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NIG. You Who fashion great wonders for an astonished world, under Whose soft wings crouch in safety those wholesome people who live their life treading the straight path and who, surrounded by a thousand heaps of corpses, never fear impending ruin. I shall always confess that You are the defender of my safety. By Your will You sustain me, when I am buffeted by storms. Frequent burnt-offerings will illuminate Your altars. Each day Your amazed people will hear of Your power, and long hereafter our progeny will sing Your praises. Great Commander, I can never give you adequate recompense for Your gifts. You defend me, snatched from my enemies’ jaws, and liberate me from my neighbors’ snares. Your people, whom our enemies faithlessly marked for bitter destruction, will sing the thanks it owes.
JIP. Great glory of Idumaea, Niger, if I have borne arms to help the afflicted, duty has persuaded me that this is the part of a vigorous captain. If our enemies’ threats cannot otherwise be deflected, we must always lay down our lives for our country. Tell me how you, the sole survivor, avoided our gentile foe by hiding wretchedly in a cave to escape death’s cruel danger and the threat of burning. ç
NIG. Jiptach, you ask me to retell the dreadful slaughter by which the Idumaean forces were laid low. When the Romans had been routed and Cestius their general beaten off, then our new hopes were bright. By our own impulsiveness we cooperated with Fate’s decree. We sought to capture Ascalon, a city which had long been disliked by the Jews, Schiloch the Babylonian, Jehochanan the Essene, and I. But (oh fickle Fortune!) we did not find the fugitive Cestius there. Rather, Antonius, backed by a Roman detachment (for he commanded both cavalry and a detachment of infantry), stood in our way. At the time this seemed like a small force. This made our men all the more warlike, and they were exceedingly arrogant because of the victory they had won over Cestius. They were disorganized and, without anybody giving the command, the fled to the walls of Ascalon. Here they regrouped and renewed the fight, but the Roman cavalry trampled underfoot anyone who resisted. The fields were soaked with our blood, as the thousand died. Here Schiloch and Jehochanan met their fate. As we fled, Challis, an Idumaean town, was our salvation. Whatever soldiers had survived the battle’s frenzy dashed into the town. But chagrin over such a great defeat did not lower our men’s morale, and we joined in bitter lamentations. Our anger kindled new torches of revenge, and with renewed strength we launched a greater attack against Ascalon.
But because of a Roman ambush a similar sequence of events occurred and eight thousand died. I immediately made my escape to the tower of Belzedek, where I shut myself up. The enemy attacked this and laid siege to it. Growing tired of the effort, he set fire to the tower. Outside, the enemy threatened; inside, the fire raged. Only one place of refuge remained for me, a cave wrapped in looming shadows, into which neither the stars shone nor did the sun, blessed with his shining locks, scatter his light. While I was avoiding the fire I was enveloped in the darkness. I hid here until the sun had completed the circuit of the illuminated world three times at his rapid pace. Afterwards, you people were searching for men to bury after such a slaughter, and your voices came to my ears. Overjoyed, I immediately cried out to Judah’s children that Niger lived by the mighty grace of God, Who had freed me with His powerful right hand.
JIP. When idle rumor had apprised us of the Jewish catastrophe, that our army had been defeated near Ascalon by the scheme of Antonius the captain, soon our leaders sent out an armed band of men to give our dead decent burial. A new rumor had come to Jerusalem, saying that all of our leaders had perished, suffering Fate’s extremity. So your shouting was all the more welcome to us when a divine hand brought you back to the light on the third day, after having been pent up in the cave, so that you might serve as a leader and supply your assistance amidst this ruination, and be a noble pillar for your nation. [Exit Niger. Enter Arsimon.]
ARS. The fields are running red with the blood of our Latin enemy. The Roman leaders are looking at the fields strewn with the bodies of their men.
JIP. What welcome news do you bring about the Romans?
ARS. After so many thousands of Jews lay dead, strewn across the fields by the great massacre at Ascalon, Placidus soon grew arrogant and attacked Jotopata, a most secure position in the mountains. The great honor of capturing a town inflamed him. He thought that if he could conquer it, this would have the effect of simultaneously overwhelming others, since it served them as a save refuge. Everyone trusted him, naively persuading themselves that they could conquer the citizens of Jotopata with ease. But its inhabitants were ashamed to restrain themselves within the walls and launched a sudden attack against the enemy. Everywhere steel dealt out savage wounds, and the enemy pressed on, dreadful in his numbers. But necessity gave the inhabitants equal self-confidence and, after the two forces had struggled for quite a while, the Romans’ sword hands began to tire and a chill suddenly came over their limbs, so that they could no longer wield their weapons. They turned and fled, and did not stop their flight until protective night gave them refuge. But why do I hesitate to tell these things to the High Priest?
