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Historical Writings

Ussher's "The Annals of the World"

The Sixth Age: 150 BC - 101 BC

3854 AM, 4564 JP, 150 BC
  1. Alexander Balas assembled a large army with the soldiers which revolted from King Demetrius in Syria and the auxiliaries of Attalus, Ariarathes, Jonathan and especially of Ptolemy Philometor. He fought with Demetrius and the left wing of Demetrius' army routed the enemy. They pursued them so hard that they had also the plunder of their camp. The right wing, in which Demetrius himself fought, was forced to give ground. Even though many of his troops fled, Demetrius behaved himself very valiantly and killed some of his enemies and chasing others of them who were not able to withstand the violence of his charge. He was caught in a slough that was deep and impassable. He could not escape because his horse kept falling as he went. The enemy surrounded him and shot him with arrows. However, he fought very gallantly on foot, until he fell down dead from the many wounds he had. /APC (1 Maccabees 10:48-50) [Joseph. l. 13. c.5. Justin. l.35. c.1. Appian. Syriac. p. 131.] Demetrius died after he had reigned in Syria for 12 years. When the rest of the kings conspired against him, he lost his life and his kingdom together. [Polybius l.3. p. 165.] Porphyrius who knew well Demetrius [in Grec. Euseb. Scaliger, p. 228.] Eusebius and Severus Sulpicius agree that he ruled 12 years. However, Josephus says he ruled for only 11.
  2. After Demetrius' death, who was survived by his two sons, Demetrius and Antiochus and a little before the Achaic war, a comet the size of the sun appeared. At first its orb was fiery and ruddy and cast a clear light that brightened up the night. After, it began to lessen in size and its brightness vanished, it finally disappeared. [Senec. Natural. Quast. l.7. c.15.]
  3. After Alexander with the special help of Ptolemy Philometor [as Appian stated] had killed Demetrius and taken his kingdom, he sent ambassadors to Ptolemy to arrange a marriage between him and his daughter. Ptolemy readily agreed and immediately left Egypt for Ptolemais with his daughter Cleopatra. She was a woman born to ruin the kingdom of Syria. This marriage happened in the 162nd year of the kingdom of the Greeks at the end of the year. /APC (1 Maccabees 10:51-58)
  4. Jonathan was invited by Alexander to this wedding. He presented those two kings and also their friends with gold, silver and many other gifts. He hoped to ingratiate himself to them. At the same time, some wicked men came from the land of Israel to accuse Jonathan. Alexander did not listen to them and commanded that Jonathan should be clothed in purple and that he should sit next to him. He also ordered the piers of his realm to attend him into the middle of Ptolemais. A proclamation was made forbidding anyone to speak against him or to molest him in any way. Thereupon his accusers vanished out of his sight. The king also showed him a great deal of honour by promoting him among those that were reputed his most intimate friends. He made him the general of his forces in Judea and shared the dominion with him in his own court. So Jonathan returned back to Jerusalem in peace and great joy. /APC (1 Maccabees 10:59-61)
  5. Onias, son of the high priest, Onias the 3rd one by that name lived as a renegade with Ptolemy Philometor at Alexandria. He saw there was no hope of recovering the high priesthood of Jerusalem since it was transferred to the family of the Hermoneans. He aspired to make a name for all posterity. He petitioned King Ptolemy and Queen Cleopatra, who was both his wife and sister, while he was engaged in the war in various countries. He noted that in Coelosyria, Phoenice and Leontopolis in the Heliopolitan jurisdiction of Egypt and in various other places that the Jews had their temples. This was the cause of all that strife which was so common with them. Therefore, Onias requested that he might have permission to purify an old ruined temple that was not yet consecrated to any god which he had found standing near the citadel of Bubastis in the plain. He also wanted to build another temple in the same place to the Almighty God, patterned exactly like the one at Jerusalem in size and shape. Then the Jews who lived in Egypt might keep their assemblies there. This would be a good means of preserving unity among themselves and preparing them to serve the king when required to. For, the prophet Isaiah had foretold that there should be in the latter days, an altar erected to the Lord God in Egypt. He also prophesied many other things concerning that place. [Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.3.]
  6. It should be noted that when Onias did not plan to build a new temple when he came first to Philometor and Cleopatra into Egypt but rather after he had served them well in the Egyptian and Syrian wars. Josephus in his second book against Appian [p. 1064.] states that Philometor and Cleopatra, committed their whole kingdom to the Jews to ravage and appointed Onias and Dositheus [both Jews] over the whole army. Again, in that prophecy of Isaiah, which Onias wrested to support his sacrilegious ambition concerned the spiritual kingdom of our Lord Christ, is found in (Isaiah 19:18,19): "In that day shall there be five cities in the land of Egypt, speaking the language of Canaan, and sworn to the Lord of Hosts, one shall be called a city of destruction."
  7. In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the middle of the land of Egypt and a pillar to the Lord at its border. Here for srxt ry[ "city of Jerusalem", is similar srxt ry[ where it says, "the city of the sun" where the only difference is that the [ is pointed differently. This is how Simachus interpreted it and Jerome has rendered it: "One of them shall be called the city of the sun."
  8. The Chaldee Paraphrase puts them together: "The city of the sun which shall be destroyed."
  9. This may be the reason why Scaliger guesses that Onias chose the Heliopolitan tract to build the temple.
  10. When Onias was given a plot in the Heliopolitan district about 23 miles from Memphis, he built a temple there. It was not so large or so costly as the one at Jerusalem. The towers were similar and made of large stones and rose to the height of 90 feet. The altar was a copy of the one at Jerusalem and furnished with the same utensils except for the candlestick. He made no candlestick but a golden lamp instead. It sparkled as it were with a beam of light. He hung it on a chain of gold. He surrounded the temple with a wall of brick in which were made gates of stone. The king gave a grant of a large proportion of land and revenue that the priests might be supplied with necessaries for the worship of God. Onias also found some Jews, who lived in the same area that he did, that were priests and Levites. [Joseph. Antiq. l.14. c.14. & Belli. l.1 c. 7.] He used them in his temple. [Joseph. Belli. l.7. c.37. cf. Antiq. l.13. c.6. & in the Meshna, tract. Minhoth c.13. Sect. 10.] The priests who ministered in Onias' temple were accounted little better than the priests of the high places, who were not permitted, [as appears from (2 Kings 23:9)] to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord at Jerusalem but to eat only unleavened bread like the unclean priests among their brethren.
  11. At Alexandria there arose a dispute between the Jews and the Samaritans concerning their holy rites. One contended that the temple at Jerusalem was the only lawful temple and ordained by Moses while the other party contended for Gerizim. Both sides appealed to Ptolemy Philometor and his friends for the hearing and decision of the matter. They wanted the losers to be executed. Sabbeus and Theodosius pleaded for the Samaritans and Andronicus the son of Messalamus for the Jews. They took their oaths by God and the king that they would use no arguments but such as they found in the law. They asked the king that he would put to death whoever lost. The king with many of his friends at the council heard the whole debate. Finally they were persuaded by Andronicus' arguments and determined that the temple in Jerusalem was that which was built by Moses' directions. Sabbeus and Theodosius were sentenced to death as was agreed. [Joseph. l.13. c.3.]
  12. At the same time Aristobulus, a Jew, being a peripatetic philosopher, became famous at Philometor's court in Egypt. He wrote a commentary on Moses and dedicated it to the king. In its preface there is a famous passage that is quoted by Clemens Alexandrinus [l. 1.] Stromato and by Eusebius in Perparat. Evangel. [l. 13. c.7.] In this book [l. 8. c.3.] of the same work, he copies large sections from this book of Aristobulus.
3855 AM, 4565 JP, 149 BC
  1. In this year the 3Carthaginian war started. Mithridates Euergenes, who was the first of the kings of Pontus and a confederate with the people of Rome, brought a number of ships against the Carthaginians. [Appian. in Mithridatic. p. 176.] Both the consuls were sent to manage this war. Manilius managed the army and Marcius Censorinus was admiral of the fleet. They were told secretly not to stop the war until Carthage was demolished. [Livy l.49. Appian. in Libyc. p. 42.]
  2. Andronicus or the false Philip, secretly escaped from Rome. He levied an army and captured all Macedonia and the royal ensigns. This was either with the consent of the inhabitants or by force of arms in the 3rd year of the 157th olympiad. He also thought of invading Thessaly and adding it to his domains. However, through the instigation of the Roman delegates, it was defended with the help of the Achaians. [Livy l.49. & 50 Vellei Patercul. l.1. Porphyr. in Grac. Euseb. Scalig. p. 229.]
  3. When Prusias Venator, the king of Bithynia, knew that his son Nicomedes was in some favour at Rome, he ordered him to go to the senate. He wanted the arrears of the money which was owed to Attalus to be cancelled. He also sent an ambassador, Menas, to be his assistant who was secretly ordered to murder Nicomedes if he failed to get his request. [Appian. in Mithridatic. p. 173.] This would give the kingdom to his younger sons who he had by a second wife. [Justin. l.34. c.4.] One who was named after his father, had no teeth in his upper jaw but instead it was one bone that grew out so evenly that it did not disfigured him or cause him any problems when chewing. [Livy l.50. Valer. Maxim. l.1. c.ult. Pliny l.7. c.16.]
  4. Prusias set out his ambassador Menas with some large ships and 2000 soldiers and Attalus sent Andronicus as an ambassador to oppose the request. He made it clearly appear that the fine which was laid upon Prusias was far less than the booty he had obtained by pillaging the country. Menas saw there was little hope of obtaining his request of getting Prusias' fine removed and also knew in what high esteem Nicomedes was held in Rome. He did not know what to do. He dared not kill Nicomedes nor return to Bithynia. In this state of indecision, he remained at Rome. Nicomedes called him to a meeting which he found not too disagreeable. They conspired against Prusias and drew Andronicus into their confederacy who was to persuade Attalus to help to establish Nicomedes in Bithynia. They all met together at Bernice, a little town in Epirus and at night time went aboard a ship. They wanted to determine what was the best way to accomplish this business. After the discussion, they departed their way the same night. In the morning, Nicomedes came ashore in his purple robe and with his crown on his head, like a king. Andronicus met him a little later and greeted him as a king. Andronicus was attended by 100 soldiers. Menas pretended not to know that Nicomedes was in the company until then. Menas ran about the 2000 soldiers he had brought with him and exhorted them to side with the one who should seem most deserving. He intimated that Prusias was now an old man and Nicomedes was in his youth. The Bithynians were weary of Prusias and desirous of his son. The best of the Romans liked this youth extremely well. Andronicus who was now captain of his guard, had promised assistance from Attalus, a neighbouring king of a large kingdom. He was also a bitter enemy to Prusias. He reminded them of Prusias' cruelty and antics by which he was hated by everybody. As soon as Menas saw in these soldiers the dislike for his villainies, he took them all to Nicomedes. He was the second after Andronicus that greeted him as king and brought 2000 soldiers with him as a guard. [Appian. in Libyc. p. 173,174.]
  5. Attalus was very eager to accept the youth and sent orders to Prusias to turn over to his son some cities to dwell in and fields for provision. Prusias answered that he would soon give him Attalus' whole kingdom for whose sake he had formerly invaded Asia. When he had said this, he sent some delegates away to Rome to accuse Nicomedes and Attalus and cite them both to a trial. [Apian. in Libyc. p. 174.]
  6. Nicomedes was encouraged by Phaellon or rather Phaennis, Epirus' seer who predicted success and by the instigation of Attalus. He waged war with his father Prusias. [Zosim. Histor. l.2.] As soon as he and Attalus with their forces came into Bithynia, the Bithynians began to revolt. Thereupon Prusias dared not trust himself with anyone of his own subjects. He hoped that the Romans would relieve him. He waited for this and secured himself in a citadel at Nicaea. He had gotten from Dirgylles a Thracian, his father-in-law, 500 Thracians, whom he appointed to be his bodyguard. [Appian. Mithridatic. p. 174.]
3856 AM, 4565 JP, 149 BC
  1. The praetor of Rome did not conduct the ambassadors from Prusias to the senate as soon as they arrived. He hoped to do Attalus a courtesy. After he had ushered them into the senate and was ordered to choose some ambassadors who might settle the war, he selected three. One had been wounded in the head with a large stone and was badly disfigured from the scars. A second one was lame on his feet,and the third was a fool. Cato Censorinus, who died at 85 soon after, said in jest that the Romans sent an embassy who had neither head, feet nor heart. [Livy l.50, Plutarch. in Catone majore.]
  2. When the ambassadors came into Bithynia, they ordered both sides to lay down their arms. Nicomedes and Attalus indicated they would submit to the authority of the senate. However, Bithynians, who were instigated and previously told by Nicomedes and Attalus what they should do, said obstinately that they could no longer endure Prusias' tyranny especially since they had showed to him by this present engagement how much they disliked his government. Since the Bithynians had not as yet made known these their grievances to the senate, the ambassadors returned home again and accomplished nothing. Prusias gave up expecting help from the Romans and had not sought help elsewhere because he believed the Romans would help him. He crossed over to Nicomedia and planned to fortify that place and from there to prevent the enemy from getting in. However, the townsmen deserted their king and opened the gates to the enemy. Thereupon Prusias fled to Jupiter's temple and trusted he would be protected by the religion and respect due to that place. In spite of this, Nicomedes sent some of his party who killed him there. [Appian. Mithridatic. p. 174,175.] Diodorus Siculus stated that Prusias fled for his own security to the altar of Jupiter and was slain by his son Nicomedes by his own hand. [in Photii. Bibliotheca. cod. 244.] Strabo states he was slain by Attalus. [l. 13. p. 624.] Livy says he was killed by his son with the help of Attalus. [l. 50.] Zonaras from Dion. says he was killed by his own subjects. For Polybius reports that he was so hated by the Bythynians [in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 174. & Suidas in pdts] that they all rose up against him in such numbers and with such violence as if their plan had been not only to revolt from him but mainly to avenge themselves of him for the notable injustices of his government.
  3. Andriscus, or the false Philip, in Macedonia, fought with Juventius the Roman praetor who was sent with a legion against him. He won the battle and slew Juventius and killed most of the Roman army. From there he invaded Thessaly and wasted most of the country and took the Thracians into an alliance. [Livy l.50. Flor. Histor. l.2. c.14. Entrop. l.4. Zonar. ex. Dione, Oros. l.4. c.22.] With these successes, he started to commit acts of cruelty and tyrannical deeds. There was not a wealthy person whom he did not put to death on false accusation. He did not spare his most intimate friends and killed many of them. He was naturally of a fierce and bloody disposition. In his common actions, proud and haughty and at last deeply engaged in covetousness and all manner of vice. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 342.]
  4. Alexander Bala in Syria gave himself over entirely to riotous living and luxury. His friend Ammonius managed the affairs of the kingdom. He killed all the king's friends, Laodice the queen who was the daughter of Antiochus Epiphanes and Antigonus who was the son of Demetrius. [Livy l.50. Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.4. Athenaus, l.5. c.10.]
  5. In the 165th year of the Greeks, Demetrius the oldest son of Demetrius Soter was now in his prime. He heard of Alexander's degenerate life style and luxury to whom came those vast incomes which he scarcely dreamed of and perks of the kingdom. All the while he stayed like a prisoner in his own palace among a company of courtesans. He raised a large force of mercenary soldiers from Lasthenes a Cretian who sailed from Crete to Cilicia with the army. Alexander was so terrified by this news that he hurried away from Phenice to Antioch to settle things before Demetrius arrived. The government of Antioch was committed to Hieraces and Diodotus, who is the same with Tryphon. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:39; 1 Maccabees 10:67,68) [Josephus Antiq. l.13. c.4, Justin. l.35. c.2. Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 346.]
  6. Apollonius the governor of Coelosyria who was surnamed Daus by Josephus, joined Demetrius whom he made general of his forces which he sent against those Jews which remained loyal to Alexander. When Apollonius had raised a large army, many defected from Alexander to Demetrius from fear. He camped at Jamnia and sent to Jonathan, the Jew's general and high priest, a boastful challenge to meet him if he dared and fight in the plain. This inflamed Jonathan so much that he immediately marched from Jerusalem with 10,000 men. His brother Simon met him to help him. They camped before Joppa but Apollonius' soldiers who were garrisoned there, shut them out. Thereupon they laid siege and began their batteries against the place. This so dismayed the citizens, that they immediately opened their gates and surrendered city. /APC (1 Maccabees 10:69-76)
  7. As soon as Apollonius heard of the loss of Joppa, he marched to Azotus with 3000 cavalry and his 8000 infantry according to Josephus. He placed in ambush 1000 cavalry who were to attack Jonathan's rearguard, as soon as he was past the place where the ambush lay. Then Apollonius would charge the enemy's vanguard so that the Jews were to be attacked at both ends. As soon as Jonathan passed the place, he saw the ambush coming to surround his camp. He commanded his men to stand still and deflect the enemies arrows with their shields. The cavalry had worn themselves out and exhausted their arrows because they had attacked from the morning until night. Then Simon lead up his forces against the enemies foot soldiers and defeated and routed them. The enemy cavalry fled to Azotus and entered into Bethdagon, their idol temple, for their safety. However, Jonathan burned Azotus and the surrounding cities and took much spoil. He burned Dagon's temple to the ground and all that fled there died in the flames. Nearly 8000 men were killed by the sword and by the fire. Jonathan left there and camped before Askelon where the men of the city treated him very nobly. After this victory Jonathan returned as a conqueror to Jerusalem with his army loaded with much booty and spoil. When King Alexander heard the news of Jonathan's successes, he continued to show his respects to him and sent him a golden buckler which was usually given only to those of the royal blood. He also gave Accaron with its territories [a city of the Philistines] to him and his heirs for ever. /APC (1 Maccabees 10:77-89)
  8. After the Carthaginians had defeated Piso the consul, at Hippo, they sent their ambassadors to Macedonia to Andriscus, the alleged son of Persius. They urged him to persist courageously in his war against the Romans and promised that he would never lack money nor shipping from Carthage. [Appian. in Libyc. p. 67.]
  9. Q. Caecilius Metellus, the Roman praetor, not the consul as Florus has it and also the Latin interpreter of Pausanias' Achaicks, was sent against Andriscus with a large army and came into Macedonia. There he persuaded the commissioners, who the senate had sent to receive information of the affairs in Asia, that before they went there, they would go to the commanders of the Achaians and order them to stop the war they were fighting with the Lacedemonians. They sent to Damocritus and the Achaians the message they received from Metellus. The Achaians were just about to attack the Lacedomians. When they saw they had no affect on the Achaians, they went on to Asia. [Pausan. in Achaicis, p. 218.]
  10. When Metellus entered Macedonia, Attalus brought his fleet to help him. He kept Andriscus away from the sea coast. Andriscus brought up his army a little beyond Pydna. Although his cavalry had defeated the enemy yet he retreated back for fear of the Roman foot soldiers. He divided his army into two brigades. One of them he sent into Thessaly to waste that country and the other he kept to himself. Metellus put little stock in the enemy forces and marched towards them. When he had beaten Andriscus' troops, Andriscus fled into Tracia. After he had levied a new army, he fought with Metellus but was defeated. He fled to Byzes, a petty king of Thrace who betrayed him into the hands of Metellus. Alexander who pretended to be the son of Persius, gathered an army and seized part of the country beside the Nestus River. Metellus pursued him as far as Dardania. [Strabo. l.1. 13. p. 624. Vellei. Patersuli l.1. Flor. l.2. c.14. Zonar. ex Dione.] The false Philip was utterly defeated by the loss of 25,000 of his soldiers. He was taken prisoner and Macedonia was recovered by the Romans. [Eutrep. l.43.] This happened when Spurius Pollumius and Lucius Piso were consuls, [Jul. Obsequens, de prodigin.] in the 4th year of the 157th olympiad at the close of the year. [Polphyr. in Crac. Euseb. Scalig, p. 229.]
3857 AM, 4567 JP, 147 BC
  1. P. Cornelius Scipio, the consul, fought a naval battle at Carthage. His fleet had his own ships with 5 ships from the Sidenses which Mithridates, the king of Pontus had sent to him. [Appian. Libyc. p. 75,76.]
  2. The Aradians planned the ruin of the Maratheans in Phoenicia. They sent secretly to Ammonius, who at that time was viceroy in Syria under Alexander Bala and offered him 300 talents to turn over Marathum to them. Thereupon Ammonius sent Isodore to the Maratheans. He was to pretend he was there on business but the true intent was to seize Marathum and to give him to the Aradians. The Marathians knew the king favoured the Aradians more than themselves. They denied the king's soldiers entrance into their city. From their most aged citizens, they selected 10 of the most famous among them and sent them as suppliants to the island of Aradus. They took along some of the oldest images of their gods which they had in their city and hoped by this to appease the fury of the Aradians. The Aradians were highly provoked and ignored their humble speeches. They disregarded all reverence to the gods and broke the images and trampled them most shamefully under their feet. When the ambassadors were stoned by the people, some senators who interposed themselves, had much trouble to move them safely to prison. The ambassadors complained and pleaded the privileges of suppliants and of the sacred gods. The rights of ambassadors were not to be violated but they were massacred by a company of impudent young fellows. The authors of this villany came immediately after into the assembly. They had taken the signet rings from those Maratheans whom they had killed. They counterfeited letters to the Maratheans in the ambassadors names. They said that the Aradians would quickly send them some supplies. The Maratheans were completely deceived and let the Aradian forces into their city since they thought they came to help them. [??] Thereupon the Aradians seized all the ships belonging to private men, lest perchance someone might reveal their plot to the Maratheans. In spite of all this, a certain sailor and a friend to the Amratheans, pitied their sad condition. He usually sailed in the neighbouring sea. He took his ship and by night boldly crossed that one mile strait and told the Maratheans how that the Aradians planned to attack them. When the Aradians knew that their plot was revealed, they stopped sending letters to them. [Diod. Sic. Legat. 29. & in Excerpt. Valesii. p. 349,350.] They openly attacked Marathum and captured the city. They demolished it and shared its territory among themselves. [Strabo. l.16. p. 753.]
