QUESTIONS ARISING FROM 133rd. MEETING – 18/3/22 (the record of earlier meetings can be downloaded from the main Circulus page as can the version of Ciceronis Filius with illustrations added. The illustrated text of Genesis is available on the Genesis page, of Kepler's Somnium on the Somnium page,of Nutting's Ad Alpes on the Ad Alpes page and of Eutropius' Brevarium on the Eutropius page)
We read and translated the first eight chapters of Book 1 of Eutropius’ Breviarium Historiae Romanae, a summary of Roman history from the foundation of the city to 364 A.D., which was probably written in winter 369-370 A.D. at the request of Valens, the ruler of the eastern half of the empire since 364. Our extract finished with the expulsion of Rome’s seventh and last king, traditionally dated to 510 B.C.
Valens, born in 328, had been given control of the east by his brother, Valentian I and, although he may have been reasonably competent and conscientious as an administrator, his mismanagement of a scheme to settle the Goths in the Balkans and his poor military tactics led to a catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Goths at Adrianople in Thrace in 378, in which he lost his own life and two-thirds of his army was destroyed. For more details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valens
Valens had ascended the throne without having to fight for it, but many other emperors gained theirs through civil war. Chris Y recalled one such man uttering the words `The smell of a dead enemy is sweet and that of a dead citizen sweeter.’ Googling the quote showed that most websites attribute this to Vespasian, who emerged victorious at the end of 69 A,D., the `year of the Four Emperors.’ However, the words were in fact supposed to have been uttered by Vespasian’s predecessor, Vitellius, and are given in the original Latin (optimē olēre occīsum hostem et melius cīvem) in chapter 10 of Suetonius’ biography of him. The repugnant remark was made on the battlefield at Bedriacum, where the bodies of Otho’s defeated army lay bloated and rotting. The website which gets this right is https://historum.com/threads/a-dead-enemy-always-smells-good.24842/
The account of Rome’s fifth king, Tarquinius, mentions that he is credited with holding the first Roman triumph (triumphus). According to the usual account, this was a procession through the city in which a victorious general, with his face painted red and wearing red clothes to resemble the war god Mars, rode to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitolium. He was accompanied by the prisoners and booty he had captured and by the senators and his soldiers, all of whom wore togas. It is regularly said that in the chariot with him there was a slave continually reminding him that he was only a mortal. Sam wanted to know how the slave was chosen, but Mary Beard’s The Roman Triumph, shows that the whole conventional account is open to doubt so this is probably an unanswerable question. All we can say is that if a slave was involved he would probably have been a public one rather than belonging to any private individual.
Julius Caesar’s triumph in 45 B.C., as depicted in the TV series `Rome’
Another tradition associated with the triumph was apparently the lampooning of the victorious general by his troops, as described in Suetonius’ account of the triumph celebrated by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C. The verses he quotes, with the syllables probably stressed highlighted in red, are as follows:
Galliās Caesar subēgit Nīcomēdēs Caesarem: Caesar conquered Gaul, Nicomedes Caesar Ecce Caesar nunc triumphat qui subēgit Galliās See, Caesar now triumphs who conquered Gaul Nīcomēdēs nōn triumphat quī subēgit Caesarem. No triumph for Nicomedes, conqueror of Caesar
In this second chant. the superscript syllables were probably elided before the following vowels and the `I’ in Gallia probably pronounced as a `y’ rather than as a separate syllable.
urbānī, seruāte uxōrēs: moechum calvum addūcimus. aurum in Gallia effutuistīī, hic sumpsistī mūtuum.
Townsfolk, look after your wives, we’re bringing a bald-headed lecher You wasted gold on debauchery in Gaul, here’s where you got your loans
As a young man Caesar had spent a long time at the court of King Nicomedes of Bithinia on the north coast of what is now modern Turkey and there were rumours, strenuously denied by Caesar himself, of a homosexual affair between the two. What, of course, was politically damaging for Caesar was not the allegation of homosexual acts as such, but the claim that he had been the passive partner. The Romans had no single word for `homosexual’ but separate terms for those in the active role (pedicātor) or the passive one (pathicus). The singing of disparaging verses may have been thought a useful safeguard against the triumphātor succumbing to hubris and thus inviting punishment from the gods.
