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Simon was admitted into the city; both equally enraged against each other; while slaughter and devastation fola lowed their pretensions. Thus did a city, formerly cele, brated for peace and unity, become a seat of tumult and con, fufion.
It was in this miserable situation, when Titus encamped before it with his conquering army, and began his operations about fix furlongs from the place. It was at the feast of the passover, when Jerusalem was filled with an infinite number of people, who had come from all parts to celebrate that great solemnity, that Titus undertook to besiege it. His presence produced a temporary reconciliation between the contending factions within ; so that they unanimously resolved to oppose the common enemy first, and then decide their domestic quarrels at a more convenient season. Their first sally, which was made with much fury and resolution, put the Romans into great disorder, and obliged them to abandon their camp and fly to the mountains. However, rallying immediately after, the Jews were forced back into the city; whilft Titus in person shewed surprising instances of valour and conduct.
These advantages over the Romans, only renewed in the besieged their private yengeance. A tumult ensued in the Temple, in which several of both parties were slain. And in this manner, upon every remission from without, the factions of John and Simon violently raged against each other within; agreeing only in their resolution to defend the city against the Romans.
Jerusalem was strongly fortified by three walls on every side, except where it was fenced by deep vallies. Titus began by battering down the outward wall, which, after much fatigue and danger, he effected; all the time Thewing the greatest clemency to the Jews, and offering them repeated assurances of pardon. But this infatuatd people refused his proferred kindness with contempt, and imputed his humanity to his fears. Five days after the commencement of the fiege, Titus broke through the second wall, and though driven back by the besieged, he recovered his ground, and made preparations for battering the third wall, which was their last defence. But first he fent Josephus, their countryman; into the city to exhort them to yield, who using all his eloquence to persuade them, was only reviled with scoffs and reproaches. The siege was, therefore carried on with greater vigour than before ; and several batteries for engines were raised, which were no sooner built, than they were destroyed by the enemy. At length it was resolved in council, to surround the whole city with a trench, and thus prevent all relief and succours froin abroad. This, which was quickly executed, seemed no
The Siege of Jerusalem. way to intimidate the Jews. Though famine and pestilence, its necessary attendant, began now to make the most horrid ravages within the walls, yet this desperate people still resolved to hold out. Though obliged to live upon the most scanty and unwholesome food, though a bushel of corn was fold for six hundred crowns, and the holes and sewers were ransacked for carcases, that had long since grown putrid, yet they were not to be moved. The famine raged at last to such an excess, that a woman of distinction in the city, boiled her own child, and ate it. When this horrid account came to the ears of Titus, he declared that he would bury fo abominable a crime in the ruins of their state. sequence of this resolution, he cut down all the woods within a considerable distance of the city, and causing more batteries to be raised, at length battered down the wall, and in five days entered the citadel by force. Thus reduced to the very verge of ruin, the remaining Jews still deceived themselves with abfurd and delufive expectations, while many false prophets imposed upon the multitude, declaring, they, should foon have affiftance from God. The heat of the battle was now, therefore, gathered round the inner wall of the Temple, while the defendants desperately combated from the top. Titus was anxious to save this beautiful structure, but a soldier casting a brand into some adjacent buildings, the fire communicated to the Temple; and notwithstanding the utmost endeavours on both sides, the whole edifice was quickly consumed. The fight of the Temple in ruins effectually served to damp the ardour of the Jews. They began to perceive that Heaven had forsaken them, while their cries and lamentations echoed from the adjacent mountains. Even those who were almost expiring, lifted up their dying eyes to bewail the loss of their temple, which they valued more than life itself.
Titus having entered the fanctuary, or most holy place, found such rich and sumptuous utensils and other wealth, as even exceeded all that had been told him of it. Out of the former he saved the golden candlestick, the table of lhewbread, the altar of perfumes, all of pure gold, and the book or volume of the law wrapped up in a rich gold tissue. After he came out of the facred place, some other soldiers set fire to it, and then plundered it, tearing off the gold plating of the gates and timber-work, and carrying off every thing of value they could find. An horrid massacre followed soon after, in which a great many thousands perished, some by the flames, others by the fall from the battlemerts, and a greater number by the enemy's sword, none of any age, sex, or quality, being spared by the enraged soldiers, who did not cease 4
burning and butchering till they had destroyed all except two of the Temple gates, and that part of the court which was destined for the women. The Jews, in memory of this destruction, keep a solemn fast on the ninth of the month Ab, answering in part to our August, which lasts full twentyfour hours; during which time they neither eat, drink, nor use the least refreshment.
