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[342] WHEN Herod was engaged in such matters, and when he had already re-edified Sebaste, [Samaria,] he resolved to send his sons Alexander and Aristobulus to Rome, to enjoy the company of Caesar; who, when they came thither, lodged at the house of Pollio, 1 who was very fond of Herod's friendship; and they had leave to lodge in Caesar's own palace, for he received these sons of Herod with all humanity, and gave Herod leave to give his, kingdom to which of his sons he pleased; and besides all this, he bestowed on him Trachon, and Batanea, and Auranitis, which he gave him on the occasion following: One Zenodorus 2 had hired what was called the house of Lysanias, who, as he was not satisfied with its revenues, became a partner with the robbers that inhabited the Trachonites, and so procured himself a larger income; for the inhabitants of those places lived in a mad way, and pillaged the country of the Damascenes, while Zenodorus did not restrain them, but partook of the prey they acquired. Now as the neighboring people were hereby great. sufferers, they complained to Varro, who was then president [of Syria], and entreated him to write to Caesar about this injustice of Zenodorus. When these matters were laid before Caesar, he wrote back to Varro to destroy those nests of robbers, and to give the land to Herod, that so by his care the neighboring countries might be no longer disturbed with these doings of the Trachonites; for it was not an easy firing to restrain them, since this way of robbery had been their usual practice, and they had no other way to get their living, because they had neither any city of their own, nor lands in their possession, but only some receptacles and dens in the earth, and there they and their cattle lived in common together. However, they had made contrivances to get pools of water, and laid up corn in granaries for themselves, and were able to make great resistance, by issuing out on the sudden against any that attacked them; for the entrances of their caves were narrow, in which but one could come in at a time, and the places within incredibly large, and made very wide but the ground over their habitations was not very high, but rather on a plain, while the rocks are altogether hard and difficult to be entered upon, unless any one gets into the plain road by the guidance of another, for these roads are not straight, but have several revolutions. But when these men are hindered from their wicked preying upon their neighbors, their custom is to prey one upon another, insomuch that no sort of injustice comes amiss to them. But when Herod had received this grant from Caesar, and was come into this country, he procured skillful guides, and put a stop to their wicked robberies, and procured peace and quietness to the neighboring people.

1 This Pollio, with whom Herod's sons lived at Rome, was not Pollio the Pharisee, already mentioned by Josephus, ch. 1. sect. 1, and again presently after this, ch. 10. sect. 4; but Asinine Pollo, the Roman, as Spanheim here observes.

2 The character of this Zenodorus is so like that of a famous robber of the same name in Strabo, and that about this very country, and about this very time also, that I think Dr. Hudson hardly needed to have put a overlaps to his determination that they were the same.

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