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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 659 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE ROMAN EMPERORS B.C. A.D. 27. Augustus. 244. Philip. A.D. 249. Decius. 14. Tiberius. 251. Gallus. 37. Gaius. 253. Aemilianus. 41. Claudius. 260 Valerian. 54. Nero. Gallienus. Galba. 268. Claudius. 68, 69. -Otho. Quintillus. Vitellius. 27°' Aurelian. 69. Vespasian. 275. Tacitus. 79. Titus. 276. Probus. 81. Domitian. 282. Carus. 96. Nerva. 283. Carinus and Numerian. 98. Trajan. Diocletian (Maximian 117. Hadrian. 284. {Diocletian with him, 138. Antoninus Pius. 286). 161. Marcus Aurelius. 305. Constantius and Galerius. 180. Commodus. Licinius. Pertinax. 311' ( Constantine I. 193. . Didius Julianus. 324. Constantine I. Septimius Severus. II. 21 I. Caracalla. {Constantine 337• Constantius I I. 217. Macrinus. Constans. 218. Elagabalus. 350. Constantius II., sole em- 222. Alexander Severus. peror. 235. Maximinus. 361. Julian. The two Gordiani. 363. Jovian. 238. Pupienus and Balbinus. Gordian III. Division of the Empire. A.D. West. A.D. East. 364. Valentinian I. 364. Valens. 375. Gratian and Valentinian II. 379. Theodosius I. 383. Valentinian II. 392. Theodosius I. 395. Honorius. 395. Arcadius. 423. Valentinian III. 408. Theodosius II. 455. Maximus. 450. Marcian. 455. Avitus. 457. Majorian. 457. Leo I. 461. Severus. 467. Anthemius. 472. Olybrius. 473. Glycerius. 474. Julius Nepos. 474. Leo II. 475. Romulus Augustulus. (H. F. P.; H. S. J.) Many modern scholars have supposed that these meagre official records were supplemented by-(a) popular poetry, more or less legendary in content; (b) family chronicles, the substance of which was worked up into the funeral orations (laudations funebres) pronounced at the grave of distinguished Romans. The existence of the former class of documents is, however, quite unsupported by evidence; as to family tradition, we cannot say more than that it has probably left a deposit in the accounts of republican history handed down to us, and caused the exploits of the members of illustrious houses to be exaggerated in importance. Setting aside the works of Greek historians who incidentally touched on Roman affairs, such as Hieronymus of Cardia, who wrote of the wars of Pyrrhus as a contemporary, and Timaeus of Tauromenium (c. 345-250 B.C.), who treated of the history of Sicily and the West down to 272 B.C., the earliest writers on Roman history Attila and the (funs. Sack of Rome by the Vandals. Ricimer supreme in Italy, Orestes, the Pan- King Odoacer. were Q. Fabius Pictor i and L. Cincius Alimentus, who lived during the Second Punic War and wrote in Greek. We are told by Dionysius that they treated the earlier history summarily, but wrote more fully of their own times. They were followed in their use of the Greek language by C. Acilius (introduced a Greek embassy to the senate, 155 B.C.) and A. Postumius Albinus (consul, 151 B.C.). In the meantime, however, M. Porcius Cato the Elder (234–149 B.C.), the leader of the national party at Rome and a vigorous opponent of Greek influence, had treated of Roman antiquities in his Origines. This work was not purely annalistic, but treated of the ethnography and customs of the Italian peoples, &c. Cato founded no school of antiquarian research, but his use of the Latin language as the medium of historical writing was followed by the annalists of the Gracchan period, L. Cassius Hemina, L. Calpurnius Piso (consul, 133 B.C.), C. Sempronius Tuditanus (consul, 129 B.C.), Cn. Gellius, Vennonius, C. Fannius (consul, 122 B.c.), and L. Caelius Antipater.2 By these writers some attempt was made to apply canons of criticism to the traditional accounts of early Roman history, but they did little more than rationalize the more obviously mythical narratives; they also followed Greek literary models and introduced speeches, &c., for artistic effect. Where they wrote as contemporaries, however, e.g. Fannius in his account of the Gracchan movement, their works were of the highest value. About the beginning of this period Polybius (q.v.) had published his history, which originally embraced the period of the Punic wars, and was afterwards continued to 146 B.C. His influence was not fully exerted upon Roman historians until the close of the 2nd and early part of the 1st century B.C., when a school of writers arose who treated history with a practical purpose, endeavouring to trace the motives of action and to point a moral for the edification of their readers. To this school belonged Sempronius Asellio, Claudius Quadrigarius, Valerius Antias and C. Licinius Macer (d. 66 B.C.). Their writings were diffuse, rhetorical and inaccurate; Livy complains of the gross exaggerations of Valerius (whom he followed blindly in his earlier books), and Macer seems to have drawn much of his material from sources of very doubtful authenticity. Contemporary history was written by Cornelius Sisenna (119–67 B.C.), and the work of Polybius was continued to 86 B.C. by the Stoic Posidonius (c. 135–45 B.C.), a man of encyclopaedic knowledge. From the Gracchan period onwards the memoirs, speeches and correspondence of distinguished statesmen were often published; of these no specimens are extant until we come to the Ciceronian period, when the Speeches and Letters of Cicero (q.v.) and the Commentaries of Julius Caesar (q.v.)