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Quote of the day: The emperor thought nothing charming or
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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 84: Vespasian emperor. Origin of Serapis (cont.)[AD 70]
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On their arrival at Sinope, they delivered to Scydrothemis the presents from their king, with his request and message. He wavered in purpose, dreading at one moment the anger of the God [Note 1], terrified at another by the threats and opposition of the people. Often he was wrought upon by the gifts and promises of the ambassadors. And so three years passed away, while Ptolemy did not cease to urge his zealous solicitations. He continued to increase the dignity of his embassies, the number of his ships, and the weight of his gold. A terrible vision then appeared to Scydrothemis, warning him to thwart no longer the purposes of the God. As he yet hesitated, various disasters, pestilence, and the unmistakable anger of heaven, which grew heavier from day to day, continued to harass him. He summoned an assembly, and explained to them the bidding of the God, the visions of Ptolemy and himself, and the miseries that were gathering about them. The people turned away angrily from their king, were jealous of Egypt, and, fearing for themselves, thronged around the temple. The story becomes at this point more marvellous, and relates that the God of his own will conveyed himself on board the fleet, which had been brought close to shore, and, wonderful to say, vast as was the extent of sea that they traversed, they arrived at Alexandria on the third day. A temple, proportioned to the grandeur of the city, was erected in a place called Rhacotis, where there had stood a chapel consecrated in old times to Serapis and Isis. Such is the most popular account of the origin and introduction of the God Serapis. I am aware indeed that there are some who say that he was brought from Seleucia, a city of Syria, in the reign of Ptolemy III, while others assert that it was the act of the same king, but that the place from which he was brought was Memphis, once a famous city and the strength of ancient Egypt. The God himself, because he heals the sick, many identified with Aesculapius; others with Osiris, the deity of the highest antiquity among these nations; not a few with Jupiter, as being supreme ruler of all things; but most people with Pluto, arguing from the emblems which may be seen on his statues, or from conjectures of their own.

Note 1: God = Apollo

Event: Vespasian emperor

Vt Sinopen venere, munera preces mandata regis sui Scydrothemidi adlegant. qui <di>versus animi modo numen pavescere, modo minis adversantis populi terreri; saepe donis promissisque legatorum flectebatur. atque interim triennio exacto Ptolemaeus non studium, non preces omittere: dignitatem legatorum, numerum navium, auri pondus augebat. tum minax facies Scydrothemidi offertur ne destinata deo ultra moraretur: cunctantem varia pernicies morbique et manifesta caelestium ira graviorque in dies fatigabat. advocata contione iussa numinis, suos Ptolemaeique visus, ingruentia mala exponit: vulgus aversari regem, invidere Aegypto, sibi metuere templumque circumsedere. maior hinc fama tradidit deum ipsum adpulsas litori navis sponte conscendisse: mirum inde dictu, tertio die tantum maris emensi Alexandriam adpelluntur. templum pro magnitudine urbis extructum loco cui nomen Rhacotis; fuerat illic sacellum Serapidi atque Isidi antiquitus sacratum. haec de origine et advectu dei celeberrima. nec sum ignarus esse quosdam qui Seleucia urbe Syriae accitum regnante Ptolemaeo, quem tertia aetas tulit; alii auctorem eundem Ptolemaeum, sedem, ex qua transierit, Memphim perhibent, inclutam olim et veteris Aegypti columen. deum ipsum multi Aesculapium, quod medeatur aegris corporibus, quidam Osirin, antiquissimum illis gentibus numen, plerique Iovem ut rerum omnium potentem, plurimi Ditem patrem insignibus, quae in ipso manifesta, aut per ambages coniectant.