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Quote of the day: Vespasian's government had been infamous
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 63: Sanctuaries in Greece: Pergamus, Smyrna, Tenos, Miletus, Crete[AD 22]
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Audience was also given to embassies from other states. The senators wearied by their multiplicity and seeing the party spirit that was being roused, intrusted the inquiry to the consuls, who were to sift each title and see if it involved any abuse, and then refer back the entire matter to the Senate. Besides the states already mentioned, the consuls reported that they had ascertained that at Pergamus there was a sanctuary of Aesculapius, but that the rest relied on an origin lost in the obscurity of antiquity. For example, the people of Smyrna quoted an oracle of Apollo, which had commanded them to dedicate a temple to Venus Stratonicis; and the islanders of Tenos, an utterance from the same deity, bidding them consecrate a statue and a fane to Neptune. Sardis preferred a more modern claim, a grant from the victorious Alexander. So again Miletus relied on king Darius. But in each case their religious worship was that of Diana or Apollo. The Cretanstoo demanded a like privilege for a statue of the Divine Augustus. Decrees of the Senate were passed, which though very respectful, still prescribed certain limits, and the petitioners were directed to set up bronze tablets in each temple, to be a sacred memorial and to restrain them from sinking into selfish aims under the mask of religion.