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Autobiography (Bios) of Josephus

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1. Family, education and early manhood of Josephus

2. Beginnings of the Jewish revolt against Rome

3. Factions among the Galilean rebels

4. Josephus as peaceful defender of Galilee

5. Risks run by Josephus, for the sake of justice

6. Josephus's intentions are misunderstood

7. His strength and resourcefulness as a leader

8. His strong leadership, in Galilee

9. He foils several plots to remove him from power

10. He defeats his opponents and grants them amnesty

11. His efforts to spare Sepphoris and Tiberias

12. Siege of Sepphoris; he fights the Romans

13. Capture by Vespasian; later career in Rome

Chapter 1. Family, education and early manhood of Josephus


001 The family from which I come is not ignoble, but is descended from priests away back, and as rank is reckoned differently among different peoples, among us the priestly rank is what makes a family illustrious. 002 Not alone am I of a priestly clan but from the first of the twenty-four priestly ranks; and as there is considerable difference between the ranks, I come from the best family of them. I am of royal blood on my mother's side as the children of Hasmoneus, from whom her family springs, for a long time held both the office of high priest and king. 003 Let me list my ancestors. My grandfather's father was named Simon, nicknamed "the Stammerer" and he lived at the time of the son of Simon, who was first high priest to be called Hyrcanus. 004 This Simon "the Stammerer" had nine sons, one of whom was Matthias, known as Ephaeus, who married the daughter of the high priest Jonathan, the first of the sons of Hasmoneus to be high priest; and Simon's brother also became high priest. He had a son called Matthias Curtus, in the first year of the reign of Hyrcanus. 005 His son's name was Joseph, born in the ninth year of the reign of Alexandra. His son Matthias was born in the tenth year of the reign of Archelaus, and to this Matthias I was born in the first regnal year of Gaius Caesar. I have three sons: Hyrcanus, the eldest, born in the fourth, Justus born in the seventh and Agrippa in the ninth year of the reign of Vespasian. 006 So have I set down the genealogy of our family as I have found it described in the public records, to put an end to any would-be detractors.


007 Distinguished by his noble lineage, my father Matthias was further esteemed for his righteousness and was a person of note in Jerusalem, our greatest city. style='font-size:6.0pt; font-family:Arial'>008 I was reared with Matthias, my legitimate brother by both parents and made great progress in my education, seeming to have an outstanding memory and intelligence. 009 While still a youngster of fourteen years, I was commended by all for my love of letters, and the high priests and leading men of the city often asked for my opinion about particular points of the law. 010 When I was about sixteen years old, I wished to gain experience of the several sects that were among us. These are three, of which the first is that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Sadducees and the third that of the Essenes, as we have mentioned several times. My idea was that only if I were acquainted with them all could I choose the best. 011 So I went through hard training and difficult exercises in all three. Not content with such experience, when I heard of a man named Banus who lived in the desert and used as clothing only what grew on trees and ate no other food than what grew of its own accord, and bathed often in cold water, night and day, for chastity's sake, I imitated him in those things and stayed three years with him. 012 When I had achieved my purpose, at the age of nineteen I returned to the city and began to live according to the rules of the Pharisees, a sect like what the Greeks call the Stoics.


013 Then when I was in my twenty-sixth year I made a voyage to Rome, for reasons I shall presently describe. When Felix was procurator of Judea, on a small and trifling charge he chained up some excellent priests known to me, and sent them to Rome to plead their case before Caesar. 014 Wanting to save these men, especially as I was told that even in their plight they did not abandon piety towards God but ate only figs and nuts, I went to Rome, though the voyage proved a very dangerous one. 015 For our ship sank in the Adriatic Sea, and we the passengers, about six hundred of us, had to swim for our lives all night. Then at first light we saw a ship from Cyrene, and by the providence of God I and some eighty others got there ahead of the rest and were taken into the ship. 016 When I had so escaped and had arrived at Dicaearchia, which the Italians call Puteoli, I got to know Aliturus, an actor much beloved by Nero and by birth a Jew. Through him I was introduced to Caesar's wife Poppea, and made it my business as soon as possible to ask her to intercede for the priests to be set free. After receiving this favour and many gifts from Poppea, I returned home.

Chapter 2. Beginnings of the Jewish revolt against Rome


017 There I noticed the beginnings of rebellion and how many were eager for revolt from the Romans. I tried to get these agitators to change their minds, pointing out who it was that they wished to fight and that they fell short of the Romans not only in martial skill, but also in good fortune. 018 I urged them not to rashly and foolishly bring the most terrible misfortune upon their country, their families and themselves. 019 This I said earnestly and often, foreseeing that such a war would be dreadful for us in the end. But I failed, for the madness of these desperate men was quite too strong for me. 020 I was afraid that by often saying such things I would be hated and suspected of being on our enemies' side and risk being taken and killed by them, as they already held the Antonia citadel; so I retreated to inside the temple. 021 After Manahem and the leaders of the gang of brigands were put to death, I came out of the temple and then I lived among the high priests and the chief of the Pharisees. 022 We were very afraid when we saw the people in arms, unsure of what to do and unable to restrain the rebellious. But as the danger was very obvious, we pretended to be of the same mind as they, advising them to keep the peace until the enemy came, and only to take arms in self-defence. 023 We did this, hoping that it would not be long before Cestius came with a large force to put an end to this rebellion.


024 But when he came and fought he was defeated and many of his men died. The debacle of Cestius proved the disaster of our whole nation, for those who had a love of warfare were so exalted by this success that they were hopeful of finally conquering the Romans. Another cause of the war was this: 025 Those who lived in the nearby cities of Syria seized and killed the Jews living among them, with their wives and children, without the least grievance against them; for they neither attempted any revolt from the Romans, nor gave them any signs of hatred or treachery. 026 But the people of Scythopolis did the most heinous crime of all; for when attacked from outside by their Jewish enemies, they forced the Jews in their midst to turn their weapons on their own people, which it is unlawful for us to do; and when, with their help, they had fought and defeated their attackers, after the victory they forgot their assurances to these fellow citizens and allies and killed them all, many thousands of them. 027 The Jews who lived in Damascus met a similar fate. But we have given a more detailed account of these things in the books on the Jewish War. I only mention them now to show my readers that the war of the Jews with the Romans did not arise so much from voluntary choice as from necessity.


028 When Cestius had been defeated, as already said, since the brigands and rebels had plenty of weapons the notables of Jerusalem feared that they, being unarmed, would be at the mercy of their enemies, as was later the case. And seeing that not all of Galilee had rebelled from the Romans, but that some of it was still at peace, 029 they sent me and two others of the priests, Joazar and Judas, good and virtuous men, to persuade the hotheads there to disarm, for it would be better to reserve those weapons for the bravest of the nation, as they felt that these should always have weapons ready for future needs, while waiting to see what the Romans would do.

8. 030 On receiving these instructions, I came to Galilee and found the people of Sepphoris in anguish about their area, as the Galileans had resolved to plunder it in retaliation for their friendship with the Romans and because they had made a firm pact with Cestius Gallus, the governor of Syria. 031 But I allayed their fears and persuaded the people to deal kindly with them and let them send messages to their friends as often as they pleased, who were hostages with Cestius at Dora, a city of Phoenicia. But I found the Tiberians ready already up in arms, for the following reason.


032 In the city there were three factions; the first being respectable citizens, headed by Julius Capella. 033 He and all his friends, Herod the son of Miarus and Herod the son of Gamalus and Compsus the son of Compsus, and his brother Crispus, who had once been governor under the great king, who lived on his own land beyond the Jordan, 034 advised that the city should continue loyal to the Romans and to the king. But Pistus, urged by his son Justus, did not agree with that view, for he was of an impulsive nature. 035 The second faction consisted of the most ignoble persons and was decided for war. 036 Justus, the son of Pistus, who led the third faction, although he pretended to be doubtful about going to war, really was eager for revolution, expecting to gain power by the change of affairs. 037 Therefore he came forward and tried to tell the people that Tiberias had always been the capital of Galilee and that in the days of its builder, Herod the tetrarch, it had held the first place and that he had intended the city of Sepphoris to be subordinate to Tiberias; that they had not lost this preeminence even under Agrippa the elder, but had kept it until Felix became procurator of Judea. 038 But, he told them, now they had been so unfortunate as to be presented by Nero to Agrippa the younger; and when Sepphoris submitted to the Romans it had become the capital of Galilee and now the royal library and the archives were removed from them. 039 When he had said these things and much more against king Agrippa, he added, in order to provoke the people to revolt, that "this was the time for them to take arms and join with the Galileans as their allies who would now willingly join them, from their hatred towards the Sepphorites for keeping faithful to the Romans. 040 This speech stirred the people; for his abilities lay in demagoguery and in overcoming by his craftiness and fallacies those who opposed him, even when they advised what was more advantageous. He was not unskilled in the learning of the Greeks; and using that skill he undertook to write a history of these matters, aiming to disguise the truth in this way. 041 As my narrative progresses I shall tell about this man's wicked character and lifestyle and how he and his brother were the main authors of our destruction. 042 So when, at his persuasion, Justus got the citizens of Tiberias to take arms, and had even forced many to do so against their wills, he went out and set fire to the villages belonging to Gadara and Hippos, along the borders of Tiberias and of the region of Scythopolis.

Chapter 3. Factions among the Galilean rebels


043 Such was the situation in Tiberias. At Gischala, matters were as follows: When John, the son of Levi, saw some of the citizens exulting at their revolt from the Romans, he tried to restrain them and implored them to maintain their allegiance to them. 044 But he could not achieve this, although he tried his utmost; for the neighbouring people of Gadara, Gabara and Sogana, and the Tyrians, mustered a great force and stormed and took Gischala and set it on fire; and when they had entirely demolished it, they returned home. 045 At this John was so enraged that he armed all his men and attacked those people; he rebuilt Gischala better than before and fortified it with walls for its future security.


046 But Gamala persevered in its allegiance to the Romans, for this reason: Philip, the son of Jacimus, who was their governor under king Agrippa, had miraculously survived when the royal palace at Jerusalem was besieged; but as he fled away, he also ran the risk of being killed by Manahem and his brigands. 047 However, these were prevented from this by some Babylonians, relatives of his who were then in Jerusalem. So Philip stayed there four days and fled on the fifth, wearing a wig so as not be recognised. when he reached one of his villages near the Gamala fortress, he sent to some of those under his command, ordering them to come to him. 048 Fortunately for him, providence blocked that intention of his and if this had not happened, he would certainly have died. perished. For suffering a sudden attack of fever, he wrote letters to the younger Agrippa and Berenice and gave them to one of his freedmen to convey to Varus, 049 who at this time was administering the kingdom, which the king and his sister had entrusted him, while they had gone to Berytus intending to wait upon Cestius. 050 When Varus received these letters of Philip and learned of his escape, he was irritated, thinking that at Philip's coming their majestions would have no further use for him. So he brought the carrier of the letters before the people and accused him of forging them, alleging that he spoke falsely when he reported that Philip was at Jerusalem, fighting with the Jews against the Romans. So he killed him. 051 When Philip, puzzled that this freedman did not return again, sent another with letters, to bring him word what had happened the other and why he delayed so long. 052 Varus also killed him when he came, on some baseless charge. For he had been filled with great expectations by the Syrians in Caesarea, who said that the Romans would execute Agrippa for the crimes alleged by the Jews and that he himself, being descended from their kings, would take over as ruler. All acknowledged that Varus was of royal blood, being a descendant of Sohemus, who had been tetrarch in the area of Libanus. 053 For this reason he was puffed up and kept the letters from the king; and he guarded all the town exits, so that no one could escape and tell the king what he had done. Moreover he killed many of the Jews, in order to gratify the Syrians of Caesarea.

