Josephus, The Life of Josephus

LCL 186: 46-47

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Αἰβούτιος, ἀχρεῖον δ᾿ ὁρῶν κατὰ τὸν τόπον τοῦτον οὖσαν αὐτῷ τὴν ἱππικὴν δύναμιν ἀναζεύγνυσιν ἄπρακτος εἰς Γάβαν πόλιν, τρεῖς ἄνδρας ἀποβαλὼν 118κατὰ τὴν μάχην. εἱπόμην δὲ κατὰ πόδας ἐγώ δισχιλίους ἐπαγόμενος ὁπλίτας· καὶ περὶ Βησάραν πόλιν γενόμενος, ἐν μεθορίῳ μὲν τῆς Πτολεμαΐδος κειμένην εἴκοσι δ᾿ ἀπέχουσαν στάδια τῆς Γάβας, ἔνθα διέτριβεν Αἰβούτιος, στήσας τοὺς ὁπλίτας ἔξωθεν τῆς κώμης καὶ φρουρεῖν αὐτοῖς ἀσφαλῶς τὰς ὁδοὺς προστάξας ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ ἐνοχλῆσαι τοὺς 119πολεμίους ἡμῖν ἕως τὸν σῖτον ἐκφορήσομεν, πολὺς γὰρ ἀπέκειτο Βερενίκης τῆς βασιλίδος ἐκ τῶν πέριξ κωμῶν εἰς τὴν Βησάραν συλλεγόμενος, πληρώσας τὰς καμήλους καὶ τοὺς ὄνους, πολλοὺς δ᾿ ἐπηγόμην, διέπεμψα τὸν σῖτον εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν. 120τοῦτο δὲ πράξας προεκαλούμην εἰς μάχην τὸν Αἰβούτιον· οὐχ ὑπακούσαντος δ᾿ ἐκείνου, κατεπέπληκτο γὰρ τὴν ἡμετέραν ἑτοιμότητα καὶ τὸ θράσος, ἐπὶ Νεοπολιτανὸν ἐτραπόμην, τὴν Τιβεριέων χώραν ἀκούσας ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ λεηλατεῖσθαι. 121ἦν δὲ ὁ Νεοπολιτανὸς ἴλης μὲν ἔπαρχος, παρειλήφει δὲ τὴν Σκυθόπολιν εἰς φυλακὴν τὴν ἀπὸ τῶν πολεμίων. τοῦτον οὖν κωλύσας ἐπὶ πλέον τὴν Τιβεριέων κακοῦν περὶ τὴν τῆς Γαλιλαίας πρόνοιαν ἐγινόμην.

122(25) Ὁ δὲ τοῦ Λευῒ παῖς Ἰωάννης, ὃν ἔφαμεν ἐν τοῖς Γισχάλοις διατρίβειν, πυθόμενος πάντα κατὰ νοῦν μοι προχωρεῖν, καὶ δι᾿ εὐνοίας μὲν εἶναί με τοῖς ὑπηκόοις, τοῖς πολεμίοις δὲ δι᾿ ἐκπλήξεως, οὐκ εὖ τὴν γνώμην διετέθη,1 κατάλυσιν δ᾿ αὐτῷ τὴν ἐμὴν εὐπραγίαν φέρειν νομίζων εἰς φθόνον ἐξώκειλεν


The Life

made a gallant stand; but seeing that his cavalry were useless in such surroundings, he withdrew to the town of Gaba, having failed in his object and lost three men in the engagement. I followed close behind with two thousand infantry, and on reaching the neighbourhood of the town of Besara, on the borders of Ptolemais, twenty furlongs from Gaba, where Aebutius was stationed, I posted my men outside the village, with orders to keep strict guard on the roads, so as to prevent interference from the enemy, while we were removing the corn. Of this a large quantity, belonging to Queen Berenice, had been collected from the neighbouring villages and stored in Besara. I then loaded the camels and asses, which I had brought with me in large numbers, and dispatched the corn to Galilee. This done, I offered Aebutius battle; and when he declined it, overawed by my readiness for action and intrepidity, I turned upon Neopolitanus, who, I heard, was ravaging the district of Tiberias. Neopolitanus was commander of a squadron of horse, who had been commissioned to protect Scythopolis from the enemy. Having prevented him from doing further injury to the Tiberian territory, I devoted my attention to the welfare of Galilee.

(25) But when John, son of Levi, who, as I said,aJohn attempts to alienate Galilee from Josephus. was now at Gischala, heard that everything was proceeding to my satisfaction, that I was popular with those under my authority and a terror to the enemy, he was in no good humour; and, believing that my success involved his own ruin, gave way to

  • a§ 101.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.josephus-life.1926