Chapter 1. [001-013]
Archelaus succeeds Herod and promises reform. Then he kills many protesters in the Temple
001 Archelaus' having to go to Rome led to new disturbances, for when he had mourned the death of his father for seven days, and provided a very lavish funeral feast for the people - a custom which impoverishes many Jews, since they have to give a feast for the people and it is indecent to fail to do so - he put on a white garment and went up to the temple, where the people received him with acclamations. 002 He addressed the people courteously from an elevated golden throne and thanked them for the concern they had shown at his father's funeral and for deferring to him, as if he were already settled in as king, but said that he could not hold authority or the titles going with it until Caesar, entrusted with it by [Herod's]
testament, confirmed the succession. 003 Even when the soldiers wanted to crown him in Jericho, he would not accept it. But he said he would richly reward both the soldiers and the people for their commitment and goodwill towards him, once the overlords had confirmed his title to the kingdom, and that he would strive in all things to treat them better than his father.
004 The populace was pleased but soon tested his attitude by making major requests. Some clamoured for him to lessen their taxes, some for the removal of purchase tax and others for the release of prisoners; and to gain the people's goodwill he said yes to all, and then offered sacrifice and went to a feast with his friends. 005 Towards evening many who wanted change came and once the public mourning for the king was over, began to mourn for those executed by Herod for cutting down the golden eagle over the temple gate.
006 Nor did they grieve in secret for their laments were loud, their mourning solemn and their weeping heard all over the city, on behalf of the men who had died for their ancestral laws and for the temple.
007 People called out that any who had been honoured by Herod should be punished on account of these men, and first of all to depose the one he had made high priest and choose someone more devout and pure.
008 Archelaus was irked at this, but in his haste to go to Rome, postponed his vengeance on the doers, fearing to be detained at home if he went to war with the people. So he tried to calm the rebels by persuasion rather than force, and sent his general secretly to them urging them to be at peace.
009 But when this man arrived in the temple the rebels threw stones at him and drove him away before he could speak, and treated in the same way many others sent to them by Archelaus to talk sense to them, always replying with anger, and it was clear they would not keep the peace, if only their numbers grew.
010 Then at the feast of unleavened bread which was now near, and is called Passover by the Jews and used to be celebrated with many sacrifices, a huge crowd of people came up from the country to worship. Some of these remained in the temple mourning the deceased Rabbis and supporting themselves by imploring, in order to support their rebellion. 011 Archelaus took fright and secretly sent against them a tribune and a cohort of soldiers, before the disease spread to the whole people, with orders to arrest those who began the riot, and force them to keep the peace. The whole crowd were stirred up and threw stones and killed many of the soldiers, and the tribune was wounded and barely escaped alive. 012 Afterwards the people went about their sacrifices, as if they had done no harm. Archelaus thought that they could not be restrained without bloodshed, so he sent his whole army upon them, masses of infantry into the city and his cavalry out into the plain.
013 Attacking them suddenly as they were offering their sacrifices, he killed about three thousand of them, while the rest of the crowd scattered to the adjoining mountains. These were followed by Archelaus's heralds, ordering them all back to their own homes, where they all went, abandoning the festival.
Chapter 2. [014-038]
Archelaus is accused before Caesar by Antipater, but is well defended by Nicolaus the lawyer.
014 He now went down to the sea-side, with his mother and his friends, Poplas and Ptolemy and Nicolaus, leaving his steward Philip in the palace, to take care of his household.
015 Salome and her children accompanied him, as well as the king's brothers- and sons-in-law. Outwardly, they went to support Archelaus in securing the succession, but in fact to accuse him for his unlawful actions in the temple.
016 Sabinus, the procurator of Syria, met them in Caesarea, as he was going up to Judea to guard Herod's effects, but Varus. whom Archelaus had sent for at Ptolemy's request, arrived and prevented him from going any farther.
017 So to gratify Varus, Sabinus neither went to the fortresses, nor sealed the treasuries where Herod's money was deposited, but promised to do nothing until Caesar ruled on the affair. 018 So he stayed in Caesarea, but as soon as those who were blocking him had gone, as Varus had left for Antioch and Archelaus had sailed to Rome, he immediately went to Jerusalem and seized the palace. When he had called for the officers of the fortresses and the treasurers, he tried to sift out the accounts of the money and to take over the fortresses. 019 But the officers of those fortresses did not forget the instructions of Archelaus and continued to guard them and said that for their custody they were answerable to Caesar rather than to Archelaus.
020 Meanwhile Antipas also went to Rome to ask for the kingdom and to insist that the former testament, where he was named as king, was valid rather than the later one. Salome had promised to help him, as had many of of his relatives, who had sailed with Archelaus. 021 He also brought with him his mother and Ptolemy, the brother of Nicolaus, who seemed very influential, due to Herod's great trust in him, as one of his most honoured friends. His rival depended mainly on the orator Irenaeus, who got him to ignore those wishing him to yield to Archelaus on account of his seniority and because the second will gave the kingdom to him. 022 When they came to Rome, all Archelaus's relatives, who hated him, shifted their preference to Antipas, but the first preference of them all would be to live under their own laws and be under a Roman governor, but if this was not granted, they wanted Antipas as their king.
023 Sabinus supported them in this by letters he sent, where he accusing Archelaus before Caesar and highly commending Antipas.
024 Salome also and those with her, made a list of the crimes of which they accused Archelaus and put it in Caesar's hands, and then Archelaus wrote down the reasons of his claim, and through Ptolemy he sent in his father's ring and his accounts.
025 When Caesar had pondered by himself what both had to say for themselves, and had considered of the great burden of the kingdom and size of the revenues and also the number of the children Herod had left behind him and had moreover read the letters he had received from Varus and Sabinus on this occasion, he assembled the leading Romans, where for the first time he gave seat to Gaius, son of Agrippa and his daughter Julias, whom he had adopted as his own son, and let the petitioners speak.
026 Then Salome's son, Antipater, who of all Archelaus's opponents was the best speaker, stood up to make the following accusation: That Archelaus not only claimed the kingdom with words, but had long been king in fact, and this hearing before Caesar was now just a mockery since he had not awaited his decision about the succession. 027 After Herod's death, he had bribed people to demand he wear the crown and had set himself on the throne and acted as a king by making changes in the ranks of the army and granting promotions to some. 028 He had also acceded to all the requests the people had made to him as their king and released those whom his father had, for major reasons, put in chains. And now he asks for the shadow of that authority, whose substance he had already seized, making Caesar lord, not of things, but of words. 029 He added the mockery that his mourning for his father was only a pretence, putting on a sad face in the daytime but drinking to excess at night. This behaviour, he said, had caused the recent disturbance among the people, who were very angry.
030 The aim of all this was to aggravate Archelaus's crime in killing so many in the temple area, when a crowd came to the festival but were cruelly killed amid their own sacrifices. He said that more corpses were heaped together in the temple than could be caused by a foreign war coming on them unannounced;
031 and that it was this cruel streak which caused his father not to give him any hopes of the kingdom. But when his mind grew even weaker than his body and he was unable to think and did not know whose name he was writing as his successor in the addendum to his will, which he did at a time when he had no complaints against the one he had nominated earlier while in good health and with his mind clear of all passion. 032 But even if one should place Herod's judgment in his sickness above that in an earlier time, Archelaus had still forfeited the kingship by his lawless behaviour. If he killed so many people before becoming ruler what would he be like if Caesar confirmed his position?
033 When Antipater had said much to this effect and had produced many of Archelaus's relatives as witnesses, to prove each part of the accusation, he ended his speech. 034 Then Nicolaus stood up on behalf of Archelaus, and said that the slaughter in the temple was avoidable; that those who were killed were opposed not just to the monarchy but to Caesar, who was to decide about it. 035 He proved that the accusers had urged him to do other things that would have been unlawful, and insisted that the later will was valid, especially since in it Herod named Caesar to validate the succession. 036 If he was wise enough to yield his authority to the master of the world, he would make no mistake in his choice of an heir, for his wisdom about the arbitrator meant that he knew whom he had chosen to be his successor.
037 When Nicolaus had fully stated his case, Archelaus came and fell down in silence at Caesar's knees, and he raised him up in a most friendly manner and declared him worthy to succeed his father, but did not finalise the matter. 038 After dismissing the assessors who had been with him that day, after all had been heard he pondered on whether to confirm as Herod's successor one of those named in the will, or to divide the power among his whole family, since so many of them seemed to need it for their support.
Chapter 3. [039-054]
Sabinus calls Varus to help him quell the rebellion. The rebels besiege him in Jerusalem
039 Before Caesar had reached a decision about these matters, Malthace, Archelaus's mother, fell sick and died. Letters also were brought from Syria from Varus, about a revolt of the Jews. 040 This was foreseen by Varus, who therefore, after Archelaus had sailed, went up to Jerusalem to restrain the agitators, and since it was manifest that the nation would not stay peaceful he left in the city one of the three legions he had brought from Syria.
041 He himself went to Antioch. But Sabinus came after he was gone, and gave them an occasion for rebellion. For he forced the keepers of the fortresses to hand them over to him and made a thorough search for the king's money, helped not only by the soldiers left by Varus, but by his own servants, whom he armed and used as the instruments for his greed.
042 When Pentecost was near, for so the Jews called the festival which was observed seven weeks after Passover, and whose name derives from the number of the days (fifty,) what drew the people together was not so much their traditional divine worship but the anger they felt.
043 A huge crowd assembled, from Galilee and Idumaea and Jericho and Perea beyond the Jordan, but the people of Judea itself were the most prominent both in number and in zeal. 044 They divided into three parts and pitched their tents in three places, one to the north of the temple, another to the south of it, by the Hippodrome, and the third at the palace to the west. So they surrounded the Romans on all sides and kept them under siege.
045 Sabinus, afraid of their numbers and their mood, and sent a series of messengers to Varus, imploring him to come quickly to his help, for if he delayed his legion would be cut to pieces. 046 He himself went up the highest tower of the fortress, which was called Phasael, after Herod's brother who was killed by the Parthians, and from there signalled the legionaries to attack the enemy, for he was so afraid that he dared not go down to his own men.
047 The soldiers let themselves be persuaded and sprang into the temple and fought a hard battle with the Jews. During this, as long as there were none attacking them from above they had the upper hand by their warlike skill and the others' lack of it, 048 but when many of the Jews climbed up the porticoes and threw their spears downwards at the heads of the Romans, many were killed. It was not easy to get back at those who shot from above, or to hold back those who fought them hand to hand.
049 Harassed by both these factors, they set fire to the porticoes, which were marvellous both in size and workmanship. Those on top of them were soon surrounded with the flame and many of them died in it, and many were also killed by the enemy, who attacked them suddenly. Some of them jumped down backward from the ramparts, and in desperation some anticipated the fire by killing themselves with their own swords,
050 and any of them who crept out from the ramparts and came at the Romans, were easily mastered due to their stunned condition. Finally when the Jews had either been killed or had scattered in fear, the soldiers attacked the treasury of God, now left unguarded, and looted about four hundred talents, of which Sabinus got all that was not stolen by them.
051 This destruction of property and of lives caused many of the more aggressive Jews to band together against the Romans. They gathered around the palace and threatened all who were in it, unless they left instantly, promising Sabinus that he would come to no harm if he left along with his legion.
052 There were also many of the king's party who deserted the Romans and helped the Jews, but the most warlike of that group, three thousand of the men of Sebaste, went over to the Romans, along with their captains, Rufus and Gratus, the latter being captain of the infantry and Rufus of the cavalry. Even without the forces they commanded, each of them was an army in himself due to their strength and wisdom. 053 The Jews besieged and tried to break down walls of the fortress, shouting to Sabinus and his party to leave and not block their long-awaited hope of recovering their ancestral liberty.
054 Sabinus would gladly have escaped from danger, but he distrusted their assurances, suspecting that such a mild offer was just a bait to catch him. This thought, along with his hopes of help from Varus, prolonged the siege.
Chapter 4. [055-065]
Herod's veteran soldiers rebel. Simon and Athronoeus usurp the name of king.
055 Meanwhile many parts of the country were troubled and the times led many to seek the kingship. In Idumaea two thousand of Herod's veteran soldiers gathered in arms to fight against the king's side. They were opposed by Achiabus, the king's cousin, and driven out of some fortified places, though he avoided a pitched battle in the plains. 056 In Sepphoris too, a city of Galilee, Judas, the son of that arch-brigand Hezekias, who formerly overran the country and had been subdued by king Herod, gathered a significant following and breaking into the royal armoury, armed his companions and attacked the men so eager to take power.
057 In Perea too, Simon, one of the royal servants, relying upon his handsome physique and his size, put a crown upon his head and went round with a gang of brigands he had assembled and burned down the royal palace in Jericho and many other fine buildings and easily piled up loot that he snatch from the fire. 058 He would soon have burned down all the fine buildings, if Gratus, the captain of the king's infantry, had not gone against him with the Trachonite archers and the best warriors from Sebaste. 059 Many of his infantry were killed in the battle and Gratus cut Simon himself to pieces, as he was fleeing through a narrow valley, striking him diagonally across the neck and severing it as he fled. The royal palaces near the Jordan at Betharamptha were also burned down by some other rebels that came from Perea.
060 Meanwhile a shepherd called Athrongeus dared to usurp the kingship, impelled by his physical strength and a soul that despised death, and the support of four brothers like himself. 061 Under each of them he placed a troop of infantry and used them as his generals and satraps in his attacks, while he played the monarch and dealt with the more important matters.
062 Then he crowned himself and continued dominating the land with his brothers for quite a while, taking the lead in killing both Romans and those of the king's party, not sparing the Jews either, where loot was at stake.
063 He once dared to surround a troop of Romans at Emmaus, as they brought corn and weapons to their legion, and with arrows and spears his men killed the centurion Arius and forty of his bravest men, and the others escaped the same fate only because Gratus came to their rescue with troops from Sebaste.
064 After they had similarly treated their countrymen and foreigners throughout this war, three of them were captured, the eldest by Archelaus, another two falling into the hands of Gratus and Ptolemeus, and the fourth surrendering, by agreement, to Archelaus.
065 That is how their affair ended, but at the time they filled all of Judea with guerilla warfare.
Chapter 5. [066-079]
Varus crucifies about two thousand of the rebels in Judea.
066 When Varus received the despatches of Sabinus and the captains, he was alarmed for the whole legion, so he hurried to relieve them.
067 He took the other two legions with their four cavalry units and marched to Ptolemais, ordering the allies sent by the kings and the chieftains to meet him there. Moreover, as he passed through Berytus he received a thousand five hundred infantry from the people of that city.
068 When the other allied groups reached Ptolemais, as well as Aretas the Arab, who, out of hatred for Herod, brought a considerable force of cavalry and infantry, part of his army was soon sent to Galilee, which lay near Ptolemais under the command of Gaius, one of his friends. He put his opponents to flight and took the city of Sepphoris and burned it and enslaved its inhabitants.
069 Varus himself marched with his whole army to Samaria, where he refrained from the city itself, as he found that it had taken no part with others in the troubles, but camped near a village called Arous; this belonged to Ptolemy, and was therefore looted by the Arabs, who were very angry even at Herod's friends. 070 From there he marched to Sappho, another fortified village, which they likewise looted, like all the other places adjoining their route. Everywhere was now full of flames and slaughter, with nothing safe from the plundering of the Arabs.
071 After its inhabitants had fled, Emmaus was also burned at the command of Varus, in his anger at the killing of Arias and his men.
072 From there he proceeded to Jerusalem and as soon as his force was seen by the Jews, they left their camps and fled to the country.
073 But the citizens welcomed him and claimed they had taken no part in this revolt and made no commotion, but that had been forced to admit the populace on account of the festival and that they had been besieged along with the Romans, rather than helping the rebels. 074 Already he had been met by Joseph, the cousin of Archelaus with Gratus and Rufus, the officers of the royal army and the men from Sebaste, as well as the Roman legionaries, armed as usual. But Sabinus did not dare to come into Varus's sight, so he had left the city and gone to the coast. 075 Varus sent part of his army into the country, against the instigators of this upheaval and capturing large numbers of them, he imprisoned those who seemed less turbulent and crucified about two thousand of the most culpable.
076 He was told that in Idumaea ten thousand men were still in arms, but when he found the Arabs not acting like allies, but making war according to their own passions and doing more harm to the country than he intended in their hatred of Herod, he sent them away, and with his own legions marched quickly against the rebels. 077 On the advice of Achiabus, these surrendered to him before it came to battle, and Varus gave the people amnesty but sent their officers to Caesar for trial. 078 Caesar pardoned the rest, but had some of the royal family put to death, among them some relatives of Herod, for going to war against a king of their own clan. 079 After settling matters in Jerusalem in this way and leaving the former legion there as a garrison, Varus returned to Antioch.
Chapter 6. [080-100]
Augustus rules against Jewish complaints, Herod's inheritance distributed to his sons
080 Back in Rome Archelaus had to answer another charge by the Jewish envoys who had come, with Varus's permission, before the revolt, to plead for the liberty of their country. There were fifty plaintiffs but they were supported by more than eight thousand of the Jews in Rome.
081 Caesar assembled a council of eminent Romans in the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, which he had himself had built and adorned at great expense, and the Jewish populace stood with the envoys across from Archelaus and his friends.
082 The relatives of Archelaus stood to either side, unwilling to stand with him because they hated and envied him, yet afraid to be seen by Caesar as siding with his accusers. 083 Also present was Archelaus's brother Philip, sent there by Varus as a favour for two reasons, to help Archelaus, and so that if Caesar divided Herod's estate among all his descendants, he might be assigned a share of it.
084 When the plaintiffs were allowed to speak, they first went over Herod's lawlessness and said that what they had endured was not a king, but the most cruel of all tyrants. Many had been killed by him, but the survivors had endured so much that they regarded the dead as luckier than they.
085 He had tortured not only individual subjects, but entire towns, and had done grievously harmed the home country, while adorning those of foreigners, giving the life-blood of Judea to gratify people outside their borders.
086 In place of their ancient prosperity and laws, he had sunk the nation in poverty and filled it with outrages. In short, in a few years the Jews had suffered more from Herod than had their ancestors in all the time since they returned from Babylon, in the reign of Xerxes.
087 Having been so subjected and inured to woes they had submitted to bitter slavery and had even accepted his successor.
088 After his father's death, they had agreed to call Archelaus "king," despite his being the son of such a tyrant, and mourned Herod's death with him and joined him him in praying for his happy succession.
089 But fearing the danger of not being thought Herod's genuine son, he began his reign by murdering three thousand citizens, as if wishing to offer so many bloody sacrifices to God for his rule and to fill the temple with so many corpses at the festival. 090 Those who survived such woes now finally had just reason to reflect on the disasters they suffered and, like soldiers in war, to receive the blows upon their front, not upon their backs, as up to now. Now they implored the Romans to have mercy on the remnants of Judea and not hand over what remained of it to those who hacked it to bits.
091 They wanted their country joined to Syria instead, under their own officials, to show that those now accused of being rebels and lovers of war, really can accept rulers, if only they be fair. 092 With this request the Jews brought their claim to an end. Then Nicolaus rose up to refute what was said against the kings, accusing the Jewish nation as hard to govern and naturally averse to monarchs. He also attacked all the relatives of Archelaus who had left him and had gone over to his accusers.
093 After hearing both sides, Caesar adjourned the assembly, but a few days later he gave half of Herod's kingdom to Archelaus, under the title of Ethnarch, promising to make him king later, if he proved worthy.
094 The other half he divided into two tetrarchies for two other sons of Herod, giving one to Philip and the other to the Antipas who had disputed the kingship with Archelaus. 095 Under this was Perea and Galilee, with a revenue of two hundred talents, but Batanea and Trachonitis and Auranitis and some parts of Zeno's estate near Jamnia, with a revenue of a hundred talents, were assigned to Philip. 096 Idumaea and all Judea and Samaria belonged to the ethnarchy of Archelaus, though Samaria was relieved of a quarter of its taxes, for not having rebelled with the rest of the nation.
097 He subjected to him the cities of Strato's Tower and Sebaste and Joppa and Jerusalem, but annexed from the kingdom the Greek cities of Gaza and Gadara and Hippos, giving them to Syria. The land assigned to Archelaus produced a revenue of four hundred talents. 098 And besides what the king had left her in his will, Salome was now made mistress of Jamnia and Azotus and Phasaelis, and Caesar also gave her the royal palace of Ascalon as a gift. From all of this she had a total revenue of sixty talents, though he placed her estate under the rulership of Archelaus. 099 The rest of Herod's offspring received what was bequeathed to them in his will. Furthermore, Caesar granted to Herod's two virgin daughters five hundred thousand silver pieces and gave them in marriage to the sons of Pheroras. 100 After this family distribution, he shared between them what Herod had left to him, which was a thousand talents, reserving to himself only some small gifts, in honour of the deceased.
An imposter claims to be Alexander. Archelaus is banished and Glaphyra dies.
101 Meanwhile a young man, by birth a Jew, but brought up at Sidon with one of the Roman freedmen, on account of a facial resemblance falsely claimed to be the Alexander whom Herod had killed and came to Rome, in the hope of deceiving people. 102 He had an accomplice of his own nation, who knew all about the kingdom and taught him to say how the men sent to kill him and Aristobulus had taken pity on them and slipped them away, putting similar bodies in their place. 103 With this story he deceived the Jews in Crete and got a lot of money from them, allowing him to travel in splendor, and from there sailed to Melos, where he was so surely convincing that he got a lot more money and persuaded his fellow exiles to sail with him to Rome.
104 So he landed at Dicearchia, and got large gifts from the Jews who lived there and was treated like a king by his father's friends, and the his resemblance was so believable that those who had seen Alexander and known him well, swore that it was he. 105 The whole Jewish population in Rome ran out in crowds to see him and thronged the narrow streets through which he was carried, for the foolish Meliots carried him in a sedan and gave him royal honours at their own expense.
106 Caesar, however, knew well the appearance of Alexander, who had been accused before him by Herod, and even before seeing the man he realised that the thing was a fraud; but to give a chance to the claim being made about him, he sent Celadus, who knew Alexander well, to bring the young man to him.
107 This man, on seeing him, instantly noted a difference in his appearance, and noting how his physique was robust and like that of a slave, he understood the whole thing was a ruse. 108 But the impudence of what the imposter said greatly angered him, for when asked about Aristobulus, he said that he too was kept alive and was purposely left in Cyprus, for fear of treachery, because it would be harder for conspirators to seize them both while they remained apart. 109 Then he took him aside in private and said, "Caesar will spare your life, if you just reveal who persuaded you to invent such a tale." So he agreed to tell and went with him to Caesar and pointed out the Jew who had exploited his appearance for profit, for he had received more gifts in every city than ever Alexander did in his lifetime. 110 Caesar laughed at the plan and put this spurious Alexander among his rowers on account of his vigour, but put to death the one who persuaded him. The Meliots were sufficiently punished for their foolishness by the money they had spent on his account.
111 Archelaus took over his ethnarchy and cruelly treated not only the Jews but also the Samaritans, because of their quarrels with him in the past; so both groups sent envoys against him to Caesar, and in the ninth year of his rule he was banished to Vienne, a city of Gaul, and his property went into Caesar's treasury.
112 They say that before he was sent for by Caesar, he had a dream where he seemed to see nine ears of corn, full and large, devoured by oxen; so he sent for his diviners and some Chaldeans to ask what they thought it portended. 113 As they offered various interpretations, an Essene named Simon explained the ears of corn as years and the oxen as a change of affairs, since by their ploughing they changed the land. So he would reign as many years as there were ears of corn, and would die after going through various alterations of fortune; and five days after Archelaus heard this he was called to trial.
114 I think that the dream of his wife Glaphyra, the daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, and former wife of Alexander, a brother of the aforementioned Archelaus and son of Herod the king, by whom he was put to death, as we have said, is also worthy of note. 115 After his death she married Juba, king of Libya, and, when he died, returned home and lived as a widow with her father. At that time the ethnarch Archelaus saw her and was so enamoured that he divorced his wife Mariamne to marry her.
116 After coming to Judea and living there a little while, she thought she saw Alexander standing beside her and saying to her; "Your marriage with the king of Libya should have satisfied you, but not content with him you have come back to my family, to a third husband, and brashly chosen my own brother. I shall not overlook your insult to me, but shall have you again, with or without your consent!" After explaining this dream, she lived for only two more days.
Chapter 8. [117-166]
Judas and his Galilean Rebels. Lifestyle of the Essenes
117 Archelaus's territory was reduced to an eparchy and Coponius, a Roman knight, was quickly sent as procurator, entrusted by Caesar with the power of life and death. 118 Under him a Galilean named Judas incited his people to rebel, calling them cowards if they paid tax to the Romans and let themselves be ruled by mortal men, having formerly served God alone. This deceiver had his own sect, quite different from the others.
119 Among the Jews there are three kinds of philosophical trend. Members of the first group are called Pharisees, the second are Sadducees, and the third are Essenes, Jews who live a more communitarian life than others.
120 These reject pleasures as an evil, but find virtue in continence and the control of the passions. They scorn marriage but adopt other people's children, while they are simple and teachable, treating them as relatives and educating them in their own customs. 121 They do not condemn marriage and its continuation of the human race but they guard against the caprices of women, convinced that none of them keeps faithful to one man.
122 They despise riches and admirably share their goods, so that none of them owns more than any other. Their law requires anyone joining them to hand over his property to the order, so that among them there is no abject poverty or excess riches, but each one's possessions are mixed in with the others, like a shared patrimony among brothers. 123 They regard oil as a defilement, and that even an accidental rub of must be wiped from the body, for they think dry skin is preferable, and always wear white clothing. Stewards are appointed to take care of their common affairs, the task of each being assigned by them all.
124 They are not just in one town only, but in every town several of them form a colony. They welcome members from out of town as equal brothers, and greet total strangers as though they were old acquaintances.
125 Thus they carry nothing with them when they travel, though they are armed against brigands. In every city where they live, one is appointed especially to take care of strangers and provide them with clothes and other essentials.
126 The clothing and management of their bodies is like that of children under strict discipline. They do not change their clothing or shoes until they have completely worn out with use. 127 They neither buy nor sell anything among themselves. They give to each other freely and feel no need to repay anything in exchange. They are fully allowed to take what they need, from whoever they please.
128 Their piety towards the Deity is extraordinary. Before sunrise they say not a word about mundane matters, but offer traditional prayers as if praying for its rising. 129 Then each is sent off by their directors, to work at the their various crafts, and they work hard until the fifth hour. Then they assemble again into one place, and when they have clothed themselves in white robes, they bathe their bodies in cold water. After this purification they all meet together in a special apartment where non-members may not enter. Then, purified, they go into the dining-room, as into a holy temple. 130 When they have sat down quietly, the baker sets out the loaves in order and the cook sets a single plate of one sort of food before each of them. 131 First a priest says grace before the meal, and none may taste the food before grace is said. He also says grace after the meal, so that before and after they praise God, as the source of life. Afterwards they lay aside their holy vesture and return to work again until the evening. 132 They return home to take supper in the same way, and if any guests are there, they sit down with them. There is never any shouting or disturbance to pollute their house, but they allow each one to speak in due turn. 133 This silence observed in their house seems a tremendous mystery to outsiders but its source is their perpetual sobriety and limiting their measure of food and drink to what is really needed.
134 In all other things, they do nothing but by direction of their superiors, with just two things left to each one's discretion: assistance and mercy. They may of their own accord help the deserving as need dictates and give food to people in distress, but they cannot give gifts to their relatives without leave from those in charge. 135 Fully in control of their anger and mastering their temper, they are outstanding for fidelity and are ministers of peace. Their word is more reliable than any oath, since they avoid swearing, considering it worse than perjury. For them, whoever cannot be believed without appealing to God is already condemned.
136 They are devoted to the study of ancient lore and focus in particular on what promotes health of soul and body, and the medicinal properties of roots and stones for curing ailments are a special study of theirs.
137 Whoever wants to join their sect is not admitted immediately, but for a year must follow their lifestyle as an outsider; while they give him a small hatchet and the loincloth and the white garment mentioned above.
138 When over that time he has proven his continence, they draw him closer to their rule and he may share the purity of their sanctified waters. However he is still not admitted to their common life, for after this test of fortitude, his mettle is tried for two years more and if found worthy, he is then admitted into their society. 139 Before being allowed to join their shared meals, he must to take great vows: to be devout towards the Deity and to observe justice towards human beings, and to harm nobody, either of his own accord or at the command of others, and always to hate the wicked and help the righteous. 140 He must always keep faith with all, especially those in authority, since no one comes to authority without God's help, and if he comes to be leader, never to abuse his authority or surpass his subjects either in dress or any other adornment.
141 He must always love truth and attempt to reproach those who tell lies, keep his hands from theft and his soul from unlawful profit, and neither conceal anything from those of his own sect, nor reveal any of their doctrines to others, even if tortured to death. 142 He must further swear to pass on their doctrines exactly as he received them himself, to abstain from robbery, and to safeguard the books of their sect and the names of the messengers. These are the vows by which they bind their candidates.
143 Anyone found guilty of sin are expelled from their society, and if so expelled one often dies in misery, for bound by the vows and customs he has practiced, he is not free to share the food he meets with elsewhere, but must eat herbs and may starve to death of hunger.
144 Therefore out of mercy they receive back many at their last gasp, reckoning what they have endured up to the very brink of death as a sufficient atonement for their sins.
145 In trying cases they are precise and fair, and do not pass sentence with less than a hundred votes, but if a thing is once decided it is unalterable. The name they honour most, under God, is that of their Legislator, and anyone blaspheming him would lose his life. 146 They also think it virtuous to obey their elders and the majority, so if ten of them confer together, one will not speak if the other nine are against it.
147 They also avoid spitting in company, or to one's right side. They are stricter than any other Jews in resting from their labours on the sabbath. Not only do they get their food ready the day before, so as not to have to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not move any vessel from its place, nor defecate in it. 148 On other days they dig a small pit, a foot deep, with a kind of hatchet given to them when they are first admitted, and covering themselves with their garment, so as not to insult the divine sunlight, they defecate into the pit. 149 Then they put back into the pit the earth they dug out; and even this they do only in places set apart for this purpose; and although this relief of the body is natural, it is their rule to wash themselves after it, as though defiled by it.
150 In this time of training they are divided into four classes, and the juniors are so far inferior to the seniors that if a senior were touched by a junior, he must wash himself as if he had mixed in company with a foreigner.
151 They are long-lived too, many living to more than a hundred years, because of the simplicity of their diet, and also, I think, because of their orderly life. They scorn life's hardships and are above pain by their generosity of spirit, seeing death as bringing them glory, and thinking eternity best of all.
152 Our war with the Romans provided abundant evidence of their magnanimity in their trials, when, though tortured and mangled, burnt and torn to pieces with every instrument of torment, to force them either to blaspheme their Legislator, or to eat what was forbidden to them, they could not be made to do either, or flatter their tormentors, or shed a tear.
153 They smiled through their pains and scorned those who inflicted the torments upon them and cheerfully handed over their souls, expecting to receive them back again.
154 For they cherish the view that while bodies are corruptible and made of impermanent matter, souls are immortal and continue for ever, having come from above and being chained in their bodies as in prisons, into which they are drawn by a natural affinity. 155 Once they are set free from the chains of the flesh, then as if released from long slavery they joyfully mount upward. In this they share the view of the Greeks that good souls will dwell beyond the ocean, in a region not oppressed with storms of rain or snow, or with intense heat, in a place refreshed by the gentle west wind, always blowing from the ocean, while wicked souls are relegated to a dark and stormy den, full of never-ceasing punishments.
156 It seems to me that the Greeks hold the same view, allotting the islands of the blessed to their brave men, whom they call heroes and demi-gods, and the region of the ungodly, Hades, to the souls of the wicked, where they hold that some are punished, like Sisyphus and Tantalus and Ixion and Tityus, on the principle that souls are immortal, for this promotes virtue and warns against vice. 157 By this myth the good are moved to a better life by the hope of reward after death, and the passions of the wicked are restrained by the fear that, although they escaped detection in this life, they would be punished eternally after their death.
158 This is the Essene theology about the soul, strongly attractive to those who have once had a taste of their philosophy.
159 There are among them some who dare to foretell the future, by reading the holy books and using various sorts of purifications and always poring over the words of the prophets, and they seldom or never are wrong in their predictions.
160 There is another group of Essenes who agree with the rest about diet, customs and laws, but hold a different view on marriage, thinking that celibacy excludes the major dimension of human life regarding heredity and that if all followed it the human race would become extinct.
161 These test their spouses for three years, and marry them only if they have periods three times, to show that they can bear children. They have no intercourse during pregnancy, to show that marriage is not for pleasure, but for child-bearing. Their women use the baths half clothed, as the men do, wearing loin-cloths. These are the customs of this group.
