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For the philosopher, see Sallustius; for other uses, see Sallust (disambiguation).

Sallustio Crispo incisione.jpg

Gaius Sallustius Crispus, generally known simply as Sallust, (86-34 BC), a Roman historian, belonged to a well-known plebeian family, and was born at Amiternum in the country of the Sabines. Throughout his career Sallust always stood by his principle as a popularis, an opposer of Pompey's party and the old aristocracy of Rome.

Contents

Biography

After an ill-spent youth, Sallust entered public life and won election as Quaestor in 55 and one of the tribunes of the people in 52, the year in which the followers of Milo killed Clodius in a street brawl. Sallust then supported the following prosecution of Milo. He also had hostilities with the famous orator Cicero.

From the beginning of his public career, Sallust operated as a decided partisan of Caesar, to whom he owed such political advancement as he attained. In 50 the censor Appius Claudius Pulcher removed him from the Senate on the grounds of gross immorality (probably really because of his friendship with Caesar). In the following year, no doubt through Caesar's influence, he was reinstated.

In 46 he served as a praetor and accompanied Caesar in his African campaign, which ended in the decisive defeat of the remains of the Pompeian war party at Thapsus. As a reward for his services, Sallust gained appointment as governor of the province of Africa Nova. In this capacity he committed such oppression and extortion that only the influence of Caesar enabled him to escape condemnation. On his return to Rome he purchased and began laying out in great splendour the famous gardens on the Quirinal known as the Horti Sallustiani or Gardens of Sallust. These gardens would later belong to the emperors.

Sallust then retired from public life and devoted himself to historical literature, and further developing his Gardens of Sallust, upon which he spent much of his accumulated wealth.

Works

Sallust's account of the Catiline conspiracy (De coniuratione Catilinae or Bellum Catilinae) and of the Jugurthine War (Bellum Iugurthinum) have come down to us complete, together with fragments of his larger and most important work (Historiae), a history of Rome from 78-67 BC, intended as a continuation of Cornelius Sisenna's work.

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The Conspiracy of Catiline

The Conspiracy of Catiline (Sallust's first published work) contains the history of the memorable year 63. Sallust adopts the usually accepted view of Catiline, and describes him as the deliberate foe of law, order and morality, and does not give a comprehensive explanation of his views and intentions. (Note that Catiline had supported the party of Sulla, which Sallust had opposed.) Mommsen's suggestion — that Sallust particularly wished to clear his patron (Caesar) of all complicity in the conspiracy — may have contained some truth.

In writing about the conspiracy of Catiline, Sallust's tone, style, and descriptions of aristocratic behavior show him as deeply troubled by the moral decline of Rome. While he inveighs against Catiline's depraved character and vicious actions, he does not fail to state that the man had many noble traits — indeed all that a Roman man needed to succeed. In particular, Sallust shows Catiline as deeply courageous in his final battle.

This subject gave Sallust the opportunity of showing off his rhetoric at the expense of the old Roman aristocracy, whose degeneracy he delighted to paint in the blackest colours.

Jugurthine War

Sallust's Jugurthine War is a brief monograph recording the war in Numidia c.112 B.C. Its true value lies in the introduction of Marius and Sulla to the Roman political scene and the beginning of their rivalry. Sallust's time as governor of Africa Nova ought to have let the author develop a solid geographical and ethnographical background to the war, however, this is not evident in the monograph despite a diversion on the subject because Sallust's priority in the "Jugurthine War", as with the "Catiline Conspiracy", is to use history as a vehicle for his judgement on the slow destruction of Roman morality and politics.

Other works

The extant fragments of the Histories (some discovered in 1886) show sufficiently well the political partisan, who took a keen pleasure in describing the reaction against Sulla's policy and legislation after the dictator's death. Historians regret the loss of the work, as it must have thrown much light on a very eventful period, embracing the war against Sertorius (died 72 BC), the campaigns of Lucullus against Mithradates VI of Pontus (75 - 66 BC), and the victories of Pompey in the East (66 - 62 BC).

