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and in honour of Augustus gave it the name of Sebaste. * He also garrisoned Straton's tower, and called it Cæsarea, likewise in honour of Cæsar Augustus, together with Gabala and other fortresses.t
In the thirteenth year of the reign of Herod, a dreadful famine visited Judea, and so great was the distress that Herod melted down all his family and private plate, in order to purchase corn from Egypt; and the flocks having perished through a long drought which preceded and induced the famine, he procured great quantities of foreign wool, against the approach of the cold season; and by these acts of foresight and generosity, in some measure recovered the goodwill of the inhabitants. I
In the fourteenth year of his reign, Herod erected a magnificent palace on the top of mount Sion, which was so large as almost to rival the temple itself; and was famous for two large and sumptuous rooms, one of which he called Cæsareum, in honour of Augustus Cæsar, and the other Agrippeum, in honour of Agrippa, the principal favourite of Augustus. And the Roman emperor having sent Elius Gallus on an expedition against the southern Arabs, Herod supplied that general with five hundred men out of his own guards to accompany him.
Having fallen in love with a daughter of Simon, one of the priests of Jerusalem, whose name also was Mariamne, he deposed Jesus, the son of Phebes, who was then high priest, and invested Simon with that sacred office, in order that his
Or the city of Augustus. This place he planted with six thousand inhabitants invited thither from all parts, and divided among them the country about it, which being of a very fertile soil, as soon as it was cultivated, brought forth such plenty, as in a short time rendered the place rich and populous, and made it fully answer all the purposes for which he intended it. Prid. ii. 697.
+ Prid. i1.697. Prid. ii. 699. & Prid. ii. 701.
daughter might be a more suitable match for him, and then married her. And soon afterwards he built another stately palace, on the summit of a hill about seven miles from Jerusalem, and which he called Herodium, which soon became the centre of a considerable town.*
Herod baving sent his two sons by his first wife, Mariamne, viz. Alexander and Aristobulus, to Rome for their education, placed them under the care of his friend Pollio; but Augustus taking them under his own patronage, assigned them apartments in his palace, and gave Herod full power to leave the succession of his territories to whichever son he pleased.t
Zenodorus, who farmed Trachonitis, Auranitis, and Batanea, of Varro, the then president of Syria, had formed a disgraceful connexion with various bands of robbers who dwelt in the caves and fastnesses of the mountains, and which occasioned so much mischief to the inhabitants, that Augustus placed all the provinces under the government of Herod, with the title of tetrarch. Herod soon routed out the robbers, but Zenodorus having lost as well his participation in their unjust gain as his tetrarchy, went to Rome to complain against Herod, but met with no encouragement. On his return he excited the Gadarenes to raise disturbances, who thereupon applied to Agrippa, who then governed for Augustus in the east, and resided at Mitylene, in the isle of Lesbos. Arriving, however, just after Herod had paid the Roman governor a complimentary visit, Agrippa not only paid no attention to their complaints, but putting the ambassadors in chains, sent them bound to Herod, who, through clemency and policy, dismissed them without punishment.
Prid, ii, 704. † At the same time he added to his former dominions Trachonitis, Auranitis, and Batanea, from whence Herod had expelled some formidable bands of banditti. Prid. ii. 705.
Prid. ii. 707.