—the latter continued to the close of the Civil War by other hands—furnish invaluable evidence for the history of their times. We possess examples of historical pamphlets with a strong party colouring in Sallust's tracts on the Jugurthine War and the conspiracy of Catiline. During the same period Roman antiquities, genealogy, chronology, &c., were exhaustively treated by M. Terentius Varro (116–27 B.C.) (q.v.) in his Antiquitates (in 41 books) and other works. Cicero's friend, M. Pomponius Atticus, also compiled a chronological table which was widely used, and Cornelius Nepos (q.v.) wrote a series of historical biographies which have come down to us. In the Augustan age the materials accumulated by previous generations were worked up by compilers whose works are in some cases preserved. The work of Livy (q.v.) covered the history of Rome from its foundation to 9 B.C. in 142 books; of these only 35 are preserved in their entirety, while the contents of the rest are known in outline from an epitome (periochae) and from the compendia of Florus and later authors. Diodorus Siculus (q.v.) of Agyrium in Sicily followed the earlier annalists in the sections of his Universal History (down to Caesar) which dealt with Roman affairs; Dionysius of Halicarnassus (q.v.), in his Roman Archaeology (published in 7 B.C.), treated early Roman history in a more ambitious and rhetorical style, with greater fulness than Livy, whose work he seems to have used. Universal histories were also written in the Augustan age by Nicolaus of Damascus, a protege of Herod the Great, and Trogus Pompeius, whose work is known to us from the epitome of Justin (2nd century A.D.). Juba, the learned king of Mauretania installed by Augustus, wrote a History of Rome as well as antiquarian works. Strabo (q.v.), whose Geography is extant, was the author of a continuation of Polybius's history (to 27 B.C.). The learning of the time was enshrined in the encyclopaedia of Verrius Flaccus, of which we possess part of Festus's abridgment (2nd century A.D.), together with an Epitome of Festus by Paulus Diaconus (temp. Charlemagne). An official list of the consuls and other chief magistrates of the republic was inscribed on the walls of the Regia (rebuilt 36 B.c.), followed somewhat later by a similar list of triumphatores; the former of these is known as the Fasti Capitolini, (C.I.L.I.2, 1 sqq.), since the fragments which have been recovered are preserved in the Palace of the Conservatori on the Capitol. The Forum of Augustus (see ROME, section Archaeology) was decorated with statues of famous Romans, on the bases of which were inscribed short accounts of their exploits; some of these elogia are preserved (cf. Dessau, Inscr. Lat. sel. 50 sgq.). Amongst writers of the imperial period who dealt with republican For these writers see further under ANNALISTS and LivY. 2 Caelius's work dealt only with the Second Punic War. history the most important are Velleius Paterculus, whose compendium of Roman history was published in A.D. 30; Plutarch (c. A.D. 45–125), in whose biographies much contemporary material was worked up; Appian, who wrote under the Antonines and described the wars of the republic under geographical headings (partly preserved) and the civil wars in five books, and Dio Cassius (v. infra), of whose history only that portion which deals with events from 69 B.C. onwards is extant. The date of Granius Licinianus, whose fragments throw light on the earlier civil wars, is not certain. The evidence of inscriptions (q.v.) and coins (q.v.) begins to be of value during the 15o years of the republic. A series of laws and Senatus consulta (beginning with the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, 189 B.c.) throws light on constitutional questions, while the coins struck from about 150 B.C. onwards bear types illustrative of the traditions preserved by the families to which the masters of the mint (III viri monetales) belonged.

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