And, as I said, so far truly the people assisted them, while they hoped this might afford some amendment to the seditious practices; but the others were not in haste to put an end to the war, but hoped to prosecute it with less danger, now they had slain Manahem. It is true, that when the people earnestly desired that they would leave off besieging the soldiers, they were the more earnest in pressing it forward, and this till Metilius, who was the Roman general, sent to Eleazar, and desired that they would. give them security to spare their lives only; but agreed to deliver up their arms, and what else they had with them. The others readily complied with their petition, sent to them Gorion, the son of Nicodemus, and Ananias, the son of Sadduk, and Judas, the son of Jonathan, that they might give them the security Of their right hands, and of their oaths; after which Metilius brought down his soldiers; which soldiers, while they were in arms, were not meddled with by any of the seditious, nor was there any appearance of treachery; but as soon as, according to the articles of capitulation, they had all laid down their shields and their swords, and were under no further suspicion of any harm, but were going away, Eleazar's men attacked them after a violent manner, and encompassed them round, and slew them, while they neither defended themselves, nor entreated for mercy, but only cried out upon the breach of their articles of capitulation and their oaths. And thus were all these men barbarously murdered, excepting Metilius; for when he entreated for mercy, and promised that he would turn Jew, and be circumcised, they saved him alive, but none else. This loss to the Romans was but light, there being no more than a few slain out of an immense army; but still it appeared to be a prelude to the Jews' own destruction, while men made public lamentation when they saw that such occasions were afforded for a war as were incurable; that the city was all over polluted with such abominations, from which it was but reasonable to expect some vengeance, even though they should escape revenge from the Romans; so that the city was filled with sadness, and every one of the moderate men in it were under great disturbance, as likely themselves to undergo punishment for the wickedness of the seditious; for indeed it so happened that this murder was perpetrated on the sabbath day, on which day the Jews have a respite from their works on account of Divine worship. NOW the people of Cesarea had slain the Jews that were among them on the very same day and hour [when the soldiers were slain], which one would think must have come to pass by the direction of Providence; insomuch that in one hour's time above twenty thousand Jews were killed, and all Cesarea was emptied of its Jewish inhabitants; for Florus caught such as ran away, and sent them in bonds to the galleys. Upon which stroke that the Jews received at Cesarea, the whole nation was greatly enraged; so they divided themselves into several parties, and laid waste the villages of the Syrians, and their neighboring cities, Philadelphia, and Sebonitis, and Gerasa, and Pella, and Scythopolis, and after them Gadara, and Hippos; and falling upon Gaulonitis, some cities they destroyed there, and some they set on fire, and then went to Kedasa, belonging to the Tyrians, and to Ptolemais, and to Gaba, and to Cesarea; nor was either Sebaste [Samaria] or Askelon able to oppose the violence with which they were attacked; and when they had burnt these to the ground; they entirely demolished Anthedon and Gaza; many also of the villages that were about every one of those cities were plundered, and an immense slaughter was made of the men who were caught in them.2
1Flavius Josephus, De Bello Judaico Libri VII: Machine Readable Text, ed. B. Niese (Medford, MA: Trustees of Tufts University, 2013), section: 2.449-2.460.
2Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews: Machine Readable Text, trans. William Whiston (Trustees of Tufts University, 2009), section: 2.449-2.460.
Josephus, De Bello Judaico Libri VII, in Flavii Iosephi opera, ed. Benedict Niese, vol. 6 (Berlin: Weidmann, 1885), section: 2.449-2.460.
Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, in The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus: The Celebrated Jewish Historian. Comprising the History and Antiquities of the Jews, with the Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and Dissertations Concerning Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, James the Just, and the Sacrifice of Isaac, Together with a Discourse on Hades, or Hell ; With His Autobiography, trans. William Whiston (Chicago: Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1895), 498–707, section: 2.449-2.460.
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Bianca Gardner et al., “Josephus, The Jewish War 2.449-2.460.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife., edited by Joseph L. Rife. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project,
Entry published March 30, 2020. https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/29.
About this Entry
Entry Title:Josephus, The Jewish War 2.449-2.460
Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:
Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
Joseph L. Rife, editor, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editors, “Josephus, The Jewish War 2.449-2.460”
Bianca Gardner and Joseph L. Rife, entry contributors, “Josephus, The Jewish War 2.449-2.460”