Orosius, Book 5

      Chapters 16-24 :   105 to 73 B.C.  

Adapted from the translation by I.W. Raymond (1936). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each chapter.   

Previous chapters (1-15)

[16] L   In the six hundred and forty-second year of the City, the consul C. Manlius {105 B.C.} and the proconsul Q. Caepio were dispatched against the Cimbri, Teutones, Tigurini, and Ambrones, Gallic and German tribes which at that time had formed a conspiracy to destroy the Roman Empire. The Roman leaders divided the command between themselves, making the Rhone River the boundary. 2 While they were disputing and contending over their claims with much ill will, they suffered defeat, thereby bringing great disgrace as well as peril to the Roman nation. In this battle, M. Aemilius, who was of consular rank, was captured and killed, and the two sons of the consul were slain. 3 Antias writes that eighty thousand of the Romans and their allies were slaughtered in that disaster and that forty thousand servants and camp followers were killed. 4 Of the entire army it is said that only ten men survived. These men reported the sad news and thereby increased the distress of the people. 5 Having gained possession of both camps and of a huge amount of booty, the enemy by some strange and unusual curse completely destroyed everything they had captured; 6 clothing was cut to pieces and strewn about, gold and silver were thrown into the river, the breastplates of the men were hacked to pieces, the trappings of the horses were ruined, the horses themselves were drowned in whirlpools, and men, with nooses fastened around their necks, were hanged from trees. Thus the conqueror realized no booty, while the conquered obtained no mercy. 7 At Rome there was not only very great sorrow, but also the fear that the Cimbri would immediately cross the Alps and destroy Italy.

8 During those same days Q. Fabius Maximus sent his youthful son away to his country estate and there had him put to death by two slaves who were accomplices in this murder. He at once manumitted these slaves as a reward for their part in the crime. Upon the accusation of Cn. Pompeius, he was tried and found guilty.

9 Marius, now consul for the fourth time {102 B.C.}, pitched his camp near the confluence of the Isara and Rhone rivers. The Teutones, Cimbri, Tigurini, and Ambrones fought continuously for three days in the neighbourhood of the Roman camp, trying by every means to dislodge the Romans from their ramparts and drive them out on level ground. They then resolved to invade Italy in three armies. 10 After the departure of the enemy, Marius also moved his camp and occupied the hill overlooking the river and the plain where the enemy had spread themselves. When his army lacked drinking water, complaints arose on all sides against him; he answered that there was certainly water in plain sight but that it would have to be claimed by the sword. The camp servants, shouting loudly, were the first to rush into the fray; then the army immediately followed. Lines of battle were quickly formed for regular combat. An engagement was fought in which the Romans were victorious. 11 On the fourth day both sides again drew up lines of battle upon the field. The struggle raged on almost equal terms until midday. Under the burning rays of the sun, the flabby bodies of the Gauls melted like snow, and a massacre rather than a battle continued into the night. 12 Two hundred thousand of the Gallic soldiers, according to report, were slain in that battle, eighty thousand were captured, and barely three thousand fled. Their general Teutobodus was killed.

13 Exhibiting a more steadfast spirit than they would have shown if their husbands had been victorious, the wives advised the consul that if their chastity remained inviolate and if they were assigned the duty of serving the Vestal Virgins and the gods, they would not take their own lives. When their petition was refused, they dashed their children upon the rocks and then took their own lives by the sword or by hanging. Such was the fate of the Tigurini and Ambrones.

14 The Teutones and Cimbri, however, passed over the snows of the Alps with forces intact and swept across the plains of Italy. These hardy peoples became effeminate there under the influence of a milder climate and of an abundance of drink, food, and baths. Catulus and Marius, who was consul for the fifth time {101 B.C.}, were dispatched against them. Following Hannibal's clever plan of selecting not only the day for battle but also the field, the consuls arranged their battle line under the cover of a mist but later fought the battle in the sun. 15 The first sign of disorder arose on the side of the Gauls, because they realized that the Roman line of battle had already been drawn up ready for action before they came on the field. In the battle, wounded cavalrymen, driven backward upon their own men, threw into confusion the entire force that was advancing to the battlefield in irregular formation. The sun, too, was shining brightly in their faces and at the same time a wind arose. As a result, dust filled their eyes and the brilliant sun dimmed their sight. 16 Under these conditions the casualties suffered were so terrible that only a few survived the disaster, whereas the losses of the Romans were very slight. A hundred and forty thousand, according to report, were slain in that battle, while sixty thousand were captured.

17 The women provoked a battle that was, if anything, more severe. Surrounded by their wagons drawn up in the form of a camp, they defended themselves from their higher position and held the Romans at bay for a long time. They finally became terrified by a new method employed by the Romans in killing enemies. The Romans scalped the women and left them in an unsightly condition from their shameful wounds. The women now turned the sword, which they had taken up against the enemy, against themselves and against their own children. 18 Some cut each other's throats; others tied cords to the legs of horses and then placing around their own necks these same cords with which they had tied the horses, they goaded their horses on, and were thus dragged along and choked to death; others hanged themselves with nooses suspended from the wagon poles which had been raised high in the air. 19 One woman indeed was found who first had slipped nooses over the necks of her two sons and then had bound the ropes to her own feet. When she cast herself off to meet her own death by hanging, she carried her sons along with her to destruction.

20 Among these many wretched forms of death, it is reported that two chieftains rushed upon each other with drawn swords. The kings Lugius and Boiorix fell on the battlefield; Claodicus and Caesorix were captured. 21 In these two battles three hundred and forty thousand Gauls were slain, and one hundred and forty thousand were captured. This does not include the countless number of women who, in a fit of feminine frenzy but with manly strength, put themselves and their little children to death.

