Monday, August 16, 2010

Which 'Josephus' is Closer to the Original? Pseudo-Hegesippus Book 3 Chapter 8 - 10 or Bellum Judaicum Book 3 Chapter 7?

The next side by side comparisons of the next parallel sections of Hegesippus and Jewish War which immediately follow our last citation. First Hegesippus:

but he [Josephus] had given over more fear than confidence from (his) presence [running behind the walls of Tiberias]. They were more afraid of this even, because Josephus considered himself unequal to waging war against the Romans. Nor did he anticipate this from elsewhere, unless perhaps the Jews had put aside the study of war: that was for him preferable to sentiment. If they should choose war, himself to prefer to be seen faithful to the citizens in undergoing danger than to be seen a traitor by declining it. There is nothing more to take precautions against than not to disfigure the honor committed to oneself of a military campaign. And so he writes to the city Jerusalem to pay attention to the war, and they should write back quickly in reply. Did they prefer peace or war, they should take counsel quickly. He pointed this out briefly, nothing readily against either side, he was not judged either a fearful fighter or stubborn in revolt.

Again from the city of Tiberias he aimed at Iotapata, either because it was fortified better than the rest and therefore very many of those most eager for war had taken themselves into it, or because Vespasian had sent many of his troops there who should build a road, because through the mountains was difficult, rocky and rough, for foot soldiers, for cavalry however it would be impassable and insurmountable. Finally within four days lest the difficulties should block the way, the surface of the roads was made passable, a route prepared by which the entire army could be sent across. On the fifth day Josephus crossed to there and aroused the downcast spirits of the Jews. Also when information was provided to Vespasian that Josephus had arrived there, an incentive of hastening the route was added, because he thought it would be a shortening of finishing the war, if the leader and people most eager for war should be cut off. And therefore he arrived with the army and gave time the first day to providing food for the soldiers, lest from concern for the war he should abuse them fatigued from the march. On the following day with a doubled battle line he surrounded the city with a wall and on the third day with a row of cavalry. Which seeing the Jews themselves cut off and besieged on all sides and not any way of escape took courage from their despair itself. For no thing makes a soldier more eager for war than the necessity of fighting and the outbreak of dangers. Vespasian pressed hard with darts, he pressed with arrows, also many Jews having gone beyond the walls as a purposed way of killing were wounded by missiles, they remained however fearless. Roman valor tried everything and especially where it had noticed the weaker reinforcement of the walls, there it attacked with a larger band of soldiers. Shame armed the former, the last hopes the latter (i.e., the Jews) wanting to open with the sword a way of safety for themselves. The Jews suffered severe losses, but they did not respond with lesser trials of courage. On the part of the Romans skill fought with valor, on the oart of the Jews fury with rashness. And so wearied, the latter fighting all day for safety, the former for victory, night put an end to battle. Also on the following day and the third, on the fourth and the fifth it was fought fiercely, but, as is usual in battles of light-armed soldiers, more wounds than deaths are inflicted, although sallies are attempted by the Jews and incursions by the Romans, the latter of whom shame inflamed into anger the victors over Hannibal and Antioch and all races were stayed by the Jewish battles. So great was the consciousness of Roman valor that not to conquer quickly was considered the role of the conquered. But for them it was more a contest against nature than against an enemy. For the city was almost shut off on all sides by steep cliffs, not by a wall and ditch like other cities, but was surrounded by deep precipices, which not a thing seen by men he did not comprehend, not a thing used he did not investigate, and dread more and more enveloped him looking at it anxiously. Only from the north in a falling away of the mountain one approach to the city however by an arduous ascent lay open. Which Josephus shut off by a wall, he surrounded it by defenders, so that between the lower wall and the higher city it would become a very dangerous attack for the besiegers and a priceless source of knowledge for those watching higher up. For the city itself is located on the summit of the mountain in a circling of the neighboring mountains as if surrounded by a certain natural wall hidden by a fruitful wall so that no one would understand the city to be there before he would have entered into the city itself.

Vespasian since he was unable to overcome nature invoked her himself as an aid, so that by a blockade of long duration through a lack of drink and food he would force the beseiged into surrender. But the abundance of food collected long before averted the danger of hunger. The greatest difficulty was of water because there was no source in the city, and the customary dryness, rains being infrequent in those regions, lessened this assistance of drinking. They had blocked all the aqueducts so they should not go into the city. The dearth increased the desire, nature resisted. Josephus offered a scheme, that clothing should be spread out and suspended from the wall, so that gradually dripping water from the dew it would be believed that water for drinking was not lacking to them, because it was plentiful enough for the washing of clothing.
[Pseudo-Hegesippus 3.8 - 12]

And then Jewish War:

So Vespasian marched to the city Gadara, and took it upon the first onset, because he found it destitute of any considerable number of men grown up and fit for war. He came then into it, and slew all the youth, the Romans having no mercy on any age whatsoever; and this was done out of the hatred they bore the nation, and because of the iniquity they had been guilty of in the affair of Cestius. He also set fire not only to the city itself, but to all the villas and small cities that were round about it; some of them were quite destitute of inhabitants, and out of some of them he carried the inhabitants as slaves into captivity.

