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De Roma:
Excerpts from Ancient Writers About Rome

Table of Contents



DIONYSIUS OF HALICARNASSUS / On the Subject of Roman History

LIVY / The Capture of the Sabine Women

LIVY / Numa’s Religious Settlement

DIONYSIUS OF HALICARNASSUS / Servius Tullius’s Reform of the Comitia Centuriata

LIVY / The Rape of Lucretia


DIONYSIUS OF HALICARNASSUS / The Tribunes and their Manipulation


LIVY / The Defeat of the Latins

LIVY / The Samnites’ ‘Linen Legion’ Remains Undaunted

FRAGMENTS / The Twelve Tables

DIONYSIUS OF HALICARNASSUS / Coriolanus Opposes the Plebs


CICERO, DIONYSIUS OF HALICARNASSUS / The Mythology of the Farmer General


POLYBIUS / The Battle of Cannæ

POLYBIUS / The Siege of Syracuse

DIONYSIUS OF HALICARNASSUS / Early Rules for Clients and Patrons

POLYBIUS / The Constitution of the Roman Republic


POLYBIUS / The Destruction of Corinth

POLYBIUS / The Roman Maniple vs. the Macedonian Phalanx

PLAUTUS / From The Menaechmi

STRABO, Oxyrhynchos Papyri / Egypt under the Roman Empire

VARIOUS / Slavery in the Roman Republic

LIVY / Cato Opposes Extravagance


APPIAN / On Tiberius Gracchus

PLUTARCH / On Tiberius Gracchus

APPIAN / On Gaius Gracchus

SALLUST / Speech of Marius Against the Nobility


APPIAN / Drusus and his Enemies

LIVY, APPIAN / Sulla’s Brutality

SALLUST / Life in Rome in the Late Republic

SALLUST / Pompey’s Letter to the Senate

CICERO / Against Catiline


ASCONIUS / The Murder of Clodius

SUETONIUS / On Julius Caesar

PLUTARCH / The Assassination of Julius Caesar

CICERO / On the Rise of Augustus

CATULLUS / Selections


AUGUSTUS / Acts of the Divine Augustus

HORACE / The Secular Hymn

VELLEIUS PATERCULUS / The Battle of Teutoburg Forest

TACITUS / The Death of Augustus and the Accession of Tiberius Nero

CLAUDIUS / A Speech on Incorporating the Gauls

SENECA / The Pumpkinification of Claudius


TACITUS / The Principle of Adoption

TACITUS / The Legions Proclaim Vespasian Emperor

LEGAL TEXT / Law Concerning the Power of Vespasian

SUETONIUS / How Domitian Attempted to Amuse the Populace

JOSEPHUS / The Roman Army in the First Century CE

PLINY THE YOUNGER / Panegyric Addressed to the Emperor Trajan


PLINY THE YOUNGER / The Correspondence of a Provincial Governor and the Emperor

VARIOUS / Accounts of the Roman State Religion

LIVY, PRUDENTIUS / Roman Religiones Licitae and Illicitae: The Magna Mater

PLINY THE ELDER / The Grandeur of Rome

VARIOUS / Roman Educational Practices


HERODIAN / How Didius Julianus Bought the Empire at Auction

VOPISCUS / Aurelian’s Conquest of Palmyra

ZOSIMUS / Imperial Weakness Invites Barbarian Aggression

EUSEBIUS / The Persecution under Decius


SOZOMEN / Constantine Founds Constantinople, 324 CE

EUSEBIUS / The Conversion of Constantine

CONSTANTINE / The Edict of Milan

JULIAN / Letter to Arsacius


AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS / The Luxury of the Rich in Rome

PROCOPIUS OF CAESAREA / Alaric’s Sack of Rome, 410 CE

RUTILIUS NAMATIANUS / The Greatness of Rome in the Days of Ruin, 413CE

JORDANES / The Battle of Chalôns, 451 CE


APPENDIX / Roman Praenomina


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