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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XII Chapter 63: On Byzantium[AD 53]
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It was indeed on that very narrow strait which parts Europe from Asia at Europe's furthest extremity, that the Greeks built Byzantium. When they consulted the Pythian Apollo as to where they should found a city, the oracle replied that they were to seek a home opposite to the blind men's country. This obscure hint pointed to the people of Chalcedon, who, though they arrived there first and saw before others the advantageous position, chose the worse. For Byzantium has a fruitful soil and productive seas, as immense shoals of fish pour out of the Pontus and are driven by the sloping surface of the rocks under water to quit the windings of the Asiatic shore and take refuge in these harbours. Consequently the inhabitants were at first money-making and wealthy traders, but afterwards, under the pressure of excessive burdens, they petitioned for immunity or at least relief, and were supported by the emperor [Note 1], who argued to the Senate that, exhausted as they were by the late wars in Thrace and Bosporus they deserved help. So their tribute was remitted for five years.

Note 1: emperor = Claudius

Namque artissimo inter Europam Asiamque divortio Byzantium in extrema Europa posuere Graeci, quibus Pythium Apollinem consulentibus, ubi conderent urbem, redditum oraculum est, quaererent sedem caecorum terris adversam. ea ambage Chalcedonii monstrabantur, quod priores illuc advecti, praevisa locorum utilitate, peiora legissent. quippe Byzantium fertili solo, fecundo mari, quia vis piscium immensa Pontum erumpens et obliquis subter undas saxis exterrita omisso alterius litoris flexu hos ad portus defertur. unde primo quaestuosi et opulenti; post magnitudine onerum urgente finem aut modum orabant, adnitente principe, qui Thraecio Bosporanoque bello recens fessos