[Aurelius Victor] : De Viris Illustribus

Sections 50 - 86

This translation has been made from the Latin text in the edition by F. Pichlmayr (1911). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section.

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[50] L   Livius Salinator triumphed over the Illyrians in his first consulship; then, due to jealousy, he was accused of embezzlement and condemned by all the tribes except the Metian. As consul for the second time, when his enemy Claudius Nero was his colleague, he formed an alliance with Nero to prevent the state from being poorly governed due to discord, and triumphed over Hasdrubal. As censor with the same colleague, he consigned all the tribes except the Metian to the lowest class {aerarii}, and deprived them of their pay, on the charge that they had either unjustly condemned him previously or had wrongly bestowed such great honours on him afterwards.

[51] L   Quintus Flaminius , son of the Flaminius who perished at Lake Trasimene, as consul drew Macedonia by lot, and entered the province with the shepherds of the chieftain Charops as his guides. He defeated king Philip in battle, and drove him from his camp. He received Philip's son Demetrius as a hostage, whom he restored to the throne after imposing a fine on him. He also received the son of Nabis of Sparta as a hostage. He announced (?) the games of Samian Juno through a herald. He was also sent as an envoy to Prusias to demand the surrender of Hannibal.

[52] L   Quintus Fulvius Nobilior, as consul {praetor}, defeated the Vettones and Oretani, after which he entered the city in triumph. As consul he received the surrender of the Aetolians, who had fought alongside the Romans in the Macedonian War but later defected to Antiochus, after numerous battles in which they were defeated and confined inside the town of Ambracia. He despoiled them of their standards and painted panels, and triumphed over them. His friend Ennius celebrated this victory, which was magnificent in itself, with remarkable praise.

[53] L   Scipio Asiaticus the brother of Africanus, was praised by his brother for his virtue in Africa, despite his bodily weakness. As consul, with his brother as his legate, he defeated king Antiochus of Syria at Mount Sipylus, when the enemy's bows had been impaired by the rain, and deprived him of a portion of his kingdom; for this he was called Asiaticus. Later Gracchus the father, who was tribune of the plebs, intervened although he was his enemy, to prevent him from being taken to prison for embezzlement. M. Cato the censor removed his horse as a mark of disgrace.

[54] L   Antiochus , the king of Syria, with excessive confidence in his resources , waged war against the Romans under the pretext of reclaiming Lysimachia, which had been founded by his ancestors, but was now possessed by the Romans. He immediately occupied Greece and its islands. He became enervated by luxury in Euboea. Roused by the arrival of Marcus Acilius Glabrio, he occupied Thermopylae and was then driven out to Asia by the efforts of Marcus Cato. In a naval battle, for which he had placed Hannibal in command, he was defeated by Lucius Aemilius Regillus. He returned the son of Scipio Africanus, whom he had captured during the voyage, to his father; in a show of gratitude, Scipio urged him to seek Roman friendship. Antiochus disregarded this advice and fought with Lucius Scipio near Mount Sipylus. He was defeated and driven back beyond the Taurus Mountains. He was killed by some of his companions, whom he had assaulted while drunk at a banquet.

[55] L   Gaius Manlius Vulso was sent to organize the province of Scipio Asiaticus. In his desire to obtain a triumph, he waged war against the Pisidians and Gallograecians who had supported Antiochus. After he had easily defeated them, among the captives the wife of king Orgiagon was given into the custody of a certain centurion, who raped her. She kept silent about the offence, but after obtaining her husband's redemption, she had the adulterer handed over to be killed by him.

[56] L   Lucius Aemilius Paulus , son of the man who fell at Cannae, triumphed over the Ligurians in his first consulship, which he obtained after three rejections. He displayed in public the series of his achievements, painted on a tablet. When he was consul for a second time, he captured Perseus, son of Philip, the king of the Macedonians, in the temple of the Samothracian gods ; he wept for the defeated king and ordered him to sit beside him, but then he led him in triumph. In the midst of the rejoicing, he lost two sons and, coming before to the people, he expressed his gratitude to fortune, that if any adversity threatened the state, it had been averted by his misfortune. For all these reasons, he was granted by the people and the senate the privilege of wearing the triumphal robe at the Circus Games. Because of his self-restraint and poverty, after his death the dowry could not be repaid to his wife without selling his possessions.