162 Of the other two groups mentioned, the Pharisees are deemed most skilled in expounding their laws and form the leading sect. These attribute all to destiny and to God 163 and yet concede that it is within one's power to do what is right, though destiny has a hand in every action. For them all souls are imperishible, but only the soul of a good person passes into another body, while those of the wicked are eternally punished.
164 The second group, the Sadducees, entirely do away with fate and think that whether we do good or evil God is not involved.
165 They say it is man's own choice to do what is good or what is evil, so that all may act as they please, and they reject the immortality of the soul and in in Hades and future punishments and rewards.
166 The Pharisees are friendly towards each other and strive for harmony and the common good, while the Sadducees are somewhat ruder to each other and they treat those of their own party as harshly as they do strangers. This is all I need say about the Jewish philosophies.
Chapter 9. [167-183]
Pilate the procurator causes Riots. Tiberius imprisons Agrippa but Gaius frees him. Herod Antipas is banished.
167 As the ethnarchy of Archelaus was downgraded to a protectorate, the other sons of Herod, Philip and Herod called Antipas, continued with their own tetrarchies. Then Salome at her death bequeathed her district to Julia, the wife of Augustus, along with Jamnia and the palm-groves in Phasaelis.
168 When Augustus died, after reigning for fifty-seven years, six months and two days, the empire of the Romans passed to Tiberius, son of Julia, and both Herod and Philip continued in their tetrarchies. The latter built the city of Caesarea, at the springs of the Jordan near Paneas, and Julias in lower Gaulonitis. Herod also built the city of Tiberius in Galilee and another city called Julias in Perea.
169 Pilate, who was sent by Tiberius as procurator to Judea, brought into Jerusalem by night the images of Caesar that are called ensigns.
170 After daybreak this roused a great riot among the Jews, for those nearby them were amazed, seeing them as the trampling under foot of their laws, which forbid any sort of image to being set up in the city. Besides the fury of the citizens caused large numbers to stream in from the countryside.
171 These came to Pilate to Caesarea and imploring him to remove those ensigns from Jerusalem and protect their ancient laws. When Pilate denied their request, they fell prostrate upon the ground and continued motionless for five days and nights.
172 The following day, Pilate sat upon his tribunal in the large stadium and called the people, apparently to answer them, then signalled to his armed soldiers, who quickly surrounded the Jews.
173 With three ranks of soldiers around them the Jews were struck dumb by that sight, and Pilate told them they would be cut in pieces unless they admitted Caesar's images and signalled to the soldiers to draw their swords.
174 As though at a single signal the Jews fell to the ground, baring their necks and shouting that they would rather die than that have law flouted. Pilate was amazed at their religious fervour and ordered that the ensigns be removed from Jerusalem.
175 Later he provoked another disturbance, by spending the sacred treasury, called Corban, on aqueducts to bring in water from the distance of four hundred furlongs. The crowd was angry at this, and when Pilate came to Jerusalem, they surrounded his tribunal and complained about it.
176 Expecting a disturbance he put armed soldiers among the people telling them to dress as private citizens and not to use their swords, but the rioters with sticks, at his signal from the tribunal.
177 The Jews were so badly beaten that many died from the blows and many others by being trodden while trying to flee, and the people were so shocked by these deaths that they were put to silence.
178 Meanwhile Agrippa, the son of the Aristobulus who had been killed by his father Herod, came to Tiberius, to bring a charge against Herod the tetrarch. When the emperor rejected this accusation, he stayed in Rome and became friends with other men of note, but mainly with Gaius the son of Germanicus, who was still a private citizen. 179 One day he gave a feast for Gaius, and after paying him lavish compliments finally stretched out his hands and publicly prayed that he would soon see him emperor of the world after Tiberius died. 180 One of Agrippa's servants told this to Tiberius, who was very angry and had Agrippa chained up and in hard imprisonment for six months. Then Tiberius died, after reigning for twenty-two years, six months and three days.
181 When Gaius was made Caesar, he released Agrippa from his chains and gave him the tetrarchy of Philip who had died, making him king. But Agrippa's royal status inflamed the envy and ambition of Herod the tetrarch.
182 He was mainly urged by his wife Herodias to seek the crown, for she reproached him for his sloth and said it was only because he would not sail to pay court to Caesar that he had lost out, for if Caesar had raised Agrippa from private citizen to king, how much more would he confer that title on a tetrarch.
183 Persuaded by this, Herod went to Gaius, by whom he was punished for his ambition by being banished to Spain. For Agrippa followed to accuse him and to him Gaius gave the other's tetrarchy, by way of a bonus. So Herod died in Spain, where his wife had fled along with him.
Chapter 10. [184-203]
Gaius wants his statue set up in the Temple. Petronius dares to protest, and survives
184 Gaius Caesar pushed his good luck so far as to want to appear as, and be called, a god. Not only did he cut down the noblest people in his own country, but he extended his impiety as far as the Jews.
185 He sent Petronius with an army to Jerusalem, with orders to place statues of him in the temple, and if the Jews would not accept it to kill whoever tried to prevent it and enslave the rest of the nation. 186 God, however, was watching these commands. Petronius marched from Antioch into Judea, with three legions and many Syrian allies. 187 Some of the Jews could not believe the rumours of a war, but those who believed them were at a loss how to defend themselves and terror soon affected them all, for the army had already reached Ptolemais.
188 This coastal city in Galilee is built on the edge of the great plain and is surrounded by mountains. To the east, sixty furlongs off, are the Galilean mountains , to the south is Carmel, a hundred and twenty furlongs away, and the highest range of them all, called by the local people The Ladder of the Tyre, is a hundred furlongs to the north.
189 The little river Beleus runs past it, just two furlongs away, on the banks of which is Memnon's tomb, and nearby is a remarkable natural spot, no more than a hundred feet in diameter. 190 It is a circular hollow which produces sand that can be made into glass. When it is emptied - for many ships stop there to take it on board - the hollow is filled again by the winds, which as though on purpose, blow into it ordinary sand from elsewhere, which this mine turns it into raw glass. 191 What seems even stranger to me is that any excess amount of the glassy stuff which overflows from the place again reverts to common sand. Such is the peculiar nature of this spot.
192 The Jews with their wives and children crowded into the plain near Ptolemais and petitioned Petronius, first regarding their laws, and then regarding themselves. Persuaded by the crowd and their prayers, he left his army and the statues at Ptolemais 193 and proceeded into Galilee, where, summoning the people and all the people of note to Tiberias he emphasised to them the power of the Romans and the threats of Caesar, and showed that their petition was a reckless one. 194 If all other subject nations had placed the images of Caesar among the rest of their gods in their various cities, for them alone to oppose it would practically amount to an insolent rebellion.
195 When they insisted on their law and ancestral custom and how they were not allowed to place in the temple, or anywhere in their country, an image of God or even of a man, Petronius rejoined, "Am I not also bound to keep the law of my own master? If I transgress it and spare you, justice will demand my death, and the one who will declare war on you will not be myself but the one who sent me. 196 For like you, I too am under command." To this the whole crowd shouted that they were ready to suffer for their law. Petronius silenced the shouting and asked, "Would you make war on Caesar?" 197 The Jews said that they offered sacrifices twice a day for Caesar and for the Roman people, but that if he wanted to place the statues among them, he must first sacrifice the whole Jewish nation, for they were ready for death, along with their children and wives.
198 At this Petronius felt awe and pity for their incomparable religious devotion and the courage that made them ready to die for it. So they were dismissed without a decision.
199 Subsequently he met privately with leading figures and publicly with the crowd, now persuading and now advising, but mainly stressing the power of the Romans and the anger of Gaius, and the fact that he had no choice.
200 When they could not be persuaded and he saw that the country was in danger of lying untilled, for it was the time for sowing, for the people had not worked for fifty days in succession, he finally got them together and said,
201 "It is better for me to take the risk first. Either, with God's help, I shall persuade Caesar and will be spared along with you, which will please us both, or if Caesar goes on raging, I am putting my life on the line for so many of you." He dismissed the people, who prayed greatly for his prosperity, and taking the army from Ptolemais he returned to Antioch.
202 From there he immediately wrote to Caesar to report his campaign in Judea and the petitions of the nation, saying that unless he wished to lose both the men and the country he must let them keep their law and countermand his previous orders. 203 Gaius answered that letter in a rage, threatening to have Petronius put to death for being so slow in carrying out his orders. But those who brought Gaius's letter were caught in a storm and were delayed at sea for three months, while others who brought the news of Gaius's death had a successful voyage, so that Petronius had received the letter about Gaius twenty seven days before he received the one against himself.
Chapter 11. [204-222]
The reign of Claudius and the reign of Agrippa. Descendants of the Herods.
204 When Gaius was murdered after reigning for three years and eight months, the military in Rome pressed Claudius to take over the government,
205 and on the advice of the consuls Sentius Saturninus and Pomponius Secundus, the senate commanded their remaining three regiments of soldiers to protect the city and assembled in the Capitol, where they opted to oppose Claudius by force. After the savagery of Gaius, they decided to either put the nation under its former system of government, aristocracy, or vote for someone worthy to become emperor.
206 As Agrippa was in Rome at this time, the senate called on him for his advice, and Claudius also sent to him from the camp, saying that he needed his help. Knowing that in effect Claudius had already become Caesar, he went to him. 207 He in turn sent him as his envoy to the senate to tell them how he had been hurried away by the soldiers against his will and still thought he would be unsafe and in the wrong if he rejected their devotion to him and the good fortune that had come to him, since to have been called to rule was itself a dangerous thing. 208 He would, however, administer it as a good prince and not a tyrant, and would limit himself to using the imperial title, while being willing to let each of them advise him on public matters. He added that even if he were not temperate by nature, the death of Gaius would be a sufficient warning to him, to act with sobriety.
209 When Agrippa reported this, the senate replied that supported by an army and their own wisdom they would not submit to slavery. When Claudius heard the senate's answer, he sent Agrippa to them again to say that he would not think betraying those who had pledged fidelity to him and so, however unwillingly, he must fight those whom never wished to fight.
210 For this battle they should choose a place outside the city, as it would be wrong to pollute their national shrines with the blood of their own countrymen on account of their imprudence; this message he passed on to the senators.
211 Then a soldier of the senate drew his sword and shouted, "Men, what has gotten into us if we plan to kill our brothers and attack our colleagues who support Claudius? We may have as emperor a blameless man who has such a just claim to it! Is it against such people we should be fighting?"
212 Saying this, he marched right through the senate and brought all the soldiers with him. The patricians were in a sudden panic at being so deserted, and as there seemed no safe alternative, they hurried after the soldiers to go to Claudius. 213 Those who had more quickly seized the tide of fortune met them outside the ramparts with swords drawn. Indeed there was reason to fear that those in front might be in danger before Claudius even knew of the soldiers's anger, if Agrippa had not gone ahead and told him the dangerous situation, and that unless he restrained them in their fury at the patricians, he would lose those whose help he would need in order to rule, and would be left to govern a desert.
214 When Claudius heard it he restrained the soldiers' violence, and after welcoming the senate into the camp and treating them cordially, he soon went out with them to sacrifice to God on his accession to the imperial power.
215 To Agrippa he immediately granted all of his grandfather's kingdom, adding to it the countries that were given to Herod by Augustus, Trachonitis and Auranitis and what was known as the kingdom of Lysanias.
216 This gift he declared to the people by a decree, but ordered the magistrates to have the donation engraved on tables of brass and set up in the capitol.
217 He gave to Agrippa's brother Herod, who was also his son-in-law through his marriage to Berenice, the kingdom of Chalcis.
218 From such extensive realm money flowed in to Agrippa and he soon set about spending it. He began to surround Jerusalem with a wall so large that, if completed, it would have made it impossible for the Romans to take it by siege.
219 However, before he had raised the ramparts to their full height he died in Caesarea, after being three years king and having ruled his tetrarchies an additional three years. 220 He left behind him three daughters, Berenice, Mariamne and Drusilla, born to him by Cypros, and a son named Agrippa. Since this boy was very young child, Claudius made the country a Roman province and sent Cuspius Fadus as its procurator and after him Tiberius Alexander, who did not interfere with the ancient laws, and kept the nation in peace. 221 Then Herod the king of Chalcis died, leaving behind two sons, Bernicianus and Hyrcanus, born to him of his brother's daughter Berenice, and Aristobulus, a son by his previous wife Mariamne. There was another brother, also called Aristobulus, who died a private citizen, who left a daughter named Jotape.
222 All these, as I have said, were descended from Herod's son Aristobulus; that Aristobulus and Alexander were Herod's sons by Mariamne and were killed by him. Alexander's descendants reigned in in greater Armenia.
Chapter 12. [223-249]
Riots under Cumanus, settled by Quadratus. Felix is procurator of Judea.
223 After the death of Herod, king of Chalcis, Claudius put Agrippa's son Agrippa in charge of his uncle's kingdom, while in succession to Alexander, Cumanus took over as procurator of the rest of the province, and under him began the troubles that led to the destruction of the Jews.
224 For when the crowd had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of unleavened bread and a Roman cohort was stationed on the porticoes of the temple, for they always kept an armed guard at the festivals, to prevent any revolt among such crowded gatherings, one of the soldiers pulled back his robe, squatted down, turned his backside indecently to the Jews and made the appropriate sound for such a posture. 225 This enraged the whole crowd who called out for Cumanus to punish the soldier; while the more hot-headed youths and the more rebellious of the crowd wanted a fight and took up stones to throw the soldiers. 226 Cumanus was afraid the whole people would attack him and sent for more infantry, who came in great numbers into the porticoes and put the Jews in a panic and drove them running from the temple into the city. 227 Such was the violence with which they crowded to escape that they trampled and crushed each other, until thirty thousand of them were killed, so that this feast was turned to mourning for the whole nation and every family lamented.
228 Soon after came another disaster arising from a riot caused by brigands. On the public road at Beth-horon, a slave of Caesar named Stephen was bringing some equipment, which the brigands attacked and seized.
229 Cumanus sent men around to the neighbouring villages to bring their inhabitants to him as prisoners, in penalty for not following and catching the thieves. In the process, one of the soldiers found our sacred law and tore the book to pieces and threw it into the fire. 230 This so angered the Jews that it seemed to set the whole country ablaze, and their religious zeal like some instrument drew many of them to rush to Caesarea, to complain with one voice to Cumanus and beg him not to let this man, who had offered such an insult to God and to his law, go unpunished. 231 Seeing that the people would not rest unless they got a satisfactory answer from him, he had the soldier dragged through his critics to be executed, and then the Jews went away.
232 Then there was a battle between the Galileans and the Samaritans, at a village called Geman, in the great plain of Samaria, where a Galilean was killed at a time when many Jews were going up to Jerusalem to the feast.
233 Many people hurried there from Galilee to fight the Samaritans, but their leaders came to Cumanus and asked him, before the damage became irreversible, to come to Galilee and punish the murderers, for there was no other way to separate the people, short of war. But Cumanus had other things in hand, so he postponed hearing them and sent the petitioners away unsatisfied.
234 But when word of this murder was spread in Jerusalem, it horrified the people and they left the feast, and dashed off leaderless against Samaria, unwilling to listen to any of their magistrates. 235 The thieves and rebels went out under Eleazar, son of Dineus, and Alexander and murderously attacked the region of Acrabatene, without distinction of age, setting the villages on fire.
236 Cumanus went to the help of those who were being ravaged, with a troop of cavalry, called the Sebastians, from Caesarea and seized many of the followers of Eleazar and killed most of them.
237 As regards the rest of the men so eager to fight with the Samaritans, the leaders of Jerusalem ran out dressed in sackcloth and with ashes on their head, to beg them to leave before their reprisals against the Samaritans provoked the Romans to attack Jerusalem. They should pity their country, the temple, their children and their wives, and not put them in danger of destruction, to take revenge for a single Galilean.
238 The Jews acceded and dispersed, but still there were many who went into banditry unpunished, and looting and disorder of the worst kind took place all over the country. 239 The Samaritan notables came to Tyre, to Ummidius Quadratus, the ruler of Syria to ask him to punish those who had ravaged their country. 240 The best known of the Jews and Jonathan the son of Ananus the high priest, also came and said that by murdering people the Samaritans had begun the trouble, and that Cumanus was also responsible by being unwilling to punish the murderers.
