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[323] IN the mean time, Herod's affairs in Judea were in an ill state. He had left his brother Joseph with full power, but had charged him to make no attempts against Antigonus till his return; for that Macheras would not be such an assistant as he could depend on, as it appeared by what he had done already; but as soon as Joseph heard that his brother was at a very great distance, he neglected the charge he had received, and marched towards Jericho with five cohorts, which Macheras sent with him. This movement was intended for seizing on the corn, as it was now in the midst of summer; but when his enemies attacked him in the mountains, and in places which were difficult to pass, he was both killed himself, as he was very bravely fighting in the battle, and the entire Roman cohorts were destroyed; for these cohorts were new-raised men, gathered out of Syria, and here was no mixture of those called veteran soldiers among them, who might have supported those that were unskillful in war.

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