22 An unbelievable crime and one never previously experienced among the Romans was suddenly perpetrated at Rome. It turned the great triumph of Marius and the Roman victory to horror and grief and cast a pall over the entire city. 23 Publicius Malleolus with the assistance of slaves killed his own mother. He was condemned for parricide, sewed up in a sack, and thrown into the sea. 24 Thus the Romans provided a penalty and punished a crime for which even the Athenian Solon had not ventured to prescribe a penalty because he did not imagine such an outrage possible; the Romans, however, realizing that they were descended from Romulus and knowing that even such a deed was possible, enacted a unique punishment for it.

[17] L   In the six hundred and forty-fifth year of the City, following the Cimbrian and Teuton War and the fifth consulship of Marius {101 B.C.}, the constitution of the Roman Empire was judged to be safely in force. In the sixth consulship of this same Marius, the state was so violently shaken that it was almost destroyed through internal conflict. 2 To unravel and to run through the complexities of the quarrels and the inextricable causes of seditions seems to me unnecessary as well as tedious. 3 Therefore let it suffice that I have touched briefly upon the fact that Apuleius Saturninus stood forth as the first instigator of the insurrection that broke out. He was a very bitter enemy of Q. Metellus Numidicus, who, it must be granted, was a man of the first rank. When Metellus was elected to the office of censor, Saturninus had him dragged from his home and, when he fled to the Capitol for refuge, had him besieged by an armed mob. After much blood had been shed before the Capitol, Metellus was thrown out of the building because he had incurred the displeasure of the Roman knights. Saturninus and Glaucia, aided by treachery on the part of the consul C. Marius, then slew their rival A. Nunius.

4 The following year Marius, who was consul for the sixth time, Glaucia, who was praetor, and Saturninus, who was tribune of the plebs, formed a conspiracy. They used every available means to drive Metellus Numidicus into exile. On the day set for the trial, Metellus, though innocent, was condemned to exile by the criminal action of the judges who had been illegally substituted for others and who belonged to the conspirators' faction. 5 In the course of a riot that suddenly broke out, this same Saturninus, fearing that Memmius, a man of shrewdness and of integrity, would be made consul, ordered P. Mettius, one of the followers of Saturninus, to kill him. He did this by crushing Memmius with an unshapely bludgeon as he fled.

6 The Senate and the Roman people now began to complain loudly about the great evils afflicting the state. The consul Marius, adapting his genius to the occasion, allied himself with the cause of the patriots and calmed the aroused plebeians by addressing then with soothing words. Saturninus, after daring to commit these infamous deeds, held a meeting at his own house and there was acclaimed "king" by some and "general" by others. 7 Marius divided the plebeians into maniples and then stationed the other consul and a garrison on the hill, while he himself barricaded the gates. The battle took place in the forum. Marius drove Saturninus from the forum to refuge in the Capitol. Marius then cut the pipes which furnished that place with water. 8 Thereupon a savage battle took place at the entrance of the Capitol. Many around Saufeius and Saturninus were slain. Saturninus cried out loudly and called the people to witness that Marius was the cause of all their difficulties. 9 Marius next forced Saturninus, Saufeius, and Labienus to flee for refuge to the senate house, where some Roman knights broke down the doors and killed them. C. Glaucia was dragged from the home of Claudius and killed. 10 Furius, the tribune of the plebs, decreed that the property of all these men should be confiscated. Cn. Dollabella, the brother of Saturninus, while fleeing with L. Giganius through the Forum Holitorium, was put to death.

When the instigators of this uprising were dead, the people calmed down. 11 Much to the joy of the entire city, Cato and Pompeius now proposed a decree that Metellus Numidicus should be asked to return. To prevent this decree from being approved, the factions of the consul Marius and of Furius (the latter was a tribune of the plebs) blocked its passage. 12 Rutilius also, a man of great integrity, so firmly maintained his spirit of good faith and uprightness that, until the day which his accusers had set for the trial, and indeed up to the very moment of the judicial examination, he did not let his hair or beard grow. Nor did he court the favour of his jurors by wearing shabby clothing or by displaying a humble attitude. Neither did he flatter his enemies nor did he try to placate his judges. On the contrary, upon being given permission by the praetor, he delivered a speech that was just as defiant as was his spirit. 13 When charges that were plainly malicious were preferred against him, although all good men believed that in justice he should be acquitted, nevertheless he was found guilty by the perjured judges. He then emigrated to Smyrna where he lived to an advanced age, devoting himself to literary pursuits.

[18] L   In the six hundred and fifty-ninth year of the City and during the consulship of Sextus Julius Caesar and L. Marcius Philippus {91 B.C.}, all Italy was in the throes of the War against Allies. This war was caused by domestic quarrels. 2 For Livius Drusus, a tribune of the plebs, was unable to appease the Latins by a decree after they had been deceived in their hope of gaining liberty and thus he roused them all to arms. 3 Things came to such a pass that awful prodigies terrified the saddened city. At sunrise a ball of fire, accompanied by a tremendous clap of thunder, shone forth from the northern region. 4 While the inhabitants of Arretium were breaking bread at banquets, blood flowed from the centre of the loaves as if from bodily wounds. 5 Moreover, a shower of stones, intermingled with pieces of brick, lashed the earth far and wide for seven continuous days. Among the Samnites, a flame broke forth from a vast fissure in the ground and seemed to shoot upwards into the sky. 6 Furthermore, several Romans on a journey saw a golden globe falling headlong from the sky to the earth; when it had become large in appearance, they saw it again carried aloft from the earth toward the rising sun, where its huge bulk hid the sun itself from view. 7 Drusus, who was worried by these ill-boding portents, was killed by an unidentified assassin in his own house.

