Aulus Cremutius Cordus

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Aulus Cremutius Cordus († 25 ) was a Roman historian .

Only a few fragments have survived from his work, which dealt with the Roman civil war and the rule of Augustus . In the year 25 Sejan , the Praetorian prefect of Tiberius , forced him to commit suicide (see Tacitus , Annales , 4, 34f.).

Cordus had been accused of praising Brutus and calling Cassius the last Roman, which was taken as an insult to majesty . Seneca , on the other hand, writes that it was rather the criticism of Sejan that cost Cremutius Cordus his life. The same source (Seneca's consolation to Marcia, the daughter of Cremutius Cordus) shows that he is said to have starved himself to death.

The work, which can be assigned to senatorial historiography , was burned by the Senate's resolution. However, Marcia helped preserve some copies of her father's work during the Years of Outlaw so that it could reappear under Caligula . In addition to Seneca, the writings of Tacitus , Suetons and Cassius Dio reported by Cremutius Cordus.

The fragments are collected in The Fragments of the Roman Historians (No. 71).


  1. Seneca, dialogi 6 ( Consolatio ad Marciam)


  • Mischa Meier : The end of Cremutius Cordus and the conditions for historiography in Augustan and Tiberian times . In: Tyche 18 (2003), pp. 91-127.
  • Dylan Sailor: Writing and Empire in Tacitus . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2008, pp. 250ff.
  • Mary R. McHugh: Historiography and freedom of speech. The case of Cremutius Cordus. In: Ineke Sluiter, Ralph M. Rosen (Ed.): Free speech in classical antiquity . Brill, Leiden / Boston (Mass.) 2004, pp. 391-408.

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