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Æmilius knows this by his god Alburnus. This is to our purpose; forasmuch as among you divinity is bestowed by human judgment. And if God does not please man, he shall not be God. And, according to this way of thinking, man must be propitious to God. Tiberius, therefore, in whose time the Christian name was first known in the world, having received an account of this doctrine out of Palestine, where it began, committed that account to the senate, giving in, at the same time, his own suffrage in favour of it. But the senate rejected it, because it had not been approved by themselves. Nevertheless, the emperor persisted in his judgment, and threatened death to such as should accuse the Christians." Which," adds Eusebius, "could be no other than a disposal of Divine Providence, that the doctrine of the gospel, which was then in its beginning, might be preached all over the world without molestation."
To leave, however, this matter undetermined, we proceed to observe, that the conduct of Pilate still continued to be the most atrocious and bloody imaginable. An event soon after happened which brought his tyranny to a conclusion. An impostor appeared in Samaria in the year A. D. 35, a little after the death of Stephen, who gave out to the multitude, that if they would meet him at mount Gerizim, he would show them the sacred vessels which they believed Moses had concealed in that place. Vast numbers of ignorant people immediately assembled in arms, and laid seige to Tirathaba, a village in that vicinity, waiting for others to join them there, who would, they expected, enable them to form a sufficient body to go up and take possession of the pretended holy treasure: Pilate, who had received timely information, collected a large body of cavalry and infantry, and took possession of the mountain, whence he attacked the Samaritans, routed them with great slaughter, and brought off a considerable number of prisoners, the most distinguished of whom he ordered to be beheaded. Chagrined by this defeat and its bloody consequences, the chief persons among the Samaritans made application to Vitellius, governor of Syria, insisting that Pilate had been guilty of murder, in putting to death men that had not armed to oppose the Roman authority, but only to resist his outrageous oppression. On receiving this complaint, Vitellius dispatched his friend Marcellus to take upon him the government of Judea, and commanded Pilate to repair immediately to Rome, to answer for his conduct at the tribunal of Cæsar. Josephus has informed us nothing further concerning Pilate, than that Tiberius died while he was performing his voyage, and that the loss of his government was only the forerunner of greater evils. There is, however, an antient tradition. that he was banished to Vienne in Gaul; and Eusebius asserts, from the authority of
some Greek anualists, that he became his own executioner.
On the feast of the passover, this same year, 35, Vitellius was present at Jerusalem, where he was received with the greatest distinction by the Jews, whose favour he took the utmost pains to conciliate, by remitting the whole duty which was levied on the fruits that were exposed to sale. His liberality did not stop here; for, being informed that the Jews were very uneasy that the pontifical habits were kept in the Fort Antonia, under the custody of a Roman officer, he commanded these vestments to be delivered up to the priests, to be disposed of at their pleasure, and released the governor from all responsibility for their safety. Not long after, he deprived Caiaphas of the priesthood, and bestowed it on Jonathan, the son of Ananas. At this period, which was in the twentieth year of the reign of Tiberius, died Philip, the brother of Herod, after having been tetrarch of Trachonitis, Gaulanites, and Batania, for the space of thirtyHe was a man distinguished by his moderation, and devoted to the quiet enjoyment of his ease, his whole life being spent within the district over which he was appointed to preside. He very seldom left his own house; and, when he did,.
it was in company with a few select friends; and he had a chair carried after him, which, on particular occasions, he used to convert into a seat of justice. As it sometimes happened that he met persons on the road who had need of his judicial assistauce, it was his custom not to lose any time, but to hear the cause immediately, and to acquit or condemn the party according to the strength of the evidence. His death happened at Chorazin; and he was interred, with the utmost pomp and magnificence, in a monument which he had caused to be erected for his reception. As he left no children behind him, the emperor decreed that his estate should be annexed to Syria, but on the condition that the country should not be deprived of the tributes hereafter to be raised in the tetrarchy.