054 He had another plan to join with the Trachonites in Batanea and take up arms and attack the "Babylonian Jews" in Ecbatana, as they were called. 055 Therefore he called twelve of the most distinguished Caesarean Jews and told them to go to Ecbatana to say to their countrymen there: "Varus has heard that you intend to march against the king, but not believing it, has sent us to persuade you to lay down your arms; this compliance will be a sign that he was right not to believe what was said about you."

056 He also required them to send seventy of their leading men to answer the accusation made against them. When the twelve came and found that their countrymen in Ecbatana had no rebellious plans, they persuaded them to send the seventy men. 057 Not at all suspecting the fate awaiting them, these sent them off, and these seventy went down with the twelve envoys to Caesarea, where Varus met them with the king's forces and killed them all, including the envoys, and proceeded to march against the Jews of Ecbatana. 058 One of the seventy, however, escaped and hurried to tell them; so they took their arms, with their wives and children, and retreated to the citadel at Gamala, leaving their villages full of all sorts of goods with many thousand heads of cattle. 059 When Philip learned this, he also came to the Gamala fortress; and when he arrived the people called loudly for him to command them again, and to make an expedition against Varus and the Syrians of Caesarea; for it was reported that they had killed the king. 060 But Philip restrained their eagerness, reminding them of the benefits the king had bestowed upon them; and he explained about the power of the Romans and how inopportune it was to make war with them; and finally he won them over. 061 When the king knew of Varus's plan to massacre in a single day the Jews of Caesarea, who were many thousands, along with their wives and children, he recalled him and sent Aequus Modius as his successor, as we have elsewhere reported. But Philip still kept possession of the Gamala fortress and the country adjoining it, which continued in allegiance to the Romans.


062 When I arrived in Galilee and learned these things from informants, I wrote about them to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, asking what they wanted me to do. Their direction was to stay there and if my fellow legates were willing, join with them in caring for Galilee. 063 My colleagues, who had become very rich from the tithes which they got as their priestly due, decided to return home, but I persuaded them to stay on until we had restored things to order. 064 So with them I moved from the city of Sepphoris to a village called Bethmaus, four furlongs from Tiberias; and from there sent messengers to the council of Tiberias and leading men of the city asking them to come to me. 065 When they arrived, and Justus himself along with them, I told them that I and my colleagues were sent to them by the council of Jerusalem, to persuade them to demolish that house built there by Herod the tetrarch, which contained representations of living creatures, such as our laws forbade us to make; and I asked them to let us do so immediately. 066 For a good while Capella and the leading men of the city did not want to let us, but at last were entirely won over and agreed with us. But Jesus the son of Sapphias, whom we have already mentioned as the leader of a faction of mariners and poor people, anticipated us and along with certain Galileans he set the entire palace on fire, expecting a large amount of loot from it, as he had seen some of the roofs inlaid with gold. 067 They also plundered much of the furniture, contrary to our wishes; for after our talks with Capella and the leading men of the city we had left Bethmaus and gone into Upper Galilee. But Jesus and his party killed all the Greeks living in Tiberias and many others who were their enemies before the war began.


068 When I learned of this, I was highly indignant and went down to Tiberias and took what care I could of the royal furniture, recovering whatever I could from those who had plundered it. There were candlesticks of Corinthian brass and royal tables and a large amount of uncoined silver; and I resolved to keep for the king whatever I received. 069 So I sent for ten of the leading men of the council and for Capella the son of Antyllus and committed the furniture to them, with instructions to deliver it to nobody but myself. 070 From there I and my fellow legates went to Gichala, to John, wanting to know his intentions, and soon saw that he was for revolution and wished to rule the place. 071 He asked me for authority to seize the imperial corn stored in the villages of Upper Galilee, wishing to spend the proceeds of it in restoring the ramparts of his own town. 072 But perceiving his scheme and what he planned to do, I did not give consent, since, entrusted by the Jerusalem council with that whole area, I intended to reserve it either for the Romans or for my own use. 073 When he failed to persuade me, he turned to my fellow legates, who showed no foresight of coming events and were very ready to accept money. These he bribed to vote that all that corn stored within his province should be handed over to him; while I, on my own, was outvoted by the other two and held my tongue. 074 Then John introduced another cunning plan. He said that the Jews living in Caesarea Philippi who were shut in there by Modius, the king's deputy, had sent to him requesting that, having no pure oil for their use, he provide them with a sufficient extent of such oil, lest they be forced to transgress their own laws by using Greek oil. 075 This was said by John, not for the sake of religion, from outright profiteering; for he knew that two pints were sold in Caesarea for one drachma, while at Gischala eighty pints cost four drachmas. So he sent off all the oil from the place, claiming my permission for doing so. 076 However I did not allow this willingly, but only out of fear that if I had forbidden it, the mob would have stoned me. When I had allowed this, John made vast sums of money by his trickery.

Chapter 4. Josephus as peaceful defender of Galilee [77-100]


077 After letting my fellow legates return from Gischala to Jerusalem, I took care about providing arms and having the cities fortified. Then, sending for the hardiest of the brigands and seeing that I could not disarm them, I persuaded the people to pay them as mercenaries, saying that it was better to pay them a little willingly, rather than to look on and see their goods plundered. 078 Then, obliging them under oath not to enter the district except by invitation, or when their pay was in arrears, I dismissed them with instructions to attack neither the Romans or their neighbours; for my first care was keeping the peace in Galilee. 079 Under the guise of friendship, I had as my travelling companions seventy leading Galileans, holding them hostage for the fidelity of their district. I set them to judge cases; and it was with their approval that I gave my sentences, trying to avoid over-hasty judgments and in these matters to keep my hands clear of all bribery.


080 I was now about thirty years of age, an age at which, it is hard for anyone, especially if he holds high office and even if he refrains from lawless passions, to avoid the calumny of the envious. Yet I protected every woman's honour, and refused to accept any gifts that were offered to me; I would not even accept from those who offerred them the tithes due to me as a priest. 081 However, I did take a part of the spoils after defeating the Syrian inhabitants of the adjoining cities and sent them to my relatives in Jerusalem. 082 But though I twice took Sepphoris by storm and Tiberias four times and Gadara once, and though I had John at my mercy, who so often conspired against me, I did not execute either him or any of the other people, as this account will go on to show. 083 This, I believe, is why God, who never forgets those who do their duty, saved me from their hands and subsequently saved me amid the many dangers which I shall later relate.


084 The ordinary Galilean people showed me such great kindness and fidelity that when their cities were taken by storm and their wives and children brought into slavery, they were concerned not only for their own misfortunes but for my preservation. 085 Seeing this, John envied me and wrote to me, asking my permission to come down and use the hot-baths of Tiberias for the good of his health. 086 Suspecting no bad intention, I did not hinder him, but wrote personally to those to whom I had entrusted the administration of Tiberias, to provide a lodging for John and whoever might accompany him and provide him with whatever he needed. At this time I was staying at a village of Galilee, called Cana.


087 But when John reached Tiberias, he persuaded the population to abandon their fidelity to me and come over to him; and many of them gladly accepted his invitation, as they were ever addicted to novelty and by nature attracted to change. 088 In particular, Justus and his father Pistus were quick to desert me go over to him; but my speedy coming thwarted them. 089 A messenger came to me from Silas, whom as I have said I had made governor of Tiberias, telling me of the mood of the Tiberians and advising me to hurry there, since if I delayed, the city would come under the power of others. 090 Having read this letter of Silas, I took two hundred men with me and travelled all night, sending before me a messenger to tell the Tiberians that I was coming. 091 At dawn, as I approached the city, the people came out to meet me, including John who greeted me in some confusion and, fearing that my coming was to call him to account for what I knew he was doing, hurried back to his lodging. 092 Reaching the stadium, I dismissed my bodyguards except one, and bringing along ten soldiers, standing on a platform I attempted to make a speech to the ordinary people of Tiberias, imploring them not to be so hasty in their revolt. 093 I told them such a change would lower their reputation and rightly make them suspected by their future governor, as unlikely to be faithful to him either.


094 Before I had finished speaking, I heard one of my own men bidding me come down, as it was no time to be worrying about the good-will of the Tiberians, but about my own safety and how to escape from my enemies. 095 For John, having learned that I was alone apart from a few personal attendants, had chosen the most trusty of the thousand soldiers at his disposal, and sent them with orders to kill me. 096 They arrived as ordered and would have done their job if I had not jumped down from the platform and, along with James my guard, was helped by one Herod of Tiberias and had him guide me down to the lake, where I seized a boat and embarked, and after surprisingly escaping my enemies, reached Tarichea.


097 The people of that city, hearing of the treachery of the Tiberians, were highly indignant. So they took up arms and asked me to lead an attack on them, wishing to avenge their general. 098 They also reported to all the Galileans what had been done to me and eagerly sought to stir them against the Tiberians, wanting a large number to join them, that they should decide with their general what should be done. 099 So from all parts the Galileans came to me, armed and in large numbers, and begged me to attack Tiberias, to take it by force and demolish it to the ground, and reduce its inhabitants, with their wives and children, to slavery; my own friends who had escaped from Tiberias, also gave the same advice. 100 But I did not agree, horrified at the prospect of beginning a civil war; for I thought that this quarrel should go no further than words. I said it was not expedient to do what they proposed, as the Romans were only waiting for us to destroy each other by our mutual rebellions. With these words, I calmed the anger of the Galileans.

Chapter 5. Risks run by Josephus, for the sake of justice


101 John was now afraid for himself, since his treachery had failed, so he took his soldiers and moved from Tiberias to Gischala and wrote to me in apology, as if what had been done had been without his approval and asking me not to think badly of him. He ended with oaths and horrible curses, to confirm the contents of his letter.

21. 102 The Galileans, since many more from the whole region had gathered in arms, knowing the man as a villain and a perjurer, asked me to lead them against him, to exterminate both him and Gischala. 103 I expressed gratitude to them for their readiness to serve me and promised to more than repay their good-will; but implored them to refrain and allow me do what I intended, which was to put an end to these troubles without bloodshed; and when I had prevailed on the Galileans to let me do so, I came to Sepphoris.


