Augustan Histories [Historia Augusta]
Scriptores Historiae Augustae
Latin (Imperial Era)
AELIUS AELII SPARTIANI
Diocletiano Augusto Aelius Spartianus suus sal.
[From Aelius Spartianus to his Augustus, Diocletian, greetings,]
I. 1 In animo mihi est, Diocletiane Auguste, tot principum maxime, non solum eos, qui principum locum in hac statione, quam temperas, retentarunt, ut usque ad divum Hadrianum feci, sed illos etiam, qui vel Caesarum nomine appellati sunt nec principes aut Augusti fuerunt vel quolibet alio genere aut in famam aut in spem principatus venerunt, cognitioni numinis tui sternere.
[Dear Diocletian Augustus, greatest among so many emperors--and not only those who retained the function of emperors in the capacity you govern, as I had done performed for the divine god, Hadrian, but also those who were either called by the title of Caesar, but were neither emperors or Augusti, or gained whatever title there is, or have witnessed or coveted the position of the emperor---I intend to bow only recognition of your divinely ordained authority.]
2 Quorum praecipue de Aelio Vero dicendum est, qui primus tantum Caesaris nomen accepit, adoptione Hadriani familiae principum adscitus.
[Of these men, I feel most especially obligated to talk about Aelius Verus, who was the first to receive the sole title of Caesar, after he gained adoption into Hadrian's imperial family.]
3 Et quoniam nimis pauca dicenda sunt, nec debet prologus inormior esse quam fabula, de ipso iam loquar.
[And since there there are much too many things to say and my prologue out not be more long-winded than a story tale, let me now describe him.]
II. 1 Ceionius Commodus, qui et Aelius Verus appelatus est, quem sibi Hadrianus aevo ingravescente morbis tristioribus pressus peragrato iam orbe terrarum adoptavit,
[Ceionius Commodus, who is also known by the name Aelius Verus, was adopted by Hadrian, already struggling in old age from increasingly worsening illness while he travelled the world,]
nihil habet in sua vita memorabile, nisi quod primus tantum Caesar est appellatus,
[There is nothing memorable in his life, only except that he was granted the title of Caesar,]
2 non testamento, ut antea solebat, neque eo modo quo Traianus est adoptatus, sed eo prope genere, quo nostris temporibus a vestra clementia Maximianus atque Constantius Caesares dicti sunt, quasi quidam principum fili, visi et designati augustae maiestatis heredes.
[By no account of witness, as used to be the case, neither was Trajan adopted in any way, but in the one by which Maximianus and Constantius, in our own period of time, granted the titles of Caesar by your own graciousness, in fact, just like sons of the emperor, the official designated heirs of his revered majesty.]
3 Et quoniam de Caesarum nomine in huius praecipue vita est aliquid disputandum, qui hoc solum nomen indeptus est, Caesarem vel ab elephanto, qui lingua Maurorum caesai dicitur, in proelio caeso eum, qui primus sic appellatus est, doctissimi viri et eruditissimi putant dictum, 4
[And since there is much to dispute concerning the names of the Caesars, particularly in this one's life, who gained the name Caesar alone, either because he was killed by elephant--which was called a Caesaios in the Mauritanian language--this fellow was thusly named, according to the most learned and educated men,]
vel quia mortua matre, sed ventre caeso, sit natus, vel quod cum magnis crinibus sit utero parentis effusus, vel quod oculis caesiis et ultra humanum morem viguerit.
[or because his mother was deceased, but he was born through a C-section, or because he came out of his mother's womb with a full head of hair, or because he was example of a strong person and beyond the custom of people, even if his eyes were cut out!]
5 Certe quaecumque illa, felix necessitas fuit,
[Certainly what that was, it is a lucky turn of events,]
unde tam clarum et duraturum cum aeternitate mundi nomen effloruit.
[from whence flourished a name so distinguished and destined to accompany the eternal history of the world.]
6 Hic ergo, de quo sermo est,
[So at this point, from whence came this speech,]
primum Lucius Aurelius Verus est dictus,
[he was first called Lucius Aurelius Verus]
sed ab Hadriano ascitus in Aeliorum familiam,
[but after being adopted by Hadrian into the Aelian family]
hoc est in Hadriani,
[that is, into Hadrian's family,]
transscriptus et appellatus est Caesar.
[after which he was later declared in the constitution, and given the title of Caesar.]
7 Huic pater Ceionius Commodus fuit,
[His father was Ceionius Commodus,]
quem alii Verum, alii Lucium Aurelium, multi Annium prodiderunt.
[whom some people think was Verus; others think he was Lucius Aurelius; and many think Annius.]
8 Maiores omnes nobilissimi,
[All of his forefathers were the highest-born you could find,]
quorum origo pleraque ex Etruria fuit vel ex Faventia.
[and there background was either from Tuscany, or from Faventia.]
9 Et de huius quidem familia plenius in vita Lucii Aurelii Ceionii Commodi Veri Antonini, filii huiusce, quem sibi adoptare Antoninus iussus est, disseremus.
[And in fact, I could expound more fully about his family background, in the biography Lucius Aurelius Ceionius Commodus Verus Antoninus, the son of whom Antoninus ordered to adopt for his sake.]
10 Is enim liber debet omnia,
[You see, this child owes everything]
quae ad stemma generis pertinent,
[that pertains to the lineage of his stock]
continere, qui habet principem, de quo plura dicenda sunt.
[the task is to include this, which has a beginning, about which many things out to be explained
III. 1 Adoptatus autem Aelius Verus ab Hadriano eo tempore,
[In any event, Aelius Verus was adopted by Hadrian at the very time,]
quo iam, ut superius diximus, parum vigebat
[when he was already to beginning to thrive somewhat, as we had said earlier above,]
et de successore necessario cogitabat,
[and he was beginning to think about the successor he would need,]
2 statimque praetor factus et Pannonis dux ac rector impositus,
[and he was immediately made praetor, and then appointed general and ruler over Pannonia,]
mox consul creatus
[soon, he was elected consul]
et, quia erat deputatus imperio, iterum consul designatus est.
[and, because he had previously been given power over the state, he was again appointed consul.]