Ancient History & Civilisation


In citing ancient authors, I follow the abbreviations of the standard reference work, The Oxford Classical Dictionary 3rd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). I cite the titles of ancient works, however, in English translation. References to the fragments of Sallust’s Histories come from the following edition unless otherwise stated: B. Maurenbrecher, C. Sallusti Crispi Historiarum Reliquae. Vol. II: Fragmenta (Leipzig: Teubner, 1893).


Ronald Reagan: in the so-called ‘Westminster Speech’ before the British Parliament in London, 8 June 1982, http://www.heritage. org/Research/Europe/WM106.cfm.

Chapter One

murmillo: Florus, Epitome 2.8.12.

‘of enormous strength and spirit’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.90.

‘sharp iron’: ferra acuta; see Marcus Junkelmann, ‘Familia Gladiatoria: The Heroes of the Amphitheatre’, in Gladiators and Caesars: The Power of Spectacle in Ancient Rome, Eckart Koehne and Cornelia Ewigleben, eds., English version ed. R. Jackson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 66.

Capua: the ruins of ancient Capua are located in today’s city of Santa Maria Capua Vetere. The modern city called Capua was, in fact, ancient Casilinum.

slave sale carved on a Capuan tombstone: the stele of Publilius Satyr, published by Theodor Mommsen et al., Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 17 vols. (Berlin: 1863-1986), vol. X.8222. For a photo, see capua_ museo_campano_stele_di_publilius_satyr_.html? UrlScheda=capua_museo_provinciale_campano.

served in an allied unit: Florus, Epitome 2.8.7.

Second Book of Maccabees: 12.35.

became what the Romans called a latro: Florus, Epitome 2.8.8.

Varro: Sosipater Charisius 1.133 (ed. Keil).

‘like wild beasts’: Livy, History of Rome 42.59.

‘are absolutely mad about war’: Strabo, Geography 4.4.2. trans. Philip Freeman, War, Women, and Druids. Eyewitness Reports and Early Accounts of the Ancient Celts (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002), 12-13.

the going rate for a Gallic slave: Diodorus Siculus 5.26.3-4.

40 million amphorae of wine: A. Tchernia, ‘Italian Wine in Gaul at the End of the Republic’, in Peter Garnsey, Keith Hopkins and C.R. Whitaker, eds., Trade in the Ancient Economy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983) 92, 97-8.

many Thracians supported Mithridates in his revolt against Rome: Cassius Dio frg. 101.

‘Peace is displeasing to [their] nation’: Tacitus, Germania 14.

‘Tell your masters to feed their slaves!’ Dio Cassius 77.10.2.

such as these from Pompeii: all these examples come from the earlier ludus in Pompeii and appear in Luciana Jacobelli, Gladiators at Pompeii (Los Angeles: John Paul Getty Museum, 2004), 48-9, 65-6.

‘erect and invincible’: Seneca, Letters 37.2.

‘to run a risk for freedom’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.116.539.

‘more thoughtful and more dignified’: Plutarch, Crassus 8.3. For the translation of the Greek word prâotês as ‘dignified’, see Hubert Martin, Jr, ‘The Concept of Prâotês in Plutarch’s Lives’, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 3 (1960): 65-73.

an elite few men of prudence: Sallust, Histories frg. 98A.

a few ‘nobles’ among the insurgents: Sallust, Histories frg. 98A.

Chapter Two

‘our sole source’: Plutarch, Crassus 8.4.

scene on a tombstone of a slave dealer: the Kapreilios Relief shows two women and two children accompanying a file of eight slaves marching in a chain gang, chained by the neck and preceded by a guard. See J. Kolendo, ‘Comment Spartacus devint-il esclave?’, in Chr. M. Danov and Al. Fol, eds., SPARTACUS Symposium Rebus Spartaci Gestis Dedicatum 2050 A.: Blagoevgrad, 20-24.IX.1977 (Sofia, Bulgaria: Editions de L’ Académie Bulgare des Sciences, 1981), 75, and M.I. Finley, ‘Marcus Aulus Timotheus, Slave Trader’, in Aspects of Antiquity, Discoveries and Controversies, 2nd edn (New York: Penguin, 1977), 154-66.

nomadic people: Plutarch, Crassus 8.3.

modern experts: personal communications, Professor Harry Greene, Cornell University, and Professor Luca Luiselli, University of Rome.

‘great and fearful power’: Plutarch, Crassus 8.4.