104 The people of this city having decided to continue faithful to the Romans, were afraid of my arrival and sought security for themselves by diverting my attention elsewhere. 105 They sent to Jesus, the warlord of the brigands in the borders of Ptolemais, promising him a large amount of money, if he would come and make war on us with his troop, which numbered eight hundred. 106 Complying with their offer, he wished to attack us when we were unprepared and knew nothing of his plans. So he sent to me asking for leave to come and pay his respects. When I had agreed, without the knowing anything of his treacherous intentions, he brought his gang of brigands and hurried to come to me. 107 Still in the end his knavery did not succeed; for as he approached, one of his men deserted him and came to me and told me what he had undertaken to do. Learning this, I went into the public square and pretending to know nothing of his treacherous purpose, took with me many armed Galileans, and also some Tiberians. 108 I ordered all the roads to be carefully guarded, and charged the gatekeepers to admit nobody but Jesus and his leaders on their arrival, and to exclude the rest; and if they tried to force their way in, to repel them with blows. 109 They did as they were bidden and Jesus came in with a few others. When I told him to throw down his arms on the spot, and that if he refused he was a dead man, seeing soldiers all round him, he was terrified and complied; and hearing of his capture, those of his followers who were locked out ran away. 110 I then called Jesus aside and told him I was not unaware of his treacherous design against me, and by whom he had been sent, but that I would forgive what he had done if he repented of it and would later be faithful to me. 111 When he promised all this, I let him go and allowed him reassemble his former troop. But I threatened to punish the Sepphorites, if they did not give up their disgraceful behaviour.


112 At this time two prominent men, subjects of the king [Agrippa]
, came to me from the region of Trachonitis, with their horses and armour and with money they had smuggled out. 113 The Jews would have forced them to be circumcised, if they wanted to stay among them, but I would not let them be compelled and said that each should worship God according to his own preference and not to be forced; and that these men should not be so treated as to regret having fled to us for safety." When I had persuaded the people, I provided the men who had come to us with all they needed for their way of living.


114 King Agrippa sent an army under Aequus Modius to destroy the Gamala fortress. However, those sent were not enough to fully surround the citadel but camped in front of it in the open ground and tried to besiege it. 115 When Ebutius the decurion, who was entrusted with ruling the great plain, heard that I was at Simonias, a village on the borders of Galilee and sixty furlongs away, by night he took a hundred horsemen with him and about two hundred infantry, and brought the people of the city of Gaba with him as allies and marched at night and came to the village where I was quartered. 116 I ranged my considerable forces opposite him, but Ebutius tried to draw us down into the plain, depending greatly upon his horsemen; but we would not come down, for I saw the advantage his horse would have if we came down into the plain, while we were all infantry; I resolved to fight the enemy on my own ground. 117 Ebutius and his party made a courageous stand for some time; but seing that his horse were useless to him in that place, he went back to the city of Gaba, having lost three men in the fight. 118 I pursued him directly with two thousand infantry; and when I was near the town of Besara, on the borders of Ptolemais, twenty furlongs from Gaba, where Ebutius was, I placed my men outside the village with orders to carefully guard the passes so that the enemy might not disturb us while we were removing the corn. 119 There was a large extent of it belonging to queen Berenice that had been collected from the neighbouring villages into Besara; so I loaded the many camels and donkeys I had brought along with me and sent the corn into Galilee. 120 Having done this, I called Ebutius to battle; but when he declined, awed by our spirit and courage, I turned against Neopolitanus, having heard that he was ravaging the country about Tiberias. 121 Neopolitanus was captain of a troop of horse, commissioned to guard Scythopolis entrusted from the enemy; when I had prevented him doing any further harm to Tiberias, I set myself to caring for Galilee.


122 But when John, son of Levi, who was at Gischala as I have said, learned how all things were succeeding for me and that I was popular with my subjects, and feared by the enemy, he was not pleased, seeing my prosperity as tending to his ruin, so he was full of bitter envy. 123 Hoping that if he could stir up my subjects to hate me, he could end my prosperity, he tried to persuade the Tiberians and Sepphoris and Gabara, the greatest cities of Galilee, to revolt from their subjection to me and come to him, assuring them that he would be a better commander than I was. 124 Sepphoris belonged to neither of us, as they had chosen allegiance to the Romans, paid no heed to him; Tiberias, while declining to revolt, aligned themselves as his friends; while Gabara did go over to John, at the persuasion of Simon, a leading man in the city and a particular friend and companion of John. 125 The people of Gabara did not openly admit their revolt, fearing the Galileans, as they had frequently seen their good-will towards me; still they secretly sought opportunity to lay snares for me, and I was in the greatest danger, as follows:

Chapter 6. Josephus's intentions are misunderstood


126 Some daring young men of the village of Dabaritta laid an ambush for the wife of the king's procurator Ptolemy, who, with a mighty attendance and some horsemen as an escort, was travelling over the great plain from territory subject to royal authority into the jurisdiction of the Romans. 127 They fell upon them suddenly and forced Ptolemy's wife to flee and plundered all her things. They came to me to Tarichea, with four mules' loaded with clothing and other items and a large amount of silver and five hundred pieces of gold. 128 I wished to keep these spoils for Ptolemy, who was my countryman and our laws forbid us even to spoil our enemies; so I told those who brought these spoils, that they should be kept, in order to rebuild the ramparts of Jerusalem with them when they came to be sold. 129 But the young men were irritated not to receive a part of those spoils for themselves, as they expected; so they went among the villages around Tiberias and told the people that I was going to betray their country to the Romans. 130 They said I had deceived them, when I said that what had been taken by their raid should be kept for rebuilding the ramparts of Jerusalem but really intended to restore these spoils again to their former owner. 131 Indeed they were not mistaken in this; for when I had gotten clear of them, I sent for two of the leading men, Dassion and Janneus the son of Levi, friends of the king, with orders to take the furniture that had been plundered and to send it to him; and I threatened to punish them with death if they revealed this to anyone.


132 This rumour went round Galilee that I was about to betray their country to the Romans and all were outraged and quick to demand my punishment, with even the Taricheans crediting the young men's accusation. 133 They persuaded my bodyguards and soldiers to leave me when I was asleep and to hurry to the hippodrome, to discuss how to deal with their commander. 133 When they had convinced them and they went there, they found a large group gathered, who were unanimously calling for punishment of one who was so base a traitor. 134 The main instigator was Jesus, the son of Sapphias, a ruler in Tiberias, an evil man naturally drawn to trouble-making in major matters, an uncommon rabble-rouser and revolutionary. Taking the law of Moses into his hands he came among the people and said, 135 "Fellow citizens, even if you cannot bring yourselves to hate Josephus, look to these laws of your country, which your highest commander is going to betray, and on their account hate and punish so insolent a criminal. "


136 After this speech was openly applauded, he hurried with some of the soldiers to the house where I lodged, to kill me. Completely unaware of this, and weary from my efforts, I had fallen asleep. 137 But my bodyguard, Simon, who alone was with me, seeing the onrush of the citizens towards me, woke me and told me of my imminent danger and asked me to die bravely, by my own hand, like a commander, before my enemies arrived and compelled me, or killed me themselves. 138 That is what he said; but I committed my life to God and made haste to go out to the people. Changing into a black robe and hanging my sword from my neck, I went to the hippodrome by a different road, where I expected none of my enemies to meet me; then appearing among them suddenly, I fell down prone and wet the ground with my tears, seeming pitiful to them all. 139 Perceiving the change this made in the people, I tried to divide their opinions before the soldiers returned from my house. I implored them that, even if I were as wicked as they supposed, they first let me tell them the reason I had reserved the money arising from the raid, and afterward they might kill me if they pleased. 140 Just as the people were telling me to speak, the soldiers arrived and seeing me, rushed to kill me; but at the people's bidding, they held off, expecting that when I admitted to having kept the money for the king, I would be killed as having confessed to treason.


141 When all were silent therefore, I said to them: "My countrymen! I do not refuse to die, if that is just. However, before I die, I want to tell you the truth of this matter. 142 Since I know this to be a city of great hospitality, filled with many who have left their own countries and come here to share in your fortune, whatever it be, I wished to fortify it using this money, about which you are so angry with me, although it be spent in building your own walls." 143 As I said this, the Taricheans and their guests cried out that they were grateful to me and told me to be of good courage, although the Galileans and the Tiberians continued wrathful against me, so that a dispute arose among them, one side threatening to kill me and the other bidding me not to heed them. 144 When I further promised that I would provide walls at Tiberias and at other cities that wanted them, they believed my promise and they all returned home. So, unexpectedly, I escaped the danger and returned to my own house, accompanied by my friends and twenty soldiers.

Chapter 7. His strength and resourcefulness as a leader


145 However, these brigands and other authors of this tumult, afraid on their own account that I might punish them for their actions, took six hundred soldiers and came to the house where I lodged, to set it on fire. 146 When I heard of their plan I thought it would be indecent to run away and resolved to expose myself to danger and to act with audacity; so I had the doors locked and went up to an upper room, asking them to send in some of their men to receive the money and in this way allay their anger at me. 147 When they had sent in one of the boldest of them all, I had him severely scourged and had one of his hands cut off and hung about his neck; and sent him out in this state to those who sent him. 148 This struck them with fright and alarm, for fear they should be similarly treated themselves if they stayed; and thinking that I had indoors more forces than they had, they hurried away. By this ruse, I escaped the second plot.


149 But there were still some who stirred up the people against me, saying that the king's noble vassals must not be allowed to live, unless they conformed to the customs of those to whom they fled for safety; they also accused them as sorcerers who made it impossible to deal with the Romans. The crowd was soon swayed by such empty allegations and accepted them as true. 150 Learning of this, I again taught the people that those who fled to them for refuge ought not to be persecuted. I also laughed at the allegation about witchcraft, telling them that the Romans would not maintain so many thousand of soldiers, if they could overcome their enemies by sorcerers. 151 As I said this, the people assented for a while; but they changed again later, stirred up by some evil people against the nobles; indeed they once made an attack on the house where they lived at Tarichea, in order to kill them. 152 I feared that if so terrible a crime took place nobody else would make that city their refuge any more. 153 Therefore with some others I came to the house where these nobles lived and locked the doors and had a trench dug from their house leading to the lake and sent for a ship and embarked in it with them and sailed to the borders of Hippos. I also paid them the value of their horses, for their horses could not have been brought in such a flight, and then dismissed them, earnestly imploring them to courageously bear their fate. 154 I was also myself very unhappy to have to expel those refugees again to enemy soil but though it preferable for them to die at Roman hands, if so it happened than in the area under my control. However, they finally escaped and king Agrippa pardoned their offenses; and so this episode ended.


