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darts, arrows, "and stones of the Romans; for it was fruitless for them to think of opposing the force of the battering-rams, which by degrees effected the purpose for which they were designed. The Romans were possessed of one ram dreadful in its execution, which the Jews distinguished by the name of "Nicon," or "the Conqueror," the first breach having been made thereby.
The Jews had now been at hard duty during the whole night, and were extremely fatigued by fighting and watching. Thus dispirited, they came to too hasty a determination to abandon the first wall, as they had yet two others to depend on for their security. Having formed this resolution, they immediately retreated to the second wall; on which some of the Romans ascended the breach which had been made by the battering-ram above-mentioned, and opened the gates to the whole army. The Romans became masters of the first wall on the seventh day of the month Artemesius, and destroyed a great part of this wall, and also of the northern quarter of the city, which very quarter had heretofore been ravaged by Cestius.
This being done, Titus withdrew to a place known by the name of the Assyrian's Camp, possessing himself of all between that and the valley of Cedron, the distance of which, from the second wall, is something more than a bow-shot. From this place, he came to a resolution of beginning his attack, and immediately commenced his operations. The Jews took their stations in a regular order on the wall, where they made a formidable opposition. John and his associates commanded the troops in the fortress Antonia, and from the sepulchre of Alexander on the north of the temple. From the monument of John, the high-priest, to the gate by which water is conveyed to the tower Hippocos, Simon and his people held the command. A number of resolute sallies were made by the Jews, in which they came to close quarters with the Romans ; but the military knowledge of the latter was more than a counterpoise to the desperation of the Jews, who were repulsed with considerable loss: yet on the walls the Jews had the advantage. Skill and good fortune equally favoured the Romans; while the Jews, from a native hardness, and an animation arising from despair, seemed insensible to danger or fatigue. It should be observed, that the Romans were now fighting for glory, and the Jews for life and security, each party equally disdaining to yield. They were continually employing themselves either in violent assaults or desperate sallies, and combats of every kind. Their labours commenced with the day, and they were separated only by the darkness of the night and even during the night, both parties were kept watching to protect their walls, and the other their camp: they continued all night under arms, and were ready for battle by break of day. On this occasion, the Jews despised danger and death, so much that they seemed emulous who should brave them most undauntedly, as the best recommendation to their superiors. They entertained so great a fear of, and veneration for, Simon, that they would have sacrificed their lives at his feet, on the slightest intimation that such a sacrifice would be agree able to him.
The tower on the north side of the city was the object against which the batteringram was now directed. They who defended this tower were assailed by Titus with such repeated flights of arrows, that every man of them abandoned his post, except a crafty Jew, of the name of Castor, and ten of his associates, who concealed themselves behind the battlements. These having remained quiet for a considerable time, at length felt a shock, by the force of which the tower appeared to be shaking to its foundations. On this alarm, they quitted their present station; when Castor, assuming the language, manner, and behaviour of a supplicant, intreated that Titus would pardon all that was past, and grant him quarter. Titus, willing to believe that the Jews were now tired of the war, directed that his archers should cease their operations
and that the battery should play no longer; at the same time informing Castor, that if he had any proposals to make, he was willing to attend to what he had to say. To this Castor said, that it was his utmost ambition to commence a treaty; and Titus replied, "I grant it with all my heart; and if all your companions coincide with you in sentiment, I am freely disposed to extend my pardon to you." This offer heing made, five out of the ten who associated with Castor pretended to join with him in opinion, while the other five exclaimed that they would never submit to live slaves, while it was in their power to die freemen. A stop was put to all hostilities while this dispute was in agitation. In the mean time, Castor sent privately to Simon, desiring that he would make the best advantage of the present opportunity, and submit to his mauagement the best method of amusing the Roman general, under pretence of recommending terms of peace to his associates. In a word, Castor acted his part with so much artifice, that swords were drawn, mutual blows passed, and men appeared to be killed; but the whole device was founded in falsehood and dissimulation.
Titus and his people were astonished at the stubborn obstinacy and persevering resolution of the Jews; and, at the same time, entertained a generous compassion for their distress but having the disadvantage of the ground, they could not be proper judges of what was done above them. At this juncture, Castor received a wound in his nose from an arrow; but immediately drawing it out, he shewed it to Titus, seeming thereby to demand justice. Titus was so highly enraged at this injury, he turned to Josephus, who stood near him, desiring that he would go immediately, in his name, to Castor, and give him all possible assurances of friendship and fair treatment. Josephus, however, not only desired to be excused from executing this commission, but likewise dissuaded his friends who would have undertaken it, assuring them, that this apparent submission_was founded in the deepest treachery. However, notwithstanding what was said, Æneas, one who had deserted to the Romans, seemed willing to undertake this expedition, to which he was the rather encouraged, by Castor's directing him to bring something in which to put a sum of money that he intended to compliment him with. Thus encouraged by the hope of advantage, Eneas advanced to accept the present, when Castor let fall a large stone from the wall, and Æneas narrowly escaped being crushed by it, while it wounded the man who stood next to him.
