rejected our city, and no longer judged the temple pure enough for his dwelling, but brought the Romans upon us and threw purifying fire on the city and brought slavery upon us, our wives and our children, wishing to make us wiser by our troubles.

6.

167 The activities of the brigands filled the city with sacrilege, and charlatans and deceivers persuaded people to follow them in crowds into the wilderness, 168 claiming that they would show miracles and clear signs of the providence of God, and many were misled and suffered for their foolishness, for Felix brought them back and punished them. 169 Moreover, about this time a man came to Jerusalem from Egypt claiming to be a prophet, who invited the throng of common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, across from the city, five furlongs away. 170 He claimed that from there he would show how the ramparts of Jerusalem would fall down at his command, and promised to provide them an entrance into the city in this way. 171 When Felix was told of this, he armed his soldiers and charged out against them with many cavalry and infantry from Jerusalem and attacked the Egyptian and the people with him, killing four hundred of them and taking two hundred alive. 172 But the Egyptian himself escaped from the battle and was seen no more. Again, the brigands stirred up the people to make war on the Romans, forbidding any obedience to them, and if any refused, they set fire to their villages and looted them.

7.

173 A great riot arose between the Jews in Caesarea and the Syrians who also lived there, about their equal right as citizens, for the Jews claimed priority, since their king Herod had built Caesarea and was by birth a Jew. The Syrians did not deny the bit about Herod, but held that Caesarea was formerly called Strato's Tower and had not a single Jewish inhabitant at that time. 174 When the leaders of that area heard of these disorders, they caught the instigators on both sides and punished them with a beating, and so put a stop to the disturbance for a time. 175 But relying on their wealth and on that account despising the Syrians, the Jewish citizens taunted them again, wanting to provoke them; 176 for, though inferior to them in wealth, thought themselves better since most of the Roman soldiers who were there were either from Caesarea or Sebaste. So they taunted the Jews for some time and on it went until finally they came to throwing stones at each other and several were wounded and fell on both sides, though the Jews won out. 177 When Felix saw this quarrel becoming a kind of war, he arrived suddenly among them and urged the Jews to desist, and when they refused he armed his soldiers and let them loose. They killed many Jews and took more alive and he let his soldiers plunder some of the houses of the citizens, which were full of riches. 178 The more moderate and prominent of the Jews were afraid for their lives and asked Felix to get his soldiers to retreat and spare them for the future and allow them repent of what they had done, and Felix agreed.

8.

179 About this time king Agrippa gave the high priesthood to Ismael, son of Fabis. 180 Now the high priests clashed with the leaders of the Jerusalem populace, and each side gathered and led a group of trouble-makers of the worst kind. When they clashed, they taunted each other with words and threw stones, with nobody to rebuke them; and the city was in uproar as if no authority existed. 181 Then the high priests shamelessly sent their servants to the threshing floors, to take the tithes due to the priests, so that the poorer of the priests died of want, for the violence of the rebels had trampled to such a degree on all right and justice.

9.

182 When Porcius Festus was sent by Nero to succeed Felix, the leading Jews of Caesarea went up to Rome to accuse Felix, and he would certainly have been punished if Nero had not yielded to the urgent requests of his brother Pallas, whom at that time held in high honour. 183 By giving him a large amount of money, two of the Syrian officers in Caesarea persuaded Burrhus, Nero's tutor and secretary for his Greek studies, to cancel the equal privileges that the Jewish citizens had so far enjoyed. 184 So Burrhus requested and got the emperor's permission for a letter to be written to that effect. This letter caused the hardships that later came upon our nation, for when the Jews of Caesarea were told of the contents of this letter to the Syrians, they were more disorderly than ever, until a war broke out.

10.