Two letters (Duae epistolae de republica ordinanda), letters of political counsel and advice addressed to Caesar, and an attack upon Cicero (Invectiva or Declamatio in Ciceronem), frequently attributed to Sallust, are thought by modern scholars to have probably come from the pen of the rhetorician Marcus Porcius Latro, also the supposed author of a counter-invective attributed to Cicero.[1]

Significance

On the whole, antiquity looked favourably on Sallust as an historian. Tacitus speaks highly of him (Annals, iii. 30); and Quintilian does not hesitate to put him on a level with Thucydides (x.1), and declares that he is a greater historian than Livy (ii.5).

Sallust struck out for himself practically a new line in literature, his predecessors having functioned as little better than mere dry-as-dust chroniclers, whereas he endeavoured to explain the connection and meaning of events and successfully delineated character. The contrast between his early life and the high moral tone adopted by him in his writings has frequently made him a subject of reproach, but history gives no reason why he should not have reformed.

In any case, his knowledge of his own former weaknesses may have led him to take a pessimistic view of the morality of his fellow-men, and to judge them severely. He took as his model Thucydides, whom he imitated in his truthfulness and impartiality, in the introduction of philosophizing reflections and speeches, and in the brevity of his style, sometimes bordering upon obscurity. Some readers have ridiculed[citation needed] his fondness for old words and phrases (in which he imitated his contemporary Cato the younger) as an affectation, but this very affectation and his rhetorical exaggerations made Sallust a favourite author in the 2nd century and later.

Nietzsche, in Twilight of the Idols (Section 13.1) credits Sallust for his epigrammatic style: "My sense of style, for the epigram as a style, was awakened almost instantly when I came into contact with Sallust." and praises him for being "compact, severe, with as much substance as possible, a cold sarcasm against 'beautiful words' and 'beautiful sentiments'."

Footnotes

References

  • Lemprière, John, A Classical Dictionary (1820), p. 683.
  • Oniga, Renato, Sallustio e l'etnografia (Pisa: Giardini, 1995).

External links

Latin with English translation

  • at LacusCurtius (J. C. Rolfe, 1921):
    • Bellum Catilinae
    • Bellum Iugurthinum
    • Invectiva in Ciceronem (uncertain authorship, sometimes attributed to Sallust)
    • Oratio ad Caesarem (uncertain authorship)

Latin only

  • at Latin Library (unknown edition):
    • Bellum Catilinae
    • Bellum Iugurthinum
    • Fragmenta Historiarum
    • Epistolae ad Caesarem
    • Invectiva in Ciceronem

English translation only

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86 – 34 BC) Statesman and Historian during the last century of the Roman Republic.

Sallustio Crispo incisione.jpg

Contents

Sourced

Bellum Catalinae

  • Nam divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur. (I)
    • "For the fame of riches and beauty is fickle and frail, while virtue is eternally excellent."
  • Sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est; animi imperio, corporis servitio magis utimur; alterum nobis cum dis, alterum cum beluis commune est. (I)
    • ""
  • Verum ubi pro labore desidia, pro continentia et aequitate libido atque superbia invasere, fortuna simul cum moribus immutatur. Ita imperium semper ad optimum quemque a minus bono transfertur. (II)
    • "But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the condition of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving."
  • Sed multi mortales dediti ventri atque somno, indocti incultique vitam sicuti peregrinantes transiere. (II)
    • "Yet many human beings, resigned to sensuality and indolence, un-instructed and unimproved, have passed through life like travellers in a strange country."
  • Sed ego adolescentulus initio sicuti plerique studio ad rem publicam latus sum, ibique mihi multa adversa fuere. Nam pro pudore, pro abstinentia, pro virtute, audacia, largitio, avaritia vigebant. (III)
    • "I myself, however, when a young man, was at first led by inclination, like most others, to engage in political affairs; but in that pursuit many circumstances were unfavorable to me; for, instead of modesty, temperance, and integrity, there prevailed shamelessness, corruption, and rapacity."
  • Ambitio multos mortales falsos fieri subegit, aliud clausum in pectore, aliud in lingua promptum habere, amicitias inimicitiasque non ex re, sed ex commodo aestimare, magisque vultum quam ingenium bonum habere. (X.5)
    • "Ambition prompted many to become deceitful; to keep one thing concealed in the breast, and another ready on the tongue; to estimate friendships and enmities, not by their worth, but according to interest; and to carry rather a specious countenance than an honest heart."
  • Nam idem velle atque idem nolle, ea demum firma amicitia est. (XX.4)
    • "For to like the same things and to dislike the same things, only this is a strong friendship."
  • Nonne emori per virtutem praestat quam vitam miseram atque inhonestam, ubi alienae superbiae ludibrio fueris, per dedecus amittere? (XX.9)
    • "Is it not better to die in a glorious attempt, than to lose a wretched and degraded existence with ignominy, after having been the plaything of other men's arrogance?"
  • At nos non imperium neque divitias petimus, quarum rerum causa bella atque certamina omnia inter mortales sunt, sed libertatem, quam nemo bonus nisi cum anima simul amittit. (XXXIII.5)
    • "But at power or wealth, for the sake of which wars, and all kinds of strife, arise among mankind, we do not aim; we desire only our liberty, which no honorable man relinquishes but with his life."
  • Omnes homines, patres conscripti, qui de rebus dubiis consultant, ab odio, amicitia, ira atque misericordia vacuos esse decet. (LI.1)
    • "It becomes all men, Senators, who deliberate on dubious matters, to be influenced neither by hatred, affection, anger, nor pity."

