Other Historians Are So Tedious!

Zonaras, Abridgment of Histories 1.2:

“But, if I may offer a defense of myself, I did not set off as it were from the home of my own volition to undertake this task of writing history. Some of my dear friends saw that I was idle and set this task to me, saying, ‘Employ your leisure for something useful to the common good, and you will receive a reward from it before the eyes of God.’ They added further that of those who labored at history and wrote of ancient deeds, some wrote the history and wars of the ancients in excessively copious detail, going through all of the arrangements and the complexities of the armies, as well as the lay of the battlefield, the individual fortifications, and anything else which followed upon them. They have added to all of these things descriptions of the land, the difficulties of the marches, the steepness and challenges of the mountains, the narrowness of the hollows, the strength of the cities and the staggering height of the fortifications, such that one might call them ethereal. Their writing has strained toward explication with the aim of showing where they stand as concerns their writing ability, and for that reason they set up, in the middle of the work, something digressive or rhetorical as they delight in their writing.”

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᾿Αλλ’ ἵνα τι καὶ ὑπεραπολογήσωμαι ἐμαυτοῦ, οὐκ οἴκοθεν ὡρμήθην πρὸς τὸ ἐγχείρημα, ἄνδρες δέ με φίλοι πρὸς τοῦτο παρέθηξαν, σχολάζοντα βλέποντες καὶ “χρῆσαι” λέγοντες “τῇ σχολῇ πρὸς ἔργον κοινωφελές, καὶ κείσεταί σοι πρὸς τοῦ θεοῦ κἀκ τούτου ἀνταπόδομα.” προσεπῆγον γὰρ ὡς οἱ περὶ τὰς ἱστορίας πονήσαντες καὶ τὰ πάλαι γενόμενα συγγραψάμενοι, οἱ μὲν διεξοδικώτερον τὰς ἄλλας τε πράξεις τῶν παλαιῶν ἀνδρῶν καὶ τὰ στρατηγήματα συγγεγράφασι, παρατάξεις διηγούμενοι καὶ συμπλοκὰς στρατευμάτων καὶ στρατοπεδείας καὶ χάρακας καὶ εἴ τι τούτοις ἑπόμενον, πρὸς δὲ τοῖς περιηγήσεις χωρίων καὶ δυσχωρίας ὁδῶν καὶ ὄρη προσάντη καὶ δύσβατα καὶ αὐλώνων στενοχωρίας καὶ πόλεων ὀχυρότητας καὶ πυργωμάτων ὕψη μετέωρα καὶ ὡς ἄν τις φαίη αἰθέρια· τοῖς δὲ καὶ πρὸς ἐπίδειξιν συντέθεινται τὰ συγγράμματα, ἐπιδεικνυμένοις ὅπως εἶχον περὶ τὸ γράφειν δυνάμεως καὶ διὰ τοῦτο δημηγορίας τε μεταξὺ τιθεῖσι καὶ παρεκβατικώτερον ἢ καὶ ῥητο-ρικώτερον κεχρημένοις τῷ λόγῳ·

Zonaras, Prefacing the Preface

Ioannes Zonaras, Epitome Historiarum

Preface, Part I

“Some one could rightly jeer at me for assuming a side-project greater than my actual work. Yet it was in truth necessary for one who had set aside his old works, who had held off from disturbance, who had taken himself away from the middle of things, who had chosen a life alone while being condemned to exile from himself, with the one above us thus organizing our affairs (since he broke my chains in depriving me of friends, and he knows for what reasons, in a way which was grievous to me yet nevertheless entirely correct) to enjoy no relaxations except those which would order and purify the soul of the pollution burning inside it through the triviality of its affairs, and those other things which appease God for the offenses which I have committed against him in transgressing his commandments and laws, and in so doing to seek pardon for my sins. Thus, having carelessly performed my actual work through my own indolence respecting beautiful things, I have directed no small zeal to the completion of this side-project.”

