Section CXVIII. HEROD’S POLICY AND REIGN
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 19:1, 2a] Now when the war about Actium broke out, Herod prepared to come to the assistance of Antony, but he was treacherously hindered from sharing the dangers of Antony by Cleopatra, for she persuaded Antony to intrust the war against the Arabians to Herod. This plan, however, proved of advantage to Herod, for he defeated the army of the Arabians, although it offered him strong resistance.
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:1] Now Herod was immediately concerned about his entire fortunes because of his friendship with Antony, who had been defeated at Actium by Caesar [Augustus]. Herod, however, resolved to face the danger: so he sailed to Rhodes where Caesar was then staying, and came to him without his diadem and in the dress and guise of a private person, but in the spirit of a king. And he concealed nothing of the truth, but spoke straight out as follows: “O Caesar, I was made king of the Jews by Antony. I confess that I have been useful to him, nor will I conceal this added fact, that you would certainly have found me in arms, and so showing my gratitude to him, had not the Arabians hindered me. I have been overcome with Antony, and sharing the same fortune as his, I have laid aside my diadem. Now I have come to you fixing my hopes of safety upon your virtue, and I ask that you will consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been.”
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:2] Caesar answered him as follows: “Nay, you shall not only be safe, but you shall reign more firmly than before, for you are worthy to reign over many subjects because of the steadfastness of your friendship. Endeavor to be equally constant in your friendship to me in the hour of my success, since I have the brightest hopes because of your noble spirit. I therefore assure you that I will confirm the kingdom to you by decree. I will also endeavor to do you some further kindness hereafter, that you may not miss Antony.”
[Sidenote: Jos. Jew. War, I, 20:3b-4a] After this, when Caesar went to Egypt through Syria, Herod received him lavishly and royally. It was, therefore, the opinion both of Caesar and his soldiers that Herod’s kingdom was too small a return for what he had done. For this reason, when Caesar had returned from Egypt, he added to Herod’s other honors, and also made an addition to his kingdom by giving him not only the country which had been taken from him by Cleopatra, but also Gadara, Hippos, and Samaria, and also the coast cities Gaza, Anthedon, Joppa, and Straton’s Tower. He also made him a present of four hundred Gauls as a body-guard, which had before belonged to Cleopatra. Moreover he added to his kingdom Trachonitis and the adjacent Batanea, and the district of Auranitis.