The Antiquities of the Jews, 20.137–20.147

Flavius Josephus  translated by William Whiston

« J. AJ 20.118–20.136 | J. AJ 20.137–20.147 | J. AJ 20.148–20.196 | About This Work »

1371. So Claudius sent Felix, the brother of Pallas, to take care of the affairs of Judea; 138and when he had already completed the twelfth year of his reign, he bestowed upon Agrippa the tetrarchy of Philip and Batanea, and added thereto Trachonites, with Abila; which last had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias; but he took from him Chalcis, when he had been governor thereof four years. 139And when Agrippa had received these countries as the gift of Caesar, he gave his sister Drusilla in marriage to Azizus, king of Emesa, upon his consent to be circumcised; for Epiphanes, the son of king Antiochus, had refused to marry her, because, after he had promised her father formerly to come over to the Jewish religion, he would not now perform that promise. 140He also gave Mariamne in marriage to Archelaus, the son of Helcias, to whom she had formerly been betrothed by Agrippa her father; from which marriage was derived a daughter, whose name was Bernice.

1412. But for the marriage of Drusilla with Azizus, it was in no long time afterward dissolved upon the following occasion: 142While Felix was procurator of Judea, he saw this Drusilla, and fell in love with her; for she did indeed exceed all other women in beauty; and he sent to her a person whose name was Simon one of his friends; a Jew he was, and by birth a Cypriot, and one who pretended to be a magician, and endeavored to persuade her to forsake her present husband, and marry him; and promised, that if she would not refuse him, he would make her a happy woman. 143Accordingly she acted ill, and because she was desirous to avoid her sister Bernice’s envy, for she was very ill treated by her on account of her beauty, was prevailed upon to transgress the laws of her forefathers, and to marry Felix; and when he had had a son by her, he named him Agrippa. 144But after what manner that young man, with his wife, perished at the conflagration of the mountain Vesuvius, in the days of Titus Caesar, shall be related hereafter.

1453. But as for Bernice, she lived a widow a long while after the death of Herod [king of Chalcis], who was both her husband and her uncle; but when the report went that she had criminal conversation with her brother, [Agrippa, junior,] she persuaded Poleme, who was king of Cilicia, to be circumcised, and to marry her, as supposing that by this means she should prove those calumnies upon her to be false; 146and Poleme was prevailed upon, and that chiefly on account of her riches. Yet did not this matrimony endure long; but Bernice left Poleme, and, as was said, with impure intentions. So he forsook at once this matrimony, and the Jewish religion; 147and, at the same time, Mariamne put away Archelaus, and was married to Demetrius, the principal man among the Alexandrian Jews, both for his family and his wealth; and indeed he was then their alabarch. So she named her son whom she had by him Agrippinus. But of all these particulars we shall hereafter treat more exactly.

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