BRIEF HISTORY OF ROME
A Description of Roman Armies and Camps
Now here one cannot but admire the precaution of the Romans, in providing themselves such household servants as might not only serve at other times for the common offices of life, but might also be of advantage to them in their wars. And indeed, if any one does but attend to the other parts of their military discipline, he will be forced to confess, that their obtaining so large a dominion, hath been the acquisition of their valor, and not the bare gift of fortune; for they do not beigne to use their weapons first, in time of war, nor do they then put thrie hands first into motion, while they avoided so to do in time of peace; but as if their weapons did always cling to them, they have nevere any truce from warlike exercises; nor do they stay till times of war admonish them to use them; for their military exercises differ not at all from the real use of their arms, but every soldier is every day exercised, and that with great diligence, as if it were in time of war, which is the reason why they bear the fatigue of battle so easily: for neither can any disorder remove them from their usual regularity, nor can fear affright them out of it, nor can labor tire them: which firmness of conduct makes them always to overcome those that have not the same firmness: nor would he be mistaken that should call their exercises unbloody battles, and their battles bloody exercises.
Nor can their enemies easily surprise them with the suddeness of their incursions; for as soon as they have marched into an enemy's land they do not begin to fight till they have walled their camp about; nor is the fence they raise rashly made, or uneven; nor do they all abide in it, nor do those that are in it take their place at random; but if it happens that the ground is uneven, it is first leveled; their camp is also four square by measure, and carpenters are ready in great numbers, with their tools, to erect their buildings for them.
As for what is within the camp, it is set apart for tents, but the outward circumference hath the resemblance to a wall and is adorned with towers, at equal distances, where betwwn the towers stand the engines for throwing arrows, and darts, and for slinging stones, and where they lay all other engines that can annoy the enemy, all ready for their several operations. They also erect four gates, one at every side of the circumference, and those large enough for the entrance of the beasts, and wide enough for making excursions, if occasion should require. They divide the camp within into streets, very conveniently, and place the tents of the commanders in the middle; but in the very midst of all is the general's own tent, in the nature of a temple, in so much, that it appears to be a vity built on the sudden, with seats for the officers, superior and inferior, where, if any differences arise, their causes are heard and determined. The camp, and all that is in it, is encompassed with a wall round about, and that sooner than one would imagine, and this by the multitude and the skill of laborers; and if occasion require, a trench is drawn round the whole, whose depth is foru cubits, and its breadth equal.
When they have thus secured themselves, they live together by companies, with quitness and decency, as are all their other affairs managed with good order and security. Each company hath also its own wood, and corn, and water brought to it, when it stands in need of them; for they neither sup nor dine as they please, themselves singly, but all together. Their times also for sleeping, and watching, and rising, are notified beforehand, by the sound of trumpets, nor is anything done without such a signal; and in the morning, the soldiers go every one to their centurions, and these centurions to their tribunes, to salute them; with whom all the superior officers go to the general of the whole army, who then gives them the watchword, and other orders to be by them carried to all that are under their command.
Now when they are to go out of their camp, the trumpet gives a sound, at which time nobody lies still, but, at the first intimation, they take down their tents, and all is made ready for their going out; then do the trumpets sound again, to order them to get ready for the march: then do they lay their baggage suddenly upon their mules, and other beasts of burthen, and stand, as at the place of starting, ready to march; when also they set fire to their camp, and this they do, because it will be easy for them to erect another camp, and that it may never be of use to their enemies. Then do the trumpets give a sound the third time, in order to excite those that, on any account, are a little tardy, that so no one may be out of his rank, when the army marches. Them does the crier stand at the general's right hand, and ask them thrice, in their own tongue, whether they be now ready to go out to war or not?
To which they reply as often, with a loud and cheerful voice, saying "We are ready." And this they do almost before the question is asked them: and they do this, as filled with a kind of martial fury, and at the same time that they so crfy out, they lift up their right hands also.
