Translated by Rev. J.S.Watson (1853). See key to translations for an explanation of the format.
← Previous books (37-39)
[40.1] L After the kings and kingdom of Syria had been exhausted by continual wars, occasioned by the mutual animosities of brothers, and by sons succeeding to the quarrels of their fathers, the people began to look for relief from foreign parts, and to think of choosing a king from among the sovereigns of other nations. 2 Some therefore advised that they should take Mithridates of Pontus, others Ptolemy of Egypt, but it being considered that Mithridates was engaged in war with the Romans, and that Ptolemy had always been an enemy to Syria, 3 the thoughts of all were directed to Tigranes king of Armenia, who, in addition to the strength of his own kingdom, was supported by an alliance with Parthia, and by a matrimonial connection with Mithridates. 4 Tigranes, accordingly, being invited to the throne of Syria, enjoyed a most tranquil reign over it for eighteen years, without having occasion to go to war either to attack others or to defend himself.
[40.2] L But Syria, though unmolested by enemies, was laid waste by an earthquake, in which a hundred and seventy thousand people, and several cities, were destroyed; a portent which the soothsayers declared to presage a change in things.
2 After Tigranes was conquered by Lucullus, Antiochus, the son of Cyzicenus, was made king of Syria by his authority. 3 But what Lucullus gave, Pompeius soon after took away; telling him, when he made application for the crown, that he would not give Syria, even if it was willing to accept him, and much less if unwilling, to a king, who for eighteen years, during which Tigranes had governed Syria, had lain hid in a corner of Cilicia, and now, when Tigranes was conquered by the Romans, asked for the reward of other men's labours. 4 Accordingly, as he had not taken the throne from Tigranes while he held it, so he would not give Antiochus what he himself had yielded to Tigranes, and what he would not know how to defend, lest he should again expose Syria to the depredations of the Jews and Arabians. 5 He in consequence reduced Syria to the condition of a province, and the whole east, through the dissensions of kings of the same blood, fell by degrees under the power of the Romans.
[41.1] L The Parthians, in whose hands the empire of the east now is, having divided the world, as it were, with the Romans, were originally exiles from Scythia. 2 This is apparent from their very name; for in the Scythian language exiles are called Parthi. 3 During the time of the Assyrians and Medes, they were the most obscure of all the people of the east. 4 Subsequently, too, when the empire of the east was transferred from the Medes to the Persians, they were but as a herd without a name, and fell under the power of the stronger. 5 At last they became subject to the Macedonians, when they conquered the east; 6 so that it must seem wonderful to every one, that they should have reached such a height of good fortune as to rule over those nations under whose sway they had been merely slaves. 7 Being assailed by the Romans, also, in three wars, under the conduct of the greatest generals, and at the most flourishing period of the republic, they alone, of all nations, were not only a match for them, but came off victorious; 8 though it may have been a greater glory to them, indeed, to have been able to rise amidst the Assyrian, Median, and Persian empires, so celebrated of old, and the most powerful dominion of Bactria, peopled with a thousand cities, than to have been victorious in war against a people that came from a distance; 9 especially when they were continually harassed by severe wars with the Scythians and other neighbouring nations, and pressed with various other formidable contests.
10 The Parthians, being forced to quit Scythia by discord at home, gradually settled in the deserts betwixt Hyrcania, the Dahae, the Arei, the Sparni and Margiani. 11 They then advanced their borders, though their neighbours, who at first made no opposition, at length endeavoured to prevent them, to such an extent, that they not only got possession of the vast level plains, but also of steep hills, and heights of the mountains; 12 and hence it is that an excess of heat or cold prevails in most parts of the Parthian territories; since the snow is troublesome on the higher grounds, and the heat in the plains.
[41.2] L The government of the nation, after their revolt from the Macedonian power, was in the hands of kings. 2 Next to the royal authority is the order of the people, from which they take generals in war and magistrates in peace. 3 Their language is something between those of the Scythians and Medes, being a compound of both. 4 Their dress was formerly of a fashion peculiar to themselves; afterwards, when their power had increased, it was like that of the Medes, light and full flowing. The fashion of their arms is that of their own country and of Scythia. 5 They have an army, not like other nations, of free men, but chiefly consisting of slaves, the numbers of whom daily increase, the power of manumission being allowed to none, and all their offspring, in consequence, being born slaves. These bondmen they bring up as carefully as their own children, and teach them, with great pains, the arts of riding and shooting with the bow. 6 As any one is eminent in wealth, so he furnishes the king with a proportionate number of horsemen for war. Indeed when fifty thousand cavalry encountered Antonius, as he was making war upon Parthia, only four hundred of them were free men.
7 Of engaging with the enemy in close fight, and of taking cities by siege, they know nothing. They fight on horseback, either galloping forward or turning their backs. Often, too, they counterfeit flight, that they may throw their pursuers off their guard against being wounded by their arrows. 8 The signal for battle among them is given, not by trumpet, but by drum. Nor are they able to fight long: but they would be irresistible, if their vigour and perseverance were equal to the fury of their onset. 9 In general they retire before the enemy in the very heat of the engagement, and, soon after their retreat, return to the battle afresh; so that, when you feel most certain that you have conquered them, you have still to meet the greatest danger from them. 10 Their armour, and that of their horses, is formed of plates, lapping over one another like the feathers of a bird, and covers both man and horse entirely. Of gold and silver, except for adorning their arms, they make no use.
