Granius Licinianus

Granius Licinianus is believed to have lived in the second century A.D. A few pages of his History of Rome survive, in a palimpsest, but the rapidity of his style, together with frequent gaps in the Latin text, makes translation hazardous. This translation is based on the edition by N.Criniti, which can be found online in PHI Latin texts.

See key to translations for an explanation of the format. The numbers in green are the sentence numbers in Criniti's edition. The numbers in red are the page numbers from the older edition by M.Flemisch.

The surviving passages cover various years between 163 and 78 B.C.


BOOK 26     L  

[1] Rutilius relates that the consuls and generals, who had crushed the enemy by their courage in fierce battle, had even devoted themselves to the gods, promising [to charge into the middle of the enemy, and to give up] their lives for their country.

Similar to them ...

... struck down, whom their general had summoned to a general council. 10 Most historians have overlooked or have not named the [troop] of cavalry who were attached to the cohorts.

[2] I have already spoken in previous books about the ranks and names and numbers [of the legions], and about the soldiers' weapons. But I will not pass over the cavalry, whom Tarquinius had doubled in number, so that the former cavalrymen brought two horses each into battle. It is said that this practice came into Italy with the cult of Castor, who is shown holding [two horses]. But at Therapne the statues of Castor and Pollux have no "trace-horses". 15 I think it is sufficient to mention that ancient shrine, although I realise that some Spartan artists represented Castor and Pollux as "horseless", and others as "with beautiful horses". [3] [The cavalry] were called flexuntes, from the kind of pendant which was called "regal", as well as "equine" ... ...
{The word flexuntes is mentioned elsewhere (Plin:HN_33'35) as an ancient name for cavalry}

BOOK 28     L  

[4]  # Antiochus, who was staying at Athens, became king after the death of his brother. He afterwards considered waging war against the Romans, but he is said to have been deterred by the death of Perseus.  # Antiochus had a few good traits, mixed in with many bad ones. 5 He had an unpredictable nature, and was extremely frivolous. He used to join in revels at banquets, and [5] danced naked to the music; he bathed in public, and went to the baths anointed with myrrh or drenched with perfumes.

He led a procession on an Asturian pony, and at Hierapolis he pretended to marry Diana. While the others prepared a banquet, he removed the vessels from the temple, and after dining off the tables he took away the vessels as a dowry, except for one ring, which was the only thing he left of all the offerings to the goddess.

 # When Gracchus, [6] whom I mentioned previously, was consul for the second time, Antiochus died of terror one night. While his body was being carried back to Antioch, the animals suddenly took fright, and his body was tossed into the river and disappeared. This was the penalty he paid for his flagrant sacrilege.

10  # Antiochus dedicated two colossal statues, twelve cubits high, one to Olympian Jupiter and the other to Capitoline Jupiter. At Athens he built the Olympion with marble walls, and he surrounded it with numerous columns. The famous temple of Olympian Jupiter at Athens had long remained unfinished ....

[7] Other prodigies were reported .... says that a noble woman called Aemilia, who was placed on a pyre as her family wailed, was miraculously brought back to life by the sound of the trumpets.

There is a story about the Corfidius brothers. The elder brother left the younger brother as his heir, and after his will had the been read the elder brother came back to life. He said that he had been sent away by his brother; 20 his brother asked that 10,000 denarii be paid for his funeral, he showed where his gold was hidden and he committed his daughter to the care of the elder brother. The gold was found in the place he indicated, and then it was announced that the younger brother had suddenly died.

I have decided not to include many prodigies in this history, [8] and to avoid filling up the pages with information of this kind, although its usefulness is generally agreed. I wished to find out about these brothers just enough to be able to preserve the story and pass it on to posterity.

 # The same Ti.Gracchus, who had driven out ... among the Astures, then proceeded against the Spaniards. 25  # After reading the books of the augurs, [9] he wrote that he had been instructed by his colleagues that he ought to have taken the auspices [outside] the pomerium, when was going to hold the elections in the Campus Martius, because the pomerium is the limit for city auspices. But he had placed his tent at the villa of Scipio, and when he entered the pomerium ....