241 Quadratus fobbed off both parties at the time, saying he would come to those places and enquire into all the details; then he went to Caesarea and crucified all those whom Cumanus had taken alive. 242 From there he went to Lydda, where he heard about the Samaritans and sent for eighteen of the Jews that he heard had been involved in the fight and beheaded them.
243 Two others of the most prominent of them he sent to Caesar, along with the high priests Jonathan and Ananias, and Ananus his son and some other Jewish notables, and did similarly with the most prominent of the Samaritans.
244 He also commanded Cumanus and Celer the tribune to sail to Rome, to report to Caesar on what had been done. When he had settled these matters, he went up from Lydda to Jerusalem and finding the people celebrating their feast of unleavened bread without any rioting, returned to Antioch.
245 When Caesar in Rome had heard Cumanus and the Samaritans, in the hearing of Agrippa who championed the cause of the Jews, while many people of influence supported Cumanus, he condemned the Samaritans and ordered the execution of three of the most powerful among them, and banished Cumanus.
246 He sent Celer as a prisoner to Jerusalem, to be handed over to the Jews and be abused, then dragged around the city and beheaded.
247 After this he sent Felix, the brother of Pallas, as procurator to Galilee and Samaria and Perea and moved Agrippa from Chalcis to a greater kingdom, for he gave him the tetrarchy that had belonged to Philip, which contained Batanae, Trachonitis and Gaulonitis, adding on the kingdom of Lysanias and the tetrarchy which Varus had ruled. 248 Then, after ruling for thirteen years, eight months and twenty days, he died, leaving Nero as his successor in the empire. 249 Led astray by his wife Agrippina, he had adopted him as his successor, though he had a son of his own named Britannicus, by Messalina his former wife and a daughter named Octavia, whom he had given in marriage to Nero. He had also another daughter by Paetina, named Antonia.
Chapter 13. [250-270]
The Sicarii flourish in Nero's time. Syrians persecute the Jews in Caesarea
250 I will pass over the many mad antics of Nero, his huge prosperity and riches and how he misused his good fortune, killing his own brother and wife and mother, and how his savagery later reached out to others of the aristocracy; 251 and finally, about his foolish performances on the stage and the theatre, since lots of people have written of them. I shall limit myself to the events of his time in which the Jews were concerned.
252 He gave the throne of Lesser Armenia to Herod's son, Aristobulus, and he added to Agrippa's kingdom four cities, with their districts: Abila and Julias in Perea, and Tarichea and Tiberias of Galilee. Over the rest of Judea he appointed Felix as procurator. 253 This Felix captured alive the arch-brigand Eleazar and many of his group, who had ravaged the country for twenty years and sent them to Rome. He also had many brigands crucified, and took prisoner and punished an untold number of ordinary people who were involved with them.
254 With the country purged of these, another sort of brigands called Sicarii grew up in Jerusalem, who killed people in broad daylight even in the city itself.
255 This was mainly during the festivals, when they mingled among the people with daggers concealed under their clothing to stab their enemies, and when the victim fell, joined in the protest against it, to make them seem trustworthy, so they could not be found out.
256 The first to be killed by them was Jonathan the high priest, after whom many were killed daily, resulting in a terror that was worse than the event itself, and as everyone faced the prospect of death at any moment, the same as in wartime. 257 People had to be on guard and keep their distance, no longer daring to trust even friends who were approaching them, but despite all precautions and security, they were still killed, so quickly and cunningly did the conspirators come at them.
258 Another band of the wicked gathered, purer in their actions, but even worse in their intentions, which ruined the prosperity of the city no less than did these murderers.
259 These were the sort who deceived the people under pretext of divine inspiration, but were in favour of revolt and upheaval and drove the people mad and led them into the wilderness, claiming that God would there show them signs of liberation.
260 Felix saw this as the start of a revolt, so he sent some cavalry and armed infantry, who killed many of them.
261 Even more harm was done to the Jews by an Egyptian charlatan claiming to be a prophet who led astray a throng of thirty thousand who put their trust in him.
262 These he led round from the wilderness to what is called the Mount of Olives intending to force his way into Jerusalem, and if he defeated the Roman garrison he would tyrannise the people, with his fellow invaders as his bodyguard. 263 Felix thwarted his attempt and met him with his Roman soldiers, while all the people joined in his attack. But in the battle, the Egyptian fled with a few others, while most of his supporters were either killed or taken alive, and the rest of the people scattered to their homes and hid themselves.
264 After this had calmed down, the sickness broke out in another place, as in a diseased body. A company of deceivers and brigands got together and persuaded the Jews to revolt and urged them to assert their liberty, punishing with death any who stayed submissive to Roman rule and saying that those who chose slavery should be forestalled.
265 These divided up into groups and prowled up and down the country, looting the houses of the great and killing their owners and setting villages on fire, until all Judea was full of their madness. So the flame of war was daily fanned more and more.
266 There was another disturbance in Caesarea when the Jews who were there mixed in with the Syrians rioted against them. The Jews claimed the city as theirs since it had been built by a Jew, meaning king Herod. The Syrians admitted that its builder was a Jew, but said that it was a Greek city, since whoever set up statues and temples in it could not have intended it for Jews.
267 So both parties went on until it finally came to open conflict and the braver souls marched out to battle. For the elders of the Jews were unable to curb their own people who were disposed to rebellion and the Greeks thought it would be shameful to be overcome by the Jews. 268 The former exceeded the others in riches and physical strength, but the Greeks had the advantage of support from the soldiers, for most of the Roman garrison came from Syria, and being so related to the Syrian side, were ready to help them.
269 The city rulers wanted to quell the trouble and whenever they caught those who were most for fighting on either side, they punished them with beating and chains. Yet the sufferings of those who were caught did not scare the rest, or make them stop, but spurred them still more to revolt.
270 Once when the Jews had defeated the Syrians, Felix came into the agora and ordered them with threats to go away. When they would not obey he set his soldiers on them, who killed many of them and looted whatever they had. When the rebellion still continued, he sent the influential people on both sides as envoys to Nero, to argue about their rights.
Chapter 14. [271-308]
Succession of Procurators: Felix, Festus, Albinus. Florus whose savagery drives the Jews to revolt
271 When Festus succeeded Felix as procurator he made it his business to check the people who were troubling the country the most, so he caught and killed many of the brigands. 272 But Albinus, who came after Festus, did not handle affairs in the same way, and there was no sort of imaginable evil that he left untried. 273 Not only did he , in his political capacity, steal and loot every one's property and burden the whole nation with taxes, but he allowed people who had been imprisoned for robbery by the city council or by earlier procurators, to be ransomed for money by their relatives, so that the only ones remaining in prison for their crimes were those who did not pay up. 274 At the same time those who planned rebellion in Jerusalem became more daring, and their leaders bought permission from Albinus to go on with their plotting, while those of the people who cared nothing for peace joined forces with the Albinus party.
275 Each of these ruffians had his own gang over which he lorded, like a pirate chief or tyrant, using his bodyguards to loot the peaceful citizens.
276 In practice, those who lost their property were forced to stay silent, though they had cause for wrath at what they suffered, while the people who were unharmed were forced to flatter the gangsters, for fear of suffering the same. All told, nobody dared speak out, for tyranny was everywhere, and this was when the seeds were sown that brought the city to destruction.
277 Such was the character of Albinus, but his successor Gessius Florus made him look a paragon by comparison. For while the former did his crimes secretly and with some discretion, Gessius flaunted his outrages against the nation, and as though sent as executioner to punish condemned criminals, he stopped short at no sort of plunder or wrongdoing.
278 Where situations were most pitiful he was most cruel, and was quite shameless regarding any vice. Nobody could outdo him in concealing the truth, or plan more subtle ways of deceit. He thought it too petty to take money from private individuals, so he stripped whole cities and ruined entire groups and as good as proclaimed to the entire country that all could turn to robbing, so long as he got a share in the spoils. 279 His greed for gain brought ruin to whole cities and many left behind their paternal inheritance, to flee to foreign provinces.
280 While Cestius Gallus was inspecting the province of Syria, nobody dared to send a delegation to him against Florus, but when he came to Jerusalem for the feast of unleavened bread, no fewer than three million people came round him, imploring him to pity the plight of their nation and denouncing Florus as the bane of the country. 281 But he, standing alongside Cestius, just laughed at their words. Cestius, however, after calming the people and telling them he would ensure that Florus treated them more moderately in future, returned to Antioch. 282 Florus conducted him as far as Caesarea, duping him, for already he intended to make war on the nation as the only way of concealing his crimes. 283 He guessed that if the peace continued, the Jews would accuse him before Caesar, but that if he could get them to revolt, this larger crime would divert attention from lesser charges. So to induce them to a rebellion he daily increased their woes.
284 Meanwhile the Greeks from Caesarea had been granted by Nero control of the city and brought his legal judgment back with them. It was now that the war began, in the twelfth year of the reign of Nero and the seventeenth of the reign of Agrippa, in the month of Artemisius. 285 The cause of this war was by no means proportionate to the awful effects it brought upon us. The Jews in Caesarea had a synagogue near a site owned by a Caesarean Greek. and had often tried to purchase the site, even offering to pay many times its value.
286 The owner not only refused their offers, but continued building on the site, and as an insult arranged them as workshops, leaving only a narrow and difficult passage through them. Then some hot-blooded Jewish youth prevented them from going on with the building. 287 When Florus stopped them from using force, the Jewish leaders, along with John the tax-collector, unsure what to do, persuaded Florus with a bribe of eight talents to put a stop to the work.
288 Interested only in money, he promised to do as they asked and left Caesarea to go to Sebaste, leaving the riot to take its course, as if he had sold the Jews a license to fight it out.
289 The following day, the sabbath when the Jews were crowding to their synagogue, a mischief-making Caesarean got an pottery vessel and set it at the entrance of the synagogue with its base upward and sacrificed birds on it. This extremely provoked the Jews, as an affront to their laws and a desecration of the place. 290 It stirred the sober moderates among them to again have recourse to the authorities, while the rebels and those in the fervour of their youth, were hot for a fight. The rebels among the Gentiles of Caesarea were also ready for it, for they had purposely sent the man to sacrifice, and so it soon came to blows.
291 Jucundus, the cavalry captain who was responsible for keeping order, came and took away the pottery vessel and tried to put a stop to the rebellion, but was unable for the violence of the Caesareans, so the Jews took their books of the law and retreated to Narbata, a place of theirs sixty furlongs from Caesarea.
292 John and twelve of the leaders went to Sebaste, to Florus, and complained bitterly of their situation and implored his help, reminding him discretely of the eight talents they had given him, but he had them seized and put in prison, for taking the books of the law away from Caesarea.
293 While the citizens of Jerusalem took this very badly, they restrained their rage, but Florus, like a man hired to fan the flames of war, sent men to take seventeen talents from the sacred treasury, claiming Caesar needed them.
294 This instantly stirred up the people, who rushed to the temple, loudly calling upon the name of Caesar and imploring him to free them from the tyranny of Florus. 295 Some of the rebels also cried out against Florus and heaped the greatest insults on him and carried a basket about, imploring for some coins for him, as for a pitiable pauper. Even this did not make shame him out of his love of money, but provoked him to get still more. 296 Instead of coming to Caesarea as he ought, to quench the flames of war starting from there, and so remove the cause of any trouble, for a bribe of eight talents he quickly marched against Jerusalem instead, with an army of cavalry and infantry, to impose his will by Roman arms and fear and threats, and subdue the city.
297 The people were eager to make Florus ashamed of this and met his soldiers with acclamations and lined up to receive him submissively.
298 But he sent a centurion, Capito, ahead with fifty soldiers, to tell them go back and not to pretend now to receive him cordially, after so foully insulting him before. 299 If they had generous souls and felt free to speak, they should mock him to his face and show their love of freedom, not just with words, but with weapons. 300 This message stunned the people and when Capito's cavalry came the crowd scattered without greeting Florus, or showing their submission to him. They retired to their own houses and spent that night in fear and embarrassment.
301 Florus took up his quarters at the palace, and next day had his tribunal set in front of it and took his seat, and the high priests, the nobles and the notables of the city all came before the tribunal.
302 Florus ordered them to hand over to him those who had insulted him and said they would share in their penalty if they did not produce them. They argued that the people were peaceably disposed and begged pardon for those who had spoken amiss. 303 It was no wonder that among so many some would be more daring than was right, in youthful imprudence. Those who had offended could not be singled out from the rest, for all were sorry for what was done and denied it, for fear of the consequences.
304 Instead he ought to provide for the peace of the nation and take advice that would keep the city for the Romans, and forgive a few guilty people for the sake of the many who were innocent, rather than harm so many good people for the sake of a few wrongdoers.
305 Florus was further provoked by this and called aloud to the soldiers to loot the so-called Upper Marketplace, killing anyone they met. Taking their commander's urging as a licence for looting, the soldiers not only looted the place they were sent to, but forced their way into each house and killed its inhabitants. 306 As the citizens fled along the narrow lanes the soldiers killed whoever they caught and no source of loot was neglected. They caught many peaceful people and brought them to Florus, who first chastised them with whipping and then crucified them.
307 The whole number of people killed that day, with their wives and children, for not even the infants were spared, was about three thousand, six hundred.
308 What made the disaster worse was this new level of Roman savagery, for Florus dared to do what none had done before, and had people of the equestrian order whipped and nailed to the cross before his tribunal, men who, though Jews by birth, held that Roman dignity.
Chapter 15. [309-332]
Berenice fails to get Florus to spare the Jews. He further kindles the flames of war.
309 About this time king Agrippa was going to Alexandria, to congratulate Alexander on being entrusted by Nero as governor of Egypt.
310 When his sister Berenice visited Jerusalem and saw the lawlessness of the soldiers, she was angry and several times sent her cavalry officers and bodyguards to Florus with the request to stop the slaughter.
311 But he ignored her, heeding neither the number of the murders nor the rank of the intercessor, but only the profit he would make from this looting.
312 The violence of the soldiers reached out even to the queen herself, for not only did they torture and kill their captives under her very eyes, but would have killed her too, if she had not hurried to safety in the palace and stayed there all night, under guard, for fear of the soldiers' violence.
313 She was visiting Jerusalem to fulfil a vow she had made to God, for it is traditional for those who are sick of an ailment or in any other distress to make vows, and they abstain from wine and from cutting their hair for thirty days before they are to offer their sacrifices. 314 These things Berenice was now performing and she would stand barefoot to beg before Florus's tribunal without being shown any respect and in some danger of being killed.
315 This happened upon the sixteenth day of the month Artemisius. The following day, the people, who were in a highly stressed state, ran together to the upper market loudly lamenting those who had died, and most of the cries were of a kind insulting to Florus. 316 This made the influential people nervous, and they, with the high priests, rent their clothing and fell down before each person, imploring them to stop and not to provoke Florus to something worse what they had already suffered. 317 The people soon complied out of respect for those who had asked them and hoping that Florus would do them no more outrages.
318 He was annoyed that the trouble was over and tried to fan the flames again and sent for the high priests and the notables and said the only way to prove that the people intended no further revolt was if they went out to greet the two cohorts of soldiers who were coming up from Caesarea.
319 While these were urging the people to do so, he sent directions in advance to the centurions of the cohorts, to tell those under them not to return the salutations of the Jews, and to use their weapons if they made any comment against him. 320 The high priests assembled the people in the temple and asked them to go to meet the Romans and greet the cohorts very civilly, before their wretched state should go beyond repair. The rebel group would not take this advice as the thought of those who had been killed attracted them to those who were the boldest for action.
321 So all the priests and ministers of God brought out the holy vessels and ornaments they normally used in their liturgy. The harpers and the hymn-singers came with their instruments and fell prostrate and implored them to spare their holy ornaments and not provoke the Romans to take away such sacred treasures.
322 Even the high priests were seen with dust sprinkled thickly on their heads, wearing torn clothing and imploring each of the prominent men and the general population, not to betray their country for the sake of a small offense, to those who wanted to see it looted. 323 They said, "What benefit will it be to the soldiers to be saluted by the Jews? What do you gain if you now refuse to go out to meet them?" 324 For if they greeted them civilly, Florus would lose his excuse for starting a war and thereby they would save their country and avoid further sufferings. It would also show a great lack of self-control if they yielded to a few rebels, when it was better for such a people to make the others act soberly.
325 With such urging, spoken to the people and the rebels, they restrained some by threats and others by the reverence shown to them. Then they led them out and met the soldiers in a peaceful, orderly manner and came up to greet them. When they made no answer, the rebels shouted against Florus, which was the signal given in order to attack them.
