Hegesippus, translated from Latin into English (2005). Book 3
[Translated by Wade Blocker, email@example.com]
BOOK III BEGINS HERE.
I. As soon as these things things were reported to Nero located in regions of Achaia, where he had striven in the rehearsal of songs in the tragic style so that he should bring back the theatrical crown -- you would not know which was the more shameful, whether that the emperor should come forth onto the stage, or whether that he [p. 182] should fill the stage with his shameful acts, who would defile Oresten by singing and exhibit himself as a parricide -- a great fear entered him, not greatly fearing those comparisons of the public spectacles but the ends of the wars, that he should at some time or other recover his senses from the foulness of the theatrical entertainments and the raving of the parricidal madness and turned back to the cares of the state he should roar and rage within himself, because from the want of care of the leader rather than from the valor of the opponents the Roman state might receive a great disaster. Indeed he was trying to simulate bravery, but fear contradicted, and as if to offer the appearance of magnanimity, that he had a mind above the tribulations of business, but was distracted by uneasiness of mind, he chose a leader for diminishing the disgrace by finishing off the war. The future subversion of the final ruin urged on Judaea, so that Nero assumed the regal character and with the voice of a foreseeing counselor rendered a sound decision. Vespasian alone to be (him) to whom he with justice would entrust the supreme command of military affairs in the districts of the east, a man from a youth of triumphal military service grown up in campaigning, who had pacified with lasting peace the warlike Gauls aroused into war by the disturbance of the Germans and the fierceness of innate rashness. Britain also heretofore lying hid among the waves he won for the Roman empire with arms, with the wealth of which triumphed over Rome was richer, Claudius was considered more wise, Nero braver. And so they did not see wars of which people, they celebrated victories over those subjugated. Under this leader, I say again, Nero was terrible. Nero was to be feared, powerful abroad, secure at home, the faith and fortitude of Vespasian between themselves being equal. That man of such greatness, by whose arms the faults of Nero were concealed from the minds of foreign peoples, [p. 183] as he also made bright by his triumphs the wantonness of (Nero's) human affairs and the scandal of (Nero's) unmanly impurity. And so when fighting had to be done in the farthest regions of the Roman territory, Vespasian was chosen out of all, when the war had been put down, Vespasian was associated in power in preference to all the rest, lest he should be left a public enemy or creep up a domestic enemy. He was worthy by (his) campaigns that he should have command of military affairs, he taught loyalty, he displayed high character. Nero reluctantly sent him, who took away guardianship of him, but he was restrained by future punishments of his crimes, so that he left himself defenceless dissociated from the great companionship of (this) leader. At no time actually would Galba have exercised desires of striving for the supreme power, unless he had learned Vespasian (to be) absent. But god managed this, that the man was sent into Syria, who both destroyed the insolence of the Jews by the final overthrow of the race and the disgrace of captivity, and forsook his support of Nero, granted that it is possible to bring an impediment of no value against celestial decisions. Demented however, when he had learned that a strong force of the Roman army had been shattered by the war of the Jews, he rose up against the Christians, so that a doomed end approached him.
II. At that time Peter and Paul were in Rome, teachers of the Christians, distinguished in works, brilliant in administration, who by virtue of their works had made Nero an adversary who had been captured by the enticements of the Magian Simon who had won over his mind to himself. To whom he promised with deadly arts the aid of victory, the subjections of peoples, longevity of life, the protection of safety, [p. 184] and he believed who did not know to examine the meaning of things. Finally he held the highest place of friendship with him, seeing that he was even considered the chief of his security and the guardian of his life. But when Peter uncovered his falsities and faults, and showed appearances to deceive him of things, and not to produce anything real or true, he was consumed with grief and considered an object of and worthy of mockery. And although in other parts of the world he had experienced the power of Peter, however preceding (Peter) to Rome he dared to boast, that he had restored the dead to life. There had died at that time at Rome a young noble relative of Caesar to the sorrow of everyone. Many suggested it should be tried whether he could be restored to life. Peter was considered the most renowned in these tasks, but among the gentiles no trust was accorded to achievements of this sort. Grief demanded a remedy, recourse was had to Peter. There were even those who thought Simon should be summoned. Both were at hand. Peter says to Simon, who was boasting about his ability, he would give (him) the first chances as if he were able to revivify the dead man. If he did not revivify (him), he would not be absent when Christ should carry succor to the dead man, at which time he would be able to arise. Simon, who thought his arts would be especially strong in the city of gentiles, proposed the condition that if he himself should revivify the dead man, Peter should be killed, who had proposed great authority, for it was named thus, by calling forth insults, but if indeed Peter should have superior power, he should in like manner make a claim against Simon. Peter assented, Simon made the attempt. He approached the bier of the dead man, he began to fix a spell and to murmur fearful incantations. He who was dead was seen to shake his head. a great clamor of the gentiles because he was now living, because he was speaking with Simon. Anger and displeasure against Peter because he had dared to compare himself to such great ability. Then the blessed apostle [p. 185] demanded silence and says: 'if the dead man is alive, let him speak; if he has been revivified, let him stand up, walk, converse.' That to be an illusion, not reality that he seems to have moved his head. Finally he says "let Simon be separated from the funeral-bed,' and then indeed it will not be a pretence. Simon is led away from the bed, he who was dead remains without the appearance of any motion. Peter stood farther away and intent within himself for a short time on his words he says with a loud voice: 'Young man, stand up: the lord Jesus makes you well.' Immediately the young man rose up and spoke and walked and took food and Peter gave him to his mother. Who when he was asked that he should not depart from him said: 'let him not depart from him who made him to rise up, whose servants we are. Be untroubled, mother, about your son, do not fear, he has his protector.' And when the people rose up against Simon that he should be stoned, Peter says: 'It is enough for his punishment that he knows his arts to have no strength. Let him live and even though unwilling see the kingdom of Christ to grow.' The Magian turned away from the glory of the apostle. He collected himself and calls forth all the power of his enchantments, he assembles the people, he says himself offended by the Galilaeans and to be about to leave the city which he was wont to guard. He set a date, he promises that he will fly, where he would be borne on celestial thrones, to whom when he should wish the heavens would open. On the appointed day he ascended the Capitoline hill and throwing himself from the rock he began to fly. The people marvelled and many worshipped saying the ability was god's, it was not a man, who should fly with a body, Christ to have done nothing similar. Then Peter standing in their midst says: 'Jesus Lord, show him his arts to be empty, lest by this display this people who are about to believe should be deceived. Let him fall, lord, in such a way however, that living he will recall himself able to do nothing.' And immediately on the words of Peter with a tangling of the wings [p. 186] which he had put on he fell to the ground, nor was he killed, but with a broken and lamed leg he withdrew to Aricia and died there. This having been learned Nero grieving himself deceived and abandoned by the fate of such a great friend, a man useful and necessary to the state having been taken away from him, indignant began to seek causes for which he should kill Peter. And already the time was at hand when the blessed apostles Peter and Paul would be called. Finally the order having been given that they should be seized Peter was asked that he should take himself elsewhere. He kept resisting saying he would never do it, as if terrified by the fear of death he should yield, it was good to suffer for Christ, who in behalf of all offered himself to death, not that death but immortality to come, how unworthy that he himself should flee the suffering of his body. Who by his teachings brought many to offer themselves as sacrifices for Christ, to be owed to himself according to the voice of the lord, that he himself also should give glory and honor to Christ in his suffering. This and other things Peter hid, but the common people sought with tears, that he should not abandon himself, and that he should abandon the wavering between the commotions of the gentiles. Overcome by the lamenting Peter conceded, he promised himself to be about to leave the city. The next night with brothers taken leave of and solemn speech he began to depart alone. When it was come to the gate, he saw Christ to be coming to meet him and adoring him he said: 'lord, for what purpose do you come?' Christ says to him: 'I come again to be crucified.' Peter understood it was said about his own suffering, because in him Christ would be seen about to suffer who suffered for every one, not certainly by pain of body but by a certain fellow-suffering of sympathy and celebration of glory. And turning around he returned into the city and was captured by pursuers. Condemned to the cross he demanded that he be fixed to the cross feet uppermost, because he was unworthy that he should be fixed to the cross in the same manner, [p. 187] as the son of god had suffered. Which was obtained either because it was owed as Christ had foretold, or because his persecutor not unwilling granted the augmentation of the punishment, and he himself and Paul one on the cross and the other by the sword were killed.