‘lucky end’: Plutarch, Crassus 8.4, mss. a, b, c.

‘unlucky end’: Plutarch, Crassus 8.4, mss. d, e, f.

‘something sacred and prophetic’: Tacitus, Germania 8.

‘a woman to make your heart tremble’: Phyllis Mack, Visionary Women: Ecstatic Prophecy in Seventeenth-Century England (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 17.

Columella: On Agriculture 1.8.6.

Martha: Plutarch, Life of Marius 17.1-3.

snake made Spartacus a Thracian hero: Demosthenes 18.259-60; Alexander Fol and Ivan Mazarov, Thrace and the Thracians (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1997), 28-9.

two slave revolts in Sicily: Diodorus Siculus 34.2.46, 36.4.4, with Jean Christian Dumont, Servus. Rome et l’Esclavage sous la République, Collection de l’École Française de Rome 103 (Rome: Ecole Française de Rome, Palais Farnèse, 1987), 263-4.

‘new Dionysus’: E. Candiloro, ‘Politica e cultura in Atene da Pidna alia guerra mitridatica’, Studi classici et orientali 14 (1965): 153-4 and n.71.

‘raged through every part of Italy’: Claudian, Gothica 155-6.

One historian: Emilio Gabba, Appiani, Bellorum Civilium Liber Primus (Firenze: La Nuova Italia Editrice, 1958), 317. cf. 211-12.

kill a man through his chest: Archiv für Kriminologie 211, 5-6 (May-June 2003): 174-80. db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus &list_ uids=12872687.

sica: in one of his poems (Carmina 9.253), the late Roman man of letters, Sidonius Apollinaris (c. AD 430-489) describes Spartacus as wielding a sica in battle against Rome’s consuls.

‘Not satisfied with having made their escape’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.3.

‘dishonourable and barbaric’: Plutarch, Crassus 9.1.

‘many runaway slaves and certain free men’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.116.540.

10,000 fugitives: Florus, Epitome 2.8.3.

harvesting grapes and cutting hay: Varro, Agriculture 1.17.2.

steal your firewood: Cato, On Agriculture 144.3.

money has no smell: Suetonius, Vespasian 23.

Most of Rome’s so-called allies: Appian, Mithridatic Wars 109.519-520.

‘If roving Spartacus’: Horace, Odes 3.14.14-20. Trans.

terror servilis: Livy, History of Rome 3.16.3.

‘If they come against us in force’; Sallust, Histories frg. 3.93.

Chapter Three

‘a tumultus of slaves’: Caesar, The Gallic War 1.40.6.

strictly for the Saturnalia: Plutarch, Sulla 18.5.

‘had a humble and unworthy name’: Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 5.6.20, trans. Brent D. Shaw, Spartacus and the Slave Wars (Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2001), 164.

nation of horsemen: Homer, Iliad 14.227.

Thucydides: Peloponnesian War 2.96.2.

‘were used to weaving branches’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.102.

‘did not yet consider this a war’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.116.541.

‘confused roar’: Tacitus, Germania 3.2.

immense mass grave: at Ribemont-sur-Ancre; Jean-Louis Brunaux and Bernard Lambot, Guerre et Armament chez les gaulois 450- 52 av. J.-C. (Paris: Editions Errance, 1987), 84.

‘fast-moving brawlers’. Plutarch, Crassus 9.4.

‘because of the unhealthiness of the autumn’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.96A.

‘the height of their disgrace’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.96.

‘They roved throughout all of Campania’: Florus, Epitome 2.5.

no longer willing to obey him: Plutarch, Crassus 9.8.

‘a few farseeing people, men of liberal minds and nobility’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.98A.

‘Some of them stupidly’; Sallust, Histories frg. 3.98A.

Chapter Four

‘happened upon the farmers of Abella’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.97.

populated by slave shepherds: Juvenal, Satires 8.180; Horace, Epistles 2.2.177sqq., Epodes 1.27sq.

‘and having hastily found a suitable guide’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.98B.

reputation for sacrificing prisoners: Diodorus Siculus 5.32.5.

Reports of gruesome practices: Strabo, Geography 7.2.3.

‘unbeknownst to the farmers’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.98B.

In a hill town north of the valley even today: Ricigliano, see and Piera Carlomagno, ed., La Provincia di Salerno, Guida Turistica (Sarno, Italy: Edizioni dell’Ippogrifo, 2004), 362-3.