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Εὐστόχως ἄν τις εἴποι ἐπιτωθάζων μοι, μεῖζόν σοι τοῦ ἔργου τὸ πάρεργον. ἔδει γάρ με ὡς ἀληθῶς πάλαι τῶν πραγμάτων ἀφέμενον καὶ τυρβάζεσθαι ἀποσχόμενον καὶ τοῦ μέσου μεταναστεύσαντα καὶ καθ’ ἑαυτὸν ἑλόμενον ζῆν ἀειφυγίαν τε ἑαυτοῦ καταψηφισάμενον, οὕτω τὰ καθ’ ἡμᾶς οἰκονομήσαντος τοῦ ὑπὲρ ἡμᾶς, ἐπεὶ τοὺς δεσμούς μου διέρρηξε τῶν φιλτάτων στερήσας με, οἷς οἶδεν ἐκεῖνος λόγοις, ἀλγεινῶς μὲν ἐμοί, συμφερόντως δὲ πάντως, μηδὲν ἕτερον μετιέναι ἢ ὅσα ψυχὴν καταρτίζουσι καὶ καθαίρουσι τῶν ἐντακέντων αὐτῇ μολυσμάτων διὰ φαυλότητα πράξεων, καὶ ἅττα ἐξιλεοῦνται τὸ θεῖον ἐφ’ οἷς παρώργισται παρ’ ἐμοῦ, παραβεβηκότος τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ δικαιώματα, καὶ ζητεῖν οὕτω συγγνώμην ἐπὶ τοῖς πταίσμασιν. ἐγὼ δ’ ἀμελῶς πρὸς τὸ ἔργον ἐκ τῆς πρὸς τὰ καλὰ νωθρείας διατιθέμενος περὶ τὸ πάρεργον κατέτεινα τὴν σπουδήν.

Zonaras 7.14 Part I: Debt Reform Fails, Revolt Ensues

The Plebeians are duped by the false promise of debt reform:

When Lartius became dictator, the plebeians contrived no revolutionary measures, but found themselves in arms. While the Latins maintained peace in accordance with the agreements, the money-lenders began to treat debtors with violent insolence, and on that account the plebeians rose once again and went to the senate chamber. Everyone would have died therein if some had not already announced that the Volusci were making an attack upon the land. In response to this report, the plebeians departed not with the aim of sparing the senate, but assuming that it would be destroyed by enemies as never before. On that account, they placed no guard on the walls and offered no assistance, until Servilius freed some who were oppressed after defaulting on their loans, and granted exemption from debt collection for as long as they served in the army; he also promised to relieve their debts. Then, in response to these promises, the plebeians went out and conquered the enemy. When, subsequently, the received neither a reduction of their debts nor any other suitable recompense, they clamored again and vented their anger, raising a rebellion against the senate and the generals.

Τότε μὲν οὖν δικτάτωρος γενομένου Λαρκίου οὐδὲν ὁ δῆμος ἐνεωτέρισεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὅπλοις ἐγένοντο. τῶν δὲ Λατίνων ἡσυχίαν ἀγόντων ἐπὶ συνθήκαις, οἱ δανεισταὶ τοὺς ὀφειλέτας μετεχειρίζοντο βιαιότερον, καὶ ὁ δῆμος αὖθις ἐστασίαζε διὰ τοῦτο, ὥστε καὶ εἰς τὸ συνέδριον συνδραμεῖν· καὶ πάντες ἂν ὑπὸ τῶν εἰσπεσόντων ἐν αὐτῷ διεφθάρησαν, εἰ μή τινες τοὺς Οὐολούσκους εἰς τὴν χώραν ἐμβαλεῖν ἤδη κατήγγειλαν. πρὸς δὲ τὴν τοιαύτην ἀγγελίαν ὁ δῆμος ἠρέμησεν, οὐχὶ φεισάμενος τῆς βουλῆς, ἀλλ’ ὡς ὑπὸ τῶν πολεμίων ὅσον οὔπω φθαρησομένης. διὸ οὔτε τοῦ τείχους ἔθεντο φυλακὴν οὔτε τινὰ παρεῖχον βοήθειαν, μέχρις ὁ Σερουίλιος τούς τε ἐξ ὑπερημερίας κρατουμένους ἀφῆκε, καὶ ἄδειαν τῶν εἰσπράξεων καθ’ ὅσον στρατεύοιντο ἐψηφίσατο, καὶ κουφίσαι τὰ χρέα ὑπέσχετο. τότε μὲν οὖν διὰ ταῦτα τοῖς πολεμίοις ἐπεξελθόντες ἐνίκησαν· μήτε δὲ τῶν χρεῶν κουφισθέντες μήτ’ ἄλλου μηδενὸς τυχόντες ἐπιεικοῦς, καὶ πάλιν ἐθορύβουν τε καὶ ὠργίζοντο, καὶ κατὰ τῆς βουλῆς καὶ τῶν στρατηγῶν ἐστασίαζον.

