Livy, Periochae 6-10

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 6

[6.1] Itnote contains an account of successful wars against the Volscans and Aequans.

[6.2] [387 VC] Four voting districts were added, Stellatina, Tromentina, Sabatina, and Arniensis.

[6.3] [384 VC] When Marcus Manlius, who had defended the Capitol against the Gauls, liberated those suffering from debts and paid their debts, he was condemned for the crime of aspiring to monarchy and thrown down from the rock.note

[6.4] A senatorial decree was made, that no member of the Manlius family was to be called Marcus again.

[6.5] [376 VC] Two tribunes of the plebs, Gaius Licinius and Lucius Sextius, proposed a law that one of the consuls might be a plebeian - they had [until then] been chosen from the patricians- and this law was after much struggle and in spite of patrician opposition, in which the tribunes were the sole magistrates for five years, finally accepted; [366 VC] the first plebeian consul was Lucius Sextius.

[6.6] Another law was passed, that no one was permitted to possess more than five hundred iugera of land.

From Book 7

[7.1] [366 VC] Two new magistracies were created, the praetorship and the curulian aedileship.

[7.2] The people suffered from a plague, and the most important man to die was Furius Camillus.

[7.3] The best remedy and the end of the plague were found in a new religious spectacle, and for the first time a theatrical festival was organized.

[7.4] [362 VC] When Lucius Manlius was summoned to appear at court by tribune of the plebs Marcus Pomponius because he had harshly conducted the levy and had sent his own son Titus Manlius to the country, although he had done nothing wrong, the young man himself, whose relegation was being used against his father, entered the bed room of the tribune with his sword drawn, and forced him to swear in words he dictated him not to continue the prosecution.

[7.5] [362 VC] At this time, many precious objects were thrown into a large chasm in the city of Rome.

[7.6] Armed and seated on his horse, Curtius jumped into it, and it closed again.note

[7.7] [361 VC] The young Titus Manlius, who had relieved his father from prosecution by the tribunes, fought against a Gaul who had challenged any Roman soldier to a duel; having overcome his opponent, Manlius took his golden torque, which he was to carry afterwards, and he was therefore surnamed Torquatus.

[7.8] [357 VC] Two new districts were created, Pomptina and Publilia.

[7.9] Licinius Stolo was condemned because he had broken the law which forbade people to own more than five hundred iugera of land.

[7.10] [350 VC] Military tribune Marcus Valerius killed a Gaul, by whom he had been challenged, while a raven perched on the Roman's crest and attacked his opponent with his beak and talons; therefore, Valerius accepted the surname Corvus, the raven. Because of his valor, he was made consul in the next year, when he was twenty-three.

[7.11] [348 VC] A treaty of friendship was concluded with Carthage.

[7.12] [343 VC] The Campanians, who were hard pressed by the Samnites in a war, asked the Senate for help against them, and when they did not receive it, they surrendered their towns and country to the Roman people.

[7.13] Because of this and to defend that what was Roman, it was decided to go to war against the Samnites.

[7.14] When consul Aulus Cornelius had led his army into a difficult position and was in great danger, it was saved by the valor of military tribune Publius Decius Mus,

[7.15] who occupied a hill above the pass that had been blocked by the Samnites, which offered the consul an opportunity to withdraw to a more favorable position; and although Decius was encircled by enemies, he broke through.

[7.16] [342 VC] When Roman soldiers, who had been left as garrison in Capua, conspired to seize the city and, fearing punishment when their crime was detected, revolted from the Roman people, they were brought to their senses by dictator Marcus Valerius Corvus, who restored them to their country.

[7.17] Itnote also contains accounts of successful wars against the Hernicians, Gauls, Tiburtines, Privernates, Tarquinians, Samnites, and Volscians.

From Book 8

[8.1] [340 VC] The Latins defected with Campania and sent envoys to the Senate to tell, that if the Romans wanted peace, one of the consuls had to be a Latin.

[8.2] When this embassy had discussed its objective, their leader Annius fell from the Capitol and died.

[8.3] Consul Titus Manlius [Torquatus] punished his son, who had fought against the Latins without permission, and had him, although he had fought successfully, executed with an ax. 

[8.4] The Roman army fought with great difficulty and Publius Decius [Mus], who was consul with Manlius, devoted himself to the gods to save his army; seated on his horse, he threw himself amidst of his enemies, was killed, and his death gave victory to the Romans.

[8.5] The Latins surrendered.