Some Late Republican tombstones: Vittorio Bracco, ‘I materiali epigrafici’, in Bruno d’Agostino, ed, Storia del Vallo di Diano, vol. 1, Eta‘ Antica (Salerno: Pietro Laveglia Editore, 1981), 256.

‘Nothing was too holy’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.98C.

‘very wide field’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.98D.

‘winding, narrow, and cramped’. R.J. Buck, ‘The Ancient Roads of Southeastern Lucania’, Papers of the British School at Rome 43 (1975): 113.

Oliveto Citra, Roccaspiede and Genzano di Lucania: all the places mentioned lie within the borders of ancient Lucania; today, some are in Basilicata and others in Campania.

‘They were very knowledgeable about the area’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.102.

‘Of all the men in the region of Lucania’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.99.

‘they were used to weaving rustic baskets’: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.102.

They stretched hides: Sallust, Histories frg. 3.103.

‘great and frightening’: Plutarch, Crassus 9.7.

‘After this,’ says one source: Appian, Civil Wars, 1.116.542.

‘In a short time they collected’: Orosius, Histories 5.24.2.

‘terrible slaughter’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.5.

In Metapontum’s countryside: by studying pollen and seeds, archaeologists can describe Metapontum’s agricultural history in unusual detail. See Joseph Coleman Carter, Discovering the Greek Countryside at Metaponto (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006), 242-3, 246-7.

one scholar takes this as a sign of haste: Aldo Siciliano, ‘Herakleia, Acropoli - Tesoretti’, in Lucilla De Lachenal, Da Leukania a Lucania: la Lucania centro-orientale fra Pirro e i Giulio-Claudii: Venosa, Castello Pirro del Balzo 8 novembre 1992-31 marzo 1993 ([Rome]: Istituto poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Libreria dello Stato, 1993), 143.

‘their natural disposition’: Livy, History of Rome 29.6, cf. 28.12.

‘slaves, deserters and the rabble’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.117.547.

‘They attained a certain level of skill’: Caesar, Gallic War 1.40.5.

‘from a small and contemptible start’: Augustine, City of God 4.5.

one Roman writer: Florus, Epitome 2.8.1-2.

Chapter Five

no longer merely ashamed but afraid: Plutarch, Crassus 9.8.

a police action but a war: Plutarch, Crassus 9.8; Florus, Epitome 1.34.3, 2.8.1-2, 12.

Spartacus fought at least one if not several pitched battles: e.g. ‘acie victi sunt’, ‘they were defeated in a formal battle’, Livy, Periochae 96.

‘arrogance and presumption’: Plutarch, Crassus 9.9. I assume that the ‘German force’ mentioned here is Crixus’s army; see M.G. Bertinelli Angeli, et al., Le Vite di Nicia e di Crasso (Verona, Fondazione Lorenzo Vallo: A. Mondadori, 1993), comm. ad loc.

he began the campaign season with 30,000 men: Orousius, Histories 5.24.2.

‘a vigourous man,’: Cicero, Verres 2.4.42.

Arrius compared to a boxer: Cicero, Brutus 242-3.

banging javelins on shields and shouting war cries: Ross H. Cowan, ‘The Clashing of Weapons and Silent Advances in Roman Battles’, Historia 56.1 (2007): 114-17.

‘threatening rumble’: Horace, cited without ref. by J. Peddie, The Roman War Machine (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1996), 23.

‘fought extremely fiercely’: Orosius, Histories 5.24.4.

two-thirds of Crixus’s men died: Appian, Civil Wars 1.117.543.

with a sudden rush: Plutarch, Crassus 9.9.

defeated Lentulus’s legates and captured all the army’s baggage: Plutarch, Crassus 9.9.

abandoned the field in great confusion: Appian, Civil Wars 1.116, 544.

‘thoroughly destroyed’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.10.

‘more polluted, deformed’: Cicero, On the Reponse of Soothsayers 25.

slaves spectators and Romans gladiators: Cicero, On the Reponse of Soothsayers 26.

purged himself of all his prior infamy: Florus, Epitome 2.8.9; cf. Orosius, Histories 5.24.3.

‘As Spartacus was pressing forward towards the Alps’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.117.544.

‘victory disease’: Timothy M. Karcher, ‘The Victory Disease’, Military Review (July/August 2003), pp. 9-17; milprof_writing/volumes/volume 1/september_2003/9_03_5. html.

‘elated by his victories’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.11.

