The Talmud: Selections, by H. Polano, , at sacred-texts.com
The Destruction of Bithar.
It was customary in Bithar when a child was born for the parents to plant a young cedar tree, to grow up with the infant. It happened upon one occasion when the daughter of the emperor was riding through the city, that her chariot
broke down, and her attendants pulled up a young cedar tree to use in repairing it. The man who had planted the tree, seeing this, attacked the servants and beat them severely. This action incensed the emperor, who immediately despatched an army of eighty thousand men against the city. These captured it and killed the inhabitants, men, women and children. The rivers ran red with blood, and ‘tis said that the ground was rich and prolific to the farmers for seven years, from the bodies of those who perished, said to be four hundred thousand Israelites.