Livy, Periochae 86-90

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 86

[86.1] [83 BCE] After Gaius Marius, son of Gaius Marius, had, by the use of violence, been made consul before he was twenty years old, Gaius Fabius was burned alive in his headquarters in Africa because of his cruelty and avarice.

[86.2] Lucius Philippus, a deputy of Sulla, occupied Sardinia after having expelled and killed praetor Quintus Antonius.

[86.3] Sulla concluded a treaty with the Italian nations, which prevented him from being regarded as a threat to their recently obtained citizenship and voting rights.

[86.4] And because he now had become confident about his victory, he ordered people who wanted him to judge cases to deposit their bonds at Rome, even though the city was still kept by his enemies.

[86.5] [82] At the wish of consul Gaius Marius, praetor Lucius Damasippus convened the Senate and massacred every man belonging to the nobility living in Rome.

[86.6] Among his victims was Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the pontifex maximus, who was murdered at the entrance of the shrine of Vesta.

[86.7] Itnote also contains an account of the renewal of the war against Mithridates in Asia.note

From Book 87

[87.1] After routing and destroying his army at Sacriportus, Sulla besieged Gaius Marius in the town of Praeneste, and recovered the city of Rome from the hands of his enemies.

[87.2] He repelled Marius when he tried to break away.

[87.3] Itnote also contains accounts of the achievements of his deputies, who obtained  the same happy results.

From Book 88

[88.1] Sulla drove Carbo out of Italy, having defeated his army at Clusium, Faventia, and Fidentia, and fought, with the Samnites (the only Italian nation that had not laid down its weapons yet) near the city of Rome at the Porta Collina, and having restored the state, soiled his beautiful victory with a greater cruelty than anyone had ever displayed.

[88.2] In the Villa publica, he killed 8,000 people who had already surrendered, set up a proscription list, filled the city and all of Italy with slaughter, ordered the murder of all unarmed Praenestines, and killed Marius, a man of senatorial rank, after having broken his legs and arms, cutting off his ears and pulling out his eyes.

[88.3] When Gaius Marius, still besieged at Praeneste by Lucretius Ofella of the Sullan faction, wanted to escape through a tunnel that turned out to be blocked by the army, he choose death.

[88.4] That means that when he found out that there was no escape from the tunnel, he and Telesinus, his companion in flight, ran into each other's drawn swords; Marius killed the other, was wounded himself, and killed by his slave.

From Book 89

[89.1] Marcus Brutus, sent in a fisherman's ship by Gnaeus Papirius Carbo from Cossyra, where they had put in, to Lilybaeum, to see if Pompey was already there, was surrounded by ships sent by Pompey; he pointed his sword against himself and bracing it on a thwart of the ship, fell upon it with all his weight.

[89.2] [81] Gnaeus Pompey, sent to Sicily by the Senate with special powers, killed Gnaeus [Papirius] Carbo, who met his dead crying like a woman.

[89.3] Sulla was made dictator, and had twenty-four fasces carried before him, something that no one had ever done before. 

[89.4] With new laws, he strengthened the republic, diminished the powers of the tribunes of the plebs by taking away from them the right to introduce legislation, expanded the number of priests and augurs to fifteen, enrolled members of the equestrian order into the Senate, blocked the children of those who were proscribed from obtaining office, sold their possessions, and was the first to seize the profits.

[89.5] The proceeds were 350,000,000 sesterces.

[89.6] He had Quintus Lucretius Ofella murdered at the Forum because he had run for consul against his wishes, convened a meeting and explained to the angry Roman people that he had ordered the assassination.

[89.7] In Africa, Gnaeus Pompey defeated and killed the exiled Gnaeus Domitius and king Hierta of Numidia (who were stirring up war), and at the age of twenty-four, celebrated his African triumph, even though he was still a Roman knight - an honor without precedent.

[89.8] When Gaius Norbanus, an exiled former consul, was arrested in the city of Rhodes, he committed suicide.

[89.9] Another exiled man, Mutilus, secretly, with his head covered, arrived at the rear entrance of his wife Bastia's residence, but was not allowed to enter because he had been proscribed.

[89.10] Consequently, he stabbed himself and besprinkled the doorway of his wife with his blood.

[89.11] Sulla recaptured Nola in Samnium.

[89.12] He settled forty-seven legions in the conquered country and divided it between them.

[89.13] He besieged Volaterrae, a town still putting up resistance, and accepted its surrender.

[89.14] Finally, Mitylene in Asia, the only city still in arms after the defeat of Mithridates, was captured and destroyed. 

From Book 90

[90.1] [78] Sulla died and the Senate honored him by allowing his burial on the Campus Martius.

[90.2] Marcus Lepidus, who tried to revoke the acts of Sulla, caused a war.

[90.3] He was expelled form Italy by his colleague Quintus Catulus and died in Sardinia, where he had, in vain, tried to stir up a war.

[90.4] Marcus Brutus, who had received Cisalpine Gaul, was killed by Gnaeus Pompey.

[90.5] Quintus Sertorius, another exile, launched a very big war in Hispania Ulterior.

[90.6] Proconsul Lucius Manlius and Marcus Domitius, his deputy, were defeated in battle by quaestor Hirtuleius.

[90.7] Itnote also contains an account of the war waged by proconsul Publius Servilius against the Cilicians.