Ancient Sources

The Jordan Valley

7. Koreae - (al-Qarawa ?)



Josephus, War 1.6.5 (1st cent. A.D.)
Pompey ... when he had passed by Pella and Scythopolis, and had come to Corea, where you enter into the country of Judaea, when you go up to it by way of the interior, he heard that Aristobulus had fled to Alexandrium.

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Josephus, War 1.6.5 (1st cent. A.D.)
(133) At this his [Aristobulus'] behavior Pompey had great indignation; Hyrcanus also and his friends made great intercession to Pompey; so he took not only his Roman forces, but many of his Syrian auxiliaries, and marched against Aristobulus. (134) But when he had passed by Pella and Scythopolis, and was come to Corea, where you enter into the country of Judea, when you go up to it through the Mediterranean parts, he heard that Aristobulus was fled to Alexandrium, which is a stronghold, fortified, with the utmost magnificence, and situated upon a high mountain, and he sent to him, and commanded him to come down. (135) Now his inclination was to try his fortune in a battle, since he was called in such an imperious manner, rather than to comply with that call. However, he saw the multitude were in great fear, and his friends exhorted him to consider what the power of the Romans was, and how it was irresistible; so he complied with their advice, and came down to Pompey; and when he had made a long apology for himself, and for the justness of his cause in taking the government, he returned to the fortress. (136) And when his brother invited him again [to plead his cause], he came down and spoke about the justice of it, and then went away without any hindrance from Pompey: so he as between hope and fear. And when he came down, it was to prevail with Pompey to allow him the government entirely; and when he went up to the citadel, it was that he might not appear to debase himself too low. (137) However, Pompey commanded him to give up his fortified places, and forced him to write to every one of their governors to yield them up; they having had this charge given them, to obey no letters but what were of his own handwriting. Accordingly he did what he was ordered to do; but had still an indignation at what was done, and retired to Jerusalem, and prepared to fight with Pompey.

Josephus, Antiquities 14.3.4 (1st cent. A.D.)
(48) At this behavior Pompey was angry and taking with him that army which he was leading against the Nabateans, and the auxiliaries that came from Damascus, and the other parts of Syria, with the other Roman legions which he had with him, he made an expedition against Aristobulus; (49) but as he passed by Pella and Scythopolis, he came to Coreae, which is the first entrance into Judea when one passes over the midland countries, where he came to a most beautiful fortress that was built on the top of a mountain called Alexandrium, whither Aristobulus had fled; and thence Pompey sent his commands to him, that he should come to him. (50) Accordingly, at the persuasions of many that he would not make war with the Romans, he came down; and when he had disputed with his brother about the right to the government, he went up again to the citadel, as Pompey gave him leave to do; (51) and this he did two or three times, as flattering himself with the hopes of having the kingdom granted him; so that he still pretended he would obey Pompey in whatsoever he commanded, although at the same time he retired to his fortress, that he might not depress himself too low, and that he might be prepared for a war, in case it should prove as he feared, that Pompey would transfer the government to Hyrcanus; (52) but when Pompey enjoined Aristobulus to deliver up the fortresses he held, and to send an injunction to their governors under his own hand for that purpose, for they had been forbidden to deliver them up upon any other commands, he submitted indeed to do so; but still he retired in displeasure to Jerusalem, and made preparation for war.

Map Section 2

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 11:49:31
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000