The year was 66 B.C. and Rome was engaged in what would be known as the Third Mithridatic War.
Concurrently, the kingdom of Judea was engaged in a bloody civil war. Two princes, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus vied for the throne as well as control of the lucrative trade routes linking the Southern Mediterranean with Mesopotamia and Persia.
Pompey Magnus (the Great), having chased King Mithridates North, ordered a blockade of the Bosporus and turned his attention South to Syria and Palestine.
Hyrcanus and Aristobulus each met with Pompey. Both princes pled their case, attempting to commit the iron muscle of the Roman Republic to their cause.
The outcome of this dispute is nearly irrelevant. For anyone interested, the best account of this event I have ever read can be found in A.J. Langgurth’s A Noise Of War. Great read. The Author’s scholarship is superb and the writing is clear and concise.
Pompey’s arrival in Rome matters because it begins what is arguably the greatest cultural collaboration in history.
The Law of God, the School of Athens, and the Iron Discipline for Rome combined to lay the foundation of the West.