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  • JOSEPHUS' WRITINGS - BOOK 19, CH. 9
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    WHAT THINGS WERE DONE AFTER THE DEATH OF AGRIPPA; AND HOW CLAUDIUS, ON ACCOUNT OF THE YOUTH AND UNSKILFULNESS OF AGRIPPA, JUNIOR, SENT CUSPIUS FADUS TO BE PROCURATOR OF JUDEA, AND OF THE ENTIRE KINGDOM.

    1. 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. Now these his daughters were thus espoused by their father; Marlatone to Julius Archclaus Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, the son of Chelcias; and Drusilla to the king of Commagena. But when it was known that Agrippa was departed this life, the inhabitants of Cesarea and of Sebaste forgot the kindnesses he had bestowed on them, and acted the part of the bitterest enemies; for 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 (25) 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. They 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. Nay, 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.

    2. Now Agrippa, the son of the deceased, was at Rome, and brought up with Claudius Caesar. And when Caesar was informed that Agrippa was dead, and that the inhabitants of Sebaste and Cesarea had abused him, he was sorry for the first news, and was displeased with the ingratitude of those cities. He 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 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. Accordingly he sent Cuspins Fadus to be procurator of Judea, and of the entire kingdom, and paid that respect to the eceased 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 Cesarca and Sebaste for those abuses they had offered to him that was deceased, and their madness towards his daughters that were still alive; and that he should remove that body of soldiers that were at Cesarea 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. Yet 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.

