previous next


The first place is Coracesium,1 a fortress of the Cilicians, situated upon an abrupt rock. Diodotus surnamed Tryphon used it as a rendezvous at the time that he caused Syria to revolt from her kings, and carried on war against them with various success. Antiochus, the son of Demetrius, obliged him to shut himself up in one of the fortresses, and there he killed himself.

Tryphon was the cause of originating among the Cilicians a piratical confederacy. They were induced also to do this by the imbecility of the kings who succeeded each other on the thrones of Syria and Cilicia. In consequence of his introduction of political changes, others imitated his example, and the dissensions among brothers exposed the country to the attacks of invaders.

The exportation of slaves was the chief cause of inducing them to commit criminal acts, for this traffic was attended with very great profit, and the slaves were easily taken. Delos was at no great distance, a large and rich mart, capable of receiving and transporting, when sold, the same day, ten thousand slaves; so that hence arose a proverbial saying, “‘Merchant, come into port, discharge your freight—everything is sold.’” The Romans, having acquired wealth after the destruction of Carthage and Corinth, employed great numbers of domestic slaves, and were the cause of this traffic. The pirates, observing the facility with which slaves could be procured, issued forth in numbers from all quarters, committing robbery and dealing in slaves.

The kings of Cyprus and of Egypt, who were enemies of the Syrians, favoured their marauding enterprises; the Rhodians were no less hostile to the Syrians, and therefore afforded the latter no protection. The pirates, therefore, under the pretence of trading in slaves, continued without intermission their invasions and robbery.

The Romans paid little attention to the places situated without the Taurus; they sent, however, Scipio Æmilianus. and afterwards some others, to examine the people and the cities. They discovered that the evils arose from negligence on the part of the sovereigns, but they were reluctant to deprive the family of Seleucus Nicator of the succession, in which he had been confirmed by themselves.

For the same reason the Parthians, who occupied the parts beyond the Euphrates, became masters of the country; and lastly the Armenians, who also gained possession of the country without the Taurus as far as Phoenicia. They used their utmost to extirpate the power of the kings and all their descendants, but surrendered the command of the sea to the Cilicians.

The Romans were subsequently compelled to reduce the Cilicians, after their aggrandizement, by war and expeditions, whose progress, however, and advancement they had not obstructed; yet it would be improper to accuse the Romans of neglect, because, being engaged with concerns nearer at hand, they were unable to direct their attention to more distant objects.

I thought proper to make these remarks in a short digression from my subject.

1 Alaja.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus English (1924)
load focus Greek (1877)
hide References (4 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: