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Marcus Junianus Justinus
Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus.
translated, with notes, by the Rev. John Selby Watson.
London: Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Convent Garden (1853).


Table of contents


Book I

The monarchy of the Assyrians, Ninus, I.—Semiramis, II.—Sardanapalus, III.—The monarchy of the Medes; Astyages, IV.—The youth of Cyrus, V.—He becomes king, VI.—His victory over Croesus; Candaules and Gyges, VII.—Expedition of Cyrus against the Scythians; his death, VIII.—Cambyses; the Magi; Otanes, IX.—Darius, the son of Hystaspes, X.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 ORIGINALLY,1 the government of nations and tribes was in the hands of kings;2 whom it was not their flattery of the people, but their discretion, as commended by the prudent, that elevated to the height of this dignity. The people were not then bound by any laws; the wills of their princes were instead of laws. It was their custom to defend, rather than advance,3 the boundaries of their empire. The dominions of each were confined within his own country.

The first of all princes, who, from an extravagant desire of ruling, changed this old and, as it were, hereditary custom, was Ninus, king of the Assyrians. It was he who first made war upon his neighbours, and subdued the nations, as yet too barbarous to resist him, as far as the frontiers of Libya. Sesostris,4 king of Egypt, and Tanaus,5 king of Scythia, were indeed prior to him in time; the one of whom advanced into Pontus, and the other as far as Egypt; but these princes engaged in distant wars, not in struggles with their neighbours; they did not seek dominion for themselves, but glory for their people, and, content with victory, declined to govern those whom they subdued. But Ninus established the greatness of his acquired dominion by immediately possessing himself of the conquered countries.6 Overcoming, accordingly, the nearest people, and advancing, fortified with an accession of strength, against others, while each successive victory became the instrument of one to follow, he subjugated the nations of the whole east. His last war was with Zoroaster,7 king of the Bactrians, who is said to have been the first that invented magic arts, and to have investigated, with great attention, the origin of the world and the motions of the stars. After killing Zoroaster, Ninus himself died, leaving a son called Ninyas, still a minor, and a wife, whose name was Semiramis.8

2 Semiramis, not daring to entrust the government to a youth, or openly to take it upon herself (as so many great nations would scarcely submit to one man, much less to a woman), pretended that she was the son of Ninus instead of his wife, a male instead of a female. The stature of both mother and son was low, their voice alike weak, and the cast of their features similar. She accordingly clad her arms and legs in long garments, and decked her head with a turban; and, that she might not appear to conceal any thing by this new dress, she ordered her subjects also to wear the same apparel; a fashion which the whole nation has since retained. Having thus dissembled her sex at the commencement of her reign, she was believed to be a male. She afterwards performed many noble actions; and when she thought envy was overcome by the greatness of them, she acknowledged who she was, and whom she had personated. Nor did this confession detract from her authority as a sovereign, but increased the admiration of her, since she, being a woman, surpassed, not only women, but men, in heroism.

It was she that built Babylon,9 and constructed round the city a wall of burnt brick; bitumen, a substance which everywhere oozes from the ground in those parts, being spread between the bricks instead of mortar.10 Many other famous acts, too, were performed by this queen; for, not content with preserving the territories acquired by her husband, she added Ethiopia also to her empire; and she even made war upon India, into which no prince,11 except her and Alexander the Great, ever penetrated. At last, conceiving a criminal passion for her son, she was killed by him, after holding the kingdom two and forty years from the death of Ninus.

Her son Ninyas, content with the empire acquired by his parents, laid aside the pursuits of war, and, as if he had changed sexes with his mother, was seldom seen by men, but grew old in the company of his women. His successors too, following his example, gave answers to their people through their ministers. The Assyrians, who were afterwards called Syrians, held their empire thirteen hundred years.

