Gaius Sallustius Crispus
, usually anglicised
; 86 – c. 35 BC),
was a Roman
historian and politician from an Italian plebeian
family. Sallust was born at Amiternum
in the country of the Sabines
and was a popularis
, an opponent of the old Roman aristocracy
, throughout his career, and later a partisan of Julius Caesar
. Sallust is the earliest known Latin-language
Roman historian with surviving works to his name, of which Catiline's War
(about the conspiracy in 63 BC of L. Sergius Catilina
), The Jugurthine War
(about Rome's war against the Numidian King Jugurtha
from 111 to 105 BC), and the Histories
(of which only fragments survive) are still extant. Sallust was primarily influenced by the Greek historian Thucydides
and amassed great (and ill-gotten) wealth from his governorship of Africa.
c. 1490 manuscript for De Bello Jugurthino
Life and career
There is no information about Sallust's parents or family,
except for Tacitus
' mention of his sister.
were a provincial noble family of Sabine
They belonged to the equestrian order
and had full Roman citizenship.
During the Social War
Sallust’s parents hid in Rome, because Amiternum was under threat of siege by rebelling Italic tribes.
Because of this Sallust could have been raised in Rome
He received a very good education.
After an ill-spent youth, Sallust entered public life
and may have won election as quaestor
in 55 BC. However, there is no conclusive evidence about this, and some scholars suppose that Sallust did not become a quaestor
— the practice of violating the cursus honorum
was common in the last years of the Republic.
He became a Tribune of the Plebs
in 52 BC, the year in which the followers of Milo
in a street brawl. Sallust then supported the prosecution of Milo. Sallust, Titus Munatius Plancus
and Quintus Pompeius Rufus
also tried to blame Cicero
, one of the leaders of the Senators' opposition to the triumvirate, for his support of Milo.
Syme suggests that Sallust, because of his position in Milo's trial, did not originally support Caesar.Theodor Mommsen
states that Sallust acted in Pompey
's interests (according to Mommsen, Pompey was preparing to install his own dictatorship).
From the beginning of his public career, Sallust operated as a decided partisan of Julius Caesar
, to whom he owed such political advancement as he attained. In 50 BC, the censor Appius Claudius Pulcher
removed him from the Senate
on the grounds of gross immorality (probably really because of his opposition to Milo and Cicero). In the following year, perhaps through Caesar's influence, he was reinstated.
Gardens of Sallust
During the Civil War of 49–45 BC
Sallust acted as Caesar's partisan, but his role was not significant, so his name is not mentioned in the dictator's Commentarii de Bello Civili
It was reported by Plutarch that Sallust dined with Caesar, Hirtius
and Sulpicius Rufus
on the night after Caesar's famous crossing of the Rubicon
river into Italy on 10 January.
In 49 BC Sallust was moved to Illyricum
and probably commanded at least one legion there after the failure of Publius Cornelius Dolabella
and Gaius Antonius
This campaign was unsuccessful.
In 48 BC he was probably made quaestor by Caesar to[clarification needed]
re-enter the Senate.
However, the last statement is based on the "Invective against Sallust" ascribed to Cicero,
which is probably a later forgery. In late summer 47 BC a group of soldiers rebelled near Rome, demanding their discharge and payment for service. Sallust, as praetor designatus
, with several other senators, was sent to persuade the soldiers to abstain, but the rebels killed two senators, and Sallust narrowly escaped death.
In 46 BC, 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
. Sallust did not participate in military operations directly, but he commanded several ships and organized supply through the Kerkennah Islands
. As a reward for his services, Sallust was appointed governor of the province of Africa Nova
— it is not clear why: Sallust was not a skilled general, and the province was militarily significant, with three legions deployed there. Moreover, his successors as governor were experienced military men. However, Sallust successfully managed the organization of supply and transportation, and these qualities could have determined Caesar's choice.