155 The Tiberians wrote to the king, asking him to send troops to guard their territory, as they wanted to come over to him; that was what they wrote to him. 156 But when I reached them, they asked me to build their walls as I had promised, since they had heard that the ramparts of Tarichea were already built; I agreed to their proposal and having made preparations for the building, I set to the architects to work. 157 But on the third day, when I had gone to Tarichea, thirty furlongs from Tiberias, some Roman horsemen happened to be seen on the march, not far from the city, which made it seem that the king's forces were arriving. 158 Instantly they shouted and lifted up their voices in praise of the king and in curses against me. Someone came running to me and told me of their mood and how they were resolved to revolt from me. 159 Hearing this I was much alarmed; for from Tarichea I had already sent my soldiers off to their homes, because the next day was our Sabbath, when I wanted the Taricheans to be untroubled by the soldiers' presence. 160 Indeed, whenever I was in that city, I never took particular care to have a bodyguard because I had had frequent instances of its inhabitants' fidelity to me. 161 Now I had round me no more than seven soldiers, along with some friends, and was doubtful what to do; for I did not think it right to send to recall my own forces, as that day was almost over. 162 Even had those forces been with me, I could not take up arms the next day, since our laws forbade us to do so, even though our need be great; and if I should permit the Taricheans and the strangers with them, to guard the city, I saw that they would be inadequate for that purpose and that my own action would come too late; the forces coming from the king would precede me and I would be driven out of the city. 163 So I thought to be rid of these forces by a a ruse; immediately I placed my most trusted friends at the gates of Tarichea, to watch carefully those who went out at those gates. I also called to me the heads of families and bade them each to seize a boat and launch it with a steersman, and follow me to Tiberias. 164 I myself set sail with my friends and the seven soldiers already mentioned and sailed for Tiberias.


165 But now, when the Tiberians noticed that no forces had come from the king, yet saw the whole lake full of ships, they feared what would become of their city and terrified that the ships were fully manned, they changed their minds. 166 They threw down their weapons and met me with their wives and children and made great acclamations to me, not knowing I was aware of their intentions, and persuaded me to spare the city. 167 When I drew near, I ordered the masters of the ships to anchor far enough from shore that the Tiberians would not realise that the ships had no passengers on board; but in one of the ships I went nearer to the people and rebuked them for their foolishness, that they were so fickle as to abandon their allegiance to me without any just reason. 168 However, I assured them of a complete pardon if they would send me ten of the ringleaders. When they complied readily with this proposal and sent me the ten I mentioned, I put them on board and sent them away to Tarichea; to be kept under arrest.


169 By this ruse, little by little I got into my power all the council of Tiberias, and as many again of the leading citizens, and sent them to the aforementioned city. 170 When the people saw to what a wretched condition they were reduced, they asked me to punish the author of this rebellion, named Cleitus, a young man, bold and rash in his undertakings. 171 Considering it an impiety to put one of my own people to death and yet finding it necessary to punish him, I ordered Levi, one of my own guards, to go and cut off one of Cleitus's hands; 172 but as the one ordered to do it was afraid to leave the ship on his own, into so great a crowd, I was unwilling to have the soldier's nervousness witnessed by the Tiberians. So I called to Cleitus himself and said to him, "Since you deserve to lose both your hands for your ingratitude to me, be your own executioner, or you will suffer a worse punishment." 173 When he earnestly begged of me to spare him one of his hands, I granted it with difficulty. So, in order to prevent the loss of both his hands, he willingly took his sword and cut off his own left hand; and this put an end to the rebellion.


174 When I had gone to Tarichea, the Tiberians understood the ruse I had used on them and admired how I had put an end to their foolish rebellion without bloodshed. 175 But now, sending to bring out some of the many Tiberians from the prison, including Justus and his father Pistus, I had them sup with me; and during our supper I told them that I knew the power of the Romans was superior to all others, but had not spoken out because of the brigands. 176 I advised them to do as I did and to bide their time and not be impatient at my being in command, since their subsequent ruler would not treat them as fairly as myself. 177 I also reminded Justus how before ever I came to Jerusalem, the Galileans had cut off his brother's hands, when he was accused of being a rogue and of forging some letters; also, how the people of Gamala, in their rebellion against the Babylonians after the departure of Philip, killed Philip's kinsman, Chares, 178 and also how they had ruthlessly executed Jesus, the husband of his brother Justus's sister. After saying this to them at supper, in the morning I ordered Justus and all the rest to be released from the prison and sent away.


179 But before this, Philip, the son of Jacimus, left the Gamala fortress in the following circumstances. 180 When Philip learned that Varus had been deposed by king Agrippa and that Modius Aequus, his former friend and companion, had come to succeed him, he wrote telling him of his various experiences and asking him to forward to the king and queen the letters he had already sent. 181 Modius was very glad to receive this message and sent on the letters to their majesties, who were then in the area of Berytus. 182 But when king Agrippa found that the rumour about Philip was false, (it had been claimed that Philip was leading the Jews in a war against the Romans,) he sent some horsemen to bring Philip to him. 183 When he arrived, he greeted him very obligingly and presented him to the Roman generals as the who had been reported as having rebelled from the Romans. He told him to take some horsemen and to go quickly to the Gamala fortress and to bring his people out from there, and to reinstate the Babylonians in Batanea. 184 He also told him to take all care that none of his subjects should be guilty of any rebellion. Philip hastened to do as the king had ordered.

Chapter 8. His strong leadership, in Galilee


185 Joseph, the midwife's son then roused up a great many young men to join him and putting pressure on the magistrates at Gamala, persuaded them to revolt from the king and take up arms in the hope of regaining their liberty with them. Some they forced to comply and those who would not acquiesce in their plan, they killed. 186 They also killed Chares and one of his kinsmen, Jesus, and the brother of Justus of Tiberias, as already said. They also wrote to me, to send them an armed force and workmen to repair their city walls; I refused neither of these requests. 187 The region of Gaulanitis as far as the village of Solyma also rebelled from the king. I also built walls around Seleucia and Soganni, with very strong natural defences, and did the same for several villages of Upper Galilee, even though of themselves they were very rugged. 188 Their names are Jamnia and Ameroth and Achabare. In Lower Galilee, I also fortified Tarichea, Tiberias, Sepphoris and the villages, the cave of Arbela, Beersobe, Selamin, Jotapata, Capharecho and Sigo and Jaffa and Mount Itaburion. I stocked these places with much corn and armour, for their later security.


189 But the hatred of John, the son of Levi, towards me, aggrieved at my success, grew now more violent. He wanted to do away with me by any possible means. So, after fortifying the ramparts of Gischala, his birthplace, 190 he sent his brother Simon and Jonathan, son of Sisenna, and about a hundred soldiers, to Jerusalem, to Simon, Gamaliel's son, to persuade him to get the Jerusalem Council to remove me from commanding the Galileans, and vote to confer that authority upon himself. 191 This Simon was a native of Jerusalem and from a very noble family of the sect of the Pharisees, who are the unrivalled experts in their ancestral laws. 192 He was a man of great wisdom and judgment, brilliant enough to restore public affairs from their bad position. He was John's old friend and companion but had a difference with me. 193 On receiving this request, he persuaded the high priests, Ananus and Jesus the son of Gamala and some others of their party, to clip my wings, and not let me grow to the height of glory, and that it would be for their advantage if I were deprived of the government of Galilee. Ananus and his friends asked them not to delay about the matter, for fear that I should learn their plans and come and attack the city with a large army. 194 This was Simon's advice; but Artanus the high priest showed them that this was hard to do, since many of the high priests and of the leaders of the people testified how well I had behaved as general and that it was a wicked thing to accuse a man in the wrong.


195 When Simon heard this from Ananus, he asked the messengers to keep it secret and not let it come to the hearing of many; he himself would see to have me quickly removed from Galilee. He called for John's brother, and got him to send gifts to Ananus and his friends as a means of persuading them to change their minds. 196 Eventually Simon did achieve his purpose, when, corrupted by bribes, Artanus and his friends agreed to expel me out of Galilee, without telling the rest of the citizens what they were doing. They resolved to send a deputation of men of separate social groups and also of distinguished learning. 197 Two of these, Jonathan and Ananias, were of humble stock, by sect Pharisees; while the third, Jozar, was of priestly stock and also a Pharisee; and Simon, the last of them, was the youngest of the high priests. 198 These were instructed to go to the ordinary Galilean people and ask them the reason for their devotion to me. If they said that it was because I was from Jerusalem, they would answer that all four of them were born there too; and if it was because of my knowledge of their law, that they too were not unacquainted with the customs of their fathers; but if it was because of my priesthood, they should answer that two of them were priests also.


199 When they had briefed Jonathan and his companions they gave them forty thousand silver pieces from public funds. 200 And when they heard of a Galilean named Jesus then staying in Jerusalem, with a band of six hundred soldiers, they sent for him and gave him three months pay to go with Jonathan and his companions and take orders from them. They also assigned three hundred citizens of Jerusalem, with money to maintain them all, sencing them also with the envoys. 201 As soon as this was agreed and they had gotten ready for the march, Jonathan and his companions went out with them, along with John's brother and a hundred soldiers. 202 The command they had from those who sent them was this: If I voluntarily laid down my arms, they should send me alive to Jerusalem, but if I opposed them, to kill me without hesitation, since those were their orders. 203 They also wrote to John to be ready to attack me and ordered the Sepphorites and Gabara and Tiberias to send allies to John.


204 My father wrote to me about this, for he heard it from Jesus the son of Gamalas, a friend and companion of mine who was present in that council. I was very troubled that my fellow citizens proved so ungrateful and envious to me, as to order to have me killed, and also at father's earnest request in his letter, that I visit him, as he longed to see his son before he died. 205 I told my friends of these things and that in three days' time I should leave the district and go home. Hearing this, they were all sad and asked me, with tears in their eyes, not to abandon them to their ruin, which they expected if deprived of my leadership. 206 Taking care of my own safety, I did not yield, so dreading that my departure would leave them at the mercy of the brigands, they sent messengers over all Galilee to tell of my intention to leave them. 207 As soon as they heard it, they gathered in large numbers, from all parts, with their wives and children, influenced, I think, less by their affection for me than by their fear for themselves; for they expected to suffer no harm while I remained with them. So they all came into the great plain called Asochis, where I lived.


208 That very night I saw in my dreams a wonderful vision. When I had gone to my bed, grieved and troubled at the news in the letter, 209 it seemed to me that someone stood near me, who said, "Man, stop afflicting your soul and put away all fear; for what now grieves you will render you great and prosperous in all things; for you shall succeed not only in these difficulties, but in many others. So do not fret, but remember that you are to fight even the Romans." 210 Heartened by this dream, I got up, intending to go down to the plain. When the whole crowd of the Galileans, with the women and children, saw me, they fell down on their faces, and begged me with tears not to leave them open to their enemies, nor go away and let their country be harmed by them. 211 When their pleas failed, they urged me with oaths to stay with them, and they bitterly reproached the people of Jerusalem, for not letting their country enjoy peace.

