Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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 45

Conflicts with the Nabataeans

No like successes could be boasted of against the Nabataeans. King Aretas had indeed, yielding to the desire of the Romans, evacuated Judaea; but Damascus was still in his hands, and the Nabataean land had not yet been trodden by any Roman soldier. To subdue that region or at least to show to their new neighbours in Arabia that the Roman eagles were now dominant on the Orontes and on the Jordan, and that the time had gone by when any one was free to levy contributions in the Syrian lands as a domain without a master, Pompeius began in 691 an expedition against Petra; but detained by the revolt of the Jews, which broke out during this expedition, he was not reluctant to leave to his successor Marcus Scaurus the carrying out of the difficult enterprise against the Nabataean city situated far off amidst the desert.(18)

18. Orosius indeed (vi. 6) and Dio (xxxvii. 15), both of them doubtless following Livy, make Pompeius get to Petra and occupy the city or even reach the Red Sea; but that he, on the contrary, soon after receiving the news of the death of Mithradates, which came to him on his march towards Jerusalem, returned from Syria to Pontus, is stated by Plutarch (Pomp. 41, 42) and is confirmed by Floras (i. 39) and Josephus (xiv. 3, 3, 4). If king Aretas figures in the bulletins among those conquered by Pompeius, this is sufficiently accounted for by his withdrawal from Jerusalem at the instigation of Pompeius.

In reality Scaurus also soon found himself compelled to return without having accomplished his object. He had to content himself with making war on the Nabataeans in the deserts on the left bank of the Jordan, where he could lean for support on the Jews, but yet bore off only very trifling successes. Ultimately the adroit Jewish minister Antipater from Idumaea persuaded Aretas to purchase a guarantee for all his possessions, Damascus included, from the Roman governor for a sum of money; and this is the peace celebrated on the coins of Scaurus, where king Aretas appears--leading his camel-- as a suppliant offering the olive branch to the Roman.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :