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Flavius Eutropius “Summary of Roman History”, Book 8

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Flavius Eutropius

”Summary of Roman History”, Book 8
To Emperor Valens, Gothicus, Maximus, Perpetual Augustus, from the Imperial Secretary Flavius Eutropius

English translation by Lamberto Bozzi (2019)

Flavius Eutropius

EVTROPII BREVIARIVM LIBER OCTAVVS
DOMINO VALENTI GOTHICO MAXIMO PERPETUO AUGUSTO
EUTROPIUS V. C. MAGISTER MEMORIAE.

Chapter 1

In the year eight hundred and fifty
From the building of the City,
During the Consulship of Vetus and
Valens the State, having been entrusted to
Good Emperors, became again a land
Of great opulence. It was Nerva who
Succeeded Domitian, a deadly tyrant indeed.
Nerva, a minor nobleman, was strenuous
And moderate in private life. Petronius
Secundus, the Praetorian Prefect, lobbied
For him, then a very old man. Parthenius,
Who was Domitian’s assassinator,
Also helped Nerva become Emperor:
A most just and noble Emperor was he.
By divine foresight, he provided for
The State by adopting Trajan. At seventy-
Two, after a tenure of a year, four
Months and eight days, he died. On leaving his reign
He was made, among the Gods, of a seat deign.

Anno octingentesimo et quinquagesimo ab urbe condita, Vetere et Valente consulibus res publica ad prosperrimum statum rediit bonis principibus ingenti felicitate commissa. Domitiano enim exitiabili tyranno, Nerva successit, vir in privata vita moderatus et strenuus, nobilitatis mediae. Qui senex admodum operam dante Petronio Secundo, praefecto praetorio, item Parthenio interfectore Domitiani, imperator est factus; aequissimum se et civilissimum praebuit. Rei publicae divina provisione consuluit Traianum adoptando. Mortuus est Romae post annum et quattuor menses imperii sui ac dies octo, aetatis septuagesimo et altero anno, atque inter Divos relatus est.

Chapter 2

His successor was Ulpius Crinitus Traianus
Born to a family more ancient than illustrious
In Italica, in Spain. For his father had been
The first to be appointed Consul. Whereas he
Was made Emperor near Agrippina, a city
In Gaul. He ran the State affairs so well as to win
The first place among all princes. Unusually
Strong and affable towards the citizenry
Was he. Indeed he set out to expand far and wide
The boundaries of the Roman Empire that
After Augustus were never nobly amplified
And had only witnessed defensive combat.
He rebuilt the cities across the Rhine in Germany.
Having vanquished Decebalus he subdued Dacia and
Created a province across the Danube in the land
Where the Thaiphali, the Victoali and the Theruingi
Live now. That province was one of those huge places
Whose outer borders ran for a million paces.

Successit ei Ulpius Crinitus Traianus, natus Italicae in Hispania, familia antiqua magis quam clara. Nam pater eius primum consul fuit. Imperator autem apud Agrippinam in Galliis factus est. Rem publicam ita administravit, ut omnibus principibus merito praeferatur, inusitatae civilitatis et fortitudinis. Romani imperii, quod post Augustum defensum magis fuerat quam nobiliter ampliatum, fines longe lateque diffudit. Urbes trans Rhenum in Germania reparavit. Daciam Decibalo victo subegit, provincia trans Danubium facta in his agris, quos nunc Taifali, Victoali et Tervingi habent. Ea provincia decies centena milia passuum in circuitu tenuit.

Chapter 3

He reconquered Armenia, which was occupied
By the Parthians, and killed Parthamasires who
Controlled it. To the Albani he gave a King. To
All these Sovereigns he offered his Bona Fide
Protection: the Kings of the Sauromatians
Of the Bosporani, of the Arabians
Of the Osdroeni, along with the Colchians.
He seized the territories of the Cardueni,
Of the Marcomedi and then Anthemusia,
A big district of Persia, of Seleucia,
Ctesiphon, Babylon. He beat the Messeni
And took their regions. He went as far as India
And the Red Sea. There, three provinces he made:
Armenia, Assyria and Mesopotamia,
With the populations next to Madena.
Arabia he managed to downgrade
To the status of a province and
Moreover stationed a fleet to raid
The length of India’s Red Sea coastland.

