The Antiquities of the Jews

The Antiquities of the Jews


4.When Herod had thus spoken, he fell a weeping, and was not able to say any more; but at his desire Nicolaus of Damascus, being the king's friend, and always conversant with him, and acquainted with whatsoever he did, and with the circumstances of his affairs, proceeded to what remained, and explained all that concerned the demonstrations and evidences of the facts.Upon which Antipater, in order to make his legal defense, turned himself to his father, and enlarged upon the many indications he had given of his good-will to him; and instanced in the honors that had been done him, which yet had not been done, had he not deserved them by his virtuous concern about him; for that he had made provision for every thing that was fit to be foreseen beforehand, as to giving him his wisest advice; and whenever there was occasion for the labor of his own hands, he had not grudged any such pains for him.And that it was almost impossible that he, who had delivered his father from so many treacherous contrivances laid against him, should be himself in a plot against him, and so lose all the reputation he had gained for his virtue, by his wickedness which succeeded it; and this while he had nothing to prohibit him, who was already appointed his successor, to enjoy the royal honor with his father also at present; and that there was no likelihood that a person who had the one half of that authority without any danger, and with a good character, should hunt after the whole with infamy and danger, and this when it was doubtful whether he could obtain it or not; and when he saw the sad example of his brethren before him, and was both the informer and the accuser against them, at a time when they might not otherwise have been discovered; nay, was the author of the punishment inflicted upon them, when it appeared evidently that they were guilty of a wicked attempt against their father; and that even the contentions there were in the king's family were indications that he had ever managed affairs out of the sincerest affection to his father.And as to what he had done at Rome, Caesar was a witness thereto, who yet was no more to be imposed upon than God himself; of whose opinions his letters sent hither are sufficient evidence; and that it was not reasonable to prefer the calumnies of such as proposed to raise disturbances before those letters; the greatest part of which calumnies had been raised during his absence, which gave scope to his enemies to forge them, which they had not been able to do if he had been there.Moreover he showed the weakness of the evidence obtained by torture, which was commonly false, because the distress men are in under such tortures naturally obliges them to say many things in order to please those that govern them.He also offered himself to the torture.

Flavius Josephus