JIP. Let the rest of us take this is as an example of bravery. Jotopata, your reputation will spread everywhere and posterity will always sing your praises. [Exit. Enter Pudens. ]
PUD. Although I am here as the bringer of sad news, you should not scorn my speech.
ARS. It is often profitable to hear bad tidings.
PUD. After the Roman general received such an outstanding setback in his campaign, the loss of his men kindled his fierce mind and he was intent on revenge. So now he attacked Gabara with a horrendous force. It happened that a small garrison was defending this town. The Romans soon adopted their usual tactics. The savage ram battered the walls. With a great crash the inhabitants hurled down huge rocks from above, and the Romans fought back with arrows from afar until they paved the way for an easy ascent. The killing of the inhabitants was terrible: the stones of the walls ran red with blood from the butchery, nor did the destructive sword refrain from the carnage until the supply of throats ran out and there was nobody left to wound. No widow survived who could hunt for her husband’s bloodless corpse to give it burial, nor any son to pay the final honor to his father or to perform his funereal duty for his kinsmen. Immediately the deserted town of Gabara collapsed, with its walls pulled down. Oh harsh fate! Oh baleful madness of war!


MAG The Roman general, terrible with his army, oppresses Galilee, trampling it with his horses. He spreads the threat of his forces in all directions.
AN. But the fear of war is worse than war itself.
MAG. The fields are ablaze. Steel glitters everywhere. The Romans are given open freedom for looting and murder. All Galilee is thrown into a new panic and the fearful hearts of her citizens are numb. Now they mutter sundry opinions and their fear begins to be the worst of soothsayers. Insignificant suspicions tormented their mind, nor did they maintain their appearances. Maidens did not wear golden girdles or pendants, glittering on their necks. Jewels did not shake, hanging form their ears, and jasper rings did not gleam on their fingers. Girls neglected their former beauty, and the comeliness of little boys perished. When Josephus had perceived the Romans raging, burning down the huts in the fields, he led out a battle-line to oppose them in their fury. A great rumor had spread about the Roman general, that he was attacking the neighboring coast with his fleet. Great fear seized their hearts, and the faithless army fled, leaving Josephus behind.
When Josephus saw himself struck by Mars’ first thunderbolt and his men shamefully turning their backs on the enemy, he doubtfully pondered many things in his mind, uncertainly wondering whether he should seek peace on his own initiative or defend his homeland. The Sanhedrin might have already changed its mind and struck a peace treaty. Vespasian had demanded by messengers that Galilee be surrendered to him. {Some words are corrupt in the ms.] Josephus requested a few days’ despite in order to consult your wise head whether he ought to enter into a truce on fair terms.
AN. Why should we vainly consider such things at this late date? What point is there for us, who are oppressed by the necessity of fighting and forced to defend our beloved nation, to renounce belatedly what has already happened? It is tiresome to keep touching a wound. Now the die is cast — let it fall out well. It is more praiseworthy for our city to grant peace than to ask for it. If unhappy Fortune compels us to accept a peace, what kind of terms will the victor exact? Headstrong, he has seized the reins, he will never accept a treaty on even terms. War and peace have always been equal things to the Romans. Those of that stock have alternated them, and do not always give the greater honor to the toga. Now only a cruel war can heal the wound of our ruptured peace. War will at least have the effect of placating our citizens’ aggrieved minds, and might even force our enemies to give us a fair peace. What manner of crime has so long oppressed David’s city! Murder, pillage, devastation, arson. Caesar’s image is set up in the Temple itself, which some skilled artisan manufactured with his hand. The sacred and the profane have become contaminated (I shudder to say so). So return and transmit these orders to Josephus: you must not enter into a truce shameful to Jerusalem. An unfair peace must be remedied by fighting. You are a leader who bears the weapons of our sacred God. [Exit Magassal, leaving Anani alone.]
