Compendium of Roman History

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Velleius Paterculus lived in the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (30 BCE-37 CE) and wrote a summary of Roman history from the fall of Troy to 29 CE. In 13-14 CE Augustus wrote an account of his public life, Res Gestae Divi Augusti, the best preserved copy of which was engraved on the walls of his temple at Ancyra (Ankara). Velleius Paterculus, who lived in the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (30 BCE-37 CE), served as a military tribune in Thrace, Macedonia, Greece and Asia Minor, and later, from 4 CE to 12 or 13, as a cavalry officer and legatus in Germany and Pannonia. He was quaestor in 7 CE, praetor in 15. He wrote in two books Roman Histories, a summary of Roman history from the fall of Troy to 29 CE. As he approached his own times he becomes much fuller in his treatment, especially between the death of Caesar in 44 BCE and that of Augustus in 14 CE. His work has useful concise essays on Roman colonies and provinces and some effective compressed portrayals of characters. Res Gestae Divi Augusti. In his 76th year (13 CE-14) the emperor Augustus wrote a dignified account of his public life and work of which the best preserved copy (with a Greek translation) was engraved by the Galatians on the walls of the temple of Augustus at Ancyra (Ankara). It is a unique document giving short details of his public offices and honours; his benefactions to the empire, to the people, and to the soldiers; and his services as a soldier and as an administrator.

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I have always had a soft spot for Velleius. With all his faults, which are always described freely by professional historians, I can see his earnestness in his work. Whatever else his faults, he was ... Read full review

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