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tute of employment. The people being desirous to assist these distressed artificers, and unwilling to keep large sums of money by them, lest they should be seized by the Romans, inade a proposal to Agrippa for repairing an edifice situated on the east side of the temple, which overlooked a narrow valley of great depth. The wall of this building was four hundred cubits high : the stones were white, each being twenty cubits long and six deep, and the surface of them wrought smooth and regular. The structure was raised by Solomon, the original founder of the temple. Claudius Cæsar commissioned Agrippa to make the proposed reparations ; but Agrippa considering the extensiveness of the undertaking, the immense sums of money it would require, and that all human works might easily be destroyed, he judged that it would not be expedient to comply with the desires of the public ; but he proposed, instead of repairing the sacred edifice, to pave the streets of the city with white stones. After this, Agrippa advanced Matthias, the son of Theophilus, to the pontifical dignity, in the room of Jesus, the son of Gamaliel; and, in his time, the wars between the Romans and the Jews commenced.
The charaeter of Florus, who succeeded Albinus in the year sixty-four, is thus described by Josephus. His principles were so much more abandoned than those of his predecessor, that Albinus seemed innocent on the comparison. Albinus was treacherous, hut observed a secrecy in his crimes that had the appearance of modesty ; but Gessius was so consummate in his wickedness, that he boasted of his atrocious behaviour, and declared himself the general enemny of the nation. His conduct in his province was more like that of an executioner than a governor ; for he treated all the people like criminals, and extended his .rapine and tyranny beyond all bounds. He was equally devoid of compassion, and dead to all sense of honour; cruel to the unfortunate, and utterly abandoned in cases so enormous, that impudence itself would blush at the recollection of them. He exceeded all the men of his time in making lies and imposition pass for truth, and was equally artful in discovering new modes of doing mischief. He could not be contented with the idea of destroying a whole nation by slow degrees ; but his vengeance extended to the sweeping away whole cities, and extirpating the body of the people at once. He gave such encouragement to the sons of rapine and plunder, that he might as well have proclaimed that every man was at liberty to seize whatever he could lay his hands on, provided that he himself obtained a share of the plunder. His ayarice was carried to so extravagant a pitch, that the iphabitants of the province were reduced to a degree of poverty little short of starving, and many of them left the country in absolute want of the necessaries of
At this time, Cestius Gallus had the command in Syria, and it was ihen deemed dangerous for any Jew to complain of the conduct of Florus; notwithstanding which, when Gallus went to Jerusalem at the feast of unleavened bread, a number of Jews, not less than three hundred thousand, applied to Gallus to bave compassion on a wretched people, and relieve the province from the infamous government of Florus. This proceeding was immediately made known to. Florus, who was so far from being concerned at it, that he made a perfect jest of the affair. In the interim, Cestius, baving used his utmost endeavours to calm the passions of the multitude, by assuring them that Florus should treat them with more humanity for the future, returned to Antioch. Florus attended Gallus on his journey as far as Cæsarea, recounting many improbable tales to him as they travelled; but, in the mean time, revolving in his own mind the necessity of a war with the Jews, as the only method to prevent a rigid scrutiny into his actions, and thereby remain unpunished. He apprehended, that it peace should continue, the cause would be brought before Cæsar, which might be
attended with dangerous consequences ; and that if he could but incite them to a revolt, the lesser calamity might be lost in the greater: wherefore, he thought the most effectual method of consulting his own safety would be by gradually forcing them into a rebellion.
At this time, the Greeks of Cæsarea had carried their cause against the Jews before Cæsar, wbo had pronounced sentence in their behalf; a circumstance that was the origin of the Jewish war. This sentence is dated in the month Artemisius, in the seventeenth year of the reign of Agrippa, and the twelfth of Nero.