3 The last king that reigned over them was Sardanapalus, a man more effeminate than a woman. One of his satraps, named Arbaces, governor of the Medes, having, with great difficulty and after much solicitation, obtained admission to visit him, found him, among crowds of concubines, and in the dress of a woman, spinning purple wool with a distaff, and distributing tasks to girls, but surpassing all the women in the effeminacy of his person and the wantonness of his looks. At that sight, feeling indignant that so many men should be subject to one so much of a woman, and that those who bore swords and arms should obey one that handled wool, he proceeded to his companions, and told them what he had seen, protesting that he could not submit to a prince who had rather be a woman than a man. A conspiracy was consequently formed, and war raised against Sardanapalus; who, hearing of what had occurred, and acting, not like a man that would defend his kingdom, but as women are wont to do under fear of death, first looked about for a hiding-place, but afterwards marched into the field with a few ill-disciplined troops. Being conquered in battle, he withdrew into his palace, and, having raised and set fire to a pile of combustibles, threw himself and his riches into the flames, in this respect only acting like a man. After him Arbaces, who was the occasion of his death, and who had been governor of the Medes, was made king, and transferred the empire from the Assyrians to the Medes.

4 After several kings, the crown, by order of succession, descended to Astyages. This prince, in a dream, saw a vine spring from the womb of his only daughter, with the branches of which all Asia was overshadowed. The soothsayers being consulted concerning the vision, replied, that he would have a grandson by that daughter, whose greatness was foreshown, and the loss of Astyages’s kingdom portended. Alarmed at this answer, he gave his daughter in marriage, not to an eminent man, nor to one of his own subjects (lest nobility on the father or mother’s side should rouse the spirit of his grandson), but to Cambyses, a man of mean fortune, and of the race of the Persians, which was at that time obscure. But not having, even thus, got rid of his fear of the dream, he sent for his daughter, while she was pregnant, that her child might be put to death under the very eye of his grandfather. The infant, as soon as it was born, was given to Harpagus, a friend of the king’s and in his secrets, to be killed. Harpagus, fearing that if the crown, on the death of the king (as Astyages had no male issue), should devolve upon his daughter, she might exact from the agent, for the murder of her child, that revenge which she could not inflict on her father, gave the infant to the herdsman of the king’s cattle to be exposed. The herdsman, by chance, had a son born at the same time; and his wife, hearing of the exposure of the royal infant, entreated, with the utmost earnestness, that the child might be brought and shown to her. The herdsman, overcome by her solicitations, went back into the wood, and found a dog by the infant, giving it her teats, and protecting it from the beasts and birds of prey. Being moved with pity, with which he saw even a dog moved, he carried the child to the cattle-folds, the dog vigilantly following him. When the woman took the babe into her hands, it smiled upon her as if it knew her; and there appeared so much vivacity in it, with a certain sweetness in its smile as it clung to her, that the wife at once entreated the herdsman to expose her own child instead of the other, and to allow her to bring up the royal infant, whether to his own fortune or to her hopes.12 Thus the lot of the children being changed, the one was brought up as the shepherd’s son, and the other exposed as the king’s grandson. The nurse had afterwards the name of Spaco; for so the Persians call a dog.

5 The boy after a time, while he was among the shepherds, received the name of Cyrus. Subsequently, being chosen by lot king among his play-fellows, and having boldly scourged such of them as were disobedient to him, a complaint was made to the king by the parents of the boys, who were angry that free-born youths should be lashed with servile stripes by the king’s slave. Astyages having sent for the boy and questioned him, and the boy replying, without any change of countenance, that “he had acted as a king,” was struck with his high spirit, and reminded of his dream and its interpretation. In consequence, as both the resemblance of his features, the time of his exposure, and the confession of the herdsman, concurred exactly, he acknowledged him as his grandson. And since he seemed to have had his dream accomplished, by the boy’s exercise of rule among the shepherds, he subdued his feelings of animosity; but with regard to him only; for, being incensed with his friend Harpagus, he, in revenge for the preservation of his grandson, killed his son, and gave him to his father to eat. Harpagus, dissembling his resentment for the present, deferred showing his malice towards the king, until a proper time for vengeance should occur.

