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Title: The Student's Companion to Latin Authors

Author: George Middleton
        Thomas R. Mills

Release Date: March 25, 2009 [EBook #28413]

Language: English

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The Student’s Companion
to Latin Authors










Macmillan and Co., Ltd.
New York: The Macmillan Co.

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The object of this book is to give in a convenient form all the facts of importance relating to the lives and works of the principal Latin Authors, with full quotation of original authorities on all the chief points. It appears to us that these facts are not at present readily accessible; for the ordinary histories of literature are compelled to sacrifice much exact information to the demand for a critical appreciation of the authors. The latter aspect does not enter into the plan of this book, which may therefore, with advantage, be used side by side with any work of the kind indicated, the two supplementing one another. The authors have been, as far as possible, illustrated from their own works. Special attention has been paid to the great writers, as the book is meant for use in the upper forms of schools and by students at the Universities. We had collected a considerable amount of matter upon the minor authors, most of which it was thought advisable to omit, so as not to extend the book unduly. An attempt, however, has been made to retain the most important facts about these, whenever they illustrated one of the great authors, or whenever it was thought that they ought to be in the hands of a student. We have attempted no treatment of early Latin as seen in inscriptions and the like, but have started with the first literary author, Livius Andronicus, and have gone down to Tacitus and the younger Pliny, dealing with each author by himself. A section has been added on Suetonius. A sketch of the chief ancient authorities on Roman writers is given at the end of the book, as well as a selected list of editions, which, without being exhaustive, will, we hope, be of service to the average student.

Apart from our own study of the authors, our principal authority has, of course, been the History of Roman Literature by Teuffel and Schwabe (translated by Prof. G. C. W. Warr), and we have made an extensive use of editions and monographs both English and foreign, which are mentioned where necessary. Ennius has been quoted from Vahlen’s edition, Plautus from the new edition of Ritschl, the fragments of the tragedians and comedians from Ribbeck, of Lucilius from L. Müller, and of the minor poets from Bährens, the minor historians from Peter’s Fragmenta, and Suetonius’ fragmentary works from Reifferscheid.

Some of our materials were originally prepared for the Humanity classes in Aberdeen University, and the Latin Literary Club in connexion with the Honours class. We have to thank some of our pupils for help and criticism, particularly Mr. A. Souter, of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Mr. A. G. Wright, of St. John’s College, Cambridge, the latter of whom prepared the materials for the article on Tibullus, and gave us some useful suggestions. We are specially indebted to Professor W. M. Ramsay, without whom the book would not have been written. Professor Ramsay has read nearly the whole of the work as it has passed through the press, and has all along given us invaluable assistance and advice. For any errors in the following pages we are, of course, solely responsible.

Aberdeen, September, 1896.


Chapter I.—Early Poets and Prose Writers, 1

Livius Andronicus, 1; Naevius, 4; Plautus, 7; Ennius, 26; Pacuvius, 34; Caecilius Statius, 37; Terence, 39; Early Minor Authors, 52; Cato, 53; Accius, 55; Lucilius, 58; Atta and Afranius, 64; Minor Poets after Afranius, 65; Authors contemporary with Cicero’s youth, 67.

Chapter II.—The Ciceronian Age, 69

Cicero, 69; Q. Cicero, 89; Tiro, 90; Atticus, 90; Varro, 91; Laberius, 97; Bibaculus, 99; Caesar and the Corpus Caesarianum, 100; Pollio, 112; Nepos, 112; Lucretius, 119; Sallust, 125; Catullus, 132; Contemporary Poets (Cinna, Calvus, Varro Atacinus, Publilius Syrus, etc.), 140.

Chapter III.—The Augustan Age, 147

Virgil, 147; Horace, 163; Contemporary Poets, 180; Tibullus, 185; Propertius, 191; Ovid, 200; Manilius, 213; Livy, 215; Contemporaries of Livy, 223; Vitruvius, 224; Seneca the Elder, 226.

Chapter IV.—Post-Augustan Writers, 231

Velleius Paterculus, 231; Valerius Maximus, 234; Celsus, 235; Phaedrus, 237; Seneca the Younger, 240; Curtius Rufus, 256; Columella, 258; Pomponius Mela, 259; Persius, 260; Lucan, 264; Petronius, 272; Calpurnius Siculus, 275; Aetna (Lucilius Iunior), 277; Pliny the Elder, 281; Valerius Flaccus, 286; Silius Italicus, 289; Statius, 291; Martial, 295; Quintilian, 302; Frontinus, 310; Juvenal, 312; Pliny the Younger, 326; Tacitus, 336; Suetonius, 348.

Appendix A., 351

Appendix B., 356

Index of Subjects, 368

Index of Titles, 378


The authors ask me to write a word of introduction to their book; but an introduction is not needed when the book supplies a want and is trustworthy in what it says. As to the second point, the text will speak for itself. On the first, a word may be permitted about my own experience in lecturing. The young student of Latin Literature requires help in two ways. In the first place, he needs guidance in learning to recognize and appreciate the literary merit of the authors. Mr. Cruttwell’s, and, still better, Mr. Mackail’s book, will serve his purpose well. They are interesting to read, and they tempt him on to study for himself. Mr. Mackail’s book, especially, shows delicate literary feeling, and a remarkably catholic and true sense of literary merit. But, secondly, the student wants a clear statement of the facts, certain or probable, about the life of each author, the chronology of his works, and their relation to the circumstances and personages of the time. Neither of the books which I have named is satisfactory in this respect. Both of them omit a large number of facts and theories which the student ought to have before him: Mr. Cruttwell occasionally even sinks to inaccuracy.

About three years ago I suggested to Mr. Middleton that he should try to fill up this gap with a book, in which he should bring together all the information that a student should have ready to his hand in reading the more familiar classical authors, that he should keep down the size of his book by omitting all that the student does not want, and that he should set before his readers the evidence on which each fact rests, so that they might be led to form opinions and judgments of their own. Teuffel-Schwabe’s great work contains a vast deal that the ordinary student does not want; and it does not contain a certain amount which will, I believe, be found in the present book, the materials for which have been gathered from a wide range of reading.

I am convinced that much can be done to stimulate and invigorate the young student’s feeling for Latin literature by helping him to feel for himself how each author’s words spring from his life, and conversely how facts and circumstances of his life can be elicited from his words. There will always remain doubts as to the facts and dates, e.g., in Horace’s or in Catullus’ life; but any reasoned theory has its interest, and is better for the pupil than no theory. The present book will, as I hope, be found useful as an aid to that method of teaching and of study, provided that both teacher and pupil bear in mind that it is a companion to other books—not a book complete in itself.






(1) LIFE.

L. Livius Andronicus, according to the poet Accius, was taken prisoner at the capture of Tarentum by Q. Fabius Maximus in B.C. 209, and exhibited his first play in B.C. 197.

Cic. Brut. 72-3, ‘Accius a Q. Maximo quintum consule captum Tarenti scripsit Livium annis xxx. postquam eum fabulam docuisse et Atticus scribit et nos in antiquis commentariis invenimus: docuisse autem fabulam annis post xi., C. Cornelio Q. Minucio coss. ludis Iuventatis, quos Salinator Senensi proelio voverat.’

But ancient evidence is unanimous that he was the first literary writer of Rome, and this is confirmed by his archaic language. Hence the statement of Cicero ibid., that Livius produced his first play in B.C. 240, must be accepted.

‘Atque hic Livius, qui primus fabulam, C. Claudio Caeci filio et M. Tuditano coss., docuit anno ipso antequam natus est Ennius; post Romam conditam autem quarto decimo et quingentesimo ... In quo tantus error Acci fuit, ut his consulibus xl. annos natus Ennius fuerit: cui si aequalis fuerit Livius, minor fuit aliquanto is, qui primus fabulam dedit, quam ei, qui multas docuerant ante hos consules, et Plautus et Naevius.’

Cf. Cic. Tusc. i. 3, and Gell. xvii. 21, 42.

Probably Accius, finding in his authorities that Livius was taken prisoner at the capture of Tarentum (i.e. in B.C. 272), wrongly thought of the second capture by Fabius. In spite of Cicero’s correction, the error of Accius was, we may infer, reproduced by Suetonius, and thus penetrated into Jerome, who says, yr. Abr. 1830 = B.C. 187, ‘T. [an error] Livius tragoediarum scriptor clarus habetur, qui ob ingenii meritum a Livio Salinatore, cuius liberos erudiebat, libertate donatus est.’

It is probable that Livius was the slave of C. Livius Salinator, the father of the victor of Sena (M. Livius Salinator), and taught the latter; for he must have been set free before B.C. 240, and the victor of Sena could hardly have been born earlier than B.C. 258. This connexion made M. Livius Salinator when consul, B.C. 207, select Livius Andronicus to prepare a hymn of expiation to the Aventine Juno, and, probably in the same year, to compose a hymn of thanksgiving for the success of Rome in the Hannibalic War. For his services the privileges of a guild were assigned to writers and actors.

Livy xxvii. 37, ‘Decrevere pontifices ut virgines ter novenae per urbem euntes carmen canerent ... conditum ab Livio poeta ... Carmen in Iunonem reginam canentes ibant illa tempestate forsitan laudabile rudibus ingeniis, nunc abhorrens et inconditum, si referatur.’

Fest. p. 333, ‘Cum Livius Andronicus bello Punico secundo scripsisset carmen quod a virginibus est cantatum, quia prosperius res publica populi Romani geri coepta est, publice attributa est ei in Aventino aedis Minervae, in qua liceret scribis histrionibusque consistere ac dona ponere, in honorem Livi, quia is et scribebat fabulas et agebat.’

Livius had a twofold reason for writing, (a) To assist him in his profession as a schoolmaster he published a translation of the Odyssey; (b) as an actor, he wrote the plays he acted, and afterwards published them.

Sueton. Gramm. 1, ‘Livium et Ennium ... quos utraque lingua domi forisque docuisse adnotatum est.’

Livy vii. 2, 8, ‘Livius ... qui ab saturis ausus est primus argumento fabulam serere, idem scilicet, id quod omnes tum erant, suorum carminum actor.’

(2) WORKS.

1. Tragedies.—From the scanty fragments extant and from the titles (Achilles, Aegisthus, and six others are known) we see that these were close imitations of Greek plays. Thus l. 38 (Ribbeck),

‘Quem ego nefrendem alui lacteam immulgens opem,’

is, according to Conington, a rendering of Aesch. Choeph. 883-4,

μαστὸν πρὸς ᾧ σὺ πολλὰ δὴ βρίζων ἅμα
οὔλοισιν ἐξήμελξας εὐτραφὲς γάλα.

2. Comedies.—Slight fragments of three of these are extant.

3. A translation of the Odyssey in Saturnians.[1] This, though rough and incorrect, long remained a school-book. So Hor. Ep. ii. I, 69 sqq.,

‘Non equidem insector delendave carmina Livi
esse reor, memini quae plagosum mihi parvo
Orbilium dictare: sed emendata videri
pulchraque et exactis minimum distantia miror.’

For examples of translation, of. Gell, xviii. 9, 5, ‘Offendi ... librum ... Livi Andronici, qui inscriptus est Odyssea, in quo erat versus primus ...,

“Virúm mihí Caména | ínsecé versútum,”

factus ex illo Homeri versu,

Ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, Μοῦσα, πολύτροπον.’

Fragments 2 and 3,

‘Meá puer, quid vérbi | éx tuo óre súpera
        neque ením te oblítus | Lértié, sum, nóster,’

represent Od. i. 64,

τέκνον ἐμὸν, ποῖόν σε ἔπος φύγεν ἕρκος ὀδόντων;
πῶς ἂν ἔπειτ’ Ὀδυσῆος ἐγὼ θείοιο λαθοίμην;


(1) LIFE.

Cn. Naevius’ dates can only be given approximately as B.C. 269-199. As he served in the First Punic War, he cannot in any case have been born later than B.C. 257. He was a Campanian by birth.

Gell. i. 24, 2, ‘Epigramma Naevi plenum superbiae Campanae, quod testimonium esse iustum potuisset, nisi ab ipso dictum esset,

“Inmortales mortales si foret fas flere,
flerent divae Camenae Naevium poetam.
Itaque postquam est Orci traditus thesauro,
obliti sunt Romae loquier lingua Latina.”’

Naevius’ first play was produced B.C. 235; the fact that he served as a soldier shows that he was not an actor.

Gell. xvii. 21, 45, ‘Eodem anno (A.U.C. Dxix.) Cn. Naevius poeta fabulas apud populum dedit, quem M. Varro in libris de poetis primo stipendia fecisse ait bello Poenico primo, idque ipsum Naevium dicere in eo carmine, quod de eodem bello scripsit.’

In his plays he attacked the senatorial party, particularly the Metelli, and was imprisoned, but afterwards released.

Gell. iii. 3, 15, ‘Sicuti de Naevio quoque accepimus, fabulas eum in carcere duas scripsisse, Hariolum et Leontem, cum ob assiduam maledicentiam et probra in principes civitatis de Graecorum poetarum more dicta in vincula Romae a triumviris coniectus esset. Unde post a tribunis plebis exemptus est, cum in his, quas supra dixi, fabulis delicta sua et petulantias dictorum, quibus multos ante laeserat, diluisset.’

Pseud.-Asconius on Cic. in Verr. act. prior, 29. ‘Dictum facete et contumeliose in Metellos antiquum Naevii est, “Fato Metelli Romai fiunt consules,” cui tunc Metellus consul (B.C. 206) iratus versu responderat ..., “Dabunt malum Metelli Naevio poetae.”’

Cf. the contemporary reference in Plaut. Mil. 212,

‘Nam os columnatum poetae esse indaudivi barbaro,[2]
quoi bini custodes semper totis horis occubant.’

For Naevius’ freedom of speech cf. his comedies, l. 113 (Ribbeck),

‘Libera lingua loquemur ludis Liberalibus’;

l. 108 (on Scipio),

‘Etiam qui res magnas manu saepe gessit gloriose,
cuius facta viva nunc vigent, qui apud gentes solus praestat,
eum suus pater cum palliod unod ab amica abduxit.’

Naevius was banished and went to Utica, where he died, probably about B.C. 199. It must have been after peace was concluded (B.C. 202), as otherwise he could have reached Utica only by deserting to the enemy.[3] Jerome gives B.C. 201, Cicero B.C. 204, although he says Varro put the date later. The verses on Scipio quoted above could hardly have been written before the battle of Zama.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1816 = B.C. 201, ‘Naevius comicus Uticae moritur, pulsus Roma factione nobilium, ac praecipue Metelli.’

Cic. Brut. 60, ‘His consulibus (B.C. 204), ut in veteribus commentariis scriptum est, Naevius est mortuus; quamquam Varro noster, diligentissimus investigator antiquitatis, putat in hoc erratum vitamque Naevi producit longius.’

(2) WORKS.

1. Tragedies.—There are extant seven titles and a very few fragments.

2. Comedies.—There are titles of about thirty-four palliatae,[4] and upwards of one hundred and thirty lines extant.

Naevius seems to have adopted contaminatio[5] in his plays. Ter. Andr. prol. 15,

‘Id isti vituperant factum atque in eo disputant
contaminari non decere fabulas ...
qui quom hunc accusant, Naevium Plautum Ennium

3. Praetextae.—Tragedies on Roman subjects, ‘Clastidium’ and ‘Romulus.’ The praetexta was invented by Naevius.

4. Bellum Punicum, an epic poem in Saturnians, divided later into seven Books. About seventy-four lines are extant.

Sueton. Gramm. 2, ‘C. Octavius Lampadio Naevii Punicum bellum, uno volumine et continenti scriptura expositum, divisit in septem libros.’

Books i. and ii. contained the mythical origin of Rome and Carthage, Aeneas’ flight from Troy and his sojourn at the court of Dido in Carthage. In Book iii. the history of the First Punic War commenced. The work was imitated by Ennius and Virgil, sometimes closely by the latter. Cf. Servius on Aen. i. 198-207, ‘O socii,’ etc. ‘Et totus hic locus de Naevio belli Punici libro translatus est.’ Ibid. i. 273, ‘Naevius et Ennius Aeneae ex filia nepotem Romulum conditorem urbis tradunt.’

Macrob. Saturn. vi. 2, 31, ‘In principio Aeneidos tempestas describitur et Venus apud Iovem queritur.... Hic locus totus sumptus a Naevio est ex primo libro belli Punici.’


(1) LIFE.

Plautus’ full name, T. Maccius Plautus, was discovered by Ritschl in the Ambrosian (Milan) palimpsest, which gives, e.g. after the two plays named: ‘T. Macci Plauti Casina explicit’: ‘Macci Plauti Epidicus explicit.’ In Plaut. Merc. l. 6, the MS. reading Mactici was emended by Ritschl to Macci Titi; and in Asin. prol. l. 11, Maccius is the right reading. The MSS. read Maccus, which Bücheler (Rhein. Mus. 41, 12) takes to mean ‘buffoon,’ or ‘writer of comedies,’ from which Plautus took his family name, Maccius, on becoming a Roman citizen. ‘M. Accius,’ formerly supposed to be the name, is found in no MS., but ‘Accius’ is found in Epitome Festi, p. 239, which gives us the poet’s birthplace, Sarsina in Umbria, and suggests another derivation for his name: ‘Ploti appellantur, qui sunt planis pedibus, unde et poeta Accius, quia Umber Sarsinas erat, a pedum planitie initio Plotus, postea Plautus est dictus.’

In the corresponding passage of Festus, we have only ‘ poeta, quia Umber,’ etc. The name of the poet is lost, and the epitomizer has doubtless made a mistake.

Sarsina is mentioned once by Plautus, Mostell. 770,

‘Quid? Sarsinatis ecquast, si Umbram non habes?’

The year of his birth can only be conjectured; he died B.C. 184.

Cic. Brut. 60, ‘Plautus P. Claudio L. Porcio coss. mortuus est.’

Jerome erroneously assigns Plautus’ death to yr. Abr. 1817 = B.C. 200, ‘Plautus ex Umbria Sarsinas Romae moritur, qui propter annonae difficultatem ad molas manuarias pistori se locaverat; ibi quotiens ab opere vacaret, scribere fabulas et vendere sollicitius consueverat.’

From this notice, and from the passage of Gellius below, we learn that Plautus lost in foreign trade the money he had made as an assistant to scenic artists, and had to work for his living in a flour mill at Rome, during which time he wrote plays, and continued to do so afterwards.

Gell. iii. 3, 14, ‘Saturionem et Addictum et tertiam quamdam, cuius nunc mihi nomen non subpetit, in pistrino eum scripsisse, Varro et plerique alii memoriae tradiderunt cum, pecunia omni, quam in operis artificum scaenicorum pepererat, in mercatibus perdita inops Romam redisset et ob quaerendum victum ad circumagendas molas, quae “trusatiles” appellantur, operam pistori locasset.’

We conclude from these varied employments that Plautus can hardly have been less than thirty years old when he began to write plays. His intimacy with the Scipios (Cic. de Rep. iv., apud Augustin. Civ. D. ii. 9), who fell in Spain B.C. 212, leads to the conclusion that he must have been well established as an author by that date, though none of his plays can be proved to have been written so early. If we suppose that his career as a playwright commenced at thirty, and that his acquaintance with the Scipios lasted ten years, the year of his birth must have been about B.C. 254. This view is supported (1) by the notice in Cic. Brut. 73, that Plautus had produced many plays by B.C. 197; (2) by Cic. Cato maior, 50, ‘quam gaudebat ... Truculento Plautus, quam Pseudolo,’ where Plautus is said to have written these plays as senex. Now the Pseudolus was written B.C. 191; and therefore, as a man could not be called senex till he was at least sixty, his birth must have been not later than B.C. 251.

Plautus is said to have written his own epitaph.

Gell. i. 24, 3, ‘Epigramma Plauti, quod dubitassemus an Plauti foret, nisi a M. Varrone positum esset in libro de poetis primo:

“Postquam est mortem aptus Plautus, Comoedia luget,
Scaena est deserta, ac dein Risus, Ludus Iocusque,
et Numeri innumeri simul omnes conlacrimarunt.”’

(2) WORKS.

Plautus’ plays were early criticized as to their genuineness. Gell. iii. 3, 1-3, after mentioning the canons of Aelius Stilo, Sedigitus, etc., says that Varro admitted twenty-one plays which were given by all the canons, and added some more. ‘Nam praeter illas unam et viginti, quae Varronianae vocantur, quas idcirco a ceteris segregavit, quoniam dubiosae non erant, set consensu omnium Plauti esse censebantur, quasdam item alias probavit adductus filo atque facetia sermonis Plauto congruentis easque iam nominibus aliorum occupatas Plauto vindicavit.’

About one hundred and thirty plays were current under the name of Plautus; the theory of Varro (Gell. iii. 3, 10) that these were written by a certain Plautius is improbable.

Gell. iii. 3, 11, ‘Feruntur sub Plauti nomine comoediae circiter centum atque triginta.’

There is little doubt that the ‘fabulae Varronianae’ are those which have come down to us with the addition of the Vidularia, which was lost between the sixth and the eleventh centuries. The number of Varro’s second class, consisting of those pieces that stood in most of the indices and exhibited Plautine features, Ritschl has fixed at nineteen, from citations in Varro de lingua Latina. Besides the genuine plays the names of thirty-two others are known.

The extant plays[6] are as follows:

1. Amphitruo, a tragicomoedia, the only play of Plautus of the kind. Prol. 59,

‘Faciam ut conmixta sit haec tragicomoedia.’

The original and the date are unknown. The play shows the features of the Sicilian Rhinthonica.[7] About three hundred lines have been lost after Act. iv., Scene 2. The scene is Thebes, which, with Roman carelessness or ignorance, is made a harbour; cf. ll. 629 sqq.

2. Asinaria (sc. fabula), from the ᾽Οναγός of Demophilus, supposed to have been a writer of the New Comedy. Prol. 10-12,

‘Huic nomen Graece Onagost fabulae;
Demophilus scripsit, Maccius vortit barbare.
Asinariam volt esse, si per vos licet.’

Authorities assign the play to about B.C. 194. The scene is Athens.

3. Aulularia (from aulula, ‘a little pot.’)—Neither the original nor the exact time of composition is known. From Megadorus’ tirade against the luxury of women, ll. 478 sqq., it has been inferred that the play was written after the repeal of the Oppian Law in B.C. 195. The end of the play is lost. The scene is Athens.

4. Captivi, a piece without active interest (stataria), without female characters, and claiming a moral purpose; l. 1029,

‘Spectatores, ad pudicos mores facta haec fabulast.’

Some authorities think that the parasite (Ergasilus) is an addition to the original play, which may have belonged to the New Comedy. The scene is in Aetolia.

5. Curculio, so called from the name of the parasite. The Greek original is unknown; but ll. 462-86 contain a speech from the Choragus, in the style of the παράβασις of the Old Comedy. In l. 509,

‘Rogitationes plurumas propter vos populus scivit
quas vos rogatas rumpitis,’

there is probably an allusion to the Lex Sempronia de pecunia credita, B.C. 193. The scene is Epidaurus.

6. Casina, so called from a slave-girl introduced. The original was the Κληρούμενοι of Diphilus. Prol. 31,

‘Clerumenoe vocatur haec comoedia
Graece, Latine Sortientes. Deiphilus
hanc Graece scripsit.’

The inference from l. 979, ‘Nam ecastor nunc Bacchae nullae ludunt,’ that the play was written after the S.C. de Bacchanalibus in B.C. 186, is improbable; the words rather show, as Mommsen[8] believes, an anterior date, when it was not yet dangerous to speak of the Bacchanalia. Some authorities find support for the latter date in the words of the prologue, ll. 9-20 (written after the poet’s death). The text of the play has suffered greatly. The scene is Athens.

7. Cistellaria.—This play contains a reference to the war against Hannibal then going on; ll. 197 sqq.,

               ‘Bene valete, et vincite
virtute vera, quod fecistis antidhac, ...
ut vobis victi Poeni poenas sufferant.’

According to Ritschl, about 600 verses have been lost. The scene is Sicyon.

8. Epidicus.—This play is referred to in the Bacchides, ll. 213-5 (spoken by Chrysalus), where the unpopularity of the play is attributed to the acting of Pellio.

‘Non res, sed actor mihi cor odio sauciat.
Etiam Epidicum, quam ego fabulam aeque ac me ipsum amo,
nullam aeque invitus specto, si agit Pellio.’

Epid. 222,

‘Sed vestita, aurata, ornata ut lepide! ut concinne! ut nove!’ etc.,

shows that the piece was written after the repeal of the Lex Oppia Sumptuaria, B.C. 195. The plot is complicated, and contaminatio is assumed by some authorities. The play contains only seven hundred and thirty-three lines, and some believe it to be a stage edition. The scene is Athens.

9. Bacchides.—The first part of this play, along with the last part of the Aulularia,[9] has been lost, as also the prefaces of the grammarians, so that we do not know what was in the first part. The original was probably Menander’s Δὶς ἐξαπατῶν. Plautus appears to refer to this twice, l. 1090,

‘Perii: pudet. Hocine me aetatis ludos bis factum esse indigne’;

l. 1128,

‘Pol hodie altera iam bis detonsa certost.’

The line, ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν, ἀποθνῄσκει νέος, which belongs to the same play (Stobaeus, Serm. 120, 8) is translated in ll. 816-7,

   ‘quem di diligunt
adulescens moritur.’

The date is pretty well fixed by l. 1073,

‘Quod non triumpho: pervolgatumst, nil moror.’

Now, triumphs were not frequent till after the Second Punic War, and were especially frequent from B.C. 197 to 187. The play probably refers to the four triumphs of B.C. 189, and may have been brought out in that or the following year. The scene is Athens.

10. Mostellaria (sc. fabula, ‘a play dealing with a ghost,’ from mostellum, dim. of monstrum).—The play is quoted by Festus, p. 166, as ‘Mostellaria’; pp. 162 and 305, as ‘Phasma.’ According to Ritschl, the Φάσμα of Philemon was Plautus’ model. The reference to unguenta exotica (l. 42) points to a late date, when Asiatic luxury was growing common. The play is imitated in Ben Jonson’s Alchemist. The scene is Athens.

11. Menaechmi.—If ll. 409 sqq., ‘Syracusis ... ubi rex ... nunc Hierost,’ were written independently by Plautus, the date must be before B.C. 215; but the reference may only mean that the Greek original was composed between 275 and 215 B.C. It has been conjectured that a comedy by Posidippus (possibly called Δίδυμοι) was the original, from Athenaeus, xiv. p. 658, οὐδὲ γὰρ ἂν εὕροι τις ὑμῶν δοῦλόν τινα μάγειρον ἐν κωμῳδίᾳ πλὴν παρὰ Ποσειδίππῳ μόνῳ. Now, the Menaechmi is the only play of Plautus where a cook is a house-slave, Cylindrus being the slave of Erotium; in his other plays cooks are hired from the Forum. The scene is Epidamnus.

12. Miles Gloriosus.—In ll. 211-2 (the only personal allusion in Plautus),

‘Nam os columnatum poetae esse indaudivi barbaro,
quoi bini custodes semper totis horis occubant,’

we have a reference to the imprisonment of Naevius, which shows that the play was written before his banishment, probably B.C. 206-5 (see under ‘Naevius’). Line 1016, ‘Cedo signum, si harum Baccharum es,’ shows that the play is anterior to B.C. 186.

The original is the Ἀλαζών of some Greek poet. Cf. ll. 86-7,

‘Alazon Graece huic nomen est comoediae:
id nos Latine gloriosum dicimus.’

The play, however, exhibits contaminatio. Two distinct actions, the cheating of Sceledrus (Act i.) and the cheating of the Miles (Acts ii. and iii.), are united rather loosely; and it has been conjectured that Menander’s Κόλαξ, or (according to Ritschl) Diphilus’ Αἱρησιτείχης, was the play used. Ritschl’s view is perhaps supported by the word urbicape in l. 1055. The play is the longest palliata preserved. The scene is Ephesus.

13. Mercator.—The original is Philemon’s Ἔμπορος; ll. 5-6,

‘Graece haec vocatur Emporos Philemonis;
eadem Latine Mercator Macci Titi.’

Some light is thrown on the date by ll. 524-6.

L. Ovem tibi eccillam dabo, natam annos sexaginta,
peculiarem. P. Mei senex, tam vetulam? L. Generis Graeci est.
Eam sei curabeis, perbonast; tondetur nimium scite.’

This could not have been written before B.C. 196, the date of the settlement of Greece. The play shows traces of two distinct editions. The scene is Athens.

14. Pseudolus.—The Greek original is unknown. The date of production (B.C. 191) is got from the didascalia, as restored by Ritschl, ‘M. Iunio M. fil. pr. urb. acta Megalesiis.’ The Megalesian games were held in that year in honour of the dedication of the temple which had been vowed to Cybele, B.C. 204 (Livy, xxxvi. 36). ‘Pseudolus’ = Ψευδύλος, but is connected by popular etymology with dolus. Cf. the puns in l. 1205,

‘Edepol hominem verberonem Pseudolum, ut docte dolum

l. 1244,

‘Superavit dolum Troianum atque Ulixem Pseudolus.’

Several references to the play are found in Cicero: Cato Maior, 50 (quoted p. 9); Phil. ii. 15; pro Rosc. Com. 20. The scene is Athens.

15. Poenulus.—The original was a Greek play, Καρχηδόνιος, the author of which is unknown, as the fragments of Menander’s Καρχηδόνιος do not fit in with Plautus’ play. The play was called by Plautus ‘Patruus,’ but posterity went back to the older name ‘Poenulus.’ Prol. 53,

‘Carchedonius vocatur haec comoedia
Graece, Latine Patruus Pultiphagonidae.’[10]

Authorities assign the play to B.C. 189. The play is considerably interpolated, one ending being at l. 1371, another at l. 1422, whence some authorities have considered ll. 1372-1422 as spurious. Ritschl thinks that the two endings are about the same age, and compares the double ending of the Andria of Terence. The play is noted for the two Carthaginian renderings of the soliloquy of Hanno, ll. 930-9, and ll. 940-9. The scene is Calydon in Aetolia.

16. Persa.—This play, the original of which is unknown, has been variously assigned to 197 and 186 B.C. The play shows traces of two distinct editions. The scene is Athens.

17. Rudens.—This play has been assigned to about B.C. 192. The original is by Diphilus; and the scene is Cyrene. Prol., 1. 32,

‘Primumdum huic esse nomen urbi Diphilus
Cyrenas voluit.’

18. Stichus, performed B.C. 200 ludis plebeis, as we learn from the didascalia, ‘Graeca Adelphoe Menandru acta ludis plebeis Cn. Baebio C. Terentio aed. pl. ... C. Sulpicio C. Aurelio coss.’ This cannot be the Adelphi imitated by Terence, the fragments of which do not bear the least resemblance to the Stichus. It may be a second Adelphi by Menander. Others read ‘Philadelphoe’ in the above didascalia. Part of the play has been lost, and it shows traces of two distinct editions. The scene is Athens.

19. Trinummus.—The original was Philemon’s Θησαυρός, as seen from the didascalia, ‘Graeca Thensaurus Philemonis acta ludis Megalensibus.’ Some indication of the date is got from l. 990,

‘Vapulabis meo arbitratud et novorum aedilium.’

The only festival that would suit the term novi aediles is the ludi Megalenses[11] as from B.C. 266 to 153 the new magistrates entered on office on the Ides of March. This festival was not of a scenic character till B.C. 194, consequently the Trinummus must be after that date. The mention of Syrian slaves in l. 542 also makes it probable that this is one of the latest works of Plautus. The scene is Athens.

20. Truculentus.—The original is unknown. The play was written in Plautus’ old age, probably about B.C. 189. The text has suffered greatly. The scene is Athens.

21. Vidularia.—Only fragments are extant. It is thought to have been modelled on a play called Σχεδία by Menander.

Argumenta.—These are in senarii, and give a summary of each play. Two sets are found. The first set are acrostic, and are extant for all the plays except the Vidularia and the Bacchides. The second series was probably written by Sulpicius Apollinaris in the second century A.D. There are only five of them extant in the MSS., and fragments of other two.

Prologues.—These (which were usual in the Old and the New Comedy) gave the name of the piece and the author, the original and its author, the scene of the play, and a partial list of characters. In the Prologue also the poet often asked the favour of the audience. Prologues to fourteen plays are extant. The part of the prologue Plautus (like the New Comedy) assigned either to a god, as in the Rudens to Arcturus, or to one of the characters, as in the Mercator to a youth (cf. Mil. and Amph.), or to an actor addressing the audience in the name of the poet, as in the Truculentus. All the prologues have suffered from interpolation, but those of Amph., Merc., Rud., and Trin., and the second parts of those of Mil. and Aul., are founded on what Plautus wrote. The prologues in Cas., Poen., and Capt., are due to later hands. That the prologues are interpolated is shown by their diction; the wit is often poor, and the language un-Plautine, or imitated closely from Plautus’ genuine works. The prologues in their present form probably date from a period shortly after that in which Terence flourished, when there was a want of new plays, and people went back to Plautus. This is shown by the references to fixed seats for the spectators (Poen. 15, Amph. 65, and Capt. 11), which were forbidden by a S.C. passed in B.C. 154, when Cassius Longinus began to build a theatre of stone—a law that was not repealed till some years later. Cf. Capt. 11,

‘Negat hercle ille ultimis accensus. Cedito:
si non ubi sedeas locus est, est ubi ambules.’

The Acts.—The plays of Plautus probably went on with few breaks, during which the audience were entertained with music. Cf. Pseud. 573,

‘Tibicen vos interea hic delectaverit.’

Diverbium and Canticum.—There was no chorus in Roman comedy, but part of the play was set to music and sung to the flute. Some MSS. denote this by C (Canticum); while DV (usually placed only over iambic senarii) denotes dialogue or soliloquy (Diverbium). Iambic senarii were spoken; other metres were sung; but the scenes in septenarii stood midway between the dialogue and the canticum. Only about a fourth of Plautus’ verses are in iambic senarii, while in Terence, who followed Menander in this respect, about half of the verses are in this form.

The Characters.—These, with the occasional exception of slaves, are un-Roman, and exhibit Greek traits belonging to Athens of the time of the New Comedy. Plautus, unlike Terence, usually alters the names used in the original Greek plays, and substitutes ‘tell-tale names’; so Parmeno (παραμένων), ‘the faithful slave’; Polemo, ‘the soldier’; Misargyrides, playfully for the tarpessita (banker). The names are often of Latin derivation; thus Saturio, in Pers.; Peniculus, in Menaech.; Curculio, in Curc.

The Language of Plautus, in spite of the Greek dress his plays assume, represents essentially the conversational language of his time. Many Greek features in language are, however, retained. For words kept in the original Greek cf. παῦσαι, οἴχεται, εὖγε, πάλιν, ἐπιθήκην (all in the Trin.); for Greek words Latinized cf. gynaeceum, parasitus, opsonium, dapsilis (= δαψιλής); for hybrid new formations based on Greek cf. thensaurarius, plagipatidae, opsonari, pultiphagus.

References to manners and customs.—(a) Many references to Greek life are retained from the original, especially in matters relating to dress, art, and money (Plautus has no reference to Roman money). Such are chlamys, petasus, pallium, cyathus, cantharus, thermopolium, cerussa, melinum (pigmentum), gynaeceum, balineae, ambulacrum, porticus, fores Samiae (Menaech. 178), nummus (= drachma or didrachma), nummi Philippei, mina, tarpessita, symbolus, epistula. Cf. also Pseud. 146-7,

‘Ut ne peristromata quidem aeque picta sint Campanica,
neque Alexandrina beluata tonsilia tappetia.’

(b) There are, however, innumerable references to Roman public life and manners and customs, even in passages manifestly close to the original, although references to public events are rare.

1. Military expressions.—These, many of which are used metaphorically, were well adapted for an audience most of whom had seen service. The following are from the Miles: legiones, imperator, peditastelli, rogare, latrocinari, stipendium, conscribere, contubernales, eques, pedes, machinas parare. Cf. also Pseud. 148,

‘Dederamque suas provincias’;

Pseud. 572,

‘Dum concenturio in corde sycophantias’;

Bacch. 709,

‘De ducentis nummis primum intendam ballistam in senem:
ea ballista si pervortam turrim et propugnacula,
recta porta invadam extemplo in oppidum antiquom et vetus.’

All references, however, to the enrolment of mercenaries (latrones) are probably Greek and belong to the original play.

2. Political expressions.—(a) Names of officials, etc. So tresviri, quaestor, aedilis, praetor, senatus. Cf. Trin. 879,

‘Census quom sum iuratori recte rationem dedi’;

Pseud. 1232,

‘Centuriata habuit capitis comitia.’

(b) Law. So advocatus (Mil. 663), festuca (Mil. 961), lege agito (Mil. 453). Cf. Menaech. 571-95 (on patrons and clients); Trin. 500-4, where Roman terms of stipulatio are used.

3. Festivals and localities.—References to these are rarer. Examples are: Mil. 691,

‘Da, mi vir, Calendis meam qui matrem moenerem’;

Trin. 545,

‘Campans genus’;

Trin. 609,

‘Tam modo, inquit Praenestinus.’

Mil. 359,

‘Credo ego istoc exemplo tibi esse pereundum extra portam’;

a reference to the Esquiline gate, outside which slaves were executed.

4. Private life.—These references are mostly to the lower classes, especially slaves, with whom Plautus was very familiar. Hence words referring to household duties, as promus, suppromus, cella, cellarius, verna, pulmentum (from Mil.) To their patois also belong phrases for cheating, like emungere, intervortere, sarcinam imponere, ducere, ductare, circumducere, and the very large number of words relating to punishment, as: furcifer, verbero, supplicium virgarum, varius virgis, talos frangere, crux, verberea statua (Pseud. 911); gymnasium flagri (Asin. 297). Cf. also Epid. 17,

‘Quid ais? perpetuen valuisti?—Varie.’

From slave life come also terms of abuse like volturius, scelus, odium populi, mers mala, lapis, saxum. Note that cruelty in the treatment of slaves is peculiarly Roman; but their familiarity with their masters and their general situation are from Greek life.

Prosody.[12]—Plautine prosody, which reflected the variation of quantity found in the popular speech, was not properly understood even in Cicero’s time.

Cf. Cic. Or. 184, ‘Comicorum senarii propter similitudinem sermonis sic saepe sunt abiecti ut non numquam vix in eis numerus et versus intellegi possit.’

The chief points are as follows:

1. Final -s is often lost. Rud. 103,

‘Patér, salveto, ambóque adeo. Et tu sálvŏs sis’;

Most. 1124,

‘Quóque modo dominum ádvenientem sérvos ludificátŭs sit.’

2. A mute followed by a liquid does not make the preceding vowel long. Thus agris, libros, duplex, are iambi.

3. Iambic words may become pyrrhics, on account of the stress accent on the first syllable. So dŏmī and căvē have the last syllable short.[13] Trin. 868,

‘Fórĭs pultabo. Ad nóstras aedis híc quidem habet rectám viam’;

Stich. 99,

‘Bónăs ut aequomst fácere facitis, quóm tamen absentís viros.’

4. The stress accent sometimes causes final syllables to be dropped, and so to have no effect on quantity, as in enim, apud, quidem, parum, soror, caput, amant, habent, etc. Trin. 77,

‘Qui in méntem venĭt tibi ístaec dicta dícere?’

Stich. 18 (anapaestic),

‘Haec rés vitae me, sórŏr, saturant.’

No shortening, however, takes place when the accent goes back to the antepenult (cf. continē), nor in words like aetas, mores, where the first syllable is long, nor even in abi, tene, tace, and the like, when the chief accent is weakened, i.e., where these words are pronounced slowly and emphatically (especially before a pause). Asin. 543,

‘Intro abī: nam té quidem edepol níhil est inpudéntius.’

5. This influence of the chief accent affects also combinations of two monosyllabic words which make an iambus, and combinations like ego illi, age ergo, in which the second syllable of the second word is elided. Trin. 354,

‘Is ĕst inmunis, quoí nihil est qui múnus fungatúr suom’;

Trin. 133,

‘Non égo ĭlli argentum rédderem? Non rédderes’;

Stich. 237,

‘Adíbo ad hominem. Quís haĕc est quae advorsúm venit?’

6. The chief accent could also affect a preceding syllable. In polysyllables or polysyllabic combinations, when the chief accent was on the third syllable, the second syllable, if long, could be shortened, provided the first syllable were short. Trin. 456,

‘Ferĕntárium esse amícum inventum intéllego’;

Stich. 59,

‘Néc volŭntate id fácere meminit,’ etc.;

Stich. 179,

‘Per ănnónam caram díxit me natúm pater.’

7. The following common words have to be separately considered, ille, iste, unde, inde, nempe. In the last three the liquid was practically dropped; iste was pronounced as ste; and in ille only one l was heard, cf. ellum, ellam (en-illum = en-ilum = en-lum = ellum). Frustra is a trochee, as in Menaech. 692 (at the end of a line), frústră sis; and the first i of fieri is long. Cf. Trin. 532,

’Si in ópserendo possint interfīeri.’

8. An original long vowel is sometimes kept when later authors have it short. Examples are, es (from esse), final -or, as exertitor, fateor, ecastor; verbal endings, as eris, eget, sit, det, fuat, velit.

9. Synizesis. Deus, meus, tuos, suos (nom.), eius, ei, eum, quoius, quoi, huius, huic, rei, etc., may be monosyllables; deorum, meorum, duorum, fuisti, etc., may be dissyllables; diutius, exeundum, etc., may be trisyllables. Other examples are proin, proinde, praeoptare, dehortor, aibam, quator.

10. Hiatus. This occurs, though not frequently, (a) at the natural division of the metre. Menaech. 219,

‘Spórtulam cape átque argentum. | éccos treis nummós habes.’

(b) At the natural break in the sense, especially with change of speakers. Trin. 432,

PH. ‘Tempúst adeundi.’ LE. ‘Éstne hic Philto qui ádvenit?’

The hiatus is commonest in monosyllabic words, or words ending in a short syllable followed by m, making the first syllable of an arsis resolved into two shorts. Trin. 433,

‘Is hérclest ipsus. Édepol ne ego istúm velim’;

Trin. 305,

‘Quí homo cum animo inde áb ineunte aetáte depugnát suo.’

Views on Plautus.—For Cicero’s high opinion of Plautus cf. de Off. i. 104, ‘Duplex omnino est iocandi genus: unum inliberale petulans, flagitiosum obscaenum, alterum elegans urbanum, ingeniosum facetum. Quo genere non modo Plautus noster et Atticorum antiqua comoedia, sed etiam philosophorum Socraticorum libri referti sunt.’

Horace’s unfavourable judgment is well known.

Ep. ii, 1, 170,

        ‘Adspice Plautus
quo pacto partis tutetur amantis ephebi,
ut patris attenti, lenonis ut insidiosi,
quantus sit Dossenus edacibus in parasitis,
quam non adstricto percurrat pulpita socco.
Gestit enim nummum in loculos demittere, post hoc
securus cadat an recto stet fabula talo.’

Cf. A.P. 270-4. Cf. also Quint. x. 1, 99, ‘In comoedia maxime claudicamus, licet Varro Musas, Aelii Stilonis sententia, Plautino dicat sermone locuturas fuisse, si Latine loqui vellent.’


(1) LIFE.

Q. Ennius was born B.C. 239 at Rudiae in Calabria (about nineteen miles south of Brundisium).

Gell. xvii. 21, 43, ‘Consoles secuntur Q. Valerius et C. Mamilius, quibus natum esse Q. Ennium poetam M. Varro in primo de poetis libro scripsit eumque, cum septimum et sexagesimum annum haberet, duodecimum annalem scripsisse, idque ipsum Ennium in eodem libro dicere.’ (Cf. Cic. Tusc. i. 3.) Enn. Ann. l. 440,

‘Nos sumus Romani qui fuimus ante Rudini.’

Servius, in Aen. vii. 691, ‘(At Messapus equom domitor): Ab hoc Ennius dicit se originem ducere.’ (Enn. Ann. xviii. fr. 6.)

Ennius knew Greek, Latin, and Oscan. Latin he may have known as a boy, since the colony of Brundisium was founded B.C. 244; the use of Greek had been widely spread in South Italy through the influence of the Greek colonies.[15]

Gell. xvii. 17, 1, ‘Q. Ennius tria corda habere sese dicebat, quod loqui Graece et Osce et Latine sciret.’

Ennius came to Sardinia during the Second Punic War, probably with other Calabrian auxiliaries, but in what year is doubtful. Silius Italicus xii. 387 sqq., says he was centurion B.C. 215, and distinguished himself greatly; but his account is quite untrustworthy. In Sardinia he made the acquaintance of M. Porcius Cato, then quaestor, who induced him to come to Rome B.C. 204.

Nep. Cato, i. 4, ‘Praetor (B.C. 198) provinciam obtinuit Sardiniam, ex qua, quaestor superiore tempore ex Africa decedens, Q. Ennium poetam deduxerat.’

The poet’s Graecizing influence seems to have led afterwards to hostility between him and his patron, but in spite of this, Ennius appears to have cherished warm feelings towards Cato, and praised his exploits in the Annals.

Cic. Tusc. i. 3, ‘Oratio Catonis, in qua obiecit ut probrum M. Nobiliori quod is in provinciam poetas duxisset. Duxerat autem consul ille in Aetoliam, ut scimus, Ennium.’

Cic. pro Arch. 22, ‘In caelum huius proavus Cato tollitur: magnus honos populi Romani rebus adiungitur.’

So far as is known, Ennius was at Rome B.C. 204-189. He lived plainly, and supported himself by teaching Latin and Greek.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1777 = B.C. 240, ‘Q. Ennius poeta Tarenti [an error] nascitur, qui a Catone quaestore Romam translatus habitavit in monte Aventino, parco admodum sumptu contentus, et unius ancillae ministerio.’

Sueton. Gramm. 1, ‘Livium et Ennium, quos utraque lingua domi forisque docuisse adnotatum est.’

At Rome he was on familiar terms with the elder Scipio Africanus and his brother Cornelius Nasica, and their circle.

Cic. pro Arch. 22, ‘Carus fuit Africano superiori noster Ennius; itaque etiam in sepulchro Scipionum putatur is esse constitutus ex marmore.’

A pleasant story of his relations with Nasica is given by Cic. de Or. ii. 276. Two epigrams on Scipio (Nos. 2 and 3) are extant.

In B.C. 189 Ennius accepted an invitation from M. Fulvius Nobilior to accompany him in his campaign against the Aetolians, and be a witness of his exploits. Fulvius’ victory gave the poet materials for the praetexta Ambracia, and Book xv. of the Annals.

Cic. pro Arch. 27, ‘Ille qui cum Aetolis Ennio comite bellavit Fulvius.’ Cf. Cic. Tusc. i. 3 (above).

In B.C. 184 the poet received the Roman citizenship through the son of Fulvius, Q. Nobilior. Hence ‘nos sumus Romani, qui fuimus ante Rudini’ (above). He also received a grant of land at Potentia or Pisaurum from Fulvius, who was then triumvir coloniae deducendae.

Cic. Brut. 79, ‘Q. Nobiliorem M. f. ..., qui etiam Q. Ennium, qui cum patre eius in Aetolia militaverat, civitate donavit, cum triumvir coloniam deduxisset.’

Ennius probably spent the greater part of his days, after returning from the Aetolian war, at Rome; and during this period he was on intimate terms with the comic poet Caecilius Statius (see p. 37). He was often in indifferent circumstances, in spite of the grant of land he had received. Ennius died of gout B.C. 169.

Cic. Cato Maior, 14, ‘Annos septuaginta natus—tot enim vixit Ennius—ita ferebat duo quae maxima putantur onera, paupertatem et senectutem, ut eis paene delectari videretur.’

Cic. Brut. 78, ‘Hoc [C. Sulpicio Gallo] praetore ludos Apollini faciente, cum Thyesten fabulam docuisset, Q. Marcio Cn. Servilio coss. (B.C. 169) mortem obiit Ennius.’

Jerome yr. Abr. 1849 = B.C. 168, ‘Ennius poeta septuagenario maior articulari morbo periit, sepultusque est in Scipionis monumento via Appia intra primum ab urbe miliarium. Quidam ossa eius Rudiam ex Ianiculo translata affirmant.’

For his gout cf. Enn. Sat. 1. 8,

‘Numquam poetor nisi si podager’;

Hor. Ep. i. 19, 7,

‘Ennius ipse pater numquam nisi potus ad arma
prosiluit dicenda.’

‘Ennius “equi fortis et victoris senectuti comparat suam”’ (Cic. Cato Maior, 14).

The lines are Ann. xviii. fr. 7,

‘Sic ut fortis equus, spatio qui saepe supremo
vicit Olimpia, nunc senio confectus quiescit.’

His epitaph (Epigr. i) is quoted by Cic. Tusc. i. 34 and 117,

‘Aspicite, o cives, senis Enni imaginis formam!
   hic vestrum panxit maxima facta patrum;
Nemo me dacrumis decoret nec funera fletu
   faxit. Cur? Volito vivus per ora virum.’

According to Aelius Stilo, Ennius has depicted his own character in Ann. vii. fr. 10, wherein he portrays Servilius Geminus, the trusty companion of a man of position (Gell. xii. 4). For Ennius’ self-appreciation cf. also his epitaph (if by himself) quoted above, and Ann. i. fr. 4,

‘Latos per populos terrasque poemata nostra
clara cluebunt.’

In philosophy Ennius was an eclectic. Cf. Trag. 1. 417,

‘Philosophari est mihi necesse, at paucis: nam omnino haut placet.
Degustandum ex ea, non in eam ingurgitandum censeo.’

His rationalism is seen in Telamo, fr. 1,

‘Ego deum genus esse semper dixi et dicam caelitum,
sed eos non curare opinor, quid agat humanum genus:
nam si curent, bene bonis sit, male malis, quod nunc abest’;

ibid., fr. 2,

‘Sed superstitiosi vates inpudentesque arioli,
aut inertes aut insani aut quibus egestas imperat,
qui sibi semitam non sapiunt, alteri monstrant viam,
quibus divitias pollicentur, ab eis drachumam ipsi petunt.’

Traces of Epicureanism are seen in Ann. i. fr. 13,

‘Terraque corpus
quae dedit ipsa capit neque dispendi facit hilum.’

Ennius also believed in the Pythagorean theory of metempsychosis, and considered that his soul had animated the body of a peacock. Ann. i. fr. 14,

‘Memini me fiere pavom.’

Persius 6, 10,

‘Cor iubet hoc Enni postquam destertuit esse
Maeonides Quintus pavone e Pythagoreo.’

Cf. also Lucr. i. 120-6.

(2) WORKS.

1. Tragedies.—Of those founded on mythology we have fragments of twenty-two, eight at least of which were borrowed from Euripides. The Auct. ad Herenn. ii. 34, quotes nine lines which are a literal translation of the beginning of the Medea. The date of the Thyestes, B.C. 169, is the only one known (Cic. Brut. 78, quoted p. 28). Besides these, Ennius probably wrote a praetexta on ‘the Rape of the Sabines’; and his Ambracia is probably a praetexta on the capture of the town by M. Fulvius Nobilior in B.C. 189 (L. Müller includes it in the Saturae).

2. Comedies.—There are very slight fragments of the Cupuncula and the Pancratiastes.

3. Saturae.—A miscellaneous collection of poems.

Porphyr. ad Hor. Sat. i. 10, 47, ‘Ennius quattuor libros saturarum reliquit.’

The reference in Hor. Sat. i. 10, 66,

‘Quam rudis et Graecis intacti carminis auctor,’

is not to Ennius, as some have supposed, but to the inventor of satura, whoever he may have been.

The Saturae include (a) Scipio, probably a short epic. It was mostly written in trochaic septenarii. (b) Epicharmus (in trochaic tetrameters), dealing with Pythagoreanism in the department of physics. (c) Euhemerus or Sacra Historia, modelled on Euhemerus’ ἱερὰ ἀναγραφή,[16] the doctrines of which were applied to the religion of Rome.

Cic. N.D. i. 119, ‘Euhemerus, quem noster et interpretatus et secutus est praeter ceteros Ennius.’

(d) Protreptica or Praecepta, containing moral maxims. (e) Hedyphagetica, ‘On Gastronomy,’ modelled on a hexameter poem by Archestratus (about B.C. 310). (f) Sota, so called from Σωτάδης, after whom the Sotadean metre has been named. The book was probably of a lascivious nature. (g) Epigrams; the chief of which are mentioned above.

4. The Annales, an epic poem in hexameters, which dealt with the history of Rome down to the beginning of the Third Macedonian War. It contained eighteen Books; there are about six hundred lines extant. The following is a sketch of the contents:

Book i., from Aeneas to the death of Romulus; ii., reigns of Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Martius; iii., the last three kings; iv.-v., the republic down to the war with Pyrrhus; vi., the war with Pyrrhus; vii., First Punic War, etc.; viii.-ix., Second Punic War; x.-xii., Second Macedonian War, Cato’s consulship; xiii.-xv., War with Antiochus, subjugation of the Aetolians; xvi.-xviii., from Istrian War to beginning of Third Macedonian War.

Ennius’ services to Latin literature lay partly in introducing the use of the hexameter and other metres from Greek in place of the old Saturnian metre. His versification is, of course, rough in comparison with that of later writers, the principal points being

(1) Harsh elisions. Ann. l. 199,

‘Hos et ego in pugna vici victusque sum ab isdem.’

(2) Quadrisyllable endings; l. 23,

‘Est locus Hesperiam quam mortales perhibebant.’

(3) Absence of caesura, or abrupt break, l. 188,

‘Bellipotentes sunt magis quam sapientipotentes’;

l. 511,

‘Cui par imber et ignis, spiritus et gravis terra.’

(4) Omission of -s in scansion, as in the last two examples.

(5) Short vowels sometimes lengthened; l. 86,

‘Omnibus cura viris uter esset induperator.’

(6) Prosaic lines (often spondaic); l. 34,

‘Olli respondit rex Albai longai’;

l. 174,

‘Cives Romani tunc facti sunt Campani.’

(7) Harsh instances of tmesis; l. 586,

‘Saxo cere comminuit brum’:

l. 605,

‘Massili portabant iuvenes ad litora tanas.’

(8) Apocope; l. 451

‘replet te laetificum gau’;

l. 561,

‘divom domus altisonum cael’;

l. 563,

‘endo suam do’ (= in suam domum).

(9) Alliteration used freely; l. 113,

‘O Tite tute Tati tibi tanta tiranne tulisti’;

l. 452,

‘At tuba terribili sonitu taratantara dixit.’

(10) Non-elision; l. 275,

‘Miscent inter sese inimicitiam agitantes.’

Influence of Ennius.—This is seen in Lucretius, and to a very great extent in Virgil. For Lucretius’ appreciation of Ennius see Lucr. i. 117-9. Cf. also Ann. l. 150,

‘Postquam lumina sis oculis bonus Ancus reliquit,’

and Lucr. iii. 1025,

‘Lumina sis oculis etiam bonus Ancus reliquit.’

Servius on Verg. Aen. viii. 630-4, says ‘Sane totus hic locus Ennianus est.’ Cf. Servius also on Aen. i. 20; xi. 608, etc. A large number of imitations are quoted by Macrobius, especially in Saturn. Book vi. Virgil modified and refined many of Ennius’ rough expressions. Thus Ann. l. 452 (above quoted), becomes, in Verg. Aen. ix. 503,

‘At tuba terribilem sonitum procul aere sonoro

Ann. l. 464,

‘irarumque effunde quadrigas’

becomes in Verg. Aen. xii. 499,

‘irarumque omnes effundit habenas.’

Views on Ennius.—A very few of these may be quoted. Lucr. i. 117-9,

‘Ennius ut noster cecinit qui primus amoeno
detulit ex Helicone perenni fronde coronam,
per gentes Italas hominum quae clara clueret.’

Cic. Opt. Gen. Or. 2, ‘Licet dicere Ennium summum epicum poetam, si cui ita videtur.’ Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 50,

‘Ennius et sapiens et fortis et alter Homerus,
ut critici dicunt, leviter curare videtur
quo promissa cadant et somnia Pythagorea.’

Propert. v. 1, 61,

‘Ennius hirsuta cingat sua dicta corona.’

Quint. x. 1, 88, ‘Ennium sicut sacros vetustate lucos adoremus, in quibus grandia et antiqua robora iam non tantam habent speciem quantam religionem.’


(1) LIFE.

M. Pacuvius, the son (not grandson as Jerome states) of Ennius’ sister, was born at Brundisium, B.C. 220, spent most of his life at Rome, and died at Tarentum shortly before B.C. 130. He was a painter as well as a poet.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1863 = B.C. 154, ‘Pacuvius Brundusinus tragoediarum scriptor clarus habetur, Ennii poetae ex filia nepos, vixitque Romae quoad picturam exercuit ac fabulas venditavit, deinde Tarentum transgressus prope nonagenarius diem obiit.’

Pliny, N.H. xxxv. 19, ‘Celebrata est in foro boario, aede Herculis, Pacuvii poetae pictura. Ennii sorore genitus hic fuit, clarioremque eam artem Romae fecit gloria scaenae.’

Cic. Brut. 229, ‘Accius isdem aedilibus ait se et Pacuvium docuisse fabulam, cum ille octoginta, ipse triginta annos natus esset.’

As Accius was born B.C. 170, Cicero’s words imply that Pacuvius was born B.C. 220, and produced plays as late as B.C. 140, while from Jerome we may conclude that he died shortly before B.C. 130. That Pacuvius was taught by his uncle Ennius is shown by Varro, Sat. Menipp. 356 (Bücheler),

‘Pacvi[17] discipulus dicor, porro is fuit Enni,
Ennius Musarum: Pompilius clueor.’

He was a member of the literary circle of Laelius. Cf. Laelius’ words in Cic. Lael. 24, ‘In hospitis et amici mei M. Pacuvi nova fabula.’ In his last years he was intimate with Accius: cf. Gell. xiii. 2, ‘Cum Pacuvius, inquiunt, grandi iam aetate et morbo corporis diutino adfectus, Tarentum ex urbe Roma concessisset, Accius tunc, haut parvo iunior, proficiscens in Asiam, cum in oppidum venisset, devertit ad Pacuvium comiterque invitatus plusculisque ab eo diebus retentus, tragoediam suam, cui Atreus nomen est, desideranti legit.’

Gell. i. 24, 4, gives Pacuvius’ epitaph, as written by himself, ‘Epigramma Pacuvii verecundissimum et purissimum, dignumque eius elegantissima gravitate:

“Adulescens, tam etsi properas, te hoc saxum rogat,
ut sese aspicias, deinde quod scriptum est legas.
Hic sunt poetae Pacuvi Marci sita
ossa. Hoc volebam nescius ne esses. Vale.”’

(2) WORKS.

1. Tragedies.—Titles of twelve are known, and over four hundred lines of fragments are extant. The Antiopa, which is the best known, was from Euripides.

Cic. de Fin. i. 4, ‘Quis enim tam inimicus paene nomini Romano est, qui Enni Medeam aut Antiopam Pacuvi spernat aut reiciat quod se eisdem Euripidis fabulis delectari dicat?’

The Niptra is from Sophocles. Cic. T.D. ii. 49, speaking of ll. 256-8 (Ribbeck), says, ‘Pacuvius melius quam Sophocles.’

Pacuvius also wrote one praetexta, Paulus, doubtless on L. Aemilius Paulus, the victor of Pydna.

2. Saturae (lost).

Sueton. p. 20 R., ‘Carmen quod ex variis poematibus constabat satura vocabatur, quale scripserunt Pacuvius et Ennius.’

Pacuvius, like Ennius, shows interest in philosophy, and attacks superstition; l. 93,

‘Mater est terra: ea parit corpus, animam aeter adiugat’;

ll. 366-75; cf. l. 372,

‘Sunt autem alii philosophi, qui contra fortunam negant
esse ullam, sed temeritate res regi omnis autumant’;

ll. 83-5,

    ‘Nam isti qui linguam avium intellegunt
plusque ex alieno iecore sapiunt quam ex suo,
magis audiendum quam auscultandum censeo.’

For Pacuvius’ stilted expressions, cf. Quint. i. 5, 67, ‘Ceterum etiam ex praepositione et duobus vocabulis dure videtur struxisse Pacuvius

“Nerei repandirostrum, incurvicervicum pecus”’ (l. 408);

Paulus, l. 5

‘Qua vix caprigeno generi gradilis gressio est.’

Some views on Pacuvius may be referred to:

Cic. de Opt. Gen. Or. 1, ‘Itaque licet dicere et Ennium summum epicum poetam et Pacuvium tragicum et Caecilium fortasse comicum.’

Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 55,

‘Ambigitur quotiens uter utro sit prior, aufert
Pacuvius docti[18] famam senis, Accius alti’;

Mart. xi. 90, 5,

‘Attonitusque legis “terrai frugiferai,”
   Accius et quidquid Pacuviusque vomunt.’

Cf. also Gell. vi. 14, 6; Cic. Brut. 258; Or. 36; Quint. x. 1, 97; Persius, 1. 76-8; Tac. Dial. 20.


(1) LIFE.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1838 = B.C. 179, ‘Statius Caecilius comoediarum scriptor clarus habetur, natione Insuber Gallus et Ennii primum contubernalis. Quidam Mediolanensem ferunt. Mortuus est anno post mortem Ennii [iii.] et iuxta eum in Ianiculo sepultus.’

iii. is an addition by Ritschl, as we know Caecilius to have been alive in B.C. 166, when Terence’s Andria was performed. Some read iv. The date of his death will then be B.C. 166 or 165. Caecilius probably came to Rome among the Insubrian prisoners of war at some time between B.C. 200 and 194. The year of his birth is unknown; he is never mentioned, like other old writers, such as Plautus and Ennius, as having lived to a great age. If he died B.C. 166, we might suppose that he was born about B.C. 219, as that would make him of military age when the Insubrian war began in B.C. 200. His name as a slave was Statius. His patron is unknown.

Gell. iv. 20, 13, ‘Statius servile nomen fuit ... Caecilius quoque ille comoediarum poeta inclutus servus fuit; et propterea nomen habuit “Statius.” Sed postea versum est quasi in cognomentum: appellatusque est Caecilius Statius.’

Elsewhere he is sometimes called merely Caecilius (as Cic. de Or. ii. 40), but never Statius alone.

(2) WORKS.

Caecilius’ works were at first unsuccessful; cf. the actor Ambivius’ words in Ter. Hec. prol. ii. 6-7,

‘In eis quas primum Caecili didici novas,
partim sum earum exactus, partim vix steti.’

Later he examined plays before they were acted, as, e.g. Terence’s Andria in B.C. 166 (see under ‘Terence,’ p. 42). This implies that he occupied a responsible and leading position in the guild of poets.

We have two hundred and ninety lines of fragments, and titles of forty-two comedies, sixteen of which correspond with those of plays by Menander. For Caecilius’ imitation of Menander see Gell. ii. 23. Cf., e.g., ‘Caecilii Plocium legebamus; hautquaquam mihi et qui aderant displicebat... Sed enim postquam in manus Menander venit, a principio statim, di boni, quantum stupere atque frigere quantumque mutare a Menandro Caecilius visus est!’

Among the views on Caecilius are:

Cic. ad Att. vii. 3, 10, ‘(Caecilius) malus auctor Latinitatis est’ (probably because he was an Insubrian).

Cic. de Opt. Gen. Or. 1, ‘fortasse summus comicus.’ Sedigitus ap. Gell. xv. 24,

‘Caecilio palmam Statio do mimico.’

Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 59,

‘(dicitur) vincere Caecilius gravitate.’

The contemporaries of Caecilius include Trabea, Atilius (‘poeta durissimus,’ Cic. ad Att. xiv. 20, 3), Aquilius (possibly the author of the Boeotia, attributed by Varro to Plautus, Gell. iii. 3, 4), Licinius Imbrex, Luscius Lanuvinus, all writers of palliatae. Our chief information about Luscius Lanuvinus is got from the prologues to Terence’s plays (in all of which, except that of the Hecyra, he is attacked), and from Donatus’ commentary on these passages. From Ter. Eun. prol. 9-13, we see that he did not tone down his originals to suit a Roman audience,

‘Idem Menandri Phasma nuper perdidit
atque in Thensauro scripsit, causam dicere
prius unde petitur, aurum qua re sit suom,
quam illic qui petit, unde is sit thensaurus sibi
aut unde in patrium monumentum pervenerit.’

Donatus ad loc., ‘Arguit Terentius quod Luscius contra consuetudinem litigantium defensionem ante accusationem induxerit.’


(1) LIFE.

Our chief source of information is Suetonius’ life of Terence, preserved by Donatus, who also makes a slight addition of his own. Jerome’s notice is also based on Suetonius.

P. Terentius Afer was born in Africa, and was brought in early life to Rome, where he was a slave of P. Terentius Lucanus, by whom he was educated and subsequently manumitted.

Sueton. vit. Ter. p. 26 R., ‘P. Terentius Afer, Karthagine natus, serviit Romae Terentio Lucano senatori, a quo ob ingenium et formam non institutus modo liberaliter, sed et mature manu missus est. Quidam captum esse existumant: quod fieri nullo modo potuisse Fenestella docet, cum inter finem secundi Punici belli et initium tertii et natus sit et mortuus.’

Terence’s cognomen probably shows that he belonged to one of the African peoples subdued by Carthage. It may be taken as certain that he was not of Punic birth, and that he was brought to Rome in the ordinary course of the slave trade.

The date of Terence’s birth is not accurately known. Sueton. ibid. p. 32, ‘Nondum quintum atque vicesimum ingressus annum ... egressus urbe est neque amplius rediit,’ which refers to his voyage to Greece in B.C. 160, would make the year of his birth to be B.C. 185. This, however, is an improbable assumption, which rests on the fact that Roman scholars attributed to him the age of his intimate friend, P. Scipio Africanus the younger. Thus Sueton. ibid. p. 27 (of Terence, Scipio, Laelius), says, ‘quamvis et Nepos aequales omnes fuisse tradat’; with which contrast ibid. ‘Fenestella ... contendens utroque maiorem natu fuisse.’ Terence must have been some years older, as his first piece, the Andria, was produced B.C. 166. A successful piece like it makes it probable that he had then passed his boyhood, and it is likely that he was born about B.C. 190. The reproach of his adversary in Heaut. Tim. prol. 23,

repente ad studium hunc se adplicasse musicum,’

means only that he had not made himself prominent by previous exercises in play-writing. Further in H.T. prol. 51-2, he describes his opponents as adulescentuli,

‘Exemplum statuite in me, ut adulescentuli
vobis placere studeant potius quam sibi.’

Terence was on intimate terms with P. Scipio Africanus and C. Laelius, who were supposed to have helped him in the composition of his plays.

Sueton. ibid. p. 30, ‘Non obscura fama est adiutum Terentium in scriptis a Laelio et Scipione: eamque ipse auxit, numquam nisi leviter se tutari conatus, ut in prologo Adelphorum (ll. 15-21),

“Nam quod isti dicunt malivoli, homines nobiles
hunc adiutare adsidueque una scribere,
quod illi maledictum vehemens esse existumant:
eam laudem hic ducit maxumam, quom illis placet
qui vobis univorsis et populo placent,
quorum opera in bello, in otio, in negotio
suo quisque tempore usust sine superbia.”

... Sciebat Laelio et Scipioni non ingratam esse hanc opinionem, quae tum magis et usque ad posteriora tempora valuit.’

Sueton. p. 31, also repeats a story that C. Laelius was the author of the lines H.T. 723 sqq.

Cf. also Cic. ad Att. vii. 3, 10, ‘Terentium, cuius fabellae propter elegantiam sermonis putabantur a C. Laelio scribi.’

Quint. x. 1, 99, ‘Licet Terentii scripta ad Scipionem Africanum referantur.’

The remark that ll. 20-1 of the above extract from the Adelph. could not refer to young men like Scipio and Laelius was made even in antiquity.

Sueton. ibid. p. 31, ‘Santra (a grammarian of the time of Augustus) Terentium existimat, si modo in scribendo adiutoribus indiguerit, non tam Scipione et Laelio uti potuisse, qui tunc adulescentuli fuerint, quam C. Sulpicio Gallo, homine docto, quo console Megalensibus ludis initium fabularum dandarum fecerit, vel Q. Fabio Labeone et M. Popillio, consulari utroque ac poeta. Ideo ipsum non iuvenes designare qui se adiuvare dicantur, sed viros quorum operam et in bello et in otio et in negotio populus sit expertus.’

In K. Dziatzko’s opinion (second edition of Phormio, p. 10, Leipzig, 1885), the expression ‘homines nobiles’ points to the literary circle of Terence, including old as well as young men, while in what follows he touches upon the general reputation of those noble families among the Roman people. There is nothing to show that Terence got more than general support and advice from his friends. That his diction reflects the conversational language of the better classes is recognized.

In B.C. 166, Terence submitted to Caecilius Statius, the examiner of plays, his first work, the Andria, which was accepted, and performed in that year.

Sueton. ibid. pp. 28-9, ‘Scripsit comoedias sex. Ex quibus primam Andriam cum aedilibus daret, iussus ante Caecilio recitare ad cenantem cum venisset, dicitur initium quidem fabulae, quod erat contemptiore vestitu, in subsellio iuxta lectulum residens legisse, post paucos vero versus invitatus ut accumberet cenasse una, dein cetera percucurrisse non sine magna Caecilii admiratione.’

From the fact of Caecilius’ not recognizing him we may conclude that Terence had as yet no connexion with the guild of poets. This fits in with H.T. prol. 23-4,

‘Repente ad studium hunc se adplicasse musicum,
amicum ingenio fretum, haud natura sua.’

Hence probably arose the hatred of other writers, referred to as isti (Andr. 15; 21); iniqui (H.T. 27); cf. also Hec. prol. ii. 38,

‘Nolite sinere per vos artem musicam
recidere ad paucos.’

As to further connexion between Caecilius and Terence, note (1) that they had a common actor Ambivius; (2) that Terence sometimes imitates Caecilius. Thus, according to Donatus, Andr. 805,

‘ut quimus, aiunt, quando ut volumus non licet’

is from Caecilius (l. 177 R.),

‘vivas ut possis quando nec quis ut velis.’

Cf. also Adelph. 985,

‘Quod prolubium? quae istaec subitast largitas?’

and Caecilius (l. 91 R.),

‘Quod prolubium, quae voluptas, quae te lactat largitas?’

Terence died B.C. 159, on his way home from Greece, where he had probably gone the year before. The place of his death is uncertain. Whatever plays he may have written while in Greece are lost.

Sueton. ibid. p. 32, ‘Post editas comoedias, nondum quintum atque vicesimum ingressus annum, causa vitandae opinionis qua videbatur aliena pro suis edere, seu percipiendi Graecorum instituta moresque quos non perinde exprimeret in scriptis, egressus urbe est neque amplius rediit.... Q. Cosconius redeuntem e Graecia perisse in mari dicit cum fabulis conversis a Menandro: ceteri mortuum esse in Arcadia sive Leucadiae tradunt, Cn. Cornelio Dolabella M. Fulvio Nobiliore coss., morbo implicatum ex dolore ac taedio amissarum sarcinarum quas in nave praemiserat, ac simul fabularum quas novas fecerat.’

Terence’s personal appearance is mentioned by Sueton. p. 33, who also states that he had property, and left a daughter who afterwards married a Roman knight. ‘Fuisse dicitur mediocri statura, gracili corpore, colore fusco. Reliquit filiam, quae post equiti Romano nupsit: item hortulos xx. iugerum via Appia ad Martis.’

(2) WORKS.

1. Andria.—The particulars of its production are given above. Of its success, Donatus in his commentary says, ‘Successu adspecta prospero hortamento poetae fuit ad alias conscribendas.’ The didascalia to the Andria is lost, but we can restore it as follows from Donatus’ information, ‘Incipit Andria Terenti. Acta ludis Megalensib. M. Fulvio M’ Glabrione aedil. curul. Egit L. Ambivius Turpio.[19] Modos fecit Flaccus Claudi. Tibis paribus tota. Graeca Menandru. Facta i. M. Marcello C. Sulpicio cos.’

The meaning of the didascalia is as follows: The piece was produced at the Megalesian games (held at the beginning of April) under the curule aediles mentioned; L. Ambivius Turpio undertook the representation; the music was composed (as in all Terence’s comedies) by Flaccus, slave of Claudius, and given throughout tibiis paribus.[20] The Greek original was by Menander; it was the first work of Terence, and the year of production was B.C. 166.

The play is adapted from Menander’s Ἀνδρία with additions from his Περινθία. Andr. prol. 13,

‘Quae convenere in Andriam ex Perinthia
fatetur transtulisse atque usum pro suis.’

The prologue dates from the first performance, though Wagner and Ribbeck have inferred from l. 5,

‘Nam in prologis scribundis operam abutitur,’

that it was written for a second representation, possibly in B.C. 164. There are two endings to the play; the shorter one is genuine, the longer spurious, and omitted in the best MSS.

2. Heauton Timorumenos is from Menander’s Ἡαυτὸν τιμωρούμενος, ‘self tormentor.’ The title is referred to in l. 146,

‘hic me exerceo,’

l. 81,

‘An quoiquamst usus homini, se ut cruciet?’

and prol. 5,

‘Ex integra Graeca integram comoediam
hodie sum acturus Heauton timorumenon.’

The play was produced at the Ludi Megalenses in B.C. 163, as is seen from the didascalia, ‘Incipit Heauton Timorumenos Terenti. Acta ludis Megalensib. L. Cornelio Lentulo L. Valerio Flacco aedilib. curulib. Egit Ambivius Turpio. Modos fecit Flaccus Claudi. Acta primum tibis inparib., deinde duabus dextris. Graeca Menandru. Facta ii. M’ Iuventio Ti. Sempronio cos.’