8 The Picentes, Vestini, Marsi, Paeligni, Marrucini, Samnites, and Lucani, who had long since been planning a secret rebellion, put to death at Asculum the praetor C. Servius, who had been sent to them as an ambassador. The inhabitants immediately closed the city, instigated a slaughter, and cut the throats of all Roman citizens. 9 Notorious prodigies directly preceded this frightful massacre. Animals of all kinds, which were accustomed to accept caresses from the hands of men and to live among men, left their stables and pastures; even the dogs, whose nature is such that they must live among men, wandered about, howling mournfully and loping in the manner of wolves.

The Samnites placed Papius Mutilus in command of their forces, and the Marsi for their part chose as leader the arch-pirate Agamemnon. 10 The praetor Cn. Pompeius, under orders from the senate, waged war with the Picentes and was defeated. 11 Julius Caesar fled after his defeat and the slaughter of his army in a battle with the Samnites. The consul Rutilius chose his kinsman Marius as his lieutenant. Inasmuch as Marius was constantly suggesting in private that a delay would prove beneficial to the conduct of the war and that the young recruits ought to be drilled in camp for a short time, Rutilius thought that the action of Marius was prompted by some hidden motive. 12 He therefore made light of his advice and carelessly brought himself and an entire column of his army into an ambuscade set by the Marsi. There the consul himself and many nobles were killed and eight thousand Roman soldiers were slaughtered. 13 The Tolenus River carried the arms and bodies of the dead within sight of the legate Marius, and thus furnished proof of the disaster. After quickly gathering together troops, Marius took the victors by surprise and slew eight thousand of these Marsi. 14 Caepio was led into an ambush by the Vestini and Marsi; he and his army were cut to pieces. But after L. Julius Caesar had fled following his defeat at Aesernia, he collected troops from all quarters and fought against the Samnites and Lucani, slaying many thousands of the enemy. 15 When he had been saluted by the army as imperator, he sent messengers to Rome to announce his victory. With this good fortune smiling upon them, the senators took off their sagum, that is, the garment of mourning which they had put on at the beginning of the Social War, and resumed the graceful toga of old. Next Marius killed six thousand of the Marsi and disarmed seven thousand. 16 Sulla was sent with twenty-four cohorts to Aesernia, where Roman citizens and soldiers were being hard pressed by a very close siege. He saved the city and its allies after he had fought a great battle and inflicted a terrific slaughter upon the enemy. 17 As a result of the victory in which Cn. Pompeius routed the Picentes in a severe battle, the senate now assumed the broad purple stripes on the tunic and other marks of dignity. Previously the senate had resumed their togas only when the victory of Caesar had given them a respite. The praetor Porcius Cato conquered the Etruscans and the lieutenant Plotius conquered the Umbrians. Both victories entailed most distressing hardships and much bloodshed.

18 During the consulship of Cn. Pompeius and L. Porcius Cato {89 B.C.}, Pompeius besieged the city of Asculum for a long time. Had he not first overcome and severely defeated the people who had rushed out on an open field, he would not have captured it. Eighteen thousand of the Marsi and their general Fraucus were slain in this battle and three thousand captured. 19 Four thousand Italians, fleeing from the slaughter, chanced to ascend the summit of a mountain with their column in close formation. Overwhelmed and weakened by the snows there, they suffered a miserable death from exposure. 20 They were standing just as if they had been stricken with fear of the enemy, some reclining on stumps or rocks, others leaning on their weapons. The eyes of all were open wide and their teeth exposed. All appeared alive and their continuous immobility, a state which a living being could in no wise maintain for long, was the only indication of death apparent to an observer at a distance. 21 On the same day the Romans encountered and defeated the Picentes. Their leader Vidacilius gathered together his chiefs and, after a magnificent feast accompanied by heavy drinking, challenged all to follow his example. He then drank a poisonous draught and died. All praised his action, but not one followed it.

22 In the six hundred and sixty-first year of the City, a Roman army went to besiege Pompeii. The lieutenant of L. Sulla, Postumius Albinus, a man of consular rank, at that time so aroused the hatred of all the soldiers against him by his insufferable arrogance that they stoned him to death. 23 The consul Sulla gave it as his opinion that civil bloodshed could be atoned for only by shedding the blood of the enemy. Fully aware of the truth of this opinion, the army began battle, each soldier feeling that he must die unless he was victorious. Eighteen thousand Samnites were slain in that battle. Sulla also pursued and killed L. Cluentius, an Italian leader, and a great number of his people. 24 The consul Porcius Cato, accompanied by the Marian forces, fought a number of hard battles. Indeed, he boasted that even C. Marius had not accomplished greater deeds. On account of this, when he was waging war against the Marsi at Lake Fucinus, the son of C. Marius, as if an unknown champion, struck him down in the tumult of battle. 25 The legate C. Gabinius was killed while he was storming the enemy's camp. The attack of Sulpicius, Pompeius's legate, overwhelmed and destroyed the Marrucini and the Vestini. This same Sulpicius killed the Italian generals Popaedius and Obsidius in a frightful battle at the Teanus River. 26 Pompeius entered Asculum and had the prefects, centurions, and all the leading men beaten with rods and beheaded. He sold the slaves and all the booty at auction and ordered the remaining people to depart, free indeed, but stripped and destitute. Though the senate expected that the proceeds of the booty would somewhat increase the public income, Pompeius did not contribute anything from it to the needy treasury.

