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priesthood, had only the title of prince, without the au. thority, the Romans being sovereigns, and Antipater having the greatest share in the government. Judea, thus become a prey to the avarice of the Roman governors, every general, whose commission led him that way, plundered the poor Jews of what he could grasp. Among these, the insatiable M. Crassus march. ing against the Parthians, came into Judea, and extorted two thousand talents; which Eleazar, who was treasurer of the temple, seeing, to preserve the sacred ornaments from his rapacious claws, made him a present of a golden obelisk, that weighed three hundred pounds, obliging him upon oath, not to remove any thing else from thence. But Crassus violating his oath, took all the gold he could find. After his death, Cassius fell upon Judea, took Tarichea, and carried away near thirty thousand Jews.
The Roman affairs falling into distraction by the differences between Cæsar and Pompey, Cæsar setting Aristobulus at liberty, sent him with two legions into Judea, to combat with one of Pompey's there ; but Pom. pey's faction procured him to be poisoned.
His body was by the order of Cæsar preserved, till M. Antony caused it to be carried to Judea, where it was honourably interred in the royal sepulchre. Soon after, Scipio, by order from Pompey, caused his son Alexander's head to be struck off at Antioch, for his former rebellion against the Romans.
Cæsar returning victorious from Egypt, made some stay in Syria, where Antigonus, Aristobulus's second son, met him, and complained of the hard fate of his father and brother, charging Hircanus and Antipater with hav. ing possessed themselves of the government by force. But Antipater so well pleaded his own cause, that Cæsar, instead of restoring Antigonus, continued Hircanus High-priest, and gave Antipater the government of Judea.
When Cæsar was gone, Antipater, by his prudence, appeased all the troubles in Judea. This Antipater had two sons, Phasael and Herod; to the first he
the government of the country about Jerusalem, and to the second that of Galilee. Phasael behaved himself in his administration with great lenity ; but Herod's boisterous and tyrannical carriage made him very odious to the Jews. Antipater their father being willing to keep fair. with the Romans, that he might the longer continue in his government of Judea, made Hircanus a very useful instrument in the support of his power ; for taking advantage of his easiness, he persuaded him to disburse the public treasure to the Roman generals. But this growing greatness of Antipater and his sons soon became offensive to the Jews ; the chief of whom openly complained to Hircanus of several acts of a violent and exhorbitant nature committed by them, particularly of the cruelty of Herod to Ezekiah and his companions, whom Herod had caused to be slain, for making an incursion into. Syria threatening Hircanus at the same time, if he did not do justice upon Herod. Antipater hearing this, advised his son Herod to appear at Jerusalem to make his defence, but cautioned him to come with a good guard. But that which was Herod's greatest security, was the friendship of Sextis Cæsar the president of Syria, who wrote to Hircanus' to be tender of Herod, and threatened him if he did otherwise. Herod accordingly appeared guarded before Hircanus, which so terrified his accusers, that none of them durst make good their charge. But Sameas, one of the council, a man of great justice and integrity, with much assurance and presence of mind complained, that he never saw a criminal appear in a court of justice so attended; who came more like an invader, than one to take a trial for the breach of justice.“ But, he observed, " this is not so much to be imputed to his insolence, as " to your connivance, which encourages it. Yet, know, “ continued Sameas, that this person whom you screen “ from the justice of the laws, will one day be a scourge "10 you all.” Nor was he a false prophet in this ; for . when Herod obtained the kingdom, he was revenged on them, particularly on those that were his judges.
Herod being thus dismissed, Hircanus privately advised him to make the best of his way to Syria, assuring him, that the council was resolyed the next day to con
demn him. Herod took the hint, and fled to Damascus, where disposing his affairs in the most secure posture he could, he declared to Sextus Cæsar, that he would not appear before the council if he were summoned again. Herod having thus escaped, the council bitterly exclaimed against the remissness of Hircanus, charged him with para tiality, and assured him that the consequence of this neg!ect would fall heavy upon him one day. Hircanus had reason to believe them, but being of an easy disposition, he did not much regard them.
Whilst Herod was in Syria, he, by bribes, prevailed with Sextus Cæsar to confer upon him the government of Cælo-Syria ; which having obtained, he raised an army, and prepared to march against Jerusalem, to take revenge upon his judges and those who had accused him ; but An. tipater and Phasael meeting him, endeavoured to dissuade him, urging how ungrateful it would be to Hircanus, who had screened him from justice, and advised his escape. Upon their persuasions, Herod for the present dropped his resentment.
