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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 120



And lest by any chance he might be proved to be a foreigner, and not of the seed of Israel, he burnt all the books in which the noble pedigrees of that nation were inscribed, and which were preserved in the temple, in order that, when all evidences were destroyed, he himself might appear to belong to it. He is said to have had nine wives, two of whom brought him no children. But the one who had the most influence with him, of all of them, was Mariamne, by reason of her extraordinary beauty, on account of which he would never allow her to be annoyed. For she bore him five sons, two of whom, Alexander and Aristobulus, were conspicuous for their wit and manly courage. An d although Herod would never thwart Mariamne in anything, she was by no means at any concern to requite her husband with similar affection ; but having watched her opportunity, because she had found out that Hyrcanus, her grandfather, had been put to death by the contrivance of her husband, because he erronously suspected him of having had a design upon the kingdom, she attacked her husband with expressions of the greatest hatred. Herod, hearing this, lays all the blame on Mariamne, because he had sent her picture into Egypt to Antony, whom I have spoken of before, and had roused him by the splendour of her beauty, and excited his passions, and he was a man whom she knew to be violently given to all kinds o f amorous indulgences. And so Herod ordered her to be put to death, though repentance for the deed very soon followed upon the action. Her sons, whom I have spoken of, succeeded their mother, desirous to be avengers of her death, if they could ; asserting that no sufficient cause could be alleged to justify the crime of parricide. By these circumstances, Herod was immoderately enraged, so that there was no kind of ferocity to which he did not give way ; he trusted no one, suspected every one. And Antipater, the son of Herod and of bis wife Dosis, whom! mentioned just now, seeing this, relying on two weapons, namely, his skill in flattery and his cunning in simulation, began to accuse his brethren before his father to such a degree, that his father, forgetful of humanity, put them all to death in the city of Sebaste. But the blood-thirsty mind of Antipater was not satisfied with the death of his brothers, who were thus slain ; but his impious mind, when he had no longer any


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