‘Terror,’ says one ancient writer: Orosius, Histories 5.24.5.

‘many deserters’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.117.545.

60,000: Eutropius 6.7.2.

other figures: 90,000, Velleius Paterculus 2.30.6; over 100,000, Orosius, Histories 19; 120,000, Appian, Civil Wars 1.117.545.

‘And at the same time Lentulus’: Sallust, Histories 3.106, as translated, with my emendations, by Patrick McGushin, Sallust, The Histories Translated with Introduction and Commentary, vol. II (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 39.

‘he changed his mind about going to Rome’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.117.547.

crowns for just digging ditches: Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 6.24-6.

malicious remark: Aurelius Victor, On Illustrious Men 66.3.

sewer of Romulus: Cicero, Letters to Atticus 2.1.8.

Chapter Six

A marble bust: for photos and bibliography, see http://viamus. arnummer=A%201452.

‘Everyone who had a soldier’s heart’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.21 with commentary ad loc.

location, isolation and eradication: Mao Tse-Tung, On Guerrilla Warfare, translated from the Chinese and with an introduction by Samuel B. Griffith II (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1961), 30.

By November or thereabouts: Rome followed the lunar calendar until 46 BC, and it regularly fell out of synchronization with the solar calendar. ‘November’, therefore, is a rough estimate.

According to one source, an angry Senate: Plutarch, Crassus 10.1.

According to one source, these were the legions: Appian, Civil Wars 1.118.549.

‘Many of his men fell’: Plutarch, Crassus 10.3.

‘tremblers’: Plutarch, Crassus 10.4.

As one ancient source says, he had made himself more fearful: Appian, Civil Wars 1.118.551.

Spartan mercenary general: Xenophon, Anabasis 2.6.10.

One of our sources implies: Plutarch, Crassus 10.5-6.

different source and a more plausible account: Appian, Civil Wars 1.118.551.

‘with contempt’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.118.551.

‘defeated him and pursued him’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.118.551.

‘Finally . . . Licinius Crassus’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.12.

Chapter Seven

Heracleo: according to Cicero (Verrines 6.97); Orosius (6.3) calls him Pyrganio.

‘great Italian war’: Cicero, Verrines 6.2.5.

‘war of the Italian fugitives’: Cicero, Verrines 6.6.14.

the Senate extended Verres’s governorship to three years: Thomas Stangl, ed., Cicero Orationum Scholiastae (Vienna: Tempsky, [1912]), Scho. Cic. Gron. II 324.

‘Gaius Verres strengthened the shores’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.32.

‘Once the Cilicians had made an agreement’: Plutarch, Crassus 10.7.

‘The narrowness of the passage’: Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 4.24.5, trans. Robert Strassler, ed., The Landmark Thucydides, a Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), 236.

Sicels: Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 6.2.4.

‘A number of huge jars’: Cassius Dio, Book 11.14.29, 439-40, trans.*.html; cf. H.H. Scullard, The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974), 16,149,152.

‘When they placed large, wide-mouthed jars’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.26.

Cape Caenys offered a narrower crossing: some scholars place the crossing further north, at Scilla, but that town lies outside the strait, where Plutarch, Crassus 10.3-4 insists on putting Spartacus.

‘They tried to launch rafts’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.13.

‘The entangled rafts were hindering’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.27, trans. Patrick McGushin, Sallust, The Histories, vol. 2 Oxford: Clarendon Press, (1994), 43.

‘that bravest of men’: Cicero, Verrines 6.5.

Chapter Eight

the Romans claimed an immense body count: Appian, Civil Wars, 1.119.552.

the Romans had got their courage back: Appian, Civil Wars 1.119.552.

nature of the terrain: Plutarch, Crassus 10.7.

300 stades: Plutarch, Crassus 10.8.

a system of trenches, walls and sharpened poles: Appian, Civil Wars 1.118.551.

the Romans cut a trench from sea to sea: Plutarch, Crassus 10.8.

‘annoyed the men’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.119.553.

‘He crucified a Roman prisoner’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.119.553.

the Roman people let their frustration spill over: Appian, Civil Wars 1.119.554.

Crassus himself wrote to the Senate: Plutarch, Crassus 11.3.

‘worse than snow’: Paulinus of Nola, Poems 17.206.

Marcus Lucullus: technically Marcus Varro is correct, since Marcus had been adopted as an adult by one Terentius Varro, but for simplicity’s sake I use his birth name.

