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near resemblance to the god of war. The Gentile nations who were accustomed to worship as deities the most abominable of mankind, though they might smile at the folly of the emperor, made no hesitation to pay him divine adoration; and the Christians were at this time too inconsiderable in their numbers to attract any very general notice. The Jews, therefore, were the only people who, by their tenacious opposition to the emperor's absurd requests, were likely to draw down upon their heads the tempest of his indignation. He accordingly made no secret of his enmity against them, and the animosity which he entertained soon diffused its influence through the different provinces of the empire.

The inhabitants of Alexandria no sooner gained intelligence of the emperor's disposition, than they began a most violent persecution. The houses of the Jews were forcibly entered and plundered of the most valuable contents. Many thousands of their men, women, and children, were confined in a small space like beasts in a pound, that they might either be forced to abandon the city, or perish for want of provisions, exercise, and fresh air. Such of them as attempted to remain in Alexandria, after they had escaped their confinement, were put to death with excruciating tortures. Fires were made of the timber belonging to the Jewish merchants, while they themselves were cast in to perish in the fames; and many others were cruelly executed, by being dragged about the streets with ropes till such time as they expired. But what the surviving Jews most of all regarded was, that their places of public worship were first plundered by the heathen, and then polluted by the statues of the emperor being placed in them as objects of adoration.

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In consequence of these accumulated evils, the Jews of Alexandria determined to send an embassy to Rome, to deprecate the wrath of Caligula; and, if it were possible, without violating their religion, to regain his favour. At the head of this embassy was placed Philo, a Jewish philosopher, some of whose works remain to the present day, and are greatly valued among the learned. Caius was, however, so effectually wrought upon by Egyptian flatterers, who composed a part of his household, that he not only treated the ambassadors with the most mortifying contempt, but sent orders to Petronius, the governor of Syria, to erect his statue in the sanctuary at Jerusalem.

Petronius appears to have been a prudent and humane man; and, knowing the zeal of the Jews, as well as the impetuosity of his master, he determined to gain time by sending to distant parts for the best artists and materials, and to collect his army into the neighbourhood of Ptolemais. This last action having alarmed the nation, he was obliged to tell them the orders that he had received from Caligula; upon which he was addressed by all the heads of the Jews, who assured him, in the humblest manner, that they would sooner hazard the loss of all that was dear to them, even their lives, than suffer their temple to be thus profaned. The governor strove to bring them into a compliance, by reminding them of the danger of their opposing, or of his not obeying the emperor's command; and that their resistance would be interpreted as a downright rebellion. They answered him, that the prayers and sacrifices they offered daily for the emperor were a sufficient token of their loyalty. However, added they, we are so far from designing to rise in arms upon this occasion, that we will suffer ourselves to be butchered in the most cruel manner, and this will be all the resistance you will meet with from us if you go on with your design.

Soon after this, Aristobulus, the brother of Agrippa, accompanied with some of the royal family, came: to Petronius, and begged that they might have leave to try to mollify the emperor by an embassy, and that he would second it with a letter to that monarch in their behalf. Petronius at length consented to write to the emperor, but

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forbad them to send any embassy, or let their reluctance be so much as suspected at the Roman court. He wrote accordingly to the emperor, that he had met with difficulties in the execution of his orders through want of proper hands, and that the statue which he designed should be a master-piece of its kind was not yet reared, because he feared lest the taking so many men from their other labours should bring a scarcity on the land, and lower the tribute; with such other reasons, which, instead of appeasing, greatly exasperated the emperor. He was just reading the letter, and in the height of his resentment, when king Agrippa, who was then at Rome, came into his presence: He was greatly surprized to see such a mixture of passions in his looks and gestures, and began to fear he had either offended, or been in some way misrepresented to him; when Caius, who easily perceived his disorder, broke the secret to him in words to this effect Your Jewish subjects are strange creatures to refuse to acknowledge me for a god; and, to provoke my resentment against them, I had commanded the statue of Jupiter to be set up in their temple, and they have, it seems, opposed it, and raised a kind of universal insurrection.

