Historiae Romanae

Cassius Dio

At the consecration of the shrine to Julius there were all kinds of contests, and the boys of the patricians performed the equestrian exercise called "Troy," and men of the same rank contended with chargers, with pairs, and with four-horse teams; furthermore, one Quintus Vitellius, a senator, fought as a gladiator. Wild beasts and tame animals were slain in vast numbers, among them a rhinoceros and a hippopotamus, beasts then seen for the first time in Rome. As regards the nature of the hippopotamus, it has been described by many and far more have seen it. The rhinoceros, on the other hand, is in general somewhat like an elephant, but it has also a horn on its very nose and has got its name because of this. These beasts, accordingly, were brought in, and moreover Dacians and Suebi fought in crowds with one another. The latter are Germans, the former Scythians of a sort. The Suebi, to be exact, dwell beyond the Rhine (though many people elsewhere claim their name), and the Dacians on both sides of the Ister; those of the latter, however, who live on this side of the river near the country of the Triballi are reckoned in with the district of Moesia and are called Moesians, except by those living in the immediate neighbourhood, while those on the other side are called Dacians and are either a branch of the Getae or Thracians belonging to the Dacian race that once inhabited Rhodope. Now these Dacians had before this time sent envoys to Caesar; but when they obtained none of their requests, they went over to Antony. They proved of no great assistance to him, however, owing to strife among themselves, and some who were afterwards captured were now matched against the Suebi. The whole spectacle lasted many days, as one would expect, and there was no interruption, even though Caesar fell ill, but it was carried on in his absence under the direction of others. On one of the days of this celebration the senators gave banquets in the vestibules of their several homes; but what the occasion was for their doing this, I do not know, since it is not recorded.

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from Cassius Dio: Roman History (Volume VI. Books 51-55), Loeb Classical Library Vol. 83, translated by Earnest Carey, Herbert B. Foster, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, © 1917, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.