‘the teenage butcher’: Valerius Maximus 6.2.8.

accept him into its fides: Tacitus, Annals 3.73; cf. Appian, Civil Wars 1.120.556.

‘most beautiful dignity’: Tacitus, Annals 3.73.

‘below strength’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.36.

AD 26: Tacitus, Annals 4.51.

Samnium: Appian, Civil Wars 1.119.552.

‘they began to disagree’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.37, trans. Patrick McGushin, Sallust, The Histories, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 44.

Chapter Nine

‘the whole of the Gallic people’: Caesar, Gallic War, cited without reference in Jean-Louis Brunaux, The Celtic Gauls: Gods, Rites and Sanctuaries, trans. Daphne Nash (London: Seaby, 1988), 102.

‘The magic of women’: Gallic inscription, cited in Philip Freeman, The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 125.

‘fulfilling their monthly things’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.40.

‘sacrificing on behalf of the enemies’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.5.

bite and kick the enemy: Ammianus Marcellinus, Histories 15.12.

Riyos: or, more accurately, *riyos, personal communication, Professor Michael Weiss, Department of Linguistics, Cornell University.

‘were in danger’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.5.


30,000: Orosius, Histories 5.24.6.

35,000: Livy, Periochae 97; Frontinus, Stratagems 2.5.34.

12,300: Plutarch, Crassus 11.5.

‘the most valiant battle of all’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.5.

Battle of Bibracte: Caesar, Gallic War 1.26.

‘to retreat towards the Peteline Mountains’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.6.

near the headwaters of the Silarus River: Orosius, Histories 5.24.6.

Spartacus now began to lead his army: Appian, Civil Wars 1.120.557.

The second account takes off: Plutarch, Crassus 11.6.

‘Success destroyed Spartacus’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.6.

Chapter Ten

‘they indiscriminately mix’: Orosius, Histories 5.24.3.

One Roman matron: Orosius, Histories 5.24.3.

ancient biographical tradition: Suetonius, Life of Horace.

in Cicero’s opinion: On Duties 1.42.

‘he gave up on all [his other plans]’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.120.557.

his men forced him to fight the Romans: Plutarch, Crassus 11.8.

he made the choice on his own: Appian, Civil Wars 1.120.557.

‘still of great size’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.120.557.

3,000 Roman citizens: Orosius, Histories 5.24.7.

A group of Sicilian slaves: Florus, Epitome 2.7.9-12; Diodorus Siculus 36.10.3.

An earthquake centred on Conza:

moving too quickly: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.39; Plutarch, Comparison of Nicas and Crassus (Crassus 36(3).2); cf. Patrick McGushin, Sallust, The Histories, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 155-6.

‘He [Crassus] was digging a trench’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.8.

‘you defeat the enemy with a pickaxe’: Frontinus, Stratagems 4.7.2.

scorpion bolt pierced a cavalry commander’s body: Caesar, African War 29.

‘At Orchomenus!’: Plutarch, Sulla 21.2.

‘Seeing the necessity’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.8.

‘that if he won he would have many horses’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.9.

The Moesian commander stood: Florus, Epitome 2.26.13-16.

singing and dancing: there was a revolt in the southern Thracian mountains in AD 26. When besieged, the braver spirits ‘after the manner of their country were disporting themselves with songs and dances in front of the rampart’ (Tacitus, Annals 4.47, trans. +4.47). See R.F. Hoddinott, The Thracians (London: Thames & Hudson, 1981), 130.

‘He pushed towards Crassus’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.9.

‘exposed his body to danger’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.10.

‘fought fortissime’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.14.

‘he killed two centurions’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.9.

‘In the end’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.10.

‘Spartacus was wounded in the thigh’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.120.557.

‘he did not die quickly’: Sallust, Histories frg. 4.41.

‘he died almost an imperator’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.14.

‘The battle was long and strongly contested’: Appian, Civil Wars 1.120.557.

‘As befit an army led by a gladiator’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.14.

no opponent was more dangerous: Seneca, Controversies 9.6, cited in Alison Futrell, The Roman Games (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006), 144.

‘They were cut down en masse’: Appian, Civil War 1.120.558.

‘They met with a death’: Florus, Epitome 2.8.14, trans. Brent D. Shaw, Spartacus and the Slave Wars (Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s, 2001), 155.

60,000 rebel dead: Livy, Periochae 97; Orosius, Histories 5.24.7. The casualty figure of 12,300 in Plutarch, Pompey 21.2 probably refers to the Battle of Cantenna.

