Roman History

Machiavelli: Discourses on Livy

OrigenDeLaRepublicaRomana_CastoPlasenciaThe Discourses on the First Ten Book of Titus Livius, (Italian: Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio), often known simply as The Discourses, were written by Niccolo Machiavelli in the second decade of the sixteenth century, in the sme period as his most famous book, The Prince. In contrast to the monarchical concerns of that work, Machiavelli focuses in The Discourses on the political of republican government, through a commentary on Livy's account of the early history of Rome. Many scholars have argued that The Discourses provide a fuller picture of Machiavelli's political beliefs than does the Prince.

The Discourses at Amazon: United StatesUnited Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Biblioteca Philosophica: Discorsi sopra la Prima Deca Di Tito Livio. Italian text. HTML format.
Gutenberg: Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius, translated by Ninian Hill Thomson. Multiple formats. 
Internet Archive: Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio. Vol I | Vol II. Italian text. Multiple formats.
Internet Archive: The Prince and the Discourses. The Discourses translated by Christian E. Detmold. With an Introduction by Max Lerner. Modern Library (1940). Multiple formats.
Marxists.org: Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius, translated by Christian Detmold (1882). HTML format.
Online Library of Liberty: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 2 (The Prince, Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius, Thoughts of a Statesman). Translated by Christian Detmold. Multiple formats.
University of Adelaide: Discourses of Niccolo Machiavelli on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy. English translation. Multiple formats.
Wikisource: Italian text and English translation by Henry Neville. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Machiavelli: Discourses on Livy" »


Mommsen: The History of Rome

The History of Rome (German: Römische Geschichte) by Theodor Mommsen is one of the most important works of nineteenth century classical scholarship. Mommsen moved beyond the criticism of literary sources pioneered by Niebuhr, rejecting much of the traditional narrative of Rome's foundation as mythical, and introducing other forms of evidence such as inscriptions painstakingly collected from around the former Roman world. Still occasionally cited today, Mommsen's history combines an extended narrative of Rome's internal and external political development from its earliest years to the reign of Augustus, with frequent digressions on the culture and society of the republic and its neighbours. 

E.H. Carr conjectured that Mommsen's admiration for Caesar reflected his frustration with the failure of the revolution of 1848 in Germany. It may be that very sense of involvement that brings this work to life.

The History of Rome at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

ClassicLiterature.co.uk: History of Rome. English text, HTML format.

Gutenberg: The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5). English text, Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The History of Rome, translated by W.P Dickson - Vol I - Vol II - Vol III - Vol IV - Vol V. English text, multiple formats.

Wikisource: The History of Rome (Mommsen). English text, HTML format. Currently first few chapters only.

Zeno.org: Römische Geschichte. German text, html format.

Other Resources

Librivox: Römische Geschichte. German language audiobook.

Wikipedia: Theodor Mommsen - History of Rome (Mommsen).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Polybius: The Histories

Livy: From the Founding of the City

Butler: Atlas of Ancient Geography.

 


Butler: Atlas of Ancient Geography

ButlerOldWorldThe Atlas of Ancient Geography by Dr Samuel Butler was published in 1851, so no doubt it is obsolete for serious academic purposes, but I have yet to find a classical text, or classical scholar, that it couldn't illuminate. From Homer's Iliad, to Livy's or Mommsen's History of Rome, the maps below, downloaded to my desktop and tablet, are always helpful in understanding what's going on. 

The files are hosted at the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin, who are be it noted, seeking donations to upload many other maps from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection - a very worthy cause.

Maps

Africa (3.2 MB) | Armenia, Colchis, Iberia, and Albania (3.2 MB) | Asia Minor (3.9 MB) | Britannia (3.7 MB) | Egypt (3.3 MB) | Orbis Veteribus Notus (Europe, Asia and North Africa) (3.5 MB) | Gallia (France) (4.0 MB) | Germany (3.4 MB) | Greece and Islands (3.6 MB) | Greece and the Peloponnese (4.3 MB) | Greece and the Peloponnesus, South (3.8 MB) | Islands in the Aegean Sea (4.5 MB) | Italy, Central (3.8 MB) | Italy, North (4.1 MB) | Italy, South (3.7 MB) | Macedonia, Moesia, Thracia, and Dacia (4.1 MB) | Mauritania, Numidia, and Africa (3.2 MB) | Oriens (Persia) (3.6 MB) | Palestine, Times of Christ and His Apostles (3.7 MB) | Palestine, Times of Judges and Kings (3.2 MB) | Rome (3.9 MB) | Spain (3.9 MB)
Syria, Mesopotamia, and Assyria (3.0 MB) | Vindelicia, Rhaetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and Illyricum (3.0 MB) 