3858 AM, 4567 JP, 147 BC
  1. A 4th observation of the autumnal equinox was made by Hipparchus at midnight, in the 32nd year of the third Calippic period, on the 3rd day of the Egyptian Additionals [at the beginning of September 27th] in the 178th year from the death of Alexander. The 177th year was ending and the 178th was starting in 2 days. [Ptol. l.3. c.2.]
  2. In the same year of the same Calippic Period, the 178th year from the death of Alexander, on the 27th day of the Egyptian month Mechir, [March 24th] in the morning, Hipparchus wrote that he observed the vernal equinox. [Ptol. l.3. c.2.]
  3. When Cn. Cornelius Lentulus and Lucius Mummius were consuls, Carthage was demolished. [Vellei. Paterc. l.1.] On this occasion, Scipio, considered the turning of human affairs and feared lest the same fate should happen sometime to Rome. He said this: "The day shall come when sacred Troy shall fall, And Priam with his stock sink therewithal."
  4. He told this to his teacher Polybius, who was then present, and had inserted this passage in his history. [Appian. in Libyc. p. 82.]
  5. L. Mummius the consul, who was sent from the senate to make an end of the Achaic war, came to the camp with a small company. He had given orders to Metellus who was in charge of the Achaic war as soon as he had finished the Macedonian war. He was to march with his forces in Macedonia and stay at the isthmus until he had drawn up his whole body which consisted of 3500 cavalry and 23,000 foot soldiers. [??] In this army were some archers from Crete. Philopaemen brought him a brigade from Attalus from Pergamos which lies above Caicus. The consul defeated Diaeus at the isthmus who was the last Achaian praetor and the prime instigator of these Achaian disorders. On the 3rd day after the fight, he entered Corinth with his trumpets sounding. After he had taken the spoils of the city, he levelled it to the ground. [Livy l.52. Vellei. Ptercul, l.1. Justin, l.34. c.2. Florus, l.2. c.16. Pausan. in Achaic. p. 221. Oros. l.5. c. 3.] This occurred in the 3rd year of the 158th, [for so it is in Pliny, and not the 156th] olympiad and according to Varro's calculations, the 608th year since Rome was built. [Pliny l.34. c.2.]
  6. When Polybius came from Africa to help his country, he saw some pictures of the most exquisite artists lying on the ground at Corinth and the soldiers were playing at dice on them. He mentions two in his history. One was of Hercules tortured in the shirt which Deianira had sent him. The other was a picture of Bacchus drawn by Aristides the Theban. Some think it was Aristides who coined the proverb, ouden pbz t lionuoon, "This is nothing to Bacchus". This was Aristides' picture of Bacchus. [Strabo. l.8. p. 381.] When L. Mummius knew that King Attalus had bought this picture of Bacchus from among the spoils that were about to be shipped away, for 6000 sestercies or 102 talents [Pliny l.7. c.38. & l.35. c.10.] he marvelled at the high price paid. He suspected that there might be some rare virtue of which he did not know about. He revoked the sale in spite of Attalus' protests and placed the picture in Ceres' temple at Rome. [Pliny l.35. c.4.] He knew so little of the value of such things that when he had culled out some exquisite pieces and statues of the best artists to be carried into Italy, he told those that had the charge of them if they lost any of them on the way they should make new ones for them. [Vellei. Patercul. l.1.] Any hangings and other ornaments that seemed admirable, were sent to Rome. Others of less value were given to Philopaemen and shipped to Pergamos. [Pausanias in Achaic. p. 221.]
  7. Ptolemy Philometor assembled a large naval and land forces and left Egypt for Syria under pretence to help Alexander Bala his son-in-law. His real reason was to annex the kingdom of Syria, of which Alexander was deprived, to his own dominions. When all the cities had received him peaceably according to Alexander's orders, Ptolemy placed a garrison of soldiers in every one of them and pretended this to be in Alexander's interest. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:1-3)
  8. As soon as Ptolemy came to Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon, which was recently burned and the ruins of Azotus and its surrounding lands. He was shown the heaps of the dead bodies of those that were killed in the war and were burned by Jonathan's command, for they had laid them in heaps on the way that he was to pass. Although they had made an envious account of whatever Jonathan had done to deliberately malign him, the king said nothing. Jonathan met the king at Joppa with great pomp and was very courteously received by him. From there they went together as far as the Eleutherus River where Jonathan took his leave of the king and returned to Jerusalem. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:4-7)
  9. Ptolemy had taken all the cities along the sea coasts as far as Seleucia on the coast that is located at the mouth of the Orontes River. He thought Alexander had plotted an ambush against him. At Ptolemais, Ammonius had laid an ambush to trap him. When Ptolemy demanded that justice might be done for him on Ammonius for this act, Alexander would not surrender Ammonius. Thereupon he took away his daughter, Cleopatra from Alexander and gave her in marriage to Demetrius Soter and promised to restore him to his father's kingdom. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:8,12) [cf. Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.8 & Livy l.52.]
  10. The men of Antioch deserted Alexander because of Ammonius from whom they had received much abuse. Ammonius thought to make an escape dressed as a woman and was attacked and slain. Ptolemy went into Antioch and was greeted by the people. He crowned himself with two diadems, the one of Asia, [or Syria] the other of Egypt. He told them that he, for his part, was contented with his own dominion of Egypt and persuaded the men of Antioch to receive Demetrius. He said that he had a far greater resentment of their present condition than of the recent exasperations and disputes which had happened between them and his father, Seleucus. [Joseph. l.13. c.8. cf. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:13)] So the men of Antioch gave their loyalty to the son in recompence to the actions they had taken against his father. The old soldiers of his father loved Demetrius and followed him. [Justin. l.35. c.2.]
  11. Alexander was at this time in Cilicia /APC (1 Maccabees 11:14) where he consulted the oracle of Apollo and he said he received this answer. It said that he should beware of that place which had a rare sight, a thing having two shapes. This was generally thought to refer to Abas, a city in Arabia where Alexander was killed not long after. In this city, there was a certain woman called Herais, the daughter of Diophantus a Macedonian and she had Arabian woman for her mother. She married Samiades who changed her sex and became a man and assumed her father's name of Diophantus. [Diod. Sic. fin. l.32. in Photii Bibliotheca, cod. 244.]
3859 AM, 4568 JP, 146 BC
  1. In the morning, Hipparchus observed the 5th the autumnal equinox in the 33rd year of the third Calippic period, on the 4th day of the Egyptian Additionals. [September 27] [Ptol. l.3. c.2.]
  2. When Alexander had gathered a powerful army, he invaded Syria and wasted all the territories of Antioch. He pillaged and burned wherever he went. Ptolemy with his son-in-law Demetrius, marched towards him and defeated his forces in a battle near the Oenopara River. Alexander escaped from the battle with 500 of his soldiers and quickly headed towards Abas, a city of Arabia. He wanted to see Zabdiel, /APC (1 Maccabees 11:17) an important person of Arabia. Josephus calls him Zabel and Diodorus Siculus, Diocles. The commanders of Alexander's party, who were with Heliades, treacherously killed Alexander. They had arranged this previously with Demetrius, to whom they had sent an embassy to look after their own interests. In the last battle it happened that Ptolemy's horse was scared with the braying of an elephant and threw him to the ground. When he was down, the enemy attacked him and wounded him seriously in the head. They would have killed him except his bodyguard saved him. In spite of that, he lay 4 whole days so senseless that he could neither speak nor understand what others spoke to him. Zabdiel, the Arabian cut off Alexander's head and presented it to Ptolemy. About the 5th day, he had some relief from the pain of his wounds and returned to his senses. He was encouraged by a pleasing story of the death of Alexander and the sight of Alexander's head. The 3rd day after, Ptolemy died while his wounds were being dressed and the physicians were endeavouring to set his bones. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:14-18) [Polyb. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 194. Diod. Sic. fin. l.32. Livy l. 52. Strabo, l.16. p. 751. Joseph. l.13. c.8.]
  3. Josephus said Alexander ruled 5 years after the death of Demetrius Soter, [l. 13. c.8.] from which we suppose about 5 months are to be deducted. Based on the authority of the Maccabean writer, the death of this man appears to happen at the same time as Philometor's. After Alexander's death, Demetrius, son of Demetrius Soter, controlled the government of Syria in the 167th year of the kingdom of the Greeks. /APC (1 Maccabees 12:19) Since he had defeated one who was not descended from their family, he received the same surname Nicator or "the conquorer", as the first Seleucus of that kingly line. [Appian. Syriac. p. 131.]
  4. As soon as Ptolemy Philometor was dead, the soldiers whom he had placed in the forts and cities for the security of Syria, were all killed by the other soldiers in the same garrisons by the instigation of Demetrius. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:18) Demetrius treated the rest of Ptolemy's soldiers very unkindly and forgot the help which Ptolemy had given him and his alliance by marriage with Cleopatra. Those soldiers hated his ingratitude and they all retreated to Alexandria and left only the elephants under his control. [Joseph. l.13. c.8.]
  5. In Egypt, Cleopatra, the wife and sister of Philometor who had just died, negotiated with the nobles of the realm and tried hard to get the kingdom given to her son. [Josephus l.3. Contra Appian. p. 1064, Justin l.38. c.8.] However, Ptolemy the younger brother of Philometor, surnamed Euergetes the second along with Phiscon, who reigned at Cyrene, was sent for from there to oppose her in her plans. Onias, who recently built the temple in the Helopolitan jurisdiction, took up the war for Cleopatra and marched with a small army of Jews to the city Alexandria. This happened when Thermus was a junior ambassador there for the Romans, according to Appion the grammarian, in his book against the Jews. [Josephus l.13. c.8.]
  6. Physcon ended the quarrel and forced Cleopatra, who was his older sister and wife to their own brother, to marry him. [Valer. Maxim. l.9. c.1.] And as soon as he entered Alexandria, he commanded all those that favoured the young child to be killed. He also killed the young child as he was in his mother's arms on the wedding day in the midst of their feasting and religious solemnities. So he went up to his sister's bed besmeared with the gore of her own son. Neither was his behaviour any milder to his countrymen, who invited him to the kingdom and helped him secure the throne. He gave the foreign soldiers permission to kill at pleasure and many were killed everywhere. [Justin. l.38. c.8.] He executed many of them with the most cruel tortures based on false charges of treason. He banished others and confiscated their estates based on false charges he had made up and forged. [Diod. Sic. in Excerptis Valesii, p. 350.]
  7. When Jonathan had assembled those who were in Judea, he prepared many engines and besieged the tower at Jerusalem. Demetrius Nicator was told this by some ungodly persons who hated their own country. Thereupon, the king was incensed and wrote to Jonathan to break off the siege and quickly meet him at Ptolemais so they could have a conference about the matter. Jonathan did not break off his seige but did go to the king. He was accompanied by the elders and the priests and took along with them some presents by which they soon pacified the king's wrath. Jonathan made so good an apology for himself that the king dismissed the informers and confirmed the high priesthood on him and counted him as one of his best friends. Moreover, Jonathan promised to give to the king 300 talents and procured from him a release for all Judea and the 3 countries annexed to it. /APC (1 Maccabees 10:30) That is Apherma, Lydda, and Ramath. They did not have to pay tithes and tribute that was formerly paid to the kings. The king sent letters about this to Lasthenes, who with the Cretian's auxiliaries had brought Demetrius to the kingdom and whom he styled cousin and father. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:20-37)
  8. When Demetrius saw that there was now peace throughout the kingdom and no opposition made against him, he disbanded his old native soldiers and continued in arms only those bands of foreigners whom he had levied in Crete and the other islands. This turned the hearts of his father's soldiers against him /APC (1 Maccabees 11:38) who constantly received their salaries from the previous kings in times of peace so that by this they might be more ready and more cheerful to serve them in all dangers and emergencies. [Josephus, l.13. c.8.]
  9. Diodotus, one of Alexander Balas' commanders, who later was made king and assumed the name of Tryphon, noticed the alienation of the soldiers from Demetrius. He was born at the citadel of Sceoan in the Apamian's country and raised at Apamia. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:39) [Strabo l,16. p. 752. Livy l.52 & 55. Josephus l.13. c.9. Appian. Syriac. p. 132.] Tryphon went to Elmalchuel the Arabian, who was entrusted with the education of Antiochus, the son of Alexander Balas and told him all Demetrius Nicator had done and the differences between him and the soldiers. He urged him very much to give him the young child and he would undertake to establish him in his father's kingdom. The Arabians were opposed to this and he stayed there many days. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:39,40)
  10. In the meantime Demetrius Nicator supposing himself secure and out of harm, executed anyone that appeared to oppose him using unusual kinds of death. Lasthenes, who was a wicked and rash fellow and appointed over the whole kingdom, corrupted Demetrius by his flattery and put him up to all kinds of villany. [Diod. Sic. in Excerptis Vales. p. 346.]
3860 AM, 4569 JP, 145 BC
  1. Jonathan sent ambassadors to Demetrius and asked him to remove his garrison soldiers from the tower of Jerusalem and all other forts because they continued to attack the Israelites. Demetrius replied that he would grant Jonathan his request and would also make him and his nation glorious when he had convenient time. For the present, he desired Jonathan to send him some soldiers to help him against his own soldiers who had revolted from him. Jonathan quickly satisfied his request and sent to him in Antioch 3000 strong men for whom the king was thankful. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:41-44)
  2. Demetrius was well supplied with foreign forces in whom he placed greater confidence than in his own. He commanded them to disarm the citizens of Antioch. However the people of Antioch refused to surrender their arms and assembled into the middle of the city and began to attack him in the palace. The Jews hastened to his relief and dispersed themselves within the city. They killed on that day nearly 100,000 men, burned the city and took much booty. Thereupon the citizens laid down their arms and made peace with the king. The Jews received much honour for this service from the king and the kingdom. They returned richly loaded down with spoils to Jerusalem. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:45-52) [cf. Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesi. p. 346.]
  3. After the destruction of most of Antioch by the fire, the execution of many for sedition and confiscation of estates into the king's treasury, many of the citizens were forced to escape. From fear and hatred of Demetrius, they wandered about Syria and used every opportunity to avenge themselves on Demetrius. In the meantime, Demetrius, whose actions had made him odious to all men, continued in his massacres, banishments and confiscations. He far surpassed his father in cruelty. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesi. p. 349.] Moreover, he lied to Jonathan. In spite of his flattery, he was alienated from him and afflicted him very grievously. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:53) He threatened also to wage war with him unless he would pay all those tributes which the country of the Jews paid his predecessors. [Josephus, l.13. c.9.]
  4. Finally, Diodotus, who is Tryphon, returned to Syria from Arabia with the young Antiochus who was the son of Alexander Bala and Cleopatra, the daughter of Ptolemy Philometor. He set the crown on his head and proclaimed him to be the rightful heir of the kingdom and surnaming him Theos or Divine. He returned with a large force many of which were discharged by Demetrius. He attacked and defeated Demetrius in a plain and forced him to flee to Seleucia. Diodotus seized his elephants and took Antioch. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:54-56) [cf. Livy, l.52. Joseph. l.13. c.9. & 12. about the beginning & Appian. in Syriac. p. 132.]
  5. Then Antiochus or rather Diodotus in his name, sent letters and ambassadors to Jonathan and confirmed the high priesthood to him and granted him the 4 territories. [Perhaps Ptolemais was added to the 3] [See note on 3859b AM <<3449>>] /APC (1 Maccabees 10:30,39) He was honoured as one of the king's friends. He sent him also chargers of gold to be served in and gave him permission to drink in vessels of gold, to be clothed in purple and to wear the golden buckle. Moreover, he appointed his brother Simon general of all the king's forces, from the land of Tyre to the borders of Egypt. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:57-59) Jonathan was very glad for the favours and honours Antiochus had so bountifully bestowed on him and sent his ambassadors to Antiochus and his guardian Tryphon. He promised that he would be their friend and associate and join in arms against the common enemy, Demetrius. He complained about Demetrius' ingratitude in that he had repaid his civilities and courtesies with many shrewd actions and injustices. [Joseph. l.13. c.9.]
  6. Since all Syria now began to dislike kings, Diodotus used Coracesium, a citadel in Cilicia, as his headquarters. He had the Cilicians join him in piracy at sea. [Strabo. l.14. p. 688.]
  7. Demetrius stayed at Laodicea and spent his time idly in revelling and luxury. He did not change his wicked ways and was none the wiser for his recent calamities. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 353.]
  8. At this time Ptolemy Euergetes the second or Physcon was made king at the palace at Memphis, according to the solemn rites of the Egyptians. Queen Cleopatra, who was both sister and wife to him and his brother Philometor, bore him a son. He was so exceeding joyful by this that he named him Memphites because he was born while his father was observing the holy solemnities at Memphis. However, during the celebration of his son's birth, he did not refrain from his cruel practices but set orders to execute some of the Cyrenians. They were the ones who first brought him into Egypt. They had been too free and sharp in reproving him for his courtesan, Irene, the prostitute. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 354.]
  9. When Jonathan had received permission from Antiochus to wage war against Demetrius' captains, he assembled his soldiers from Syria, Phoenicia and other places. He quickly crossed all the cities located beyond the Jordan River. With all his Syrian auxiliaries, he marched to Askelon where the citizens went out to meet him very honourably. He left there for Gaza and he was denied entrance and the citizens shut their gates against him. Thereupon Jonathan besieged the city and plundered and burned its outskirts. These actions forced them to sue for peace. It was granted when they gave hostages whom Jonathan sent to Jerusalem. Jonathan then marched through the country as far as Damascus. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:60-62) [Josephus, l.13. c.9.]
  10. The princes of Demetrius came to Cades, a city of Galilee, and planned to draw Jonathan off from attacking Syria to help the Galilaeans. Jonathan marched against them and left his brother Simon behind him in Judea. He vigorously assaulted Bethsura for many days and after a long siege, forced them to surrender. He threw out Demetrius' soldiers and put in a garrison there instead. /APC (1 Maccabees 11:63-66; 1 Maccabees 14:7,33) [Joseph. l.13. c.9.]
  11. Jonathan and his army camped by the Lake of Gennesaret. Early in the morning they came to the plain of Asor where Demetrius' forces attacked him. They had placed an ambush among the mountains. As soon as the ambush showed itself, the Jews feared they might be trapped and all killed. They all fled and left Jonathan in great danger. Only Mattathias, the son of Absalom and Judas the son of Calphi, the two chief commanders of the army remained with him with a band of 50 very brave men. First, Jonathan begged for God's help. Then he and the men charged the enemy and defeated them. When those that had deserted Jonathan saw that the enemy was fleeing, they returned again into the field and pursued the enemy to their own camp as far as Cades. About 3000 of the enemy were killed that day. Jonathan returned to Jerusalem. / APC (1 Maccabees 11:67-74) [Joseph. l.13. c.9.]
  12. Jonathan saw that things were now going well and sent Numerius, son of Antiochus and Antipater, son of Jason, as ambassadors to Rome, to confirm and renew the alliance and association which was formerly started with Judas Maccabeus. /APC (1 Maccabees 12:1,16) He ordered them that on their return home from Rome, they should visit the Lacedemonians and to remind them of the alliance and ancient league made with the high priest Onias the 3rd. He sent a letter for the same purpose wherein the people of Judea among other things, said they continually remembered them as their own brethren when they made their holy sacrifices and devotions. / APC (1 Maccabees 12:2,5-18) [Josephus, l.13. c9]
  13. Jonathan got word that Demetrius' commanders had returned with a far larger army than they had before to fight against him. He left Jerusalem and marched against them in the country of Amathis that is located in the farthest borders of Canaan. When he camped within 6 miles of the enemy, he sent out his scouts to spy on the enemy's position and fortifications. Jonathan, had learned by some prisoners whom the scouts had brought back that the enemy planned a surprise attack on them. He ordered his soldiers to stand with their arms all night in a position to receive the enemy attack. He placed his guards throughout the camp. When the enemy heard that Jonathan was drawn up in battle array and was prepared for their attack, they began to be afraid. Thereupon, they stole away secretly by night and left campfires throughout the camp to deceive the Jews. In the morning Jonathan pursued them but was unable to overtake them for they had already crossed the Eleutherus River. Therefore, Jonathan went into Arabia against the Zabadeans or Nabatiaus, as Josephus has it and killed them and took their spoil. From there he went to Damascus and travelled through the whole country hunting and chasing the followers of Demetrius. His brother Simon was not idle either. He made an expedition as far as Askelon and the adjacent garrison. From there he went to Joppa and captured it. He put his garrison of soldiers in it to hold it. There was a rumour that the citizens planned to turn that garrison over to Demetrius' party. /APC (1 Maccabees 12:24-34) [Josephus l.53. c.9.]