I must make mention of P.Lentulus, who was consul with Cn.Domitius. 30 Lentulus was an outstanding man, and did great service to the republic.  # When he was praetor urbanus, the senate authorised him to buy up the Campanian territory, which had been completely occupied by private individuals, in order that it should become public land. The owners of the land agreed to let Lentulus set the price, and being a just man he did not deceive them. Such was his moderation that he both served the interests of the republic and restricted private ownership, and he used public money to buy 50,000 iugera of land. 35 He brought the Campanian territory, which had been divided amongst private individuals, into public ownership, [10] and let it out at a fair price. Put in charge of an investigation, he recovered much other land, and left of plan of the territory on a bronze tablet in the temple of Liberty, which Sulla later despoiled. The same Lentulus gave just 25 sestertii as the dowry for his daughter.

The senate granted the kingdom of Antiochus Epiphanes to his son Antiochus, who was still a young boy and was soon commonly known as Eupator.  # The senate refused the request of Demetrius, the son of Seleucus who had been sent over by his father as a hostage, to be made king, although Demetrius declared that he had come to Rome as a young boy and was now sufficiently old, at 24 years of age; Rome was his home, and the senate was his parent. 40 The senate sympathised with him ....

BOOK 33     L  

[11]  # The ex-consul M.Aurelius Scaurus was thrown from his horse and captured [by the Cimbri]. When they summoned him to a council, he neither did nor said anything which was unworthy of a Roman, who had held such great honours. Because of this he was killed, although he could have escaped; 5 he refused their request to act as their leader, out of shame that he should survive after the loss of his army.

 # The consul Mallius was alarmed by this victory of the Cimbri, and sent a letter begging Caepio to join forces with him and confront the Gauls with a large combined army; but Caepio refused. Caepio crossed the Rhone and boasted to his soldiers that he would bring help to the frightened consul; but he did not even want to discuss with him [12] how to conduct the war, and he disdained to listen to the envoys whom the senate sent, asking the generals to co-operate and jointly to protect the state. The Cimbri sent envoys to arrange a peace and to ask for land and for corn to sow, but he dismissed them so brusquely that they attacked the next day. His camp was situated not far away from Mallius' camp, 10 but he could not be persuaded, though he was so close, to join together their armies.

 # The greater part of the army was destroyed ... ... [the battle was fought] on the day before the nones of October. Rutilius Rufus says that at least 70,000 regular troops and light-armed troops perished on this one day ....

 # A Roman matron, acting as if disturbed in the mind, sat [13] on the throne of Jupiter. Therefore the Capitolium was again ritually cleansed. 20 A statue of Mars was said to have fallen on its head in the territory of the Sabines. And some time before the games were planned, when the trumpet-players sounded their instruments by the altar, black snakes suddenly appeared and continued to swarm in front of the altar and bite many of the bystanders, until the trumpets fell silent. Then the snakes suddenly vanished.

Several matrons came forward, after being warned by the same dream and on the same night, with a message about the sacred offerings; and several sacrifices were performed on this account. The noblest of the boys sang a hymn to the gods, which had been specially composed by a poet.

 # [Cn.Mallius was sent into exile on the same charge as Caepio, by a decree of the people which was proposed by Saturninus.]

25  # [Cn.Pompeius was born in this year.] [14] The consul Rutilius, the colleague of Mallius, remained in sole charge of the government.  # [Cicero also was born in this year.] Therefore, since the whole state was in trepidation and fear of an attack by the Cimbri, Rutilius made the young men take an oath, that none of them would travel anywhere outside Italy. Messengers were sent along all the coasts and ports of Italy, with instructions that no-one under the age of 25 years should be allowed to board a boat ....

BOOK 35     L  

[15]  # [The senate] did not wish to do anything contrary [to the omens], and therefore decided - something which it had never previously done on behalf of the priests - that the contents of the [Sibylline] books should be read out in public. It was agreed that it was signified in the verses that, if Cinna and six of the tribunes were banished from the country, there would be peace, quiet and security.

