Josephus, Jewish Antiquities

LCL 433: 78-79

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ἔσταλτο, ἡ γυνὴ πύστεως1 αὐτῇ τῶν πρὸς τὴν Ἡρωδιάδα συνθηκῶν γενομένης πρὶν ἔκπυστος αὐτῷ γενέσθαι τὰ πάντα ἐκμαθοῦσα κελεύει πέμπειν αὐτὴν ἐπὶ Μαχαιροῦντος, μεθόριον δ᾿ ἐστὶ τῆς τε Ἀρέτα καὶ Ἡρώδου ἀρχῆς, γνώμην οὐκ ἐκφαίνουσα 112τὴν ἑαυτῆς.2 καὶ ὁ Ἡρώδης ἐξέπεμψεν μηδὲν ᾐσθῆσθαι τὴν ἄνθρωπον προσδοκῶν. ἡ δέ, προαπεστάλκει γὰρ ἐκ πλείονος εἰς τὸν Μαχαιροῦντα τότε3 πατρὶ αὐτῆς ὑποτελῆ,4 πάντων εἰς τὴν ὁδοιπορίαν ἡτοιμασμένων ὑπὸ τοῦ στρατηγοῦ ἅμα τε5 παρῆν καὶ ἀφωρμᾶτο εἰς τὴν Ἀραβίαν κομιδῇ τῶν στρατηγῶν ἐκ διαδοχῆς6 παρῆν7 τε ὡς τὸν πατέρα ᾗ τάχος καὶ αὐτῷ τὴν Ἡρώδου διάνοιαν 113ἔφραζεν. ὁ δὲ ἀρχὴν ἔχθρας ταύτην ποιησάμενος

  • 1A: πίστεως WE et vid. Lat.
  • 2MWE: αὐτῆς A.
  • 3τότε] ed. pr.: τῷ τε codd.
  • 4ed. pr.: ὑποτελεῖ codd.
  • 5ἅμα τε] A: Ἀρέτα MWE.
  • 6χρωμένη post διαδοχῆς suppl. Richards et Shutt.
  • 7προαπεστάλκει . . . παρῆν] praemiserat enim ante multum tempus ad patrem, ut ei apud Macherunta omnia praepararentur, quae itineris usus exposceret, a ductoribus Aretae suscipitur Lat.

Jewish Antiquities XVIII

who had got wind of his compact with Herodias, before any information reached him that she had discovered everything, asked him to send her awaya to Machaerus,b which was on the boundaryc between the territory of Aretas and that of Herod. She gave no hint, however, of her real purpose. Herod let her go, since he had no notion that the poor woman saw what was afoot. Some time earlier she herself had dispatched messengers to Machaerus, which was at that time subject to her father,d so that when she arrived all preparations for her journey had been made by the governor. She was thus able to start for Arabia as soon as she arrived, being passed from one governor to the next as they provided transport.e So she speedily reached her father and told him what Herod planned to do. Aretas made this the start of aAretas makes war

  • aOr “to give her an escort.”
  • bFor a description of this fortress, just east of the Dead Sea, see B.J. vii. 164 ff.
  • cN. Glueck, “Explorations in the Land of Ammon,” Bull. of the Am. Sch. of Orient. Res. lxviii, Dec. 1937, p. 15, on the basis of an archaeological survey of the area, concludes that Josephus is approximately correct in placing Machaerus on the border between the territory of Aretas and that of Herod, but that he is wrong in placing it in the territory of Aretas, which was a few miles away.
  • dThe reading of the mss. is “and to him who was subject to her father.”
  • eThe Nabataean inscriptions, as noted by Jones, Cities, p. 292, mention officers with the titles of ἔπαρχος and στρατηγός That the Greek words are thus transliterated into Nabataean shows that the institution was of foreign origin. Jones plausibly conjectures that the Nabataean kings, after successfully trying to organize their kingdom on the centralized Hellenistic model, gave the local sheikhs the title of “governor.” There is perhaps a parallel to be drawn with the magisterial boards of στρατηγοί, usually consisting of five members, often headed by a first στρατηγός, which governed the Hellenistic cities in Asia Minor and elsewhere (see Magie, Roman Rule, i. 643–644). G. A. Cooke, A Textbook of North-Semitic Inscriptions, 1903, pp. 247–248, suggests the possibility that the two στρατηγοί mentioned in C.I.S. ii. 169 may have assisted the daughter of Aretas, since the fortress of Machaerus was probably in the district of one of them, Ya‘amru by name. Another inscription mentioning a στρατηγός found in northern Transjordan and probably referring to a village sheik is described by L. Mowry, in Bull. of the Am. Sch. of Orient. Res. cxxxii, Dec. 1953, pp. 34–41.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.josephus-jewish_antiquities.1930