Cicero: Brutus

The Brutus or De claris oratibus is a dialogue by Cicero, surviving in somewhat fragmentary condition, on the history of oratory in Greece and Rome.  The setting is a conversation between Cicero, his friend Atticus, and Marcus Junius Brutus, the later assassin of Caesar. Cicero comments on Greek oratory which he divides into Attic, Asianic and Rhodian schools, before considering Roman statesmen from the legendary Brutus the Liberator onwards.

The Brutus at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Attalus: Brutus, a History of Famous Orators, translated by E. Jones (1776). HTML format.

Gutenberg: Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker, translated by E. Jones. Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Brutus. Latin text, HTML format.

Perseus: Brutus. Latin text, HTML and XML formats.

Wikisource: Brutus. Latin text, multiple formats.

Continue reading "Cicero: Brutus" »


Cicero: De Re Publica

De Re Publica, variously translated as The Republic, On the Republic or On the Commonwealth, is Cicero's major work on political theory. It was written between 54 and 51 BCE, years when Cicero was politically marginalised by the First Triumvirate whose break-up would shortly lead to civil war.

The dialogue is set in an earlier turbulent period in the preceding century. It's central character is Scipio Aemilianus, the victorious general of the Third Punic War, and leader of the aristocratic opposition to the popular faction of the Gracchi.

The Middle Ages knew only a single major fragment of the De Re Publica, the passage known as Scipio's Dream. A palimpsest found in the Nineteenth Century contributed to the other surviving portions.

De Re Publica at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Internet Archive: The treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the nature of the gods; On divination; On fate; On the republic; On the laws; and On standing for the consulship. Literally translated chiefly by the editor, C.D. Yonge (1878). Multiple formats.

Latin Library: De Re Republica. Latin text, HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: The Political Works of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol. 1 (Treatise on the Commonwealth), translated by Francis Barham (1841). Multiple formats.

Perseus: De Republica (Teubner, 1889). Latin text, HTML and XML format.

Wikisource: De Re Publica. Latin text, multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Rhetorical Questions: Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Raphael Woolf on Cicero - podcast by philosopher Peter Adamson.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Cicero.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Ancient Political Philosophy.

Wikipedia: CiceroDe re publica.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Cicero: Letters to his Brother Quintus - include discussion of the composition of the work

Plato: The Republic.

Polybius: The Histories - significant precursor of Cicero's ideas on the mixed constitution.

Latin resources: Learn to read Latin texts in the original.


Jordanes: Getica

The Getica otherwise known as the The Origin and Deeds of the Goths (Latin: De Origine Actibusque Getarum) is a mid-sixth century Latin work by Jordanes, apparently intended as a summary of a lost work on the Goths by Cassiodorus.

The Getica at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Gothic History of Jordanes, translated by Charles Mierow (1915). Multiple formats.

The Latin Library: Iordanis De Origine Actibusque Getarum. Latin text, HTML format.

Northvegr: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. HTML format.

University of Calgary: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. HTML format.

Wikisource: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, trans. Charles C. Mierow. HTML format.

Other Resources

Georgetown University: The Aims of Jordanes, by James J. O'Donnell, Historia, 31(1982) 223-240.

Wikipedia: Getica.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Tacitus: Germania - The first major account of the Germanic peoples.

Orosius: Seven Books of History Against the Pagans - used as a source by Jordanes.

The Getica at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy


Diodorus Siculus: The Historical Library

The Historical Library (Greek Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορική) is a universal history written in the mid-first century BCE by Diodorus Siculus, a Sicilian Greek. The surviving portions of the work are Books I-V, which examine the early, often legendary history of the verious parts of the known world in turn, and books XI-XX, which provide a continuous historical narrative from 480 to 302 BCE. Although often derivative, Diodorus is important for those periods when he is the main surviving source.

Free online and downloadable texts

Attalus.org: Historical Library: Books 33-40.

LacusCurtius: The Library of History.