III. But let us return to the plan, alarmed by the serious news Nero, things in Judaea not going favorably, placed Vespasian a man experienced in war in charge of all military matters which were in Syria. He hastily, for indeed no time for delaying was given, his son Titus having been sent to Alexandria, so that he should lead thence some part of the soldiers who were present, he himself the Hellesponts strait having been crossed hastened his steps into Syria. In the meantime the Jews elated by the favorable affairs choose leaders of the military for the war. They assign the places to which each would be in charge, what duties each [what troops what function] should carry out. Joseph son of Gorion and Ananus chief of the priests they put in charge of the affairs of Jerusalem city and especially of restoring the walls. Eleazarus son of Simon desired ardently that something of the state offices be committed to him. But although he collected in his power all the booty they had captured from the Roman army, especially rich and fat, piled up by the avarice and unbounded robberies of Cestius, however having considered (him) more intent on preparing power for himself than appropriate for general benefit they determined that he should be turned down. But gradually by soliciting individually by giving by bribery he accomplished that the substance of all things should be committed to his control. Also one Jesus of the priests and Eleazarus the son of a priest [p. 188] placed in charge of military affairs received (the task of) guarding Idumaea, reserving however precedence always in the greatest matters to Nigerus the foremost man of all of Idumaea, 1 Hiericho was allotted to Joseph of Simon, to Manassus was committed Perea a region located across the Euphrates to which from there tne name was conferred, because the Euphrates is crossed by those travelling to that region. Iohannes Essaeus, also another Iohannes the son of Anania and others assigned to various regions, which they were to protect with their care. And so each was not to forsake the duties committed to him, to build walls, to gather a fighting band. From whom Josephus descending into Galilaea, quickly took care to fortify the citadels, to establish defences, to join to himself the strongest and promptest to fight of the region, to restrain brigandage, to be present daily in the camp, to exercise the soldiers in the manner of the Roman troops, to distribute the ranks, to assign the centurions, to place most in authority (those) by whom discipline could be most easily exacted from everybody, lest anyone should escape notice whoever abandoned his individual duties. He put into effect even that they should recognize the summons and retreats of the trumpets, that they should follow the regular arrangement of the ranks, set straight the battle line, join together their shields, like a wall, if perhaps a great force of the enemy should make an assault, they should defend themselves against those making a charge, they should go to the aid of those hard pressed, to have compassion for the exhausted, to turn against themselves the dangers of others, not only to teach the arts of war like the Roman military but even before war to threaten which further assists fighters, as a soldier he should carry food for himself and arms, he should protect himself by a wall and ditch and he should forestall the enemy by placing fortified camps, he should obey orders, he should be accustomed to abstain from theft and robbery, he should think his gain appropriate if [p. 189] he inflicts nothing of expense upon rural farmers. For what distinguishes (him) from the enemy who himself carries off in a hostile manner things found, unless because it is more serious to attack his own rather than a foreigner's and to plunder his allies rather than his enemies? A good conscience avails much in war, because he anticipates more from divine aid who recognizes himself a connection of no crime. But from these things he experienced ill-will to have inflicted harm upon himself among the wicked more quickly than there was gratitude among the good. For when he had collected about sixty thousand foot soldiers, very few horsemen, those who fought for pay about four thousand men, also six hundred picked guards of his body, he took so much from the Jews, that more of peril before the war threatened from his own men than in the war itself from the Romans. I omit what of sedition was aroused, because it was suspected that they returned things seized by brigandage to those who had lost them, especially to Agrippa and Beronica, to whom things were rightly returned, lest they should make the king more hostile. But he however, by which he might soften the fury of the people, said that the money was saved for the construction rather of walls than for the indemnification of the rulers, and all those things which had been taken from Ptolomaeus, who had carried away the royal gold, garments, and remaining items; they judged that the Taricheatans to owe, for among them things were carried out, whether they thought it should be saved for the restoration of their walls, or whether it should be expended for plundering the robbers. It certainly seemed unfitting that he should receive punishment because he had planned better. And therefore these things having reversed he at the same time escaped ill-will and danger. Again when Tiberias had demanded the favor of king Agrippa and association, [p. 190] Josephus hurrying himself forth out of the celebrated city of the Taricheatians, closed the gates, lest any messenger should proceed to the city of Tiberias and point out that military assistance was lacking to Josephus. He however collected the fishing boats from the lake, which he was able to trace out in time, and he sought Tiberias by rowing, but when he came to that place, in which indeed a conspicuous display of boats had been stationed in the city, they were unable to be found out however whether they were empty of fighters, he ordered them to be scattered through the total space of the lake, that the number should be considered greater, nor could any be considered empty rather than filled with fighters, from which terrified, because they considered themselves powerless against such a great multitude, they threw down their arms and the gates having been opened they poured themselves out suppliant to Josephus, who as if the leader of a military host had approached nearer. It was sought by what madness finally they had put on the division in their minds, driven by what authorities were they about to surrender themselves to their adversaries. And at the same time those running up to him he ordered the governors that they should bring out Taricheas and with him almost six hundred members of the court, many of the people he seized in chains. Also Clituin the leader arraigned for his crimes he ordered to pay the penalty of his hands being amputated and he asking, that at least one hand be left to him, Josephus ordered, that he should take off for himself what he wished. Then he seizing a sword with his right hand cut off his left hand. And so Tiberias was recovered, but even Sephoris a separation having been attempted was nevertheless held fast by tenacity to Josephus among the cities (that were) partners of the Jews. He preferred to defend his own by peaceful policies rather than by attacking those hostile. [p. 191]
IV. But in fact the Periatian Niger and the Babylonian Sylas and Johannes Essaeus, collecting all that were in Judaea of strong young men, attacked Ascalonis, large however and a city defended by strong walls, but in want of aid and assistance, which was separated from the city of Jerusalem by 720 stadia and by great hatreds. Therefore the Jews wishing to destroy a city hostile to themselves rushed upon it with their collected troops. Antonius was in charge of the city with a lesser number of Roman troops than he considered to be able to resist the Jews. But a man of acute judgment and an equally experienced soldier he allowed them scattered and trusting more upon number than valor, his cavalry having been led out, to cross to the city, then he attacked those in advance, harassed those following, scattered those crowded together, put the disordered to flight and pursued those straggling over the entire plain. Others turned about are driven against the walls all possibility of flight cut off, others seek different ways but surrounded by the horsemen they are cut to pieces. Many fall down upon themselves and in turn scatter themselves in their impetuosity. And so until evening slaughtered they lost out of their troops ten thousand men, their leaders Johannes and Sylas as well killed. Few however of the Romans were wounded in that battle. The rashness of the Jews however was not restrained but inflamed. For grief aroused their daring and the disgrace called out eagerness of avenging themselves. They are armed therefore with greater by far fury and the wounds of the injured not yet healed and more having been collected than the first time they rush in to attack, but them having been caught by arranged ambushes, before they came into hand to hand combat, Antonius cut them off surrounded by cavalry, and surrounded ordered them to be destroyed. Once more eight thousand were killed, the rest [p. 192] having been put to flight. Niger himself having slipped away betook himself into a fortification. There was a tower, enclosed on all sides by strong rock, the Romans because they were not able to destroy it encompassed it with set fires. Them having been lighted having crossed over from the tower into a certain cave he lay hidden from the enemy, he escaped the fire, and untroubled by the Romans because he himself should have been consumed by the conflagration, after the third day his own troops searching for his body for burial, he is restored alive and flourishing. And so with great joy saved from the enemy he is presented to the Jews.
V. Vespasian in the meantime the Hellespont having been crossed and crossing Bythinia and Cilicia, when he reached Syria, he led forth the legions and the other military forces which he found in it to Antioch. That city of Syria without objection is regarded as the foremost and thus the chief city, founded by those who adhered to the fighting Alexander the Great, called by the name of its founder. The location of the city: the length spread out immensely, narrower in width, because it is limited on the left by the steepness of a mountain, so that the sizes of the boundaries of the city are unable to be extended further. Necessity marks out the location, because the lofty mountain would give a hiding place to Parthians bursting in through hidden byways, from which they would pour themselves in an unexpected arrival and a quick attack against the unprepared Syria, unless the city threw up as if a barrier to the mountain and blocked the exit for those arriving, so that if any of the foreigners should climb it, he would immediately be seen from the middle of the city. Finally they say, when stage plays are frequented in that city, a certain actor of the mimes with eyes raised to the mountain saw Persians coming and said immediately: 'I either am dreaming or I see great danger. There! Persians!' For the mountain so overhangs the city, that not even the [p. 193] height of the theater is an impediment to seeing the mountain. A river in the middle cuts it asunder, which arising from the rising of the sun not far from the city is plunged into the sea, which from the course of its beginning men of old called the Orient, as it is commonly thought they gave the name to places, when from thence it was accepted. From the vigor itself of which flowing and the colder zephyrs continually blowing through those places the entire state is cooled at nearly every moment, so that it will have hidden the Orient in parts of the Orient. Within sweet waters, without a neighboring grove interwoven with numerous cypresses and abundant fountains. They call it Daphnen, because it never puts aside its greenness. Numerous and happy people and as is the greatest part of the Orient more merry than almost all but nearer to licentiousness. Previously a city in the third place out of all, which in the Roman world are considered states, but now in the fourth place after the city of the Byzantines outgrew Constantinople, once the capital of the Persians, now a means of defence. I think enough has been said about the site of the city. Nor for instance does it seem worth delaying by describing its buildings. When I said the East was behind it, it was clear that South lay to the left, Europe lay in front, to the right the northern races live and the Caspian kingdoms are held, which previously were most inclined to invade Syria. But after Alexander the Great established the Caspian Gate at the critical spot of the Taurus mountain and shut off every route for the interior tribes, he restored the peaceful renowned city, unless perhaps mistrusting Persian movements. In that city king Agrippa with all his troops was awaiting the arrival of Vespasian, nor did he adhere longer [p. 194] to the loitering retinue. The route having been joined they began to make for the city Ptolomais. Near that city they met the inhabitants of Sepphorim seeking (that) the peace entered into long ago with Caesentius Gallus be confirmed by Vespasian. Whose discretion having been praised, because they took regard for their own safety by not provoking the Romans, and good faith having been accepted, he received them into friendship and auxiliary troops of foot soldiers and horsemen having been added he fostered security, lest perhaps stirred up by the pain of failure arousers of war should rise up against them, since like a certain frontier fortress of Judea, the Sepphoritanians offering themselves to the Roman empire, it was resolved, that a passable route into it would be open to an enemy, which would run against the protector of the entire race as a certain opportune obstacle against an enemy. For it was besides its fitness as a fortified place even the greatest city of Galilaea. Which thing suggests that since there are two Galilaeas, one higher, the other lower, connected and joined to themselves, we should distinguish one from the other. But first (something) must be said about each.
