Orosius: Book 5


1. In the light of the events directly following those I have just related, I realize that some people may be influenced by the fact that Roman victories continued to grow more numerous as the result of the overthrow of many peoples and cities. If they weigh the evidence carefully, however, they will find that more harm than good resulted. For none of these wars against slaves, allies, citizens, or fugitives should be dismissed lightly, since they certainly brought no benefits, but only great disasters. Nevertheless, I shall ignore this fact in order to treat the situation in the light in which these people saw it. I think that they would say: Has there ever been an age happier than this with its continuous triumphs, famous victories, rich prizes of war, imposing processions, and with kings and conquered peoples marching in a long line before the triumphal chariot? I shall answer them briefly and point out that they are pleading for, and that we are talking about, times and events which must be considered not merely from the point of view of one city but by taking the whole world into consideration. It will then appear that whenever Rome conquers and is happy the rest of the world is unhappy and conquered. Should we therefore attach too much importance to this small measure of happiness when it has been obtained at so enormous an expenditure of effort? Granted that these times did bring about some happiness to a particular city, did they not also weigh down the rest of the world with misery and accomplish its ruin? If these times are to be considered happy because the wealth of a single city was increased, why should they not rather be judged as most unhappy in view of the wretched destruction and downfall of mighty realms, of numerous and civilized peoples?

Did Carthage perhaps not view the situation differently at that time? Over a period of one hundred years the city alternately dreaded the disasters of war and the terms of peace. At one time deciding to renew war and at another to sue humbly for peace, Carthage was continually exchanging peace for war and war for peace. In the end her wretched citizens throughout the city were driven to desperation and threw themselves into the flames. The whole city became one funeral pyre. The city is now small in size and destitute of walls, and it is part of her unhappy lot to hear of her glorious past.

Let Spain present her opinion. For two hundred years Spanish fields were drenched with her own blood. The country was unable either to drive back or to withstand a troublesome enemy that was persistently attacking on every frontier. Towns and country districts everywhere were in ruins. The inhabitants were crushed by the carnage of battle and exhausted by the famines accompanying sieges. Men killed their wives and children, and to end their own sufferings, ran at one another, cut one another's throats, and suffered wretched deaths. What was Spain, then, to think about her own condition?

And now let Italy speak. Why should Italy have oppressed, resisted, and placed all sorts of obstacles in the way of her own Romans over a period of four hundred years? She certainly could not have acted in this way had the happiness of the Romans not spelled her own disaster and had she not felt that she was promoting the welfare of all by preventing the Romans from becoming masters of the entire world.

I am not now raising the question concerning innumerable peoples of various countries, who, after enjoying long periods of freedom, had been defeated in war, forcibly carried away from their native lands, sold into slavery, and dispersed far and wide. I do not ask what they would have preferred for themselves, what they thought of the Romans, and how they judged the times. I am not mentioning one word about kings of vast wealth, great power, and widespread renown, who, after enjoying a long supremacy, were later captured, chained like slaves, sent under the yoke, led before the triumphal chariot, and slaughtered in prison. To inquire their opinion is as foolish as it is difficult not to pity their misery.

Let us question ourselves then, I say, about the way of life which we have chosen and which we are accustomed to live. Our forefathers waged wars, sought peace, and offered tribute; for tribute is the price of peace. We ourselves pay tribute to avoid war and by this means have come to anchor and are remaining in the harbor in which our ancestors finally took refuge in order to escape the storm of evils. Therefore I should like to know whether our times are not happy. Certainty we, who continuously possess what our forefathers finally chose, consider our days happier than those earlier days; for the tumult of wars that exhausted them is unknown to us. We ourselves are also born and raised in a state of peace that they enjoyed only for a brief time after the rule of Caesar and the birth of Christ. The payment which subjection compelled them to make we contribute freely for the common defense. How great is the difference between the present and the past can best be judged by the fact that what Rome once extorted from our people by the sword merely to satisfy her thirst for luxury, she now contributes with us for the maintenance of government. And if anyone asserts that the Romans at that time were much more tolerable enemies to our forefathers than the Goths are now to us, his knowledge and understanding of conditions are quite at variance with the facts.

In former days the entire world was ablaze with wars, and each province was governed by its own king, laws, and customs. A feeling of common fellowship was also lacking when different powers were disagreeing with one another. What was it then that could finally draw into one bond of fellowship barbarian tribes which were scattered far and wide and, moreover, separated by differences in religion and ritual? Suppose that in those days a person was driven by the bitterness of his misfortune to utter desperation and that he decided to abandon his own country and to leave in company with the enemy. What strange country, would he, a stranger, approach? What people, usually enemies, would he, an enemy supplicate? In what man, at first meeting, would he place his confidence? He would not be invited because he belonged to the same race, he would not be induced to come because he obeyed the same law, and he would not be made to feel secure because he believed in the same religion. We have plenty of examples to illustrate what happened. Did not Busiris most brutally offer as sacrifices all strangers who had the misfortune to cross his path?  Did not the people on the shores of Taurian Diana act most cruelly toward visitors and perform sacred rites that were crueler still? Did not Thrace and its own Polymestor treat guests, who were at the same time their relatives, in a most criminal fashion? Without dallying too long on events of antiquity, I shall merely cite the testimony of Rome with regard to the murder of Pompey and the testimony of Egypt with regard to Ptolemy, his murderer.

2. At the present, however, I feel no apprehension over the outbreak of any disturbance, since I can take refuge anywhere. No matter where I flee, I find my native land, my law, and my religion. Just now Africa has welcomed me with a warmth of spirit that matched the confidence I felt when I came here. At the present time, I say, this Africa has welcomed me to her state of absolute peace, to her own bosom, and to her common law—Africa, concerning whom it was once said and truly said:

We are debarred the welcome of the beach,
They stir up wars and forbid us to set foot even on the land's edge. [Vergil, Aeneid, i. 540-1]

Africa of her own free will now opens wide her kindly bosom to receive friends of her own religion and peace, and of her own accord invites those weary ones whom she cherishes.

The width of the East, the vastness of the North, the great stretches of the South, and the largest and most secure settlements on great islands, all have the same law and nationality as I, since I come there as a Roman and Christian to Christians and Romans. I do not fear the gods of my host. Neither do I fear that his religion will bring death to me. Nor am I afraid of any place where a native may do whatever he wishes and a stranger may not do whatever is lawful, where my host's law will not be my own. One God, Who established the unity of this realm in the days when He willed Himself to become known, is loved and feared by all. The same laws, which are subject to this one God, hold sway everywhere. Wheresoever I go, stranger though I be, I need harbor no fear of sudden assault as would a man without protection. Among Romans, as I have said, I am a Roman; among Christians, a Christian; among men, a man. The state comes to my aid through its laws, religion through its appeal to the conscience, and nature through its claim of universality.

