Eutropius' "Compendium of Roman History": Introduction, translation, and notes

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts (DA)


Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Donald H. Mills


Roman history, Italy, Eutropius

Subject Categories

Classical Literature and Philology


Eutropius wrote the Breviarium ab Urbe Condita (Compendium of Roman History) at the request of the emperor Valens around A.D. 370. This brief work is a fairly accurate ten-book summary of Roman history from the founding of Rome in 753 B.C. to the death of the emperor Jovian in A.D. 364. The usefulness of this book was recognized shortly after its publication. It soon became popular not only in the original Latin, but also in Greek translation. In later times it continued to remain popular and was translated into modern languages, including English. Unfortunately, however, there is no English version of Eutropius' work currently in print. A new English translation of the Compendium is long overdue.

This translation into idiomatic English is based on Santini's edition of the Latin text (Teubner, 1979). The following aids have been included to assist the reader in understanding the translation: an introduction to the historical compendia of the fourth century A.D., notes to the translation treating mainly historical matters, maps of Italy and the Roman Empire, a select bibliography, and an index of proper names. The introduction and notes are directed primarily at beginning students of Roman history and the general reader, special attention being given to points likely to be unfamiliar to such an audience. The bibliography includes not only works Eutropius and historical compendia, but also sources for further study of Roman history and civilization. It is this writer's belief that if one studies this translation of the Compendium in conjunction with the notes, he or she cannot fail to gain a fair knowledge of Roman history.


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