A Surprise for Centi - A book about Friendship

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Illi autem paulatim foeminae simplici in sinuati quo suis pro sua libidine summovendo, deponendo, itemque vinciendo, ac solvendo, jam procuratores habebantur: prorsus ut ipsi quidem regiis commodis fruerentur, expensas vero ac difficultates Alexandra perferret. Sed eadem mire callebat res administrare majores: itaque augendis copiis semper intenta, duplicem conflavit exercitum : neque pauca mercenaria paravit auxilia, quibus non modo statum suae gentis roboravit, sed etiam metuendam se reddidit externae potentiae.

Imperabat autem aliis, verum Pharisaeis ipsa ultra parebat. These are a certain sect of the Jews that appear more religious than others, and seem to interpret the laws more accurately. But these Pharisees artfully insinuated themselves into her favor by little and little, and became themselves the real administrators of the public affairs: they banished and reduced whom they pleased; they bound and loosed [men] at their pleasure; and, to say all at once, they had the enjoyment of the royal authority, whilst the expenses and the difficulties of it belonged to Alexandra.

She was a sagacious woman in the management of great affairs, and intent always upon gathering soldiers together; so that she increased the army the one half, and procured a great body of foreign troops, till her own nation became not only very powerful at home, but terrible also to foreign potentates, while she governed other people, and the Pharisees governed her.

Denique Diogenem quendam insignem virum, qui Alex andro fuerat amicissimus, interficiunt, ejus factum consilio criminati, ut octingenti quos supra memoravi regis jussu tollerentur in crucem. Cumque his nimia superstitione nihil abnuendum putaret, quos sibi libuisset ea specie trucidabant, donec optimus quisque periclitantium ad Aristobulum con fugeret.

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Igitur illi quidem data sibi copia per regionem dispersi sunt. Alexandra vero in Damascum misso exercitu, quoniam Pto lemaeus sine intermissione civitatem premebat, illam quidem nulla re memorabili gesta cepit. Regem autem Armeniorum Tigranem, qui admoto Ptolemaidi milite, Cleopatram circum sedebat, pactionibus donisque solicitat: sed illum domestica rum turbarum metus, ingresso in Armeniam Lucullo, jam dudum inde retraxerat.

Now she was so superstitious as to comply with their desires, and accordingly they slew whom they pleased themselves.

But the principal of those that were in danger fled to Aristobulus, who persuaded his mother to spare the men on account of their dignity, but to expel them out of the city, unless she took them to be innocent; so they were suffered to go unpunished, and were dispersed all over the country. But when Alexandra sent out her army to Damascus, under pretense that Ptolemy was always oppressing that city, she got possession of it; nor did it make any considerable resistance.

She also prevailed with Tigranes, king of Armenia, who lay with his troops about Ptolemais, and besieged Cleopatra, by agreements and presents, to go away. Accordingly, Tigranes soon arose from the siege, by reason of those domestic tumults which happened upon Lucullus's expedition into Armenia. Inter haec Alexandra morbo laborante, minor ejus filius Aristobulus, cum famulis suis quos multos habebat, omnesque pro aetatis favore fidissimos, universa castella obtinuit : et pecunia quam ibi reperit conductis auxiliis regem se declara vit.

Ob haec miserata querelas Hyrcani mater, conjugem Aristobuli cum filiis includit apud castellum quod a Septen trione fano adjacens, Baris antea vocabatur, ut diximus, postea vero Antonia cognominata est, imperante Antonio, quemadmodum de Augusti et Agrippae nomine Sebaste et Agrippias aliae civitates appellatae sunt. Ante tamen Alex andra moritur, quam in Aristobulum fratris ejus Hyrcani contumelias vindicaret : quem dejici regno curaverat, quod ipsa novem annos administravit.

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He also used the sums of money he found in them to get together a number of mercenary soldiers, and made himself king; and besides this, upon Hyrcanus's complaint to his mother, she compassionated his case, and put Aristobulus's wife and sons under restraint in Antonia, which was a fortress that joined to the north part of the temple. It was, as I have already said, of old called the Citadel; but afterwards got the name of Antonia, when Antony was [lord of the East], just as the other cities, Sebaste and Agrippias, had their names changed, and these given them from Sebastus and Agrippa.

But Alexandra died before she could punish Aristobulus for his disinheriting his brother, after she had reigned nine years. ET haeres quidem omnium fit Hyrcanus, cui regnum etiam viva commiserat. Verum Aristobulus viribus atque autoritate praestabat.