In a former chapter of this work we mentioned that a war was carried on between Herod and Aretas, in consequence of Herod's divorcing the daughter of Aretas, that he might gratify his passion for Herodias. The army of Herod being defeated by the Arabian prince, Vitellius was commanded to assist the former, and accordingly marched towards Petra with two legions of Roman auxiliaries. When he had got as far as Ptolemais, and was on the point of crossing Judea, he was met by the principal people of the country, who most earnestly solicited him that he would take a different route; for that the Jewish law was insulted, and their religion profaned, by the images that the Romans usually carry in their colours. This reason had its proper weight with the general, who directed that his army should march about by the way of a large plain; and, in the mean time, he took with him Herod the tetrarch, and several other friends, who went up to Jerusalem to worship on occasion of a solemn festival which was then approaching. He made three days' stay in this city; during which time he was treated with all possible marks of honour and respect; and while he remained there, he deprived Jonathan of the office of high-priest, and conferred it on his brother Theophilus; and, on the fourth day, he received letters which announced the death of Tiberius: whereupon he caused the people to swear allegiance to his successor, Caius Caligula; and this being done, he gave orders for the recal of his troops, and directed that they should go into winter quarters, the change in the government having determined him to put a period to the war; and after this he returned to Antioch.
A tradition is current, that when this expedition of Vitellius was talked of, Aretas consulted the wizards and fortune-tellers respecting what should be the issue of the affair, and that the answer which he received was to the following purpose: "That the army then on the march should never arrive at Petra; for that either one of the princes should die, or he that commanded the army, or the person that was deputy in the command, or the party against whom the war was levied."
Josephus here introduces the history of Herod Agrippa, which he justly considers as affording a striking instance of divine protection, though we cannot regard it as any proof of the virtues of Herod.
Some small time previous to the death of Herod the Great, Agrippa, residing at Rome, and being often in the family of the emperor, became a very great favourite of his son Drusus, and also obtained the good opinion of Antonia, the wife of the elder Drusus, through the interest of his mother Berenice, for whom Antonia had a most particular esteem. Agrippa was, by nature, rather inclined to extravagance; but, during the life of his mother, he restrained himself within some reasonable bounds: her death, at length, making him master of his own conduct, he began to give expensive treats, and make profuse and costly presents, particularly to the dependants and domestics of the court, where it was that he hoped to raise his fortune. By these means he involved himself in debt to such a degree, that he could no longer make his appearance at Rome: besides, at this time, Tiberius having the misfortune to lose bis
son, he could not now endure the sight of any of the favourites of Drusus, 1est he should be reminded of the loss he had sustained.
Agrippa having thus squandered his money and destroyed his reputation by the irregularity of his conduct, and his creditors being anxious with him to discharge their demands, which it was not in his power to do, he returned to Judea; and, when there, seeing ro hope of retrieving his fortune, and blushing for the folly he had been guilty of, he retreated to Malta, a castle in Idumea, having conceived an intention, that, in that place, he would put an end to an existence that was no longer supportable. Cypros, observing the desponding humour of her husband, and remarking that his melancholy seemed to forebode the most fatal consequences, exerted her utmost endeavours to prevent the misfortune which she dreaded; and particularly wrote to her sister Herodias a circumstantial account of the lamentable situation in which he lived, and most earnestly urged her, by all the ties of honour and consanguinity, to afford him some immediate relief; she said that she did every thing that was in her own power, and hoped that her example would be followed by her sister.
Herodias was so much affected by this representation, that she joined with her husband in sending a message, desiring that Agrippa would attend them; when they gave him a pension, and bestowed on him the government of Tiberias for his immediate support; but Herod did not long continue in this generous disposition, nor was Agrippa very well contented with his present situation. Now it happened, that, ou a certain time, when they were drinking at Tyre, Herod made many ungenerous reflections on Agrippa on account of his poverty, and intimated, among other things, that he was supported by his bounty.
