1 Maccabees , CHAPTER 8
Judas had heard of the reputation of the Romans. They were valiant fighters and acted amiably to all who took their side. They established a friendly alliance with all who applied to them.
He was also told of their battles and the brave deeds that they performed against the Gauls, conquering them and forcing them to pay tribute;
and what they did in Spain to get possession of the silver and gold mines there.,
By planning and persistence they subjugated the whole region, although it was very remote from their own. They also subjugated the kings who had come against them from the far corners of the earth until they crushed them and inflicted on them severe defeat. The rest paid tribute to them every year.
Philip and Perseus, king of the Macedonians, and the others who opposed them in battle they overwhelmed and subjugated.
Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who fought against them with a hundred and twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very great army, was defeated by them.
They took him alive and obliged him and the kings who succeeded him to pay a heavy tribute, to give hostages and to cede
Lycia, Mysia, and Lydia from among their best provinces. The Romans took these from him and gave them to King Eumenes.
When the Greeks planned to come and destroy them,
the Romans discovered it, and sent against the Greeks a single general who made war on them. Many were wounded and fell, and the Romans took their wives and children captive. They plundered them, took possession of their land, tore down their strongholds and reduced them to slavery even to this day.
All the other kingdoms and islands that had ever opposed them they destroyed and enslaved; with their friends, however, and those who relied on them, they maintained friendship.
They subjugated kings both near and far, and all who heard of their fame were afraid of them.
Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings; and those whom they wish, they depose; and they were greatly exalted.
Yet with all this, none of them put on a diadem or wore purple as a display of grandeur.
But they made for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred and twenty men took counsel, deliberating on all that concerned the people and their well-being.
They entrust their government to one man every year, to rule over their entire land, and they all obey that one, and there is no envy or jealousy among them.
So Judas chose Eupolemus, son of John, son of Accos, and Jason, son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance with them.
He did this to lift the yoke from Israel, for it was obvious that the kingdom of the Greeks was subjecting them to slavery.
After making a very long journey to Rome, the envoys entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows:
“Judas, called Maccabeus, and his brothers, with the Jewish people, have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, and to be enrolled among your allies and friends.”
The proposal pleased the Romans,
and this is a copy of the reply they inscribed on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem,* to remain there with the Jews as a record of peace and alliance:
“May it be well with the Romans and the Jewish nation at sea and on land forever; may sword and enemy be far from them.
But if war is first made on Rome, or any of its allies in any of their dominions,
the Jewish nation will fight along with them wholeheartedly, as the occasion shall demand;
and to those who wage war they shall not give or provide grain, weapons, money, or ships, as seems best to Rome. They shall fulfill their obligations without receiving any recompense.
In the same way, if war is made first on the Jewish nation, the Romans will fight along with them willingly, as the occasion shall demand,
and to those who attack them there shall not be given grain, weapons, money, or ships, as seems best to Rome. They shall fulfill their obligations without deception.
On these terms the Romans have made an agreement with the Jewish people.
But if both parties hereafter agree to add or take away anything, they shall do as they choose, and whatever they shall add or take away shall be valid.
“Moreover, concerning the wrongs that King Demetrius is doing to them, we have written to him thus: ‘Why have you made your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies the Jews?
If they petition against you again, we will enforce justice and make war on you by sea and land.’”