One day is a mother, another a stepmother, nor are the children begotten by Time always the same. This voracious father produced children hostile to one another. Oh Thou Who moderates the sun’s daily risings and settings and governs the variable outcomes of doubtful Fortune, as a merciful Father protect your daughter Zion. And while You act the judge and avenge the wrongs we have suffered, save us rescued ones with Your powerful right hand. Wipe our faces clean of their tear-stains, shed an upright spirit on the chambers of our hearts, and fill Your people with enduring joy. Let it be the Romans’ glory to count their chariot squadrons, let them roam through their enemies’ fields, giving their horses free rein, let them destroy their enemies’ forces with their curved swords. We shall hide in safety beneath Your shadow. [Enter Manasche.]
MAN. What strange sorrow grips the holy city? Father of the universe, in Your mercy calm our roiling minds and return our citizens to their normal selves.
AN. Explain our city’s new sorrow.
MAN. I do not know what upheaval besets our hearts. This grief gathers increasing strength. It is not able to break out in the open, but causes men to sigh deeply and hang their heads.
AN. But what grounds for fear afflicts their minds?
MAN. Each citizen does not know the reason why he is afraid, but he is afraid nonetheless. He seeks for an explanation, but is scarcely satisfied. Immediately he rebukes himself for his error, but falls back into panic and gives himself to peace. He has the sudden suspicion that Jotopata has been taken, and laments Josephus, sadly taken off by death, but there has been no messenger to tell of this reverse, nor does rumor dare to spread such news openly. Then the mind leads one in a different direction and it seems improper to spread this news, even if true, lest the fickle people suddenly erupt in rioting and fiercely rush about like some wild beast. But why do these citizens, all crowned with laurel garlands, sing such a sorrowful song in public? At last such hidden sorrow can reveal itself. (Citizens enter in mourning gownes, hoods and garlands  on their heads. Recorders and a boy singing as followeth. Manneh, Saboch, Alkim.)
CHORUS Rome has broken the thread of Josephus’ life. Lo, in death he has broken their spirits. Oh Josephus, in life you supported our nation. Oh Josephus, in death you glorify it.
The nations will sing the distinguished rewards of your life. In later years fame will sing your distinguished death. Oh Josephus, in life you supported our nation. Oh Josephus, in death you glorify it.
While the greedy tomb imprisons your body, your spirit wafts through heaven’s precincts. Oh Josephus, in life you supported our nation. Oh Josephus, in death you glorify it. [Exit citizens. Enter Manneh and Saboch.]
MAN. Josephus, the years which provident nature bestowed on you you chose to donate to your nation. Enduring fame will give you praise in greater measure than the years taken from you by your harsh fate.
SAB. Olympus’ peak is struck by your virtue, the stars by your praises, and posterity will laud you without end. In your death, your glory guarantees you life through the future centuries, from the part of the world where the sun rises to the borders of its falling.
MAN. I acknowledge you as a noble offspring of your holy race. [Enter Jehuda and Alkim.]
JEH. Galilee is tottering, deprived of its general.
MAN. Describe the sad collapse of that afflicted nation.
JEH. Has the terrible news of the carnage at Jotopata escaped your ears?
MAN. An uncertain rumor has already spread the news.
JEH. The city is entirely overthrown.
MAN. Did anybody survive this catastrophe?
JEH. No age escaped our enemies’ clutches.
ALK. Why was there no messenger to tell of this massacre?
JEH. Only Jonathan and one companion survived.
SAB. Does Josephus still draw the breath of life?
JEH. If you can call it living to submit your neck to the yoke — although Vespasian’s son cultivates him, and as a captive he his not held in dishonor by the enemy.
MAN. Why do we vainly crown our heads, and why does the branch decorate our hair with its leaves? (Let them fling their garlands away.)
JEH. The Romans have him bound in chains.
SAB. Tell us of the cowardly general’s foul misdeed.
JEH. When our leaders had rejected his disgraceful proposal for a truce, and Josephus had denies the Roman general’s peace-offer, with a calm mind this captain made his way to Jotopata. This was a secure mountain fastness. Vespasian was preparing to lay siege to it, because it was the capital of the entire region. If Jotopata could be taken, all Galilee would collapse and surrender with ease. At the same time, the citizens of Jotopata armed themselves. They could tolerate no delay before the fight, and rushed to the walls. Javelins flew back and forth, bullets shot by slings lightly whizzed through the air, as thick as clouds. The Romans’ arrows redoubled their menace, a formidable pestilence, and their shots did not fail to find many a target. A wooden tower threatened the walls, and the battering ram did its work with increasing violence. The twisted ballista pounded the gates with its heavy stone. A huge vinea also approached, open to the ground, which the defenders stationed in the mountains had not been able to repel. The Roman soldiers protected in its iron interior forced a breach in the foundations of the walls, but a hail of arrows blocked their advance and they fell back. Nor did the walls lack defenders. Quickly men began to die on both sides. Savage death ranged widely, until the Titan buried his head under the western waters and the moon spread her uncertain light through the heaven.
