At this time it was that a certain shepherd ventured to set himself
up for a king; he was called Athrongeus. It was his strength of body that
made him expect such a dignity, as well as his soul, which despised death;
and besides these qualifications, he had four brethren like himself. He
put a troop of armed men under each of these his brethren, and made use
of them as his generals and commanders, when he made his incursions, while
he did himself act like a king, and meddled only with the more important
affairs; and at this time he put a diadem about his head, and continued
after that to overrun the country for no little time with his brethren,
and became their leader in killing both the Romans and those of the king's
party; nor did any Jew escape him, if any gain could accrue to him thereby.
He once ventured to encompass a whole troop of Romans at Emmaus, who were
carrying corn and weapons to their legion; his men therefore shot their
arrows and darts, and thereby slew their centurion Arius, and forty of
the stoutest of his men, while the rest of them, who were in danger of
the same fate, upon the coming of Gratus, with those of Sebaste, to their
assistance, escaped. And when these men had thus served both their own
countrymen and foreigners, and that through this whole war, three of them
were, after some time, subdued; the eldest by Archelaus, the two next by
falling into the hands of Gratus and Ptolemeus; but the fourth delivered
himself up to Archelaus, upon his giving him his right hand for his security.
However, this their end was not till afterward, while at present they filled
all Judea with a piratic war.