Marius also had received an omen during his earlier adventures.  # When the barbarian fled from his room and left it open, [16] Marius went outside and saw an ass, which was being offered food but was going off in search of water. 5  # Marius thought that this was a sign that he should do the same, and so he asked to be taken down to the sea, by which way he narrowly escaped.

 # When Marius had collected about a thousand supporters, he sailed to Telamon to join Cinna. Brutus and the other exiles flocked to him from Spain. The men who had seen him at the height of his victories now saw him [17] unkempt and poorly dressed, and he addressed all of them as a suppliant, who had been oppressed by his enemies. In this way he quickly enlisted a legion of volunteers.  # He gave soldiers to Cinna, with Sertorius and Papirius as his officers, 10 and he gave part of the cavalry to Milonius, with orders to advance on Rome, which was expected to be undefended. This brought success to Cinna.

[18]  # Pompeius accepted the order of the senate, to come to the aid of the state, with dubious loyalty; he kept introducing delays, until Marius slipped into the port.  # After staying there until night-time, Marius was allowed to take control of Ostia by Valerius, who was in charge of the cavalry garrison. 15 Pompeius no longer put off war with Sertorius, and openly fought against him. Envoys were sent to both sides, but achieved nothing, because Cinna believed that he had the upper hand.

 # Marius with his supporters gained control of the Janiculum, [19] after killing many of his opponents, who were captured and slaughtered on Marius' orders. Octavius received six cohorts from Pompeius, and crossed the Tiber. Milonius was killed, and the other soldiers whom Sertorius sent to help Milonius were driven back. 20 [...] thousand of Octavius' men were killed, including a senator, Aebutius, and seven thousand of their enemies. The Janiculum could have been captured the same day, but Pompeius would not allow Octavius to advance any further, and forced him to recall Crassus. He did not want the fighting to stop before the elections, so that he himself could obtain a formidable office. The two Catuli and Antonius went as envoys of the senate to beg Metellus, whose camp was situated nearby, [20] to come to the aid of his fatherland.

During the fighting between Pompeius and Sertorius, a common soldier from Pompeius' army, while he was stripping the body of an enemy, recognised that it was his brother. 25 He built a pyre for his brother and in the middle of the funeral rites, after uttering many curses, he slew himself with his sword. This incident struck everyone as a great condemnation of the civil war and changed their attitudes. Nobody was able to refrain from tears.

 # The inhabitants of Nola advanced against the town of Abella, and burnt it down. Marius routed Servilius at Ariminum; he killed a few of his men, and accepted the surrender of the rest, whose loyalty he had undermined.

 # The senate was asked by the envoys of Metellus to decide about the allegiance of the Samnites, who said that they would not agree to peace except on condition that they and all the deserters should receive the citizenship, [21] and have their property returned. The senate refused, wishing to preserve the ancient dignity of the Roman people. 30 When Cinna heard about this, with the help of Flavius Fimbria he enlisted the Samnites on the terms which they requested, and joined their forces to his.

 # Meanwhile Pompeius continued to confuse everything .... He saw that the senate was opposed to all the exiles and in particular to Cinna's cause, but even so he persuaded it to give a safe reception to the envoys who were sent by Cinna. He secretly discussed plans with Cinna, but did not share the information with Octavius. Everyone who surrendered was granted citizenship; they promised to supply many thousands of soldiers, but sent scarcely sixteen cohorts. 35 And the army was smitten by such a great pestilence, [22] that seventeen thousand of Octavius's supporters died.

While Pompeius was lying ill in bed, a storm began; Pompeius himself was struck by lightening, and the top of his tent was destroyed. He showed no sign of life, and the army was left without a general for several days. Then, because Pompeius did not recover quickly, C.Cassius was sent to the camp, in order to take over command of the army, until he was restored to health. 40 When he appeared, Pompeius was suddenly aroused and ... to the envoys who were ... whether he was content .... It was clear to Cassius that Pompeius was near to dying.

On the third day after that, Pompeius died from a remarkable wasting disease. The people of the city disrupted his funeral, [23] knocked his body off its bier, and kept on dragging him through the dirt. Everyone agreed that this contemptible man had been justly punished by heaven for his treachery and greed. But the senators and tribunes restrained the crowd, and protected the body with their clothes. 45 Historians relate that the body was taken on a common bier to be buried.