From this circumstance, Titus was aware of the ill consequences that might arise from benevolence ill-timed ; and was convinced that determined rigour ought to be opposed to plausible pretensions and fair promises. He thereupon began to ply his batteries with greater violence than heretofore, in order to revenge himself for the contumacious affront that had been offered him by Castor and his associates. When the batteries had played some time, Castor and his people found that the town shook under them, and appearing to be on the point of falling; on which they set it on fire, and, running through the flames, escaped into a vault. The Romans imagined that, by this action, they had devoted themselves to certain destruction, and were generous cnough to extol their courage and magnanimity to the skies.
Titus took possession of this part of the wall at the end of five days from the time that he had become master of the first. As the passage to the second wall was now opened, he had made the Jews fly before him; and having selected a hundred of his best troops, he entered the city at that quarter inhabited by the salesmen, clothiers, and brasiers, and passed up the narrow cross streets to the wall. Titus, however, either from negligence or compassion, omitted to break down the wall, and thus, as we shall soon hear, lost the advantage of his victory.
No sooner had Titus entered the town, than he issued out his orders that not a single house should be burnt, not even one prisoner put to the sword. He was so indulgent
likewise even to those of the faction, that he offered to permit them to end their own disputes among themselves, on the single condition that they should not oppress the inhabitants. To these last, likewise, he promised that he would support them in all their legal possessions, and that what had been taken from them by violence should be restored.
These terms were highly agreeable to the majority of the people, of whom some wished that the city might be spared for their own sakes, and others, that the temple might be spared for the sake of the city. However, the abandoned part of the faction ascribed all the generous benevolence and humanity of Titus to fear; and they argued in this manner, that Titus would never have offered such favourable terms, if he had not himself despaired of accomplishing the work he had undertaken; and the faction now threatened instant death to any person who should propose a peace, or a treaty of reconciliation.
No sooner had the Romans entered the city, than the Jews did all in their power to obstruct their proceedings: they blocked up the narrow passages, shot at them from the houses, making frequent sallies from the walls, often compelled the guards to abandon the towers, and seek refuge in the camp. The soldiers within the city were in the utmost confusion; and those without were agitated in the highest degree, on account of the apprehended fate of their companions. Several smart encounters ensued between the opposing parties; but the Jews being more numerous than the Romans, and likewise better acquainted with bye-ways and secret passes, they obtained repeated advantages: the breaches being likewise too narrow for any number to march out abreast, the Romans would have been pressed to such a degree, that scarcely a mman of them would have escaped, if Titus had not arrived in the critical conjuncture; and this gallant officer placed a band of archers at the end of every street, was himself present in every place of the greatest danger, and, being seconded by Domitius Sabinus, (a gallant man, who performed singular feats of courage on the occasion) the Jews were so annoyed by darts and lances, that the Romans had an opportunity of bringing off their men. Thus were the Romans driven from the second wall after they had gained possession of it.
This piece of success gave such spirits to the most determined of the inhabitants, that they flattered themselves that the Romans would not again venture to attack them; or that if they did, it would be totally impossible to subdue them: whereas, if these desperate men had not laboured under an actual infatuation, they must have reflected, that the Romans, over whom they had at present obtained an advantage, were not to be compared with the immense numbers that were yet to be encountered. But, exclusive of this consideration, a severe famine now raged in the city, the effects of which were daily felt in a more sensible manner. Hitherto, the ruin of the public had been the support of the insurgents, and they had almost literally drank of the blood of the citizens. In fact, the most worthy of the inhabitants were reduced to great distress, and many of them fell a sacrifice to absolute famine. The faction, however, rather pleased themselves in the loss of these people; those only who wished to continue the war with the Romans being objects of their regard. The rest they considered only as useless in themselves, and burthensome to the public.
The Romans having once gotten possession of the wall, and then lost it, they made another attempt to recover it. They made repeated, and almost constant assaults, for the space of three successive days, during which period they were repulsed with as much valour as they shewed in the attack: but Titus made so furious a charge on the fourth day, that his opponents were no longer able to resist his force; whereupon, he
took possession of the wall, the northern part of which he destroyed, and in all the towers to the southward he placed garrisons without loss of time.
The storming of the third wall was now an object that engaged the attention of Titus; but as he did not deem it a work that would be attended with much difficulty, he first considered how, by more lenient methods, he might bring the people to consider their true interest; hoping that they might be induced to listen to him, through the dread of his power and the fear of famine; for, by this time, their plunder and provision were nearly consumed; while, on the contrary, the forces under Titus were supplied with every thing they could desire for their ease and accommodation. This being the case, Titus issued orders that, on the day of a general muster, his troops should be drawn up, and paid within view of the enemy. On this occasion, the infantry advanced with drawn swords, and the led horses were adorned in so splendid a manner, that gold and silver seemed to prevail over all the field. This sight was equally agreeable to the Romans, as disgusting to the Jews, who had assembled in immense numbers on the old wall on the north side of the city; the houses were likewise crowded, and every part of the city was filled with people gazing at this splendid spectacle. In fact, the courage of the bravest among the Jews was repressed by the appearance; and, in all probability, they would have now submitted to the Romans, had it not been for a consciousness that they had offered provocation of such a nature as not to be readily pardoned; and that if they abandoned the point in dispute, they must be devoted to certain destruction: wherefore, rather than submit to be sacrificed at present, they chose rather to fall in the bed of honour by the chance of war. But, in fact, Providence had so determined, that the faction was to prove the ruin of the city, and the innocent were to be involved in the consequence of the crimes of the guilty.