[8.6] No young men came out to greet Titus Manlius when he returned to the city.

[8.7] [337 VC] The Vestal virgin Minucia was condemned because of unchastity.

[8.8] [328 VC] When the Ausonians were defeated and their capital had been captured, colonies were founded in Cales and Fregellae.

[8.9] [331 VC] Several married women were convicted for poisoning, and many of them perished immediately by drinking their own medicine.

[8.10] For the first time, a law on poisoning was passed.

[8.11] [328 VC] The defeated Privernates, who had revolted, received citizenship.

[8.12] [326 VC] The surrender of the Neapolitans, who were defeated in war and after a siege, was accepted.

[8.13] Quintus Publilius, who had besieged them, was the first to see his powers prolonged and received a triumph as a proconsul

[8.14] The poor were freed from debt slavery because of the libiduous passions of a creditor named Lucius Papirius, who demanded a dishonorable act from his debtor Gaius Publilius.

[8.15] [325 VC] When dictator Lucius Papirius Cursor had left the army to go back to the city for renewing the auspices, his master of horse Quintus Fabius, seeing a favorable opportunity, successfully -but without permission- fought against the Samnites. 

[8.16] Because of this, the dictator wanted to execute the master of horse, but Fabius escaped to Rome, and received a pardon after the people had begged for it.

[8.17] Itnote also contains an account of successful wars against the Samnites.

From Book

[9.1] [321 VC] When consuls Titus Veturius and Spurius Postumius had maneuvered their army in a difficult position in the Caudine Forks, and there was no hope of escaping, they concluded a treaty with the Samnites and gave six hundred Roman knights as hostages, so that the army could be led away, although all were sent under the yoke. On the initiative of consul Spurius Postumius, the consuls were, together with two tribunes of the plebs and several others who had guaranteed the treaty, surrendered to the Samnites, because they were responsible for the disgraceful treaty, and because in this way the Senate was not obliged to ratify it. The Samnites refused to accept them.

[9.2] [320 VC] Not much later, they were defeated by Papirius Cursor and sent under the yoke, and the six hundred knights that served as hostages were recovered, so that the shame of the earlier disgrace was removed.

[9.3] [318 VC] Two new voting districts were established, called Oufentina and Falerna.

[9.4] [313 VC] Colonies were founded in Suessa and Pontia.

[9.5] [312 VC] Censor Appius Claudius built an aqueduct and constructed a road that is called Via Appia; he accepted the sons of freedmen as senators.

[9.6] Because of this, the senatorial order appeared to be polluted with unworthy people, and the consuls of the next year convoked the Senate as it had been under the preceding censors.

[9.7] Itnote also contains accounts of successful wars against the Apulians, Etruscans, Umbrians, Marsians, Paeliginians, Aequans, and Samnites, with whom the treaty was renewed.

[9.8] [304 VC] The scribe Gnaeus Flavius, born as son of a freedman, was made curulian aedile by the Forum Party, which had thrown into confusion the elections and the Field [of Mars] and dominated with its enormous strength. Therefore, censor Quintus Fabius divided it [the city] into four voting districts, which were called "urban".

[9.9] Because of this, he was called Fabius Maximus, "the Great".

[9.10] This book also mentions Alexander [the Great], who lived at about this age,note and an evaluation of the power of the Roman people at that time, and it is concluded that if Alexander had crossed to Italy, he would not have been able to overcome the Roman people in the same way as he had been able to subdue the people of the east.

From Book 10

[10.1] [303 VC] The colonies of Sora, Alba, and Caesioli were founded.

[10.2] 302 VC] The surrender of the Marsi was accepted.

[10.3] [300 BCE] The college of seers was expanded. From now on, there were nine; it used to be four.

[10.4] Murena, consul for the third time, carried a law on appeal to the people.

[10.5] [299 BCE] Two voting districts were added, Aniensis and Terentina.

[10.6] [298 BCE] War was declared on the Samnites, and they were frequently defeated.

[10.7] [295 BCE] With Publius Decius [Mus] and Quintus Fabius as leaders, the Roman army was fighting against the Etruscans, Umbrians, and Gauls;note it was in great trouble, but Publius Decius, following his father's example, devoted himself to the gods, sought death to save his army, and gave victory to the Roman people.

[10.8] [293 BCE] Papirius Cursor descended upon and routed a Samnite army that had sworn to fight to the very last of its powers.

[10.9] The people were registered and the lustrum ceremony was performed.

[10.10] 272,320 citizens were registered.