5 Maccabees Chapter 57 (from The Five Books of Maccabees)


Cotton H.Sir : 

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P. 425 – 429 Book 5 B.C. 31 [PDF: 475/479 of p.524]

CHAPTER 57.1)Foot note p. 425 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XV, 9, 10. Bell. I. 15.

(i) The history of Antony s battle with Augustus, and of the death of Antony, and of Herod’s going to Augustus.

1 When Antony had marched out of Egypt into the country of the Romans, [B.C. 31.] and had encountered Augustus2)Foot note p. 425 b. Namely at Actium, a town on the sea-coast of Epirus, which was at this time part of the Roman dominions, where his fortunes were fatally shattered : but it is not true that he fell in battle, or at Actium. Antony lived till the next year, and had retired into Egypt: when, after fruitless attempts at a reconciliation with his rival, he once more resolved to try the chances of war, and made ready for battle at Alexandria : but fortune again proved adverse to him ; and on hearing a (false) report of Cleopatra’s death, in despair he fell on his own sword., most severe battles p. 426 took place between them, in which victory sided with Augustus, and Antony fell in battle ; and 2 Augustus got possession of his camp and all which was in it. After this done, he proceeded to Rhodes, that taking ship there he might pass into Egypt. 

And tidings were brought to Herod, [B.C. 30.] and he was 3 very much concerned at the death of Antony ; and he feared Augustus most exceedingly; and he resolved to go to him, to salute him and congratulate with him. Wherefore he 4 sent his mother and sister with his brother, to a strong hold3)Foot note p. 426 c. Namely Massada, mentioned above, in the notes on ch. xlix. 20, and 1. 8. as a place made use of by Herod for the same purpose on an occasion somewhat similar. which he had in mount Sarah: he sent also his wife Mariamne and her mother Alexandra to Alexandrium4)Foot note p. 426 d. Which see described above, at ch. xxxix. 5., under the care of Josephus a Tyrian5)Foot note p. 426 e. Josephus reads, ” to Joseph his steward, and Soemus an Ituraean.” (Compare ch. lviii. 1.) In another place he calls him ” the husband of his sister Salome,” agreeably to our author: see below, ch. lviii. 1. ; adjuring him to kill his wife and her mother, so soon as his death should be reported to him. 

After this, he went to Augustus with a very 5 valuable present. Now Augustus had already 6 determined to put Herod to death ; because he had been the friend and supporter of Antony, and because he had formerly deliberated6)Foot note p. 426 f. See the preceding chapter, ver. 8, 9. Herod, however, appears even in this instance not to have forgotten his usual crafty foresight : and in dividing the duties of the campaign with Antony, managed so as to avoid coming into direct collision with Augustus, and to employ himself rather in subduing the Arabians ; that if at a future time the sun of Antony should set before the power and influence of his aspiring rival, the door of reconciliation might not be irretrievably closed against him. upon marching 7 with Antony to attack him. When therefore Herod’s arrival was notified to Augustus, he ordered him into his presence, in his royal habit which he had on ; except the diadem, for this he had 8 ordered to be laid aside from his head. Who, when he was in his presence, having laid aside his diadem as Augustus had commanded, said :