185 When Festus arrived, Judea was being plagued by the brigands, who were burning and plundering all the villages. 186 The sicarii, as they were called, grew numerous at the time, brigands who used small swords, not much different in size from the Persian akinakae, but rather crooked like what the Romans called sicae, and the brigands nickname came from these weapons, with which they killed many. 187 They mingled in the festivals, as we have said, when crowds of people poured into the city from all parts to worship God, and they easily killed whoever they wanted to kill, and often they went armed into the villages of their enemies, and plundered and set them on fire. 188 Festus sent out forces, cavalry and infantry, to attack those who had been seduced by a certain charlatan, who promised them salvation and freedom from their miseries if they would only follow him out into the wilderness. Those forces he sent destroyed both the man who had tricked them and his followers.

11.

189 About that time king Agrippa built himself a large dining-room in the royal palace in Jerusalem, near to the portico. 190 This palace had been built much earlier by the children of Hasmoneus, and was located on a rise, with a most delightful view of the city, a view that the king loved, where he could lie down to eat and observe what was happening in the temple. 191 When the leading people of Jerusalem saw this, they were very annoyed, for it was against our local custom and law for what was done in the temple to be visible to outsiders, in particular whatever had to do with the sacrifices, so they built a wall on the highest building of the inner court of the temple towards the west. 192 This not only blocked the view from the dining-room in the palace, but also from the western porticoes of the outer court of the temple, where at the festivals the Romans posted guards beside the temple. 193 These doings angered king Agrippa, and even more so when the procurator Festus ordered them to pull down the wall. But the Jews asked his permission to send a delegation to Nero about the matter, saying they could not bear to go on living if any part of the temple were destroyed. 194 With the permission of Festus, they sent ten of their leading men to Nero, with Ismael the high priest and Helcias, the keeper of the sacred treasury. 195 When Nero heard what they had to say, he forgave what they had already done, and also allowed them to let stand the wall they had built. This was granted to gratify Poppea, Nero's wife, who was a religious woman and had requested him for these favours and told the ten envoys to go on home, while she kept Helcias and Ismael with herself as hostages. 196 When the king heard this news, he gave the high priesthood to Joseph, surnamed Cabi, son of Simon the former high priest.

Chapter 9. [197-223]
Murder of James, the brother of Jesus. The achievements of young Agrippa

1.

197 Hearing of the death of Festus, Caesar sent Albinus as procurator to Judea. And the king deposed Joseph from the high priesthood and passed on that dignity to the son of Ananus, himself also called Ananus. 198 They call this elder Ananus a most fortunate man, for after he himself had held that dignity for a long time, his five sons all served as high priest to God, which has never happened to any of our previous high priests. 199 But this younger Ananus, who, as we have said, assumed the high priesthood, was a notably bold and audacious man and he belonged to the Sadducee sect which, as we have already shown, was the strictest of all the Jews in judging offenders. 200 With Festus dead and Albinus only on his way, Ananus thought he had now a good opportunity to act on this. He assembled a judiciary Sanhedrin and brought before them James, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, and some others, and after condemning them as lawbreakers, gave them over to be stoned. 201 The fairest of the citizens and those most upset at the breaking of the laws, disliked this being done and sent to the king, asking him to stop Ananus from acting like this in future, as what he had already done was not right. 202 Some of them also went to meet Albinus as he was on his way from Alexandria, to tell him that Ananus had wrongfully assembled a Sanhedrin without his consent. 203 Albinus agreed with this and wrote in anger to Ananus threatening to punish him for doing this. So king Agrippa deposed him from the high priesthood, after he had ruled for only three months, and appointed Jesus, the son of Damnaeus, as high priest.

2.

204 When Albinus reached Jerusalem, he made every effort to ensure that the country could have peace, by doing away with many of the Sicarii. 205 The former high priest, Ananias, became ever more prominent and was much liked and esteemed by the citizens, and with his great hoard of money he constantly showered gifts on Albinus and the high priest. 206 But he had very evil servants, who joined up with the most reckless people and went to the threshing-floors and took away by force the tithes of the priests, beating anybody who would not hand them over. 207 The other chief priests acted similarly, as did their servants, and nobody could stop them, so that priests who previously used to be supported from those tithes, died for lack of food.

3.