The play is called ‘stataria’ in prol. 36,

               ‘Date potestatem mihi
statariam agere ut liceat per silentium.’

3. Eunuchus, ‘contaminated’ from Menander’s Εὐνοῦχος and his Κόλαξ. Eun. prol. 19,

            ‘Nunc acturi sumus
Menandri Eunuchum’;

ibid. 30,

‘Colax Menandrist: in east parasitus colax
et miles gloriosus: eas se non negat
personas transtulisse in Eunuchum suam
ex Graeca: sed eas ab aliis factas prius
Latinas scisse sese, id vero pernegat.’

The didascalia shows that the piece was produced at the Ludi Megalenses in B.C. 161, and from the MSS. we may conclude that it was also acted in B.C. 146. The didascalia is, ‘Incipit Eunuchus Terenti. Acta ludis Megalensib. L. Postumio Albino L. Cornelio Merula aedilib. curulib. Egit Ambivius Turpio. Modos fecit Flaccus Claudi. Tibis duabus dextris tota. Graeca Menandru. Facta iii. M. Valerio C. Fannio cos.’

Sueton. vit. Ter. p. 29, speaks of the success of the play, ‘Eunuchus quidem his deinceps acta est meruitque pretium quantum nulla antea cuiusquam comoedia, octo milia nummum.’

4. Phormio, the fifth comedy Terence composed, and the fourth completely represented. It was first performed at the Ludi Romani, B.C. 161. The Greek original was the Ἐπιδικαζόμενος of Apollodorus of Carystus. Phorm. prol. 24,

               ‘Adporto novam
Epidicazomenon quam vocant comoediam
Graeci, Latini Phormionem nominant,
quia primas partis qui aget, is erit Phormio
parasitus, per quem res geretur maxume,’

The didascalia is, ‘Incipit Terenti Phormio. Acta ludis Romanis. L. Postumio Albino L. Cornelio Merula aedilib. curulib. Egit L. Ambivius Turpio. Modos fecit Flaccus Claudi. Tibis imparib. tota. Graeca Apollodoru Epidicazomenos. Facta iiii. C. Fannio M. Valerio cos.

From notices in the MSS. it is probable that a second representation took place in B.C. 141 at the Megalesian games.

5. Hecyra is founded on a play by Apollodorus of Carystus, doubtless called Ἡκυρά; cf. Donatus’ preface, ‘fabula Apollodori dicitur esse Graeca.’ The first attempted representation was in B.C. 165, at the Ludi Megalenses. Hec. prol. i. 1,

            ‘Hecyra quom datast
nova, ei novom intervenit vitium et calamitas,
ut neque spectari neque cognosci potuerit:
ita populus studio stupidus in funambulo
animum occuparat.’

The second (unsuccessful) representation was at the ludi funerales of Aemilius Paulus in B.C. 160. Hec. prol. ii. 38,

               ‘Refero denuo.
Primo actu placeo. Quom interea rumor venit
datum iri gladiatores, populus convolat,
tumultuantur clamant pugnant de loco:
ego interea meum non potui tutari locum.’

Cf. Phorm. prol. 31,

‘Ne simili utamur fortuna, atque usi sumus
quom per tumultum noster grex motus locost.’

The first prologue was written for the second performance; the second (spoken by the actor Ambivius) for the third performance, also in B.C. 160. The didascalia is, ‘Incipit Terenti Hecyra. Acta ludis Megalensib. S. Iulio Caesare Cn. Cornelio Dolabella aedilib. curulib. Egit L. Ambivius Turpio. Modos fecit Flaccus Claudi. Tibis paribus tota. Graeca Apollodoru. Facta v. Cn. Octavio T. Manlio cos. Relata est L. Aemelio Paulo ludis funeralib. Non est placita. Tertio relata est Q. Fulvio L. Marcio aedilib. curulib.’

6. Adelphoe is founded on Menander’s Ἀδελφοί with a scene added from Diphilus’ Συναποθνῄσκοντες. Adelph. prol. 6,

Synapothnescontes Diphili comoediast;
eam Commorientis Plautus fecit fabulam.
In Graeca adulescens est, qui lenoni eripit
meretricem in prima fabula: eum Plautus locum
reliquit integrum; eum hic locum sumpsit sibi
in Adelphos, verbum de verbo expressum extulit.’

That this was the first performance is shown by novam in l. 12. The part from Diphilus is Act ii., Scene 1. The play was produced in B.C. 160 at the ludi funerales of L. Aemilius Paulus, as shown by the didascalia, ‘Incipit Terenti Adelphoe. Acta ludis funeralib. L. Aemelio Paulo. Fecere Q. Fabius Maxumus P. Cornelius Africanus. Egit L. Ambivius Turpio. Modos fecit Flaccus Claudi. Tibis Sarranis tota. Graeca Menandru. Facta vi. M. Cornelio Cethego L. Anicio Gallo cos.’

The order given above agrees essentially with the numbers denoting the order of production, as given in the didascaliae. We must, however, assume that the first representation of the Hecyra remained unnoticed, and must give the second place (instead of the third) to the H.T., with a section of the MSS., and the third place to the Eun. with Donatus against the MSS.

Prologues.—Terence uses these as weapons against his enemies, the chief of whom was Luscius Lanuvinus (see under his name), who attacked Terence for ‘contaminatio’ and for want of spirit in his plays. Cf. H.T. prol. 17,

‘Multas contaminasse Graecas, dum facit
paucas Latinas’;

Phorm. prol. 5,

‘tenui esse oratione et scriptura levi.’

Terence justifies repeatedly his use of ‘contaminatio.’ H.T. prol. 16,

‘Nam quod rumores distulerunt malivoli,
multas contaminasse Graecas, dum facit
paucas Latinas: id esse factum hic non negat,
neque se pigere et deinde facturum autumat.
Habet bonorum exemplum, quo exemplo sibi
licere id facere quod illi fecerunt putat.’

Cf. Andria, prol. 15-21; Adelph. prol. 1-14; Eun. prol. 31-3. Luscius also attacked him for not adhering more closely to his Greek originals, in spite of the fact that, generally speaking, Terence translated closely from these. Cf. Adelph. prol. 10-11, quoted above. A piece was considered to be new if it had not previously been presented to a Roman audience. So Terence justifies his originality in Adelph. prol. 6-14, or excuses himself on the ground that he did not know that a piece had been previously used: Eun. prol. 19-34.

Representation of the plays.—Ambivius was the chief actor in all the plays. He is the speaker of the prologue of H.T. and of the second prologue of Hec. He calls himself senex, cf. H.T. prol. 1. For his popularity cf. Hec. prol. ii. 55,

‘Mea causa causam accipite et date silentium.’

The music was provided by Flaccus, slave of Claudius. The composer himself was probably the instrumentalist. Four kinds of flutes are mentioned as used by him: tibiae pares, impares, sarranae, and duae dextrae (see note p. 45). The scene of all the plays is at Athens. There is no chorus. The form of the plays is modelled closely on Greek. More than half of the verses are iambic senarii, the next commonest being troch. septen. and iamb. octon. These are used in dialogue. Trochaic octonarii are used in lyrical parts, other lyrical metres being rare, and the anapaestic metre not being used. Short lines are also found in the middle of lyrical pieces, or at the end of pieces of dialogue. Andr. 605,

‘Sed eccum video ipsum: occidi.’

Single words sometimes stand at the head of a lyrical piece, as Phorm. 485 ‘Dorio,’ which makes a line.

The different kinds of scenes are under the same conditions as in Plautus. We have (1) scenes provided with music, probably represented in MSS. by C (Canticum). (2) Scenes sung as recitative, with musical accompaniment, in MSS. denoted by M.M.C. (perhaps for ‘Modi Mutati Cantici’). (3) Scenes in senarii, without music, in MSS. denoted by DV (Diverbium). The division into scenes is very ancient; but the division into acts, though existing in the time of Terence (cf. Hec. prol. 39, ‘primo actu placeo,’), is not marked in the MSS.

Names of characters.—Terence uses only Greek names, which often suit the characters of the persons, and many of which are repeated in the different plays. Cf. Pamphilus and Glycerium, of the lovers in the Andr.; Chremes (χρέμπτομαι, ‘cough’), for an old man, in Andr., H.T., Phorm.; Crito (κρνίω, ‘judge’), for an old man, in Andr., Phorm.; Sosia (σῴζειν), for a freedman, in Andr., Hec. So names of slaves as Davus (Δᾶος, ‘Dacian’), Dromo, Geta, Syrus, all in several plays.

The arguments, consisting of twelve senarii each, were composed by C. Sulpicius Apollinaris in the second century A.D.

Prosody.—For the variations from later usage, see under ‘Plautus.’ Terence is, of course, more regular in this respect than Plautus.

Views on Terence.—To those given above the following may be added:

Gell. vi. 14, 6, ‘Exempla in Latina lingua M. Varro esse dicit ubertatis Pacuvium, gracilitatis Lucilium, mediocritatis Terentium.’[21]

Sueton. vit. Ter. p. 34, ‘Cicero in Limone hactenus laudat,

“Tu quoque, qui solus lecto sermone, Terenti,
conversum expressumque Latina voce Menandrum
in medium nobis sedatis motibus effers,
quiddam come loquens atque omnia dulcia miscens”;

item C. Caesar,

“Tu quoque, tu in summis, o dimidiate Menander,
poneris, et merito, puri sermonis amator.
Lenibus atque utinam scriptis adiuncta foret vis,
comica ut aequato virtus polleret honore
cum Graecis, neve hac despectus parte iaceres.
Unum hoc maceror ac doleo tibi desse, Terenti.”’


(a) POETS:

The poetical contemporaries of Terence were:

1. Titinius, the first writer of togatae; fifteen titles and about one hundred and eighty lines of fragments are extant. He probably began to write after Terence’s death.

2. Sextus Turpilius.—We have titles of thirteen of his palliatae, six of which are probably from Menander. He died B.C. 103, probably about eighty.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1914 = B.C. 103, ‘Turpilius comicus senex admodum Sinuessae moritur.’

3. Iuventius, Valerius, and Vatronius wrote palliatae; P. Licinius Tegula a hymn to Juno, B.C. 200 (Livy xxxi. 12); Q. Fabius Labeo (cos. B.C. 183) and M. Popillius Laenas (cos. 173) were poets.


Fabius Pictor was the earliest Roman historian: Liv. i. 44, 2, ‘scriptorum antiquissimus Fabius Pictor.’ A relative of Q. Fabius Maximus Cunctator (Plut. Fab. Max. 18), he took part in the war with the Cisalpine Gauls, B.C. 225 (Eutropius, iii. 5), and after the battle of Cannae was sent by the Senate on a mission to the oracle of Delphi (Liv. xxii. 57, 5).

Fabius wrote in Greek an account of the Second Punic War, prefixed to which was a sketch of the history of Rome from its foundation: Liv. xxii. 7, 4, ‘Fabium aequalem temporibus huiusce belli potissimum auctorem habui.’ There was also a Latin version, made either by Fabius Pictor or by a namesake (Gell. v. 4, 3).

The same subject was treated by L. Cincius Alimentus, who was praetor B.C. 210 (Liv. xxvi. 23, i), and took an active part in the war in Sicily during the next two years (Liv. xxvii. 7, 12, and throughout that Book). He was taken prisoner by Hannibal, and conversed with him: Liv. xxi. 38, 3, ‘L. Cincius Alimentus, qui captum se ab Hannibale scribit, maxime auctor moveret ...’

Both Fabius and Cincius wrote in Greek, and both gave a cursory view of the earlier history: Dion. Hal. i. 6, ῾Ρωμαίων ὅσοι τὰ παλαιὰ ἔργα τῆς πόλεως Ἑλληνικῇ διαλέκτῳ συνέγραψαν, ὧν εἰσι πρεσβύτατοι Κόϊντός τε Φάβιος καὶ Λεύκιος Κίγκιος ... τούτων δὲ τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἑκατέρος οἷς μὲν αὐτὸς ἕργοις παρεγένετο, διὰ τὴν ἐμπειρίαν ἀκριβῶς ἀνέγραψε, τὰ δὲ ἀρχαῖα τὰ μετὰ τὴν κτίσιν τῆς πόλεως γενόμενα κεφαλαιωδῶς ἐπέδραμεν.


M. Porcius Cato, the Censor (B.C. 234-149), born at Tusculum, of a yeoman stock, was one of the most prominent figures of his time. For the best account of his military and political career, including his advancement to the Consulship (B.C. 195) and Censorship (B.C. 184), and his economic and social reforms, the reader may be referred to Mommsen, R.H., vol. ii. passim.

Cato was the founder of Latin prose, and the chief opponent of the exaggerated Hellenism that was finding its way into Roman life and literature (cf. his own words quoted by Pliny, N.H. xxix. 14, ‘Quandoque ista gens suas litteras dabit, omnia corrumpet’); but even he shows traces of Greek influence. Cato is represented now only by (1) his treatise De Agri Cultura, the earliest extant work in Latin prose, which, besides giving instruction for the husbandman, deals with housekeeping, cookery, and medicine.

(2) His great work was the Origines, the earliest history in Latin prose, the contents of which are enumerated by Nepos, Cato, 3, 3, ‘Senex historias scribere instituit. Earum sunt libri vii. Primus continet res gestas regum populi Romani, secundus et tertius unde quaeque civitas orta sit Italica (ob quam rem omnes Origines videtur appellasse); in quarto autem bellum Poenicum est primum, in quinto secundum. Atque haec omnia capitulatim sunt dicta. Reliqua quoque bella pari modo persecutus est usque ad praeturam Ser. Galbae, qui diripuit Lusitanos (B.C. 151). Atque horum bellorum duces non nominavit, sed sine nominibus res notavit.[22] In eisdem exposuit quae in Italia Hispaniisque aut fierent aut viderentur admiranda: in quibus multa industria et diligentia comparet, nulla doctrina.’

An attempt has been made by A. Bormann (M. Porcii Catonis Originum Libri vii., Brandenburg 1858, p. 38) to prove that the principle of division was geographical, and that history only came in incidentally in connexion with the reduction of provinces; but as Nepos was writing to an eminent authority on antiquities, his account is likely to be right. The period between the kings and the Punic Wars was probably omitted by Cato through want of authorities.

The title Origines fails to indicate the scope of the work, which was chiefly occupied with general history; it was probably taken, as Nepos suggests, from the contents of Books ii. and iii., which seem to have been the most novel and valuable part of the undertaking. (Jordan, however, takes ‘Origines’ as equivalent, not to the Greek κτίσεις, but to ‘res Romanae ab origine repetitae.’)

(3) Praecepta ad Filium was the general title of a didactic work containing rules for medicine, husbandry, and rhetoric (e.g. ‘Rem tene, verba sequentur’). Cf. Quint. iii. 1, 19, ‘Romanorum primus, quantum ego quidem sciam, condidit aliqua in hanc materiam (rhetoric) M. Cato ille Censorius.’

(4) Speeches.—Fragments of eighty speeches, out of about two hundred and thirty, are collected by Jordan. They are almost equally divided between forensic and deliberative speeches: none is known of earlier date than B.C. 195. Cato incorporated some of them in the Origines, e.g. For the Rhodians (Gell. vi. 3, 7), and Against Galba (Cic. Brut. 89).

Works on civil law are attributed to Cato, and we hear also of ἀποφθέγματα (Cic. de Off. i. 104), Liber de re militari (Gell. vi. 4, 5), and Carmen de moribus (Gell. xi. 2, 2).


(1) LIFE.

The forms Accius and Attius are both found on inscriptions, e.g. from Pisaurum; but in the MSS. of Nonius Marcellus, who often quotes Accius, and who is careful about his forms, ‘Accius’ is always found, and generally in MSS. of other authors.

L. Accius was born B.C. 170 at Pisaurum (of. Pliny, N.H. vii. 128, ‘Attio Pisaurense’).

Jerome yr. Abr. 1878 = B.C. 139, ‘L. Accius tragoediarum scriptor clarus habetur, natus Mancino et Serrano coss. (B.C. 170) parentibus libertinis et seni iam Pacuvio Tarenti sua scripta recitavit. A quo et fundus Accianus iuxta Pisaurum dicitur, quia illuc inter colonos fuerat ex urbe deductus.’

This last statement must refer to Accius’ father, as the colony of Pisaurum was founded B.C. 184. Jerome’s chronology is corroborated by

Cic. Brut. 229, ‘Accius isdem aedilibus (B.C. 140) ait se et Pacuvium docuisse fabulam, cum ille lxxx., ipse xxx. annos natus esset.’

Accius’ friendship and influence with leading men is shown by Cic. pro Arch. 27, ‘D. Brutus, summus vir et imperator (cons. B.C. 138) Acci amicissimi sui carminibus templorum ac monumentorum aditus exornavit suorum.’

Auct. ad Herenn. i. 24, ‘Mimus quidam nominatim Accium poetam compellavit in scaena. Cum eo Accius iniuriarum egit’; ii. 19, ‘P. Mucius eum qui L. Accium poetam nominaverat condemnavit.’

The above shows his self-consciousness; cf. also Pliny N.H. xxxiv. 19, ‘Notatum ab auctoribus et L. Accium poetam in Camenarum aede maxima forma statuam sibi posuisse, cum brevis admodum fuisset.’

For Accius’ friendship with Pacuvius, see p. 35. Accius must have lived to about B.C. 86, as Cicero (born B.C. 106) talked with him on literary subjects.

Cic. Brut. 107, ‘D. Brutus M. filius, ut ex familiari eius L. Accio poeta sum audire solitus.’

His Tereus was produced in B.C. 104, as is seen from

Cic. Phil. i. 36 (B.C. 44), ‘Nisi forte Accio tum plaudi et sexagesimo post anno palmam dari, non Bruto, putabatis.’

(2) WORKS.

1. Tragedies.—Titles of about forty-five plays, and about seven hundred lines of fragments are extant. The fragments show imitation of Aeschylus as well as of Sophocles and Euripides.

2. Praetextae.Aeneadae or Decius, and Brutus. Decius treated of the self-sacrifice of P. Decius Mus at Sentinum, B.C. 295. Cf. l. 15, ‘Patrio exemplo et me dicabo atque animam devoro (= devovero) hostibus.’ Brutus treated of the overthrow of Tarquinius Superbus and the establishment of the consulship.

3. Didascalica, in at least nine books, a history of Greek and Latin poetry, with special attention to the drama. The few fragments are mostly in Sotadean metre. Cf. Gell. vi. 9, 16, ‘L. Accius in Sotadicorum libro I.’

4. Pragmaticon libri (in trochaic tetrameters) on literary subjects.

5. Praxidica, on agriculture. Two lines on ploughing are quoted from ‘liber parergon,’ i., but it is not certain whether this is an independent work.

6. Annales, in hexameters.

7. A work in Saturnians.

Accius gave attention to points of language. Cf. Quint. i. 7, 14, ‘Semivocales geminare diu non fuit usitatissimi moris, atque e contrario usque ad Accium et ultra porrectas syllabas geminis, ut dixi, vocalibus scripserunt.’

Accius, like Ennius and Pacuvius, attacks superstition. Cf. ll. 169-70,

‘Nil credo auguribus, qui auris verbis divitant
alienas, suas ut auro locupletent domos.’

That Virgil imitated Accius is mentioned by Macrob. vi. 1, 58, who compares, e.g., l. 156,

‘Virtuti sis par, dispar fortunis patris,’

and Aen. xii. 435-6,

‘Disce, puer, virtutem ex me verumque laborem,
fortunam ex aliis.’

Views on Accius.—A few of these may be referred to. Cic. pro Sest. 120, ‘Summi poetae ingenium.’ Ovid. Am. i. 15, 19,

‘Animosi Accius oris.’

Cf. also Quint. x. 1, 97; Tac. Dial. 20; and Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 55 (see ‘Pacuvius,’ p. 37).

Of the prose writers contemporary with Accius, the most important were the annalists L. Cassius Hemina and L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi; the orators Ti. and C. Graccus, and their opponent C. Fannius, and M. Aemilius Scaurus, the princeps senatus, who also wrote an autobiography (Cic. Brut. 112). L. Coelius Antipater wrote a history of the Second Punic War in seven Books, making use of Silenus, whose account was favourable to the Carthaginians (Cic. de Div. i. 49). His strength lay in style (Cic. de Or. ii. 53); though painstaking, he was apt to exaggerate (Liv. xxvii. 27, 12; xxix, 25, 3).


(1) LIFE.

C. Lucilius’ dates are given by Jerome as B.C. 148-103.

yr. Abr. 1869 = B.C. 148, ‘Lucilius poeta nascitur.’

yr. Abr. 1914 = B.C. 103, ‘C. Lucilius satirarum scriptor Neapoli moritur, ac publico funere effertur anno aetatis xlvi.’

If Jerome’s notice were correct, Lucilius would have been only thirteen years old at the time of the Numantine War (B.C. 134) in which he served.

Velleius ii. 9, 4, ‘Celebre et Lucili nomen fuit qui sub P. Africano Numantino bello eques militaverat.’

It is probable that Jerome has confused the consuls of B.C. 180, A. Postumius Albinus and C. Calpurnius Piso, with those of B.C. 148, Sp. Postumius Albinus and L. Calpurnius Piso, and that Lucilius was born B.C. 180. No reference is found in Lucilius to any event after B.C. 103, so that Jerome may be right in giving that as the year of his death. In Hor. Sat. ii. 1, 34, Lucilius is called senex, which shows that he lived a long life.

Lucilius was born at Suessa in Campania. He was an eques, and was the great-uncle of Pompey. Juv. 1, 19,

‘Cur tamen hoc potius libeat decurrere campo,
per quem magnus equos Auruncae flexit alumnus,
si vacat ac placidi rationem admittitis, edam.’

Porphyr. ad Hor. Sat. ii. 1, 75, ‘“infra Lucili censum”: Constat enim Lucilium avonculum maiorem Pompei fuisse: etenim avia Pompei Lucilii soror fuerat.’

Velleius ii. 29, 2, ‘Fuit [Cn. Pompeius] genitus matre Lucilia, stirpis senatoriae.’ This Lucilia was Lucilius’ niece, and her father, Lucilius’ brother, was a senator.

Lucilius was very intimate with Africanus the younger and Laelius, and celebrated them in his works. Hor. Sat. ii. 1, 71,

‘Quin ubi se a volgo et scaena in secreta remorant
virtus Scipiadae et mitis sapientia Laeli,
nugari cum illo et discincti ludere, donec
decoqueretur olus, soliti.’

Schol. Cruq. ad loc., ‘Scipio Africanus et Laelius feruntur tam fuisse familiares et amici Lucilio, ut quodam tempore Laelio circum lectos triclinii fugienti Lucilius superveniens eum obtorta mappa quasi feriturus sequeretur.’

Hor. Sat. ii. 1, 16,

‘Attamen et iustum poteras et scribere fortem,
Scipiadam ut sapiens Lucilius.’

Lucil. Sat. xxx. 5 (of Scipio),

            ‘Sicubi ad auris
fama tuam pugnam clarans adlata dicasset.’

Such intimate association could not have existed if Lucilius had been, as Jerome implies, only nineteen at Scipio’s death in B.C. 129.

There are many references to Lucilius’ attacks on public men. Cf. Hor. Sat. ii. 1, 62,

        ‘Quid? cum est Lucilius ausus
primus in hunc operis componere carmina morem,
detrahere et pellem, nitidus qua quisque per ora
cederet, introrsum turpis, num Laelius et qui
duxit ab oppressa meritum Carthagine nomen
ingenio offensi aut laeso doluere Metello
famosisque Lupo cooperto versibus? atqui
primores populi arripuit populumque tributim,
scilicet uni aequus virtuti atque eius amicis.’

Lucil. lib. incert., ll. 63-4, quoted by Cic. N.D. i. 64,

         ‘“Tubulus si Lucius umquam,
si Lupus aut Carbo, Neptuni filius,”

ut ait Lucilius, putasset esse deos, tam periurus aut tam impurus fuisset?’

Pers. 1, 114,

          ‘Secuit Lucilius urbem,
te Lupe, te Muci, et genuinum fregit in illis.’

Juv. 1, 165,

‘Ense velut stricto quotiens Lucilius ardens
infremuit, rubet auditor cui frigida mens est
criminibus, tacita sudant praecordia culpa.’

The Saturae.—There were thirty Books altogether, by whom arranged is unknown. Fragments are extant from all the Books, except xxi. and xxiv. (and possibly xxiii. and xxv.). Books i.-xx. and xxx. were in hexameters; xxii. in elegiacs; xxvi.-xxvii. in trochaic septenarii; and the next two in trochaic septenarii, iambic senarii, and hexameters. Books xxvi.-xxix. were published first, then Book xxx. In Book xxvi. Lucilius states his views of life, his poetic principles, what led him to write satire, etc. Cf. l. 3,

‘Nunc itidem populum aucupamur istis cum scriptoribus.’

Lines 7-20 contain a conversation between Lucilius and a friend who wishes him to engage in public life. Cf. ll. 16-7,

‘Publicanu’ vero ut Asiae fiam scripturarius
pro Lucilio, id ego nolo, et uno hoc non muto omnia.’

Two divisions of the work may be recognized—(i) Books i.-xxi. (to which xxii.-xxv. may be an addition) in hexameters; these Books are referred to as one collection by Varro, L.L. v. 17. (2) Books xxvi.-xxx. in various metres.

Dates of Composition.—Hor. Sat. ii. 1, 62-70 (quoted above), shows that Lucilius attacked Lupus and Metellus while Scipio and Laelius were still alive, i.e. not after B.C. 129; xxvi., ll. 88-9, in which Lucilius sneers at marriage,

‘Homines ipsi hanc sibi molestiam ultro atque aerumnam offerunt.
Ducunt uxores, producunt, quibus haec faveant, liberos,’

may have special reference to the attempts of Metellus in his censorship (B.C. 131) to encourage it. If this is so, Books xxvi.-xxx. were composed about B.C. 131-129. Book i. was composed after the death of Carneades in B.C. 129 (cf. l. 12, ‘nec si Carneaden ipsum Orcu’ remittat’), and probably soon after the death of Lupus, on whom the gods are represented as sitting in judgment.

Serv. ad Aen. x. 104, ‘Totus hic locus de primo Lucili translatus est libro; ubi inducuntur di habere concilium et agere primo de interitu Lupi cuiusdam ducis in re publica, postea sententias dicere.’

In B.C. 126 Lucilius was probably, along with other peregrini, banished under the law of M. Iunius Pennus, trib. pl. in that year. He probably returned in B.C. 124, when the law was repealed by C. Graccus. Bk. xi. was composed after the condemnation of L. Opimius in B.C. 110. Cf. ll. 19-21,

‘Quintus Opimius ille, Iugurtini pater huius,
et formosus homo fuit et famosus, utrumque
primo adulescens, posterius dat rectiu’ sese.’

Subjects of the Satires.—These were very varied. Besides personal satire, we have (1) ethical criticism, as ridicule of philosophers and attacks on luxury.

Lib. incert. ll. 134-5 (imitated by Hor. Sat. i. 3, 132 sqq.; Ep. i. 1, 106-8),

‘Nondum etiam, qui haec omnia habebit,
formonsus, dives, liber, rex solu’ feretur?’

iv. 4-6 (cf. Hor. Sat. ii. 2, 46-8),

‘O Publi, o gurges, Galloni: es homo miser, inquit,
cenasti in vita numquam bene, cum omnia in ista
consumis squilla atque acupensere cum in decimano.’

(2) Travels, as the account of the journey to the Sicilian Strait, imitated by Hor. Sat. i. 5.

(3) Literary criticism. Lucilius jeers at Ennius’ line,

‘Sparsis hastis longis campus splendet et horret,’

according to Servius ad Aen. xi. 601, ‘Est versus Ennianus vituperatus a Lucilio dicente per irrisionem eum debuisse dicere “horret et alget.”’ Euripides is criticised in xxix., frag. 9. Points of orthography and the like are also treated of, cf. ix. 11,

‘Iam puerei venere. E postremum facito atque i,
ut pueri plures fiant. I si faci’ solum,
pupilli, pueri, Lucili hoc uniu’ fiet.’[23]

Some other points may be noted:

(1) He addresses a large circle of readers, xxix. 99,

‘Persium non curo legere: Laelium Decumum volo.’

Cf. Cic. de Or. ii. 25, ‘Hic [Persius] fuit enim, ut noramus,
omnium fere nostrorum hominum doctissimus: “Laelium
Decimum volo,” quem cognovimus virum bonum et non
inlitteratum sed nihil ad Persium.’

(2) For his self-esteem of. xxvi. 16, (quoted above). So xxx. 1,

‘Quoi sua conmittunt mortali claustra Camenae.’

(3) He often mixes Greek words with Latin. Cf. v. 12,

     ‘Hoc nolueris et debueris te
si minu’ delectat, quod τεχνίον Eisocratiumst
ληρῶδεςque totum ac συμμειρακιῶδες,
non operam perdo.’

(4) For his carelessness as to style of. Hor. Sat. i. 4, 9,

     ‘In hora saepe ducentos,
ut magnum, versus dictabat, stans pede in uno:
cum flueret lutulentus, erat quod tollere velles;
garrulus atque piger scribendi ferre laborem,
scribendi recte; nam ut multum, nil moror.’

For Lucilius’ influence on other poets, see above; also under ‘Persius,’ p. 262. For Horace’s views on Lucilius, see above; also Sat. i. 4; i. 10; ii. 1.

Cf. Quint. x. 1, 93, ‘Satira quidem tota nostra est, in qua primus insignem laudem adeptus Lucilius quosdam ita deditos sibi adhuc habet amatores, ut eum non eiusdem modo operis auctoribus sed omnibus poetis praeferre non dubitent. Ego quantum ab illis tantum ab Horatio dissentio, qui Lucilium “fluere lutulentum” et “esse aliquid, quod tollere possis” putat. Nam eruditio in eo mira et libertas atque inde acerbitas et abundantia salis.’


Writers of togatae were Atta and Afranius.

Sueton. p. 15 R., ‘Togatas tabernarias in scaenam dataverunt praecipue duo, L. Afranius et T. Quintius.’

T. Quintius Atta died B.C. 77, according to Jerome yr. Abr. 1940, ‘T. Quintius Atta, scriptor togatarum, Romae moritur.’

Eleven titles and about twenty lines of fragments are extant. Horace refers to Atta in Ep. ii. 1, 79 sqq.,

‘Recte necne crocum floresque perambulet Attae
fabula si dubitem, clament periisse pudorem
cuncti paene patres, ea cum reprendere coner
quae gravis Aesopus, quae doctus Roscius egit.’

L. Afranius was probably born between B.C. 154 and 144. He was the chief writer of togatae (Quint. x. 1, 100, ‘Togatis excellit Afranius’), and also an orator.

Cic. Brut. 167, ‘L. Afranius poeta, homo perargutus, in fabulis quidem etiam ut scitis disertus.’

There are extant forty-two titles (with Latin names) and more than four hundred lines of fragments. The plays exhibit Roman surroundings, and describe low life, especially of the provincial towns. Cf. the title Brundusinae, also l. 136,

‘Ubi hice Moschis, quaeso, habet, meretrix Neapolitis?’

Afranius imitated Menander, and probably Terence.

Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 57,

‘Dicitur Afrani toga convenisse Menandro.’

Macrob. Saturn. vi. 1, 4, ‘Afranius togatarum scriptor in ea togata, quae Compitalia inscribitur, non inverecunde respondens arguentibus, quod plura sumpsisset a Menandro,

“Fateor” inquit “sumpsi non ab illo modo,
sed ut quisque habuit conveniret quod mihi,
quod me non posse melius facere credidi
etiam a Latino”’ (ll. 25-8).

Sueton. vit. Ter. p. 33 R., ‘Terentium Afranius omnibus comicis praefert.’


(a) The poets immediately after Afranius include

(1) Hostius.—He was perhaps the grandfather of Cynthia (Hostia), Propertius’ mistress. Prop. iv. 20, 7,

‘Est tibi forma potens; sunt castae Palladis artes,
splendidaque a docto fama refulget avo.’

There are nine lines extant from his epic poem Bellum Histricum, which was probably on the war of B.C. 125. Frag. 5 (Bährens),

   ‘Non si mihi linguae
centum atque ora sient totidem vocesque liquatae,’

is from Il. ii. 489, and is imitated by Verg. Aen. vi. 625 (as noticed by Macrob. Saturn. vi. 3, 6).

(2) Writers of epigrams—Pompilius, Valerius Aedituus, Porcius Licinus, and Q. Lutatius Catulus (cons. B.C. 102).

(3) Q. Valerius Soranus wrote verse on philology and archaeology.

(4) Volcacius Sedigitus wrote verse on literary history up to the time of the fabula palliata. He wrote indices of Plautus (Gell. iii. 3, 1), and a work De Poetis, which included his canon on the comic poets (Gell. xv. 24).

‘Caecilio palmam Statio do mimico.
Plautus secundus facile exuperat ceteros.
Dein Naevius, qui fervet, pretio in tertiost.
Si erit, quod quarto detur, dabitur Licinio.
Post insequi Licinium facio Atilium.
In sexto consequetur hos Terentius,
Turpilius septimum, Trabea octavum optinet,
nono loco esse facile facio Luscium.
Decimum addo causa antiquitatis Ennium.’

(b) The following poets wrote during Cicero’s youth, B.C. 106-84:

(1) Cn. Matius, author of Mimiambi, and a translation of the Iliad. An example of the last is Frag. I (Bährens) = Il. i. 56,

‘Corpora Graiorum maerebat mandier igni.’

(2) Laevius, author of Erotopaegnia, of a lyrical character. Porphyr. ad Hor. Od. iii. 1, 2, ‘Romanis utique non prius audita, quamvis Laevius lyrica ante Horatium scripserit; sed videntur illa non Graecorum lege ad lyricum characterem exacta.’

About sixty lines are extant. Gell. xix. 7 speaks of Laevius’ curious vocabulary, and instances oblittera for oblitterata; trisaeclisenex, dulciorelocus, etc.

(3) A. Furius of Antium. Only six lines are extant.

(4) C. Iulius Caesar Strabo, a tragic writer and orator.

(5) Sueius. His works are (a) Moretum, an idyll; (b) Pulli, on the breeding of fowls; (c) Nidus; (d) an epic poem, Annales.

(6) Writers of fabula Atellana;[24] Novius and L. Pomponius (Bononiensis). Fronto p. 62 (ed. Naber), ‘Elegantis Novium et Pomponium et id genus in verbis rusticanis et iocularibus ac ridiculariis.’

Of Novius forty-three titles and over one hundred lines are preserved, and of Pomponius about seventy titles and two hundred lines. The well-known characters of the fabula Atellana are retained, as is seen from the titles. Cf. Duo Dosseni, Maccus Copa of Novius; Bucco Adoptatus, Maccus Miles, Maccus Sequester, Maccus Virgo of Pomponius.


L. Cornelius Sisenna (praetor B.C. 78), author of Historiae of the Social and Civil Wars (Vell. Pat. ii. 9). Cicero thought him superior to his predecessors, but childish (Brut. 228, De Leg. i. 7), and Sallust remarks his want of frankness in speaking of Sulla’s career (Iug. 95). He avoided a piecemeal and desultory treatment of events; cf. his own words quoted by Gell. xii. 15, 2, ‘Nos una aestate in Asia et Graecia gesta litteris idcirco continentia mandavimus, ne vellicatim aut saltuatim scribendo lectorum animos impediremus.’ His translation of the Μιλησιακά of Aristides is mentioned by Ovid, Tr. ii. 443.

Contemporary with Sisenna were Q. Claudius Quadrigarius, and Valerius Antias, whose narrative was coloured by partiality for the Valerii and for Scipio Africanus (see under ‘Livy’).

C. Licinius Macer, father of the poet Calvus, was one of Livy’s sources for the early history. Dion. Hal. (vi. 11 and vii. 1) complains of his carelessness and the weakness of his chronology. He claimed that he used original authorities, e.g. the libri lintei, lists of magistrates written on linen. He was a strong democrat, and is looked upon by Mommsen (R.H. iv., p. 602) as manufacturing authorities in support of his political views.

Sulla wrote memoirs of his own life (Plut. Lucull. 1), and Lucullus composed in Greek a history of the Marsian War (ibid.).




(1) LIFE.

M. Tullius Cicero, the son of a Roman knight, was born at Arpinum on 3rd January, B.C. 106. Jerome yr. Abr. 1911, ‘M. Tullius Cicero Arpini nascitur matre Helvia, patre equestris ordinis ex regio Volscorum genere.’ Cic. ad Att. xiii. 42, 3, ‘Diem meum scis esse iii. Non. Ian.’

He gives an account of his education in Brut. 306 sqq. In civil law he was a pupil, in B.C. 89, of Q. Scaevola the Augur, and afterwards of the pontifex of the same name (de Am. 1). In B.C. 88 he studied philosophy under Philo the Academic, and rhetoric under Molo of Rhodes. Dialectic he practised with the Stoic Diodotus, who lived and died in Cicero’s house (B.C. 87-5). Other teachers of Cicero were the poet Archias (pro Arch. 1), the orator Antonius (de Or. ii. 3), the actors Roscius and Aesopus (Plut. Cic. 5), the rhetorician M. Antonius Gnipho (Sueton. Gramm. 7), and the philosophers Phaedrus and Zeno.

After establishing a reputation at the bar by his defence of Quinctius and of Roscius of Ameria, he visited Asia to recruit his health and improve his oratorical style. On his way to the East he stayed six months at Athens, where he renewed his philosophical studies under Antiochus the Academic. In Asia he attended the leading rhetoricians, especially his old teacher Molo at Rhodes, who endeavoured to chasten the exuberance of his manner. At Rhodes he also made the acquaintance of the famous Stoic Posidonius (de Fin. i. 6). After an absence of two years he returned to Rome B.C. 77, and shortly afterwards married Terentia.

Cicero, who had served in the Social War, B.C. 89 (Phil. xii. 27), began his official career in 75 as quaestor of the district of Lilybaeum in Sicily, where he won golden opinions from all classes (pro Planc. 64). He headed the poll at the election of aediles for 69, and of praetors for 66 (in Pis. 2); as praetor he presided over the court for the trial of cases of repetundae (pro Clu. 147). His canvass for the consulship of 63 began as early as July 65 (ad Att. i. 1, 1); he was returned with C. Antonius as his colleague (in Pis. 3). His services to the State in 63 in the crushing of the Catilinarian conspiracy need not be dwelt on here: his activity as an orator in that year was great, and he passed a law against undue influence by candidates, ‘Lex Tullia de ambitu’ (in Vat. 37). He waived his right to a province, allowing Metellus Celer to take Gaul.

In 58 the hostility of P. Clodius effected Cicero’s banishment, on the ground that he had put the Catilinarian conspirators to death without trial. Retiring at first to Vibo, in Lucania, he moved successively to Sicily, Thurii, Tarentum, Brundisium, Dyrrhachium, Thessalonica, and Athens. At Dyrrhachium he resided from November 58 to August 57, when, after several unsuccessful efforts by his friends, a law was passed for his recall.

In 53 he was chosen augur in succession to the younger Crassus (Plut. Cic. 36), and two years later was appointed proconsul of Cilicia, under the new arrangement providing for an interval of five years between office in Rome and the government of a province. There he carried on a petty warfare with the mountaineers, and captured the fort of Pindenissus (a success for which the Senate decreed a supplicatio), occupying the winter with judicial business in the towns. His absence from the centre of affairs, though it lasted only a year, was most distasteful to him; cf. ad Att. v. 11, 1, ‘Ne provincia nobis prorogetur, per fortunas! dum ades, quidquid provideri potest, provide: non dici potest quam flagrem desiderio urbis, quam vix harum rerum insulsitatem feram.’ For his just dealing with the provincials, cf. ad Att. v. 21, 5.

In November, 50, Cicero returned to Italy, to find a crisis imminent, and finally cast in his lot with the senatorial party. He left Rome with the consuls and the leading optimates, and for some time had charge of the district of Capua (ad Fam. xvi. 11, 3, ‘nos Capuam sumpsimus’). On 7th June, B.C. 49, he embarked to join Pompey in Epirus, though far from enthusiastic for his leadership (ad Fam. vii. 3, 2, ‘mei facti poenituit... Nihil boni praeter causam.’) The chiefs of the party looked upon him with suspicion, and he was not present at the battle of Pharsalus. After Pompey’s overthrow he returned to Brundisium, and in 47 was allowed by Caesar to return to Rome (ad Fam. xiv. 23). His mode of life at this time he thus describes (ad Fam. ix. 20, 3), ‘Ubi salutatio defluxit, litteris me involvo, aut scribo aut lego. Veniunt etiam qui me audiant quasi doctum hominem, quia paullo sum quam ipsi doctior.’

In 46 he divorced his wife Terentia, of whose neglect he complains, ad Fam. iv. 14, 3; and married Publilia, with whom he parted in the following year. In 45 he lost his only daughter Tullia, who had been thrice married; he tried to drown his grief by close application to literary work, moving about from villa to villa, and it is to this period that most of his philosophical works belong. In 44 he appeared once more in Rome, and took a prominent part in the proceedings which followed upon Caesar’s death. April to July he spent at his various villas (ad Att. xiv. passim), and then decided to visit Athens, where his son (born B.C. 65) was studying. On 1st August he reached Syracuse, but hearing at Leucopetra that his presence was required at Rome, he gave up his plan of travel and returned to the city. With the series of Philippics against Antony (44-3) Cicero’s career closes. In the proscription agreed on by the triumvirs he was marked out as one of the chief victims. A fragment of Livy, quoted by Seneca, Suas. 6, 17, states that he fled first to Tusculum, then to Formiae, and took ship from Caieta, but returned to land, exclaiming, ‘Moriar in patria saepe servata.’ On his way from the shore to his villa he was slain by a party of Antony’s soldiers, and his head was carried to Rome and exposed on the Rostra. The date of the assassination was 7th December, B.C. 43 (Tiro quoted by Tac. Dial. 17).

(2) WORKS.

(a) Speeches.

1. The earliest extant speech is that Pro Quinctio, delivered B.C. 81 (Gell. xv. 28, 3) in an action before a iudex for restitution of property. This was not Cicero’s first appearance as an advocate: § 4, ‘quod mihi consuevit in ceteris causis esse adiumento.’

2. Next year (cf. Gell. ibid.) Cicero made his first speech in a criminal case, defending Sex. Roscius of Ameria on a charge of parricide. By so doing he incurred the risk of Sulla’s enmity, but at the same time established his own position. De Off. ii. 51, ‘contra L. Sullae dominantis opes pro S. Roscio Amerino’; Brut. 312, ‘prima causa publica, pro Sex. Roscio dicta, tantum commendationis habuit, ut non ulla esset quae non digna nostro patrocinio videretur.’ In later years he criticized the ‘iuvenilis redundantia’ of this speech (Orat. 108).

3. The speech Pro Roscio Comoedo, usually assigned to B.C. 76, was a defence of the famous actor in a civil case.

4. The year 70 B.C. is memorable for the group of speeches (‘accusationis vii. libri,’ Orat. 103), against Verres, accused of repetundae by the Sicilians, at whose urgent entreaty Cicero undertook the prosecution. The preliminary question, who should conduct the prosecution, is argued in the Divinatio in Caecilium. Q. Caecilius Niger, Verres’ quaestor, claimed the right to prosecute, but this manoeuvre failed. Of the six speeches in Verrem only one, the Actio Prima, was delivered: Cicero, seeing that the other side were anxious to carry the trial over into the next year, confined himself to this short introductory speech (on 5th August, cf. § 31), after which he called his witnesses. Their evidence was so damaging that Hortensius[25] threw up the defence, and Verres was sentenced to banishment and his property confiscated. The five Books of the Actio Secunda were published afterwards in order that the facts might be thoroughly known.

5. Pro M. Fonteio (incomplete), for Fonteius, propraetor of Gallia Narbonensis B.C. 75-3, on a charge of repetundae. This trial perhaps took place B.C. 69, certainly after the equites had been placed on the iudicia by the Lex Aurelia of 70 (cf. § 26).

6. To the same year probably belongs the speech Pro Caecina in a civil case.

7. In B.C. 66 Cicero made his first political speech, Pro Lege Manilia, or De Imperio Cn. Pompei, in support of the bill of the tribune Manilius for conferring on Pompey the command against Mithradates.

8. In the same year he defended Cluentius, charged with murder, in the speech Pro A. Cluentio Habito. The date is fixed as the year of Cicero’s praetorship by § 147, ‘mea quaestio de pecuniis repetundis.’

9. The three speeches De Lege Agraria are concerned with the bill of P. Servilius Rullus for the appointment of decemviri with full power to buy and sell land and to establish colonies. The first speech (incomplete) was made in the Senate on 1st January, the second and third before contiones.

10. The speech Pro C. Rabirio perduellionis reo was delivered on behalf of Rabirius, charged before the comitia with the murder of the tribune Saturninus in B.C. 100. The prosecution had been instituted by the democratic party to vindicate the old right of provocatio ad populum, and to establish the inviolability of the tribunes.

11. Of the four speeches In Catilinam, i. was delivered in the Senate on 8th November, and followed by Catiline’s flight from Rome; ii. to the people on 9th November; iii. to the people on 3rd December, when the Allobroges gave their evidence about the conspiracy; iv. in the Senate, on 5th December, calling for the capital punishment of the conspirators.[26]

12. In this crisis Cicero made one of his most graceful and witty speeches, the Pro Murena. The defendant was charged with bribery in his candidature for the consulship, and among the prosecutors was Cato.

13-14. In B.C. 62 Cicero defended P. Sulla, who was accused of complicity with Catiline (Pro Sulla), and delivered the speech Pro Archia in support of his friend’s title to the Roman citizenship.

15. In B.C. 59 L. Flaccus was accused of repetundae as propraetor of Asia 62-60, and defended by Cicero in the speech Pro Flacco.

16-19. After Cicero’s return from exile he returned thanks to the Senate in the speech Cum Senatui gratias egit, 5th September B.C. 57 (ad Att. iv. 1, 5), delivered from manuscript (‘propter rei magnitudinem dicta de scripto,’ Pro Planc. 74). The genuineness of the corresponding speech to the people, Cum populo gratias egit, is suspected; it is mentioned by Dio. xxxix. 9, 1, but not by Cicero himself. On 30th September (ad Att. iv. 2, 2) the speech De Domo Sua was delivered before the pontifices, who decided that the site of Cicero’s house, which Clodius had consecrated, should be restored to its owner. Connected with this is the speech De Haruspicum Responsis, of the year 56, rebutting the argument of Clodius that the declaration of the haruspices, ‘loca sacra et religiosa profana haberi’ (§ 9) referred to the restitution of Cicero’s house.

20. The speech Pro Sestio is in defence of one of Cicero’s friends who, as tribune, had worked energetically for his recall from exile, and was now accused de vi at the instigation of Clodius. Sestius was acquitted in March, B.C. 56 (ad Q.F. ii. 4, 1).

21. The Interrogatio in P. Vatinium testem was a successful attack on the credibility of Vatinius, who had been one of the chief witnesses against Sestius.

22. Pro M. Caelio.—The prosecution of Caelius on a charge of poisoning was instigated by his former mistress, Clodia; it took place in B.C. 56, for Cn. Domitius, who tried the case (§ 32), was praetor in that year (ad Q.F. ii. 3, 6).

23. The speech De Provinciis Consularibus, B.C. 56, argues that Caesar should be allowed to continue as proconsul of Gaul, and that Syria and Macedonia should be taken away from Gabinius and Piso. Mommsen[27] regards it as the παλινῳδία of ad Att. iv. 5, 1, and contrasts Cicero’s tone to Caesar in this speech with his attitude in the Pro Sestio, In Vatinium, and De Haruspicum Responsis.

24. The speech Pro Balbo deals with a case similar to that of Archias. L. Cornelius Balbus, a native of Gades, and the trusted friend of Caesar, had received the civitas from Pompey, and this speech is in defence of his right thereto (B.C. 56).

25. In Pisonem, an attack on Cicero’s enemy (consul B.C. 58), delivered in the Senate B.C. 55.

26. Pro Plancio, B.C. 54, on behalf of Cn. Plancius, accused of organizing clubs to secure by bribery his election to the aedileship.

27. Pro Rabirio Postumo, B.C. 54. Rabirius was charged with extortion in Egypt.

28. Pro Milone.—At the trial of Milo de vi in B.C. 52 Cicero was so intimidated by the uproar of the rabble that his speech was a failure, and Milo was condemned. The speech now extant was written by Cicero at his leisure. Both were known to Asconius,[28] who supplies a valuable introduction.

29. For six years we have no speech; but in 46 Cicero broke his rule of silence (‘in perpetuum tacere,’ ad Fam. iv. 4, 4), and in the speech Pro Marcello thanked Caesar for allowing Marcellus, the consul of B.C. 51, to return to Rome.

30. On 26th November B.C. 46 he pleaded before Caesar the cause of Q. Ligarius (Pro Ligario).

31. In the latter part of B.C. 45 he delivered in Caesar’s house the speech Pro Rege Deiotaro on behalf of his ‘hospes vetus et amicus,’ the tetrarch of Galatia, accused of treachery to Caesar.

32. Cicero’s oratorical career closes with the fourteen speeches against Antony, called Philippics, after the speeches of Demosthenes. This title was suggested by the author himself; cf. the letter of Brutus (ad Brut. ii. 5, 4), ‘iam concedo ut vel Philippicae vocentur, quod tu quadam epistula iocans scripsisti.’ It was the usual title in antiquity, though Gellius (xiii. 1, 1) uses the alternative Antonianae. The Philippics cover the period from 2nd September 44 to 22nd April 43. They were all delivered in the Senate, except iv. and vi., which are contiones, and ii., which was never spoken, but published as a political pamphlet after Antony had left Rome: for its fame cf. Juv. 10, 125,

‘Te conspicuae, divina Philippica, famae,
volveris a prima quae proxima.’

There are fragments of about twenty speeches, and the titles of thirty others are known. The invective in Sallustium, and the speech Pridie quam in exilium iret, are undoubtedly spurious.

Many of the speeches were to a large extent extempore, the heads only being committed to writing. These notes were afterwards collected by Tiro (Quint. x. 7, 30-1). In publishing, Cicero occasionally omitted some passages of the spoken oration, e.g. in Pro Mur. 57 only the headings appear, ‘De Postumi criminibus.’ ‘De Servi adulescentis’: cf. Plin. Ep. i. 20, 7, ‘ex his apparet illum permulta dixisse, cum ederet omisisse.’ For the practice of reporting his speeches in shorthand cf. Ascon. in Mil. ‘manet illa quoque excepta eius oratio’ (his speech at Milo’s trial). The only case in which Cicero appeared for the prosecution was that of Verres: the part of an accuser was generally distasteful to him; cf. De Off. ii. 50, ‘duri hominis vel potius vix hominis videtur, periculum capitis inferre multis.’

(b) Philosophical Works.

1. De Re Publica, a discussion of the ideal state and the ideal citizen, was published before B.C. 51, for Caelius writes to Cicero in Cilicia, ‘tui politici libri omnibus vigent’ (ad Fam. viii. 1, 4). In this treatise Cicero made use of Plato, and of Aristotle, Theophrastus, and other Peripatetics (de Div. ii. 3). There were six Books; but until 1822 the Somnium Scipionis, extracted by Macrobius from Book vi., was the only portion of the work known to exist, with the exception of a few fragments. In that year Mai published at Rome, from a Vatican palimpsest, remains which make up about one-third of the whole.

2. The De Legibus succeeded the De Re Publica, as Plato’s Laws came after the Republic. The speakers in this dialogue are Atticus, Cicero, and his brother Quintus. Book i. expounds the Stoic position that the laws of the ideal state are made by the wise man in accordance with the mind of God; this position is worked out in Book ii. in the regulations for religion, and in iii. on the duties of magistrates. The treatise was never completed, and was perhaps a posthumous publication: it is not mentioned in the list in De Divinatione ii. 1-3, and there is no preface, though Cicero says (ad Att. iv. 16, 2) ‘in singulis libris utor prooemiis.’ Certainly it had not appeared in B.C. 46, the year of the Brutus (Brut. 19). It was composed after the murder of Clodius in January, B.C. 52 (ii. 42), and in Pompey’s lifetime (iii. 22): probably in 52, as the government of Cilicia and the civil war left Cicero no time for literature during the years 51-48.

3. In the spring of 46 was written the short tract Paradoxa, a discussion of six Stoic paradoxes (e.g. that the wise man alone is free). It was addressed to Brutus, and was later than the dialogue which bears his name; cf. the preface, ‘accipies hoc parvum opusculum, lucubratum his iam contractioribus noctibus, quoniam illud maiorum vigiliarum munus in tuo nomine apparuit.’

4. The death of Tullia in February, 45, led Cicero to write, at Astura, a Consolatio, of which only fragments survive. Plin. N.H. praef. 22, quotes Cicero as saying that he here followed the Greek philosopher, Crantor, περὶ πένθους. It contained notices of the deaths of great men, De Div. ii. 22, ‘clarissimorum hominum nostrae civitatis gravissimos exitus in Consolatione collegimus.’

5. In the Hortensius Cicero appeared as the champion of philosophy: De Fin. i. 2, ‘philosophiae vituperatoribus satis responsum est eo libro, quo a nobis philosophia defensa et collaudata est, cum esset accusata et vituperata ab Hortensio.’ It cannot be traced beyond the seventh century, and is now represented by a few fragments. In the Middle Ages it was confounded with the Prior Academics, the speakers in both dialogues being the same. The Hortensius seems to have been written before Cicero went to Astura in March, B.C. 45: there is no allusion to it in his letters.

6. The treatise De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum discusses various theories of the summum bonum—the Epicurean in Books i.-ii., the Stoic in iii.-iv., the Peripatetic in v. The scene of the dialogue changes from Cumae to Tusculum and then to the Academy at Athens. The work was dedicated to Brutus in June, 45 (ad Att. xiii. 12, 3).

7. The Academics appeared in two editions. Of the original edition Book ii., entitled Lucullus, has survived; the speakers in it are Lucullus, Catulus, Hortensius, and Cicero, and the scene, Hortensius’ villa. Cicero was not satisfied with this arrangement (ad Att. xiii. 12, 3, ‘homines nobiles illi quidem, sed nullo modo philologi, nimis acute locuntur’), and after provisionally transferring the parts of Lucullus, Catulus, and Hortensius, to Cato and Brutus, he finally adopted the suggestion of Atticus to gratify Varro by giving him a share in the dialogue together with Atticus and himself (ad Att. xiii. 13, 1, ‘commotus tuis litteris, quod ad me de Varrone scripseras, totam Academiam ab hominibus nobilissimis abstuli transtulique ad nostrum sodalem et ex duobus libris contuli in quattuor’). Of this second edition in four Books we possess only Book i. (incomplete), and fragments of the others; the scene is at Cumae. The dedicatory epistle to Varro is still preserved (ad Fam. ix. 8).

8. In the five Books of Tusculanae Disputationes, conversations between Cicero and a friend at his Tusculan villa, the subject is the chief essentials for happiness. Book i. inculcates the proper attitude towards death, ii. to grief, iii. to pain, iv. to other trials, v. asserts the sufficiency of virtue for happiness. The treatise is dedicated to Brutus, and was finished by B.C. 44, in which year (ad Att. xv. 2, 4) the first Book is known to Atticus.

9. De Natura Deorum, in three Books, is also addressed to Brutus. The Epicurean, Stoic, and Peripatetic doctrines are represented by C. Velleius, Q. Lucilius Balbus, and C. Aurelius Cotta, respectively. This treatise was written after the Tusculans (de Div. ii. 3): in July 45 (ad Att. xiii. 39, 2) Atticus is asked for the loan of Φαίδρου περὶ θεῶν and περὶ Παλλάδος.

10. The essay De Senectute, called also Cato Maior after the principal speaker in the dialogue, was addressed to Atticus at the end of 45 or early in 44 (de Div. ii. 3; ad Att. xiv. 21, 3).

11. To a later date in the same year belongs the Laelius, or De Amicitia (de Am. 4 mentions the de Sen.), in which Laelius discourses on friendship. In this book, according to Gell. i. 3, 10-11, Cicero was under obligations to Theophrastus περὶ φιλίας.

12. De Divinatione, in two Books, forms a supplement to the De Natura Deorum. Cicero and his brother discuss, at Tusculum, the nature and validity of ‘divinatio,’ which is defined (i. 9) as ‘earum rerum quae fortuitae putantur praedictio atque praesensio.’ The date is 44.

13. The incomplete essay De Fato was written in 44, after Caesar’s death (cf. § 2). The conversation takes place at Puteoli, between Cicero and the consul-designate Hirtius.

14. On 11th July of the same year Cicero sent to Atticus his treatise De Gloria, in two Books, now lost (ad Att. xvi. 2, 6; de Off. ii. 31).

15. The latest of the extant philosophical works is the De Officiis, written for the instruction of the author’s son. Cicero had completed two Books by November, B.C. 44 (xvi. 11, 4), following the treatment of Panaetius, and discussing in Book i. the issue between vice and virtue, in Book ii. the expediency of a given action. In Book iii. he was indebted to Posidonius, for the discussion of apparent conflict between virtue and expediency.

There are traces of two other treatises, De Virtutibus and De Auguriis; and we possess fragments of a translation of Plato’s Protagoras and Timaeus, which cannot be earlier than B.C. 45 (de Fin. i. 7).

Cicero propounds no original scheme of philosophy, claiming only that he renders the conclusions of Greek thinkers accessible to his own countrymen. This sort of work cost him little trouble: ad Att. xii. 52, 3, ‘ἀπόγραφα sunt; minore labore fiunt: verba tantum affero, quibus abundo.’ At the same time he is not a mere translator: de Fin. i. 6, ‘nos non interpretum fungimur munere, sed tuemur ea quae dicta sunt ab eis quos probamus, eisque nostrum iudicium et nostrum scribendi ordinem adiungimus.’ His motives for entering upon this task are explained in De Nat. Deor. i. 7-9: (1) he desired to do a service to his country: ‘ipsius rei publicae causa philosophiam nostris hominibus explicandam putavi’; (2) he sought relief for his own mind: ‘hortata etiam est ut me ad haec conferrem animi aegritudo, fortunae magna et gravi conmota iniuria.’ Cicero is an eclectic, with a leaning to the New Academy: Tusc. iv. 7, ‘nullis unius disciplinae legibus adstricti, quibus in philosophia necessario pareamus.’ Probability is all that he expects to reach: ibid., ‘quid sit in quaque re maxime probabile semper requiremus.’ The philosophy most attractive to him is that which best called forth the oratorical faculty: Tusc. ii. 9, ‘mihi semper Peripateticorum Academiaeque consuetudo de omnibus rebus in contrarias partes differendi ... placuit ... quod esset ea maxima dicendi exercitatio.’[29]

(c) Rhetorical Treatises.

I. The earliest of these is De Inventione, or Rhetorica, in two Books, written probably for the author’s own use during Sulla’s absence in Asia B.C. 87-83. In his mature years Cicero looked back with contempt on this youthful effort: de Or. i. 5, ‘quae pueris aut adulescentulis nobis ex commentariolis nostris incohata ac rudia exciderunt.’ He borrows much from the Rhet. ad Herenn., and frequently mentions and criticises the views of Hermagoras; but all the best writers on rhetoric were laid under contribution: ii. 4, ‘omnibus unum in locum coactis scriptoribus, quod quisque commodissime praecipere videbatur, excerpsimus.’

2. The three Books De Oratore were finished in 55: ad Att. iv. 13, 2, ‘de libris oratoriis factum est a me diligenter: diu multumque in manibus fuerunt: describas licet.’ They were written at a time when Cicero’s voice was seldom heard: ad Fam. i. 9, 23, ‘ab orationibus diiungo me fere referoque ad mansuetiores Musas.’ The dialogue takes place in B.C. 91, at the Tusculan villa of L. Licinius Crassus; he and the rival orator, M. Antonius, are the chief speakers.

3. The dialogue Brutus, or De Claris Oratoribus, after a brief survey of Greek oratory, criticises the Roman orators from L. Brutus to Cicero’s own time. In spite of his intention to omit living persons (§ 231), he discusses Caesar, M. Marcellus, and himself. The speakers are Brutus, Atticus, and Cicero; and the date is probably 46, for the Brutus is earlier than the Orator, which refers to it (§ 23).

4. The Orator or De Optimo Genere Dicendi is a sequel to the De Oratore and the Brutus, adding practical rules to the exposition of theory (de Div. ii. 4). It was written at the request of Brutus, to whom it is addressed, in the year 46 (ad Fam. xii. 17, 2).

5. Partitiones Oratoriae is a catechism on rhetoric, in which the questions are put to Cicero by his son.

6. The Topica was written in response to repeated requests from Trebatius for explanation of Aristotle’s Topics. It was done by Cicero, without the aid of books, on his voyage from Velia to Rhegium in July, 44 (Top. 5; ad Fam. vii. 19).

7. The short treatise De Optimo Genere Oratorum was introductory to a version of the speeches of Demosthenes and Aeschines ‘on the Crown,’ designed to show the Romans what the best Attic oratory was like.

(d) Letters.

Cicero’s correspondence begins B.C. 68 with ad Att. i. 5, and ends 28th July, B.C. 43. Besides seven hundred and seventy-four letters written by Cicero, we have ninety addressed to him by friends. The collection was made by friends like Tiro and Atticus: cf. ad Att. xvi. 5, 5 (B.C. 44), ‘Mearum epistularum nulla est συναγωγή, sed habet Tiro instar septuaginta, et quidem sunt a te quaedam sumendae: eas ego oportet perspiciam, corrigam; tum denique edentur.’

The letters now extant fall into four groups.

i. Epistulae ad Atticum, in sixteen Books, belonging to the years B.C. 68-43, and valuable for their thorough frankness (ad Att. viii. 14, 2, ‘ego tecum tamquam mecum loquor’). Nepos appreciates their supreme importance for the history of Cicero’s time, although he dates the commencement of the correspondence wrongly: Att. 16, ‘xvi. volumina epistularum ab consulatu eius usque ad extremum tempus ad Atticum missarum; quae qui legat, non multum desideret historiam contextam eorum temporum.’ Atticus’ own letters were not published, though Cicero preserved them: ad Att. ix. 10, 4, ‘Evolvi volumen epistularum, quod ego sub signo habeo servoque diligentissime.’

2. Epistulae ad Quintum Fratrem, in three Books, of the years B.C. 60-54.

3. Epistulae ad Brutum, originally in nine Books, of which only two remain. The present Book i. was really Book ix., and Book ii., which contains letters earlier than those in Book i., may have formed part of the original Book viii.

4. Epistulae ad Familiares, in sixteen Books, letters to and from friends, written B.C. 62-43. This title is not found in any MS. Late MSS. and old editions have ‘Epistulae Familiares’: for the title ‘Ad Diversos’ there is no authority. In the best MSS. the Books are titled separately by the name of the person to whom the first letter in each is written, e.g. ‘M. Tulli Ciceronis epistularum ad P. Lentulum liber i.’

For the colloquial style of the letters cf. ad Fam. ix. 21, 1 (to Paetus), ‘Quid tibi ego in epistulis videor? nonne plebeio sermone agere tecum? nec enim semper eodem modo: quid enim simile habet epistula aut iudicio aut contioni? ... epistulas vero cottidianis verbis texere solemus.’

The following works are now lost: (a) Miscellaneous prose writings.—1. Panegyrics on Porcia (ad Att. xiii. 37, 3) and Cato, B.C. 45; and funeral orations written for other people to deliver (ad Q.F. iii. 8, 5, ‘laudavit pater scripto meo’).

2. Memoirs of Cicero’s consulship, written B.C. 60, in both Greek and Latin (ad. Att. i. 19, 10). He took great pains with this book, and was anxious that it should be well circulated (ad Att. ii. 1, 1).

3. A secret history, Anekdota, mentioned in letters of B.C. 59 and 44 (ad Att. ii. 6, 2; xiv. 17, 6).

4. Admiranda, a collection of wonders (Pliny, N.H. xxxi. 51).

5. Chorographia, a book on geography, mentioned by Priscian. The letters to Atticus show that Cicero was studying the subject in B.C. 59.

6. A work on law, De iure civili in artem redigendo (Gell. i. 22, 7).

7. A translation of Xenophon’s Oeconomicus, made when Cicero was about the age of twenty (de Off. ii. 87).

(b) Poems.—1. Cicero’s earliest effort in verse was a poem in tetrameters, entitled Pontius Glaucus: Plut. Cic. 2, καὶ τι ποιημάτιον ἔτι παιδὸς αὐτοῦ διασῴζεται Πόντιος Γλαῦκος ἐν τετραμέτρῳ πεποιημένον.

2. In B.C. 60 he made a verse translation of the astronomical poems of Aratus, ad Att. ii. 1, 2, ‘Prognostica mea ... propediem exspecta.’ Quotations are given in De Nat. Deor. ii. 104 sqq.

3. In the same year he wrote a poem De Suo Consulatu, in three Books: ad Att. i. 19, 10, ‘poema exspectato, ne quod genus a me ipso laudis meae praetermittatur.’ A long passage from Book ii., spoken by the Muse Urania, is recited by Q. Cicero in De Div. i. 17 sqq.

4. Another poem in three Books, De Temporibus Suis, belonged probably to the year 55. Cicero writes to Lentulus in 54 (ad Fam. i. 9, 23), ‘scripsi versibus tres libros de temporibus meis, quos iam pridem ad te misissem, si esse edendos putassem.’

5. In the letters to Quintus from June to December, 54, there is frequent mention of a poem Ad Caesarem. Quintus is consulted for information about Britain: ad Q.F. ii. 15, 2, ‘mihi date Britanniam, quam pingam coloribus tuis, penicillo meo.’

6. A poem on Cicero’s great townsman Marius is quoted, De Div. i. 106.

Among others quoted are Limon, in which Terence was praised (see p. 51), and iocularis libellus (Quint. viii. 6, 73). Translations from Greek poets occur in the philosophical works, e.g. de Fin. v. 49, from Homer, Odys. xii. 184-191; Tusc. ii. 23, from various parts of Aeschylus, Prom. Vinct.

The ancient criticisms on Cicero’s poetry are all unfavourable:

De Off. i. 77, ‘Illud optimum est, in quo invadi solere ab improbis et invidis audio:

“Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea laudi.”’

Juv. 10, 122,

‘“O fortunatam natam me consule Romam!”
Antoni gladios potuit contemnere, si sic
omnia dixisset.’

Tac. Dial. 21 (quoted p. 111).

Quint. xi. 1, 24, ‘In carminibus utinam pepercisset, quae non desierunt carpere maligni.’

Rhetorica ad Herennium.—This treatise on rhetoric in four Books, addressed to the author’s relative C. Herennius, is usually printed among Cicero’s works, and is attributed to him by the MSS. and by Jerome and Priscian. But it is clearly not by Cicero, for (a) it does not agree with his own description of his early rhetorical writings as ‘incohata ac rudia’; (b) the author’s position, as described by himself, is not Cicero’s. It is generally held that one Cornificius was the author; Quintilian (e.g. v. 10, 2) attributes to a person of that name several expressions found in the ad Herennium. He may have been the Q. Cornificius who opposed Cicero for the consulship in B.C. 64. The date of the treatise is probably B.C. 86-84.


Q. Tullius Cicero, the brother of the orator, was born probably B.C. 102. He was aedile in 65 (ad Att. i. 4, 1); praetor in 62, when he tried the case of Archias; propraetor of Asia 61-58 (ad Q.F. i. 1, 2). He acted as legatus of Pompey in Sardinia B.C. 56 (pro Scauro, 39); of Caesar in Gaul, taking part in the second invasion of Britain (Caes. B.G. v.); and of his brother in Cilicia (ad Fam. xv. 4, 8). At the outbreak of the civil war he was with Marcus at Formiae and Capua; but after the death of Pompey there was a breach between them. Being proscribed by the triumvirs he took flight, but was betrayed by his slaves and put to death, B.C. 43 (Plut. Cic. 47). His wife was Pomponia, the sister of Atticus.

For the benefit of M. Cicero in his candidature for the consulship, B.C. 64, Quintus wrote the Commentariolum Petitionis (the title in § 58) or De Petitione Consulatus. It is in the form of a letter, and is headed in the best MSS. ‘Q. M. Fratri S. D.’ Quintus writes with special reference to his brother’s circumstances, but most of the rules which he lays down are of general application. The authenticity of this treatise has been called in question by Eussner, who ascribes it to a clever imitator, partly on the ground of coincidences of expression with Cicero’s speech in Toga Candida; but his arguments are refuted by Prof. Tyrrell (Cicero’s Correspondence, i. pp. 110-121).

There are also extant three letters to Tiro and one to M. Cicero. Quintus’ poetry is now represented only by twenty hexameters on the signs of the zodiac; but he wrote an epic poem, Annales (ad Att. ii. 16, 4 [Quintus] ‘ita remittit ut me roget ut annales suos emendem et edam’), and composed tragedies with great rapidity (ad Q.F. iii. 6, 7, ‘quattuor tragoedias xvi. diebus absolvisse cum scribas, tu quidquam ab alio mutuaris?’). His admiration for Sophocles and Euripides appears in De Fin. v. 3; ad Fam. xvi. 8, 2.


M. Tullius Tiro, the freedman of Cicero, who had a high opinion of his worth and ability (ad Fam. xvi. 4, 3; ad Att. vii. 5, 2), wrote (1) a biography of his patron: Ascon. p. 49, ‘ut legimus apud Tironem libertum Ciceronis in libro iiii. de vita eius.’

(2) Editions of Cicero’s speeches and letters: Gell. i. 7, 1, ‘in oratione Ciceronis v. in Verrem, libro spectatae fidei, Tironiana cura atque disciplina facto.’ (See also p. 85.)

(3) A collection of Cicero’s witticisms: Quint. vi. 3, 5, ‘utinam libertus eius Tiro aut alius, quisquis fuit, qui iii. hac de re libros edidit, parcius dictorum numero indulsissent.’

(4) Grammatical works, as πανδέκται, mentioned by Gell. xiii. 9, 2.

For his system of shorthand, cf. Sueton. p. 136 R., ‘Romae primus Tullius Tiro, Ciceronis libertus, commentatus est notas, sed tantum praepositionum.’


Author of (1) Annalis, a chronological table of the chief events in Roman and foreign history, accompanied by genealogies (Nepos, Att. 18, 1). As it was Cicero’s De Re Publica that suggested its composition (Cic. Brut. 19), its date cannot be earlier than B.C. 54. (2) Family histories, e.g. of the Iunii (Nepos, Att. 18, 3), published separately. (3) De Imaginibus, a collection of inscriptions in verse for the busts of celebrated men (Nepos, Att. 18, 5). (4) De Consulatu Ciceronis, in Greek (Nepos, Att. 18, 6), written B.C. 60 (Cic. ad Att. ii. 1, 1).

Atticus is an interesting figure on account of the large publishing business which he conducted (Nepos, Att. 13, 3); and the great care with which he sought out good MSS. to reproduce in his establishment makes him important in the history of the preservation of ancient literature.


(1) LIFE.

M. Terentius Varro was born B.C. 116 at Reate in the Sabine country.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1901, ‘M. Terentius Varro philosophus et poeta nascitur.’ Symmachus, Ep. i. 2, calls him ‘Terentius Reatinus’; and he owned property in that district: R.R. ii. praef. 6, ‘ipse pecuarias habui grandes, in Apulia oviarias, et in Reatino equarias.’

Of his family nothing is known except that he had an uncle belonging to the equestrian order (Plin. N.H. vii. 176). His philosophical education was received at Athens, where he was a disciple of Antiochus of Ascalon: Cic. Ac. Post. 12, ‘Aristum Athenis [Brutus] audivit aliquamdiu, cuius tu [Varro] fratrem Antiochum.’

He took part in the war with Sertorius in Spain, B.C. 76 (Sall. Hist. ii. fr. 69). In the war with the pirates, B.C. 67, he was one of Pompeius’ lieutenants, and received a corona navalis for his services. Varro R.R. ii. praef. 7, ‘cum piratico bello inter Delum et Ciliciam Graeciae classibus praeessem.’ Plin. N.H. vii. 115, ‘[Varroni] Magnus Pompeius piratico ex bello navalem [coronam] dedit.’ Probably he was also with Pompeius in the war with Mithradates (Plin. N.H. xxxiii. 136, xxxvii. 11; knowledge of the Caspian, vi. 38). To the coalition of Pompeius, Caesar, and Crassus he was originally hostile, going so far as to write one of his satires, Τρικάρανος, against them (Appian B.C. ii. 9); but in 59 he was a member of the commission appointed to establish Caesar’s veterans in Campania: Plin. N.H. vii. 176, ‘Varro auctor est xx. viro se agros dividente Capuae,’ etc. He also held the office of tribune (Gell. xiii. 12, 6), and was aedile with Murena (Plin. xxxv. 173).

When the civil war broke out he was one of Pompeius’ lieutenants in Farther Spain, and resisted Caesar without success (Caes. B.C. ii. 17-20). From Spain he withdrew to Epirus, where he was coldly received by the Pompeians (Cic. ad Fam. ix. 6, 3, ‘crudeliter otiosis minabantur, eratque eis et tua invisa voluntas et mea oratio’). We hear of him at Corcyra (R.R. i. 4), and at Dyrrhachium a few days before the battle of Pharsalus (Cic. de Div. i. 68). After Caesar’s victory he lived quietly at his Tusculan villa (Cic. ad Fam. ix. 6, 4, ‘his tempestatibus es prope solus in portu ... equidem hos tuos Tusculanenses dies instar esse vitae puto’). He was more easily reconciled than Cicero to the new government, and was made librarian by Caesar: Sueton. Iul. 44, ‘Destinabat bibliothecas Graecas Latinasque quas maximas posset publicare, data M. Varroni cura comparandarum ac digerendarum.’ This, however, did not prevent him writing a funeral oration on Cato’s sister Porcia (Cic. ad Att. xiii. 48, 2).