When, after this, they are gone out of their camp, they all march without noise, and in a decent manner, and every one keeps his own rank, as if they were going to war. The footmen are armed with breastplates and head-pieces, and have swords on each side; but the sword which is on their left side is much longer than the other, for that on the right side is no longer than a span. Those footmen also, that are chosen out from the rest to be about the general himself have a lance and buckler, but the rest of the foot soldiers have a spear, and a long buckler, besides a saw and a basket, a pick-ax, and an ax, a thong of leather, and a hook, with provisions for three days; so that a footman hath great need of a mule to carry his burthens. The horsemen have a long sword on their right sides, and a long pole in their hand; a shield also lies by them obliquely on one side of their horses, with three or more dards, that are borne on their quivers, having broad points, and not smaller than spears. They have also head-pieces, and breastplates, in like manner as have all footmen. And for those that are chosen
to be about the general, their armor no way differs from that of the horsemen belonging to other troops; and he always leads the legions forth, to whom the lot assigns that employment. This is the manner of the marching and resting of the Romans, as also these are to fight, they leave nothing withouth forecast, nor to be done off-hand, but counsel is ever first taken, before any work is begun, and what hath been there resolved upoin, is put in execution.
Now they so manage the preparatory exercises of their weapons, that not the body of the soldiers only, but their souls may also become stronger; they are moreover hardened for war by fear, for their laws inflict capital punishement, not only for soldiers running away from their ranks, but for
slouthfulness and inactivity, though it be in a lesser degree; and the readiness of obeying their commanders is so great that it is very orinamental in peace; but when they come o a battle, the whole army is but one body, so well coupled together are their ranks, so sudden are their turnings about, so shard their hearing as to what orders are given them, so quick their sight of the ensign, and so nimble are their hands when they set to work; whereby it comes to pass, that what they do is done quickly, and what they suffer, they bear with the greatest patience - JOSEPHUS
How Titus Marched to Jerusalem
Now, as Titus was upon his march into the enemy's country, the auxiliaries that were sent by the king marched first, having all the other auxiliaries with them: after whome follower those that were to prepare the roads and measure out the camp; then came the commanders' baggage, and after that the other soldiers, who were completely armed to support them; then came Titus himself, having with him another select body; and then came the pikemen, after whome came the horse belonging to that legion. All these came before the engines; and after these engines came the tribunes and the leaders of the cohorts, with their select bodies; after these came the ensigns with the eagle; and before those ensigns came the trumpeters belonging to them; next these came the main body of the army in their ranks, every rank being six deep; the servants belonging to every legion came after
these; and before these last their baggage; the mercenaries came last, and those that guarded them brought up the rear- JOSEPHUS
The Destruction of the City
"The days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upone another." So said Jesus, as, riding on a colt down the leafy slope of Olivet, he looked through his dropping tears upon Jerusalem. His gaze could trace every turrer and windind in the deep vallyy ran the silver thread of Cedron. Right in front, cutting the wester sky, and crowning the steep crest of Moriah with white and gold, the countless spikes which
studded its burnished rood flashing in the sunlight, rose the magnificent Temple, enlarged and completed by Herod the Great. To the southwest-highest of the four hills on which the city lay-towered the rocky Zion, bearing on its rugged shoulders the citadel, the royal palace, and the houses of the Upper City. Behind the Temple, and north of Zion, was the hill Acra, shaped like a horned moon, and covered with the terraces and gardens of the Lower City; while , on another slope, Bezetha, or the New City, stretched further north towards the open country.
The aspect of the city had changed but little when, thirty seven years later, the Roman eagles gathered round their prey. But, during these yeasts, the Jews, as if maddened by the sacred boold for which they had thirsted so fiercely, had been plunging deeper and deeper into sin and wretchdness. At last, goaded bu outrage and insult, they had risen against their Roman masters; and the great Vespasian, a general trained in German and British wars, had been sent by Neto to tame their stubbord pride. Moving with his legions from Antioch to Ptolemais, he was there joined by his son Titus, who brought forces from Egypt. Galilce and Perea were subdued with some trouble and delay; and the conqueror, having drawn a circle of the forts around Jerusalem, was at Caesarea, preparing for the last freat blow, when he heard the news of Nero's death. The murder of Galba, the suicide
of Othos, and the seizuere of Rome by the glutton Vitellius and his plundering soldiers, followed in quick succession. The armi in Palestine then proclamed Vespasian emperor. The hastened to secure Alexandria, te second city in the empire; and having heardm while there, tha Vitellius was dead, and that the people of Rome were holding feastd in his own honor, he set out for Italy. So th siege of Jerusalem was left to Titus.
