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Flavius Eutropius “Summary of Roman History”, Book 1

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“Liber Primus/Book I” | “Liber Secondus/Book II” | “Liber Tertius/Book III” | “Liber Quartus/Book IV” | “Liber Quintus/Book V” | “Liber Sextus/Book VI” | “Liber Septimus/Book VII” | “Liber Octavus/Book VIII” | “Liber Nonus/Book IX” | “Liber Decimus/Book X”.

Flavius Eutropius

”Summary of Roman History”, Book 1
To Emperor Valens, Gothicus, Maximus, Perpetual Augustus, from the Imperial Secretary Flavius Eutropius

English translation by Lamberto Bozzi (2018)

Flavius Eutropius



In consonance with Your Grace’s will I
Have summarily tried to classify
In a temporal frame of reference
Every single eminent occurrence
Of Roman events in peace and in war,
From the time of the City’s foundation
To the present days, and have furthermore
Added the Princes’ illustrious feats too
For your own Divine Mind’s delectation,
Seeing that without reading about them you
Equalled them in the Empire’s administration.

Res Romanas ex voluntate mansuetudinis tuae ab urbe condita ad nostram memoriam, quae in negotiis vel bellicis vel civilibus eminebant, per ordinem temporum brevi narratione collegi, strictim additis etiam his, quae in principum vita egregia extiterunt, ut tranquillitatis tuae possit mens divina laetari prius se inlustrium virorum facta in administrando imperio secutam, quam cognosceret lectione.

Chapter 1

Rome’s Empire of which human memory
Due to its diminutive inception
And its subsequent huge world expansion
Can hardly find a match in history
Began with Romulus the offspring,
With his twin Remus, of Mars’s fling
With Rea Silvia, Virgin and Vestal.
He started his career by plundering
Among the shepherds; when he was eighteen
He founded a town on the palatial
Hill, in fact a hamlet, on the eleventh day
Of the Calends of the upcoming month of May,
In the third year of the sixth Olympic games
After the city of Troy went up in flames,
As those who talk of this and that are wont to say.

Romanum imperium, quo neque ab exordio ullum fere minus neque incrementis toto orbe amplius humana potest memoria recordari, a Romulo exordium habet, qui Reae Silviae, Vestalis virginis, filius et, quantum putatus est, Martis cum Remo fratre uno partu editus est. Is cum inter pastores latrocinaretur, decem et octo annos natus urbem exiguam in Palatino monte constituit XI Kal. Maias, Olympiadis sextae anno tertio, post Troiae excidium, ut qui plurimum minimumque tradunt, anno trecentesimo nonagesimo quarto.

Chapter 2

Having founded the town he utilized
His given name and had it Rome Baptized.
Then he did this: he welcomed a slew
Of neighbours and out of them he drew
A hundred among the seniors who were
Made senators because of their grey hair.
As he and his people had no wives he
Thought of gathering the citizenry
Of the towns adjacent to Rome for
A sporting event, then kidnapped all
Their virgins causing a warring uproar
During which he won many a brawl
With the Caeninenses the Veientes
The Sabines and the Crustumines
The Antemnates and the Fidenates
Whose well-fortified cities encompass
Rome. In the thirty-seventh year of his reign
Romulus vanished in a flash storm, thus
The populace could believe and sustain
He was with lauds translated to the gods.
Then, for five days each, the senators ran
The government of Rome in a year’s span.

Condita civitate, quam ex nomine suo Romam vocavit, haec fere egit. Multitudinem finitimorum in civitatem recepit, centum ex senioribus legit, quorum consilio omnia ageret, quos senatores nominavit propter senectutem. Tum, cum uxores ipse et populus suus non haberent, invitavit ad spectaculum ludorum vicinas urbi Romae nationes atque earum virgines rapuit. Commotis bellis propter raptarum iniuriam Caeninenses vicit, Antemnates, Crustuminos, Sabinos, Fidenates, Veientes. Haec omnia oppida urbem cingunt. Et cum orta subito tempestate non comparuisset, anno regni tricesimo septimo ad deos transisse creditus est et consecratus. Deinde Romae per quinos dies senatores imperaverunt et his regnantibus annus unus completus est.