 # Octavius brought Pompeius' soldiers into his own camp. Metellus led his army against Cinna, but his soldiers suddenly seized all the standards and with a loud cry greeted the army of Cinna, who greeted them back. Alarmed by this turn of events, Metellus led his army away, and was amongst the first to say that an envoy should be sent to Cinna to discuss peace. On his return Crassus pressed for a battle, and advised Metellus that he .... should seek out Cinna with no further delay 50 .... [24] engaging in battle with Fimbria, he was miserably defeated but not killed, when Metellus ....

....  # Sulla immediately returned to Athens and punished the leaders of the revolt and those guilty [of aiding them] .... violently killed the rest.

 # Mithridates had collected many soldiers from all the states, and after learning of the disaster he supplemented them with new levies. He sent out 65,000 foot-soldiers and cavalrymen, and seventy scythed chariots, with Dorylaus as their general. [25]  # Archelaus promptly added another [ten] thousand men whom he had collected from the islands, which he was plundering again with his warships.

65 On the first day the soldiers from Pontus were routed and the son of Archelaus was killed. Weakened and subdued, they remained within their fortifications throughout the night.  # In the morning there was a fiercer attack, and our soldiers captured their camp. [26] They killed an enormous number of the enemy, and captured more than 25,000 men, who were later sold into slavery. Archelaus escaped to Chalcis in a small boat.

70 The king's garrison at Abdera slipped away after the capture of Philippi.

 # Sulla and Archelaus held talks at Aulis, and Sulla named the terms on which Mithridates could obtain peace. Mithridates eventually accepted these terms, because he was alarmed by the arrival of Fimbria, as I shall explain in due course, and Sulla promised that he would not change any of the terms. The terms were as follows: Archelaus should hand over the fleet to Sulla, and the king should withdraw from all the islands, [27] Asia, Bithynia, Paphlagonia and Gallograecia. 75 He should release the envoys Q.Oppius and M'.Aquilius, and he should send back all the other prisoners, of whom there was a substantial number. Particular mention was made of the Macedonians, who had been outstandingly faithful, that their wives and children should be returned to them. In addition, the king should give seventy fully equipped decked ships to the allies, and should himself provide the food, clothing and pay for them.

 # Mithridates made peace on these terms with Sulla at Dardanus. After his reconciliation with the Romans, he dismissed Ariobarzanes like a slave, and set off for Pontus with the rest of his fleet.

 # While the terms of the treaty were being negotiated, Sulla's officer Hortensius routed the Maedi and Dardani, who were harassing the allies. 80 Sulla himself had led an army into the territory of the Maedi, before [28] he crossed over to Asia for the talks. After the slaughter of the enemy forces who were harassing Macedonia, he received the surrender of the Dardani and Denselatae.

 # [Sulla] held investigations at Ephesus, and executed the leaders of the revolt. He imposed fines on the cities, and gained possession of the towns which were still resisting.

 # Curio restored Nicomedes to the throne of Bithynia, to which he attached Paphlagonia. Nicomedes was courteous and more civilised than his father of the same name. He was devoted to the Romans, so that he was not involved in any wicked treachery, and he honourably maintained his loyalty free from all evil.

85 [29] His brother Socrates was not tempted by jealously to seek control of the kingdom, because he had had enough trouble from his previous adventures. Nicomedes, who was rightly called Euergetes {"the benefactor"} because he brought prosperity to his needy subjects and won over many with his generosity, had not been content with the one legitimate son which he had by Aristonica, but he brought up another son called Socrates, who was born to the concubine Hagne of Cyzicus. He sent away Socrates and his mother to Cyzicus, with 500 talents.

 # When this {Nicomedes} died in old age, possibly by poison, he was succeeded by the son of Aristonica .... After the loss of his mother he married the sister of his father, [30] who had been dear to his father during his lifetime. After only nine days she either died from disease or was murdered, and then he married Nysa, the daughter of Ariarathes king of Cappadocia. 90 Socrates reported to king Mithridates that Nysa was urging him to wage war on his brother.

