Concerning The Interval Of One Hundred And Sixty-Seven Years.
From The Taking Of Jerusalem By Antiochus Epiphanes,
To The Death Of Herod The Great.
PHASAELUS IS TOO HARD FOR FELIX; HEROD ALSO OVERCOMES ANTIGONUS IN BATTLE; AND THE JEWS ACCUSE BOTH HEROD AND PHASAELUS BUT ANTONIUS ACQUITS THEM, AND MAKES THEM TETRARCHS.
1. WHEN Cassius was gone out of Syria, another sedition arose at Jerusalem, wherein Felix assaulted Phasaelus with an army, that he might revenge the death of Malichus upon Herod, by falling upon his brother. Now Herod happened then to be with Fabius, the governor of Damascus, and as he was going to his brother's assistance, he was detained by sickness; in the mean time, Phasaelus was by himself too hard for Felix, and reproached Hyrcanus on account of his ingratitude, both for what assistance he had afforded Maliehus, and for overlooking Malichus's brother, when he possessed himself of the fortresses; for he had gotten a great many of them already, and among them the strongest of them all, Masada.
2. However, nothing could be sufficient for him against the force of Herod, who, as soon as he was recovered, took the other fortresses again, and drove him out of Masada in the posture of a supplicant; he also drove away Marion, the tyrant of the Tyrians, out of Galilee, when he had already possessed himself of three fortified places; but as to those Tyrians whom he had caught, he preserved them all alive; nay, some of them he gave presents to, and so sent them away, and thereby procured good-will to himself from the city, and hatred to the tyrant. Marion had indeed obtained that tyrannical power of Cassius, who set tyrants over all Syria (16) and out of hatred to Herod it was that he assisted Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, and principally on Fabius's account, whom Antigonus had made his assistant by money, and had him accordingly on his side when he made his descent; but it was Ptolemy, the kinsman of Antigonus, that supplied all that he wanted.
3. When Herod had fought against these in the avenues of Judea, he was conqueror in the battle, and drove away Antigonus, and returned to Jerusalem, beloved by every body for the glorious action he had done; for those who did not before favor him did join themselves to him now, because of his marriage into the family of Hyrcanus; for as he had formerly married a wife out of his own country of no ignoble blood, who was called Doris, of whom he begat Antipater; so did he now marry Mariamne, the daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, and the granddaughter of Hyrcanus, and was become thereby a relation of the king.
4. But when Caesar and Antony had slain Cassius near Philippi, and Caesar was gone to Italy, and Antony to Asia, amongst the rest of the cities which sent ambassadors to Antony unto Bithynia, the great men of the Jews came also, and accused Phasaelus and Herod, that they kept the government by force, and that Hyrcanus had no more than an honorable name. Herod appeared ready to answer this accusation; and having made Antony his friend by the large sums of money which he gave him, he brought him to such a temper as not to hear the others speak against him; and thus did they part at this time.
5. However, after this, there came a hundred of the principal men among the Jews to Daphne by Antioch to Antony, who was already in love with Cleopatra to the degree of slavery; these Jews put those men that were the most potent, both in dignity and eloquence, foremost, and accused the brethren. (17) But Messala opposed them, and defended the brethren, and that while Hyrcanus stood by him, on account of his relation to them. When Antony had heard both sides, he asked Hyrcanus which party was the fittest to govern, who replied that Herod and his party were the fittest. Antony was glad of that answer, for he had been formerly treated in an hospitable and obliging manner by his father Antipater, when he marched into Judea with Gabinius; so he constituted the brethren tetrarchs, and committed to them the government of Judea.
6. But when the ambassadors had indignation at this procedure, Antony took fifteen of them, and put them into custody, whom he was also going to kill presently, and the rest he drove away with disgrace; on which occasion a still greater tumult arose at Jerusalem; so they sent again a thousand ambassadors to Tyre, where Antony now abode, as he was marching to Jerusalem; upon these men who made a clamor he sent out the governor of Tyre, and ordered him to punish all that he could catch of them, and to settle those in the administration whom he had made tetrarchs.
7. But before this Herod, and Hyrcanus went out upon the sea-shore, and earnestly desired of these ambassadors that they would neither bring ruin upon themselves, nor war upon their native country, by their rash contentions; and when they grew still more outrageous, Antony sent out armed men, and slew a great many, and wounded more of them; of whom those that were slain were buried by Hyrcanus, as were the wounded put under the care of physicians by him; yet would not those that had escaped be quiet still, but put the affairs of the city into such disorder, and so provoked Antony, that he slew those whom he had in bonds also.
(16) Here we see that Cassius set tyrants over all Syria; so that his assisting to destroy Caesar does not seem to have proceeded from his true zeal for public liberty, but from a desire to be a tyrant himself.
(17) Phasaelus and Herod.