Chapter 3

The next king was that Numa Pompilius
Who never waged war, but to the City
Was as good an asset as Romulus,
Because he gave laws and manners to
The Romans accustomed to pursue
Warlike semibarbarian thieving ways.
He divided the past jumble of days
Into a ten-month-year and was too
Busy giving precedence to feast and fane.
He died in the forty-third year of his reign.

[3] Postea Numa Pompilius rex creatus est, qui bellum quidem nullum gessit, sed non minus civitati quam Romulus profuit. Nam et leges Romanis moresque constituit, qui consuetudine proeliorum iam latrones ac semibarbari putabantur, et annum descripsit in decem menses prius sine aliqua supputatione confusum, et infinita Romae sacra ac templa constituit. Morbo decessit quadragesimo et tertio imperii anno.

Chapter 4

Tullius Hostilius, his successor
Resumed the wars as an aggressor.
The Albani and the Veientes
He vanquished, and the Fidenates
As well. Those tribes lived respectively
Twelve, six and eight miles from the City.
He enlarged Rome adding the Caelian hill
To it. After reigning two and thirty
Years it took a bolt of lightning to kill
Him. He was charred in his own yard.

Huic successit Tullus Hostilius. Hic bella reparavit, Albanos vicit, qui ab urbe Roma duodecimo miliario sunt, Veientes et Fidenates, quorum alii sexto miliario absunt ab urbe Roma, alii octavo decimo, bello superavit, urbem ampliavit, adiecto Caelio monte. Cum triginta et duos annos regnasset, fulmine ictus cum domo sua arsit.

Chapter 5

After him Ancus Marcius, a nephew
Of Numa’s daughter seized power. He fought
The Latin tribes. Inside the walls he brought
The Janiculum and the Aventine too.
Sixteen miles from Rome, a little to the south,
He founded a small settlement at the mouth
Of the Tiber. He had possessed his Kingdom’s keys
For twenty-four years when he died of some disease.

Post hunc Ancus Marcius, Numae ex filia nepos, suscepit imperium. Contra Latinos dimicavit, Aventinum montem civitati adiecit et Janiculum, apud ostium Tiberis civitatem supra mare sexto decimo miliario ab urbe Roma condidit. Vicesimo et quarto anno imperii morbo periit.

Chapter 6

Then it was the turn of Tarquinius Priscus
To become King. He multiplied by two
The Senators’ number. He built a circus
In Rome and founded the Roman Games that
Have been held up to the present time too.
He also won the Sabines in combat.
To Rome he passed as a territorial gain
A part, not small, of their agrarian domain.
He was the first to have the privilege
Of leading those Roman triumphal marches.
He built the walls, took care of the sewage
System and raised some of the Capitol arches.
By Ancus Marcius’ sons was he slain
In the thirty-eighth year of his reign.

Deinde regnum Priscus Tarquinius accepit. Hic numerum senatorum duplicavit, circum Romae aedificavit, ludos Romanos instituit, qui ad nostram memoriam permanent. Vicit idem etiam Sabinos et non parum agrorum sublatum isdem urbis Romae territorio iunxit, primusque triumphans urbem intravit. Muros fecit et cloacas, Capitolium inchoavit. Tricesimo octavo imperii anno per Anci filios occisus est, regis eius, cui ipse successerat.

Chapter 7

Servius Tullius ascended the throne
After him. Of noble birth was his own
Mother, although a domestic slave.
The Sabines he hit hard and subjugated.
He added three hills: the Quirinal
The Esquiline and the Viminal
To the City of Rome around which
The walls he reinforced with a ditch.
He was the first who ordered a census to
Be taken, a world novelty then, and
Once the data had been gathered as planned
They offered a comprehensive overview:
Eighty-three thousand souls were found to reside
Within the City and in the countryside.
He was killed by wicked Tarquin the Proud who
Was Tarquinius Priscus’ son and whose bride
Was Servius Tullius’ own daughter too.