[57] L   Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus , born into a noble family, did not allow his enemy Scipio Asiaticus to be led to prison. He subdued Gaul as praetor, conquered Hispania as consul, and conquered Sardinia in his second consulship; he brought back so many captives that through a long-lasting sale, it became a proverb: "Sardinians for sale". As censor he divided the freedmen who had occupied the rural tribes into the four urban ones ; for this, although his own authority protected him, his colleague Claudius was accused by the people. And when two classes had condemned him, Tiberius swore that he would go into exile with him: thus, the defendant was acquitted. When two snakes had crept from the marriage bed of Tiberius, he received an oracular response that whichever of the snakes was killed, one of the married couple who was of the same sex would die. Out of love for his wife Cornelia, he ordered the male snake to be killed.

[58] L   Publius Scipio Aemilianus, the son of Paullus Macedonicus, was adopted by Scipio Africanus When he was serving with his father in Macedonia, he pursued the defeated Perseus so relentlessly that he returned to camp in the middle of the night. As a legate under Lucullus in Spain, he defeated an opponent in single combat near the town of Intercatia. He was the first to mount the walls of the enemy city. As a military tribune in Africa under the command of T. Manilius, by his cunning and courage he saved eight cohorts who were trapped in a siege, for which he was awarded a golden civic crown. When he was seeking the aedileship, he was made consul ahead of the normal time, and destroyed Carthage within six months. He conquered Numantia in Spain after restoring the discipline of the soldiers; hence he was called Numantinus.

He made great use of Gaius Laelius; when sent to approach kings, he took two servants with him along with Laelius. Made arrogant by these achievements, he said in reply that he thought Gracchus had been rightly killed; when the people objected, he said, "Let those be silent who have Italy as a stepmother, not a mother," and added, "Those whom I have sold as slaves." As censor, when his colleague Mummius was acting sluggishly, he said in the senate, "I wish you had either given me a colleague, or not given me one." When the cause of land reform was taken up, he was suddenly found lifeless at home and he was taken for burial with his head covered, so that the dark marks on his face could not be seen. His estate was so meagre, that he left behind only thirty-two pounds of silver and two and a half pounds of gold.

[59] L   Aulus Hostilius Mancinus as praetor set out against the Numantines, although he had been warned by birds and some unknown voice recalling him. When he arrived at Numantia, he decided to first correct the discipline of the army, which he had received from Pompeius, and led it off to a deserted place. That day, by chance, was the appointed day on which the Numantines arranged marriages for their daughters; and the father of a beautiful girl, who was being sought by two suitors, set a condition that she would marry the one who brought back the right hand of an enemy. The young men, observing the departure of the Romans as if they were fleeing, rushed back to their own people and reported the matter. They immediately killed twenty thousand Romans with four thousand of their own men. Mancinus, on the advice of Tiberius Gracchus his quaestor, made a treaty according to the enemy's terms. When this treaty was rejected by the senate, Mancinus was surrendered to the Numantines, but they did not accept him. He was brought back to the camp by augury, and afterwards obtained the praetorship.

[60] L   Lucius Mummius , called Achaicus for his conquest of Achaea, was sent as consul against the Corinthians and snatched the victory which had been won through the efforts of others. For when Metellus Macedonicus had defeated the Achaeans at Heraclea and had deprived them of their leader Critolaus, Mummius hurried with his lictor and a few horsemen to Metellus' camp. He then defeated the Corinthians under the leadership of Diaeus at Leucopetra. Diaeus fled back to his home, set it on fire, killed his wife, and threw her into the flames; he himself perished by poison. Mummius plundered Corinth of its statues and paintings; and although he filled all Italy with them, he took nothing into his own house.

[61] L   Quintus Caecilius Metellus , called Macedonicus for his conquest of Macedonia, as praetor defeated Pseudophilippus, also known as Andriscus. He defeated the Achaeans in battle twice and handed them over to provide a triumph for Mummius. Because he was hated by the people for his excessive severity, he was with difficulty elected consul after two rejections. As consul he subdued the Arbaci in Spain. At the town of Contrebia, he ordered the cohorts, who had been driven from their position, to return and retake their place. He used to conduct all matters with his own abrupt decisions, and when a friend asked him what he would do, he replied: "I would burn my tunic if I thought it knew my plans." At the end of his life, he was carried to his burial on the shoulders of his four sons; he saw three of them become consuls, and one also triumphed.