At these words, Agrippa, like one thunderstruck, after having in vain tried to keep himself up, fell into a swoon, and was carried off into his own palace, where he continued in that condition till the third day; when, having taken a little sustenance, he set himself about writing to the emperor the letter which the reader may see at length in Josephus. Caius, instead of being moved at the king's concern, was rather the more exasperated against the Jews, and against him, for his concern for such an ungrateful race as he called them, whom all his favours could not work into a compliance to his will. However, he began to relent when he read the letter; and Agrippa, who drew a good omen even from his not answering it, took the liberty to invite him to a sumptuous entertainment, which Caius, who really loved him, easily accepted. Here the Jewish king, having well warmed his guest with wine, began to extol the great and signal favours he had heaped upon him; and, by his large encomiums and expressions of gratitude, found means to get a fresh promise of whatever he should ask. To this Agrippa answered, Since it is your pleasure to add this new favour to all the rest, I will beg for such an one as will at once be an irrefragable proof of your goodness to me, and draw a plenty of heavenly blessings upon your head; and that is, that you will lay aside your resolution of setting up the statue in the temple of Jerusalein. This petition, which shewed not only the greatest disinterestedness, but also the most unfeigned love for his country and religion, even at the hazard of his life, had such an effect on that emperor, that he wrote immediately to his governor, that if his statue was not already set up, he should forbear doing it, adding, that he had altered his design out of friendship to Agrippa. However, the lightness of his temper soon made him repent of his complaisance to him, so that he designed to have made a second attempt unknown to him. At the same time, his resentment against Petronius, being kindled afresh, he sent him an order to dispatch himself; but Caius was assassinated time enough to prevent either mischief taking effect.

Agrippa, who still remained at Rome, was very serviceable to Claudius in promoting his accession to the empire; in consideration of which, the emperor confirmed to him all the grants of Caligula; gave him Judea, Samaria, and the southern parts of Idumea; entered into a solemn alliance with him; and enacted several edicts in favour of the Jews. At his request, be likewise conferred the kingdom of Chaleis, which was situated in the north of Syria, near the river Orontes, on Herod, who was both the brother and son-in-law of Agrippa. He became possessed of all the dominions of Herod the Great, with the addition of greater influence in the senate than ever that monarch possessed.


Returning to Judea, he determined to practise every thing which could render him acceptable to the Jews. He first performed the solemn vow of the Nazarites, cutting off his hair, and offering sacrifices according to the most rigid forms of the law. Then he caused the golden chain which Caligula had given him to be suspended in one of the most conspicuous parts of the temple, as a testimony of his gratitude to God, and a monument of the instability of all human affairs. He next divested Theophilus, the son of Ananus, of the high-priesthood, which he conferred on Simon, the son of Boethus, who was denominated Cantharas. Afterward, however, he deprived him of this dignity, in order to bestow it on Jonathan, the son of Annas, who had already enjoyed it after Caiaphas; but he modestly refused it, telling the king that he thought himself sufficiently honoured to have once enjoyed that office, upon which it was conferred on his brother Matthias. He also opposed, through his interest, the erecting of a statue to Cæsar in a Jewish synagogue at Doris. He next directed his attention to fortifying the city, making the walls of what was called the New Town higher and stronger than they had formerly been; and would, in the opinion of Josephus, have rendered Jerusalem impregnable, had it not been for the interference of Marsus, governor of Syria after Petronius, who procured a command from Claudius that he should desist from his undertaking. Still further to gratify the Jews, we have already seen, in another part of this work, that he commenced a bloody persecution amongst the Christians, but was cut off by providence in the midst of his pride, an awful montment of the divine displeasure. His reign afforded a short gleam of sunshine to the Jews, whose dark night of calamity was now rapidly approaching.

Agrippa's surviving family consisted of a son of his own name, aged seventeen years; and three daughters, of whom the eldest, Berenice, when sixteen years old, was married to her uncle Herod. The second, Mariamne, was ten years old; and the youngest, Drusilla, six years. Mariamne was contracted to Julius Archelaus, the son of Chelcias; and her sister to Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, king of Comagena.