Socrates was given a splendid reception by Mithridates, who even called him Chrestus {"the good"}, as a better name. He then went to Rome to ask for recognition as king, but he was unsuccessful and returned to Cyzicus. He was too ashamed to go back to the king. After murdering his sister there out of greed, he was pursued both by Nicomedes Philopator and by the inhabitants of Cyzicus, and came to Euboea, where he stayed with a certain Cornelius, a Roman knight. He was welcomed kindly enough by Cornelius, and to his young son ... to learn crimes ....

BOOK 36     L  

[31]... warned by ... he avoided a contest.

 # And Pompeius, when he was 25 years old and still a Roman knight - something which no-one had previously done - celebrated a triumph as pro-praetor from Africa, on the fourth day before the Ides of March. Some writers say that on this occasion the Roman people were shown elephants in the triumph. But when he came to enter the city, the triumphal arch was too small for the four elephants yoked to his chariot, although they tried it twice.

5  # Triumphs were also celebrated by Murena, from Asia, and by Valerius Flaccus, [32] from Celtiberia and Gaul.

 # The brothers Licinius and Terentius Lucullus staged a battle between bulls and elephants in their games as curule aediles.  # Claudius had previously displayed a similar battle as aedile, in the circus during the Ludi Circenses.

 # The inhabitants of Volaterrae surrendered to the Romans, after an uprising in which the ex-praetor Carbo, whom Sulla had put in charge of them, was stoned to death (he was the brother of Cn.Carbo). The proscribed men were expelled from the city, and were cut down by cavalry sent by the consuls Claudius and Servilius.  # Before that [in the previous year] the Samnites at Nola had done the same, out of fear of a siege. 10 Papirius Mutilus fled from Nola, but after even his wife Bassia refused to let him in by night at Teanum, because he was one of the proscribed men, he stabbed himself with a dagger.

Sulla was also granted the province of Cisalpine [Gaul].

.... 25  # [Sulla] had left instructions that he should be buried, and not cremated, but [33] L.Philippus stated that it was better for him to be cremated, to avoid Sulla suffering the same fate as had previously happened to Marius,  # whose body had been dragged from his sepulchre by enemy soldiers and torn apart. Therefore a period of public mourning was declared, and the Roman matrons mourned for Sulla for a whole year. His body was burnt in the Campus Martius at Rome, after a very grand funeral which was attended a great mass of the people. After his pyre was set on fire, a large shower of rain came down.

30 We have come to [the period covered by] the histories of Sallustius but, as we have determined, we will not include anything which delays us and is not urgent. For it is said that Sallustius should be read, not as a historian, but as an orator. He finds fault with his own times and reproves their misdeeds; he includes speeches and describes variously places, mountains, rivers and other such things; he assigns blame and makes detailed comparisons.

 # But when the tribunes of the plebs called on the consuls [34] to restore the tribunician power, Lepidus was the first to refuse, and most of the crowd at an assembly agreed with him when he said, in a speech which still survives, that it was not beneficial for the tribunician power to be restored. 35 He passed a corn law without opposition, which provided a corn allowance of five modii for the people, and he made many other promises: to recall the exiles, to rescind the acts of Sulla, and to restore to its owners the land which had been used for military colonies.

 # The inhabitants of Faesulae broke into the strongholds of the veterans. After killing many of the veterans and reclaiming their land, they defended their actions before the senate, on the grounds that [35] the rural population had been forced to do this after being driven from their homes. The consuls were assigned an army and set off for Etruria, as the senate instructed.

 # Lepidus ... into the mountains ... led back his army. 40 But when weapons were brought together and Catulus was not slower ... Where anyone seemed to be near him as he went beside the coast and the lake, he avoided the tops of the mountains.

 # With peace so uncertain, the senate resorted to the most solemn oaths, that they should not move their armed forces anywhere further. When he had come close to the city, Lepidus sent ahead his envoy .... 45 For he was by nature a troublemaker and incapable of staying quiet. ... them with peace ....

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