Augustan Histories [Historia Augusta]
Scriptores Historiae Augustae
Latin (Imperial Era)
ANTONINUS CARACALLUS AELI SPARTIANI
I. 1 Ex duobus liberis, quos Septimius Severus reliquit,
[From his two children, whom Septimius Severus leaves behind,]
quorum unum <Antoninum> exercitus, alterum pater dixit,
[one of which our army called Antoninus, but his father,]
Geta hostis est iudicatus, Bassianum notum optinuisse imperium.
[Geta: he was condemned as a enemy, and that Bassianus had to have obtained a well-known degree of power.]
2 De cuius maioribus frustra putamus iterandum, cum omnia in Severi vita satis dicta sint.
[Concerning his ancestors, I think it would be a waste of time to reiterate, since I've talked about all these things in the biography of Severus.]
3 Huius igitur pueritia blanda, ingeniosa, parentibus adfabilis, amicis parentum iucunda, populo accepta, grata senatui, ipsi etiam ad amorem conciliandum salutaris fuit.
[Therefore, concerning the figure of discussion, his childhood was full of charm, and talent; he was loved by his family, and well-liked by associates of the family, welcomed by the people, looked up highly by the Senate, and was eager to greet the love that was given him.]
4 Non ille in litteris tardus, non in benivolentis segnis, non tenax in largitate, non lentus in clementia, sed parentibus, visus.
[He was not slow in learning his letters, nor lazy in doing acts of kindness, nor stingy in giving to charity, nor slow to be merciful, or so he seemed to his family.]
5 Denique, si quando feris obiectos damnatos vidit, flevit aut oculos avertit.
[Finally, whenever he saw condemned men thrown to the wild beasts, he would weep, and avert his eyes.]
Quod populo plus quam amabile fuit.
[This was something that made him even more lovable to the public.]
6 Septennis puer, cum conlusorem suum puerum ob Iudaicam religionem gravius verberatum audisset, neque patrem suum neque patrem pueri velut auctores verberum diu respexit.
[As a boy of seven years, when he had heard that one of his playmates was beat most harshly on account of his Jewish faith, for a long time, he neither respected his father, or the boy's father, looking upon as though they were authors of beatings.]
7 Antiochensibus et Bysantiis interventu suo iura vetusta restituit, quibus iratus fuit Severus, quod Nigrum iuverant.
[He restored that law to the cities of Antioch and Byzantium through his own intervention, as Severus had grown angry at them, because they had shown support for Niger.]
Plautiani odium crudelitatis causa concepit.
[He grew to hate Plautianus because of the latter's cruelty.]
8 Quod a parentibus gratia sigillariorum acceperat, id vel clientibus vel magistris sponte donavit.
[Whatever he had beforehand received from his family, by virtue of their signet rings, he gave away either to his clients or government officials.]
Sed haec puer.
[He was a boy when he did these things.]
II. 1 Egressus vero pueritiam seu patris monitis seu calliditate ingenii sive quod se Alexandro Magno Macedoni aequandum putabat,
[To be honest, as soon as he left childhood, either from the encouragement of his family members, or from the passions of his personality, he began to think that he needed to be compared with Alexander the Great of Macedonia,]
restrictior, gravior, vultu etiam truculentior factus est,
[and he became more introverted, more serious, and even fierce in his facial expressions,]
prorsus ut eum, quem puerum scierant, multi esse non crederent.
[such that, from then on, many people who had previously gotten to know him as a boy, didn't not believe that he was the same person.]
2 Alexandrum Magnum eiusque gesta in ore semper habuit.
[He always tried to mimic his gestures and expressions after Alexander the Great.]
Tiberium et Syllam in conventu plerumque laudavit.
[He praised Tiberius, and Sulla, a great deal in public.]
3 Patris superbior fuit;
[He was more haughty than his father;]
fratrem magna eius humilitate despexit.
[and he looked down on his brother for the great deal of humility that the latter showed.]
4 Post patris mortem in castra praetoria pergens apud milites
[After the death of his father, he travelled to the tents of the Praetorian Guards, in the presence of the military men]
conquestus est circumveniri se fratris insidiis,
[and he charged that he had been surrounded by the insidious plots of his brother]
atque ita fratrem in palatio fecit occidi.