[41.3] L Each man has several wives, for the sake of gratifying desire with different objects. They punish no crime more severely than adultery, 2 and accordingly they not only exclude their women from entertainments, but forbid them the very sight of men. 3 They eat no flesh but that which they take in hunting. 4 They ride on horseback on all occasions; on horses they go to war, and to feasts; on horses they discharge public and private duties; on horses they go abroad, meet together, traffic, and converse. Indeed the difference between slaves and freemen is, that slaves go on foot, but freemen only on horseback. 5 They dispose of bodies by leaving them to be torn apart by birds or dogs; the bare bones they at last bury in the ground.
6 In their superstitions and worship of the gods, the principal veneration is paid to rivers. 7 The disposition of the people is proud, quarrelsome, faithless, and insolent; for a certain roughness of behaviour they think becoming to men, and gentleness only to women. 8 They are always restless, and ready for any commotion, at home or abroad; taciturn by nature; more ready to act than speak, and consequently shrouding both their successes and failures in silence. 9 They obey their princes, not from humility, but from fear. They are libidinous, but frugal in diet. 10 To their word or promise they have no regard, except as far as suits their interest.
[41.4] L After the death of Alexander the Great, when the kingdoms of the east were divided among his successors, the government of Parthia was committed to Stasanor, a foreign ally, because none of the Macedonians would deign to accept it. 2 Subsequently, when the Macedonians were divided into parties by civil discord, the Parthians, with the other people of Upper Asia, followed Eumenes, and, when he was defeated, went over to Antigonus. 3 After his death they were under the rule of Seleucus Nicator, and then under Antiochus and his successors, from whose great-grandson Seleucus they first revolted, in the first Punic war, when Lucius Manlius Vulso and Marcus Attilius Regulus were consuls [256 B.C.]. 4 For their revolt, the dispute between the two brothers, Seleucus and Antiochus, procured them impunity; for while the brothers sought to wrest the throne from one another, they neglected to suppress the rebellion.
5 At the same period, also, Theodotus, governor of the thousand cities of Bactria, revolted, and assumed the title of king; and all the other people of the east, influenced by his example, fell away from the Macedonians. 6 One Arsaces, a man of uncertain origin, but of undisputed bravery, happened to arise at this time; 7 and he, who was accustomed to live by plunder and depredations, hearing a report that Seleucus was overcome by the Gauls in Asia, and being consequently freed from dread of that prince, invaded Parthia with a band of marauders, overthrew Andragoras the governor, and, after putting him to death, took upon himself the government of the country. 8 Not long after, too, he made himself master of Hyrcania, and thus, invested with authority over two nations, raised a large army, through fear of Seleucus and Theodotus, king of the Bactrians. 9 But being soon relieved of his fears by the death of Theodotus, he made peace and an alliance with his son, who was also named Theodotus; and not long after, engaging with king Seleucus, who came to take vengeance on the rebels, he obtained a victory; 10 and the Parthians observe the day on which it was gained with great solemnity, as the date of the commencement of their liberty.
[41.5] L Seleucus being then recalled into Asia by new disturbances, and respite being thus given to Arsaces, he settled the Parthian government, levied soldiers, built fortresses, and strengthened his towns. 2 He founded a city also, called Dara, in Mount Zapaortenon, of which the situation is such, that no place can be more secure or more pleasant; 3 for it is so encircled with steep rocks, that the strength of its position needs no defenders; and such is the fertility of the adjacent soil, that it is stored with its own produce. 4 Such too is the plenty of springs and wood, that it is amply supplied with streams of water, and abounds with all the pleasures of the hunt. 5 Thus Arsaces, having at once acquired and established a kingdom, and having become no less memorable among the Parthians than Cyrus among the Persians, Alexander among the Macedonians, or Romulus among the Romans, died at a mature old age; 6 and the Parthians paid this honour to his memory, that they called all their kings thenceforward by the name of Arsaces. 7 His son and successor on the throne, whose name was also Arsaces, fought with the greatest bravery against Antiochus, the son of Seleucus, who was at the head of a hundred thousand foot and twenty thousand horse, and was at last taken into alliance with him. 8 The third king of the Parthians was Priapatius; but he was also called Arsaces, for, as has just been observed, they distinguished all their kings by that name, as the Romans use the titles of Caesar and Augustus. 9 He, after reigning fifteen years, died, leaving two sons, Mithridates and Phraates, of whom the elder, Phraates, being, according to the custom of the nation, heir to the crown, subdued the Mardi, a strong people, by force of arms, and died not long after, leaving several sons, 10 whom he set aside, and left the throne, in preference, to his brother Mithridates, a man of extraordinary ability, thinking that more was due to the name of king than to that of father, and that he ought to consult the interests of his country rather than those of his children.
[41.6] L Almost at the same time that Mithridates ascended the throne among the Parthians, Eucratides began to reign among the Bactrians; both of them being great men. 2 But the fortune of the Parthians, being the more successful, raised them, under this prince, to the highest degree of power; 3 while the Bactrians, harassed with various wars, lost not only their dominions, but their liberty; for having suffered from contentions with the Sogdians, the Arachosians, the Drancae, the Arei and the Indians, they were at last overcome, as if exhausted, by the weaker Parthians. 4 Eucratides, however, carried on several wars with great spirit, and though much reduced by his losses in them, yet, when he was besieged by Demetrius king of the Indians, with a garrison of only three hundred soldiers, he repulsed, by continual sallies, a force of sixty thousand enemies. Having accordingly escaped, after a five months' siege, he reduced India under his power. 5 But as he was returning from the country, he was killed on his march by his son, with whom he had shared his throne, and who was so far from concealing the murder, that, as if he had killed an enemy, and not his father, he drove his chariot through his blood, and ordered his body to be cast out unburied.
