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Joppa and Ressa, and being joined by Roman forces under Ventidius and Silo, who having defeated the Parthians in several battles, had driven them beyond the Euphrates, * he encamped before the walls of Jerusalem.t
The Roman coinmanders, however, made the most advantage they could of both the contending parties, screwing as much money as possible out of each of them; and at last, by secretly fomenting a mutiny amongst the Roman soldiers, the siege ended in the sacking and ruin of Jericho, and the Roman army going into winter quarters in Idumea, Samaria, and Galilee, where Herod had to provide them with supplies. I
That prince, however, still kept the field with his own troops, part of which, under the command of Joseph, he sent into Idumea, to secure all there in his interest, and with the remainder he conducted his mother and friends into Samaria, where he left them under a strong guard ; and occupied himself during the rest of the campaign, in reducing Sepphoris in Galilee, and ridding the country of immense bands of robbers, who were so numerous as upon one occasion to stand a regular engagement with his troops, the left wing of which they temporarily defeated.
through the besiegers; but the night before they were to have made the attempt, violent rains fell, which filled all their cisterns, and enabled them to hold out till Herod relieved them. Prid. ii. 599.
Prid. ii. 597. + Prid. ij. 599. | Prid. ii. 600. § By reason of the cragginess and steepness of those mountains, there was no scaling them from below, and to get down to them from above by any passage was altogether as impracticable; and. therefore, to ferret them out of their dens, he was forced to make certain ehests, and filling them with soldiers, to let them down into the entrances of those caves by chains, from engines which he had fixed above. Prid. ii, 601, 602. It was about this period that Asinius Pollio was born, and which occasioned the fourth eclogue of Virgil, about which so much has been said and written. Prid. ii. 600. See Dr. Thornton's Virgil, Bp. Horsley's Nine Sermons, &c. &c. and for an account of the Sybilline oracles, see Prid, ii. 718.
Macheras, a Roman general, having been sent by Anthony to support Herod with two legions of one thousand horse, when he approached the walls of Jerusalem in order to confer with Antigonus, was beaten back by the archers and slingers who guarded the ramparts. Enraged at this repulse he slew all the Jews who came in his way, whether friends or foes, and amongst the rest many of Herod's partisans, which so incensed him, that he set off to Anthony to complain against Macheras. That Roman, however, followed him with so much expedition, that he overtook and made his peace with him; but Herod still pursued his journey, with a view to pay his respects to Anthony, leaving his brother in command of Judea, with strict orders not to engage in any military enterprise during his absence. *
Anthony who was then engaged in the siege of Samosata, received Herod, who rendered him considerable service in his operations against that place, with great honour.t
Joseph, regardless of his brother's injunctions, having engaged in an expedition against Jericho, was defeated and slain, upon which a general revolt from Herod took place in Galilee and Idumæa. Having accompanied Anthony as far as Daphne he returned to Judea, and coming to mount Libanus, raised eight hundred men, and with these, and the aid of two Roman cohorts, reduced the revolters into subjection; but proceeding to Jericho, in order to revenge his brother's death, he was routed by the Antigonians and severely wounded. Having collected, however, a fresh army, he encountered the enemy again under the command of Pappus, and in his turn defeated him with considerable loss, and then placed his troops in winter quarters.
Herod opened the next campaign with a considerable army,. and immediately laid siege to Jerusalem, which he closely
• Prid. ii. 606.
Prid. ij. 608.
