Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 9
LETTER OF A ROMAN MAGISTRATE TO MYLASA
Greek text: Mylasa 133 ( I.Myl. 601 )
Date: c. 30 B.C.
Tags: roman_letters , slaves
Format: see key to translations
When Q.Labienus invaded Asia Minor in 40 B.C. with the backing of a Parthian army, the inhabitants of Mylasa stoutly resisted him. Their reward was, in the short term, destruction and economic ruin; but the Romans did try to assist the city, in recognition of their loyalty. It is generally agreed that the surviving part of this inscription is "exceedingly obscure"; so some of the translation is very uncertain.
. . . if we allow the city of Mylasa to collect tribute from them (?) until there is a surfeit of slaves, this could perhaps be disgraceful for us to oversee and unworthy of our reputation; and moreover, it would be impossible for them to sell publicly (?) those who have public rights. For they will not have money or public income, if they do not wish, for the sake of setting taxes, to assess the wealth of each one and to introduce a poll tax. The city cannot easily support the cost of restoring the ruins left by the ravages of Labienus; and because they foresaw this deficit, they have taken advances from private individuals, and thereby have brought the city into public debt; not . . . on account of the (?) exchange of names . . . of Caesar on behalf of Mylasa . . .
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