Mustering his forces at Caesarea, and dividing them into three bands, he marched for the doomed city. Arrived there, he fortified three camps-one on the north, one on the west, and one, garrisoned bu the 10th Legion, on the Mount of Olives. Upon this last the Jews made a sally as the soldiers were digging the trenches; but they were soon beaten down the hill.
While the trumpets were blowing at Caesarea, and the clang of the Roman march was shaking the land, murder, and outrage, and cruel terror filled Jerusalem. Robbers, calling themselves Zealots, had flocked in from the country. Eleazar, at the head of one set of these, held the inner court of the Temple. Joshn of Gischala, another leader of ruffians, occupying ground somewhat lower, poured constant showers of darts and stones into the holy house, often killing worshippers as they stood at the very altar. In this mad was, houses full of corn were burned, adn misery of every kind was inflicted on the wretched people. In despair they called in Simon of Gerasa to their aid, and thus there were three hostile factions within the walls. The great feast of the
Passover came, and the Temple was thrown open to the thousands who crowded from every corner of the land to offer up their yearly sacrifice. Mingling in disguise with the throng, with weapons under their clothers, John's party gained entrance into the sacred court, and soon drove out their foes. The poor worshipers, all trampled and bleeding, escaped as best they could. Johh remained master of the Temple; and the three factions were reduced to two.
Within the city there were above 23,000 fighting men-a strong body if united. There was indeed a temporary union, when they saw the Roman soldiers busily cutting down all the trees in the suburbs, rolling thei trunks togetherm and to the top of the three great banks thus formed, dragging the huge siege-engines of the time-rams, catapults, and balistae.
The siege opened in three places at once. The Roman missiles poured like hail upon the city; but none were so terrible as the stones, sometimes weighing a talent, which were cast from the east by the 10th legion. The Jewish watchmen, soon learning to know these by their white color and tremendous whiz, used to cry out, "The son cometh;" then all in the way fell flat, and little mischief was done. But the Romans, not to be tricked, painted the stones black, and battered on more destructively than ever. The Jews replied with some engines planted on the wall by Simon, flung torches at the Roman banks, and made an unavailing sally at the Tower of Hippicus.
Three towers of heavy timber, covered with thick iron plates, were then erected by Titus. Rising higher than the walls, and carrying light engines, they were used to drive the Jews from their posts of defence. The falling of one of these at midnight with a loud crash spread alarm through the Roman camp, but it did not last long. At dawn the rams were swinging away, and pounding against the shaking wall, which on the fifteenth day of the siege yielded to Nico (the Conqueror), as the most ponderous of the Roman engines was called by the Jews. The legions, pouring through the breach, gained the first wall.
Pitching his camp within the city, Titus then attacked the second wall, where he was vigorously met both by Simon and John. Sorties and wall-fighting filled up every hour of daylight; and both sides lay by night in their armor, snatching hasty and broken sleep. In five days the second wall was forced. Titus passed within it at the head of 1000 men; but the Jews set on him so hotly in the narrow streets that they soon drove him out again. Easily elated, they exulted greatly in this success; bu, four days later, the second wall was retaken, and leveled to the ground.
Then followed a pause of five days, during which the Romans, having received their subsistence money, paraded, as their custom was, in glittering armor. The wall and the Temple roofs were paved with J ewish faces, beholding nothing in the splendid sight but terror and despair. The attack was renewed at John's Monument, and the Tower of Antonia. At the same time Josephus, a noble Jew, from whose graphic history this sketch is drawn, went to the walls, as he had done before-as he did more than once again, to pled with his countrymen. But all in vain, for the Zealots were bent on holding out, and slew such of the people as they found trying to desert.
Famine had long before begun its deadly work. Mothers were already
snatching the morsels from their children's lips. The robbers broke open every shut door in search of food, and tortured most horribly all who were though to have a hidden store. Gaunt men, who had crept beyond the walls by night to gather a few wild herbs, were often robbed by these wretches of the poor handful of green leaves for which they had risked their lives. Yet, in spite of this, the starving people went out into the valleys in such numbers that the Romans caught them at the rate of 500 a day, and crucified them before the walls, until there was no room to plant, and no wood to make, another cross. What a fearful retribution, for that mad cry, uttered some seven adn thirty years before, at Pilates' judgment-seat: "His blood be on us and our children!".