+ Prid. ii. 606.
invested; but whilst the operations were going on, he went to Samaria to consummate his marriage with Mariamne, whorn he had formerly betrothed.*
Being joined by Sosius, whom Anthony had left as bis lieutenant in Syria, they prosecuted the siege with eleven legions, and six thousand horse, besides auxiliaries, and with much difficulty took the city at the end of six months, the Romans committing great slaughter and cruelty in spite of all that Herod could do to prevent it; for upon making complaint to the Roman general, that he would make hint king of a desert only, he obtained no redress, and was finally obliged to redeem the city and inhabitants with a large sum of money.t
Antigonus surrendered himself prisoner to Sosius, but discovered such abjectness of mind, that the Roman treated him with contempt, and sent him to Anthony in chains, who had intended to reserve him for his triumph ; but at the repeated solicitations of Herod, excited thereto by the unwillingness of the Jews to submit to his authority, he at last put him to death as a common malefactor, and with him ended the male line of the Asmonean family. I
Herod having at last attained the object of bis ambition, put to death great numbers of the opposite faction, and amongst others, all the Sanhedrim except Pollio and Sameas,g who had declared in his favour. Not, however,
* She was the daughter of Alexander, the son of king Aristobulus, by Alexandra, the daughter of Hyrcanus II, and therefore was granddaughter to both these brothers. She was a lady of extraordinary beauty and great virtue, and in all other laudable qualifications accomplished beyond most others of her time. Prid. ii. 610
+ Prid, ii. 611. I Prid. ii. 612. $ These were the famous Hillel and Shammai, from whose school all the modern rabbies and their rubbish have sprung. Prid. ii. 615.
as it would seem through any affection which they bore to him, for they told the people that their sins were now grown to such a height, that God would deliver the city into the hands of Herod as a just punishment, and therefore, that it would be in vain to resist him. The rest of the Sanhedrim, however, cried out, The temple of Jehovah, The temple of Jehovah, and excited the people to a fierce and obstinate resistance; in revenge of which it was, that as soon as Herod got them into his power, be put them all to death; as well as from the recollection of their having sat in judgment upon him for the death of Hezekiah, * whilst he was governor Galilee.t
On the death of Antigonus, Herod made Ananelus high priest, an obscure member of the pontifical family, then residing in Babylonia, and who had been formerly known to him; besides which, his foreign parentage and little acquaintance with the local politics of Judea, together with his obscurity, made it unlikely that he would oppose Herod in his views.
Hyrcanus had still continued a prisoner at Seleucia, but when Phrahatesg succeeded his father Orodes on the throne of Parthia, although a man of most detestable cruelty, he shewed both kindness and generosity towards the Jewish
* See p. 425. + Prid. ii. 614. Prid. ij. 647.
His father had surrendered up the kingdom to him during his own life, and the first act of his power was to murder all his brothers by another mother; and, upon his father's expressing resentment, he murdered him also. At first he attempted it only by giving him hemlock. But that, instead of killing him, became a medicine to cure him of the dropsy which he then laboured with; for it working off in a violent purgation, it carried off the disease with it. And, therefore, to make sure work of it, the parricide caused him to be stifled to death in his bed; and after that he put to death all his other brothers. Prid, ii. 616.
prince; for understanding who he was, he released him from his chains, and allowed him to live at full liberty amongst the Jews who then resided in Babylonia, and who paid him so much respect, that he might have lived and died amongst them in peace and affluence. The amor patriæ, however, predominated over all other feelings, * and receiving information that Herod was established on the throne of Judea, he made no doubt that prince would gladly receive and protect him, and this feeling Herod himself so effectually encouraged, and so earnestly invited his return, that Hyrcanus, contrary to the advice of all his friends, left Babylonia and returned to Jerusalem.
The appointment of Ananelus to the office of the high priesthood had given great offence both to Mariamne, Herod's queen, and to Alexandra, her mother, for they considered that it belonged of right to Aristobulus, the son of Alexander, who had been put to death by Q.M. Scipio.& Alexandra, indeed, had written to Cleopatra, and applied to Dellius, a favourite of Anthony's, to use their influence with the Roman commander; so that Herod found it necessary, in order to restore peace in his own family and avoid sone unpleasant rupture, to depose Ananelus and appoint Aristobulus, who was then only seventeen years of age, in his room.
Having succeeded to this extent, and conceiving that her
* “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sate down ; yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song, and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing Jehovah's song in a strange land ? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not (Jerusalem above my chief joy." Ps. cxxxvii, 1–6. + Prid, ii. 648.
See. p. 423. & Prid. ii. 656.