[62] L   Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus, who triumphed over king Jugurtha, as censor did not include Quintius, who pretended to be the son of Tiberius Gracchus, in the census of Roman citizens. He also refused to swear an oath on the Apuleian law, which was passed by force, and was therefore forced into exile in Smyrna. Later, he was recalled by the motion of Calidius; it happened that he received the letter about this while he was attending some games in the theatre, but he did not deign to read it until the performance was over. He refused to praise the husband of his sister Metella, because he had once refused to accept a court judgement in violation of the laws.

[63] L   Quintus Metellus Pius, son of Numidicus, was called Pius because he constantly petitioned for the recall of his father with tears and prayers. As praetor during the Social War, he killed Q. Popedius, the leader of the Marsi. As consul in Spain, he defeated the Herculeius brothers and expelled Sertorius from Spain. As a young man, when he sought the positions of praetor and pontifex, he was preferred to men who were ex-consuls.

[64] L   Tiberius Gracchus was a grandson of Africanus through his mother. He was quaestor of Mancinus in Spain and approved his dishonourable treaty. He escaped the risk of being surrendered by his eloquence. As tribune of the plebs, he proposed a law that no one should have more than a thousand iugera of land. He took the unprecedented step of deposing his colleague Octavius , who was interceding against him. Then he passed a law stating that the money from the bequest of Attalus should be taken and distributed among the people. When he wanted to extend his power, he went out in public despite unfavourable auspices, and immediately went up to the Capitol, holding his hand to his head, which indicated that he entrusted his safety to the people. The nobility interpreted this as if he was requesting a diadem; and when the consul Mucius hesitated, Scipio Nasica called on everyone who desired the safety of the state to follow his lead. Nasica then attacked Gracchus in the Capitol and overwhelmed him. The body of Gracchus was thrown into the Tiber by the hand of the aedile Lucretius, who as a result was called Vispillo. To escape unpopularity, Nasica was sent away under the pretext of an embassy to Asia.

[65] L   Gaius Gracchus as quaestor was allotted the disease-ridden province of Sardinia, and when no successor arrived, left it of his own accord. He sustained resentment as a result of the revolts in Asculum and Fregellae. As tribune of the plebs, he proposed agrarian and grain laws, and also stated that colonists should be sent to Capua and Tarentum. He appointed himself, Fulvius Flaccus, and C. Crassus as the commissioners for distributing the land. When Minucius Rufus, a tribune of the plebs, opposed his laws, he went up to the Capitol ; and when Antyllius, the herald of the consul Opimius, was killed in the fray there, he went down to the forum. Gracchus unwisely called the assembly away from the tribune of the plebs; he was summoned to the senate for this reason, but he did not attend, and instead he seized the Aventine Hill with his armed followers. When he was defeated there by Opimius, he twisted his ankle in leaping from the Temple of Luna. While his friend Pomponius resisted his pursuers at the Porta Trigemina, and P. Laetorius resisted them at the Pons Sublicius, Gracchus reached the grove of Furina, where he was killed either by his own hand or by the hand of his slave Euphorus. It is said that his head was brought by his friend Septimuleius to Opimius, who paid for it with an equivalent amount of gold; due to greed, the head had been filled with lead to make it heavier.

[66] L   Marcus Livius Drusus was pre-eminent in birth and eloquence, but ambitious and proud. As aedile he gave a very splendid games. When his colleague Remmius suggested certain things for the benefit of the state, he said, "What concern have you with our republic?" As quaestor in Asia, he refused to use any distinguishing emblems of office, so that nothing might seem more distinguished than he was himself. As tribune of the plebs, he granted citizenship to the Latins, lands to the plebs, membership of the senate to the knights, and membership of juries to the senate. He was excessively generous, even declaring that he had left nothing for anyone to give away with except the sky and the soil; therefore, because he had need of money, he did many things unworthy of his dignity. He betrayed Magudulsa, a prince of Mauritania who had fled because of enmity with the king, to Bocchus in return for money; and the king threw him under an elephant. He kept Adherbal, the son of the Numidian king, as a hostage in his house, hoping for a secret ransom from his father. He said he would throw Caepio, who opposed his actions, from the Tarpeian Rock. He twisted the neck of the consul Philippus, who was opposing the agrarian laws in the assembly, and caused blood to gush from his nostrils; but, reproaching the extravagance of Philippus, Drusus said that it was just the sauce from thrushes.

