Augustan Histories [Historia Augusta]
Scriptores Historiae Augustae
Latin (Imperial Era)
VERUS IULI CAPITOLINI
I. 1 Scio plerosque ita vitam Marci ac Veri litteris atque historiae dedicasse, ut priorem Verum intimandum legentibus darent, non imperandi secutos ordinem sed vivendi :
[I know several men who have contributed the letters and history of the lives of Marcus *Aurelius so that they could allow Verus' life to be imitated by readers and people following not an example of ruling, but of how to live:]
2 ego vero, quod prior Marcus imperare coepit, dein Verus, qui superstite perit Marco, priorem Marcum, dehinc Verum credidi celebrandum.
[For my part, since Marcus began to rule before that, then Verus later, who died only to leave Marcus as survivor, I thought that Marcus should be honored first, and then Verus after.]
3 Igitur Lucius Ceionius Aelius Commodus Verus Antoninus, qui ex Hadriani voluntate Aelius appellatus est, ex Antonini coniunctione Verus et Antoninus, neque inter bonos neque intermalos principes ponitur.
[And so to begin, Lucius Ceionius Aelius Commodus Verus Antoninus, named 'Aelius' by Hadrian's wishes, then 'Verus' and 'Antoninus' by Antoninus proper, is neither categorized as 'good' or 'bad' emperor.]
4 Quem constat non inhorruisse vitiis, non abundasse virtutibus, vixisse deinde non in suo libero principatu, sed sub Marco in simili ac paris maiestatis imperio, a cuius secta lascivia morum et vitae licentioris nimietate dissensit.
[It stands that he was neither incredibly wicked, nor replete with good qualities, that he could he have ran the empire except under Marcus with the same dignified power, since the latter did not engage in the frolicking behavior and excessive lifestyle of his more lusty colleague.]
5 Erat enim morum simplicum et qui adumbrare nihil posset.
[You see, Marcus was a man of honest traditions, not someone who could overindulge in something.]
6 Huic naturalis pater fuit Lucius Aelius Verus, qui ab Hadriano adoptatus primus Caesar est dictus et in eadem statione constitutus perit.
[His real father was Lucius Aelius Verus, a man who was first named Caesar after he was adopted by Hadrian, and who died after he was placed in the same position.]
7 Avi ac proavi et item maiores plurimi consulares.
[His grandfathers, great grandfathers, and many of his ancestors were also former consuls.]
8 Natus est Lucius Romae in praetura patris sui XVIII. kal. Ianuariarum die, quo et Nero, qui rerum potitus est.
[Lucius was born in Rome, when his father was praetor, in 18th Kalends of January, and when Nero was in power.]
9 Origo eius paterna pleraque ex Etruria fuit, materna ex Faventia.
[His paternal lineage--several members that is--were from Etruria, his maternal bloodline from Faventia.]
II. 1 Hac prosapia genitus patre ab Hadriano adoptato in familiam Aeliam devenit mortuoque patre Caesare in Hadriani familia remansit.
[Born from with this stock, even after his father was adopted by Hadrian, he preferred to stay in the Aelian family, and he remained in Hadrian's house until his father, a Caesar, died.]
2 A quo Aurelio datus est adoptandus,
[From then on was he fated to be adopted by Aurelius,]
cum sibi ille Pium filium, Marcum nepotem esse voluisset posteritati satis providens,
[since this fellow had wished for Pius to be his son and imagined far into the future that Marcus would be his grandson,]
3 et ea quidem lege,
[and indeed by this legal decree,]
ut filiam Pii Verus acciperet,
[it happened that Verus could adopt Pius' daughter,]
quae data est Marco idcirco,
[a daughter who was thusly married to Marcus,]
quia hic adhoc impar videbatur aetate,
[since this fellow appeared to be so dissimilar in age,]
ut in Marci vita exposuimus.
[as I've revealed in the Life of Marcus Aurelius]
4 Duxit autem uxorem Marci filiam Lucillam.
[In any event, he married Marcus' daughter Lucilla.]
Educatus est in domo Tiberiana.
[He passed his childhood in palace of Tiberius.]
5 Audivit Scaurinum grammaticum Latinum, Scauri filium,
[He was lectured in Latin by the grammarian Scaurinus, son of Scaurus,]
qui grammaticus Hadriani fuit,
[the latter being Hadrian's grammarian,]
Graecos Telephum atque Hefaestionem, Harpocrationem, rhetores Apollonium, Celerem Caninium et Herodem Atticum, Latinum Cornelium Frontonem, philosophos Apollonium et Sextum.