27 The treasury at that time was thoroughly depleted and funds for the payment of grain were lacking. The public properties within the circuit of the Capitol, the ancient possessions of the pontifices, augurs, decemviri, and flamines, were therefore sold under the pressure of necessity. These brought enough money to relieve the deficit for the time being. 28 Indeed all the wealth that had been seized from conquered cities and from lands stripped bare was heaped up in the lap of Rome at the time when the City herself, compelled by the urgency of her shameful need, was putting up at auction her own most valuable properties. 29 Therefore let Rome now reflect upon her own past. Like an insatiable stomach that consumes everything and yet remains always hungry, the City herself, more wretched than all other cities that she was making wretched, left nothing untouched and yet had nothing; and she was forced by the pinch of hunger at home to continue in that state of unrest which war engenders.

30 In those same days, King Sothimus, accompanied by a large force of Thracian auxiliaries, invaded Greece and ravaged all the territory of Macedonia. The praetor C. Sentius finally defeated him and forced him to return to his own kingdom.

[19] L   In the six hundred and sixty-second year of the City, before the Social War had come to an end, the First Civil War broke out at Rome. In that same year the Mithridatic War also began. This war, although less dishonourable, was certainly no less serious. 2 Indeed we have varying accounts of its length. Some say that it was waged for thirty years, others say forty years, depending upon whether its beginning is dated from the time mentioned above or from the time when it blazed forth in full strength. But however complicated the history of those times on account of the great numbers of evils that flared up, nevertheless I will attempt to list them, albeit briefly, one by one.

3 When the consul Sulla {88 B.C.} and his army were about to leave for Asia to war against Mithridates but were still in Campania engaged in various matters connected with the prosecution of the Social War, Marius endeavoured to obtain the consulship for the seventh time and also the command of the war against Mithridates. 4 Upon learning of this, Sulla, who was a very impatient youth, was seized by an uncontrollable fit of anger. With four legions he at once encamped before the City and there killed Gratidius, the legate of Marius -  the first victim, so to speak, of the Civil War. Then with his army he quickly broke into the City and demanded firebrands in order that he might set it on fire. Since all the people had hidden themselves in terror, he marched rapidly along the Sacred Way and came to the forum. 5 Marius tried first to arouse the nobility, then to inflame the people, and finally to arm the equestrian order against Sulla. But when he had failed, he tried as a last resort to tempt the slaves to take up arms by offering them liberty and booty. When he saw that his attempt to resist was useless, he finally withdrew to the Capitol, where the Sullan cohorts charged upon him. After suffering heavy casualties he took flight. 6 At this time Sulpicius, a colleague of Marius, was betrayed by one of his own slaves and killed. Although the consuls agreed that this slave deserved freedom in return for his services in giving information about the enemy, nevertheless they decreed that he should be hurled from the Tarpeian Rock because he had betrayed his master.

7 As a result of the persistence of his pursuers, Marius was finally surrounded during his flight. He hid himself in the swamps of Minturnae, where he had the bad luck and the humiliation to be dragged out entirely covered with mud. When he had been brought to Minturnae (an unsightly spectacle) he was thrust into prison. His stern expression terrified the man sent to execute him. 8 Later he escaped from his fetters and fled to Africa. Accompanied by his son, whom he forcibly removed from Utica where the latter was being held under guard, he returned without delay to Rome and there formed a criminal alliance with the consul Cinna {87 B.C.}. 9 The conspirators then divided the army into four parts for the purpose of overthrowing the whole Republic. Three legions were given to Marius; Cn. Carbo was placed in command of a second part of the forces; and Sertorius received a third. The latter was that well-known Sertorius who had already been an instigator of and a participant in the Civil War and who later, after the close of this war, stirred up in Spain another war which lasted many years and which wrought terrible losses upon the Romans. The remaining part of the army followed Cinna. 10 On the other hand, Cn. Pompeius, who with his army had been summoned by the Senate to bring aid to the Republic and who for a long time had kept himself aloof from any participation in the revolutionary movement, was slighted by Marius and Cinna. He therefore joined Octavius and promptly engaged in battle with Sertorius. 11 Night ended the unfortunate conflict in which six hundred soldiers on each side were slain.

12 On the following day when the bodies, which were all piled together, were being identified for burial, a Pompeian soldier recognised the body of his brother whom he had killed with his own hand; for in the battle their helmets had prevented them from recognising each other's faces, and they were so enraged that they failed to look closely at each other. Although the guilt is somewhat lessened by ignorance, since he apparently did not know that the soldier was his brother, there is no doubt that he did know that his opponent was a citizen. 13 Therefore the victor, more unhappy than the victim, when he recognised the body of his brother and realised that he was guilty of fratricide, cursed civil wars and then on that very spot pierced his own breast with his sword. While his life blood was pouring forth and the tears were flowing from his eyes, he flung himself down over his brother's corpse.

14 And what help did it give toward putting an end to this cruel enterprise that at the very beginning of the civil wars a disgraceful report had spread abroad to the effect that men had fought against each other, ignorant, to be sure, that they were brothers but entirely aware of the fact that they were citizens; that one among them, victorious in his crime, had endeavoured to obtain the armour belonging to his slain brother and that, responsible for this monstrous outrage, he had atoned for the fratricide that he had committed by taking his life with his own sword and by his own hand? 15 Did so sad an example have any influence upon the animosities of the combatants whose nerves were on edge? Did the fear resulting from this mistake restrain anyone from the possibility of committing a like crime? Did piety and a reverence for nature insist on standards that are universally held, even among animals? . . . Did this example of murder and suicide make anyone afraid that the same experience might happen to him, and did it therefore restrain the conscience-stricken from similar enterprise? Not at all! 16 Over the ensuing period of almost forty years civil wars were so continuous that people came to believe that the measure of glory depended directly upon the gravity of the crime. For after such an example in a war all would have fled from the risk of committing parricide had it not been for the fact that they welcomed these very parricides.

