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Flavius Eutropius “Summary of Roman History”, Book 5

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Flavius Eutropius

”Summary of Roman History”, Book 5
To Emperor Valens, Gothicus, Maximus, Perpetual Augustus, from the Imperial Secretary Flavius Eutropius

English translation by Lamberto Bozzi (2019)

Flavius Eutropius


Chapter 1

While in Numidia hostilities were going
On against Jugurtha, Consul Marcus
Manlius and his colleague Consul Quintus
Caepio got, near the Rhodanus, a licking
And were cut to pieces at the hands
Of some Germanic and Gallic bands:
The Teutones and also the Cimbri,
The Ambrones and the Tigurini.
The military camp and most of the army
Were annihilated, too,
And Rome was in a big blue
Funk - the Gauls being again in sight of the City -
almost as big as the Hannibal scare in the days
Of the Punic war. Then after the victory
Against Jugurtha, Marius was made
Roman Consul for the second time, and always
To fight the Teutones and the Cimbri. For
A third and fourth time, to him conveyed
Was the Consulship because the Cimbrian war
Was dragging out. He was given Quintus
Lutatus Catulus as a colleague during
The fourth Consulship. So the fighting
With the Cimbri was resumed. Marius
Killed two hundred thousand enemy
Soldiers and apprehended eighty
Thousand with their Chief Teudobodus.
Thus, although absent, he was made to climb
Up to the Consulship for the fifth time.

Dum bellum in Numidia contra Iugurtham geritur, Romani consules M. Manlius et Q. Caepio a Cimbris et Teutonis et Tugurinis et Ambronibus, quae erant Germanorum et Gallorum gentes, victi sunt iuxta flumen Rhodanum et ingenti internicione; etiam castra sua et magnam partem exercitus perdiderunt. Timor Romae grandis fuit, quantus vix Hannibalis tempore Punicis bellis, ne iterum Galli Romam venirent. Ergo Marius post victoriam Iugurthinam secundo consul est factus bellumque ei contra Cimbros et Teutones decretum est. Tertio quoque ei et quarto delatus est consulatus, quia bellum Cimbricum protrahebatur. Sed in quarto consulatu collegam habuit Q. Lutatium Catulum. Cum Cimbris itaque conflixit et duobus proeliis CC milia hostium cecidit, LXXX milia cepit et ducem eorum Teutobodum, propter quod meritum absens quinto consul est factus.

Chapter 2

The Cimbri and the Teutones, a slew
Of them, in the meantime debouched into
Italy. Again Caius Marius and Quintus
Catulus fought them, but it was Catulus
Who had more success. For in the battle they
Fought together, either on that very terrain
Or among all those who tried to get away,
One hundred and forty thousand men were slain
And sixty thousand were apprehended on the side.
Three hundred Roman soldiers altogether died
Between the two armies. Thirty-three Cimbrian standards
Were taken, two by the army of Marius
Thirty-one by the army of Catulus.
To both generals was a triumph allowed, afterwards.

Interea Cimbri et Teutones, quorum copia adhuc infinita erat, ad Italiam transierunt. Iterum a C. Mario et Q. Catulo contra eos dimicatum est, sed a Catuli parte felicius. Nam proelio, quod simul ambo gesserunt, CXL milia aut in pugna aut in fuga caesa sunt, LX milia capta. Romani milites ex utroque exercitu trecenti perierunt. Tria et triginta Cimbris signa sublata sunt; ex his exercitus Marii duo reportavit, Catuli exercitus XXXI. Is belli finis fuit; triumphus utrique decretus est.

Chapter 3

In the Consulship of Sextus Julius
Caesar and Lucius Marcius Philippus,
In the year six hundred and fifty-nine since
The City’s foundation, when almost no hints
Of war were to be heard from other places,
A dire war was waged by the combined forces
Of the Piceni, the Peligni,
And the Marsi, too, in Italy.
They had for many years quite obediently
Stuck to the Roman People, then started to
Ask for the liberty reasonably due
To them. This war was extremely pernicious.
In it were killed Consul Publius Rutilius,
Young nobleman Caepio, and Porcius Cato too,
Another consul. Titus Vettius, Hierius
Asinius, Titus Herennius and Aulus
Cluentius, however, were the generals who
Fought for the Piceni and the Marsi versus
The Romans, skilfully led by Caius Marius,
six times Consul, Gnaeus Pompeus and Lucius
Cornelius Sylla in particular, who
Among other excellent feats managed to
Vanquish the enemy general Cluentius
And many troops. So that the fray was won
With all his casualties numbering just one.
This war dragged on for four years with great ruination;
In the fifth year it ended thanks to the action
Of Consul Lucius Cornelius Sylla, ex Praetor, who
In that same war accomplished many deeds of derring-do.