We also discussed the layout of the city of Rome and in particular the location of the Circus Maximus, which was divided from the Forum by the Palatine Hill, site of the original settlement and also later of the emperor’s palace. . The Circus Maximus survives as an open space and but some of the stone structure that once surrounded it survives at the SE corner and has recently been partially restored (see https://www.voanews.com/a/rome-circus-maximus-restored/3598967.html
The Circus Maximus in the 2nd. century A.D. and as it is today
We briefly discussed the Roman calendar (see https://linguae.weebly.com/roman-calendar.html) and the weird system of expressing dates by counting backwards from next of three special days – the Kalends (1st), Nones (5th or 7th) and Ides (13th or 15th). These three days probably originally corresponded to the new moon, the first quarter and full moon, but the link was broken early on. This is in contrast to the use of truly lunar months that continued well into the 19th century in official correspondence in many parts of South Asia. Eutropius repeats the traditional claim that Rome’s second king, Numa Pompilius divided the year into ten months. This seems implausible and, in any case, the twelve month system was in place well before the end of the Republic and, after the institution of Leap Years, brought in under Caesar’s calendar reform in 45 B.C., the structure has remained fundamentally the same until today, although, mercifully, we count forwards in a single sequence of days each month. The only other post-Roman modification in our current Gregorian calendar is making the last year of every century (i.e years ending with two zeros) an ordinary one rather than a Leap Year unless it is also divisible by 400. Thus 1800 and 1900 were not Leap Years but 2000 was. . The Roman calendar was similar to the Chinese one in naming months after their number in the sequence, although the Romans did not do that for every month and retention of the old names when the start of the official year was transferred from March to January means that September, October, November and December are no long the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months. Hillary thought that counting days of the month backwards was also a feature of the Mayan calendar but, judging from the account at https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/mayan.html, this was not so.
The clumsiness of the Roman calendar was paralleled by the unwieldy nature of Roman numerals, which were still in general use in Europe throughout the Middle Ages but by the mid-16th century supplanted for most purposes by the Arabic numerals with their much more convenient place notation. The Arabs themselves had adopted their system from an Indian one, so Indo-Arabic might be a more appropriate term.
The shortcomings of the Roman number system made the use of an abacus in calculation particularly valuable and the Romans developed a hand-held abacus which could have fitted into a modern shirt pocket. For details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_abacus The abacus was also an important tool in traditional China and is still in use today in some old-style shops in Hong Kong.
The Roman kings were not generally succeeded by their own sons and Sam remarked that the early Chin dynasty rulers chose their own successors, as was often done by the Roman emperors. Apparently primogeniture became the standard method in China after the third Chin ruler insisted on being allowed to follow his father. Finally, Eutropius claimed that the census of Roman citizens held by Servius Tullius, Rome’s sixth ruler, was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. This is certainly wrong as census were already being conducted in ancient Egypt before the end of the Middle Kingdom in 1782 B.C. (see the account at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census). For Rome itself, Eutropius and other sources give census totals from the 6th century B.C. onwards (see http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/romancensus.html ) but the earliest reliable census statistics probably only date from 340 B.C. Zhang Wei explained that the first nationwide census in China was conducted under the Han dynasty. Censuses over a more restricted area may also have been held by the Chin.
