( 43 BC

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 105, n. 118


      This letter from Publius Cornelius Dolabella, who was governor of Syria (not of Asia, as Josephus says [Ant. Jud. 14, 10, 11, 223]), exempts Jews from military service and allows them to preserve their national usages.


      In the prytany of Artemon, on January 24.
      Dolabella, saluted imperator, to the magistrates, the Senate, the people of the Ephesians, greetings.
      Alexander, son of Theodorus, envoy of Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, explained to me concerning his fellow-citizens' inability to serve in the army, because they can neither carry weapons nor march on the days of the Sabbaths nor obtain for themselves their national and customary foods.
      Therefore, I, just as the governors before me, grant to them exemption from military service and I permit them to observe their ancestral usages when they assemble for the sake of their holy and sacred rites and of their offerings for their sacrifices, according to what is lawful for them.
      It is my will also that you shall write these commands to the several cities.