VI. Syria and Phoenice touch each Galilaea and Ptolomais with the boundaries of its territory and Mount Carmelus limits them on the west, Mount Carmelus which previously belonged to the Galilaeans, but now is joined to the territory of the Tyrians, to which is joined the state Gabaa, which at one time was a great source of mischief for the Jews. On the east Ippene and Gadara cut it off with their territories; moreover the same [p. 195] boundaries were prescribed in ancient times to the Gaulanitidian region and to the kingdom of Agrippa. On the southern flank Scythopolis and Samaria with their own territories intercept each and they are not allowed to extend beyond the river Jordanis. Its northern parts Tyrus shuts off on the right side and all the territory of the Tyrians, by whose interposition the territories of Galilaea are delimited. Between themselves however they are distinguished by this only, that lower Galilaea so-called extends in length from the city of Tiberias all the way to the city which has the name Zabulon above the maritime boundaries of Ptolomais. Its width however extends not at all doubtfully from the village Xaloth which is in the great plain all the way to Bersaben. From which even the beginning of upper Galilaea is uncovered, which extends as far as to the boundaries of the village Bachathe; moreover by this very village even the boundaries of the land of Tyria are fixed. Also the beginning of its length is the village Thalla, Roth is the end. Thalla borders upon the Jordan. It is given to be understood from this, how far the territories of upper Galilaea stretch themselves, whose beginning is the Jordan, or its limit. Therefore by this assessment of its size each Galilaea is distinguished. The land however is fertile, abounding in grass, supporting itself by diverse types of agriculture, studded with trees, so that its attracts anyone whatever to his satisfaction and invites and excites anyone avoiding labor to the pursuit of agriculture. Finally [p. 196] no part of the land in that place however small is idle, it is crowded with many inhabitants. Many cities, numerous towns, an innumerable multitude of men, so that a small town in his district might have fifteen thousand inhabitants. Each Galilaea is surrounded also by foreign races poured around, and thus a warlike race of men, from the earliest age trained in battle exercises, abundant in number, ready in daring, and prepared in all the arts of war. The Perea region however is preeminent in size, which from thence had received the designation, which we told above. This greater but more useful Galilaea, all of which is cultivated, nor is any part of it unfruitful of crops but all its land is rich and productive, Perea however is more extended but in the greater part deserted which does not know to be softened by plowing nor to subdue easily the rougher furrows. But again a part of it is easy for cultivation, fertile for use, pleasant in aspect, mild for exercising, useful for fruit trees by grafting, producing everything, so that trees separated in front border its fields, in the middle they generally beautify and protect the crops from too much sun or cold, and especially a field covered with olive trees interwoven with vines, or distinguished with palm trees. It is indescribable how charming it is when the rows of palm trees driven by the wind make sounds and the pleasant odors of the dactyls are poured forth as usual. It is no wonder if all of this is thanks to the greenness, when the overflowed field is watered by the pleasant wanderings of the streams running down from the high peak of the mountains, bubbling over with snowy fountains it is seized with envy, wished for with thanks. Its length is from Macheruntis all the way to Pella, that is from the south to the north, its width however is from Philadelphia all the way to the river Jordan [p. 197] that is on the east it is bordered by the fields of Arabia, in the west however it is seen to extend all the way to the Jordan river. Also the Samaritan region lies midway between Iudea and Galilaea, beginning from the village which has the name Eleas, ending in the land of the Acrabattenians, of a very similar nature and not differing in any respect from Judaea. For each is mountainous and level according to the difference of locations, neither is everything spread out in plains nor is its broken up by the cliffs of mountains in all places, but it has the loveliness of each characteristic. For the practice of agriculture the loose and softer land and from that useful for grains and as for the fertility of the soil almost second to none, certainly for the maturity of the crops earlier than all. For while in other places they are still sowing grain, here they are reaping. The appearance also and the very nature of the grain is by no means considered more outstanding in any place else. The water is sweet, good in appearance, agreeable for drinking, so that according to the pleasures of the elements the Jews considered it that land promised to their fathers flowing milk and honey, when he promised them preference of resurrection. And indeed divine goodness had gathered each, if they had kept the faith, but with disloyal souls each snatched away by the yoke of captivity, there in the bonds of sin. A well-wooded region and therefore rich in cattle and flowing with milk. Finally nowhere so full of milk, the cattle bear udders, the woods fruits or grafted things above the amounts of all regions, each filled full however [p. 198] with a multitude of men from Samaria or Judaea, so that the Jews seem to me to have interpreted from this place that which is written that there was nothing among these sterile and unfruitful, since the law directed this about the fecundity of the well-deserving and about the fruitfulness of courage. The beginning of Samaria (is) from the boundaries of Arabia from the village which has the name Jordan, it ends in the north at the village Borceus. the breadth however of Judaea (extends) from the river Jordan all the way to Iopen. For it begins at the sources of the Jordan and from Mount Libanus and extends all the way to the lake of Tiberias. Also from the village Arfa (there is) the beginning of its length which extends all the way to the village Iuliadis, in which (there is) the joint habitation equally of Jews and Tyrians. In the middle however the city of Judaea as if the center of the entire region, is called Jerusalem, as pleased the sensible. A region abounding with inland resources but not cheated of the maritime, because it extends all the way to Ptolomais and it fringes upon all that sea with its shores. (There are) many cities but among all these Jerusalem stands out, and just as the head in the body does not overshadow its limbs but rules and is beauty and a protection for them. About Judaea and the neighboring regions, although an abridgment is advantageous, we have not omitted those things which should have been pointed out. [p. 199]
VII. The Sepphoritanians also attacked their neighboring regions with (demands for) tribute, assistance, military items, claiming a free right for themselves to engage in brigandage under the pretext of the war, which was being waged by the Jews against the Roman empire. Whence Josephus eagerly desiring to avenge the injury of harshness received hastened to make an attack against the city Sepphorin having associated to himself a number of powerful people, in order that he should call them back into the alliance of Judaea or if he were able ovethrow them resisting by their final destruction. But he fell short in each attempt, because he was neither able to dissuade them from the election of the Roman alliance or to overthrow the city, which he himself had strengthened with such great fortifications, that it was not able to be stormed by the far more impressive Romans. And so an assault having been attempted without any effect he sounded the trumpet call and aroused war against the entire region. He laid waste everything by day and night burning buildings, plundering inheritances, killing whomever was fit for fighting that he had seized, throwing the weak into slavery. All Galilaea was filled with burning blood robbery, by the appearance of no exempt misery and of the deformity of all things, when if anything remained from fire and murder, it was held for captivity. For whose evils those things which a little before had been considered too harsh were brought forward.
VIII. This certain prelude of war was done before Titus should arrive. Who as soon as he crossed to Alexandria from Achaia, the troops having been brought over according the command of his father he hastened to the city of Ptolomais and there the fifth and tenth legions having been joined, the fifteenth also having been added, who were surpassingly good, the Roman army and its allies having been collected, they began the savage and remarkable war. For where the first beginnings with Placidus the leader were done successfully, those following ended in defeat, Vespasian having set out more dangerously with his son from the territory of Ptolomais [p. 200] plunged himself into Galilaea. It having been learned that they refused peace, to whom he had offered the opportunity of condemning a withdrawal if they should think to look after themselves, he destroyed Gadara completely, taking offense that it was empty of fighters, because all the stronger distrusting the weak fortifications had taken themselves to more strongly fortified places. And so he did not spare those discovered but ordered all to be killed with no consideration of age, with no compassion for weakness, which he carried out not so much from the right of war as from resentment of the Cestianus battle and hatred poured out against the Jews. Finally not only the city but even the villages and towns he ordered to be burned up. Nor was the commotion unjust, because after such great haughtiness he gave the opportunity of correcting their error but it was not taken advantage of. Joseph had crossed from that city into Tiberias before the Roman army had approached, but he had given over more fear than confidence from (their) presence. They were more afraid of this even, because Josephus considered himself unequal to waging war against the Romans. Nor did he anticipate this from elsewhere, unless perhaps the Jews had put aside the study of war: that was for him preferable to sentiment. If they should choose war, himself to prefer to be seen faithful to the citizens in undergoing danger than to be seen a traitor by declining it. There is nothing more to take precautions against than not to disfigure the honor committed to oneself of a military campaign. And so he writes to the city Jerusalem to pay attention to the war, and they should write back quickly in reply. Did they prefer peace or war, they should take counsel quickly. He pointed this out briefly, nothing readily against either side, he was not judged either a fearful fighter or stubborn in revolt. [p. 201]
IX. Again from the city of Tiberias he aimed at Iotapata, either because it was fortified better than the rest and therefore very many of those most eager for war had taken themselves into it, or because Vespasian had sent many of his troops there who should build a road, because through the mountains was difficult, rocky and rough, for foot soldiers, for cavalry however it would be impassable and insurmountable. Finally within four days lest the difficulties should block the way, the surface of the roads was made passable, a route prepared by which the entire army could be sent across. On the fifth day Josephus crossed to there and aroused the downcast spirits of the Jews. Also when information was provided to Vespasian that Josephus had arrived there, an incentive of hastening the route was added, because he thought it would be a shortening of finishing the war, if the leader and people most eager for war should be cut off. And therefore he arrived with the army and gave time the first day to providing food for the soldiers, lest from concern for the war he should abuse them fatigued from the march. On the following day with a doubled battle line he surrounded the city with a wall and on the third day with a row of cavalry. Which seeing the Jews themselves cut off and besieged on all sides and not any way of escape took courage from their despair itself. For no thing makes a soldier more eager for war than the necessity of fighting and the outbreak of dangers. Vespasian pressed hard with darts, he pressed with arrows, also many Jews having gone beyond the walls as a purposed way of killing were wounded by missiles, they remained however fearless. Roman valor tried everything and especially where it had noticed the weaker reinforcement of the walls, there it attacked with a larger band of soldiers. Shame armed the former 2, the last hopes the latter (i.e., the Jews) wanting to open with the sword a way of safety for themselves. The Jews suffered severe losses, but they did not respond with lesser trials of courage. [p. 202] On the part of the Romans skill fought with valor, on the oart of the Jews fury with rashness. And so wearied, the latter fighting all day for safety, the former for victory, night put an end to battle. Also on the following day and the third, on the fourth and the fifth it was fought fiercely, but, as is usual in battles of light-armed soldiers, more wounds than deaths are inflicted, although sallies are attempted by the Jews and incursions by the Romans, the latter of whom shame inflamed into anger the victors over Hannibal and Antioch and all races were stayed by the Jewish battles. So great was the consciousness of Roman valor that not to conquer quickly was considered the role of the conquered. But for them it was more a contest against nature than against an enemy. For the city was almost shut off on all sides by steep cliffs, not by a wall and ditch like other cities, but was surrounded by deep precipices, which not a thing seen by men he did not comprehend, not a thing used he did not investigate, and dread more and more enveloped him looking at it anxiously. Only from the north in a falling away of the mountain one approach to the city however by an arduous ascent lay open. Which Josephus shut off by a wall, he surrounded it by defenders, so that between the lower wall and the higher city it would become a very dangerous attack for the besiegers and a priceless source of knowledge for those watching higher up. For the city itself is located on the summit of the mountain in a circling of the neighboring mountains as if surrounded by a certain natural wall hidden by a fruitful wall so that no one would understand the city to be there before he would have entered into the city itself.
X. Vespasian since he was unable to overcome nature invoked her himself as an aid, so that by a blockade of long duration through a lack [p. 203] of drink and food he would force the beseiged into surrender. But the abundance of food collected long before averted the danger of hunger. The greatest difficulty was of water because there was no source in the city, and the customary dryness, rains being infrequent in those regions, lessened this assistance of drinking. They had blocked all the aqueducts so they should not go into the city. The dearth increased the desire, nature resisted. Josephus offered a scheme, that clothing should be spread out and suspended from the wall, so that gradually dripping water from the dew it would be believed that water for drinking was not lacking to them, because it was plentiful enough for the washing of clothing.
