But on the following days he got together the men of power privately,
and the multitude publicly, and sometimes he used persuasions to them,
and sometimes he gave them his advice; but he chiefly made use of threatenings
to them, and insisted upon the power of the Romans, and the anger of Caius;
and besides, upon the necessity he was himself under [to do as he was enjoined].
But as they could be no way prevailed upon, and he saw that the country
was in danger of lying without tillage; (for it was about seed time that
the multitude continued for fifty days together idle;) so he at last got
them together, and told them that it was best for him to run some hazard
himself; "for either, by the Divine assistance, I shall prevail with
Caesar, and shall myself escape the danger as well as you, which will he
matter of joy to us both; or, in case Caesar continue in his rage, I will
be ready to expose my own life for such a great number as you are."
Whereupon he dismissed the multitude, who prayed greatly for his prosperity;
and he took the army out of Ptolemais, and returned to Antioch; from whence
he presently sent an epistle to Caesar, and informed him of the irruption
he had made into Judea, and of the supplications of the nation; and that
unless he had a mind to lose both the country and the men in it, he must
permit them to keep their law, and must countermand his former injunction.
Caius answered that epistle in a violent-way, and threatened to have Petronius
put to death for his being so tardy in the execution of what he had commanded.
But it happened that those who brought Caius's epistle were tossed by a
storm, and were detained on the sea for three months, while others that
brought the news of Caius's death had a good voyage. Accordingly, Petronins
received the epistle concerning Caius seven and twenty days before he received
that which was against himself.