[and that way, he had his brother condemned to death in his own palace.]
Eius corpus statim cremari praecepit.
[Right away, he undertook to have his brother's body incinerated.]
5 Dixit praeterea in castris fratrem sibi venenum parasse,
[Meanwhile, he accused his brother of have prepared poison against him in his camps,]
matri eum inreverentem fuisse;
[and that his brother had never shown respect to their mother;]
egitque publice his gratias,
[and publicly gave thanks to the men]
qui eum occiderunt.
[who put his brother to death.]
6 Addidit denique his quasi fidelioribus erga se stipendium.
[Finally, he gave them a payment in order that they remain more loyal to him.]
7 Pars militum apud Albam Getam occisum aegerrime accepit,
[A portion of troops stationed in Alba took Geta's death most terribly of all]
dicentibus cunctis duobus se fidem,
promisisse liberis Severi,
[with all of them professing that they had promissed their loyalty to both of Severus' sons,]
duobus servare debere, 8
[and they ought to do service for both of them]
clausisque portis diu imperator non admissus nisi delenitis animis,
[and the emperor was not not admitted through the locked gates, for a long time, not until their angers were completely softened,]
non solum querellis de Geta et criminationibus editis,
[wherefore not only were the complaints about Geta and his crimes made known,]
sed inormitate stipendii militibus, ut solet, placatis, atque inde Romam redit.
[but as it usually happens, when he finally placated these soldiers with the promise of payment, he thereupon returned to Rome.]
9 Tunc sub veste senatoria loricam habens cum armatis militibus curiam ingressus est.
[And then, he entered that Senate house, wearing a breastplate under his senatorial garb, and accompanied by armed soldiers.]
Hos in medio inter subsellia duplici ordine conlocavitet sic verba fecit.
[He settled these men in the very middle, right between the lower rows of seats, a double line, and thus made his speech.]
10 Questus est de fratris insidiis in volute et incondite ad illius accusationem [et excusationem] sui.
[He said he had made an investigation of the plots of his brother, by his own accord and in secret, to address the matter of accusations against him, and calls for him step down.]
11 Quod quidem nec senatus libenter accepit,
[In truth, this was something that the Senate did not accept easily,]
cum ille dixisset fratri se omnia permisisse,
[since he had claimed that he had given his brother every liberty,]
fratrem ab insidias fecisse
[and that he had previously shielded his brother from plots,]
nec vicem amori reddidisse fraterno.
[and that the latter had never returned the love that was due a brother.]
III. 1 Post hoc relegatis deportatisque reditum in patriam restituit.
[After this, he restored an access to return to those men who had been demoted and departed, to their nation.]
Inde ad praetorianos processit
[Then he proceeded forth to the praetorian camps,]
et in castris mansit.
[and he remained in their camps.]
2 Altera die Capitolium petit, [ad] eos,
[After two days, he sought a journey to the Capitol for those men,]
quos occidere parabat,
[whom he had prepared to execute,]
adfabiliter est locutus
[and he spoke to them in a friendly manner]
innitensque Papiniano et Ciloni ad Palatium redit.
[and he returned to the Palatine, bringing Papinianus and Cilo into his inner circle.]
3 Cum flentem matrem Getae vidisset aliasque mulieres post necem fratris,
[Since he had beforehand seen his mother weeping over Geta, and other women on account of his brother's death,]
mulieres occidere conatus est,
[he tried to have these women executed,]
sed ob hoc retentus,
[but he was restrained from during this,]
ne augeretur fratris occisi crudelitas.
[lest his reputation for cruelty increase on account of his brother's execution.]
4 Laetum ad mortem coegit misso a se veneno:
[He forced Laetus to commit suicide after a sending him poison:]
ipse enim inter suasores Getae mortis primus fuerat,
[you see, the former had been the leader among men incensed by Geta's death,]
qui et primus interemptus est.
[and he too was the first to fall to his death.]
5 Ipse mortem eius saepissime flevit.
[He most often of all wept for his death.]
Multos, qui caedis eius conscii fuerant, interemit,
[He killed many men, who had gained knowledge of his murder,]
sed et eum, qui imaginem eius honoravit.
[but he also honored him and his statue.]