The death of king Agrippa was no sooner made known to the public, than the inhabitants of Cæsarea and Sebaste, instead of making a proper acknowledgment of the many obligations he had conferred on them, loaded his memory with the most scandalous and opprobrious epithets that their imaginations could possibly invent, It happened that, at this time, there was a number of soldiers at those places, who, in aid of the calumny, took the statues of Agrippa's three daughters from the palace, and conveyed them in triumph to public brothels, with brutish terms of reproach that are too infamous for repetition. They feasted, and played the tricks of buffoons in the streets; adorned their heads with flowers and garlands, perfumes and ointments, as if they were sacrificing to Charon; and likewise drank libations of thanks for the king's death. In this manner they entertained themselves, regardless of all the favours they had received from, and the obligations they owed to, Agrippa, or of those due to Herod his grandfather, who had founded those splendid cities, and the temples and ports appertaining to them.

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At this time, Agrippa, the son of the deceased king, was at Rome, being educated in the court of Claudius, who, when informed of the death of the father, and the horrid insults that had been offered to his memory by the ungrateful inhabitants of Cæsarea and Sebaste, expressed great conceru at the loss of the king, and equal indignation at the ingratitude of the other parties: wherefore he formed an idea of immediately sending the present Agrippa to take possession of his father's kingdom, which was equally agreeable to an oath he had taken as consistent with common reason and equity. But the emperor was easily diverted from carrying his plan into execution, by the persuasion of a number of favourites who surrounded him. They urged that it was


unsafe to trust so important a business into the hands of a man so young and rienced; for the commission was of so difficult a kind, that it would furnish ample employment for the most acute genius in the empire.

These artful insinuations induced Claudius to change his mind, and thereon he deputed Cuspius Fadus to the command; but paid so great a respect to the memory of the deceased, that he strictly charged him not to receive Marsus into the government, under the consideration that he had been the determined enemy of Agrippa; but he gave him still more particular directions to punish severely the inhabitants of Cæsarea and Sebaste, on account of the indignities they had offered to Agrippa and his daughters. He commissioned him likewise to dispatch to Pontus five cohorts, and the other troops that were in those cities, and to cause that their places should be supplied by a select body of men from the Roman legions then in Syria. This last order, however, was not obeyed; for, on an earnest application, Claudius was induced to permit those troops still to remain in Judea. From this circumstance arose many great calamities which were afterwards suffered by the Jews, and which gave rise to a series of wars when Florus had the command; so that Vespasian, though the conqueror, was obliged to compel them to quit the country.

Fadus, upon his arrival in Judea, was forced to suppress the banditti, who were by that time grown very numerous and powerful; and to quell an insurrection which the Jews had raised against the inhabitants of Philadelphia, which was the same city with Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites. In the mean time, Claudius, having recalled Marsus out of respect to the late king, had sent Cassius Longinus into that government, who came immediately to Jerusalem, and insisted upon the pontifical vestments being put into his possession, in order to be kept, as formerly, in the fortress of Antonia. The Jews, surprised at this new demand, begged leave that they might send a deputation to the emperor against it; and did not obtain it from that governor till some of the heads of the nation had put their sons as hostages into his hands. But upon the ambassadors applying to Claudius, in which they were backed by the young Agrippa, they obtained a grant that those sacred robes should be kept in the possession of the high-priest, in the manner Vitellius had granted it six years before. At the same time, Herod, king of Chalcis, obtained of that emperor the superintendency of both the temple and sacred treasury, together with the authority of naming whom he would to the pontifical dignity; in pursuance of which, he deposed Cantharas, and raised Joseph, the son of Cami, to it. After Herod's death, young Agrippa obtained the same grant for himself, and enjoyed it till the time of the Jewish war.