  14. The ambassadors of the Jews were brought into the senate where they renewed their amity and league with the Romans. They gave them letters for the governors of their various allies that they should conduct them safely to Judea. /APC (1 Maccabees 12:3,4) On their return home, the Lacedemonians treated them very civilly and gave them the public decree concerning the renewing of their amity and preserving friendship between them. A copy of this is found on another occasion in /APC (1 Maccabees 14:22,23): "Numenius son of Antiochus and Antipater son of Jason, the Jews ambassadors came to us to renew the friendship that was between us. It pleased the people to receive the men honourably and to enter a copy of their embassy among the public records so that the people of the Lacedemonians might have a memorial of this."
  15. As soon as Jonathan came back to Jerusalem, he assembled the elders of the people and consulted with them about the building of forts in some convenient places of Judea. He also wanted the wall around Jerusalem built up and an high and strong wall made between the fort of Sion and the city to prevent any one from carrying provisions from the city to the fort. They began their repairs and they brought their new work to join with the remains of the old wall towards the east, by the brook Kidron. They repaired the place which was called Chaphenatha. Simon went into other places of Judea and built Adida in Sephela or the plain and made it strong with gates and bars. /APC (1 Maccabees 12:35-38)
3861 AM, 4571 JP, 143 BC
  1. In the 169th year of the account of the contracts, in the reign of Demetrius, the Jews in Jerusalem and Palestine wrote to the Jews in Egypt about the keeping of the feast of tabernacles in the month Chisleu. /APC (2 Maccabees 1:7-9) This was the feast of the Maccabee's dedication which was observed according to the prescript of the Mosaic feast of tabernacles in the month Tisri. [See note on 3840a AM <<3429>>, <<3430>>]
  2. When Tryphon had planned to kill Antiochus, he feared that Jonathan would come to the defence of the young king. He marched with his forces to Bethsane, which the Gentiles call Scythopolis, and hoped to surprise him. When Jonathan heard of his coming, he marched toward him with 40,000 good men. This so disheartened Tryphon that he did not lay hands on him but treated him very nobly and recommended him to all his friends. He gave Jonathan many presents and ordered his soldiers guard Jonathan as they did for him. After the meeting, he persuaded Jonathan to dismiss his army and go along with him to Ptolemais with a few selected men. He promised to turn it over to him along with the other garrisons and forces he had in the area. Jonathan believed him and sent 2000 of his soldiers to Galilee and the rest to Judea. He kept 1000 for himself. As soon as he entered Ptolemais, Tryphon commanded the gates to be shut. Jonathan was captured and all that came with him were killed. Tryphon was not satisfied with the massacre of those 1000 but sent his army and some cavalry into Galilee to attack the 2000 men that Jonathan had sent there. However, as soon as they heard of what happened at Ptolemais, they prepared for battle. Tryphon's soldiers knew they were dealing with desperate men and retreated back again. So Jonathan's soldiers came safely into Judea and all Israel lamented that loss of their country men with a great lamentation. /APC (1 Maccabees 12:39-52)
  3. After this, Tryphon raised a large army to attack Judea and to destroy it. Thereupon, when Simon saw how discouraged the people were, he went up to Jerusalem. He assembled the people and offered to help them. So they chose him as general in the place of Judas and Jonathan, his brothers. He gathered all the men of war, quickly completed the walls of Jerusalem and fortified it on every side. He spent large sums of money from his own purse and armed all the men of war of his own country and paid them. /APC (1 Maccabees 12:52,53; 1 Maccabees 13:1-10) 14:31,32
  4. In addition, Simon sent Jonathan the son of Absalom, with a sufficient army to Joppa. He drove out the inhabitants and occupied and fortified the place. He used this as his sea port. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:11; 1 Maccabees 14:5,34) From this Strabo also has noted that the Jews used this harbour. [l. 16. p. 759.]
  5. Tryphon left Ptolemais with his army against Judea and took Jonathan along with him as his prisoner. Simon was camped in Adida opposite the plain. Tryphon saw that the Jews were prepared for battle. He pretended that he kept Jonathan prisoner for a ransom of 100 talents of silver. When this was paid, he promised to release Jonathan provided that he sent two of his sons as hostages for security from Jonathan's attempting to revenge his imprisonment after he was freed. As soon as Simon sent both the money and his brother's sons to him, Tryphon broke his word. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:12-19)
  6. When Tryphon marched against Judea, he went toward the way which leads to Adoram or Doran, which is a city of Idumea, as Josephus has it. However, Simon's army followed him wherever he went. Those that were in the fort Sion at Jerusalem sent to Tryphon some agents, asking very earnestly to hurry as fast as he could through the desert and to supply them with food. Tryphon was all ready with his cavalry for the expedition. However, there happened to be such a large snowfall that night that he could not possibly get to them. Thereupon he altered his journey and marched into the country of Gilead. As soon as he came near Bascama or Bascha, he killed Jonathan. After he was buried, Tryphon retreated back into Syria. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:20-24) [Joseph. l.13, c.11.] Jonathan lived 17 years and 7 months after the death of his brother Judas Maceabeus. He was the high priest for 9 years and a month or two.
  7. Simon sent to carry away the bones of his brother Jonathan and buried them at Modin, the city of their ancestors. All Israel lamented for him for many days. Simon built a monument over the sepulchre of his father and his brothers. It was very high and made of polished white stone. He built 7 pyramids all in a row, in memory of his father, mother, and his 4 brothers. He added to these a porch of large stone pillars on which he had engraved the picture of arms and ships. They were conspicuous to all that sailed by that way. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:25-30) [Joseph. l.13. c.11.] Josephus says this rare sepulchre at Modin lasted to his time as does Eusebius Caesariensis, in his little book pzei pw popikw onomatwn
  8. The Romans and the Lacedemonians were very deeply grieved by the death of Jonathan. As soon as they knew through Simon's ambassadors that he was made the high priest in place of his brother, then they wrote to him in tables of brass concerning the renewing of the amity and league which they had formerly made with Judas and Jonathan, his brothers. /APC (1 Maccabees 14:16,17) The Romans considered the Jews, their allies, friends and brethren and went out to meet Simon's ambassadors in an honourable entourage. [/APC (1 Maccabees 14:40)] The inscription of the letters which the Lacedemonians returned by the ambassadors, to which they also annexed a copy of their reply sent previously to Jonathan, was this: "The Magistrates and cities of the Lacedemonians to Simon the high priest and the elders and to the rest of the people of the Jews our brethren, greetings." [/APC (1 Maccabees 14:20,24)]
  9. The letters from the Romans and the Lacedemonians were read before the congregation at Jerusalem. [/APC (1 Maccabees 14:19)]
  10. Antiochus, Theos or the Divine, the son of Alexander Bala was murdered by his guardian, Diodotus or Tryphon. He bribed the Chyrurgions to kill him and to say that he died of a fit while they were cutting him. Tryphon began with his own country and seized first Apamia, Larissa, the Casians, Megara, Apollonia and the other neighbouring cities. From there he went on to invade the other part of Syria. He put the crown royal on his own head and made a great desolation in the country. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:31,32) [Livy, l.55. Strabo, l.16. p. 752. and Justin, l.36. c.1.]
  11. When Tryphon had made himself king, he hurried to have his kingdom confirmed by the decree of the Roman senate. To accomplish this, he sent with his ambassadors to the Romans, a golden medal of victory that weighed 10,000 crowns. He did not doubt the success of his mission since he sent such a rich gift and since it carried the name of victory. His hopes were deluded by the subtilty of the senate. When they received the present, they ordered that instead of Tryphon's name, the title of the princely youth who was killed by Trypon's treachery, should by engraved on it. [Diod. Sicul. Legat. 31.] He was not dismayed by this and caused money to be minted of which some pieces still exist. It had this inscription: BACIAEWC TPQFWNOC & TPQFWNOC AQTOKPATOPOS BACIAEWC: "King Tryphon" and "Tryphon the Peasant King." After he had taken over the kingdom, he was bold enough to assume the title of king. He changed his old name from Diodotus to Tryphon. [Appian. Syriac. p. 132.]
  12. Sarpedon, general of Demetrius' forces was defeated by Tryphon's army to whom the inhabitants of Ptolemais were allied. He retired with his soldiers into the Mediterranean country. As the victorious forces of Tryphon were marching along the sea coast between Ptolemais and Tyre, they were suddenly hit by a giant wave from the sea which rose to an incredible height and rushed with a great force upon the land. Many drowned. Some were pulled out to sea by the retreating wave and others were left dead in hollow places. The retreating wave left a great number of fish with the dead bodies. When Sarpedon's soldiers heard of this disaster, they quickly returned there and were very pleased to see the destruction of the enemy. They gathered up very many of the fishes and sacrificed them to Neptune, the deliverer before the gates of Ptolemais where the battle was fought. [Strabo, l.16. p. 758. & Athenaus, l.8. c.2. from the History of Possidonius, the Stoick.]
  13. Simon, the Jew's general and high priest, repaired the garrisons in Judea. He fortified them all around with high towers, great walls, gates and bars and supplied them all with provisions. His greatest care was to see that Bethsura would be well fortified, which was located in the confines of Judea and formerly had been the enemy's armoury. He put a garrison of Jews there to secure it. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:33; 1 Maccabees 14:7,33)
  14. Simon saw that all Tryphon did was plunder everything. He sent a crown of gold to King Demetrius Nicator and requested from him that he would release Judea from paying tribute. / APC (1 Maccabees 13:34-37; 1 Maccabees 14:10-33)
  15. Demetrius heard that Simon's ambassadors were entertained very nobly by the Romans and that the Jews and the priests had passed a right of the government and high priesthood to Simon and his heirs. Demetrius also also confirmed the high priesthood to him and made him one of his friends. /APC (1 Maccabees 14:38-41) He wrote a letter to him: "King Demetrius to Simon the high priest and friend of the king and to the elders and country of the Jews, greetings:"
  16. In this, he made a peace with them. He promised an amnesty for all past actions, a ratification of all former covenants that were made to Jonathan, /APC (1 Maccabees 11:32-37) a grant of all the forts to them which they had built. He granted a release of tribute to all in general and of the custom taxes arising from commodities sold to those of Jerusalem. Thus was the yoke of the heathen taken off from Israel, in the 170th year of the kingdom of the Greeks. The people began to date their instruments and contracts: "In the first year that Simon being the great high priest general, and leader of the Jews," [/APC 1Ma 13:35-42Joseph. l.13. c.11.]
  17. In those days Simon besieged the Gazeans, who rebelled after Jonathan died. He compelled them to a surrender after he had forced the tower with his battering engines. They humbly asked for his pity and he did not kill them but drove them out of the city. After he had cleared the houses of all their idols and other uncleannesses, he entered the city and praised God with hymns. He repopulated the city with those that worshipped the true God. He fortified it and built a house in it for himself. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:43-48)
3862 AM, 4571 JP, 143 BC
  1. Hipparchus observed the 6th autumnal equinox in the 36th year of the Calippic period, on the 4th day of the Egyptian Additionals [September 26th] at evening about sunset. [Ptol. l.3. c.2.]
  2. Alexandra, who was later the queen of the Jews, was born at this time, if she lived 73 years according to Josephus. [Antiq. l.13. c.ult.] This is also found in the 33rd chapter of the Jewish History which is printed at the end of the Paris Bibles in many languages under the title of the second book of the Maccabees. In Arabic we find she was called, Salina, from Eusebius in his Chronicle, Epiphanius in the 29th heresy of the Nazarens, Jerome on (Daniel 9:1-17; Daniel 11:1-12) and Severus [Sulpitius, in Sacr. Histor. l.2.]. Eusebius seems to have taken it as was his practice, from Julius Africanus and he from Justus Tiberiensas or some other ancient writer of the affairs of the Jews.
  3. When the garrison soldiers of the fort at Jerusalem surrendered after being deprived of all provision for two years of time. Simon expelled them all and cleared the fort of all the pollutions of the idols. He went into it on the 23rd day of the second month [Ijais] in the 171st year of the kingdom of the Greeks with branches of palms, harps, cymbals, vials, hymns and songs. He ordained this day as an holy day to commemorate the day they were freed from a wicked enemy who troubled them greatly when they went to the temple. Moreover, he made the fort stronger than it was and the temple mount over which it overlooked. This was for the greater security of the country and the city. He lived there with his troops. /APC (1 Maccabees 13:49-53; 1 Maccabees 7:7,36,37)
  4. Simon knew that his son John, surnamed later Hyrcanus, was a very valiant man and appointed him captain of all his forces while Simon lived in Gazara /APC (1 Maccabees 13:53) in the confines of Azotus, where the enemies formerly lived. Simon had dislodged them and repopulated the place with Jews. /APC 1Ma 14:7,34This was Gadara which Strabo says the Jews later made their own. [l. 16. p. 759.]
  5. Cleopatra, Ptolemy Philometor's daughter and Demetrius Nicator had a son, Antiochus, surnamed later Grypus, from his hook nose. This event happened if he lived 45 years as Josephus states. [l. 13. c.21.]
  6. Two hours before midnight, Hippachus observed an eclipse of the moon in Rhodes, in the 37th year of the third Calippic period, of Nabanassar's 607, on the 20th day of the Egyptian Tyb [January 27th]. [Ptol. l.6. c.5.]
  7. When Demetrius knew that most of his cities had revolted from him, he thought to remove this reproach by fighting against the Parthians. At that time, the Parthians were ruled by Mithridates, son of King Pampatius, called Arsaces or Arsacides. This was the common name of all the Parthian kings. He was not inferior to Arsaces, his great grandfather and the founder of the Parthian monarchy from whom that surname was passed to all his successors. By his prowess, Mithridates extended the Parthian empire from the east side as far as the Indus River and from the west as far as the Euphrates River. [Justin. l.36. c.1,41. c.5,6. Oros. l.5. c.4.] Before we discuss Demetrius' Parthian expedition, we shall show how Mithridates obtained his vast dominion.
  8. At that time when Mithridates began to reign over the Parthians, Eucratides became ruler of the Bactrians. They were both gallant men but good fortune was on the side of the Parthians. Under the rule of Mithridates, he led them to the highest pinnacle of sovereignty. The poor Bactrians were involved in wars which eventually led to the loss of their dominions and liberty. After the Sogdians, the Arachats, the Dranganites and the Indians, had well weakened them by their continual wars with them, the feeble Parthians attacked them and overcame them in this weakened state. [Justin. l.41. c.6.] Arsaces or Mithridates followed up on his victory as far as India and found no difficulty in subduing the country, where Porus of old had reigned and the other countries lying between the Hydaspes and Indus Rivers. [Diod. Sicul. in Excerpt. Valesii. p. 358. Oros. l.5. c.4.] These Bactrians were the survivors of the Greeks, who had taken Bactriana from the kings of Syria, the successors of Seleucus Nicator. They also seized Ariana and India. They controlled Pattalena and all the sea coasts along with the kingdom of Tessariostus and of Sigartis. Apollodorus [against the common opinion indeed] affirms in his book of the Parthian Affairs, that they were masters of a greater part of India more than Alexander and his Macedonians were. He added moreover that Eucratides had in India under his own jurisdiction 1000 cities. [Stra. l.11. p. 516. & l.15. p. 686.] Eucratides was always at war, for he was engaged in many, and behaved himself with much prowess. When he was worn out with constant warfare, he was closely besieged by Demetrius, king of the Indians. Although he had not more than 3000 soldiers with him, he wasted an enemy army of 60,000 by his daily sallies against them. When he gained his freedom in the 5th month, he subdued all India under his command. On his journey homeward, he was killed by his own son, whom he had made viceroy in the kingdom: His son did not try to hide his actions but drove his chariot through the blood and commanded the dead body to be cast aside into some place or other and left unburied as if he had slain an enemy and not murdered his father. While these things were happening among the Bactrians, a war started between the Parthians and the Medes. The initial conflicts were indecisive but at last, the Parthians got the upper hand. Mithridates was strengthened by this victory and appointed Bacasis over Media while he marched into Hircania. As soon as he returned from there, he fought and defeated with the king of the Elymites and annexed that country to his other dominions. By his various conquests, he enlarged his dominion of the Parthians from the mountain Gaucasus as far as the River Euphrates. [Justin. l.41. c.6.] After he had defeated Demetrius Nicator's general, he invaded the city of Babylon and all its regions. [Oros. l.5. c.4.]
  9. The Greeks and Macedonians of the upper provinces did not like the insolence of those strangers, the Parthians. They often sent embassies to Demetrius Nicator and promised that if he would come to them, they would yield to him and join with him in fighting Arsaces the king of Persia and Media. Encouraged by this, Demetrius hurried to them. In the 172nd year of the kingdom of the Greeks, he assembled all his forces and marched into Mesopotamia. He thought that he would soon have Babylon and Media and that with the help of the upper provinces he could easily expel Tryphon from Syria. When he arrived in those parts, he was quickly joined by the auxiliaries of the Persians, Elymites and Bactrians and defeated the Parthians many times. At last, he was out smarted by one of Arsaces' nobles. On the pretence of concluding a peace, he was sent to capture Demetrius. He was surprised by an ambush and after he lost his whole army, he was captured alive. They led him through the streets of the city and showed him to the people who mocked him. Finally he was imprisoned under tight security. /APC (1 Maccabees 14:1-3) [Joseph. l.13. c.9. fin. Justin. l.36. c.1. & l.38. c.9.] Gorgius Syacellus adds that he was kept in Troas and from that occasion was surnamed Siderites.
  10. Although Arsaces was in control of such a vast dominion, he did not succumb to luxury and pride, which was the usual practise of most princes. He acted with a great deal of clemency toward his subjects and valour against his enemies. When he had brought various countries under his command, he selected from each of them, the best institutions and laws and gave them to his Parthians. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Balesii, p. 361.] Demetrius who was sent away into Hireania was treated with respect too. Arsaces gave him his daughter for a wife and promised to restore to him the kingdom of Syria which Tryphon had taken from him. [Justin. l.36. c.1. & l.38. c.9.] However, Appian writes that Demetrius lived at Pharaates' court, the brother and successor of Mithridates and married his sister Rhodoguna. [in Syriacus, p. 132.]
  11. In the 172nd year of the kingdom of the Greeks, on the 18th day of the 6th month Elul, about the end of the 3rd year of Simon's high priesthood after the death of his brother Jonathan, a large assembly was held of the priests, the people and the rulers and elders of the country. A notice was published that said how well Simon had served the Jewish people and the right of sovereignty was granted to him and his posterity. He should be their governor and have control over those that managed the temple, over the governors in the country, over the commanders in the army and the captains of the garrisons. He also should have the charge of the holy things and should be obeyed by all men. All contracts in the country should be signed in his name. He should be clothed in purple and wear gold. It should not be lawful for any of the priests or the people to repeal any of these decrees or contradict anything he spoke or to hold any assembly in the country without his permission. No one should wear purple or use the golden buckle. Simon accepted this and was quite contented to execute the high priest's office and to be general and commander of the Jews, the priests and the rest of the people. Then they commanded this writing to be put in tables of brass and to be hung on the pillars in the porches of the temple in a public place. A copy of this should be kept in the treasury of the temple so that Simon and his sons might have them. /APC (1 Maccabees 14:26-49)
3864 AM, 4574 JP, 140 BC
  1. The soldiers grew weary of Tryphon's conduct and revolted from him to Cleopatra, the wife of Demetrius Nicator. At that time she was confined with her children in Seleucia. She sent to Antiochus, the brother of Demetrius, her husband [who was a prisoner] and offered to marry him and give him the kingdom. She did this partly by the advice of her friends and partly because she feared lest some of the Seleucians would surrender the city to Tryphon. (Josephus, Antiq., l.13. c.12. )] &&& Cleopatra 3 - wife of Demetrius Nicator, offers to marry and give the kingdom to Antiochus, the brother of Demetrius, her imprionsed husband.
  2. Josephus [Antiq. l.7. c12. & l.13. c.16.] calls this Antiochus, son of Demetrius Soter, the pious, because of his religion. In Josephus, [l. 13. c.12.] he calls him by his father's surname, Soter. In Trogus, he is called Pompeius [in prolog. l.39.] and in Eusebius [in his Chronicles.] Sidetes or Sedetes. This is either from his great love of hunting, which in Syriac is hryc, as Plutarch thinks or from the city Sidon from where [as Georgius Syncellus writes] he came to besiege Tryphon. Justin relates that at first he was brought up in Asia and by his father Demetrius Soter and entrusted with his older brother Demetrius Nicator to an host at Cnidos. [Justin, l.35. c.2. & 36. c.1.] Appian writes, how that he was received at Rhodes and from the islands of the sea. He was told the news of his brother's confinement and what happened after. [in Syriac. p. 132.] We read also in /APC (1 Maccabees 15:1,2) that after he had assumed the title of king, he wrote letters to Simon the high priest and ruler and to the whole country of the Jews.