Sex. Iulio Caesare et L. Marcio Philippo consulibus, sexcentesimo quinquagesimo nono anno ab urbe condita, cum prope alia omnia bella cessarent, in Italia gravissimum bellum Picentes, Marsi Pelignique moverunt, qui, cum annis numerosis iam populo Romano obedirent, tum libertatem sibi aequam adserere coeperunt. Perniciosum admodum hoc bellum fuit. P. Rutilius consul in eo occisus est, Caepio, nobilis iuvenis, Porcius Cato, alius consul. Duces autem adversus Romanos Picentibus et Marsis fuerunt T. Vettius, Hierius Asinius, T. Herennius, A. Cluentius. A Romanis bene contra eos pugnatum est a C. Mario, qui sexies consul fuerat, et a Cn. Pompeio, maxime tamen a L. Cornelio Sulla, qui inter alia egregia ita Cluentium, hostium ducem, cum magnis copiis fudit, ut ex suis unum amitteret. Quadriennio cum gravi tamen calamitate hoc bellum tractum est. Quinto demum anno finem accepit per L. Cornelium Sullam consulem, cum antea in eodem bello ipse multa strenue, sed praetor, egisset.

Chapter 4

In the year six hundred and sixty-two since
The founding of the City, the first instance
Of civil war occurred in Rome and then, in the same
Year, also in the Mithridatic territory.
Caius Marius, six times Consul, was the one to blame.
For, when Consul Sylla was set in military
Motion against Mithridates, who occupied Asia
And Achaia, keeping his whole army in Campania
A little while to mop up the dregs of civil unrest,
Marius put forward a personal plan for
His assignment to the Mithridatic war.
To the City furious Sylla with his army progressed.
Once there he fought Marius and Sulpicius,
Was the first to enter Rome in arms, killed
Sulpicius and then sent away Marius.
For the coming year, the consuls he willed
Were Gnaeus Octavius and Cornelius Cinna.
After that he was on his way to Asia.

Anno urbis conditae sexcentesimo sexagesimo secundo primum Romae bellum civile commotum est, eodem anno etiam Mithridaticum. Causam bello civili C. Marius sexiens consul dedit. Nam cum Sulla consul contra Mithridatem gesturus bellum, qui Asiam et Achaiam occupaverat, mitteretur, isque exercitum in Campania paulisper teneret, ut belli socialis, de quo diximus, quod intra Italiam gestum fuerat, reliquiae tollerentur, Marius adfectavit, ut ipse ad bellum Mithridaticum mitteretur. Qua re Sulla commotus cum exercitu ad urbem venit. Illic contra Marium et Sulpicium dimicavit. Primus urbem Romam armatus ingressus est, Sulpicium interfecit, Marium fugavit, atque ita ordinatis consulibus in futurum annum Cn. Octavio et L. Cornelio Cinna ad Asiam profectus est.

Chapter 5

For Mithridates, the King of Pontus and
Armenia Minor who also held the land
Along the perimeter of the Pontic sea
And the Bosphorus, first tried to free
Bithynia from Nicomedes, a friend
Of the Roman People. So he penned
A message to the Senate to explain
He was about to start a campaign
Against one who had wronged him no end.
The Senate countered that, in so doing,
He’d place the Romans on a war footing
Against himself. So Having flown into a rage he
Immediately occupied all Cappadocia
Driving away Ariobarzanes, the King
And friend of the Roman People. Then he
Invaded Bithynia and Paphlagonia
Making Pylaemenes and Nicomedes flee
(both kings were the Roman People’s friends).
Then he went to Ephesus and to all Asia’s ends
Writing that wherever Roman Citizens were found
They were to be put, on the same day, under the ground.