As governor he committed such oppression and extortion that only Caesar's influence 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 developed his Gardens, upon which he spent much of his accumulated wealth. According to Hieronymus Stridonensis
, Sallust later became the second husband of Cicero's ex-wife Terentia
However prominent scholars of Roman prosopography such as Ronald Syme
refute this as a legend.
According to Procopius
, when Alaric
's invading army entered Rome they burned Sallust's house.
Sallust's account of the Catiline
conspiracy (De coniuratione Catilinae
or Bellum Catilinae
) and of the Jugurthine War
) have come down to us complete, together with fragments of his larger and most important work (Historiae
), a history of Rome from 78 to 67 BC, intended as a continuation of Cornelius Sisenna
The Conspiracy of Catiline
This is Sallust's first published work, an account of the attempt by Lucius Sergius Catalina
(Catiline) to overthrow the Roman Republic in the year 63 BC. Sallust presents Catiline as a deliberate foe of law, order and morality, and does not give a comprehensive explanation of his views and intentions (Catiline had supported the party of Sulla
, whom Sallust had opposed). Theodor Mommsen
suggested that Sallust particularly wished to clear his patron
) of all complicity in the conspiracy.
In writing about the conspiracy of Catiline, Sallust's tone, style, and descriptions of aristocratic behavior show that he was 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.
The work probably was written between 44 and 40 BC,
or between 42 and 41 BC according to Der Kleine Pauly
The work does not show any traces of personal experience, and the most common explanation is that Sallust was absent from Rome on military service during this period.
The main source for this work is De Consulatu Suo
Sallust's Jugurthine War
is a monograph recording the war against Jugurtha
from c. 112 BC to 105 BC. Its true value lies in the introduction of Marius
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.
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 come from the pen of a rhetorician of the first century AD, along with a counter-invective attributed to Cicero. At one time Marcus Porcius Latro
was considered a candidate for the authorship of the pseudo-Sallustian corpus, but this view is no longer commonly held.
The style of works written by Sallust was well known in Rome. It differs from the writings of his contemporaries — Caesar and especially Cicero. It is characterized by brevity and by the use of rare words and turns of phrase. As a result, his works are very far from the conversational Latin of his time.
Consider his use of archaic words. According to Suetonius
, Lucius Ateius Praetextatus (Philologus)
helped Sallust to collect them.Ronald Syme
suggests that Sallust's choice of style and even particular words was influenced by his antipathy to Cicero, his rival, but also one of the trendsetters in Latin literature in the first century BC.
"The Conspiracy of Catiline" reflects many features of style that were developed in his later works.
Sallust avoids common words from public speeches of contemporary Roman political orators, such as honestas
In several cases he uses rare forms of well-known words: for example, lubido
instead of libido
instead of maximum
, the conjunction quo
in place of more common ut
. He also uses the less common endings -ere
instead of common -erunt
in the third person plural in the perfect
indicative, and -is
instead of -es
in the accusative
plural for third declension (masculine or feminine) adjectives and nouns. Some words used by Sallust (for example, antecapere
), are not known in other writings before him. They are believed to be either neologisms
or intentional revivals of archaic words.
Sallust also often uses antithesis
On the whole, antiquity looked favourably on Sallust as a historian. Tacitus
speaks highly of him (Annals
, iii.30); and Quintilian
does not hesitate to put him on a level with Thucydides
, and declares that he is a greater historian than Livy
joins the praise: "Sallust, according to the judgment of the learned, will rank as the prince of Roman historiographers".
His books were sometimes used by authors of the first and second centuries AD, especially after imitations of archaic style gained popularity. Among those who borrowed information from his works were Silius Italicus
, and Ammianus Marcellinus
used ancient words collected by Sallust to provide "archaic coloring" for his works.
In the second century AD Zenobius
translated his works into Ancient Greek.