208 The Sicarii went by night into the city, just before the coming festival, and took and bound the scribe of the temple overseer, named Eleazar, who was the son of Ananus the high priest, and took him away. 209 Then they sent to Ananias, saying they would send him back the scribe if he could persuade Albinus to release ten of the prisoners from their party whom he had captured, so Ananias had to ask Albinus and he granted this request. 210 This was the beginning of greater troubles, for the brigands were always managing to catch some of Ananias's servants, and after taking them alive, would not let them go unless they got back some of their own Sicarii; and once they had again grown in numbers, they grew bolder and were a great affliction to the whole country.

4.

211 About this time king Agrippa built up Caesarea Philippi larger than it had been, and, in honour of Nero, named it Neronias. When he had built a theatre at Berytus, at great expense, he gave them games to be held every year and spent many thousands on this. 212 He also gave out corn to the people there and doled out oil to them and adorned their entire city with statues and original carvings by ancient hands; indeed he transferred there most of the finest ornaments in his whole kingdom. This earned him the hatred of his subjects, because he was taking things belonging to them to adorn a foreign city. 213 Now Jesus the son of Gamaliel succeeeded to the high priesthood, in place Jesus, son of Damneus, whom the king deposed, and for this reason there was dissension between the high priests. Groups of reckless people got together and often proceeded from insults to stone-throwing, but Ananias had the upper hand through his riches, which enabled him to bribe those who were most susceptible. 214 Costobarus also and Saulus, of the royal family, assembled a crowd of ruffians, winning their favour because of their relationship to Agrippa, and violently plundered those weaker than themselves. From that time onward, disorders increased in our city and everything grew worse and worse among us.

5.

215 When Albinus heard that Gessius Florus was coming to succeed him, he wanted to do something to please the people of Jerusalem, so he brought out all those prisoners whom he thought most clearly worthy of death and ordered them to be executed. But he took money from those who had been put into prison for some trifling cause and dismissed them. This emptied the prisons, indeed, but filled the country with brigands.

6.

216 The hymn-singers among the Levites, one of our tribes, urged the king to assemble a Sanhedrin and to let them wear linen garments like the priests, saying that to introduce this change would be a fitting memorial of his time as ruler. 217 They succeeded in this, for the king, with the votes of those who came to the Sanhedrin, allowed the hymn-singers to put aside their former robes and wear the linen ones they wished; 218 and since part of this tribe ministered in the temple, he also let them focus upon the hymns they wanted. All this was contrary to the laws of our country, and whenever these were transgressed we never escaped the corresponding punishment.

7.

219 At that time the temple was completed; and when the people saw more than eighteen thousand workmen now unemployed and receiving no wages and going in need, since they had earned their bread by working on the temple, 220 they did not want to leave the treasury on deposit there, for fear of the Romans would take it, and wished to make provision for the workmen. So they urged the king to rebuild the eastern portico and to pay them immediately by the hour. 221 This portico belonged to the outer court, situated above a deep valley, with walls four hundred feet long, and built of square, very white stones, each of them twenty feet long and six feet high, the work of king Solomon, who first built the entire temple. 222 But king Agrippa, who was entrusted by Claudius Caesar with the care of the temple, considering that it is easy to demolish any building, but hard to rebuild it and that it was particularly hard to do so with this portico, which would require a long time and a large amount of money, denied this request but did not stop them paving the city with white stone. 223 He also deposed Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, from the high priesthood and gave it to Matthias, son of Theophilus, under whom the war of the Jews with the Romans began.

Chapter 10. [224-251]
The Succession of the high priests, from Aaron to more recent times

1.

224 I think that in this history it is necessary and right to give an account of our high priests, how they began, to whom that dignity was given and how many of them there were, up to the end of the war. 225 They say that Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the the first to serve God as high priest and that his sons succeeded him after his death, and that this dignity has been passed down from them to all their descendants. 226 Therefore it is our custom for nobody to receive God's high priesthood except those of the line of Aaron, so that anyone of some other lineage, even if he is a king, can never hold the high priesthood.

2.

