Livy, Periochae 11-15

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 11

[11.1] [292 BCE] When consul Fabius Gurges had unsuccessfully fought against the Samnites and the Senate discussed his recall from the army, his father Fabius Maximus asked to save his son from humiliation, and the Senate granted this when he promised to help his son as deputy, something he really did. 

[11.2] With his advice and assistance, his son, the consul, defeated the Samnites and celebrated a triumph. Gaius Pontius, the Samnite commander, walked in the procession and was beheaded.

[11.3] [293] When the people suffered from a plague, envoys were sent to bring a statue of Aesculapius from Epidaurus to Rome. They brought with them a snake that had joined them in the ship, and which no doubt was a manifestation of the god; from the ship, it went to the island in the Tiber, to the place where the temple of Aesculapius has been erected.

[11.4] Former consul Lucius Postumius was condemned because he had ordered the soldiers of the army he commanded to work on his land.

[11.5] [290] When the Samnites sued for peace, the treaty was renewed for the fourth time.

[11.6] Consul Curius Dentatus celebrated two triumphs in one year, because he had defeated the Samnites and had also subdued the rebellious Sabines and accepted their surrender.

[11.7] Colonies were founded at Castrum, Sena, and Hadria.

[11.8] For the first time, a board of three to judge capital crimes was installed.

[11.9] After the census,  the lustrum ceremony was performed.

[11.10] 272,000 citizens were registered.

[11.11] [287] Because of their debts, and after heavy and long riots, the plebeians left and settled on the Janiculum hill, from where they were led back by dictator Quintus Hortensius. (He died during his tenure of office.)

[11.12] Itnote also contains an account of wars against the Volsinians, and Lucanians, when the Romans decided to support the inhabitants of Thurii against them.

From Book 12

[12.1] [284] When Roman envoys were killed by Gallic Senones, war was declared against the Gauls. Praetor Lucius Caecilius [Metellus] and his legions were killed by them.

[12.2] [282] When the Tarentines looted a Roman fleet and killed its commander, the Senate sent them envoys to complain about this injustice, but they were maltreated. Therefore, war was declared.

[12.3] The Samnites revolted.

[12.4] In several battles, many commanders successfully fought against them and against the Lucanians, Bruttians, and Etruscans.

[12.5] [280] King Pyrrhus of the Epirotes came to Italy to support the Tarentines.

[12.6] When a legion from Campania, commanded by prefect Decius Vibullius, was sent to Rhegium, it killed the inhabitants and occupied the city.

From Book 13

[13.1] Consul [Publius] Valerius Lavinius unsuccessfully fought against Pyrrhus, especially because the soldiers were not used to the elephants and were terrified.

[13.2] After the battle, Pyrrhus inspected the bodies of the Romans that had fallen during the fight and noticed that they were all directed against their enemy. Pillaging the country, he proceeded to the city of Rome.

[13.3] The Senate sent Gaius Fabricius to Pyrrhus to negotiate the return of the prisoners-of-war. In vain, the king tried to persuade him to abandon his country.

[13.4] The prisoners were released without payment. 

[13.5] Pyrrhus' deputy Cineas was sent to the Senate to organize the king's entrance into the city to negotiate a peace treaty.

[13.6] It was decided to discuss this matter with all senators, but Appius Claudius (who had not visited the deliberations for a long time because he suffered from an eye disease) came to the Senate and persuaded the senators with his speech not to give up.

[13.7] Gnaeus Domitius, the first plebeian censor, celebrated the lustrum ceremony.

[13.8] 287,222 citizens were registered.

[13.9] [279] For the second time, the Romans fought unsuccessfully against Pyrrhus.

[13.10] [278] The treaty with Carthage was renewed for the fourth time.

[13.11] When consul Gaius Fabricius heard from someone who had fled from Pyrrhus, that he could poison the king, he sent him back to the king with a report of what he had done.

[13.12] Itnote also contains an account of the successful wars against the Lucanians, Bruttians, Samnites, and Etruscans.

From Book 14

[14.1] [278] Pyrrhus went to Sicily.

[14.2] There were many portents, and the statue of the Capitoline Jupiter was struck down by lightning. Its head was found by the seers.

[14.3] [275] When consul Curius Dentatus was recruiting an army, he sold the possessions of a man who had not appeared. He defeated Pyrrhus, who had returned, and expelled him from Italy.

[14.4] Censor Fabricius removed former consul Publius Cornelius Rufinus from the Senate because he owned more than ten pounds of silverware.

[14.5] The censors celebrated the ritual cleansing of the state after 271,224 citizens had been registered.

[14.6] [273] A treaty of friendship was concluded with king Ptolemy [II Philadelphus] of Egypt.

[14.7] The Vestal virgin Sextilia was condemned for adultery and buried alive.

[14.8] Colonies were founded at Posidonia and Cosa.

[14.9] [272] A Carthaginian navy brought help to the Tarentines, and broke the treaty.

[14.10] Itnote also contains accounts of successful wars against the Lucanians, Bruttians, and Samnites, and of the death of king Pyrrhus.

From Book 15

[15.1] When the Tarentines had been subdued, they were given peace and freedom.

[15.2] [270] The Campanian legion that had occupied Regium, was besieged. After its capitulation, its soldiers were beheaded.

[15.3] Because several young men had assaulted envoys from the the Apolloniates, who were sent to the Senate, these young men were extradited. 

[15.4] [268] When the Picentes had been subdued, they were given peace.

[15.5] Colonies were founded at Ariminum in Picenum and at Beneventum in Samnium.

[15.6] [269] For the first time, the Roman people started to use coins of silver.

[15.7] [267] After the Umbrians and Sallentines had been defeated, their surrender was accepted.

[15.8] The number of quaestors was doubled. Now, there were eight.