Mithridates enim, qui Ponti rex erat atque Armeniam minorem et totum Ponticum mare in circuitu cum Bosphoro tenebat, primum Nicomeden, amicum populi Romani, Bithynia voluit expellere senatuique mandavit bellum se ei propter iniurias, quas passus fuerat, inlaturum. A senatu responsum Mithridati est, si id faceret, quod bellum a Romanis et ipse pateretur. Quare iratus Cappadociam statim occupavit et ex ea Ariobarzanen, regem et amicum populi Romani, fugavit. Mox etiam Bithyniam invasit et Paphlagoniam pulsis ex ea regibus, amicis populi Romani, Pylaemene et Nicomede. Inde Ephesum contendit et per omnem Asiam litteras misit, ut ubicumque inventi essent cives Romani, uno die occiderentur.

Chapter 6

And meanwhile in Achaia also Athens City
Was delivered to Mithridates by
Ariston, one from the Athenian citizenry.
Mithridates’ own general then,
Called Archelaus, was sent to occupy,
With one hundred thousand mounted men
And foot soldiers, all that was left of Greece.
Sylla besieged Archelaus a piece
From Athens, near Piraeus, and Athens itself occupied,
Then attacked Archelaus and beat him so that
but ten thousand of his soldiers survived
Out of one hundred and twenty thousand; whereat
Only thirteen of Sylla’s men were slain.
Mithridates was told of the campaign
And sent against Archelaus a fighting team
Of seventy thousand picked soldiers, the cream
Of Asia. Those were the troops Sylla fought again.
Fifteen thousand were the enemy soldiers slain
In the first battle where Diogenes, Archelaus’ heir,
Died too. In the second fight Mithridates’ army
Was exterminated utterly and completely.
Archelaus himself spent three days in a swamp bare
Naked. Mithridates after hearing this news
Ordered to ask Sylla for peace interviews.

Interea etiam Athenae, civitas Achaiae, ab Aristone Atheniensi Mithridati tradita est. Miserat eum iam ad Achaiam Mithridates Archelaum, ducem suum, cum centum et viginti milibus equitum ac peditum, per quem etiam reliqua Graecia occupata est. Sulla Archelaum apud Piraeum, non longe ab Athenis, obsedit, ipsas Athenas cepit. Postea commisso proelio contra Archelaum ita eum vicit, ut ex CXX milibus vix decem Archelao superessent, ex Sullae exercitu XIII tantum homines interficerentur. Hac pugna Mithridates cognita septuaginta milia lectissima ex Asia Archelao misit, contra quem iterum Sulla commisit. Primo proelio quindecim milia hostium interfecta sunt et filius Archelai Diogenes; secundo omnes Mithridatis copiae extinctae sunt, Archelaus ipse triduo nudus in paludibus latuit. Hac re audita Mithridates iussit cum Sulla de pace agi.

Chapter 7

Meanwhile, in those days, Sylla waged war on
The Dardanians, the Scordisci, the Dalmatians
And the Moedians. In battle part of them died;
To the others he conceded his full protection.
But on hearing of King Mithridates’ aspiration
For peace from his ambassadors he replied
It was out of the question if the King
Would not relinquish the lands he had occupied
And return to his kingdom. But later they
Both sat down to talk and actually signed
For peace. The civil war being near, in no way
Could Sylla suffer an attack from behind.
For while in Achaia and in Asia
Sylla beat Mithridates, runaway
Marius, with Consul Cornelius Cinna,
Renewed the war in Italy, entered Rome and
Killed the noblest Senators, the noblest men
Among the ex Consuls, and had lots of them banned.
They pulled down Sylla’s own house and then
Drove his consort and children into flight.
To Greece went the rest of the Senate
Asking Sylla to ease his country’s plight.
Once in Italy, caught in the civil war, Sylla
Was thoroughly determined to fight it
Out against Consuls Norbanus and Scipio.
He crossed swords with Norbanus not far from Capua
Slaying six thousand, catching six thousand, though
Losing one hundred and twenty-four men. He
Anon turned against Scipio whose whole army
Capitulated before the engagement
And was bloodlessly marked for imprisonment.

