« IndietroContinua »
roras, or with Pheroras himself, or with any one belonging to her. Antipater did not disobey that injunction publicly: but he went in secret to their nocturnal meeting. Being afraid that Salome watched his proceedings, he procured leave, by means of his Italian friends, to go and live at Rome. Those friends wrote word that it was proper for Antipater to be sent to Cæsar for some time. Herod dismissed him without delay, splendidly attended, with a large sum of money, and gave him his will to carry, containing the bequest of the kingdom to Antipater, and appointing Herod for Antipater's successor. The Herod here meant by Josephus is not Herod the tetrarch, but the son of Mariamne, the highpriest Simon's daughter.
Herod soon after this laboured under the complicated evils of a severe distemper, old age, and a melancholy state of mind. He was already almost seventy years of age, and had been prematurely weighed down by the calamities he had sustained respecting his children. His life was attended with no pleasure, even when in health. He was grieved that Antipater, whose character had been fully developed since his return from Rome, was still alive. This aggravated his disease; and he resolved to put him to death, though not suddenly or rashly. He determined that as soon as he should be well again, his execution should take place publicly. It did so; and his own death immediately ensued. He survived the slaughter of his son only five days.
Herod had reigned thirty-four years since the time when he procured the death of Antigonus, and obtained his kingdom : thirty-seven years since he had been made king by the Romans. At his funeral there was a bier entirely of gold, embroidered with precious stones, and a purple bed of various contexture, with the dead body on it, covered with purple. A diadem was set on his head, and a crown of gold above it, a sceptre in his right hand. Herod's sons were near the bier, and a great number of his kindred. Next to them came his guards, and the regiment of Thracians. The Germans were there, and the Gauls, all accoutred as if they were going to war.
The rest of the army took precedence, armed, and following their captains and officers with military regularity. After them, five hundred of his domestic servants and freed-men followed with sweet spices in their hands. The body was carried two hundred furlongs, to Herodium, where he had given his own directions to be buried.
There are few characters in biography which furnish more abundance or variety of incident, more scope for political and moral reflection, than this of Herod. But his life was so active, and his turns of fortune, both domestic and public, so frequent, that it is impossible within the compass of an essay like this, to do more than to make a selection of events and characteristic anecdotes, from the long and detailed narrative of Josephus.
Herod the tetrarch was the son of Herod the Great. When Cyrenius had disposed of Archelaus's money, and when the taxation was concluded, which was made in the thirty-seventh year after Cæsar's victory over Antony at Actium, Joazar was deprived of the high-priesthood, a dignity conferred upon him by the multitude. Ananus the son of Seth was appointed high-priest. HerodAntipas and Philip had each of them received their own tetrarchy, and had established their af.
fairs on a permanent footing. The ethnarchy of Archelaus, another son of Herod, brother of Philip and Antipas, had fallen into a Roman province. When Salome died, she bequeathed both her toparchy and Jamnia, besides her plantation of palm-trees in Phasaelis, to Julia, the wife of Augustus. When the Roman empire was translated to Tiberius, the son of Julia, upon the death of Augustus, who had reigned fifty-seven years six months and two days, both Herod and Philip remained in their tetrarchies. The latter built the city of Cæsarea, at the fountains of Jordan, and in the region of Paneas; besides the city Julias, in the lower Gaulanitis. Herod built the city of Tiberias in Galilee, and another also called Julias in Perea beyond Jordan. It is on the accession of Tiberias to the empire, that Josephus inserts that famous testimony concerning Jesus Christ. In a homily also, having just mentioned Christ, as God the Word, and the Judge of the World, appointed by the Father, he adds, that he had himself spoken elsewhere about him more nicely or particularly.
After terms of peace had been agreed upon between Artabanus and Vitellius, Herod the tetrarch erected a rich tent on the temporary bridge over the Euphrates, and made a feast there. After this Vitellius went to Antioch, and Artabanus to Babylon. Herod, desirous of giving Cæsar the first intimation that they had obtained hostages, sent couriers with letters, leaving nothing for the consular Vitellius to tell. For on the arrival of his letters, Tiberius let him know that he was acquainted with the whole transaction already. Vitellius was much troubled at this, conceiving himself a greater sufferer by the anticipation than he really
He therefore cherished a secret anger, waiting for revenge, which he took after Caius had succeeded to the government. Soon after this time, a quarrel took place between Aretas, king of Arabia Petræa, and Herod, on the following occasion. Herod the tetrarch had married the daughter of Aretas, and had lived with her a great while. Once, when he was at Rome, he lodged with Herod, his brother, but not by the same mother. This Herod was the son of the high-priest Simon's daughter, and seems to have had the additional name of Philip, as Antipas was named Herod-Antipas. Antipas and Antipater have the appearance of being the very same name ; yet two sons of Herod the Great bore those names.
So might Philip the tetrarch and this Herod-Philip be two different sons of the same father. It was not Philip the tetrarch, but this Herod-Philip, whose wife Herod the tetrarch had married in her first husband's life-time, and that, although that first husband had issue by her. For this adulterous and incestuous marriage John the Baptist justly reproved Herod the tetrarch. For this reproof Salome, the daughter of Herodias, by her first husband Herod-Philip, who was still alive, occasioned him to be unjustly beheaded. This last Herod's wife, with whom the tetrarch fell in love, was the daughter of their brother Aristobulus, and the sister of Agrippa the Great. The tetrarch ventured to talk to her about marriage. She allowed of his addresses. An
agreement was made that she should change her residence, and come to him as soon as he should return from Rome. One article of the contract was, that he should divorce the daughter of Aretas. Antipas, when he had made this bargain, sailed
to Rome, transacted his business, and returned. His wife had discovered the transaction with Herodias; but her husband was not aware that she was acquainted with the whole design. She desired him to send her to Machærus, a place on the borders of Aretas and Herod's dominions, carefully concealing her own intentions. Herod accordingly complied with his wife's request on the supposition of her ignorance. But she had sent some time before to Machærus, as being under her father's government. All things necessary for her journey were got in readiness by the general of Aretas's army. Thus she soon reached Arabia, under the conduct of the several generals, who carried her from one to another successively, so that she soon came to her father, and told him of Herod's projects. This was the first occasion of quarrel between Aretas and Herod, though the latter had some variance with the former about their limits in the country of Gemalitis. They raised armies on both sides, and prepared for war, sending their generals to fight instead of themselves. When they had joined battle, Herod's whole army was destroyed by the treachery of some fugitives, who though they were of Philip's tetrarchy, had joined Herod's army. Herod wrote on these subjects to Tiberius, who was very angry at the attempt of Aretas. He authorised Vitellius to make war upon him, and either to take him alive and bring him in bonds, or to kill him and send his head. Some of the Jews considered the destruction of Herod's army as a just judgment from God, for his proceeding against John surnamed the Baptist. Josephus here bears testimony to him whom Herod slew, as a good man, recommending virtue, righteousness,