Bellum Iugurthinum

  • Nam concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maxumae dilabuntur. (X.6)
    • "For harmony makes small states great, while discord undermines the mightiest empires."

Histories

Image of Sallust on a coin
  • Namque pauci libertatem, pars magna iustos dominos volunt (iv.69.18)
    • Few men desire freedom, the greater part desire just masters.
    • Only a few prefer liberty, the majority seek nothing more than fair masters. (alternative translation)

Epistulae ad Caesarem senem

  • Sed res docuit id verum esse, quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae. (I.i.2)
    • "But experience has shown that to be true which Appius says in his verses, that every man is the architect of his own fortune."

Attributed

  • As the blessings of health and fortune have a beginning, so they must also find an end. Everything rises but to fall, and increases but to decay.
  • Think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought.
  • He that will be angry for anything will be angry for nothing.
  • Necessity makes even the timid brave.
  • Neither soldiers nor money can defend a king but only friends won by good deeds, merit, and honesty.
  • Ambition breaks the ties of blood, and forgets the obligations of gratitude.

External links

Wikipedia
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SALLUST [[[Gaius|GAIUS]] SALLUSTIUS CRISPUS] (86-34 B.C.), Roman historian, belonging to a well-known plebeian family, was born at Amiternum in the country of the Sabines. After an ill-spent youth he entered public life, and was elected tribune of the people in 52, the year in which Clodius was killed in a street brawl by the followers of Milo. Sallust was opposed to Milo and to Pompey's party and to the old aristocracy of Rome. From the first he was a decided partisan of Caesar, to whom he owed such political advancement as he attained. In 50 he was removed from the senate by the censor Appius Claudius Pulcher on the ground of gross immorality, the real reason probably being his friendship for Caesar. In the following year, no doubt through Caesar's influence, he was reinstated and appointed quaestor. In 46 he was praetor, and accompanied Caesar in his African campaign, which ended in the decisive defeat of the remains of the Pompeian party at Thapsus. As a reward for his services, Sallust was appointed governor of the province of Numidia. In this capacity he was guilty of such oppression and extortion that only the influence of Caesar enabled him to escape condemnation. On his return to Rome he purchased and laid out in great splendour the famous gardens on the Quirinal known as the Horti Sallustiani. He now retired from public life and devoted himself to historical literature. His account of the Catiline conspiracy (De conjuratione Catilinae or Bellum Catilinarium) and of the Jugurthine War (Bellum Jugurthinum) have come down to us complete, together with fragments of his larger and most important work (Historiae), a history of Rome from 78-67, intended as a continuation of L. Cornelius Sisenna's work. The Catiline Conspiracy (his first published work) contains the history of the memorable year 63. Sallust adopts the usually accepted view of Catiline, and describes him as the deliberate foe of law, order and morality, without attempting to give any adequate explanation of his views and intentions. Catiline, it must be remembered, had supported the party of Sulla, to which Sallust was opposed. There may be truth in Mommsen's suggestion that he was particularly anxious to clear his patron Caesar of all complicity in the conspiracy. Anyhow, the subject gave him the opportunity of showing off his rhetoric at the expense of the old Roman aristocracy, whose degeneracy he delighted to paint in the blackest colours. On the whole, he is not unfair towards Cicero. His Jugurthine War, again, though a valuable and interesting