Gabinius  [killed, 47 BCE]

Aulus Gabinius was a independent-minded Roman soldier & political reformer who catapulted Pompey to power. To rid the Mediterranean of pirates he introduced legislation in the Senate (67 BCE) that made Pompey supreme commander of the sea & all territory within a 50 mile radius.  Pompey rewarded his loyalty by making him proconsul of Syria at a time when the Hasmonean Antigonus was inciting Jews to rebel against Roman dominion (57-54 BCE). Gabinius countered by deposing Antigonus, restoring Hyrcanus II as high priest & decentralizing the Judean state, dividing it into 5 autonomous districts --- each with its own independent capital [Jerusalem, Jericho, Gadara, Sepphoris & Hammath] --- to weaken the authority of Jerusalem. Such innovations, however, led to further local disturbances. When Gabinius returned to Rome (54 BCE), he was tried & exiled on charges brought by enemies in the Roman Senate. But after Julius Caesar's triumphant return to Rome (49 BCE), Gabinius was made commander of his troops in Dalmatia where he died in battle.

References: Josephus, Antiquities 14.37, 55-56, 82-104; 
                   _____, War
1.140, 160-178.
                   Dio Cassius, Roman History 36.23-36; 38.13,30; 39.55-63; 42.5.
                   Appian, History of Rome: Civil Wars 2.24,59.
                   Plutarch, Parallel Lives: Pompey 25, 48; Antony 3.

Other resources on line:


Rare pre-imperial bronze coin minted at Scythopolis in the Decapolis in 46 BCE to resolve a money shortage resulting from the Roman conquest of Ptolemaic Cyprus two years earlier.  Gabinius issued the coin in his own name with his own image wearing a victor's wreath. The inscription (in Greek letters) on the face reads simply: Gab. The figure of the goddess of victory on the reverse is encircled with the words: Gabinis oien Nysa ["of the people of Gabinian Nysa" (the new Roman name for Scythopolis)].  For high resolution images of this coin see Joseph Sermarini's excellent numismatic website Forum Ancient Coins.

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