When Pompeius sent commissioners to settle amicably the dispute between Parthia and Armenia, Phraates yielded to the Roman mediation forced upon him and acquiesced in their award, which assigned to the Armenians Corduene and northern Mesopotamia. Soon afterwards his daughter with her son and her husband adorned the triumph of the Roman general. Even the Parthians trembled before the superior power of Rome; and, if they had not, like the inhabitants of Pontus and Armenia, succumbed to the Roman arms, the reason seemed only to be that they had not ventured to stand the conflict.

Organization Of The Provinces

There still devolved on the general the duty of regulating the internal relations of the newly-acquired provinces and of removing as far as possible the traces of a thirteen years' desolating war. The work of organization begun in Asia Minor by Lucullus and the commission associated with him, and in Crete by Metellus, received its final conclusion from Pompeius. The former province of Asia, which embraced Mysia, Lydia, Phrygia, and Caria, was converted from a frontier province into a central one. The newly-erected provinces were, that of Bithynia and Pontus, which was formed out of the whole former kingdom of Nicomedes and the western half of the former Pontic state as far as and beyond the Halys; that of Cilicia, which indeed was older, but was now for the first time enlarged and organized in a manner befitting its name, and comprehended also Pamphylia and Isauria; that of Syria, and that of Crete. Much was no doubt wanting to render that mass of countries capable of being regarded as the territorial possession of Rome in the modern sense of the term. The form and order of the government remained substantially as they were; only the Roman community came in place of the former monarchs. Those Asiatic provinces consisted as formerly of a motley mixture of domanial possessions, urban territories de facto or de jure autonomous, lordships pertaining to princes and priests, and kingdoms, all of which were as regards internal administration more or less left to themselves, and in other respects were dependent, sometimes in milder sometimes in stricter forms, on the Roman government and its proconsuls very much as formerly on the great-king and his satraps.

Feudatory Kings Cappadocia Commagene Galatia

The first place, in rank at least, among the dependent dynasts was held by the king of Cappadocia, whose territory Lucullus had already enlarged by investing him with the province of Melitene (about Malatia) as far as the Euphrates, and to whom Pompeius farther granted on the western frontier some districts taken off Cilicia from Castabala as far as Derbe near Iconium, and on the eastern frontier the province of Sophene situated on the left bank of the Euphrates opposite Melitene and at first destined for the Armenian prince Tigranes; so that the most important passage of the Euphrates thus came wholly into the power of the Cappadocian prince. The small province of Commagene between Syria and Cappadocia with its capital Samosata (Samsat) remained a dependent kingdom in the hands of the already-named Seleucid Antiochus;(21) to him too were assigned the important fortress of Seleucia (near Biradjik) commanding the more southern passage of the Euphrates, and the adjoining tracts on the left bank of that river; and thus care was taken that the two chief passages of the Euphrates with a corresponding territory on the eastern bank were left in the hands of two dynasts wholly dependent on Rome. Alongside of the kings of Cappadocia and Commagene, and in real power far superior to them, the new king Deiotarus ruled in Asia Minor. One of the tetrarchs of the Celtic stock of the Tolistobogii settled round Pessinus, and summoned by Lucullus and Pompeius to render military service with the other small Roman clients, Deiotarus had in these campaigns so brilliantly proved his trustworthiness and his energy as contrasted with all the indolent Orientals that the Roman generals conferred upon him, in addition to his Galatian heritage and his possessions in the rich country between Amisus and the mouth of the Halys, the eastern half of the former Pontic empire with the maritime towns of Pharnacia and Trapezus and the Pontic Armenia as far as the frontier of Colchis and the Greater Armenia, to form the kingdom of Lesser Armenia. Soon afterwards he increased his already considerable territory by the country of the Celtic Trocmi, whose tetrarch he dispossessed. Thus the petty feudatory became one of the most powerful dynasts of Asia Minor, to whom might be entrusted the guardianship of an important part of the frontier of the empire.

Princes And Chiefs

Vassals of lesser importance were, the other numerous Galatian tetrarchs, one of whom, Bogodiatarus prince of the Trocmi, was on account of his tried valour in the Mithradatic war presented by Pompeius with the formerly Pontic frontier-town of Mithradatium; Attalus prince of Paphlagonia, who traced back his lineage to the old ruling house of the Pylaemenids; Aristarchus and other petty lords in the Colchian territory; Tarcondimotus who ruled in eastern Cilicia in the mountain-valleys of the Amanus; Ptolemaeus son of Mennaeus who continued to rule in Chalcis on the Libanus; Aretas king of the Nabataeans as lord of Damascus; lastly, the Arabic emirs in the countries on either side of the Euphrates, Abgarus in Osrhoene, whom the Romans endeavoured in every way to draw over to their interest with the view of using him as an advanced post against the Parthians, Sampsiceramus in Hemesa, Alchaudonius the Rhambaean, and another emir in Bostra.

Priestly Princes

To these fell to be added the spiritual lords who in the east frequently ruled over land and people like secular dynasts, and whose authority firmly established in that native home of fanaticism the Romans prudently refrained from disturbing, as they refrained from even robbing the temples of their treasures: the high-priest of the Goddess Mother in Pessinus; the two high-priests of the goddess Ma in the Cappadocian Comana (on the upper Sarus) and in the Pontic city of the same name (Gumenek near Tocat), both lords who were in their countries inferior only to the king in power, and each of whom even at a much later period possessed extensive estates with special jurisdiction and about six thousand temple-slaves--Archelaus, son of the general of that name who passed over from Mithradates to the Romans, was invested by Pompeius with the Pontic high-priesthood--the high-priest of the Venasian Zeus in the Cappadocian district of Morimene, whose revenues amounted annually to 3600 pounds (15 talents); the "archpriest and lord" of that territory in Cilicia Trachea, where Teucer the son of Ajax had founded a temple to Zeus, over which his descendants presided by virtue of hereditary right; the "arch-priest and lord of the people" of the Jews, to whom Pompeius, after having razed the walls of the capital and the royal treasuries and strongholds in the land, gave back the presidency of the nation with a serious admonition to keep the peace and no longer to aim at conquests.

Italian Books
Theodor Mommsen
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book