Loebulus: Loebulus. L303 - Diodorus Siculus II: Books 2.35-4.58. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Diodorus Siculus. Diodorus of Sicily in Twelve Volumes with an English Translation by C. H. Oldfather. Vol. 4-8. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, Ltd. 1989. Online text. Greek text at this link.

Theoi.com: Library of History, Book IV. Online text of the Oldfather translation.

Wikisource: Historical Library, translated by George Booth, 1814. Online text, downloadable via Bookcreator.

Other Resources

Livius: Diodorus of Sicily.

Wikipedia: Diodorus Siculus

Tertullian.org: Diodorus Siculus: the Manuscripts of the "Bibliotheca Historica".

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Polybius: The Histories - a key source for the third decade of the Historical Library.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


The Historia Augusta

The Historia Augusta or Augustan History is an anonymous collection of biographies of Roman Emperors of the period 117-284 CE, probably written in the late fourth or early fifth century. It is a highly controversial work from which historians have sought to glean insights despite suspicions that much of it is fictitious.

The Historia Augusta at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free Online texts

Intratext: Historia Augusta - latin text, HTML format.

LacusCurtius: Historia Augusta. HTML English and Latin text based on public domain Loeb editions edited by Susan H. Ballou and Hermann Peter, translated by David Magie. 

Loebulus. L139 - Scriptores Historiae Augustae I: Hadrian. Aelius. Antoninus Pius. Marcus Aurelius. L. Verus. Avidius Cassius. Commodus. Pertinax. Didius Julianus. Septimius Severus. Pescennius Niger. Clodius Albinus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Loebulus. L140 - Scriptores Historiae Augustae II: Caracalla. Geta. Opellius Macrinus. Diadumenianus. Elagabalus. Severus Alexander. The Two Maximini. The Three Gordians. Maximus and Balbinus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

Loebulus. L263 - Scriptores Historiae Augustae III: The Two Valerians. The Two Gallieni. The Thirty Pretenders. The Deified Claudius. The Deified Aurelian. Tacitus. Probus. Firmus, Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus. Carus, Carinus and Numerian. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

The Latin Library: Scriptores Historiae Augustae - Latin text, HTML format.

Wikisource: Historia Augusta - partial Latin text, HTML format.

Other resources

Livy.org: Introduction to the Historia Augusta

Newcastle University: David Rohrbacher, The Sources of the Historia Augusta re-examinedHistos 7 (2013) 146-80.

Wikipedia: Augustan History

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Suetonius: Lives of the Twelve Caesars - an example of the kind of work on which the Historia Augusta is purportedly modelled.

Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.


Cassius Dio: The Roman History

The Roman History (Greek: Ῥωμαϊκὴ Ἱστορία, Latin: Historia Romana) by Dio Cassius is a work in 80 books covering the history of Rome from its legendary foundation until 229 AD. While much of the work survives only as fragments, many of the books covering the late republic and early empire are complete, providing one of the most valuable sources for this period.

Cassius Dio at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

LacusCurtius: Cassius Dio: Roman History. Online English text based on Loeb Classical Library, 9 volumes, Greek texts and facing English translation: Harvard University Press, 1914 thru 1927. Translation by Earnest Cary.

Internet Archive: Dio's Rome, translated by Herbert Baldwin Foster (1905-6) - Vol I, Vol II, Vol III, Vol IV, Vol V, Vol VI. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L032 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History I: Fragments of Books 1-11. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L037 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History II: Fragments of Books 12-35 and of Uncertain Reference. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L053 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History III: Books 36-40. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L066 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History IV: Books 41-45. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L082 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History V: Books 46-50. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L083 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History VI: Books 51-55. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L175 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History VII: Books 56-60. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L176 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History VIII: Books 61-70. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L177 - Dio Cassius -- Dio's Roman History IX: Books 71-80. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (ed. Earnest Cary, Herbert Baldwin Foster). 

Other Resources

Tertullian.org: Dio Cassius - The Manuscripts of "The Roman History".

Livius: Cassius Dio.

Wikipedia: Cassius Dio.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Appian: The Roman History

Free online and downloadable texts

Loebulus. L002 - Appian -- Roman History I: Books 1-8.1. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.
Loebulus. L003 - Appian -- Roman History II: Books 8.2-12. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.
Loebulus. L004 - Appian -- Roman History III: The Civil Wars, Books 1-3.26. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.
Loebulus. L005 - Appian -- Roman History IV: The Civil Wars, Books 3.27-5. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.