These external dangers allowed the inhabitants no rest. Merciful sleep did not claim them, heavy slumber did not relax their exhausted limbs. When the sun empurpled the heaven with its rosy light, soon both armies engaged in savage fighting. This man shot arrows, that one sent a stone whistling with his sling. They wielded their curved blades, nor did the sword cease dealing out cruel wounds. The Jews were inspired by the empty hope of salvation, and the Romans were embarrassed that the battle had dragged out so long. The one side was inspired by its virtue, often proven in war, while with their wrath leading them on the other side found their inspiration in the frenzy of battle. Death raged wildly, assuming a thousand forms. Finally, when the sun thrust out of the sea into the fiery regions to bring the day, the Galileans attacked the Romans with a sudden foray. The courageous Romans, not foreseeing this, could not withstand the enemy, and their battle-line immediately disintegrated.
When Vespasian perceived that his men were being pushed back and that the rivers were flowing with Roman officer’s blood, this intrepid father flourished his sword and shouted, “Where has your living courage fled, fellow Romans? Is this the way to resist an enemy? Is this the way Roman soldiers are accustomed to conquer? Does it not shame you that these townsmen are not dead? Does it not shame you to hunt out Roman bodies among the dead for burial? Plant your swords in our enemies’ throats.” Soon they were receiving and dealing out blows thick and fast, as the Roman battle-line gained renewed vigor. The ground was drenched with Jewish blood. An arrow shot by an unknown had came whizzing and struck Vespasian in the thigh. The surrounding soldiers were amazed and fearful because he had received this wound. But Titus, hardly terrified, galloped onward on his foaming horse. He cut down whatever opposed him and, unless the exhausted sun had soon plunged his gasping horses in the sea, the earth would have scarcely borne up under the weight of all the heaped corpses, such was the Roman’s fury. But, acting under orders, the bugler soon gave our men the signal for retreat. The surviving Jewish forces retired within the safety of the walls. This man’s head was bloodied, that one limped with a wound, a third’s shoulder was broken.
Before the sun could yoke his horses and lift his refulgent head out of the sea, bringing the day, Titus’ courage (which did not know how to tolerate inactivity) kept him awake, burning with cares. His father, although slowed down by his wound, forbade rest. So immediately the vinea was positioned so as to approach the walls, the ram stood under the open sky, prepared to batter its lofty head against the city, nor did it mete out in vain the strong blows of its horns. In the same way, every manner of weapon threatened the Jews. At length the unhappy city recognized its ruination, and a chill shot through its defenders’ limbs. The priest stood before the altar in his vestments, ready to offer up prayers to God. While he prepared the sacred fillet and the salted first-fruits, the waiting victim filled the air with its lowing. Josephus advised his followers that he could not be conquered and, lest the Roman enemy think the inhabitants were afraid of lack of water, with their sources drying up, ordered dripping-wet garments to be hung from the wall. The Romans, deceived by this ruse, were chagrined, for they had believed that the inhabitants were running dry: a deserter had informed them so.
The catapult redoubled its efforts, and with a rock tore the head off a sleeping soldier, and behold, his head was shot, as if it were a missile, for a distance of three stades. And the fetus was shot out of a pregnant woman’s belly to the distance of half a stade, such being the force of this artillery piece. The possibility of salvation still remained for the Jews. Although they were desperate, anger supplied them with strength, and patriotism urged them on. Here a man tried to pour quicklime down on the besiegers, there someone attempted to shoot of heaps of stones. The Roman barrage did not frighten the enemy. This was a job for ingenuity, not brute force, and their sole hope was to demolish the walls. The cruel ram dealt out frequent blows, and each one broke off part of the wall with a terrific noise. A large portion of the wall collapsed. The Romans sent up a mighty war-cry and raced against each other to enter the city. The defenders vainly attempted to set up a wooden barricade, and finally retreated. The victorious Roman army immediately filled the city with murder. No age escaped their angry hands, and scarcely any place afforded sanctuary. The Temple swam with blood.
