Containing The Interval Of Sixty-Nine Years
From The Death Of Herod Till Vespasian Was Sent
To Subdue The Jews By Nero.
VARUS COMPOSES THE TUMULTS IN JUDEA AND CRUCIFIES ABOUT TWO THOUSAND OF THE SEDITIOUS.
1. UPON Varus's reception of the letters that were written by Sabinus and the captains, he could not avoid being afraid for the whole legion [he had left there]. So he made haste to their relief, and took with him the other two legions, with the four troops of horsemen to them belonging, and marched to Ptolenlais; having given orders for the auxiliaries that were sent by the kings and governors of cities to meet him there. Moreover, he received from the people of Berytus, as he passed through their city, fifteen hundred armed men. Now as soon as the other body of auxiliaries were come to Ptolemais, as well as Aretas the Arabian, (who, out of the hatred he bore to Herod, brought a great army of horse and foot,) Varus sent a part of his army presently to Galilee, which lay near to Ptolemais, and Caius, one of his friends, for their captain. This Caius put those that met him to flight, and took the city Sepphoris, and burnt it, and made slaves of its inhabitants; but as for Varus himself, he marched to Samaria with his whole army, where he did not meddle with the city itself, because he found that it had made no commotion during these troubles, but pitched his camp about a certain village which was called Aras. It belonged to Ptolemy, and on that account was plundered by the Arabians, who were very angry even at Herod's friends also. He thence marched on to the village Sampho, another fortified place, which they plundered, as they had done the other.
As they carried off all the money they lighted upon belonging to the public revenues, all was now full of fire and blood-shed, and nothing could resist the plunders of the Arabians. Emnaus was also burnt, upon the flight of its inhabitants, and this at the command of Varus, out of his rage at the slaughter of those that were about Arias.
2. Thence he marched on to Jerusalem, and as soon as he was but seen by the Jews, he made their camps disperse themselves; they also went away, and fled up and down the country. But the citizens received him, and cleared themselves of having any hand in this revolt, and said that they had raised no commotions, but had only been forced to admit the multitude, because of the festival, and that they were rather besieged together with the Romans, than assisted those that had revolted. There had before this met him Joseph, the first cousin of Archelaus, and Gratus, together with Rufus, who led those of Sebaste, as well as the king's army: there also met him those of the Roman legion, armed after their accustomed manner; for as to Sabinus, he durst not come into Varus's sight, but was gone out of the city before this, to the sea-side. But Varus sent a part of his army into the country, against those that had been the authors of this commotion, and as they caught great numbers of them, those that appeared to have been the least concerned in these tumults he put into custody, but such as were the most guilty he crucified; these were in number about two thousand.
3. He was also informed that there continued in Idumea ten thousand men still in arms; but when he found that the Arabians did not act like auxiliaries, but managed the war according to their own passions, and did mischief to the country otherwise than he intended, and this out of their hatred to Herod, he sent them away, but made haste, with his own legions, to march against those that had revolted; but these, by the advice of Achiabus, delivered themselves up to him before it came to a battle. Then did Varus forgive the multitude their offenses, but sent their captains to Caesar to be examined by him. Now Caesar forgave the rest, but gave orders that certain of the king's relations (for some of those that were among them were Herod's kinsmen) should be put to death, because they had engaged in a war against a king of their own family. When therefore Varus had settled matters at Jerusalem after this manner, and had left the former legion there as a garrison, he returned to Antioch.