|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 55: Embassies from Asia[AD 26]
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|Tiberius, to divert people's talk, continually attended the Senate, and gave an audience of several days to embassies from Asia on a disputed question as to the city in which the temple before mentioned should be erected. Eleven cities were rivals for the honour, of which they were all equally ambitious, though they differed widely in resources. With little variation they dwelt on antiquity of race and loyalty to Rome throughout her wars with Perseus, Aristonicus, and other kings. But the people of Hypaepa, Tralles, Laodicaea, and Magnesia were passed over as too insignificant; even Ilium, though it boasted that Troy was the cradle of Rome, was strong only in the glory of its antiquity. There was a little hesitation about Halicarnassus, as its inhabitants affirmed that for twelve hundred years their homes had not been shaken by an earthquake and that the foundations of their temple were on the living rock. Pergamos it was thought, had been sufficiently honoured by having a temple of Augustus in the city, on which very fact they relied. The Ephesians and Milesians had, it seemed, wholly devoted their respective towns to the worships of Apollo and Diana. And so the question lay between Sardis and Smyrna. The envoys from Sardis read a decree of the Etrurians, with whom they claimed kindred. " Tyrrhenus and Lydus," it was said, "the sons of king Atys, divided the nation between them because of its multitude; Lydus remained in the country of his fathers; Tyrrhenus had the work assigned him of establishing new settlements, and names, taken from the two leaders, were given to the one people in Asia and to the other in Italy. The resources of the Lydians were yet further augmented by the immigration of nations into that part of Greece which afterwards took its name from Pelops." They spoke too of letters from Roman generals, of treaties concluded with us during the Macedonian war and of their copious rivers, of their climate, and the rich countries round them.
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