Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Which 'Josephus' is Closer to the Original? Pseudo-Hegesippus Book 3 Chapter 22 or Bellum Judaicum Book 3 Chapter 9?

We have been examining and comparing parallel sections of Pseudo-Hegesippus and Jewish War side by side. The next section which follows our last citation of Pseudo-Hegesippus reads:

Vespasian however, as they considered they themselves would be benefited by the delay itself and that the army should rest a short time from work, granted to Agrippa asking that he should interpose about twenty days in the city Caesarea of Phillipus of his kingdom, at the same time the troubles of his factions were recovering from the frenzy of agitation and disagreement, who should be able to recognize themselves to be able to be received by the intervention of the king, if they should turn aside, although the very painstaking contracts of agreements between the king and the Romans might come up. Finally Tiberias being close to Caesarea he did not deny a benefit, he found a reason. For also the very people boiled up from the serious distemper of disagreeing between themselves. Whence in a task to his son Vespasian ordered three strong legions to be summoned and to attack Scythopolis directly. Of ten cities that was the greatest neighboring to Tiberias. He orders Valerianus to approach the walls from there with fifty horsemen, who should recommend peace offerings and call those shut in to loyalty to the alliance, that fear of the collected army should dismay those who were hostile, as a messenger of peace he should invite those willing. Valerianus near the walls dismounted from his horse, and also those did the same who had approached closer at the same time. Who thinking they should be scorned because of their (small) number, Jesus the the chief of the plundering band with his men, who having dared equally to attack, they drove (them) from the place with a sudden attack, and at the same time they madly rushed upon the horses which he had led away of those withdrawing, who did not notice that Valerianus had prudently withdrawn, and seized them the booty of haughtiness from those who were offering peace. Finally the elders incensed by the harshness of the deed leaving the city came to Vespasian begging that he would not ascribe the insolence of a few to all the people. Vespasian immediately ordered Traianus to the city, that he should investigate if the people turned themselves away from rashness of the ambushers. And they making known with prayers the agreements of the people the eagerness of the elders piled up their loyalty to the embassy. And so pardons were given to those petitioning for them, especially because Vespasian was giving consideration to the king who was concerned about the status of the entire city, with whose loyalty interposed nothing of the sort would be dared afterwards, wishing pardon of the offense, he departed.[Pseudo-Hegesippus 3.22]

The parallel section in Jewish War is:

But Vespasian, in order to see the kingdom of Agrippa, while the king persuaded himself so to do, (partly in order to his treating the general and his army in the best and most splendid manner his private affairs would enable him to do, and partly that he might, by their means, correct such things as were amiss in his government,) he removed from that Cesarea which was by the sea-side, and went to that which is called Cesarea Philippi and there he refreshed his army for twenty days, and was himself feasted by king Agrippa, where he also returned public thanks to God for the good success he had had in his undertakings. But as soon as he was informed that Tiberias was fond of innovations, and that Tarichere had revolted, both which cities were parts of the kingdom of Agrippa, and was satisfied within himself that the Jews were every where perverted [from their obedience to their governors], he thought it seasonable to make an expedition against these cities, and that for the sake of Agrippa, and in order to bring his cities to reason. So he sent away his son Titus to [the other] Cesarea, that he might bring the army that lay there to Seythopous, which is the largest city of Decapolis, and in the neighborhood of Tiberias, whither he came, and where he waited for his son. He then came with three legions, and pitched his camp thirty furlongs off Tiberias, at a certain station easily seen by the innovators; it is named Sennabris. He also sent Valerian, a decurion, with fifty horsemen, to speak peaceably to those that were in the city, and to exhort them to give him assurances of their fidelity; for he had heard that the people were desirous of peace, but were obliged by some of the seditious part to join with them, and so were forced to fight for them. When Valerian had marched up to the place, and was near the wall, he alighted off his horse, and made those that were with him to do the same, that they might not be thought to come to skirmish with them; but before they could come to a discourse one with another, the most potent men among the seditious made a sally upon them armed; their leader was one whose name was Jesus, the son of Shaphat, the principal head of a band of robbers. Now Valerian, neither thinking it safe to fight contrary to the commands of the general, though he were secure of a victory, and knowing that it was a very hazardous undertaking for a few to fight with many, for those that were unprovided to fight those that were ready, and being on other accounts surprised at this unexpected onset of the Jews, he ran away on foot, as did five of the rest in like manner, and left their horses behind them; which horses Jesus led away into the city, and rejoiced as if they had taken them in battle, and not by treachery.

Now the seniors of the people, and such as were of principal authority among them, fearing what would be the issue of this matter, fled to the camp of the Romans; they then took their king along with them, and fell down before Vespasian, to supplicate his favor, and besought him not to overlook them, nor to impute the madness of a few to the whole city, to spare a people that have been ever civil and obliging to the Romans; but to bring the authors of this revolt to due punishment, who had hitherto so watched them, that though they were zealous to give them the security of their right hands of a long time, yet could they not accomplish the same. With these supplications the general complied, although he were very angry at the whole city about the carrying off his horses, and this because he saw that Agrippa was under a great concern for them. So when Vespasian and Agrippa had accepted of their right hands by way of security, Jesus and his party thought it not safe for them to continue at Tiberias, so they ran away to Tarichete. The next day Vespasian sent Trajan before with some horsemen to the citadel, to make trial of the multitude, whether they were all disposed for peace; and as soon as he knew that the people were of the same mind with the petitioner, he took his army, and went to the city; upon which the citizens opened to him their gates, and met him with acclamations of joy, and called him their savior and benefactor. But as the army was a great while in getting in at the gates, they were so narrow, Vespasian commanded the south wall to be broken down, and so made a broad passage for their entrance. However, he charged them to abstain from rapine and injustice, in order to gratify the king; and on his account spared the rest of the wall, while the king undertook for them that they should continue [faithful to the Romans] for the time to come. And thus did he restore this city to a quiet state, after it had been grievously afflicted by the sedition
 [Jewish War 3.9.7,8]

The material is again very similar although one cannot be described as a 'copy' or a summary of the other. They each represent separate traditions of a lost second century original text. It is worth noting that only Jewish War identifies Jesus as 'the son of Shaphat.' Shaphat is the name of the father of Elisha. It also means 'vengeance' in Hebrew. It is also important to note that Pseudo-Hegesippus does not develop the thread that Jesus went on to Tarichete which is the next scene in the narrative. This would seem to be an embellishment in our received text to help move the story forward. 

Notice the role of Agrippa. This may well derive from Justus's original narrative.

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