For a time I enjoy any country as if it were my own, because that native land, which is my real home and the one which I love, is not wholly on this earth. I have lost nothing where I have loved nothing. I have everything when I have with me Him whom I love; especially since He is the same among all. He made me not only known to all but also very near to all. Neither does He forsake me when I am in need, because the earth is His and its fullness, whereof He has ordered all things to be common to all men. The blessings of our age, which our ancestors never had in their entirety, are these: the tranquillity of the present, hope for the future, and possession of a common place of refuge. Our ancestors had to wage incessant wars, because, not feeling free to move as a body and to change their abodes, they continued to remain at home where they had the misfortune to be slaughtered or to be basely enslaved. This will appear clearer and more evident when the actual deeds of our ancestors are unrolled in due order.

3. In the six hundred and sixth year of the City, that is, in the same year that Carthage was destroyed, and in the consulship of Cn. Cornelius Lentulus and L. Mummius, the overthrow of Corinth followed the destruction of Carthage. The conflagrations of two of the most powerful cities—pitiable sights—were separated from each other by only a short interval of time and illuminated parts of the world at great distances from each other. The praetor Metellus won two victories over the Achaeans and the Boeotians who had joined them. The first took place at Thermopylae and the second in Phocis. The historian Claudius  tells us that twenty thousand fell in the first battle and that seven thousand were killed in the second battle. Valerius Antias  confirms the statement that a battle was fought in Achaia and that twenty thousand Achaeans and their leader Diaeus were slain. But although Polybius of Achaia  was at that time in Africa with Scipio, he was unable to ignore a disaster suffered by his native land. He claimed that one battle had been fought in Achaea under the leadership of Critolaus, but hastened to add that Diaeus and the army which he had brought with him from Arcadia had been crushed by this same praetor Metellus. Now I have already made some remarks about the variety of opinions expressed by disagreeing historians. Let it suffice to say that these historians have been exposed and branded as liars, because if writers present entirely different accounts of events which they themselves saw as eyewitnesses it indicates very clearly that their opinions of other events are worth very little.

After the annihilation of garrisons over all Achaia and after the destruction of defenseless cities, the consul Mummius with a few men suddenly went into camp in accordance with the plan formed by the praetor Metellus. After the latter had been sent away, Mummius stormed Corinth without delay. This city was by far the wealthiest of all cities in the world at that time and for centuries back had been a kind of laboratory for all crafts and craftsmen as well as the common market of Asia and Europe. He cruelly granted the captives permission to plunder. The whole city was filled with carnage and ablaze with fires which formed a single great flame that shot forth from the circumference of the walls as if from a chimney. When most of the population had been destroyed by fire and sword, the survivors were sold into slavery. A huge quantity of booty was carried away just before the city was burned to the ground, her walls leveled, and the stones in the walls reduced to dust. The presence of a great number of statues and images of all sorts in the burning city was responsible for the formation of a new type of metal consisting of gold, silver, and copper, and representing an alloy of all the metals melted down and dissolved. Hence even to this day, as tradition tells us, this metal has been called Corinthian bronze either because of its origin in Corinth or because it is an imitation of that metal. I might add that people also speak of Corinthian vases.

4. In Spain, during the same consulship, Viriathus, a Lusitanian by birth but a shepherd and robber by calling, infested the roads and devastated the provinces. He also defeated, routed, and subdued armies commanded by Roman praetors and consuls. As a result the Romans became greatly terrified. Then Viriathus encountered the praetor C. Vetilius as the latter was passing through and roaming over the broad territories of the Ebro and Tagus, rivers that were very large and widely separated from each other. He defeated the army of Vetilius and slaughtered its soldiers almost to a man; the praetor himself barely managed to slip away and escape with a few followers. He also put to flight the praetor C. Plautius, whose power had previously been broken by many battles. Later he encountered a large and well-equipped army which the Romans had dispatched under the command of Claudius Unimammus, whose evident purpose was to wipe out the stain of the earlier disgrace, but who managed only to add to the dishonor; for he lost all the supplies that he had brought with him as well as the strongest division of the Roman army. As trophies, Viriathus displayed robes, fasces, and other Roman insignia  on a mountainside of his own country.

In these same days, three hundred Lusitani fought an engagement against a thousand Romans in a mountain valley. Claudius reports that in this battle seventy Lusitani and three hundred and twenty Romans lost their lives. When the victorious Lusitani had scattered and were withdrawing in safety, one of them, a foot soldier, was cut off at some distance from his companions. When Roman cavalrymen suddenly surrounded him, he pierced the horse of one of his assailants with his spear and beheaded the rider with a single blow of his sword. All the others were so terrified that he was able to walk off leisurely and in a contemptuous manner while they looked on.

In the consulship of Appius Claudius and Q. Caecilius Metellus, the former encountered the Salassian Gauls. He met defeat and lost five thousand men, but when the struggle was renewed he killed five thousand of the enemy. He now sought a triumph in accordance with the law that stated that anyone who had destroyed five thousand of the enemy should be granted the privilege of holding a triumph. His request, however, was refused on account of the losses he had previously suffered. Nevertheless, in his desire for glory he stooped to infamy and impudence and celebrated a triumph at his own expense.

During the consulship of L. Caecilius Metellus and Q. Fabius Maximus Servilianus, an hermaphrodite, among other prodigies, was seen at Rome. At the order of the haruspices the hermaphrodite was thrown into the sea; but this act of expiation proved of no avail. Immediately so great a pestilence broke out that the insufficient number of undertakers was at once overtaxed; soon no undertakers at all were left to prepare bodies for burial. The great mansions remained, but they were now empty of all life and filled with the dead; within there were vast inheritances but not a single heir was to be found. It finally became impossible to live in the city or even to approach it, so awful were the odors given off from bodies decaying in houses and on the streets.

That expiation which required the cruel death of a human being resulted in the roads being piled high with the dead. In the midst of their miseries the Romans became overcome with shame and finally realized how vile and utterly useless that act had been. For they had performed this expiation to ward off impending disaster; but, as you see, a pestilence immediately followed. After running its course, it subsided in accordance with the decision of an inscrutable Providence without further resort to expiatory sacrifices. If the haruspices, those master craftsmen in the art of deceit, had by chance carried out that expiation—a customary procedure on their part when diseases were abating—they would have indubitably claimed for themselves, their gods, and their rites, the credit for the return to normal conditions. And so that wretched City, whose evil religion did not shrink from sacrilege, was deceived by falsehoods from which it could not free itself.