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Habito autem inter eos circa Hieri chunta de rerum summa conflictu, plerique Hyrcano relicto transeunt ad Aristobulum. Hyrcanus autem cum reliquis fuga pervenit in castellum Antoniam : ibique salutis obsides nactus erat enim ibi in custodia ut praemisimus, conjunx Aristobuli cum filiis priusquam gravius aliquid accideret, ea lege in concordiam rediit, ut regnum quidem Aristobulus haberet, ipse vero cederet, quasi frater regis, aliis honoribus contentus. Hoc modo in fano reconciliati, cum in conspectu circumstantis populi benignissime alter alterum complexus esset, domus permutant : et Aristobulus quidem discedit in regiam, Hyrcanus autem in Aristobuli domum.

Hereupon they were reconciled to each other in the temple, and embraced one another in a very kind manner, while the people stood round about them; they also changed their houses, while Aristobulus went to the royal palace, and Hyrcanus retired to the house of Aristobulus. Metus vero et alios ejus inimicos praeter spem dominantis occupat, et maxime Antipatrum jamdudum Aristobulo in visum. Erat autem genere Idumaeus, et nobilitate ac opibus gentis suae princeps. Is igitur et Hyrcanum ut ad Aretam regem Arabiae confugeret, ejusque auxilio regnum repeteret hortabatur, et ipsi Aretae ut Hyrcanum susciperet atque in reg num deduceret suadebat, multum obtrectans Aristobuli mori bus, multisque Hyrcanum laudibus praedicans.

Sic instructis et praeparatis ambobus : nocte cum Hyrcano ex civitate profugit : citatoque cursu in oppidum quod Petra dicitur salvus evasit : ea est Arabiae regio.


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Ibi postquam Hyrcanum in manum regis Aretae tradidit, multis dictis multisque muneribus ut Auxilium praeberet, quo in regnum deduceretur, effecit. Erant autem peditum equi tumque millia L.. Sed ubi Damascum venit, recens a Metello et Lollio captam reperit: his inde submotis, cognitoque in Judaea quid ageretur, illuc velut ad quaestum cucurrit. He was by birth an Idumean, and one of the principal of that nation, on account of his ancestors and riches, and other authority to him belonging: he also persuaded Hyrcanus to fly to Aretas, the king of Arabia, and to lay claim to the kingdom; as also he persuaded Aretas to receive Hyrcanus, and to bring him back to his kingdom: he also cast great reproaches upon Aristobulus, as to his morals, and gave great commendations to Hyrcanus, and exhorted Aretas to receive him, and told him how becoming a filing it would be for him, who ruled so great a kingdom, to afford his assistance to such as are injured; alleging that Hyrcanus was treated unjustly, by being deprived of that dominion which belonged to him by the prerogative of his birth.

And when he had predisposed them both to do what he would have them, he took Hyrcanus by night, and ran away from the city, and, continuing his flight with great swiftness, he escaped to the place called Petra, which is the royal seat of the king of Arabia, where he put Hyrcanus into Aretas's hand; and by discoursing much with him, and gaining upon him with many presents, he prevailed with him to give him an army that might restore him to his kingdom.

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This army consisted of fifty thousand footmen and horsemen, against which Aristobulus was not able to make resistance, but was deserted in his first onset, and was driven to Jerusalem; he also had been taken at first by force, if Scaurus, the Roman general, had not come and seasonably interposed himself, and raised the siege.

This Scaurus was sent into Syria from Armenia by Pompey the Great, when he fought against Tigranes; so Scaurus came to Damascus, which had been lately taken by Metellus and Lollius, and caused them to leave the place; and, upon his hearing how the affairs of Judea stood, he made haste thither as to a certain booty. Denique mox ut fines ingressus est, Judaeorum legati ad eum veniunt a fratribus utrisque, ut sibi potius adjumento essent orantibus.

Sed trecentis talentis quae Aristobulus ei miserat, justitia posthabita est. Tot enim acceptis Scaurus ad Hyrcanum et Arabes legatos misit Romanorum, eis Pom peii nomen intentans, nisi ab obsidione desisterent. Aristobulus autem quod captus non esset, satis sibi esse non credidit : sed omnibus quas haberet copiis collectis, persequebatur hostes: et circa locum quem Papyrona vocant praelio commisso, supra sex eorum millia caedit : in quibus erat et Cephalon frater Antipatri.