XI. Depressed by that Vespasian again was stirred up to attacking the city, he assembles the entire army, he shakes the wall with siege engines, the battering ram pounds (it). The appearance gave it the name from this that the head of a strong and knotty tree trunk is covered with iron in like manner as the forehead of a ram is covered, which covered over with plates of metal swells up and sticks out. From its middle it appears as if a horn of solid iron. Its size in the manner of the mast of a ship, which not a gale of winds, not the billowings of the sails can bend. This suspended by ropes to a high and strong support from the joining of many trees is driven against the wall by a strong band of men, then pulled back and in the fashion of a pair of scales held up by a halter, it is applied with greater force, so that the side of the wall fatigued from the frequent blows would yield an opening hollowed in the breach, by which a way would open to the Romans into the interior of the city. At the first blow therefore the wall is shaken and trembles violently. A cry of fear immediately of all those trembling just as if the city had been taken, lest the struck wall should crack open. But Josephus ordered sacks filled with chaff to be sent out in that place, against which the battering ram would be launched by the Romans, [p. 204] so that each blow of the battering ram frustrated by the loose folds of the sacks would be softened. For hard bodies struck against hard bodies do harm, against softer they do not avail. In short hard bodies yield to softer bodies more easily than softer to hard. For although rocks are dissolved by the application of water, the falling of a rock is not any injury of waters, but masses thrown into narrow straits water retains it uses, but rocks among waves knows not how to retain theirs. Also the falling of marble does not break up sand and marble is broken up by the falling of sand. Indeed however the Romans brought things with which they nullified the inventions of the Jews, pruning hooks attached to long poles, with which they cut open the lowered sacks, by which emptied of chaff they were were not able to weaken the blow of the battering ram. And so the shock of the siege machine having been restored when the Jews saw themselves to be hard pressed, one of them Eleazarus raising a rock of huge size from the wall above the battering ram struck with such great force that it broke off the head of the siege engine. Jumping also into the midst of the enemy he seized it and fearlessly carried it onto the wall in the sight if his adversaries and open to wounding. Finally he is transfixed by five darts but not all turned back to his wounds he concentrated upon how he might overwhelm the enemy by the fall of the rock. And therefore he ascended the wall and conqueror of his pain he stood clearly visible of great boldness and threw himself and the rock upon the battering ram and fell with it, overcome indeed by death but the victor over the siege engine, since in himself a single person departed his country, in the smashing of the siege engine however he preserved the entire city from destruction. Netiras and Philippus threw themselves into the middle of the troop so that they should rout those whom they were attacking. Josephus fire having been thrown down so that he should burn all the seige engines in a brief time consumed most, but those consumed were repaired. [p. 205]
XII. Vespasian pressed hard, he urged on so that he was struck in the heel by the dart of an arrow. The Romans were disturbed since they saw the blood of their leader to flow. Agitated his son ran to his father, but he bearing strength of mind above the pain of the wound forbad his son to worry and encouraged his soldiers more into the battle, that they should avenge the injury to their leader. Himself the standard bearer he recalled the army and collected it at the walls, he himself urged on the rest into the battle. Some with arrows, some with darts, some with military engines pressed hard upon the enemy. So great however was the force of this stone thrower, by which stones were thrown against the enemy, that one of the associates of Josephus having been struck, who was standing nearby, his head having been smashed died, the head was hurled beyond the third stadium. Also a pregnant woman struck in the stomach sent forth an infant more than half a stadium from the most secret seat of of her private genital organs. Finally when a victorious Roman soldier had already climbed the walls and it was being fought in the entrance itself with a strong band on both sides, they were so pressed together, Josephus ordered the Romans to be flooded with boiling oil, which flowed easily from the top to the lowest steps. Not less than by the heat of flame the heat of the boiling oil consumed every limb. Others advanced however and for most flowing sweat cooled the force of the oil. And although the nature of oil is of this type, that it quickly heats and later deposits its received heat, however in the enthusiasm of victory they ignore the injury. They rage in their minds and feel no burning of the body, nor did they consider the pain of boiling oil as great a penalty as the loss of glory, just as if those deprived of triumphs should desist from fighting who were the leaders in the dangers. And so extinguishing the fiery heat of the oil with their blood they fought. [p. 206]
XIII. Because of this delay of the siege the people of the city of Iafa which was neighboring became insolent, because it was being fought so long. Alarmed by this Vespasian sent Trajan who was head of the office of commander of the fifteenth legion with a thousand horsemen and two thousand men of the infantry. Who without discussion having set out a man keen and gifted in the arts of fighting he with his zeal met with the appropriate outcome of the combat. For since it was a city enclosed by the nature of the place and surrounded by a double wall, the people not content to protect themselves with its fortifications thought they should attack the Romans. But daring to resist only a short time they took themselves back inside the exterior wall wishing equally to bring back the enemy, for when they themselves hurrying the Romans also entered. Also the gates to the interior walls had been closed by those taking refuge lest again the Romans equally should break in. And so the aid of god having been turned away from themselves the Jews were fighting, with which previously they had been accustomed to win. But they had offended with infamous shameful acts, and thus from them the punishment owed was demanded, that they should give their punishments to the gentiles. Finally they were crushed more nearly by their wars between themselves than by an enemy. The people of Iafa are an example, who opened the gates the gates for the Romans and closed them for themselves. For as the Romans attacked the first wall, they themselves opened it, and so that Jews should not penetrate the second wall, Jews closed it. And so an enemy is received, an ally is shut out, the first is received lest an assassin should be wanting, the second was shut out lest about to perish it should escape. And so between two walls the Jews were cut to pieces fighting hand to hand, at a distance from the wall. Many men of the Roman forces compressed by the narrowness climbed the wall and hurled javelins against those below. And so the Galilaeans more dangerous to their own than to the enemy asked that they 3 should be received at the entrance of the interior wall, but they resisted their own. It was fought [p. 207] at the threshold of the gate Jews fighting among themselves. The one group warded off a rushing wedge with swords, the other group fought those resisting. They died calling down savage curses upon each other by turns and the smaller attested at the top of their voices themselves by their merits to have endured to the full. And so twelve thousand men out of all the fighters were killed. Thinking that either none would fight against him or that storming the city would be easy, being a man of long standing discipline, Trajan reserved the leadership of the victory for Vespasian and sent to him asking that he should send his son Titus, who would give an end to the battle. Who arriving a forcible entry having been made and many humans having been killed, not without labor and danger, victory yields to the Romans. Against them 4 who had entered the interior wall whoever was suitable for fighting threw themselves and positioned in the narrow passage made a two front fight against the victors fighting from above men and women alongside and often even throwing rocks against their own and all types of weapons which by chance they had found. To sum up it was fought for six hours to the end itself from the beginning. Finally those having been killed, who had stood firm ready to fight, it was proceeded against the rest without order without method without mercy. Old men with young men were butchered, women or small children were saved not for pardon but for slavery, all males were killed except those whom childhood or infancy defended. As booty were led away two thousand eight hundred slaves, masters with their slaves in the same sort of situation whom captivity had made equals.
XIV. Nor were the Samaritans exempt from these miseries. For when according to their custom assembled together they had ascended their mountain Garizim, which was sacred to them, where they were accustomed to worship, and in the Gospel the Samaritan woman says: Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, and the answer to her is: [p. 208] the hour will come, when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the father. For it was owed that superstition should cease and the true religion follow, the shade be purged, the truth come, so that no longer on the mountain like the Samaritans, not in Jerusalem three times in the year like the Jews, but in spirit in every place lifting clean hands each man should pay homage to god and in the name of Jesus should bend at the knee--, when therefore, as we said above, they remain assembled on the mountain according to their rites, the very appearance of the congregation puts forth threats of war or their sense, who were not recovering from evil neighbors, they were disturbed much more however through dislike by the triumphal successes of the Romans and things were near to an uproar, and it was considered most prudent for them to take precautions lest they should sally forth into a greater ruin. The commander of the fifth legion having been summoned, Vespasian sent him with three thousand men of each military service. But he considered that to ascend the mountain at the very beginning was dangerous, for there were at the same time joined a multitude of frightened people and the rugged places of nature, he surrounded the borders of the mountain with the army and for the entire day he made care be taken that no one should descend the mountain for water. When therefore he had harassed such a great crowd of people with thirst, which more and more was exasperated by the heat, and many preferred to offer themselves to slavery or even death lest they should die from hunger or thirst, Cerealis, for this was the name of the commander, judging that all of those coming down were exhausted surrounded the mountain with the military column, promising safety if they put down their arms, he ordered those refusing killed. And so eleven thousand six hundred men were killed in that place. [p. 209]
XV. Also at Iotapata an attack was made at early dawn on the forty eighth day, although up to now fatigued from much labor of the previous day they were resting. Titus first of all having entered with Sabinus provided a way for the rest. The higher places in the narrow passages of the streets having been seized everywhere, and unaware as yet of the attack made they were slain. Some in their beds, some awakened, some on watch but lax from fasting and sleep, paid the penalty. Up to now however the power of the evil ones was concealed from the entire city. But when the army having entered bellowed with a military yell, to a man almost they rose up against the mood of approaching death. And if any attempted to gain the higher places they were driven back and killed, and for those to whom a wish of avenging was able to be at hand, the crowding took away the possibility of vengeance, and if any were preparing to resist they were sheltered from the fight by others rushing in before them. Others much wearied by the fight dropped their hands and offered themselves to a wounding, so that by death they would be snatched away from the deadly spectacle of their misfortunes. Deceived by the carelessness of those dying the centurion Antonius asked by a certain one who had taken refuge in caves, that he should give him his right hand a pledge of pardon and safety, heedless of treachery immediately extended it and, woe to the wretched too confident of triumph, but that one strikes him off guard with a javelin and immediately transfixes him, lest the victory be complete for the Romans. That very day all whosoever who were found were killed, on the following days however even from cellars and other underground holes they were brought out or killed on the spot small children and women excepted. Forty thousands were killed through all the days, in the number who were seized two hundred thousand were led into servitude. The city was destroyed and burned up by fire and every redoubt [p. 210] in the thirteenth year of the reign of Nero. Josephus meanwhile in a certain cistern was hiding among the glowing ashes of the city, not all unaware that as the leader of the opposing forces he was being zealously sought for. Having come out on the second day, when he noticed that everything was encircled, he returned into the cistern. On the third day a certain woman found out 5 revealed to those seeking him that the hiding places of Josephus were known to her. But in the cistern also forty men who had fled there were hiding themselves. Who when they noticed Josephus to be summoned out by Vespasian in the hope of safety first through Paulinus and Gallicanus, afterwards through Nicanoris, who was bound to Josephus by virtue of ancient friendship, and for that reason sent that he should give a pledge, he willingly carried out the obligation of the assigned task, having surrounded Josephus they addressed him with words of such kind.
