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Nicolaus of Damascus  

Klaus Meister

Nicolaus of Damascus, versatile author; friend and historian of *Herod(1) the Great; born c.64 bce of distinguished family, outstandingly well-educated. He became a *Peripatetic and came into contact with leading figures of his day: he was tutor to the children of M. *Antonius (2) and *Cleopatra VII (FGrH90 T 2) and from 14 bce close adviser of Herod I, who employed him on diplomatic missions (F 136). Herod also studied philosophy, rhetoric, and history with Nicolaus and encouraged him to write (F 135). When Herod incurred *Augustus' displeasure on account of the campaign in Arabia in 8/7, Nicolaus succeeded in placating the princeps in Rome; in 4 he supported Herod Archelaus who had come to Rome to have his succession to the throne confirmed (F 136).(1)Historiai, universal history in 144 books from the earliest times to the death of Herod the Great, the most comprehensive work of universal history since .