Then he fell from extreme popularity into disfavour. For the plebeians rejoiced at receiving lands, but the landowners who had been expelled were aggrieved; the knights chosen for the senate were happy, but those who were passed over complained; the senate exalted in the membership of juries, but disliked the partnership with the knights. Livius, who therefore was anxious to postpone the demands of the Latins for their promised citizenship, suddenly collapsed in public, either due to a seizure or having drunk goat's blood, and he was brought home half-dead. Prayers for him were offered publicly throughout Italy. When the Latins were planning to kill the consul on the Alban Mount, he warned Philippus to take care; hence accusations were made against him in the senate, and while he was returning home, he collapsed after being struck by an assailant who hid amongst the crowd. Philippus and Caepio were suspected of involvement in the murder.

[67] L   Gaius Marius , seven times consul, was born in humble circumstances at Arpinum. After holding his first offices in due order, he served as legate to Metellus in Numidia and obtained the consulship by making accusations against him. He captured Jugurtha and led him before his triumphal chariot. In the following year he was appointed consul without asking for it. He defeated the Cimbri in Gaul at Aquae Sextiae, and defeated the Teutones in Italy in the Campi Raudii; and he celebrated a triumph over them. He was consul in succession every year until his sixth term, when in accordance with a decree of the senate he put to death Apuleius, the tribune of the plebs, and Glaucia, the praetor, who were inciting a sedition. And when he attempted to take over the province of Sulla through the Sulpician law, he was defeated by him in an armed conflict and hid in the marshes of Minturnae. When he was discovered there and thrown into prison, he intimidated an assassin sent against him by his imposing appearance ; and after obtaining a small boat, he crossed over into Africa, where he lived in exile for a long time. Later he was recalled during the ascendancy of Cinna. He broke open the prisons, raised an army, and avenged the wrong he had suffered by slaughtering his enemies. In his seventh consulship, as some report, he died by a voluntary death.

[68] L   Gaius Marius , the son, at the age of twenty-seven became consul, which distressed his mother because the title was so premature. Showing ferocity similar to his father's, he took up arms and besieged the senate house; then he slaughtered his enemies, and threw their bodies into the Tiber. While preparing for war against Sulla, he rested under the open sky at Sacriportus, exhausted by toil and lack of sleep. He was defeated in his absence, and he joined not in the battle but in the flight from it. He took refuge in Praeneste, where he was besieged by Lucretius Ofella. He attempted to escape through a tunnel, but when he found that all exits were blocked, he presented himself to be killed by Pontius Telesinus.

[69] L   Lucius Cornelius Cinna , the most villainous of all men, devastated the republic with his extreme cruelty. In his first consulship, he proposed a law to recall the exiles, but he was opposed by his colleague Octavius and fled the city after being stripped of his authority. He called upon the slaves to support him, defeated his opponents, killed Octavius, and occupied the Janiculum. He made himself consul again for a second and a third time. In his fourth consulship, as he prepared for war against Sulla, he was stoned to death by the army in Ancona because of his excessive cruelty.

[70] L   Flavius Fimbria was a fierce supporter of Cinna. He was a legate to the consul Valerius Flaccus in Asia, but was dismissed by him after a quarrel. He arranged for the assassination of the commander by bribing the army. He himself, after seizing the insignia of power, took over the province and expelled Mithridates from Pergamon. He ordered Ilium to be burned, because its gates had been opened too slowly; but there the temple of Minerva remained undamaged, and no-one doubted that it had been preserved by the majesty of the goddess. Fimbria also executed the leaders of the soldiers with an axe; and soon afterwards, when he was besieged by Sulla in Pergamon and his army was bribed to desert him, he killed himself.

