Nicolaus of Damascus (around 64 BCE – around 14 CE) came from one of the finest families in Coele-Syria; he was a friend and a trusted diplomat of Herod the Great. He traveled alongside Herod in all oikumene, the community – helping in his diplomatic missions, including to Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen. After the death of Cleopatra and Mark Antony she was their tutor children who were taken care of by Octavia, sister of Octavian Augustus.
He was very liked by Emperor Augustus, who even return with his support for Herod – thanks to Nicolaus. The Syrian dactyls, often sent to him by Nicolaus, were called “St. Nicholas”. After the death of Herod, Nicolaus moved to Rome.
The greatest work of Nicholas was to write down the history of the world entitled “The History” (144 books in total), which described the oldest history of mankind (from Assyria) until the year 4 CE.
His other work was the biography of Emperor Octavian Augustus – “The Life of Augustus” (Bios Kaisaros) – which remains one of the most interesting sources for us about the assassination of Caesar and the situation that prevailed in Rome after the attack in 44 CE. Importantly, Nicholas of Damascus wrote in the times when Caesar and Augustus lived, therefore it can be considered that many of his messages are very credible.