17 As I have said, Marius then forced his way into the colony of Ostia and there committed all kinds of lust, avarice, and cruelty. 18 Pompeius was killed by a bolt of lightning and his men were attacked by a pestilence which destroyed almost the entire army. Eleven thousand from Pompeius's camp died, while six thousand from the division of the consul Octavius were driven mad. 19 As if he were an enemy, Marius broke into the cities of Antium and Aricia and there killed everybody except the traitors; his soldiers he allowed to plunder the property. The consul Cinna with his legions and Marius with his fugitives later entered Rome and killed all the noblest men of the Senate and many men of consular rank.

20 What a small part of the whole story are these unhappy events that I have described! . . .  Would it have been possible for me to do justice in a word to this massacre of good citizens characterised as it was by the death of so many men, by its long duration, and by such a variety of cruelty? 21 Regardless of whether this account is to be set before experienced or inexperienced persons, I have certainly shown a truly great spirit of fairness by omitting facts which might have strengthened my point in preference to introducing too much horror into my description. 22 Indeed, I am telling things about my own native land, its citizens, and my own ancestors, who, harassed by these evils, did so much that must needs be abhorred that at the mere recital of their deeds our descendants may well shudder. Our ancestors were obviously unwilling that these events should be too greatly exaggerated; they were guided either by the moderation that comes from sufficient knowledge, if they knew the facts, or by the consideration that comes from a sense of pity and reverence, if they did not know them.

23 Marius now gathered together the heads of the slain citizens for purposes of display and ornamentation. These he had previously exhibited in the banquet halls, exposed before the Capitoline temples, and collected at the rostra. At this time he had reached his own seventh consulship and the third with Cinna as his colleague {86 B.C.}. But at the very beginning of the exercise of his consular authority, when he was at a ripe old age, he was carried off by death. 24 Cinna, who had murdered good citizens, now completed his regime of slaughter by murdering bad citizens; for when the band of fugitives recruited by Marius continued its policy of plunder and greed and failed to hand over any part of the booty to the consuls who had authorised the procedure, he summoned the band to the forum under the pretext of paying its members. He then surrounded them with soldiers and, although they were unarmed, slaughtered them. Eight thousand of the fugitives were slain on that day in the forum of the City. This same Cinna, consul for the fourth time {84 B.C.}, met his death at the hands of his own soldiers.

[20] L   In the meantime, the rest of the senators, who had fled and had thus escaped the political power of Cinna, the cruelty of Marius, the insanity of Fimbria, and the audacity of Sertorius, crossed over to Greece. There by their entreaties they forced Sulla to bring help to his native land, now in danger and on the verge of utter ruin. 2 Not long after this Sulla landed on the shores of Campania and overcame the consul Norbanus in battle. Sulla's men slew seven thousand other Romans and captured six thousand; Sulla's losses amounted to one hundred and twenty-four killed. 3 Fabius Hadrianus, however, who had the powers of a propraetor, strove with the aid of an army of slaves to obtain the rule of Africa but met his death at Utica. The masters of these slaves burned him and his entire household on a pyre of wood. 4 At the instigation of the consul Marius {82 B.C.}, the praetor Damasippus cruelly put to death Q. Scaevola, C. Carbo, L. Domitius, and P. Antistius, who had been summoned to the curia upon the pretext that they were to attend a conference. The executioners dragged away their dead bodies by means of hooks and threw them into the Tiber.

5 At the same time, Sulla's generals waged a great many battles against the Marian party with most unfortunate good fortune. Q. Metellus destroyed the forces of Carrinas and captured his camp, while Pompey inflicted heavy losses upon Carbo's cavalry. 6 The greatest battle of the war was fought between Sulla and the young son of Marius at Sacriportus, where, according to Claudius, the army of Marius lost twenty-five thousand troops. 7 Pompey also forced Carbo to abandon his camp, and attacking him as he fled, gradually divested him of most of his troops, either slaughtering them or compelling them to surrender. Metellus crushed an army commanded by Norbanus in an encounter in which nine thousand of the Marian faction were killed. 8 When Lucullus was being besieged by Quintius, he sallied forth and by a sudden attack destroyed the besieging army. More than ten thousand, according to report, were slain. 9 Sulla, at the ninth hour of the day, assembled the standards before the very city of Rome and the Colline Gate, and joined battle with the Samnite general Camponius and the remaining forces of Carrinas. There he finally won the victory after a very severe battle in which eighty thousand men, according to report, were routed while twelve thousand surrendered. The victorious citizens, in a spirit of rage that knew no bounds, completed the destruction of the remaining force that now had turned to flight.

[21] L   As soon as the conquering Sulla had entered the City, he put to death, contrary to divine law and his given pledge, the three thousand men who had surrendered through envoys, and who, unarmed, felt perfectly safe. Also, a great many other people were slain, who, it is needless to mention, were not only innocent, but, what is more, were members of Sulla's own party; it is said that their number exceeded nine thousand. Uncontrolled massacres raged throughout the city. Assassins roamed everywhere, some driven by hatred and others lured by the promise of booty. 2 When all the citizens were loudly and openly bewailing the fate that each one individually feared, Q. Catulus then said publicly to Sulla: "If we kill armed men in time of war and unarmed men in time of peace, who will survive with us?"