[71] L   Viriathus , a Lusitanian by birth, due to his poverty was at first a mercenary , then a vigorous hunter, a bold bandit, and finally a military leader. He waged war against the Romans and defeated their generals Claudius Unimanus and C. Nigidius. He preferred to seek peace while unimpaired rather than in defeat; but later when he had (?) handed over other things but retained his weapons, he renewed the war. Caepio, unable to defeat him otherwise, bribed two of his companions with money; and they killed Viriathus while he was drunk. This victory, because it was bought, was not approved by the senate.

[72] L   Marcus Aemilius Scaurus was a nobleman, but poor; his father, though a patrician, engaged in a charcoal business because of his poverty. He himself initially hesitated whether to seek honours or become a banker; but he practised his eloquence, and gained glory from it. At first he earned a military award in Spain; then he served under Orestes in Sardinia. As aedile, he concentrated on administering justice rather than on giving entertainments. As praetor against Jugurtha, he was overcome by the king's money. As consul, he passed a law on expenses and the voting rights of freedmen. When the praetor P. Decius remained seated while Scaurus passed by, Scaurus ordered him to rise, ripped his clothes, and overturned his chair; he decreed that no one should come to Decius for legal judgements. As consul, he subdued the Ligurians and the Taurisci, and celebrated a triumph over them. As censor, he paved the Aemilian Way and built the Mulvian Bridge. He wielded so much authority that he armed Opimius against Gracchus, and Marius against Glaucia and Saturninus, through his personal advice. Scaurus as an old man , when he was accused by the tribune of the plebs Varius of having incited the allies and Latium to take up arms, said to the people: "Varius of Sucro accuses Aemilius Scaurus of inciting the allies to arms; Scaurus denies it; who do you think should be believed?"

[73] L   Lucius Appuleius Saturninus , a seditious tribune of the plebs, in order to gain the favour of the soldiers of Marius, proposed a law to distribute one hundred iugera of land in Africa among the veterans; when his colleague Baebius objected, he removed him by inciting the people to stone him. He overturned the chair of the praetor Glaucia, who had taken away part of the people by giving legal judgements on the day he himself was holding a meeting, in order to appear more popular. He suborned a man of the freedman class to pretend to be the son of Tiberius Gracchus. When Sempronia, the sister of the Gracchi, was brought forward as a witness, she could not be induced by prayers or threats to acknowledge this disgrace to her family. After killing his competitor Aulus Nunnius, Saturninus was re-elected as tribune of the plebs. He apportioned land in Sicily, Achaea, and Macedonia to new colonists; and he made use of the gold that had been acquired through the deceit or crime of Caepio to purchase the land. He forbade the use of fire and water to {banished} anyone who did not swear allegiance to his laws. When many nobles opposed this law, he shouted, after thunder was heard, "Now, unless you are silent, it will hail." Metellus Numidicus preferred to go into exile rather than swear allegiance to the law. When Saturninus was elected as tribune of the plebs for the third time, in order to make his accomplice Glaucia a praetor, he arranged for the murder of Glaucia's rival Mummius in the Campus Martius. Marius, strengthened by a decree of the senate, in which it was resolved that the consuls should take care that the republic suffered no harm, besieged Saturninus and Glaucia in the Capitol and, after cutting off the water supply in the heat of summer, received their surrender. The pledge given to the surrendered men was not kept: Glaucia's neck was broken, and Apuleius, when he fled into the senate-house, was killed by stones and tiles thrown down from above. A certain senator, Rabirius, carried his head around to provide amusement at banquets.

[74] L   Lucius Licinius Lucullus , was noble, eloquent, and wealthy. As quaestor he gave a very lavish display. Later, through Murena in Asia, he brought the fleet of Mithridates and Ptolemy king of Alexandria over to Sulla. As praetor he governed Africa justly. When he was sent against Mithridates, he relieved his colleague Cotta, who was besieged in Chalcedon, and he raised the siege of Cyzicus. He shattered Mithridates' forces by sword and famine, and expelled him from his kingdom of Pontus. When king Tigranes of Armenia came to the assistance of Mithridates, he overcame him again with great success. He took excessive care over his appearance, and had a burning love for statues and paintings. Afterwards, when he had begun to act foolishly with an unbalanced mind, his brother Marcus Lucullus was made his guardian.