6 During the course of these proceedings among the Bactrians, a war arose between the Parthians and Medes, and after fortune on each side had been some time fluctuating, victory at length fell to the Parthians; 7 when Mithridates, enforced with this addition to his power, appointed Bocasis over Media, while he himself marched into Hyrcania. 8 On his return from thence, he went to war with the king of the Elymaeans, and having conquered him, added this nation also to his dominions, and extended the Parthian empire, by reducing many other tribes under his yoke, from Mount Caucasus to the river Euphrates. 9 Being then taken ill, he died in an honourable old age, and not inferior in merit to his great-grandfather Arsaces.
[42.1] L After the death of Mithridates, king of the Parthians, Phraates his son was made king, who, having proceeded to make war upon Syria, in revenge for the attempts of Antiochus on the Parthian dominions, was recalled, by hostilities on the part of the Scythians, to defend his own country. 2 For the Scythians, having been induced, by the offer of pay, to assist the Parthians against Antiochus king of Syria, and not having arrived till the war was ended, were disappointed of the expected remuneration, and reproached with having brought their aid too late; and when, in discontent at having made so long a march in vain, they demanded that either some recompence for their trouble, or another enemy to attack, should be assigned them, being offended at the haughty reply which they received, they began to ravage the country of the Parthians. 3 Phraates, in consequence, marching against them, left a certain Himerus, who had gained his favours in the bloom of youth, to take care of his kingdom. But Himerus, unmindful both of his past life, and of the duty with which he was entrusted, miserably harassed the people of Babylon, and many other cities, with tyrannical cruelties. 4 Phraates himself, meanwhile, took with him to the war a body of Greeks, who had been made prisoners in the war against Antiochus, and whom he had treated with great pride and severity, not reflecting that captivity had not lessened their hostile feelings, and that the indignity of the outrages which they had suffered must have exasperated them. 5 As soon therefore as they saw the Parthians giving ground, they went over to the enemy, and executed that revenge for their captivity, which they had long desired, by a sanguinary destruction of the Parthian army and of king Phraates himself.
[42.2] L In his stead Artabanus, his uncle, was made king. The Scythians, content with their victory, and with having laid waste Parthia, returned home. 2 Artabanus, making war upon the Tocharii, received a wound in the arm, of which he immediately died. 3 He was succeeded by his son Mithridates, to whom his achievements procured the surname of Great; for, being fired with a desire to emulate the merit of his ancestors, he was enabled by the vast powers of his mind to surpass their renown. 4 He carried on many wars, with great bravery, against his neighbours, and added many provinces to the Parthian kingdom. 5 He fought successfully, too, several times, against the Scythians, and avenged the injuries received from them by his forefathers. 6 At last he turned his arms against Artoadistes, king of Armenia.
7 But since we here make a transition to Armenia, we must look a little farther back into its origin; 8 for it is not right that so great a kingdom should be passed in silence, since its territory, next to that of Parthia, is of greater extent than any other kingdom. 9 Armenia, from Cappadocia to the Caspian Sea, stretches over a space of eleven hundred miles, and is seven hundred miles in breadth. 10 It was founded by Armenius, the companion of Jason of Thessaly. King Pelias, wishing to procure Jason's death from dread of his extraordinary ability, which was dangerous to his throne, ordered him to go on an expedition to Colchis, to bring home the fleece of the ram so celebrated throughout the world; hoping that the man would lose his life, either in the perils of so long a voyage, or in war with barbarians so remote. 11 But Jason, having spread abroad the report of so glorious an enterprise, at which the chief of the youth from almost all the world came flocking to him, collected a band of heroes, who were called Argonauts. 12 Having brought his troop back safe, and being again driven from Thessaly by the sons of Pelias, he set out on a second voyage for Colchis, accompanied by a numerous train of followers (who, at the fame of his valour, came daily from all parts to join him), by his wife Medea, whom, having previously divorced her, he had now received again from compassion for her exile, and by his step-son Medus, whom she had by Aegeus king of the Athenians; and he re-established his father-in-law Aeetes who had been driven from his throne.
[42.3] L Jason then carried on great wars with the neighbouring nations; and of the cities which he took, he added part to the kingdom of his father-in-law, to make amends for the injury that he had done him in his former expedition, in which he had carried off his daughter Medea and put to death his son Aegialeus, and part he assigned to the people that he had brought with him; 2 and he is said to have been the first of mankind, after Hercules and Liber (whom tradition declares to have been kings of the east), that subdued that quarter of the world. 3 Over some of these nations he appointed (?) Erygius and Amphistratus, the charioteers of Castor and Pollux, to be their rulers. 4 With the Albanians he formed an alliance, a people who are said to have followed Hercules out of Italy, from the Alban mount, when, after having killed Geryon, he was driving his herds through Italy, and who, remembering their Italian descent, saluted the soldiers of Pompeius in the Mithridatic war as their brothers. 5 Hence almost the whole east appointed divine honours, and erected temples, to Jason, as their founder; temples which Parmenion, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, caused many years after to be pulled down, that no name might be more venerated in the east than that of Alexander. 6 After the death of Jason, Medus, emulating his virtues, built a city named Medea in honour of his mother, and established the kingdom of the Medes after his own name, under whose dominion the empire of the east afterwards fell. 7 On the Albanians border the Amazons, whose queen Thalestris, as many authors relate, sought to sleep with Alexander. 8 Armenius, too, who was himself a Thessalian, and one of the captains of Jason, having re-assembled a body of men, who, after the death of Jason were wandering about, founded Armenia, 9 from the mountains of which the river Tigris issues, at first with a very small stream, but after running some distance, is lost in the earth, and then, flowing five and twenty miles underground, rises up a great river in the province of Sophene; and thus it is received into the marshes of the Euphrates.