After Caesar’s death Varro was exposed to the persecution of Antonius, whose raid on his villa at Casinum is vividly described by Cicero (Phil. ii. 103 sqq.). He was proscribed, but the devotion of his friends secured his escape (Appian B.C. iv. 47).

His old age was spent in peace, the literary activity for which his whole life was remarkable being maintained to the end. At the age of eighty-three he was still writing: Plin. N.H. xxix. 65, ‘Cunctarer in proferendo ex his remedio, ni M. Varro lxxxiii vitae anno prodidisset,’ etc.

Varro’s death took place in B.C. 27, in his ninetieth year. Jerome yr. Abr. 1990, ‘M. Terentius Varro philosophus prope nonagenarius moritur.’

(2) WORKS.

Cicero (ad Att. xiii. 18) calls Varro ‘homo πολυγραφώτατος,’ and Varro himself said that he had written four hundred and ninety Books by the end of his seventy-seventh year: Gell. iii. 10, 17, ‘Addit se quoque iam duodecimam annorum hebdomadam ingressum esse et ad eum diem septuaginta hebdomadas librorum conscripsisse.’ A letter of Jerome[30] gives a list of thirty-nine works in four hundred and ninety Books, admitting at the same time that these were only half of the total number (‘vix medium descripsi indicem’). The titles of twenty-one other works are known from various sources.

1. Agriculture.—Of this enormous number only one has survived in a complete form, the treatise De Re Rustica in three Books, in the form of a dialogue. Book i. treats of agriculture; ii. of stock-raising; iii. of poultry, game, and fish. It was written B.C. 37-6: R.R. i. 1, 1, ‘Annus octogesimus admonet me ut sarcinas colligam ante quam proficiscar e vita.’

2. Grammar.—Of the twenty-five books De Lingua Latina, only v.-x. have been preserved, but the scope of the whole is known from Varro’s own words. Book i. was introductory; ii.-vii. dealt with etymology; viii.-xiii. with inflexions; xiv.-xxv. with syntax. Varro’s derivations are ridiculed by Quintilian i. 6, 37, ‘Sed cui non post Varronem sit venia, qui agrum quia in eo agatur aliquid, et graculos quia gregatim volent dictos voluit persuadere Ciceroni?’ From Book v. onwards the work was dedicated to Cicero, in return for his Academics; it is announced in Cic. Ac. i. 2, where Varro says, ‘Habeo opus magnum in manibus, idque iam pridem: ad hunc enim ipsum (me autem dicebat) quaedam institui, quae et sunt magna sane et limantur a me politius.’ The date of publication was probably B.C. 45-3.

Of the minor works on grammar, some at least were prior to the De Lingua Latina: Cic. Ac. i. 9, ‘Plurimum poetis nostris omninoque Latinis et litteris luminis et verbis attulisti.’ The titles known are, De sermone Latino, De origine linguae Latinae, De similitudine verborum, De utilitate sermonis, De antiquitate litterarum, Περὶ χαρακτήρων.

3. Roman History and Antiquities. Varro’s great work in this department was the Antiquitates rerum divinarum humanarumque, in forty-one Books. The arrangement, according to Augustine De Civ. Dei, vi. 3, was as follows: (a) i.-xxv. res humanae; i. introductory, ii.-vii. history of Rome down to its capture by the Gauls, viii.-xiii. geography of Italy, xiv.-xix. Roman Calendar, with dates of the chief historical events, xx.-xxv. Roman institutions, (b) xxvi.-xli. res divinae; the persons who sacrifice, the places, the times, the rites, and the gods were discussed in three Books each, xxvi. being introductory. The second part, at least, was addressed to Caesar as pontifex maximus. As it is mentioned by Cic. Ac. i. 9, it must have been published before B.C. 45.

Minor works under this head were Annales, Res urbanae, De gente populi Romani, De vita populi Romani, De familiis Troianis, Tribuum Liber; Aetia (αἴτια), explaining Roman usages, in the form of a catechism; Εἰσαγωγικός to Pompey on the duties of a consul (B.C. 71), Gell. xiv. 7, 1; De Pompeio, Legationum Libri, De sua vita.

4. Geography.—(a) Ephemeris navalis, addressed to Pompey before his departure for Spain about B.C. 77, a weather almanack for sailors; Ephemeris rustica or agrestis, for farmers. (b) Libri navales, perhaps identical with the above, (c) De ora maritima.

5. Law.De iure civili in fifteen Books.

6. Rhetoric.Rhetorica.

7. Philosophy.De Forma Philosophiae, De Philosophia.

8. Mathematics, etc.—De mensuris, Mensuralia, De principiis numerorum, Libri numerorum, De geometria, De astrologia.

9. Disciplinae in nine Books, forming a complete course of education in the liberal arts.

10. History of Literature and the Drama.De poetis, De poematis, De lectionibus, De bibliothecis, De proprietate scriptorum, De personis, De descriptionibus, De actis scenicis, De scenicis actionibus, De originibus scenicis, Quaestiones Plautinae. In the Hebdomades or Imaginum Libri xv. Varro gave short accounts in prose and verse of seven hundred famous Greeks and Romans, with their portraits (Plin. N.H. xxxv. 11), the title being derived from the arrangement in groups of seven. Aristotle’s Πέπλος had dealt similarly with the heroes of the Trojan War, and the ‘Πεπλογραφία Varronis’ of Cic. ad Att. xvi. 11, 3 is usually identified with the Hebdomades.

11. Λογιστορικοί, in seventy-six Books, were probably not a mixture of fable and history, but essays enlivened by historical examples. The titles were double, the chief speaker being named as well as the subject of the essay, e.g. Catus de liberis educandis. To this work Cicero probably refers, Ac. i. 9, ‘Philosophiam multis locis incohasti, ad impellendum satis, ad edocendum parum.’

12. Varro’s poetical works are now represented only by fragments of the Saturae Menippeae, a medley of prose and verse in one hundred and fifty books (Cic. Ac. i. 9, ‘Varium et elegans omni fere numero poema fecisti’). They were so called by Varro himself (Gell. ii. 18, 7, ‘In satiris quas alii Cynicas, ipse appellat Menippeas’), being founded on the dialogues of Menippus, the Cynic of Gadara, of the third century B.C. Their object was to present philosophy in a popular dress: Cic. Ac. i. 8, ‘Quae cum facilius minus docti intellegerent, iucunditate quadam ad legendum invitati.’ From the way in which they are spoken of in the same passage (‘in illis veteribus nostris’), most of them must have been among Varro’s earliest writings. The titles are extremely curious, e.g.Δὶς παῖδες οἱ γέροντες,’ ‘Longe fugit qui suos fugit.’ Quintilian considers Varro as the founder of a type of satire distinct from that of Lucilius, Horace, and Persius: x. 1, 95, ‘Alterum illud etiam prius satirae genus sed non sola carminum varietate mixtum condidit Terentius Varro, vir Romanorum eruditissimus.’ His other poetical works were ten books of Poemata, four of Satires, and six of Pseudotragoediae (tragi-comedy).

13. Oratory.—Varro left twenty-two Books of Orationes and three of Suasiones, but he had no fame as an orator: Quint. x. 1, 95, ‘Plus scientiae collaturus quam eloquentiae.’

14. Letters.—Of these there seem to have been two collections: (a) Epistulae Latinae, real letters to acquaintances; (b) Epistolicae Quaestiones, discussing in epistolary form points of history, grammar, etc.

The collection of maxims which passes under the name Sententiae Varronis is of uncertain authenticity.


The date of D. Laberius’ birth is got from Sueton. Iul. 39, ‘Ludis D. Laberius eques Romanus mimum suum egit.’ This event took place in B.C. 45, and in the prologue to the piece (quoted below), l. 109, Laberius says he is sixty years old; hence he was born about B.C. 105. He died in January, B.C. 43.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1974 = B.C. 43, ‘Laberius mimorum scriptor decimo mense post C. Caesaris interitum Puteolis moritur.’

In B.C. 45 Laberius, although an eques, was, as a punishment for his political opinions, compelled by Caesar to perform in one of his own mimes, and was beaten by Publilius Syrus.

Macrob. Saturn. ii. 7, 2 sqq., ‘Laberium asperae libertatis equitem Romanum Caesar quingentis milibus invitavit, ut prodiret in scaenam et ipse ageret mimos, quos scriptitabat. Sed potestas non solum si invitet sed etiam si supplicet cogit, unde se et Laberius a Caesare coactum in prologo testatur his versibus:

“Necessitas, cuius cursus transversi impetum
voluerunt multi effugere, pauci potuerunt,
quo me detrusit paene extremis sensibus!
Quem nulla ambitio, nulla umquam largitio,
nullus timor, vis nulla, nulla auctoritas
movere potuit in iuventa de statu:
ecce in senecta ut facile labefecit loco
viri excellentis mente clemente edita
summissa placide blandiloquens oratio!
Etenim ipsi di negare cui nil potuerunt,
hominem me denegare quis posset pati?
Ego bis tricenis annis actis sine nota
eques Romanus e Lare egressus meo
domum revertar mimus,” etc.

In ipsa quoque actione subinde se, qua poterat, ulciscebatur inducto habitu Syri, qui velut flagris caesus praeripientique similis exclamabat

“Porro Quirites libertatem perdimus”

et paulo post adiecit

“Necesse est multos timeat quem multi timent.”

Quo dicto universitas populi ad solum Caesarem oculos et ora convertit, notantes inpotentiam eius hac dicacitate lapidatam. Ob haec in Publilium vertit favorem ... [Publilius Syrus] cum mimos componeret ingentique adsensu in Italiae oppidis agere coepisset, productus Romae per Caesaris ludos, omnes qui tunc scripta et operas suas in scaenam locaverant provocavit ut singuli secum posita in vicem materia pro tempore contenderent. Nec ullo recusante superavit omnes, in quis et Laberium. Unde Caesar adridens hoc modo pronuntiavit

“Favente tibi me victus es, Laberi, a Syro”

statimque Publilio palmam et Laberio anulum aureum cum quingentis sestertiis dedit.’

We have forty-three titles of mimes by Laberius, and about one hundred and fifty lines of fragments. From the above we see that Laberius criticized contemporary society with great vigour. Other features are

(a) His invention of words.

Gell. xvi. 7, 1, ‘Laberius in mimis, quos scriptitavit, oppido quam verba finxit praelicenter.’ Examples are manuatus est for furatus est; abluvium for diluvium.

(b) His use of plebeian expressions.

Gell. xix. 13, 3, ‘quae a Laberio ignobilia nimis et sordentia in usum linguae Latinae intromissa sunt.’

(c) His references to philosophy.

Cf. l. 17,

‘nec Pythagoream dogmam doctus’;

l. 72,

‘Democritus Abderites physicus philosophus,’ etc.

For views on Laberius cf. Hor. Sat. i, 10, 5,

‘Nam sic et Laberi mimos ut pulchra poemata mirer.’

Cic. ad Fam. xii. 18, 2 (written B.C. 46), ‘Equidem sic iam obdurui ut ludis Caesaris nostri animo aequissimo viderem T. Plancum, audirem Laberi et Publili poemata.’

Contemporaries of Laberius were the satirist Abuccius, and Egnatius, who wrote a didactic poem de rerum natura.


According to Jerome, Bibaculus was born B.C. 103, but, as he laughs at the old age of the grammarian Orbilius (114-c. 17 B.C.), authorities put the date twenty years later.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1914, ‘M. Furius poeta cognomento Bibaculus Cremonae nascitur.’

Sueton. Gramm. 9, ‘[Orbilius] vixit prope ad centesimum aetatis annum, amissa iam pridem memoria, ut versus Bibaculi docet,

“Orbilius ubinam est, litterarum oblivio?”’

Bibaculus wrote poems against the monarchical party; these are referred to as iambi by Quintilian, x. 1, 96.

Tac. Ann. iv. 34, ‘Carmina Bibaculi et Catulli referta contumeliis Caesarum leguntur: sed ipse divus Iulius, ipse divus Augustus et tulere ista et reliquere.’

Two epics, Aethiopis and Bellum Gallicum (on Iulius Caesar’s exploits), are probably referred to by Hor. Sat. i. 10, 36,

‘Turgidus Alpinus iugulat dum Memnona, dumque
diffingit Rheni luteum caput.’

Acron ad loc., ‘Bibaculum quemdam poetam Gallum tangit.’

Cf. Hor. Sat. ii. 5, 40,

          ‘Seu pingui tentus omaso
Furius hibernas cana nive conspuet Alpes.’

Acron ad loc., ‘Furius Bibaculus in pragmatia belli Gallici: Iuppiter hibernas,’ etc.

It is probably from this epic that Macrob. Saturn. vi. 1, 31-4, quotes passages imitated by Virgil. So, ‘Furius in primo annali “Interea Oceani linquens Aurora cubile.”’ (Cf. Virg. Aen. iv. 585.)

Bibaculus also wrote a prose work Lucubrationes. (Pliny N.H. xxiv. praef.)


(1) LIFE.

The main facts of C. Iulius Caesar’s life are found in a compendious form in the Life by Suetonius. The ancient authorities, who are unanimous in stating that at the time of his death (15th March, B.C. 44) Caesar was in his fifty-sixth year (Sueton. Iul. 88, Appian B.C. ii. 149, Plut. Caes. 69), must have placed his birth in B.C. 100. But if this date were correct Caesar must have held the various magistracies two years before the legal time—a fact nowhere mentioned, and in itself improbable; it is therefore natural to hold that he was born in B.C. 102 (Mommsen, R.H. iv., p. 15, note). His birthday was 12th July (Macrob. Saturn. i, 12, 34).

His father, C. Iulius Caesar, was praetor in B.C. 84, and died in the same year; Aurelia, his mother, took great interest in his education (Tac. Dial. 28). From the first Caesar was connected with the leaders of the democratic party in the State. Marius, who had married his father’s sister Julia, conferred on him the office of flamen Dialis before he was sixteen years of age; and his first wife was Cornelia, daughter of Cinna. His refusal to divorce her at the bidding of Sulla drew down upon him the enmity of the dictator; and he fled in disguise to the Sabine mountains, where he remained until Sulla reluctantly consented to spare his life.

Caesar obtained his first experience of military service as a member of the staff of M. Thermus, propraetor of Asia, who conferred on him the civica corona for saving the life of a fellow-soldier at the siege of Mytilene. After serving for a short time under Servilius Isauricus against the pirates in Cilicia, he returned to Rome on the news of Sulla’s death in 78, and in the following year commenced his career as an orator with the prosecution of Cn. Cornelius Dolabella, proconsul of Macedonia, for extortion.

Towards the end of that year Caesar left Rome for Rhodes—on his way thither being captured by pirates near Miletus—and studied for a year under the famous rhetorician Molo, taking part also in some operations on the mainland against one of the officials of Mithradates. Having been elected one of the pontifices in the room of his uncle, C. Aurelius Cotta, he returned to Rome in 74, and soon became a tribunus militum. In the agitation for the restoration of the powers of the tribunes of the plebs, Caesar took a prominent part; he also supported the Lex Aurelia of 70, which gave the equites a share in the iudicia, and the Lex Plautia, granting an amnesty to the adherents of Lepidus and Sertorius.

The year 68 he spent as quaestor in Farther Spain, and on his return to Rome strenuously advocated the claims of the Transpadane Gauls to the Roman franchise. His first wife having died, he married Pompeia, daughter of Q. Pompeius Rufus, and granddaughter of Sulla, whom he divorced five years later on account of her alleged adultery with P. Clodius. In 67 and 66 the bills of Gabinius and Manilius, conferring extensive military powers upon Pompey, were supported by Caesar and the other leading democrats.

Whether Caesar was concerned in the abortive attempt of Catiline at revolution in 65, is a moot point. He was now aedile, and acquired great popularity by the splendid shows which he gave to the people, and by his restoration of the statue and trophies of Marius. In 64, as president of the quaestio de sicariis, he condemned some of the most active agents in Sulla’s proscriptions. In 63 he supported the lex agraria of P. Servilius Rullus, and brought about the prosecution of C. Rabirius for the murder of the tribune Saturninus. On the re-enactment of the Lex Domitia de sacerdotiis, Caesar was elected pontifex maximus. He was again suspected, probably with good ground, of complicity with Catiline’s designs; he certainly proposed in the Senate that the conspirators should be punished with imprisonment instead of death. Praetor in 62, he worked in Pompey’s cause by proposing that the charge of rebuilding the Capitoline temple should be transferred to him from the aristocratic champion Catulus, and by supporting the bill of the tribune Metellus Nepos for electing Pompey consul in absence. Next year Caesar was propraetor of Farther Spain, where he conquered the Lusitanians and Gallaecians, and amassed considerable wealth. His coalition with Pompey and Crassus procured for him the consulship of 59, rendered notable by the Leges Iuliae; and before he went out of office his position was secured by the Lex Vatinia, conferring on him the government of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum for five years, with the command of three legions; Transalpine Gaul and another legion were added by the Senate. The following nine years (58-50) were occupied with the subjugation of Gaul and the two invasions of Britain (55 and 54). At the conference at Luca, in the winter of 57-56, it was agreed that Caesar should be continued in office for a second period of five years, and be allowed to increase the number of his legions to ten. In 50, realizing the danger of his position if he returned to Rome as a private person, he was anxious to be a candidate for the consulship in absentia; but Pompey thwarted his plan. Caesar refused to disband his army at the bidding of the Senate, and crossed the Rubicon early in 49. Italy soon submitted; he defeated the Pompeians in Spain, captured Massilia, and secured Sicily and Sardinia. Landing in Epirus in 48, he was defeated at Dyrrhachium, and retreated to Thessaly, where he overthrew Pompey at Pharsalus. Then followed his victories over the king of Egypt in the Alexandrian war (48), Pharnaces in Asia Minor (47), the Pompeians and Juba at Thapsus (46), and C. and Sex. Pompeius at Munda (45).

He had been created dictator in 49 and 48, with the tribunician power in perpetuity; and on his return to Rome in 45 he was made consul for ten years, dictator, and praefectus morum, with the title of imperator for life. In the intervals between his campaigns he carried out numerous reforms, including the rectification of the calendar, B.C. 46 (see p. 110). His assassination by Brutus and Cassius and the other conspirators took place on 15th March, B.C. 44.

(2) WORKS.

1. De Bello Gallico, in seven Books. The title used by Caesar himself was probably Commentarii rerum suarum (as in Cic. Brut. 262, and Sueton. Iul. 56; cf. Strabo, iv. 1, 1 ὑπομνήματα), although this does not appear in the best MSS., which give variously libri, historiae, or ephemeris rerum gestarum belli Gallici.

The work describes Caesar’s operations in Gaul, Germany, and Britain during the years B.C. 58-52, the events of each year occupying a separate Book. It was written and published as a whole, not in parts at the end of each year’s campaign. Otherwise it is difficult to see why Cicero should not have heard of it from his brother Quintus or his friend Trebatius, both of whom were with Caesar; or why Hirtius should have spoken of the rapidity with which the work was composed (B.G. viii. praef. 6, ‘Ceteri quam bene atque emendate, nos etiam quam facile atque celeriter eos perfecerit, scimus’). This view is corroborated by the statement of Asinius Pollio, that there were mistakes in the work due to defective memory (Sueton. Iul. 56, ‘quae ... memoria lapsus perperam ediderit’); and by some expressions in the earlier Books pointing forward to events mentioned later (i. 28 compared with vii. 9, and iv. 21 with vii. 76).

The time of composition was probably the winter after the last campaign narrated in the Book (B.C. 52-51). It was certainly published before B.C. 46, the date of Cicero’s Brutus, and probably before the rupture with Pompey, of whom Caesar speaks with approbation (vii. 6, ‘Cum iam ille urbanas res virtute Cn. Pompei commodiorem in statum pervenisse intellegeret’).

The aim of the book was twofold: (1) to provide material for professed historians: Hirt. B.G. viii. praef. 5, ‘qui sunt editi, ne scientia tantarum rerum scriptoribus deesset’; (2) to furnish a defence of the author’s own conduct—an object carefully kept in the background. It has been proved that Caesar suppressed facts which would have told against him at Rome (e.g. his rapacity, Sueton. Iul. 54), and the plausible motives which he assigns for some of his actions cannot be accepted as genuine. Cf. the criticism of Asinius Pollio, Sueton. Iul. 56, ‘Pollio Asinius parum diligenter parumque integra veritate compositos putat, cum Caesar pleraque et quae per alios erant gesta temere crediderit, et quae per se vel consulto vel etiam memoria lapsus perperam ediderit, existimatque rescripturum et correcturum fuisse.’ The style is remarkable for its brevity, directness, and the absence of ornament and emotion (Cic. Brut. 262, ‘Nudi sunt, recti et venusti, omni ornatu orationis, tamquam veste, detracto’).

Among the materials used by Caesar in writing the Commentarii were his own despatches to the Senate (ii. 35, iv. 38, vii. 90) and the reports of his legati. Late writers speak of his ἐφημερίδες (e.g. Plut. Caes. 22), but there is no ground for supposing that he kept a regular diary. He depended to a great extent on his own memory (cf. Pollio’s criticism, above).

2. De Bello Civili, in three Books, similar in plan to the Bell. Gall. Book iii. ends abruptly with an event of no great importance, and, as the death of Pompey would have formed a natural ending, we must suppose that Caesar had intended to continue the narrative with the Alexandrian, Spanish, and African wars, but was prevented from carrying out his plan. The work was published after his death, without undergoing revision (Sueton. Iul. 56, ‘Pollio existimat rescripturum et correcturum fuisse’).

Other works in the Corpus Caesarianum.—Sueton. Iul. 56 says, ‘Alexandrini Africique et Hispaniensis [belli] incertus auctor est. Alii Oppium putant, alii Hirtium, qui etiam Gallici belli novissimum imperfectumque librum suppleverit.’

Suetonius evidently believed that Hirtius was the author of B.G. viii., for he introduces a quotation from the preface to that Book with the words, ‘Hirtius ita praedicat’ (ibid.). Hirtius is also mentioned in the MSS. as the author of B.G. viii., and there is no reason to doubt that this is the case. That he is the author of any of the others is rendered doubtful by the fact that his bad health (which lasted to November, B.C. 44) and his position as consul would leave him little time for literature between the death of Caesar (15th March, B.C. 44) and his own death at Mutina (27th April, B.C. 43). Hirtius was thus able to carry out only the first part of the plan sketched in B.G. viii. praef. 2, ‘Caesaris nostri commentarios rerum gestarum, non cohaerentibus superioribus atque insequentibus eius scriptis, contexui, novissimumque imperfectum ab rebus gestis Alexandriae confeci usque ad exitum non quidem civilis dissensionis, cuius finem nullum videmus, sed vitae Caesaris.’

G. Landgraf, Untersuchungen zu Caesar und seinen Fortsetzern (Erlangen, 1888), arrives at the following conclusions:

1. In the Bellum Africum we possess the notes of Asinius Pollio, who took part in the war. That the work partook of the nature of a journal is shown by the style; e.g. interim is used about eighty times as a connecting link, and dates and hours of the day are given carefully. Landgraf supports his position by instancing similarities of expression in the Bell. Afr. and in three letters from Pollio to Cicero (ad Fam. x. 31; 32; 33).

2. Ch. 48-64 of the Bell. Alex. on events in Spain in B.C. 48-7 were sent to Hirtius by Pollio, who was governor of Hispania Ulterior in B.C. 45, and as such was best acquainted with these incidents.

3. On the death of Hirtius, Pollio, on searching for his own papers (which he had lent Hirtius to help him in his work), found Hirtius’ Bell. Gall. viii., and made some additions.

4. The Bell. Civ. was in Hirtius’ possession unedited at his death. Hirtius evidently intended to publish it along with B.G. viii. The third Book had been left unfinished by Caesar, whose notes, some of which were very brief, Hirtius had extended, and filled up the gaps in the narrative. There were also some notes on the Bell. Alex. The Bell. Alex. in the narrower sense (cc. 1-33) Hirtius began with, and in the early chapters contented himself with making small additions. In the later parts are found considerable additions both by Hirtius and by Pollio. Landgraf attempts to distinguish the work of the two: cc. 34-41, on the Bellum Ponticum, being mostly by Pollio, and cc. 65-76, on the wars in Illyria and against Pharnaces, mostly by Hirtius.

5. The authorship of the Bellum Hispaniense, which in style is far below the Bellum Africum, Landgraf leaves an open question.

E. Wölfflin (Sitzungsberichte der k. b. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu München, 1889, pp. 323 sqq., and ed. of the Bell. Afr., 1889) holds the same views as Landgraf, and gives many instances of difference in diction between Bell. Afr. on the one hand, and Gall. viii. and Alex. on the other; e.g.

                Bell. Afr.     Bell. Gall. viii.; Bell. Alex.
suppetiae,      -   7 times    -   never.
convallis,      -   5   "      -   vallis, 10 times.
convulnero,     -   9   "      -   vulnero (as in Caesar).
contendo + infin., 20   "      -   never.
adorior,        -  14   "      -   only in Gall. viii. 34.
adgredior,      -  never       -   14 times.
grandis,        -   7 times    -   magnus.
subito,         -  22   "      -   never.
repente,        -  never       -   16 times.
postquam,       -  34   "      -   not in Gall. viii.
hist. infin.,   -  24   "      -   never.

On the other hand, Widmann, Philologus, L. (1891), p. 565, proves that the author of the note-book worked up in the Bell. Afr. was an officer of the 5th legion, that Pollio was not connected with the 5th legion, and probably did not go through the whole African war, as the author clearly must have done. This, of course, also proves that Hirtius cannot have been the author.

On the whole, we think it proved that the Bell. Afr. was not written by the author of B. Gall. viii. and B. Alex., and that the author was not in any case Pollio. The B. Alex. is probably worked up from note-books written by several hands. The attempt to distinguish the work of Hirtius and another hand in B. Gall. viii. is against the evidence of Suetonius; and though several hands have co-operated in B. Alex., it is hardly possible to distinguish them precisely.

The Bell. Hisp. is evidently the work of an eye-witness, cf. c. 29, ‘nostri ad dimicandum procedunt, id quod adversarios existimabamus esse facturos.’ He is apt to be bombastic (c. 5, ‘hic alternis non solum morti mortem exaggerabant, sed tumulos tumulis exaequabant’), and makes a ridiculous show of learning (quoting the combat of Achilles and Memnon, c. 25, and Ennius, c. 23, ‘nostri cessere parumper’; c. 31, ‘pes pede premitur, armis teruntur arma.’)


1. De Analogia, a treatise on grammar in two Books, dedicated to Cicero (Cic. Brut. 253) and composed in the interval between two of the campaigns in Gaul. Sueton. Iul. 56, ‘Reliquit et de Analogia duos libros ... In transitu Alpium, cum ex citeriore Gallia conventibus peractis ad exercitum rediret ... fecit.’ It supported the view that analogia, not anomalia, should be the governing principle in grammar, i.e. that order should be introduced into the chaos of varying usages. Gellius i. 10, 4 has a notable quotation from the first Book, ‘Habe semper in memoria atque in pectore, ut tamquam scopulum sic fugias inauditum atque insolens verbum.’

2. De Astris, a book on astronomy, written apparently in connexion with the rectification of the calendar, B.C. 46, perhaps in Greek. Suetonius says nothing about it, but it was known to Macrobius, Saturn., i. 16, 39, ‘Iulius Caesar ... siderum motus, de quibus non indoctos libros reliquit, ab Aegyptiis disciplinis hausit.’ The liber de computatione and liber fastorum, attributed to Caesar by the Scholiast on Lucan, x. 185, 187, may have formed part of the De Astris.

3. Anticatones, written B.C. 45, in reply to Cicero’s panegyric on Cato, with flattering references to Cicero himself. Sueton. Iul. 56, ‘Reliquit et de Analogia duos libros et Anticatones totidem. ... Sub tempus Mundensis proelii fecit.’ Cicero expresses himself as highly pleased with the book, ad Att. xiii. 51, ‘bene existimo de illis libris, ut tibi coram’; but his tone is different in Topica, 94, ‘quibus omnibus generibus usus est nimis impudenter Caesar contra Catonem meum.’

4. Apophthegmata, a collection of notable sayings, probably growing out of the Dicta Collectanea of Sueton. Iul. 56, and completed B.C. 46-5. Cic. ad Fam. ix. 16, 4, ‘audio Caesarem, cum volumina iam confecerit ἀποφθεγμάτων, si quod afferatur ad eum pro meo, quod meum non sit, reicere solere.’

5. Letters.—In the time of Suetonius, Caesar’s official despatches to the Senate were extant, and also private letters to Cicero and other friends, e.g. his confidants Balbus and Oppius. In these a cypher was, where necessary, employed. Cf. Sueton. Iul. 56, and Gell. xvii. 9, 1.

6. Speeches.—About a dozen titles of speeches are known, but only a few detached words and phrases survive. As an orator, Caesar stood in the front rank (Sueton. Iul. 55). For encomiums on his style see Cic. Brut. 252, and Quintilian, x. 1, 114, who considered him second only to Cicero, and remarkable for vis, acumen, concitatio, and elegantia. The language of Tac. Dial. 21 is less complimentary, ‘Nisi forte quisquam aut Caesaris pro Decio Samnite aut Bruti pro Deiotaro rege ceterosque eiusdem lentitudinis ac teporis libros legit, nisi qui et carmina eorumdem miratur.’

7. Poems.—Caesar in his youth composed a poem in praise of Hercules, and a tragedy, Oedipus. Plutarch (Caes. 2) speaks of him as reciting poems of his own composition to the pirates who took him prisoner. On his journey from Rome to Spain, B.C. 46, he wrote a descriptive poem with the title of Iter.

Sueton. Iul. 56, ‘Reliquit ... poema quod inscribitur Iter ... [fecit] dum ab urbe in Hispaniam ulteriorem quarto et vicensimo die pervenit ... Feruntur et a puero et ab adulescentulo quaedam scripta, ut Laudes Herculis, tragoedia Oedipus, item Dicta Collectanea: quos omnes libellos vetuit Augustus publicari, in epistula quam brevem admodum ac simplicem ad Pompeium Macrum, cui ordinandas bibliothecas delegaverat, misit.’

Pliny the younger mentions Caesar as a love poet (Ep. v. 3, 5). His poetry is spoken of by Tacitus in no flattering terms, Dial. 21, ‘fecerunt enim [Caesar et Brutus] et carmina et in bibliothecas rettulerunt, non melius quam Cicero, sed felicius, quia illos fecisse pauciores sciunt.’

The only extant lines are those on Terence (q.v.).


C. Asinius Pollio (B.C. 76-A.D. 5), governor of Farther Spain B.C. 44, consul B.C. 40, retired from public life after his Dalmatian triumph, B.C. 39. He was famous as an orator, and was the author of (1) A history of the civil wars from B.C. 60 (Hor. Od. ii. 1, 1 sqq.). (2) Tragedies (Verg. Ecl. 8, 10; Hor. Sat. i. 10, 42; Od. ii. 1, 9 sqq.) and love poems (Plin. Ep. v. 3, 5). (3) A work in which the style of Sallust was criticized (Sueton. Gramm. 10). His remarks on Caesar, Cicero, and Livy may be from the same book (Sueton. Iul. 56; Quint. xii. 1, 22; i. 5, 56).

For Pollio’s style, cf. Quint. x. 1, 113, ‘A nitore et iucunditate Ciceronis ita longe abest ut videri possit saeculo prior.’ Pollio founded the first public library at Rome, in the Atrium Libertatis, B.C. 38 (Plin. N.H. xxxv. 10), For his intimacy with the poet Cinna, who wrote the Propempticon Pollionis in his honour, see p. 142; and for his patronage of Virgil and Horace, see Verg. Ecl. 3, 84; 8, 6-13; Hor. Sat. i. 10, 42. Pollio, of course, belongs to the Augustan Age, but is mentioned here because of his connexion with the Corpus Caesarianum.


(1) LIFE.

The praenomen of Cornelius Nepos is unknown. In Pliny, N.H. iii. 127, he is called ‘Padi adcola,’ and in Pliny, Ep. iv. 28, 1 (to Vibius Severus), he is mentioned as a townsman of T. Catius, ‘Imagines municipum tuorum, Cornelii Nepotis et T. Cati.’ Now T. Catius was an Insubrian (Cic. ad Fam. xv. 16, 1), and as the only Insubrian town on the Padus was Ticinum, Nepos was probably born there.

There is no direct evidence as to the date of his birth but we may infer from the following facts that he was born not long before B.C. 100.

1. Jerome puts his literary activity under B.C. 40 = yr. Abr. 1977, ‘Cornelius Nepos scriptor historicus clarus habetur.’

2. A son of his died B.C. 44 while a boy, and unknown to Cicero.

Cic. ad Att. xvi. 14, 4, ‘Male narras de Nepotis filio: valde mehercule moveor et moleste fero; nescieram omnino esse istum puerum.’

3. The respect with which he looks up to Atticus, who was born B.C. 109.

4. A fragment of his Exempla quoted by Pliny, N.H. ix. 136, regarding the changes of fashion in purple robes: ‘Nepos Cornelius, qui divi Augusti principatu obiit, “Me,” inquit, “iuvene violacea purpura vigebat, ... nec multo post rubra Tarentina. Huic successit dibapha Tyria... Hac P. Lentulus Spinther aedilis curulis (B.C. 63) primus in praetexta usus improbabatur. Qua purpura quis non iam,” inquit, “triclinaria facit?”’

Nepos held no public office, but confined himself to literature, in which he was associated with Atticus. Their intimacy must have begun after B.C. 65, when Atticus returned to Rome from Athens, where he had lived more than twenty years.

Pliny, Ep. v. 3, 6, ‘P. Vergilius, Cornelius Nepos ... Non quidem hi senatores.’

Nep. Att. 13, 7, ‘Atque hoc non auditum, sed cognitum praedicamus: saepe enim propter familiaritatem domesticis rebus interfuimus.’

Nepos knew Cicero, doubtless, through Atticus, but there is no evidence that they were intimate, except Gell. xv. 28, 1, who is probably mistaken, ‘Cornelius Nepos ... M. Ciceronis ut qui maxime amicus familiaris fuit.’ A fragment of a letter from Cicero to Nepos is quoted by Sueton. Iul. 55; from Nepos to Cicero by Lactant. inst. div. iii. 15, 10; and Fronto (p. 20, ed. Naber) speaks of a collection of Cicero’s works revised by Nepos and Atticus.

Nepos was on intimate terms with Catullus, whom, as coming from Verona, he may have known in early life. Catullus, who is mentioned by Nepos (Att. 12, 4), dedicated a collection of poems to him (Catull. 1). Nepos was alive in B.C. 29, in which, or the following year, he completed the life of Atticus.

As regards Nepos’ character and views, Pliny, Ep. v. 3, 6, attributes to him sanctitas morum. The words of Cicero, ad Att. xvi. 5, 5, imply only a playful compliment, ‘Et ais, “μετ’ ἀμύμονα.” Tu vero ἀμύμων, ille [Nepos] quidem ἄμβροτος.’

Nepos’ slight regard for philosophy is shown by a letter to Cicero quoted by Lactant. inst. div. iii. 15, 10, ‘Tantum abest, ut ego magistram esse putem vitae philosophiam beataeque vitae perfectricem, ut nullis magis existimem opus esse magistris vivendi quam plerisque, qui in ea disputanda versantur.’

Cf. also Cic. ad Att. xvi. 5, 5, ‘Nepotis epistulam exspecto. Cupidus ille meorum? qui ea, quibus maxime γαυριῶ, legenda non putet.’

Philosophy, according to Nepos, ought to be practical.

Nep. Att. 17, 3, ‘Nam principum philosophorum ita percepta habuit praecepta, ut his ad vitam agendam, non ad ostentationem uteretur.’

Nepos, as is shown by his works, supported government by the Senate.

(2) WORKS.

1. Erotic poems; mentioned by Pliny, Ep. v. 3, 6.

2. Chronica, in three books, embracing universal history. Catull. 1,

‘Quoi dono lepidum novom libellum
arida modo pumice expolitum?
Corneli, tibi; namque tu solebas
meas esse aliquid putare nugas
iam tum, cum ausus es unus Italorum
omne aevom tribus explicare chartis,
doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis.’

It is clear, from the above, that Nepos had mentioned Catullus in the work. That the mythical period was treated of is shown by Ausonius, Ep. 16, ‘Apologos Titiani et Nepotis chronica quasi alios apologos (nam et ipsa instar sunt fabularum) ... misi ... ad institutionem tuorum.’

From Catullus we may possibly infer that the Chronica were written before B.C. 63[31]; unus Italorum would imply that they were written before the similar works of Varro and Atticus.

3. Exempla, in at least five Books, treating of the history of Roman manners.

Gell. vi. 18, 11, ‘Cornelius Nepos in libro exemplorum quinto.’

4. Life of the elder Cato.

Nep. Cat. 3, 5, ‘Huius de vita et moribus plura in eo libro persecuti sumus, quem separatim de eo fecimus rogatu T. Pomponii Attici. Quare studiosos Catonis ad illud volumen delegamus.’

5. Life of Cicero, written after his death (B.C. 43). Gell. xv. 28, 2, ‘in primo librorum, quos de vita illius composuit.’

6. A geographical work, referred to by Pliny, N.H. v. 4, etc. All the above works are lost.

7. De Viris Illustribus, his last work, was dedicated to Atticus (praef. i); an addition to the life of Atticus was made after his death.

Att. 19, 1, ‘Hactenus Attico vivo edita a nobis sunt. Nunc, quoniam fortuna nos superstites ei esse voluit, reliqua persequemur.’

From Att. 12, 1-2, we may conclude that the publication took place between B.C. 35 and 33. The addition to the life of Atticus was written at some time between B.C. 31 and 27, as in Att. 19, 2, Octavian is called imperator, but not Augustus, a title which he received in the last-mentioned year.

The work contained at least sixteen Books: cf. Charis. G.L. i. 141 (ed. Keil), ‘Cornelius Nepos illustrium virorum libro xvi.’; and was divided into sections of two Books each, the first on distinguished foreigners, the second on distinguished Romans of the same class. We possess the book de excellentibus ducibus exterarum gentium; from de historicis Latinis the lives of Cato the Censor and Atticus, and fragments of the letters of Cornelia, mother of the Gracci. There are also mentioned the books de regibus (Nep. de reg. 1, 1; 3, 5); de excellentibus ducibus Romanorum (Nep. Hann. 13, 4); de historicis Graecis (Nep. Dion, 3, 2); de poetis (Sueton. p. 31 R.); de grammaticis (Sueton. p. 103 R.). The work probably dealt also with iurisconsulti, oratores, and philosophi. The book is biographical rather than historical, and is designed to compare foreigners with Romans, and to please, as well as instruct, those ignorant of Greek culture.

Pel. 1, 1, ‘Vereor ... ne non vitam eius enarrare, sed historiam videar scribere.’

Hann. 13, 4, ‘Tempus est ... Romanorum explicare imperatores, quo facilius collatis utrorumque factis, qui viri praeferendi sint, possit iudicari.’

Pel. 1, 1, ‘Medebor cum satietati tum ignorantiae lectorum.’

Praef. 2, ‘Hi erunt fere, qui expertes litterarum Graecarum,’ etc.

Besides tradition and his own recollection, Nepos mentions the following sources: Thucydides (Them. 1, 4, etc.); Xenophon (Ag. 1, 1); Plato’s Symposium (Alc. 2, 2); Theopompus (Alc. 11, 1); Dinon (Con. 5, 4); Timaeus (Alc. 11, 1); Silenus, Sosilus, Polybius, Sulpicius Blitho, Atticus (Hann. 13, 1 and 3); the writings of Hannibal (Hann. 13, 2); Speeches and Origines of Cato (Cat. 3, 2); Cicero’s works, especially Epp. ad Att. (Att. 16, 3). The book contains lives of twenty Greek generals from the Persian wars to the time of Alexander’s successors; a short article on Persian and Macedonian kings who were also generals; and the lives of Hamilcar and Hannibal, Cato and Atticus. The work possesses little independent value, and the following are the chief faults:

1. There are many mistakes in history and geography.

2. The biographies, and the events recorded in them, are badly arranged; eulogy is employed indiscriminately, and petty anecdotes are too frequent.

3. Important names, as Cimon and Lysander, are dismissed too briefly; others, as Atticus and Datames, are treated too fully. Many are left out altogether, as some of the leaders in the Peloponnesian war.

4. Important authorities are not used: so Herodotus, for Miltiades, Themistocles, and Pausanias. No use is made of the Hellenica of Xenophon.

For views on Nepos, cf. Gell. xv. 28, 1, ‘Cornelius Nepos rerum memoriae non indiligens.’

Pliny, N.H. v. 4, ‘Portentosa Graeciae mendacia ... quaeque alia Cornelius Nepos avidissime credidit.’

Nepos is not mentioned by Quintilian in his list of Roman historians.

In the MSS. only the Atticus and the Cato are ascribed to Nepos, the rest being entitled Liber Aemilii Probi de excellentibus ducibus exterarum gentium. It has been suggested that this arose from a misapprehension of em(endavi) Probus. There is an epigram by this Probus in the MSS., referring to poems of his and standing after the Life of Hannibal, which informs us that he was a contemporary of Theodosius (probably Theodosius I., A.D. 379-395). That the work cannot be by him is shown by the political references, which suit only the beginning of the empire, by the mention of Atticus in the preface, and by the correspondence in style between the book and the lives of Atticus and Cato, admittedly the work of Nepos; also by the fact that L. Ampelius, who probably wrote before the time of Diocletian, used the work in his Liber Memorialis.


Our information about Lucretius’ life is very scanty. Jerome yr. Abr. 1922 = B.C. 95, ‘T. Lucretius poeta nascitur, qui postea amatorio poculo in furorem versus, cum aliquot libros per intervalla insaniae conscripsisset, quos postea Cicero emendavit, propria se manu interfecit anno aetatis xliiii.’ (B.C. 52 or 51).

Donatus, vit. Verg. 2, ‘Initia aetatis Cremonae egit [Vergilius] usque ad virilem togam, quam xv. anno natali suo accepit isdem illis consulibus iterum duobus quibus erat natus, evenitque ut eo ipso die Lucretius poeta decederet’ (October 15).

Teuffel thinks xliiii. is wrong, and would read xlii., thus giving the dates as B.C. 96-55, as he thinks that Jerome has fixed the date of birth one year too late. Munro (vol. ii. p. 1) accepts xliiii., but thinks that Jerome (as elsewhere) is a few years wrong in the date of Lucretius’ birth, and gives the dates as B.C. 99-55. It is impossible to decide as to the date of birth, but most authorities agree on B.C. 55 as the date of death, a view which is supported by the only contemporary reference to the poet: Cic. ad Q.F. ii. 11, 4 (written in February, B.C. 54), ‘Lucreti poemata, ut scribis, ita sunt: multis luminibus ingeni, multae tamen artis; sed cum veneris. Virum te putabo, si Sallusti Empedoclea legeris, hominem non putabo.’

The above extract is given in the reading of the MSS. Some editors read non before multis, others non before multae, but it is best to follow the MSS. (with Tyrrell), translating “But when you come (we shall talk about it). I shall consider you a hero, if you read Sallust’s Empedoclea; I shall not consider you a human being.”

As regards Lucretius’ madness, there is no absolute impossibility in the story. Munro (vol. ii. pp. 2, 3) accepts Jerome’s account of Cicero’s editorship; others, less probably, believe that Q. Cicero was editor. The first view is rendered probable by the high opinion Lucretius had of Cicero, as seen from the frequency with which he imitates his Aratea (Munro on Lucr. v. 619), and from the knowledge Cicero shows of Lucretius’ work, as in Tusc. i. 48.

The poet’s full name is given in the MSS. as T. Lucretius Carus.

This is all the direct evidence regarding Lucretius’ life.[32] The de rerum natura is addressed to C. Memmius.[33] From Cic. ad Fam. xiii. 1 (where Cicero tells us he employed his good offices with Memmius on behalf of Patro for the preservation of the gardens of Epicurus), it appears that he was not an Epicurean. Memmius is the only contemporary mentioned by Lucretius; i. 24,

‘Te sociam studeo scribendis versibus esse
quos ego de rerum natura pangere conor
Memmiadae nostro, quem tu, dea, tempore in omni
omnibus ornatum voluisti excellere rebus.’

Many, arguing from the fact that Carus is not known elsewhere as a cognomen of the gens Lucretia, think that the poet was a freedman or a freedman’s son, but from the tone of equality in which he addresses Memmius, it is more probable that he was a patrician; cf. i. 140,

‘Sed tua me virtus tamen et sperata voluptas
suavis amicitiae quemvis sufferre laborem

Several personal characteristics may be inferred from the poem:

1. His earnestness and sincerity; iii. 28,

‘His ibi me rebus quaedam divina voluptas
percipit atque horror,’ etc.

Cf. the importance he attaches to his subject, i. 926,

‘Avia Pieridum peragro loca nullius ante
trita solo.’

2. His admiration for the great men of the past. Cf. iii. 1024-52, where Ancus, the Scipios, Homer, Democritus, and Epicurus are praised; the introductions to Books i., iii., v., vi., on Epicurus; i. 716-33 on Empedocles; i. 117-9 on Ennius.

3. His powers of observation and love of nature. Cf. i. 716-25; ii. 29 sqq., 40 sqq.; 323-32; iv. 572 sqq.

4. His experience of women. Book iv. 1037-the end.

5. His wide reading. The poem shows knowledge of Epicurus, Empedocles, Democritus, Anaxagoras, Heraclitus, Plato, the Stoic writers, Thucydides, Hippocrates, Homer, Euripides. Among Latin writers Ennius, Naevius, Pacuvius, Lucilius, and Accius are all imitated.

There is a reference to contemporary history in i. 41-3,

‘Nam neque nos agere hoc patriai tempore iniquo
possumus aequo animo nec Memmi clara propago
talibus in rebus communi desse saluti.’

Munro thinks that these lines were written B.C. 59, when Memmius was praetor designatus, in fierce opposition to Caesar, and on the side of the Senate. If this is so, the poem was probably written between B.C. 60 and 55. The lines on ambition and its attendant evils (as iii. 931 sqq., v. 1117-35, etc.) may have been written with a special view to the facts of Memmius’ life. Lucretius may refer to his recollection of the civil wars in v. 999,

‘At non multa virum sub signis milia ducta
una dies dabat exitio.’

In ii. 40 sqq. there is perhaps a reference to Caesar’s army in the Campus Martius at the beginning of B.C. 58.

The de rerum natura is an exposition of Epicureanism, especially on its physical side; i. 54,

‘Nam tibi de summa caeli ratione deumque
disserere incipiam et rerum primordia pandam,’ etc.

The title is taken from Epicurus’ περὶ φύσεως, which Lucretius followed closely, as is evident from the account of the Epicurean philosophy in Diogenes Laertius, x., and from the fragments of Epicurean writers discovered at Herculaneum in 1752. He probably used as his model Empedocles’ poem περὶ φύσεως.

The object of the poem is to deliver men from the fear of death and of the gods; iii. 37,

‘Et metus ille foras praeceps Acheruntis agendus’;

i. 62-101; cf. l. 101,

‘Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.’

Note that the invocation to Venus at the beginning of the poem is not inconsistent, but is an address to the universal principle of generation; cf. i. 21,

‘Quae quoniam rerum naturam sola gubernas.’

The scope of the Books is as follows: Books i. and ii. state the physical theories of Democritus and Epicurus. Book i. states the Atomic Theory of Democritus, held by Epicurus, that the world consists of atoms and void. The theories of Heraclitus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, etc. are refuted; i. 740,

‘Principiis tamen in rerum fecere ruinas
et graviter magni magno cecidere ibi casu.’

Book ii. treats of the combinations of atoms, and the principle of the swerve introduced to explain free-will. The varieties of atoms are shown to be limited. In Book iii. the nature of the mind and life is shown to be material. Religio and the fear of death (cf. ll. 978 sqq.) are attacked principally in this Book; iii. 830,

‘Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum,
quandoquidem natura animi mortalis habetur.’

Book iv. treats of the theory of simulacra or images, of the senses, and particularly of love. Book v. treats of the formation of the earth and the heavenly bodies, the origin of life, and the progress of civilization. It is shown that nothing has been created, and that everything must perish. Book vi. treats of abnormal phenomena, such as thunder and lightning, tempests, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc. The plague at Athens is described (from Thucydides). Books v. and vi. are unfinished.

Ethical views are given only by the way, the poem being primarily on physics. Pleasure is the end of action: ii. 172, ‘dux vitae dia voluptas.’ This pleasure is the absence of disturbance (ἀταραξία), hence all passion (as of love, iv. 1121-40) is deprecated; ii. 14,

‘O miseras hominum mentes, o pectora caeca!
qualibus in tenebris vitae quantisque periclis
degitur hoc aevi quodcumque est! nonne videre
nil aliud sibi naturam latrare, nisi utqui
corpore seiunctus dolor absit, mente fruatur
iucundo sensu cura semota metuque?’

Lucretius, as Epicurus, is often weak in physics. Cf. v. 564 sqq., of the sun’s size,

‘Nec nimio solis maior rota nec minor ardor
esse potest, nostris quam sensibus esse videtur.’

In i. 1052 sqq. he states well the theory of the antipodes but his dependence on Epicurus will not allow him to accept it. Reasons are sometimes given for a thing that never existed, as in iv. 710-21 for the fear that a lion has for a cock. Some passages come near the results of modern science, cf. v. 837 sqq. on extinct species; v. 855 sqq. on the struggle for existence; v. 610-3, on the invisible rays of the sun.

The references to Lucretius by name are few.

Nep. Att. 12, 4, ‘L. Iulium Calidum, quem post Lucreti Catullique mortem multo elegantissimum poetam nostram tulisse aetatem vere videor posse contendere.’

Ovid, Am. i. 15, 23,

‘Carmina sublimis tunc sunt peritura Lucreti,
exitio terras cum dabit una dies.’

Trist. ii. 425,

‘Explicat ut causas rapidi Lucretius ignis.’

Stat. Silv. ii. 7, 76,

‘docti furor arduus Lucreti.’

Quint. x. 1, 87, ‘Macer et Lucretius legendi quidem, sed non ut phrasin, id est, corpus eloquentiae faciant; elegantes in sua quisque materia, sed alter humilis alter difficilis.’

Cf. Tac. Dial. 23.

His influence on Virgil is seen passim. Cf. Gell. i. 21, 7, ‘Non verba sola sed versus prope totos et locos quoque Lucreti plurimos sectatum esse Vergilium videmus.’

Verg. Georg. ii. 490 sqq. and Ecl. 6, 31 sqq. refer to Lucretius. Georg. ii. 490,

‘Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas
atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
subiecit pedibus strepitumque Acherontis avari.’

Horace has also imitated him in several places: so Sat. i. 3, 99-110 (on primitive man) = Lucr. v. 1028 sqq.; Sat. i. 5, 101 sqq. = Lucr. v. 82 sqq. Most of the poets after him, particularly Manilius, came under his influence.


(1) LIFE.

C. Sallustius Crispus was born B.C. 86 at Amiternum, in the country of the Sabines, and died B.C. 35.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1931 = B.C. 86, ‘Sallustius Crispus, scriptor historicus, in Sabinis Amiterni nascitur.’ Ibid. 1982 = B.C. 35, ‘Sallustius diem obiit, quadriennio ante Actiacum bellum.’

Sallust was of plebeian family, as is seen from the fact that he was afterwards tribunus plebis. According to the Pseud.-Cic. in Sallustium declamatio, 13-14, he led an evil life in youth, and brought his father with sorrow to the grave.

Cf. § 14, ‘Cuiquam dubium potest esse, quin mori coegerit eum [patrem]?’

There is a story that Milo punished him for an amour with his wife.

Gell. xvii. 18, ‘M. Varro ... in libro quem scripsit “Pius aut de pace,” C. Sallustium scriptorem seriae illius et severae orationis, in cuius historia notiones censorias fieri atque exerceri videmus, in adulterio deprehensum ab Annio Milone loris bene caesum dicit et, cum dedisset pecuniam, dimissum.’

The story is corroborated by Pseud.-Cic. in Sall. 15; by Macrob. iii. 13, 9, ‘alienae luxuriae obiurgator et censor,’ and others; and Sallust himself appears to admit that there was something wrong; Cat. 4, ‘a quo incepto studioque me ambitio mala detinuerat.’[34]

Sallust speaks of the political offices he filled, and of the class of men who were unsuccessful candidates about the same time—a supposed reference to M. Cato’s candidature for the praetorship, B.C. 55.

Iug. 4, ‘Qui si reputaverint, et quibus ego temporibus magistratus adeptus sim et quales viri idem adsequi nequiverint,’ etc.

After being quaestor (Pseud.-Cic. in Sall. 15), he was, in B.C. 52, tribunus plebis, when he and other two tribunes opposed Cicero in his defence of Milo.

Ascon. in Cic. pro Mil. p. 33 (Kiessl. and Schöll), ‘C. Sallustius et T. Munatius Plancus tr. pleb. inimicissimas contiones de Milone habebant.’

In B.C. 50, Sallust was legatus pro quaestore to Bibulus in Syria, according to Mommsen (Hermes, i. 171), who thinks that the Sallust to whom Cicero writes ad Fam. ii. 17 is the historian. In the same year he was expelled from the Senate by the censors, Appius Claudius and L. Piso.

Pseud.-Cic. in Sall. 16, ‘neque post illum delectum senatus vidimus te.’

In B.C. 49, Caesar reappointed him quaestor, and he resumed his place in the Senate.

Pseud.-Cic. in Sall. 17, ‘in senatum post quaesturam est reductus.’

In B.C. 48, he commanded a legion in Illyria without distinction (Orosius vi, 15, 8), and next year he was Caesar’s agent with the insurgent legions in Campania (Appian, B.C. ii. 92). In B.C. 46 he was praetor, and as such commanded successfully an expedition to seize the enemy’s stores in Cercina.

Bell. Afr. 8, ‘Item C. Sallustium Crispum praetorem ad Cercinam insulam versus, quam adversarii tenebant, cum parte navium ire iubet.’ (See also c. 34.)

At the end of the year he was appointed proconsul of Numidia.

Ibid. 97, ‘Ibi Sallustio pro consule cum imperio relicto ipse Zama egressus Uticam se recepit.’

As proconsul, he plundered the province, and bought, probably with the spoils, the horti Sallustiani, which afterwards belonged to the Roman emperors (see Tac. Ann. xiii. 47; Hist. iii. 82).

Pseud.-Cic. in Sall. 19, ‘Nonne ita provinciam vastavit, ut nihil neque passi sint neque exspectaverint gravius in bello socii nostri, quam experti sint in pace hoc Africam interiorem obtinente?’

Sallust is said to have married Terentia, whom Cicero had divorced (Jerome adv. Iov. 1). Probably he had no son, as he adopted a grandson of his sister.

Tac. Ann. iii. 30, ‘Crispum equestri ortum loco C. Sallustius, rerum Romanarum florentissimus auctor, sororis nepotem in nomen adscivit.’

After Caesar’s death, Sallust retired from public life, and, having no taste for sport or agriculture, spent his leisure in writing history.

Cat. 4, ‘Ubi ... mihi reliquam aetatem a re publica procul habendam decrevi, non fuit consilium socordia atque desidia bonum otium conterere, neque vero agrum colundo aut venando servilibus officiis intentum aetatem agere; sed ... statui res gestas populi Romani carptim, ut quaeque memoria digna videbantur, perscribere.’

Sallust, as above stated, died B.C. 35.

(2) WORKS.

1. De Catilinae Coniuratione (so Cat. 4). The book is called bellum Catilinae by Quint. iii. 8, 9, and in some MSS.; in MSS. also bellum Catilinarium. The work was written after Caesar’s death (Cat. 53-4). It is, as Mommsen (R.H. iv. 184, note) states, a political pamphlet in the interests of the democratic party (on which the monarchy was based), and tries to clear Caesar from the charge of being implicated in the Catilinarian conspiracy, and collaterally performing the same service for C. Antonius, the uncle of the triumvir.

Cf. Cat. 49, ‘Sed isdem temporibus Q. Catulus et C. Piso neque pretio neque gratia Ciceronem inpellere potuere, uti per Allobroges aut alium indicem C. Caesar falso nominaretur. Nam uterque cum illo gravis inimicitias exercebant ... Sed ubi consulem ad tantum facinus inpellere nequeunt,’ etc. (Cf. also Caesar’s speech in Cat. 51.)

Cat. 59, ‘At ex altera parte C. Antonius pedibus aeger, quod proelio adesse nequibat, M. Petreio legato exercitum permittit.’ Dion Cassius, xxxvii. 39, on the other hand, says that this was a pretence, Antonius being unwilling to fight against his old confederate.

2. Bellum Iugurthinum. (So in MSS. and Quint. iii. 8, 9.)

Iug. 5, ‘Bellum scripturus sum, quod populus Romanus cum Iugurtha rege Numidarum gessit, primum quia magnum et atrox variaque victoria fuit, dehinc quia tunc primum superbiae nobilitatis obviam itum est.’

The object of the book is to give a picture of the low state of the oligarchical government (cf. Iug. 8, ‘Romae omnia venalia esse’), and to glorify Marius, the chief of the democratic party.

Of his sources, Sallust mentions Sisenna (Iug. 95) for information about Sulla, and native authorities for African ethnography.

Iug. 17, ‘Sed qui mortales initio Africam habuerint, quique postea adcesserint, aut quo modo inter se permixti sint ... uti ex libris Punicis, qui regis Hiempsalis dicebantur, interpretatum nobis est ... dicam.’

Sallust probably also used the memoirs of Scaurus, Sulla, and Catulus.

3. Historiae.—This work dealt with the events from B.C. 78 to 67. Cf. Ausonius, p. 264 (ed. Peiper),

‘Ab Lepido et Catulo iam res et tempora Romae
orsus his senos seriem conecto per annos.’

There is no reference in the fragments to any event after B.C. 67. The book took up the history where Sisenna had left off, B.C. 78. Cf. i. frag. 1 (ed. Maurenbrecher), ‘Res populi Romani M. Lepido Q. Catulo coss. ac deinde militiae et domi gestas composui.’

Four speeches and two letters from the Histories have been preserved in a collection of Sallustian speeches and letters made for rhetorical purposes, probably in the second century A.D. Besides these there are considerable fragments, chiefly from Books ii. and iii. We may conclude from Iug. 95, ‘neque enim alio loco de Sullae rebus dicturi sumus,’ that the career of Sulla was not treated of in the Histories. He is, however, repeatedly mentioned.

Two works are falsely attributed to Sallust:

1. Oratio invectiva in Tullium, composed, along with an Oratio invectiva in Sallustium falsely ascribed to Cicero, by the same ancient rhetorician. The Or. in Tull. is quoted by Quintilian, if the MSS. are right, e.g. iv. 1, 68.

2. An oration and an epistle ad Caesarem senem de re publica, both probably belonging to the imperial period.

Sallust as a historian.—1. He departed from the annalistic arrangement, and took a broader view of his subject, endeavouring to connect events together, and to trace the motives of actions.

2. He shows a want of precision in his facts. Instead of giving dates, he often says vaguely interea; isdem temporibus; dum haec aguntur. One year in the Jugurthine war is left unaccounted for, and Marius is represented as consul in B.C. 105. So in geography and ethnography (as in the Iugurtha) he is not to be trusted. In Iug. 21 he forgets that Cirta is fifty miles from the sea, and that city is besieged in the usual way, though surrounded on three sides by gorges.

He prides himself on his impartiality.

Cat. 4, ‘Mihi a spe, metu, partibus rei publicae animus liber erat.’ So Hist. i. fr. 6.

His leaning to the popular party, however, has been shown above.

3. His speeches do not always suit the speaker or his audience, and are not historical. Thus the speech of Catiline (Cat. 20) does not suit his audience and is not authentic, and that of Marius (Iug. 85) is too learned for the speaker.

4. His prefaces have little to do with what follows. Cf. Quint. iii. 8, 9, ‘C. Sallustius in bello Iugurthino et Catilinae nihil ad historiam pertinentibus principiis orsus est.’

5. He is too fond of hackneyed moral maxims and trite sayings. Thus:

Cat. i, ‘Sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est,’ etc.

Iug. 2, ‘Nam uti genus hominum compositum ex corpore et anima est, ita res cunctae studiaque omnia nostra corporis alia, alia animi naturam secuntur.’

His tone is that of a severe moralist.

Cat. 3, ‘Sed ego adulescentulus initio sicuti plerique studio ad rem publicam latus sum, ibique mihi multa advorsa fuere. Nam pro pudore, pro abstinentia, pro virtute audacia, largitio, avaritia vigebant,’ etc.

As this moralizing did not fit in with the facts of his life he was censured for it, as shown above.

Sallust’s authorities and models.—Besides the authorities mentioned above, he used a breviarium rerum omnium Romanarum prepared for him by the grammarian Ateius (Sueton. Gramm. 10). He is said to have borrowed phrases from Cato.

Quint. viii. 3, 29, ‘Nec minus noto Sallustius epigrammate incessitur:

“Et verba antiqui multum furate Catonis,
Crispe, Iugurthinae conditor historiae.”’

The similarity of Sallust’s style to that of Thucydides, whom he tried to emulate, was remarked by the ancients.

Quint. ix. 3, 17, ‘Ex Graeco vero translata vel Sallustii plurima, quale est “volgus amat fieri”’ [Iug. 34, a poor instance, and wrongly quoted]. Cf. Cat. 6, ‘magisque dandis quam accipiundis beneficiis amicitias parabant,’ and Thuc. ii. 40, 4, οὐ γὰρ πάσχοντες εὖ ἀλλὰ δρῶντες κτώμεθα τοὺς φίλους: Iug. 73, ‘in maius celebrare,’ and Thuc. i. 10, 3, ἐπὶ τὸ μεῖζον κοσμῆσαι.

Sallust’s popularity is shown by the numerous references to him, particularly in Quintilian. Cf. Quint. x. 1, 101, ‘At non historia cesserit Graecis, nec opponere Thucydidi Sallustium verear’; § 102, ‘immortalem illam Sallustii velocitatem.’ Cf. also Martial, xiv. 191, ‘primus Romana Crispus in historia.’ Tacitus is the most important writer influenced by Sallust. For imitations cf. Tac. Agr. 37, where part of the description of a battle is modelled on Iug. 101. Cf. also Cat. 43, ‘facto non consulto in tali periculo opus esse,’ and Tac. Hist. i. 62, ‘ubi facto magis quam consulto opus esset.’


The poet’s full name, C.[35] Valerius Catullus, is got from Jerome and other authorities quoted below, as also his birthplace, Verona, to which Catullus himself refers (c. 67, 34, ‘Veronae meae’; 68, 27; 100, 2). The dates of his birth and death are uncertain. Jerome gives them as B.C. 87-58.

Yr. Abr. 1930 = B.C. 87, ‘Gaius Valerius Catullus scriptor lyricus Veronae nascitur.’

Yr. Abr. 1959 = B.C. 58, ‘Catullus xxx. aetatis anno Romae moritur.’ His early death is referred to by Ovid, Am. iii. 9, 61,

‘Obvius huic [Tibullo] venias hedera iuvenilia cinctus
tempora, cum Calvo, docte Catulle, tuo’;

but it is quite certain that the year of his death given by Jerome as B.C. 58 is wrong. In c. 113, 2, the second consulship of Pompeius in B.C. 55 is referred to, and cc. 11 and 29 were written after Caesar’s expedition to Britain in B.C. 55. C. 52 used to be taken as referring to B.C. 47, from l. 3, ‘per consulatum perierat Vatinius,’ but, as shown below, was written in B.C. 55 or 54. As no clear reference is found to any event after B.C. 54 (a highly important time, which would have been likely to produce some sarcastic poetry from Catullus), it is best to accept the view that Catullus lived from 87 to 54 or 53 B.C. B. Schmidt (ed. mai. 1887, prolegomena), on the other hand, fixes the dates as 82-52 B.C. (accepting Jerome’s account of Catullus’ age), and attributes c. 38 (to Cornificius) to the latter year.

Catullus’ family was wealthy and of good position, as is seen from his having estates at Sirmio (c. 31) and Tibur (c. 44), and from the fact that his father was a friend of Julius Caesar.

Sueton. Iul. 73, ‘Hospitioque patris eius [Catulli], sicut consueverat, uti perseveravit.’

Catullus went to Rome early, and there, as Schmidt thinks, was taught by the grammarian Valerius Cato, to whom c. 56 is probably addressed. From c. 68, 34-5, we see that he was settled at Rome.

          ‘Romae vivimus: illa domus,
illa mihi sedes, illic mea carpitur aetas.’

Catullus wrote love-poetry soon after taking the toga virilis; c. 68, 15,

‘Tempore quo primum vestis mihi tradita purast,
   iucundum cum aetas florida ver ageret,
multa satis lusi.’

Catullus’ love for Lesbia is the outstanding fact of his life. Her real name was Clodia, the sister of P. Clodius, nicknamed for her immorality ‘quadrantaria.’

Apuleius, Apol. 10, ‘Accusent C. Catullum quod Lesbiam pro Clodia nominarit.’

Ovid, Trist. ii. 427,

‘Sic sua lascivo cantata est saepe Catullo
   femina, cui falsum Lesbia nomen erat.’

The name Lesbia (which scans like Clodia) may be got from Sappho, the Lesbian poetess, on whom c. 51 (probably the first addressed to Clodia) is modelled. The facts known about Clodia all fit in with what Catullus tells us of Lesbia. For Lesbia’s beauty, cf. cc. 43 and 86; Clodia was called βοῶπις from her large and lustrous eyes (Cic. ad Att. ii. 9, 1; 12, 2, etc.). For her relations with her husband, cf. Cic. ad Att. ii. 1, 5 (written B.C. 60), ‘Est enim seditiosa: cum viro bellum gerit.’ A hint of the real name is got from c. 79, where the Lesbius mentioned is Clodius, just as Lesbia is Clodia,

‘Lesbius est pulcer: quid ni? quem Lesbia malit
   quam te cum tota gente, Catulle, tua.’

It is probable that the acquaintance began in B.C. 61. In B.C. 62 Clodia was the wife of Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer (Cic. ad Fam. v. 2, 6), and in that year Metellus was governor of Gallia Cisalpina. Now from c. 83 it is evident that Lesbia’s husband was in Rome when she began to be annoyed by Catullus’ attentions. We may conclude from c. 30 that P. Alfenus Varus introduced Catullus to Lesbia. In that poem Catullus blames Varus for leading him on and then leaving him in the lurch. M’. Allius is next mentioned (c. 68) as a friend in whose house Catullus met Lesbia; and cc. 2, 3, 5, and 7 probably belong to this fortunate period of the poet’s love. C. 8 speaks of Lesbia’s leaving him (cf. c. 92), probably on account of her husband’s suspicions. Cf. c. 5, 1,

‘Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis.’

C. 107 speaks of an unexpected reconciliation (celebrated in c. 36). C. 107, 5,

‘Restituis cupido atque insperanti, ipsa refers te
   nobis. O lucem candidiore nota!’

When Catullus, on account of his brother’s death, left Rome for Verona, he already knew that Lesbia had other lovers (c. 68, ll. 27 sqq., 135 sqq.). There are many poems against his rivals: c. 82, against Quintius; c. 40, against Ravidus; cc. 74, 80, 88-91, 116, against Gellius; c. 77, against Rufus, who is attacked also in cc. 59 and 69 (this is M. Caelius Rufus, the orator, who intrigued with Clodia: Cic. pro Cael. 17, etc.); c. 79, against Lesbius (see above). After Catullus returned to Rome, he found that he had lost Lesbia’s affections. C. 70 was then written,

‘Nulli se dicit mulier mea nubere malle
   quam mihi, non si se Iuppiter ipse petat.
Dicit: sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti,
   in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua.’

The words of this poem show that it must have been written after the death of Clodia’s husband Metellus, which took place in B.C. 59, and it was probably written soon after that event, when Catullus had returned to Rome from Verona.

Nos. 72, 85, and especially 58, show increasing bitterness, and must, with the possible exception of 58, be assigned to the years B.C. 59 or 58. In c. 76 he prays for power to give Lesbia up; cf. ll. 23-6,

‘Non iam illud quaero, contra ut me diligat illa,
   aut, quod non potis est, esse pudica velit:
ipse valere opto et taetrum hunc deponere morbum.
   O di, reddite mi hoc pro pietate mea.’

It is probable that the separation between the lovers occurred not later than B.C. 58; otherwise Catullus would not have left for Bithynia in the next year. In c. 11, the last poem that refers to Lesbia, which, from the reference to Britain in l. 12, cannot have been written before B.C. 55, we see that Catullus is cured of his passion; cf. ll. 21-4,

‘Nec meum respectet, ut ante, amorem,
qui illius culpa cecidit velut prati
ultimi flos, praetereunte postquam
          tactus aratro est.’

In the spring of B.C. 57 Catullus went to Bithynia on the staff of the propraetor C. Memmius (cc. 10 and 28). From c. 10, 29, ‘meus sodalis Cinna est Gaius,’ we see that C. Helvius Cinna accompanied him. In c. 46, 9 he speaks of the pleasant meetings of the staff, ‘O dulces comitum valete coetus.’ C. 46 shows that Catullus left Bithynia in the spring of the following year: ll. 1-4,

‘Iam ver egelidos refert tepores ...
Linquantur Phrygii, Catulle, campi.’

The dirge in c. 101 shows that Catullus, on his way to Italy, visited his brother’s tomb in the Troad, and paid the last rites to it. C. 4, written soon after his return to Sirmio, tells us how he made his way home again. About the same time was composed the address to Sirmio in c. 31; c. 10 proves that he soon went back to Rome.

The poems against Caesar’s party belong to the years B.C. 55 and 54. In cc. 41 and 43 Catullus calls a Transpadane girl ‘decoctoris amica Formiani,’ the reference being to Mamurra, ‘the bankrupt from Formiae,’ who had been Caesar’s praefectus fabrum in Gaul, and who may have been a successful rival of Catullus in love. C. 29, written probably in B.C. 54, attacked Mamurra, and also his patrons, Caesar and Pompey. From l. 24, ‘socer generque, perdidistis omnia,’ it is clear that the poem was written before Julia’s death in September, B.C. 54; and from ll. 11-12,

‘eone nomine, imperator unice,
fuisti in ultima occidentis insula,’

that it was written after Caesar’s first expedition to Britain in B.C. 55. The poem is referred to by Sueton. Iul. 73, ‘Valerium Catullum, a quo sibi versiculis de Mamurra perpetua stigmata imposita non dissimulaverat, satis facientem eadem die adhibuit cenae hospitioque patris eius sicut consueverat uti perseveravit.’

C. 52 (against Vatinius) was written B.C. 55 or 54. It used to be assigned to B.C. 47, when Vatinius was consul, but l. 3, ‘per consulatum perierat Vatinius’ means ‘Vatinius perjures himself by his hope of the consulship’ (his name stood on the list agreed on at Luca, which is mentioned by Cic. ad Att. iv. 8b, 2); and l. 2, ‘Sella in curuli struma Nonius sedet,’ cannot refer to B.C. 47, as the only ordinary curule magistrates in that year were P. Vatinius and Q. Fufius Calenus. Among other poems against personal enemies are c. 98, against Vettius, and c. 108, against Cominius, both of them informers; and c. 84, against Arrius, who aspirated his words wrongly, and who, from l. 7, ‘hoc misso in Syriam,’ is supposed to have gone out to Syria as legatus to Crassus in B.C. 55. C. 49 is an attack on Cicero:

‘Disertissime Romuli nepotum,
quot sunt quotque fuere, Marce Tulli,
quotque post aliis erunt in annis,
gratias tibi maximas Catullus
agit, pessimus omnium poeta,
tanto pessimus omnium poeta
quanto tu optimus omnium patronus.’

The sting lies in the double entendre in the last two lines, which really mean ‘so much the worst poet of all poets, as you are the best advocate of all clients, good and bad.’ So Cicero is called in a good sense omnium patronus by Caecina in Cic. ad Fam. vi. 7, 4. The poem has special reference to B.C. 54, when Cicero defended Vatinius (whom he had reviled two years before in the speech Pro Sestio), when prosecuted by Catullus’ friend, Calvus (cf. c. 14, 1-3); and thanks Cicero ironically for some criticism he had passed on his poems. Catullus attacks several contemporary poets; so in c. 22, Suffenus, who in c. 14 is coupled with Caesius and Aquinus; Volusius in cc. 36 and 95; cf. 36, 1, ‘Annales Volusi, cacata charta.’[36]

Among Catullus’ friends were Veranius and Fabullus (cc. 9, 28, etc.); P. Alfenus Varus of Cremona (cc. 10, 22, 30), consul B.C. 39, and a famous iurisconsultus. C. 61 celebrates the marriage of L. Manlius Torquatus (who was praetor B.C. 49) and Vinia Aurunculeia. Several poems are addressed to brother poets; c. 35 is to Caecilius of Novum Comum; c. 38 to Cornificius, a writer of slight love poems (Ovid, Trist. ii. 436) who died B.C. 41; c. 95 is on Cinna’s Zmyrna; cc. 14, 50, and 96 are addressed to C. Licinius Calvus; c. 56 to Valerius Cato (see above); c. 65 to Hortensius Ortalus, who asked Catullus to translate Callimachus; c. 1, and possibly c. 102, to Cornelius Nepos.