Some time having elapsed, and Cyrus being grown up, Harpagus, prompted by his resentment for the loss of his child, wrote him an account how he had been banished to the Persians by his grandfather; how his grandfather had ordered him to be killed when he was an infant; how he had been saved by his kindness; how he himself had incurred the king’s displeasure, and how he had lost his son. He exhorted him to raise an army, and march directly to seize the throne, promising that the Medes should join him. This letter, because it could not be conveyed openly, as the king’s guards occupied all the roads, was enclosed in the body of a hare, of which the bowels had been taken out; and the hare was committed to a trusty slave, to be carried into Persia to Cyrus. Nets were also given him, that the plot might be concealed under the appearance of a hunting expedition.

6 Cyrus, after reading the letter, was exhorted in a dream to make the same attempt; but was also admonished to take the first man that he should meet on the following day, as a companion in his enterprize. Commencing his journey from the country, accordingly, before it was light, he met a slave named Soebaris, coming from the slave-house of a certain Mede. Having questioned him as to his birth-place, and hearing that he was born in Persia, he knocked off his fetters, took him with him as his companion, and returned to Persepolis. Here, having called the people together, he ordered them all to attend him with axes, and to cut down a wood that skirted each side of the road. When they had thoroughly accomplished this, he invited them on the following day to a feast prepared for them. Then, as soon as he saw them exhilarated with the banquet, he asked them, “if an offer were made them, which sort of life they would choose, a life of labour like that of yesterday, or of feasting like the present?” As they all exclaimed, “A life of feasting like the present,” he told them that, “as long as they obeyed the Medes, they must lead a life like the drudgery of yesterday; but, if they would follow him, a life like the present entertainment.” All expressing their joy, he made war upon the Medes.

Astyages, forgetting his treatment of Harpagus, entrusted him with the management of the war. Harpagus immediately delivered up the forces, which he had received from Astyages, to Cyrus, and took revenge for the king’s cruelty by a treacherous desertion of him. Astyages, hearing of this occurrence, and collecting troops from all quarters, marched against the Persians in person. Having vigorously renewed the contest, he posted part of his army, while his men were fighting, in their rear, and ordered that those who turned back should be driven on the enemy with the point of the sword; telling them that, “unless they conquered, they would find men in their rear not less stout than those in their front; and they were therefore to consider whether they would penetrate the one body by fleeing, or the other body by fighting.” In consequence of this obligation to fight, great spirit and vigour was infused into his army. As the Persian troops, therefore, were driven back, and were gradually retiring, their mothers and wives ran to meet them, and besought them to return to the field. While they hesitated, they took up their garments, and showed them the secret parts of their persons, asking them, “if they would shrink back into the wombs of their mothers or their wives.” Checked with this reproach, they returned to the battle, and, making a vigorous assault, compelled those from whom they had fled to flee in their turn. In this battle Astyages was taken prisoner; from whom Cyrus took nothing but his kingdom, and, acting towards him the part rather of a grandson than of a conqueror, made him ruler of the powerful nation of the Hyrcanians; for to the Medes he was unwilling to return. Such was the termination of the empire of the Medes, who had ruled three hundred and fifty years.