Armeniam, quam occupaverant Parthi recepit, Parthomasiri occiso, qui eam tenebat. Albanis regem dedit. Hiberorum regem et Sauromatarum et Bosphoranorum et Arabum et Osdroenorum et Colchorum in fidem accepit. Carduenos, Marcomedos occupavit et Anthemusium, magnam Persidis regionem, Seleuciam, Ctesiphontem, Babylonem; Messenios vicit ac tenuit. Usque ad Indiae fines et mare Rubrum accessit atque ibi tres provincias fecit, Armeniam, Assyriam, Mesopotamiam, cum his gentibus, quae Madenam attingunt. Arabiam postea in provinciae formam redegit. In mari Rubro classem instituit, ut per eam Indiae fines vastaret.

Chapter 4

His tact and moderation, for all that,
Surpassed his military glory.
In Rome and in the Provinces he sat
On a firm foot of equality
With people from all walks of life, be they
On a sick bed or in the time of their gay
Festivities. He was at their banquets with no
Marks of distinction, and often sat also
In their vehicles. He never put in harm’s way
Any Senators, never did an injustice to
Increase the treasury. He was liberal to all and
Enriched everybody publicly and privately.
He lavished with honours even the people who
Were slight acquaintances. He also had buildings planned
World-wide and granted privileges to many
Cities. He did nothing without calm and serenity,
So that in his age only one Senator was found
Guilty and what’s more by the Senate, unbeknownst to
Trajan. So, like a God, he was hallowed and crowned,
For all the world to see, both alive and dead too.

Gloriam tamen militarem civilitate et moderatione superavit, Romae et per provincias aequalem se omnibus exhibens, amicos salutandi causa frequentans vel aegrotantes vel cum festos dies habuissent, convivia cum isdem indiscreta vicissim habens, saepe in vehiculis eorum sedens, nullum senatorum laedens, nihil iniustum ad augendum fiscum agens, liberalis in cunctos, publice privatimque ditans omnes et honoribus augens, quos vel mediocri familiaritate cognovisset, per orbem terrarum aedificans multa, inmunitates civitatibus tribuens, nihil non tranquillum et placidum agens, adeo ut omni eius aetate unus senator damnatus sit atque is tamen per senatum ignorante Traiano. Ob haec per orbem terrarum deo proximus nihil non venerationis meruit et vivus et mortuus.

Chapter 5

Among his other sayings worthy of fame
Here’s the answer to his friends’ words of blame
Because he was so easy to talk to:
“To the commoners, such an Emperor he
Was as he had wished an Emperor to be
When he had been a commoner too”.
After great moments, in war and peace, of glory
On his way back from the fields of Persia,
Not far from Seleucia in Isauria,
He was annihilated by dysentery.
When he died he was sixty-three years, nine
Months and 4 days old; therefore he had held power for
Nineteen years, six months and fifteen days as Emperor.
He was put in the hands of the Gods. He
Alone was buried inside the City;
His bones were collected in a gold urn
And placed in the Forum, which he in turn
Had built, under a column whose height is
One hundred and forty-four feet. The great deeds done
By this man live on, for to this day
The Senate really has no other way
To greet an Emperor but with this acclamation
Formula: “Happier than Augustus, better than
Trajan”; and so glorious was the reputation
Of his goodness as to give every single man,
Be he sycophantic or steeped in sincerity,
A magnificent exemplary opportunity.