EUTROPII BREVIĀRIVM HISTORIAE RŌMĀNAE Of-Eutropius abridgement of-history Roman DOMINŌ VALENTĪ GOTHICŌ MAXIMŌ PERPETUŌ AUGUSTŌ EUTROPIUS To-lord Valens Gothicus Maximus Perpetual Emperor Eutropius V. C. MAGISTER MEMORIAE. P erson most-distinguished master of-record LIBER PRĪMUS Rēs Rōmānās ex voluntāte mānsuētūdinis tuae ab urbe conditā ad nostram memoriam, quae Affairs Roman from wish of-Clemency your from city founded till our memory which in negōtiīs vel bellicīs vel cīvīlibus ēminēbant, per ōrdinem temporum brevī nārrātiōne in undertakings either military or civil were-prominent through order of-times in-short narrative collēgī, strictim additīs etiam hīs, quae in prīncipum vītā ēgregia extitērunt, ut I-have-collected briefly with-added also those-things which in of-leaders life as-uncommon stood-out tranquillitātis tuae possit mēns dīvīna laetārī prius sē inlūstrium virōrum facta in of-Tranquiliy your may-be-able mind divine to-rejoice earlier-on self of-illustrious men deeds in administrandō imperiō secūtam, quam cognōsceret lēctiōne. being-administered empire followed than it-learned-of-them by-reading  Rōmānum imperium, quō neque ab exōrdiō ūllum ferē minus neque incrēmentīs tōtō orbe Roman empire than-which neither in beginning any almost less nor in-growth in-whole world amplius hūmāna potest memoria recordārī, ā Rōmulō exōrdium habet, quī Reae Silviae, larger human can history remember from Romulus beginning takes who of-Rea Silvia Vestālis virginis, fīlius et, quantum putātus est, Mārtis cum Remō frātre ūnō partū ēditus est. Vestal virgin son and as-far-as thought has-been of-Mars with Remus brother in-one birth produced was Is, cum inter pāstōrēs latrōcinārētur, decem et octo annōs nātus urbem exiguam in Palātīnō he when among shepherds was-practising-banditry ten and eight years born city small on Palatine monte cōnstituit XĪ Kal. Maiās, Olympiadis sextae annō tertiō, post Troiae excidium, hill established on 11th before Kalends of-May of-Olympia d sixth in-year third after Troy’s destruction ut quī plūrimum minimumque trādunt, annō trecentēsimō nōnāgēsimō quārtō. as those-who most and-least record in-year three hundredth ninetieth fourth  Conditā cīvitāte, quam ex nōmine suō Rōmam vocāvit, haec ferē ēgit. Multitūdinem Founded city which from name own Rome he-called these-things roughly he-did multitude fīnitimōrum in cīvitātem recēpit, centum ex seniōribus lēgit, quōrum cōnsiliō omnia ageret, of-neighbours into city he-accepted one-hundred from older-men chose whose by-advice everything he-could-do quōs senātōrēs nōmināvit propter senectūtem. Tum, cum uxōrēs ipse et populus suus nōn whom senators he-names on-account-of seniority then since wives himself and peopl e his not
NOTES  Valens, became ruler the eastern half of the empire in 364 and commissioned the Breviarium in winter 369/70, after a successful campaign against the Goths, one of the Germanic tribes now threatening Rome, and before his departure to shore up the eastern frontier against the Parthians. He died in the Battle of Adrianopole of 378, a Gothic victory usually seen as beginning the process that led to the fall of Rome itself in 410. The description of Eutropius as magister memoriae (secretary dealing with petitions submitted to the emperor) is not included in all manuscripts and may be the result of confusion with Festus, another summarizer who is definitely known to have held the post at around this time (see R.W.Burgess, `Eutropius V.C. “Magister Memoriae?”Classical Philology, Vol. 96, No. 1 (Jan., 2001), pp. 76-81). The abbreviation `V.C.’ stands for Vir Clārissimus and Bird reasonably translates `Right Honourable’, a title given to ministers and some other high officials in the U.K. `V.C.’ is also an abbreviation of Vir Cōnsulāris (i.e. a man who been a consul) but Eutropius’s name is not included in the list of holders of this office before 370 though a Eutropius was consul in 387.  The italicised section is omitted in Hazzard’s 1898 edition,  Eutropius uses the conventionally accepted date for Rome’s foundation, 21 April 753 B.C. An Olympiad was the four years period between one Olympic games and the next and, as the first games were believed to have been held in July 776 B..C, the 3rd year of the sixth Olympiad ran from July 754 to July 753. Assuming Eutropius was using inclusive reckoning, his date for the fall of Troy is 1146 B.C.
