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Antigonus, and resented equally the interference of Rome and the reign of an Edomite. After hard fighting the walls were taken, and the king was executed like a common criminal.
106. THIRD PERIOD, B. C. 37-A. D. 44. Herod was justly surnamed 'the Great," for his talents and the grandeur of his enterprises, though his character was stained by the worst faults of a tyrant, cruelty and reckless caprice. At the age of fifteen he had been made governor of Galilee by Julius Cæsar, and had ruled with great energy and success, suppressing the banditti who infested the country, and putting their leaders to death. He began his reign in Judæa by a massacre of all who had been opposed to him, especially those whose wealth would best enable him to reward his Roman benefactors. The Temple, which, being used as a fortress, had been nearly destroyed in the repeated sieges, was rebuilt, by his orders, with a magnificence which rivaled the glories of Solomon. His liberality was equally shown during a famine which visited Judæa and the surrounding countries. He bought immense quantities of corn in Egypt, and fed the entire people at his own expense, beside supplying several provinces with seed for the next harvest.
Herod affected Roman tastes: he built a circus and amphitheater in a suburb of Jerusalem, where games and combats of wild beasts were celebrated in honor of the emperor Augustus. To show his impartiality, he restored the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim, while he adorned his new and magnificent city of Cæsare'a with imposing shrines of the Roman gods. This universal tolerance was most unpleasing to the Jews, and their disposition to revolt was only kept down by the vigilance of innumerable spies, and the construction of a chain of fortresses around Jerusalem.
107. The last two members of the Asmonæan family were Mariam'ne and Aristobulus, grandchildren of Hyrcanus II. Herod married the former, and bestowed upon the latter the office of high priest; but the great popularity of the young prince alarmed his jealousy, and he caused him to be secretly assassinated. Though devotedly attached to Mariamne, Herod twice ordered her put to death in case of his own decease, during perilous expeditions for which he was leaving the capital. These atrocious orders coming to the knowledge of the queen, naturally increased the aversion for Herod which had been inspired by the murder of her grandfather and her brother.
Her high spirit scorned concealment; she was brought to trial, and her bitter enemies persuaded Herod to consent to her execution. But the violence of his grief and remorse kept him a long time on the verge of insanity, and a raging fever nearly ended his life. His temper, which had been generous though hasty, now became so ferocious that his best friends were often ordered to death on the slightest suspicion. Three of his sons were executed on charges of conspiracy. From his
death-bed he ordered a massacre of the infants in Bethlehem, because wise men from the East had informed him that in that little village the Messiah was born. About the same time, he had set up a golden eagle over the gate of the Temple. A sedition immediately arose, and its leaders were punished with atrocious cruelty, by the command of the dying king. Herod died in the same year with the birth of our Lord, which the common chronology places, by an error, B. C. 4.
108. His dominions, except Abilene in Syria, were divided among his three sons, Archelaus, Antipas, and Philip, the eldest receiving Judæa and Samaria. He reigned so oppressively that he was removed by the Romans, A. D. 8; and until A. D. 36, the province was managed by procurators, or governors, subject to the præfects of Syria. Under the fifth of these, Pontius Pilate, Christ was crucified by Roman authority, through the accusations of the chief officers of the Jews. Herod Antipas was meanwhile ruling in Galilee (B. C. 4-A. D. 39; see Luke xxiii: 6-12), and Philip in Trachoni'tis (B. C. 4-A. D. 37; see Mark vi: 17, 18). When these provinces became. vacant, they were bestowed by the Emperor Caligʻula upon his favorite, Herod Agrippa I., grandson of Herod the Great and Mariamne. A. D. 41, Samaria and Judæa were also added to his dominions, which for three years covered the entire territory of Herod the Great.
109. Agrippa began to persecute the Christians in the year 44, and the Romans again placed Judæa under the government of procurators. Gessius Florus, the sixth of the new series, was a cruel and crafty tyrant, who plundered his province without pity or shame. He shared the spoils of highway robbers, whom he permitted and even encouraged. Twice he stirred up riots in Jerusalem, sacrificing the lives of thousands of people, only that he might avail himself of the confusion to pillage the Temple.
His atrocities at length drove the Jews to open revolt. A Roman army of 100,000 men, commanded by Titus, the son of the emperor Vespasian, besieged the Holy City five months. The three walls, the fortress of Mount Zion, and the Temple had each to be taken by separate assault; and never was a siege more memorable for the obstinacy of the resistance. The Temple was surrendered Sept. 8, 70. All the people who had not perished by the hardships of the siege, were made slaves and divided among the victors as prizes. Large colonies were transported into the heart of Germany or to Italy, where the golden vessels of the Temple adorned the triumphal procession of Titus at Rome. No ancient city of any fame was ever so completely ruined as Jerusalem. Mount Zion was plowed as a field and sown with salt, and the buildings of the Temple were leveled to the ground.
Judæa subject to Egypt, B. C. 320-203; to Syria, B. C. 203-168. Persecution by Antiochus Epiphanes, and revolt of Mattathias, B. C. 168. Victories of Judas Maccabæus, B. C. 166–160. Jonathan prince and high priest, B. C. 160-143. ProsA. H.-31.
perous reign of Simon, B. C. 143-135. Siege and capture of Jerusalem by Antiochus Sidetes, B. C. 135–133. Conquests of John Hyrcanus, B. C. 135–106. Aristobulus I. takes the royal title. Civil wars of Pharisees and Sadducees, under Alexander Jannæus, B. C. 105-78. Reign of Alexandra, B. C. 78-69. Hyrcanus II., B. C. 69, 68. Aristobulus II., B. C. 68-63. Jerusalem taken by Pompey, who awards the sovereignty to Hyrcanus. After six years, Hyrcanus deposed and an oligarchy set up, B. C. 57-47. Jerusalem plundered by Crassus, B. C. 54. Antipater, the Idumæan, governor, B. C. 47-40, while Hyrcanus is again high priest. Antigonus prince and priest, B. C. 10-37. Herod, son of Antipater, invested at Rome with the royalty of Judæa, conquers Galilee, and by a long siege takes Jerusalem, B. C. 37. His greatness and tyranny. His public works. Execution of Queen Mariamne, B. C. 29. "Murder of the Innocents," and death of Herod, B. C. 4. Division of his kingdom into tetrarchies. Archelaus succeeded in his government by Roman governors, A. D. 8-36. The Crucifixion, A. D. 29 or 30. Four provinces united under Herod Agrippa, A. D. 41. Procurators restored, A. D. 44. Gessius Florus, A. D. 65, 66. Siege and capture of Jerusalem by Titus, A. D. 70.
11. Effects upon Europe and Asia of Alexander's conquests?
14. Describe in detail the reign of Antiochus the Great.
The conquests of the first three Ptolemies.
The character of their successors.
21. What was the result to Athens of the Lamian War?
22. What became of the sons of Cassander?
23. How many kings of Thrace and Macedonia B. C. 281 ?
24. Describe the two reigns of Antigonus Gonatas.
19. 19, 20, 66, 67. 20, 22-25, 29, 68. 21-23.
31, 70, 71.
49, 51, 54.
52, 53. 50, 54, 56.
56, 57, 60, 62–65.
27. What occurred in Sparta during the Macedonian regency of Antigonus
26. Tell the history of the Achæan League.