Livy, Periochae 36-40

Titus Livius or Livy (59 BCE - 17 CE): Roman historian, author of the authorized version of the history of the Roman republic.

A large part of Livy's History of Rome since the Foundation is now lost, but fortunately we have an excerpt, called the Periochae, which helps us reconstruct the general scope. This translation was made by Jona Lendering.


From Book 36

[36.1] [191 BCE] With the help of king Philip [V of Macedonia], consul Acilius Glabrio defeated [the Seleucid] king Antiochus [III the Great] at Thermopylae, expelled him from Greece, and subdued the Aetolians.

[36.2] Consul Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, who had been judged to be the best by the Senate, dedicated the shrine of the Mother of the gods,note who he himself had brought to the Palatine.

[36.3] He also accepted the surrender of the defeated Gallic Boians, and celebrated a triumph.

[36.4] Itnote also contains an account of a successful naval engagement against the admiral of king Antiochus.

From Book 37

[37.1] [190] Consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio, with his brother Scipio Africanus as deputy (when Gaius Laelius, who had much influence in the Senate, seemed to receive this province, Africanus had announced that he would be his brother's deputy if Greece would be his province) proceeded to wage war against king Antiochus [III the Great], and was the first of all Roman commanders to cross to Asia.

[37.2] At Myonessus, [Aemilius] Regillus, aided by the Rhodians, successfully fought against Antiochus' royal navy.

[37.3] A son of [Scipio] Africanus was captured by Antiochus and sent back to his father.

[37.4] [189] Later, Antiochus was defeated by Lucius Cornelius Scipio, who received help from king Eumenes [II Soter] of Pergamon, the son of Attalus. Peace was granted on the condition that all provinces on this side of the Taurus mountains would be ceded.

[37.5] Lucius Cornelius Scipio, who had defeated Antiochus, was made equal to his brother with the surname Asiaticus.

[37.6] The colonia of Bononia was founded.

[37.7] [188] The kingdom of Eumenes, with whose help Antiochus had been defeated, was expanded.

[37.8] To the Rhodians, who had also assisted, certain towns were given.

[37.9] Aemilius Regillus, who had defeated the admiral of Antiochus' navy, celebrated a naval triumph.

[37.10] Manius Acilius Glabrio celebrated a triumph over Antiochus, whom he had expelled from Greece, and the Aetolians.

From Book 38

[38.1] In Epirus, consul Marcus Fulvius [Nobilior] accepted the surrender of the besieged Ambracians, subdued Cephallenia, and granted peace to the defeated Aetolians.

[38.2] His colleague consul Gnaeus Manlius defeated the Gallograecians [Galatians] (the Tolostobogians, Tectosages, and Trocmians) who had been brought to Asia by Brennus and were the only ones on this side of the Taurus who not obeyed.

[38.3] There is [in book 38] an account of their origin and the way in which they occupied their country.

[38.4] An example of female virtue and chastity is given.

[38.5] Once, the wife of a Gallograecan king killed the centurion who had captured her and wanted to rape her.

[38.6] The ritual cleansing of the state was celebrated by the censors.

[38.7] 258,310 citizens were registered.

[38.8] A treaty of friendship was concluded with king Ariarathes of Cappadocia.

[38.9] Although the ten deputies according to whose advise he had concluded a treaty with [king] Antiochus [III the Great] were against it, Gnaeus Manlius, after explaining his behavior in the Senate, celebrated a triumph over the Gallograecians.

[38.10] On the appointed day, [Publius Cornelius] Scipio Africanus, who was summoned to court (as some say) by tribune of the plebs Quintus Petilius (or Naevius, according to others) because he had damaged the public treasury by taking too much of Antiochus' booty, went to the Rostra and declared: "On this day, Romans, I defeated Carthage", and climbed to the Capitol, followed by the populace.

[38.11] After this, he went into voluntary exile to Liternum, to be sure that he would not suffer from the unjust attacks of the tribunes.

[38.12] (It is unclear whether he was buried there or in Rome, because there are monuments on both sites.)