Inter alia dicta hoc ipsius fertur egregium. Amicis enim culpantibus, quod nimium circa omnes communis esset, respondit talem se imperatorem esse privatis, quales esse sibi imperatores privatus optasset. Post ingentem igitur gloriam belli domique quaesitam e Perside rediens apud Seleuciam Isauriae profluvio ventris extinctus est. Obiit autem aetatis anno sexagesimo tertio, mense nono, die quarto, imperii nono decimo, mense sexto, die quinto decimo. Inter Divos relatus est solusque omnium intra urbem sepultus est. Ossa conlata in urnam auream in foro, quod aedificavit, sub columna posita sunt, cuius altitudo CXLIV pedes habet. Huius tantum memoriae delatum est, ut usque ad nostram aetatem non aliter in senatu principibus adclametur, nisi "Felicior Augusto, melior Traiano". Adeo in eo gloria bonitatis obtinuit, ut vel adsentantibus vel vere laudantibus occasionem magnificentissimi praestet exempli.

Chapter 6

At the death of Trajan, Haelius Hadrian
Was named Emperor, not by the will of Trajan
But through Plotina’s (Trajan’s wife) intervention.
For Trajan, when alive, had not wanted to
Adopt him although he was his cousin’s son.
He was born in Italica, in Spain too.
Being envious of Trajan’s glory he walked right out on
The three provinces Emperor Hadrian had won
Over and, besides, from Assyria
Mesopotamia and Armenia
Called back the armies and declared that the entire
Euphrates should be the border of the Empire.
His Dacian friends advised him against doing the same
Thing in Dacia in case many Roman citizens became
Embedded with the Barbarians, because Trajan,
After managing to subdue Dacia, transferred a slew
Of men from the Roman world and let them burgeon
In the cities and in the countryside. Dacia indeed
Had by Decebalus’ continuous warring been emptied.

Defuncto Traiano Aelius Hadrianus creatus est princeps, sine aliqua quidem voluntate Traiani, sed operam dante Plotina, Traiani uxore; nam eum Traianus, quamquam consobrinae suae filium, vivus noluerat adoptare. Natus et ipse Italicae in Hispania. Qui Traiani gloriae invidens statim provincias tres reliquit, quas Traianus addiderat, et de Assyria, Mesopotamia, Armenia revocavit exercitus ac finem imperii esse voluit Euphraten. Idem de Dacia facere conatum amici deterruerunt, ne multi cives Romani barbaris traderentur, propterea quia Traianus victa Dacia ex toto orbe Romano infinitas eo copias hominum transtulerat ad agros et urbes colendas. Dacia enim diuturno bello Decibali viris fuerat exhausta.

Chapter 7

Yet he kept the Empire in peace for the duration
Of his reign, only once engaging in combat through
A governor. He toured the Romanized milieu,
And was a great builder. Vast was his reputation
For glib eloquence in Latin and in Greek too.
He was not renowned for clemency though,
But in things fiscal and military
His conduct was always exemplary.
He died, at the age of sixty or so,
In Campania, in the twenty-first year, tenth month and
Nineteenth day of his reign. The Senate could not stand
Granting him divine honours; Titus
Aurelius Antoninus Fulvius,
The Emperor’s successor would then vehemently stress
That point, bending the averse Senators under duress.

Pacem tamen omni imperii sui tempore habuit, semel tantum per praesidem dimicavit. Orbem Romanum circumiit; multa aedificavit. Facundissimus Latino sermone, Graeco eruditissimus fuit. Non magnam clementiae gloriam habuit, diligentissimus tamen circa aerarium et militum disciplinam. Obiit in Campania maior sexagenario, imperii anno vicesimo primo, mense decimo, die vicesimo nono. Senatus ei tribuere noluit divinos honores, tamen cum successor ipsius T. Aurelius Antoninus Fulvius hoc vehementer exigeret, etsi universi senatores palam resisterent, tandem obtinuit.