Catullus’ longer poems.—These, unlike the shorter personal poems, are mostly due to Alexandrian influence, to which Catullus may have been introduced by his teacher, Valerius Cato. To these poems Catullus owes his title doctus (Tibull. iii. 6, 41; Martial, i. 62, 1, etc.). They include: c. 66, ‘coma Berenices,’ from Callimachus; cf. c. 65, ll. 15-6,

‘Sed tamen in tantis maeroribus, Ortale, mitto
   haec expressa tibi carmina Battiadae’;

c. 68 to Allius, also Alexandrian; c. 64, the ‘Nuptials of Peleus and Thetis,’ l. 30 of which,

‘Oceanusque, mari totum qui amplectitur orbem,’

is from Euphorion, fr. 158 (Meineke), Ὠκεανὸς, τῷ πᾶσα περίρρυτος ἐνδέδεται χθών; c. 63, the ‘Attis’ in Galliambic metre; c. 62, a translation of a Sapphic epithalamium. C. 51, and possibly some parts of c. 61, are from Sappho. Catullus was the first Roman to use the Sapphic measure (in cc. 11 and 51).

Publication of the Poems.—From the arrangement of the poems, which accords neither with chronology nor with subjects, and from the large number of lines extant (2286), which does not suit libellus (c. i. 1), it is highly probable that they were not left by Catullus as we find them. C. 2, beginning ‘Passer, deliciae meae puellae,’ was the first of a series of short poems. Cf. Martial, iv. 14, 13,

‘Sic forsan tener ausus est Catullus
magno mittere passerem Maroni’;[37]

the book being named from its first word, like Arma virumque of the Aeneid. C. 1 (to Cornelius Nepos) is the first of another series of short pieces (cf. the epithet nugae in l. 4). Catullus doubtless published his larger pieces together. The traditional arrangement, due to a later hand, is as follows: (1) The lyric poems in various metres; (2) the larger poems and the elegies; (3) the shorter poems written in elegiacs. Catullus began to be popular as soon as his works were published; cf. Nep. Att. 12, 4 (quoted p. 124). He is imitated in the Priapea, in Ovid, in Ausonius, in the Ciris, in Martial, etc. C. 4 is closely parodied in Verg. Catal. 8.


(a) Ticidas wrote the Hymenaeus and love-poems on Perilla. For the latter cf. Ovid, Trist. ii. 433-4 and 437-8 (read by Riese immediately after),

‘Quid referam Ticidae, quid Memmi carmen, apud quos
   rebus adest nomen nominibusque pudor,
et quorum libris modo dissimulata Perillae
   nomine nunc legitur dicta, Metelle, tuo?’

(b) C. Helvius Cinna was intimate with Catullus, who refers to him in c. 10 as being along with him in Bithynia in B.C. 57. See p. 136. From the reference to Gallia Cisalpina in Cinna, frag. I (Bährens), we might conclude that he was a countryman of Catullus,

‘At nunc me Cenumana per salicta
bigis raeda rapit citata nanis.’

In Sueton. Iul. 52, Cinna is spoken of as a partisan of Caesar: ‘Helvius Cinna tribunus plebis,’ etc.; and he is probably identical with the person mentioned ibid. 85, as put to death in mistake for a man of the same name shortly after the murder of Caesar: ‘Plebs statim a funere ad domum Bruti et Cassii cum facibus tetendit, atque aegre repulsa, obvium sibi Helvium Cinnam per errorem nominis, quasi Cornelius is esset, quem graviter pridie contionatum de Caesare requirebat, occidit caputque eius praefixum hastae circumtulit.’

Cf. especially Plutarch, Brut. 20, ἦν δέ τις Κίννας, ποιητικὸς ἀνὴρ, οὐδὲν τῆς αἰτίας μετέχων, ἀλλὰ καὶ φίλος Καίσαρος γεγονὼς, etc.[38]

Weichert (Poet. Lat. Rell. p. 157) thinks that Plutarch has confused the tr. pleb. with the poet, and that Virgil’s words (below) imply that Helvius Cinna was alive when the Eclogue was written (B.C. 41-39). The latest authorities, however, identify the two persons. Verg. Ecl. 9, 35,

‘Nam neque adhuc Vario videor nec dicere Cinna
digna, sed argutos inter strepere anser[39] olores.’

Cinna’s works were:

1. Zmyrna, on the incestuous love of Myrrha for Cinyras. Cinna spent nine years on this poem, which was very obscure. Catull. 95,

‘Zmyrna mei Cinnae nonam post denique messem
quam coeptast nonamque edita post hiemem.’

Philargyrius ad Verg. Ecl. 9, 35, ‘Fuit autem liber obscurus adeo ut et nonnulli eius aetatis grammatici in eum scripserint magnamque ex eius enarratione sint gloriam consecuti.’

2. Propempticon Pollionis, written on the occasion of Asinius Pollio’s visit to Greece.

3. Epigrams and Love Poems.—For the latter cf. Ovid, Trist. ii. 435 (on the erotic poets),

‘Cinna quoque his comes est, Cinnaque procacior Anser,
   et leve Cornifici parque Catonis opus.’

(c) C. Licinius Macer Calvus was the son of the annalist C. Licinius Macer, and was born 28th May, B.C. 82.

Cic. ad Q.F. ii. 4, 1, ‘Macer Licinius.’

Valer. Max. ix. 12, 7, ‘C. Licinius Macer, Calvi pater.’

Pliny, N.H. vii. 165, ‘C. Mario Cn. Carbone iii. coss. a. d. v. Kal. Iun. M. Caelius Rufus et C. Licinius Calvus eadem die geniti sunt.’

Calvus probably died B.C. 47. Cf. Cic. ad Fam. xv. 21, 4, written to C. Trebonius towards the end of that year. The letter refers to correspondence with Calvus, and criticizes his oratory.

See also Cic. Brut. 279 and 283-4; and, for his relations with Cicero, Tac. Dial. 18. Calvus vied with Cicero for the first place in the forum. His best known speeches were in Vatinium, whom he prosecuted at least three times (B.C. 58-54).

Seneca, Controv. vii. 4, 6-8, ‘Calvus, qui diu cum Cicerone iniquissimam litem de principatu eloquentiae habuit, usque eo violentus actor et concitatus fuit, ut in media eius actione surgeret Vatinius reus et exclamaret: Rogo vos, iudices, num si iste disertus est, ideo me damnari oportet? Idem postea cum videret a clientibus Catonis, rei sui, Pollionem Asinium circumventum in foro caedi, imponi se supra cippum iussit; erat enim parvolus statura, propter quod etiam Catullus in hendecasyllabis (c. 53) vocat illum “salaputtium disertum.” ... Solebat praeterea excedere subsellia sua et impetu latus usque in adversariorum partem transcurrere. Et carmina quoque eius, quamvis iocosa sint, plena sunt ingentis animi ... Compositio quoque eius in actionibus ad exemplum Demosthenis riget: nihil in illa placidum, nihil lene est, omnia excitata et fluctuantia.’

Catullus also refers to Calvus in c. 14, and in c. 96, where he speaks of the ‘mors immatura Quintiliae,’ probably Calvus’ wife.

Of the poems about nineteen lines are extant. They included: (1) ludicra (in hendecasyllables); (2) epithalamia; (3) Io; (4) ad uxorem; (5) epigrammata. For the last cf. Sueton. Iul. 73, ‘C. Calvo post famosa epigrammata de reconciliatione per amicos agenti ultro ac prior scripsit.’ (6) ‘Calvi de aquae frigidae usu,’ which forms the title of Martial xiv. 196, may have been a didactic poem. Other references to Calvus’ poetry are: Ovid, Trist. ii. 431,

‘Par fuit exigui similisque licentia Calvi,
   detexit variis qui sua furta modis’;

Propert. iii. 34, 89,

‘Haec etiam docti confessast pagina Calvi
   cum caneret miserae funera Quintiliae’;

Hor. Sat. i. 10, 16,

‘Illi, scripta quibus comoedia prisca viris est,
hoc stabant, hoc sunt imitandi: quos neque pulcher
Hermogenes umquam legit, neque simius iste
nil praeter Calvum et doctus cantare Catullum.’

(d) P. Terentius Varro Atacinus was born B.C. 82 in Gallia Narbonensis near Atax (a river, not a town, as Jerome states).

Jerome yr. Abr. 1935 = B.C. 82, ‘P. Terentius Varro vico Atace in provincia Narbonensi nascitur; qui postea xxxv. annum agens Graecas litteras cum summo studio didicit.’

Porphyr. ad Hor. Sat. i. 10, 46, ‘Terentius Varro Narbonensis, qui Atacinus ab Atace fluvio dictus est.’

Varro must have died before B.C. 35, when Horace, speaking of satire, wrote, Sat. i. 10, 46,

‘Hoc erat, experto frustra Varrone Atacino
atque quibusdam aliis melius quod scribere possem.’

Varro’s works were:

1. Bellum Sequanicum, probably an epic on Caesar’s war with Ariovistus in B.C. 58.

2. Saturae, mentioned only in the above passage of Horace.

3. Argonautae, a translation from Apollonius Rhodius in four Books. Probus ad Verg. Georg. ii. 126, ‘Varro qui quattuor libros de Argonautis edidit.’

Cf. Sen. Controv. vii. 1, 27, ‘Illos optimos versus Varronis (= Apoll. iii. 749-50),

“Desierant latrare canes urbesque silebant;
omnia noctis erant placida composta quiete.”

Solebat Ovidius de his versibus dicere, potuisse fieri longe meliores, si secundi versus ultima pars abscideretur et sic desineret “omnia noctis erant.”’[40]

Cf. also Quint. x. 1, 87; Ovid, Am. i. 15, 21; Stat. Silv. ii. 7, 77.

4. Chorographia, a geographical work, as the fragments show.

5. Ephemeris.—Serv. ad Verg. Georg. i. 375, ‘Hic locus omnis de Varrone est; nam et Varro et Vergilius Aratum secuti sunt.’

6. Elegies.—One line is given by Bährens. Cf. Propert. iii. 34, 85,

‘Haec quoque perfecto ludebat Iasone Varro,
   Varro Leucadiae maxima flamma suae.’

(e) Publilius Syrus was a manumitted slave, a native of Syria, probably of Antioch.

Jerome yr. Abr. 1974 = B.C. 43, ‘Publilius mimographus natione Syrus Romae scaenam tenet.’

Pliny, N.H. xxxv. 199, ‘Est et vilissima [creta] qua circum praeducere ad victoriae notam pedesque venalium trans maria advectorum denotare instituerunt maiores talemque Publilium Antiochium (MSS. lochium) mimicae scaenae conditorem et astrologiae consobrinum eius Manilium Antiochum, item grammaticae Staberium Erotem eadem nave advectos videre proavi.’

An account of Publilius’ manumission, and his contest with Laberius in B.C. 45, is given by Macrob. Saturn. ii. 7, 4-8, and is quoted under ‘Laberius,’ p. 97.

Publilius’ works were:

1. Mimi.—Two titles are quoted.

2. Sententiae.—Six hundred and ninety-seven lines from his mimes (unconnected and alphabetically arranged) are preserved from different sources. Most are iambic senarii, some trochaic septenarii.

Macrob. Saturn. ii. 7, 10, ‘Publili sententiae feruntur lepidae et ad communem usum adcommodatissimae.’

Cicero heard his and Laberius’ plays in B.C. 46. See ad Fam. xii. 18, 2, quoted under ‘Laberius,’ p. 99.

Sen. de tranquill. 11, 8, ‘Publilius, tragicis comicisque vehementior ingeniis, quotiens mimicas ineptias et verba ad summam caveam spectantia reliquit, inter multa alia cothurno, non tantum sipario fortiora, et hoc ait,

“Cuivis potest accidere quod cuiquam potest.”’

The lines are, like the above, proverbs of worldly wisdom, and seem to have been used in schools.

Jerome Ep. ad Laetam, 107, ‘Legi quondam in scholis puer,

“Aegre reprendas quod sinas consuescere.”’




(1) LIFE.

Our chief authority for the life of Virgil, apart from his own writings and those of his contemporaries, is Donatus, whose work is probably based on Suetonius’ De Poetis. Donatus’ work, though not free from romance, is much more valuable than the Life by Probus[41] or the metrical account given by Phocas.[42] Some important details are given in the Life wrongly attributed to Servius, and in an account preserved in a Berne MS. of the tenth century.

The poet’s name is correctly given as P. Vergilius Maro in all the Lives. The balance of authority is decidedly in favour of the spelling ‘Vergilius’; it is always so written in the early MSS. and in inscriptions of the Republic and of the early centuries A.D. The traditional form in modern literature, ‘Virgil,’ is here retained.

Virgil was born 15th October, B.C. 70, at Andes (identified traditionally with Pietole)[43] near Mantua. Donatus, vit. Verg., ‘Natus est Cn. Pompeio Magno et M. Licinio Crasso primum coss. iduum Octobrium die, in pago qui Andes dicitur et abest a Mantua non procul.’

He was of humble extraction, his father being originally either a potter or a day-labourer.

Probus, vit. Verg., ‘Matre Magia Polla, patre rustico.’

Donatus, ‘Parentibus modicis fuit ac praecipue patre, quem quidam opificem figulum, plures Magi cuiusdam viatoris initio mercennarium mox ob industriam generum tradiderunt egregieque substantiae silvis coemendis et apibus curandis auxisse reculam.’ (Cf. Virgil’s treatment of bees in Georgic iv.)

His early years were spent at Cremona, whence in B.C. 55 he went to Mediolanum and then to Rome for his higher education. He studied philosophy, medicine, mathematics, and rhetoric; but his shyness prevented his being a success at the bar, where, we are told, he appeared only once.

Donatus, ‘Initia aetatis Cremonae egit usque ad virilem togam, quam xv. anno natali suo accepit isdem illis consulibus iterum duobus quibus erat natus, evenitque ut eo ipso die Lucretius poeta decederet. De Cremona Mediolanum et inde paulo post transiit in urbem ... Inter cetera studia medicinae quoque ac maxime mathematicae[44] operam dedit. Egit et causam apud iudices unam omnino nec amplius quam semel; nam et in sermone tardissimum ac paene indocto similem fuisse Melissus [a freedman of Maecenas] tradidit.’

The Berne MS. above referred to says: ‘Ut primum se contulit Romam, studuit apud Epidium oratorem cum Caesare Augusto.’[45] For his studies under the Epicurean Siron cf. Catal. 7, 8,

‘Nos ad beatos vela mittimus portus,
magni petentes docta dicta Sironis,
vitamque ab omni vindicabimus cura.’

Cf. also Ecl. 6, 31-40, where a brief sketch is given of the Epicurean theory of creation.

For a few years we hear nothing of his life, but we may suppose that he continued his studies in literature and philosophy, probably at his farm, if we can draw any inference from the language of Ecl. 1, especially l. 19 sqq. So far as is known, he took no part in the civil wars. In B.C. 41, when lands were assigned to the troops of Antonius, Virgil was dispossessed of his property. On the recommendation of Asinius Pollio, who was legatus of Gallia Transpadana, he went to Rome and obtained from Octavian the restitution of his land. The poet expresses his gratitude in Ecl. 1, 42,

‘Hic illum vidi iuvenem, Meliboee, quotannis
bis senos cui nostra dies altaria fumant.
Hic mihi responsum primus dedit ille petenti:
“Pascite ut ante boves, pueri, submittite tauros.”’

Cf. also ll. 70-3.

Donatus, ‘Ad bucolica transiit maxime ut Asinium Pollionem, Alphenum Varum, et Cornelium Gallum celebraret, quia in distributione agrorum qui post Philippensem victoriam[46] veteranis triumvirorum iussu trans Padum dividebantur, indemnem se praestitissent.’

Virgil was evicted a second time in the following year, after the Bellum Perusinum, by the troops of Octavian. Conflicting accounts are given by the Lives regarding the persons who seized his land.[47]

Servius, vit. Verg., ‘Postea ortis bellis civilibus inter Antonium et Augustum, Augustus victor Cremonensium agros, quia pro Antonio senserant, dedit militibus suis. Qui cum non sufficerent, his addidit agros Mantuanos, sublatos non propter civium culpam, sed propter vicinitatem Cremonensium: unde ipse in Bucolicis (9, 28), “Mantua vae miserae nimium vicina Cremonae.”’

Virgil and his household found refuge on an estate which had once belonged to his old master Siron: Catal. 10,

‘Villula, quae Sironis eras, et pauper agelle ...
            Tu nunc eris illi [patri]
Mantua quod fuerat quodque Cremona prius.’

Whether he recovered his old farm is uncertain: at all events he spent most of his time in the south of Italy. Besides a house in Rome, he seems to have had a country house near Nola, and we know that the Georgics (cf. iv. 563) were written at Naples.

Donatus, ‘Habuit domum Romae Esquiliis iuxta hortos Maecenatis, quamquam secessu Campaniae Siciliaeque plurimum uteretur.’

Gell. vi. 20, 1, ‘Scriptum in quodam commentario repperi ... Vergilium petivisse a Nolanis, aquam uti duceret in propinquum rus.’

He lived a retired life, seldom visiting Rome, and devoting most of his time to poetical composition, in which he was regular and painstaking.

Tac. Dial. 13, ‘Securum et quietum Vergilii secessum, in quo tamen neque apud divum Augustum gratia caruit neque apud populum Romanum notitia: testes Augusti epistulae, testis ipse populus, qui auditis in theatro Vergilii versibus surrexit universus et forte praesentem spectantemque Vergilium veneratus est sic quasi Augustum.’

Quint. x. 3, 8, ‘Vergilium paucissimos die composuisse versus auctor est Varius.’

Cf. his own expression, quoted by Gell. xvii. 10, 2, ‘parere se versus more atque ritu ursino’ (alluding to the notion that the bear licked its young into shape).

He was already an influential member of Maecenas’ literary circle, to which, in B.C. 39, he introduced Horace. Cf. Hor. Sat. i. 6, 54,

          ‘optimus olim
Vergilius, post hunc Varius dixere quid essem.’

By Maecenas he was introduced to Augustus,[48] who treated him with liberality. Cf. Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 246,

‘Munera quae multa dantis cum laude tulerunt
dilecti tibi Vergilius Variusque poetae.’

He was on intimate terms with Horace, who addresses Od. i. 3 to him on the occasion of a proposed visit to Greece. Cf. ll. 5-8,

   ‘Navis, quae tibi creditum
debes Vergilium, finibus Atticis
   reddas incolumem, precor,
et serves animae dimidium meae.’

In B.C. 37 he formed one of the party who travelled with Horace to Brundisium: Hor. Sat. i. 5, 40 (see under ‘Horace,’ p. 167).

For the rest of his life we hear little of Virgil in any public connexion. In B.C. 19 he started on a voyage to Greece and Asia, intending to spend three years on the revision of the Aeneid, but returned from Athens in bad health, and died at Brundisium on 21st September. His remains were buried near Naples. The epitaph quoted by Donatus is obviously not by Virgil: ‘Anno aetatis lii. impositurus Aeneidi summam manum, statuit in Graeciam et in Asiam secedere triennioque continuo nihil amplius quam emendare, ut reliqua vita tantum philosophiae vacaret: sed cum ingressus iter Athenis occurrisset Augusto ab oriente Romam revertenti destinaretque non absistere atque etiam una redire, dum Megara vicinum oppidum ferventissimo sole cognoscit, languorem nactus est eumque non intermissa navigatione auxit, ita ut gravior aliquanto Brundisium appelleret, ubi diebus paucis obiit xi. Kal. Octobr. Cn. Sentio Q. Lucretio coss. (21st September, B.C. 19). Ossa eius Neapolim translata sunt tumuloque condita ... in quo distichon fecit tale:

“Mantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc
   Parthenope: cecini pascua, rura, duces.”’

His personal appearance and character are thus described by Donatus: ‘Corpore et statura fuit grandis, aquilo colore, facie rusticana, valetudine varia: nam plerumque a stomacho et a faucibus ac dolore capitis laborabat, sanguinem etiam saepe reiecit.’ (Cf. Hor. Sat. i. 5, 48,

‘Lusum it Maecenas, dormitum ego Vergiliusque;
namque pila lippis inimicum et ludere crudis.’)

‘Cibi vinique minimi, libidinis pronior ... cetera sane vita et ore et animo tam probum constat, ut Neapoli Parthenias volgo appellatus sit, ac si quando Romae, quo rarissime commeabat, viseretur in publico, sectantes demonstrantesque se suffugeret in proximum tectum.’

(2) WORKS.

Minor Poems.—According to Donatus, these were: ‘In Balistam ... deinde Catalecton et Priapia et Epigrammata et Diras, item Cirim et Culicem, cum esset annorum xvi.’ Servius omits the boyish production ‘in Balistam,’ and adds the ‘Copa.’ The ‘Aetna,’ mentioned with doubt by Donatus, is, of course, not by Virgil. (1) Catalecta.-This seems better than Catalecton; either would mean “a collection of poems.” Some give Catalepton (= “trifles,” like Aratus’ work τὰ κατὰ λεπτόν). Ribbeck thinks Catalecta originally included the Priapea, Epigrammata, and Dirae, but came to be restricted to the fourteen short pieces given in our MSS. under that title. Some of these, e.g. No. 5, are spurious. Quint. viii. 3, 28 vouches for No. 2. Virgil’s friends, Tucca and Varius, are addressed in 1 and 9, and 10 (on Siron’s villa) refers to an event in Virgil’s life. In the vein of Catullus are 3, 4, and 8, the last being an extremely close parody of Catullus, c. 4. (2) Priapea, three in number. (3) Dirae, spurious. (4) Ciris. The writer’s reference to himself in l. 2, ‘Irritaque expertum fallacis praemia volgi,’ shows that Virgil is not the author. (5) Culex. That Virgil wrote a poem with this title is attested by Suetonius, Statius, and Martial; e.g. Mart. viii. 56, 19,

‘Protinus Italiam concepit et arma virumque
qui modo vix Culicem fleverat ore rudi.’

The poem in its present form is accepted by Ribbeck, but it does not correspond exactly to the account given by Donatus of the contents. (6) The Copa Ribbeck accepts as genuine, but other critics find in it characteristics rather of Ovid or of Propertius. (7) The Moretum, though found in MSS., is not mentioned by Donatus or Servius, a strong argument against its being genuine.

Bucolica.—These ten poems are called in the MSS. Eclogae (“selected pieces”), and were composed B.C. 43-39. Probus, ‘Scripsit Bucolica annos natus xxviii., Theocritum secutus.’

Servius, ‘Tunc ei proposuit Pollio ut carmen bucolicum scriberet, quod eum constat triennio[49] scripsisse et emendasse.’

They were doubtless published separately as they were written, and afterwards collected into a volume with Ecl. 1 (Tityrus) coming first. Cf. Georg. iv. 565,

‘Carmina qui lusi pastorum, audaxque iuventa,
Tityre, te patulae cecini sub tegmine fagi.’

The present order is certainly not the chronological order.

Ecl. 1 was written B.C. 41 as a thanksgiving to Augustus (see p. 150).

Ecl. 2 cannot be earlier than the end of 43 when Pollio was made governor of Gallia Transpadana, and possibly should not be put earlier than the summer of 42. The poem is written on his favourite slave Alexis (see Serv. ad loc.).

Ecl. 3 was probably written soon afterwards. Virgil refers in l. 84 to his intimacy with Pollio,

‘Pollio amat nostram, quamvis est rustica, Musam.’

Ecl. 2 and 3 are earlier than 5. Cf. 5, 86-7,

‘Haec nos “Formosum Corydon ardebat Alexim,”
haec eadem docuit “Cuium pecus? an Meliboei?”’

Ecl. 4. The date is clear from l. 3,

‘Si canimus silvas, silvae sint consule dignae.’

It must have been written in 40, when Pollio was consul. This eclogue, which in the Middle Age was believed to be a prophecy of the Messiah’s coming, cannot be satisfactorily explained as referring to Pollio’s son Saloninus, or to the expected child of Augustus, Julia.

Ecl. 5. Spohn’s view is highly probable, that it was written for the first celebration of Caesar’s birthday in July, 42.

Ecl. 6, to Varus, probably written B.C. 40 from Siron’s villa.

Ecl. 7 contains no allusion to contemporary events: the tone is purely pastoral.

Ecl. 8 was written while Pollio was on his way back to Rome from his victory over the Parthini in Illyricum, for his triumph in B.C. 39. Cf. ll. 6 and 12.

In Ecl. 9, written B.C. 40 at Siron’s villa, the poet expresses his grief at the second expulsion from his farm.

Ecl. 10 entitled ‘Gallus’ was written B.C. 39. For details see under ‘Gallus,’ p. 182.[50]

Sources of the Eclogues.—Several of the Eclogues are modelled on Theocritus (cf. ‘Sicelides Musae’ 4, 1; ‘Syracosius versus’ 6, 1), e.g. Ecl. 8 on Theocr. 2 and 3; and close imitations are found throughout. The poet Euphorion of Chalcis (of third century B.C.) is alluded to in Ecl. 10, 50 in connection with Gallus. The names of the shepherds are mostly from Theocritus, as Tityrus, Mopsus, Damoetas. They are ‘Arcades’ (7, 4, etc.), but, like the scenery, exhibit traits both of Sicily and of North Italy. Thus the scenery never gives an accurate picture of any one locality: e.g. Ecl. 9, ll. 1-10, 26-7, 36, 59-60, present features of the district around Mantua, while in ll. 39-43 a Sicilian scene is introduced from Theocritus. The lofty mountains, e.g. 1, 84, are Sicilian, and so are many of the trees, as chestnut and pine, which are said not to be found near Mantua. For Mantuan scenery cf. e.g. 7, 12,

‘Hic virides tenera praetexit harundine ripas

The Georgics were written from B.C. 37 to 30 at the suggestion of Maecenas. Cf. i. 1.

Serv. vit. Verg. ‘Item proposuit Maecenas Georgica, quae scripsit emendavitque septem annis.’

The poem was finished by B.C. 29. Cf. Donatus, ‘Georgica reverso post Actiacam victoriam Augusto atque Atellae ... commoranti per continuum quadriduum legit.’ It was written at Naples. Cf. iv. 559,

‘Haec super arvorum cultu pecorumque canebam ...
Illo Vergilium me tempore dulcis alebat
Parthenope, studiis florentem ignobilis oti.’

The concluding part of Book iv., originally a dirge on Cornelius Gallus, was afterwards altered for the myth of Aristaeus, to please Augustus.

Serv. ad Ecl. 10, 1, ‘Fuit Cornelius Gallus amicus Vergilii, adeo ut quartus Georgicorum a medio usque ad finem eius laudes teneret, quas postea iubente Augusto in Aristaei fabulam commutavit.’

Sources of the Georgics.—Besides his own observation, Virgil used the following authorities:

1. Hesiod—mostly in Book i., e.g. ll. 276-286 (lucky and unlucky days). Cf. ii. 176,

‘Ascraeumque cano Romana per oppida carmen.’

2. Books of the priests; e.g. i. 269 sqq. (what is lawful on holy days), i. 338 sqq. (Ambarvalia).

3. For agriculture and natural history—Greek writers like Aristotle, Theophrastus, Democritus, and Xenophon; and Latin writers like Cato and Varro.

4. Alexandrian writers for science and mythology; e.g. Eratosthenes for i. 233, ‘quinque tenent caelum zonae,’ etc.; i. 351-465, signs of weather, from the Διοσημεῖα of Aratus; iii. 425 sqq., the Calabrian serpent, from the Θηριακά of Nicander, whose writings were also used for the subject of bees in Book iv.

5. Lucretius, to whom Virgil is chiefly indebted, ii. 475 sqq., especially 490 sqq., ‘felix qui potuit,’ etc., refers to Lucretius. The idea of Lucretius, cf. v. 206-217, that man has a perpetual struggle with nature, is reflected in Virgil, but modified by his acceptance of the argument from design. Cf. i. 99,

Exercetque frequens tellurem atque imperat arvis,’

and the whole passage i. 118-159. Lucretian science is borrowed in passages like i. 89,

‘Seu pluris calor ille vias et caeca relaxat
spiramenta, novas veniat qua sucus in herbas’;

l. 415-423 (of the habits of birds); iii. 242 sqq. (on the passion of love). Notice also, with Munro, Lucretian phrases like principio, quod superest, his animadversis, nunc age, praeterea, nonne vides, contemplator, genitalia semina.

Political purpose of the Georgics.—The political purpose of the Georgics is to help the policy of Augustus, which aimed at checking the depopulation of the country districts. Cf. i. 498-514, and especially ll. 506-7,

            ‘Non ullus aratro
dignus honos: squalent abductis arva colonis.’

The Emperor is introduced throughout as the object of veneration. Cf. i. 24-42.

Natural scenery.—Virgil dwells on Nature in her softer aspects. Cf. phrases like ii. 470, ‘mollesque sub arbore somni,’ and the passage ii. 458-540 in praise of a country life. For the praise of Italy see the beautiful passage ii. 136-176, where special districts are mentioned.

Aeneid.—Even before the Eclogues were written, Virgil had meditated the composition of an epic, perhaps, as Servius suggests, on the kings of Alba. Cf. Ecl. 6, 3,

‘Cum canerem reges et proelia, Cynthius aurem
vellit et admonuit: “pastorem, Tityre, pingues
pascere oportet oves, deductum dicere carmen.”’

The idea of a poem in honour of Augustus was present to his mind when he wrote Georg. iii. 46,

‘Mox tamen ardentes accingar dicere pugnas

The Aeneid was commenced B.C. 29, and remained unfinished at Virgil’s death.

Servius, vit. Verg., ‘postea ab Augusto Aeneidem propositam scripsit annis undecim, sed nec emendavit nec edidit.’

His method of working at the poem is thus described by Donatus, ‘Aeneida prosa prius oratione formatam digestamque in xii. libros particulatim componere instituit, prout liberet quidque et nihil in ordinem arripiens. Ut ne quid impetum moraretur, quaedam imperfecta transmisit, alia levissimis verbis veluti fulsit, quae per iocum pro tibicinibus interponi aiebat ad sustinendum opus donec solidae columnae advenirent.’

In what order the Books were written it is impossible to decide; but Book vi. was not read to Augustus till after the death of the young Marcellus, B.C. 23.

Donatus, ‘Cui [Augusto] multo post perfectaque demum materia tres omnino libros recitavit, secundum quartum sextum, sed hunc notabili Octaviae adfectione, quae cum recitationi interesset ad illos de filio suo versus, “Tu Marcellus eris,” defecisse fertur atque aegre focillata est.’

Virgil, writing to the emperor, insists on the magnitude of the task he had rashly undertaken.

Macrob. Saturn. i. 24, 11, ‘Tanta incohata res est, ut paene vitio mentis tantum opus ingressus mihi videar, cum praesertim, ut scis, alia quoque studia ad id opus multoque potiora impertiar.’

Although in his will Virgil left instructions to Varius (and Tucca) to destroy all his unpublished manuscripts, Varius was expressly desired by Augustus to revise and publish the Aeneid.

Donatus, ‘Egerat cum Vario, priusquam Italia decederet, ut si quid sibi accidisset Aeneida combureret; sed is facturum se pernegarat ... Edidit autem auctore Augusto Varius, sed summatim emendata, ut qui versus etiam imperfectos sicut erant reliquerit.’

This account is corroborated by Pliny the elder, N.H. vii. 114, Gellius, and Macrobius.

The rules laid down to the editors by the Emperor were, according to Servius, ‘ut superflua demerent, nihil adderent tamen.’

It seems probable that the Aeneid was published B.C. 17, for it is in the Carmen Saeculare of that year that Horace first alludes to the story of Aeneas (cf. l. 50, ‘clarus Anchisae Venerisque sanguis’), and in the fourth Book of the Odes (four years later) it is more than once introduced.

The choice of the subject was influenced (1) by the personal desire of the Emperor; (2) by the connexion of the Caesarian house with Venus, through Iulus;[51] cf. the invention of Atys (Aen. v. 568) by Virgil to please Augustus, whose mother was Atia; (3) by Virgil’s design to write an epic on the greatness of Rome, in the manner of Homer.

The Aeneas Legend.—Stesichorus of Himera, among other writers, made Aeneas, a Homeric hero (cf. Il. xx. 307-8), settle in Italy; and Naevius is said to have adopted the legend in the form given by Timaeus, the Sicilian historian of the third century B.C. The legend probably arose from the worship of Aphrodite on the coasts of Italy, and was disseminated by the Greeks of Cumae to please the Romans. The connexion of Rome with Troy had been officially recognized for two hundred years (cf. Sueton. Claud. 25), and, though not a popular belief, had been accepted in literature from the time of Naevius.

Sources of the Aeneid.—1. Earlier Roman poets as Naevius, Ennius, Pacuvius, Accius, Lucilius, Hostius, Varro Atacinus, Lucretius. For details see under these names.

2. Cato’s Origines and Varro’s Antiquitates, for Italian legends and peoples.

3. Ius pontificium and ius augurale, as found in the books of sacred colleges (Macrob. i. 24, 16). Cf. the ritual meaning of porricio (v. 776), porrigo (viii. 274), the habit of praying with veiled head (iii. 405), prayer to Apollo of Soracte (xi. 785).

4. Greek sources: (a) particularly the Iliad and Odyssey, but also the Homeric Hymns and Cyclic Poems. Thus the games in Book v. = the games in honour of Patroclus in Il. xxiii.; the shield of Aeneas (viii. 626-731) = the shield of Achilles in Il. xviii.; (b) Apollonius Rhodius, for the passion of Dido = that of Medea; (c) Greek tragedies, e.g. the lost Laocoon of Sophocles for ii. 40 sqq.

Religion in the Aeneid.—1. The mythology is mainly from Homer. From Latin myths come Faunus, Saturnus, Janus, Picus. Euhemerism is shown by the last three being represented as originally kings of Rome.

2. The power of the gods is denoted by fatum or fata; cf. x. 112-3,

       ‘rex Iuppiter omnibus idem:
fata viam invenient.’

3. The description of the lower world in Book vi. is from the descent into Hades in Od. xi., but is modified by Pythagorean ideas (vi. 748-751, metempsychosis), Stoic ideas (vi. 724 sqq., pantheism, cf. Georg. iv. 219-227) and Platonic myths (e.g. in the Gorgias, Phaedo, and Republic), and rendered more definite by the introduction of heroes of the Republic. Note that Virgil emphasizes its mythical nature by dismissing Aeneas through the ivory gate (of false dreams).

4. Other beliefs: (a) The golden bough (vi. 203-9) compared to the mistletoe, the symbol of the lower world with many Indo-European peoples; (b) Divinities attached to special places, e.g. viii. 349-354 of the religio attaching to the Capitol, ii. 351-2 guardian deities: cf. Carmentis, pater Tiberinus, etc.; (c) Worship of the dead, and belief in their continued influence on human affairs, iii. 66-8, 301-5.

Political significance.—1. The pre-eminence of the Julian race and of Augustus himself. Cf. i. 286,

‘Nascetur pulchra Troianus origine Caesar,
imperium Oceano, famam qui terminet astris,
Iulius, a magno demissum nomen Iulo.’

So vi. 789 sqq.

2. The idea of empire: cf. i. 33,

‘Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem’;

and of Rome as the conqueror and civilizer of the world: vi. 851,

‘Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento:
hae tibi erunt artes, pacisque imponere morem,
parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.’

3. The unity of Italy with Rome is seen in Aeneas and Turnus, representing respectively the pietas and the martial courage of a past age. This is brought out also by the introduction of local names. Cf. vii. 682-5, 710-7, 797-802.

4. Virgil shows here and there contempt for pure democracy: vi. 815,

            ‘iactantior Ancus
nunc quoque iam nimium gaudens popularibus auris.’

Cf. also i. 148-9.

Authors influenced by Virgil.—Livy, Tacitus, Ovid, Tibullus, Propertius, Manilius, Lucan, Silius Italicus, Statius, Valerius Flaccus, Martial, Juvenal, the author of Aetna. See under each.


(1) LIFE.

Our chief source of information about Horace is his own works, and some important details are added in a life of him by Suetonius.

Horace’s full name is Quintus (Sat. ii. 6, 37) Horatius (Od. iv. 6, 44) Flaccus (Sat. ii. 1, 18). He was born 8th December, B.C. 65, at Venusia in Apulia, on the frontier of Lucania.

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Natus est vi. Id. Decembr. L. Cotta et L. Torquato coss.’

Ep. i. 20, 26-8,

‘Forte meum siquis te percontabitur aevum,
me quater undenos sciat inplevisse Decembris
collegam Lepidum quo duxit Lollius anno.’

Sat. i. 1, 34,

            ‘Lucanus an Appulus anceps:
nam Venusinus arat finem sub utrumque colonus.’

There are a great many references to Apulia in Horace. So Od. iii. 4, 9 sqq.,

‘Me fabulosae Volture in Appulo
nutricis extra limina Pulliae’ (his nurse’s name), etc.

All Roman virtues are attributed to the Apulians, as in Od. i. 22, 13; iii. 5, 9; Epod. ii. 39-42.

Horace, though free-born (Sat. i. 6, 7) was the son of a freedman, who was by profession a collector of debts, or, according to others, a fishmonger. To this last story Horace probably refers with proud humility in Ep. ii. 2, 60,

‘Bioneis sermonibus et sale nigro.’

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Patre, ut ipse tradit, libertino et auctionum coactore, ut vero creditum est, salsamentario.’

Sat. i. 6, 6,

‘Ut me libertino patre natum’;

ibid. 85,

‘Nec timuit, sibi ne vitio quis verteret olim,
si praeco parvas aut, ut fuit ipse, coactor
mercedes sequerer.’

Stories of his childhood are given, Od. iii. 4, 9 sqq.; Sat. i. 9, 29 sqq.; Sat. ii. 2, 112 sqq.

Horace speaks highly of his father, who took him from the village school to Rome for his education. After speaking of his own freedom from vice he says (Sat. i. 6, 71 sqq.),

‘Causa fuit pater his, qui macro pauper agello
noluit in Flavi ludum me mittere, ...
sed puerum est ausus Romam portare docendum
artis quas doceat quivis eques atque senator
semet prognatos. Vestem servosque sequentis,
in magno ut populo, si qui vidisset, avita
ex re praeberi sumptus mihi crederet illos.
Ipse mihi custos incorruptissimus omnis
circum doctores aderat.’

He received instruction, both in Latin and Greek, from Orbilius,[52] a teacher of conservative tendencies. Ep. ii. 1, 69,

‘Non equidem insector delendave carmina Livi
esse reor, memini quae plagosum mihi parvo
Orbilium dictare.’

Ep. ii. 2, 41,

‘Romae nutriri mihi contigit atque doceri
iratus Graiis quantum nocuisset Achilles.’

His education was continued at Athens. Ep. ii. 2, 43,

‘Adiecere bonae paulo plus artis Athenae,
scilicet ut vellem curvo dignoscere rectum
atque inter silvas Academi quaerere verum.’

His studies were interrupted by the civil war; he joined Brutus (who came to Athens in August, B.C. 44), was by him appointed tribunus militum, and took part in the battle of Philippi, B.C. 42. Ep. ii. 2, 46,

‘Dura sed emovere loco me tempora grato
civilisque rudem belli tulit aestus in arma
Caesaris Augusti non responsura lacertis.’

Od. ii. 7, 9,

‘Philippos et celerem fugam
sensi, relicta non bene parmula.’

In Sat. i. 7 Horace relates a scene at Clazomenae before Brutus and his staff; and in Ep. i. 11 he speaks, as if with personal knowledge, of places in Asia Minor and the islands of the Aegean, which he probably visited then. He refers to the hardships of war in Od. ii. 6, 7; ii. 7, 1; iii. 4, 26.

After the civil war his paternal property was confiscated, probably in B.C. 41, and his poverty compelled him to seek the post of a clerk in the quaestor’s office, and, as he says, to write verses. (Some satires and epodes were then written.)

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Victis partibus, venia inpetrata, scriptum quaestorium comparavit.’

Sat. ii. 6, 36,

‘De re communi scribae magna atque nova te
orabant hodie meminisses, Quinte, reverti.’

Ep. ii. 2, 49,

‘Unde simul primum me dimisere Philippi,
decisis humilem pennis inopemque paterni
et laris et fundi paupertas inpulit, audax
ut versus facerem.’

In the spring of B.C. 38 Horace was introduced to Maecenas[53] by Varius and Virgil, and became intimate with him in the winter of B.C. 38-7.

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Primo Maecenati, mox Augusto insinuatus non mediocrem in amborum amicitia locum tenuit. Maecenas quanto opere eum dilexerit satis testatur illo epigrammate:

“Ni te visceribus meis, Horati,
plus iam diligo, tu tuum sodalem
Ninnio videas strigosiorem”:

sed multo magis extremis iudiciis tali ad Augustum elogio: “Horati Flacci ut mei esto memor!”’

Sat. i. 6, 54,

            ‘Optimus olim
Vergilius, post hunc Varius dixere quid essem ...
Abeo, et revocas nono post mense iubesque       (l. 61)
esse in amicorum numero.’

In Sat. ii. 6, 40-58 Horace describes how intimate he was socially with Maecenas, who, however, did not make him a confidant in political matters. The most noteworthy event of this period is described in Sat. i. 5, viz. Horace’s journey to Brundisium in the train of Maecenas and Cocceius, who went to arrange some matters between Augustus and Antony. His companions were Virgil, Varius, Plotius, and the Greek rhetorician, Heliodorus. Plotius, Virgil, and Varius are thus referred to (Sat. i. 5, 41):

      ‘Animae quales neque candidiores
terra tulit neque quis me sit devinctior alter.’[54]

In B.C. 34 Maecenas gave Horace an estate in the country of the Sabines. The question of its position was settled last century by the abbé Capmartin de Chaupy. The only place that suits Horace’s description is east of Tivoli, and in the neighbourhood of Vicovaro, which is the same as the Varia of Horace (Ep. i. 14, 3), the market-town of his tenants. Near it is the stream Licenza, the Digentia of Horace, on which stands Bardela (the Mandela of Hor.). Ep. i. 18, 104,

‘Me quotiens reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,
quem Mandela bibit, rugosus frigore pagus.’

The site of his villa may be pretty closely determined from Ep. i. 10, 49,

‘Haec tibi dictabam post fanum putre Vacunae.’

Vacuna is a Sabine goddess, identified with Victoria: near the village an inscription has been found which was erected by Vespasian, ‘Aedem Victoriae vetustate dilapsam sua impensa restituit,’ and the natural inference is that this is the temple mentioned by Horace.[55] Horace stayed a great deal at his country-house, and his works contain many references to it.

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Vixit plurimum in secessu ruris sui Sabini aut Tiburtini, domusque eius ostenditur circa Tiburni luculum.’

Sat. ii. 6, 16,

‘Ubi me in mentis et in arcem ex urbe removi.’

Other references are Ep. i. 16, 1-14; Od. ii. 18, 14.

Augustus having tried unsuccessfully to induce Horace to become his secretary, was not offended at the poet’s refusal, but continued to bestow his favour upon him.

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Augustus epistularum quoque ei officium obtulit, ut hoc ad Maecenatem scripto significat: “Ante ipse sufficiebam scribendis epistulis amicorum, nunc occupatissimus et infirmus Horatium nostrum a te cupio abducere. Veniet ergo ab ista parasitica mensa ad hanc regiam et nos in epistulis scribendis adiuvabit.” Ac ne recusanti quidem aut succensuit quicquam aut amicitiam suam ingerere desiit ... unaque et altera liberalitate locupletavit.’

Horace composed for Augustus the Carmen Saeculare; Od. iv. 4; iv. 14, celebrating the victories of Augustus’ step-sons over the Rhaetians and the Vindelici; also Ep. ii. 1.

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Scripta quidem eius usque adeo probavit mansuraque perpetuo opinatus est, ut non modo Saeculare carmen componendum iniunxerit sed et Vindelicam victoriam Tiberii Drusique privignorum suorum eumque coegerit propter hoc tribus carminum libris ex longo intervallo quartum addere; post sermones vero quosdam lectos nullam sui mentionem habitam ita sit questus: “Irasci me tibi scito, quod non in plerisque eius modi scriptis mecum potissimum loquaris; an vereris ne apud posteros infame tibi sit, quod videaris familiaris nobis esse?” expresseritque eclogam ad se, cuius initium est:

“Cum tot sustineas et tanta negotia solus,”’ etc. (Ep. ii. 1).

Horace died 27th November, B.C. 8, and was buried near Maecenas. He appointed Augustus his heir.

Sueton. vit. Hor., ‘Decessit v. Kal. Decembris C. Marcio Censorino et C. Asinio Gallo coss. lvii. aetatis anno, herede Augusto palam nuncupato; ... et conditus est extremis Esquiliis iuxta Maecenatis tumulum.’

In personal appearance Horace was ‘brevis atque obesus,’ according to Suetonius, who quotes a joke of Augustus on the subject: ‘Vereri autem mihi videris ne maiores libelli tui sint, quam ipse es; sed tibi statura deest, corpusculum non deest.’ Cf. Hor. Ep. i. 20, 24,

‘Corporis exigui, praecanum, solibus aptum,
irasci celerem, tamen ut placabilis essem’;

Ep. i. 4, 15,

‘Me pinguem et nitidum bene curata cute vises,
cum ridere voles, Epicuri de grege porcum.’

Cf. also Ep. i. 7, 25; Od. iii. 14, 25.

(2) WORKS.

Chronology of the Works.—(1) Satirae, in two Books (called Sermones in all the MSS.).

Book i. It is clear from Sat. ii. 6, 40 that Horace was introduced to Maecenas in the spring of B.C. 38. Now all the references to Maecenas, with the exception of the prologue in Sat. 1 (written last), are in the second half of the book, there being no mention of him in Sat. 2; 3; and 4. It is therefore probable that these three Satires were written when Horace knew Varius and Virgil, but not Maecenas, i.e. B.C. 40-38. Sat. 2 is probably the oldest we have, as is shown by other considerations, and by the number of archaisms it contains. Sat. 5 (on the journey to Brundisium) was written shortly after the spring of B.C. 37, when the events recorded took place. The date of the publication of the book cannot be exactly fixed, the only clue we have being the reference in Sat. i. 10, 86, to Bibulus, the political agent of Antony, whose presence in Rome B.C. 35 may be referred to. It cannot be proved that Sat. i. 1, 114 sqq., is imitated from Verg. Georg. i. 512 sqq., published B.C. 35.

Book ii. and the Epodes were published in B.C. 30 about the same time. We have references to Actium (B.C. 31), as in Sat. ii. 5, 63; and Sat. ii. 1 (written last) speaks of Augustus (ll. 11-15) as the hero in war, not yet the bringer of peace, and was probably therefore composed before the temple of Janus was shut in the beginning of B.C. 29.

(2) Epodon liber, B.C. 30, as above. Epod. 9 was written shortly after the battle of Actium, 2nd September, B.C. 31, before it was known whither Antony had fled.

(3) Carmina (Odes) Books i.-iii., published B.C. 23. In Od. i. 12, 45,

‘Crescit occulto velut arbor aevo
fama Marcellis,’

we have a reference to the marriage in B.C. 25 of Augustus’ daughter, Julia, to his nephew, Marcellus. Marcellus died in the autumn of B.C. 23, and the lines must have been written before his death. Od. ii. 10 and iii. 19 contain references to Licinius Murena, brother of Terentia, Maecenas’ wife. Murena was executed for his share in the conspiracy of Fannius Caepio in the end of B.C. 23, and it is improbable that Horace could have made these references after that event.[56]

(4) Epistles, Book i., published B.C. 20. The date is fixed by Ep. i. 20, 26-8, already quoted, p. 164.

The year referred to is B.C. 21, and the book was therefore composed in B.C. 20, before December of that year.

(5) Carmen Saeculare, composed for the Ludi Saeculares of B.C. 17 (see Sueton. quoted above). An inscription commemorating these games was discovered in 1890 on the left bank of the Tiber, and in it Horace is mentioned: ‘Sacrificioque perfecto pueri xxvi. quibus denuntiatum erat patrimi et matrimi et puellae totidem carmen cecinerunt eodemque modo in Capitolio. Carmen composuit Q. Horatius Flaccus.’[57]

(6) Odes, Book iv., published B.C. 13. Od. 4 and 14 celebrate the campaign of Drusus and Tiberius in Rhaetia and Vindelicia B.C. 15. Od. 2 and 5 were written just before Augustus’ return, B.C. 13, from Gaul, where he had been since B.C. 16.

(7) Epistles, Book ii. Ep. ii. 1, to Augustus, was written B.C. 14 in response (see the quotation from Suetonius above) to the emperor’s request for a poem addressed to himself, after seeing that no mention was made of him in Ep. ii. 2 and the Epistula ad Pisones. These are the sermones quidam (both, like Ep. ii. 1, on literary criticism) referred to by Suetonius, and not Book i. of the Epistles, where Augustus is frequently mentioned. The date is fixed by l. 15, ‘praesenti tibi maturos largimur honores,’ etc., referring to the worship of the numen Augusti, which was legalized B.C. 14, and by the reference in ll. 252 sqq. to the victories of Drusus and Tiberius, and their celebration in Od. iv. 4; iv. 14. Ep. ii. 2 (to Iulius Florus) was written B.C. 18. Horace hints (l. 25, ll. 84-6) that he has not yet returned to lyric poetry; the epistle was therefore written before B.C. 17. The Epistula ad Pisones or De Arte Poetica was probably written B.C. 17 or 16 after the Carmen Saeculare, but before Horace had entered on the composition of the fourth Book of the Odes.

The Satires are called Sermones in all the MSS., but as Horace gave this name both to his Satires (Sat. i. 4, 42) and to his Epistles (Ep. ii. 1, 4; 250) it is convenient to call them Satirae, the name which Horace also gives them (Sat. ii. 1, 1; 6, 17), and which represent their intended scope. Horace’s chief model is Lucilius, whom he wished to adapt to the Augustan age. Sat. i. 4, 56,

          ‘his, ego quae nunc,
olim quae scripsit Lucilius.’

So Sat. ii. 1, 28 and 74. Lucilius’ influence is seen most in Sat. i. 2; 5; 7; 8; ii. 2; 3; 4; 8. Horace, after the reception Sat. i. 2 met with, did not, like Lucilius, attack individuals; nor did his position as a dependent (Sat. ii. 1, 60-79) allow him to do so. We find, therefore, no political satire in Horace, who confines himself to social and literary topics. He does not attack his contemporaries by name, but (a) takes some names from Lucilius, as Albucius (Sat. ii. 1, 48), Opimius (Sat. ii. 3, 142); (b) invents ‘tell-tale-names,’ as Pantolabus (Sat. i. 8, 11), Novius (Sat. i. 3, 21). In Sat. i. 4 and ii. 1 he defines the moral and social aim of his satire. In Sat. i. 4, 1-13 he criticizes Lucilius’ style; this seems to have given offence, and in Sat. i. 10 he gives reasons for his former criticism. Horace’s Epicureanism is more pronounced in Book i. than in Book ii. In Sat. i. 1 and i. 3 (cf. ll. 99-124) the influence of Lucretius is seen. In i. 3 he takes up an antagonistic position to Stoicism (cf. ll. 124-142). In ii. 3 he shows less hostility to Stoicism though he still criticizes it.[58] In Sat. ii. 7, where the slave Davus enunciates the Stoic doctrine, ὅτι μόνος ὁ σοφὸς ἐλεύθερος, Davus’ arguments from l. 75 onwards have been taken by Horace from Cic. Parad. 5.

Horace does not pretend that his Satires (or Epistles) are poetry, and makes several statements to that effect. Sat. ii. 6, 17,

‘Quid prius inlustrem satiris musaque pedestri?’

Ep. ii. 1, 250,

‘Sermones ... repentes per humum.’

So Sat. i. 4, 39-44.

The Epodes are called Epodi in the MSS. Ἐπῳδός was the name given to a piece composed of couplets, the first line of which is longer than the second. Horace calls them iambi (Epod. 14, 7; Od. i. 16, 3). Their style is an imitation of that of Archilochus of Paros. Ep. i. 19, 23-5,

         ‘Parios ego primus iambos
ostendi Latio, numeros animosque secutus
Archilochi, non res et agentia verba Lycamben.’

This is seen in the personal attacks made in many of them, as well as in the αἰσχρολογία employed, and also in the versification. The dates of several can be fixed. Epod. 16 was written B.C. 41, and refers to the Perusian war. Horace takes no part with either side, but advises his countrymen to leave Rome, like the Phocaeans of old. Epod. 7 was written B.C. 39; and Epod. 1, 9, and 14, about B.C. 31. The order is strictly metrical. Epodes 1-10 are simple iambics (trimeter and dimeter alternately); 11-16 more complicated forms; 17, the last, in iambic trimeters.

The Odes Horace himself calls carmina. The metres are nearly all taken from Sappho and Alcaeus, the two poets whose works Horace wished to present to his countrymen in a Roman dress. Cf. Od. iii. 30, 13-4,

‘Princeps Aeolium carmen ad Italos
deduxisse modos.’

The metrical differences between himself and his originals are due to the difference in the genius of the two languages and to the fact that he adopted the views on metre current in his time. Catullus’ metre, on the other hand, was closely modelled on that of the Alexandrian poets. The odes are largely founded on the best Greek lyric poetry, with which Horace was thoroughly familiar; cf. his first intention to write in Greek (Sat. i. 10, 31-5). Alexandrian influence is little seen, and his mythological allusions are seldom obscure. Examples of imitation (which is commonest in Book i.) are: Od. i. 9, the beginning of which is from Alcaeus (so i. 10; 11; 18); i. 12 (beginning) is from Pindar; i. 27 from Anacreon. Bacchylides is imitated, e.g. in ii. 18.

Subjects of the Odes.—1. Love and wine form the themes of many. Od. i. 6, 17,

‘Nos convivia, nos proelia virginum
sectis in iuvenes unguibus acrium

Cf. Od. ii. 1, 37-40; iii. 3, 69-72.

The love-poems show no trace of personal passion, and the names of the women whose charms are sung are taken from Greek; thus Pyrrha (a well-known name from Attic comedy) i. 5; Lydia, i. 13, etc.; Lalage, i. 22; ii. 5. Cinara (iv. 1; iv. 13) is probably the only one that represents a real person. Wine is celebrated, e.g. in i. 9; 18; 27; ii. 7; iii. 21. A tone of moderation is observed throughout the drinking-songs. It is highly probable[59] that in Od. i. 27, 1-4 the unrestrained bacchanalian spirit of Catullus (cf. c. 27) is reproved,

‘Natis in usum laetitiae scyphis
pugnare Thracum est. Tollite barbarum
   morem verecundumque Bacchum
      sanguineis prohibete rixis.’

2. In Od. i. 24 we have the beautiful dirge on the death of Quintilius Varus.

3. On political subjects.—The chief of these are as follows: i. 2 (towards the end of B.C. 28); i. 12; i. 14; i. 35 (in B.C. 26); i. 37 (in B.C. 30); ii. 1. The most important, however, are Od. iii. 1-6, which form one whole, and are written on the new name of Augustus, and the ideas therewith connected. They were all written about B.C. 27.[60]

In iii. 1, which is general, the rising generation is addressed by the prophet of the empire; ll. 3, 4,

          ‘Musarum sacerdos
virginibus puerisque canto.’

The lesson of the ode is ‘A moderate life is the best. Lucky is the man who is spared the trouble of managing the State.’

iii. 2 praises courage and honesty, but with special reference to two institutions of Augustus: (1) the professional soldier as opposed to the citizen-soldier of the republic. The officers were taken from the two privileged classes, and there was no promotion from the ranks. This is the explanation of ll. 1-4,

‘Angustam amice pauperiem pati
robustus acri militia puer
   condiscat et Parthos ferocis
      vexet eques,’

lines which also refer to the resuscitation by Augustus of the citizen-cavalry. The soldier is not to trouble about politics (ll. 17-20), and must not fear death (l. 13). (2) The new imperial administrative officers, employed not only in collecting taxes, but in administrative business of every kind. Speaking of them, Horace pays a tribute to loyal silence, and emphasizes the curse that clings to breach of faith; l. 25,

‘Est et fideli tuta silentio

l. 31,

‘Raro antecedentem scelestum
   deseruit pede Poena claudo.’

iii. 3 touches intimately the political questions of the day. Pointed reference is made to Cleopatra; she is the mulier peregrina (l. 20), the Lacaena adultera (l. 25), who brought Troy low, and would bring Rome low, if she and her famosus hospes (l. 26) could raise Troy again. The reference here is to a report current about Antony, that he intended to make Troy the capital. It is certain that he intended to restore to Cleopatra her kingdom with extended frontiers, and to make himself ruler of the Eastern empire. This, which would have meant the subjection of Rome to the Greeks and half-Greeks, was prevented by the ‘iustum et tenacem propositi virum’ (l. i), who for his services is honoured as one of the gods; ll. 11-12,

‘Quos inter Augustus recumbens
purpureo bibit ore nectar.’

In iii. 4 the poet’s personality comes out strongest. He describes his protection by the Muses in his early years, and this leads him to speak of one of the monarch’s chief works of peace, his encouragement of literature; ll. 37-40,

‘Vos Caesarem altum, militia simul
fessas cohortes abdidit oppidis,
finire quaerentem labores
Pierio recreatis antro.’

iii. 5 is a defence of Augustus’ foreign policy. Publicly he kept up Caesar’s war policy, hence ll. 2-5,

‘Praesens divus habebitur
Augustus adiectis Britannis
imperio gravibusque Persis’;

but that this concealed his real policy of non-intervention is shown by his action regarding Parthia. Hence Horace, by a speech put into the mouth of Regulus (l. 18 sqq.) warns the Romans against trying to rescue the survivors of Crassus’ army, who, by becoming captives, had ceased to be citizens. That some of the Senate wished to interfere in this matter is probably shown by ll. 45-6,

‘Donec labantis consilio patres
firmaret auctor numquam alias dato.’

iii. 6 refers (ll. 1-8) to Augustus’ policy in restoring the ancient religion, as is seen by the fact that he rebuilt 82 temples. Lines 21-32 refer to a law of Augustus on adultery, the date of which is unknown.

In Book iv., Odes 2, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, are political. They show traces of adulation, and sing the praises rather of the imperial family than of the nation. Cf. iv. 2, 37 (of Augustus),

‘Quo nihil maius meliusve terris
fata donavere bonique divi,’ etc.

The Epistles.—Sermones is the name given them by Horace; they are also called Epistulae in the MSS. Social, ethical, and literary questions are treated of, and the style is much more careful than that of the Satires. The motto, one might say, of the book is Ep. i. 1, 10.

‘Nunc itaque et versus et cetera ludicra pono:
quid verum atque decens, curo et rogo et omnis in hoc sum.’

The dates of Ep. ii. 1, 2, have already been mentioned. Both treat of literary criticism, and the first deals particularly with that of the drama. Iulius Florus, to whom Ep. ii. 2 is addressed, was the representative of the younger literary school at Rome. The Epistula ad Pisones or De Arte Poetica is an essay in verse on literary criticism, specially pointing out how necessary art is to composition. In it, according to Porphyrion, Horace ‘congessit praecepta Neoptolemi τοῦ Παριανοῦ[61] de arte poetica, non quidem omnia, sed eminentissima.’ Horace probably was also indebted to Aristotle’s Poetics. Porphyrion says that Horace wrote the Ars Poetica ‘ad L. Pisonem qui postea urbis custos fuit eiusque liberos.’ This does not fit in with the probable date, B.C. 17 or 16, as L. Piso was born B.C. 49, and his sons could not have been old enough for the letter to be addressed to them. It is probable that Porphyrion is wrong, and that the A.P. was addressed to Cn. Piso, who served with Horace under Brutus, and his two sons.

Horace and nature.—Besides references to his Sabine villa, Horace refers to natural scenery in many passages. Such are Epod. 2; Od. i. 7, 10; ii. 6, 13; iii. 13, 9; Sat. ii. 6, 1 sqq.; Ep. i. 10, 6 sqq., i. 16, 1 sqq.[62] Horace is fond of comparing dangers to the plague of floods,[63] a plague from which Italy has always suffered. Cf. Od. i. 31, 7,

      ‘rura quae Liris quieta
mordet aqua taciturnus amnis.’

So Od. iii. 29, 32 sqq., and many other passages.

Popularity of Horace.—Horace’s prediction that his works would become school-books, Ep. i. 20, 17,

‘Hoc quoque te manet, ut pueros elementa docentem
occupet extremis in vicis balba senectus,’

was early fulfilled. Cf. Iuv. 7, 226,

‘Quot stabant pueri, cum totus decolor esset
Flaccus et haereret nigro fuligo Maroni.’


The following writers were friends of Horace:

(a) C. Valgius Rufus, consul suffectus B.C. 12, belonged to the circle of Maecenas (Hor. Sat. i. 10, 82).

Valgius’ works, of which only a few lines are extant, included (1) Elegiae. Cf. Hor. Od. ii. 9, 9-12,

‘Tu semper urges flebilibus modis
Mysten ademptum, nec tibi Vespero
   surgente decedunt amores
      nec rapidum fugiente solem.’

(2) Epigrammata, (3) Miscellanies, (4) A translation of Apollodorus’ τέχνη. (See Quint. iii. 1, 18.) (5) A book on herbs. (Pliny, N.H. xxv. 4.) An epic was also expected of him, but whether written is unknown. Tibull. iv. 1, 179,

‘Est tibi, qui possit magnis se adcingere rebus,
   Valgius; aeterno propior non alter Homero.’

(b) M. Aristius Fuscus, a poet and grammarian (Porphyr. ad Sat. i. 9, 60); Od. i. 22, and Ep. i. 10, are addressed to him.

(c) The Visci. Comm. Cruq. ad Sat. i. 10, 83, ‘Visci duo fratres fuerunt optimi poetae et iudices critici.’

(d) C. Fundanius, wrote comedies (Porphyr. ad Sat. i. 10, 40).

(e) Servius Sulpicius, a love poet (Ovid, Trist. ii. 441; Hor. Sat. i. 10, 86).

(f) Iulius Florus was ‘saturarum scriptor’ (Porphyr. ad Hor. Ep. i. 3, 1). Hor. Ep. i. 3 and ii. 2, are addressed to him.

(g) Titius wrote Pindaric odes, and tragedies, Hor. Ep. i. 3, 9-14.

(h) Albinovanus Celsus. See Hor. Ep. i. 3, 15-7.

(i) C. Iullus Antonius, B.C. 44-B.C. 2, was a son of the triumvir M. Antonius. The Schol. on Hor. Od. iv. 2, 2, says of him, “Heroico metro Diomedeam scripsit et nonnulla alia soluta oratione.”

(k) Furnius, an orator; died B.C. 37. He is mentioned by Hor. Sat. i. 10, 86.

Other poets contemporary with Virgil and Horace are:

(a) L. Varius Rufus (cf. Verg. Ecl. 9, 35). His works were:

(1) Epics (a) on the death of Julius Caesar (Macrob. Saturn. vi. 1, 39), (b) in praise of Augustus. Hor. Ep. i. 16, 27-29 is a quotation from this poem (Acron ad loc.), and it is probably referred to in Od. i. 6, 1 (to Agrippa),

‘Scriberis Vario fortis et hostium
victor Maeonii carminis aliti,
quam rem cumque ferox navibus aut equis
miles te duce gesserit.’

(2) A tragedy, Thyestes, praised by Quint. x. 1, 98, ‘iam Varii Thyestes cuilibet Graecarum comparari potest.’

(3) Elegies: Porphyr. ad Hor. Od. i. 6, 1, ‘fuit L. Varius et ipse carminis et tragoediarum et elegiorum auctor.’

(b) Aemilius Macer was a native of Verona, and died B.C. 16: Jerome yr. Abr. 2001, ‘Aemilius Macer Veronensis poeta in Asia moritur.’ He was a friend of Virgil, and was the ‘Mopsus’ of Ecl. 5, according to Serv. ad loc. Ovid in his youth enjoyed his acquaintance; cf. Tr. iv. 10, 43, where three didactic poems are referred to: (1) Ornithogonia, on birds; (2) Theriaca, on venomous serpents; (3) De Herbis, on plants.

For his obligations to Nicander, see under ‘Virgil,’ p. 158. Quintilian calls him ‘humilis’ (x. 1, 87).

(c) C. Cornelius Gallus was born at Forum Iulii B.C. 70, and died by his own hand B.C. 27. Jerome yr. Abr. 1990, ‘Cornelius Gallus Foroiuliensis poeta ... xliii. aetatis suae anno propria se manu interficit.’ Having commanded a division in the war against Antony, he was appointed by Octavian the first prefect of Egypt, B.C. 30, but incurred his anger and was banished from Caesar’s house and provinces (Sueton. Aug. 66). The cause of his downfall was indiscreet language about Augustus, according to Ovid, Tr. ii. 445,

‘Non fuit opprobrio celebrasse Lycorida Gallo,
   sed linguam nimio non tenuisse mero’;

and Am. iii. 9, 63,

‘Tu quoque, si falsum est temerati crimen amici,
   sanguinis atque animae prodige, Galle, tuae.’

The tenth eclogue of Virgil is a testimony to his friendship for Gallus, l. 2,

‘Pauca meo Gallo, sed quae legat ipsa Lycoris,
carmina sunt dicenda; neget quis carmina Gallo?’

Lines 44-49 are said by Servius, ad loc., to be quoted from Gallus (‘de ipsius translati carminibus’). For the tribute to Gallus in the original draft of Georgic iv. see under ‘Virgil,’ p. 157.

He wrote four Books of love-poems to Cytheris, the liberta who afterwards deserted him for Antony: Serv. ad Ecl. x. 1, ‘amorum suorum de Cytheride scripsit libros iv.’ According to Servius he also translated the poems of Euphorion of Chalcis. Cf. Verg. Ecl. x. 50,

‘Ibo et Chalcidico quae sunt mihi condita versu
carmina pastoris Siculi modulabor avena.’

Compared with Tibullus and Propertius, he was ‘durior’ (Quint. x. 1, 93).

(d) Codrus, mentioned by Virgil, Ecl. 7, 22 and 26; 5, 11, was a contemporary poet (Serv. ad Ecl. 7), and was praised by Valgius (Schol. Veron. ad loc.), but nothing is known of his writings. The name is not Roman, and is probably a disguised form of Cordus. He is sometimes identified with the Iarbitas of Hor. Ep. i. 19, 15.

(e) Bavius and Mevius were enemies of Virgil and Horace. Verg. Ecl. 3, 90,

‘Qui Bavium non odit, amet tua carmina, Mevi.’

Horace, Epod. 10, prays for the shipwreck of Mevius. He wrote about the prodigal son of the actor Aesopus (Porphyr. ad Hor. Sat. ii. 3, 239). Bavius died B.C. 35, according to Jerome.

(f) Anser wrote a poem in praise of Antony, and was rewarded with a grant of land (Serv. ad Ecl. 9, 36; Cic. Phil. xiii. 11). He is mentioned by Ovid, Tr. ii. 435,

‘Cinna quoque his comes est, Cinnaque procacior Anser.’

Servius sees an allusion to him in Ecl. 9, 36,

‘Argutos inter strepere anser olores.’

(g) Domitius Marsus. His epigram on Tibullus (see p. 186) shows that he was alive in B.C. 19; he was, however, dead when Ovid was exiled in A.D. 8.

Ovid, Ex Pont. iv. 16, 3,

‘Famaque post cineres maior venit; et mihi nomen
   tunc quoque, cum vivis adnumerarer, erat,
cum foret et Marsus, magnique Rabirius oris,
   Iliacusque Macer sidereusque Pedo.’

He was a member of Augustus’ literary circle. Mart. viii. 56, 21,

‘Quid Varios Marsosque loquar, ditataque vatum
   nomina, magnus erit quos numerare labor?’

His works were:

1. Cicuta, a collection of epigrams, often referred to by Martial. Cf. ii. 71, 3,

‘aut Marsi recitas aut scripta Catulli.’

2. Amazonis, an epic poem.[64] Mart. iv. 29, 7,

‘Saepius in libro memoratur Persius uno
   quam levis in tota Marsus Amazonide.’

3. Amores or Elegiae. Mart. vii. 29, 7,

‘Et Maecenati, Maro cum cantaret Alexin,
   nota tamen Marsi fusca Melaenis erat.’

4. Fabellae.

5. De Urbanitate (in prose). Quint. vi. 3, 102, ‘Domitius Marsus, qui de urbanitate diligentissime scripsit.’

(h) Pupius, a tragedian, sneered at by Hor. Ep. i. 1, 67, ‘lacrimosa poemata Pupi.’

(i) C. Melissus, a freedman of Maecenas, invented the trabeata, a variety of the togata.

Sueton. Gramm. 21, ‘Fecit et novum genus togatarum inscripsitque trabeatas.’


(1) LIFE.

Albius Tibullus (his praenomen was perhaps Aulus, which, from the abbreviation A. being followed by Albius, was lost in the MSS.) seems to have been born near Pedum in Latium. (1) Horace, in Ep. i. 4, 2, addressed to Tibullus, asks, ‘Quid nunc te dicam facere in regione Pedana?’ apparently referring to the ‘sedes avitae’ of Tibullus (Tibull. ii. 4, 53). (2) The Life contained in the best MSS., and probably to be attributed to Suetonius, calls him ‘Albius Tibullus, eques Romanus’ (codd. Paris. and Lips. ‘regulis’). Bährens (Tibullische Blätter) holds that Romanus is an erroneous correction of regulis, for which he proposes to read R. (= Romanus) e Gabis (= Gabiis). Gabii was within a short distance of Pedum.

The date of his birth can be fixed only by indirect evidence.

(1) The Life says ‘obiit adulescens,’ and the epigram of Domitius Marsus, found in the best MSS., calls Tibullus ‘iuvenis’ at the time of his death, which must have occurred about the same time as Virgil’s, in B.C. 19,

‘Te quoque Vergilio comitem non aequa, Tibulle,
   mors iuvenem campos misit ad Elysios,
ne foret aut elegis molles qui fleret amores
   aut caneret forti regia bella pede.’

(2) Ovid (Tr. iv. 10, 53) says of Tibullus,

‘Successor fuit hic tibi, Galle, Propertius illi.’

Since Gallus was born B.C. 70, and Propertius about B.C. 49, the birth of Tibullus must have fallen between those years.

(3) Tibullus accompanied Messalla when he left for Aquitania, B.C. 30 or 29, according to the Life: ‘Ante alios Corvinum Messallam oratorem dilexit, cuius etiam contubernalis Aquitanico bello militaribus donis donatus est.’ Cf. Tibull. i. 7, 9,

‘Non sine me est tibi partus honos; Tarbella Pyrene
   testis et Oceani litora Santonici.’

Putting together these references we may place the date of Tibullus’ birth in B.C. 54. (The statement of the Life in the Codex Guelferbytanus, ‘Natus est Hyrtio et Pansa coss.’ is clearly wrong).

He was of equestrian rank, and at one time possessed considerable wealth, apparently inherited from a long line of ancestors; i. 1, 41,

‘Non ego divitias patrum fructusque requiro
   quos tulit antiquo condita messis avo.’

Cf. ii. 1, 1; ii. 4, 53; Hor. Ep. i. 4, 7,

‘Di tibi divitias dederunt.’

His family property, however, had been greatly diminished; i. 1, 19,

‘Vos quoque, felicis quondam nunc pauperis agri
   custodes, fertis munera vestra, lares:
tunc vitula innumeros lustrabat caesa iuvencos;
   nunc agna exigui est hostia parva soli.’

Cf. i. 1, 5 and 37.

It has been supposed that Tibullus suffered these losses in the agrarian disturbances of B.C. 41, and that his lands, like those of Virgil and Propertius, were confiscated. No town in Latium, however, is mentioned by Appian as having its territory thus assigned. Tibullus’ property may possibly have been restored to him through the influence of Messalla.[65] Cf. Hor. Ep. i. 4, 11,

‘Et mundus victus non deficiente crumena’;

also Tibull. i. 1, 77,

        ‘Ego composito securus acervo
despiciam dites despiciamque famem.’

Of Messalla Tibullus always speaks with the greatest affection. He refused at first to accompany him to the East after the battle of Actium, but afterwards followed him, and was forced through illness to remain at Corcyra: i. 1, 53,

‘Te bellare decet terra, Messalla, marique,
   ut domus hostiles praeferat exuvias:
me retinent vinctum formosae vincla puellae’;

i, 3, 3,

‘Me tenet ignotis aegrum Phaeacia terris.’

In the Aquitanian campaign he was Messalla’s contubernalis, and had military distinctions conferred on him (see p. 186).

No further particulars of Tibullus are known, save his love for his mistresses Delia and Nemesis, and the fact mentioned by Ovid, in a poem on his death, that his mother and sister survived him; Amor. iii. 9, 50,

   ‘Mater et in cineres ultima dona tulit.
Hinc soror in partem misera cum matre doloris
   venit inornatas dilaniata comas.’

Delia’s real name was Plania (δῆλος = planus): cf. Apuleius, Apol. 10, ‘eadem igitur opera accusent ... Tibullum quod ei sit Plania in animo Delia in versu.’ She was a libertina, for the name is not known as a nomen gentilicium, and she had had a husband (i. 2, 41, ‘coniunx tuus’), who appears to have been serving with the army in Cilicia: i. 2, 65,

‘Ferreus ille fuit, qui te cum posset habere,
   maluerit praedas stultus et arma sequi.
Ille licet Cilicum victas agat ante catervas,’ etc.