[42.4] L Mithridates king of the Parthians, after his war with Armenia, was banished from his kingdom for his cruelty by the Parthian senate. 2 His brother Orodes, who took possession of the vacant throne, besieged Babylon, whither Mithridates had fled, for some time, and reduced the people, under the influence of famine, to surrender. 3 Mithridates, from confidence in his relationship to Orodes, voluntarily put himself into his hands; 4 but Orodes, contemplating him rather as an enemy than a brother, ordered him to be put to death before his face. After this, he carried on a war with the Romans, and overthrew their general Crassus, together with his son and all the Roman army. 5 Pacorus, the son of Orodes, who was sent to pursue what remained of the Roman forces, after achieving great successes in Syria, incurred some jealousy on the part of his father, and was recalled into Parthia; and during his absence the Parthian army left in Syria was cut off, with all its commanders, by Cassius the quaestor of Crassus. 6 Not long after these occurrences the civil war among the Romans, between Caesar and Pompeius, broke out, in which the Parthians took the side of Pompeius, both from the friendship that they had formed with him in the Mithridatic war, and because of the death of Crassus, whose son they understood to be of Caesar's party, and supposed that, if Caesar were victorious, he would avenge his father's fate. 7 When Pompeius' party was worsted, they sent assistance to Cassius and Brutus against Augustus and Antonius; and, after the war was ended, they made an alliance with Labienus, and, under the leadership of Pacorus, again laid waste Syria and Asia, and assailed, with a vast force, the camp of Ventidius, who, like Cassius before him, had routed the Parthian army in the absence of Pacorus. 8 Ventidius, pretending to be afraid, kept himself a long time in his camp, and suffered the Parthians to insult him. At last, however, when they were full of security and exultation, he sent out part of his legions upon them, and the Parthians, put to flight by their onset, went off in several directions; 9 when Pacorus, supposing that his fugitive troops had drawn off all the Roman forces in pursuit of them, attacked Ventidius' camp, as if it had been left without defenders. 10 Upon this, Ventidius, pouring forth the rest of his troops, put the whole force of the Parthians, with their king Pacorus, to the sword; nor did the Parthians, in any war, ever suffer a greater slaughter.
11 When the news of this disaster reached Parthia, Orodes, the father of Pacorus, who had just before heard that Syria had been ravaged, and Asia occupied by his Parthians, and was boasting of his son Pacorus as the conqueror of the Romans, was affected, on hearing of the death of his son and the destruction of his army, at first with grief, and afterwards with disorder of the intellect. 12 For several days he neither spoke to any one, nor took food, nor uttered a sound, so that he seemed to have become dumb. 13 Some time after, when his sorrow found vent in words, he did nothing but call upon Pacorus; Pacorus seemed to be seen and heard by him; Pacorus appeared to talk with him, and stand by him; though at other times he mourned and wept for him as lost. 14 After long indulgence in grief, another cause of concern troubled the unhappy old man, as he had to determine which of his thirty sons he should choose for his successor in the room of Pacorus. 15 His numerous concubines, from whom so large a progeny had sprung, were perpetually working on the old man's feelings, each anxious for her own offspring. 16 But the fate of Parthia, in which it is now, as it were, customary that the princes should be assassins of their kindred, ordained that the most cruel of them all, Phraates by name, should be fixed upon for their king.
[42.5] L Phraates immediately proceeded to kill his father, as if he would not die, and put to death, also, all his thirty brothers. But his murders did not end with his father's sons; 2 for finding that the nobility began to detest him for his constant barbarities, he caused his own son, who was grown up, to be killed, that there might be no one to be nominated king. 3 On this prince Antonius made war, with sixteen effective legions, for having sent troops against him and Caesar; but being severely harassed in several engagements, he was forced to retreat from Parthia. 4 Phraates, upon this success, becoming still more insolent, and being guilty of many fresh acts of cruelty, was driven into exile by his subjects. 5 Having then, for a long time, wearied the neighbouring people, and at last the Scythians, with entreaties for aid, he was at last restored to his throne by a powerful Scythian force. 6 During his absence, the Parthians had made one Tiridates king, who, when he heard of the approach of the Scythians, fled with a great body of his partisans to Caesar, who was then carrying on war in Spain, taking with him, as a hostage for Caesar, the youngest son of Phraates, whom, being but negligently guarded, he had secretly carried off. 7 Phraates, on hearing of his flight, immediately sent ambassadors to Caesar, requesting that his slave Tiridates, and his son, should be restored to him. 8 Caesar, after listening to the embassy of Phraates, and deliberating on the application of Tiridates (for he also had asked to be restored to his throne, saying that Parthia would be wholly in the power of the Romans, if he should hold the kingdom as a gift from them), replied, that he would neither give up Tiridates to the Parthians, nor give assistance to Tiridates against the Parthians. 9 That it might not appear, however, that nothing had been obtained from Caesar by all their applications, he sent back to Phraates his son without ransom, and ordered a handsome maintenance to be furnished to Tiridates, as long as he chose to continue among the Romans. 10 Some time after, when Caesar had finished the Spanish war, and had proceeded to Syria to settle the affairs of the east, he caused some alarm to Phraates, who was afraid that he might contemplate an invasion of Parthia. 11 Whatever prisoners, accordingly, remained of the army of Crassus or Antonius throughout Parthia, were collected together, and sent, with the military standards that had been taken, to Augustus. 12 In addition to this, the sons and grandsons of Phraates were delivered to Augustus as hostages; and thus Caesar effected more by the power of his name, than any other general could have done by his arms.