Other opinions were also present. For example, Gaius Asinius Pollio
criticized Sallust's addiction to archaic words and his unusual grammatical features. Aulus Gellius
Pollio's unfavorable statement about Sallust's style. According to him, Sallust once used the word transgressus
meaning generally "passage [by foot]" for a platoon which crossed the sea (the usual word for this type of crossing was transfretatio
Though Quintilian has a generally favorable opinion of Sallust, he disparages several features of his style:
For though a diffuse irrelevance is tedious, the omission of what is necessary is positively dangerous. We must therefore avoid even the famous terseness of Sallust (though in his case of course it is a merit), and shun all abruptness of speech, since a style which presents no difficulty to a leisurely reader, flies past a hearer and will not stay to be looked at again.
Sallust struck out practically a new line in literature for himself: his predecessors had been little better than mere dry-as-dust chroniclers
, but 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 he adopted 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 philosophical reflections and speeches, and in the brevity of his style, sometimes bordering upon obscurity.
credits Sallust in Twilight of the Idols
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'." Henrik Ibsen's first play was Catiline
, based on Sallust's story.
Several manuscripts of his works survived due to his popularity in Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Manuscripts of his writings are usually divided into two groups: mutili
(mutilated) and integri
(whole; undamaged). The classification is based on the existence of the lacuna
(gap) between 103.2 and 112.3 of the Jugurthine War
. The lacuna exists in the mutili
scrolls, while integri
manuscripts have the text there. The most ancient scrolls which survive are the Codex Parisinus 16024
and Codex Parisinus 16025
, known as "P" and "A" respectively. They were created in the ninth century, and both belong to the mutili
Both these scrolls include only Catiline
, while some other mutili
manuscripts also include Invective
and Cicero's response.
The oldest integri
scrolls were created in the eleventh century AD.
The probability that all these scrolls came from one or more ancient manuscripts is debated.
There is also a unique scroll Codex Vaticanus 3864
, known as "V". It includes only speeches and letters from Catiline
The creator of this manuscript changed the original word order and replaced archaisms with more familiar words.
The "V" scroll also includes two anonymous letters to Caesar probably from Sallust,
but their authenticity is debated (see above).
Several fragments of Sallust's works survived in papyri
of the second to fourth centuries AD. Many ancient authors cited Sallust, and sometimes their citations of Histories
are the only source for reconstruction of this work. But the significance of these citations for the reconstruction is uncertain, because occasionally the authors cited Sallust from memory, and some distortions were possible.
- The Conspiracie of Cateline and The Warre of Jugurth (trans. Thomas Heywood, 1608). New York: AMS Press, 1967 (among other modern printings).
- Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 116 (trans. J.C. Rolfe). Cambridge, MA: HUP, 1921.
- Catiline's War, the Jugurthine War, Histories (trans. A.J. Woodman). London: Penguin, 2007 (ISBN 0140449485). (Page xxvii, "When Sallust died, probably in 35...")
- Catiline's Conspiracy, The Jugurthine War, Histories (trans. William W. Batstone). Oxford: OUP, 2010 (ISBN 9780192823458).
- ^ Woodman, A.J. (2007). Catiline's War, the Jugurthine War, Histories. London: Penguin. p. xxvii. ISBN 978-0140449488. When Sallust died, probably in 35.