As to Josephus, his retiring to that city which he chose as the most fit for his security, put it into great fear; for the people of Tiberias did not imagine that he would have run away, unless he had entirely despaired of the success of the war. And indeed, as to that point, they were not mistaken about his opinion; for he saw whither the affairs of the Jews would tend at last, and was sensible that they had but one way of escaping, and that was by repentance. However, although he expected that the Romans would forgive him, yet did he chose to die many times over, rather than to betray his country, and to dishonor that supreme command of the army which had been intrusted with him, or to live happily under those against whom he was sent to fight. He determined, therefore, to give an exact account of affairs to the principal men at Jerusalem by a letter, that he might not, by too much aggrandizing the power of the enemy, make them too timorous; nor, by relating that their power beneath the truth, might encourage them to stand out when they were perhaps disposed to repentance. He also sent them word, that if they thought of coming to terms, they must suddenly write him an answer; or if they resolved upon war, they must send him an army sufficient to fight the Romans. Accordingly, he wrote these things, and sent messengers immediately to carry his letter to Jerusalem.

Now Vespasian was very desirous of demolishing Jotapata, for he had gotten intelligence that the greatest part of the enemy had retired thither, and that it was, on other accounts, a place of great security to them. Accordingly, he sent both foot-men and horsemen to level the road, which was mountainous and rocky, not without difficulty to be traveled over by footmen, but absolutely impracticable for horsemen. Now these workmen accomplished what they were about in four days' time, and opened a broad way for the army. On the fifth day, which was the twenty-first of the month Artemisius, (Jyar,) Josephus prevented him, and came from Tiberias, and went into Jotapata, and raised the drooping spirits of the Jews. And a certain deserter told this good news to Vespasian, that Josephus had removed himself thither, which made him make haste to the city, as supposing that with taking that he should take all Judea, in case he could but withal get Josephus under his power. So he took this news to be of the vastest advantage to him, and believed it to be brought about by the providence of God, that he who appeared to be the most prudent man of all their enemies, had, of his own accord, shut himself up in a place of sure custody. Accordingly, he sent Placidus with a thousand horsemen, and Ebutius a decurion, a person that was of eminency both in council and in action, to encompass the city round, that Josephus might not escape away privately.

Vespasian also, the very next day, took his whole army and followed them, and by marching till late in the evening, arrived then at Jotapata; and bringing his army to the northern side of the city, he pitched his camp on a certain small hill which was seven furlongs from the city, and still greatly endeavored to be well seen by the enemy, to put them into a consternation; which was indeed so terrible to the Jews immediately, that no one of them durst go out beyond the wall. Yet did the Romans put off the attack at that time, because they had marched all the day, although they placed a double row of battalions round the city, with a third row beyond them round the whole, which consisted of cavalry, in order to stop up every way for an exit; which thing making the Jews despair of escaping, excited them to act more boldly; for nothing makes men fight so desperately in war as necessity.

Now when the next day an assault was made by the Romans, the Jews at first staid out of the walls and opposed them, and met them, as having formed themselves a camp before the city walls. But when Vespasian had set against them the archers and slingers, and the whole multitude that could throw to a great distance, he permitted them to go to work, while he himself, with the footmen, got upon an acclivity, whence the city might easily be taken. Josephus was then in fear for the city, and leaped out, and all the Jewish multitude with him; these fell together upon the Romans in great numbers, and drove them away from the wall, and performed a great many glorious and bold actions. Yet did they suffer as much as they made the enemy suffer; for as despair of deliverance encouraged the Jews, so did a sense of shame equally encourage the Romans. These last had skill as well as strength; the other had only courage, which armed them, and made them fight furiously. And when the fight had lasted all day, it was put an end to by the coming on of the night. They had wounded a great many of the Romans, and killed of them thirteen men; of the Jews' side seventeen were slain, and six hundred wounded.

On the next day the Jews made another attack upon the Romans, and went out of the walls and fought a much more desperate battle with them titan before. For they were now become more courageous than formerly, and that on account of the unexpected good opposition they had made the day before, as they found the Romans also to fight more desperately; for a sense of shame inflamed these into a passion, as esteeming their failure of a sudden victory to be a kind of defeat. Thus did the Romans try to make an impression upon the Jews till the fifth day continually, while the people of Jotapata made sallies out, and fought at the walls most desperately; nor were the Jews affrighted at the strength of the enemy, nor were the Romans discouraged at the difficulties they met with in taking the city.

