VENTIDIUS, PUBLIUS° (Bassus), Roman general sent to Asia by Mark Antony (40 B.C.E.) to repel the Parthian invasion of Syria. Ventidius defeated the combined forces of Quintus Labienus (the representative of Brutus and Cassius to Parthia) and the Parthians in Syria (39 B.C.E.), thus forcing the Parthian king, Pacorus, to evacuate the country. From Syria Ventidius marched into Judea and encamped near Jerusalem. His purpose, according to Josephus, was to extort as much money as possible from antigonus , the Hasmonean prince restored to the throne by the Parthians. Having achieved this purpose Ventidius withdrew with the greater part of his   force, leaving behind a detachment under the command of one of his officers, Silo, who continued to receive bribes from Antigonus. Ventidius remained in Palestine, however, and was occupied with the suppression of local disturbances arising out of the Parthian invasion. At the urging of Mark Antony, Ventidius sent an army under Machaeras to assist Herod, who returned to Palestine at the time and was slowly consolidating his position there. Ventidius subsequently completed the subjugation of Syria, was relieved of his command in the summer of 38 B.C.E., and celebrated his triumph in Rome in November of that year. See Jos., Wars 1:288; Jos., Ant., 14:394ff., 434. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: N. Debevoise, Political History of Parthia (1938), 114–20; A. Schalit, Koenig Herodes (1969), index. (Isaiah Gafni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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