[43.1] L Having narrated the history of the Parthians and other eastern nations, and of almost the whole world, Trogus returns home, as if after a long journey in foreign parts, to relate the rise of the city of Rome, thinking it would be the mark of an ungrateful citizen, if, after he had set forth the acts of other nations, he should be silent concerning his native country alone. 2 He therefore briefly touches on the origin of the Roman empire, so as neither to exceed the bounds of the work that he had proposed, nor to pass unnoticed the origin of a city which is now the mistress of the world.
3 The first inhabitants of Italy were the Aborigines, whose king, Saturnus, is said to have been a man of such extraordinary justice, that no one was a slave in his reign, or had any private property, but all things were common to all, and undivided, as one estate for the use of every one; 4 in memory of which way of life, it has been ordered that at the Saturnalia slaves should everywhere sit down with their masters at the entertainments, the rank of all being made equal. 5 Italy was accordingly called, from the name of that king, Saturnia; and the hill on which he dwelt Saturnius, on which now stands the Capitol, as if Saturnus had been dislodged from his seat by Jupiter. 6 After him, third in descent, they say that Faunus was king, in whose time Evander came into Italy from Pallanteum, a city of Arcadia, accompanied with a small band of his countrymen, to whom Faunus kindly gave land, and the mountain which he afterwards called Palatium. 7 At the foot of this mountain he built a temple to the Lycaean, whom the Greeks call Pan, and the Romans Lupercus, the naked statue of the deity being covered with a goat-skin, in which dress the priests now run up and down during the Lupercalia at Rome. 8 This Faunus had a wife named Fatua, who, being constantly filled with a spirit of divination, gave notice, in fits of frenzy as it were, of things to come; and hence, to this day, those who are accustomed to be thus inspired, are said fatuari. 9 Of an illicit connection between a daughter of Faunus and Hercules, (who, having killed Geryon about that time, was driving his herds, the prize of his victory, through Italy), was born Latinus, 10 in whose reign Aeneas came from Ilium into Italy, after the destruction of Troy by the Greeks. Aeneas, being confronted by an immediate war, led out his troops into the field, but being first invited to a conference, raised such admiration of himself in Latinus, that he was both admitted to a share of his throne, and became his son-in-law by a marriage with his daughter Lavinia. 11 After this event, they had to carry on war in concert against Turnus, king of the Rutuli, because he had been disappointed of marrying Lavinia; and in the war both Turnus and Latinus were killed. 12 Aeneas, in consequence, becoming by right of victory master of both nations, built a city which he called Lavinium, from the name of his wife. 13 Some time afterwards, he went to war with Mezentius, king of the Etruscans, and when he was killed in it, Ascanius his son succeeded him. Ascanius moved out of Lavinium, and built Alba Longa, which for three hundred years was the metropolis of his kingdom.
[43.2] L At length, after many kings had reigned in this city, Numitor and Amulius became joint sovereigns. 2 But Amulius, having deprived Numitor, who was the elder, of his share of the throne, condemned his daughter Rhea to perpetual virginity, that no male offspring of Numitor's family might arise to claim the crown, palliating his wrongdoing by an appearance of honour, so that she might not seem to have been compelled, but to have been chosen one of the vestal virgins. 3 Being shut up, accordingly, in a grove sacred to Mars, she gave birth to two boys, whether the offspring of an illicit connexion with a mortal, or of the god Mars, is uncertain. 4 This affair becoming known, Amulius, whose fears were increased by the birth of twins, ordered the children to be exposed, and threw his niece into prison, of which ill-treatment she died. 5 Fortune, however, had a care for the growth of Rome, and threw the children in the way of a she-wolf to be suckled, which, having lost her cubs, and longing to empty her overcharged teats, offered herself as a nurse to the infants. 6 As she made frequent returns to the children, as if they had been her own offspring, Faustulus, a shepherd, observed her proceedings, and, withdrawing them from the beast, brought them up in a rude way of life among his cattle. 7 That they were the sons of Mars, was believed, as on plain proof, either because they were born in the grove of Mars, or because they were nursed by a wolf, which is under the protection of Mars. The names of the boys were Remus and Romulus. 8 As they grew up among the shepherds, daily contests in strength increased their vigour and agility. 9 While they were frequently engaged, with great effort, in preventing robbers from seizing the cattle, it happened that Remus, having been taken by the robbers, was brought before the king, as if he had himself been guilty of that which he was endeavouring to prevent in others, and had been accustomed to make depredations on Numitor's flocks. He was consequently given up to Numitor for punishment. 10 But Numitor, who was touched with compassion for the stripling's youth, was led to suspect that he might be one of his exposed grandchildren, and while the resemblance of his features to those of his daughter, and his age corresponding with the time of the exposure, kept him in suspense, Faustulus unexpectedly came in with Romulus, and the origin of the youths being ascertained from him, a conspiracy was formed, the young men taking up arms to revenge the death of their mother, and Numitor to recover the throne of which he had been deprived.