The consul Fabius in the course of his struggle against the Lusitani and Viriathus drove off the enemy and freed the town of Buccia, which Viriathus was besieging. He received in surrender not only this city but also many other strongholds. He then committed a crime that would have been detestable even to the barbarians dwelling in farthest Scythia, not to mention its affront to the Roman sense of honour and moderation. He cut off the hands of five hundred Lusitanian chiefs who had been tempted by his offer of an alliance and had been received in accordance with the law of surrender.

Pompey, the consul of the following year, invaded the territories of the Numantines and after suffering a great disaster withdrew. Not only was his entire army almost annihilated, but also many nobles serving with him were slain.

Viriathus, however, after defeating Roman generals and armies over a period of fourteen years, was finally killed, a victim of an act of treachery. In this instance alone the Romans acted as men toward Viriathus in that they judged his assassins undeserving of a reward.

Not only now but also frequently in the past I have found myself able to interweave in my story those extremely complicated wars of the East, which rarely ever either begin or end without crimes. But the crimes of the Romans, with whom we are now concerned, are so monstrous that we may justly scorn those of other peoples.

In the days of which we are writing, Mithridates, the sixth king of the Parthians in line from Arsaces, conquered the prefect Demetrius. Now victorious, he attacked the city of Babylon and invaded all her territories. He next subdued all the tribes that dwelt in the country between the Hydaspes and Indus rivers and extended his bloody rule even to India. He fought Demetrius a second time, defeated, and captured him. Whereupon a certain Diodotus and his son Alexander usurped the throne of Demetrius and took over the name of his dynasty. But Diodotus did not wish to share the throne with his son who had participated in all the dangers involved in winning the crown. Therefore he later had him put to death.

During the consulship of M. Aemilius Lepidus and C. Hostilius Mancinus, various prodigies appeared. The consuls, so far as they were able, offered expiation according to the usual custom. But chance events did not always come opportunely to the aid of the haruspices, those weavers of lies and observers of events. For the consul Mancinus, after taking over the command of the army from Popillius at Numantia, met with constant reverses on the field of battle. He was reduced to such desperate straits that he was forced to make a most disgraceful treaty with the Numantines. Although Pompey had also but a short time before concluded an equally dishonorable treaty with these same Numantines, the Senate ordered the treaty to be abrogated and handed Mancinus over to the Numantines. They stripped him of his clothes, tied his hands behind his back, and exposed him to public view before the Numantine gates, where he remained far into the night. Deserted by his own people and rejected by the enemy, he furnished a spectacle that caused friend and foe alike to weep.

5. Grief compels me to cry out at this point. Why, O Romans, do you undeservedly ascribe to yourselves those great attributes of justice, good faith, courage, and mercy? Learn the true nature of these virtues from the Numantines. Was a display of courage required? The Numantines conquered by fighting. Was good faith demanded? Trusting others to act as they themselves would have acted, the Numantines concluded a treaty and set free those whom they might have killed. Was justice to be put to the test? The very silence of the Senate bore witness to that justice when these same Numantines through their own envoys kept demanding either an inviolable peace or else, according to the agreement made, the return of all those whom they had released alive. Was it evident that the spirit of mercy needed examination? The Numantines have given evidence enough by granting life to a hostile army and by not punishing Mancinus. Ought Mancinus, I ask, to have been surrendered? It was he who saved his defeated army from impending slaughter by shielding them under the cover of a peace treaty and it was he who preserved for better times the imperiled forces of his fatherland. If the treaty concluded did not meet with approval, why was the army set free by this pledge, or, when the army came back, why was it received? When the return of the army was demanded, why was it not sent back? Or if any possible arrangement for saving the army met with approval, why was Mancinus, who concluded this treaty, alone surrendered ?

Somewhat earlier, Varro, in order to precipitate the conflict, had overcome the reluctance of his colleague Paulus and forced him to take action. Varro rushed forward his own army which thus far had been afraid to risk battle and at Cannae—notorious for that famous Roman disaster—drew up his luckless troops, not to fight a battle but to expose them to death. He lost more than forty thousand Roman soldiers solely because of his own impatience, a trait upon which Hannibal had long relied to achieve victory for himself. After the death of his colleague Paulus (and what a man he was!) Varro finally had the impudence to return practically alone to the City. There he earned the reward of his self-assurance. He was publicly thanked by the Senate for not despairing of the Republic, which, however, he himself had brought to dire straits.

At a later date Mancinus did his very best to save the army which, in the fortunes of war, had been surrounded. Nevertheless this same Senate condemned him to be surrendered to the enemy. I know, O Romans, that you disapproved in the case of Varro, but you yielded to the emergency. You made the present decision in the case of Mancinus and again cited the pretext of an emergency. Thus your actions from the very beginning have been such that no citizen could consistently have any regard for so ungrateful a people nor could an enemy place any trust in those proven to be so untrustworthy.

In the meantime Brutus  in Further Spain crushed sixty thousand Gallaeci who had come to the assistance of the Lusitani. He was victorious only after a desperate and difficult battle, despite the fact that he had surrounded them unawares. According to report, fifty thousand of them were slain in that battle, six thousand were captured, and only a small number escaped by flight. In Nearer Spain the proconsul Lepidus, against the Senate's orders, stubbornly tried to subdue the Vaccaei, a harmless and submissive tribe. But he paid the penalty for his effrontery and stubbornness, for shortly afterward he suffered a severe defeat: no less than six thousand Romans met a just death in this unjust war; the rest, having stripped their camp and thrown away their arms, escaped.

This disaster of Lepidus was not one whit less disgraceful than that suffered under Mancinus. Let the Romans themselves, overcome by constant disasters and defeated time and again—to say nothing of the Spaniards who were beaten and worn out by so many battles—now ascribe, if they can, happiness to this period. In order not to make it a matter of reproach by revealing the number of the Roman praetors and of their lieutenant-generals, consuls, legions, and armies that were lost, I simply repeat: what kind of madness, arising from fear, was it that so weakened the Roman soldier that he could no longer stand firm nor steel his courage for further trials of warfare, but took to his heels as soon as he caught a glimpse of a Spaniard, his special enemy, and practically considered himself defeated before the enemy was even sighted? From what I have said it is clear that both sides judged their times wretched, since the Spaniards, though quite able to conquer, were loath to relinquish the pleasures of their idle life and to engage in foreign wars, whereas the Romans suffered more disgraceful defeats the more outrageously they encroached upon the peace of a foreign power.