habērent, invītāvit ad spectāculum lūdōrum vīcīnās urbī Rōmae nātiōnēs atque eārum virginēs had he-invited to show of-athletics neighbouring to-city Rome tribes and their maidens rapuit. Commōtīs bellīs propter raptārum iniūriam Caenīnēnsēs vīcit, Antemnātēs, seized with-launched wars because-of of-kidnapping wrong the- Caeninian s he-defeats the-people-of-Antemnae Crustumīnōs, Sabīnōs, Fīdēnātēs, Vēientēs. Haec omnia oppida urbem cingunt. Et cum ortā the-Crustumerians Sabines Fidenates Veians these all towns city ring and when arisen subitō tempestāte nōn compāruisset, annō rēgnī trīcēsimō septimō ad deōs trānsīsse crēditus suddenly storm not he-had-appeared in-year of-reign thirty seventh to gods to-have-crossed believed est et cōnsecrātus. Deinde Rōmae per quīnōs diēs senātōrēs imperāvērunt et hīs rēgnantibus he-was and deified then in-Rome for five-each days senators ere-in-charge and with-these ruling annus ūnus complētus est. one year completed was  Posteā Numa Pompilius rēx creātus est, quī bellum quidem nūllum gessit, sed nōn minus Afterwards Numa Pompilius king made was who war indeed none waged but not less cīvitātī quam Rōmulus prōfuit. Nam et lēgēs Rōmānīs mōrēsque cōnstituit, quī cōnsuētūdine to-city than Romulus was-of-benefit for both laws for-Romans and-customs he-established who by-habit proeliōrum iam latrōnēs ac sēmibarbarī putābantur, et annum dēscrīpsit in decem mēnsēs of-battles now robbers and semi-barbarians were-considered and year divided into ten months prius sine aliquā supputātiōne cōnfūsum, et īnfīnīta Rōmae sacra ac templa cōnstituit. Morbō previously without any [proper]reckoning confused and innumerable at-Rome rites and temples established of-disease dēcessit quadrāgēsimō et tertiō imperiī annō. he-died in-fortieth and third of-reign year.  Huic successit Tullus Hostīlius. Hic bella reparāvit, Albānōs vīcit, quī ab urbe Rōmā To-him succeeded Tullus Hostiliu s He wars took-up-again Albans defeated who from city Rome duodecimō mīliāriō sunt, Vēientēs et Fīdēnātēs, quōrum aliī sextō mīliāriō absunt ab urbe at-twelfth milepost are Veians and Fidenians of-whom one-people by-sixth milestone are-distant from city Rōmā aliī octāvō decimō, bellō superāvit, urbem ampliāvit, adiectō Caeliō monte. Cum Rome the-other at-18th in-war conquered city extended with-added Caelian hill when trīgintā et duōs annōs rēgnāsset, fulmine ictus cum domō suā ārsit. thirty and two years he-had-reigned by-lightning struck with house his he was set on fire  Post hunc Ancus Marcius, Numae ex fīliā nepōs, suscēpit imperium. Contrā Latīnōs After him Ancus Marcius of-Numa through daughter grandson took-over rule against Latins dīmicāvit, Aventīnum montem cīvitātī adiēcit et Jāniculum, apud ōstium Tiberis cīvitātem he-fought Aventine hill to-city he-added and Janiculum at mouth of-Tiber city suprā mare sextō decimō mīliāriō ab urbe Rōmā condidit. Vīcēsimō et quārtō annō imperiī on sea at 16th milestone from city Rome founded in-20th and 4th year of-reign morbō periit. from-illness he-died
NOTES  Literally `wrong of the captured females’  Caenina (modern Caino) was a small town near Rome, Antemnae a Sabine settlement, Crustumeria originally a Sabine and later an Etruscan town. Fidenae (despite being on the left bank of the Tiber) was also originally Etruscan, and Veii a major Etruscan town. The Sabines were an ethnic group rather than citizens of a particular town and it was their daughters whose seizure is generally remembered. Some at least of the Sabines were said to have moved to Rome when peace was established and Romulus’ successor to have been a Sabine.  Romulus was traditionally supposed to have died in 716 B.C.  Numa’s traditional dates are 715 to 672. He was in fact believed to have instituted a 12-month rin place of a 10-month system by adding the months January and February. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_calendar#Calendar_of_Numa  i.e. the city of Alba Longa, the old religious centre of the Latins, which Aeneas’s son Ascanius/Iulus, was believed to have founded,  Fidenae was about 5 miles and Veii 10 miles from Rome so, even allowing for a Roman mile being about 0.9 English miles, Eutropius’s distance for the latter is too high,  Tullus Hostilius’death is traditionally given as 640 B.C.  Ancius’s regnal dates are 640-614.