The most resolute of the Jews ftill endeavoured to defend the upper and stronger part of the city, named Sion, but Titus with his battering engines, foon made himfelf entire master of the place. John and Simon were taken from the vaults where they had concealed themselves; the former was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and the latter reserved to grace the conqueror's triumph. The greatest part of the populace were put to the sword, and the city was entirely razed by the plough; so that according to our Saviour's prophecy, not one itone remained upon another. Thus, after a fiege of fix months, this noble city was totally destroyed, having Aourished, under the peculiar direction of Heaven, above two thousand years. The numbers who perished in this fiege, amounted to “ above a million of fouls, and the
captives to almost an hundred thousand *.” The temporal state of the Jews ended with their city; while the wretched survivors were banished, fold, and dispersed into all parts of the world.
Upon the taking of Jerusalem, the foldiers would have crowned Titus as conqueror, but he modestly refused the honour, alledging, that he was only an instrument in the hand of Heaven, which manifestly declared its wrath against the Jews. . At Rome, however, all men's mouths were filled with the praises of the conqueror, who had not only thewed bimself an excellent general, but a courageous combatant; his return, therefore, in triumph, in company with his father, was marked with all the magnificence and joy that was in the power of men to exprels. All things that were esteemed valuable or beautiful among men, brought to adorn this great folemnity. Among the rich spoils were exposed vast quantities of gold, taken out of the Temple; but the Book of the Holy Law was not the least remarkable among the magnificent profusion. This was the first time that ever Romc saw the father and the son triumph together. A triumphal arch was erected upon this occasion, on which were described all the victories of Titus over the Jews. It remains almost entire to this day. Vefpafian like vise built a Temple to Peace, wherein were deported
The Death of Vespasian. most of the Jewish spoils ; and having now calmed all commotions in every part of the empire, he shut up the temple of Janus, which had been open about five or six years.
Vespasian having thus given security and peace to the empire, resolved to correct numberless abuses, which had grown up under the tyranny of his predecessors. He began with restraining the licentiousness of the army. He ordered a young officer to be broke for being perfumed, declaring he had rather he had stunk of garlick. When some military messengers desired money to buy shoes, he ordered them, for the future, to perform their journies barefoot. He abridged the procefles which had been carried to an unreasonable length, in the courts of justice.
He settled a constant salary of an hundred thousand festerces upon the teachers of rhetoric. Quintilian, the orator, and Pliny, the naturalist, flourished in his reign, and were highly esteemed by him.
He was no less an encourager of all other excellencies in art; and invited the greatest masters and artificers from all parts of the world, making thein considerable presents, as he found occasion.
Vefpafian having reigned ten years, loved hy his A. D. 79. fubjects, and deserving their affection, died a na
tural death, and was peaceably succeeded by Titus his fon.
“ He was a man, in whom power made no alteration, ex" cept in giving him the opportunity of doing good equal to
his will *,
CH A P.
CH A P. XLIV.
Titus.-Dreadful Eruption of Mount Vesuvius.-Fire and
Plague at Rome.Domitian.–Story of Appollonius Tyaneus.--Nerva.---Trajan.-Plutarch's Letter to Trajan. -Remårkable Expression of the same Emperor.-Strength of the Roman Empire impaired by its extent. - Reign of Adrian.-Variety of his Endowments. One of his Maxims-He visits his whole Empire.- His Remark with Regard to Physicians. The Stanzas he addressed to his departing Soul. VESPASIAN, perhaps, did not more oblige the world ceffor as his fon Titus, who, from his goodness was called the Delight of Mankind. One night at supper, calling to mind, that he had not, during the day, granted a favour to any man, he exclaimed, “ Alas! my friends, we have loft a day.” He
gave sufficient proof of his courage in the fiege of Jerusalem, and might have met with as good fuccels in other parts, had he not been prevented by death, to the universal grief of mankind. On perceiving his approaching diffolution, he declared, that, during his life, he knew but one action of which he repented; and that action he did not think proper to exprefs. He expired shortly after, but not without fufpicion of treachery from his brother Domitian, who had long wished to govern.
In his reign an eruption of Mount Vesuvius did considerable damage, overwhelming many towns, and fending its ashes into countries more than an hundred miles diftant. Upon this memorable occafion, Pliny, the naturalist, loft his life; for being compelled by too cager a curiosity to observe the eruptions, he was fuffocated in the Aamcs. Among other cities, which were destroyed by this dreadful eruption, were Pompeii and Herculaneum; the ruins of which last have been since discovered.
There happened also about this tine a fire at Rome, which continued three days and nights successively, being followed by a plague, in which ten thousand men were buried
The love which all ranks of people bore to his brother, facilitated the election of Domitian, A. D. 81. notwithstanding the ill opinion many had already conceived of him. He fo far degenerated from the
in a day.