‘a slaughter of them came about that cannot be counted’: Appian, Civil War 1.120.558.

Chapter Eleven

Flaccus: Theodor Mommsen, ed., Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vol. X, Inscriptiones Bruttiorum, Lucaniae, Campaniae, Sicilae, Sardiniae latinae (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1883) Part 2, 8070.3 = A. Degrassi and I. Krummrey, eds., Inscriptiones Latinae antiquissimae ad C. Caesaris mortem vol. I, 2nd edition (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1986) Part 2, Fasc. 4,961.

they went into the mountains: Appian, Civil War 1.120.559.

‘terrible’: ‘terrible cross’ of the slaves in Plautus (Martin Hengel, Crucifixion in the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977), 7, n.13.

‘infamous’: ‘the infamous stake’, Latin Anthology 415.23-4.

‘utterly vile’: Origen, Commentary on Matthew, on 27.22ff. For the translation, see Hengel, Crucifixion, x [sic].

‘servile’: Cicero, For Cluentius 66; First Philippic 2.

less revenge than deterrence: Pseudo-Quintilian: Minor Declamations 274.13, cited in Hengel, Crucifixion, 50.

the devastation of the countryside: e.g. Velleius Paterculus 2.30.5; Plutarch, Crassus 8.1; Ampelius 45.3; Otto Keller, Pseudacronis scholia in Horatium vetustiora, vol. I (Leipzig: Teubner, 1902), 274, 3.14.19.

fear, anger and indignation: Livy, History of Rome 3.16.3, 21.41.10.

Recte omnia velim sint nobis: M. Pagano and J. Rougetet, ‘La casa del liberto P. Confuleius Sabbio a Capu a e isuoi mosaici’, Mélanges de L’École Française de Rome 98(1987):753-65.

‘the whole road to Rome from Capua’: Appian, Civil War 1.20.559.

Roman jurists recommended crucifying notorious brigands: Digest, cited in Hengel, Crucifixion, 48.

Roman authorities also favoured: Pseudo-Quintilian: Minor Declamations 274.13, cited in Hengel, Crucifixion, 50.

the crucifixion of women: Apuleius, Golden Ass 4.31; Josephus, Antiquities 18.3.4.

the Romans even crucified dogs: Pliny, Natural History 29.14.57.

the crucified could linger: Haim Cohn and Shimon Gibson, ‘Crucifixion’, in Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik, eds., Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd edn. Vol. 5 (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007), 309-10.

cases of crucified men who laughed: Hengel, Crucifixion, 48.

‘Crassus had defeated’: Plutarch, Crassus 11.11.

‘the troubles at Tempsa’: Cicero, Verrines 6.39, 41.

‘the remnants of the Italian war of the fugitive slaves’: Cicero, Verrines 6.39.

‘small band’: Cicero, Verrines 6.40.

‘the bald adulterer’: Suetonius, Deified Julius 51.

Marcus Lucullus’s triumph probably took place first: on the dates and other details of the four triumphs, see A. Degrassi, Inscriptiones Italiae XIII.1 (Rome: La Libreria dello Stato, 1947), 565.

5,000 thrushes: Varro, Agricultural Topics 3.2.15-16, repeated by Columella, On Agriculture 8.10.6. See discussion by M. Beard, The Roman Triumph (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), 49 and 346, n.12.

roughly equivalent to the annual pay of about 100 legionaries: see R. Alston, ‘Roman Military Pay from Caesar to Diocletian’, Journal of Roman Studies 84 (1994): 113-23.


‘He put an end to them’: Suetonius, Deified Augustus 3.1.

thought to cure malarial fevers: Pliny, Natural History 28.41, 28.46. See also Laura D. Lane, ‘Malaria and Magic in the Roman World’, in David Soren and Noelle Soren, eds., A Roman Villa and a Late Roman Infant Cemetery: Excavation at Poggio Gramignano, Lugnano in Teverina (Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 1999), 640.

‘life force’: Itta Gradel, Emperor Worship and Roman Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002), 37.

URSUS TUBICEN: Hans-Günther Simon, ‘Zwei ausseregewohn liche reliefverzierte Gefässe aus Langenhain, Wetteraukreis’, Germania 53 (1975): 126-37, esp. 134.

bitter and protracted tension at Pompeii: Cicero, For Sulla 60-62.

He called for a mirror: the details come from Suetonius, Deified Augustus 98.5-100.1.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!