Chapter 8

Then Hadrian was succeeded by Antoninus
Fulvius Boionius who was also known as Pius,
Of illustrious but not ancient lineage, a man
As similar to Numa Pompilius
As Trajan was indeed to Romulus.
Upright in his private life, and even
More so during his reign: he was never hard on
Anybody, benevolent to all, and won
A moderate military reputation. He was more
Interested in defending the provinces than
In enlarging their borders; he then looked for a corps
Of honest men for the State administration,
And heaped honours upon every single good man.
The wicked he detested, but without harshness.
To friendly Kings an object of veneration
No less than fear, to the point that countless
Barbarian nations, having laid down arms, brought
To him their disputes and quarrels accepting what
He decided about them. Great were his properties
Before the Empire but he diminished his fortune
By paying his soldiers and by big liberalities
To his friends, but he left a comfortably opportune
Treasury. For his clemency he was called Pius. He
Died near Lorium, in his villa, twelve miles from the City.
He was seventy-three, among the Gods deign
To abide after twenty-three years of reign.

Ergo Hadriano successit T. Antoninus Fulvius Boionius, idem etiam Pius nominatus, genere claro, sed non admodum vetere, vir insignis et qui merito Numae Pompilio conferatur, ita ut Romulo Traianus aequetur. Vixit ingenti honestate privatus, maiore in imperio, nulli acerbus, cunctis benignus, in re militari moderata gloria, defendere magis provincias quam amplificare studens, viros aequissimos ad administrandam rem publicam quaerens, bonis honorem habens, inprobos sine aliqua acerbitate detestans, regibus amicis venerabilis non minus quam terribilis, adeo ut barbarorum plurimae nationes depositis armis ad eum controversias suas litesque deferrent sententiaeque parerent. Hic ante imperium ditissimus opes quidem omnes suas stipendiis militum et circa amicos liberalitatibus minuit, verum aerarium opulentum reliquit. Pius propter clementiam dictus est. Obiit apud Lorium, villam suam, miliario ab urbe duodecimo, vitae anno septuagesimo tertio, imperii vicesimo tertio, atque inter Divos relatus est et merito consecratus.

Chapter 9

After him, there reigned Marcus Antoninus Verus
Without doubt from a noblest family:
His own father descended from Numa Pompilius;
From King Sollentines’ own family tree
came his mother along with Lucius Annius
Antoninus Verus. The people of the Roman State
For the first time had to adhere to
A pair of Augustuses, they who
Only had to obey one at a time up to that date.

Post hunc imperavit M. Antoninus Verus, haud dubie nobilissimus, quippe cum eius origo paterna a Numa Pompilio, materna a Solentino rege penderet, et cum eo L. Annius Antoninus Verus. Tumque primum Romana res publica duobus aequo iure imperium administrantibus paruit, cum usque ad eum singulos semper habuisset Augustos.

Chapter 10

They were connected by lineage and family
Ties. For Verus Annius Antoninus
Was married to Marcus Antoninus’
Daughter and, as for Antoninus Pius’ pedigree,
He was the son-in-law of Antoninus Pius
Through his wife Galeria Faustina the Younger,
His cousin. They made war to the Parthians who,
After the Victory of Trajan, as it were,
had rebelled. Verus Antoninus was sent there.
He performed many exceptional deeds through
His generals in Antiochia and Armenia.
He took the most noble City of Seleucia,
In Assyria, with full four hundred thousand men.
He gained a victory over the Parthians, then
Celebrated a triumph with a man who
Was his brother and father-in-law too.
He then died in the Venetia region on his
Way from the City of Concordia to
Altinum, on a chariot seat, by ‘apoplexis’,
As the Greeks call a sudden stroke, next to
His brother. By nature hard towards his fellow
Citizens, he never did anything cruel though,
Out of respect for his brother. And so again,
When he died in the eleventh year of his reign,
He was carried away to the Gods’ heaven also.

