Eutropius, Short History 4

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

The translation of Eutropius' Short History offered here is by John Selby Watson and was published in 1886. The text was found at The notes were added by Jona Lendering.

[1] After the Punic War was terminated, the Macedonian War, against King Philip, succeeded.

[2] In the five hundred and fifty-first year from the building of the city, Titus Quintius Flamininus was sent against King Philip.note He was successful in his undertaking; and peace was granted to Philip on these conditions, that "he should not make war on those states of Greece which the Romans had defended against him; that he should restore the prisoners and deserters; that he should retain only fifty vessels, and deliver up the rest to the Romans; that he should pay, for ten years, a tribute of four thousand pounds weight of silver; and give his own son Demetrius as a hostage."

Titus Quintius made war also on the Lacedaemonians; defeated their general Nabis, and admitted them into alliance on such terms as he thought proper. He led with great pride before his chariot hostages of most noble rank, Demetrius the son of Philip, and Armenes the son of Nabis.

[3] The Macedonian War being thus terminated, the Syrian War, against King Antiochus, succeeded, in the consulship of Publius Cornelius Scipio and Manius Acilius Glabrio.note To this Antiochus Hannibal had joined himself, abandoning his native country, Carthage, to escape being delivered up to the Romans.

Manius Acilius Glabrio fought successfully in Achaea. The camp of King Antiochus was taken by an attack in the night, and he himself obliged to flee. To Philip his son Demetrius was restored, for having assisted the Romans in their contest with Antiochus.

[4] In the consulate of Lucius Cornelius Scipio and Caius Laelius,note Scipio Africanus went out as lieutenant to his brother Lucius Cornelius Scipio, the consul, against Antiochus. Hannibal, who was with Antiochus, was defeated in a battle by sea. Antiochus himself was afterwards routed by Cornelius Scipio, the consul, in a great battle at Magnesia, a city of Asia, near Mount Sipylus. Eumenes, who founded the city of Eumenia in Phrygia,note the brother of king Attalus, assisted the Romans in that engagement. Fifty thousand foot, and three thousand horse were killed in that battle on the side of the king.

In consequence, King Antiochus sued for peace, which was granted to him, though vanquished, by the Senate, on the same conditions as it had been offered before: "that he should withdraw from Europe and Asia, and confine himself within mount Taurus; that he should pay ten thousand talents, and give twenty hostages, and surrender Hannibal, the author of the war."

All the cities of Asia, which Antiochus had lost in this war, were given to Eumenes; many cities also were granted to the Rhodians, who had assisted the Romans against Antiochus. Scipio returned to Rome, and celebrated his triumph with great pomp; and he also, after the example of his brother, received the name of Asiaticus, from his conquest of Asia; as his brother, from the subjugation of Africa, had been surnamed Africanus.note

[5] Under the consuls Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Marcius Philippus,note Marcus Fulvius triumphed for conquering the Aetolians.

Hannibal, who, on the defeat of Antiochus, had fled to Prusias, king of Bithynia, that he might not be surrendered to the Romans, was demanded also at his hands by Titus Quintius Flamininus; and, as he seemed likely to be surrendered, he drank poison, and was buried at Libyssa, in the territory of the Nicomedians.

[6] On the death of Philip, king of Macedonia, who had both waged war with the Romans, and afterwards given aid to the Romans against Antiochus, his son Perseus took up arms again in Macedonia, having levied great forces for the war, and having as allies Cotys, king of Thrace, and the king of Illyricum, whose name was Gentius. On the side of the Romans were Eumenes, king of Asia, Ariarathes of Cappadocia, Antiochus of Syria, Ptolemy of Egypt, Massinissa of Numidia. Prusias, the king of Bithynia, although he had married the sister of Perseus, remained neutral.

The general of the Romans, the consul Publius Licinius, was defeated by Perseus in a severe engagement;note yet the Romans, although vanquished, refused peace to the king when he solicited it, except on condition that he should surrender himself and his people to the Senate and the people of Rome.

The consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus was afterwards sent against him,note and the praetor Caius Anicius into Illyricum against Gentius: but Gentius, being defeated with ease in a single battle, soon surrendered; and his mother, his wife, his two sons, and his brother, fell at the same time into the power of the Romans. Thus the war was terminated within thirty days, and the news of Gentius' defeat arrived before it was announced that the war had been begun.

[7] The consul Aemilius Paullus came to a battle with Perseus on the 3rd of September, and defeated him, killing twenty thousand of his infantry; the cavalry which remained with the king was unbroken; on the side of the Romans only a hundred men were missing. All the cities of Macedonia, that Perseus had under his sway, submitted to the Romans. The king himself, deserted by his friends, fell into the hands of Paullus; but Paullus treated him with respect, and not as a vanquished enemy, for, when he desired to prostrate himself at his feet, he would not permit him, but placed him in a seat by his side.