XVI. 'Now the great downfall of the Jewish name is tested, now the bitter ashes, which submerge and hide the teaching of our splendid lineage and undermine every distinction, when Josephus a captive is ordered to be saved for the triumph. What do such solicitous inducements of the enemy suddenly wish for themselves? What of this voluntary offer of safety? They did not spare others seeking life: Josephus is sought out, Josephus is asked that he should live. They fear evidently that they may lose the pomp of a triumph, lest he should be wanting whom Rome would see a captive, whom in chains Vespasian would direct before his chariot. You wish therefore to be saved for this spectacle? And from what will they triumph, if their leader will be lacking that over which the triumph is celebrated? Or what sort of triumph, if an alliance is given to the conquered? Do not believe, Josephus, life is promised you, but worse things than death are being prepared. Roman arms conquered you, do not let deceit capture you. [p. 211] Their gifts are more heinous than wounds, the former threaten servitude, the latter save freedom. You are bowing, Joseph, and broken by a certain weakness of spirit you wish to be a survivor of your country? Where is the teaching of Moses, who sought to be erased from the divine book that he might not outlive the people of the lord? Where is Aaron, who stood in the middle between the living and the dead, so that death should not destroy a living people with a cruel contagion? Where is the spirit devoted to their country of king Saul and Ionathas, and that death bravely borne for the citizens, gloriously received? The son encouraged the father by example, the father did not forsake the son in the purpose of death, who although he was able to live, preferred himself to be killed rather than to be triumphed over by the enemy. He encouraged his weapon bearer saying: Strike me lest these uncircumcised should come and strike me and make sport of me. Because his weapon bearer feared to do this, he transfixed himself with his sword, worthy whom that David in a prophetic spirit would vindicate, because Amalechita had boasted falsely about the manner of his death and had thought to diminish the renown of the man who had saved himself from the enemy, he lied that he had been killed by himself 6, worthy whom that even such a great prophet should praise saying: Saul and Ionathas beautiful and beloved inseparables in their life and in death they were not separated, lighter than eagles, more powerful than lions. David himself also when he saw his people struck by an angel, wished to draw the heavenly vengeance upon himself lest he should be spared with the people perishing. Finally what of the divine law, whose interpreter you have always been, which promised everlasting immortality to the righteous instead of this brief life? When the god of the Hebrews, who teaches the righteous to have contempt for death, [p. 212] to owe it even to escape this earthly dwelling place, to fly back to the heavenly, to that region of paradise where god consecrates pious souls? Now finally you wish, Josephus, to live, when it is not fitting, indeed not permitted, what indeed is more important it is not proper? And you want to snatch at that life, I dare to say, of slavery which is in another's power? So that a Roman may snatch it away when he wishes? May throw into the dark corner of a prison when he wishes? And you would choose to flee from here and not be allowed to die? And with shame you go to them, from those whom you persuaded to die for their country? What excuse will you have that you have stayed so long? They are awaiting what you might do, they are certainly saying already: Why is Josephus delaying who ought to have come? Why does he come so tardily? Why is he refusing to imitate his followers whom he persuaded to die for freedom? We will permit certainly that you choose to serve a champion of freedom, but that you doom yourself a slave to the Romans, that you put bondage before freedom? But be it that you wish to live, how will you obtain this from them against whom you have fought so many times? How will they look upon you, with what eyes, with what feelings? How will you wish to live with angry masters even if it allowed? And who will not believe you to have been a traitor to your country, who will see to whom the reward of treason was paid? Choose whichever you may prefer, that it be one of these is necessary: your life will be the reward of treachery or the suffering of slavery.'
XVII. To this Joseph responds: 'And who would wish to be a survivor of so much death? Who would choose to become the inheritor of sorrow? Who does not wish his soul to be freed from that corpse of death if it is permitted? But permission is not given to set free unless to him who has done the binding. The soul is joined to the body by the chains of nature. Who is the originator of nature if not [p. 213] omnipotent god? Who would dare to break up and separate this companionship pleasing to god of our soul and body? If anyone should take away the chain put upon his hands by the order of his master without the authority of his master, will he not be found guilty of having inflicted his master with a severe injury? We are a possession of god, we owe servitude to god, as servants we may expect commands, as conquered we may be held with chains, as the faithful we should watch over the goods entrusted to us. We may not refuse the gift of that life which he gave us, we may not run away from the heavenly gift. If you should reject the gifts of a man, you are insulting: how much more we ought to protect what we have received from our god? from him himself we have received what we are, therefore we ought to be his as long as he wishes that we should be. Each is the act of an ungrateful person to depart earlier than he 7 wishes and to live longer than he himself 8 has wished, who has granted the life. For what happened in the past when Abraham hastened? What in the past when Moses ascended Mount Abarim this was said to him: Ascend Mount Abarim? However it was said ascend, and he ascended it and died. Like a good servant he awaited the command of the lord. It was Iob himself who said: May that day perish on which I was born, However although placed in wounds and griefs he did not sever the chains of this life but asked that he should be freed saying: As how light is given in bitterness, life however in the grief of souls? He was praising death certainly when he said: death is rest for man, however he did not rip it away but asked as is written: I am shattered in all my members and inasmuch as I am wicked why am I not dead? Why did I not fall from the womb of my mother into the grave or why the brief period [p. 214] of my life? Allow me to rest a little. Also another holy man said: Lead out my soul from confinement. He sought to escape, he sought to be freed from this body as if from a prison. None however of the holy men usurps this himself for himself, none snatches (his own life) away. If to die is a gain, then it is theft to usurp it before it is expected, if it is a good thing to live, then it is sacrilege to reject (life) before it is demanded. But you think it glorious to die in battle. Nor do I deny that it is good to die in battle for your country, for the citizens. But by the law of war I offer the throat, if the enemy seeks it, if the Romans should sink the sword point, to whom from us god gave the victory, to whom because of our sins he adjudged us. Nor is it more attractive to me because they promised to spare me. If only they are lying! but I would consider this a gain that they so feared me that they would deceive me, or that I should return this vengeance because they break faith. To die by an evil villainy of theirs rather than by mine. It is villainy if I turn my hand against myself, a favor if the enemy does it. Therefore they can give that favor by putting and end to me, if they have thought it should be granted: because if they have been engaged in villainy they have it in their power that they should kill a captive. But you are promising me the service of your band of soldiers. A true killer has been lacking to us, so that we are dying by our own evil deed. I am unwilling to perish by my own, by your own evil deed, but what is more than by mine, I am unwilling by mutual. That is, that each of us inflict his hands against himself, pay the price of a substitute death, so that the evil deed should owe not only for its own but even for the blood of another. Truly the precedent of king Saul comes to mind, his certainly who was both chosen king against the divine will and merited the displeasure of god, whence even while he was living he received his successor. [p. 215] An excellent example of a man to whom the favor of god was wanting. Yet also he wanted to die, because he could no longer live. He wanted moreover that his companion should kill him, but the latter thought it a sin, he refused the service. Not therefore making use of his plan but lacking a helper he accomplished, that he should turn his sword upon himself. If fearful he accomplished that he should not bring ridicule upon himself, how do you praise what is the result of fear? If he feared not, why did he first choose another? I do not fear the Romans either speaking mockingly or lying. Saul alone killed only himself, not Ionathas, not anyone else in our scriptures. Is it a wonder if he was able to kill himself, who was able even to kill his son? Aaron stood between the living and the dead, and this is an act of valor, not of daring. For he did inflict death upon himself, but he did not fear death, who thrust it away from his body and was an obstacle to the serpent against everything. Indeed I am not Aaron but however I am not unworthy of him behold! I offer my hands, let them strike who will. If I can fear their hands, I am deserving that I should perish at my own hands. If they show consideration for an adversary, why should I not show consideration for myself? If you seek why they should wish to show consideration, even among the enemy they may admire valor. For so great is the esteem of valor, that frequently even it delights an enemy. For you yourselves know how great the destruction I inflicted upon the Romans, how I turned aside the victors over all races from the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the long lasting siege of the obscure city of Iotapata. I played a game of dice at the risk of a small loss of the entire war. All the others learned from my attempt to choose peace. Perhaps we are spared for this that the others are not discouraged but challenged. But you assert that it is pleasant to die for freedom. Who indeed denies that? However it is sweet to live with freedom. For who is offering friendship, is promising freedom. But if [p. 216] he should impose servitude, then certainly there will be a more suitable purpose in dying, if it should be fitting to die. Now however they offer life, they do not want to kill. He is cowardly however who does not wish to die when it is necessary, and wishes to when it not necessary. For who does not know that to wish to die, not that you may die, is a woman's freedom and a woman's fear? In fact fearful women, when they have learned some danger hangs over them, are wont to give themselves to the precipice. With a poor intellect they are not able to support the burden of terror and the fear of death. A man on the other hand is more enduring, who does not fear the present and reflects on the future, knows not to tremble when there is no fear. Finally it is written that the spirits of the effeminate will hunger for the sustenance of courage which not having they are hungry, and so they hasten to death before its time. Nor indeed filled with food does he ask for the hand of spiritual grace upon himself, since it is written that the mouth of the foolish invokes death. And again scripture says: he who does not take regard for himself in his works is the brother of him who puts himself away. Therefore he is condemned who kills himself. For what even is so against the law of nature? For what is against the nature of all living things? For it is innate in all creatures, whether wild beasts or peasants, to love themselves. For it is a strong law of nature to wish to live and not to aspire to death for oneself. And finally all families of living beings are not able to be armed against themselves with a sword even if they wished it. Men have found the noose of death hideous, wild beasts do not know it. But the jaws of wild beasts are weapons, their teeth are swords. When however has anyone heard, that some wild beast has deprived itself of a limb with its own jaws? Against others they use the weapons of their jaws, against themselves (they use) their mouths. As for us what is so sweet as life, what so [p. 217] unwelcome as death? Lastly he who will have defended life is a protector, he who will have tried to seek death is an ambusher. What therefore we detest in others, if they should assail us, we ourselves wish to inflict upon us? And although we exact something from others as a punishment, we ourselves invite this upon us as a favor? And although we take revenge on the helmsman if he strikes the ship entrusted to him upon a rock, we destroy with a sword the helm of our body entrusted to us and assign it to a voluntary shipwreck? But you throw before me an early death, when I shall have been led into the power of the enemy, I should receive it as a benefit, if what I fear from the enemy I myself shall bring upon me, when it can happen that what you are persuading me to do the enemy will not do? It is as if the helmsman seeing there is about to be a storm should sink the ship beneath the waves for the benefit of avoiding the storm. And because the enemy will demand the most severe punishments, you think it should be thus prevented? Or because you think it quick, that we ourselves should use the sword against us? But that is the refuge of weakness, not a sign of courage, to grasp the benefit of the punishments. To this therefore we hold fast, that it neither has the marks of bravery, nor the profit of usefulness? To which I may add that the religion of the dead person is dishonored? Omnipotent god has given us the best treasure, and included and sealed it in this vessel of clay he entrusted to us to be guarded by us, until it shall please him to ask it back. Is it not a crime in both, either to refuse the trust him who has given it not demanding it back, or to refuse it to him demanding it back? If it incurs the penalty of dishonor to violate that entrusted by a man, how much worse to violate that entrusted by god? That entrusted by god is the soul in this body, a soul that is not within the capacity of that death. For it is not bound and grasped by any fetters of death, but seems to produce death, when it is freed