6. During the consulship of Servius Fulvius Flaccus and Q. Calpurnius Piso, a maid servant at Rome gave birth to a boy who had four feet, four eyes, as many ears, that is, double the number that an ordinary human being has. About this time Mount Etna in Sicily erupted and poured forth vast streams of fiery lava, which, like torrents, rushed precipitously down the slopes. The flames consumed everything nearby, while glowing ashes, which gave off a dense vapor as they flew far and wide through the air, scorched more distant places. This type of prodigy, ever native to Sicily, is wont not so much to portend as to bring misfortune.

In the territority of Bononia  the produce of the field sprouted forth on trees. In Sicily a slave war arose which was particularly severe and bitterly fought on account of the large number of slaves participating, the amount of their equipment, and the imposing strength of their forces. Roman praetors were completely routed and even the consuls were terrified, for at that time seventy thousand slaves, according to report, were in the army of the conspirators. This number did not include slaves from the city of Messana, which kept its slaves peaceful by treating them with kindness. In another respect, also, Sicily was rather unfortunate. As an island Sicily never had a law adapted to her own conditions. Therefore she fell under the control of tyrants at one time and at another of slaves. The evil rule of the former resulted in slavery, whereas the perversity and presumption of the latter effected an interchange of liberty and slavery between the classes. Sicily was in an especially unfavorable position since she was surrounded by the sea and therefore able only with the greatest difficulty to purge herself of intestine evils. To her ruin, Sicily sustained a viperous growth that was strengthened by her own lust and destined to live on after her death. In such a situation, the emotions of a slave mob are more truculent than free men's in the degree that their display is rarer. For a crowd of free men is motivated by an urge toward their country's welfare whereas a slave mob desires the country's ruin.

7. During the six hundred and twentieth year of the City, the disgrace of the treaty concluded at Numantia added to the shame which the Roman brow already carried. This disgrace was almost greater than that involved in the treaty formerly made at Caudine Forks. Scipio Africanus was now unanimously elected consul by the tribes and dispatched with an army to storm Numantia. This was the farthest city of the Celtiberi and was situated in Hither Spain on a high point of Gallaecia not far from the lands of the Vaccaei and Cantabri. For a period of fourteen years Numantia, with only four thousand troops, not only had held her own against forty thousand of the Romans but even defeated and forced them to conclude humiliating treaties. Therefore, when Scipio Africanus entered Spain, he did not immediately engage the enemy, thinking that he might overthrow them when they were off their guard. He knew that this race of men never allowed their bodies and minds to become so relaxed in times of leisure that the state of their training was not, even then, superior to the preparations of others. On the contrary, he confined his own army to its camp for some time and drilled his soldiers as if they were in a training school. Even though Scipio passed part of the summer and the whole winter without attempting even one battle, he gained very little advantage from his diligence. In fact, when an opportunity for battle presented itself, the Roman army was overwhelmed by the attack of the Numantines, and it fled. After the consul had checked its flight by upbraiding his soldiers with reproaches and threats, the army rallied, turned against its pursuers, and compelled them to flee. It is difficult at this point to relate the truth of this affair. The Romans both turned back the Numantines and witnessed their flight. Hence although Scipio had rejoiced and boasted that this victory had exceeded his expectations, nevertheless he openly acknowledged that it would have been rash to continue this particular battle. Thinking, however, that he ought to take further advantage of his unexpected success, he closely besieged the city itself, surrounding it with a trench ten feet wide and twenty feet deep. By means of numerous towers he then set about to reduce the rampart, which had been constructed with stakes, so that, if the enemy should sally forth and make an attack upon him, he might at once carry on the struggle not as a besieger against the besieged, but vice versa, that is, as the besieged against the besieger.

Numantia, situated on an eminence not far from the Durius River, was surrounded by a wall three miles in circumference. Nevertheless there are some who assert that the city was without walls and that its area was very small. The latter opinion is credible for this reason: although the Numantines enclosed the large space mentioned in order to take care of the feeding and protection of their flocks and also to provide satisfactory means for the cultivation of the land when hard pressed in war, they themselves occupied a small citadel fortified by its natural position. Otherwise so large an area would have seemed not to protect the city's inhabitants but rather to betray its small population.

The Numantines were shut in for a long time and became completely exhausted by hunger. They then offered to surrender on the condition that they obtain reasonably satisfactory terms. They also repeatedly begged for an opportunity to engage in a regular battle, so that they might die like men. Finally they all suddenly burst forth from two gates. They had just drunk their fill not of wine—this place was not favorable to viticulture—but of the juice of a weed. This drink is skilfully concocted, and it is called caella because it is heated. The potency of the moistened fruit bud is first intensified by heat. The bud is then dried, ground to powder, and mixed with a mild juice. When this ferments, it becomes sour and when consumed produces that feeling of warmth characteristic of drunkenness. They drank this potion after their long fast and as soon as it took effect presented themselves for battle.

The struggle raged long and fiercely and even jeopardized the safety of the Romans. Had they not been under the command of Scipio, the Romans would have proved by fleeing that they were fighting against the Numantines. When the bravest of their men had been killed, the Numantines withdrew from battle, but they returned to their city with ordered ranks and not as fugitives. They were unwilling to receive the bodies of the slain offered for burial. With their last hope gone and only death awaiting them, they became desperate and set fire to their besieged city. Each died either by sword, by poison, or by fire. So the Romans gained absolutely nothing from their victory except their own security; for when Numantia had been overthrown, they did not consider that they had defeated the Numantines but that they had escaped from them. The fetters of the victor held not a single Numantine, so that Rome saw no sufficient reason for granting Scipio a triumph. The Numantines were so poor that they had no gold or silver that could have survived the fire, which had consumed their weapons and their clothing.

8. While these events were taking place at Numantia, the seditions stirred up by the Gracchi were agitating Rome. After the destruction of Numantia, Scipio entered into peace treaties with other Spanish tribes. Once he consulted a certain Thyresus, a Celtic chieftain, and asked him how it happened that the Numantine state had remained so long unconquered and how later it came to be overthrown. Thyresus replied: "When harmony reigned the state was unconquerable, but once lack of harmony began to prevail the state was destroyed." The Romans took this statement as a warning applying to themselves, for presently they received news that seditions were throwing the whole City into discord. Indeed once Carthage and Numantia were destroyed, that useful spirit of cooperation, the consequence of their foresight, perished among the Romans, and a disastrous spirit of contention, the natural outgrowth of their ambition, sprang up.

T. Gracchus, the tribune of the plebs, became angry at the nobility because he was charged with being one of the authors of the Numantine treaty. He decided that the land which heretofore had been held by private interests should now be divided for the benefit of the people. He took away the imperium from Octavius, a tribune of the plebs, who was opposing him, and made Minucius the latter's successor. These acts angered the Senate and made the people arrogant. At this time it chanced that on his deathbed, Attalus, the son of Eumenes, had provided in his will that the Roman people should fall heir to the rule of the province of Asia. Gracchus, seeking to win the favor of the people by bribery, put through a law stipulating that the money obtained from Attalus should be distributed among the people. When Nasica opposed this measure, Pompey promised that he would also bring charges against Gracchus, as soon as the latter had left his magistracy.