Zonaras 7.13 Part IV: The Establishment of the Dictatorship

A new office developed to deal with war and rebellion:

When war was once again raised by the Latins against the Romans, the common people did not wish to take up arms, thinking that there should first be a cancellation of all debt. For that reason, the powerful created a new type of office to deal with both situations. The man selected for this was called a Dictator, and in all respects he had power equal to that of the kings. Although they hated the name of ‘king’ because of the Tarquinii, they yet wished for the benefit deriving from monarchy, which deals most effectively with the circumstances of wars and rebellions. Therefore, they created a kingship with a different name. As has been stated, the Dictatorship possessed the same power as kingship, with the exception that the dictator was not permitted to mount a horse except when he was about to lead the army, nor was he allowed to take anything from the public funds if it were not approved by a vote. The Dictator was allowed to pass judgment and execute citizens both at home and on campaign; he held this power not only over the plebs, but also over the equestrians and the senate itself. Further, no one was allowed to prosecute him nor do anything contrary to him – not even the chief magistrates, nor if some sort of appeal case should be made. The Dictator’s rule was not extended beyond a period of six months, so that no dictator would, having spent so much time in such power and unmixed license, grow overweening and find himself impelled to desire monarchy. This is what happened in the case of Julius Caesar, when he attempted to take more than what was properly appointed to the dictatorship.

Αὖθις δὲ πολέμου παρὰ Λατίνων κατὰ ῾Ρώμης κεκινημένου οὐκ ἤθελον οἱ πολλοὶ τὰ ὅπλα λαβεῖν, ἀποκοπὴν τῶν χρεῶν ἀξιοῦντες γενέσθαι. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο καινήν τινα ἀρχὴν ἐπ’ ἀμφοτέροις αὐτοῖς τότε πρῶτον οἱ δυνατοὶ κατεστήσαντο· δικτάτωρ ὁ ταύτης ἠξιωμένος ὠνόμαστο, ἠδύνατο δὲ πάντα ἐξ ἴσου τοῖς βασιλεῦσι. τὴν μὲν γὰρ τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπωνυμίαν διὰ τοὺς Ταρκυνίους ἐμίσησαν, τὴν δ’ ἐκ τῆς μοναρχίας ὠφέλειαν θέλοντες, ὡς πολὺ ἰσχυούσης ἐς τὰς τῶν πολέμων καὶ τῶν στάσεων περιστάσεις, ἐν ἄλλῳ ταύτην ὀνόματι εἵλοντο. ἦν οὖν, ὡς εἴρηται, ἡ δικτατωρεία κατά γε τὴν ἐξουσίαν τῇ βασιλείᾳ ἰσόρροπος, πλὴν ὅτι μὴ ἐφ’ ἵππον ἀναβῆναι ὁ δικτάτωρ ἠδύνατο, εἰ μὴ ἐκστρατεύεσθαι ἔμελλεν, οὔτε ἐκ τῶν δημοσίων χρημάτων ἀναλῶσαί τι ἐξῆν αὐτῷ, εἰ μὴ ἐψηφίσθη· δικάζειν δὲ καὶ ἀποκτείνειν καὶ οἴκοι καὶ ἐν στρατείαις ἠδύνατο, καὶ οὐ τοὺς τοῦ δήμου μόνους, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἱππέων καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς βουλῆς. καὶ οὔτ’ ἐγκαλέσαι τις αὐτῷ οὔτ’ ἐναντίον τι διαπράξασθαι ἴσχυεν, οὐδὲ οἱ δήμαρχοι, οὔτε δίκη ἐφέσιμος ἐγίνετο ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ. οὐκ ἐπὶ πλέον δὲ τῶν ἓξ μηνῶν ἡ τῆς δικτατωρείας ἀρχὴ παρετείνετο, ἵνα μή τις αὐτῶν ἐν τοσούτῳ κράτει καὶ ἐξουσίᾳ ἀκράτῳ χρονίσας ὑπερφρονήσῃ καὶ πρὸς ἔρωτα μοναρχίας ἐκκυλισθῇ. ὅπερ ἐς ὕστερον καὶ ὁ Καῖσαρ ᾿Ιούλιος ἔπαθεν, ἐπεὶ παρὰ τὰ νενομισμένα τῆς δικτατωρείας ἠξίωτο.

Zonaras 7.13 Part III: Conspiracies and Executions

Rome wages war with the Sabines; the consuls deal with conspiracy:

The Sabines, however, on account of their rage over the things which they had suffered, did not rest through the winter, but fell upon the Roman lands, and mistreated Postumius, who was then in his second consulship. They would have taken him with all of their force, if Menenius Agrippa (his co-consul) had not aided him. They set upon the Sabines and killed many of them, forcing the rest of them to retreat. After all of this, Spurius Cassius and Opiter Virginius made peace with the Sabines. They seized the town of Camerium, where they killed most of the inhabitans and sold the rest into slavery; they then razed the city to the ground.

Then Postumius Cominius and Titus Lartius caught and executed some slaves who had planned a siege of the Capitoline Hill. Servius Sulpicius and Marcus Tullius then prevented a different conspiracy of slaves and some other rebels which had been announced to them by some of the conspirators. They had these men bent over in a circle and butchered. Citizenship was granted to the informers.