from the body [p. 218] and separated from the cohabitation committed to it. Why therefore before the thing entrusted is requested back are we asking for death and sending back the soul as if useless to us and excluding it from our home and are releasing the body into the earth without dignity and thanks? Why are we not awaiting the command of going forth from here? A soldier expects a signal, a slave a command. If any of these should leave without an order, the one is a deserter, the other a runaway slave. Who flees a man is liable to punishment although he may have fled a wicked master. Are not we fleeing the best of all things able to be bound by the shameful act of irreverence? For indeed that goes beyond our opinion, that god placed an angel near to the neighborhood of those fearing him? It is he therefore who prohibits unless he has received an order. If there is no order, there is no provision for a journey. And how do we arrive without provision for a journey? Who will accept us in that unsoiled and secret place? Who will admit us to that community of blessed souls? Adam hid himself, because he violated an order of god, he was excluded from paradise, because he did not keep a command. It was said to him: Adam, where are you? as if to him who had fled, as if to him whose presence is not before god? Will it not be said to me: where are you, who have come contrary to an order, whom I have not loosed from natural chains? Lift him up into the outer darkness, in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. We have received not only this disease of men but prohibitions with laws. For some order them to be thrown out unburied who have thrust a sword into themselves. It is indeed fitting that those who have not awaited the command of the father should be deprived, as if of the bosom of his mother, of a grave of earth. Others cut off the right hand of the dead person, so that there is separated from the limbs of his body that which in a mad rage made war against his body. But this consequence of sacrilege suffer [p. 219] either traitors or murderers of their parents. Who in truth do not acknowledge their father nor recognize themselves. Thus they are prohibited to be buried at all, or are not buried entire. Paradise also does not receive back their souls but the darkness of hell and fierce sufferings. To me reflecting on these things, although all things might be taken away, they are things only for fear and panic, that I should not impose upon myself, which even the enemy will not be able to impose, nor should I take away the things of paradise, which a Roman as yet has not been able to take away -- certainly he will be able to hasten it, he will not be able to take it away -- which things alone I impatiently long for. For not any desire of this life holds me, in which neither in the citizens nor in the enemy have I grasped what would give delight. The former denied me peace, the latter took away my homeland. Among so many disasters what can survive of charm in this life? You only, omnipotent father, who are the originator and judge of nature, grant an honorable death, you break this natural bond, return my soul to its haunts. Although my people may be extinguished, justice snatched away, freedom crushed, I will not however transgress your law that I might die unbidden. I await that you command, I await that you liberate one willing. You have many assistants, I await a command from you, and service from an assistant. It is good to die, but if I die as a Jew, not as a robber, not as a murderer, not as an enemy. Granted that I have been defeated in war, I will remain however what I was born, so that I will not desert the inheritance of father Abraham. I will not go over into the number of the enemy, so that I am my own destroyer. Expose me to the enemy to be killed without loss of loyalty, I am not able to turn my hands against the enemy for myself without sin. And in truth there is fear, that it is not fitted to us to live according to the law? In fact there is now great freedom for those to whom it is not permitted to die according to law.' [p. 220]
XVIII. These things Josephus laid out, by which he voided the vindication of voluntary death. But those who had once vowed themselves to death, because they were unable to oppose their words, with their swords stood around the man as if they were about to strike immediately unless he should think he must acquiesce. But he surrounded called back one by the authority of a leader by the consciousness of courage he approached another with a severe gaze. He withdrew his right hand, he turned aside the wrath of that one, he soothed them with the wholesomeness of his counsel. By various methods he twisted away the irrational fury of each. And indeed although a last lot had twisted away the dignity of the conquered, he had not completely destroyed their respect. And so gradually their hands were withdrawn, their swords were sheathed, however their purpose persisted. When he saw himself to be held alone beset by many, he thought that by some chance or plan he should reduce the number of those opposing. 'Let us commit,' he said, 'the order of dying to a lottery, so that no one withdraws himself, since the lottery applies to all. The agreement of a lottery of this sort is, that he who will die by chance will be killed by him who follows.' And therefore it was that the lottery adjudged each to death, not his own will. 'Let each stand therefore beneath the lottery as the judge without sin and free from captivity, so that he does not quicken his future death by the decision of another or avoid it by his own. No one will be able to refuse the outcome, which either chance will have inflicted or the will of god will have designated.' An offering established faith and the agreement of everybody assented to the lottery. Each was chosen by chance, he provided death to the man following. And so it happened that all the rest having killed Josephus with one other remained for death. It necessarily remained that he would either be condemned by the lottery, or certainly if he should survive the slaughter he would be defiled by the blood of a comrade. He proposes that they should reject the lottery. Thus he escaped a domestic fight and by Nicanor [p. 221] was escorted to Vespasian. There was a rush to the sight of his coming almost all the Romans assembling together. Some wished to see him killed, whom shortly before they saw in charge of great affairs in a position of the greatest honor, others struggled to mock the captive, others marveled at such different and changeable turns of human events. Most prudently sighed, who thought that in other circumstances the same thing could happen to them. Titus in view of all the rest was moved by an innate gentleness of spirit, him for so long a proud fighter, suddenly sentenced to the power of the enemy, to await the lottery of an alien nod the shipwreck of life banished from hope uncertain of safety. To exert such great influence in battles, so that in a short time by chance he renders unequal to himself, when the powerful are either thrown out or overthrown are released. And so the better part of them, namely those in positions of honor, give the gentler counsel. Titus was for Josephus before his father the greatest portion of his safety. Vespasian ordered him to be kept in custody, lest by chance he should escape.
XIX. From there after a few days he returns to Ptolomaidis and from there he hastens to Caesarea, the greatest city of Judaea, but mostly filled with gentile inhabitants, for which reason they received the Roman army with applause and happiness not only from the favor of the Roman alliance having been longed for, but from an innate hatred also of the people of Judaea, whose leader Josephus they cried with the greatest clamor should be punished. Which Vespasian ignored in silence as the rabble's anger conceived without judgment. And because the season and the city were suitable for spending the winter, he stationed two legions in Caesarea, also the tenth and the fifth legion in the city of Scythopolis lest Caesarea [p. 222] should be worn away by the burden of the entire army. And therefore the celebrated city dedicated to Diana Scythica, although founded by Scythians, and named a city of the Scythians as Marseilles is of the Greeks. The location of the place reveals that the founders selected it more from the innate accessible hardness of the plains than from its advantages for the use of residences. For instance open to both the severity of winter and the burning season of summer it has more of labor than of pleasure, inasmuch as in winter they are open more to cold and the burning heat of summer is more severe in these places, in which they receive the entire sun without any pleasantness of a green field. And so the flat and coastal region of the renowned city is heated even more by the heat of the sea.
XX. But however Vespasian was not unoccupied by military tasks. And indeed it having been learned that very many from separate locations had taken themselves to the city Iopen it being ideal to them for piratical raids the buildings having been repaired which had been destroyed by Cestius, they renewed them, since the region having been ravaged the supplying of food was obtained by sea, he searched out everything. But they building ships of such nature that were adapted to the use of pirates, having observed the passages of those traveling, the entire commerce almost of Phoenicia and Egypt was being plundered, so that the frequent pillagings closed all that sea with panic and its use for navigation was interrupted by fear of the certain danger. Which having been discovered he orders a band of foot soldiers and most of the cavalry to proceed and and to go into Iopen by night. Which was easily done, since no guard was spread before the city, inasmuch as it was thought that the rumor that the city had been destroyed would arouse no worries in the Roman leader. They were present however but not daring to resist and to deny entrance to the arriving Romans, having embarked on the boats beyond the range of an arrow of the advance force they spent the night on the sea. The situation is seen [p. 223] to demand a position on the shore from which to show quickly that Iopen is hemmed in, so that it would be clearly evident to the aforesaid city in what manner without any battle that there will be a second destruction. The city is without harbors by nature, whose shore is rough and straight but gently bent with curves on both sides, in which there are deep rocks and gigantic stones which stick up from the sea, and although they may rise up from the depths of the sea, they extend into the sea however. From which even Andromeda (is said) to have been there, when she was offered to the sea monster, the patterns of the places and the very appearances of things are seen to hand this down, applying a not mediocre trust to the old tales. And so by the breath of the north wind falling against the shore huge waves are raised up, which striking against the cliffs cause a great noise and falling back into the waves render that bay of the sea unquiet, so that there is more danger in the port than in desert wastes. In that place toward early morning a violent wind, which those sailing in these regions call the Melamborium, struck against the boats bouncing on the waves, which had been brought out from the city of Iopen as we said above, and immediately entangled the boats among themselves and overturned them with driving waves. Some their anchor cables having broken it drove into the rocks, the wave which standing very high above sank those crushed by its mass opposed others when they were lifted up violently against the sea -- the danger of the rocky shore or slaughter by the Romans, who scattered themselves on the shore, the sailors fleeing. Nor was there any place for one fleeing or hope of staying when the wind drove them from the sea. The sound of the ships was painful when they dashed [p. 224] together, the cries of the men unbearable when the ships broke up. Who when they saw the sea to break into the tottering ships, some experienced in swimming threw themselves (into the sea), others while they jump into the approaching ships having fallen into the sea are crushed by the collision of the ships, most sank down in the depths with the small ships, whom it deprived of any hope of swimming out. Death transfixed itself with less suffering however upon those to whom skill was lacking or any hope of attempts. But yet having been attacked in the nose the shattered remnants of the ships shook from frequent blows and struck in the sides they cruelly beat up the wretched limbs or death followed them driven against the rocks between the very vows of embracing the shore, having however whatever consolation it is to have perished on land. The face however had to be pitied, the heads of the unlucky having been struck the rocks were stained, and the shores were wet with blood. You could see the sea dyed with blood, the whole filled with bodies. And if anyone escaped those approaching the shore were killed by the appraising Romans, because a storm did not lessen its rage in these places from the roughness of the places or the use of the winds, but from divine anger beyond the ordinary the sea was enveloped by winds blowing together, lest the Jews should escape, and thus to pardon those fearing, whom god had not pardoned. There were those who killed themselves with the sword judging it more tolerable to perish by the sword than by shipwreck, others who wishing to push with the long lances had pierced the ships, some who pushed off with oars or struck with a dart those who having fallen into the sea if perhaps they were praying that they should be picked by those sailing by. I have not thus passed over that by which it is clear that the greatest danger to have been from the very people of the Jews to themselves rather than from the enemy, who 9 were killing themselves, as if the dangers were inadequate for their destruction at the same time as everything else, heaven, the enemy, [p. 225] the sea, and the rocks. And so four thousand five hundred bodies of the dead were counted, which the sea had spat out, without a battle the city was captured and razed to its foundations. And thus in a second short time the Roman troops razed Iopen, which with justice Vespasian thought should have been warned, that dwellings of pirates should not be built in that place a second time. Although departing from that place he left in it cavalry with a few foot soldiers, so that the foot soldiers should remain in the place lest a band accustomed to brigandage of robbers should dare something, the cavalry would harry the neighboring areas of the region, and the villages and small towns, where all were completely destroyed lest daringly they should conspire against somebody.