[43.3] L Amulius being killed, the throne was restored to Numitor, and the city of Rome was founded by the two young men. 2 A senate was next appointed, consisting of a hundred old men who were called Fathers. Soon after, as the neighbouring people disdained to intermarry with shepherds, the Sabine virgins were seized by force; and the surrounding tribes being brought under their sway, the sovereignty of Italy, and afterwards that of the world, was acquired. 3 In those times kings, instead of diadems, had spears, which the Greeks called sceptres; for the ancients, from the earliest period, worshipped spears as gods, and in memory of this superstition spears are still given to the statues of the gods.
4 In the time of King Tarquinius, a company of Phocaeans from Asia, sailing up the Tiber, formed an alliance with the Romans, and proceeding from thence to the inmost part of the gulf of Gaul, built the city of Massilia amidst the Ligurians and the savage Gallic tribes, and performed great exploits there, both in defending themselves against the fierce Gauls, and in attacking, of themselves, those by whom they had previously been molested.
5 The Phocaeans, compelled by the smallness and infertility of their territory, had applied themselves more to the sea than to the culture of the ground, supporting themselves by fishing, merchandise, and above all by piracy, which in those days was thought an honourable occupation. 6 Venturing accordingly to visit the remotest shores of the ocean, they came into the gulf of Gaul and to the mouth of the river Rhone; 7 and, charmed with the pleasantness of the country, and relating, on their return home, what they had seen, they tempted others to go to the same parts. 8 Of the fleet Simos and Protis were the captains, who applied to the king of the Segobrigii, named Nannus, in whose territory they were anxious to build a city, desiring his friendship. 9 On that day, as it happened, the king was engaged in preparing for the nuptials of his daughter Gyptis, whom, after the custom of that people, he intended to give in marriage to a son-in-law to be chosen at the feast. 10 The suitors having been all invited to the wedding, the Greek visitors were also requested to join the festival. 11 The maiden was then introduced, and being desired by her father to give water to him whom she chose for her husband, she overlooked all the rest, and turning to the Greeks, held out water to Protis, who, from the king's guest becoming his son-in-law, was presented by his father-in-law with the ground for building a city. 12 Massilia was accordingly built near the mouth of the river Rhone, in a remote bay, and as it were in a corner of the sea. 13 The Ligurians, jealous of the growing greatness of the city, harassed the Greeks with continual war; but they, repelling their attacks, rose to such a degree of strength, that they conquered their enemies and planted several colonies in the lands which they captured.
[43.4] L From the people of Massilia, therefore, the Gauls learned a more civilized way of life, their former barbarity being laid aside or softened; and by them they were taught to cultivate their lands and to enclose their towns with walls. 2 Then too, they grew accustomed to live according to laws, and not by violence; then they learned to prune the vine and plant the olive; and such a radiance was shed over both men and things, that it was not Greece which seemed to have immigrated into Gaul, but Gaul that seemed to have been transplanted into Greece.
3 After Nannus, king of the Segobrigii, from whom the ground for building the city had been received, was dead, and his son Comanus had succeeded to the throne, a certain Ligurian told him that Massilia would one day be the ruin of the neighbouring people, and that he ought to suppress it in its rise, lest, when it grew stronger, it should overpower him. 4 To this prediction he added the following fable: A bitch once asked a shepherd, when she was big with young, for a place to bring forth her puppies; having obtained it, she requested again that she might be allowed to bring them up in the same place; and at last, when her young were grown up, and she could depend upon their support, she claimed possession of the place as her own. 5 In like manner, he continued, the people of Massilia, who are now regarded as your tenants, will one day become masters of your territory. 6 Moved by these persuasions, the king formed a plan to overthrow Massilia; in pursuance of which, on the day appointed for the Floralia, he sent into the city several stout and able men, who were admitted as friends; an additional number he ordered to be conveyed concealed in wagons, covered over with baskets and boughs of trees; 7 while he himself lay hid among the neighbouring hills, that after the gates had been opened in the night by the men before mentioned, he might come up in time to execute the plot, and might fall upon the city overcome with sleep and the fumes of wine. 8 But a certain woman, a relative of the king, who had an intrigue with a Greek youth, revealed the plot to him, through compassion for his youth and beauty, during their intercourse, and bade him escape from the danger. 9 He however reported the matter to the magistrates, and the treachery being thus made public, all the Ligurians were seized, those concealed being dragged from among their baskets; 10 and when they were all put to death, a plot was formed to surprise the plotter, and seven thousand of the enemy, with the king himself, were slain. 11 Since that time the Massilians, on festal days, have been accustomed to shut their gates, to keep watch, to place sentinels on the walls, to examine strangers, to take all kinds of precaution, and to guard the city as carefully in time of peace as if they were at war. 12 Thus what was wisely instituted, is still observed, not from the necessity of circumstances, but from the habit of acting prudently.
[43.5] L Subsequently they had great wars with the Ligurians and Gauls, which increased the fame of their city, and rendered the valour of the Greeks, by their manifold victories, renowned among their neighbours. 2 The forces of the Carthaginians, too, in a war which rose between them about the capture of some fishing boats, they often routed, and granted them peace under defeat; 3 with the Spaniards they made an alliance; with the Romans they faithfully observed the league concluded almost at the foundation of the city, and effectively supported their allies, in all their wars, with auxiliary troops. Such conduct both increased their confidence in their own strength, and secured them peace from their enemies. 4 But after a time, when Massilia was at the height of distinction, as well for the fame of its exploits as for the abundance of its wealth and its reputation for strength, the neighbouring people suddenly conspired to destroy the very name of Massilia, as they would have united to put out a fire that threatened them all. 5 Catumandus, one of their petty princes, was unanimously chosen general, who, when he was besieging the enemy's city with a vast army of select troops, was frightened in his sleep by the vision of a stern-looking woman, who told him that she was a goddess, and of his own accord made peace with the Massilians. 6 Having then asked permission to enter their city and pay adoration to their gods, and having gone into the temple of Minerva, and observed in the portico the statue of the goddess whom he had seen in his sleep, he suddenly exclaimed that it was she who had frightened him in the night; that it was she who had ordered him to raise the siege; 7 then, congratulating the Massilians that they were under the care, as he perceived, of the immortal gods, and offering a necklace of gold to the goddess, he made a league with them for ever.