A certain Greek in that city had a house near the synagogue, which the Jews wanted to purchase : and frequently treating with the owner of it, offered him more than its value : but be was so far from regarding their offers, that instead of endeavouriog to accommodate them, he, in mere malice, crowded a number of small shops into the passage, which almost blocked it up, so that the way to the synagogue was barely sufficient for a single person to pass. Affronted by this insult, some Jewish young men, in the heat of passion, went to the workmen, and 'warned them to proceed at their peril. This order of theirs was countermanded by Florus, whom the Jews Ero w therefore thought it necessary to soften by means of a bribe. Some of the chief of them assembled on this business, among whom was one John, who farmed the royal customs, and these contracted with Florus to forbid the building on the receipt of eight talents. The governor took the money, and promised to give the necessary directions ; but he had no sooner received it, than he went from Cæsarea to Sebaste, as if on purpose to increase the dispute, and as if he triumphed in the opportunity he gave them of murdering each other.
The Jewish sabbath falling on the following day, a malicious Cæsarean placed an earthen vessel with a sacrifice of birds upon it before the door of the synagogue, while the people were assembled within at their devotions. This ridicule and mockery of their sulemnities had such an effect on the Jews, that they lost all patience at the profane derision. The principal and more moderate men among them were for making an appeal to government for redress of the injury; while the young men of warmer passions were only for verbal disputes and blows; nor were the Cæsareans less forward to come to an encounter ; for the previous sacrifice had been made on purpose to produce a quarrel, and the event was as follows.
It happened that Jucundus, a captain of horse, who had been appointed to keep the peace, arrived at the critical juncture ; and having given orders for the vessel above-mentioned to be removed, he did all in his power to quell the disturbance, The Jews, finding that the Cæsareans were too powerful for Jucundus, took the books of their law and conveyed them to the province of Narbata, at the distance of about sixty furlongs from Cæsarea. Then ten of their principal people, attended by John, the farmer of the customs, repaired to Florus at Sebaste, complaining of what had happened, and petitioning for redress, with a slight hint of the eight talents he had received. Florus instantly ordered them into custody, and his pretence was their having removed their law from Cæsarea..
The Jews of Jerusalem were inexpressibly astonished at this conduct of Florus; : but they thought it prudent at present not to be free in expressing their sentiments. In the mean time, Florus continued to foment the sedition; and, that he might do it the more effectually, he sent and demanded seventeen talents out of the treasury, in the name, and as for the service of the emperor. This circumstance caused great confusion among the Jews, who ran backwards and forwards about the temple exclaiming as if they were distracted, and calling on the naine of Cæsar, demanding a deliverance from the inhumanities of Florus, whom they pursued with curses, clamour, and every kind
of insult. One of them, in derision of the governor, carried a basket through the streets, begging of alms for the poor unfortunate Florus. These reflections, however, had no other effect on him than the making him more avaricious and more malignant. Florus also, instead of suppressing the sedition at Cæsarea on its first commencement, as it was his duty to have done, marched with a body of horse and foot to Jerusalem, where he made the power of Rome subservient to the gratification of his passions of revenge, pride, and avarice ; and he filled the minds of the people wherever he went with terror and apprehension.
Notwithstanding all the indignities that he had offered to the public, the people still continued to pay an apparent respect to Florus, going out to meet him in his way, and complimenting him by those honourable marks of esteem which are customary in similar cases. While they were thus disposed to pay him every possible honour on his entrance into the city, Florus defeated the compliment by sending to them a centurion, nained Capito, with fifty horse to impede their journey. Capito delivered to them a message to the following effect : “ In the name, by the command of Florus, I am to direct that you return home; and to inform you, that the man whom you have so freely treated, partly in a serious way, and partly in ridicule, cannot be induced to form a more favourable opinion of you for your false and complimentary speeches. If you are reallly men of courage and resolution, as you would wish to be thought, why do you not abuse by scurrilous language that man to his face whom you have been 80 free to censure in his absence, and assert by force of arnis that liberty for which you have clamoured so loudly?” Daunted by this rebuke, and frightened by the sudden attack of the soldiers, the terrified multitude dispersed without waiting to cougratulate Florus, or to pay those respects to the soldiers which are usual on such occasions. In fact, every man retired to his own habitation not a little disturbed by the restless anxiety of his fears.