A divorce had probably taken place, as she was not entitled to wear the distinctive dress of the Roman matron; i. 6, 67,

‘Sit modo casta, doce, quamvis non vitta ligatos
   impediat crines nec stola longa pedes.’

Nemesis was a meretrix; ii. 4, 14,

‘Illa cava pretium flagitat usque manu.’

She appears to be the ‘immitis Glycera’ of Hor. Od. i. 33, 2, addressed to Albius (so Kiessling ad loc.). Both Delia and Nemesis are represented by Ovid as present at the funeral of Tibullus. Amor. iii. 9, 53,

‘Cumque tuis sua iunxerunt Nemesisque priorque
   oscula nec solos destituere rogos.’

Tibullus was on friendly terms with Horace, who addressed to him Od. i. 33 and Ep. i. 4. Horace was doubtless attracted by the frank nature of Tibullus (Ep. i. 4, 1, ‘Albi, nostrorum sermonum candide iudex’), and by the community of taste which led them both to imitate the classical Ionic rather than the Alexandrian elegy. Horace corroborates the statement of Life i. (‘insignis forma cultuque corporis observabilis’) that Tibullus had a fine presence; ibid. 1. 6,

‘Non tu corpus eras sine pectore: di tibi formam,
di tibi divitias dederunt artemque fruendi.’

Ovid had met and admired him, and has numerous imitations of him in his poems; but the difference of age and the early death of Tibullus prevented any long acquaintance; Ovid, Tr. iv. 10, 51,

        ‘Nec amara Tibullo
tempus amicitiae fata dedere meae.’

Of friendship between Propertius and Tibullus there is no evidence: they never mention one another.

(2) WORKS.

Four Books of elegiac poems are attributed to Tibullus, who ranks first among Roman elegists in the view of Quintilian, x. 1, 93, ‘Elegia quoque Graecos provocamus, cuius mihi tersus atque elegans maxime videtur auctor Tibullus.’

Book i., on the poet’s love for Delia and Marathus (El. 7 is to Messalla), was published by himself, and was apparently composed in the years B.C. 31-27. This agrees with Ovid, Tr. ii. 463,

          ‘Legiturque Tibullus
et placet, et iam te principe notus erat,’

if we assume that ‘principe’ refers to the title of Augustus.

Book ii., the chief subject of which is Nemesis, appears to have been written several years later. It is unfinished, not having received the author’s final revision, and was probably published soon after his death, certainly several years before Ovid’s Ars Amatoria (cf. A.A. 535 sqq.).

Book iii. (six Elegies) is professedly the work of Lygdamus. No poet of that name is mentioned in ancient literature, and it has been suggested that the author may have been a young relative of Tibullus who used a Greek adaptation of the gentile name Albius (λύγδος = white marble). He speaks as a man of good social position (iii. 2, 22). From the fact that he belonged to the circle of Messalla, his poems came to be added to those of Tibullus, whom he constantly imitates. There are also many reminiscences of Horace, Ovid, and Propertius. The six Elegies are addressed to Neaera, who was probably the poet’s cousin and was married or betrothed to him (iii. 1, 23; 2, 12). Lygdamus was born in the same year as Ovid, B.C. 43; iii. 5, 17,

‘Natalem primo nostrum videre parentes,
   cum cecidit fato consul uterque pari.’

The remarkable coincidence between iii. 5, 15-20, and Ovid, A.A. ii. 669-70, Tr. iv. 10, 6, Amor. ii. 14, 23-4, is best explained by Hiller (Hermes, xviii. 360-1), who suggests that Lygdamus may have composed the poem in his earlier years merely to amuse Neaera, without publishing it, and that after Ovid’s works had appeared he may, to oblige a friend or patron (e.g. Messalinus), have published his collection of elegies, adding in the process of revision the lines copied from Ovid.

The remaining poems belong to Book iii. in the MSS., but in most editions are printed as a separate Book iv. iv. 1, in hexameters, is the Panegyricus Messallae, written in honour of Messalla’s consulship, B.C. 31. Its rhetorical exaggeration and want of taste forbid its being attributed to Tibullus, written, as it was, so shortly before he reached the summit of his powers. Its date puts Lygdamus out of question: doubtless it is by some young member of Messalla’s circle.

The rest of the Book has for its theme the love of Sulpicia, the daughter of Servius Sulpicius and Valeria, the sister of Messalla, for a young Greek named Cerinthus. El. 2-6 are apparently by Tibullus himself, who may have amused himself by turning into verse the letters of the young lovers. El. 7 is of disputed authorship; but it resembles the work of Sulpicia rather than that of Tibullus. El. 8-12 are by Sulpicia to Cerinthus. El. 13 purports to be by Tibullus. El. 14 is an epigram, of doubtful authorship.

Two Priapea are found in MSS. of Tibullus, but probably neither of them is by him.


(1) LIFE.

The name by which the poet designates himself is Propertius simply; the praenomen Sextus rests on the authority of Donatus. The additions in some MSS., ‘Aurelius’ and ‘Nauta,’ are clearly erroneous.

He was certainly a native of the district of Umbria, and probably of the town of Asisium (the modern Assisi). Cf. iv. 1, 121,

‘Umbria te notis antiqua penatibus edit,
   (mentior? an patriae tangitur ora tuae?)
qua nebulosa cavo rorat Mevania campo,
   et lacus aestivis intepet Umber aquis,
scandentisque Asisi consurgit vertice murus,
   murus ab ingenio notior ille tuo.’

‘Asisi’ in l. 125 is Lachmann’s emendation for ‘Asis’ of the MSS., and is rendered almost certain by the topography of the district. Asisium agrees better than Hispellum (the modern Spello) with the description in the passage quoted; with iv. 1, 65,

‘Scandentes quisquis cernet de vallibus arces,
   ingenio muros aestimet ille meo’;

and with the epithet ‘proxima’ in i. 22, 9, as Asisium is nearer than Hispellum to Perusia. Cf. i. 22, 3-10,

‘Si Perusina tibi patriae sunt nota sepulcra,
   Italiae duris funera temporibus, ...
proxima supposito contingens Umbria campo
   me genuit terris fertilis uberibus.’

At Assisi, moreover, have been found several inscriptions of the Propertii, one of which, C. PASSENNO | C. F. SERG. |, PAULLO | PROPERTIO | BLAESO,[66] probably refers to the Passennus Paullus mentioned by Pliny, Ep. vi. 15, as ‘municeps Propertii.’

Propertius was younger than Tibullus, and older than Ovid. His birth, therefore, took place between B.C. 54 and 43 (Hertzberg gives 46, Postgate prefers 50). Cf. Ovid, Tr. iv. 10, 53,

‘Successor fuit hic [Tibullus] tibi, Galle; Propertius illi;
   quartus ab his serie temporis ipse fui.’

He came of a family well known in the neighbourhood (cf. iv. 1, 121, ‘notis penatibus,’ already quoted), but not ‘noble’ in the technical sense; ii. 34, 55,

‘Aspice me, cui parva domi fortuna relictast,
   nullus et antiquo Marte triumphus avi.’

His childhood was clouded by the early death of his father, and by the confiscation of his estate in B.C. 41; iv. 1, 127,

‘Ossaque legisti non illa aetate legenda
   patris; et in tenues cogeris ipse lares,
nam tua cum multi versarent rura iuvenci,
   abstulit excultas pertica tristis opes.’

His mother then took him to Rome, where he studied law for a short time after assuming the toga virilis, but abandoned it in favour of poetry; iv. 1, 131,

‘Mox ubi bulla rudi demissast aurea collo,
   matris et ante deos libera sumpta toga,
tum tibi pauca suo de carmine dictat Apollo
   et vetat insano verba tonare foro.’

Meanwhile he was engaged in his first love affair with Lycinna, who is otherwise unknown (iii. 15, 3 sqq.). In B.C. 29 or 28 his acquaintance with Cynthia began. Her real name was Hostia (Apuleius, Apol. 10, ‘Accusent ... Propertium, qui Cynthiam dicat, Hostiam dissimulet’), and she was possibly a grand-daughter of the poet Hostius (p. 65). Cf. iii. 20, 8,

‘Splendidaque a docto fama refulget avo.’

A courtesan of the higher class, she is represented by Propertius as possessed of great personal charms and varied accomplishments (i. 2, 30, ‘Omnia quaeque Venus quaeque Minerva probat’), combined with many faults of temper and character. She had a house at Rome in the Subura, and we hear of her also at Tibur, where she was buried (iv. 7, 15; 85). She was considerably older than Propertius; ii. 18, 19,

‘At tu etiam iuvenem odisti me, perfida, cum sis
   ipsa anus haud longa curva futura die.’

At the end of two years the unfaithfulness of Propertius led to twelve months of estrangement; iii. 16, 9,

‘Peccaram semel, et totum sum pulsus in annum.’

Cynthia was reconciled to him about the beginning of B.C. 25; but the passion on both sides gradually cooled until, in 23, Propertius harshly cast her off (iii. 24 and 25). Possibly there was a second reconciliation before her death (iv. 7). The five years of bondage (iii. 25, 3, ‘Quinque tibi potui servire fideliter annos,’) will thus be B.C. 28, 27, 25-23.

Propertius lived chiefly at Rome; but i. 18 was written near the Clitumnus, and in ii. 19 he promises to join Cynthia in that region. In iii. 21 he contemplates a voyage to Athens; l. 1,

‘Magnum iter ad doctas proficisci cogor Athenas,
   ut me longa gravi solvat amore via.’

A few years earlier he had refused to accompany his friend Tullus to Athens and Asia (i. 6).

Nothing is known of the subsequent life of Propertius, but from two passages in the younger Pliny it is natural to infer that he married, in obedience to the Lex Iulia of B.C. 18, and had issue. Pliny, Ep. vi. 15, ‘Passennus Paullus ... inter maiores suos Propertium numerat’; ix. 22, ‘Propertium ... a quo genus ducit.’

We cannot tell even when he died. He must have been alive in B.C. 16, because iv. 6 was written for the ludi quinquennales, which were held for the first time in that year; and iv. 11. 65, is an allusion to the consulship of P. Cornelius Scipio, also in B.C. 16.

In personal appearance Propertius was pale and thin, and rather fond of dress; i. 5, 21,

‘Nec iam pallorem totiens mirabere nostrum,
   aut cur sim toto corpore nullus ego’;

ii. 4, 5,

‘Nequiquam perfusa meis unguenta capillis,
   ibat et expenso planta morata gradu.’

He had been introduced to Maecenas after the publication of his first Book, but naturally was not on such intimate terms with him as older men like Virgil and Horace were. ii. 1 and iii. 9 are addressed to Maecenas. In the first of these poems Propertius declares that he is unequal to the composition of an epic, which his patron had urged upon him, but adds (l. 17)

‘Quod mihi si tantum, Maecenas, fata dedissent
   ut possem heroas ducere in arma manus, ...
bellaque resque tui memorarem Caesaris, et tu
   Caesare sub magno cura secunda fores.’

For poems referring to Augustus cf. ii. 10, iv. 6 (on Actium), iii. 18 (on the death of Marcellus).

Horace and Propertius do not mention each other by name. Chronology forbids the identification of the bore in Hor. Sat. i. 9 with Propertius, who, on the same ground, cannot be meant in Sat. i. 10, 18,

          ‘Neque simius iste,
nil praeter Calvum et doctus cantare Catullum.’

But Hor. Ep. ii. 2, 87-101, is undoubtedly aimed at Propertius. Cf. especially l. 99,

‘Discedo Alcaeus puncto illius; ille meo quis?
quis nisi Callimachus? Si plus adposcere visus,
fit Mimnermus et optivo cognomine crescit.’

Though both poets belonged to the same literary circle, they differed widely in temperament as well as in age. With Tibullus, who was a member of Messalla’s circle, Propertius may have had no personal acquaintance; at all events, neither alludes to the other.

For Virgil Propertius expresses warm admiration in ii. 34, written during the composition of the Aeneid. Ovid, who calls him ‘blandus’ (Tr. ii. 465) and ‘tener’ (A.A. iii. 333), was an intimate friend of his; cf. Tr. iv. 10, 45 (quoted p. 206). The minor poets to whom he writes are Ponticus (i. 7 and 9), Bassus (i. 4), and a tragic poet, Lynceus (a pseudonym, ii. 34, 25).

(2) WORKS.

The extant Elegies, divided in the MSS. into four Books, are probably all that Propertius ever wrote. On account of the disproportionate length of Book ii., and the number ‘tres’ (which, however, may be said in anticipation) in ii. 13, 25,

‘Sat mea sat magna est si tres sint pompa libelli,
   quos ego Persephonae maxima dona feram,’

some editors make Book ii. consist only of El. 1-9, and assign the remainder (10-34) to a new Book iii. Books iii. and iv. of the MSS. then become iv. and v. respectively. In the most recent editions, however, the MSS. arrangement is retained, and it is here followed.

Book i.—All the Elegies in Book i., except the last two, are amatory. El. 2-10 belong to the first months of the poet’s love, when Cynthia was gracious, though capricious. She had refused to accompany a rival of his, who was going to Illyricum as praetor (El. 8); but afterwards she left Rome for Baiae, and the rest of the Book is full of complaints of her harshness. El. 1, written after the year of separation, introduces the whole Book in a melancholy strain.

The clearest indication of date in Book i. is 8, 21, ‘Nam me non ullae poterunt corrumpere taedae,’ where Propertius protests that he will never marry, in spite of the Lex Iulia of B.C. 27. (He could not legally marry a woman of Cynthia’s class.) The Book was published probably in B.C. 25, under the title of ‘Cynthia.’ Cf. ii. 24, 1,

‘Cum sis iam noto fabula libro
et tua sit toto Cynthia lecta foro.’

Her name was a recommendation for the Book, and it was probably her satisfaction at the fame which it brought her that caused her to relent towards Propertius. Cf. Mart. xiv. 189,

‘Cynthia, facundi carmen iuvenile Properti,
   accepit famam, nec minus ipsa dedit.’

At all events, a few months afterwards we find the old relations re-established; ii. 3, 3,

‘Vix unum potes, infelix, requiescere mensem,
   et turpis de te iam liber alter erit.’

Book ii.—Cynthia is the theme of nearly all the thirty-four poems of Book ii., which give lively expression to her lover’s varying moods. Only three Elegies (1, 10, and 31) are given to other subjects.

Of the few poems to which dates can be assigned, the earliest is El. 31 (on the dedication of the temple of the Palatine Apollo, B.C. 28), and the latest is El. 10, to Augustus (written shortly before the invasion of Arabia by Aelius Gallus in B.C. 24. Cf. l. 16, ‘et domus intactae te tremit Arabiae’). The Book was therefore published B.C. 24 at the earliest.

Book iii.—In this Book the poems on Cynthia form a far smaller proportion; 7, 12, and 22 show the warmth of the poet’s friendship; events of national interest are treated in 4, 11, and 18. In 5, 23-47, Propertius looks forward to spending his later years in the study of natural science (‘naturae perdiscere mores,’ l. 25).

There are few hints of the date of any of the poems in iii. El. 20 is apparently as early as B.C. 28; 18 certainly belongs to B.C. 23; 4 perhaps refers to the expedition against the Parthians planned in B.C. 22. The last-mentioned year is the earliest possible date of publication.

Book iv., in which there is no principle of arrangement, probably appeared after the author’s death. His archaeological tastes come out in four Elegies written, in imitation of the Αἴτια of Callimachus, on Roman antiquities—El. 2 on Vertumnus, 4 on Tarpeia, 9 on Cacus, 10 on Jupiter Feretrius. In this way Propertius fulfilled his promise to Maecenas, iii. 9, 49,

‘Celsaque Romanis decerpta Palatia tauris
   ordiar et caeso moenia firma Remo,
eductosque pares silvestri ex ubere reges,
   crescet et ingenium sub tua iussa meum.’

El. 7 and 8 relate to Cynthia; in 7 her ghost appears to the poet. El. 3, a letter from Arethusa to Lycotas, possibly suggested to Ovid the plan of his Heroides, just as the antiquarian poems already mentioned may have suggested the Fasti. The Book ends with a lament for Cornelia, daughter of Scribonia, Augustus’ first wife (El. 11).

The date of 6 and 11 is certainly not earlier than B.C. 16, while 8 seems to have been written before the rupture with Cynthia. The antiquarian poems are considered by some to have been among Propertius’ earliest efforts.

Propertius was familiar with the whole range of Greek poetry—Homer (iii. 1, 25-34), Mimnermus (i. 9, 11), Pindar (iii. 17, 40), the dramatists, Theocritus, and Apollonius Rhodius. As his models he names especially the Alexandrians Callimachus and Philetas, whom he claims to follow more closely than any of his predecessors; iii. 1, 1,

‘Callimachi Manes et Coi sacra Philetae,
   in vestrum, quaeso, me sinite ire nemus.
Primus ego ingredior puro de fonte sacerdos
   Itala per Graios orgia ferre choros.’

Cf. iv. 1, 64,

‘Umbria Romani patria Callimachi.’

In wealth of mythological illustration Propertius is peculiarly Alexandrian. He is continually drawing parallels and contrasts from Greek legend; e.g. i. 15, Cynthia how unlike Calypso! iii. 12, Aelia Galla a modern Penelope. Of Roman poets, he names as his predecessors in amatory verse Virgil, Varro Atacinus, Catullus, Calvus, and Cornelius Gallus (ii 34, 61-92). Once he dreams of writing an epic on the Alban kings in the vein of Ennius; iii. 3, 5,

‘Parvaque tam magnis admoram fontibus ora,
unde pater sitiens Ennius ante bibit.’

In Propertius love of social pleasures appears side by side with a strain of deep melancholy e.g. in. 5, 21,

Me iuvat et multo mentem vincire Lyaeo
et caput in verna semper habere rosa,

contrasted with the numerous passages where he is thinking of the grave, e.g. ii. 1, 71,

‘Quandocumque igitur vitam mea fata reposcent,
et breve in exiguo marmore nomen ero.’

There is no greater patriot than Propertius. Cf. the denunciation of Cleopatra (iii. 11) and the frequency of the epithet ‘Romanus.’


(1) LIFE.

Ovid’s own writings (especially Tr. iv. 10) supply nearly all the information we possess regarding his life. The biographies in the MSS. are valueless.

P. Ovidius Naso was his full name, in which the MSS. agree. He speaks of himself as Naso simply, and Statius and Martial refer to him by that name; Tacitus and the two Senecas use the nomen Ovidius.

He was born in Sulmo, one of the three divisions of the Paelignian country, B.C. 43—the year in which Hirtius and Pansa fell at Mutina. Tr. iv. 10, 3,

‘Sulmo mihi patria est, gelidis uberrimus undis,
   milia qui novies distat ab urbe decem.
Editus hic ego sum; nec non ut tempora noris,
   cum cecidit fato consul uterque pari.’

His birthday was 20th March—the second day of the festival of the Quinquatria (cf. Fast. iii. 809-814), l. 13,

‘Haec est armiferae festis de quinque Minervae,
   quae fieri pugna prima cruenta solet.’

He belonged to an equestrian family, and he frequently contrasts himself with those who had reached that dignity by military service or by possessing the requisite fortune; ibid. l. 7,

‘Si quid id est, usque a proavis vetus ordinis heres,
   non sum fortunae munere factus eques.’

Cf. Am. i. 3, 7; iii. 8, 9; iii. 15, 5; Pont. iv. 8, 17.

Along with his elder brother, he received a careful education at Rome, and studied also at Athens. He practised rhetoric under Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro. Tr. iv. 10, 15,

‘Protinus excolimur teneri, curaque parentis
   imus ad insignes urbis ab arte viros.’

Tr. i. 2, 77,

‘Non peto quas quondam petii studiosus Athenas.’

Sen. Contr. ii. 10, 8, ‘Hanc controversiam memini ab Ovidio Nasone declamari apud rhetorem Arellium Fuscum, cuius auditor fuit, nam Latronis admirator erat, cum diversum sequeretur dicendi genus.’ Seneca says that Met. xiii. 121, and Am. i. 2, 11, were borrowed from Latro.

But, in spite of his father’s remonstrances, Ovid preferred poetry to public life. Tr. iv. 10, 19,

‘At mihi iam parvo caelestia sacra placebant,
   inque suum furtim Musa trahebat opus.
Saepe pater dixit, “studium quid inutile temptas?
   Maeonides nullas ipse reliquit opes.”
Motus eram dictis totoque Helicone relicto
   scribere conabar verba soluta modis:
sponte sua carmen numeros veniebat ad aptos;
   quicquid temptabam dicere, versus erat.’

In due time he assumed the toga virilis, and with it the broad purple stripe worn by prospective senators. He also held two of the minor offices of the vigintiviratus, the preliminary to a senatorial career, being (1) triumvir capitalis or else triumvir monetalis, (2) decemvir stlitibus iudicandis. Tr. iv. 10, 28,

   ‘Liberior fratri sumpta mihique toga est,
induiturque umeris cum lato purpura clavo’;

l. 33,

‘Cepimus et tenerae primos aetatis honores,
   deque viris quondam pars tribus una fui.’

Fast. iv. 384,

‘Inter bis quinos usus honore viros.’

In virtue of this second office he sat in the centumviral court;[67] and he also acted as an arbitrator. Tr. ii. 93,

‘Nec male commissa est nobis fortuna reorum
   lisque decem deciens inspicienda viris.
Res quoque privatas statui sine crimine iudex.’

He sought no higher office, having neither strength nor inclination for the Senate; he assumed the narrow stripe of the eques, and devoted himself to poetry and pleasure. Tr. iv. 10, 35,

‘Curia restabat: clavi mensura coacta est:
   maius erat nostris viribus illud onus.
Nec patiens corpus, nec mens fuit apta labori,
   sollicitaeque fugax ambitionis eram.
Et petere Aoniae suadebant tuta sorores
   otia, iudicio semper amata meo.’

He made a tour in Asia (including Troy) and Sicily in the company of the poet Pompeius Macer: the date of this journey is unknown, but he was almost a year in Sicily. Pont. ii. 10, 21-29 (to Macer),

‘Te duce magnificas Asiae perspeximus urbes,
   Trinacris est oculis te duce nota meis, ...
Hic mihi labentis pars anni magna peracta est.’

Fast. vi. 423,

‘Cura videre fuit: vidi templumque locumque,’

(of the temple of Pallas at Troy).

Towards the end of A.D. 8, Ovid was banished by imperial edict to Tomi, on the Black Sea, near the mouth of the Danube, the cause alleged being the publication of the Ars Amatoria. Ovid mentions this edict, but also hints at another reason, connected with the imperial family. Tr. ii. 207,

‘Perdiderint cum me duo crimina, carmen et error,
   alterius facti culpa silenda mihi;
nam non sum tanti renovem ut tua vulnera, Caesar,
   quem nimio plus est indoluisse semel.
Altera pars superest, qua turpi carmine factus
   arguor obscaeni doctor adulterii.’

He was guilty of no crime of his own, but was banished for witnessing the crime of another. Cf. Tr. iii. 5, 49,

‘Inscia quod crimen viderunt lumina, plector,
   peccatumque oculos est habuisse meum.’

It is probable that the real reason[68] of Ovid’s banishment was that he was privy to a guilty intrigue between D. Silanus and Julia, the grand-daughter of Augustus. Julia was banished in A.D. 9, and Tacitus (Ann. iii. 24) tells us of the intrigue, for which Silanus (like Ovid) suffered relegatio. His knowledge of the offence was betrayed by friends and domestics. Cf. Tr. iv. 10, 101,

‘Quid referam comitumque nefas famulosque nocentes?’

The date of his banishment is given Tr. iv. 10, 95,

‘Postque meos ortus Pisaea vinctus oliva
   abstulerat decies praemia victor equus,
cum maris Euxini positos ad laeva Tomitas
   quaerere me laesi principis ira iubet.’

[Here an Olympiad is reckoned as five years.] His punishment was relegatio, involving banishment to a fixed spot, but not confiscation of property; Tr. ii. 135,

‘Adde quod edictum, quamvis immite minaxque,
   attamen in poenae nomine lene fuit;
quippe relegatus, non exul, dicor in illo,
   privaque fortunae sunt ibi verba meae.’

In Tomi he spent the remaining years of his life, far from friends and books; Tr. v. 12, 53,

‘Non liber hic ullus, non qui mihi commodet aurem,
   verbaque significent quid mea norit, adest’;

suffering from illness (Tr. iii. 3) and the climate, and fighting against the barbarians; Tr. iv. 1, 71,

‘Aspera militiae iuvenis certamina fugi,
   nec nisi lusura movimus arma manu:
nunc senior gladioque latus scutoque sinistram,
   canitiem galeae subicioque meam.’

On the other hand he learned the language of the people, and actually wrote poems in it; Tr. v. 12, 57,

‘Ipse mihi videor iam dedidicisse Latine:
   nam didici Getice Sarmaticeque loqui.’

Pont. iv. 13, 19,

‘A! pudet, et Getico scripsi sermone libellum,
   structaque sunt nostris barbara verba modis,
et placui—gratare mihi—coepique poetae
   inter inhumanos nomen habere Getas!
materiam quaeris? laudes de Caesare dixi.’

For his popularity with the natives cf. Pont. iv. 14, 53,

‘Solus adhuc ego sum vestris immunis in oris,
   exceptis si qui munera legis habent.
Tempora sacrata mea sunt velata corona,
   publicus invito quam favor imposuit’;

also Pont. iv. 9, 101.

Ovid’s death took place in A.D. 18: Jerome yr. Abr. 2033, ‘Ovidius poeta in exilio diem obiit et iuxta oppidum Tomos sepelitur.’ He was thrice married; Tr. iv. 10, 69,

‘Paene mihi puero nec digna nec utilis uxor
   est data, quae tempus per breve nupta fuit;
illi successit quamvis sine crimine coniunx,
   non tamen in nostro firma futura toro;
ultima, quae mecum seros permansit in annos,
   sustinuit coniunx exulis esse viri.’

His third wife belonged to the gens Fabia. Cf. Pont. i. 2, 138 (to Fabius Maximus),

‘Ille ego, de vestra cui data nupta domo est.’

The filia mentioned Tr. iv. 10, 75, may have been either a daughter or step-daughter of Ovid’s. Some think that she is the Perilla of Tr. iii. 7.

Ovid’s social position was of the highest, as may be inferred from his relations with the palace. He was intimate with Messalla, the patron of Tibullus, and wrote an elegy on him (now lost). Cf. Pont. i. 7, 27 (to Messalinus),

‘Nec tuus est genitor nos infitiatus amicos,
   hortator studii causaque faxque mei:
cui nos et lacrimas, supremum in funere munus,
   et dedimus medio scripta canenda foro.’

Among the friends to whom the Epp. ex Ponto are written may be mentioned Albinovanus, Carus, Rufus, Severus, Fabius Maximus Cotta, Tuticanus, the younger Macer, all poets; and other literary men of distinction, e.g. Graecinus, Atticus, Brutus, Sex. Pompeius, Gallio. For his intimacy with the learned Hyginus cf. Sueton. Gramm. 20, ‘fuit familiarissimus Ovidio poetae.’

He was old enough to have seen Virgil, and hear Aemilius Macer and Horace recite; with Propertius, Tibullus, Ponticus, and Bassus he was on terms of close intimacy (Am. iii. 9 is a lament for Tibullus), Tr. iv. 10, 41-52,

‘Temporis illius colui fovique poetas,
   quotque aderant vates, rebar adesse deos.
Saepe suas volucres legit mihi grandior aevo,
   quaeque necet serpens, quae iuvet herba, Macer.
Saepe suos solitus recitare Propertius ignes,
   iure sodalicii qui mihi iunctus erat.
Ponticus heroo, Bassus quoque clarus iambis
   dulcia convictus membra fuere mei.
Detinuit nostras numerosus Horatius aures,
   dum ferit Ausonia carmina culta lyra.
Vergilium vidi tantum; nec amara Tibullo
   tempus amicitiae fata dedere meae.’

Besides the rura paterna at Sulmo, Ovid possessed an estate on the via Clodia, near Rome; Pont. i. 8, 41,

‘Non meus amissos animus desiderat agros
   ruraque Paeligno conspicienda solo,
nec quos piniferis positos in collibus hortos
   spectat Flaminiae Clodia iuncta viae.’

He cannot have been poor, in spite of his complaints, e.g. Pont. iv. 8, 32,

‘Carpsit opes illa ruina meas.’

(2) WORKS.

1. Amores, at first in five Books, but in a second edition reduced to three; cf. the motto prefixed to the Book,

‘Qui modo Nasonis fueramus quinque libelli,
Tres sumus.’

The poems are nearly all on Corinna, a name which probably does not stand for any real person, but merely for an abstraction around which Ovid groups his own fancies. To suppose, as Sidonius Apollinaris did (23, 157)[69] that Augustus’ daughter Julia was meant, is absurd, for Corinna is a meretrix. The identity of Corinna was unknown; Am. ii. 17, 28,

   ‘Et multae per me nomen habere volunt.
Novi aliquam, quae se circumferat esse Corinnam’;

and twenty years afterwards Ovid could write (A.A. iii. 538),

‘Et multi, quae sit nostra Corinna, rogant.’

The Amores, in their original form, constituted Ovid’s earliest work, written in his youth. The extant poems are not all that he wrote on Corinna; Tr. iv. 10, 57,

‘Carmina cum primum populo iuvenilia legi,
   barba resecta mihi bisve semelve fuit.
Moverat ingenium totam cantata per urbem
   nomine non vero dicta Corinna mihi.
Multa quidem scripsi; sed quae vitiosa putavi,
   emendaturis ignibus ipse dedi.’

The lament for Tibullus (iii. 9) must have been written in Ovid’s twenty-fourth year.

2. Heroides.—Some of these at least were written before the second edition of the Amores, for in Am. ii. 18, 21-6 nine of them are mentioned by name. The title Heroides is due to the grammarian Priscian; in the MSS. they are called Epistulae, and so Ovid himself refers to them, A.A. iii. 345,

‘Vel tibi composita cantetur epistula voce:
   ignotum hoc aliis ille novavit opus.’

Of the twenty letters in our collection 1-14 are letters from heroines to their lovers; 15-20 are in pairs, e.g. Paris to Helen and Helen to Paris. The authenticity of these last six is doubted, partly because the title Heroides cannot apply to half of them, and also because of their inferiority in style. In the use of the epistolary form in love poetry Ovid had no predecessor, and he himself calls attention to the novelty (A.A. above). The style shows the influence of Ovid’s rhetorical training: the Epistles are suasoriae in verse, and of suasoriae we know that he was particularly fond (Sen. Contr. ii. 10, 12, ‘Declamabat Naso raro controversias et non nisi ethicas: libentius dicebat suasorias. Molesta illi erat omnis argumentatio.’). His matter he would naturally draw from Homer, the Cypria, Apollonius Rhodius, and the Greek tragedians.

3. Between the two editions of the Amores he wrote the lost tragedy Medea. It was later than Am. iii. 1, where he pictures the Muses of Elegy and Tragedy as contending for his homage, and he finally decides (ll. 67-8),

‘Exiguum vati concede, Tragoedia, tempus:
tu labor aeternus; quod petit illa breve est.’

On the other hand, it was earlier than Am. ii. 18, 13,

‘Sceptra tamen sumpsi, curaque tragoedia nostra
   crevit, et huic operi quamlibet aptus eram.’

The drama enjoyed a high reputation in antiquity. Cf. Quint. x. 1, 98, ‘Ovidii Medea videtur mihi ostendere, quantum ille vir praestare potuerit, si ingenio suo imperare quam indulgere maluisset.’

4. Medicamina Faciei Femineae, an incomplete poem of 100 lines, giving directions for the toilet. Cf. A.A. iii. 205,

‘Est mihi, quo dixi vestrae medicamina formae,
   parvus, sed cura grande, libellus, opus.’

5. Ars Amatoria, a didactic poem in three Books, on the art of love-intrigue. The title given by the MSS. is doubtless correct: Ovid himself speaks of ‘ars amandi,’ or simply ‘ars’ or ‘artes.’ It was written about B.C. 2, from the allusion, i. 171, to the ‘naumachia’ in that year,

‘Quid, modo cum belli navalis imagine Caesar
   Persidas induxit Cecropiasque rates?’

The Ars must have been in view when he wrote Am. ii. 18, 19,

‘Quod licet, aut artes teneri profitemur amoris—
   ei mihi, praeceptis urgeor ipse meis!’

6. Remedia Amoris, written next, while professing to be a recantation of the last-named work, exhibits, if possible, a more immoral tone. Cf. l. 487,

‘Quaeris, ubi invenias? artes, i, perlege nostras.’

7. Ovid now produced a work of greater compass, the Metamorphoses, in fifteen Books of heroic verse. When it was composed is not known, but he had the idea of it in his mind when he wrote Am. iii. 12, 21-40. At the time of his banishment the poem had been written, but not revised. He committed his MS. to the flames, but copies were in the hands of friends; Tr. i. 7, 13-16,

‘Carmina mutatas hominum dicentia formas,
   infelix domini quod fuga rupit opus.
Haec ego discedens, sicut bene multa meorum,
   ipse mea posui maestus in igne manu.

Quae quoniam non sunt penitus sublata, sed extant,      (l. 23)
   pluribus exemplis scripta fuisse reor.

Ablatum mediis opus est incudibus illud,      (l. 29)
   defuit et scriptis ultima lima meis.’

The poem consists of a collection of stories of the transformation of human beings into animals. Cf. i. 1,

‘In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas

The idea, title, and much of the subject-matter was borrowed from the Alexandrians, e.g. the Μεταμορφώσεις of Parthenius, the Ἑτεροιούμενα of Nicander.

8. In the Fasti, in six Books, Ovid furnishes a poetical calendar of the Roman year. Each month has a Book allotted to it, and he speaks of having written twelve Books; Tr. ii. 549,

‘Sex ego Fastorum scripsi totidemque libellos,
   cumque suo finem mense volumen habet.
Idque tuo nuper scriptum sub nomine, Caesar,
   et tibi sacratum sors mea rupit opus.’

Probably the second six Books were never completed; but there are references to portions of them, e.g. iii. 57,

‘Vester honos veniet, cum Larentalia dicam;
   acceptus Geniis illa December habet.’

The Fasti had been written side by side with the Metam. and interrupted at the sixth Book by Ovid’s banishment. During his exile he added some passages, but found that his Muse was fit only for melancholy themes; iv. 81,

‘Sulmonis gelidi—patriae, Germanice, nostrae—
   me miserum, Scythico quam procul illa solo est!’

i. 540,

‘Felix, exilium cui locus ille fuit!’

The design is stated at the outset, i. 1-8,

‘Tempora cum causis Latium digesta per annum
   lapsaque sub terras ortaque signa canam ...
Sacra recognosces annalibus eruta priscis,
   et quo sit merito quaeque notata dies.’

The work is thus a medley of religion, history, and astrology, and in its explanations of customs may be compared to the Αἴτια of Callimachus. For information about religious rites, and for derivations of names (e.g. Agnalia, i. 317-332), he would have recourse to Varro; for history, to Livy (cf. ii. 193-242, the story of the Fabii, from Livy, ii. 49, and vi. 587, etc., the story of Tullia, from Livy, i. 48); for astronomy, to Clodius Tuscus.

It was begun some time after Augustus regulated the Julian calendar in B.C. 8, and was originally addressed to Augustus, as Ovid himself says (Tr. ii. 552 above); ‘Caesar’ is addressed ii. 15, vi. 763, and elsewhere. After the death of Augustus, Ovid began to remodel it and dedicate it to Germanicus. Cf. i. 3,

‘Excipe pacato, Caesar Germanice, voltu
   hoc opus et timidae dirige navis iter.’

But the task was stopped by his death; and while Book i. has the remodelled form, Books ii.-vi. remain as first written.

Poems written in exile.—9. Tristia, five Books of letters to Augustus, to Ovid’s wife and friends (who, however, are not named), praying for pardon or for a place of exile nearer Rome. Book i. was written on the journey to Tomi, the other books not after A.D. 11 or 12, Cf. v. 10, 1,

‘Ut sumus in Ponto, ter frigore constitit Hister.’

10. The Ibis was written at the beginning of his exile. Cf. l. 1,

‘Tempus ad hoc, lustris bis iam mihi quinque peractis.’

The title was taken from the poem in which Callimachus attacked Apollonius Rhodius under the name of Ibis. Cf. l. 55,

‘Nunc, quo Battiades inimicum devovet Ibin,
hoc ego devoveo teque tuosque modo.’

Ovid studiously conceals the identity of the enemy whom he attacks; l. 61,

‘Et quoniam, qui sis, nondum quaerentibus edo,
Ibidis interea tu quoque nomen habe.’

He had once been a friend of the poet, but had proved false to him, doubtless in connexion with the circumstances which caused his banishment; cf. l. 85, ‘capiti male fido,’ l. 130, ‘perfide.’ He persecuted Ovid’s wife, and tried to get possession of his property.

The conjectures that the unknown was Messalla Corvinus or the poet Manilius may be dismissed at once. Many hold that Hyginus is meant; Prof. Ellis suggests the delator Cassius Severus (Tac. Ann. iv. 21), or T. Labienus (Sen. Contr. x. praef. 4), or the astrologer Thrasyllus (Tac. Ann. vi. 20). To the same person probably are addressed Tr. iii. 11, iv. 9, v. 8; Pont. iv. 3.

11. The Epistulae ex Ponto, in four Books, were written A.D. 12-16. In tone they resemble the Tristia, but the composition is more careless, and the friends to whom he writes are mentioned by name.

12. Halieuticon, a poem on fish, in hexameters, in a fragmentary condition. Ovid wrote this towards the end of his life.

Pliny, N.H. xxxii. 152, ‘His adiciemus ab Ovidio posita nomina quae apud neminem alium reperiuntur, sed fortassis in Ponto nascentium, ubi id volumen supremis suis temporibus incohavit.’


Manilius is not mentioned by any other writer, and his own poem gives no particulars of his life. There is uncertainty even as to the true form of his name, the MSS. giving variously M. Mallius, Manlius, or Manilius, with the addition in one case of EQOM (probably = equitis Romani). In some MSS. the poem is wrongly attributed to Aratus or Boetius, both of whom wrote on the same subject as Manilius.

Bentley conjectured that Manilius was an Asiatic Greek, but the poet speaks of Latin as ‘nostra lingua’ (ii. 889), while Greek is ‘externa lingua’ (iii. 40), and he uses no Greek constructions.

His poem, the Astronomica, in its present form, consists of five Books of hexameter verse: probably a sixth Book has been lost. It may have been wholly composed in the reign of Tiberius, or begun under Augustus. Book v. was written under Tiberius, if the burning of Pompey’s theatre in A.D. 22 is alluded to in ll. 513-515. The earlier Books contain nothing which might not have been written after the death of Augustus—the allusions to the disaster of Varus in A.D. 9 (i. 899), and to the sojourn of Tiberius at Rhodes (iv. 764). Either Augustus or Tiberius may be the ‘Caesar’ of i. 7 and i. 386. On the other hand, if Ovid is referring to Manilius (as Prof. Ellis suggests) in Tr. ii. 485,

‘Ecce canit formas alius iactusque pilarum,
hic artem nandi praecipit, ille trochi,’

it would follow that the whole poem had been published before the death of Augustus, for the descriptions of ball-play and swimming occur in v. 165-171 and 420-431.

Astronomy is treated only in Book i.; the rest of the poem is devoted to astrology. This is in accordance with the author’s statement of his theme (i. 1-3), which he was the first Roman to treat in verse (i. 4, 113, ii. 57). As his object is to convey instruction rather than to give pleasure (iii. 36-39), he does not scruple to use Greek technical terms (ii. 693, 829, 897, iii. 40). The subject does not lend itself readily to verse (i. 20, iii. 31), and the poem is intolerably dry, except the introductions to each Book, which reveal considerable poetical power. The chief peculiarities of Manilius’ language are his strange use of prepositions and his fondness for alliteration; imitations of Virgil are found throughout.

Manilius is a fatalist (iv. 14 and 22): still fate does not abolish the moral quality of actions (iv. 108-118). The universe is directed by a ‘vis animae divina’ or ‘divinum numen’ (i. 250, 491).


There is no ancient biography of Livy, and very little light is thrown on his life by his own writings or by allusions in other authors.

Titus Livius was born at Patavium (the modern Padua) B.C. 59: Jerome yr. Abr. 1958, ‘T. Livius Patavinus scriptor historicus nascitur.’ (The Armenian version gives Ol. 180, 4 = B.C. 57.) Near Patavium there was a famous sulphur spring known as Aponus or Aponi fons, whence Martial calls the district Apona tellus (i. 61, 3, ‘Censetur Apona Livio suo tellus’). There is no reason to suppose from this that Livy’s birthplace was not Patavium itself, but a village Aponus, which is nowhere mentioned. Statius (Silv. iv. 7, 55) calls him ‘Timavi alumnus.’ For Livy’s acquaintance with Patavium cf. x. 2, 14 and 15.

From his tone we may infer that he came of a good family, and he must have possessed a fair income. The charge against his style of Patavinitas implies that he spent a considerable part of his life in his native town, but he probably settled at Rome about B.C. 30. That he took no part in public life is clear from his own words: i. praef. 5, ‘Hoc laboris praemium petam, ut me a conspectu malorum, quae nostra tot per annos vidit aetas, tantisper certe, dum prisca illa tota mente repeto, avertam, omnis expers curae, quae scribentis animum etsi non flectere a vero, sollicitum tamen efficere posset.’

He enjoyed the intimacy of Augustus, whom he himself mentions, iv. 20, 7, ‘hoc ego cum Augustum Caesarem ... se ipsum ... legisse audissem.’ Tac. Ann. iv. 34, ‘T. Livius, eloquentiae ac fidei praeclarus in primis, Cn. Pompeium tantis laudibus tulit, ut Pompeianum eum Augustus appellaret; neque id amicitiae eorum offecit.’ It was at Livy’s suggestion that the future emperor, Claudius, started to compose a history: Sueton. Claud. 41, ‘historiam in adulescentia, hortante T. Livio, Sulpicio vero Flavo etiam adiuvante, scribere adgressus est.’ On the other hand, Caligula would have liked to remove Livy’s writings and his bust from all the libraries, calling him ‘verbosum in historia neglegentemque’ (Sueton. Calig. 34).

Nothing more is known of his life, except that he visited Campania, xxxviii. 56, 3, ‘Nam et Literni monumentum monumentoque statua superimposita fuit, quam tempestate disiectam nuper vidimus ipsi.’

He died at his native town, A.D. 17: Jerome yr. Abr. 2033, ‘Livius historicus Patavii moritur.’

He had at least one son (Quint. x. 1, 39, ‘apud Livium in epistula ad filium scripta’), and one daughter (Sen. Contr. x. praef. 2, ‘L. Magius gener T. Livi’).

Livy wrote philosophical works, probably popular treatises like Cicero’s, some of them in the form of dialogues.

Sen. Ep. 100, 9, ‘Nomina adhuc T. Livium. Scripsit enim et dialogos, quos non magis philosophiae adnumerare possis quam historiae, et ex professo philosophiam continentis libros.’

A book on rhetoric was known to Quintilian and Seneca the elder, apparently in the form of a letter addressed to the author’s son (Quint. x. 1, 39, above).

Quint. ii. 5, 20, ‘quemadmodum Livius praecipit’ (on models of style); Sen. Contr. ix. 2, 26, ‘Livius de oratoribus ... aiebat’ (on obscurity of expression); Sen. Contr. ix. 1, 14, ‘T. Livius tam iniquus Sallustio fuit ut hanc ipsam sententiam ... obiceret Sallustio.’

These minor works have perished, and of his great history only a portion survives.

Its title, according to the oldest MSS., the summaries of the lost Books, and the grammarians, was Ab urbe condita libri; and this is corroborated by Livy’s own language: i. praef. 1, ‘si a primordio urbis res populi Romani perscripserim’; and by Pliny, N.H. praef. 16, ‘T. Livium ... in historiarum suarum, quas repetit ab origine urbis, quodam volumine.’ Livy refers to it loosely as meos annales (xliii. 13, 2). Separate parts may have had special titles: thus Books cix-cxvi. were known as Civilis belli libri viii. (Codex Nazarenus of the Periochae).

The number of Books now extant is thirty-five, viz., i.-x., which carry the history down to B.C. 293, and xxi.-xlv., covering the period B.C. 218-167. Of these xli. and xliii. are incomplete. But we possess summaries (Periochae or Argumenta) of Books i.-cxlii., except cxxxvi. and cxxxvii., which show that the narrative was continued to the death of Drusus in B.C. 9. There is no evidence that it actually went further; but as the death of Drusus is hardly an event of sufficient importance to form the conclusion of so great a work, it has been thought that Livy may have intended to finish with the death of Augustus—the point from which Tacitus starts. The total number of Books would then have been probably one hundred and fifty.

The division into Books (libri or volumina) is due to the author: vi. 1, 1, ‘quae ab condita urbe Romani gessere quinque libris exposui.’ The division into decades (i.e. sets of ten Books) is first mentioned towards the end of the fifth century; it is merely a conventional arrangement, the subject-matter falling naturally into sets of fifteen Books, which again sometimes embrace three sub-divisions each a half-decade, or two, a half-decade and a decade.

An epitome was known to Martial, xiv. 190,

‘Pellibus exiguis artatur Livius ingens,
   quem mea non totum bibliotheca capit.’

The evidence of the date of composition is as follows:

(a) i. 19, 3, ‘Bis deinde post Numae regnum [Ianus] clausus fuit, semel T. Manlio consule post Punicum primum perfectum bellum, iterum, quod nostrae aetati dei dederunt ut videremus, post bellum Actiacum ab imperatore Caesare Augusto pace terra marique parta.’ Now, as the first closing of the temple of Janus by Augustus was in B.C. 29, and as Livy is silent as to the second closing after the Cantabrian war in 25, it follows that this passage was written B.C. 29-25. The use of the title Augustus, conferred on Octavian in 27, puts the earliest possible date two years later. The history therefore was not begun before B.C. 27.

(b) ix. 36, 1, ‘Silva erat Ciminia magis tum invia atque horrenda quam nuper fuere Germanici saltus.’ In this Niebuhr found an allusion to the campaigns of Drusus, B.C. 12-9, and accordingly assumed that the first decade was not published till B.C. 9. But the passage may equally well refer to earlier campaigns, e.g. of Julius Caesar. Nor can it be shown that the history of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, published B.C. 7, was used by Livy for Books viii.-x. Book ix. must have been written before B.C. 20, or Livy would have mentioned the recovery of the standards from the Parthians in ix. 18, 9.

(c) xxviii. 12, 12, ‘Hispania prima Romanis inita provinciarum, quae quidem continentis sint, postrema omnium nostra demum aetate ductu auspicioque Augusti Caesaris perdomita.’ This was written not earlier than B.C. 19, if it refers to Agrippa’s victory over the Cantabrians.

(d) Book lix. mentioned the lex de maritandis ordinibus, and consequently cannot have been earlier than B.C. 18.

(e) The books in which Pompeius figured were composed in the lifetime of Augustus (Tac. Ann. iv. 34, above).

(f) Book cxxi., according to the oldest MS. of the Periochae, was published after the death of Augustus; so doubtless were the remaining Books (A.D. 14-17).

A work of such compass, and occupying so many years of the author’s life, would naturally be published in sections. This a priori view is corroborated by several considerations: (a) There are separate prefaces to various sections (vi. 1; xxi. 1; xxxi. 1); (b) Livy’s style was censured[70] by Asinius Pollio, who died A.D. 5; (c) Augustus was acquainted with Livy’s sympathetic treatment of Pompeius (see above); (d) Livy had great fame in his lifetime: Pliny, Ep. ii. 3, 8, ‘Numquamne legisti Gaditanum quemdam T. Livi nomine gloriaque commotum ad visendum eum ab ultimo terrarum orbe venisse statimque ut viderat abisse?’

The historians from whom Livy derived his materials, and whom he himself mentions are: Fabius Pictor (i. 44, 2, etc.). Livy refers to him six times, but it may be questioned whether he used him at first-hand. More probably he took his opinions on the authority of later annalists like Macer, Antias, and Tubero. Cincius Alimentus (xxi. 38, 3): the Cincius quoted in vii. 3, 7, may be the same, or an antiquarian of the Ciceronian or Augustan age; Cato (xxxiv. 15, 9); Calpurnius Piso (xxv. 39, 15); Coelius Antipater (xxix. 25, 3); Claudius Quadrigarius (vi. 42, 5, etc.); Valerius Antias, quoted thirty-five times—far more frequently than any other authority; Licinius Macer; Aelius Tubero (iv. 23, 1); Clodius Licinus (xxix. 22, 10); Rutilius (xxxix. 52, 1); Polybius; Silenus (xxvi. 49, 3), a Greek, whose account of the Second Punic War was favourable to the Carthaginians.

A criticism of Livy’s use of these sources is impossible, except in the case of Polybius, all the others having perished. His tone in alluding to the Greek historian is remarkable for its coldness: xxx. 45, 5, ‘Polybius haudquaquam spernendus auctor’; cf. xxxiii. 10, 8. Although Polybius is not mentioned till Book xxx., he was undoubtedly used throughout the third decade, as well as in the fourth and fifth. Livy follows him very closely. Where Livy differs from Polybius he is probably following the account of Coelius Antipater, who is his leading authority for the Second Punic War.

Livy is not careful to reconcile his sources, and so frequently contradicts himself. His way of explaining a discrepancy between his authorities is by striking an average (xxvi. 49, 6, ‘si aliquis adsentiri necesse est, media simillima veris sunt’). His irresolution was noted by Quintilian, ii. 4, 19, ‘saepe quaeri solet de tempore, de loco, quo gesta res dicitur, nonnumquam de persona quoque, sicut Livius frequentissime dubitat.’ This of course has its good side: it saves him from dogmatizing on uncertain points, and he has a hearty appreciation of the confusion in his authorities: xxxvii. 34, 5, ‘is ubi et quando et quo casu captus sit, sicut pleraque alia, parum inter auctores constat.’ He recognizes the value of contemporary evidence: xxii. 7, 4, ‘Fabium aequalem temporibus huiusce belli potissimum auctorem habui’; xxi. 38, 3, ‘L. Cincius Alimentus, qui captum se ab Hannibale scribit, maxime auctor moveret.’ Criticism of his authorities is most conspicuous in the case of Valerius Antias, whom at first he followed in good faith; he condemns him again and again for exaggeration and credulity, e.g. xxxiii. 10, 8, ‘si Valerio qui credat, omnium rerum immodice numerum augenti’; xxxix. 43, 1, ‘Valerius Antias, ut qui nec orationem Catonis legisset et fabulae tantum sine auctore editae credidisset.’ He also recognizes the bias of Licinius Macer: vii. 9, 5, ‘quaesita ea propriae familiae laus leviorem auctorem Licinium facit.’ For the untrustworthiness of family records, cf. viii. 40, 4, ‘vitiatam memoriam funebribus laudibus reor falsisque imaginum titulis, dum familiae ad se quaeque famam rerum gestarum honorumque fallenti mendacio trahunt.’

Livy often refers to authorities whom he does not name: ‘invenio apud quosdam,’ ‘satis constat’; and to tradition: ‘fama est,’ ‘dicitur,’ ‘fertur,’ ‘traditur.’ Tradition was the sole source for events prior to the sack of Rome by the Gauls, cf. vi. 12, 2 sqq.

There is no trace in Livy of any use of original documents.

He constantly resists the temptation to digress from his proper theme: e.g. xxxix. 48, 6, ‘cuius belli et causas et ordinem si expromere velim, immemor sim propositi, quo statui non ultra attingere externa, nisi qua Romanis cohaererent rebus.’

In spite of his love of truth (xxii. 7, 4, ‘nihil haustum ex vano velim, quo nimis inclinant ferme scribentium animi’: cf. Tac. Ann. iv. 34, ‘fidei praeclarus’), partiality blinds him to the faults of his own countrymen, and he fails to do justice to opponents like the Samnites and Carthaginians.

In dealing with the legendary period he admits that his narrative has no trustworthy foundation, and gives it merely for what it is worth: Praef. 6, ‘Quae ante conditam condendamve urbem poeticis magis decora fabulis quam incorruptis rerum gestarum monumentis traduntur, ea nec adfirmare nec refellere in animo est. Datur haec venia antiquitati, ut miscendo humana divinis primordia urbium augustiora faciat.’

The numerous speeches exemplify Livy’s rhetorical tendency, representing what he thought the speaker would have said under the given circumstances: iii. 67, 1, ‘ibi in hanc sententiam locutum accipio.’

His power of describing character is noted by Seneca, Suas. vi. 21, ‘Quoties magni alicuius viri mors ab historicis narrata est, toties fere consummatio totius vitae et quasi funebris laudatio redditur. Hoc ... T. Livius benignius omnibus magnis viris praestitit.’

Religion and morality.—Livy believes in the influence of the gods on human affairs: ix. 1, 11, ‘cum rerum humanarum maximum momentum sit, quam propitiis rem, quam adversis agant dis.’ Superior to the gods is necessitas (ix. 4, 16), and fortuna is also powerful (ix. 17, 3; v. 37, 1). He condemns the irreligion of his own day (x. 40, 10, ‘iuvenis ante doctrinam deos spernentem natus’), cf. iii. 20, 5; viii. 11, 1. He retains the old belief in prodigies and portents, every war being introduced by a list of them, but recognizes that many reported instances were fictitious: xxi. 62, 1, ‘Multa ea hieme prodigia facta, aut, quod evenire solet motis semel in religionem animis, multa nuntiata et temere credita sunt.’

He condemns the vices of his own age, and lauds the old Romans: Praef. 12, ‘Nuper divitiae avaritiam et abundantes voluptates desiderium per luxum atque libidinem pereundi perdendique omnia invexere.’

Politics.—Livy is an aristocrat, with a poor opinion of the lower orders: e.g. xxiv. 25, 8, ‘Ea natura multitudinis est: aut servit humiliter aut superbe dominatur; libertatem, quae media est, nec cupere modice nec habere sciunt.’ His political attitude is influenced to a great extent by the earlier historians, who had mostly been on the aristocratic side. Yet he is not a defender of the aristocratic party through thick and thin; and though he admired the character of some leading republicans, there can be no question of his loyalty to the Empire. Cf. Tac. Ann. iv. 34, ‘Scipionem, Afranium, hunc ipsum Cassium, hunc Brutum nusquam latrones et parricidas, quae nunc vocabula imponuntur, saepe ut insignes viros nominat.’

Livy’s view of Caesar is quoted by Seneca, N.Q. v. 18, 4, ‘in incerto esse utrum illum nasci magis rei publicae profuerit, an non nasci?’

Contemporaries of Livy.—1. Pompeius Trogus, whose history is known to us only through the abridgment made by M. Iunianus Iustinus, probably in the time of the Antonines. Trogus was of Gallic descent. His grandfather had received the Roman civitas from Pompey; his father was one of Caesar’s officers, and is possibly to be identified with the Cn. Pompeius of Caes. B.G. v. 36 (Iustin. xliii. 5, 11). His chief work, Historiae Philippicae, in forty-four Books, was concerned chiefly with the history of Macedonia and the Diadochi; but it embraced also the empires of the East and the history of Greece down to the time of Philip, as well as Parthia, Spain, Carthage, and the early history of Rome.

2. Fenestella, who died, according to Jerome, in A.D. 19 at the age of seventy. Nothing is known of his life, or of the poems which Jerome attributes to him; but he certainly wrote Annales (Nonius, p. 154). He is also quoted as an authority on miscellaneous antiquarian and constitutional points.

3. M. Verrius Flaccus, tutor to the grandsons of Augustus (Sueton. Gramm. 17), was the author of Fasti, fragments of which have been discovered near Praeneste, and which were used by Ovid for his poem of that name. Of Verrius’ grammatical works, the greatest was that entitled De verborum significatu (Gell. v. 17, 1), arranged alphabetically. It is lost, but we possess part of an abridgment (nine out of sixteen Books) made by Sex. Pompeius Festus before the third century A.D. The abridgment of Festus was in turn epitomized by Paulus Diaconus in the time of Charlemagne, and his work is extant in a complete form.

4. C. Iulius Hyginus, a freedman of Augustus and librarian of the Palatine library (Sueton. Gramm. 20), wrote De vita rebusque illustrium virorum (Gell. i. 14, 1); Exempla (Gell. x. 18, 7); De situ urbium Italicarum (Serv. ad Verg. Aen. iii. 553); De familiis Troianis (ibid. v. 389); theological works, e.g. De dis Penatibus (Macrob. Saturn. iii. 4, 13); commentaries on Virgil and Helvius Cinna; and De Agricultura, a treatise to which Virgil was indebted (Colum. i. 1, 13). The Hyginus who wrote Fabulae and De Astrologia probably lived in the second century A.D.


Vitruvius Pollio (the cognomen appears only in the abridgment of his book) served under Caesar in Africa B.C. 46; viii. 3, 25, ‘C. Iulius Masinissae filius ... cum patre Caesari militavit. Is hospitio meo est usus. Ita cottidiano convictu necesse fuerat de philologia disputare ...’

Under Augustus he was an officer of engineers, and was enabled to spend the rest of his life in comfort through the liberality of that prince and his sister Octavia: i. praef. 2, ‘Cum M. Aurelio et P. Minidio et Cn. Cornelio ad apparationem ballistarum et scorpionum reliquorumque tormentorum refectionem fui praesto et cum eis commoda accepi. Quae cum primo mihi tribuisti, recognitionem per sororis commendationem servasti. Cum ergo eo beneficio essem obligatus, ut ad exitum vitae non haberem inopiae timorem ...’

He wrote the treatise De Architectura, in ten Books, when he was no longer young (ii. praef. 4, ‘faciem deformavit aetas’), between the years B.C. 16 and 13. The temple of Quirinus, mentioned iii. 2, 7, was built in the former year; and he speaks of only one stone theatre in Rome (iii. 2, 2), whereas in B.C. 13 there were three.

The arrangement of the subject-matter is as follows: Book i., sciences on which architecture is based, chief divisions of the subject, choice of site, and method of laying out a town; ii., building materials; iii., temples—Ionic order; iv., Doric and Corinthian orders; v., public buildings, e.g., forum, theatre; vi., private houses—construction; vii., decoration; viii., water-supply; ix., methods of measuring time, e.g., sun-dials; x., engines and machines used in war and in the arts.

The work is dedicated to Augustus, who is addressed throughout, and is meant to be of practical use to him in his building operations.

The body of the work is severely technical; the introductions to the Books are in a more ambitious style. Vitruvius writes as a professional man, not as a scholar: i. 1, 17, ‘Non uti summus philosophus nec rhetor disertus nec grammaticus summis rationibus artis exercitatus, sed ut architectus his litteris imbutus haec nisus sum scribere.’ He freely confesses his obligations to Greek authors, whom he enumerates vii. praef. 10-14. Diagrams were appended to the text: i. 6, 12, ‘Quoniam haec a nobis sunt breviter exposita, ut facilius intellegantur visum est mihi in extremo volumine formas, sive uti Graeci σχήματα dicunt duo explicare.’


(1) LIFE.

Annaeus Seneca (for the praenomen Marcus, usually given, there is no authority: in the best MSS. it is Lucius, possibly through confusion with his son) was a native of Corduba: Mart. i. 62, 7,

‘Duosque Senecas unicumque Lucanum
   facunda loquitur Corduba.’

The date of his birth is probably about B.C. 55, for he was old enough to have heard Cicero if the civil wars had not prevented him leaving his native town: Contr. i. praef. 11, ‘Omnes magni in eloquentia nominis excepto Cicerone videor audisse: ne Ciceronem quidem aetas mihi eripuerat, sed bellorum civilium furor, qui tunc orbem totum pervagabatur, intra coloniam meam me continuit.’

He was of equestrian rank; cf. the speech of Seneca the younger, Tac. Ann. xiv. 53, ‘Egone, equestri et provinciali loco ortus, proceribus civitatis adnumeror?’

Most of his life appears to have been spent in Rome, where alone he could have acquired his vast knowledge of contemporary rhetoric. Together with his countryman Porcius Latro, he attended the lectures of the rhetorician Marullus: Contr. i. praef. 22, ‘Hoc Latro meus faciebat, ut sententias amaret. Cum condiscipuli essemus apud Marullum rhetorem ...’ Asinius Pollio he had heard at two different periods: Contr. iv. praef. 3, ‘audivi illum et viridem et postea iam senem.’

Seneca’s wife was Helvia, whose noble character is described by her son (ad Helv. 14, 3; 16, 3): by her he had three sons, M. Annaeus Novatus, L. Annaeus Seneca, and M. Annaeus Mela.

He survived Tiberius; for (1) he alludes to events which happened after his reign, (2) Sueton. Tib. 73, quotes from ‘Seneca’ an account of the death of Tiberius, and we know that the elder Seneca wrote history: that his son did likewise there is nothing to show. Hence he was alive after A.D. 37. On the other hand, he was dead before his son’s exile in A.D. 43, for Sen. ad Helv. 2, 5, after enumerating the calamities which had befallen his mother—among them his father’s death—concludes with the words ‘raptum me audisti: hoc adhuc defuerat tibi, lugere vivos.’

Seneca was a man of stern character: for his old-world views and dislike of innovation cf. his son’s words (ad Helv. 17, 3), ‘Patris mei antiquus rigor.... Virorum optimus, pater meus, maiorum consuetudini deditus.’ He disapproved of the higher education of women, ‘propter istas quae litteris non ad sapientiam utuntur, sed ad luxuriam instruuntur.’

(2) WORKS.

The only extant works of Seneca are Oratorum et Rhetorum Sententiae, Divisiones, Colores Controversiarum et Suasoriarum.

1. The Controversiae were written at the request of his three sons, but were intended for a wider circle of readers: i. praef. 10, ‘Quaecumque a celeberrimis viris facunde dicta teneo, ne ad quemquam privatim pertineant, populo dedicabo.’ Seneca here gives a criticism of the rhetoricians of his time, with specimens of the style of each: i. praef. 1, ‘Exigitis rem magis iucundam mihi quam facilem; iubetis enim quid de his declamatoribus sentiam qui in aetatem meam inciderunt indicare, et si qua memoriae meae nondum elapsa sunt ab illis dicta colligere, ut quamvis notitiae vestrae subducti sint, tamen non credatis tantum de illis, sed et iudicetis.’ The specimens are given from memory, and the arrangement is not systematic: i. praef. 4, ‘Illud necesse est impetrem, ne me quasi certum aliquem ordinem velitis sequi in contrahendis quae mihi occurrent.’ Seneca treats only of those rhetoricians whom his sons had not themselves heard: i. praef. 4, ‘Neque de his me interrogatis quos ipsi audistis, sed de his qui ad vos usque non pervenerunt.’ His hero is Cicero, since whose time oratory has steadily degenerated: i. praef. 11, ‘Illud ingenium quod solum populus Romanus par imperio suo habuit’; ibid. 7, ‘Omnia ingenia quae lucem studiis nostris attulerunt tunc nata sunt: in deterius deinde cottidie data res est.’

Of the ten Books of Controversiae only five have come down to us, viz., i., ii., vii., ix., and x. The deficiency is to some extent supplied by an abridgment (Excerpta) made in the fourth or fifth century A.D., which adds thirty-nine themes to the thirty-five contained in the surviving part of the original work. Each Book had a separate preface. Those to v., vi., and viii. are entirely wanting; for the prefaces to ii., iii., and iv. we are indebted to the abridgment.

The Controversiae were written when Seneca was an old man, and when his two elder sons were preparing for public life, probably about A.D. 20: x. praef. 1, ‘Sinite me ab istis iuvenilibus studiis ad senectutem meam reverti’; ii. praef. 4 (to Mela), ‘Fratribus tuis ambitiosa curae sunt foroque se et honoribus parant.’

As to the date of publication, it has been argued[71] that they appeared after the fall of Seianus and before the death of Mamercus Scaurus, i.e., between A.D. 31 and 34. Probably, however, the publication did not take place till after the death of Tiberius, A.D. 37; the protest against the burning of books (x. praef. 6-7) would have been as offensive to him as to Seianus.

2. There is only one book of Suasoriae, and the beginning of it is lost. It gives specimens of the treatment of seven themes, e.g., 3, ‘Deliberat Agamemnon an Iphigeniam immolet negante Calchante aliter navigari fas esse.’ It is certainly later than the Controversiae: Contr. ii. 4, 8, ‘Quae dixerit suo loco reddam, cum ad suasorias venero.’ One passage cannot have been written before A.D. 34: 2, 22, ‘Scaurum Mamercum, in quo Scaurorum familia exstincta est.’ It was not published in the lifetime of Tiberius, for Seneca calls the accuser of Scaurus ‘homo quam improbi animi tam infelicis ingenii’ (2, 22), and quotes Cremutius Cordus (6, 19) whose books had been burned in Tiberius’ time.

3. Seneca wrote also on Roman history from the commencement of the civil wars to his own time, but left the work of publication to his son.

L. Seneca de vita patris (Haase, vol. iii. p. 436), ‘Si quaecumque composuit pater meus et edi voluit iam in manus populi emisissem, ad claritatem nominis sui satis sibi ipsi prospexerat ... Quisquis legisset eius historias ab initio bellorum civilium, unde primum veritas retro abiit, paene usque ad mortis suae diem,’ etc.




C.[72] Velleius Paterculus was born at latest B.C. 19, as he was quaestor-elect A.D. 6. He was descended from a distinguished family in Campania (Vell. ii. 16, 2; Liv. xxiii. 7 sqq.). His father was a praefectus equitum (ii. 104, 3). After some military experience in Thrace and Macedonia, Velleius accompanied C. Caesar, the grandson of Augustus, on his mission to the East, A.D. 1. His rank at this time was tribunus militum.

ii. 101, 2 (of the meeting of C. Caesar and the Parthian king), ‘Sub initia stipendiorum meorum tribuno militum mihi visere contigit: quem militiae gradum ante sub patre tuo, M. Vinici, et P. Silio auspicatus in Thracia Macedoniaque, mox Achaia Asiaque et omnibus ad Orientem visis provinciis et ore atque utroque maris Pontici latere, haud iniucunda tot rerum, locorum, gentium, urbium recordatione fruor.’

In A.D. 4, as praefectus equitum, he accompanied Tiberius to Germany: ii. 104, 3, ‘Hoc tempus me, functum ante tribunatu, castrorum Ti. Caesaris militem fecit; quippe protinus ab adoptione missus cum eo praefectus equitum in Germaniam, successor officii patris mei, caelestissimorum eius operum per annos continuos viii. praefectus aut legatus spectator et pro captu mediocritatis meae adiutor fui.’

In A.D. 6, when quaestor-elect, he commanded reinforcements sent from Rome to Tiberius in Pannonia, and at the expiration of his term of office as quaestor in Rome, he returned to Tiberius as a legatus: ii. 111, 3, ‘Habuit in hoc quoque bello mediocritas nostra speciosi ministerii locum. Finita equestri militia designatus quaestor necdum senator aequatus senatoribus, etiam designatis tribunis plebei, partem exercitus ab urbe traditi ab Augusto perduxi ad filium eius. In quaestura deinde remissa sorte provinciae legatus eiusdem ad eumdem missus sum.’

In A.D. 9 Velleius served in Dalmatia (ii. 115, 5), afterwards spending two years in Germany (ii. 104, 3 above). In the winter of A.D. 12-13 he took part in the triumph of Tiberius: ii. 121, 2, ‘Ex Pannoniis Delmatisque egit triumphum ... quem mihi fratrique meo inter praecipuos praecipuisque donis adornatos viros comitari contigit.’

Velleius was praetor-elect in A.D. 14: ii. 124, 4, ‘Quo tempore mihi fratrique meo, candidatis Caesaris, proxime a nobilissimis ac sacerdotalibus viris destinari praetoribus contigit, consecutis ut neque post nos quemquam divus Augustus neque ante nos Caesar commendaret Tiberius.’

The publication of his history, sixteen years later, is the only circumstance recorded of Velleius after this date.

The Historia Romana, in two Books, was published A.D. 30, in the consulship of M. Vinicius, to whom the book is addressed (i. 8, 1, and often). The beginning of Book i. is lost; the first eight chapters in our text are occupied with a rapid survey of the history of Greece since the Trojan war, the Phoenician settlements in the Mediterranean, and the chief events in the history of the world before the foundation of Rome. C. 8 breaks off at the rape of the Sabine women, and there is a great lacuna before we reach, in c. 9, the defeat of Perseus at Pydna in B.C. 168. Ch. 9-13 carry the narrative down to the destruction of Carthage and Corinth. Book ii. commences at that point, and ends with the death of Livia, A.D. 29 (ii. 130, 5, ‘cuius temporis aegritudinem auxit amissa mater’).

Velleius is constantly calling attention to the brevity and compression of his treatment, in such phrases as ‘omnia transcursu dicenda’ (ii. 55), ‘artatum opus’ (ii. 86), ‘recisum opus’ (ii. 89). Much that the plan of his book compels him to omit, he promises to publish later in a larger work, e.g. ii. 99, 3, ‘iusto servemus operi,’ ii. 114, 4, ‘iustis voluminibus ordine narrabimus.’ Even as it is, he occasionally pauses to describe a great character (ii. 41, Caesar), or to express his personal opinion (ii. 66, 3, denunciation of Antony for Cicero’s murder). Specially noticeable are the digressions on the Roman colonies (i. 14-15) and provinces (ii. 38-39), on the prominence of different types of genius at certain epochs (i. 16-18), and on literary history (ii. 9, the chief writers of the time of the Gracci; ii. 36, of the Ciceronian and Augustan ages; i. 5, praise of Homer; i. 7, of Hesiod). As is natural in so short a book, Velleius names very few authorities.

The motive of the history is evidently the glorification of the author’s old general, Tiberius, whose actual reign, however, he dismisses in eight chapters. Probably he felt the subject too risky, and devoted his strength to the earlier life of Tiberius, which occupies the greater part even of the chapters nominally devoted to the reign of Augustus (ii. 59-123). Tiberius is spoken of throughout in terms of unqualified praise, and no hint is given of the darker side of his character. Seianus also is extolled (ii. 127-8), as he was in high favour at the time when Velleius wrote.


Nothing is known of the life of Valerius Maximus beyond the fact that he visited Asia in company with Sex. Pompeius, the friend of Ovid and of Germanicus. Pompeius was consul A.D. 14, and between A.D. 27 and 30 became proconsul of Asia.

Val. Max. ii. 6, 8, ‘Consuetudinem ... illam etiam in insula Cea servari animadverti, quo tempore Asiam cum Sex. Pompeio petens Iulidem oppidum intravi.’

Valerius dwells on his obligations to Pompeius in his chapter on friendship (iv. 7, ext. 2).

His sole work, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, in nine books, is a collection of notable incidents and sayings, classified under appropriate headings, for the convenience of speakers seeking illustrations for their subject-matter. Cf. the preface, ‘Urbis Romae exterarumque gentium facta simul ac dicta memoratu digna, quae apud alios latius diffusa sunt quam ut breviter cognosci possint, ab illustribus electa auctoribus digerere constitui, ut documenta sumere volentibus longae inquisitionis labor absit.’

The illustres auctores from whom he draws most of his material are Livy, Cicero (each mentioned only once), Sallust, and Trogus; but thirteen Latin and twenty Greek authors are mentioned by name. He frequently misrepresents his authorities.

Each book is divided into chapters on separate topics (e.g. De Pudicitia), under each of which he gives (1) illustrations from Roman history, (2) those from the history of other nations. The latter of course are few in comparison.

Although Iulius Paris, the epitomizer of Valerius, speaks of ten books, only nine are extant, and it may be doubted whether there ever was a tenth. Book i. is mutilated.

There are only two passages which throw any light on the date of composition—viii. 11, ext. 4, a denunciation of Seianus, obviously written after his fall in A.D. 31; and vi. 1 praef., before the death of Livia, A.D. 29. The work was published at latest in A.D. 37, for it is dedicated to Tiberius, who is the object of the most servile flattery (e.g. ii. 9, 6); similar language is used of Iulius Caesar (iv. 5, 6), and Augustus (i. 7, 1), while Brutus and Cassius are denounced as parricides (i. 5, 7; i. 8, 8).

Two abridgments of Valerius Maximus are extant.


Of the life of Celsus nothing is known; but he was an older contemporary of Columella. Colum. iii. 17, 4, ‘Iulius Atticus et Cornelius Celsus, aetatis nostrae celeberrimi auctores, patrem atque filium Sasernam secuti.’

He wrote an encyclopaedic work on agriculture, medicine, war, rhetoric, and philosophy, but only the section on medicine is extant.

Quint. xi. 12, 24, ‘Cum etiam Cornelius Celsus, mediocri vir ingenio, non solum de his omnibus conscripserit artibus sed amplius rei militaris et rusticae et medicinae praecepta reliquerit.’

The first part consisted of five books on agriculture: cf. Colum. i. 1, 14, ‘Cornelius totum corpus disciplinae quinque libris complexus est.’ This section of the work was probably written in the reign of Tiberius, for it was known to Iulius Graecinus, whose execution took place under Caligula. Plin. N.H. xiv. 33, ‘Graecinus, qui alioqui Cornelium Celsum transcripsit.’

There are eight books De Re Medica. The only indication of their date is in iv. 7, where Celsus mentions a prescription as not found ‘in monumentis medicorum.’ As this prescription is given by Scribonius Largus, who wrote about A.D. 47, Celsus must have written before that year.

The section on war was used by Vegetius (De Re Mil. i. 8).