The Romans then raised four great banks. But these, which cost seventeen days' labor, were all destroyed-two by John, who dug a mine below them, and set fire to the timbers of its roof, and the others by three brave Jews, who rushed out upon the engines, torch in hand. And then it was "pull Roman, pull Jew," and heavy blows were dealt round the red-hot rams. The Romans were driven to their camp, bu the guard at the gate stood firm; and Titus, taking the Jews in flank, compelled them to retreat.
This serious loss made Titus resolve to hem in the ciry with a wall. It was built in the amazingly short time of three days. The attack was then directed against the Tower of Antonia, which stood at the north-west corner of the Temple, on a slippery rock, fifty cubits high. Four new banks were raised. Some Roman soldiers, creeping in with their shields above their heads, loosened four of the foundation stones; and the wall, battered at all day, fell suddenly in the night. But there was another wall inside. One Sabinus, a little black Syrian soldier, led a forlorn hope of eleven men up to this in broad noon-day, gained the top, and put the Jews to fight; but tripping over a stone he was killed, as were three of his band. A night or two after, sixteen Romans stole up the wall, slew the guards, and blew a starling trumpet blast. The Jews fled. Titus and his men, swarming up the ruined wall, dashed at the entrance of the Temple, where, for ten hours, a bloody fight raged. Julian, a centurion of Bithynia, attacking the Jews single-handed, drove them to the inner court; but the sharp nails in his shoes having caused him to fall with a clang on the marble floor, they turned back and slew him with may wounds.
Then following up with their success, they drove the Romans out of the Tample, but not from the Towr of Antonia. Strange omens had foretold the coming doom. A star, shaped like a sword, had hung for a year over the city. A brazen gate of the inner court, which twenty men could hardly move, had swung back on its hinges of itself. Shadows, resembling chariots and soldiers attacking a city, had appeared in the sky one evening before sunset. And at Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court, they heard murmuring voices, as of a great crown, sayng, "Let us go hence."
After the Roman wall was built, the famine and the plague grew worse. Young men dropt dead in the streets. Piles of decaying corpses filled the lanes, and were thrown by tens
of thousands over the walls. No herbs were to be got now. Men, in the rage of hunger, gnawed their shoes, the leather of their shields, and even old wips of hay. Robbers, with wolfish eyes, ransacked every dwelling, and, when one day they came clamoring for food to the house of May, the daughter of Eleazar, a high-born lady of Perea, she set before them the roasted flesh of her own infant son, whom she had slain. "This" screamed she, "is mine own son. Eat of this food, for I have eaten of it myself." Brutal and rabid though they were, they fled in horrow from the house of that wretched mother.
At last the daily sacrifice ceased to be offered, and the war closed round the Temple. The cloisters were soon burned. Six days' battering had no effect on the great gates; fire alone could clear a path for the eagles. A day was fixed for the grand assault; but on the evening before, the Romans having penetrated as far as the Holy House, a soldier, climbing on the shoulders of another, put a blazing torch to one of the golden windows of the north side. The building was soon a sheet of leaping flames; Titus, who had always desired to save the Temple, came running from his tent, but the din of war and the crackling flames prevented his voice from being heard. On, over the smoking cloisters, trampled the legions, fierce for plunder. The Jews sank in heaps of dead and dying round the latar, which dripped with their blood. More fie thrown upon the hinges of the gate; and then no human word or hand could
save the house where God Himself had loved to dwell. Never did the stars of night look down on a more piteous scene. Sky and hill, and town and valley, were all reddened with one fearful hue. The roar of flames, the shouts of Romans, the shrieks of wounded Zealots, rose wild in the scorching air, and echoed among the mountains all around. But sadder far was the wail of broken hearts which burst from the streets below, when marble wall and roof of gold came crashing down, did the Jews let go the trust-that God would deliver His ancient people, smiting the Romans with some sudden blow.