XXI. While these things are being done in Iopen, although at a distance the inhabitants of Jerusalem were passing the time, not even thusly by the partnership of the slaughter they were keeping holiday. It having been heard what things have been done by the Romans in Judaea and especially because they had learned that Josephus had been killed, at first, because no one from those places had come to them as an informer, they did not believe, then they thought that such a great leader not to have fallen recklessly into the hands of the enemy. And in fact no messenger of such a great slaughter had survived, and from this itself the rumor of such a tremendous destruction, because no informer had survived, it was piled on everything to have been destroyed, and nothing to have remained or gotten abroad as information of the things done any rumor whatever greater in the telling, because the very silences themselves terrify the uncertain, everything was believed that was feared, and it was so far from anything that was announced, that even things that had not been done were added. For rumor declared emphatically that Josephus also had been killed and that was a great grief to everyone. But when he was discovered to be passing time with the Romans, [p. 226] they followed up with such a great hatred, that whose death at first they had grieved, that same one's life they called down curses upon as a sign of cowardice or betrayal. From this there was great excitement against the Romans, that they should avenge themselves for Josephus, and the more their situation grew worse, the more they were inflamed to war. When it ought to have been the finish, from there the beginning of misfortunes was seized. For to the wise unfavorable outcomes of things are more a warning to take precautions, lest again the same things happen which have already happened badly, for the foolish however (they are) an incentive of misfortunes. The peril of their allies ought therefore to have been for people of Jerusalem a reason for sobriety, but because they were unwilling to understand that they should conduct themselves rightly, it turned into their ruin.
XXII. Vespasian however, as they considered they themselves would be benefited by the delay itself and that the army should rest a short time from work, granted to Agrippa asking that he should interpose about twenty days in the city Caesarea of Phillipus of his kingdom, at the same time the troubles of his factions were recovering from the frenzy of agitation and disagreement, who should be able to recognize themselves to be able to be received by the intervention of the king, if they should turn aside, although the very painstaking contracts of agreements between the king and the Romans might come up. Finally Tiberias being close to Caesarea he did not deny a benefit, he found a reason. For also the very people boiled up from the serious distemper of disagreeing between themselves. Whence in a task to his son Vespasian ordered three strong legions to be summoned and to attack Scythopolis directly. Of ten cities that was the greatest neighboring to Tiberias. He orders Valerianus to approach the walls from there with fifty horsemen, who should recommend peace offerings and call those shut in to loyalty to the alliance, that fear of the collected army should dismay those who were hostile, as a messenger of peace he should invite those willing. [p. 227] Valerianus near the walls dismounted from his horse, and also those did the same who had approached closer at the same time. Who thinking they should be scorned because of their (small) number, Jesus the the chief of the plundering band with his men, who having dared equally to attack, they drove (them) from the place with a sudden attack, and at the same time they madly rushed upon the horses which he had led away of those withdrawing, who did not notice that Valerianus had prudently withdrawn, and seized them the booty of haughtiness from those who were offering peace. Finally the elders incensed by the harshness of the deed leaving the city came to Vespasian begging that he would not ascribe the insolence of a few to all the people. Vespasian immediately ordered Traianus to the city, that he should investigate if the people turned themselves away from rashness of the ambushers. And they making known with prayers the agreements of the people the eagerness of the elders piled up their loyalty to the embassy. And so pardons were given to those petitioning for them, especially because Vespasian was giving consideration to the king who was concerned about the status of the entire city, with whose loyalty interposed nothing of the sort would be dared afterwards, wishing pardon of the offense, he departed.
XXIII. From there he sought Taricheas with the army watchful and prepared, for the reason that very many of the rabble had collected at that very city because of the fortification of the place. And because Josephus had surrounded it with a wall, by which it was made inaccessible to foot soldiers, it was washed by the waves of lake Gennesarus, thus boats having been collected they clamored for a two front war: if a land battle should grow worse against them, they should flee to the ships, if they should yield in a naval contest, they should go back to the city and defend themselves by the encircling walls. The protection was similar in all respects in both places either in the city of Tiberias or Taricheas, but at Taricheas the natural disposition was better, the wall was stronger at Tiberias, but the fury of Taricheorans was more manifest, so that if it should be necessary that they could mix up everything, naval battles with land ones, land battles with fleet engagements. At worst blockaded by an enemy battle line since they would would act more boldly [p. 228] with resources, nor would any foolhardiness whatsoever move forward against the management of the Roman activity or also the valor of the veteran army, before they should undergo anything of destruction, overthrown into flight, they flew together to the ships. Who were pressed together as if they were fighting in a packed battle line, as if it were being fought hand to hand on land. And also in the plain an innumerable multitude awaited the enemy. Having learned that, Vespasian sent his son with selected horsemen. Who when he saw himself surrounded by huge forces, reported to his father that the multitude of the enemy was greater than rumor had expressed, but he infused into those assembled together whom he had brought with him an incentive of fighting with an address of this nature.
XXIV. "Men,' he says "Romans -- it is proper that you who are about to fight should be mindful of your name and race, whose hands no one who is in the Roman world has escaped. For how have you given this name to all the world unless by conquering. Indeed you should be mindful of the place in which you now are and against whom you Romans are waging war. In the farthest part of the world we are standing together. Crossing even such a great distances of the world you have seen nothing belonging to others. For what does not belong to us, in whose possession is the world? Whatever is anywhere is your right. Whatever of the entire world a dwelling holds is your property -- you traveled well. Who has stopped you running triumphant over the entire world? Whom not Hasdrubal the Punician, not Pyrrus the Greek, not Brennus attacking the entrance of the Capitol, not the hordes of the Persians, not the Egyptian phalanxes were able to stop, them stopped rebellious Judaea offering an ignorant rashness of waging war, more suited for a noisy quarrel than a fight. Nor moreover is there anything I fear; but I think full of modesty [p. 229] you are wearied by conquering, those however who are defeated so many times have taken up daring, you are exhausted by favorable things, while they are more hardened to adverse things. Therefore lift up your spirits, men of Rome, and relying on your ancestral valor rise up against the swarms of the enemy. Nor should the number of the people of Judaea disturb you, although the innumerable marks of our valor may not discourage them, which are far more powerful than their number. Nor is there in the Hebrews any knowledge of military affairs or expertise in fighting or the value of control, no practice of discipline, no enduring of suffering. Only into battle they bring a contempt for death, but no one ever conquered an enemy by dying but by destroying him. They do not know weapons except in war, we in peace times exercise with weapons, so that in war we do not experience the uncertain chances of war. The outcome a matter of doubt to those not experienced, a customary victory to veterans. For why else do we practice every day, unless so that to us battles may never be strange. Each one at home exercises as if in battle, so that in battle there may be a certain view of the contest. Finally anyone will not have erred asserting that our practices are wars without blood, our wars are practices. We go into war completely protected, the head is covered by a helmet, the breast by a coat of armor, the entire body by a shield. An enemy is not able to discover where he should strike a Roman soldier, whom he sees enclosed in iron. To others such arms are a burden, to us they are a protection, because they are lightened by practice. Against those unarmored and therefore as if naked the battle is ours. And should we truly fear that we might be surrounded by their number? In the first place the cavalry is unimpeded in battles, it practices war by withdrawing and pursuing, and although it runs around the largest battle arrays, it withdraws to whatever distances it pleases. And afterwards in the battle on foot it is not so much the number of the larger group that determines the battle as the excellence of the smaller group. For a multitude arrogant of training is itself to itself an impediment [p. 230] to victory in good circumstances, an impediment to flight in bad circumstances. Truly patient courage strengthens in good circumstances nor does it fall away completely in adverse circumstances. That repeated experience of victories comes which is an incentive to us in fighting. For although they are fighting for their homeland for their children, they are not thereby more ready than is necessary for us. Nor indeed is it unimportant, indeed I do not at all know if it is more important, to fight for ourselves rather than for our people. We fight for ourselves when we fight for glory, nor are we the lesser because of that which we are. For who would doubt that it is better to fight for glory than for safety? For us however this fight is a test of reputation lest the right of birth should perish. We victors over the nations and foremost of the world make trial to appear the equals to the Jews, whom from the equal to us we have established as adversaries, if we approach not otherwise than equal in number. Our ancestors frequently routed great numbers of the enemy with a small band. And what has daily training conferred on us, the daily toil, if we come to battle equals? Indeed we have reported about the number to my father, because it is not permitted to do otherwise, but he directs us not to fear about the danger but to hold to our respect as a judge of the war. It is permitted to pour a libation for the battle to hold the enemy to seize the victory, while help is coming, lest those who shall have come should boast to us the enemy not to have been overcome so much by the common strength as protected by their valor. With what expression therefore will we come into the sight of my father if we have feared to begin the battle? With what shame shall I an ignoble son come into the eyes of such a great man, who does not know how to see his soldier unless as a victor? How shall I show myself his son, since he is always a victor, while I who overcome by my own judgment, which is most serious, [p. 231] have yielded to the enemy Judaea? What will happen to you your leader having been found unworthy, whom his confident father has sent to you? But I prefer you to plead the case about the courage of your leader rather than about his faintheartedness. Therefore let us rush forward against our adversaries, let us hurry, let us come before them. I shall run out first into danger, you will follow so that you may guard the trust and preserve the undertaking of my father. I weigh not the companions of danger but the partners in victory. You however take care that the palm of triumph offered to you not be taken from you, that you do not appear to have saved it for others. Certainly if it happens otherwise, I prefer that my father should recognize me his son in my wounds, if he shall not have recognized me among his soldiers. Let us put aside that my father would be offended by our undertaking of the battle. Which therefore is more tolerable, to have seized the victory or to have forsaken it? Haste in the seizing is a sign of bravery, in the forsaking a blame of faintheartedness. My father may disapprove certainly of the victors, I do not shrink from a charge of this nature, I prefer to be a culprit with the state celebrating a triumph rather than be unhurt with the state injured. Would that it be permitted to me in the peril alone to imitate the son of Manlius Torquatus, whom his father ordered to be struck with the headsman's axe, because against the command of his father he lead the army against the enemy. The young man with the enemy slaughtered and clothed in the triumphal garb stood firm beneath the executioner of his death because he thought it happy to die in victory. For what is more illustrious than to conclude life with a triumph and not be saved for the uncertainties of life after a certain victory? Oh the crime of victory should be sought by the farseeing, would that this be presented to us because we shall have conquered! certainly by this example I alone shall be put in peril, you will celebrate a triumph. But however my father has not forbad us to fight, but has ordered, whom he has sent to battle. And so I consider it more unworthy for us to have yielded to the Jews, when we can win, than to have fought.' [p. 232]
XXV. Saying this he as the foremost drove his horse against the enemy. And with a great shout the rest having followed stretched out over the entire field, by which even they were estimated to be more. Trajan also sent by Vespasian with three hundred horsemen came up to the advancing Titus. Nor were the Jews able to resist longer, since they were thrown into confusion by the lances of the men and the noises of the horses. Some were turned about in diverse directions, most sought the city. Titus leaps out, some fleeing he falls upon from their rear, he cuts down others wandering around aimlessly, and having reversed his course he thrusts back all from the walls and blocking the path of those running back he shuts off their flight. And again while some were overthrown, others escaped to whom the city was a refuge. But in that place also there was a fierce battle. For those who had flown in from neighboring regions at the beginning preferred peace, but the people coming up wrenched out an eagerness for fighting from the unwilling. Whence inside the city there was great conflict and uproar. Roused by this noise Titus turns himself to his troops. 'This,' he says 'is the situation, most blessed fellow soldiers, which I was hoping for. The enemy inside the city are sowing discord among themselves, outside they are being slaughtered, inside they are fighting. Let us hasten while they are still disagreeing, lest perhaps from the fear of danger they return to agreement.' And so he mounted his horse, from which he had dismounted near to the walls and having turned to the lake he sought the city through the waves of the waters. And as the foremost he rushes into the city and the rest after him. And immediately all within were scattered into flight. Some were struck down, others climbing into boats were plunged into the lake, many people were killed inside. However many who were in the fields presented themselves to the Romans asserting themselves to be unconnected to the offense, to whom with conscientious management Titus thought he should be lenient, pursuing the originators of the rebellion alone. He sent a horseman to his father to report [p. 233] the results of the victory. By which Vespasian was delighted and especially by the triumph of his son, who had finished the greatest portion of the entire war which was being waged against the Jews, he hastened there and ordered the city to be watched carefully lest anyone should slip away, that because all were deserving of punishment. On another day however because of those who had taken themselves into boats, he ordered rafts to be built, which were made without delay, inasmuch as the neighboring forests and the many workers gave the ability of hurrying the task.