Rhetoric was also treated in the encyclopaedia. Quintilian, who mentions him as one of the more careful writers on that subject (iii. 1, 21, ‘accuratius scripsit Celsus’), frequently combats his opinions and speaks of him rather contemptuously: e.g. ix. 1, 18, ‘Cornelius Celsus nimia profecto novitatis cupidine ductus. Nam quis ignorasse eruditum alioqui virum credat,’ etc. He may be the Celsus of Juv. 6, 245, who (according to the Scholiast) wrote a manual of rhetoric in seven books.

There were also six books on the history of philosophy. Augustine de haeres. prol., ‘Opiniones omnium philosophorum qui sectas varias condiderunt usque ad tempora sua vi. non parvis voluminibus quidam Celsus absolvit; nec redarguit aliquem, sed tantum quid sentirent aperuit. Cum ferme centum philosophos nominasset,’ etc.

Celsus also wrote separate treatises (1) on philosophy, Quint. x. 1, 24, ‘Scripsit non parum multa Cornelius Celsus, Sextios secutus, non sine cultu ac nitore’; (2) on strategy (Lydus de mag. i. 47).


The title of Phaedrus’ work, ‘Phaedri Augusti liberti fabularum Aesopiarum libri,’ probably means that he was a freedman of Augustus. Tiberius is called ‘Caesar Tiberius’ in ii. 6, 7; contrast the reference to Augustus, iii. 10, 39, ‘a divo Augusto.’ Phaedrus was born in Thrace, possibly in the district of Pieria; but the date is unknown; iii. prol. 17,

‘Ego, quem Pierio mater enixa est iugo,
in quo tonanti sancta Mnemosyne Iovi
fecunda novies artium peperit chorum’;

ibid. 54,

‘Ego, litteratae qui sum propior Graeciae,
cur somno inerti deseram patriae decus?
Threissa cum gens numeret auctores suos,
Linoque Apollo sit parens, Musa Orpheo.’

Some wrongly take these allusions to mean that he belongs to the realm of poesy. That he came to Rome early is shown by the knowledge of Latin literature he acquired in his boyhood. Cf. iii. epil. 33, where he quotes Ennius,

‘Ego, quondam legi quam puer sententiam,
“Palam mutire plebeio piaculum est,”
dum sanitas constabit, pulchre meminero.’

After publishing two books of fables, Phaedrus was persecuted by Seianus, in some way unknown; iii. prol. 38,

‘Ego porro illius [Aesopi] semita feci viam,
et cogitavi plura quam reliquerat,
in calamitatem deligens quaedam meam.
Quod si accusator alius Seiano foret,
si testis alius, index alius denique,
dignum faterer esse me tantis malis.’

This persecution may have arisen from references in his fables, such as i. 1 (Lupus et agnus), l. 14,

‘Haec propter illos scripta est homines fabula,
qui fictis causis innocentes opprimunt’;

i. 6 (Ranae ad solem), which Nisard[73] thinks refers to the ambitious marriage which Seianus projected with Livia, daughter of Germanicus, ‘The sun dries up the ponds; what will happen if the sun marries and has children?’ l. 9,

‘Quidnam futurum est, si crearit liberos?’

Phaedrus survived the attacks made on him, and Book v. was written in his old age (see below).

Several personal points are clear from his writings:

(1) He had to meet the attacks of critics; ii. epil. 10,

‘Si livor obtrectare curam voluerit,
non tamen eripiet laudis conscientiam.’

(2) His desire for fame and his self-consciousness; iii. prol. 60,

‘Ergo hinc abesto livor, ne frustra gemas,
quoniam sollemnis mihi debetur gloria.’

(3) His contempt for money; iii. prol. 21,

‘Curamque habendi penitus corde eraserim’;

v. 4, 7,

‘Huius respectu fabulae deterritus
periculosum semper vitavi lucrum.’

Phaedrus wrote five Books of fables. Many have certainly been lost. Cf. his reference to tree-fables, none of which we have; i. prol. 6,

‘quod arbores loquantur, non tantum ferae.’

There are, besides the five Books, thirty fables usually printed as an appendix, and probably composed by Phaedrus. The fables are all in ‘impure’ iambic senarii, like those of Terence and Publius Syrus. Phaedrus followed Aesop, but, as he affirms, not slavishly; i. prol. 1,

‘Aesopus auctor quam materiam repperit,
hanc ego polivi versibus senariis’;

iv. prol. 10,

quas Aesopias, non Aesopi, nomino.’

We have the Greek originals for about a third of the fables; but Phaedrus speaks of his additions to Aesop; ii. prol. 8,

‘Equidem omni cura morem servabo senis;
sed si libuerit aliquid interponere,
dictorum sensus ut delectet varietas,
bonas in partes, lector, accipias velim.’

Stories from contemporary or recent history are given in ii. 6, 7; iii. 10; v. 7.

Books i. and ii. were published under Tiberius; Book iii. was published after Tiberius’ death (cf. iii. prol. 33), and is dedicated to Eutychus, who has been identified with a favourite slave of Caligula. Book iv. followed, addressed to Particulo (iv. prol. 10). Book v., addressed to Philetes, was written in the poet’s old age; v. 10, 7,

        ‘Cui senex contra Lacon:
“Non te destituit animus, sed vires meae.
Quod fuimus, lauda, si iam damnas, quod sumus.”
Hoc cur, Philete, scripserim, pulchre vides.’

Martial is the only classical writer who refers to Phaedrus; iii. 20, 5,

‘An aemulatur improbi iocos Phaedri?’


(1) LIFE.

L. Annaeus Seneca, the son of Annaeus Seneca, the rhetor, was born at Corduba in Spain. For information about his family see under ‘Seneca the elder,’ pp. 226-7. He was probably born about the beginning of our era, as he seems to have remembered Asinius Pollio, who died A.D. 5, and had passed his boyhood in A.D. 19, when the Jewish and Egyptian rites were expelled from Rome.

Sen. de tranquill. animi, 17, 7, ‘Qualem Pollionem Asinium meminimus, quem nulla res ultra decimam [horam] retinuit.’

Ep. 108, 22, ‘In Tiberii Caesaris principatum iuventae tempus inciderat: alienigena tum sacra movebantur.’

At an early age Seneca was brought to Rome by his mother’s sister, who was probably the wife of Vitrasius Pollio, prefect of Egypt for sixteen years.

Ad Helv. 19, 2, ‘Illius manibus in urbem perlatus sum.’

Seneca’s mother took a great interest in his education, which was conducted under Fabianus Papirius (cf. Ep. 100, 9, etc.) and Sotion the Pythagorean, of Alexandria, pupils of Sextius (for Seneca’s study of whom see Ep. 64).

Ad Helv. 15, 1, ‘Vera vis materni doloris oritur ... “ubi studia, quibus libentius quam femina, familiarius quam mater intereram?”’

Ep. 108, 17, ‘Dicebat [Sotion] quare ille animalibus abstinuisset, quare postea Sextius ... § 22. His ego instinctus abstinere animalibus coepi et anno peracto non tantum facilis erat mihi consuetudo, sed dulcis.’

The elder Seneca put an end to this abstinence, which was associated in the popular view with foreign superstitions (see Ep. 108, 17-23). This must have happened about A.D. 19. The influence of Sotion is seen in passages imitated from his book de ira cohibenda by Seneca. Seneca also studied under Attalus, a Greek Stoic, possibly about A.D. 20.

Ep. 108, 13-15, ‘Ego certe cum Attalum audirem in vitia, in errores, in mala vitae perorantem, saepe misertus sum generis humani et illum sublimem altioremque humano fastigio credidi ... Inde mihi quaedam permansere, Lucili. Magno enim in omnia inceptu veneram. Deinde ad civitatis vitam reductus ex bene coeptis pauca servavi: inde ostreis boletisque in omnem vitam renuntiatum est.’

Seneca speaks of his change of studies and occupations in Ep. 49, 2, ‘Modo apud Sotionem philosophum puer sedi. Modo causas agere coepi. Modo desii velle agere, modo desii posse.’

In A.D. 31 Seneca was probably still at Rome; cf. N.Q. i. 1, 3, ‘Vidimus [prodigium] eo tempore, quo de Seiano actum est.’ Lipsius’ inference[74] that Seneca made a voyage to Egypt about this time is probable, though Seneca himself gives no direct information about it. According to this theory his host was Vitrasius Pollio, prefect of Egypt. While in Egypt, Seneca was attacked by illness, and escaped death by his aunt’s care. Cf. ad Helv. 19, 2, ‘Illius pio maternoque nutricio per longum tempus aeger convalui.’ Seneca accompanied Vitrasius when he resigned his office and returned with his wife to Italy A.D. 32 (Dio, lviii. 19, 6). They suffered shipwreck, and Vitrasius perished.

Ad Helv. 19, 4, ‘Sed si prudentiam perfectissimae feminae novi, non patietur te nihil profuturo maerore consumi et exemplum tibi suum, cuius ego etiam spectator fui, narrabit. Carissimum virum amiserat, avunculum nostrum, cui virgo nupserat, in ipsa quidem navigatione: tulit tamen eodem tempore et luctum et metum evictisque tempestatibus corpus eius naufraga evexit.’

This theory is supported by the fact that Seneca wrote a work ‘de ritu (al., situ) et sacris Aegyptiorum’ (Serv. ad Aen. vi. 154).

Through his aunt’s influence Seneca obtained the quaestorship.

Ad Helv. 19, 2, ‘Illa pro quaestura mea gratiam suam extendit, et quae ne sermonis quidem aut clarae salutationis sustinuit audaciam, pro me vicit indulgentia verecundiam.’

Seneca’s quaestorship must have been after the death of his aunt’s husband, in A.D. 32, as the above passage shows, and before the death of Tiberius in A.D. 37, as it was with Tiberius that his aunt’s influence lay, on account of her husband’s services. After his quaestorship Seneca appears to have married (cf. de ira, iii. 36, 3, etc.). His wife must have died before A.D. 57, as in that year Seneca married Pompeia Paulina; cf. Dio, lxi. 10, 3, γάμον ἐπιφανέστατον ἔγημε. By his first wife he had three sons (ad Helv. 2, 5).

While senator, Seneca incurred the jealousy of Caligula, and in A.D. 39 narrowly escaped death.

Dio, lix. 19, 7, ὁ δὲ δὴ Σενέκας ... διεφθάρη παρ’ ὀλίγον, μήτ’ ἀδικήσας τι, μήτε δόξας, ὅτι δίκην τινὰ ἐν τῷ συνεδρίῳ παρόντος αὐτοῦ καλῶς εἴπε. For Seneca’s attacks on Caligula cf. ad Helv. 10, 4; Apocol. 15, etc.

Sueton. Cal. 53, ‘Peroraturus “stricturum se lucubrationis suae telum” minabatur; lenius comtiusque scribendi genus adeo contemnens, ut Senecam, tum maxime placentem, “commissiones meras” componere, et “harenam esse sine calce” diceret.’

In A.D. 41 Seneca was banished to Corsica, through the agency of Messalina, on the charge of adultery with Iulia Livilla, sister of Caligula, but really because he was suspected of belonging to the faction of Agrippina.

Tac. Ann. xiii. 42, ‘Nec Suillius questu aut exprobratione abstinebat ... et Senecam increpans infensum amicis Claudii, sub quo iustissimum exilium pertulisset ... Se quaestorem Germanici, illum domus eius adulterum fuisse.’

Seneca was tried before the Senate, and Claudius prevented his execution.

Ad Polyb. 13, 2, ‘Deprecatus est pro me senatum, et vitam mihi non tantum dedit, sed etiam petiit.’

While in Corsica he devoted himself to literature and science. Cf. ad Helv. 20, 1 (written in exile), ‘Animus omnis occupationis expers operibus suis vacat et modo se levioribus studiis oblectat, modo ad considerandam suam universique naturam veri avidus insurgit: terras primum situmque earum quaerit.’

The Consolatio ad Polybium, written during this time, is full of flattery of Claudius.

Dio, lxi. 10, 2, τὴν Μεσσαλίναν καὶ τοὺς τοὺ Κλαυδίου ἐξελευθέρους ἐθώπευεν ὥστε καὶ βιβλίον σφίσιν ἐκ τῆς νήσου πέμψαι ἐπαίνους αὐτῶν ἔχον, ὃ μετὰ ταῦτα ὑπ’ αἰσχύνης ἀπήλειψε.

Seneca was recalled at the beginning of A.D. 49, became Nero’s tutor (although he wished to visit Athens), and obtained the praetorship through the influence of Agrippina, with whom his name was coupled by popular rumour.

Tac. Ann. xii. 8, ‘At Agrippina, ne malis tantum facinoribus notesceret, veniam exilii pro Annaeo Seneca, simul praeturam inpetrat, laetum in publicum rata ob claritudinem studiorum eius, utque Domitii pueritia tali magistro adulesceret et consiliis eiusdem ad spem dominationis uterentur, quia Seneca fidus in Agrippinam memoria beneficii et infensus Claudio dolore iniuriae credebatur.’

Schol. on Iuv. 5, 105, ‘Revocatus ... etsi magno desiderio Athenas intenderet ab Agrippina tamen in palatium adductus.’

Dio, lxi. 10, 1, οὐ γὰρ ἀπέχρῃσεν αὐτῷ τὴν Ἰουλίαν μοιχεῦσαι, οὐδὲ βελτίων ἐκ τῆς φυγῆς ἐγένετο, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῇ Ἀγριππίνῃ ἐπλῃσίαζεν.

For Seneca’s tutorship cf. also Sueton. Nero, 52, ‘Liberales disciplinas omnes fere puer attigit. Sed a philosophia eum mater avertit, monens imperaturo contrariam esse: a cognitione veterum oratorum Seneca praeceptor, quo diutius in admiratione sui detineret.’

It is probable that Seneca was, like Nero, privy to the murder of Claudius in A.D. 54. Cf. his sarcasms against Claudius in his Apocolocyntosis.

Sueton. Nero 33 (of Nero), ‘Cuius [Claudi] necis etsi non auctor, at conscius fuit: neque dissimulanter, ut qui boletos, in quo cibi genere venenum is acceperat, quasi deorum cibum, posthac proverbio Graeco conlaudare sit solitus.’

Seneca wrote for Nero a speech which he delivered on the occasion of Claudius’ death.

Tac. Ann. xiii. 3, ‘Die funeris laudationem eius princeps exorsus est; dum antiquitatem generis, consulatus ac triumphos maiorum enumerabat, intentus ipse et ceteri; liberalium quoque artium commemoratio, et nihil regente eo triste rei publicae ab externis accidisse, pronis animis audita. Postquam ad providentiam sapientiamque flexit, nemo risui temperare, quamquam oratio a Seneca composita multum cultus praeferret, ut fuit illi viro ingenium amoenum et temporis eius auribus accommodatum.’

He acted as a check on Nero (Tac. Ann. xiii. 6; 11), and baffled Agrippina’s vengeance and ambition.

Tac. Ann. xiii. 2, ‘Ibaturque in caedes, nisi Afranius Burrus et Annaeus Seneca obviam issent. (Ch. 5) Quin et legatis Armeniorum causam gentis apud Neronem orantibus escendere suggestum imperatoris et praesidere simul parabat, nisi ceteris pavore defixis Seneca admonuisset, venienti matri occurreret.’

Seneca interfered to shelter Nero in his amour with Acte, A.D. 55, and used the occasion to stir up feud between Agrippina and Nero (Tac. Ann. xiii. 13). Hence followed an attack by Agrippina on Seneca.

Tac. Ann. xiii. 14, ‘Audiretur hinc Germanici filia, inde debilis rursus Burrus et exsul Seneca, trunca scilicet manu et professoria lingua generis humani regimen expostulantes.’

It is unlikely that Seneca opposed the murder of Britannicus (Feb. A.D. 55). Cf. Tac. Ann. xiii. 17, ‘Facinus cui plerique iam hominum ignoscebant, antiquas fratrum discordias et insociabile regnum aestimantes.’[75]

Seneca took part shortly afterwards in the trial in which Agrippina was found not guilty (Tac. Ann. xiii. 20-21). There are many references to Seneca’s great power and wealth at this time.[76]

Cf. Dio, lxi. 4, 1, αὐτοὶ (Seneca and Burrus) τὴν ἀρχὴν ἅπασαν παρέλαβον καὶ διῴκησαν ἐφ’ ὅσον ἠδυνήθησαν ἄριστα καὶ δικαιότατα.

Tac. Ann. xiv. 53 (Seneca addressing Nero in A.D. 62), ‘Quartus decimus annus est, Caesar, ex quo spei tuae admotus sum, octavus, ut imperium obtines: medio temporis tantum honorum atque opum in me cumulasti, ut nihil felicitati meae desit nisi moderatio eius... At tu gratiam immensam, innumeram pecuniam circumdedisti, adeo ut plerumque intra me ipse volvam, “Egone, equestri et provinciali loco ortus, proceribus civitatis adnumeror? ... Talis hortos extruit, et per haec suburbana incedit, et tantis agrorum spatiis, tam lato faenore exuberat?”’

Tac. Ann. xiii. 42 (speech of Suillius, A.D. 58), ‘Qua sapientia, quibus philosophorum praeceptis, intra quadriennium regiae amicitiae ter miliens sestertium paravisset?’ (Dio, lxi. 10, 2, gives his wealth as 75,000,000 denarii).

Seneca had many estates both in Italy (Ep. 123, 1, etc.) and abroad, and lent money abroad, even in Britain. His attraction to finance is seen in the number of metaphors he draws from that subject.

Sen. vit. beat. 17, 2, ‘Cur trans mare possides? cur plura quam nosti?’

Dio, lxii. 2, 1 (of the rising of the Britons under Boudicca), ὁ Σενέκας χιλίας σφίσι μυριάδας ἄκουσιν ἐπὶ χρησταῖς ἐλπίσι τόκων δανείσας, ἔπειτ’ ἀθρόας τε ἅμα αὐτὰς καὶ βιαίως εἰσέπρασσεν.

His attack on usury (de ben. vii. 10, 3) is a piece of theoretic philosophy.

In A.D. 57 Seneca was consul suffectus (Ulpian, Dig. xxxvi. 1). In A.D. 58 he brought about the downfall of the former delator, P. Suillius. Cf. Tac. Ann. xiii. 42, ‘Variis deinde casibus iactatus et multorum odia meritus reus, haud tamen sine invidia Senecae damnatur. Is fuit P. Suillius.’ Seneca is thought to have been implicated in Agrippina’s murder in A.D. 59. He wrote to the Senate for Nero an account of her death.

Tac. Ann. xiv. 7 (Nero says after the fruitless attempt of Anicetus to kill Agrippina), ‘Quod contra subsidium sibi nisi quid Burrus et Seneca expedirent? Quos statim acciverat, incertum an aperiens, et ante ignaros. Igitur longum utriusque silentium, ne inriti dissuaderent; an eo descensum credebant, ut, nisi praeveniretur Agrippina, pereundum Neroni esset? Post Seneca, hactenus promptius, ut respiceret Burrum, ac sciscitaretur an militi imperanda caedes esset. (Ch. 11) Ergo non iam Nero, cuius immanitas omnium questus anteibat, sed Seneca adverso rumore erat, quod oratione tali confessionem scripsisset.’

The death of Burrus in A.D. 62 weakened the power of Seneca, who resolved to retire. His request, however, was not granted by Nero (Tac. Ann. xiv. 55-6), but he reduced his establishment, and lived in semi-privacy.

Tac. Ann. xiv. 52, ‘Mors Burri infregit Senecae potentiam, quia nec bonis artibus idem virium erat altero velut duce amoto, et Nero ad deteriores inclinabat. Hi variis criminationibus Senecam adoriuntur ... Certe finitam Neronis pueritiam, et robur iuventae adesse. Exueret magistrum, satis amplis doctoribus instructus maioribus suis. (Ch. 56) Instituta prioris potentiae commutat, prohibet coetus salutantium, vitat comitantis, rarus per urbem, quasi valetudine infensa aut sapientiae studiis domi attineretur.’

Later in A.D. 62, came an unsuccessful attempt to ruin Seneca. Tac. Ann. xiv. 65, ‘Romanus secretis criminationibus incusaverat Senecam ut Gai Pisonis socium; sed validius a Seneca eodem crimine perculsus est.’

In A.D. 64, on the occasion of the burning of Rome by Nero, Seneca wished to retire. He is said to have offered money to repair the disasters of the fire.

Tac. Ann. xv. 45, ‘Ferebatur Seneca, quo invidiam sacrilegii a semet averteret, longinqui ruris secessum oravisse, et postquam non concedebatur, ficta valetudine, quasi aeger nervis, cubiculum non egressus.’

Dio, lxii. 25, 3, πᾶσαν αὐτῷ τὴν οὐσίαν ἐπὶ τῇ τῶν οἰκοδομουμένων προφάσει κεχαρισμένος.

The story given in Tac. Ann. xv. 45 of the attempt to poison Seneca probably arose from his abstemious habits.

‘Tradidere quidam venenum ei per libertum ipsius cui nomen Cleonicus paratum iussu Neronis, vitatumque a Seneca proditione liberti seu propria formidine, dum persimplici victu et agrestibus pomis, ac si sitis admoneret, profluente aqua vitam tolerat.’

In A.D. 65 Seneca was implicated in the conspiracy of Piso, and was forced to commit suicide. His wife wished to die with him, but was prevented by Nero’s orders.

Tac. Ann. xv. 60, ‘Sequitur caedes Annaei Senecae, laetissima principi, non quia coniurationis manifestum compererat, sed ut ferro grassaretur, quando veneno non processerat ... (Ch. 63) Post quae eodem ictu brachia ferro exsolvunt. Seneca, quoniam senile corpus et parco victu tenuatum lenta effugia sanguini praebebat, crurum quoque et poplitum venas abrumpit. Saevisque cruciatibus defessus, ne dolore suo animum uxoris infringeret atque ipse visendo eius tormenta ad impatientiam delaberetur, suadet in aliud cubiculum abscedere. Et novissimo quoque momento suppeditante eloquentia advocatis scriptoribus pleraque tradidit ... (Ch. 64) At Nero nullo in Paulinam proprio odio, ac ne glisceret invidia crudelitatis, inhibere mortem. ... Seneca interim, durante tractu et lentitudine mortis, Statium Annaeum, diu sibi amicitiae fide et arte medicinae probatum, orat, provisum pridem venenum, quo damnati publico Atheniensium iudicio exstinguerentur, promeret; adlatumque hausit frustra, frigidus iam artus, et cluso corpore adversum vim veneni. Postremo stagnum calidae aquae introiit, respergens proximos servorum, addita voce, libare se liquorem illum Iovi liberatori. Exin balneo inlatus, et vapore eius exanimatus, sine ullo funeris sollemni crematur.’

There was a rumour that some of the conspirators intended to make Seneca emperor.

Tac. Ann. xv. 65, ‘Fama fuit Subrium Flavum cum centurionibus occulto consilio, neque tamen ignorante Seneca, destinavisse, ut post occisum opera Pisonis Neronem Piso quoque interficeretur, tradereturque imperium Senecae, quasi insontibus claritudine virtutum ad summum fastigium delecto.’

(2) WORKS.

The following prose works are extant:

1. Dialogorum libri xii.

(1) ad Lucilium: quare aliqua incommoda bonis viris accidant cum providentia sit; sive de providentia. This was probably a late work.

(2) ad Serenum: nec iniuriam nec contumeliam accipere sapientem; sive de constantia sapientis: written in the first years of Nero’s reign.

(3-5) ad Novatum de ira libri iii., probably written in the first year of Claudius’ reign.

(6) ad Marciam de consolatione: written to console Marcia, the daughter of Cremutius Cordus, for the death of her son Metilius. The work may have been written in A.D. 41, as Caligula’s name is studiously avoided.

(7) ad Gallionem de vita beata. This book, addressed to Seneca’s brother Gallio (Novatus), was probably written shortly after A.D. 58, and justifies his having wealth though a philosopher.

(8) ad Serenum de otio. This work, like the next, was addressed to Annaeus Serenus, and was written probably about A.D. 62. Only a part of it is extant. The book discusses whether a wise man should engage in state affairs.

(9) ad Serenum de tranquillitate animi, probably written soon after Seneca’s recall.

(10) ad Paulinum de brevitate vitae. For the date cf. 13, 8, ‘Sullam ultimum Romanorum protulisse pomoerium.’ Now, Claudius extended the pomoerium in A.D. 50, so this must have been written in A.D. 49, as the book was brought out after Seneca’s return from exile.

(11) ad Polybium de consolatione. This book was addressed in A.D. 43 or 44 to Polybius, a favourite of Claudius, on the occasion of his brother’s death. The date is fixed by the reference to Claudius’ expedition to Britain in 12, 2-3. Cf. § 3, ‘Non desinam totiens tibi offerre Caesarem. Illo moderante terras et ostendente, quanto melius beneficiis imperium custodiatur quam armis, illo rebus humanis praeside non est periculum, ne quid perdidisse te sentias.’ For similar flattery of Claudius, cf. 7,4; 12,5.

(12) ad Helviam matrem de consolatione, written during his banishment.

2. ad Neronem Caesarem de clementia, in three Books, two of which are extant. The work was written in A.D. 55-6, doubtless to show the public what sort of instruction Seneca had given Nero, and what sort of emperor they had to expect (cf. i, 1, 1). The date is settled by i. 9, 1, ‘[divus Augustus] cum hoc aetatis esset quod tu nunc es, duodevicesimum egressus annum,’ Nero having been born 15th December, A.D. 37. The flattery contained in ii. 1, 1-2, and elsewhere, can be justified to some extent by Nero’s conduct at that time. Cf. Sueton. Nero, 10, ‘Neque liberalitatis, neque clementiae, ne comitatis quidem exhibendae ullam occasionem omisit.’

3. De Beneficiis in seven Books, addressed to Aebutius Liberalis of Lugdunum. It is probable that Books i.-iv. were published first, shortly after the death of Claudius (who is sneered at in i. 15, 6). Books v.-vii. are probably a later addition. Cf. v. 1, 1, ‘In prioribus libris videbar consummasse propositum ... Quidquid ultra moror, non servio materiae, sed indulgeo ... Verum quia ita vis, perseveremus peractis.’ The eulogy of Demetrius the Cynic in vii. 8-12, makes it probable that Book vii. at least was written in Seneca’s last years.

4. Apocolocyntosis, a political satire on Claudius, written shortly after his death in A.D. 54. The explanation of the title is given by Dio, lx. 35, 2, Ἀγριππίνα καὶ ὁ Νέρων ... ἐς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνήγαγον ὃν ἐκ τοῦ συμποσίου φοράδην ἐξενηνόχεσαν. ὅθευπερ Λούκιος Ἰούνιος Γαλλίων ὁ τοῦ Σενέκα ἀδελφὸς ἀστειότατόν τι ἀπεφθέγξατο· συνέθηκε μὲν γὰρ καὶ ὁ Σενέκας σύγγραμμα, ἀποκολοκύντωσιν αὐτὸ ὥσπερ τινὰ ἀπαθανάτισιν ὀνομάσας, ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἐν βραχυτάτῳ πολλὰ εἰπὼν ἀπομνημονεύεται ... ἔφη τὸν Κλαύδιον ἀγκίστρῳ ἐς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνενεχθῆναι. The work does not bear this title in the MSS., and there is no hint of the witticism in the book itself; the St. Gall MS., however, has ‘Divi Claudii ΑΠΟΘΗΟΣΙΣ Annei Senecae per Saturam,’ which may be a corruption of the proper title. The title is derived from κολοκύντη, ‘a gourd,’ which was used to denote a fool. Seneca (Apocol. 6) takes the official view that Claudius died of a fever. The work may have been published at the Saturnalia, and written shortly before, as Narcissus is represented as having just arrived in Orcus. The personal animosity of Seneca against Caligula and Claudius is everywhere apparent.

5. Naturales Quaestiones in seven Books, addressed to Lucilius. Book ii. was written after A.D. 57, as in ii. 9, 2 an amphitheatre is mentioned which was built by Nero in that year. The work was finished before the end of A.D. 64, for in Book vii. there is no mention among other prodigies of the comet which appeared again at the end of that year.

6. Epistulae morales ad Lucilium. These were addressed to Lucilius Iunior, the author of ‘Aetna’ (see p. 277). There are extant one hundred and twenty four letters, in twenty Books, but some Books have been lost, as Gell. xii. 2, 3 quotes from Book xxii. Books i.-iii. were probably published by Seneca, the rest after his death, generally in chronological order.

The following poetical works are extant:

1. Epigrams.—Nine on his exile are given in the editions; probably only Nos. 1, 2, and 7 are genuine.

2. Tragedies.—Some of these may have been composed during Seneca’s exile in Corsica. See ad Helv. 20 (quoted p. 243). The metrical treatment is strict, especially in the senarii. Anapaestic, glyconic, sapphic lines, etc., are used in the choral odes. There are only three actors, except in the spurious Octavia. The plays are: (1) Hercules Furens and (2) Troades or Hecuba, founded on Euripides. (3) Phoenissae or Thebais. The two parts do not correspond. In ll. 1-362, Oedipus and Antigone are on their way to Cithaeron; from l. 363 to the end we find Iocasta and Antigone in Thebes while it is besieged by the Seven. (4) Medea, founded on Euripides. Ovid has also been imitated; so ll. 56 sqq. from Ovid, Heroides, 12, 137. (5) Phaedra or Hippolytus. (6) Oedipus, after Sophocles. (7) Agamemnon, after Aeschylus. (8) Thyestes. (9) Hercules Oetaeus, of which the second part, at least, is spurious. (10) Octavia, a praetexta, describing the death of Octavia, Nero’s wife (A.D. 62). Seneca himself appears in it. It cannot be by Seneca, as Nero’s downfall (A.D. 68) is mentioned in ll. 628-36.

The following works are lost or exist only in fragments:

i. Poems of a light nature (Pliny, Ep. v. 3). 2. De motu terrarum, afterwards incorporated in N.Q. vi. (see N.Q. vi. 4, 2). 3. De lapidum natura. 4. De piscium natura. 5. De ritu et sacris Aegyptiorum (see p. 242). 6. De situ Indiae. 7. De forma mundi. 8. Exhortationes. 9. De officiis. 10. De immatura morte. 11. De superstitione dialogus. 12. De matrimonio. 13. De amicitia. 14. De vita patris, along with an edition of his works. 15. Speeches by himself or by Nero. 16. Epistulae (a) ad Novatum, probably written from Corsica, (b) ad Caesonium Maximum. 17. A book in praise of Messalina, afterwards withdrawn (see p. 243). 18. Moralis philosophiae libri (see Ep. 106, 2). 19. De remediis fortuitorum, addressed to Gallio. A synopsis with additions is extant. 20. De paupertate. 21. De formula honestae vitae, probably founded on one of Seneca’s works. 22. Notae (see Sueton. pp. 135-6 R.).

The following are spurious works:

1. ‘Epistulae Senecae, Neronis imperatoris magistri, ad Paulum Apostolum et Pauli Apostoli ad Senecam.’ These letters, fourteen in all, are accepted as genuine by Jerome, de vir. illustr. 12. ‘Seneca ... quem non ponerem in catalogo sanctorum, nisi me epistulae illae provocarent, quae leguntur a plurimis, Pauli ad Senecam et Senecae ad Paulum.’

2. A work extant under the title of Sententiae Rufi has been wrongly thought to correspond to Seneca’s dying words mentioned in Tac. Ann. xv. 63.

3. The book De moribus or Monita contains maxims by Christian writers.

Views and Character.—For Seneca’s training in Stoic doctrines see Ep. 108, 13 (quoted p. 241). With these views he generally associates himself (cf. Ep. 113, 1; 117, 1), but does not bind himself to one school.

Cf. Ep. 45, 4, ‘Non enim me cuiquam emancipavi, nullius nomen fero. Multum magnorum virorum iudicio credo, aliquid et meo vindico.’

Especially towards the end of his life, he came under the influence of Demetrius the Cynic.

Ep. 62, 3, ‘Demetrium, virorum optimum, mecum circumfero et relictis conchyliatis cum illo seminudo loquor, ilium admiror. Quidni admirer? vidi nihil ei deesse.’

In de provid. 5, 7, after quoting Demetrius’ fatalistic views, Seneca adds, ‘Fata nos ducunt, et quantum cuique temporis restat, prima nascentium hora disposuit.’

Seneca was one of the few Romans who condemned the butcheries practised in the arena, and his views doubtless influenced Nero’s conduct in A.D. 58.

Ep. 95, 33, ‘Homo, sacra res homini, iam per lusum ac iocum occiditur et quem erudiri ad inferenda accipiendaque volnera nefas erat, is iam nudus inermisque producitur satisque spectaculi ex homine mors est.’

Tac. Ann. xiii. 31, ‘Edixit Caesar ne quis magistratus aut procurator, qui provinciam obtineret, spectaculum gladiatorum aut ferarum aut quod aliud ludicrum ederet.’

For Seneca’s love of wealth see p. 246. For his estimate of riches cf. De vita beata, 22, 5. ‘Apud me divitiae aliquem locum habent, apud te summum ac postremum. Divitiae meae sunt, tu divitiarum es.’

His simplicity of life has been already dealt with.

Dio, lxi. 10, 2, gives a most unjust account of Seneca’s character:

πάντα τὰ ἐναντιώτατα οἷς ἐφιλοσόφει ποιῶν ἠλέγχθη. καὶ γὰρ τυραννίδος κατηγορῶν τυραννοδιδάσκαλος ἐγίνετο, καὶ τῶν συνόντων τοῖς δυνάσταις κατατρέχων οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ παλατίου ... τοῖς τε πλουσίοις ἐγκαλῶν οὐσίαν ἑπτακισχιλίων καὶ πεντακοσίων μυριάδων ἐκτήσατο.

Seneca followed no traditional style. Cf. Ep. 100, 6, ‘De compositione non constat’; Ep. 114, 13, ‘Oratio certam regulam non habet.’ Quintilian, x. 1, 125-131, attacks his style, though admitting his great powers.


The full name is Q. Curtius Rufus, given in the MSS. of his work, ‘Historiarum Alexandri Magni Macedonis Libri x.’, the first two Books of which are lost. Curtius is not referred to by name by any ancient writer, but is probably identical with the Q. Curtius Rufus mentioned in the list prefixed to Sueton. de claris oratoribus between M. Porcius Latro and L. Valerius Primanus. This order favours the view that he belonged to the reign of Claudius, a view supported by the two contemporary references in Curtius:

iv. 4, 21 (of Tyre), ‘nunc tandem longa pace cuncta refovente sub tutela Romanae mansuetudinis adquiescit.’

x. 9, 3-6, ‘Quod imperium sub uno stare potuisset, dum a pluribus sustinetur, ruit. Proinde iure meritoque populus Romanus salutem se principi suo debere profitetur, qui noctis, quam paene supremam habuimus, novum sidus inluxit. Huius hercule, non solis ortus lucem caliganti reddidit mundo, cum sine suo capite discordia membra trepidarent,’ etc.

This passage probably refers to the tumultuous scene on the night between 24th and 25th Jan., A.D. 41, before Claudius’ accession, after the murder of Caligula (cf. the pun in caliganti), when rival claimants to the throne were put forward, and the Senate wished to restore the republic (cf. discordia membra trepidarent). Sen. ad Polyb. 13, 1, uses similar language of Claudius, ‘Sidus hoc, quod praecipitato in profundum et demerso in tenebras orbi refulsit, semper luceat.’

As Curtius says nothing but good about the reign of Claudius, he probably wrote shortly after his accession. The passage in iv. 4, 21 (above) also fits in with this view, as there was little fighting in the Roman world from 17 to 43 A.D. His bold tone with regard to rulers would also suit this time, while it would have been dangerous under Caligula, or from 43 to 54 A.D.

Cf. viii. 5, 6, ‘Non deerat talia concupiscenti perniciosa adulatio, perpetuum malum regum, quorum opes saepius adsentatio quam hostis evertit.’

This tone also renders it impossible to identify him with Curtius Rufus, mentioned in Tac. Ann. xi. 21, as governor of Africa, and as ‘adversus superiores tristi adulatione, adrogans minoribus, inter pares difficilis.’

Seneca is supposed to have quoted his contemporary Curtius once or twice. Cf. Sen. Ep. 56, 9, ‘Nihil tam certum est quam otii vitia negotio discuti’; and Curt. vii. 1, 4, ‘Satis prudens, otii vitia negotio discuti.’ Cf. also viii. 10, 29 with Sen. Ep. 59, 12.

Curtius claims to transcribe his authorities carefully. Cf. ix. 1, 34, ‘Equidem plura transscribo quam credo: nam nec adfirmare sustineo, de quibus dubito, nec subducere quae accepi.’

Curtius’ statements are usually parallel to those of one or other of the historians of Alexander, but he appeals only twice to other authorities by name.

ix. 8, 15, ‘Clitarchus (c. 300 B.C.) est auctor.’

ix. 5, 21, ‘Ptolemaeum (c. 300 B.C.), qui postea regnavit, huic pugnae adfuisse auctor est Clitarchus et Timagenes (c. 55 B.C.). Sed ipse ... afuisse se missum in expeditionem memoriae tradidit.’

The rhetorical tone of the work is seen in the speeches and letters. For the latter cf. iv. 1, 10-74. Curtius has little technical knowledge of war or politics. Thus Alexander’s assumption of oriental pomp to conciliate the Asiatics is looked on as ὕβρις. Cf. iii. 12, 18. Like Livy, he attempts to depreciate Alexander’s abilities by unduly accentuating his good fortune.

Cf. viii. 3, 1, ‘Sed hanc quoque expeditionem, ut pleraque alia, fortuna indulgendo ei numquam fatigata pro absente transegit.’


L. Iunius Moderatus Columella was a native of Gades: x. 185, ‘mea [lactuca] quam generant Tartessi littore Gades.’ On an inscription he is styled ‘trib. mil. leg. vi. ferratae’ (C.I.L. ix. 325), and it was probably in the course of his military service that he visited Cilicia and Syria: ii. 10, 18, ‘hoc semen Ciliciae Syriaeque regionibus ipse vidi.’

His uncle, M. Columella, was a leading man in the province of Baetica (v. 5, 15); and he himself possessed land in Italy: iii. 9, 2, ‘cum et in Ardeatino agro, quem multis temporibus ipsi ante possedimus, et in Carseolano itemque in Albano generis Aminei vites huius modi notae habuerimus.’

He was a contemporary of the younger Seneca, who is spoken of as alive (iii. 3, 3).

His chief work is De Re Rustica in twelve Books, dedicated to P. Silvinus—a practical treatise on husbandry for ‘negotiosi agricolae’ (ix. 2, 5). Book x., on gardening, is in hexameter verse, and was written at the suggestion of Silvinus and another friend, to fill the gap which Virgil had left in the Georgics (iv. 147-8); cf. the preface, ‘Cultus hortorum ... sicut institueram, prosa oratione prioribus subnecteretur exordiis, nisi propositum expugnasset frequens postulatio tua, quae pervicit, ut poeticis numeris explerem Georgici carminis omissas partes, quas tamen et ipse Vergilius significaverat, posteris se memorandas relinquere.’

The last two Books were added as an afterthought; xi. 1, 2, ‘numerum quem iam quasi consummaveram voluminum excessi.’

Columella wrote before A.D. 65 (see above); later than Celsus, but earlier than the elder Pliny.

There is also extant a book De Arboribus, which formed Book ii. of an earlier treatise on agriculture: cf. i. 1, ‘Quoniam de cultu agrorum abunde primo volumine praecepisse videmur, non intempestiva erit arborum virgultorumque cura.’ It covers the same ground as De R.R. iii.-v.

Columella also wrote ‘adversus astrologos’ (xi. 1, 31), and projected a treatise on the religious rites connected with agriculture (ii. 22, 5, ‘lustrationum ceterorumque sacrificiorum, quae pro frugibus fiunt, morem priscis usurpatum’).


The geographer Pomponius Mela was a native of Tingentera in Spain (ii. 96). His date can be inferred from iii. 49; the ‘principum maximus’ mentioned there as triumphing over Britain might be either Caligula (in A.D. 40) or Claudius (in 44); but the earlier date is favoured by Mela’s division of Africa according to the system abolished by Claudius in 42 (i. 25-30). The title of his work is De Chorographia, in three Books: the dryness of its details (i. 1, ‘opus impeditum et facundiae minime capax’) is relieved by word-painting, e.g. the description of Britain, iii. 49. The only authors to whom he acknowledges obligations are Nepos (iii. 45) and Hanno (iii. 90).


(1) LIFE.

We possess a very full account of the life of Persius, which, according to the MSS., is taken from Probus’ commentary on the poet, and may therefore be looked upon as trustworthy. According to Probus (from whom are taken the quotations throughout), he lived from 34 to 62 A.D.: ‘Aulus Persius Flaccus natus est pridie Non. Decembr. Fabio Persico L. Vitellio coss., decessit viii. Kal. Decembr. Rubrio Mario Asinio Gallo coss.’ These dates are confirmed by Jerome.

He was born at Volaterrae in Etruria, and was the son of a Roman knight who died when Persius was quite young:

‘Natus in Etruria Volaterris, eques Romanus, sanguine et affinitate primi ordinis viris coniunctus. Pater eum Flaccus pupillum reliquit moriens annorum fere sex.’

‘Fulvia Sisennia (his mother) nupsit postea Fuscio equiti Romano.’

After the completion of his early education (for which see Sat. 3, 44-51) he studied at Rome, where he came under the influence of the Stoic Annaeus Cornutus:

‘Studuit Flaccus usque ad annum xii. aetatis suae Volaterris, inde Romae apud grammaticum Remmium Palaemonem et apud rhetorem Verginium Flavum. Cum esset annorum xvi., amicitia coepit uti Annaei Cornuti, ita ut nusquam ab eo discederet; inductus aliquatenus in philosophiam est.’

In Sat. 5, 21-24 and 30-51, he speaks in the highest terms of Cornutus as his guide in life and close friend: cf. esp. ll. 36-7,

       ‘teneros tu suspicis annos,
Socratico, Cornute, sinu.’

Among his other friends were Caesius Bassus (to whom Sat. 6 is addressed), Lucan, Seneca, and his own relative, Paetus Thrasea:

‘Cognovit per Cornutum etiam Annaeum Lucanum, aequaevum auditorem Cornuti. Lucanus adeo mirabatur scripta Flacci ut vix retineret se recitante eo cum clamore quin illa esse vera poemata diceret, sua ipse ludos faceret. Sero cognovit et Senecam, sed non ut caperetur eius ingenio ... Idem decem fere annis summe dilectus a Paeto Thrasea est, ita ut peregrinaretur quoque cum eo aliquando, cognatam eius Arriam uxorem habente.’

Persius was a man of considerable means, as is shown by his will and his landed property:

‘Reliquit circa HS vicies matri et sorori; scriptis tamen ad matrem codicillis Cornuto rogavit ut daret sestertia ut quidam centum, ut alii volunt ..., et argenti facti pondo viginti, et libros circa septingentos sive bibliothecam suam omnem. Verum a Cornuto sublatis libris, pecuniam sororibus, quas heredes frater fecerat, reliquit.’

‘Decessit ad octavum miliarium via Appia in praediis suis ... vitio stomachi anno aetatis xxviii.’

His character was lofty and disinterested:

‘Fuit morum lenissimorum, verecundiae virginalis, formae pulchrae, pietatis erga matrem et sororem et amitam exemplo sufficientis. Fuit frugi, pudicus.’

(2) WORKS.

1. His early works, which Cornutus caused to be destroyed at his death, were:

(a) A praetexta, called Vescia (?).

(b) One Book of ὁδοιπορικά, no doubt referring to his travels with Thrasea.

(c) Some verses on Arria, the wife of Paetus.

‘Scripserat in pueritia Flaccus etiam praetextam Vesciam, et ὁδοιπορικῶν librum unum, et paucos in socrum Thraseae in Arriam matrem versus ... Omnia ea auctor fuit Cornutus matri eius ut aboleret.’

2. Satires. There are six of these (in hexameters), with a prologue (in scazons). Persius wrote slowly, and the Book was left unfinished:

‘Et raro et tarde scripsit. Hunc ipsum librum imperfectum reliquit. Versus aliqui dempti sunt ultimo libro, ut quasi finitus esset. Leviter retractavit Cornutus, et Caesio Basso petenti, ut ipsi cederet, tradidit edendum.’

The prologue, and the first satire (on literary criticism)—the only real satire he wrote—are said to be imitated from Lucilius. The other five are largely Stoic dissertations in verse, and show throughout the influence of Cornutus and Persius’ other Stoic friends. Probus says he attacked Nero’s poetry in Sat. 1.

‘Lecto Lucilii libro x. vehementer satiras componere instituit, cuius libri principium imitatus est ... cum tanta recentium poetarum et oratorum insectatione, ut etiam Neronem ... culpaverit, cuius versus in Neronem cum ita se haberet:

‘Auriculas asini Mida rex habet,’

in eum modum a Cornuto, ipso iam tum mortuo, est emendatus:

‘Auriculas asini quis non habet?’ [1, 121]

ne hoc Nero in se dictum arbitraretur.’

Sat. 1, 99-102 is said to be a travesty of Nero’s poetry.

Very few passages, however, are quoted by the Scholiasts as modelled on Lucilius.

Persius refers to Lucilius and Horace in 1, 114-8:

       ‘Secuit Lucilius urbem,
te, Lupe, te, Muci, et genuinum fregit in illis;
omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
tangit, et admissus circum praecordia ludit,
callidus excusso populum suspendere naso.’

His obligations to Horace are paramount, imitations—often unintentional burlesques—occurring everywhere. Examples are: 1, 42,

       ‘cedro digna locutus,
linquere nec scombros metuentia carmina nec tus.’

from Hor. A.P. 331,

‘carmina ... linenda cedro’;

and Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 269,

‘Deferar in vicum vendentem tus et odores
et piper et quidquid chartis amicitur ineptis.’

Again, 5, 103,

       ‘exclamet Melicerta perisse
frontem de rebus’;

from Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 80,

    ‘clament periise pudorem
cuncti paene patres.’

He even borrows Horace’s names: Pedius (1, 85), Natta (3, 31), Nerius (2, 14), Craterus (3, 65), Bestius (6, 37).

The statement of Joannes Lydus (i. 41) that Persius imitated the mimic writer, Sophron, has little to support it.

Probus says the work became immediately popular: ‘Editum librum continuo mirari homines et diripere coeperunt.’

Cf. also Quint. x. 1, 94, ‘multum et verae gloriae quamvis uno libro Persius meruit’; Mart. iv. 29, 7,

‘Saepius in libro memoratur Persius uno
quam levis in tota Marsus Amazonide.’


(1) LIFE.

Besides references to Lucan in other writers, especially Statius, Martial, and Tacitus, we have three biographies of him: (1) a short and defective life, probably by Suetonius, and showing his well-known hatred of the Annaei; (2) one by Vacca, a commentator on Lucan, who lived probably in the sixth century, complete and favourable; (3) one in Codex Vossianus ii. The last two are in part derived from the first.

M. Annaeus Lucanus was born at Corduba in Hispania Baetica, and was the son of M. Annaeus Mela, a Roman knight, and nephew of M. Annaeus Novatus (the Gallio of Acts 18, 12-17) and L. Annaeus Seneca the philosopher.

Vacca, vit. Luc., ‘M. Annaeus Lucanus patrem habuit M. Annaeum Melam ex provincia Baetica Hispaniae interioris Cordubensem equitem Romanum, illustrem inter suos, notum Romae et propter Senecam fratrem, clarum per omnes virtutes virum, et propter studium vitae quietioris ... Matrem habuit et regionis eiusdem et urbis Aciliam nomine, Acilii Lucani filiam ... cuius cognomen huic inditum apparet.’

Tac. Ann. xvi. 17, ‘Mela, quibus Gallio et Seneca, parentibus natus ... Idem Annaeum Lucanum genuerat, grande adiumentum claritudinis.’

Lucan was born Nov. 3, A.D. 39, and was removed to Rome when eight months old.

Vacca, ibid., ‘Natus est iii. Non. Novembr. C. Caesare Germanico ii. L. Apronio Caesiano coss. Octavum mensem agens Romam translatus est.’

He had a successful school and college career. One of his teachers was Cornutus, through whom he knew Persius (see p. 261).

Vacca, ibid., ‘A praeceptoribus tunc eminentissimis est eruditus eosque intra breve temporis spatium ingenio adaequavit ... Declamavit et graece et latine cum magna admiratione audientium.’

His first literary success was the laudes Neronis in A.D. 60; this led to his political advancement.

Sueton. vit. Luc., ‘Prima ingenii experimenta in Neronis laudibus dedit quinquennali certamine.’

Vacca, ibid., ‘Ob quod puerili mutato in senatorium cultum et in notitiam Caesaris Neronis facile pervenit et honore vixdum aetati debito dignus iudicatus est. Gessit autem quaesturam, in qua cum collegis more tunc usitato munus gladiatorium edidit secundo populi favore; sacerdotium etiam accepit auguratus.’

Similarly Suetonius, who also tells us that Lucan had been in Athens.

Sueton. ibid., ‘Revocatus Athenis a Nerone cohortique amicorum additus atque etiam quaestura honoratus, non tamen permansit in gratia.’

The reason of the strained relations between Lucan and the emperor was, according to Suetonius, that Lucan had behaved rudely when reciting in public. Vacca says the reason lay in the jealousy felt by Nero, who forbade Lucan to write poetry or to plead causes.

Vacca, ibid., ‘Quippe et certamine pentaeterico acto in Pompei theatro laudibus recitatis in Neronem fuerat coronatus et ex tempore Orphea scriptum in experimentum adversum conplures ediderat poetas et tres libros, quales videmus. Quare inimicum sibi fecerat imperatorem. Quo ambitiosa vanitate, non hominum tantum, sed et artium sibi principatum vindicante interdictum est ei poetica, interdictum est etiam causarum actionibus.’

Cf. Tac. Ann. xv. 49, ‘Famam carminum eius premebat Nero prohibueratque ostentare, vanus adsimulatione.’

Lucan replied by a poem satirizing Nero and his court.

Sueton. ibid., ‘Sed et famoso carmine cum ipsum tum potentissimos amicorum gravissime proscidit.’

Lucan joined the conspiracy of Piso which was started A.D. 62, but was discovered, and compelled to commit suicide, 30th April, A.D. 65.

Sueton. ibid., ‘Paene signifer Pisonianae coniurationis extitit.’

Vacca, ibid., ‘A coniuratis in caedem Neronis socius adsumptus est, sed parum fauste. Deceptus est a Pisone ... Sua sponte coactus vita excedere venas sibi praecidit periitque pridie Kal. Maias Attico Vestino et Nerva Siliano coss., xxvi. aetatis annum agens.’

Tac. Ann. xv. 70, ‘Exin Annaei Lucani caedem imperat. Is, profluente sanguine, ubi frigescere pedes manusque et paulatim ab extremis cedere spiritum fervido adhuc et compote mentis pectore intellegit, recordatus carmen a se compositum, quo volneratum militem per eius modi mortis imaginem obisse tradiderat, versus ipsos rettulit, eaque illi suprema vox fuit.’

Suetonius (corroborated by Tac. Ann. xv. 56) says that Lucan named his mother as a fellow-conspirator.

‘Verum detecta coniuratione nequaquam parem animi constantiam praestitit. Facile enim confessus et ad humillimas devolutus preces matrem quoque innoxiam inter socios nominavit, sperans impietatem sibi apud parricidam principem profuturam.... Epulatus largiter brachia ad secandas venas praebuit medico.’

Lucan married Polla Argentaria. Statius and Martial were her friends, and seem to have kept up an observance of Lucan’s birthday.

Cf. especially Statius, Silvae, ii. 7, on which the author, in his preface to the book, says, ‘Cludit volumen genethliacon Lucani, quod Polla Argentaria, clarissima uxorum, cum hunc diem forte consecraremus, imputari sibi voluit.’

Martial vii. 21, 22, and 23 are written on the subject of Lucan’s birthday.

(2) WORKS.

1. The only extant work of Lucan is De Bello Civili. This is the title in the MSS., and in Petron. 118. The usual title comes from ix. 985, ‘Pharsalia nostra vivet,’ words which come after a list of places in Greece and Asia immortalized by the poets, and which mean ‘My story of Pharsalus shall live.’ There is no evidence that Lucan gave the poem this title.

2. Lost works. Vacca mentions the following:

(a) In verse: Orpheus; Iliacon; Saturnalia; Catachthonion; Silvarum x.; tragoedia Medea (imperfecta): Salticae Fabulae, xiv.; epigrammata.

(b) In prose: Oratio in Octavium Sagittam et pro eo; de incendio urbis; epistulae ex Campania.

Suetonius also mentions ‘Neronis laudes; famosum carmen in Neronem.’ Stat. Silv. ii. 7, 62, mentions another work—‘allocutio ad Pollam’ (his wife).

Lucan’s works became immediately popular.

Sueton. ibid., ‘Poemata eius etiam praelegi memini, confici vero ac proponi, non tantum operose et diligenter, sed et inepte quoque.’

Mart. xiv. 194,

‘Sunt quidam qui me dicunt non esse poetam:
sed qui me vendit bibliopola putat.’

The epic poem De Bello Civili in ten Books (the last incomplete) carries the story of the Civil War down to the point where Caesar is besieged in Alexandria. Vacca informs us that Lucan did not live to correct the last seven Books.

‘Ediderat ... tres libros quales videmus ... Reliqui vii. belli civilis libri locum calumniantibus tamquam mendosi non darent, qui tametsi sub vero crimine non egent patrocinio: in isdem dici, quod in Ovidii libris praescribitur, potest: “emendaturus, si licuisset, erat.”’

Lucan’s political views.—The first three Books were published when Lucan was still on good terms with Nero (cf. the gross flattery in i. 33-66), but practically the same view of the empire is taken throughout the poem; only Lucan expresses his views with greater vigour in the last seven Books; and, while in Books i.-iii. the question is one between Caesar and Pompey, afterwards it is one between Caesar and liberty. Even in Books i.-iii. Caesar is the villain of the piece; Pompey embodies all that is good; Cato and Brutus are highly spoken of; the former stands as the ideal Stoic. The Senate, except in Book v. ad init., appears in a rather unfavourable light, and so does the plebs. Lucan did not want the re-establishment of the republican oligarchy, but acquiesced in the empire as being ordained by fate. This is borne out by what we know of the Pisonian conspiracy, the object of which was not to re-establish the republic, but to put some leading man like Seneca on the throne. A few quotations will exemplify these points:

(1) The empire; iv. 691,

      ‘Libyamque auferre tyranno
dum regnum te, Roma, facit’;

vii. 432,

‘Quod fugiens civile nefas redituraque nunquam
libertas ultra Tigrim Rhenumque recessit’;

vii. 442,

‘Felices Arabes Medique eoaque tellus,
quam sub perpetuis tenuerunt fata tyrannis.
Ex populis qui regna ferunt, sors ultima nostra est,
quos servire pudet.’

(2) Pompeius; ii. 732-6,

‘Non quia te superi patrio privare sepulchro
maluerint, Phariae busto damnantur harenae:
parcitur Hesperiae; procul hoc et in orbe remoto
abscondat fortuna nefas, Romanaque tellus
inmaculata sui servetur sanguine Magni.’

Cf. ix. 601-4 (where apotheosis is assigned him).

(3) Cato (the hero of Book ix.) and Brutus; ii. 234,

‘At non magnanimi percussit pectora Bruti

ix. 554,

‘Nam cui crediderim superos arcana daturos
dicturosque magis quam sancto vera Catoni?’

Cf. ix. 186-9.

(4) Caesar; ii. 439,

‘Caesar in arma furens nullas nisi sanguine fuso
gaudet habere vias’;

v. 242,

‘perdere successus scelerum’;

vii. 593,

       ‘nondum attigit arcem
iuris et humanum columen, quo cuncta premuntur,
egressus meruit fatis tam nobile letum.
Vivat et, ut Bruti procumbat victima, regnet.’

Caesar’s acts are sometimes unfairly represented, as in vii. 798 sqq., ix. 1035 sqq. (on viewing Pompeius’ corpse); ll. 1038-9,

      ‘lacrimas non sponte cadentis
effudit gemitusque expressit pectore laeto.’

Lucan’s philosophical and religious views.—His Stoicism comes out strongly in the poem, ix. 566-84 (speech of Cato), especially 578-80,

‘Estque dei sedes, nisi terra et pontus et aër
et caelum et virtus? Superos quid quaerimus ultra?
Iuppiter est, quodcumque vides, quodcumque moveris?’

vii. 814,

‘Communis mundo superest rogus ossibus astra

Note especially the very frequent references to fate; i. 263-4,

       ‘cunctasque pudoris
rumpunt fata moras.’

The gods are not introduced as chief agents; cf. the censure of Petronius quoted below. Lucan prides himself on despising the gods, and substitutes for them his favourite divinity, Fortuna; i. 128,

‘Victrix causa deis placuit, sed victa Catoni’;

vii. 445,

    ‘Sunt nobis nulla profecto
numina; cum caeco rapiantur saecula casu,
mentimur regnare Iovem.’

Rhetorical treatment is seen in (1) the vast amount of hyperbole employed; cf. the account of the siege of Massilia, iii. 538-762; (2) the geographical and mythological learning introduced. This is sometimes inaccurate; the best known instance is his confusion of Pharsalus and Philippi; cf. i. 1 and 688.

Lucan’s models.—(1) For diction, chiefly Virgil.[77] Horace and Ovid are also imitated.

(2) For history Lucan is supposed to have used Livy mostly. How far he used other authorities is unknown. His history is sometimes inexact. In ii. 478 sqq. the character of L. Domitius Ahenobarbus is falsely portrayed. So the journey of Cato to the shrine of Hammon, ix. 511 sqq.

(3) Seneca is one of his authorities for science and philosophy. Thus in describing the Nile, x. 194-331, Lucan has used Seneca, Nat. Quaest. iv. 1-2. The biographer of the Codex Vossianus ii. attributes (probably wrongly) the first seven verses of Book i. to Seneca.

‘Seneca, qui fuit avonculus eius, quia ex abrupto incohabat, hos vii. versus addidit: “Bella per Emathios” usque “et pila minantia pilis.”’

Criticisms of Lucan.—Petronius, in introducing his parody of Lucan, says, § 118, ‘Ecce belli civilis ingens opus quisquis attigerit, nisi plenus litteris, sub onere labetur. Non enim res gestae versibus comprehendendae sunt, quod longe melius historici faciunt, sed per ambages deorumque ministeria et fabulosum sententiarum tormentum praecipitandus est liber spiritus.’ See p. 275.

Quint. x. 1, 90, ‘Lucanus ardens et concitatus et sententiis clarissimus et, ut dicam quod sentio, magis oratoribus quam poetis imitandus.’


The Satirae of Petronius are attributed in the MSS. to Petronius Arbiter. It is practically certain that the author was C. Petronius, once proconsul of Bithynia and afterwards consul, who was long a member of Nero’s inner circle, and who, in A.D. 66, when accused by Tigellinus, anticipated execution by suicide.

Tac. Ann. xvi. 18, ‘Proconsul Bithyniae, et mox consul, vigentem se ac parem negotiis ostendit. Dein revolutus ad vitia, seu vitiorum imitatione, inter paucos familiarium Neroni adsumptus est, elegantiae arbiter, dum nihil amoenum et molle adfluentia putat, nisi quod ei Petronius adprobavisset. Unde invidia Tigellini ... (Ch. 19) Forte ... Campaniam petiverat Caesar, et Cumas usque progressus Petronius illic attinebatur. Nec tulit ultra timoris aut spei moras. Neque tamen praeceps vitam expulit, sed incisas venas, ut libitum, obligatas aperire rursum, et adloqui amicos, non per seria aut quibus gloriam constantiae peteret ... Flagitia principis sub nominibus exoletorum feminarumque et novitatem cuiusque stupri perscripsit, atque obsignata misit Neroni.’

The document mentioned above as sent to Nero has nothing to do with the extant Satirae. That C. Petronius is the author of the work is rendered even more certain from the fact that it was obviously written in Nero’s time by a man of high culture and knowledge of the world.

The novel contains an account of the adventures of a certain Encolpius, as told by himself. Encolpius comes in contact with Priapus in Massilia, Cumae, and Croton; and probably the wrath of Priapus (a parody of the wrath of Poseidon in the Odyssey) is the leading motive that binds the disjointed parts. Cf. ch. 139,

‘Me quoque per terras, per cani Nereos aequor
Hellespontiaci sequitur gravis ira Priapi.’

The work, the extant parts of which are from Books xv. and xvi., is in form a Satira Menippea,[78] alternately prose and verse. The longer episodes, as the supper of Trimalchio and the story of the matron of Ephesus, are exclusively prose. In the Cena Trimalchionis, where Encolpius and his company are entertained by a rich freedman, Petronius has given us a correct account of provincial life in South Italy. Mommsen (Hermes, xiii. 106) has shown that Cumae was the town where Trimalchio lived. It is a ‘Graeca urbs’ (ch. 81), and a Roman colony (ch. 44, etc.), so that it cannot be Naples. The chief magistrates are called praetores (ch. 65), which suits Cumae alone of the towns of this district. The only objection to Cumae being the place is the passage in ch. 48, where an event at Cumae is given as something wonderful and unusual:

‘Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σίβυλλα, τί θέλεις; respondebat illa: ἀποθανεῖν θέλω.’

This, however, may simply be given for comic effect. Friedländer thinks Cumis is a wrong reading. The date of Encolpius’ adventures cannot be under Tiberius, for the emperor is called ‘pater patriae’ (ch. 60), a title which Tiberius refused. Mommsen thinks the dramatic date is under Augustus; Friedländer,[79] towards the end of Claudius’ or the beginning of Nero’s reign. The cognomen of Trimalchio, Maecenatianus (ch. 71), means that he was a freedman of the well-known Maecenas. Trimalchio, therefore, came to Rome as a boy (ch. 29; 75) before Maecenas’ death (B.C. 8), and was probably born about B.C. 18. He is represented as ‘senex’ (ch. 27), i.e. at least sixty, but may have been over seventy. A.D. 57 is probably the later limit of date. Mommsen thinks that the words (ch. 57), ‘puer capillatus in hanc coloniam veni: adhuc basilica non erat facta,’ mean that when Trimalchio came to Cumae it was not a Roman colony. Now, Cumae became a colony between 43 and 27 B.C., and, on this supposition, the supper of Trimalchio would have to be placed between A.D. 7 and A.D. 23, as it is about fifty years since Trimalchio came to Cumae. Friedländer, however, thinks that the basilica would not have been put up immediately the town became a colony.

The language of the narrative is that of the educated classes of the time, and is in close agreement with the style of Seneca the younger. The diction of Trimalchio and his fellow-freedman is the South Italian popular speech of the time, filled with grammatical mistakes and provincialisms, and rich in proverbial expressions. The longest poems in the work are: (1) Troiae halosis (ch. 89), 65 senarii, supposed to be a parody of Nero’s poem of the same name; (2) De bello civili (ch. 119-124), 295 hexameters, in which Lucan’s style is imitated and sometimes parodied. Cf. ll. 26-7,

‘Et laxi crines et tot nova nomina vestis,
quaeque virum quaerunt,’

with Lucan, i. 164-5,

      ‘Cultus gestare decoros
vix nuribus rapuere mares’;

and ll. 51-2,

‘Praeterea gemino deprensam gurgite plebem
faenoris illuvies ususque exederat aeris,’

with Lucan, i. 181,

‘Hinc usura vorax, avidumque in tempora faenus.’


Eleven eclogues used to be attributed to T. Calpurnius Siculus, but only the first seven are his work, the last four being written by M. Aurelius Olympius Nemesianus in the second half of the 3rd century A.D. A MS. now lost gave before Ecl. 1, ‘Titi Calphurnii Siculi bucolicum carmen ... incipit’; and before Ecl. 8, ‘Aurelii Nemesiani poetae Carthaginiensis ecloga prima incipit.’

Some information about Calpurnius’ life is got from his works. In 4, 17-8, he (as Corydon) mentions a brother; in 4, 155-6, he speaks of his poverty; and in 4, 29 sqq., of Meliboeus as having come to his assistance when about to leave for Spain; cf. Ecl. 4, 36-42,

Ecce nihil querulum per te, Meliboee, sonamus;
per te secura saturi recubamus in umbra,
et fruimur silvis Amaryllidos, ultima nuper
litora terrarum, nisi tu, Meliboee, fuisses,
ultima visuri, trucibusque obnoxia Mauris pascua Geryonis.

The old theory was that Calpurnius lived in the time of Carus and his sons (in the second half of the 3rd century A.D.), but the facts fit in best with the view that he lived at the beginning of Nero’s reign. (1) Meliboeus in Ecl. 4 probably stands for Seneca (others suppose Calpurnius Piso to be meant); 4, 53-7,

Nam tibi non tantum venturos discere nimbos
agricolis qualemque ferat sol aureus ortum,
attribuere dei, sed dulcia carmina saepe

These lines agree with the fact of Seneca’s being the author of Naturales Quaestiones and of tragedies. (2) Ecl. i. 77-83 refers to the comet which appeared at the beginning of Nero’s reign. (3) References to Nero’s youth and beauty, poetical gifts, the games he gave, and the new era of peace he introduced; 1, 42-5,

Aurea secura cum pace renascitur aetas,
et redit ad terras tandem squalore situque
alma Themis posito, iuvenemque beata secuntur
saecula, maternis causam qui vicit in ulnis

7, 6,

quae patula iuvenis deus edit harena.

Cf. also 1, 84-8; 4, 84-9; 7, 83-4. Ecl. 7 used to be taken as referring to the Colosseum, which was not commenced till about A.D. 77; but the games may be those mentioned in Sueton. Nero, 11, and the wooden amphitheatre in 7, 23-4, may be that mentioned by Sueton. Nero, 12, and Tac. Ann. xiii. 31.

The difference of authorship of Ecl. 1-7 and of Ecl. 8-11 is shown by the following: (1) Final ŏ shows classical usage in 1-7, but in 8-11 we have expectŏ (9, 26), coniungŏ (10, 14), ambŏ (9, 17), and the like; (2) 1-7 show only eight elisions, 7-11 show thirty-nine; (3) no ending like montivagus Pan (10, 17) is found in 1-7; (4) fateor and memini used parenthetically are common in 1-7, and not found in 8-11; (5) there are no allusions to the emperor in 8-11; (6) Ecl. 9 shows imitations of Ecl. 2 and 3; (7) 8-11 agree in many points with Nemesianus’ Cynegetica.

The Eclogues are modelled chiefly on Virgil and Theocritus, e.g. Ecl. 3 on Verg. Ecl. 7 and Theocr. 3, 14, and 23.

The poem de laude Pisonis is now generally attributed to Calpurnius Siculus. One point of similarity with Calpurnius’ other poems is the rareness of elision, there being only two instances (ll. 24, 259). The description of Piso’s liberality and eloquence (ll. 32, 88, 97 sqq.) and of his skill in draughts (ll. 178-96) corresponds with the information given by Tac. Ann. xv. 48 and the Schol. on Iuv. 5, 109, about Calpurnius Piso, who flourished under Claudius.


This poem, in 645 hexameter lines, is attributed to Virgil in the MSS., but is probably by Lucilius Iunior, to whom Seneca addresses his Epistulae Morales, De Providentia, and Quaestiones Naturales. Lucilius was younger than Seneca (Sen. Ep. 26, 7, ‘iuvenior es’), and was born at Naples or Pompeii.

Sen. Ep. 49, 1, ‘Ecce Campania et maxime Neapolis ad Pompeiorum tuorum conspectum incredibile est quam recens desiderium tui fecerint.’

Lucilius had held procuratorial offices in Alpes Graiae et Poeninae, Epirus, Creta et Cyrene, and Sicily.

Ibid. 44, 2, ‘Eques Romanus es et ad hunc ordinem tua te perduxit industria.’ Ibid. 31, 9, ‘Quo modo, inquis, isto pervenitur? Non per Poeninum Graiumve montem, nec per deserta Candaviae, nec Syrtes tibi nec Scylla aut Charybdis adeundae sunt, quae tamen omnia transisti procuratiunculae pretio.’[80]

Sen. N.Q. iv. praef. 1, ‘Delectat te, Lucili, Sicilia et officium procurationis otiosae.’

For his life cf. also the words put into his mouth by Sen. N.Q. iv. praef. 15-17, which show his loyalty to his friends, ‘Non mihi in amicitia Gaetulici (died A.D. 39) vel Gaius fidem eripuit, non in aliorum persona infeliciter amatorum Messalla et Narcissus ... propositum meum avertere potuerunt.... videbam apud Gaium tormenta, videbam ignes.’[81]

Seneca speaks of him as a pupil in philosophy in Ep. 34, 2, ‘Adsero te mihi: meum opus es.’

A literary work of his is spoken of by Seneca, also a poem in which he mentions Alpheus and Arethusa:

Ep. 46, 1, ‘Librum tuum, quem mihi promiseras, accepi. Levis mihi visus est, cum esset nec mei nec tui corporis, sed qui primo adspectu aut T. Livi aut Epicuri posset videri.... Non tantum delectatus, sed gavisus sum.’

N.Q. iii. 26, 6, ‘Hoc et a te traditum est ut in poemate, Lucili carissime, et a Vergilio, qui adloquitur Arethusam.’

A poem on Aetna is referred to in Ep. 79, 5-7, ‘Donec pudor obstet, ne Aetnam describas in tuo carmine et hunc sollemnem omnibus poetis locum adtingas; quem quo minus Ovidius tractaret, nihil obstitit, quod iam Vergilius impleverat ... Aut ego te non novi aut Aetna tibi salivam movet: iam cupis grande aliquid et par prioribus scribere.’

Some authorities think that Lucilius had meant to incorporate this description in a larger poem, but changed his mind, and wrote a poem on Aetna alone.

As regards the date of the poem: (1) It was written at a time when imitation of Ovid was common. Cf. Sen. N.Q. iv. 2, 2, ‘Quare non cum poeta meo iocor et illi Ovidium suum impingo?’ (2) There is no mention of Vesuvius in the list of volcanoes in 1. 425 sqq. The poem must therefore have been written before A.D. 79.

The following are the arguments for Lucilius having been the author:

(1) The poem was written by one who knew Aetna and the vicinity. Now Lucilius was long procurator of Sicily.

(2) Military metaphors, as ll. 464-74, would fit in with his having been a soldier.

(3) The author speaks as if he knew the neighbourhood of Naples well.

(4) However, the argument that the writer shows Epicurean views, and that Lucilius was an Epicurean, has little weight. (a) There are Stoical doctrines in the poem. Cf. ll. 33-5, 68-70, on the divinity of the stars; ll. 173-4, which maintain that the world would come back to its former state; ll. 536-9, where Heraclitus’ doctrine of fire is recommended. (b) The Epistulae Morales only show that Lucilius had a leaning to Epicureanism, not that he was an Epicurean. Cf. Ep. 23, 9, ‘Vocem tibi Epicuri tui reddere,’ and other playful references.

(5) The views on natural science given in the poem are sometimes the same as those in Sen. N.Q. This would fix the date of the poem between 65 and 79 A.D. Cf. Aetna, 123,

‘Flumina quin etiam latis currentia rivis
occasus habuere suos: aut illa vorago
derepta in praeceps fatali condidit ore
aut occulta fluunt tectis adoperta cavernis
atque inopinatos referunt procul edita cursus’;

and Sen. N.Q. iii. 26, 3, ‘Quaedam flumina palam in aliquem specum decidunt et sic ex oculis auferuntur, quaedam consumuntur paulatim et intercidunt. Eadem ex intervallo revertuntur recipiuntque et nomen et cursum.’ Cf. also Aetna, 96,

        ‘Defit namque omnis hiatu,
secta est omnis humus penitusque cavata latebris
exiles suspensa vias agit’;

and Sen. N.Q. v. 14, 1, ‘Non tota solido contextu terra in imum usque fundatur, sed multis partibus cava et caecis suspensa latebris.’ So the story of the Catanian brothers (ll. 624-45) is told by Sen. De Benef. iii. 37, 2-3.

Imitations of Lucretius abound. Cf. ll. 219 sqq.,

‘Nunc quoniam in promptu est operis natura solique,
unde ipsi venti, quae res incendia pascit,’ etc.

For the author’s attacks on superstition, cf. ll. 91-3,

‘Debita carminibus libertas ista; sed omnis
in vero mihi cura: canam quo fervida motu
aestuet Aetna novosque rapax sibi congerat ignes.’

A version of the Phaenomena of Aratus is extant, the author of which is called in the MSS. ‘Claudius Caesar,’ or ‘Germanicus.’ He is generally identified with Germanicus, the adopted son of Tiberius (so Jerome and Lactantius), though in modern times the poem has been ascribed to Domitian, who had the title of ‘Germanicus’ from A.D. 84. There are also fragments of Prognostica, which are independent of Aratus.


(1) LIFE.

There is a very brief life of Pliny by Suetonius, but most of our information about him is derived from his own writings and the letters of his nephew (Plin. Ep. iii. 5; v. 8; vi. 16; vi. 20).

C. Plinius Secundus was born A.D. 23 or 24, for at the time of his death in A.D. 79 he was in his fifty-sixth year (Plin. Ep. iii. 5, 7, ‘decessisse anno sexto et quinquagesimo’). His birthplace was Comum in Cisalpine Gaul, according to Sueton. vit. Plin. In an anonymous Life he is styled ‘Veronensis,’ probably on account of the phrase in N.H. praef. 1, ‘Catullum conterraneum meum,’ where, however, terra means Gallia, the province, not the city.