Post hunc Servius Tullius suscepit imperium, genitus ex nobili femina, captiva tamen et ancilla. Hic quoque Sabinos subegit, montes tres, Quirinalem, Viminalem, Esquilinum, urbi adiunxit, fossas circum murum duxit. Primus omnium censum ordinavit, qui adhuc per orbem terrarum incognitus erat. Sub eo Roma omnibus in censum delatis habuit capita LXXXIII milia civium Romanorum cum his, qui in agris erant. Occisus est scelere generi sui Tarquinii Superbi, filii eius regis, cui ipse successerat, et filiae, quam Tarquinius habebat uxorem.

Chapter 8

The seventh and last of the Kings was the Proud
Tarquin who on the route to Campania cowed
The Volscian nations and managed to subdue
Gabii and Suessa Pometia (two
Towns), made peace with the Tuscis and erected
A temple to Jove on the Capitol. Then
While laying siege to Ardea, a town located
Eighteen miles from the City, he was ousted.
His namesake son had raped the best of women,
The most noble and chaste Lucrece, the wife
Of Collatinus. After her defacement
While her husband, father and friends were present,
Out of extreme grief she took her own life.
Which is why Brutus, to Tarquin related too,
Roused the citizenry against the king’s majesty.
The army with which he was laying siege to
Ardea also left him and, with little grace,
The City’s gates were slammed shut on his face.
He had already reigned twenty-four years when
He got away with his wife and children.
Thus the Roman monarchy of seven
Kings lasted two hundred and forty years
But Rome’s possessions at most, it appears,
Would sit within a fifteen-mile limit.

L. Tarquinius Superbus, septimus atque ultimus regum, Volscos, quae gens ad Campaniam euntibus non longe ab urbe est, vicit, Gabios civitatem et Suessam Pometiam subegit, cum Tuscis pacem fecit et templum Jovis in Capitolio aedificavit. Postea Ardeam oppugnans, in octavo decimo miliario ab urbe Roma positam civitatem, imperium perdidit. Nam cum filius eius, et ipse Tarquinius iunior, nobilissimam feminam Lucretiam eandemque pudicissimam, Collatini uxorem, stuprasset eaque de iniuria marito et patri et amicis questa fuisset, in omnium conspectu se occidit. Propter quam causam Brutus, parens et ipse Tarquinii, populum concitavit et Tarquinio ademit imperium. Mox exercitus quoque eum, qui civitatem Ardeam cum ipso rege oppugnabat, reliquit; veniensque ad urbem rex portis clausis exclusus est, cumque imperasset annos quattuor et viginti cum uxore et liberis suis fugit. Ita Romae regnatum est per septem reges annis ducentis quadraginta tribus, cum adhuc Roma, ubi plurimum, vix usque ad quintum decimum miliarium possideret.

Chapter 9

From then on instead of a king two
Consuls, with the same powers and weight,
Were to govern, in concert, the state.
Either had the authority to undo
The latent tricks of a badly inclined mate.
Their term of office, devised by decree
To keep under check the insolence
Due to power’s continuous presence,
Never could longer than a full year be,
As it was figured out that such a short bout
Would show them how soon they were to lose their clout
And become common citizens again.
The first year after the kings’ reign
The two Consuls in charge were well talked about:
That Lucius Junius Brutus, who had taken on
Tarquinius Superbus (the Proud) in person,
And Tarquinius Collatinus, married to
Lucrece, whose consular dignity
Was soon removed as in the City
The very name Tarquinius was a taboo.
Thus after collecting all his wealth
He left the City almost by stealth,
And Lucius Valerius Publicola took
Over. But King Tarquinius, the ousted crook,
Mustered an army to overwhelm
The Romans and recover his realm.

Hinc consules coepere, pro uno rege duo, hac causa creati, ut, si unus malus esse voluisset, alter eum, habens potestatem similem, coerceret. Et placuit, ne imperium longius quam annuum haberent, ne per diuturnitatem potestatis insolentiores redderentur, sed civiles semper essent, qui se post annum scirent futuros esse privatos. Fuerunt igitur anno primo ab expulsis regibus consules L. Iunius Brutus, qui maxime egerat, ut Tarquinius pelleretur, et Tarquinius Collatinus, maritus Lucretiae. Sed Tarquinio Collatino statim sublata est dignitas. Placuerat enim, ne quisquam in urbe remaneret, qui Tarquinius vocaretur. Ergo accepto omni patrimonio suo ex urbe migravit, et loco ipsius factus est L. Valerius Publicola consul. Commovit tamen bellum urbi Romae rex Tarquinius, qui fuerat expulsus, et collectis multis gentibus, ut in regnum posset restitui, dimicavit.