326 The soldiers quickly surrounded them and beat them with their clubs, and the cavalry trampled them as they fled, so that many died from the blows of the Romans and more by pressing on each other in the crush.
327 There was terrible crowding about the gates, with all hurrying to get out, all were held back and there was terrible loss of life among those who fell down, for they were suffocated and crushed by the crowd above them, so that one could be unidentifiable by his relatives, for burial.
328 The soldiers thrust in with them, beating without mercy anyone they caught, and pushing the people through the place called Bezatha, as they surged forward, trying to enter and seize the temple and the Antonia tower. Since Florus also wanted to take those places, he brought his troop from the king's palace and tried to reach the fortress.
329 But his attempt failed, for the people turned back against him and stopped his rush, and then went up on the roofs of their houses and hurled things at the Romans. These weapons from above posed a problem since they could not make their way through the people blocking the narrow alleys, so they retreated to their camp near the palace.
330 The rebels were afraid that Florus might again come through the Antonia tower and seize the temple, so they immediately got up into the porticoes joining the temple to the Antonia and cut them down.
331 This cooled the greed of Florus, for whereas he wished to get into Antonia in order to seize the sacred treasury, he gave up on this as soon as the porticoes were broken down, and sent for the high priests and the Sanhedrin and told them he was going to leave the city, but would leave them as large a garrison as they desired. 332 They promised to keep good order if he would leave them one cohort, though not the one that had fought the Jews, as the people resented what they had suffered from that cohort, so he changed the cohort as they asked, and returned to Caesarea with the rest of his forces.
Chapter 16. [333-404]
Cestius sends a tribune to report on Judea. Agrippa argues: Don't Rebel Against Rome
333 Florus arranged another way to force the Jews to begin a war and sent a false message to Cestius accusing the Jews of rebelling, blaming them for starting the recent strife, and portraying them as the cause of the troubles in which they were really the victims. But the leaders of Jerusalem did not stay silent about this, but wrote to Cestius, as did Berenice too, about the crimes of Florus against the city.
334 Reading both accounts, he consulted his officers, some of whom thought Cestius should bring up his army either to punish the revolt, if it was real, or to establish Roman rule more firmly, if the Jews stayed peaceful under them. He decided to send one of his friends ahead, to evaluate and give him a true account of the mind of the Jews. 335 Neopolitanus the tribune was sent and in Jamnia he met king Agrippa who was returning from Alexandria, and explained his mission and its purpose.
336 Then the high priests and notables among the Jews, and the Sanhedrin, came to salute the king, and after paying their respects, they lamented their own troubles and related to him the cruel treatment they had received from Florus.
337 Agrippa was furious about this savagery, but subtly shifted his anger towards the Jews, whom he really pitied, in order to reduce their anger, lessening their sense of grievance, in order to dissuade them from revenge.
338 These men, being property-owners and of better judgment than the others and wanting peace, understood that this reproach by the king was for their good, and the people came out sixty furlongs from `Jerusalem to welcome Agrippa and Neopolitanus. 339 However, the wives of people who had been killed came running in advance and wailing, and when the people heard their mourning, they also wailed and begged Agrippa to help them, while shouting at Neopolitanus and complaining of all they had endured under Florus. When they arrived in the city, they showed them how the Marketplace had been wrecked and the houses looted. 340 Through Agrippa, they then persuaded Neopolitanus to walk round the city, with just one servant, as far as Siloam, to let him see that the Jews submitted to all the other Romans and only objected to Florus, because of his excessive savagery to them. So he walked round and saw the mild temper of the populace and then went up to the temple.
341 Calling the people together, he praised them highly for their fidelity to the Romans and urged them to keep the peace. Then after worshipping God from the area of the temple that he was allowed to visit, he returned to Cestius.
342 The majority of the Jews asked the king and to the high priests for permission to send envoys to Nero against Florus, so as not by their silence after such killings, to have him suspect them of starting a revolt. They felt that they might be seen as instigators of the war, if they did not get in early and show who really began it. 343 It was also clear that they would not stay peaceful, if anyone stopped them from sending such a delegation. But Agrippa, though considering it dangerous for them to send men to accuse Florus, still did not want to ignore them, as they were in a mood for war.
344 Therefore he summoned the people into the Xystus (large gallery) and placing his sister Berenice on the roof of the Hasmonean palace, where they could see her, above the Xystus, across from the upper town, where a bridge joined the temple to the gallery, he addressed them:
345 "If I saw you all eager for war with the Romans, instead of the better and more sincere part of you preferring to live in peace, I would not have come out to you, or dared to advise you, for any speech attempting to persuade people to do their duty is wasted if the hearers are bent on a worse course. 346 But some young folk are eager for war because they have no experience of the evils it brings, and some are for it from an empty hope of regaining the liberty, and others want it because they hope for profit, by seizing the property of the weak, once all is in confusion; and therefore, so that the former may wisely change their minds and the virtuous suffer no harm from the misdeeds of others, I thought to gather you together and tell you what I think to be for your good. 347 Let nobody shout me down, even if annoyed at what I say, if there are any who are incurably bent on revolt, they may persist in that view when my exhortation is done. But my words will be lost, even for those who wish to hear me, unless you all keep silence. 348 "I know the outcry of many about the wrongs done to you by your procurators and the glories of liberty. But before examining those against whom you propose to fight, I would first distinguish among the claims which some have jumbled together.
349 If revenge on those who have done you wrong is what you want, why talk of liberty? But if you find slavery intolerable, why complain against particular officers? For even if they treated you fairly, to be slaves would still be unworthy.
350 "Considered one by one you will see how weak are your reasons for going to war; and first, the complaints against your procurators. You should be submissive to the authorities and not irritate them. 351 Men reprimanded for minor offenses become more hostile towards those who rebuke them, and instead of harming you secretly and with shamed they will openly lay waste whatever you have. Nothing dampens the force of blows so much as patiently bearing them , and a calm response curbs the doing of still more harm.
352 Even if the Roman officials are intolerably harsh, not all of the Romans, or Caesar himself, have been unjust to you, and it is against them you are going to war. It is not at their orders that an oppressor came to you, for they in the west cannot see those sent to the east. Over there it is it not easy even to hear news from these parts.
353 It is absurd to attack so many for the sake of one, or go to war with such a people for a small cause, before they even know our complaints. 354 The crimes we complain of may soon be corrected, for the same procurator will not last for ever, and his successors may come in a more temperate spirit. Once begun, war is not easily ended, nor waged without risk of disaster.
355 "Your present thirst for liberty is untimely; you should have struggled harder in the past never to lose it. For slavery is hard and it would have been right to struggle not to let it begin. 356 But when one has been enslaved and runs away, he is a headstrong slave rather than a lover of liberty. The proper time to have done everything to keep out the Romans was when Pompey first invaded the country. 357 But our ancestors and their kings, who were better off than you in riches and in strength of body and soul, did not hold off even a small part of the Roman army. Yet you, after generations of obedience and so less well supplied than those who first submitted, can you withstand the whole Roman empire?
358 "The Athenians once set fire to their own city, in order to preserve the liberty of Greece. They pursued Xerxes, that proud prince who "sailed upon land and walked on the sea" and for whom the seas were too narrow and whose army was wider than Europe, and made him flee like a fugitive in a single ship and broke the power of Asia off the coast of little Salamis, but these are now slaves to the Romans and instructions from Italy become laws for the city that once ruled Greece. 359 The Spartans too, despite Thermopylae and Platea and Agesilaus, who explored Asia, are content under the same masters.
360 The Macedonians too, who still cherish the image of Philip and how Fortune along with Alexander spread their empire over the world, what a change they suffered to now have to obey those whom fortune has favoured in their place. 361 Myriads of other nations with a fuller we claim to freedom than ours, are subjected. Are you the only people who disdain to serve those to whom the universe has yielded? What are the troops and the armour you depend on? Where is your fleet, to take over the Roman seas? Where are the treasuries to support your undertakings?
362 "Is it is with the Egyptians or the Arabs you think you are going to war? Will you not reflect on the Roman empire? Will you not measure your own weakness? Has your army not often been defeated even by your neighbouring nations, while the power of the Romans is invincible in all parts of the world?
363 They even seek still further, for not content to have the Euphrates as their eastern border and the Danube on the north, they they seek further habitable earth beyond their southern limit, Libya, and beyond Cadiz, their western extreme, and have carried their weapons across the ocean as far as the British, previously unknown to history. 364 What therefore do you aim to achieve? Are you richer than the Gauls, stronger than the Germans, wiser than the Greeks, more numerous than all people in the world? What inspires you to rise against the Romans?
365 "One might say, 'Slavery is hard to bear.' But how much harder is this for the Greeks, deemed the noblest of all people under the sun, who though they live in a large country, are ruled by the six Roman fasces. The same for the Macedonians, who have more reason than you to claim their liberty.
366 What of the five hundred cities of Asia? Do they not, without a garrison, submit to a single ruler and the consular fasces? Need I speak of the Heniochi and Colchi and the nation of Tauri, the people of the Bosphorus and the nations around Pontus and Meotis?
367 Formerly they recognised no master even among their own, but are now in subjection to three thousand infantry, while forty long ships keep the peace in a sea that formerly was unnavigated and wild! 368 What a strong claim for liberty have Bithynia and Cappadocia and the people of Pamphylia, the Lycians and Cilicians - but they pay tax without recourse to arms. The Thracians, whose country is five days' journey broad and seven in length, and is more rugged and much more defensible than yours, and the depth of whose cold prevents armies from attacking them... are they not obedient to a Roman garrison of two thousand men? 369 And the Illyrians, their neighbours, are they not ruled from Dalmatia to the Danube, by just two legions, with whom they also block the attacks of the Dacians?
370 And the Dalmatians, who so often rebelled for their freedom and were never so subdued in the past but that they always regrouped and rebelled again, are they not now at peace under a single Roman legion?
371 If great advantages could prompt any people to rebel, the Gauls were best equipped of all, with such strong natural defences: the Alps on the east, the river Rhine on the north, the Pyrenee mountains on the south, and the ocean on the west.
372 But though these Gauls are surrounded by such obstacles to prevent them being attacked, and include no fewer than three hundred and five nations, and have in their land, one may say, the very sources of prosperity, and flood nearly all the world with their plentiful goods, they accept to pay tax to the Romans and have their own economy meted out by them.
373 They tolerate this, not because of cowardice or ignoble lineage, for they fought for their freedom for all of eighty years, but because they were overwhelmed by the power of the Romans and for fate, which supports them even more than their weapons. Therefore they are kept in servitude by twelve hundred soldiers, though they have as many cities as that.
374 The Iberians found that the gold dug from their mines was not enough to support their war for liberty, nor their vast distance from the Romans by land and by sea, nor the tribes of the Lusitanians and Cantabrians with their mania for war, nor the ocean, with its tides, so feared by the natives.
375 The Romans have brought their armies beyond the pillars of Hercules, and walked through the clouds on the Pyrenean mountains, and subdued these nations. One legion is enough to guard these people, although they were so hard to defeat and at such a distance from Rome.
376 Which of you has not heard of the German hordes ? Surely you have often seen how strong and tall they are, since everywhere the Romans have them among their slaves?
377 But though living in an immense country, these Germans, whose minds are even larger than their bodies and souls that despise death, and who can rage more fiercely than wild beasts, are kept bordered behind the Rhine and are tamed by eight Roman legions, with their captives enslaved, and all the rest of the nation forced to flee. 378 You who depend on the ramparts of Jerusalem, consider what a wall the Britons had, for the Romans sailed across and subdued them, though they were surrounded by the ocean and inhabited an island no less in size than the land we live in, and four legions are enough to guard so large an island. 379 What more need I say, when even that most warlike race, the Parthians, lords of so many nations and endowed with such strength, send hostages to the Romans? In Italy one may see how the noblest nation of the East, in order to have peace, submits to serve them.
380 So, when almost all people under the sun submit to the Roman arms, will you be the only people to make war on them? Do you forget the fate of the Carthaginians, who boasted of the great Hannibal and the nobility of their Phoenician origins, but fell by the hand of Scipio? 381 The Cyrenians, derived from the Spartans, and the Marmaridites, whose nation extends to regions uninhabitable for lack of water, and the Syrtes, a place fearful to those who barely hear it described, the Nasamons and Moors and the immense throng of the Numidians, none of these could resist the Roman bravery.
382 This third part of the world, whose nations are countless and which is bounded by the Atlantic Sea and the pillars of Hercules, and supports innumerable Ethiopians as far as the Red Sea, these too the Romans have entirely subdued. 383 Besides the annual crops, which maintain the Roman population for eight months in the year, this region also pays all sorts of tax and revenues for the maintenance of the empire. Unlike you, they do not regard such regulations as any disgrace, although they have just one Roman legion living among them.
384 What need is there to show you the power of the Romans in distant places, when it is seen so close at hand, in Egypt? 385 This reaches as far as Ethiopia and Happy Arabia, the port for India, and has a population of seven million five hundred thousand, besides the people of Alexandria, as the revenues of the poll tax show, yet it is not ashamed to submit to the rule of Rome, despite the great temptation to rebel it has in Alexandria, so full of people and riches. 386 This huge city, thirty furlongs in length and no less than ten wide, pays more tax to the Romans in one month than you do in a year, and besides its money-tax it sends to Rome the corn that supports it for four months each year. It is protected on all sides by almost impassable deserts, or seas that have no harbours, or by rivers, or by lakes. 387 Yet none of these was too strong for the Roman fortune, and two legions based in that city are a curb both on the remoter parts of Egypt and on the parts inhabited by the nobler Macedonians.
388 "What allies will you have in this war? Will you get them from the uninhabited wilds, since all in the inhabited world are Romans? Do any of you hope for help from beyond the Euphrates and imagine that your relatives in Adiabene will come to your help? 389 These will not for a foolish reason involve themselves in such a war, and even if they were so ill advised, the Parthian king would not let them to do so, for he is concerned to maintain the truce with Rome and would be deemed to break the treaty if any under his rule went against the Romans.
390 "The only recourse left is to the help of God. But this is already on the side of the Romans, since so vast an empire could not possibly be built without God.
391 Reflect how your religious customs cannot be maintained in time of war, even if you fight an easier foe. So how can you hope for God's special help, when, being forced to break his law, you make him turn his face away from you?
392 But if you do observe the sabbath customs and do no action on that day, you will be taken as easily as were your ancestors by Pompey, who pressed his siege most busily on those very days when the besieged rested.
393 If in time of war you transgress your ancestral law I wonder why you go to war at all, if your concern is to protect your ancestral customs
394 "How will you call upon the Deity to help you, while deliberately neglecting his worship? Everyone going to war does so depending on either divine or human help, but since your proposed war will deprive you of both those helps, those who are for war are evidently choosing destruction.
395 What is to stop you from killing your children and wives with your own hands and burning this splendid place of yours? For only by such a mad step will you escape the shame of being defeated. 396 But it would be best, my friends, it would be best, while the boat is still in the harbour, to foresee the impending gale and not sail out into the middle of the storm, to be lost. For if it is right to pity those who fall into great unforeseen troubles, any who rush to foreseeable ruin deserve only our contempt.
397 "Can anyone imagine that you can enter into a provisional war or that when the Romans defeat you they will treat you with fairness? No indeed, but as an example to other nations they will burn your holy city and utterly destroy your nation. Those of you who survive the war will be unable to find a place to flee, since all people already serve the Romans or are afraid of doing so, later. 398 Indeed, the danger concerns not only the Jews here, but also those living in other cities. For there is no nation in the world which does not have some of our race.
399 All of them your enemies will kill if you go to war, so thatfor the sake of a few men every city will be filled with slaughtered Jews, and whoever kills them will be pardoned. And if that did not take place, how wrong it would be to take arms against such humane opponents.
400 Have pity, therefore, not only on your children and wives, but on this your metropolis and its sacred walls. Spare for yourselves the temple and the sanctuary, with its holy furnishings. For if the Romans lay hands on them, they will not spare them, seeing that their fairness in the past was so ungratefully repaid. 401 I call as witness your sanctuary and the holy angels of God and this country shared by us all, that I have held back nothing that can contribute to your safety. If you follow my advice as you should, you will enjoy with me the blessings of peace, but if you are driven by your passions, you will run those risks without me."
402 When he said this both he and his sister wept and by their tears curbed much of the public violence, but still the people shouted that the war was not against the Romans, but against Florus, for what they had suffered under him.
403 To this king Agrippa replied that what they had done already looked like making war on the Romans. "For you have not paid the tax due to Caesar and have cut off the porticoes from the Antonia.