Augustus himself having visited Syria the ensuing year, when he arrived at Antioch, found Zenodorus with the Gadarenes, who were come to renew their complaints against Herod, charging him with tyranny, violence, and rapine, and sacrilege in plundering and violating temples. They succeeded so far as that Augustus sent for Herod to make his defence; in which the former exhibited so much leniency towards the latter, that his accusers destroyed themselves during the night; Zenodorus taking poison, and the Gadarenes either cutting their own throats, or casting themselves down from the rocks into the sea. Augustus conceiving from these occurrences that the accusations were false, and to make Herod amends for the trouble and anxiety they had occasioned him, invested him with the tetrarchy of the provinces formerly under Zenodorus; and for greater honour joined him in the commission with the president of Syria, ordaining that nothing should be done without his knowledge and advice. Besides which, having given Pheroras, a brother of Herod's, an independent tetrarchy, Herod erected a sumptuous temple to his honour, near the mountain Paneas, at the foot of which Jordan takes its rise, of beautiful white marble; by which idolatrous flattery, and his other compliances with the pagan rites, he still further alienated the regards of all such Jews as had any respect for the purity of their religion. +
When Augustus retired out of Syria, Herod attended him to the sea shore ; but upon his return to Jerusalem, he found that many of his subjects were deeply offended by his culpable compliances with the idolatrous practices of the Greeks and Romans; and although he pleaded the doctrine of expediency, as eloquently as the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, he found it impossible to restrain the discontents of the people,
* It is more than probable Herod caused them to be assassinated,
† Prid. ii. 709,
except, like the above political tergiversators, by prohibiting all meetings at feasts and clubs, and all numerous assemblies, and planting his spies in all directions. And so low did the jealous tyrant condescend to stoop, that he often went out himself in disguise, and acted the police officer in his own defence. As a measure of security, he attempted to impose an oath of fidelity on all his subjects; but Hillel and Shammai, and their partisans amongst the Pharisees, and all the Essenes, positively refusing to take it, he was compelled to abandon his object. *
In the nineteenth year of his reign, Herod having finished his buildings at Sebaste, and nearly completed those at Cæsarea, formed the design of rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem, which had been erected by Ezra, and had received much damage in the various wars which had taken place since its erection. But the Jews were so jealous of the tyrant's real intentions, that he did not venture to take down the old temple, till he had actually collected all the materials necessary for the construction of a new one, which occupied two whole years, employing for that purpose one thousand waggons, ten thousand artificers, and one thousand priests, skilful in the appropriate architecture.
The materials having been collected, Herod took down the Nehemiahan temple to the very foundations, and began the
* Prid. ii. 711. + The temple built after the return of the Jews from the Baby. lonish captivity fell much short of that of Solomon's in the height, magnificence, and other particulars; and five hundred years having elapsed since its erection, several decays had happened to it, both by the length of time and also by the violence of enemies. For the temple, by reason of situation, being the strongest part of Jerusalem, whenever the inhabitants were pressed by war, they always made their last refuge thither; and whenever they did so, some of its building suffered by it. Prid. ii. 713.
| Prid. ii. 713.
new erection, just forty-six years before the first passover of our blessed Lord's personal ministry.*
Herod wishing to pay his respects to Augustus, at Rome, and to see his own sons whom he had sent there for education,t set sail for Italy, and passing through Greece, was present at the one hundred and ninety-first Olympiad, wherein he presided. Perceiving that the shows had sunk much in point of magnificence, through the poverty of the @lians, he settled a constant revenue for their support ; and he was in consequence nominated a president for life.
Augustus received him with great hospitality and regard, and Herod finding the education of his sons completed, took them back with him into Judea, where he soon after married Alexander to Glaphyra, the daughter of Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, and Aristobulus to Berenice, the daughter of Salome, his own sister. These young men soon became great favourites with the Jews, and consequently excited the suspicion and malice of old Salome, although one of them had married her own daughter.||
In about a year and a half, the boly of holies and the more sacred parts of the new temple were ready for the performance of public worship.
. Prid. ii. 714. John, ii. 20.
+ See p. 452. The Grecian mode of reckoning time: an Olympiad being a circle of four years. This way of reckoning was brought in by Iphitus, taking its rise from the Olympic games, which were instituted by Pelops, and celebrated every fifth year, for five days together, in the plains of Elis, near the city of Olympia, in honour of Jupiter Olympus, by five kinds of exercises, viz.-leaping, run. ning, wrestling, quoiting, and whorl-bats. The first Olympiad began A. M. 3174. By presiding at these games, flerod branded himself as a favourer of idolatry and an apostate from Jehovah.
$ Prid. ii. 715. | Prid. ii. 715.
Prid. ij. 716.