Οἱ μέντοι Σαβῖνοι δι’ ὀργὴν ὧν ἔπαθον οὐδὲ τὸν χειμῶνα ἠρέμησαν, ἀλλὰ τὴν ῾Ρωμαΐδα χώραν κατέδραμον, καὶ τὸν Ποστούμιον ἐκάκωσαν τὸ δεύτερον ὑπατεύοντα· καὶ εἷλον ἂν αὐτὸν πανσυδί, εἰ μὴ Μενήνιος ᾿Αγρίππας ὁ συνάρχων αὐτῷ ἐπεκούρησε. προσπεσόντες δὲ αὐτοῖς πολλοὺς ἔφθειραν, ὥστε τοὺς λοιποὺς ἀναχωρῆσαι. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Σπούριός τε Κάσσιος καὶ ᾿Οπιτώριος Οὐεργίνιος ὑπατεύοντες τοῖς Σαβίνοις ἐσπείσαντο. Καμέριον δὲ τὸ ἄστυ ἑλόντες τοὺς μὲν πλείους ἀπέκτειναν, τοὺς δὲ λοιποὺς ζωγρήσαντες ἀπέδοντο, καὶ τὴν πόλιν κατέσκαψαν.

Ποστούμιος δὲ Κομίνιος καὶ Τίτος Λάρκιος δούλους τινὰς ἐπὶ καταλήψει τοῦ Καπιτωλίου συνωμοσίαν θεμένους συλλαβόντες ἔφθειραν. Σερούιός τε Σουλπίκιος καὶ Μάρκος Τούλλιος ἑτέραν αὖθις συνωμοσίαν δούλων καὶ ἄλλων δή τινων συστάντων αὐτοῖς προκατέλαβον, ἀγγελθεῖσαν αὐτοῖς πρός τινων τῆς ἐπιβουλῆς μετεχόντων. οὓς καὶ συσχόντες περισταδὸν κατέκοψαν. τοῖς δὲ μηνυταῖς ἄλλα τε καὶ πολιτεία ἐδόθη.

Zonaras 7.13 Part II: Sabine War, Appius Claudius, Death of Publicola

Rome gains a haughty family and loses a hero:

After all of this, the Sabines invaded the Roman lands; Marcus Valerius (the brother of Publicola) and Postumius Tubertus were selected as consuls. As the wars were conducted by the wisdom and presence of Publicola, Marcus won in two battles, in the second of which he lost no Romans but slaughtered 13,000 of the enemy.

In the following year, Publicola served as consul again, and an assault of the allied Sabines and Latin tribes against Rome was expected. There was among the Sabines a man named Appius Claudius who was foremost of his countrymen in riches and bodily strength, while also being famed for his virtue and his wonderful speech. He was resented for these things and was charged by his countrymen with attempting to stop the war. On that account, he went to Rome and persuaded several of his friends and attendants to follow him. Publicola gave them all a friendly welcome, and enrolled Claudius in the senate. From this point, he conducted himself as a shrewd citizen, and arrived at the height of reputation; he left the Claudian gens absolutely flourishing at the height of fame. The Sabines made this the pretext for war, and threatened the city with a great army. Publicola led the Romans against them and conducted his army well; in a short time, he had destroyed all of the enemy. He helped the populace greatly with the spoils and captives. He held a triumph for the victory, and handing the city over to the succeeding consuls, he died straightaway. He was buried and mourned by the people for an entire year.

Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα Σαβίνων ἐμβαλόντων εἰς τὴν χώραν ὕπατος ἀνεδείχθη Μάρκος Οὐαλέριος ἀδελφὸς Ποπλικόλα καὶ Ποστούμιος Τούβερτος. πραττομένων δὲ τῶν πολέμων γνώμῃ καὶ παρουσίᾳ τοῦ Ποπλικόλα, δυσὶ μάχαις ὁ Μάρκος ἐνίκησεν, ὧν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ μηδένα ῾Ρωμαίων ἀποβαλὼν τρισχιλίους ἐπὶ μυρίοις τῶν πολεμίων ἀνεῖλε. Τῷ δ’ ἑξῆς ἔτει πάλιν ὑπάτευε Ποπλικόλας. καὶ προσεδοκᾶτο Σαβίνων τε καὶ Λατίνων ὁμονοησάντων κατὰ τῆς ῾Ρώμης προσέλασις. ἦν δ’ ἐν Σαβίνοις ἀνὴρ ῎Αππιος Κλαύδιος ἔν τε χρήμασι καὶ ῥώμῃ σώματος πρωτεύων, ἐν ἀρετῆς δὲ μάλιστα δόξῃ ἐπιφανὴς καὶ λόγου δεινότητι· ὃς διὰ ταῦτα φθονούμενος ἐπεβουλεύετο παρὰ τῶν ὁμογενῶν ὅτι συνεβούλευε καταπαύειν τὸν πόλεμον. διὸ αὐτός τε τῇ ῾Ρώμῃ προσεληλύθει καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν φίλων τε καὶ οἰκείων συνέπεσθαί οἱ συνέπεισεν. οὓς ὁ Ποπλικόλας φιλοφρόνως ἐδέξατο, τῇ βουλῇ τὸν Κλαύδιον προσγραψάμενος. ὅθεν καὶ ἐμφρόνως πολιτευόμενος ἀνέδραμεν εἰς τὸ πρῶτον ἀξίωμα, καὶ γένος μέγα τὸ Κλαυδίων κατέλιπεν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀνθῆσαν καὶ προεληλυθὸς εἰς δόξης ἀκρότητα. οἱ δὲ Σαβῖνοι καὶ τοῦτο τοῦ πολέμου ποιησάμενοι πρόφασιν στρατῷ μεγάλῳ κατὰ τῆς ῾Ρώμης ἐπήλασαν. οἷς τοὺς ῾Ρωμαίους ὁ Ποπλικόλας ἀντεπαγαγών, καὶ στρατηγήσας ὡς ἄριστα, μικροῦ πάντας ἀπώλεσε· καὶ τὸν δῆμον ἐκ τῶν λαφύρων καὶ τῶν αἰχμαλώτων ὠφέλησεν. ἀγαγὼν δ’ ἐπὶ τῇ νίκῃ θρίαμβον, καὶ τοῖς μετ’ αὐτὸν πάτοις παραδοὺς τὴν πόλιν, εὐθὺς ἐτελεύτησε, δημοσίᾳ ταφεὶς καὶ θρηνηθεὶς ἐφ’ ὅλον ἐνιαυτόν.

Zonaras 7.13 Part I: Publicola Earns His Name; Quaestorship is Established

Publius Valerius recovers public favor by destroying his house:

Thus did the deeds of the Tarquinii come to an end. When they had been expelled from the kingship, as has already been noted, the consuls were selected by the Romans. Of these, one was Publius Valerius, who served as consul four times and earned the name Publicola. Because he ruled alone and did not take a co-consul he came in conflict with the Romans, who said that there was no inheritor of Brutus’ consulship but a successor to the tyranny of Tarquinius, who in similar fashion departed under the guardianship of rods and axes from a a house of tremendous size and beauty. (For he had a rather fine house built right next to the Forum.) When Publicola learned of this, he brought several builders together at night and them demolish his house and raze it to the ground. The next day, when the Romans awoke and saw this, they marveled at the wonderful judgment of Publicola, yet felt some grief for the house which had been so large and beautiful. Publicola also had the axes removed from the fasces, and as he went to the Senate, he had the rods themselves pointed down before the people. He also assigned the administration of the public wealth to others, lest the consuls, being in charge of it, gain too much power. This is when the office of the treasurers was formed, which they called ‘quaestors.’ These men initially presided over murder trials, from which they received this title on account of their examinations and on account of the search for the truth from these examinations. Later, they assumed the job of distributing the public funds, and were called ‘quaestors.’ After this period, the functions of the law courts were assigned to other magistrates, but these men were still in charge of distributing funds. Publicola then received the co-consul Lucretius, father of Lucretia. When he died suddenly, Marcus Horatius was selected to rule with Publicola for the rest of the year. Afterward, when Publicola was selected as consul again, his co-consul was Titus Lucretius.