404 You can end the revolt by joining these again and paying your tax. Remember, the fortress does not belong to Florus, nor is it to Florus that your tax money will go."
Chapter 17. [405-456]
How the war began; Masada and Jerusalem. Eleazar's act of treachery
405 The people took this advice and going up to the temple with the king and Berenice they began to rebuild the porticoes, and their officers and senators went out into the villages and soon collected the forty talents of taxes that were in arrears.
406 So, for the moment, Agrippa averted the danger of war. Moreover, he tried to persuade the people to obey Florus, until Caesar should send his successor. This provoked them again and they cursed the king and banished him from the city, and some of the rebels even dared to throw stones at him.
407 The king, seeing how he could not restrain the rebels from violence and very angry at the abuse he had received, sent the officers and notables to Florus in Caesarea, to have him appoint whoever he pleased to collect the taxes, while he returned to his own kingdom.
408 Some of the main promoters of the war attacked a fortress called Masada and took it by stealth, killing the Romans who were there and putting others of their own party to hold it. 409 At the same time Eleazar, son of Ananias the high priest, a very brave youth who was then captain of the temple, persuaded those who officiated in the divine service to accept no gift or sacrifice from any foreigner. This was the true beginning of our war with the Romans, for they put an end to the sacrifice for them and for Caesar.
410 Even when the high priests and men of repute implored them not to omit the sacrifice which it was traditional to offer for their princes, they would not be persuaded, confident in their numbers, for they were supported by the rebel party and highly regarded Eleazar, captain of the temple.
411 At this, seeing everything at stake and that the disaster seemed irreparable, the influential people gathered with the high priests and the leading Pharisees and discussed what was to be done. They decided to try speaking with the rebels and assembled the people before the bronze gate of the inner temple, which faced eastward. 412 First they expressed their anger at this attempted revolt and for bringing such a war upon their country. Then they confuted its pretext as groundless and said that their ancestors had adorned their temple in great part with donations given by foreigners and had always accepted the offerings of foreign nations.
413 So far were they from rejecting anyone's sacrifice, which would be the height of impiety, they had themselves set around the temple those dedications which were still visible and had been there so long a time.
414 Now they were provoking the Romans to take arms and courting war with them by bringing up novel rules for worship. They risked having their city condemned for impiety, by not allowing any foreigner, but Jews alone, to sacrifice or to worship in it. 415 If such a law were applied to a private citizen, he would spurn it as an unfair discrimination against him, but they think nothing of excluding the Romans or even Caesar himself.
416 The danger was that, by so rejecting sacrifices from them, they would not be allowed to offer their own, and that this city would be excluded, unless they quickly grow wiser and restore the sacrifices as before and make good the insult before it was reported to those so insulted.
417 To support their words, they produced priests skilled in the customs of their country, who reported that their ancestors had all accepted sacrifices from foreigners. But none of the innovators would heed what was said, and the liturgical ministers neglected their duties and thereby abetted the outbreak of war. 418 Realising that they could not contain the revolt and that the danger from the Romans would affect them before all others, the influential people tried to save themselves by sending envoys, some to Florus, in particular Simon the son of Ananias, and others to Agrippa, among whom were Saul and Antipas and Costobarus, from among the king's relatives. 419 They requested both of them to come with an army to the city and put a stop to the rebellion before it became too hard to subdue. 420 This message was good news to Florus, and wanting to fan the flames of war he gave no answer at all to the envoys.
421 Agrippa grieved both for the rebellious people and for those against whom they were going to war, as he wished to keep the Jews under Roman rule and preserve the temple and metropolis for the Jews. He knew that it would not be good for him if the disturbances went any further, so from Auranitis and Batanea and Trachonitis he sent three thousand cavalry to the help of the citizens, under Darius, the master of his cavalry and with Philip, son of Jacimus, as general.
422 Encouraged by this, the influential people, the high priests, and all the people who wanted peace, seized the upper city, for the rebel party held the lower city and the temple. 423 They were always using stones and slings against each other and rained spears from both sides, and at times they attacked by troops and fought hand to hand, the rebels proving more daring, but the king's soldiers more skilled. 424 The latter mainly aimed to take the temple and expel those who profaned it, while Eleazar and the rebels tried to take the upper city along with what they already held. For seven whole days there was slaughter on both sides, but neither side would yield up the areas they had seized.
425 The eighth day was the festival of Wood-carrying, when by custom everyone brought wood for the altar so that fuel might never be lacking to keep alight the eternal flame. That day they barred the opposing party from the ceremony, and then, emboldened by being joined by some weakminded people and of the so-called Sicarii, brigands who carried a dagger in their bosoms, they carried their aggression further.
426 The king's men, overpowered by their numbers and audacity, gave way and were forced from the upper city. The others then set on fire the house of Ananias the high priest and the palaces of Agrippa and Berenice.
427 After this they brought fire to where the archives were kept, intending to burn the money-lenders contracts and by cancelling the debts, to win over many who had been debtors and persuade the poorer folk to safely join in their revolt against the wealthier. They set fire to the building as soon the record-keepers had fled. 428 When they had so burned down the nerves of the city, they attacked the enemy. At that point the influential people and high priests escaped, some of them hiding in the underground vaults.
429 Others fled with the king's troops to the upper palace and shutting the gates behind them, among them Ananias the high priest and the envoys who had been sent to Agrippa. The rebels, contented with their victory and the buildings they had burned down, called a halt.
430 Next day, the fifteenth of the month Lous, they attacked the Antonia and after besieging its garrison for two days they captured and killed the guards and set the fort on fire. 431 Then they marched on the palace, where the king's men had fled and divided into four groups to attack its walls. As the attackers were so many, none of the people inside dared to sally out, but they hid behind the battlements and turrets and shot at the besiegers, felling many of the brigands underneath the ramparts.
432 They did not cease the fight by night or day, since the rebels expected the defenders to weaken for lack of food and these expected the others to do likewise, from the tedium of the siege.
433 Meanwhile a certain Manahem, son of Judas surnamed the Galilean, a shrewd debater who had formerly, under Quirinius, taunted the Jews that under God they were subject to the Romans, retreated to Masada with his company.
434 There he broke open king Herod's armoury and gave out arms not only to his own people, but to other bandits. With these as his bodyguard he returned to Jerusalem in royal state to become leader of the revolt, and ordered the siege to continue. 435 But they lacked the tools and it was not practicable to undermine the wall, because of the missiles coming from above. Still, from a long distance they dug a mine under one of the towers and made it totter, and then lit combustible materials under it and retired.
436 Once the foundations below were burned, the tower suddenly fell down. They then encountered another wall that had been built inside, for the besieged knew in advance what was afoot, and probably the tower shook as it was being undermined, so they had provided themselves with another line of defence. 437 When the besiegers now saw this, after thinking they had already captured the place, they panicked, but those inside sent to Manahem and the other rebel leaders offering a surrender. This was granted only to the king's troops and their fellow nationals, who accordingly left. 438 The Romans who were left behind were at a loss, unable to force their way through such a crowd and unwilling to parley with them for their lives, as they thought this would shame them, and even if a pledge were given, they dared not depend upon it.
439 So they abandoned their position as indefensible and retreated to the royal towers called Hippicus, Phasael and Mariamne.
440 Manahem and his party attacked the place as the soldiers fled, killing as many as they could catch before they reached the towers, then they plundered what they had left behind and burned their camp. This took place on the sixth day of the month Gorpieus.
441 Next day the high priest was caught where he was hiding in an aqueduct, and he and Hezekiah his brother were killed by the brigands. Then the rebels besieged the towers and kept them guarded so none of the soldiers could escape.
442 The destruction of the strongholds and the death of the high priest Ananias so elated Manahem that he became fiercely harsh, and seeing nobody with whom he had to share power, he became an intolerable tyrant.
443 Eleazar's group, however, objected that for men who had rebelled against the Romans to win their liberty, it was not right to hand over that liberty to one of their own people and to take as their master one who, even if he did no violence, was lower than themselves, and if they had to have someone govern their affairs, they should give that privilege to anyone else rather than to him. So they planned to attack him in the temple.
444 He went up there to worship in fine style, adorned with royal robes, with his Zealots fully armed. 445 But Eleazar's group rushed at him and the rest of the people took up stones and threw them at the charlatan, thinking that with his fall the entire rebellion would collapse.
446 Manahem and his party resisted for a while, but when they saw the whole crowd attacking them, they fled however they could. Those who were caught were killed and those who hid themselves were hunted.
447 A few of them secretly escaped to Masada, among them Eleazar, son of Jairus, a relative of Manahem, who later played the tyrant in Masada.
448 Manahem himself went into hiding in a place called Ophla, but they took him alive, brought him out in public and subjected him to many tortures and finally killed him, as well as the captains under him, including Apsalom, his main lieutenant in the tyranny.
449 As I said, the people went along with this, hoping it might bring some sense to the whole revolt, but the others were in no hurry end the war; they just hoped to continue it with less danger, now they had removed Manahem.
450 The truth is, when the people implored them to stop besieging the soldiers, they pursued it more vigorously until the Roman general, Metilius, unable to resist any further, sent to Eleazar offering to hand over their weapons and whatever else they had in return for his assurance just to spare their lives. 451 They readily accepted this request, and sent Gorion, son of Nicodemus, and Ananias, son of Sadduk, and Judas, son of Jonathan, to give them the guarantee of their pledge and their oaths, and then Metilius brought out his soldiers. 452 These, as long as they were armed, were not meddled with by any of the rebels, who gave no sign of treachery, but as soon as they had laid down their shields and swords according to the terms of surrender, and were about to leave, suspecting nothing,
453 Eleazar's men attacked them violently, surrounded them and killed them, while they were defenceless, and begged for no quarter, but only cried out against the breaking of their terms of surrender and their oaths.
454 All of them were cruelly butchered, except Metilius, for when he begged for mercy and promised to turn Jew and be circumcised, they let him alone live. To the Romans this was only a slight loss, since only a few from their immense army were killed, but to the Jews it seemed a prelude to the destruction.
455 People openly grieved at seeing such irretrievable grounds for war, and the city polluted by crimes for which divine retribution must be expected, even if they escaped the vengeance of the Romans. The city was full of sadness and every sensible person in it was troubled, being likely to suffer for the sins of the rebels. 456 For good measure, this murder was committed on the sabbath day, when the Jews rest from their works in order to worship God.
Chapter 18. [457-512]
Slaughter of the Jews in Caesarea. Pogrom against them in other cities
457 On the very same day and hour, the people of Caesarea killed the Jews living among them, which one imagines must have been by the will of Providence, so that within an hour more than twenty thousand Jews were killed, and all Caesarea was emptied of its Jewish population, and Florus caught any who fled and sent them in chains to the galleys. 458 The whole Jewish nation was infuriated by this blow to their people in Caesarea, so parties of them ravaged the villages of the Syrians and their neighbouring cities, Philadelphia and Sebonitis and Gerasa and Pella and Scythopolis and later Gadara and Hippos.
459 They attacked Gaulonitis, and destroyed some cities there and set others on fire, and then proceeded to Kedasa of the Tyrians, and Ptolemais and Gaba and Caesarea.
460 Neither Sebaste nor Askelon could stand up to their violent attack, and when they had burned these to the ground, they demolished Anthedon and Gaza. Many of the villages round each of those cities were looted and many of their people were caught and slaughtered.
461 The Syrians killed no less a number of the Jews, killing any whom they caught in their cities not only because of their previous hatred of them but to avert any danger from them. 462 There was terrible disorder all around Syria with each city divided into two camps and one party's safety lay in the destruction of the other, so that their days were spent in bloodshed and their nights in fear, which was even worse.
463 When the Syrians thought they had wiped out the Jews, they turned their suspicion on the Judaizers and while neither side wanted to kill people merely on suspicion they greatly feared those whom they doubted, as if they were foreigners.
464 People felt provoked to kill the opposite party, even those who in the past had seemed mild and gentle towards them, for they fearlessly looted the property of the fallen and took home the loot from those whom they killed, as if it had been won in a set battle. Whoever got the largest share was held in honour, as one who had defeated more of his enemies.
465 One saw cities full of unburied corpses, old men mixed with infants, all dead and scattered about and even female corpses, with no cover for their nakedness. The whole province was full of atrocities, while everywhere there were threats of things still more cruel than what had already taken place.
466 So far the conflict had been between Jews and foreigners, but when they made excursions to Scythopolis, they experienced even Jews as enemies, for these stood to battle side by side with the men of Scythopolis and preferring their own safety to their relationship to us, they fought against their own countrymen.
467 Indeed their ardour was such that the people of Scythopolis suspected them, afraid that they might attack the city at night and cause great damage in order to make amends to their own people for their disloyalty to them. So, to make them prove their allegiance and fidelity to their foreign hosts, they ordered them to leave the city and go, with their families, to a local grove.
468 When the Jews had done as ordered, suspecting nothing, the people of Scythopolis waited for two days, to lull them into security, but on the third night they took their opportunity and cut the throats of all thirteen thousand of them as they were unarmed and some of them asleep, and then looted all that they had.
469 Something noteworthy befell Simon, whose father, Saul, was also a well-known character. This man was distinguished from the rest by his strength of body and bravery of conduct, although he abused both, and thereby harmed his countrymen.
470 Day by day he came and killed many of the Jews of Scythopolis and often routed them and on his own caused his army's defeat.
471 But a just punishment overtook him for the murders he had committed among his countrymen, for when the people of Scythopolis threw spears at them in the grove, he drew his sword, but did not attack any of the enemy, for he saw that he could do nothing against such a crowd.
472 Instead he cried out very movingly, "People of Scythopolis, I suffer rightly for what I have done in your regard, for proving my fidelity to you by killing so many of my own kinsmen. So now after acting so badly against our own nation it is just that we suffer the treachery of foreigners. Villain as I am, I will die by my own hand, for it is not fitting to die at the hand of our enemies. 473 Let this one action both atone for my crimes and prove my courage, so that none of our enemies can boast of having killed me and no one may insult me as I fall."
>474 Saying this, he looked round with eyes of pity and rage at his family - his wife and children and his aged parents. 475 First he grasped his father by his grey hairs and ran him through with his sword and then did the same to his mother, who willingly accepted it, and later did the same to his wife and children, each one willingly accepting his sword in order to avoid being killed by the enemy. 476 When he had gone through his whole family, he stood above their bodies in full view of all and stretching out his right hand where none could fail to see, he plunged the length of his sword into his own bowels. This young man was to be pitied for his strength of body and courage of soul, but deserved his death for putting his trust in foreigners.
477 After this murder at Scythopolis, the other cities rose up against their Jewish inhabitants. In Askelon they killed two thousand five hundred and in Ptolemais two thousand and put not a few in chains.
478 The people of Tyre also put many to death and put even more in chains, and those in Hippos and Gadara did the same, putting to death the boldest of the Jews, but keeping in custody others of whom they were afraid; and so did the other cities of Syria, according to whether they either hated them or merely feared them. 479 Only the Antiochians, the Sidonians and Apamians spared those living among them and would not let any of the Jews be killed or imprisoned. Perhaps they spared them because their own numbers were so large that they foresaw no danger from them, but I think it was mainly due to their mercy towards people whom they saw had made no revolt.
480 The Gerasans did no harm to those who lived among them, and conducted as far as their borders any who wished to leave.
481 There was also plotting against the Jews in Agrippa's kingdom, for he had gone to Cestius Gallus, to Antioch, but had left Noarus, one of his companions, to take care of the public affairs, and this Noarus was related to king Sohemus. 482 Seventy men came from Batanea, the most highly considered for their family background and prudence, who asked to have an army put under them, so that if there was any rioting they would have with them a means of restraining the eventual rebels.
483 Varus sent out some of the king's warriors by night and killed all these men. He dared to take this decision without the consent of Agrippa, for such was his love of money that he chose to treat his own countrymen so badly, even though it brought ruin on the kingdom. He continued to treat that nation cruelly and illegaly until Agrippa was told of it, and even then he did not dare to execute him, out of regard to Sohemus, but put an immediate end to his regime. 484 But the rebels took the fortress called Cypros, above Jericho, and cut the throats of the garrison and utterly demolished the fortifications. 485 This was about the same time that the Jewish population at Machaerus persuaded the Roman garrison to leave the place and hand it over to them. 486 These Romans fearing that the place would be taken by force, agreed to depart upon certain conditions, and when they had received the guarantee they asked, they handed over the fortress, into which the people of Machaerus put a garrison for their security and held it in their power.