3 In these days, at the instance of L. Fursidius, centurion of the first maniple, Sulla became the first man to introduce the infamous proscription list. The first list contained eighty names, among which were the four consuls, Carbo, Marius, Norbanus, and Scipio. Among the proscribed Sertorius was at that time especially to be feared. 4 Another list of five hundred names was also posted. When Lollius was reading it, entirely unconscious of having done anything amiss and so feeling absolutely safe, he suddenly discovered his own name. While he was stealing away from the forum in terror and with his head covered, he was put to death. 5 Not even the publication of these lists restored confidence and put an end to evils. For the assassins continued to slaughter some whom they had proscribed and proscribed others after they had slaughtered them. 6 The victims died in various ways. In killing citizens, the assassins, indeed, failed to observe the law that applies even in the case of enemies - that the conquered should simply be deprived of their lives. 7 For Sulla gave orders that M. Marius should be dragged out of a goat shed. He was then put into chains and led across the Tiber to the tomb of the Lutatii, where, after his eyes had been torn out and his limbs broken and hacked into small pieces, he was finally killed. 8 Following his death, the senator P. Laetorius and the triumvir Venuleius were executed. The head of M. Marius was sent to Praeneste, where C. Marius was being besieged by Lucretius. When C. Marius saw the head, he became utterly despondent and in order to avoid falling into the hands of enemies, tried to take his own life in a double suicide with Telesinus. 9 He drove his weapon so violently into the body of Telesinus who was rushing at him, that the wounded Telesinus was powerless to inflict a mortal wound upon him. Telesinus died, but Marius himself was only slightly wounded. He therefore offered his neck to his slave.

10 Sulla also had the praetor Carrinas murdered. He then set out for Praeneste and there gave orders that the leaders of the Marian army, that is, legates, quaestors, prefects, and tribunes, should all be killed. 11 Carbo, who was attempting to flee from the island of Cossura to Egypt, was brought back to Sicily by Pompey and put to death together with many of his companions. 12 Sulla was made dictator so that his inordinate desire for power and cruelty might be both armed and cloaked by the reverence due to an honourable and distinguished title.

13 After crossing to Africa, Pompey killed eighteen thousand men after they had made a sortie near Utica. In this battle the Marian leader Domitius was slain while fighting in the vanguard. 14 This same Pompey also pursued Hiarbas, the king of Numidia, and forced Bogudes, the son of Bocchus, who was king of the Moors, to deprive Hiarbas of all his troops. Pompey put Hiarbas to death as soon as he had captured the town of Bulla to which the latter had returned.

[22] L   When P. Servilius and Appius Claudius had been elected consuls {79 B.C.}, Sulla finally became a private citizen. 2 This settlement concluded two most destructive wars - the Italian Social War and the Sullan Civil War. These wars, which lasted ten years, took a toll of more than one hundred and fifty thousand Romans. 3 The census taken in the different ages reveals the fact that in this Civil War Rome lost as many of her best citizens and soldiers as she formerly possessed when she was surveying her resources with a view to combating Alexander the Great. 4 The census also shows that twenty-four men of consular rank, six of praetorian rank, sixty with the rank of aediles, and almost two hundred senators were destroyed. This does not include innumerable peoples over all Italy who were slaughtered without any consideration. Therefore let anyone deny, if he can, that Rome's victory did not entail as great a loss as the one Italy suffered when she lost these peoples.

5 For shame! Is there need at this point for a dubious comparison of the two periods? Yes, they say, there most certainly is; for with what can civil wars be so aptly compared as with civil wars? Or perhaps someone will say that indeed in these present times civil wars have not existed? 6 To this we answer, we might with more justice call them wars against allies, but it suits our purpose better if we allow them to be called civil wars. Now if all these wars can be proven similar in respect to cause, name, and aims, then in these recent wars the reverence for the Christian religion can make greater claims for itself in so far as the power of the victor has taken less cruel vengeance. 7 Now wicked tyrants, set up by Britannic and Gallic populations, have wantonly attacked the commonwealth, usurping royal power, and have torn apart the body of the Roman Empire; and on that account they have either invited wars from without that were in themselves unjust or else have stirred up just wars against themselves. 8 What else can these conflicts, which were very much like foreign wars and not at all like civil strife, be rightly called except wars against allies? Indeed the Romans themselves did not dignify the struggles against Sertorius, Perperna, Crixus, and Spartacus, by styling them civil wars. 9 Consequently in this case, whether it be called properly defection or treason of allies, less hatred would exist if it should happen that either a severe battle or a bloody victory should take place. 10 Nevertheless, in our own days everything that we do is more apt to be necessary than a source of shame, and so cause, battle, and victory derive from efforts either to wipe out the insolence of tyrants, to restrain the defection of allies, or to set an example of deserved vengeance. 11 Who, therefore, can doubt that the wars kindled today (I mean, those civil disturbances which are repressed rather than actually waged) are waged in a much milder and more merciful manner? 12 For who now-a-days ever heard of a single civil war that has caused a commotion lasting ten years, or of a single war in which one hundred and fifty thousand men were killed, of enemies slain by enemies, let alone of citizens killed by citizens? 13 Who would believe that this great number of distinguished and famous men, to mention whom individually would be a long task, were slaughtered in times of peace? Lastly, who today would fear, who could read, who could comprehend those monstrous lists of the proscribed? 14 Is it not rather obvious to everyone that all men have been reconciled by one peace and made secure by the same safety, and that conquered and conquerors alike exulted in common gladness, while even in the great provinces, in the cities, and among the peoples of the entire Roman Empire only a few have ever existed whom a just vengeance condemned though the victor willed it otherwise? 15 And not to increase the force of my words by more words, I may safely say that the number of the common soldiers wiped out in the present war was only as large as the number of nobles slain at that time amid peace.