 Deinde rēgnum Prīscus Tarquinius accēpit. Hic numerum senātōrum duplicāvit, circum Then kingship Priscus Tarquinius received he number of-senators doubled circus Rōmae aedificāvit, lūdōs Rōmānōs īnstituit, quī ad nostram memoriam permanent. Vīcit at-Rome he-built games Roman he-established which to our memory continue conquered idem etiam Sabīnōs et nōn parum agrōrum sublātum īsdem urbis Rōmae territōriō iūnxit, same-man also Sabines and not too-little of-territory taken-away from-them of-city Rome to-territory joined prīmusque triumphāns urbem intrāvit. Mūrōs fēcit et cloācās, Capitōlium inchoāvit. and-first in-triumphal-procession city entered walls he-built and sewers the-Capitolium he-began Trīcēsimō octāvō imperiī annō per Ancī fīliōs occīsus est, rēgis eius, cui ipse successerat. In-the-thirtieth eighth of-reign year by of-Ancius sons killed was of-king that whom he-himself had-succeeded  Post hunc Servius Tullius suscēpit imperium, genitus ex nōbilī fēminā, captīvā tamen et After him Servius Tullius assumed rule born of noble woman captive however and ancillā. Hic quoque Sabīnōs subēgit, montēs trēs, Quirīnālem, Vīminālem, Ēsquilīnum, urbī maid He also Sabines subdued hills three Quirinal Viminal Esquiline to-city adiūnxit, fossās circum mūrum dūxit. Prīmus omnium cēnsum ōrdināvit, quī adhūc per orbem linked ditches around wall constructed first of census he-arranged which till-then throughout circle terrārum incognitus erat. Sub eō Rōma omnibus in cēnsum dēlātīs habuit capita LXXXIIĪ of-lands unknown was under him Rome with-all to census reported had persons 83 mīlia cīvium Rōmānōrum cum hīs, quī in agrīs erant. Occīsus est scelere generī suī Tarquiniī thousands of-citizens Roman including those who in countryside were killed he-was by-crime of-son-in-law his Tarquinius Superbī, fīliī eius rēgis, cui ipse successerat, et fīliae, quam Tarquinius habēbat uxōrem. Superbus son of-that king whom he-himself had-succeeded and of-daughter whom Tarquinius had as-wife  L. Tarquinius Superbus, septimus atque ultimus rēgum, Volscōs, quae gēns ad Lucius Tarquinius Superbus seventh and last of-the-kings Volscians which people towards Campāniam euntibus nōn longē ab urbe est, vīcit, Gabiōs cīvitātem et Suessam Pōmētiam Campania for-those-going not far from city is defeated Gabii city and Suessa Pometia NOTES  Priscus Tarquinius was supposed to have been of joint Greek and Etruscan descent and to have been chosen as king by people and senate after his migration to Rome from Tarquinii in Etruria. For further details see Hazzard. The traditional date for his death is 578  The Ludi Romani, consisting of horse and chariot races, were held in September and by Cicero’s time lasted 15 days. The venue was later known as the Circus Maximus and lay between the Aventine and Palatine hills  The phrase ad nostrum memoriam ought logically to mean something like `to within living memory’ but can normally be translated `to our time’ and does not imply that the games stopped recently. īsdem is a contraction of iisdem/eisdem, dative plural of īdem  The triumph was an honour granted to generals who had won a major victory with the death of at least 5000 of the enemy, It involved riding in a chariot through the city to the temple of Jupiter on the capitol, with captives and spoils ahead and the general’s troops behind. For further details see Hazzard’s note and Mary Beard’s The Roman Triumph.  Referring to the walls completed by Servius Tullius, the Cloaca Maxima, a 14-ft wide semi-circular tunnel beneath the city, and the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline hill construction of which was continued in later reigns. The Cloaca Maxima may originally have been an open canal which was later enclosed. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloaca_Maxima  This use of per and the accusative instead of ā/ab and the ablative for the personal agent with a passive verb is post-classical,  Servius was killed in c.534 B.C.. His mother had been brought to Rome as a slave of Tanaquil, the wife of Tarquinius Priscus, after the capture of her own city. Servius had worked as a slave himself but after his hair was miraculously surrounded by a ring of fire. Tanaquil persuaded Priscus to marry his daughter to him. For further details, see Hazzard’s note.  Campania is the region around the Bay of Naples. Gabii lay about 11 miles east of Rome, on the edge of an extinct volcanic crater which was a lake until drained in the 19th century (see chapter 8 of Ross Holloway, The Archaeology of Early Rome and Latium and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabii ). Suessa Pometia was destroyed by the Romans in the early 5th century B.C. and its exact location is not known. It appears to have been at different times a Latin and a Volscian city. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suessa_Pometia subēgit, cum Tuscīs pācem fēcit et templum Jovis in Capitōliō aedificāvit. Posteā Ardeam subdued with Etruscans peace made and temple of-Jove on Capitoline built Afterwards Ardea oppugnāns, in octāvō decimō mīliāriō ab urbe Rōmā positam cīvitātem, imperium perdidit. attacking at eighth tenth milestone from city Rome situated city power he-lost Nam cum fīlius eius, et ipse Tarquinius iūnior, nōbilissimam fēminam Lucrētiam For when son his and himself Tarquinius a-younger most-noble woman Lucretia eandemque pudīcissimam, Collātīnī uxōrem, stuprāsset eaque dē iniūriā marītō et patrī et and-at-same-time most-chaste of-Collatinus wife had-raped and-she about violation to-husband and father and amīcīs questa fuisset, in omnium cōnspectū sē occīdit. Propter quam causam Brūtus, parēns et friends complained had in of-all sight herself killed for which reason Brutus relative also ipse Tarquiniī, populum concitāvit et Tarquiniō adēmit imperium. Mox exercitus quoque himself of-Tarquin people stirred-up and from-Tarquinius took-away power soon army also eum, quī cīvitātem Ardeam cum ipsō rēge oppugnābat, relīquit; veniēnsque ad urbem rēx him which city Ardea with himself king was-attacking abandoned and-coming to city king portīs clausīs exclūsus est, cumque imperāsset annōs quattuor et vīgintī cum uxōre et līberīs with-gates shut kept-out was and-when he-had-reigned years four and twenty with wife and children suīs fūgit. Ita Rōmae rēgnātum est per septem rēgēs annīs ducentīs quadrāgintā tribus, his he-fled thus at-Rome reigned it-was through seven kings within-years two-hundred forty three cum adhūc Rōmā, ubi plūrimum, vix usque ad quīntum decimum mīliārium possidēret. when still Rome where at-the-most hardly as-far fifteenth milestone held-territory
NOTES  Ardea, a town 22 miles south of Rome, was said to have been the capital of the Rutuli, the tribe whose legendary king Turnus was Aeneas’s main opponent in Italy  Sextus Tarquinius. It is unclear why Eutropius had to stress he had the same surname as his father  Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, the son of a nephew of Tarquinius Priscus. quī refers to the army, not to eum (the king), although the latter is nearer to the relative pronoun.  i.e. `the dynasty lasted’’ through  Eutropius appears to be pacing the expulsion of the Tarquins in 510 B.c. (i.e 243 years after the city’s foundation in 753.