43. 212 Hearing this and seeing the people's dejection, I was moved to pity them and thought it right for me to take even significant risks for the sake of so large a group. So I indicated I would stay with them, and then ordered five thousand of them to come to me with weapons and provisions, sending the rest away home. 213 When those five thousand arrived, taking them along with three thousand of the soldiers that I had already and eighty horsemen, I marched to the village of Chabolo, situated in the borders of Ptolemais and gathered my forces there, pretending to get ready to fight with Placidus. 214 He had arrived with two cohorts of infantry and one troop of horsemen, sent there by Cestius Gallus to burn the Galilean villages that were near Ptolemais. As he was building a blocade before the city of the Ptolemies, I also encamped about sixty furlongs from the village. 215 Now we often brought out our forces as if to fight, but proceeded no further than shooting from a distance; for the more Placidus saw me willing to fight him, the more he was alarmed and avoided it, yet he did not move away from Ptolemais.

Chapter 9. He foils several plots to remove him from power


216 About this time Jonathan and his fellow legates arrived. They were sent, as I said, by Simon and Ananus the high priest. and Jonathan sought to catch me by treachery, not daring to attack me openly. 217 So he wrote me the following letter: "Jonathan and those sent with him by the people of Jerusalem to Josephus, greeting. We are sent by the authorities in Jerusalem, who have heard that John of Gischala has often conspired against you, to reprimand him and urge him to be subject to you in future. 218 Wishing to consult with you about our common concerns and what should be done, we want you to come to us quickly with only a few attendants; for this village cannot receive a troop of soldiers." 219 So they wrote, expecting one of two things; either that I would come without soldiers and then they would have me in their grasp; or, if I came with a large force, they would condemn me as a public enemy. 220 Now a horseman brought the letter, a bold young man who had formerly soldiered under the king. It was the second hour of the night that he came, when I was dining with my friends and the leaders of Galilee. 221 When my servant announced the arrival of a horseman from Judea, he was called in at my command, and without any word of greeting held out a letter and said, "Those from Jerusalem have sent you this letter ; write your reply quickly; for I must return to them very soon."

222 My guests were amazed at the soldier's impudence, but I asked him to sit down and sup with us. When he refused, I kept the letter in my hands as I received it and continued the conversation with my guests about other matters. 223 Not long after, I got up and sending the others to their beds, I had four of my closest friends stay and while ordering my servant to prepare some wine, I opened the letter in such a way that nobody could notice; and quickly grasping its import, I sealed it up again. 224 Seeming not to have read it, and merely holding it in my hands, I ordered that twenty drachmae be given to the soldier for travelling expenses; and when he took the money and thanked me for it, I noticed his love of money and that he could be caught chiefly by means of it. I said to him, "If you will just drink with us, you shall have a drachma for each glass [you drink]
." 225 He gladly agreed and, in order to make more money, drank a lot of wine and got so drunk that at last he could not keep his secrets, but blurted out without being questioned, how a plot had been hatched and that I was sentenced to death by them. Hearing this, I wrote back as follows:

226 "Josephus to Jonathan and his colleagues, greetings. I am glad to hear that you have come in good health to Galilee, especially since I can now hand over to you the care of public affairs here, and return home. 227 This is what I have wanted for a long while. Even without your command, I ought to have come to greet you, not only as far as Xaloth, but even further. But please excuse me that I cannot do so now, since I am here at Chabolo keeping watch on Placidus, who is planning to come up into Galilee. Therefore, when you receive this letter, come here to me. Farewell."


228 After writing this and giving the letter to the soldier to bring, I sent with him thirty of the most prominent Galileans to greet those envoys, but to say nothing else to them. To each of them I assigned a trustworthy soldier, to watch and see that those I had sent had no conversation with Jonathan's people. 229 So they went off, and when Jonathan's party had failed in their first attempt, they sent me another letter, along these lines: "Jonathan and his companions, to Josephus, greetings. We require you to come to us without military escort, to the village of Gabaroth within three days, that we may hear your accusations against John." 230 After they wrote this letter, they greeted the Galileans I had sent and came to Japha, the largest village of all Galilee, which was surrounded by very strong walls and had a large population. There the people, including wives and children, met them and shouted at them to be gone and not begrudge them their excellent general. 231 Though irritated by these protests, Jonathan's group dared not show their anger openly, so they made no answer but went on to other villages. But the same protests met them from all the people, who roared that no one could persuade them to have any other general but Josephus. 232 So Jonathan's group left them without success and came to Sepphoris, the greatest city of all Galilee. The men of that city, whose preference inclined to the Romans, did indeed meet them, but neither praised nor reproached me. 233 When they went down from Sepphoris to Asochis, the people of that place shouted against them, as those of Japha had done. Unable to restrain themselves any longer, they told the soldiers with them to beat the protesters with their clubs. On their arrival at Gabara, John met them with three thousand soldiers. 234 Knowing from their letter that they had resolved to attack me, and wishing to be near to them, I left behind in my camp one of my firmest friends and set out from Chabolo with three thousand soldiers, and came to Jotapata, no more than forty furlongs away. Then I wrote to them as follows: 235 "If you seriously want me to come to you, you know there are two hundred and forty cities and villages in Galilee; I will come to any of them you please, except Gabara and Gischala, as one of them is John's native city and the other is in alliance and friendship with him."


236 When Jonathan and his partners received this letter, they wrote me no more replies, but summoned a meeting of their friends including John, and planned together how to lay hands upon me. 237 John held that they should write to every city and village in Galilee, for in each there must be certainly one or two whose views differed from mine, who could be called upon to oppose me as an enemy. He wanted them to send this decree to the citizens of Jerusalem, that seeing me judged an enemy by the Galileans, they should confirm that decree. When this happened, even my Galilean supporters would desert me out of fear. 238 This counsel of John's was well received by the others. 239 News of these matters reached me about the third hour of the night, through Saccheus, who had been on their side but now deserted them and came over to me and told me their plans and said that there was no time to be lost. 240 So I told Jacob, a soldier of my bodyguard, whom I deemed faithful to me, to take two hundred men and guard the routes leading from Gabara to Galilee and to seize all who came through and send them to me, especially if they were carrying letters. 241 I also sent another of my friends, Jeremias, with six hundred soldiers, to the borders of Galilee, to watch the roads leading from that district to Jerusalem, with orders to arrest any who travelled carrying letters, to imprison the men where they were but to send me the letters.


242 After giving them these orders, I sent to the Galileans to join me the next day, bringing their weapons and food for three days. I separated my company into four parts and assigned those that were most faithful to me as my bodyguard, and I set officers over them, with orders that no soldier whom they did not know should be let mix with them. 243 Reaching Gabaroth about the fifth hour of the following day, I found the entire plain in front of the village full of soldiers, who had come from Galilee to help me, and many others were hurrying in from the villages. 244 When I stood up and began to address them, they greeted me with acclamations, calling me the benefactor and saviour of their country. I thanked them and advised them not to attack anybody, nor to soil their hands with looting, but to camp in the plain and be content with their rations; for I said that my wish was to settle these troubles without bloodshed. 245 Now on that very day the guards whom I had appointed to watch the roads captured some letter-bearers sent by John. The men themselves were arrested on the spot, as I had ordered, but when I got the letters, which were full of reproaches and lies, without saying a word of them to anybody, I planned to go against them [the authors]


246 When Jonathan's friends heard of my coming, they retreated with John to the residence of Jesus, a large castle like a citadel. Here they hid a band of soldiers and locked all the doors except one which they kept open, waiting for me to come to greet them after my journey. 247 They had ordered the soldiers to let nobody come in but me, excluding all others; so they expected to have me easily at their mercy. 248 But their hopes were disappointed, for I saw their plot and at the end of my march took up lodgings across the road, and pretended to go to sleep there. 249 Jonathan and his party, thinking me really asleep and at rest, hastened to go down into the open, to persuade the people that I was a bad governor. 250 But the matter proved otherwise; for as soon as they appeared, the Galileans shouted out their good opinion of me as their governor; they criticised Jonathan and his partners for coming to them unprovoked, to throw their affairs into disorder, and ordered them to leave, as they were determined to accept no other ruler but myself. 251 When I heard this, I no longer hesitated to go down but immediately went to hear what Jonathan's group had to say. At my appearance, the whole crowd acclaimed me and shouted my praises, expressing gratitude for my leadership.


252 When Jonathan and his companions heard this, they were afraid for their own lives and in danger of being attacked by the Galileans for my sake. They sought a way out but were unable to get away, for I told them to stay, so they had to stand there and listen as I spoke. 253 I told the people to stop their shouting and placed the most faithful of my soldiers at the exits, to guard us against an unexpected attack by John. I encouraged the Galileans to hold their weapons, for fear of being troubled by their enemies, if any sudden attack be made on them. 254 Then I reminded Jonathan and his partners first of all how they had written to me that they were sent by the council of Jerusalem to resolve the differences between me and John and how they had asked me to come to them. 255 As I said this, I publicly showed the letter they had written, so that they could not deny it, with the letter itself as proof against them. 256 Then I said, "Jonathan, and you his fellow-delegates, if I were to be judged in John's presence regarding my behaviour, and only brought here two or three good and true witnesses, it is clear that when you saw their characters, you would have to drop the accusations. 257 Now so that you may be convinced that I have acted well in the affairs of Galilee, I think three witnesses too few to be brought by a man who has done his duty; so I gave you all these people as witnesses. 258 Ask them how I have lived and whether I have not behaved decently and virtuously among them. An I urge you, my Galileans, to hide nothing of the truth, but declare before these men as before judges, whether in anything I have acted otherwise than well."


259 as I was said this, the people together with one voice called me their benefactor and saviour and attested to my past behaviour and urged me to continue the same in the future. They all swore that their wives had been preserved from harm and that no one had ever suffered injury from me. 260 After this, I read to the Galileans two of the letters sent by Jonathan's group, which those whom I had appointed to guard the highway had taken and sent to me. These were full of reproaches and lies, claiming that I had acted with them more like a tyrant than a governor. 261 There were many other things in them, which were no less than outright lies. I told the people how I came by these letters and that those who carried them handed them over voluntarily; for I did not want my enemies to know about the guards I had set, since out of fear they might in the future give up writing letters.


262 Hearing this, the people were so angry at Jonathan and his colleagues that they would have attacked and killed them, and this they would certainly have done, if I had not restrained the Galileans' anger and said that I forgave Jonathan's group what was past, if they would repent and go back to their own region and tell those who sent them the truth about my conduct. 263 Saying this I let them go, although knowing well that they would fulfil none of their promises; but the people were enraged at them and begged me to let them punish them for their insolence. 264 I did everything I could to persuade them to spare the men; for I knew that every civil conflict is harmful to the common good. But the crowd was too angry with them to be dissuaded and they all went immediately to the house where Jonathan's group lodged. 265 When I saw that their rage could not be restrained, I got on a horse and ordered the crowds to follow me to the village of Sogane, which was twenty furlongs from Gabara, and in this way I guarded myself against seeming to begin a civil war.


