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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter IV - Pompeius and the East


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 36


This was the case first of all with the Nabataeans. This remarkable nation has often been confounded with its eastern neighbours, the wandering Arabs, but it is more closely related to the Aramaean branch than to the proper children of Ishmael. This Aramaean or, according to the designation of the Occidentals, Syrian stock must have in very early times sent forth from its most ancient settlements about Babylon a colony, probably for the sake of trade, to the northern end of the Arabian gulf; these were the Nabataeans on the Sinaitic peninsula, between the gulf of Suez and Aila, and in the region of Petra (Wadi Mousa).

In their ports the wares of the Mediterranean were exchanged for those of India; the great southern caravan-route, which ran from Gaza to the mouth of the Euphrates and the Persian gulf, passed through the capital of the Nabataeans--Petra--whose still magnificent rock-palaces and rock-tombs furnish clearer evidence of the Nabataean civilization than does an almost extinct tradition. The leaders of the Pharisees, to whom after the manner of priests the victory of their faction seemed not too dearly bought at the price of the independence and integrity of their country, solicited Aretas the king of the Nabataeans for aid against Aristobulus, in return for which they promised to give back to him all the conquests wrested from him by Jannaeus. Thereupon Aretas had advanced with, it was said, 50,000 men into Judaea and, reinforced by the adherents of the Pharisees, he kept king Aristobulus besieged in his capital.

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