At this time, Florus resided in the palace ; and, on the following day, he ascended the tribunal, attended by the high-priest and the principal persons of the city. He made many severe reflections on the free and insulting speeches that had been made to his prejudice, and positively demanded that the authors of them should be discovered and delivered up ; threatening, at the same time, that he would be revenged on those in the place, if the guilty, were not surrendered. To this the Jews replied, that s the majority of their people were peaceable; and, with regard to those who had spoken freely, they intreated pardon for them; since it could not be supposed, but that in such an immense number, some rash and violent men would be found. Nor was it possible clearly to distinguish the innocent from the guilty, since those who might have repented of what they had done would not be free to acknowledge the fact. Wherefore, they submitted to the consideration of Florus, whether the greatest service that could in this case be rendered to the empire of Rome would not be to consult the safety of the city and people, by keeping thein firm in their allegiance to the emperor. They said they would farther advise, in case matters came to extremities, that some of the criminals might be spared in compassion to so many innocent persoņs, rather than that the unoffending should be destroyed in revenge of the insult of the guilty fow.”
All the effect this reasoning had on Florus was to increase his rage to such a degree, that he ordered the soldiers to the great market in the upper town, to pillage the place, and kill all they should encounter. The soldiers, finding their commander had given them this licence to plunder, not only executed their orders against those places and people within their directions, but made equally free with every house, and destroyed the inhabitants without distinction, committing similar violence on those they found
them 72:. they should cncounter great market in the under his rage to such
- in their flight in by-ways and in secret places. In a word, they hesitated not to make booty by any means. Several of the nobility being seized and conducted to Florus, he gave orders that they should be whipped and crucified. It is estimated that six hundred and thirty persons were sacrificed on that day, including men, women, and children; for even infants at their mother's breasts were not gpared. This misfortune, how terrible soever in itself, appeared the worse for its singularity; for before the time of Florus, it was never known that the Jewish nobility were whipped and gib. betted like slaves ; for the Roman dignity was held sacred, though they were Jews by extraction.
Nero having made Alexander governor of Egypt, Agrippa was now gone to Alexandria to pay him a visit. Berenice, sister of Alexander, was at Jerusalem greatly afflicted, on account of the tumults wbich had arisen ; so that she sent some of her. officers and guards to Florus, to intreat that he would restrain his indignation, and shed no more blood. But Florus was alike insensible of the crime he had been guilty of, or of the honour of the mediatrix. His soul was prostituted to the lust of plunder, and he despised all other considerations ; so that the soldiers were permitted to continue their massacres, notwithstanding the presence of Berenice, who would certainly have been sacrificed if she had not escaped from her palace, where she had spent a sleepless night, attended by her guards. She now went to Jerusalem for the purpose of paying a vow to God, as usual, after deliverance from sickness, or other imminent danger. Agreeable to custom, sbe continued in prayer thirty days, abstaining from wine, and shaving her hair. It was now the sixteenth of the month Artemisius, when Berenice was in tbe daily course of her devotion, standing barefoot before the tribunal, and soliciting Florus in behalf of the people ; but she had not met with any success, and her pious office was undertaken at the risk of her life. - On the following day the people assembled in the market-place of the upper tow.), exclaiming most violently against those who had murdered their friends on the preceding day; but Florus was particularly the object of their rage and resentment. The high-priests and men of eminence were so apprehensive of the danger of again inciting the wrath of Florus, that they rent their garments, and, going among the people, intreated them not to talk so freely, for that every ill consequence was to be dreaded from the vengeance of Florus. The passions of the people now began to subside, partly through respect to the mediators, and partly in the hope that the malice of the governor was at an end.