6 Post hoc fratrem patruelem Afrum, cui pridie partes de cena miserat, iussit occidit.
[After that, he ordered the death of his stepbrother Afer, whom the day before he instructions about dinner.]
7 Qui cum se praecipitasset
[And when he had fell down out in front, alongside him,]
percussorum timore et ad uxorem crure fracto erepisset,
[through stricken by fear of his executioners, and with his leg broken, he had snuck out to his wife,]
tamen per ludibrium percussoribus deprehensus est et occisus.
[and he was dragged out of a shrine by his executions, and killed.]
8 Occidit etiam Pompeianum, Marci nepotem, ex filia natum et ex Pompeiano,
[And he also executed Pompeianus, Marcus' nephew, the son of his sister and Pompeianus,]
cui nupta fuerat Lucilla post mortem Veri imperatoris,
[whom Lucilla had married after the death of Emperor Verus,]
quem et consulem bis fecerat
[and whom he had appointed consul twice]
et omnibus bellis praeposuerat,
[and had given top command in all military campaigns,]
quae gravissima tunc fuerunt,
[given that they were at the greatest point of urgency, at that time,]
et ita quidem ut videretur a latronibus interemptus.
[and so in fact, it seemed that he had been assassinated by a den of thieves.]
IV. 1 Dein in conspectu eius Papinianus securi percussus a militibus et occisus est.
[Then, Papinianus, in his very presence, was struck through by executions with an axe, and was killed.]
Quo facto percussori dixit :
[After the deed was done, he said to the executioner:]
"Gladio te exequi oportuit meum iussum."
["My order needed to executed by you with the sword."
2 Occisus est etiam eius iussu Patruinus ante templum divi Pii,
[Patruinus too was executed by his order, in front of the Temple of Divine Pius,]
tractaque sunt eorum per plateam cadavera sine aliqua humanitatis reverentia.
[and the corpses of these men were dragged through the street, without any sense of humanity.]
Filium etiam Papiniani, qui ante triduum quaestor opulentum munus ediderat, interemit.
[He also killed Papinianus' son, who, only three days before, had given opulent games to the public as quaestor,]
3 Isdem diebus occisi sunt innumeri,
[A countless number of people were killed over these days,]
qui fratris eius partibus faverant.
[that is, every one who had previously shown favor to his faction.]
Occisi etiam liberti, qui Getae administraverant.
[Freedmen were executed too, those who had given help to Geta.]
4 Caedes deinde in omnibus locis.
[And then, murders sprung up in all areas.]
Et in balneis factae caedes,
[Murders were committed in the baths,]
occisique nonnulli etiam cenantes,
[and many men, even in the moment of dining, were killed,]
inter quos etiam Sammonicus Serenus,
[among whom was Sammonicus Serenus too,]
cuis libri plurimi ad doctrinam extant.
[whose very many books on education still exist.]
5 In summum discrimen etiam Chilo iterum praefectus et consul venit ob hoc,
[Chilo, twice a prefect and consul, also came to this drastic end,]
quod concordiam inter fratres suaserat.
[because he had beforehand tried to persuade the brothers to come to an accord.]
6 Et cum idem Chilo sublata veste senatoria nudis pedibus ab urbanicianis raptus esset,
[And at the same time, Chilo, when his senatorial garb was taken from under him, was a dragged upon his bare feet by the city guards,]
Antoninus seditionem compressit.
[Antoninus was forced to a put an end to his plans for an overthrow.]
7 Multas praeterea postea caedes in urbe fecit,
[He caused many more murders in the city after that,]
passim raptis amilitibus nonnullis hominibus et occisis,
[and everywhere, there were scores of men that were being kidnapped by soldiers and then killed,]
quasi seditionem vindicans.
[as though he was on a mission to stamp out all thoughts of treason.]
8 Helvium Pertinacem, suffectum consulem, ob hoc solum, quod filius esset imperatoris, occidit.
[He executed Helvius Pertinax, the consul suffect, for the only reason that he had been a son of a former emperor.]
9 Neque cessavit umquam sub diversis occasionibus eos interficere,
[He never ceased to strike, using different pretenses, those men]
qui fratris amici fuissent.
[who were once his brother's friends.]