The terms granted to the Macedonians and Illyrians were these, "that they might remain free, on paying half the tribute which they had been accustomed to pay to their kings;" that it might be seen that the Roman people contended with a view to equity and not to covetousness: and these terms Paulus proclaimed in an assembly of a vast concourse of people, entertaining the ambassadors of several states, who had come to pay their respects to him, with a most sumptuous feast; saying that "it ought to be possible for the same individual to be victorious in war and elegant in his entertainments."

[8] Shortly after he took seventy cities of Epirus, which had resumed hostilities; the booty he distributed among his soldiers. He then returned to Rome with great display, in a vessel belonging to Perseus, which is recorded to have been of such extraordinary magnitude, that it contained sixteen banks of oars. He celebrated his triumph most magnificently in a golden car, with his two sons standing on each side of him; the two sons of Perseus, and Perseus himself, then forty-five years of age, were led in procession before the car.

After Aemilius, Caius Anicius also celebrated a triumph on account of the Illyrians; in which Gentius, with his brother and sons, were led before his car. To witness this spectacle the kings of several nations came to Rome; among others, even Anicius and Eumenes, kings of Asia, and Prusias, king of Bithynia; who were entertained with great consideration, and, by permission of the Senate, deposited the presents which they had brought in the Capitol. Prusias also entrusted his son Nicomedes to the Senate.

[9] In the year following Lucius Memmius was successful in the war in Spain. Marcellus the consul afterwards met with success in the same country.

[10] A third war was then undertaken against Carthage, in the six hundred and second year from the building of the city, in the consulship of Lucius Manlius Censorinus and Marcus Manilius,note and in the fifty-first year after the termination of the second Punic war.

The consuls in consequence proceeded to attack Carthage. Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian general, engaged them; Phameas, another general, had the command of the Carthaginian cavalry. At that time, Scipio, the grandson of Scipio Africanus, served in the army in the capacity of tribune, for whom great fear and respect was felt by all; for he was regarded as eminently brave and skilful in the field. Many enterprises were accordingly conducted with success by his agency; nor did Hasdrubal or Phameas shrink from anything more than engaging with that part of the army in which Scipio commanded.

[11] About the same time, Massinissa, king of Numidia, who had been an ally of the Roman people for nearly sixty years, died in the ninety-seventh year of his age, leaving behind him forty-four sons. He appointed Scipio to divide his kingdom amongst his sons

[12] As the name of Scipio had already become famous, he was created consul, although but a young man, and sent against Carthage. He took it and demolished it: the spoils found there, which had been amassed by Carthage from the ruins of various cities, and the ornaments of towns, he restored to such cities of Sicily, Italy, and Africa, as recognized their own. Thus Carthage, in the seven hundredth year after its foundation,note was destroyed. Scipio earned the same title which his grandfather had gained,note being, on account of his valor, called Africanus Junior.

[13] In the meantime a certain Pseudo-Philip took up arms in Macedonia, and defeated Publius Juvencius, a Roman praetor, who had been sent out against him, with a terrible slaughter. After him Quintus Caecilius Metellus was sent by the Romans as general against this pretended Philip, and, having slain twenty-five thousand of his soldiers, recovered Macedonia, and took the impostor himself prisoner.note

[14] War was also declared against Corinth, the noblest city of Greece, on account of an affront offered to a Roman embassy. That city Mummius the consul took and demolished.note

Three most remarkable triumphs therefore were celebrated at Rome at the same time, that of Scipio for Africa, before whose chariot Hasdrubal was led; that of Metellus for Macedonia, before whose chariot walked Andriscus, also called Pseudo-Philip; and that of Mummius for Corinth, before whom brazen statues, pictures, and other ornaments of that celebrated city, were carried.

[15] In Macedonia, meanwhile, a Pseudo-Perseus, who called himself the son of Perseus, collecting the slaves, took up arms, and, when he was at the head of a force of seventeen thousand fighting men, was defeated by Tremellius the quaestor.note

[16] About the same time Metellus had singular success against the Spaniards in Celtiberia. Quintus Pompeius succeeded him.note Not long after Quintus Caepio was also sent to the same war, which a leader named Viriathus was still keeping up against the Romans in Lusitania; through fear of whom Viriathus was killed by his own men. after he had kept Spain in a state of excitement against the Romans for fourteen years. He was at first a shepherd, then captain of a band of robbers, and at last he stirred up so many powerful nations to war, that he was considered as the protector of Spain against the Romans. When his assassins asked a reward of the consul Caepio, they received for answer, that "it was never pleasing to the Romans, that a general should be killed by his own soldiers."

