Velleius was born in about 19 BC. He served in the Roman Empire under Tiberius and after leaving the army continued to work for the emperor. His book Compendium of Roman History provides a brief summary of Roman history up to the 1st century AD. The book also includes eyewitness accounts of his time in the Roman Army. Velleius died in about AD 30.

Primary Sources

(1) Velleius, Compendium of Roman History (c. AD 20)

Caesar, victorious over all his enemies, returned to Rome, and pardoned all who had borne arms against him, an act of generosity almost beyond belief. He entertained the city with the magnificent spectacle of a gladiatorial show, a sham battle of cavalry, infantry, and even mounted elephants.

(2) In his book, Roman History, Velleius described what happened when Augustus took power (c. AD 20)

The civil wars were ended after twenty years... and peace restored... power was restored to the laws, authority to the courts, and dignity to the senate... Agriculture returned to the fields, respect for religion... and new laws were passed for the general good.

(3) Velleius, Compendium of Roman History (c. AD 20)

Sulla was a man to whom, up to victory, sufficient praise can hardly be given, and for whom, after victory, no criticism can be adequate.