[and his Greek teachers were Telephos, Hephaestion, and Harpocrationes, his teacher Apollonios, Celeres Caninios and Herodes Atticos, and in Latin speechmaking, Cornelius Fronto, and in philosophy Apollonios and Sextus.]
6 Hos omnes amavit unice,
[He loved these men singularly,]
atque ab his in vicem dilectus est,
[and he derived pleased them in exchange,]
nec tamen ingeniosus ad litteras.
[although he was not very talented in writing.]
7 Amavit autem in pueritia versus facere, post orationes.
[In any event, he loved making poetry in his boyhood, and later on, speeches.]
Et melior quidem orator fuisse dicitur quam poeta, immo,
[And in truth, it is said that was a better orator than poet, why so,]
ut verius dicam, peior poeta quam rhetor.
[since I would declare it truer that he was a worse poet than a speaker.]
8 Nec desunt, qui dicant eum adiutum ingenio amicorum atque abaliis ei illa ipsa, qualiacumque sunt, scripta;
[There are people who say that he was aided by the talents of his friends, and that whatever he wrote, was in truth written by those fellows;]
si quidem multos disertos et eruditos semper secum habuisse dicitur.
[if indeed on says that he always had at his side a great deal of eloquent and educated men.]
Educatorem habuit Nicomedem.
[He had Nicomedes as an instructor.]
9 Fuit voluptarius et nimis laetus et omnibus deliciis, ludis, iocis decenter aptissimus.
[He was a pleasure-seeker, and extremely cheery, and acceptably inclined to all kinds of delights, activities, and games.]
10 Post septimum annum in familiam Aureliam traductus Marci moribus et auctoritate formatus est.
[After his seventh year, he was adopted into the Aurelian family, and was trained according to Marcus' instructions and legal authority.]
Amavit venatus, palaestras et omnia exercitia iuventutis.
[He love hunting, wrestling, and all the physical exercises of his youth.]
11 Fuitque privatus in domo imperatoria viginti et tribus annis.
[And he was a private citizen in the imperial palace for 23 years.]
III. 1 Qua die togam virilem Verus accepit,
[On the day that Verus received his toga of manhood]
Antoninus Pius ea occasione, qua patris templum dedicabat, populo liberalis fuit,
[Antoninus Pius, on this occasion, whereby he was dedicating a temple to his father, was quite generous to the people]
2 mediusque inter Pium et Marcum idem [se] resedit,
[and likewise did Lucius sit himself down right in the middle between Pius and Marcus Aurelius,]
cum quaestor populo munus daret.
[while the quaestor was distributing gifts to the people.]
3 Post quaesturam statim consul est factus cum Sextio Laterano.
[Immediately after his tenure as quaestor, he was elected consul alongside Sextius Lateranus,]
Interiectis annis cum Marco fratre iterum factus est consul.
[and in the intervening years, he was elected consul again, this time alongside his brother Marcus <Aurelius>]
4 Diu autem et privatus fuit
[For a while, nevertheless, he remained a private citizen]
et ea honorificentia caruit, qua Marcus ornabatur.
[and he lacked those same dignities of office with which Marcus was honored.]
5 Nam neque in senatu ante quaesturam sedit neque in itinere cum patre,
[On that point, neither did he sit in the Senate, before his term as quaestor, nor in accompaniment with his father when on travel]
sed cum praefecto praetorii vectus est,
[instead he travelled with the commander of the Praetorian guard,]
nec aliud ei honorificentiae ad nomen adiunctum est
[nor was any type of official title added to his name]
quam quod Augusti filius appellatus est.
[except that he was officially called the Augustus' son.]
6 Fuit studiosus etiam circensium haut aliter quam gladiatorii muneris.
[The only thing for which was a passionate besides races in the Circus were gladiatorial games.]
hic cum tantis deliciarum et luxuriae quateretur erroribus,
[At this point, he began to become undone from such a bad influence of pleasures and luxuries,]
ab Antonino videtur ob hoc retentus,
[and for this, it seems that he was held back Antoninus]
quod eum paterita in adoptionem Pii transire iusserat,
[illustrated by the fact that he had previously ordered him to come over into the Pius' family,]
ut nepotem appellaret.
[so that he could name him as his grandson.]
Cui, quantum videtur, fidem exhibuit, non amorem.
[As much as can be determined, he presented him with loyalty, but not love.]
