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Bill Thayer

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Sallust on LacusCurtius

The Texts

As almost always, I retyped the texts rather than scanning them: not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with them, an exercise which I heartily recommend. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

In the table of contents below, the items I've completely proofread are shown on blue backgrounds; any red backgrounds indicate that the proofreading is still incomplete. The header bar at the top of each webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. In either case of course, should you spot an error, please do report it.

 p. vii  Preface
to the Second Impression

The part of the Introduction dealing with the manuscripts has been re-written in the light of the new classification of Axel W. Ahlberg (Prolegomena in Sallustium, Göteborg,º 1911), which was followed by him in his Teubner text (Leipzig, 1919) and, except in some minor details, by B. Ornstein in the Budé Salluste (Paris, 1924); and the critical notes have been made to conform to that classification. Some changes have been made also in the section on the "pseudo-Sallustian" works, to which a good deal of attention has been devoted during the past decade. Finally, some errors have been corrected and a few additions made to the bibliography.

John C. Rolfe.

May 15, 1928.

 p. viii  Preface
to the First Impression

In the absence of an entirely satisfactory text of Sallust, the translator has made his own. In some points of orthography, for example in the assimilation of prepositions, he has not followed the manuscripts, but has aimed rather at uniformity.

A complete translation of Sallust was submitted, including all the fragments on the basis of Maurenbrecher's Histories, but the General Editors decided, partly from considerations of space and partly because of the slight interest of the shorter bits, that only the complete Orations and Letters should be printed. To these have been added the Pseudo-Sallustian works mentioned on p. xviii of the Introduction.

In not a few instances, perhaps oftener than a more gifted translator would have found necessary, Sallust's sententious brevity has been sacrificed to clearness.

John C. Rolfe.

October, 1920.

Latin Text English Translation

The War with Jugurtha:




The Author, the Manuscripts

John C. Rolfe, the translator of the Loeb edition, has provided an introduction, which also covers the principal manuscripts of Sallust's works.

Edition Used

The texts and English translation are those printed in the volume of the Loeb Classical Library, Sallust, first published in 1921, and last revised in 1931. The work is thus now in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the first copyright has lapsed and the second expired in 1959 without being renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been that year or the year before. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

Elsewhere Online

Rather unusually, the original Latin text of almost all of Sallust's works and a partial set of translations into various languages were already online when I joined the fray: the exception is the fragments of the Histories, the complete set of which are found in the original Latin at Attalus; and those fragments of sufficient length to form a connected text — which are the bulk of them — in both Latin and an English translation from this same volume of the Loeb Classical Library, in several successive webpages at Elfinspell.

Chapter and Section Numbering, Local Links

My own transcription, however, was an opportunity to make available a version of the text with its full complement of local links. Both chapters (large numbers) and sections (small numbers), then, mark these local links, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage. Similarly, for citation purposes, the Loeb edition pagination is indicated by local links in the sourcecode, and marked in the right margin.


The Loeb edition occasionally marks a textual difficulty or an alternative reading, and I've reproduced these notes. They don't constitute a systematic apparatus criticus, however, for which you should see one of the scholar­ly editions.

As elsewhere on my site, to streamline display of the text and simplify searches, editorial [square brackets] signifying text to be deleted are rendered in a paler color; and <angled brackets> signifying added emendations are shown in a brighter color, shown in the sourcecode as <SPAN CLASS="emend">.

[image ALT: A photograph of the sculptured bust of a stern-faced old man. It is a modern imaginative portrait of the ancient Roman historian Sallust. On this site, it serves as the icon for the works of Sallust.]

The background of the icon with which I indicate this work is the blue that I use in the Roman Gazetteer section of the site as the background for Roman monuments of the Republican period, to which our author belongs; the motif of the icon itself is based on a photo of a modern statue of Sallust — the portrait is thus purely imaginary — in front of the Austrian parliament in Vienna; for a full photo, see this page of their website.

I find myself obliged to add, since a well-known cult site out there for a long time illustrated its article on Sallust with a coin purporting to portray our author, that that coin was at best what its file name suggested, a representation of Salus, a personification of Health — and I'm not absolutely sure of that. A 4c contorniate medal has indeed been found that is said to depict Sallust, but is not what was represented in the image on that site. For a real depiction of this medal, disappointing though it is and nowhere near contemporary, see this page at WildWinds.

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Site updated: 28 Jan 13