This insult was too great to be borne by one of Agrippa's spirit: he therefore repaired to visit Flaccus, an old particular friend of his when at Rome, who was at that time governor of Syria. Flaccus received him in the most free and hospitable manner; but, at this time, Aristobulus, the brother of Agrippa, was a visitor in the same house the former was his enemy, though his brother; yet Flaccus divided his favours and civilities indifferently between them, as if no animosity had subsisted Aristobulus, however, urged by the most implacable malice, still kept up the quarrel, and would not rest till he inspired Flaccus with a bad opinion of Agrippa, which was effected in the following manner: The inhabitants of Damascus, and those of Sidon,. had a violent dispute between them respecting the boundaries of their territories, and Flaccus was fixed upon to hear and determine the cause. Now the people of Damascus, being informed that Flaccus and Agrippa were on terms of the utmost intimacy, thought that it would be a stroke of good policy previously to engage the interest of Agrippa, by bribing him with a sum of money. The bargain being made, and promises of mutual secrecy given, Agrippa exerted all his interest for the people of Damascus against those of Sidon.
Now Aristobulus, having discovered that Agrippa had received a bribe to transact this business, went to the governor, and complained of the conduct of his brother; and Flaccus, examining into the merits of the affair, and finding proof against Agrippa, dismissed him from his favour, and left him to seek a support in the best manner he was able. Hereupon Agrippa went back to Ptolemais; and, being in absolute want of the necessaries of life, he came to a resolution to return into Italy. Thus distressed, he gave directions to Marsyas, a freed-man of his, to apply to the brokers to raise a sum of money, on any terms whatever, to answer his present demand. In consequence of these directions, Marsyas went to Protus, a freed-man of Berenice, (the mother of Agrippa, his late patroness, who, by her last will, had recommended him to the service of Antonia,) and proposed to him to advance a sum of money to Agrippa
on his own bond. Protus said that he was already in his debt; yet Marsyas prevailed upon him to lend twenty thousand Attic drachmas on the security above-mentioned; but of this sum he gave no more to Agrippa than seventeen thousand five hundred pieces, retaining the other two thousand five hundred to himself for the trouble taken in procuring this advance; nor was Agrippa in circumstances to dispute about this extortion.
As soon as he was possessed of this money, Agrippa proceeded to Anthedon, where he met with a ship calculated for his service, and made preparations for going to sea; but Herennius Capito, the procurator of Jamnia, hearing of this circumstance, sent a number of soldiers to him, to demand the payment of three hundred thousand pieces of silver, the property of the king, which he had borrowed when at Rome. This circumstance occasioned some little delay in Agrippa's proceeding; but he amused the soldiers with fair promises, and, when night came on, cut his cable and slipped out to sea, steering his course towards Alexandria. On his arrival at that city, he made application to Alexander, the principal officer of the revenue, requesting that he would lend him two hundred thousand pieces of money on his bond. To this the officer replied, "With regard to yourself, I have not faith enough in you to credit you with such a sum; but your wife appears to be a woman of exemplary character and amiable deportment, and she shall have the money if she will give her security for it." In this manner the matter was settled; and Cypros becoming bound for the sum wanted, Alexander furnished Agrippa with five talents on the spot, and gave him letters of credit to receive the rest at Puteoli; for he was unwilling to trust the whole sum with him at once, lest he should apply it to improper purposes. By this time Cypros was convinced that there was no possibility of preventing her husband's proceeding, wherefore she and her children went over land to Judea.
When Agrippa arrived at Puteoli, he sent a letter to Tiberius Cæsar, who was then at Capræa, informing him that he had come so far to pay his humble respects to him, and requesting his permission to wait on him. Tiberius did not hesitate to send him an answer replete with kindness, in which he informed him that he should be happy to see him at Capræa. Thither Agrippa went; and, on his arrival, Tiberias received him with open arms, and welcomed him to the palace, where he entertained him in the most generous and hospitable manner, thereby proving his sincerity when he gave him the invitation. But, on the following day, letters to Tiberius arrived from Herennius Capito, complaining of the conduct of Agrippa, and stating, "That when he demanded payment of a bond for three hundred thousand pieces, which had been long since due to the emperor, Agrippa departed in a secret manner, so that the probably be lost."
