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[110] AND now Vespasian, with his son Titus, had tarried some time at Ptolemais, and had put his army in order. But when Placidus, who had overrun Galilee, and had besides slain a number of those whom he had caught, (which were only the weaker part of the Galileans, and such as were of timorous souls,) saw that the warriors ran always to those cities whose walls had been built by Josephus, he marched furiously against Jotapata, which was of them all the strongest, as supposing he should easily take it by a sudden surprise, and that he should thereby obtain great honor to himself among the commanders, and bring a great advantage to them in their future campaign; because if this strongest place of them all were once taken, the rest would be so aftrighted as to surrender themselves. But he was mightily mistaken in his undertaking; for the men of Jotapata were apprized of his coming to attack them, and came out of the city, and expected him there. So they fought the Romans briskly when they least expected it, being both many in number, and prepared for fighting, and of great alacrity, as esteeming their country, their wives, and their children to be in danger, and easily put the Romans to flight, and wounded many of them, and slew seven of them; 1 because their retreat was not made in a disorderly manner, be-cause the strokes only touched the surface of their bodies, which were covered with their armor in all parts, and because the Jews did rather throw their weapons upon them from a great distance, than venture to come hand to hand with them, and had only light armor on, while the others were completely armed. However, three men of the Jews' side were slain, and a few wounded; so Placidus, finding himself unable to assault the city, ran away.

1 I cannot but here observe an Eastern way of speaking, frequent among them, but not usual among us, where the word "only" or "alone" is not set down, but perhaps some way supplied in the pronunciation. Thus Josephus here says, that those of Jotapata slew seven of the Romans as they were marching off, because the Romans' retreat was regular, their bodies were covered over with their armor, and the Jews fought at some distance; his meaning is clear, that these were the reasons why they slew only, or no more than seven. I have met with many the like examples in the Scriptures, in Josephus, etc.; but did not note down the particular places. This observation ought to be borne in mind upon many occasions.

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