Ancient Roman Sources

Acts of Pilateearly fourth century ADForged documents circulated round the east of the empire by emperor Maximinus II Daia to discredit ChristianityGreek
Ammianus Marcellinusca. AD 330-95Born at Antioch. Served in the Roman army in the 350’s and 360’s. He retired to Rome and wrote a history of the years AD 96-378. The books describing AD 353-78 still survive.Latin
Anonymus Valesiififth & sixth century ADTwo unknown authors dubbed the ‘Valesii’ after the first editor of the two works, H.Valesius in 1636. Their respective works are a ‘Life of Constantine the Great’ in the fifth century, based on imperial collections of the fourth century – and a sixth century study of the years 474-526, with particular regard to Theodoric the Ostrogoth.Latin
Appianca. AD 100-170Born at Alexandria, moved to Rome ca. 125 AD. He wrote during the reign of Antoninus Pius. His works include a history of the political and military events surrounding civil war at the end of the Roman republic. He also wrote accoutns on the Roman conquests of Mediterranean lands.
Ariusca AD 260-336Probably Libyan by birth. Christian teacher at Alexandria. Founder of Arianism. Three letters and fragments of his doctrines survive.Greek
Arriansecond century ADBorn at Nicomedia. Governor of Cappadocia under emperor Hadrian. Wrote a history of Alexander the Great and a history of Alexander’s successors, works on Parthia, India, Bithynia and the Alans, a tactical manual and maritime guide to the Black Sea.Greek
Athanasius, Saintca AD 295-373Bishop of Alexandria. Wrote historical treatises and letters.Greek
Augustine, SaintAD 354-430Born at Thagaste. Bishop of Hippo Regius. His ninety two works include works on the Trinity and attacks on eight categories of heretics.Latin
Aurelius, MarcusEmperor AD 161-80. Wrote twelve books of ‘Meditations’ following the principles of stoic philosophy.Greek
Ausoniusca. AD 310-95Born at Burdigala. Consul in AD 379. Various poems and twentyfive letters.Latin
Caesar, Julius100-44 BCWrote commentaries on Gallic War 58-49 BC and the Civil War 49-48 BC). Unknown sources continued the narrative until 45 BC.Latin
Cassius, Diosecond to third centuryBorn at Nicaea.Consul in AD 205 and 229. Eighty books of Roman history from beginnings to AD 229, preserved partly in full but mainly in abbreviations.Greek
Chronographer of AD 354AD 354Unknown author of an illustrated calendar dated to AD 354.Latin
Claudiand. ca. AD 404Born at Alexandria. Various poems.Latin
Cyril, Saintd. AD 444Bishop of Alexandria. Author of twenty books refuting the pagan views of emperor Julian the Apostate.Greek AD 210Athenian sophist, statesman and commander. Wrote chronicle AD 269-70, history of Alexander’s successors, and on Gothic wars from AD 238 to Aurelian. Fragments survive.Greek
Dionysius of Halicarnassusfirst century BCGreek historian teaching at Rome. He wrote an early history of Rome.Greek
Dioscoridesfirst century ADBorn at Anazarbus. Served emperor Nero’s army as a doctor. Wrote medical work materia medicaGreek
Eudocia, Aeliad. AD 460Born at Athens. Married Theodosius II. Wrote religious poems.Greek
Eunapiusb. ca. AD 345Born at Sardis. Pagan philosopher and priest. Wrote on philosophy and history of the years AD 270-404Greek
EuricAD 466-84King of the Visigoths, who gave his name to a collection of laws, the Codex Euricianus, of which most survives.Latin
Eusebiusca. AD 260 – 340Born in Syria Palaestina. Bishop of Caesarea Maritima. His works include a history of the church and a biography of Constantine the GreatGreek
EutropiusFourth century ADCourt official under a whole series of emperors from Constantius II to Theodosius who wrote a survey of Roman history from its beginning to AD 364.Latin
FestusFourth century ADCourt official of emperor Valens who wrote a survey of Roman history from its beginning to AD 364.Latin
FlorusSecond century ADBorn in North Africa, probably a friend of Hadrian’s. Wrote a history of the wars of Augustus.Latin
Frontoca. AD 100-166Born at Cirta. Orator and tutor of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. Wrote various letters.Latin
GalenAD 129-99Born at Pergamum. Gladiators’ doctor in Asia Minor and Marcus Aurelius’ court physician. Wrote 153 works, of which those on anatomy and medicine are most influential.Greek
GerontiusAD 383 – 439Born at Rome. Died at Jerusalem. Abbot and writer of the biography of St. MelaniaGreek
Gregory, Saint, of Toursca. AD 540-94Born at Arverna, Bishop of Civitas Turonum. Wrote a history of the Franks and religious writingsLatin
Herodes Atticusca. AD 101-77Consul in AD 143 and friend of four emperors. Wrote philosophical treatises, speeches and letters.Greek
