Eutropius, Short History

Eutropius (c.320-c.390?): Roman historian, author of a very popular Short History of the Roman Empire.

Short History

Portrait of a Roman man, fourth century

Eutropius, an important official at the court of the Roman emperor Valens (r.364-378) published his Short History of the Roman Empire (or Breviarium ab Urbe Condita, "Short History since the Foundation of the City") in the year 369. The title is precise: it is a short history of the Roman Empire since the foundation of Rome by Romulus. In ten books - perhaps "chapters" is a better word - the author takes his readers through one millennium of Roman history until the reign of Jovian.

  1. Early history of Rome until the Gallic catastrophe (based on Livy, Books 1-5)
  2. The conquest of Italy and Sicily (based in Livy, Books 6-15)
  3. The Ligurian War and the Second Punic War (based on Livy, Books 16-30)
  4. Wars against Macedonia and Syria; Third Punic War; Jugurthine War (based on Livy, Books 31-65)
  5. Rise of Marius (based on Livy, Books 66-86)
  6. First and Second Civil War; death of Caesar (based on Livy, Books 87-116)
  7. Augustus and his successors (based on Livy, Books 117-142, and Suetonius)
  8. From Nerva to Severus Alexander (based on the Enmannsche Kaisergeschichte)
  9. From Maximinus Thrax to Diocletian (based on the Enmannsche Kaisergeschichte)
  10. From Constantine to Iovian (based on Eutropius' own experiences)


This page was created in 2018; last modified on 28 April 2020.