1. In the meantime, Judas was informed about the Romans. He was told that the Romans were valiant in war and that they showed goodwill towards all who sided with them; that they offered friendship to all who approached them,

2. and were a strong ally in war. He was told of their wars and of their exploits among the Gauls whom they conquered and forced to pay taxes,

3. and of all they had done in Spain to gain possession of the silver and gold mines,

4. and how they had conquered that land by dint of intelligence and perseverance, despite its great distance from their own land. He also learned how they had defeated the kings who came from the ends of the earth to attack them, how they managed to conquer and crush them. There were others who paid them an annual tax.

5. They had defeated and subjected Philip and Perseus, the kings of Macedonia and others who opposed them.

6. They had vanquished Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who went to fight the Romans with one hundred and twenty elephants, cavalry, chariots and a very strong army. But he was defeated

7. and fell into their hands. He and his successors were forced to pay an enormous amount in tax, to surrender hostages, and to cede some of their best provinces

8. like India, Media and Lydia which afterwards the Romans gave to King Eumenes.

9. The Greeks had planned to come and destroy the Romans,

10. but hearing of it, the Romans sent a single general against them. They killed a great number of Greeks, took their women and children, destroyed their fortresses and enslaved them to this day.

11. In the same way, they also destroyed and subdued other countries and islands, as well as others who opposed them.

12. But they have usually remained faithful to their allies and to those who relied on them. The Romans were really powerful. They conquered kingdoms far and near, and all who heard their name feared them.

13. They appointed as kings those who were to their liking and deposed those who were not.

14. But in spite of all this, not one of them had himself crowned or dressed as a king in order to be exalted.

15. They had created a senate and three hundred and twenty men deliberated on daily matters relating to the good of the people and the maintenance of order.

16. Every year they would choose one man to rule over them and govern the empire, and all obeyed him without envy or jealousy.

17. So Judas sent Eupolemus the son of John, and Jason the son of Eleazar to Rome, entrusting them with the mission to make a covenant of friendship with the Romans.

18. Since the Greeks treated the Israelites as slaves, Judas hoped to liberate them from oppression in this way.

19. The envoys from Judas went to Rome, where they arrived after a long journey. When they entered the Senate they addressed the assembly:

20. "Judas Maccabeus, his brothers and the people of Israel have sent us to you to conclude a covenant of peace with you and to be numbered among your allies and friends."

21. The Romans approved this proposal,

22. and this is the copy of the letter they wrote on bronze tablets which they sent to Jerusalem as a memorial of peace and alliance:

23. "May all go well with the Romans and the Jewish people at sea and on land forever, may both sword and enemy be far from them!

24. If war comes first to the Romans, or to any of their allies in any part of its empire,

25. the Jewish nation shall enter the war wholeheartedly, as circumstances permit.

26. The Jewish nation will not receive from them wheat or weapons, or money, or ships as Rome has decided. They must fulfill their obligations without recompense.

27. In the same way, if the Jewish nation is attacked, the Romans shall fight at her side with all zeal as circumstances may allow.

28. The Roman allies will not receive wheat or weapons, or money, or ships as Rome has decided, but the Romans shall fulfill their obligations without deception.

29. On these terms the Romans conclude their alliance with the Jewish nation.

30. If after these terms have taken effect, either party should wish to add or delete anything, the said party shall do so in common agreement with the other party, then what has been added or deleted shall be binding.

31. And concerning the harm King Demetrius does to the Jews, we have written to him as follows, "Why do you lay such a heavy yoke upon the Jews, our friends and allies?

32. If they complain about you again, we shall defend their rights and attack you by sea and land."



Livros sugeridos


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