266 As I approached Sogane, I got the people to halt and urged them not to be so easily stirred to anger nor to inflict punishments that could not later be recalled. I also commanded that a hundred men, of mature age and prominent among them, should get ready to go to Jerusalem with a complaint against those who were splitting the district into factions. 267 I said, "If they are moved by what you say, ask the council to write to me and with orders to continue in Galilee and orders for Jonathan's group to leave it." 268 When I had given them these instructions and they got ready as fast as they could, the third day after the meeting I sent them on this errand, escorted by five hundred soldiers. 269 I also wrote to my friends in Samaria, to provide them safe passage through the district. For Samaria was already under the Romans and for a rapid transit it was absolutely necessary to pass through there; for by that route you may get from Galilee to Jerusalem in three days. 270 I myself conducted the delegates as far as the borders of Galilee, posting guards on the roads, that it might not be easily known how they had gone. With this done, I settled at Jaffa.


271 Having failed to accomplish their plan against me, Jonathan's group sent John back to Gischala, but went themselves to Tiberias, expecting it to submit to them, since Jesus, then its governor, had written them a letter, promising that if they came the people would receive them and elect to join them. 272 So they set out with this expectation. But Silas, whom, as I said, I had left in charge of Tiberias, told me of it and asked me to hurry there. I complied immediately with his advice and came there, but found my own life in danger, in this way: 273 Jonathan's group had been at Tiberias and had persuaded many who had differed with me to desert me; but when they heard of my coming, they were feared for themselves and came out to me. After greeting me, they said that I was a fortunate man in having behaved so well in the government of Galilee; and they congratulated me for the honours that were paid me. 274 For they said that my glory was a credit to them, as my teachers and fellow citizens; they also said that it was only just for them to prefer my friendship rather than John's and that they would have immediately gone home, and only stayed in order to hand over John into my power. 275 As they said this they swore to it with oaths of the most fearful kind amongst us, such as I did not think fit to doubt. However, they asked me to lodge somewhere else, because the next day was the Sabbath, when it was not right, they said, to inconvenience the city of the Tiberians.


276 Suspecting nothing I went away to Tarichea; yet I also left some behind, to find out what was said in the city about us. I also set several people along the road from Tarichea to Tiberias, to pass along any news they might learn from those that were back in the city. 277 Next day there was a meeting in the prayer-house, a large building that could hold a large number of people. Jonathan went in and though he dared not openly speak of a revolt, he said that their city needed a better governor than it then had. 278 Jesus their leader had no such scruple and said openly, "Fellow citizens, it is better for you to be ruled by four rather than one; and by those those that are of high birth and with a reputation for wisdom," pointing to Jonathan's group. 279 As he said this, Justus entered and supported him and persuaded some others of the people to share this view too. But the majority were not pleased with what was said and would have certainly gone into an uproar, except that the arrival of the sixth hour dissolved the meeting, at which hour our laws require us to go to dinner on Sabbath days. So Jonathan's group put off their council until the next day and went off without success.

280 When told of these matters, I decided to go in the morning to Tiberias. Next day, about the first hour of daylight, I came from Tarichea and found the people already gathered in the prayer-house; but those that were there did not know why they had convened. 281 When Jonathan's group saw me there unexpectedly, they were shaken, and invented a rumour that Roman horsemen had been seen at the border, at a place called Union, thirty furlongs from the city. 282 When this fictitious report arrived, Jonathan's people urged me not to look about me while the land was plundered by the enemy. Their aim was to get me out of the way, under pretext that my help was needed, and in my absence make the city hostile to me.


283 Although aware of their plan, I complied with their proposal, for fear the Tiberians should think me heedless of their security. Out I went, but when I reached the place I found not the least trace of any enemy, 284 so back I came as fast as I could and found the whole council and the body of the people asembled, and Jonathan's group bringing hot accusations against me, that I had no concern to spare them the burdens of war and that I lived luxuriously. 285 As they said this, they produced four letters, as written to them from some people who lived at the borders of Galilee, imploring their help, because an army of Romans, both horsemen and infantry, was about to lay waste the country in three days time; they asked them also to hurry and not to ignore them.

286 When the Tiberians heard this, they thought they spoke truth and complained against me and said I ought not to sit idly by, but to go off to the help of their countrymen. 287 At this, knowing the intentions of Jonathan's group, I said I was ready to agree with what they proposed and to march without delay to the war they spoke about, yet I also advised them that since these letters claimed that the Romans would make their attack in four separate places, they should divide their forces into five troops and make Jonathan's group generals of each troop of them, 288 for it was the task of brave men not only to give advice but to act as leaders and help their countrymen when such a need arose, for, said I, "it is impossible for me to lead more than one troop." 289 My advice was favoured by the majority; so they compelled them to go out to the war. When their plans failed due to my counter-ruse, they were embarrassed beyond measure.


290 One of them called Ananias, a wicked and very mischievous man, proposed a public fast for the next day for all the people in God's name, calling for them to assemble at the same hour and the same place, without weapons, to display before God that they considered all these weapons useless as long as they had his help. 291 This he said, not from piety, but in order to catch me and my friends unarmed. I had to agree, for fear of seeming to despise a devout proposal. 292 As soon as we had gone home, Jonathan's group wrote to John to come to them in the morning and to bring as many soldiers as he possibly could, for then they could easily to get me into their hands and do what they wanted to do. When John received this letter, he decided to agree. 293 The next day I told two of my bodyguards whom I deemed the bravest and most faithful, to accompany me with daggers hidden under their dress, for self defence if any attack were made by our enemies. I myself took my breastplate and wearing my sword as inconspicuously as possible, came into the prayer-house.


294 Jesus, who was in charge, told them to exclude all who came with me, for he guarded the door himself and let none in except his friends. 295 While we were engaged in the duties of the day and had attended to our prayers, Jesus got up and asked me what became of the vessels and uncoined silver taken from the king's palace when it was burnt down, and style="mso-spacerun: yes"> who held them now. He said this just to pass the time until John's arrival. 296 I said that Capella and the ten leading Tiberians had them and could say if I was lying or not. When they affirmed they had them, he asked me, "What became of those twenty pieces of gold you got at the sale of some uncoined money?" 297 I replied that I had given them to their own envoys as a travel allowance, when they were sent by them to Jerusalem but Jonathan's group said it was wrong to pay the envoys out of public money. 298 As the people were exasperated with them, aware of their malice, I saw that a riot was at hand, and wanting to provoke the people to greater rage against the men, I said, "But if I have done wrong in paying our envoys out of the public stock, stop being angry at me, for I will repay the twenty pieces of gold myself."

Chapter 10. He defeats his opponents and grants them amnesty


299 When I had said this, Jonathan's group held their peace; but the people were still more stirred up against them, as they had openly shown their unjust ill-will to me. 300 Seeing this change in the people, Jesus made them leave but asked the council to stay, since they could not examine things of this nature in such a roudy scene. 301 As the people called out that they would not leave me alone, a messenger came and secretly told Jesus and his friends that John and his soldiers were at hand, so Jonathan's group, no longer restraining themselves, (and perhaps the providence of God saved me through this, for had it not happened I would certainly have been killed by John,) said, 302 "People of Tiberias, be done with this inquiry about the twenty pieces of gold. It is not for them that Josephus has deserved to die; but for wanting to be a tyrant and deceiving the Galilean people with his speeches, to gain power over them." As he was saying this, they laid hands upon me to kill me. 303 But as soon as my supporters saw what they were doing, they drew their swords, threatening to strike if any violence was done to me. The people also took up stones to throw at Jonathan; and so they hurried me away from the violence of my enemies.


304 But on my way out, I almost bumped into John, who was coming in with his soldiers. I turned aside from him in alarm and escaping through a narrow passage to the lake I seized a boat, embarked in it and sailed over to Tarichea. So, beyond all expectation, I escaped this danger. 305 Immediately I sent for the chief Galileans and told them how, despite all the promises given by Jonathan's friends and the Tiberians, I had very nearly been killed by them. 306 At this the ordinary Galileans were furious and urged me to delay no longer in making war, but to let them proceed against John and the friends of Jonathan, and wipe them out. 307 I still restrained them, furious as they were, and asked them to delay a while, until we should hear the report of the envoys they had sent to Jerusalem, since only with their advice would we know what was best to do. 308 My words convinced them. At this time also, when the snares he had laid proved a failure, John went back to Gischala.


309 A few days later the envoys he had sent returned and told us that the people were indignant at Ananus and Simon, son of Gamaliel, and their friends, for having sent people to Galilee without public support, to try to have me removed from the province. 310 The envoys said that the people were ready to burn those men's houses and brought letters in which, at the people's earnest request, the Jerusalem leaders confirmed me as governor of Galilee and ordered Jonathan's group to return home quickly. 311 Armed with these letters, I came to the village of Arbela, where I called a meeting of the Galileans and bade the envoys tell them about what had occurred and the anger and hatred expressed at the wicked conduct of Jonathan's group; 312 also, how I had been confirmed as governor of their district, and of the order they had in writing for Jonathan's group to return home; and I sent them the letter immediately, telling the bearer to enquire, as best he could, how they intended to proceed.


313 They were greatly shaken on receiving the letter and sent for John and the senators of Tiberias and the leading men of the Gabarenes, proposing to hold a meeting to consider what they ought to do. 314 The Tiberians were strongly disposed to take things in hand themselves, thinking it wrong to desert their city, now it was in their power, especially since I would soon attack them, as they falsely pretended that I had made such a threat. 315 Now John not only shared this view but advised that two of them should go to accuse me to the crowd, of not properly managing the affairs of Galilee; and that their rank would easily persuade the people, because the populace are very fickle. 316 When John's proposal pleased them best, they voted that two of them, Jonathan and Ananias, should go to the people of Jerusalem while the other two stayed behind in Tiberias. They took with them an escort of a hundred soldiers.


317 The Tiberians took care to have their city walls strengthened, and told the inhabitants to carry their weapons and sent to John for a number of soldiers to help them against me should occasion arise; now that John was at Gischala. 318 Therefore Jonatjan and his friends left Tiberias and about midnight, when they had reached Dabaritta, a village on the border of Galilee in the great plain, they met with the guards I had set, who ordered them to lay down their weapons and put them in chains on the spot, as I had instructed them. 319 This news was reported by Levi, whom I had put in command of that patrol. I said nothing about it for two days; and, pretending to be unaware of it, I sent a message to the Tiberians advising them to lay down their arms and tell the envoys to go home. 320 But thinking that Jonathan and his friends had already reached Jerusalem, they answered me with insults. Undaunted, I used another ruse against them, 321 thinking it would be wrong to kindle the flame of war against the citizens. As I wished to draw them out of Tiberias, I chose ten thousand of my best soldiers and divided them into three groups, with orders to remain concealed in ambush, at Adomah. 322 I sent a thousand into another village in the hills, four furlongs from Tiberias, with orders that at my signal, they should immediately come down, while I myself took up position within sight of the village. 323 Seeing me, the Tiberians made frequent sorties out of the city and shouted curses at me. Indeed their foolery went so far that they made an elegant bier for me, and standing round it, they mourned my death with jesting and laughter and I could not help being amused at the sight of their tomfoolery.