Herodianb. ca AD 180Perhaps from Syria. Minor local official. Wrote a Roman history from the death of Marcus Aurelius to the accession of Gordian III.Greek
Historia Augustafourth century ADthe famous Historia Augusta was probably written toward the end of the fourth century AD. It contains biographies of Roman emperors, as well as usurpers from AD 117-284 (the years 244-259 are missing). Much of the contents, including the name of the six authors, is ficticious.Latin
Horace65 – 8 BCBorn at Venusia. Poet.Latin
Jerome (Hieronymus), Saintca. AD 348-420Born at Stridon. Secretary to Pope Damasus. Founder of monastery at Bethlehem. Numerous writings include Ltain translation of the Bible (the Vulgate) and attacks on heresies.Latin
John Chrystostom, Saintca. AD 354-407Born at Antioch. Patriarch of Constantinople in AD 398. Wrote many treatises, commentaries and over two hundred letters.Greek
John Malalasca. AD491-578Of Syrian origin. Wrote a history from the creation to AD 563.Greek
JosephusOf Jewish origin. Fought against the Romans in the Jewish War of AD 66-70. He was taken prisoner, changed his allegiance to Rome and wrote an account of the Jewish War, including valuable description of the Roman army in action.
Julian the Apostateemperor AD 361-63. Pagan. Surviving writings include eight speeches, a satire, a comedy and eighty letters.Greek
Julianus, Salviusca. AD 100-69Jurist and legal advisor of emperor Hadrian. Wrote the ‘Digesta’, a work of ninety books, excerpts of which survive in later codes. Responsible for the revision and arrangement of the praetorian edictLatin
Justinian the GreatEastern emperor AD 527-565. Gave his name to a great collection of laws, the ‘Justinian Code’Latin
Lactantiusca. AD 240-320Born in north Africa. Summoned by Diocletian to teach rhetoric at Constantinople. Works in defence of Christianity.Latin
Leo the GreatPope from AD 440-461.Ninety-six sermons and 432 letters.Greek
Libaniusca AD 314-393Born at Antioch. Pagan professor of rhetoric. Surviving works include 64 speeches and 1600 letters.Greek
Livy59 BC- AD 17Born at Patavium (Padua). Wrote a history of Rome in 142 books (thirty five survive)Latin
LucanAD 39-65Born at Corduba. Wrote epic poem about the war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great.Latin
Malchusca. AD 500From Philadelphia in Syria. Wrote ‘Byzantiaca‘, a history of the period extending most likely from Constantine the Great to Anastatius.Greek
Nemesianuslate third century ADBorn at Carthage. PoemsLatin
Notitia DignitatumAD 395List of senior officers of state and military posts in the western and eastern empires in AD 395. It has survived only in apparently accurate copies made in the 15th centuryLatin
Olympiodorusca. AD 380 -425Born at Thebes. Pagan. Wrote history or memoirs from AD 407-25, surviving in summaries.Greek
Onesimusfourth centuryFrom Sparta. Writer of numerous rhetorical works.Greek
OrigenAD 185/6-254-5Probably born at Alexandria. Christian writer of religious works.Greek
Orosiusearly fifth centuryBorn at Bracara Augusta. Church officer, his works include a history from the divine creation AD 417, attacking paganism.Latin
Papiniand. AD 212Perhaps born in Syria. Jurist and praetorian prefect. Author of large volumes of law books, exerpts of which survive in later law codes.Latin
Paulus (Julius)early third century ADJurist and praetorian prefect. Wrote 320 books, of which excerpts survive in later law codes.Latin
Petronius ‘Arbiter’d. AD 65Courtier and minister of emperor Nero. Perhaps Consul in AD 61. Novelist.Latin
Philo Judaeus30 BC- AD 45Born at Alexandria. Jewish author of numerous theological and philosophical works and a description of his mission to Caligula in AD 39-40.Greek
Philostorgiusca. AD 368-430/40From Cappadocia. Arian. Continued the church history of Eusebius to AD 425.Greek
Philostratusb. ca. AD 170His family came from Lemnos. Member of a philosophical circle patronized by Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. Wrote biography of Apollonius of Tyana.Greek
Pliny the ElderAD 23/24-79Born at Comum. Wrote encyclopeaedic work on natural history and other sciences, art, etc. His extensive works on history and other subjects are lost.Latin
Pliny the YoungerAD 61/62-114Born at Comum. Wrote ten books of literary letters to emperor TrajanLatin
PlotinusAD 205-69/70Born at Lycopolis in upper Egypt. Died in Campania. Philosopher. Numerous Essays.Greek
Plutarchfirst/second century ADBorn at Chaeronea in Greece. Wrote during the reign of Trajan. Best known for his series on Greek and Roman politicians and generals, including Marius, Sulla, Lucullus, Caesar, Crassus, Brutus and Mark Antony.