[75] L   Cornelius Sulla was called Felix because of his good fortune. As a very young boy, he was being carried by a nurse when a woman approached him and said, "Greetings, boy, you are fortunate for yourself and for your republic." When a search was made for the woman who said this, she could not be found. As quaestor, he accepted the surrender of Jugurtha from Bocchus. He served with distinction as a legate in the war against the Cimbri and Teutones. As praetor he administered justice among the citizens , and then he governed the province of Cilicia. He defeated the Samnites and Hirpini in the Social War. He protected the monuments of Bocchus when Marius wanted to destroy them. As consul, he was assigned Asia, where he defeated Mithridates in battles at Orchomenus and Chaeronea; he conquered his general Archelaus at Athens, and took control of the port of Piraeus. He defeated the Maedi and Dardani on his way {to Asia}. When the Sulpician law sought to transfer his command to Marius, he returned to Italy; he bribed the armies of his opponents and expelled Carbo from Italy. He defeated Marius at Sacriportus and Telesinus at the Colline Gate. After Marius was killed in Praeneste, he adopted the name of Felix by edict. He put up the first proscription lists, and executed nine thousand prisoners of war in the Villa Publica. He increased the number of priests, and reduced the power of the tribunes. After setting the republic in order, he resigned from the dictatorship. Then he began to be despised, and retired to Puteoli, where he died of the disease called phthiriasis.

[76] L   Mithridates, king of Pontus , was descended from the seven Persians. He possessed great strength of mind and body, so that he could control a team of six horses and speak the languages of fifty nations. During the Social War, when the Romans were at variance with each other, he expelled Nicomedes from Bithynia and Ariobarzanes from Cappadocia. He sent letters throughout all of Asia, ordering that anyone who was Roman should be killed on a certain day; and it was done as he ordered. He occupied all of Greece and the islands except for Rhodes. Sulla defeated him in battle, seized his fleet through the treachery of Archelaus, and completely routed Mithridates himself at the town of Dardanus. Sulla could have captured him if he had not preferred to make peace of any kind in his haste to confront Marius. Later, Lucullus defeated him despite his fierce resistance. After being defeated by Pompeius in a nocturnal battle, Mithridates fled to his kingdom. There he took poison, while being besieged in a tower by an uprising of the populace led by his son Pharnaces. Because he had previously fortified his body against poisons with many antidotes, the poison was slow in taking effect. A Gaul named Bithocus, who was sent to kill him, was terrified by his imposing appearance; but Mithridates recalled him and guided the hand of his trembling assailant to bring about his own death.

[77] L   Cn. Pompeius Magnus joined the party of Sulla in the civil war, and conducted himself in such a way that he was especially admired by him. He recovered Sicily from the proscribed men without a fight. He seized Numidia from Hiarbas, and restored it to Massinissa. He celebrated a triumph at the age of twenty-six. When Lepidus attempted to repeal Sulla's acts, as a private citizen he expelled him from Italy. He was sent as praetor into Spain in place of the consuls, and defeated Sertorius. Later he suppressed the pirates within forty days. He forced Tigranes to surrender and forced Mithridates to poison himself. Then, with remarkable success, he attacked the Albanians, Colchians, Heniochi, Caspii, and Iberians in the north, and the Parthians, Arabs, and Jews in the east, making himself a cause of terror to them. He was the first to reach the Hyrcanian, Red, and Arabian Seas. Later, dominion over the world was divided up, so that Crassus held Syria, Caesar held Gaul, and Pompeius held the city of Rome. After the death of Crassus, Pompeius ordered Caesar to disband his army. He was driven from the city by the hostile advance of Caesar, and defeated at Pharsalus. He fled to Ptolemy, king of Alexandria, by whose command he was killed by Achillas and Pothinus, the king's attendants.