After four days spent without any act of hostility, in procuring provisions for the camp, Titus, on the fifth day, separated his army into two divisions; and, finding that the Jews were not in the least disposed to peace, he caused works to be thrown up against the forts of Antonia, near the monument of John, in the hope, that from that quarter he might get possession of the upper town, and then from Antonia become possessed of the temple; for it was impossible to keep possession of the city unless the fort was taken. He made separate attacks against each of these two places; and at every rising ground he placed a legion of soldiers to defend and protect the engineers. Those who carried on their works near the monument were violently assaulted by the Jews, and the people under the command of Simon; while those who besieged the fort Antonia were still more vigorously opposed by the party of John, and the zealots in his direction; for these had the advantage of the higher ground, and were also supplied with machines, uf the use of which they were now perfectly acquainted, in consequence of daily practice. The zealots had likewise possession of forty slings for stones, and three hundred cross-bows, by which the Romans were much annoyed, and a check was given to their proceedings.
Though Titus had hitherto entertained no doubt but that he should make a complete conquest of the city; yet, while, on the one hand, he continued to urge the siege, he, on the contrary, joined to the power of force every effort of persuasion and advice, in order to induce the Jews to a compliance with the terms of reason. Reflecting that an appeal to the passions had sometimes a better effect than that to the law of arms, be, in the first place, personally addressed the Jews, requesting that they would have so much regard to their interest as to surrender a place of which he could make himself master at any time. This done, he committed the rest to Josephus; thinking that when they were addressed by their own countryman, and in a language familiar to
them, success would probably be the consequence of the humanity which inspired him to undertake so benevolent an office. Agreeable to the directions given by Titus, Josephus first walked through several parts of the city, and then stopping on an elevated spot within the hearing of the enemy, though not within reach of their shot, he made a long and eloquent speech, in which he urged every argument he could think of in order to induce them to surrender.
Josephus wept abundantly at the recital of his own speech; but it appeared to make no impression on the opposing faction, who did not think that they could, with safety, agree to the terms offered by the Romans, even if they had been disposed so to have done. But of the common people, many were so impressed with that most effectual means of consulting their safety by flight; and, for this purpose, they sold all their most valuable effects, though at prices greatly inferior to their real worth; and swallowed the gold they received as the purchase money, lest they should be stripped of it in their journey. Thus provided, they repaired to the Romans, where they were supplied with what they wanted. In the interim, Titus permitted the deserters to enjoy their full liberty, which was an encouragement to others to desert, as they avoided the misfortunes of those in the city, without being subjected to the enemy. However, Simon and John, and their adherents, placed guards at all the outlets, and were not less assiduous to keep the citizens from departing, than the Romans from making au entrance. The least cause of suspicion was sufficient to deprive a man of his life, or even a pretence on which to found a suspicion had the same effect. Persons in affluent circumstances were certain to be sufferers: those who had any thing to lose were assuredly suspected, and that suspicion ended in their final destruction.
The factions now became more tumultuous, and the famine daily increased. When corn was no longer offered to sale, they broke open houses in search of it; and if none was discovered, the owners were tortured to make them declare where their stores were deposited; and if it was discovered, they were severely punished for concealing it. The very appearance of the wretched was constructed into the effect of guilt. If they seemed to be in health, if was inferred that they had a secret supply of provisions. Those who were in a low habit of body were immediately killed, though it appeared to be a work of supererogation to destroy those who were already perishing for want of the common necessaries of life. At length, such was the distress, that people in tolerable circumstances disposed of their whole effects for a bushel of wheat, and the poorer people for an equal quantity of barley. The purchases being made, they secluded themselves from all observation, when some of them began to eat the corn before it was ground, while others waited till it was baked, according to the different degrees of their hunger. The ceremony of setting out a table was totally dispensed with, and happy was he who could snatch a morsel of meat, half-raw, half-roasted, from the fire. The calamity above-mentioned afforded a sight truly melancholy. The most powerful fared the best, while the weaker had only to lament their misfortunes.
Starving is certainly the most deplorable kind of death, as it deprives people of the common emotions of humanity. The wife seized the meat from the mouth of the husband; the child from that of the parent; and even the mother from that of the infant which lay perishing in her arms, thus depriving it of sustenance in the moment of the utmost necessity yet these horrid robberies were not so privately committed. but that others robbed them of what they had pilfered from their friends. Whenever the inhabitants saw a house shut up, they concluded that the people in it had something to eat wherefore, breaking it open, they seized the meat even from the mouths of the persons who were swallowing it. Neither age nor sex was spared: the old