[38.13] Lucius [Cornelius] Scipio Asiaticus, the brother of Africanus, was accused of the same criminal peculation, condemned, put in chains, and conducted to the prison, but tribune Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who had until then been an enemy of the Scipiones, intervened and married - because of this - a daughter of Africanus.

[38.14] When the quaestors were sent out to confiscate Asiaticus' possessions for the state, they did not find any trace of the king's money, and were also unable to find the money for which he had been fined.

[38.15] He refused to accept the enormous sum of money collected by his relatives and friends; and even what he needed for living, he returned.

From Book 39

[39.1] [187] After he had defeated the Ligurians, consul Marcus Aemilius built a road from Placentia to Ariminum, where it joined the Via Flaminia.

[39.2] There is an account of the beginning of luxury, which was introduced into the city by the army of [Lucius Cornelius Scipio] Asiaticus.

[39.3] The Ligurians who live on this side of the Apennines were subdued.

[39.4] [186] The Bacchanals, a Greek and nocturnal rite and the source of all evil, were suppressed when many people were involved in this conspiracy. After the investigation, many people were punished.

[39.5] [184] The censors Lucius Valerius Flaccus and Marcus Porcius Cato (a remarkable man in times of war and times of peace) removed from the Senate Lucius Quinctius Flamininus, the brother of Titus, because he had, when he had been in the province of Gaul as consul, on request of his lover, the well-known prostitute Philip of Carthage, personally killed a certain Gaul, or, as some say, had beheaded a condemned criminal to please the courtesan Placentina, for whom he was deadly in love.

[39.6] (The speech by Marcus [Porcius] Cato] still exists.)

[39.7] [183] As if Fortune wanted to unite two remarkable men with their funerals, Scipio died in Liternum, and Hannibal poisoned himself at the same time. After Antiochus [III the Great] had been defeated, Hannibal had fled to king Prusias [I the Lame] of Bithynia, who wanted to hand him over to the Romans, who had sent Titus Quinctius Flamininus

[39.8] [182] Philopoemen, the leader of the Achaeans and a great man, was also poisoned, by the Messenians who had captured him during a war.

[39.9] [184] The colonies of Potentia, Pisaurum, Mutina, and Parma were founded.

[39.10] [181] Itnote also contains accounts of successful wars against the Celtiberians and the causes of the Macedonian war,

[39.11] which were that Philip did not accept that his power was diminished by the Romans and that he was forced by the Thracians to relocate his garrisons.

From Book 40

[40.1] When [king] Philip [V of Macedonia] ordered to search for the children of those noblemen he had imprisoned, to execute them, Theoxena, fearing the lawlessness of the king on behalf of her children, who were still young, ordered to bring a sword and a cup of poison, explained them that by their death, they could evade the approaching violence; having convinced them, she killed herself.

[40.2] [183] There is an account of the struggle between the sons of king Philip of Macedonia, Perseus and Demetrius; and how by the treachery of his bother false charges were brought forward against Demetrius, among which was that of attempting parricide and seizing the throne, and how he was, finally, because he was a friend of the Roman people, killed by poison, so that the kingdom of Macedonia would pass to Perseus at the death of Philip.

[40.3] Itnote also contains an account of successful campaigns by several leaders against the Ligurians and the Celtiberians in Hispania.

[40.4] The colonia of Aquileia was founded.

[40.5] [181] The Greek and Latin books of Numa Pompilius were discovered by peasants working on the field of scribe Lucius Petillius at the foot of the Janiculum, buried beneath an arch made of stone.

[40.6] When the praetor to whom the texts were brought had read them, he discovered that the majority were religiously dangerous, and told the Senate that reading and conserving these books were not in the interest of the state.

[40.7] By order of the Senate, they were burned on the Comitium.

[40.8] [179] Philip suffered from depression, because he had poisoned his son Demetrius after of the false accusations by his other son Perseus, wanted to punish the latter, and preferred to leave the kingdom to his friend Antigonus, but was taken away by death.

[40.9] Perseus inherited the throne.