The Upper City became a last refuge for the despairing remnant of the garrison. Simon and John were there; but the arrogant tyrants were broken down to trembling cowards. And when, adter eighteen days' work, banks were raised and the terrible ram began to sound anew on the ramparts, the panic-stricken Jews fled like hunted to hide in the caves of the hill. The eagles flew victoriously to the summit of the citadel, while Jewish blood ran so deep down Zion that burning houses were quenched in the red stream.
The siege lasted 134 days, during which 1,100,000 Jews perished, and 97,000 were taken captive. Some were kept to grace the Roman triumph; some were sent to toil in the mines of Egypt; some fought in provicnail theaters with gladiators and wild beasts; those under seventeen were sold as slaves. John was improsoned for life; Simon, after being led in triumph, was slain at Rome.
It was a gay holiday, when the emperor and his son crowned with laurel and clad in purple, passed in triumph through the crowded streets of Rome. Of the many rich spoils adorning the pageant, none were gazed on with more curious eyes than the golden table, the candle-stick with
seven branching lamps, and the holy book of the law, rescued from the flames of the Temple. It was the last page of a tragic story. The Mosaic dispesation had come to a close, and the Jews-homeless ever since, yet always preserving and indestructible nationality-were scattered among the cities of earth to be the Shylocks of a day that is gone by, and the Rothschilds of out own happier age.-COLLIER
The Triumphal Return of Titus
So, when Titus had had a prosperous voyage to his mind, the city of Rome behaved itself in his reception and in meeting him at a distance, as it did in the case of his father. But what the most splendid appearance in Titus' opinion was, when his father met him, and received him; but still the multitude of the citizens conceived the greatest joy when they saw them all three together, as they did at this time; nor were many days overpast when they determined to have but one triumph, that should be common to both of them, on
account of the glorious exploits they had performed, although the senate had decreed each of them a separate triumph by himself. So, when notice had been given beforehand of the day appointed for this pompous solemnity to be made on account of their victories, not one of the immense multitude was left in the city, but everybody went out so far as to gain only a station where they might stand, and left only such a passage as was necessary for those that were to be seen to go along it.
Now, all the soldiery marched out beforhand, by companies, and in their several ranks, under their several commanders, in the night.time, and were about the gates, not of the uppor palaces, but those near the temple of Isis; for there it was the emperors had rested the foregoing night. And, as soon as eve it was day, Vespasian and Titus came out, crowned with laurel, and clothed in those ancient purple habits which were proper to their famiyl, and then went as far as Octavian's walks; for there it was that the senate, and the principal rulers, and those that had been recorder as of the equastrian order, waited for them. Now a tribunal had been ereccted before the cloisters, and ivory charis had been set upon it; and when they came and sat down upon them, the soldiery made an acclamation of joy, and all gave them attestations of their valor. Vespasian accepted these shouts; but while they were still disposed to go on in such demosntrations, he gave them a signal of silence. And when everybody entirely held their peace, he stood up, and covering the greates part of his head with his cloak, he put the accustomed solemn prayers: the like prayers did Titus put up also; after which prayers, Vespasian made a short speech to all the people, and then sent away the soldiers to a dinner prepared for them by the emperors. The did he retire to that gate which was called the Gate of Pomp, because pompous shows do alway go through that gate; there they tasted some food, and when they had put on their triumphal garments, and had offered sacrifices to the gods placed at the gate, they sent the triumph forward, and marched through the hteaters, that they might be the more easily seen by the multitudes.
Now, it is impossible to describe the multitude and magnificence of the shows; such, indeed, as a man could not easily think of, as performed wither by the labor of workmen, or the variety of riches, or the rarities of nature. Here was seen a mighty quantity of silver, and gold, and ivory, contrived into all sorts of things, which did not appear as carried along in pmpous show only, but, as a man may say, running along like a river. There were also precious stones that were transparent, some set in crowns of gold, and some in other ouches; and of thse such a vast number that we could not but thence learn how vainly we imagined any of them to be rarities. The images of the gods were also carried, being as well wonderful for their largeness, as mafe with great skill of workmen; nor were any of these images of any other than costly materials, and many species of animals were brought, every one in its own natural ornaments. The men also, who carried these shows, were great multitudes, and adorned with purple garments, all over interwoven with gold; having also about them such magnificent ornaments as were both extraordinary and surprising.