487 But in Alexandria, there was perpetual strife between the inhabitants and the Jews from the time when Alexander, as a reward for their readily helping him against the Egyptians, gave them equal privileges in this city with the Greeks themselves. 488 They kept this honourary status under his successors, who also set apart for them a special place to live in ritual purity, so that they were not as mixed with outsiders as before; and he let them call themselves Macedonians. When the Romans took power in Egypt, neither the first Caesar nor any who came after him thought of lessening the honours which Alexander had given to the Jews.
489 Still, conflicts were always arising with the Greeks, and although the officers regularly punished some of them, the rebellion grew worse, especially at this time when there were riots in other places too.
490 These disorders among them flared up, for when the Alexandrians held a public assembly to discuss an embassy they were sending to Nero, many of Jews came flocking to the theatre,
491 but seeing them their opponents instantly shouted and called them their enemies and said they came to spy on them. Then they rushed out and violently laid hold of them, and the others were killed as they fled. There were three men whom they caught and hauled along, to burn them alive, but all the Jews came in a body to defend them. 492 At first they pelted the Greeks with stones, but then they took torches and rushed violently into the theatre and threatened to burn the people to a man, and would have done so if Tiberius Alexander, the ruler of the city, had not restrained their passions.
493 This man did not begin to teach them wisdom with weapons, but quietly sent some of the leaders to beg them to keep the peace and not provoke the Roman army against them. The rebels joked about the pleas of Tiberius and insulted him for making them.
494 When he saw that the group for revolt would not be pacified until some disaster struck them, he sent the two Roman legions in the city and along with them five thousand other soldiers, who chanced to be there from Libya, to put an end to the Jews. They were allowed not only to kill them, but to rob them of what they had and to set fire to their houses.
495 They rushed into the part of the city called Delta, where the Jewish people lived, and did as they were bidden, though not without blood being shed on their own side. The Jews formed up and set the best armed among them in the forefront and kept up resistance for a long time, but once these were turned aside they were killed without mercy.
496 Then their ruin was complete, some being caught in the open and others forced into their houses, which were first looted of everything in them and then set on fire by the Romans. 497 No mercy was shown to the infants and no respect to the aged, but they went on slaughtering persons of every age, until the place overflowed with blood and fifty thousand of them lay dead in heaps, and none would have been spared if they had not taken to prayer. Then Alexander took pity on their condition and ordered the Romans to retreat.
498 Accustomed to obeying orders, these left off killing at the first word, but the Alexandrians so hated the Jews that it was difficult to recall them and make them leave their corpses.
499 This wretched disaster befell the Jews in Alexandria at this time. Afterwards Cestius no longer wanted to remain inactive while the Jews were everywhere up in arms, 500 so he marched to Ptolemais with the entire twelfth legion from Antioch and with two thousand chosen from each of the rest, with six cohorts of infantry and four troops of cavalry, besides those allies sent by the kings. Of these, Antiochus sent two thousand cavalry and three thousand infantry, with as many archers, and Agrippa sent the same number of infantry and one thousand cavalry.
501 Sohemus followed with four thousand, a third of them cavalry, but most were archers. 502 There were also many allies gathered from the cities, less skilled than the regular soldiers, but making up for it by their zeal and their hatred for the Jews. Agrippa himself came with Cestius, to guide his march across the country and to suggest what should be done. 503 Cestius took part of his forces and marched quickly to Zabulon, a strong city of Galilee called the City of Men, separating the district of Ptolemais from our nation.
504 He found it deserted of men, the people having fled to the mountains, but full of all sorts of good things. He let the soldiers loot these and set fire to the city, although it was of admirable beauty, with houses built like those in Tyre and Sidon and Berytus. 505 After this he overran all the country and seized whatever came his way and set fire to the villages round about and then returned to Ptolemais. 506 But when the Syrians and especially those of Berytus, were busy looting, the Jews, knowing that Cestius had retreated, took new heart and unexpectedly attacked the stragglers, killing about two thousand of them.
507 Cestius marched from Ptolemais to Caesarea, but sending part of his army ahead to Joppa with orders to hold that city if they could capture it, but if the citizens were alerted to the attack, they should wait for him and the rest of the army. 508 So some made a forced march along the coast and some came overland and coming at them from both sides, they took the city with ease. Since the inhabitants had made no advance provision for flight, nor had anything ready for fighting, the soldiers attacked and killed them all, with their families and then looted and burned the city.
509 The number of the fallen was eight thousand four hundred. Similarly Cestius sent a considerable troop of cavalry to Narbatene, adjoining Caesarea, who destroyed the district and killed many of its people, looting what they had and burning their villages.
510 Cestius sent Gallus, commander of the twelfth legion, into Galilee with as much of his forces as he thought sufficient to subdue that nation.
511 He was welcomed with shouts of joy by Sepphoris, the strongest city of Galilee. The wise conduct of that city caused the rest of the cities to keep peace, while the rebels and the brigands fled to the mountain called Asamon in the centre of Galilee and is just opposite Sepphoris, so Gallus brought his forces against them. 512 Since they were higher up than the Romans, they easily hurled spears at them as they approached and killed about two hundred of them. But when the Romans went round the mountains and had got above the enemy, the latter were soon defeated. Men only lightly armed could not hold out against men fighting them in full armour, nor could they escape the enemy cavalry once they were routed. A few hid in remote places among the mountains, but the rest, more than two thousand in number, were killed.
Chapter 19. [513-555]
Cestius' siege of Jerusalem fails. He retreats with severe losses
513 Seeing no further signs of revolt in Galilee, Gallus returned with his army to Caesarea. Cestius marched with his whole army to Antipatris, and when he was told that there was a large Jewish force gathered in a tower called Aphek, he sent a party ahead to fight them.
514 These scattered the Jews without a battle and arrived to find their camp deserted; so they burned it, with the villages around it. 515 After marching from Antipatris to Lydda, Cestius found the city empty of people, for the majority had gone up to Jerusalem to the Feast of Tents. 516 But he killed fifty of the people who let themselves be seen and burned the city before marching on. Then ascending by Bethoron, he encamped at a place called Gabao, fifty furlongs from Jerusalem.
517 When they saw the war approaching their metropolis, the Jews abandoned their festival and took to arms, and with confidence in their numbers went out to fight in a hasty and disorderly manner, with shouting and with no consideration for the sabbath rest, although it was the day they venerated.
518 The same rage that made them forget their piety made them stronger in the battle. They attacked the Romans with such force that they broke through their ranks and go slaughtering through the middle of them.
519 Indeed if the cavalry and those infantry who were not yet tired by the action, had not wheeled round and helped the part of the army which had not yet broken, Cestius and his whole army would have been in danger. Five hundred and fifteen Romans were killed, of whom four hundred were infantry and the rest cavalry, while the Jews lost only twenty-two.
520 The most valiant of these were relatives of Monobazus, king of Adiabene, named Monobazus and Kenedeus, after whom came Niger of Perea and Silas of Babylon, who had deserted to the Jews from king Agrippa, with whom he had formerly served. 521 When the front of their army was cut off, the Jews retreated to the city, but as they were ascending up Bethoron Simon, son of Giora, still attacked the Romans from the rear and spread panic in the rearguard of their army and took many of the pack animals, and led them into the city. 522 While Cestius delayed there for three days, the Jews seized the higher parts of the city and set sentries at the entrances and seemed resolved not to rest whenever the Romans began to march.
523 When Agrippa saw the whole of the Roman force in danger, since such a huge crowd of the enemy had seized the mountains round about, he decided to try speaking to the Jews, thinking either to get them all to give up fighting, or at least to detach from the war party those who did not share their views. 524 So he sent Borceus and Phoebus, the men on his side best known to them, with a promise that Cestius would guarantee to get for them from the Romans a full amnesty for the wrongs committed, if they put aside their weapons and came over to them.
525 But the rebels, fearing that the whole crowd would desert to Agrippa in the hope of finding safety, decided to instantly attack and kill the envoys.
526 So they killed Phoebus before he had said a word, though Borceus was merely wounded and so escaped his fate. Infuriated, the people struck the rebels with stones and clubs and drove them ahead of them into the citadel.
527 But now Cestius, noting how the disturbances that had begun among the Jews gave him an opportunity to attack them, took his whole force and put the Jews to flight and pursued them as far as Jerusalem.
528 He then encamped on the height called Scopus, seven furlongs from the city, but over a period of three days did not attack them, expecting that those inside might yield a little. Meanwhile he sent out many of his soldiers into neighbouring villages to seize their corn. On the fourth day, which was the thirtieth of the month Hyperbereteus, he paraded his army and led it into the city.
529 The populace was kept under by the rebels, but the rebels in turn were greatly frightened of the good order of the Romans and retreated from the suburbs into the inner part of the city and into the temple.
530 When Cestius entered the city, he set fire to the part called Bezatha or "New City," and also to what is called the Timber Market; then he entered the upper city and encamped opposite the royal palace.
531 If at this time he had tried to get within the ramparts by force, he would soon have taken the city and the war would have been ended at once, but the quartermaster, Tyrannius Priscus, and most of the cavalry officers had been bribed by Florus and put him off this attempt
532 That was the very reason this war lasted so long and why the Jews were overwhelmed by such dreadful woes.
533 Meanwhile many of the leading citizens were persuaded by Ananus, son of Jonathan, to invite Cestius into the city and were about to open the gates for him.
534 But he ignored them, partly out of anger and partly because he did not quite trust them, and he delayed so long that the rebels learned of the treachery and pulled Ananus and his party down from the wall, and, pelting them with stones, drove them into their houses. Then they stood at suitable distances in the towers and threw spears at those who tried getting over the wall.
535 For five days the Romans attacked the wall in vain, but on the next day Cestius took a band of his choicest men and his archers and attempted to break into the temple from the northern side. 536 From the porticoes the Jews beat them off and several times repulsed them when they got near to the wall, making them retreat under a hail of spears. 537 But then the first rank of the Romans rested their shields upon the wall and so did those who were behind them, and those who were still further back formed a defence that they call the tortoise, against which the spears that were thrown slid off uselessly. So the soldiers were able to undermine the wall, without being harmed and got ready to set the gate of the temple on fire.
538 A terrible fear seized the rebels, so that many of them fled from the city, fearing it would soon be taken, but the people took courage from this and wherever the wicked gave ground, they came in, planning to open the gates and to admit Cestius as their benefactor.
539 If only he had continued the siege a little longer, he would certainly have taken the city. But I expect that God prevented the war from ending that very day because He had turned away from the city and the sanctuary.
540 Cestius did not realise either the despair of the besieged or the courage of his own people and so he recalled his soldiers from the place and gave up without being defeated in any way, and retreated from the city against all expectation. 541 The brigands noticed his surprising retreat and regained their courage and pursued the rear of his army and killed many of their cavalry and infantry. 542 Cestius stayed all night at the camp on Scopus, and as he moved away farther next day, it rather invited the enemy in pursuit, still harrying and killing his rearguard and attacking and hurling spears from both flanks. 543 The rearguard did not dare turn back against those wounding them from behind, imagining that there was a large crowd in pursuit. Nor could the others drive away those who coming at them on each side, as they were weighed down with armour and afraid to break ranks, seeing the lightly-armed Jews ready to pounce on them. So they suffered heavy losses without being able to take revenge upon the enemy.
544 Throughout their march they were being struck and their ranks thrown into confusion and those who fell out of rank were killed, among them Priscus, the general of the sixth legion and Longinus the tribune and Emilius Secundus who commanded a troop of cavalry. So they barely made it to their former camp at Gabao, and not without the loss of much of their baggage.
545 Cestius stayed there for two days and was at a loss to know what to do in the circumstances, but when on the third day he saw a still greater number of the enemy and the whole area full of Jews, he understood that the delay was to his disadvantage and that if he stayed any longer he would have to deal with still more enemies.
546 To escape faster, he ordered them to jettison anything that could slow the army's march, so they killed the mules, donkeys and other beasts of burden, except those carrying their spears and tools, which they kept for their own use, mainly because they were afraid the Jews should seize them; and then marched his army as far as Bethoron. 547 The Jews did not attack them so much when they were in wide open places, but when they were hemmed in as they descended through narrow passes, some of them went ahead to prevent them getting out, and others thrust their rear-guard down into the gorge, and the main force stretched above the narrowest part and showered the Roman army with their spears. 548 In these circumstances the infantry were unable to defend themselves, but the danger was still greater for the cavalry. They could not move along the road in ranks, under the shower of weapons, and the ascents were too steep for the cavalry to charge the enemy.
549 The precipices and valleys on either side, into which they often tumbled were such that there was nowhere to escape and no way to defend them could be found, until their distress was so great that they broke out in laments and cries like men in the depths of despair, echoed by the joyful cries of the Jews encouraging each other, blending the sounds of joy and fury.
550 The Jews would almost have captured Cestius's entire army if the night had not fallen, when the Romans fled to Bethoron and the Jews seized all the places round about and watched out for their departure.
551 Despairing of being able to leave the place openly, Cestius planned how best to escape. He chose four hundred of his bravest soldiers and placed them on the rooftops, with orders to set up their standards for the morning watch, to make the Jews believe that the entire army was still there, while he took the rest of his forces and marched thirty furlongs in silence.
552 In the morning, when the Jews saw that the camp was empty, they immediately overcame the four hundred who had tricked them and hurled spears at them and killed them, and went in pursuit of Cestius.
553 However, he had already spent most of the night on the move and marched still quicker during the day, though in their confusion and fear, the soldiers left their siege-machines and stone-throwers behind them with many of the other war machines, which the Jews took and later used against those who had abandoned them. 554 They went on pursuing the Romans as far as Antipatris, and unable to overtake them, turned back and took the machines and despoiled the corpses and gathered up the loot left behind and returned to their capital, running and singing. 555 While they had lost only a few, they had killed five thousand, three hundred infantry and three hundred and eighty cavalry, on the Roman side. This took place on the eighth day of the month Dius, in the twelfth year of the reign of Nero.
Chapter 20. [556-584]
The Jews prepare to defend themselves. Josephus takes command in Galilee
556 After this disaster to Cestius, many of the foremost Jews left the city, like people swimming from a sinking ship. The brothers Costobarus and Saul, along with Philip, son of Jacimus, the commander of king Agrippa's forces, fled from the city to Cestius. 557 We shall later tell how Antipas, who had been besieged with them in the king's palace, but would not escape with them, was later killed by the rebels. 558 Cestius sent Saul and his friends, at their own desire, to Nero in Achaia, to inform him of their plight and to lay upon Florus the blame for kindling the war, hoping to alleviate the danger to himself by directing his anger at Florus.
559 Meanwhile the people of Damascus, when they were told of the destruction of the Romans, set about the slaughter of the Jews in their city.
560 As they had them already cooped up together in the gymnasium, which they had done from their suspicion of them, they thought it should not be difficult, but they distrusted their own wives, most of whom were devoted to the Jewish religion. 561 So their greatest concern was how to conceal it from them, so they attacked the Jews in this confined space and simply cut their throats in a single hour, as all ten thousand of them were unarmed.
562 On their return to Jerusalem those who had followed Cestius prevailed over those who favoured the Romans, some they forced, and some they won by persuasion. They gathered in great numbers in the temple and appointed many generals for the war.
563 Joseph, son of Gorion, and Ananus the high priest, were chosen as officers of all matters within the city, with the particular task of repairing the ramparts of the city.
564 They did not give that job to Eleazar the son of Simon, even though he held what they had looted from the Romans and the money they had taken from Cestius, along with most of the public treasury, because they saw his tyrannical temper and that his followers behaved like his bodyguards.
565 It was only their need for Eleazar's money and the subtle ruses used by him that got the people to submit to his authority in everything.
566 They also chose other generals for Idumaea, Jesus, son of Sapphias, one of the high priests, and Eleazar, son of Ananias, the high priest, and enjoined Niger, the ruler of Idumaea, called the Peraite since his family came from Perea beyond the Jordan, to obey the aforesaid officers.
567 They did not neglect the other parts of the country either, but Joseph the son of Simon was sent to rule Jericho, Manasses to Perea, and John the Essene to the district of Thamna; Lydda was added to his portion along with Joppa and Emmaus. 568 John, son of Matthias, was to rule the districts of Gophnitica and Acrabattene; and Josephus, son of Matthias, to rule both the Galilees, with Gamala, the strongest city in those parts, also under his command.
