5 Maccabees Chapter 48 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 390 – 394 Book 5 B.C. 41 [PDF: 440/444 of p.524]

CHAPTER 48.1)Foot note p. 390 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XIV. 22, 23. Bell. I. 10.

(i) The history of Octavian, (the same is Augustus the son of Caesars brother,) and of Antony, general of his army, and of Cassias’ death. 

1 When Octavian had marched into Macedonia, Cassius went out to meet him, and engaged with him ; and Cassius was put to flight ; whom Octavian pursuing, entirely defeated and 2 killed2)Foot note p. 390 b. Namely, at the battle of Philippi, a town of Macedonia, fought in October, B. C. 42. : and Octavian won the kingdom in place of his uncle Caesar ; and he also was surnamed Caesar, after the name of his uncle. Now when the death of Cassius [B.C. 41.] became known 3 to Hyrcanus, he sent ambassadors with presents, money, and jewels, to Augustus and Antony : and he wrote to him, asking for 4 a renewal of the treaty which had been entered into with Caesar3)Foot note p. 390 c. See above, ch. xliv. 1.; and that he would order all 5 the captives of Judah who were in his kingdom, and those who had been made captives in the days of Cassius, to be set free ; and that he would 6 permit all the Jews who were in the country of the Greeks, and in the land of Asia, to return into the country of Judah, without requiring any 7 p. 391 ransom, or redemption, or any obstacle being thrown in the way by any one.

8 So when the ambassadors of Hyrcarms came to Augustus, with their letter and presents, he 9 honoured the ambassadors, and accepted the presents, and acceded to all things which Hyrcanus had asked ; writing to him a letter, of which this is the copy.

10 “From Augustus4)Foot note p. 391 d. Josephus states all this to have been done by Antony alone, and in his own name, Caesar having departed into Gaul or Italy immediately after the battle of Philippi., king of kings, and Antony his colleague, to Hyrcanus king of Judah ; 11 Health be to you. Your letter has even now reached us, at which we rejoiced ; and we have sent that which you wished, respecting the renewal of the treaty, and the writing, to all our provinces, which extend from the country 12 of the Indias even to the western ocean. But that which delayed us from sooner writing to you concerning the renewal of the treaty was, our occupation in subduing Cassius. that filthy5)Foot note p. 391 e. The Latin version renders the word by ” fornicarius,” literally, a frequenter of brothels. 13 tyrant; who, acting wickedly towards Caesar, 14 that luminary of the world, slew him. Wherefore we have contended with him with our whole strength, until the great and good God rendered us victorious, and caused him to fall 15 into our hands ; whom we have put to death6)Foot note p. 391 f. It is related by the Roman historians, that neither Cassins nor Brutus fell in battle, nor, strictly speaking, mere put to death by Octavian: as each of them, feeling that their hopes and prospects were irretrievably destroyed, fell upon his own sword rather than fall into the victor’s hands.. We have also slain Brutus his colleague ; and p. 392 we have delivered the country of Asia out of his hand, after he had laid it waste, and had exterminated its inhabitants. Nor did he 16 adhere to any engagement ; nor honour any temple ; nor do justice to the oppressed ; nor pity a Jew, or any other of our subjects : but with 17 his followers he wickedly did many evils to all men through oppression and tyranny : 18 wherefore God hath turned their malice back on their own heads, delivering them up, with those who were confederate with them. Rejoice now 19 therefore, O king Hyrcanus, and other Jews, and inhabitants of the Holy Region, and priests who are in the temple of Jerusalem : and let 20 them accept the present which we have sent to the most glorious temple, and pray for Augustus ever. We have written also to all our 21 provinces, that there remain in none of them any one of the Jews, be it servant or maid, but that all should be let go, without price and without ransom : and that they should be hindered by 22 no person from returning into the land of Judah ; and this by command of Augustus, and likewise of Antony his colleague.”

Moreover, he wrote7)Foot note p. 392 g. Josephus, as above, attributes this to Antony, not to Caesar. to his friends, who are at 23 Tyre and Sidon, and in other places, to restore whatever they had taken out of the land of Judah in the days of that filthy Cassius : and to treat 24 the Jews peaceably, and not to oppose them in any thing, and to do for them whatever Caesar had decreed in his treaty with them.

25 Now Antony remained in the country of Syria ; and Cleopatra8)Foot note p. 393 h. Namely, the fifth (or sixth) princess of that name, the daughter of Ptolemy Aulctes : she was the last of the sovereigns of Egypt, Augustus having reduced that country to the condition of a Roman province at her death, B.C. 30. queen of Egypt came to him, 26 whom he took for his wife. She was a wise woman, skilled in magical arts and properties of things: so that she enticed him, and got possession of his heart to that degree that he could deny her nothing. 27 At this same time, a hundred men of the chief of the Jews went to Antony9)Foot note p. 393 i. Who at this time was at Daphne, near Antioch in Syria. (Josephus.)., and complained of Herod and his brother Phaselus the sons of 28 Antipater, saying ; They have now gotten every thing belonging to Hyrcanus, and there remains to him nothing of the kingdom except the name ; and the concealment of this matter is a proof of the 29 captivity of their lord. But when Antony had inquired of Hyrcanus the truth of the things which they had mentioned to him, Hyrcanus declared that they spoke falsely ; clearing Herod and his brother from that which they had laid to their 30 charge. And Antony rejoiced at this ; for he was greatly inclined towards them, and loved 31 them. Moreover, other persons at another time complained to him of Herod and his brother, 32 when he was at Tyre : but he not only refused to entertain their words, but put to death some of 33 them, and cast the rest into prison ; and he advanced the dignity of Herod and his brother, doing them services, and sent them back to 34 Jerusalem with great honour. But Antony himself p. 394 going into the country of the Persians10)Foot note p. 394 k. That is. Parthians, as before., defeated them, and subdued them, and returned to Rome.


Original Source: Transcribed from PDF copy of Book "The Five Books of Maccabees in English. With Notes and Illustrations", by HENRY COTTON, D.C.L.(Sir) Archdeacon of Cashel, and Late Student of Christ Church, Oxford. Publication date 1832 | PDF


References   [ + ]

1. Foot note p. 390 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XIV. 22, 23. Bell. I. 10.
2. Foot note p. 390 b. Namely, at the battle of Philippi, a town of Macedonia, fought in October, B. C. 42.
3. Foot note p. 390 c. See above, ch. xliv. 1.
4. Foot note p. 391 d. Josephus states all this to have been done by Antony alone, and in his own name, Caesar having departed into Gaul or Italy immediately after the battle of Philippi.
5. Foot note p. 391 e. The Latin version renders the word by ” fornicarius,” literally, a frequenter of brothels.
6. Foot note p. 391 f. It is related by the Roman historians, that neither Cassins nor Brutus fell in battle, nor, strictly speaking, mere put to death by Octavian: as each of them, feeling that their hopes and prospects were irretrievably destroyed, fell upon his own sword rather than fall into the victor’s hands.
7. Foot note p. 392 g. Josephus, as above, attributes this to Antony, not to Caesar.
8. Foot note p. 393 h. Namely, the fifth (or sixth) princess of that name, the daughter of Ptolemy Aulctes : she was the last of the sovereigns of Egypt, Augustus having reduced that country to the condition of a Roman province at her death, B.C. 30.
9. Foot note p. 393 i. Who at this time was at Daphne, near Antioch in Syria. (Josephus.).
10. Foot note p. 394 k. That is. Parthians, as before.

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