Polybiusca. 203-120 BCGreek historian who was witness to the third Macedonian War. He was sent to Rome as a hostage and became a close friend to Scipio Aemilianus. He wrote a history of his own times and included a detailed description of the Roman army. Little of his work survives.
Procopiusca. AD 500-565Born at Caesarea Maritima. Wrote history of the wars of Justinian and about Justinian’s buildings.Greek
Propertius54/48-16 BCBorn at Asisium. Poet.Latin
Pseudo-HyginusUnknown writer, whose work (De metatione castrorum) describes various units and camps until the reforms of the 3rd century.Latin
Roman Law of the VisigothsAD 506Drawn up by the Visigothic king, Alaric II, for his Roman subjects in Gaul. Laws from the Theodosian Code and other Roman sources are included.Latin
Sallustiusfourth centuryPagan. Praetorian prefect of the Gauls AD 361-63, consul AD 363. Wrote pagan religious works and on philosophy.Greek
Scaevola, Quintus Cervidiuslater second century ADJurist and legal advisor of emperor Marcus Aurelius. Wrote extensive works, now lost.Latin
Seneca the Younger5/4 BC – AD 65Born at Corduba. Minister of Nero and author of ethical treatises, scientific writings, literary letters, tragedies and satires.Latin
Serenus Sammonicus the Elderlate second and early third century ADKilled by emperor Caracalla in AD 212. Author of Res Reconditae which was dedicated to Septimius Severus and probably Caracalla. It is lost today.Latin
Sidonius Apollinarisca. AD 430-88Born at Lugdunum. Bishop of Averna (AD469). Wrote poems and nine books of lettersLatin
Socrates Scholasticusca. AD 380-450Lawyer at Constantinople. Continued Eusebius’ church history to AD 439.Greek
Sozomenos, Salamanes Hermeiasfifth century ADLawyer at Constantinople. Wrote church history from AD 324-439Greek
Suetoniusca AD 69-130/140Probably born at Hippo Regius. Lawyer and secretary of emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Wrote biographies of the Caesars from Julius Caesar to Domitian, and of famous tutors, poets, orators and historians.Latin
Tacitus, Corneliusca AD 55 -117Probably of Gallic or north Italian origin. Consul in AD 97 and governor of Asia. Wrote chronicle of the years AD 14-96 and a biography of his father-in-law Agricola.Latin
Themistiusca. AD 317-88Born in Paphlagonia. Pagan philosopher and rhetorician. Thirty-four speeches survive.Greek
Theodoretusca. AD 393-466Born at Antioch. Bishop of Cyrrhus. Numerous works include a church history to AD 428 and other religious works.Greek
Theodosius IIAD 401-East Roman emperor AD 408-80. Gave his name to a collection of lawsLatin
Ulpiand. AD 223Born at Ryte. Jurist and praetorian prefect. Nearly 280 works are recorded.Latin
Varro116-27 BCBorn at Reate. Most famous Roman scholar. Author of numerous works.Latin
Vegetiuslate fourth century ADMilitary historian. Wrote manual of Roman military institutions (De re militari).Latin
Victor, Sextus Aureliusfourth century ADBorn in Africa. Governor of Pannonia Secunda (AD 361) and prefect of Rome (AD 389). Biographer. Wrote on lives of the emperors from Augustus to Constantius II.Latin
Virgil70-19 BCBorn ar Andes near Mantua. Died at Brundisium. Poet.Latin
Zonarastwelfth centuryCommander of the Byzantine imperial bodyguard, imperial secretary, and then monk. His works include a universal history to 1118.Greek
Zosimusca. 500Thought to have been a philosopher from Ascalon or Gaza. Greek courtier and treasury official. Pagan. Wrote a history from emperor Augustus to AD 410.Greek