This return of peace was painful to Florus, who'began to consider how he might foment a new disturbance. With this view, he'sent for the high-priests and principal people among the Jews to attend him, and informed them that two companies were coming from Cæsarea, and if the people would go out and meet them on the way, it would be deemed a substantial proof of their affection to the government. This proposal being readily acceded to, Florus gave directions to the centurions, that it the Jews on their meeting should treat them with civility and respect, they should not pay the least compliment in return; and if this behaviour should be resented, even in. the slightest degree, that they should immediately have recourse to arms.
The high-priests having assembled the Jews in the temple, solemnly charged them to go and meet the Romans on the road, and pay them great respect, lest apy ill coulsequences should ensue. There were several rash people among them, who opposed this motion; and the rest of the company, inspired by sentiments of revenge for the late slaughter of their friends, were ready enough to coincide with them in opinion, At this juncture, all the priests and Levites arrived, exposing to view the holy vessels, and other precious ornaments of the temple, which would probably be rified
by the Romans if they should be irritated. Several of the high-priests appeared vitli ashes on their heads, their breasts bare, and their garments torn ; who first applied themselves to every person of enioence separately, and then addressed the people in general, intreating that they would not permit a slight disagreement to encourage the proceedings of those people who wished the ruin of their country. - In what manner," said they, “ will tho Romans be benefited, if you treat them with the same degree of respect that you have formerly done ? or how can the Jews be sufferers by refusing this degree of respect ? On the contrary, if you treat them in an honourable manner, and according to the rules of good breeding, Florus can form no pretence of molesting you ; and, in the end, this conduct will relieve your country from the calamities that are otherwise to be dreaded. You will likewise reflect on the great disproportion between the peaceful majority of the people, and the few turbulent incendiaries; and bow probable it is that the smaller number should be over-ruled by the greater. • The arguments and the authority of those who reasoned had such an effect upon the multitude, that the most violent men among them were at length prevailed on to listen to the dictates of reason. When affairs were brought into this happy way, the principal people attended the priests, and marched out to receive the soldiers, being followed by the multitude in a regular manner. The Jews being come near enough to pay their compliments, saluted the Romång ; but their salutation being received with silent contempt, the more violent among them began immediately to revile Florus as the author and contriver of all the calamities tbey had endared. Agreeable to the hint given them, the soldiers instantly attacked the Jews, with clubs and cudgels, totally routed them, and trampled numbers under the feet of their horses. Many of them died of the blows they received, others wore crushed to death in the crowd, or smothered by striving to get first out at the gate, where they only hindered each other; so that, on the whole, the spoctacle was a dreadful one, many beiog maimed and bruized in such a manner, that their bodies were so disfigured that the survivors could not know their friends, so as to afford them a decent funeral. In a word, the enemy destroyed all within their reach; but their principal aim was to get between the Jews and the gate of Bezeth, which was a passage leading to the castle Antonia and the temple. In the mean time, Florus sallied from the palace with all the troops under his command, on the roar of the Jews, with a view of making himself master of the castle: but the Jews rallying and making head against him, his design was frustrated. By this time, many of the Jews had taken possession of the houses, from the roofs of which they assaulted the Romans with such violent showers of stones and darts, that, unable to make any resistance, or press through the crowds of people in the narrow streets, Florus was compelled to retreat to the palace with the remainder of his troops. As the Jews apprehended Florus would return to the attack, and make an attempt on the temple by the way of fort Antonia, they immediately cut down a gallery which communicated betwcen that fort and the temple. Florus was 80 mortified by this circumstance, that he abandoned the enterprize, finding his project hopeless, and his avarice disappointed ; for his principal view was to seize the holy treasure. He now held a conference with the high-priest and the senate, informing them that he meant to quit the city, but would leave them such a garrison as they should require. To this they answered, that if no new innovations took place, they thought one company would suffice, but hoped it might not be that company with which the people bad already quarrelled ; for baving greatly suffered by them, they were prejudiced against them. Agreeable to their request, Florus ordered another company, and then returoed to Cæsarea with the remaioder of his army.
As soon as Florus arrived at Cæsarea, he endeavoured to devise a new mode of pro