  3. In these letters, he complained much of the harsh treatment he received from his enemies and showed that he was now ready to avenge himself lest he seem to be a king in name only. He wanted to make Simon his friend and he confirmed to him all the immunities and privileges which other kings had granted. He added the right of coining money with his own stamp. Moreover, he decreed that Jerusalem should be exempted from being under the king's jurisdiction and promised also that he would confer more and greater favours as soon as he was in possession of his kingdom. [/APC (1 Maccabees 15:3-9)]
3865 AM, 4575 JP, 139 BC
  1. Numenius, the son of Antiochus and some other ambassadors came to Rome from Simon the high priest and the people of the Jews about renewing their league and amity with the Romans. They brought with them a great shield of God of a thousand pounds weight. The present was well received and Lucius the consul gave them letters to the kings and to the provinces. They were prohibited from attempting anything which might prejudice the Jews or help any of their enemies. If at anytime any renegade Jews should flee from Judea and come into their parts, they should turn them over to Simon the high priest to be prosecuted according to the laws of their country. /APC (1 Maccabees 14:1-49; 1 Maccabees 15:15,21)
  2. Lucius was that same L. Calputnius Piso, the colleague of L. Popilius Laenas, who was sent into Spain against the Numantines. Concerning his consulship, Valerius Maximus, [l. 1. c.5.] said: "P. Cornelius Hispalus the praetor for visitors, when Popilius Lanas and L. Calpurnius. were consuls, commanded by his edict all Chaldeans to depart from the city and Italy within 10 days whose profession was by their false interpretation of the influence of the stars, to cast, through their lies, mists on vain and foolish minds."
  3. Although Stephanus Pighsius [from Cassiodorus' Fasti Consulares] instead of the name Lucius, has written Cneus which is against the authority of the received manuscripts.
  4. Five kings received these letters: Ptolemeus Euergetes 2nd or Physcon of Egypt, Demetrius Nicator of Syria [notwithstanding he was at this time, prisoner to the Parthians], Attalus Philadelphus of Pergamenine Asia, Ariatathes of Cappadocia, and Arsaces or Mithridates of Parthia. 19 cities, countries, and islands received these letters also: Sampsama, [or as in the Latin, Lampsacus], Sparta, Delos, Myndus, Sicyon, Caria, Samos, Pamphylia, Lycia, Halicarnassus, Rhodus, Phaselis, Cos, Sida, Aradus, Gortyna, Cnidus, Cyprus and Cyrene. /APC (1 Maccabees 15:16,22,23).
  5. In the 174th year of the kingdom of the Greeks, Antiochus Sidetes returned to the land of his fathers, [/APC (1 Maccabees 15:10)] where he married Cleopatra, his brother's wife. [Justin, l.36. c. 1.] She was upset at Demetrius for marrying Rhodoguna, the daughter to the Parthian king. [Appian. Syriac. p. 132.] From this time, Antiochus reigned for 9 years. [Porphyr. & Euseb.]
  6. Tryphon had a very small following for almost all his forces had defected to Antiochus. After his soldiers deserted him, he hurried to get into Dora, which was a maritime city of Phoenicia. Antiochus pursued him there and very tightly besieged the place so that no one could get in or out. He had an army of 120,000 foot soldiers with 8000 cavalry and a fleet. /APC (1 Maccabees 15:10-14)
  7. In the meanwhile, Numenius and his company came from Rome and brought with them letters to the kings and provinces and a copy of the same letters to Simon the high priest. [/APC (1 Maccabees 15:15,24)]
  8. Simon sent 2000 choice men with silver and gold and many engines of war to Antiochus at the siege at Dora. He refused them all and broke whatever covenants he had previously made with him and made him his enemy. He sent Athenobius to demand of him the resignation of Gazara, Joppe and the fort in Jerusalem. He also wanted the tributes of those places beyond the borders of Judea which were possessed by him. In lieu of this, he demanded 500 talents of silver and in consideration of the harm he had done and the tributes of the cities, another 500 talents more. He threatened war unless all things were done according to his commands. [/APC (1 Maccabees 15:25-31)]
  9. Athenobius, a friend of the king's, came to Jerusalem. As soon as he saw Simon's glory, his tables set with gold and silver plate and other furniture of the house, he was astonished and told him the king's message. Simon denied that they had seized any towns that belonged to others and only had recovered from the enemy by law of arms some towns of their own which were kept back from them. As for Joppe and Gazara, in spite of the fact that the people had been much prejudiced by the enemy, he offered 100 talents. Athenobius returned back in a rage to Antiochus and told him both what he had heard and seen. Neither was the king less passionate when he saw that his commands were not submitted to, nor his great threat of war heeded. [/ APC (1 Maccabees 15:32-36)]
  10. Meanwhile Tryphon sailed and escaped to Orthosias which is another maritime city of Phoenicia. [/APC (1 Maccabees 15:37)]
  11. Then Antiochus made Cendebaeus the governor of the sea coast and gave him foot soldiers and cavalry. He was to build Kidron [or as the Latin edition has it, Gedor as in (Joshua 15:58)] and to wage war on the Jews. The king pursued Tryphon. [/APC (1 Maccabees 15:38,39)]
  12. Cendebaeus went as far as Jamnia and began to invade Judea. He took prisoners and killed others. When he had built Kidron [or Gedor] he stationed there some cavalry and some companies of foot soldiers who were to raid the highways of Judea as the king ordered him to do. [/APC (1 Maccabees 15:40,41)]
3866 AM, 4575 JP, 139 BC
  1. John Hyrcanus came from Gazara and told his father Simon, what wicked acts Cendebaeus had done. Simon was now old and committed the war to his 2 oldest sons, Judas and John. Thereupon, they selected from the country, 20,000 men of war and with some cavalry, they marched against Cendebaeus. They camped that night a Modin, their birth place. From there the next morning they engaged the enemy's powerful army. However, there was a brook between them. John waded across first and the rest of the people quickly followed. He divided his forces so that the cavalry was in the middle of the foot soldiers and they mutually protected each other from the enemy attacks. Then they sounded their holy trumpets and Cendebaeus was routed and many of his army were killed. Some fled to his fort of Kidron which he recently built and others escaped to other places. Judas, John's brother was wounded and could not give chase. However, John pursued them as far as the towers which were in the fields of Azotus. In the chase he killed about 2000 men. When he had burnt the towers to the ground, he lead back his army safely into Judea. /APC (1 Maccabees 16:1-10)
  2. Finally, Tryphon retired to his own country men at Apamea. Frontinus said this happened to him there: [l. 2. Stratagem. c.13.] "All the way that he went, he scattered money on purpose to slow down Antiochus' soldiers in their pursuit of him and so he escaped from their hands."
  3. Josephus said that Apamea was taken by assault and Tryphon killed in the 3rd year after Demetrius was taken prisoner by the Parthians. [l. 13. c.12.] Appian wrote that he was at length taken by Antiochus and killed but not without much trouble. [Syriac. p. 132.] Strabo stated that he was besieged in a certain citadel and driven to such extremities that he killed himself. [l. 14. p. 668.] Georgius Syncellus wrote that when he was driven from Orthosias, he leaped into the fire and died.
  4. Hierax, was general for the war in Egypt because he was a very excellent soldier and very popular with the people. He was ambitious and controlled the kingdom of Ptolemy Physcon. He saw that Ptolemy had little money and the soldiers were ready to revolt to Galaestes for lack of pay. He put down the rebellion by personally paying the soldiers. The Egyptians publicly despised the king when they saw how childish he was in his talk, how impudent and prone to the vilest jests and how effeminate he was. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. H. Valesii, p. 361,362.]
  5. In that part of Asia where Pergamos is, Attalus Philadelphus, brother to Eumenes, grew so restless through long idleness and peace that Philopoemen, one of his friends, influenced him in any direction he pleased. Likewise, the Romans to mock him, would often ask of those that sailed from Asia whether the king had any interest in Philopoemen, [Plutarch in l.whether the managing of a commonwealth ought to be entrusted to an old man] that he would not leave his kingdom to any of his own sons. However, in his lifetime, he gave the kingdom to his brother Eumenes' son, whose guardian he was when he came of age. [Id. in Apophthegm. & in l.prifiladelfiad]
  6. After the death of Attalus the uncle, Attalus who was surnamed Philometor, son to Eumenes by Stratonica, daughter of Ariarathes king of the Cappadocians, held the kingdom of Pergamos for 5 years. [Strabo. l.13. p. 624.]
  7. He no sooner became king but he marred the kingdom by killing his friends and going against his relatives. He pretended that at one time, his mother who was an old woman and at another time, Beronice his wife, had died by their enchantments. [Justin. l.36. c.4.] He was jealous of the best and most eminent of his father's friends. Lest they should engage in some treasonable act against him, he planned to kill them all. To that end, he selected from his barbarous mercenary soldiers, the most bloody and covetous of them and placed them in various private rooms in the palace. When he called together to court those of his friends whom he held in greatest suspicion, he turned them over to these barbarians who killed them. He immediately after this, ordered them to do the same to their wives and children. His other friends had either command of the army or were appointed over cities. Some of them he killed by treachery and when he found others, he beheaded them with their whole families. By this cruelty, he became detestable to his own subjects and to his neighbouring countries. Thereupon all under his dominion were anxious for a new king. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii. p. 370.]
3867 AM, 4576 JP, 138 BC
  1. After this mad and furious fit was over, he put on a dirty garment let his hair and his beard grow as criminals use to do. He did not appear in public and would not show himself to the people. He did not entertain at home and seemed to be mad. He seemed to be haunted by the ghosts of those he had recently murdered. [Justin. l.36. c.4.]
  2. When Attalus had resigned the government of the kingdom to his nephew, he took up gardening and growing herbs. He mixed good plants with poisonous ones. He made poisonous juices from these and sent them as rare presents to his friends. [Justin. l.36. c.4.] He planted hendoryenium which was used to make poisoned arrows. Also he studied to know the nature of their juices, seeds and fruits and to harvest them in their proper season. [Plutarch in Demetrio.] Varro, [de re restic. l.1. c.2.] Colomella, [l. 1. c.1.] and Pliny [l. 18. c.3.] state that he wrote some books about husbandry.
  3. Antiochus Sidertes attacked those cities which had revolted in the beginning of his brother's reign. When he had conquered them, he added them to his own kingdom. [Justin. l.36. c.1.]
3868 AM, 4578 JP, 136 BC
  1. Ptolemy Euergetes the 2nd, or Phiscon killed many of those Alexandrians who had first called him to the kingdom. He banished a large number who in their youth were raised with his brother Philometor, with whom he had had some differences and were now come of age. He let his foreign soldiers kill as they pleased and all places were daily stained with blood. [Justin l. 38. c.8. Athen. l.4. c.24. fin.] Moreover, he divorced Cleopatra herself, who was both his sister and wife. He first ravished her daughter, a virgin and then married her. These wicked deeds so appalled the people that for fear of death they left their country and went into exile. So many left that Ptolemy and his company were left alone in so large a city. When he saw that he was a king of empty houses rather than of men, he invited strangers by his edicts to live there. [Justin l.38. c.8.] By this, he repopulated the cities and islands with grammarians, philosophers, geometricians, musicians, school teachers, artists, physicians and may other artisans. By teaching their arts to get their living, they made many excellent men. It came to pass that the liberal arts and sciences were again restored in those parts. Its knowledge was interrupted and advancement had been hindered by the continual wars that happened in the times of Alexander's successors, [Athen. l.4. c.24. fin.]
  2. P. Scipio Emiliathus, who after the destruction of Carthage was called Africanus, Spurius Mummius and L. Merellus were made ambassadors by the Roman senate to see in what condition the kingdoms and cities of their allies were in and to settle their differences. They took a thorough survey of Egypt, Syria, Asia and Greece. [Cicero. in Somnid Scipoinis, Strabo l.14. p. 669. Justin l.38. c.8. Plutarch in Apothegm. Athen. l.6. c.18. & l.12. c.27.] Cicero in Lucullo wrote that Scipio was used in this famous embassy before he was made a censor but in Somnio Scipions, the same Cicero says that it was after he was censor and a little before his second consulship. Valerius Maximus states that this embassy was done after his two consulships and his two chief triumphs, the Carthaginian and Numantine. [l. 4, c.3.] Polybius, who in a work described the Numantine war, [as appears from the l.5. of Cicero, ad familiar. epist. 12,] mentions this embassy. This we gather from Athen. [l. 6. c.8.] and from Suidas in the word Bapos, compared with Diod. Sic. Legat. 32. Polybius says that after he was part of that embassy, he was sent to settle the Numantine war. Given these 3 conflicting opinions, we thought it best to choose the middle one.
  3. On this embassy, Scipio, took a friend along with him. He was not Calus Lelius, as it is read in the corrupt copies of Aurelius Victor, [de viris illustribus c58] but Panaetius the philosopher. [Cicero in Lucullo, Plutarch in Apothgm. and in Philosophando cum Principibus, from Posidonius' History.] To whom Athen. [l. 12. c.27,] incorrectly adds, Posidonius the stoic. He lived long after him. Scipio had in his retinue only 5 servants according to Posidonius and Polybius [so that from them both Valerius Maximus who assigned 7 to him and Aurelius Victor, who allows 2, are to be corrected.] Of those one died in the journey. Scipio did not buy another servant but wrote home for another one to be sent from Rome to replace him. [Athen. l.6. c.8. & Plutarch in Apothegm.] As he passed through the countries of allies and strangers, they did not note so much his slaves as his various victories. Neither did they take note of the amount of weight in gold and silver he brought with him, but of the greatness of his reputation. [Valer. Maximus, l.4. c.3.]
3869 AM, 4578 JP, 136 BC
  1. Foreigners came to Alexandria on receiving Ptolemy Euergetes' proclamation. The ambassadors from Rome also arrived there. [Justin l.38. c.8.] When Scipio came from the ship to land, he walked with his head covered with his cloak but the Alexandrians flocked about him and asked him to show himself for they wanted to see this great man. As soon as he uncovered himself, they shouted and made great acclamations. [Plutarch in Apothegm.]
  2. When the king came to meet the ambassadors, he seemed somewhat ridiculous to the Romans. He looked horrible, short in stature, swag belly and more like a beast than a man. This ugliness was made worse by the thin, transparent garment he wore as if to expose what modest men conceal. Justin from Trogus Pompeius, [l. 38. c.8.] has described the man whom Athenaeus from the 7th book of Posidonius the Stoic, has represented to us in this way, [l. 12. c. 27.] as Natalis Comes has described him: "His body by reason of his luxurious living was grown gross and foul and his belly so big that a man could hardly compass him with his arms. This forced him to wear a long garment with sleeves down to his ankles. He rarely walked on foot unless at this time in respect to Scipio:"
  3. Scipio saw that the king, because of lack of exercise could barely keep pace with him without greatly straining himself. He whispered in Panethius' ear: "Now the Alexandrians have reaped some fruits from our travel here, who, in their civility to us, have seen their king walking." [Plutarch in Apothegm.]
  4. From this we see how well Dalechampius, who translated Athenaeus, has rendered those words, "He never walked on foot, but leaned on his staff."
  5. The king entertained the delegates very well and showed them his palace and his treasury. Because they were virtuous, they were content with plain wholesome food and scorned that rich provisions as prejudicial both to the mind and body. Those things which the king esteemed as rarities and admirable, they only glanced their eyes on them and counted them as things of no value. They looked at things of real worth very carefully. They noted the location of the city and its industry and particularly at Pharos and what belonged to it. From there they sailed to Memphis and noticed the goodness of the country, the convenience of the Nile River, the number of the cities, the very large population and the fortifications of Egypt. They noted the wealth and goodness of the country, how well it was provided for in security and size. In brief, having sufficiently admired both the populousness of Egypt and the good locations of its cities, they thought that the kingdom of Egypt would easily grow into a vast empire if it were so fortunate as to have good leadership. After they had viewed Egypt well, they went to Cyprus and from there to Syria. [Diod. Sic. Legat. 32.]
  6. To Mithridates Euergetes king of Pontus was born that famous Mithridates, surnamed Dionysius or Bacchus and Eupator. Thereupon he called the city which he built Eupatoria. [Appian. in Mithradat. p. 176. & 251.] He was both born and raised in the city Sinope and therefore held it always in high esteem and made it the capital of the whole kingdom. [Strabo. l.12. p. 545.]
  7. In the same year that Mithridates was born, there appeared a great comet, [Justin. l.37. c. 2.] This is the very same one which Seneca speaks of in [l. 7. c.15. of his natural Questions.] "In the time of Attalus' reign, there appeared a comet at the first it was small. Later it elevated and spread itself and came as far as the equinoctial circle. Its extent covered that region of the heaven which we call the Milky Way."
  8. We allow [with Eutropis l.6. & Orosius, l.6. c.5. who usually follow Livy] Mithridates 72 years of life. If we follow Appian, [p. 249.] and say that he lived only 68 years or 69 years then this comet had appeared after Attalus was dead and not in his reign.
  9. Simon the high priest and ruler of the Jews, visited the cities of Judea and provided for their orderly government. He came down with his sons, Mattathias and Judas to Jericho, in the 177th year of the kingdom of the Greeks, the 11th month, which is called Sabal. There Ptolemy the son of Abubus, Simon the high priest's son-in-law, entertained them in the citadel of Doc which he had fortified. Ptolemy was appointed by his father-in-law over the province of Jericho and was a very wealthy man who had wanted to take over the government of the country for himself. Thereupon, while he was treating Simon and his sons with a banquet where they had drank somewhat freely, he with his army of ruffians, whom he had placed in some secret place, entered the house and treacherously killed Simon, his sons and some of his servants. /APC (1 Maccabees 16:11-17). Josephus states that Simon was killed at a banquet by the treachery of his own son-inlaw, after Simon had ruled the Jews for just 8 years. [l. 13. c.7.] However, we learn from the story of the Maccabees that Simon was high priest for 8 years and 3 months after his brother Jonathan died.
  10. Ptolemy immediately told King Antiochus Sidetes of this villainy and wanted him to send an army to help him. He would soon deliver the country and cities of the Jews into his hands. / APC (1 Maccabees 16:18) Since the king knew so quickly of this and the promise of getting the country for himself, it is suspected the king was in on this plot all along. The place of honour which the traitor wanted so much was prearranged by the king as a reward for this deed. Jacobus Salianes observed this in the epitome of his Annals, to which is to be referred that passage in the prologue of the 36th book of Trogus Pompeius. "After Hyrcanus was slain, Antiochus subdued the Jews."
  11. Hyrcanus the son, was incorrectly written for Simon the father. On the contrary, Eusebius in Chronic, concerning the history of the conquest of Judea by Antiochus, wrote: "He forced Simon the high priest to submit to conditions and wrote Simon the father, instead of Hyrcanus the son."
  12. This wicked Ptolemy sent his vile men to Gazara to surprise John Hyrcanus and to kill him. He tried to influence the captains of the Jewish army and wrote letters to them making generous promises to them if they would revolt. He sent others to seize Jerusalem and the temple mount. However, one ran ahead to Gazara and told John that his father and his brothers were killed and that others were coming to kill him. Although John was greatly shocked by the sad news, he killed the murderers by attacking them first. He was made high priest in the place of his father. /APC (1 Maccabees 16:19-24)
  13. Here ends the first book of the Maccabees, containing the history of 40 years which Josephus continues. He begins with an improbable account for he says that John Hyrcanus escaped in the very nick of time to the city and was received in by the people. He shut out Ptolemy who was attempting to enter in by another gate. After John had performed the holy services, he led his army from the city against Ptolemy and besieged him in the fort Dagon above Jericho. While John was endeavouring to take the fort, Ptolemy ordered to have brought John's mother and his two brothers who were with him in the fort. They were to scourge them soundly with whips and threatened to throw them down over the wall, unless he broke off the attack. John was touched by their plight and started to lose his resolve. His mother very resolutely exhorted the son not to stop from his love of her but to do what he could to take vengeance on the traitor. He stopped his batteries as often as he saw his mother being whipped. Since the sabbatical year was approaching in which the Jews rested from their works like on the sabbath, John lifted his siege and Ptolemy escaped. After he had killed Hyrcanus, his mother and his brothers, he fled to Zeno, surnamed Cotylas, who was the governor of Philadelphia. [Josephus l.1. of the war, c.2. & Antiq. l.13. c.8.]
  14. All of this Salianus, in the sixth Tome of his Annals, shows a great deal of variety, considering the persons, time and place, [ad Ann. Mundi. 3919. s. 5,6,7. & 3920. s. 5,6.] He notes that in the sabbatical year, waging war, or besieging cities or building fortifications was not prohibited by the law of God. We add that this year indeed was the sabbatical year, but it began not after, but four months before Simon's death. That is in the beginning of the 177th year of the account of the contracts as appears by the list of the sabbatical years kept by the Jews to their very times.
  15. After midnight, Hipparchus observed the vernal equinox in the 43rd year of the third Calippic period, on the 29th day of the Egyptian month, Mechis [beginning of March 24th]. At the end of the same year of the same period, he observed the summer solstice. [Ptol. l.3. c.2.]
  16. In the end of the 4th year of Antiochus Sidetes' reign and in the beginning of the first of Hyrcanus, Antiochus Sidetes' army invaded Judea and wasted the country. He forced Hyrcanus to retire to Jerusalem and then besieged it at 7 places. He divided his whole army into 7 brigades so that he might block all routes into the city. [Joseph. l.13. c.16.]