Hi et genere inter se coniuncti fuerunt et adfinitate. Nam Verus Annius Antoninus M. Antonini filiam in matrimonium habuit, M. autem Antoninus gener Antonini Pii fuit per uxorem Galeriam Faustinam iuniorem, consobrinam suam. Hi bellum contra Parthos gesserunt, qui post victoriam Traiani tum primum rebellaverant. Verus Antoninus ad id profectus est. Qui Antiochiae et circa Armeniam agens multa per duces suos et ingentia patravit. Seleuciam, Assyriae urbem nobilissimam, cum quadringentis milibus hominum cepit; Parthicum triumphum revexit. Cum fratre eodemque socero triumphavit. Obiit tamen in Venetia, cum a Concordia civitate Altinum proficisceretur et cum fratre in vehiculo sederet, subito sanguine ictus, casu morbi, quem Graeci apoplexin vocant. Vir ingenii parum civilis, reverentia tamen fratris nihil umquam atrox ausus. Cum obisset undecimo imperii anno, inter deos relatus est.

Chapter 11

After him Marcus Antoninus ruled the State
Alone, a man easier to admire than to praise.
His life had been so tranquil since an early date,
To the point that neither joy nor sorrow could
Be detected on his face from his childhood.
He was indeed a follower of Stoic ways,
A philosopher whose view on the condition
Of life was underscored by his erudition.
When he was still young Adrian admired him so
Much as to appoint him as his successor, though
He had adopted Antoninus Pius. Being the latter’s
Son-in-law set him free from all succession’s fetters.

Post eum M. Antoninus solus rem publicam tenuit, vir quem mirari facilius quis quam laudare possit. A principio vitae tranquillissimus, adeo ut ex infantia quoque vultum nec ex gaudio nec ex maerore mutaverit. Philosophiae deditus Stoicae, ipse etiam non solum vitae moribus, sed etiam eruditione philosophus. Tantae admirationis adhuc iuvenis, ut eum successorem paraverit Hadrianus relinquere, adoptato tamen Antonino Pio generum ei idcirco esse voluerit, ut hoc ordine ad imperium perveniret.

Chapter 12

He was taught philosophy by Apollonius
From Chalcedon, Greek literature by Sextus
From Cheronea, Plutarch’s nephew, while Latin
Literature was taught by Fronto, a famous
Orator. In Rome he treated all with fairness,
Free from the insolence attached to Sovereign
Rule. He behaved with prompt liberality
And dealt with the Provinces with great kindness.
And again under his Principality
Many lucky military expeditions
Were conducted against the German positions.
In person he only made war to the Marcomanni,
But a war so big as to be etched in our memory,
And similar to the Punic military actions.
For it became more serious due to the fact
That all the Roman armies had passed away.
Under his reign the Empire was attacked
By a dire pestilence which after the victory
Over the Parthians was like a doomsday –
Rome and the Italian Provinces being racked,
By disease – for most of those in the military.

Institutus est ad philosophiam per Apollonium Chalcedonium, ad scientiam litterarum Graecarum per Sextus Chaeronensem, Plutarchi nepotem, Latinas autem eum litteras Fronto, orator nobilissimus, docuit. Hic cum omnibus Romae aequo iure egit, ad nullam insolentiam elatus est imperii fastigio; liberalitatis promptissimae. Provincias ingenti benignitate et moderatione tractavit. Contra Germanos eo principe res feliciter gestae sunt. Bellum ipse unum gessit Marcomannicum, sed quantum nulla memoria fuit, adeo ut Punicis conferatur. Nam eo gravius est factum, quod universi exercitus Romani perierant. Sub hoc enim tantus casus pestilentiae fuit, ut post victoriam Persicam Romae ac per Italiam provinciasque maxima hominum pars, militum omnes fere copiae languore defecerint.

