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[2]

The first place in Cilicia, then, to which one comes, is a stronghold, Coracesium, situated on an abrupt rock, which was used by Diodotus, called Tryphon, as a base of operations at the time when he caused Syria to revolt from the kings and was fighting it out with them, being successful at one time and failing at another. Now Tryphon was hemmed up in a certain place by Antiochus, son of Demetrius, and forced to kill himself; and it was Tryphon, together with the worthlessness of the kings who by succession were then reigning over Syria and at the same time over Cilicia, who caused the Cilicians to organize their gangs of pirates; for on account of his revolutionary attempts others made like attempts at the same time, and thus the dissensions of brethren with one another put the country at the mercy of any who might attack it. The exportation of slaves induced them most of all to engage in their evil business, since it proved most profitable; for not only were they easily captured, but the market, which was large and rich in property, was not extremely far away, I mean Delos, which could both admit and send away ten thousand slaves on the same day; whence arose the proverb, "Merchant, sail in, unload your ship, everything has been sold. The cause of this was the fact that the Romans, having become rich after the destruction of Carthage and Corinth, used many slaves; and the pirates, seeing the easy profit therein, bloomed forth in great numbers, themselves not only going in quest of booty but also trafficking in slaves. The kings both of Cyprus and of Egypt cooperated with them in this, being enemies to the Syrians. Neither were the Rhodians friendly to the Syrians, and they therefore afforded them no assistance. And at the same time the pirates, pretending to be slave-dealers, carried on their evil business unchecked. Neither were the Romans concerning themselves as yet so much about the peoples outside the Taurus; but they sent Scipio Aemilianus, and again certain others, to inspect the tribes and the cities; and they decided that the above mentioned piracy was due to the incompetence of the rulers, although they were ashamed, since they themselves had ratified the hereditary succession from Seleucus Nicator, to deprive them of it. And this is what made the Parthians masters of the country, who got possession of the region on the far side of the Euphrates; and at last made also the Armenians masters, who not only seized the country outside the Taurus even as far as Phoenicia, but also, so far as they could, overthrew the kings and the whole royal stock; the sea, however, they gave over to the Cilicians. Then, after these people had grown in power, the Romans were forced to destroy them by war and with an army, although they had not hindered their growing power. Now it is hard to condemn the Romans of negligence, since, being engaged with matters that were nearer and more urgent, they were unable to watch those that were farther away. So much I have decided to say by way of a brief digression from my geographical description.

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load focus Greek (1877)
load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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