Livy, Periochae 41-45

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 41

[41.1] The fire in the temple of Vesta was extinguished.

[41.2] [179 BCE] Proconsul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus accepted the surrender of the defeated Celtiberians, and to commemorate his successes, he founded the town of Gracchuris in Hispania.

[41.3] And by proconsul Postumius Albinus, the Vaccaeans and Lusitanians were subdued.

[41.4] Both men celebrated a triumph.

[41.5] [175] Antiochus [IV Epiphanes], the son who had been given by Antiochus [III the Great] as hostage to the Romans, was sent to the kingdom of Syria at the death of his brother Seleucus [IV Philopator], to whom his father had left the kingdom. 

[41.6] He turned out to be a very bad king, except for religion, because he built many splendid temples in the countries of his allies, like that of the Olympian Jupiter in Athens and the Capitoline Jupiter in Antioch.

[41.7] The censors performed the lustrum ceremony.

[41.8] 258,294 citizens were registered.

[41.9] Tribune of the plebs Quintus Voconius Saxa carried a law that forbade women to inherit.

[41.10] Marcus [Porcius] Cato pleaded for this law.

[41.11] (His speech still exists.)

[41.12] Itnote also contains accounts of successful wars by several leaders against the Ligurians, Histrians, Sardinians and Celtiberans, and the beginning of the Macedonian war, which was provoked by [king] Perseus, the son of Philip.

[41.13] He sent an embassy to the Carthaginians that was received during the night,

[41.14] but he also solicited help from Greek cities.

From Book 42

[42.1] [173] Censor Quintus Fulvius Flaccus removed the marble slabs from the temple of Juno Lacinia that covered the temple that he had dedicated.

[42.2] The slabs were brought back by order of the Senate.

[42.3] [172] King Eumenes [II Soter] of Asia was interviewed in the Senate about [king] Perseus of Macedonia, whose unjust acts against the Roman people are also recorded.note

[42.4] Because of these, war was declared upon him and consul Publius Licinius Crassus, who was ordered to do so, proceeded to Macedonia, and [successfully] fought with Perseus in small expeditions and cavalry engagements in Thessaly.

[42.5] There was a dispute between [king] Massinissa [of Numidia] and the Carthaginians about a piece of land.

[42.6] The Senate proposed them a day to discuss the problem.

[42.7] [171] Envoys were sent to the allied towns and kings to ask them to remain loyal. The Rhodians were in doubt.

[42.8] The censors performed the lustrum ceremony.

[42.9] 267,231 citizens were registered.

[42.10] Itnote also contains accounts of successful wars against the Corsicans and Ligurians.

From Book 43

[43.1] Several praetors were condemned because they had ruled their provinces with avarice and cruelty.

[43.2] Proconsul Publius Licinius Crassus took several Greek towns and sacked them cruelly.

[43.3] Because of this, the captives which he had sold as slaves were later released by senatorial decree.

[43.4] The prefects of the Roman navy also behaved without moderation towards the allies.

[43.5] Itnote also contains an account of successful wars by king Perseus [of Macedonia], who defeated the Dardanians and Illyricum, which was ruled by king Gentius.

[43.6] [170] The disturbance created in Hispania by Olonicus was terminated when he was killed.

[43.7] [169] The censors chose Marcus Aemilius Lepidus as the first among the senators.

From Book 44

[44.1] Quintus Marcius Philippus entered Macedonia through an inaccessible defile and captured several towns.

[44.2] The Rhodians sent envoys, threatening to support [king] Perseus [of Macedonia] if the Roman people did not conclude a treaty of peace and friendship with them,

[44.3] which provoked indignation.

[44.4] [168] When, during the next year, the war was given to Lucius Aemilius Paullus, consul for the second time, Paullus, after having prayed in a gathering that whatever threatened the Roman people should befall his family, proceeded to Macedonia, completely defeated Perseus and occupied all of Macedonia.

[44.5] Before the battle, he told his army that they should not be surprised if the moon should be eclipsed during the night.note

[44.6] When king Gentius of the Illyrians revolted, he was also defeated, by praetor Lucius Anicius, and surrendered with his wife and children and relatives and was sent to Rome.

[44.7] Envoys were sent from Alexandria, on behalf of queen Cleopatra [II] and king Ptolemy [VI Philometor], to complain about king Antiochus [IV Epiphanes], who had attacked them.

[44.8] When Perseus, who had asked for help from king Eumenes [II Soter] of Pergamon and king Gentius of Illyricum, did not pay the money he had promised, was left by them.

From Book 45

[45.1] Perseus was captured by Aemilius Paullus at Samothrace.

[45.2] When king Antiochus [IV Epiphanes] of Syria, besieged king Ptolemy [VI Philometor] and queen Cleopatra [II] of Egypt, and envoys were sent by the Senate to order Antiochus to leave the country of Ptolemy, and Antiochus had received the message and replied that he would consider what to do, one of the envoys, Popilius, drew a circle around the king with his staff, and ordered that the king should reply before he left the circle.

[45.3] As a result of this rude behavior, Antiochus abandoned the war.

[45.4] [167] Embassies of nations and kings were permitted in the Senate to congratulate,note but the Rhodians were excluded because they had been against the Roman people during this war.

[45.5] When the next day a declaration of war was discussed, the envoys pleaded for their country, and were sent away, neither as allies, nor as enemies.

[45.6] When Macedonia had been organized as a province, Aemilius Paullus celebrated a triumph, although his own soldiers were against it because they had received little booty and Servius Sulpicius Galba was against it as well; Perseus and his three children walked in front of the chariot. 

[45.7] As if to ensure that Paullus would not enjoy the triumph completely, it was between the funerals of his two sons: one of them died before the triumph of his father, the other afterwards.

[45.8] The censors performed the lustrum ceremony.

[45.9] 312,805 citizens were registered.

[45.10] King Prusias [II] of Bithynia came to Rome to thank the Senate for its victory over Macedonia, and recommended his son Nicomedes to the Senate.

[45.11] The king, who was full of admiration, declared himself to be a freedman of the Roman people.