8 After peace was thus obtained, and security established, some deputies from Massilia, as they were returning from Delphi, whither they had been sent to carry presents to Apollo, heard that the city of Rome had been taken and burned by the Gauls. 9 This calamity, when the news of it was brought home to them, the Massilians lamented with a public mourning, and contributed gold and silver, both public and private, to make up the sum to be given to the Gauls, from whom they knew that peace was bought. 10 For this service an exemption from taxes was decreed them, a place in the theatre assigned them among the senators, and a league made with them upon equal terms.
11 At the end of this book Trogus relates that his ancestors had their origin from the Vocontii; that his grandfather, Trogus Pompeius, received the right of citizenship from Cnaeus Pompeius in the war against Sertorius; 12 that his uncle led a troop of cavalry under the same Pompeius in the war with Mithridates; and that his father served under Caius Caesar, and had the charge of his correspondence, of receiving embassies and of his ring.
[44.1] L Spain, as it forms the boundary of Europe, will also form the conclusion of the present work. 2 This country the ancients first called Iberia, from the river Iberus, and afterwards Hispania, from some person named Hispanus. 3 It lies between Africa and Gaul, and is bounded by the Ocean Strait and the Pyrenees. It is smaller than either of these countries, but more fruitful than either; 4 for it is neither scorched, like Africa, by a burning sun, nor disturbed, like Gaul, by incessant winds, but, being situated betwixt both, it is rendered, by moderate heat on the one hand, and genial and seasonable showers on the other, fertile in all kinds of fruits of the earth, so that it supplies abundance of everything, not only for its own inhabitants, but for Italy and the city of Rome. 5 From hence, indeed, comes not only great plenty of corn, but of wine, honey, and oil. Its iron is excellent, and its breed of horses swift. 6 Not only is the produce of the surface to be admired, but the abundant riches of the metals hidden beneath it. There is great plenty, too, of flax and hemp, and certainly no country is more productive of vermilion. 7 The courses of the rivers are not violent and rapid, so as to be hurtful, but gentle, watering the vineyards and the plains; they are also well stocked with fish from the estuaries of the sea, and most of them are rich in gold, which they carry down with their waters. 8 It is joined to Gaul by one unbroken ridge of the Pyrenees; on every other side it is surrounded by sea. 9 The shape of the country is almost square, except that it grows narrower towards the Pyrenees, the shores contracting in that quarter. The length of the Pyrenees is six hundred miles. 10 The salubrity of the air is the same through the whole of Spain, for its atmosphere is infected with no unwholesome mists from fens. Besides, there are constant breezes from the sea on every side, by which, as they penetrate the whole country, the exhalations from the earth are dispersed, and the greatest health is secured to the inhabitants.
[44.2] L The bodies of the inhabitants are well adapted to endure privation and fatigue; their minds are inured to contempt of death. A strict and parsimonious abstinence prevails among them all. 2 They prefer war to peace; and, if no foreign enemy offers himself, they seek one at home. 3 Many have died under torture, to conceal what has been entrusted to them; so much stronger is their love of honour than of life. 4 The patience of a slave, too, is greatly praised, who, having avenged his master in the war with the Carthaginians, exulted with smiles in the midst of tortures, and defied, with serenity and cheerfulness, the utmost cruelty of his tormentors. 5 The people are nimble and agile; their minds are restless. To many, their war-horses and arms are dearer than their blood. 6 There is no sumptuous preparation among them for festival days; nor was it till after the second Punic war that they learned from the Romans to use warm baths.
7 During so long a course of years they have had no great general besides Viriatus, who maintained a struggle against the Romans for ten years with various success; so much more similar are their dispositions to those of wild beasts than of men; and this very leader they followed, not as having been chosen by the judgment of the people, but as being well qualified to take precautions against the enemy, and artful in avoiding danger. 8 His temperance and moderation were such, that though he often defeated armies commanded by consuls, yet, after such achievements, he made no change in the fashion of his dress or arms, or in his diet, but adhered to the same way of life with which he commenced his military career; so that any one of the common soldiers seemed better off than the general himself.
[44.3] L In Lusitania, near the river Tagus, many authors have said that the mares conceive from the effect of the wind; but such stories have had their origin in the fecundity of the mares, and the vast number of herds of horses, which are so numerous, and of such swiftness, in Gallaecia and Lusitania, that they may be thought, not without reason, to have been the offspring of the wind. 2 As for the Gallaecians, they claim for themselves a Greek origin; for they say that Teucer, after the end of the Trojan war, having incurred the hatred of his father on account of the death of his brother Ajax, and not being admitted into his kingdom, retired to Cyprus, where he built a city called Salamis, from the name of his native land; that, some time after, on hearing a report of his father's death, he returned again to his country, 3 but, being hindered from landing by Eurysaces the son of Ajax, he sailed to the coast of Spain, and took possession of those parts where New Carthage now stands, and, passing from thence to Gallaecia, and fixing his abode there, gave name to the nation. 4 A part of Gallaecia is inhabited by the Amphilochi. The country produces abundance of brass and lead, as well as of vermilion, which has given name to a river [Minius] near the part in which it is found. 5 It is also very rich in gold, so that they sometimes turn up clods of gold with the plough. 6 In the territory of this people there is a sacred mountain, which it is thought impious to open with any tool of iron, but whenever the earth is rent with lightning, an occurrence common in these parts, it is allowable to pick up the gold that may be laid open, as a gift from the deity of the place. 7 The women manage household affairs, and the cultivation of the ground; the men attend only to arms, and the pursuit of spoil. 8 Their iron is of an extraordinary quality, but their water is more powerful than the iron itself; for the iron, by being tempered in it, becomes keener; nor is any weapon held in esteem among them which has not been dipped either in the river Birbilis or the Chalybs. 9 From the latter river those who dwell on its banks are called Chalybes, and are said to surpass the rest of the people in the manufacture of steel.