Chapter 13

Thus with much effort and sense of moderation,
Having held for three years on end his position
Near Carnuntum, he managed to terminate
The war that the Marcomanni and their cognate
Barbaric tribes had started, that is the Quadi,
The Vandals, the Sarmatians and the Suevi.
He killed thousands of men, managed to liberate
The Pannonians from slavery and staged in Rome, again,
A triumph with his son Commodus Antoninus who then
Had been made Caesar. Not being able to meet
The war costs, the public treasury being empty,
Unwilling to ask for contributions or entreat
The Provincials or the Senate for funds, he
Auctioned off, in Trajan’s Forum, the royal implements:
Gold vases, crystal and Murra glasses, many
Jewels, his and his wife’s silk and gold garments
And also many gem-studded ornaments.
For two whole months running went on that auction sale
Which brought a lot of gold. After the victory he
Sent the money back to those willing to avail
Themselves of the chance to get back what they had bought,
But showed no rancour against those who felt free
To retain the things they once and for all had caught.

Ingenti ergo labore et moderatione, cum apud Carnuntum iugi triennio perseverasset, bellum Marcomannicum confecit, quod cum his Quadi, Vandali, Sarmatae, Suevi atque omnis barbaria commoverat, multa hominum milia interfecit, ac Pannoniis servitio liberatis Romae rursus cum Commodo Antonino, filio suo, quem iam Caesarem fecerat, triumphavit. Ad huius belli sumptum cum aerario exhausto largitiones nullas haberet neque indicere provincialibus aut senatui aliquid vellet, instrumentum regii cultus facta in foro divi Traiani sectione distraxit, vasa aurea, pocula crystallina et murrina, uxoriam ac suam sericam et auream vestem, multa ornamenta gemmarum. Ac per duos continuos menses ea venditio habita est multumque auri redactum. Post victoriam tamen emptoribus pretia restituit, qui reddere conparata voluerunt; molestus nulli fuit, qui maluit semel empta retinere.

Chapter 14

He allowed the most illustrious men to
Host banquets with the same ostentation
As his, and with as many servants too.
It is said that his organization
Of the public spectacles after a victory
Was so magnific as to stage a repertory
Of one hundred lions together. After having
Made the Republic flourishing by his bravery
And gentleness he passed on, after reigning
Eighteen years, at the age of sixty-one, and then a race
Went on to find for him, among the Gods, a place.

Hic permisit viris clarioribus, ut convivia eodem cultu quo ipse et ministris similibus exhiberent. In editione munerum post victoriam adeo magnificus fuit, ut centum simul leones exhibuisse tradatur. Cum igitur fortunatam rem publicam et virtute et mansuetudine reddidisset, obiit XVIII imperii anno, vitae LXI, et omnibus certatim adnitentibus inter Divos relatus est.

Chapter 15

Lucius Antoninus Commodus, his successor
Didn’t absolutely resemble his father but for
The fact that he himself, with fortune, fought
Against the German tribes. He also sought
To give the month of September his own third name,
Commodus, that is. Being corrupted by excess
And lewdness he often clashed, with gladiators’
Arms, in the gym and in the amphitheatre with the same
Kind of men. He died suddenly - and the common guess
Depended on two certain indicators:
Poison or strangulation - at the end of a reign
Of twelve years, eight months after the preceding sovereign,
And amid such great execration that everybody would find
Him to be, even after his death, the enemy of mankind.

Huius successor L. Antoninus Commodus nihil paternum habuit, nisi quod contra Germanos feliciter et ipse pugnavit. Septembrem mensem ad nomen suum transferre conatus est, ut Commodus diceretur. Sed luxuria et obscenitate depravatus gladiatoriis armis saepissime in ludo, deinceps etiam in amphitheatro cum huiusmodi hominibus dimicavit. Obiit morte subita atque adeo, ut strangulatus vel veneno interfectus putaretur, cum annis XII post patrem et VIII mensibus imperasset, tanta execratione omnium, ut hostis humani generis etiam mortuus iudicaretur.

Chapter 16

Pertinax, an old man of seventy already,
At that time the incumbent City’s Prefect,
Succeeded him. He was to rule by the Senate’s Decree.
A Pretorians’ revolt and Julian’s abject
Intrigues had the Emperor slain
On the eightieth day of his reign.