7 Amavit tamen Antoninus Pius simplicitatem ingenii puritatemque vivendi
[And yet, Antoninus Pius love the simplicity of his mind, and his pure passion for life]
hortatusque est, ut imitaretur, et fratrem.
[and he urged his brother to imitate this.]
8 Defuncto Pio Marcus in eum omnia contulit,
[When Pius died, Marcus conferred all offices of dignity to him]
participatu etiam imperatoriae potestatis indulto,
[as he was also granted participation in the power of the principate,]
sibique consortem fecit,
[and he made him his partner,]
cum illi soli senatus detulisset imperium.
[even though the Senate had previously conferred all imperial authority unto him alone.]
IV. 1 Dato igitur imperio et indulta tribunicia potestate,
[And so, after imperial power was granted him, and he took upon himself the power of the tribune,]
post consulatus etiam honorem delatum Verum vocari praecepit,
[after holding the consulshipo, he also took upon the honor that was conferred by being called Verus, "the True one"]
suum in eum transferens nomen,
[conferring his own title upon himself]
cum ante Commodus vocaretur.
[since beforehand he used to be called Commodus.]
2 Lucius quidem Marco vicem reddens
[In fact, Lucius, instead of Marcus,]
si [quid] susciperet obsecutus
[carried out whatever the former would undertook]
ut legatus proconsuli vel praeses imperatori.
[almost as in the role of a proconsul's lieutenant, or an executive officer to the emperor.]
3 Iam primum enim Marcus pro ambobus ad milites est locutus,
[Specifically, as soon as possible did Marcus address the troops, for both their sakes,]
et pro consensu imperii graviter se et ad Marci mores egit.
[and Lucius behaved himself in a professional manner, for the sake of imperial cooperation, and according to the things Marcus did.]
4 Ubi vero in Syriam profectus est,
[In fact, when he left out to Syria]
non solum licentia vitae liberioris, sed etiam adulteriis et iuventutis amoribus infamatus est,
[he gained a reputation not only from the looseness of a less organized life, but also from his adulterous affairs and youthful love affairs,]
5 si quidem tantae luxuriae fuisse dicitur,
[if in fact he is reported that have enjoyed such luxury,]
ut etiam, [postea] quam [postea] de Syria redit,
[even so that, after he returned from Syria]
popinam domi instituerit,
[he set up a restaurant in his own home]
ad quam post convivium Marci devertebat,
[to which he later organized a banquet for Marcus,]
ministrantibus sibi omni genere turpium personarum.
[with his servants being from all kinds of shameful backgrounds.]
6 Fertur et nocte perpeti alea lusisse,
[and it's said that he had gambled for whole nights through,]
cum in Syria concepisset id vitium,
[ever since he had taken up this bad habit in Syria,]
atque in tantum vitiorum Gaianorum et Neronianorum ac Vitellianorum fuisse aemulum,
[and had become a rival in such vices against Gaius' gang, and Nero's, and Vitellus']
ut vagaretur nocte per tabernas ac lupanaria obtecto capite cucullione vulgari viatorio et comisaretur cum triconibus,
[and what would happen is that he would roam at night through the shops and whorehouses, wiith his hood cloaked in a hood, like a common street walker, and would commiserate with gamblers,]
[he would start fights,]
dissimulans quis esset,
[and lie about who he was,]
saepeque efflictum livida facie redisse et in tabernis agnitum,
[and often he returned, beat up and face bruised, and he became a familiar in the bars,]
cum sese absconderet.
[whenever he used to hide himself away.]
7 Iaciebat et nummos in popinas maximos,
[and he would waste the greatest amount of money in the food houses,]
quibus calices frangeret.
[in which places he used to break the glasses.]
8 Amavit et aurigas prasino favens.
[And loved to show his support to charioteers in their track.]
9 Gladiatorum etiam frequentius pugnas in convivio habuit
[More and more, he held gladiatorial fights in his banquets,]
trahens cenas in noctem
[prolonging his dinner parties long into the night]
et in toro convivali condormiens,
[and falling asleep in banquet couch,]
ita ut levatus cum stromatibus in cubiculum perferretur.
[such that it often happened that he would be carried out to his bedroom in accompaniment with his attendants.]
10 Somni fuit per modici,
[He would sleep way beyond moderation]
[he had the loosest of bowels.]
11 Sed Marcus haec omnia [non] nesciens dissimulabat rem pudore illo,
[But Marcus, well aware of all these things, used to pretend that the situation did not negatively affect his reputation]
ne reprehenderet fratrem.
[all to avoid chastising his brother.]