So long as Julius Cæsar lived, the Jews were held in great honour and esteem by the Romans, who made many decrees in their favour : but after his death, the Roman commonwealth falling into great dissentions, and civil war raging among the contending parties, Cassius, having made himself master of Syria, exacted above seven hundred talents of silver of the Jews, with which Antipater caused his sons to furnish him, and by those means kept himself in the government of Judea. Ma. lichus was a great instrument in this, though an enemy to Antipater; of which Cassius was so sensible, that he would have dispatched him, had not Hircanus, by Antipater, sent a hundred talents to pacify him. Instead of acknowledging this favour, the ungrateful traitor Malichus, after the departure of Cassius, made it his business to betray Antipater, thinking by his death to secure the government of Judea to Hircanus, whom he influenced as he pleased. But Antipater having knowledge of this treachery, passed the Jordan, and collected a party of natives and Arabians to defend himself: which Malichus perceiving, and aware that his treason was known, he confidently repaired to Antipater, and declared his innocence, urging how impracticable it could be for him to have any design upon Antipater, whilst his son Phasael was governor of the country about Jerusalem, and Herod at the head of an army. By these fair speeches Antipater was deluded into a reconciliation ; which Antipater still improved, to engage the traitor Malichus to his interest : for Marcus, the president of Syria, understanding that Malichus was privately designing alterations and divisions in Judea, would have put him to death, but for Antipater, who interceded for him. This credulity cost Antipater dear; for Cassius and Marcus not only confirmed Herod in the government of Cælo.Syria, with a great addition of land and naval force, but promised him the kingdom of Judea, when the war between them and Antony was over.
Malichus from hence dreading Antipater's greatness, which by the promotion of his son would be very much advanced, resolved to take him off; therefore corrupting Hircanus's butler, he caused him to be poisoned at an entertainment in Hircanus's palace. Phasael and Herod had for some time suspected Malichus's designs on their father ; but when they heard of his death, they concluded Malichus was the author of it; Herod was for revenging it immediately ; but Phasael, for fear of a civil war, thought it more expedient to suppress their resentment, till a convenient opportunity presented ; and therefore accepting Malichus's satisfaction, he appeared to be reconciled.
In the mean time, the affairs of Samaria, which had been in great disorder, being composed by Herod, he prepared, with a great guard to go to the feast at Jerusalem. Malichus, who was conscious to himself of the evils he had committed, and dreading Herod's impetuous and revengeful spirit, persuaded Hircanus not to suffer Herod to enter the city in that manner; which Hircanus did, sending to Herod not to profane the holy ceremonies with his soldiers. But Herod despising this admonition, entered the city by night, which excited no'small terror in the mind of Malichus. However, betaking himself to his old
arts of dissimulation, he came to Herod, and with tears in his eyes deplored the death of his dear friend Antipater, as he called him : though at the same time he had provided himself with a strong guard. Herod finding he could not fairly come at him then, by advice of his friends concealed his revenge, and treated Malichus with civility ; but having by letters signified to Cassius the death of his father, and his suspicion that Malichus was the cause of it; Cassius, who had long entertained a secret grudge against Malichus, gave leave to Herod to revenge it as he thought proper, and issued orders to the officers to stand by Herod. Malichus, who knew he could be safe no where within the reach of Herod, intended to go to Tyre, where his son was kept as an hostage. This city held out for Cassius against Antony, and Malichus thought, if he could possess himself of it, the government would of course fall to his share. But before he could put this project in practice, Herod pursued him, and caused him to be stabbed on the sea shore.
Cassius having left Syria, a tumult arose in Judea, occasioned by a revolt of some Jews at Jerusalem, who, being headed by one whose name was Felix, attacked Phasael. Herod, who was then at Damascus with Fabius the governor, impatiently prepared to succour his brother, but was prevented by a fit of sickness. However, Pha. sael so well defended himself, that he drove Felix and his party into a tower, where he made them compound for their liberty and lives. This disturbance was owing to the connivance and neglect of Hircanus, for which Phasael reproached him with ingratitude, in favouring his enemies against him, who had heaped so many benefits on him. At this time the brother of Malichus was possessed of several fortified places, particularly of the strong castle of Massada : but as soon as Herod recovered his health, he dispossessed him of them.
Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, was not idle all this time; for having gained Fabius to his interest by a bribe, with the assistance of his father-in-law and his friends, he collected an army, and attempted to possess himself of Judea. But Herod marched against hiin, routed and ex