[44.4] L The forests of the Tartesians, in which it is said that the Titans waged war against the gods, the Curetes inhabited, whose most ancient king Gargoris, was the first to collect honey. 2 This prince, having a grandson born to him, the illegitimate offspring of his daughter, tried various means, through shame for her unchastity, to have the child put to death; but he, being preserved by some good fortune, through all calamities, came at last to the throne, from a compassionate feeling for the many perils that he had undergone. 3 First of all Gargoris ordered him to be exposed, that he might be starved, and, when he sent some days after to look for his body, he was found nursed by the milk of various wild beasts. 4 When he was brought home, he caused him to be thrown down in a narrow road, along which herds of cattle used to pass; being so cruel that he would rather have his grandchild trampled to pieces, than despatched by an easy death. 5 As he was unhurt also in this case, and required no food, he threw him to hungry dogs, that had been exasperated by want of food for several days, and afterwards to swine, 6 but as he was not only uninjured, but even fed with the teats of some of the swine, he ordered him at last to be cast into the sea. 7 On this occasion, as if, by the manifest interposition of some deity, he had been carried, amidst the raging tide, and flux and reflux of the waters, not on the billows but in a vessel, he was put on shore by the subsiding ocean; 8 and, not long after, a hind came up, and offered the child her teats. By constantly following this nurse, the boy acquired extraordinary swiftness of foot, and long ranged the mountains and woods among herds of deer, with fleetness not inferior to theirs. 9 At last, being caught in a snare, he was presented to the king; and then, from the similitude of his features, and certain marks which had been burnt on his body in his infancy, he was recognized as his grandson. 10 Afterwards, from admiration at his escapes from so many mischances and perils, he was appointed by his grandfather to succeed him on the throne. 11 The name given him was Habis; and, as soon as he became king, he gave such proofs of greatness, that he seemed have been deliberately rescued, through the power of the gods, from so many exposures to death. He united the barbarous people by laws; he was the first that taught them to break oxen for the plough, and to raise corn from tillage; and he obliged them, instead of food procured from the wilds, to adopt a better diet, perhaps through dislike of what he had eaten in his childhood. 12 The adventures of this prince might seem fabulous, were not the founders of Rome said to have been suckled by a wolf, and Cyrus, king of the Persians, to have been brought up by a dog. 13 He ordered that the people should not carry out servile duties, and he divided the population among seven cities. 14 After Habis was dead, the sovereignty was retained for many generations by his successors.
In another part of Spain, which consists of islands, the supreme power was in the hands of Geryon. Here there is such abundance of food for cattle, that unless the feeding of the animals were occasionally interrupted, they would burst. 15 Hence the herds of Geryon, which in those days were accounted the only form of wealth, were so renowned, that they tempted Hercules out of Asia by the greatness of such a prize. 16 Geryon himself, too, they say, was not a man with three bodies, as is told in fables, but that there were three brothers living in such unanimity, that they seemed all actuated by one soul; and that they did not attack Hercules of their own accord, but, seeing their herds driven off, endeavoured to recover what they had lost by force of arms.
[44.5] L After the rule of kings was at an end, the Carthaginians were the first that made themselves masters of the country; 2 for when the inhabitants of Gades, according to directions which they received in a dream, had removed the sacred things of Hercules from Tyre, whence also the Carthaginians had their origin, into Spain, and had built a city there, the neighbouring people of the country grew jealous of the rise of this new city, and in consequence attacked Gades in war, but the Carthaginians sent them succour as being their kindred. 3 The expedition being successful, they both secured the inhabitants of Gades from injury, and added the greatest part of the province to their own dominions. 4 Subsequently, too, the success of their first attempt encouraging them, they sent their general Hamilcar, with a large army, to take possession of the whole country, who, having performed great exploits, but pursuing his fortune too rashly, was drawn into an ambush and killed. 5 In his stead was sent his son-in-law Hasdrubal, who was also killed by the slave of a certain Spaniard, to avenge the unjust death of his master. 6 Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, succeeded him, a greater general than either of them; for, surpassing the achievements of both, he subdued the whole of Spain, and then, making war upon the Romans, he harassed Italy for sixteen years with various calamities, 7 during which the Romans, sending the Scipios into Spain, first drove the Carthaginians out of the province, and afterwards carried on terrible wars with the Spaniards themselves. 8 Nor would the Spaniards submit to the yoke, even after their country was over-run, until Caesar Augustus, having subdued the rest of the world, turned his victorious arms against them. He reduced this barbarous and savage people into the form of a province, and brought them by the influence of laws to a more civilized way of life.
↑ Justinus: List of Contents
Attalus' home page | 21.12.17 | Any comments?