Even the great number of the captives was not unadorned, while the variety and the fine texture of their garnments concealed from the sight the deformity of their bodies. But, what afforded the greatest surprise of all was the structure of the pageants that were borne along; for, indeed, he that met them could not but be afraid that the bearers would not be able firmly enough to support them, such was their magnitude: for many of them were so made that they were three or even four stories one above another. Their magnificence also afforded one both pleasure and surpruse: for, upon many of them were laid carpets of gold. There was laso wrought gold, and ivory fastened about them all; and many resemblances of the war, in several ways, and the variety of contrivances, afforidng a most lively portraiture of itself. For there was to be seen a happy country laid waste, and the entire squadrons of enemies slain; while some of them ran away, and some were carried into captivity, with walls of great altitude and magnitude overthrown, and ruined machines, with the strongest fortifications taken, and the walls of most populous cities upon the tops of hills seized on, and an army pouring itself within thw walls; as also every place full of slaughter, and supplications of enemies, when they were no longer albe to lift up their hands in way of opposition.
Fire also sent upon temples was here represented, and houses overthrown, and falling uon their owners; rivers also, after they came out of a large and melancholy desert, ran down, not into a land cultivated, nor as drink for men, or for cattle, but through a land still on fire upon every side; for the Jews realted that such a thing they had undergone during this war. Now, the workmanship of these representations was so lively in the construction of the things, that it exhibited what had been done to such as did not see it, as if they had been really present. On the tip of very one of these pageants was palced the commander of the city that was taken, and the manner wherein he was taken. Moreover, there followed those pageants a great number of ships: and, for the other spoils, they were carried in great plenty. But, for those that were taken in the temple of Jerusalem, they made the greatest figure of them all; that is, the golden table, of the weight of many talents; the candle-stick also, that was made of gold, though its contruction was now changed from that which we made use of: for its middle shaft was fixed upon a basis, and the small branches were produced out of it to a great lenght, having the likeness of a trident in their position, and had every on a socket made of brass for a lamp at the top of them. These lamps were in number of seven, and represented the dignity of the number seven among the Jews. After these spoils passed by a great many men, carrying the images of victory, whose structures was entirely of ivory or of gold. After which, Vespasian, marched in the first place, and Titus followed him; Domitian also rode along with them, and made a glorious appearance, and rode on a horse that was worthy of
Now, the last part of this pompous show was at the temple of Jupiter Cappitolinus, whither, when they were come, they stood still; for it ws the Romans' ancient custom, to stay till somebody brought the news that the general of the enemy was slain. This general was Simon, the son of Gioras, who had been led in this triumph among the captives, and had withal been tormented by those that drew him along; a rope had also been put upon his head, and he had been draws into a propert place in the forum, for the law of the Romans required that malefactors condemed to die should be slain there. Accordingly, when it was related that there was an end of him, and all the people had set up a shout for joy, they then began to offer those sacrifices which they had consacrated in the prayers used in such solemintities. When they had finished, they went away to the palace. And, as for some of the spectators, the emperors entertained them at their own feast; and for all therest, there were noble peparations made for their feasting at home; for this was a festival day to the city of Rome, as celebrated for the victory obtained by their army over the enemies.
After these triumphs were over, and after the affairs of the Romans were settled on the surest foundationsm Vespasian resolved to build a temple to Peace, which was finished in so ashort a time, and so glorious a mannder, as was beyond all human expectation and opinion: for, having now by Providence a vast quantity of wealth, besides what he had formerly gained in his other exploits, he had this temple adorned with pictures
and statues and all such rarities as men afortime used to wander all over the habitable world to see; he also laid up therein those folden vessels instruments, that were taken out of the Jewish temple, as ensigns of his glory. But he gave order that they should lay up their law, and the purple vails of the holy place, in the royal palace itself, and he kept them there.-JOSEPHUS.
ABOUT THE COLOSSEUM
HISTORY OF THE TIME
The Siege of Jerusalem Brief History of Rome 1885
1. Description of Roman Armies, &c - Josephus
2. How Titus Marched to Jerusalem - Josephus
3. The Destruction of the City - Collier
4. The Triumphant Return of Titus - Josephus