  17. Scipio Africanus and the other Roman ambassadors travelled through very many parts of the world and generally were received with a great deal of affection and love. Wherever they came, they did their utmost to settle differences by reconciling some and persuading others to yield to what was just and fair. Those who were obstinate they forced to yield. When they met with any causes which were too difficult to be decided by them, they referred these to the senate. After they had visited various kings and countries and renewed their ancient friendship and alliance with all of them, they returned home. Those whom they had visited sent ambassadors to Rome and praised the senate for sending such men to them. [Diod. Sic. Legat. 32.]
  18. The siege of Jerusalem lasted a long time because of the strength of the walls and courage of the defendants. At last, on the other side of the wall, was a more level passage, Antiochus built 100 towers, 3 stories high. He placed in them bands of soldiers and daily attempted to cross the walls. He also made a long wide double trench, so that the besieged Jews could not get out. However, the Jews made frequent sallies out. If at any time they found the enemy's camp unguarded, they attacked them. If there was good resistance, they retreated back to the city. [Josephus l.13. c.16.]
  19. Hyrcanus knew how the large number of people in the city would hinder his cause by consuming the provisions. He expelled the weaker ones from the city and only kept those that were able to fight. Antiochus would not allow them to pass, so they were forced to wander about the walls and many died from hunger. [Josephus l.13. c.16.]
3870 AM, 4579 JP, 135 BC
  1. When the feast of tabernacles came, the Jews took pity on the ones around the walls and allowed them back into the city again. They also requested from Antiochus that he would respect their feast and stop the hostility for 7 days. This he did and also in very great pomp. He brought to the very gates of the city, bulls with gilded horns and gold and silver cups filled with all manner of spices. When he gave these sacrifices to the priests of the Jews and made a feast for the army, he returned to the camp. [Josephus l.13. c.16. Plutarch in Apothegm.]
  2. At the time of the rising of Pleiades, plentiful showers supplied the besieged with water. They were badly distressed before from lack of water. Also the sabbatical year was over and if the Jews were hindered from sowing their grounds, a famine would undoubtedly follow. Hyrcanus considered Antiochus' justice and piety and sent ambassadors to him, requesting him that he would give them permission to live according to the laws of their forefathers. Many of the king's friends urged him to demolish the city and to kill all the Jews because they were unsociable and distinct from all other countries in their laws. Failing that, they urged him at least to abrogate their laws and force them to change their manner of life. However, the king, who was of a high spirit and gentle in his behaviour, rejected their counsel and approved the Jews' piety. He commanded that the besieged should deliver up their arms to him, dismantle the city walls, pay all the tribute due from Joppe and the other cities outside of Judea and have a garrison stationed among them. On these conditions he would make a peace with them. They agreed to all the king's propositions, except the one of having a garrison among them since they avoided all business with strangers. In lieu of that, they chose to give hostages, among whom Hyrcanus' own brother would be one plus 500 talents. Of this 300 were paid immediately and the rest later. So the enemy removed the battery from the wall and raised the siege and freed the Jews of all charges. [Joseph. l.13. c.16. cum Diod. Sic. l.34. in Bibliotheca. Photis. cod. 244.]
  3. When Hyrcanus opened the sepulchre of David, which was the richest of all the kings, took from there 3000 talents. Using this treasure, he began to employ foreign auxiliaries, which the Jews had never done before. [Joseph. l.Belle 1. c.2. l.3. Antiq. c.12. & l.13. c.16. & l.16. c.11.] [Concerning this see Salianus' censure, Tom. 6. of his Annals in the year of the World, 3921, Sect. 8,9.]
  4. Matthias surnamed Curtius, the great grandfather to Josephus the historian was born in the first year of Hyrcanus Matthias, surnamed Aphlias the son of Simon Psellus, priest of the course of Joiarib, by the daughter of Jonathan the high priest. Josephus states this in the beginning of the book of his life.
  5. When P. Africanus and Caius Fulvius were consuls, there arose a slave war, from the slaves in Sicily. [Livy l.56. Julius Obsequens, de prodigiis.] It was started by Eunus, a Syrian slave, born in the city of Apemea. He was fascinated by magical incantations and juggling. He pretended to have received the knowledge of future events by the inspiration of the gods. This first appeared to him in his sleep but later when he was awake. Although he failed in many of his predictions, yet because he got some right by chance, nobody noticed his errors. His correct predictions were diligently noted and applauded, so that his name became famous. At last, he pretended to be mad while he observed the ceremonies of the goddess of Syria. He said that she had appeared to him in his sleep and promised to promote him to regal honour. He stirred up the slaves to appeal for their liberty and to take up arms by the command of the gods. To prove that this was no design of his but came first from the gods, he concealed in his mouth a nutshell, crammed with sulphur and fire. His breath caused him to send out a flash of fire as often as he spoke. This very miracle raised for him 2000 men at first from the common people. He quickly had an army of 40,000 and broke open the prisons by force. Thereupon, Eunus was made king by his slaves. After he was crowned and his wife who was also a Syrian was proclaimed queen, he selected from the whole company, the wisest to be his council. He called himself Antiochus and his associates, the revolting Syrians. Those men succeeded so well that Cleon, another slave, was encouraged by this to raise an army also. He was born in Cilicia, not far from Mount Taurus and was an highway robber from his youth. However, he submitted himself to Eunus who made him his general. He had an army of 50,000 of his own soldiers [or as it is in Livy's Epitomy, 70,000.] This was done about 30 days after the first out break of the rebellion. The praetors were not able to quell it and it was turned over to C. Fulvius, the consul. [Diod. Sic. l. 34. in Photii. Bibliotheca. cod. 244. & Excerptis. H. Valesi, p. 369,370. Livy l.56. Florus, l.3. c.19.] Eunus caused similar rebellions in other places and particularly at Delos. [Diod. Sic. l. 34.] This island was a shopping place for slaves. Myriads were traded here each day. Insomuch, that it became a proverb: "Merchant, put in here, display your slaves, you shall sell them all off immediately." [Strabo. l.14. 668.]
  6. Scipio Africanus, the other consul, marched into Spain to put an end to the Numantine war where King Attalus sent to him from Asia very expensive presents. We find this in Cicero's Oration, in the behalf of Dejotarus. Scipio accepted these gifts in the sight of all his army. Antiochus Sidetes did the same as appears in the Epitome of Livy's 57th book: "Though it was the fashion of other generals to conceal king's gratuities, yet Scipio said, he would receive the rich gifts which Antiochus Sidetes sent him in public court. He commanded moreover the treasurer to register them all in the public tables, so that he might have this money to reward the gallantry of his soldiers."
3871 AM, 4581 JP, 133 BC
  1. Attalus Philometor was the last king of Pergamos in Asia. He dedicated himself to working in the art of brass. He decided to make a sepulchre for his mother. He was too intent on the work, he became sick from the exposure to the violent heat of the furnace and died on the 7th day later. [Justin, l.36. c.4.]
  2. Eudemus of Pergamos brought Attalus' will to Rome and gave Tiberius Gracchus, the tribune of the people, the crown and purple robes of the king of Pergamos. [Plutarch in Tiber. Gracch.] His will said: "Let the people of Rome be the heir of my goods."
  3. So that the people of Rome thought that the kingdom was part of the king's goods and held that province not by force of arms but by virtue of that will. [Florus, l.2. c.20.] By this will Attalus bequeathed to the people of Rome, Asia, if it really was bequeathed, so that it ought to be free. [Livy l.59.] Indeed the Romans are charged with the counterfeiting of this will in Mithridates' letter to Arsacas, in the 4th of Salust's History. Horace hints that they were not the lawful heirs to Attalus. Acron noted this in his notes upon the 18th ode of the second book of verses. "Neither have I as an obscure heir invaded Attalus' court."
  4. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, desired to buy the favour of the people. He put though an agrarian law which was named after him as the Sempronian law. The land in Asia should be farmed out by the Roman censors. To that end he published a law to the people. It said that as soon as the money bequeathed by King Attalus was come, it should be divided among the citizens, who were by the Sempronian law, to rent the lands for farming and buy farming implements. He denied that the senate had anything to do with the cities of the kingdom of Attalus. He intended to refer them to an assembly of the people. [Cicero, Verrin. 2. Livy l.58. Plutarch, in Tib. Gracch. Oros. l.5. c.8.] Since an assembly of the tribunes was held that summer, it was moved that he might continue as tribune of the people for the next year. He was stabbed in the capitol by the arrangement of P. Cornelius Nasica, the Pontifex Maximus. [Appian. Bell. Civil. l.1. p. 358.] Scaevola and Pison were consuls, [Ascon. Pedian. in Verrin. 2.] the same summer when Attalus died.
3872 AM, 4581 JP, 133 BC
  1. Aristonicus pretended to descend from the royal blood according to Vellius Paterculus. He was indeed the son of King Eumenes and the brother of the dead Attalus although not by lawful wedlock but by an Ephesian courtesan, the daughter of a Misitian. He invaded Asia to obtain the right of his father's kingdom. Most of the cities who lived previously under the king's government were easily persuaded to side with him. Those few who feared the Romans and opposed him, he took by force. [Livy l.59. Velles. Patercul. l.2. c.4. Strabo, l.14. p. 646. Flor. l.3. c.21. Justin. l.36. c.4. Plutarch, sub. fin. Vita. T. Q. Flaminin. Appian. Bell. Civil. l.1. p. 360. & Mubridatic. p. 212. Eutrop. l.4.]
  2. The first place which he made to revolt, was a little town called Leucas. However, he was soon expelled after losing a naval battle with the Ephesians near Cuma. [Strabo. l.14. p. 646.]
  3. From there Aristonicus marched into the midland, where he assembled a numerous company of poor persons and slaves whom he incited to stand up for their liberty. He called them the Heliopolitans. [Strabo. l.14. p. 646.] Wherever slaves lived under a hard master, they stopped serving him and ran away to Aristonicus. He defeated many cities. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 362.] Aristonicus first attacked Thiatira, then Apollonias and later the other garrisons. [Strabo. l.14. p. 646.] He took Myndus, Samos and Colophon by force. [Florus l.2. c.20]
  4. To stop him, all the cities around there sent their forces. Nicomedes king of Bithynia, Ariarathes of Cappadocia, Phylaemenes of Paphlagonia and Mithridates of Pontus brought their forces to the Romans against him. Moreover, five delegates came from Rome. [Strabo. l.14. p. (646). cum Justin. l37. c.1. & Eutrop. l.4.]
  5. This was the 38th year under King Euergetes the second or Physcon, the start of his reign being from the time he began to reign with his brother Philometor. [See note on 3835 AM <<3291>>] Jesus, the son of Sirach who was born at Jerusalem came into Egypt and lived there. He translated the book of his grandfather Jesus, called by the Greeks, Panaretos and Ecclesiasticus, from Hebrew into Greek as he states in the preface to his translation. This very book, Jerome in his 115th Epistle says he had seen in the Hebrew with this inscription. "The parables of Jesus son of Sirach."
  6. P. Rupilius was promoted from the position of a Sicilian Publican to the honour of consulship. He put down the insurrection of the slaves in Sicily. [Livy l.59. Ascon. Pedian. Verrin. 4. Valer. Maxim. l.2. c.7. & l.6. c.9.] When he besieged Taurominium, he took as prisoner Comanus, Cleon's brother, as he was stealing out of the city. A little later at Sarapion, the Syrians betrayed the fort to him and he seized all the fugitives in the city. After he had racked them, he killed them. From there he marched to Euna, where he fought with Cleon the general, who marched out of the city to fight him. Cleon behaved himself very gallantly and received many wounds before he fell. As soon as the general was killed, that city also was betrayed to the consul. Eunus, the king of the rebels took along with him 600 of his men and escaped as fast as he could to the craggy mountains for his safety. For fear of the pursuers they hid in caves. From there he and four more of his company were dragged out and cast into prison at Morgantina. He lay there so long that his body putrefied and was infested with lice. This was a lamentable death but his rash actions deserved no better. [Diod. Sic. l.34. in Photti, Bibliothec. cod. 214.]
3873 AM, 4583 JP, 131 BC
  1. In the 8th year of Antiochus Sidetes, about 10 o'clock in the morning, on the 21st day of the month Peritius or Begruary, there was an earthquake at Antioch in Syria. This is recorded in the Chronicles of John Malela of Antioch.
  2. When L. Valerius Flaccus and P. Licinius Crassus were consuls, it was proposed to the people whom they wanted to manage the war against Aristonicus. Crassus the consul and Pontifex Maximus threatened to impose a fine upon Flaccus who was his colleague in the consulship and a priest of Mars if he left the holy services. The people removed the fine, yet enjoined the priests to obey the Pontifex. For all that, the people would not consent that the managing of the war should be given to a private person. Although Scipio Africanus was the man they wanted, who the year before had triumphed over the Numantians, they voted that the war should be entrusted to Crassus the consul than to Africanus who was but a private person. [Cicero, in Philippic. 11.] So the Pontifex Maxiumus left Italy for the first time ever. [Livy l.59.]
  3. Antiochus Sidetes marched with his army against Phraates, who succeeded his brother Arsacides or Mithridates in the kingdom of Parthia. He intended to get back his brother Demetrius Nicator. Phraates had twice captured him as he was fleeing away and sent him back into Hircania to his wife Rhodoguna and his children. This was not from kindness toward them or respect of his own alliance to them, but because he aspired to the kingdom of Syria. Therefore he wanted to use Demetrius against Antiochus, his brother, as occasion should serve and the events of the war would require. Thereupon Antiochus thought it best to begin first. Therefore he led his army which he had already hardened in the wars which he had with his neighbours into Media against the Parthians. [Justin. l.38. c.9,10. & l.42. c.1. Livy l.59. Athenaus, l.10. c.12. & l.12. c.19. Appian. Syriac. p. 132.]
  4. As he lived so he waged war. He had 300,000 [Orosius says 200,000] scullions followed his army of 80,000 [Orosius says 100,000] men. Most of these servants were cooks, bakers and actors. [Justin. l.38. c.10.] Antiochus entertained constantly every day such a large number of guests that besides what was eaten at table and taken off by heaps, everyone of the guests carried away whole joints of meat untouched. They had meat from four footed beasts, birds, sea fish already dressed. Moveover there was provided many deserts of candied honey, many coronets of frankincense and myrrh with knots and ribbons of gold which being let down at length and were as high as a man. [Posidon, Apameus, Historiar. l.14. apud Atheneus, l.5. c.9. & l.12. c.19.] The soldiers imitated his blind and mad excesses. They drove silver nails into the soles of their shoes and prepared silver vessels for kitchen service and adorned their tents with woven imagery. All this might rather seem a booty to encourage the enemy than be a means to retard and slacken the hands of a courageous man to pursue a victory. [Valer. Maxim. l.9. c.1. & Justin l.38. c.10.]
  5. As soon as Antiochus came into those regions, many of the eastern king's surrendered themselves and their kingdoms to him and cursed the insolence of the Parthians. He soon fought the enemy. Antiochus won three battles and was about to seize Babylonia. He became famous so that the Parthians had nothing left but their own country and the people generally defected to Antiochus. [Justin. l.38. c.10]
  6. In this expedition, John Hyrcanus the Jew's high priest and ruler, followed Antiochus with his supplies. Concerning him, Nicholaus Damascenus tells this in his general history: "Antiochus had erected a monument near the Lycus River where he defeated Indates, the Parthian general. He waited there for two days at the request of Hyrcanus the Jew. It happened to be the time of one of the Jews solemn festivals during which it was not lawful for the Jews to travel."
  7. It was the feast of Pentecost which happened after the sabbath. During this time the Jews were prohibited to take any journey. [Josephus, l.13. c.16.] When it was over, John defeated the Hircani and was surnamed Hyrcanus because of this as is supposed by Eusebius' Chronicle and Severus Sulpitius, in the second book of his Holy History. He returned home again with a great deal of honour.
  8. P. Crassus, the consul, came into Asia to put down king Aristonicus. By his studiousness, be became so expert in the Greek language that he knew it most exactly as it is divided into its five dialects. This earned him a great deal of favour and love among the allies when they saw him answer their requests in the very same dialect that they themselves had used. [Valer. Maximus, l.8. c.7. Quintilian. l.11. c.2.]
  9. When Crassus was preparing to besiege Leucas, he wanted a strong and large beam to make a battering ram for the walls of the town. He wrote to the chief carpenter of the Moleatenses who were confederates and allies of the Romans. He wanted the larger of two masts which he had seen there, sent to him. The carpenter understood what he wanted but sent the smaller of the two masts. He thought it more suitable for the purpose and easier to ship. Crassus ordered him to be sent for. When he had demanded why he had not sent the mast he asked for, he was not put off by his excuses and reasons and commanded him to be stripped and whipped. Crassus thought that all respect due to superiors would soon disappear, if a man might be allowed to reply to a command, not with the obedience which is expected but with an officious rendering of his own advice. [A. Gell. l.1. c.13.]
3874 AM, 4583 JP, 131 BC
  1. Antiochus Sidetes divided his army into winter quarters through the cities because they were so numerous. When he expected the cities to provide free board for his soldiers and the soldiers were poorly behaved, these cities defected from him. [Justin l.38. c.10] Athenaeus, one of Antiochus' captains, was the most intolerably insolent of all no matter where he went to spend the winter. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii. p. 374.]
  2. P. Crassus, proconsul of Asia, had a very strong force and had troops sent to him from the kings of Bithynia, Pontus, Cappadocia and Paphlagonia. However, at the end of the year, when he fought with the enemy, he was defeated. After a great slaughter of his army, the army was forced to flee. He was captured near Leneas between Elea and Smyrna by an ambush of Thracians where Aristonicus had a number of troops garrisoned. The consul remembered from what an honourable family he had descended and that he was a Roman. He thrust the stick with which he used to guide his horse into the eye of the Thracian who had charge of him. He was enraged because of the pain and ran his sword into Crassus' side. Thus he died in a way that he avoided disgrace and servitude. His head was presented to Aristonicus and his body interred at Smyrna. [Livy l.59. Vellei Patarcul. l.2. Strabo. l.14. 646. Valer. Maxim. l.3. c.2. Flo. l.2. c.20. Justin, l.36. c.4. Julius Obsequens de prodigiis Eutrop. l.4. Oros. l.5. c.10.]
  3. When M. Perperna, the consul who succeeded Crassus, heard of his death and the defeat of the Roman army, he went quickly into Asia. He surprised Aristonicus who was keeping, as it were, a holiday for his recent conquest and routed him since he did not have his forces with him. He escaped to Stratonice, where the consul followed and besieged the city so tightly that he forced it to surrender for lack of provisions. He took Aristonicus prisoner and kept him in bonds. [Livy Patercul. Strabo, Florus, Justin, Oros. Eutrop. ut supra, Valer. Max. l.3. c.4.]
  4. Belosius Cuma thought so highly of Tiberius Gracchus that if he had commanded him to set fire to the capitol, he said he would do it with no regrets. After the death of Tiberius Gracchus, he went from Rome to Aristonicus into Asia. When he saw the reverse of Aristonicus' fortunes, he killed himself. [Plutarch in Tib. Graccho.]
  5. Just before the capture of Aristonicus, news came to Rome that the image of Apollo at Cuma wept for 4 days. The soothsayers were so appalled at this sign that they planned to throw the image into the sea had not the old men of Cuma interceded. The most expert soothsayers said that this sign showed the downfall of Greece from where that image was brought. Thereupon the Romans sacrificed and brought offerings into the temple. [Jul. Obsequens, de prodigiis, Augustin. de Civit. Dei, l.3. c.11.]
  6. Phrygia was recovered by the Romans. [Jul. Obsequens, ibid.]
  7. Phraates sent Demetrius Nicator into Syria with a company of Parthians to seize that kingdom. He hoped to draw Antiochus from Parthia and to save his own country. In the meantime, since he could not overcome Antiochus in battle, he endeavoured by all means to surprise him with stratagems. [Justin, l.38. c.10.]
  8. The cities, where Antiochus' army had taken up their winter quarters, were burdened with supplying quarters to the insolent troops. They revolted to the Parthians. On a set day, all of them attacked the army as it was dispersed in their various quarters. They placed ambushes so that they could not come to help one another. As soon as Antiochus knew of this, he marched to the relief of those that were next to him with that company which quartered with him. [Justin, l.38. c.10.]
  9. The swallows built nests in Antiochus' pavilion. He ignored the prodigy and fought with the enemy. [Jul. Obsequens, de prodig.] He behaved more gallantly than Phraates, whom he met in the way, than his army did. At the end, his army deserted him. [Justin, l.38. c.10.]
  10. The first man that deserted Antiochus, was Athenaeus, who fled to some of those villages which he had provoked them by his insolence when he was quartered among them. They shut their gates against him and was denied food by all. He was forced to wander up and down the country until he died from hunger. [Diod. Sic. in Excerptis Valesii, p. 374,377.]