16 On the death of Sulla, Lepidus, a supporter of the Marian party, rose up against Catulus, the Sullan leader, and fanned the coals of civil war into flame. Two battles were then fought. Many of the Romans, now exhausted by their very lack of numbers and up to now utterly distracted by the fury of that struggle, were slain. 17 The city of Alba, besieged and suffering terribly from hunger, was saved by the surrender of its wretched survivors. Scipio, the son of Lepidus, was captured there and put to death. 18 Brutus, while fleeing to Cisalpine Gaul with Pompey in pursuit, was killed at Rhegium. Thus this civil war, like a fire in straw, subsided with the same speed with which it had blazed forth, as much because of the clemency shown by Catulus himself as because of the disgust aroused by the cruelty of the Sullan faction.

[23] L   In the six hundred and seventy-third year of the City, the clamours of war were resounding on all sides. One of these wars was in Spain, another in Pamphylia, a third in Macedonia, and a fourth in Dalmatia. At this time the Roman state, as if fever-ridden, was in a weakened and exhausted condition as the result of internal disasters. Yet Rome was forced to repel with arms the strongest peoples of the West and North. 2 For Sertorius, a man who excelled in both cunning and audacity and a member of the Marian faction, fled before Sulla. He escaped from Africa to the Spains, where he roused the most warlike tribes to arms. 3 Against Sertorius, as I shall explain briefly, the Romans dispatched two generals, Metellus and Domitius. Hirtuleius, a general of Sertorius, overcame Domitius and his army. 4 Manlius, the proconsul of Gaul, accompanied by three legions and one thousand five hundred cavalry, crossed to Spain where he engaged in an unequal battle with Hirtuleius. Deprived of his camp and troops by the latter, Manlius, almost alone, fled for refuge to the town of Ilerda. 5 Exhausted by many battles, Metellus wandered through out-of-the-way places and wearied the enemy by his policy of delay until he was able to join the camp of his ally Pompey. 6 After concentrating an army at Pallantia, Pompey attempted in vain to defend the city of Lauron, which Sertorius was then attacking. After defeating Pompey and putting him to flight, Sertorius captured Lauron and ravaged it with great bloodshed; he brought the remaining body of the Lauronians, who had survived the slaughter, to Lusitania as miserable captives. 8 He boasted that he had conquered Pompey, the famous general of the Romans, whom Rome had dispatched, full of great confidence, to this war, not in the capacity of a consul, but in the capacity of both consuls. 9 Galba writes that Pompey had thirty thousand infantry at that time and a thousand cavalry, but also mentions the fact that Sertorius had sixty thousand infantry and eight thousand cavalry.

10 Later, however, Hirtuleius engaged in battle with Metellus near the city of Italica Baetica and lost twenty thousand soldiers. After his defeat he fled with a few followers to Lusitania. 11 Pompey captured Belgida, a celebrated city of Celtiberia. Sertorius then met Pompey in battle and killed ten thousand of his soldiers. When Pompey was conquering on the opposite wing, Sertorius himself suffered losses in almost exact proportion to the former's gains. 12 Moreover, these two generals fought many other battles. Memmius, the quaestor of Pompey and the husband of his sister, was slain, the brothers of Hirtuleius were killed, and Perperna, who had joined Sertorius, was crushed. 13 Finally, ten years after the beginning of the war, Sertorius himself was killed by these two generals, just as Viriathus was put to death by the treachery of his own men. This brought the war to an end and gave the Romans a victory without glory. Later, however, a part of the army of Sertorius followed Perperna. Pompey, however, defeated him and slaughtered his whole army. 14 He at once received the voluntary surrender of all the cities with the exception of Uxama and Calagurris, which continued their resistance. Of these cities, Pompey overthrew Uxama, while Afranius destroyed Calagurris with a final slaughter and burning, after the city had been worn down by a continuous siege and compelled by its pitiable hunger to eat unmentionable food. 15 The assassins of Sertorius did not even think of asking for a reward from the Romans, remembering as they did that a similar reward had previously been denied to the assassins of Viriathus.

16 Although these assassins had brought about security for the Romans without earning any reward for themselves at the time, yet Spain, ever steadfast in faith and strength, though she has given mighty and invincible rulers to the state, never sent forth a single tyrant from the beginning of her existence to the present day. She never sent away alive, and still powerful, any person who attacked her from without.

17 In the meantime, Claudius was assigned by lot to the Macedonian War. At that time the various tribes, which were hedged in by the Rhodopaean Mountains, were most cruelly devastating Macedonia. 18 Among other brutalities, dreadful to speak of and to hear, which these tribes inflicted upon captives, I may mention this. When they needed a cup, they were wont to seize and use greedily and without any feeling of repulsion, in place of real cups, human skulls, still dripping with blood and covered with hair, whose inner cavities were bedaubed with brain matter badly scooped out. The bloodiest and most inhuman of these hordes were the Scordisci. 19 These tribes then, as I have said, Claudius tried to drive from the boundaries of Macedonia and in so doing brought upon himself many misfortunes. On this account he became ill in mind and weighed down by worries. He finally fell a victim to disease and died.

20 His successor Scribonius, not wishing to test again the power of the tribes whose valour he had tried in an earlier war, turned his arms against Dardania and captured it. 21 The ex-consul Publius Servilius, however, who was eager to bring Cilicia and Pamphylia under his control, attacked and almost destroyed these lands. 22 He also captured Lycia and its cities, which had been besieged and hard pressed. In addition, after wandering about Mount Olympus, he overthrew Phaselis and demolished Corycus; and also, after combing those slopes of Mount Taurus which incline toward Cilicia, he subjugated the Isaurians, whose power had been broken in battle. He was the first Roman to lead an army over the Taurus and to make a way through it. Three years after the beginning of the war, he assumed the name of Isauricus. 23 The proconsul Cosconius was awarded Illyricum. Two years after he had crushed and subdued Dalmatia, he finally stormed and captured Salonae, a most flourishing city.