9. When Gracchus was striving to remain a tribune of the plebs for the following year and was stirring up riots among the people on election day, the nobles became greatly incensed. On the order of Nasica they wielded pieces of wood torn from the benches and put the plebeians to flight. As Gracchus, his cloak torn off, fled along the steps that were above the Calpurnian Arch, he was struck by one of these pieces and fell to the ground. When he rose to his feet, another blow of a cudgel smashed his skull and killed him. In that riot two hundred were killed and their bodies were thrown into the Tiber. The unburied corpse of Gracchus vanished.

In addition, the contagion of the Slave War that had arisen in Sicily infected many provinces far and wide. At Minturnae, the Romans crucified five hundred slaves, and at Sinuessa, Q. Metellus and Cn. Servilius Caepio overwhelmed about four thousand slaves. In the mines of the Athenians, the praetor Heraclitus broke up a slave uprising of like character. At Delos, citizens, anticipating the movement, crushed the slaves when they arose in another rebellion. These riots, if I may so express myself, represented but additional sparks which, set ablaze by that trouble in Sicily, leaped forth and started all these different fires. For in Sicily the consul Piso,who succeeded the consul Fulvius, took the town of Mamertium and killed eight thousand fugitives; those whom he was able to capture he had fastened to the patibulum. Rupilius, who had succeeded Piso as consul, stormed and recaptured Tauromenium and Henna, the strongest places of refuge held by the fugitive slaves. More than twenty thousand slaves, according to report, were slaughtered at that time.

Of such a war as this the cause is pitiable and the issues hopelessly involved. For undoubtedly the masters would have had to die had they not met the insolence of the slaves with steel. Nevertheless if one takes into account the unfortunate losses of battle and the still more unfortunate gains of victory, the conquerors lost in proportion to the number of the conquered who perished.

10. In the six hundred and twenty-second year of the City, P. Licinius Crassus, consul and pontifex maximus, was dispatched with a well-equipped army against Aristonicus, the brother of Attalus. Aristonicus had invaded the province of Asia, which had been left as a legacy to the Romans. The consul was also supported by the powerful kings, Nicomedes of Bithynia, Mithridates of Pontus and Armenia, Ariarathes of Cappadocia and Pylaemenes of Paphlagonia, all of whom contributed great forces. Nevertheless, Crassus was defeated in a pitched battle, and his army was compelled to flee after suffering heavy losses. When the consul himself was surrounded by the enemy and was about to be captured, he thrust the whip, which he had used on his horse, into the eye of a Thracian. The barbarian, smarting from the pain and burning with rage, stabbed him through the side with a sword. Thus Crassus escaped both dishonor and slavery by meeting death in the way he had chosen to die.

Upon hearing of the death of Crassus and of the slaughter of the Roman army, the consul Perperna, who had succeeded Crassus, speedily marched over into Asia and surprised Aristonicus who was resting after his recent victory. Perperna annihilated his army and forced him to flee. Next he besieged the city of Stratoniceia to which Aristonicus had fled for refuge. He compelled the latter, now emaciated from hunger, to surrender. The consul was later taken ill at Pergamum and died. Aristonicus, by order of the Senate, was strangled in a prison at Rome.

In the same year, the miserable life of Ptolemy, the king of the Alexandrians, was brought to an end still more wretched. He first seduced his own sister, then married her, and finally divorced her—the last act being more disgraceful than the marriage. He next took to wife his own stepdaughter, that is, the daughter of his sister and wife. He put to death his own son, who was born of his sister, and also killed one of his brother's sons. Because of these acts of incest and parricide he was detested by the Alexandrians who drove him from the kingdom.

During those same years, Antiochus, not content with Babylon, Ecbatana, and the whole Median Empire, engaged in battle with the Parthian king, Phraates II, and was defeated. Though Antiochus apparently had only a hundred thousand soldiers in his own army, he carried along with him two hundred thousand servants and camp followers, among whom were prostitutes and actors. Therefore he and his entire army fell an easy prey to the Parthian troops and all perished.

I have no hesitation in saying that one of the worst disgraces that can be charged to the Romans occurred in the consulship of C. Sempronius Tuditanus and M. Acilius. On the day before his death P. Scipio Africanus learned that he would be accused in court by evil and ungrateful men notwithstanding the efforts he had made in behalf of his country. He therefore testified before the Assembly that his life was in danger. Early the next day he was found dead in his own bedroom. I make special mention of this because Africanus enjoyed so great a reputation in the City for strength and moderation that people readily believed that had he lived there could have been no war against the allies nor any civil war. It was a common saying that Africanus was treacherously murdered by his wife Sempronia, a sister of the Gracchi. They said this, I believe, so that a family already steeped in crime and fated to bring ruin on its own country might have, in the midst of the wicked seditions raised by its men, a reputation even more monstrous because of the crimes committed by its women.

In the consulship of M. Aemilius and L. Orestes, Etna was shaken by a severe tremor and poured forth masses of glowing lava. Again, on another day, on the island of Lipara and around its adjacent waters, the volcano boiled over to such an extent that it dissolved rocks already burned, scorched the planks of ships after first causing the binding wax to liquify, and boiled alive fish swimming near the surface. It also suffocated human beings who by constantly breathing hot air burned their vital organs. Only those who were able to withdraw to some distance escaped death.

11. In the consulship of M. Plautius Hypsaeus and M. Fulvius Flaccus, Africa had only just become peaceful and free from the ravages of war when a horrible and unusual catastrophe overtook her. Huge numbers of locusts swarmed over the whole land. They not only completely destroyed all hope of any crops by consuming all the plants and part of their roots and the leaves of the trees along with the tender shoots of their branches, but even gnawed away the bitter bark and dry wood. The locusts were then swept away by the wind and driven together into dense masses. After being carried through the air for a long time they finally were drowned in the African Sea. The great waves deposited enormous heaps of them along wide stretches of the shore where the decaying and putrifying masses gave out a stench foul beyond belief and very infectious. The plague that followed was so severe that it affected all living creatures. Everywhere the putrifying bodies of the birds, domestic animals, and wild beasts destroyed by the contaminated atmosphere increased the virulence of the pestilence. Indeed the human toll taken by the plague was so frightful that my whole body trembles as I refer to it. In Numidia, where King Micipsa was ruling at that time, it is recorded that eight hundred thousand men perished, while along the maritime coast closely adjacent to Carthage and to Utica more than two hundred thousand lost their lives. In the city of Utica itself, thirty thousand soldiers who were stationed there to protect all Africa were killed and wiped off the face of the earth. This disaster came so suddenly and with so great violence that at Utica in a single day and through one gate alone more than fifteen hundred bodies of young men and women were said to have been carried out for burial.