Οὕτω μὲν οὖν τοῖς Ταρκυνίοις τὰ πράγματα ἐπεράνθησαν· ἐκείνων δ’ ἐξωσθέντων τῆς βασιλείας ὕπατοι, ὡς εἴρηται, παρὰ τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων ᾑρέθησαν. ὧν εἷς ἦν καὶ Πόπλιος Οὐαλέριος, ὃς τετράκις ὑπάτευσεν, ὁ καὶ Ποπλικόλας ἐπικληθείς. οὗτος οὖν μόνος ἄρχων καὶ μὴ συνάρχοντα εἰληφὼς ῾Ρωμαίοις προσέκρουσε, λέγουσι μὴ τῆς τοῦ Βρούτου κληρονόμον ὑπατείας εἶναι, τῆς δὲ τοῦ Ταρκυνίου τυραννίδος διάδοχον, ὑπὸ ῥάβδοις ὁμοῦ πάσαις καὶ πελέκεσι προϊόντα ἐξ οἰκίας τοσαύτης τὸ μέγεθος καὶ τὸ κάλλος. καὶ γὰρ πολυτελεστέραν εἶχεν οἰκίαν ἐπικειμένην τῇ ἀγορᾷ. ταῦτα ὁ Ποπλικόλας μαθών, τεχνίτας πλείστους συναγαγὼν νυκτὸς κατέβαλε τὴν οἰκίαν καὶ ταύτην κατέσκαψεν, ὥστε μεθ’ ἡμέραν τοὺς ῾Ρωμαίους βλέποντας τὸ γενόμενον τὴν μὲν τοῦ ἀνδρὸς μεγαλοφροσύνην θαυμάζειν, ἄχθεσθαι δ’ ὑπὲρ τῆς οἰκίας διὰ τὸ μέγεθος καὶ τὸ κάλλος. καὶ τοὺς πελέκεις δὲ τῶν ῥάβδων ἀπέλυσεν, αὐτάς τε τὰς ῥάβδους εἰς ἐκκλησίαν παριὼν ἀφῆκε τῷ δήμῳ. καὶ τὴν τῶν χρημάτων διοίκησιν ἄλλοις ἀπένειμεν, ἵνα μὴ τούτων ἐγκρατεῖς ὄντες οἱ ὑπατεύοντες μέγα δύνωνται. ὅτε πρῶτον οἱ ταμίαι ἤρξαντο γίνεσθαι· κοιαίστωρας δ’ ἐκάλουν αὐτούς. οἳ πρῶτον μὲν τὰς θανασίμους δίκας ἐδίκαζον, ὅθεν καὶ τὴν προσηγορίαν ταύτην διὰ τὰς ἀνακρίσεις ἐσχήκασι καὶ διὰ τὴν τῆς ἀληθείας ἐκ τῶν ἀνακρίσεων ζήτησιν· ὕστερον δὲ καὶ τὴν τῶν κοινῶν χρημάτων διοίκησιν ἔλαχον, καὶ ταμίαι προσωνομάσθησαν. μετὰ ταῦτα δ’ ἑτέροις μὲν ἐπετράπη τὰ δικαστήρια, ἐκεῖνοι δὲ τῶν χρημάτων ἦσαν διοικηταί. ἀπέδειξε δὲ ἑαυτῷ συνάρχοντα τὸν τῆς Λουκρητίας πατέρα Λουκρήτιον. ταχὺ δὲ τούτου θανόντος ᾑρέθη Μάρκος ῾Οράτιος συνάρχειν αὐτῷ τὸν ὑπόλοιπον καιρὸν τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ. αἱρεθεὶς δὲ καὶ αὖθις ὕπατος ὁ Ποπλικόλας ἔσχε συνυπατεύοντα Τίτον Λουκρήτιον.

Zonaras 7.12 Part VI: The Death of Tarquinius Superbus

After his family is destroyed in rebellion, Superbus dies an unremarkable death:

Publicola, serving for a third time as consul, continually called Tarquinius to justice, censuring him as the basest man who had rightly fallen from power; Lars Porsenna served as the judge. When Tarquinius responded that he would not accept Porsenna as a judge if he were to be cast off as an ally, Porsenna pronounced his verdict and stopped the war. Even after all of this, the Tarquins tried repeatedly to retake the throne, fighting quite often with the assistance of Rome’s neighbors; all of the Tarquins died in these battles, with the exception of the eldest, Tarquinius Superbus. A Greek man would call him, ‘ὑπερήφανος’ (‘the Arrogant’). He later went to Cumae, in Opicia[i], where he died.

[i] For Opicia, see Arist.Pol.1329b19: The ‘Opicoi’ were later the ‘Ausonians’ of southern Italy.

῾Ο δὲ Ποπλικόλας τὸ τρίτον ὑπατεύων τότε προυκαλεῖτο συνεχῶς τὸν Ταρκύνιον ἐπὶ δίκῃ, ὡς ἐξελέγξων κάκιστον καὶ ἐκπεπτωκότα τῆς ἀρχῆς ἐνδικώτατα, τοῦ Πορσίνου δικάζοντος. ἀποκριναμένου δὲ Ταρκυνίου μὴ αἱρεῖσθαι Πορσίναν διαιτητήν, εἰ σύμμαχος ὢν μεταβάλλεται, καταγνοὺς ὁ Πορσίνας τὸν πόλεμον κατελύσατο. καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ πολλάκις μὲν ἐπεχείρησαν οἱ Ταρκύνιοι τὴν βασιλείαν ἀναλαβεῖν, τοῖς ὁμοροῦσι ῾Ρωμαίοις ἔθνεσι συμμαχούμενοι, πάντες δὲ ἐν ταῖς μάχαις ἐφθάρησαν, πλὴν τοῦ γέροντος, ὃς καὶ Σούπερβος ἐκαλεῖτο· εἴποι ἄν τις ῞Ελλην ἀνήρ, ὑπερήφανος. κἀκεῖνος δὲ μετέπειτα εἰς Κύμην τὴν ἐν ᾿Οπικίᾳ γενόμενος ἐτελεύτησεν.