Josephus the coward escaped our enemies’ clutches. There was a huge cave in the mountain-side. Its narrow mouth concealed its entrance, and if faced in a shadowy direction because a thickly-wooded ridge overhung it. But as soon as one entered, it yawned open as its sides receded, giving the visitor easy access. Finally a quite capacious inner cavern would receive him, and its arch would discreetly protect him as he made his way. Here Josephus lay hidden by black night, eluding the enemy’s threats. And, during the final catastrophe, forty rebel leaders followed him there, while Titus was most anxious to lay his hands on the Jewish captain. For he thought it would be shoddy of him to celebrate a triumph if Josephus’ person were lacking from his chariot during this new procession. He gave orders that recondite hiding-places be searched, and that guards be posted on all the streets, lest Joseph attempt escape by some trick and elude his enemies’ eager clutches. When the third dawn routed the stars Josephus hid in his cave, eluding the Roman officers. But a talkative old woman revealed his hiding-place to the Romans. So they came flying, searching for the band. Gallicanus gave a promise of security and Paulus praised Titus’ merciful ways: nothing was kinder than his heart. The wind snatched away these fruitless words, and Josephus made no immediate reply. Then Nicanor joined them as a third ambassador, who had been an acquaintance of Josephus prior to the outbreak of war. He alone could change the mind of the hesitating captain and make him speak.
“Why, alas,” said Josephus, “can I not lose my life in battle and go to join the blessed shades, dying by the wounds of my glorious nation? Now the yoke of slavery threatens my neck. Why do I make final plans? Eternal Father, Who alone governs the universe, I call You to witness that I am not a traitor, now defeated and holding out my hands to the victor. Where the Fates lead me, an unlucky captain, I am unhappily obliged to follow.”
Warlike Jehuda was incensed by these words. “Oh degenerate member of your race, worthy of being buried far from your ancestral tomb, does it befit a great leader to offer such an example? Do you fail to see the deceit of these Roman words? Does their arrogance escape you? What sword is worthier to be plunged in your breast than the one strapped to your side? Even if you are vainly eager to save your life, there will be another to bestow the gift of death on you, so that you will not shamefully bear the yoke of that proud nation or decorate the Romans’ proud procession, where little Italian boys will mock your bound hands.” He reminded him of the zeal of our horned leader, who, in the midst of the people’s folly, freely invited God’s wrath to fall on him, denying himself entry into heaven. By his piety Phinehas averted God’s just anger, as with his word he vindicated the licentiousness of his people in order to restrain the raging hand of our angry God, and he acquired the greatest glory for himself.
At this all the other leaders grumbled. But Josephus replied, “The funeral pyres only receive men who have been summoned to it. God appoints for men the length of their days. Life can honorably be given up, but it is rash to abandon it. Who resists the Fates or cuts short his life prior to the day prescribed by the Lord? If an imperiled sailor is tossed on the heaving sea and the howling winds strive to demolish his damaged boat, does he leap overboard and drown himself? Rather, we must follow the impulse given us by the Almighty. Let things turn out well for us in these troubled circumstances!” The rebel leaders murmured, not heeding his short speech, and each man drew his sword. They prepared to kill Josephus first, for this was a captain’s privilege. But then he asked for a short delay to be able to make a speech.
“I do not beg to save my warlike soul from death, and I shall readily give up my ghost, freed from the bonds of the body. Who would rather survive to inherit this grief? But the Law forbids each of us to lay murderous hands on himself. Therefore you must draw lots. Let each man seek somebody by whose hands he may die.” The fierce band praised this speech of their fraudulent leader, and they were pleased by this agreed-upon lottery, as blind madness led them on. In the first pick Jehuda drew the name of the man to help him die. Nor, at Josephus’ encouragement, was any man lacking to do this murderous work until they had killed each other off and Josephus was the sole survivor. Then he picked up his weapon, exclaiming, “Is it more expedient to kill myself with this sword or contend in battle? Are you not ashamed of these corpses? No, you must live. Thus the Ruler of the universe commands, and you must not free your soul from the prison of the body before it is summoned.” Immediately he shuddered at the sight of all those bodies strewn about, and the sword dropped from his shaking hand. He could scarcely speak. “I shall gladly follow Your instructions,” he said, “and will not cut short my sad appointed lot.” With faith sworn by both sides, he immediately surrendered to Nicanor in the hope of gaining safety. A thousand men encircled him. Some of these lamented the man’s downfall, while others jeered at the captives. A few called for his punishment. Nicanor led him to Vespasian.