Chapter 10

In the first battle Consul Brutus and
Arruns, Tarquin the Proud’s son, managed to
Kill each other but it was the Romans who
Won the engagement. A year-long lament
Rose from the Roman matrons in devotion
To Brutus, their Father Figure and Champion
Of their modesty. Therefore Valerius
Publicola as colleague took on
Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus,
Matron Lucrece’s father after whose
Death of disease he then would choose
Again as colleague Horatius Pulvillus.
Therefore five were the Consuls in the first year
As Tarquinius Collatinus steered clear
Of Rome because of his name, as Brutus
Died in combat, as Spurius Lucretius
Was killed by a disease rapid and severe.

In prima pugna Brutus consul et Arruns, Tarquinii filius, in vicem se occiderunt, Romani tamen ex ea pugna victores recesserunt. Brutum matronae Romanae, defensorem pudicitiae suae, quasi communem patrem per annum luxerunt. Valerius Publicola Sp. Lucretium Tricipitinum collegam sibi fecit, Lucretiae patrem, quo morbo mortuo iterum Horatium Pulvillum collegam sibi sumpsit. Ita primus annus quinque consules habuit, cum Tarquinius Collatinus propter nomen urbe cessisset, Brutus in proelio perisset, Sp. Lucretius morbo mortuus esset.

Chapter 11

In the second year Tarquin, again
Allied to Etruscan King Porsenna, struck
The Romans to repossess his reign.
He almost took Rome but ran out of luck.
Also, three years after his ousting
He could not get back his throne as King
Porsenna, having signed a peace treaty
With the Romans, didn’t lend him his army.
So he went to Tusculum a town lying
Near Rome where for fourteen years, we are told,
He lived retired with his wife and grew old.
Four years after Tarquin the Proud’s expulsion
A Sabines’ military intervention
Was annihilated by the Romans’ might
And celebrated with a triumphal rite.
In the fifth year, that Lucius Valerius
Four times Consul and colleague of Brutus
Died a natural death; his means so small
That his interment was paid for by all
The populace. Like Brutus he was so dear
To the matrons they bewailed him for a year.

Secundo quoque anno iterum Tarquinius ut reciperetur in regnum bellum Romanis intulit, auxilium ei ferente Porsenna, Tusciae rege, et Romam paene cepit. Verum tum quoque victus est. Tertio anno post reges exactos Tarquinius, cum suscipi non posset in regnum neque ei Porsenna, qui pacem cum Romanis fecerat, praestaret auxilium, Tusculum se contulit, quae civitas non longe ab urbe est, atque ibi per quattuordecim annos privatus cum uxore consenuit. Quarto anno post reges exactos, cum Sabini Romanis bellum intulissent, victi sunt et de his triumphatum est. Quinto anno L. Valerius ille, Bruti collega et quater consul, fataliter mortuus est, adeo pauper, ut, collatis a populo nummis, sumptum habuerit sepulturae. Quem matronae sicuti Brutum annum luxerunt.

Chapter 12

Nine years after the kings’ expulsion,
As Tarquin the Proud son-in-law had raised
A huge army to seek satisfaction
For the affront to his father-in-law,
Another official rank was devised
And called Dictatorship which really bore
More clout than a Consulship. In the same
Year the title of Master of the Cavalry
Was established, strictly within the frame-
Work of the Dictator’s own authority;
And nothing’s closer to this Supremacy
Of the Empire than the old Autocracy
Now the symbol of Your Tranquillity,
Above all as Augustus Octavian too,
To whom we shall later recourse,
And before him Caesar, ruled through
The Dictatorship’s name and force.
The first Dictator was Titus Larcius
And with him, in Rome, Spurius Cassius
Was the First Master of the Horse.