227 After Aaron, who was the first of them as we have said, the total number until Phanas, whom the rebels made high priest during the war, was eighty-three. 228 Of these, thirteen served as high priests from the days of Moses in the wilderness, while the Tent was standing, until the people came into Judea, when king Solomon built the temple to God. 229 At first the high priesthood was held to the end of one's life, although later on they had successors while they were alive. These thirteen, all descendants from two of Aaron's sons, received this dignity by succession, for their original social system was aristocracy, then later it was one-man rule and thirdly it was kingship. 230 The total span of the rule of these thirteen, from the day that our ancestors left Egypt under the leadership of Moses until king Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, was six hundred and twelve years.

3.

231 After those thirteen high priests, eighteen held the high priesthood in succession in Jerusalem, from the days of king Solomon, until Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, invaded the city and burned the temple and deported our nation to Babylon, taking captive the high priest, Josadek. 232 The duration of those high priests was four hundred and sixty-six years, six months and ten days, while the Jews were under royal rule.

4.

233 After a captivity of seventy years under the Babylonians, Cyrus, king of Persia, sent the Jews from Babylon back to their own land and let them to rebuild their temple. 234 At that time Jesus, the son of Josadek, assumed the high priesthood for the captives when they returned home. He and his descendants, who were fifteen in all, up to king Antiochus Eupator, were under democratic rule for four hundred and fourteen years. 235 Then the aforesaid Antiochus the First and his general Lysias deposed Onias, surnamed Menelaus, from the high priesthood and killed him at Berea, and keeping out his son, replaced him as high priest with Jacimus, who was indeed of Aaron's stock, but not of that branch of the family. 236 Therefore Onias, the nephew of the deceased Onias and who was called after his father, came into Egypt and made friends with Ptolemy Philometor and his wife Cleopatra and persuaded them to make him high priest of the temple which he built to God in the prefecture of Heliopolis, in imitation of that in Jerusalem. 237 We have often spoken already of that temple was built in Egypt. Jacimus died after holding the high priesthood for three years, and the city went for seven years without a high priest as there was no one to succeed him.

5.

238 Then the heirs of the sons of Hasmoneus, who were entrusted with governing the nation after the war against the Macedonians, appointed Jonathan as their high priest, who ruled them for seven years. 239 After he was killed by the treachery of Trypho, as we have said elsewhere, his brother Simon took over the high priesthood. 240 Then when, after he had held the high priesthood for one year more than his brother, he was killed during a feast by the treachery of his son-in-law, his son Hyrcanus succeeded him; Hyrcanus held the position for thirty years and died an old man, passing it on to Judas, surnamed Aristobulus. 241 This man, the first of them to wear a crown, died of a severe illness, after holding both the priesthood and the kingship for one year, and his brother Alexander succeeded him. 242 When Alexander had ruled for twenty-seven years as king and high priest, he departed this life and left his wife Alexandra to appoint the one to succeed him as high priest, so she gave the high priesthood to Hyrcanus, but ruled the kingdom herself for nine years and then departed this life. 243 Her son Hyrcanus held the high priesthood for exactly the same period, for after her death his brother Aristobulus fought against him and defeated him and set him aside, taking to himself both the office of king and of high priest to God.

6.

244 When he had reigned for three years and as many months, Pompey descended upon him and not only took the city of Jerusalem by force, but put him and his children in chains and sent them to Rome. He also restored the high priesthood to Hyrcanus and made him ruler of the nation, but forbade him to wear a crown. 245 Apart from his first nine years, this Hyrcanus ruled for twenty-four years more, when Barzapharnes and Pacorus, the generals of the Parthians, crossed the Euphrates and fought Hyrcanus and took him alive and gave the throne to Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, 246 and when he had reigned for three years and three months, Sosius and Herod besieged and captured him, and Antony had him brought to Antioch and killed there.

7.

247 Herod was then made king by the Romans, and no longer appointed high priests from the family of Hasmoneus, but appointed some men from families who were not distinguished and were barely priests, except that he gave the dignity to Aristobulus. 248 By appointing this Aristobulus, the grandson of the Hyrcanus who had been captured by the Parthians and then taking his sister Mariamne as his wife, he aimed to win the goodwill of the people, who had a fond remembrance of Hyrcanus. Yet later, fearing that Aristobulus would become too popular, he put him to death, managing to have him drowned while swimming at Jericho, as we have said. After that he never again entrusted the priesthood to the descendants of the sons of Hasmoneus.