10 Saepe in senatum, saepe in populum superbe invectus est
[He often came to the Senate, and out in public in an arrogant fashion]
aut edictis propositis aut orationibus editis,
[and either he had his edicts published, or his orations made public,]
Syllam se etiam ostendens futurum.
[showing that he would be another Sulla.]
V. 1 His gestis Galliam petit
[He sought control of Gaul in accompaniment with these actions,]
atque ut primum in eam venit,
[and as soon as he arrived there,]
Narbonensem proconsulem occidit.
[he had the proconsul of Narbonne killed.]
2 Cunctis deinde turbatis, qui in Gallia res gerebant, odium tyrannicum meruit
[Then, when all the people broke out into a riot, that is, those running the affairs in Gaul, he earned the hatred that tyrants deserved,]
quamvis aliquando fingeret et benignum,
[no matter if at times it made its appearance with the veneer of goodwill,]
cum esset natura truculentus.
[since, in its core, it was a violent one.]
3 Et cum multas contra homines et contra iura civitatum fecisset,
[And when he had committed many murders against these men, and against the laws of their cities,]
morbo inplicitus graviter laboravit.
[he fell weak, strickenly gravely by an illness.]
Circa eos, qui eum curabant, crudelissimus fuit.
[He was most cruel of all to those around him, the very men that were taking care of him.]
4 Dein ad orientem profectionem parans omisso itinere in Dacia resedit.
[Then, as he prepared a journey to the East, he settled in Dacia, and delayed his trip.]
Circa Raetiam non paucos barbaros interemit
[He had a great many foreigner killed in the vicinity of Raetia,]
militesque suos quasi Syllae milites et cohortatus est et donavit.
[and he encouraged and lavished his soldiers, just as like the soldiers of Sulla.]
5 Deorum sane se nominibus appellari vetuit,
[He clearly avoided being given official titles from names of the gods,]
[quod] Commodus fecerat,
[which was something that Commodus had previously done,]
cum illum, quod leonem aliasque feras occidisset, Herculem dicerent.
[when people used to call him Hercules, because he had killed a lion and other wild beasts.]
6 Et cum Germanos subegisset,
[And when he put down the Germans,]
Germanicum se appellavit vel ioco vel serio,
[he called himself Germanicus, either seriously, or jokingly,]
ut erat stultus et demens, adserens,
[as though he was stupid, and demented, as he asserted,]
si Lucanos vicisset,
[that he had conquered the Lucanians,]
Lucanicum se appellandum.
[he would have to call himself Lucanicus.]
7 Damnati sunt eo tempore qui urinam in eo loco fecerunt,
[People were condemned to death at that time, that is, whoever pissed at the place,]
in quo statuae aut imagines erant principis,
[in which the statues and pictures of the emperor were,]
et qui coronas imaginibus eius detraxerunt,
[and whoever stole the crowns down from his images,]
ut alias ponerent,
[even if they were setting up other ones,]
damnatis et qui remedia quartanis tertianisque collo adnexa gestarunt.
[and they tied them to the necks of condemned men, or to those ailing from illness, as a remedy.]
8 Per Thracias cum praef. iter fecit;
[he journeyed through Thracia with his prefects;]
inde cum in Asiam traiceret,
[from there, he jumped to Asia,]
naufragi periculum adit antemna fracta,
[and he faced the danger of his ship being wrecked, when his shipmast broke,]
ita ut in scafam cum protectoribus [ita] descenderet.
[and it resulted that he had to escape down to the emergency skill with his guards.]
Unde in triremem a praef. classis receptus evasit.
[From there, he, received by the prefect's fleet, managed to escape.]
9 Excepit apros frequenter,
[He very often hunted boars,]
contra leonem etiam stetit.
[and he also fought against lions.]
Quando etiam missis ad amicos litteris gloriatus est
[You see, when he, after sending letters to his friends, boasted,]
seque ad Herculis virtutem accessisse [se] iactavit.
[he pumped himself up, saying that his strength could be compared to Hercules.]
VI. 1 Post hoc ad bellum Armeniacum Parthicumque conversus ducem bellicum, qui suis conpetebat moribus, fecit.
[After that, he turned his attention to waging war against Armenia, and has co-opted a war general of Parthia , who was acting by similar habits.] <suggestions?>
2 Inde Alexandriam petit,
[From there, he steered to Alexandria,]