569 Each of the other officers administered his area as their zeal and prudence allowed. The first care of Josephus, when he came into Galilee, was to gain the goodwill of the local people, knowing that he would succeed in this even if he should fail in other points. 570 He felt that if he shared his power with the local leaders, it would make them his firm friends, and that it would win him similar favour from the people, if he exercised his authority through men of their own area, whom they knew well. He chose seventy of the most prudent and mature men and appointed them as officers for all Galilee,
571 and chose seven judges in every city to hear the lesser cases, with orders that important cases and those concerning life and death should be brought to him and the seventy elders.
572 When he had established these rules for legal cases in the people's dealings with each other, he went on to provide for their safety from outside.
573 As he knew the Romans would attack Galilee, he built walls in suitable places in Lower Galilee: around Jotapata and Bersabee and Selamis, and Caphareccho and Jaffa and Sigo and the mountain called Itaburion, and Tarichea and Tiberias; and also built walls around the caves near the lake of Gennesar. He did the same for places in Upper Galilee, including what is called the Rock of the Achabari and Seph and Jamnith and Meroth.
574 In Gaulonitis he fortified Seleucia and Sogane and Gamala, but by exception he allowed the people of Sepphoris to build their own walls, for he saw them strong and wealthy and ready for war, and needing no instructions.
575 He did the same for Gischala, which had a wall built about it by John the son of Levi, with the consent of Josephus, but in costructing the rest of the fortresses, he worked with all the other builders and was present to give all the necessary orders. 576 He gathered from Galilee an army of more than a hundred thousand young men, all of whom he armed with the old weapons he had collected and prepared.
577 Aware that the Roman power had grown invincible mainly by their obedience to orders and their constant weapons practice, he knew he could not teach his men to use weapons except by experience, but noting that readiness to obey orders came from the number of their officers, he divided his army more in the Roman manner and appointed many junior officers.
578 He divided his soldiers into various classes, under captains of ten, captains of a hundred and captains of a thousand, and had captains of larger legions. 579 He taught them to signal to each other and to use trumpets to summon and recall the soldiers, how to spread out the wings of an army and make them wheel about, and when one wing is successful, to turn to the help of those in trouble and to join in defending those hardest hit. 580 He regularly instructed them about bravery of soul and physical toughness and, above all, he exercised them for war, making clear to them the good order of the Romans and that they were to fight with men who had in a sense conquered the whole world by physical strength and mental courage.
581 He said that even before battle began he would note their good order and have them abstain from the usual crimes of theft and robbery and looting and wronging their countrymen, and never to reckon any harm done to their own relatives as being good for themselves.
582 For wars are best waged if soldiers keep a good conscience, but those who are evil in private will not only have to reckon with human enemies but with God himself.
583 After admonishing them much in this way, he chose for the war a good-sized army, sixty thousand infantry and two hundred and fifty cavalry in whom he had the most trust, with about four thousand five hundred mercenaries, and had six hundred men as his bodyguard. 584 The cities easily maintained all his army except the mercenaries, for each of the cities sent out half their men to the army and kept the other half at home, to provide for them. One group went to war while the other went to work and so those who sent out their corn were paid for it by those under arms, through the security they enjoyed from them in return.
Chapter 21. [585-646]
Josephus, now a Jewish military leader in Galilee, recovers some cities that had rebelled from him.
585 As Josephus was so engaged in administering the affairs of Galilee, up came a treacherous man from Gischala named John, the son of Levi. His character was more cunning and devious than the other notables there and for mischief he had no equal. Coming from poor beginnings, for a long time his needy situation held him back from mischief. 586 But he was a ready liar and very good at making his fictions believable, who took delight in deluding people, even those who were dearest to him, pretending to be merciful, but with no fear of bloodshed for profit. 587 Always aspiring to great things, he pursued his goals with his own brand of low trickery, and being particularly adept at robbery he found some daring companions, just a few at first but ever more numerous as he went along. 588 He took care that none of them was easily caught out and chose those of the strongest physique and mental courage and skill in war, until he had gathered a band of four hundred men, mainly from the land of Tyre and escapees from its villages.
589 With these he ransacked all of Galilee and made many fear that war was about to burst upon them.
590 Up to now John's lack of money had checked his ambition to rule and his attempts to gain promotion. Then, noting how Josephus was pleased with his initiative, he first persuaded him to entrust him with repairing the ramparts of his native city, for which he got a lot of money from the rich citizens.
591 Then he played a clever trick. Pretending that the Jews living in Syria were obliged to make use of oil not produced by their own countrymen, he asked leave to send it to them across the border.
592 With Tyrian money to the value of four Attic drachmae he bought four amphorae and sold each half amphora at the same price. And since Galilee is very productive of oil and peculiarly so at that time, by exporting huge quantities and having the sole privilege of doing so, he made a heap of money which he immediately used against the one who had made it possible.
593 He thought that by getting rid of Josephus he himself could become ruler of Galilee, so he ordered the brigands under his command to pursue their thievery more vigorously so that by stirring up many troubles in the land he could either ambush their general on his way to rescue them, and kill him, or if he ignored the brigands, he could accuse him of neglecting the local people.
594 He also spread a rumour that Josephus was about to betray the area to the Romans, and devised many such plots to ruin him.
595 Meanwhile some young men of the village of Dabaritta, who were guarding the Great Plain, set an ambush for Ptolemy, the steward of Agrippa and Berenice, and took from him all he had with him, including many costly garments and lots of silver cups and six hundred pieces of gold.
596 But were they unable to conceal what they had stolen, and brought it all to Josephus in Tarichea. 597 However, he blamed them for the crime done to the king and queen and deposited what they brought to him with Annaeas, the most influential man in Tarichea, intending to send the things back to the owners in due time, an act that put him into serious danger.
598 For those who had stolen the things were angry at him, since they got no share of it for themselves and they guessed the intention of Josephus to freely hand back to the king and queen what had cost them so much effort. So they fled by night to their several villages and told all that Josephus was a traitor and filled the neighbouring cities with discontent, so that in the morning a hundred thousand warriors hurried there.
599 This crowd gathered in the hippodrome at Tarichea and raised an angry shout; some cried out to depose the traitor, and others that he should be burned. John stirred up many, as did also Jesus the son of Sapphias, who was then ruler of Tiberias.
600 Then Josephus's friends and bodyguards were so frightened of the people's violence that all but four of them fled and woke him up, just as the people were about to set fire to the house. 601 The four who stayed with him persuaded him to run away, but he was neither surprised at being abandoned nor at the large crowd coming against him, but hurried out to them with his clothes rent and ashes sprinkled on his head, with his hands behind him and his sword hanging at his neck. 602 At this sight his friends, especially those of Tarichea, were filled with pity, but those who came from the land and those in their neighbourhood, who chafed under his rule, insulted him and ordered him to instantly produce the money which belonged to them all and admit his plans to betray them. 603 From the dress he wore they thought he would deny nothing of what they suspected about him and that it was to obtain pardon that he had presented himself in so pitiful a state.
604 But this humble appearance was only the preparation for a ruse, intended to set the men who were so angry at him into conflict about the things they objected to. When he promised to confess all, he was let speak and said,
605 "I neither intended to return this money to Agrippa nor to keep it myself, for I never considered anyone my friend who was your enemy, nor desired anything that would be for your disadvantage.
606 But, Taricheans, I saw your city in more need of security than others needed money in order to build it a wall. I was also afraid that the people of Tiberias and other cities would plot to take these spoils and so I intended to retain this money secretly, so as to surround you with a wall.
607 If you do not want this, I will bring out what was brought to me for you to plunder, but if you disapprove of my plan you may punish your benefactor."
608 At this, the Taricheans loudly praised him, but the Tiberians, with the rest of the company, called him names and made threats against him, so both sides left off criticising Josephus and began quarrelling with each other. Relying on his friends, the Taricheans who numbered about forty thousand, he took courage and spoke more freely to the whole crowd.
609 He blamed them strongly for their rashness, assuring them that with this money he would build walls around Tarichea and secure the other cities. There would be enough money, if they would only agree for whose benefit it was to be held and not let themselves to be stirred up against the one who provided it for them.
610 At this, the rest of the senseless people retired, still angry, but two thousand of them made an armed attack upon him, as he went to own house, standing outside and threatening him. 611 Josephus used another ruse to escape them, for he got onto the roof of his house and with his right hand asked for silence and said to them, "I don't know what you want, and cannot hear what you say, with the noise you're making." Then he promised to grant their demands if they sent some of them in to discuss it with him.
612 When the most notable ringleaders heard this, they came into the house and he brought them to the innermost part of the house and shutting the door had them whipped until all their innards were laid bare. The others stood round the house thinking that he was talking at length about their demands with those who had gone in. 613 Then he had the doors opened and sent the men out all covered in blood, which so terrified those who had threatened him earlier that they dropped their weapons and fled.
614 But John's envy grew worse and he framed a new plot against Josephus. He claimed to be sick and in a letter asked his leave to go to the hot baths in Tiberias for the sake of his health. 615 Still suspecting nothing of John's plots against him, Josephus wrote to the officers of the city to provide John with lodging and food, and two days later, having availed of these, he carried out his plan and lured some by trickery and others by money to revolt from Josephus. 616 Silas, whom Josephus had appointed guardian of the city, immediately wrote, telling of the plot against him and when Josephus received the letter he marched rapidly all night and came early in the morning to Tiberias. 617 There the rest of the people met him, but John, who was suspicious of his arrival, sent one of his friends, claiming to be sick and that he could not come, being confined to bed.
618 Assembling the Tiberians in the stadium, Josephus tried to tell them about the letters he had received, but the other sent warriors secretly with orders to kill him. 619 When the people saw the warriors drawing their swords, they shouted and Josephus turned round and saw the swords aimed at his throat. He abandoned the speech he was going to make to the people and quickly jumped down from the six-foot high hillock on which he stood, to the lake-shore and then took a boat which lay in the harbour and jumped into it, with two of his guards and fled to the middle of the lake.
620 The soldiers he had with him quickly took their weapons and marched against the conspirators, but Josephus was afraid that a civil war would break out due to the envy of a few men and bring the city to ruin, so he sent some of his party to tell them to do no more than protect themselves and not kill anyone, or accuse anyone for what had happened.
621 They obeyed his orders and kept the peace, but the people of the surrounding area, when told of this plot and of the conspirator, gathered in crowds against John. But he forestalled them and fled to his native city of Gischala.
622 The Galileans hurried to Josephus from their various cities, and as they were now many thousands of warriors, they shouted that they had come against John whose plots harmed all of them and would burn both him and any place that welcomed him.
623 Josephus said he was glad of their goodwill but he calmed their fury and wanted to subdue his enemies by prudence rather than by killing them.
624 He got from every city the names of all involved with John in this revolt and proclaimed that he would seize the property of any who did not forsake John within five days and burn their houses and their families.
625 At this, three thousand of John's party instantly left him, coming to Josephus and throwing their weapons down at his feet. Then John and his two thousand Syrian renegades changed from public to more secret ways of treachery.
626 He sent messengers secretly to Jerusalem to accuse Josephus for having too much power and to warn that he would soon come to the capital as a tyrant, unless they forestalled him. 627 The people already knew of this accusation, but disregarded it. Out of envy, however, some of the nobles and officers secretly sent money to John, to enable him to gather mercenaries to fight Josephus. They also made a decree to recall him from his position.
628 Not thinking the decree sufficient, they also sent two thousand five hundred warriors and four men of highest rank: Joazar son of Nomicus, Ananias son of Sadduk, Simon and Judas the sons of Jonathan, all very able speakers, to withdraw the people's goodwill from Josephus, and if he gave in, to let him give an account of himself, but if he insisted on continuing to rule, to treat him as an enemy.
629 Josephus's friends had sent him word that an army was coming, but they gave him no notice of the reason for their coming, which was known only in the secret councils of his enemies, and so four cities rebelled from him immediately, Sepphoris and Gamala and Gischala and Tiberias. 630 But he recovered these cities without war, and when by ploys he had routed those four officers and captured their best warriors, he sent them to Jerusalem. 631 The people were furious at them and wanted to kill, not only these forces, but also those who sent them, if they had not forestalled it by running away.
632 John too was detained within the ramparts of Gischala, by his fear of Josephus, but within a few days Tiberias rebelled again, the people within it inviting Agrippa back as their king. 633 When he did not come at the appointed time and a few Roman cavalry appeared that day, they expelled Josephus from the city.
634 News of this revolt was soon heard in Tarichea, and as Josephus had sent out all his soldiers to gather corn, he could neither march out alone against the rebels, or stay where he was, for fear that the king's soldiers might might get into the city and capture him if he delayed, but he did not intend to do anything the next day, as it was the sabbath.
635 He managed to outwit the rebels by a ruse, and first ordered the gates of Tarichea to be shut so that nobody might go out and inform those for whom it was intended, of his ruse. He then gathered all the ships that were upon the lake, which were found to be two hundred and thirty and in each of them he put no more than four sailors and sailed quickly to Tiberias.
636 He kept far enough out from the city that it was hard for the people to see that the vessels were empty and ordered them to be moored, while himself, with just seven of his guards, and they unarmed, went close enough to be seen.
637 When his opponents, who were still critical of him, saw him from the ramparts, they were astonished and imagining that all the ships were full of warriors they threw down their weapons and by signs of entreaty implored him to spare the city.
638 Josephus threatened them terribly and reproached them that after being the first to take up arms against the Romans, they spent their energy in civil strife and doing what the enemy most desired, and then that they so quickly wished to seize him, who had cared for their safety. They had not been ashamed to shut the gates of their city against the man who built their walls; but he would listen to any mediators who might offer some excuse for them and come to some agreement for the city's security.
639 Ten of the influential people of Tiberias soon came down to him and after taking them into one of his vessels, he had them brought a long way from the city and then ordered that fifty others of the most eminent of their council, should come to him, as a security on their behalf. 640 Under various pretexts, he called others, one by one, to ratify the agreement. 641 He then ordered the masters of the vessels which he had filled in this way to sail off for Tarichea immediately and keep them in prison there, until finally he had their whole council, six hundred in all, and about two thousand of the people, and brought them off to Tarichea.
642 The rest of the people called out that a man called Cleitus had instigated this revolt, and asked him to vent his anger on him, Josephus, who intended to kill nobody, told Levi, one of his guards, to leave the vessel, and go to cut off the hands of Cleitus. 643 Afraid to go alone into such a large group of enemies, he refused to go. When Cleitus saw how in the ship Josephus was enraged and ready to jump out of it and personally execute the punishment, he implored him from the shore to leave him one of his hands.
644 This he accepted, on condition that he cut off the hand himself, so he drew his sword and with his right hand cut off his left, so much did he fear Josephus.
645 So with empty ships and seven of his bodyguards he captured the people of Tiberias and recovered the city. A few days later he retook Gischala, which had rebelled along with the people of Sepphoris, and he let his soldiers plunder them. 646 Gathering all the loot, he restored it to the inhabitants, and for the people of Sepphoris he did likewise. For in subduing those cities, he wished to teach them a good lesson by letting them be looted, but he regained their goodwill by restoring their money to them.
Chapter 22. [647-654]
Simon the brigand starts looting. High Priest Ananus seeks peace, in vain
647 So were the disturbances of Galilee calmed, when after ceasing their civil strife they set themselves to make preparations for the war with the Romans.
648 Now in Jerusalem the high priest Ananus those of the influential people who were not on the side of the Romans, repaired the ramparts and made instruments of war. 649 All round the city spears and all sorts of armour were upon the anvil and many young men were engaged in haphazard exercises, and everywhere was full of noise. The more balanced people were sad, however, and many deeply regretted the troubles they foresaw.
650 Omens were observed that were understood by those who loved peace as presaging disaster, but were interpreted by those who kindled the war so as to suit their own inclinations, so that even before the Romans came against it, and the state of the city was that of one doomed to destruction.
651 Ananus's plan was to gradually lay aside the preparations for war and persuade the rebels to consult their own interest and to restrain the madness of the ones called the Zealots. But their violence was too much for him and we shall later relate how he met his end.
652 In the district of Acrabatene, Simon son of Gioras gathered many of the men who were in favour of revolt and went on to ravage the territory. Not only did he ransack the houses of the rich, but he physically maltreated them and already showed the beginning of his tyranny.
653 When an army was sent against him by Ananus and the other officers, he and his gang retired to join the brigands in Masada and stayed there and looted the district of Idumaea with them, until both Ananus and his other opponents were killed.
654 Then because of the many murders and the continual raiding, the leaders of the area raised an army and garrisoned the villages. This was the state of affairs in Judea at that time.