monograph, is not a satisfactory performance. We may assume that he had collected materials and put together notes for it during his governorship of Numidia. Here, too, he dwells upon the feebleness of the senate and aristocracy, too often in a tiresome, moralizing and philosophizing vein, but as a military history the work is unsatisfactory in the matter of geographical and chronological details. The extant fragments of the Histories (some discovered in 1886) are enough to show the political partisan, who took a keen pleasure in describing the reaction against the dictator's policy and legislation after his death. The loss of the work is to be regretted, as it must have thrown much light on a very eventful period, embracing the war against Sertorius, the campaigns of Lucullus against Mithradates of Pontus, and the victories of the great Pompey in the East. Two letters (Duae epistolae de republics ordinanda), letters of political counsel and advice addressed to Caesar, and an attack upon Cicero (Invectiva or Declamatio in Ciceronem), frequently attributed to Sallust, are probably the work of a rhetorician of the first. century A.D., also the author of a counter-invective by Cicero. Sallust is highly spoken of by Tacitus (Annals, iii. 30); and Quintilian (ii. 5, x. 1), who regards him as superior to Livy,. does not hesitate to put him on a level with Thucydides. On the whole the verdict of antiquity was favourable to Sallust as an historian. He struck out for himself practically a new line in literature, his predecessors having been little better than mere dry-as-dust chroniclers, whereas he endeavoured to explain the connexion and meaning of events, and was a successful delineator of character. The contrast between his early life and the high moral tone adopted by him in his writings was frequently made a subject of reproach against him; but there is no reason why he should not have reformed. In any case, his knowledge of his own former weaknesses may have led him to take a pessimistic view of the morality of his fellow-men, and to judge them severely. His model was Thucydides, whom he imitated in his truthfulness and impartiality, in the introduction of philosophizing reflections and speeches, and in the brevity of his style, sometimes bordering upon obscurity. His fondness for old words and phrases, in which he imitated his contemporary Cato, was ridiculed as an affectation; but it was just this affectation and his rhetorical exaggerations that made Sallust a favourite author in the 2nd century A.D. and later.

Editions and translations in various languages are numerous. Editio princeps (1470); (text) R. Dietsch (1874); H. Jordan (1887); A. Eussner (1887); (text and notes) F. D. Gerlach (1823-1831); F. Kritz (1828-1853; ed. minor, 1856); C. H. Frotscher (1830); C. Merivale (1852); F. Jacobs, H. Wirz (1894); G. Long, revised by J. G. Frazer, with chief fragments of Histories (1884); W. W. Capes (1884); English translation by A. W. Pollard (1882). There are many separate editions of the Catilina and Jugurtha, chiefly for school use. The fragments have been edited by F. Kritz (1853) and B. Maurenbrecher (1891-1893); and there is an Italian translation (with notes) of the supposititious letters by G. Vittori (1897). On Sallust generally J. W. Lobell's Zur Beurtheilung des S. (1818) should still be consulted; there are also treatises by T. Vogel (1857) and M. Jager (1879 and 1884), T. Rambeau (1879); L. Constans, De sermone Sallustiano (1880); P. Bellezza, Dei fonti e dell' autoritd storica di Sallustio (1891); and special lexicon by O. Eichert (1885). The sections in Teuffel-Schwabe's History of Roman Literature are full of information; see also bibliography of Sallust for1878-1898by B. Maurenbrecher in C. Bursian, Jahresbericht fiber die Fortschritte der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft (1900).


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