|Do not fly Iberia
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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XII Chapter 47: War between Armenia and Iberia (cont.)[AD 51]
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|Rhadamistus at first threw himself into his embraces, feigning respect and calling him father-in-law and parent. He swore an oath too that he would do him no violence either by the sword or by poison. At the same time he drew him into a neighbouring grove, where he assured him that the appointed sacrifice was prepared for the confirmation of peace in the presence of the gods. It is a custom of these princes, whenever they join alliance, to unite their right hands and bind together the thumbs in a tight knot; then, when the blood has flowed into the extremities, they let it escape by a slight puncture and suck it in turn. Such a treaty is thought to have a mysterious sanctity, as being sealed with the blood of both parties. On this occasion he who was applying the knot pretended that it had fallen off, and suddenly seizing the knees of Mithridates flung him to the ground. At the same moment a rush was made by a number of persons, and chains were thrown round him. Then he was dragged along by a fetter, an extreme degradation to a barbarian; and soon the common people, whom he had held under a harsh sway, heaped insults on him with menacing gestures, though some, on the contrary, pitied such a reverse of fortune. His wife followed him with his little children, and filled every place with her wailings. They were hidden away in different covered carriages till the orders of Pharasmanes were distinctly ascertained. The lust of rule was more to him than his brother and his daughter, and his heart was steeled to any wickedness. Still he spared his eyes the seeing them slain before his face. Rhadamistus too, seemingly mindful of his oath, neither unsheathed the sword nor used poison against his sister and uncle, but had them thrown on the ground and then smothered them under a mass of heavy clothes. Even the sons of Mithridates were butchered for having shed tears over their parent's murder.