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the field, or even to prevent their entrance into Jerusalem, took refuge in the strong fortress of Bans. Phasael soon after suffered himself to be deluded by a pretended negotiation, and was made prisoner by the Parthians, but Herod effected his escape in safety, with his family and treasures, to the strong fortress of Masada, on the shores of the Dead Sea. Here he left a strong garrison, while he himself hastened to Petra to obtain the assistance of the Arabian king Malchus, on whose support he reckoned with confidence. But Malchus proved false in the hour of need, and refused to receive him; on which Herod, dismissing the greater part of his followers, hastened with a small band to Pelusium, and from thence to Alexandria, where he embarked at once for Rome. On his arrival in that capital, he was received with the utmost distinction both by Antony and Octavian, between whom a reconciliation had just been effected. Antony was at the time preparing to take the field against the Parthians, and foresaw in Herod an useful ally; hence he obtained a decree of the senate in his favour, which went beyond his own most sanguine hopes, as it constituted him at once king of Judaea, passing over the remaining heirs of the Asmonean line. (Joseph. Ant. xiv. 9, 11—14, B. Jud. i. 10—14j Dion Cass. xlviii. 26 ; Appian, JB. C. v. 75.)
It was before the close of the year 40 that Herod obtained this unexpected elevation. So quickly had the whole matter been transacted, that he was able to leave Rome again only seven days after he arrived there, and sailing directly to Syria, landed at Ptolemais within three months from the time he had first fled from Jerusalem. He quickly assembled an army, with which he conquered the greater part of Galilee, raised the siege of Masada, took the strong fortress of Ressa, and then, in conjunction with the Roman general Silo, laid siege to Jerusalem. But, rapid as his progress was at first, it was long before he could complete the establishment of his power; and the war was protracted for several years, a circumstance owing in part to the jealousy or corruption of the Roman generals appointed to co-operate with him. The Jews within the city appear to have been strongly attached to Antigonus, as the representative of the popular line of the Asmonean princes, and they held out firmly. Even when, in b. c. 37, Herod at length obtained vigorous assistance from Antony's lieutenant, So-sius, at the head of a regular army of Roman troops, it was only by hard fighting and with heavy loss that they were able to carry in succession the several lines of wall that surrounded the city, and it was with still more difficulty that Herod was able to purchase from the Roman soldiery the freedom from pillage of a part at least of his capital. (Joseph. Ant. xiv. 15, 16, B. J. i. 15 —18 ; Dion Cass. xlix. 22.) This long and sanguinary struggle had naturally irritated the minds of the people against him ; and his first measures, when he found himself in secure possession of the sovereignty, were certainly not well calculated to conciliate them. All the members of the sanhedrim, except two, were put to death, and executions were continually taking place of all those persons who had taken an active part against him. These severities were prompted not only by vengeance but cupidity, for the purpose of confiscating their wealth, as Herod sought to amass treasures by every means in his power, for the purpose of se-
curing the favour of Antony by the most lavish presents. He was indeed not without cause for apprehension. Immediately on his becoming master of Jerusalem, he had; bestowed the high-priesthood (vacant by the death of Antigonus, whom Antony, at the instigation of Herod, had executed like a common malefactor) upon an obscure priest from Babylon, named Ananel, and by this measure had given bitter offence to Alexandra, the mother .of his wife Mariamne, who regarded that dignity as belonging of right to her son Aristobums, a youth of sixteen, and the last male descendant of the Asmonean race. Alexandra sought support for her cause by entering into secret correspondence with Cleopatra, whose influence with Antony rendered her at this time all-powerful in the East; and this potent influence, united with the constant entreaties of his beloved wife Mariamne, compelled Herod to depose Ananel, and bestow the high-priesthood upon Aristobulus. But the continued intrigues of Alexandra, and the growing popularity of the young man himself, so alarmed the jealousy of Herod, that he contrived to effect his secret assassination, in a manner that enabled him to disclaim all participation in the scheme. (Joseph. Ant. xv. 1—3.) But the mind of Cleopatra was alienated from him, not only by the representations of Alexandra, but by her own desire to annex the dominions of Herod to her own, and it was with difficulty that the king could make head against her influence. Antony, however, resisted all her entreaties; and though he summoned Herod to meet him at Laodiceia, and give an account of his conduct towards Aristobulus, he dismissed him with the highest honours. Cleopatra herself, on her return from the Euphrates, whither she had attended Antony, passed through Judaea, and visited Herod, who received her with the utmost distinction, and even accompanied her as far as the confines of Egypt, but successfully avoided all her snares. (Id. xv. 4.)
Hostilities soon after broke out between Antony and Octavian. Herod had assembled a large force, with which he was preparing to join Antony, when he received orders from that general to turn his arms against Malchus, king of Arabia, who had refused payment of the appointed tribute to Cleopatra: and these hostilities (which appear to have occupied the greater part of two years) fortunately prevented him from taking any personal part in the civil war. Still, when the battle of Actium had decided the fortunes of the Eastern world, Herod could not but feel his position to be one of much danger, from his well-known attachment to the cause of Antony. Under these circumstances, he adopted the daring resolution of proceeding at once in person to meet Caesar at Rhodes, and not only avowing, but dwelling upon, the warmth of his attachment to Antony, and the great services he had rendered him, so long as it was possible to do so: concluding that Caesar might thence learn the value and steadiness of the friendship which he now offered him. By this magnanimous conduct, he completely secured the favour of Octavian, who not only confirmed him in the possession of Judaea, but on his return from Egypt in the following year (b. c. 30), extended his dominions by the restitution of some districts which had been assigned by Antony to Cleopatra, and by the addition of Gadara and Samaria, as well as Gaza, Joppa, and other cities on the sea-coast. (Joseph. Ant, xv. 5, 6, 7.