324 Wanting to trap Simon and Joazar I invited them to come a little way out of the city with many friends to protect them; for I said I would come down to parley with them and share with them the leadership of Galilee. 325 Due to his imprudence and his hopes of profit, Simon fell for this trick and came without delay; but Joazar held back, suspecting the trap laid for him. So when Simon came out, with his friends acting as a bodyguard for him, I met him and greeted him cordially, professing my gratitude that he had come. 326 Not long after, when walking beside him as though to say something to him in private, after leading him a good way from his friends I caught him around the waist and handed him over to my friends who were with me, to bring him into a village; and, ordering my soldiers to come down, I attacked Tiberias with them. 327 After hard fighting on both sides and when some my infantry fled and the Tiberians were winning, I saw the situation and rallying those around me, chased the victorious Tiberians into their city. I sent another band of soldiers into the city by way of the lake with orders to set fire to the first house they could seize. 328 When this was done, the Tiberians thought their city had been taken by storm and threw down their arms in fear and, with their wives and children, begged me to spare their city. 329 Yielding to their pleas I restrained the soldiers from pursuing them vigourously, and in the evening I abandoned the siege with my soldiers and retired for bodily refreshment. 330 Inviting Simon to sup with me, I consoled him about what had happened and promised to send him and his group safe and secure to Jerusalem and give them provisions for the journey there.


331 Next day I went to Tiberias with ten thousand men and summoned the leading citizens to the stadium, demanding to know who were the authors of the revolt. 332 When they told me who they were, I sent the men bound to the city of Jotapata. But I freed Jonathan and Ananias from their chains and gave them provisions for their journey, and sent them along with Simon and Joazar to Jerusalem, with five hundred soldiers as escort. 333 The Tiberians came to me again, asking my forgiveness for what they had done, promising to make amends for their past wrongs by their future fidelity to me, and imploring me to recover the remainder of the plunder for those that had lost everything. 334 So I ordered those who had got it, to bring it all into the open. When for a long while they did not comply and I saw one of my soldiers wearing an extraordinarily magnificent garment, I asked him how he had got it. 335 When he replied that he got it from the plunder of the city, I had him punished with beating; then I threatened all the rest with more severe punishment if they did not bring us whatever they had plundered; and when a great many spoils were brought together, I restored to each of the Tiberians what they claimed as their own.


336 At this stage of my narrative, I wish to say a few things to Justus, who has also written a history about these events, and to others who profess to write history but have little regard for truth and whether from ill-will or favour do not hesitate to lie. 337 They act like forgers of deeds and conveyances but style="mso-spacerun: yes"> disregard the truth since they are not subject to similar punishment. 338 When Justus undertook to write about these facts and about the war, in order to look industrious he made up his statements about me and could not speak the truth even about his own country. Being maligned by him, I must defend myself and so I shall tell what I have concealed up to now. 339 Let no one wonder that I have not told these things already, for although a historian should write the truth, he is not strictly bound to comment on the malice of individuals, not from any favour to them, but from the author's own sense of propriety.

340 How then, Justus, you cleverest of writers, (addressing him as if he were present,) for so you boast of yourself, is it that I and the Galileans caused your district to rebel against the Romans and against the king? 341 For before ever I was appointed governor of Galilee by the community of Jerusalem, both you and all the Tiberians had not only taken up arms, but had made war on Decapolis of Syria. It was you who ordered their villages to be burnt and a domestic servant of yours fell in the battle. 342 It is not I alone who say this; but so it is written in the Commentaries of Vespasian the emperor; as also how the people of Decapolis came clamouring to Vespasian at Ptolemais and asked that you be punished as the culprit. 343 You certainly would have been punished at Vespasian's command, if king Agrippa, who was entrusted with your execution, had not commuted your penalty from death to a long imprisonment, at the earnest petition of his sister Berenice. 344 Your subsequent political administration also clearly reveals other aspects of your behaviour and that it was you who caused your country's revolt from the Romans; plain signs of which I shall produce shortly.

345 Let me say a few things about you to the rest of the Tiberians and prove to those who encounter this history that you were no friend either to the Romans or to the king. 346 Justus, the greatest cities of Galilee were Sepphoris and your own native Tiberias. But while Sepphoris, situated in the very centre of Galilee and surrounded by many villages, could easily have put up a bold resistance to the Romans, if they had so pleased, they still resolved to continue faithful to them as their masters, and excluded me from their city and let none of their citizens join with the Jews in the war. 347 In order to protect themselves from me, they tricked me and got my permission to fortify their city with walls: they also, of their own accord, accepted a garrison of Roman legions, sent them by Cestius Gallus, who was then governor of Syria and so despised me, though I was then very powerful and all others feared me. 348 Similarly when Jerusalem, the greatest of our cities, was besieged and our temple, which belonged to us all, was in danger of falling into the enemy's power, they sent it no help, unwilling to seem to bear arms against the Romans. 349 But your own native place, Justus, situated on the lake of Gennesareth only thirty furlongs from Hippos, sixty from Gadara and a hundred and twenty from Scythopolis, which was under the king's jurisdiction, and with no Jewish city nearby, how easily it might have stayed faithful to the Romans. 350 The population was large and you had plenty of weapons. But you say it was I who instigated the revolt; then pray, Justus, who instigated it later? For you know that before Jerusalem was besieged I was in the power of the Romans, and Jotapata had been taken by force, and many other fortress, and that many of the Galileans had fallen in the war. 351 Then was the proper time, when you were certainly freed from any fear on my account, to throw down your arms and demonstrate to the king and to the Romans, that it was not by choice, but only under necessity, that you were driven into war against them. 352 But you waited until Vespasian himself came as far as your walls, with his whole army; and then indeed out of fear you laid aside your weapons and your city would for certain have been taken by storm, if Vespasian had not heard with the king's plea for you and excused your madness. It was not I, therefore, who instigated all this, but your own lust for war. 353 Do you not remember how I often had you in my power and yet put none of you to death? Indeed you once began fighting each other, not for any love for the king and the Romans but due to your own malice, and killed one hundred and eighty-five of your citizens, while I was besieged by the Romans in Jotapata. 354 Indeed, were there not as many as two thousand Tiberians caught in the siege of Jerusalem, some of whom were killed and the rest taken prisoner? But you claim that you did not engage in the war, since you fled to the king. Yes, indeed, you did flee to him; but only out of fear of me. 355 You say it was I who was the bad one. But then, why was it that king Agrippa, who saved your life when you were condemned to death by Vespasian, and lavished such riches on you, later had you imprisoned twice and as often made you flee the country, and once, after ordering you to be executed, granted you a pardon at the earnest wish of Berenice? 356 After all your trickery, when he made you his secretary, he caught you tricking again and drove you out of his sight; but I shall enquire no further into these matters.

357 Yet I cannot I but be amazed at your impudence, that you dare to claim that your report is better than that of all others who have written about it, while you neither knew what happened in Galilee - since you were then at Berytus with the king - nor what the Romans suffered or inflicted on us at the siege of Jotapata; nor could you find out what I myself did during that siege; for all who might have such information died in that siege. 358 Still, you may perhaps claim to have described exactly what was done against the people of Jerusalem. But how could that be? You neither took part in that war, nor have you read the emperor's commentaries, as is evident from the fact that you contradicted those commentaries in your history. 359 But if you are so bold as to claim that your history is better than all the rest, why did you not publish it while the emperors Vespasian and Titus, the generals in that war, as well as king Agrippa and his family, all skilled in Hellenistic culture, were still alive? 360 For you had written it twenty years ago and at that time could have had their testimony to your accuracy. But only now, when these are no longer with us and you think you cannot be contradicted, you venture to publish it.

361 I had no such fear about my own writing, but I presented my books to the emperors themselves, when the facts were barely faded from sight; for I was conscious of preserving the truth of the facts; and as I was confident of their testimony to them, my hopes were not disappointed. 362 Moreover, I immediately presented my history to many others, some of whom were involved in the war, as was king Agrippa and some of his family. 363 The emperor Titus was so anxious that people should learn of these matters only from my books, that he signed them himself and ordered that they be published. 364 And king Agrippa wrote me sixty-two letters attesting to the truth of my record, two of which I have attached here, that you may know what is written in them:

365 "King Agrippa to dearest Josephus, greetings. I have read the book with great pleasure. Of all writers, you appear to me to have written these things with far the greatest care and accuracy. Send me the remaining volumes. Farewell."

366 "King Agrippa to dearest Josephus, greetings. From what you wrote, you seem to need no instruction, in order to let us know all things from the beginning. But when you meet me, I will inform you of much that is unknown."

367 So when this history was finished, it was neither by way of flattery, for that was not his way, nor, as you will claim, by way of irony (for he was above such malice) but quite sincerely, that he, like all who have read these histories, attested to their truth. Here I end my digression about Justus which he forced upon me.


368 When I had settled the affairs of Tiberias I called a meeting of my friends and consulted them on what to do about John. The unanimous opinion of the Galileans was that I should arm them and march against John to punish him as the author of all the disorders that had happened. 369 Yet I did not share their view, as I wished to resolve these troubles without bloodshed, so I urged them to carefully find out the names of all that were under John. 370 When they had done this and I knew who the men were, I published an edict, offering security and my guarantee to those of John's side who wished to repent; I allowed twenty days' time to any who wished to take this course for their own good. I also threatened, if they did not throw down their arms, to would burn their houses and offer their goods for public sale. 371 When they heard this, they were alarmed and deserted John; and four thousand of them threw down their arms and joined me. 372 Only his fellow-citizens stayed with John, with about fifteen hundred aliens from the metropolis of Tyre; and outmanoeuvred by me, from then on John was afraid and stayed in his own town.

Chapter 11. His efforts to spare Sepphoris and Tiberias


373 About this time the Sepphorites, confident in the strength of their walls and because they seeing me busy with other matters, insolently took up arms. They sent to Cestius Gallus, the governor of Syria, asking him either to come quickly and take their city under his protection, or to send them a garrison. 374 Accordingly, Gallus promised to come, but did not say when he would come; so when I learned this, I took my soldiers and attacked the Sepphorites and took the city by force. 375 The Galileans, seeing this as an this opportunity to vent their hatred on a city they detested, rushed forward intending to destroy them all including the aliens living there. 376 So they rushed in and finding their houses empty, set them on fire, for the people had fled in fear to the citadel. They looted everything and spared their countrymen no kind of misery. 377 I was distressed at this and ordered them to stop, reminding them that it was impious to do such things to their own countrymen. 378 But since they heeded neither my urgings nor my orders, for their hatred for the people there was stronger than all my words, I bade my closest and most faithful friends to spread a rumour that the Romans were attacking the other side of the city with a large army. 379 This I did so that, when this report spread around it would restrain the violence of the Galileans and save the city of Sepphoris. 380 In the end this plan worked; for when they heard this report, fearing for their own selves they left off looting and ran away; and especially when they saw me, their general, also doing the same; for, to make this report credible I also pretended to be as much afraid as they. That is how the Sepphorites were unexpectedly saved by this trick of mine.