Nono anno post reges exactos, cum gener Tarquini ad iniuriam soceri vindicandam ingentem collegisset exercitum, nova Romae dignitas est creata, quae dictatura appellatur, maior quam consulatus. Eodem anno etiam magister equitum factus est, qui dictatori obsequeretur. Neque quicquam similius potest dici quam dictatura antiqua huic imperii potestati, quam nunc tranquillitas vestra habet, maxime cum Augustus quoque Octavianus, de quo postea dicemus, et ante eum C. Caesar sub dictaturae nomine atque honore regnaverint. Dictator autem Romae primus fuit T. Larcius, magister equitum primus Sp. Cassius.

Chapter 13

Full Sixteen years after the kings’ expulsion
The Roman people opposed with harshness
The Consuls’ and Senate’s heavy oppression.
They created the Plebeian Tribunes’ office
To have their judges and defenders, and thus
Ward off the Consuls’ and Senate’s discretion.

Sexto decimo anno post reges exactos seditionem populus Romae fecit, tamquam a senatu atque consulibus premeretur. Tum et ipse sibi tribunos plebis quasi proprios iudices et defensores creavit, per quos contra senatum et consules tutus esse posset.

Chapter 14

The following year the Volsci again
Set out on a military campaign.
They were defeated in the battlefield so
Had to give up the fine town of Coriolo.

Sequenti anno Volsci contra Romanos bellum reparaverunt, et victi acie etiam Coriolos civitatem, quam habebant optimam, perdiderunt.

Chapter 15

Eighteen years after the Kings’ expulsion
Quintus Marcius the Roman leader who
Had taken Coriolo was expelled too.
He was quite incensed and in revulsion
Sought the Volsci’s military assistance
Against the Romans whom he beat more than once.
Just Five miles from Rome, his troops ready to swarm
Out to take his native city by storm,
Having rejected the legates’ peace dove,
He withdrew his battalions abruptly
Due to the intercessions and tears of
Veturia and Volumnia respectively
His mother and wife, down from the City.
He was the second, after Tarquin, who planned
An armed attack against his Fatherland.

Octavo decimo anno postquam reges eiecti erant expulsus ex urbe Q. Marcius, dux Romanus, qui Coriolos ceperat, Volscorum civitatem, ad ipsos Volscos contendit iratus et auxilia contra Romanos accepit. Romanos saepe vicit, usque ad quintum miliarium urbis accessit, oppugnaturus etiam patriam suam, legatis qui pacem petebant, repudiatis, nisi ad eum mater Veturia et uxor Volumnia ex urbe venissent, quarum fletu et deprecatione superatus removit exercitum. Atque hic secundus post Tarquinium fuit, qui dux contra patriam suam esset.

Chapter 16

Gaius Fabius and Lucius Virginius
Being the Consuls, three hundred noblemen,
Members of the family of Fabius,
Went to war all by themselves versus
The inhabitants of Veii and then
Promised the people and the Senate too
In future all armed conflicts would be through.
So all those noblemen set out, each well
Worthy of a signal military rank;
And alas every single one of them fell
In action. The one who was spared had to thank
His age still unripe and in no way
Suitable for the risks of the fray.
So a census was taken in Rome at once:
Well, one hundred and seventeen
Thousand three hundred and nineteen
Were the City’s residing inhabitants.

C. Fabio et L. Virginio consulibus trecenti nobiles homines, qui ex Fabia familia erant, contra Veientes bellum soli susceperunt, promittentes senatui et populo per se omne certamen implendum. Itaque profecti, omnes nobiles et qui singuli magnorum exercituum duces esse deberent, in proelio conciderunt. Unus omnino superfuit ex tanta familia, qui propter aetatem puerilem duci non potuerat ad pugnam. Post haec census in urbe habitus est et inventa sunt civium capita CXVII milia CCCXIX.

Chapter 17

While a Roman army’s fate was in doubt,
The very next year, in a siege about
Twelve miles from the City, on Mount Algidus,
A dictator was needed and somehow
They found Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus,
Owner of four acres, busy at the plough.
He donned the toga after wiping off his sweat
Then freed the army trouncing the foes in combat.

Sequenti anno cum in Algido monte ab urbe duodecimo ferme miliario Romanus obsideretur exercitus, L. Quintius Cincinnatus dictator est factus, qui agrum quattuor iugerum possidens manibus suis colebat. Is cum in opere et arans esset inventus, sudore deterso togam praetextam accepit et caesis hostibus liberavit exercitum.