Interim eo tempore Sulla etiam Dardanos, Scordiscos, Dalmatas et Maedos partim vicit, alios in fidem accepit. Sed cum legati a rege Mithridate, qui pacem petebant, venissent, non aliter se daturum Sulla esse respondit, nisi rex relictis his, quae occupaverat, ad regnum suum redisset. Postea tamen ad colloquium ambo venerunt. Pax inter eos ordinata est, ut Sulla ad bellum civile festinans a tergo periculum non haberet. Nam dum Sulla in Achaia atque Asia Mithridatem vincit, Marius, qui fugatus erat, et Cornelius Cinna, unus ex consulibus, bellum in Italia reparaverunt et ingressi urbem Romam nobilissimos e senatu et consulares viros interfecerunt, multos proscripserunt, ipsius Sullae domo eversa filios et uxorem ad fugam conpulerunt. Universus reliquus senatus ex urbe fugiens ad Sullam in Graeciam venit, orans, ut patriae subveniret. Ille in Italiam traiecit, bellum civile gesturus adversus Norbanum et Scipionem consules. Et primo proelio contra Norbanum dimicavit non longe a Capua. Tum sex milia eius cecidit, sex milia cepit, CXXIV suos amisit. Inde etiam ad Scipionem se convertit et ante proelium totum eius exercitum sine sanguine in deditionem accepit.

Chapter 8

But as in Rome the Consuls had been
Changed by then, and Marius, Marius’ own son though,
Had been made consul with Papirius Carbo.
Sylla attacked Marius’ younger kin,
and so exterminated fifteen
thousand soldiers losing only four
hundred of his own. He then moved inside Rome’s walls:
Marius, Marius’ son, was chased, besieged in-
Side the city of Praeneste before
Being forced to take his own life. Again violent brawls
Took place against Lamponius and Carinas, who
Were both on Marius’ side, near the Collina Gate. In the battle against Sylla, it’s said, there were a slew
Of enemies, seventy thousand that is. Their fate
Was confinement for twelve thousand; the others were slain
During the battle and the retreat, and in the camp, too,
by their vanquishers’ insatiable rage. And again
Carbo, the other Consul, fled from Rimini
And was killed, when he was as far as Sicily,
By Gnaeus Pompeus, an adolescent to none
Second, whom Sylla himself had designed
Army chief at the age of twenty-one,
and also liked to have close behind.

Sed, cum Romae mutati consules essent, Marius, Marii filius, ac Papirius Carbo consulatum accepissent, Sulla contra Marium iuniorem dimicavit et XV milibus eius occisis CCCC de suis perdidit. Mox etiam urbem ingressus est. Marium, Marii filium, Praeneste persecutus obsedit et ad mortem conpulit. Rursus pugnam gravissimam habuit contra Lamponium et Carinatem, duces partis Marianae, ad portam Collinam. LXX milia hostium in eo proelio contra Sullam fuisse dicuntur. XII milia se Sullae dediderunt, ceteri in acie, in castris, in fuga insatiabili ira victorum consumpti sunt. Cn. quoque Carbo, consul alter, ab Arimino ad Siciliam fugit et ibi per Cn. Pompeium interfectus est, quem adulescentem Sulla atque annos unum et viginti natum cognita eius industria exercitibus praefecerat, ut secundus a Sulla haberetur.

Chapter 9

After killing Carbo, again Pompeus
Seized Sicily. He then went to Africa
Where he killed Marius’ aide Domitius
And Hiardas too, King of Mauritania.
And thereafter Sylla could set in motion
A colossal triumphal celebration.
Gnaeus Pompeus, too, triumphed over Africa
A concession so far unheard-of for
A Roman citizen aged twenty-four.
This was the most devastating
End of the Italian or Social war
And of the Civil war both lasting
Ten long years and annihilating
More than one hundred and fifty thousand men,
Twenty-four ex Consuls and also seven
Ex Praetors, sixty former Aediles and
Two hundred Senators of the Fatherland.

Occiso ergo Carbone Siciliam Pompeius recepit. Transgressus inde ad Africam, Domitium, Marianae partis ducem, et Hiardam, regem Mauritaniae, qui Domitio auxilium ferebat, occidit. Post haec Sulla de Mithridate ingenti gloria triumphavit. Cn. etiam Pompeius, quod nulli Romanorum tributum erat, quartum et vicesimum annum agens de Africa triumphavit. Hunc finem habuerunt duo bella funestissima, Italicum, quod et sociale dictum est, et civile, quae ambo tracta sunt per annos decem. Consumpserunt autem ultra CL milia hominum, viros consulares XXIV, praetorios VII, aedilicios LX, senatores fere CC.

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