Another one about Rome

I’ve been filling quite a number of posts about my purchases of Roman history and I still can’t get enough about this fascinating period. There is a positive side to it, though. There are only a limited amount of histories and even less translations available, especially for a decent price. Basically what I am saying is that I’m nearing the end of my collecting spree of the past years on this topic. I’m fine with that as it saves me a bit of money too, although I fear I will probably find something else. Still, I won’t stop writing about it here as I still have plenty of reading and reviewing ahead of me after all that buying.

My latest purchase is a collection of works by Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust for the Anglicized version). Het wrote a number of historic works but only some small parts have survived. The size of these works is so small that they are combined into one book as they only fill up 160 pages. The titles are Catiline’s War, The Jugurthine War, and Histories (c. 35 BC). Sallustius, like most classic historians wrote about his own times as well and except for The Jugurthine War he can be named an eye-witness of those events. Like the several historians of those times he was an ally of Julius Caesar who also obtained positions of power, sort of mimicking their leader in his own writings.

Catiline’s war is about a famous conspiracy uncovered by Cicero in 63 BC while The Jugurthine War tells of a war in northern Africa between 111 and 105 BC. If you would wonder why this war would be of any importance to survive time and being translated is because the war brought two great men into prominence: Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla. They would rise in power until their rivalry would cause the first civil war in Roman history (88-82 BC), a time which would be eclipsed by the much greater civil wars of Pompeius and Julius Caesar and their successors. They were also partially responsible for the division of Rome into two parties as they became their leaders mainly to obtain their own desires (which was no different for Pompeius and Julius Caesar). The Histories are mainly fragments taking place after that first civil war, consisting of speeches and letters.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.