Timothy J. Cornell (ed.), The Fragments of the Roman Historians, Vol. 3

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pg 51853Q. Dellius


F1 Dellius was restored here by Casaubon, but the restoration seems certain. The passage refers to Antony's campaigning in Parthia in 36 bc.

The capital was Gazaca in the central plain (cf. Asinius Quadratus 102 F21), and the castle Phraaspa (Dio 49. 26; Plut. Ant. 38) or Vera as here.

The onset of winter compelled Antony to raise the siege after having achieved little. For the campaign see Plut. Ant. 37–51; Dio 49.24–32; Livy per. 130; Strabo 524, 654; Vell. 2.82.1–3; Frontin. Str. 2.3.15; Flor. 2.20; Justin 42.5.3; Eutrop. 7.6; uit. ill. 85.4; Oros. 6.19.1; Zon. 10.26. As noted in the introduction, Dellius' first-hand account is likely to have informed much of the surviving tradition.

The detail that the river Araxes forms the boundary between Media Atropatene and Armenia is also found at Plut. Ant. 49.3, which may indicate the (direct or indirect) use of Dellius. This was the moment when Antony's soldiers reached Armenia, and thus completed the dreadful march back from Parthia. Plutarch says (49.4) that they rejoiced as if they had caught sight of land from the sea, a Xenophontic reference recalling Antony's frequent invocations of the Ten Thousand (45.6), all of which Jacoby tentatively attributed to Dellius (FGrHist IIB Kommentar, 625). Pelling, on the other hand, argues that they are the product of Plutarch's own elaborations (JHS 99 (1979), 88=Plutarch and History, 15).

F2 Undoubtedly a genuine fragment, this passage must demonstrate that Dellius' work covered not just the Parthian campaign but moved on to later times, and gave an account of his own defection. Jacoby however printed it as a doubtful fragment ('zweifelhaftes'), suggesting that Dellius wrote separately of events after the Parthian campaign in a work of unknown nature.

The explanation that Sarmentus was one of Octavian's favourites, of the kind Romans call deliciae, is clearly Plutarch's own gloss, but one that suggests that the word deliciae had occurred in Dellius' text. If so, it would confirm that Dellius wrote in Latin.

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