381 Indeed, even Tiberias narrowly escaped being plundered by the Galileans, on the following occasion: The leaders of the council wrote to the king, asking him to come to them and take over their city. 382 The king promised to come and wrote a letter in response, giving it to his chamberlain, named Crispus, who was by birth a Jew, to bring it to Tiberias. 383 When the Galileans learned that this man carried such a letter, they caught him and brought him to me; and as soon as the crowd heard of it, they were enraged and took to arms. 384 Next day a great many of them came from all quarters to the town of Asochis, where I was then staying and bitterly complained, calling the city of Tiberias a traitor to them and a friend to the king; and asking my leave to go down and utterly destroy it; for they hated the Tiberians as much as the Sepphorites.


385 When I heard this, I was stuck for a way to save Tiberias from the rage of the Galileans, since I could not deny that the Tiberians had written to the king inviting him to come to them; his answering letters to them proved the truth of that. 386 So I sat a long time musing and then said to them, "I know well enough how the Tiberians have offended and will not stop you from plundering the city. But such things should be done with care, for the Tiberians are not the only ones to betray our liberty, for many of the foremost Galileans have done likewise. 387 So wait until I find out exactly who are guilty and then you shall have them all together under your power, along with whoever you shall yourselves bring in." 388 With these words I mollified the people so that they calmed their anger and went away. Then I ordered the man who had brought the king's letters to be put in chains and some days later I made some pretext to leave the kingdom, and secretly calling on Crispus, told him to make the soldier guarding him drunk, and so escape to the king. 389 So when Tiberias was in danger of being utterly destroyed a second time, it escaped the danger by my skill and the care that I had to preserve it.


390 About this time, without my knowledge, Justus, son of Pistus, fled away to the king; the occasion of which I will here relate. 391 At the beginning of the war between the Jews and Romans, the Tiberians resolved to submit to the king and not to revolt from the Romans; while Justus tried to persuade them to take up arms, being eager for revolt and having hopes of gaining power over Galilee, as well as over his native town. 392 Still he did not get what he hoped for, because the Galileans bore ill-will to those of Tiberias, due to their anger at what they had suffered from them before the war; that is why they would not endure Justus as their governor. 393 I myself who had been entrusted with the government of Galilee by the Jerusalem council, was often so enraged at Justus, that unable to bear his malice I could almost have killed him. He was so fearful that my passion should finally overboil, that he went to the king, thinking that he would live more safely with him.

Chapter 12. Siege of Sepphoris; he fights the Romans


394 When the Sepphorites had, in so surprising a manner, escaped their first danger, they sent to Cestius Gallus, asking him to come to them immediately and take possession of their city, or else to send enough forces to curb all their enemies' raids on them; and at the last they prevailed on Gallus to send them a considerable army, both cavalry and infantry, which arrived by night and which they admitted into the city. 395 But when the countryside round about was harassed by the Roman army, I took my men and came to Garis, where I dug in, about twenty furlongs away from Sepphoris. Then I made a night attack upon its walls with my forces. 396 When I had ordered a number of my soldiers to scale them with ladders, I got control of most of the city. But soon after, our unfamiliarity with the places forced us to retire, after we had killed twelve of the Roman infantry and two horsemen and a few of the Sepphorites, with the loss of only one of our own men. 397 Afterwards, in a battle against the horsemen in the plain after a long and dogged resistance, we were beaten; for when the Romans surrounded me, my soldiers were afraid and fell back. In that battle one of my bodyguards named Justus, who had previously served the king in the same role, was killed. 398 At the same time reinforcements, both horsemen and infantry, came from the king, under the command of Sulla, the captain of his bodyguard. Sulla encamped five furlongs from Julias and posted a guard upon the roads, one leading to Cana and the other to the Gamala fortress, to prevent their inhabitants from getting provisions from Galilee.


399 Learning of this, I sent two thousand soldiers and their captain, Jeremiah, who dug in a furlong from Julias, near the river Jordan and did no more than skirmish with the enemy, untilI myself took three thousand soldiers and came to them. 400 Next day, when I had laid an ambush in a certain valley not far from the ramparts, I provoked the royal troops to come out to battle and ordered my own soldiers to turn their backs upon them, to draw the enemy away from their camp and bring them out into the field, which was done accordingly. 401 Sulla, thinking that our party really was escaping, began pursuing them, when our soldiers in ambush took them from the rear and put them all into great confusion. 402 Immediately I too made a sudden turn with my own forces and met those of the king's party and put them to flight; and I would have performed great deeds that day, if not prevented by some demon. 403 For the horse I rode, and on whose back I fought, fell into a quagmire and threw me on the ground and I broke some bones in my wrist, and was carried into a village named Cepharnome, or Capernaum. 404 When my men heard about this, they were afraid I had been hurt worse than I was; and so they did not continue their pursuit but returned in great anxiety on my account. I sent for physicians and after their treatment I continued feverish that day; then at night, under doctor's orders, I was removed to Tarichea.


405 When Sulla and his party were told what happened to me, they took courage again; and hearing that the watch was negligently kept in our camp, by night they placed a body of horsemen in ambush beyond the Jordan and when it was day they provoked us to fight. 406 When we did not refuse it, but came into the plain, their horsemen appeared out of the ambush where they had lain and putting our men into disorder made them run away; so they killed six men of our side. Still they did not in the end follow up the victory; for when they heard that some soldiers had sailed from Tarichea to Julias, they were afraid and retreated.


407 Not long afterwards Vespasian came to Tyre along with king Agrippa, but the Tyrians began to insult the king and called him an enemy to the Romans. For they said that Philip, the general of his army, had betrayed the royal palace and the Roman forces that were in Jerusalem and that it was done at his command. 408 When Vespasian heard this report, he reprimanded the Tyrians for insulting a man who was both a king and a friend to the Romans; but he urged the king to send Philip to Rome, to answer before Nero for what he had done. 409 When Philip was sent there, he never got into the presence of Nero, for he found the emperor very near to death, due to his troubles at that time and a civil war; and so he returned to the king. 410 After Vespasian arrived in Ptolemais, the leaders of Decapolis of Syria complained that Justus of Tiberias had set their villages on fire, so Vespasian handed him over to the king, to be put to death by the king's men; but the king only put him in chains and concealed it from Vespasian, as we said earlier. 411 The Sepphorites met Vespasian and greeted him and sent him forces under their general, Placidus, who went up with them. I also pursued them, until Vespasian came into Galilee. 412 I have given an accurate account in my books about the War of the Jews about his coming and how it was ordered and how he fought his first battle with me near the village Tarichea and how from there they went to Jotapata and how I was taken alive and bound and how I was later set free, along with all that I did in the Jewish war and during the siege of Jerusalem. 413 But I think I should now add an account of those actions of my life not told in that book on the Jewish war.

Chapter 13. Capture by Vespasian; later career in Rome


414 Once the siege of Jotapata was over and I was among the Romans, I was carefully guarded, because of the great respect that Vespasian showed me. Also at his command, I married a virgin from among the captives of that district, 415 but she not live with me for long, but was divorced after I was freed from my chains and went to Alexandria. 416 I married another wife at Alexandria and was sent from there, along with Titus, to the siege of Jerusalem and was often in danger of being put to death. The Jews were very eager to get me under their power, in order to have me punished. and the Romans too, whenever they were beaten, supposed that it was caused by my treachery and made continual clamours to the emperors asking to have me punished as a traitor to them. 417 Titus Caesar was well acquainted with the uncertain fortune of war and gave no answer to the soldiers' outbursts against me. When the city of Jerusalem was taken by storm, Titus Caesar often urged me to take whatever I wished from the ruins of my country; and gave me leave to do so. 418 But as my country was destroyed, I regarded nothing else as of any value, to take and keep as a comfort in my sorrows, so I requested Titus to give my family their liberty; and by a grant of Titus I had also the holy books. 419 Not long after that I asked him to spare the life of my brother and fifty of his friends, and was not denied. Once when with Titus's permission I went to the temple, where there was a large crowd of captive women and children, I got him to set free all those whom I remembered from among my own friends and acquaintances, in number about one hundred and ninety; and so without their paying any price of redemption I saved and restored them to their former fortune. 420 Again, when I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealius and a thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to see if it would be a suitable place to camp, as I returned, I saw many captives being crucified and recognised three of them as former acquaintances of mine. In distress about this I went to Titus and with tears told him about them. 421 Immediately he ordered them taken down and every effort to be made for their recovery. In fact, two of them died under the physician's hands, but the third recovered.


422 But when Titus had settled the troubles in Judea and reckoned that the lands which I owned in Judea would bring me no profit, because a garrison to guard the country was later to settle there, he gave me another property in the plain. And when he was going away to Rome, he chose me to sail along with him and paid me great respect. 423 On our arrival in Rome, I was greatly cared for by Vespasian; for he gave me an apartment in his own house, where he had lived before he came to the empire.


423 When we got to Rome, I was well cared for by Vespasian; for he gave me an apartment in the house where he had lived before he became emperor and honoured me with Roman citizenship, giving me an annual pension; and to the end of his life his kindness to me never lessened, which made me envied and brought me into danger. 424 A Jew called Jonathan had raised uproar in Cyrene and got two thousand men of that country to join him, which brought ruin to them. Then when captured by the governor of that country and sent to the emperor, he told him that I had sent him weapons and money. 425 But the liar could not fool Vespasian and he was condemned and put to death. After that, though people envious of my good fortune often brought accusations against me, by God's providence I escaped them all. I also received as a free gift from Vespasian a considerable amount of land in Judea.


426 About this time too I divorced my wife, being displeased with her behaviour, though not until she had given birth to three children, two of whom are dead and one, whom I named Hyrcanus, is alive. 427 After this I married a wife who had lived in Crete, but was of Jewish birth, of parents who were eminent and among the noblest in the whole country, and whose character excelled most other women, as her subsequent life showed. By her I had two sons; the elder's name was Justus and the next Simonides, who was also named Agrippa. Such was my domestic story.


428 The emperor's kindness to me continued unchanged; for when Vespasian was dead, Titus, who succeeded him in the government, continued showing me the same respect which I had from his father; and when accusations were frequently made against me, he would not believe them. 429 When Domitian succeeded Titus, he still honoured me; for he punished the Jews that were my accusers and ordered that a servant of mine, a eunuch who accused me, should be punished. He also exempted from taxes the property I had in Judea, which is a sign of the greatest honour to its owner; and indeed, Caesar's wife Domitia continued to show favour to me.


430 These are the actions of my whole life, and let others judge my character from them as they please. But to you, O Epaphroditus, most excellent of men, I dedicate all this treatise of our Antiquities; and so, for the present, I here conclude my narrative.