So Aretas was terrified, and retired out of Judea to Philadelphia, as did Scaurus return to Damascus again; nor was Aristobulus satisfied with escaping [out of his brother's hands,] but gathered all his forces together, and pursued his enemies, and fought them at a place called Papyron, and slew about six thousand of them, and, together with them Antipater's brother Phalion.

Hyrcanus vero et Antipater Arabum privati auxilio, spem in adversarios transtulerunt. Venerat autem quantum potuit ormatus cultu regio: deinde offensus obsequiis, neque feren dum existimans abjectius quam regem deceret utilitati servire, a Diospoli regrediebatur. However, neither was Aristobulus wanting to himself in this case, as relying on the bribes that Scaurus had received: he was also there himself, and adorned himself after a manner the most agreeable to royalty that he was able.

But he soon thought it beneath him to come in such a servile manner, and could not endure to serve his own ends in a way so much more abject than he was used to; so he departed from Diospolis. Ob hoc iratus Pompeius, etiam Hyrcano ejusque sociis hoc precantibus, Aristobulum petit, et Romano simul exer citu et Syrorum instructus auxiliis.

Cum vero Pellam et Scythopolim praetergressus Coreas venisset, unde Judaeorum fines incipiunt per mediterranea loca subeuntibus, cognito Aristobulum in Alexandrium confugisse castellum est mag nifice structum, in monte praecelso situm mittit per quos eum juberet inde descendere. Ille autem decreverat, quia pro imperio vocaretur periclitari potius quam parere. Itaque horum consiliis obediens, descendit ad Pompeium : quodque juste regnaret, multis pro se dictis im castellum rediit.

Erat autem inter spem timoremque medius : et veniebat quidem velut exoraturus Pompeium, ut sibi cuncta permitte ret, ad montem vero revertebatur, ue quid regiae dignitati derogare videretur. But when he had passed by Pella and Scythopolis, and was come to Corea, where you enter into the country of Judea, when you go up to it through the Mediterranean parts, he heard that Aristobulus was fled to Alexandrium, which is a strong hold fortified with the utmost magnificence, and situated upon a high mountain; and he sent to him, and commanded him to come down. Now his inclination was to try his fortune in a battle, since he was called in such an imperious manner, rather than to comply with that call.

However, he saw the multitude were in great fear, and his friends exhorted him to consider what the power of the Romans was, and how it was irresistible; so he complied with their advice, and came down to Pompey; and when he had made a long apology for himself, and for the justness of his cause in taking the government, he returned to the fortress.

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And when his brother invited him again [to plead his cause], he came down and spake about the justice of it, and then went away without any hinderance from Pompey; so he was between hope and fear. And when he came down, it was to prevail with Pompey to allow him the government entirely; and when he went up to the citadel, it was that he might not appear to debase himself too low. However, Pompey commanded him to give up his fortified places, and forced him to write to every one of their governors to yield them up; they having had this charge given them, to obey no letters but what were of his own hand-writing.

Accordingly he did what he was ordered to do; but had still an indignation at what was done, and retired to Jerusalem, and prepared to fight with Pompey. Ille autem, nec enim tempus apparatui dandum putavit, statim eum insequitur.

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Ubi pinguissima Judaeae regio, et palmarum plurimum ac balsa mum nutrit : cujus inciso lapidibus acutis robore stillantem lacrymam ex vulneribus colligunt. Cumque illic pernoctasset, mane in Hierosolymam properabat. Itaque hoc ejus impetu perterritus Aristobulus : supplex occurrit, pecuniamque pol licitus, quodque semetipsum ei cum civitate permitteret, Pompeium mitigat saevientem.

Nec tamen quicquam eorum quae promisit effectum est. Gabinium enim qui ad suscipien dam pecuniam missus fuerat, ne in oppidum quidem Aristo buli socii receperunt. Now here is the most fruitful country of Judea, which bears a vast number of palm trees besides the balsam tree, whose sprouts they cut with sharp stones, and at the incisions they gather the juice, which drops down like tears.

So Pompey pitched his camp in that place one night, and then hasted away the next morning to Jerusalem; but Aristobulus was so aftrighted at his approach, that he came and met him by way of supplication. He also promised him money, and that he would deliver up both himself and the city into his disposal, and thereby mitigated the anger of Pompey.

Yet did not he perform any of the conditions he had agreed to; for Aristobulus's party would not so much as admit Gabinius into the city, who was sent to receive the money that he had promised. HIS commotus Pompeius, Aristobulum in custodiam collocat: ad civitatem vero profectus, explorabat qua ex parte facilior esset accessus.