Now Jotapata is almost all of it built on a precipice, having on all the other sides of it every way valleys immensely deep and steep, insomuch that those who would look down would have their sight fail them before it reaches to the bottom. It is only to be come at on the north side, where the utmost part of the city is built on the mountain, as it ends obliquely at a plain. This mountain Josephus had encompassed with a wall when he fortified the city, that its top might not be capable of being seized upon by the enemies. The city is covered all round with other mountains, and can no way be seen till a man comes just upon it. And this was the strong situation of Jotapata.

Vespasian, therefore, in order to try how he might overcome the natural strength of the place, as well as the bold defense of the Jews, made a resolution to prosecute the siege with vigor. To that end he called the commanders that were under him to a council of war, and consulted with them which way the assault might be managed to the best advantage. And when the resolution was there taken to raise a bank against that part of the wall which was practicable, he sent his whole army abroad to get the materials together. So when they had cut down all the trees on the mountains that adjoined to the city, and had gotten together a vast heap of stones, besides the wood they had cut down, some of them brought hurdles, in order to avoid the effects of the darts that were shot from above them. These hurdles they spread over their banks, under cover whereof they formed their bank, and so were little or nothing hurt by the darts that were thrown upon them from the wall, while others pulled the neighboring hillocks to pieces, and perpetually brought earth to them; so that while they were busy three sorts of ways, nobody was idle. However, the Jews cast great stones from the walls upon the hurdles which protected the men, with all sorts of darts also; and the noise of what could not reach them was yet so terrible, that it was some impediment to the workmen.

Vespasian then set the engines for throwing stones and darts round about the city. The number of the engines was in all a hundred and sixty, and bid them fall to work, and dislodge those that were upon the wall. At the same time such engines as were intended for that purpose threw at once lances upon them with a great noise, and stones of the weight of a talent were thrown by the engines that were prepared for that purpose, together with fire, and a vast multitude of arrows, which made the wall so dangerous, that the Jews durst not only not come upon it, but durst not come to those parts within the walls which were reached by the engines; for the multitude of the Arabian archers, as well also as all those that threw darts and slung stones, fell to work at the same time with the engines. Yet did not the otters lie still, when they could not throw at the Romans from a higher place; for they then made sallies out of the city, like private robbers, by parties, and pulled away the hurdles that covered the workmen, and killed them when they were thus naked; and when those workmen gave way, these cast away the earth that composed the bank, and burnt the wooden parts of it, together with the hurdles, till at length Vespasian perceived that the intervals there were between the works were of disadvantage to him; for those spaces of ground afforded the Jews a place for assaulting the Romans. So he united the hurdles, and at the same time joined one part of the army to the other, which prevented the private excursions of the Jews.

And when the bank was now raised, and brought nearer than ever to the battlements that belonged to the walls, Josephus thought it would be entirely wrong in him if he could make no contrivances in opposition to theirs, and that might be for the city's preservation; so he got together his workmen, and ordered them to build the wall higher; and while they said that this was impossible to be done while so many darts were thrown at them, he invented this sort of cover for them: He bid them fix piles, and expand before them the raw hides of oxen newly killed, that these hides by yielding and hollowing themselves when the stones were thrown at them might receive them, for that the other darts would slide off them, and the fire that was thrown would be quenched by the moisture that was in them. And these he set before the workmen, and under them these workmen went on with their works in safety, and raised the wall higher, and that both by day and by night, fill it was twenty cubits high. He also built a good number of towers upon the wall, and fitted it to strong battlements. This greatly discouraged the Romans, who in their own opinions were already gotten within the walls, while they were now at once astonished at Josephus's contrivance, and at the fortitude of the citizens that were in the city.

And now Vespasian was plainly irritated at the great subtlety of this stratagem, and at the boldness of the citizens of Jotapata; for taking heart again upon the building of this wall, they made fresh sallies upon the Romans, and had every day conflicts with them by parties, together with all such contrivances, as robbers make use of, and with the plundering of all that came to hand, as also with the setting fire to all the other works; and this till Vespasian made his army leave off fighting them, and resolved to lie round the city, and to starve them into a surrender, as supposing that either they would be forced to petition him for mercy by want of provisions, or if they should have the courage to hold out till the last, they should perish by famine: and he concluded he should conquer them the more easily in fighting, if he gave them an interval, and then fell upon them when they were weakened by famine; but still he gave orders that they should guard against their coming out of the city.

