|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XIII Chapter 41: War between Armenia/Rome and Iberia/Parthia (cont.)[AD 58]
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|Corbulo then encamped on the spot, and considered whether he should push on his legions without their baggage to Artaxata and blockade the city, on which, he supposed, Tiridates had fallen back. When his scouts reported that the king had undertaken a long march, and that it was doubtful whether Media or Albania was its destination, he waited for daylight, and then sent on his light-armed troops which were meanwhile to hover round the walls and begin the attack from a distance. The inhabitants however opened the gates of their own accord, and surrendered themselves and their property to the Romans. This saved their lives; the city was fired, demolished and levelled to the ground, as it could not be held without a strong garrison from the extent of the walls, and we had not sufficient force to be divided between adequately garrisoning it and carrying on the war. If again the place were left untouched and unguarded, no advantage or glory would accrue from its capture. Then too there was a wonderful occurrence, almost a divine interposition. While the whole space outside the town, up to its buildings, was bright with sunlight, the enclosure within the walls was suddenly shrouded in a black cloud, seamed with lightning-flashes, and thus the city was thought to be given up to destruction, as if heaven was wroth against it. For all this Nero was unanimously saluted emperor, and by the Senate's decree a thanksgiving was held; statues also, arches and successive consulships were voted to him, and among the holy days were to be included the day on which the victory was won, that on which it was announced, and that on which the motion was brought forward. Other proposals too of a like kind were carried, on a scale so extravagant, that Gaius Cassius, after having assented to the rest of the honours, argued that if the gods were to be thanked for the bountiful favours of fortune, even a whole year would not suffice for thanksgivings, and therefore there ought to be a classification of sacred days and business-days, that so they might observe divine ordinances and yet not interfere with human affairs.