Chapter 18

In the year three hundred and two
Since the founding of the City
The Consular rule ceased: in lieu
Of two all the authority
Was deputed to ten Consuls who
Were called Decemviri, and their
Conduct during the first year was fair.
Then in the second term Consul Appius Claudius
Wanted to ruin the virgin child of a Virginius
Who had honourably fought on Mount Algidus
Against the Latins. He let the girl escape,
By immolating her, the Decemvir’s rape.
Then he went back to his troops to instigate
Them to revolt. Appius Claudius and his mate
Withdrew from power and were sentenced too.

Anno trecentesimo et altero ab urbe condita imperium consulare cessavit et pro duobus consulibus decem facti sunt, qui summam potestatem haberent, decemviri nominati. Sed cum primo anno bene egissent, secundo unus ex his, Ap. Claudius, Virginii cuiusdam, qui honestis iam stipendiis contra Latinos in monte Algido militarat, filiam virginem corrumpere voluit; quam pater occidit, ne stuprum a decemviro sustineret, et regressus ad milites movit tumultum. Sublata est decemviris potestas ipsique damnati sunt.

Chapter 19

In the year three hundred and fifteen
Since the foundation of the City
All the inhabitants of Fidene
Rose against the Romans’ supremacy.
They were helped by the Veientans and
Their King Tolumnius. Close at hand
To the City are the two towns, six miles
Fidene and Veii only eighteen.
The Volsci teamed up with them and their wiles.
But Dictator Mamercus Aemilius
And Master of the Horse Lucius Quinctius
Cincinnatus beat them. The king was uncrowned
Fidene was taken and razed to the ground.

Anno trecentesimo et quinto decimo ab urbe condita Fidenates contra Romanos rebellaverunt. Auxilium his praestabant Veientes et rex Veientium Tolumnius. Quae ambae civitates tam vicinae urbi sunt, ut Fidenae sexto, Vei octavo decimo miliario absint. Coniunxerunt se his et Volsci. Sed Mam. Aemilio dictatore et L. Quintio Cincinnato magistro equitum victi etiam regem perdiderunt. Fidenae captae et excisae.

Chapter 20

Twenty years later to quell a mutiny
Of the Veientans a dictator was dispatched:
Furius Camillus who managed to subdue
Them and then besieged and took their city
For oldness and riches in Italy unmatched.
After that he occupied Faliscus too,
A noble town indeed. A sense of envy
Was fomented against the Dictator due
To the biased division of the booty,
Which caused his expulsion from the city.
Soon after that there arrived a Gallic band
Of Senones who beat the Romans by
The Allia river, eleven miles from Rome, and
Followed them and managed to occupy
The City except a Capitol’s foothold
Which was well defended, but the siege
Was long and the starving Romans cajoled
The Gauls out of it in exchange for gold;
But Exiled Camillus, guarding his prestige
In a small town nearby, pounced on the Gauls
Whom he severely trounced out of the walls,
And along with the ransom gold could seize
Back all the lost military trophies.
A second Romulus the City calls
Camillus whose third triumph in a row
Ranks him with the founder of long ago.

Post viginti deinde annos Veientani rebellaverunt. Dictator contra ipsos missus est Furius Camillus, qui primum eos vicit acie, mox etiam civitatem diu obsidens cepit, antiquissimam Italiaeque ditissimam. Post eam cepit et Faliscos, non minus nobilem civitatem. Sed commota est ei invidia, quasi praedam male divisisset, damnatusque ob eam causam et expulsus civitate. Statim Galli Senones ad urbem venerunt et victos Romanos undecimo miliario a Roma apud flumen Alliam secuti etiam urbem occupaverunt. Neque defendi quicquam nisi Capitolium potuit; quod cum diu obsedissent et iam Romani fame laborarent, accepto auro ne Capitolium obsiderent, recesserunt. Sed a Camillo, qui in vicina civitate exulabat, Gallis superventum est gravissimeque victi sunt. Postea tamen etiam secutus eos Camillus ita cecidit, ut et aurum, quod his datum fuerat, et omnia, quae ceperant, militaria signa revocaret. Ita tertio triumphans urbem ingressus est et appellatus secundus Romulus, quasi et ipse patriae conditor.

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