Huic successit Pertinax, grandaevus iam et qui septuagenariam attigisset aetatem, praefecturam urbi tum agens, ex senatus consulto imperare iussus. Octogesimo die imperii praetorianorum militum seditione et Iuliani scelere occisus est.

Chapter 17

After him, it was Salvius Julianus who
Occupied the Republic. He was a man
Of noble birth and an expert lawyer too,
And also Salvius Julianus’ nephew
Who had drawn up, under Godlike Hadrian,
The Perpetual Edict. Having been beaten by
Severus near the Milvian Bridge, he was to die
Inside the Imperial Palace, slain
During the seventh month of his reign.

Post eum Salvius Iulianus rem publicam invasit, vir nobilis et iure peritissimus, nepos Salvii Iuliani, qui sub Divo Hadriano perpetuum conposuit edictum. Victus est a Severo apud Mulvium pontem, interfectus in Palatio. Vixit mensibus septem, postquam coeperat imperare.

Chapter 18

The administration of the Empire had passed since
Then to Septimius Severus, from the Tripolis Province
And the City of Leptis in Africa. The only
Emperor from Africa in living memory, he
Had been a fiscal lawyer, later a Military
Tribune, then went, through many various honoured posts, straight
To the full direction of the entire Roman State.
He wanted to be called Pertinax like him who
Was killed by Julianus. He was very frugal too,
But with an obviously merciless disposition.
He successfully ended many hostilities,
And killed Pescennius Niger, head of the Rebellion
In Egypt and in Syria, near Cyzicus. The armies
Of the Adiabeni of the Parthians
And of the inner-country Arabians
He defeated. He also vanquished the Arabians and
Succeeded in making a province out of their own land.
Therefore he was called Parthicus, Arabicus
And Adiabenicus. He repaired many buildings in
The Roman world. Under him Clodius Albinus
Too, who as Julianus’ partner and accomplice had been
The killer of Pertinax, made himself Caesar in Gaul.
A defeat near Lugdunum marked his deadly fall.

Hinc imperii Romani administrationem Septimius Severus accepit, oriundus ex Africa, provincia Tripolitana, oppido Lepti. Solus omni memoria et ante et postea ex Africa imperator fuit. Hic primum fisci advocatus, mox militaris tribunus, per multa deinde et varia officia atque honores usque ad administrationem totius rei publicae venit. Pertinacem se appellari voluit in honorem eius Pertinacis, qui a Iuliano fuerat occisus. Parcus admodum fuit, natura saevus. Bella multa et feliciter gessit. Pescennium Nigrum, qui in Aegypto et Syria rebellaverat, apud Cyzicum interfecit. Parthos vicit et Arabas interiores et Adiabenos. Arabas eo usque superavit, ut etiam provinciam ibi faceret. Idcirco Parthicus, Arabicus, Adiabenicus dictus est. Multa toto orbe Romano reparavit. Sub eo etiam Clodius Albinus, qui in occidendo Pertinace socius fuerat Iuliano, Caesarem se in Gallia fecit, victusque apud Lugdunum et interfectus.

Chapter 19

Yet Severus was, apart from his military
Glory, famed for his liberal studies too,
For the value of his skill in things literary,
For his profound devotion to the science
Of philosophy. It was in the Province
Of Britain that he waged his last war,
And had a long wall constructed for
Its protection: one hundred and thirty-
Two thousand paces long, from sea to sea.
He died in his old age in the City
Of York, after completing sixteen years and three
Months of reign, and becoming a divinity.
He then left behind Bassianus and Geta his two
Sons as successors, but asked the Senate to issue
A decree to impose the name Antoninus to
Bassianus, who was therefore called Marcus
Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus
And succeeded his father. As for Geta, he
Was soon dispatched for being a public enemy.

