Sallust's Histories and Triumviral Historiography explores the historiographical innovations of the first century Roman historian Sallust, focusing on the fragmentary Histories, an account of the turbulent years after the death of the dictator Sulla. The Histories were written during the violent transition from republic to empire, when Rome's political problems seemed insoluble and its morals hopelessly decayed. The ruling triumvirate of Octavian, Mark Antony, and Lepidus created a false sense of hope for the future, relentlessly insisting that they were bringing peace to the republic. The Histories address the challenges posed to historians by both civil war and authoritarian rule. What does it mean, Sallust asks, to write history under a regime that so skillfully manipulates or even replaces facts with a more favorable narrative? Historiography needed a new purpose to remain relevant and useful in the triumviral world. In the Histories, Sallust adopts an analogical method of historiography that enables him to confront contemporary issues under the pretext of historical narrative. The allusive Histories challenge Sallust's audience to parse and analyze history as it is being "written" by the actors themselves and to interrogate the relationship between words and deeds.
The first monograph in any language on the Histories, this book offers comprehensive reading of Sallust's third and final work, featuring discussion of a wide selection of fragments beyond the speech and letters, set-pieces that have generally been studied in isolation. It offers a valuable resource for academics and postgraduates working on ancient historiography and Latin literature more generally; it will also be of interest to ancient historians working on the late Roman Republic. With English translations of all Greek and Latin passages, this book will also be useful for undergraduate and graduate courses on historiography, Latin literature, and Roman history.