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On Great Generals. On Historians

On Great Generals. On Historians

Cornelius Nepos

Translated by J. C. Rolfe

ISBN 9780674995147

Publication date: 01/01/1929

Roman biographies of foreign commanders.

Cornelius Nepos was born in Cisalpine Gaul but lived in Rome and was a friend of Cicero, Atticus, and Catullus. Most of his writings, which included poems, moral examples from history, a chronological sketch of general history, a geographical work, Lives of Cato the Elder and Cicero, and other biographies, are lost. Extant is a portion of his De viris illustribus: (i) part of his parallel Lives of Roman and non-Roman famous men, namely the portion containing Lives of non-Roman generals (all Greeks except three) and a chapter on kings; and (ii) two Lives from the class of historians. The Lives are short popular biographies of various kinds, written in a usually plain readable style, of value today because of Nepos’ use of many good sources.


  • John Carew Rolfe (1859–1943) taught at Cornell, Harvard, and the Universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Book Details

  • 368 pages
  • 0-7/8 x 4-1/4 x 6-3/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press