Pliny was the son of an eques, and had a sister married to L. Caecilius of Novum Comum (see p. 139). He came to Rome not later than A.D. 35 (N.H. xxxvii. 81, ‘Servilii Noniani quem consulem vidimus’), and was trained in poetry and literature, probably by P. Pomponius Secundus[82]; his instructors in rhetoric are not known, but he mentions as rhetoricians Remmius Palaemon (xiv. 49) and Arellius Fuscus (xxxiii. 152). In botany he learned much from Antonius Castor (xxv. 9).

At the beginning of the reign of Claudius, Pliny was an eye-witness of the building operations at the harbour of Ostia, A.D. 42 (ix. 14): in 44 he practised in the law courts. Having decided on a military career, he would begin, according to the regulation of Claudius (Sueton. Claud. 25), with the command of a cohort of infantry. He was next praefectus alae (Plin. Ep. iii. 5, 3) under Corbulo, who was legatus of Germania Inferior, A.D. 47, in his campaign against the Chauci: cf. N.H. xvi. 2, ‘Sunt vero in septemtrione visae nobis Chaucorum [gentes]’; and in A.D. 50 fought under Pomponius against the Chatti. His ‘castrense contubernium’ with Titus (born A.D. 41) was probably in 55 or 56, when he was in the army of Pompeius Paulinus: cf. xxxiii. 143, ‘Pompeium Paulinum XII pondo argenti habuisse apud exercitum ferocissimis gentibus oppositum scimus.’ Personal knowledge of Germany appears in several passages of the N.H., e.g. xii. 98, ‘extremo in margine imperii, qua Rhenus adluit, vidi’; xxii. 8, ‘quem morem etiam nunc durare apud Germanos scio.’

Pliny was present at the festivities at Lake Fucinus in A.D. 52 (xxxiii. 63). During Nero’s reign he spent some time in Campania (ii. 180) and Cisalpine Gaul (xxxv. 20), was a spectator at the Vatican games in A.D. 59, and saw the building of Nero’s golden house after the fire of A.D. 64 (xxxvi. iii).

Under Vespasian Pliny was procurator in Italy, and in several of the provinces: Sueton. vit., ‘Procurationes splendidissimas et continuas summa integritate administravit.’ (a) Hispania Tarraconensis: Plin. Ep. iii. 5, 17, ‘cum procuraret in Hispania’; (b) Gallia Narbonensis: N.H. ii. 150, ‘ego vidi in Vocontiorum agro’; (c) Gallia Belgica: xviii. 183, ‘nec recens subtrahemus exemplum in Treverico agro tertio ante hoc anno compertum’; (d) Africa: vii. 36, ‘ipse in Africa vidi.’ For his intimacy with Vespasian cf. Plin. Ep. iii. 5, 9, ‘ante lucem ibat ad Vespasianum imperatorem ... inde ad delegatum sibi officium.’

In A.D. 79 Pliny was in command of the fleet at Misenum, when his scientific interest in the eruption of Vesuvius led him to approach too near the volcano, with the result that he was suffocated by the ashes (24th August). For a detailed account of his death, see Plin. Ep. vi. 16 (to Tacitus). Cf. Sueton. vit., ‘Periit clade Campaniae. Cum enim Misenensi classi praeesset, et flagrante Vesuvio ad explorandas propius causas liburnica pertendisset, neque adversantibus ventis remeare posset, vi pulveris ac favillae oppressus est, vel, ut quidam existimant, a servo suo occisus, quem aestu deficiens ut necem sibi maturaret oraverit.’

(2) WORKS.

A chronological list of Pliny’s writings is given by his nephew (Ep. iii. 5).

1. De iaculatione equestri.—‘Hunc, cum praefectus alae militaret, pari ingenio curaque composuit.’ This manual on the javelin as a cavalry weapon is mentioned by Pliny himself, N.H. viii. 162, ‘Nos diximus in libro de iaculatione equestri condito.’

2. De vita Pomponii Secundi, in two Books, a tribute to the memory of a valued friend, the tragic poet Pomponius. Cf. N.H. xiv. 56, ‘referentes vitam Pomponii Secundi vatis.’

3. Bella Germaniae, in twenty Books, a narrative of the Roman wars in Germany; begun by Pliny when serving in that country, the apparition of Drusus having besought him to rescue his name from oblivion (so Pliny the younger). Cf. Tac. Ann. i. 69, ‘Tradit C. Plinius, Germanicorum bellorum scriptor.’

4. Studiosus, in three Books or six parts, a treatise on rhetoric from the very rudiments. Quintilian, though surprised at some of Pliny’s views (xi. 3, 143; 148), numbers him among the more careful exponents of the subject (iii. 1, 21, ‘accuratius scripsit’). The book contained models of good style: Gell. ix. 16, 1, ‘refert plerasque sententias quas in declamandis controversiis lepide arguteque dictas putat.’

5. Dubius Sermo, in eight Books, published A.D. 67, towards the end of Nero’s reign, when purely technical subjects alone could be treated without danger to an author. Cf. N.H. praef. 28, ‘libellos quos de grammatica edidi.’

6. A fine Aufidii Bassi, in thirty-one Books. At what point Bassus’ history ended and Pliny’s began is not known: but the latter certainly dealt with the closing years of Nero’s reign (N.H. ii. 199, ‘anno Neronis principis supremo, sicut in rebus eius exposuimus’), as well as with the times of Vespasian and Titus (N.H. praef. 20, ‘Vos omnes, patrem te fratremque diximus opere iusto, temporum nostrorum historiam orsi a fine Aufidii Bassi’). The work was completed in A.D. 77, but not published till after the author’s death. His nephew says he wrote with scrupulous care: Ep. v. 8, 5, ‘historias et quidem religiosissime scripsit.’ The book was used by Tacitus (Ann. xiii. 20; xv. 53; Hist. iii. 28).

7. Naturae Historiae, in thirty-seven Books, is Pliny’s only extant work. As he speaks of Titus as ‘sexies consul,’ the date of its presentation to him was A.D. 77. Book i. consists of a dedicatory epistle to Titus and a table of contents. The body of the work is arranged as follows: Book ii., the universe and the elements; iii.-vi., geography of Europe, Asia, and Africa; vii., anthropology and human physiology; viii.-xi., zoology; xii.-xix., botany; xx.-xxvii., the use of vegetable substances in medicine; xxviii.-xxxii., the use of animal substances in medicine; xxxiii.-xxxvii., mineralogy applied to medicine and the fine arts.

This work, which was meant not for continuous perusal, but for consultation as a book of reference, contained twenty thousand facts; and its preparation involved the reading of about two thousand volumes by one hundred authors (see N.H. praef. 17). The extracts he had made from these sources Pliny bequeathed to his nephew in one hundred and sixty volumes. He makes a point of acknowledging his obligations to other writers (praef. 21, ‘in his voluminibus auctorum nomina praetexui, est enim benignum ... et plenum ingenui pudoris fateri per quos profeceris’); cf. the lists of authorities, Roman and foreign, prefixed to the work. Such devotion to natural science was unusual in men of Pliny’s class, and not generally appreciated; cf. xxii. 15, ‘Plerisque ultro etiam irrisui sumus ista commentantes atque frivoli operis arguimur.’ As a scientific writer Pliny fails because he is not an original investigator, and because he lacks the critical faculty. For his method of working see Plin. Ep. iii. 5.

Politically, Pliny recognizes the necessity of the empire, but his heroes are old Romans such as Cincinnatus and Cato. His Roman and Italian feeling is intense: cf. xxxvii. 201, ‘In toto orbe ... pulcherrima omnium est in rebusque merito principatum naturae obtinet Italia, rectrix parensque mundi altera.’

His view of life is gloomy (N.H. ii. 25, ‘nec quidquam miserius homine’), and through the Naturae Historiae there runs a monotonous strain of condemnation of the immorality of his day. He is uncertain as to divine providence, but considers the belief in it salutary, and he accepts portents (ii. 92). His tendency is, in the main, Stoic; he was probably acquainted with Paetus Thrasea, who corresponded with Pomponius.


His full name is given in the Vatican MS. as C. Valerius Flaccus Setinus Balbus. It is doubtful (even if the last two names really belong to the poet) whether Setinus means from Setia in Italy or from Setia in Spain. The poet’s Latinity gives no evidence on the point. Quintilian is the only Roman writer who refers to him; x. 1, 90, ‘Multum in Valerio Flacco nuper amisimus’; which shows that he must have died about A.D. 90. In the beginning of the first Book of the Argonautica (written shortly after A.D. 70), Valerius addresses Vespasian, referring to his exploits in Britain, and to the capture of Jerusalem by Titus; i. 7 sqq.,

  ‘Tuque o, pelagi cui maior aperti
fama, Caledonius postquam tua carbasa vexit
oceanus Phrygios prius indignatus Iulos,
eripe me populis et habenti nubila terrae,
sancte pater, veterumque fave veneranda canenti
facta virum. Versam proles tua pandet Idumen
(namque potest), Solymo nigrantem pulvere fratrem
spargentemque faces et in omni turre furentem.’

i. 5 sqq. probably shows that Valerius was a quindecimvir sacris faciundis,

‘Phoebe, mone, si Cymaeae mihi conscia vatis
stat casta cortina domo, si laurea digna
fronte viret.’

Cf. the allusion in viii. 239 sqq. to Cybele’s bath, which was under the management of the xv.viri; and to the rites of lustration, iii. 417 sqq.

There are several allusions to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, e.g. iv. 507.

The Argonautica is in eight Books, the last being incomplete, and the story breaking off shortly before the death of Medea’s brother, Absyrtus. Valerius probably meant to write twelve Books, but it is not known how much farther he actually proceeded in his work. There is evidence to show that the last Books would have differed considerably from the story as given by Apollonius Rhodius; e.g. the visit to Phaeacia was probably omitted, as Jason was married at Peuce (Book viii.).

Apollonius is followed very closely, many passages being translated from him; thus iv. 236 = Apoll. ii. 38; vii. 404 = Apoll. in. 966. Valerius, however, amplifies where Apollonius is brief, and vice versa. Thus Apoll. ii. 948 sqq. is dismissed by Valerius v. 110 sqq. in a few words. The character painting of Valerius is superior to that of the original, cf. the character of Jason and of Aeetes. So for his artistic work; thus his portraiture of the gradual progress of Medea’s love is superior to Apollonius’ description, and to Virgil’s of Dido.

The obligations to Virgil are paramount.

(1) Verbal; as i. 55,

‘Tu, cui iam curaeque vigent animique viriles,’

from Aen. ix. 311,

‘Ante annos animumque gerens curamque virilem.’

Cf. ‘horrentem iaculis, nec credere quivi, heu quid agat, libans carchesia, summa dies, miscere polum, rumpere questus,’ in Book i.[83]

(2) In matter. The description of Fame, ii. 116 sqq., is from Aen. iv. The character of Styrus, the betrothed of Medea, is modelled on that of Turnus.

After Virgil, Homer (esp. in Book vi.), Ovid, and Seneca’s tragedies are chiefly imitated. Statius is full of imitations of Valerius.

Valerius often tries to connect his subject with Rome.[84] Cf. ii. 304,

‘Iam nemus Egeriae, iam te ciet altus ab Alba
Iuppiter et soli non mitis Aricia regi’;

ii 573,

‘genus Aeneadum et Troiae melioris honores.’


The full name of Silius is got from an inscription (C.I.L. vi. 1984), and is Ti. Catius Silius Italicus. Our chief information about his life is found in Pliny, Epist. iii. 7, where his recent death is mentioned. It was probably written A.D. 101, and as it states that Silius was then 75 years old, the year of his birth was A.D. 25. His birthplace is unknown, but was not Italica in Spain, otherwise Martial would have claimed him as a countryman. Pliny tells us that Silius had risen by acting as a delator under Nero, who made him consul A.D. 68. He had taken the side of Vitellius in the war of the succession A.D. 69[85] and had afterwards, as proconsul, governed Asia with success (under Vespasian). After this he possessed great social influence. Towards the end of his life, he retired to Campania, and gave himself up to study. The account of his learned retirement,[86] his reverence for Virgil,[87] the consulship of his son,[88] the death of his younger son,[89] and other details, are corroborated by his contemporary Martial.

The passage of Pliny is as follows:

‘Modo nuntiatus est Silius Italicus in Neapolitano suo inedia finisse vitam. Causa mortis valetudo. Erat illi natus insanabilis clavus, cuius taedio ad mortem inrevocabili constantia decucurrit, usque ad supremum diem beatus et felix, nisi quod minorem ex liberis duobus amisit, sed maiorem melioremque florentem atque etiam consularem reliquit. Laeserat famam suam sub Nerone, credebatur sponte accusasse: sed in Vitelli amicitia sapienter se et comiter gesserat, ex proconsulatu Asiae gloriam reportaverat, maculam veteris industriae laudabili otio abluerat. Fuit inter principes civitatis sine potentia, sine invidia: salutabatur, colebatur, multumque in lectulo iacens cubiculo semper non ex fortuna frequenti doctissimis sermonibus dies transigebat, cum a scribendo vacaret. Scribebat carmina maiore cura quam ingenio, non numquam iudicia hominum recitationibus experiebatur. Novissime ita suadentibus annis ab urbe secessit, seque in Campania tenuit, ac ne adventu quidem novi principis inde commotus est ... Erat φιλόκαλος usque ad emacitatis reprehensionem. Plures isdem in locis villas possidebat adamatisque novis priores neglegebat. Multum ubique librorum, multum statuarum, multum imaginum, quas non habebat modo verum etiam venerabatur, Vergilii ante omnes, cuius natalem religiosius quam suum celebrabat, Neapoli maxime, ubi monimentum eius adire ut templum solebat. In hac tranquillitate annum quintum et septuagensimum excessit, delicato magis corpore quam infirmo; utque novissimus a Nerone factus est consul, ita postremus ex omnibus quos Nero consules fecerat decessit.’

Silius’ career as an orator is mentioned by Martial vii. 63, 5-8,

‘Sacra cothurnati non attigit ante Maronis,
   implevit magni quam Ciceronis opus.
Hunc miratur adhuc centum gravis hasta virorum,
   hunc loquitur grato plurimus ore cliens.’

The Punica is an Epic in seventeen Books on the Second Punic War, and treats of events down to the battle of Zama, B.C. 202. The historical treatment is founded mainly on Livy, and in point of style Silius has followed Homer and Virgil, imitations of whom are found on every page. For Silius’ reverence for Virgil, see above, and cf. viii. 593,

‘Mantua Musarum domus, atque ad sidera cantu
evecta Aonio, et Smyrnaeis aemula plectris.’

Silius also follows Homer and Virgil in their mythology, bringing in supernatural motives in a way unsuitable to a historical subject, e.g. in xv. 20, where Scipio has, like Hercules, to choose between Voluptas and Virtus.

The example of Hannibal’s dream, iii. 163-182, will show these different points. The story of the dream is got from Livy xxi. 22, but, for iuvenis divina specie, Silius, like Virg. Aen. iv. 222 sqq. and 259 sqq. substitutes Mercury. Individual imitations in the passage are: l. 172, ‘Turpe duci totam somno consumere noctem,’ from Il. ii. 24, οὐ χρὴ παννύχιον εὕδειν βουληφόρον ἄνδρα; l. 168, ‘umentem noctis umbram’ is from Aen. iv. 7, ‘umentemque Aurora polo dimoverat umbram’; l. 174, ‘iam maria effusas cernes turbare carinas,’ from Aen. iv. 566, ‘iam mare turbari trabibus ... videbis’; l. 182, ‘altae moenia Romae’ is from Aen. i. 7; l. 181, ‘respexisse veto’ from Ecl. 8, 102, ‘nec respexeris.’

The Epitome of the Iliad (in 1075 hexameters), which passes under the name of Homerus Latinus, has been attributed to Silius. It is a close adaptation from the original.


(1) LIFE.

P. Papinius Statius was born at Naples (Silv. i. 2, 260, ‘mea Parthenope’), probably about A.D. 60, for he speaks of himself as on the threshold of life at the time of his father’s death, about A.D. 80 (‘limine primo fatorum,’ Silv. v. 3, 72). The apparent discrepancy in Silv. iv. 4, 69 (written A.D. 94-5), ‘Nos facta aliena canendo vergimur in senium,’ may be explained by observing that ‘senium’ is very often used for premature age induced by study (cf. ‘insenuit,’ Hor. Ep. ii. 2, 82).

The father of Statius came of a distinguished but not wealthy family: Silv. v. 3, 116,

‘Non tibi deformes obscuri sanguinis ortus
nec sine luce genus, quamquam fortuna parentum
artior expensis.’

He taught first at Naples (ibid. l. 146) and then at Rome (l. 176); and died at the age of sixty-five (l. 252) soon after the eruption of Vesuvius, which he had intended to make the subject of a poem (l. 205). It was from his learned father (‘genitor perdocte,’ l. 3) that Statius derived his first impulse towards poetry, and to his training he acknowledges deep obligations (ll. 209-214).

Statius won two prizes for poetry, at the Augustalia in Naples and at Alba; but was unsuccessful at the Capitoline competition, probably in A.D. 94 (ibid. 225-232). In that year he seems to have removed from Rome to Naples, and spent there the remainder of his days: Silv. iii. 5, 12,

‘Anne quod Euboicos fessus remeare penates
auguror et patria senium componere terra?’

The date of his death is unknown. The latest event mentioned in his poems is the seventeenth consulship of Domitian, A.D. 95 (Silv. iv. 1).

Statius was married to a widow named Claudia (Silv. iii. 5, 51 sqq.), but had no children (v. 5, 79).

He enjoyed the favour of Domitian (‘indulgentissimus imperator,’ Silv. i. praef.) who granted him a supply of water for his country house at Alba, and occasionally invited him to his table: Silv. iii. 1, 61,

‘Ast ego, Dardaniae quamvis sub collibus Albae
rus proprium magnique ducis mihi munere currens
unda domi curas mulcere aestusque levare

Silv. iv. praef., ‘Sacratissimis eius epulis honoratus.’

He more than once promises to write an epic on Domitian’s career (e.g. Theb. i. 32). The emperor’s freedman Earinus (Silv. iii. 4) was one of Statius’ patrons.

His regard for the poet Lucan produced Silv. ii. 7, which is a poem on Lucan’s birthday, addressed to his widow (see p. 267). But his chief admiration was reserved for the memory of Virgil: Naples and Alba were endeared to him by their associations with the ‘great master’ and the story of Aeneas: Silv. iv. 4, 53,

‘Tenues ignavo pollice chordas
pulso, Maroneique sedens in margine templi
sumo animum et magni tumulis adcanto magistri.’

For Alba cf. Silv. v. 3, 37. The Thebais must recognize its inferiority to the Aeneid: Theb. xii. 816,

‘Vive, precor; nec tu divinam Aeneida tempta,
sed longe sequere et vestigia semper adora.’

(2) WORKS.

1. The Thebais, an epic poem in twelve Books, occupied Statius for twelve years: xii. 811,

‘O mihi bis senos multum vigilata per annos

Cf. Silv. iv. 7, 26,

‘Thebais multa cruciata lima.’

The twelve years were probably 79-91 or 80-92 A.D. Silv. i. praef. (written 91 or 92), ‘Adhuc pro Thebaide mea, quamvis me reliquerit, timeo.’ The publication apparently did not take place till A.D. 95 (cf. Silv. iv. 4, 87 sqq. written in that year).

The subject of the poem is the strife between the brothers Eteocles and Polynices, and the subsequent history of Thebes to the death of Creon. The dedication is to Domitian. For the popularity of the Thebais cf. Juv. Sat. 7, 82,

‘Curritur ad vocem iucundam et carmen amicae
Thebaidos, laetam cum fecit Statius urbem
promisitque diem. Tanta dulcedine captos
afficit ille animos tantaque libidine volgi
auditur; sed, cum fregit subsellia versu,
esurit, intactam Paridi nisi vendit Agaven.’

2. The Achilleis, also dedicated to Domitian, is an incomplete epic, consisting of one Book and part of a second. It was later than the Thebaid, for Statius was working at it in A.D. 95: Silv. iv. 4, 93,

‘Nunc vacuos crines alio subit infula nexu:
Troia quidem magnusque mihi temptatur Achilles.’

The poem was intended to cover the whole career of Achilles, including his retreat in Scyros before the Trojan War, and his exploits after the death of Hector, which did not enter into the plan of the Iliad: cf. l. 3,

    ‘Quamquam acta viri multum inclita cantu
Maeonio, sed plura vacant: nos ire per omnem
(sic amor est) heroa velis.’

3. The Silvae, which represent the poet in his less serious mood, are occasional poems on miscellaneous subjects, published in five separate Books. Cf. 1, praef. ‘Diu multumque dubitavi ... an hos libellos, ... cum singuli de sinu meo prodierint, congregates ipse dimitterem.’ Many of them were thrown off in haste at the command of the Emperor or the request of friends: cf. such expressions as ‘stili facilitas’ (ii. praef.), ‘libellorum temeritas,’ ‘hanc audaciam stili nostri’ (iii. praef.). Of the poems in Book i. he says, ‘nullum ex illis biduo longius tractum, quaedam et in singulis diebus effusa’ (i. praef.). Each of the Books is introduced by a prose preface.

None of the Silvae appeared before A.D. 92; for Rutilius Gallicus, for whom i. 4 was written, died in that year, and the poem was not published till after his death (i. praef.). Book v. was probably a posthumous work: there is no proper preface, and the third and fifth poems are incomplete.

Hexameter verse is employed for all the Silvae except six. Of these, four are in hendecasyllabics, one in the Alcaic and one in the Sapphic stanza.

4. The only other poem of which there is distinct evidence is the pantomime Agave, written not later than A.D. 84, the year in which the player Paris was put to death (Juv. Sat. 7, 86, quoted above).


(1) LIFE.

M. Valerius Martialis (Coquus is added in the old glossaries) was born at Bilbilis in Hispania Tarraconensis on 1st March in one of the years A.D. 38-41. His tenth Book, written A.D. 95-8, contains a poem (x. 24) written on his fifty-seventh birthday. Cf. ll. 4-5,

‘quinquagesima liba septimamque
vestris addimus hanc focis acerram’;

ix. 52, 3,

‘ut nostras amo Martias Kalendas’;

x. 103, 1,

‘Municipes, Augusta mihi quos Bilbilis acri
   monte creat, rapidis quem Salo cingit aquis.’

His parents’ names are given, v. 34, 1, ‘Fronto pater, genetrix Flaccilla.’ Martial went through the usual education at Bilbilis or at a neighbouring town; ix. 73, 7,

‘At me litterulas stulti docuere parentes:
   quid cum grammaticis rhetoribusque mihi?’

Martial went to Rome A.D. 64, for in A.D. 98, when he left Rome, he gives the length of his stay as thirty-four years; x. 103, 7,

‘Quattuor accessit tricesima messibus aestas,
   ut sine me Cereri rustica liba datis,
moenia dum colimus dominae pulcherrima Romae.’

At Rome Martial became the client of the house of the Senecas, and was on intimate terms with L. Calpurnius Piso, Memmius Gemellus, and Vibius Crispus; xii. 36, 8,

‘Pisones Senecasque Memmiosque
et Crispos mihi redde sed priores.’

The failure of Piso’s conspiracy in A.D. 65 and the consequent downfall of the Senecas must have affected Martial’s position. In A.D. 96 Martial addresses as his patroness Argentaria Polla, Lucan’s widow, the only surviving member of the family; x. 64, 1,

‘Contigeris regina meos si Polla libellos,’ etc.

From her he may have got the small vineyard near Nomentum which he possessed by A.D. 84 (xiii. 42 and 119).

Little is known of Martial’s life before the reign of Domitian. He may have practised at the bar; cf. ii. 30, 5,

‘Is mihi “dives eris, si causas egeris” inquit’;

and Quintilian appears to have advised this course (ii. 90). He probably lived as a client of great houses to which he was recommended by his early-developed poetical talents. Cf. i. 113, 1,

‘Quaecumque lusi iuvenis et puer quondam.’

In A.D. 80 he commemorated the opening by Titus of the Flavian Amphitheatre by a collection of poems sent to the emperor. Cf. Spectac. 32,

‘Da veniam subitis: non displicuisse meretur,
festinat, Caesar, qui placuisse tibi.’

Martial received the ‘ius trium liberorum’ from two of the emperors. This probably means that Titus bestowed it and Domitian ratified it. Cf. ix. 97, 5,

‘tribuit quod Caesar uterque
ius mihi natorum.’

Martial became a titular tribune, and consequently an eques, an honour probably given him by Titus; iii. 95, 9

‘vidit me Roma tribunum’;

v. 13, 1,

‘Sum, fateor, semperque fui, Callistrate, pauper,
sed non obscurus nec male notus eques.’

Martial is unsparing in his flattery of Domitian and his freedmen. Cf. ix. 79, iv. 45, of Parthenius, the emperor’s chamberlain; vii. 99, viii. 48, of Crispinus, the emperor’s favourite. In A.D. 86 we find his poems eagerly read by the emperor. Cf. iv. 27,

‘Saepe meos laudare soles, Auguste, libellos.’

He obtained citizen rights for several applicants; cf. ix. 95. 11,

‘Quot mihi Caesareo facti sunt munere cives’;

and was occasionally invited to the emperor’s table; cf. ix. 91. Domitian, however, refused to assist him pecuniarily (vi. 10). A description of Martial’s life as a client of great houses is found, e.g., in v. 20. Among the friends of high rank whom Martial made after A.D. 86 were the poet Silius Italicus (iv. 14), the future emperor Nerva (v. 28), the author S. Iulius Frontinus (x. 58), the younger Pliny (x. 19). Martial also mentions Quintilian (ii. 90) and other literary men from Spain, and Juvenal (vii. 24, etc.). Statius he never mentions, and was probably at enmity with him; cf. his sneers at mythological epics (x. 4, etc.), which hint indirectly at the Thebais. Martial also attacks his critics (i. 3; xi. 20, etc.), plagiarists (e.g. xi. 94), and those who wrote scurrilous verses in his name (e.g. x. 3).

Martial received rewards in return for his poetry, and often begs for gifts, and complains of his poverty and the unproductiveness of his estate at Nomentum (xii. 57); v. 36,

‘Laudatus nostro quidam, Faustina, libello
dissimulat, quasi nil debeat: imposuit’;

vii. 16,

‘Aera domi non sunt, superest hoc, Regule, solum,
ut tua vendamus munera: numquid emis?’

From 86 to 90 A.D. Martial lived in lodgings on the Quirinal, three stairs up; i. 117, 6,

‘Longum est, si velit ad Pirum venire, et scalis habito tribus, sed altis.’

Later he had a house of his own (ix. 18, 2, etc.), and mentions his slaves (i. 101; v. 34, etc.). That he was still poor in A.D. 98 is evident from Pliny, Ep. iii. 21, 2, ‘Prosecutus eram viatico secedentem: dederam hoc amicitiae, dederam etiam versiculis quos de me composuit.’

Martial was evidently never married (ii. 92). In A.D. 98 he left Rome and went to Spain, where he had liberal friends, as Terentius Priscus (xii. 4), and Marcella (xii. 21), who gave him an estate, described in xii. 18. From xii. praef. we see his longing for Rome:

‘In hac provinciali solitudine ... bibliothecas, theatra, convictus ... desideramus quasi destituti. Accedit his municipalium robigo dentium et iudici loco livor,’ etc.

Martial died, at latest, about A.D. 104, being from 63 to 66 years old.

Pliny Ep. iii. 21 (written not after A.D. 104), ‘Audio Valerium Martialem decessisse et moleste fero.’

Martial does not disguise the bad points of his character. Cf. his flattery of Domitian, and his continual begging (passim), his cynical reasons for giving panegyrics (v. 36, quoted above); the number of indecent poems he wrote, for which he apologizes (e.g. i. praef.). Among his good points are his ‘candor,’ mentioned by Pliny, Ep. iii. 21; his love of unadorned nature, e.g. iii. 58; his love for his friends, e.g. i. 15.

(2) WORKS.

Publication of the Poems.Liber Spectaculorum was published A.D. 80, on the opening of Titus’ Amphitheatre. The Xenia and Apophoreta were two collections of inscriptions for presents at the Saturnalia in December 84 or 85 A.D. The numbering of these as Books xiii. and xiv. has no ancient authority. Martial furnished the other Books with numbers (cf. ii. 92, 1, ‘primus liber’). Books i., ii., appeared together A.D. 86. Then came Books iii.-xi. at intervals of about a year to December, 96 A.D. Martial prepared a selection from Books x. and xi. for Nerva’s use (no longer extant). This was presented along with xii. 5,

‘Longior undecimi nobis decimique libelli
artatus labor est, et breve rasit opus.
Plura legant vacui, quibus otia tuta dedisti;
haec lege tu Caesar; forsan et illa leges.’

Book xii. appeared at the beginning of A.D. 102. and shortly afterwards in an enlarged edition. An edition of all the Books probably did not appear till after Martial’s death.

For Martial’s immediate popularity, cf. vi. 61,

‘Laudat, amat, cantat nostros mea Roma libellos,
meque sinus omnis, me manus omnis habet’;

xi. 3, 3,

‘Sed meus in Geticis ad Martia signa pruinis
   a rigido teritur centurione liber,
dicitur et nostros cantare Britannia versus.’

Pliny Ep. iii. 21 (written just after Martial’s death), ‘Erat homo ingeniosus acutus acer, et qui plurimum in scribendo et salis haberet et fellis nec candoris minus.’

Martial’s Models.—His manner is very original, but some of his motives are taken from Greek epigrammatists, especially from Lucillius, who flourished under Nero. Thus iv. 53 = Lucill. 30; v. 53 = L. 93; xii. 23 = L. 34. Many of his pieces are doubtless improvisations, and consequently contain careless expressions and errors as to facts. Thus, vii. 61, 2,

‘Inque suo nullum limine limen erat’;

x. 2, 1,

‘Festinata prior decimi mihi cura libelli
   elapsum manibus nunc revocavit opus’;

x. 93, 5,

‘Ut rosa delectat, metitur quae pollice primo’
      (= the rose which has not yet been plucked).

In iv. 55, 3, Arpi is given as Cicero’s birthplace; in v. 30, 2, etc., Calabria instead of Apulia is given as Horace’s native district. Catullus is Martial’s chief model for hendecasyllabics and choliambics. He mentions no other poet so often. Cf. x. 103, 5,

‘Nec sua plus debet tenui Verona Catullo
   meque velit dici non minus illa suum.’

Ovid, of whom he has more than two hundred reminiscences, is Martial’s chief pattern for elegiacs. After these Martial’s chief model is Virgil, chiefly the Priapea; then Horace to a less extent; Propertius; and Tibullus. Domitius Marsus, Gaetulicus, Calvus, etc., are mentioned frequently, and doubtless imitated.

For Martial’s conception of himself as a painter of manners, cf. viii. 3, 19 (ad Musam),

‘At tu Romano lepidos sale tinge libellos:
   adgnoscat mores vita legatque suos.
Angusta cantare licet videaris avena,
   dum tua multorum vincat avena tubas.’

x. 4, 7,

‘Quid te vana iuvant miserae ludibria chartae?
   hoc lege, quod possit dicere vita “Meum est.”
Non hic Centauros, non Gorgonas, Harpyiasque
   invenies: hominem pagina nostra sapit.’

Martial satirizes people under manufactured or arbitrarily chosen names.

Cf. i. praef., ‘Spero me secutum in libellis meis tale temperamentum, ut de illis queri non possit, quisquis de se bene senserit, cum salva infimarum quoque personarum reverentia ludant.’

Some are tell-tale names, as Vetustilla, ‘an old woman,’ iii. 93; Dento, ‘a gourmand,’ v. 45; Eulogus, ‘a herald,’ vi. 8; but the same names, e.g. Zoilus, are often used to denote different types.

The chief forms of verse used are the elegiac distich (most frequent), scazons, and hendecasyllabics. In vi. 65 he apologizes for using the pure hexameter, which is found only four times. Other metres are extremely rare.


(1) LIFE.

M. Fabius Quintilianus was born at Calagurris in Spain. Auson. prof. i. 7, ‘Adserat usque licet Fabium Calagurris alumnum.’ Cf. Jerome yr. Abr. 2104 (quoted below).

Quintilian came at an early age to Rome, where his father was a rhetorician. Cf. his reminiscences:

x. 1, 86, ‘Utar verbis isdem quae ex Afro Domitio (died A.D. 59) iuvenis excepi.’

v. 7, 7, ‘a Domitio Afro quem adulescentulus senem colui.’

vi. 1, 14, ‘Nobis adulescentibus accusator Cossutiani Capitonis’ (A.D. 57), etc.

From the above quotations, Quintilian must have been born somewhere between A.D. 35 and 40. A.D. 35 is usually given as an approximation. For Quintilian’s father cf. ix. 3, 73, ‘Et cur me prohibeat pudor uti domestico exemplo? Pater meus contra eum qui,’ etc. He is possibly the person mentioned by Seneca, Contr. x. praef. 2, ‘quo modo ... Quintilianus senex declamaverit.’

For Quintilian’s teachers of rhetoric, cf. Pliny, Ep. ii. 14, 10, ‘Narrabat ille [Quintilianus], Adsectabar Domitium Afrum.’ Others were Iulius Africanus (Quint. x. 1, 118), Servilius Nonianus (x. 1, 102), Galerius Trachalus (x. 1, 119), Iulius Secundus (x. 1, 120), Vibius Crispus (xii. 10, 11), Remmius Palaemon (Schol. ad Iuv. 6, 452). After his education Quintilian returned to Calagurris, but was brought back to Rome by Galba in A.D. 68.

Jerome yr. Abr. 2084 = A.D. 68, ‘M. Fabius Quintilianus Romam a Galba perducitur.’

Quintilian engaged as a pleader at Rome, and makes some references to his cases. Some of his speeches were published without his consent.

vii. 2, 24, ‘In causa Naevi Arpiniani ... cuius actionem et quidem solam in hoc tempus emiseram, quod ipsum me fecisse ductum iuvenili cupiditate gloriae fateor. Nam ceterae, quae sub nomine meo feruntur, neglegentia excipientium in quaestum notariorum corruptae minimam partem mei habent.’

iv. 1, 19, ‘Ego pro regina Berenice apud ipsam eam causam dixi.’

Cf. also vii. 2, 5; ix. 2, 73-4.

Quintilian was the first person who received an imperial grant as teacher of oratory.

Jerome yr. Abr. 2104 = A.D. 88, ‘Quintilianus ex Hispania Calagurritanus primus Romae publicam scholam et salarium e fisco accepit et claruit.’ The date given by Jerome is much too late, as it is Quintilian that is alluded to by Sueton. Vesp. 18, ‘Primus e fisco Latinis Graecisque rhetoribus annua centena constituit.’ The appointment must therefore have been made by A.D. 79. The professorship is referred to by Mart. ii. 90, 1,

‘Quintiliane, vagae moderator summe iuventae,
   gloria Romanae, Quintiliane, togae.’

Cf. Pliny, Ep. ii. 14, 10, ‘Ita certe ex Quintiliano, praeceptore meo, audisse memini.’ Quintilian’s career as a teacher lasted for twenty years.

i. prooem. 1, ‘Post impetratam studiis meis quietem, quae per viginti annos erudiendis iuvenibus impenderam.’

Teuffel thinks that the Institutio was written A.D. 89-91, in which case Quintilian’s career as professor was from A.D. 68 to 88; Peterson[91] thinks that Quintilian dated his educational work as from A.D. 70 to 90, and that the Institutio was begun A.D. 92.

Quintilian grew rich by the practice of his profession, from which he ultimately retired. Iuv. 7, 186,

‘Hos inter sumptus sestertia Quintiliano,
ut multum, duo sufficient; res nulla minoris
constabit patri, quam filius. “Unde igitur tot
Quintilianus habet saltus?”’

Quint. ii. 12, 12, ‘quando et praecipiendi munus iam pridem deprecati sumus et in foro quoque dicendi, quia honestissimum finem putamus, desinere dum desideraremur.’

After his retirement Quintilian was appointed tutor of Domitian’s grandnephews, sons of his niece Flavia Domitilla and his cousin Flavius Clemens.

Quint. iv. prooem. 2, ‘Cum mihi Domitianus Augustus sororis suae nepotum delegaverit curam.’

Through the influence of Clemens, he obtained the consulship.

Auson. grat. act. p. 23 (Schenkl), ‘Quintilianus consularia per Clementem ornamenta sortitus honestamenta potius videtur quam insignia potestatis habuisse.’

Cf. Iuv. 7, 197,

‘Si Fortuna volet, fies de rhetore consul;
si volet haec eadem, fies de consule rhetor.’

His gratitude led him into fulsome flattery of Domitian.

x. 1, 91, ‘Germanicum Augustum ab institutis studiis deflexit cura terrarum, parumque dis visum est esse eum maximum poetarum’ (cf. iv. prooem. 3-5).

Quintilian married late in life. His wife died at the age of eighteen, his younger son soon afterwards at the age of five, the elder one subsequently at the age of nine.

vi. prooem. § 2, ‘Illum, de quo summa conceperam et in quo spem unicam senectutis reponebam, repetito volnere orbitatis amisi’; § 9, ‘Non flosculos, sicut prior, sed iam decimum aetatis ingressus annum, certos ac deformatos fructus ostenderat’; § 4, ‘erepta prius mihi matre eorumdem, quae nondum expleto aetatis undevicesimo anno duos enixa filios ...’; § 5, ‘cum omni virtute, quae in feminas cadit, functa insanabilem adtulit marito dolorem, tum aetate tam puellari, praesertim meae comparata, potest et ipsa numerari inter volnera orbitatis’; § 6, ‘Mihi filius minor quintum egressus annum prior alterum ex duobus eruit lumen.’

The date of Quintilian’s death is unknown. If he outlived Domitian it was not for long, as Pliny in the letters quoted above (the earlier written about A.D. 100) does not speak of Quintilian as alive.

(2) WORKS.

Earlier works.—Quintilian refers to a work de causis corruptae eloquentiae, and to an ars rhetorica in two Books. For speeches of his taken down and published, see vii. 2, 24, quoted p. 303.

vi. prooem. 3, ‘eum librum, quem de causis corruptae eloquentiae emisi.’

i. prooem. 7, ‘Duo iam sub nomine meo libri ferebantur artis rhetoricae neque editi a me neque in hoc comparati. Namque alterum, sermone per biduum habito, pueri, quibus id praestabatur, exceperant; alterum pluribus sane diebus, quantum notando consequi potuerant, interceptum, boni iuvenes sed nimium amantes mei, temerario editionis honore volgaverant.’

The Institutio Oratoria.—For the date of publication see p. 304. The circumstances of publication are given by Quintilian in the preface addressed to his bookseller Trypho.

‘Efflagitasti cottidiano convicio, ut libros, quos ad Marcellum meum de Institutione oratoria scripseram, iam emittere inciperem. Nam ipse eos nondum opinabar satis maturuisse, quibus componendis, ut scis, paulo plus quam biennium tot alioqui negotiis districtus impendi ... Sed si tanto opere efflagitantur quam tu affirmas, permittamus vela ventis et oram solventibus bene precemur.’

The work is dedicated to Vitorius Marcellus (to whom Statius’ Silvae, Book iv., is addressed), and was originally written in view of the education of his son Geta.

i. prooem. 6, ‘Quod opus, Marcelle Vitori, tibi dicamus ... quod erudiendo Getae tuo ... non inutiles fore libri videbantur.’

Book iv. prooem. was written when Quintilian had been appointed tutor to the young princes, who are mentioned along with Geta and Quintilian’s elder son; Book vi. prooem. was written not long afterwards, and refers to his bereavements; in Book xii. prooem. no names are mentioned.

The work deals with the whole education of the future orator.

i. prooem. 5, ‘Nec aliter, quam si mihi tradatur educandus orator, studia eius formare ab infantia incipiam.’

Quintilian himself gives a sketch of the contents:

i. prooem. 21-2, ‘Liber primus ea quae sunt ante officium rhetoris continebit [including grammar and philology]. Secundo prima apud rhetorem elementa et quae de ipsa rhetorices substantia quaeruntur tractabimus. Quinque deinceps (iii.-vii.) inventioni, nam huic et dispositio subiungitur, quattuor (viii.-xi.) elocutioni, in cuius partem memoria ac pronuntiatio veniunt, dabuntur. Unus (xii.) accedet, in quo nobis orator ipse informandus est, ut qui mores eius, quae in suscipiendis, discendis, agendis causis ratio, quod eloquentiae genus, quis agendi debeat esse finis, quae post finem studia ... disseramus.’

The ordinary handbooks of rhetoric are attacked.

i. prooem. 24-5, ‘Nam plerumque nudae illae artes nimia subtilitatis affectatione frangunt atque concidunt quidquid est in oratione generosius, et omnem sucum ingeni bibunt et ossa detegunt, quae ut esse et adstringi nervis suis debent, sic corpore operienda sunt. Ideoque nos non particulam illam, sicut plerique, sed quidquid utile ad instituendum oratorem putabamus, in hos duodecim libros contulimus breviter omnia demonstraturi.’

Quintilian uses his own experience and the best views of different authorities.

vi. 2, 25, ‘Quod si tradita mihi sequi praecepta sufficeret, satisfeceram huic parti, nihil eorum, quae legi vel didici, quod modo probabile fuit, omittendo; sed eruere in animo est, quae latent, et penitus ipsa huius loci aperire penetralia, quae quidem non aliquo tradente sed experimento meo ac natura ipsa duce accepi.’

Quintilian insists that the orator must be a good man (cf. the importance he attaches to early education, i. 1, etc.).

xii. 1, 1, ‘Sit ergo nobis orator, quem constituimus, is qui a M. Catone finitur, vir bonus dicendi peritus; verum, id quod et ille posuit prius, et ipsa natura potius ac maius est, utique vir bonus.’

Cf. i. prooem. 9-10; ii. 2 (the whole chapter); ii. 15, 1.

Quintilian’s exposition is founded mainly on Cicero, from whom he seldom differs. Cf. vii. 3, 8, ‘Quamquam dissentire vix audeo a Cicerone.’

Quintilian’s illustrations are mainly drawn from classical writers. Upwards of four hundred and fifty passages of Cicero and about one hundred and forty of Virgil are referred to. Quintilian not only attacks the modern style, but warns his pupils against the early writers.

ii. 5, 21-2, ‘Duo autem genera maxime cavenda pueris puto: unum, ne quis eos antiquitatis nimius admirator in Graccorum Catonisque et aliorum similium lectione durescere velit ... Alterum, quod huic diversum est, ne recentis huius lasciviae flosculis capti voluptate prava deleniantur, ut praedulce illud genus et puerilibus ingeniis hoc gratius, quo propius est, adament.’

For Quintilian’s high appreciation of Cicero see x. 1, 105-112; and for his antagonism to Seneca, x. 1, 125-131, and to philosophers in general, i. prooem. 10.

For Quintilian’s authorities see iii. 1, ‘Prooemium de scriptoribus artis rhetoricae.’ They include Dionysius of Halicarnassus; Caecilius; Chrysippus (for education; cf. i. 1, 16, etc.); Cicero; Auctor ad Herenn.; Celsus, cf. iii. 1, 21, etc.; Rutilius, cf. ix. 3, 89; Remmius Palaemon.

Literary criticism is treated of in Book X. as regards the Greek and Latin authors useful to the orator. The principal authority used was the περὶ μιμήσεως of Dionysius Halicarnassius. Much of Quintilian’s criticism is traditional, and the lists of great writers came ultimately from the critics of Alexandria. Roman literary critics referred to were Cicero (e.g. on the Attic orators, x. 1, 76-80) and Horace (x. 1, 24; 56, etc.).

Spurious works.—These include two collections of declamationes.

1. Nineteen long pieces, ascribed to Quintilian by Jerome and others, but much later than Quintilian’s time.

2. One hundred and forty-five shorter pieces out of an original collection of three hundred and eighty-eight, the first half being lost. Some suppose they are the ‘libri artis rhetoricae’ (i. prooem. 7, quoted above), but this is not likely.


(1) LIFE.

Iulius Frontinus (as he is called by Tacitus: inscriptions and some MSS. give the praenomen Sextus) was born at latest A.D. 41, for he was praetor urbanus A.D. 70.

Tac. Hist. iv. 39, ‘in senatu quem Iulius Frontinus praetor urbanus vocaverat ... Mox eiurante Frontino Caesar Domitianus praeturam cepit.’

He served in Gaul during the revolt of Civilis, and received the submission of the Lingones (Front. Strat. iv. 3, 14[92]). Under Vespasian he held the consulship, and preceded Agricola in the command in Britain, where he conquered the Silures, probably A.D. 76-78.

Tac. Agr. 17, ‘Et Cerealis quidem alterius successoris curam famamque obruisset: sustinuit molem Iulius Frontinus, vir magnus, quantum licebat, validamque et pugnacem Silurum gentem armis subegit, super virtutem hostium locorum quoque difficultates eluctatus.’

His knowledge of the tactics of Domitian (Strat. i. 1, 8; i. 3, 10; ii. 3, 23; ii. 11, 7) makes it probable that he took part in the war with the Chatti, A.D. 83. In 97 he became curator aquarum (Aq. 102), and at the beginning of the following year was consul for the second time (C.I.L. iii., p. 862); cf. Martial x. 48, 20, ‘bis Frontino consule.’ In 100 he was once more consul (C.I.L. viii. 7066). He also held the office of augur, in which, A.D. 103 or 104, he was succeeded by the younger Pliny; Plin. Ep. iv. 8, ‘gratularis mihi quod acceperim auguratum ... Successi Iulio Frontino, principi viro.’ His death then may be placed in A.D. 103.

Frontinus was a friend of Martial, who addresses to him Epig. x. 58.

We get a glimpse of his character from Pliny’s words, Ep. ix. 19, 6, ‘Vetuit exstrui monumentum: sed quibus verbis? “Impensa monumenti supervacua est: memoria nostri durabit si vita meruimus.”’

(2) WORKS.

During the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81-96) Frontinus composed two works. One of these, of which only fragments survive, dealt with the art of land-surveying and the laws relating to land. The other, written after A.D. 84, when Domitian received the title of Germanicus (Strat. ii. II, 7, ‘eo bello quo victis hostibus cognomen Germanici meruit’), is a manual of strategy, in three Books, entitled Strategemata. It is a sequel to a previous work (now lost) on the theory of the art of war, and illustrates its rules by historical examples derived chiefly from Sallust, Caesar, and Livy. The purpose of the book did not require the citation of authorities, and the mention of Livy in ii. 5, 31 and 34, is probably spurious. Frontinus gives either a paraphrase retaining some of the expressions of the original (cf. Strat. i. 5, 16, with Liv. xxxv. 11, 2-13), or a bald summary (cf. Strat. ii. 5, 1, with Liv. i. 14, 6-11). See G. Gundermann, Jahrb. f. class. Philol., suppl. xvi., p. 315 sqq. (1888). Some later hand has added a fourth Book, which not only presents marked differences in style and tone from the original three, but deals with an entirely different subject—the maintenance of discipline, and other duties of a commander.

Under Nerva and Trajan (A.D. 97-98) Frontinus wrote his treatise on the Roman water-supply, De Aquis Urbis Romae. Having been appointed curator aquarum, he considered it his first duty to acquaint himself with the details of his department, and published the result of his inquiries in the hope that they might be useful to his successors (cf. the preface). The book was begun under Nerva (praef. ‘cum ... sit nunc mihi ab Nerva Augusto ... aquarum iniunctum officium’), but Nerva had been succeeded by Trajan before it was completed (118, ‘divus Nerva’; 93, ‘Traianum Augustum’).


The sources for Juvenal’s life are (1) his works; (2) an inscription found at Aquinum; (3) thirteen extant vitae; (4) information of the scholiasts; (5) references in Martial and other writers.

The inscription at Aquinum has been much debated; but it is safe to follow the opinion of Mommsen, whose experience in identifying people mentioned in inscriptions with historical characters depends upon a width of knowledge that no other person possesses. The vitae are all early mediaeval works, probably founded on a brief account of the poet’s life composed by some unknown ancient writer, and existing at the early Renaissance. The extant vitae contain a very few facts which appear to be derived from this source, together with a number of inferences gathered, often incorrectly, from Juvenal’s works. The most important statement is that regarding Juvenal’s birth, which is contained in the vita in the Codex Barberinus, 8, 18, discovered by J. Dürr. The date is given in such precise and accurate terms, and is in itself so probable as solving so many of the questions connected with the poet’s works, that to invent it requires an amount of knowledge with which we cannot credit the writer of this otherwise very poor account. The statements of the vitae must be carefully weighed, and accepted only when rendered probable by other considerations.[93]

Juvenal’s name is given in some of the MSS. as Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis. He was born A.D. 55.

Codex Barberinus, ‘Iunius Iuvenalis Aquinas Iunio Iuvenale patre, matre vero Septumuleia ex Aquinati municipio Claudio Nerone et L. Antistio consulibus natus est. Sororem habuit Septumuleiam, quae Fuscino nupsit.’

The statement about his sister and mother is very doubtful; that about Fuscinus is a bad inference from the fact that Sat. 14 (on the education of children) is addressed to him. The name Septumuleia may be invented from 14, 105, septima lux. Juvenal’s sister must have been called Iunia after her father; the naming of a girl after her mother was a mediaeval idea.

Juvenal was born at Aquinum, a town of the Volscians. Twelve of the vitae agree in this, and they are confirmed by the poet’s own words supposed to be addressed to him by his friend Umbricius: 3, 318-21,

              ‘Quotiens te
Roma tuo refici properantem reddet Aquino,
me quoque ad Helvinam Cererem vestramque Dianam
converte a Cumis.’

Cf. 6, 57,

‘agello cedo paterno.’

This is corroborated by the inscription found at Aquinum (C.I.L. x. 5382), which gives us other information about the poet:

     cereRI · SACRVM
  SVA                          PEC

This inscription appears to have stood near the temple of Ceres Helvina or Elvina, dedicated by a member of the gens Elvia, references to which are found on inscriptions of the district.

The vitae say that Juvenal was the son of a freedman.[94] Cf. Vitae i. a, i. b, ii. c (Dürr): ‘libertini locupletis incertum filius an alumnus.’ Vita v. (Dürr), ‘ordinis ut fertur libertinorum.’ This story is due to a misapprehension of some of Juvenal’s references. 1, 99-102,

          ‘Iubet a praecone vocari
ipsos Troiugenas (nam vexant limen et ipsi
nobiscum): “da praetori, da deinde tribuno.”
Sed libertinus prior est.’

Libertinus here is not to be taken to mean that the entire set are freedmen.

As to 4, 98,

‘unde fit ut malim fraterculus esse gigantis,’

it gives no evidence whatever of Juvenal’s position. If it meant anything, it would rather imply that Juvenal was the son of a poor Italian and not of a foreign slave. So for 11, 145-6. His family was respectable, his means were fair, and he could afford to look down on upstarts in virtue both of his birth and of his property, although it is clear from his own works that he had in Rome the position of a rather humble dependent, who would be exposed to insult at the tables of the rich and powerful. Cf. 3, 318; 6, 57 (above); 12, 89, ‘laribus paternis’; 1, 24,

‘patricios omnes opibus cum provocet unus,
quo tondente gravis iuveni mihi barba sonabat.’

So 10, 225.

In vita iv. he is said to have attained equestrian rank. (Tribunician rank implied equestrian). This, on the whole, is confirmed by the inscription, and may be founded on the original vita.

Juvenal had a full course of education, first under the litterator and the grammaticus, then under the rhetor.[95] Cf. 1, 15,

‘Et nos ergo manum ferulae subduximus, et nos
consilium dedimus Sullae, privatus ut altum

This would imply a good position, and a certain command of money. Such patres libertini as Horace’s were very rare.

The inscription above quoted (divi Vespasiani shows that its date is after A.D. 79, and probably not long after) informs us that Juvenal was (1) ‘tribunus cohortis I. Delmatarum’[96]; (2) ‘duumvir quinquennalis’[97] and ‘flamen divi Vespasiani’ at Aquinum. The dates when Juvenal held these posts cannot be determined exactly; but we can infer certain points.

(1) There was a certus ordo honorum in municipal life, and Juvenal must have held the quaestorship and the aedileship before the duumviratus quinquennalis. The lower limit of entering on a municipal career was twenty-five, according to an order of Augustus, and people did not usually begin it much later; we may therefore conclude that these municipal posts were held by Juvenal somewhere between A.D. 80 and 90. The last year is approximately fixed by the way in which Martial in two of his epigrams (vii. 24 and 91) belonging to A.D. 91 or 92 speaks of Juvenal; the words show that the latter must have been established in Rome for some time.

(2) In ordinary course Juvenal would enter the army after the completion of his seventeenth year. The short time he took to arrive at the position of tribune, and the statement of vita iv. ‘cum ... ad dignitatem equestris ordinis pervenire sua virtute meruisset,’ make it probable that he entered the army as petitor militiae equestris, as a preliminary step towards entering on a political career.

The cohors Delmatarum I., which Juvenal commanded as tribune, was in Britain in A.D. 106, and in A.D. 124.[98] Probably it had been stationed there for a period of years, and it is likely that Juvenal filled his tribuneship there. Now, all the vitae inform us that Juvenal was banished under the pretext of a military command. While the other vitae give Egypt as the place of his banishment, vita iv. gives Scotland; and it seems highly probable that vita iv. has confused Juvenal’s regular military command in Britain, and his banishment, late in life, to Egypt. The words are:

‘[Tyrannus] sub honoris praetextu fecit eum praefectum militis contra Scotos, qui bellum contra Romanos moverant.’

This is supported by Juvenal’s references to Britain. Some of these, like his references to Egypt, seem, in contradistinction to most of his references to foreign parts, to imply personal knowledge and observation. They are as follows:

(1) 2, 159-161,

       ‘Arma quidem ultra
litora Iuvernae promovimus et modo captas
Orcadas ac minima contentos nocte Britannos.’

Here ‘Iuverna’ is the old name of Ireland, which is not mentioned even in Tacitus’ Agricola[99]; for the Orcades cf. Tac. Agr. 10; and the excessive shortness of the summer nights mentioned in the last clause is especially true of the north of Scotland.

(2) 10, 14,

‘Quanto delphinis balaena Britannica maior.’

This is also particularly applicable to the north of Scotland, whales being frequently seen off the Orkney and Shetland Islands.

(3) 4, 141,

        ‘Rutupinove edita fundo

(4) 14, 196,

‘Castella Brigantum.’

(5) 15, 111,

‘Gallia causidicos docuit facunda Britannos,
de conducendo loquitur iam rhetore Thule.’

Cf. Tac. Agr. 21.

(6) 15, 124, ‘Brittones.’ This form is rarely found except in military inscriptions,[100] and could scarcely have been used except by one familiar with the camp in Britain.[101]

That Juvenal came to Rome about A.D. 90 has been shown above. This step he may have taken to forward his promotion in the army and afterwards in the procuratorial service. His failure in this direction may have led to his pessimism. His friendship with Martial (whom, however, he does not mention) is shown by Mart. vii. 24 (cf. vii. 91),

‘Cum Iuvenale meo quae me committere temptas,
quid non audebis, perfida lingua, loqui?’ etc.

That he was still in Rome in B.C. 101, and had the entrée of the atria of rich nobles is shown by Mart. xii. 18, written in that year.

‘Dum tu forsitan inquietus erras
clamosa, Iuvenalis, in Subura
aut collem dominae teris Dianae,
dura per limina te potentiorum
sudatrix toga ventilat vagumque
maior Caelius et minor fatigant,
me multos repetita post Decembres
accepit mea rusticumque fecit
auro Bilbilis et superba ferro.’

From this we see that he lived in the Subura, the plebeian quarter. Cf. 3, 5,

‘ego vel Prochytam praepono Suburae.’

While in Rome he still possessed his land at Aquinum and also a property at Tibur; 11, 65,

‘de Tiburtino veniet pinguissimus agro

The statement of the vitae that Juvenal studied rhetoric till middle life is, as already stated, improbable, as being inconsistent with his military and municipal career; ‘facundus,’ applied to him by Mart. vii. 91, 1, does not mean ‘declaiming,’ but ‘poetical’ or ‘oratorical.’

Vitae i. a and b (and other seven) say, ‘ad mediam fere aetatem declamavit animi magis causa quam quod scholae se aut foro praepararet.’

Juvenal’s literary life.—In the MSS. the satires are divided into Books, and the division seems ancient. Book i. includes Sat. 1-5; Book ii. = Sat. 6; Book iii. = Sat. 7-9; Book iv. = Sat. 10-12; Book v. = Sat. 13-16.

Book i. was written under Trajan; certainly after A.D. 100, the date of the trial of Marius Priscus [102]; 1, 49,

‘exul ab octava Marius bibit et fruitur dis

Book ii. not earlier than A.D. 116. It is highly probable that 6, 407, ‘instantem regi Armenio Parthoque cometen,’ refers to a comet seen at Rome in November A.D. 115; and 6, 411, ‘nutare urbes, subsidere terras,’ to the earthquake at Antioch, 13th December, A.D. 115.

Book iii., probably about A.D. 120, was written under Hadrian, who is eulogized in 7, 1-35. Dürr thinks it probable that 7, 36-243, was written under Trajan, and that the introduction, in praise of Hadrian, was written afterwards. This is also Friedländer’s view; cf. l. 1, ‘Et spes et ratio studiorum in Caesare tantum,’ with Spart. vit. Hadr. 14, 8, ‘poematum studiosissimus.’ This also supports the view that the introduction was written not long after Hadrian’s accession, when a new era for poets was supposed to be beginning.

Book iv. was probably written about A.D. 125.

Book v. A clue to the date is found in 13, 16-7,

      ‘Stupet haec, qui iam post terga reliquit
sexaginta annos, Fonteio consule natus.’

Fonteius Capito and C. Iulius Rufus were consuls A.D. 67, in which year the sexagenarian friend whom Juvenal addresses was born. The date of writing will therefore be A.D. 127.[103]

Cf. also 15, 27, ‘nuper consule Iunco.’ Iuncus was consul A.D. 127, so that this satire could not have been written before A.D. 128. So 15, 44,

          ‘Horrida sane
Aegyptos, sed luxuria, quantum ipse notavi,
barbara famoso non cedit turba Canopo.’

Juvenal must have added these lines to the satire while he was an exile in Egypt, if he did not write the whole of it there. This is in accordance with what vita v. says, ‘in exilio ampliavit satyras.’ Supposing this passage to be an addition, we may conclude that Book v. was written about A.D. 128, but not before that year.

Juvenal’s banishment.—As before stated, all the vitae but one give Egypt as the place of Juvenal’s exile. The exact place, according to the scholiast on 1, 1 and 4, 38, was the Great Oasis (Hoasa: Hoasis). Three vitae (i. a, b, iii. c) state that he was at that time octogenarius. This would make the date A.D. 135 or 136. Most of the vitae give as the reason of his exile the fact that he wrote the lines,[104] 7, 90-2,

‘Quod non dant proceres dabit histrio. Tu Camerinos
et Baream, tu nobilium magna atria curas?
Praefectos Pelopea facit, Philomela tribunos.’

Now these lines, the first he ever wrote (vita iii. c) were composed in his youth as an epigram on Paris, Domitian’s favourite, probably about A.D. 81-3. The true story then is that, when Juvenal in A.D. 135 or 136 published a new edition of Sat. 7, he added these lines (vitae i. a, b, ‘ut ea quoque quae prima fecerat inferciret novis scriptis’).[105] Now it has been inferred from Spart. vit. Hadr. 23 sqq. that at this time an actor had great influence over Hadrian, and the lines were taken as referring to him. The emperor in a rage banished Juvenal to Egypt per honorem militiae, writing maliciously on his commission ‘Et te Philomela promovit’ (vita iv.). The banishment is assigned to the influence of Paris by Iohannes Malalas, p. 262 sqq. (Dindorf), and by Suidas. Cf. also Sat. 15, 44 sqq., already quoted, and Sidonius Apollinaris 9, 267 sqq.,

‘Non qui tempore Caesaris secundi
aeterno incoluit Tomos reatu:
non qui consimili deinde casu
ad volgi tenuem strepentis auram
irati fuit histrionis exul.’

Vita iii. b, ‘Tristitia et angore periit anno aetatis suae altero et octuagesimo.’

Vita v., ‘Decessit longo senio confectus exul Antonino Pio imperatore.’

If this last statement is correct, Juvenal died after reaching the age of eighty-two, as Antoninus came to the throne on 10th July, A.D. 138. It follows from this also that he must have been born in the second half of A.D. 55.

The Satires.—The following are the more important points regarding these:

(1) Juvenal’s reasons for writing satire are given in Sat. 1, ll. 1-14. He is wearied with tragedies and epics on mythological subjects, ‘Semper ego auditor tantum?’

He is resolved to follow in the footsteps of Lucilius; ll. 19-21,

‘Cur tamen hoc potius libeat decurrere campo,
per quem magnus equos Auruncae flexit alumnus,
si vacat ac placidi rationem admittitis, edam.’

His satire is due to indignation at the moral decay of the Roman world.

l. 30, ‘Difficile est satiram non scribere’ (cf. ll. 63, 79).

However, he does not intend to satirize the living, at least under their own names; and in fact he has in his mind particularly the times of Domitian, while most of his names are those of persons living under Claudius or Nero; l. 170,

     ‘Experiar quid concedatur in illos,
quorum Flaminia tegitur cinis atque Latina.’

In the first nine Satires Juvenal’s bitterness is directed mainly against the senatorial class, possibly because they had given him no support in his office-seeking. Even his violent attack on women in Sat. 6 is launched chiefly against the women of the highest class. Note also the unjust way in which he speaks of the government of the provinces (Sat. 8, 87-139). Juvenal is very bitter against Greeks and Orientals, most of all against Egyptians (cf. Sat. 15, and his attacks on the Egyptian Crispinus in 4, 1-33, etc.). Cf. 3, 119-125, for his attacks on foreigners.

(2) He claims a wide scope for his subject; 1, 85,

‘Quidquid agunt homines, votum timor ira voluptas
gaudia discursus nostri farrago libelli est.’

(3) His pessimism is very marked; cf. 1, 147,

‘Nil erit ulterius, quod nostris moribus addat
posteritas; eadem facient cupientque minores,
omne in praecipiti vitium stetit. Utere velis,
totos pande sinus.’

So 12, 48-9. His pessimism leads to extravagant language like 6, 29 sqq. He is as hard on trifling foibles as on the most heinous offences. Cf. 6, 166 sqq., 185 sqq., 398 sqq., 434-56 (on learned ladies).

(4) His rhetorical learning and style (found in all the Satires, but particularly in the later ones) are shown by

(a) His metre and language. Thus we find rhetorical uses of ergo (3, 104; 281, etc.); nunc (3, 268; 10, 210); porro (3, 126; 11, 9); and of other particles.

(b) The way in which he chooses themes for his Satires, and subdivides them. Several of the Satires, as 5, 8, 10, 14, are theses, i.e. problems of a general character worked out in the manner of the rhetorical schools. Thus Sat. 5 discusses the question, ‘Is the position of a client worth having?’ Sat. 8, ‘Has high birth a value in itself?’ He sometimes uses the commonplaces of the schools, as 8, 56,

          ‘Animalia muta
quis generosa putet nisi fortia?’

So 8, 215-6. In the manner of a rhetorician he sometimes gives superabundant details. The best example of this is 10, 190-250, on the troubles of old age.

(c) His knowledge of mythology, history, law, and philosophy. This is found mostly in the later Books. In the earlier Satires he dealt more with life as he had known it. In the later Satires he has recourse to republican times and to foreign history. His historical examples Friedländer thinks he took mostly from Valerius Maximus. Juvenal’s knowledge of philosophy was very superficial, and was probably got from his rhetorical training. Errors occur; thus in 13, 121-2, Stoics and Cynics are looked upon as identical.[106]

(d) His high-flown language referred to above.

(e) His references to previous literature. Thus Horace is often referred to (cf. 7, 62 and 227); Virgil with great frequency (cf. 1, 162; 6, 434 sqq.; 7, 66 and 227; 7, 233 sqq.). Mayor mentions Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Lucilius, Cicero, Ovid, Manilius, Valerius Maximus, Seneca, Lucan, and Martial among the authors imitated by Juvenal.


Pliny’s full name on the inscriptions of the later period of his life reads ‘C. Plinius L. f. Ouf. Caecilius Secundus.’ This name he partly got from his mother’s brother C. Plinius Secundus (Pliny the elder), who adopted him by will: cf. Ep. v. 8, 5, ‘Avunculus meus idemque per adoptionem pater.’ Pliny’s name before his adoption in A.D. 79 (see below) was P. Caecilius L. f. Ouf. Secundus. His birthplace was Comum, and he belonged to the Oufentina, the tribe of the people of Comum, as well on the side of his natural as on that of his adoptive father. In an inscription preserved at Como (C.I.L. v. 5279) Pliny’s father, Cilo, is mentioned, and two men who are undoubtedly Cilo’s sons, the second mentioned being Pliny the younger, who had always been called Secundus.

‘L. Caecilius L. f. Cilo iiii.vir a(edilicia) p(otestate), qui testamento suo (sestertium) n(ummum) xxxx. (milia) municipibus Comensibus legavit, ex quorum reditu quotannis per Neptunalia oleum in campo et in thermis et in balineis omnibus, quae sunt Comi, praeberentur, t(estamento) f(ieri) iussit et L. Caecilio L. f. Valenti et P. Caecilio L. f. Secundo et Lutullae Picti f. contubernali.’[107]

For Cilo’s bequests here mentioned cf. Pliny, Ep. i, 8, 5; Comum is referred to as ‘patria mea’ in Ep. iv. 30, 1. The Caecilii were a family of station at Comum even in Caesar’s time. Cf. Catull. 35,

‘Poetae tenero meo sodali
velim Caecilio, papyre, dicas,
Veronam veniat Novi relinquens
Comi moenia Lariumque litus.’

Pliny inherited landed property there from his father and mother.

Ep. vii. 11, 5, ‘Indicavit mihi cupere se aliquid circa Larium nostrum possidere: ego illi ex praediis meis quod vellet ... optuli, exceptis maternis paternisque.’

The above inscription shows that Pliny’s father belonged to the municipal nobility, and possibly had ‘equestris nobilitas.’

Pliny was in his eighteenth year (Ep. vi. 20, 5, ‘agebam duodevicensimum annum’) on 24th August, A.D. 79, when his uncle perished in the eruption of Vesuvius, and he was therefore born in the second half of 61 or in the first half of 62 A.D. Cilo died young, before holding the chief municipal post, and before Pliny was of age; and Verginius Rufus became Pliny’s guardian.

Ep. ii. 1, 8, ‘Ille mihi tutor relictus adfectum parentis exhibuit.’ Pliny was removed to Rome with his uncle, probably at the end of A.D. 72. While at school he wrote poetry (Ep. vii. 4, 2, quoted below), and studied philosophy and rhetoric.

Ep. vi. 6, 3, ‘Quos tunc ego frequentabam, Quintilianum, Niceten Sacerdotem.’ Cf. also ii. 14, 10; i. 20, 4; vii. 4, etc. For literary studies with his uncle cf. Ep. vi. 20, 5, ‘Posco librum Titi Livi et quasi per otium lego, atque etiam, ut coeperam, excerpo.’

His uncle, as above stated, died on 24th August, A.D. 79, and by his will adopted Pliny, whose name thereafter was C. Plinius L. f. Ouf. Caecilius Secundus. He therefore changed his praenomen to that of his adoptive father, and put his former nomen among his cognomina. By his contemporaries he is called Plinius (cf. Martial, x. 19), or Secundus, as by Trajan. The name Caecilius was confined to formal inscriptions.

In A.D. 80 or 81 Pliny first appeared as an advocate. Cf. Ep. v. 8, 8, ‘Undevicensimo aetatis anno dicere in foro coepi.’ Before entering the Senate, he held (as stated in the chief inscription, given below) the decemvirate litibus iudicandis, the military tribunate in the third Gallic legion, and the title of Sevir in the Roman knighthood. Pliny probably held his military tribunate under Domitian (i.e., after 13th September, A.D. 81) in Syria.

Cf. Ep. i. 10, 2, ‘Hunc [Euphraten philosophum] ego in Syria, cum adulescentulus militarem, penitus et domi inspexi.’

The date of Pliny’s praetorship as A.D. 93 is settled by Ep. iii. 11, 2, the events recorded in which passage are known from Tac. Agr. 45 to have taken place shortly after Agricola’s death in August, A.D. 93.

‘Fui praetor ... cum ... occisis Senecione Rustico Helvidio, relegatis Maurico Gratilla Arria Fannia ... mihi quoque impendere idem exitium certis quibusdam notis augurarer.’

The words in Ep. vii. 16 (of Calestrius Tiro), ‘Simul quaestores Caesaris fuimus: ille me in tribunatu liberorum iure praecessit, ego illum in praetura sum consecutus, cum mihi Caesar annum remisisset,’ refer to the fact that the emperor did not insist on the year of absence from office between the tribunate and the quaestorship. Pliny was quaestor from 1st June, 89 to 31st May, 90 A.D., being nominated by the emperor, as shown by the above passage. He was trib. pleb. from 10th December, 90 to 9th December, 91 A.D., and during his year of office undertook no cases. Cf. Ep. i. 23, 2, ‘Ipse cum tribunus essem ... abstinui causis agendis.’ By special favour he was allowed to take office as praetor on 1st January, A.D. 93. In this year he appeared before the Senate for the people of Baetica against the procurator Baebius Massa.

Ep. vii. 33, esp. § 4, ‘Dederat me senatus cum Herennio Senecione advocatum provinciae Baeticae contra Baebium Massam.’

The inscriptions of Pliny show that he was praefectus aerarii militaris between his praetorship in 93 and his praefectura aerarii Saturni (from 98 onwards), and this office he held either from 94 to 96 or from 95 to 97 A.D. Pliny tells us that he and Cornutus Tertullus were designated consuls, when they had held the praefectura aerarii Saturni for less than two years.

Paneg. 91, ‘Nondum biennium compleveramus in officio laboriosissimo et maximo, cum tu nobis ... consulatum obtulisti.’

This designatio took place on 9th January, A.D. 100, whence the praefectura must have been entered on shortly after 9th January, A.D. 98. Pliny was probably nominated to it by Nerva and Trajan.

Cf. ad Trai. 3, ‘Ut primum me, domine, indulgentia vestra promovit ad praefecturam aerarii Saturni.’

Mommsen[108] believes that this praefectura was held at the same time as the consulship, and on to December, A.D. 101, an unusual length of tenure. H. F. Stobbe, however, makes the trial of Classicus, on which the last date depends, extend from September 99 to July 100 A.D. (Philologus, xxx. 347 sqq.).

Paneg. 92, ‘Nobis praefectis aerarii consulatum ante quam successorem dedisti.’

Pliny, along with Cornutus Tertullus, his colleague in the praefectura, was made consul A.D. 100. He held the office in September of that year, and the tenure was either from July 1 to September 30, or from September 1 to October 31.

Paneg. 92, ‘Ei nos potissimum mensi attribuisti quem tuus natalis exornat.’

The Panegyricus is a speech of thanks to Trajan spoken on this occasion. In A.D. 99 Pliny, along with Tacitus, appeared for the Africans against the proconsul Marius Priscus (see Ep. ii. 11 quoted p. 338); and in A.D. 101, while still praefectus aerarii, he appeared for the people of Baetica against the proconsul Caecilius Classicus.

Ep. iii. 4, 2, ‘Legati provinciae Baeticae questuri de proconsulatu Caecili Classici advocatum me a senatu petierunt.’

Pliny obtained the augurship, probably in 103 or 104, in succession to Sex. Iulius Frontinus, who probably died in 102 or 103 A.D. Cf. Ep. iv. 8, 3, ‘Successi Iulio Frontino.’ In 103 or 104 A.D. he appeared against the Bithynians for the proconsul Iulius Bassus (Ep. iv. 9 etc.). He held the cura alvei Tiberis et riparum et cloacarum urbis probably from 105 to 107 A.D. See Pliny’s chief inscription (below), and cf. Ep. v. 14, 1-2, ‘Mihi nuntiatum est Cornutum Tertullum accepisse Aemiliae viae curam ... aliquanto magis me delectat mandatum mihi officium, postquam par Cornuto datum video.’

About A.D. 106 Pliny appeared against the Bithynians for the proconsul Varenus Rufus (Ep. vi. 29, 11).

From 111-2 or 112-3 A.D. Pliny was governor of Pontus and Bithynia, being sent out for a special purpose by the emperor as legatus pro praetore consulari potestate. Cf. the chief inscription (below) and the words of Trajan.

Trai. 32, ‘Meminerimus idcirco te in istam provinciam missum, quoniam multa in ea emendanda apparuerint.’

The date of Pliny’s governorship is fixed by the mention of Calpurnius Macer in the letters (ad Trai. 42; 61; 62) as the governor of the nearest province. Mommsen has identified him with P. Calpurnius Macer Caulius Rufus, who is shown by an inscription (C.I.L. iii. 7 and 17) to have been governor of Lower Moesia in 112 A.D. This is corroborated by the fact that no mention is made of Bithynia in the chief collection of letters, which was not completed till A.D. 108 at least. Therefore the governorship falls after that time. On the other hand, Pliny must have been sent out not later than A.D. 113, as in the chief inscription Optimus does not appear in Trajan’s name, and this cognomen he assumed in A.D. 114. Finally, the fact that Trajan was at Rome during Pliny’s governorship points to a time between the end of the second Dacian War in A.D. 107 and the outbreak of the Parthian War in A.D. 113.

Our information about Pliny ends with the close of his correspondence with Trajan. It is certain that he held no further office, and it is probable that he died before A.D. 114 in his province or shortly after his return to Rome.