  11. Julius Obsequens, [l. de prodigiis.] Justinus, [l. 38. c.10 & 39. c.1.] Josephus, [l. 15. c.16.] Eusebius, [in his Chronicle.] and Orosius [l. 5. c.10.] state that Antiochus was killed by the Parthians in that battle. Appian stated he killed himself after losing the battle. [in Syriac. p. 132.] Elianus said that after he lost the battle, he threw himself down headlong from a steep place. [l. 10. de Animal c.34.] Some modern writers think he was stoned to death by the priests of the temple Nannea in Persia, where he came with the remainder of his army to plunder the temple. They think along with Rupertus Tuitiensis, [l. 10. de victoria Verbi Dei, c.6. 16. 24.] that this was the same Antiochus of whom mention is made in the epistle of the Jews at Jerusalem to their brethren in Egypt. /APC (2 Maccabees 1:10-17)
  12. Arsaces as Phraates was called by the common name of the king's of Parthia, buried the dead body of Antiochus. Posidonius of Apamea, in the 16th book of his histories, [according to Athenaus, l.10. c.12.] states Phraates reproved his debauchery: "Thy wine, O Antiochus and thy two great confidences have deceived thee. For thou hopest in thy large cups to have swallowed down the kingdom of Arsaces."
  13. After Antiochus' funeral was over which Phraates carried out in a royal manner, he was enamoured with Demetrius' daughter, whom Antiochus had brought along with him and married her. He began to regret sending Demetrius away. Therefore he quickly sent some cavalry to bring him back. They found Demetrius already established in his kingdom, so that the attempt was a waste of time and they returned back to the king. [Justin l.38. c.10.]
  14. Antiochus and his army were defeated in Parthia and his brother Demetrius was freed from the captivity of the Parthians and restored to his kingdom. All Syria at that time bemoaned the loss of the army. However he seemed to think it a stroke of good luck and he could not have managed it better himself. One of them was taken prisoner and freed and the other was killed. [Justin l.32. c.1.]
  15. After the death of Antiochus, the Jews never allowed a Macedonian king to be over them but created magistrates among themselves. They annoyed Syria with continual wars [Justin l.36. c.1.] and subdued many parts of Syria and Phoenicia. [Strabo. l.16. c.761.] After the death of Antiochus, Hyrcanus revolted from the Macedonians and never again sent them any supplies either as a subject or friend. At the first rumour of Antiochus' death, he led his whole army against the cities of Syria which he supposed and it was true, had few troops to defend them. He stormed Medaba which is mentioned in /APC (1 Maccabees 9:36)]. He captured it with some difficulty after a 6 month seige. He next conquered Samega and its adjacent towns. [Joseph. l.13. c.17.]
  16. In the meantime, Phraates resolved to start a war in Syria in vindication of Antiochus' attempt to take over the kingdom of Parthia. He was thwarted and called home to put down a rebellion of the Scythians. The Scythians were hired by the Parthians to help them against Antiochus. However they did not arrive with their supplies until the war was over. Hence the Parthians reduced their pay and justified it by saying they came too late. The Scythians were upset after they had marched so long for nothing. They asked that they might be given their pay because of their tedious march or that they might be given some other work to do. When the Parthians returned a rough answer which offended them, they started plundering the country. [Justin. l.41. c.1.]
  17. While Phraates was gone against the Scythians, he left behind him as viceroy, Himerus, an Hircanian by birth, who was highly favoured by him when he was a young man. Himerus forgot his former lowly position and that he was acting on the behalf of another. He instigated a great deal of tyranny and vexed the Babylonians and many other cities for no reason at all. [Justin. l.41. c.1.] He made many of the Babylonians his slaves and dispersed them with their whole families into Media. He set also the market place and some temples of Babylon on fire. He pulled down all the most beautiful places of the city. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii. p. 377.] Posidonius of Apamea also mentions the extravagant government of Himerus, in the 26th book of his Histories. [Atheneus, l.11. c.4.] He stated that Lysimachus, a Babylonian, invited him and 300 more to supper. When the food was taken away, he presented everyone of those 300, the silver cup of four pounds in price, in which they had drunk from.
  18. In Egypt, Ptolemy Euergetes the second or Physcon had reigned for 15 years after his brother Philometor. [Diod. Sic. shows in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 350.] His cruelty made him so odious to those very foreigners whom he had invited to Alexandria that they set his royal palace on fire. They stole away secretly to Cyprus with his son Memphites, whom his sister Cleopatra bore him and with his wife the daughter of the same Cleopatra. After this the people conferred the kingdom on Cleopatra, his sister and divorced wife. He hired an army and waged war against his own sister and native country. [Livy l.59, Jul. Obsequens de prodigus. Justin l.38. c.8. Orosius l.5. c.10.]
3875 AM, 4584 JP, 130 BC
  1. John Hyrcanus took Sichem and Garizim and demolished the temple of the Cuthites 200 years after it had been built by Sanballat. [Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.17.]
  2. M. Perperna was careful to have Aristonicus and the treasure which Attalus lost in his legacy to the people of Rome, shipped away from there. This action was illreceived by Manius Aquilius the consul who was his successor. He immediately hurried to Perperna and intended to get Aristonicus from him. He thought Aristonicus belonged in his triumph rather than to Perperna's. However Perperna's death settled the matter. When he returned he took sick at Pergamos and died. [Strabo. l.14. p. 646. Valer. Maximus, l.3. c.4. Justin, l36 c.4. Eutrop. l.4. Oros. l.5. c.10.]
  3. Aqullius the consul, completed the remainder of the Asian war. He forced some cities to surrender by poisoning their water supply. Although this made for a quick victory, it spoiled his reputation and made him dishonourable. [Florus. l.2. c.20.]
  4. Most of the Asians, who for 4 whole years had helped Aristonicus against the Romans, returned to their loyalty with Rome from fear. [Sylla, apud Appian. in Mithridatic. p. 212.] Lydia, anciently the seat of the kings, Caria, Hellespont, and both Phrigia's by joint surrender, put themselves under the power of the Romans. [Sextus, Rufus in Breviario.]
  5. The Massilians sent their ambassadors away to Rome to mediate in behalf of their founders the Phoenicians, whose city and name the senate had ordered to be totally destroyed because they in the war with Aristonicus and formerly with Antiochus the great had fought against the people of Rome. The senate granted them their pardon. [Justin. l.37. c.1.]
  6. The Romans gave the greater Phrygia to Mithradates Euergetes king of Pontus, as a gift for helping them against Aristonicus. [Justin l.37. c.1. & l.38. c.5.] Although it is generally believed that Manius Aquilius was well bribed for his pains and gave it to him. Therefore after the death of Mithradates, the senate took Phrygia away from his son who was not of legal age. He complained in Trogus Pompeius about this. They made it a free and independent state. [Appian. in Mithridatic. p. 177. & 208. & l.1. Bell. Civil. p. 362,363. cf. Justin. l.38. c.5.]
  7. Aquilius with ten delegates, subdued Attalus' dominion into the form of a province and made it a tributary. They called it Asia after the name of the continent. [Strabo, l.13. p. 624. & l.14. p. 646.]
  8. Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, was slain in the war against Aristonicus and left behind him 6 sons by his wife Laodice. The people of Rome gave Lycaonia and Cilicia to them for their father's good service. Laodice was jealous of her sons and feared lest when they came of age, she would be deprived of the kingdom. She poisoned 5 of them but one young one escaped his mother's cruelty through the help of his family. He ruled after the people had killed Laodice for her cruelty. [Justin. l.37. c.1.]
  9. John Hyrcanus took Adora and Marissa which were cities of Idumea. When he had subdued all the Idumeans he had them circumcised under penalty of losing their country. They loved their native country and were circumcised and kept all the other Jewish laws. After this they were counted as Jews. [Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.17. l.15. c.11. p. 531. cf. l.4. Bell. c.16. or c.6.] Strabo relates that these Idumeans were originally Nabateans but were driven from there after some sedition. They joined themselves to the Jews and submitted to their laws. [Strabo. l.16. p. 760.] He adds, that Herod the king of the Jews, came from there, "virum indigenam", "A stranger born". [Strabo l.16. p. 765.] Antigonus said he was an Idumean that is, an half Jew. [Joseph. l.14. Antiq. c.27. p. 501.] For although Stephanus Byzantinus writes [in voc. gdoumaios] that the Idumeans were Hebrews originally, yet Ammonius the grammarian in his book de differentius verborum, from Ptolemy's first book, de Rege Herode, [perhaps that Ptolemy who was Herod's lieutenant, Joseph. l.16. Antiq. c.11.] had noted this difference between the Idumeans and the Jews. "The Jews are such as were so naturally from the beginning. The Idumeans were not Jews from the beginning but Phoenicians and Syrians who were conquered by the Jews. They were compelled to be circumcised, to unite their country to the Jew's and to be subject to their laws. Therefore they were called Jews."
  10. They were called Jews not because of their descent but in regard of their religion and manner of life. For there were other men which were called Jews, though they were born strangers, because they lived according to their rites and constitutions. Diod. noted this in his 37th book of his Roman History. Hence it is, that, from the Hebrews, the kingdom of Herod and his posterity is styled syrnh twkls, "The Kingdom of the Proselytes" [not Hagarens, as it is rendered by Munster in Seder Olam minore, and by Scaliger in Judaici Comput. Spic. legio, l.7. de Emendatione temporum.] For among the Jews, the term "proselytes of righteousness" as they called them came to be used at this time of the Idumeans. These proselytes were always counted and given the same honour as other Jews.
  11. Ptolemy Physcon recalled his oldest son from Cyrene and killed him. He feared the Alexandrians would set him up as king against him. Thereupon the people pulled down his statue and his images. [Justin. l.38. c.8.] Ptolemy thought that this was done by the instigation of his sister Cleopatra and did not know how to be avenged in any other way. Therefore he ordered his son Memphitis, who was a promising young child he had by Cleopatra, to be killed before his eyes. He had his head, hands and feet cut off and put them into a chest covered with a soldier's coat. He gave them to one of his servants to carry to Alexandria and to present them to Cleopatra on her birthday when she was in the height of her happiness for a birthday gift. This was a grievous and sad spectacle for the queen and the whole city. The whole merry mood of the celebration was changed and the court mourned this act. The nobles turned their festival into a funeral and showed the mangled limbs to the people to let them see what they themselves were to expect from their king, who had murdered his own son. [Justin l.38. c.8. Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 374. Livy l.59. Jul. Obsequens, de prodigus, Valer. Maxim. l.9. c.2.]
  12. Ptolemy saw how detestable he had become in his country and feared the worst. He tried to secure his throne with more cruelty. He thought that if the common people were killed, his throne would be more secure. At a time when the common place of exercise was full of the young men, he surrounded it and burned it. Those that escaped the fire were killed by the sword. [Valer. Maxim. l.9, c.2.]
  13. Phraates led the army of the Greeks which he had taken in the war against Antiochus in his war with the Scythians. He behaved himself very imperiously toward them and did not consider the hostility toward him because of their captivity. He had exasperated them with new indignities. As soon as they saw the Parthian army give ground, they wheeled about to the enemy and executed the long desired revenge for their captivity. Phraates was killed and the Parthian army put to the sword. [Justin. l.42. c.1.]
  14. Artabanus, his uncle succeeded Phraates in the kingdom of the Parthians. The Scythians were contented with their victory and after they had pillaged the country of the Parthians, they returned home again. Artabanus had started a war with the Thogarii or Tochari, who were a people descended from the Scythians. He was wounded in his arm and died shortly after. He left for his successor his son, Mithridates the Great. Shortly after this Mithridates waged war with Ortodistes, the king of Armenia, [Justin l.42. c.2.]
  15. At 6 o'clock in the morning at Rhodes, Hipparchus observed the sun in Leo at 8 degrees 35 minutes and the moon in Taurus at 12 degrees 2 minutes. This was in the 50th year of the third Calippic period, the 16th day of the Egyptian month Epiph [August 5th]. [Ptol. l.5. c.3.]
3876 AM, 4586 JP, 128 BC
  1. Hipparchus observed the vernal equinox in the same 50th year, on the first day of the Egyptian month Phamenoth. [March 23rd] [Ptol. l.3. c.2.]
  2. Hipparchus, in the same year observed the star in the heart of Leo 29 degrees 50 minutes from the point of the summer solstice. [Ptol. l.3. c.2.]
  3. Hegelochus, Ptolemy Physcon's general, was sent against Marsias the Alexandrian's general and captured him alive but killed his troops. When Marsias was brought into the king's presence, all believed the king would have given him a cruel death, but Ptolemy spared him, beyond all expectations. For he now began to repent of his previous bloody actions and was very desirous by such acts of grace to reconcile himself to the people who were extremely alienated from him. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 377.]
  4. After the days of mourning for her son were over, Queen Cleopatra saw that her brother, Physcon was marching against her and sent her ambassadors to ask for help from Demetrius Nicator, the king of Syria. He was her son-in-law, for Cleopatra the wife to Demetrius was the daughter of this Cleopatra and Philometor. She promised him that he should have the kingdom of Egypt for his trouble. In hopes of that prize, he marched into Egypt, and made his first attack on Peleusium. [Justin. l.38. c.9. & l.39. c.1. Porphyrius, in Gracis, Eusebianus Scaligers, p. 227.]
3877 AM, 4586 JP, 128 BC
  1. In this year, Alexander Jannaeus, son to John Hyrcanus was born, who was later the king of the Jews. He lived for 49 years [Joseph. l.13. c.23. fin.] As soon as he was born, he fell out of favour with his father. For it is said that Hyrcanus enquired of God who appeared to him in his sleep about his successor. He was very solicitous on the behalf of Aristobulus and Antigonus whom he loved far more than the other brothers. God told him that Jannaeus would succeed him. He was much perplexed and he sent Alexander into Galilee to receive his education. He never allowed him into his presence as long as he lived. [Joseph. l.13. c.20.]
  2. About this time, Simon, the son of Dositheus, Apollonius, the son of Alexander and Diodorus, the son of Jason, were sent as ambassadors from Hyrcanus and the people of the Jews to renew their friendship and amity with the Romans. Faunius, the son of Marcus, the city praetor arranged a meeting of the senate for them on the 8th of February. This was really in November [Julian Calendar] because of the mess the Roman calendar was in. It was ordered by a decree of the senate that Joppe and its parts, Gazara and the springs and the other cities which Antiochus Sidetes had taken from them, contrary to the decree of the senate, should be restored. It was further ordered that the king's soldiers should not travel through their country or through any country under their command. That whatever Antiochus had gained in that war should be set aside. That the ambassadors whom the senate sent should take care to see restored whatever Antiochus had taken away and to give an estimate of the damage the country had sustained in that war. That letters of commendation should be given to the ambassadors for the kings and free people so that they might return more safely into their country. Moreover, Faunius the praetor was ordered to supply the ambassadors with money from the common bank to provide for the needs of their journey home. [Joseph. l.13. c.17.]
  3. Hipparchus on the island of Rhodes observed the sun at 7 degrees, 45 minutes in Taurus and the moon at 21 degrees 40 minutes in Pisces. This was in the 197th year after Alexander's death and 621st of Nabonasar, on the 11th day of the Egyptian month Pharmuth [May 2nd] in the morning at 5:20 AM. [Ptol. l.5. c.5.]
  4. In the same year, on the 17th day of the Egyptian month Payn [July 7th] in the afternoon at 3:20 PM Hipparchus observed in the same place, the sun at 10 degrees 54 minutes in Cancer and the moon at 21 degrees 40 minutes in Pisces. [Ptol. l.5. c.5.]
  5. In the 9th year of Hyrcanus' high priesthood and reign, Alexander the son of Jason, Numenius, son of Antiochus and Alexander, son of Dorotheus, the ambassadors for the Jews gave the senate a vial and buckler of gold, valued at 50,000 crowns as a testimony of their ancient amity with the people of Rome. When the ambassadors had received letters for the free cities and kings to pass safely through their countries and ports, they returned home. A copy of this decree of the senate is in Josephus, [l. 14. c.16.] for a different occasion. For Josephus had said before, that on Julius Caesar's letters, a decree was obtained giving permission to Hyrcanus the 2to repair the walls of Jerusalem, which Pompey had demolished. I do not know through what oversight he joined this decree instead of the other which in no way concerned the repair of the walls of Jerusalem. Yet Josephus said that this was done in the 9th year of Hycannus' high priesthood and reign in the month Panem. This occurred when as the acts themselves confirm this decree to be published in the Ides of December, [which was on the Julian September and the Macedonian Hyperberetous.] If Caesar had made that decree in favour of Hyrcanus the 2nd, then the 27th year of Hyrcanus should be written rather than the 9th. Concerning his reign nothing at all should be noted because Josephus himself shows in the 10th chapter of the same book that Gabinius had removed him as king and left him only in the high priest's office. Therefore, that decree should be referred to the 9th year of Hyrcanus the 1st when the Jewish country was still a free state and confederate with the people of Rome and not to the 9th year of Hyrcanus the 2nd. In his time, it was conquered and made tributary to the Romans.
  6. In King Demetrius Nicator's absence, the Antiochians first revolted because of his pride which was grown intolerable by his experiences with the cruel Parthians. Later the Apameans and the other cities of Syria were encouraged by their examples and revolted from him too. [Justin, l.39. c.1.] When Demetrius was told of this while he was in Egypt, he had to march back to Syria.
  7. When Cleopatra the Egyptian queen, had lost her best defender, Demetrius Nicator, she shipped all her goods and hurried to Syria to her daughter, Cleopatra the Syrian and Demetrius her son-in-law. [Justin l.39. c.1.]
  8. Demetrius was detested by the Syrians, and by his soldiers. They sent to Ptolemy Physcon and asked him to appoint someone who descended from Seleucus, whom they might appoint as king over them. [Joseph. l.13. c.17.] He sent to them an Egyptian youth, the son of Protarchus a merchant, who was to seize the kingdom of Syria by force of arms. He made a very elegant story about how he had been adopted into the royal blood by king Antiochus. The Syrians would very gladly submit to any king whatever rather than live any longer under Demetrius because of his insolence. [Justin. l.39. c.1.] Porphyrius stated how that this youth was sent as the son of Alexander Bala, who alleged himself to be the son of Antiochus Epiphanes. The youth also called himself Alexander but the Syrians surnamed him Zabina because he was generally thought to be one of Ptolemy's slaves, whom he had purchased. [in Grac. Euseb. Scalig. p. 227.] agybz, "to speak the truth", among the Syrians, means both "bought" and "redeemed" This king was not ashamed of being bought, but always put on his coins this inscription: ALEXANDPOQ ZEBENNOQS BASILEWZ
3878 AM, 4587 JP, 127 BC
  1. When this new king came with his numerous forces from Egypt, it is reported that the remains of Antiochus Sidetes, who was slain by the king of the Parthians, were sent to Syria in a silver coffin to be interred there. These were received with a great deal of reverence by the cities and King Alexander. This ingratiated him very much with the countrymen who truly believed that the tears he shed at the funeral were not fake but real. [Justin l.39. c.1.]
  2. Both the armies fought near Damascus and Demetrius Nicator was defeated. When he saw that he was almost surrounded, he withdrew from the battle and hurried to his wife Cleopatra at Ptolemais. However, she shut the gates against him. Since he was deserted by his wife and his sons, he fled with a very small retinue to Tyre and hoped for sanctuary in the temple. [Justin l.39. c.1. cf Josephus and Prophyrius, in the places above cited.]
  3. Porphyrius stated that when Demetrius was denied entrance there he was killed as he was sailing to some other place. This was after 4 years of his reign after he returned from Parthia. Justin stated that he was killed by the command of the governor, as he was first landing. Josephus stated that he was taken prisoner by the enemy. They used him badly and he died in custody. Livy stated that his wife, Cleopatra, killed him [l. 60.] and so does Appian [in Syriac. p. (132).] Indeed, it is very probable, that he was killed at Tyre and she was an accessory. For doing this, the citizens of Tyre obtained its freedom and liberty either from her or from Alexander Zebinas to live according to their own laws. They derived from this very year, a new epoch of their times. This appears in Eusebius' chronicle, where the 402nd year of Tyre is the same as the 2nd year of the Emperor Probus which is the 4990 JP. The judgment of Tyre inserted into the 9th action of the council of Chalcedon was in the year after the consulship of Flavius Zeno and Posthumianus which is the 5162 JP is reckoned as the 574th year of the epoch of Tyre. Moreover, we find the city of Tyre in the inscriptions made by Grotius, [p. 605.] honoured with the commendation of being the religion, the sacred, and the independent metropolis of Phoenicia.
  4. When Alexander Zibinas had control of that kingdom, he entered into league with John Hyrcanus, the high priest and things went very well with Hyrcanus during his reign. [Joseph. l.13. c.17.]
  5. Manius Aquilius, the proconsul, returned in triumph from Asia on the third of the ides of November. [August JP] This may be deduced from the fragments of the triumphal tables of marble. Concerning this, Mithridates in an letter to Arasaces, [Salust. Historiar. l.4.] stated: "The Romans, unjustly pretended a will, that is King Attalus' will, and led Aristonicus, Eumenes' son, in triumph who had attempted to recover by force of arms, his father's kingdom."
  6. Velleius Paterclus, [l. 2. c.4.] intimated that Aristonicus was led in triumph by Manius Aquilius and later beheaded. He was strangled at Rome in the prison by an order from the senate. [Strabo. l.14. p. 646. Eutrop. l.4. Orosius l.5. c.10.]
  7. Manius Aquilius was accused of bribery and knew that he was guilty. He bribed his judges and so got off. [Appian. Bell. Civil. l.1. p. 362. & 363.]