7 In the beginning of his reign, Cyrus appointed Soebaris (his companion in his undertakings, whom, in conformity with his dream, he had released from the slave­house, and made a sharer in all his enterprises), governor of Persia, and gave him his sister in marriage. But several cities, which had been tributary to the Medes, thinking that their condition was changed by this change in the government, revolted from Cyrus; a revolt which was the occasion and source of many wars against him. When he had at length, however, reduced most of them to submission, and was carrying on war against the Babylonians, Croesus, king of Lydia, whose power and riches were at that time extraordinary, came to the aid of that people, but, being soon defeated and abandoned, fled back to his kingdom. Cyrus, after his victory, as soon he had settled affairs in Babylonia, transferred the war into Lydia, where he easily routed the army of Croesus, already dispirited by the event of the former battle. Croesus himself was taken prisoner. But in proportion to the smallness of the danger in the battle, was the greatness of the clemency shown by Cyrus on his victory. To Croesus was granted his life, part of his hereditary possessions, and the city Barene,13 in which he lived, though not the life of a king, yet one scarcely inferior to royal dignity. This lenity was of no less advantage to the conqueror than to the conquered; for when it was known that war was made upon Croesus, auxiliaries flocked to him from the whole of Greece,14 as if to extinguish a conflagration that threatened them all; so popular was Croesus in all the Greek cities; and Cyrus would have incurred a heavy war with Greece, if he had resolved on any severe treatment of Croesus.

Some time after, when Cyrus was engaged in other wars, the Lydians rebelled, and, being a second time conquered, their arms and horses were taken from them, and they were compelled to keep taverns, to turn their thoughts to amusements, and open houses of pleasure. Thus a nation, formerly powerful through its industry, and brave in the field, was rendered effeminate by ease and luxury, and lost its ancient spirit; and those whom their wars had proved invincible till the time of Cyrus, idleness and sloth overpowered when they had fallen into dissoluteness of manners.

The Lydians had many kings before Croesus, remarkable for various turns of fate; but none to be compared, in singularity of fortune, to Candaules. This prince used to speak of his wife, on whom he doated for her extreme beauty, to every body, for he was not content with the quiet consciousness of his happiness, unless he also published the secrets of his married life; just as if silence concerning her beauty had been a detraction from it. At last, to gain credit to his representations, he showed her undressed to his confidant, Gyges; an act by which he both rendered his friend, who was thus tempted to corrupt his wife, his enemy, and alienated his wife from him, by transferring, as it were, her love to another; for, soon after, the murder of Candaules was stipulated as the condition of her marriage with Gyges, and the wife, making her husband’s blood her dowry, bestowed at once his kingdom and herself on her paramour.

8 Cyrus, after subduing Asia,15 and reducing the whole of the east under his power, made war upon the Scythians. At that time, the Scythians were ruled by a queen named Tomyris, who, not alarmed like a woman at the approach of an enemy, suffered them to pass the river Araxes, though she might have hindered them from passing it; thinking that it would be easier for her to fight within the limits of her kingdom, and that escape would be harder for the enemy from the obstruction of the river. Cyrus accordingly, having carried his troops across, and advanced some distance into Scythia, pitched his camp. On the day following, having quitted his camp in pretended alarm, and as if in full flight, he left behind him abundance of wine, and such things as were proper for a feast. The news of this event being brought to the queen, she despatched her son, a very young man, with a third part of her army, in pursuit of him. When they reached the camp of Cyrus, the youth, inexperienced in military matters, seeming to think he was come to feast and not to fight, paid no attention to the enemy, but allowed his barbarians, who were unused to wine, to overload themselves with it; so that the Scythians were overcome with wine before they were subdued by the enemy; for Cyrus, learning what had happened, and returning in the night, fell upon them unawares,16 and killed all the Scythians together with the queen’s son.

But Tomyris, after losing so great an army, and, what she still more lamented, her only son, did not pour forth her sorrow for her loss in tears, but turned her thoughts to the solace of revenge, and entrapped her enemies, exulting in their recent victory, by a deception and stratagem similar to their own. For, counterfeiting timidity on account of the damage which she had received, and taking to flight, she allured Cyrus into a narrow defile, where, placing an ambush on the hills, she slew two hundred thousand of the Persians with their king himself; a triumph in which this also was remarkable, that not a man to tell of such a massacre survived. The queen ordered the head of Cyrus to be cut off and thrown into a vessel full of human blood, adding this exclamation against his cruelty, “Satiate thyself with blood for which thou hast thirsted, and of which thou hast always been insatiable.” Cyrus reigned thirty years, and was a man wonderfully distinguished, not only in the beginning of his reign, but during the whole course of his life.