Nevertheless, as a result of the favor and kindness of Almighty God, by Whose mercy and in whose trust I speak of these matters, I should say this. Although locusts in our times have appeared unexpectedly now and then—and this has happened in various places—for the most part they have been endurable even though they did some harm. But never has there been a plague of locusts like this. So long as these locusts were alive they were utterly unbearable, but when they were dead they became even more so. For while they were still alive, everything seemed about to perish, but once they were destroyed, even those creatures nearing death wished that the locusts had not perished.

12. In the six hundred and twenty-seventh year of the City, during the consulship of L. Caecilius Metellus and Q. Titius Flamininus, the city of Carthage in Africa, which had been destroyed twenty-two years earlier, was now ordered to be restored. But before the city was rebuilt and settled by families of Roman citizens brought there to live, an extraordinary prodigy occurred. Surveyors sent to determine the boundaries of the territory belonging to the city of Carthage discovered that the posts erected to mark the boundaries had been torn up, bitten, and gnawed to pieces by wolves during the night. The Romans then were for some time in doubt whether the restoration of Carthage would be advantageous to the peace of Rome.

In that same year, Caius Gracchus, the brother of that famous Gracchus  who had previously been killed in a domestic riot, was aided in his election to the office of tribune of the plebs by an uprising of the people. This brought great harm to the Republic. For Gracchus continuously incited the Roman people to bitter dissension by his largesses and immoderate promises, especially those made in the interests of the agrarian law in behalf of which his brother, Tiberius Gracchus, had met his death. Finally, however, he withdrew from the tribunate. As the tribune of the plebs, he was succeeded by Minucius, who proceeded to tear up most of his statutes and to repeal the greater part of his laws. C. Gracchus, accompanied by Fulvius Flaccus and surrounded by a huge crowd, then went up to the Capitol where an assembly was in session. A great tumult arose there. The killing of a certain herald by the partisans of Gracchus was a summons to battle. Flaccus, escorted by his two sons who were armed and also accompanied by Gracchus who was wearing a toga and concealing a poniard under his left arm, sent a herald ahead to offer the slaves their freedom. When they did not accept his offer, he seized the temple of Diana as a citadel.

As a counter move, D. Brutus, a man of consular rank, rushed down the sloping Publican Road and made a spirited attack upon him, but Flaccus fought most stubbornly for a long time. Gracchus, meanwhile, withdrew to the Temple of Minerva and planned to fall on his sword but was restrained by the intervention of Laetorius. The battle raged a long time, the issue ever hanging in the balance. Finally, however, the bowmen dispatched by Opimius scattered the crowd which was engaged in hand-to-hand fighting. The two Flacci, father and son, fled through the Temple of Luna, leaped down into a private house, and barricaded the doors. Their pursuers tore down the walls made of wickerwork and stabbed them both to death.

When his friends had fought a long time and many of them had laid down their lives in his behalf, Gracchus barely managed to reach the Sublician Bridge, where, in order to avoid being captured alive, he offered his neck to his slave. The head of Gracchus, which had been cut off, was brought to the consul; his body was sent to his mother Cornelia who lived in the town of Misenum. This Cornelia, the daughter of the greater Africanus, had withdrawn to Misenum, as I have said, upon the death of her elder son. The property of Gracchus was confiscated and the youthful Flaccus was put to death in prison, while two hundred and fifty of the faction of Gracchus, according to report, were slain on the Aventine Hill. The consul Opimius  was as cruel in the judicial investigations as he had been brave in battle. He executed more than three thousand men, most of whom, having been denied even a chance to defend themselves, were killed in spite of their innocence.

13. In those same days, Metellus  overran and subdued the Balearic Islands. By slaughtering a great many of the inhabitants, he suppressed a dangerous outbreak of piracy that had arisen at this time among the people. The proconsul Gnaeus Domitius also defeated the Allobrogian Gauls in a severe battle near the town of Vindalium. The principal reason for his victory was the terror that the strange appearance of the elephants aroused in the horses of the enemy and in the enemy themselves, causing them to flee in every direction. Twenty thousand of the Allobroges, according to report, lost their lives there and three thousand were captured.

At this same time an eruption of Mount Etna took place. It was more violent than usual. Fiery torrents overflowed and spread far and wide. The city of Catana and its territory were overwhelmed to so great an extent that the roofs of the houses, scorched and weighed down by the hot cinders, crumbled in ruins to the ground. For the sake of relieving the suffering that this disaster had brought to the people of Catana, the Senate released them from the obligation of paying any tribute for ten years.

14. In the six hundred and twenty-eighth year of the City, the consul Fabius  encountered Bituitus, king of the Ar-verni, a people of the Gallic state. At this time the king was making extensive preparations for war. The army of the consul was so small that Bituitus boasted that the small number of the Romans would scarcely suffice to feed the dogs that were with his army. Realizing that the one bridge over the Rhone River was too small for him to lead his troops across, Bituitus had another constructed by chaining together small boats over which he spread boards and fastened them down. A battle was begun  which raged long and fiercely, finally ending in the defeat and rout of the Gauls. For the Gauls, while each man was thinking of his own safety, thoughtlessly allowed too great a concentration of their columns and in their haste to cross broke the chains binding the bridge. Boats and men immediately sank. Of the one hundred and eighty thousand soldiers reported in the army of Bituitus, one hundred and fifty thousand were slain or drowned.

The consul Q. Marcius  made war upon a tribe of Gauls living at the foot of the Alps. When they saw themselves surrounded by the Roman troops and realized that they would be an unequal match for them in battle, they killed their wives and children and then threw themselves into blazing fires. Those whom the Romans had made captive before they had had any opportunity of taking their own lives later did away with themselves, some by the sword, some by hanging, and others by starvation. Not one survived, not even one small boy who, in his love for life, might have been willing to endure the state of slavery.

15. In the six hundred and thirty-fifth year of the City, during the consulship of P. Scipio Nasica and L. Calpurnius Bestia, the Senate, acting with the consent of the Roman people, declared war on Jugurtha, the king of the Numidians.

But I myself shall touch but briefly on Jugurtha and then only to mention him in order to follow an orderly arrangement in my narrative. Owing to the excellent work of historians, people are generally sufficiently well informed not only of his fickle and insufferable character but also of the exploits which he carried out with a treachery that matched his great energy.