Severus tamen praeter bellicam gloriam etiam civilibus studiis clarus fuit et litteris doctus, philosophiae scientiam ad plenum adeptus. Novissimum bellum in Britannia habuit, utque receptas provincias omni securitate muniret, vallum per CXXXIII passuum milia a mari ad mare deduxit. Decessit Eboraci admodum senex, imperii anno sexto decimo, mense tertio. Divus appellatus est. Nam filios duos successores reliquit, Bassianum et Getam, sed Bassiano Antonini nomen a senatu voluit inponi. Itaque dictus est M. Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus patrique successit. Nam Geta hostis publicus indicatus confestim periit.

Chapter 20

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Bassanius who
Was known as Caracalla was almost similar to
His father, but harder and with a menacing look,
Built an extraordinary Bath called Antoninus, and
Nothing else worth of mention in a memory book.
His lust was unstoppable, and he was so carried
Away by Julia his step-mother that he married
Her. He died in Osdroena, near Edessa, intent on
All the preparations for the Parthian expedition,
In the sixth year, second month, indeed,
Of his reign after his forty-third birthday.
At public expense he was carried away.

M. igitur Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus, idemque Caracalla, morum fere paternorum fuit, paulo asperior et minax. Opus Romae egregium fecit lavacri, quae thermae Antoninianae appellantur, nihil praeterea memorabile. Inpatientis libidinis, qui novercam suam Iuliam uxorem duxerit. Defunctus est in Osdroena apud Edessam moliens adversum Parthos expeditionem anno imperii sexto, mense secundo, vix egressus quadragesimum tertium annum. Funere publico elatus est.

Chapter 21

Then Opilius Macrinus, the Praetorium’s Praefect,
With his own son Diadumenus, Emperors elect,
Did nothing memorable owing to
Their short term in office. One reigned for two
Months, the other for one year. Both were wrecked
In the course of a military coup.

Deinde Opilius Macrinus, qui praefectus praetorio erat, cum filio Diadumeno facti imperatores nihil memorabile ex temporis brevitate gesserunt. Nam imperium eorum duum mensium et unius anni fuit. Seditione militari ambo pariter occisi sunt.

Chapter 22

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was appointed
Emperor after them. People would maintain
He was Antoninus Caracalla’s son. He acted,
Later, as Priest in Heliogabalus’ fane.
He came to Rome amid the expectations
Of the Senate and the army but contaminated
Himself with all kinds of abominations.
He led the godless life of a blasphemer
And was killed with Symiasera, his mother,
After two years and eight months, as a result
Of a militarily contrived tumult.

Creatus est post hos M. Aurelius Antoninus. Hic Antonini Caracallae filius putabatur, sacerdos autem Heliogabali templi erat. Is cum Romam ingenti et militum et senatus expectatione venisset, probris se omnibus contaminavit. Inpudicissime et obscenissime vixit, biennioque post et octo mensibus tumultu interfectus est militari et cum eo mater Symiasera.

Chapter 23

To him succeeded Aurelius Alexander, named
Caesar by the Army and Augustus by
The Senate, a rather youngish man who then proclaimed
War against the Persian forces and thereby
Overpowered Xerxes, their Sovereign, with glorious actions.
He was a stickler for military regulations,
And outrightly dissolved a few recalcitrant legions.
Jurist Ulpianus was his secretary
Or Chancellor. He enjoyed Rome’s favour.
And was very devoted to his mother Mammea.
In Gaul, in the course of a military
Mutinous revolt he was indeed slain
After thirteen years and nine days of reign.

Successit huic Aurelius Alexander, ab exercitu Caesar, a senatu Augustus nominatus, iuvenis admodum, susceptoque adversus Persas bello Xerxen, eorum regem, gloriosissime vicit. Militarem disciplinam severissime rexit. Quasdam tumultuantes legiones integras exauctoravit. Adsessorem habuit vel scrinii magistrum Ulpianum, iuris conditorem. Romae quoque favorabilis fuit. Periit in Gallia militari tumultu tertio decimo imperii anno et die nono. In Mamaeam, matrem suam, unice pius.

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