9 He was succeeded by his son Cambyses, who added Egypt to his father’s dominions, but, disgusted at the superstitions of the Egyptians, ordered the temples of Apis and the other gods to be demolished. He also sent an army to destroy the celebrated temple of Ammon; which army was overwhelmed with tempests and heaps of sand, and utterly annihilated. Afterwards he learned in a dream that his brother Smerdis was to be king. Alarmed at this vision, he did not scruple to add fratricide17 to sacrilege; nor was it to be expected, indeed, that he, who, in contempt of religion, had braved the gods themselves, would spare his own relations. To execute this cruel service, he selected from his confidants a man named Prexaspes, one of the Magi. But in the mean time, he himself, being severely hurt in the thigh by his sword, which had started out of its sheath,18 died of the wound, and paid the penalty whether of the fratricide which he had intended, or of the sacrilege which he had perpetrated. The Magus, receiving intelligence of this event, despatched his commission before the report of the king’s death was spread abroad, and, having killed Smerdis, to whom the kingdom belonged, set up in his room his own brother Orospastes, who closely resembled him in features and person, and, no one suspecting any imposture in the case, Orospastes was declared king instead of Smerdis. This transaction was the more easily kept secret, as, among the Persians, the person of the king is concealed from public view, under pretext of keeping his majesty inviolate. The Magi,19 to gain the favour of the people, granted a remission of the taxes, and an immunity from military service, for three years, that they might secure by indulgence and bounties the kingdom which they had gained by fraud. The imposition was first suspected by Otanes, a man of noble birth, and extremely happy in forming conjectures. He accordingly, by the aid of certain agents, inquired of his daughter, who was one of the royal concubines, whether the son of king Cyrus was now king. She replied that “she neither knew, nor could learn from any other woman, as all the females were shut up in separate apartments.” He then desired her to feel his head while he was asleep; as Cambyses had cut off both the Magus’s ears. Being then assured by his daughter that “the king was without ears,” he disclosed the affair to some of the Persian noblemen, and, having persuaded them to murder the pretended king, bound them to the commission of the deed by a solemn oath. To this conspiracy seven only were privy, who at once (lest if time were allowed for change of mind, the affair should be made public by anyone) proceeded to the palace with swords hidden under their garments. Here, having killed all that they met, they made their way to the Magi, who indeed did not want courage to defend themselves, for they drew their swords and killed two of the conspirators. They were over powered, however, by numbers. Gobryas, having seized one of them by the waist, and his companions hesitating to use their swords, lest, as the affair was transacted in the dark, they should stab him instead of the Magus, desired them to thrust the weapon into the Magus even through his body; but, as good fortune directed, the Magus was slain, and Gobryas escaped unhurt.