XXVI. For a very large bay of the lake itself, as if an extent of the sea, extends one hundred forty stadia in length, spreads out forty stadia in width, raising up a breeze with its sparkling waters to itself from its own self, from which it is called Gennesar from a Greek word as if producing a breeze for itself, of sweet water and suitable for drinking, accordingly as it does not receive anything thick or muddy of a marshy swamp, because it is surrounded on all sides by a sandy shore. And it is milder than the cold of a spring or river, it is colder however than the surface of a placid marsh, from the very fact that the water is not spread out in the manner of a lake, but the lake is frequently stirred up over great distances up by the blowing breezes. From which water drawn from it is both purer and softer for the use of drinking, and if anyone should wish to add spirit to the natural grace, as it appears in the summers suspended to the breezes in the nights by the custom of the inhabitants for drinking, it is considered to differ not at all from the usage of snow. The types also of fish [p. 234] are more outstanding in taste and appearance than in another lake. To finish things it seems good that we disclose the source of the Jordan which we promised elsewhere. For it was a matter of doubt of the previous generation, whether the Jordan arose from the lake to which is the name Gennesar, Philippus the tetrarch 10 of the Trachonitidis region refuted the false belief and ended the error sending chaff into the Fiala which a river in Panium bubbled up. From which is established that the beginning of the Jordan is not in Panium but a river. For its source is not there, so that it began from it in the manner of other rivers, but it draws off from the Fiala to the same place by underground courses. There again as if its source it gushes up and emerging it is put forth. It is moreover from Fiala in the Trachonitidis region one hundred twenty intervening stadia all the way to the city of Caesarea. The name of Fiala moreover gives the appearance as expressing the character of a wheel, because it is so continuously full of water, that neither overflows nor again is understood to be drawn off by any lessening. The water drops away below by a certain amount and again bubbles up where Panium is, as is made evident by the resurfacing chaff. So the Jordan is revealed to have risen up again there where it was considered to come into existence by the men of previous times. Nor however was it the same at Panium from the beginning except for the natural beauty alone, but by the royal bountifulness of Agrippa richer and more splendid decoration having been added to the place, from whom we received a cave constructed and adorned with wonderful beauty through which the Jordan raises itself. From whence no longer by a hidden and concealed movement through the hollows of the earth but beginning with a visible and exposed river it pours itself through the lands, [p. 235] it cuts through lake Semechonitin and its marshes. From that place also directing its courses one hundred twenty stadia without any influx it goes forward all the way to the city which has the name Julias. Afterwards it crosses that lake which is called Gennesar flowing through its middle, from which places wandering about through much wilderness it is received by the Dead Sea and is buried in it. And so the victor over two lakes having entered in a third it sticks. The district Gennesar stretches over the lake of the same name, from which the district itself takes its name, with a wonderful favor of nature and appearance of beauty. For the richness of the soil furnishes voluntary crops, and prolific of woods it raises itself up voluntarily into all types of fruit bearing trees, and cleverness of cultivation having imitated nature in which revolves the use of the rich fertility it diverts thanks, so that there is nothing in that place which nature has denied, which cultivation has disregarded. The weather is suitable for everything and not unsuitable ever for any crops, whose temperateness is so great that it is appropriate for the differences of all growing things. In that place those things which are nourished by cold spread themselves out in many ways and those things which are favored by heat, there summer mixed with winter you may see at the same time northern nuts and dates unless in the very hottest places they do not know how to be grown. What shall I say of figs or olives, which a milder period of weather nourishes? They do not however equal those last. The former indeed and certain domestic crops are the chief products of Palestine and are more abundant there, the latter are almost equal and however although at long intervals very close. You might say a congenial competition of nature and circumstances: the former as a fruitful mother creates everything, the proper mixture of the latter as a good nurse brings up all things with a gentle warming. And so not only are produced satisfactorily [p. 236] varieties of fruits but they are even kept under observation, so that some chief kinds do not become unavailable during part of the year. All the rest are available during the entire period of the year all the way to the end. For both grapes and figs, which are in grafts of a certain royal favor, are numerous during ten months without any disappearance, and the remaining fruits of the branches, which willing farms have either brought into existence of their own will or human industry has produced, have not learned from a certain practice of those managing to give up their service, unless to new replacements. To this fruitfulness of nature and temperateness of the air is added also the favor of a spring, which irrigates the renowned region with a certain generative watering. Its name is Capharnaum, which some have considered not at all superfluously a branch of the Nile river, not only because it makes fat fields fruitful, but truly even because it produces a fish of such a type, that you would think it a coracinum 11 which is found in the Alexandrine lake from the flooding of the Nile. The region also named from the name of the lake stretches out thirty stadia in length, twenty in width. Inasmuch as we have spoken about the nature of the region, we are going back to the conclusion of the battle. And so Vespasian placed a military troop on the rafts prepared according to his order, which pursued those who had avoided destruction by the flight of the boats. They could not discover therefore what they should do. No place of safety on the land, all things surrounded by the enemy, no opportunity of fleeing on the waters, inasmuch as the lake was closed off and surrounded on all sides by the Romans, no confidence of resisting even in the light naval vessels, what even could a few do against the many on the approaching rafts? Even the slow approach of these and the more effective charge of the boats, but without any wound to themselves only the rattling of shields [p. 237] the darts having been deflected back was heard. The Jews did not dare to approach, nor had any light boat approached nearer with impunity, since from close by it would either be easily pierced by the blows of darts or sunk by the rafts, and if anyone should have tried to swim out or escape, pierced by the dart of an arrow he would have laid down his wretched life in the waves. Nor were they able to resist longer, since they were being reduced by a different method. For the Romans gradually by the many rafts running together forced a great number of boats to the shore. And crowded together there they either leaped down onto the land and were killed there by the Romans, or they were cut down by those who pressed upon them from the rafts, or were treaded under by the running together of the rafts, or they threw themselves into the lake, when the enemy jumped into their boats. You would see the waters mixed with blood, the lake full of dead bodies. For no one was spared whoever was resisting. A terrible odor, a most foul stench of the region. Six thousand Jews, with those preceding however, and seven hundred killed in this battle. The victor Vespasian went back to Taricheas. There he was preparing to separate the people of the region from the city, so that those who were not the originators of the rebellion might be spared. But in the opinion of most, those who were such a great multitude, which could rouse again the recurring battles, they considered a foe of peace and harmful to the region -- for where indeed cast out from their country could they subsist? With what food would they sustain themselves without a share of anything unless they should live by plunder? -- he persuaded the opinion and the forgiveness of death having been implanted he ordered that they should go out by that gate which was in the direction of Tiberias and that they should take themselves to that city. They easily believed what they hoped for. They began to go out but all the route having being lined beforehand the troops shut off any deviation of the Jews and [p. 238] led them into the stadium of the city. Vespasian entered also and the age and strength of everyone having been looked at, whom he had ordered to be stood before him, he chose six thousand of the strongest young people, whom he sent to Nero on the Isthmus. However he ordered one thousand two hundred of the old and weak to be killed, thirty thousand four hundred of the rest he offered for sale. All however who were found to be from parts of the kingdom of Agrippa he granted to the king, whom the king in like manner the prize having been received transferred into the service of slavery. In addition the other people of the Trachonitidis and Gaulanitidis region and of Hippenus and Gadarita as the inciters of the war and disturbers of harmony, abandoning proper behavior and raiding foreign soil, who having taken up arms had violated the peace, paid the just and owed penalties according to what was merited for their crimes.
THIS IS THE END OF BOOK III.
1. Translator's note: In G. A. Williamson's translation of Book 2 of The Jewish War the opposite of this last phrase is stated (p. 180 of the Penguin Classic's edition), that Niger was instructed to take orders from these two.
2. Translator's note: i.e., the Romans.
3. Translator's note: i.e., the enemy, the Romans.
4. Translator's note: i.e., against the Romans.
5. Translator's note: i.e., found by the Romans.
6. Translator's note: i.e., killed by Amalechita.
7. Translator's note: he, i.e., God.
8. Translator's note: he himself, i.e., God himself.
9. Translator's note: who, i.e., the Jews.
10. Translator's note: tetrarch, a minor king.
11. Translator's note: coracinum, a fish of the Nile river.
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