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[220] There was one Obodas, king of Arabia, an inactive and slothful man in his nature; but Sylleus managed most of his affairs for him. He was a shrewd man, although he was but young, and was handsome withal. This Sylleus, upon some occasion coining to Herod, and supping with him, saw Salome, and set his heart upon her; and understanding that she was a widow, he discoursed with her. Now because Salome was at this time less in favor with her brother, she looked upon Sylleus with some passion, and was very earnest to be married to him; and on the days following there appeared many, and those very great, indications of their agreement together. Now the women carried this news to the king, and laughed at the indecency of it; whereupon Herod inquired about it further of Pheroras, and desired him to observe them at supper, how their behavior was one toward another; who told him, that by the signals which came from their heads and their eyes, they both were evidently in love. After this, Sylleus the Arabian being suspected, went away, but came again in two or three months afterwards, as it were on that very design, and spake to Herod about it, and desired that Salome might be given him to wife; for that his affinity might not be disadvantageous to his affairs, by a union with Arabia, the government of which country was already in effect under his power, and more evidently would be his hereafter. Accordingly, when Herod discoursed with his sister about it, and asked her whether she were disposed to this match, she immediately agreed to it. But when Sylleus was desired to come over to the Jewish religion, and then he should marry her, and that it was impossible to do it on any other terms, he could not bear that proposal, and went his way; for he said, that if he should do so, he should be stoned by the Arabs. Then did Pheroras reproach Salome for her incontinency, as did the women much more; and said that Sylleus had debauched her. As for that damsel which the king had betrothed to his brother Pheroras, but he had not taken her, as I have before related, because he was enamored on his former wife, Salome desired of Herod she might be given to her son by Costobarus; which match he was very willing to, but was dissuaded from it by Pheroras, who pleaded that this young man would not be kind to her, since his father had been slain by him, and that it was more just that his son, who was to be his successor in the tetrarchy, should have her. So he begged his pardon, and persuaded him to do so. Accordingly the damsel, upon this change of her espousals, was disposal of to this young man, the son of Pheroras, the king giving for her portion a hundred talents.

1

1 HOW HEROD TOOK UP ALEXANDER AND BOUND HIM; WHOM YET ARCHELAUS KING OF CAPPADOCIA RECONCILED TO HIS FATHER HEROD AGAIN.

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