ALK. Oh debased offspring of Abraham, cowardly and lazy, did it befit you to fall at the gentiles’ feet? Were you able, in captivity, to contemplate the Tarpeian Rock? Could you contemplate being led in procession behind the chariot of a Roman general, your neck weighted down with chains? Were you not moved by the holy Temple of the everlasting Lord? By the long-lived reputation of your nation? By the honor of our sacred city? Does courage seek bolt-holes? Why do you dare cheat our eternal God, you who are scarcely touched by any love of Rome? Was your spirit aflame with the fire of religion, that it would set itself in opposition to God?
MAN. Our trust in Josephus’ virtue has been deceived! Oh, his pusillanimous mind, hiding behind a false front of boldness! He preferred to be snatched up and lead a shameful life, rather than achieve the ultimate in military glory. In chains, you will be put on exhibition at Rome. While being schooled, a Roman boy disregards his severe teachers’ ministrations, the slave disregards his master’s orders, and the debased mind fears no shame.
SAB. We hired musicians to play your dirge, when we believed that you had laid down your life for your country. You were afraid to die in battle, so that, fawning on your master, you might betray our struggle.

JEHOCHANAN to his soldiers

Let your cowardly minds not dissolve in chill fear because I, as your captain, have requested a brief truce and have lied about desiring a peace-treaty, so that I might deceive our Roman enemy by escaping at night, and that I might betray Gischala to them undefended. When happy Fortune smiled on the Roman general’s first efforts, this arrogant conqueror gave orders that everything possessed by all of Galilee be put to the cruel sword. Joppa, attempting to escape suffering this evil fate a second time, was laid low. Unwisely trusting in the sea, her shipwrecked youth was sunk and drank the salt water by night. More than twenty-one hundred who survived the ocean and reached the hoped-for shore were killed. The cruel sword took them unawares. Would that Tarichea had been taught by her neighbors’ misfortunes and had looked out for herself, when the waters of Lake Gennesareth changed color, tainted with blood! Titus floated across the water, which the rebel band regarded as the substitute for a wall when they took their stand, trusting in the lake, and Titus’ loyal army followed its general. Fire was cast into the enemy ships, and these vessels provided suitable fuel for the flames. Oh unhappy fate! While the water pulled down many men in its eddies, many half-dead rebels reached the longed-for land, but were shot down by javelins as they vainly sought to put up a fight. Others lay, their bodies burnt by the raging fire.
Gabara paid the extreme penalty. In the end, what does it help to have escaped the Romans once and to have surrendered their bound hands on receiving that prior wound, when the enemy now attacked them with renewed force? Gabara swam drunkenly in its own blood. Now throats began to run short for the cutting. Even the sad victor shuddered at all the killing, and at last his sense of piety reasserted itself.
Why, Gamala, were you deceived by your trust in your physical setting, when your arrogant spirit led you to form vain hopes and, with great effort, to send huge rocks crashing down on the enemy below? By entrenchments the Romans found a means of approaching you, and opened up gaps in your defenses, by which their victorious cohort entered. Alas, how many men did cruel Fate send to the underworld without honor? The earth was flooded with blood flowing in foul streams.
I shall not speak of the fall of so many towns. I did not wish to expose you soldiers to such dangers, you whose virtue bids you to expect greater rewards. No more will you fear possible injuries or undergo the perils of war. Jerusalem herself will give you fine spoils. The rich city will reward you for your great labors, if you are willing to follow your captain. As soldiers you can easily dominate her, and forestall the Romans by seizing this great glory yourselves. Announce this to the citizens throughout the city: we are not leaving the fields of Galilee because we are conquered, nor does chill dread drive us into flight. Our enemies’ weapons do not frighten us, but it is more useful for us to fight against the Romans from a securer position. It is the mark of an indolent leader to fight battles in small towns. We should defend the capital city and defend Jerusalem with all our might, and not endanger so many men for the sake of Gischala — especially when the people are muttering such imaginary things.

Go to Act III of the Second Action