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In this feud Sextus Cæsar was assassinated, and Statius Murcus was appointed by Cæsar to succeed him in the presidency.
In the fifth consulate of Julius Cæsar, Hyrcanus applied to him for permission to restore the walls of Jerusalem, which had been pulled down by Pompey; and this request the dictator readily granted, in consideration of the services he had rendered both in Egypt and Syria. A decree having accordingly been passed at Rome for the purpose, Antipater set about the work, and the fortifications of the city were restored as in former tinies.t
After the assassination of Cæsar; by the hands of the
* Prid. ij. 576.
+ Prid. ii. 576. † "Cæsar was a very extraordinary person, of great parts, polite literature, and thorough abilities in all the arts of war and civil government, and of equal diligence and application in the use and pursuit of both. However, many of his enterprises being entered upon with great rashness, this abundantly proves that he owed the success which he had in them, only to an overruling power of providence on his side: which having set him up as a fit instrument for the work which he brought to pass, carried him through all dangers and hazards, to the full accomplishing of it; and after that, when there was no more for him to do, cast him off to perish like a rod, which is tbrown into the fire when no more to be used. The work was God's; but it being malice and ambition that excited him to be the instrument in the execution of it, he justly had for the reward thereof that destruction by which he fell. Having found, in two or three of his attempts, the hand of providence with him, he afterward, presuining hereon, often ventured on very hazardous undertakings, without having any other prospect of succeeding in them, than from the confidence which he had in that which he called his good fortune. And he never failed in any of them; for he fought fifty battles without missing of success, unless at Pharus, where he swam for his life, and once at Dyrrachium. And in these battles he is said to have slain one million one hundred and pinety-two thousand men ; which sufficiently proves him to have been a terrible scourge in the band of God, for the punishment :
Roman patriots as they are called, * Cassius proceeded into Syria and raised a considerable army, where being joined by Murcus, he marched into Phænicia and Judea, and obtained possession of both those countries, and got together no less than twelve legions of soldiers. For the maintenance of so large an army he was obliged to levy heavy contributions ;
the wickedness of that age in which he lived : and consequently be is to be reputed the greatest pest and plague that mankind then had therein. But, notwithstanding this, his actions have with many acquired great glory to his name ; whereas, true glory is due only to those who benefit, not to those who destroy mankind.” Prid. ii. 577, 578. And how close an imitation of his character has been raised up in our own times, in the person of Napoleon Buonaparte, wbo, however, fell very short of his prototype in whatever was praiseworthy.
* “ This was a most base and villanous act, and the more so, as the prime authors of it, Marcus Brutus, Decimus Brutus, Cassius, and Trebonius, and some others of them, were those whom Cæsar had in the highest manner obliged; yet it was executed under the notion of an high heroic virtue, in thus freeing their country from one whom they called a tyrant; and there are not wanting such as are ready, even in our days, to applaud the act. But divine justice declared itself otherwise in this matter; for it pursued every one of them that were concerned herein, said to be sixty in number, (Prid. ii. 673.) with such a just and remarkable revenge, that they were every man of them cut off in a short time after, in a violent manner, either by their own or other men's hands.- Prid. ii. 577. At the battle of Philippi, Brutus and Cassius were both defeated by Octavianus (Augustus) and Mark Anthony, and by a just retribution of divine vengeance upon them, they were both of them, that is, Cassius first, and after. wards Brutus, forced to murder themselves; and what was most signal herein, they both did it with the same swords with which they had murdered Cæsar."-Prid. ij. 556. “The last survivor of the assassins was Cassius Parmensis, who, after the battle of Actium, Aed to Athens, where being terrified with the like apparition which appeared to Brutus at Philippi, he was overtaken and put to death by the messengers of Octavianus."-Prid. ii. 673.
and Judea was taxed at seven hundred talents, which was soon raised by Antipater, and his sons Phasael and Herod, Malichus,* and others. Herod having first brought his quota, ingratiated himself much with Cassius; but Gophna, Emmaus, Lydda, Thamna, and some other cities of Judea, not being quite so much on the alert, Cassius caused all the inhabitants to be sold by auction for the raising of the money; and would have put Malichus to death for his failure, if Hyrcanus had not sent one hundred talents, out of his own treasures, to redeem him.
Cassius and Murcus having marched into Laodicea, in order to suppress Publius Cornelius Dolabella, who had married Tullia, a daughter of Cicero, left Herod in the government of Cæle-Syria. I
Malichus, who was envious of the influence of Antipater and his sons, laid a plot for taking away his life; but Antipater having received intimation of his design, prepared himself to disappoint it. Malichus, however, so lulled his suspicion, that he interceded with Murcus to spare his life, which that officer had intended to take away on account of various factious designs. Notwithstanding this obligation, Malichus persisted in his purpose; and one day when Antipater was dining with Hyrcanus, he bribed the butler to administer poison to him in a cup of wine, whereof he died. Malichus thereupon seized the government of Jerusalem with an armed force, and endeavoured to persuade Phasaelus and Herod that he was wholly innocent of their father's murder. Herod would have taken instant revenge, but Phasaelus recommended him to proceed by craft and stratagem, and therefore, affecting to
He was a Jew by birth, and although next in power and authority to Antipater, who was an Idumean, was envious of the latter's superiority. Prid. ij. 583.
+ Prid, ii, 582. | Prid. ii. 583.
reigning monarch, sent forward M. Antonius to seize the passes ; in which he was much assisted by Hyrcanus and Antipater, who provided the Romans with supplies, and gave them letters to the Jews residing at Onion, by whose assistance Antony was enabled to make himself master of Pelusium.*
Wbilst Gabinius was in Egypt with the main body of the Roman forces, Alexander, the eldest son of Aristobulus, col. lected together a large army and destroyed a great number of the Romans, and drove the rest to take refuge in mount Gerizim, where he besieged them. But, upon the return of the Roman general, a battle took placet between their respective armies, in which Alexander was defeated with the loss of ten thousand men, when Gabinius going to Jerusalem, settled all things there according to the mind of Antipater. I
Crassus, having succeeded Gabinius in the province of Syria, marched to Jerusalem for the purpose of seizing upon all the treasures in the temple ; when Eleazer, one of the priests, aware of his iniquitous object, offered to discover to him a concealed bar of goldş if he would take an oath to spare all the rest. Upon receiving the shining treasure, however, it only served to inflame his cupidity; for in violation of his
sovereign authority over the inhabitants of the place ; of whom no fewer than six thousand persons were devoted to the service of that goddess. He afterwards became king of Egypt, by marrying Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Auletes. Prid. ii. 502. 528.
* Prid, ii, 534.
I Prid. ii. 536. $ of the weight of three hundred Hebrew minæ ; and which for better security had been put into a beam, which he had caused to be made hollow for the reception of it; and placing this beam over the entrance which was from the holy place into the holy of holies, caused the veil which parted these two places to be hung thereat. Prid. ii. 538.