3879 AM, 4589 JP, 125 BC
  1. When M. Plautius Hypsaeus and M. Fulvius Flaccus were consuls, a large army of locusts in Africa were blown into the sea and washed ashore at Cyrene. This caused such an intolerable stench, that by reason of that noxious air, many cattle died. It is reported also, that 800,000 men died from the same infection. [Julius Obsequens, de prodigiis, cum P. Orosio. l.5. c.11.]
  2. Mithradates Euergetes, king of Pontus sent Dorylaus of Pontus and a man expert in military affairs, to Crete to hire foreign mercenaries. While he was there, a war was started in those regions by the Cnossii against the Gortynii. The Cnossii appointed Dorylaus as their general, who quickly ended the war. This was more from luck than skill. He was highly honoured by the Cnossii for his good service and he lived among them with his whole family. A little later he received news that Mithridates had died. Dorylaus was the great grandfather to the mother of Strabo the Geographer. [Strabo, l.10. p. 477,478. & l.12. p. 557.]
3880 AM, 4589 JP, 125 BC
  1. In the 188th year of the account of the contracts, the Jews of Palestine and the elders of Jerusalem and Judas were about to celebrate the feast of the dedication of the cleansing of the temple of the 25th day of the month Chisleu. They wrote to Aristobulus Ptolemy, Physcon's master who was descended from the family of the priests according to Aaron and to the Jews in Egypt that they should likewise keep the feast. /APC (2 Maccabees 1:10,18) Rupertus Tuitiensis, [l. 10. de victoria verbi, c,15.] thinks that Judas was the same Judas the Essean, whom Josephus notes 19 years after this to have foretold the sudden death of Antigonus, the son of John Hyrcanus. He seldom failed in his prophesies. [l. 13. c.19.] Clemens Alexandrinus, [l. 5. Strom.] and Eusebius Caesariensis, [in the l.8 praparat. Evange. c.3. and in his Chronicle,] think Aristobulus to be that Jewish philosopher the Peripatetic, of whom mention was made by us before. See note on 3854 JP <<3413>>.
  2. Seleucus, Demetrius Nicator's son, seized the crown without his mother Cleopatra's permission and reigned one year in Syria. [Livy l.60. Porphyr. in Grac. Euseb. p. 227.]
  3. After much trouble, Alexander Zebinas defeated Antipater, Clonius, and Aeropus, 3 of his most eminent commanders who had revolted from him and seized the city Laodicea. He showed a great deal of gallantry toward them. He took them prisoners and in the end he pardoned all their apostasy. He was naturally of a mild disposition and pleasing temper and of a wonderful disposition in all his meetings. Hence he was extremely well liked by all men. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 377.]
3881 AM, 4590 JP, 124 BC
  1. Mithridates Euergetes, king of Pontus and Armenia the less, was killed by the treachery of some of his closest friends. He left his wife and his sons to succeed him in the kingdom. Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, the older brother of the two laid claim to the whole kingdom for himself. [Strabo, l.10. p. 477. cum Justin. l.37. c.1.] For soon after, he put his mother in prison whom his father had intended to be viceroy with him in the kingdom. He kept her there in bonds, who, by reason of that hard usage and long imprisonment, died there. [Memnon in Excerpt. Photii, cap. 32.] As for Mithridates, Salust states in his history, that he was a child when he became king after he poisoned his mother. [Servius in Birg. l.6. Eneid.]
  2. Strabo affirms that Mithridates was 11 years of age when he succeeded his father in the kingdom. Memnon says he was 13. We selected 12 based on Eutropius' account. He said that Mithridates reigned 60 years and lived 72. Although Pliny, [l. 25. c.2.] says he reigned 56 years and Appian says 57. [See note on 3868 AM <<3528>>]
  3. As there appeared a comet in the year when Mithridates was born, there likewise appeared one also in the first year of his reign. For 70 nights and days the whole heaven seemed to be all on fire. For its tail covered a quarter part of the heaven or 45 degrees of the upper hemisphere and out shone the sun in brightness. Its rising and setting took four hours. [Justin. l.37. c.2.]
  4. In Syria, Cleopatra struck her son Seleucus through with a arrow. She did this either because he had seized upon the crown without her consent or she feared lest he should in time avenge his father, Demetrius' death or because she had managed all things with the same fury and violence as he did. When Seleucus was dead, she made her other son, Antiochus Grypus, king whom she had by Demetrius She had sent him to Athens to receive his education. She gave him the title of king but ran the kingdom herself. [Livy l.60. Justin. l.39. c.1. Appian. Syriac. p. 132.] Porphyrius has stated that when Seleucus was killed by his mother's treachery, Antiochus, the younger brother, succeeded him in the kingdom, in the second year of the 164th Olympiad. [in Grac. Euseb. Scaliger. p. 227.] He added that he was called Grypus and Philometor also. Josephus refers to him by this latter surname. [l. 13. c.20.]
3882 AM, 4592 JP, 122 BC
  1. Alexander Zebmus, was puffed up with good fortune and began now by his insolence to despise Ptolemy himself, by whose means he had come to the kingdom. Thereupon Ptolemy reconciled himself to his sister Cleopatra and tried to ruin Alexander's kingdom which he had never been able to obtain had not Ptolemy sent him supplies because of his hatred for Demetrius. To that end, he sent a very considerable force to Grypus and offered his daughter, Tryphena, to him in marriage. He hoped to have the people side with his new son-in-law. This would be from respect to the former confederacy and association between them and also by virtue of his new relation and alliance. It worked. When all saw that Grypus was backed by as much strength as Egypt could levy, they began by degrees to defect from Alexander. [Justin. l.39. c.2.]
  2. Alexander was not very confident of his army. They were not well trained militarily so he did not risk a battle. After he had first collected the king's treasuries and pillaged the temples, he planned to steal away into Greece by night. While he attempted to plunder Jupiter's temple with the help of some of his barbarians, he was seized and he and his whole army would likely have been destroyed. However, he soon escaped from their hands and headed toward Seleucia. The Seleucians had heard a rumour of his sacrilege, and shut their gates against him. Unable to do anything there, he went to Pisidium and never after that left the sea coast. [Diod. Sic. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 378.]
  3. Finally, Antiochus Grypus and Alexander Zebinas had a battle. Alexander was defeated and forced to flee to Antioch. As soon as he came there, he needed money to pay his soldiers. He ordered that the statue of victory be taken from Jupiter's temple. The statue was made of beaten gold. He justified his sacrilege with a jest: "Jupiter has lent me victory."
  4. A few days later he had his soldiers start to pull down the image of Jupiter. This was to be done as quietly as possible. However, he was surprised by the common people who caught him in the very act and he was forced to flee. He was caught in a violent storm at sea and he was separated from his company. He was captured by pirates who turned him over to Grypus who had him executed. [Justin. l.39. c.2.] Josephus stated that he was slain in a fight with Grypus. [l. 13. c.17.] Porphyrius that he poisoned himself when he was depressed by the loss of his army in the 4th year of the 164th Olympiad. [in Grac. Euseb. Scaliger. p. 227.]
  5. Cleopatra knew that her authority would be diminished by the victory which her son Antiochus Grypus had over Alexander Zepinas. She presented him as he came from exercising or from the army [original uncertain,] with a cup of poison. Grypus was warned of this treachery and pretended out of respect for his mother to have her drink first. When she refused, he continually urged her to. At last he charged her with plotting to poison him and showed her the one that informed him of the plot. He told her that the only way she could prove her innocence was to drink the cup which she had prepared for her son. The queen was forced to yield and so she died from the poison which she had prepared for another. After her death, Grypus quickly assumed the throne and enjoyed 8 peaceful years. [Justin. l.39. c.2. cf. Appian. in Syriac. p. 132.]
3883 AM, 4593 JP, 121 BC
  1. The 27th Jubilee.
  2. Lucius Opimius was the consul in the year when the tribune C. Gracchus, the brother to Tiberius Gracchus, was killed as he was encouraging the common people to revolt. The air was so warm and sunny that Pliny reports how wines made then lasted to his time, about 200 years later, and had the consistency of honey [Pliny l.14. c.4,14.] In the same year a bow appeared around the sun. [Pliny l.2. c.29.]
3888 AM, 4597 JP, 117 BC
  1. Ptolemy Euergetes the 2nd, or Physcon, died 29 years after the death of his brother Philometor. [Ptol. in Regum Canone. Clem. Alexandrin. l.1. Stromat. Euseb. Chronico. Epiphan. de Ponderib. & mensur. Jermone on (Daniel 9)] He was survived by 3 sons. Ptolemy Apion, the son of a harlot, was bequeathed the kingdom of the Cyrenians. [Justin. l.39. c.5. cum Appiano in Mithridaticis, p. 255.] Cleopara bore the other two sons, to him. She was the daughter of the former Cleopatra, who was both his sister and wife. The youngest was called Alexander and the oldest Ptolemy [Ptol. in Regum Canone, Prophyrius, Eusebius, Jerome, and Epiphanius] He was called Soter by [Strabo l.17. p. 795. Trogus Ptompeius Prolog. l.39. & 40. Pliny l.2. c.67. & l.c.30. Joseph. l.13. c.18. Clemens Alexandrinus l.1. Stromat.] He was called Lathurus or Lathyrus by Athenaeus [l. 6. c.6.] and Pausanias [in Atticis.] He was called Philometor which is a variation on Philopater, by Natalis Comes who translated Athenaeus. This last name was given to him because he was so despised. Pausanias noted that there was never any king more hated by his mother than he. [Pausan. Attic. p. 7.]
  2. On his deathbed, Physcon left the kingdom of Egypt to his wife, Cleopatra, and to one of the sons of her choice. He hoped to make Egypt more quiet, and free from rebellions than the kingdom of Syria. However, when the mother chose one soon, she was sure to make the other her enemy. [Justin. l.39. c.3.] She thought that Alexander, the younger son, would prove more pliable to her requests and asked the Egyptians to ratify this. She was unable to prevail with the common people and was forced to select her older son, Lathurus, who was banished to Cyprus by his father upon her request. The two reigned together in Egypt for 10 years. [Justin l.39. c.3. Pausan. in Atticus, p. 7,8. Porphyr. in Grac. Euseb. Scaliger, p. 225.]
  3. Before Cleopatra would give the kingdom to Lathurus, she took away his wife from him and forced him to divorce his most endeared sister Cleopatra. She ordered him to marry the younger sister Selene. In this action she showed more partiality toward her daughters than was befitting for a mother. She took away the husband from one and gave him to the other. [Justin. l.39. c.3.]
3890 AM, 4600 JP, 114 BC
  1. After Antiochus Grypus had enjoyed the kingdom of Syria for 8 peaceful years, his brother Antiochus of Cyzicenus rose up as his rival in the kingdom. They both had the same mother, but Cyzicenus' father was the uncle, Antiochus Sidetes. Grypus planned to poison his rival. His brother raised an army to fight for the kingdom faster than he thought he would. Antiochus of Cyzicenus was sent away to Cyzicum by his mother Cleopatra, for fear of Demetrius Nicator, her former husband whom she had abandoned. He was raised by Craterus the eunuch and from there received the surname of Cyzicenus. [Justin. l.39. c.2. Appian. Syriac. p. 132. Porphyr. ut sup. p. 227. Joseph. l.13. c.17.] When Grypus heard of his brothers raising forces against him in Cyzicum, he abandoned his intended expedition against the Jews and prepared to meet him. [Joseph. l.13. c.17.]
3891 AM, 4601 JP, 113 BC
  1. Cleopatra, who was the former wife of Ptolemy Lathurus and later divorced from her husband by Cleopatra queen of Egypt, was married to Antiochus Cyzicenus in Syria. She brought the army at Cyprus to him as her dowry. He thought that with these forces he was a match for his brother. They fought and he was defeated and fled to Antioch. Gyrpus pursued him to Antioch and besieged it. Cleopatra the wife of Cyzicenus was in the town. As soon as it was taken, Tryphena, the wife of Grypus ordered that her sister Cleopatra should be found. She did not intend to release her but wanted to see her suffer. She had invaded this kingdom mainly from envy of her and by her marriage with the sworn enemy of her sister, had made herself her enemy also. Moreover, she charged her that she was the cause of bringing in the foreign forces and of the differences between the two brothers. Since she had been divorced from her brother, she married out of the kingdom to one who was not an Egyptian, contrary to her mother's will. Grypus endeavoured to prevent his wife from acting cruelly toward her. He told her that it was against the law of arms that after a victory to act violently against women, especially those that are blood relatives as Cleopatra was. She was her own sister and his first cousin and aunt to her own children. In addition to being a blood relative, she had sought sanctuary in the temple which must be respected. He concluded that he would not reduce Cizicenus' power by killing her nor gain any advantage if he should send her back to him unharmed. On the contrary, Tryphena, thought his words were the result of love not from pity. She sent some soldiers into the temple who killed Cleopatra. They first cut off her hands as she embraced the image of the goddess so that no less hostility might appear to be between the two sisters than there was between the brothers. [Justin, l.39. c.3.]
  2. Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, the mother of these two sisters, in the 4th year of her reign, made Alexander her younger son, king of Cyprus, and sent him there. She hoped that by this she would seem more formidable to her oldest son Lathurus who was her partner in the kingdom. [Pausan. in Attic. p. 7,8. Porphyr. in Grac. Euseb. p. 225.]
3892 AM, 4602 JP, 112 BC
  1. At age 16, Alexander Jamnaeus was born to Hyrcanus by his wife Alexandra. When Herod heard of Caesar's victory at Actium, he killed Alexander when he was over 80 years old. [Josephus l.13. c.9.] From this we gather that this Alexandra who is also called Salina, by the ecclesiastical writers [See note on 3862 AM <<3485>>] was not the same with that Salome, the wife of Aristobulus whom the Greeks called Alexandra. After the death of her husband, she made Alexander Jamnaeus who was 22 years old, king in his place. Josephus states that he reigned 27 years and lived 49 years. [Joseph. l.13. c.20.]
  2. Antiochus' Cyzicenus fought with Grypus and won. He captured Tryphena, Gryphus' wife who a little before had killed her sister and his wife. He did the same to her and sacrificed her to the ghost of his wife. [Justin. l.39. c.3.] He chased his brother also from his kingdom and reigned over the Syrians in his place. [Appian. Syriac. p. 132.] After this defeat, Grypus withdrew to Aspendum and from there, he assumed the surname of Aspendius. Cizicenus started to reign in the 1st year of the 167th Olympiad. [Porphyr. in Grac. Euseb. p. 227.]
3893 AM, 4603 JP, 111 BC
  1. In the 2nd year of the same Olympiad, Antiochus Grypus returned from Aspendum and regained Syria but Cyzicenus held Coelosyira. Hence the kingdom was shared between them. [Porphyr. in Grac. Euseb. p. 227.]
  2. As soon as Antiochus Cyzicenus had taken over the kingdom, he gave himself up to revellings and luxury and conduct all together unseemly for kings. He was very fond of acting and stage players and all sorts of jugglers. He learned their arts very well. He applied himself also to playing with puppets. His main delight was making the images of living creatures of a size of 7 to 8 feet and he covered them over with gold and silver. He made them move by themselves with various machines. Moreover, he was very fond of hunting. He would often steal away secretly by night with a servant or two to hunt boars, lions and leopards. Many times he risked his life by his rash encounters with wild beasts. [Diod. Sic. l.35. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 385.] Antiochus Grypus also engaged in luxurious living as described by Athenaeus [l. 5. c.9. & l.12. c.19.] as taken from the 28th book of Posidonius of Apamea's histories.
3894 AM, 4604 JP, 110 BC
  1. The war between those two brothers weakened both of them and proved a great advantage to John Hyrcanus. By this means he secured the incomes and revenues of Judea and had stored up this money for future use. He saw what pitiful havock Cyzicenus made in his brother's country and how Grypus received no supplies from Egypt to help him. He and his brother drained their resources fighting one another. In time, John stopped worrying about either of them. [Joseph. l.13. c.17.]
  2. Thereupon he marched with his army against the Samaritans who were under the dominion of the kings of Syria. They had attacked the Marisieni who they subdued and were Idumeans. These were under the Jews before and were farmers to the Jews and in league with them. He besieged Samaria which was a well fortified city with a trench and double wall 10 miles long. He left his sons, Antigonus and Aristobulus to manage the seige. They maintained the seige so well that famine raged within Samaria. They were driven to such extremity that they were forced to feed upon such things as were not proper food for men. At the last, they begged help from Antiochus Cyzicenus. [Joseph. l.13. c.18.]
3895 AM, 4605 JP, 109 BC
  1. Cyzicenus came as fast as he could to relieve the Samaritans. He was routed by Aristobulus' soldiers and the two brothers pursued him closely as far as Scythopolis and he barely escaped. On that very day it is reported that Hyrcanus the high priest, as he was offering incense alone in the temple, heard a voice which told him of the recent late victory which his sons had over Antiochus. After they had beaten Antiochus, they returned back to Samaria and forced the Samaritans to retreat within their walls. So they were constrained once more to beg for help from Antiochus. [Joseph. l.13. c.18.]
  2. Antiochus Cyzicenus had about 6000 soldiers which Ptolemy Lathurus had sent him in spite of his mother Cleopatra. She had not yet deposed of him. These wandered up and down Hyrcanus' dominions and he plundered with his Egyptians wherever he went. He did not dare fight with John who was far too strong for him. He hoped by his pillaging of the country, he would draw off Hyrcanus from the siege of Samaria. After he had lost many of his men by an ambush which the enemy had laid, he marched away to Tripolis. He committed the war with the Jews to two of his commanders, Callimander and Epicrates. Callimander fought with the enemy with greater resolution than discretion. His troops were routed and he was killed. Epicrates betrayed Scythopolis and some other towns to the Jews after having been well paid for the task. All this was of no help to the Samaritans. After Hyrcanus had spent a full year besieging Samaria, he was not content with the bare surrender of the city but levelled it to the very ground. [Joseph. l.13. c.18.]
  3. The Seleucians, who lived near Antioch in Syria had obtained a liberty of living after their own laws. They started their epoch from that time. [Fasti Siculi. anno 4th Olympiad 167]
3896 AM, 4606 JP, 108 BC
  1. Hyrcanus was of the sect of the Pharisees and was a disciple and favoured them. He invited some of the most eminent among them to a feast. He took exception with Eleazer, who falsely charged him that when his mother was taken prisoner in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, she was forced to become an harlot. Since the scandal was not so deeply resented by the rest of the company as he expected it should have been, he grew enraged against the whole sect of the Pharisees. By the instigation of Jonathan a Sadducee, he deserted the Pharisees and became a Sadducee. Now, the Pharisees commended to the people many traditions which they received from their ancestors by hand and which were not found written among Moses' laws. Therefore, the Sadducees said these customs were not binding and only what was found in Moses' law was legally valid. From this action there was a great dispute between them both. The rich sided with the Sadducees while the Pharisees appealed to the common people. Therefore Hyrcanus would have punished some of the Pharisees, who were zealous for their laws even though Hyrcanus had abrogated them. Hence there arose a rebellion among them. Although at that time he soon settled it, yet he and his sons by this action were hated by the common people. [Joseph. l.13. c.18.]
  2. John Hyrcanus died after serving as high priest for 29 years according as Eusebius stated from Josephus. [l. 8.] Demonstrat. Evangelic. c.2. and Jerome translating him into Latin, repeats it in his commentaries on (Daniel 9). Although in our books, and in the old translation of Ruffinus, Josephus states this was 33 years, [as in l.1. Belli. c.3.] sometimes 31 years. [as in Antiq. l.13. c.18. & l.20. c.8.] His father Simon died in the 177th year of the kingdom of the Greeks in the 11th month, Sabat, /APC (1 Maccabees 16:14) about February 4579 JP. His wife Alexandra, died about November 4644 JP. There is almost 65 years and 9 months difference. So that subtracting the 37 years which Josephus assigns to the reign of his sons and his wife, there remained only 28 years, 9 months for Hyrcanus. Some of the modern men are of opinion but with no good reason, that John was the writer of the first book of the Maccabees. They say that these words in the end of the book were added by somebody else. "Concerning the other things of John, both of his wars, and his noble acts, in which he behaved himself manfully, and of his building the walls, [viz. of Jerusalem, which were demolished by command of Antiochus Sidetes] and of other of his deeds, Behold they are written in the chronicles of his priesthood from the time he was made high priest after his father."
  3. Probably, in the 4th book of the Maccabees which Sixtus Senensis in the end of the first book of his Bibliotheca Sanctae states which he saw translated from the Hebrew into Greek in a manuscript at Lyons, in Sontes Pagninus' library among the Predicants. It began like this: "And after Simon was slain, John his son was made high priest in his place."
  4. From that book it is supposed that Josephus took his information. He tells of three things which Hyrcanus held at the same time, the kingship over the Jews, the high priesthood and prophetic office. For he tells us that because he often spoke with God, he obtained so good an insight into the future that much earlier he foretold the short time which his two oldest sons should have in the kingdom which their father left them. [Josephus, l.Bells. 2. c.3. & l.13. Antiq. c.18.]
  5. Concerning the tower built by John, which Herod later called Antonius' Tower, and where he placed the robe and the rest of the high priest's ornaments, Josephus states: [Antiq. l.20. c.6.] "Hyrcanus was the first high priest by that name. He built a tower near the temple and lived in it most of his time. Since he kept in his own custody the high priest's robe, which nobody else used but himself, he took it off in that place when he put on his ordinary clothes. This custom was observed by his sons also and their posterity."
