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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 42: Tiberius and Archelaus.[AD 17]
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Tiberius meanwhile in the name of Germanicus gave every one of the city populace three hundred sesterces, and nominated himself his colleague in the consulship. Still, failing to obtain credit for sincere affection, he resolved to get the young prince out of the way, under pretence of conferring distinction, and for this he invented reasons, or eagerly fastened on such as chance presented. king Archelaus had been in possession of Cappadocia for fifty years, and Tiberius hated him because he had not shown him any mark of respect while he was at Rhodes. This neglect of Archelaus was not due to pride, but was suggested by the intimate friends of Augustus, because, when Gaius Caesar was in his prime and had charge of the affairs of the East, Tiberius's friendship was thought to be dangerous. When, after the extinction of the family of the Caesars, Tiberius acquired the empire, he enticed Archelaus by a letter from his mother, who without concealing her son's displeasure promised mercy if he would come to beg for it. Archelaus, either quite unsuspicious of treachery, or dreading compulsion, should it be thought that he saw through it, hastened to Rome. There he was received by a pitiless emperor and soon afterwards was arraigned before the Senate. In his anguish and in the weariness of old age, and from being unused, as a king, to equality, much less to degradation, not, certainly, from fear of the charges fabricated against him, he ended his life, by his own act or by a natural death. His kingdom was reduced into a province, and Caesar declared that, with its revenues, the one per cent. tax could be lightened, which, for the future, he fixed at one-half per cent. During the same time, on the deaths of Antiochus and Philopator, kings respectively of the Commageni and Cilicians; these nations became excited, a majority desiring the Roman rule, some, that of their kings. The provinces too of Syria and Judaea, exhausted by their burdens, implored a reduction of tribute. Ceterum Tiberius nomine Germanici trecenos plebi sestertios viritim dedit seque collegam consulatui eius destinavit. nec ideo sincerae caritatis fidem adsecutus amoliri iuvenem specie honoris statuit struxitque causas aut forte oblatas arripuit. rex Archelaus quinquagesimum annum Cappadocia potiebatur, invisus Tiberio quod eum Rhodi agentem nullo officio coluisset. nec id Archelaus per superbiam omiserat, sed ab intimis Augusti monitus, quia florente Gaio Caesare missoque ad res Orientis intuta Tiberii amicitia credebatur. ut versa Caesarum subole imperium adeptus est, elicit Archelaum matris litteris, quae non dissimulatis filii offensionibus clementiam offerebae, si ad precandum veniret. ille ignarus doli vel, si intellegere crederetur, vim metuens in urbem properat; exceptusque immiti a principe et mox accusatus in senatu, non ob crimina quae fingebantur sed angore, simul fessus senio et quia regibus aequa, nedum infima insolita sunt, finem vitae sponte an fato implevit. regnum in provinciam redactum est, fructibusque eius levari posse centesimae vectigal professus Caesar ducentesimam in posterum statuit. per idem tempus Antiocho Commagenorum, Philopatore Cilicum regibus defunctis turbabantur nationes, plerisque Romanum, aliis regium imperium cupientibus; et provinciae Syria atque Iudaea, fessae oneribus,