Now the besieged had plenty of corn within the city, and indeed of all necessaries, but they wanted water, because there was no fountain in the city, the people being there usually satisfied with rain water; yet is it a rare thing in that country to have rain in summer, and at this season, during the siege, they were in great distress for some contrivance to satisfy their thirst; and they were very sad at this time particularly, as if they were already in want of water entirely, for Josephus seeing that the city abounded with other necessaries, and that the men were of good courage, and being desirous to protract the siege to the Romans longer than they expected, ordered their drink to be given them by measure; but this scanty distribution of water by measure was deemed by them as a thing more hard upon them than the want of it; and their not being able to drink as much as they would made them more desirous of drinking than they otherwise had been; nay, they were as much disheartened hereby as if they were come to the last degree of thirst. Nor were the Romans unacquainted with the state they were in, for when they stood over against them, beyond the wall, they could see them running together, and taking their water by measure, which made them throw their javelins thither the place being within their reach, and kill a great many of them.

Hereupon Vespasian hoped that their receptacles of water would in no long time be emptied, and that they would be forced to deliver up the city to him; but Josephus being minded to break such his hope, gave command that they should wet a great many of their clothes, and hang them out about the battlements, till the entire wall was of a sudden all wet with the running down of the water. At this sight the Romans were discouraged, and under consternation, when they saw them able to throw away in sport so much water, when they supposed them not to have enough to drink themselves. This made the Roman general despair of taking the city by their want of necessaries, and to betake himself again to arms, and to try to force them to surrender, which was what the Jews greatly desired; for as they despaired of either themselves or their city being able to escape, they preferred a death in battle before one by hunger and thirst.

However, Josephus contrived another stratagem besides the foregoing, to get plenty of what they wanted. There was a certain rough and uneven place that could hardly be ascended, and on that account was not guarded by the soldiers; so Josephus sent out certain persons along the western parts of the valley, and by them sent letters to whom he pleased of the Jews that were out of the city, and procured from them what necessaries soever they wanted in the city in abundance; he enjoined them also to creep generally along by the watch as they came into the city, and to cover their backs with such sheep-skins as had their wool upon them, that if any one should spy them out in the night time, they might be believed to be dogs. This was done till the watch perceived their contrivance, and encompassed that rough place about themselves.

And now it was that Josephus perceived that the city could not hold out long, and that his own life would be in doubt if he continued in it; so he consulted how he and the most potent men of the city might fly out of it. When the multitude understood this, they came all round about him, and begged of him not to overlook them while they entirely depended on him, and him alone; for that there was still hope of the city's deliverance, if he would stay with them, because every body would undertake any pains with great cheerfulness on his account, and in that case there would be some comfort for them also, though they should be taken: that it became him neither to fly from his enemies, nor to desert his friends, nor to leap out of that city, as out of a ship that was sinking in a storm, into which he came when it was quiet and in a calm; for that by going away he would be the cause of drowning the city, because nobody would then venture to oppose the enemy when he was once gone, upon whom they wholly confided.

Hereupon Josephus avoided letting them know that he was to go away to provide for his own safety, but told them that he would go out of the city for their sakes; for that if he staid with them, he should be able to do them little good while they were in a safe condition; and that if they were once taken, he should only perish with them to no purpose; but that if he were once gotten free from this siege, he should be able to bring them very great relief; for that he would then immediately get the Galileans together, out of the country, in great multitudes, and draw the Romans off their city by another war. That he did not see what advantge he could bring to them now, by staying among them, but only provoke the Romans to besiege them more closely, as esteeming it a most valuable thing to take him; but that if they were once informed that he was fled out of the city, they would greatly remit of their eagerness against it. Yet did not this plea move the people, but inflamed them the more to hang about him. Accordingly, both the children and the old men, and the women with their infants, came mourning to him, and fell down before him, and all of them caught hold of his feet, and held him fast, and besought him, with great lamentations, that he would take his share with them in their fortune; and I think they did this, not that they envied his deliverance, but that they hoped for their own; for they could not think they should suffer any great misfortune, provided Josephus would but stay with them.

Now Josephus thought, that if he resolved to stay, it would be ascribed to their entreaties; and if he resolved to go away by force, he should be put into custody. His commiseration also of the people under their lamentations had much broken that his eagerness to leave them; so he resolved to stay, and arming himself with the common despair of the citizens, he said to them, "Now is the time to begin to fight in earnest, when there is no hope of deliverance left. It is a brave thing to prefer glory before life, and to set about some such noble undertaking as may be remembered by late posterity." Having said this, he fell to work immediately, and made a sally, and dispersed the enemies' out-guards, and ran as far as the Roman camp itself, and pulled the coverings of their tents to pieces, that were upon their banks, and set fire to their works. And this was the manner in which he never left off fighting, neither the next day, nor the day after it, but went on with it for a considerable number of both days and nights.
 [Jewish War 3.7.1 - 17]

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