( His side was pierced with a sword by Septimius, the prefect of Ptolemy, while his wife and children were watching. And then the head of the dead man was cut off with a sword: a practice which had been unknown until that time. The rest of the body, which was thrown into the Nile, was burned on a pyre by Servius Codrus, and was buried with the inscription: "Here lies Magnus." The head, wrapped in an Egyptian cloth, together with Pompeius' ring was presented to Caesar by Achillas, an attendant of Ptolemy. Caesar was unable to restrain his tears, and arranged for the head to be cremated using many precious perfumes. )

{ In most manuscripts the text finishes at this point. }

[78] L   Gaius Julius Caesar was called Divus because of his admirable achievements. When he went out to Asia as an associate of Thermus, he often visited Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia, and there were rumours about his immorality. Then he took Dolabella to court and secured his conviction. While he was travelling to Rhodes for his studies, he was captured by pirates and released for a ransom; afterwards he captured the pirates and punished them. As praetor he conquered Lusitania, and then he conquered Gaul from the Alps to the Ocean, and twice crossed over with his fleet to conquer Britain. When a triumph was denied to him by Pompeius, he drove him from the city by force of arms and defeated him in Pharsalus. He wept at the sight of his head when it was brought to him, and gave him an honourable burial. Later he was besieged by Ptolemy's attendants and took vengeance for Pompeius by killing them and the king. He routed Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates, by the mere mention of his name. He defeated Juba and Scipio in Africa, and defeated the young sons of Pompeius in a great battle at the town of Munda in Spain. Then, by pardoning his (?) enemies, he put an end to hatred and warfare: for he ordered only Lentulus, Afranius, and Faustus, the son of Sulla, to be killed. After he was made perpetual dictator by the senate, he was slain in the senate house at the instigation of Cassius and Brutus, and received twenty-three wounds. It is said that the sun veiled its light when his body was placed before the rostra.

[79] L   Caesar Octavianus was transferred from the Octavian to the Julian family. In order to avenge Julius Caesar, by whom he had been nominated as heir, he defeated Brutus and Cassius, the instigators of Caesar's murder, in Macedonia. He overcame Sextus Pompeius, the son of Gnaeus Pompeius, who was claiming his father's property, in the Sicilian Strait. He defeated Marcus Antonius, the consul in charge of Syria, who was captivated by love of Cleopatra, on the coast of Actium near Ambracia. He subdued the rest of the world through his legates. The Parthians voluntarily returned to him the standards that they had taken from Crassus. The Indians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Dacians, nations whom he had not conquered, sent him gifts. He personally closed the gates of Janus Geminus, which had been closed only twice before, once under Numa and then after the first Punic War. He was appointed perpetual dictator by the Senate, and because of his achievements he was called Divus Augustus.

[80] L   Cato the praetor, the great-grandson of Cato the censor, while he was being raised in the house of his uncle Drusus, could not be persuaded with either money or threats by Quintus Popedius Silo, the leader of the Marsi, to support the cause of the allies. As quaestor, he was sent to Cyprus to transport the money inherited from Ptolemy, and he brought it back with the utmost integrity. Furthermore, he recommended that the conspirators { of Catiline } should be punished. He joined the side of Pompeius in the civil war. After the defeat of Pompeius he led his army through the deserts of Africa; there the command was offered to him, but he ceded it to the ex-consul Scipio. After his side was defeated, he went to Utica, where he urged his son to experience Caesar's clemency. Cato then killed himself after reading the book by Plato, which is about the goodness of death.

[81] L   Marcus Tulius Cicero was born in Arpinum; his father was a Roman knight, and he traced his lineage back to the king Titus Tatius. As a young man, in the trial of Roscius he displayed his eloquence and his commitment to freedom against the followers of Sulla. Fearing their hatred as a consequence of this, he went to Athens to continue his studies, where he eagerly attended the lectures of the Academic philosopher Antiochus. Then, to acquire eloquence, he went to Asia and later to Rhodes, where he had Molon, a highly skilled Greek rhetorician, as his teacher. It is said that Molon wept because Cicero would deprive Greece of its reputation for eloquence . He served as quaestor in Sicily; as aedile he secured the condemnation of Gaius Verres for extortion; and as praetor, he rid Cilicia of banditry. As consul, he punished the conspirators { of Catiline } with death. Later, he was driven into exile by the hatred of Publius Clodius ; Clodius was prompted to do this by Caesar and Pompeius, whom Cicero had criticised, because he suspected they were aiming at domination, with the same freedom as he had once criticised the followers of Sulla ; and the consuls Piso and Gabinius were incited against him, after receiving Macedonia and Asia as provinces in return for their services. Later, on the proposal of Pompeius himself, he returned from exile, and he followed Pompeius in the civil war. After the defeat of Pompeius, he received a free pardon from Caesar; and after Caesar's assassination, he supported Augustus and regarded Antonius as an enemy. When Caesar, Lepidus, and Antonius made themselves triumvirs, it seemed impossible for them to remain reconciled unless Tullius was killed; and so Antonius sent assassins against him. While Cicero was resting at Formiae, he learned of his imminent demise through an omen from a raven and he was killed as he attempted to escape. His head was taken to Antonius.