As regards municipal relations, Pliny held the post of flamen divi Augusti, according to the inscription which the corporation of Vercellae erected to him at his own town (C.I.L. v. 5667).

‘C. Plini[o L. f. O]uf. Caec[ilio] Secundo [c]os. augur. cur. alv. Tib. [et ripa]r. et cloac. urb. [praef. a]er. Sat. praef. aer. mil. [pr. tr. pl.] imp. sevir. eq. R. tr. m[i]l. leg. iii. Gall. x. viro stl. iud. fl. divi T. Aug.’

For bequests to his native town see the chief inscription (below). Besides these are mentioned gifts in his life-time. Under Domitian Pliny presented his townspeople with a library (Ep. i, 8), apparently worth 1,000,000 sesterces (v. 7), and endowed it with 100,000 sesterces. He also gave 500,000 sesterces for the support of freeborn boys and girls (Ep. i, 8); and promised to pay one-third of the salary of the professor of rhetoric at Comum (Ep. iv. 13, 5).

The following is the chief inscription of Pliny (as restored by Mommsen), which was erected at the Thermae which he presented to Comum (C.I.L. v. 5262):

‘C. Plinius L. f. Ouf. Caecilius Secundus cos. augur legat. pro pr. provinciae Ponti et Bithyniae consulari potestat. in eam provinciam ex. s. c. missus ab Imp. Caesar. Nerva Traiano Aug. Germanico Dacico p.p. curator alvei Tiberis et riparum et cloacar. urb. praef. aerari Saturni praef. aerari milit. pr. trib. pl. quaestor imp. sevir equitum Romanorum trib. milit. leg. iii. Gallicae x.vir stlitib. iudicand. thermas ex HS ... adiectis in ornatum HS ccc ... et eo amplius in tutelam HS CC t. f. i. item in alimenta libertor. suorum homin. C. HS XVIII LXVI DCLXVI reip. legavit, quorum increment. postea ad epulum pleb. urban. voluit pertinere ... item vivus dedit in aliment. pueror. et puellar. pleb. urban. HS D item bybliothecam et in tutelam bybliothecae HS C.’

Pliny was also patron of Tifernum Tiberinum and of the Baetici.

Ep. iv. 1, 4, ‘Oppidum est praediis nostris vicinum, nomen Tiferni Tiberini, quod me paene adhuc puerum patronum cooptavit ... In hoc ego ... templum pecunia mea exstruxi, cuius dedicationem ... differre longius inreligiosum est.’

Ep. iii. 4, 4, ‘Legati ... inplorantes fidem meam, quam essent contra Massam Baebium experti, adlegantes patrocini foedus.’

Pliny married three times, twice under Domitian. Cf. ad Trai. 2, ‘Liberos ... habere etiam tristissimo illo saeculo volui, sicut potes duobus matrimoniis meis credere.’ For his third wife, Calpurnia, who died A.D. 97, see Ep. iv. 19. Pliny had no children, but Trajan conferred on him the ius trium liberorum in A.D. 98. Cf. ad Trai. 2, ‘Me dignum putasti iure trium liberorum.’

Pliny as orator and writer.—Most of Pliny’s cases were before the centumviri, who dealt with inheritances: cf. Ep. vi. 12, 2, ‘in harena mea, hoc est apud centumviros.’ So Mart. x. 19, 14 (written A.D. 96),

‘Totos dat tetricae dies Minervae
dum centum studet auribus virorum
hoc quod saecula posterique possint
Arpinis quoque comparare chartis.’

For Pliny’s five speeches in criminal trials before the Senate see above. Cf. Ep. vi. 29, 7 sqq., ‘Egi quasdam a senatu iussus ... Adfui Baeticis contra Baebium Massam ... Adfui rursus isdem querentibus de Caecilio Classico ... Accusavi Marium Priscum ... Tuitus sum Iulium Bassum ... Dixi proxime pro Vareno.’

Pliny recited his speeches before delivering them, and subsequently published them, sometimes with additions.

Ep. vii. 17, 2, ‘Miror quod scribis fuisse quosdam qui reprehenderent quod orationes omnino recitarem.’

Ep. iii. 18, 1 (of the Panegyricus), ‘Quod ego in senatu cum ad rationem et loci et temporis ex more fecissem, bono civi convenientissimum credidi eadem illa spatiosius et uberius volumine amplecti.’

Pliny speaks of his early attempts at poetry:

Ep. vii. 4, 2-3, ‘Numquam a poetice (altius enim repetam) alienus fui; quin etiam quattuordecim natus annos Graecam tragoediam scripsi. Qualem? inquis: nescio: tragoedia vocabatur.’

In Books i.-iii. he appears only as a lover of poetry and a patron of poets (cf. i. 16; iii. 15). From Book iv. (published A.D. 105) onwards he appears as a poet. In Ep. vii. 4, 6 are thirteen poor hexameter lines on Cicero; ibid. §§ 7-8, ‘Transii ad elegos: hos quoque non minus celeriter explicui: addidi iambos, facilitate corruptus ... Postremo placuit exemplo multorum unum separatim hendecasyllaborum volumen absolvere, nec paenitet. Legitur, describitur, cantatur etiam.’ Pliny defends himself for writing light verses in Ep. v. 3, etc. In the later books he refers to another proposed collection of verses.

Ep. viii. 21, 3, ‘Liber fuit et opusculis varius et metris.’

Pliny says he did not observe chronological order in publishing his letters.

Ep. i. 1, 1, ‘Collegi non servato temporis ordine (neque enim historiam componebam), sed ut quaeque in manus venerat.’

This, however, is not convincing, as it falls in with Pliny’s wish to give an appearance of negligence to the work, and besides it may apply only to Book i. Successive publication of the different Books is shown by many references; so Ep. ix. 19, ‘Significas legisse te in quadam epistula,’ where Ep. vi. 10 is referred to. So also contemporaneous events are always described in the same Book or in two Books close together; and when a subject is continued in another letter, the order of the two letters fits in with chronology. So iii. 4 and iv. 1 deal with the building of a temple at Tifernum; iii. 20 and iv. 25 with ballot at elections.

The following are the probable dates of publication: Book i. in A.D. 97; Book ii. in A.D. 100; Book iii. in A.D. 101 or 102; Book iv. in A.D. 105; Book v. in A.D. 106; Book vi. possibly in A.D. 106; Book vii. in A.D. 107; Book viii. not before A.D. 109; Book ix. probably about the same time.

The correspondence with Trajan is independent of the nine Books of letters. The epistles are roughly in chronological order. Epp. 1-14 range from 98 to 106 A.D. Epp. 15 to the end were probably all written in Bithynia during Pliny’s governorship there. Trajan’s reply is subjoined to most of the letters. The correspondence extant stretches from September A.D. 111 over January A.D. 113.

Pliny had intimate relations with other writers, the principal being Tacitus; Martial (cf. Ep. iii. 21); Silius Italicus (cf. Ep. iii. 7). See pp. 340, 298, 289. For his literary reputation see Ep. ix. 23, 2, quoted p. 338 and cf. Ep. i. 2, 6, ‘Libelli quos emisimus dicuntur in manibus esse, quamvis iam gratiam novitatis exuerint; nisi tamen auribus nostris bibliopolae blandiuntur.’

Pliny’s character.—Pliny, without being a great man, is a more favourable specimen of character, feeling, and gentlemanly tone, than almost any other Roman author. He avoided censorious writing, and most of the people he mentions are praised. The chief exception is Regulus (Ep. i. 5, etc.), and possibly also Iavolenus Priscus (vi. 15). When anybody is blamed, his name is omitted unless he is dead or has been banished.

Ep. vii. 28, i, ‘Ais quosdam apud te reprehendisse, tamquam amicos meos ex omni occasione ultra modum laudem. Agnosco crimen, amplector etiam. Quid enim honestius culpa benignitatis?’

For his desire of praise cf. Ep. ix. 23, 5, ‘An ... ego celebritate nominis mei gaudere non debeo? Ego vero et gaudeo et gaudere me dico.’

For his kindness to slaves cf. Ep. viii. 16, 1, ‘Permitto servis quoque quasi testamenta facere eaque ut legitima custodio’ (and the rest of the letter).

For his grief at the loss of friends cf. Ep. v. 21, 6, ‘Sed quid ego indulgeo dolori? cui si frenos remittas, nulla materia non maxima est. Finem epistulae faciam, ut facere possim etiam lacrimis quas epistula expressit.’

For his love of nature cf. Ep. i. 9, 6, ‘O mare, o litus, verum secretumque μουσεῖον, quam multa invenitis, quam multa dictatis!’

Cf. also descriptions of natural scenery, as in Epp. ii. 17, 3; v. 6, 13; vi. 31, 15; viii. 8.


(1) LIFE.

The historian’s full name is uncertain. Other writers, e.g. Pliny the younger, call him Cornelius Tacitus, or simply Tacitus. His praenomen is given as P. in the best Tacitean MS. (Mediceus I.), and as C. in later MSS. and by Sidonius Apollinaris (Ep. iv. 14; 22).[109] His birthplace is unknown. The tradition that he was born at Interamna in Umbria arose from the fact that the emperor Tacitus (A.D. 275-6), who claimed descent from the historian (Vopisc. Tac. 10, 3), was born there.[110] The probable date of his birth is got from a comparison of two passages:

Dial. 1, ‘Disertissimorum ... hominum ... quos eamdem hanc quaestionem pertractantes iuvenis admodum audivi.’

Pliny, Ep. vii. 20, 3, ‘Erit rarum et insigne duos homines aetate dignitate propemodum aequales ... alterum alterius studia fovisse. Equidem adulescentulus, cum iam tu fama gloriaque floreres, te sequi, tibi longo sed proximus intervallo et esse et haberi concupiscebam.’

The dramatic date of the Dialogue is A.D. 75 (Dial. 17), and at that time Tacitus, as iuvenis admodum, must have been between seventeen and twenty. From a consideration of the words of Pliny, who was born A.D. 61 or 62, the later age seems nearer the mark, and we may conclude that Tacitus was born A.D. 55 or 56.

We have no positive information about Tacitus’ family, but his education, political career, and marriage into a distinguished house, prove that he belonged to a family of station. The first person of the name we know of is mentioned by Pliny the elder as an eques, and may have been Tacitus’ father.

Pliny, N.H. vii. 76, ‘Corneli Taciti, equitis Romani, Belgicae Galliae rationes procurantis.’

Tacitus received the regular rhetorical training under the best masters.

Dial. 2, ‘M. Aper et Iulius Secundus, celeberrima tum ingenia fori nostri, quos ego in iudiciis non modo studiose audiebam, sed domi quoque et in publico adsectabar, mira studiorum cupiditate et quodam ardore iuvenili, ut fabulas quoque eorum et disputationes et arcana semotae dictionis penitus exciperem.’

That Tacitus had a very great reputation as a speaker is seen from Pliny, Ep. ix. 23, 2, ‘Numquam maiorem cepi voluptatem, quam nuper ex sermone Corneli Taciti. Narrabat sedisse se cum quodam Circensibus proximis: hunc post varios eruditosque sermones requisisse “Italicus es an provincialis?” se respondisse “nosti me, et quidem ex studiis.” Ad hoc illum “Tacitus es an Plinius?”’

In A.D. 98 (according to others, 97) Tacitus delivered the funeral oration over Verginius Rufus, and in A.D. 100 he and Pliny prosecuted Marius Priscus, proconsul of Africa, for extortion.

Pliny, Ep. ii. 1, 6, ‘Laudatus est [Verginius Rufus] a consule Cornelio Tacito: nam hic supremus felicitati eius cumulus accessit, laudator eloquentissimus.’

Ibid. ii. 11, 2, ‘Ego et Cornelius Tacitus, adesse provincialibus iussi.’ § 17, ‘Respondit Cornelius Tacitus eloquentissime, et quod eximium orationi eius inest, σεμνῶς.’

In A.D. 77 Tacitus was betrothed to the daughter of Agricola, then consul, and in A.D. 78 he married her.

Agr. 9, ‘Consul egregiae tum spei filiam iuveni mihi despondit ac post consulatum collocavit, et statim Britanniae praepositus est.’

Tacitus gives us a clue to his political career in Hist. i. 1.

‘Dignitatem nostram a Vespasiano incohatam, a Tito auctam, a Domitiano longius provectam non abnuerim.’

This probably means that Vespasian granted him the latus clavus, i.e. a place in the ordo senatorius, which was followed by the vigintiviratus given by the Senate, and a commission in the army as tribunus militum laticlavius; that Titus appointed him quaestor A.D. 80-1; and that Domitian made him tribune or aedile (about 84), and in A.D. 88 praetor. For the last office cf. Ann. xi. 11,

‘Is [Domitianus] edidit ludos saeculares, eisque intentius adfui sacerdotio quindecimvirali praeditus ac tunc praetor.’

That Tacitus was absent from Rome A.D. 90-93 we may infer from what he says of Agricola’s death (A.D. 93).

Agr. 45, ‘Nobis tam longae absentiae condicione ante quadriennium amissus est.’

He must have returned to Rome soon afterwards, for he says in the same chapter: ‘Mox nostrae duxere Helvidium in carcerem manus; nos Maurici Rusticique visus, nos innocenti sanguine Senecio perfudit.’

Tacitus was appointed consul suffectus under Trajan A.D. 98 (see Pliny, Ep. ii. 1, 6, above quoted).

An inscription found at Mylasa in Caria shows that Tacitus was proconsul of Asia about 112-116 A.D.[111]

Tacitus probably died soon after the publication of the Annals (A.D. 115-7), as he did not live to write his contemplated works on the Augustan age and the reigns of Nerva and Trajan.

Hist. i. 1, ‘Quod si vita suppeditet, principatum divi Nervae et imperium Traiani ... senectuti seposui.’

Ann. iii. 24, ‘Cetera illius aetatis [Augusti] memorabo, si effectis in quae tetendi, plures ad curas vitam produxero.’

Tacitus was on intimate terms with Pliny, eleven of whose letters are addressed to him. From vii. 20 and viii. 7 we see that they were in the habit of “exchanging proof-sheets.” To the same circle belonged Fabius Iustus, to whom the Dialogus is dedicated, and Asinius Rufus.

Pliny, Ep. iv. 15, 1, ‘Asinium Rufum singulariter amo. ... Idem Cornelium Tacitum arta familiaritate complexus est.’

(2) WORKS.

1. Dialogus de Oratoribus, an inquiry into the causes of the decay of eloquence—‘cur nostra potissimum aetas deserta et laude eloquentiae orbata vix nomen ipsum oratoris retineat’ (Dial. 1). Some critics have supposed that Tacitus meant this work to be an apologia pro vita sua, a justification of his preference for a literary to a rhetorical career, but this cannot be proved. That Tacitus is the author is clear from Pliny, Ep. ix. 10, 2, ‘Itaque poemata quiescunt, quae tu inter nemora et lucos commodissime perfici putas’—a reference to Dial. 9, ‘poetis ... in nemora et lucos, id est in solitudinem, secedendum est.’ The dramatic date is given in Dial. 17 as A.D. 75; the statement there and in Dial. 24 that one hundred and twenty years have passed since Cicero’s death (which would give A.D. 77) is made in round numbers. The date of composition is uncertain. It was not under Domitian, as Tacitus remained silent during his reign (Agr. 2). We can hardly suppose it to have been written under Nerva, as its style is so different from that of the Agricola; but it may have been written under Domitian, and published after his death. Some authorities put it as early as A.D. 81.[112]

2. De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae liber, an account of the life of Cn. Iulius Agricola, Tacitus’ father-in-law, and particularly of his career in Britain. It was written early in the reign of Trajan, and therefore after 27th Jan., 98 A.D., and probably in that year.

Agr. 3, ‘quamquam primo statim beatissimi saeculi ortu Nerva Caesar res olim dissociabiles miscuerit, principatum ac libertatem, augeatque cottidie felicitatem temporum Nerva Traianus.’

3. Germania.—The Vatican MSS. give the title as de origine et situ (another MS. adds moribus ac populis) Germanorum. The date of publication, as seen from Germ. 37, was A.D. 98. The book is not mentioned in Agr. 3 among the proposed works of Tacitus; and it has therefore been supposed that the materials were collected for the Histories, and that the work was published separately on account of its length, and also the interest felt in Germany at the time. There is nothing in the theory that the book is a political pamphlet, or that it contains a moral purpose. Tacitus is by no means blind to the faults of the Germans (c. 17 sqq., etc.), though he compares them favourably in many respects with the Romans.

4. Historiae.—The title is guaranteed by Tertull. apol. 16, ‘Cornelius Tacitus in quinta historiarum suarum.’ The work embraced the time from Galba to Domitian, i.e. 69-96 A.D. The first four Books and part of the fifth are extant, and give the history of 69 and most of 70 A.D. In MS. Mediceus II., the only ancient MS. that contains Ann. xi.-xvi. and the Histories, there is no title, but the Books are numbered continuously as belonging to the same work. Cf. Jerome, Comm. on Zacharias, iii. 14, ‘Cornelius Tacitus, qui post Augustum usque ad mortem Domitiani vitas Caesarum triginta voluminibus exaravit.’ If, therefore, the Annals contained sixteen Books, the Histories must have contained fourteen, supposing Jerome’s statement to be correct. Some authorities think the numbers were eighteen and twelve respectively. The work was written under Trajan (cf. Hist. i. 1, ‘principatum divi Nervae et imperium Traiani’), and was probably brought out in instalments. Pliny’s letters (vi. 16; 20; vii. 33), written about A.D. 106-9, contain contributions to it.

5. Annales, or rather Ab excessu divi Augusti, the title given by MS. Med. I. Tacitus often calls his work annales (as in Ann. iv. 32), but uses the word to signify his plan of recording events by their years. Cf. Ann. iv. 71, ‘Ni mihi destinatum foret suum quaeque in annum referre, avebat animus antire,’ etc.

He occasionally apologises (as in xii. 40) for departing from this order for the sake of clearness. The Books, the division into which was made by Tacitus himself (cf. vi. 27, ‘in prioribus libris’), usually, however, end with some important event.

The Annals deal with the time from the death of Augustus to that of Nero, i.e. from 14 to 68 A.D. There are extant Books i.-iv. and a part of v. and vi., and Books xi.-xvi., except the beginning of xi. and the end of xvi. We have thus lost the whole of the reign of Caligula and the reign of Claudius from 41-47 (part), and Nero’s reign from the close of 66 to 68. The work was published between A.D. 115 and 117. This is settled by Ann. ii. 61, ‘Exin ventum Elephantinen ac Syenen, claustra olim Romani imperii, quod nunc rubrum ad mare patescit.’

The conquest here spoken of was made by Trajan A.D. 115, and his successor Hadrian, soon after coming to the throne (August, A.D. 117), gave up the regions beyond the Euphrates and Tigris (Spartianus, Hadri. 5).[113]

Tacitus’ views on politics, philosophy, and religion.

(1) The ideal mixed form of government Tacitus considers to be impracticable.

Ann. iv. 33, ‘Cunctas nationes et urbes populus aut primores aut singuli regunt: delecta ex eis et consociata rei publicae forma laudari facilius quam evenire, vel si evenit, haud diuturna esse potest.’

Tacitus is essentially a conservative. Thus he always uses antiquus and priscus in a good sense (H. ii. 5; 64; Ann. vi. 32).

In Ann. iii. 60 he speaks with pride of the republic: ‘Magna eius diei species fuit, quo senatus maiorum beneficia, sociorum pacta, regum etiam, qui ante vim Romanam valuerant, decreta ipsorumque numinum religiones introspexit, libero, ut quondam, quid firmaret mutaretve.’

See also the speech of C. Cassius in Ann. xiv. 43. As an aristocrat Tacitus is sometimes unjust to men of low birth, as in Ann. iv. 3, where he sneers at Seianus as ‘municipali adultero,’ and attaches great value to high birth (cf. vi. 27). He is prejudiced against slaves and barbarians.

Tacitus theoretically prefers a republic (cf. Ann. vi. 42, ‘Populi imperium iuxta libertatem, paucorum dominatio regiae libidini propior est’), but admits the impossibility of a restitution of the free state (H. ii. 37-8) and the necessity of empire. H. i. 1 (of Augustus), ‘omnem potentiam ad unum conferri pacis interfuit.’

Cf. also Galba’s speech in H. i. 16. The problem is to reconcile the empire with freedom (see Agr. 3 quoted p. 341). One’s duty is to steer one’s course inter abruptam contumaciam et deforme obsequium (Ann. iv. 20). Tacitus gives only modified approval to patriots like Paetus Thrasea (Ann. xiv. 12; 49) and Helvidius Priscus (H. iv. 6), and on the other hand gives praise for moderation to men like Agricola (Agr. 42), M. Lepidus (Ann. iv. 20), L. Piso (Ann. vi. 10).

Ann. xiv. 12, ‘Thrasea Paetus ... sibi causam periculi fecit, ceteris libertatis initium non praebuit.’

Agr. 42, ‘Non contumacia neque inani iactatione libertatis famam fatumque provocabat.’

Tacitus blames those who despair of their own times. Ann. ii. 88, ‘dum vetera extollimus recentium incuriosi.’ He thinks that the emperors, from their irresponsible position, were often gradually led into wickedness, their downward career being helped by flatterers and satellites, and draws a moral lesson from the servile Senate and the delatores, who, like the emperors themselves, received punishment for their conduct (Ann. i. 74; iii. 65 sqq.).

Ann. vi. 48, ‘Cum Tiberius post tantam rerum experientiam vi dominationis convulsus et mutatus sit.’

Ann. iv. 33, ‘Pauci prudentia honesta ab deterioribus utilia ab noxiis discernunt, plures aliorum eventis docentur.’

Ann. vi. 6, ‘Adeo facinora atque flagitia sua ipsi quoque in supplicium verterant ... Quippe Tiberium non fortuna, non solitudines protegebant, quin tormenta pectoris suasque ipse poenas fateretur.’

(2) Tacitus attaches himself to no particular school of philosophy, and deprecates too close an attention to the subject.

Agr. 4, ‘Memoria teneo solitum ipsum [Agricolam] narrare se prima in iuventa studium philosophiae acrius, ultra quam concessum Romano ac senatori, hausisse, ni prudentia matris incensum ac flagrantem animum coercuisset.’

He cannot make up his mind as to freewill and predestination, but in spite of this doubt expressly states his desire to find out the causes of events.

Ann. vi. 22, ‘Sed mihi haec ac talia audienti in incerto iudicium est, fatone res mortalium et necessitate immutabili an forte volvantur’ (and the rest of the chapter, where the Stoic and Epicurean views are mentioned). On the other hand, H. i. 4, ‘Ut non modo casus eventusque rerum, qui plerumque fortuiti sunt, sed ratio etiam causaeque noscantur.’

He expresses his belief in divine agency, particularly in the Annals, but sometimes adopts the pessimistic view that the gods take little interest in mankind.

Ann. xiv. 5, ‘Noctem sideribus inlustrem et placido mari quietam, quasi convincendum ad scelus, di praebuere.’

H. v. 5, ‘Pessimus quisque spretis religionibus patriis.’

H. i. 3, ‘Nec enim umquam atrocioribus populi Romani cladibus magisve iustis indiciis adprobatum est non esse curae deis securitatem nostram, esse ultionem.’

Ann. xvi. 33, ‘Aequitate deum erga bona malaque documenta.’

He believes in the science of divination (see especially Ann. iv. 58), but speaks contemptuously of the impostors found among soothsayers and astrologers.

H. i. 22, ‘Mathematicis ... genus hominum potentibus infidum, sperantibus fallax, quod in civitate nostra et vetabitur semper et retinebitur.’

Prodigies are recognized, but mentioned only in the Histories and the last books of the Annals (from A.D. 51 onwards). See especially H. ii. 50.

Tacitus as a historian.—As regards his sources, Tacitus makes more use of his predecessors than he does of original documents. Among the latter he mentions acta diurna (Ann. iii. 3) and commentarii or acta senatus (Ann. xv. 74); but these he did not make much use of, as they were apt to be falsified. He also refers to publica acta, probably inscriptions (Ann. xii. 24); Tiberius’ speeches (Ann. i. 81); memoirs of Agrippina, Nero’s mother (Ann. iv. 53); and of Domitius Corbulo on his campaigns in Parthia (Ann. xv. 16). He also refers by name to several historians, especially in dealing with the times after Nero, as C. Plinius (Ann. i. 69, quoted p. 284), Vipstanus Messalla (H. iii. 25), Fabius Rusticus,[114] and Cluvius Rufus[115] (Ann. xiii. 20).

Other writers are sparingly mentioned, as Sisenna (H. iii. 51), Caesar (Germ. 28). It is certain that Tacitus made use of other historians, but he generally refers to his sources without mentioning names (as Ann. i. 29, ‘tradunt plerique’). He sometimes weighs the value of two conflicting accounts, or mentions a story only to reject it.

Ann. iv. 11, ‘Haec vulgo iactata, super id quod nullo auctore certo firmantur, prompte refutaveris.’

Tacitus’ credibility has been attacked, particularly as regards his representation of the characters of Tiberius and Nero, but not very successfully. He has, however, made mistakes, the most striking of which are his view of the Christians (Ann. xv. 44) and his account of the Jews (H. v. 2 sqq.). The explanation is that he held the view current in the upper classes, and did not take the trouble to investigate these matters, as the Jews and Christians belonged mostly to the lower orders.

Tacitus is not free from superstition (Ann. xi. 21; H. ii. 50, etc.), but one must not suppose he believes the fables he relates (as Ann. vi. 28; H. iv. 83) simply because he expresses no opinion of them.

Tacitus is free from party spirit (Ann. i. 1, ‘sine ira et studio, quorum causas procul habeo’; cf. H. i. 1) and just in his judgment, except in a few passages in the Histories, where he is rather unfair (i. 42, ii. 95). He is milder in the Annals through advancing years, and from the better times he lived in. Generally he takes a lenient view of things, except (1) in offences against the state (cf. the character of Tiberius); (2) when the religious element comes in; cf. what he says of Claudius’ marriage with his brother’s daughter Agrippina: Ann. xiv. 2, ‘Agrippina ... exercita ad omne flagitium patrui nuptiis.’

He shows a somewhat lax morality occasionally, as in Ann. xiii. 17 sqq., when speaking of Nero’s murder of his brother Britannicus. In Ann. xi. 19 he approves of compassing a barbarian’s death by treachery.

For Tacitus’ conception of history as dealing with great events cf. Ann. xiii. 31, ‘pauca memoria digna evenere, nisi cui libeat laudandis fundamentis et trabibus, quis molem amphitheatri apud campum Martis Caesar extruxerat, volumina implere, cum ex dignitate populi Romani repertum sit res inlustres annalibus, talia diurnis urbis actis mandare.’

His complaints as to his subject-matter in Ann. iv. 32, ‘Nobis in arto et inglorius labor,’ must not be taken too seriously.


(1) LIFE.

C. Suetonius Tranquillus was the son of Suetonius Laetus, a tribune of the thirteenth legion, who took part in the battle of Bedriacum, A.D. 69 (Sueton. Otho, 10). His birth seems to have taken place soon after that year,[116] for he was ‘adulescens’ twenty years after Nero’s death; Nero 57, ‘cum post viginti annos, adulescente me, exstitisset condicionis incertae qui se Neronem esse iactaret.’

Suetonius was a friend of the younger Pliny, to whom he was indebted for a military tribuneship, which he afterwards passed on to a relative (Plin. Ep. iii. 8), and for assistance in the purchase of a small estate (ibid. i. 24). Pliny encouraged him to publish some of his writings (v. 10), and obtained for him from Trajan the ius trium liberorum (ad Trai. 94).

Under Hadrian he was magister epistularum, but was dismissed from office in A.D. 121. Spartianus, Hadr. 11, 3, ‘Septicio Claro praefecto praetorio et Suetonio Tranquillo epistularum magistro multisque aliis, quod apud Sabinam uxorem in usu eius familiarius se tunc egerant quam reverentia domus aulicae postulabat, successores dedit.’ The remainder of his life appears to have been devoted to literature.

(2) WORKS.

1. De Vita Caesarum, in eight Books (Books i.-vi. Iulius-Nero; vii. Galba, Otho, and Vitellius; viii. Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian). It was published A.D. 119-21, as it was dedicated (according to Joannes Lydus) to C. Septicius Clarus, praetorian prefect, who held office during those years. The preface and the beginning of the life of Iulius are wanting. Suetonius is a conscientious and accurate writer (cf. his discussion of Caligula’s birthplace, Calig. 8), and he makes use of good sources, e.g. the Monumentum Ancyranum, Acta populi, Acta senatus, autograph documents of the emperors (Aug. 87, Nero 52); but there is in his work an almost entire absence of dates, and the personal element is, from the point of view of history, unduly prominent.

2. De Viris Illustribus, including poets, orators (beginning with Cicero), historians (from Sallust onwards), philosophers, grammarians, and rhetoricians. The greater part of the section De grammaticis et rhetoribus is extant, as well as lives of Terence, Horace, and Lucan from the section de poetis, and of Pliny the elder from the section de historicis. Extracts from the rest of the work are preserved by Jerome. In each section there was (1) a list of the authors discussed, (2) a general survey of their branch of literature, (3) brief notices of the authors in chronological order. The publication took place, according to Roth, 106-113 A.D.

3. Minor works, now lost (mentioned by Suidas), on Greek games, Roman games, the Roman year, on critical marks, on Cicero’s Republic, on dress, on imprecations (περὶ δυσφήμων λέξεων ἤτοι βλασφημιῶν καὶ πόθεν ἑκάστη), on Roman laws and customs. Some of these were probably only sections of the Prata, a miscellany in ten Books, which also treated of natural science and philology. The books on Greek games and on imprecations were almost certainly composed in Greek.



1. Jerome[117] (Hieronymus) was born about A.D. 335 at Stridon, on the frontiers of Dalmatia and Pannonia, and died A.D. 420 at the monastery of Bethlehem. His contributions to the history of Roman literature are to be found in his translation of the Chronicle (χρονικοὶ κανόνες) of Eusebius, in which the dates are reckoned from the first year of Abraham (= B.C. 2016 according to his chronology), the point at which Eusebius commenced. On the period between the Trojan War and A.D. 325 Jerome not merely translated the remarks of Eusebius, as he had done in the earlier period, but also added numerous extracts from authorities on Roman history and literature. The source from which he derived nearly all his information on literature is universally admitted to have been the work of Suetonius De Viris Illustribus. With the statements in the surviving sections of that treatise the observations of Jerome agree, and there can be no reasonable doubt that he made a similar use of the parts no longer extant. It is a significant fact that the important authors on whom Jerome is silent, e.g. Tacitus, Juvenal, and the younger Pliny, are precisely those whom Suetonius, as a contemporary, naturally could not discuss.

The statements of Jerome, based as they are on the high authority of Suetonius, may be regarded as in the main trustworthy. Some of them, however, are doubtful, and others manifestly wrong.

(a) Jerome’s plan obliged him to fix every event to a definite year; and this, in many cases, can only be guess-work, for Suetonius, as may be seen from his extant writings, was often vague in his chronology.

(b) Comparison with the remains of Suetonius shows that Jerome’s claim to have made his extracts with care was not always well grounded; e.g. his statement that Ennius was a native of Tarentum (see p. 27).

(c) In reckoning, according to his system of dates, events dated by one of the many confusing systems of chronology current in ancient times, many openings for error presented themselves; e.g. he sometimes erred through confusing consuls of the same or similar names, as in the case of Lucilius (p. 59); or through confusing similar events, as in the case of Livius Andronicus, although the mistake about the latter was of long standing (p. 2). Once at least he seems to have confused the date of an author’s floruit and that of his death, making Plautus die in B.C. 200 instead of B.C. 184 (p. 8).

2. Aulus Gellius[118] was born probably about A.D. 123, and studied under the most eminent teachers both at Rome and at Athens. Of his subsequent life nothing is known except that he held some judicial post at Rome. His work, the Noctes Atticae in twenty Books (of Book viii. only the headings of chapters are preserved), is a miscellany of information on philology, philosophy, rhetoric, history, biography, literary criticism, natural science, and antiquities. The title is due to the fact that the book was commenced in the winter evenings during the author’s residence at Athens. The arrangement of the contents simply follows the haphazard order of the notes which Gellius made in the course of his reading of Greek and Roman authors. Those authors, and the conversation of contemporaries, are Gellius’ professed sources, but in some cases the author he names is evidently quoted at second-hand, and many of the conversations are doubtless quite imaginary. Our obligations to Gellius are twofold.

(a) Innumerable extracts from ancient authors are preserved by him alone. (No quotations are given from post-Augustan writers—a fact which accords with the affected archaism of his style.)

(b) His remarks on incidents in the lives of the Roman poets are in the main derived from Varro, whose work De Poetis is quoted for the epitaph of Plautus (see p. 9); elsewhere his source is indicated either vaguely or not at all, e.g. iii. 3, 15, ‘accepimus’; xii. 4, 5, ‘ferunt.’ For literary criticism Varro is quoted: iii. 3, 9, sqq.; vi. 14, 6 (see pp. 10, 51).

3. Nonius Marcellus,[119] a Peripatetic, of Thubursicum in Numidia, is identified by Mommsen with the Nonius Marcellus Herculius of C.I.L. viii. 4878 (date A.D. 323); but nothing is known of his life. His work, De Compendiosa Doctrina ad Filium in twenty Books (of Book xvi. the title only is known; Book xx. is fragmentary), though modelled on that of Gellius, is immeasurably inferior in execution. According to the theory usually received Nonius borrowed largely from Gellius; but it is possible that both compilers made independent use of the same authorities, viz., scholars such as Verrius Flaccus, Valerius Probus, and Suetonius, whose works they knew either directly or through abridgments. The subjects with which Nonius deals are grammar, lexicography, and antiquities; and he is often our sole authority for the titles of works as well as for brief extracts.

4. Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, doubtless identical with the Macrobius who held, among other high offices, the proconsulship of Africa A.D. 410, was probably, like Nonius, of African origin. Besides his commentary on the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero, Macrobius wrote a work in seven Books on Roman literature and antiquities with the title of Saturnalia. The imaginary conversations of which it consists are supposed to take place during the festival of the Saturnalia at Rome (hence the title); and the chief subject of discussion is the poetry of Virgil. A remarkable feature of the book is its wealth of quotation from Greek and Latin authors. Macrobius, like Gellius, bases his work on extracts from older authorities; but, unlike him, arranges his matter systematically.

5. Aelius Donatus, a grammarian who flourished at Rome about A.D. 350, and was one of Jerome’s teachers, extracted from the lost work of Suetonius the Lives of Terence and Virgil, and prefixed them to his own commentaries on Terence and on the Georgics and Aeneid. The latter is lost, and the commentary on Terence contains much that is not from the hand of Donatus.

6. Servius.—There are two versions of the Servian commentary on Virgil. The shorter is the work of Maurus Servius Honoratus, who was born about 350 A.D., and lived at Rome (Macrob. Saturn. i. 2, 15); his topographical references show that he composed his commentary there. Servius, whose notes are chiefly on the language of the poems, gives illustrative quotations from Roman authors, in some cases from memory and inaccurately. Donatus is the authority whom he mentions oftenest, but he undoubtedly made extensive use of Suetonius.

The longer version contains learned additions to the work of Servius by an anonymous Christian writer, who deals mainly with the subject-matter of Virgil.

7. Acro and Porphyrio.—Helenius Acro (probably about 200 A.D.) was the author of commentaries on Horace and Terence, now lost. The scholia on Horace extant under Acro’s name are, with few exceptions, taken from the commentary of Pomponius Porphyrio, which we possess in a mutilated form. Porphyrio, who probably belonged to the 4th cent. A.D., names among his sources Acro and Suetonius.

For Asconius see p. 77; for Valerius Probus, p. 147.



Note.—All editions mentioned have explanatory notes, except those marked “text” (which are merely texts), and those marked “crit.” (which have an apparatus criticus).

Editions published in England and Germany have English and German notes respectively, unless otherwise stated.

F.P.R. = Fragmenta Poetarum Romanorum, ed. E. Bährens.

Livius Andronicus.
    In Scaenicae Romanorum Poesis Fragmenta, ed.
      O. Ribbeck (vol. i. Trag., ii. Com.) (crit.),     Leip. ’71-73
    Do. (with Naevius’ plays), L. Müller,                  Berl. ’85
    Odisia, in E. Bährens’ Frag. Poet. Rom. (crit.),       Leip. ’86

  Bellum Punicum,      J. Vahlen,                          Leip. ’54
        "              F.P.R.
  Plays (see above).

  J. L. Ussing (Latin commentary),                    Copenh. ’75-87
  F. Ritschl, revised by G. Loewe, G. Goetz, and F.
    Schöll (crit.),                                        Leip. ’94
  Amphitruo,           A. Palmer,                          Lond. ’90
  Asinaria,            J. H. Gray,                         Camb. ’94
  Aulularia,           W. Wagner,                          Camb. ’92
  Captivi,             J. Brix,                            Leip. ’84
  "                    W. M. Lindsay,                       Oxf. ’95
  "                    E. A. Sonnenschein,                 Lond. ’80
  "                    A. R. S. Hallidie,                  Lond. ’95
  Epidicus,            J. H. Gray,                         Camb. ’93
  Mostellaria,         A. O. F. Lorenz,                    Berl. ’83
  "                    E. A. Sonnenschein,                 Camb. ’84
  Menaechmi,           J. Brix and M. Niemeyer,            Leip. ’91
  "                    W. Wagner,                          Camb. ’92
  Miles,               J. Brix,                            Leip. ’82
  "                    A. O. F. Lorenz,                    Berl. ’86
  "                    R. Y. Tyrrell,                      Lond. ’94
  Pseudolus,           A. O. F. Lorenz,                    Berl. ’76
  Rudens,              E. A. Sonnenschein,                  Oxf. ’91
  Stichus,             C. A. M. Fennell,                   Camb. ’93
  Trinummus,           J. Brix and M. Niemeyer,            Leip. ’88
  "                    W. Wagner,                          Camb. ’90
  "                    C. E. Freeman and A. Sloman,         Oxf. ’96

  J. Vahlen                                                Leip. ’54
  Do. (with Naevius’
    Bell. Pun.),       L. Müller,                   St. Petersb. ’85

Pacuvius and Caecilius Statius.
  Ribbeck, Trag. and Com.

  K. Dziatzko (text),                                      Leip. ’84
  W. Wagner,                                               Lond. ’92
  Andria,              A. Spengel,                         Berl. ’88
  "                    C. E. Freeman and A. Sloman,         Oxf. ’93
  "  and Eunuchus,     T. L. Papillon,                     Lond. ’70
  Heaut. Tim.,         E. S. Shuckburgh,                   Lond. ’94
  "                    J. H. Gray,                         Camb. ’95
  Phormio,             K. Dziatzko,                        Leip. ’85
  "                    A. Sloman,                           Oxf. ’94
  "                    J. Bond and A. S. Walpole,          Lond. ’95
  Adelphoe,            K. Dziatzko,                        Leip. ’81
  "                    A. Spengel,                         Berl. ’79
  "                    A. Sloman,                           Oxf. ’92
  "                    S. G. Ashmore,                      Lond. ’93

Cato the Elder.
  De Agricultura (and
    Varro, Res Rusticae), H. Keil (crit.),              Leip. ’82-91
    Other fragments,      H. Jordan (crit.),               Leip. ’60

  Ribbeck, and F.P.R.

  L. Müller,                                               Leip. ’72
  C. Lachmann (crit.),                                     Berl. ’76

Atta, Afranius, Laberius.

Matius, Laevius, Bibaculus, Calvus, Cinna, Varro Atacinus.

Auctor ad Herennium.
  C. L. Kayser,                                            Leip. ’54
  F. Marx (crit.),                                         Leip. ’94

  Sat. Menipp., Logistorici,
    Sententiae Varronis,    A. Riese (crit.),              Leip. ’65
  Sat. Menipp. (text in F. Bücheler’s Petronius),          Berl. ’95
  Antiquitates (text in R. Merkel’s Ovid, Fasti),          Berl. ’41
  De vita pop. Rom.,        H. Kettner (crit.),           Halle, ’63
  De gente pop. Rom.,       H. Peter (Frag. Hist. Rom.),   Leip. ’83
  De Lingua Latina,         A. Spengel (crit.),            Berl. ’85
  Res Rusticae,             H. Keil (see ‘Cato’).
  Grammatical Works
    (except De L.L.),     A. Wilmanns (crit.),             Berl. ’64

  1. Speeches--
    Pro Sex. Rosc. Amer.,   E. H. Donkin,                  Lond. ’95
    Pro Sex. Rosc. Amer.,   G. Landgraf,               Erlangen, ’84
    Pro Q. Rosc. Com.,      C. A. Schmidt,                 Leip. ’39
    Verrines,               C. G. Zumpt,                   Berl. ’31
    Div. in Caec. and in
      Verr., Act. i.,       W. E. Heitland and H. Cowie,   Camb. ’95
      Verr., Act. i.,       J. R. King,                    Lond. ’87
    Div. in Caec. and in Verr.
      Act ii., 4 and 5,     E. Thomas,                    Paris, ’95
    Pro Caecina,            C. A. Jordan,                  Leip. ’47
    De Imp. Cn. Pompei,     A. S. Wilkins,                 Lond. ’94
    Pro Cluentio,           W. and G. G. Ramsay,            Oxf. ’89
    Pro Cluentio,           W. Y. Fausset,                 Lond. ’88
    De Lege Agraria,        A. W. Zumpt,                   Berl. ’61
    Pro Rab. perd. reo,     W. E. Heitland,                Camb. ’82
    In Catilinam,           A. S. Wilkins,                 Lond. ’95
    Pro Murena,             W. E. Heitland,                Camb. ’93
    Pro Murena,             J. H. Freese,                  Lond. ’94
    Pro Sulla,              J. S. Reid,                    Camb. ’91
    Pro Archia,             J. S. Reid,                    Camb. ’95
    Pro Flacco,             A. du Mesnil,                  Leip. ’83
    Pro Sestio,             H. A. Holden,                  Lond. ’95
    In Vatinium,            C. Halm,                       Leip. ’46
    De Prov. Cons.,         G. Tischer,                    Berl. ’61
    Pro Balbo,              J. S. Reid,                    Camb. ’90
    Pro Plancio,            H. A. Holden,                  Camb. ’93
    Pro Milone,             J. S. Reid,                    Camb. ’95
    Pro Milone,             A. C. Clark,                    Oxf. ’95
    Pro Marcello, Ligario,
      Deiotaro,             W. Y. Fausset,                  Oxf. ’93
    Philippics,             J. R. King.                     Oxf. ’78
    II. Phil.,              J. E. B. Mayor,                Lond. ’93
    II. Phil.,              A. G. Peskett,                 Camb. ’91
  2. Rhetorical Works--
    De Oratore,             A. S. Wilkins,                  Oxf. ’92
    De Oratore,             G. Sorof,                      Berl. ’82
    De Oratore,             K. W. Piderit
                              and O. Harnecker,         Leip. ’86-90
    De Inventione,          A. Weidner,                    Berl. ’78
    Brutus,                 K. W. Piderit
                              and W. Friedrich,            Leip. ’89
    Brutus,                 O. Jahn and A. Eberhard,       Berl. ’77
    Orator,                 J. E. Sandys,                  Camb. ’85
    Orator,                 K. W. Piderit,                 Leip. ’76
    Orator, (with De Opt.
      Gen. Orat.),          O. Jahn,                       Berl. ’69
    Partit. Orat.,          K. W. Piderit,                 Leip. ’67
  3. Philosophical Works--
    De Re Publica,          F. Osann,                      Gött. ’47
    De Legibus,             A. du Mesnil,                  Leip. ’79
    Paradoxa,               G. H. Moser,                   Gött. ’46
    De Finibus,             J. N. Madvig (Lat. comm.),   Copenh. ’78
    "                       H. Holstein,                   Leip. ’73
    Academica,              J. S. Reid,                    Lond. ’85
    Tusc. Disp.,.           R. Kühner (Lat.),           Hanover, ’74
    "                       O. Heine,                   Leip. ’92-96
    "                       G. Tischer and G. Sorof,    Berl. ’84-87
    De Nat. Deor.,          J. B. Mayor,                Camb. ’83-91
    "                       G. F. Schömann,                Berl. ’76
    De Senectute,           J. S. Reid,                    Camb. ’94
    " Amicitia,             J. S. Reid,                    Camb. ’93
    " Officiis,             H. A. Holden,                  Camb. ’93
    " Divinatione, De
      Fato,                 G. H. Moser,                 Frankf. ’28
  4. Letters--
    Correspondence of C.    R. Y. Tyrrell and
                              L. C. Purser,             Dubl. ’85-94
    Selections,             A. Watson,                      Oxf. ’91
    " (C. in his
    Letters),               R. Y. Tyrrell,                 Lond. ’96
    Epp. ad Att.,           J. G. C. Boot (Lat.)           Amst. ’86
    Epp. ad Fam.,           L. Mendelssohn (crit.),        Leip. ’93
                            C. F. W. Müller (crit.),       Leip. ’96
  5. Poems--
    Complete texts--
    J. C. Orelli, J. G. Baiter, and C. Halm,.            Zür. ’45-61
    C. F. A. Nobbe,                                        Leip. ’50
    C. F. W. Müller, etc.,                              Leip. ’90-96
    J. G. Baiter and C. L. Kayser,                      Leip. ’60-69

  B. Dinter (text),                                        Leip. ’96
  B. Kübler (text),                                     Leip. ’93-94
  Bell. Gall.,          J. Bond and A. S. Walpole,         Lond. ’87
  "                     A. G. Peskett,                     Camb. ’78
  Bell. Gall.,          C. E. Moberly,                      Oxf. ’90
  Bell. Gall.,          F. Kraner and W. Dittenberger,     Berl. ’90
  Bell. Gall.,          A. Doberenz and B. Dinter,         Leip. ’92
  Bell. Civ.,           C. E. Moberly,                      Oxf. ’92
  Bell. Civ.,           F. Kraner and F. Hofmann,          Berl. ’90
  Bell. Civ.,           A. Doberenz and B. Dinter,         Leip. ’84
  Bell. Civ., (Bk. i.), A. G. Peskett,                     Camb. ’90
  Bell. Alex.,          R. Schneider,                      Berl. ’89
  Bell. Afr.,           E. Wölfflin and A. Miodonski,      Leip. ’89

  C. Nipperdey and B. Lupus,                               Berl. ’95
  J. Siebelis and M. Jancovius,                            Leip. ’96
  O. Browning and W. R. Inge,                               Oxf. ’88
  E. S. Shuckburgh,                                        Camb. ’95

  H. A. J. Munro,                                       Camb. ’91-93
  C. Lachmann,                                             Berl. ’82
  Books i.-iii.,            J. H. W. Lee,                  Lond. ’93
  Book v.,                  J. D. Duff,                    Camb. ’96

  Cat. and Iug.,            W. W. Capes,                    Oxf. ’89
  Cat. and Iug.,            C. Merivale,                   Lond. ’84
  Cat. and Iug., (and
    frags. of Hist.),       R. Jacobs and H. Wirz,         Berl. ’94
  Cat.,                     A. M. Cook,                    Lond. ’88
  Hist. (text),             H. Jordan,                     Leip. ’87
  Historiarum Reliquiae,    B. Maurenbrecher,           Leip. ’91-93

Publilius Syrus.
  Sententiae,               W. Meyer (crit.),              Leip. ’80
  Sententiae,               R. A. H. Bickford Smith,       Camb. ’95

  A. Palmer (crit.),                                       Lond. ’96
  R. Ellis (crit.),                                         Oxf. ’78
  R. Ellis (commentary),                                    Oxf. ’89
  B. Schmidt (introd. and text),                           Leip. ’87
  F. P. Simpson (selections),                              Lond. ’94
  (With Tibullus and
    Propertius), L. Müller (text),                         Leip. ’92

  E. C. Wickham,                                         Oxf. ’90-96
  A. Kiessling,                                         Berl. ’89-95
  J. C. Orelli, W. Hirschfelder, and W. Mewes,          Berl. ’86-92
  Satires,                  A. Palmer,                     Lond. ’96
  Odes and Epodes,          T. E. Page,                    Lond. ’95
  "                         J. Gow,                        Camb. ’96
  Epistles and A.P.,        A. S. Wilkins,                 Lond. ’92

  O. Ribbeck (crit.),                                   Leip. ’94-95
     "       (text only),                                  Leip. ’95
  T. E. Papillon and A. E. Haigh (text only),               Oxf. ’92
         [The above include the minor poems.]
  J. Conington and H. Nettleship,                       Lond. ’83-84
  T. E. Papillon and A. E. Haigh,                           Oxf. ’92
  A. Sidgwick,                                          Camb. ’90-94
  B. H. Kennedy,                                           Lond. ’79
  T. Ladewig, C. Schaper, and P. Deuticke,                 Berl. ’91
  K. Kappes,                                            Leip. ’93-95
  Aeneid (i.-vi.),          T. E. Page,                    Lond. ’94

  E. Hiller (text),                                        Leip. ’85
  E. Bährens (text),                                       Leip. ’78
  L. Dissen,                                               Gött. ’35

  W. A. Hertzberg,                                     Halle, ’43-45
  F. A. Paley,                                             Lond. ’72
  A. Palmer (text),                                        Lond. ’80
  J. P. Postgate (selections),                             Lond. ’94
  "             (text),                                    Lond. ’94

  A. Riese (introd.),                                   Leip. ’71-89
  Heroides,            A. Palmer,                          Lond. ’74
  "                    E. S. Shuckburgh,                   Lond. ’96
  Metam.,              J. Sibelis and F. Polle,         Leip. ’92-96
  "                    M. Haupt, O. Korn, and
                         H. J. Müller,                     Berl. ’85
  Fasti,               G. H. Hallam,                       Lond. ’93
  Fasti,               R. Merkel,                          Berl. ’41
  "                    H. Peter,                           Leip. ’89
  Tristia,             S. G. Owen (crit.),                  Oxf. ’89
  "     (Bks. i., iii.), S. G. Owen,                     Oxf. ’90-93
  "     and Ibis,      R. Merkel,                          Berl. ’37
  Ibis,                R. Ellis (Lat.),                     Oxf. ’82

  F. Jacob,                                                Berl. ’46
     [See also R. Ellis, Noctes Manilianae, Oxf. ’91.]

  W. Weissenborn and H. J. Müller,                      Berl. ’73-96
  M. Hertz (introd. and text),                          Leip. ’57-63
  Book i.,                      J. R. Seeley,               Oxf. ’81
  Books iv., vi., ix., xxvii.,  H. M. Stephenson,       Camb. ’90-94
  Book v.,                      L. Whibley,                Camb. ’94
  Books xxi., xxii.,            M. S. Dimsdale,         Camb. ’94-95
  "                             W. W. Capes,               Lond. ’95

  A. Bielowski,                                         Lemberg, ’53

Verrius Flaccus.
  (Festus and Paulus),          C. O. Müller,              Leip. ’80

  V. Rose and H. Müller-Strübing (crit.),                  Leip. ’67

Seneca the Elder.
  H. J. Müller (text),                                   Prague, ’87
  A. Kiessling (text),                                     Leip. ’72

  C. Halm (crit.),                                         Leip. ’76
  D. Ruhnken, ed. C. H. Frotscher,                         Leip. ’39

Valerius Maximus.
  C. Kempf (text),                                         Leip. ’88

  C. Daremberg (text),                                     Leip. ’59

  J. Siebelis and F. A. Eckstein,                          Leip. ’89

Seneca the Younger.
 Prose Works,           F. Haase (text),                Leip. ’93-95
 Apocolocyntosis, in F. Bücheler’s Petronius (text).
 Tragedies,             R. Peiper and G. Richter (text),   Leip. ’67

Curtius Rufus.
  T. Vogel,                                                Leip. ’93

  In Scriptores Rei Rusticae,
               ed. I. G. Schneider (Lat.),              Leip. 1794-7

  A. Kiessling and R. Schöll,                              Berl. ’75

  C. Frick (text),                                         Leip. ’80

  O. Jahn and F. Bücheler (text),                          Berl. ’93
  J. Conington, ed. H. Nettleship,                          Oxf. ’93

  H. Keil,                                                Halle, ’48

  C. Hosius (text),                                        Leip. ’92
  C. E. Haskins (introd. by W. E. Heitland),               Lond. ’87
  Book i.,          W. E. Heitland and C. E. Haskins,      Camb. ’95
  "                 Lejay,                                Paris, ’94
  Books i.-v.,      C. M. Francken (Lat.),               Leiden, ’96

  F. Bücheler (text),                                      Berl. ’95
  Cena Trimalchionis, L. Friedländer (text, German
                        trans., and notes),                Leip. ’91

Calpurnius Siculus.
  H. Schenkl (text),                                     Prague, ’85
  C. H. Keene,                                             Lond. ’87

  H. A. J. Munro,                                          ’Camb. 67

Pliny the Elder.
  L. van Jan and Mayhoff (text),                        Leip. ’75-92
  J. Sillig,                                         Hamburg, ’51-58
  J. Hardouin,                                           Paris, 1723
  D. Detlefsen (crit.),                                 Berl, ’66-82
  (Selections) Chrestomathia
               Pliniana,  L. Urlichs,                      Berl. ’57

Valerius Flaccus.
  J. A. Wagner,                                           Gött. 1805
  N. E. Lemaire,                                          Paris, ’24
  G. Thilo (text),                                        Halle, ’63

Silius Italicus.
  A. Drakenborch (Lat.),                               Utrecht, 1717
  G. A. Ruperti, ed. Lemaire,                             Paris, ’23
  L. Bauer (text),                                         Leip. ’90

  Silvae,                 E. Bährens (text),               Leip. ’76
  Achilleis,              P. Kohlmann (text),              Leip. ’79
  Thebais,                                                 Leip. ’84

  L. Friedländer,                                          Leip. ’86
  (Selections,)           H. M. Stephenson,                Lond. ’95
                          F. A Paley and W. H. Stone,      Lond. ’82

  G. L. Spalding and C. G. Zumpt,                    Leip. 1798-1834
  F. Meister (text),                                  Prague, ’86-87
  C. Halm (crit.),                                         Leip. ’69
  Book X.,                J.E.B. Mayor,                    Lond. ’72
  "                       W. Peterson,                      Oxf. ’91
  "                       G.T.A. Krüger,                   Leip. ’88
  "                       E. Bonnell and F. Meister,       Berl. ’82

  A. Dederich (text),                                      Leip. ’55
  Strategemata,           G. Gundermann (text),            Leip. ’88
  De Aquis,               F. Bücheler (text),              Leip. ’58

  L. Friedländer,                                          Leip. ’95
  A. Weidner,                                              Leip. ’89
  XIII. Satires,          J. E. B. Mayor,                  Lond. ’93
  "                       C. H. Pearson and H. A. Strong,   Oxf. ’92
  "                       E. G. Hardy,                     Lond. ’95

  C. Halm (text),                                       Leip. ’89-93
  Dialogus,               W. Peterson,                      Oxf. ’93
  Germania,               H. Furneaux,                      Oxf. ’94
  " and Agricola,         A. J. Church and
                            W. J Brodribb,              Lond. ’91-94
  "     "                 H. M. Stephenson,                Camb. ’94
  Histories,              E. Wolff,                     Berl. ’86-88
  "                       W. A. Spooner,                   Lond. ’91
  " (Books i., ii.),      A. D. Godley,                    Lond. ’94
  Annals,                 K. Nipperdey and G. Andresen, Berl. ’84-92
  "                       A. Dräger and F. Becher,      Leip. ’82-95
  "                       H. Furneaux,                   Oxf. ’83-91
  "                       H. Furneaux (Books i.-iv.),       Oxf. ’92

Pliny the Younger.
  H. Keil (text),                                          Leip. ’53
  H. Keil and Th. Mommsen (crit.),                         Leip. ’70
  G. H. Schaefer,                                         Leip. 1805
  Epistles,         G. Cortius and P. D. Longolius,    Amsterd. 1734
  " (Book iii.),    J. E. B. Mayor,                        Lond. ’89
  " (to Trajan),    E. G. Hardy,                           Lond. ’89

  C. L. Roth (text),                                       Leip. ’75
  C. G. Baumgarten-Crusius,                                Leip. ’16
  Julius and Augustus,                H. T. Peck,      New York, ’93
  Augustus,                           E. S. Shuckburgh,    Camb. ’96
  Praeter Caesarum libros reliquiae,  A. Reifferscheid,    Leip. ’60

  Aulus Gellius,                 M. Hertz (text),          Leip. ’86
  Macrobius,                     F. Eyssenhardt (text),    Leip. ’93
  Nonius Marcellus,              L. Müller (crit.),        Leip. ’88
  Servius,               G. Thilo and H. Hagen (crit.), Leip. ’78-94
  Grammatici Latini, H. Keil (crit.),                   Leip. ’56-80
  Corpus Poetarum Latinorum, ed. J. P. Postgate (crit.),   Lond. ’94
    [Including Ennius, Lucretius, Catullus, Horace, Virgil,
    Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid; other parts to follow.]
  Oratorum Romanorum Fragmenta, H. Meyer (text),         Zürich, ’42
  Historicorum Romanorum Fragmenta, H. Peter (text),       Leip. ’83
  Selected Fragments of Roman Poetry, W. W. Merry,          Oxf. ’91
  Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin, J. Wordsworth,    Oxf. ’74





[1] The scheme of this old national metre, which depends on accent and not on quantity, may be seen from the two examples given below. Various forms are found, but one of the commonest types is identical with the rhythm of the nursery rhyme,

‘The queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey.’

[2] ‘I have heard that a Roman poet is languishing in prison with head on hand’—probably a metaphor from a pillar (but the sense is far from certain).

[3] Utica was besieged by Scipio from 204 to 202 B.C.

[4] In the fabula togata or tabernaria the surroundings of the comedy were Roman, in the fabula palliata Greek, as in Plautus’ plays. Togata in a wider sense included tragedy as well as comedy.

[5] This term means the construction of a new play by uniting two old ones.

[6] The references are to the revised edition of Ritschl.

[7] A species of burlesque tragedy, called after its inventor Rhinthon, who flourished B.C. 300.

[8] R.H. ii. p. 431 trans.

[9] This shows that the ancient (rough alphabetical) order has been departed from. Some grammarian of the fifth century altered the position of the play on account of the reference to it in Epid. 213-5 (quoted above).

[10] I.e. the ‘Patruus’ written by the old Roman (lit., ‘son of the porridge-eater’).

[11] These games were celebrated in April. Plays were exhibited also at the Ludi Romani (September) and the Ludi Plebei (November).

[12] Much of the information on this head is taken from J. Brix’s edition of the Trinummus. Leipzig, 1888.

[13] This is shown in the universal classical usage of benĕ, malĕ, etc.

[14] The references are to Vahlen’s edition.

[15] Thus the original name of Beneventum was Maleventum, i.e. ΜαλόϜεντα, accusative of ΜαλόϜεις; cf. Agrigentum from Ἀκράγας, and Tarentum from Τάρας.

[16] Euhemerus of Messana, who wrote about the end of the fourth century B.C., tried in this work to show that the worship of the gods arose from the worship of deified kings and heroes.

[17] The Oscan form of Pacuvi.

[18] The term doctus refers to his knowledge of the Greek laws of artistic composition.

[19] After Ambivius’ name appears in most of the didascaliae ‘L. Hatilius Praenestinus.’ Probably this person was an actor at some later productions, and his name has in this way crept into the MSS.

[20] Tibiae were called pares or impares according as they were or were not of the same length and key. Duae dextrae were two pipes both playing the treble. Tibiae Sarranae, from Sarra, the old Latin name for Tyre, were a special form of tibiae pares.

[21] Mediocritas = τὸ μέσον, the intermediate style between τὸ ἁδρόν, ‘the florid’ (ubertas), and τὸ ἰσχνόν, ‘the simple’ (gracilitas). See W. Peterson’s note on Quint. x. 1, 44.

[22] For the omission of names, cf. iv. 12 (Jordan), ‘dictatorem Karthaginiensium magister equitum monuit’ (of Hannibal and Maharbal).

[23] This means that Lucilius would represent the nom. plu. by -ei and the gen. sing, by -i.

[24] The fabula Atellana was a species of farce adopted by the Romans from the Oscan town of Atella in Campania. See Livy, vii. 2, for this and the early history of the Roman drama.

[25] Q. Hortensius Hortalus (B.C. 114-50), Cicero’s rival as an orator, and author of Annales (Vell. ii. 16, 3), a Rhetoric (Quint. ii. 1, 11), and love poems (Ovid Tr. ii. 441).

[26] According to ad Att. ii. 1, 3 (if genuine), Cicero intended to publish speeches 9-11 in a collection of ‘orationes consulares’ (‘Hoc totum σῶμα curabo ut habeas’).

[27] R.H. iv. 311 (note).

[28] Q. Asconius Pedianus (A.D. 3-88), probably a native of Padua, author of a commentary on Cicero’s speeches. The extant part is on Pro Cornelio de maiestate, In toga candida, In Pisonem, Pro Scauro, and Pro Milone. The commentary on the Verrines and Divinatio, which deals almost exclusively with the language, is spurious: the true Asconius confines himself to the subject-matter.

[29] The Epicurean philosophy was expounded in the writings of C. Amafinius, Rabirius, and T. Catius, whose opinions and literary style were alike distasteful to Cicero (Ac. i. 5; ad. Fam. xv. 19, 2).

[30] F. Ritschl, Opuscula, iii., p. 525.

[31] L. Schwabe, Quaest. Catull., p. 296. B. Schmidt, however (ed. of Catullus, p. 57), thinks that the Chronica are not referred to here.

[32] A life of Lucretius has been recently discovered by J. Masson (Journal of Philology, xxiii. 46), which was written by Girolamo Borgia in 1502. It gives B.C. 95-51 as the poet’s dates. Several new points were supposed to lend it a claim to authority, such as the statement that he was ‘matre natus diu sterili.’ This, however, has been shown to rest on a wrong reading of Q. Serenus Sammonicus’ Liber Medicinalis, xxxii., in a passage dealing with the barrenness of women, ‘hoc poterit magni quartus [liber] monstrare Lucreti,’ where partus, the reading of the oldest edition, was used. This, and other considerations, show that the vita does not rest on any ancient sources, beyond those which are still extant.

[33] Memmius wrote love poems (Ovid, Tr. ii. 433).

[34] Some ascribe these stories to Lenaeus, a freedman of Pompey, Sueton. Gramm. 15.

[35] Only inferior MSS. give Q., and the reading in c. 67, 12, ‘verum istud populi, fabula, Quinte, facit,’ is not to be accepted.

[36] Some critics, without sufficient proof, identify Volusius with the inferior poet Tanusius Geminus.

[37] Martial, of course, has here forgotten his dates.

[38] The incident has been borrowed from Plutarch by Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act iii. Scene 3.

[39] See p. 184.

[40] This appears to us to be an indirect proof that the half lines in Virgil are often complete as they stand.

[41] M. Valerius Probus of Berytus (Sueton. Gramm. 24) who flourished, according to Jerome, A.D. 56, prepared critical editions of Lucretius, Virgil, and Horace. A commentary on the Eclogues and Georgics passes under his name, but most of it is spurious.

[42] A grammarian of the fifth century A.D., who merely versifies Donatus.

[43] On this point Professor W. M. Ramsay writes to us: ‘Virgil’s farm was certainly not at Pietole (which is two miles south of Mantua, out in the flat plain): for (1) the farm was a long way from the city (cf. Ecl. 9, 59 sqq.); (2) it was beside hills (ibid. 7 sqq.); (3) woods were on or by it (cf. Donatus “silvis coemendis”), and the flat fertile valley was certainly not abandoned to forests. After exploring the country, I felt clear that the farm was on the west bank of the Mincio, opposite Valeggio, where the northern hills sink to the dead level of the Po valley.’

[44] His knowledge of science is reflected in his works. Cf. Georgics, passim, and Ecl. 3, ll. 40-2.

[45] The latter part of this statement is worthless: Augustus was only a child when Virgil came to Rome.

[46] Probus is manifestly wrong in saying that the distribution of land took place ‘post Mutinense bellum.’

[47] For details see H. Nettleship, Ancient Lives of Vergil, who holds that there was really only one eviction.

[48] The writings of Augustus are enumerated by Sueton. Aug. 85— (1) Rescripta Bruto de Catone, a reply to Brutus’ pamphlet on Cato; (2) Hortationes ad Philosophiam; (3) De Vita Sua; (4) Life of Drusus (Sueton. Claud. 1); (5) Poems: ‘Sicily’ in hexameters, Epigrams and Fescennine verses; a tragedy, ‘Ajax’ (never finished).

[49] Servius wrote ‘triennio’ perhaps because he thought only of the dates of Ecl. 1 and 10 (H. Nettleship, ibid.).

[50] C. Schaper’s view is that Ecls. 4, 6, and 10 were not written till B.C. 27-25 for a second edition. He supposes Ecl. 6 to allude to the marriage of Marcellus and Julia in 25 (referring 6, 3 to the Aeneid), and Ecl. 10 to be a lament for Gallus, who committed suicide B.C. 27.

[51] Iulus is properly spelt Iullus (as in inscriptions), and is for Iovillos, a diminutive from the stem of Iuppiter.

[52] L. Orbilius Pupillus of Beneventum, who in his Περιαλγής complained of the wrongs of his profession (Sueton. Gramm. 4 and 9).

[53] Maecenas wrote, besides smaller prose works, a history of his own times (Hor. Od. ii. 12, 9; Pliny, N.H. vii. 148).

[54] For Horace’s relations to Propertius see Ep. ii. 2, 91-101, and under ‘Propertius,’ p. 196.

[55] See G. Boissier, Nouvelles Promenades Archéologiques: Horace et Virgile (Paris, 1886).

[56] Dr. A. W. Verrall’s argument (Studies in Horace, pp. 25 sqq.) that Od. i.-iii. were published B.C. 19 is not convincing.

[57] Ed. by Mommsen in Ephemeris Epigraphica, 1892, p. 225.

[58] For Horace’s eclectic position in philosophy, cf. Ep. i. 1, 14-15,

‘Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri,
quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.’

[59] As suggested to us by Prof. W. M. Ramsay. For Horace’s opinion of Catullus cf. Sat. i. 10, 18-9,

            ‘Simius iste,
nil praeter Calvum et doctus cantare Catullum.’

[60] See Th. Mommsen, Sitzungsberichte der königl. preuss. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu Berlin. 24 Jan. 1889.

[61] A Peripatetic of the third century B.C., who wrote a popular account of the literary and philosophical views of his school.

[62] E. Voss, Die Natur in der Dichtung des Horaz (Düsseldorf, 1889).

[63] As pointed out by A. W. Verrall, Studies in Horace, p. 134 sqq.

[64] This poem is probably referred to by Hor. Od. iv. 4, 19-22.

[65] M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus, author of memoirs of the Civil War (Tac. Ann. iv. 34), love poems (Pliny, Ep. v. 3, 5), and works on grammar (Quint. i. 7, 35).

[66] Dessau, Inscr. Lat. Sel. 2925. Serg. stands for Serg[ia tribu], and is not a cognomen Sergio.

[67] See Pliny, Ep. v. 9, 2.

[68] This question was first satisfactorily worked out by T. Dyer, Classical Museum for 1847, p. 229 sqq.

[69] See under ‘Juvenal,’ p. 323.

[70] Pollio accused him of Patavinitas, i.e. the use of provincialisms (verba peregrina, as opposed to Latina, Quint. i. 5, 55, curiose loqui rather than Latine, Quint. viii. 1, 2).

[71] By A. Diepenbrock, L. Annaeus Seneca, p. 12 (Amsterdam, 1888).

[72] The praenomen ‘Gaius’ is rendered highly probable by the reading of the editio princeps and by an inscription found in Africa (C.I.L. viii. 10311).

[73] Les Poètes Latins de la Décadence, vol. i., p. 8.

[74] Antwerp edition, p. 89.

[75] Tacitus does not say openly that Seneca was privy to the murder. On the whole he is favourable to Seneca, either because he followed the authority of Fabius Rusticus, a friend of Seneca, or because Seneca perished afterwards through Nero’s agency, or because he thought Seneca deserved his consideration.

[76] Seneca’s influence on the Imperial policy, especially in the liberal view it took regarding religion, is well brought out by Prof. W. M. Ramsay, in his book, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, pp. 354 sqq.

[77] See the very large list of parallels collected by Heitland, Introduction to Haskins’ Lucan, § 51.

[78] See under Varro, p. 96.

[79] Ed. of Cena Trimalchionis, p. 7.

[80] See O. Hirschfeld’s note on this passage in Römische Verwaltungsgeschichte, p. 261.

[81] Messalla was a favourite of Gaius, Narcissus of Claudius.

[82] Pomponius was the author of Aeneas and other tragedies. Pliny calls him ‘consularis poeta,’ ‘vates civisque clarissimus’ (N.H. vii. 80, xiii. 83). Cf. Tac. Ann. xii. 28.

[83] Given with other examples by W. C. Summers, Study of the Argonautica (Camb. 1894), p. 27.

[84] Summers, ibid. p. 56.

[85] Cf. Tac. Hist. iii. 65.

[86] Mart. vii. 63.

[87] Mart. xi. 48; 49.

[88] Mart. viii. 66.

[89] Mart. ix. 68.

[90] The references are to L. Friedländer’s edition (Leipzig, 1886).

[91] Ed. of Book x., Introd. p. 9 (Oxford, 1891).

[92] A passage probably inserted by the pseudo-Frontinus from memoirs of the genuine Frontinus to give an air of authenticity to his work.

[93] J. Dürr, Das Leben Juvenals (Ulm, 1888). L. Friedländer (ed. of Juvenal: Leipzig, 1895) attaches little importance to this and the other vitae, but his arguments do not appear to us to be convincing.

[94] E. G. Hardy (ed. of Juvenal: London, 1891, introd. p. 8) thinks that this is supported by Juvenal’s gentile name Iunius. As a representative of the middle classes he (thinks Hardy) could not have been related by blood to either of the two gentes of that name. Hardy also states that Decimus is a common praenomen of the plebeian gens Iunia, and suggests that Juvenal may have got his praenomen from them. There is no reason, however, to think that every Iunius must be related or associated in some way with one of these two gentes.

[95] The statement of the vitae, ‘ad mediam fere aetatem declamavit,’ may imply no more than that he continued his studies in private; but it must be observed that the usual meaning of declamare is ‘to attend college classes’; and the statement, in whatever way it is taken, must be looked upon as improbable.

[96] If the number I. is right, and this appears most likely. II. is the only other possible reading, and it must be noted that the second Dalmatian cohort was in Britain at the beginning of the second century, and probably had been there for a considerable time. Trib. in the inscription is a conjecture suggested by the vitae: praef., which is epigraphically possible, is preferred by some authorities.

[97] E. G. Hardy thinks that A.D. 87 was one of the years when duumviri quinquennales (appointed every five years) were elected in Aquinum, and hypothetically assigns Juvenal’s holding of the post to that year.

[98] C.I.L. vii. 1195.

[99] Cf. E. G. Hardy, ed. of Juvenal.

[100] Cf. E. G. Hardy, ibid.

[101] The reference in 4, 126, ‘De temone Britanno excidet Arviragus,’ proves nothing. It is the sort of reference that would be made by an Italian ignorant of Britain, and is, in fact, put into the mouth of one.

[102] The view that Sat. i. 33 sqq. refers to M. Aquilius Regulus, who died probably A.D. 105 (Pliny, Ep. i. 5, 14-15), is rejected by Friedländer ad loc.

[103] H. Nettleship (Journal of Philology, xvi., p. 45) points out that C. Vipstanus Apronianus and C. Fonteius Capito were consuls A.D. 59, and suggests that this may be the year meant. This would give A.D. 119 as the date of composition.

[104] The scholiast connects with 4, 37-8.

[105] This story is rejected both by Hardy and by Friedländer.

[106] Juvenal had a leaning to Stoicism: cf. Sat. 10 ad fin., and his references to fate, e.g. 7, 200; 10, 365; 12, 63. He believes in the gods (13, 247-9), but disbelieves the doctrines of the popular religion (2, 149 sqq.).

[107] The inscription records the appointment of Cilo’s sons and a woman Lutulla as trustees of a fund, the interest of which was to be disbursed to the people of Comum.

[108] Hermes, iii. 31 sqq.

[109] The inscription in Caria, formerly supposed to give P. as praenomen, is now shown to have been misread.

[110] The inhabitants of Terni (Interamna) erected a statue to Tacitus as to a fellow-townsman in A.D. 1514.

[111] Bull. de Corr. Hell., 1890, p. 621, quoted by Prof. W. M. Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, p. 228.

[112] One of the speakers in the Dialogue, Curiatius Maternus, was the author of tragedies Medea and Thyestes, and of praetextae Domitius and Cato (Dial. 2-3).

[113] Various attempts have been made, especially in a work published in London, 1878, to prove, of course unsuccessfully, that the Annals were forged in the fifteenth century by the Italian scholar Poggio Bracciolini.

[114] Fabius Rusticus, a friend of Seneca, quoted also for the shape of Britain (Agr. 10).

[115] Cluvius Rufus, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis B.C. 69 (H. i. 8). Mommsen considers that he is one of the historians censured in H. ii. 101.

[116] Roth gives 71, Teuffel 75 at latest.

[117] See Quaestiones Suetonianae in Reifferscheid’s Suetonius, pp. 363 sqq.

[118] See H. Nettleship, Lectures and Essays (1885), p. 248 sqq.

[119] See Nettleship, ibid. p. 277 sqq.

Transcriber’s note:

The following typographical errors were corrected:

Inconsistencies in hyphenation have not been normalized.

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