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 Egypt was from the first disposed to peace, from having resources within itself, and because it was difficult of access to strangers. It was also protected on the north by a harbourless coast and the Egyptian Sea; on the east and west by the desert mountains of Libya and Arabia, as I have said before.1 The remaining parts towards the south are occupied by Troglodytæ, Blemmyes, Nubæ, and Megabari, Ethiopians above Syene. These are nomades, and not numerous nor warlike, but accounted so by the ancients, be- cause frequently, like robbers, they attacked defenceless persons. Neither are the Ethiopians, who extend towards the south and Meroë, numerous nor collected in a body; for they inhabit a long, narrow, and winding tract of land on the riverside, such as we have before described; nor are they well prepared either for war or the pursuit of any other mode of life. At present the whole country is in the same pacific state, a proof of which is, that the upper country is sufficiently guarded by three cohorts, and these not complete. Whenever the Ethiopians have ventured to attack them, it has been at the risk of danger to their own country. The rest of the forces in Egypt are neither very numerous, nor did the Romans ever once employ them collected into one army. For neither are the Egyptians themselves of a warlike disposition, nor the surrounding nations, although their numbers are very large. Cornelius Gallus, the first governor of the country appointed by (Augustus) Cæsar, attacked the city Heroopolis, which had revolted,2 and took it with a small body of men. He suppressed also in a short time an insurrection in the Thebais, which originated as to the payment of tribute. At a later period Petronius resisted, with the soldiers about his person, a mob of myriads of Alexandrines, who attacked him by throwing stones. He killed some, and compelled the rest to desist. We have before3 related how Ælius Gallus, when he invaded Arabia with a part of the army stationed in Egypt, exhibited a proof of the unwarlike disposition of the people; and if Syllæus had not betrayed him, he would have conquered the whole of Arabia Felix.
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