When Jugurtha, the adopted son of the Numidian king Micipsa, was made co-heir with the king's natural children, he first put to death Hiempsal, one of the heirs and then after defeating Adherbal, the other heir, drove him from Africa. By offering a bribe of money, he then corrupted the consul Calpurnius, who had been dispatched against him, and persuaded the consul to agree to most disgraceful conditions of peace. Moreover, when Jugurtha came to Rome, he corrupted or tried to corrupt everybody with money, and thus involved all in sedition and dissension. When he was on the point of leaving, he branded Rome with these shameful words, which well describe the City: "O venal city, doomed to quick perdition, if it can only find a buyer!"

The following year Jugurtha overwhelmed A. Postumius in battle at the city of Calama. The Roman general had been placed in command of an army of forty thousand soldiers by his brother, the consul Postumius, and was very eager to seize this city because it was the repository of the royal treasury. Jugurtha, after defeating him, exacted a most humiliating treaty. Then he added to his own kingdom almost all the African territories that were trying to free themselves from the Roman rule. Later, however, he was checked by the integrity and military ability of the consul Metellus, who defeated him in two battles. With his own eyes he now saw his Numidia ravaged and himself powerless to defend it. Forced by Metellus to surrender, Jugurtha gave three hundred hostages and promised that he would turn over to him grain and other supplies. He failed, however, to live up to the terms of the treaty and continued his unwarranted attacks until he was finally overcome by the Roman forces and the astuteness of Marius, who was just as clever as Jugurtha himself. Marius gave an excellent example of this trait when he outwitted the enemy and captured the city of Capsa, which, they say, was founded by the Phoenician Hercules and which now was filled with royal treasure.

Jugurtha finally despaired of his own affairs and resources and made an alliance with Bocchus, the king of the Moors. Greatly strengthened by the cavalry contingents of the latter, he harassed the Marian army by frequent raids. Finally at Cirta, an ancient city and the capital of Masinissa, he encountered the Romans, who were preparing an assault upon that city. He drew up his forces in battle array against a cavalry force numbering sixty thousand. No battle was ever more turbulent or more harrowing to a Roman soldier. A cloud of dust, raised by the galloping and snorting of the horses as they circled about in the attack, veiled the heavens, shut out the daylight, and brought on darkness; so great a shower of missiles poured down upon the Romans that no part of the body was safe. Moreover, the density of the atmosphere prevented them from seeing any distance ahead, while their great numbers, as they crowded together, made maneuvers for defending themselves difficult to execute. The Moorish and Numidian cavalry did not have to exert themselves much to carry out a well-timed javelin attack designed to break up the ranks of their opponents who were occupying a favorable position. They kept on discharging their darts blindly in the confident assurance that the missiles must of necessity strike their mark. Driven into one space, the Roman infantrymen pressed closely against one another.

Night afforded the Romans a temporary relief from their perilous situation, but the next day the same conditions of war and of danger prevailed. It was useless for a soldier to rush against the enemy with drawn sword, for he would be driven back by darts hurled from a distance; the infantrymen could not flee, since the cavalry, which had completely hemmed them in, could swiftly overtake them. When the third day came and there was no help from any source, the dread appearance of death presented itself on all sides. Finally the consul Marius offered a means of escape by undertaking a brave and desperate move. His entire army in battle formation rushed forth simultaneously from valley and open plain, and offered battle everywhere at the same time. The enemy, again circling around them, not only cut to pieces the flanks of the line but also kept overwhelming the center with darts that reached their mark though hurled from a distance; and what is more, the heat of the sun, unbearable thirst, and the presence of death all around them exhausted the disorganized Romans and reduced them to a state of complete despair. At this point a storm of wind and rain was sent from Heaven against the Africans. This kind of assistance, which was well known to the Romans, brought unexpected deliverance. The sudden downpour cooled the thirsty and heated Romans and gave them drink, but so far as the Numidians were concerned, it made slippery the shafts of their darts, which they were accustomed to hurl with their hands without ammenta. Thus their darts became useless. The shields, too, which they usually carried and which were made from stretched and toughened elephant hide, though easy to handle and offering adequate protection, were of such a nature that they absorbed rain like a sponge. This added weight rendered them unmanageable and quite useless in affording protection, since they could not be manipulated with ease. When the Moors and Numidians had thus been unexpectedly thrown into confusion and rendered helpless, Bocchus and Jugurtha took flight. Later, however, these same kings threw ninety thousand soldiers into a final struggle. When the Romans conquered them, their forces, it is said, were slaughtered almost to the last man. Bocchus despaired of any hope of further success in war and sued for peace. As the price of peace he turned over Jugurtha to Sulla who brought him to Marius. Jugurtha, who had been captured by a ruse, was now weighed down by chains and driven with his two sons before the chariot in a triumph. Shortly afterward he was strangled to death in prison.

In those same days an ominous and sad prodigy was seen. As L. Helvius, a Roman knight, accompanied by his wife and daughter, was returning from Rome to Apulia, he was overtaken by a storm. When he saw that his daughter was terrified, he abandoned the carriages and took to horse in order to reach the nearest shelter more quickly. As soon as his unmarried daughter began to ride in the center of the cavalcade, she was knocked senseless by a bolt of lightning. Despite the fact that all her clothes were stripped from her body without being torn, that the bands at her breast and feet were loosened, and that her necklaces and bracelets were broken, her body remained unharmed except that it lay shamefully exposed with her tongue protruding a little. The horse that she had been riding lay lifeless some distance away. Its loosened trappings, reins, and surcingles were widely scattered.

Shortly thereafter, L. Veturius, a Roman knight, secretly defiled Aemilia, a Vestal Virgin. This same Aemilia also led into temptation and corrupted two other Vestal Virgins, whom she had induced to enter into sexual relations with the comrades of her own betrayer. When a slave disclosed the affair, all suffered punishment.

In these days of the Jugurthine War, the consul L. Cassius, who was in Gaul, pursued the Tigurini as far as the Ocean. When he was on his way back, he was surrounded and slain in an ambush laid by the enemy. Lucius Piso, a man of consular rank and at the same time the legate of the consul Cassius, was also killed. The other legate, C. Publius, in accordance with the terms of a most disgraceful treaty, was handed over to the Tigurini together with hostages and a half share of all their property. This was done in order to save the surviving part of the army, which had fled for refuge to the camp. On returning to Rome, Publius was summoned to trial by the plebeian tribune Caelius on the charge that he had given hostages to the Tigurini. Consequently he had to flee into exile. The proconsul Caepio  captured a city of the Gauls, Tolosa by name, and carried away from the Temple of Apollo one hundred thousand pounds of gold and one hundred and ten thousand pounds of silver. He then sent this treasure under guard to Massilia, a city friendly to the Roman people. But the men whom he had commissioned to guard and transport it were secretly slain, as some bear witness, and Caepio is said then to have criminally appropriated all the treasure.  On account of his action an investigation, far reaching in scope, was later held at Rome.