money This conduct was so highly offensive to Tiberius, that he commanded the officers of his bed-chamber not to perinit Agrippa to depart till the debt was discharged. On the contrary, Agrippa did not seem to remark the displeasure of the emperor ; but immediately applied to Antonia, mother of Germanicus and Claudius, who was afterwards advanced to the sovereign power. To her he related his distresses, and told her that he was likely to lose the favour of the emperor, for want of the abovementioned three hundred thousand pieces; whereupon she lent him the money in honour of the memory of Berenice, and the mutual friendship they had entertained for each other; exclusive of which Agrippa had been the companion and play-fellow of her son Claudius almost from his earliest infancy. Having received this money, he discharged his debt, and was reinstated in the favour of Tiberius. This conduct had such an effect on the emperor, that he committed his grandson, Tiberius Ne the son of Drusus, to the care and government of Agrippa, requesting that he would
be constantly in his company, and regulate his whole conduct. Agrippa, however, had so strong an idea of his obligatious to Antonia, that he paid his principal attention and respect to her grandson Caius, for whom the people in general had the highest esteem, not only respecting his personal virtues, but on account of the reverence which they entertained for the memory of his father Germanicus. At this period, a Samaritan, one of Cæsar's freed-men, lent Agrippa a million of pieces, with part of which he discharged his debt to Antonia, and employed the remainder in paying the expence incurred on the attendance of Caius, with whom he had now contracted the utmost friendship.
It happened that, on a particular day, Caius and Agrippa were riding out in a chariot, without any other company, when Tiberius became the subject of conversation, on which Agrippa exclaimed, "From my heart I wish it would please God that Caius was in his place." Now Eutychus, a freed-man of Agrippa, who, at that time, drove the carriage, heard these words spoken, but took no notice of them for the present. Some little time afterwards, Eutychus was charged with robbing Agrippa, and carrying off some of his cloaths. The man was really guilty of the offence, and was apprehended and carried before Piso, the governor of the place, to undergo the examination. Among other questions, Piso asked him how it happened that he ran away; to which he replied, That the life of Tiberius was in danger, and he was going to make a discovery of the plot." On this declaration, he was sent bound to Capra, where Tiberius still kept him in chains; for the emperor, in all affairs of state, was certainly the most dilatory man that ever existed. Ambassadors could not obtain an audience of him without a tedious delay, nor would he nominate people to succeed to governments of provinces till he had certain knowledge of the death of the former
Eutychus being kept so long in chains, was evidently the consequence of this disposition of Tiberius; but the emperor, at length, coming from Capra to Tusculanum, distant only one hundred furlongs from Agrippa, he requested Antonia to solicit that Eutychus might be examined, that what he had to say against his patron might be known at once. Now Tiberius entertained a singular respect for Antonia, partly on account of affinity, (for she was his sister-in-law, and the widow of Drusus,) and partly for her steady virtue in refusing a second marriage in the prime of her life, to which she had been earnestly pressed by Augustus himself. In fact, her whole life exhibited a pattern of the most exemplary virtue. Exclusive of the above considerations, Tiberius was under personal obligations to Antonia, which he could not forget; since her wisdom, fidelity, and diligence, had saved his life from the desperate machinations of Sejanus; for he was possessed of great power and credit, a captain of the guards, and had engaged in the conspiracy a number of the most eminent senators, many of Cæsar's freed-men, several of the favourites at court, and some of the military officers. The escape, therefore, of Tiberius was rather extraordinary, and the effects of the treasonable intention were evidently defeated by the resolute industry of Antonia ; for no sooner was she informed of the horrid intention, than she wrote down a narrative of all the particulars of the plot as they came to her knowledge, and sent them from time to time to Tiberius at Capra, by the hands of Pallas, who was an approved and confidential servant of the emperor; and, in consequence of this discovery, the confederacy and those concerned in it being made known, Sejanus and his accomplices received the reward due to their demerits.
It may be presumed, that if Antonia's merit was great with Tiberius before she had rendered him this piece of service, it was much greater afterwards; so that when, at the request of Agrippa, she had repeatedly urged the emperor to hear the charge