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(Caius Sallustius Crispus) (săl`əst), 86 B.C.–c.34 B.C., Roman historian. He was tribune of the people (52 B.C.) and praetor (46). He was ejected (50) from the senate ostensibly for adultery, but more probably because of his partisanship for Caesar. He served with Caesar after his praetorship and was his governor in Numidia; he was subsequently accused of misusing his governorship for personal gain. His principal works are the Bellum Catilinae, on the conspiracy of CatilineCatiline
(Lucius Sergius Catilina) , c.108 B.C.–62 B.C., Roman politician and conspirator. At first a conservative and a partisan of Sulla, he was praetor in 68 B.C. and governor of Africa in 67 B.C.
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 and his account of the Jugurthine War, Bellum Jugurthinum. His history of Rome is extant only in fragments; it probably covered the period 78 B.C. to 67 B.C. There are also two letters, in rhetorical style, from Sallust to Caesar, the authenticity of which has been greatly disputed. As a historian Sallust was important as one of the first to write historical monographs dealing with sharply limited events and periods. Although his style is consciously archaic, it is distinguished by its terseness and directness. His character sketches are particularly impressive and vivid, and his work has found as many imitators as critics.


See studies by D. C. Earl (1961) and R. Syme (1964); bibliography by A. D. Leeman (rev. ed. 1965).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Gaius Sallustius Crispus). Born 86 B.C.; died circa 35 B.C. Roman historian.

In the civil wars of 49–45 B.C., Sallust sided with Julius Caesar; he subsequently became proconsul of the Roman province of Africa Nova. After Caesar’s death in 44 B.C., Sallust devoted himself to literature. His surviving works include his letters to Caesar (c. 50 B.C. and 46 B.C.), which contain proposals for reform of the state, and two short works, De coniuratione Catilinae (c. 43 B.C. or 41 B.C.) and Bellum Jugurthinum (c. 41 B.C. or 39–36 B.C.). Sallust’s last work—the Historiae, written in five books in the years 36–35 B.C. and dealing with the events of 78–66 B.C.—has been preserved only in brief fragments. Sallust’s works are marked by liveliness of exposition, superbly drawn characters, and an artistic mastery of narration; they provide a vivid picture of the decline of Roman society, the moral disintegration of the nobilitas, and the Senate’s inability to govern the state.


In Russian translation:
Poln. sobr. soch. Translated and annotated by V. Rudakov. St. Petersburg, 1894.
Zagovor Katiliny: Iugurtinskaia voina. Translated by M. B. Gol’denveizer. Moscow, 1916.
“Pis’ma k Tsezariu-startsu … Fragmenty ‘Istorii.’” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1950, no. 1.


Utchenko, S. L. Ideino-politicheskaia bor’ba v Rime nakanune padeniia Respubliki. Moscow, 1952. (Contains a translation of Sallust’s letters to Caesar.)
Syme, R. Sallust. Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


full name Gaius Sallustius Crispus. 86--?34 bc, Roman historian and statesman, noted for his histories of the Catiline conspiracy and the Roman war against Jugurtha
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