16. In the six hundred and forty-second year of the City, the consul C. Manlius  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 provinces between themselves, making the Rhone River the boundary. 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. 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. Of the entire army it is said that only ten men have survived. These men reported the sad news and thereby increased the distress of the people. Having gained possession of both camps and of a huge amount of booty, the enemy seemed driven by some strange and unusual animus. They completely destroyed everything they had captured; 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. At Rome there was not only very great sorrow, but also the fear that the Cimbri would immediately cross the Alps and destroy Italy.

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 parricide. He at once manumitted these slaves as a reward for their part in the crime. Upon the accusation of Cn. Pompey, he was tried and found guilty.

Marius, now consul for the fourth time, pitched his camp near the confluence of the Isere and Rhone rivers. The Teutones, Cimbri, Tigurini, and Ambrones fought continuously for three days in the neighborhood 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. 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. 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. Two hundred thousand of the Gallic soldiers, according to report, were slain in that battle, eight thousand were captured, and barely three thousand fled. Their general Teutobodus was killed.

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.

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, 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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. 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. In the six hundred and forty-fifth year of the City, following the Cimbrian and Teuton War and the fifth consulship of Marius, the constitution of the Roman Empire was judged to be legally in force. In the sixth consulship of this same Marius, the state was so violently shaken that it was almost destroyed through internal conflict. To unravel and to run through the ambiguities of the quarrels and the inextricable causes of seditions seems to me unnecessary as well as tedious. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Much to the joy of the entire city, Cato and Pompey 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. 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 favor of his jurors by wearing shabby clothing or by displaying a humble mien. Neither did he flatter his enemies nor did he try to moderate 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. 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 judges who had perjured themselves. He then emigrated to Smyrna where he lived to an advanced age, devoting himself to literary pursuits.

18. In the six hundred and fifty-ninth year of the City and during the consulship of Sextus Julius Caesar and L. Marcius Philippus, all Italy was in the throes of the war against allies. This war was caused by domestic quarrels. 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. 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. While the inhabitants of Arretium  were breaking bread at banquets, blood flowed from the center of the loaves as if from bodily wounds. 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. 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. Drusus, who was worried by these ill-boding portents, was killed by an unidentified assassin in his own house.

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, proclaimed a slaughter, and cut the throats of all Roman citizens. 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. The praetor Cn. Pompey, under orders from the Senate, waged war with the Picentes and was defeated. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 sagas, 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. 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. As a result of the victory in which Cn. Pompey 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.

During the consulship of Cn. Pompey and L. Porcius Cato,Pompey 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. 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. They had taken a stand 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. 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.

In the six hundred and sixty-first year of the City, a Roman army went to besiege the Pompeys. 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. 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. 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 Facinus, the son of C. Marius, as if an unknown champion, struck him down in the tumult of battle. The lieutenant C. Gabinius was killed while he was storming the enemy's camp. The attack of Sulpicius, Pompey'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. Pompey 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, Pompey did not contribute anything from it to the needy treasury.

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, decemvirs, and flamines, were therefore sold under the pressure of necessity. These brought enough money to relieve the deficit for the time being. 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. 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.

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. 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 dishonorable, was certainly no less serious. 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.

When the consul Sulla 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 endeavored to obtain the consulship for the seventh time and also the command of the war against Mithridates. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. On the other hand, Cn. Pompey, 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. Night ended the unfortunate conflict in which six hundred soldiers on each side were slain.

On the following day when the bodies, which were all piled together, were being identified for burial, a Pompeian soldier recognized the body of his brother whom he had killed with his own hand; for in the battle their helmets had prevented them from recognizing 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. Therefore the victor, more unhappy than the victim, when he recognized the body of his brother and realized 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.

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 endeavored to obtain the armor 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? 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? [A bit of the text is lost here] 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! 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.

As I have said, Marius then forced his way into the colony of Ostia  and there committed all kinds of lust, avarice, and cruelty. Pompey was killed by a bolt of lightning and his men were attacked by a pestilence which destroyed almost the entire army. Eleven thousand from Pompey's camp died, while six thousand from the division of the consul Octavius were driven mad. 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.

What a small part of the whole story are these unhappy events that I have described! [A bit of the text is lost here] Would it have been possible for me to do justice in a word to this massacre of good citizens characterized as it was by the death of so many men, by its long duration, and by such a variety of cruelty? 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. 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.

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. 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. 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 authorized 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, met his death at the hands of his own soldiers.

20. 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. 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. 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 fagots. At the instigation of the consul Marius, 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. Accompanied by the Samnite general Campanius and by the remaining forces of Carrinas, Sulla, at the ninth hour of the day, assembled the standards before the very city of Rome and the Colline Gate. 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. 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. 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, with whose help shall we finally conquer?"

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. 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. 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. 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. For Sulla gave orders that M. Marius  should be dragged out of the shed where the goats were kept. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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 honorable and distinguished title.

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. 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. When P. Servilius and Appius Claudius had been elected consuls, Sulla finally became a private citizen. 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. 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. 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.

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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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? 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? 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? 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? 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.

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. The city of the Albans, 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. 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. In the six hundred and seventy-third year of the City, the clamors 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. For Sertorius, a man who excelled in both trickery 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. 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. 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. 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. After concentrating an army at Pallantia, Pompey attempted in vain to defend the city of Lauron, which Sertorius was then attacking. He brought the remaining body of the Lauronians, who had survived the slaughter to Lusita-nia as miserable captives. 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 consuls. 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.

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. 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. 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. Finally, two years after the beginning of the war, Sertorius himself was killed by these two generals, and 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. 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. 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.

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 the best and unconquered 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.

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. 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. 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.

His successor Scribonius, not wishing to test again the power of the tribes whose valor he had tried in an earlier war, turned his arms against Dardania  and captured it. The ex-consul Publius Servilius, however, who was eager to bring Cilicia and Pamphylia under his control, attacked and almost destroyed these lands. He also captured Lycia and its cities, which had been besieged and hard pressed. In addition, after wandering about Mount Olympus, he overthrew Phaselisand demolished Corycus; and also, after combing those slopes of the Taurian Range 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 it the terminus of a march. Three years after the beginning of the war, he assumed the name of Isauricus. 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. In the six hundred and seventy-ninth year of the City and during the consulship of Lucullus and Cassius, seventy-four gladiators escaped from the training school of Cnaeus 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. 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.

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. The consuls Gellius and Lentulus 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

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? 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. I now take up where I left off and cease my 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Wherefore 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.