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.
CALUMNIES AGAINST THE SONS OF MARIAMNE. ANTIPATERIS PREFERRED BEFORE THEM. THEY ARE ACCUSED BEFORE CAESAR, AND HEROD IS RECONCILED TO THEM.
1. NOW Mariamne's sons were heirs to that hatred which had been borne their mother; and when they considered the greatness of Herod's crime towards her, they were suspicious of him as of an enemy of theirs; and this first while they were educated at Rome, but still more when they were returned to Judea. This temper of theirs increased upon them as they grew up to be men; and when they were Come to an age fit for marriage, the one of them married their aunt Salome's daughter, which Salome had been the accuser of their mother; the other married the daughter of Archclaus, king of Cappadocia. And now they used boldness in speaking, as well as bore hatred in their minds. Now those that calumniated them took a handle from such their boldness, and certain of them spake now more plainly to the king that there were treacherous designs laid against him by both his sons; and he that was son-in-law to Archelaus, relying upon his father-in-law, was preparing to fly away, in order to accuse Herod before Caesar; and when Herod's head had been long enough filled with these calumnies, he brought Antipater, whom he had by Doris, into favor again, as a defense to him against his other sons, and began all the ways he possibly could to prefer him before them.
2. But these sons were not able to bear this change in their affairs; but when they saw him that was born of a mother of no family, the nobility of their birth made them unable to contain their indignation; but whensoever they were uneasy, they showed the anger they had at it. And as these sons did day after day improve in that their anger, Antipater already exercised all his own abilities, which were very great, in flattering his father, and in contriving many sorts of calumnies against his brethren, while he told some stories of them himself, and put it upon other proper persons to raise other stories against them, till at length he entirely cut his brethren off from all hopes of succeeding to the kingdom; for he was already publicly put into his father's will as his successor. Accordingly, he was sent with royal ornaments, and other marks of royalty, to Caesar, excepting the diadem. He was also able in time to introduce his mother again into Mariamne's bed. The two sorts of weapons he made use of against his brethren were flattery and calumny, whereby he brought matters privately to such a pass, that the king had thoughts of putting his sons to death.
3. So the father drew Alexander as far as Rome, and charged him with an attempt of poisoning him before Caesar. Alexander could hardly speak for lamentation; but having a judge that was more skillful than Antipater, and more wise than Herod, he modestly avoided laying any imputation upon his father, but with great strength of reason confuted the calumnies laid against him; and when he had demonstrated the innocency of his brother, who was in the like danger with himself, he at last bewailed the craftiness of Antipater, and the disgrace they were under. He was enabled also to justify himself, not only by a clear conscience, which he carried within him, but by his eloquence; for he was a shrewd man in making speeches. And upon his saying at last, that if his father objected this crime to them, it was in his power to put them to death, he made all the audience weep; and he brought Caesar to that pass, as to reject the accusations, and to reconcile their father to them immediately. But the conditions of this reconciliation were these, that they should in all things be obedient to their father, and that he should have power to leave the kingdom to which of them he pleased.
4. After this the king came back from Rome, and seemed to have forgiven his sons upon these accusations; but still so that he was not without his suspicions of them. They were followed by Antipater, who was the fountain-head of those accusations; yet did not he openly discover his hatred to them, as revering him that had reconciled them. But as Herod sailed by Cilicia, he touched at Eleusa, (38) where Archclaus treated them in the most obliging manner, and gave him thanks for the deliverance of his son-in-law, and was much pleased at their reconciliation; and this the more, because he had formerly written to his friends at Rome that they should be assisting to Alexander at his trial. So he conducted Herod as far as Zephyrium, and made him presents to the value of thirty talents.
5. Now when Herod was come to Jerusalem, he gathered the people together, and presented to them his three sons, and gave them an apologetic account of his absence, and thanked God greatly, and thanked Caesar greatly also, for settling his house when it was under disturbances, and had procured concord among his sons, which was of greater consequence than the kingdom itself, -
When the king had thus spoken, and had saluted every one of his sons after an obliging manner, he dismissed the multitude; some of which gave their assent to what he had said, and wished it might take effect accordingly; but for those who wished for a change of affairs, they pretended they did not so much as hear what he said.
(38) That this island Eleusa, afterward called Sebaste, near Cilicia, had in it the royal palace of this Archclaus, king of Cappadocia, Strabo testifies, B. XV. p. 671. Stephanus of Byzantiam also calls it "an island of Cilicia, which is now Sebaste;" both whose testimonies are pertinently cited here by Dr. Hudson. See the same history, Antiq. B. XVI. ch. 10. sect. 7.