Sallust in Roman Biography
Sal'lust, [Lat. Sallus'tius ; Fr. Salluste, st'liist';
It. Sali.ustio, sil-loos'te-o,] (or, more fully, Caius
Crispus,) a celebrated Roman historian, who
was born of a plebeian family at Amitemum in 86 B.C.
He was elected tribune of the people in 52 B.C., and was
expelled from the senate by the censors in 50 for alleged
immoral conduct. He was a partisan of Caesar in the
civil war. In the
year 47 he obtained the office of praetor,
and accompanied Caesar in his African campaign. He
was appointed governor of Numidia by Caesar in 46 B.C.
According to Dion Cassius, he enriched himself by the
oppression and plunder of the people of that province.
After the death of Julius Caesar he returned to Rome,
and built a sumptuous palace on the Quirinal, with
large gardens, still called Horti Sallustiani. Having
retired from public life, he devoted his latter years to
literary pursuits. He died in 34 B.C. The scandalous
charges against the character of Sallust, made by several
ancient and modem writers, may have been true, but, in
the opinion of some of the best critics, they are far from
having been established by any decisive evidence. He
was much influenced by party spirit, and probably
hated the aristocratic party more than he loved the
Sallust wrote a "
History of the Conspiracy of
Catiline," (" Bellum Catilinarium,") and a "History of
the War between the Romans and Jugurtha," (" Helium
Jugurthinum.") The speeches which he ascribes to
Cato, Cxsar, and others in his histories, though probably
expressed in the language of Sallust, give us, there
is reason to believe, the substance of what was said by
those eminent men. He also wrote a history of Rome
for the period included between 78 and 66 B.C., which
is lost. "The ancient critics," says Macaulay, "placed
Sallust in the same rank with Livy ; and unquestionably
the small portion of his works which has come down to
us is calculated to give a high opinion of his ta'ents.
But his style is not very pleasant ; and his most powerful
work, the account of the conspiracy of Catiline, has
rather the air of a clever party pamphlet than that of a
history." (Essay on History in the "Edinburgh Review,"
See Dks Brosses, "Vie de Salluste;" D. W. Moi.i.er, "De C.
Sallustio," 1684; MiJl.l.KR, "C. Sallustius, nder
etc., 1817; F. D. Geri.ach,
" Ueber den Geschichtsschreiber
C. Sallustins Crispus," 1831 ; E. C. de Gkri.achh,
" Etudes sur Salluste." etc., 1847; Bregolini, "Vita di C.
Sallustio," 1802; "Nouvelle Biographie Generate;"
Marine" for February, 1846.