9 ” O king, perhaps on account of my love towards Antony you have been thus violently angry with me, that you have put off the diadem from my 10 head ; or was it from some other cause ? Since, if you are wroth with me by reason of my adherence to Antony, truly, I say, I adhered to him because he deserved well of me, and placed upon my head that diadem which you have 11 taken off. And indeed he had requested my assistance against you, which I gave him ; even as he also many times gave his assistance to me : 12 but it was not my lot to be present at the battle which he fought with you, nor have I drawn my sword7)Foot note p. 427 g. See the preceding note.  against you, nor fought; the cause of which was, my being engaged in subduing 13 the Arabians8)Foot note p. 427 h. According to an arrangement made with Antony, as related above, at ch. lvi. 9-l. But I never failed supplying him with aid of men and arms and provisions, as his friendship and his good deeds to me required. And in truth I am sorry that I left him ; lest men should conceive that I deserted my friend when he was in need of my help. 14 Certainly, if I had been with him, I would have p. 428 helped him with all my might ; and would have encouraged him if he had been fearful, and would have strengthened him if he had been weakened, and would have lifted him up if he had fallen, until God should have ruled matters as He pleased. And this truly would have been 15 less grievous to me, than that it should be imagined that I had failed a man who had implored my aid, and thus it should come to pass that my friendship should be little esteemed. In my 16 opinion indeed he fell through his own bad policy, by yielding to that enchantress Cleopatra ; whom I had advised him to slay, and thus to remove her malice from him ; but he did not assent. But now, if you have removed from 17 my head the diadem, certainly you shall not remove from me my understanding and my courage ; and whatever I am, I will be a friend to my friends and an enemy to my enemies.” Augustus replied to him, ” Antony indeed we 18 have overcome by our troops ; but you we will master by alluring you to us ; and will take care, by our good offices towards you, that your affection to us shall be doubled, because you are worthy of this. And as Antony played false by 19 the advice of Cleopatra, by the same reason he behaved ungratefully towards us ; returning for our kindnesses evils, and for our favours rebellion. But we are glad of the war which you 20 have waged with the Arabians, who are our enemies: for whoever is your enemy, is ours also; and whoever pays you obedience, pays it to us likewise.” Then Augustus ordered the golden diadem to 21 p. 429 be placed on Herod’s head, and as many provinces to be added to him9)Foot note p. 429 i. Augustus not only restored those portions of Judaea which Antony had taken away and given to Cleopatra, but likewise enlarged Herod’s dominion by the gift of many other towns and districts, which the reader may see enumerated in Josephus. as he already had. 22 And Herod accompanied Augustus into Egypt; and all the things which Antony had destined for Cleopatra were surrendered to him. And Augustus departed to Rome: but Herod returned into the Holy City.


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. 425 a. Compare Joseph. Antiq. XV, 9, 10. Bell. I. 15.
2. Foot note p. 425 b. Namely at Actium, a town on the sea-coast of Epirus, which was at this time part of the Roman dominions, where his fortunes were fatally shattered : but it is not true that he fell in battle, or at Actium. Antony lived till the next year, and had retired into Egypt: when, after fruitless attempts at a reconciliation with his rival, he once more resolved to try the chances of war, and made ready for battle at Alexandria : but fortune again proved adverse to him ; and on hearing a (false) report of Cleopatra’s death, in despair he fell on his own sword.
3. Foot note p. 426 c. Namely Massada, mentioned above, in the notes on ch. xlix. 20, and 1. 8. as a place made use of by Herod for the same purpose on an occasion somewhat similar.
4. Foot note p. 426 d. Which see described above, at ch. xxxix. 5.
5. Foot note p. 426 e. Josephus reads, ” to Joseph his steward, and Soemus an Ituraean.” (Compare ch. lviii. 1.) In another place he calls him ” the husband of his sister Salome,” agreeably to our author: see below, ch. lviii. 1.
6. Foot note p. 426 f. See the preceding chapter, ver. 8, 9. Herod, however, appears even in this instance not to have forgotten his usual crafty foresight : and in dividing the duties of the campaign with Antony, managed so as to avoid coming into direct collision with Augustus, and to employ himself rather in subduing the Arabians ; that if at a future time the sun of Antony should set before the power and influence of his aspiring rival, the door of reconciliation might not be irretrievably closed against him.
7. Foot note p. 427 g. See the preceding note.
8. Foot note p. 427 h. According to an arrangement made with Antony, as related above, at ch. lvi. 9-l
9. Foot note p. 429 i. Augustus not only restored those portions of Judaea which Antony had taken away and given to Cleopatra, but likewise enlarged Herod’s dominion by the gift of many other towns and districts, which the reader may see enumerated in Josephus.

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