10 The Magi being slain, the glory of the noblemen, in having recovered the kingdom, was indeed great, but proved far greater in this, that when they came to debate about the disposal of it, they were able to act in concert. They were so equal in merit and nobility of birth, that their very equality would have rendered it hard for the people to make a selection from them. They themselves, therefore, contrived a method by which they might refer the judgment respecting them to religion20 and fortune, and agreed that, on an appointed day, they should all bring their horses early in the morning before the palace, and that he whose horse should neigh first, on the rising of the sun,21 should be king. For the Persians believe the sun to be the only god, and regard horses as sacred to the god. Among the conspirators was Darius the son of Hystaspes, to whom, when he felt anxious about his chance of the kingdom, his groom said that, “if that matter was the only obstacle to his success, there would not be the least difficulty about it.” The groom then took the horse, in the night before the appointed day, to the place agreed upon, and there let him cover a mare, thinking that from the pleasure of the leap would result what actually came to pass. On the next day, accordingly, when they were all met at the appointed hour, the horse of Darius, recognizing the place, set up a neigh from desire for the mare, and, while the other horses were silent, was the first to give a fortunate signal for his master. Such was the moderation of the other nobles, that when they heard the omen, they immediately leaped from their horses, and saluted Darius as king. The whole people too, following the judgment of their chiefs, acknowledged him as their ruler. Thus the kingdom of the Persians, recovered by the valour of seven of its noblest men, was by so easy a mode of decision conferred upon one of them. It is incredible that they should have resigned, with so much patience, their pretensions to a kingdom, for which, in order to recover it from the Magi, they had not hesitated to expose their lives. However, besides possessing gracefulness of person, and merit deserving of such an empire, Darius was related to the preceding kings; and, in the beginning of his reign, he took to wife the daughter of Cyrus, in order to strengthen his kingdom by a royal marriage, so that it might not so much seem transferred to a stranger, as to be restored to Cyrus’s family.

Some time after, when the Assyrians had revolted and seized upon Babylon, and the capture of the city proved difficult, so that the king was in great anxiety about it, Zopyrus, one of the assassins of the Magi, caused himself to be mangled with stripes, in his own house, over his whole body, and his nose, ears, and lips to be cut off, and in this condition presented himself unexpectedly before the king; when he privately informed Darius, who was astonished, and inquired the cause and author of so dire an outrage, with what object he had done it, and, having settled his plan of action for the future, set out for Babylon in the character of a deserter. There he showed the people his lacerated body; complained of the barbarity of the king, by whom, in the competition for the throne, he had been defeated, not by merit but by fortune, not by the judgment of men but by the neighing of a horse; and bade them form an opinion, from his treatment of his friends, what was to be apprehended by his enemies; exhorting them not to trust to their walls more than to their arms, and to allow him, whose resentment was fresher, to carry on the war in common with them. The nobleness and bravery of the man was known to them all: nor did they doubt of his sincerity, of which they had the wounds on his person, and the marks of his ill-usage, as proofs. He was therefore chosen general by the suffrages of all; and, having received a small body of men, and the Persians, once or twice, purposely retreating from the field, he fought some successful battles. At last he betrayed the whole army, with which he had been entrusted, to Darius. and brought the city under his power. Some time after, Darius made war upon the Scythians, as shall be related in the following book.


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1 Principio rerum.] “In the beginning of things,” i.e., as soon as there was any government at all.

2 Penes reges.] See Sallust, Cat. i. 2; Cic. Leg. 2, 11, de Off. ii. 12; Arist. Polit. i.

3 See Sall. Cat. 2; Tacit. Ann. iii. 26; Ov. Met. i. 89.

4 Justin,
ii. 3, makes Sesostris fifteen hundred years older than Ninus; but the truth is that his age and actions are equally involved in obscurity, though Usher says that he was the son of the Amenophis who perished in the Red Sea, and that, consequently, he began his reign A.M. 2513. But Reitz, on Herod. ii. 102, fixes his death in A.M. 2713, eighty-seven years before the taking of Troy. Marsham, again, in his Can. Chr. p. 22, follows Josephus (Ant. viii. 4) in placing him much later, and in making him the same with Shishak, who took Jerusalem and plundered the temple, A.M. 3013, two hundred and thirteen years after Troy was taken. Diodorus Siculus, who speaks of his actions, i. 53-58, settles nothing certain concerning his age.—Wetzel.

5 Herodotus, iv. 5, calls the first king of Scythia Targitaus.

6 Continua possessione.] His establishment of his power over the countries was immediately consequent on his subjugation of them.

7 By Diodorus, ii. 6, he is called Oxyartes. See also Plin H. N. xxx. 1 ; August. De Civ. Dei. xxi. 14.—Wetzel. Concerning the age of Zoroaster all is uncertainty; such is the difference of opinions about it. Agathias and others think that he must have lived at a later date, about the commencement of the Persian empire. See Marsham in Canon. Aegypt. ad Sec. ix.—Gronovius. It has not yet been shown that Zoroaster the king and Zoroaster the Magus were the same person.