- ^ Woodman, Catiline's War, the Jugurthine War, Histories, p. xxvii
- ^ Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 7
- ^ a b c d e Mellor, R. J. (1999) The Roman historians. Routledge. p. 30
- ^ a b c d Grant, M. (1995) Greek and Roman historians: information and misinformation. Routledge. P. 13
- ^ Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 15. R. Syme provides an analysis of the hypothesis
- ^ a b c Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 13
- ^ (in Russian) Альбрехт, М. (2002) История римской литературы [Istoriya Rimskoy Literatury], Т. 1. Греко-латинский кабинет. С. 480
- ^ (in Russian) Горенштейн, В. О. (1981) Гай Саллюстий Крисп. Сочинения. Наука. С. 148
- ^ a b c d Schmidt, P. L. "Sallustius (4)", Der Kleine Pauly. Bd. IV. Sp. 1513
- ^ a b Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. P. 14
- ^ Tacitus. Annales, III.30.3
- ^ Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 9
- ^ Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 12
- ^ Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 28
- ^ Earl D. C. "The Early Career of Sallust", Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 15 (1966), p. 306
- ^ (Asc. Mil., 20 (37)) Asconius Pedianus. Commentary on Pro Milone, 20 (37)
- ^ Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 29
- ^ Моммзен, Т. (2005) История Рима. Т. 3. Наука. С. 223
- ^ Broughton, T. R. S. (1952) Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol. 2. American Philological Association. P. 242
- ^ Broughton, T. R. S. (1952) Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol. 2. American Philological Association. P. 247
- ^ a b c Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. P. 36
- ^ Dando-Collins, Stephan (2002). The Epic Saga of Julius Caesars Tenth Legion and Rome. p. 67. ISBN 0-471-09570-2.
- ^ Broughton, T. R. S. (1952) Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol. 2. American Philological Association. p. 274
- ^ (App. B. C., II, 92) Appian. Roman history. Civil wars, II, 92
- ^ (Cass. Dio, XLII, 52) Cassius Dio. Roman history, XLII, 52
- ^ Syme, R. (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 37
- ^ Hieronymus. Adversus Jovinianum Libri Duo, I, 48: "Illa [Terentia] […] nupsit Sallustio" Read online: 
- ^ Syme, Roland (1978). "Sallust's Wife". The Classical Quarterly. 28 (2): 292–295. doi:10.1017/S0009838800034820. JSTOR 638680.
- ^ Procopius. History of the Wars, Books III & IV, trans. Dewing, Loeb Classical Library, G.P. Putman's Sons, London, ç1916, p.17
- ^ Mellor, R. (1999) The Roman historians. Routledge. P. 32
- ^ Louis MacKay proposed a different dating. According to him, The Conspiracy was prepared by Sallust in 50 BC as a political pamphlet, but was not published; after the Civil War Sallust reviewed and finally published it: MacKay, L. A. "Sallust's Catiline: Date and Purpose", Phoenix, 16 (1962), p. 190
- ^ Earl D. C. "The Early Career of Sallust," Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte. Vol. 15, No. 3. 1966. P. 307-309
- ^ MacKay, "Sallust's Catiline: Date and Purpose", p. 183
- ^ Smith, William (1867), "Latro, M. Porcius", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 2, Stefano Ciufferpebble, p. 726
- ^ (in Russian) Альбрехт, М. (2002) История римской литературы, Т. 1. Греко-латинский кабинет. С. 494
- ^ (Suet. Gram. 10) Suetonius. On Famous Grammarians and Rhetoricians, 10
- ^ Syme, (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 257
- ^ Syme, (1964) Sallust. University of California Press. p. 266
- ^ (in Russian) Альбрехт, М. (2002) История римской литературы, Т. 1. Греко-латинский кабинет. С. 493
- ^ McGushin, P. Bellum Catilinae: A Commentary. Brill Archive, 1977. p. 19
- ^ (in Russian) Горенштейн, В. О. (1981) Гай Саллюстий Крисп. Сочинения. Москва: Наука. С. 161
- ^ (Mart. XIV, 191) Martial. Epigrams, XIV, 191: Hic erit, ut perhibent doctorum corda virorum, // Primus Romana Crispus in historia.