Zonaras 7.12 Part V: How Mucius Scaevola Got His Name

Mucius Scaevola drives Porsenna from the siege of Rome:

Tarquinius, following the great battle in which he had lost his son who fought against Brutus, fled to Clusium where he supplicated Klars Porsinna [*Lars Porsenna] the man with the greatest power among all of the Italic kings; Porsenna then offered to assist him. First, he sent to Rome ordering the Romans to receive Tarquinius, and when they did not obey, he set out with a large force. Valerius Publicola, chosen as consul for a second time and committing himself to the battle, was wounded and drawn from the battle in a litter. As Porsenna was besieging the city, a plague fell upon the Romans. Either from some event, or – as is more likely – from a consideration of the likely outcome, Porsenna broke off the war against the Romans. For a man known as Mucius Cordus, a good man in every way and the noblest warrior, who possessed the cognomen Scaevola (which means either ‘one-handed’ or ‘left-handed’) conceived a plan of assassinating Porsenna. He went into the field wearing Etruscan clothing and feigning an Etruscan accent. Because he did not know Porsenna’s appearance and was afraid to ask, he drew his sword and killed the secretary sitting beside Porsenna and wearing the same type of garment. He was captured and interrogated. A brazier was prepared nearby because Porsenna had been about to make a sacrifice; Scaevola held his hand over the fire, and as his flesh melted away he looked at Porsenna with an unflinching countenance (from this burnt hand his cognomen was derived) until Porsenna, in his astonishment, freed him. Scaevola, however, tried in another way to trick Porsenna and said, “Having conquered your fear, Porsenna, I am your inferior in virtue, and I will therefore disclose freely what I would not have disclosed under compulsion. Three hundred other Romans with the same intention as mine await in the field; I am but the first, having drawn the first lot. I do not feel grieved by fortune, having missed the mark of a good man and one more properly friendly to the Romans than hostile.” Thereupon, Porsenna became even more favorably disposed to making a treaty.

῾Ο δὲ Ταρκύνιος μετὰ τὴν μεγάλην μάχην, ἐν ᾗ καὶ τὸν υἱὸν ἀπέβαλε μαχεσάμενον Βρούτῳ, καταφυγὼν εἰς τὸ Κλούσιον ἱκέτευε Κλάραν Πορσίναν, ἄνδρα μεγίστην ἔχοντα δύναμιν τῶν ᾿Ιταλικῶν βασιλέων· καὶ ὃς αὐτῷ βοηθήσειν ὑπέσχετο. καὶ πρῶτον μὲν ἔπεμψεν εἰς ῾Ρώμην κελεύων δέχεσθαι τὸν Ταρκύνιον, ὡς δὲ οὐχ ὑπήκουσαν, ἀφίκετο μετὰ βαρείας δυνάμεως. Ποπλικόλας δὲ Οὐαλέριος εἰς ἀρχὴν τὸ δεύτερον αἱρεθεὶς καὶ μάχην συνάψας καὶ τραυματισθεὶς φοράδην τῆς μάχης ἐξεκομίσθη. ἐπικειμένου δὲ τοῦ Πορσίνα τῇ πόλει λιμὸς ἥπτετο τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων. ἔκ τινος δὲ συμβεβηκότος ἢ μᾶλλον ἐκ προνοίας γενομένου ὁ Πορσίνας τὸν πρὸς ῾Ρωμαίους κατέλυσε πόλεμον. ἀνὴρ γάρ τις Μούκιος Κόρδος, εἰς πᾶσαν ἀρετὴν ἀγαθός, ἐν δὲ τοῖς πολεμικοῖς ἄριστος, Σκαιόλας τὴν ἐπίκλησιν, ὃ δηλοῖ τὸν μονόχειρα ἢ μὴ ἀρτιόχειρα, τὸν Πορσίναν ἀνελεῖν βουλευσάμενος παρῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ἐκείνου στρατόπεδον, Τυρσηνίδα φορῶν ἐσθῆτα καὶ ὁμοίᾳ κεχρημένος φωνῇ. καὶ σαφῶς μὲν τὸν Πορσίναν οὐκ εἰδώς, ἐρέσθαι δὲ δεδιώς, τὸν γραμματέα αὐτοῦ συγκαθήμενον αὐτῷ καὶ ὁμοίως ἔχοντα τῆς στολῆς σπασάμενος τὸ ξίφος ἀπέκτεινε, καὶ συλληφθεὶς ἀνεκρίνετο· ἐσχαρίδος δέ τινος τῷ Πορσίνᾳ μέλλοντι θύειν τότε κεκοσμημένης, ὑπερσχὼν τὴν χεῖρα καιομένης τῆς σαρκὸς εἱστήκει πρὸς τὸν Πορσίναν ἀποβλέπων ἀτρέπτῳ προσώπῳ, ὅθεν αὐτῷ τῆς χειρὸς φθαρείσης ἐγένετο ἡ ἐπίκλησις, μέχρι θαυμάσας ἐκεῖνος ἀφῆκεν αὐτόν. ὁ δὲ Σκαιόλας ἕτερον τρόπον ἐσοφίσατο τὸν ἐχθρόν, καὶ εἶπε “τὸν φόβον σου, Πορσίνα, νενικηκὼς ἥττημαί σου τῆς ἀρετῆς, καὶ χάριτι μηνύω ἃ πρὸς ἀνάγκην οὐκ ἂν ἐξηγόρευσα. τριακόσιοι ῾Ρωμαίων τὴν αὐτὴν ἐμοὶ γνώμην ἔχοντες ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ σου διατρίβουσιν, ὧν ἐγὼ προεπιχειρήσας κλήρῳ λαχὼν οὐκ ἄχθομαι τῇ τύχῃ, διαμαρτὼν ἀνδρὸς ἀγαθοῦ καὶ φίλου μᾶλλον ἢ πολεμίου ῾Ρωμαίοις εἶναι προσήκοντος.” ἐντεῦθεν ὁ Πορσίνας πρὸς τὰς συμβάσεις ἐγένετο προθυμότερος.

