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Quote of the day: Mucianus, with the perpetual assertion t
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 56: Embassies from Asia (cont.)[AD 26]
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The envoys from Smyrna, after tracing their city's antiquity back to such founders as either Tantalus, the son of Jupiter, or Theseus, also of divine origin, or one of the Amazons, passed on to that on which they chiefly relied, their services to the Roman people, whom they had helped with naval armaments not only in wars abroad, but in those under which we struggled in Italy. They had also been the first, they said, to build a temple in honour of Rome, during the consulship of Marcus Porcius Cato, when Rome's power indeed was great, but not yet raised to the highest point, inasmuch as the Punic capital was still standing and there were mighty kings in Asia. They appealed too to the testimony of Lucius Sulla, whose army was once in terrible jeopardy from a severe winter and want of clothing, and this having been announced at Smyrna in a public assembly, all who were present stript their clothes off their backs and sent them to our legions. And so the Senate, when the question was put, gave the preference to Smyrna. Vibius Marsus moved that Marcus Lepidus, to whom the province of Asia had been assigned, should have under him a special commissioner to undertake the charge of this temple. As Lepidus himself, out of modesty, declined to appoint, Valerius Naso, one of the ex-praetors, was chosen by lot and sent out. At Zmymaei repetita vetustate, seu Tantalus Iove ortus illos, sive Theseus divina et ipse stirpe, sive una Amazonum condidisset, transcendere ad ea, quis maxime fidebant, in populum Romanum officiis, missa navali copia non modo externa ad bella sed quae in Italia tolerabantur; seque primos templum urbis Romae statuisse, M. Porcio consule, magnis quidem iam populi Romani rebus, nondum tamen ad summum elatis, stante adhuc Punica urbe et validis per Asiam regibus. simul L. Sullam testem adferebant, gravissimo in discrimine exercitus ob asperitatem hiemis et penuriam vestis, cum id Zmyrnam in contionem nuntiatum foret, omnis qui adstabant detraxisse corpori tegmina nostrisque legionibus misisse. ita rogati sententiam patres Zmyrnaeos praetulere. censuitque Vibius Marsus ut M'. Lepido, cui ea provincia obvenerat, super numerum legaretur qui templi curam susciperet. et quia Lepidus ipse deligere