Livy, Periochae 126-130

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 126

[126.1] Caesar was only twenty-three when he laid siege to Lucius Antonius in the town of Perugia and prevented several break-outs, and when hunger forced him into surrender, [40] Caesar pardoned him and all his soldiers, but sacked Perugia. Without bloodshed, he brought the armies of both sides in this war under his command.

From Book 127

[127.1] The Parthians, commanded by Labienus, who belonged to the faction of the Pompeians, invaded Syria and, having defeated Decidius Saxa, a deputy of Mark Antony, occupied the entire province.

[127.2] When Mark Antony, in order to make war against Caesar ...note his wife Fulvia ...note, so that there was no obstacle to an agreement between the leaders, made peace with Caesar and married his sister Octavia.

[127.3] He exposed by his own evidence how Quintus Salvidenus was making criminal plans against Caesar; he was condemned and committed suicide.

[127.4] Publius Ventidius, a deputy of Antony, defeated the Parthians in battle and drove them out of Syria, after their commander Labienus had been killed.

[127.5] [39] Because an enemy close to Italy, Sextus Pompeius, occupied Sicily and threatened the grain trade, Caesar and Antony concluded, at his demand, a peace treaty with him, so that he could rule Sicily as a province.

[127.6] Itnote also contains an account of the troubles in Africa and the wars that were fought over there.

From Book 128

[128.1] [38] When Sextus Pompeius through piracy made the sea dangerous again and did not maintain the peace he had agreed upon, Caesar accepted the necessary war against him, and fought two naval battles, with a dubious outcome.

[128.2] Publius Ventidius, a deputy of Mark Antony, defeated the Parthians in Syria and killed their leader.

[128.3] [37] The Jews were also defeated by a deputy of Mark Antony.note

[128.4] Itnote also contains an account of the preparations of the Sicilian war.

From Book 129

[129.1] [36] Naval battles with varying outcomes were fought against Sextus Pompeius, in the following way: of the two navies of Caesar, the one, whose admiral was Agrippa, was victorious, but the other, commanded by Caesar, was destroyed and the soldiers that had been set ashore were exposed to grave danger.

[129.2] The defeated Pompeius fled to [the interior of] Sicily.

[129.3] When Marcus Lepidus, who had arrived from Africa as if to support Caesar in his struggle against Sextus Pompeius, launched a war against Caesar, he was abandoned by his army, deprived of his triumviral powers, but successfully begged for his life.

[129.4] Marcus Agrippa received a naval crown from Caesar, an honor that no one had received before.

From Book 130

[130.1] Living a life of pleasure with Cleopatra, Mark Antony invaded Media rather late, and brought war to Parthia with eighteen legions and 16,000 horsemen; having lost two legions and failing to achieve success in any enterprise, he retreated, pursued by Parthians, and after immense confusion and great danger, reached Armenia, having covered in his flight three hundred miles,note in twenty-one days.

[130.2] Because of tempests, he lost about 8,000 men.

[130.3] (Like the Parthian war that he had undertaken so unluckily, it was his own mistake that he encountered these tempests, because he refused to winter in Armenia but instead hurried to Cleopatra.)