- ^ a b c (in Russian) Альбрехт, М. (2002) История римской литературы, Т. 1. Греко-латинский кабинет. С. 504
- ^ Rawson E. Sallust on the Eighties? // In: The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 1 (1987). P. 164
- ^ (in Russian) Тронский, И. М. (1946) История античной литературы Ленинград: Учпедгиз. С. 47
- ^ (Suet. Gram. 10) Suetonius. On Famous Grammarians and Rhetoricians, 10
- ^ Gellius. Noctes Atticae, X, 26
- ^ (Quint. Inst. IV, 44-45) Quintilian, Institio Oratoria, IV, 44-45
- ^ a b c (in Russian) Альбрехт, М. (2002) История римской литературы, Т. 1. Греко-латинский кабинет. С. 505
- ^ Osmond P. J. "Princeps historiae Romanae: Sallust in Renaissance political thought", Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 40 (1995), p. 104
- ^ Osmond P. J. "Princeps historiae Romanae: Sallust in Renaissance political thought", Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, 40 (1995), p. 107ff.
- ^ Osmond P. J. "Princeps historiae Romanae: Sallust in Renaissance political thought", Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, 40 (1995), p. 106
- ^ Osmond P. J. "Princeps historiae Romanae", p. 121
- ^ Osmond P. J. "Princeps historiae Romanae", p. 120
- ^ Osmond P. J. "Princeps historiae Romanae: Sallust in Renaissance political thought", p. 101
- ^ Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, s. 13.1
- ^ a b c d Ramsey, J. T. (2007) Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae. 2nd Ed. New York—Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 14
- ^ Rolfe J. C. "Introduction", Sallust. Loeb Classical Library p. XVIII
- ^ Ramsey J. T. (2007) Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae. 2nd Ed. New York—Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 26
- ^ (in Russian) Альбрехт, М. (2002) История римской литературы, Т. 1. Греко-латинский кабинет. С. 502
- ^ Ramsey J. T. (2007) Sallust's Bellum Catilinae, 2nd ed. New York—Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 15
- Aili, H. The Prose Rhythm of Sallust and Livy. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1979.
- Chisholm, H., ed. "Sallust". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1911.
- Drummond, A. Law, Politics and Power: Sallust and the Execution of the Catilinarian Conspirators. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1995.
- Earl, D. C. The Political Thought of Sallust. Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1961.
- Funari, R., ed. Corpus dei papiri storici greci e latini. Parte B. Storici latini. 1. Autori noti. Vol. 2 Caius Sallustius Crispus. Pisa & Rome: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2008.
- Hartswick, K. J. The Gardens of Sallust. A Changing Landscape. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.
- Latte, K. Sallust. Leipzig: Teubner, 1935.
- Lemprière, J. A Classical Dictionary. London: Cadell & Davies, 1820; p. 683.
- Oniga, R. Sallustio e l'etnografia. Pisa: Giardini, 1995.
- Osmond, P. J. "Princeps Historiae Romanae: Sallust in Renaissance Political Thought", Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 40 (1995), pp. 101–143.
- Renehan, R. "A Traditional Pattern of Imitation in Sallust and his Sources", Classical Philology 71 (1976), pp. 97–105.
- Scanlon, T. Spes Frustrata: A Reading of Sallust. Heidelberg: Winter, 1987.
- Scanlon, T. The Influence of Thucydides on Sallust. Heidelberg: Winter, 1980.
- Syme, R. Sallust. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964.
- Woodman, A. J. Rhetoric in Classical Historiography. London: Croom Helm, 1988.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Sallust
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sallust
Latin with English translation
- at LacusCurtius (J. C. Rolfe, 1921):
- Bellum Catilinae
- Bellum Jugurthinum
- Invectiva in Ciceronem (uncertain authorship, sometimes attributed to Sallust)
- Oratio ad Caesarem (uncertain authorship)
- Works by Sallust at Project Gutenberg (Schmitz and Zumpt, 1848):
- Bellum Catilinae
- Bellum Jugurthinum
- at the Perseus Project (Watson, 1899):
- at Attalus.org:
- Fragmenta Historiarum (translation of selected fragments)
- Fragmenta Historiarum (Latin text of all surviving fragments)
- Bellum Catilinae
- Bellum Jugurthinum
- Fragmenta Historiarum
- Epistolae ad Caesarem
- Invectiva in Ciceronem
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