During Fadus's government, there arose a notable impostor named Theudas, who drew great numbers of the deluded Jews after him, bidding them follow him beyond Jordan, and promising them that he would divide the waters of that river, as Joshua had done, by his single word. Cuspius sent some troops of horse and foot against him and his followers, killed some of them, took others prisoners, and amongst them Theudas himself, whom he caused to be beheaded, and his head to be brought to Jerusalem. This, according to Josephus, is the most remarkable thing that happened during Fadus's government: he was soon after succeeded by Tiberius Alexander, an apostate Jew of sacerdotal race, and nephew to the famous Philo. One of his first exploits was the crucifying James and Simon, the sons of Judas, surnamed Galileus, head of the Gaulonitish sect; and, about the same time, Herod, king of Chalcis, having deposed Joseph, the son of Cami, gave the high-priesthood to Ananias, the son of Zebedeus, and died soon after in the eighth year of Claudius. That emperor gave his kingdom to young Agrippa, in prejudice of Aristobulus, the eldest son of the deceased.

Soon after this died Herod the governor of Chalcis, who left two sons, named Berenicianus and Hyrcanus, by Berenice, the daughter of his brother; and Aristobulus by Mariamne his former wife. Another brother, Aristobulus, died a private man, and left a daughter called Jotapa. It has been already mentioned that these were the children of Aristobulus, the son of Herod. But Mariamue bore to Hered two sons, named Alexander and Aristobulus, who were put to death by order of their father. After this, the children of Alexander were governors in Armenia the Greater.

Herod of Chalcis being dead, Agrippa, the son of Agrippa, was advanced by the emperor to the kingdom of his uncle; and that of Judea was governed by Cumanus, who succeeded Tiberius Alexander. During the administration of the latter, many fresh misfortunes overtook the Jews. While the people were assembled in prodigious numbers at Jerusalem, to celebrate the festival of unleavened bread, a guard of soldiers was stationed at the gate of the temple to prevent disorders, according to their usual custom. Among these soldiers was one who, turning up his bare posteriors in the midst of the company, made a disagreeable noise corresponding with the indecency of the action. This inflamed the multitude to such a degree, that, pressing in crowds to Cumanus, they demanded justice on the soldier for the insult; and, amongst the rest, some violent young men proceeded to high words and quarrelling, and struck the soldiers, and pelted them with stones. Cumanus, fearing the consequences of a popular insurrection, sent other soldiers to support the former, which occasioned such a terror to the Jews, that they endeavoured all in their power to get out of the temple; but the throng was so great in the passages, that near ten thousand were pressed or trod to death. This circumstance turned the Jewish festival into mourning; there were tears and lamentations in every house; for the calamity was so general that almost every family shared in it.

No sooner was this misfortune ended, than it was succeeded by another. A domestic of Cæsar, named Stephen, being on a journey with some household goods belonging to his master, was attacked by a set of thieves, who robbed him near Bethoron. Hereupon Cumanus sent a party to seize the inhabitants of the adjacent villages, and bring them in bonds to answer for not apprehending the robbers. While searching for these people, a soldier happening to meet with the books of Moses, tore and threw them in the fire. Affronted by this insult, the Jews assembled in multitudes, and, in the hurry of their zeal, repaired to Cumanus in Cæsarea, and urged him, in the most violent manner, to punish the author of so daring an outrage on the law of God. Cumanus, finding that the people would not be appeased, ordered the soldier to be brought forth, and put to death in their presence; and thus the tumult subsided.

At this period, an unhappy dispute likewise happened between the Jews of Galilee and those of Samaria. A Galilean Jew, being going to worship at a festival at Jerusalem, was killed as he was passing through the village of Geman, in the plain of Samaria. Hereupon the Galileans assembled in a body to take vengeance on the Samaritans by force of arms. Those of better rank applied to Cumanus, and advised him to go to Galilee before the matter went too far, and do justice on the murderers on a strict scrutiny. Cumanus, otherwise employed, would not interfere. report of this violence reached Jerusalem, the people were beyond measure inflamed, and resolved to attack Samaria, notwithstanding all the arguments that could be used to restrain them. The ringleaders of these outrages were Eleazar, the son of Dinæas, and Alexander, who, making inroads into the district of Acrabatena, destroyed men, women, and children, with the sword, and burnt the country.


Cumanus, hearing of these ravages, advanced with a party of horse from Sebaste to leave the country and destroyed and made prisoners many of Eleazar's adherents.

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