8 See Diodorus, xi. 4; Plutarch in Amator.; Aelian. Var. Hist. vii. 1; Polyaen. Stratag. vii. “Conon apud Photium, Narr. ix. states, that Semiramis was not the wife but the daughter of Ninus or Ninyas, and says, eam ignaram cum filio concubuisse, and afterwards, re cognita, married him; after which occurrence it was lawful among the Persians for sons commisceri matribus.”—Vossius. To the concubitus cum equo Pliny alludes, H. N. viii. 64.

9 Concerning the real builder of Babylon, see Strab. xvi. init. ; Diod. Sic. ii. 17; Q. Curt. v. 1, 42; Euseb. Chron. init.; Jerome on Hos. c. xi.; Herod. i. 184.; Amm, Marcell. xxii. 20.—Lemaire.

10 Arenae vice.] Understand sand mixed with lime.—Berneccerus. But the signification of arena is not always confined to that of sand; it sometimes means earth or mud. Thus Virgil, Georg. i. 105, has male pinguis arenae; and, speaking of the Nile, says, Viridem Aegyptum nigra foecundat arena. Dübner’s edition has arenati vice, I know not on what authority.

11 Nemo.] Justin has forgotten the expeditions of Hercules and Bacchus.—Lemaire.

12 Sive fortunae ipsius sive spei suae puerum nutrire.] She hoped that the child would be restored to the regal station or fortune in which it had been born.—Lemaire.

13 This word has been received into the text instead of the old Barce (which was a city of Cyrene, into which country the arms of Cyrus had not yet penetrated), on the conjecture of Bongarsius and authority of Ctesias, who states that this city, situated near Ecbatana, was given to Croesus.—Wetzel.

14 Ex universa Graecia.] This is not true. Croesus having asked aid of the Athenians and Lacedaemonians by advice of the Delphic oracle, the Lacedaemonians were proceeding to assist him, but having heard, at the commencement of their march, of his defeat, they went back. Herod i. 53, 69, 70, 77, 82, 152.—Wetzel.

15 That is, the kingdom of Lydia, which included almost all Asia Minor. Herod. i. 28.—Wetzel.

16 Securos.] I have adopted securos from Aldus, instead of the other reading saucios, for which Freinshemius happily conjectured sopitos. Though it should be observed that Justin, xxiv. 8, has mero saucius.—Wetzel.

17 Parricidium.] See Festus in voce Parrici, and note on Sall. Cat. c. 14, Bohn’s Cl. Library.

18 Sponte evaginato.] Justin seems to think that there was something miraculous in the unsheathing of the sword. Herodotus, iii. 64, says the sword fell from the sheath by accident, the cap at the end of the sheath having dropped off; observing, however, that the occurrence took place on the spot where Cambyses had previously wounded the god Apis.

19 The rest of the Magi conspired to support the one who was made king.

20 Religioni.] To the gods, who might signify their will by omens.—Wetzel.

21 Inter solis ortum.] The old editions have ante solis ortum, but inter, which Bongarsius took from his manuscripts, agrees better with the account of Herodotus, who has H(LI/OU A)NATE/LLONTOS, and A(/MA TW|= H(LI/W| A)NI/ONTI. Inter ortum solis is equivalent to dum sol oritur.—Vorstius.


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The English translation of Justin’s Epitome was entered by David Camden (2003) from Watson’s 1853 edition. This text is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed for private and educational use, provided this original notice is kept intact. Any commercial use of this text, including print-publication and inclusion in subscription-based archives, is prohibited.

The Latin text and French translation, along with the secondary material written in French, are copyright © Marie-Pierre Arnaud-Lindet 2003, and are NOT in the public domain.

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