  6. After Hyrcanus died, the stones which were set in the high priest's breast plate and the onyx stone upon his right shoulder grew dim and lost their lustre. The light from these stones showed God's approval of the conduct of the Jews. Josephus stated this showed God's displeasure with them for transgressing his laws. [Antiq. l.3. c.9.] This was 200 years before he began to write his books concerning the Jewish history. At the end of those books, he stated he completed them in the 13th year of Domitian's reign, 4807 JP.
  7. Judas, the oldest son of Hyrcanus was otherwise called Aristobulus and surnamed Philellen from his familiarity and commerce with the Greeks. He succeeded his father in the government and the high priesthood but he held them for only a year. He was the first of anyone who after the return from the Babylonian captivity to place the crown on his head and changed the state to a monarchy. [Joseph. l.1. Belli. c.3. Antiq. l.13. c.16. & l.20. c.8.] However, Strabo wrote that his brother and successor Alexander, was the first that made himself king. [l. 16. p. 762.] He likely disregarded Aristobulus since he held office for so short a time.
  8. Aristobulus promoted his second brother Antigonus whom he liked far more than the rest, to be a partner in the kingdom. He committed the other three to be bound in prison. He also cast his mother into prison who quarrelled with him for the government because Hyrcanus had left her over the entire government. He rose to heights of cruelty when he starved her to death in the prison. [Joseph. l.1. Bel. c.3. & Antiq. l.13. c.19.]
  9. Cleopatra in Egypt was greatly troubled that her son Ptolemy Lathurus was joined with her in the government of the kingdom and she stirred up the people against him. [Justin, l.39. c.4.] She selected from among her eunuchs those whom she trusted and brought them into the public assembly pitifully cut and slashed. She charged Ptolemy as if he had secretly hired men to ambush her and disfigure her eunuchs. The Alexandrians were so enraged at that spectacle that they would have killed him. Since he had secretly sailed away out of danger, they greeted Alexander as king, who had returned from Cyprus, not very long after this event happened. [Pausan. in Attic. p. 8.]
  10. Before he was banished from the kingdom, his mother Cleopatra had taken from him his wife Selene. The indignity was the greater in that he had two sons by her. [Justin. l.39. c.4.] As for Alexander, who was called in by his mother and made king of Egypt in his brother's place, at that time he was in the 8th year of his reign in Cyprus and his mother was in the 11th year of her reign in Egypt. [Porphyr. in Grac. Euseb. Scaliger, p. 225.] Athenaeus [l. 12. c.27.] notes how that Alexander grew as fat and swag bellied as his father, Physcon. He mentions this passage concerning him, from Posidonius Apamenus in the 47th book of his histories. "The king of Egypt was not popular with the common people. He was blinded with the insinuations and flatteries of his friends and living in continual luxury. He could not walk a step unless he was supported by two men. In the dancing which was the custom at the feasts, he would leap bare-foot from the higher beds and move his body in dancing as nimbly and actively as the best."
3898 AM, 4608 JP, 106 BC
  1. Aristobulus marched with an army into Itura and added it to Judea. He forced the inhabitants under penalty of banishment, to be circumcised and keep the other Jewish ceremonies. Strabo affirms this in these words from Timagenes the historian. "He [Aristobulus] was an upright man and one who furthered the Jews' interest very much. He enlarged their territories and annexed part of Itura to them and secured it by the covenant of circumcision." [Joseph. l.13. c.19.]
3899 AM, 4608 JP, 106 BC
  1. Antigonus returned from the wars in triumph at the time the Jews held their solemn feast of tabernacles. It happened, that king Aristobulus fell sick and stayed in his bed in the tower which was later called Antonius' tower. However, his brother Antigonus, intended to be present at the holy solemnities and went up to the temple very gloriously attired. The main purpose of his going there was to pray for the sick king's recovery. Aristobulus was told by some wicked persons, who meant no good to Antigonus that he should beware of his brother who had a plot against him. He placed some of his guard in a dark vault underground near the tower and ordered them that if his brother came unarmed no one should touch him. Otherwise, they should attack and kill him. He sent secretly to him a man who told him he should not come armed. However, Salome the queen and the rest of Antigonus' friends persuaded the messenger to tell him just the opposite. The king wanted to see him dressed in his military attire. Judas, one of the sect of the Essenes, was a famous person for telling the future. He had foretold that Antigonus would die that very day in Straton's tower. He did not know that there was any other Straton's tower besides that which was later called the Cesarean tower and about 75 miles from Jerusalem. Therefore when he saw Antigonus going up to the temple that day, he wished he might die immediately. He feared lest he might be proved a false prophet and ruin his reputation. Shortly after this, Judas heard that Antigonus was killed in that underground place which was called by the same name of Straton's tower as was that other Cesarean tower on the sea coast. [Joseph. Belli. l.1. c.3. & Antiq. l.13. c.19.]
  2. Aristobulus' sickness grew worse and worse from the remorse from his horrid murder of his brother. At last his pains were so violent, that he vomited blood. As one of his servants was carrying forth the blood to empty it, it happened that his foot slipped and he spilt Aristobulus' blood on the very same place which was stained with Antigonus' blood. Aristobulus was told of the accident and acknowledged the just judgment of God by it. He immediately gave up the ghost in extreme anguish of body and soul. [Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.19.]
  3. After Aristobulus died, his wife Salome, whom the Greeks call Alexandra, released his brothers whom he had kept prisoners for a long while. She made Alexander Jannaeus the king since he was the oldest and most modest of them. As soon as he had the kingdom, he killed one of his brothers when he discovered he was plotting against him. He acted quite civilly toward the others and was content to live a retired life and at ease. [Joseph. l.13. c.20.] He was called Absolom and was taken prisoner at Jerusalem by Pompey 42 years later. [Joseph. Antiq. l.14. c.8.]
  4. Alexander Jannaeus ordered the affairs of the kingdom in such a way as seemed most proper to him. He marched with an army against Ptolemais and defeated them in a battle. He forced the enemy to retreat within the walls and then he besieged them and made his batteries. At the same time, the two brothers Philometor or Grypus and Cyzicenus in Syria were so weakened by their battles between themselves, they took no notice of the problems of Ptolemais. Zoilus, a tyrant, saw the dissentions between the two brothers and used the opportunity to seize Straton's tower and Dora. He helped the besieged but not very much. Ptolemy Lathuras who was thrown out of the kingdom of Egypt by his mother Cleopatra, took over Cyprus. The men of Ptolemais sent ambassadors to him asking that he would come and rescue them from the danger they were in by Alexander. They promised that as soon as he entered into Syria, he would have the men of Gazaea, Ptolemais, Zoilus, Sidon and many others on his side to help. He was encouraged by their good promises and he prepared for the voyage. [Joseph. Antiq. l.14. c.8.]
  5. In the meantime Demenaetus, a popular and eminent authority persuaded the men of Ptolemais to alter their resolutions. He told them that they had better take the fortunes of war with the Jews where they might win than to submit to certain bondage by calling in a king over them. Moreover, thereby not only undergo the brunt of the present war, but also they were to expect another from Egypt. Cleopatra would not sit still and allow Ptolemy to gather forces from the adjacent parts but would quickly march with a strong force to hinder his work. For the queen endeavoured to drive him out of Cyprus also. [Joseph. Antiq. l.14. c.8.] His conjecture proved true. After Cleopatra had banished her son, she was not content. She persecuted him up and down with war and not only chased him out of Cyprus but killed the general of her own army when he let him escape after he had taken him prisoner. Justin said, if we can believe him, that Ptolemy did not leave the island not because he thought himself equal to her in power but because he was ashamed to fight against his mother. [Justin l.39. c.4.]
  6. Although Ptolemy had heard on the way, that the people of Ptolemais had changed their minds, yet he sailed on to Sycaminum. He landed his forces there which consisted of about 30,000 cavalry and foot soldiers. From there he marched to Ptolemais with all his forces and camped there. When he saw the Ptolemaians would not allow his delegates into the town nor hear them so much as speak, he was all the more perplexed. After that, Zoilus and the Gazaeans were come to him and desired his assistance against the Jews. Alexander who pillaged their country after he raised the siege of Ptolemais for fear of Ptolemy. [Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.20.]
3900 AM, 4609 JP, 105 BC
  1. After Alexander Jannaeus had led his army home, he began to play tricks. He made a secret alliance with Cleopatra against Ptolemy but in public proclaimed him to be his friend and ally. He promised him 400 talents of silver if he for his sake would remove Zoilus the tyrant and give his country to the Jews. Ptolemy very willingly struck up the bargain with him but when he saw later how Alexander negotiated secretly with his mother Cleopatra, he broke the league which he had made with him. [Joseph. Antiq. l.13. c.20.]
  2. When the senate had given permission to Marius, who was on an expedition against the Cimbrians, to request supplies from the countries beyond the seas, he wrote to Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia for help. Nicomedes replied that the Bithynians were mainly carried away and kept as slaves by the custom gatherers in various places. Thereupon the senate issued a decree prohibiting any free man of the allies of the people of Rome to serve as slaves in any province. In addition they sent orders to the governors of the provinces to set them at liberty where any such were forced to work. [Diod. Sic. l.38. in Bibliotheca, Photii. cod. 244.]
  3. This decree of the senate was duly and strictly observed as soon as it was issued. Later it was neglected by Licinius Nerva, the praetor of Sicily and this caused the second slave war in Sicily. The rebels made Salvius, a soothsayer and a minstrel, their king, whom they called Tryphon later. [Id. ib. cum Dion. in Excerptis Valesii. p. 633,634.]
  4. When C. Marius and C. Flaccus or rather Flavius were consuls, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, there was an eclipse of the sun. [Jul. Obsequens, de prodigiis.] This was almost a total eclipse of the sun and the astronomical calculation shows that this happened on July 19th 4610 JP.
  5. When Askelon became a free state, they computed time from this time as has been noted in the Cicilian Chronicles at the 169th Olympiad. Eusebius' chronicle agrees and says that the 380th year of their epoch was the 2nd year of Ptobus the Emperor. This happened in 4990 JP.
  6. Ptolemy Lathurus left his commanders with a brigade of his army to besiege Ptolemais which shut its gates against him. They finally took the city. Meanwhile, he marched away with the remainder of his forces against Judea to pillage and subdue it. Alexander Jannaeus received news of his coming and his actions. He gathered about 50,000 [some writers rather think 80,000] men and marched to meet him. Ptolemy attacked by surprise Asochis, a city of Galilee, on the sabbath and took it. He carried away with him about 10,000 prisoners besides much plunder. Next he attacked Zephoris which was close to Asochis. When he had lost many men before the place, he withdrew to fight with Alexander Jannaeus whom he met at the Jordan River opposite Asophos. Alexander had 8000 men who fought in the vanguard carrying shields of brass. He called these men, Hecatontomachi. These faced Ptolemy's vanguard who also used shields of brass. They were pushed back by the first charge of the enemy but in the end, they were pursued by Philostephanus who was a skilled military man. They crossed over the river to the place where the Jews were camped. The battle waged and no side was the victor. Finally, Ptolemy's soldiers routed the Jews and in the pursuit they killed so many that their arms were wearied and the edge of their swords became dull. It is said that 30,000, [or as Timagenes has computed in his writings 50,000] Jews died in that battle. The rest were either taken prisoner or escaped. After the victory Ptolemy roved all that day about the country. At evening he retired into some of the villages belonging to the Jews. When he saw they were crowded with women and children, he commanded his soldiers to attack and kill indiscriminately. They had chopped them in pieces to put them into scalding cauldrons. They did this so that those who had escaped, might believe that the enemy ate human flesh. By this they would become more dreadful and formidable to the onlookers. This act of cruelty is recorded by Strabo and Nicholaus Damascenus in their histories. [Joseph. l.13. c.20,21.]
3901 AM, 4611 JP, 103 BC
  1. Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, saw her son Lathurus increasing in power daily. He subdued the city of the Gazeans and he plundered the Jews at will. She did not consider it wise to let him go on as he did especially when he did these deeds so close to Egypt and yearned for the kingdom. Therefore to check him, she immediately raised land and naval forces and entrusted them to Chelcias and Ananias. These were both Jews and sons of that Onias who built the temple in the region of Alexandria. [Joseph. l.13. c.18. & 21.] For that the queen did all things by the advice of those two favourites. Josephus confirmed this by this testimony taken from of the history of Strabo the Cappadocian: "Most of those who first entered Cyprus with us and of those also who were sent there later by Cleopatra defected to Ptolemy Lathurus. Only those Jews who were on Onias' side remained loyal. In that regard, their country men Chelcias and Ananias, were held in high esteem by the queen."
  2. Cleopatra, deposited a considerable portion of her wealth in the island Cos where also she left her grandchildren and her last will and testament. Cos was a small island close to Egypt and not the island by the same name in the Aegean Sea. She ordered Ptolemy, Alexander's son, to arrive at Phoenicia with a large fleet. After the country had revolted and flocked to her, she came to Ptolemais. She was denied entrance and she resolved to take it by storm. In the meanwhile, it happened that Chelcias one of her chief commanders died, as he was pursuing Lathurus in Coelosyria. Lathurus had left Syria and hurried to get into Egypt because he thought that the garrisons would be all drained by Cleopatra. Hence he dreamed he could take them by surprise but he was wrong. [Joseph. l.13. c.21.]
  3. The Egestan and Lilybetane fugitives in Sicily appointed Athenio, a Cilician shepherd as their king. He pretended that the gods by the stars had told him that he should be king of all Sicily. Therefore it behoved him to favour the country and to spare its cattle and fruits as if they were his own. However, as soon as Tryphon sent for him, he submitted himself to Tryphon as king and was content with being general over the army under Tryphon. [Diod. Sic. l.36. ut supr. cf. Cicero, in Verro l.2. with Florus, l.3. Histor. c.19. & Dion. in Excerpt. Valesii, p. 637.]
3902 AM, 4612 JP, 102 BC
  1. Cleopatra heard that her son, Lathurus had attempted and failed to take over Egypt. She sent a brigade of her army there and chased him clean out of the country. After he was again driven from Egypt, he spent the following winter at Gaza. [Joseph. l.13. c.21.]
  2. In the meantime Cleopatra captured Ptolemais with its garrisons. Alexander Jannaeus came to her with presents in his hands. She entertained him in such manner as was befitting for one that had been oppressed by Lathurus and had no other refuge to go to. Certain of the queen's favourites tried to persuade her to seize that country also and not to allow such a number of good Jews to be at the command of one single person. Ananias advised her the contrary and told her that it would be most unjust for her to strip a man of his fortunes who was her fellow warrior and the kinsman of Ananias. If she did so, she would in a very short time lose the affections of the whole country of the Jews. Cleopatra followed his counsel and at that time she did no harm to him and shortly after this, she renewed their former league at Scythopolis a city of Coelosyria. [Joseph. l.13. c.21.]
  3. When Alexander Jannaeus was now free of any danger from Ptolemy Lathurus, he undertook an expedition into Coelosyria and besieged Gadara. [Joseph. l.13. c.21.]
  4. L. Licinius Lucullus was sent by the senate against the slaves that had revolted. He came into Sicily with an army of 17,000 men consisting of Italians, Bithynians, Thessalonians, Acarnans and Lucans. Athenio the Silician marched out to meet him with 40,000 men. He lost 20,000 of his men. Although he was badly wounded, he escaped by hiding among the dead carcases, [Diod. Sic. l.36.]
  5. The Jews and the Arabians raided Syria by land and the Cilicians started a war at sea by their piracy which the Romans waged in Cilicia by Antonius. [Prolog. l.39. Trogi.] Marcus Antonius, the orator and grandfather of M. Antonius who held the triumph, was then the praetor. He was sent to that war instead of the consul and stayed at Athens many days because of poor sailing weather. He heard Mnesarchus, Carneades and Menedemus who were three most learned men disputing there, as he did later of Metrodorus Scepsius in Asia. When he came into the province with the help of the Byzantians, he fought with the pirates with good success. However, in the battle, he lost M. Gratidius, his admiral. [Cicero in l.1. & 2. de Oratore, & in Bruto. Livy l.68. Corn. Tacit. l.12.] We now mention the passage of Julius Obsequens about the consulship of C. Marcus and Q. Luctarius. The pirates in Sicily [sic. Cilicia] were defeated by the Romans. In another passage in l.68. of Livy's Epitome it said that Antonius the praetor in Sicily [it must be read Cilicia, as in the former citation] chased the pirates at sea. By this action he held a triumph according to Pighius in the third tome of his Annals at about the end of the 661st year of Rome.
  6. The fourth Calippic period begins.
  7. Alexander Jannaeus took Gadara after he had spent 10 months besieging it. [Joseph. l.13. c.21.]
  8. When Marius and Catusus were consuls, Archias the poet of Antiochs, came to Rome. He later described the Mithridatic war in Greek verse and many of whose epigrams are still extant in the Greek anthology. He was mainly responsible for teaching Cicero. [Cicero, pro Archia, Poeta.]
  9. Although C. Marius was ready to fight the Cimbrians in Gaul, he delayed the battle. He pretended that by the advice of certain oracles, he only delayed for a convenient time and place for a victory. He carried around with him on a litter, Martha, a Syrian woman who was reported to have skill in prophesying. He held her in great reverence and never sacrificed without her approval. She had formerly been with the senate to entreat of those matters and foretell what should happen. However, the senate ignored her and would not give her an hearing. [Plutarch in Marius.]
  10. About the same time, Battaces or Batabaces, a priest of the great Mother Idaeus, came to Rome from Pessinunt in Phrygia. He came into the senate and told them that he was ordered there by his goddess with tidings of a great victory which should happen to the people of Rome and the fame they should get in a war. He added that the religious rites of the goddess were profaned and therefore public expiation ought to be made for them at Rome. He also brought along with him a garment and other ornaments of the body that were new and were never seen by any Roman before that time. He brought also a golden crown of an unusual size and a long robe interwoven with flowers and gilded. It was all very glorious and royal looking. After he had made a speech to the people from the orator's speaking desk and persuaded them to receive his superstitious worship, he was entertained at the public places of receipt for strangers. He was prohibited by Aulus Pompeius, the tribune of the people, to bring his crown with him. The other tribune brought him to the court and questioned him concerning the expiation of the temple. He returned a very superstitious answer. After Pompeius had called him an impostor and driven him from the court, he dissolved the assembly and went home. He suddenly became sick with a violent fever so that soon after this he became speechless and was most grievously tormented with a swollen throat. On the 3rd day [or as others, the 7th day] he died. All this, some interpreted to have happened to him by a divine providence for the indignant manner in which he treated the priest and the goddess. For the Romans were naturally inclined to superstitions. Therefore, Battaces in his holy dress was treated so magnificently by the men and women. When he left Rome, he was accompanied out of town with such great pomp. [Id. ibid. & Diod. Sic. l.36. in Photii Bibliotheca, cod. 244.]
  11. A servant belonging to Servilius Caepio made himself an eunuch for the worship of Mother Idaeus. He was transported overseas and never returned back again to Rome. [Julius Obsequens ut supra.]
3903 AM, 4612 JP, 102 BC
  1. Alexander Jannaeus captured Amathus which was the best fortified citadel of any near Jordan. Theodorus, the son of Zenon, had stored whatever he had of value there. When Theodorus suddenly attacked Alexander, he recovered what he had lost and pillaged Alexander's wagons and killed 10,000 Jews. As soon as Alexander had recovered from this loss, he attacked the countries along that sea coast and captured Raphta and Anthedon which Herod later named Agrippias. [Joseph. Belli. l.1. c.3. Antiq. l.13. c.21.]
  2. Manius Aquilius, the colleague of C. Marius in his 5th consulship, was sent as general against Athenio the Cilician. After Tryphon's death, he was made king of the renegades in Sicily. He behaved himself gallantly in the service and he won a most famous victory over the rebels. He fought with King Athenio personally and finally overcame him. When the soldiers strove among themselves whose prisoner he should be, Athenio was torn in pieces by them in the strife. [Diod. Sic. l.36. Forus. l.3. c.19.]
  3. Ptolemy Lathurus left Gaza and returned again to Cyprus and his mother Cleopatra returned to Egypt. [Joseph. l.13. c.21.] Her harsh treatment of Lathurus frightened her young son Alexander so much that it caused him to leave Cyprus. He preferred a secure and safe life to the hazards of a kingdom. Therefore Cleopatra feared lest her oldest son Lathurus get Antiochus Cyzineus' help in recovering Egypt. She sent supplies to Antiochus Grypus and sent unto him also Selene, Lathurus' wife, to be married to the enemy of her former husband. She had her ambassadors recall her son Alexander to the kingdom. [Justin. l.39. c.4.] This was the cause of their civilwars which arose between the kings of Syria which Livy tells us of. [l. 68.]
3904 AM, 4613 JP, 101 BC
  1. Julius Obsequens notes in his little book, de prodigiis, that the fugitives in Sicily were all killed in various battles at the time when C. Marius and Lucius Valerius were consuls. Aquilius the proconsul pursued the remaining 10,000 fugitives until he had subdued them all. Thus the second war of the slaves was ended after it had lasted almost 4 years. [Diod. Sic. l.36.] In these wars, Athenaeus stated that 10,000 slaves were killed. [l. 6. c.7.]