[82] L   Marcus Brutus tried to imitate his uncle Cato. He learned philosophy in Athens and eloquence in Rhodes. He was a lover of the mime Cytheris ; Antonius and Gallus were also in love with her. He did not want to go as quaestor to Gaul because { Caesar } was disliked by all good men. When he accompanied his father-in-law Appius in Cilicia, and Appius was accused of extortion, not even a word was said against Brutus. In the civil war he was recalled from Cilicia by Cato and followed Pompeius. After the defeat of Pompeius, he was pardoned by Caesar and governed Gaul as proconsul. However along with the other conspirators he killed Caesar in the senate house. Because he was hated by the veterans, he was sent off to Macedonia. After he was defeated by Augustus in the plains of Philippi, he offered his neck to be cut by Strato.

[83] L   Gaius Cassius Longinus was quaestor under Crassus in Syria ; after the death of Crassus he gathered the remnants of the army and returned to Syria. He defeated Osaces, the prefect of the Parthian king, at the river Orontes. Then, because he engaged in shameful trading with Syrian merchandise, he was nicknamed Caryota {"date seller"}. As tribune of the plebs he attacked Caesar. In the civil war he followed Pompeius and was in command of a fleet. He received a pardon from Caesar; however, he instigated the conspiracy against him along with Brutus. When one of the assassins hesitated to strike, he said, "Strike him, even if it is through me." After gathering a large army, he joined Brutus in Macedonia and was defeated by Antonius in the plains of Philippi. Although Brutus had defeated Caesar, Cassius thought that he had suffered the same misfortune as himself, and offered his throat to be cut by his freedman Pindarus. Upon hearing of his death, Antonius is said to have exclaimed, "I have won."

[84] L   Sextus Pompeius , after he was defeated at Munda in Spain and lost his brother, gathered the remnants of his army and headed to Sicily, where he broke open the prisons and blockaded the sea. By intercepting supplies, he caused distress in Italy; and because he was successful at sea, he called himself the son of Neptune, and appeased the god with gilded oxen and a horse. After making peace, he had a feast on his ship with Antonius and Caesar; he said to them, quite wittily: "These are my vessels {carinae}," because in Rome Antonius had occupied his house in the Carinae. After the terms of the treaty were broken by Antonius, Sextus was defeated by Augustus in a naval battle through the assistance of Agrippa, and fled to Asia, where he was killed by the soldiers of Antonius.

[85] L   Marcus Antonius , who was a companion of Julius Caesar in all his expeditions, attempted to place a diadem on him at the Lupercalia, and after his death, decreed divine honours for him. He treated Augustus treacherously; after he was defeated by him at Mutina, and overcome by famine in Perusia, he fled to Gaul. There he secured Lepidus as a colleague; and he killed Brutus after bribing his army. When he had rebuilt his force, he returned to Italy and was reconciled with Caesar. He was appointed as one of the triumvirs, and began the proscription with his own uncle Lucius Caesar. When he was sent to Syria, he waged war against the Parthians, but they defeated him and he led barely a third of his fifteen legions back to Egypt. There he was captivated by love of Cleopatra, and he was defeated by Augustus on the coast of Actium. After returning to Alexandria, he took his own life, while he sat in royal clothes on the royal throne.

[86] L   Cleopatra , the daughter of Ptolemy king of Egypt, was driven out by Ptolemy, her husband and brother, when she tried to cheat him of his throne. She came to Caesar in Alexandria during the civil war. From Caesar, by her beauty and by sleeping with him, she obtained Ptolemy's kingdom and his death. She was of such insatiable lust that she often prostituted herself, and of such great beauty that many were willing to pay with death for one night with her. Later she joined with Antonius, and together with him she was defeated. While she was pretending to offer funeral sacrifices for him, she was killed by poisonous snakes that were brought into his tomb.

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