Zonaras 7.12 Part IV: The Death of Brutus and The First Triumph

Brutus dies in battle; Publicola becomes the first consul to celebrate a triumph:

Tarquinius, perceiving the failure of his conspiracy to recover the monarchy, betook himself to the Etruscans. They restored him to considerable power, but the consuls led the Romans against them in turn. When the battle began, Arruns, the son of Tarquinius, and Brutus, the Roman consul, fell upon each other in battle. They spared nothing, and died together after fighting with great spirit. After a huge battle and many deaths on both sides, the victory was still unclear. As night came on, it is said that the battleground shook, and a large voice sounded forth saying that in that spot the Etruscans had lost one more man than the Romans. The Romans rose a large, bold war cry upon hearing this sound, and terror seized the Etruscans. In their fear, they withdrew from the battlefield. The Romans seized upon this and plundered the field. They counted the corpses which had fallen in battle, and found that 11,300 Etruscans had died, while the Romans had lost 11,299. Valerius Publicola was then the first Roman consul to hold a triumph.

Ταρκύνιος δὲ ἀπογνοὺς τὴν ἐκ προδοσίας τῆς βασιλείας ἀνάληψιν, προσῄει τοῖς Τυρσηνοῖς. οἱ δὲ δυνάμει βαρείᾳ κατῆγον αὐτόν. ἀντεξῆγον δὲ καὶ τοὺς ῾Ρωμαίους οἱ ὕπατοι. ἀρχομένης δὲ τῆς μάχης ῎Αρρων ὁ Ταρκυνίου παῖς καὶ Βροῦτος ὁ ῾Ρωμαίων ὕπατος ἀλλήλοις περιπεσόντες ἐμάχοντο, καὶ ἀφειδήσαντες ὑπὸ θυμοῦ ἑαυτῶν συναπέθανον. μεγάλης δὲ τῆς μάχης γενομένης καὶ πολλῶν ἑκατέρωθεν πεσόντων ἄκριτος ἦν ἡ νίκη. νυκτὸς δ’ ἐπελθούσης λέγεται σεισθῆναι τὸ ἄλσος παρ’ ᾧ ἐστρατοπεδεύοντο, καὶ φωνὴν ἐκπεσεῖν ἐκεῖθεν μεγάλην φράζουσαν ἑνὶ πλείους τεθνάναι Τυρρηνῶν ἢ ῾Ρωμαίων. ἅμα δὲ τῇ φωνῇ ῾Ρωμαῖοι μὲν μέγα καὶ θαρσαλέον ἠλάλαξαν, πτοία δ’ ἐνέπεσε Τυρρηνοῖς· καὶ θορυβηθέντες τοῦ στρατοπέδου ἐξέπεσον· εἷλον δ’ οἱ ῾Ρωμαῖοι τοῦτο καὶ διηρπάκασιν. ἀριθμηθέντες δὲ οἱ νεκροὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ μάχῃ θανόντων εὑρέθησαν οἱ μὲν τῶν Τυρρηνῶν ἐπὶ μυρίοις χίλιοι τριακόσιοι, οἱ δὲ ῾Ρωμαῖοι παρ’ ἕνα τοσοῦτοι. ἐθριάμβευσε δὲ Οὐαλέριος Ποπλικόλας πρῶτος ὑπατεύων.