8.

249 Herod's son Archelaus acted like his father in the appointment of high priests, as did the Romans, who later took over the government of the Jews. 250 The number of the high priests, from the days of Herod to the day when Titus took and burned the temple and the City, were in all twenty-eight and they spanned a period of a hundred and seven years. 251 Some of these ministered under the rule of Herod and that of his son Archelaus, but when they had died the government became an aristocracy and the high priests were seen as ruling the nation. And that is all that needs to be said about our high priests.

Chapter 11. [252-268]
The cruelties of Gessius Florus lead to the revolt. Finale of this work

1.

252 Gessius Florus, whom Nero sent to succeed Albinus, filled all Judea with woes. A native of the city of Clazomene, he brought with him his wife Cleopatra, no less evil than himself, whose friendship with Nero's wife Poppea had gained him this office. 253 This Florus was so evil and violent in the abuse of his authority, that the Jews now regarded Albinus as having been their benefactor, so much worse were the evils they now suffered. 254 For Albinus had done his harm in secret, careful not to reveal it to everyone, but Gessius Florus, as though purposely sent to flaunt his crimes, displayed them openly to our nation and did not spare us from all sorts of violence and unfair penalties, 255 being unmoved by pity and never satisfied no matter how much profit came his way. Nor did he limit himself just to major thievery, but even joined in partnership with the brigands. For many of them now began to act as if they had him as their protector and an ally who would take their part. 256 There was no limit to it, so that, unable to bear the looting of the brigands, the unhappy Jews were felt pressured to leave their homes and flee, in the hope of living more easily anywhere else, among foreigners. 257 Need I say more, since it was this Florus who forced us to take up arms against the Romans, thinking it better to risk all at once than be ruined little by little. This war began in the second year of the rule of Florus and the twelfth year of Nero's reign. 258 The things we were forced to do and all we suffered may be known in detail by those who read the books I have written about the Jewish war.

2.

259 Here I shall end my Antiquities. Its sequel is my account of the war, and these Antiquities contain our tradition from the original creation of man until the twelfth year of Nero's reign, about what happened to us Jews in Egypt and Syria as well as in Palestine, 260 and what we endured under the Assyrians and Babylonians, and what the Persians and Macedonians and after them the Romans, did to us. I think I may say that in all details I have composed this history with great accuracy. 261 I have sought to list our high priests over the period of two thousand years and reported without notable errors the succession of our kings and their actions and policies, and their royal power, all as is written in our sacred books, for this is what I promised to do at the beginning of this history. 262 I venture to say, having completed what I proposed, that no other person, whether Jew or foreigner and no matter how inclined, could have described these things for the Greeks so accurately. 263 My own countrymen freely acknowledge my prowess in Jewish learning, and I have taken the trouble to learn the elements of Greek literature and grammar, though my pronunciation of it is not good, as I am so used to our native tongue. 264 Among us there is no welcome for people who learn the languages of other nations so as to think like them. We regard this as no proper task for a free man but rather as one that should be left to slaves who choose to learn them, whereas we deem as wise the one who fully understands our own laws and can interpret their meaning. 265 All the same, while many have patiently tried to master this learning, only two or three have fully succeeded in it, and they were well rewarded for their efforts.

3.

266 Perhaps it will not be out of order now to write briefly about my own family and the conduct of my own life, while there are still people living who can either disprove what I say or vouch for its truth. With these accounts I shall put an end to these Antiquities, which are contained in twenty books and sixty thousand lines.

4.

267 If God permits me, I will briefly treat of this war and add what happened to them later up to today, which is in the thirteenth year of the reign of Caesar Domitian and the fifty-sixth year of my own life. 268 I have also an intention to write three books about our Jewish beliefs about God and his essence, and about our laws, to show why in them some things are allowed to us and others are forbidden.

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