41 BC )

( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, pp. 109-110, n. 126


      In an audience with Mark Antony at Ephesus a Jewish embassy asked for the restoration of such of their citizens as had been captured by Gaius Cassius Longinus and for the return of the territory which at that time had been taken from them by a tyrant of Tyre. This letter grants the envoys' requests.


      1) Marcus Antonius, saluted imperator, to Hyrcanus, high priest and ethnarch, and to the nation of the Jews, greetings.
      2) If you are well, it is well. I also along with the army am well.
      3) The envoys, Lysimachus, son of Pausanias, and josephus, son of Mennaeus, and Alexander, son of Theodorus, having met me in Ephesus, both have renewed the mission previously fulfilled by them in Rome and have managed zealously the present mission in your and your nation's behalf, since they have displayed the good will which you have toward us. Therefore, since I have been persuaded both by deeds and by words that you have toward us very friendly feelings and since I have observed your steadfast and god-fearing character, I have considered your interest as mine . . .
      4) When those persons opposed both to us and to the people of the Romans had overrun all Asia, when they had spared neither cities nor shrines, and when they had not observed the oaths that they had made, we, as if not only for our own but as if for the common battle of all men, avenged ourselves on those persons accused both of lawless acts against men and of unlawful acts against the gods, because of which we think that even the sun, which also without pleasure beheld the foul crime against Caesar, had diverted its face. But their god-defying plots, which Macedonia had accepted, as if its atmosphere was appropriate to them for their impious enterprises, and the confusion of half-mad malignity, which they collected at Philippi in Macedonia, having seized well-situated places barricaded by mountains down to the sea, so that by one entrance the passage was controlled, when the gods had condemned them for their unjust attempts, we conquered. And Brutus, having fled into Philippi and having been surrounded by us, shared with Cassius the same destruction.
      5) Since these men have been punished, we hope that we shall enjoy peace hereafter and that Asia will have rest from war. Therefore, we are making the peace, given by God to us, common also to our allies ; because of our victory the body of Asia now is recovering, so to speak, from a grave disease.
      6) Having in mind, therefore, to enhance both you and your nation, I shall provide what is advantageous to you. I have sent also letters throughout the cities, that if any free persons or slaves have been sold under the spear by Gaius Cassius or by those persons assigned by him these shall be freed.
      7 ) And it is my will that you shall enjoy the privileges granted by me and Dolabella.
      8) And I forbid the Tyrians to be violent toward you and I order that they shall restore whatever property of the Jews they possess.
      9) I have received the crown which you have sent.