The Antiquities of the Jews, 19.354–20.0

Flavius Josephus  translated by William Whiston

« J. AJ 19.338–19.353 | J. AJ 19.354–20.0 | J. AJ 20.1–20.16 | About This Work »

3541. And thus did king Agrippa depart this life. But he left behind him a son, Agrippa by name, a youth in the seventeenth year of his age, and three daughters; one of which, Bernice, was married to Herod, his father’s brother, and was sixteen years old; the other two, Mariamne and Drusilla, were still virgins; the former was ten years old, and Drusilla six. 355Now these his daughters were thus espoused by their father: Mariamne to Julius Archelaus Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, the son of Chelcias; and Drusilla to the king of Commagena. 356But when it was known that Agrippa was departed this life, the inhabitants of Caesarea and of Sebaste forgot the kindnesses he had bestowed on them, and acted the part of the bitterest enemies; 357for they cast such reproaches upon the deceased as are not fit to be spoken of; and so many of them as were then soldiers, which were a great number, went to his house, and hastily carried off the statues of this king’s daughters, and all at once carried them into the brothel-houses, and when they had set them on the tops of those houses, they abused them to the utmost of their power, and did such things to them as are too indecent to be related. 358They also laid themselves down in public places, and celebrated general feastings, with garlands on their heads, and with ointments and libations to Charon, and drinking to one another for joy that the king was expired. 359Nay, they were not only unmindful of Agrippa, who had extended his liberality to them in abundance, but of his grandfather Herod also, who had himself rebuilt their cities, and had raised them havens and temples at vast expenses.

3602. Now Agrippa, the son of the deceased, was at Rome, and brought up with Claudius Caesar. 361And when Caesar was informed that Agrippa was dead, and that the inhabitants of Sebaste and Caesarea had abused him, he was sorry for the first news, and was displeased with the ingratitude of those cities. 362He was therefore disposed to send Agrippa, junior, away presently to succeed his father in the kingdom, and was willing to confirm him in it by his oath. But those freed-men and friends of his, who had the greatest authority with him, dissuaded him from it, and said that it was a dangerous experiment to permit so large a kingdom to come under the government of so very young a man, and one hardly yet arrived at the years of discretion, who would not be able to take sufficient care of its administration; while the weight of a kingdom is heavy enough to a grown man. So Caesar thought what they said to be reasonable. 363Accordingly he sent Cuspins Fadus to be procurator of Judea, and of the entire kingdom, and paid that respect to the deceased as not to introduce Marcus, who had been at variance with him, into his kingdom. But he determined, in the first place, to send orders to Fadus, that he should chastise the inhabitants of Caesarea and Sebaste for those abuses they had offered to him that was deceased, and their madness towards his daughters that were still alive; 364and that he should remove that body of soldiers that were at Caesarea and Sebaste, with the five regiments, into Pontus, that they might do their military duty there; and that he should choose an equal number of soldiers out of the Roman legions that were in Syria, to supply their place. 365Yet were not those that had such orders actually removed; for by sending ambassadors to Claudius, they mollified him, and got leave to abide in Judea still; and these were the very men that became the source of very great calamities to the Jews in after-times, and sowed the seeds of that war which began under Florus; whence it was that when Vespasian had subdued the country, he removed them out of his province, as we shall relate hereafter.

« J. AJ 19.338–19.353 | J. AJ 19.354–20.0 | J. AJ 20.1–20.16 | About This Work »

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