[17] The consul Quintus Pompeius being afterwards defeated by the Numantines, the most powerful nation of Spain, made an ignominious peace with them. After him, the consul Caius Hostilius Mancinus again concluded a dishonorable peace with the Numantines, which the people and Senate ordered to be annulled, and Mancinus himself to be given up to the enemy, that they might avenge themselves for the dissolution of the treaty on him with whom they had made it.note

After such signal disgrace, therefore, with which the Roman armies had been twice defeated by the Numantines, Publius Scipio Africanus was made consul a second time, and sent to Numantia. He reformed, in the first place, the dissolute and idle soldiery, rather by inuring them to labor than by punishment, and without any great severity. He then took several cities of Spain, some by force, and allowing others to surrender. At last he reduced Numantia itself by famine, after it had been long besieged, and razed it to the ground, and received the rest of the province into alliance.note

[18] About this time Attalus, king of Asia, the brother of Eumenes, died, and left the Roman people his heir. Thus Asia was added to the Roman Empire by will.note

[19] Shortly after, also, Decimus Junius Brutus triumphed with great glory over the Gallaecians and Lusitanians; and Publius Scipio Africanus had a second triumph over the Numantines. in the fourteenth year after his first triumph for his exploits in Africa.note

[20] A war in the meantime was kindled in Asia by Aristonicus, the son of Eumenes by a concubine: this Eumenes was the brother of Attalus. Against himnote was sent out Publius Licinius Crassus,note who had ample assistance from several kings, for not only Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia, supported the Romans, but also Mithridates king of Pontus, with whom they had afterwards a very great war, as well as Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, and Pylaemenes of Paphlagonia. Crassus notwithstanding was defeated, and killed in battle; his head was carried to Aristonicus, and his body buried at Smyrna.

Soon afternote Perperna, the Roman consul, who was appointed successor to Crassus, hearing of the event of the war, hastened to Asia; and defeating Aristonicus in battle, near the city Stratonicea to which he had fled, reduced him by famine to surrender. Aristonicus, by command of the Senate, was strangled in prison at Rome; for a triumph could not be celebrated on his account, because Perperna had died at Pergamon on his return.

[21] In the consulate of Lucius Caecilius Metellus and Titus Quintius Flamininus,note Carthage in Africa, which still exists, was rebuilt by order of the Senate, two and twenty years after it had been destroyed by Scipio. A colony of Roman citizens was sent out thither.

[22] In the six hundred and twenty-seventh year from the founding of the city,note Caius Cassius Longinus and Sextus Domitius Calvinus, the consuls, made war upon the Transalpine Gauls, and the city of the Arverni,note at that time very distinguished, and their king, Bituitus; and slew a vast number of men near the river Rhône. A great booty, consisting of the golden collars of the Gauls, was brought to Rome. Bituitus surrendered himself to Domitius, and was conveyed by him to Rome; and both consuls triumphed with great glory.

[23] In the consulship of Marcus Porcius Cato and Quintus Marcius Rex,note in the six hundred and thirty-third year from the building of the city, a colony was led out to Narbonne in Gaul. Afterwards a triumph was obtained over Dalmatia by the consuls Lucius Metellus and Quintus Mucius Scaevola.

[24] In the six hundred and thirty-fifth year from the building of the city,note the consul Caius Cato made war upon the Scordisci, and fought with them to his dishonor.

[25] When Caius Caecilius Metellus and Cnaeus Carbo were consuls, the Metelli, two brothers, had triumphs on the same day, one for Sardinia, the other for Thrace; and news was brought to Rome, that the Cimbri had crossed from Gaul into Italy.

[26] In the consulship of Publius Scipio Nasica and Lucius Calpurnius Bestia,note war was made upon Jugurtha, king of Numidia, because he had murdered Adherbal and Hiempsal, the sons of Micipsa, his cousins, princes, and allies of the Roman people. The consul Calpumius Bestia being sent against him, was corrupted by the king's money, and concluded a most ignominious treaty of peace with him, which was afterwards repudiated by the Senate.

Spurius Albinus Postumius proceeded against him in the following year:note he also, through the agency of his brother, fought against the Numidians to his disgrace.

[27] In the third place,note the consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus being sent out against him, brought back the army, which he reformed with great severity and judgment, without exercising cruelty on any one, to the ancient Roman discipline. He defeated Jugurtha in various battles, killed or captured his elephants, and obliged many of his towns to surrender; and, when on the point of putting an end to the war, was succeeded by Caius Marius.

Marius overthrew both Jugurtha and Bocchus, the king of Mauritania, who had undertaken to afford assistance to Jugurtha; he also took several towns in Numidia, and put an end to the war, having, through the instrumentality of his quaestor Cornelius Sulla, a distinguished man, taken Jugurtha prisoner, whom Bocchus, who had before fought for him, betrayed.

In Gaul, the Cimbri were defeated by Marcus Junius Silanus, the colleague of Quintus Metellus, the Scordisci and Triballi in Macedonia by Minutius Rufus, and the Lusitani in Spain by Servilius Caepio; and two triumphs were celebrated on account of Jugurtha; the first by Metellus, the second by Marius. It was before the chariot of Marius, however, that Jugurtha, with his two sons, was led in chains; and he was soon after, by order of the consul, strangled in prison.