Robert Graves starts off anew the tumultuous lifetime of the Roman who grew to become emporer regardless of himself. Captures the power, elegance, and decadence of the Roman international on the aspect of its decline.
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Flaccus stated: ‘Aristobulus, you could have performed me no carrier in any respect. you've been the reason for a breach among me and my ablest adviser, whom I pass over greater than i will let you know. As a question of governmental self-discipline I needed to brush aside him, and as an issue of honour i can't bear in mind him; but when you had now not introduced that bribe to gentle no one might were any the wiser and that i might nonetheless have had Herod to refer to on complex neighborhood questions which totally baffle a simple-minded Westerner like myself. It’s in his blood, you notice. i've got, actually, lived a long way longer within the East than he has, yet he instinctively is aware in instances the place i will simply clumsily wager. ’ ‘What approximately myself? ’ requested Aristobulus. ‘Perhaps i will be able to fill Herod’s position? ’ ‘You, little guy? ’ Flaccus cried contemptuously. ‘You haven’t the Herod contact. And, what’s extra, you’ll by no means collect it. you recognize that, in addition to I do. ’ ‘But the cash? ’ requested Aristobulus. ‘If it’s now not for Herod, nonetheless much less is it for you. yet to prevent all ill-feeling among you and me i'll ship it again to Damascus. ’ He really did this. The Damascenes suggestion that he should have long past mad. After a month or so Aristobulus, being out of favour at Antioch, made up our minds to settle in Galilee, the place he had an property. It was once just a two-days’ trip from the following to Jerusalem, a urban which he loved to go to on all of the very important Jewish fairs, being extra religiously prone than the remainder of his kinfolk. yet he didn't desire to take all his cash with him to Galilee, simply because if he occurred to quarrel along with his uncle Antipas he could be pressured to leave in a rush, and Antipas will be in order that a lot the richer. He consequently made up our minds to move so much of his credits from a banking enterprise at Antioch to at least one at Rome and wrote to me as a reliable relatives pal, giving me authority to take a position it in landed estate for him as chance should still manifest itself. Herod couldn't go back to Galilee: and he had additionally quarrelled together with his uncle Philip, the Tetrarch of Bashan, over a question of a few estate of his father which Philip had misappropriated; and the Governor of Judaea with Samaria – for Herod’s eldest uncle, the King, were got rid of for misgovernment a few years formerly and his country proclaimed a Roman province – used to be Pontius Pilate, one in all his collectors. Herod didn't desire to retire completely to Edom – he was once no lover of deserts – and his probabilities of a welcome in Egypt through the good Jewish colony at Alexandria have been inconsiderable. The Alexandrian Jews are very strict of their spiritual observances, virtually stricter than their kinsmen at Jerusalem, if that have been attainable, and Herod from residing goodbye at Rome had fallen into slack conduct, in particular within the subject of nutrition. The Jews are forbidden by way of their historical law-giver Moses, on hygienic grounds, I comprehend, to devour a number of traditional meat meals: now not in basic terms red meat – you possibly can make a case opposed to red meat, possibly – yet hare and rabbit, and different completely healthy meats. And what they do consume needs to be killed in a definite manner.