    ENDNOTE

    (1) In this and the three next chapters we have, I think, a larger and more distinct account of the slaughter of Caius, and the succession of Claudius, than we have of any such ancient facts whatever elsewhere. Some of the occasions of which probably were, Josephus's bitter hatred against tyranny, and the pleasure he took in giving the history of the slaughter of such a barbarous tyrant as was this Caius Caligula, as also the deliverance his own nation had by that slaughter, of which he speaks sect. 2, together with the great intimacy he had with Agrippa, junior, whose father was deeply concerned in the advancement of Claudius, upon the death of Caius; from which Agrippa, junior, Josephus might be fully informed Of his history. (2) Called Caligula by the Romans. (3) Just such a voice as this is related to be came, and from an unknown original also, to the famous Polycarp, as he was going to martyrdom, bidding him "play the man;" as the church of Smyrna assures us in their account of that his martyrdom, sect. 9. (4) Here Josephus supposes that it was Augustus, and not Julius Caesar, who first changed the Roman commonwealth into a monarchy; for these shows were in honor of Augustus, as we shall learn in the next section. (5) Suetonius says Caius was slain about the seventh hour of the day, the ninth. The series of the narration favors Josephus. (6) The rewards proposed by the Roman laws to informers was sometimes an eigth partm as Spanheim assures us, from the criminal's goods, as here, and sometimes a fourth part. (7) These consuls are named in the War of the Jews, B. II. ch. 11. sect; 1, Sentius Saturninus and Pomponius Secundus, as Spanheim notes here. The speech of the former of them is set down in the next chapter, sect. 2. (8) In this oration of Sentius Saturninus, we may see the great value virtuous men put upon public liberty, and the sad misery they underwent, while they were tyrannized over by such emperors as Caius. See Josephus's own short but pithy reflection at the end of the chapter: "So difficult," says he, "it is for those to obtain the virtue that is necessary to a wise man, who have the absolute power to do what they please without control." (9) Hence we learn that, in the opinion of Saturninus, the sovereign authority of the consuls and senate had been taken away just a hundred years before the death of Caius, A.D. 41, or in the sixtieth year before the Christian saga, when the first triumvirate began under Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus. (10) Spanheim here notes from Suetonius, that the name of Caius's sister with whom he was guilty of incest, was Drusilla and that Suetonius adds, he was guilty of the same crime with all his sisters also. He notes further, that Suetonius omits the mention of the haven for ships, which our author esteems the only public work for the good of the present and future ages which Caius left behind him, though in an imperfect condition. (11) This Caius was the son of that excellent person Germanicus, who was the son of Drusus, the brother of Tiberius the emperor. (12) The first place Claudius came to was inhabited, and called Herincure, as Spanheim here informs us from Suetonius, in Claud. ch. 10. (13) How Claudius, another son of Drusus, which Drusus was the father of Germanicus, could be here himself called Germanicus, Suetonius informs us, when he assures us that, by a decree of the senate, the surname of Germanicus was bestowed upon Drusus, and his posterity also.--In Claud. ch. 1. (14) This number of drachmae to be distributed to each private soldier, five thousand drachmae, equal to twenty thousand sesterces, or one hundred and sixty-one pounds sterling, seems much too large, and directly contradicts Suetonius, ch. 10., who makes them in all but fifteen sesterces, or two shillings and four pence. Yet might Josephus have this number from Agrippa, junior, though I doubt the thousands, or at least the hundreds, have been added by the transcribers, of which we have had several examples already in Josephus. (15) This piercing cold here complained of by Lupus agrees well to the time of the year when Claudius began his reign; it being for certain about the months of November, December, or January, and most probably a few days after January the twenty-fourth, and a few days before the Roman Parentalia. (16) It is both here and elsewhere very remarkable, that the murders of the vilest tyrants, who yet highly deserved to die, when those murderers were under oaths, or other the like obligations of fidelity to them, were usually revenged, and the murderers were cut off themselves, and that after a remarkable manner; and this sometimes, as in the present case, by those very persons who were not sorry for such murders, but got kingdoms by them. The examples are very numerous, both in sacred and profane histories, and seem generally indications of Divine vengeance on such murderers. Nor is it unworthy of remark, that such murderers of tyrants do it usually on such ill principles, in such a cruel manner, and as ready to involve the innocent with the guilty, which was the case here, ch. 1. sect. 14, and ch. 2. sect. 4, as justly deserved the Divine vengeance upon them. Which seems to have been the case of Jehu also, when, besides the house of Ahab, for whose slaughter he had a commission from God, without any such commission, any justice or commiseration, he killed Ahab's great men, and acquaintance, and priests, and forty- two of the kindred of Ahaziah, 2 Kings 10:11-14. See Hosea 1:4. I do not mean here to condemn Ehud or Judith, or the like executioners of God's vengeance on those wicked tyrants who had unjustly oppressed God's own people under their theocracy; who, as they appear still to have had no selfish designs nor intentions to slay the innocent, so had they still a Divine commission, or a Divine impulse, which was their commission for what they did, Judges 3:15, 19, 20; Judith 9:2; Test. Levi. sect. 5, in Authent. Rec. p. 312. See also page 432. (17) Here St. Luke is in some measure confirmed, when he reforms us, ch. 3:1, that Lysanias was some time before tetrarch of Abilene, whose capital was Abila; as he is further confirmed by Ptolemy, the great geographer, which Spanheim here observes, when he calls that city Abila of Lysanias. See the note on B. XVII. ch. 11. sect. 4; and Prid. at the years 36 and 22. I esteem this principality to have belonged to the land of Canaan originally, to have been the burying-place of Abel, and referred to as such, Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51. See Authent. Rec. Part. II. p. 883-- 885. (18) This form was so known and frequent among the Romans, as Dr. Hudson here tells us from the great Selden, that it used to be thus represented at the bottom of their edicts by the initial letters only, U. D. P. R. L. P, Unde De Plano Recte Lege Possit; "Whence it may be plainly read from the ground." (19) Josephus shows, both here and ch. 7. sect. 3, that he had a much greater opinion of king Agrippa I. than Simon the learned Rabbi, than the people of Cesarea and Sebaste, ch. 7. sect. 4; and ch. 9. sect. 1; and indeed than his double-dealing between the senate and Claudius, ch. 4. sect. 2, than his slaughter of James the brother of John, and his imprisonment of Peter, or his vain- glorious behavior before he died, both in Acts 12:13; and here, ch. 4. sect. 1, will justify or allow. Josephus's character was probably taken from his son Agrippa, junior. (20) This treasury-chamber seems to have been the very same in which our Savior taught, and where the people offered their charity money for the repairs or other uses of the temple, Mark 12:41, etc.; Luke 22:1; John 8:20. (21) A strange number of condemned criminals to be under the sentence of death at once; no fewer, it seems, than one thousand four hundred! (22) We have a mighty cry made here by some critics, as the great Eusebius had on purpose falsified this account of Josephus, so as to make it agree with the parallel account in the Acts of the Apostles, because the present copies of his citation of it, Hist. Eceles. B. II. ch. 10., omit the words an owl--on a certain rope, which Josephus's present copies retain, and only have the explicatory word or angel; as if he meant that angel of the Lord which St. Luke mentions as smiting Herod, Acts 12:23, and not that owl which Josephus called an angel or messenger, formerly of good, but now of bad news, to Agrippa. This accusation is a somewhat strange one in the case of the great Eusebius, who is known to have so accurately and faithfully produced a vast number of other ancient records, and particularly not a few out of our Josephus also, without any suspicion of prevarication. Now, not to allege how uncertain we are whether Josephus's and Eusebius's copies of the fourth century were just like the present in this clause, which we have no distinct evidence of, the following words, preserved still in Eusebius, will not admit of any such exposition: "This [bird] (says Eusebius) Agrippa presently perceived to be the cause of ill fortune, as it was once of good fortune, to him;" which can only belong to that bird, the owl, which as it had formerly foreboded his happy deliverance from imprisonment, Antiq. B. XVIII. ch. 6. sect. 7, so was it then foretold to prove afterward the unhappy forerunner of his death in five days' time. If the improper words signifying cause, be changed for Josephus's proper word angel or messenger, and the foregoing words, be inserted, Esuebius's text will truly represent that in Josephus. Had this imperfection been in some heathen author that was in good esteem with our modern critics, they would have readily corrected these as barely errors in the copies; but being in an ancient Christian writer, not so well relished by many of those critics, nothing will serve but the ill-grounded supposal of willful corruption and prevarication. (23) This sum of twelve millions of drachmae, which is equal to three millions of shekels, i.e. at 2s. 10d. a shekel, equal to four hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds sterling, was Agrippa the Great's yearly income, or about three quarters of his grandfather Herod's income; he having abated the tax upon houses at Jerusalem, ch. 6. sect. 3, and was not so tyrannical as Herod had been to the Jews. See the note on Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 11. sect. 4. A large sum this! but not, it seems, sufficient for his extravagant expenses. (24) Reland takes notice here, not improperly, that Josephus omits the reconciliation of this Herod Agrippa to the Tyrians and Sidoninus, by the means of Blastus the king's chamberlain, mentioned Acts 12:20. Nor is there any history in the world so complete, as to omit nothing that other historians take notice of, unless the one be taken out of the other, and accommodated to it. (25) Photius, who made an extract out of this section, says they were not the statues or images, but the ladies themselves, who were thus basely abused by the soldiers.

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