[24] L   In the six hundred and seventy-ninth year of the City and during the consulship of Lucullus and Cassius {73 B.C.}, seventy-four gladiators escaped from the training school of Gnaeus Lentulus at Capua. Under the leadership of Crixus and Oenomaus, who were Gauls, and of Spartacus, a Thracian, the fugitives occupied Mount Vesuvius. From there they later sallied forth and captured the camp of the praetor Clodius, who had previously surrounded and besieged them. After forcing Clodius to flee, the fugitives concentrated their entire attention on plundering. 2 Marching by way of Consentia and Metapontum, they collected huge forces in a short time. Crixus had an army of ten thousand according to report, and Spartacus had three times that number. Oenomaus had previously been killed in an earlier battle.

3 While the fugitives were throwing everything into confusion by massacres, conflagrations, thefts, and attacks upon women, they gave a gladiatorial exhibition at the funeral of a captured woman who had taken her own life in grief over her outraged honour. They formed a band of gladiators out of the four hundred captives. Indeed, those who formerly had been participants in the spectacle were now to be the spectators, but as the trainers of gladiators rather than as the commanders of troops. 4 The consuls Gellius and Lentulus {72 B.C.} were dispatched with an army against these fugitives. Gellius overcame Crixus in battle, though the latter fought with great bravery; Lentulus, however, was defeated and put to flight by Spartacus. Later the consuls joined forces, but to no avail, and after suffering a severe defeat both took to flight. Then this same Spartacus killed the proconsul C. Cassius after defeating him in battle.

5 The city now became almost as terrified as she had been when Hannibal was raging about her gates. The senate at once dispatched Crassus with the legions of the consuls and with fresh reinforcements. 6 Crassus quickly engaged the fugitives in battle, slew six thousand of them, but captured only nine hundred. Before advancing against Spartacus in person, who was laying out his camp at the head of the Silarus River, Crassus defeated the Gallic and German auxiliaries of Spartacus and slaughtered thirty thousand of them together with their leaders. 7 Finally he encountered Spartacus. After drawing up his battle line, he killed most of the forces of the fugitives as well as Spartacus himself. Sixty thousand, according to report, were slain and six thousand captured, while three thousand Roman citizens were recovered. 8 The remaining gladiators, who had escaped from this battle and were wandering at large, were gradually killed off by many generals who constantly pursued them.

9 But I myself repeat again and again: do the times really need at this point to be made the subject of any comparison? Who, I ask, does not shudder to hear, I do not say of such wars, but of such titles of wars - foreign, servile, wars with allies, civil, and fugitive wars? 10 Moreover, these wars do not follow one another like the stormy waves of the sea, however great their force may be, but these waves of strife, stirred up by various causes, pretexts, forms, and evils arising on all sides and heaped together into a mass, dash upon one another. 11 I will now resume, without any further discussion of that notorious Slave War.

The thunders of the Jugurthine War from Africa had not yet been stilled when from the northwest the lightning bolts of the Cimbrian War were hurled. 12 In addition to the vast and horrible torrents of blood raining down from those Cimbrian clouds, Italy in her misery was now sending forth the clouds of the Social War destined to merge into a great storm of evils. 13 Furthermore, after the endless and repeated storms of the Italian War, one could not travel in safety throughout Italy. All the inhabitants except the people of hostile cities, most dangerous whirlpools I might call them, were reeling about as a result of an insecure and hazardous peace. 14 Rome was at that time in the throes of giving birth to the Marian and Cinnan conflagration, while another, the Mithridatic, was threatening from a different direction, the east and north. This Mithridatic War started, to be sure, from troubles of an earlier period, but flared up again in later times. 15 The funeral pyre of the Sullan disaster was set ablaze by the Marian torch; from that pyre of the Sullan and Civil War, which was so destructive, flames were scattered throughout most of the parts of the earth and many conflagrations spread from this one blaze. 16 Lepidus and Scipio in Italy, Brutus in Gaul, Domitius, the son-in-law of Cinna, in Africa, Carbo in Cossura and Sicily, Perperna in Liguria, and later Sertorius in Spain - he was the most dangerous of them all in that same Spain - stirred up civil wars, or whatever name these wars should be called, causing many other wars to arise, all from that one war. 17 Apart from those three vast wars which at that time were called "foreign", that is, the Pamphylian, the Macedonian, and the Dalmatian, there was also that great Mithridatic War, which, though by far the longest, the most dangerous, and most formidable of all, long kept its true character concealed. 18 After this, but before the end of the Sertorian War in Spain and while Sertorius was still living, that war against the fugitive slaves and, in order to express myself more accurately, that war against the gladiators, sent forth its horrors that were not to be seen only by a few but were to be feared everywhere. 19 Although it was called a war against fugitives, one cannot judge its importance by the name; in that war frequently one consul and occasionally both consuls who had joined forces in vain, were defeated and a great number of nobles slain, but so far as the fugitives themselves were concerned, they lost more than one hundred thousand. 20 Hence we must bear in mind that Italy has reason to find consolation when she compares the sufferings incurred by the present foreign war with the recollection of past wars begun by herself and directed against herself and of wars that tore to pieces her very being in a manner incomparably more cruel.

21 Therefore I shall bring to an end this fifth book of mine, so that the civil wars - always interrelated with foreign wars  - both those which have been mentioned and those which are to follow, although closely connected by the chain of circumstances and by related evils, may be separated at least by the end of the book.

Book 6

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