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Constantine P. Cavafy

(29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933 / Alexandria)

Alexander Jannaios And Alexandra


Full of their success, thoroughly satisfied,
King Alexander Jannaios
and his wife Queen Alexandra
move through the streets of Jerusalem
with musicians in the lead
and every kind of pomp and circumstance.
The work begun by the great Judas Maccabaios
and his four celebrated brothers
has now been concluded brilliantly,
work relentlessly carried on
among so many obstacles and dangers.
Nothing unseemly remains now.
All subservience to the haughty monarchs
of Antioch is over. Clearly
King Alexander Jannaios
and his wife Queen Alexandra
are equal to the Selefkids in every way.
Good Jews, pure Jews, devoted Jews above all.
But, as circumstances require,
also skilled in speaking Greek,
even on familiar terms with Greeks and Hellenized monarchs—
as equals, though, let that be understood.
The work begun by the great Judas Maccabaios
and his four celebrated brothers
has indeed been concluded brilliantly,
concluded in the most striking way.

Submitted: Friday, March 23, 2012
Edited: Friday, March 23, 2012

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