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[286] However, messengers were hasted away to Sylleus to Rome, and informed him what had been done, and, as is usual, aggravated every thing. Now Sylleus had already insinuated himself into the knowledge of Caesar, and was then about the palace; and as soon as he heard of these things, he changed his habit into black, and went in, and told Caesar that Arabia was afflicted with war, and that all his kingdom was in great confusion, upon Herod's laying it waste with his army; and he said, with tears in his eyes, that two thousand five hundred of the principal men among the Arabians had been destroyed, and that their captain Nacebus, his familiar friend and kinsman, was slain; and that the riches that were at Raepta were carried off; and that Obodas was despised, whose infirm state of body rendered him unfit for war; on which account neither he, nor the Arabian army, were present. When Sylleus said so, and added invidiously, that he would not himself have come out of the country, unless he had believed that Caesar would have provided that they should all have peace one with another, and that, had he been there, he would have taken care that the war should not have been to Herod's advantage; Caesar was provoked when this was said, and asked no more than this one question, both of Herod's friends that were there, and of his own friends, who were come from Syria, Whether Herod had led an army thither? And when they were forced to confess so much, Caesar, without staying to hear for what reason he did it, and how it was done, grew very angry, and wrote to Herod sharply. The sum of his epistle was this, that whereas of old he had used him as his friend, he should now use him as his subject. Sylleus also wrote an account of this to the Arabians, who were so elevated with it, that they neither delivered up the robbers that had fled to them, nor paid the money that was due; they retained those pastures also which they had hired, and kept them without paying their rent, and all this because the king of the Jews was now in a low condition, by reason of Caesar's anger at him. Those of Trachonitis also made use of this opportunity, and rose up against the Idumean garrison, and followed the same way of robbing with the Arabians, who had pillaged their country, and were more rigid in their unjust proceedings, not only in order to get by it, but by way of revenge also.

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